Q: On occasion, IRIB (Iranian broadcasting) shows various films from other Islamic
countries in which the women featured do not wear hejab and appear like the Christians and
Jews. However, we are certain that they are Muslimah (female Muslims). With respect to our
certainty of them being Muslimah, what is the ruling on watching such films?
A: The opinion with regard to looking at ghairul-mahram women in film or still photos
is not based on their being foreign (or non-foreign). If a person watches these programs
without the intention of lust, and if it does not result in corruption for that
individual, there is no prohibition.
Q: Occasionally, due to carelessness, during the filming and photography of
the rules regarding mahram and ghairul-mahram are not observed. What is the ruling if a
professional female photographer works in this environment?
A: Complete observance of Islamic dress and behavior is necessary in any place or
occasion. If the photographing of women (in a segregated setting) or in mixed audience is
a prelude to propagating sin, and results in corruption, it is not permissible.
Q: Lately, it has become commonplace to watch films on video of various
topics. Unfortunately, this has afflicted religious families too. This has lead in time to the
corruption of our youth, and the hollowing of our Islamic society from the inside out.
Your blessed opinion is requested regarding the following: What is the opinion on
purchasing, selling and renting this device to families who have no control over how this
device is used?
A: The production and sale and use of films containing illicit material and which
corrupts the morals is forbidden.
Q: If a director or actress [in Iran] does not observe complete hejab--or ignores it
completely--from a religious (shar'i) standpoint, what is the ruling?
A: Any film in which religious criteria are disregarded in its production, or which
results in corruption and vice is problematic. Thus, the production,
viewing of such a film is not permissible.
Q: What is the ruling on an actress playing someone's wife?
A: As long as complete Islamic hejab is observed, it is not a problem, granted it does
not lead to vice.
Q: What is the status of letting hair fall out from underneath one's chador or
maghna'eh when in view of ghairul-mahram?
A: It is not permissible. It is obligatory to cover all the hair in front of
Q: What is the status regarding women wearing lively, eye-catching colors in public?
A: What ever type of dress which covers a women's body and the curves and forms in
front of ghairul-mahram is sufficient. However, one should show restraint in choosing
colors and designs which stand out or attract attention.
Q: What is your opinion on wearing clothing with pictures or symbols related to Western
countries on them?
A: It is problematic to wear such clothing from those Western countries which promote
the cultural aggression against Muslims.
Q: What is the situation regarding women wearing makeup be it while outside the house
(e.g.. for shopping or social activities), working, or studying (e.g.. attending college
A: Wearing makeup itself is not problematic. However, it is obligatory that in front of
ghairul-mahram it not be worn.
Q: Occasionally, the wearing of ties and bow ties is noted while attending a wedding,
or, simply while walking down the street. What is the religious (shar'i) ruling on wearing
A: It is not permissible to wear such items on the basis that it is an imitation of and
propagation for the cultural assault against Muslims.
Q: With regard to the never-ending cultural aggression of the West, and the propagation
of certain undesirable behaviors and customs, it seems that some men have begun to wear
earrings and gold crucifixes on their necks. Some women wear brightly colored manteau
(overcoats). Some men and women wear wrist bands, or smoked-lens sunglasses, or
pearl-diver style watches (large, ostentatious watches with many dials) which attract
attention and are unacceptable according to the opinion of the religious people ('oref).
Sometimes, despite our attempt to perform amr-e b'il ma'ruf (encouraging the good) and
nahy an al-munkar (dissuading from the ugly and bad), they persist. We request your advice
on how to deal with such people.
A: It is absolutely forbidden (haram al-muttlaq) for men to wear gold. It is not
permissible to wear clothing which in color, style, or cut imitates or propagates the
cultural assault of the enemies of Islam and the Muslims. One's duty in this regard is to
perform nahy an al-munkar by speech. If this is not successful, one should contact the
proper security and judicial officials and give a report on the matter.
Q: What is the status of women wearing thin, shape-revealing socks in the view of
A: It is obligatory for women to cover their body in front of ghairul-mahram. Wearing
thin socks is insufficient for proper hejab.
Q: What is the ruling regarding the propagation of fashion and fashion-consciousness
and wearing clothing with Western insignia and labels? We pray to Allah to extend the life
of our paramount leader.
A: If it is done to propagate the empty culture of the foreigners, it is not
Q: What is the ruling on shaving the beard completely off with a razor or electric
A: Out of obligatory precaution, it should be avoided.
Q: What is the ruling on the shaving of the beard with a razor or similar device? In
general, to what length may a beard be trimmed?
A: It is forbidden to shave off the beard with any device. It is permissible to trim it
to the length that it is still considered a beard.
Q: Please give us your opinion regarding expressing joy and clapping during the
celebration of the birth of the Ahl al-bayt (AS).
A: Clapping, per se, is not problematic on joyful occassions. However, on religious
occassions such as the births or days of condolence of the Ahl al-bayt (AS), it is more
appropriate to send salutations (salawaat) to them so as to perfume the atmosphere of the
Q: What is the ruling on listening to , conveying the message of, and inviting others
to listen to foreign news broadcasts?
A: Firstly, their are various personalities, issues, and broadcasters to consider. In
any case, whatever 1) propagates lies or doubts, 2) leads to a disturbance of the public's
presence of mind, or 3) lessens the trust in the Islamic government and the responsible
authorities is not permissible to listen to (or to propagate).
Q: Is it, or is it not, permissible to show a film in the mosque?
A: It depends on the film, but in general, it is better to refrain from this in the
Q: What is the ruling on performing plays in the shabestan (place of night prayers or
sleep, beneath the mosque)?
A: It is not proper to convert the shabestan into a playhouse.
Q: What type of music is forbidden?
A: Music performed exclusively in debaucherous (lahw) circles is forbidden.
Q: What is the ruling on teaching various musical instruments to children at or near
the age of puberty?
A: The matter of teaching music relates the basic ruling on music. In a general sense,
the teaching of music is not compatible with the goals of an Islamic order. To teach music
during the most suitable ages for learning is not devoid of corruption and sedition
Some later fatwas about musical education
Q: With regard to the teaching of music, I note respectfully that, replying to the
above question, you stated in writing that the teaching and propagation of music is
inconsistent with the goals of the blessed order of the Islamic Republic. Is the above
ruling one of guidance, or an official governmental ruling? It is worth noting that some
responsible parties recommend the teaching of music, especially for the youth. My humble
question is: What is the concensus opinion between yourself and those who favor the
teaching of music to the youth?
A: The teaching and playing of music to and by the youth causes them to deviate and
results in corruption, and thus, is not permissible. In general, the propagation of music
in not compatible with the goals of the Islamic order. It is not permissible for people to
use their own preferences and inclinations in the name of culture and the art of teaching
and training the youth.
Q: What is the situation regarding the playing of music on IRIB TV and radio? Without a
doubt, may we listen to it?
A: It is not a problem if it is not exclusively the music of the people of debauchery.
And the determination of the above criteria rests with the individual listener. In any
event, simply because music is broadcast does not give reason to it being acceptable.
Q: Is the music broadcast from IRIB 100% permissible or does it depend on the
A: A single broadcast is not proof of a particular song being religiously acceptable
(shar'i). If , in the opinion of the listener (mokallef) the music belongs exclusively to
the people of debauchery, luxury and drunkeness, then it is not permissible (for him).
Q: Given that IRIB broadcasts a song which is of the same or similar genre or the very
same music considered to be corrupt, is it permissible or not to listen to it?
A: If, in the opinion of the listener, it belongs to the people of debauchery and sin,
it is not permissible.
Q: What is the shar'i ruling on listening to music with frivolous, worthless,
irrelevant lyrics from the former regime of the sinister, unjust Shah--even thought at its
essence and at its heart, it is really "traditional" Iranian music by today's
A: If it is debaucherous (lahw) music, or it is corrupting, it must be avoided. It is
of no matter if the music is "traditional" or not.
Q: What is the ruling on playing rhythmic (motreb) music at a wedding celebration where
both the men and women are separated, with separate celebrations?
A: Granted that it is rhythmic (motreb), it is not permissible.
Q: Is it permissible for women, despite their need for proper covering, to ride
bicycles and motor bikes? If so, please list the conditions.
A: A women must avoid circumstances and actions which require her to be self-conscious
of her appearance in front of ghairul-mahram. Riding a bicycle or motor bike in a public
place, by a pedestrian walkway, or in view of others leads to corruption (in light of
fulfilling the above mentioned criteria), and thus, is not permissible.
Q: If a woman, or group of women, take off their regular outer-coverings, but wear
special clothing where the form of their body is not revealed, and their modesty is
preserved, may they take part in the flagellation (zangeer-zani) and chest-tapping
(seeneh-zani) [of Muharram]?
A: It is not befitting for ladies to organize such a procession.