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Monday, April 28, 2008

Child Inheriting from Father

Q: Nikha was performed on 9th April and child born on 25th Oct same year. Does child inherit in will of dad?

A: The period from time of nikah to the birth of the child is more than six months, so yes, the child is legitimate and will inherit from both parents. Shariah rules that any child born within six months or more from the date of nikah is legitimate. (Raddul Muhtaar etc.)

Avoiding Paying a Traffic Fine

Q: Is it a sin to avoid paying a traffic offence fine seeing that one has not taken money from anyone ?

A: Imposing a monetary fine or compensation on anyone for an offence is not allowed in Islam. During his Hajj The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made this declaration: PAY HEED! THE WEALTH OF A MAN IS NOT LAWFUL EXCEPT WITH HIS HEART'S CONSENT. (Musnad of Imam Ahmad) In Shariah certain crimes are punishable through imprisonment or physical punishment, but never through taxation or usurpation of wealth. No one, not even the Muslim ruler, has the right to take away the wealth of anyone against his will. Therefore, to avoid paying a traffic fine is not a sin in Islam.
However, if in so doing one fears the embarassment of being arrested, prosection, and jail sentence, or the possibility of having to pay more than the original fine then it is necessary to pay the original fine. This is based on two Shar'ee principles: a) The hadith teaches that one should not deliberately subject oneself to disgrace (Tirmizhi), which is what the above may entail. b) If one is faced with two evils, one should adopt the lesser of the two. In this case, paying the fine is certainly the lesser of the two evils. To avoid disgrace and /or a greater evil, the trafic fine should be paid. If one shuns payment of the fine and ends up in greater difficulty such as arrest and imprisonment, then such a person is sinful.
This answer should not be construed as a condonation of breaking traffic rules and speeding that engangers the lives of others. Islam also teaches rules of public safety and road use. Driving recklessly and so fast that other road users are threatened with injury or death is a sin in Islam. In an Islamic State such crimes will not be punished through monetary fines. Instead, the offender may face imprisonment. I am sure that should this be implemented in our country, few people would dare break traffic laws, for in most cases people do not find it so difficult to part with a few rands than to sit in jail.

Reading Qur'aan without Headcovering

Q: Can a person read Quran without a cap? What is the ruling for men and women?

A: The Ulema have mentioned that among the aadaab or ettiquette of Quran recitation one is to cover the head. So though it is permissible to read Quran with the head open, it is makrooh (disapproved) because this is contrary to respect.
For a woman it is not permissible to recite Quran with the head and hair uncovered. This law will be stricter in the case of woman, as is the case in salah. A man's salaah is makrooh but valid if he does not wear a cap (topi). However, the woman's salaah is not valid at all if she performs salaah without head and hair covered. The same principle will apply to Quran reading.

Supporting Answers with Proofs

Q: It is good to answer the question with the support of clear proof for Qur'an or Sunnah or both.

A: Jazakallah for your email. However, I am not sure if your statement above is a question or whether are you merely offering advice. In either case, let me explain this issue.
Not every question can be answered with clear proof from Quran or Sunnah, because not every proof is clear to the layman. While Ulema and learned Scholars will understand Shar'ee proof quite easily, some proof may not be understood by the layman at all. The Laws of Islam are established from Quran, Sunnah, Ijmaa, and QIyaas. These four principles or Usool of Fiqh, which are accepted by all Imams, are the sources from where the Laws of Shariah are derived. The ordinary man who has not studied these principles will find most of the proofs unclear and indecisive. These are technical terms and definitions which can only be understood by detailed study of Islam.
Furthermore, thousands of laws of Islam are not established directly from Quran and Hadith, especially laws related to the modern-day transactions and inventions. People ask questions mainly for the answers and to obtain practical guidance on Islamic matters. Few are interested in proofs. By furnishing a daleel or proof for every answer, the ordinary questioner will be confused. If Ulema need proofs they may submit a separate question to the one who answers the questions.
I can show you hundreds of fatwas of the Sahaaba wherein they answered questions without providing proof at all for their fatwas, nor did the questioner ask for any proof. There are many examples of this in Bukhari Shareef and other hadith kitabs.

Tawaaful-wida and Menstruation

Q: What happens in the case where a women going for Haj is unable to perform her tawaaful-wida because of her menstruation? Can she perform her tawaaful-wida immediately after the 5 days of Haj because she is aware of when her menstruating period starts?

A: The tawaaful-wida’ may be done after the 5 days of Hajj provided the woman is leaving for home within a day or two. She should try her best to delay her departure in order to complete this tawaaf. However, if this will cause inconvenience then she is also allowed to leave out the tawaaful-widaa entirely.

Hajj and Menstruation

Q: What happens when a woman going for Haj starts menstruating on the 2 or 3rd day of Zhul-Hijja and is unable to perform her tawaaf-e-ziyaarat? What if she is unable to perform tawaaf-e-ziyaarat at all that year because of her menstruation? When her menstruation period is over she will already be back in South Africa. What does she have to do then?

A: If it is possible for this woman to delay her departure from Makka till she becomes clean then this should be done. However, if she cannot delay her departure, or her haidh stretches for 9 to 10 days then she must be instructed to make the tawaaf in that impure state and give one camel as a dum. This dum may be given at any time but must be slaughtered and distributed in the Haram of Makka.

Qurbani Meat and Fidya

Q: 1) Is it possible to give fidyah for missed fasts by taking a share in a qurbani that will be done for the poor. Say for example, I owe R240 fidyah, but a share costs R100. So if I give 3 shares, it will amount to R300. In so doing my intention is that the meat of these three shares, which will be given to the poor, is on behalf of my fidya. Is this correct?
2) Is it necessary to keep a third of the Qurbani meat?
3) Can Qurbani meat be given to poor non-Muslims?

A: 1) It is not permissible to pay your fidya in this manner. The avenue of Qurbani is entirely different to fidya, therefore, fidya must be paid separately.
2) It is not necessary to keep a third of your Qurbani. One may give all the meat to the poor or to friends, or even keep all the meat for oneself. However, it is meritorious and preferable to divide the Qurbani meat into three parts: one for yourself, one for friends and family, and the third for the poor. 3) It is permissible to give Qurbani meat to poor non-Muslims.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Remarrying and Number of Divorces

Q: A man divorced his wife once and then separated from her. After 3 years the couple remarried, but in the interim this woman had been married to another person and got divorced from him. When she comes back to the first husband, does he have two talaaq left or are the three talaaq reinstated?

A: In this case the first husband has two talaaq left. The interim marriage had no effect on the number of talaaq.

Bovine (Beef) Gelatine

Q: What is the ruling on bovine (beef) gelatine?

A: Beef gelatine or bovine gelatine is not halaal because it is manufactured from animals that were not slaughtered by Muslims. If it can be ascertained with certainty that the animals from whose skin this gelatine was manufactured were slaughtered by Muslims then it will be permissible to consume such gelatine.

Masah on Nylon Socks

Q: Is it permissible for a person to make masah on nylon socks?

A: Masah on nylon socks is not permissible. The socks which the Sahaaba made masah on were so strong that they were able to walk in those socks without wearing shoes and it never tore until after some time. Today’s ordinary socks do not fall under this category.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Working for a Brewery

Q: Is it permissible to work for SA Breweries as an Admin Clerk or Accountant in their offices?

A: It is not permissible to do any work for a company that manufactures and/or sells liquor. If one is already in such an employ, he or she should look out for an alternate employment as a matter of urgency. Once another job is found one should immediately resign, regardless of the perks or payouts that may be lost, and notwithstanding a drop in salary and income. Allah puts people to test in this world. When they pass the test, He then opens up His Doors of Mercy and Rizq upon them. In earning a halaal income, one is assured of blessings all the time. Working for a Brewery is living constantly under the curse of Allah, which was sounded for people involved in wine and wine making.

Dyeing Eyebrows

Q: Are women allowed to dye their eyebrows brown? If not, could you please explain why?

A: Dying the eyebrows is an alteration to the natural creation of Allah. It is not a natural thing. In verse 119 of Surah 4, Allah tells us of the promise Shaytaan made to persuade mankind to change and alter the natural creation of Allah. Under this verse the hadith mentions practices such as shaving or trimming the eyebrows, using false hair, filing the front teeth just for enhancement of looks, dying the hair different colours, etc. We can thus realize that dying the eyebrows also comes under this category, and therefore, cannot be allowed. Furthermore, this is certainly a practice that came from the western style of fashion, and we are not allowed to imitate the kuffar in fashion and dressing.

Women and Work

Q: My wife has been offered a job. Can she accept it?

A: According to Shariah a woman only works when she has no means of income and maintenance. It is a case of necessity. If you as the husband are earning, there is no need for her to work. So I advise that she does not take the job.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Water Birth

Q: Can birth be given in water?

A: Birth in water is permissible, since doctors consider this to be effective in decreasing pain in labour. There is nothing in Shariah to suggest that this is wrong.

Voluntary Caesarian Section

Q: Can a voluntary caesarian section be done when it is possible to give birth the natural way?

A: A voluntary caesarian section is not permissible if a woman can give birth normally. The reasons for this are as follows: a) Islam does not allow self-infliction of pain and hurt, which is obviously the case with a cesarean birth. b) This will force the woman to come into contact with several male doctors unnecessarily. Though a male doctor might even be present for a normal birth, but at times that is unavoidable, whereas in a caesarian birth, there is sure to be more than one male doctor in the theatre. c) This entails extra costs, which in private hospitals can become quite exorbitant. Spending unnecessarily is not allowed in Islam. Over and above this, Islam never encourages the discarding of natural means and methods, especially those ways and means that were devised by Allah Ta'ala.

Abdul Muttalib

Q. A certain scholar has mentioned that Abdul Mutalib is in jahannum. His proof is a hadith in Muslim Shareef. He also said that the parents of our Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are in jahannum, quoting a hadith in Abu Dawood shareef. What is the view of the ulema on this?

A: Indeed, that scholar is quite brazen and bold to use such strong terms for the grandfather and parents of Our Beloved Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is true that these ahadith appear in the books cited above, but the Uleme-e-Haqq have differed on this mas'ala. Some Scholars, such as Mulla Ali Qaari, have accepted these ahadeeth on its apparent meaning and maintain that the parents and grandparents of our beloved Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were not blessed with iemaan since they passed away on the religion of the Pagan Arabs. On the other hand, Scholars such as Allama Suyooti and others are of the opinion that the parents of Our Nabi Muhammad (sallallaha alayhi wasallam) were indeed granted iemaan and died as Muslims. The matter is a delicate one and certainly not an issue that we will have to answer for on the Day of Judgment, nor a matter that we shall be called upon to give verdict. We leave the matter to Allah, for He Knows Best. Due to its sensitivity, Ulema say we should not delve too much into this issue, least of all make bold and audacious statements.

Heal Balms with Urea

Q: Can heal balms be used that contain urea?

A: Urea is a substance extracted from the urine of animals. It is haraam to use such substances. There are alternate heel balms or similar creams that could be used to treat cracked heels, hence it will not be permissible to use heel balms that contain urea. If the problem is severe and a Muslim doctor advises or experience has proves, that only the heel balm containing urea is beneficial, then to use it will be permissible.

Missing Salaah while Travelling

Q: If one missed a salaah on the road while traveling and makes the qadhaa after returning home, how many rakaats should he or she make: 2 or 4?

A: Since the salaah was missed whilst one was a musaafir, the person will make qadhaa of 2 rakaats, not 4.

Travelling and Salaah

Q: A traveler entered his home town just as the athaan of maghrib was going.. He had not yet performed his Asr. When he makes the qadhaa of Asr should he perform 2 or 4 rakaats?

A: The Asr salaah became qadhaa when the Maghrib athaan went off, since Asr ends when sunsets. At that point the musaafir had already entered his home town and had become a muqeem. The Asr thus became qadhaa whilst he was a muqeem, hence he has to make qadhaa of 4 rakaats nor 2.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hifz Jalsa

Hifz Jalsa Poster. Click to Download.
Darul Uloom Abu Bakr is hosting a Hifz Jalsa on 11 May 2008 at the Darul Uloom, Haworthia Drive.

There will be no ladies accommodation.

All Welcome.

Zuhr Salaah will be at 12:45 Jamaat and Lunch will be served thereafter.

Stolen Goods and Liability

Q: A transporter reported to his client that some of the goods he was supposed to have delivered were stolen en-route. He stated that the door of the truck was closed but not locked and that the goods were stolen whilst he was driving. An oncoming motorist alerted his attention to the open door of the truck. Only then did he realize that goods were missing. At the time of negotiating the contract the transport company had agreed to take responsibility for any losses. According to Shariah, who is responsible for the loss?

A: The Islamic principle governing this situation states that if goods were lost while being transported due to negligence, as in the above case, then the transporter is liable for losses sustained. Leaving the door unlocked is an act of carelessness which should necessitate compensation. Furthermore, the transporter had undertaken acceptance of liability for any losses, in which case he is liable for losses. He shall have to compensate his client for the current market value of the goods that were stolen. However, if both parties agree on a settlement figure, that is also allowed.

Washing Ear in Wudhu

Q: Is washing the ear sunnat or fardh in wudhu?

A: Washing the ear in wudhu is sunnat, not faradh. However, in ghusl it is faradh to wash the ear.

Period of Iddah

Q: How long is the iddah of a woman who has lost her husband?

A: Four months and ten days. If the husband died at the start of an Islamic month, then she should count 4 Islamic months from that day onwards, plus another 10 days. If the husband died in the middle of a month, then she should count a total of 130 days beginning from the day he died.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Culling of Elephants

Q: Is the culling of elephants allowed?

A: Culling is a refined termed for murdering innocent animals in the name of biodiversity or wildlife preservation. Scientists use refined and high-sounding words for sometimes gruesome acts of torture. According to Islam, it is not permissible to kill an animal except for two reasons: a) for eating purposes; and such killing should be done through the humane method of thabah; b) when an animal poses a threat to one’s life or property. The culling of elephants is done by game reserves and farmers merely to protect the so-called environment. That is no reason for murdering these innocent creatures. There is no threat to our lives or our property, and the Creator of the environment will take care of it. Allah has created a balance in His environment which He Himself will maintain. When poachers kill these elephants for money, which is also a haraam act, then the environmentalists are aghast. But when they do the same thing under the protection of the state and in the name of scientific advancement, then they do not even bat an eyelid. These are the double standards of the West. Even the culling process is a huge money making scheme, for the thousands of elephants that are slain do not go to waste. Instead the meat and other expensive items of the animal are sold. In our pure Shariah, all this is not allowed. Rasoolullah taught kindness to even animals and prohibited the use of animals for target practice.

Saying Aameen in Dua

Q: Must the person making dua say aameen as well?

A: Yes, the person making dua should also say aameen to his own duas, for the following reasons: The hadith shareef states: “If the one making dua ends with aameen, he has confirmed the acceptance of his dua.” (Mentioned in Fathul Baari and Tuhfatul Ahwazhi). This proves that the reciter of the dua should also say aameen. Aameen is like a seal on dua, as mentioned by many Ulema of the past, and it is only correct that one should place a seal on one’s own dua. This is also supported by the practice of saying aameen after reciting Surah Faatiha. The last three verses of Surah Fatiha are duas, and the reciter of Surah fatiha is taught to say aameen upon the completion of this surah.

Streaking of Hair

Q: Is streaking the hair permissible, even if no non-mehram will see my hair? Likewise, cutting a fringe to resemble an actress, which is not done to emulate her but merely because one likes that particular style; is this allowed?

A: Here the idea is to emulate a practice of non-Muslims and people of low morals. This is not permissible. The reason is not that non-Mehrams will see the hair, for that is a separate sin. The main reason is as stated above, emulation of immoral and evil people. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: Whoever imitates a nation, becomes one of them. (Abu Dawood). To prefer a particular style or habit of en evil person is itself a haraam act, for Allah states in The Holy Quran: And do not incline to (the ways of) those who have committed injustice (to themselves or others), for then the Hell-fire will touch you. (Surah Hud)

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Q: Is belly-piercing permissible in Islam?

A: This is an act of dancers and other lewd women. Our noble Muslim ladies, who will one day be queens in Jannah, should not adopt the styles and fashions of these immoral people.

Salaah During Juma Talk

Q: If the Jumu’ah talk is on can a Hanafi make any salah?

Yes, sunnat or nafl salaah may be performed even while the talk is in progress. However, a Hanafi will not be able to perform any salaah or zhikr once the khutba begins.

Nail Polish and Salaah

Q: A lady has nail polish on her nails and it cannot be removed at all. How must she read salaah?

A: It is faradh to wash the hand in wudhu because the hand is part of the arm. Due to its non-porous nature, nail polish will prevent water from reaching the nails thus leaving the hand incompletely washed. This in turn renders the wudhu incomplete and one may not offer salaah in that state. She has to make an effort in remove as much of the polish as she possibly can. We do not believe the polish cannot be removed, for there are products available on the market for this purpose. Make an attempt to get these substances. In the first instance, females should never be using such cosmetics that are not sanctioned by Shariah and that cause dysfunction to one’s acts of worship. If she could get the polish, let her obtain the remover.

Salaah with a Long Dress

Q: Is it permissible for a lady to read salaah wearing a long dress without pants? Does the ground curse such a woman?

A: Salaah in such a manner is totally permissible. However, care should be taken that when making sujood or sitting that the legs are not uncovered in any way. There is no grounds for the curse of the ground. In one hadith Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made dua of mercy for those ladies who wear pants under their dresses.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Reading Qur'aan without a Cap (Topi)

Q: Is it permissible to read a qiraat at a wedding function without a topi?

A: This is not permissible because it is open disrespect to the Holy Quran.

Second Wife and Rights

Q: A married man took a second wife, but the marriage was done in private. At the time of the marriage the husband stipulated a condition to the second wife that he will not spend the same time with her as he spends with the first wife. He stated that he will come to her whenever he is free and able to do so, sometimes at night, sometimes during the day. The new wife agreed to waive her rights in this regard. Some time after the marriage was solemnised, the second wife decides to claim her haqq and now wants her right to equal time to be re-instated. Can she do so?

Yes, she can do so. This is one haqq that can be temporarily waived but not entirely forfeited. The second wife can ask for her right to equal time-sharing to be restored.

Men Wearing Rings

Q: Are men allowed to wear rings? If so, from which metal must the rings be made of?

A: The rings that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaba wore were used as a seal for letters. Today we have the rubber stamp which is placed on letters and documents to prove authenticity. In those days they used their rings. The inscription on the ring of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was “Muhammadur Rasoolullah”. The rings they wore for this purpose was from silver, and Allah’s Messenger prohibited all other metals in rings, such as gold, brass, copper, etc. In our times we do not use the rings for this purpose. The only reason why men wear rings today is for ornamentation and fancy display. So whether the rings are of silver, platinum, titanium, men of today will not be allowed to wear any type of rings.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Buying Stolen Goods

Q: Nowadays Muslim businessmen are buying stolen goods, either knowingly or unknowingly? What is the Islamic status of such businesses, and the consequences thereof?

A: I do not believe that a businessman in today’s times will purchase stolen items while being blissfully unaware that they are stolen. A person in business circles will know only too well that items sold for below their market value must be stolen. Traders who buy back-door goods either conveniently ignore this fact or do so deliberately. The consequences of both are the same and are quite serious. Firstly, the hadith shareef warns that a person who wears, eats, or drinks, stolen item will not have his ibaadat accepted for forty days. Secondly, the flesh that is nourished with haraam will burn in Jahannum. Thirdly, there will be no barakat in such a business when the owner dabbles in backdoor deals and stolen goods. Fourthly, such items must be given back to the rightful owner, and if this is not possible then the items must be given in charity without an intention of reward. If for some reason or other, the item itself could not be given to the poor, then it should be sold and all the proceeds from the haraam sale must be given to the poor. Fifthly, the businessman who did this should make taubah for this major sin. There was once a glorious era in our history when the Muslim businessman was a paragon of honesty and virtue. Alas, the sun has set on that once illustrious past, to be replaced by the darkness of sin and vice. Today, Muslim traders have developed habits of deceit, fraud, unfaithfulness, distrust, and dishonesty. Even our kuffar counterparts fear to do business with some Muslim traders. May Allah guide them to the straight path and restore the beautiful heritage of our admirable predecessors, aameen.

Government Land Reparations

Q: In the apartheid times the government forcefully took away many properties from our parents and grandparents and gave them meagre sums of money as a form of compensation. The government is now compensating people who were affected by giving applicants claiming that their parents/grandparents properties had been expropriated, by giving them properties in lieu of the injustice done. My question is that would the properties now given form part of the estate of the deceased to be distributed amongst the heirs or will they be the sole right and ownership of the applicant.

A: It is a principle of Islamic Law that when a non Muslim state usurps the land or property of a Muslim, that state or government becomes its owner, as stated in the famous Hanafi law book Al-Hedayah. This means that such a property has left the possession of the Muslim and has entered the ownership of the non Muslim state. Upon the occurrence of such a transfer of ownership, the Muslim has lost all rights to that property. Consequently when that Muslim dies, the property usurped from him by the state does not form part of his estate. His heirs will have no claim to such a property at any stage. The same law applies to properties acquired by the State through forced sales. The owners forfeited all rights over those properties to the state the moment they signed the deeds of sale. Years later, when the new government decides to compensate the former owners by giving them the same properties back, or other properties in its place, this must not be considered a retrieval of a past right, or a type of refund. In Shar'ee terms restitution of land is actually a gift or grant by the government to compensate the former owners for their losses. Hence, whoever the authorities decide to give these lands to, will become the owners. As stated earlier, lands lost to the apartheid government no longer belonged to the former owners, so such lands were never inherited by the heirs. On this basis, when today lands are given to people who lost theirs during the apartheid regime, it will be regarded as government grants. The recipients are the owners, not the heirs of the former owners. So these lands and properties will not form part of the deceased estate and does not need to be distributed among surviving heirs. The one who receives such a land from the state will own it unconditionally.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Support of an Illegitimate Child

Q: If a married man has a child out of wedlock, does he have a moral obligation towards that child or not? This child is now an adult. The father wants his legitimate children to recognise this child (born out of nikah). Also, this child is not a Muslim. Please advise.

A: A child born our of wedlock is the responsibility of the mother. The biological father is not obligated to support or care for the child. Such a child will not inherit from the biological father, nor will he (the father) inherit from the child if the latter passes away. Illegitimate children inherit from the mother only. A man cannot expect his family to accept an illegitimate child or to make him or her part of his legitimate family. In fact, one should try and hide the fact that a child was fathered outside nikah. If the child is not a Muslim then there is even greater reason for the father to avoid any interaction with him or her. May Allah save our Muslims for the disaster of illegitimacy. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warned: “Among the signs of Qiyamah, one will be the increase of illegitimate children” (Durr-e-Manthoor) This is obviously a hint that zinaa will become widespread.

Covering of Ladies' Feet

Q: Are a ladies feet part of her aura (part of the body that needs to be covered)? Is it Fard or Mustahab to keep the feet covered when leaving the home and when reading salaah? (for Hanafi)

In the Hanafi math-hab the feet of a woman is not aurah during salaah, but is aurah outside salaah. This is the view of most of the Hanafi Scholars. Hence during salaah she does not need to cover her feet. However, when leaving home the feet should be covered. We advise women who cannot wear socks on hot days to wear a long jilbaab that will cover the feet as well.

Credit Manager

Q: Can you kindly advise me whether the position of a Credit Manager is suitable to accept. The role is to assess the client’s finance and either accept or decline the application. The post has been offered by a Bank.

A: When you approve a bank loan, you are approving a transaction that involves usury or interest, which is not permissible. Hence if you have not yet taken the post, don't do so. Search for an alternative. I can also suggest to consider Islamic banking and finance, I am sure the Bank you mentioned has this facility or is in the process of setting up such a department. In Islamic banking transactions are not based on interest. The other aspect which is worth mentioning on a general basis (not confined to a bank) is accessing clients accounts. If this is done with their permission, i.e. they are informed in advanced that the Credit Bureau will investigate their accounts and private details, then this is allowed. But then all information must remain confidential. You will not be allowed to speak about or divulge this information to anyone outside work circles or to anyone in your work whom it does not concern. If these investigations are done without the knowledge of the applicant, then this is not permissible. In Islam this is spying which the Quran has prohibited. If this is what being a Credit Manager entails, one should decline the offer to work as a credit manager, and if one is already in that field, then we advise to keep the job but start looking for a new job immediately. Also, make lots of istighfaar and dua that Allah takes one out of this job and opens up other avenues of earning. The person in that position should restlessly and relentlessly keep looking out for another occupation and Insha Allah, Allah will grant it. The same applies to one working as a credit manager for a non-Muslim bank.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Witnesses to a Will

Q: I’ve got a will from the Jamiat. They require witnesses to sign on the will. Who can and can’t be a witness? Can a beneficiary be a witness?

A: Beneficiaries (i.e. heirs or those for whom you made wasiyyat) cannot be witnesses. Besides these any baaligh, male or female, who is of sound mind may sign as witness.

Father, Wife, Son, Mother's Sister

Q: I would like to know the following: I'm busy drawing up my will. My mother passed away when I was 4 months old. My father re-married my mother’s sister. She brought me up. Will any share of my estate go to her? How would my estate be distributed? I'm currently married with one son.

A: Should you expire at this point in time, your estate would be divided among your father, wife, and son. Father would get one sixth, wife would get one eighth, and balance would go to your son. If at the time of your expiry your father is not alive then the wife still gets one eighth, but the residue will go to your son. Your mother’s sister (your aunt) who is currently your step-mother will not inherit. If you wish her to receive part of your estate, you may make a wasiyyat (bequeathal) in her favour which should not exceed one third of the entire estate.

Ihraam in the State of Menstruation

Q: If in a state of haidh I go for umrah/hajj and ihraam needs to be put on; do I go ahead and put it on or wait to take ghusl and then do so?

A: A woman intending Hajj or Umrah whilst in haidh or nifaas should have a bath and enter the state of ihram. She cannot read the salaah of ihram, so she will merely make the intention of ihram (for Hajj or Umrah) and read her talbiyah. Having done that, she will now be in the state of ihram and will have to avoid all the prohibitions of ihram. When she becomes clean, she will have a normal ghusl and complete the remaining rituals of Hajj or Umrah. Note that during haidh she cannot make tawaaf of the Ka’ba. Tawaaf should be performed after coming out of haidh.

Lack of Concentration in Salaah

Q: I have a lack of concentration while making salaah. What can I do to rectify this problem?

A: a) Think of the words that you are reciting.
b) Hear yourself reading then focus on every word.
c) Try to understand the meanings, then focus on these.
d) When making the niyyah for salaah, contemplate that you are standing before Allah, that you are about to enter the Court of Allah, it will help prepare your frame of mind.
e) Make a proper wudhu according to the sunnah with all the etiquette. This helps a great deal in concentration.
f) Try to cut off all worldly involvement some time before salaah, so you are mentally prepared for the namaaz.
g) In the salaah just ignore the thoughts that come. When you ignore guests, they feel insulted so they never come back. Likewise these stray thoughts are guests; ignore them and they will never return.
h) At intervals during the salaah just bring the thought to mind that, ‘I am standing in front of Allah, He is looking at me and hearing my every word.’ Keep bringing this though to mind at various stages during the salaah. Insha-Allah by following these tips consistently, you will soon achieve a fair degree of concentration in your ibaadat. However, even if there is a lack of total or partial concentration, your salaah will be accepted. This should no discourage you from performing salaah. Continue with salaah while adhering to the above.

Tramping on Jilbaab with Shoes

Q: If while I am on Umrah and happen to tramp on my jilbaab with shoes, and maybe in ihraam or walking to the Haram, is it ok to make salaah in those clothes?

A: Yes, you can make salaah in such clothes for they have not become napaak (unclean).

Spotting and Menstruation

Q: I have a few questions regarding Haidh and Ghusl. Please answer according to the Hanafi Math-hab. When I become clean from haidh, I take a ghusl, but after a few hours, maybe the next salaah, I notice some spotting. Should I take another ghusl?
At times I take up to 3 baths, because the spotting occurs after a every few hours. What is the ruling regarding spotting? My haidh will stop completely; I will be clean from maybe the night rightthrough to morning, and then bath, but the spotting occurs again.

A: In terms of haidh rulings, spotting is regarded as normal bleeding. Any spotting that is seen after haidh has ended must be regarded as part of that haidh. In other words, the spotting means your haidh has not yet ended. Some difficulty will be experienced because you won't know exactly when the haidh ends and that's why you might have to make ghusl several times. This is a problem many women face. If this spotting carries on after 10 days then consider it as istihaadha. Then your haidh will actually be the period of the previous month, whatever number of days that was, and the rest of the days will be istihaadha. And if you don't remember the previous month's cycle then your haidh will be full 10 days. So if there is spotting after 10 days, have a bath and thereafter just make wudhu for every salah till the spotting stops.

Pardah for Step-father

Q: Is a child (girl) allowed to stay with her step father and her mother in one house?

A: When the step-daughter becomes baaligh then she has to observe some form of pardah with her step-father. She can live in the same house, but they must not be alone. And if the age gap is not very big then full pardah must apply

Lady going for Umrah without Mahram

Q: We were planning on going for Umrah. There is a lady who is a very old lady and also wishes to go for Umrah but she has no mehram. Can she travel in the company of a few old ladies?

A: In the Shaafi'e math-hab. it is permissible for a lady to travel for Umrah and Hajj in the company of other elderly, responsible ladies. This is not allowed in the Hanafi math-hab. She needs a mehram.

False Allegations

Q: A false allegation of theft was made against a person by another Muslim. A charge was laid against the alleged thief. The police made a full investigation and found the allegation to be false and baseless. In terms of Shariah Law, what course of action is the accused entitled to adopt against his fellow Muslim who accused him unjustly?

A: It is a major sin to accuse someone falsely as appears in the case you mentioned. If indeed one Muslim had accused another of theft which was in reality false, the former has committed a major sin. He had to go to his Muslim brother and seek his pardon. If this information was circulated among people, then the accuser had to publicly announce that the allegation was false and that the accused is innocent. He had to make a public retraction either in writing or verbally. He also has to seek the pardon of his Muslim brother and apologise for bringing his name into disrepute. Then he had to seek the forgiveness of Allah for the sin of slander. Allah Ta’ala states in Surah Ahzaab:(33), verse 58: “Verily those who hurt Muslim males and females with false accusations, they have taken upon themselves great slander and manifest sin” Over and above this there is nothing more to be done. According to Shariah the accused will not be allowed to take legal action and sue his accuser for defamation as kuffar normally do in situations like this. Claiming damages for mental or psychological suffering etc. is not allowed by Shariah. If this was an Islamic country then the slanderer would be physically punished or jailed for the slander. But monetary compensation is not permissible in this case. The accused should make sabr, and in lieu of this, according to hadith, Allah will elevate his status and grant him greater respect. There is no doubt that a great injustice has been done to this person, but he should be careful not to overstep the limits of Shariah lest he becomes the oppressor. Let him not think that his name and reputation have been spoilt, because the hadith promises that when one who has been wronged makes sabr and does not aspire for revenge then Allah Ta'ala grants him greater respect.

Attending Comedy Shows

Q: Is it Islamically acceptable to organise or attend comedy shows?

A: From the hadith we learn that comedy acts are not permissible. In one hadith it is mentioned: “Wretched is that person who utters false jokes to make people laugh”. (Tirmizhi) Another hadith states: “A man will say things in front of a gathering for no reason but to make the audience laugh; for that he shall be thrown down a pit that is wider than the expanse of the heavens and earth.” (Bayhaqi) These ahaadith quite clearly refer to comedy acts and utterances. It is, therefore, not permissible to organise such shows, or to attend them.

Fee for Organising a Contract

Q: I organised a contract for another person. Am I allowed to charge him a fee for this?

A: No, this is bribery. Nowadays most contracts and tenders are secured through bribes. Bribery is haraam. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cursed the giver and the taker of bribes. If a contract or tender cannot be secured through halaal means, rather avoid it. There will be no barakat in earnings that stem from bribery.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Arms in Ruku

Q: Should the arms be bent in ruku’ or straight?

A: In ruku the arms should be slightly bent. In this way one would be able to observe the sunnat ruku’.

Purchasing a Qurbani Sheep Jointly

Q: If due to ignorance my friend and I purchased a sheep jointly; he gave half the price and I gave half. Now we realized that we cannot share this sheep for qurbani purposes. What do we do in this case?

A: One of you should give his half of the sheep to the other, so that the second person slaughters the whole sheep on behalf of himself. After doing so, he then makes an intention to convey the thawaab of his qurbani to you as well. In this way, both of you will achieve the objective of earning thawaab.

Qurbani for more than one Dead Person

Q: Is one allowed to slaughter one animal in Qurbani for more than one dead person, or should we slaughter one animal per deceased?

A: Actually one should offer one qurbani for one deceased. This is the proper way and all the thawaab of that one animal will go to the deceased whose name was taken. However, if one made one’s own nafl qurbani, it will be permissible to convey the reward of this to more than one deceased. This is just like any other iesaal-e-thawaab. For example, one fasts or gives sadaqa or recites Surah Yaseen; the reward of these a’maal may be conveyed to several dead people at one and the same time. But if Qurbani is made in the name of specific dead people, then one animal per deceased is allowed.

Sharing the Cost of a Qurbani Animal

Q: Is it permissible for two people to go half and half in slaughtering a sheep or a goat? Can two people share the cost of one animal for Qurbani?

A: Shares for Qurbani are not allowed in a sheep or goat; hence two people will not be allowed to purchase one sheep or goat jointly and slaughter that for Qurbani. Such an animal will not be counted as Qurbani, but will be regarded only as halaal meat. The Shariah has allowed shares only in a camel or ox. These animals carry seven shares each.

Smoking and a Wife's Rights

Q: Some men are habitual smokers and there are times when the smell on their breath and bodies causes much distress to the wife during intimacy. What rights does the wife have in such cases?

A: Indeed, we believe there are many wives out there who suffer in silence under the assault of tobacco smell that emanates from the smoking husbands mouth, body, hair, and clothing. The smell of cigarettes can become so offensive at times that one becomes nausea. According to Shariah if the husband causes such distress to his wife during intercourse, she may refuse him.

Bequeathal before Shares

Q: The Muftis say that wasiyyat comes before the shares of the heirs. (In other words, if a deceased had made a wasiyyat (bequeathal), then one should first settle wasiyyat then give the heirs their shares from the residue.) Is this not injustice to the heirs? Should the heirs not come first? How can the Muftis ignore the haqq of the heirs by paying out wasiyyat first?

The Muftis say this on the basis of Quran and Hadith. It is not the Muftis who decide who must get what first; instead it is Almighty Allah Himself who states that we should settle the wasiyyat first, then give the heirs their shares. After mentioning the shares of the sons, daughters, mother, and father Allah Ta’ala states in Surah Nisaa (4) verse 11: ...after a wasiyyat that was made or after debts; In the very next verse, after mentioning the shares of the husband, wife, and siblings, Allah Ta’ala again states: …. after a wasiyyat that was made or after debts. This clearly indicates that the heirs will get their shares after a wasiyyat has been fulfilled. It is, therefore, not the ruling of the Muftis or Moulanas but rather the Command of Allah Azza Wa Jall in the Holy Quran. Anyone who opposes or refutes this is objecting directly against Almighty Allah. It should be noted that a wasiyyat is only paid out from a third or less of the estate. It is haraam to allow a wasiyyat to exceed a third.

Wife, Mother, Son and Daughter

Q: A man died and left behind his wife, mother, son, and daughter. How will the estate be divided?

After settling funeral expenses, debts, and wasiyyat from the estate, the balance will be divided as follows: The wife will receive an eighth and the mother one sixth; the balance will be divided into three parts from which the son will get two parts and the daughter one.

Mother, Father and Two Brothers

Q: A woman passed away and was survived by her mother, father, and 2 brothers. How will her estate be divided?

A: According to the Islamic Law of Inheritance, when the father is alive, brothers and sisters do not inherit. Furthermore, if the deceased had no children or grandchildren, the father takes the balance of the estate after other heirs had received their shares. In the above case it is only the mother and father who will inherit. Due to the existence of mayit’s brothers, her mother’s share is scaled down from a third to one sixth. So mother gets one sixth, and the balance of five sixths go to the father. The above distribution must take place after funeral expenses, debts, and wasiyyat have been settled from the estate.

The Amman Message

Q: What is your view on the Amman Message?

A: The Amman message is a document prepared and compiled after a meeting in Amman, upon the instigation of King Abdullah of Jordan. For all intents and purposes, that document appears to be politically motivated, for the content itself violates every principle of Islamic belief. One cannot read anything into this document except political machinations. The Amman Message has been supposedly designed to foster better inter-faith relations among Muslims, and to unite the fragmented Ummat. It is purported to convey the true aqaai-id or Beliefs of Islam. However, it contains everything to the contrary. It recognises certain sects that are outside the Pale of Islam, such as Shias, and it gives credibility to baatil or deviant groups such as the Ibaadiiyah and Salafi sects. The document precludes Ulema from declaring false sects as false, and issuing fatwa of kufr on those groups that have reneged on Islam. It is claimed that 500 scholars world-wide attached their signatures of approval to this document. What a farce! The 500 so-called scholars comprise male and female journalists, male and female business people, professors, medical doctors, rich land owners, etc. Surely such people cannot be termed Islamic Scholars. There are some Ulema from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, and South Africa whose names appear on the list. However, one serious discrepancy that has come to light in the Amman message is the supposed ‘signature’ of Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani, of Pakistan. We have a written statement in our possession from Hazrat Mufti sahib wherein he categorically denied signing the Amman message. His signature was probably copied from a fatwa on one particular issue that he had sent to the Amman group. If this is the case, how can we believe that the other signatures are authentic?

Dealing with an Aids Sufferer

Q: If a Muslim is discovered to be infected by the Hiv or Aids virus, how should that person be treated?

A: Such a person will be treated like any other HIV or AIDS patient. Give him or her all the normal treatment that is available, as well as moral support. Above all, such a person needs to be explained the workings of Taqdeer, the Power of Allah to cure, and the need to turn to Allah for help. It must be born in mind that not all people affected by this virus are guilty of immoral behaviour. There are various ways that people can contract this disease. Islam teaches that an ill person must be looked after and cared for. The rewards are tremendous for treating those whom are ill. Hence an HIV/AID patient should not be frowned upon or abandoned. In fact, they are in greater need of help than others. May Allah Ta’ala protect us from illness and disease and grant the afflicted ones complete Shifaa, aameen.

Pardah for a Brother-in-Law

Q: Is it necessary for a woman to observe pardah with her brother-in-law?

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: The brother-in-law is death (narrated by Imam Tirmizhi). The reasons for such a stern warning are: a) Sister-in-law and brother-in-law sometimes live in the same house, so there is often intermingling. b) Because of such frequent intermingling people tend to relax the law of pardah. c) If brother-in-law gets involved with sister in law, the repercussions of this zinaa is far worse than committing zina with an outsider, and eventually leads to severing of family ties. Sister-in-law and brother-in-law are not mehrams; they are total strangers, so hijaab is wajib between the two.

Wasiyyat for Wife and Kids

Q: Can one leave behind a wasiyyat for wife and kids?

A: The Hadith of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam forbids a wasiyyat for heirs because heirs such as wife, parents, and children must inherit. No one can deprive them of their share in the estate.

Unpaid Zakaah

Q: A man did not pay zakaah for 20 years. He owns a business and only a year ago he has got R300 000 cash in the bank. What must he do about the 20 years? Please clarify

A: If this man possessed stock or cash equal to or more than the value of nisaab during the past 20 years, then he has to pay zakaat for all the past years. However, if he never owned stock or cash to the value of nisaab, or he always had debts that outweighed his assets, then zakaat for the past years is not compulsory. He shall pay zakaat on the R300,000. for the current year only since that is a recent asset.

Leaving Home in the Iddat

Q: Can a woman who is in iddah of talaaq leave the home for any reason?

A: Whilst observing the iddah after talaaq, a woman may not go out of the confines of her home except in cases of emergency. Emergency refers to life and death situations. The husband is supposed to support his wife during her iddah, hence there is no need for her to leave the home. However, a woman who is observing the iddah of wafaat (demise of her husband) may leave the home between sunrise and sunset.

Start of Iddat

Q: If a man gave his wife talaaq, does she have to start iddat immediately?

A: The iddah of a woman starts immediately after talaaq has been uttered by the husband.

Reading Salaah whilst Holding a Baby

Q: Can a mother read salah whilst holding a baby? The mother is alone and baby will not stop crying unless it is carried.

A: If the time of salaah is running out then in the above case the mother may carry the child and offer her salaah. She should, however, try to minimize her movements when carrying the child.

Who was Ghous Paak rahimahullah?

Q: Who was Ghous Paak (RA)?

A: Ghous-e-Paak is the title of Shaikh Abdul-Qaadir Jeelani (rahmatullahi alayh) who was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 470 AH and died in 561 AH. The word Ghous (Arabic Ghauth) is a title for the highest ranking Wali among Auliyaa, which was the position enjoyed by Shaikh Abdul Qaadir Jeelami RA. He was indeed a great Aalim and Wali of Allah and most strict on the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Shaikh is buried in Baghdaad and his tomb is well known in Iraq.

Marrying ones Step Mother-in-Law

Q: If a person divorces his wife and his step mother-in-law is also divorced by the father-in-law, will it permissible for the two divorcees to marry?

A: Marriage between the two divorcees is permissible.

Pardah for a Step Mother-in-Law

Q: I would like to know if purda (Hijab) has to be observed between a man and his step mother-in-law?

A: Yes, pardah has to be observed between these two individuals because the two can marry each other if the step mother-in-law gets divorced.

What can Zakaah be used for?

Q: What can Zakaah be used for?

A: Zakaah may be used to fulfill the debts of poor (who are eligible for zakaah), paying their light accounts, rental, rates, etc.; one may purchase clothing with zakaah money and distribute among the poor; food may be purchased with zakaah funds, raw or cooked and given to the poor; one may buy books with zakaah and hand these over to the poor; one may pay the burial expenses of poor people with zakaah; zakaah may be used to settle school or madresa fees of poor children.
Zakaah cannot be donated to a Musjid or madresa to be used for the building thereof. If zakaah is given to a madresa, the principal or authorities may utilize it for the expenses of poor students, not for building or equipment.

Leaving Wife and Kids Alone to Attend Jamaat

Q: Can you leave your wife and kids alone at home to attend jamaat?

A: The fear, mentioned in the Hadith, which permits one to read Salaah at home is understood in a general sense. It can refer to fear for one’s own well being or fear for the wife and children when they are left alone. Both are genuine excuses for the omission of jamaat salaah. So in cases where leaving the wife and children at home represents some danger to them, one will be allowed to leave out the jamaat salaah in musjid and offer the salaah at home. There are a few occasions where Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) missed jamaat in musjid, in which case he made jamaat with his family at home. In such cases jamaat should be performed with the whole family.

Excuses for Reading Salaah at Home

Q: What excuse will permit salaah to be read at home?

A: Heavy rain and illness, which are mentioned in a hadith of Bukhari. In Muslim Shareef Hazrat Ayesha radhiyallahu anhaa narrates from Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that the urge to answer the call of nature and partaking of meals by one who is really hungry (not people who eat 3 meals a day) are also excuses to omit jamaat. In Abu Dawood and Ibni Hibbaan, on the authority of Ibni Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) another excuse mentioned for exemption from jamaat salah is FEAR.

Tasowwuf in a Nutshell

Q: Can you explain tasowwuf in a nutshell?

A: Tasowwuf is basically the method of cleansing oneself from lowly and debase qualities, and adorning oneself with good and noble character. There is nothing beyond this in tasowwuf. To achieve this, the Mashaaikh or Spiritual Guides of Tasowwuf will prescribe different forms of zhikr, mediation, and acts of worship. The most important of all prescriptions in tasowwuf is adherence to the sunnah. One cannot achieve moral reformation and regeneration by flouting Shariah or perpetrating acts of bid’ah.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dua after Athaan

Q: Is it sunnat to raise the hands and make dua after athaan?

A: Despite researching many books on hadith, we have failed to come up with even a weak hadith that mentioned raising of hands in dua after athaan. It is established that Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) read the dua after athaan and taught it to the Sahaaba, but nothing indicates that lifted his hands when reading it, or that he ordered the Sahaaba to do so. This practice is, therefore, not a sunnah. For a practice to be designated as sunnah, it must be found in the famous books of hadith

Buy One, Get One Free

Q: I would like to know the following: If someone tells you to buy something for him and then to send it to him. So you go to a shop to purchase the item where it happens to be priced as: buy one (at the normal price) and get one free. In this case after buying it can you send him one of the two items and keep the free one for yourself?

A: The practice of selling one item and giving one free actually means selling two items for the price of one. When one item is sold for a price and another comes with it free of charge, the buyer is actually paying one price for two items. In fact, some shopkeepers advertise such a sale by clearly stating: “two for the price of one”; so there is in reality no "free item".

On this basis, if the first person had given you money to buy the item for him (which is probably the case in question) then it means that you had purchased both items in exchange for his money, hence both items belong to him. If you wish to keep the item, you need his permission. You may not give him one and keep the other.

Had he not given any money but merely requested you to purchase the item for him and collect the money on delivery, then you are allowed to give him one and retain the other for your own use. This is because you had now purchased both items with your own money and you are the owner of both.
In this case, delivering the item to him and collecting money in exchange for it constitutes a sale. You are selling him an item that you bought with your own money; hence you may charge him any price you wish.

Calculating Zakaat on Cost or Selling Price

Q: When calculating zakaat of a business which price should be taken into consideration; the cost price or the selling price? In the case that it is calculated on the selling price then which selling price is considered.: My selling price or the general selling price? I ask this because in the nature of my business it is such that I have to display a high selling price and when the customer wants to buy the item, I end up giving a discount. As a result my selling price on display is not always the price that I sell the item at.

A: Nowadays the retail price of goods is not fixed but fluctuates quite drastically from seller to seller, especially with the culture of discounting prices prevalent in our business societies. Chain stores have a much lower retail price than corner shops, and so forth. Furthermore, the value of wealth for zakaat purposes is based on the principle of appreciation. Whichever value becomes the benchmark of wealth appreciation is considered the basis for zakaat evaluation.

In business, the retail price is not always a proper reflection of the value of one's stock, because of the discount syndrome, as you referred to in your question. If a business owner has to sell up, he would never realize the retail value of his stock. Therefore, from a fiqhi point of view, we should consider the CURRENT MARKET VALUE of stock for calculation of zakaat, which is the value prevalent among wholesalers. This means that at the time of calculating zakaat the shopkeeper should find out the current wholesale value of his stock. He must take into consideration the price he would pay for the same stock if he had to buy it from his normal suppliers at that point in time. And Allah Knows Best.