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Q1: Is hiding your Islamic identity permitted?
A1: Taqieh in Shi'a means concealing your belief in anticipation of damage or injury and it is not only permitted but also it becomes sometimes obligatory.


Q1: What is Taqlid and how can I follow a Mutjahid?
A1: It is necessary for a Muslim to believe in the fundamentals of faith with his own insight and understanding, and he cannot follow anyone in this respect i.e. he cannot accept the word of another who knows, simply because he has said it. However, one who has faith in the true tenets of Islam, and manifests it by his deeds, is a Muslim and Mo'min, even if he is not very profound, and the laws related to a Muslim will hold good for him. In matters of religious laws, apart from the ones clearly defined, or ones which are indisputable, a person must:
either be a Mujtahid (jurist) himself, capable of inferring and deducing from the religious sources and evidence;
or if he is not a Mujtahid himself, he should follow one, i.e. he should act accordi ng to the verdicts (Fatwa) of the Mujtahid;. The Holy Quran states as such: ( И ) meaning, if you do not know, you should ask those who know. There are many other traditions which prove that an ignorant person should refer to a knowledge person who should be pious and well-versed.
or if he is neither a Mujtahid nor a follower (Muqallid), he should act on such precaution which should assure him that he has fulfilled his religious obligation. For example, if some Mujtahids consider an act to be haraam, while others say that it is not, he should not perform that act. Similarly, if some Mujtahid consider an act to be obligatory (Wajib) while others consider it to be recommended (Mustahab), he should perform it. Therefore, it is obligatory upon those persons who are neither Mujta hids, nor able to act on precautionary measures (Ihtiyat), to follow a Mujtahid.

Q2: Who is a Mujtahid?
A2: Mujtahid is a jurist competent enough to deduce precise inferences regarding the commandments from the holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the holy Prophet by the process of Ijtihad. Ijtihad literally means striving and exerting. Technically as a term of jurisprudence it signifies the application by a jurist of all his faculties to the consideration of the authorities of law with a view to finding out what in all probability is the law. In other words Ijtihad means making deductions in matters of law, in the cases to which no express text is applicable.

Q3: I would be grateful if you could please inform me of the name of an Ayatullah whose taqlid can be undertaken. I have no information about the names or the total number of Ayatullahs that there are.
A3: In the issue of taqlid, it is necessary to follow the most-learned mujtahid. In this respect you can refer to the declaration by the respected society of scholars of the theological school in Qum, which comprises of fifty of the top scholars after the passing away of Ayatollah Araki. Seven individuals are introduced as the exemplary mujtahids, in which the majority introduces Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani as the first.
Q4: Is it allowed to follow two scholars (Mujtahids) at one time?
A4: Following two Islamic religious authorities (Marja'-e taqlid) at the same moment is acceptable, only if, for example, one is more learned and knowledgeable in worship and the other is more so in trades.
Q5: How can I find the best Marja' without doing taqlid of another Marja'?
A5: Regarding your question, you must firstly identify a learned scholar. In this matter you should practice precaution, i.e. your identification must be based on your research or that of two knowledgeable persons. Acting according to the verdict of a mujtahid, is not called taqlid. There are several rational and religious ways stipulated in the resalehs, but it is possible that differences of opinion appear in varying resalehs in stipulating such ways of identification e.g. some may say asking two knowledgeable persons is sufficient, and others may say it is not.
Q6: If the scholars of today deem that no one particular Marja is the most knowledgeable (Alam) and that they are all on an equal level and your Muqallid agrees with their views then is your follower permitted to perform Taqlid of various Maraja in various sections of Fiqh? For example can he follow you in rulings of Salat, another Marja in rulings of Khums, yet another in hajj issues and so on?
A6: Given the details you have provided in your message, it is permissible to follow two Islamic religious authorities (Marja'-e taqlid) at the same moment, only if, for example, one is more learned and knowledgeable in worship and the other is more so in khums.
Q7: Please inform me about the name of Ayatollah whose Taqlid can be undertaken. I have no information about the names and the total number of Ayatollahs.
A7: In the issue of Taqlid, it is necessary to follow the most learned Mujtahid. In this regard you can refer to the statement issued by the Jame'a-e Mudarresin of the Hawzah (Islamic Seminary) of Qom which consists of fifty of the top scholars after the passing away of Ayatollah Araki. In that statement, seven individuals have been introduced as Marja-e Taqlid . Out of those seven Ayatollah Fazil Lankarani was introduced as the first by the majority.


Q1: I have a question about blood matam or what is known as Qama zani or Tatbir? What is your ruling about using blades, knives, swords and spilling blood during mourning rituals? Is it permissible?
A1: The philosophy of mourning during 'Ashura, is to respect the symbols of Religion and remember the suffering of Imam Hussain (a),  his companions, and his uprising to defend Islam and prevent the destruction of the religion by Bani Umayyad dynasty.  These rites must be done in such a way that in addition to serving that purpose, it draws the attention of others to these lofty goals. Obviously, Qama Zani does not have such a role and the enemies of Ahlalbayt misuse it. So those actions which are not understandable for the enemies of Islam and causes misunderstanding and contempt for the religion must be avoided.

Third Testimony

Q1: What is your fatwa about reciting Ashhad anna alian waliullah in Tashahhud?
A1: Do not read the third testimony in Tashahhud. Tashahhud has to be recited in the same manner that has been explained in the manual of Islamic Laws.
Q2: Is it permissible to recite Aliyan Waliullah in the testimony (tashahhud) of prayer?
A2: Ashhado an Aliyan waliullah" (I testify that Ali is the friend of Allah) is recited in the call to prayer ('Adhan), not in the testimony of prayer. It is not considered as a part of the prayer.


Q1: If a person is in the state of Janabah and he wakes up in the morning with only two minutes left until sunrise, what should he do for morning prayer? Does he have to perform Ghusl or do Tayammum?
A1: He must do Tayammum in the said case?
Q2: If a person is sure that he cannot get water and does not, therefore, go in search of water and offers his prayers with Tayammum, but realizes after prayers that if he had made an effort he would have fetched water, is his prayer valid.
A2: No, it is not valid.
Q3: How is Tayammum done?
A3: The following four things are obligatory in Tayammum: (1) Intention (Niyyat). (2) Striking or keeping both the palms together on the object on which Tayammum is valid. (3) Wiping or stroking the entire forehead with the palms of both hands, and, its two ends commencing from the spot where the hair of ones head grow down to the eyebrows and above the nose. And it is obligatory precaution that the palms pass over the eyebrows as well. (4) To pass the left palm over the whole back of the right hand and thereafter, to pass the right palm over the whole back of the left hand.
Q4: If a person leaves out even a small part of his forehead or the back of his hands in Tayammum, forgetfully or intentionally, or even due to ignorance, will his Tayammum be void?
A4: It is not necessary to be very particular; if it can be ordinarily assumed that the forehead and the backs of the hands have been wiped, it would be sufficient.

Temporary Marriage

Q1: Can I make a fixed-time marriage (mutah) with a prostitute, only for the satisfaction of my sexual needs? Is this fornication (zina) or a sin?
A1: It is permissible to marry either a Christian or Jewish women in fixed-time marriage. She needs to understand that mutah is a form of marriage, and she should obtain a proxy (wekalat) in order to execute the marriage formula. Temporary marriage with a prostitute as an obligatory precaution is not permissible.
Q2: Can a sayyed girl marry a non-sayyed?
A2: Marriage of Muslim men and women is permissible whether or not they are both sayyed, or one of them is so.
Q3: I have a question with regards to fixed-term marriage. If a Muslim man's wife, who is a Muslim woman, leaves the man for a couple of months, (for example leaving the country to visit relatives abroad, or for employment, etc.), what should the man do if he knows he cannot control his sexual desires, and knows his lack of control will lead to forbidden acts (for example masturbation, or adultery)? If this man has the opportunity to perform a fixed-term marriage to a woman from the People of the Book, but knows that his wife will not give him permission, or it will emotionally hurt his wife if he asks her, what should this man do? What are his options in order to refrain from any forbidden acts and satisfy his sexual desires?
A3: As you wrote, fixed-time marriage with women from the people of the Book (ahl-e kitab) is permissible and acceptable, if possible. But one who has a permanent wife should observe the duration of short-term marriage in such a way that he would not be married with two wives simultaneously; thus the fixed-time marriage must not exceed a few hours.
Q4: Is it permissible to contract temporary marriage with more than one woman? I mean, is it permissible to contract temporary marriage, if you already have a temporary wife? If yes, is there any limit for the number of temporary wives?
A4:Yes, it is possible to marry more than one woman temporarily, and the number is not limited. However, this point must be considered that temporary marriage was ordained in order for those who struggle financially through temporary marriage, be able to satisfy their needs in a lawful way. In other words, Mut'a was prescribed to prevent corruption, at the same time it is a form of marriage which has rules which must be observed. Also the dignity and honor of the woman and the basic family should be preserved.


Q1: If a main forgets to perform Tawaf al-Nisa, what should he should do? Can he touch his wife?
A1: If he himself cannot go back to perform Tawaf, he should deputize someone else to perform it on his behalf. He cannot have any relation with his wife as long as the Tawaf has not been performed.


Q1: If a Muslim eats something impure (najis), how can he purify his body? Can he pray when his body is impure?
A1: Firstly, the individual must sincerely repent and beg Allah (swt) for forgiveness. Before praying, the person should perform the necessary ablution. It is a pre-requisite of prayer that the clothes and body of the person are clean and pure (tahir).


Q1: What is the ruling regarding tattoos, according to Jafari jurisprudence?
A1: Tattooing on the skin is permitted on the condition that it does not harm the body. However it is forbidden to tattoo profane images or pornographic images and the like.
Q2: If a person has tattooed a Quranic verse on his body, what should he do when he enters the state of Janabah?
A2: If he has tattooed Quran's verse on his body, it is not permissible to touch that part of the body without Taharat (purity). Also, it is haram (forbidden) to touch the names of God when a person is at the state of Janabah. If possible, he should remove them or he should pour water on them without having to touch them. Moreover, it is necessary that he should perform Ghusl or wudhu immediately after he becomes impure. If the tattooed word is under the skin, there would be no objection in touching it if it is not considered disrespectful.