29 Questions  
     
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29 Questions to the Eminent Leader
about cultural, art relating and social problems

(Source: IRI Embassy in Japan)

bullet- Watching Muslimah actors without hijab
bullet- Professional Female photographers in mixed settings
bullet- Using Video players when it leads to vice
bullet- Film production and Islamic Shar'ia
bullet- The permissibility of playing someone's wife in a film
bullet- The permissibility of hair showing beneath one's head covering
bullet- Wearing colorful clothes
bullet- Wearing clothing with pictures of symbols
bullet- Wearing makeup in front of ghairul-mahram
bullet- Wearing ties and bow ties
bullet- Dealing with people who persist in imitating Western dress and habits
bullet- Wearing thin, shape revealing socks
bullet- Propagating fashion and fashion-consciousness
bullet- Shaving the beard
bullet- The minimum length of a beard
bullet- Clapping at public occassions
bullet- Listening to foreign broadcasts and sharing that news with others
bullet- Showing films in the mosque
bullet- Performing plays in the "shabestan"
bullet- Types of forbidden music
bullet- Teaching music to the youth
bullet- A clarification of the above question with regard to the opinions of certain "experts"
bullet- Listening to the music on Iranian TV and radio:
bullet- Listening to the music on Iranian broadcasting:
bullet- Listening music on Iranian broadcasts felt to belong to the people of corruption
bullet- Listening to music from the time of the Shah
bullet- Playing rhythmic music at a segregated wedding
bullet- Permissibility of women riding bicycles and motor bikes
bullet- Women participating in religious processions

 

- Watching Muslimah actors without hijab

Q: On occasion, IRIB (Iranian broadcasting) shows various films from other Islamic countries in which the women featured do not wear hejab and appear like the Christians and Jews. However, we are certain that they are Muslimah (female Muslims). With respect to our certainty of them being Muslimah, what is the ruling on watching such films?

A: The opinion with regard to looking at ghairul-mahram women in film or still photos is not based on their being foreign (or non-foreign). If a person watches these programs without the intention of lust, and if it does not result in corruption for that individual, there is no prohibition.

- Professional Female photographers in mixed settings

Q: Occasionally, due to carelessness, during the filming and photography of weddings, the rules regarding mahram and ghairul-mahram are not observed. What is the ruling if a professional female photographer works in this environment?

A: Complete observance of Islamic dress and behavior is necessary in any place or occasion. If the photographing of women (in a segregated setting) or in mixed audience is a prelude to propagating sin, and results in corruption, it is not permissible.

- Using Video players when it leads to vice

Q: Lately, it has become commonplace to watch films on video of various topics. Unfortunately, this has afflicted religious families too. This has lead in time to the corruption of our youth, and the hollowing of our Islamic society from the inside out. Your blessed opinion is requested regarding the following: What is the opinion on purchasing, selling and renting this device to families who have no control over how this device is used?

A: The production and sale and use of films containing illicit material and which corrupts the morals is forbidden.

- Film production and Islamic Shar'ia

Q: If a director or actress [in Iran] does not observe complete hejab--or ignores it completely--from a religious (shar'i) standpoint, what is the ruling?

A: Any film in which religious criteria are disregarded in its production, or which results in corruption and vice is problematic. Thus, the production, presentation, and viewing of such a film is not permissible.

- The permissibility of playing someone's wife in a film

Q: What is the ruling on an actress playing someone's wife?

A: As long as complete Islamic hejab is observed, it is not a problem, granted it does not lead to vice.

- The permissibility of hair showing beneath one's head covering

Q: What is the status of letting hair fall out from underneath one's chador or maghna'eh when in view of ghairul-mahram?

A: It is not permissible. It is obligatory to cover all the hair in front of ghairul-mahram.

- Wearing colorful clothes

Q: What is the status regarding women wearing lively, eye-catching colors in public?

A: What ever type of dress which covers a women's body and the curves and forms in front of ghairul-mahram is sufficient. However, one should show restraint in choosing colors and designs which stand out or attract attention.

- Wearing clothing with pictures of symbols

Q: What is your opinion on wearing clothing with pictures or symbols related to Western countries on them?

A: It is problematic to wear such clothing from those Western countries which promote the cultural aggression against Muslims.

- Wearing makeup in front of ghairul-mahram

Q: What is the situation regarding women wearing makeup be it while outside the house (e.g.. for shopping or social activities), working, or studying (e.g.. attending college classes)?

A: Wearing makeup itself is not problematic. However, it is obligatory that in front of ghairul-mahram it not be worn.

- Wearing ties and bow ties

Q: Occasionally, the wearing of ties and bow ties is noted while attending a wedding, or, simply while walking down the street. What is the religious (shar'i) ruling on wearing such accouterments?

A: It is not permissible to wear such items on the basis that it is an imitation of and propagation for the cultural assault against Muslims.

- Dealing with people who persist in imitating Western dress and habits

Q: With regard to the never-ending cultural aggression of the West, and the propagation of certain undesirable behaviors and customs, it seems that some men have begun to wear earrings and gold crucifixes on their necks. Some women wear brightly colored manteau (overcoats). Some men and women wear wrist bands, or smoked-lens sunglasses, or pearl-diver style watches (large, ostentatious watches with many dials) which attract attention and are unacceptable according to the opinion of the religious people ('oref). Sometimes, despite our attempt to perform amr-e b'il ma'ruf (encouraging the good) and nahy an al-munkar (dissuading from the ugly and bad), they persist. We request your advice on how to deal with such people.

A: It is absolutely forbidden (haram al-muttlaq) for men to wear gold. It is not permissible to wear clothing which in color, style, or cut imitates or propagates the cultural assault of the enemies of Islam and the Muslims. One's duty in this regard is to perform nahy an al-munkar by speech. If this is not successful, one should contact the proper security and judicial officials and give a report on the matter.

- Wearing thin, shape revealing socks

Q: What is the status of women wearing thin, shape-revealing socks in the view of ghairul-mahram?

A: It is obligatory for women to cover their body in front of ghairul-mahram. Wearing thin socks is insufficient for proper hejab.

- Propagating fashion and fashion-consciousness

Q: What is the ruling regarding the propagation of fashion and fashion-consciousness and wearing clothing with Western insignia and labels? We pray to Allah to extend the life of our paramount leader.

A: If it is done to propagate the empty culture of the foreigners, it is not permissible.

- Shaving the beard

Q: What is the ruling on shaving the beard completely off with a razor or electric shaver?

A: Out of obligatory precaution, it should be avoided.

- The minimum length of a beard

Q: What is the ruling on the shaving of the beard with a razor or similar device? In general, to what length may a beard be trimmed?

A: It is forbidden to shave off the beard with any device. It is permissible to trim it to the length that it is still considered a beard.

- Clapping at public occassions

Q: Please give us your opinion regarding expressing joy and clapping during the celebration of the birth of the Ahl al-bayt (AS).

A: Clapping, per se, is not problematic on joyful occassions. However, on religious occassions such as the births or days of condolence of the Ahl al-bayt (AS), it is more appropriate to send salutations (salawaat) to them so as to perfume the atmosphere of the gathering.

- Listening to foreign broadcasts and sharing that news with others

Q: What is the ruling on listening to , conveying the message of, and inviting others to listen to foreign news broadcasts?

A: Firstly, their are various personalities, issues, and broadcasters to consider. In any case, whatever 1) propagates lies or doubts, 2) leads to a disturbance of the public's presence of mind, or 3) lessens the trust in the Islamic government and the responsible authorities is not permissible to listen to (or to propagate).

- Showing films in the mosque

Q: Is it, or is it not, permissible to show a film in the mosque?

A: It depends on the film, but in general, it is better to refrain from this in the mosque.

- Performing plays in the "shabestan"

Q: What is the ruling on performing plays in the shabestan (place of night prayers or sleep, beneath the mosque)?

A: It is not proper to convert the shabestan into a playhouse.

- Types of forbidden music

Q: What type of music is forbidden?

A: Music performed exclusively in debaucherous (lahw) circles is forbidden.

- Teaching music to the youth

Q: What is the ruling on teaching various musical instruments to children at or near the age of puberty?

A: The matter of teaching music relates the basic ruling on music. In a general sense, the teaching of music is not compatible with the goals of an Islamic order. To teach music during the most suitable ages for learning is not devoid of corruption and sedition (mofsedeh).

Some later fatwas about musical education

- A clarification of the above question with regard to the opinions of certain "experts"

Q: With regard to the teaching of music, I note respectfully that, replying to the above question, you stated in writing that the teaching and propagation of music is inconsistent with the goals of the blessed order of the Islamic Republic. Is the above ruling one of guidance, or an official governmental ruling? It is worth noting that some responsible parties recommend the teaching of music, especially for the youth. My humble question is: What is the concensus opinion between yourself and those who favor the teaching of music to the youth?

A: The teaching and playing of music to and by the youth causes them to deviate and results in corruption, and thus, is not permissible. In general, the propagation of music in not compatible with the goals of the Islamic order. It is not permissible for people to use their own preferences and inclinations in the name of culture and the art of teaching and training the youth.

- Listening to the music on Iranian TV and radio:

Q: What is the situation regarding the playing of music on IRIB TV and radio? Without a doubt, may we listen to it?

A: It is not a problem if it is not exclusively the music of the people of debauchery. And the determination of the above criteria rests with the individual listener. In any event, simply because music is broadcast does not give reason to it being acceptable.

- Listening to the music on Iranian broadcasting:

Q: Is the music broadcast from IRIB 100% permissible or does it depend on the individual?

A: A single broadcast is not proof of a particular song being religiously acceptable (shar'i). If , in the opinion of the listener (mokallef) the music belongs exclusively to the people of debauchery, luxury and drunkeness, then it is not permissible (for him).

- Listening music on Iranian broadcasts felt to belong to the people of corruption

Q: Given that IRIB broadcasts a song which is of the same or similar genre or the very same music considered to be corrupt, is it permissible or not to listen to it?

A: If, in the opinion of the listener, it belongs to the people of debauchery and sin, it is not permissible.

- Listening to music from the time of the Shah

Q: What is the shar'i ruling on listening to music with frivolous, worthless, irrelevant lyrics from the former regime of the sinister, unjust Shah--even thought at its essence and at its heart, it is really "traditional" Iranian music by today's standards?

A: If it is debaucherous (lahw) music, or it is corrupting, it must be avoided. It is of no matter if the music is "traditional" or not.

- Playing rhythmic music at a segregated wedding

Q: What is the ruling on playing rhythmic (motreb) music at a wedding celebration where both the men and women are separated, with separate celebrations?

A: Granted that it is rhythmic (motreb), it is not permissible.

- Permissibility of women riding bicycles and motor bikes

Q: Is it permissible for women, despite their need for proper covering, to ride bicycles and motor bikes? If so, please list the conditions.

A: A women must avoid circumstances and actions which require her to be self-conscious of her appearance in front of ghairul-mahram. Riding a bicycle or motor bike in a public place, by a pedestrian walkway, or in view of others leads to corruption (in light of fulfilling the above mentioned criteria), and thus, is not permissible.

- Women participating in religious processions

Q: If a woman, or group of women, take off their regular outer-coverings, but wear special clothing where the form of their body is not revealed, and their modesty is preserved, may they take part in the flagellation (zangeer-zani) and chest-tapping (seeneh-zani) [of Muharram]?

A: It is not befitting for ladies to organize such a procession.

 

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