Grand Ayatollah Shirazi: Alerting others, explaining rulings is obligation of sufficiency

The daily scholarly meeting of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Sadiq al-Hosseini al-Shirazi was held on Monday, the 23rd of Rabi al-Awwal. In this session, like the previous meetings, the Supreme Marja answered the questions of the attendees about various jurisprudence issues.

Grand Ayatollah Shirazi discussed the conditions of guiding the ignorant, and said: “It is not necessary to alert and inform others when it comes to secondary issues, but if someone does not know the Sharia Ahkam, it becomes an obligation of sufficiency to tell them the rules. When someone knows the Sharia Ahkam, for example, he knows that praying with clothes stained with blood is invalid, and there is blood on the back of his clothes without his knowledge, it is not wajib to inform him about this. However, when he knows that his clothes are stained with blood, but does not know that praying with such clothes is invalid, it becomes necessary to inform him about the ruling of Sharia.

His Eminence continued by re-emphasizing the point that it is not necessary to inform people about secondary issues, and said: It is necessary to inform others about secondary issues only when that matter is important. For example, if someone is thought to be a murderer, and would get killed, and someone knows that the person is not a murderer, here it is necessary to alert and inform others.

Regarding the necessity of guiding the ignorant, the Marja said: There is a rational reason for the non-necessity of guiding the ignorant when it comes to secondary issues. Guiding the ignorant is necessary in relation to Ahkam, but it is not necessary when it comes to secondary issues, unless it entails a significant mishappening, such as a murder or grave diseases, which makes alerting and informing necessary. But, when a person is drinking water that is mixed with Najis, and he does not know this, if drinking this water does not cause serious diseases, and since there are requirements and non-requirements in terms of benefits and harms, we do not have a Sharia-based reason that here informing the person is obligatory, and intellect does not tell us that information “must” be given to him when this does not entail a significant harm. But there is a Sharia-based reason that it is necessary to inform others about Ahkam, which does not apply to secondary issues, if they are not important. Of course, the nature of the secondary issue must be considered carefully.

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