Completion of the Religion
Question :

It is said that many books of jurisprudence were destroyed which may have had information, but Allah completed the religion on the Day of Ghadeer. Doesn't the completion of the religion include us knowing every rule in Islam?

Answer :

The completion of the religion on the day of Al-Ghadeer was the appointment of the Imam to succeed the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and represent him in propagating the Sharia and leading the nation, and then the rest of the Imams were appointed as well. The religion was completed when the Muslims were directed to refer to the Imams after the prophet (peace be upon them all). This provided the Islamic nation with more than two centuries of infallible leaderships, during which the Imams (peace be upon them) did their best in informing all the aspects of the religion especially the practical laws of the Sharia. The companions of the Imams propagated their teachings, and compiled the narrations (ahadeeth) in books. Although some of these books were destroyed, these traditions and narrations have survived and still act as a main source of Islamic research. Scholars have continuously strived to pass on these teachings from generation to generation for the sake of protecting the religion and its laws. As a result, the jurist can give their edicts in any practical issue, in such a way that the individual is not left unanswered.

Social Discrimination
Question :

The differentiation in social class between Sayyids and non-Sayyids – for example, the Sayyid scholars wear black turbans and non-Sayyids wear white turbans, and that Sayyids cannot take sadaqa (charity) from non-Sayyids – is this not a non-Islamic class system with social discrimination, where one’s lineage decides what class he is in? How can this be justified?

Answer :

Wearing the white turban is to show that the person wearing it is not a descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). Likewise, wearing the black turban is to show that the person wearing it is his descendant. There is no social discrimination in this. However, one can understand from some Sharia rulings the merits of being related to the Prophet, such as the impermissibility of the Sayyids to take charity from non-Sayyids, and the like. As such, it is good to respect the Sayyids due to their genealogical relationship to the Prophet and his Ahlulbait. This, again, is not social discrimination, as it is only in order to strengthen the respect of the Prophet in the hearts of the believers. So, just as it is recommended to recite the Salawat on the Prophet whenever his name is mentioned, it is also recommended to respect and venerate his offspring. In doing so, the Great Prophet and his Ahlulbait (peace be upon them all) will remain respected and revered in the hearts of the believers. Having said this, it does not mean that whoever is related to the Prophet will not have his deeds accounted for; rather, this increases his responsibility in abiding to good deeds and the truth as well as avoiding sins.

Wearing Black Turbans by Non-Sayyids
Question :

I am a non-Sayyid. Can I wear a black turban to show that Sayyids and non-Sayyids are equal?

Answer :

Wearing the black turban has become an indication of one's lineage to the Prophet (peace be upon him and him holy progeny); wearing it by non-Sayyids is not permissible if it makes other people think that those who wear the black turbans are Sayyids.

Punishment
Question :

How do we explain the punishments imposed by the Sharia for various crimes, such as the death penalty for apostates, while the Quran says that there is no compulsion in religion?

Answer :

Applying the Sharia-defined punishments is the duty of the Prophet and the Imams (peace be upon them). No doubt, applying them is a form of justice and not an oppressive act. The punishment is set in the Sharia after the evidence is established and becomes clear in such a way that the noncompliant is considered as an oppressor against himself and the society. As such, the Sharia-defined punishment is not considered against human rights. The verse alluded to refers to the fact that the religion is based on beliefs, and beliefs are not imposed, and does not indicate that there is no punishment imposed by the Sharia for disbelief out of stubbornness and transgression.

Dreams
Question :

In Pakistan and India there is a narration that somebody saw Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) in his dream and instructed him to make food in a particular quantity and distribute it to the believers.
Is this something that is authenticated and should be followed?

Answer :

Dreams are not considered as a source of the Sharia.