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In the Name of God بسم الله

Important Questions - ANSWERED!

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Question #68: What is the Islamic law on Forex trading? Is Forex trading permissible in Islam? Please shed some light in this regard.

The foreign exchange market (forex, or currency market) is a global decentralized market for the trading of currencies such as rial, dollar, euro, pound, yen, dinar, etc.).  If one who intends to trade currency, feels the value of a certain currency is going up, he will buy it and when its value dwindles, he sells it, or he buys expensive currencies and then after a while he sells the currency to gain profit.

Currency trading and exchange first occurred in ancient times. Money-changing people, people helping others to change money and also taking a commission or charging a fee were living in old times. Currency and exchange was also a vital and crucial element of trade during the ancient world so that people could buy and sell items like food, pottery and raw materials. There were times when a proxy was appointed for such trading. The agent would conduct the transaction and the profit or loss would be incurred by the capital owner.

There is no problem in such a transaction according to Islamic law because it enjoys all the necessary condition of a valid transaction, not to mention the fact that it lacks any conditions that might run counter to Shari'ah. Therefore it is permissible as per the Islamic law.

However, what is now currently known as forex or currency market faces certain problems and difficulties causing it to become haram and impermissible. Some of these problems are the following:

1. Most of those who claim to be in the cyberspace working as forex agents and running weblogs or websites are not real people. The transactions carried out on their part are therefore fraudulent and meant to rip traders off their wealth. The aim is to deceive people and rob them of their capital and invested property. Since the companies are fake and do not refer to any specific place, the victim has no way to get back what he has lost. So he loses all his property.

2. Some other people who are working as forex agents or at least claiming to be so are real people enabling participants to have their own special webpage to see their balance as well as the transactions carried out. The report is provided on daily basis and the client goes on thinking that the report is real and he trusts them but that is a fake report shown on his webpage because they invest elsewhere and for other purposes such as smuggling etc. This kind of trading is absolutely not permissible because the company does not fulfill the conditions and the client's capital is not used for buying and selling currency.

3. Some other people who are working as forex agents or at least claiming to be so are real people and are really doing currency trade but they make such stipulations as part of the contract that are quite opposed to Islamic Shari'ah or religious laws. For instance, it is stipulated that at times when there is no transaction the capital should be lent to a company or bank so that he could receive interest at the end. Such a condition inserted in the contract makes the transaction void because the transaction has been carried out with a haram (unlawful) condition. Therefore, trading in such a market is also haram.

The conclusion is that if forex trading which is done on the internet is conducted in accordance with all the conditions necessary for a valid transaction i.e. the agents are real and known and everything is done in accordance with the demand of the capital owner and legal conditions put forth by him, there would be no problem. In addition, the rules of the country about capital and secondary contracts should be lawful.

It should be noted that the central bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran also carries out Forex trading. Since Islamic rules are observed in these banks, there is no objection to them and there is no problem taking part in the trading.[1]

Index
Grand religious authority's answers to the above question are as under:[2]

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei (may Allah grant him long life):
There is no problem in exchanging one currency with another non-homogenous currency insofar as the law of the country does not forbid it. The profit which is earned is halal but the agents validating the capital of the trader, if it is in the form of a loan given to the trader which is definitely interest-bearing, in this case the transaction is not permissible according to Shari'ah law.

Grand Ayatollah Sistani (may Allah grant him long life):
Grand Ayatollah Sistani does not allow his followers to get into such transactions.

Grand Ayatollah Saafi Gulpaigani (may Allah grant him long life):
Since the transaction in the currency market is formal and there is no real transaction conducted, therefore the transaction is not valid. 

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (may Allah grant him long life):
Given the fact that forex lack the required Shar'ei conditions, therefore it is not permissible.

Notes [1] and [2] are at the source: http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa7782

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Question #69: How can we gain nearness to Allah (awj)?

Nearness to Allah from the view point of Qur`an and Hadith

Because Allah (awj) encompasses all things14, it does not make sense that He be distant from something. Therefore, the nearness of Allah (awj) to His servant is true in all cases and situations. Conversely, it is not always the case that man is always close to Allah and it is a state that man must strive to obtain. Therefore if man wants to become closer to Allah (awj) and to strengthen this relationship, he should obtain the nearness to Allah (awj) by means of good actions and obedience to Allah (awj) as Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir (ع) has said, “Nearness to Allah can only be found through obedience to Him.”15  In doing this, he enters the beginning of spiritual vicegerency or the succour of Allah (awj).

It has been related that “Prayer is the nearness of every pious person”16 and concerning the religious tax it has been related that “the zakat (has been made) with the prayers a means of nearness.”17  These are things that bring one close to Allah (awj).

When this nearness is achieved, man becomes the friend of Allah (awj) and Allah (awj) becomes the friend of man. Verses such as the following clearly point to this two-way friendship:

“If you love Allah, follow me. It will make Allah love you...18

Performing all those actions that in principle bring you close to Allah (awj) is the means to Allah’s (awj) nearness provided that man performs them for Allah (awj). In other words, these actions must not only be good in themselves, but they must be carried out in the best way and with the proper intentions (i.e. goodness of both act and agent is required).

As to the acts, they are of two kinds: obligatory and recommended. Just as reaching heaven has obligations and recommended acts, so too reaching the highest degrees of humanity (that in itself is a type of heaven) has its obligations and recommended actions. Understanding and sincerity both have great bearing in this regard and can be considered mutually necessary to the extent that when understanding increases sincerity also increases.

On the other hand, the Qur`an considers actions to be a means of reaching understanding19. Of course, the understanding and certain knowledge thus obtained is not the certainty with respect to Allah (awj), since the former certainty is the cause of worship and not, as in the case of the latter certainty, the highest effect and product of worship. The latter certainty is the certainty of Allah (awj) and the knowledge of Him in all His unlimited attributes.

The remainder of the moral methods that lead to nearness can be considered as recommended. As Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (ع) has said, “Amongst the things that Allah revealed to prophet Dawud was this, ‘O Dawud, just as humble people are the nearest people to Allah, the proud ones are the farthest people from Allah.”20 

It is clear, however, that humility and good morals or kindness are recommended or secondary acts in obtaining nearness to Allah (awj) whereas the primary principle remains understanding and the worship of Allah (awj). In the words of the Noble Prophet (ص) “O Abu Dharr, worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you do not see Him, He sees you.”21 In other words, your knowledge and understanding should be “presential” or intuitive and direct knowledge.

For more information, see the source: https://www.al-islam.org/faith-and-reason-ayatullah-mahdi-hadavi-tehrani/question-6-nearness-Allah

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Question #70: What happened to Aisha, the wife of the Prophet of Islam (S) after the Battle of Jamal? Was she living under house arrest for a period of time?

The battle of Jamal was the first battle that took place between two opposing groups of Muslims after some of the Prophet’s companions broke their allegiance and stood against Imam Ali (AS). In this battle, those who opposed Imam Ali (AS) were from different Arab tribes and groups. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet of Islam (S), was one of the most influential and prominent figures in the army. However, following her defeat, she extremely regretted her decision to fight Ali (AS). The trauma left her devastated with psychological problems.  After the battle of Jamal, Aisha used to remind herself of the Quranic verse which says, وَ قَرْنَ في بُيُوتِكُنَّ “And stay indoors”[1]. As per the reports, she wept so vehemently that her scarf became wet.[2]
 
As well, she was weeping a lot when she was nearing her death. She used to say, “The battle of Jamal has stuck in my throat like a bone; I wish I had died before it and was forgotten.”[3]
 
With that said, we shall now deal with what happened to Aisha following the battle until she reached Medina.
 
Aisha and the End of the Battle of Jamal
 
A group of Kufis attacked a camel [which carried Aisha] and made the people around the camel to disperse.  There and then, a man from Murad tribe named A’ayun bin Zabighah” reached the camel and severed its legs.  The camel let out a loud cry in pain and collapsed on the dead bodies of the Battle.  Aisha’s kajawa (howdah) also turned over. Ali ordered Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (Aisha’s brother) by saying: “Go to your sister!  Muhammad stretched his hand into the kajawa until it reached Aisha’s dress.  Aisha asked: “We are from Allah, Who are you? May your mother mourn your death and weep over you (for having dared to extend your hands to the wife the Prophet).”
 
“I am your brother, Muhammad,” Muhammad bin Abi Bakr replied.[4]
 
Imam Ali (AS) stepped forth until he reached the howdah. Her howdah began to look like a hedgehog, with the many arrows sticking out of it. Imam Ali (AS) hit the howdah with his stick and said: “O Humaira, did you want to conspire my death in the same way as you conspired [Uthman] bin ‘Affan’s death? Was that God’s order or that of the Prophet (S)?!”
 
Aisha answered: “Now that you have prevailed, I want you to forgive me.”
 
The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (AS) said to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr: “Go and see if your sister has been injured?” Muhammad examined Aisha’s condition and saw that only one arrow had pierced through his sister’s garment and had left a small bruise. He informed the Imam about it. The Imam (AS) said to him: “Take her to the house of Khaza’ei’s children (Abdullah and Uthman).”[5]
 
Thereupon, a few people lifted the howdah and brought her out of the dead bodies and then helped her ride on a donkey. She was escorted to that house.[6]
 
A few days later, Imam Ali (AS) said to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr: “Go with your sister and accompany her to Medina and then come back quickly.” Muhammad said: “O Commander of the Faithful, excuse me from doing this!”
 
Imam Ali (AS) said: “No way, I cannot excuse you.”[7]
 
Meanwhile, Imam Ali (AS) readied forty women to take care of Aisha and ordered them to wear turbans and carry with them swords like men and let not anyone know about them.  (Even Aisha who was being accompanied did not know about it.) Aisha used to say during the journey, “May God afflict the son of Abi Talib with such and such ...who has delegated unrelated men to accompany me!”  But when they arrived in Medina, the accompanying women removed their turbans and scarves and went to Aisha. Seeing them (and realizing the truth), she said: “May Allah grant Paradise to Ali bin Abi Talib.”[8]
 
This story has been narrated somewhat differently elsewhere:
 
When Aisha moved to Medina, Imam Ali (AS) delegated Aisha’s brother, Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr[9] and thirty men and twenty women from Bani Qays and Hamdan tribes ordering them to be at Aisha’s service.  When Aisha arrived in Medina, she was asked: “How was your journey and how did Ali behave with you?!”
 
She answered, “By Allah, it went well and the son of Abi Talib forgave too many times and behaved too benevolently but he made some men to accompany which I did not like!”
 
Hearing this, the women who had accompanied her introduced themselves and when she learned the truth, she prostrated and said: “By Allah, O son of Abi Talib, you treated me with respect and dignity. I wish I had not rebelled even if many different afflictions had befallen me.”[10]
 
Was Aisha put under house arrest or not?
 
According to historical reports, following the battle of Camel, Imam Ali (AS) ordered his comrades to take Aisha to Abdullah bin Khalaf Khazā’ei’s house[11] who was one of the men who fought in Aisha’s army but he was killed and his wife, named Safiyyah, was present there in the house.[12]
 
When it comes to Aisha’s stay in this house and whether or not it was a kind of house arrest, it is necessary to take notice of the following points:
 
1. Following the battle, there were some people who rebuked Aisha and even swore at her. In common view, this action on the part on the individuals who had lost their dear and near in the battle which had been ignited by Aisha seemed a natural reaction but Imam Ali (AS) forbade them from swearing at her and even punished them.[13]
 
2. Although Aisha complained about the people who accompanied her thinking they were men, there are historical narrations (some of which were mentioned above) in which there is no mention of any complaint by Aisha about Imam Ali’s approach in how the latter treated the former.
 
3. There is a report in the history that can shed some light and give us a picture of the situation prevailing in the house in which Aisha stayed:
 
To meet Aisha, Imam Ali (AS) went to Abdullah bin Khalaf’s house which was then the biggest house in Basra. Therein, he met some women who were wailing and crying over the death of Abdullah’s two sons one of whom had been killed alongside Imam Ali’s army and the other had been killed while fighting for the Basra army!
 
Safiyyah, Abdullah’s wife was also crying and when she saw Imam Ali (AS), she said: “You murderer! You bereaved me of those whom I loved (husband and two sons), you spread discord among the people, may Allah bereave you of your sons as you bereaved Abdullah of his sons.”
 
Imam Ali (AS) did not answer her. He went to Aisha, greeted her and sat beside her. Thereupon he said:  “Safiyyah picked up a quarrel with me, I had not seen her ever since she was a child.”[14]

In view of these historical reports and the facts that were mentioned above, it becomes clear that sending Aisha to the said house was not meant to put her under complete house arrest. Rather she had to stay in Basra for some time until she was ready for return. Imam Ali (AS) considered a big and capacious place for her accommodation and those who lived in that house were also her supporters.  If she had to stay there in that house – even if we assume that she was compelled to stay there for some time – it was for her good and comfort. Moreover, there is no report to indicate that Aisha lived under house arrest after she returned to Medina, one of his governorates.

With that said, it cannot be concluded that Imam Ali (AS) had no right to put her under house arrest and if he had put her under house arrest, it would have been considered an inappropriate action by him. In fact, even though the Imam (AS) had the right to put her under house arrest, he forgave her out of respect for the Prophet, peace be upon him and his family.

Sources at the site: http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa56063

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Question #71: How do I stop wasting time? In the age of computer gaming, smart phones, endless numbers of Apps, and Whatsapp – in other words, a world in which there has been an explosion in the amount of information we are exposed to everyday – many of us find it hard to manage our time the way we probably should be Islamically. So what does Islam say about time-wasting and making full use of one’s time? This question is especially relevant for say, the youth who spend several hours straight every day playing computer games, or any other thing which is of no real benefit – neither for their worldly life, and more importantly, for their afterlife. So in addition to the first question, what can we say to such youths in particular in order to motivate them to make better use of their time before their youth is over?

Answer:

Whether they play on Xbox or online, video game players enter fictional worlds filled with witches, elves, dragons, or war games which promote killing, hatred with a passion, racism and not to mention vulgar language, etc. Like any other industry, video game designers aim to make profit, which means they want you to play more. Thus, whether you play as a single player or online with multiplayers, your games are designed to get you addicted, because you have to either complete the mission or aim for a higher score, and hence these games will have no ending. That is why most gamers are obsessed with video games and spend far too much time playing. A teenager was referred to me by his mother for spending 17 hours every day on video gaming! I think we are soon heading towards rehab hospitals for virtual game addicts!

Treatment

To treat Internet and game addiction like any other behavioural disorder, it is essential to be educated about their negative effects and then implementing a bit of will power to make a change.

Most of us are unaware of the personal and familial repercussions from computer games and social media until we are addicted and have lost our health and family.

If you feel restless or irritated when you are unable to play or attend your social media, if you are lying to friends and family members regarding the amount of time you spend playing or messaging, and if you are depressed and enjoy isolating yourself from others in order to spend more time gaming, lo and behold! You are already addicted and your health and family are at stake!

Due to the lack of education as to how and when we may use the Internet, cyber family and friends are replacing real family and friendship. Many people build relations with strangers at the cost of losing their near of kin. Imagine a man who is leaning on his couch in the dining room texting his virtual friends. He often laughs or wonders. His wife on the other side of the room tries to speak to him but he is too indulged in his virtual conversation! It is irritating, isn’t it?! As a result, her initial love turns into disliking her husband. As much as love is associated with trust, hatred begets suspicion and thus their family turmoil begins. Alternatively, this becomes a norm and the wife begins her own virtual world of family and friends.

Suggested Treatments

1. Your capital is melting!

Time is the fourth required passage of existence to specify an event. The other three being spatial coordinates. Every one of us enjoys only a limited and finite units of time and hence we are all mortal beings. It is such a precious asset that the Almighty Allah takes an oath by it: “By the time.”! (The Holy Qu’ran, Surah 103)

Time is the only worldly capital that is invisible yet irreplaceable. It is the only capital from which all worldly and hereafterly capitals stem. Time is our main capital to buy our eternal abode and infinite prosperity in the hereafter. It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s): “When we wake up to every new day (or enter a night), it will be said to us: “O son of Adam! I am a new day, and I witness you, so say and do good in me to testify for you on the Resurrection Day. Surely, you shall never see me again”. (al-Kaafi vol. 2 p. 523)

How strange that when a few dollars are stolen from us we cry and complain, yet we generously hand over our life capital for video games and Internet surfing?! How strange that we grieve over the loss of a few dollars in a deal but so generously give out hours of our life?! Isn’t this strange that we don’t even treat our ‘time’ as money?! Abu-dhar asked the holy Prophet (P) about ‘time wasting’. Allah’s Messenger said: “O Abu-dhar! Be stingier on your ‘time’ than your dollars and cents.”

Sheykh Mohammad Z. Razi (died in 925AD) was an Iranian chemist and philosopher. He has written a book in ethical psychology called ‘Spiritual medicine’. In the preface of his book he says: “This book is not useful for those who do not value themselves and their life!” 

Unfortunately, most of us do not value the time in our life until we lose it all. Thus, it is narrated that most of the cries of the people of Hell is ‘their regret for delaying’. Thus, one of the names of the Resurrection Day is a ‘Day of Regret’!

When I was a student I used to read short Arabic stories to improve my Arabic. The following is one of the stories I will never forget:

On a hot burning day, a man was selling blocks of ice. He was calling out: “O people! Have mercy on me whose capital is melting!” Perhaps that is why the Almighty Allah states: “By the time! Certainly man is in a manifest loss.” (Surah 103). We really do not value the time in our life.

2. Islam is the religion of time management

Islam theoretically and practically has been disciplining its adherents to manage their time. The Daily Prayer is the most significant worshipping act in Islam, yet God has allocated a fixed and limited time for it. Muslims are not expected to spend all hours of their days for praying. Fasting is another important worshipping act, yet, God has designated a special month and fixed hours to its observance. Likewise, Hajj is an obligatory pilgrimage only for limited days.

The Imams of Ahlulbayt (a.s) advised their followers to manage their time wisely. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: “Surely an intelligent person divides his days to gain a provision for his hereafter and to make living and the third is seeking some permissible pleasure.” (al-Mahasan, 2:345)

Once an old man made an appointment to seek some knowledge from Imam Sadiq (a.s). As soon as the Imam answered his questions, the holy Imam let the person go and excused himself by saying “I am very stingy for my time, so you may leave please.”

3. Manage your time

On the Day of Judgment we will all be asked about ‘how we spent the days of our lives? It is only wise to mark yourself before being marked. Before you shut down your day, check your mobile and tablet and find out how many hours you have spent today for games and social media? Then sincerely ask yourself what did you gain in return? Did you really need to know all that you were told today?! There are many project management software you can use to manage the hours of your days. Use one of them, and next time when you want to start a game or an Internet chat, click on ‘billable meeting’! Remember even ‘Salaat’ has a fixed and limited time! Repeat to yourself several times a day ‘it is ok to turn my mobile off’. You don’t have to be available at all times.

4. Find a replacement

One of the behavioural syndromes of the ‘only child’ where both parents work is to naturally resort to games and social media. Some psychologists refer to being an only child as a ‘disease in itself’. A child who has no siblings to play with nor receives enough parental attention will naturally look for alternatives. Even at a family get together a lot of their time is spent in silence in front of a television or computer screen! Honestly, we parents are the first to be blamed. We all like to take a break from work, school, even family and children, but when was the last time you took a break from your mobile phone?!

A couple came to my office yesterday for counselling. The man was complaining that he cannot tolerate his rival! “My wife spends far more intimate time with him than me,” cried the man! I thought she was having an affair, but then I realized his rival was her mobile phone! She sleeps with it, wakes up with it, goes shopping with it, and even goes to the bathroom with it!!! Parents and couples need to take a ‘social media vacation’ and spend more time together in real activities. Social media are more of intervening agencies, causing more separation between those who live under one ceiling, yet connecting those living physically far from each other! Most people use games and social media to fill up their free time. Time management and implementing real activities for leisure kicks futile games out of your life.

5. Watch your spiritual food

The Almighty Allah states: “Then let man look at his food.” (Surah 80, Ayah 24). Any information sent to us is a kind of food we take. As many of us watch our food diet, we also need a media diet, Internet diet, and gaming diet! Make sure you are very selective of your online games and chats. Don’t let ‘others’ decide what you play and what you read. Let your intelligence and religious conscience scan them first.

6. Observe piety of media

Today you no longer need to pop into your news agency to see a porno magazine or walk in Oxford Street to see nudity. No need to go to your local RSL Club for gambling. They are all available at your fingertips and in the privacy of your smart phone! Today’s technology is yet another divine challenge to filter true Muslims from hypocrites whose Islamic speech and appearance impresses you but in their so-called privacy they are the worst creatures of God because they lack the piety of media! Before you press a button or touch your mouse remember what God says to you: “Knows he not that Allah does see (what he does).”(Surah 96, Ayah 14)

Remember we are mortal beings and usually no notice of vacancy will be given. Death suddenly falls upon us. What will happen if you die whilst playing a haram game or engaged in a haram chat?!

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Question #72 : What is the answer for a traveller and when he should break his fast?

The distance that determines taqseer* and fast breaking according to Sunni and Shia:

The Muslim scholars disagreed upon the distance that made it obligatory for a traveler to shorten the prayer and to break the fasting. 

Sunni:

Abu Haneefa, his companions and the people of Kufa said that the least distance for the traveler to shorten his prayer and to break his fasting was a three-day travel.15

Ash-Shafi’iy, Malik, Ahmad and many others said: “The prayer is shortened and fasting is broken in Ramadan after passing a distance of sixteen farsakhs16going only (not the total distance of going and coming back.”

The Zahirites17 said: “Taqseer and fast breaking is in every travel even in near travels.”

Ibn Rushd said in his book al-Bidaya wen Nihaya when talking about the prayer in travel: “The reason behind their disagreement is because the reasonable meaning of taqseer and fast breaking in travel objects to the reported sayings in this concern. The effect of travel on taqseer and fast breaking is because of the hardship travel causes to the traveler.

If it is so, then taqseer and fast breaking will be wherever hardship is. According to Abu Haneefa hardship doesn’t happen except after passing three stages (three-day travel) and according to ash-Shafi’iy, Malik and Ahmad it happens after passing sixteen farsakhs. As for those, who didn’t care but to the wording like the Zahirites, they said: “The Prophet (s) said that Allah had made the traveler free from fasting and halved the prayer for him. Hence whoever is called a traveler may shorten the prayer and break fasting.” They evidenced their thought by a tradition mentioned by Muslim that Omar bin al-Khattab had said that the Prophet (s) used to shorten the prayer after about seventeen miles.”

Hence the imams of the four Sunni sects didn’t depend, when specifying the distance, upon an evidence out of the Prophet’s sayings or doings but they depended upon a philosophy called “the reasonable meaning”. This would satisfy neither the infallible imams of the Prophet’s progeny nor the Shia in deducing the legal laws.

When the people of Mecca, during the age of the Prophet (s), Abu Bakr and Omar, went out of Mecca towards Arafat, they offered qasr prayer in Arafat, al-Muzdalifa and Mina.18 This was confirmed by the all with no doubt.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim mentioned in their Sahihs that the Prophet (s) offered qasr prayer when he went out of Mecca to Arafat. So did Abu Bakr and Omar after the Prophet (s). Othman offered qasr prayer and then offered tamam prayer after six years of his caliphate and the people denied that of him.19

Imam Malik said that offering qasr prayer by the pilgrims in these places was a certain Sunna whether for the people of Mecca or the people of the distant countries.20 You might refer to the jurisprudence of the Malikites.

Shia:

The Shia says that the traveler has to offer qasr prayer after passing eight farsakhs21 whether going or four farsakhs going and four farsakhs coming back like the distance between Mecca and Arafat. It was the least distance, in which the Prophet (s) had offered qasr prayer and this was the most certain evidence. Praise be to Allah.

* Taqseer (infinitive) is offering the shortened form of prayer (two rak’as instead of four) by a traveler.

Source: https://www.al-islam.org/juristic-questions-sayyid-abdul-husayn-sharafuddeen/travelers-taqseer-and-fast-breaking#distance-determines-taqseer-and-fast-breaking

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Question #73: If I start Ramadhan in one city and then I travel and finish the month of Ramadhan in another city, what is my duty especially in regards to Laylat al-Qadr or Eidul Fitr? That is because in one city they started fasting on Monday and in another city they started Ramadhan on Tuesday. What should I do? Do I continue what I started or do I follow what the local city is doing?

You must act according to the horizon of the place where you are currently in. Hence, the Night of Qadr and also Eidul Fitr are determined on the same place.
Some grand religious authorities’ answers to this question are as under:[1]

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei (may Allah grant him long life):
You must act according to the horizon of the place where you are currently in.

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (may Allah grant him long life):
Wherever you are, you should act according to the horizon of the same place. You must note that ‘night’ means that the shadow of part of the earth falls on the other part. Therefore, if the Night of Qadr starts in Mecca, the Night of Qadr continues until the shadow takes over all parts of planet earth. In fact, the Night of Qadr lasts for 24 hours. There is no more than one night throughout the planet.   

Grand Ayatollah Saafi Gulpaigani (may Allah grant him long life):
The Night of Qadr (Laylatul Qadr) is determined depending on when and which day you ascertained the beginning of the month of Ramadhan. The day of Eidul Fitr would then be determined. If the crescent is sighted on the night preceding the 30th day of the month, the following day would be the Eid day; otherwise Eid would be upon completion of 30 days.

[1] Source: http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/en21812

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Question #74: What is the best way to treat other people, whether friend or foe? 

An order from Allah SWT to Prophet Musa AS, about Firaun (Pharaoh) -- Then speak to him mildly perhaps he will take warning or fear [Allah]. [Holy Qur'an 20:44]

From a narration through Ŝafwan ibn Saleem, the Holy Prophet SA said:

ألا أُخْبِرُكُم بِأيْسَرِ العِبادَةِ وَأهْوَنهَا عَلى البَدَنِ؟ الصَّمْتُ وَحُسْنُ الخُلُقِ.

“Do you want me to inform you about the easiest form of worship and the lightest on the body? It is silence and having a good temper."15

From a narration through Al-Barra` ibn `Azib, the Holy Prophet SA said, when asked to teach him something to enable him to go to Heaven:

أَطْعِمِ الجَائِعَ وَاسْقِ الظَّمْآنَ وأْمُرْ بِالمَعْروفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ المُنْكَرِ، فَإنْ لمَ تُطِقْ فَكُفَّ لِسَانَكَ إلاّ مِنْ خَيرٍ.

“Feed the hungry. Quench the thirst of the thirsty. Advise the people to do good deeds and admonish them against evil deeds. If you are not able (to do that), then just guard your tongue from whatever is not good.”1616

Imam Ali AS is known for eloquent speaking, but the Prophet SA and other Imams AS also had eloquent speech. They spoke the truth but never abused anyone. Remember that Imam Ali AS did not bother people like Sa`d ibn Waqqas, Abu-Musa Al-Ash`ari and others who did not pledge allegiance to him in the beginning of his caliphate. He did not call them names or gossip about them. In the book Wasa`il al-Shī`ah it says: “Indeed Ali never ascribed paganism to those who fought with him. He only said that they are those of our brothers who have oppressed us."71 

The best endeavor is to use truthful and kind speech. That means we need to guard ourselves from using the worst kinds of speech: talking in vain, verbal abuse, swearing, cursing, lustful songs, crude joking, making fun of others, divulging secrets, fake promise, lying, and gossiping.

There is more advice (especially on gossiping), in the book A Divine Perspective on Rights, which is a commentary on "The Treatise of Rights" by Imam 'Ali Ibn al-Husayn as-Sajjad AS (the 4th Imam Zainul Abideen AS). See either link below for the footnotes for the quotes above and more information:

Right n. 3: The Right of the Tongue  Get PDF 

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[Mod Note: As an introduction, please read Question #5 first, What is Khums and what is it paid on? at this link:]

https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235042512-important-questions-answered/?do=findComment&comment=2966088

Question #75: What is the reason behind the necessity of paying Khums and where is it spent? Why don't the Sunnis pay it? Why should half of Khums be given to sayyids, and is Khums something that has been crafted and introduced by Shiites? As far as I know, there is only one verse in the Quran regarding Khums. I wonder why the Sunnis who claim to be the followers of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) do not recognize Khums. I believe paying Khums can be very helpful in adjusting wealth and reducing class gap.

Answer:

Khums is one of the mandatory rites of the religion of Islam and it is an essential obligation for a Muslim. The importance given by the Quran to the issue of Khums can be understood from the following verse: "And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah, - and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer, - if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down …"[1]

The Holy Quran has explained the principles of divine unity, resurrection and prophethood in great details but there are only few verses relating to Islamic law and legal ordinances. It is widely believed that that Ayat al-Ahkam do not exceed five hundred verses. If we minus the repetitive and overlapping verses, the number of verses dealing with Ahkam will be even less than five hundred[2] verses whereas the rules regarding each of the secondary obligations are many times more than that. That is why, Muslim scholars of all sects and denominations decipher rules, other than those mentioned in the Quran, from reliable traditions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and infallible Imams (a.s.).

Considering the extensiveness of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and profuseness of narrations from the infallible Imams on different jurisprudential themes, it is not strange, if there is only one verse about an issue like Khums. Therefore, like all other jurisprudential topics, the remaining rules concerning Khums should be derived from the sayings of the infallible Imams. Fast and Hajj are two of the pillars of the religion of Islam but there are not more than three or four verses about them in the Quran.[3] The Quran has not made mention of the obligatory parts of Salat, its basic elements, conditions etc. that are important. All Muslim religions have derived them from the tradition. It goes without saying that the verse concerning Khums is very clear and expressive.

Late Allamah Muhammad Hussein Tabatabai says in his Tafsir Al-Mizan: The words "ghanem" and "ghanimah" mean getting an income or a benefit through business, trade, industry or war.[4]Although the verse refers to war booty but the case or example cannot restrict or particularize it.[5]Therefore, the verse has a general meaning and it is inferred from the outward meaning of the verse that the ordinance in question applies to everything that is considered to be a benefit even though it may not be war booty which is taken from non-Muslims. It can therefore be minerals, treasure trove and pearls which are obtained from the sea by diving. Imam Jawad (a.s) said: "Khums is obligatory on booties and benefits (all kinds of profits and income) you earn. Then he recited the verse regarding Khums."[6]

Although the verse speaks of booties, the Imam (a.s) added "benefits" to it in its interpretation. Late Allamah Tabatabai says, "The fact that Khums is not applicable to war booties only is inferred from mutawatir reports.[7]

As for the term "Zil-Qurba", it means close relatives, and in this verse it refers to the close relatives of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) or specific people of them as per the decisive narrations. [8]

There are also many traditions in Sunni sources according to which Khums was distributed in the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and the Prophet was fulfilling this obligation as long as he was alive. Suyuti narrates from Ibn-e Abi Shaybah and he from Jubair bin Mat'am that the latter said: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) distributed the portion of Zil-Qurba among Bani Hashem and Bani Abdul Muttalib. Then Uthman bin Affan and I went to him and asked him to give our share. We said: You are giving (Khums share) to our brothers from Bani Abdul Muttalib but you are not giving us anything despite that we are at the same level with them in terms of relationship?

The Prophet (pbuh) said: "They were never separated from us in (the time of ignorance) and in Islam."[9]

All Sunni jurisprudential sources have discussed Khums. Some have explained the rules regarding it after Zakat and some others have mentioned Khums in their discussions concerning Jihad. Qazi Ibn-e Rushd (595 A.H.), explaining Sunni religions' opinion about Khums, says: "There is a difference of opinion among the companions (Sunnis) as to who Zil-qurba are. Some have said that Zil-Qurba refers to the descendants of Hashem and some others have said that it includes both the descendants of Hashem as well as those of Abdul Muttalib. The latter put forth Jubair bin Mat'am's report as a proof of their view.[10]

It has therefore been clarified that Khums has not been introduced or crafted by Shiites, rather the only difference is that Shia persists on continuing and carrying on acting upon this obligation because the Prophet's relatives have always been present and there are poor people among them. Shafe'i, one of the Sunni leaders, has said that the obligation of Khums is not repealed with the death of the Prophet, peace and benedictions of Allah be upon him.[11]

As for the philosophy of paying Khums and the allocation of half of it for needy sayyids, it has certain reasons of which we will point out the following:

1. In order for the religion of Islam and its system to be revived and promoted in society by its leader, there should be a reliable source that should meet the expenses. The Prophet of Islam (pbuh) and after him the Infallible Imams (a.s.) and in the time of occultation, the Shiite jurists who are the successors of the Imams (a.s.) lead the Islamic society. They need to tackle the heavy expenses of helping the destitute, building mosques, equipping the army and other affairs. Thus, Khums is required to meet these expenses. The Imam (a.s.) has said: "Khums helps us implement the religion of God."[12]

2. Khums is a means for man's growth and perfection. He who pays Khums with the intention of complying God's order and seeking proximity to Him has fulfilled his duty and purified himself of sins.[13]

When it comes to allocating of half of the amount of Khums for sayyids, it should be said that Khums and Zakat are Islamic taxes aimed at redressing and remedying the financial problems of the Islamic Ummah, and at fair distribution of financial resources and boosting of the financial basis of Islamic government. "The important difference between Khums and Zakat is that the latter is considered to be a part of the public property. Hence, it is generally used for public purposes. As for Khums, it is a religious tax that belongs to Islamic government. That is to say, Khums is used to meet the needs and expenses of the Islamic administration and those on authority. The reason behind sayyids' being deprived of Zakat is not to give a pretext in the hands of the opponents to say that the Prophet (pbuh) has made his relatives dominant over public property. On the other hand, the needs of poor and indigent sayyids should be met somehow. In reality, Khums is not a privilege for sayyids but a kind of pushing them away for public good and to prevent any suspicion from coming into existence regarding them."[14] Can one believe that Islam aims to meet the needs of non-Bani Hashem orphans, destitute and needy ones through Zakat but it has worked out no plan for the needy people from Bani-Hashem? No, there must be a source to meet their needs also. Therefore, Khums law creates no class privilege for sayyids because in terms of financial benefits for the poor Khums does not differ from Zakat. "In fact, there are two boxes: Khums box and Zakat box. Each poor person has the right to use only one of the two boxes for his annual expenses."[15] The non-sayyid indigents use the Zakat box and the sayyid indigents use the Khums box. The sayyid indigents do not have the right to use anything from the Zakat property.

Footnotes at the source: http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa986

Edited by Hameedeh
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Question #76: What is the Islamic view regarding belief in magic and paying attention to it?

Question: My wife and some of my relatives believe in magic, jugglery, and the like. I did not believe in this and I would often say to them that they lived in superstitions. However, a little time ago, I began coming nearer to their beliefs when I saw some signs and heard some stories. What is the view of Islam regarding this matter, to which some Muslim families and communities and even some western people pay a great deal of attention, to a degree that they associate their unhappiness and wretchedness or happiness and success to it?

The answer: Magic and its likes, such as divination, jugglery, conjuration, and employing the jinn for bad purposes, are prohibited in Islam because they are based on lying, cheating, ill-gotten moneys, and neglecting reason and religion. There is no doubt that magic has an external influence on some people of weak, diseased hearts and much illusion. Allah says, (…they taught men sorcery… and from these two (angels) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no one save by Allah's permission).  125

The wisdom of prohibiting magic is that when Allah the Almighty created man, He honored him with reason and invited him to use reason to build his life according to its guidance, whereas magic and other things like it contradict the high divine goal and make man and society live in ignorance and illusion
away from the truth and the real facts.

Islam has contended against magic and declared that a magician must be killed if he does not repent. The money gained from magic is unlawful. Teaching magic, learning it, and taking wages for it are all unlawful. 126

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘He, who learns something of magic whether little or much, disbelieves…’ 127

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘A diviner is like a fortune-teller, and a fortune-teller is like a magician, and a magician is like an unbeliever, and the unbeliever will be in Fire.’ 128

If magic and its likes had no harmful effects, Islam would not have prohibited them. We do not say that magic has no effects, but one must seek the protection of Allah the Almighty from magic and its bad effects. Allah says in His Book, (So when they cast down, Musa (Moses) said to them: What you have brought is magic; surely Allah will make it naught; surely Allah does not make the work of mischief-makers to thrive. And Allah will show the truth to be the truth by His words, though the guilty may be averse (to it)). 129

This verse and what happened to Prophet Moses (a.s.) with the magicians shows that magic was practiced by the followers of the Devils, but Allah curbed it so that its influence would not reach those who believed and relied on Allah sincerely such as Prophet Moses (a.s.) and the believers whom the influence of magic and jugglery did not affect. 

We conclude that when man believes in Allah with sincerity and certainty, magic and its like will not have any influence over him. If magic was able to have influence over anyone, the devils from the human beings and the jinn would do to the believers whatever they liked; however, we find the believers
stronger than them, and, moreover, they are able to even annul the effects of magic on others by reciting some Qur’anic verses and certain supplications, through which they strengthen the spirit of a bewitched one and help him overcome the magic and the magician.

Dear brother, herein, I recommend you, your wife, your relatives, and whoever else experiences these fears with the following:

1. Connect yourselves to Allah sincerely, abide by the legal obligations, refrain from unlawful things, always be pure and always busy yourselves with the remembrance of Allah! Thus, you will protect yourselves from the evil whisperings of the Satan, from magic, and from every evil doing of man and the Devils.

2. Keep these ideas away from your minds as if they do not exist! Thinking of these matters in itself prepares the ground for such illusions and makes the soul fertile to receive misfortunes.

3. Try to keep away from enmities and from those who would use unlawful means to harm you!

4. Beware of those who deal with what are called “unusual sciences”, for they look forward to your money before they think of your treatment!

5. Always recite the Holy Qur'an and the supplications of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) inside your houses, and especially the ziyara of al-Jami’a al-Kabira, the ziyara of Ashura, the tradition of al-Kisa’, the Verse of al-Kursi (2:255) five times, and “astaghfirullah” (I ask Allah to forgive me) seventy times!

https://www.al-islam.org/better-future-abdul-adheem-al-muhtadi-al-bahrani/part-2-husbands-and-wives-sharing-lives-and-seeking#question-no-135-what-islamic-view-regarding-belief-magic-and-paying-attention-it

See Question 135 in the PDF

An Islamic discussion on 'Magic' http://www.duas.org/magicview.htm

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Question 77 is a clarification of Question 7 on page one above.

Quote

Question #7: What does Taqleed mean? 

Translated into English, 'Taqleed' means 'imitation' or 'to follow' the actions of another person. In the Shia Imamiyah school, this relates to the following of a 'mujtahid' by a 'non-mujtahid' in Islamic rulings (Sharia' law) and matters relating to 'Furu' Al-Deen.' The ShiaChat team has always promoted Taqleed but there are a few people who do not accept Taqleed and they are following their own version of Islam. 

Links to the websites of prominent Shia Ulema are included in the Grand Ayatullahs topic:

https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/71812-grand-ayatullahs/

Salaamun alaykum, The reply to the following two questions on the selection of the Marja'-e-Taqleed were kindly provided by Shaykh Rasheed and Sayyid Rizvi. The first question asked that we survey all the 'Aalims for their opinion on this matter. Instead, we asked two of our respected 'Aalims to give us the current views on this issue. Both Shaykh Rasheed and Moulana Rizvi agree that the identification of the most A'lam of the Mujtahidin is difficult these days and outline their reasons for this. Both our respected 'Aalims touch on the issue of the Wilayat-ul-faqih (guardianship of the jurist) and it's relationship to the position of the Marja'-e-Taqleed. We are grateful to both Shaykh Rasheed and Moulana Rizvi for their replies to these most important questions. Wasalaam, Mustafa Rawji Moderator, 'Aalim Network

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUESTION 1: Peace be upon you and may Allah bless you for your very valuable work. If you and our dear Aalims allow I would like to ask them (all of them) with all respect who is the most knowledgeable 'Aalam' mujtahid according to their opinion. Please forgive me for this question and best regards to you all. QUESTION 2: Who is the highest knowledgable 'Aalim or Marja currently in Iran and Iraq? Is Ayat. Khamneyie is the most knowledgable Mujtahid in Iran or are there any other mujtahids who have more knowledge and experience in fiqh?

SHAYKH RASHEED'S REPLY:

	Your questions are very relevant and profound. I will try to
answer them concisely. First, I would like to say that it is not very good
to try judge our religious leadership on such a one dimensional scale as
A'lamiyyah or who is the "most learned." The concept has always been the
subject of debate among scholars, most of whom regard it to be matter of
precaution to follow the most learned. According to clear logic and
rationale, it makes good sense to follow the "most learned," however,
determining who is the "most learned" is not a simple matter.

	In the past, such eminent personalities like Ayatullah Sayyid
Abul-Qaasim Al-Kho`i, may Allah Ta'ala grant him great reward, was
acknowledged by many to be the most learned in his time. When we examine
how he achieved this noble status, it was primarily due to the fact that
he was a great teacher of Darsul-Khaarij (the course of Ijtihaad) for many
years. Many of the great Mujtahideen of our time were his students. He
taught this course for more than thirty years. As a result of being
established in such an important position and being such a great teacher
who guided and trained so many individuals who have become great scholars
in their own right, he was widely acknowledged to be the most learned.

	After his death, many regarded Ayatullah Gulpaygani, may Allah
Ta'ala reward him, to be the most learned. Traditionally, Shi'ahs usually
looked to the most experienced teachers of Darsul-Khaarij as the
Marja-e-Taqleed.

	After the death of such eminent scholars and leaders such as
Ayatullah Al-Kho`i and Ayatullah Gulpaygani, who both achieved a very
great status among Mujtahideen and both of their opinions were highly
regarded, it is very difficult to point to anyone in particular and
accurately say that he is the most learned. In brief, many of the Grand
Ayatullahs have passed on, may Allah reward them all, and those which
remain have not clearly emerged with the type of distinction that we were
used to in the persons of Ayatullah Al-Kho`i and Ayatullah Gulpaygani.

	Another point to bear in mind is that with the leadership of
Ayatullah Khomeini, may Allah Ta'ala reward him and protect his
revolution, the role of the Marja-e-Taqleed has been forever changed. He
moved the institution of Marja'iyyat into a new phase wherein the
Marja'-e-Taqleed is not limited to passing verdicts on issues of
jurisprudence, as was the case with the Grand Ayatullahs of the past. He
infused a new role of leadership into the institution of Marja'iyyat,
namely the role of Wilayatul-Faqeeh. Actually, it is not correct to say
that this is a new role. It is based on the concept of the leadership of
Ulamaa which has always existed in Shi`ah theology. It was due to the fact
that most Shi'ah Ulamaa were very restricted in their ability to lead and
govern their followers that the Marja'-e-Taqleed became restricted to the
routine work of passing legal verdicts (Fataawa).

	Ayatullah Khomeini, with the establishment of the Islamic
Republic, again joined the offices of spiritual and temporal leadership
together as it is supposed to be according to our theology. When we look
at the real world, it revolves around matters broader than the issues of
jurisprudence. Our leadership should be able to meet the needs of their
followers in all aspects of their daily lives and provide the
comprehensive and balanced leadership that makes Islam the dynamic force
which can change men and nations.  This additional aspect of the
Marja'-e-Taqleed's leadership makes the whole question of who is more
learned even more difficult to solve. Not everyone, of course, agrees with
Ayatullah Khomeini's vision of the role of the Marja', however, on the
other hand, it is difficult to refute and even more difficult to ignore
the need of such comprehensive leadership in today's world.

	Therefore, in brief, there is no simple answer to the question of
who is most learned. If the traditional standard of following the most
experienced teachers of Darsul-Khaarij is adhered to, then, some of the
most prominent teachers of Darsul-Khaarij today are:
		Ayatullah Wahid Khorasani (Iran); 
		Ayatullah Jawad Tabrizi (Iran); 
		Ayatullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (Iran);
		Ayatullah Bashir Najafi (Iraq); 
		Ayatullah Seestani (Iraq). 

	On the other hand, if you believe that Marja'iyyat has a larger
role than what was customary in the past (in the vision of Imam Khomeini),
then, certainly Ayatullah Khamanei, his successor, is the most capable
choice.

This is my humble opinion only and Allah knows best. 

Was-Salaam. 

Ali Rasheed
			-------------------------------


SAYYID RIZVI'S REPLY

	The question of who is an a'lam among the mujtahidin is a very complex
question. In order to understand this fully, let me start with the basics
on issue of taqlid.

FIRST:  In following the shari'a laws, a Shi'a is required to do one of
the three things: 

	1. either he should become a mujtahid (became an expert in Islamic
	   jurisprudence) and follow the conclusion of his own research;
	2. or he should do taqlíd of a mujtahid (i.e., follow an expert
	   jurist); 
	3. or he should do ihtiyat. 

(Ihtiyat means precaution, and here it means studying the various opinions
of mujtahids and then following the most difficult one: for example, if
one mujtahid says 'smoking is makruh' and the other says 'smoking is
haram,' then in ihtiyat, you will consider it as haram.) 
	
SECOND:  In taqlid, the majority of mujtahidin are of the opinion -as
wăjib or ihtiyăt-e wăjib- that one should follow 'the most learned' of all
the mujtahidin (a'lam). This is support by common sense-now that you want
follow a mujtahid, then why not follow the most learned of them? 

THIRD:  The method of identifying a mujtahid or an a'lam is as follows: 

1. Personal knowledge for one who is knowledgeable enough in Islamic
jurisprudence to distinguish who is a mujtahid or an a'lam. 

2. Testimony of two just scholars who confirm the ijtihăd or a'lamiyyat of
a certain person. 

3. Shiyă': popularity in the Shi'a community about ijtihăd
and a'lamiyyat of a person which creates conviction in your mind. 

				* * *

NOW WE COME TO YOUR QUESTION:

	It is not easy to distinguish the a'lam among the present
mujtahidins.  This is mainly because of two reasons: Firstly, the present
generation of mujtahidin was over-shadowed for a long time by some very
prominent mujtahids of this century like Ayatullah al-Khu'i and Ayatullah
al-Khumayni (may Allăh shower His mercy and blessings upon them). Allăh
gave indeed a long life to Ayatullah al-Khu'i that he was able to train
three generations mujtahidin in the last decades of his life!  The present
marăji' did not get the chance to prove their a'lamiyyat. Secondly, the
Shi'a world is blessed at this moment with so many mujtahidin that it is
not easy to say that so and so is 'the most learned' of all.  Although
having so many mujtahidin creates confusion in distinguishing the a'lam,
it is also a blessing for which we should thank Almighty Allăh! 
	
	Those who have gained recognition by the majority of the learned
scholars of Shi'a fiqh as suitable for marja'iyya are: 
	1. Ayatullah Sayyid 'Ali Sistani (Iraq);
	2. Ayatullah Wahid Khurasani (Iran);
	3. Ayatullah Sayyid 'Ali Khamane'i (Iran);
	4. Ayatullah Shaykh Fazil Lankarani (Iran);
	5. Ayatullah Shaykh Jawad Tabrizi (Iran);
	6. Ayatullah Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi (Iran).

Since taqlid is a personal matter, I would advise that you refer to two
'ulamă' in your area whom you trust and make your decision accordingly. 

				* * *

THE ISSUE OF WILAYAT-E FAQIH AND MARJA'IYYA:

	Before the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the marja' (the Grand
Mujtahid) was the leader of the Shi'a community but did not have the means
to bring about any change or transformation in the society. The Islamic
Revolution is based on the concept that the supreme leader should be a
mujtahid. In that sense, it is not a new concept; it is just providing the
means for exercising complete leadership for the mujtahid in a Shi'a
community. 

	This has, however, created some confusion among the Shi'as about
the issue of taqlid: do you follow the supreme leader of the Islamic
Republic of Iran or can you still do taqlid of other marăji'? 

	The confusion arises because of the historical events of the
Islamic Revolution. This Revolution was led by the late Ayatullah al-Imam
Sayyid Ruhullah al-Khumayni. He was already recognized as a marja' and an
a'lam by many Shi'as; it is important to remember that his a'lamiyyat or
marja'iyya did not depend on the Revolution. Therefore, it was quite
natural to select him as the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of
Iran. In this manner, the marja'-e taqlid also became the supreme leader
known in the Iranian consititution as 'wali-e faqih'. 

	The question which must be asked is the following: it is necessary
for the wali-e faqih to be also a marja-e taqlid? In other words, it is
necessary for the institution of the wali-e faqih and the marja'iyya to be
one and the same? The best answer is given by the constitution of the IR
of Iran and the late Ayatullah al-Khumayni himself. 

	Soon after the Revolution, when the first constitution of the
Islamic Republic was approved by the Iranian people, it said that the
office of the wali-e faqih should be occupied by a marja'-e taqlid
accepted by the majority of the people. It said,

"Whenever one of the fuqahă' [i.e., mujtahidin] possessing the
qualifications specified in Article 5 of the Constitution is recognized
and accepted as marja' and leader by a decisive majority of the
people...he is to assume [the office of] wilayat-e amr and all the
functions arising therefrom."  (See article 107 of the first
Constitution.) 

This actually reflected the reality of times when people saw that Imam
al-Khumayni, a marja-e taqlid, was the wali-e faqih also. However, after
few years while Ayatullah al-Khumayni was still alive, the constitution of
Iran was amended. While the deliberations were going on, the Speaker of
the Assembly for the Amendment of the Constitution, Shaykh 'Ali Mishkini,
wrote a letter to Imam al-Khumayni asking him about the question of
"marja'iyya and wali-e faqih". Ayatullah al-Khumayni wrote: 

	"From the beginning I was of the view that marja'iyya is not a
necessary condition [for wali-e faqih=leadership]. A just mujtahid who is
recommended by the Assembly of Experts can assume the leadership of the
Islamic society...I mentioned this point while experts were preparing the
constitution, my friends were insisting on the marja'iyya as the necessary
condition [for wali-e faqih]. Hence, I agreed with their proposal. At that
time I was sure this condition could not be fulfilled in the future." 
(Sahifa-e Nur, vol. 21, 129) 

	Accordingly, the Constitution was changed and the condition of
"marji'iyya" was taken out from the qualifications of the wali-e faqih who
was to assume the supreme leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (See
Article 107 and 109 which clearly state that ijtihăd is a sufficient
qualification for the leader, he does not necessarily have to be a
marja'-e taqlid.) 

	In the light of the above change in the Constitution of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, supported by the views of the late Founder of
the Islamic Revolution, we can conclude that the office of Wali-e faqih
and the Marja'iyya does not have to be one and the same: it could be or it
could not be, it depends on the person who assumes that position. 

	In the final analysis, I would say that one may do taqlid of any
of the marăji'-e taqlid in all matters; but since they are silent or have
no opinion on political issues and on issues related to the Islamic
Movement world-wide, one should follow the Wali-e faqih of Iran who is
best suited to guide on such issues. 

Was-salaam.

Sayyid M. Rizvi

https://www.al-islam.org/organizations/AalimNetwork/msg00464.html

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Question 78: Why Are There Varying Dates for Some Islamic Events?

The reason why sometimes there are two or more dates for certain Islamic events, such as birth and death anniversaries of the Ahl al-Bayt (p):

Today’s Islamic calendar sometimes shows two different dates for the birth or death of one or more of the infallibles (p). For example, some Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (p) on the 7th of Safar while others do so on the 28th of that month. These disparities exist due to a number of important reasons which bear consideration.

To begin with, history shows that the Ahl al-Bayt (p) were oppressed by the despotic regimes, particularly in the eras following the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (p) in Karbala. As a result of this oppression, the birth or death of the infallibles was likely hidden (i.e., out of precaution) in certain situations. Another potential cause of these disparities was the ongoing malicious propaganda by both the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties and their unrelenting campaign to sow doubt, vis-a-vis belief in the imamate, among the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (p).

Despite the valiant struggle of Shia scholars and sincere followers of the Imams to preserve the authentic records, uncertainties about the exact Islamic events still exist.  As a result, I.M.A.M. [ed. - Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya, founded in the US and Canada] relies on the dates that the well-known researchers and jurists cite and use in the seminaries. These are the dates that are most strongly indicated in the authentic traditions and relied upon based on available evidence. Thus, our readers may notice a few differences between I.M.A.M.’s Islamic calendar and the calendar used by others. As such, believers have the choice to commemorate the birth and death of the infallibles on all of the potential dates or pick the one they rely on. I.M.A.M.’s Religious Affairs team appreciates the believers’ understanding and values their engagement with these important Islamic events.

https://imam-us.org/why-are-there-varying-dates-for-some-islamic-events

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