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['Aalim Network QR] Life in Prison

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|     In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

The following questions about life in prison were kindly answered by
Moulana Rizvi. 


 Q1:  Please explain what the Jaffari mazhab states and waive's for a Shia 
      serving a sentence in a non-Islamic state controlled prison?


As far as performing the wajib acts and refraining from the haram is
concerned, a prisoner in a non-Muslim state has to do whatever he can within
his ability. (For example, in case of salat: if you do not have access to
water at all times, then you can always say your prayers with tayammum. If
the cell, for example, is not big enough to say the salat in proper manner,
then one should do it while sitting or even while lying on the bed.)
Probably, performing of the wajib acts would be more difficult than
refraining from haram. For example, it is haram to eat non-zabiha meat. In
this case, the prisoner should request for vegetarian food. If this request
is not honoured by the prison authorities, then, of course, Islam does not
say that one should strave to death. No, a person in such a situation,
should be eat the haram food in order to survive. After mentioning the
forbidden meat, the Qur'an clearly says: "But the one who is compelled, then
there is no sin upon him [as long as] he does not desire it or does not
exceed the limits [by eating more than necessary for his survival]. Allah
surely is Forgiving, Merciful." (2:173)

The basic Islamic view is that a person who is incarcerated does not have
much choice; and, therefore, if he misses some obligations because it was
beyond his control, then he would be forgiven for it. 

Q2:  Please also elaborate on the specifics of ones day-today dealing in
rules of conduct, religious obligations, food, and income/barter 
compensation derived from in-prison activities that are allowed by sharia
and those that are forbiden (eg: assist in setting up chairs for 
gambling, etc) ? 


It is difficult to elaborate on the specifics of this question since
I am not familiar with what goes on on a day-to-day basis in prisons. I have
already answered the question about obligations and food in the above question.
As a general rule, whatever is permissible by Islam would be allowed also in
the prison and whatever is not permissible by Islam would not be allowed in
the prison. So assisting in setting up chairs for gambling would not be
allowed. But any other activity which is basically halal would be permissible.

Yours in Islam,

Sayyid M. Rizvi

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