How did qunoot come about?
The scholars of the Shia school of the thought unanimously agree that the qunoot is recommend in all obligatory prayers. This is proven by many narrations of the Imams of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them), and it is narrated in some narrations of Sunnis as well.
Question : I wanted to ask your viewpoint of Islamic unity with Sunni?
Answer : There is no doubt that Islam is one religion that was revealed by Almighty Allah to the Seal of Prophets (peace be upon him). He suffered much pain and harm in order to deliver the message of Islam to the nation. He directed his nation to the right direction after his death when he ordered them to guard the teachings of the Quran and the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them). He guaranteed that if both were adhered to, they will never be misguided. Part of the nation of Islam abandoned the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) and the differences between the nation of Islam became a reality. We, as followers of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) should act upon their teachings and uphold their directions to the right path, while dealing with the rest of the Muslims with good manners and etiquettes, and not raise the differences or cause hatred against them, since we all believe in Almighty Allah and His Messenger and the common religious obligations, like prayers, zakat, fasting, pilgrimage, etc., in order to preserve the general entity of Islam. The teachings of the Imams (peace be upon them) emphasize this in various ways.
Question : If a jurist (Marja) does not find a solution from the Quran and Sunnah, then on which basis does he present a verdict?
Answer : The scholars discuss this issue in detail in the "Principles of Jurisprudence". We can say here that when the Quran and Sunnah does not directly provide a solution, the jurists still refer to the verses of the Holy Book and the narrations of the Prophet and the Imams (peace be upon them) to get the general guidance in such situations in order to arrive at the practical duty in them.
Some narrations can be used to reveal basic principles denoting the practical duty of the individual in certain cases, like "everything is permissible unless one knows that it is prohibited".
Question : Is the taweedh allowed in Islam?
Answer : If the taweedh consists of supplications and verses of the Quran, then it is permissible.
Question : Is Fatima (peace be upon her) a source of Sharia law as any of the Imams?
Answer : The role of the Legislator is for the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) only. Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) is infallible as the twelve Imams are, and they were all conveying the Islamic teachings from the Holy Prophet. However, what has been narrated specifically from Lady Fatima Al-Zahra (peace be upon her) is very little.
Question : To convert from being a non-Muslim to a Shia Muslim, what Kalima is to be recited?
Answer : One should recite the two testimonies â€“ the testimony of oneâ€™s belief that there is no god but Allah, and the testimony that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) is the Messenger of Allah. In addition, one should belief in the guardianship (wilayah) of Imam Ali and the other eleven Imams (peace be upon them).
Question : Can an invalid transaction also be considered to be a sin?
Answer : Some invalid transactions are prohibited like selling wine, corpses and pigs. Other invalid transactions are not sinful, like selling an unknown product. In both cases, it is a sin to spend the money that one acquires from it.
Question : I am becoming more interested in our religion and wish to read more on it, not having much knowledge. What books do you suggest for me?
Answer : There are lots of religious book that include religious teachings like Nahjul-Balaghah. Similarly books of narrations are also available like Al-Kafi, which consist of collections of narrations from the Infallibles. We advise you to read what relates to the general aspects of the religious knowledge like ethics, biography of the Prophet and the Imams and the narrations on the superiority of the Ahlul-Bait (peace be upon them) and their high rank. The details of the practical religious laws as explained by the jurists â€“ as they are the experts in this field â€“ are available. You are advised to refer to the treaties of the practical Islamic laws of the jurist that you emulate in order to know the specific rulings.
Question : Are the essential fundamentals of the religion and the Shia sect determined by consensus of present and past Shia scholars?
Answer : There is no set criteria in establishing what are amongst the essential fundamentals of the religion. Consensus on an issue is an indication that it is one of the essential fundamentals.
Question : Is it allowed for a Muslim to debate and discuss the differences between the schools, or should this be the job of scholars? And if it is allowed, are there any criteria which one should have to engage in these debates? And what is your opinion concerning young Shia Muslims, who engage in these discussions?
Answer : A Muslim is expected not to speak in the matters of the Sharia without knowledge or without proof. There is no difference in this issue between the expert scholars and the regular layman. The difference is that the experts can obtain the evidences through their research.
Question : Is it permissible to kiss the hand of a scholar out of respect? Some narrations seem to discourage such action.
Answer : It is permissible to kiss the hands of a religious scholar out of respect because of his knowledge and piety. There is a narration that indicates clearly the permissibility to kiss the hand of a person and intending by doing so to kiss the hand of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). Apparently, this applies to the scholar who is knowledgeable in the Sharia.
Question : Can you explain to me what is the method of determining what is an innovations (bidaat) in religion?
Answer : The innovation in religion is relating what is not part of the religion to it, like for example the prayers of Taraweeh, since the supererogatory prayer is not legislated to be offered in congregation. Offering it in such a way is considered as innovation in religion.
Question : Is it permissible for a person who is not a mujtahid to teach from books like Usool al-Kafi and Bihar al-Anwar?
Answer : It is not permissible to inform about religious issues without knowledge, whether such information is in on religious jurisprudence or beliefs. Yes, it is permissible to search and study the religious sciences and learn about the narrations of the Ahlul-Bait and other related material.
Question : What is Irfan? And is it permissible in Islam to practice it, I also believe that Sufis practice Irfan?
Answer : It is not right to depend on other than the holy Quran and the authentic narrations of the Prophet and the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) in the religionâ€™s matters including Irfan. There are lots of such narrations that explain the recommended worship acts and the kind of relation a man should have with the almighty Allah. Muslims are encouraged to gain the religious and godly knowledge from these original sources only.
Question : Are the rules of Sharia only valid for Muslims? Is it allowed for an Islamic country to enforce Non-Muslim women to wear hijab, for example?
Answer : Almighty Allah made the religious laws of worship, like praying and fasting, and other laws like the obligation of wearing hijab and the prohibition of consuming wine, general to all mankind. The Muslim that does not obey the Almighty Allah in observing one or more of those laws will be punished for this disobedience. Non-Muslims will be punished because of their refusal to believe in Almighty Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him. If the non-Muslim can present an acceptable justification for his refusal to believe, then this justification will also apply even more so for his disobedience of Allah Almighty. If he cannot present a justification before Almighty Allah for his refusal to believe, he would have a lesser chance to do so for not observing the Sharia laws.
It is the responsibility of the infallible Imam to implement and apply the Islamic laws on non-Muslims, as he is the most knowledgeable in implementing the Godly obligations.
Question : Most scholars say that only Muslims will be rewarded heaven and no non-Muslim will go to heaven because what virtue they did, were awarded accordingly in this world and have therefore No reward in hereafter. What are your views about them?
Answer : There is no doubt that Almighty Allah does not accept any religion but Islam. Almighty Allah said:â€And whoso seeks as religion other than Islam it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter" 3:35.
Question : I am wondering what happened if someone converts from Islam to Christianity what happened to him? I was born in the west and no one teaches me
Answer : Almighty Allah has sent Prophets to mankind to guide people to believe in Him. The last amongst them and their seal is the master of Prophets and Messengers Mohamed, the son of Abdullah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). Clear evidence to this prophecy is the Holy Quran. It has great qualities that prove its revelation from God.
"And whose seek as religion other than Islam it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter" 3: 85.
Question : Are Faraedh and Wajebaat one and the same thing or is there some difference between the two?
Answer : It has been reported in some of the narrated texts that the Imams of the Ahlulbait explained the term "Faraedah" to refer to what almighty Allah has obligated in the holy Book and the term "wajib" refers to all obligations - in general - including those derived from the narrations of the prophet and the imams (peace be upon them) and those from the Holy Quran.
Question : Does Islam reject violence?
Answer : Yes, Islam stressed on guarding the values of morality, wisdom and dialogue. Almighty Allah said: â€œCall unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better wayâ€. The Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said: â€œleniency is not used with anything and not made it better, and is not striped from anything and made it worseâ€. And he also said: â€œIslam enchains betrayal. So a believer does not betrayâ€. The teachings of Islam stressed on guarding lives and protecting innocent people and to avoid criminal actions and unjustified violence.
Question : How do you see the relations of the Islamic world with the west?
Answer : Presumably, there should be a review to the backgrounds of the past positions and start a new era of relations and sensible dialogue that reserve the legitimate rights and participate in world peace and security away from any extremism and prepotency that used to govern the relations in the past.
We encourage Muslims to present the real Islam and its humane concepts that coordinate with human nature without adopting the actions of the Muslim rulers in the past centuries since those rulers â€“ in general â€“ were like all rulers who care about their own welfare and did not mind using Islam and distorting its image to protect their rule.
We can see the true Islam clearly in the biography of the Prophet and the Imams of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) through the many incidents in history. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) although he was the legitimate leader, he refused to use force with those who refused his authority and gave them the chance to express their peaceful opposition. In all his wars, he was not the one to start the fight. The same can be said about Imam Hussein (peace be upon him). Although he rose to reform, but he did not start the fight with the advance guards of the Umayyad army that was sent by the ruler of Kufa, Ibn zyad when Imam was advised by his own companions to do so. Rather, he insisted that he will not be the one to start the fight. Indeed, it was the Umayyad army that started the fight against him.