Does Prayer Have A Role In Acceptance of All Deeds?

Question: I have seen an objection against Muslims in books that the Islamic scholars have written in the books of jurisprudence and traditions that till the Prayer is not accepted the other deeds will not be accepted.

And then the book mentions the conditions for acceptance of Prayer that a person cannot fulfill in his whole life. And even if one fulfills it, such a person must be very exceptional and rare. Therefore according to their own statement all the deeds and worship acts they have done all their life will not be accepted. Please explain to me this matter.

Answer: The first thing is that studies of books of Islamic jurisprudence show that the conditions mentioned therein are not so difficult that no one could fulfill them. Rather some people can pay more attention to their deeds and worship acts and fully comply with those conditions. You can find it yourself if you study the Articles of Islamic Acts. Therefore it is not correct to blame such things on Islam.

Secondly the acceptance of deeds and worship acts by Allah has many stages and grades. It is possible that they may not achieve the first grade acceptance but may be eligible for lower grade. Basically correct worship has a grade of acceptance. In the same way the acceptance of other deeds too shall depend on the acceptance of Prayer.

This statement could be explained in the way that if the Prayer is correct and performed according to the apparent Islamic laws, it would definitely be accepted by Allah. And as much the heart and conscience of man are clean and as much he refrains from oppression and injustice, the grade of its acceptance would be proportionate to this. Because the value of each deed depends on the mentality and condition of the person who is performing it.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

Why Do We Sometimes Recite The Afternoon Prayers Prayers At The Time of Noon Prayers Prayer?

Question: Why do we sometimes recite the Noon Prayers prayer at the earliest hour and then immediately perform the Afternoon Prayers prayer? While it is not the time of Afternoon Prayers? And in the same way sometimes we pray the Noon Prayers prayer at the last moments while its time has already passed?

Answer: Basically we should remember that Noon Prayers and Afternoon Prayers prayer time and in the same way the Evening and Night prayer time denote that in those times no other prayer is permitted.

For example from the beginning of the time of Noon Prayers till when time remains only to perform four rakats (units) of prayer is the time of Noon Prayers prayer and before the sunset the time for four rakats is restricted for Afternoon Prayers prayer. And the time between the two is common time for Noon Prayers and Afternoon Prayers.

We shall also remember that of the two prayers each of them has the best time (Waqt-e-Fazilat) and if they are performed during this time its reward is more.

For example the best time of Noon Prayers is from the beginning of Noon Prayers till the shade of a pole is equal to it. At this moment the best time ends and the time of Afternoon Prayers begins. On the basis of this the prayers are named Noon Prayers and Afternoon Prayers due to their best times and not due to the common time when both these prayers could be performed.

One who prays the Afternoon Prayers prayer at the beginning part of Noon Prayers, he has performed his prayer in the correct time and when he makes an intention to perform the Afternoon Prayers prayer he means that he is praying the prayer which from the point of view of its best time is the time of Afternoon Prayers.

In any case it is better if one delays the prayer and performs it at the best time of Afternoon Prayers. And in this way if someone performs the Noon Prayers prayer at the end of the day then he has prayed in the common time of prayers and his making an intention for Noon Prayers means that its best time is Noon Prayers and from the aspect of the specified time, the common time and the best time the same is true for Evening and Night prayers.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

Is The Sincerity of Intention Beneficial To The Deed?

Question: Islamic jurists say that it is necessary for the person who is praying that he must have the sincerity of intention and except for the obeying of divine commands nothing else should be the encouragement of this action.

On the basis of this if one prays for show off and gaining fame is invalid because in this there is absence of sincerity of action. Due to this rule if one prays due to force is also invalid because the reason behind its performance is not the obeying of divine commands. As we see that in Islamic countries people are forcefully made to pray and that too in congregation. What is the nature of such an action?

Answer: Leaving aside the detailed discussions of Islamic scholars regarding the essence of worship acts and according to them force and compulsion is also correct. It is said that this type of force initially makes the person perform it but gradually the effect of compulsion wanes off and repeated performance makes him habitual of it.

Then only the obedience of divine Commands becomes the force behind his performing the worship act. In this condition even if he had performed some prayers under force they would be invalid but from the time the effect of compulsion had worn off he becomes conscious of his religious obligation and the rest of his worship acts shall be based on the sincerity of intention.

In addition to this it can also be said that those people have no other excuse that they reach to the congregation and stand up for prayers. These people can make an intention for prayers due to their own inclination and obtain the rewards of prayers. Otherwise they can also pretend to pray and perform bowing and prostrating like others while they had not made any intention to pray. Thus in such a condition if a person makes an intention to pray his prayer is correct, because he has performed it with sincerity and inclination.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

Blood Transfusion

Question: Nowadays in all hospitals, blood transfusion is given to many patients who are anemic or are undergoing operation. And it is possible that the blood of a stranger man is transfused into a lady who is na mehram or vice versa. Is it allowed in Islamic Law?

Answer: Since there is no proof for prohibition regarding this act according to the rules of Islamic Jurisprudence, there is no harm in it. Even then it is better if man is transfused with the blood of man and woman with the blood of a woman. But if this is not possible, as mentioned above, it is not haraam.
Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

What Is The Legal Position Regarding Abortion of Illegitimate Fetus?

Question: If a person performs such an action as a result of which the illegitimate fetus is aborted, does he have to pay the same Diyat (Penalty) that is payable for legitimate fetus or not?

Answer: Whether the fetus is legitimate or illegitimate its abortion is absolutely illegal. And in this matter there is no difference between the two. As far as the matter of abortion of illegal fetus, the parents are not eligible for the Diyat amount (when the two were aware that the intercourse they were having was illegal).

And like the inheritance of an heirless person it becomes the part of Bait al-Maal (Islamic treasury). But if a legitimate fetus is aborted its Diyat is paid to its heirs. Except one of the heirs (father or mother) had been instrumental in the abortion because in those conditions he is deprived of Diyat just as the killer cannot inherit from the killed one.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

What Is The Command Regarding Contraception?

Question: Does Islam permit Contraception?

Answer: In Islamic law there is great encouragement for procreation and increase in population. So much so that they Holy Prophet (S) says: Marry and procreate. Because on the basis of your huge numbers I am proud over other (Past) Communities. Even on the basis of your aborted children.

The aim of this topic is also clear because the power of a community mostly depends upon its numerical strength. Communities having less numbers are mostly weak and powerless.

It is correct that a country may be populated. Sometimes it may create problems regarding food and housing but in spite of that this same dense population becomes the cause of its strength and greatness.

This is the reason why the most powerful Communities of the world are those who have numerical strength. As for the food shortage it can be solved through scientific agriculture. Thus contraception is not a good thing in Islamic view. (Except when there are really social and training problems).

In spite of this Islam has not made it illegal and according to the decrees of most of Islamic scholars contraception is allowed if both partners agree. Some have even allowed it even if the wife does not agree. Actually Islam has left the avenue open for the Muslims so that if there is need for contraception (For example the woman is weak or there is some other problem) they can gain benefit from this action and avoid pregnancy.

Though we should remember that all this is permitted when the conception has not yet taken place. But conception has already taken place its abortion is absolutely haraam. That is after the conception. (Even if it is one day old.), abortion is not allowed.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

Islamic View on Artificial Insemination

Question: What is the Islamic view on Artificial Insemination? (Artificial Insemination means the insertion of sperm into the woman’s uterus through special means).

Answer: Many ancient examples of artificial insemination/pollination are available with regard to animals and plants. And many plants and animals are grafted to give fruits. But artificial insemination to human beings is absolutely new.

And the encouragement for this is some men who are not able to produce children due to some causes but the wives are fertile they opt for artificial insemination to make their wives pregnant. The sperm of the husband or of another man is inserted into the woman’s womb. In this way she becomes pregnant.

This matter has been debated by the lawmakers of the western world (England, France, Egypt and other countries.) The House of Commons (England) has decided that a committee of legal experts should be formed so that they may study this subject.

The medics of France have made this matter dependant on the agreement of the spouses and permitted this if both of them agree. In Italy the Pope has made it prohibited through a religious decree. And the Grand Mufti of Egypt has stated it to be worse than adoption which is prohibited in Islam.

Two kinds of Artificial Insemination

In the first kind the sperm of a man is inserted into his own wife. From the viewpoint of proofs of jurisprudence there is not problem in this artificial insemination because on both sides the two people are legal and religious spouses. The husband and wife have the right to become parents. It does not make any difference that this procedure is through sexual intercourse or medical means.

Although at the time of artificial insemination it must be ensured that during this some illegal action is not committed. For example, another man must not perform this; rather the husband must do it.

The next type of artificial insemination is that a stranger’s sperm is inserted into the wombs of someone else’s wife. This kind of artificial insemination in the view of Islam (which has based marriage on precaution, carefulness, accuracy and piety) is absolutely illegal and the same is view of the great jurists of Islam and from some traditions regarding marriage we can know that it is prohibited.

In addition to this from the ethical, social and psychological points of view this is absolutely illegal and prohibited. And it has three main defects as described. Below:

1. From the ethical point of view it encourages promiscuity in women and slowly it attracts her to illegal liaisons. She tends to think that what difference does it make because the sperm of a stranger is inserted into her womb or this is carried out through illegal intercourse.

After this procedure (even if this had the husband’s sanction) this woman most of the time attempts illegal liaisons. Because in doing thus she has no fear from the husband. And if she becomes pregnant she can easily transfer the responsibility to artificial insemination which has been carried out with the permission of the husband.

2. From the social point of view this shakes the foundation of the family and it causes the destruction of family system and genealogy. As we know one of the evils of illegal relationship is enmity among the people and the severing of relation between children and the father. And this is seen as an unavailable effect of artificial insemination. As a result when the child grows up he does not know who the real father is.

3. The training and rearing of children and arranging of the necessities of their life natural emotions play a very important role and we must never be careless of this because it is the natural emotion which prepares the father to provide the necessities of life for his children, this human emotion is created only when he considers the child a past of himself. But if he knows that the child is the issue of someone else, there remains no reason why he should fulfill the needs of the child.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

Is It Allowed To Give Physical Punishment For Women?

Question: Is it true Qur’an has allowed punishing a woman physically if she does not fulfill conjugal rights?

Answer: There is no doubt that for social security woman Islam has performed many important services. And it has a great right upon them. So much so that western scholars or Orientalists who do not have any favorable opinion about Islam, for example Crame Brenton, John Christopher and Robert Lee Wolfe have written in their books and clearly confessed that the Islamic movement has played an effective role in reforming the conditions of woman and the Holy Qur’an has also laid down emphatic laws in this regard. Whose two examples are the following two ayats:


… and treat them kindly…1


they are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them;2

In the sayings of the leaders of Islam so much emphasis is laid on kindness to women that it is said that you must not even speak to them in nasty manner.

In the same way the women are also made responsible that they must deal with husbands with utmost love and in good natured way.

As far as a light physical punishment for woman who are not prepared to fulfill the conjugal right. Regarding this it is the clear command of Holy Qur’an that the husband should first rebuke and advise her, then he must sleep away from her and suspend physical relations with.

Till the time if none of these actions are effective in this condition he can give the woman a light physical punishment. And it is obvious that this step is purely in special cases and actually it is like an operation of a sick person.

That it is needed under special circumstances. Till the time the husband also refrains from fulfilling conjugal rights and there is no other method to compel him except through physical force. Then Islamic government has the right to give him physical punishment.

This point is also worth remembering that according to the view of psychologists some women always like to hurt and sometimes due to some cause it becomes intense and shown in psychological disorder. In such cases a light physical punishment cures their sickness.
It must also be remembered that the punishment mentioned should not be such that the body is injured or bruised.

  • 1. Surah Nisa 4:19
  • 2. Surah Baqarah 2:187

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

What Is Lying For A Hidden Wisdom?

Question: What is the command in Islam for lying for hidden wisdom? And did the Prophets and great leaders lie in this manner?

Answer: Falsehood in itself is a very evil deed. And it is the root of most of our present difficulties and problems. Some of the sayings of the Holy Imams (a.s.) that have reached us mention that lying is the key to all sins.

But in spite of this in some special circumstances it is possible that if one speaks the truth there would be a great mischief and discord. If he does not state the truth the fire of mischief cools down.

For example when there is serious enmity between two and each of them speaks ill of the other in his absence we are also listening and we know that the questions we are being asked, if we give the truthful replies of the same and reveal the ill speaking of that person the fire of mischief and discord will flame up and it is possible that as a result of this there is a great loss.

Then obviously in such circumstances it would be wrong to speak the truth. And no intelligent person can say that in those conditions also we must speak the truth. It is an understood rational law that when the loss of something is greater than its benefit, we must refrain from it.

The Islamic rules also support this command and in such exceptional circumstances it allows lying.

However, two important points must be kept in mind here. First of all this topic has very exceptional aspects. And except for the above stated conditions lying is not permitted and it must not be that some people take the excuse of lying for hidden wisdom, without any sufficient cause or for personal gains resort to lying and thus commit this illegal act. And say that it was some hidden wisdom.

Secondly, Islam gives such great importance to the subject of lying that in such a condition when it is really necessary that one could lie, it has commanded Toriya. And this decree is well known among our jurisprudents and scholars.

Toriya means that when circumstances demand instead of lying we say a sentence which the listener can interpret in his way. While the aim of the speaker is something else. For example if someone asks us that such and such person has spoken such evil about me and we reply in the negative while we actually imply that he has not said in those words, even though he has said the same things in other words. Even though the hearer may imagine that the other person has not said anything.

And if the religion leaders in needful circumstances that is for saving life and property of people and controversies that are created between them and for prevention of mischief and discord if they have spoken words, which are based on lying for hidden wisdom, then certainly they fall under the category of Toriya which cannot be considered as lying.

This point is worth remembering that in circumstances when the duty of man is Toriya or lying for hidden wisdom, if he tells the truth, he is a sinner. In the same way he is responsible for the mischief that is created in this way.

Obviously there is no scope of Toriya or lying for hidden wisdom in the explanation or interpretation of the ayats of Holy Qur’an. That is as a rule there is no such need as for as ayats and Islamic laws are concerned.

Philosophy of Islamic Laws:Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

How Many Greater Sins Are There?

Question: How many greater sins are there?

Answer: There are different methods to recognize the greater sin and we indicate towards two of these methods.

1. Every action the doers of which have been promised by Allah punishment and chastisement in the Holy Qur’an. (Whether, it is clearly stated or indicated or it may be emphatic prohibited again and again). It is a greater sin.

2. Through the correct and authentic traditions that have reached us from the great leaders of Islam and in which the greater sins are clearly enumerated. For example the letter Imam Ali Ibn Musa ar-Rida (a.s.) had written to Mamoon the Abbaside Caliph. In the letter he has mentioned the number of greater sins. And in the same way is the tradition narrated by Amash from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.). There is mention of many greater sins in this tradition. And the same is the condition of other traditions.

Now we shall describe a greater part of the greater sins which mentioned in ayats or traditions and pray to the Almighty Allah that He may give us the Tawfiq to shun all these sins.

1. Murder
2. Adultery
3. Wine
4. Leaving Prayer
5. Usurping the property of orphans
6. Fleeing the battlefield
7. Interest taking
8. Gambling
9. Oppression
10. Sodomy
11. Helping the oppressors
12. Supporting the oppressor
13. Denying the rights of people
14. Fighting the saints of Allah
15. Lying
16. Betrayal of trust.
17. Hurting the Parents
18. Accusing pure people falsely
19. Backbiting
20. Careless of the Anger and Punishment of Allah
21. Carelessness about performing the Hajj
22. Squandering and over spending
23. Pork
24. Blood
25. Eating dead meat
26. Eat the flesh of animal which is slaughtered without reciting the name of Allah
27. Despair from mercy of Allah
28. Weighing less.
29. Repeating smaller sins
30. Breaking off relations
31. Non payment of Zakat
32. Breaking of covenant
33. Concealing Testimony
34. False swearing.

The above-mentioned sins are a major portion of greater sins though according to the view of many scholars they are not limited to these.