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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. This question is nagging at me because I am starting a new job in a few weeks inshaAllah, and I am trying to plan in advance so I can strengthen the resolve not to touch non-mahrams. My question is, what exactly do you say to people? I used to be much better at this, but since entering into a field that tends to emphasize progressive thought, my nafs has at times compelled me to shake hands with men to send some sort of message that despite my hijab I am open-minded and committed to gender equality. I feel like I have something to prove, as though my willingness to touch non-mahrams will somehow set me apart in their minds from cultures of illiteracy and honor killings. I know this is deeply problematic because, of course, what others think is irrelevant when put up against my relationship with God (not to mention the fact that these non-mahrams probably don't give a second thought to the fact that I touched them without protest). But in that split second of decision making, shyness and the temptation to take the easy way out and not make a big deal of it can win out over logic and reason. I have a feeling that if I can string together an eloquent and concise explanation and practice saying it, it would be the perfect weapon to help me overcome this weakness. But part of me wonders if the desire for such a zinger is just a symptom of worldly egoism that I should fight. Should I just not say anything at all unless someone asks? I think I could get by with a gesture and a smile in most situations, but that would leave me worried about misunderstandings. If you do say something to non-mahrams, what do you say? Does this differ depending on whether they have Muslim backgrounds? "My faith doesn't allow me to touch men" sounds a bit too much like it is an external constraint rather than a jihad against my own nafs. "I don't feel comfortable shaking hands with members of the opposite sex" sounds like I am trying to hide the religious motivation and might cause the other person to take offense. (As a side note, I must say alhamdulillah for this forum--I was a bit tempted to get in touch with young man I've heard declines handshakes and introduce myself and chat him up on the pretense of seeking his advice on how to deal with this issue in the workplace--so the mere existence of this thread has helped me avoid creating one morally suspect situation for myself and another).
  2. I am so confused about haydh/istihadha. It is really embarrassing because it's been over a decade that I have been dealing with these questions, but it seems like every time I am unsure about something and read the same few lines of rulings, my confusion grows worse. My period does not have a fixed time and I don't think it has a fixed duration, but maybe it does and I just can't tell because of my uncertainty about what is and is not haydh. It usually starts off light for a few hours, without the characteristics of haydh, but then it darkens and thickens (I have no idea about warmth and gushing, I have never noticed this as my flow is body temperature and I guess just drips). Is this beginning part considered haydh? More importantly, my period always tapers off such that the last few days are pink then brownish, but light, like it is diluted. It seems to match the description of istihadha, but since istihadha is meant to be odd bleeding, I am not sure whether this tapering off time should be considered istihadha. Is it? Timewise, I have something like 4-6 days of dark blood and 1-2 days of pinkish brown discharge. Anyways, last night my discharge was mostly pinkish, with a little bit of redder blood, and I didn't do ghusl because I didn't think or wasn't sure my period was over. This morning, it is just pinkish brown, and I don't expect any more blood blood, just more of this flow, and I am confused about my fast. I can stay on the safe side and do ghusl and not eat until maghrib, but I am not sure about my intention (haydh or istihadha). Please help! Honestly, part of me just wants to hear that my fast won't count regardless because I feel so bewildered by my confusion that I really could use some comfort food right now. In future years, should I do ghusl before going to bed when my period might be ending soon just in case it has ended? I follow Sistani, by the way.
  3. bringing up an old thread for a new question: i am planning to move to istanbul soon and was wondering if anyone knew how i could find either a shia masjid or a masjid where there are lectures [in order of my preference] in english, farsi, or arabic (or dare i hope a shia masjid where one of these languages are spoken). google is not helping me. are there any sites with lists of shia masajid around the world?
  4. does anyone know if this station will be back on the air?
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