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There are many women-only gatherings to commemorate and mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (p). However, sometimes the voice of the woman who is reciting is heard by men in the vicinity outside the gathering, some of whom might be affected by it. Thus, what is your opinion on this matter? Moreover, what do you mean by "pleasure" and "arousal" that are caused by listening to a woman’s voice?
If the voice of the woman who is reciting usually arouses the listener on account of softening and beautifying it, then it is obligatory upon her to avoid reciting if non-mahram men can hear her voice, otherwise, there is no problem with it. "Pleasure" and "arousal" in this context are referring to excitation of a sexual nature. The criterion [for the prohibition of reciting] is that the voice is customarily considered sexually provocative, and the listener becomes aroused by listening.
- non mahram
There are many discussions about the permissibility of reciting nasheeds or religious "songs" during holidays, birthdays, and happy religious occasions, such as those praising the Prophet and his progeny (pbuh&hp), but some people consider them to be prohibited. What is the criteria for something to be considered singing (ghina) so that one can identify it as prohibited?
Prohibited singing (ghina) is the words of amusement performed in melodies that are common among people of amusement and play, including the praise of Ahl al-Bayt (pbu&hp), supplication, or recitation of the Holy Quran in such melodies. As for recitation or performance of other words that are not amusement with melodies that are common among people of amusement (e.g., patriotic music), its prohibition is based on obligatory precaution. Melodies that do not fit this definition are not prohibited per se.
- singing / songs
Is it permissible to dance as a form of exercise, as a form of joking between friends, or during a celebration of the births of the pure Imams (pbut)? What if it is only among women in a concealed place where men do not enter and there is no music or tunes that are suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings?
It is not permissible based on obligatory precaution with the exception of a wife dancing for her husband and vice versa, away from the sight of others.
Is it permissible to make friends with non-Muslims?
A Muslim has the right to make non-Muslim friends, such that there is mutual loyalty and assistance in fulfilling the needs of this life. God Exalted says [60:8], ﴾Allah does not forbid you from dealing with kindness and justice with those who did not make war against you on account of religion and did not expel you from your homes. Indeed Allah loves the just﴿. When properly cultivated, these friendships introduce a non-Muslim friend, neighbor, co-worker, or partner to the true values and teachings of Islam, familiarizing them with it so they know more about it than before. The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) is reported to have said, “O Ali, if God guides one of His servants through you, it is better for you [in reward] than everything the sun has risen upon, from its rising to its setting.”
- non muslim
A believer died in the West and their will directs that their body should be transported for burial to their native country. However, the deceased's relatives are surprised to encounter strict rules and procedures for transporting bodies, such as withdrawing the blood and replacing it with preservative/embalming chemicals and repeatedly exposing the body to the opposite gender. In addition, the procedures are lengthy and can take approximately two weeks until the body is finally buried. In such a case, should the will be executed, especially since the country where the person died has cemeteries for Muslims and designated places where the deceased’s relatives and the rest of the community of believers are already buried?
Withdrawing blood from the deceased and similar procedures are not permissible. Therefore, the will's directive to transfer the body to the native country is not valid (i.e., not executable) if it requires such prohibited procedures.
- death / rituals
My car was hit by a driver who did not have accident insurance. While the details of the accident were being recorded, another person who happened to have accident insurance claimed that he was the driver who struck my car. As such, the police officer referred him to his insurance company to process the claim for my injuries and the damage to my car. Is it permissible for me to receive the compensation that will be provided by that person's insurance company even though they were not the driver who hit my car? I know that if I do not take the money, my injuries will remain untreated and my car unrepaired.
It is not permissible for you to take the compensation. Instead, you could consult with a legal expert and determine the best course for getting compensation from the person who is actually responsible.
A woman has a lot of clothes, jewelry, accessories, bags, and shoes. Is it obligatory upon her to pay khums on these items? In the event she is required to pay khums on them but postponed it to another time, is it permissible for her to use them [in the meantime]?
Khums is due on possessions that exceed what is commonly understood to be suitable for the status of the person based on their standard of living. Therefore, if any items become liable for khums based on this criteria, then she must refrain from using them until the khums for them are paid. Additionally, it is not permissible to postpone payment [of khums] without the permission of the jurist or his authorized representative because it is considered an unlawful usurpation.
A woman has been separated, but not divorced, from her husband for some time and does not anticipate reuniting with him again in the near future, and she feels that she is in need of a husband to care for and protect her from being robbed or assaulted because of the difficult circumstances she is experiencing. Can she obtain a divorce from her current husband through the religious authority (al-hakim al-shari) so that she can remarry?
If the husband abandoned her, then it is permissible for her to raise her case with the religious authority (al-hakim al-shari), who will oblige the husband to do one of two things: either to cease her abandonment or divorce her. If he absolutely refuses both and there is no way to compel him to do either, then the religious authority is permitted to divorce her from the husband based on her request for it. However, if she is the one who left her husband without a valid reason, then there is no justification for her to get a divorce from him through the religious authority.
Is it permissible to emulate more than one jurist?
If one of the jurists is more learned in a certain subject matter of Islamic law while the other is more learned in another, then it is permissible to emulate each of the jurists in the subject matter that they are most learned in, rather it is obligatory to do so. However, if a jurist is the most learned in all subjects of Islamic law, then a duty-bound person must emulate that jurist in all matters. If the jurists are equally learned, or it cannot be ascertained which of them is the most learned and most cautious in issuing a ruling, the duty-bound person can choose which one to emulate. (The most learned is the one who is most capable of deriving rulings, and most familiar with the religious evidence and its application such that the possibility of his edicts corresponding with the actual laws of God is higher than the edicts of other jurists.)
What is the ruling on getting cosmetic surgery such as rhinoplasty (i.e., a nose job), lip augmentation, or changing the size of the breasts or private parts for the purpose of beautification, or even liposuction, or procedures to correct deformations from burns or scars from accidents?
It is permissible to undergo a cosmetic procedure purely for beautification if it is performed by someone of the same gender because it normally exposes the body to touching and looking (i.e., only that which is permissible for even the same gender), and provided it does not involve deception or inappropriate behavior. Furthermore, it is not permissible for the procedure to be performed by someone of the opposite gender unless it is [absolutely] necessary. Such instances where it would be considered [absolutely] necessary include if any of the following were the result of the person not undergoing the procedure: experiencing unbearable harm or hardship that is not tolerable (e.g., illness), severe negative consequences or embarrassment due to unbearable physical deformity/mutilation, or aversiveness from the spouse. It would also be permissible if the surgeon of the opposite gender is more experienced, skilled, and precise in performing the surgery.
- cosmetic surgery / procedures