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Beating Chest & Zanjir Zani

Q1: Why do Shiites beat their chests during Muharram? What is the reason?
A1: Beating chest is one of the important expressions of lamentation and a means of showing disgust and hatred to the oppressors. Not only it is not a mistake but it also plays an important role in reviving and continuing the goals of the Imam (a.s.).
Q2: It so happens that people beat their chests and their backs with chains and their bodies turn red and even start bleeding. Is it permissible?
A2: It is permissible and even preferable provided that it does not cause significant harm to the body.
Q3: Some men take off their clothes and become partially naked while beating theirs chests in front of women. Is it permissible?
A3: It is necessary for women to avoid looking. Of course, if men know that women would look at their bodies, it is not permissible for them (men) to take off their clothes.
Q4: Are beating chest and Zanjir Zani out of Riya (insincerity) permissible?
A4: They should avoid insincerity while performing rituals.
Q5: Some people are seen half-naked during Muharram while flagellating themselves in an extreme manner in front of non-Mahram individuals? Is this act permissible?
A5: Chest beating tradition in its customary and normal form does not have to be opposed, however, in the said situation women should avoid looking.
Q6:  What is the fatwa about Harvalah (jumping up and down while moving forward) in the mourning ceremonies held on the occasion of the martyrdom of the Infallibles?
A6: Harvalah has been recommended as a Mustahab act for male pilgrims after staying at Mash'arul Haraam and while doing Sa'iy between Safaa and Marvah and passing Mohassar valley.  Harvalah is not legal as a Mustahab act in places other than this.

Blood Matam

Q1: I have a question about blood matam or what is known as Qama zani or Tatbir? What is your ruling about using blades, knives, swords and spilling blood during mourning rituals? Is it permissible?
A1: The philosophy of mourning during 'Ashura, is to respect the symbols of Religion and remember the suffering of Imam Hussain (a),  his companions, and his uprising to defend Islam and prevent the destruction of the religion by Bani Umayyad dynasty.  These rites must be done in such a way that in addition to serving that purpose, it draws the attention of others to these lofty goals. Obviously, Qama Zani does not have such a role and the enemies of Ahlalbayt misuse it. So those actions which are not understandable for the enemies of Islam and causes misunderstanding and contempt for the religion must be avoided.


Q1: What is the ruling on donating blood?
A1:  It is permissible in itself.
Q2: Is transfusion of Hindu's blood to our body permissible?
A2: There is no Ishkaal (objection) in it.
Q3: Sometimes I see blood mixed with the saliva of my mouth. It often happens when I brush my teeth. What is the ruling on this kind of blood?
A3: If the blood, which comes from inside the teeth, vanishes as it gets mixed with the saliva, the saliva is Pak, and it can go down the throat.
Q4: If in the first and last days of Haiz, a brown pink outcomming is observed (for one or 2 days) and this is regular in all Haiz times, should this outcomming be considered Heiz or it is Estehaza?
A4: If you observe blood for the first three consecutive days and there is no stop in the middle, all what you have observed is treated as Haiz. Whatever blood you observe until ten days comes into the category of Haiz and is treated as Haiz. After ten days, the blood seen is considered az Istihaza.


Q1: Is it mandatory (wajib) to keep a beard?
A1: Shaving off the beard is forbidden as an obligatory precaution. However shaving the cheeks and sides of the face with the exception of the chin doesn’t have any problem.
Q2: Is French cut beard permissible in Islam?
A2: Yes, it is permissible and it would be sufficient.
Q3 Is it obligatory (wajib) for a man to keep a beard? If so, why?
A3: According to obligatory precaution (ihtiyat-e-wajib) shaving off the beard is forbidden (haram) in Islam. The reason behind this lies in Islamic fiqh, and it is a very broad topic, which cannot be fully discussed in a few sentences.
Q4: Following the tragedy on September 11th, 2001, Muslims in America and Europe have subsequently become the targets of attack and even murder. It is probable that if Muslims did not look obviously like Muslims, the chance of being recognised and attacked for being Muslim would be considerably reduced. In these circumstances is it permissible for Muslims living in the West to shave off their beards and take off their scarves (hijab) in order to practice dissimulation (taqiyyah)?
A4: It is obligatory on all Muslims to uphold their Islamic appearance, and hijab - the correct form of covering - is one of the obligatory acts of the religion of Islam. If it is possible to keep the beard and hijab then you should do so, however if it is not then at least try to practise what suffices, but do not exceed this. As soon as the situation improves you must go back to observing the Islamic viewpoint on the matter, and keep your Islamic appearance.
Q5: What is your ruling on shaving of the beard and what are the minimum requirements of the beard? Is the “professor beard” sufficient?
A5: Shaving of beard is not allowed but "professor beard", which involves shaving the two sides of the face and leaving the hair on the chin and the surrounding area unshaved, is sufficient.


Q1: Can I perform wudhu after an obligatory ghusl?
A1: Ghusl is sufficient for wudhu and wudhu is not lawful.
Q2: Can a woman perform two ghusls (e.g. ghul-e janabah and ghusl haiz) with one ghusl?
A2: Yes, it is permissible to perform one ghusl, with the intention of several ghusls.
Q3: Should I perform ghusl after I have seen some some discharge which I am not sure to be semen? I felt the discharge when I saw accidentally the picture of a naked woman.
A3: Ghusl is not obligatory and if you have been in the state of wudhu, you can offer your prayers without renewing it (wudhu).
Q4: How is an obligatory Ghusl performed. I appreciate if you could tell me the procedures and details.
A4: Janabat bath or ghusl is itself recommendatory, but is obligatory for offering the daily prayers and other similar acts of worship. However, it is not obligatory for Mayyit prayer for sajda-e shukr for the obligatory sajdah upon reciting the four particular verses of the Holy Quran.
There are two methods of performing  Ghusls, both Wajib and  Mustahab:
Tartibi (sequential)
Irtimasi (by submerging the whole body).
Tartibi: In this method, a person should first make a niyyat for Ghusl. Thereafter one should first wash one's head and neck thereafter the right side of the body and then the left side. Half of the oval and the genitals should be washed with the ride side and the other half with the left side. It is rather better to wash the entire oval and genitals with both sides.
Irtimasi: In Irtemasi type of ghusl water must reach all parts of the body at one time. If one intends to do Irtemasi ghusl and submerges himself and his body gets submerged instantly or gradually, his ghusl is in order (correct).

Bank Transactions

Q1: What is your fatwa (ruling) about bank prizes given to those who hold bank accounts?
A1: A prize which banks give to some who hold saving accounts, as long as it is not based on a previous provision and the bank gives it to people on its own in order to draw them towards that bank, it is halal (permissible).
Q2:What is your definition of Interest or as the Qur`an calls it, Riba?  Does this term apply to all forms of profit, which are given/taken including banks and other institutions, or is there merely given as a “cost of living increase” and “inflation”?  Can the Qur`anic definition of Riba be applied today to the Western banking structure?
A2: All instances are considered Riba. However, taking interest from western banks is permissible.
Q3: What is the ruling on depositing money in non-Muslim banks and taking the return (what some term Interest) from them?
A3: There would be no Ishkaal (objection) in it.
Q4: Is it permissible to “shop around” for the bank or account, which offers us the best return rate on our money (Interest)?
A4: It is permissible to do so in non-Muslim countries.
Q5: Sir, during his job, an accountant has to deal with different types of interest transactions. However, an accountant has nothing to do with that interest (neither he takes interest nor he gives it), rather his duty is merely to record these transactions and keep a record of that. Moreover, he personally thinks that this is a bad act (giving and taking interest) and that it should not be practiced but he has to do so as this is an integral part of his job. What is your kind opinion in this regard? Is it allowed or not?
A5: Given the supposition made in your question, the job is not permissible because it involves recording and dealing with interest bearing transactions.

Buying & Selling

Q1: What is your ruling on buying and playing lottery tickets and other such games of chance? 
A1: It is not permissible.
Q2: What is your opinion on business and dealings with individuals or even companies, which are hostile to Islam and the Muslim nation?  Can we buy their products if we know that they are supporting – either directly or indirectly – the oppression of Muslims?
A2: Given the supposition, it is not permissible.
Q3: I am running a store and I have non-Muslim customers who want me to sell them alcoholic drinks. Can a Muslim buy and sell intoxicating alcohol to non-Muslims?
A3: It is not permissible to buy and sell alcohol.
Q4: My question is related to selling and consumption of ice-cream containing less than 0.5% ethanol type of alcohol.  I purchased an ice-cream business and now I am finding out that some of the ice-cream syrup contains less than 0.5% ethanol type of alcohol.  That syrup is then used to make ice-cream.
My question to you is: Can I (a Muslim) sell or eat this ice-cream made from syrup that contains less than 0.5% of ethanol type of alcohol?
A4: If it is like the alcohols which are used in medicines, consuming and selling of them are without Ishkaal (objection).
Q5: Can a Muslim buy or sell wine or pork or haram meat to non-Muslims? What is the fatwa on the income one gets by doing such a job?
A5: No. it is not permissible to sell these things and the income received is not halal. Yes, if you sell haram meat other than pork with the intention of disposing of it, there is no problem and the money is halal.
Q6: Is it permissible to make money from selling unIslamically slaughtered (haram) meat or chicken to non-Muslims?
A6: It is permissible to sell non-Muslims haram meat and the money you receive in return is lawful (halal). But it is strictly forbidden to sell them alcohol.

Black Magic

Q1: I have been told that I am under Black Magic. I feel that my mind is blocked and I cannot think and concentrate deeply. Also, I cannot think constructively which is destroying my professional and personal life.
Kindly suggest me duas / amaal which I can do to come out of this painful trauma.
A1: We advise you to read the holy Quran, particularly the four chapters that begin with "Qul" or "say" i.e. Qul howallahu ahad, Qul yaa ayyohal kaferoon, Qul a'uzo berabbil falagh, and Qul yaa ayyohal kaferoon.  Meanwhile, do not believe in what you have written as black magic or its likes. Also, visit a psychiatrist. We pray to Allah to grant you a quick recovery.
Q2: My wife fell into a deep coma. She was very healthy, and just carrying some water and then all of a sudden she collapsed while talking. She was rushed to the hospital immediately and it was found that her blood pressure was very low and due to this her brain did not receive oxygen for 2 hours. The doctors are unable to explain how she has fallen ill and I am also a doctor and also I can not explain how this has happened. Is she suffering from some sort of black magic?
A2: Your issue is a medical one not one of a religions nature, however we will pray for you. Don't believe in magic and other such things. All things are in Allah's hands.


Q1: What is the age of maturity for Muslim girls?
A1: A girl reaches the age of puberty at the completion of nine lunar years.
Q2: If a girl is mature at the age of 9 and it is difficult for her to fast the entire Month, can she be excused due to weakness, etc. and make them up later with no penalty?
A2: If the weakness continues to remain with her, she can break her fast in the foregoing supposition and observe the Qaza later.  
Q3: What are the conditions or signs for a male to attain bolugh?
A3: There are three signs for puberty and they are: 1- Completion of 15 lunar years. 2 – Wet dreaming or ejaculation of semen. 3 – Growth of coarse hair under the belly.


Q1: If I do gheebah of a believer is it obligatory for me to tell them about it and ask them to forgive me?  Is it true that Allah will not forgive me for doing gheebah of a believer unless that believer forgives me first?  What if telling that believer (that I did his gheebah) will make him feel bad and damage my relationship with him, should I still tell him about it?  If not, then how can I get forgiveness for that gheebah?
A1: It is not necessary to tell him that you have backbitten him; rather you may ask him, in a general manner, to forgive you. You may also pray to God for his forgiveness. Insha Allah, God will forgive you too.
Q2: If a couple (spouses) want to be transparent to each other and not conceal the slightest thing from each other, is talking about others considered Ghibat?
A2: Yes, it is considered Ghibat (backbiting) and it is haram.
Q3: An elderly person has a habit of doing gheebat and it is very difficult for me to stop him and I also do not want to hear but I am forced to. What should I do?
A3: Intentional listening to backbiting (gheibat) is a sin. Try to prevent him/her from such a thing. If you can leave that place then do so, if not then try to focus your attention on something else.

Body Piercing

Q1: What is your ruling about body piercing?
A1: There is no Ishkaal (problem) in body piercing if it does not harm the body.


Q1: Is it allowed to form a business partnership with a member of one’s family? If so could you let me know the Qur’anic verse which proves this?
A1: Forming a partnership with anyone is Islamically valid, and is not restricted to members of one’s family. There is no Qur’anic verse citing this.
Q2: Can I make money by selling alcohol and haram things like pork? There is no other business I can do.
A2: You should leave this business because the income is not halal. We advise you to look for a halal job and be sure that God will grant you sustenance.

Birth Control

Q1: A woman wishes to have temporary birth control and there are only three ways for it but from which two ways, that is taking tablets and injection, are harmful to her health as after using that she suffers from a health problem. Now the third and the last way is to fix up a coil in her body for the temporary period and for that she has to show the private part to the lady doctor. Do you allow this as she already has two babies.
A1: It is not permissible, and it is only allowed in the case that she gets it done by her husband.
Q2: I have two children and a lot of financial problems. I do not want to become pregnant or have another child. Can I prevent pregnancy by using contraceptives?
A2: In your situation, where you already have two children, and will not be able to raise and give proper training to more than two children, there is no Ishkaal (objection) in preventing pregnancy.
Q3: What is the Islamic verdict on birth control in all of its forms – for both men and women?  This is for methods, which are temporary and reversible?
A3: There is no Ishkaal (objection) in it, if the method is not permanent and irreversible.