Questions & Answers 3


A believer fasts but does not know that intentionally getting into state of janabat invalidates fasting—what should he do [when he finds out]? Question:
It is obligatory on him to make up those fasts; however, there is no penalty on him as long as he was [erroneously] convinced that being in a state of janabat does not invalidate fast or was unaware of that ruling. Answer:
According to some jurists, a person who intentionally invalidates his fast during the month of Ramadhan by committing a sin has to pay all three kinds of penalty [that is, fasting for sixty days, feeding sixty poor people, and emancipating a slave]. What should a person therefor do during our time when emancipating a slave is impossible since there are virtuallyno slaves? Question:
The penalty of emancipating a slave is waived when it is no more possible. It should, however, be clarified that in our view, it is not obligatory to pay all three kinds of penalty for invalidating a fast during Ramadhan by committing a sin. And Allah knows the best. Answer:
If the new moon is sighted in the East, does it apply to us also in the West? And if it is sighted in America, does it apply to Europe also? Question:
If the new moon is sighted in the East, it also applies to the West as long as the latitude of the two locations are not greatly further away from one another. If the new moon is sighted in the West, it does not apply to the East unless it is proven—even by the moon staying on the first [Western] horizon for the length of time that is longer than the difference between the sunset of the two locations. [For example, if the sunset in the Eastern city was half an hour before the Western city where the moon was sighted, and the moon stays on the horizon longer than half an hour —the Eastern city can follow the moon sighted in the Western city.] Answer:
Would the sighting of the new moon in cities in the East like Iran, Ahsa’, Qat?f [both in Arabia], other countries in the Gulf, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon necessarily be followed by its sighting in Western countries like England, France and Germany if there were no barriers like clouds and fog? Question:
Yes, the sighting of the new moon in an area would necessarily be followed —provided there were no barriers— in places which are located to its west as long as they are not far apart on the latitude lines. Answer:
If the answer to the previous question is positive, would the occurrence of the sighting of the new moon in the view of some religious scholars in Eastern countries be a sufficient evidence for one who is residing in Western countries even though the sighting of the new moon did not occur in those places for lack of clear skies? Question:
It will not be a sufficient evidence for him or for others. However, if the occurrence of the sighting from the view point of those religious scholars attracts trustworthiness in that person that the moon was actually sighted or proof was established about the sighting without any counter proof —even in the form of a ruling— that person can act on what he believes is true. Answer:
During certain months, it is declared that the sighting has been proven according to some religious scholars in some Eastern countries. This is based on the testemony of those who have sighted the new moon. Such declarations are usually coupled with the following facts: The witnesses who sighted the moon and who number around thirty, for example, are scattered in various cities such as 2 in Isfahan, 3 in Qum, 2 in Yazd, 4 in Kuwait, 5 in Bahrain, 2 in Ahsa’, and 6 in Syria, etc. The sky was clear in a number of cities in the West, and the believers went out in the attempt to sight the moon; and there was nothing preventing the sighting. The observatories in England announced that it was impossible to sight the new moon that evening in England except by using a telescope; and that its sighting with the naked eye would be possible only in the following night. So, what is the ruling in such a case? Please guide us, may Allah reward you. Question:
The criterion is the satisfaction of the individual himself [1] about the actual sighting [of the new moon] or [2] the proof of sighting without any counter claim. In the case mentioned above, satisfaction is not normally achieved concerning the appearance of the new moon on the horizon in such a way that it could have been sighted by the naked eye. On the contrary, one is satisfied that it was not sighted and that the testimony [of sightings in the Eastern cities] is based on illusion and error in sight. And Allah knows the best. Answer:
Is it permissible to put on the ihram for hajj from the city of Jeddah? If it is not permissible, what should one do since the plane lands in Jeddah? Question:
Jeddah is neither a miqat nor parallel to any of the miqats; therefore, it is not in order to put on the ihram from there for ‘umrah or hajj. However, if one knows that between Jeddah and the Haram [the holy territory around Mecca], there is a place which is parallel to one of the miqats —this is not improbable, if one looks for a parallel of Juhfah— he can put on the ihram from there by offering nadhr. [Nadhr means making a vow in the name of Allah that he will put on the ihram from place x.] Answer:
While shaving the head in Mina, if the pilgrim’s head is injured and blood flows out, what should he do in that case? And what are the implications [as far as penalty is concerned]? Question:
If the injury was not intentional, there is nothing upon him. Answer:
It is recommended to perform hajj every year. However, there are many poor Muslims who are in dire need of food and clothing in various Muslim countries. If it comes to making a choice between spending the money for hajj repeatedly or ziyarat (pilgrimage to the shrine of one of the Infallibles [a.s.]) and between giving in charity for those believers—which is more meritorious? Question:
In principle, helping those needy Muslims is better than a recommended hajj or ziyarat of the holy shrines. However, at times the hajj or the ziyarat is associated with certain other issues that can elevate them to the same or even higher status of virtue. Answer:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assigns the places for pilgrims in ‘Arafat and Mina. We do not know whether or not those appointed places are within the boundaries required by the shari‘a? Are we obliged to inquire and ask about the matter? Question:
If it is within the known boundaries and the signs that are normally known for religious rites from generation to generation, it is not necessary to inquire about it. Answer:
It has been said that some parts or the entire area of slaughtering in Mina is outside the boundary. Is it therefore obligatory upon us to ascertains the fact before the slaughtering? Knowing that ascertaining about one area and then going towards the other and again ascertaining about it is a difficult task, especially on the day of Eid, as you yourself know, where the time is also a factor. So what is the solution? Question:
It is obligatory to ascertain in order to do the slaughtering inside Mina. If it is not possible because of overcrowding in Mina, it is permissible to do it in the valley of Muhassar. Moreover, the timing of slaughtering is not restricted to the day of Eid; it can be done till the last day of the days of tashr?q [i.e., till the 13th of Dhu ’l-Hijja]. Answer:
Pilgrims are faced with one more problem regarding slaughtering, which poses more of a mental anguish: the animals slaughtered [in Mina] are wasted in spite of the fact that there are many poor people amongst us spread all over the Muslim countries who go without tasting meat for days! So is it acceptable for us to do the slaughtering in our own cities; or is there a religious solution that you can suggest for the people? Question:
It is necessary to fulfill the religious duty by doing the slaughtering in Mina. As for the sin of wasting the meat of the animals slaughtered, if it actually happens, it is on the shoulders of the authorities in charge. Answer:
If the exam schedule for a student conflicts with the timing of the hajj, is it permissible for him to postpone the hajj that year especially if the exam was very important for him? Question:
If he is sure that he will be able to perform hajj in the following year, it is permissible for him to postpone it; otherwise, it is not permissible. However, if postponing the exam will cause difficulty to such an extent that it is normally unbearable, it is not obligatory on him to perform hajj that year. Answer:
A person on whom hajj had become obligatory but he has not yet fulfilled it—is such a person allowed to go for ‘umrah in the month of Rajab? What if hajj became obligatory on him in Ramadhan, can he go for ‘umrah [before performing hajj]? Question:
The ‘umrah mufrada (minor pilgrimage done off-season) is permissible for him. However, if going to ‘umrah would financially prevent him from going for hajj, then it is not permissible for him to do ‘umrah. Answer:
A single young man has become capable to perform hajj; he is also thinking about marriage. Now if he goes for hajj, his marriage ceremony will be delayed for a while. Which of the two is preferable [marriage or pilgrimage]? Question:
He should perform the hajj and postpone the marriage unless postponing the marriage entails difficulty to the extent that it be comes unbearable. And Allah knows the best. Answer:
In some non-Muslim countries, the corpse is placed in a coffin and then buried in the grave. What is our duty in such a situation? Question:
There is no problem in placing the corpse in a coffin when burying him in the ground. However, the religious requirements of burial must be fulfilled; and one of those requirements is that the corpse be placed on its right side with the face towards the qiblah. Answer:
A Muslim died in a non-Muslim city that has no Muslim graveyard; and although it is possible to transfer the body to a Muslim country for burial but the cost of transportation is exorbitant—is this a sufficient [reason] for burying the body in the graveyard of non-Muslims? Question:
This is not a sufficient [reason]. Answer:
A Muslim dies in a non-Muslim city that has no Muslim graveyard and the family of the deceased cannot transfer the body to a Muslim country because it cannot afford the cost of transportation. In such cases, is it obligatory upon the Islamic centers that are responsible for Muslims’ affairs to provide the cost of transportation? And is this obligatory upon the Muslims who reside in that city? Question:
If burying the deceased in an appropriate grave in that same city or other city (excluding non-Muslim graveyards) depends on spending some money, and neither has he left any estate that can pay for it nor are the heirs capable of providing for it—then it is wajib kifa’i upon the Muslims to provide for it. And it is permissible to count it from the religious or charitable dues applicable to him. Answer:
When there is no heir for a deceased Muslim person in the foreign land, who should take charge of his burial? Question:
If it is not possible to contact his heir and ask his consent in handling the burial procedures, the requirement of consent is lifted and it becomes obligatory, on basis of wajib kifa’i, on the Muslims to handle the burial. Answer:
From where should the expenses of transportation to a Muslim country and burial come, if it is not possible to bury a Muslim in the city in which he died because there is no Muslim graveyard? Should these expenses come from the estate of the deceased before dividing it amongst the heirs? Or from the one-third [of the estate] if he has specified that? Or from other sources? Question:
The expenses of burying a dead body in a place appropriate for it comes from the estate [before its distribution among the heirs] if he did not make a will specifying that it be taken from the one-third. Otherwise [if he made a will regarding the one-third], it should come out of it. Answer: