Q1: I would like to calculate my religious tax (khums) up until now. Is there a formula, which I can use to work out the amount?
A1: If you earn money by any means such as trade, industry, or even teaching, provided it exceeds your annual expenses for maintaining yourself and your family, you should pay khums on it (ie. that money which is extra, or left over and not spent throughout one year).
Q2: Greetings and compliments to His Eminence, Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (May Allah grant him long life).
Respectfully, we would like to state that in some cases your Muqalledin (followers) fail to meet you in person (for paying their religious dues) so they refer to clerics in the districts and towns and calculate their properties with them. It so happens that sometimes they pay their dues but do not receive your receipt sheet or in some cases the clerics give their own receipt sheets or bring receipt sheets from other Marjas (religious authorities). Is paying of religious dues in such manner allowed? Is he who pays his dues in this manner absolved? What is the responsibility of your Muqalledin?
May Allah prolong your life.
A group of your followers
A2: With greetings and compliments. Keeping in view that the Hawzas (religious seminaries) of Isfahan and Khurasan and more than three hundred smaller Hawzas maintain part of their livelihood with monthly salaries which they are receiving from me and given that the amount of the salary of the Islamic Seminary of Qom which is more than the salaries given by other seminaries, the entire salary of a student received from the offices of all the Jurisprudents does not exceed a hundred thousand Tumans in spite of thirty years of study background in the seminary. In view of the economic inflation which is unfortunately dominating our population, inappropriate giveaways and incorrect compromising are not consented by God, the Holy Prophet and Imams (a.s.). If individuals, who are my followers, pay their obligatory religious dues without receiving my receipt sheet, it would not be sufficient on their part and they are not absolved.
Q3: I sold my house for $1000. I bought another house in another city worth $500. In this way, I have saved $500 to further my studies abroad. I will not touch this amount unless I start my studies abroad in the coming years. Is it obligatory on me to pay zakat and khums on this amount at the end of the year?
A3: On the condition that you were resident at your home for one year before you sold it, you do not need to pay khums on it. If you bought the new home with money on which khums has been paid, then the said amount is not subject to khums. You must pay khums at the end of the year if you bought that home with money on which no khums has been paid.
Q4: What is your opinion on purchases of impermissible items – music, movies, magazines, books, alcohol, drugs, etc… does a person need to pay Khums on these sorts of things since he is not permitted to spend money on these items?
A4: Buying and selling of the said things are not permissible.
Rights (or Obligations)
Q1: What are the rights of a dying Muslim?
A1: If a person is in the throes of death it is Mustahab to recite by his side Surah Yasin, Surah as-Saffat, Surah al-Ahzab, Ayat al-Kursi and 54th verse of Surah al-A’raf, “Ana Rabokom...” and the last three verses of Surah al-Baqarah. In fact it is better to recite as much from the Holy Qur’an as possible.
Q2: If a Muslim man or woman dies, what should those who are around him/her do?
A2: A Muslim who is dying, whether man or woman, old or young, should be laid on his/her back if possible, in such a manner that the soles of his/her feet would face the Qibla. It is not possible to lay him/her in this way, this rule should be observed only as far as possible and if laying of the person is not possible at all, he/she must be sited to face Qibla and if this is not possible, he/she must be laid to right or left side facing Qibla.
Q3: I would like to have more information regarding the depth and extent of a husband's obligations for maintenance and expenses of the wife. Is it true that the husband should provide the same level of life (luxuries, maids, education) as the wife had before marriage? Does the answer differ from one scholar to another? Are there any hadith and/or rulings in this regard?
A3: The husband is obliged to provide his wife with food, clothing and housing in conformity with her social status and dignity; dignity meaning the same level of life that she had before marriage. In this regard, the scholars share the same view.
Q1: What is your definition of Interest or as the Qur`an calls it, Reba? 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 Reba be applied today to the Western banking structure?
A1:All of the said cases are considered "Reba" but taking interest from non-Muslim banks is permissible.
Q2: What is the ruling on depositing money in non-Muslim banks and taking the return (what some term Interest) from them?
A2: There is no Ishkaal (problem) in it.
Q3: Is it permissible to “shop around” for the bank or account, which offers us the best return rate on our money (Interest)?
A3: It is permissible to "shop around" for non-Muslim banks.
Q4: What is your opinion on taking interest from banks and financial institutions and also paying them interest where necessary (when we need to take a loan for a house, car or another necessity)?
A4: Taking interest from non-Muslim banks is allowed. If a Muslim intends to get a loan from such banks, it is necessary that he should do so with the intention that it is a transaction without return, even if he knows that he will end up paying the capital as well as the interest. And he should not do so with the intention of getting the loan with the condition of [paying] interest.
Q1: What is the Islamic law on eating food in a Muslim restaurant in the west?
A1: If the owner of the restaurant is a Muslim and says that the meat he serves is halal, then in this case there is no Ishkaal (problem).
Q2: What is your opinion on Muslims eating in non-Muslim or even Muslim owned and operated restaurants which serve halal food however also serve alcoholic drinks? If the alcohol is not being consumed at our table, does this change the ruling?
A2: If there is no alcoholic drink on your table, there is no problem in eating in these restaurants. Yes, if going to restaurants where alcoholic liquids are served is degrading for a Muslim, it is not permissible to eat in there.
Q1: We usually receive wedding invitation cards, which have ‘In the Name of Allah’ written on them. What should we do with them, as we are not allowed to throw them in the sea and it is difficult to bury them? Can we give them to the places that gather paper to be recycled?
A1: If you cannot bury them in the ground, you can give them to the recycling companies.
Q2: Other than throwing papers with the name of Allah and other personalities in water (which is technically not permissible according to the laws of the West to avoid pollution and other things) what can Muslims do? Are we permitted to recycle these things in government-sponsored programs?
A2: If the papers are not mixed with najis things and throwing them into recycle bin is not considered disrespectful, there is no problem.
Q1: What is the significance of Azadari?
A1: Mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) is a manifestation of respecting religious rites and symbols. The Holy Quran has recommended the commemoration and reverence of the divine rituals. See Hajj chapter verse 32 in which it says, "æãä íÚÙã ÔÚÇÆÑ Çááå ÝÇäåÇ ãä ÊÞæí ÇáÞáæÈ"
That (shall be so); and whoever respect the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts. No religious symbol is greater than the prophets of God, Imam Husain, the successor of the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him and his progeny.
Q1: Is it permissible for a man to wear a gold ring?
A1: It is not permissible for men to wear gold objects?
Q2: Can a man wear white gold ring?
A2: Using gold is haram (forbidden) for men irrespective of its color.
Q3: Is using platinum ring allowed?
A3: It is allowed.