Current Legal Issues
There are few issues that are a source of affliction [for the
believers]. People often ask what to do about them. We mention these issues below with
their answers that are derived from al -Masaail al-Muntakhabah and Minhajus
The ceremonial cleanliness of the People of the
Book (Jews and Christians), and whether it is desirable to avoid [coming into contact
"As for the People of the Book, it is widely believed that they are najis.
However, it is likely that they are tahir, though, ihtiyat should be adhered
to". Masaail, article 82.
Preference of attending Jumuah
[congregational] prayer, provided that it is held according to the conditions [stipulated
in canon law]:
Evidently, performing Jumuah prayer is obligatory as a matter of choice. This means
that, on a Friday, the mukallaf has the option of either performing Jumuah
prayer according to the detail that will follow, or holding Dhuhr prayer. However,
performing Jumuah prayer is preferable. If it was performed according to
stipulations, it would make up for Dhuhr prayer". Minhajus Saliheen, p.
"The time for holding Jumuah prayer is the start of zawaal of a Friday
as urf have it. If it is not held during this time, performing Dhuhr prayer
becomes a must". Al-Masaail, article 193.
"Does Jumuah Ghusl make up for wudhu?"
"Jumuah ghusl and similar ones have been proved through reliable sources to be
mustahab. It is evident that they make up for wudhu". Al-Masaail,
Performing tamam prayer.
"Distance should be calculated from the point where a person is considered, according
to urf, a traveller; it is the end of the bounds of the town, which may be the
borough or neighbourhood in some very big cities". Al-Minhaj, p.891.
Sighting of the New Moon:
"Sighting of the new moon is ascertained by knowledge of the actual sighting or
through solid news of such sighting, or some other means. Certainty can also be achieved
through common knowledge. Amongst other sources of ascertaining the sighting of the new
moon is the lapse of thirty days on Shabans crescent for the start of Ramadhan
to be confirmed, or thirty days on the crescent of Ramadhan for the new moon of Shawwal
to be confirmed [and so on]. Sighting can also be confirmed by the evidence of two
witnesses of impeccable character (adl).
However, sighting of the new moon is not recognised by the evidence of women, or by the
evidence of one just witness, even with oath, or by the words of astrologers. Neither by
its absence after dawn dusk, so that it could be said that it belongs to a previous night,
nor by the evidence of two just witnesses, if the evidence is not confined to their own
sighting of the newly born moon. Sighting is not recognised too when it is seen before zawaal
so that the day of sighting be from the ensuing month. The impression of a ring it may
give, proving that it could belong to a previous night, cannot be accepted as well.
There is ishkal, rather objection, in ascertaining the birth of a new moon by a
ruling from a judge, whose error cannot be verified, neither the error of his source. Of
course, if his ruling or his evidence leads to certainty of sighting in the town and the
like, it could be relied on". Al-Minhaj, p.335.
The sighting of the new moon in a town could make up for its sighting in another.
"Should the new moon be sighted in a town, it would suffice the sighting in another
town, provided the two fall on the same horizon. That is, if the new moon was sighted in
the first town, there would be a distinct possibility of sighting it in the second,
barring any obstacles, such as clouds and high mountains". Al-Minhaj, article
Obligation to pay zakat on money [capital]
used in trading:
"This money is that which is owned by a person, as a means of exchange [capital],
intending to trade with it, earn a profit and, eventually, a living. It is obligatory, as
a matter of ihtiyat, to pay zakat due on it, which is 2.5%, provided the
following conditions are fulfilled:
The owner is adult and sound in mind.
The money should reach the bench mark of gold or silver. (For gold it
is fifteen mithqal sairafi (of coins and bullion - a unit of weight, equivalent to
4.608 grams), then every three mithqals thereafter. As for silver, it is one
hundred and five mithqals, then every twenty one mithqals thereafter - Al-Masaail,
The lapse of one year on the [actual amount] of money, i.e. from the
time it was intended for making a profit.
The intention to make profit should be constant the whole year, in
that if the person changed his mind and appropriated some or spent some of it [money] on
living expenses, for example, zakat will not become obligatory.
The ability of the owner to have the right of disposal over it for
the whole year.
The amount of capital should be intact or there was an increase
[profit] in it during the whole year. If, however, there was a decrease during the year, zakat
will not become obligatory". Al-Masaail, p.226.
Leather [products] acquired from non-Muslims that
may be considered tahir due to the possibility of [the animal] being slaughtered
according to Islamic law:
"It is permissible to sell [trade in] leather products, meat, and animal fat imported
from non-Muslim countries [from a source] that is known to be unbeliever. The same goes
for the ruling regarding its being tahir and performing prayer in it [wearing a
leather belt for example]. This should be the case on the premise that the animal was
slaughtered according to Islamic sharia law. However, it is haraam to
consume, unless it was ascertained that the animal had been slaughtered according to
Islamic law. That is, unless such goods were produced Islamic land, or imported by an
Islamic country, or handled by Muslims, [i.e. slaughtering is carried out in Islamic way].
The same goes for goods acquired through Muslims, if it was known that the source was
unbelieving and without enquiring about the way of slaughtering.
Painting in three dimensions, of living creatures,
Painting living creatures, such as human beings and the like, in three dimensions is haraam,
as a mater of ihtiyat. As for ordinary painting, evidently it is permissible. There
is no harm in photographic imaging that is commonly used nowadays. There is no harm too in
acquiring three dimensional portraits and selling [trading in] them, albeit the latter is makrooh.
Al-Masaail, article 634.
[Islamic dress code] - the permissibility of
exposing the face and hands [of a woman] to people, other than her mehaarim
(immediate relatives -according to a certain classification detailed in sharia
"It is obligatory on the woman to cover her hair and the rest of her body, apart from
the face and hands from people, other than her husband and other mehaarim, among
the adults in general. Rather, she should cover herself from those who have not yet
attained adulthood, if they were discerning, and their looking at her could result in
sexual arousal. As for the face and hands, it is evident that it is permissible to expose
them, except for fear of falling into a haraam act, or for the purpose of ensnaring
man to look at haraam [objects]. In this case, exposing such parts of the body is haraam,
even to mehaarim". Al-Masaail article 1021.
What is the ruling on prayer performed behind a
non-believer (ghayeril mumin), especially if he holds it before its
"[The prayer] is not in order, unless its prescribed time was already on". Al-Manasik,
At Mekka, is it permissible for a woman to
stand ahead of a man during prayer, which is not the case elsewhere?
Yes, it is permissible at times of crowdedness.
A person stayed ten days at Mekka, having
the intent to stay for the period. He then left for Arafat, assuming the distance
between the two is less than four farsakh(a unit of distance equivalent to eleven
kilometres). What is the ruling on the form of prayer, i.e. tamam or qasr,
at Arafat, Mashar and Mina?
If the distance is as suggested by the question, prayer should be performed tamam.
What is the ruling on him who left Mekka
for Arafat before completing ten days, for a valid reason that required him to
abort his stay, and after he performed a fourrukaa (bowing) prayer at Mekka
with the niyyah of being resident [for ten days or more]?
On the assumption that the distance between Mekka and Arafat is less than
four farsakh, he should perform tamam prayer.
On the day of Eid, a pilgrim returned from
Mina to Mekka, then went back to Mina. What form his prayer should
take, tamam or qasr, noting that he had previously stayed in Mekka
for ten days?
If the distance from the periphery of Mekka to Arafat, Muzdalifa, Mina, and
back was forty four kilometres or more, qasr prayer should be performed at these
locations, and at Mekka on return, should he decide not stay there for ten days.
Conversely, prayer should be performed tamam at all the said locations.