Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Are we allowed to wear wedding rings in Islam?


Is it true that giving an engagement ring is unlawful in Islam? Please explain your answer.


I believe that engagement rings are not unlawful, but I prefer that people avoid the practice whenever it it is possibly that it could be associated with some superstitions notions.

The practice of giving engagement rings is a new one and thus not addressed by the classical works of Islamic Law. However, there are three situations with respect to those who adhere to this practice, and these situations affect the ruling that must be given.

1. Some people vest in such rings certain powers and believe that they create love in the couple’s hearts and that removal of the rings will lead to separation or hatred. In this case, use of these rings is expressly forbidden, since it constitutes a type of polytheism, albiet to a lesser degree. The reason for this being polytheism is that the people give effective power to something that is neither a divine cause nor a natural cause for anything.

2. If the engagement ring is made of gold, then the man may not wear it, since it is forbidden for men to wear gold. The woman, however, may have her ring made out of gold.

3. In cases where there are no beliefs associated with the rings and where the man will not be wearing a gold ring, then scholars disagree. Some say that it is permitted but disliked for being a new and baseless practice. Others say it is permissible without any reservation because it is a harmless custom.

It does not have to be prohibited on account of it being a particular religious custom of certain non-Mulsims, especially since the custom is widespread in most Muslim countries.

As I said before, I do not deem it prohibited, but I warn against it if it has a chance of bringing about those false beliefs mentioned above.

And Allah knows best.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Are we allowed to trick people into learning about Islam?


Can I have the name Buraq for my car number plate. The horse that took Mohammed (PBUH) to heaven. When people see it they can google and learn more about meraj night.


I would advise you not to use the word Buraq for your number plate even if your intention is to trick people to learn about the Prophet's ascension. Buraq is the name of the celestial mount that was brought to the Prophet (peace be upon him) for his journey to the heavens. How can you use this name for your car? It may sound like showing disrespect to the symbols of Allah. Allah says, "Whoever reverences the symbols of Allah, they are doing so because of the piety in their hearts."(Qur'an: 22:32).

In conclusion, I would urge you to change this number place. We are not allowed to use dubious methods to propagate Islam or disseminate religious knowledge. In Islam, we don't believe that end justifies the means.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Can a Muslim woman enter into politics?


Is it lawful for woman to enter the domain of political and parliamentary life?  Is she allowed to vote to choose a certain ruler?


Within the framework of the Islamic law, it is quite possible for women to involve in political and/or parliamentary lives.  She is also free to vote for the political ruler of her choice.  Abdurrahman ibn `Awf consulted with women in their rooms when he was charged of choosing `Uthman or Ali as the third caliphate the death of Omar.


*You'll have to scroll to questions 109 and 110*

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Expelling Christians and Jews from Arabia?


Assalamu alaykum! I found some ahadith: "I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims" [Muslim]. Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Two deens shall not co-exist in the Arabian Peninsula" [Muwatta].Both of them are saheeh. I was just wondering if you could explain this to me, because this sure looks like ethnic cleansing. It's seems hypocritical, because if the situation was in reverse (if the non-Muslims decided not to let any Muslims live in a certain area) surely the Muslims would be religiously obligated to wage war against them. How would Muslims expect peace from the other side if they did something like this? These ahadith and rulings show just how much unnecessary and disgusting hatred there is to anyone who's not a Muslim. Personally, I was born as a Muslim, but I left Islam a few months ago, and this right here is one of many reasons why I did that. Now I'm looking more deeply into Islam again. Islam is a very strange religion to me, because it has that wonderful concept of God that seems to be way better than anything any other religion has - but on the other side there are these horrible parts (intolerance, hatred, violence, discrimination against women) that I could never accept for the basic humanity in me.Thank you in advance!


Salam dear sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

We are sad to read that you left Islam for things that seem to be contradictory.

First let’s agree that Islam is different from what Muslims do. Islam does not need beatification. Islam has a solution for all problems.

The problem with some Muslims is the way they understand Islam and the way they practice it. Islam is about simplicity and easiness. Islam is about religious freedom and freedom of expression.

We hope that the problem in question will be clarified and you will come back to the fold of Islam to feel the real happiness in this world and the world to come.

With reference to the hadiths you quoted, they should be understood within their proper and correct context.

The hadith reported in Muslim’s authentic collection of hadiths is talking about a specific region in the Arabian Peninsula. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used the terminology and the language that his companions understood and applied accordingly.

Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) relocated the Jewish tribes of Khaybar and Fadak and sent them to Tayma and Ariha. These two regions are considered part of the Arabian Peninsula, but still the Jewish tribes were allowed to settle there.

The scholars of hadith understood what Umar did to mean that the Jews and the Christians are not allowed in the region of al-Hijaz surrounding Makkah and Madinah.

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani maintains that:

“The pagans are not allowed to settle specifically in the Hijaz region, meaning Makkah, Madinah, al-Yamamah, and their environs. It does not apply to other regions that are considered part of the Arabian Peninsula. This is because everyone is agreed that they may live in Yemen, though it is part of the Arabian Peninsula. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars. (Fath al-Bari 6/198)

Here we should differentiate between expelling the Jews and Christians and killing them. In no way did the Prophet mean to kill them. Under no context, it is allowed for Muslims to kill the Jews and the Christians as long as they enter the Muslim countries with an official visa which is considered like a pledge of protection granted to non-Muslims.

Some scholars maintain that what is prohibited is to let the Jews and Christians have an independent state inside the Arabian Peninsula. They are allowed to stay there as workers and visitors. This stay is temporary and someday they will go home to their native lands.

The Prophet allowed the Jews to stay in Khaybar and he hired them to work in farming. The Prophet had good relations with the Jews to the extent that at the time of his death, he had no money and his shield was being held in mortgage by a Jewish man.

When Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) became the Caliph, the Jews were at Khaybar, the Christians were at Najran and the Jews of Yemen were at Yemen and are still there until today since they were never expelled by Muslims.

The above mentioned explains how the Companions understood the Prophet’s command to expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula. As you can see, sister, we have to know the background and context of each narration reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Generalization is not always recommended. Each case has its own circumstances and what can be applied in a certain area cannot be applied literally in another.

Finally, we ask you to reconsider the decision you have taken to abandon Islam for such issues. Please whenever you face a controversial or a thorny issue; try to consult people of knowledge who follow the moderate Islam which is based on the correct understanding of the Quran and the tradition (Sunnah) of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Are wives only used for sex?


Dear scholars, As-salamu `alaykum. "Only two things are obligatory upon the woman; keeping herself ready and prepared [sexually] for her husband and staying in his house" (Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi by Jamaal al Din Zarabozo, p. 18). My question is, does she have to be ready at any cost? Does she have any excuse and if so what are the excuses? What’s obligatory on us from their side? Jazakum Allah khayran.


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of your religion, Islam.
Islam cares for establishing a loving relation between a man and his wife. It calls upon both parties to have mutual love, respect, and care. This applies to all aspects of their life: social, intellectual, intimate, and so on.

Moreover, Islam pays great attention to the intimate aspect of the husband-wife relationship. Sexual fulfillment can never be detached or separated from an attitude of mutual respect, love, and emotional attachment.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

To look at husband-wife relations in this way is at best crude and unfair, if not totally incorrect. According to the Qur’an, the purpose of marriage is to attain sukun (tranquility and peace; see for instance verses 30:21; 7:189), which can never be achieved through impulsive sexual fulfillment unless it is accompanied by mutual love, affection, caring, and sharing, which are all part and parcel of a fulfilling and productive marriage relationship. Islam, as we know it holistically from the sources, is a balanced way of looking at things. Sexual fulfillment can never be detached or separated from an attitude of mutual respect, love, and emotional attachment, otherwise it can hardly be distinguished from the behavior of brutes. Mind you, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) warned couples against hopping into beds like birds without proper foreplay and preparation, which includes showing affection and tender care.
Now coming to mutual obligations of spouses, it is lucidly and beautifully expressed in the following verses: (And cohabit with them on terms of utmost decency and fairness) (An-Nisa’ 4: 19); (And they (women) have rights similar to those of men in fairness) (Al-Baqarah 2: 228). In light of these, it is only reasonable to assume that a husband must set an example of fairness and compassion in dealing with his wife. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was especially known for his compassionate treatment of his family. He was extremely caring and gentle with them; he enjoyed their company, and he said that it was one of the best things that he cherished in this world. He also told the faithful that the best thing for a believer to reckon in this world was the companionship of a righteous wife. In keeping with the spirit of such teachings, it is wrong for anyone to reduce woman to the position of an object for sexual gratifications.
In Islam, man and woman in general, as well as husband and wife in particular, are equal partners; just as a husband has needs to which a wife is expected to be responsive, a wife also has needs to which a husband should be responsive. To be successful, marriage must be based on mutual reciprocity and consensual relationship. We know that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was in the habit of drinking from the same cup with his wife, thus placing his lips in the same spot where she placed hers. He would take a bite of food and then she would take another bite. It is this Prophetic attitude of mutual respect, affection, and companionship that should serve as a role model for all the married couples in Islam. If, on the other hand, we were to approach marriage purely in literalistic, legal terms, detached as it is from the holistic perspective of Islamic ethics and morality, we end up pitting husband and wife against one another; this will ultimately end up creating discord and disharmony rather than harmony and love which, according to the Qur’an, is the spirit and soul pervading a healthy marriage relationship.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Is emotional abuse allowed in Islam?


Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. Physical abuse in a relationship is widely known and condemned, but what about emotional abuse? I think it's equally damaging and even more hurting, yet we don't really talk much about it. How exactly do you define emotional abuse and what does Islam say about it? Jazakum Allah khayran.


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear sister, we would like to thank you for your interesting question which reflects your concern to know the true teachings of Islam. May Allah reward you abundantly for this and render our work purely for His sake!In Islam, the marriage of a man and a woman is not just a financial and physical arrangement of living together but a sacred contract, a gift of Allah, to lead a happy, enjoyable life and continue the lineage. The main goal of marriage in Islam is the realization of tranquility and compassion between the spouses. The relationship between the spouses should be based on tranquility, love and mercy. These three summarize the ideals of Islamic marriage. It is the duty of the husband and wife to see that they are a source of comfort and tranquility for each other. While the meaning of physical abuse is rather obvious, the meaning of emotional abuse might not be, and the abuse itself may be more insidious. Emotional abuse includes name calling, belittling, using threat of divorce as a weapon to manipulate the other, threatening with a real weapon (even with no intention to use it). There may be other elements such as not allowing the wife to visit or contact family or friends. Even frequent teasing, though it starts in fun, may become a type of abuse if it takes the form of sarcasm or demeaning remarks.It is common for some people when they are angry to call others names or belittle them. If one gets angry quickly and easily with one's spouse, it could lead to emotional abuse. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to control our anger, not to call each other names, not to use vulgar language, and not to point a weapon at another person. This advice was general for all, but it should be taken even more seriously within a marriage. These general guidelines are established by the Qur'an in the following verses: "O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoso turneth not in repentance, such are evil doers. O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Ye abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful." (Al-Hujurat: 11-12)Moreover, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “It is not lawful for a Muslim to scare his fellow Muslim.” (Reported by Ahmad & Abu Dawud)Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet also said: “None of you should point his weapon at his brother, as Satan may provoke him (to hurt his brother) and as a result, he would fall into a pit of Fire.” (Reported by al-Bukhari) In another version: “He who (even) points at his brother with a piece of iron is cursed by the angels until he puts it down, even if the other was his blood brother.” (Reported by Muslim)Answering the question in point, the prominent Muslim Scholar and Da`iyah, Zienab Mostafa, states:"Emotional abuse truly damages and hurts as much as physical abuse does. In Islam, there is a special consideration of the relationship between the spouses. Allah says, "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." (Ar-Rum 21)It is shown that the basis of the relationship between husband and wife is affection and mercy. In many Hadiths the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned that if a husband looks at his wife with kindness and mercy, Allah Almighty looks at them with His mercy, and if they shake hands all their sins vanish. So, we have to study very well how the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) dealt with his wives. In fact, he was very merciful, kind, and loveable, bearing in mind that there were some problems that they faced in their marital life but they dealt with these problems with extreme wisdom and kindness. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never abused his wives either physically or emotionally. Therefore, neither of the spouses is allowed to abuse the other emotionally. This is prohibited in Islam. If either does so, Almighty Allah will hold him or her accountable for that, and they should repent to Allah for this. It is clear now that the best guide to us to live a very successful martial life is to follow the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)."


Should a husband seek his wife's permission before travelling?


As-Salamu `Alaykum. I would like to know whether it is necessary to get the permission of one's wife to work abroad for one year or more. I'm working abroad, and I have signed a two-year contract. I have heard that a husband needs his wife's approval to stay away more than four months. Is that right?


Wa`alaykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

First of all, it is to be stressed that the relations between the spouses should be based on tranquility, love and mercy. Allah says, "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." (Al-Rum 30:21)

The husband and wife should care for each other. Their relationship should be based on mutual understanding, respect, and they should have mercy and kindness for each other.

In his response to the question, Dr. Marawan Shahin, Professor of Hadith and its Sciences, Faculty of Usul Ad-Din, Al-Azhar University, states the following:

First of all, a husband should let his wife accompany him as long as this is not impossible or extremely difficult. `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: "Whenever Allah's Messenger wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out."
The general rule is that a husband should let his wife to accompany him on his journey regardless of the costs, and whether or not it will decrease his savings.
This is because by being together, the spouses will be in an atmosphere that will enable them to preserve their chastity and be away from haram.
However, if there is a necessity that renders it extremely difficult for the wife to accompany her husband, then he should seek her permission before traveling alone. If she willingly agrees, then he is still required not to be away from her for more than four months and to try his best to lessen this period as much as he can.
One night Caliph `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was making his rounds of Madinah when he heard a woman singing and complaining of being alone, deprived of her husband. Upon investigation, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) found that the woman's husband had been on a military expedition for a long time. He then asked his daughter, Hafsah, a widow of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), "How long can a woman endure separation from her husband?" She replied, "Four months." As a consequence, he decided that he would not send a married man away from his wife for a period exceeding four months.
In short, the husband should first let his wife accompany him; if this is not possible, he should seek her permission and not be away from her for more than four months, while doing his utmost to decrease the period of four months as well.
Allah Almighty knows best.