Rafed English

Your Questions Answered (Volume 6)

Your Questions Answered (Volume 6)

by :

Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi


With humility I offer my thanks to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta 'ala that He gave me the chance to compile this sixth volume of the series, Your Questions Answered. This book contains replies to 118 questions received between October 1990 and December, 1994, from The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand; India, Pakistan, Iran, U.A.E.

and Muscat; Sweden, Norway, Germany and U.K.; U.S.A., Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana; Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania.

As it happens many of the questions are on burning topics of the current social environment, and I hope this volume will prove more popular and useful than the previous ones in this series.

Dar es Salaam
15th March 1965
Syed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi


What is the best way to convince an atheist who claims that there is no God, or an agnostic who says that man's only recognition can be of the phenomenal world, and that man does not and cannot know anything about a spiritual existence, either of God or man or of any after-death state? How can we convince him about Islam?

How would you reply to someone who after hearing the arguments says, "Nobody really knows if this is all true! Nobody knows if there is a life hereafter"?

A: The best and safest course for such people will be to believe in a Creator and in the Day of Judgement. The following tradition of Imam Ja'far Sadiq (A.S) shows the reason Why?

Ibn Abil 'Awja' and Ibn Muqaffa' were sitting in Masjidul Haram at the time of pilgrimage, with some of their fellow atheists. (They pretended to be Muslims just to save their skins; but were always openly arguing against the belief in God).

Ibn Muqaffa' said, pointing towards the space around the Ka'bah: "Do you see this mob? None among them could be called a human being except that old man (i.e., Imam Ja'far Sadiq A.S). As for the others, they are nothing but catties and animals."

Ibn Abil 'Awja' asked him as to how could he say such a thing.

Ibn Muqaffa' said: Because I have found with him (such virtues and knowledge) which I did not find anywhere else. Ibn Abil 'Awja' said: Now it is necessary to test whether what you say is true.

Ibn Muqaffa' tried to dissuade him. But Ibn Abil 'Awja' went to the Imam (A.S). He came back after sometime and said: "O Ibn Muqaffa'! He is not just a human being. If there were in this world a spiritual thing which became a body if he wished so, and turned into a spirit if he wanted to, then it is he."

Ibn Muqaffa' said: How come?

Ibn Abil 'Awja' said: I sat near him. When all others went away, he started talking (without my asking anything) and said:

"If the fact is as they believe and He is as they (i.e. the pilgrims) say, then they would be saved and you would be in trouble. And if the fact is as you (atheists) say, and not as they say, then you and they both would be equal (and no harm would come to either group.)" I said: "May Allah have mercy on you, what is that which they say and what is that which we say? My belief and their belief is but one."

Imam (A.S) said: "How could your belief and their belief be the same? They say that there is to be resurrection, and reward and punishment; and they believe that there is a God." (And you do not believe it.)

Imam (A.S) meant that if there was in reality no God and no Day of Judgement, as Ibn Abil 'Awja' said then the believers and non-believers both will be in the same condition after death. Both will perish for ever and nobody will suffer for his belief or disbelief.

On the other hand, if their Is a God and a Day of Judgement, as the believers say, then after death the believers will be saved and will be blessed, while the atheists and non-believers will have to suffer. Therefore, it is the dictate of wisdom to have Faith and Belief in God and Day of Judgement, to save oneself from the possibility of disgrace and eternal punishment.

Q2: My teacher (A Christian) says:

My teacher (a Christian) said to me that if what the Qur 'an says about man (that he was created of clay) is true, then why do we not find any trace of dust or clay in the human body? He was referring to the verse, And certainly We created man of clay... (Qur'an, 15:26). Please enlighten me, so that I may reply to him.

A: Well, water is made of oxygen and hydrogen. Why do we not see these gases in water? Of course when water "disintegrates" then each of its components goes its separate way, and then can be "seen". Likewise, when man's body disintegrates after death, most of it turns into dust, thus proving that it was made of dust or clay.

If your teacher is really a Christian, then he must have read the following statements in the beginning of the Bible:

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis, 2:7).

(God said to Adam) ".... till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return." (Genesis, 3:19)

I think he must have heard the last sentence hundreds of times spoken by Christian priests during funeral services.

Q3: Allah and Khuda:

Why we call Allah as 'Khuda' while in His 99 names there is no 'Khuda'. Then how can we say 'Khuda'?

A: The 99 names are in Arabic language. Other languages have got their own words to refer to Allah. "Khuda" is a Persian word, also used in Urdu and some other languages.

Q4: To Overcome Depression:

At times I am driven to despair. I have generally been depressed, since I rarely get what I aspire for.

A: I think the last phrase is the clue to your problem. Remember that nobody can ever get all that he aspires for. Human ambition always remains high. Man's aspirations are limitless while the provisions of this world are limited.

Naturally it results in dissatisfaction for most of the people. Its cure is found in the sayings of our Imams who have given us this advice: "In material things, do not look at those who are above you; rather look at those who are below you; while in spiritual things, you should look at those who are higher than you."

When you will look at those who are less fortunate than you, you will sincerely be grateful to Allah that He has given you so much more than many of your fellow human beings. And when you will look at those who have attained a higher spiritual status, you will be inspired to reach nearer to them. Contentment with what Allah has given you is the key to satisfaction, the cure of depression and the only way to overcome worldly worries.

Then next step will be to remember Allah Ta'ala in all conditions. In comfort and discomfort, in affluence and poverty, in health and sickness. Allah says in the Qur'an: "Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest." (Qur'an, Sura 13, Verse 28).

Q5: Shi'a Belief About Qur 'an:

A person suggested that Shi'as are doing "Taqiyah" when denying "Tahrif" in Qur 'an. Perhaps you wouldn t mind "leaking" the "inside-secret".

A: I will advise you to get a copy of my Urdu book, Itmam-e-Hujjat, from Maulana Ahmad Ali Abidi (or from Najafi House) and read the first chapter which is on Tahreef. Also my English booklet, The Qur'an: Its Protection from Alteration, (published by Ahlul Bayt Assembly of North America, P.O.Box 76568, Super Centre Postal Outlet, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R ON5) will prove very helpful.

From these two sources you will find that the Sunnis themselves narrate traditions of Tahreef in their Sihah Sitta and other books. They also believe that "Whatever is narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim is 100% correct and it is Wajib to believe in it."

Also, you will see that many traditions in these two books mention some verses and surahs which were lost after the Prophet (S.A.W). Then you will learn that the Sunnis try to explain such traditions by saying that those verses and Surahs are mansukhut-tilawah, i.e. their reciting was abrogated (while the law contained in some of them continues.)

The very serious question arises that if those Surahs and verses were lost or eaten up by a goat after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W), then how and by whom were they abrogated? Did there come any prophet after the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W)?

While we, on our part, are not bound to accept any tradition (written in any book) as "Sahih". We put every hadith to tough tests, then either accept it or reject it on its merits. As for Taqiyah, please study my booklet on this subject; you will find it useful and interesting.

Q6: The Beacon of the Qur an:

I quote here the following sentences of Hazrat Ali (A.S), from "Guidance from Qur 'an" (p. 35): ".... For all of you there is a beacon (in the Qur 'an), try to be guided by it. Islam has its aim for each of you to aspire and to attain it... " The question is: How can one find this beacon in the Qur'an, so that one can try to be guided by it?

A: The Qur'an was revealed as the guidance for man. It guides one in matters of faith; it shows the way to reach nearer to Allah through sincere belief and worship of Allah; it helps him build noble character through its unparalleled ethical teachings. And all these aspects have briefly been described in this very book, "Guidance from Qur'an".

Q7: The Aim of Creation:

Referring to the same quotation, how can one locate this seemingly particular aim, because to attain an objective one must know and understand it and then aim at it? A: Study those verses which describe the purpose of creation, then you will be able to proceed towards it. For example:

1. And I have not created the jinn and the human beings except that they should worship Me. (Qur 'an,51:56)

2. Surely we have created man from a small drop of intermingled life-germ, in order that we test him; so we have made him hearing, seeing." (76:2). (Then it goes on describing the chastisement of the disbelievers and the blessings reserved for the righteous.)

3. And the greatest bliss reserved for man is "the pleasure of Allah", that the righteous would be pleased with Allah and Allah would be pleased with them, and they would become nearer to Him. As He says: O tranquilled soul, return to your Lord, well- pleased with Him, well-pleasing to Him; so enter among My servants and enter into My garden. " (89:27-30).


Hazrat Ali (A.S) further says in the same hadith that "One should not make the Qur 'an an instrument of beggary in society". By nature a human being is certainly in need of many things. What could the sentence mean, because we are supposed to beg Him for our reasonable wants?

A: You have not read the full sentence which goes on like this "do not make Qur'an an instrument of beggary in society because it teaches you how to seek help from God." Clearly the Imam forbids begging from people and advises man to address all his needs to Allah. What objection or ambiguity is there in this teaching?

Q.9: Meaning of the Tablet and the Pen:

Do Shi'as believe that Tablet (lawh) and Pen (Qalam) are two angels?

A: This is what Shaykh Saduq (R.A) has written in his book, al-I 'tiqadat.

Why do you write d in the English Al-Mizan to indicate ? is not like D?

example, there are four letters, ? , when the pronunciation of A: Arabic alphabets contain many letters which have no equivalent in English. For ? . And there is only z in English with a sound like ? . How will you transcribe Arabic words containing ? ,? or ? into English and writing. The Western scholars have devised two or three systems for correctly transcribing Arabic words. The one I am using is called the Glasgo system.

?,? ,? ??There are for example four words in Arabic,,, ?? and ?? according to the Glasgo system they will be transcribed as zalla, dhalla, zalla and dalla. The dot under d indicates that there is of ? ? in that place. It does not show what is the pronunciation in Arabic.

The English Al-Mizan is being written for people in the Western countries, and therefore it is necessary to follow a system which they are familiar with.

Q.11: About Bohoras:

A friend of mine is an IsmailI Bohra (follower of 21 Imams and 52 Dais).I managed to argue with him by showing the weeklies and books. But he does not agree with me in the matter of lmamate. I have given him books and traditions of Prophet (S.A.W) and Imams.

A: I advise you to get a copy of Hollister's book, Shi 'a of India. Hollister was a Christian Missionary and he was more sympathetic to the Ismai'lis (Bohoras and Aga Khanis) than to the Ithna-'Asharis. He has described in that book, inter alia, the faith and practices of both branches of Isma'ilism. I am sure you can find a copy in Osmania University's library.

Another book in Urdu, Mujtahid)will be of more help to you. You may get a copy from Lucknow. Probably Imame Zamana Mission (Jet House, Shaheed Yar Jang Rd, Himayat Nagar, Hyderabad 500 029) can help you in getting this book.

Meanwhile, you may point out to your friend the following:-

As you will see in my book, Imamate, the number of 12 Khalifas was foretold by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), as was the information that the 12th Imam will go into Occultation and will re-appear before Qiyamat. And these most important traditions are recorded even in the Sunni books.

Now if the Bohoras have to believe in a hidden Imam, is it not more reasonable to believe in the hidden 12th Imam (A.S) of ours, whose birth, occultation and reappearance were foretold by the Prophet (S.A.W) -- as Shi'a and Sunni traditions prove rather than believing in a hidden 21st Imam whose continued existence no other Islamic sect confirms?

Q. 12: Who was the Mother of the 12th Ikum (A. S) ?

Dr. Jassim Husain writes in his book "Occultation of the Twelfth Imam ", that the view that Imam Mahdi s mother was a Byzantine princess is incorrect. He concludes with proof that his mother was a Nubian slave girl. Do you agree with his deductions?

A: Mr. Jassim Husain is a good Muslim. But in this matter he has not understood the hadith correctly. Remember that merely being an Englishman does not make one competent to understand every book on Philosophy, Physics, Chemistry or Higher Mathematics, just because they are written in English The same is the case with Islamic Islamic subjects including hadith.

Our 8th Imam (A.S) had no son until he was 46 years of age. Then Imam Muhammd Taqi (A.S) was born from a Nubian slavegirl. Not surprisingly, his complexion was not fair; so much so that his enemies used to spitefully call him "Aswad" (Black).

The other fact which Mr. Jassim Husain has overlooked is that, because of the political prominence and greatness of our 8th Imam (A.S), not only the 9th Imam (A.S) but even the 10th and 11th Imams (A.S) were called "Ibnur-Rida" (the son of ar-Rida). By the same token, all of them could be called "Ibnun Nubian", (son of the Nubian lady).

Keeping this background information in mind, read the relevant parts of the hadith quoted by Mr. Jassim Husain as his proof. It has been narrated by Kulayni (R.A) not in the chapter concerning Sahibul 'Asr (A.S), but in the one concerning "Indication and Declaration (of Imamate) about Abu Ja'far (A.S)" i.e. Imam Muhammad Taqi (A.S).

It is a long hadith describing how the uncles and brothers of Imam Rida (A.S) showed their annoyance saying that "there never was a dark-complexioned Imam among us".

Then they, on their own, called some experts of physiognomy (al-Qiyafah = the art of judging someone's parentage by studying his features), although it was not recognised in Islam at all. But the Imam (A.S) did not prevent them, in order to complete his evidence and proof against them. Those experts, who did not know anyone in the gathering, unanimously pointed to the 8th Imam (A.S) as the father of the child.

'"Ali ibn Ja'far (the uncle of the 8th Imam A.S) says: 'Then I stood up and kissed the mouth of Abu Ja'far (9th Imam A.S) until his saliva entered my mouth; then I said to him: "I bear (by late Maulana Sa'adat Husain Khan,witness that you are my Imam in presence of Allah." then ar-Rida (A.S) wept and said: "O uncle! Did not you hear my father saying: 'The Messenger of Allah (S. A. W) has said:

"May my father be sacrificed for the son of the best of the slave girls, the son of the Nubian girl, of pleasant mouth, of chosen womb. (Woe on them, may Allah curse the low Abbasid and his progeny, the companion of mischief!!!) And he will kill them for years and months and days; and he will humiliate them and make them drink a bitter cup; and he is the exiled fugitive whose father and grandfather will be (unjustly) killed;

the man of occultation (about whom) it will be said: Did he die or perish? In which valley did he go?'" (Then the Imam A.S said:) "Will this happen, O uncle! except through me?" I said: "You are right, may I be your ransom!

The 8th Imam, 'Ali ar-Rida (A.S), by narrating that hadith of the Prophet (S. A. W), wanted to show to his uncle that the Prophet had called the 12 th Imam (A.S) "the son of the Nubian girl", and it was not to happen "except through me", because the 8th Imam did marry the Nubian girl, who gave birth to the great-grandfather of the 12th Imam, and thus he would be the son of that Nubian mother, in the same way as he would be the son of Imam ar- Rida (A.S).

The sentence, "Will this happen, O uncle! except through me?", clearly shows that it was Imam 'Ali ar-Rida (A.S) who was destined to marry a Nubian lady, and not Imam Hasan 'Askari (A.S).

Q. 13: Concerning the Above Answer:

Thank you for the kind letter and the books you sent; may Allah reward you generously. Concerning J. Husain s not understanding the hadith of Kulayni (R.A) correctly, I agree with you. He does though quote that Nu'mani andal-Saduq (A.S) related other narrations which indicate that al-Qa 'im s mother (A.S) was to be a black slave-girl. He gives the references: N. Al-Ghayba, 84, 85, 120;Kamal, 329.

A: The book al-Ghaybah of an-Nu'mani is not with me here.

However, the book Mission's library (Published in Qum, 1405 A.H.) and I could not find in it the tradition that the Imam 's (A.S) mother was to be a black slave. Rather, there is a whole chapter (41 st) pp.417-423; with the heading, Chapter about what has been narrated about Narjis,

the mother of al-Qa'im, peace be on them both; and that her name is Malikah, daughter of Yashu 'a son of the king Qaiser ". The only tradition given there is another version of the one which you have questioned.

Q. 14: Did the Special Deputies see the Imam in his Minor OCCULTATION?

During the 12th Imam's (A.S) Minor Ghaybat did his Special Representatives see him physically when they got instructions and 'Fatwa'?

A: Yes, certainly. They were the only persons who knew the Imam (A.S)'s whereabouts at a given time and went to him whenever necessary.

The word, fatwa, is used for the rulings of a mujtahid. The Prophet's or Imam's words are "orders" of shari'ah, not fatwas.

Q 15: do you know anyone meeting imam-e-zaman (a.s) in Tanzania or India in this decade?

A: In Tanzania, No. In India or Pakistan, I have no knowledge.

Q. 16: Bending our heads on hearing the name of the Imam (A.S): We Shi 'as bend our heads at the mention of the name of Imam Baqiyyatullah; what is the theological explanation for that?

A: It is done to show respect to our present Imam (A.S); and it is based on the 6th Imam's teaching and action. It is reported that once when he mentioned the name of the 12 th Imam (A.S), he stood up to show respect to that name. This show of respect is perfectly OK from the shari'ah point of view.

Q. 17: The significance of the word, Imam:

Note: A new convert from U.S.A. wrote in his letter some paras which equated "Imam Khumayni" with the 12 Imams. This reply was sent to him:

A: We Shi'as believe in the Twelve Imams who came one after another after the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) first of whom was 'Ali (A.S) and the last is the Imam al-Mahdi (A.S) who is alive but in occultation by order of Allah and will re-appear near Qiyamat to establish the kingdom of God on the earth.

These twelve Imams were Ma'sum (Sinless, Infallible) and Mansus min Allah (appointed by Allah) as you will read in my book, Imamate, which I am sending to you together with God of Islam, Justice of God and Ritual and Spiritual Purity.

The literal meaning of the word, Imam, is leader hence the leader of congregational prayer is called Imam. Also the Muslims (mostly the Sunnis) have been using this adjective for their top-most scholars, e.g. Imam Abu Hanifah in jurisprudence and Imam Bukhari in hadith. It is in this sense that the Iranian leaders started using this adjective for the Founder of the Islamic Revolution, "Imam" Khumayni.

This usage is not, and was never, meant to place Imam Khumayni in the line of the Twelve Ma 'sum Imams who were appointed by Allah.

Its only purpose was to make the general (Sunni) Muslims understand the knowledge, piety and status of Imam Khumayni (May Allah be pleased with him). And such Imams are not necessarily from the family of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). They may be, or may not be. Nor are they Infallible or appointed by Allah.

I had to write this explanation as there appears to be some confusion in your letter.

Q. 18: Is Ijtihad undesirable?

Some people say that there are ahadith which condemn ijtihad in the masa'il of shari'ah. And that the ijtihad is something which early Shi'as were opposed to. What is the truth behind this allegation?

A: This question requires detailed answer which at present I don't have the time for. However, I'll give you a brief outline of the facts.

The Sunni Khalifas and their Imams habitually used their own views and inclination to give fatwas. This is known in their Usulul Fiqh as Qiyas (analogy), Istihsan (application of discretion) and maslihah (what is deemed to be in public interest). In those days, this method was called "Ijtihad" and such people were called "Mujtahids".

Naturally, our Imams condemned and opposed this play with shari'ah; and naturally they used the same name for condemnation with which it was known at that time, i.e. ijtihad. In those days, Shi'as used the name 'Faqih' (plural, Fuqaha) for their scholars of jurisprudence. And our Imams encouraged such Fuqaha to give Fatwas even in their own presence, examples of which are scattered throughout the books of traditions and Rijal.

This was a continuous process since the days of Imam Ja'far Sadiq (A.S) till that of Imam Hasan 'Askari (A.S), Then our 11th Imam directed the Shi'as to do taqleed of those Fuqaha who protected their souls (from sin), obeyed the commandments of their Lord, went against their own inclinations. Here also the Imam used the word "Fuqaha" and it means scholars of Fiqh, whose taqleed was thereby ordered.

These terminologies continued more or less upto the 6th century of hijrah. The Sunni system of using analogy, discretion and public interest for giving a Fatwa was called Ijtihad, and those Shi'as who endeavoured their best to find the rules of Shari'ah from Qur'an, ahadith, and laid down principles, were called Faqih.

Now every linguist knows that by passage of time words acquire new meanings. A meaning which is understood from a word in 1993 cannot be applied to the same word used in 1193. Old English was quite different from modern English. The same is the case with Arabic. Just to give you one example: Sayyarah nowadays means automobile, car. Now read the following verses in Surah Yusuf:

A brother of Yusuf (A.S) is quoted as saying: "and cast him down into the bottom of the pit if you must do (it, so that) some Sayyarah may pick him up". (Verse 10).

Then it says: "And there came a Sayyarah and they sent their water-drawer..." (verse 19). Now the word used here is "sayyarah". If you translate it according to the current usage, you will have to admit that there were automobiles in the days of Hazrat Ya'qub. (Actually, the word meant "travellers" in the days when the Qur'an was revealed.)

However, in the same way, the word mujtahid gradually changed its connotation until in the 7th century. Muhaqqiq Hill (A.R) (died 676 A.H.) used it for the Shi'a Fuqaha and since then both words have become synonymous in the Shi'a sect; although many western scholars, who know only the Sunni interpretation, translate it as "independent reasoning" but this interpretation is not applicable to the Shi'a ijtihad which is not independent; it is always based on the Qur'an, Sunnah and the principles laid down by our Imams (A.S).

Those who try to use those traditions which condemn ijtihad (of the old meaning), for opposing the Shi'a Ijtihad (of the new meaning), should also declare that there were automobiles in the days of Hazrat Ya'qub!

Q. 19: Is Taqleed Wajib?

Recently a dispute had arisen here regarding the matter of Taqleed. A group rejects Taqleed-after producing a few traditions form Wasa 'il ush Shi'a (vol. xviii) Kitabul Qada which are commonly quoted by most authors and scholars to show the necessity and legibility of Taqleed, from the ahadith point of view.

This group declares that these ahadith do not conform with the fatwas of the Maraji' who say that Taqleed is Wajib and the A'mal without Taqleed are all void. I beg to know a hadith (or ahadith) which clearly states that Taqleed is Wajib.

One thing I cannot understand that many people have produced ahadith which state that Taqleed has to be done but which do not precisely state that Taqleed is Wajib. I would be very obliged if the above-mentioned type of hadith (with reference) is sent to me for my reference.

A: No body says that Taqleed is the only choice. One may act according to Ihtiyat, if one does not like Taqleed. But acting on Ihtiyat is more difficult and cumbersome, and it requires a thorough knowledge of the Quran and hadith, which is not easy for every layman. Therefore, the only feasible alternative for a non-Mujtahid is to do Taqleed of an expert who can derive rules of Shari'ah from the Qur'an, hadith and other principles laid down by our Imams (A.S).

And if those friends of yours insist that they can find all the rules themselves, then let them find out from the Qur'an and the books of ahadith the rules regarding life-insurance, letter of credit, requirements of fasting and prayer for people residing in the Arctic and Antarctic zones, test tube babies, and hundreds of such modern problems which the past generations had not dreamt of.

I assure you that the ahadith of the Prophet and the Imams, found in our books of traditions, contain the principles from which our Mujtahids derive their rulings on such matters. But it requires deep knowledge of dozens of Islamic subjects, God-gifted intelligence and the expertise to reach at the conclusion from these sources.

The Imams had told their companions: "On us is to give you roots, for you is to develop branches from them." This wording is of our 6th Imam (A.S) and incidentally is one of the authorities which have established the institution of Ijtihad.

If a man has not studied medicine and on falling ill starts using medicines without consulting a doctor, every well-wisher will warn him that he might create more health problems for himself. May be if the medicine he takes tallies with his symptoms, he will be cured. Otherwise, his sickness might increase and might even result in death.

This is the dictate of common sense indeed. You go to an architect when you want to build a house, to an advocate for legal advice, to a doctor for treatment.

Likewise, you go to an expert in Fiqh for the rulings of shari'ah. Even if there were no ahadith to this effect, reason says that we must do Taqleed.

You should know that the institution of Ijtihad was established by our Imams (A.S). I have mentioned above one hadith of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A.S). Imam Hasan 'Askari (A.S) has said: "Whoever among the Fuqaha' (Experts of Fiqh; Mujtahideen) protects himself (from sins), opposes his desires and obeys his Mawla (Allah), the general public should do his Taqleed."

Our present Imam (A.S) ordered his Shi'as in the beginning of his Minor Occultation: "As for the problems taking place, refer them to the narrators of our ahadith, because they are my hujjat (proof) on you and I am the Hujjat of Allah." Imam Ja'far Sadiq (A.S) was asked a question concerning two Shi'as who have some dispute with each other, what should they do?

He said: "They should find among you someone who narrates our hadith, has studied our Halal and Haram and knows our commandments, and they should take him as arbitrator, because I have made him Hakim (Judge) over you; and if he gives a judgement and (one party) does not accept it, then he in reality scorns the order of Allah and rejects our (words); and he who rejects our words is kafir and rejecter of Allah's (words); and he is on the boundary of associating something with Allah."

The word, wajib, is not used in more than half of the ahadith describing a wajib act. Usually it is, "You should do this." Study the verse l55 of Surah al-Baqarah and see what expression has been used for Sa'yi in Hajj and 'Umrah. It only says: "So whoever performs Hajj of the House, or 'Umrah, there is no blame on him if he goes round them both." Isn't Sa'yi a wajib rukn of pilgrimage?

How is an 'Alim declared to be an A 'lam? Who are the present Maraji -e-Taqleed and who is the most learned of them?

A: There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of eye specialists in your city, Bombay.

Yet if one asks a knowledgeable friend where one should go for a complicated case, the friend will name only 3 or 4 doctors. Who elected them to become top-most eye- specialists? You will say: They were not elected; but their intelligence, knowledge, experience and continuous study have brought them to the fore-front. The same is the case with mujtahids.

At present, Ayatullah al-'Uzma Muhammad Fazil Lankarani (Qum) and Ayatullah al-'Uzma Sayyid 'Ali Sistani (Najaf) are considered to be A'lam. This word in Shi'a terminology means, one who has got top-most expertise in deriving the rules of shari'ah from its approved sources.

Q. 21: Mothers of 'AwN AND Muhammad:

Who was the mother of 'Awn and Muhammad (sons of 'Abdullah ibn Jafar) who were martyred at Karbala? Their ages?

A: 'Awn's mother was Hazrat Zainab (daughter of Amirul Mu'mineen 'Ali A.S); and Muhammad's mother was Khawsa' (from the tribe of Wa'il). First, Muhammad went to the battle-field, fought and killed ten warriors; finally he was slain by 'Amir ibn Nahshal. Then 'Awn went forth and killed 3 riders and eighteen foot. He was slain by 'Abdullah Ibn Battah at-Ta'i.

It is difficult to say how old they were in Karbala However, the age given for them in the marthiyas (i.e. 9 and 10 years) is definitely incorrect. They could not be so young. See Bihar-ul-anwar, vol. 45 for more details.

Q. 22: Children of Amru'l-Mu'mineen:

How many children Amir 'l-mu 'mineen 'Ali (A.S) had got? Were there more than one Zaynab and Umm Kulthum?

A: There are various reports about the number of his children, varying from 25 to 35. 3 sons were named Muhammad (the eldest of them was Hazrat Muhammad Ibn al-Hanafiyah); 2 sons were named 'Abbas (the eldest of them was the standard-bearer in Karbala). There were two Zaynabs, two Umm Kulthums and two Ruqayyahs.

The eldest Zaynab and Umm Kulthum were the daughters of Bibi Fatimah (A.S); Zaynab (the younger) was the daughter of Umm Sa'id, and the younger Umm Kulthum's mother was a slave-girl.

For more details see Biharul anwar vol. Manaqib of Ibn Shahr Ashob and other relevant books.

Q. 23: False claimants of Prophet hood:

How many false claimants of Prophethood and Imamate (Mahdaviyat) have appeared yet?

A: It is difficult to get at their exact number. However, there have appeared scores of false prophets and Mahdis.

Q. 24: Where is Imam Husayn's head buried?

A: Got your cable on 18th July, and sent the following reply the same day.

Hassanali, SG IMGI Georgetown, Guyana, In Karbala in same grave, Letter follows Saeed Akhtar. When Yazid released the family of Imam Husain (A.S) from prison, Imam Zaynul Abidin (A.S) took from him the head of Imam Husayn (A.S) and brought it to Karbala where he buried it with the body in the same grave Although there are some reports mentioning Damascus, Medina, and even Egypt as the place where the holy head is buried, but they are not authentic, and our scholars do not accept them.


When was Islam first introduced to Tanzania -particularly to the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba? A: According to oral traditions, which have been recorded by the westerners, it may safely be said that Islam reached here by end of the first or beginning of the 2nd century of hijrah.

Q. 26: About Bilal Muslim Mission:

When was Bilal Muslim Mission established and who were its founding fathers? A: Bilal Muslim Mission was established in December, 1964. Many dedicated Muslims shared the honour of establishing it.

Important among them were Haji Ali Muhammad Jaffer Sheriff, Mulla Asghrali M. M. Jaffer, Haji Mohsin A.M Jaffer, Haji Muhammadali Meghji (from Kenya) and Haji Hassanali M. Ladak, Haji Hussain Nasser Walji, Haji Fidahussein Abdullah Hameer, Haji Ahmed Hussein Sheriff and the present writer (from Tanzania).

Q. 27: Islamic Activities in Tanzania:

What kind of Islamic activities are going on in the mainland of Tanzania?

A: I confine my reply to my Mission's activities only.

(a) (a)We publish two bi-monthly magazines in English and Swahili languages.

(b) We publish religious books in the English and Swahili languages. So far about 80 books and booklets have come out.

(c) We run an Institute of Higher Islamic Studies in Dar es Salaam.

(d) We run scores of Qur'anic schools for smaller boys and girls.

(e) We conduct 3 types of Correspondence Courses in English and Swahili which are benefiting the Muslims throughout the world.

(f) We have established a charitable public dispensary.

(g) We regularly hold free Eye-Camps in villages and small towns.

Q. 28: Islamic Cure for Aids:

A friend says that Islam is the religion till the Day of Judgement and the solution of every thing till then. So what is the Islamic cure for AIDS?

A: Islam, as a religion, contains every thing which is required for spiritual upliftment of humanity. It is not a hand-book for medical profession or mathematics. It gives rules and regulations which govern everyone including the doctors and mathematicians. But it does not teach the doctors how to treat cough and malaria, or the accountants how to multiply or subtract.

However, as these rules and regulations oblige a person to live a clean and moral sexual life, it prevents one from getting infected with AIDS. Here the saying, "Prevention is better than cure" proves true.

And the Prophet (S.A.W) had given prior warning to those who would indulge in unlawful sexual intercourse, when he said, inter alia, in a hadith: "When fornication spreads, it will surely bring such new diseases to the people which their forefathers had not known."

Q. 29: Root cause of Children 's indicipline

The children are disobedient and even insulting to their teachers, elders and parents. Is this due to general human-right awareness, or level of intelligence having generally gone up amongst the younger folks?

Or are parents so naive and / or less informed than the children? For example, when we studied psychology 30 years ago the definition of Psychology was that it was a study of mind. Nowadays the definition of Psychology is the scientific study of the processes of the mind and the behaviour of the body, both positive and empirical.

A: I think the basic problem is not of human-rights awareness or enhancement of intelligence level etc. Certainly these are contributing factors; but I think the basic trouble lies somewhere else. The Muslim society in your City is built on materialism. Showiness, pride, extravaganza, rat-race for worldly gains, all these combined together are tearing the moral fabric to shreds.

Wealth is the alpha and omega of their ideal - whether it comes from lawful means or unlawful ones, makes no difference. And the haram money, entering through food into their blood system, first dims the spiritual light in the heart and finally darkens it completely. It affects the relationship of elders with the younger generation in many ways:-

(a) The children are deprived of moral guidance and training from their early age.

(b) They see their elders indulging in all types of un ethical dealings in their offices and businesses.

(c) In this way, the children are given practical training of keeping the religion and moral values confined to the compounds of mosques, husainiyas and, to a certain extent, homes.

(d) The children thus develop a dual personality; and the elders lose respect in their eyes, and even if at times they are told by these elders to behave in moral ways, the words sound to them hollow and hypocritical.

As the parents and elders have forfeited their moral authority, is it strange that the children are behaving in the way you have mentioned.

You know the U.S.A. better than I do, and also about the moral decay of its black community. But I am reading since last many years in the official reports of many government departments that the blacks who have embraced Islam, have turned their localities into law-abiding, well-disciplined areas, free of drugs and crimes. And this acknowledgement comes from those who have declared Islam as their enemy No. 1.

It clearly proves that Islam - if accepted sincerely - can transform a totally rotten society into a healthy, dynamic force, vibrating with moral rectitude and spiritual sublimity. Even those prisoners who have become Muslims, have been transformed into model ones. Why can't we, the born Shi'as and Muslims, achieve the same result with our Islam?

Our children accept that boys and girls should not freely mingle; yet they assert that if keeping within the bounds of shari 'ah they wrote to each other and communicated their feelings, what is wrong with that??!! In other words love letters do not matter! Can you please look into the same and with your wealth of ahadith etc. can we give them some beneficial advice on this issue?

A. Before deciding whether there is anything wrong in love letters or not, let us ask them how these "feelings" began in the first place. Was it not because they had been looking at each other with lustful eyes? These youths must know that there is hijab of eyes as well as of the dress. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta 'ala says:

"Say unto the believer men that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is purer for them. Verily Allah is well-Aware of what you do. And say unto the believing women that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts, and their display not their zinat…."(Qur'an, 24:30-31).

The believer men must cast down their gaze and believer women must cast down their gaze. None is allowed to look at the opposite sex, unless he or she is within the prohibited degree (mahram). As the man is required to struggle for earning the livelihood, he is not told to hide his body (except to a certain extent). Still he is obliged to cast down his gaze; and not to look at a Ghair Mahram woman.

Woman can easily keep herself covered and hidden because her sphere of activity is her home; therefore, she was told to cover her entire body, as well as cast down her gaze and not to look at a Ghair Mahram man.

There are many ahadith which say that:-

"Glance is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Shaitan".

"Beware of glance because it sows lust in the heart of the glancer, and enough is it for a mischief."

Another hadith says that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said:

"Whoever fills his eyes looking at a women unlawfully, Allah will raise him on the day of resurrection with nails of fire driven in (his eyes), until judgement is given concerning the whole mankind; then he will be ordered to be driven into the Fire."

Numerous Ahadith declare that the glance after the 1st glance is an arrow of Shaitan; and is Haram. Our boys and girls should ponder on these verses and traditions, in order to realize that wearing hijab or scarf is not a licence to look freely at the opposite sex. So, before getting such feelings for each other, they have already crossed the limit of shari'ah. It is this phenomenon about which the mujtahidin have said that it is definitely wajib for a woman to cover her face and palms if there is a possibility of someone looking at her with lustful eyes. This is fatwa, (not Ihtyat) and all the mujtahidin are unanimous in this matter.

Now comes the second step, and that is "talking to each other" Verbally or in writing. A few authentic ahadith from the Ma'sumeen (A.S)

1. When women wanted to enter into the fold of Islam, the Prophet (S.A.W) Used to make it a condition of bay 'ah that "they should not talk with any man except their mahram." (Da'a'imu'l-Islam).

2. 'Ali (A.S) said that the Prophet (S.A.W) had prohibited that a woman should talk to anyone (other than her husband or her mahram) more than Five words it becomes necessary. (Man La Yahduruhu 'l-Faqih; Da'a'imu'l-lslam)

3. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A.S) said: Talking with women is among the traps of the Shaitan. (Da 'a 'imu 'l-Islam).

4. 'Ali (A.S) said: "Verily there are five things which follow (other) five things, and these five must throw (the culprit) into the Fire:.... and whoever indulges in joking with young girls and boys, will fall into fornication; and the fornicator is bound to enter the Fire.(Mustadrak).

Talking or joking aside, Islam seriously discourages men to do salaam to women. There are several ahadith in Al-Kafi, Man la yahduruhu 'l-faqih and other books which say that it is makruh for men to do salaam to women, more so if they are young.

Looking at this matter in the light of our present day social and family environment, this business of love-letters may create real problems, if the parents or guardians of the boy or the girl, when approached by them to agree to, and bless their marriage, refuse to do so. The scenarios that may follow this refusal are easy to imagine, but none of them is pleasant.

Q. 31: Non-alcoholic beer!!

The sale of non-alcoholic beer is in fashion here. And when one of my friends visited one such store, he was told he could get alcoholic one too but from the inside of the store! So the objection may not be for the sale of non-alcoholic but the step two of inducing the customer to taste the alcoholic as well!

A: It is the same hypocrisy about which I have written somewhere else and it has come from Mecca and Medina, so it has the sanction of the Wahhabi Islam!! May we ask those Khalids, Fahds and Ben Baz's, why was it necessary to use the name "beer" for a non- alcoholic drink? Was it not to make the name, beer, familiar to the Muslims? And once they have taken the first step, it should not take them long to go further ahead and take the second and then the third steps.

It is narrated by Ibn Majah (one of the Sihah Sittah) that the Prophet said: "There will be some groups of my Ummah who will drink liquor and call it by some other name."

Q. 32: Selling Liquor in obedience of parents:

Zayd's father has a grocery shop which also sells alcoholic drinks. Zayd feels guilty about this and knows pretty well that it is haram and the income is haram also. He has tried to convince his father but to no avail.

He then decided to pull out of the business, but then the father and mother said that they were not pleased with him, and the mother said that she would not waive her milk-right and that the very God they are disobeying by selling liquor has said that you must obey parents! I tried to reason with Zayd that obedience of parents is only in compliance of God's command and not to disobey Him; but he is either not convinced or cannot decide due to parental emotional pressure.

A: Obedience to parents is wajib to a certain extent, no doubt. But parents do not have this right independently by their own authority. It is bestowed on them by Allah. Quite obviously Allah's order super cedes all others' orders. As I have mentioned in my book, Family Life of Islam:

"The Almighty Allah is above all rulers and superiors: therefore, His commandments can never be superceded by any other rule, regulation or order. But the superiority of parents is derived from the superiority of Allah; their authority is based upon the command of Allah. Therefore, if ever they give any order which is against the Law of Allah, it must be ignored and disobeyed." Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And we enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents:…….And if they strive to make you join with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with fairness" (Surah Luqman, vs. 14-15)

The same order is repeated in verse 8 of Surah'Al-'Ankabut.

If one commits a sin or crime following an order of his superiors or elders, it does not absolve him from responsibility of that crime. Even the worldly powers do not accept the plea, "I committed this crime because my parents, or elders or superiors had ordered me to do so." The Nuremburg trials of the Nazis testify to this principle.

As for Islam, there is the laid down principle that, "A creature is not to be obeyed in disobedience of the Creator." (Nahjul -balagha) Numerous traditions to this effect are found in Shi'a and Sunni collections of Ahadith. Biharu 7 Anwar has a whole chapter in which so many traditions of this meaning have been collected.

A similar plea was offered by Shimr for murdering Imam Husain (A.S). He was praying to Allah for forgiveness. Someone said to him: "How can Allah forgive you when you had participated in murdering the son of the Messenger of Allah?" Shimr said: "Woe unto you! What could we do? These our ulul-amr ordered us to do a work and we obeyed them; had we disobeyed them we would have been in a worse position than this" Will Allah accept this excuse of Shimr?

Remember, on the Day of Judgement no relative, be he a father or a son, can take the burden of any sin of his relative on his own shoulders. In fact, the relatives will purposefully avoid each other. Allah says:

"The day on which a man shall fly from his brother and his mother and his spouse and his son; every man of them shall on that day have an affair of his own which will occupy him." (Surah 'Abas, verses 34-37)

Not only that. On seeing the chastisement of the hell, the juniors will curse the elders and the elders will refuse to accept any responsibility of their followers' sins and crime. But this reciprocal cursing will not be of any use to any group. See for example the following verses:

"And they shall say: O our Lord! Surely we obeyed our leaders and our elders, so they led us astray from the path; O our Lord! Give them a double punishment and curse them with a great curse." (Surah al-Ahzab, vs. 67-68)

"When those who were followed (e.g. the parents in your question) shall renounce those who followed (e.g. the son) and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder.

And those who (had) followed shall say: O were therefore us a return (to the world), then we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they shall not come fourth from the fire." (Surah al- Baqarah, vs. 166-167).

As for the mother's threat not to waive her milk-right, it is just a balderdash. A woman has a right to demand from her husband wages for breast-feeding his child, and the husband has a right to appoint some other woman for this purpose, if the mother's demand is higher than the prevalent rates.

Therefore, if the mother has any milk-right, it is on her husband, and not on the child. (You will find some such statements in poetries, but it is just poetic licence. It has no legal standing.)

I pray to Allah to guide the parents as well as the son to the right path, and make them Muslims in reality.

Q. 33: Marriage with Sister-in-law?

Zaid's sister-in-law (wife's sister) is divorced and staying with him and his wife. Islamic rule is that he cannot marry his wife's sister unless due to some reasons. His problem is that his wife's sister is in love with him and this was brought to his attention by his wife, who does not object even if laid wishes to marry her.

Zaid is getting more inclined towards her; but at the same time, he does not wish to commit any sin. Can he marry her or do mut 'ah marriage with her?

A: I was shocked to receive the above letter. Marrying two sisters at one time is absolutely haram (unlawful). There is no question of there being or not being a "reason". It is forbidden in the Qur'an and is not lawful in any circumstances in any sect of Islam.

Now one may appreciate why Islam forbids a woman to come with open face before her brother-in-law, and why a man is forbidden to look at his sister-in-law's open face. If people remain within the boundaries of Shari'ah, such fitnah and mischief will never occur.

I most sincerely advise Zaid to at once turn this woman out of his house, who is not averse to breaking the home of her own sister. For God's sake, terminate all contacts with her. May Allah give Zaid tawfeeq to follow Islam and not to be tempted by the Satan. It is Satan who is using his sister-in-law as a trap to ensnare him.

Q. 34: Music At Jama 'at's Musafirkhana

The caretaker in our Musafirkhana gets a nominal salary plus free accommodation including water and electricity. He has a video/TV of his own. However, he sometimes watches Indian film programmes in which there is music and other obscene scenes which are against our Shari 'ah. It has also come to our notice that guests go to his room to view such programmes.

Although this is a personal and private affair as claimed by him, but such un-Islamic activities are held wiihin the precincts of our Musafirkhana which is run according to Shari 'ah. Also electricity bill is paid from the revenue of our Musafirkhana. Please give your guidance on this issue.

A: Let us suppose somebody openly uses the Musafirkhana premises for drinking liquor and giving it to other Mu'mineen. What will be your reaction if, on being told not to do so, he replies that it was his "personal and private affair"?

In fact it is not a personal and private affair because the sin is committed openly. If someone openly neglects prayer, then it is not his personal and private affair, and it becomes wajib on everyone whose words would be effective to advise, exhort (and, if possible, compel) him to pray. To order good and forbid evil is wajib on every person.

It is regardless of the fact that the said sin is committed in Jama'at's premises. The Jama'at has a right and a duty to make sure that its properties are not used for anti-Islamic activities.

Add to this the fact that electricity is provided by the Jama'at. So in a way the Jama'at is helping in it.

And finally, when he turns his room into a cinema-hall, then it becomes "Fasad fil ard" (spreading fasad, evil, mischief, in the world), which is another major sin and also a capital crime in Sheri'ah. May Allah give him light to see the reality.

Q. 35: 'Aq of parents:

Can a child who has been disowned ('AQ) by his father during the latter's lifetime inherit from his deceased father's estate?

A: Certainly. There are only 3 situations in which an heir is debarred from inheritance:

1. If the said heir has killed the deceased;

2. If he is Kafir or

3. a slave.

Also a child of Li'an is excluded from the estate of his mother's ex-husband. There appears to be a widespread misconception in Indian society about this business of making 'Aq. 'Uquq means "to be disobedient, disrespectful, undutiful." If a child is disobedient, he will be written by the angels as a disobedient child, even if a parent does not say so even once; and if he is not disobedient, then in the eyes of God he is "not 'Aq" even if his parents declare so with drum beats.

In any case, this is a matter concerned with a child's felicity or otherwise in Akherah; it has no effect on his right of inheritance. Of course, if one makes a will debarring any heir from inheritance, and that heir gives his/her assent to it, it will be enforced because of the heir's voluntary assent and acceptance.


Is a child born from Mut'ah marriage entitled to inheritance from his father or mother upon his/ her death?

A: Certainly. A legitimate offspring inherits both parents, whether he is born in the so-called "permanent marriage", or in mut'ah marriage, or from a slave girl.


If a single trustee is appointed to execute the will by the deceased and he refuses to act, who is entitled to appoint a replacement?

A: The question is confusing. Probably you mean an executor of the will, and not a trustee of a waqf. In our shari'ah, wasiyyat is of two kinds: (1) Tamlikiyah, which involves property or money matters, and (2) 'Ahdiyah, which conlerns other matters, like where he should be buried and things like that.

The former requires acceptance by the executor, but not the latter. Of course, there is a lot of detail involved which cannot be given here. However, if the appointed executor refuses the appointment, the mujtahid has the authority to appoint someone in his place. If the executor does not reject, but is lethargic in discharging his duties, or feels difficulty in acting alone, the mujtahid may appoint someone to assist him or to supervise his work


A deceased has mentioned in his will that a certain person should not be allowed to attend his funeral. Is the will in order? What if the said will is made against the eldest son? Who should then be asked about arrangements of funeral etc.?

A: A person certainly has a right to do such a wasiyyat. So far as its implementation is concerned, it is easy in places where funeral arrangements are made and controlled by the family. But in societies like the Khoja Community, where every thing is done by the Jama'at, and the funeral time is announced publicly, one has to choose the lesser evil.

I mean, the heirs have to decide whether informing the person concerned would cause (or increase) fitnah and friction or not. Avoiding friction is always more preferable. As for the permission of the eldest son (in the situation mentioned in the question), the mu'mineen may ask him together with the other heirs. It will be more in conformity with Ihtiyat.


What does Holy Qur 'an and Hadith say on: (a) Accusation, (b) suspicion and (c) Tuhmat, i.e to accuse /suspect someone of doing wrong without any proof at all. A: Suspicion: "To suspect someone of doing wrong without any proof." It is "haram ". Allah Ta'ala says:

"O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin; and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and fear Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful". (Qur'an, 49:12)

The Ma'sumeen (A.S) have said that if you find your mu'min brother doing or saying something which can be interpreted in seventy ways, sixty nine of which are bad and only one is good, you should give it that one good meaning, and ignore the other bad interpretations.

Accusation: If it is untrue then it is called Tuhmat, which is even worse than ghibat (backbiting) which has been so severely condemned in the above-mentioned ayat In one particular case (i.e. slandering a married mu'minah lady of adultery without producing four witnesses) it is also a crime for which the slanderer is punished with eighty lashes If the accusation is true, then it is called ghibat, the gravity of which has been mentioned above. But in some cases it is allowed, as for example,

when giving evidence before a Qadi of Shari'ah, informing a guardian of misdeeds of his ward (when the intention is the reform of that ward) or giving advice to someone, if asked for some important matters: Let us say, when someone sends matrimonial message for a girl and the girl's guardian asks you about that person's suitability. Details may be seen in Minhaju's-Saliheen (Vol. 1) of Ayatullah al-Khoui.

Are Jama'at's meetings allowed to be held in Imambara? A: Yes.

Q. 41: Using Obscene language:

Is bad /filthy words and language allowed to be used in Husainiyah?

A: Such language is not allowed anywhere. In fact, if one uses such language in sacred places like masjid or Imambara, its sin will increase.

Q.42: Helping Sunnis ' Projects:

We being Shi'as, is it allowed for us to give assistance to our Sunni brothers' Mosque. Assistance like roofing of the portion used for prayers, providing them water supply, any repairs, providing mats etc. ?

A: Yes, you may assist the mosques of the Sunnis, as explained by you. But it should not come from Khumus, Zakah or Wajib Sadaqah.


Presently there is an outbreak of Meningitis in many parts of Tanzania. Can Sadaqah money be used to buy vaccines in order to be injected to the public or to school students? We are not Sure, that all those who are going to be injected are poor or not. Majority to be injected will be Africans.

A: The reply is the same as above. Helping fellow human beings is highly recommended.


Parents, brothers, sisters, wife and children survive a dead Muslim. What are their shares in inheritance? In what manner it changes in the absence of one or the other group of relatives?

A: In Shi'a shari'ah, blood relatives are divided in 3 categories; First: Parents and children. When there are no children at all, then their children take their place.

Second: Grandparents (both paternal and maternal) and brothers and sisters. When there are no brothers and sisters at all, their children will take their place.

Third: Paternal and maternal uncles and aunts. If there is none, then their children. Husband and wife will inherit each other with all the above mentioned three categories.

As long as there is even one person of first category, the second and third categories will get nothing. In the absence of the first, the heirs of the second category will inherit. And if there is no one in the second category too, then the heirs of the third category will inherit.

Now in your question, brothers and sisters will get nothing in the presence of parents and children.

If there is only one heir in the first category (only father, or mother or a son or a daughter) he/she gets the whole estate. If there are only the parents, the mother gets one third and the father two-thirds. If there are the children only, a son gets twice the share of a daughter.

If there are both parents, wife and children, then the shares will be as follows:- Father, 1/6; mother 1/6; wife 1/8; and the remaining 13/24 will be divided among the children, a son getting double of what a daughter gets.

If there are only brothers, sisters and wife, the wife gets 1/4; and the residue is divided among the brothers and sisters.

If there are only brothers and sisters, the estate is divided as in case of children (a brothers getting double of a sister). Of course, there are many details involved. Why not look into an English book of Masa 'ill


A son dies in the life-time of his father. The father has other sons and daughters. After the death of the father, would the children of the deceased son inherit along with their uncles and aunts?

A: No. Nearer heirs exclude the remoter ones from inheritance. Sons and daughters, being nearer to their father, exclude his grandchildren from inheritance because they are one degree removed. However, it is very much emphasized that the grandfather should give them a part of his estate through wasiyyat or gift; it would be in keeping with the obligation of Sila-e-Rihm, and in accordance with the Islamic mercy.

Q. 46: Distribution of deceased's estate:

Mr. A. was drowned.

Beneficiaries of his estate are as under:

1. Father (died after one month).

2. Mother

3. Wife

4. Son - (underage, minor)

5. Daughter

6. daughter - (Underage, minor)

7. Daughter - (Underage, minor)

Distribution of Cash/Bank balances was made as under:

Principal amount, after paying the Khums due, wasdistributed as under:- Estate of the Father 1/6th

Mother 1/6th Wife 1/8th After that, the balance was divided among the children, 2/5 going to the son, and the 3 daughters getting 1/5 each

During his life-time, the said Mr. A had bought a plot and started constructing a house for his own residence. The work was in progress when he died. The work was was completed after the deceaseds father died.

After the construction was completed, the deceased's family decided as under:- (a)To stay at the ground-floor of the house.

(b)To give on rent the 1st floor to one of the brothers of the deceased. Now The following questions are to b

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