Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani: In His Own Words

Avoiding Christians and Jews

“As regards the people of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who do not accept the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his progeny), they are commonly considered najis [unclean], but it is not improbable that they are Pak [clean]. However, it is better to avoid them.”

Liquor vs. Opium and Marijuana

“All alcoholic liquors and beverages which intoxicate a person, are najis and on the basis of recommended precaution, everything which is originally liquid and intoxicates a person, is najis. Hence narcotics, like, opium and hemp, which are not liquid originally, are Pak, even when a liquid is added to them.”

Subjection of a Nonbeliever’s Child

“Taba’iyat [subjection] means that a najis [unclean] thing become Pak [clean], in subjection of another thing becoming Pak. … The child of an unbeliever becomes Pak by Taba’iyat, in two cases: … If the child of an unbeliever is captured by Muslims, and his father, paternal grandfather or maternal grandfather is not with him, he becomes Pak.”

Permanent and Temporary Marriage

“The relation between man and woman becomes lawful by contracting marriage. There are two kinds of marriages: 1. Permanent marriage 2. Fixed-time marriage.

“In a permanent marriage, the period of matrimony is not fixed, and it is forever. The woman with whom such a marriage is concluded is called da’ima (i.e. a permanent wife).

“In a fixed time marriage (Mut’ah), the period of matrimony is fixed, for example, matrimonial relation is contracted with a woman for an hour, or a day, or a month, or a year, or more.”

When Permanent Wives Can Go Out

“For a woman with whom permanent marriage is contracted, it is haraam [forbidden] to go out of the house without the permission of her husband, though her leaving may not violate the rights of the husband. Also she should submit herself to his sexual desires, and should not prevent him from having sexual intercourse with her, without justifiable excuse.”

Permissible and Forbidden Music

“Music is an art that has spread far and wide during these days. Some varieties of this art are permissible while others are forbidden; therefore, it is permissible to listen to the first while it is forbidden to listen to the latter.”