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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Divorce and Community of Property

Q: My wife and I are divorced according to Shar’ee rites. However, at the start we had registered our marriage in community of property. Now, based on this law, my wife is demanding half a share of the house where she stayed before the divorce. Is this permissible in Islam, and am I obliged according to Shariah law to give her a half share of the house?

A: To register a marriage in community of property is un-Islamic and incorrect, since this leads to the abandonment and neglect of several Islamic injunctions, not the least being correct distribution of property. We always advise married couples who resorted to this un-Islamic practice to annul such registration or change it to the ante nuptial contract. Even though you were married in community of property, since this is not recognized and accepted by Shariah, it will be haraam (forbidden) for your wife to claim and/or accept any money in lieu of so-called joint ownership of property. This is a western law which militates against Islamic teaching, hence haraam. When a legal claim or western law conflicts with The Law of Shariah, the former must be rejected in its entirety. According to Shariah your wife has no valid claim to any share of the property.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Young Man Greeting a Young Woman

Q: Is it permissible for a young man to greet a young woman with salaam or any other way, and vice versa? If one party greets first, should the other reply, in view of the fact that replying to a salaam is wajib?

A: It is stated in Durr-e-Mukhtaar a famous Hanafi work on Fiqh, that a man shall not speak to a strange woman except if she is advanced in age. If this old woman sneezes or greets, the man may say yarhamu kallah or reply her salaam. This does not apply to young or middle-aged females. It is stated in Khaaniya: “When a woman greets a man, the latter should only reply in an audible voice if the woman is old. If it happens to be a young woman, he shall reply silently (to himself). Similarly, if a man greets a strange woman with salaam, the answer is the reverse.” (That is, an elderly woman would reply his greeting, not the young woman.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tying Hair in Salaah

Q: I heard that women should not tie their hair up when making salaah. Is this true?

A: There is no sin in women making salah while the hair is in a bun. Some believe that the hair must also make sajda, so if it is tied in a bun, it does not make sujood. But this is not established from any hadith.

Tying Hair in a Bun

Q: A Muslim magazine stated that women should not wear their hair in a bun as it resembles a camel’s hump. Is this true?

A: A normal bun does not resemble the camel's hump, and this is quite clear through observation. A bun does not sit high on the head. Yes, if the hair is done up in such a manner that it does resemble a camel's hump then this is haraam because the Messenger of Allah r cursed women who adopt this appearance.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wife Changing Math-hab

Q: Is it permissible for a woman to change to the math-hab of her husband?

A: Changing the mazh-hab for the reason stated in the question is not permissible, since a couple may live harmoniously in spite of difference in mazh-hab. There are only a few areas which demand some caution between Shafi’ee and Hanafi, such as touching each other, for this breaks wudhu, and laws pertaining to iddat and talaaq. If and when the latter situation arises (Allah forbid), consult your local Ulema for guidance. If one is living in a place where only one mazh-hab is prevalent and there is no one to teach the other mazh-hab, then common sense demands that it is necessary to change to the prevalent mazh-hab in order to make amal on the Laws of Shariah. Otherwise, each one should adhere to his or her mazh-hab.
As for the children, the parents should decide before hand which mazh-hab they shall follow. In making this decision, consider convenience of madresa and Deeni tuition, as alluded to in the previous paragraph.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Valid Reasons for Contraception

Q: Please explain the circumstances under which contraception is allowed in Shariah.

A: Contraceptives are allowed for the following reasons:

1. When it is established through experience or expert medical advice that pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother or the foetus-to-be, or she will suffer serious complications to her health.
2. When the mother is unable to cope in the rearing of children for social or economic reasons, such as her having to go out and work for a living when the husband is invalid or not willing to earn an income.
3. When the couple live in such a remote area where they fear for the morals and Deeni upbringing of their kids.
4. Due to physical weakness or terminal illness the mother cannot rear children, and the family is not by the means to employ people for this purpose.
5. The couple intend separating in the near future, or the wife fears her husband may divorce her soon, or desert her.
6. To enable the couple to provide proper education and discipline to their offspring, contraception is used to space out pregnancies.

These are but a few reasons. Other contingencies may arise in different situations. The onus is on the couple involved to ascertain from the Ulema whether any given situation warrants permissibility of the use of contraceptives. However, resorting to contraception for fear of poverty, or to enable the wife to pursue a career, or merely because it is ‘fashionable’ to have small families, is not permissible. Further, the moment the above reasons no longer exist, use of contraception will once again become unlawful.

Female Working

Q: I am a female pharmacist and would like to continue this profession. Am I allowed by Shariah to go out and work?

A: A woman who is self sufficient or is being supported by her husband or family members, is not allowed to work at all. This is totally prohibited. A woman may only work if she has no husband, nor any relative who is prepared to maintain her, or if the husband is present but is unable or refuses to support her for whatever reason.
In your case, in order to keep in touch with the pharmacy profession, try working from home, without having to leave the confines of the home. Since your situations does not fall within the ambit of a Shar’ee need, it will not be permissible to go out and work.

Marital Dispute and Custody of Children

Q: My first wife left our marital home a few years ago, when I married my second wife. I have not divorced the first wife. We (my first wife and I) have 3 children, one son and two daughters. My son is 14 years and daughters are 12 and 10. Who has the right of custody of our children?

A: Since you clearly state that you have not divorced your first wife, your marriage is still intact. The question of custody only arises when a divorce takes place. In your case you claim you never issued a divorce, hence you have all the right over your children. As in a normal marriage you being the father have the right to custody. You may keep your children with you until your wife returns to the marital home, or, if you so wish, you may allow them to live with her. The choice is absolutely yours. Here the age of the children is not taken into account.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Child Born Two Months before Marriage

Q: Will a child who was born 2 months before nikah.marriage inherit from his dad?

A: He will not inherit from his dad. He will inherit from his mother only. (Raddul Muhtaar, 29:480)

Using a Rosary or Tasbeeh Counter

Q: Is the using of rosary beads or a tasbih counter allowed to keep count of Zikr/Tasbeeh?

A: The use of rosary beads or a counter is permissible. (Raddul Muhtaar, 5:53)Counting of the Tasbeehaat is proven from the Sahaaba radhiallahu anhum. Details of this can be found in the book of Imam Suyooti rahiumahullah, Al Musabbihah 1:1.

Female Going for Umrah without Mehram

Q: A female (approx 65 years old) wants to go on Umrah. Her son lives in another country. Can she go with a group?

A: Travelling for Umrah will only be permissible for her if she has a Mehram to acccompany her on this journey. She will not travel without a Mehram. If she has no Mehram besides her son, he will have to fetch her and take her for Umrah. She cannot travel in a group in which there is no Mehram for her. (Al Fataawa Hindiyyah, 5:462; Sharhul Bahjatul Wardiyah, 7:310)

Imam Standing in the Mihraab

Q: Should the Imam stand inside or outside the Mihraab when making Imaamat? Can he make Sajdah inside the Mihraab?

A: It is Makrooh Tanzeehi for the Imam to stand inside the Mihraab when making Imaamat, without a valid reason e.g. the Musjid being full. His feet should be outside the Mihraab. It is permissible for the Imam to make Sajdah inside the Mihraab. If the Masjid is filled to capacity and because of the need of space, the Imam stands in the Mihraab, it will not be Makrooh. (Raddul Muhtaar, 5:30; Haashiyatut Tahaawi, 1:244)

Hairstyle of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam

Q: What is the hairstyle of the Prophet Mohammed sallallahu alaihi wa sallam?

A: There are various lengths of his hair mentioned in the Ahaadeeth:
a) Till half of his ear
b) Till his ear lobes
c) Till near his shoulders
d) He also shaved his head.
He would oil his hair often. When combing, he would make a path in the middle. He instructed that hair should be combed occassionally, not on a daily basis. (Shamaa'il Tirmidhi)

Following the Four Imams in Prayer

Q: Can we follow all four Imams in our prayer?

A: The four Madhabs, viz; Hanafi, Shaafi'ee, Maaliki and Hambali are Madhabs of Haq. Thus, one is allowed to follow any one of them in prayers.

Contributing Towards a Christian Funeral

Q: Can a Muslim contribute financially to a Christian funeral or attend the wake keeping?

A: If the donation is towards feeding the family and guests, or towards the needs of the family, etc. it will be permissible to contribute. It will not be permissible to donate towards anything which has a religious connotation or directly connected to the funeral, e.g. the coffin, hearse, etc. It will not be permissible to attend the wake-keeping (vigil).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pig Gelatine

Q. I heard that in the Qur'aan it says not to eat pig meat, does it mean we are allowed to have gelatine?

A. The pig and all its parts and components are 'Najisul Ayn'. Thus, no part of the pig can be consumed. (Tabyeenul Haqaaiq, 1:26)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who can See a Widow

Q: Who can see a widow during the period of Iddat?

A: Whether the lady is in Iddat or not, only those classified as Mahram i.e. those who can never marry her, e.g. brother, uncle, etc are allowed to see her.

Giving Zakaat to Brother

Q: Can I give Zakaat to my needy brother?

A: You may give Zakaat to your needy brother. (Al Fataawa al Hindiyyah, Vol 1 Pg 190)

Khatam for a New House

Q: When we move into a new house, do we have to do a Khatam?

A: Having a Khatam when moving into a new house is not established from any verse in the Qur'aan or the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

Man Waxing Chest and Back

Q: Can a man wax his chest and back?

A: Although it is permissible to remove the hair from the chest and back, it is not advisable. (Raddul Muhtaar, Vol 27 Pg 34; Al Fataawa al Hindiyyah, Vol 5 Pg 358)