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A. We have numerous hadiths that forbid playing chess, and hence the majority of scholars have ruled that playing it is forbidden and sinful. In the past, chess was primarily a gambling game that led to negative consequences. Even if no betting is involved and one plays with the intention of doing mental exercises or just for leisure, most scholars still consider it haram. There might be many negative effects to playing chess that one day science will discover. Some studies show that it’s very addictive, may lead to negative emotions, and might have some concerning impacts on the brain. Allah knows best.


A. If the type of substance used in nail polish blocks water from reaching the fingernails (which is the case with most types of nail polish), then according to the vast majority of scholars the polish must be removed before doing Wudhu. Performing Wudhu with the polish on any of the fingers would invalidate the Wudhu. As for the toes, at least one toe must be wiped, so it is ok to have polish on all the toes except one toe in each foot. So there is a difference between fingernails and toenails. The same applies to false nails.


A. What we have to observe when discarding such papers is to make sure that they are not desecrated. If placing them in the bin that gets recycled (and not dumped in a landfill) protects them from being desecrated, then it is permissible. Otherwise, one must either erase, cover, or fully cross out those names or words, or cast them in a river or lake. As for shredders, if people consider using them to be desecration of those names, then it would be haram.


A. If the cat touches you while praying, your prayer is valid even if it was wet. That is because the cat is pure. However, most scholars have ruled that cat fur on your prayer clothes will invalidate the prayer. Some scholars, such as Ayatollah Sistani, believe having cat hair on one’s clothes does not invalidate the prayer (though it is unrecommended to have them on one’s clothes during prayer).


A. Some scholars say it is not permissible to burn them, since they view that as a form of desecration. Another alternative is using a paper shredder if society does not view it as a desecration. It’s best to cast the paper in a body of water like a stream or lake.


A. Playing a game that involves a dice is not haram. Yes, if it’s a gambling game then it is haram. Chess is a gambling game. Backgammon was historically a gambling game, so such games are haram according to the majority of scholars.


A. It is a sin to curse a believer, even if their deeds were bad. The Imam (a) teaches us to never condemn a believer but instead condemn their bad deed (if it warrants condemnation of course, as there are conditions and sometimes it is a sin to expose a believer). Now if someone curses a believer knowing that the person he cursed was a believer (whether that person is alive or dead), then that curse will deflect back at him and he will be cursed. But if one did not really know and made a mistake or it was not deliberate, then Allah forgives if one seeks His forgiveness.


A. Yes, since the alcohol used is synthetic. If one does now know what kind of alcohol is used, it is considered pure due to the Law or Purity.


A. You should not cut off your ties with your siblings completely. You should keep formal ties with them, greet them when you see them, have dinner with them and so on. You are not required to hang out with them and spend a lot of time with them. Yes, it is recommended for you to try to have a positive influence on them, come up with creative ways to guide them, and show them what religion means in their lives. God will highly reward you for that.


A. Istihadha is any blood that a woman sees that is not considered Haydh. For instance, if one sees blood for less than three consecutive days, that is considered Istihadha. If the period stops and then after a week one sees blood that is also Istihadha. If the bleeding exceeds ten days it’s also istihadha. But any blood a woman sees between 3-10 days is Haydh. During Istihadha one must pray and fast. One would have to do Wudhu for each Salat if the blood is light. If it is medium then one must also do a Ghusl (shower) each day, and if it is heavy then three Ghusls are to be done each day.


A. Tattoos are not haram if they don’t block water from reaching the skin (because if they do, then one’s ablution and ritual shower will be invalid), but they are Makrooh (unrecommended).


A. According to a number of scholars, one may make a will to have his organs donated if two conditions are met. First, the life of the recipient must depend on receiving this organ, and by donating this organ after death the life of the recipient is saved. Second, the donor must be pronounced completely dead before his organs are cut from his body. If he is brain dead but has a heartbeat then he is not dead yet.


A. Pure silk is haram for men to wear, but if it’s 50% silk, for instance, then it’s fine. Deliberately wearing silk for men in Salat invalidates the Salat.


A. Scholars have stated that if gelatin undergoes a complete transformation (such that in the eyes of the people it is a completely different substance, like something burning and turning into ashes), then the gelatin would be halal. However, many Maraje’, based on their understanding of the process to make gelatin, believe that it does not undergo a complete transformation that would render it halal. Hence, if the beef is not halal them the gelatin extracted from it would not be halal. Some Maraje’ believe it goes through total transformation and hence say it is halal.


A. Tattoos are not haram (they are Makrouh) so she can get eyebrow tattoos
However, if the eyebrow tattoos will be such that they draw attention and are considered as Zeena, then from this aspect it would be haram. The tattoos should also not put a barrier on the skin, as this would prevent her from Wudhu and Ghusl.


A. According to many scholars, if there is no realistic hope for him to survive, then it’s not mandatory to put him on life support. But if you do put him on life support then you cannot have it removed until the patient dies. Removing life support after putting it is not permissible according to many scholars.


A. It’s still considered plain water even if there is chlorine in it, so a drop of Najasa would not make the entire pool Najes.


A. There is no evidence in Islamic Law that it’s haram. The Qur’an states in 5:1, “Honor your contracts,” and buying such currency does not fall under any haram category, so it’s possible to buy and sell them.


A. Some scholars state the surrogate mother who carries the baby is the mother. Some say the owner of the egg is the mother. Yet many scholars today state that both are considered the mother (so the legal rulings of motherhood would apply, such as both being Mahram to the baby, the laws of inheritance, and so on...)


A. If after urinating you cleared your urethra from urine, then this drop of discharge is considered pure and your wudhu is not broken. But if you did not clear it from urine, you must consider it Najes and your wudhu is broken. To clear the urethra from urine, the middle finger of the left hand is slid three times from the anus up to the scrotum. Then the thumb is placed on the penis and the forefinger is placed under the penis, and the thumb and forefinger are pulled three times along the penis up to the point of circumcision. Finally, the tip of the penis is pressed three times.


A. It is recommended for females to keep their fingernails long. However, if they have nail polish on them, they should not make them visible to unrelated men, since it is considered Zeenah (adornments). As for men, they should keep their fingernails short.


A. Yes, since your mother breastfed him, then according to Islamic Law he became your brother-in-suckling. Therefore, he is mahram to you and you don’t have to wear hijab in his presence. You are also not allowed to ever marry him.


A. If the collagen is taken from a non-halal animal, then it would not be halal. It would only be halal if it goes through istehala (complete transformation) while being processed. However, it is not proven that it goes through istehala, and so by default it would not be halal.


A. No, taking a vaccine shot does not invalidate the fast. It is not a form of eating or drinking. You may fast and take the shot, and your fast will be valid.


A. Most scholars agree that what is meant by food in this blessed verse is food that does not include meat. We have hadiths from the Ahlulbayt (a) that state what is meant by the word “food” (ta’am in Arabic) in this verse is grains (such as wheat). Meat must be slaughtered halal in order for it to be permissible for us to eat even if it is from the People of the Book.


A. If it’s guaranteed that the player will receive a ticket, then it’s not gambling. But if it’s by luck (sometimes they’ll win a ticket and sometimes they won’t) then yes that’s gambling.


A. Wearing pure silk for men is prohibited in Islamic law. There are two exceptions: 1- If the piece of cloth is too small to cover the private parts, then it can be made of pure silk and men can wear it. 2- If the silk is not 100%. A man can wear a shirt that is 60% silk, for example, since it is not pure silk.


A. No it is permissible.


A. The Qur'an is the literal word of God. He revealed it in Arabic to Prophet Muhammad (s) throughout a period of 23 years. 


A. The story of the People of the Cave occurred between Prophet Jesus (a) and Prophet Muhammad (s), so there was no official prophet during their era. There were successors to prophets, but no known/universal prophets. The People of the Cave were on the path of Prophet Jesus (a).


A. The Qur’an confirms that our body parts will speak on the Day of Judgment (for instance see 41:20). The Qur’an specifically mentions the hands, feet, skin, tongue, ears, and eyes. The lungs are not mentioned in the Qur'an, but we can conclude that every body that was used to sin will speak on the Day of Judgment. Of course this will occur is if one does not repent in this life. If one repents, Allah will conceal that and not expose him or her. If one smokes to the point where excessive damage is done to the lungs, then this is considered a violation of the right that our body has over us. Allah has forbidden us from putting our body into extreme harm.


. The Qur’an tells us about some sinners from Bani Isra’eel who were morphed into apes as a punishment to them, but that does not mean this is how apes were created. Apes have existed for millions of years. As for evolution, there is no evidence that we humans are the descendants of apes. Yes, it is very likely that species went through a process of evolution, but God created Adam (a) directly without having descended from any other beings. Our hadiths tell us there were many human-like species who existed before Adam, so Adam was not the first human.


A. First read the English translation to understand the meaning of the verses, then it is advised to read the same verses in Arabic. It is very effective to read the Qur’an in Arabic because it is the actual word of God. Translations lose some effect because they are the words of humans. Read the translation and also the Arabic text is most recommended.


A. One must actually prostrate for it to count as a Sujood. Standing and lifting the prayer tablet to the forehead does not count. And yes one must prostrate instantly and not delay it.


A. You are not required to say anything in this Sujood, but it’s recommended to say the following: لا إله إلا الله حقا ، لا إله إلا الله إيمانا وتصديقا ، لا إله إلا الله عبودية ورقاً ، سجدت لك يا رب تعبدا ورقا لا مستنكفا ولا مستكبرا بل أنا عبد ذليل ضعيف خائف مستجير


A. Hadiths and Qur’anic verses indicate we will be in physical form in heaven, though our bodies will be quite different than this earthly body. It will still will be a type of body, and so will have some kind of human form.


A. Lowering the gaze means that you do not see members of the opposite gender with lust or desire. This applies to both men and women. Men should not fix their gaze at the face/body of a woman, and women should not fix their gaze at the face/body of men. Some reasons why lowering the gaze is encouraged: 1- Gazing at the opposite gender can lead to haram relationships 2- It can create a burning desire in one’s heart that causes one to suffer from longing/desire 3- Our hadiths teach us that such gazes are among the “arrows of the devil.


A. The longest word in the blessed Qur’an is the word فَأَسقَيناكُموهُ found in Sura al-Hejr, verse 22. It is composed of 11 letters in Arabic. The word means “so we have provided you water to drink.” The word teaches us that if it weren’t for the blessing of rain, we could not store water to survive. This word contains a conjunction “fa,” a past tense verb “Asqayna,” a direct object “kom,” and a second direct object which refers to the water


A. Unintentionally vomiting does not invalidate the fast. If it is deliberate, however, then it would invalidate the fast.


A. No Kaffara is required. Now if this is a temporary condition and after the month of Ramadhan this person can make up this fast before the next Ramadhan, then all he has to do is just make it up. But if this is a long term condition and this person cannot make up these missed days, then he would just have to pay a Fidya of 750 grams of food like wheat for each day (which is about $2 per day in many parts of the world). If the inhaler does not generate moisture into the mouth that gets swallowed but rather the air from the inhaler is taken in by the lungs only, then it would not break the fast and no Fidya would be required. There are different types of inhalers so one much check how they work.


Yes, if you passed 16 miles and returned that same distance then you had to break your fast. However, keep in mind that the 16 miles are to be counted from the limits of your metro area or greater city, not from your house or neighborhood (according to most scholars).


A. You can remind them, but you don’t have to. There is a hadith that states if you forget and eat, don’t worry your fast is valid and it was Rizk (meaning sustenance or a blessing) from Allah, but this hadith does not indicate that you shouldn’t remind such a person. Now if this person is eating in the month of Ramadhan and he is eating publicly, and this either encourages others to break their fast or it violates the sanctity of the month of Ramadhan, then yes one must remind them.


A. Injections do not invalidate the fast, but you must take care not to swallow anything.


A. Your fast is valid.


A. If you have a genuine concern that fasting will make you sick, or it will exacerbate your sickness, or it will cause migraines that are very difficult for you to bear, then you break your fast. If your migraines are severe to the point where you are vomiting, then you break your fast.


A. You can make one niyah (intention) to fast the entire month of Ramadhan.


A. If the person was confident that he would not swallow drops of water or toothpaste, then his fast is valid.


A. he first 31 days have to be consecutive, then after that it doesn’t. Yes there is an exception for women. For instance, if the period was 7 days, then the fasting would resume after the seventh day, and the 31 day count would be 38 in this case. In other words, once this person has fasted 31 days (and the 7 days fell in this time frame), then after that there is no need to fast the remaining 29 days consecutively.


A. Backbiting does not technically invalidate the fast. However, it defeats the purpose of the fast and the one who backbites does not benefit from the spiritual rewards and effects of fasting. One reason why we fast is to keep away from sin, and backbiting is a major sin.


A. Hugging a member of the opposite gender who is not related to you (such as a parent, sibling, uncle/aunt, spouse, child) is inappropriate according to Islamic law. The same applies to shaking hands. However, doing so does not invalidate the fast.


A. If you do not know how many days of fasting you missed, you only have to make up what you are certain of missing. For example, if you do not know whether you have 10 or 20 days of missed fasting, but you are sure of missing 10 days, then you only have to up 10 days.


A. If fasting poses harm to her health, and it is considered a medical danger, then she can break her fast and make up the missed days at another time of year when she can fast without having her health impacted. But if it does not harm her health, and rather it just makes her feel tired or fatigued, then she must fast. Breaking the fast would incur a Kaffara (penalty) of feeding 60 poor per each day missed, or fasting 60 consecutive days per each day missed.


A. You may stop fasting if the reduction in milk will affect the child. Then you would make up the missed days later. You would also give the equivalent of 750 grams of food (such as wheat or rice) to a poor person for each day missed.


A. Normally what is meant by Kaffara is when one intentionally breaks his fast in the month of Ramadhan without an excuse. The Kaffara is feeding 60 poor people or fasting 60 consecutive days. The Fidya is one is unable to fast due to a medical condition, for example, and one cannot make up the fast in the following year. The Fidya is feeding one poor person for each day missed. If you are sick and break your fast, then you simply make it up after the month of Ramadhan. If you make it up then you don’t have to pay anything.


A. The penalty is feeding 60 poor people (the equivalent of 45 kilograms of food such as rice or wheat) per each day missed or fasting two consecutive months (the first 31 days have to be consecutive and the remaining 29 do not have to be such) per each day missed.


A. If the chapstick does not get inside the mouth and then swallowed, then it’s allowed. Otherwise it should be avoided. As for the mouthwash, if not a drop of it is swallowed, then it is allowed. The presence of the aftertaste of the mouthwash is fine.


A. If you slept with the intention of waking up before Fajr to shower but you happened to wake up after Fajr, then you must shower and fast that day and the fast is accepted. However, if you woke up and went back to sleep without showering then you will fast that day, but you have to make it up after the month of Ramadhan (but there is no Kaffara). If you sleep the third time, then some scholars say you must pay Kaffara in addition to making it up. Now if you slept with the intention of not showering before Fajr, and you woke up after Fajr, then you have to make up that day and pay Kaffara.


A. If the spotting is within the days of Haydh (for instance if one has a fixed period of seven days and this spotting is in those seven days), then you do not fast. After the month of Ramadhan you make up these 7 days. But if the spotting is during the days of istihadha (such as spotting for one day, then the blood completely stops for a day or so, then there is spotting again, such that there is no continuous blood for 3 days, then this would be istihadha not haydh, as haydh must be at least 3 continuous days), then you will fast.


A. Yes, Kaffara must be paid if they had no legitimate excuse for breaking the fast. If they did not know anything about Ramadhan and were not aware it is mandatory to fast, then they pay no Kaffara. They must make up all missed days, and if they don’t make them up before the following Ramadhan, then they must pay a Fidya.


A. The main obligatory fasts are fasting during the Month of Ramadhan, fulfilling an oath made to Allah (Nadhr or Yameen), and fasting to fulfill a Kaffara.


A. Fasting on the two major Eids, Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr is haram, and it is also haram to fast the day of Ashura with the intention of celebrating that day and expressing joy.


A. According to most Shia scholars, we break our fast when the sun sets and the redness of the sky in the eastern horizon fades away. This usually takes 12-16 minutes after sunset in many places of the world. Some scholars have ruled that one can break his fast as soon as the sun sets.


A. Lying is a sin, and one must repent from it. Lying negatively impacts one’s spiritual state while fasting, but it does not invalidate the fast. Yes, fabricating a lie and attributing it to Allah invalidates the fast (such as falsely claiming that Allah has said something in the Qur’an or Hadith, or that He made something halal or haram).


A. Tasting food without swallowing it does invalidate the fast. Just make sure that you don’t swallow any of it and rinse your mouth to make sure you don’t swallow any traces of that food.


A. Those who fast will receive a special intercession from Prophet Mohammad on the Day of Judgement. Fasting also illuminates the grave, protects from the fire or Hell, protects from Satan, and forgives one’s sins.


A. According to a number of scholars, any blood a woman sees under ten days is considered Haydh. So if she sees a small drop of blood after the ghusl, her Haydh continued and she would make up that day.


A. The financial due is called a Fidya, which is feeding one poor person for each day (the minimum is 750 grams of food such as rice, wheat or dates). You may directly distribute it to the poor.


A. If you have wajeb fasts to make up, you cannot offer a Mustahab fast. However, you may fast the 27th of Rajab with the intention of making up a missed fast and at the same time ask Allah to grant you the special reward of fasting that day. Allah is the most generous.


A. If you believe that fasting is not harmful to you, then yes you can fast.


A. If intercourse or ejaculation did not take place then the fast is valid and no Kaffara needs to be given.


A. Yes, as long as you are confident that you won’t swallow any toothpaste, then you may brush your teeth while fasting?


A. If you travel before the Adhan of Dhuhr, then you break your fast, and if you travel after Dhuhr you keep your fast. On your way back home, if you arrive after Dhuhr you have to break your fast that day, but if you arrive before Dhuhr then it’s optional for you to fast that day or break your fast before arriving your hometown.


A. Yes that’s permissible. However, make sure that your lips are not wet when doing so because new moisture should not enter your mouth and swallowed.


A. If accepting his invitation makes him happy, then it’s better to accept his invitation and you will be rewarded more.Al-Hujjah Islamic Seminary extends its sincerest congratulations on the birth of Imam al-Hassan (a). He was born into the purest household in history. His grandfather was the best of grandfathers, his father was the best of fathers, and his mother was the best of mothers. Imam al-Hassan was the symbol of generosity. Twice in his life he donated all that he owned to the poor, and three times he donated half of all that he owned to the poor.


A. If you were not aware of the presence of the barrier then your fasting is valid.


A. If the gum is not flavored and sugar is not added to it, and one does not swallow any part of the gum, then chewing it would not break the fast.


A. Since you are a frequent traveler or you travel for work, you will have to fast while traveling.


A. No it does not.


A. This does not break the fast. However, make sure you don’t swallow any blood, liquids or dental material during the procedure.


A. No, eyedrops do not break one’s fast.


A. Hadith Qudsi is any hadith that directly quotes Allah’s words, whether from previous prophets, our Prophet, or from the Imams. So any hadith that quotes God’s words speaking in the first person and is not part of the Qur’an is called Hadith Qudsi.


A. There is no quick way to verify if a hadith is authentic or not. It requires scholarly experience to analyze the source and the content of hadith to see if it is compatible with the Qur’an and the teachings of Islam, and that it does not conflict with any other hadiths. However, there are some books, like al-Kafi, that most scholars throughout history have deemed reliable. This doesn’t mean that every hadith in it is 100% authentic, but generally speaking they are authentic. So if the hadith comes from a trusted source like al-Kafi, then one can feel safe that it is pretty much reliable.


A. We believe that all the infallible Imams of Ahlulbayt (a) have been given this capacity by God to know our actions. Allah says in 9:105:

وَقُلِ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ

"And Say, 'Keep working: Allah will behold your works and so will His Messenger and the believers.'" The word “believers” here refers to the Imams of Ahlulbayt (a). They are witnesses appointed by Allah, and a witness can see the actions of people. Remember that Satan, who is the enemy of God, has the ability to observe our actions and even read our thoughts sometimes. Hence, when you make an intention to do good, Satan tries to discourage you from it. If Satan has such an ability, then one should not find it difficult to accept that God's represetatives have such an ability as well (even to a greater extent).


A: We can remember Imam Hussain (a) in Salat al-Layl, not by asking forgiveness for him (because he was sinless), but by asking Allah to elevate his status and by sending Salawat on his soul. Also, it is recommended to seek forgiveness for living ones in our prayers, not just the deceased.


A. There are two narrations about that. One states 17 Safar, and one states last day of Safar. In Mashad, it is traditionally commemorated on the last day of Safar, whereas in Iraq it is commemorated on the 17th of Safar.


A. It is highly recommended to recite the Salawat after mentioning the name of the Prophet (s), but it is not mandatory. Yes, if someone deliberately avoids saying it on a regular basis, then that is tantamount to rejecting the instructions of the Prophet (s). It is not mandatory to say it after mentioning the names of the Imams (a).


A. This issue is disputed by scholars. There are multiple opinions on where she was buried, but the most accepted one is that she is buried in Syria.


A. Lady Zaynab Daughter of Ali Her father: Imam Ali son of Abu Taleb Her mother: Lady Fatima daughter of Prophet Mohammad Year of birth: 5 AH / 626 AD Place of birth: Holy city of Medina Year of death: 62 AH / 683 AD Age at death: 57 Place of burial: Damascus, Syria, or Egypt, or Medina Husband: Abdullah the son of Jafar ibn Abu Taleb (son of Jafar al-Tayyar) Children: Ali, Aun and Mohammad Notable siblings: Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Um Kulthoum, Abbas, Jafar, Abdullah, Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyya Notable titles: Aqilah of Bani Hashem (Aqilah means a woman who is very honorable and generous), the Scholar and the Virtuous.


A. The Imams are endowed with knowledge when they are born, but as they grow their knowledge increases. In fact hadiths state every Thursday night their knowledge increases.
Now the teachings they seek from previous Imams either increase their knowledge (they know the main principles but the details they get from the previous Imam), or it is to demonstrate that although they have divinely inspired knowledge, they still get their knowledge from the Prophet (s). That way they would not get accused of making it up.


A. Yes there is a narration that says the 15th of Jamadi al-Awwal marks the birth of Imam Sajjad (a), but the narrations that say it is in Sha’baan are more authentic and more accepted by Shia scholars. Given that it’s close to the martyrdom of Lady Fatima (a), it’s probably better not to observe it on the 15th of Jamadi al-Awwal.

 


A. Imams are universal leaders and the highest status a human can achieve. The highest status Prophet Ibrahim (a) achieved was an Imam (see Qur’an 2:124). Prophet Muhammad (s) was also an Imam since he is a universal leader. The 12 Imams are also universal leaders and so they are Imams. We believe the 12 Imams are higher in status than all prophets except Prophet Muhammad (s) because their knowledge and level of infallibility were greater. They received their knowledge from Prophet Muhammad (a) and they had the full knowledge of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an supersedes all previous scriptures.


A. According to many scholars, he did not have any daughters. He had only one child: Imam Jawad (a). Shaykh Mufid states that he did not have any other children. Yes, one historian has mentioned that he had a daughter by the name of Fatima, but this is not proven.


A. Some narrations indicate she was the descendant of Sham'oon (Simon), the disciple of Prophet Jesus (a). Imam Mahdi's mother was the granddaughter of a Roman emperor. She fled to Iraq and married Imam Hassan al-Askari (a). She was a very noble and righteous woman. She has numerous names and titles, but her most famous name is Narjes. She is buried in the city of Samarra, Iraq.


A . Imam Mahdi (a) was born in year 255 in the Hijri lunar calendar. Given that this year is 1440, that makes him 1185 years. In the solar calendar, he was born in the year 869, which makes him 1150 years old in 2019.


A. It is recommended to pay charity on his behalf, read Qur’an and gift the reward of the recitation to him, recite Du’a al-Faraj frequently especially during the Nights of Power, and constantly ask Allah to hasten his reappearance. It is also recommended to gain knowledge on him, his occultation, and what is expected from us during his occultation by reading books, articles and listening to lectures on these topics.


A. There is no hadith that specifically mentions they will return, but the hadiths that describe who will return definitely apply to them. One hadith states the likes of Salman and Ammar will return.


A. One possible reason is for us to better appreciate our divinely appointed leaders. All eleven Imams before him were killed or poisoned. The more we appreciate our Imam and the more we realize that he is our only savior on earth, the more Allah will hasten his reappearance.


A. It is not known when exactly they would emerge. Narrations indicate they will emerge before the “hour” or the Day of Judgment. A number of scholars understand that this will happen after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a). After he establishes his government, when the Day of Judgment gets closer, they will emerge and cause massive corruption on earth.


A. If it is a mandatory (wajeb) prayer like the five daily prayers, then you may pray inside your car only if there is absolutely no other place to pray and you cannot drive somewhere else to pray while standing. An example of that is in an airplane and they do not allow you to stand and pray because there is turbulence the entire duration of the flight, for instance. In that case you would sit and pray. Now if you cannot pray in your workplace but you can go somewhere else and pray standing, then you would have to do that. As for recommended prayers (such as Nawafil), you can pray them while sitting and driving even if you can go somehwere and offer them while standing.


A. You have time to pray Dhuhr until 4 minutes before sunset, because those last 4 minutes are exclusively for the Asr prayer. So let’s say sunset is at 6 pm. You have time to pray Dhuhr until 5:56 pm, then you have to pray Asr. Once the sun sets, the prayer becomes qadhaa.


A. Praying in a house that has alcohol is not haram and does not invalidate the prayer. However, such homes are not blessed and the angels avoid them. Now if a person living in that house has no choice (as other family members insist on bringing alcohol) then that’s ok and Allah knows this. One should pray in a room away from alcohol for more blessings. As for eating and drinking, and must not use any utensils in that came into contact with wine since wine is impure (Najes). They must be washed and purified before being used.


A. Yes you can pray them separately as they do not need to be done together. The sequence between Dhuhr and Asr, and Maghreb and Ishaa, however, must be observed.


A. Yes, praying on concrete is fine because it is made from the earth.


A. It is highly recommended to pray 100 Rak’as on Laylatul Qadr. One can do 6 days Qadhaa’ (102 Rak’as) and say to Allah, “Since tonight is a blessed night, I ask you to give me the reward of the prayer of Laylatul Qadr,” and hopefully Allah will grant that high reward. But technically doing Qadhaa’ doesn’t guarantee one will get the exact reward of the prayer of Laylatul Qadr because they are two different prayers.


A. One must pray Salat al-Ayat if a certain events happen, such as an earthquake or an eclipse. Whenever an earthquake is felt by people in one’s area, it is mandatory to observe this prayer. It is also mandatory to observe it during a solar or lunar eclipse. As for other events, such as a meteor striking the atmosphere, a severe thunderstorm or hurricane or any celestial event that causes widespread fear, then some scholars say it is mandatory to observe this prayer while others say it is recommended (Mustahab).


A. Scholars have different Fatwas regarding what constitutes “frequent traveling” that makes your Salat Qasr (shortened). Ayatollah Sistani, for instance, says if you travel 10 or more days a month, then you are a frequent traveler. Some others state if you travel once every ten days then you are a frequent traveler. And some, like Ayatollah Shirazi, state if you regularly travel once a week then you are a frequent traveler. One must check with the ruling of the Marja’ he/she follows.


A. If it’s a small step and you don’t turn away from the Qibla then it’s fine.


A. If you can walk a few small steps (without moving your face and body away from the Qiblah) to find another turbah, piece of paper, piece of wood, or anything that one can do sujud on, then you must do that. Or if there is paper in your pocket, pull it out and do sujud on it. Otherwise this person must restart the prayer.

 


A. First of all you must do your best to try to stand, even if it means you go to a corner or aisle and stand in there towards Qiblah and pray. For Ruku and Sujud, if you cannot do them, you just do Imaa’ (lower your head while standing).
If standing is not an option then pray in your seat, but you must face the Qiblah. If facing it is not an option then pray however you can.


A. Repenting is not enough. In addition to repenting one must also make up the missed prayers. It is mandatory to make up missed prayers.


A. If you realized that you are wearing non-halal leather in your prayer, then you would have to stop your prayer, take it off, and then restart your prayer. But if you realized that after you finished your prayer, your prayer was valid and it doesn’t need to be repeated.


A. If it is out of ignorance and it’s not a pillar then the Salat is valid. Skipping the pillars of Salat (such as the Ruku’, Sujud and Takbiratel Ihram) invalidates the Salat even if it’s out of ignorance.


A. Yes that is permissible.


A. You pray for them when it’s maghreb your time, not their time. Salat al-Wahsha is to be prayed at night.


A. First, you must do your best to try to stand, even if it means you go to the lavatory area and stand facing the Qiblah to pray. For Ruku and Sujud, if you cannot do them then just do Imaa’ (lower your head while standing to perform them). If standing is not an option, then pray in your seat, but you must face the Qiblah. If facing it is not an option then pray however you can. Do not wait until the time for the prayer expires.


A. Yes your prayer is valid, but after the prayer you must perform Sajdatay as-Sahw. Basically you do two sujuds, then Tashahud, then one short Taslim by saying: Assalamu Alaikom Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh


A. We have a hadith that states: ‎ "اقض ما فات كما فات" "Make up what you missed as you missed it.” This means that if you were traveling when the salat became Qadha’ then in reality the prayer became Qadha’ while in the state of Qaser. When you make it up you have to make it up Qaser even if you are now in your hometown. Similarly, if you are traveling and you are praying Qaser, if you want to make up prayers that you missed while you were in your hometown, you will pray them full because when you missed them you were in your home town. Even though you are traveling now you still have to make them up as full.


A. If the make up blocks the water from reaching the skin, then your Wudhu was invalid and you must make up the prayers you performed with that Wudhu.


A. When you moved to Dearborn, if you still considered Chicago to be your hometown, and you still do, then you pray full when going to Chicago. But if you no longer considered it your hometown, (meaning you basically renounced it as your hometown), then you pray Qasr if you visit Chicago and stay there less than 10 days.


A. No you do not have to make it up.


A. If it was a total eclipse then yes you must make it up. If it was a partial eclipse then you are not required to make it up.


A. Salatel Ayat is mandatory if the the eclipse is visible to the eye. Hence, if a total or partial eclipse occurs, one must offer the Signs Prayer. A penumbral eclipse is very subtle, and thus the Signs Prayer is not required when it occurs


A. Yes it is valid.


A. Most types of pens do not have ink that acts as a barrier on the skin. Therefore, the water reaches the skin and Wudhu or Ghusl (ritual shower) is valid. If the ink, however, leaves a thick coating that blocks water from reaching the skin, then it must be removed before performing the ablution.


A. Wetting the face or hands before Wudhu is fine. The head and feet must be dry.


A. No, your wudhu is valid.


A. A number of scholars state washing your face/arms in Wudhu once is better than twice, but twice is acceptable.


A. If the cream acts as a barrier for the water to reach the skin (like many gels) then it would invalidate the Wudhu. In this case one would have to touch the scalp when wiping the head or remove the cream then wipe the hair.


A. No it’s not necessary unless the hair is quite long (like many women), then in this case the scalp must a bit exposed and the wiping is done on the scalp or the hair that is directly connected to the scalp. If the hair is short, then it is sufficient to wipe on the hair.


A. When we sleep or become unconscious our soul somehow separates from the body (see Qur’an 39:42), and this separation of the soul from the body requires us to do Wudhu because that purity is broken when the soul separates from the body.


A. Most inks don’t block water from reaching the skin, so they would be ok. If you are unsure, test it and see if water passes through (such as on a piece of paper or any other method).


A. The discharge that comes out is considered pure, you don’t have to do Ghusl and all your previous prayers are valid. You only have to do Ghusl if semen is discharged (which comes out during ejaculation). Any other type of discharge is pure.


A. When performing Wudhu, water must reach all parts of the face, including the eyelashes. If the eyelash extensions do not block the water from reaching all parts of your original eyelashes, then the Wudhu is valid. If they do block water from reaching the point where the extensions connect to your eyelashes, then the Wudhu is invalid.


A. To maximize the benefit of any Ziyarah, it is recommended to read it in Arabic yourself. Of course one who does not understand Arabic should read the translation first to know what he/she will be reading. One gets the reward for hearing it be recited, but the effect of reciting it yourself is greater. It is recommended to recite the words of the Ziyarah as you hear them being recited.


A. As for Du’a Tawassul, we do not have a solid chain that goes back to the Imams. Allamma al-Majlisi states that he came across this Du’a from a trusted book which attributes it to Shaykh al-Sadouq, and he is trustworthy of course, but we do not know what his chain was to the Imams. So if the issue in question here is the chain of the Du’a, then it does not have a solid/strong chain. However, this does not mean that the Du’a is not authentic. Many scholars believe that the content of the Du’a is valid and verified by other hadiths.


Imam Sadeq (a) narrates Ziyarat Ashura to us, but the Ziyarat is actually Hadith Qudsi. This means that Allah swt composed the Ziyarat, then Jibra’eel delivered it to the Prophet (s), then he delivered it to the Imams (a).


A. It is disputed whether Hadith al-Kisaa’ has a verifiable, solid and strong chain. Some scholars believe it has a solid chain that goes through Bahrani. Others dispute that because they do not know if that was the actual handwriting of Bahrani. In any case, many scholars agree that the content of the second part of the Hadith is authentic, correct and verified by other sources. We have to remember that many hadiths and Duas did not survive in history, especially those that addressed the high virtues of the Ahlulbayt (a). The Shia were always persecuted and their enemies would make an effort to obliterate such Hadiths and Du’as. Hence, we may not have a solid chain of narrators for some of them, but once we study their content, we can verify the content through other authentic hadiths.


A. There is not a specific hadith that recommends us to recite Ziyarat Ashura for 40 days. However, we have hadiths that indicate doing a good deed for 40 days has amazing benefits, and this applies to Ziyarat Ashura. Hence, scholars recommend reciting it for 40 days, and it has been proven to help with difficult situations. If one cannot say the La’an and Salam 100 times each, one may recite them once then say, “100 times.” Reciting Ziyarat Ashura this shorter way is effective, but reciting it with the full 100 times has a maximum effect.


A. 1- Recite “Ya Razzaq” 360 times everyday 2- Recite this Dua By Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a) ‎اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ هَبْ لِيَ الْعَافِيَةَ مِنْ دَيْنٍ تُخْلِقُ بِهِ وَجْهِي ، وَ يَحَارُ فِيهِ ذِهْنِي ، وَ يَتَشَعَّبُ لَهُ فِكْرِي ، وَ يَطُولُ بِمُمَارَسَتِهِ شُغْلِي‏ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ ، يَا رَبِّ ، مِنْ هَمِّ الدَّيْنِ وَ فِكْرِهِ ، وَ شُغْلِ الدَّيْنِ وَ سَهَرِهِ ، فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ أَعِذْنِي مِنْهُ ، وَ أَسْتَجِيرُ بِكَ ، يَا رَبِّ ، مِنْ ذِلَّتِهِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ ، وَ مِنْ تَبِعَتِهِ بَعْدَ الْوَفَاةِ ، فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ أَجِرْني مِنْهُ بِوُسْعٍ فَاضِلٍ أَوْ كَفَافٍ وَاصِلٍ. ‎اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ احْجُبْنِي عَنِ السَّرَفِ وَ الِازْدِيَادِ ، وَ قَوِّمْنِي بِالْبَذْلِ وَ الِاقْتِصَادِ ، وَ عَلِّمْنِي حُسْنَ التَّقْدِيرِ ، وَ اقْبِضْنِي بِلُطْفِكَ عَنِ التَّبْذِيرِ ، وَ أَجْرِ مِنْ أَسْبَابِ الْحَلَالِ أَرْزَاقِي ، وَ وَجِّهْ فِي أَبْوَابِ الْبِرِّ إِنْفَاقِي ، وَ ازْوِ عَنِّي مِنَ الْمَالِ مَا يُحْدِثُ لِي مَخِيلَةً أَوْ تَأَدِّياً إِلَى بَغْيٍ أَوْ مَا أَتَعَقَّبُ مِنْهُ طُغْيَاناً . ‎اللَّهُمَّ حَبِّبْ إِلَيَّ صُحْبَةَ الْفُقَرَاءِ ، وَ أَعِنِّي عَلَى صُحْبَتِهِمْ بِحُسْنِ الصَّبْرِوَ مَا زَوَيْتَ عَنِّي مِنْ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا الْفَانِيَةِ فَاذْخَرْهُ لِي فِي خَزَائِنِكَ الْبَاقِيَةِ وَ اجْعَلْ مَا خَوَّلْتَنِي مِنْ حُطَامِهَا ، وَ عَجَّلْتَ لِي مِنْ مَتَاعِهَا بُلْغَةً إِلَى جِوَارِكَ وَ وُصْلَةً إِلَى قُرْبِكَ وَ ذَرِيعَةً إِلَى جَنَّتِكَ ، إِنَّكَ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ ، وَ أَنْتَ الْجَوَادُ الْكَرِيمُ 3- After the Morning Prayer, put your hand on your heart and say 70 times “Ya Fattah” يا فتاح


A. Talqin means to repeat something (to someone or to yourself) until one understands it or memorizes it well.
Talqeen plays a big role in:
Strengthening one’s faith
Putting positive beliefs in one’s subconscious
Strengthening self confidence
It’s basically when a person constantly reminds himself of the truth, or what is right, or of God and the correct religion.
Du’as are definitely a great form of Talqin.
Modern marketing and advertising techniques use this method to market a product and make people buy it.


A. Sayed ibn Tawoos, in his book Iqbal al-A’mal, attributes this Du’a to Mohammad ibn Othman al-Amri, who was the second deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (a). This Du’a was found in his book of supplications. Many scholars believe that he took this Du’a from Imam al-Mahdi (a), since al-Amri would never compose anything of his own and he was keen on conveying the teachings of Imam Mahdi (a) to his followers.


A. Imam al Baqer (a) and Imam al-Sadeq (a) established a university in Medina and trained their companions to extract Islamic laws. Often times if people did not have access to the Imams, they would ask their companions who were trained by the Imams to derive Islamic rulings. Also, in a well-known hadith attributed to Imam al-Mahdi (a), he states, “As for the scholars who are pious, restrain themselves and are obedient to Allah, then the layman may follow them.”


A. The circumstances of her death remain unknown. When she returned to Medina after the event of Karbala, she started to expose the corruption and injustice of Yazid, so apparently they had her expelled from the city. Some sources indicate she was exiled to Damascus, so Bani Umayyah could keep a close eye on her, while other sources indicate she was exiled to Egypt. She died some 2-5 years after the battle of Karbala. Most scholars are of the opinion that she passed away in the Damascus area.


A. Historically this day has been celebrated by the followers of Ahlulbayt (a). It is recommended to offer good deeds and give charity to the poor on this day. One reason why this day is significant is because on this day Imam al-Mahdi (a) officially became the Imam, as the day before the 9th his father Imam Hassan al-Askari (a) was martyred. Many Shia celebrate this day to honor Imam al-Mahdi (a). Another reason is that some narrations indicate that on this day some of the oppressors of Ahlulbayt (a) died.


A. Basically, twice at the time of Imam Ali (a) the sun was made to go back up in the sky after almost setting (so that the Imam could pray Asr on time). These were two miracles. The first one happened at the time of the Prophet (s) and the second during the caliphate of Imam Ali (a). Scores of narrators have narrated these events.


A. Eid al-Ghadeer marks one of the most important events that took place during the life of Prophet Mohammad (s). The Prophet (s) was on his way back from his final pilgrimage when he camped at an oasis called Ghadeer Khumm. Over 100,000 companions gathered there. It was on the 18th day of Dhul Hijjah that he raised the hand of Imam Ali (a) and declared him as his successor by saying, “Whoever I am his Mawla (guardian), Ali is his Mawla.”


A. Eid al-Ghadeer is significant because it represents the pure succession to Prophet Mohammad (s). It represents the protection of the the prophetic message and the completion of faith. It means we take our religious teachings after the Prophet (s) from a pure source. Ghadeer means that we honor the Prophet’s family, we uphold the Wilayah of Imam Ali (a), and follow the path of Prophet Mohammad (s) as shown to us by Imam Ali (a). Ghadeer means we support the leader whom the Prophet (s) announced for humanity, and we remember the values of this leader and try to uphold them in our lives.


A. In 5:67, the Almighty God commands the Prophet (s) to convey what God has revealed to him, such that if he doesn’t, then it’s as if he has not conveyed the message of God at all. Many hadiths indicate this verse was revealed about Ghadeer. Also, 5:3 states, “Today I have completed for you your religion, and have fully bestowed my blessings on you, and have accepted Islam as your religion.” Many hadiths indicate this verse was revealed about Ghadeer. Note that these verses were revealed towards the end of the Prophet’s life, when he had preached all important Islamic teachings. What was left was the open and public declaration that Imam Ali (a) is his successor.


A. All historians have stated that the event if Ghadeer took place. Today, we have the report of more than 110 companions who witnessed the event. Fakhr al-Razi, a Sunni scholar and exegete, says he has found 400 chains of narration for this hadith. No Muslim disputes that it occurred. Yes, many Sunnis argue that the Prophet’s statement “Whoever I am his Mawla then Ali is his Mawla” does not mean he appointed Imam Ali as a successor, since one of the meanings of Mawla is “friend” or “supporter.” The Prophet wanted to inform all people that Ali is his friend and supporter. This interpretation is refuted because the Prophet would not have over 100,000 companions gather under the hot scorching sun and delay their journey just to tell them Ali is my friend. The Prophet makes it very clear in his Ghadeer sermon that he is the guardian over believers, and Ali is also their guardian.


A. It is recommended to do the following i. Preform Ghusl iii. Observe Fasting iii. Recite Ziarat of Imam Ali (a) on the Day of Ghadeer. You may refer to this link - http://duas.org/ghadirziarat.htm iv. Recite Dua Nudba v. For More Recommended acts refer to Mafatih Al-Jinan or visit -http://duas.org/ghadir.htm


A. It was not the first time. The Prophet had announced Imam Ali has his heir, successor and caliph numerous times before. Early on in Mecca, in Hadith al-Dar, the Prophet made it clear Imam Ali was his successor. However, what was unique about Ghadeer is that it was the first time the Prophet (s) made this announcement to such a large gathering of people, and the wording he used were very strong. He made it clear that this is the direct command of God. So Ghadeer was a grand, official announcement that Imam Ali (a) is the Prophet’s (s) successor.


Salat al-Ghufayla is an authentic and recommended prayer that is to be performed between Maghrib and Ishaa Prayers. As for the story that the Imam (a) taught Yazid to pray it, we do not have a solid chain of narration for this story, so we cannot verify whether it happened or not. It is a commonly told story, but we cannot find a source for it. Assuming it is a true story, Yazid asked the Imam (a) if God could forgive him for what he did. The Imam told him since God’s mercy is infinite, if one truly repents, then there is room for forgiveness. So he asked the Imam (a) to teach him an act that can help him start repenting, and the Imam told him about this prayer. But the Imam knew Yazid was not serious and genuine, and he would not have the success to do it or repent. Yazid did not end up preforming this prayer. 


A. Repeating Tasbeeh al-Zahra (a) 10-20 times after the Fajr Prayer helps with memory, and memorizing the Qur'an in general is also effective for improving memory.


It’s mustahab to say in the Qunoot of Salat al-Watr the following: / Say 7 times - استجير بالله من النار / Ask Allah to forgive 40 believers, and try to mention them by name. / Say 70 times - استغفر الله واتوب اليه / Say 300 times - العفو


A. According to a number of scholars, it is possible to pray it before midnight, for any reason, though it is recommended to pray it after midnight. A number of other scholars, however, state that one can pray it before midnight only if he has an excuse, such as traveling or his sleep is too deep and hence he cannot get up after midnight to pray.


A. It is recommended after each of the daily prayers to prostrate and say “Shokran Lillah” (thanking God) three times. The more recommended way of observing this Sujood is by offering two Sujuds in the following manner: Prostrate on your forehead and say Shokran Lillah 3 times. Then without raising your head slide your forehead to the right side and say it again 3 times. Then without lifting your head switch to the left side of your forehead and say it three times. These two sides of the forehead are called Jabeen in Arabic, and the forehead is called Jabha. Then lift your head and put your right cheek on the ground and say it 3 times, then your left cheek and say it 3 times, then finally put your forehead on the ground and say it 3 times. In total you will say it 18 times, and the last time you put your forehead on the ground constitutes a second Sujood. Hence this act is called “The two Sujoods of Shokr” (Sajdatay as-Shokr in Arabic).


A. It is a prayer Prophet Mohammad (s) taught his cousin Jafar son of Abu Taleb to honor his sacrifices. It can be prayed anytime but the best time is Friday before noon. It carries an immense reward and fulfills one’s needs. It is 4 units (rak’at), prayed two by two. In the first unit after Sura Fatiha, Sura Zilzila is recited, and in the second unit Sura Aadiyaat, and in the third Nasr, and in the fourth Ikhlaas. In each unit, the phrase, “Subhanallahi wal hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illa Allahu wallahu akbar” is recited 15 times right before Ruku’, and then 10 times in the Ruku’, right after standing from Ruku’, in the first Sujud, while sitting after the first Sujud, in the second Sujud and finally after the second Sujud while sitting down. The total number of times it will be recited in each unit is 75, and in all four units is 300.


A. Yes, you will receive the full reward. In fact, your reward will be multiplied because when you gift a prayer to the Ahlulbayt (a), out of their generosity they will gift you back.


A. We recommend reciting this prayer 4 times
“Allahomma inni atawajjahu ilayka bi nabiyyika nabiyyil rahma wa ahle baytihi-lladheena ekhtartahom ala ilmin alal alameen. Allahomma layyin lee so'obataha wa huzunataha wakfini sharraha fa innakal kafil mo'afi wal ghailbol qaher."
اللهم اني أتوجه إليك بنبيك نبي الرحمة وأهل بيته الذين اخترتهم على علم على العالمين اللهم لين لي صعوبتها وحزونتها واكفني شرها فإنك الكافي المعافي والغالب القاهر

 


A. You should pray Salat al-Wahsha for him after Maghreb your time.


A. Yes it is permissible. Reciting them into a baby’s ear is recommended (not mandatory).


A. Yes, it is recommended to say the following Dhikr: اللهم لك سجدت وبك آمنت ولك أسلمت وعليك توكلت وأنت ربي سجد وجهي للذي خلقه وشق سمعه وبصره والحمد لله رب العالمين تبارك الله أحسن الخالقين Or: يا خير المسؤولين ويا خير المعطين ارزقني وارزق عيالي من فضلك فإنك ذوالفضل العظيم


A. The following is recommended: 1- Perform Wudhu right before you sleep 2- Avoid eating at least 2-3 hours before sleeping 3- Read this Dua before sleeping: آمَنْتُ بِاللَّهِ وَ كَفَرْتُ بِالطَّاغُوتِ، اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي فِي مَنَامِي وَ فِي يَقَظَتِي 4- Read this Dua as well: أعوذ بما عاذت به ملائكةُ الله المقربون وأنبياءُ الله المرسلون وعبادُ الله الصالحون من شر رؤياي التي رأيت أن تضرني في ديني ودنياي Then blow to your left side 3 times


A. It does not count. It must be in person in the presence of the body.


A. If they become Muslim at the same time, their marriage is valid. If she becomes Muslim before her husband, then when he becomes Muslim they must redo the marriage contract according to many scholars. If he becomes Muslim before her, and she’s Christian or Jewish, the marriage is valid.


A. The time for the Eid prayer is from sunrise to Dhuhr.


A. A beautiful hadith from Imam Ali (a) indicates that when you feel your are being repelled from recommended acts of worship, then stick to the mandatory ones. When you feel you are being repelled or bored, take a break, and when you feel more interested to do the recommended acts, do so. Yes, always try to find creative ways to create more interest in recommended acts. Sometimes with creativity one gains a lot of interest.


A. Based on our hadiths, we can estimate some 6-7 thousand years ago, so possibly 5000 BC.


A. Able (Habeel) was killed during the life of Prophet Adam (a). The successor of Adam was one of his other sons called Sheeth (Seth). His full name is Hebatollah Sheeth.


A. A hadith by Imam Sadeq (a) says he was given a choice to be a caliph or receive wisdom, so he chose the latter. Caliph here means a ruler. So when he refused to be a ruler, Prophet Dawood (a) was given this offer and he accepted to be caliph.


A. . Prophet Jesus (a) never married and did not have any children. His pure mother Lady Mary (a) also never married, nor was she betrothed to anyone.


A. Allah (swt) decrees Prophets at birth (and even before their birth), so when Prophets are born they are prophets. Yes, often times the prophethood of Prophets is not announced until later in their lives. According to one hadith Shia and Sunnis have narrated, Prophet Mohammad (s) said, “I was a prophet when Adam was between clay and water.”


A. He was not scared because he did know that he was a prophet or because he receiver revelation. He got scared because he had never seen anything like that staff turning into a snake, and so his emotion of fear kicked in. This is normal. Sometimes you know something but seeing it might impact you differently. If you are taken to a lion and you are told that the lion will not hurt you 100%, and you have no doubts about that, but if the lion gets too close to you, then you still inadvertently get scared.


A. He was the husband of Maryam’s (a) aunt, as his wife Elizabeth was the sister of Maryam’s mother Hannah.


A. Apparently he was not. Some narrations indicate that after Prophet Yousef (a), prophethood continued through the sons of his other brother Lawi.


A. We have hadiths from Imam al-Sadeq (a) that Allah created two females for Yafeth and Sheeth, who were Adam’s sons. Once they had children, their children married one another (cousins married their cousins) and that’s how the progeny of Adam multiplied. Another hadith also states that Allah created two females, one for Qabeel and one for Habeel. As for the theory that Adam’s children married each other (siblings married their siblings), this is rejected by a number of our Hadiths. In one hadith, Imam al-Sadeq (a) states that God would not have the progeny of His prophet come from incest, and that incest was immoral in all eras.


A. Every messenger is a prophet, but not every prophet is a messenger.
A prophet simply means that he receives revelation from Allah. A messenger means he has a message (like a divine book) to deliver to his people. Most prophets were not messengers.

 


A. The mandatory Hajj (once in a lifetime) is more important than Ziyarah because the Hajj is a firm obligation. However, if someone has performed the Hajj and fulfilled that obligation, then going to Ziyara has a greater reward. There are several reasons for that, but I will mention two: (1) Hajj survived because of the sacrifice of the Imams (a), and if it weren’t for those sacrifices, there would be no Hajj. Essentially, Hajj without proper beliefs and specifically the belief in divine leaders whom Allah Has appointed is not the Hajj that God wants from us. (2) In Shura verse 23, Allah tells the Prophet to ask for nothing (in return for Islam) except the love of his family (Ahlulbayt). The Qur’an uses the word “Ajr” which means price in Arabic. For any transaction to be reasonable and just, the price you pay and the product you buy should be of similar value. If you buy something that is worth $100 for $500 that is not a just transaction. This verse states that Islam is the product the Prophet (s) delivered, and the price we have to pay for that product is loving the Ahlulbayt. Islam is priceless. So the product you are buying from the Prophet is priceless. The price we pay for that product is loving the Ahlulbayt. Hence, this pray we pay is also priceless and of equal value to Islam and at the same level of Islam. Ziyarah represents a form of loving the Ahlulbayt, and so it is priceless and the reward Allah gives us for Ziyarah is infinite. It is more than Hajj.


A. The Hajj is a journey of servitude to the Almighty God. We observe rituals that teach us humility and bring us closer to God. We meet other fellow pilgrims and realize that we are all equal in humanity. As we walk on the holy lands of Mecca and Medina, we remember the legacy of Prophet Mohammad (s). The Hajj is also an opportunity to break away from the daily routine and distractions of materialism and focus on spirituality, worship, and self-reflection.


A. There is a recommended prayer to be observed for ten nights from the night of the first of Dhul Hijjah till the tenth night. Observing this prayer has the reward of going to the Hajj. Between Maghreb and Ishaa’ prayers, you pray 2 rak’as (2 units). In each unit, you recite Surah al-Fatiha, then Surah al-Ikhlaas, then you recite verse 142 of chapter # 7 (Al-A’raaf). For more information see: http://www.duas.org/zilhajj/zil1to9.htm


A. It is always important to be free of religious dues, whether going to Hajj or not. One of the conditions of the Hajj is for the clothes of Ihraam to be 100% lawful. Hence, if one owes Khums, it must be paid before securing it. If the money acquired was not through halal means, and one does not know the exact amount of the haram money, and one does not have a way of returning the money to its rightful owners, then one can pay Khums on it and the remainder of the money will be halal.


A. God commanded Prophet Ibrahim (a) to take his wife Hajar and son Prophet Ismaeel (a) to Mecca. Later God commanded him to construct the Kaa’ba with his son. God also commanded him to invite people to Mecca to offer the pilgrimage, and since that day the tradition of the Hajj started. The Hajj we know today is very similar to the Hajj when it started, but after Islam some changes were made to it to make it more complete.


A. Pilgrims are encouraged to be charitable and to think of the poor. Hence, when they complete their pilgrimage, they are to sacrifice a sheep and offer it to the poor. Sacrificing a lamb is not an Islamic invention. It existed thousands of years ago in Jewish traditions and in other monotheistic faiths. If Islamic procedures of slaughtering the sheep are observed, the animal does not experience torture or cruel pain. The animal quickly becomes unconscious. Several scientific studies have demonstrated this point.


A. Yes, the Black stone, which is mounted on one of the corners of the Ka’ba, originally came down from Heaven. It was originally white, then due to the sins of humans it turned black. There is an angel by the Black stone who sees the pilgrims and will witness on the Day of Judgment for the pilgrims that they observed the Hajj.


A. According to the Ahlulbayt (a) school of thought, it is mandatory to offer Tawaf al-Nisa’ at the end of the Hajj. When one enters the state of Ihram, having a relationship with one’s spouse becomes unlawful. One must complete the rituals of the Hajj and finally perform Tawaf al-Nisa’ for one’s spouse to become lawful again. Skipping this Tawaf means that one’s spouse remains unlawful.


A. If you have the financial means to go to Hajj, then you are obligated to go. Talk to your employer and explain to them this religious requirement that you must fulfill. If going to the Hajj means you will lose your job, and there is no other job you can seek later, or you will have to go through unbearable hardship to find another job, then you are not required to go. There are some Hajj groups that make the journey in less than two weeks, so that is also an option.


A. If you observed the conditions of the Hajj, and when you finish the Hajj you yearn to go back again and worship God there, then this is a sign of acceptance Insha’Allah.


A. The Hajj is an important obligation, and this is not a reason to avoid going to the Hajj. If you have tried to reconcile with them and they have refused, then you have fulfilled your part, and you are not sinful in the eyes of God. Hence, you should go to the Hajj and your Hajj will be acceptable Insha’Allah.


A. There are hadiths that state one’s prayer is answered when seeing the Ka’ba. It doesn’t say only the first time, so any time one sees the Ka’ba, the chances of having one’s Du’as accepted will increase.


A. The person performing the Hajj (called Na’eb in Arabic) can be female.


A. No it is not haram. However, if you plan on sacrificing a sheep (called Odhjiyya in Arabic), it is recommended not to cut your hair for the first ten days. It’s highly recommended to sacrifice a sheep on the 10th, 11th, or 12th of Dhul Hijjah.


A. There is no such mandatory Ghusl that must be done on the 40th. In Shia law, the Nifas is not necessarily ten days. If the postpartum bleeding stops before ten days, then a ghusl is required. In Sunni law, the maximum is 40 days, not 10.


A. It is okay for the entire body to get wet in the process of washing those parts. You do not have to keep the water from reaching other parts. The point is to fully wash those parts, regardless of whether other parts get wet or not.


A. It is highly recommended to observe the Friday Ghusl on Friday, but if you cannot observe it on Friday because you might not have access to water (for example you are traveling), then you can take it on Thursday. And if you miss it on Friday, you can make it up on Saturday.


A. The method of doing the Friday Ghusl is exactly the same as Ghusl of Janabat. The only difference is in the intention. Ghusl of Janabat is mandatory while the Friday Ghusl is recommended.


A. Yes, both of these Ghusls—Janabah and Jumu’a—can be combined in one intention and Ghusl.


A. Yes the Ghusl is valid.


A. The best acts of worship are: 1- Keeping away from sins (piety) 2- Praying 20 rak’as (ten prayers of two units) every night. This is the Nafilah of the month of Ramadhan 3- Reciting the holy Qur’an 4- Giving charity 5- Keeping ties with family members and visiting them


A. If your children do not fast and don’t have a medical excuse, then you should not offer them food during the day. You can make food for them before Fajr or after sunset.


A. It is recommended to pray 1,000 rak’as in the month of Ramadhan. Each night you pray 20 rak’as. That’s 30 x 20 = 600 Then on the 3 Nights of Qadr you pray an additional 100 rak’as. That’s 3 x 100 = 300. So far we have 900 rak’as. In the last ten nights, there is an additional ten rak’as each night, so that’s 10 x 10 = 100. The total is 1000. For the 20 nightly rak’as, it’s mustahab to pray 8 of them after the Maghreb Prayer and 12 of them after the Ishaa prayer. But you can pray them whenever you want at night. No need to say anything. Just fatiha and sura, and if you want to skip the second sura you can.


A. We must fast Yawm al-Shak with the intention of it being from Shaaban not Ramadhan. If it turns out to be Ramadhan, then it will have counted towards Ramadhan.


A. One meaning is that the gates of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness are so wide open that people are easily forgiven for their sins. Another meaning is that when we fast in Ramadhan, we are less likely to sin, and we are more likely to observe the sanctity of the Month of Ramadhan. Hence, sinful behavior usually decreases in the Month of Ramadhan.


A. Among the best A’mal for the Night of Power is: 1- Seeking knowledge (learn something about your faith, even if it is brief) 2- Recite Suras Ankabout, Roum and Dukhan 3- Put the Qur’an on your head and read the recommended prayer mentioned in books of supplication 4- Asking Allah to hasten the reappearance of Imam Mahdi 5- Praying for your parents, family members and all believers 6- Recite Sura Qadr as much as you can 7- Recite the Ziyara of Imam Hussain


A. If she deliberately delays the ghusl until Fajr then her fast would be invalid, but as long as she was not deliberate (she forgot), then she can do the ghusl when she remembers even if Fajr is just a few minutes away or Fajr actually set. She does not do Tayammum in this case. She does ghusl.


A. 1- One meaning comes from the root word “Ramdh” which means hot or to burn. The month of Ramadhan burns one’s sins (it purifies us from sins). 2- Ramadhan is also one of the names of Allah. Hence, when referring to the month of Ramadhan, we should always say “Month of Ramadhan” and not “Ramadhan” by itself.


A. Only the private parts must be covered. Of course, it is advised that they dress appropriately.


A. Try your best to convince your mother and have people whom your mother respect talk to her and convince her. Assure your mother that you are confident, you are strong and that if you encounter discrimination you will report it. Remind your mother how much you love her and respect her, but at the same time ask her to give you the freedom to obey the laws of God.


A. We cannot say that she won’t get any reward for covering the hair, but Hijab is not just the headscarf. That’s one part of Hijab. The Hijab must be complete and must fall within the standards of Islamic modesty. Tight clothes that provocatively reveal the shape of the body, body tattoos, etc...violate the standards of Hijab. Men must also observe the standards of modesty. It’s haram for them to dress provocatively. The Qur’an is very clear that a woman cannot show her “Zeena” except to her relatives. Anything that socially qualifies as Zeena would be haram to show to non-Mahram males


A. If a Muslim woman doesn’t wear the hijab, and she is the type who “wouldn’t wear it if she were told to” as the hadith states, then you can see her and her picture—provided that no lustful feelings are involved and that it would not lead to any immorality. But if the woman wears hijab, one cannot see a picture of her without hijab. In any case, pious men do not fix their gaze at a woman who does not wear hijab or has make up on.


A. Most Shia scholars consider lobster haram, regardless of how it dies. As for those who do consider it halal, then it must die outside of the water to be halal since all sea animals must die outside of the water to become halal. Thus, if lobster is cooked in boiling water alive, it will not be halal. In addition to that, boiling lobster to death is inhumane and cruel. Other methods should be considered.


A. Rennet itself is halal because we have hadiths that the rennet in a calf is pure even if the calf was not slaughtered the Islamic way. We don’t have certainty that the rennet was made Najes (impure) when it was extracted out of the stomach of the calf, so the Law of Purity applies. Yes, if you are confident that the rennet was made Najes (for instance the knife that was used to cut the non-halal calf became Najes and the same knife came in contact with the rennet), then cheese made with rennet would be haram.


A. It’s not haram in Islamic Law, but it is Makrooh. Some scholars have said eating beef regularly is Makrooh, but if it’s occasional (once a week or once a month) then it’s ok. Lamb is highly recommended


A. Sugar alcohol is halal and does not contain ethanol that makes one drunk


A. According to a number of scholars, if the overall amount of alcohol in the product is less than 2%, then it’s permissible to consume it. If it’s more then it’s haram. One would have to check the product ingredients and see how much alcohol is in it. Note that this does not apply to wine or beer. Any concentration of wine/beer is Najes, and therefore makes the food Najes.


A. If the hands of this person came into direct contact with the food, and either his hand was moist/wet or the food was moist/wet, then the food becomes Najes and cannot be eaten (unless it’s washed—if that’s possible). But if you are not certain that he touched the food with moisture, the Law of Purity applies and you can eat the food. If you are confident she touched the food with wet hands, or the food was moist/wet, then the food is najes. If you can wash it do so. If you can’t then yes do not eat it.


A. You may inform your friend (and it is a good idea to do so) but you are not obligated to do so.


A. According to many scholars, if a Marja’ who is deemed the most knowledgeable gives a Fatwa on a matter, his follower cannot act in that matter on the Fatwa of another Marja’. But if he does not give a Fatwa and rather expresses a precaution (Ihtiyat), then yes you may refer to the Fatwa of another Marja’. You may also follow the Fatwa of another Marja’ if it is proven to you (by the testimony of expert scholars) that the other Marja’ is more knowledgeable in that particular ruling/field.


A. If your role in that company is directly giving out the loan to the customer, such as negotiating the rate and offering the loan amount, then it’s haram. Otherwise, it’s halal (such as working in a department of that company that doesn’t directly put you in a position to give the interest-based loan to the customer).


A. You are allowed to work there provided you do not stock the alcohol and scan it for the customers.


A. It is not permissible to deliver alcohol or wine. You must excuse yourself from taking such orders. If it happened that you were given such an order, cancel taking the order and avoid delivering it.


A. It is considered nifas (postpartum bleeding). The maximum duration for Nifas is 10 days. Anything under 10 would be considered Nifas. Now if the postpartum bleeding exceeds 10 days, then she would consider the Nifas to be the same as the number of her period (such as 7 days), and the rest would be considered istehadha.


A. Plastic surgery in and of itself is halal, as we have no evidence to make it haram, so the Law of Exemption would apply. However, there are two points to consider: 1- The one performing the operation must be of the same gender. So a woman cannot do plastic surgery with a male doctor, because this is not considered a medical necessity. Only a woman may operate on her (and of course at no time can she show her private parts to the female doctor). 2- If the operation makes the woman appear as if she is adorned (زينة) and attractive, then she cannot show that to unrelated men. The guidelines of Hijab must be observed.


A. Yes, according to Islamic Law, if a woman is having heavy bleeding in istehadha (meaning after her period or haydh ended she continues to have bleeding), then she must do 3 ghusls: one before praying the Fajr prayer, one before the Dhuhr and Asr prayers, and one before Maghreb and Isha’ prayers. If showering 3 times is harmful or very difficult for you, then you can do Tayammum in place of the Ghusl.


A. If the area of surgery is on a body part other than the face or two hands, then it would not be permissible to have it done under a non-Mahram male surgeon if he will see those body parts.


A. It means that Islam wants children to grow up with Haya’ (decency and sense of privacy). When they’re about to reach puberty, they should not sleep in the same bed next to each other, because it would not be too appropriate to have them sleep under the same blanket. Children who are about to physically mature sometimes want to explore their physical changes, so it’s better to have the sleep separately.


A. The first Majles was in Kufa when Lady Zaynab (a) gave a speech and eulogized Imam Hussain (a). The second Majles was in Damascus when Imam Zainul Abidin gave a speech in the presence of Yazid and eulogized Imam Hussain (a). Everyone cried in that Majles. Then later in Medina, Lady Zaynab, Lady Rabab, and Lady Ummul Baneen regularly held Majales for Imam Hussain (a).


A. Karbala teaches us that quality wins over quantity. It teaches us how to sacrifice for Allah. It teaches us patience, courage, perseverance, sincerity, strength, reliance on God, humbleness, and compassion. Karbala teaches us to stand up for justice. Karbala teaches us that if you sacrifice for God, Allah will make you eternal.


A. Imam Hussain (a) was buried three days after his martyrdom. Imam Zainul Abidin (a) buried him with the help of the tribe of Banu Asad.


A. Yes, the skies wept blood on the killing of Imam Hussain (a). One hadith states this happened for 40 days. In many parts of the world, blood was observed falling from the sky, and many buckets that contained milk or other types of food turned into blood. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that in 685 AD it rained blood in Britain, and “milk and butter were turned into blood.” The year 685 falls around the era of the Battle of Karbala.


A. First of all, he wanted to demonstrate to the world that he was not pursuing power, nor did he have a personal agenda. Taking his family with him showed his sincerity and pure sacrifice for Islam. Second, with the men killed in Karbala, the women and children would live to tell the world what happened in Karbala and convey the message of Imam Hussain (a) to the world. They would expose the tyrants. Third, Allah wanted to elevate his family and reward them for this great trial.


A. Wahab al-Kalbi came from a Christian background. He embraced Islam and joined Imam Hussain (a), and he was martyred in Karbala. He earned a high degree in paradise.


A. Yes, one of the Imam’s companions was Jawn (John) ibn Huwayy. He was a black African companion of the Imam.


A. First of all, after years of Umayyad corruption, many had their eyes on Imam Hussain (a). It was important for Yazid to secure Imam Hussain’s allegiance so he could impose his rule on others. If Hussain didn’t recognize him as a legitimate ruler, then many others would challenge Yazid’s authority. Secondly, Yazid was an arrogant and hasty ruler. He did not contemplate the consequences of his actions. He underestimated the impact of killing Imam Hussain (a).


A. Mu’awiya broke the treaty he made with Imam Hassan, and he violated its terms by appointing his corrupt son Yazid to succeed him. Yazid, based in Damascus, asked his governor in Medina to force Imam Hussain (a) to pledge him allegiance. The Imam refused and left Medina to Mecca, then from Mecca to Iraq. Many in Kufa had written letters to the Imam promising him support if he arrives Kufa. The Imam headed towards Kufa to lead a noble revolution and awaken the Muslim Ummah from their deep sleep and insensitivity to injustice. The army of Yazid blocked Imam Hussain (a) from reaching Kufa. They surrounded him in Karbala and massacred him, along with his family and companions in year 61 AH / 682 AD.


A. Yes. Initially Omar ibn Saad, commander of Yazid’s army, decided to attack on the 9th of Muharram in the afternoon. Imam Hussain (a) sent his brother Abbas (a) to ask them to postpone it till the following morning. He tells him, “My brother, ask them to postpone the battle till tomorrow instead of this evening. We would like to pray to our Lord and seek his forgiveness, for He knows how much I love praying to Him, reading His book, supplicating and asking for forgiveness.” Abbas goes to them and asks them to postpone the battle till the following morning. Initially they hesitate to accept, but then finally they agreed.


Q. Yes, numerous reports indicate that on the 9th of Muharram, Shimr ibn Dhul Jawshan came to the camp of Imam Hussain (a) and shouted, “Where are the sons of our brothers?” He meant Abbas and his brothers because Shimr was from the Kelab tribe, so he was related to their mother Ummul Baneen who was also from the same tribe. Abbas intially refused to answer him, but Imam Hussain (a) asked him to respond to him. Abbas and his brothers said to him, “What do you want?” He told them I have brought you amnesty. If they were to abandon Imam Hussain (a), they would be safe. Abbas was infuriated at this offer. He shouted at Shimr saying, “May Allah curse you and your amnesty! You grant us amnesty but the son of the Messenger of Allah has no amnesty!”


A. Imam Hussain (a) and his brother Abbas (a) were both martyred on the same day in Karbala. Abbas went to get water from the Euphrates river. The tents of Imam Hussain (a) were about 600 meters to the west of the river. Abbas was struck and killed close to the river, so he was buried there by the instruction of Imam Sajjad (a). The distance between the grave of Imam Hussain (a) and Abbas is 378 meters, which is about the same distance between the Safa and Marwa in Mecca. Interestingly, in Sura al-Baqara, verses 155-157, the Qur’an talks about being tried with loss of life, fear and hunger, and how the believers submit to Allah. Then right after it in verse 158, the Qur’an says, “Verily the Safa and Marwa are among the symbols of Allah...”


A. First of all, he wanted to demonstrate to the world that he was not pursuing power, nor did he have a personal agenda. Taking his family with him showed his sincerity and pure sacrifice for Islam. Second, with the men killed in Karbala, the women and children would live to tell the world what happened in Karbala and convey the message of Imam Hussain (a) to the world. They would expose the tyrants. Third, Allah wanted to elevate his family and reward them for this great trial.


A. They arrived Karbala on Thursday, the second of Muharram, year 61 AH. When he arrived, his horse stopped. He asked his companions, “What is the name of this land?” Someone replied the Land of Taff. He asked, “Does it have another name?” They said, “Ghadhiriyat.” He asked, “Does it have any other name?” Someone said “Naynawa.” The Imam was looking for another name—one he had heard from his beloved grandfather. “Does it have another different name?” Someone finally said, “Karbala.” As soon as he heard the name Karbala the Imam took a deep breath, cried and said, “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from Karb (difficultly) and Bala’ (tribulations).” Then he said: my companions, we shall settle here. Here our men shall be killed. Here our children will be slaughtered. Here our women will be taken as captives. Our graves shall be visited here. My grandfather has informed me of this.


Q. On the 7th of Muharram, Omar ibn Saad receives a letter from Ibn Ziyad that states, “Block Hussain and his companions from having access to water. They cannot taste a drop of water.” Omar ibn Saad organizes an army of 500 fighters to guard the banks of the river to block Imam Hussain (a) and those with him from getting any water. Later that night, with the leadership of Abul Fadhl al-Abbas, they managed to fight those men guarding the river and fill a few buckets of water. The women and children were happy that al-Abbas brought them water. But this was the last time that Imam Hussain (a) and his companions would receive any water.


A. Imam Hussain (a) did not want to go to war. He tried to avoid the battle so people would not be killed, but his enemies insisted on fighting or he would submit to Yazid. The Imam refused to submit to the evil Yazid. On the 7th or 8th of Muharram, Imam Hussain (a) requested to meet Omar ibn Saad in Karbala. At night, ibn Saad came forward with 20 of his horsemen, and Imam Hussain (a) came out with 20 of his men. When they met, Iman Hussain (a) asked his men to go to the side and leave the meeting except for his brother Abbas and son Ali Akbar. They stood by his side. Omar ibn Saad also asked his men to step to the side except his son Hafs and his servant Laheq. Imam Hussain (a) said to him, “Woe upon you, do you not fear God whom you shall return to? You want to fight me when you know whose son I am? Leave your group and join me, for this will bring you close to God.” Omar ibn Saad replied, “I fear that my house will be demolished.” The Imam said, “I’ll have one built for you.” He continued his excuses saying, “I am afraid my ranch will be taken.” The Imam said to him, “I will compensate you with a better one in Hejaz from my money.” Omar ibn Saad said, “I fear for my family.” The Imam said to him, “I will guarantee you their safety.” Ibn Saad kept quiet. Then he said, “I have been promised to be the ruler of Rayy.” At that point, Imam Hussain (a) said, “May Allah have you slaughtered in your bed soon, and may He not forgive you on the Day of Judgment.”


-Imam Hussain (a), along with his family and companions, is on his way to Kufa but the army of Ibn Ziyad, under the command of Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi blocked him from heading to Kufa.

-Seeing that his enemies are thirsty, Imam Hussain (a) asks his companions to give his enemies water and even spray their horses so they can cool off.

-At the time of noon Imam Hussain leads his companions in prayer, and Hurr’s army prays behind them. -Imam Hussain (a) gives a speech outlining the right of the Ahlulbayt (a) and mentioning the letters the people of Kufa sent to him inviting him to come to Iraq, then the Imam heads north towards Karbala.


-On Thursday, the 2nd of Muharram, year 61 AH the caravan of Imam Hussain (a) arrives Karbala. -The Imam’s horse stops. He asked his companions, “What is the name of this land?” Someone replied the Land of Taff. He asked, “Does it have another name?” They said, “Ghadhiriyat.” He asked, “Does it have any other name?” Someone said “Naynawa.” The Imam was looking for another name—one he had heard from his beloved grandfather. “Does it have another different name?” Someone finally said, “Karbala.” As soon as he heard the name Karbala the Imam took a deep breath, cried and said, “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from Karb (difficultly) and Bala’ (tribulations). -The Imam says to his companions: my companions, we shall settle here. Here our men shall be killed. Here our children will be slaughtered. Here our women will be taken as captives. Our graves shall be visited here. My grandfather has informed me of this.


-On the third of Muharram, Imam Hussain (a), his family and companions have settled in the tents. The children are protected by their guardians. No one is thirsty, and everyone has access to water. But then a black wave looms in the distant. This scene is tragic and heart-wrenching. An army of thousands is approaching Karbala. They are getting closer and closer. -Omar Ibn Saad, the commander of Yazid’s army, arrives with 30,000 fighters. They start to camp and erect their tents by the Euphrates river. The camp of Imam Hussain (a) was about 600 meters to the west of the river. But now a massive army stands between the Imam’s camp and the river. -Imam Hussain (a) requests: to meet Omar Ibn Saad. He agreed and at night they had a meeting. Omar asked him, “Why did you want to go to Kufa?” The Imam (a) replied, “The people of Kufa wrote to me asking me to come. But now if you do not want me to come, then I will leave.” Omar Ibn Saad initially did not prefer to fight Imam Hussain (a). He was looking for a way to avoid the battle yet at the same time get his reward from Ibn Ziyaad and show his loyalty to him. He spent the night thinking how to avoid the battle, and initially he agreed to allow Imam Hussain (a) to leave Iraq and go back to where he came from. But this was an important decision. He needed Ibn Ziyad’s approval.


-Omar Ibn Saad wrote a letter to Ibn Ziyad, whom Yazid had appointed his governor in Kufa. He stated in his letter, “Allah has extinguished this fire, brought us to unity, and has fixed the affairs of this Umma. Hussain has promised to return to where he came from...” He wanted to convince Ibn Ziyad to avoid fighting Imam Hussain (a), for he knew very well what a crime he would be committing by fighting Imam Hussain. -Omar Ibn Saad is worried. He is facing an inner crisis. He doesn’t want to kill Imam Hussain (a), but he is also greedy for power and the promised kingdom of Ray. He does not want to give it up. He wants to satisfy his master Ibn Ziyad to get this reward. He preferred to avoid this war, for he knew it would bring him eternal damnation, but if there is no way out, he is willing to succumb to his greed and fight Imam Hussain (a). He impatiently awaited the response of Ibn Ziyad to his letter. -It is reported that on this day Imam Hussain (a) purchased the land of Karbala from those who lived around it and owned it. He purchased it for 60,000 silver coins, and the area of it is 4 miles by 4 miles. Karbala belongs to Imam Hussain (a) and he made it lawful for his followers and those who love him.


-On this day more and more fighters join the camp of Omar ibn Saad. This is a disturbing scene. How is it that tens of thousands of so-called Muslims have gathered to confront the only grandson of their Prophet (s) and the Master of the Youth of Paradise? How worthless is this world that pushes you to fight your master! The army of Yazid on this day has come to its full count. -Ibn Ziyad replies to the letter of Omar bin Saad and sends it with Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan. He told Shimr, “Have Omar ibn Saad give Hussain an ultimatum. Either he accepts my rule and comes to me, or you fight him and his companions. If Omar obeys me, then you obey his command, but if he refuses to fight Hussain, then you become the commander of the army, behead Hussain and send me his head.” -Shimr delivers the letter of ibn Ziyad to Omar ibn Saad. In the letter, ibn Ziyad rebukes Omar ibn Saad for trying to avoid fighting Imam Hussain (a). Then he commands him in the letter that if Hussain and his companions do not surrender to Ibn Ziyad, then he must, “fight them, dismember their bodies, and after Hussain is killed, have the horses trample his chest!” Then he tells him: If you obey us we will reward you, and if you don’t then leave your post and have Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan lead the army.” Omar Ibn Saad had to make a tough decision now.


-Omar ibn Saad is struggling to make a decision. On the one hand, he knows very well who Imam Hussain (a) is, and that by killing him he will be eternally damned. On the other hand, he is greedy for the reward Yazid has promised those who fight Imam Hussain (a). In the end, he succumbed to his evil desires and gave preference to this materialistic world over the obedience of God and the reward of the Hereafter. He decided to collaborate with Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan to fight Imam Hussain (a) and his companions. -One of the greatest companions of Imam Hussain (a) had just arrived. Imam Hussain (a) had prepared a special banner for him. Some companions requested to have the honor of carrying that banner, but the Imam said to them, “I await the owner of this banner to arrive.” Habib ibn Madhaher had arrived from Kufa. On his journey to Kufa, Imam Hussain (a) had written Habib the following letter, “From Hussain son of Ali to the scholar Habib ibn Madhaher. Oh Habib, you know our kinship to the Messenger of Allah, and you know us better than others, and you are a man of nobility and honor, so do not fall short in supporting us. My grandfather will reward you on the Day of Judgment.” -As soon as Habib ibn Madhaher receives the letter of Imam Hussain (a), he set out to join him. When he arrived Karbala, the Imam was very happy to meet him. But Habib did not come alone. He was joined by his cousin Muslim ibn Awsaja. Habib and Muslim together in Kufa had collaborated to help Muslim ibn Aqil secure the allegiance of the Kufans for Imam Hussain (a). Muslim arrived with his wife and son in the land of Karbala. -Habib ibn Madhaher approaches Imam Hussain (s) saying to him, “Oh son of the Messenger of Allah, a branch of the tribe of Banu Asad live nearby, do you grant me permission to go to them and invite them to support you?” The Imam granted him permission. Habib set out to them and when he met them he said, “I have come to you with the best that a visitor can bring to his people. I come to you to invite you to support the son of your Prophet’s daughter. Omar ibn Saad has surrounded him. Heed my call, and if you support him you will achieve the honor of this life and the Hereafter. I swear by Allah, anyone who will be killed for this cause, with patience and faith, will be with Prophet Mohammad (s) in the highest levels of paradise.” A man by the name of Abdullah ibn Beshr stood up and said, “I am the first to heed your call.” Then 90 other men pledged their support. However, one spy informed Omar ibn Saad of Bani Asad’s intent to support Imam Hussain (a), so he dispatched an army of 400 horsemen to block them from reaching the camp of Imam Hussain (a). When Imam Hussain (a) heard about this series of events, he said, “La hawala wala qowata illa bellah,” there is no power or strength except by Allah.


-This day is a very treacherous day. It is the seventh day of Muharram. Omar ibn Saad receives a letter from Ibn Ziyad. The letter states, “Block Hussain and his companions from having access to water. They cannot taste a drop of water.” Omar ibn Saad organizes an army of 500 fighters to guard the banks of the river, effectively denying Imam Hussain (a) and those with him to get water. The 500 horsemen were led by Amr ibn al-Hajjaj. -At night, a group of Imam Hussain’s companions attempt to reach the river. Amr ibn al-Hajjaj shouted, “Who are you?!” They responded saying, “We are the companions of Hussain.” Then one of the companions of Imam Hussain (a) by the name of Helal ibn Nafe’ al-Bajali said, “We have come here to drink water.” Amr told him, “Only you may drink.” Helal replied back, “You tell me to drink while Hussain son of Ali and those with him die from thirst!” -With the leadership of Abal Fadhl al-Abbas, the companions of Imam Hussain (a) manage to fight those men guarding the river, they gain access to the river, and they manage to fill a few buckets of water. The women and children were happy that al-Abbas brought them water. But this was the last time that Imam Hussain (a) and his companions would receive any water.


-Water is becoming scarce. A state of thirst is starting to afflict the family and companions of Imam Hussain (a) -Imam Hussain (a) sends a message to Omar ibn Saad requesting to meet him at night. When the night set, ibn Saad came forward with 20 of his horsemen, and Imam Hussain (a) came out with 20 of his men. When they met, Iman Hussain (a) asked his men to go to the side and leave the meeting except for his brother Abbas and son Ali Akbar. They stood by his side. Omar ibn Saad also asked his men to step to the side except for his son Hafs and his servant Laheq. -Imam Hussain (a) says to Omar ibn Saad, “Woe upon you, do you not fear God whom you shall return to? You want to fight me when you know whose son I am? Leave your group and join me, for this will bring you close to God.” Omar ibn Saad replied, “I fear that my house will be demolished.” The Imam said, “I’ll have one built for you.” He continued his excuses saying, “I am afraid my ranch will be taken.” The Imam said to him, “I will compensate you with a better one in Hejaz from my money.” Omar ibn Saad said, “I fear for my family.” The Imam said to him, “I will guarantee you their safety.” Ibn Saad kept quiet. Then he said, “I have been promised to be the ruler of Rayy.” At that point, Imam Hussain (a) said, “May Allah have you slaughtered in your bed soon, and may He not forgive you on the Day of Judgment.”


-On this day, the thirst is taking a toll on Imam Hussain (a) and his family. Water has run out in the tents. The children are beginning to experience thirst! -On this day, the massive army of Ibn Ziyad surrounds the camp of Imam Hussain (a), such that there is no escape. At this point, no one could join Imam Hussain (a) any longer since there was no access to his camp. The army of Ibn Ziyad becomes certain of their victory. -On this day, Shimr ibn Dhul Jawshan approaches the camp of Imam Hussain (a). He shouts, “Where are the sons of our brothers?” He meant Abbas and his brothers. Shimr was from the Kelab tribe, so he was related to their mother Ummul Baneen. Abbas intially refused to answer him, but Imam Hussain (a) asked him to respond to him. Abbas and his brothers said to him, “What do you want?” He told them I have brought you amnesty. If they were to abandon Imam Hussain (a), they would be safe. Abbas was infuriated at this offer. He shouted at Shimr saying, “May Allah curse you and your amnesty! You grant us amnesty but the son of the Messenger of Allah has no amnesty!” -After the Asr prayer, Omar ibn Saad mobilizes his army to descend on the camp of Imam Hussain (a) and begin the battle. Imam Hussain is sitting in front of his tent, holding his sword in his hand. He is taking a short nap as his blessed head rests on his knees. Lady Zaynab (a) hears the movement of the army marching towards them, so she comes to her brother and says, “Brother! Do you not hear these noises? They have come close.” The Imam raises his head and says, “I just saw my grandfather, father, mother and my brother in my dream and they said to me: you shall come to us.” Lady Zaynab (a) is now wailing and stricken with grief. -Abul Fadhl al-Abbas (a) approaches Imam Hussain (a). He tells him, “Brother, they have come.” Imam Hussain (a) stands up and tells him, “My beloved and dear brother, ride your horse, go meet them and ask them what they want and what they plan to do.” Abbas goes to meet them along with 20 men, including Zuhair ibn al-Qayn and Habeeb ibn Madhaher. He asks them what they want. They tell him, “Our Emir has commanded us to give you one of these two choices: either you submit to him or we fight you.” Abbas told them wait, let me consult Abu Abdillah (Imam Hussain) and get back to you.” -Abbas runs back quickly to Imam Hussain informing him of the enemy’s plan to attack. Imam Hussain (a) tells him, “My brother, go to them and ask them to postpone the battle till tomorrow instead of this evening. We would like to pray to our Lord and seek his forgiveness, for He knows how much I love praying to Him, reading His book, supplicating and asking for forgiveness.” Abbas goes to them and asks them to postpone the battle til the following morning. Initially they hesitate to accept, but then finally they agree. -A messenger comes from Omar ibn Saad. He shouts to Imam Hussain’s (a) camp and says, “We have postponed the battle till tomorrow. If you surrender then we’ll take you to ibn Ziyad. Otherwise we will not leave you.” -Imam Hussain (a) commands his companions to dig a trench around his tents and to set the trench on fire. This would force his enemies to fight and attack from one direction only. This would also enable Imam Hussain (a) and his companions to defend the women and children as long as they are alive. All the companions are now helping one another to dig the trench. Then they gathered wood and dry brush, cast them in the trench, and set them to fire so the enemies could not cross the trench. -One of the enemies of Hussain by the name of Malek ibn Hawza comes close to the trench, and when he sees it on fire he shouts, “Good news O Hussain! This worldly fire can burn you before the fire of Hell!” Imam Hussain (a) responds to him saying, “You have lied O enemy of Allah! I am heading to a merciful Lord and an accepted intercessor—my grandfather the Messenger of Allah (s). May Allah make you taste fire.” As soon as the Imam made this prayer, Malek’s horse becomes unruly and pushes him into the pit. He burns and dies. -In the darkness of the night, Imam Hussain (a) gathers his companions. He gives a speech. He says: All praise is due to Allah, in times of goodness and in times of difficulty. I thank you O Lord for blessing us with prophethood, teachings us the Qur’an, and granting us the full understanding of religion...I do not know of any companions better than my companions, nor fo I know of a family more righteous and loyal than my family. May Allah reward you all. Tomorrow they will fight us, and I release you from the obligation of staying with me. This night is dark, so take advantage of its darkness and flee. They only want me, so if they kill me they will not pursue any of you. -After Imam Hussain (a) finishes his speech, his companions all say, “No, we swear by Allah this will never happen. We will not leave you.” He says to them, “But they will kill you all.” They reply back, “We are grateful to Allah for giving us the honor of dying with you. We are not interested in living after you. How miserable is life after you!” -Abbas was the first to respond and firmly state that he would never abandon Hussain. Muslim ibn Awsaja said: do you think we will abandon you? What excuse do we have before God?! I swear by Allah, if I were to be killed, then resurrected, then burned to death, then resurrected again, and this would happen to me 70 times, I would not leave you! How about if it’s just one death and then I’d receive the eternal bliss from God! Zuhair ibn al-Qayn and other companions said similar statements. -Imam Hussain’s (a) nephew al-Qasem approaches him and says, “My beloved uncle, will I also be killed tomorrow?” Imam Hussain asks him, “My dear, how do you find death?” Qasem says, “In supporting you, I find it sweeter than honey.” The Imam then says, “Yes, you will also be killed.” -When Imam Hussain (a) sees that his companions are firmly determined to stay with him and fight, he shows them their positions in heaven. Allah enables them to have a vision of what would await them in paradise. The Imam then thanks them and prays for them. -Abbas gathers all members of Bani Hashem and takes a firm oath from them to be the foremost defenders of Imam Hussain the following day. They all make a firm commitment to fight valiantly. -On this night, Lady Zaynab (a) is sitting next to Imam Sajjad (a), who is extremely ill. She is helping him with his illness as best as she can. She overhears Imam Hussain (a) talking to John ibn Huway and reciting lines of poetry that indicate he would be killed soon. Lady Zaynab bursts into tears and runs to Hussain. She tells him: brother, I wish I would have been dead and not see you in this state! How can I handle this tragedy?! Imam Hussain makes a prayer for her, and so she finds new patience in her heart. -Later in the night, Imam Hussain gathers all of the women and children in the tent of Imam Sajjad. He gives his will to Imam Sajjad and tells his family that Imam Sajjad is the Imam after him, and they all have to follow him and obey him. Then he tells his family, “Tell my followers that I am killed thirsty so mourn me!” -On this night, there is a stark contrast between the camp of Imam Hussain and the camp of Omar ibn Saad. Imam Hussain spends the night worshipping God, reciting the Qur’an and supplicating. His companions are all praying and supplicating. Their low voices supplicating sound like the buzzing of the bees. They are spending their last night in Ibadah.


After losing the warrior Abbas, Imam Hussain stands by his tent and in a heartbreaking voice says: Is there anyone to support us? Is there anyone to protect the women and children? Imam Sajjad was very ill in his tent. When he hears this moving cry by his father, he dragged himself, resting on a cane, trying to go out and defend his father. Imam Hussain told Lady Zaynab: take him back to the tents, for if he is killed the progeny of the Prophet will be cut off. She took him back. Then Imam Hussain (a) told Lady Zaynab let me see my young infant so I can farewell him. The women told the Imam that Ali Asghar is withering and dying from thirst. Get him some water if you can. The Imam took him to the camp of the enemies. He raised him with his two hands and said: you have killed all my companions and family members. No one remains but him. He is dying from thirst. Give him some water. What is his crime?! There was commotion in Yazid’s army. Some said give him water, while some said don’t. Then Omar Ibn Saad ordered the skilled archer Harmala to kill the baby. Harmla shot a three-headed arrow at the baby’s neck and slaughtered him. Ali Asghar took his hands out of his swaddle and embraced his father. Imam Hussain collected the blood from his neck and threw it towards the sky and said: what gives me patience is that Allah is watching! Then he took back the slaughtered baby to the tents and buried him. The women started to wail upon seeing Ali Asghar slaughtered. Then Imam Hussain called on the women and children to farewell them. He called them by their names. He said: this is the last meeting, and the tragedy has come near. But Allah is your guardian and He will be with you. Imam Hussain told Zaynab bring me my horse. She cried and said which sister brings to her brother the horse of death?! As the Imam was about to head into the battlefield, Zaynab told him come down from your horse. I need to fulfill something. When he approached her, she said: show me your neck. When he did, she kissed his neck and turned to Medina and said: Mother, I have fulfilled your will. He asked her which will is this? She said to him: shortly before our mother Fatima passed away, she told me if one day you see your brother alone and about to die, kiss his neck for me, for that is the place where the sword shall sever! Imam Hussain races into the battlefield saying: I am Hussain son of Ali. I am determined not to give up. I protect my father’s family, and I uphold the religion of the Prophet. He fought courageously, killing many of them. Omar ibn Saad shouted to his army: do not spare him. Attack him from all directions! This is the son of the killer of the Arabs! They surrounded him from every direction, hurling rocks at him and shooting arrows and spears at him. He sustained 72 injuries. He was now weakened. He paused to rest when Abol Hotout al-Jo’fi struck him on his forehead, causing him to bleed. Then a three-pronged arrow shot his chest. The blood gushed from his chest. He removed the arrow, collected the blood in his hands, and stained his beard with it. He said: this is how I shall meet my grandfather! I will tell him see how they killed me! Here the horse of Imam Hussain started circling around him, trying to protect him and kick anyone who would get close to him. But more and more came forward. The horse ran to the tents of Imam Hussain! Lady Zaynab saw the horse of Hussain coming to the tents, but without its rider! When the women saw the horse alone, they started to cry and wail! Lady Zaynab ran outside and stood on a small hill overlooking the battlefield. She saw Hussain bleeding profusely, struck with so many arrows. She shouted at Omar ibn Saad and said: Omar, Hussain is getting killed and you are watching? Then she looked at the men and said: is there no Muslim amongst you? How can you kill your Prophet’s grandson?! Many came forward to kill Imam Hussain, but they could not. They could see the Prophet’s eyes in his eyes. Finally Omar ibn Saad said to his men: go to him and finish him! The Imam was praying to Allah saying: O Allah, I am patient. O Allah, I am satisfied with your will! Help me O Allah (by achieving martyrdom). Shimr ibn Dhul Jawshan came forward. He kicked Imam Hussain (a) and struck him 12 times with his sword. Then he sat on his chest....and then he severed the head of Hussain! A severe wind and sandstorm blew! Zaynab couldn’t see what was happening! As soon as the dust settled she saw Hussain’s head raised on a spear! Ya Hussain! Ya Hussain! After Imam Hussain was martyred, the enemies trampled his blessed body with their horses! They blindfolded the horses so they could not see the body. Then they attacked the tents. They set the tents to fire. The women and children fled the tents, running in the desert land of Karbala. The men attacked them, hitting them with sticks and the back of spears. They looted the ear rings and any bracelets the children were wearing, causing them to bleed. Then they entered the tent of Imam Sajjad. Shimr violently pulled a sheet Imam Sajjad was sleeping on, and drew his sword to kill him. Lady Zaynab threw her body on the Imam and told Shimr you will not kill him before you kill me! So he withdrew his sword. Then Imam Sajjad said to his aunt: my aunt, you must flee the tents, for they have set them to fire! Hameed ibn Muslim, a reporter who attended the battle, approached a young girl whose clothes caught on fire. He helped her extinguish the fire. He asked her: who are you? She said to him: O man, have you recited the Qur’an? He said yes. She said: have you recited the verse “and as for the orphan do not be harsh with?” He said yes I have. She said: I am the orphan of Hussain! Hameed took her to the river to give her some water. When her eyes fell on the running water she said: how can I drink when the son of Rasulullah died thirsty! She refused to drink, so Hameed took her to the women and handed her to Lady Zaynab. The evening came. Lady Zaynab gathers all the women and children to protect them from the enemies. She realizes that Sakina was missing. She went to the battlefield in the darkness of the night looking for her. She heard a faint voice coming from where Imam Hussain’s body lay on the ground. When she came close she heard, “Father, who severed your head! Father, who made me an orphan?” Lady Zaynab comforted her and took her back to the tents. Rabab was also missing. Lady Zaynab went looking for her when she heard a voice saying: my dear baby, now I can nurse you! Zaynab told her what are you doing here? Rabab said: when the enemies gave us water, I felt the milk in my body and now I am able to nurse my child! So I came out here looking for the body of my Ali Asghar to tell him now I can nurse him! Lady Zaynab took her back to the tents. It was a difficult night. Lady Zaynab did not skip her Night Prayer, and she remembered her brother in her prayer. But she was overwhelmed. When the children slept, she quietly went into the battlefield in the darkness of the night. She reached the body of Hussain. She put her hands under his body and raised her head to the sky saying: O Muhammad! The angels of the sky pray on you! This is your Hussain, slaughtered in the desert! His turban and cloak have been looted! His head is severed! Then she said: O Allah, accept this Qorban (sacrifice) of your Prophet!


A. Al-Abbas (a) was married to Lady Lobaba the daughter of Ubaydullah. She was a very righteous and noble lady. Her father was the governor of Imam Ali (a) in Yemen. She was present in Karbala and she witnessed the tragic martyrdom of her husband Al-Abbas. She witnessed his courage and how he defended his brother Imam Hussain (a) till his last blessed breath. One narration states she passed away two years after the Battle of Karbala at age 25. She had one beautiful son who was raised later by Imam Zainul Abidin (a). When the Imam would look at him, he would cry and remember what happened to his father al-Abbas.


A. Lady Shahr-Banowayh was one of the wives of Imam Hussain (a). She is known by her title “Shah Zanan,” which means, “The Queen of Women.” Her father was a Persian Sassanid King by the name of Yazdegerd. She was a very noble lady, very intelligent, well-mannered, chaste and pure. When Imam Hussain (a) married her, his father Imam Ali (a) said to him, “My dear son, treat her very well, and she will give birth to the best of people after you.” Indeed this prophecy was fulfilled and she gave birth to Imam Zainul Abidin (a). She was not present in Karbala because she had passed away right after she gave birth to Imam Zainul Abidin (a).


A. Um Ishaaq was one of the wives of Imam Hussain (a). She was the daughter of Talha ibn Ubaydullah, who was one of the companions of Prophet Mohammad (s). She was first married to Imam Hassan (a). Shortly before Imam Hassan (a) reached his martyrdom, he asked his brother Imam Hussain (a) to marry her after his death and to take care of her and their children. She had three children from Imam Hassan (a). Imam Hussain (a) honored his brother’s request and married her later. According to some reports, she gave birth to Fatima, so she had once child from Imam Hussain (a).


A. Lady Rabab was one of the righteous wives of Imam Hussain (a). She was the daughter of Emra’ol Qays, who converted to Islam from Christianity. She was well-mannered, pious, humble and noble. Lady Rabab gave birth to Sakina and Abdullah the infant. Imam Hussain (a) loved Rabab greatly. In a poem, he said:
لعمرك إنني لأحـب داراً تحلّ بها سكيـنة والرباب
أحبّهما وأبذل جلّ مالي وليس لعاتب عندي عتاب

“By your life, I love a home in which Sakina and Rabib live. I love them two and offer most of my wealth (to them), and no one should blame me.”

She attended the event of Karbala and saw her husband and son slaughtered. For a year, she would hold Majales for Imam Hussain (a), and she would sit under the sun since the body of the Imam lay three days under the sun after his martyrdom. She passed away about one year after the event of Karbala.


A. We don’t have hadiths that support this [loss of Aqeeq stone], so it’s mainly superstition. As for the aqeeq cracking, it is believed that it’s an indication that some danger was averted.

 


A. We don’t know exactly when our souls were created. It seems that once Allah created Adam’s soul, he created our souls and made that covenant with us. The first souls to be created were the souls of Ahlulbayt (a). God first created them as pure lights, then they became souls. Then our souls were created. Adam’s existence as a soul predates his creation from clay.


A. If this yin-yang symbol does not have any pagan origins, is not connected to any form of idolatry, corrupt belief system or any invalid beliefs about the souls and reincarnation, and is not considered in one’s society as supporting Buddhism, then it’s ok to wear it. Otherwise it would be haram.


A. Yes salvation is still possible for them. Some hadiths indicate God will retest them on the Day of Judgment, and if they pass that test they will be saved. Many scholars believe many Christians (who are not stubborn and did not deliberately reject the truth) will be forgiven by Allah.


A. We recommend to take it step by step with them. If we try to correct everything all at once, they might get pushed away. Wait for an appropriate time, let them know the priorities of our faith, then you can approach them about those old rituals they are still practicing. Use some judgment based on the convert’s circumstances. Give them time to better absorb Islamic teachings and learn more about Islamic beliefs, then gradually you can discuss those old rituals with them.


A. Scholars and linguists have stated numerous differences between Dhanb and Sayyi’ah. One is that Dhanb is a major sin while Sayyi’ah is a smaller sin. Another is Dhanb means sins whereas Sayyi’ah means shortcomings in observing obligations. In any case, we ask Allah to forgive us for any violation, sin, or shortcoming.


A. If the news that she received about her husband’s death was reliable and gave her confidence that he died, then her marriage to the second was a valid marriage. The children from this marriage are legitimate because the mother and the new husband did not commit adultery. They were in a valid, legal marriage. Yes, if after her first husband went missing she was hesitant and did not know whether he was alive—and she didn’t wait for 4 years nor did she seek a divorce from a Marja’—then her new marriage is nullified and she’s still technically the wife of the first husband.


A. We have narrations that burning Harmal (peganum seed) in the house repels the devil and brings blessings.


A. Yes, our narrations indicate that it's recommended.


A. Reading fiction books by default is permissible. However, the following conditions must be observed: 1- The content must be morally/sexually appropriate, meaning it does not lead to corruption or immorality. There are some fiction books that are erotic and can actually pervert one’s thinking. They must be avoided. 2- The content doesn’t weaken your faith. If the content weakens your religiosity, weakens your belief in God, or reduces your commitment to your religious and moral obligations, then it must be avoided.


A. The Kaffarah is feeding ten poor people. A correct Nadhr only takes place when one invokes Allah’s name and obligates himself, for God, to do something. In Arabic this is how a Nadhr is made: لله عليّ ان “Lillahi Alayya to...” (then menion what you want to do). Breaking this vow incurs the Kaffarah. If one made a general promise, such as “O Allah I promise to do this or promise not to do that” then breaking it does not have a Kaffarah (though it’s inappropriate to break it of course). But if one made an oath by mentioning Allah’s name, such as saying “Wallah I will do such and such,” and one breaks this oath, then he must pay a Kaffara of feeding ten poor people as well.


A. God’s mercy is much greater than the sins you have committed. As long as you sincerely repent, God Has promised to forgive you. Sura al-Furqan, verse 70, beautifully tells us that when we truly repent and do good deeds, not only will God erase our sins but He will convert our sins into good deeds! Just imagine that!


A. Here are some tips: 1- Try not spending time alone. Try to be around others as much as possible. Spend your time in the living room or family room instead of your own private room. 2- Keep yourself busy and productive as much as you can. Having free time leads to many sins. 3- Change your diet. Eat less and avoid foods high in sugar or high in calories. 4- Install programs that prevent you from accessing inappropriate sites. 5- Remember that Allah is present with you at all times. The Prophet (s) and his family (a) also witness our actions. Let this motivate you to stop, and ask Allah to help you stop.


A. It is permissible. Just make sure that when you are praying, cat hair is not present on your body and clothes, since that would invalidate your prayer. Also, cat urine/feces is Najes, so make sure if it came into contact with you, you would wash it before praying.


A. According to Islamic Law, your cousin is not Mahram to you. Hence, you cannot hug or kiss your cousin. It would be a sin to do so. Even if you have good intentions and have no feelings/desire for your cousin, you should respect God’s law and avoid doing that.


A. First, you must repent and ask Allah to forgive you. Second, you must ask your brother to forgive you. Third, you must offer your brother the Diyya (financial penalty) for causing him to bleed.


A. No that is not true. In fact, it is recommended even for men to remove their body hair. Many hadiths encourage that.


A. Istekharas help us make decisions when we are stuck or undecided. Istekharas do not reveal to us the unseen.


A. If the other person administering the laser hair removal sees the private parts, then it’s haram. This would not be considered a medical necessity for an exception to made.


A. It means don’t let someone take advantage of you and hurt you twice. If you did good to someone and he ended up taking advantage of you or abused you, then be careful next time. Don’t let him do that to you again.


A. We have three opinions about the timing of the Me’raj:
17 Rabi Awal
27 Rajab
17 Ramadhan
It seems that the third opinion is more widely accepted. Yes, other schools of thought
commemorate it in Rajab, though they also have multiple opinions about it. It’s
possible—in reconciling these opinions—that the Prophet (s) went on this journey
multiple times (as Imam Sadeq (a) states). So this might explain the different dates
for the event


: Q. In, Surah Al-Isra’, Allah swt says
“And do not make your hand to be shackled to your neck nor stretch it forth to the utmost (limit) of its stretching forth, lest you should (afterwards) sit down, blamed, stripped off.” (Qur'an 17:29)
I read this story in a commentary
A woman once sent down her son to the Prophet (s) and asked his shirt for sanctification purposes of blessings. The Prophet (s) gave away his only shirt and as he had no other one to put on, he did not get out of the house for attending his prayers. This holy verse was revealed indicating that generosity does not imply that one gives away his only single shirt.
If the Prophet (s), with all his knowledge, knew that by giving away his only shirt he would not be able to go to the mosque to lead the prayers, and that this would lead to this command to be given, why did he give away his only shirt?

A. The Prophet (s) is at the peak of generosity. He doesn’t say no to anyone. So here Allah revealed a verse commanding him not to give everything away. After the revelation of this verse, the Prophet (s) had an “excuse” to say “no” sometimes. Through this amazing method, the Prophet (s) maintained the highest level of Akhlaaq yet he is able to say “no sometimes,” because now people know it’s a command from God. So the Prophet did nothing wrong by giving his shirt away. He was being generous. But then Allah told him you don’t have to go that far.
Example: you’re dead tired and your friend asks you for a favor. You don’t want to say no. Then your parent steps in and says, “I command you to get some rest.” So then you tell your friend, “I would want to help you but now I have to obey my parent.” Through this way you’ve maintained your generosity and you not helping your friend is justified.


A. Yes Yaseen is one of the names of the Prophet (s).


A. Fatimiyya is observed 1 night, 3 nights, 5 nights and 10 nights around the world. There isn’t anything specific about 3 nights. It depends on the communities and their traditions.


A. Most of them are mentioned in the Qur’an, but some are from Hadith. These names are basically a reflection of Allah’s essential attributes, such as knowledge and power. They pretty much go back to these two attributes. For example, “the Merciful” means God uses His power to benefit us, and the “Avenger” means He disciplines the evildoers.
Now Allah has more than 99 names. Du’a Jawshan contains 1,000 names. The 99 stand out because they are the most special names out of all His names.


A. Affirmative attributes are essential attributes that God always has and do not separate from Him, such as knowledge and power. These are inseparable attributes of God. Negative attributes are those that we negate from Allah. For example, Allah is not physical, He is above time and space, He has no parts, etc... These are negative attributes.


A. God “seeing” means He knows. Close your eyes for a moment and try to picture your room. You can “see” your room in your mind because you have knowledge of it. This is just an example that brings the concept closer to our minds. God has knowledge of the entire universe.


A. God does not have emotions. Him seeking revenge means He disciplines the evildoers by punishing them. It also means that He seeks revenge on behalf of the oppressed by punishing their oppressors.


A. There are types of Sadaqa. Some types of obligatory Sadaqa like Zakat al-Fitra and the mandatory Zakat, a non-Sayed cannot give it to a Sayed. Yes, all other types of financial dues such Kaffaras or Fidyas can be given to a Sayed. Also, the Mustahab Sadaqa that one gives can also be given to a Sayed. Some scholars have made an exception for the Mustahab Sadaqa. They say that the Sadaqa given to the Sayed should not compromise the dignity of the Sayed. For example, let’s say you give 50 cents as Sadaqa to a Sayed for protection, and in the eyes of the public this brings some sort of humiliation to the Sayed, then it should not be given to them. The idea is that the Sadaqa should preserve the respect of the Sayeds since they are the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s).


A. Zakat in its general sense means any financial obligation we have in Islam—whether Zakat, Khums, Kaffara or Fitra. Zakat linguistically means “to purify,” and by paying religious dues we purify our money. In its specific sense, Zakat is mandatory charity that’s paid on livestock, crops and gold/silver coins (it’s usually 2.5%). According to the school of Ahlulbayt (a), the obligatory Zakat only applies to these categories. If one does not own livestock, crops or silver/gold currency coins, then one does not have to pay Zakat.


A.  If you have extra money at the end of they year that you didn’t use towards your expenses, nor did you use it to pay your student loan, then most scholars say yes you’d have to pay Khums on it even if you have outstanding student loans.


A. One of our legal principles in religion is called the Law of Exemption (Bara’ah). It basically means you are required to fulfill a known obligation, and anything unknown is lifted from you. Hence, when paying Khums, you can go with the lower estimate ($500) since you are certain you owe it, but you don’t know whether you owe more. The Law of Bara’ah states you don’t have to pay the higher estimate.


A. Allah wanted to honor Prophet Mohammad’s (s) family and progeny and protect them from having to beg (when they would be in need), so the mandatory charity (Zakat) is haram for them to take. Allah wanted to protect the dignity of the poor members of the Prophet’s progeny, and so He compensated them with Khums.


A. Many scholars say that there is no minimum age for Khums to be due. If a child gets money and it’s not used for one year but rather it’s saved, Khums applies to it. Now either the parents have to take out the khums on it as some scholars say, or when the child becomes balegh (religious mature), he/she pays its Khums.


A. Yes, Khums is due on your suit since you did not really use it as an expense. By simply trying it at home, you did not actually use it. Hence you must pay Khums on it. Note that you pay Khums on its market value on the day of your Khums date, not the price you purchased it for.


A. It depends on what that friendship is. If they are too comfortable with those opposite gender friends, and they cross Islamic boundaries with them, then yes that could be a red flag. But if those friendships are strictly professional, they don’t get too close to each other, and Islamic guidelines are maintained, then it should not be an issue.


A. Yes, they remain Mahram for good.


A. It’s advised that one does his/her best in researching about their potential spouse, consulting people with wisdom and knowledge, and then if they’re still stuck/hesitant and unable to make a decision then one could seek an estekhara.


A. By default, the normal divorce is the Raj’i, revocable divorce. In a revocable divorce, the husband initiates the divorce and he can return to his wife during the Iddah period (three cycles). A Khul’i divorce is when the wife seeks a divorce, but the husband does not prefer to divorce. In a Khul’i divorce, a wife gives up her dowry to get divorced, and her husband can no longer return to her during the Iddah period.


A. If the divorce is a regular, revocable divorce (Raj’i), the the husband is financially responsible to spend on his wife. He cannot ask her to leave the house, and he can see her without Hijab. In fact, it’s recommended for her to make herself presentable and dress up at home during the Raj’i Iddah.


A. Even though you intend to marry her, as long as the marriage contract has not been made, she is not lawful to you yet. Hence, it would be haram to have intimate conversations with her and intimately express your love for her. Let your feelings develop and be romantic with her when she becomes lawful to you.


A. According to Islamic Law, a husband is obligated to spend on his wife and take care of all necessary expenses. The wife may voluntarily contribute from her money, but he cannot force or compel her to do so. If he did, then she can demand him to repay her what she spent on the house and other necessary expenses. He owes it to her.


A. If your mother is strongly opposed to this person, and if you marry this person your mother will be severely hurt and there will be long term tension between you and her, then it is advised you don’t proceed with this person. It is not wise to put yourself in a situation where there will be long term tension with your mother. But if she is not strongly opposed to that person, and you can creatively convince her or have people whom she respects convince her or at least soften her position, then you may proceed with marrying this person.


A. In general, the same laws that apply to permanent marriage apply to temporary marriage. Some scholars state that she requires her father’s permission to conduct temporary marriage. Some scholars state if she is fully independent and manages her own life affairs, then she does not require his permission. Yet some other scholars state that if she doesn’t consummate the marriage then she doesn’t need her father’s permission; otherwise she does.


A. He owes you the spending for those two years, and you can demand him to pay you now. This is your Islamic right. If he doesn’t, then he is violating your right and he is committing theft.


A. You must be wise in how you approach marital challenges, but you don’t have to keep quiet if you are being oppressed. Sura al-Mujadilah was revealed when a man hurt his wife and she came to the Prophet (s) for help. God revealed an entire chapter addressing her concern. Also, 4:35 teaches us that when there is a marital problem, an arbitrator from her family and an arbitrator from his family should try to solve it. The wife is not commanded to keep silent.


A. Since you relinquished your dowry, he is no longer obligated to give it to you.


A. No, as spying is haram even if it involves your wife. You should avoid spying on her. The only exception is if she’s in imminent danger and the only way to protect her is to see her messages/emails. In this case you are obligated to protect her.


A. If they become Muslim at the same time, their marriage is valid. If she becomes Muslim before her husband, then when he becomes Muslim they must redo the marriage contract according to many scholars. If he becomes Muslim before her, and she’s Christian or Jewish, the marriage is valid.


A. Yes he is Mahram to you. He can see you without Hijab, and you cannot every marry him in Islamic Law. These two rules apply even it he ends up divorcing your mother. He will continue to be Mahram to you after the divorce.


A. For example, if you sell a 200 gram 21 karat gold bracelet for a 300 gram 18 karat gold bracelet, that would be haram. It’s a type of interest in Islamic Law. In order to do this the halal way, make two separate transactions. Sell the first bracelet for an amount of money. Then buy the other bracelet separately. That would be permissible.


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