Q: College students receive financial aid, which is not considered to
be a form of income. Thus, it is simply an agreement between the student and the
government, a sort of financial contract in which the student agrees to pay back the money
when he has matriculated and has the wherewithal to do so. Granted the above noted
stipulations, is it incumbent for the student to pay khoms on his property during this
period? What happens if the student occasionally engages in work such as
and earns an income?
A: Bismehi Taaala: Financial aid granted by the government to the
student is not subject to khoms. If a student earns enough money that some is left over at
the end of the year from tutoring and similar activities, then khoms is due.
Q: To the extent that a person borrows a sum necessary to purchase a
private dwelling, will khoms be incumbent on him?
A: Bismehi Taaala: Whether ones savings account is for
living expenses or not, once the year has passed, khoms is due on it.
Q: Studying in the West necessitates contact and association with the
unbelievers (kuffar). For example, a professor or other people invite a person to a
social gathering. To decline [on religious grounds of not mixing with the kuffar] will be
misunderstood, with the possibility of giving a negative impression (of Islam and
oneself). In such a situation, what is the ruling on consuming food that has come in
contact with them (on the condition of observing and avoiding all haram
as non-Islamically slaughtered meat, etc. . .)? What is the ruling if there is a
possibility in coming in (physical) contact with them?
A: Bismehi Taaala: The mere possibility of coming in contact with
the moisture of an unbelievers hand is not sufficient to avoid them, because if you
dont have certainty of having come in contact [with their moisture], the ruling is
to consider them pure (taher). If the kafir is from the ahl al-ketab (the
Christians, Zoroastrians and Sabians), then there is no ruling of inherent impurity (nejaasa),
and to touch the moisture of their hand does not impart impurity.
Participating in university social functions where both alcohol and halal food are served
Q: In the collegiate environment [in the West], it is common practice (oref)
for students and professors to get together for various occasions. In these
along with alcoholic beverages, halal food and drink is also served for the Muslim
students. Now, it is certainly not obligatory to attend these gatherings, but to not
attend may cause misunderstanding and lead to difficulties. On the other hand, attending
such gatherings may create a positive impression of Muslims when they see us not consuming
alcoholic beverages. Thus, with reference to the above explanation, what is the ruling on
participating in such gatherings?
A: Bismehi Taaala: It is not permissible to participate in
gatherings in which alcohol is consumed, nor is it permissible to adopt stances and
explanations of dissimulation (taqiyyeh) of religious beliefs and divine
responsibilities (takalif-e shari). This should not lead to any
Q: Certain goods that are purchased at the store, such as sweet breads, are made with
shortening which may be of vegetable or animal origin. If it is not indicated which type
of shortening was used, and it is possible that either one was used, is it permissible to
consume such a food?
A: Bismehi Taaala: Granted the above noted supposition, the ruling is that the
food is pure and pardonable, and there is no problem in consuming it.
Q: There are some fish and canned fish in which it is not precisely known [to the
consumer] whether or not scales are present (and hence permissible to eat). What is the
ruling on such items?
A: Bismehi Taaala: As supposed above, the ruling is that it is, on the surface of
things, pardonable to eat it.
Q: What is the ruling on the identification and permissibility of
certain seafood such as crab, clam, and mussel?
A: With the exception of scale-bearing fish and shrimp, all sea
creatures, what ever they may be, are haram meats.
Q: Is it permissible to eat food prepared in a non-Muslim restaurant
when it is not clear if a kafir has touched the food while preparing it? In
is the ruling regarding food prepared by a kafir? Is one of the necessary criteria
actually seeing a kafir prepare the food?
A: Bismehi Taaala: Further contact of food by the hand of a kafir
from the ahl al-ketab (i.e. the Jews and Christians) does not cause it to be najis
(ritually impure). Preparation or contact of food by the kuffar other than the ahl
al-ketab, until definitively proven, is also not najis.
9320-9: Children in daycare playing with non-Muslims and eating their food
Q: If a (Muslim) child is in a (non-Muslim) daycare or kindergarten,
may they eat the food that is served there if nothing in it is haram? Just how
important is it for a child to avoid touching or coming in contact with the non-Muslim
A: Bismehi Taaala: There is no problem in eating their food if
there are no haram components. The ruling regarding coming in contact with the
kuffar was given above (ruling 9320-3).
Staying in hotels and houses used by Buddhists
Q: Where we live, the majority of people are Buddhists. What is the ruling on purifying
and cleaning a house that a (Muslim) student wishes to rent (from a Buddhist)? Is it
necessary to purify and clean such a place? Please note that most of the house and its
furniture are made of wood and it is not possible to purify such items. What is the ruling
on staying in their hotels and guesthouses and using the appliances there in.
A: Bismehi Taaala: Until you obtain certainty of the wet hand or body of a kafar
or non-ahl al-ketab coming in contact with such things, it is not ruled as najis
(ritually impure). In the absence of certainty, it is not necessary to purify the hotel
room or guesthouse that you are staying in. Rather, in a state of having moisture on the
body, it is necessary to avoid coming in contact with these things while eating,
Q: What is the ruling regarding observing the public and private property rights of the
kuffar in a kafar city, by way of example, using certain facilities for educational
purposes in a manner which is beyond the bounds of normal usage and
A: Bismehi Taaala: It is of the utmost importance to strictly observe all public
and private property rights. There is no difference between a kafar city and a Muslim
or between kafar or Muslim possessions. In general, the usage and consumption of property
in an impermissible way is a usurpation, and hence, haram.
9320-12: Brothers from
different schools of jurisprudence leading each other in prayer
Q: Where we are, Muslims from all the various Sunni countries of the umma meet for
group and Friday prayers. It is a very effective means of fostering brotherhood and unity
among the various Muslims. However, most of the time, the prayers are led by
laymen, and sometimes, by brothers not known to us. What is the ruling on saying prayers behind such
people (as Shiites)? Is it necessary to repeat those prayers? If a Iranian (i.e.
is asked the lead the prayer (for a majority Sunni group) may he accept?
A: Bismehi Taaala: It is not a problem to prayer behind them. And if the group or
Friday prayer is said out of a spirit of toleration, and to strengthen the ranks of the
Muslims and present a front of solidarity, than that prayer is correct and permissible.
There is no problem for an Iranian to accept an offer to lead the Friday prayer.