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Prayers [Salaat]


Prayers [Salaat]


Importance and Conditions of Prayers

Q 345: What is the rule concerning a person who intentionally refrains from performing prayers or someone who belittles prayers?

A: The five daily obligatory prayers are among the most important obligations in Islamic law; rather, they constitute the pillar of the faith. According to Islamic law, forsaking their performance or belittling them is forbidden and one who does so deserves punishment.

Q 346: Is performing prayers obligatory on a person who lacks both of the purifiers, viz. water and soil}?

A: Prayers must be performed on time according to precaution; and after the belated accomplishment [qadha] of the prayer must be performed with ablution [wudhu'] or dry ablution [tayyamum].

Q 347: In your esteemed opinion, what are the instances for changing the intention during obligatory prayers?

A: Changing one's intention is obligatory in the following instances:

* From afternoon [asr] to noon [zuhr] prayers, when one realizes during prayer that he/she has not performed the noon prayer.

* From the late evening [isha'] to the evening [maghrib] prayer, when one realizes during prayer, and before passing the point for changing one's intention, that one has not performed the evening prayer.

* When one is obliged to perform two belated accomplishment [qadha] prayers that are to be performed in order, but forgetfully begins with the latter before performing the former.

Changing one's intention is commendable in the following cases:

*From obligatory daily prayers to obligatory belated accomplishment [qadha] provided that doing so does not lead to the expiration of the obligatory daily prayer in its prime time.

* From an obligatory prayer to a recommended one for the purpose of joining congregational prayers.

* From obligatory prayers to a daily recommended prayer [nafilah] at Friday 's noon by a person who forgot to recite surah al-Jumu`ah and is reading another chapter of which he has either recited half or more. Thus, it is recommended that he turn from obligatory prayers to a daily recommended prayer [nafilah] so that he may repeat the obligatory prayers including surah al-Jumu`ah.

Q348: Which one of the following should be done by a person who wants to perform both the Friday [jumu`ah] and the noon [zuhr] prayers together on Friday:

(1) Perform each of them only with the intention of gaining nearness to Allah without intending that they are obligatory [wajib]. (2) Or to offer the first with both the intention of gaining nearness to Allah and that it is obligatory and the second only with the intention to gain nearness to Allah. (3) Or perform both with intention of gaining nearness to Allah and that they are obligatory?

A: Performing each of them with the intention of gaining nearness to Allah suffices and it is not necessary to intend that they are obligatory.

Q 349: If the mouth or the nose keeps bleeding from when the time of an obligatory prayer begins until it is about to end, what will be the prayers rule?

A: If one is unable to clean one one's body and fears the expiration of the time of the obligatory prayers, he can perform those prayers in that state.

Q 350: Should the body stand still completely while reciting the recommended recitals [dhikrs] of prayers?

A: There is no difference between obligatory and recommended [dhikrs] as far as the observing of the obligatory stillness and calmness during prayers is concerned.

Q 351: A catheter is put into the body of some patients in hospitals to take out the urine. When the catheter is in place the urine comes out of patient's body unintentionally, whether the patient is asleep or awake or is performing prayers. In light of this, please answer the following question: Is it obligatory on him to repeat the prayers later, or does the prayers performed in such conditions suffices?

A: His prayers is valid in the case that he performed his prayers in such a condition in accordance with his legal duty, and it is not obligatory on him to repeat it or perform its belated accomplishment [qadha].

Prayer Times

Q 352: What is the proof on which Shi`ah relies on concerning the times of daily obligatory prayers? As you know, Sunnis consider the beginning time of the late evening prayer [isha'] a proof that the evening prayer [maghrib] has lapsed, thus become belated accomplishment [qadha] during that time; and so is the case with the noon and the afternoon prayers. Accordingly, they believe that when the time of the evening prayer [isha'] prayers begins and the Imam stands up to perform it, the person who performs prayers behind him may not perform the evening prayer [maghrib] with him in order to perform both prayers side by side.

A: The proof is represented by the generality of Qur'anic verses and the noble Sunnah in addition to the traditions that specifically indicate the permissibility of performing such prayers together. Given that Sunnis also have some traditions that prove the permissibility of performing the two prayers during the time of one of them.

Q353: Keeping in mind that the time of the afternoon prayers [asr] ends at sunset and the time of noon prayers [zuhr] ends a little before sunset when there is just enough time to perform afternoon prayers, I would like to ask what is meant by the evening prayer [maghrib]? Is it the setting of the sun or when the call to prayers of the evening prayer [maghrib] is said (according to the local horizon)?

A: The time for the afternoon prayers ends at the disappearance of the sun.

Q 354: How many minutes is the time gap between sunset and the time for the call to prayer for maghrib?

A: Apparently, it varies with the change of the seasons of the year.

Q 355: Since I work until late at night I cannot return home before 11 p.m. and it is not possible for me to perform the evening prayer [maghrib] and the late evening prayer [isha'] while working due to the large number of clients. Is it correct to perform the evening prayer [maghrib] and the late evening prayer [isha'] prayers after 11 p.m.?

A: There is no problem in it insofar as it does not entail their postponement beyond midnight But try to perform them no later than 11p.m., and moreover, to offer prayers as soon as its time begins.

Q356: How much of the prayers is it that if performed during its specified time, the intent of offering the prayer in its specific time, will be realized correctly? And what is the rule in the case of doubt as to whether that portion has been performed within the time or not?

A: Performing a single rak`ah of the prayers at the end of its time is sufficient for considering that it was prayed in its specific time, and if you doubt whether the time is enough for performing at least a rak'ah or not, your duty will be to perform the prayers with the intention of carrying out whatever is your obligation [ma fi al-dhimmah] and not to make intentions for praying the prayer in its specific time [ada'] or performing belated accomplishment [qadha].

Q 357: The embassies and consulates of the Islamic Republic of Iran based in non-Islamic countries have prepared a timetable for the designation of shar`i times in major areas and cities. My question is first, to what extent are these timetables reliable? And second, what should be done in other cities of those countries?

A: The criterion is the certainty of the person bound by religious obligations [mukallaf] and if he is not convinced about the correspondence of these timetables with reality, it will be obligatory on him to observe precaution and wait till he is sure that the legal [shar`i] time has set in.

Q 358: What is your opinion on the issue of the true daybreak [al-Fajr al-Sadiq] and {the false daybreak [al-Fajr al-Kadhib]? What is the duty of the praying person in this regard?

A: The legal [shar`i] criterion with respect to the time of praying and fasting is al-Fajr al-Sadiq, and its determination is the task of the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf].

Q 359: In a full-time secondary school, the authorities conduct zuhr and asr prayers in congregation at 2 p.m., shortly before the start of the afternoon classes. The reason for the delay is that the morning session ends three quarters of an hour before the legal [shar`i] noon and keeping students till the legal timing of noon is difficult. Having this in mind, what is your esteemed opinion, given the importance of performing prayers at the beginning of its time?

A: There is no problem in delaying group prayers so that those who want to perform prayers could gather assuming they are not present in the school when prayer time begins.

Q 360: Is it obligatory to perform zuhr prayers after the adhan of zuhr and asr prayers when its time has arrived, and to do the same with respect to maghrib and isha' prayers?

A: After the time arrives, the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf] has the option to perform the two prayers either together or separately.

Q 361: Is it obligatory to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for performing morning prayers during moonlit nights? Given that the time of prayers has arrived and it is possible, then, to obtain certainty concerning the occurrence of the daybreak?

A: There is no difference between nights, moonlit or otherwise, as regards to daybreak, the time of morning obligatory prayers, and the obligatory time of abstinence for fasting, though it would be good to observe precaution in this regard.

Q362: Is the amount of difference of the shar`i times of various provinces, which is caused by the difference of their horizons, the same with respect to the times of all three daily obligatory prayers? For example, suppose that the difference between the zuhr prayers' timings of two provinces is 25 minutes. Does this difference remain the same with respect to other timings and with the same amount? Or does it vary for the timings of subh and isha' prayers?

A: The sole similarity of the amount of difference between them with respect to the occurrence of daybreak, or the descent of the sun, or sunset does not necessarily imply similarity with regard to all the other timings. Rather, the amount of difference between various cities often differs in relation to the three praying times.

Q 363: Given that Sunnis perform maghrib prayers before the shar`i sunset, is it permissible for us to perform prayers behind them during Hajj season and at other times and do these prayers suffice?

A: It is not certain that their performance of prayers before the outset of its time and joining them in their group prayers and performing prayers behind them do not involve any problem and is sufficient. Waiting until the specified time of prayers begins is necessary unless the time issue is also a case for concealment [taqiyyah].

Q364: The sun rises in Denmark and Norway at 7 a.m. and keeps shining in the sky till when the time corresponds to 12 p.m. in other nearby countries. What is my obligation with respect to performing prayers and fasting?

A: It is obligatory to observe the particular horizon of that area as far as the timing of daily prayers are concerned And if fasting causes harm, due to the extensive length of the day, it will cease to be obligatory as [ada'], and instead, it will be obligatory to perform it by way of belated accomplishment [qadha]

Q365: The sunlight reaches the earth in about 7 minutes. Which one is the criterion for determining the end of the time of morning prayers: sunrise or when the sunlight reaches the earth?

A: The criterion is the rise of the sun and its visibility on the local horizon of the praying person.

Q 366: Legal [Shar`i] timings are announced in communications media a day before each day. Is it permissible to rely on these announcements and consider the broadcast or the telecast of the call to prayer [adhan] as the basis for the arrival of prayers' time?

A: The criterion is that the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf] becomes sure about the beginning of the time.

Q 367: Does the time of prayers start as soon as the call to prayer [adhan] begins to be recited, or is it obligatory to wait before starting the prayers till the call to prayer [adhan] is over? And is it permissible for a fasting person to end his fast [iftar] as soon as the call to prayer [adhan] begins or is it obligatory on him to wait till it ends?

A: If one is certain that the call to prayer [adhan] started when the time arrived, it will not be obligatory to wait till its end.

Q 368: Are the prayers of someone who has performed the second of two prayers before the first - such as the isha' before the maghrib - correct?

A: In case that he was doing so by mistake or unintentionally till he completed the prayers, then they are correct without any problem. But if he did so intentionally, then they are invalid.

Rules of Qiblah*

Q 369: Please answer the following questions:

First, it is stated, based on some books of Islamic law, that the sun is exactly above the Ka`bah on two days: the 4th of Khordad (24 May) and the 26th of Tir (16th of July). In such a condition, is it possible to determine the direction of the qiblah by fixing a pole [shakhis] in the ground at the time of the call to prayer [adhan] in Mecca? In case that the direction of qiblah in the prayer niches [mihrab] of mosques differs from the direction of the pole's shadow, which one is more correct?

Second, is it correct to rely on a compass to find the qiblah?

A: It is correct to rely on the [shakhis] or compass provided that it makes the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf] certain with respect to the direction of qiblah; a certainty which must be acted upon. otherwise, there is no problem in relying on the niches of mosques or the graves of Muslims in determining the direction of qiblah.

Q 370: Is it correct to perform prayers in any direction in the course of a fierce battle when it is not possible to determine the direction of qiblah?

A: If there is time, one should perform prayers in four directions; otherwise one should repeat the prayers in as many directions as time allows.


*· Qiblah is the point to which one should turn while performing prayers and is symbolized by the Ka`bah or the House of God located in Mecca.


Q 371: How should one face the qiblah at the point which is the opposite of the Holy Ka`bah on the other side of the earth such that the line drawn from the Holy Ka`bah passing through the center of the earth comes out of the other side of the earth at this point?

A: The basis in the obligatory facing towards the qiblah is to turn towards the Holy House [al-Bayt al-A tiq] on the surface of the earth in such a manner that someone who stands on the surface of the earth faces the Holy Ka`bah that is built upon the earth 's surface in Mecca. Therefore, if one stands at a point on the earth where all the lines emanating from it and passing over the earth's surface towards the Holy Ka 'bah are equal in distance, he can face the qiblah in any direction he wishes. But, if the distance is shorter in some directions by an amount in case of which the realization of facing varies according to common convention [urf] it will be obligatory to choose the shorter distance.

Q 372: What should we do in a place where we do not know the direction of the qiblah, having no device to find it and the qiblah may possibly be in any of the four directions?

A: If the probability of the qiblah being in each of the four directions is equal with respect to all of them, it will be obligatory to perform the prayers in all four directions so that one becomes certain that he has performed prayers facing the qiblah.

Q 373: How is the direction of the qiblah determined? And how should prayers be performed in the north and South Pole?

A: The basis in determining the direction of the qiblah in the two poles is to find the shortest line from the location of the praying person to the Ka'bah, and then, to face the qiblah along that line upon its designation.

Rules of the Place of Prayers

Q 374: Is one permitted to sit or perform prayers in, or pass through, places that are usurped by a tyrannical regime?

A: Assuming certainty about usurpation, the rule of such places will be the very rule of a usurped entity in terms of the impermissibility of utilization [tasarruf] and liability [dhama'n].

Q 375: What is the rule with respect to performing prayers on a land that used to be an endowment [waqf] in the past and the government has taken it over and built a school on it?

A: If there is a considerable probability that the said use of the land has been due to a legal [shar`i] permission, there will be no problem in performing prayers on it.

Q 376: I hold group prayers in a number of schools, some of the lands of which were taken from their owners without consent. What is the rule regarding the prayers that the students and I have performed in such schools?

A: If the usurpation of the land from its legal [shar`i] owner is not ascertained, there will not be any problem in the prayers.

Q 377: A person performed prayers, for a period of time, on a mat or in a dress out of which khums was to be paid. What is the state of these prayers?

A: If he was unaware of the fact that khums was to be paid out of such properties, or of the rule of using them, and then the prayers performed would be considered valid.

Q378: Is it true that men should be in front of women while performing prayers?

A: It is not obligatory that men are in front, or there is no problem in a woman being in front of a man, if there was a space the size of a hand span between them.

Q 379: What is the rule with respect to hanging the photographs of Imam Khomeini and the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution in the mosques, given that Imam Khomeini expressed his desire in not having his photographs fixed in the mosques and there is also a view that considers such an act undesirable [makruh] but not forbidden?

A: There is no legal [shar`I] obstacle to hang their photographs in the mosques and if they are neither in the direction of the qiblah or in front of praying individuals, then there will be no undesirability [karahah] in it either.

Q 380: A person has been living in a house owned by the government and after the term of his allotted residence is over, he is given a notice to vacate it. What is the rule pertaining to his prayers and fasting after the deadline fixed for its vacation expires?

A: If he is not allowed by the concerned authorities to reside in the house after the deadline, all of his doings in the house will be considered as acts of usurpation [ghasb].

Q 381: Is it undesirable [makruh] to perform prayers on a rug that has pictures on it or on clay [turbah] with engravings?

A: It is not prohibited in itself but if it provides an opportunity for those who always accuse Shi`ah, it will be obligatory to refrain from manufacturing such products and performing prayers on them.

Q 382: Would our prayers be correct when the place where we perform prayers is not clean but the place of prostration [sujud] is clean?

A: If the impurity [najasah] of the place is such that it does not make clothes or body impure [najis] and the place of prostration is clean, there will be no problem in performing prayers there.

Q 383: The present building of the office where we work used to be the site of a graveyard in the past. About forty years ago it was abandoned and thirty years ago this building was constructed. Now, all the lands around the office have been built on, and there remains no sign of the graveyard. Please clarify whether it is correct for the employees to perform prayers in such an office from the viewpoint of Islamic law?

A: The use of such an office and performing prayers in it is allowed without any problem, unless it is proved through a legal [shar`i] method that the ground upon which this office has been built on is an endowment for the burial of the dead.

Q384: Some faithful youths have decided to hold prayers in parks on one or two days of the week for enjoining to good [amr bil-ma `ruf] purposes. Some respected and elderly people object that the matter of ownership of such places is not clear. What is the ruling with regard to performing prayers in such places?

A: There is no problem in using present recreational parks for such activities as holding prayers, etc. Avoiding the mere probability of usurpation should also be taken into consideration.

Q385: The land of one of the primary schools in this city used to be the private property of a person. According to the city map of 'Hadishahr' it was announced that this land must be altered to a garden. Then, due to dire need, it was decided, with the approval of the Municipality, to change it into a school. The owner of the land is not happy with its takeover by the government and has made it public that he is not content that anybody performs such activities as prayers there. Please explain your esteemed opinion on the issue of performing prayers in this place?

A: If the ownership of the land was taken over from its legal owner according to a law passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly and approved by the Council of the Guardians of the Constitution*, there will be no problem in the activities carried out and the prayers performed in that place.

* Islamic Consultative assembly and the Council of the Guardians of constitution are two parliamentary organs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Q 386: There were in our city two adjacent mosques separated by a wall between them. Some time ago some pious people removed a large part of that wall with the purpose of connecting the two mosques. This became the cause of doubt for some with respect to performing prayers in both mosques. They still continue to be in this state. Please advise what is to be done in this case?

A: The destruction of the wall separating the two mosques does not cause any problem in performing prayers in them.

Q 387: There are some restaurants in public streets next to which there exist places for performing prayers. If one does not eat in those restaurants, will he be allowed to perform prayers in those places or does he have to seek permission from the owners of the restaurants?

A: If there is a probability that the place for performing prayers belongs to the owner of the restaurant and that the right to take advantage of it is exclusive to those who eat in that restaurant, it will be obligatory upon him to ask for permission.

Q388: Will the prayers of a person be valid if he performs it on a usurped land while standing on a rug or a wooden board or something similar?

A: The prayers performed on usurped land are invalid even if one stands on a rug or something else put on the land.

Q 389: In some companies and institutions being presently run under the supervision of government, there are some people who do not attend in group prayers held in them on the excuse that such places were taken over from their owners upon the orders of shar 'i court. Please state your honored opinion on this matter?

A: Attending group prayers is not at all obligatory; rather, everyone has the right to abstain from it for any reason whatsoever. As for the shar`i ruling with respect to the place concerned, if the authority who issued the confiscation order probably enjoyed legal competence and did so according to religious and legal criteria, then his act will be considered legally valid, and therefore, it will be permissible to carry out every kind of activity in that place and the rules of usurpation do not apply to such a case.

Q390: If there is a mosque next to a Husayniyyah, will it be correct to perform group prayers in the Husayniyyah and are the rewards of such prayers equal in both?

A: There is no doubt that the merit of performing prayers in the mosque is more than other places. But, there is no shar`i obstacle to performing group prayers in a Husayniyyah or in any other places.

Q 391: Is it correct to perform prayers in a place where forbidden music is being played?

A: If it entails listening to forbidden music, staying there will not be permissible. However, performing prayers is considered valid and if the sound of the music distracts one's attention and concentration, performing prayers there will be undesirable [makruh].

Q392: What is the rule concerning the prayers of those who are sent on a mission in a boat when the time of prayers begins in such a way that if they do not pray then they will not be able to perform it thereafter in its specific time?

A: In the mentioned condition it is obligatory on them to perform prayers inside the boat and in any possible way.

Rules of Mosque

Q 393: Given that performing prayers in one's local mosque is recommended, is there any problem in leaving the local mosque and going to the major or central [jami`] mosque of the city to perform group prayers?

A: There is no problem if one abstains from going to the local mosque in order to attend the group prayers of another mosque, particularly the [jami`] mosque of the city.

Q 394: What is the rule with regard to performing prayers in a mosque where some people who participated in its construction claim that they built it for themselves and their tribe?

A: After being built, a mosque does not belong to a specific nationality, family, tribe, or group of individuals, and it is permissible for all Muslims to benefit from it.

Q 395: Is it more preferable for women to perform prayers in the mosque or at home?

A: The merits for performing prayers in a mosque is not restricted to men.

Q 396: At present, there is a short wall between Masjid al-Haraam and the area designated for sa`ii [walking] between Safa and Marwa. This wall measures half a meter high and one meter wide and is shared by both the Masjid and the sa`ii area. Could women sit on this wall during their period when it is not permissible for them to enter Masjid al-Haraam?

A: There will be no problem in doing so unless one becomes certain that the wall is a part of the Mosque.

Q 397: Is one permitted to exercise or sleep in a local mosque? What is the rule of doing so in other mosques?

A: The Mosque is not a place of exercise and sleeping therefore it is undesirable [makruh].

Q 398: Is it permissible to use the yard of the mosque for providing youngsters with intellectual, cultural, ideological and military (through military lessons) awareness? And what is the shar`i rule of practicing these actions in the balcony of a mosque which is out of use (taking into account the shortage of places designated for such purposes)?

A: It depends on the conditions of the endowment [waqf] of the yard and balcony of the mosque and it is obligatory on you to seek the advise of the respected Imam and supervisory board of the mosque in this regard, bearing in mind that the presence of the youth in mosques and setting up religious classes upon the permission of their Imams and boards is a desirable and recommended matter.

Q 399: In some areas, particularly in villages, people hold wedding ceremonies in mosques. That is, they perform all celebrations involving dance and music at home, but serve lunch or dinner in the mosque. Does Islamic law permit this?

A: There is no problem, in itself in serving food to guests in mosque. However, holding marriage ceremonies in mosque is not appropriate to the status of the mosque in Islam, therefore, is not permissible. Committing such forbidden acts as listening to corrupt and exhilarating music is absolutely prohibited.

Q 400: National cooperatives build residential areas and it is initially agreed upon that those areas include public places such as mosques. Now that residential units are prepared and submitted to company's shareholders, could some of them breach their agreement by saying that they are not content with building the mosque?

A: If the company builds the mosque upon obtaining the agreement of all of its members aid after the mosque's construction and endowment is completed, some members withdrawal of their previous agreement will have no effect. If, however, their change of mind occurs prior to the realization of the mosque's endowment, construction of the mosque using members money on the land which belongs to all members without their consent will be impermissible, unless it is stated as a condition in the form of an irrevocable contract [aqd lazim] that a part of the land is allocated for the construction of the mosque and the members are committed to this condition - a case in which they will not be able to change their minds and their withdrawal will have no effect.

Q 401: In order to combat the non-Islamic cultural insult, we gathered in the mosque, about 30 students from elementary and high schools in the form of song bands. The members of these bands take lessons from the Qur'an, the practical rules of Islam, and Islamic Ethics [akhlaq] proportionate to their ages and intellectual levels. What is the rule regarding such activities? And what is your ruling on playing a musical instrument called 'organ' by this band? And what is the rule of practicing on this instrument in the mosque while observing shar`i standards and the regulations which are enforced and prevailed in the Radio and Television organizations and the Ministry of Islamic Guidance (in Iran)?

A: Confronting the cultural invasion and enjoining to good and forbidding from evil do not require making use of musical instruments, particularly in the mosque. Therefore, it is obligatory to show appropriate respect for the status of the mosque and that acts of worship and propagation of religious teachings and enlightening revolutionary ideas are conducted there.

Q 402: Is it allowed, according to Islamic law, to show the movies distributed by the Ministry of Islamic Guidance (in Iran) in the mosque for the people who come to Qur'anic programs?

A: It is not permissible to convert the mosque to a place for showing movies, but there is no problem in showing films occasionally when the need arises, and pursuant to the opinion of the Imam of the mosque.

Q 403: Is there any problem, according to Islamic law, to play exhilarating music from the mosque on the occasion of the birthdays of the Infallible Imams (a)?

A: The mosque has obviously a distinguished status according to Islamic law. Therefore, if playing music is not appropriate to its status; it will be forbidden even if the music being played is not exhilarating.

Q 404: When is it permissible to use the loudspeakers that exist in mosques and the sound of which can be heard outside the mosques? And what is the ruling with respect to the playing of Qur'an and revolutionary songs prior to call to prayer [adhan] {call for prayers}?

A: There is no problem in relaying the recitation of the Holy Qur'an for a few minutes prior to call to prayer [adhan] when it does not cause discomfort and disturbance for neighbors and the residents of the area.

Q405: How do you define the [jami`] mosque?

A: It is a mosque built in the city for the gathering of most of the residents of that city with no specificity to a particular tribe or people of work.

Q 406: A roofed mosque has been left vacant and no prayers have been performed there for the last thirty years. Now, it is transformed to a ruin and a part of it is used as storage. Recently, some repairs have been done in this mosque by the Basij forces that have been headquartered in its covered section since approximately 15 years ago. The reason for these repairs was the inappropriate condition of the building, especially that the roof was about to fall. Since the brothers in the Basij forces were unaware of the rules of mosque, and those who knew the rules did not guide them, the brothers built a number of rooms in a part of this section of the mosque spending large amounts of money on the project. Now that construction operations are near completion, we would be grateful if you clarify the shar`i rule concerning the following matters:

1. Assuming that those in charge of this project and the members of the supervisory board were unaware of the rule, are they considered responsible, according to shar`, with respect to expenditures out of the Muslims treasury [bayt al-mal]? And are they sinners or not?

2. Given that the expenditures were out of [bayt al-mal], would you allow - as long as the mosque does not need this part and no prayers is performed there - that these rooms are used, in complete compliance with shar 'i rules and restrictions concerning a mosque, for educational purposes like teaching the Holy Qur'an and practical laws, and also in the affairs of the mosque? Or is it obligatory to destroy those rooms?

A: It is obligatory on them to restore the covered part of the mosque to its original condition by demolishing the rooms that were built in it. As with regards to the expenditures, it is not certain whether anyone is responsible for them as long as there was no extravagance and wastefulness, and wantonness and negligence. There is no problem in using the roofed section of the mosque for holding classes of the Holy Qur'an, laws, and Islamic ideology and engaging in other religious ceremonies as long as such activities do not disturb those who are performing prayers and are held under the supervision of the Imam of the mosque. The Imam, the Basij forces, and other persons in charge of the mosque should cooperate to preserve the existence of Basij forces in the mosque as well as to prevent any disorder in the way the mosque should fulfill its worship related duties such as prayers, etc.

Q 407: Several mosques are located inside the area covered by a road-widening project insofar as it has become necessary to demolish some of these mosques completely and some others partially in order to facilitate the traffic of motor vehicles. Please clarify your esteemed opinion in this regard.

A: It is not permissible to demolish a mosque or apart of if except when there is a specific exigency [maslahat] which cannot be neglected and ignored.

Q 408: Is it permissible for people to make personal use of a small quantity of mosque's water, which is specifically there for performing ablution [wudhu']. For example, could shopkeepers use it for drinking cold water or making tea or for their cars, given that the mosque has no single creator of endowment [waqif] who can obstruct people from doing so?

A: If it is not known that the mosque's water is specifically endowed to be used for ablution [wudhu'] by those who want to perform prayers, and the prevalent understanding in the mosque's area is that the neighbors of the mosque and passers-by may use such a water, there will be no problem in it, although it is recommended to observe precaution in this regard.

Q 409: There is a mosque near a graveyard. When some believers come to pay a visit to the graves of their dead, they take water from the mosque to pour over the gravestones. We do not know whether this water was endowed for the mosque or it may be subject to general use. Assuming that we know that the water was not endowed for the mosque but allocated for use in ablution [wudhu'] and in the toilet, will it be permissible to use the water in the said way?

A: There will be no problem in taking water from the mosque for pouring over the gravestones if it is commonly practiced, and is not detested by the people and there is no evidence suggesting that the endowment was specifically for ablution [wudhu'] or for ablution [wudhu'] and cleaning [tathir] only.

Q 410: Is the permission of the Hakim al-Shar` * or his deputy required when a mosque needs to be repaired?

A: For the voluntary repair of a mosque - spending one 's own money or the money of charitable contributors -- there is no need to acquire any permission from the Hakim al-Shar`.

* Hakim al-Shar ` is the supreme authority of a Muslim community in issuing Islamic legal rulings.

Q 411: Is it permissible for me to determine by will [wasiyyah] that I should be buried in the local mosque to which I have had some contributions? That is because I would like to be buried in that mosque, whether inside it or in its yard.

A: If the burial of a dead is not excepted at the time of pronouncing the formula of the endowment, it will not be permissible to bury him there, and therefore, your will in this regard will have no validity.

Q 412: A mosque was constructed about 20 years ago and decorated with the lovely name of 'Sahib al-Zaman,' may Allah hasten his reappearance. Given that it is not known whether this name was mentioned in the endowment formula of the mosque, what is the rule of changing the mosque's name from 'Sahib al-Zaman' to Jami ` mosque?

A: There is no problem in the mere change of the mosque's name.

Q 413: It has been conventional in local mosques since the old times that people give them donations so that they could be used for meeting the needs of the mosques during the months of Muharram, Safar, and Ramadhan and other Holy days. Recently, the mosques have been equipped with electricity and air conditioners. Whenever one of the area's residents dies, a Fatihah service is held for him in the mosque and the mosque's electricity and air conditioner are used during the service but the organizers do not pay anything towards the expenses of such usage. Is this permissible according to Islamic law?

A: The permissibility of using the facilities of the mosque for special mourning events and the like is dependent on the conditions of the endowment or donation vow [nadhr] of those facilities for the mosque.

Q 414: There is a newly built mosque in a village (on a land where the old mosque stood). Due to the lack of knowledge, a room was constructed for making tea at the corner of this mosque, the land of which was a part of the old mosque. Furthermore, a library was built on the rooftop of the terrace that exists inside the mosque. Please express Your Honor's opinion on this matter and also the completion of, and how to use, the interior half of the building?

A: Building a tearoom on the land of the old mosque is not correct and it is obligatory to restore that place to the status of being a mosque. The same rule applies to both the rooftop of the mosque and the mosque itself and all rules and legal effects pertaining to the mosque also apply to its rooftop. However, there will be no problem in setting up bookcases there and being there for the purpose of reading books if such things do not disturb praying persons.

Q 415: In a village, there is a mosque in a ruination state. Since this mosque is not an obstruction to any path or route, there is no justification for demolishing it. Is it permissible to demolish this mosque completely? Besides, this mosque has a certain amount of property along with some money. To whom should these things be given?

A: It is not permissible to demolish and destroy a mosque. Generally speaking, a mosque does not cease to be a mosque merely due to ruination. As for the assets of the mosque, if there is no need for using them there, there will be no problem in transferring them to other mosques so that they are used.

Q 416: Is it permissible, according to Islamic law, to build a museum in a corner of the yard of a mosque without interfering with the mosque's building itself, just like a library that constitutes a part of the mosque's construction at the time being?

A: It will not be permissible to build a museum or a library in a corner of the mosque's yard if it is against the specifics of the endowment of the mosque's hall or results in a change of the mosque's building. It is preferred that you build another place adjacent to the mosque for the said purpose.

Q 417: There is an endowed place where a mosque, a school for Islamic studies, and a library are built and all of them are currently operational. This place is a part of the map of the places that are to be demolished by the municipality. How could we cooperate with the municipality for the destruction of these places and obtain facilitates from them for building better places?

A: If the municipality demolishes the said places and pays their value, there will be no problem in receiving the payment. However, demolishing an endowed mosque or school is not permissible unless there is a significant exigency.

Q 418: In order to improve the Jami` mosque here, it has become necessary to cut down some of the trees which exist in its yard. Given that the mosque's yard is quite big and it has numerous trees, is it permissible to do so?

A: There will be no problem in it if there is a need to expand the mosque and appending the yard to the mosque itself and cutting the trees are not considered an alteration in the endowment.

Q 419: What is the ruling with regards to the land that was originally a part of the roofed section of a mosque but was altered to a street after the mosque was included in the municipality's development program and a part of it was demolished due to necessity?

A: The realization of the legal effects and consequences of being a mosque will not be certain if the probability of the restoration of the land to its original form of a mosque is slim.

Q 420: I have been conducting group prayers at a mosque for a while having no information about the details of the mosque's endowment. Given that this mosque is presently facing numerous financial difficulties, is it permissible to rent out its basement to a business that fits the mosque's status?

A: There will be no problem in it if neither the 'mosque' title applies to the basement nor the basement is considered a part of the facilities that the mosque needs.

Q 421: The mosque does not have any properties through which it can run its affairs. The supervisory board has proposed digging a basement under the roofed section of the mosque in order to build a factory and facilities for public utilities for the service of the mosque. Is this permissible?

A: It is not permissible to dig a basement under the roofed section in order to set up a factory or the like.

Q 422: Is it absolutely permissible that non-Muslims [kafirs] enter Muslims' mosques although by way of visiting ancient monuments?

A: There is no problem, in itself in their entrance to mosques other than Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabi (s) except if it results in making the mosque impure [najis] or dishonoring it or a person who is in the state of major impurity [junub] staying there.

Q 423: Is it permissible to perform prayers in a mosque built by non-Muslims [kafirs]?

A: There is no problem in performing prayers in it.

Q 424: Is it permissible to accept the money or other kinds of donations offered by non-Muslims [kafirs] for building a mosque?

A: There is no problem in it.

Q425: What is the duty of someone who enters a mosque and sleeps thereafter he has a wet dream but cannot leave the mosque after he wakes up?

A: If there is no way that he can leave the mosque and go to somewhere else, it will be obligatory on him to perform dry ablution [tayyamum] at once so that it will become permissible for him to remain in the mosque.

Rules Regarding Other Types of Religious Centers

Q 426: Is it permissible to register a Husayniyyah under the names of specific persons? And what is the rule when those who participated in accomplishing such a charitable project are not content with such an action?

A: With respect to a Husayniyyah that is endowed for holding religious ceremonies, there is no need to register it under the names of specific persons. And in any way, registering it under the names of some of the participants in its construction must be done upon obtaining the permission of all of them.

Q 427: It is stated in the book of practical laws [risalahs] that it is not permissible for a person in the major state of impurity [junub] and a woman with menses to enter the shrines [harams] of the Imams (a). Please explain whether what is meant by the shrines [harams] is only the area beneath the dome or does it include buildings connected to that area?

A: The shrine [haram] means the area under the blessed dome and that which is commonly recognized as the shrine [haram] and the holy place where an Imam (a) is buried. As far as the attached building and porches are concerned, they are not subject to the rules of the shrine [haram], therefore, there is no problem in the entrance of a person in the state of major impurity [junub] or a menstrual woman in them except those sections that are considered parts of the mosque itself

Q 428: A Husayniyyah was built next to an old mosque. At present, this mosque does not have enough space to accommodate all of the people who want to perform prayers. Is it permissible to annex the said Husayniyyah to this mosque and use it as a part of the mosque?

A: There is no problem in performing prayers in the Husayniyyah. However, if the Husayniyyah has been endowed correctly, according to Islamic law, as a Husayniyyah, it will not be permissible to transform it to a mosque or annex it to the adjacent mosque while considering it a part of that mosque.

Q 429: Could the carpets and properties donated to the shrine of one of the descendants of the Imams (a) be used in the Jami` mosque of an area?

A: There is no problem in it provided that they are in excess of the needs of the shrine and its pilgrims.

Q 430: Do the rules of mosque also apply to the Takiy’ahs that are founded under the name of Abul-Fadhl (a), etc.? Please, clarify the rules of such centers.

A: The rules of mosque do not apply to Takiyyahs and Husayniyyahs.

Clothes of the Praying Person

Q 431: Will my prayers be invalid if I perform them in cloths that I doubt whether it has become impure [najis]?

A: Clothing which one doubts that it has become impure [najis] is considered clean and it is correct to perform prayers in it.

Q 432: I purchased a leather belt from Germany. Is there any legal [shar`i] problem in performing prayers with it? What is the rule if I doubt whether it is made of genuine or manufactured leather and whether the leather belongs to an animal that is slaughtered the Islamic way? And what is the ruling with respect to the prayers that I performed while having the belt on?

A: If you doubt whether it is made of genuine leather or not, there will be no problem in performing prayers with it on. But, if you knew it was made of genuine leather but later doubt whether it belongs to an animal that was slaughtered the Islamic way or not - even though it being pure [tahir] it will have the same rule as a corpse [maytah] being prohibited [haram] and not being able to pray in it. However, the prayers performed in the past are considered valid.

Q 433: If someone knows that there is no impure [najis] substance on his clothes or body and performs his prayers but realizes afterwards that his body or clothes were impure [najis]; will the prayers he informed be invalid? What will is ruling if he realized this matter during his prayers?

A: If he is not aware at all that his body or clothes are impure [najis] and come to know it only after the end of the prayers, his prayers will be valid, amid it will not be obligatory on him to repeat, or perform the belated accomplishment [qadha]of that prayer. But, if he notices the matter during the prayers, it will be obligatory on him to remove the impurity [najasah] - provided that he can do so without committing anything that contradicts the prayers -and complete his prayers. If he is unable to remove the impurity [najasah] while preserving the appearance of prayers and there is enough time, it will be obligatory on him to break the prayers and resume it after the removal of the impurity [najasah].

Q 434: A person follows a certain religious authority [marje`] He used to perform his prayers for a period of time while wearing clothes that is made of the leather of an animal that was doubted to be slaughtered in the Islamic way while it was not actually correct to perform prayers in such clothes. According to the verdict of his religious authority [marje`], if he was carrying something from an animal the meat of which was not edible, the obligatory precaution would be to repeat the prayers. Is the rule pertaining to an animal that is doubted to be slaughtered the Islamic way similar to that the meat of which is not edible?

A: The rule of an animal that is doubted to be slaughtered in Islamic way is similar to that of the corpse [maytah]; it is impure [najis] and it is not permissible to eat it and perform prayers in it, but it is considered pure [tahir].

Q 435: A woman realizes during her prayers that her hair was unveiled and immediately covers it. Is it obligatory on her to repeat that prayers?

A: It is not obligatory to repeat that prayer as long as unveiling the hair is not intentional.

Q 436: Due to necessity, a person is compelled to clean his urinary outlet using a piece of wood or stone or something else. Then he washes that part with water after returning home. Is it obligatory on him to change or clean his underwear in order to perform prayers?

A: It will not be obligatory on him to clean his clothes if they have not been made impure [najis] by the wetness of the urine on the organ.

Q 437: Some imported industrial machines are installed with the assistance of foreign experts who are considered, according to Islamic law, non-Muslims [kafirs] and impure [najis]. The activation of these machines is accomplished through their lubrication or other actions done by hand. Therefore, these machines cannot possibly be clean. Given that workers' cloths and bodies always touch these machines during the work, and they do not have enough time throughout working hours to clean their cloths and bodies completely, what is the duty with respect to performing prayers?

A: Due to the probability that the non-Muslim [kafir] who has activated the machines is from AhI al-Kitab, who are considered clean, or that he wears gloves while working, no certainty emerges concerning the impurity of the place and machines merely as a result of their activation by non-Muslims [kafirs]. If it can be assumed that there is certainty about those workers' bodies and cloths are made impure [najis] during the work, it will be obligatory to clean their bodies, and clean or change their cloths.

Q 438: If a praying person carries a handkerchief or something similar that are made impure [najis] by blood or has such things in his pocket, will his prayers be void?

A: If the handkerchief is so small that it cannot be used to hide one's private parts, there will be no problem in it.

Q 439: Is it correct to perform prayers in clothes that are scented with modern perfumes containing alcohol?

A: There is no problem in performing prayers in it as long as the uncleanness of the perfume in question is not known.

Q 440: How much of the body is obligatory on a woman to cover in prayers? Is there any problem with short-sleeved clothes and in not wearing socks?

A: The standard is that the dress covers the whole body except the part of the face which must be washed during ablution [wudhu'], the hands up to the wrists, and the feet up to the ankles even if the dress is something like a Chador {the long garment worn by Iranian women over their clothes}.

Q 441: Is it obligatory on women to cover their feet during prayers?

A: Covering the feet up to the ankles is not obligatory.

Q 442: Is it obligatory to cover one's chin completely when wearing a scarf covering [hijab] and performing prayers or is it sufficient to cover the lower part of it or is it obligatory to cover the chin because it is a preliminary stage of the obligatory covering of the face?

A: It is obligatory to cover the lower part of the chin not the chin itself, because it is apart of the face.

Q 443: Does the rule relating to impure [najis] clothing in which one cannot perform prayers apply only to the cases of praying absent-mindedly or while one is unaware of the rule or the subject, or does it cover cases of ambiguity [shubhah] with respect to the subject or to the rule?

A: The rule is not specific to the cases of forgetfulness or ignorance. Rather, it is permissible to perform prayers in an impure [najis] clothing if it is made of a material in which one may not perform prayers, even when one is aware and attentive.

Q 444: Does the existence of the hair or saliva of a cat on a person's clothes cause his/her prayers to be invalid?

A: Yes, it causes the prayers to be invalid.


Wearing and Using Gold and Silver

Q 445: What is the rule of wearing gold rings by men, (particularly during prayers)?

A: A man is not allowed to wear a gold ring, and the prayers he performs while wearing it is void.

Q 446: What is the rule of wearing rings made of white gold by men?

A: If the so called white gold is composed of a substance other than yellow gold, it will not be forbidden to wear a ring made of it.

Q 447: Is there any problem, according to the shar`, in wearing gold when it is not for beautification purposes and the gold is not visible for others?

A: It is absolutely forbidden for men to wear gold even though it is not for beautification purposes or the gold is hidden from the views of others.

Q 448: What is the ruling with respect to wearing gold by men? We ask this question because there are some people who claim that there is no problem in wearing gold for a short period such as the time of marriage.

A: Wearing gold is forbidden for men, whether it is done for a short period or a long one.

Q449: Taking into consideration the rules regarding the clothes of a praying person and that decorating with gold is forbidden for men, please answer the following two questions:
1) Does decoration with gold mean the use of gold by men in a general sense even in such operations as bone surgery and dentistry?
2) Given that, according to a tradition in our area, newly wed youths wear engagement rings made of yellow gold, and this action is by no means considered by ordinary people as a decoration for men, but as a sign of the beginning of the individual's marital life, what is Your Honor's opinion in this regard?

A: 1) The basis in the prohibition of wearing gold by men is not that the decoration title applies to it, but it includes all forms and purposes of wearing gold. Therefore, it is forbidden even if it happens to be an ordinary, or wedding ring, chain, etc. however, there is no problem in the use of gold for men in surgical operations and dentistry.

2) Wearing engagement rings made of yellow gold is forbidden for men in any case.

Q 450: What is the rule of selling and making golden jewelry which is specifically used by men and not worn by women?

A: Making golden jewelry to be specifically used by men is forbidden. Similarly, it is not permissible to buy and sell them for that purpose.

Q 451: We see in some parties that sweets are served in silver containers. Is this action considered an example of eating from a silver container? And what is its rule?

A: It will be forbidden to take food or the like from a silver container if it is done for the purpose of eating.

Q 452: Is it permitted for men to have their teeth covered with gold or have actual golden teeth put in?

A: There is no problem in these matters except in the case of the front teeth which may not be covered with gold if it is done for the purpose of beautification.

Q 453: Is there any problem in having one's tooth covered with gold? What is the rule of having it covered with platinum?

A: There is no problem in having one's teeth covered with gold or platinum. However, the problem arises in the case of covering teeth, particularly the front ones, with gold for the purpose of beautification.