Day Questions

My question is regarding the status of Ayesha bint Abi Bakr. I recently had a heated argument whereby this person who is also a Shia claimed that Shias must address Ayesha bint Abi Bakr as Umm Al Mumineen as it was addressed by Allah in the Quran. Should Shias call her Umm Al Mumineen?

Holy Quran called the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him and holy progeny) as the mothers of believers. There is no doubt that this name applies to them, but there is no obligation to mention it every time the name of a wife is mentioned and this does not mean that they are excluded from committing sins. Everyone Allah Almighty creates is subject to the general divine rule that everyone bears the responsibilities of their actions, as Almighty Allah said: "And whoso doeth good an atoms weight will see it then, And whoso doeth ill an atoms weight will see it then." (99:7-8).

If I go to a mosque or a shrine of an Imam and find a scholar whom I do not know leading prayers in front of a very large group of people, none of whom I know, is it permissible for me to pray with them in congregation? Or is it necessary for me to first get to know the scholar, spend time with him and so on to ascertain that he is adil?

The Adaleh of the imam must be considered before one offers congregational prayer. It can be determined by knowledge and certainty that originates from dealing with him or from other ways of reaching such knowledge, testimony of two Adil witnesses and by good apparent behavior. Having a big crowd that offer the prayer behind a person is not sufficient.

I am ignorant of the concept of Janabah, and did not know that Ghusl was binding if it happened. During the holy month of Ramadan I kept my fast without doing Ghusl of Janabah. A few months later I came to know about Ghusl and performed it. What should I do in regards to the previous fasts?

There is no Kaffara for breaking the fast in the said case. One should make up the fast before the next Ramadan. If he does not make them up before the next Ramadan, an amount of 900 grams of dates, wheat, floor, rice, lentils and the like for every day must be given to the needy people as Fidya.

I am becoming more interested in our religion and wish to read more on it, not having much knowledge. What books do you suggest for me?

There are lots of religious book that include religious teachings like Nahjul-Balaghah. Similarly books of narrations are also available like Al-Kafi, which consist of collections of narrations from the Infallibles. We advise you to read what relates to the general aspects of the religious knowledge like ethics, biography of the Prophet and the Imams and the narrations on the superiority of the Ahlul-Bait (peace be upon them) and their high rank. The details of the practical religious laws as explained by the jurists – as they are the experts in this field – are available. You are advised to refer to the treaties of the practical Islamic laws of the jurist that you emulate in order to know the specific rulings.