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In the Name of God بسم الله

Nadiya

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    Shia (convert)

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  1. Assalamualaikum. I’m looking to move into an apartment. No roommates, but the kitchen appliances have been used by at least a decade of previous tenants, and I highly doubt they all kept a halal kitchen. How does one purify kitchen appliances (oven, microwave, etc.)? When I googled it, all I could find was people asking if halal-style chicken and rice was microwaveable. Jzk
  2. Assalamualaikum brothers and sisters, I have a few questions regarding my name. I am a revert, and I have chosen a full new name. My chosen surname is Al-Noor. (BACKGROUND) I have read recently that I should keep my father’s surname. There are a few issues with this. The first is that he changed his own name before I was born. His new surname has no connection to his own background. The second is that he specifically changed his surname as a means of distancing himself from his own father. So I can’t just use what his original name was. The third issue is that the name I have chosen is not of my own heritage (Italian and Jewish), but neither is my father’s current surname. The fourth is that even without all of these issues, my father’s original surname explicitly denotes a Jewish priestly class, and I don’t think having such a name is proper for a Muslim. My parents are also displeased that I have chosen an Arabic first name. I always hated my birth name (especially as its short form is derived from a polytheist mythical figure) and I have created a new identity for myself upon reverting, which is embodied by my Islamic name. My father does not care if I change my surname, but he wants me to keep my first name. I have been living as my full Islamic name for years now. It’s the name on my diplomas and my publications in my field and the name everybody else calls me but my parents. I do not want to upset my parents, but I have my own life, religion, and identity now. I want to start my legal name change process soon in shaa Allah. It is too confusing to have a legal name and a completely different common name, especially when it comes to employment. My questions are: 1. Is “Al-Noor” a permissible surname, Islamically-speaking? It is a Name of Allah, but I know that “Noor” is a very common name for Muslims. Does the “al” prefix affect permissibility? 2. Is it permissible to change my surname to a name that has no connection with my father’s line nor ethnic heritage, given the circumstances? 3. How can I balance my parents’ wishes with my own identity? As my father’s new surname is actually a feminine first name nowadays, I was thinking about making it a second middle name as a gesture of respect while maintaining my Islamic full name. 4. Am I just thinking too far into this and finding problems where there are none? Thank you for reading this whole thing. Salawat
  3. Assalamualaikum, my sister. Many Muslims struggle with addiction, and the shame and guilt and despair that come with it. You are not the only one is going through this, nor are you too far gone to return to your Creator. I want to share with you two stories from people dear to me: My friend Amira reverted to Islam many years ago. She has endured many hardships, including the tragic loss of her granddaughter. She fell into addiction, to heroin and alcohol and perhaps other drugs. She has been clean and sober for more than two years now, even through the death of her mother and homelessness and poverty. Allah has blessed her with a beautiful grandson. She has some of the strongest iman I have ever seen. My husband reverted to Islam around 7 years ago. He was a heavy drinker before he reverted. He suffers from severe PTSD due to war and trauma. It took him years to become sober. He still craves alcohol, but alhamdulillah he has been sober for four years. He isn’t the best Muslim, but he tries. Addiction is a disease. The fact that you have chosen to seek help is testimony to your true character. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) would not give you a burden too big to bear. Though you may stumble on the Path (to recovery and to Allah), remember the Path is like a road, not a tightrope. If you fall down, you are still on the Path. Get back up, dust yourself off, and continue your journey. May Allah bless you and your child. Salawat
  4. Assalamualaikum. I may have just broken my foot. Is it permissible to take pain medication if the doctor says I should? Also, I have severe depression and fatigue that heavily impacts my life. I forgot to take my antidepressant this morning at suhoor. Is it permissible to break the fast to take medications I need to function? I really don’t like not fasting. I feel like such a failure as a Muslim if I’m not fasting during Ramadan. On the other hand, I know Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has deliberately decreed exemptions for people who are ill. What kind of “ill” person is exempt? Jzk. p.s. Let me explain a bit more about the depression. I didn’t take my antidepressant a few days ago at suhoor, as well. I thought I would be fine, but I ended up self-harming, cutting off all my hair, contemplating suicide, crying, and screaming and throwing things at my husband. I’m not a rational person without my medication. I hate being like that. I want to be a good Muslim and a good wife. After my husband coaxed me for hours to take my medicine, I ended up breaking fast. I feel awful about it. Please don’t judge me or berate me, I’m already torn up about it inside. If I’m not a good Muslim, then what do I have left? Please help. I’ve read through Sistani’s website and other sources, but mental illness is ambiguous, as is physical illness.
  5. Does this mean if I travel to different cities, the "clock" restarts (for lack of a better term), or does the term "city" encompass anywhere 22km outside of my home city, even if I go to multiple cities at different times? (Ex. if I traveled to Jerusalem and stayed there for 3 nights, and then I traveled to Nablus and stayed for 4 nights, would that count as separate cities and therefore 2 separate travels, or simply 7 nights outside of my home city?)
  6. Assalamualaikum, Is it better to do something that could be wajib but may be haram, or to abstain from it because it could be haram but may be wajib? Let me explain (brothers be warned, this is a menstruation question). I am a woman whose menstruation is unpredictable. I never know when it will start. Most of the time, blood is just very brief spotting rather than the start of a period, but obviously sometimes it's actually the start of menstruation. I also can't tell by the color or consistency of the blood which one it is. Whenever this happens, I'm always thrown into an ethical dilemma. Salat is wajib, but it's haram during menstruation. So I panic -- should I pray, or should I not pray? If I pray and I'm on my period, I have done something haram. But if I don't pray and it turns out I'm not on my period, I have done something haram. Normally after around 20 minutes of agonizing over this question, I opt to pray. Usually this is the right decision, but occasionally I am wrong. Rarely, I am confident that yes, I am in fact starting my period, and opt to not pray. I have been wrong, though. I am leaning towards that it is better to pray and be wrong than to not pray and be wrong. Would you agree or disagree?
  7. Assalamualaikum, I will be traveling to the Middle East in a couple weeks in shaa Allah, and I have a bunch of questions regarding prayer. Keep in mind I am a relatively new convert, so please be patient with me. 1) I read that all prayers during travel are 2 rakat. What counts as "travel"? I will be traveling for around 14 days, going in between cities, staying a couple nights in each and going around either to nearby cities or exploring the city I am staying in each day. Is "travel" simply the plane rides and bus rides, or the whole trip, since I am not staying in the same place the whole time? 2) Part of my trip will be in Jerusalem, and I plan to pray at Al Aqsa in shaa Allah. I was warned by a Palestinian friend of mine, however, that it is very dangerous if I pray like a Shia there and I should do taqiyyah and perform my prayers like a Sunni. Given recent events, it is even more dangerous to be praying noticeable differently at Al Aqsa, as people might suspect me to be a Zionist actor and become violent. Do I have to make up prayers later that are performed in taqiyyah? 3) Just in general, what are the rulings on praying salat at a Sunni mosque with Sunnis? The nearest Shia mosque to me is 3 hours away, and I cannot drive. The nearest Sunni mosque is 15 minutes by bus. If I prayed Jummah there, would I follow the imam or do it the way we do it? Would I stand in line with all of the others, or just quietly do my own thing in the back? Background note, I am a woman, so since congregational Jummah prayers are not obligatory upon me, I have not been going to the mosque. 4) If I am in a situation where I am unable to find pure water or dust for wudu, should I pray anyway, or would they not count? Is impure water better than nothing? 5) What's up with sutrahs? Do we use those anymore, or does a prayer rug essentially outline the space necessary for salah? JazakAllah khair and thank you for your patience with me.
  8. (bismillah) Assalamualikum. My husband and I are new to Shia Islam, and we have some questions about fasting. I have looked around this forum at similar posts and only grown more confused, so if someone could please spell out the answers clearly, that would be wonderful. 1. I will be traveling in the Middle East for 10 days this Ramadan. Is it okay if I do not fast those 10 days (and make up the fasts later)? 2. For the rest of Ramadan and beyond, I will be working in New York City. My daily commute is 2 hours by train each way, plus some time on the subway. I read something about 30km being the limit for traveling while fasting, and if that limit is exceeded, fasts become invalid. Is that true? Do I really have to not fast because of my long commute? What are the rules for fasting while traveling? 3. My husband is an Uber driver. His work hours are 10pm-7am. He is constantly driving for all of the shift. Would his fasts be invalid? What should he do if that is the case? We can't just not work for the entirety of Ramadan. 4. Before I became Shia, I had converted to a different denomination of Islam from atheism a few years before, and I could never fast all of Ramadan because my body got too sick to function. After a few weeks I would give up on fasting and instead donate a lot of food to the local soup kitchen. Is that permissible in Shia Islam? Should we just donate food in place of fasting because we have to be traveling constantly during Ramadan? 5. How do prayers work on a plane? I've never had to deal with praying while changing time zones before. Jazakallah khair in advance!
  9. Thank you very much for answering, brother. JazakAllah khair!
  10. Assalamualaikum, I am a new convert to Shia Islam. I have some questions about menstruation and salat. 1. Do we have to make up salat missed during menstruation, or is dhikr during the time of menstruation sufficient? 2. My period is very irregular, sometimes lasting full months at a time. Do I just not do salat for months? Or is there a time when it becomes permissible to do salat during menstruation? Thank you.
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