Day Questions

What is the wisdom behind having so many Marjas instead of just having one?

Referring to the religious jurists in finding the rulings of the Sharia is one of concepts which have certain limitations and conditions, for which one must refer to the religious legislator, Almighty Allah. The religious texts explain the general qualities of the scholars whom one should refer to. This concept was implemented during the time of the Imams (peace be upon them) themselves, who guided the believers to refer to certain scholars amongst the disciples in various parts of the Muslim world. The followers of the Ahlulbait continued for the subsequent generations to refer to the scholars who fulfilled the criteria described by the Imams (peace be upon them). Since there are more than one scholar who fulfills these qualities, the individual should refer to the one who is most knowledgeable, and determining this is a subjective task for each individual. Therefore, the believers will naturally come to different conclusions and have different Marjas to follow.

A 58-year-old man wants to start praying for the first time in his life. He is worried about all the prayers he has to make up and doesn’t know how to go about it. Is it permissible for him to pay someone to do the past prayers on his behalf while he prays the upcoming prayers?

The said person should perform the obligatory prayers from now on. He does not need to hasten to make up the missed prayers, but it is not permissible to neglect such obligations. To make it easier to make up for the past prayers, he can offer – for instance – each obligatory prayer twice: one as his current obligation and one to make up for the past lapsed prayers. He should ensure that the prayers that remain are a part of his will so they can be offered on his behalf after his death. He cannot pay somebody to offer his prayers on his behalf, but his heirs can do so after his death.

In some countries fish is mostly sold by non-Muslims. They kill the fish by throwing it on the ground (in front of buyers), clean it and cut it into pieces. Is it considered prohibited eat such fish because it is killed by a non-Muslim?

It is permissible to eat the fish when it dies outside the water, even by cutting it into pieces or separating it into parts or by cutting the side to clean it, whether a Muslim or a non-Muslim does this.