Question : Is it permissible for me to give preference to practicing believers especially men having a beard and women observing hijab in respect of greeting, providing help and socializing and friendship (with the same gender)?
Answer : It is recommended to greet all Muslims whether they were practicing or not. It is better to offer help to believers whether they were practicing or not. Also it is better to socialize with people in good manner with people who practice Islam and with the ones that do not. It appears in some of the narrations that the good behavior deserves great reward.
Question : Can I go to the funeral of my non-Muslim friend?
Answer : It is permissible for the purpose of good companionship.
Question : I have many uncles and aunties, some of which I have never spoken to in my life, some may not know I exist even...Must I start talking to all of them? I have a lot...What about cousins?
If I was to send them a simple Eid mubarak via text message every year as well as on other occasions, will this be enough?
What is the time limit that one can go without speaking to his kin? e.g. 2,3,4,7 days?
Answer : It is obligatory to have ties with the relatives in the usual way. The stronger the ties the better.
Question : I have come to know that my brother â€“ who is 15 years old â€“ has started a relationship with a girl, who he meets at times and mostly they communicate via the internet. I was shocked to find this out, and I feel it is my duty to bring him back to the right path. However, I fear that if I say something he would take it negatively and do something worse. What is your advice in this situation?
Answer : You are advised to deal with your brother with calmness and wisdom taking into consideration his young age and the stage of adolescence that he is passing. You can explain to him the negative effect of the non-religious relations on his future. He may react positively to your calm advice and reasonable way. We ask the Almighty to guide you in this mission.
Question : I have heard that it is prohibited to cut ties with one's relatives. Is that true? Does this also include relatives who have left Islam, or mock it and its followers?
Answer : It is permissible to communicate with such people because there is a possibility that they might come back to the right path as a result of such ties. However, in some cases such communication encourages them to do wrong. Then, it becomes prohibited.
Question : Kindly define the term "Nasibi". Is it permissible to have relations with Nasibi relatives e.g. uncles and aunts?
Answer : The Nasibi is the one that bears animosity towards the Imams of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them), like those who hate Imam Ali or Imam Hasan or Imam Hussein (peace be upon them). The extremists of the Sunnis and those who hate the followers of the Ahlulbait are not considered as Nasibi.
Anyhow, it is permissible to co-exist amicably with them if they are relatives, whether they are Nasibi or not, as this could be a window for them to search for the truth, even after a long time, and it could result in their guidance.
Question : I am a Muslim and have a friend who is Jewish. This friend moved to Israel and has joined the Israeli army. Although he supports Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands, I am not sure how to interact with him now. How should I approach my relationship with him now?
Answer : You do not have to cut your personal relations with him. Yes, you must guide him to differentiate between truths and falsehoods as much as you can, if it is possible. Almighty Allah said: "Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation"(16:125).
Question : Is it allowed for us to send our children for trick-or-treating on Halloween, October 31st?
Answer : It is not permissible to celebrate festivals which are alien to our religion, if it encourages or propagates another religion, or if it is based on the dissolution of the Islamic personality of the Muslim individual in the values of the non-Muslim society.
If a believer lives in a society where this is prevalent and involvement in it is an indication of good companionship, then it is permissible.
Question : I find it difficult in dealing with Sunnis and I donâ€™t know what I am supposed to do, because I was a Sunni before converting to Shiaism. Could you please give me some guidance?
Answer : We advise you to deal with the members of other sects of Islam with high morality and tolerance to any discomforts that might occur. It is better to call them to recognize the rights of the Ahlul-Bait and to love them (peace be upon them). And it is better to explain to Sunnis â€“ without inciting them and any bigotry â€“ the necessity to follow the Imams of the Ahlul-Bait as religious leaders after the Prophet (peace be upon him as his progeny) as the Messenger of Allah himself ordered us to do so when he said: â€œI am leaving amongst you the two weighty things, the book of Allah and my householdâ€.
We encourage you to do all this with calmness and ease. Almighty Allah said: "Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation".
Question : The Qur'an states that we should avoid the company of the sinners. Does that include family and relatives?
Answer : You do not have to avoid the company of your families and relatives, and it is unlawful to shun your family and relatives, even if they were sinners.
However, if they sin, you must point that out to them and guide them, if you expect them to benefit from such guidance.
Question : Can I greet a Muslim saying "Salam Alaikum", even if he does not pray five times a day?
Answer : Yes, it is recommended to greet a Muslim, and the said person is still considered as a Muslim.
Question : What exactly are the duties of a daughter-in-law towards her father-in-law and mother-in-law?
Answer : There are no religious obligations on the sonâ€™s wife towards his father or mother, but it is better to associate with them in kindness because they are older and this kind of dealing fulfills the right of the kinship that has been formed from the marriage, as the best ethics is amongst the best deeds.
Question : Is it right for Sayyids to treat us non-Sayyids poorly and as a low caste?
Answer : Nobody has the right to humiliate anybody else. Everyone belongs to Adam and Eve. Sayyids â€“ as they are the descendants of the Prophet â€“ are supposed to follow the footsteps of their grandfather (peace be upon him and his pure progeny). He was the highest example of humbleness and high ethics. He also emphasized on equality between people and the differentiation is only by good deeds.