Imam Sadiq (AS) is the sixth Shiite Imam after his father Imam Baqir (AS). The Shiite school is mostly famous as “Jafari School” because Imam Sadiq (AS) played the most important role among the other Imams in explaining and spreading the Shiite teachings. Most of the Shiite hadiths are narrated from Imam Sadiq (AS).
Some Islamic teachings and practices are considered as the outer aspect of Islam, like praying, Hajj, Zakkat and stuff like that. These are the practices which any Muslim should do and respect but all of them have a deeper meaning and a concealed message that people mostly do not get. Sometimes people get so much used to do these practices and conduct ceremonies that they forget about the original meaning of them.
The holy Prophet (PBUH & HP) says:
O Aba-Zar! (One of the companions of the Prophet) Allah almighty doesn’t care about your faces or your wealth, but he cares about your hearts and your actions (1)
When you pray or pay your Zakkat, it must change you and teach you that praying is for getting closer to Allah and Zakkat is for helping the needy.
In this regard the holy Quran says:
Did you see him who denies the Religion? That is the one, who drives away the orphan, and does not urge the feeding of the needy. Woe to those who pray but are heedless of their prayers —who show off but deny aid. (The Holy Quran 107:1-7)
Imam Sadiq (AS) in different prayers says that if you pray but still feel pride and vanity, it will be useless for you because the Satan himself prayed for Allah for 6000 years but due to his vanity and jealousy, he couldn’t stand the greatness of Adam and tried to deceive him and Allah cursed the Satan.
Once Mufazzal ibn Umar (One of the brilliant pupils of the Imam) was sitting in the Mosque of the Prophet (PBUH & HP) in Medina. Then he saw Ibn Abi al-Ouja (one of the Atheist Philosophers) who was insulting the Prophet in the mosque and telling lies to the people saying that there is no god.
Mufazzal says that this made him so angry and he couldn’t control himself so he shouted: “O enemy of Allah! Have you become atheist and denied the God who created you?”
Ibn Abi al-Ouja replied: “If you are one of the religious scholars, I will have debate with you and if you are not, our discussion will be in vain. But if you are one of the companions of Jafar ibn Muhammad (Imam Sadiq) you must know that he wouldn’t talk to us like that and he wouldn’t have discussion with us in this way. He has heard so many more disgraceful words from us but he never has insulted us. He is so knowledgeable, patient and wise and he wouldn’t lose his control out of anger, ignorance or animosity. He always listens to us.” (2)
Imam Sadiq (AS) is famous for his numerous debates with the Sunnis, Atheists, Jews, Christians and so forth, but he would never insult them. He always would order his followers to be kind with the people.
For example about the Sunnis Imam Sadiq (AS) says:
Participate in their funerals and visit them when they are sick, and give them their rights because if a person among you is pious, honest, trustable and good-tempered, people would say “this is a follower of Jafar” and this makes me happy! (3)
Once Imam Sadiq (AS) asked one of his pupils who had gone to Basrah (a city in Iraq):
“How was the enthusiasm of the people for our message and converting to Shia?” Imam Sadiq (AS) asked.
He said: “The ones who want to listen to our message are so few. Some of them did but they are few”
Imam Sadiq (AS) said: “You must talk to the young ones, because they are more eager for finding everything good.” (4)
Imam Sadiq (AS) also says:
“Teach hadiths to your young children from their childhood before the time that others beat you in training them” (5)
Young Shias must set Imam Sadiq (AS) as a pattern for themselves and follow him. They should learn more and more so that the different people who have gone astray can’t deceive them.
- Al-Amali, Sheikh Toosi, Pg.536
- Tohid al-Mufazzal
- Kafi, Koleini, vol.2, pg.636
- Vasail ash-Shia, vol.11, pg.448
- Kafi, Koleini, vol.6, pg.47
When Western people travel to eastern Islamic countries, they often prefer to eat the folk and favorite local food of the region. But what is it that makes western Muslims starve for a KFC classic chicken–on–the–bone bucket meal, or a McDonalds’ double burger if they don’t eat meat?! Muslims are Muslims, not vegetarians and eating meat in Islam is allowed, But like the followers of other religions who have specific slaughtering rituals, Muslims also have explicit rulings for slaughtering particular animals to make it lawful (Halal).
As it is defined in the Quran, believers are welcomed to enjoy all of the blessings of this world . Therefore, about eating meat, Allah does not mention what to eat, but He excludes what is not lawful to eat and maybe physically or spiritually harmful to the human's body and soul. "You are permitted animals of grazing livestock, except what is [now] announced to you…" (5:1) and what is recited as prohibited is mentioned in the Quran as below:
You have prohibited carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and what has been offered to other than Allah, and the animal strangled or beaten to death, and that which dies by falling or is gored to death, and that which is mangled by a beast of prey— barring that which you may purify —and what is sacrificed on stone altars [to idols], and that you should divide by raffling with arrows...(5:3).
Other than the mentioned meats all other kinds of meat are Halal as described in the Quran: Say, ‘I do not find in what has been revealed to me that anyone is forbidden to eat anything except carrion or spilled blood, or the flesh of swine—for that is indeed unclean—or an impiety offered to other than Allah.’ But should someone be compelled, without being rebellious or aggressive, indeed your Lord is all-forgiving, all-merciful’ (6:145).
Please note that all kinds of lawful (Halal) meat must be slaughtered according to Islamic rulings: “Do not eat [anything] of that over which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned, and that is indeed transgression…” (6:121).
Even the above mentioned prohibited meats are lawful (Halal) while you are living in a problematic situation and following the rules of Islam will put you in extreme difficulty. Please note that difficulty does not mean that you do not have ready food at home and therefore you may eat forbidden (Haram) meat. A difficulty, as written in Islamic jurisprudence, is when one’s life is at risk, and there is no other food available but forbidden (Haram) meat.
A Detailed Description of Lawful (Halal ) and Forbidden (Haram ) meats
To be more precise on which meat is lawful, let’s have a review of the Islamic jurisprudence.
Fish that have scales are the only type of Halal sea creatures. Other sea creatures and fish are Haram .
Among all domestic land creatures; sheep, cow, and camel are Halal, but eating the meat of horse and donkey is detestable (Makruh). The rest of domestic land creatures such as dogs, cats, etc. are forbidden (Haram).
Deer, cow, zebra, mountain goat, and wild donkey are all Halal. However, eating the meat of wild predatory animals that are predatory in essence, have strong and sharp nails, claws, and fangs such as, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wolves, or animals with less sharp fangs such as foxes and hyenas as well as rabbits, while not part of the predatory category, are considered Haram.
Also, insects and reptiles, such as snakes, mice, lizards, hedgehogs, fleas, lice, etc., are all Haram. Animals who have undergone metamorphosis (maskh) [i] such as, elephants, monkeys, bears, etc. are Haram as well .
Birds that flap their wings more than they glide while flying are Halal, but birds that glide and spread their wings more while flying in the air instead of flapping their wings are Haram. Also, birds with gizzards and spurs at the back of their feet are Halal [ii] .
All insects are Haram [iii] .
It is permissible to eat Halal meat cooked or uncooked or even burned (as long as it has no harm to human health) .
Please note that the rules of slaughtering and eating hunted meat are slightly different from all the rulings mentioned above, and we will discuss that in a separate article.
"For every nation, We have appointed a rite so that they might mention Allah’s Name over the livestock He has provided them" (22:34).
Although Jews have their specific rules of slaughtering that have many similarities to the Islamic rulings, as there are minor differences in the slaughtering of Jews and Muslims, therefore kosher meat is not lawful (Halal) for Muslims .
[i] In Arabic, Maskh means for something to change form to an uglier one. In the Quran and Islamic tradition, this term refers to a specific divine punishment that was sent upon the wrongdoers and wrongdoing nations in the past (of course not all wrongdoers, but those who committed certain wrong acts) which can be called metamorphosis .
[ii] Birds with sharp claws such as eagles, hawks, falcons, etc. are Haram.
[iii] If a locust is caught by hand or any other means, it is lawful (Halal) (after dying) .
- “Say, who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which he has produced for his servants and the good (lawful) things of provision?”(7:32)
- Imam Khomeini, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 2, pg. 137, the book of foods and drinks, issue 2; al-Mukhtasar al-Nafi’, pg. 251; Sharayi’ al-Islam, pg. 169.
- food in Islam
- Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 603.
- Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 593, issue 2622.
- Imam Khomeini, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 2, pg. 162
- Halal food
- halal food in Islam
Coronavirus is a tiny little virus whose power is not comparable to its size. Today, many countries around the world are dealing with this newly emerged virus, gradually finding out ways to fight it back. But as the statistics show, this virus is considerably less fatal than its ancestors, including SARS or MERS, with the death rate of 3.8% . The only thing that worries people is its high-speed contingency and how fast it can transmit from one person to the other. In this global crisis, we, as Muslims, should ask ourselves what our responsibility in this situation is. What does Islam want us to do? Shall we sit and watch and let this molecular size thing defeat us and ruin our society? Of course not. As always, Islam advises us to be patient, take actions, and to find the lesson that is embodied in every hardship. As the Quran says, “Indeed ease accompanies hardship” (94:5). The ease that rests at the heart of hardship is only achieved after we realized this lesson, in this case, strengthening the social ties and reaching out to the essence of humanity.
In what follows, we will have a look at some of our most significant social responsibilities in dealing with any crisis, specifically speaking that of Coronavirus.
Personal hygiene is one of the cornerstones against catching diseases, and as many experts have so far emphasized, it is the most basic protective measure against Coronavirus. Islam is one of the greatest adherents of personal hygiene and continually advises Muslims to follow specific hygienic manners in their lifestyle. Performing Ablution (Wudhu) before each prayer (Salat) or performing ritual bath (Ghusl) are only two examples of the Islamic rules concerning hygiene. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) not only observed his own hygiene and tried to appear neat and tidy in the society, but also advised all Muslims to do the same. He said in a narration, “Cleanliness is a part of faithfulness” .
Now, how does personal hygiene affect our society and the people around us? Well, when you care about your hygiene, the risk of getting any diseases lowers significantly, and even if you become sick, you won’t transmit it to another person. Therefore, we can say that observing personal hygiene is more than an individual precaution, rather an essential social responsibility, especially at the time of epidemics.
So washing hands regularly, maintaining at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, using masks if you are sick, avoiding handshakes, etc. are some of the most emphasized precautions against this disease .
Another social responsibility that protects us against any disease is keeping our surroundings clean. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said in a hadith, “Allah is pure and loves purity (cleanliness)” .
Therefore, avoid throwing out garbage on the streets, especially the used masks and disposable gloves, since they might be the source of Coronavirus and infect other passersby. Also, disinfect your workplace before starting your job with whatever cleaning products you have to protect yourself and others against this virus.
According to recent studies, people over 60 years and the ones who already have a chronic condition such as diabetics, cardiovascular problems, cancer, or respiratory diseases are at the highest risk in suffering from Coronavirus, and it might affect them fatally.
Respecting and helping the elderly are constantly emphasized in the Islamic tradition. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said, “Respecting the elderly equals to respecting me” . It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (AS) that, “A person who doesn’t respect the elderly is not one of us”  and Imam Sajjad (AS) enumerated many rights for the elderly [i]. Respecting the elderly includes many things, such as speaking respectfully, putting them first, especially in critical situations, and helping them to satisfy their needs.
In these difficult days, this is any righteous human being’s responsibility to help out the ones who cannot protect themselves easily. If we have an elderly parent, we should attend to them more than before. We might have elderly neighbors who cannot go out anymore for fear of getting the disease. We can do the shopping for them, buy whatever they need, or check up on them regularly.
The other group, which is highly at risk of getting the Coronavirus is the underprivileged and the ones who don’t have a shelter. This is because they are deprived of the means of protecting themselves against this virus.
As the holy Quran puts, one of the ways of attaining piety is through helping others and giving away (3:92). Also, it is narrated by Imam Ali (AS), “The faithful who help the destitute in the hardships and misfortunes of their life are loved most by Allah” . These and many other hadiths and verses of the Quran, urge Muslims to consider the needy and help them in any way they can.
It is our duty to consider the wellbeing of these people, as well. They might not have enough money to buy antiseptics, or any other hygienic products or may not be able to observe their hygiene properly. We can donate them some of this stuff or take them to some safe places that would shield them against this viral disease.
In Islam, workers have many rights that have to be observed by their employers. One of these rights, according to Imam Sajjad (AS), is to support and guard them against harms .
Therefore, if you are an employer, it is your responsibility to consider the wellbeing of your workers. This could range from disinfecting the workplace regularly, providing the necessary hygienic products, or even sending them home if possible. But this might end up in a financial crisis for the workers as well. So try to consider a part of or whole salary for your workers for this period of obligatory recess.
“Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed hearing, eyesight, and the heart—all of these are accountable.” Quran (17:36)
The message is clear! Do not say or repeat what you are not a hundred percent sure of. From the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, we are faced with considerable media bombarding, especially in social networks, many of which are only speculations or pure lies. The result of spreading this false news is the rise of public anxiety and stress levels, making them more prone to the disease.
You should know that Coronavirus is a newly emerged virus, and the data about its source, symptoms, medications, etc. are not complete and authentic yet. It takes much time for the experts in this field to gather reliable information. Therefore, we should only trust authoritative sources such as the World Health Organization website or other official news agencies and medical experts.
The demand for some essential products may rise considerably when facing epidemics, in this case, Coronavirus. For instance, everyone needs masks, detergents, disposable gloves, etc.
In this situation, some profiteers might go for hoarding these essential products to make them more expensive. Or some ordinary people might buy them excessively to store for themselves. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) condemns the act of hoarding severely and considers the one who practices hoarding an infidel . In another narration, he believes that the hoarder is doomed to poverty and leprosy .
The times of hardships are when we should be more careful about our fellow human beings. Therefore, we should be satisfied with our share of these products and let other people have their own share as well.
Due to its similar symptoms to the common cold, many people would panic when they feel a sore throat, have a runny nose or sneeze, and they rush toward the nearest hospital. And in many cases, their test results are negative.
According to the WHO website, you should, “Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. If you develop fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition” .
Lining up in the hospitals keeps the doctors from attending the ones who have more critical conditions. Moreover, it heightens the risk of getting infected. Therefore, we should avoid going to hospitals unless we have the symptoms mentioned above.
“Behold! Allah’s help is indeed near” Quran (2:214)
At the end of the day, and after considering all these precautions, we should put our trust in Allah and hope in the good fate He had destined us. When we feel our belief in Allah with all our hearts, we would feel less stressed and more positive. This will not only help us to overcome the anxiety surrounding this disease, but also give us the strength to spread this positive attitude in our society. Remember that you should never lose hope in Allah [ii].
[i] “The right of him who is older than you (kabir) is that you show reverence toward him because of his age, and you honor him because he entered Islam before you. You leave off confronting him in a dispute, you do not precede him in a path, you do not go ahead of him, and you do not consider him foolish. If he should act foolishly toward you, you put up with him, and you honor him because of the right of Islam and the respect due to it.” 
[ii] “… Do not despair of the mercy of Allah” Quran (39:53)
- Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- covid 19
- Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol.21, p.257.
- Advice for public
- Muhammadi Reyshahri, Mizan al-Hikmah (Scale of Wisdom), hadith no.9927.
- Muhammadi Reyshahri, Mizan al-Hikmah (Scale of Wisdom), vol.2, p.106, hadith no.10084.
- Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin, Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq), The Right of the one Older than you.
- Ibn Shu’bah, Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.376.
- Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin, Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq), the right of the one who works for you.
- Nahj al-Fasaha, p.293, hadith no. 690.
- Nahj al-Fasaha, p.278.
- Ibn Majah, Sunan ibn Majah, vol.2, p.728.