Ask the Scholar About Women Issues (Fatwa Session)

Dear Brothers/Sisters,

Thank you very much for joining us in this Live Fatwa session. We would like also to thank our guest, Dr. Muhammad Salama, for answering the questions directed to him. You will find the answers of your questions below.

Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 | 04:00 - 06:00 Makkah | 01:00 - 03:00 GMT

Session is over.



Stature - About Islam

Q:

There is this statement:

Hind Ibn Abi Haalah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, had a broad and flat belly and chest and he had broad shoulders.”

[At-Tirmithi]

I was wondering whether females should also have a flat stomach, aren’t females also supposed to follow the Prophet?

And if females want to have flat stomachs by exercising, Is it recommended in Islam?

A:

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.

Allah (exalted is He) says in the Quran what means “Very truly, in the Messenger of Allah there is an excellent model for you.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

This Quranic verse clearly enjoins Muslims to follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him); that is, his words and deeds that guide humanity to their welfare and wellbeing both in this world and in the Hereafter.

Prophet’s physical traits, hence, are not models to follow. Out of their love for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), his noble Companions conveyed his physical descriptions to the next generations to help them have a close mental image to their beloved Prophet.

Islam, however, commends its followers to lead a healthy life and have strong bodies. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak one; though both have goodness in them.” [Muslim]

Sports and exercises are permissible for Muslims, including Muslim women, as long as they are practiced within shari`ah limits and regulations. Generally speaking, such regulations include,

  • No gambling shall be involved.
  • No music shall be played.
  • No religious duties shall be neglected.
  • No animosity shall be incurred.
  • None of shari`ah prohibitions shall be violated.

For Muslim women, in particular, they have to wear decent and proper Islamic dresses and be in a place where no man can watch them.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Laughing at Mockery of Islam without Accepting the content - About Islam

Q:

Assalaamu’alaikum Warahmatullaah.

What’s the ruling on laughing at a joke (whether it’s from other people or from my own inner thought) that are considered as a mockery to Islam, and thinking that such thing (mockery) is funny BUT without accepting such mockery and believing that doing such thing is not allowed? Is such action considered as a Nullifier of Islam?

A:

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.

The Quran strongly warns against deriding and making mockery of Islam or/and Islamic sanctities considering this as a sign of disbelief and hypocrisy. In Surat At-Tawbah we read what means, “Yet if you ask them [about their slander of the Prophet and the believers], they will, most surely, say: We were only indulging [in idle-talk] and playing. Say [to them]: Then, is it Allah and His [revealed] signs and His Messenger of which you were making mockery? Offer no excuse! For you have truly disbelieved after your belief.” (At-Tawbah 9:65-66)

The Quran even prohibits being in a situation where such mockery is made as we read in the following injunction to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “Thus, whenever you see those who fall to [vilifying] Our [revealed] signs, then turn away from them until they take up some other discourse. And if Satan should [ever] cause you to forget [this command], then do not [continue to] sit with the wrongdoing people after remembering [this].” [6:68] The Quran also warns, “Moreover, He has already sent down to you [a commandment] in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being belied and mocked at, then do not sit with them until they take up some other discourse. [For], indeed, you would then be like them. Indeed, Allah shall gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers in Hellfire, all together.” (An-Nisa 4:140)

It is untenable thus for a Muslim to laugh at jokes that derides of Islam. He should instead feel angry and jealous for the sanctities of his religion.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Drowning/Submerged in Permitted (Mubah) Thing(s)? - About Islam

Q:

What is the explanation on “Drowning/Submerged in Permitted (Mubah) thing(s)”?

Is it true that it’s better to avoid Permitted (Mubah) Thing(s)?

Is doing such thing decreases one’s level/degree?

A:

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.

With the exclusion of prohibited things, Muslims may enjoy Allah’s blessings and permissible things. Allah (exalted is He) says in the Quran what means, “Say: Who is it that has prohibited the adornments of Allah, which He has brought forth for His servants, and the wholesome things of [His] provision? Say [to them]: Such things are [lawful] in the life of this world for those who believe- and they shall be purely so [for them alone] on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-A`raf 7:32)

Islam teaches us to be moderate and reasonable when enjoying such blessings. The Quran calls upon us, “O Children of Adam! Don your adorning apparel when setting out for every place of worship. Moreover, eat and drink]. But do not be excessive. For, indeed, He does not love those who are excessive.” (Al-A`raf 7:31)

Another Quranic injunction dictates “Thus you shall not keep your hand yoked to your neck [out of stinginess], nor extend it to the utmost extent  [in extravagance. For] then you would remain [ever] blameworthy [and] regretful.” A(Al-Israa 17:29)

Extravagance and excessive use and consumption of permissible things are thus prohibited by the Shari`ah. The Quran declares “Indeed, the squanderers are [the evil] brethren of the Satans.” (Al-Israa 17:27) and But do not be excessive. Indeed, He does not love those who are excessive.” (Al-An`am 6:141)

Extravagance leads to loss of health and wealth and opens the door for the Satan to allure and mislead man.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Expiation - About Islam

Q:

Salam

I have broken so many promises and oaths ,  but i never expiated , for example, expiation (kaffara) for breaking promises  (kaffara) is to [a] feed ten poor people (​two meals each) or, [b] to clothe them (​one garment each) or, [c] to give them the equivalent monetary value. If one is unable to do that, one must fast three consecutive days.

But the problem is i still haven’t expiated because i don’t even remember which promises  and oaths i broke.

My question is what happens when we don’t expiate them? How ALLAH punishes?does ALLAH expiate our sins by giving us calamities?

A:

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.

Breaking promises does not entail kaffarah (expiation/atonement), but breaking oaths does. Allah (exalted is He) says what means, “Allah will not hold you accountable for unintended vows in your oaths. But He will hold you accountable for what you have [intentionally] bound yourselves to by oaths, the atonement of which is feeding ten indigent people with the average of what you feed your own families; or clothing them; or freeing a human being from bondage. But if one [of you] does not find [such means], then fast three days [instead]. That is the atonement for your oaths, when you swear [and break them]. So guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His [revealed] signs, so that you may give thanks.” (Al-Maidah 5:89)

The more oaths you take and break, the more kaffarah you have to pay. If one has broken so many oaths that he/she cannot remember, one has to figure out an approximate number of broken oaths and atone for them until he thinks that he has most likely atoned for all broken oaths. If one cannot pay all atonements at once, he may schedule them, according to his means.

Yes, calamities, diseases, afflictions, and the like mishaps expiate for Muslim’s sins as long as one shows no signs of impatience. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No Muslim shall be stricken with weariness, pain, anxiety, grief, hurt, mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins thereby.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah Almighty knows best.




Hardships because of impurities - About Islam

Q:

My question is that, me and my family were not practicing muslims for a time period.so on that period we adopted a dog out of ignorance of the outcomes of it.so we used to touch the dog and the dog saliva has gotten into our hands and we didn’t care about it much and just washed it with soap and all. But a few years before Alhamdulillah I was guided to the right path and I started practicing islam. I washed myself in the correct manner to get rid of the najis (with water and soil). But recently I suddenly realized that we used to wash our hands in our bathroom sink therefore  impurities must’ve transfered to it and the tap for sure because we touched it with wet hands. And when I take wudu, the water splashes from the sink to my body which transfer the impurity to my body as well. After realizing this I was feeling paranoid and I’m so afraid that my prayers won’t be accepted. Therefore I decided to wash the whole bathroom with water and soil where we have touched with najis in our hands(even though it’s hard doing it). But now my problem is, since I am the only one who is concerned about najis and transfering of najis, no matter how much i clean the bathroom, najis will still transfer because my other family members are ignorant about it and it’s hard to convince them to wash their hands with soil and water for 7 times.( note that i am not doubting about this issue because i am 100 percent sure that they have touched the tap, sink etc with wet hands). I would really appreciate it if you can give me a solution for this and tell me if the najis transfered by others in my family will affect my purity aswell.

Jazakallahu khairan.

A:

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.

First, you should know that it is prohibited to keep a dog for no legitimate reason. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever keeps a dog for any reason other than hunting or guarding one’s cattle or property will lose equal to two Qirat (a certain amount) out of his rewards every day.” [Muslim]

He also stated in another report that “Angels do not enter a house where there is a dog or an image.” [Al-Nasa’I and Ibn Majah]

For these and similar prophetic reports, the majority of scholars declared the prohibition of keeping dogs except for the reasons mentioned in the hadith; that is, for hunting or for guarding one’s properties.

So, brother, you need first to educate your family about this issue to get rid of the dog, if there is no legitimate reason to keep it.

Second, regarding its impurity, it is the dog’s saliva that is najis (ritually impure), not its entire body, according to the most preponderant opinion among scholars. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) has taught us how to remove the impurity of its saliva from any object when he said, “To purify any of your utensils when it is licked by a dog you have to wash it seven time using soil in the first one.” [Muslim]

You need to educate your family about this Shari`ah ruling as well, for they are Muslims anyway and have to abide by Shari`ah rulings. But even if your family does not care about the najash issue, you do not have to be over-obsessed with it as you have written in your question. The line of thought you followed, with all the presumptions and suppositions you mentioned, has led you to hardship and suffering, which is never intended by our Shari`ah. Only when there is object that you know it has the dog’s saliva and you want to use it, you have to clean it as prescribed by the prophetic report. Other than that you do not have to worry about it.

May Allah guide you to the best way and protect you against over-obsession.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Pls what do i do - About Islam

Q:

Salam. I am 28 yrs old and pressure of getting is increasing but of recent i met a young man  over social media meaning av not seen him, we only communicate via phone and we already set a date to meet. My knowledge on istikharah is that when u perform it, you go for what you think is best, so after observing the istikharah and after deep thought, i came to the conclusion that it might not work since his iman is not as strong as i want it to be though he said he can get better but part of me feels its easier said than done and his wattsapp status is not encouraging at all. i dont no if turning him down is the best thing to do especially with my age.

My second question is on hijab, finding job is hard , i av been advised to use turban instead(which i honestly dont want to do) so as to increase my chances of finding a job and in time too. Am confused, i need a job badly.

A:

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.

You did well when you prayed istikharah. The weakness of this man’s faith and other signs you noticed are enough to turn him down and turn over a new leaf.

Cyberspace is not the proper place to look for a husband. You will likely meet pretenders and cheaters and waste your time. I strongly advise you to quit this search and look for a husband in real world. Come closer to Allah, pray to Him earnestly to grant you a pious husband, and be sure that your prayers will never be in vain. After all, everything is in His Sublime Hands.

As for the second question, basically a woman should remain at home as indicated by the Quranic injection “And abide reverently in your homes. Nor shall you flaunt your beauty and adornment, like the flaunting of [women in] the former times of ignorance. Rather, [duly] establish the Prayer. And give the Zakat-Charity. And obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove all [traces of] defilement from you, O People of the [Prophet’s] Household, and to purify you [in spirit] with [a virtuous] purification.” (Al0ahzab 33:33)

Though this injunction is directed to the wives of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), all Muslim women are included a fortiori, since Prophet’s wives are models for them. Besides, of course, Allah intends to remove traces of defilement from all Muslims and to purify their spirits.

However, a Muslim woman may go out to work under the following regulations:

1- She has to be in need for the job in order to earn her livelihood. Or, if she is not in need, there should be a need in the society for her profession and thus she may work for the sake of public interest.

2- The job should be suitable for her physical and psychological nature.

3- She has to observe the Islamic code of conduct and dress for a Muslim woman.

4- There should be no intermingling with men as far as possible. But, if necessary, it has to be within a very limited scope; and the Islamic code of conduct and dress for a Muslim woman must be observed.

5- The job should not require her to travel without a mahram (non-marriageable relative).

6- The job should not distract a woman from taking care of her household or fulfilling her family duties.

Accordingly, if you are in need for a job, you may look for it keeping the above regulations in your mind. Your hijab is part of your Islamic identity, which you may not tolerate. Always recall the Quranic principle, “And whoever fears Allah, He shall make for him a way out [of every difficulty].” (At-Talaq 65:2)

Once again, turn to your Lord and ask Him to keep you steadfast on His religion, grant you a good husband to support you financially.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Surah At-Tauba - About Islam

Q:

Assalam alaikum,

Surah At-Tauba is the one surah from the Holy Qur’an which does not start with “Bismillah”. Does it mean that we should not memorize this surah or recite its ayats during As-salat? Just when we pray we should say “Bismillah” before every ayats we say.

A:

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.

Surat At-Tawbah, like other surahs of the Quran, may be read in daily prayers. Its memorization is as recommendable as the rest of Quranic chapters. Just when reciting it from the beginning we should not say “Bismillahi, arrahmani, arraheem“; though one may say the Basmalah formula, if he starts reading from any other place than its beginning, according to the opinion of a group of scholars.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Stepson islam - About Islam

Q:

Assalamu walaikum, If a Muslim man marries a woman who already has a child (but the paternal family and father are not alive) what is the obligation and what is not the obligation of man, with that child?

A:

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.

Since this child has lost his father, he is an orphan. Explicit Quranic and prophetic injunctions command good treatment to orphans. The Quran commands, “You shall worship Allah [alone]. And you shall not associate anything with Him [therein]. And to [your] parents you shall be good, as well as to close relatives and orphans and the indigent.” (An-Nisaa 4:36)

In another Quranic verse we read what means:

“And they ask you, [O Prophet,] about [looking after] orphans. Say: Setting their affairs aright is best for [you and] them. Thus, if you interrelate with them, then they are [to be treated as] your brothers [in faith]. And Allah knows best the sower of corruption from the sower of righteousness.” (Al-Baqarah 2:220)

Great rewards are promised for those who take care of and spend on them. The Quran states,

“They ask you what [ways] they should spend [charitably]. Say: Whatever good offering you spend is to be for [your] parents, and nearest relatives, and orphans, and the indigent, and the [needy] wayfarers. And whatever good you do, Allah is, indeed, all-knowing of it.” (Al-Baqarah 2:215)

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I shall be with the one who takes care of an orphan in the Paradise like these two (and he raised his forefinger and middle finger).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

There are also severe warnings against mistreating orphans as such ill-treatment is a characteristic of the disbelievers. Allah says in the Quran what means:

“Have you seen one who belies the [final] Judgment? This, then, is the [same] one who repels the orphan.” (Al-Ma`un 107:1-2)

Appropriating an orphan’s wealth is an enormous sin that entails severe punishment in the Hereafter as dictated by the Quranic verse that reads, “Indeed, those who consume the wealth of the orphan unjustly are only consuming fire into their bellies. For they shall roast in a flaming fire.” (An-Nisaa 4:10)

Accordingly, an orphan’s stepfather should keep these injunctions in mind and should treat his stepson kindly in order to gain such great rewards.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Question regarding Death - About Islam

Q:

Salam, I have always had a great fear of death and heard it can be painful. I’m so scared of the dying itself that I don’t even want to think about the stuff that happens after. Is it true that death is painful even for the believers? Is it true that the devil tries to fool you with water at the end? Are munkar and nakir extremely scary looking? How can I get over the fear of death especially due to the pain or even being scared I have a bad end? I know death is inevitable but I’m worried so much about the process and after including eternity, day of judgement.

A:

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.

Death is a fact that no one can escape. Every human being has to taste the throes of death as we read in the Quran, “Then comes the [throes of the] delirium of death, bearing the truth.” (Quran 50:19)

Even Prophets and Messengers of Allah went through the throes of death. At the time of his death, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would supplicate “O Allah, help me with the agonies of death.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The intensity of these agonies varies from one person to another. Basically, they are harder and more intense for a disbeliever than for a believer.

In a long hadith, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that a believing person at the time of death encounters white-faced angels who speak kindly to him, give him glad tidings, and then command his soul to come out. Then it comes out from his body as easy as a drop of water from the water-skin. A disbelieving person, on the other hand, encounters dark-faced angels who speak harshly to him, give him sad tidings, and then command his soul to come out. Then his soul disperses throughout his body and the angels of death pull it out as hard as pulling a spiky iron bar from wet wool.

Still the agonies of death could be intensified for a believing person to expiate his sins or increase his rewards. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) experienced such harsh death agonies that his wife `Aishah said, “I never dislike the agonies of death for anyone after [I saw the suffering of] the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).” [Al-Bukhari] But for the disbeliever, death agonies introduce his eternal suffering and torment in the other world.

As the Satan has promised and sworn to mislead the children of Adam and send them all to Hell, he attempts to take advantage of the time of death, the last opportunity for him to fulfill his promise. So, he comes at that time to cast doubts and evil thoughts hoping to win the race at the last moment ending man’s life in the way he wishes. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would seek refuge with Allah “from being led astray by the Satan at the time of death.” [Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i]  He would also seek refuge with Allah from the trials of death. Allah (exalted is He) protects true believers and helps them to keep steadfast in this situation. Allah is just and merciful and never lets down His pious servants and close friends.

Munkar and Nakir are the names of the two angels who question every human being in the grave. In an authentic prophetic narration, they are described as black, blue-eyed. There are other narrations that give them scary descriptions, but the authenticity of such narrations is rather questionable.

Allah (exalted is He) also supports His believing servants and helps them pass this trial. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When a Muslim is questioned in the grave, he bears witness that there is no true God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. This is what is meant by Allah’s statement ‘Allah sets firm those who believe with the firm word [of faith,] in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.'” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah (exalted is He) has told us about these death-related facts in His Book and at the tongue of His Prophet (peace be upon him) in order for us to prepare ourselves and be ready for these trials by cherishing strong, unshakable faith and doing righteous deeds. Instead of falling into panic, fear of death should drive us to seek the pleasure of Allah through leading a pious and righteous life, which brings us closer to Allah (exalted is He) and secures for us His help, support, and protection against the trials of both life and death.

Allah Almighty knows best.




Question about marriage - About Islam

Q:

Salami had a question. Can men have secret wives + not provide equal time nor money for them?

I’m asking this question because I’m a convert and an Islamic activist/ imam told me I don’t know that I’m just a convert and he studied Islam and his teacher also told him its true. Anyways now his wife divorced him because I asked her and I never married him because he never wanted to give me kids and no money or equal time saying in Islam it’s allowed to do this. He is on the news often and a very important Muslim person I think you guys should make it clear if this is allowed or not because he has done this to many many women. Also not just him but many men do this it made my iman go very low.

A:

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.

Congratulations, sister. May Allah keep you steadfast on His religion. Islam is the true religion of Allah. I do not think that you have taken the decision to revert before finding out this fact.

The question you posed includes two issues: Secrecy of marriage and the wife’s right to nafaqah (sustenance) and equal time as other wives.

Secrecy of marriage could mean concluding a marriage contract in secret without even the presence of two witnesses. This is unanimously an invalid contract.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “No marriage [is valid] without a wali (woman’s guardian) and two just witnesses.” [Al-Bayhaqi]

Witnesses usually announce the event. Sometimes witnesses attend the marriage contact, but they are asked to keep it secret. Scholars have different opinions concerning the validity of the marriage contract in this case.

A true Muslim should, thus, refrain from getting involved in such a dubious contract.

With regard to wife’s rights, Islam has made it obligatory upon a husband to sustain his wife financially, according to his means, and to give her equal time as other wives.

Basically, a wife should hold to her rights and a husband may not force her to give them up. A question may arise, however, as to whether a wife may give these rights up based on a condition made by the husband to that effect when concluding their marriage contract.

In their response to this question, Muslim scholars gave different answers. From one perspective, such a condition is invalid as it contradicts the objectives of marriage. The upholders of this perspective have divided with regard to the validity of the marriage contract in this case. The majority of them maintain that the contract itself is valid and only the condition is to be overruled. From another perspective, this condition is valid as long as the wife agrees to it and willingly gives up her rights. The condition thus is to be fulfilled as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Muslims are to [abide by] their conditions.” [Abu Dawud]

According to this perspective the issue should be left to the mutual agreement between the two spouses.

As you can see now, sister, there are various details and perspectives to the issues you raised; but neither of these opinions or perspectives accepts a marriage contract that is only concluded between a man and a woman in secrecy or forces a wife to give up her rights, unless she willingly gives them up.

Allah Almighty knows best.