Grand Ayatollah Shirazi

Grand Ayatollah Shirazi remarks on definition of rituals during daily scholarly session

The daily scientific meeting of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Sadiq al-Hosseini al-Shirazi was held on Monday, the 15th of Sha’ban. In this session, like the previous meetings, the Marja answered the questions of the attendees about various jurisprudence issues.

Referring to verse 32 of Surah al-Hajj: This is (the truth) and whoever respects and honors God’s rituals, this is one of the attributes of pious hearts, Grand Ayatollah Shirazi said: In this verse, honoring God’s rituals is a subject, and the piety of hearts is the ruling, that is, the actions of pious people realizes the honoring of rituals. However, the Divine Lawmaker has not defined the range of Divine rituals neither in the verses of the Holy Quran nor in the hadiths, so it is necessary to refer to Urf (general opinion and practice) to determine which things are established as rituals of God.

His Eminence emphasized that when the Divine Lawmaker has not specified the subject for a ruling, one should refer to Urf to establish it. He further said: If the Divine Lawmaker has intended something specific in relation to the subject of a ruling, He will definitely mention it, but if He did not mention anything specific, in such a situation, the subject should be derived from Urf.

In relation to the meaning of “شعائر” (rituals), the Supreme Marja said: “شعائر” is the plural form of “شعیره”, and in Arabic the word refers to the fine hairs of the body and not the beard and the hair of the head, because the hair of the head is not a part of the head, but for example, the fine hair of the hand is considered a part of the hand. So, although it is not mentioned in the hadiths, the jurists have said that these fine hairs should be washed during ablution and ghusl, because it is a part of the arm and hand.

Grand Ayatollah Shirazi further said: Therefore, since “شعائر” or rituals are used to describe things that are deemed to be the same practice in essence, whatever Urf accepts as a ritual is acceptable to do.

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