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Shaking Hands

Q1: Is it permissible for a Shia Muslim man to shake hands with a woman?
A1: Respect for religious rulings and principles is far more important than any kind of respect we might hold for individuals, for by obeying these rules we actually pay respect to Allah and His orders. This reality is beyond debate. It would be necessary for you to explain your position and beliefs to others in that by refraining from shaking hands you do not mean to insult them and that you are in fact obeying the rules of your religion. In case of emergency, you could use gloves. We cannot be flexible in respecting the rules of Allah, for otherwise, over time, these principles might be damaged altogether. In certain cultures kissing might also be a form of paying respect, and refraining to do so might be construed as an insult, yet as Muslims we can not allow ourselves to come into any kind of physical contact with members of the opposite sex.
Q2: In the West, it is very common to shake hands at job interviews, business meetings, lunch, etc.. and many times it happens that the opposite party is of the opposite sex. What is your ruling on this keeping in mind that it is not obligatory to do this act?
A2: It is not permissible.
Q3: Is smoking marijuana permissible under Islamic law?
A3: Marijuana is intoxicating; it is not permissible to smoke it.

Sea Food

Q1: Dear Sir, I wonder if you could tell me what kind of sea animals or sea food is halal. We are living in the West and it is very important for us to know the answer to this question.
A1: It is not permissible to eat from marine animals anything except fish that has scale; shrimp is considered from that category [of halal sea animals]. But other than fish, like lobster, and similarly the fish that does not have scale is forbidden.

Shahadat-e Saalesa

Q1: What is your fatwa about reciting Ashhad anna alian waliullah in Tashahhud?
A1: Do not read the third testimony in Tashahhud. Tashahhud has to be recited in the same manner that has been explained in the manual of Islamic Laws.
Q2: A strong debate is going on among Pakistani Shiites about Shahadat Salesa (third testimony). Some people say that it is permissible and some say that it is not. Please, give us your fatwa about the said issue with reference to authentic traditions and revayaats.
A2: Please, see authentic narrations in Shia's Hadith books such as:
Wasaael Al-Shia Vol. 6. page 392 Abwaab Al-Tashahhud, chapter 3 Hadith 1.
Wasaael Al-Shia Vol. 6. page 397 Abwaab Al-Tashahhud, chapter 4 Hadith 4.
Wasaael Al-Shia Vol. 6. page 398 Abwaab Al-Tashahhud, chapter 4 Hadith 5.
Also, see Resalahs (Tauzihul Masaael) of all prominent Marjas (jurisprudents) and you will come to see that it (Shahadat Salesa) has not been mentioned in any of these books nor has it been advised. The third Shahadat has not been mentioned in the traditions in that context and none of the grand religious authorities has considered it mustahab (desirable) in prayer.
Q3: Is it permissible to recite ‘Aliyan Waliullah’ in the testimony (tashahhud) of prayer?
A3: “Ashhado an Aliyan waliullah" (I testify that Ali is the friend of Allah) is recited in the call to prayer ('Adhan), not in the testimony of prayer. It is not considered as a part of the prayer.
Q4: Does recitation of "Shahdat-e-Thalatha" (Ash'hadu Anna Ameer al-Momineena Wa Imam Al-Muttaqeena Ali un Wali Ullah Wasi ur RasulAllahWa Khalifatuhu Bila Fasl) makes a prayer void?
A4: Recite the testimony (Tashahhud) as it is written in the resalah, and avoid reciting the ‘Shahadat-e-Thalathe in prayer. It is sufficient to recite it in the 'adhan and iqamah.


Q1: Is singing or listening to a song forbidden?
A1: If it is considered ghina, it is not permissible to sing it or listen to it. Ghina means an amusing statement expressed in a manner that are suitable entertainment and amusement gatherings.
Q2: Can I listen to religious songs?
A2: If they are not sung in the tune of ghina, there is no objection to listening to them.

Social Interaction

Q1: Can I eat at the house of Ahle Kitab even though their books aren't the true Bible and Torah?
A1: If their food is made from the meat of an animal which has not been slaughtered according to Islamic rules, is not permissible.
Q2: What is the limit and scope of interaction for a convert to Islam whose family are not Muslims – they may either be People of the Book or non-Believers? What guidance would you offer them?
A2: He must keep good relation with his parents, brothers and sisters and behave in such a manner that they are attracted towards the religion of Islam.
Q3: Can a Muslim individual take part in lectures, Seminars, etc. in which women are in complete, proper Hijab?
A3: There is no problem.
Q4: Can a Muslim individual take part in lectures, Seminars, etc… in which women are not in complete, proper Hijab?
A4: There is no problem but you should enjoin them.
Q5: Is it permissible to attend a social gathering (non-Religious or non-Educative gatherings) in which women are in complete, proper Hijab?
A5: It is permissible.
Q6: Is it permissible to attend a social gathering (non-Religious or non-Educative gatherings) in which women are not in complete, proper Hijab?
A6: It is not permissible.

Sea Animals

Q1: What type of sea food is allowed? Are crabs, lobsters, shrimps allowed to eat?
A1: It is not permissible to eat from marine animals anything except fish that has scale; shrimp is considered from that category [of permissible sea animals]. But other than fish, like lobster, and similarly the fish that does not have scale is forbidden.
Q2: Can I eat fish caught by a non-Muslim?
A2: If it has scales, it is permissible to eat.


Q1: Is smoking a cigarette permissible (halal)? It can be dangerous like alcohol, and can cause cancer!
A1: As a measure of precaution it is advisable to give up any form of smoking or intake of narcotics.
Q2: Is smoking permitted in Islam?
A2: It is not prohibited but those who are non-smokers are advised to refrain from smoking, and those who smoke are strongly recommended to give it up if they are aware of the harmful effects that smoking can have on their health.
Q3: If smoking is problematic, what about Muslims indulging in the growth, production and sale of tobacco products?
A3: There is no problem.
Q4: A very important topic in the West is that of ‘second-hand smoke’ – that which others who are around the person who is smoking is affected by. If smoking is proven dangerous would it be permissible for a Muslim to smoke around those who are non-Smokers since he may be putting their life at risk?
A4: If it is harmful for them, it is not permissible for him to put them in danger.
Q5: Is moking marijuana permissible under Islamic law?
A5: Marijuana is intoxicating; it is not permissible to smoke it.

Sexual Aggression

Q1: If an innocent girl is raped against her wish, and consequently becomes pregnant, does Islamic law permit her to have an abortion so that she may safeguard her honour and future?
A1: In Islamic law abortion is not permissible, unless the survival of the foetus would seriously threaten the mother’s life. Only when the life of the mother is in danger is abortion permissible.

Sexual Intercourse

Q1: Is it permissible for a man to have two wives in one bed? If so, what is lawful for them and what is forbidden?
A1: It is severely abominable for a man to have two wives in one bed and it should be shunned. It is forbidden (haram) for one wife to look at the vagina of the other wife.
Q2: Is it permissible for a man to have sexual intercourse with his wife when she is in her menstrual period?
A2: No, it is not permissible.
Q3: Is anal intercourse permissible?
A3: It is not permissible, if wife is not consenting to it.


Q1: Is it permissible to commit suicide?
A1: It is not permissible.
Q2: If a person is suffering from a terminally painful disease, can he commit suicide before he suffers the disease too much?
A2: No, it is not permissible under any circumstances.

Selling and Buying

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.
Q6: Is it permissible to make money from selling unIslamically slaughtered (haram) meat 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.


Q1: What is your ruling on shaving of the beard and what are the minimum requirements of the beard? Is the “professor beard” sufficient? A1: Shaving of beard is not allowed but "French-cut beard", which involves shaving the two sides of the face and leaving the hair on the chin and the surrounding area unshaved, is sufficient.
Q2: Is it good to shave the armpit and pubic hair around the genital area?
A2: Yes, it is good to shave it.


Q1: What is the Islamic law on sodomy between two boys? Can one of them marry a relative of the other?
A1: If a Baligh person commits sodomy with a boy, the mother, sister and daughter of the boy become Haraam for him. And the same law applies when the person on whom sodomy is committed is an adult male, or when the person committing sodomy is Na-Baligh. But if one suspects or doubts whether penetration occurred or not, then the said woman would not become Haraam.
Q2: If sodomy occurs after a man marries one of the boy's female relatives, does the above rule apply?
A2: If a person marries the mother or sister or daughter of a boy, and commits sodomy with the boy after the marriage and intercourse, they will not become Haraam for him. But if he does it after Aqd and before intercourse, as an obligatory precaution, they are Haraam.


Q1: There are so many supplications (duas) but I am very busy and do not have enough time to say them all. What should I do?
A1: While you are at work, you can say Salawat, Allahoakbar, La 'Ilaha 'Illallah, Subhanallah, or Alhamdu-lillah.
Q2: Some people passing their hand over their face while saying Salawat (Allahumma Salle A'la Muhammad Wa A'le Muhammad): What is the meaning of this?
A2: In the noble book "al-Kafi Vol. 2 pg 471 there is a tradition related from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) which states: No servant raises his hand towards Allah, except that He feels ashamed to turn it back empty rather He places something of His Grace and Mercy in it, based on this when one of you makes supplication he should pass his hand over his face. By virtue of this hadtih and bearing in mind that the best prayer is reciting salawat, the answer to your question becomes clear. Also, this action is not specific to the zikr of salawat, rather it is recommended for all prayers.


Q1: Can you please elucidate upon your rulings for Salatul Jumu’ah?
A1: In the era of occultation of the Holy Imam Zaman (may Allah hasten his Holy appearance), Friday prayer is a Takhyiri obligation (it means that the obliged person can offer Friday prayer on Fridays instead of Zuhr prayer) but Friday prayer is more important and significant.
Q2: During the occultation, does it take the place of Salatul Zuhr?
A2: Yes, Friday prayer is sufficient. for Zuhr prayer.
Q3: What is your opinion on women performing Salatul Jumu'ah in this day and age (of the occultation)?
A3: There is no objection to it but it is not obligatory.
Q4: Given that travel today in the West is “very easy” thanks to the car, train, plane, etc… and one may travel from home to a friend’s house which is over 100 KM away with no difficult whatsoever, can he also pray his Salat in full there or must he observe the rules of Qasr?
A4: A traveller must offer his prayers as Qasr (short) no matter whatsoever the means.
Q5: A majority of cities in the West today stretch (from east to west) over 100 KM and 150 KM (from north to south). Would such a city, like Toronto or New York with all of its minor cities within it, be considered as one large city?
A5: If the entire city is considered as one city no matter how big it is, the person going to the other end of the city should observe fast.
Q6: I have not ever prayed salaat regularly. Recently, however, I have desperatley wanted something and had no where to turn but Salat, so I did. However, now I have started praying regularly, I am worried that my salaat will not be accepted by Allah as I may be praying "For a reason". I have always had the intention to pray, but it is just "this thing I want" that has triggered me off to start praying regularly. However, when I do pray, I pray with full faith and respect. Will my Salat be being accepted??
A6: You must perform your Salat regularly so that Insha-Allah it will be accepted by God, the Glorified, and perform your Qadha (lapsed) prayers gradually.

Summoning Spirits

Q1: Is inviting the souls qualified as black magic? And what is your point of view about summoning spirits from Barzakh?
A1: There is a difference between summoning souls and black magic, and the possibility of summoning souls in the commonly known way has not been proved.


Q1: If somebody clearly and explicitly says that he does not believe in God or any religion, are Muslims allowed to take his belongings and properties without paying for them?
A1: Even though these people are not considered either Ahlul Kitab (people of the book, Non Muslims who are followers of a prophet who has divine book, such as Jews and Christians) or Ahlul Dhimma (people of the book such as Jews and Christians who enjoy the security of Islamic Government and are subject to observation of Islamic social rules and live in Muslim territories) their belongings and properties are not respected. However every act which will cause the Muslims to look bad must be avoided.


Q1: I am a convert to Islam in America. What is the Shia opinion of Sufism and can a Muslim study Sufi texts?
A1: Sufism, according to both the Shiite school of thought and Islam in general, has no basis or foundation and there is no sign of it in the teachings of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Mustafa (S). It is better if you study the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) and Nahjul Balagha of Amirul Momineen, Ali (A.S.) carefully instead of books on Sufism. After that you should study books on the history of Islam and you should follow the Prophet’s household i.e. the Infallible Imams who are free from all sin and error, in all issues. In order to perform your religious duty the way that Allah, the Glorified wants, refer to the Tawdhihul Msaail (book on Islamic laws) and act in accordance to that and keep in mind that all of the various sects and groups are misguided and individuals have set them up either out of ignorance or to gain benefit and misuse naïve people.