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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Travelling and Juma Salaah

Q: If i am travelling in an area that does not have a mosque, what do I do about Juma? Can I miss it?

A: If one is travelling for a distance that will render one a musaafir then Salatul-Jumu'ah is automatically waived (made maaf) for such a person. In that case the traveller will read two rakaats faradh of Zuhr instead of Jumu'ah.

If one is not a traveller then one has to look out for a mosque. However, it must be remember that a condition for Jumu'ah salah is that there must be at least a jamaat of 4 people including Imam according to Hanafi math-hab, and 40 people according to Shaafi. So if one fails to find a mosque and has no jamaat to read Jumu'ah, then too, one will make four faradh of Zuhr in place of Jumu'ah.

A musjid or mosque is not a condition for the validity of Jumu'ah salaah, but jamaat is, as refered to above.

Saying Rabbana lakal hamd Loud in Jamaat

Q: Can one say "Rabbana lakal hamd" loudly in Jamaat (congregation) Salaah?

A: It is sunnat to say Tahmeed or Rabbana lakal hamd softly, and this applies to jamaat salah as well as the munfarid (one reading salaah alone). Saying it loudly will not nullify the salaah, though it is contrary to the sunnat.
However, the mukabbir (person appointed to relay the Imam's takbeer when the congregation is huge) may say Rabbana lakal hamd aloud and that will not be in conflcit with the sunnah. This is a standard practice throughout the Muslim world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Listening to English Nazms

Q: Is it permissible to listen to English nazms, such as Zain Bhika, etc.?

A: It is permissible to listen to such nazms and qaseedas provided they are not accompanied by drums or music. Music in any form is haraam.

Islamic Finance for Buying a House

Q: I wish to buy a house. Are the Islamic finances advertised by banks permissible?

A: Islamic finance for housing is offered by First Rand (FNB), Absa, and Al-Barakah (in South Africa). (There may be a few more on the market). Purchasing your house through one of these banks is far better than taking out a bond on which one would pay tremendous interest. However, when entering into a contract with the bank, please check the paper work or have an alim check it for any discrepancies as far as Shariah is concerned.You are welcome to come back to us on this issue.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Start of the Iddat

Q: From which day will the iddat start: 1) day of first talaaq, 2) day of talaaq baa'in?

A: Iddat will always commence from the first talaaq, regardless of whether the husband issues one or more talaaq thereafter, and regardless of whether the first talaaq was raj'ee or baa-in.
Please feel free to contact us for further clariifcation.

Naming a Child Abdul Muttalib

Q: Is it permisissible to name a child Abdul Muttalib?

A: Your query refers. We apologise for the delay. Alhamdu lillah, we receive many queries from different people and due to other commitments and sometimes the need to research answers, there will be a delay in response at times.
'Abdul Muttalib' means the "slave of Muttalib" and you are well aware that one cannot be called the slave of any creation. 'Muttalib' is not one of the Names of Allah Ta'ala, hence a person cannot be named as such. Secondly 'Abdul Muttalib' is a name used during the times of jaahilyyah, i.e. pre-Islam or pagan-Arab era. It was the practice of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to change names that were given to Sahaaba during the age of jaahiliyyah, after they embraced Islam. The reason for this, as is apparent in the books of hadith, is the reprehensible or incorrect meanings of these names.
In view of this, we believe that it is Islamically wrong to name a child 'Abdul-Muttalib'. And Allah Knows Best.
We advice parents to always adopt names of the Ambiyaa (alayhimus-salaam) or the Sahaaba (radhiyallahu anhum

Marrying Ahle Hadith

Q: I am a hanafi. Will it be permissible for me to marry an ahle hadith?

A: Regarding your query understand that there are two types of Ahle-hadith. One is that ahle-hadith who is extreme and radical in his beliefs. He insults the Imams, has no respect for math-habs, and maintains incorrect beliefs about Allah Ta'ala being on the Throne and certain Sifaat (attributes) of Allah. It is not permissible to marry such a person, for that person's actions and beliefs are not in conformity to the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah. Though should you marry such a person your nikah will be valid because he is still a Mu'min and Muslim, but it is a sin to do so, for The Quran and Hadith have commaned that we should not associate with people whose beliefs are corrupt. There can be no more closer association than nikah.
The other ahle-hadith is the one who is not so corrupt but moderate; he respects the Imams and math-habs, and does not hold radical beliefs. It is jaa-iz to marry such a man but advisable not to, because it is highly possible that he will persuade the wife to leave her Hanafi math-hab, and that is not allowed. It is waajib to adhere to one math-hab.
May Allah guide you to the correct decision in your marriage, aameen.

Cutting Short Hair to come out of Ihraam

Q: How does a lady who has short hair by nature (eg. of negroid origin) come out of Ihraam?

A: For a woman to be released from Ihraam, she has to merely clip the hair. In the case of a woman who has naturaly short hair, a few strands from the end part of the back of her head should be clipped. If this is not possible, too, then this requirement is waived (it falls away). In that case she will automatically come out of Ihraam after having completed the other rituals of Hajj or Umrah. Generally such hair is not so short that it cannot be clipped, so an effort should be made to clip at least a few pieces of the hair. This ruling is mentioned in the famous Hanafi Fiqh Raddul-Muhtaar quoting other major works of Fiqh under the section of Hajj.

Covering the Head and Reading Qur'aan

Q: Can a person read Quran without a cap? What is the ruling 4 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.

Muslim Woman Marrying a non-Muslim Man

Q: Is a Muslim woman allowed to marry a man of another religion without him changing his religion or does he have to change his religion before nikah?

A: If a Muslim female wishes to marry a non-Muslim, it is imperative that he first convert to Islam and only then will the marriage be permissible and valid. It is not permitted in Islam for her to marry a kaafier. If she does so, she will be committing zinaa.

Muslim Man Marrying a non-Muslim

Q: Can a Muslim man marry a woman of another religion without her converting to Islam and can he continue to follow his religion and she continue to follow her religion?

A: It is not permissible for a Muslim male to marry a non-Muslim female of any religious following. This is the fatwa of Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu). When he was asked about the permissibility of a Muslim male marrying a Jewish or Christian female, he responded by saying: “The Statement of Almighty Allah in the Holy Quran is quite clear: ‘And do not marry Mushrik women until they become Muslims;’ (Surah Baqarah, verse 221) And I do not know of a greater form of shirk (polytheism) than to proclaim Eesa the son of Maryam or any servant of Allah as one's Lord and God.” (Ahkamul-Quran of Jassas). This is the statement of a Sahaabi of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who was among the Fuqaha of his times and a man very strict upon the Sunnat of Nabi Muhammed (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). According to most of the scholars such a nikah or marriage is abominable due to the threat that faces the iemaan of Muslims. The basis of their ruling is that when Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) heard that Huzhaifa bin Yamaan (radhiyallahu anhu) had married a Jewish woman in Madaa-in, he commanded him in a letter to divorce her immediately. He wrote: “There is no chastity and honour among their (Jews and Christians) women. So I fear this may be the cause of lewdness and immorality developing within your homes.” Imam Muhammed bin Hasan Shaybani narrates this incident from Imam Abu Hanifa in his Kitabul-Aathaar (page 156) and states that the exact words of Hazrat Umar’s reply to Hazrat Huzhaifa bin Yaman were: “I make it obligatory upon you that you shall not put down this letter of mine until you have released that woman from your nikah, for I fear that other Muslims may follow you in this act and give preference in marriage to women of the Ahl-e-Kitab because of their beauty. And this in itself is a great fitnah for Muslim women.”
The concept of him following his religion and she hers is fraught with spiritual danger. The consequences that we have witnessed from such an amalgam of religious diversity were disastrous to say the least. In a nikah of this nature, if the husband happens to be of weak iemaan, he loses control of the marriage, thus opening the door for un-Islamic, kufr values to pervade his home. Eventually his children become influenced by the same evil and anti-Islamic values. They then grow up as followers of their kaafier mother’s religion. Some of them have totally lost their iemaan, whilst others remained Muslim only in name. It is obvious that in following the mother’s religion there is greater freedom and convenience. There is neither salah to perform, nor any fast to observe. There is no need to endure the difficulty of waking up early, nor any need to brave the cold in making wudhu and stepping out for Fajr salah. In short, the children are likely to opt for the easy way out. In today's times of iemaani decline and spiritual retrogression, such a pathetic and tragic situation is almost a foregone conclusion, should Muslim males be granted permission to marry non-Muslim women. Even on the assumption that the husband is one of strong iemaan (and we hasten to add, such a man would never enter into a marriage like this in the very first place), it becomes a nightmare to produce an Islamic environment while cohabiting with a kaafiera (non-Muslim female). Given the lack of Islamic knowledge among menfolk today, it seems almost impossible for a Muslim man to survive such a marriage without sustaining severe damage to his iemaan and amal. Another grave harm that develops from such a nikah is the confusion of belief and practice among the children of that marriage. They grew up totally confused and directionless. Should a divorce occur, those children will be lost to the kaafier family of the mother, in view of the Western laws of custody. Muslims today lack strong religious backing, and their iemaan is at a very low ebb. Already there is a strong Western influence and flavour that dominate our lives. Bringing a Western orientated woman, of Christian or Jewish religious origins and culture into the home will only serve to enhance the Western dominated environment in our homes. There is even the danger of weaker Muslims totally losing their Islamic moorings. May Allah Ta’ala save us from such a deplorable situation, aameen.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cutting of Female's Hair in Ihraam

Q: I would like to know that when a female has to come out of ihraam can she cut another female’s hair in order for that female to come out of ihraam e.g. mother cutting her daughter’s hair or can her mehram only cut her hair?

A: When a female is ready to emerge from ihraam, another female relative or male mehram may cut her. This is in order and no penalty is necessary. The same rule applies to a male who is about to come out of ihraam.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wudhu for Janaazah Salaah

Q: Must one have wudu to read the janaazah salah?

A: Yes, wudu is a condition for the validity of janaazah salah. If janaazah salah is read without wudu, it is not valid.

Long or Short Kurta

Q: Is it a sunnat to wear the long (Arab style) kurta or the shorter kurta with a slit?

A: A kurta that comes down till the shins is sunnat. That was the length of the kurta of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). However, no specific style of kurta has been defined as sunnat by the Ulema. So whether it has a slit on the sides or not, it will fit the sunnah description provided the length is as mentioned above, i.e. till the shins. The long Arabian kurtas that fall till the ankles cannot be termed sunnah. And if the kurta flows below the ankles, then it is haraam, for the hadith prohibits dragging any garment below the ankles.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Problems at Home

Q: Sometimes I feel I just want to get married and get out of this house. Everyday there’s some new problem. I feel like I don’t belong here. My views are so different to every one else’s. I love my parents but I can’t understand the way they think. There is no peace in our lives. I feel I need to do something about it now.

A: Your problem might not so easily be solved by your leaving the home. Furthermore it is not advisable to rush into marriage just to get out of an environment that you are not comfortable with. Who knows, it might be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Out of haste, you might choose the wrong partner and end up in bigger misery. No doubt, if the right boy comes along, the ideal thing would be for you to get married. So think carefully. It was the right thing to do to seek advice. It is clear that part of your problem lies in the views and attitudes of your parents. However, you have to make sabr and resign yourself to their way of thinking and behaving. Avoid getting embroiled in arguments with your parents over Deeni issues. If they preclude you from expressing certain Deeni sentiments, don’t stress out and become agitated. Allah Ta’ala will not hold you responsible for what is not in your control. Consider this a test from Allah Ta’ala; and believe you me, it’s going to make a stronger person out of you. Such self-discipline is the ideal way to prepare a young girl for marriage. Finally make lots of dua to Allah Ta’ala to change your situation, for undoubtedly He accepts the duas of the desperate. If possible, someone should speak to your parents to appraise them of the problem.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Borrowing Money from a Bank

Q: I borrowed money from the bank on my card without interest for a friend of mine, who promised to pay it back before the bank charges interest. Now if he don’t pay me back in time will I be sinful for the interest charged?

A: Indeed, you will be sinful because in spite of you taking out the loan for your friend, the deal was between you and the bank. You are responsible to pay back that loan to the Bank; hence any interest charged will be linked to your loan, not the loan of the friend. This is something one must think of in advance before taking a loan from banks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Prehistoric Time

Q: Is there such a thing as prehistoric time?

A: Prehistoric time means the time before recorded history. So in this sense, this is a valid concept. In Islam we believe in many things that happened before history was committed to records and chronicles. However, there is a difference between our prehistoric information and that espoused by the scientists. Our information comes from Divine Sources, while the scientists rely entirely on conjecture and circumstantial evidence.

Coffin-making Business

Q: Is it permissible to own a business that makes coffins?

A: Yes such a business is lawful and the income halaal.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Step-father and Daughter

Q: Please advise me on the following: 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 sort of pardah with her step-father. She can live in the same house, but they must not be alone at any given time. And if the age gap between the two is not very big then full segregation must apply. And Allah knows best

Annullment of Marriage

Q: A Nikah (marriage) was performed between a boy and girl in different countries. A condition attached to the nikah was that the boy will move to the girl’s country and will take up an Imamate post there. After the Nikah was done the boy refuses to fulfill this condition. On top of that he says he will never ever give talaaq to the girl. The girl does not want to stay in the nikah, as the condition was not fulfilled. Is the nikah annulled, or does the girl have to get a divorce? The two are living in their respective countries, while the boy refuses to come over to her or to release her from nikah. Please advise.

A: This nikah is not automatically annulled, though it was wrong of the boy not to abide by the conditions, especially when this has caused much inconvenience to people. He should have made it clear before the nikah that he would not be able to come across to the girl’s country. He has to give her talaaq, especially since the marriage was not consummated. Only then will the nikah be over. The girl is acting within her rights to demand that he come over to her country, since she retains the right over herself until the dowry has been paid or the marriage consummated. If he refuses to give talaaq after a while, then the local Ulema should be approached to do a proper annulment (faskh). They will have valid grounds for this.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hair Removal Cream and Pubic Hair

Q: Is it permissible to use hair removal creams for removal of pubic hair?

A: Using a cream for this purpose will obviate the use of a razor, which is the proper sunnah for males. Hence using of creams for males will be discouraged since it leads to neglect of the sunnah, unless one uses the razor along with the cream.

Removal of Pubic Hair

Q: Please advise me on a personal matter regarding boys who are about to reach their puberty years. What is the sunnah way of removing the pubic hair, for the first time and thereafter?

A: Pubic hair, whether for the first time or later, should be removed at least every 40 days, but preferably every Friday when one takes ghusl for Juma. It should not be left on the body for longer than forty days, for this is sinful. All hair from below the navel till underneath the anus should be removed. The sunnat in this regard is to use a razor. Hair around the anus should also be removed.

Salaah in front of a Mirror

Q: Is it permissible to perform salaah in front of a mirror?

A: Yes, this does not affect the salaah in any way. However, if a person is distracted by the reflection of one’s image in the mirror, then it is preferable not to offer salaah in front of a mirror.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Eating Horse Meat

Q: I have heard that the majority of Scholars have permitted the consumption of horse meat and it is only Imam Abu Hanifa who prohibits it. It is claimed that the hadith cited by Imam Abu Hanifa in support of his view has been abrogated. If that is so, why did the Imam still cling to this view?

A: This mas’ala has been dealt with quite extensively in the magnum opus of Hazrat Shaikh Thafar Ahmad Thanwi, I’laa-us Sunan which is a remarkable work on hadith in support of the Hanafi Math-hab. I summarize his exposition on the non-permissibility of horse meat:

1) According to Imam Abu Hanifa horse meat is not haraam but makrooh tahreemi.

2) A hadith of Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu permits it, while a hadith of Khalid bin Walid (radhiyallahu anhu) prohibits it.
Thus, two hadith of equal strength contradict each other. Imam Abu Hanifa then made recourse to the Holy Quran for finality in the matter. There he found the following verses: And Allah created animals for you; in it is warmth (for you) and other benefits and you eat therefrom. The animals referred to here are camels, cows, sheep, and goats. Then a few verses later Allah Ta’ala says: And (He created for you) horses, mules, and asses so that you may mount them, and for fashionable display. In this verse Allah Ta’ala does not mention eating as the purpose of creating horses and donkeys, as Almighty Allah did when he mentioned camels and sheep. Instead, Allah Ta’ala states that the purpose of horses is to mount them and to display their beauty. Imam Abu Hanifa deduced from these verses that Allah Ta’ala allowed the consumption of camels, oxen, goats, and sheep, but not horses and donkeys. The hadith that prohibits horse meat has, therefore, got support from the Quran Shareef.

3) Furthermore, he reasoned that horses were a means of jihad, so allowing its consumption would lead to a reduction in this important mode of jihad.

4) When one hadith prohibits and another hadith permits, and both are equal in strength then the rule is that prohibition takes precedence over permission Imam Abu Hanifa followed this rule.

5) The Imam did not say horse meat is haraam, but termed it makrooh, out of consideration for the fact that one hadith does permit it. May Allah reward this great Imam for his farsightedness in matters of fiqah, as well as his extreme respect for the hadith of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) For the record, the view of Imam Abu Hanifa is also the view of Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) one the greatest Alims among the Sahaaba, and the view of Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alayh).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Taraweeh in Jamaat

Q: Is it also sunnat to perform the taraweeh in Jamaat?

A: Taraweeh is also sunnat in jamaat. Therefore, a person who performs his taraweeh alone, will not attain the sunnat reward of jamaat, although he would have fulfilled the basic sunnat of taraweeh only.

Position of Taraweeh in Shariah

Q: What is the position of Taraweeh in Shariah? Is it sunnat or nafl?

A: Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Allah has made the fast of Ramadaan faradh upon you, and I have made its Qiyaam sunnat". (Tafseer Durre-Manthoor) The word Qiyaam, which means to offer salah, refers to the Taraweeh salah. (Mirqaat of Mulla Ali Qaari) From this hadith it is established that taraweeh is a sunnat of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), and this is the view of all four Schools of Thought. However, excluding the Maliki math-hab, the other three state that it is a Sunnat Muakkada (a strong sunnah). (Fiqh alal mathaahib-e-arba’)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Saabieen

Q: Some people believe that the followers of the Zaboor were the Sabieen. Is this correct?

A: The Saabieen are mentioned twice in the Quran: in Surah Baqarah and in Surah Hajj. There are different views among the Ulema as regards to the exact nature and religion of these people. One view shared by Imams of Tafseer Dhahhaak, Ishaaq bin Rahaway, and Suddi is that they were the followers of Zaboor. However, the more preferred view is that they believed in the Oneness of Allah but did not follow any Divine Scripture or Prophet. Allah Knows Best.

Where can I find the Zaboor

Q: I would like to find out about the four holy books. The Torah was used by the Jews, Injeel by Christians and the Quran by Muslims. Who uses the Zaboor and where can a copy be found?

A: The Zaboor is today known as The Psalms of David and forms part of the Old Testament which is the Bible of the Jews. However, Christians also use and follow the Old Testament and the Book of Psalms is an integral part of their religious belief and prayers. The Zaboor, which was revealed to Nabi Dawood alayhis salaam, contained 150 Surahs and comprised Praises of Almighty Allah and general advice. There were no laws, rules and regulations in the Zaboor. Today too, the Psalms of the Bible contain 150 Chapters. While we are certain that the Taurah and Injeel had undergone interpolations at the hands of early Jews and Christians, no evidence of this has been found in relation to the Zaboor, though the possibility does exist.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Janaazah Salaah in the Musjid

Q: Can one make Janaazah Salaah in the Musjid?

A: If janaaza is outside and Imam and people are inside, or Imam and a few are outside then according to some this is permissible. However, there is ikhtilaaf among ahnaaf on this issue hence better to abstain unless necessitated by a pressing need. (Imdaadul-Ahkaam 1/368)

Canopy over the Eidgah

Q: Is it permissible to put a cover or canopy over the Eidgaah?

A: In places where it rains abundantly (such as Bangladesh) this will be allowed since excessive rain will result in the continuous or perpetual abandonment of an important Sunnat. (Imdaadul-Ahkaam 1/364)
Also permissible under all circumstances to build walls around the Eidgah.

Taking Musjid Mimbar to Eidgah

Q: Can one take the Musjid Mimbar to the Eidgaah?

A: According to one view it is makrooh tanzeehi to take out the mimbar of the Musjid to the Eidgah. Some have said not makrooh. It is, therefore, better not to take out the mimbar. It is permissible to build a mimbar at the Eidgah.
(Imdaadul-Ahkaam vol.1, page 370, quoting Shaami)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Zakaat on Jewellery

Q: Does one have to pay Zakaat on jewellery that is worn everyday, e.g. rings, etc?

A: According to the Shafi Math-hab, Zakaat is not faradh on jewellery that is for daily use.

Leaving Muzdalifah

Q: A woman is a Shafi and her husband as Hanafi. Shafis leave Muzdalifah after Maghrib and Hanafis after Fajr. The Shafi wife doesn’t have a Mahram to accompany her. What must she do?

A: A Shafi cannot leave Muzdalifah after Maghrib. Wuqoof at Muzdalifah begins in the second part of the night. The Shafi has to spend at least a short while at Muzdalifah during the second part of the night, and thereafter may depart. If the Shafi left before the second part of the night commenced, he has to return to fulfill the Wuqoof. If he did not do so before Fajr commenced, ‘Dumm’ will be compulsory. The Shafi wife must remain with her husband and leave Muzdalifah with him after Fajr. (Kitaabul Haj, Sheikh Muhammad Khateeb Al-Sharbeeni)

Zikr and Mixed Gatherings

Q: There is a group who hold gatherings of zikr where men and women are together. Sometimes they beat a drum whilst making this zhikr. Is this allowed in Shariah?

A: One does not need to be very learned to understand that a mixed gathering is not allowed in Islam. If the gathering is for a Deeni purpose such as zhikr, then it is far more serious to have men and women together. Use of the drum is haraam. The duff that was spoken off in the hadith was used only at the time of nikah, and was beaten by little children, and was used purely as a means of announcing and publicizing the nikah. Today the duff is used to accompany the singing of songs or reciting words of zhikr. This cannot be established from any hadith, not even a weak or fabricated one. How can one gain nearness to Allah, when the means adopted are contrary to His Commands?

Bismillah before Tashahhud

Q: If one reads Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem before At-tahiyyaat, is the salaah valid?

A: It is makrooh and contrary to the sunnat to read Bismillah before Tashahhud. However if one does so, the salah will be valid and there is no need for sujood-e-sahw.