Question 33 : Do the Shia Consider the Prayer of 'witr' Midnight Prayer As Being Obligatory?

Furthermore, in the territories where each of the mentioned sects are a majority, the local regulations are all in the limits of the councils authorities and is in accordance to that particular sect, at the same time, the rights of the followers of the other sects are also respected.

Now in order to provide further clarification on this matter, let us go on and present the twelfth rule of the first section from this constitution of the Islamic republic to this regard:

The official religion is obviously Islam and the Jaffari Ithna ashri sect. This rule is unchangeable. Other Islamic sects including the Hanafi, Shafe-ee, Maliki, Hanbali and Zaidi, who maintain perfect respect and the followers of these sects are free to apply their own regulations in performing religious ceremonies, religious teaching and education, other privileged conditions (marriage, divorce, inheritance, wills) and the related litigations have officially, in courts and in any territory where the followers of these sects are in majority. The local regulations in the limits of the council authorities are according to the sect, with the protection of the rights of the followers from other sects.

In the light of this rule, the respect and position of all the Islamic sects becomes clear from the viewpoint of the Islamic republic constitution.

ANSWER:

The 'witr' is one of the supererogatory night-prayers, and its performance is recommendary for all the Muslims and the followers of the messenger of Allah. However, the Shia jurisprudents, in the light of the book and the tradition, have mentioned certain specific matters as the 'characteristics of the honorable prophet, one of which being the witr prayer that was made obligatory for him'

Allama Hilli in the , 'Tathkirat Al-Fuqaha' mentions about seventy things to being unique and exclusive to the prophet (p), it starts by mentioning,

"As for the duties obligatory only toward him and not the others in his nation are: a. Brushing of the teeth. b. Al-witr prayer.

Question 34 : Does the belief in the super-natural power of God's friends cause polytheism?

ANSWER:

It is quite clear that whenever a human requests something from someone, it is because of his ability of performing that particular thing. This ability is in the framework of natural and material powers, such as asking a person for a glass of water.

Sometimes this ability is an unseen power that is beyond the material and natural framework. Such a person's belief in such a super natural power, in case of its dependence, is just as the belief in a natural and material power to humans, in the same manner can God also can also grant supernatural ability to some of his pious slaves.

Now in explaining the mentioned answer we say: belief in the supernatural power of God's friends can be imagined in two ways: Belief in the supernatural power of a person by accepting him as an independent and original source for that power such that a Godly work is independently attributed to him.

It is inevitable that belief in such a power independent of God's power causes polytheism, because in this case we have considered other than God as an independent and original power and have attributed a Godly work to him, while the source for all powers is only the lord of the worlds Belief in a supernatural power of some upright slaves of God, with the belief that this power has originated from the everlasting power of God, and God's friends, with God's permission, are only the means for the manifestations and appearance of that eternal power, and have no independence for themselves. Moreover, these slaves are dependant on the Exalted God in their presence and also in exercising the supernatural authority.

It is evident that such a belief is not the considering of God's friends as God, or attributing Godly works to them because in this case it would mean that the pious slaves are demonstrating their supernatural God given authority by God's permission and non-violated will.

The holy Quran states in this regard:

And it is not in the power of an apostle to heave a sigh except by Allah's permission With this explanation, it becomes clearly evident that such a belief does not cause polytheism, however, has perfect concordance with the principle of unification.

Super natural authority of God's friends from the Quranic view:

Islam's heavenly book mentions with perfect explicitness that a group of God's upright slaves whom by God's permission had such a great power. Some examples in this field are the following: Super natural power of his holiness Moses: the Exalted God commanded prophet Moses to strike his stick in a stony rock so that springs of sweet water gush out, how?

"And when Musa prayed for a drink for his people, we said strike the rock with your staff. So there gushed from it twelve springs,"

Supernatural power of his holiness Jesus: the superior authority of Jesus is mentioned in various parts of the Quran that we shall refer to some:

"that I determine for you out of dust the form of a bird, then I breathed unto it and it becomes a bird with the permission of Allah and I heal the blind and lepers, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission The Supernatural power of prophet Solomon:

The Holy Quran regarding to the supernatural powers of Solomon states the following:

"And suleiman was the heir of Dawood and he said: O people, we have been taught the language of the birds, and we have been given all things; most surely this is a manifestation of His grace"

It is inevitable that these works such as causing the flow of the springs of limpid water from robust rocks due to the striking of Mose's stick on the rock, creating a real bird from mere clay, healing of incurable diseases, to raise the dead and make them alive by Jesus, or the perception of the speech of the birds by Solomon, are all examples of supernatural powers and these are beyond the natural reach of the natural propensities and are only exercised by a supernatural authority.

Thus, if the Holy Quran itself mentions the supernatural authorities of the pious slaves of God accordingly to the mentioned verses among many other verses, then do our belief in the clear content of these verses that clearly dictate about the supernatural power of God's friends, cause polytheism and is it regarded as an innovation in the Religion?!

Hence, it becomes clearly evident that the belief in supernatural power of the pious slaves is not in the least considering them as God or attributing Godly works to them. If such divinity as that of Moses, Jesus, Solomon etc. were considered to as the power attained by themselves, then they too would be considered as God's according to the viewpoint of Quran, whilst all the Muslims are aware of the fact that the Holy Quran considers the friends of God as His pious and righteous servants.

It therefore becomes clear that the supernatural power of the beloved of God is based on divine and eternal power that was gifted to him and declares them as the means for Gods power, and this does not cause polytheism but rather, has perfect concordance with the real principle of unification considering the criterion for unification being that all the powers in the universe are only attributed to the one and only Lord who is the sole authority and source for all the actions of mankind towards the road of perfection.

(Ra'd: 38) (Baqarah: 60) (Ale-Imran: 49) (Naml: 16)