The On-Time Prayers of Those Present in Arafat

By Sayyid Amin Mortzevi | Short posts published by Imam Muhammad Baqir Fiqh Institute It is best to perform each prayer at its appointed time. The reason for this ruling is the numerous traditions that instruct us to do so. In some of these narrations, the merit of praying at the beginning of the time … Read more

Is Animal Sacrifice An Ethical Act?

Is animal sacrifice an ethical act? The issue of sacrificing and being sacrificed in the way of God The below is a translation of the transcript of a lecture given by Ustad Mohammad Soroush Mahallati on the night of Eid al-Aḍhā, responding to the question “Is sacrificing an animal an ethical act?” Although this question … Read more

Law & Ethics – Determining the Differences

This was a single lecture delivered by Ustad Soroush Mahallati at Muassaseh Miftah-e Keramat on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023. The topic of the discussion is was differentiating between jurisprudential and ethical propositions, and whether such a distinction is possible or not. In the last few decades, several scholars in Iran have brought up this subject … Read more

The Jurisprudence of Ashura (Part 3)

 By Muhammad Jaffer[1] [2] The prerogative to rationalize Imam Ḥusayn’s movement primarily emerged from theological-polemical exigencies and thereby entered the domain of fiqh only secondarily. We will survey these early 5th-6th century polemic discussions first and then proceed to describe some of the fiqhī implications that emerged out of this discussion. As we discussed previously, … Read more

The Jurisprudence of Ashura (Part 2)

In the previous article, we made some prefunctory remarks regarding the challenges of extracting jurisprudential discussions from the tragedy of Karbalā. We also explained how the question of whether fiqhī implications can be drawn out of ‘Āshūrā’ is intimately tied with one’s viewpoint regarding the underlying motives of Imam Ḥusayn’s (as) uprising. We furthermore elaborated … Read more

The Jurisprudence of Ashura (Part 1)

By Muhammad Jaffer[1] Despite the relatively short span of time in which its events transpired, the fateful tragedy of Karbalā is arguably one of the most recounted, analyzed, and appraised events in human history. Whether it be in the domain of Islamic history, theology, sociology, literature, or art, the movement of ‘Āshurā’ as led by … Read more

The Use of Sirah al-Mutasharri’ah (Custom of Religious People) as Evidence for the Impermissibility of Shaving the Beard

A couple of months back whilst studying the jurisprudential discussion surrounding the impermissibility of completely shaving the beard in Sheikh Anṣāri’s Makāsib al-Muḥarramah, I remember going through some of the works of other jurists and contrasting the arguments that they put forward on this issue. My eye was caught by the work of Ayatullah Syed … Read more

The Banu Hashim’s Share in Khums

By Shaykh Haider Hobbollah Translated by Faisal H and Sayyid Burair Abbas What is well-known, rather which may even be a consensus among the Imami Shiites – in contrast to the majority of Muslim jurists, and Ibn al-Junayd al-Iskafi (d. 4th century Hijri) from the Imamiyyah – is that the share of orphans, the needy … Read more

Walad al-Zina (Child Born Out of Wedlock) in Imami Law

By Shaykh Haider Hobbollah The question of an illegitimate child (al-ibn ghayr al-shar’ī) or a child born out of illicit relations (walad al-zinā) is one of the major points of contention between Islamic jurisprudence (al-fiqh) and contemporary understandings of individual, family, and community rights. In general, Islamic jurisconsults (except for a late movement that has … Read more

Principle of Human Sacredness (Hurmah) & Nobility (Karamah)

These are edited transcripts of khārij lessons given between December 15th 2018 to December 29th 2018, on the topic of Citizenship Law and Religious Minorities by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah. In the context of religious minorities living under an Islamic government, there are various jurisprudential principles that can be cited to manage the rights of such … Read more

Fraternity Contract on Eid al-Ghadir

One of the most sacred and revered days for Shi’as is ‘Eid al-Ghadīr wherein like other auspicious days, there are some ‘amāl to be performed to honor it, celebrate it and seek the blessings of Allah. Among the ‘amāl of the day of Ghadīr is the fraternity contract which is performed after praying a specific … Read more

Abortion: An Overview of Considerations in Ja’fari Fiqh

Abortion – prematurely and proactively ending a pregnancy – is an extremely sensitive issue in the religious sphere. Approaching it theoretically requires a very fine balance between empathy for special circumstances and preserving sacred principles. Within Muslim academic discourse, by being linked to life, abortion automatically demands the right to be handled with the utmost … Read more

Human Purity: Brief Overview

By Sayyid Burair Abbas Among the most crucial matters in Islam is the issue of purity of oneself and others. In the case of other people, their purity means a lot given that we interact with them, live, work and even partake in their food etc. The following is a brief summary of an opinion[1] … Read more

Bid‘ah & the Principle of Religious Wariness: A Study on Newer Perspectives and Applications of the Concept

By Shaykh Haider Hobbollah Translated by Muhammad Jaffer, Sayyid Burair Abbas, and Sayyid Ali Imran Edited by Sayyid Burair Abbas Introduction  Muslims are unanimous on the prohibition of innovation (bid‘ah)[1] in religion, which is defined as the creation of rituals, practices or concepts that are attached to the creed whereas in reality they bear no … Read more

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 7

f) The last contextual indicator we can cite is by employing another principle from legal theory on the narrations themselves. We have narrations that absolutely prohibit musical instruments, while another set of narration prohibits them based on lahw. Based on discussions in legal theory, this is a simple reconciliation where we can restrict the absolute … Read more

Praying for Non-Muslims

Below is a brief summary – not containing any argumentation – of an opinion of Shaykh Haider Hobbollah on the topic of praying for non-Muslims. — Many jurists, exegetes and traditionists, from different Islamic schools, have examined the issue of seeking forgiveness and mercy for non-Muslims. Likewise, they have examined the issue of praying for … Read more

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 3

In our previous lesson, we said that the intellect does not directly comment or give a judgement on specific musical instruments. However, if we consider musical instruments under a certain category which the intellect deems to be detested, then it may be possible to deem it impermissible. Nevertheless, we saw that these categories, such as … Read more

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 2

Our jurists generally begin their discussions based on the narrations, whereas we have reiterated many times that a discussion should begin with the intellect, then the Quran, and then eventually the hadith. We have explained this order in other discussions. Many jurists think since we have a plethora of narrations on numerous topics from the … Read more

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 1

These are transcripts from 12 advanced jurisprudence lessons given on singing (al-ghinā’) by Ustad Soroush Mahallati. These lessons were given during the Norouz holidays of March, 2022. A discussion on singing and musical instruments given by Ayatullah Sayyid Khamenei was also published on Iqra Online in 2018 which can be read here [Part 1, Part … Read more

The Scope of ʿAql in Political Fiqh

The following is a speech delivered by Ustad Mohammad Soroush Mahallati at a conference in commemoration of the late Dr. Davoud Feyrahi (d. 2020) on the anniversary of his passing. Ustad Mohammad Soroush Mahallati Introduction One year has passed since the death of the beloved professor and distinguished researcher, Ḥujjat al-Islām wa al-Muslimīn Dr. Feyrahi. … Read more

Istiqbal wa Istidbar al-Qibla

This paper seeks to investigate the legal ruling on using the toilet while facing the qiblah or with your back towards it (istiqbāl wa istidbār al-qiblah). Scholarly Opinions The earliest opinion on the topic is what has been attributed to Ibn al-Junayd (d. 4th century) who opined it is mustaḥabb to turn one’s front or … Read more

Sufficing With a Woman’s Adhan

One of the popular rulings within Islamic law is that if a woman gives the adhan, it does not suffice for a man who is a stranger to her, and most have also opined that this is true even if the man who hears the adhan is related to her (i.e. she is his maram). Amongst the classical scholars, the only exception we find is Shaykh Tusi who writes in his al-Mabsut1 that if a woman does happen to give the adhan for men, they can follow it and subsequently give the iqamah themselves

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Principle of al-Ilzam and the Practice of the Commoners (Sirah al-Uqala)

The last few weeks, Ustad Soroush Mahallati was briefly covering the qā‘idah al-ilzām (QI) and summarized the evidence for and against it in around thirty sessions. The lessons also covered the views of Sayyid Sīstānī who does not accept this principle and instead offers an alternative theory called al-maqāṣa al-naw‘īyyah and critical observations were also … Read more

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Ghina – Singing

بسمه تعالى These are transcripts from 12 advanced jurisprudence lessons given on singing (al-ghinā’) by Ustad Soroush Mahallati. These lessons were given during the Norouz holidays of March 2021. A discussion on singing and musical instruments by Ayatullah Sayyid Khamenei was also published on Iqra Online in 2018 which can be read here [Part 1, … Read more

Reliance on Taqiyya in Fiqh from Tusi till Ardabili: Transformation from a Cognitive to Themantic Method

This post was originally published on Shiism and Islamic History blog. Written by Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Madadi al-Musawi – Postgraduate and researcher for the Hawza of Qum Abstract Upon facing contradictory hadiths, Imamite jurists frequently opt for the “taqiyya card,” i.e. labeling hadiths as dissimulative. This hermeneutic, however, has evolved in pivotal ways. The greatest … Read more

Consuming the Meat of the People of the Book (1)

Translators note: The following is the translation of the advanced jurisprudential classes of Ayatollah Mohallāti which started on 14th November 2020. The topic of the discussion pertains to the matter of consuming meat slaughtered by the People of the Book, a subject which generated many vibrant and lively discussions amongst the earlier scholars but gradually … Read more

Stipulation of Choice (Shart al-Khiyar) in the Marriage Contract

By Ustādh Rafi‘īpūr – teacher of baḥth al-khārij in Qom Translated by Sayyid Ali Introduction One of the discussions alluded to in Shaykh Anṣārī’s al-Makāsib is the notion of sharṭ al-khiyār (stipulation of choice) in the marriage contract. As per the general injunction of “al-mu’minūn ‘inda shurūṭihim”, the jurists have argued for the use of … Read more

Ma’idah al-Khamr – A Jurisprudential Discussion

What follows is a transcript from lessons 107 & 108 – March 9th and 10th 2020 – of last year’s advanced jurisprudence lessons on Food and Drinks given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah in the city of Qom. The discussion below is regarding the famous ruling on the prohibiting of eating or drinking on a table … Read more

Jilsah al-Istirāḥa – A Jurisprudential Discussion

Introduction This paper seeks to investigate the legal ruling on an individual sitting for a brief moment (jilsah al-istirāḥa) after performing the second prostration of the first or third unit in any Ṣalāt, before getting up to continue their prayers. Most Shīʿī, Sunnī and Zaydī jurists when discussing the rulings on prayers have offered an … Read more

Shaykh Lutfullah al-Maysi and his Treatise on Iʿtikāf

وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ [2:125] And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place … Read more

Principle of Prohibition of Khaba’ith and Permissibility of Tayyibat

One of the principles covered in our advance jurisprudence classes with Shaykh Haider Hobbollah on the topic of Food and Drinks was the Principle of Prohibition of Khabā’ith and Permissibility of Ṭayyibāt (Taḥrīm al-Khabā’ith wa Ḥillīyyah al-Ṭayyibāt). Below is an edited and reorganized version of the transcripts written in class between October 13 2019 to … Read more

The Grandson of George and Temporary Marriage

Originally published on Shiitic Studies. Introduction A more distinctive feature of the Imami Madhhab is its acceptance of Mut’a (temporary marriage), which it claims was sanctioned by the Qur’an and the Prophet, before being banned by the second Caliph. One would therefore expect to find support for this practice from the early Salaf, before the crystallization of the various theological … Read more

Ṣalat al-Duha: Debates about the Validity and Origin of a Peculiar Muslim Ritual Prayer

By Afzal Sumar – a researcher in Islamic studies with a particular focus on Shi’ism. He also translates Arabic religious texts into English. He studied both at the university and the seminary in the UK and in Syria. – Ṣalāt al-Ḑuḥā (the ritual prayer of forenoon) is a peculiar ritual prayer. The Shiʿa tradition rejects … Read more

Legal Age of Bulugh for Girls

What follows is a summary of a number of discussions held by me and three other seminarians, where arguments of numerous jurists on the legal age of maturity (bulūgh) for girls were investigated. Even though we find a classical scholar considering menstruation as the criterion for the obligation of fasting in the month of Ramaḍan, … Read more

The Issue of Slavery in Contemporary Islam

Download PDF  Translators’ Note Ever since the abolition of slavery in the 20th century, numerous Muslim scholars have addressed accusations against the immorality of slave laws by explaining their presence in both the Qurān and the traditions. Much of the accusation appears to be rooted in the presumption that if a religion, which claims to … Read more

What is the Meaning of Anti-Wilayat al-Faqih?

By Dr. Sayyid Abbas Salehi – Researcher and teacher in the seminary and university Original source: http://farsi.khamenei.ir/others-note?id=9793 – this article was published on the official website of Āyatullah Khāmeneī in  2010. After an article in the constitution detailing the Wilāyat al-Faqīh was added (in 1358 SH) and after certain events had taken place between 1359-1360 (revolts by … Read more

Introduction to General Legal Principles

This article was written by Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney (d. 2007) and was originally published on a website he was running called Shiapedia. After his demise, the domain and hosting services were not renewed and the website vanished. Soon after his death, someone had backed up his entire website and I had downloaded all the articles … Read more

Faydh Kashani and Commanding the Good

Source: Dāvarīyeh Faydh Kāshanī miyān Pārsā va Dāneshmand, published by Nashriyeh Dānishkadeh Adabiyāt Tabrīz, Vol 9, 1336 (link here). It is also briefly referenced by Michael Cook in his groundbreaking research Commanding Right, footnote 238 on p. 287. The following is a translation of Faydh Kāshānī’s response to a letter sent to him by a … Read more

To Say or Not to Say: Justification for a Formless Marriage Contract (Nikah Mu’atat)

Written for the module: Islamic Family Law, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Ali al-Hakim. Originally submitted on 5th June, 2017. Introduction With the advent of our postmodern era, Muslims specifically have faced epistemological and practical challenges that they had never encountered before in history. Amongst the various facets of … Read more

The Apostasy Ruling and its Justification in Twelver Shi’i Jurisprudence

Written for the module: Human Rights in Islam, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Mahboubeh Sadeghinia. Originally submitted on 23th October, 2016. Freedom of speech and thought are deemed to be some of the most fundamental rights humans possess today. The Islamic orthodox tradition has often been open and comfortable … Read more

Syed Khomeinī, Chess and Musical Instruments

Syed Khomeinī is a figure widely remembered as the pioneer in bringing about the Islamic Revolution in 1979 yet what is often overlooked is his unique contribution to Shi’ī jurisprudence in his position as a jurisconsult. One of the many distinctions in his jurisprudential outlook was his endeavour to realign jurisprudence from being individually focused … Read more

History and Eras of Shi’i Imami Law (4)

The Occultation of the Imām (a) Towards and during the minor occultation we find certain reports that seem to indicate that the Imāms (a) were preparing the Shī’ā community for becoming highly dependant on scholars – more so than before. To this extent, there is a popular statement attributed to Imām al-‘Askarī (a) and there … Read more

Ayatollah Ishaq Fayyadh and the Role of Women in Society

Source: Gāmī be pīsh dar fiqh banuvān, by Syed Hādi Tabatabā’ī (http://mobahesat.ir/16349) When the discussion of women assuming ministerial positions arose during Ahmadinejad’s administration, news of opposition to this by Ayatollah Sāfi Gulpaygāni and Makārim Shirāzī came from Qom. It was fair to say that the maraji’ did not agree with the notion that ladies … Read more

The Prohibition of Singing (2) – Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei

Source: Syed Khamenei, Risāleh yeh Amῡzeshī (v.2), Ahkām e Mu’āmilāt, p. 111 – 116 Second Discussion: The ḥurmat (prohibition/impermissibility) of Singing Singing, if done so in the form that it is deviating (from the Right Path) is forbidden. On this basis, there are two types of singing, one type that is permissible which neither deviates … Read more

History and Eras of Shī’ī Imāmī Law (1)

The upcoming series of posts are based on lecture notes taken in classes given by our respected teacher, Ustādh Rafī’īpūr, in the city of Qom. Ustādh Rafī’īpūr is a senior teacher in the Ḥawzah of Qom where he gives advance classes in jurisprudence and legal theory. Introduction The topic of our discussion is Shī’ī Imāmī … Read more

Revisiting Traditional Fiqh in Respect to New Daily Occurrences

Location: Madreseh Fiqhi Imam Baqir (institute of Ayatollah Shubayri Zanjāni) Date: 7th March 2018 Speaker: Ayatollah Dr. Muhaqqiq Damad Transcribed by Sadiq Meghjee. The subject being discussed today is the continuation of Shī’ī ijtihād in daily issues. Ijtihād itself is a sacred institution which explains the ending of Prophethood from a theological perspective. If we … Read more

Choosing Between Two Equally Knowledgeable Jurisconsults – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 7

Click for previous lesson. Our discussion on a’lamiyyah reached its conclusion in the last lesson, and we said it is only one of the criteria for selecting a jurisconsult, not that it is obligatory to follow the most-learned. A muqallid looks into various different factors when choosing a jurisconsult, some of which are backed up … Read more

Taqlid of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 6

Click for previous lesson. Our discussion is on the obligation of doing taqlīd of the most-learned. The conclusion we arrived at is that there is no evidence that can with certainty establish for us such an obligation. However, ‘almaiyyah is a preferred quality, that a muqallid should factor in when they choose a jurisconsult. But … Read more

Taqlid of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 4

Click for previous lesson. Our discussion is regarding imitating a jurisconsult who is not the most-learned. In other words, if there is a jurisconsult who is the most learned, can one imitate someone other than him or not. We discussed the arguments for those who deem it permissible, some of them were not too weak, … Read more

Taqlid of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 3

Click for previous lesson. We are discussing the necessity of following the most-learned juristconsult. Sayyid Kho’ī says that a verdict of a jurist is from the same category of a solitary report and the narrations that permit taqlīd imply ta’yīn, not takhyīr. However, we said in fact they imply takhyīr, and the itlāq of these narrations … Read more

Taqlīd of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 1

These are class-notes taken from Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq ‘Alam al-Hoda’s Bahth al-Khārij on al-Ijtihād wa al-Taqlīd which began on October 11th, 2017 in the city of Qom – and are a continuation from last year. This year the Sayyid is beginning one of the most important rulings within contemporary discussions on Ijtihād and Taqlīd which concerns … Read more

Kitab al-Sawm III – Niyyah (Intention) | al-Fiqh al-Istidlali

We find Shaykh Ṭūsi in his al-Mabsūṭ[1] writing: نيّة القربة أن ينوي أنّه يصوم فقط متقرّبا به إلى اللّٰه تعالى، و نية التعيين أن ينوي أنه صائم شهر رمضان فإن جمع بينهما كان أفضل فإن اقتصر على نية القربة أجزأه Niyyah of qurbah is that one makes an intention that they are fasting only – while seeking closeness through it … Read more