Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law

Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law0%

Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law Author:
Translator: Zeynab Biria
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
Category: Various Books
ISBN: 978-964-529-698-6

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Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law

Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law

Author:
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
ISBN: 978-964-529-698-6
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law

Author(s): Ayatullah Ali Mishkini

Translator(s): Zeynab Biria

Publisher(s): ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

www.alhassanain.org/english

This book presents the issues the society is confronted with, in a brief and simple language, both in the field of thought and practice.

Miscellaneous information:

Obligations and Prohibitions in Islamic Divine Law Ayatullah Ali Meshkini Author: Ayatullah ‘Ali Meshkini Translator: Zeynab Biria and others Prepared by: Translation Unit, Cultural Affairs Department; The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly Editor: Lari A. Allen Revised by: Badr Shahin Proofreader: Abu Zar Ahmadi Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center First Printing: 2011 Printed by: Mojab Press Copies: 5,000 © The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) www.ahl-ul-bayt.org info@ahl-ul-bayt.org ISBN: 978-964-529-698-6 All rights reserved نام كتاب: واجبات و محرمات در شرع اسلام نويسنده: آيت الله علی مشكينی مترجم: زينب بی ریا و ديگران تهیه کننده: اداره ترجمه ی مجمع جهانی اهل البیت(ع) زبان ترجمه: انگليسى

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Preface of the Assembly 7

Foreword 9

Preface 10

Part 1: Ideological Laws 11

Note 17

Part 2 Chapter 1: Learning Religious Knowledge 18

Part 2 Chapter 2: Rulings of Devotional Acts 22

Notes 33

Part 2 Chapter 3: Laws Pertaining To Matrimonial And Family Affairs 34

Notes 43

Part 2 Chapter 4: Laws Pertaining To Financial And Ownership Affairs 44

Part 2 Chapter 5: Laws Pertaining To Food, Dress, and Ways Of Self-Protection 48

Part 2 Chapter 6: Laws Pertaining To Contracts And One-Side Decisions 51

Part 2 Chapter 7: Miscellaneous Laws Pertaining To Mental And Physical Issues 56

Note 62

Part 2 Chapter 8: Laws Pertaining To Authority Over Muslims And The Muslim Community 63

Epilogue 68

Divisions Of Obligations 68

Independent And Dependent Obligations 68

Devotional And Instrumental Obligations 68

Individual And Collective Obligations 68

Determined And Optional Obligations 68

Absolute And Contingent Obligations 69

Confirmed And Pending Obligations 69

Divine And Rational Obligations 69

Authoritative And Directive Obligations 69

Extended And Constricted Obligations 69

Urgent And Non-Urgent Obligations 70

Primary And Subordinate Obligations 70

Major And Minor Sins 70

Preface of the Assembly

The invaluable legacy of the Household [Ahl al-Bayt] of the Prophet (may peace be upon them all), as preserved by their followers, is a comprehensive school of thought that embraces all branches of Islamic knowledge. This school has produced many brilliant scholars who have drawn inspiration from this rich and pure resource. It has given many scholars to the Muslim ummah who, following in the footsteps of Imams of the Prophet’s Household (‘a), have done their best to clear up the doubts raised by various creeds and currents within and without Muslim society and to answer their questions. Throughout the past centuries, they have given well-reasoned answers and clarifications concerning these questions and doubts.

To meet the responsibilities assigned to it, the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly (ABWA) has embarked on a defense of the sanctity of the Islamic message and its verities, often obscured by the partisans of various sects and creeds as well as by currents hostile to Islam. The Assembly follows in the footsteps of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and the disciples of their school of thought in its readiness to confront these challenges and tries to be on the frontline in consonance with the demands of every age.

The arguments contained in the works of the scholars belonging to the School of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) are of unique significance. That is because they are based on genuine scholarship and appeal to reason, and avoid prejudice and bias. These arguments address scholars and thinkers in a manner that appeals to healthy minds and wholesome human nature.

To assist the seekers of truth, the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly has endeavored to present a new phase of these arguments contained in the studies and translations of the works of contemporary Shī‘ah writers and those who have embraced this sublime school of thought through divine blessing.

The Assembly is also engaged in edition and publication of the valuable works of leading Shī‘ah scholars of earlier ages to assist the seekers of the truth in discovering the truths which the School of the Prophet’s Household (‘a) has offered to the entire world.

The Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly looks forward to benefit from the opinions of the readers and their suggestions and constructive criticism in this area.

We also invite scholars, translators and other institutions to assist us in propagating the genuine Islamic teachings as preached by the Prophet Muhammad (S).

We beseech God, the Most High, to accept our humble efforts and to enable us to enhance them under the auspices of Imam al-Mahdī, His vicegerent on the earth (may Allah expedite his advent).

We express our gratitude to Ayatollah Meshkini (May Allah bless his soul), the author of the present book, and Mrs. Zeynab Biria, its translator. We also thank our colleagues who have participated in producing this work, especially the staff of the Translation Office.

Cultural Affairs Department

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly

Foreword

“This is the spiritual way of reaching human perfection, which I have obtained from God, the last Prophet, his religion, and the Qur’an. I invite to it, out of insight, all humans who have a clear conscience.”

I present this book to all wise and righteous people who believe the religion of Islam to have come from a noble source, to have been revealed and commissioned by the All-merciful God, and to be the last divine doctrine and life-conducting program, which was sent down for achieving social guidance, education, and perfection. I present this book to all those who seek to approach Islam, the noblest of all religions, which is introduced to the Muslim nation through the articulate speech of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his Household.

The material of this book is derived from the Glorious Qur’an and the Prophet’s conduct(Sunnah) . It represents a derivation of the religion and a brief account of its laws, without demonstration of proofs.

This book is one of a kind because it presents the issues the society is confronted with, in a brief and simple language, both in the field of thought and practice.

Preface

Human deeds and actions are of two kinds:

1. Inward or ideological, such as assertions and beliefs, and

2. Outward or physical, such as enunciation and bodily movements.

Each of these two consists of obligations and prohibitions.

Since intellectual actions and beliefs are the cause of physical actions, they have a greater effect and are of more importance. Accordingly, the words and actions of a person are generally the results of her/his beliefs and will.

This book is arranged into two sections:

1. Inward obligations and prohibitions, under the title “Beliefs,” and

2. Outward obligations and prohibitions under the title “Laws of Action.”

The two following points deserve attention:

1. From the viewpoint of a sound mind and the manifest law, learning the principles of belief and the laws of action is the individual responsibility of every person. Having character conforming to the principles of belief is known as faith, and following the laws of action is termed as justice. One who is successful in acquiring these two great bounties has reached a high level in human perfection. It is as if one has performed all the commandments of the Glorified God and has realized reverence in belief and action.

Renouncing the principles of belief indicates disbelief, and renouncing the laws of action indicates sinfulness. These two things cause wickedness and bear severe retribution in the other world.

Now with the intention of performing my duty, which I deem important, I present, yet briefly, these writings so that those seeking prosperity may reach perfection in faith by correcting their beliefs and following the laws of action, treading on the path of justice. Finally, this Qur’anic verse will be applicable to them:

“…those who believe and do good deeds. (2/25)”

2. Issues pertaining to belief stated in the first part of this book are derived from Qur’anic verses(ayat, sing. ayah) and chapters(surah) , sayings of the Ahl al-Bayt, and books of theology. I have presented them to the extent I saw necessary in this book.

The secondary issues of Part Two, which are derived from books of reasoning and Islamic laws, were combined with the recommended(mustahabb) , undesirable(makruh) , and permitted(mubah) actions, along with other rulings pertaining to purity(taharah) and impurity(najasah) as well as other issues.

I have separated the obligations and prohibitions from the other rulings and have stated them in this book. Because our duties comprise nothing but these two parts, although performing the recommended and refraining from the undesirable things bring about perfection, the lack of observing the discretionary rulings will not bring punishment, unless they prevent one from performing the obligations or cause a sinful deed.

Part 1: Ideological Laws

Ideological laws are of two kinds of belief (I will state all as “We believe”):

Group One: This group includes the beliefs that are obligatory to find the truth about them, to focus on, and about which a question is formed in one’s mind. However, to keep oneself in a state of doubt and uncertainty about these beliefs is forbidden. These beliefs consist of the following issues:

1. We believe in the necessary existence of Allah, the source of creation, and the origin of being. We believe in the unity and oneness of His Divine Essence and that He does not have any partner in His Attributes of Beauty and Majesty. This means, “There is no god but Allah.”

2. We believe in the Attributes of Beauty and Majesty of God Almighty. By the attribute of majesty, we mean that His Divine Essence is free from any defect and imperfection. By the attribute of beauty, we mean that His Pure Essence is adorned with all perfections and good traits.

3. We believe in God’s Prophets and Messengers whom He has sent for guiding and conducting humankind and chosen them to be of the same race of humankind. Through them, He has sent down divine books from heaven and delivered a religion for guiding, learning, and educating human race. We have particular faith in the Prophets whose names have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and general faith in those not mentioned therein.

4. We believe in the prophethood and messengership of Muhammad (s), the son of ‘Abdullah, the Arab, Medinite and Meccan Prophet. We also believe that he is the seal of the prophets. We believe in the everlastingness of his prophethood, messengership, faith, and Book, meaning that after his department from this worldly life, human society is in no need for any other religion or book, given that his religion includes all the needed individual and social laws and duties, both spiritual and material, for a complete life in this world. Even if this viewpoint seems logically incorrect to others, it is free of fault from the viewpoint of the Shi‘ite School of Thought; for after his awaited reappearance, Imam al-Mahdi (‘a) will enjoy all the attributes of the Holy Prophet except that he is not prophet. Among these attributes, Imam al-Mahdi (‘a) will have full authority over the divine laws so that he will be authorized to change them in a way conforming to the circumstances of his time and the nature of the community.

5. We believe in the Next World and the physical resurrection; meaning that after the elimination of this material world, all humans who were born and who have died will be restored to life in a world beyond nature, in the gathering place of resurrection, in a time named the Judgment Day, and will be in the presence of God. Without doubt, all angels, jinn, and animals will also be resurrected in this magnificent and unprecedented event.

6. We believe in the lawful and divinely appointed vicegerency and leadership(imamah; Imamate) after the Holy Prophet. This means that before he departed this worldly life, Prophet Muhammad (s), by a divine commission, nominated individuals in successive order as his successors for the next leadership of the Muslim nation and gave them authority over the community. We also undoubtedly believe that the Prophet (s) did not depart this life before he had performed this duty completely, important to both the creation and the Creator.

7. We believe that the Holy Prophet (s), by the strict order of the Creator, named twelve individuals in a certain order for succeeding him in the leadership of his nation. The first of those twelve individuals is (1) ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law. The other eleven are the descendants of ‘Ali and the Prophet’s daughter, Lady Fatimah. They are namely: (2) al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, (3) al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, (4) ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, (5) Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, (6) Ja‘far ibn Muhammad, (7) Musa ibn Ja‘far, (8) ‘Ali ibn Musa, (9) Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, (10) ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, (11) al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, and (12) Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi, peace be upon them all.

The era of the vicegerency of the first eleven Imams extended to the year 260 AH, but the vicegerency of the twelfth Imam, who is at present in occultation, has continued until now. When the Beneficent God wills, this Imam will reappear to fill the world with justice and peace.

8. We believe that the Holy Qur’an, this great divine book, which is now in the hands of Muslims, was sent down to the heart of the Noble Prophet (s) as the eternal miracle of his prophecy and he conveyed it to the people without adding or deleting even a single letter of it. We thus believe that the Holy Qur’an has never been and will never be altered or exposed to distortion.

Group Two: The second group includes the beliefs about which neither investigation nor research is obligatory; therefore, it is not necessary to believe, disbelieve, or depend on personal views regarding them. However, if a person investigates and learns the truth about them, it is her/his obligation to form his/her own beliefs according to her/his findings. To deny these beliefs without reason, only because of doubt, is not permissible. These beliefs are formed in the following issues:

9. We believe that God Almighty is not material, He is not composed of parts, He is not exposed to any alteration or change, and His attributes are not apart from His Divine Essence. He is beyond time and place. He was not born from anything, nor was anything born of Him, and His existence is necessary. Understanding the truth of His Divine Essence is beyond the capacity of any intellect, including those of prophets, angels, or scientists.

10. We believe in the existence of angels, their inerrancy, and their vast and widespread control over the world, under the administration of God Almighty. The Divine Book is full of references to them, their missions, and proficiency in various fields all over the creation. We believe that to deny them, especially the ones named in the Holy Qur’an, brings about disbelief. We also have faith in the existence of jinn and devils, be they of one kind or of two.

11. We believe in all the heavenly books sent down to the prophets prior to the last prophet Muhammad (s). We have specific faith in the books named in the Qur’an and general faith in the ones not mentioned therein.

12. We believe in divine revelation, i.e. the secret spiritual communication between the prophets and God Almighty, and that all the divine religions and heavenly books were delivered to humankind from God through them. They also received other laws and sciences and delivered them to the people. There were three methods of revelation:

a. Inspiration of divine words to the heart of the prophet through a method beyond physical senses.

b. Inspiration of God’s words through the hearing sense, without the appearance of anything.

c. Descent of an angel to the prophet and inspiration of God’s words in a face-to-face manner.

It is likely that all three kinds of revelations were sent down to all prophets, with differences in degree, time, place, and subject.

13. We believe in the infallibility and immunity of all prophets from sin, mistake, and error in the religious affairs. This means that they never committed any sin, be it small or great, neither in childhood nor in maturity, neither before being raised up as prophets nor afterwards. They also never made mistakes or errors, neither in the stage of learning the laws of God nor in the stage of delivering them to the people by means of speech or writing, neither in the stage of carrying out and enforcing the laws in the society nor in the stage of personally following the laws and showing reverence to God.

14. We believe that extravagance(ghuluww) and digression concerning the Holy Prophet or any of the Infallibles(ma‘sumin; the Holy Prophet, Lady Fatimah, and the Twelve Imams) is forbidden and rationally wrong. This is also applicable to the Companions(Sahabah) 1 , the angels, and any other mortal being no matter how close to the Prophet and the holy persons. Likewise, we also deny any exaggeration concerning all sacred things.

Extravagance means to exceed the limits in belief, such as:

a. To believe that these individuals are gods along with denial of the existence of God Almighty.

b. To believe that both they and God Almighty are gods, each independent of the other.

c. To attribute partnership in godhead with God, similar to what Christians say about Prophet Jesus (‘a).

d. To characterize them with one of the particular Attributes of God Almighty, such as claiming that they are the creators of heavens and the earth, creators of humans and animals, sustainers of all living beings, taking life away from the living beings and bringing them back to life, or any other things that are exclusively God’s. In most cases, such extremist beliefs are deemed disbelief(kufr) .

15. We believe that the Holy Qur’an, the Divine Book, which is now in the hands of Muslims, has not been distorted. This means that the present words of the Qur’an are the same as those that the Angel of Revelation inspired to the heart of the Holy Prophet from God Almighty. They are the same words that the Holy Prophet conveyed to the Muslims. They were written by the scribes of revelation and later others and they became available to the people. We have thus received them as undistorted as they were revealed. In other words, the luminous Book we are having in our hands today is the same Book that was descended to the heart of the Holy Prophet (s), and it is the same as what exists in the pre-eternal knowledge of the Almighty.

16. We believe that the twelfth Imam - Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, the Argument of God against His creatures(al-hujjah) , the expected - al-Mahdi (‘a), was born during the Imamate of his father, Imam al-Hasan al-‘Askari (‘a). Before the martyrdom of his father and according to the predetermined command of God and His Prophet, Imam al-Mahdi (‘a) was appointed as the leader, ruler, and guide for all the duty-bound(mukallaf; a person too sane and mature to be excused for violating religious obligations) persons on earth. Since that time, he has been entrusted with the position of leadership and authority over humankind, and he has undertaken the unseen dignities of divine jurisdiction in the society. When God Almighty wills, Imam Mahdi (‘a) will reappear to turn the corrupted world into a virtuous community.

17. We believe that the Holy Prophet (s) received the religious laws and principles through divine education. He knew all the sciences and secrets of the Qur’an, all the Books of the former prophets, all the different fields of knowledge, which the human society of his time was unaware of, all that which he would be questioned about, and the divine knowledge and hidden secrets that are beyond the realm of our imagination. We also have the same belief about his Infallible Successors.

18. We believe in the complete validity of God’s Book, the Qur’an. In other words, it is necessary to accept the fundamental and subordinate religious rulings mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as well as the knowledge and wisdom it explicitly or apparently denotes, with their specified circumstances. Hence, it is forbidden to deny them.

19. We believe in the traditions(Sunnah) of the Holy Prophet (s) as valid argument against us. The Sunnah consists of the words that the Holy Prophet stated as religious laws and divine knowledge. We also believe that the Holy Imams are transmitters and explainers of the Sunnah, which was completely transferred to them free of fault, doubt, or alteration. On the Judgment Day, God will interrogate all the people of the world with regard to two documents: His Book and the Sunnah, and they will refer to these two to prove their claims and acquit themselves from religious liability.

20. We believe in reason and reason-based understanding as valid argument against us. This means that the understanding of every person about the validity and invalidity of beliefs and the goodness and evilness of things is the perfect evidence and convincing proof, just like the Holy Book and Sunnah. On Judgment Day, when God settles account with His creatures in full justice, the reason-based judgment about one’s good and evil acts will be a proof for whether they are deserving of reward or punishment.

21. We believe in the temporal contingency of the world, meaning that God created and gave life to all the creatures in the universe from absolute nonexistence. Therefore, His Holy Being is the pre-eternal necessary existence and everything other than Him is a possibly existent (i.e. contingent) product. This means that it exists when He exists and is not other than Him.

22. Regarding persons’ actions, we believe in the median between free will and compulsion. This means that both humans and God have influence in any action humans perform. If a human wills and acts, God will help him/her by providing the provisions for the action. Humans are not completely independent such that their will is the complete cause for their actions with God exerting no influence; nor is the will of God the absolute cause for their actions, so that their own will has no influence in their actions, like the movement of a flag by the wind, which is compulsion.

Thus, the median between free will and compulsion denotes the interference of both the person and God in voluntary actions. In this position, there is no difference between obligatory and forbidden actions, although these two differ in other ways. God is content with a permitted action and discontent with a forbidden one. He has ordered or allowed the permitted actions and has forbidden the forbidden ones. He will reward humans for doing permitted and favorable actions and punish them for committing forbidden actions. These distinctions concern the external aspect of the voluntary actions of a person.

23. We believe in Barzakh (the period between burial and the final judgment). This period is a temporary abode of the human souls that have departed their bodies in this world. The angels who run the affairs of this intermediate world, which also has a temporary heaven and hell and temporary reward and punishment, also reside there. When they come to this intermediate world, the souls are divided into three groups:

a. Some souls will be awake and joining blissful life. These are the souls of the pure and faithful believers.

b. Other souls will be awake, yet undergoing chastisement. These are the souls of the unbelievers and infidels.

c. Other souls will be put in a state of dormancy(known as subat) until the Judgment Day. These are the souls of those who spent their lives with a mixture of uprightness and sinfulness as well as the souls of the mentally enfeebled ones.

24. We believe that on the Judgment Day, all duty-bound persons will be questioned about their beliefs and actions and will be put on trial and settled to account. God will thus impartially judge in all the intellectual and physical disputes, beginning with the issue of His Oneness to the most trivial discrepancies about property and dues.

25. We believe that, on the Judgment Day, some “Witnesses” will testify for or against some people with regard to settling account with and judging them. This means that if the disbelievers and wrongdoers deny the missions of the Prophets or deny that they conveyed the message of God to them out of fear and horror of the Resurrection, these “Witnesses,” the Prophets, or private plaintiffs, will rise and give evidence on the inaccuracy of these denials. Accordingly, the disbelievers and wrongdoers will be judged. Such testimonies will also be made to refute the baseless claims of those who deny that they have been invited to the Religion of God, deny the completion of proof against them, deny their sins, or deny their violating the others’ rights.

These “Witnesses” are God Almighty Himself, the Prophets of each nation, the Prophets’ Successors ordained by God, the angels appointed to certain jobs, the angels commissioned to record the good and evil deeds of each person, the scholars, the righteous people, those who have witnessed the deeds of the deniers, times and places of the committed sins, and finally the limbs and body parts of the deniers.

26. We believe in the weighing up of actions in the Hereafter. This means that the good and evil actions of every person, including the internal beliefs, external and physical actions, and moral and mental attributes, will be spiritually and rationally weighed up and measured and will be given reward or punishment depending on the assessment of this Scale(mizan) . In this assessment, pious and reward-deserving actions are weighed up as “heavy” and less deserving actions as “light.”

27. We believe that all good and evil deeds of a person in the worldly life, from the time he/she has the ability to distinguish right from wrong until the last moment of his/her life, are written by the assigned angels. These deeds will be compiled in a book and given to the right or left hand of the person in the Hereafter. This book contains beliefs and actions, be they big or small. The person him/herself will be familiarized with the contents of that book and will be informed of the method of the calculation of her/his deeds before the actual judgment.

28. We believe that intercession(shafa‘ah) will play a role in the final judgment of some people. In other words, when a sinner is sentenced to punishment in hell, God will allow certain individuals to intercede and ask Him on behalf of the sinner to release him/her. In this way, God may forgive the sinner. However, intercession is contingent upon God’s permission after it is requested by the “interceders” or the wrongdoers. The “interceders” are particularly the Prophets, the angels, the scholars, the martyrs, and the righteous persons.

Of course, intercession is made for minor sins, not disbelief and polytheism. The result of intercession is either complete rescue or reduction of punishment. Occasionally, there will be intercession for those who enter heaven. This means that those whose reward-deserving deeds are few and their rewards are accordingly little, thus given a low rank, will attain a higher status and given more reward by means of intercession.

29. We believe in an eternal heaven following the conclusion of the Judgment Day. This means that upon the end of the settling of accounts with the creatures on the Judgment Day, some are deserving of reward for their good deeds or by means of intercession and others are to be sentenced to chastisement on account of their invalid beliefs or wicked deeds. At such time, God will place the pious and the rescued ones in heaven(jannah or Paradise) , a place of inexplicable beauty and most pleasing splendor and glory. The promised heaven is eternal and everlasting, and it has chambers, different ranks, gardens, trees with bountiful fruits, spouses, and maids, all beyond imagination. One who enters this environment will never have to exit it. Aging, tiring, sickness, anxiety, sadness, harmful creatures, and any kind of evil, harm, or calamity are nonexistent there. Heaven has already been created.

30. We believe in an eternal hell upon the conclusion of the Judgment Day. This means that those sentenced to punishment and chastisement in the tribunal of the Judgment Day will be confined to hell, a place full of fire, with various kinds of castigations beyond imagination. Hell is the place of the disbelievers and the ideologically and principally corrupt; it is eternal and everlasting, and those entering it can never leave Although Hell is temporary for those of minor sins.

Note

1. - Sahabah, an Arabic word meaning companions, is a term exclusively said to the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) and, terminologically, all those who saw, heard, or witnessed him (s), regardless of their age. However, various opinions have been expressed in this regard. For more information, see Ahmad Husayn Ya‘qub: The Conception of the Sahabah’s Ultimate Decency; translated by Badr Shahin, Ansariyan Publications - Qum, 1999.

Part 2 Chapter 1: Learning Religious Knowledge

31. It is obligatory upon every sane, mature person to learn the practical laws of Islam and the subsidiary obligations and prohibitions after confessing faith to the religion’s fundamentals and acquiring wholehearted belief in its primary principles.

32. One who has faith in the religion’s fundamentals will naturally find the complete conviction(yaqin) that is the realm of faith. He/she is then responsible for carrying out certain practical obligations and refraining from all prohibitions. These laws are called “Mandatory Subsidiaries of the Religion” or “The Somatic Program.”

33. Once a duty-bound person learns these laws and understands that God wants us to comply with them, she/he will be no longer excused to act contrarily and it will be obligatory upon him/her to exert all possible efforts in learning the laws and acting accordingly. Otherwise, he/she will be held responsible in the Hereafter and may be punished for violating them.

34. Based on the above law, it is obligatory upon every duty-bound person to be educated in religious knowledge and laws concerning all fields of life. This means that one must try one’s best to deduce all laws from the Book(i.e. Holy Qur’an) and Sunnah (words, deeds, and confirmations of the Holy Prophet and Imams). These laws must be then kept in mind or in a book in order to refer to them whenever necessary and to teach them to others. This process is known as ijtihad in the terminology of Muslim jurisprudence(fiqh) . Since this time-consuming process is conditional upon many special qualifications and is extremely exhausting, it is not practically attainable except by a few.

35. One unable to go this route must follow a religious authority. This means that one must refer to a well-qualified religious jurist(mujtahid) who has gone the mentioned way and become an expert in deducing religious laws from their sources. Thus, a duty-bound person has the option to either become a religious jurist or follow a religious jurist, which are two independent ways of attaining the laws of religion. It is up to him/her to choose between the two options.

36. It is said that if a duty-bound person is not a religious jurist and does not want to follow one, it is her/his obligation to choose a third way for attaining the religious laws, which is to observe precaution(ihtiyat) in action. This means that if he/she does not know the ruling of an action but thinks that it may be obligatory, she/he must act upon it, and if he/she thinks it could be forbidden, she/he must abstain from it. However, finding the method of precaution in issues needs dexterity and familiarity with Muslim jurisprudence; thus, the only way to reach a conclusion concerning religious laws is limited to either becoming a religious jurist or following one highly experienced in this field.

37. A duty-bound person may not know the rulings related to a certain case, whether that case is in language or actions, worship or business, etc. Therefore, before acting, she/he must refer to a religious jurist and identify his/her religious duty, for if she/he acts without referring to a jurist, he/she may refrain from an act while it is obligatory to do or perform an act while it is forbidden to do, thus committing a sin.

38. If in a single period there is more than one well-qualified religious jurist, it is obligatory upon one who wants to follow one of them to investigate about all of them. If all of them are equal or close in knowledge, he/she may refer to any one she/he wants. If they vary in the degree of knowledge, he/she must then refer to the most knowledgeable.

39. It is an obligation for a follower of an unqualified jurist to refer to a qualified one, whether she/he intentionally followed the unqualified jurist or by mistake, whether the jurist was unqualified to begin with or later became unqualified. This is the case even if someone later becomes preferable over the first jurist.

40. In case a jurist dies, it is obligatory upon the jurist’s followers to refer to a living jurist in all affairs. This is the case if the living jurist is more knowledgeable than the deceased one. One may remain a follower of a deceased jurist if the jurist is more knowledgeable than the living one or if both are equal in knowledge. One may remain a follower of the earlier jurist or can refer to the living one, or may follow the earlier in some issues and the second in others.

41. It is collectively obligatory(wajib kifa'i: i.e. if enough people carry it out others will be released from responsibility, but if everyone refrains from carrying it out they will all be liable) upon an intellectually inclined, financially able group from each region to join academies of religious studies in order to study and become learned in the fundamental and subordinate laws of religion, in order to fulfill their own religious duty, educate others, and guide and warn the people.

42. It is collectively obligatory upon people to establish religious assemblies and seminaries by appointing a group to perform this mission and to attain the following three goals:

a. The first goal is to lead the ignorant people to decency; i.e. religion, its fundamental and secondary principles, virtues, sciences, and learning, which are means of spiritual perfection and motives of material welfare.

b. The second goal is to enjoin to the right and invite people to perform righteous deeds.

c. The third goal is to discourage from wrong and keep them from indecent actions.

This is a collective obligation addressed to all Muslims or all duty-bound persons. By a group, we mean those who work in religious centers and other fields of knowledge. It is in fact collectively obligatory upon an assembly of Muslims to choose some persons to study in seminaries and provide for their expenses from their own property. However, since every community naturally needs an authoritative leader, this leader will be automatically responsible for choosing such persons, at least because the leader has the right to allocate public property to various uses.

43. To guide ignorant individuals to the right is mandatory in the sense that it is obligatory to direct people towards the truth and teach them the religious laws - be they principles of belief, action, or introductions to these principles - to the extent possible. The fulfillment of this obligation is the most important reason for establishing seminaries(i.e. hawzah) .

44. It is obligatory to examine the validity of any news reported by a corrupt person, be it information about a religious law, such as recounting a command, a saying of an infallible, a ruling from a religious jurist, or information about other issues, such as relating a dead person’s will. This obligation is conditional upon investigation and certainty; otherwise, the news cannot be considered substantial evidence or proof.

45. Just as learning religious rulings is an obligation, so is it obligatory to learn the details of these rulings. It is thus obligatory to learn the parts, conditions, and impediments of devotional acts deemed obligatory by religious law, such as prayer(salat) , fasting(sawm) , poor-rate(zakat) , pilgrimage(hajj) , atonements(kaffarah) , and so on.

The parts of prayer, for example, includetakbirat al-ihram (i.e. to say allahu-akbar as the exordial statement of prayer),ruku’ (bowing down),sujud (prostrating), and other acts. Its conditions include purity of body and dress, minor ablution(wudhu’) , facing the qiblah direction, and other things. The nullifying matters of ritual prayers include talking (during the prayer), eating, and so on.

Similarly, the parts of ritualhajj (pilgrimage to the Holy House in Mecca) areihram (i.e. entering into a state of consecration by putting the uniform ofhajj and refraining from doing certain things),wuquf (halting on Mount‘Arafat on certain days),tawaf (circumambulating the Holy Ka’bah),sa’y (traveling fast seven times between the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwah), and other matters. Likewise, the validity of one’shajj is conditional upon certain matters.

It is also obligatory to learn the non-devotional laws of religion, such as the amount of kurr, less-than-kurr water, mines, spoils of war, legal distances (as they apply to prayers in journeys), shortened-form prayers, complete-form prayers, residence, homeland, materials on whichtayammum (dry ablution) must be done, and the like. Each of these titles has its own details, laws, and rulings.

46. It is obligatory upon every duty-bound person to learn the obligations and prohibitions regarding the issues one encounters in one’s daily life, including personal, family, social, devotional, and business affairs. Just as it is obligatory to learn the laws pertaining to the beliefs and principles of the religion, so also is it obligatory to learn the secondary issues of the religion. The difference is that learning the fundamentals of the religion is purely rational obligation, while learning the secondary issues is religious obligation.

47. Innovating heretical doctrines in the religion is forbidden. This includes ascribing to religion a deed, which is not part of religion or cannot be proven so, or teaching it to others under the claim that it is part of religion, be such a deed in the field of belief, devotional acts, or any other field. Examples of heresy include believing that a certain tree or a certain place is sacred (without religious proof), cooking a stew on a certain day in a certain place in the name of a certain person, observing a continuous fast, or abstaining from talking as part of devotional acts.

48. It is forbidden(haram) for both jurists and ordinary persons to issue a religious verdict or explain a divine law without having full knowledge of it, or give a wrong answer to a religious question.

49. It is forbidden for religious scholars to conceal their knowledge, be it in the field of theology, jurisprudence, mysticism, ethics, exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, or traditions of the Holy Prophet. In other words, it is obligatory upon all experts in any of the fields of religious knowledge to state their views and express their knowledge by means of speech or writing on condition that there is no fear of expressing such views, the community is in need for them, or there is no one else to replace them. Thus, if such information or knowledge cannot be obtained from any other person, it is then an individual obligation upon the expert to declare it. However, this obligation will be collective if there is more than one expert.

50. If people are in urgent need for specialists in a field of knowledge, such as medicine, engineering, or any other field, it is then impermissible for the specialists to conceal their expertise. However, it is collectively obligatory upon such specialists to practice their skills as much as the public needs them. Also in accordance to the need of the public, it is collectively obligatory upon the people to practice jobs that require less specialty, such as grocery, bakery, farming, agriculture, trade, and the like.

In Muslim countries, fulfilling urgent public needs may be either a collective obligation or it may change into individual obligation when refraining from it will cause disorder in the social system, regardless of the nature of the job.

However, this does not mean that they are required to work for free; rather, the occupation itself is an obligation, whether they are paid or not.