"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"
رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله :
إذا استَهَلَّ رَمَضانُ غُلِّقَتْ أبوابُ النارِ ، وفُتِحَتْ أبوابُ الجِنانِ ، وصُفِّدَتِ الشَّياطينُ
The Prophet (ṣ) said:
As soon as the month of Ramadan sets in, the gates of Hell are locked up, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the devils are bound up.
Biḥār al-Anwār, v. 96, p. 342, no. 6
Is it permissible to pay the Kaffarah of fasting to the Ahlusunnah?
It is a precaution to give it to the eligible Shiʿas.
A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 12th
Thesupplicatory prayer of Ramadan 12th is as follows:
اللهُمَّ زَيِّنّى فيهِ بِالسَّتْرِ وَالْعَفافِ، وَاسْتُرْنى فيهِ بِلِباسِ الْقُنُوعِ وَالْكَفافِ، وَاحْمِلْنى فيهِ عَلَى الْعَدْلِ وَالْإِنْصافِ، وَ امِنّى فيهِ مِنْ كُلِّ ما اخافُ، بِعِصْمَتِكَ يا عِصْمَةَ الْخآئِفينَ
“O’ Lord! adorn me in this day by the power to gloss over people’s faults and by practicing chastity, and clothe me in it with the garment of contentment and sufficiency, and guide me toward fairness and justice and protect me against whatever I fear, O’ Protector of the fearful!”
The most important points in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 12th are the following:
Revisiting the concepts of modesty and chastity and their role in the realization of the Islamic lifestyle; explaining the consequences of revealing other people’s shortcomings and faults; and explaining the relationship between justice and security.
* The Meaning of Sitr [Glossing over Faults] and Chastity
The literal meaning of the Arabic term “Sitr” is that of a covering which is used to cover things. Similarly, ‘ifāf [meaning chastity and modesty] is defined as abstinence from any unlawful actions, whether illicit sexual relations or other unlawful acts.
* The Importance of Concealing the Shortcomings and Faults of other People
One of the Names of Allah is “Sattār al-‘Uyūb” meaning “The Concealer of Sins”. This means that Allah does not allow the people’s good reputation be easily destroyed due to their secretly committed sins or faults.
This lofty Devine attribute should also be realized in man’s life. Man has the duty of protecting other people’s name and reputation by refraining from revealing their secret shortcomings and faults.
In practice, however, we see that many people try to discover the secrets of others’ lives and reveal them. These people neglect the fact that if the faults and shortcomings of the members of a society remain concealed, they can live peacefully together.
However, if the faults and shortcomings of the members of a society are revealed, they will no longer be able to live together as a community as this will destroy the mutual trust among them and will create an atmosphere of skepticism and mistrust within the society. Such an atmosphere will eventually undermine the society itself and it will fall apart.
Moreover, the disclosure of the people’s secrets and faults can provoke enmity within the community, sometimes even provoking severe conflicts. Given all of the evils of revealing such faults and shortcomings, if one seeks social well-being, security, and peace for the society one needs to refrain from disclosing other people’s faults and shortcomings.
It is worth noting that, when people lose their respect and good reputation in the society it emboldens them to commit more sins as they will feel they have nothing to lose any longer. Fearing the fact that one’s misdeeds may be disclosed, people tend to act cautious when it comes to committing misdeeds. However, once they are actually disgraced by the disclosure of their faults and sins, they will no longer have anything to lose and will recklessly engage in sinning.
* Forbearance and Chastity, the Most Beautiful Adornments of the Islamic Lifestyle
Forbearance and chastity are considered two of the most important qualities of the Islamic lifestyle. The Arabic term “‘Ifāf” literally refers to the feeling where one is content with eating a little amount of food or some small leftover.
It has developed a rather broader meaning within the framework of the Islamic teachings which is to practice self-restraint toward all human desires, including sexual desire, the desire for power, worldly positions, wealth, speaking and so on.
* The Relationship between Justice and Security in the Islamic Community
Security, including security against Divine Retribution, security against social mishaps such as war, transgression, and murder, and even psychological sense of security can be achieved only when the following two principles rule the human societies: faith and social justice.
If the faith in Allah is undermined in a society, the sense of responsibility toward Him is eliminated and social justice have been replaced by oppression and wrongdoing, security also will be, for sure, compromised in such a society.
This is why, though the world intellectuals are constantly attempting to come up with plans to enhance peace and eliminate insecurity in the world, the world is actually moving farther from peace and security every day. This is clearly because of the fragile faith in God and the predominance of oppression instead of justice in the societies.
* Allah, the Supreme Protector of all
According to the Quran, a nation can turn into a powerful nation and persists its existence with honor when it associates itself with The Greatest Power which exists, puts its trust only in Him and seek help merely from that immortal power.
Therefore, a nation that only submits to such a power will fear no one else in the world. Obviously, the source of such a power can be found in none other than the Creator of the Universe, Allah the Almighty. 
C. Abstaining from sexually provocative films and other forms of corrupt media.
If the youth abstain from these evils and trust in Allah, Allah will protect them and pave the way for their marriage. When one is deluged in the commission of all sorts of sins, this will lead to various types of spiritual and physical problems. One cannot expect to live in a dirty place filled with bacteria and viruses and still remain healthy.
The Quran has further highlighted the dangers of being in the company of bad friends in the following verses: ‘One of them will say, ‘Indeed I had a companion who used to say, ‘‘Are you really among those who affirm [that] when we are dead and have become dust and bones, we shall indeed be brought to retribution?’’ ’He will say, ‘Will you have a look?’ Then he will take a look and sight him in the middle of hell. He will say, ‘By Allah, you had almost ruined me! And had it not been for my Lord’s blessing, I too would have been among the arraigned!’’
These verses clearly show that evil friends can lead a good person to the hellfire, while good friends can guide a bad person towards paradise.
2. We must see how a person [who claims to be a Shia] prays and when they pray. Imam 'Alī ('a) is narrated to have said to Mālik al-Ashtar: ‘Dedicate your best times to prayer’. The reason behind this is that prayer gives one strength and spirit to do what needs to be done.
3. We must also see how the individual in question spends his wealth. This doesn’t mean that he needs to be tight fisted but rather, it means that he should be moderate in his spending habits. On the Day of Judgment, two questions will be asked in regards to our wealth: where we obtained it and how we spent it. We must earn our money in a lawful manner and we must spend it in a wholesome and moderate manner.
THE TRUE SHIA
« وَلَمَّا جَعَلَ المَأْمُونُ إلَی عَلِی بْنِ مُوسَی الرِّضَا (علیهما السلام) وِلاَیَةَ العَهْدِ دَخَلَ عَلَیْهِ آذَنَهُ وَ قَالَ اِنَّ قَوْماً بِالْبَابِ یَسْتَأْذِنُونَ عَلَیْکَ یَقُولُونَ: نَحْنُ شِیعَةُ عَلِی (علیه السلام)... إنَّمَا شِیعَتُهُ الحَسَنُ وَ الْحُسَیْنُ وَ أبُوذَرُ وَ سُلْمَانُ وَ الْمِقْدَادُ وَ عَمَّارٌ وَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أبِی بَکْر الَّذِینَ لَمْ یُخَالِفُوا شَیْئاً مِنْ أوَامِرِهِ ... فَلَوْقُلْتُمْ إنَّکُمْ مُوَالُوهُ وَ مُحِبُّوهُ وَ المُوَالُونَ لاِوْلِیَائِهِ وَ الْمُعَادُونَ لأعْدَائِهِ لَمْ أُنْکِرْهُ مِنْ قَوْلِکُمْ...»
‘When Ma'mūn s e l e c ted Imam al-Riḍā ('a) as his apparent successor, a group of people came to visit the Imam ('a). The Imam’s ('a) housekeeper went to him and said that a group of people were waiting behind the gate and they were seeking permission to meet with him. He also added: ‘they say that they are the ‘Shias of Ali’’… The Imam ('a) did not give them permission to enter. This group came back on the second and third day and each time, the Imam ('a) refused their request; this continued for a period of two months.
On the last day of their stay, they told the housekeeper to tell the Imam ('a) that if they were to return to their city without having seen the Imam ('a), the people would say that you have been in Ṭūs for two months, did you see the Imam ('a) or not? If they were to tell them that the Imam ('a) had not given them permission, they would be completely disgraced. The housekeeper relayed this message and the Imam ('a) gave them permission to enter. When they had entered the house, he didn’t give them permission to sit down.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 4, p. 512.
 Ibid, p. 724.
 A Selection of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 470.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 3, p. 351.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 1, p. 424.
 Ibid, vol. 2, p. 508.
 Islamic Ethics in the Nahj al-Balāghah [based on the Muttaqīn Sermon], vol. 1, p. 340.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 5, p. 321.
 Al-Baqarah, 83.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 333.