Monday, December 31, 2012

Is it allowed to have a crush in Islam?


Is it allowed in Islam to have feelings for someone. What are the boundaries and restrictions?


In Islam, it is not a sin if you feel a special affinity or inclination towards a certain individual since human beings have no control on such natural inclinations. We are, however, definitely responsible and accountable if we get carried away by such feelings and take specific actions or steps that might be deemed as haram (forbidden).

As far as male and female interaction is concerned, Islam dictates strict rules: It forbids all forms of 'dating' and isolating oneself with a member of the opposite sex, as well indiscriminate mingling and mixing.

If, however, one does none of the above, and all that he or she wants is to seriously consider marrying someone, such a thing itself is not considered haram. In fact, Islam encourages us to marry persons for whom we have special feelings and affinity.

Islam recommends that potential marriage partners see one another before proposing marriage. Explaining the reason for such a recommendation, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "That would enhance/foster the bonding."

We are advised against getting carried away by merely the outward appearances of a person; these may be quite misleading. Marriage is a life-long partnership and a person's real worth is determined not by his or her physical looks, but more so by the inner person or character.
After having mentioned that people ordinarily look for beauty, wealth and family in a marriage partner, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to consider primarily "the religious or character factor" over and above all other considerations.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Is mingling between men and women allowed at university?

Answered by the Grand Mufti of Egypt.


I request a fatwa on the ruling for the mingling that occurs between the sexes in educational institutions, bearing in mind that friendships may sometimes exceed colleagueship.


There is no objection to mingling between males and females in schools, universities or other institutions provided:

- It does not transgress the boundaries of decorum and Islamic teachings.
- Females must dress decently; their clothes should not cling to the body nor be transparent and they should cover the body. Females must also lower their gaze and stay away from being alone with a member of the opposite sex, whatever the reasons.
-Both sexes are required to mindful of Allah with regards to their eyesight (lowering their gaze), hearing and feelings. Allah said:

Tell the believing men to reduce (some) of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is aquainted with what they do. [Quran 24:30]

The Ruling

 Mingling between the sexes is prohibited if they do not adhere to the Islamic teachings and decorum and if it incites desire and leads to prohibitions.

What does Islam say about polygamy? Part 6


As-salamu `alaykum I was asked a question about marriage in Islam and why it allows four wives. I told them that the reason is that the ratio of women to men was great and other rational reasons, but then they asked me why Allah created only one woman Hawa' (Eve) for Adam (peace be upon him). I would very much like it, if you gave me a logical answer to this very question I was asked. Jazakum Allahu khayran


Salam, Amina.

Thank you for your question.
There are three parts to your question:
  1. The question of why Allah created one woman only for Adam (peace be upon him).
  2. The claim that polygamy in Islam is related to the non-balanced ratio between men and women.
  3. Whether polygamy is necessarily part of the law that people have to practice.
First of all, in the Muslim scripts (Qur'an and Hadith), we do not have answers for the question of "why polygamy?" stated clearly. This means that the answer anyone gives to the question of polygamy, including my answer here, is a matter of speculated interpretation.
And when we give answers based on such interpretations, we should make sure that we inform the people we talk with (especially if they are not Muslim) that we are giving our own interpretations and not what Allah stated in His book as His own reasons. And the rationale is clear: If the facts, which we based our interpretations on, turn out to be inaccurate, then people will think that Allah's scripts, not our opinions, are inaccurate. So, we have to make a clear distinction between Allah's reasons and our own.
Similarly, we can answer a question of "why" in Allah's creation with certainty, only if He reveals His reasons to us. There are no direct reasons given in the scripts for "why" Allah created only one mate for Adam.
However, if we refer to the verses that mentioned the creation of a "mate" for Adam, we will notice certain implications of the words and expressions used in the verses. And yes, the following is a matter of interpretation.
Read the following verses
*{O mankind! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women.}* (An-Nisaa' 4:1)
*{It is He who has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it brought into being its mate, so that man might incline [with love] towards woman. And so, when he has embraced her, she conceives [what at first is] a light burden, and continues to bear it. Then, when she grows heavy [with child], they both call unto God, their Sustainer, "If Thou indeed grant us a sound [child], we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"}* (Al-A`raf 7:189)
*{He has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it fashioned its mate.}* (Az-Zumar 39:6)
The expression that is consistently used in the verses is "zawjaha" (Adam's mate) and not "zawjan lahu" (one mate for Adam), and the second verse quoted above states that "so that he (Adam) might incline to her with love". This means that the "natural" situation for a human being (nafs, whether man or woman) is to incline and love one mate and not more.
This is how Adam was created, and it is certainly more accurate to refer to Adam's creation for discovering the nature of human beings more than any other statistical reference that could differ along the dimensions of geography and history.
In fact, "nature" and "naturally" are such complex words because they are often confused with the words "culture" and "culturally". So you find some people claiming that certain things are human "nature" and they are only really referring to their own "culture" as a reference for this "nature".
The point is that the default and natural creation of human beings is to incline emotionally to one person and "out of the two spread men and women" as the verse is saying. This is the default and natural family structure: man, woman, and their children. Any other form of "family" is a matter of culture that is formed despite humanity's natural inclinations.
In my personal view, many of the "reasons" that people mention behind the Islamic law allowing a man to marry more than one wife are unfounded, apologetic, and even men-serving.
For example, people say that, "men are "naturally" inclined to sexual activities more than women", "the number of men is statistically more than the number of women", "the second is meant to be a friend for the first wife, and the whole family will live happily ever after", and so on.
If we examine these claims mentioned here via modern social sciences tools, we will realize that they are simply inaccurate; and if they happen to apply to a certain society or community in a certain country or time, they do not apply as "universal" human facts based upon what a law could be based on. Here, "universal" is also as big a claim as "natural".
There is another dimension to polygamy that we have to consider, which is the dimension of `urf (tradition or culture). Speaking from a jurisprudential standpoint, traditions of the people do have an effect on Islamic rulings and do affect people's contracts and worldly dealings in general as long as they do not contradict the rules of Shari`ah.
In Islamic law, the rule goes that what is default according to tradition is a default condition in the contract. This means that if the tradition of the people (or perhaps the agreement of the couple before marriage) indicates that the man will not marry any other women, then it goes as a "legal condition" in the marriage contract that is abiding to that man, unless his wife (or perhaps a judge in certain cases) willfully allows this default to change.
The question now is: Could Muslims add conditions such as monogamy to legal contracts? And the answer is yes, according to all Islamic schools of law.
Therefore, if the tradition of the husband and wife view monogamy as the normal and default, then they should apply it, because as we said, what is a default according to tradition is a default condition in the contract.
Some societies, especially in the West, do not accept polygamy and find it harmful for the make up of the family and society. Therefore, it is unfair to Islam to tell these societies that polygamy is part of "Islam" that they have to practice!
We do not want to tie people's acceptance of Islam to practicing polygamy, because they do not have to. It is mentioned in the Qur'an, which is true, but practicing it is subject to people's perception of the family. Our legal evidence is that the first family of Adam and Eve, according to the Qur'an, was monogamous.
I hope this answers your question.

What does Islam say about polygamy? Part 5

This was my question. I forwarded it to them because Islam QA ridiculously said it was mandatory for Muslim males to by polygamous (see here: ). I attacked Islam QA in the original question but they edited it. But it's not a problem since I was relieved that they (IslamQA) was dead wrong on this.


I've heard from many scholars that polygamy has rules and restrictions, and that it is not for everyone, and not recommended either because the Quran says to marry only one. However I recently came across an Islamic web site and this is what they said on polygamy: "According to the hadith narrated by al-Bukhaari from Ibn ‘Abbaas, the best of this ummah are those who have most wives." Sorry, but I've NEVER heard that hadith before in my life. What is the reliability of this hadith? And are Muslim men really encouraged to take more than wife? I live in Canada, and if I tried to apply this principle it would be against the Law. What do you advise Muslims living in non-Muslim countries to do in such cases?


Salam Ali,

Thank you for your question.

Let me first clarify that the Hadith you referred to in your question is actually a saying attributed to `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). Sa`id ibn Jubair is reported to have said: Ibn `Abbas said to me: “Did you get married?” I replied in the negative. So Ibn `Abbas said: “Then get married, as the best of this Ummah (Muslim nation) had the most wives.” (Al-Bukhari)

According to Ibn Hajar, the famous Hadith commentator, Ibn `Abbas refers to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as he had multiple wives. And this Ummah means the Muslim nation which followed the Prophet and not previous nations as Prophets David and Solomon had more wives than what the Prophet had. (Fath al-Bari, 9:114)

Therefore, Ibn `Abbas’ saying cannot be interpreted to be a general rule that the best Muslims are those who have the most wives. Ibn `Abbas was just encouraging Ibn Jubair to get married. This is what al-Muhallab said on his commentary on this hadith. (Ibn Battal, Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:164)

This is the Islamic stance on marriage in general. It is highly recommended to get married in order to have a family that can contribute greatly to the progress of the community. Marriage is not an invention. It has been practiced by Islam by all people including Prophets themselves. We read in the Quran:

{And verity We sent messengers (to mankind) before you, and We appointed for them wives and offspring…} (Ar-Ra`d 13:38)

Marriage is a sacred bond which must be based on love and respect. Muslim men are highly urged to be fair with their wives and never abuse them. Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said:

"The best among you are those who are best to your households; I am the best among you to my household." (Al-Bukhari)
Muslim scholars view that marriage is subject to the five categories of Islamic rulings. It can be obligatory, recommended, permissible, forbidden, or prohibited according to the circumstances of each case.

As for the issue of polygamy, I am not going to delve into why it is permitted. This is because there is no clear answer to this question in the Quran, which Muslims believe is the word of God, or the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Whatever reasons people give are just human interpretations which might be accurate or inaccurate. But it is important to state that the Quran is the only divine book that tells its followers to marry one wife and the reason for that. This is when one cannot establish justice among more than one wife. In this case, he is recommended to marry only one woman.

We read in the Quran what means:

{… but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then (marry) only one.} (An-Nisaa’ 4:3)

All other scriptures give man the right to marry as many women as he wishes. Recently, some religious groups restricted the number to one wife.

Polygamy is there in the Shari`ah. It is an option. It is not a sixth pillar of Islam that every Muslim has to practice it. Polygamy is not the norm; it is the exception. In no way can it be said that a man with two, three, or four wives is better in the sight of Allah than a man with one wife only.

Given the above, polygamy is not an issue that you should busy yourself with. It is not a priority in Islam. It falls within the category of the permissible things in Islam. You will not be asked on the Day of Judgment why you did not marry more than one woman.

What is more important is to integrate in the Canadian society and be an active member. Act as an ambassador for your religion. Be a role model for your neighbors, colleagues, friends, etc.
We thank you, Ali, for your concern not to break Canadian laws. This point takes us to a very crucial issue which should be given due attention. This issue has to do with the duties of Muslims living in a non-Muslim context. Muslims should be law-abiding people, and they should give a good image of Islam. Muslims have to cooperate with other community members and work for their welfare.

At the same time, Muslims should keep their identity and should not give concessions on core issues. Muslims have to take care of their families and raise their children according to the teachings of Islam.

I hope this answers your question.

What does Islam say about polygamy? Part 4


I am a 37 year old male married with 4 kids. I live in Canada but I want to be polygamous. Doesn't God's law over-rule Canadian law? Also doesn't my wife have to accept this as part of me?


Marrying more than one wife is not a permission granted to everyone, for Allah says:"If you cannot be just then only one." So you should ask yourself the question: am I being just to my wife by taking a second wife? Justice has many dimensions. One of the most important one is to be able to fulfil your responsibilities as a husband and as a father. Based on my decades long experience in marital counseling in Canada, I don't think even a man who has one wife and 4 kids (by the way, I am a father of four) can do justice to them in this society, given the nature of work and stress one has to go through life here. Before you claim your rights, you need to ask yourself whether you have fulfilled your duties towards your existing wife and children. If you take time to think this issue carefully, you will realize that marrying more than one wife in a milieu and culture like ours in Canada is indeed a challenge that most people cannot handle.

Secondly, Islam teaches us that we have to be true to the terms of our marriage contract. And the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'there is nothing more worthy of observance than the terms of one's marriage". It is known that by terms he did not mean simply written contracts; they also include those conditions or terms that are simply assumed or taken granted in a particular culture or milieu. Now if, prior to marrying your wife, you had told her that you will be exercising the option of marrying a second wife, would she have agreed to marry you? If she wouldn't have, then you are bound by that tacit agreement. You cannot marry a second one now without her permission.

Finally, Islam does not say marrying more than one wife is a religious requirement; rather it is simply an exception. So practicing polygamy is not a religious duty in Islam. In other words, you can still be a Muslim without taking a second wife. Furthermore, as Muslims, we are also bound to obey the laws of the land as long as they are not opposed to our religious requirements.

What does Islam say about polygamy? Part 3


Salamu aleykom Shiekh Ahmad Thank you for your efforts to spread the knowledge.I have small question about polygamy. Is is required for husband to have his first wife permission to marry second time?Jazaka Allah


If you married your wife in a culture where monogamy was the norm, and you never mentioned to her about your option to marry a second wife, then you owe it to her to seek her permission to do so. For as the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us, we are bound by the terms of our marriage contracts. Since there is no reason to limit such terms to the written ones, they should also include those which are simply assumed or taken for granted in a particular milieu or society. If, therefore, your wife would not have married you--if she had the prior knowledge that you would exercise the option to take a second wife-- then it was a tacit agreement you had agreed to with her; as such you are bound by it.

What does Islam say about polygamy? Part 2


Why do some scholars say that polygamy is the exception and that the rule is one wife and other scholars say that the rule is up to four wives where polygamy is not necessarily an exception? Which one is it?


The Ideal is one wife and the permission to marry more than one is a an exception as can be inferred from the following verse:
Allah says, " And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one - or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess. This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course." (Qur'an: 4:3)

Thus if there is a reasonable ground to suspect that he may not be able to do justice, then he is allowed to marry only one. It does not take much imagination to see that the stressful living conditions in the modern industrialized societies are not conducive to a plurality of wives; it is a fact that the vast majority of men are struggling even with one wife and children as they are unable to find enough time to give them the necessary, emotional and spiritual care that is essential for their development as responsible Muslims. In other words, life in the modern world has become so fast paced that it is next to impossible to do justice. This is why most scholars insist that we should keep to the ideal.

Moreover, we are also bound by the terms of our marriage contracts. In a milieu like ours where monogamy is the norm, one needs to get the permission of his first wife to marry another; for she had married him with the tacit understanding that she would be the only wife he will be having. So unless such an option had already been stipulated in the contract, he is not justified in marrying a second wife without her permission.

What does Islam say about polygamy? Part 1


Please answer sheikh. I am a married man with children. I have feelings for another women. Why do I have these feelings? Should I persue this other women as polygamy is allowed in islam. Are my feelings for this other person from Allah as a sign that I should marry her. She seems to be a better match for me than my present wife. What does the qur'an mean when it states that men may wish to replace one wife with the other..please advise.

You are not allowed to get carried by the inclination you feel towards another woman. If we were allowed to act in this way, then there won't be any family life. So we need to bridle our passions and focus on works that are productive.

Although polygamy was allowed in Islam, it is not a general permission applicable for all times and places. The Qur'an has already set monogamy as the norm, and hence polygamy is an exception. Allah says, "If you fear that you cannot do justice, then you may marry only one."

Now it behooves us to consider the specific conditions of the modern age. Stresses of life now are so overwhelming that an ordinary individual can hardly rice to meet the challenges of doing justice towards more than one wife. We can never exaggerate the fact that family life involves heavy responsibilities. It demands undivided attention to care for one's family and the children. Hence, given the conditions of the modern life, undoubtedly monogamy is the ideal to follow.
So, I urge you to curb this desire and be loyal to your wife.

We cannot take the Qur'anic verses out of context. The verse you have cited is applicable only when a person fails to resolve marital conflicts and therefore has no other option but to divorce his wife and marry another. That is not the case with you. If we were allowed divorce our wives every time we feel that there is a more beautiful one, then we would end up destroying the family life, and thus human civilization as we know would cease to exist.

Therefore, I urge you to curb your passions, take steps to put your marriage on the right track by being loyal to your wife and children, and focus on productive work.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can Muslims take disbelievers as protectors? Part 2


What is meant by not taking the Jews and Christians as awliya? What were the reasons for these verses being revealed?


You are referring to the verse in surat al-ma'idah: 5:1, it is best translated as follows:

"O you who believe, do not take Jews and Christians as your closest allies, for they are only the close allies of each other. Whoever among you turns to them (for alliances, in place of believers,) is one of them, for God doesn't guide corrupt people." (Qur'an: 5:51).

The verse in no way implies establishing normal friendly and amicable relations with either Christians or Jews or anyone else (who is not a Muslim). It specifically refers to siding with them against Muslims, or joining with them on causes that are clearly detrimental to the interests of Islam and Muslims.

The above interpretation is confirmed by a close study of the context of the revelation of the verse: It was revealed, as stated by the great mufassirin (exegists) such as Imam Ibn Jarir and others, in the context of the alliance of Jews with the pagans in waging war against Muslims. When the Jews of Madinah did this, some Muslims from Ansaar, who had been formerly allies of Jews, declared their innocence of them, while others (apparently the hypocrites) still persisted in their alliance--in clear violation of the interests of Islam and Muslims.

Therefore, the above verse is specifically forbidding Muslims against forming alliances with others against the interests of their own community as well as siding with them on causes that are immoral or considered as unjust.

Seen in this light, it does not in any way forbid Muslims from having normal friendly relations with members of these communities or cooperating with them on causes of mutual benefit. Not only these are permissible but also clearly recommended in Islam: Allah tells us,

"...And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression: but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!" (Qur'an: 5:2)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "(In pre-Islamic times) I attended a pact of virtue in the house of Abd Allah b. Jud'an: If I were called in Islam by anyone to join a similar pact, I would never hasten to join it!" 
Furthermore, it is an incontrovertible fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) turned his foes into his bosom friends by his mercy and friendly relations with them.

In conclusion: The word awliya in the verse referred to above means making them allies against Islam and Muslims.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Is the segregation of men and women an Islamic requirement? Part 4


Is it permissible for a woman or a man to eat at a restaurant where there is no gender segregation?


According to the practice of generations of Muslims from among the predecessors and successors, the mere presence of males and females in the same place is not prohibited in itself. Rather, the prohibition concerns the manner of their gathering if it contradicts the rulings of Islamic law. This includes, for example, women uncovering what they have been commanded to cover in Islamic law, gathering to commit an abominable act or sitting in unlawful privacy with the opposite sex. As for the prohibited mixing between the opposite sexes, it is that which involves touching and physical contact and not merely being present in the same place.

Ibn Batal on his commentary on al Bukhari said that the separation between males and females in places and dealings is not an obligation on Muslim women as it is was only a commandment on the wives of the Prophet.
In his commentary in Fath al Bari, al Hafiz ibn Hajar said that it is permissible for the wife to serve her husband and those he invites over to his home should she keep her dignity intact through wearing her hijab. In case of jeopardizing her dignity in any way or form, it is deemed impermissible for the woman to be surrounded with men.

In Sahih al Bukhari, it was narrated by Abu Juhaifah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he made alliances of brotherhood among the emigrants (al muhajereen) and the supporters (al ansar), Salman and Abu al Dardaa were allied so one time Salman went to visit Abu al Dardaa and he found his wife looking upset so he asked her “what is wrong with you” and she said “Abu al Dardaa has no desire in this world”. Form this narrative we conclude the permissibility of conversing between opposite sexes.

So we conclude that the sheer presence of men and women in one place does not render impermissibility as prohibition is only deemed relevant when the man and the woman seclude themselves in a place where no one can enter. Also the mere act of closing the door of an office or the like does not make it prohibited and is not considered an unlawful privacy because the door is not locked and anyone can easily go in and out of the room.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Can we give condolences to non-Muslims?


Is it permissible for a Muslim to send condolences to the family, on the death of a Christian friend/colleague or a neighbor? If so is there any authentic evidence from the life of the Prophet (SAW) that he did that?


It is perfectly all right to do so, Islam commands us to be good to all people, and establish good neighborliness, reciprocating kindness with kindness, and recognizing the good in all people. Islam is all about justice and compassion; God commands us to be steadfast in upholding these virtues at all times. We are told, “O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity; and let not hatred of any people make you swerve from justice. Deal justly; that is nearer to God-fearing….” (Qur’an: 5: 8).

The Qur’an further tells us that there are among the Christians those who are full of love and compassion: “…And We placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him (Jesus)…” (Qur’an: 57: 27). And we are also told, “…And you will find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud.” (Qur’an: 5: 82).

For instance, the late Pope John Paul 11 was undoubtedly known to all people with these qualities. Islam teaches us to recognize the good and virtue wherever they are found; and shun and abhor vice and immorality whoever practices them. Pope John Paul stood for justice and spoke against unjust, and immoral wars, and occupations, and extended and opened his arms to receive people of all faiths including Muslims; that is why as numerous Muslim scholars throughout the world have stated: In John Paul 11’s death we have lost a very good friend.

Prophetic precedents for reciprocating kindness with kindness and his magnanimity even with his foes are too numerous to count. He visited non-Muslims who were sick, he was extremely generous with his food and provisions to all of his neighbors including Muslims and non-Muslims; he welcomed the Christian delegation in his mosque and served them, he extolled the pact of virtue that the pagans had formed in pre-Islamic times, and said that he would gladly hasten to join to any similar ventures in Islam, no matter who takes the initiative. We also know from the traditions that the Prophet, peace be upon him, stood up to honor the funeral procession of a Jew. Inspired by these and other precedents, his companions used to attend the funerals of non-Muslims, including those of the People of the Book.

In conclusion, we are certainly allowed to extend condolences to our friends among Christians and others who have lost their family member or friend or a leader of their faith. We are also allowed to attend their funerals and memorials in order to extend our sympathies to the bereaved.

Can we go to a funeral of a non-Muslim?


A close friend of mine recently passed away as she was a christian there will be a church ceremony is it permissible for a Muslim women to attend the ceremony.


You are allowed to attend the funeral of your friend held in the Church.

Here is a more informative one:


My question is in regards to attending funerals of someone from a different religion. Are we allowed to attend the funeral of a non-muslim? If yes are we allowed to participate in their prayers and rituals knowing that we don't believe in what they're doing but we are there to pay our condolences? If no are we allowed to make duaa for them in our own way to bless them with jannah or anything of that sort?


Islam is all about compassion and good neighborliness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, " Jibreel continued to exhort me about kindness to my neighbor to such an extend so that I even thought he would be eligible to inherit my property." It goes without saying that, if that is the case, then visiting your neighbor when he is sick or attending his funeral would certainly be a priority. This is why we know that the Prophet's companions used to attend the funerals of their non-Muslim relatives and friends.

While attending a non-Muslim funeral, we are not to participate in their specific religious rituals. It is best that we use the occasion to observe silence, and contemplate the mystery of death and pray for all of those who have died in good faith. In other words, you should not make a specific prayer for the person; rather you are only allowed to offer a general prayer for all good souls and leave the judgment to Allah to sort out the good souls from the bad ones. The reason for this is that human beings are free exercise their freedom of conscience and therefore each person is accountable for the choices he or she has made. For further details, here is a previous answer I gave on a similar question:

Dear scholars, As-Salamu 'alaykum. I am a convert. I always come across the following questions from the new converts: Is it permissible for us to make du'a' (supplication) for our parents, family members and relatives who are non-Muslims? What can we pray for them? What can we not? Jazakum Allah khayran.


"We are certainly allowed to make du'a' for our non-Muslim relatives and friends who are living; we can pray for them for their health, wellbeing and guidance. But the most important prayer that we can do for them is to pray for their guidance to the path of Islam; we must do so on a continuous basis. Our prayer for guidance for them should be complemented by our earnest efforts to persuade them to embrace Islam through wisdom and beautiful preaching. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "If a single person were to be guided to the right way through your efforts that would be better for you than owning the whole world as a treasure!"

As for our non-Muslim relatives or friends who have died, we are not allowed to pray for them if we know for a certain fact that they have died in disbelief:

Allah says, "It is not fitting for the Prophet and the believers to pray for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even though they may be near kin (to them) after it has become clear them that they are the people of Hell." (At-Tawbah: 113)

Since, according to Islam, every person is responsible for the choice he has made in life, and he has chosen the path of disbelief, we are not to pray for his forgiveness. If, however, we are not sure what kind of faith they died in, then we are allowed to offer the following general prayer which includes all believers. If they had died in faith they would certainly be included in it; let Allah be the judge:

Allahumma ighfir li al-mu'minia wa al-mu'minat, al-ahya' minhum wa al-amwat: (O Allah, forgive all believers, males and females, those who are living and those who have died).

We may also pray in the manner of Prophet 'Isa (Jesus-peace be upon him), who prayed to Allah concerning the Christians who associated him in the worship of Allah:

"If you punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, You are the August, the Wise." (Al-Ma'idah: 118)

How should couples handle disputes?


I am an Indian .I and my husband had a fight which was started by my husband .I asked an apology from my husband as he was responsible for the fight ( I wasn't agrresive at this time ) my husband refused to apologise and all the alders of our family were very angry at me that how can I ask such a thing from my husband as he is my mijazi khuda. ( some one in front of whom I should bow my head after Allah). Please advice me was I wrong to ask him an apology and is there anything like mijazi khuda .


While it is true that a wife should obey her husband, only Allah has the right to claim unconditional obedience. Islam, therefore, teaches us to recognize right as right and wrong as wrong. The prophet (peace be upon him) said, "No one has the right to be obeyed in disobedience to the Creator." In other words, if your husband is wrong, he has to apologize even as you need to do so if you do wrong.
This is the lesson we learn from the Prophet (peace be upon him) as he never demanded that his wives submit to him unconditionally. Thus, we learn that once when he had an argument with Aishah, his beloved wife, he suggested that they would have someone else to listen to the issue as an arbitrator. He offered her the chance to choose the person. When she insisted, he chooses, he mentioned a few names, all of which she rejected, and finally when he suggested the name of her father, Abu Bakr, she agreed hoping that he would take her side. This incident shows that the Prophet in spite of being a prophet did not think that he ought to be obeyed unconditionally by his wife. He also wanted to show to his community that neither husband nor husband should think they are perfect.

Allah and His Prophet teach us to recognize our faults. The caliph Umar said, "The best gift anyone can give me is to point out my faults to me." So, husband and wife are to serve as true mirrors helping each other to improve; neither one should think of himself or herself as perfect. Even the Prophet never thought of himself in this way. So, for anyone to suggest that husband should not be corrected if he does wrong and that a wife's duty is to obey is wholly un-Islam. It is paganism that Islam came to be replaced.

Therefore, there is no room in Islam to adhere to this false belief that a husband is a majazi khuda or a kind of divine being to be obeyed unconditionally.

Before concluding this answer, I would suggest that both of you should try to settle this dispute amicably. The best approach is for both of you to be humble before Allah and ask forgiveness of Allah and of each other and pray to Allah,

"Our Lord, grant us true joy in our spouses and children and make us role models for the God-fearing."

Monday, December 3, 2012

What does Islam say about taking things to the extreme?


Asalamu-alikum warahmatullah Shiekh I have been called a fundamentalist meaning an extremist in their own religion. Why? I don't know what I have done! I am just worried about my religion this ummah. I was told that I shouldn't take islam in a serious way but I said "I fear my lord I want to pass this life time Why shouldn't I be worried about my religion". Then I was called a fundamentalist. Please help me


If you know that you are not an extremist, then you don't need to worry about what people may think or say about you. You should, however, stay clear of all forms of extremism in your words, manners and actions. Islam you should know is all about moderation, balance and harmony; it teaches us to shun rigidity and extremism. The Prophet said, "Woe to the extremists (who make things difficult for themselves and others)." (Reported by Muslim). He also said, "this religion of ours is easy and simple to follow; whoever makes it hard upon him will only be defeating himself (by such an attitude)." (Reported by Nasa'i).

If you know that you are not an extremist, and you adhere strictly to the sound beliefs and practices of Islam, then you need not worry about your reputation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "whoever works to please Allah-even, though he may have to displease people by doing that- Allah will take care of people for him. If, however, someone is trying to please people by displeasing Allah, Allah will abandon him to people." (Reported by Timidhi)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How does Islam view a woman's testimony?


Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Does Islam regard the testimony of women as half of a man's just in cases of transactions or in every case? Who are the scholars that maintain the first view? What is the evidence of those scholars saying that her testimony is not accepted in cases of murder and adultery? Jazakum Allahu khayran.


Wa `alaykum as-salam 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.

Sister, first of all, we would like to say that we are impressed by your question, which emanates from a thoughtful heart. May Almighty Allah help us all adhere to the principles of this true religion, Islam, and enable us to be among the dwellers of Paradise in the Hereafter, amen.

In Islam, woman is not considered as an inferior gender and most Qur'anic references to testimony do not make any reference to gender. Some references fully equate the testimony of males and females. No reference is made to the inferiority or superiority of one gender's witness or the other's.

In his response to your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states,
The word shahadah in its various forms has occurred in the Qur'an about 156 times. There is only one case (Al-Baqarah 2:282) where there is a reference to gender. Apart from this one reference, there is no other place where the issue of gender is brought in the context of testimony. According to the Qur'an, it does not make any difference whether the person testifying is a male or female; the only objective is to ascertain accuracy and to establish justice and fairness. In one place in the Qur'an, there is an explicit reference that equates the testimonies of the male and female (See Surat An-Nur 24:6-9).

Only in the context of business transactions and loan contracts, it is mentioned that if two men are not available for testimony, then one man and two women are to be provided for that particular purpose (See Surat Al-Baqarah 2:282). The reason is not because of gender; it is given in the Qur'anic verse: If one errs, the other may remind her. Some scholars have suggested that this was due to the fact that most women in the past and even now were not involved in the intricate business dealings. So the Qur'an accepted their testimony, but to insure justice indicated that there should be two.

It is also important to note that the Shari`ah emphasizes that we follow the law exactly in the matters of worship; in economic dealings, however, the issue of justice is the main factor. If a judge sees that there is a woman who is very qualified and has good understanding of business transactions, the judge may consider her testimony equal to the testimony of a man. This will not be against the teachings of the Qur'an.