Part 2 Chapter 7: Miscellaneous Laws Pertaining To Mental And Physical Issues
Haughtiness is forbidden, meaning to see oneself as superior and to regard other believers as inferior. To have this quality and not to restrain it in one’s inner self is a sin, whether we consider it an attribute that invalidates a person’s justness or not, since it is an inner sin. Showing the effects of haughtiness in one’s words and deeds is forbidden, even if we do not regard its original existence in the inner self as forbidden.
Envy is forbidden, that is, it is forbidden to have this quality in one’s inner self, to abide by its continuance, and to show its effects in one’s words, writings, and deeds.
It is forbidden to despair of God’s mercy, that is, to continue to have this feeling while it is possible to overcome it. Words and deeds that are said and done under the effect of this feeling are forbidden, just like haughtiness.
To feel secured against God’s wrath is as forbidden as despair of His mercy.
It is forbidden to have ill thoughts about God. For example, to believe that God has not acted fairly towards oneself with regard to the distribution of children and wealth, that He has given less rewards to oneself than others or has determined severer punishments, or that He has placed more calamities than deserved, etc. This sin is also an inner state and it may lead to unbelief.
It is forbidden to feel angry and dissatisfied towards divine providence, whether one’s own or that of another person, especially if followed by verbal objection. However, this issue is controversial.
It is forbidden to suspect or to have ill thoughts about a believer if one manifests them in speech or action.
It is forbidden to act upon one’s conjecture or speculation (as opposed to knowledge), whether in principles of faith or in practical religious laws, whether in affirmation or denial of a duty, such as decreeing a certain act to be obligatory or forbidden, or to abnegate oneself of a proven decree through one’s personal speculation.
It is forbidden for men to effeminize themselves through such means like wearing feminine clothes. Likewise, it is forbidden for women to assume masculine manners through such means like wearing specifically male clothing. However, this issue is a matter of controversy.
It is forbidden for men to adorn themselves with gold, such as wearing golden rings, bands, and necklaces, and gilding one’s front teeth with the intention of ornamentation. In addition to being forbidden, such things invalidate ritual prayers. This is regardless of whether the gold is yellow or red, pure or mixed. None of the aforementioned, however, are forbidden for women.
It is forbidden for men to wear any item of clothing made of silk, including silk hats and gloves, at any time, including the times of performing ritual prayers. Accordingly, such prayers are invalid except in necessary cases. This precept does not appertain to women, i.e. wearing silk is halal for women.
It is forbidden to disrespect the Holy Qur’an, the Divine Attributes, and the names of the prophets and the Infallibles (peace be upon them). Some of these cases are instances of disbelief (making a person an unbeliever) and others iniquity.
It is forbidden to disrespect and insult the Holy Ka’bah, the Holy Prophet’s Mosque, all mosques, and the shrines of the Infallibles (peace be upon them). It is also forbidden to disrespect the following:
The religious reference books, such as Nahj al-Balaghah, al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, al-Kafi, and Wasa'il al-Shi’ah,
The religious master scholars and master jurisprudents whom are known for piety and reverence,
religious venues, such as Husayniyyah (i.e. places dedicated to commemorating Imam al-Husayn’s martyrdom and delivering lectures about his uprising and its spiritual, moral, political, social, and doctrinal features) and theaters for religious plays,
the tombs of the famous and honorable descendants of the Holy Infallibles, and
the days of God, such as the months of Sha’ban and Ramadhan and Islamic feast days.
It is forbidden to disrespect and dishonor the stated sacred things by word or deed, because this is considered disrespecting the religion of Islam and the sanctities of Shi’ism.
It is forbidden to use for any purpose golden or silver vessels, such as trays, plates, spoons, cups, teapots, saucers, vases, and the like.
It is forbidden to carve statues of complete human or animal bodies.
Astrology is forbidden, meaning to believe in the voluntary and independent influence of heavenly bodies on earthly events and to give rulings according to it.
Singing with modulation between bass and high tones, is forbidden, when occurring with vain lyrics and musical instruments, and appropriate for gatherings of dance or revelry.
It is forbidden to play musical instruments, such as tambourine, flute, guitar, lute, violin, and piano, and to listen to the playing of these instruments when the quality of the music is suitable for gatherings of frivolity, dance, or revelry.
It is forbidden to forge lies against God, the Holy Prophet, and the Holy Infallibles without a religiously acceptable reason, whether during Ramadhan or in any other season. The difference between this type of lie and others is that the intellectual offensiveness and religious prohibition of the former is considered far graver than the latter. Such forgeries invalidate the fasting when they are told during a fast-day of Ramadhan.
Any action that is preparatory to the commitment of a sin is forbidden, even if the action is allowed in itself, like studying the basics of spying for foreigners, learning how to gamble, how to produce narcotics, and methods of fraud, and arranging for the preliminaries of murdering or hurting people.
It is forbidden for men to shave their beard or to cut it in a way that the skin of the face shows. However, this issue is controversial.
It is forbidden to enthrall believing jinn, angels, and spirits of dead believers in a way that causes them distress or pain.
It is forbidden to make up a fake dream and narrate it to others. This is a kind of lie but it has been mentioned separately because it is frequent.
It is forbidden to commit suicide, which entails the same laws of homicide, except in cases of emergency.
It is forbidden to settle or reside in places or countries that entail alteration of one’s Islamic beliefs and humane morality or incompliance with Islamic obligations and restrictions.
It is forbidden to gamble and bet in any way and with any device, whether local or imported equipments and cards or modern or traditional devices, even with eggs, a ring, by making two animals fight, jumping the highest, weightlifting, and the like betting competitions, except for the lawful competitions, such as horseracing, races with other means of transport, shooting competitions, and similar competitions, which can be used in initiative or defensive war. It is also forbidden to play with gambling tools even without betting. However, this latter issue is controversial.
Consequently, it is obligatory to destroy or modify the tools of gambling as well as musical instruments. In general, one must destroy any tool that is used for unlawful purposes and does not possess a significant permissible usage.
It is forbidden to play chess with and without betting, if this game is commonly played for betting. If it is played without betting in a certain milieu, for reasons such as intelligence competitions, it is apparently not a problem.
It is forbidden to teach or learn any action that is considered as magic, witchcraft, or sorcery except in certain cases, such as preparing to confront wicked magicians and negate their sorcery.
It is forbidden to establish centers for corrupt and sinful actions, such as casinos.
It is forbidden to write, publish, distribute, store, and promote vain and misleading books on beliefs, moralities, and deeds. It is also forbidden to do any service and to receive any profit from this way.
It is forbidden to assist and help oppressors and tyrants in their oppression, or to become their helper at all, whether this assistance is related directly or not to these oppressive acts. It is also forbidden to gain profits in this way.
It is forbidden to take part in gatherings in which alcoholic drinks and intoxicating liquids are consumed, even for those who do not consume these intoxicants.
It is forbidden to create a dispute between two or more persons or groups, causing enmity between them and resulting in fighting, injury, murder, and other corrupt actions.
It is forbidden to have affinity, reliance, and trust in oppressors in life affairs, whether in heart or in deed, even if these feelings do not contribute to their oppression.
It is forbidden to steal and rob others’ properties except in special cases, such as when a debtor does not intend to pay back his/her debt while she/he is able to, and the creditor has no other way to retrieve his/her money other than seizing her/his due stealthily. In this case, it is permissible to steal the due amount only.
It is forbidden to accuse falsely an innocent believer, meaning to charge him/her with a wrongful act she/he has not done or an act that he/she does not want to be attributed to her/him.
It is forbidden to speak ill of, swear at, and use abusive language against a believer.
It is forbidden to mock and make fun of a believer.
It is forbidden to give an indecent name or a bad nickname to a believer.
It is forbidden to bother or irritate a Muslim without a religious authorization.
It is forbidden to violently or offensively dismiss an orphan or a poor person from one’s house.
It is forbidden to invoke curse upon a living or dead believer. This is a matter of controversy.
It is forbidden to blame a believer for his/her calamities, defects, physical faults, disease, etc.
It is forbidden to oppress and do injustice to any human being and even any harmless animal. However, there is no objection to beating and killing harmful animals, which may be obligatory in certain conditions.
It is forbidden to kill any person. In other words, killing Muslims and disbelievers whose death has not been authorized, such as Dhimmis (unbelievers who live under the protection of Muslim governments), scriptuaries, and those granted security, like refugees in Muslim countries.
It is forbidden to look into other people’s houses from higher places or from a hole in the wall without their consent.
It is forbidden to investigate about a believer’s beliefs and secrets with the intention of bothering or disgracing him/her.
It is forbidden to backbite a believer who does not openly display her/his sin; that is, to disclose his/her defects and faults without her/his consent, by means of words, writing, deeds, or any other means.
Talebearing is forbidden, which is to cause dispute between two or more persons, hatred, and any other evil.
It is forbidden to have secret conversations regarding sins, such as exchanging secret information about harming, mocking, or humiliating a believer or about other sins, using words in private, whispering, or gestures.
It is forbidden to disseminate corrupt actions among the believers, whether by disseminating the act itself or by disseminating the incrimination an innocent.
It is forbidden to salaam and to respond to salaams of unbelievers, and ask God to forgive disbelievers, especially polytheists without a religiously acceptable reason or without necessity. The same thing is applicable to oppressors the strengthening of whom would cause harm to Islam and Muslims. However, this issue is controversial.
It is forbidden to shelter a murderer, a militant enemy, or a criminal with the intention of preventing the execution of God’s punishment imposed on them. It is also forbidden to do so in the name of law.
It is forbidden to establish heartfelt affection with disbelievers in a similar manner to believing friends and family. It is also forbidden to become friends wit them. Furthermore, it is forbidden to establish good cultural, political, military, and economic relationships with the governments and companies ruled and managed by unbelievers which naturally results in weakening and endangering the Islamic government and causing deviation in the beliefs and actions of Muslims, except in cases of taqiyah (i.e. self-protection; the practice of concealing one's belief and foregoing ordinary religious duties when under threat of death or injury to oneself and one's fellow Muslims) and of necessary interests, if safety from corruptions is ensured or when the interests weigh heavier than the corruptions.
It is forbidden to praise and speak highly of a person who is unworthy of praise, and to talk highly of a worthy person beyond his/her merit.
It is forbidden to remind a person of a favor done to him/her. However, this issue is subject to dispute.
It is forbidden to deceive or defraud people by appropriating their properties dishonestly or making them work without wage.
It is forbidden to be disloyal in counseling; meaning to intentionally advise a person wrongly.
It is forbidden to refrain from aiding an oppressed believer who asks for help while having the ability to do so.
It is forbidden to practice verbal hypocrisy, which in some cases necessitates disbelief and in others is only sinful. Hypocrisy stands for falsely professing belief in Islam or falsely presenting an appearance of affection and friendship (or other things) to which the inner belief and feelings do not conform.
Hoarding is forbidden. This means to collect and store a necessary commodity for purpose of selling it later for a higher price when people will have a pressing need for it.
It is forbidden to neglect one’s duties towards neighbors, causing them annoyance and bother unless there is a religiously acceptable reason.
It is strictly forbidden to establish and supply companies that produce intoxicating drinks, narcotics, and tools of gambling and betting.
It is also forbidden to produce and distribute the products of such companies and take part in any sort of activity, such as being an employer, employee, worker, and renter of transportation means, storage, and shops for them. It is thus forbidden to receive any pay or profit from such activities let alone buying, selling, and using their products.
It is also forbidden to use any income that is obtained from such activities.
- It is obligatory to destroy all tools and devices that are specifically designed for committing sins, such as gambling and betting tools, musical instruments, intoxicant and narcotics producing apparatuses, tools of robbery and pick-pocketing, tools of explosives, tools of murder, dangerous chemical substances, and any tool or device that cannot be or rarely used in a legal way, or the destruction of which prevents sinning.
It is obligatory on everyone to destroy these objects no matter whose they are unless their destruction brings about a greater harm. Some of the above cases have exceptions.
It is obligatory to refrain from using any object that is suspected to involve violation of a forbidden matter. For example, if one knows that one of several dishes or one of several clothes is impure but does not know which one it is, he/she must refrain from using all of them or cleanse them all. If one knows that one of two or three things is another person’s property, she/he must make sure before using them.
It is obligatory to make up for any obligatory act that is suspected not to have been performed properly. For example, if one knows that either the Maghrib (nightfall) or the ‘Isha' (early night) prayers was missed at a certain night, he/she must make up for both the prayers. If a person knows that she/he owes one of two persons something, he/she must acquire the consent of both of them or pay what she/he owes to both of them.
It is obligatory to act upon the rule of presumptive continuity (i.e. istishab; continuing according to the former state). For example, if one is sure that he/she missed performing an obligatory prayer, but now doubts whether she/he has made up for it or not, he/she must depend upon the former state of missing performing that prayer. Similarly, if one is sure that a certain shirt belonged to someone else, but now doubts whether it still belongs to someone else, she/he must consider it to still belong to that person, as per its former state.
It is obligatory to avoid and stay away from the following ten impure things: (1) urine, (2) excrement, (3) semen, (4) corpses, (5) blood, (6) dogs, (7) swine, (8) liquid intoxicants, (9) beer, and (10) militant disbelievers (kafir harbi; disbelievers who are engaged in warfare against Muslims).
It is obligatory to keep oneself from contaminating his/her house and living equipment with these things. It is forbidden to eat and drink anything that has been contaminated with these impure things. A ritual prayer that is performed while the clothes and body parts are polluted with these things is invalid. In addition, if a Muslim individual does not eschew contamination with these things, the angels of God’s mercy will flee from her/his house and devils will be drawn near.1
It is obligatory to repent of any sin immediately. The more one delays repenting, the greater the liability of the sin will be, while the obligation of repenting remains intact.
It is obligatory to maintain truth in speech all the time and under all circumstances. A jurist must be truthful in issuing verdicts, a judge must be truthful in issuing decrees, a witness must be truthful in testimonies, and a confessor must be truthful in confessions. Likewise, everybody must be truthful in common speech and judgments about people and events, whether the truth brings about benefit or loss for the speaker, his/her relatives, or her/his friends.
It is obligatory upon men that attain maturity and newly converted male Muslims to be circumcised if they have not been circumcised before.
It is obligatory to answer a person’s salaam (ritual greeting) immediately, even during prayers, in a way that the greeter can hear it if there is no obstacle between them. To respond to ritual greeting during prayers, the phrase salamun ‘alaykum must be used, even if the greeter uses a different form.
contexts devil may have been used in a metaphorical manner to mean harmful germs [ed.].
- It seems necessary to point out that some believe that in such