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In the Name of God بسم الله

Mark Enlightment

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    Damascus/South Lebanon.
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    Shia Islam
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    Usually Good, Occasionally Miserable.
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    Linguistics, Phonetics & Phonology, Reading for Personal Entertainment.

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  1. When it comes to a mosque environment, I'd try to avoid disputes (even rightful ones) as it could be makruh or haram in some cases. Sunnis don't seem to have an issue with debates in mosques though. I remember praying in a one once when a bearded salafi asked me in front of the Imam "why are you doing x and y" and after answering him he said to him "have you spoken to him yet?". I found this very disrespectful and immediately rose and said "I'd like to pray" and prayed Asr while loudly saying the bismillah. Unfortunately, the best kalam books are in either Persian or Arabic, and the translation movement is still slow. I have a long list that I gathered in Arabic with the best materials I could find so I don't know how useful it could be for you.
  2. While it is one of the safer supplements, there are reports about it having adverse effects. Just Google: "protein powder risks" and you'll come across a lot of articles about that, many of which are from reputable sites.
  3. I agree. Unfortunately, supplements are part of the contemporary body-building culture and protein powder is an essential part if it. Most of the bodies these athletes show are unobtainable without such supplements. Strangely, women do not seem fascinated by such abnornal muscles as much as men.
  4. There are many views of "fitra" among our scholars, and the traditions aren't restricted to Tawheed (God's existence) to merely understand it for that. 1. You are born with the knowledge that God exist, Muhammed is His messenger, and Ali is his successor. This is virtually the most basic understanding of it and is quite widespread (especially among Sunnis minus the imamat part), and some scholars understand it as such. Some scholars rebuked this view as being contrary to what we know as people born in tropical jungles or far away deserts cannot believe in Islam before hearing about it, and that children are born literally clueless. 2. Fitra traditions merely talk about their time in an Islamic state, where everyone is born educated about Islam until their parents change that with their own beliefs. Sharif al-Murtadha (رضي الله عنه) advocated this understanding. 3. You are born ready to accept the above mentioned beliefs, but not actually believing in it. 4. I don't recall reading scholars advocating this, but some traditions give hints that we knew about the above-mentioned beliefs from past worlds then we forgot about them as we were born, and hence how people naturally look for God and messengers (and leaders) could be justified by this "forgotten" knowledge. Personally, 1 seems unrealistic to me and all the others are possible.
  5. Everything a woman does to please her husband in their private life is mustahab, but you should avoid supplements as many are reportedly unhealthy. Also you should be sure that your husband is interested in x and y before making a hard-to-revert decision.
  6. There's a disagreement on what could mahram women show to their male counterparts. Some scholars believe that everything from the navel to the thighs should be covered, while others merely disallow the genitals (and yes, breasts are by concensus fine). Bear in mind that this is noticeably less than what religious people typically cover, and that if special circumstances arise (for example: you believe that they lustfully look at you) you should cover more. Refer to your marja to be on the safe side. Sayyed Sistani has an obligatory precaution in covering the above-mentioned in-betweens. This is also mentioned just before issue 1253 in Urwa Al Wuthqa. TL;DR: t-shirt covering the navel and what's under it is fine. Some scholars do not allow shorts revealing the thighs but this isn't universal. If you're worried from fitna you should cover more.
  7. Update: After a little of searching, the fatwa does indeed exist in Muntakhab al-Masael's English translation by "Muhammed Yasser Kimyaeri Far".. but not in the original thing in Arabic (?). The English issue is numbered 1160, while the corresponding Arabic issue is numbered 566 (which merely permits marriage with Kitabis and declares Zoroastrians and Sabians as being ones). I can't read Persian nor do I have the Persian edition to check this further.
  8. This is completely against our traditions.. mut'ah is a marriage and God forbade us from marrying non-Kitabis. He seems aware of that and hence insists that the women mustn't get pregnant as no scholar would deem them halal children or would except this case to fall under "circumstances define the means". It's not that marriage with non-kitabis is merely haram, but that it cannot actually happen. No circumstances can ever change this. What should happen is that one should tell her to either become Muslim or forget about a relationship, in fact it just requires the two testimonies for that and many women would willingly say it just to enter a relationship. Sayyed Rohani 'ha' and many other scholar insist that merely saying the testimonies is enough. In fact this fatwa is most luckily a mistake by his office, which is why it was removed from the English site.
  9. I usually tell my friends to either see the girl alone (with decently of course) or enter an engagement period to know her better, but it should be clear that he is entering it to know her and decide after, and not as a start for a commitment for marriage. Some families throw insane 'late mahr' at you to stop you for divorcing when you don't like her (which is makruh BTW as it's far more than the sunnah mahr), or spread that "he wants to marry my daughter " when you haven't actually seen her to decide, usually even when you just visit their home to see her which socially terrorises you to marry her! The world is far from being favourable to Muslim men in deciding how to marry when one isn't directly talking to their potential-spouse.
  10. I separate them unless I feel tired, or in rain/heat/travel cases, or merely in a hurry for something. Most Twelvers combine them for no reason, but Twelvers schoolers uniformly agree that it's better to separate them in normal circumstances, but if one doesn't wish to his prayers are definitely valid.
  11. You can't willingly join any military service whatsoever without the approval of your marja, whether it was a Shia nation (like Iran) or an Christian/multi nation (like the USA), or a whatever-you-call-it (like Syria). With the USA you have the issue that many of their actions worldwide are definitely haram, like the Afghanistan war where they commonly attacked civilians. And even if a scholar allowed you to, you are doing this for your own good, not for your 'nation's', whatever that geographic piece of land would want anyway.
  12. They are. Hashemites are numerous and literally even Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (la) had a valid family tree. In general, the Hashemites that claim descent from Imam Hassan (عليه السلام) tend to follow madhabs other than Twelverism, while noticeably more Hussaynis are Twelvers. This reflects a historical development where -at some point- Hassanis decided to deny Twelvers' Imams' imamat and believed in their Zaydi version of imamat, and later left Zaydism to Sunnism except in Northern Yemen, most luckily for political reasons. Strangely, the rifa'i Sufi chain in Jordan (which claims descent from Imam Musa al-Kadhim) has beliefs similar to a combination of Batri Zaydism and Ash'arism.
  13. You become Shia by believing in our beliefs and following our fiqh, not by saying anything in particular or undertaking a Christian-like baptism. If you wish to affirm your belief in Shiaism, you could recite the third testimony although this is by no means obligatory. Early sources record it as Ali Ameeru al-mo'mineen although it is said today as Ali Waliyu Allah, and many contemporaries combine them as Ameeru al-mo'mineen Ali waliyu Allah.
  14. By Sunni beards I'll discuss the 4 mathhabs and Salafis, and by Shia beards I'll discuss what our scholars do and advise. Many laymen merely do whatever their scholar or marja merely allows but not what he recommends. According to a tradition (which Sayyed Hakim "ra" had a fatwa with) its makruh to shorten the front of your beard unless it becomes the size of your fist where you grab it and cut whatever remains. Very few Shia scholars took this tradition to imply this to be haram, although none our alive now. For some reason not many Shia know of this and hence keep trimming the front. Sunni-Shia beards generally agree on this point although scholars from both sides disagree whether it's wajib to not cut the front before that, with far more Sunni scholars (3 whole mathhabs out of the 4) considering it to be so. Some Sunnis consider it makruh (Shafi'is, who ironically consider beard shaving as makruh too while other mathhabs view it to be haram) or even haram (half of Salafis) to cut anything from the front even if it reaches fist-length unless it becomes quite ugly. This is a stark difference from Shiaism that views cutting whatever remains of the fist as being mustahab, very mustahab, or even wajib. ISIS was reported to force its terrorist members to wear double-fisted beards. Strangely, some Salafi scholars, while not having a single hadith saying so, attribute this not-cutting-at-all practise to the Prophet. By far the most major difference between Sunni and Shia beards is how all Shia scholars agree that it's allowed or mustahab to cut some of the beard sides even when it's not at fist-length, while most Sunnis do not distinguish between the front and the sides. The ugly sides are almost always a dead giveaway that you are seeing a Sunni, but the opposite isn't necessary true. This is because Sunni saheeh hadiths (or traditions) do not make any distinction between the two, while many Shia hadiths do. Also, Shia have traditions deeming it makruh not to take care of one's beard by cutting some of it, while Sunnis don't and hence some of them do not cut a single hair from it, but this is restricted today to Salafis although many Sunni mathhabs have similar fatwas. Also, Sunnis tend to avoid black-colouring of their beards and use other colours instead, while Shia nowadays rarely colour their hair or beards although it's mustahab in their traditions, especially with a black colour.
  15. The thing is, you do not worship God like how you wish to, but how He wishes to. Metaphorically speaking, you can't legally enter a house by climbing on the roof-top without the house's owner's permission. The following are important differences in Sunni-Shia prayers: 1. Most Shia scholars view folding hands as being forbidden and nullifies the prayer. Scholars who do not (who are a minority) view this action as being makruh. Note that this practice only gained fame decades after the Prophet's death, which many Sunni Maliki scholars affirm (which they declare so by the consensus of Madina's scholars, which is a valid source for Islamic law in Malikism). 2. Saying amen after the fatiha, which Sunnis usually do loudly. This is merely due to our traditions revoking it. 3. Saying the salam before the tashahud, especially "assalamu alaynah wa wala aibadi allahi al saliheen", which Sunnis do as they follow what ibn Masoud did and is considered a mistake by him in Shiaism. 4. Doing sujud on something not from Earth or from its plants. Ironically, Sunnis have traditions that the prophet used to prostrate on khumrah or sa'eed, which are made from plants (but instead of declaring that praying on them is permissible, they take it to imply that this allows praying on everything). The Quran also praises the Prophet's companions for the marks on their foreheads, which cannot happen from praying on prayer carpets and rugs. 5. Few scholars declare the resting sitting after the second sujud in each rakat to be obligatory, which Sunnis don't usually do. 6. Our tashahud is slightly different. Bear in mind that this is merely an issue when you pray alone or in a Shia mosque, when praying with Sunnis you can do what normally nullifies your prayer (especially the sujud part) as taqiyah is allowed and ordered (in a mustahab manner) by God in our traditions, hence you aren't doing something that God does not want for your prayers to be invalid. And when praying with Sunni Muslims, the vast majority of scholars do not require you to be afraid from imminent harm to do so (this doesn't apply to other sects, hence you can't pray like how Ibadis and Zaydis do or prostrate on prayer rugs in their mosques unless you are under real danger that forces you to). Also, I cannot stress this enough but the Sunni wudhu is definitely invalid in Shiaism with no exceptions whatsoever, unless you are in a taqiyyah circumstance (and the scholars who allow praying without imminent danger from and with Sunnis might not allow so for the wudhu, like Sayyed Sistani who distinguishes between the two).
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