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What role does the religious authority see itself playing with regards to the sociopolitical matters of Shia Muslims in the world, including the United States?
The religious authority adopts a rational approach in assessing the current state of affairs, as well as in identifying solutions, and adopting specific positions. As such, the religious authority only considers the fulfillment of religious affairs to be its duty, and therefore, it does not interfere in politics. Instead, it leaves those activities to the political entities and professionals in the field. It only intervenes in the crucial matters of the nation and the implementation of its interests if the political apparatus is unable to deal with them or provide comprehensive solutions.
Administering social justice, regulating security, fighting corruption, preserving national sovereignty, and other such functions are the duties of the government, and the religious authority only provides advice and guidance.
- sociopolitical matters
If a couple gets divorced and one of them has received gifts and items entrusted to them from the other (cash, rings and jewelry, a passport, property documents, etc.), what is the ruling on these gifts and entrusted items after the divorce?
It is obligatory to return the entrusted items to their rightful owner.
Some companies offer financial leverage or borrowed capital to their clients so that they can buy more shares in the stock market, even if it is more than what is currently owned in their investment account. The loaned amount is then paid back to the company after the client sells the shares and completes the transaction. If the customer loses money then the company withdraws the amount loaned to the client anyway, even if it has to offset the loss by taking from their investment account. Thus, the company is not responsible for the client’s profit or loss and it protects the loan from any risk. Is this transaction permissible?
From the description, there is nothing wrong in such a transaction if a manager or representative of the company lends you the mentioned amount and then allows you to buy and sell it in return for a specified commission if the company has the authority and power to do so.
- stock market
Could the 40th, or Arbaeen, of Imam Hussain (p) fall on the 19th or 20th of Safar given that the lunar month can be 29 or 30 days? Will the visitation (ziyarah) be fulfilled if the visitor cannot stay until the actual 40th? What if the visitation is to fulfill a vow?
It is hoped that the visitation will be fulfilled (i.e., the visitor will receive the special reward from God), even if it is performed before the 40th. The 40th of Imam Hussain (p) falls on the 20th of Safar; therefore, the vow would not be fulfilled unless the visitation is performed on the actual day of the 40th (i.e., the 20th of Safar).
Is it permissible for parents to spend the money of their non-baligh child?
It is permissible for the father to spend the money if it is not detrimental to the child. As for the mother, she does not have the right to spend the child’s money without the permission of the father or paternal grandfather. However, she may do so if either of them gives permission and it is not detrimental to the child. But it is not permissible for either parent to spend the money if the consequences are harmful to the child. Instead, they must save the money for the child until they are older.
Some women undergo cosmetic procedures that involve receiving an injection in the face or attaching artificial eyelashes. Is there a problem in doing so if the person performing the procedure is a man but the woman does not reveal anything except for her face and the procedure does not require direct touching because of the use of gloves? Does wearing artificial eyelashes or other such cosmetics affect the validity of ablution (wudhu) or ritual washing (ghusl)?
It is permissible provided the person who is performing the procedure is safe from looking with lustful pleasure or scrutiny. Or if the plastic surgery was needed by the woman to remove a deformity, for example, and the male doctor is more proficient in treating her, then it is permissible for him to look or touch to the extent necessary for treatment. Artificial eyelashes prevent wudhu and ghusl so they are not permissible based on obligatory precaution unless there is a legitimate excuse, such as lifting an unbearable hardship. However, they must be concealed based on obligatory precaution if they are considered an adornment.
- cosmetic surgery / procedures
Is it permissible for a woman to engage in business, work, a profession, or similar activities?
It is permissible provided that it does not interfere with her religious duties and obligations, which include being appropriately covered and observant of the hijab, staying away from any place where she is not immune from falling into sin, observing the rights of her husband if she is married, and those of her parents if they are alive.
Which television shows and movies are forbidden for parents to allow their children to watch?
It is forbidden for parents to enable their children to do anything that interferes with their religious upbringing, which includes promoting anything that is evil, disregarding what is good, and spreading destructive ideas and lewd images that elicit satanic desires, as well as anything that causes intellectual and moral decline in the viewer.
Some believers may engage in acts such as moving to a new house, or buying new things such as furniture, clothes, or a car, or attiring themselves in a celebratory manner, or getting married during the months of Muharram and Safar or other sad occasions of the Ahl al-Bayt (pbut), either by choice or due to necessity. What is the ruling on doing such things?
It is not forbidden to engage in the acts mentioned, except those that are considered a violation of the sanctity of the sad events on the tenth of Muharram or Ashura, such as celebrating and getting dressed up for a happy occasion. In fact, a person should not carry out things that they would normally avoid when they are grieving for their loved ones, with the exception of what might commonly be considered as necessary. If it is not considered to be necessary, they should choose a time that is far removed from contradicting the mourning and grief for the Ahl al-Bayt (pbut).
The mourning commemorations are sometimes continuous on the 9th and 10th of Muharram and may overlap with the commencement of prayer times. Is it necessary to pause the commemorations and perform prayer or is it permissible to delay the prayer and continue the commemorations? Furthermore, what is the ruling on conducting business, working, opening commercial shops, and not taking the day off on the 9th and 10th of Muharram?
It is better to perform the prayer at the beginning of its time, and it is very important to organize the mourning commemorations in a way that does not interfere with prayer. As for doing business and opening shops during these two sad days, it must be avoided if it is considered a form of indifference to what happened to the Ahl al-Bayt (p).
- prayer time