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Wednesday 19th of January 2022
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Islam Is a Trust Upon Your Shoulders

Islam Is a Trust Upon Your Shoulders

I would like to say to all my beloved children that Islam is a trust placed on your shoulders, and that we must not freeze at this stage. Try to respect your historical leaders, but do not stop with them, since any leadership, no matter how great, only represents its own stage and experience. In life, there are more advanced stages and new experiences to undergo. The experiences of the past are for the past, and you must have your own experience.

I feel that this generation which you represent is one of suffering in its confrontation with the global disbelief. We are proud of and honor this generation, and we hope that it will make as few mistakes as possible, that it will be wary of the many intrigues that others would like to sow in its consciousness and its life. We hope that you will have confidence in God until you no longer fear anyone; that you will have such a bond with God that you no longer feel alienated by anyone; and that you will accept the Messenger of God as an example of strength, character, and for his treatment of all people, an example in all aspects of life. All this as you accept his message, which is based on what is from God.

We are the generation of a message that gives each generation something of its strength and wherewithal. Certainly, Islam needs the strength of every generation. Say: "Work and your deeds will be seen by God, His Prophet, and all the believers..."

Gems from the responses of His Eminence Ayatullah al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlullah, may God grant no end to his counsel, on youth issues:

Is obedience to parents obligatory where they impose limitations on the type of employment or type of studies

for young males and females?

Answer:

  • This is not obligatory, because the requirement in the bond between child and parents is kindness and beneficence, not obedience.

Is obedience to parents obligatory in the choice of a future partner (a husband or a wife)?

Answer:

  • This is not compulsory, but it is commendable to seek their counsel, especially since not doing so may offend them.

What is the ruling on such expensive, exorbitant dowers (mahr) which place a tremendous onus on those who need to marry?

Answer:

  • There is no limit on dower in Islam. It is determined at the pleasure of the two spouses, and there is no room for interference by either family. The spouses have to decide on what is pleasing to them both, without the influence of their families.

Some of the progeny of the purified household (i. e. the descendants of the Prophet) do not marry their daughters except to sayyids. What is your opinion on this?

Answer:

  • This is in no way Islamic, nor has any study of the life of the Imams of Ahlulbayt shown that it was their practice. In fact, their biographical studies show quite the opposite, for in Islam, there is no class-based differentiation or discrimination in marriage.

Is it wrong for those proposing in marriage that they should stipulate the degree of beauty of the woman?

Answer:

  • The prospective husband has the right to stipulate certain conditions of beauty in his future wife, over and above that of religious observance, and there is nothing wrong with that.

What is the verdict on the marriage of young girls to men who are older than them; or what is the view of Islam regarding the differences in age in marriage?

Answer:

  • In Islam, marrying age is not specified, for either the bride or the groom. It is essential that there be objectivity regarding the compatibility of temperaments and functions between the two parties.

Several factors pertain to marriage: family, region, nationality, or tribe, etc. Is it allowable to disregard these factors, since they may cause problems for the two spouses?

Answer:

  • The Sharjah gives no special consideration to these types of differences between husband and wife. In fact, there is a collective repudiation of such considerations. But it is necessary that the spouses carefully consider all internal and external factors which make for the permanency and solid foundation of their married life.

What are the conditions that must prevail in the bridegroom, and what are those that must prevail in the bride?

Answer:

  • The noble hadith tell us that: "If there comes to you someone whose character and religion pleases you, then marry him. If you do not, there will be calamity and evildoing in the earth." And in another hadith, a man said to the Prophet: "To whom should I marry?" The Prophet replied, "To one who is religious." This is over and above the necessary physical characteristics and intelligence requirements that everyone seeks in a spouse.

What is the verdict on birth control on the premise of shortage of resources, or financial stringency?

Answer:

  • According to the prescribed Shariah methods, this is permissible, but it is necessary that the believing Muslim rely, in matters of provision, on what is with God, and not to commit himself exclusively to material considerations.

Is marriage to a woman who does not observe the limits of modesty and decorum allowed, in the hope that she will reform in the future?

Answer:

  • This is allowed in principle, but experience has shown that, in many cases, that lack of modesty does not give way to propriety after marriage but persists. This is because the pressure of the wife on her husband is stronger in such cases. Women differ in this regard, and it is necessary that the matter be carefully considered with respect to the actual behavior of the person involved, her characteristics, fidelity, and promise-keeping.

What are the Shariah limits for temporary marriage within the parameters of the negative results that can sometimes result from such allowances?

Answer:

  • In such cases, it is absolutely necessary that each society be studied in light of the pros and cons and in the light of the specific Shariah stipulations that must prevail.

What is your eminence's view on seeking refuge in or emigrating to Western countries?

Answer:

  • That is not permitted if it leads to the humiliation of the believer or the weakening of his religion, or if it leads his wife and children to go astray.

Is it allowable for a father or mother to investigate the private affairs of their sons and daughters, such as opening their letters or searching their drawers, and so forth?

Answer:

  • This is not allowed.

What is the meaning of "uquq al-walidain"?

Answer:

  • The term means causing them harm, or injuring them by harsh words or treatment.

What is the ruling on masturbation?

Answer:

  • It is forbidden for the man and woman if it causes ejaculation. If it does not, then it is not forbidden, but it is still something which must be avoided because of its harmful effects.

What is the ruling on looking at sex videos?

Answer:

  • This is not permitted except in cases of necessity.

What are the Shariah limits of music listening?

Answer:

  • That the music should not be accompanied by dancing and its accompaniments, such as libertinism and sex.

What are the Shariah requirements for covering on a woman or a girl, and what are the descriptions of the specific clothing for men or youth?

Answer:

  • The Shariah requires that those parts of the female's body which one is forbidden to expose should be hidden, and that no part should be of such type that merits the description of immodesty. Men's clothing should cover the private parts and should not be suggestive.

What is the ruling on the use of gambling material in its various forms and methods of play?

Answer:

  • It is allowable if no betting is involved.

What are kutub al-dalal ("books of misguidance'), and what is the ruling on them? Do contemporary books critical of Islam and Islamic civilization-both objectively and subjectively-fall under this classification?

Answer:

  • This classification refers to books which have nefarious objectives. Acquiring them is not forbidden unless it is feared that they will have harmful effects on the reader.

What is the ruling on the youths who wear neck chains and bracelets made of gold or other metals?

Answer:

  • Men are prohibited from wearing gold, just as they are prohibited from imitating women, except in cases where neck chains and bracelets are not sex-specific. If these ornaments are made of other metals, they are allowed if there is no forbidden imitation involved.

Are trousers exposing the private parts allowed?

Answer:

  • If this means that the shape of private parts is defined in detail and the suggestiveness is explicit, then they are not allowed.

What are the restrictions on corporal punishment of students?

Answer:

  • This is permissible if the disciplinary action is administered with the permission of the guardian. Such discipline is limited to what is appropriate and does not involve the letting of blood or injury.

What are the restrictions on corporal punishment of children by their parents?

Answer:

  • The ruling on this is the same as the one on punishment of students.

Is one allowed to pay dues for Islamic student or youth activities?

Answer:

  • This is allowed with the permission of the proper authorities.

Is one allowed to regard university students as equal to the students of the hawzas-i.e-, that the same rights and privileges be given to both?

Answer:

  • This is permitted if the students of the universities are observing believers, aware of what agrees with the Islamic perspective on their studies.

Is it permitted to distribute the zakat al-fitra to Islamic student activities?

Answer:

  • This is permitted, but the better approach is to distribute it to poor students.

Is one permitted to listen to religious versification accompanied by music?

Answer:

  • This is allowed.

What do you say on being affiliated with Islamic groups?

Answer:

  • This is permissible if such groups keep to unadulterated Islamic perspectives in their activities and leadership.

Is one allowed to take a bad person as a friend with the intention of correcting him, even if this is not immediate?

Answer:

  • This is allowed if there is no fear that the negative influence of this person will rub off on the other.

Is a young female permitted to work in a place where all the other employees are male?

Answer:

  • This is permitted in principle, on the condition that there is no negative influence on her character and reputation.

Within the parameters of the ruling on the purity of the Scriptuary (ie., a person from the People of the Book) which you propound, is one allowed to use the tatter's utensils and other implements while they are still moist?

Answer:

  • This is allowed.

Is one allowed to engage in temporary marriage (muta) with a fornicating woman?

Answer:

  • If she is known to be so, then the more precautionary measure is to abstain.

Leather products manufactured in the West are numerous and sometimes absolutely necessary. Is there any license for their use, even where the leather is produced without proper slaughter?

Answer:

  • Use of material in which purity is not a prerequisite is permitted. Animal products regarding which there is doubt about the slaughter are permitted, even in matters where purity is a condition.

Are we permitted to ask-in case of doubt-about whether the meat advertised for sale in a Muslim market has been slaughtered according to the Islamic Shariah?

Answer:

  • If such meat is obtained from the market of the Muslims, or from a Muslim, then the ruling is on its being properly slaughtered, unless it is known that the meat was previously handled by a non-believer, and that there was no way for a Muslim to supervise that specifics of the Shariah had been observed.

Is one permitted to eat the meat of animals slaughtered by mechanical means over which the name of God has been mentioned?

Answer:

  • This is allowed as long as the conditions of the Shariah prevail at the time of slaughter.

Is one permitted to observe the congregational prayer behind any imam (ie., a non-Shia), with the intention of solidarity and unity, without repeating such prayer in private?

Answer:

  • This is allowed as long as the necessary Shariah conditions prevail and such prayer is rewarded.

Is one permitted to criticize the al-Khulafa alRashideen and the companions as long as such criticism is objective and not vituperative?

Answer:

  • Objective criticism is allowed in every area open to analysis, but one must stay away from matter that foments sectarian emotionalism and damages the unity of the Muslims.

Who in your opinion is the most learned of the contemporary scholars (maraji)?

Answer:

  • According to me, it is not possible to demonstrate the quality of "most learned."

Is one permitted to use legal stratagems in markets, mail, and telephone orders-in the West-and to steal things under a premise like the permissibility of the property of the kafir for the Muslim?

Answer:

  • This is not permitted. A believing Muslim must always be honest in dealing with the property of every human being-Muslim or non-Muslim. A Muslim must also observe the laws of the country to which he immigrates, and should not contravene them, since the condition of residence dictates a matter of contractual observation between him and the state.

Is a youth permitted to deny his parents when seeking refuge in Western countries?

Answer:

  • If the parents fear for his life or religion in such a process, then he must acknowledge them.

What must be done if one cannot find a jurist, Islamic law manual or an authority to inform him of a Shariah ruling pertaining to an urgent matter?

Answer:

  • He must take the path that exercises the most caution in the issue at hand.

What is the ruling on shaving the beard?

Answer:

  • A beard is one of the signs of the believer, and he should not shave it except in a situation of difficulty or emergency. We have previously stated that absolute prohibition (on shaving) has not been established.

Is there anything wrong with listening to a flute?

Answer:

  • There is nothing wrong with it if it produces doleful music.

Is one permitted to listen to sad songs, those which do not cause lust?

Answer:

  • This is permitted if their lyrics are not foul or contain items which displease God.
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