The Life of Imam al-Mahdi

By: Allama Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Translation by: Sayyid Athar Husain S.H. Rizvi

p. 148-167


1. Queries of Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ja’far

Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ja’far wrote some questions regarding religious law in a letter to His Eminence, the Awaited Imam. The letter was as follows:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful.

May Allah always keep you safe, happy and honorable. And may He perfect the favor of His blessings upon you. May He sacrifice me upon you before any evil befalls you. People compete with each other for scaling the heights of status but in my view whomsoever you accept has achieved true status. And whomsoever you reject is the one who is drowned and fallen. The deprived is the one who has been spurned away from your court. I seek the refuge of Allah from such a condition.

There is a group of Shias in our city having the same social status. And by way of position and grades they are more proximate to each other. A letter that you wrote to a group of them commanding them to help “Suad”, but a person named Ali bin Muhammad Husain bin Malik, famous as Malik Baduke, who is also son-in-law of “Saud”, no letter was taken among them. Therefore he has become aggrieved and requested me to convey it to His Eminence. In this way a sin has been committed by him. He should be prepared to atone for it. If there is some other reason for it, it should be announced to him so that he is satisfied. If Allah wills.

This letter proves its writer is a person from the believers and one who was proximate to His Eminence. Therefore he was cognizant of the position and value of the Imam (a.s). In the end he poses the following questions:

Question 1: Scholars of the progeny of Muhammad have narrated for us that a question was asked regarding some people who were praying the congregation prayer behind the leader of congregation when suddenly something happened to him and he died. Then what should his congregation members doa He replied that some should go ahead and some move behind and complete their prayer and those who have touched him should perform the ritual bath.

Reply: One who has moved him aside with his hands has not to do anything except wash his hands. And if nothing extraordinary happens to break the Prayer, he should complete the Prayer with them.

The explanation of direction received from the Imam (a.s) is as follows: If during a congregation prayer something happens to the congregation leader, like sudden death, the person who moves him aside is only obliged to wash his hands. This is so because to touch a dead body before it has cooled does not make one needful of ritual bath. Also, among the people praying behind the congregation leader who has suddenly collapsed, one of them should step forward and stand in the place of the congregation leader and others should continue to pray behind and complete their prayers. In case, instead of sudden death the congregation leader collapses or become unconscious etc. and then again he recovers during the prayer he is obliged to redo the ablution and lead the congregation again in place of one who was substituting for him previously.

Question 2: It is narrated from the scholar (Imam) that if one touches a dead body while it is still warm he is only obliged to wash his hands and if the corpse has cooled down and one touches it after that, one is obliged to perform the ritual bath of touching a dead body. The congregation leader who had just died is warm or may be the person who has moved him aside does not touch the body. He handles him from over his dress so how the ritual bath would become obligatory on hima

Reply: If he touches him while he is still warm, it is only necessary to wash his hands.

Question 3: In Prayer of Ja’far-e-Tayyar if a person forgets to recite the Tasbihat-e-Araba in standing, or bowing or prostration and later when he has gone ahead he remembers it. Does he have to recite the forgotten Tasbihat-e-Araba now or he should continue his prayera

Before we mention the reply of His Eminence, the Imam (a.s) we shall describe the Prayer of Ja’far at-Tayyar:

Prayer of Ja’far at-Tayyar

Prayer of Ja’far at-Tayyar is a very much recommended ritual. It is also called as the prayer of Tasbih and Prayer of Habwa. Shia and Sunni both have recorded numerous traditions in recommendation of Prayer of Ja’far Tayyar. The method of this prayer is as follows:

It is a four unit Prayer, divided into two parts. Pray each part exactly like the Morning Prayer, with the following adjustments:

(i) First Unit

After recitation of Suratul Faatihah, recite Suratuz Zilzaal

(ii) Second Unit

After recitation of Suratul Faatihah, recite Suratul Aadiyaat

(iii) Third Unit

After recitation of Suratul Faatihah, recite Suratun Nasr

(iv) Fourth Unit

after recitation of Suratul Faatihah, recite Suratul Ikhlaas.

(If you have not learnt by heart the second Surah of each unit, recite suratul Ikhlaas in all 4 units).

In each unit recite Tasbeehaatul Arbaa

Subhaanallaahi wal hamdu lillaahi wa laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu Akbar.

[Glory be to Allah, Praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah, and Allah is Great.]

(i) After recitation of Surahs… 15 times

(ii) In Rukoo… 10 times

(iii) In Qiyaam after Rukoo… 10 times

(iv) In the First Sajdah… 10 times

(v) While sitting after First Sajdah… 10 times

(vi) In the second Sajdah… 10 times

(vii) While sitting after second Sajdah… 10 times.

There are altogether 300 Tasbeehaat-e-Arba in this prayer.

Reply: If he forgets it in one position and remembers it in another position he should recite it then and if he forgets some of the Tasbih recitals and is reminded later on, he should recite it then and his Prayer is correct.

Question 4: Is it allowed for a woman whose husband dies to accompany the funeral processiona

Reply: It is allowed for a woman to leave the house to accompany the funeral procession of her late husband.

Question 5: Can the woman visit the grave of her deceased husband while she is in the Iddaha

Answer: She is allowed to visit the grave of her deceased husband.

The Iddah of the woman whose husband has passed away consists of giving up embellishments she used to have previously. And it does not become a cause to prevent her from visiting her husband’s grave. Or those things that are a necessary part of her life and she is in need of them, she cannot forgo them. And its further explanation has come in the statements of Imam (a.s).

Question 6: Can a woman during Iddah period leave her house for necessary errandsa

Reply: If it is necessary to do that job by going out of the house, she can do so but she must spend the night in her house.

Question 7: It is narrated from scholars regarding the reward of Quran in its necessary and non-necessary aspects that he said: It is astonishing that a person who does not recite Surah Qadr in his prayer, how his Prayer is accepteda

It is narrated that: A prayer in which “Qul huwallaho Ahad” is not recited does not scale heights of honor.

It is narrated that: One who recites Surah Humazah in his prayers, he would get the reward equal to the whole world. Then is it allowed for one to recite Surah Humazah and omit other Surahs that we mentioned, while it is narrated that Prayer is not accepted without thema And the purity and loftiness of the Prayer is due to those Surahsa

Reply: Imam (a.s) replies to the three questions as follows:

The rewards of the Surahs is on the same basis as narrated. If one leaves the Surah that is eligible for rewards and instead recites “Surah Qul huwalho Ahad or Surah Inna Anzalna” for their merits he would get the rewards of the Surahs he has recited as well as the rewards of the Surahs he has left. Although it is also allowed to recite a Surah other than these and his Prayer is correct but that he has omitted a meritorious deed.

Question 8: When is the supplication of the Farewell to month of Ramadan reciteda Because people have different views regarding it. Some say that it should be recited on the last night of the month of Ramadan while others say that it should be recited on the last day of the month of Ramadan at the time of viewing the new moon of Shawwal.

Reply: This ritual is for the last of the nights of the month of Ramadan and in the last night of the month of Ramadan. Therefore if one fears that the month will be reduced by a day, he should recite the supplication on last two nights.

2. Others Queries of Muhammad bin Abdullah

Muhammad bin Abdullah Himyari also sent other queries to His Eminence, the Imam (a.s) and they are as follows:

Question 1: When a person is praying and after the first Tashahud getting up to perform the third prayer, is it obligatory to recite Takbir (Allaho Akbar) or is it sufficient just to say “Bi hawlillah wa quwwatihu Aqoomo wa Aqud.” (By the strength and power of Allah I stand up and I sit)a

Reply: There are two traditions regarding this matter. One says that when one goes from one position to another one must say Takbir. Another tradition says that: If one raises ones head from the second prostration and says the Takbir and then sits down and then gets up and after the Qiyam, sits down again, he does not have to say the Takbir. In the same way it is in the first Tashahud and in every position whatever you do by way of acceptance is correct. Takbir during standing up after the first Tashahud and etc. is not obligatory and the person has the choice to say it or not.

Question 2: A person purchases a sacrificial sheep for one who is not present and takes it to slaughter it in Mina. But at the time of slaughter he forgets the name of that person and just slaughters it on his behalf and later he remembers the name. Would it be considered to be on behalf of that persona

Reply: There is no doubt in it. The sacrifice would be considered on his behalf.

On the basis of this narration and similar reports from the Purified Imams (a.s) jurisprudents have issued the verdict that if a person forgets the name of the person who has paid for a share in the sacrifice, it is no problem. If the sacrifice is made on his behalf it is sufficient.

Question 3: Among us are those Magian weavers who eat carrion and do not perform the ritual bath of Janabat. They weave clothes for us. Is it allowed to pray in these clothes before they are washeda

Reply: There is no problem in it. Because there is no certainty that the Magian has touched the cloth with a wet hand. Even if there is a doubt in it, it should be considered pure. Therefore there is no problem in praying in these clothes.

Question 4: If a person is praying in a dark and by mistake he puts his forehead on a cloth or a sack and does not do the Sajdah on a Mohr (soil) and he gets the Mohr only after he raises his head, would this prostration be sufficienta

Reply: Till the time he sits down completely after the prostration there is no problem if he picks up that object on which prostration is correct and performs the prostration again.

Question 5: A person who is wearing Ihram removes the covering of the canopy but leaves the frame. Is it alloweda

Reply: There is no problem if he leaves the frame.

One of the things a person in Ihram has to avoid is shade. Thus if he rides a camel with a canopy or a bus with roof he has to pay the Kaffarah (Penalty) of sacrificing a sheep. But if the covering of the canopy or the bus is removed, leaving the frame and walls there is no problem in it.

Question 6: If a person wearing Ihram shades himself with a sack or with something else to protect himself or his seat from getting soaked in rain, is it allowed for him to do soa

Reply: If he does this on the way with canopy the Kaffarah is obligatory on him. The penalty of a goat is due to the fact that the person has shaded himself from rain and to shade oneself is an omission for a person wearing Ihram.

Question 7: Is it necessary for a person doing Hajj as proxy, to mention the name of the one whose Hajj he is doing at the time of Ihrama Is it obligatory that he must do separate sacrifice for himself as well as whose Hajj he is performinga

Reply: It is not necessary to recite it in details and one sacrifice is sufficient on behalf of the one whose Hajj he is performing.

It has come in the reply of Imam (a.s) that taking the name of one whose proxy he is, is not necessary. Rather he makes an intention in his heart about the one whose Hajj he is performing and he does not even have to utter his name. It is sufficient. In the same way one animal on behalf of the person is sufficient because the person doing the Hajj is not doing for himself. He is a proxy of someone else. Therefore one sacrifice is sufficient.

Question 8: Is it permitted for man to tie up the Ihram with a sheet of fura

Reply: There is no problem, righteous and decent people have been Muhrim with it.

Ihram in a sheet of fur has no problem, but Ihram of soft wool of that animal whose meat is not eaten and it is prohibited to tie Ihram with its fur is impurity the extent of which is not condoned for a person who prays the prayer and the stitched cloth, as the jurisprudents have mentioned, is not allowed.

Question 9: A man goes for Hajj with a group of opponents and they do not tie up the Ihram at Maslakh. Whether for this man who is from the companions, is it allowed to delay his Ihram till Zaat-e-Arq so that he becomes Muhrim with them at that placea

Reply: It is necessary to become Muhrim from the Miqaat and say the Talbiyah softly and when he reaches the Miqaat with them he should make it obvious.

One who intends to perform Hajj or Umrah and is passing by the Miqaat he must become Muhrim at that Miqaat and he must not pass the Miqaat without Ihram. However, if tying the Ihram at the Miqaat frightens him due to the presence of those who do not consider it Miqaat, he must get into Ihram but keep it concealed.

Question 10: How is wearing leather slippers, because people say that it is Makruh to wear thema

Reply: It is permissible and there is no problem.

Question 11: A man is a treasurer in endowments, and he is careless. He considers as permissible for himself the endowments, which are under his control, and he does not abstain from them. Often when I enter his office and he is present or I enter his house and he is present he invites me to eat and if don’t eat at his place he would become inimical to me and say: such and such has not considered my food lawful that is why he has not eaten it. Now please tell me if it is allowed for me to eat with him and then later pay Sadaqah for it. And how much Sadaqah should I paya Or whether it is allowed for me to accept a gift that he gives to mea

Reply: If this man is having other property in addition to the endowments he holds and has other occupations also you may eat with him and accept his gifts. If it is not so, you must neither eat at his place nor accept any gift from him.

If a person perfectly knows that so and so who is offering him food, it is from unlawful wealth, he must not partake it. But if he knows that the man possesses lawful as well as unlawful wealth, and the food or gift he is offering could be from unlawful or lawful money, then it is not unlawful for him.

Question 12: A man is a Shia and considers Mutah and temporary marriage permissible and also believes in the Rajat (return) and all his family members are united. This man has made a vow that he would not take a second wife according to them and nor would he do Mutah. And he has spent 19 years with this vow. Now if he breaks his vow, does he become liable for a penalty or sina

Reply: It is Mustahab (recommended) for him to do Mutah at least once for obedience of Allah so that the sin of the vow is removed from him.

Vow and oath becomes valid when it is with relation to a preferable thing and not for something inferior and unlawful. On the basis of this if the action or leaving the action is inferior, these oath and vow shall not be valid in it. And Mutah, as it is legal and lawful in the view of Quran, to leave it through a vow or an oath is not allowed. But the prohibition of Mutah is an opinion in comparison to textual command and therefore it is of no value. Although, regarding this, we have a detailed discussion and its lawfulness and legality has been proved on the basis of Quran and traditions.

3. Other Queries

Muhammad Ibne Abdullah wrote other queries to His Eminence and asked for replies and they are as follows:

Question 1: A person who is praying in the beginning of the prayer when he recites the verse:

“Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of the polytheists.”[1]

Is it necessary for him to add: Upon the religion of Ibrahim and the faith of Muhammad. May Allah bless the religion of Muhammad (a.s)a As some people have said that whoever recites “Upon the religion of Muhammad” has committed an innovation as we have not found it the books of prayer. And only the tradition in the book of Qasim from his grandfather from Hasan Ibne Rashid is there, that His Eminence, Sadiq (a.s) said to Hasan: How do you recite the Verse of Tawajjoha[2] Hasan replied: I say: Labbaik wa Saadaik. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: My question was not that. Rather I asked you how you recite the verse:

“Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of the polytheists.”[3]

Hasan Said: I recite that only.

His Eminence, Sadiq (a.s) said: “When you say thus, after that you must add: Upon the religion of Ibrahim and the faith of Muhammad and the way of Ali bin Abi Talib and following the progeny of Muhammad, the upright, the submissive and we are not from the polytheists. May Allah bless the religion of Muhammad (a.s).”

Reply: Actually the verse of Tawajjoh and saying: “Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who…” is not obligatory. It is an emphasized recommended deed like an unanimous view as no one has opposed it:

“Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, upon the religion of Ibrahim and the faith of Muhammad and the guidance of Amirul Mo-mineen and I am not of the polytheists. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. No associate has He; and this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who submit. O Allah make me among the Muslims. I seek refuge in Allah the All- hearing the All-knowing from the accursed Shaitan.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.”

After that recite the Surah Hamd.

These supplications and recitals are recommended practices and are not from the obligatory rituals of prayers and the Imam (a.s) has explained its method.

Question 2: After a person completes reciting the Qunut is it allowed for him to pass his hands over his face and chesta On the basis of a tradition quoted in this regard, “In fact the Almighty Allah is much higher than it that He keeps the hands of his servants empty. Rather He fills them with bounties.” While some of our scholars have mentioned that it is one of the rituals in prayers.

Reply: To pass the hands over the head and face after Qunut is not permitted in obligatory prayers.

Question 3: How about the prostration of thanks after obligatory prayers because some people say that it is an innovation. If it is allowed should it be performed after the obligatory Magrib Prayer (evening prayer) or after the Nafila[4] of Maghriba

Reply: “The prostration of thanks is among the most necessary and proven practices and none says that prostration is innovation but that he intends to create an innovation in the religion of Allah. Because the prostration of thanks is an emphasized recommended deed. And one who considers it an innovation has not any cognizance of the religion of Allah and religious jurisprudence.” After the Imam (a.s) denied its innovation he further says:

“A tradition that says that it must be performed after Magrib Prayer, which is of three units, or after four units of Nafila. Because the merit of supplication and Tasbih[5] after obligatory prayer in relation to supplication after recommended prayer is just like the superiority of the obligatory prayer over that of the recommended prayer. And prostration is a supplication and Tasbih, thus it is preferable that it should be after the obligatory prayer. But even if it be after the recommended prayer, it is allowed. On the basis of this, the prostration of thanks is supplication and Tasbih and it is preferable that it should be performed immediately after the obligatory prayer. Although it is allowed to be performed after the recommended prayer also.”

Question 4: Some of our brothers have got new farms and besides them are bad farmlands and non-habitated lands which hold shares of the ruler. The agents and officials of the rulers continuously trouble our brothers. In this way the ruler intends to compel them to purchase the barren lands from him. Though it is said that the share of the king had been originally an endowment.

Therefore is it allowed to purchase this land from the rulera

Reply: It is not lawful to purchase that land except from its owner or by the permission and order of the owner. And the land which is adjacent to their farms about which it is not known whether the ruler is its owner or not, cannot be purchased till they find out its actual owner and buys it from them.

Other Queries of Muhammad

Muhammad Ibne Abdullah Himyari wrote a letter to His Eminence asking the following questions:

Question 1: A person is riding on a camel and there is so much of snow that it is as high as a man and he is afraid to come down and pray. Is it allowed for him to recite the Prayer on the camel ?

Reply: If it is necessary there is no problem in it. The condition for praying the Prayer on the ground is superseded by the difficulty present there hence praying on the ground is given exemption in this case.

Question 2: A person joins the congregation prayer when the congregation leader is in the Ruku (bowing). Would it be counted as one unit for hima As some of scholars have said that if one has not heard the Takbir of Ruku of the Imam one must not count it as one unit ?

Reply: If the follower is able to reach even one recitation of the ruku it would be counted as one unit. If he does not hear the Takbir of ruku and joins when the Imam is in the ruku before he raises up his head it would be counted as one unit and he would get the reward of congregation.

Question 3: Do the people of Paradise have children ?

Reply: Women in Paradise shall not become pregnant and would be free of dirt and labor and postnatal bleeding. In Paradise all those things are present that a person desire to have. As the Almighty Allah says. Thus if a believer desires to have a child the Almighty would create it without making a woman pregnant just as He had created Adam (a.s).

Question 4: Is it allowed for a man to marry the step daughter of his wifea

Reply: If she has been bred in his lap it is not allowed for him. But if she was not brought up with him and her mother is from another family, it is narrated that it is lawful for him.

“Step daughter is unlawful for the husband of her mother. She is like a daughter of this man. In case the man has married a woman but did not have sexual intercourse with her and he divorces her or gives up the time (in case of Mutual Marriage), her daughter is not unlawful for him.

Question 5: The soil of the grave is kept along with the dead body in the grave. Is it permitted ?

Reply: It should be kept with the dead body in the grave and it should be mixed in the Hunut [6], if Allah wills.

It is a strong possibility that the soil of the grave is the same soil of the grave of the chief of the martyrs, the beloved son of the Messenger of Allah, May Allah bless him and his progeny and peace be upon them, His Eminence, Imam Husain (a.s).

Question 6: It is narrated for us that His Eminence, Imam Sadiq (a.s) wrote on the shroud of his son, Ismail: He witnesses that there is no god except Allah. Is it allowed to write that with the soil of Imam Husain’s grave ?

Reply: It is allowed.

Question 7: Is it allowed to recite the rosary of the soil of the grave of the chief of the martyrsa Is there is any special merit in it ?

Reply: Make Tasbih of it, because nothing is better than it. And of its merits is that when you forget to recite the Tasbih and only turn about the beads the reward of reciting the Tasbih will continue to be written for you.

Question 8: Is it permitted to perform prostration on a piece of clay of the grave of Imam Husain (a.s)a Is there any special merit in it ?

Reply: Is it allowed and also has merit.

We are commanded that we prostrate on the earth in obescience to Allah and the mentioned soil and mud is a part of the earth. And the soil of the grave of the place of the martyrdom of the chief of the youths of Paradise and the beloved one of the Messenger of Allah, His Eminence, the chief of the martyrs (a.s) is the most exalted and meritorious piece of earth. Therefore prostration on soil taken from Kerbala is the most superior prostration for the Almighty Allah. A faithless group makes unmanly and cowardly attacks on the Shias regarding this and makes false allegations saying that Shias worship the soil of the grave of Husain (a.s), although the Shias prostrate to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, on a piece of the earth which is most superior one and it is not that they prostrate for the soil itself.

Question 9: Is it allowed for a person who goes for the Ziyarat of the graves of the Holy Imams to prostrate on the gravesa Is it allowed for one to recite prayers besides the grave of these noble soulsa Is it allowed for him to stand behind the grave and face the grave like prayer direction (Qibla) and stand at the head or the feeta And is it allowed to stand before the grave and recite the prayer while the grave is behind him ?

Reply: As for prostrating on a grave – whether in supererogatory or obligatory prayer is not allowed. What is to be done is that you must put your right cheek on the grave. As for prayer, it is necessary to recite it behind the grave and to keep the grave in the front. And it is not allowed to recite the prayer ahead of the grave and it is also not allowed to recite prayers besides the head or the feet side. It should be performed either behind the grave or at the head or the feet side but a little behind and not exactly parallel to the head or the feet. However there is no problem in reciting it behind the grave. It is better to recite it at the head side but one should not be parallel to the head. (One should be a little behind it).

Question 10: Is it allowed for a man to turn the beads of the rosary with his left hand and recite the Tasbih ?

Reply: It is allowed. And praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

Question 11: For a person reciting an obligatory or recommended prayer is it allowed for him to keep the Tasbih with him for counting ?

Reply: If he fears he may forget the counting of recitation, it is allowed.

Question 12: A thing, which is from the endowments to particular persons and if all of them do not agree to sell it. Is it allowed to purchase from thema Is it allowed to sell endowed properties ?

Reply: If the endowment is for the Imams of Muslims its sale is not allowed. If it is for a group of Muslims and every group that is capable to sell it they can sell it whether as a group or their own share in it.

Question 13: Is it allowed for a Muhrim,[7] to use Murtak and Tutiya (fragrant substances) to ward off the smell of his armpits ?

Reply: It is allowed and Tawfeeq (divine opportunity) is from the Almighty Allah.

Question 14: A person is an eyewitness to something and later he loses his eyesighta Is his testimony valid ?

Reply: If he perfectly remembers the place and time of the incident, it is allowed.

Question 15: A person has endowed a farm or cattle and he witnesses it in the name of one of the trustee of the endowment. After that this trustee dies or his place changes and another man becomes a trustee. Is it allowed for the new trustee (the representative) to give testimony ?

Reply: It is not permitted, because the testimony mentioned is not for the representative. It is for the original owner and the Almighty Allah has said:

“…and give upright testimony…”[8]

Question 16: Regarding the last two units of the four-unit prayer some narrations say that reciting Surah Hamd is preferable and some say that Tasbihat-e-Arba is better. Which is the preferable option ?

Reply: The Surah Hamd in those two units (rakats) is abrogated and the saying of Masoom (a.s) that: “Every prayer in which it is not recited is incomplete except for the sick person or for one who is very forgetful which causes the risk of making the prayer invalid,” has abrogated the reciting of Tasbihat-e-Arba.

Question 17: Among us there is a custom that for pain in throat and cough we take the paste of walnut. Its detail is as follows: Fresh walnut before it becomes hard is grinded and then cooked till its volume is halved and kept aside for 24 hours. After that it is put on fire and for every six measure, one measure of honey is mixed with it and then boiled. Then dry ammonia and vitriol is added of one mithqal weight. At this time one dirham dry saffron is also added to it. Then all of it is boiled and its froth is removed and it becomes thick like honey. Then it is brought down from the fire and cooled and then consumed. Is it allowed to drink it ?

Reply: In case it is intoxicating in large or small quantity it is unlawful but if it is non-intoxicating, its consumption is allowed.

Question 18: A man is facing a decision to do something or not. He picks up two rings. On one is inscribed, “Do it” and on the other “Don’t do it”. Then he seeks good from God and picks up one of them and acts upon it. Is this lawful actiona Can it be said that this is also like Istekhara ?

Reply: What the Scholar (a.s) have ruled to be the Istekhara is by lots and prayer.

Question 19: What is the best time for reciting the prayer of Ja’far bin Ali Taliba Does it have a Qunut ?

Reply: The best time to recite this prayer is on Friday at the time when the sun has risen. Apart from this it is good to recite it any time of the days of the week. It has two Qunuts. In the second unit it is recited before the bowing (ruku) and in the fourth unit it is recited after the bowing (ruku).

Question 20: A man separates a part of his money with the intention of giving it to a brother in faith. Later he learns that some people of his family are needful. In such a situation should he pay the money to the former or the latter ?

Reply: Whoever is more religious should be given preference. As the Scholar (a.s) has said: The Almighty Allah does not accept Sadaqah (giving of alms) till there remains some needy person in the family. Pay attention, and distribute it among them so that you obtain the merits of both.

Question 21: It is narrated from Imam Askari (a.s) that he was asked regarding the wearing of rabbit skin in prayers. He permitted it. But in another narration he is reported to have prohibited it. Thus on which report should we rely ?

Reply: If the garment is made of only the fur of the rabbit it is allowed. But if it is made of rabbit skin (leather) it is not allowed.

One of the conditions for the dress of a person who prays is that his garments must not be made from any part of the body of an animal whose meat is unlawful. That is why the skin (leather), or its hair or fur and every part of body of every animal is unlawful to be worn in Prayers. However the religious jurisprudents have exempted pure silk, which is not mixed with rabbit, or fox fur is exempted.

Question 22: Some scholars have reported that Imam Sadiq (a.s) was asked about this and he replied: Do not pray in the fox or rabbit fur and neither in cloth like the same.

Reply: His Eminence replied: Here it denotes the skin of these animals and not something else.

Question 23: There is a garment in Isfahan, which is decorated with silk. Is prayer valid in it ?

Reply: Prayer is not valid except of garments whose yarn is of cotton or linen.

Question 24: Should the wiping of feet be done one after the other or it can be done for both the feet together ?

Reply: Both can be done together. But if it is done one after the other the right feet should be wiped before the left. The wiping of the feet should be done from the tips of the toes till the ankles. It is a part of ablution and their wiping together is allowed. But if done for one foot at a time, he should wipe the right feet first.

Question 25: Is it allowed for a person to recite prayer of Ja’far at-Tayyar during a journey ?

Reply: Yes.

Question 26: A person reciting the Tasbih of Her Eminence, Zahra (s.a) recites the Takbir (Allaho Akbar) more than 34 times. Should he continue with the Tasbih or restarta If he has uttered it for 67 times what should he doa Should he start all over againa Please explain what is obligatory in this case ?

Reply: If he makes a mistake in repeating the Takbir and exceeds 34 times he should suffice with it. But if he recites 67 times he should be content with it. But if “Alhamdo lillah” is recited more than the stipulated times there is nothing upon him.[9]

This was a part of that which has reached us from the Master of the Age and it was the most beautiful and lasting reminder of the purified Imam (a.s).

[1] Surah Anam 6:79
[2] Surah Anam 6:79
[3] Surah Anam 6:79
[4] Supererogatory
[5] Repetitions
[6] Camphor rubbed at the seven prostration points of the body of the dead
[7] A person who is performing pilgrimage
[8] Surah Talaq 65:2
[9] Ihtijaj 2/309

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