Islam

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 weeks ago

When they put a condition that a person is allowed one account only, then you can not break this condition to get reward more than what has been set by the company.

'Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 weeks ago

Gold is not prohibited in Islam and millions of Muslim women wear gold, but Muslim men are not allowed to wear gold. Every prohibited act in Islam is damagingly harmful. Details of harm and damage are best known to Allah (SWT).

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 weeks ago

You should try your best to get your previous pictures ( with out Hijab) and keep them away from  public display. If you could not get all of them, you will not be responsible about them as you were not a Muslim when the photos were displayed. Now when you are a Muslim, it is not sin on you as it is out of your ability to remove it.

Wassalam.

Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 2 weeks ago

Bishimi ta'ala

Congratulations on adorning the attire of Islam and wearing hijab. In regards to previous images of you without hijab, no, it is not considered a sin. What you are able to do is for your comfort and peace of mind, if you have access to these images, ask them to be kindly removed, and hopefully they will comply.

With prayers for your success. 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 weeks ago

We don't have any evidence to reject the possibility of life on other planets. We Muslims believe in the scientific evidence and encourage scientific research in every possible way and field. We also don't believe in imaginations and unsupported claims.

Wassalam.

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answered 1 month ago

There are hundreds books to read; but I would recommend starting off by reading about the life of the Prophet (s) (from Shi'i authors, as Sunni biographies are based upon narratives that are rejected by Shi'i scholars). It is also recommended to get some hadith collections. There are many articles on sites such as Academia.edu that talk about late antique society - what society was like at the time of the emergence of Islam. A book of fiqh will also be important, so that the person gets some ideas of the laws; and books on spirituality. They should also get two or three Qurans that include a tafsir, otherwise it will be hard for them to understand it. There are many introductions to Shi'i Islam by various authors.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. They will be considered Shia.

May you always be successful 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 2 months ago

This is a complicated question that is blurred by two things. First, historically, Muslims have tended to have different views on this. Some Muslims have opposed astrology, and others, especially those of a more mystical inclination, have accepted it. 

This is also complicated by the scientific viewpoint of modernity. Today, it is considered bad science to believe in astrology, and so many Muslims will reject it to avoid seeming backwards. Even in ancient times, scholars disagreed whether astrology is factually valid (that is, whether it is an accurate science of inquiry or not); however, there were aspects of an astrological worldview that were common in many fields such as medicine in the Muslim world and Europe. Therefore we find things about timing that, today, would be considered "astrological" in works such as Tibb al-Rida (A), although such things were considered scientific not "astrological" back then.

(This is apart from the fact that, in older times, people tended to rely more on the stars for basic timings of life such as when to plant, predicting weather, and so forth.)

Furthermore, in the pre-modern era, Muslims, like others, tended to hold a worldview in which the cosmos was seen as united and meaningful. Therefore, there was no philosophical problem in holding that the positions of the planets or stars might have some relationship to what happened to human beings. In today's materialistic model of the universe, however, where everything is seen to be independent and lacking inherent meaning or connection, this idea does not make sense and hence tends to be dismissed as superstition. 

In any case, regardless of the fact that there were varying viewpoints on astrology in earlier eras of Islam, it clearly was influential in the classical Muslim era. For instance, both Baghdad and Cairo were founded at times that were determined astrologically in hopes it would contribute to the success of the cities. Astrology was also heavily influential in the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires, and it is really only in the past century that it has disappeared from public view.

Jurisprudentially, there is a Sunni hadith which narrates that the Prophet (S) said: ""Whoever seeks knowledge from the stars is seeking one of the branches of witchcraft…” So, from a Sunni angle, if one accepts that hadith, it would seem to be against astrology. That said, I personally am skeptical that the Prophet (S) actually said that, but to each their own.

Shi'i hadith texts are more complicated on the subject as the Imams were said to have knowledge of all things and that included the science of the stars.

The difference between Sunni and Shi'i texts may also be because astrology was more prominent and developed in the regions which Islam expanded to after the time of the Prophet (S), and astrological texts were part of the texts that were translated during the translation movement of the Abbasid era. So, since the Imams were alive during that time, there were more discussions about it. 

Apart from that, the main theological concerns over astrology seem to be:

(a) Shirk - that is, believing that the planets/stars have more control than Allah and/or worshipping the planets/stars [as is attributed to the Sabaeans].

This has been a shared concern by Muslims and Christians and historically has been refuted by those who accept astrology by saying that the stars/planets are a lens for divine power, or under the control of Allah, and not independently acting entities.

(b) Astrologers make mistakes and have varying levels of skill in their craft and differences of opinion on how to practice it; some are outright liars or try to manipulate kings.

Also, I would add, some things that are said in the name of astrology are really quite silly; for instance, there is a lot of silliness on some blogs and social media sites today. Whether or not one accepts astrology as a valid science, it still has internal rules that were taught and agreed upon, and so one can still evaluate whether or not it is being done "correctly" according to the historical rules of the art, or if someone is just making fiction up entirely.

(c) To discourage unhealthy dependency on fortune-tellers or soothsayers and to discourage a culture whereby someone always consults a fortune-teller before making a decision or is obsessed about these things.

(d) To avoid losing hope in God and feeling that everything is predetermined and there is no role for prayer; and/or avoiding self-fulfilling prophecies (being told something negative and subconsciously living it out).

From a Shi'i fiqh perspective, there are different views. (This is also complicated by the fact that there have historically been various uses of astrology, and some might be considered permissible and others impermissible.) To my knowledge, Ayatollah Khamene'i allows the practice of astrology as long as the astrologer conditions what they say with the clause that everything is in the hands of Allah (rather than claiming that his or her statements are absolute or interfere with Allah's right to decree and establish fate, or that the planets/stars themselves control things).  

An interesting historical text which discusses astrology from a religious perspective is Faraj al-Mahmum fi 'Ilm al-Nujum by Ibn Tawus, and if one looks quite hard, one can find an English translation of it (or at least a partial translation).

Those are a few insights - hope they help!

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

1. Night worship has special importance because it is usually done away from the eyes of people, hence it strengthens the dedication and sincerity (Ikhlas) and trains the worshiper to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) and not people.

2. Night worship gives the person better chance to think and ponder about the main facts of life here and hereafter away from the noise of the day life and public. 
3. Night worship makes the person remember and evaluate his deeds then thank Allah (SWT) for His bounties and seek forgiveness from sins.

4. Night worship makes the person feel the taste of talking to Allah (SWT) in private which is one of greatest tastes of happiness and comfort  in our life.

5. Night prayers makes the heart of the person more oriented towards Allah (SWT) and it increases the love of Allah.

Wassalam.

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Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi... Answered 2 months ago

It is allowed to kill insects posing harm to us. 

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Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi... Answered 3 months ago

It is not forbidden