Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid M.S.Al-Hakeem - Books-Muslims Guide: Guidance and Edicts - General Matters

Books Muslims Guide: Guidance and EdictsGeneral Matters

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Q1: What is the meaning of the phrase “Ta`arrub ba`d al-hijra” which is listed among the major sins?
A: One must learn what is required of the Arabic language in order to perform the daily prayers, such as the obligatory recitation of Suratul-Fatiha and another full chapter after it as well as the recitations in the prostrations and bowings. Actually, one should learn Arabic and stay connected with it in a way which facilitates for him understanding the Holy Qur'an and the traditions of the Prophet and Infallible Imams (peace be upon them all), as well as their great legacies, which includes their supplications, sermons, ethical teaching, etc. This has a great impact on strengthening the roots of faith and on firming it in one’s soul in a way which manifests itself in conduct and behavior. The thirteenth chapter of the Introduction contains useful information in this regard.
A: Yes, amicable companionship is permissible with them, actually the Sharia recommends it. Islam has urged good conduct, nobleness, honesty and good companionship. Abu al-Rabee' al-Shami narrates saying, "I visited Abu Abdullah (peace be upon him) … and he said, 'O Followers of the Progeny of Muhammed (peace be upon him and his progeny)! Be informed that there is nobody from us [our followers] who does not control himself when he is angry, nor one who is not a good companion to his companion, nor one who does not show good manners to those who show good manners to him, nor one who is not a good neighbor to his good neighbor … O followers of the Family of Muhammed (peace be upon him and his progeny)! Fear Allah as much as you can, and there is no will and no power except that of Allah.'"[i]. In the eleventh chapter of the Introduction there is useful advice.
A: No, it is not permissible. Islam has emphasized on the right of neighbors. The Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) has been quoted as saying, "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) wrote the following by way of a covenant between the Muhajirun and the Ansar and whoever lived in the city of Yathrib [Medina]: 'A neighbor is like oneself, who should not be harmed. The sanctity of a neighbor towards a neighbor is like that of his own mother."[ii] Zurarah quotes Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) in a tradition saying, "Fatima (peace be upon her) went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) with a complaint. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) gave her a small sheet of paper and said, 'Learn what it contains.' This text was written on it: 'One who believes in Allah and in the Last Day must not harm his neighbor. One who believes in Allah and in the Last Day must be generous to his guest. One who believes in Allah and in the Last Day must say what is good or remain silent.'"[iii] In a tradition narrated by Abu Mas'ud, Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) says, "Good neighborliness lengthens one’s life and establishes homes."[iv] Such traditions are numerous. According to a tradition narrated by al-Hassan ibn Abdullah, Imam al-Kazim (peace be upon him) said, "Good neighborliness is not just keeping harm away. Good neighborliness is patience when harm is inflicted."[v]
Q11: Is it permissible to congratulate non-Muslims on the festivals and occasions which they celebrate such as Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Day, etc.?
A: There is no harm in acting courteously with them, as much as good fellowship and socializing requires, but one should not go too far. In fact, it is unlawful if it leads to promoting falsehood and dealing with it as an established recognized reality.
Q12: Is it permissible to attend their celebrations and exchange gifts with them as they do among themselves on such occasions?
A: It is not permissible as long as it can be avoided.
(ii)               If the relationship was a cause of humiliation and insult to the person who initiated the relationship.
However, quite often, there is confusion between avoiding humiliation, and egoism or stubbornness; so one must be cautious about it.
Q24: What is the limit of the beard? Can I shave the hair on my cheeks leaving only the hair on the chin?
A: Shaving the hair in the mentioned area is permissible.

[i]Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 637.
[ii]Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 11, p. 50.
[iii]Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 667.
[iv]Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 8, p. 489.
[v]Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 484.

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