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Quran

Q1: I have been instructed to ask for your fatwa on learning Al-Qur'an under the instruction of brothers. Of course I am an English-- speaking sister who has been trying to learn to read Al-Qur'an for years. In the past, some of them have been brothers. Recently I found an online site where sisters from around the world study under the instruction of a brother from Egypt and two sisters whom he gives instructions. Today I was told it was haraam for sisters to recite with torteil with brothers listening. The same brother asked that I ask you for your fatwa regarding this issue.
A1: As a general rule, to recite the Holy Quran or some other text with such a voice which leads to corruption and excites men, in a place where they can hear their voice, even through a means of communication (telephone, radio, etc) is not permissible. But if the instruction of the Holy Quran does not necessitate reciting in a beautiful voice, it has no objection. By the voice which was explained above is permissible.
Q2: What is the stand on giving a non-Muslim the Qur`an for him or her to learn about the Qur`an and our faith if it is Arabic text?
A2: If the Quran is not made Najis or disprespected by them, there is no problem.
Q3: I would like to know, what is our belief about Quran: Was it created, as Mutĺahzilites claim, or is it eternal as Sunnis claim?
A3: The Holy Quran is the word of Allah, the Most High and His creation and it is only the Lord who is eternal and post-eternal. It is better for you, through referring to the Quranic commentaries and pondering over the verses of the Quran, to benefit from its sublime teachings and not to delve into these issues.
Q4: I cannot read the Holy Quran in Arabic. My question is can I read a translation of the Quran and get the reward of reading the Quran itself?
A4: Listening to the recitation of the Holy Quran has reward (Sawab) for you but reciting it has more reward. It has been recommend in traditions and narratives of the Ahlul-bayt (a.s.) as well as in the Quran that you as a reader should contemplate over and comprehend the meanings of the verses of the Holy Quran. However, if you cannot recite the Quran, listening to it will also have reward for you.

Qama Zani

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.

Qaza Prayers and Fasts

Q1: If a person has broken his fasts intentionally or due to a valid reason, what is he supposed to do? Must he make them up before the nexth Ramadhan? Can he observe Mustahab fast, if he has a lot of Qaza fasts to observe?
A1: If a person breaks his fast because of a valid excuse for example, he had been on a journey, it is sufficient to give the Qadha only, if a year has not elapsed. If he has delayed giving the Qadha until the next year, he must must in addition to performing the Qadha given one Mudd (3/4 Kg.) of foodstuff to the poor for each day. If he has broken his fast intentionally, he must either fast for two months as a Kaffarah for each day of the fast of Ramadha or feed sixty poor completely. He should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts. If none of them is possible for him, he is free to choose between 18 days of fasting or give the poor whatever mudds of foodstuff that he can, and if these are not possible, he/she must ask for divine forgiveness, even in the form of saying Astghforollah, and as an obligatory precaution, he/she must give the Kaffarah whenever it is possible.
After giving the Qadha of the fast in the manner that we described, he can keep Mustahab fast.
Q2: Can a person offer mustahab prayers, if he has missed many obligatory prayers which he has not made up yet?
A2: Yes, he can.
Q3: I have missed many prayers at different times and seasons? I am not sure about the number of those prayers. How should I perform the qaza of those prayers?
A3: You should perform as many qaza prayers as to be sure that you are free from obligation.

Qasr Prayers

Q1: The distance between Tehran and Qom 135 km. I travel from Qom to Tehran to attend my classes? This happens once or twice in a week? Do I have to shorten my Zuhr and Asr prayers?
A1: No, you must offer complete prayers and if you travel the distance in the month of Ramadhan, you should observe fast also.
Q2: How many kilo meters should I travel until I can break my fast? What is the minimum distance required for breaking one's fast or shortening prayers?
A2: If the total of outward and return distance is 8 Farsakh (44 kms), qasr becomes obligatory. The traveler should reduce the Rakĺats in Zuhr, Asr, and Isha prayers; that is, he should perform two Rakĺats instead of four. Please, see Resalah (Islamic Laws) for further details.