Should I stop fasting during pregnancy?


I have a question regarding fasting while pregnant. I am a pregnant lady. Two days ago I started to notice the baby kicking more than usual while I’m fasting, and I’m also feeling hungry and thirsty more than usual (I didn’t feel that way in my other pregnancies while fasting).

I am not sure whether I should stop fasting for a couple of days a week to maintain hydration for the baby’s sake? Would you be able to help me with this issue?


Fasting, especially in the long days of summer, is risky for pregnant women, particularly during the first and last three months of pregnancy. Therefore, you are exempt from fasting if:

1) you are sure you can’t fast
2) It is too difficult for you to fast
3) you have a sensible concern that it harms yourself or your baby
4) your doctor professionally advises that fasting may harm the baby due to the lack of required nutrition and protein.

You should however keep the record of the days you didn’t fast to make them up in the future. Also, you need to pay an amount equal to 750 grams of wheat or rice to the poor Muslims.

God willing you will have a safe pregnancy and easy delivery, and please don’t forget to increase your spiritual diet during your pregnancy, especially reading or listening to the holy Qur’an.

For more info. on Fasting: 28 FAQs on Fasting in Month of Ramadan

Answered by: Sheikh Mansor Leghaei

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A guy wants to get to know me through Mut’a (temporary marriage), what to do?


I am writing to you regarding a question about Mut’a (temporary marriage). I am very confused as to what I should do.

I am 18, and recently a boy the same age as me asked for my hand in marriage, but that this is for the coming years, when he becomes independent. He has asked me privately and no one else knows about it.

The only problem is that it is not permissible to chat nor meet. So, to make it Halal (permissible) he suggested temporary marriage for 2-3 years to get to know each other in a Halal way. I don’t have any problem with that but I’m sure my father will never accept Mut’a, as it is not acceptable in my culture. For this reason I am confused.

I have done some research and found out that there are different Fatwas on this issue. Please help me as I am very confused.


In a nutshell, please consider the following fatherly advice not only from a Sheikh, but a marriage counsellor for over 20 years:

Doing a secret temporary marriage without the consent and knowledge of your family, especially your father -even if it were jurisprudentially permissible – would be a big risk. I don’t advise you for the following reasons:

1. Temporary marriage will most likely – whether willingly or unwillingly – end in sexual intercourse and the loss of virginity: then if for whatever reason the relation doesn’t work, you will drastically lose the chance of future (marriage) proposals.

2. You will not be able to hide it for long, and somehow it will be disclosed soon: consider the embarrassment and the danger associated with that!

3. If the purpose of the temporary marriage is just to get to know each other, then that can be achieved without temporary marriage, with the advantage of not falling into the abovementioned turmoil.

4. Psychologically it is proven that secret relations and falling into secret romantic love doesn’t last long. There will always be a doubt in your partner’s mind that ‘if she could hide it from her parents – her blood & flesh – how can I be sure that she won’t hide it from me one day?!

5. There is no commitment in temporary marriage, and hence by definition, it is destined to expire. However, after a while, girls naturally become attached to their partners, and if for whatever reason such a relationship does not lead to permanent marriage, it will deeply damage the girl’s emotions.

6. It is always more decent and respectful for a girl for her suitor to ask for her hand through her safety net (i.e. her family, or a fatherly figure in the case of reverts). A man who is determined to approach a girl’s family – despite the possible hurdles – is more serious and hence can be trusted more.

It is for these and many more reasons that the absolute majority of our jurists do not bless the temporary marriage of young girls – such as in your age – without the consent of their fathers; they have done this either through a Fatwa, such as Ayatollah Sistani, or as through obligatory precaution, such as Ayatollah Khamenei.

May God protect you and all our youth.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Can a woman attain high spiritual and intellectual levels in Islam?


In Islamic lectures and seminars we hear a lot about male scholars and their achievements, especially about how spiritual high they were, some who could even perform miracles. I would like to ask if there are any female known scholars who reached similar standards? Do they have any work published? Islamically,  is it even possible for a female to reach such high intellectual and spiritual standards?


Gender has no place in spirituality. Thus, it is equally possible for men and women to attain high levels of spirituality and intellectual levels. The Almighty God states: “Whoever works righteously-whether male or female- while he (or she) is a true believer, verily, We shall grant them a pure life (in this world) and reward them (in the hereafter) in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” (16:97)

In fact, often women have achieved higher levels of spirituality than their contemporary men even though they were prophets. For example, holy Mary (s.a) reached a higher level of proximity with God than Prophet Zachariah.  However, God has chosen only men as His Messengers because of the socially hard task of prophecy. The Almighty God out of His infinite Mercy exempted women from many hard duties including running the office of prophecy.

Also, we hear more about male mystics because firstly traditionally Islamic education has been more available to men than women, and secondly women were less vocal and public. In fact, that’s how a real mystic ought to be: remain anonymous.  Nonetheless, history has recorded the biography of many outstanding females who attained inspirational levels of spirituality and proximity with God. They were role models not only for females but the males too.

Please note the following quick examples:

  1. The holy Quran when praising the wife of Pharaoh emphasizes that she was a role model both for men and women: “And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe (men & women): the wife of Pharaoh..” (66:11)
  2. The holy Quran is explicit that ‘angels’ (note the plural) communicated with the holy Mary. (3:42)
  3. As God revealed to Moses as one of His Messengers, He also revealed to the mother of Moses although she was not prophet. (28:7)
  4. As the Prophets knowledge was not humanely acquired, some ladies like Sayyidah Zainab (s.a) according to the testimony of Imam Sajjad (a.s) enjoyed a divinely gifted knowledge.
  5. Apart from the infallible female role models, the Islamic history has recorded many highly learned female scholars, such as the mother of Sayyid Radi (the compiler of Nahjul-Balagha), the daughter of Sh. Al-Tousi, the daughter of al-Allamah al-Majlesi. Also all our Imams had some female students and narrators too. In our modern time also we had a very renown female mystic and Mujtahid known as ‘Sayyida Amin’ who passed away recently. I know a book in Farsi named ‘Zanaan Daneshmand & Raawi Hadith (The learned & narrating women) written by ‘Ahmad Ardestani.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Is duty of wearing hijab stated in Quran?


Regarding the hijab (Muslim woman’s headscarf), some people argue that it’s not Islamic, but rather a Jewish thing, and that it is not actually specified in the Quran that a female must cover her hair.

In addition, they say that the ‘Khimar’ was a cape used back in the old days, rather than it actually referring to something that ‘covers’.

Can you please address these points?


The argument is very simple:

When they say ‘there is no obligation’ do they mean:

1. It is recommended, or

2. It does not exist in Islam at all

Either way what is their proof?

We say its obligatory for the following reasons:

1)   ولیضربن بخمرهن علی جیوبهن “And they shall draw their head scarves all over their necks and chests..” (Holy Quran: Surat Noor, Ayah 31) is an imperative verb and hence it means that it is obligatory.

Khimar ‘بخمرهن ‘ literally means whatever that covers the head; scarf. For example, wine is called ‘Khamr’ in Arabic as it covers and conceals the intellect of a drunk person, due to its effect on the person’s brain.

2)   ولایبدین زینتهن…  “And they shall not show off their beauty…” (Holy Quran: Surat Noor, Ayah 31) is also a strong command.

3. The fact that all practicing Muslim women throughout history have been practicing the act of covering the head – irrespective of their Islamic denomination- confirms that the issue is one of the necessities of Islamic practical laws.

4.  A law that is so directly related to the modesty of the society cannot be optional unless the law-makers wish to suggest that maintaining social modesty is optional. If so, they should not oppose their wives, daughters, and sisters if they do not wish to be modest and chaste. Well, it is optional, not obligatory!

5. In expressing Islamic views we must be fearing God to Whom alone we return, not our immediate personal worldly interests.

For more info. on the Hijab please see here

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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How do I convince my teenage friend not to wear makeup in public?


Sheikh, my teenage cousin has been trying to convince her friend not to wear makeup in public. Alhamdulillah, it seems like she has taken some heed, but she still seems to be wearing some makeup when out in public.

From your experience, what is the best piece of info. that my cousin can share with her friend?


Part of it is naturally related to her age, so we shouldn’t be too picky on her. She’ll move on as she gets older inshAllah.

However, it is best to try make some sense to her as to why it is not permissible for women to wear makeup and perfume in front of non-Mahram:

It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s): “ any woman who wears perfume for other than her husband (i.e. non-Mahram) none of her Salaat (prayers) will be accepted until she performs a Ghosl (ritual wash) to remove its smell, as she performs Ghosl Janabah.” (al-Kaafi, vol. 5 p. 507).

It is also narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s): “ Any woman who wears some makeup and steps out of her house (to appear in public) she will be cursed until she returns home.” (Wasaeul-Shi’a vol. 14 p.112).

The wisdom behind this rule is very obvious. As much as it is an obligation on men to lower their gaze, it is also an obligation on women – especially young girls –  to avoid anything that would provoke men sexually, whether the style of their clothes, the tone of their speech, their makeup, etc. In fact, wearing makeup is the most obvious example of beautification and attraction, and hence the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s), as compassionate and caring guides, loudly and clearly have forbidden women from this sin.

When a young girl wears makeup in public and in front of men, she is exposing herself to illegal relations with impious boys who look at her as an available prey!

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

For more Q&As related to Women please see here

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Is a woman allowed to pluck her eyebrows?


Is a woman allowed to pluck her eyebrows?


Plucking the eyebrows in sense of just removing the extra hairs is not Haraam. The permission for this rule is taken from the Word of God:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا – “and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof” – [Surah An-Nur : 31]

Because it is not obligatory for a woman to cover her face therefore she does not have to cover her eyebrows that normally requires plucking.


Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

What is Islam’s view on the beating of wives? Non-believers use this point against Islam.


What is Islam’s view of the beating of wives? Lots of non-believers bring up Surat An-Nisā’ 4:34 and state that Islam allows beating of women and therefore is an unjust religion.


This ayah (Surah An-Nisa 4:34) is in the top 5 points raised by the opponents of Islam, who say this religion is against basic human rights for women. Furthermore, some ignorant Muslim men use this ayah to justify hitting their wives, claiming they are following the Qur’an, without even trying to understand the context or application of the ayah. Allah (swt) says such people (who do something wrong and justify it somehow through the ayat of Qur’an) are the biggest losers on the day of Judgement. Because they do something that they think is according to the Qur’an, while it’s not, and they never get a chance to repent before they leave this world.

‘Wadhribu hunna’ means ‘hit them’ but under specific conditions: how, why, when? etc. There is a difference between ‘hitting’ and ‘beating’, between ‘hitting’ and ‘punching’. These details must be specified first and foremost, with specific conditions being met before carrying out this ayah. In the same way where Allah (swt) says to pray and pay zakat in the Qur’an on numerous occasions, the details of how to pray, when to pray, and the conditions of praying are not mentioned in their full details in the same ayah, hence all these variables must be explored before one is able to properly carry out the ayah where Allah (swt) says to ‘pray and pay zakat’. In the same way, the same conditions must be met in respect to this ayah in Surat Nisa.

Also, to interpret and understand any ayah in the Qur’an, one must always resort to the sunnah (traditions and lifestyle) of the Prophet (pbuh), and not just any opinion or interpretation. Let us analyse the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) to understand when this ayah becomes applicable.

1. It is not a command (that must be carried out), rather it is permissible (once the conditions are met). So even if the conditions are met, it does not become obligatory to hit one’s wife, it is simply permissible to do so.

2. No jurist has ever accepted the general meaning of the ayah (without any conditions). There is no jurist, scholar or interpreter of the Qur’an that says there are no conditions to carry out this ayah. i.e. no one says you can hit her however you want, whenever you want etc. No one has this opinion in the past or present.

3. Wadhribu hunna is correctly translated as ‘light hitting’.

4. Light hitting is definitely permissible only if she has committed adultery and if all the previous methods were useless.

5. The methods of dealing with a wife who has committed adultery before hitting her are:

a) Advise her and talk to her

b) Try to emotionally influence or discipline her

c) If the above two were not effective, then ‘light hitting’ is permissible (not obligatory)

6. The beginning of the ayah says that “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women”, so if a woman commits adultery then the husband must discipline her at home (conditions in point 5), before taking the case to the court or police and disrespecting your wife.

7. It is  narrated from the holy Prophet (pbuh): “ If she commits an adultery that is confirmed (not suspicion or allegation), if she does this, turn away from her (emotionally), hit them a hitting that is not hard, if she regrets it (and acknowledges her mistake), don’t take it any further (keep it a secret and forgive her).” (Ibn Majah, vol.1 p.594)

a) Another narration says a light hitting that does not make her bleed:

8. Imam Baqir (as) tells us about a friendly or light hitting; to hit her with a traditional sewak (Ref.: Majma’ul-Bayan under the Ayah), which is a soft type of branch. It is not a real hit or meant to really harm her.

9. Hitting the face and major limbs (or organs) is forbidden.

a) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said: any man who slaps the face of his wife, the Almighty Allah orders the angel in charge of fire, to hit his face 70 times inside the hellfire. (Da’emul-Islam, vol.2, p.217)

b) Even hitting the face of an animal is forbidden in Islam, let alone a human being and specially your darling and partner! (Ref: Wasa’eul-Shi’a, vol.11 p.481)

10. It is forbidden for a man to hit his wife due to verbal abuse. All scholars and jurist (both past and present) are unanimous that if a wife is verbally abusing her husband, or she is not obedient, it is forbidden for him to hit her nor does it justify (or allow) him to hit her. (Jawaherul-Kalal, vol. 31, p.205)

11. If the conditions are met, and the hitting causes her bruising, bleeding or fractures, he is liable. (Ibid, p.207)

12. It is better for a man not to hit his wife, in fact it is better to divorce her than to hit her.

a) A man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and told him that his wife has a bad tongue and she verbally abuses him for many hours, he cannot stand it. The Prophet said; divorce her. The man said he has children and she is not always bad, so the Prophet said to keep her and be patient, but do not hit her. (Mosnad Ahmad, vol.4, p.33)

In considering these 12 points, it gives no one the justification to hit their wife claiming to follow the Qur’an without any conditions or understanding the context of how and when the ayah in Surah Nisa becomes applicable.

Also, the notion that Islam does not consider the human rights of women is on the contrary because of the specific rules and conditions pertaining to hitting one’s wife, in other words, Islam has considered the real life scenario of a woman who has committed adultery, she is not sorry or regretful, she refuses to heed to the advice of her husband, she does not heed to any emotional influence or methods. If the man in that case does not want to divorce her, and despite all this she does not regret it, nor does she repent (and maybe even continues committing this despicable act), in this case, if the man thinks that light hitting will influence her then he has the option to do so, however, he can only do so without leaving any bruises or broken bones, without hitting her face or limbs and organs, then and only then, can he practice this act of light hitting. Anything outside of such a scenario and it’s conditions is strictly forbidden in Islam.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Is dancing allowed amongst women at times other than weddings e.g graduation parties?


Is dancing that is not arousing and music that is halal allowed amongst women at times other than weddings, such as graduation parties etc?


According to Ayatullah Sistani, dancing of women for women in a ladies gathering should be avoided accoring to obligatory precaution.

According to Ayatullah Khamenei, it is against المروۀ which means it does not suit a Muslim woman.

Lady Fatima: ‘the best thing for a woman is not to see men, and not to be seen by men’. How?


Fatima al Zahra[a.s]  said ‘the best thing for a woman is not to see men, and not to be seen by men’. How is this hadith best interpreted? Is it only in a physical sense, because in the West this isn’t practical. Is there a more metaphorical meaning for it, and can the ‘best thing’ still be achieved by someone who takes an active role in society?


Salamun Alaykum,

On a jurisprudential level, yes, a mere seeing and being seen is not Haraam (forbidden) unless there is an evil intention behind it, or she is not dressed modestly. So, this ‘best’ is talking about a Mustahab (recommended) act as a preventing factor. However:

It is mentioned in the biography of the late Sheikh Hasanali Nokhodaki (one of the amazing mystics of the early 20th century) that he was asked of the secret that when he was praying, his prayer would be granted. He said, ‘I don’t know but I tried not to sin all my life. I lived with my sister-in-law in a house for about 40 years and I never saw her face!’.

My friend, our present society is not the best, but what we can do is what Imam Ali said: ‘ you can’t be like me but help me (to intercede you) by endeavouring to piety’.

May God protect all of us.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei