Sister Nazmina Dhanji
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Name: Sister Nazmina Dhanji
Age: 0
Location: London, United Kingdom
Expertize: Quran and Fiqh
Question:Are you aware of visualisation, law of attraction and all. It says what you think and visualize you get. And it really works you believe or not. My question is when I can get everything by just training my mind and meditation or visualisation then why should I ask God for everything. Why should I spend hours in praying, reciting all big supplications . Why should I keep fasting when I can be fit by yoga. When law of attraction can give me everything then why should I cry before God and ask for anything for months years?

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: Yes I am very aware of visualisation and meditation techniques using the universal law of attraction to attract good and positive things into our lives. I definitely believe that it works, and that is why I feel we have actually misunderstood the treasures of du'as, supplications and Islamic practices at our fingertips, and why our du'as do not get answered. Unfortunately our supplications, praying and fasting have been reduced to superficial outer forms without the spiritual dimension of visualising, meditating, focusing and believing in their power. Allah is master of the universe, and master of these laws. He has designed us to ask Him whilst attracting these things for ourselves through real belief in them. However, we simply recite long supplications for hours, without understanding and without the state of mind needed to actually make it happen for ourselves. I feel that the practices taught by the Ahlul bayt (as) coupled with meditation, visualisation and even yoga are extremely powerful, as long as we recognise that Allah is the one who makes it all happen, and all of it is part and parcel of his perfect system of energy. Islam is a perfect, harmonious system that has been designed to work mind, body and spirit, but the Muslims have neglected the mind and spirit aspects unfortunately.
Question:We are going to ziyarat and I will finish my menstrual cycle during travel before reaching destination/hotel.
1. In that case, if I have a wajib namaz to pray, I just perform tayammum and do a wudhoo for the namaz without ghusl because there is no shower available at airports.
2. Do I still have to do ghusl haydh once i get to hotel?
3. Is soil from house plant ok for tayammum?

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: In answer to your questions:
1) If there is absolutely no way that you can access a shower at the airport, even in an airport lounge or something (and even if you have to pay to use it, as long as it is not too expensive) then yes, a tayammum in lieu of the ghusl after thoroughly cleaning yourself, and wudhoo before your namaz.
2) No, you would not have to do ghusl of haydh again, but if you are doing a mustahabb ghusl of ziyarat, then it is always advisable to include the phrase 'wa kull ghusl ma fi dhimmatee' meaning '...and any other ghusl that is obligatory on me' just as a precaution.
3) Yes, the soil is acceptable, as long as it is dry. It must not be wet or damp.
Question:Is it allowed for a widow to NOT PERFORM IDDAH after the death of her husband ?

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: A widow must observe idda. It just means waiting: where she must wait before she remarries or starts attracting suitors, so she must not beautify or perfume herself when going out, but she is allowed to go out. There is nothing else to 'perform'. The widow's idda is 4 months and 10 days, or 3 months if she's past menopause.
Question:I would like to know what are the ethics of an Islamic marriage? Can a husband stop his wife from working/earning money? And at the same time not provide her money for her most basic needs?

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: According to most scholars, and quoting Ibrahim Amini in particular who has written extensively about principles of marriage and family ethics, since earning is Wajib on the husband, he is within his rights to prevent his wife from working outside. But in that case, it is obligatory for him to pay for at least her basic needs of clothing, health, food etc. Whatever she earns she is entitled to keep for herself, though the best way forward in a marriage is for both spouses to be understanding of each other's needs as well as each other's burdens and responsibilities in providing for those needs. In this day and age, there should be no problem pursuing a part-time job or something if it helps the household finances, and a lot of husbands welcome the extra help or the lesser financial burden on them. However, with communication and finding out the underlying reason behind his refusal, perhaps they can come to an agreement that suits them both and keeps a good balance in the family home.
Question:I normally get threads of blood in my urine before a week before I get my periods, can I fast and pray during this time?

Ayatollah:sistani

Answer: That would be considered Istihaza, and not a period (until it actually flows), and so you can fast as normal. As for prayers, you would need to follow the rules of istihaza, depending on how much blood there is and if it stains your underwear or not, and how much.
Question:I would like to know about ghusl after delivery and about 40 days rituals that is practiced here. I have heard first ghusl is after 10 days nifas and then 21 days followed by 31 days and last one 40 days. Could you please explain according to our shariah what and how ghusl should be done after delivery.

Also please let me know about the Islamic shariah to be done for the baby after his/her birth

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: First and foremost, the '40-day' rule is purely cultural and has no basis in Islam. Post-natal bleeding is called Nifas, and lasts for a maximum of 10 days. If she stops bleeding before 10 days, then she performs ghusl of nifas (same as all other ghusls) and starts to pray, etc. If she sees blood beyond 10 days, she performs her ghusl on the 10th day, and considers the rest of the bleeding to be Isthadha (assessing the volume, colour and flow of the blood, and then acting accordingly as per the rules of Istihadha). There are 3 categories within it:
1) Little blood (whereby the blood stains a cotton pad, but does not seep through), in which case she must change her pad, clean herself and do wudhoo before each salaat (before dhohr, before asr, etc).
2) Medium blood (whereby the blood flows into the pad but does not soak it), in which case she would do the same as above + one ghusl per day in the morning with the niyya of istihadha.
3) heavy blood (whereby it flows through the pad, soaks it and drips through), in which case she would be required to do a ghusl before each set of prayers (3 in total during the day).

So there are no such ghusls stipulated at the 21 day, 31 day and 40 day mark.

There are many recommended actions and supplications to be done for a newborn, very nicely outlined in a book called 'A Mother's Prayer' (http://www.en.islamic-sources.com/download/E-Books/Dua/A-Mother%27s-Prayer.pdf) They are in Chapter 6 (page 40). In short, they are:

- to recite adhan and iqama in the baby's right and left ears.
- to give the baby a small taste of Khak e Shifa (the soil from the grave of Imam Hussain)
- to give it a small lick of dates.
- to bathe it and give it a ghusl
- to slaughter a sheep/goat and donate the meat to charity
- to shave the baby's hair a few days after birth, to weigh it, and give the value of that weight in gold or silver in charity
- to feed people in a walima on the seventh day
- to circumcise the male child (obligatory)
- to give him/her a good, meaningful name

Question:I would like to ask you that my baby is one month old and she is nowadays ignoring my breastfeeding. I have read surah buruj should be tied around her neck for making her to take breastfeeding whereas (ELSEWHERE) I have read Surah buruj should be written when trying to wean a baby (stop it from breastfeeding and start eating solid foods), this Surah should be written and tied as a talisman around baby’s neck.

Please clear my doubt which is the correct one in this. Surah buruj should be written to stop breastfeeding or to make baby take breastfeeding with ease?

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: Alhamdulillah we have great resources that have been recommended to us in the form of surahs and du'as, but we also have to bear in mind that a lot of the time, these are not authentic recommendations that we can fully verify and that is why there are contradictory hadiths about this. So their working is often dependent upon our niyyah.
More important and much more effective than simply writing and ting surahs, is actually reciting them, and more important than that is to actually get to the bottom of why she is not interested in feeding. Islam places a lot of emphasis on logic and using our intellect to solve problems first. There are many resources online that you can read about for breastfeeding. Sometimes, children go off it because they have a cold and can't breathe, or if they are already full, or feeling unwell. It is also possible to have a very strong let-down reflex where the milk flows out too fast, and the baby pulls away. I think it would be beneficial to actually look into the cause of it, as most likely it is something simple that can be resolved.
For me personally, simply talking to Allah and asking His help regularly, reciting Surah Fatiha, Ayatul Kursi and salawaat helped me a lot when I was feeding my children.
Question:1. If someone asks you to swear upon the quran and you do it, but then asks another question for which you can't tell the truth (not taqaiyya) and anxiously lie while still holding the quran. What would be the kuffara of that? knowing that it was done unintentionally and unwantingly, and was immediately regretted.
2. If you promise to do something if your supplication gets answered, but then forget what it was that you had avowed, what would be the kuffara of that?
3. If you already have qazaa rozay from the month of Ramadan, can you vow to fast if your supplication gets accepted?


Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer:
1) According to Ayatullah Sistani:
If a person swears to confirm that he is telling the truth, and if that is actually the truth, his taking of the oath is Makrooh; and if it is a lie, his taking of the oath is haraam. In fact, to make a false oath in the cases of dispute is a major sin. However, if a person takes a false oath in order to save himself, or another Muslim from the torture of an oppressor, there is no objection in it, in fact, at times it becomes obligatory. However, if a person can resort to 'Tauriyat' (dissimulation), that is, if at the time of taking an oath, he makes a vague, feigned utterance with no intention of resorting to falsehood, then it is better for him to do so. For example, if an oppressor or a tyrant who wants to harm someone asks him whether he has seen that person, and he had seen him an hour earlier, he would say that he has not seen him, meaning in his mind that he has not seen him during the last few minutes.
So, only you know the kind of situation you are in. The Kaffara for taking a false oath is to feed ten people or to fast for 3 days.

2) According to him, if you forget what you had vowed to do, there is no kaffara, but if you have an idea of what you would have vowed normally, or what you usually vow for such things, then you could resort to that. Otherwise offer a 2 rak'at salaat of shukr for the fulfilment of that supplication.

3) Yes, you can still make a vow to fast, as long as you repay your qadhaa fasts (from the year before) before the coming Ramadhan.
Question:My question is what is the definitions of ego in Islam? What is the ruling for the people whose ego hurt in every small matter?

Ayatollah:Sistani

Answer: Islam has many very deep philosophical discussion about the nature of the ego as the lower self in the human being, or the unrefined self that acts out of impulse, desire and anger, whose main aim is self-preservation. As human beings, we are born with an ego that is essential for our survival, but as we grow up, it is necessary to use our faculty of intellect to rein that ego in, and to measure everything up against the guidance that Allah has sent us in the form of prophets and our inner prophet: the intellect. That is just a basic definition of the ego.
I'm not sure what you mean to ask when you say 'what is the ruling' for such a person. Of course, they need to develop themselves and work on their character so that they are not acting out of mere 'selfishness' and thinking only of themselves and how to best protect themselves from others (which is why they get hurt easily), but rather to train themselves to act with their intellect, taking the full picture and all facts into account before they react, eg: what did the person really mean by that? perhaps they were having a bad day?
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