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ISLAM: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Character and Morals


Volume 13 of a Series of Islamic Books by Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman

Islam: Questions And Answers Volume 13 Character and Morals

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Islam: Questions And Answers Volume 13 Character and Morals

Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman B.Sc., DipHE

MSA Publication Limited

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Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman, 2003 ISBN for all volumes 1 86179 080 5 ISBN for volume 13 paperback 1 86179 316 2 ISBN for volume 13 hardback 1 86179 317 0 ISBN for volume 13 pdf eBook 1 86179 318 9 ISBN for volume 13 Microsoft eBook 1 86179 319 7 ISBN for volume 13 Palm eBook 1 86179 320 0
All Rights reserved

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Designed, Typeset and produced by: MSA Publication Limited, 4 Bello Close, Herne Hill, London SE24 9BW United Kingdom

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Contents
Introduction .............................................................................. 1 Chapter 1................................................................................... 3 General ................................................................................. 3 30861: What are the situations in which a promise may be broken? ................................................. 3 14212: Beware of rumours at times of crisis .................. 6 12806: Ruling on the view that we should seek to acquire the characteristics of Allaah ......................... 12 22878: Our attitude towards rumours and news on the Internet................................................................ 14 21836: Spreading peoples personal messages and conversations .......................................................... 19 Chapter 2................................................................................. 21 Bad Behaviour ................................................................... 21 49024: He wants to look at women in the street with the intention of proposing marriage ...................... 21 49670: A husband who claims to be religiously-committed but he is addicted to permissive channels ...................................................... 23 49943: He masturbated a great deal during Ramadaan what should he do? ................................... 27 40664: Practising the secret habit (masturbation) in Ramadaan without ejaculating .................................. 29 40589: Practising the secret habit (masturbation) in Ramadaan .................................................................. 31 45883: He is studying in a mixed university; how should he deal with female teachers and students? ........................................................................ 32 42165: How can I advise someone who is addicted to pornography? .............................................. 36 45647: How can one avoid getting angry quickly? ......................................................................... 38 43012: Allaah is Severe in punishment ......................... 43 v

45001: Every time he improves in worship, he goes back to sin ........................................................ 48 12301: It is not permissible to watch pornography at all, not even with ones wife...................................... 53 34638: Being careless with the aim of dying in the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (al-Haramayn) ............................................................... 54 45433: It is haraam for students to cheat in tests .......... 55 40040: Her husband is threatening to divorce her if she does not watch pornographic movies with him ........................................................................ 56 40163Title: Her son practices the secret habit every day. What should she do? .................................... 58 40233: Her friend keeps company with men and commits sins, and she refuses to accept advice. What is to be done?........................................... 61 27190: What is the ruling on one who discloses secrets? .......................................................................... 63 6418: He falsified information on his university certificate and got hired on the basis of that certificate .................................................. 68 32671: Internet cafes are a hotbed of evil ..................... 70 34222: She complained about her friend and her brother has forsaken her .......................................... 71 20744: Should she refuse marriage to someone who has a bad past? ....................................................... 72 37666: Attributes of the one who gains the reward for giving iftaar to one who is fasting ............... 75 20642: Does committing a sin openly put a person beyond the pale of Islam? .................................. 77 26819: This action is reprehensible ............................... 80 9229: Ridding oneself of arrogance .............................. 81 14367: Is it permissible to steal from the kuffaar? ......................................................................... 87 20068: He is homosexual and wants a remedy ............. 90 7545: He has repented from stealing from the kuffaar ........................................................................... 97 vi

8529: What is the ruling on one person saying to another Eat air (i.e., shut up) as a put-down? ........ 99 26964: Prohibition against spying on others ............... 101 26197: Misfortune of a wife whose husband is committing sodomy ..................................................... 107 13217: A woman who is extremely shy is sitting in a place where people are backbiting is there any sin on her? ............................................................ 110 22845: The phenomenon of cheating .......................... 112 14587: Masturbating without using the hands ............ 123 20012: Cheating in school work ................................. 124 22340: Offensive and impermissible jokes ................. 125 20047: Ruling on clapping .......................................... 126 22307: He pretends to be a girl so that he can get the names of bad websites and get them closed down ................................................................. 128 13809: A man jokes with his mahrams in an obscene fashion ........................................................... 129 13993: Do colour and beauty carry any weight as a measure of virtue in Islam? .................................. 131 13811: What the teacher did is haraam ....................... 134 13493: It is essential to punish cell phone owners who send dirty messages ................................ 135 22050: Looking at pictures of women led him to commit the secret vice ......................................... 136 13611: Ruling on backbiting about non-Muslims ....... 137 12205: How can he rid himself of jealousy towards his brothers? .................................................. 139 12277: Is masturbation permissible if a person knows that he would not be able to give a wife her rights? .................................................................... 144 10445: Using a machine that leads to orgasm ............. 146 12387: The danger of hypocrisy .................................. 147 11726: Is it counted as committing sin openly if a person commits sin in front of his children?......... 152 9562: Warning to the one who shows off and boasts about his sin ..................................................... 153 vii

9345: Deceiving and lying are not permitted in dealings with others ................................................ 158 7491: Thinking about immoral actions ....................... 159 11125: Telling lies in order to get a visa to enter the US ................................................................. 160 3365: Ruling on the one who sins openly and tells his friends about it ........................................ 161 6044: Reading and writing fantasy stories .................. 166 6261: Ruling on being alone with a homosexual ........ 167 6376: He wants to commit suicide because they rejected his marriage proposal ............................. 168 4505: Writing fiction stories........................................ 170 4329: Accusing a Muslim of drinking wine ................ 171 3108: Writing down the name of a person who is absent from work as if he is present ........................ 173 762: Ruling on wearing ones clothes below ones ankles ................................................................. 174 110: Ruling on smoking .............................................. 178 329: Ruling on masturbation and how to cure the problem.................................................................. 181 Chapter 3............................................................................... 186 Love and the steps that lead to immoral actions .................................................... 186 49687: He fell into the trap of visiting chat sites and talking to girls, but has now repented .......... 186 44819: He had a relationship with a girl for two years, can he propose marriage to her? ................ 187 40618: Can she uncover her face in front of her sisters husband? ................................................... 189 41693: She has committed haraam actions with her fianc ............................................................. 191 27329: She has repented from an illicit relationship but she wants to contact him in order to get married to him .......................................... 196 39931: He has repented from a relationship with a non-mahram woman but he still loves her and feels attached to her ........................................ 198 viii

20949: Friendship and love between a man and a woman ............................................................... 201 39770: Ruling on being intimate with a non-mahram woman without intercourse.................... 204 27259: Ruling on the things that lead to zina kissing, touching and being alone together .............. 209 34841: Men and women talking in chat rooms ........... 213 33702: He fell in love with a girl then he repented. Can he be friends with her? ......................... 216 7650: She did something haraam with her husbands brother ........................................................ 219 10374: Bus driver being alone with a woman ............. 222 22917: He is addicted to pornographic pictures .......... 226 26258: Woman riding with a non-mahram man.......... 231 12879: Ruling on a man hugging a woman................. 232 21784: The difference between erotic dreams and looking at women ................................................. 235 20229: Means of helping oneself to lower ones gaze .................................................................... 239 23349: Prohibition on either spouse forming a relationship with someone else just for fun .............. 247 10532: He is worried and distressed as a result of a haraam relationship .............................................. 250 9465: Why is it forbidden for a man and a woman who are not mahrams to have a relationship? ............. 253 1578: If the child of zinaa is present, will he be a chaperone for the two who committed zinaa? .......................................................................... 255 7492: She wants to go out with her fiance to make sure about him so that there will not be a disaster ................................................................. 256 1200: Evidence Prohibiting of Mixing of Men and Women ......................................................... 258 5583: What is the ruling on having thoughts of intercourse even before marriage ............................ 272 6102: Should she cut off her ties with her adopted brother who has left Islam (is an apostate)? ................ 273 ix

5395: Women watching men on TV with no desire ...................................................................... 274 5445: Muslim man who has relationships with non-Muslim women ............................................ 275 4697: Christian woman living with a Muslim outside of marriage ...................................................... 276 4688: She had a relationship with a man and wants to marry him, but her parents refuse and her mother is crying .............................................. 278 326: He is in love with a girl but cannot marry her ..................................................................... 279 3807: Pre-marital relationships are not permissible .................................................................. 283 2572: Limits of looking at ones fiance and the ruling on touching her and being alone with her. Is her permission a condition of being allowed to look at her? ...................................... 285 2986: Khulwah of female passenger riding in taxi driven by a man ................................................ 290 2251: Womans former boyfriend took her away from Islam .......................................................... 292 2252: Ruling on reading stories with sexual content and looking at dirty pictures ........................... 294 2487: Expiation for haraam sexual activity................. 295 2085: It is forbidden to have a love relationship with anyone except ones husband .............................. 298 217: Mixing or travelling with the husbands brother ......................................................................... 299 591: Abnormal relationship between women .............. 303 671: In love with a none-believer ................................ 305 Chapter 4............................................................................... 307 Praised Manners ............................................................... 307 33749: Advice to women who spend most of their time in the kitchen............................................... 307 34829: How can a person know if his Lord is pleased with him? .................................................... 308 30864: Different kinds of humility .............................. 310 x

11440: Arguments with her husband she is asking how to become a righteous wife ...................... 315 27196: She became Muslim but her family did not; should she honour her family even though they mistreat her? ........................................................ 319 8844: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the establishment of the Islamic society ....................................................... 322 9242: Helping an old woman in her home .................. 328 2424: The importance of being truthful ...................... 330 21673: Should he focus on purifying his heart or on doing naafil acts? ............................................... 335 22006: Ruling on accepting an invitation, and the conditions for doing so .......................................... 338 12212: Did children climb upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during prayer? ............................................................. 342 4334: How to deal with a brothers wife who has a bad attitude ......................................................... 344 1169: Differing from the mushrikeen with regard to the beard ....................................................... 346

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Introduction
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad, and on his family and his companions. This book, Character and Morals, is the thirteenth volume of a series of authoritative Islamic books entitled Islam: Questions And Answers. The overall series discusses issues relevant to Islam, and present accurate and reliable information based on the true beliefs and practices of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) and his companions. The objectives of the various books include: to teach and familiarize Muslims with various aspects of their religion to be a source for guiding people to Islam to assist in solving the social and personal problems of the Muslims in an Islamic context The books are directed towards Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, Islamic fiqh and jurisprudence, Islamic history, Islamic social laws (including marriage, divorce, contracts, and inheritance), Islamic finance, basic tenets and aqeedah of the Islamic faith and tawheed, and Arabic grammar as it relates to the Qur'an and Islamic texts. The books are compilations of questions and responses about Islam, from both Muslims and Non-Muslims. The responses are handled mainly by internationally re-nowned Islamic shaykhs and scholars, including Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn Katheer, al-Albaani, Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn al-Qayyim, AlIzz ibn Abd al-Salaam, al-Nawawi, Shaykh Abd al-Kareem, al Khudayr, Al-Dhahabi, al-Qurtubi, Al-Sindi, al-Shawkaani and al-Bastawi using only authentic, scholarly sources based on the Qur'an and sunnah. References, which include Haashiyat Ibn Maajah, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 1

Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Daeefah, Al-Mawsooah fi Ahaadeeth al-Mahdi al-Daeefah wal-Mawdooah, Al-Manaar al-Muneef and Fataawa Islamiyyah, are provided where appropriate in the responses. The book provides the reader with cross references of other pertinent responses not necessarily in the same volume, but also in other volumes of the series. However, each volume is complete in itself. The book records accurately the answers the contributing Sheikhs and scholars gave to the questions put to them. These are not necessarily the answers which other sheikhs and scholars would have given. Depending on circumstances, for example, Islam permits different solutions to some questions The book also provides the reader with cross-references to other pertinent responses not necessarily in the same volume, but also in other volumes of the series. However, each volume is complete in itself. It is intended that this present series of Books will cover the following subject areas (insha-Allah): Aqeedah (Basic Tenets of Faith); Usool ul-Fiqh (Science of evidence that serve as basis for Fiqh), Fiqh (Jurisprudence and Islamic Rulings), Da'wah (Inviting others to Islam), Aadaab (Manners), Akhlaaq (Character and Morals), Tareekh wa ul Seerah (Islamic history and biography), Tarbiyyah (Pedagogy, education, and upbringing) and Mashakil Nafsiyah wa Ijtimaa'yah (Psychological & Social Problems). May Allah reward the owners and maintainers of www.islamqa.com for granting me full, exclusive, assignable and transferable rights to use and display all the questions and answers needed for the compilation of these books. May Allah grant everyone involved in the promotion of this project good in this world and the Hereafter and protection from the fire of hell.

Chapter 1 General
30861: What are the situations in which a promise may be broken? Question: We know that breaking promises is one of the attributes of the hypocrites, but if a Muslim is unable to keep his promise for some reason that is beyond his control, is he regarded as doing something haraam and as having one of the attributes of the hypocrites, or is he excused?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Undoubtedly keeping promises and keeping ones word are attributes of the believers, and breaking promises is one of the attributes of the hypocrites, as was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are four (characteristics), whoever has them is a hypocrite, and whoever has one of the four has a characteristic of hypocrisy unless he gives it up: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise he breaks it; what he makes a pledge he betrays it; and when he disputes he resorts to foul language. Narrated by alBukhaari, 2327; Muslim, 58. The believer who makes promises to people and breaks his promise may have an excuse or he may not. If he has an excuse then there is no sin on him, but if he does not have an excuse then he is a sinner. 3

There is no text as far as we know that makes any exception regarding the prohibition of breaking promises, but it may be that promises are broken in situations where the believer is excused. For example: A Forgetting Allaah has forgiven us for forgetfulness whereby obligatory actions are omitted or haraam actions are committed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error [al-Baqarah 2:286] And Allaah has said: Yes. Narrated by Muslim, 125, from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah. According to another version, He said: I will do that. Narrated by Muslim, 126, from the hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas. Whoever makes a promise to someone then forgets the promise or forgets to do it at the time stated, there is no sin on him. B Being forced to break ones promise. Being forced is one of the impediments that make it permissible for a Muslim to break his promise, such as one who is detained or is prevented from fulfilling his promise, or who is threatened with a painful punishment. It was narrated from Ibn Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah has forgiven my ummah for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do. Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2045, and this hadeeth has many corroborating reports; classed as saheeh by Shaykh alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 1836.

C A promise to do something haraam or not to do something obligatory. Whoever promises someone that he will do something haraam for him, or that he will not do something that is obligatory, it is not permissible for him to fulfil that promise. This may be supported by the hadeeth of Aaishah which is also known as the hadeeth of Bareerah which is narrated in al-Saheehayn. Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) had promised Bareerahs former masters [?} that the wala of Bareerah [the right to inherit from her when she died which is the right of the one who sets a slave free Translator] would belong to them even though Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was the one who was going to set Bareerah free. But she did not keep this promise because they had gone against the shareeah and they knew that the right of wala belonged to the one who set the slave free, so how could Aaishah set her free and then the wala of Bareerah belong to them? Al-Shaafai said: When news of that reached them, the one who had stipulated a condition that was contrary to the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger was a sinner, and there are hudood punishments and discipline for the sinner. One of the ways in which the sinners are disciplined is that their conditions are rendered null and void so as to deter them and others from doing likewise. This is one of the best forms of discipline. Ikhtilaaf al-Hadeeth, p. 165. D If something unforeseen happens to the one who made the promise, such as sickness, the death of a relative or breakdown of his means of transportation, etc. 5

There are many excuses, which all come under the heading of the verse (interpretation of the meaning): Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope [al-Baqarah 2:286] And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 14212: Beware of rumours at times of crisis Question: There are some writers, especially on the Internet, who spread news without verifying it, which is confusing the Muslims and making them despair, such as the claim that one of the Muslim cities has fallen, or that one of their leaders has been killed, and other reports which lead to despair and weakening of morale All of that is without any proof or certainty that the news is true Some of them even write at the end of their articles, This is what I have heard but I am not sure whether the report is true! What is your advice to these people?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Undoubtedly at times of tribulation there is a lot of propaganda and excitement, hence the role of rumours. It is well known that verifying news is required according to shareeah, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done [al-Hujuraat 49:6] The Lawgiver issued a stern warning against passing on all that one hears. It was narrated that Hafs ibn Aasim said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears. Narrated by Muslim in al-Muqaddimah, 6; Saheeh al-Jaami, 4482. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears. AlSilsilah al-Saheehah, 2025. Al-Nawawi said: Usually a person hears truth and lies, so if he speaks of everything that he hears, he is lying by telling of things that did not happen, and lying by speaking of something other than the way it happened; and he does not have to do that deliberately (in order to be regarded as telling lies). It was narrated that al-Mugheerah ibn Shubah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to not pay the rights of others and to beg from others. And He dislikes gossip for you, asking too many questions, and wasting money. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2231. Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: With regard to the words and He dislikes gossip [qeela wa qaala lit. it was said and he said] for you al-Muhibb

al-Tabari said, there are three points of view as to the meaning of this hadeeth: 1 That it indicates that it is makrooh (disliked) to speak too much, because it leads to mistakes. 2 That it refers to wanting to pass on what people say and looking for that in order to tell others of it, so that one can say, So and so said such and such, and Such and such was said The prohibition on this is either a rebuke for doing too much of it or it refers to a particular type of talk, which the person spoken of dislikes to have mentioned. 3 That it refers to narrating differences of opinion concerning religious matters, such as saying, This one said such and such and that one said such and such. The reason why this is disliked is that speaking of such matters may lead to mistakes. This applies especially to those who transmit such views without verifying them, merely imitating those whom they hear without exercising any caution. I say: this is supported by the saheeh hadeeth, It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears. (narrated by Muslim). It was narrated that Abu Qalaabah said: Abu Masood said to Abu Abd-Allaah, or Abu Abd-Allaah said to Abu Masood: What did you hear the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say about saying they say? He said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: How bad it is for a man to keep saying, They say. al-Silsilah alSaheehah, 866. Al-Azeemabaadi said: This means, it is a bad way to reach ones objective, by saying, they say. Saying they say is akin to conjecture, i.e., the worst habit of 8

a man is to use the phrase they say to serve his purposes, so he tells of something, merely repeating what others have said without verifying it, and thus he transmits lies this was the view of al-Manaawi. Hence our righteous forebears were keen to establish proof and were wary of rumours. Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Beware of fitnah, for a word at the time of fitnah could be as devastating as the sword. History shows us the danger of rumours when they spread among the ummah. There follow some examples of that: 1 When the Sahaabah migrated from Makkah to Ethiopia, they were safe, but then a rumour spread that the kuffaar of Quraysh in Makkah had become Muslims, so some of the Sahaabah left Ethiopia and travelled until they reached Makkah, where they found that the report was not true, and they met with persecution at the hands of Quraysh. All of that happened because of rumours. 2 During the Battle of Uhud, when Musab ibn Umayr was killed, there was a rumour that it was the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who had been killed, so the army of Islam withdrew because of a rumour, and some of them fled to Madeenah and some stopped fighting. 3 There was the rumour of the slander incident (al-ifk), when the pure and innocent Aaishah was accused of immoral conduct, which led to the distress felt by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Muslims with him. All of that was because of rumours. So what is the proper shari method of dealing with news? There are ways of dealing with news which we will look 9

at in brief: 1 Deliberation The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Deliberation is from Allaah and haste is from the Shaytaan. Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1795. The one who deliberates may meet some of his needs whilst the one who is hasty may slip. 2 Verifying news Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done [al-Hujuraat 49:6] The reason why this verse was revealed: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent al-Waleed ibn Uqbah ibn Abi Mueet to Banu alMustaliq, to collect the zakaah from them. When news of that reached them they rejoiced, and they came out to meet the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). When al-Waleed heard that they had come out to meet him, he went back to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, O Messenger of Allaah, Banu al-Mustaliq have withheld the zakaah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) became very angry at that, and whilst he was thinking of launching a campaign against them, the delegation came to him and said, O Messenger of Allaah, we were told that your envoy returned after coming only 10

half way, and we were afraid that he came back because he received a message from you saying that you were angry with us. We seek refuge with Allaah from the anger of Allaah and the anger of His Messenger. Then Allaah excused them in His Book and revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done [al-Hujuraat 49:6] See: al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 3085. What is meant by verifying is making the effort to find out the truth of the matter, so as to establish whether this can be proven or not. Verifying means making certain of the truth of the report and its circumstances. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: The believer reserves judgement until the matter is proven. Finally: we advise everyone to verify matters and not to rush to pass on news until they are sure that it is true, even if the news is good news, because if it becomes apparent that the one who passed it on is mistaken, he will lose credibility before the people and anyone who bears a grudge towards him will use it against him. May Allaah help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

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12806: Ruling on the view that we should seek to acquire the characteristics of Allaah Question: One of the khateebs said in his Friday khutbah that we have to strive to acquire the attributes and characteristics of Allaah. Is there a correct way of interpreting this sentence, and is there anyone who has said this before?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. This sentence is not appropriate, but there is a correct way of interpreting it, which is that we are encouraged to strive to acquire the characteristics implied by the attributes and names of Allaah. That means looking at the attributes which it is befitting for a created being to acquire the characteristics implied by them, unlike the attributes which belong only to Allaah, such as His being the Creator, the Provider, the One God, etc. These are characteristics which a created being cannot acquire, and it is not permissible for him to lay claim to them or similar names. Rather what is referred to is the attributes which Allaah likes for His slaves to acquire the characteristics implied thereby, such as knowledge, strength, mercy, forbearance, generosity and forgiveness, etc. So Allaah is All-Knowing and loves those who are knowledgeable; He is Strong and He loves the strong believer more than He loves the weak believer; He is Generous and loves those who are generous; He is Merciful and He loves those who show mercy; He is Forgiving and loves forgiveness, etc. But when applied to Allaah, these attributes are more perfect and greater than when applied to any created being, because there is nothing like unto Allaah in His attributes 12

and actions, just as there is nothing like unto Allaah in His Essence. Rather it is sufficient for a person to have a share in the sense of these attributes, in a manner that suits him and within the limits set by shareeah. If his generosity oversteps the mark, then he becomes a spendthrift; if his mercy oversteps the mark, then he will not carry out the punishments dictated by shareeah; if his forgiveness transgresses the limits set by shareeah, then it is inappropriate. This was stated by the great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim in his books Uddat al-Saabireen and alWaabil al-Sayyib, and in other books such as al-Madaarij and Zaad al-Maaad. There follows what he said in alUddah and al-Waabil: In al-Uddah (p. 310) he said: Because Allaah is indeed the Appreciative (al-Shukoor), the most beloved of His creation to Him are those who have the characteristic of gratitude (al-shukr), just as the most hated of His creation to Him are those who are lacking in this characteristic or who have the opposite characteristic. This applies to His Beautiful names: the most beloved of His creation to Him are those who have the characteristics implied by His names, and the most hated of His creation to Him are those who have the opposite characteristics. Hence He hates those who are ungrateful, those who do wrong, those who are ignorant, hard-hearted, miserly, cowardly and ignoble. He is Beautiful and loves beauty; He is AllKnowing and loves those who have knowledge; He is Merciful and loves those who show mercy; He does good and loves those who do good; He is the Concealer and loves those who conceal; He is Powerful and condemns those who act helpless, and the strong believer is more beloved to Him than the weak believer; He is forgiving and loves forgiveness; He is One and He loves that which is odd-numbered; everything that He loves is connected to His names and attributes; and everything that He hates is the opposite of that. 13

He said in al-Waabil (p. 543 of Majmooat al-Hadeeth): Generosity is one of the attributes of the Lord, for He gives and does not take, He feeds and is not fed, He is the most generous of those who are generous. The most beloved of His creation to Him are those who seek to acquire the characteristics implied by His attributes. For He is Generous and loves those among His slaves who are generous; He is All-Knowing and loves those who have knowledge; He is All-Powerful and loves those who are courageous; He is Beautiful and loves beauty. I hope that what we have mentioned will be sufficient and will serve the intended purpose. I ask Allaah to help us all to understand His religion and to fulfil our duty towards Him, for He is All-Hearing, Ever Near. Majmoo Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwiah, 6/251. (www.islam-qa.com) 22878: Our attitude towards rumours and news on the Internet Question: How should we deal with the rumours that appear on the Internet? What is the Muslims attitude towards the news that we read here and there, and what is written in chat rooms, especially since some of it is good news for the Muslims, but the source is unknown. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We live nowadays at a time when many rumours that bring 14

hope are appearing in the guise of news. These appears on Internet web sites and chat rooms, so that they may be spread to the people as glad tidings and so that goodhearted people may accept them as indisputable facts coming from trustworthy sources. Even if any of them could be proven, there are still many rumours that can be classed as no more than fabrications. The one who thinks about this will understand that many of the global media, including the Arab media, exaggerate in their coverage of some events and they analyze them in a subjective manner that shows a complete bias and evident absence of objectivity, trying to take revenge by adding to the news and exaggerating, and telling weird news stories. So there is no such thing as credibility in these media, especially when emotions and wishes play a part. This is apart from the fact that media objectivity has become a victim of this current war, and western circles have rejected the lessons [of objectivity, etc.] that they used to teach others. But this does not mean that we should dispute the facts or deny what is taking place in reality, or that we should face this bias with exaggeration and hopes. Here we should pause and remind ourselves, and the goodhearted people who hear this news and tell it to others with good intentions and those who fabricate these rumours and take upon themselves the job of propagating them of a few facts. 1 We must be certain about the news we accept, and we should not accept it simply because it happens to coincide with our hopes and wishes. We have our own methodology of verifying matters, and we should be consistent with regard to what we like and dislike. It is not right for us to doubt news accompanied by pictures from the battlefield, or to shed doubts on it, when the bottom line is ones senses. At a time when you see news going around through mobiles from some internet web sites, there are some 15

people who may accept such news but it should be noted that there are people who will never believe it. So they should beware of exposing themselves to being called liars. An old proverb says, Whoever pursues weird news will be disbelieved. 2 We have to be cautious about the fact that the source is anonymous. There is no information more important than that of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), yet despite that it is not part of the Muslims methodology to accept reports of the Sunnah from people who are unknown. Hence news must be taken from authentic sources; if it is not authentic then it should at least be known, so that people may be able to find out for themselves whether it is authentic or not. What a bad habit it is for a man to say, I heard or they said. 3 If there are people who permit the fabrication of rumours, basing that on some kind of ijtihaad, we must refuse to be the means of transmitting that by believing it and propagating it. (Whoever narrates a saying knowing it to be a lie is one of the liars). 4 One of the reasons used by the fabricators to justify making up these rumours is that it is a kind of lying in war, which is permissible. They ignore the fact of which they are not ignorant that the only kind of lying that is permitted in war is that which misleads the enemy, not that which creates illusions and deceives the Muslims. 5 If we have lost some aspects of the battle, we must not lose truthfulness which is our capital in our dealings with others. People will be astounded and amazed if they find out that this false news was transmitted through a good man. Whoever is known to have lied or to have transmitted lies will no longer be in a position to be considered trustworthy. 6 Similarly the righteous will be astounded and will 16

become suspicious of a narrator who appeared to be righteous because he was telling this news and confirming it to them. At the same time, others will express joy, those who took the opposite stance to these youngsters and said, This is their news, this is their credibility! Everyone who was upset by the Muslim revival will find an opportunity to generalize this mistake and accuse all the pioneers of the revival of behaving like that. Please, for Allaahs sake, do not make the enemy rejoice or give them a reason to attack. 7 If truthfulness is an Islamic virtue and part of Arabic chivalry, then telling lies is an obscenity that Islam has forbidden. Even the mushrik Arabs refrained from telling lies, as Abu Sufyaan when he was still a mushrik said: Were it not that I am afraid that people may find out that I had told a lie, I would have told lies about him. That was when he was speaking to Heraclius (about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). He did not want to have even one lie to be found in his history, even if it was a lie told against his enemy Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to Heraclius (the Roman ruler). We are concerned that the propagation of these rumours may lead people to record a lot of lies against us. 8 Fabricating rumours and believing them readily is a form of escapism in the face of a reality which one dislikes and with which one does not feel comfortable. The soul finds consolation in denying that which it does not like and in fabricating and disseminating rumours, but in the end it will have to submit to the authority of overwhelming reality. But this psychological trick is not fit to be the means of escapism for the followers of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who taught them the virtues of truthfulness and commanded them to strive their utmost to be truthful. He 17

said: Truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will continue to speak the truth and strive to be truthful, until he will be recorded with Allaah as a speaker of the truth. And lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hell, a man will continue to tell lies and strive in telling lies, until he will be recorded with Allaah as a liar. 9 Delaying recognition of realities and veiling reality with illusions, the greatest form of which is believing and disseminating rumours, will only multiply the amount of losses, and the greatest loss will be the loss of values. The highest and most precious of those values is truthfulness. then if they had been true to Allaah, it would have been better for them [Muhammad 47:21 interpretation of the meaning] 10 Recognizing the truth is the first step towards dealing with crises and overcoming them, but not admitting them and concealing them are among the greatest means of reinforcing them, renewing them and repeating them. 11 Our advice is not to transmit this news. We must advise those who transmit it with the best of intentions and present them with the real facts, we should not try to spare their feelings at the expense of our reason and the transmission of truthful news, and we should try to rescue them from the anxiety of illusion and point them in the direction of reality, because truthfulness brings peace of mind and lies bring suspicion. 12 Sayyid Qutub (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The reality of a thing defeats the outward appearance of another thing, even if it is the reality of kufr. How I wish that I did not have to talk in this manner, but the problem is there and must be addressed. I have tried to be truthful when speaking about truthfulness, for the dearest of speech to Allaah is that which is most sincere. 18

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds) [al-Tawbah 9:119 interpretation of the meaning] O Allaah, show us the truth as truth and enable us to follow it; show us the false as false and enable us to avoid it. Guide us concerning disputed matters of truth by Your leave, for You guide Whomsoever You wish to the Straight Path. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammd and upon his family and companions. Shaykh Abd al-Wahhaab ibn Naasir al-Tareeri. (www.islam-qa.com) 21836: Spreading peoples personal messages and conversations Question: What is the ruling on one who spreads the personal affairs of others, whether that is memos, letters or conversations that one has had with them, etc., and he spreads them among people or among a specific group without the persons permission? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. If the person entrusted it to him on the basis that it was a secret, then it is not permissible for him to spread it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: A conversation in a gathering is a trust. Similarly, if spreading it will result in harm to his Muslim 19

brother, that is not permitted because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm. Similarly, if spreading it will result in scandal for a sinning Muslim brother whose sin has been concealed by Allaah, it is not permissible to spread it. But if spreading it will serve a shari interest and benefit the person or people in general, and the person did not state the condition that it had to be kept a secret, then it is o.k. to spread it in that case, indeed one may be rewarded for that.. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com)

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Chapter 2 Bad Behaviour


49024: He wants to look at women in the street with the intention of proposing marriage Question: I live in a kaafir country where there is a lot of temptation. I want to get married and I am looking for a wife with certain features, especially beauty. I know that it is permissible to look at women with the intention of proposing marriage; is it permissible for me to look at women in the street in order to choose the one to whom I will propose marriage? Is it permissible, if I choose some girl and I like her and want to be sure that my family (who live in another country) will like her, to show her to a friend of mine even if it is for a few seconds?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is not permissible to look at women in the street, because Allaah has commanded the believers to lower their gaze. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do [al-Noor 24:30] If a person opens this door to himself, that is a dangerous matter. At first the Shaytaan makes the idea of proposing 21

marriage attractive to him, until this becomes a regular habit, then he looks at women with no intention of proposing marriage, rather just for the purpose of looking at their beauty. The man who wants to get married should not look at the unveiled women in the street, especially in that kaafir country where most of the people are kaafirs or immoral. Rather he should ask virtuous and knowledgeable people about virtuous and righteous women, and approach the matter in the proper manner. With regard to looking at women in the street, this is looking at their external beauty only, not their inward beauty which is more important than outward beauty. What is the point if a man marrying the most beautiful of women if she is lacking in good attitude and religious commitment? You should check yourself and review the qualities that you want in the woman you choose to marry, the most important of which is that she should be religiously committed and have a good attitude. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, or her religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper). (Narrated by alBukhaari, 5090; Muslim, 1466) The purpose of marriage is not merely to satisfy ones desires and enjoy intimacy, so that the man need care about nothing more than beauty; rather marriage is more sublime than that. So you should study the true qualities of your potential life-partner, those qualities that will make your life happy and calm, not a temporary happiness that will disappear as desire fades, leaving nothing but trouble and sadness after that. And Allaah knows best. 22

It is not permissible for you to show your friend the women to whom you propose marriage, and it is not permissible for him to look at her. A man should have protective jealousy (gheerah) concerning his wife and his honour. The Sahaabah were impressed by the strong gheerah of Sad ibn Ubaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him), and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Are you amazed by the gheerah of Sad? I have more gheerah than him, and Allaah has more gheerah than me. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6846; Muslim, 1499. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 49670: A husband who claims to be religiously-committed but he is addicted to permissive channels Question: My husband is hafiz Quraan and he prays regularly on time, and he is well known among the people to be religiously-committed, but he loves the permissive channels. We have arguments and a bad relationship because of this. I have tried to make him understand that he is doing wrong, but with no success. I want a solution to this problem. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Undoubtedly your husband according to what you say has fallen into a great fitnah (trial, temptation), and there is the fear that if he persists in this he may give up prayer and the good things that he is now doing, because the 23

fitnah of looking at haraam things may lead to bad consequences for the religious commitment and morals of the sinner. Looking is the basis for all the problems that befall a man, because looking generates thoughts, then thoughts generate ideas, then ideas generate desires, then desires generate will, which develops into resolve, then the action is done, and it is inevitable if there is nothing to stop it. Hence it is said that patience in lowering ones gaze is easier than patience in bearing the pain of what comes after that. Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, p. 106. We have already outlined in the answer to question no. 22917 the benefits of lowering ones gaze, which include the fact that lowering ones gaze is obedience to the command of Allaah and it purifies ones heart, soul and actions. It also prevents the poisoned arrow from having any effect, for a glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Iblees. And the one who lowers his gaze is compensated with the sweetness of faith in the heart. It frees the heart from being controlled by desires, because the real prisoner is the one who is controlled by his desires. The answer to question no. 20229 lists some of the ways that help one to lower the gaze, such as: remembering that Allaah is always watching you, seeking the help of Allaah, beseeching Him and praying to Him, striving to control ones nafs and get used to lowering the gaze and being patient in doing so. The answer to question no 23425 mentions some of the effects that sin has on the one who commits it. These include: Deprivation of knowledge, deprivation of provision, the fear that the sinner may become alienated from his Lord 24

and from people, his affairs may become difficult, the sinner may find darkness in his soul, he may be deprived of obedience for sin leads to more of the same, and weakens a persons will to worship Allaah, and increases his will to commit sin; it gradually weakens his will to repent until the will to repent disappears from his heart completely. Then any feeling of abhorrence towards sin disappears from his heart and it becomes habitual for him, and he does not care if people see him or speak about him. In the answer to question no. 33651 we have mentioned some of the ways of dealing with the fitnah of women. One thing that upsets us is that your husband is one of those who have memorized the Quraan; what effect has the Quraan had on him? We hope that he will read what we have said and the answers that we have referred to. May Allaah guide his heart and cause his physical faculties to do that which Allaah loves and is pleased with. We would also like to say two more things to our brother: 1 He should seek Allaahs help to obey Him and ask Him to help him get rid of this problem. Shaykh Muhammad al-Uthaymeen was asked about someone who had this problem and he replied: This man who is suffering with this problem we ask Allaah to guide him is undoubtedly doing something haraam, for a glance is one of the arrows of Iblees we seek refuge with Allaah. How often has a glance brought trouble to a persons heart and he has become a prisoner to it. How often has a glance affected a persons heart so much that he has become a prisoner of an image. Hence if a person is affected by this problem, he has to turn to Allaah and ask him to heal him of that. He has to turn 25

away from it and not lift his gaze to any woman or any beardless youth. At the same time he has to seek the help of Allaah and turn to Him, and ask Him to keep him safe from this disease. Then it will be lifted from him, if Allaah wills. Majmoo Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen, 20/ Shawwaal, no. 448. Among the duaas that are appropriate in this situation is the following: It was narrated that Shakl ibn Humayd said: I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: O Prophet of Allaah, teach me a prayer for refuge with which I may seek refuge. He took my hand and said: Say: Aoodhu bika min sharri sami wa sharri baasri wa sharri lisaani wa sharri qalbi wa sharri maniyi (I seek refuge with You from the evil of my hearing, the evil of my sight, the evil of my tongue, the evil of my heart and the evil of my sexual desires), until I had memorized it. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3492; al-Nasaai, 5444; Abu Dawood, 1551. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 2 He should realize that his life may end with his evil deeds. Allaah may take his soul when he is looking at something that Allaah has forbidden him to look at, so in what state will he be on the Day when Allaah raises people from their graves? How will he meet his Lord when his life ended in such a way? We ask Allaah to set his affairs straight and to guide him. He should also read the answer to question no. 33651. You should also look at the answer to question no. 7669, 26

which explains how a wife should deal with a husband who watches pornographic movies and does not give her her rights. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 49943: He masturbated a great deal during Ramadaan what should he do? Question: If a person has the problem of masturbating daily, what should he do in Ramadaan? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The correct scholarly view is that masturbation is haraam. For more information please see the answer to question no. 329. With regard to the rulings concerning the daytime in Ramadaan, please see the answer to question no. 38074. Young men have to fear Allaah their Lord, and keep away from listening to or looking at the things that will provoke their desire. They should make the most of Ramadaan to discipline themselves, for this is the month of the Quran and the month of piety. It is not befitting for a Muslim to fail to make the most of this month to forsake forbidden desires and seek reward, fearing his Lord. Allaah says of the fasting person in a hadeeth qudsi: He forsakes his

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food, his drink and his desires for My sake. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim, 1151. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: One should be patient in avoiding masturbation, because it is haraam as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) 6. Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame; 7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors [al-Muminoon 23:5-7] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding ones chastity. And whoever cannot afford that should fast. If masturbation were permissible, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have told them to do it, because it is easier and because people find pleasure in it, unlike fasting which is difficult. Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined fasting instead, this indicates that masturbation is not permissible. Majmoo Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen, 19.189. You should try hard to get married so that you can give up this bad habit. Seek the help of your Lord by praying to Him and obeying Him, so that you can rid yourself of this sinful habit.

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We ask Allaah to purify your heart and protect you from sin, and to help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 40664: Practising the secret habit (masturbation) in Ramadaan without ejaculating Question: When I was a teenager I used to masturbate sometimes during the day in Ramadaan, but I did not let the semen come out of the penis because I blocked it, but I still reached climax. What is the ruling on my fast, and how can I expiate for this grave sin? Please note that I do not know how many days I did this. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It should be noted that this habit is haraam according to shareeah, as is indicated in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). We have already quoted the evidence in detail in question no 329. This habit is something that is repulsive to sound human nature and reason, and it is not befitting for a Muslim to lower himself to this level. It should also be noted that sin has negative consequences a person, in this world and in the Hereafter, if he does not repent and if Allaah does not bestow His mercy upon him. 29

We have already discussed this in the following questions: 23425, 8861, 45040. With regard to the ruling on the matter mentioned in the question, if you engaged in the secret habit but no semen came out as a result, then the fast is not invalidated, according to the most sound scholarly opinion, because what matters is the emission of semen. If it did come out then the fast was invalidated and it has to be made up. If it did not come out then the fast is not invalidated. But whatever the case you have to repent to Allaah and seek His forgiveness for wasting the fast by doing such things. Semen may be emitted a short while later even if you prevented it from coming out. In that case the fast of that day is invalidated and you have to make it up. If you do not know how many days your fast was invalidated, then try to work it out until you reach a figure you think is most likely, then make up the days that you owe. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said in Sharh Zaad al-Mustaqni: Is it possible for semen to move without being emitted? Yes, that is possible, when a persons desire subsides for some reason, then semen does not come out. And they gave another example: if a person holds his penis so that no semen comes out. Even though the fuqaha gave this as an example, it is very harmful. The fuqaha (may Allaah have mercy on them) gave something as an example regardless of how harmful or not it may be. But usually in such cases the semen is released after the person lets go of his penis. Some of the scholars said that ghusl is not required if the semen moves. This is the view favoured by Shaykh alIslam and is the correct view. The evidence for that is as follows: 30

1 The hadeeth of Umm Salamah in which it says: Yes, if she sees water. He did not say, If she feels it moving. If ghusl were required when it moves, then he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have pointed it out because there would have been a need to do so. 2 The hadeeth of Abu Saeed al-Khudri: Water is for water. In this case there is no water (i.e., emission). So this hadeeth indicates that if there is no water (emission) there is no need for water (ghusl). 3 The basic principle is that the person remains pure (taahir) and no ghusl is required. This principle cannot be changed unless there is evidence to that effect. Al-Sharh al-Mumti, 1/280 See also: al-Furoo, 1/197; al-Mabsoot, 1/67; al-Mughni, 1/128; al-Majmoo, 2/159; al-Mawsooah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 4/99 See also questions no. 38074 and 2571. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 40589: Practising the secret habit (masturbation) in Ramadaan Question: I have a friend who told me that he had practised the secret habit in Ramadaan and asked me: what is the ruling on that? After Ramadaan ended he made up that day what is the ruling?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

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Your friend has to realize that that this habit is haraam according to shareeah, as is indicated in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). We have already quoted the evidence in detail in question no 329. This habit is something that is repulsive to sound human nature and reason, and it is not befitting for a Muslim to lower himself to this level. It should also be noted that sin has negative consequences a person, in this world and in the Hereafter, if he does not repent and if Allaah does not bestow His mercy upon him. We have already discussed this in the following questions: 23425, 8861 . This habit has many harmful effects, such as weakening the body, and increasing the gulf between a person and his Lord. It is one of the major factors in depression. With regard to the matter mentioned in the question, if he ejaculated as a result of masturbation then his fast is invalidated and he has sinned; he has to refrain from eating and drinking for the rest of the day, and he also has to make up that day. We have already discussed this in detail in the answer to questions no. 38074 and 2571. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 45883: He is studying in a mixed university; how should he deal with female teachers and students? Question: I am a young man who is religiously committed. I am studying in a mixed university and I would like to develop 32

my specialty further, but that requires me to interact in class, which will open channels of communication between me and other students. In addition to that there are female teachers who teach us very important subjects. How should I interact with the female students and teachers?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Studying in mixed schools, institutes and universities is not permitted. The evils that exist in these institutions because of that mixing are no secret, let alone the fact that people do not learn much, if anything, in these institutions. Wise people even in kaafir countries have called for segregation between the sexes in educational institutions because of the moral damage they have noticed and the weakening of educational standards. Trustworthy have scholars have issued fatwas stating that this kind of education is not permissible. The scholars of the Standing Committee said: It is haraam for male and female students and teachers to mix in educational institutions, because of the fitnah and provocation of desires and immoral conduct that results from that. The gravity of the sin is compounded if the female teachers and students uncover any part of their awrahs or wear see-through or tight clothing, or if the students or teachers flirt or joke together, which may lead to transgression of limits and violation of honour. Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/102, 103 Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 33

Is it permissible for a man to study in a mixed university where men and women mix in one classroom, knowing that the student has a role to play in calling people to Allaah? He replied: What I think is that it is not permissible for anyone, man or woman, to study in a mixed school, because of the grave danger that it poses to his chastity, integrity and morals. No matter how great a persons integrity, morals and innocence, if a woman is sitting beside him on the seat especially if she is beautiful and unveiled he can hardly avoid fitnah and evil. Everything that leads to fitnah and evil is also haraam and is not permitted. We ask Allaah to keep our Muslim brothers safe from such things which will only bring evil, fitnah and corruption to their youth. If there is no other university apart from this one, he should go and study in another city or country where this mixing does not happen. I do not think that this is permissible but others may have a different opinion. Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/103 We have already discussed the ruling on mixing in detail in the answer to question no. 1200. See also the answers to questions no. 8827, 22397 and 6666. This is easy those who do not have the problem of mixed schools in their country or who have access to colleges and universities that are not mixed, so they have no need to study in mixed colleges. But there remains the question of those who are faced with the problem of mixed schools in their countries. What should they do, especially if that will affect their chances of earning a living or of getting married in the future, since if they do not study in these colleges they will not be able to find a job or get married. 34

In this case, there is no option, and the need is great, and when the need is great, the matter may come under the heading of necessity. This necessity may be taken into consideration, provided that the following conditions are met: 1- That there be no other place where he can study, even if it is in another country 2- That he cannot obtain this certificate by means of distance learning or studying via the internet, for example 3- That he goes to study in these mixed places seeking the help of Allaah to confront fitnah. He should take care to lower his gaze as much as he can and not touch or shake hands with non-mahram women or be alone with them, and he should not sit right next to them. He should advise the girls to sit away from the boys and adhere to other Islamic guidelines as well. 4- If he notices himself slipping towards haraam things and being tempted by those of the opposite sex who are with him, then the soundness of his religious commitment is more important than any worldly aims, so he has to leave the place immediately and Allaah will make him independent of means by His bounty. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek. And Allaah knows best. There follows a list of colleges and universities that are not mixed: 1- The Medical College in Dubai 2- Al-Azhar University in Egypt

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3- The Imam Muhammad ibn Saood Islamic University in Saudi 4- Umm al-Qura University in Makkah al-Mukarramah 5- The Islamic University in Madeenah al-Munawwarah 6- The King Saood University in Saudi. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 42165: How can I advise someone who is addicted to pornography? Question: I have a friend who uses the internet and goes to pornographic websites. What is the shari ruling on that, and how can I help him to keep away from such things?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is not permissible to look at pornographic pictures that show the charms of women, either on internet web sites or in newspapers or magazines etc. That is because looking at them is a means of enjoying them and knowing the beauty of the woman in the picture. This may also be a means that leads to something haraam, so it is also regarded as haraam, because the means come under the same rulings as the ends. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 2424. Many people take the matter of looking at pictures of non-mahram women lightly, on the grounds that these 36

are just pictures and are not real. But this is a very serious matter, because it inevitably tempts a man to try to look at the woman directly. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them [al-Noor 24:30] Majmoo Fataawa wa Rasaail Ibn Uthaymeen, 1/268 You can help your friend to keep away from these things by always advising him and making him fear Allaah, and reminding him that Allaah is always watching him and that nothing is hidden from Him. And remind him of the blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon him, such as giving him eyes with which to see things that will benefit him, and He has forbidden him to use them to look at things that He has forbidden. Remind him that Allaah will question him about that, hence Allaah concludes the verse referred to above with the words (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do [al-Noor 24:30] And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allaah) [al-Isra 17:36] If a wise man thinks about it, when he is looking at these haraam pictures, he will realize that there is nothing behind these glances but loss, pain and sorrow, because he cannot really get what he sees in these pictures. 37

The poet spoke the truth when he said: When you give free rein to your eyes, this will cause great pain to your heart. You will see what you cannot have, and you will feel frustration because you do not have some of what you see. So it is clear that there is nothing to be gained from these pictures except the wrath of Allaah, and wasting time and money on things that are not pleasing to Him, and tormenting yourself. The Muslim has to seek chastity by means of marriage, and try his best to achieve that. He should also give up bad company who may have a bad effect on him and encourage him to go to these bad web sites. He should also keep himself busy with things that will benefit him in both religious and worldly terms, such as memorizing the Book of Allaah, attending gatherings of dhikr, and going to useful websites that contain sound knowledge. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 45647: How can one avoid getting angry quickly? Question: I am a person who gets angry quickly, and I cannot control myself when I argue with anyone, even my parents. Please tell me of ways and means of avoiding getting angry quickly. May Allaah reward you with good. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 38

Allaah has commanded us to honour our parents and treat them kindly in word and deed, and he has forbidden us to offend them in word and deed, even in the slightest manner. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. 24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young. [al-Isra 17:23-24] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised us not to get angry, i.e., to avoid the causes that lead to that and to be careful of what may result from that. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Advise me. He said: Do not get angry. He repeated his question several times and he said: Do not get angry. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5765. The Muslim should be above getting angry for his own sake or for the sake of anyone other than Allaah, because that may lead to regrettable consequences either in this world or in the Hereafter, or in both. Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali said: 39

Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: It may be known whether a person is really patient at the time of anger. And he used to say that the beginning of anger is madness and the end of it is regret, and anger cannot be justified by offering a humble apology. Calamities may come because of anger. It was said to alShubi: Why is a person who is quick to get angry also quick to calm down, and the one who is slow to get angry is slow to clam down. He said: Because anger is like fire; that which is easier to start is easier to extinguish. Al-Adaab al-Shariyyah, 1/183 If something happens to a Muslim that makes him angry, he should remember the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Do not get angry, as if the hadeeth applies directly to him. And he should remember that Allaah has commanded him to treat his parents well and has forbidden him to offend them, as if he has heard that from Him directly. There are means of soothing anger if it arises, which will enable the one who does them to cure himself of anger and its effects. Al-Maawirdi mentioned a good number of them when he said: Remember that there are means of soothing anger if it arises, which a person may use to help himself become patient. These include: 1 Remembering Allaah, which should make him fear Him; this fear will motivate him to obey Him, so he will resume his good manners, at which point his anger will fade. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And remember your Lord when you forget [al-Kahf 18:24] 40

Ikrimah said: i.e., when you get angry. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytaan (Satan), then seek refuge with Allaah [al-Araaf 7:200] i.e., if the Shaytaan makes you angry then seek refuge with Allaah, for He is the All-Hearer, All-Knower i.e., He hears the ignorance of the ignorant and He knows the things that take anger away from you. One of the wise men said: Whoever remembers the power of Allaah will not use his own power to wrong the slaves of Allaah. Abd-Allaah ibn Muslim ibn Muhaarib said to Haroon al-Rasheed: O Ameer al-Mumineen, I ask You by the One before Whom you are more insignificant than I am before you, and by the One Who has more power to punish you than you have to punish me: why dont you let me off? So he left him off, because he had reminded him of the power and might of Allaah. 2 He should get out of the situation he is in, so that his anger will dissipate because of his moving away from that situation. It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to us: If one of you gets angry when he is standing, let him sit down, and if that does not take away his anger, then let him lie down. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4782; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 3 He should remember what anger leads to of regret and the need to apologize. One of the literary figures said: Beware of the pride of anger, for it leads to the humiliation of apology. 41

4 He should remember the reward for forgiving others and of being tolerant, so he should force himself to overcome his anger, seeking that reward and so as to avoid deserving blame and punishment. Raja ibn Haywah said to Abd al-Malik ibn Marwaan, when he had the power to capture some of his enemies: Allaah has given you the victory that you wanted, so give Allaah what He wants of forgiveness. A man said something that Umar ibn Abd al-Azeez disliked to hear, so Umar said: You wanted the Shaytaan to provoke me because of my position so that I would be harsh with you and in return you would harm me tomorrow (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection). Go away, may Allaah have mercy on you. 5 He should remind himself of the way that people like and respect him, and he should not risk losing that because of his anger, so that people change their minds about him. He should know that by forgiving people he will only increase the respect with which they view him. As the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah will not increase a person who forgives others except in honour. Narrated by Muslim, 2588. And one of the poets said: It is not a trait of nobility to be swift in seeking revenge. And generosity does not lead to a loss of blessings. Adab al-Dunya wal-Deen, p. 258-260. For more details on how to deal with anger, see the answer to question no. 658. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 42

43012: Allaah is Severe in punishment Question: One of my friends listens to music. When he is given advice, he responds by saying that Allaah is Forgiving and Most merciful, but I tell him that Allaah is Severe in punishment. I would like some evidence from the Sunnah and Quraan that Allaah is Severe in punishment. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The questioner is to be appreciated for his keenness to guide his friend. Friends should be keen to advise and guide their brothers, without worrying about their reaction or getting tired. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): The believers, men and women, are Awliyaa (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) AlMaroof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from AlMunkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give the Zakaah, and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah will have His Mercy on them. Surely, Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise [al-Tawbah 9:71] Secondly: the majority of scholars are of the view that music is haraam, as is indicated by a great deal of evidence from the Quraan and Sunnah. This was narrated from Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Masood, al-Shubi, al-Thawri and other scholars.

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See Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 10/223; al-Muhalla, 9/59; alMughni, 14/160 See also question no. 5000 Thirdly: there are many verses and hadeeths which speak of the severity of Allaahs punishment. These texts may be divided into two categories: 1 Those which deal directly with music 2 Those which speak of the severity of Allaahs punishment in general With regard to the first category, a number of hadeeths have been narrated concerning this. It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Two sounds are cursed in this world and the Hereafter: flutes (musical instruments) at times of joy and wailing at times of sorrow. Narrated by al-Bazzaar and al-Diya al-Maqdisi in al-Ahaadeeth al-Mukhtaarah; classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Tahreem Alaat al-Tarb, p. 51. Being cursed means being cast out far from the mercy of Allaah. Al-Tirmidhi narrated (2138) from Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Among this ummah will be (people who will be) swallowed up by the earth, transformed into pigs and monkeys, and pelted with stones from above. A man among the Muslims said, O Messenger of Allaah, when will that be? He said: When female singers and musical instruments appear, and wine is drunk. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh alTirmidhi. 44

With regard to the second category: In the Quraan Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded [al-Tahreem 66:6] The Day they will be dragged on their faces into the Fire (it will be said to them): Taste you the touch of Hell! [al-Qamar 54:48] But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones [al-Baqarah 2:24] When iron collars will be rounded over their necks, and the chains, they shall be dragged along, 72. In the boiling water, then they will be burned in the Fire[Ghaafir 40:71-72] and every obstinate, arrogant dictator (who refuses to believe in the Oneness of Allaah) was brought to a complete loss and destruction. 16. In front of him (every obstinate, arrogant dictator) is Hell, and he will be made to drink boiling, festering water. 17. He will sip it unwillingly, and he will find a great difficulty to swallow it down his throat, and death will come to him from every side, yet he will not die and in front of him, will be a great torment [Ibraaheem 14:15-17] 45

Verily, the tree of Zaqqoom 44. Will be the food of the sinners. 45. Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, 46. Like the boiling of scalding water. 47. (It will be said:) Seize him and drag him into the midst of blazing Fire, 48. Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water. 49. Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous! [al-Dukhaan 44:43-49] then as for those who disbelieved, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be poured down over their heads. 20. With it will melt (or vanish away) what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins. 21. And for them are hooked rods of iron (to punish them). 22. Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein, and (it will be) said to them: Taste the torment of burning! [al-Hajj 22:19-22] In the Sunnah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Hell will be brought on the Day of Resurrection with seventy thousand reins, each of which will be held by seventy thousand angels, dragging it along. Narrated by Muslim, 2842. And he said: This fire of yours which is lit by the sons of Adam is one seventieth part of the fire of Hell. They 46

said: By Allaah, if it was like this that would be sufficient. He said: It is sixty-nine times worse than that, each time as hot as this (worldly fire). Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3265; Muslim, 2843. And he said: Allaah has promised that whoever drinks intoxicants, He will give him to drink of the mud of khabaal. They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what is the mud of khabaal? He said: The sweat of the people of Hell or The juices of the people of Hell. Narrated by Muslim, 2002. And he said: If a drop of Zaqqoom were to fall in this world, it would destroy the livelihood of the people of this world, so how about the one whose food it is? Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2585; classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 5126. And he said: The most lightly punished person in Hell will have two sandals and laces of fire because of which his brains will boil like a cauldron. He will not think that anyone else is more severely punished than him, but he will be the most lightly punished. Narrated by alBukhaari, 6562; Muslim, 213. And he said: The man from among the people of Hell who lived the most luxurious life in this world will be brought and dipped in the Fire, then it will be said to him, O son of Adam, have you ever seen anything good, have you ever enjoyed any pleasure? and he will say, No, by Allaah, O Lord. Narrated by Muslim, 2707. And he said: If there were in this mosque one hundred thousand or more, and there was among them a man from the people of Hell and he breathed out and his breath touched them, the mosque and everyone in it would be burned. Narrated by al-Bazzaar; classed a saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 3668. 47

Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, p. 53-68: Many ignorant people rely on the mercy of Allaah and His forgiveness and kindness, and they ignore His commands and prohibitions, and forget that He is severe in punishment and He does not ward off His wrath from evildoers. Whoever relies on His forgiveness whilst persisting in sin is like one who is stubborn. One of the scholars said: If Allaah has decreed that the hand is to be cut off for stealing three dirhams, then do not feel safe from His punishment in the Hereafter. It was said to al-Hasan: We see that you weep a great deal. He said: I am afraid lest Allaah throws me in the Fire and does not care about me. And he used to say: Some people indulged in wishful thinking about forgiveness until they departed this world without having repented, and they would say: I think positively of my Lord, but he was lying. If he had thought positively about his Lord, he would have done good deeds. Then he mentioned some of the hadeeths which speak of the severity of Allaahs punishment, then he said: There are far more hadeeths on this subject than we can mention. The one who is sincere should not ignore them and give himself free rein to commit sin and depend on his hope and positive thoughts about Allaah.. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 45001: Every time he improves in worship, he goes back to sin Question: I have a problem. Every time I do more acts of worship 48

and my faith improves and I do more naafil acts of worship, Sunnahs and things that are mustahabb, I end up committing the secret habit (masturbation) despite the fact that I am married and have a happy family life. When I do this thing I feel that I am committing sin and I feel ashamed before Allaah. So I strive to increase my faith but it is not long before I do the same thing again. I am in a bad situation please help me. I heard on a tape that some people are filled with selfadmiration when they increase their acts of worship, so Allaah causes them to commit sin so that they will realize that they are still slaves who have no right to admire their deeds, and whatever they do is still only a little. Am I one of these people? Is what I understood from that tape correct? Please note that, praise be to Allaah, I pray and adhere to most of the teachings of Islam, but this problem gets worse every time I do more naafil acts of worship. What is the solution? Please help me, may Allaah reward you with good. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. What you have mentioned that Allaah may test a person with sin in order to bring him back to Him, and so that he will not admire himself has been mentioned by some of the scholars. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Sin may be more beneficial for a person, if it leads him to repent, than doing a lot of acts of worship. This is what is meant by the words of one of the salaf: A person may commit a sin and enter Paradise because of it, or he may do an act of worship and enter Hell because of it. They said: How is that? He said: He may commit a sin and 49

continues to think about it, and when he stands or sits or walks he remembers his sin, so he feels ashamed and repents and seeks forgiveness and regrets it, so that will be the means of his salvation. And he may do a good deed and continue to think about it, and when he stands or sits or walks he remembers it and it fills him with selfadmiration and pride, so it is the cause of his doom. So the sin may be the factor that leads him to do acts of worship and good deeds and to change his attitude so that he fears Allaah and feels shy before Him and feels humiliated before Him, hanging his head in shame and weeping with regret, seeking he forgiveness of his Lord. Each of these effects is better for a person than an act of worship that makes him feel proud and show off and look down on people. Undoubtedly this sin is better before Allaah and is more likely to bring salvation than one who admires himself and looks down on others, and who thinks that he is doing Allaah a favour. Even if he says words that indicate something other than that, Allaah is the Witness over what is in his heart. Such a person may feel hatred towards people if they do not hold him in high esteem and humiliate themselves before him. If he were to examine himself honestly, he would see that clearly. Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/299 Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: How often is it the case that one of us will be better after committing sin than he was before. In many instances a person errs and falls into sin, then he feels ashamed in his heart before Allaah and he turns to Him and repents to Him, so that he thinks of that sin all the time and continually regrets it and seeks forgiveness. But another person may think that he is obedient (towards Allaah) and that he is one of the people who obey and worship Him, so he starts to admire himself and does not turn to Allaah, which adversely affects his religious commitment. 50

Allaah is Wise and may test a person with sin in order to set him straight, just as He may test a person with hunger in order to improve his health. Adam was only chosen after he had committed sin and repented therefrom. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance [Ta-Ha 20:122] i.e., after he had sinned and repented, his Lord chose him and accepted his repentance and guided him. Looks at those who stayed behind from the campaign of Tabook what happened to them? Undoubtedly their faith increased and they attained a higher status than they had before. Could the verses concerning them that will be recited until the Day of Resurrection have been revealed if they had not done that then repented to Allaah? al-Sharh al-Mumti, 3/66 Moreover it should be noted that this habit is haraam according to shareeah, as is indicated by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). We have already quoted the evidence in detail in the answer to question no. 329. This habit is also something that is regarded as repulsive according to mans instincts and reason, and it is not befitting for a Muslim to lower himself to the level of doing that. It should also be noted that sin has a negative effect on a person in this world and in the Hereafter, if he does not repent and if Allaah does not bestow His mercy upon him. We have already discussed this in detail in the following questions: 23425 and 8861. There are causes for this habit, so keep away from them so that you will be able to give it up. You should do the following things: 51

1- Strive to keep company with good, righteous, pious people, and learn from them and their experiences. 2- Always remember Allaah and recite Quraan, and adopt a daily wird (collection of duaas and dhikrs) that you recite every day without fail. 3- Set yourself a program for learning Islamic knowledge etc. 4- Set yourself an exercise program, or join a sports club 5- Do a lot of naafil acts of worship, especially voluntary fasts, for this is an important means of resisting temptation and reducing desire. 6- Strive in making duaa and ask Allaah to rid you of this forbidden bad habit and to strengthen your resolve. 7- Remember that the harms caused by the secret habit are innumerable; it weakens the body, saps ones strength, and increases the distance between a person and his Lord. It is a major factor in depression and feelings of sin. 8- Avoid being alone as much as possible, because this habit is one of the effects of being alone. 9- Try to pray in the mosque, and pray qiyaam al-layl, because this will bring tranquility to the heart. 10-Finally, you have to repent continually, weep with fear of Allaah, humble yourself before Him, and ask Him to forgive you. If you resolve firmly each time not to go back to that habit, then your nafs threatens to overwhelm you, then resist it. But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts, Verily, Paradise will be his abode [alNaaziaat 79:40 interpretation of the meaning]. If you give in, then repent anew, and renew your promise (not to do it again). Do not despair of the mercy of Allaah, and 52

do a great deal of naafil acts of worship and righteous deeds. And perform AsSalaat (Iqaamatas Salaat), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaat (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice) [Hood 11:114]. May Allaah help you to do all that is good. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 12301: It is not permissible to watch pornography at all, not even with ones wife Question: pornography is prohibited in islam. How big a sin is watching pornographic material with your wife once in a while? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Watching pornography is forbidden, whether a person is married or not. The one who does that has to repent to Allaah. How can a person watch such things with his wife and he can he permit her to watch it too? Women are weak and are easily influenced; indeed watching such things may lead to problems between the spouses which may end up in divorce Allaah forbid. Undoubtedly if a man approves of such a thing he is lacking in gheerah (protective jealousy), which is what distinguishes a Muslim from others, from kaafirs and duyooths (cuckolds) who approve of obscenity and immorality in their families. 53

Moreover, watching such material makes one take the matter of immorality lightly and encourages promiscuity. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. Let the one who has committed such a sin beware of the punishment of Allaah; let him hasten to repent. He should be keen to look for anything that may help his wife to remain chaste, not for things that will encourage immoral actions. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 34638: Being careless with the aim of dying in the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (al-Haramayn) Question: Many pilgrims who come to the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries expose themselves to things that could cause death, seeking thereby to die in the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. They do that by being careless and not taking precautions to protect themselves, such as deliberately staying out in the hot sun, exposing themselves to traffic danger, and other kinds of threats to life. What is your opinion on that?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. I advice my brother pilgrims and others to beware of this carelessness and to keep away from causes of danger as much as possible, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 54

And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you [al-Nisa 4:29] and do not throw yourselves into destruction [al-Baqarah 2:195] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever kills himself with something will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection. And there are many similar verses and hadeeths. May Allaah help us all to do that which pleases Him and bless us and all the Muslims with understanding of His religion and make us steadfast in adhering to it. Majmoo Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwiah by Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol 8, p. 358. (www.islamqa.com) 45433: It is haraam for students to cheat in tests Question:

What is the ruling on students cheating in tests at school?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The hadeeth, Whoever cheats us is not one of us is saheeh, and it is general in meaning, including cheating in buying and selling, in giving advice, and in promises 55

and covenants, in trusts, in exams in schools and institutes, and so on. That includes copying out material from books, taking answers from other students and giving them answers, whether spoken or written down on papers passed among them. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 12/200 (www.islamqa.com) 40040: Her husband is threatening to divorce her if she does not watch pornographic movies with him Question: A womans husband tries to force her to watch pornographic movies with her and she refuses to do that and tries to stop him; she told him to choose between her and these movies and he chose the movies instead of her, What should she do when he has threatened to divorce her if she does not watch these movies with him? What advice do you give her? Should she watch them or get a divorce especially since she has three children with him?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Allaah has commanded the Muslim to protect himself and his family from the Fire. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and 56

stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded [al-Tahreem 66:6] Allaah has put the wife and children under the care and protection of the husband, and he will be asked about them on the Day of Resurrection. It was narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; the man is the shepherd of his family members and is responsible for them; the woman is the shepherd of her husbands house and children and is responsible for them; the slave is the shepherd of his masters wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829. Allaah has warned those who betray this trust and do not protect their families as required, that they will be denied Paradise. It was narrated that Maqal ibn Yassaar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There is no person whom Allaah appoints in charge of some flock and he is not sincere towards them, but he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6731; Muslim, 142. What this husband is doing, watching pornographic movies, is an evil and a great sin. It is not permissible for him to do that, let alone force someone else to do it. If the husband calls his wife to watch these movies, it is 57

not permissible for her to obey him, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There is no obedience if it involves disobeying Allaah, rather obedience is only with regard to that which is right and proper. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7257; Muslim, 1840. The husbands threat of divorce does not count as a legitimate excuse for her, and is not regarded as her being forced to do it. Rather she should advise him in the way that is better. If he responds and gives up the evil that he is doing, this is something good that he is doing for himself, and she will be rewarded for that. If he refuses to respond to the command of Allaah to lower the gaze and avoid looking at haraam things, then it is not permissible for her to obey him in committing sin, and she should not trust him with regard to herself or her children, and Allaah will compensate her with someone better than him, in sha Allaah. In the answer to question no. 12301 there is a statement of the shari ruling on watching these movies. In the answer to question no. 7669 there is a description of ways of advising and guiding this husband. If the husband does not pray, it is not permissible for the wife to hesitate in asking for an annulment of the marriage. We have discussed the ruling on staying with a husband who does not pray in the answer to question no. 4501 and 5281. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islamqa.com)

40163: Her son practices the secret habit every day. What should she do? Question: I am the mother of an only child, a seven year old boy, 58

and recently I found him practicing the secret habit (masturbation). Every time I ask him if he did it today he tells me, quite frankly, yes. I forbade him to do this haraam action, then I started to take away some privileges and even hit him, but with no success. He is still doing it every day, maybe even more than once. I got tired of keeping an eye on him, and I feel ashamed before Allaah that this sin may stay with him until he grows up, and he may persist in not repenting, so he will get used to sin and regard it as insignificant, and so his heart will become deadened when he is still young. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The family is often responsible for the children falling into sin, because they do not urge children to worship Allaah and they make available the means of falling into sin. We do not know what is really happening here, but it may be that the circumstances surrounding this boy have made him fall into sin. He is an only child, and an only child is usually spoiled, which makes the means of falling into sin readily available. This problem may be dealt with in a number of ways: 1 Reducing the extent to which he is spoiled, because spoiling him makes him feel that he is not a man, so he tries to prove that he is a man by means of this habit or smoking, for example. 2 Not making the means of falling into sin available, especially those which contribute to deadening of the heart, such as giving him music tapes to listen to and providing satellite channels for him to watch. 3 Try not to let the child sleep alone or close the door 59

when he is asleep, because being alone makes it easy to think about sin and encourages one to do it. 4 Making the child feel attached to the mosque and its study circles, and to righteous friends. These are the greatest means of helping a person to correct his ways and strengthen his faith. 5 Providing a useful Islamic audio-visual library, which will create in him a love for worship, teach him good manners and deter him from falling into sin. 6- Encouraging him to read, especially books that have to do with biographies of the scholars and heroic mujaahideen. Perhaps he will acquire some of their attributes and follow in their footsteps. It is better to encourage him to encourage him to write a summary of what he reads, hears and watches, and to give him a suitable reward for that. 7 Encourage him to memorize Quraan and fast; undoubtedly these will strengthen him spiritually. 8 Try to organize his time so that he will be active during the day and will sleep early, because staying up late may make him think at length about sin. 9 Explain to him the shari ruling on this habit and its effect on the mind, heart and faculties. 10 Avoid humiliating him, hitting him and embarrassing him, because hitting him, humiliating him and embarrassing him will not make him give up this sin and others like it, rather you should deal with him in the way that is best and by giving him good advice. And Allaah is the source of strength. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 60

40233: Her friend keeps company with men and commits sins, and she refuses to accept advice. What is to be done? Question: I am a university student. I have a friend who does not pray regularly. She is stubborn and does not accept advice, and she listens only to songs. She has a bad friend whom she refuses to keep away from. She does not go home during vacations unless this friend also goes home. Through circumstances at the university she has gotten to know a group of young men, claiming that she is helping them. She corresponds with them and talks to them. When she goes out she has to adorn herself and put on perfume, even though she knows the ruling on that. We have tried to advise her but she refuses to take out advice. What can I do to help her?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: Studying in a mixed environment is haraam, and it causes a great deal of mischief in society. What the sister says in her question is only a small part of the results of forbidden mixing. We advise everyone who wants to protect himself and not to fall into that which Allaah has forbidden to keep away from these mixed places as much as possible, whether that is for study or for work, because of the things involved that go against shareeah and because of the evils to which they may lead. Secondly:

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What the questioner has mentioned about her friend is very unfortunate; we ask Allaah to guide her and bring her back to the right path. Your duties towards her are to offer sincere advice and guidance, and to remind her of Allaah and that death is real, and that this world does not last. Allaah has created Paradise for those who obey Him, and He has created Hell for those who disobey Him. If she responds to the advice then praise be to Allaah. If she insists on committing sin and following the path of the Shaytaan, then Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): The duty of the Messenger [i.e. Our Messenger Muhammad whom We have sent to you, (O mankind)] is nothing but to convey (the Message) [al-Maaidah 5:99] And remind (by preaching the Quraan, O Muhammad), for verily, the reminding profits the believers [al-Dhaariyaat 51:55] So remind them (O Muhammad) you are only one who reminds. 22. You are not a dictator over them [al-Ghaashiyah 88:21-22] O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves. If you follow the (right) guidance [and enjoin what is right (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbid what is wrong (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden)] no hurt can come to you from those who are in error [al-Maaidah 5:105] Try to look for righteous friends who can help you to adhere to the truth. Beware of sitting with bad 62

companions, for Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Quraan) that when you hear the Verses of Allaah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allaah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell [al-Nisa 4:140] And Allaah is the Source of strength. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 27190: What is the ruling on one who discloses secrets? Question: What is mentioned in Quaran and Hadeeth about revealing a secret to someone that was told in confidence?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Secrets are a kind of trust, and thus they are a kind of contract or covenant which must be kept. It is necessary to be harsh with those who disclose them, because they are betraying a trust and breaking their promise; and those who deserve to a tazeer punishment should be punished. Secrets vary. There are those for which the person who discloses them must be dealt with harshly, because disclosing them causes widespread harm, such as 63

disclosing secrets to the kuffaar and enabling them to defeat the Muslims or gain victory over them. This is what is known in modern parlance as high treason. And there are secrets that are less serious, such as those in which disclosure causes harm to individuals. But in all cases disclosure is a betrayal of the trust and breaking of the covenant. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And fulfil (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about [al-Isra 17:34] Verily, Allaah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due [al-Nisa 4:58] So if keeping secrets is obligatory, then disclosing them is haraam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told a secret to Aaishah and Hafsah and entrusted them with it, but they disclosed the secret, and Allaah rebuked them for that. Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): And (remember) when the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives (Hafsah), then she told it (to another i.e. Aaishah). And Allaah made it known to him; he informed part thereof and left a part. Then when he told her (Hafsah) thereof, she said: Who told you this? He said: The AllKnower, the AllAware (Allaah) has told me. [al-Tahreem 66:3]

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Then Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): If you two (wives of the Prophet: Aaishah and Hafsah) turn in repentance to Allaah, (it will be better for you), your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes); but if you help one another against him (Muhammad), then verily, Allaah is his Mawlaa (Lord, or Master, or Protector), and Jibreel (Gabriel), and the righteous among the believers; and furthermore, the angels are his helpers [al-Tahreem 66:4] Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) withdrew from his wives for a month because of the secret that Hafsah had disclosed to Aaishah. AlBukhaari, 5191. Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning this hadeeth: This indicates that the one who discloses a secret may be punished in a fitting manner. In the Sunnah we find a warning against seeking out the secrets of others, and spreading secrets that should not be spread. For example, it is strongly discouraged to seek out the faults of others. According to a hadeeth narrated from Abu Hurayrah, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If a man were to look into your private affairs without your permission, and you were to throw a pebble at him and put out his eye, there would be no sin on you. Al-Bukhaari, 6902; Muslim, 2158. Ibn Hajar said, commenting on this hadeeth: It is narrated by Muslim with a different isnaad from Abu Hurayrah: Whoever looks into some peoples house without their permission, it is permissible for them to put out his eye. And it was narrated with yet another isnaad from Abu Hurayrah in a version that states it even 65

more clearly; this is narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Abi Aasim and al-Nasaai, and classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan and al-Bayhaqi. This version says: Whoever looks into some peoples house without their permission, and they put his eye out, there is no diyah (blood money) and no qisaas (retaliatory punishment). And according to one report through this isnaad, and it is worthless. Similarly there is the warning against the one who eavesdrops on the secrets of others. It was narrated from Ibn Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever eavesdrops on the conversation of other people when they do not want him (to listen), or they move away from him, molten lead will be poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7042. The warning against spreading things that it is not permissible to spread includes condemnation of the one who spread marital secrets. He is regarded as being among the most evil of people before Allaah. It was narrated that Abu Saeed (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Among the most evil of people before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who is intimate with a woman and she with him, then he spreads her secret. Narrated by Muslim, 1437. According to another report narrated by Muslim, 1437, One of the greatest trusts before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who was intimate with his wife and she with him, then he spread her secret. What is meant by one of the greatest trusts is one of the greatest betrayals of trust. 66

Among the advice given by the Arabs to new brides is: Do not disclose his secret, for if you disclose his secret, you will make him hate you. The secrets of the home should not be disclosed, and wise men and those who are religiously committed advise the one who knows a secret not to disclose it. It was narrated from Thaabit that Anas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to me when I was playing with some other boys, and greeted us with salaam, then he sent me on an errand. I was late going home to my mother, and when I came she asked, What kept you? I said, The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me on an errand. She said, What did he need? I said, It is a secret. She said, Never disclose the secret of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to anyone. Anas said: By Allaah if I were to disclose it to anyone I would have disclosed it to you, O Thaabit. Narrated by Muslim, 2482. Disclosing secrets is one of the signs of hypocrisy, because it comes under the heading of betraying a trust. It was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are four qualities, whoever has all of them is a pure hypocrite, and whoever has some of them has a characteristic of hypocrisy until he gives it up: when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust; when he speaks he lies; when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he disputes he resorts to lies and falsehood. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 34; Muslim, 58. It is not a condition of a trust that the one who speaks 67

these words must tell his listener that it is a secret that he should not tell anyone, rather it is sufficient for his manner to indicate that, such as if he takes him away from others to tell him, or when he tells him he looks around to see if anyone is listening, etc. Al-Tirmidhi (1959) narrated from Jaabir ibn Abd-Allaah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If a man tells you something then looks around, it is a trust. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. And it says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi: Then looks around means looking to the right and the left out of caution. It is a trust means it is entrusted to the one to whom he spoke, i.e., it comes under the same rulings as a trust, so he must conceal it. Ibn Raslaan said: Because his looking around is the signal to the one to whom he is speaking that he is afraid that someone may overhear him, and that he has chosen him to tell his secret to. His looking around takes the place of his saying, Listen to this and keep quiet about it because it is a trust (or a secret). And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 6418: He falsified information on his university certificate and got hired on the basis of that certificate Question: Someone used a forged university certificate to help him get a job. Another person used a genuine certificate but some of the details were false. A third person forged a 68

paper required for the job, such as a certificate of experience. They worked and understood the job fully. What should these people do now that they have repented? Please note that some of the jobs are in the government sector and some are in the private sector. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him), who answered as follows: Everything that is based on falsehood is false. These people have to repeat the exams for the certificates on which their employment is based. But if it is the case that the final certificate did not involve any deceit, although they cheated in the stages that came before it, then I hope that this will be OK. Question: But the certificate is given on the basis of all subjects studied during the years of study. Answer: Then it is not permissible until he repeats the exams in a proper fashion. Question: But practically speaking, if he goes to the university and tells them, I want to repeat the exams, they will tell him that the system does not permit that. Answer: Then let him resign from his job, then he can work at the level of the certificate where no deceit is involved, such as a high school certificate, for example. Question: But he may say, I understand the work fully and my experience in the job qualifies me to work, even without the certificate. 69

Answer: Then let him approach his superiors in the department in which he works, and tell them what the situation is. If they give him permission to continue on the basis of his good performance, then I hope that that will be OK. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 32671: Internet cafes are a hotbed of evil Question: What do you think of what we have seen in recent times of young men hanging around internet cafes and the evil things that go on in them? What about so called chat rooms and wasting time in them?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is not permissible for a person to prevent himself or others from remembering Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah [Luqmaan 31:6] It is not permissible to live in places of corruption because of the spiritual harm that may affect his religious commitment. Going to internet cafes is one of the things that divert people from the path of Allaah and make it easy to access 70

pornographic websites. Talking to women damages religious commitment and morals, even though some of them claim to be going to these cafes for good purposes. Allaah knows who is doing evil and who is doing good, for He has insight into all His slaves. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 34222: She complained about her friend and her brother has forsaken her Question: I have a friend whom I have known for 18 years. One day I thought that she was speaking on the phone with a man, and I was afraid for her because she is very respectable. I told my younger brother about that, seeking his advice, but after a while I found out for sure that she was innocent, and I had been too hasty in speaking to my brother. The problem is that my brother has become suspicious of me and he can hardly bear to have anything to do with me. I do not know how to solve this problem. Do I have to offer kafaarah (expiation)? What should I do with my brother?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. If you spoke about your friend out of fear for her and hoping to save her, then there is no sin on you, but you should have waited and should not have been so hasty. You do not have to offer kafaarah or do anything else, unless you got carried away in speaking about her and said something about her that she dislikes, in which case you should tell her and seek her forgiveness for backbiting 71

about her. If she has heard what you said about her, then you have to apologize to her and ask her to forgive you. If she did not hear of what you said about her, then do not tell her, rather make a lot of duaa for her, pray for forgiveness, and speak well of her and mention her good points to those to whom you spoke about her. We ask Allaah to forgive us and you. See also the answer to question no. 6308. With regard to the problem of your brothers doubts about your behaviour, this may be solved by asking Allaah to guide him and to make him stop that. Then you should adhere to Allaahs command of hijab, lowering the gaze, and avoiding non-mahram men. Do a lot of naafil prayers and fasts, and give in charity. Try to speak to him frankly and warn him against being suspicious of you. Undoubtedly if your brother sees that you are righteous he will no longer doubt you, and that suspicion will disappear from his heart, in sha Allaah. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 20744: Should she refuse marriage to someone who has a bad past? Question: I am a moderate muslim, I practise my faith to the best of my ability, which means no drink, smoke, drug, clubbing, freely socialising with the opposite sex... I am a stage my parents want me to get married. But I am finding it difficult to say yes to anyone of the proposals because they have all had some kind of relationship or been clubbing etc in the past..... 72

Most people say they have changed and so forth, but i tend to think, these actions have ramifications in the future..... Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Islam is all moderation. Adherence to the teachings of Islam, doing the obligatory duties and avoiding the things that are forbidden are not optional for the Muslim, because these are things that Allaah has enjoined upon him. There is so much confusion nowadays that a person who avoids some haraam things and does some obligatory duties is regarded as being over-strict and stubborn. Undoubtedly this is because the people have deviated from correct understanding of Islam and because they indukge so much in sin and neglect the obligatory duties prescribed in shareeah. We appreciate your keenness to adhere to the teachings of Islam in a society such as the one in which you are living. You should note that what you are doing is an action that is beloved by Allaah and by His believing friends, and that it is something which is hated by the devils among mankind and the jinn. Your keenness to find a righteous husband is in accordance with teachings of Islam on choosing and marrying a spouse, but you should not reject a person who is known for his good character and religious commitment because of his past. If a person has repented, his past should not be a source of shame and he should not be rejected if he comes seeking marriage. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin at all. Narrated by alTirmidhi and classed as hasan by al-Albaani. But if he 73

has a past record of sin and it is not known whether he had given it up, in such a case you cannot be sure of his morals or religious commitment, so he cannot be accepted as a marriage partner. It is not enough for a person to tell his fiance or her guardians that he has changed and has given up the bad and immoral things that he used to do; his word cannot be accepted and believed until there is the certainty that he is telling the truth or that he has definitely given up those bad things. Strive to choose a righteous man even if he has a past and do not reject him. Reject everyone who is known to have a bad past and has not given it up, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told men: A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, or her religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper). (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5090; Muslim, 1466). This applies also to women, i.e., a woman should not accept anyone but a man who is religiously committed and of good character. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If there comes to you to marry (your daughter) one who with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that, there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1084; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 866. It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi: The phrase if there comes to you to marry (your daughter) means if he comes to ask to marry a woman from among your children or relatives. One with (whom) you are pleased means you think well of him, and are pleased with his religious 74

commitment. His character means his attitude and how he deals and interacts with others. Then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that means, if you do not marry (your daughter) to one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, and you are only concerned with lineage, beauty and wealth, there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption i.e., great corruption, because if you will only marry her to someone who is wealthy or of high status, most of your womenfolk may remain without husbands, and most of your men will remain without wives, so there will be a lot of temptation to commit zina, and perhaps the guardians may feel that their honour has been violated (because of zina), so there will be a lot of tribulation and corruption, which will result in illegitimacy and a lack of righteousness and chastity. Some of the Sahaabah were mushriks, then they entered Islam and became good Muslims, and they got married, and were not rejected because of what they had done in the past. What matters is what a man is adhering to now, so long as he has repented from whatever he has done in the past. We ask Allaah to make it easy for you to find a righteous husband and have righteous children. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 37666: Attributes of the one who gains the reward for giving iftaar to one who is fasting Question: We know that giving iftaar to one who is fasting in 75

Ramadaan brings a great reward, but my question is: Who is this fasting person? Is it the one who has no food with which to break his fast? Or is it the wayfarer? Or is it any other person even if he is well off? The reason why I am asking this question is that we live in America and the members of the Muslim community here are living a life of ease, and they issue invitations in Ramadaan so it seems for the purpose of competing and showing off (So and so is more generous than So and so, and So and so is a better cook than So and so etc). May Allaah reward you with good. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The reward for offering iftaar to one who is fasting is great as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 708l classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wal-Tarheeb, 1078. See also Question no. 12598. This reward is earned by everyone who gives iftaar to one who is fasting. It is not subject to the condition that the fasting person be poor, because this is not a kind of charity, rather it is a kind of a gift, and a gift is not subject to the condition that the recipient be poor. Rather it is acceptable to give gifts to both rich and poor. With regard to the invitations whose purpose is to compete and show off, they are something blameworthy and the one who does this will not have any reward for this action, so they are depriving themselves of a great deal of good. The person who receives such an invitation should not 76

attend or take part in them, rather he should excuse himself. Then if he is able to advise the one who does that, in the nicest manner that is most likely to be accepted, that is good. He should avoid speaking directly, and use subtle words and speak in general terms that are not directed at any specific person. For kind and gentle words and good manners, and avoiding harsh words, are among the means of causing advice to be accepted. The Muslim is keen that his fellowMuslim should accept the truth and act upon it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do that. Some of his companions did things that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) denounced, but he did not confront them with that, rather he would say, What is wrong with people who do such and such? This manner of speaking should achieve the desired purpose. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 20642: Does committing a sin openly put a person beyond the pale of Islam? Question: Is it kufr to commit a sin openly and discuss about sinful activities such as movies, songs etc? Does this rule apply to both major as well as minor sins? Please pay attention to this question, as a number of our brothers and sisters who have newly inclined towards Islam are facing this problem. 77

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. One of the things concerning which there can be no doubt is the fact that committing acts of disobedience and major sins openly is sin upon sin which may lead a person to kufr at the time of committing that sin openly, because he takes the prohibition on that lightly and is proud of what he is doing. There is no difference between major and minor sins with regard to this ruling. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: All of my ummah may be forgiven except those who commit sin openly. It is a kind of committing sin openly if a man does something at night, then morning comes and Allaah has concealed his sin, but he says, O So and so, I did such and such last night, when his Lord has concealed him (his action) all night but in the morning he reveals that which Allaah had concealed for him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5721; Muslim, 2990 Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: There is a third type of immoral, prmiscuous evildoer, who speaks of zina with pride (Allaah forbid), and speaks of how he traveled to such and such a land, and committed immoral actions and adultery with a number of women, and so on, and he boasts about that. This person should be asked to repent; if he repents all well and good, otherwise he should be executed, because if a person boasts about committing zina, this implies that he regards zina as being permissible (Allaah forbid), and whoever regards zina as permissible is a kaafir. Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 1/116 78

Undoubtedly there are varying degrees of disobedience, and the level of sin varies according to the persons state of mind whilst committing the sin and afterwards. The one who conceals his sin is not like one who commits sin openly. The one who regrets it afterwards is not like one who boasts about it. Ibn al-Qayyim said: In conclusion, evil actions vary according to their consequences. Those who have boyfriends or girlfriends commit a less serious sin than those who commit immoral actions with anyone; the one who commits sin in secret is doing something less serious than one who commits sin openly and broadcasts it. The one who keeps quiet about it commits a less serious sin than one who tells people about it. Such a one is far removed from the forgiveness of Allaah, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: All of my ummah may be forgiven except those who commit sin openly Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 2/147 The basic principle is that the Muslim should follow his sin with repentance and seeking forgiveness; he should regret what he has done and resolve never to go back to it. He should not follow it with boasting and speaking openly about it. Ahmad (8792) and al-Tirmidhi (3334) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, gives it up and seeks forgiveness, his heart is cleansed, but if he does more then (that spot) increases until it covers his heart. That is the raan (covering of sin) which Allaah mentioned in the Quraan: 79

Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn [al-Mutaffifeen 83:14] Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2654 There remains one issue that was mentioned in the question, which is the committing of sin openly by those who are new in Islam. Those people are still unaware of the rulings of Islam, so they are excused if they do not know the shari rulings, but they should be taught. So strive to teach them, and show them this answer. May Allaah help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 26819: This action is reprehensible Question: There is a phenomenon which is widespread among some people in the Maghreb (North Africa), whereby a mother makes cuts above her daughters knee with a razor. She makes three parallel lines, and puts a piece of sugar on the flowing blood and tells her daughter to eat it and say some words. The mother believes that this action will protect her daughters virginity and prevent any aggressor reaching her. (And there are other ways of doing the same thing). What is the Islamic ruling on this action?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 80

This action is reprehensible, and it is a myth that has no basis. It is not permissible to do this, rather you should refrain from it and warn others against it. The idea that it will protect the girls virginity is false and comes from the Shaytaan; it has no basis in pure shareeah. So we must advise people not to do this and warn them against it. The scholars must explain that and warn against it, because they are the one who convey knowledge from Allaah and from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek. Majmoo Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwiah lilShaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/394 (www.islam-qa.com) 9229: Ridding oneself of arrogance Question: How should a person come over arrogance?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: Arrogance is a blameworthy characteristic which is the feature of Iblees and his cohorts in this world, those on whose hearts Allaah has placed a seal. The first one who showed arrogance towards Allaah and His creation was the accursed Iblees, when Allaah commanded him to prostrate to Adam and he refused and was arrogant, and said, I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 81

And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being); then We told the angels, Prostrate yourselves to Adam, and they prostrated themselves, except Iblees (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrated themselves. (Allaah) said: What prevented you (O Iblees) that you did not prostrate yourself, when I commanded you? Iblees said: I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay [al-Araaf 7:11-12] Arrogance is one of the characteristics of Iblees, so whoever wants to be arrogant should realize that he is acquiring a characteristic of the devils, and that he is not acquiring a characteristic of the noble angels who obeyed their Lord and fell down prostrate. Moreover, arrogance may be the cause of a person being deprived of Paradise and may mean that the Lord of Glory will not even look at him, as it says in the following two ahaadeeth: 1 It was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Masood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No one who has an atoms-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise. A man said, O Messenger of Allaah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good? He said, Allaah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people. Narrated by Muslim, 91. 2 It was narrated that Abd-Allaah ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever lets his garment drag along the ground out of 82

pride, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection. Abu Bakr said: Sometimes my garment slips down on one side, unless I pay attention to it. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, You are not doing that out of pride. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3465 Secondly: Pride is an attribute that is not befitting for anyone except Allaah. Whoever seeks to compete with Allaah in that, Allaah will destroy him, wreak vengeance on him and make things difficult for him. It was narrated that Abu Saeed al-Khudri and Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (S) said: Might is His garment and pride is His cloak; whoever seeks to compete with Me concerning them, I will punish him. Narrated by Muslim, 2620. Al-Nawawi said: This is how it is narrated in all texts. The pronoun in the words His garment and His cloak refers to Allaah, and there is something omitted; what is meant is Allaah says, whoever seeks to compete with Me concerning them, I will punish him. What is meant by seeks to compete with Me is seeking to acquire that characteristic in the sense of sharing in it. This is a stern warning against arrogance which clearly demonstrates that it is haraam. Sharh Muslim, 16/173. Everyone who tries to be arrogant and put himself above others, Allaah will bring him down among the lowest of the low, and will humiliate him, because he is going against reality, so Allaah will punish him by thwarting his aims; the punishment is to fit the crime. 83

The one who is arrogant towards the people will be trampled beneath the feet of the people on the Day of Resurrection, as a punishment for his arrogance. It was narrated from Amr ibn Shuayb via his father and grandfather that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: On the Day of Resurrection, the arrogant will be gathered like ants in the form of men. Humiliation will overwhelm them from all sides. They will be driven to a prison in Hell called Bawlas, with the hottest fire rising over them, and they will be given to drink of the juice of the inhabitants of Hell, which is teenat al-khabaal. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2492; classed as hasan by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2025. Thirdly: Arrogance is of several types, including the following: 1 When a person does not accept the truth and produces false arguments against it, as we have mentioned in the hadeeth of Abd-Allaah ibn Masood, Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people. 2 When a person admires himself for his beauty or handsomeness, or the fineness of his food or clothing, so he feels proud and arrogant and feels superior to people. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said (or Abul-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said): Whilst a man was walking, dragging his garment with pride, with his hair nicely combed, Allaah caused the earth to swallow him and he will go on sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3297; Muslim, 2088 84

A similar case is the story of the friend of the man whose companion spoke to him arrogantly. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And he had property (or fruit) and he said to his companion, in the course of mutual talk: I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men [al-Kahf 18:34] It may be that he was boasting about his tribe and linage. Fourthly: One of the remedies for arrogance is to think of yourself as being just like other people and realize that they are like you, they were born from a mother and a father just as you were, and that taqwa (piety, fear of Allaah) is the true criterion of superiority. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has AtTaqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious) [al-Hujuraat 49:13] The arrogant Muslim should realize that no matter what he achieves, he is still too weak to attain a stature like the mountains in height or rend nor penetrate the earth (cf. al-Isra 17:37), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allaah likes not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses [Luqmaan 31:18-19] 85

Al-Qurtubi said: The phrase nor walk in insolence through the earth is a prohibition of arrogance and is enjoining humility. Marah (translated here as insolence) is excessive joy, or it was said that it means being arrogant in walking, or thinking too highly of oneself. Qutaadah said: it means showing off in walking; or it was said that it means vanity. All of these suggestions are close in meaning, but they may be divided into two categories: those which are blameworthy and those which are praiseworthy. Arrogance, vanity, showing off and thinking too highly of oneself are blameworthy; joy and energy are praiseworthy. Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 10/260. Another remedy for arrogance is for a person to realize that on the Day of Resurrection he will be gathered in a small form like an ant which will be trampled underfoot. Arrogant people are hated by other people just as they are hated by Allaah; people love humble, tolerant and gentle people, and they hate those who are harsh and cruel to people. Another remedy is to remember that he and urine came out of the same place; that he began as a despised drop of sperm and he will end up as a rotten corpse, and that in between he is a vessel for faeces. So what does he have to feel so proud and arrogant about?! We ask Allaah to rid us all of arrogance and make us humble. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 86

14367: Is it permissible to steal from the kuffaar? Question: Is stealing from the kuffar haram if you live in a kaafir country? The person Im thinking of is certainly not starving or in need of the things that he steals. It is also rather safe to live as a muslim in this country and the oppression is not grave. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. No one is unaware of the fact that stealing is a major sin, for which Allaah has enjoined the punishment of having the hand cut off. Shareeah makes no distinction between the wealth of a male and the wealth of a female, or between the wealth of a minor and the wealth of an adult, or between the wealth of a Muslim and the wealth of a kaafir. The only exception made by shareeah is the wealth of kaafirs who are waging war against the Muslims. The Muslim should be a good example of trustworthiness, honouring agreements and good character. When Muslims have had such characteristics, this has been the cause of many kaafirs entering Islam, because they saw the beauties of Islam and the good character of its people. The Muslim who regards the kaafirs wealth as permissible, whether he is in a Muslim country or in a kaafir country, is doing the kaafirs a great favour and helping them to distort the image of Islam and Muslims; he is thereby helping those who are launching attacks against Islam. When a Muslim enters a kaafir country, it is as if he entering into a peaceful agreement with them which is 87

the visa which is given to him to enable him to enter their country so if he takes their wealth unlawfully, then he is breaking that agreement, in addition to being a thief. The wealth that he steals from them is haraam. It was narrated that al-Mugheerah ibn Shubah kept company with some people during the Jaahiliyyah. He killed them and took their wealth, then he came and entered Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: As for your Islam, I accept it, and as for the wealth, I have nothing to do with it. According to a report narrated by Abu Dawood, As for your Islam, we accept it, and as for the wealth it is obtained through treachery, and we have no need of it. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2583; Abu Dawood, 2765; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2403). Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: The phrase and as for the wealth, I have nothing to do with it means, I will not touch it because it was obtained through treachery. What we learn from this is that it is not permissible to take the wealth of the kuffaar by treachery when they have trusted you and granted you safety, because when people accompany one another (when travelling), they do so on the basis of mutual trust, and that trust should not be betrayed, whether the other person is a Muslim or a kaafir. The wealth of the kuffaar is only permissible in the case of combat and war. Perhaps the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) let him keep the wealth in the hope that the people of its owner might become Muslim, then he could return their wealth to them. Fath al-Baari, 5/341

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Al-Shaafai (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: When a Muslim enters dar al-harb (the non-Muslim lands) on peaceful terms, and finds himself in position to take something of their wealth, it is not permissible for him to take it, whether it is a little or a lot, because if he is safe from them, they should be safe from him, and because it is not permissible for him to take anything from them when they have given him safety except what it is permissible for him to take from the wealth of the Muslims and ahl al-dhimmah (non-Muslims living under the protection of the Muslim state). Wealth may be forbidden for a number of reasons: If the owner is a Muslim if the owner is (a non-Muslim) living under the protection of the Muslim state if the owner is one with whom there is a peace deal, until the deal expires; such people are considered to be like ahl al-dhimmah as far as the sanctity of their wealth is concerned, until the deal expires. Al-Umm, 4/284 Al-Sarkhasi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is not right for a Muslim who is on peaceful terms with them to betray them, because betrayal is haraam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Every betrayer will have a banner by his backside on the Day of Resurrection, by which his betrayal will be known. If he betrays them and steals their wealth, and brings it to the Muslim lands, it is not right for a Muslim to buy from him if he knows about that, because he has obtained it in an evil manner, and buying from him is encouraging him in that, which it is not right for the Muslim to do. The basic principle in this matter is the hadeeth of al-Mugheerah ibn Shubah (may Allaah be 89

pleased with him), when he killed his companions and brought their wealth to Madeenah and became Muslim, and asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to take the khums of his wealth, and he said, As for your Islam, we accept it, and as for the wealth it is obtained through treachery, and we have no need of it. Al-Mabsoot, 10/96 And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 20068: He is homosexual and wants a remedy Question: I am muslim 16 year old boy.i pray and fast regularly,i am straight but the problem is that i am homosexual, i first was thinking of my father , i think i became homosexual genetically, i see usually bad pictures, but i want to give up, i never done any sex in my life, i really am afraid of god, and i always pray for him to help me. please sir, i beg you, tell me how practically can i get rid of this nasty desire. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. we ask Allaah to heal you quickly from this serious disease, and to cleanse your heart of all evil, for He is Able to do that. For the harm caused by falling into this great sin is not limited to punishment in the Hereafter, rather it goes beyond that and a part of the punishment 90

may happen in this world; even if it is nothing more than the regret and feelings of guilt that result from it, that is enough, so how about if that is accompanied by incurable fatal diseases which the doctors are agreed are widespread among homosexuals and are caused by these perverted practices? You may find more information on that if you refer to question no. 10050. The way to deal with your problem is as follows: Firstly: You have to repent sincerely from your heart, turn to Allaah, regret what you have done, and pray a great deal to Allaah, asking Him to forgive you and help you to get rid of this problem. For Allaah is most Generous and is Close and always Responsive. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Say: O Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is OftForgiving, Most Merciful [al-Zumar 39:53] So stand before Allaah weeping, beseeching, expressing your need for Him and seeking His forgiveness, and receive the glad tidings from Allaah of a way out and forgiveness. Secondly: Strive to plant the seeds of faith in your heart, for when they grow they will bear fruits of happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. Faith in Allaah is what after the help of Allaah protects a person from falling into haraam things. The Prophet 91

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No adulterer is a believer at the moment when he is committing adultery. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2475; Muslim, 57). So when faith is well established in your heart and fills your heart and emotions, you will not violate His sacred limits, in sha Allaah. If the believer stumbles on one occasion he will quickly wake up. Allaah describes His slaves as follows (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious), when an evil thought comes to them from Shaytaan (Satan), they remember (Allaah), and (indeed) they then see (aright) [al-Araaf 7:201] Thirdly: Try to follow the advice which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave to young people, which is to get married if you are able to. Do not pay any attention to the fact that you are young, for being young is not a reason not to get married, far from it, so long as you have the need to get married. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting chastity. Whoever cannot afford that should fast, for it will be a shield for him. (Narrated by alBukhaari, 5065; Muslim, 1400). Strive to follow this advice from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for this is the solution to your problem, in sha Allaah. There is nothing wrong with telling your father and mother of your need and desire to get married; dont let shyness stop you from doing that. Think seriously about marriage and do not fear poverty, 92

and Allaah will grant you independence of means by His bounty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Saalihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maidservants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allaah is AllSufficient for His creatures needs, AllKnowing (about the state of the people) [al-Noor 24:32] The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us that the one who gets married with a good intention, Allaah will help him. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are three who are entitled to Allaahs help: the mujaahid who fights for the sake of Allaah, the slave who made a contract of manumission with his master, wanting to buy his freedom, and the one who gets married, seeking chastity. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1655; al-Nasaai, 3120; Ibn Maajah, 2518; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wal-Tarheeb, 1917). Fourthly: If it is not easy for you to get married, then there is another solution, which is fasting. So why not think of fasting three days of each month, or on Mondays and Thursdays? How great is the reward of fasting. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that Allaah said, All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him except for fasting, which is for Me and I shall give reward for it. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1904; Muslim 1151). 93

And Allaah tells us that He has enjoined fasting on us so that we might become pious: O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious) [al-Baqarah 2:183] Fasting as well as offering protection from following whims and desires and bringing a great reward from Allaah also trains a person to have strong will, patience and forbearance, to rise above the desires and pleasures of the self. So hasten to fast so that Allaah may make things easier for you. Fifthly: Beware of thinking little of looking at haraam things in cheap magazines and nude pictures which lead to committing immoral actions that doom a person to Hell, and have deep and bad effects on the heart Allaah forbid. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do [al-Noor 24:30] You should note that if you think little of this evil, this gives the Shaytaan an opportunity to make other actions that lie beyond that seem attractive to you, which is obvious. But he will do that because you gave in to him, even if that only happened once. Sixthly: Remember, when the idea of sin come to you, or the 94

Shaytaan whispers to you to commit a sin, that the parts of your body will bear witness against you on the Day of Resurrection for this sin. Do you not know that these limbs and this youthful energy are a blessing from Allaah to you? So can it be an act of gratitude to Allaah that you use them to disobey Allaah and rebel against the commands of Allaah? There is another matter which you should pay attention to. Read with me the following verse (interpretation of the meaning): Till, when they reach it (Hellfire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do. And they will say to their skins, Why do you testify against us? They will say: Allaah has caused us to speak. He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return [Fussilat 41:20-21] It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: We were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he smiled and said, Do you know why I am smiling? We said, Allaah and His Messenger know best. He said, Because of how a person will address his Lord. He will say, O Lord, did You not guarantee me protection against injustice? He will say, Yes. He will say, I do not deem valid any witness against me but my own self. Allaah will say, Your own self will be sufficient as a witness against you this Day, and the honourable scribes (recording angels) will also bear witness. Then a seal will be placed over his mouth and it will be said to his limbs, Speak! And they will speak of his deeds. Then he will be allowed to speak and will say, Away with you! It was for your sake that I argued. (Narrated by Muslim, 2969). 95

Seventhly: Avoid being alone, for this makes you think about your desires. Try to fill your time with things that will benefit you, such as doing righteous deeds, reading Quraan, dhikr and prayer. Eighthly: Avoid keeping company with evil and immoral people who discuss these subjects, talk about things that provoke desire, take the matter of sin lightly and encourage it. You have to look for good friends who will remind you of Allaah and help you to obey Him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, A man will follow the religion of his close friend, so be careful about who you make friends with. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2378; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh alTirmidhi, 1937). Ninthly: If it so happens that you fall into sin in a moment of weakness, do not persist in that, rather be quick to repent to Allaah, lest you become one of those of whom Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; and none can forgive sins but Allaah and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know [Aal Imraan 3:135] My brother, do not despair of the mercy of Allaah. Beware of letting the Shaytaan have any power over you or letting him whisper to you that Allaah will never forgive you. For Allaah forgives all sins of those who repent to Him. 96

I hope that Allaah will help you and will make it easy for you to get out of this problem. For more information on this topic I advise you to read the booklet Kayfa tawaajih al-shahwah: hadeeth ila alshabaab wal-fatayaat. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 7545: He has repented from stealing from the kuffaar Question: I live in a non-muslim country and for a long time was committing many sins, but, alhamdu_lillah who has guided me to his straight path I have repented. However, before I repented I use to do things such as steal from shops, cheat the government for social security money, take public transport without paying and things of that nature (may Allah forgive me). If I inform the authority of these things I will be imprisoned in non-muslim environment! please tell me what I should do! and please ask Allah to forgive me. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Praise be to Allaah Who has honoured you by enabling you to repent, We ask Allaah to guide us all to the Straight Path and to make us steadfast in following it until death. You should note that it is not permissible for the Muslims to cheat anyone and take his money unlawfully, even if he is a kaafir. If the Muslim commits any sin, whether stealing or anything else, then repents before the matter is referred 97

to the judge, then he is spared the punishment in that case, and it is not permissible to punish him, because Allaah says concerning banditry (interpretation of the meaning): The recompense of those who wage war against Allaah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter. Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allaah is OftForgiving, Most Merciful [al-Maaidah 5:33-34] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The one who repents from sin is like one who never sinned. And the one who did not sin cannot be punished. Al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 510-526; al-Mughni, 12/ 484 It was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, after al-Aslami had been stoned, Avoid these immoral actions that Allaah has forbidden. Whoever does any of them, let him conceal that which Allaah has concealed, and let him repent to Allaah, for whoever tells us what he has done, we will carry out the ruling mentioned in the Book of Allaah on him. (Narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak alal-Saheehayn, 4/425; al-Bayhaqi, 8/330. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, Ibn al-Sakan and Ibn al-Mulaqqin). 98

See al-Talkhees al-Habeer, 4/57; Khalaasat al-Badr alMuneer, by Ibn al-Mulaqqin, 2/303. Based on this, you do not have to go to the authorities and tell them about your stealing, rather it is sufficient for you to repent sincerely. But you have to return the money to its owners, because your repentance is not valid otherwise. You do not have to tell them that this is money that you stole from them, especially if you are afraid that they will put you in prison. What matters is returning the money etc to its owners. So you could put it in an envelope, or give it to someone who will give it to them, etc. You must also return the governments money, and the money of other people. If you do not know exactly how much the money was, then estimate what you think is most likely, i.e., pay until you are sure that you have done what you must do. If you do not know who the owners of the money are, then you can give it in charity on their behalf. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 8529: What is the ruling on one person saying to another Eat air (i.e., shut up) as a put-down? Question: What is the ruling on one person saying to another Eat air (i.e., shut up) as an insult or put-down to the other person?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 99

Making fun of people and insulting them is something that the Muslim should be above doing. It is one of the things that Allaah has forbidden the believers to do because it generates resentment and hatred among the Muslims, and because it stems from arrogance and feelings of superiority on the part of the one who is mocking and insulting the other. There are strong warnings issued to those who are arrogant and look down on people. It was narrated from Ibn Masood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No one in whose heart is a mustard seeds worth of pride will enter Paradise. A man said, What if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good? He said, Allaah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means disdaining the truth and looking at people with contempt. (Narrated by Muslim, 9) One of the qualities of the Muslim is that the Muslims are safe from his words and his actions. It was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas that a man asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which of the Muslims was best? He said, The one from whose words and actions the Muslims are safe. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 10; Muslim, 40). The phrase which the questioner asked about does not involve anything that is haraam in shareeah as far as the words themselves are concerned, but we wish that they were not uttered by a Muslim because of what they imply and because of the resentment and hatred that they may lead to. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 100

26964: Prohibition against spying on others Question: I work for a company and my boss has asked me to tell him what the employees are saying about him personally, despite the fact that some of what they are saying is true. Is the money that I receive in return for this spying halaal or haraam? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is not permissible for you to do this haraam action, because it involves nameemah (malicious gossip) and spying, and the reward you receive for this is haraam earnings. You should note that nameemah is a major sin. Nameemah means telling some people what others have said about them in order to cause trouble among them. This is the most common definition of nameemah. Ibn Hajar alHaythami narrated it in his book al-Zawaajir an Iqtiraaf al-Kabaair, then he said: It says in al-Ihya: it is not limited to that, rather it refers to disclosure of anything that may hurt or offend somebody if it is disclosed, whether it is the person who is spoken about who is offended, or the person who hears the gossip, or a third party, whether it is disclosed verbally, in writing or by means of a hint or a gesture, and whether what is transmitted is an action, a word, a fault or a shortcoming in the person who is being talked about, or in someone else. The definition of nameemah is uncovering secrets and disclosing that which it is not appropriate to disclose. Hence we should keep silent and refrain from telling 101

everything that we see of peoples situations, unless speaking of it will bring some benefit to a Muslim or ward off some harm. For example, if you see a person taking someone elses property, you have to bear witness to that, in contrast to if you see someone hiding his own money, in which case speaking of it would be nameemah and disclosing a persons secrets. If what is spoken of is a fault or shortcoming in the person of whom one speaks, then this is gheebah (backbiting) and nameemah (malicious gossip). (al-Zawaajir, no. 252: al-Nameemah) It was narrated that al-Haafiz al-Mundhiri said: The ummah is unanimously agreed that nameemah is forbidden and that it is one of the greatest sins in the sight of Allaah. From this we know that your passing on to your boss what your colleagues say is a kind of disclosing secrets and creating mischief and falling into this major sin, in addition to it being spying, which is haraam. There are many texts which condemn nameemah and spying and seeking out peoples faults, which will deter the Muslim from committing these haraam actions: 1 The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No person who spreads nameemah will enter Paradise. According to another report, No eavesdropper (qattaat) Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6056; Muslim, 105. A qattaat is someone who spreads nameemah. It was said that the one who spreads nameemah is the person who is with a group who are speaking, then he spreads gossip about them, and that the qattaat is the one who listens to them without them realizing, then he spreads gossip about them. 102

2 In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) out of one of the gardens of Madeenah, and he heard the sounds of two people who were being tormented in their graves. He said, They are being punished, not for something that was difficult to avoid, but it is nevertheless a major sin. One of them did not protect himself from urine (i.e., take measures to avoid contaminating himself or his clothes) and the other used to walk about spreading nameemah. (al-Bukhaari, 216; Muslim, 292). 3 It is also narrated in al-Saheehayn from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech. Do not eavesdrop; do not spy on one another; do not envy one another; do not forsake one another; do not hate one another. Be, O slaves of Allaah, brothers. Al-Bukhaari, 5144; Muslim, 2563. Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Some of the scholars said that tahassus [eavesdropping] means listening to other peoples conversations, and tajassus [spying] means seeking out their faults. Or it was suggested that tajassus means looking for secrets. The word is mostly used in the sense of evil. The jaasoos (spy) is the one who seeks out secrets for evil purposes and the naamoos is the one who seeks out secrets for good purposes. And it was said that tajassus means looking for information for someone else, and tahassus means looking for information for oneself. This was the view of Thalab. And it was said that they mean one and the same, which is seeking out information about peoples circumstances. 4 al-Bukhaari (7042) narrated from Ibn Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 103

said: Whoever speaks of a dream that he did not actually see will be ordered [on the Day of Judgement] to tie two grains of barley together, and he will never be able to do so. Whoever listens in on other peoples conversations when they do not like that will have molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever makes an image will be punished and will be ordered to breath life into it, and he will not be able to do so. 5 Ahmad (19277) and Abu Dawood (4880) narrated that Abu Barzah al-Aslami said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: O you who have spoken the words of faith but faith has not truly entered your hearts! Do not backbite about the Muslims, and do not seek out their faults. For whoever seeks out their faults, Allaah will seek out his faults, and if Allaah seeks out a persons faults He will expose him even in his own house. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 4083. We do not think that a believer would read these great ahaadeeth and then volunteer to spy on his fellowMuslims, or seek out their faults, or spread nameemah among them. We think that you are one of those who will benefit from this and pay attention, in sha Allaah. Hence we say that you must refuse to do this task, no matter what encouragement or threats you may receive, whilst also advising your colleagues to stop gossiping about their boss and telling them off for doing so. You should also advise your boss to stop spying on his employees and not be suspicious about them, because that will corrupt them and make them lose trust, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If you seek out peoples faults you will corrupt them or almost corrupt them. 104

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4888; classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 4088. We will conclude with a few points about the attitude of the Muslim towards nameemah or malicious gossip when it is passed on to him. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said in his book al-Zawaajir an Iqtiraaf al-Kabaair: The person who hears some malicious gossip, such as being told So and so said this about you or he did this to you, must do six things: 1 He should not believe it, because the one who spreads nameemah is a faasiq (evildoer) according to scholarly consensus, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): If a Faasiq (liar evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done [al-Hujuraat 49:6] 2 He should tell him not to repeat this evil action, which is evil in both religious and worldly terms. 3 He should hate him for the sake of Allaah if he shows no sign of repenting. 4 He should not think badly of the one of whom it was said, because he does not know whether that person really said it or did it. 5 What he has been told should not make him spy on others or look for their faults for the purpose of verifying what was said, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 105

Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not [al-Hujuraat 49:12] 6 He should not approve for himself that which he has told the other person not to do, so he should not pass on the malicious gossip and say, So and so told me this, otherwise he will also be gossiping and backbiting, and he will be doing that which he told someone else not to do. Umar ibn Abd al-Azeez (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to someone who passed on some malicious gossip to him: If you wish, we can look into the matter. If you are lying, you will be one of the people mentioned in the verse If a Faasiq (liar evil person) comes to you with any news [al-Hujuraat 49:6 interpretation of the meaning]; and if you are telling the truth, you will be one of the people mentioned in the verse, A slanderer, going about with calumnies [al-Qalam 68:11 interpretation of the meaning]. Or if you wish, we will forgive you. He said, Forgive me, O Ameer alMumineen, I will never do it again. The caliph Sulaymaan ibn Abd al-Malik rebuked someone who had spread nameemah about him, in the presence of al-Zuhri. The man denied that and Sulaymaan said to him, The one who told me about it is one who does not tell lies. Al-Zuhri said: The one who spreads nameemah (malicious gossip) cannot be truthful. Sulaymaan said, You are right, and he let the man go in peace. Al-Hasan said: The one who tells malicious gossip to you will tell malicious gossip about you. This indicates that the person who spreads malicious gossip should be hated and not believed or trusted. How can he not be hated when he persists in lying, backbiting, slandering, 106

betraying, deceiving, envying, spreading mischief among the people and cheating? He is one of those who try to sever the ties which Allaah has commanded must be upheld and who spread mischief on earth. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment [al-Shoora 42:42] - and the one who spreads malicious gossip is one of them. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 26197: Misfortune of a wife whose husband is committing sodomy Question: I found out that my husband is committing sodomy with a boy who comes to him, but not all the time. He has been hiding this from us and he does not know that I know. What should I do? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you. Please note that I am not falling short with regard to my duties towards him. He is 40 years old, he is not young, and as far as other people can see, he prays regularly. This problem has been going on for two years but I only found out recently. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 107

Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. There is no power and no strength except with Allaah, the Exalted, the Almighty! A married man committing sodomy! By Allaah, this is the essence of corruption of mans nature, absence of faith, lack of shyness, and lack of awareness that the Lord of the Worlds is always watching. Your husband is cursed by Allaah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Cursed is the one who does the action of the people of Loot. (Narrated by Ahmad, 1878; classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 5891). Your husband has committed a great sin, from which he must repent before death comes to him and he is subject to the wrath and vengeance of Allaah and loss in this world and in the Hereafter. See question no. 10050. You have to advise him, after being certain that he has indeed done this, and remind him that Allaah is always watching him and that the Shaytaan is keen to mislead him, so that perhaps he may stop committing this sin. We ask Allaah to keep you safe and sound. Then remind him that one day he will be a father would he like anyone to commit this sin against his children?! Homosexuality brings disasters to the one who does it, and it causes diseases from which few of those who commit this abhorrent evil action ever escape. It causes distress, anxiety and a sense of alienation in the one who does it and the one to whom it is done. Also, it darkens the face, causes distress, erases light from the face, and makes the face grim, and anyone who has the slightest insight can recognize it. Also, it inevitably leads to alienation, intense hatred and 108

cutting off of ties between the one who does it and the one to whom it is done. Also, it wrecks the lives of the one who does it and the one to whom it is done, in such a way that there is hardly any hope that matters can be put right, unless Allaah wills that they should repent sincerely. Also, it takes away all good things from them, leaving them with the opposite, and it takes away all love and friendship between them, leaving them instead hating and cursing one another. It is one of the greatest causes of blessings being lost and of the wrath of Allaah. For it inevitably leads to the curse and wrath of Allaah, and His turning away from the one who does it and not looking at him. What good can he hope for after that, and what evil can he be safe from? What kind of life can a person have who is subject to the curse and wrath of Allaah, from whom Allaah has turned away His face and will not look at him? Also, it destroys modesty in general, meaning the modesty which is the life of the heart. When the sense of modesty is lost, ugly things appear beautiful and beautiful things appear ugly. At that point corruption takes over. Also, it generates insolence and impudence like nothing else can. Also, it generates contempt, scorn and disdain like nothing else can. And it leads to a person being hated, despised and looked down upon by people, and regarded as beneath contempt, as we seen in real life. (From the words of Ibn al-Qayyim in Zaad al-Maaad, 4/ 263) 109

Modern medical studies have proven that this action causes a great deal of damage in the psyche, minds and bodies of those who commit it. The damage that it does includes the following: Its effects on the nerves, brain, reproductive organs, viral infection of the liver. It leads to many serious homosexual diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes and AIDS. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. So you have to remind him of this serious damage. But if he does not stop this sin and give up this evil action, then warn him that you will demand a divorce, and that may make him stop. Note that living with this man if he does not stop what he is doing will result you and your children also being exposed to punishment, and you may also contract a disease that he has gotten as a result of his perverse actions. We ask Allaah to make things easy for you and to guide your husband. Ameen. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 13217: A woman who is extremely shy is sitting in a place where people are backbiting is there any sin on her? Question: I am a girl who hates backbiting and malicious gossip. Sometimes I find myself in the midst of a group of people who are talking about people, and they engage in backbiting and malicious gossip. I myself loathe and detest this, but I am extremely shy and I cannot tell them not to do that, and there is no place where I can keep away from them. Allaah knows that I wish they would talk about 110

something else. Is there any sin on me for sitting with them? What should I do? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. There is sin on you in that case, unless you speak out against the evil action. If they accept that from you, then praise be to Allaah, otherwise you must leave them and not sit with them, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And when you (Muhammad) see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses (of the Quraan) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaytaan (Satan) causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) [al-Anaam 6:68] And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Quraan) that when you hear the Verses of Allaah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them [al-Nisa 4:140] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand (by taking action against it); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out against it); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and believing it to be wrong), and that is the weakest of faith. (Narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh). And there are many similar aayahs and ahaadeeth. 111

Fataawa al-Shaykh ibn Baaz in al-Fataawa al-Jaamiah lil-Marah al-Muslimah, p. 1012 (www.islam-qa.com) 22845: The phenomenon of cheating Question: The phenomenon of cheating is widespread in society. What is the attitude of Islam towards this phenomenon? Answer: In the Quraan, Allaah has condemned cheating and the people who do it, and has warned them of bad consequences. This may be understood from the words (interpretation of the meaning): Woe to AlMutaffifoon (those who give less in measure and weight). Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, And when they have to give by measure or weight to (other) men, give less than due [al-Mutaffifeen 83:1] This is a severe warning to those who cheat (by giving less) in weights and measures, so how about those who steal, embezzle and withhold from the people the things that are their due? These are more deserving of the warning than those who cheat in weights and measures. The Prophet of Allaah Shuayb warned his people against reducing the value of peoples property and cheating in weights and measures, as Allaah has told us in the Quraan. Similarly the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of 112

Allaah be upon him) cautioned us against cheating and issued a warning to the one who does this. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by a pile of food and put his hand into it, and his fingers touched something wet. He said, What is this, O seller of the food? The man said, It got rained on, O Messenger of Allaah. He said, Why did you not put it (the wet part) on top of the pile so that the people could see it? He who deceives does not belong to me. According to other reports, He who deceives us is not one of us, or, He is not one of us who deceives us. (Narrated by Muslim). The wording of the version narrated by al-Nawawi, he is not one of us, is sufficient warning against cheating and sufficient deterrent against indulging in this heinous sin. We need desperately to instill this message in our hearts so that we might stir the conscience and be aware that Allaah is watching all that we do, without the need for any human supervisor. The way we deal with this phenomenon and other destructive phenomena that exist in society should not be like a patient who has a problem in his appendix and needs surgery, but instead they heat up a poultice for him and put it on that spot to relieve the pain for then the patient will die before they even think of calling the doctor. Here we will examine the phenomenon of cheating, now that you know the warnings that apply to it. Definition of cheating: Al-Mannaawi said: Cheating is that which mixes bad with good. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said: the forbidden type of cheating is when the owner of the goods knows something which, 113

if the would-be purchaser knew about it, he would not pay that amount of money for it. Al-Kafawi said: cheating causes blackness of the heart and frowning on the face, hence this word (ghish = cheating or deceit) is also used (in Arabic) to refer to hatred or enmity. Where cheating takes place: The one who thinks about what happens in real life will find that many people engage in some form of cheating in all areas of their lives. Examples of that include: 1 Cheating in buying and selling: How often this happens nowadays in the marketplaces of the Muslims! It may take the form of concealing faults in goods or other ways such as deceiving people about the quality of a product, or its components, quantity, weight, essential features or source. These are some of the ways in which that cheating is manifested: 1- Some fruit-sellers put a lot of leaves or papers in the bottom of the basket of fruit, then they put the best fruit at the top. In this manner they deceive the purchaser and cheat him by making him think that the basket is full from top to bottom, and that all the fruit is of the same quality as that which he sees on the top. 2- Some of them get food oil and mix it with perfume, with the larger proportion being of oil. Then they put it in glass bottles, and this substance smells like perfume, and they sell it for a low price. 3- Some traders buy a product in a very light wrapper, then they put it in a much thicker wrapper, maybe five 114

times thicker. Then they sell the wrapper and its contents, weighing the whole lot and charging for both the wrapper and the contents. 4- Some traders do some light mending on clothes, then they sell them without explaining that they have been mended, rather they swear by Allaah that they are new may they perish! 5- Some of them may wear a garment until it loses its value, then they shorten it and put some starch in it, to make people think that it is new, and they sell it as if it is new. 6- Some perfume-sellers put some products, such as saffron, near water so that they may absorb the moisture, thus increasing the weight by approximately one-third. 7- Some vendors and shopkeepers make their stores very dark by using coloured lights, so that rough products will look smooth and ugly ones will look beautiful. The Shaytaan makes their evil deeds attractive to them. 8- Some goldsmiths mix gold with copper and the like, then they sell it as if it is pure gold. 9- Some of them buy clean second-hand gold, then they offer it for sale at the price of new without telling the purchaser that it is second-hand. 10-Some vendors at car auctions put thick oil in the car engine so that the purchaser will think that it is in good condition. 11-Some of them turn back the odometer, if it shows that the car has traveled a great distance, to trick the purchaser into thinking that the car has only been used a little. 12-Some of them, if they have a car that they want to sell 115

and they know that it has a hidden fault, will say to the one who wants to buy it, Try this car if you want to buy it, without telling him anything about it. By Allaah, this is cheating and deceit. 13-Some of them describe many faults in the car which are not real, with the intention of concealing the real faults of the vehicle behind these imaginary faults. Even worse than that is when they do not mention the faults until after the sale has been made and the deposit paid, and the purchaser is not able to inspect the car and is not allowed to do so. 14-Some of them, if they have a car that they want to sell, will praise it and swear by Allaah that it is good, and they will fabricate reasons why they want to sell it, but Allaah knows all secrets and that which is yet more hidden. 15-Some of them agree with their friends to increase the price so that someone else will take it. This is the najsh (artificial inflation of prices) which the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade. 16-Another kind of cheating in selling is when butchers inflate the animal carcass that they want to sell so that the purchaser will think that it is all meat. 17-Some vendors at sheep auctions and places where chickens are sold feed the animals salt [to make them drink more and thus look fatter], so that the purchaser will think that they are fat when they are not. 18-Some owners of cattle etc. tie up the teats of milkinganimals a few days before selling them so that this will look like milk when it is not. 19116

20I leave it for you to add more examples of cheating in buying and selling that may cross your mind. May Allaah protect you, if you are a seller or a buyer, from cheating or doing any of the things described above. 2 Cheating in matters of marriage These are some of the ways in which this cheating is manifested: 1- Some fathers may offer a man who comes to marry one of his daughters his youngest daughter who is still a virgin, then on the wedding night he finds out that he has been given the older, previously-married daughter. Some men can find no escape and no way out from such a marriage. 2- Some fathers and guardians of women show the suitor the daughter who is beautiful, then on the wedding night he finds out that he has been given a different daughter who is ugly, but he has no choice but to accept the situation. 3- Some fathers may conceal some sickness or fault that may be present in the daughter, not telling the suitor so that he may have a clear picture. Then when he goes in unto her on the wedding night he discovers the sickness or fault. 4- Some fathers and guardians of women, if the suitor asks to see the woman which is permissible so long as the conditions stipulated in Islam are met give him permission to do so after they fill her face will all kinds of colours and dyes, i.e. make-up, so that she will appear beautiful to him, but if he looked at her without that mask of make-up he would not be pleased with her. Is this not

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cheating which leads to great corruption of the rights of both husband and wife? 5- Some guardians marry off the female under their care without making the effort to find out about the suitor and how religiously committed he is or what his attitude is like. This is a kind of cheating and wrongdoing against the wife. 6- Another kind of cheating in marriage is when the suitor pretends to have what he does not, to make it appear that he is a man of status and that he owns a lot of real estate and cars. He may even go to the extent of hiring a luxury car, spending hundreds of riyals, to give the impression that he owns it, when in fact he does not own anything. 7- Another kind of cheating is when some people praise the suitor before the people whose daughter he wishes to marry, speaking of him in the highest terms and describing him as one who prays and is righteous, even though this suitor does not even know the way to the mosque. Enough of this cheating and deception which destroys homes and breaks up families! 8- A form of cheating done by some women especially those who are older is when they file their teeth to create nice-looking gaps between them, thus making an older woman look young, so that the suitor will think that she is young, then when he marries her he discovers that she is very old. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the women who file their teeth for the purpose of beauty and alter the creation of Allaah. 3 Cheating in naseehah (sincere advice) The whole point of giving advice is to help a person meet his worldly objectives or his religious objectives. One of 118

the mutual rights of brotherhood among the believers is to be sincere towards one another, and the hypocrites are cheats. The believer is the mirror of his brother, so if he sees some fault in him he should correct it. Sincerity means refraining from harming the Muslims, teaching them about matters of their religion of which they are unaware, and helping them to adhere to it in word and in deed, covering their faults, filling their gaps, warding off harm from them, bringing things that will benefit them, enjoining what is good upon them and forbidding what is evil in a kind and sincere manner, showing compassion towards them, respecting their elders, being merciful towards their young, giving them good advice and choosing the appropriate time for doing so, loving for them what one loves for oneself of goodness and hating for them what one hates for oneself of disliked things. Al-Haafiz Abul-Qaasim al-Tabaraani narrated with his isnaad that Jareer ibn Abd-Allaah al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) commanded his freed slave to buy a horse for him. So he bought him a horse for three hundred dirhams, and he brought the horse and its owner to him so that he could pay him the money. Jareer said to the owner of the horse look at this sincerity Your horse is worth more than three hundred dirhams. Will you sell it for four hundred dirhams? He said, Yes, O Abu AbdAllaah. He said, Your horse is worth more than four hundred dirhams. Will you sell it for five hundred dirhams? He kept increasing it by one hundred each time, with the owner agreeing and Jareer saying, Your horse is worth more than that, until he reached eight hundred, for which price he bought it. And he said concerning that, I gave my oath of allegiance (bayah) to the Messenger of Allaah 119

SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that I would be sincere towards every Muslim. 4 Cheating in positions of authority It was narrated that Maqal ibn Yassaar al-Muzani (may Allaah be pleased with him) said during his final illness: I heard the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: There is no person whom Allaah has put in a position of authority and he dies on the day he dies cheating those under his authority, but Allaah will forbid Paradise for him. This was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim; this version was narrated by Muslim. According to one of the two versions narrated by al-Bukhaari: There is no Muslim whom Allaah places in a position of authority over people and he is not sincere towards them, but he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise. This is a stern warning which includes everyone whom Allaah has placed in a position of authority, whether great or small, starting from the individuals of a royal family. Everyone must be sincere towards those who are under their authority, and not cheat or deceive them. So an employee must be sincere in his work and do it in the manner required by shareeah, without cheating or deceiving anyone, and without delaying work for people. He should realize that he will stand before Allaah and that Allaah has only given him this job so that he can be sincere towards the Muslims. Similarly a father must be sincere towards his children and not neglect their upbringing, rather he must do all that he can to save himself and his children from a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are appointed angels stern and severe (cf. al-Tahreem 66:6). Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 120

How many people have caused misery to their own children, the apples of their eyes, in this world and in the Hereafter, by neglecting them, not disciplining them, encouraging them to follow their whims and desires, thinking that they were honouring them when they were in fact humiliating them, that they were being merciful to them when in fact they were wronging them. They have not benefited from having a child, and they have made the child lose his share in this world and in the Hereafter. If you think about the corruption of children you will see that in most cases it is because of the parents. (Tuhfat al-Mawlood, p. 146) 5 Cheating in exams How many ways and means of cheating there are among the students! The reason for that is the lack of any religious deterrent, weakness of faith, and the lack of any sense that Allaah is always watching. Our Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever cheats us is not one of us. This includes cheating in dealing with others and cheating in exams, including English-language exams. It is not permissible for students to cheat in exams in any subject, because of the general meaning of this hadeeth and other similar reports. And Allaah is the Source of strength. These are some of the ways in which cheating is manifested, and there are others, for this is just a drop in the ocean, so that those who were to be destroyed (for their rejecting the Faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live (i.e. believers) might live after a clear evidence 121

[al-Anaam 8:42 interpretation of the meaning] To everyone who has committed some form of cheating, whether it is mentioned here or not, we say: fear Allaah and remember that the Knower of the Unseen is always watching you. Remember His punishment and torment: Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them) [al-Fajr 89:14] Realize that this world is transient and that the Reckoning will examine the smallest details; righteous deeds benefit ones children while bad deeds adversely affect them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So let them fear Allaah and speak right words [al-Nisa 4:9] Whoever ponders the meaning of this aayah will fear the bad effects that evil deeds may have on his children and will refrain from them lest something like this happen to them. And it should be noted that cheating is very harmful, which may be explained as follows: The harmful effects of cheating include: 1- Cheating is a way that leads to Hell. 2- It is indicative of the mean and evil nature of a person. No one does this except one who is ignoble and does not care about his soul, so he causes it to indulge in that which will cause its doom and destruction. 3- It alienates one from Allaah and from other people. 122

4- It causes ones duaas not to be accepted. 5- It causes one to be deprived of barakah (blessing) in ones wealth and ones life. 6- It is indicative of a lack of faith. 7- It is the reason that leads to being overpowered by the oppressors and kaafirs. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said: Because of these evil actions i.e., cheating that are committed by traders, workers and craftsmen, Allaah caused the oppressors to gain power over them and take their wealth and violate the sanctity of their women. Indeed, He enabled the kuffaar to gain power over them, so they took them prisoner and enslaved them, and made them taste all kinds of torment and humiliation. Cases where the kuffaar gained power over the Muslims, taking them prisoner and confiscating their property, taking their wealth and women, have happened a great deal in recent times, because of evil deeds that traders and others have committed, cheating in many different ways, because of the enormity of these crimes, deceit and trickery by means of which they took the wealth of the Muslims in any way they could, and did not feel that Allaah is always watching them. From al-Ghish by Zaahir al-Shahri (www.islam-qa.com) 14587: Masturbating without using the hands Question: I receive questions from different people and I didnt know how to answer this one: One young adult asked if masturbation was permissable. Not by doing it with hand but by stimulating oneself in 123

different ways. Sheikh it is very embarrassing for me to ask you, i still cant figure out how that young man did? So stimulating oneself without touching the private part itself. I dont know how to answer this. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Masturbation is haraam, as is indicated by the Quraan and Sunnah. See question no. 329. Masturbation does not necessarily mean using the hands. Whether it is done using the hand or not, or by touching the private part or not, it is still haraam. The scholars have stated this clearly, including Ibn Aabideen in his commentary on al-Durr al-Mukhtaar. Some people may do that using a machine or dummy etc, which are known as sex toys. This is also not permitted. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that masturbation using the hands or otherwise is haraam according to the evidence of the Quraan and Sunnah, and sound opinion, etc. Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen, ed. By Ashraf Abd al-Maqsood, 2/931-932. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 20012: Cheating in school work Question: since i goto a public school , and what they teach is mostly lies and other stuff, is it permisible for me to copy the work from a friend .. 124

i dont want to goto a public school because of the harram eviroment, but my parents want me to go, so i obey them. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is not permissible for you to copy school work from your classmates, because that is a form of cheating and we are forbidden to cheat. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever deceives us is not one of us. And that may also result in a great deal of harm in this world and in the Hereafter. So you must beware of that and advise others to avoid it. But if you see the way someone else does the homework and you understand it, then you close his book and write your own answers, there is nothing wrong with that. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 22340: Offensive and impermissible jokes Question: There is a group of young men who went on a trip to one city. One of them was in charge of booking tickets for the whole group of 19 people, and three of them agreed to set him up without the others knowing anything about it. Their plan was that one of the three would accuse the leader and his assistant of not booking a ticket for him despite the fact that he was with them in the airport. The argument between them became very heated and made the others worry that there would be a fight before they traveled. After five minutes the three youths put matters straight 125

and told them all that what they had done was just a joke. Our question is: is the trick that they played and which could have led to the group not trusting the leader and his deputy permissible? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. This joke is too much, and it is not permissible. It involves accusing an innocent Muslim, and wrongly accusing a Muslim is haraam. It also involves stirring up hatred and resentment, and making people think badly of the supervisor. Generally speaking, the harmful effects are obvious and all of that is not permissible. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 20047: Ruling on clapping Question: I have come heard many views that clapping is not permissible in Islaam. For example, an applause when children are performing something or any other halaal performance. Could you state whether this is true and which hadith relates to this. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Clapping during parties is one of the actions of jaahiliyyah. 126

The least that can be said about it is that it is makrooh (disliked), but the evidence suggests rather that it is haraam, because the Muslims are not allowed to resemble the kuffaar. Allah says describing the kuffaar of Makkah (interpretation of the meaning): Their Salaah (prayer) at the House (of Allaah, i.e. the Kabah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands [al-Anfaal 8:35] The Sunnah is, when the believer sees something that he likes or dislikes, to say Subhaan Allaah (Glory be to Allaah) or Allaahu akbar (Allaah is Most Great), as was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in many ahaadeeth. Clapping is prescribed specifically for women if something alarms them during the prayer, or they are praying with the men and the imaam makes a mistake in the prayer. In that case they should draw his attention to that by clapping, whereas men should do so by saying Subhaan Allaah, as was narrated in the saheeh Sunnah from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). From this it may be known that clapping on the part of men implies imitation of kaafirs and women, and all of that is forbidden. And Allaah is the source of strength. Shaykh Ibn Baaz. The Standing Committee was asked about men clapping when they play with children, or children clapping to encourage their classmates. They replied: This clapping is not appropriate, and at the very least it is intensely makrooh because this is one of the characteristics of the jaahiliyyah, and because it is something that is done 127

only by women, to draw attention to a mistake in the prayer. And Allaah is the Source of strength. From Fataawa Islamiyyah, vol. 4, p. 332-333 Children can be encouraged by saying Allaahu akbar if they do something that the watcher or listener likes, or one may use other suitable phrases, or raise ones hands, or raise ones voice in words of praise such as Well done! or Excellent! and so on. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 22307: He pretends to be a girl so that he can get the names of bad websites and get them closed down Question: I have MSN Messenger and I get to know people through chat rooms and MSN Messenger. I claim to be a girl and I talk to them about sex so that I can get the names of websites from them, but my aim is to get the names of these sites so that I send word to the people who are responsible to close them down. Please note that I used to look at these sites too, before Allaah guided me. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Our advice to you is not to do this thing, because by doing it you are exposing yourself to danger. Even though you have repented, and we praise Allaah for this blessing, the 128

Shaytaan still flows through the son of Adam like his blood. No one should expose himself to temptation. We advise you to make use of your time in doing good things that are of great benefit, such as reading and memorizing Quraan, keeping company with righteous people, and seeking knowledge of shareeah and the Quraan and Sunnah from scholars who practise what they preach. It is good to visit beneficial Islamic sites on the web that spread good according to the way of Ahl al-Sunnah walJamaaah, following the righteous salaf, may Allaah have mercy on them. We ask Allaah to reward you with good for your zeal, and to make us and you steadfast in adhering to the truth until we meet Him Aameen. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 13809: A man jokes with his mahrams in an obscene fashion Question: A man has nieces (his brothers daughters) and he jokes with them in an obscene manner. Is it permissible for them to avoid meeting him because of his obscene jokes? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. With regard to this man who has nieces i.e., he is their paternal uncle and the woman and the questioner say that he jokes with them in an obscene manner, it is not 129

permissible for the nieces of such an uncle to come to him or to uncover their faces in front of him, because the scholars who say that it is permissible for a woman to uncover her face in front of a mahram allowed that on the condition that there be no fitnah. The fact that this man jokes with his brothers daughters in an obscene manner means that there is the fear of fitnah from him. So they have to keep away from the causes of fitnah. It is not surprising that someone could feel desire for his mahrams, for we have heard of someone who committed zina with his sister through his father (i.e., his half-sister) because she was not his full sister we seek refuge with Allaah. And we have heard worse than that, that there is someone who committed zina with his mother we seek refuge with Allaah. Look at what the Quraan says, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way[al-Nisa 4:22] And Allaah says concerning zina (interpretation of the meaning): And come not near to unlawful sex [zina]. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin), and an evil way (that leads one to hell unless Allaah forgives him).[al-Israa 17:32] He does not only say faahishah (shameful, a great sin), He also says, maqt (most hateful). This indicates that having intercourse with a mahram relative or ones fathers wife who is also a mahram are crimes which are worse than zina. So to sum up the answer: They must keep away from this uncle and not uncover their faces in front of him so long as they see that he is 130

joking in this manner which makes them have doubts about him. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, from Fataawa al-Jaamiah lil-Marah al-Muslimah, p. 1006. (www.islam-qa.com) 13993: Do colour and beauty carry any weight as a measure of virtue in Islam? Question: I would like to ask a question that is a common problem among many of us. How does Allah look at physical beauty? How is it discussed in Hadith and Quran? Many people favor some of their children over others just because of light skin color or eye color. How does the Quran view this? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Physical beauty is not considered to be a measure of virtue among people in Islam; rather the standard on which distinctions are made is taqwa (piety, fear of Allaah). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has AtTaqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]. Verily, Allaah is AllKnowing, AllAware [al-Hujuraat 49:13] 131

Hence shareeah came to correct our outlook which is usually based on outward appearances. There are many ahaadeeth on this topic, including the following: It was narrated in al-Saheeh that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah does not look at your appearance or your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and your deeds. (Narrated by Muslim, al-Birr wal-Silah, 4651). It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: I exchanged words with another man, whose mother was a non-Arab. I insulted his mother, and he mentioned that to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He said to me, Did you trade insults with So and so? I said, Yes. He said, Did you insult his mother? I said, Yes. He said, You are a man in whom is jaahiliyyah (ignorance) (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Adab, 5590; Muslim, al-Eemaan, 3140). According to another report: I said to him, O son of a black woman, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, In you there is jaahiliyyah i.e., one of the characteristics of jaahiliyyah. It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sad al-Saaidi said: A man passed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he asked a man who was sitting with him, What do you think of this man? He said, He is one of the nobility. By Allaah, if he proposes marriage he deserves to get married and if he intercedes, his intercession deserves to be accepted. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said nothing. Then another man passed by, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked, What do you think of this man? He said, O Messenger of Allaah, he is one of the poor Muslims. If he proposes marriage he does not deserve to get married, if he intercedes his intercession does not 132

deserve to be accepted and if he speaks he does not deserve to be heard. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: This one (the second man) is better than an earthful of (men like) that one (the first man). (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Riqaaq, 5966). It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: People should stop boasting about their forefathers who have died, for they are no more than the fuel of Hell, or they will be more insignificant before Allaah than the dung beetle which rolls up dung with its nose. Allaah has taken away your jaahili arrogance and pride in your ancestors; rather man is either a believer who fears Allaah or an immoral person who is doomed. All of them are the sons of Adam and Adam was created from dust. (Narrated by alTirmidhi, al-Manaaqib, 3890; classed as hasan by alAlbaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 3100). All these ahaadeeth indicate that which we have mentioned above, which is that ones appearance and colour should not be the basis of ones feeling proud, distinguished, superior or of high status, and that the Muslim should get close to those who are pious and righteous. It was narrated that Amr ibn al-Aas said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying out loud, not quietly: Rather my friends are Allaah and the righteous believers (Narrated by alBukhaari, al-Adab, 5531; Muslim, al-Eemaan, 316). With regard to dealing with ones children, it is obligatory to treat them fairly and not to prefer some of them over others, even if one of them honours his father more than another. So how about if the distinction is based on the colour of the childs skin or the colour of his eyes? This 133

is a serious matter and it is a grave wrongdoing. Parents have to fear Allaah when dealing with their children and treat them fairly. It says in the hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon, which was narrated from al-Numaan ibn Basheer that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Fear Allaah and treat your children fairly. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2398; Muslim, 3055). This kind of favouritism generates envy and hatred between the children. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 13811: What the teacher did is haraam Question: One of the students is very fond of a teacher, and the teacher shares this feeling. The teacher was reading the students answers to a test, then she dictated the answers to this girl so that she could get a higher grade, i.e., it was an act of blatant cheating. What is the ruling on this? Also, does the crowing of a roosetr mean that it has seen the angels? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. This cheating on the part of the teacher is haraam, and it is also haraam for her to single out and favour one student. If she likes her because she is taken with her prettiness, 134

beauty, energy, knowledge, intelligence or character, then she may praise her for that, but helping her to cheat is haraam. With regard to the second part of the question, yes, this is correct. The hadeeth says: If you hear the voice of the rooster, then ask Allaah of His bounty, for it has seen an angel. But if you hear the braying a donkey then seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan, for it has seen a devil. Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Abd al-Rahmaan al-Jibreen from Al-Dawah magazine, no. 1795, p. 45 (www.islamqa.com) 13493: It is essential to punish cell phone owners who send dirty messages Question: There is a serious phenomenon which has become widespread. This is the exchange of messages (inappropriate messages) between boys and girls via cell phones. Could you comment on this?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. In fact I liken the messages which are sent via cell phones to the graffiti on bathroom walls. This is a filthy action done by those who have no understanding. What is astounding is that their numbers appear with their messages, and there are sometimes message in which there appears a kind of shirk or association of others with Allaah. Shaykh Ibraaheem al-Khudayri. 135

It is essential to advise those who send these messages via cell phone and to remind them of Allaah and of the ruling on their actions, and to tell them that they may be included among those who spread immorality among the believers. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek. Al-Dawah Magazine, issue no. 1795, p. 47 (www.islamqa.com) 22050: Looking at pictures of women led him to commit the secret vice Question: What is the ruling on looking at pictures of promiscuous women and then doing the secret vice (masturbation) for fear of falling into zina (fornication) or homosexuality? May Allaah reward you with good. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. With regard to the ruling on looking at naked pictures, please see question # 8861. With regard to your committing the secret vice, your looking at something haraam led you to commit another haraam action. Perhaps it may lead you in the future to commit one of the major sins Allaah forbid such as fornication or homosexuality. Doing the secret vice is haraam. It is important that you see question no. 329. What you have to do is to repent to Allaah from the sins that you have committed, and keep away from every 136

haraam thing that may provoke desire. You will not find any better means than fearing Allaah, then protecting yourself by means of marriage. If you cannot get married, then you have to fast, for it will be a shield for you. This is the advice of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to young men. Try not to be unoccupied as far as you can, and seek the help of Allaah. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Al-Akhlaaq (characteristics) al-Akhlaaq alMadhmoomah (Blameworthy characteristics) . Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 13611: Ruling on backbiting about non-Muslims Question: Please inform us if the gheebah (backbiting) is the same for non-believers as it is for Muslims. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly, it is not a Muslim characteristic to speak rudely. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The Muslim does not slander, curse, speak obscenely or speak rudely. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said, this is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth; it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani). Whoever does a thing a lot, it will become his habit, so the Muslim should keep away from 137

all the ways that lead to evil, whether minor or major. Whoever drives his sheep near the enclosure of the king is bound to cross the line. Secondly, if your question is referring to backbiting about a kaafir by mentioning his physical defects, such as his having a long nose or a big mouth, etc., then do not do this, because this is making fun of the creation of Allaah. If it means talking about his bad characteristics which he flaunts openly, such as zina and immorality, or drinking alcohol, and warning against him, there is nothing wrong with that. There follow some of the comments of the scholars on this topic: Zakariya al-Ansaari said: Backbiting about a kaafir is haraam if he is a dhimmi [a non-Muslim living under Islamic rule], because that puts them off from accepting the jizyah and it is going against the treaty of dhimmah (agreement between non-Muslim subjects and the Islamic state) and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whoever makes a snide comment to a dhimmi has earned Hell. (Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh). It is permissible (to backbite about a kaafir) if he is a harbi (one who is at war with the Muslims), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to command Hassaan to lampoon the mushrikeen. (Asna al-Mutaalib maa Haashiyatihi, vol. 3, p. 116) Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Haythami said in al-Zawaajir an Iqtiraaf al-Kabaair (vol. 2, p. 27): Al-Ghazaali was asked about backbiting about a kaafir. He said: with regard to a Muslim, it is forbidden for three reasons: causing offence; criticizing the creation of Allaah, for Allaah is the Creator of the deeds of His slaves; and wasting time in something that is of no benefit. The first is haraam, the second is makrooh, and the third is not the best thing that one can do. With regard to the dhimmi, he is like the 138

Muslim as far as not harming him is concerned, because the Lawgiver protects his honour, blood and property. It was said in al-Khaadim, the first view is correct. Ibn Hibbaan narrated in his Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Whoever makes a snide comment to a Jew or a Christian deserves Hell. The meaning of making a snide comment is to make someone hear something that will cause offence to him. There is no stronger evidence than this, i.e., it is haraam. Al-Ghazaali said: with regard to the harbi, the former is not haraam, and the second and third are makrooh. With regard to one who commits bidah (innovation), if he is becomes a kaafir thereby, then he is like a harbi, otherwise he is like a Muslim, but speaking of him with regard to his bidah is not makrooh. Ibn al-Mundhir said, concerning the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), It is your mentioning about your brother that which he dislikes, this indicates that in the case of one who is not your brother, such as a Jew or a Christian or a follower of any other religion, or one whose bidah has put him beyond the pale of Islam, there is no backbiting in his case. 12205: How can he rid himself of jealousy towards his brothers? Question: to be a true beliver 1 quility is to love for your brother what u love for yourself. Al humdurilla this is easy to do with my blood brother, but very difficult to do this for any of my muslim brothers except a few , the reason being is that when i see my muslim brother better then me in anything i feel jealous, i thing its pride(brother i make duaa to allah to forgive me for felling like this but when i see my muslim brother again,this feeling comes back again) 139

I want to fell happy seeing my muslim brother prosper and i want to fell sad when hes sad.but whenever i see people praising my muslim brother i fell jealous. i also fell like wanting for my muslim brother janatul ferdose but whenever my muslim brother tells me something which will benefit me for deen, i want to practice it but saythan comes and tell me that if i practice it then my muslim brother would get the same rewards as i would and so his stage will be higher then minein jannah, my nafs sometimes fall for this trap. i would like to know how i can get total cure from this problem. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. What every Muslim is obliged to do, as you mentioned, is to love for his brother what he loves for himself of good things, and to hate for his brother what he hates for himself of bad things. This does not mean that he cannot like for himself what he likes for others. If he sees that his brother has something that he does not, and he wishes that he had it too, this is ghibtah (envy that is free from malice); if he wishes that the blessing would be taken away from them, this is called hasad (destructive jealousy). The Muslim needs to strive against his own self (jihaad al-nafs) so that his heart will be free of jealousy towards his Muslim brothers. If he sincerely loves his brothers, most of these problems from which he is suffering will disappear. When the Muslim realizes how great his virtue and status will be when he loves his brothers and loves good things for them, and when he knows how great his reward will be if he treats them well, this will motivate 140

him to treat them well in all ways, and to strive to benefit his brothers instead of being preoccupied with jealous thoughts of what they have and he doesnt. Shaykh Muhammad al-Duwaysh. You have to think long and hard about the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows on whom He wills [al-Maaidah 5:54] It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work [al-Zukhruf 43:32] Hasad (destructive jealousy) causes a great deal of harm in this world and in the Hereafter. Al-Tirmidhi narrated from al-Zubayr ibn al-Awaam that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the shaver (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of that which will strengthen love between you? Spread (the greeting of) salaam amongst yourselves. (A hasan hadeeth. Jaami al-Tirmidhi, 2434). Concerning the meaning of the phrase it shaves (destroys) faith, al-Tayyibi said: i.e., hatred takes away faith like a razor takes away hair. (Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi bi Sharh Jaami al-Tirmidhi). 141

It seems, my brother, that you know the ruling and are aware of the consequences, and that you want to rid yourself of this blameworthy characteristic. Here are some solutions for you. 1- Make duaa (supplication) to Allaah and ask Him to rid you of this problem. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his duaa, Wahdi qalbi waslul sakheemata sadri (guide my heart and remove ill will from my breast). The phrase guide my heart means to the straight path, and remove ill will from my breast means take away all insincerity, rancour and hatred. 2- Pondering the meanings of the Quraan and reading it frequently, especially the verses which speak of hasad (destructive jealousy), because reading the Quraan brings one a great deal of hasanaat (reward for good deeds). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds [Hood 11:114] 3- Reading the seerah (biography) of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), seeing how he kept away from hasad and how he loved good for others, even for his enemies. Among the useful books on seerah is Noor al-Yaqeen fi Seerat Sayyid al-Mursaleen. [Translators note: a well-known book of seerah which is available in English is Al-Raheeq al-Makhtoom (the Sealed Nectar) Biography of the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), by Safi-ur-Rahmaan al-Mubarakpuri] 4- Reading the biographies and stories of the Sahaabah in books such as Suwar min Hayaat al-Sahaabah by Abd al-Rahmaan Rafat al-Basha) 142

5- If any such thoughts (of hasad, etc.) cross your mind, then seek refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan, and keep yourself busy with something that will make you forget these insinuating whispers and thoughts. 6- If the Shaytaan manages to instil hasad in your heart, then beware lest you say or do anything which will show that hasad. Every person has his or her share of hasad. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Nobody is free from hasad, but the noble person hides it whilst the base person shows it. (Amraad al-Quloob). A person will not be brought to account for whatever crosses his mind, but he will be brought to account for what he says and does. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah will forgive my ummah for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2033). 7- If you feel that you are jealous of a specific person, then buy him a gift and shake hands with him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Shake hands, for this will dispel rancour, and exchange gifts and love one another, for this will dispel hatred. (Narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta, 1413). Hasad is the result of hatred, whose opposite is love, the way of which is giving gifts and spreading (the greeting of) salaam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of that which will strengthen love between you? Spread (the greeting of) salaam amongst yourselves. (Narrated by Muslim, 81). Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in his book Amraad al-Quloob (diseases of the heart): Whoever find in himself any hasad towards another has to try to neutralize it by means of taqwa (piety, 143

consciousness of Allaah) and sabr (patience). So he should hate that (the feeling of hasad) in himself But the one who does wrong to his brother by word or deed will be punished for that. The one who fears Allaah and is patient, however, is not included among the wrongdoers, and Allaah will benefit him by his taqwa. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 12277: Is masturbation permissible if a person knows that he would not be able to give a wife her rights? Question: According to Islam a person must get married as soon as possible so as to prevent him from commiting illegal sexual acts, including masturbation.But if the person is sure that he will not be able to respect the haququl Ibad of his wife then what is to be done?Should he still go ahead and get married or is it permissible for him to masturbate? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: O young men, whoever among you can afford to marry, let him get married, and whoever cannot do that, then he should fast, for it will be a protection for him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Nikaah, 4677) Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari: With respect to marriage, the scholars have divided men into several categories. 144

The first is those who have the desire to get married and who have the financial means to do so and who fear for themselves. It is recommended for such a person to get married according to all the scholars; according to one report the Hanbalis said that it is obligatory. The wellknown view of Ahmad is that it is not obligatory for the one who is able and has the desire, unless he fears hardship. Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid said: Some of the fuqaha divided marriage into five rulings. They said that it is obligatory in cases where there is the fear of hardship, where a man is able for marriage and it is difficult to find a concubine. This was narrated by al-Qurtubi from one of their scholars, namely al-Maaziri, who said: it is obligatory in the case of one who cannot keep away from zinaa otherwise, as stated above. He said: it is forbidden in the case of one who will not take care of his wife with regard to intercourse and spending on her, who is not able for marriage and has no desire for it. Al-Safaareeni said: the poor man who cannot spend on a wife and has no income, and has no desire in this case it is said that marriage is makrooh for him, because he is cannot afford it and he cannot provide his wife with enjoyment to protect her, and he has no need for it. See Ghidhaa al-Albaab, vol. 2, p. 434 Iyaad said: it is recommended in the case of everyone who hopes for offspring even if he has no desire for intercourse, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: I will be proud of your great numbers. And because of the encouragement for marriage and the commands to marry. The same applies to the one who has any desire for other kinds of enjoyment of women besides intercourse. But in the case of one who 145

is sterile or has no desire for women or for physical pleasure, marriage is permissible for him if the woman knows and accepts that. The hadeeth indicates that masturbation is haraam, because if it were prescribed the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have indicated that. See also Question no. 329 If a person is patient in abstaining from that which Allaah has forbidden and gives it up because he is seeking the pleasure of Allaah, then Allaah will reward him abundantly on the Day of Resurrection, because whoever gives up something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better. And Allaah says, describing the believers (interpretation of the meaning): And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) [al-Muminoon 23:5] The Muslim has to follow the path prescribed by Islam, as taught by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is fasting. May Allaah protect you and us from falling into haraam. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 10445: Using a machine that leads to orgasm Question: I have an embarrassing question, but need to know. If a 146

woman uses a massager on her vagina, is this considered masturbation. What is the ruling concerning using this if the woman is under alot of stress and sees good-looking men at work but her husband is living in another country? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. You have to keep away from everything that leads to a provocation of desire, for these means will no doubt ultimately lead you to fall into doing the secret habit, which is haraam. See Question # 329. What counts is doing that which leads to a climax, whether that is done directly by the hand or by using a machine whose vibrations lead to a climax. So strive against yourself (jihaad al-nafs) and do not do that. You must keep away from and avoid places where you may mix with men, because that is haraam according to shareeah, because the Shaytaan will make you commit evil actions so long as you meet with them every day, especially since your husband is absent. See Question # 1200. You have to get in touch with your husband and tell him that he has to be there so that you will not end up doing something haraam. See Question # 6713. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 12387: The danger of hypocrisy Question: What is hypocrisy and how dangerous is it for the Muslims? 147

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Hypocrisy is a serious sickness and a great crime. It means making an outward display of Islam whilst inwardly concealing kufr. Hypocrisy is more dangerous than kufr (disbelief) and the punishment for it is more severe, because it is kufr mixed with Islam and its harmful effects are greater. Hence Allaah will put the hypocrites in the lowest level of Hell, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them[al-Nisaa 4:145] The hypocrites are always confused, always planning deceit and plots. Although outwardly they appear to be with the believers, inwardly they are with the kaafireen. So sometimes they are inclined towards the believers and sometimes they are inclined towards the kaafireen. (They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those; and he whom Allaah sends astray, you will not find for him a way (to the truth Islam)[al-Nisaa 4:143 interpretation of the meaning] Because of the corruption of their hearts, the hypocrites are the most averse of mankind to the religion of Allaah, as Allaah tells us about them (interpretation of the meaning): And when it is said to them: Come to what Allaah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad), you (Muhammad) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad) with aversion [al-Nisaa 4:61] 148

The dealings of the hypocrites revolve around their own interests. When they meet the believers, they make a show of belief and loyalty, in order to deceive the believers and as an action of dissimulation, hoping for whatever good and war-booty they have. But when they meet their masters and chiefs, they say, we are with you in your shirk and kufr. Allaah says concerning them (interpretation of the meaning): And when they meet those who believe, they say: We believe, but when they are alone with their Shayaateen (devils polytheists, hypocrites), they say: Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking Allaah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doing to wander blindly[al-Baqarah 2:14-15] The hypocrites have many characteristics, the worst and most serious of which is disbelief in Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And when it is said to them (hypocrites): Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad, Al-Ansaar and AlMuhaajiroon) have believed, they say: Shall we believe as the fools have believed? Verily, they are the fools, but they know not[al-Baqarah 2:13] Among their characteristics are enmity and envy (hasad) towards the believers, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): If good befalls you (O Muhammad), it grieves them, but if a calamity overtakes you, they say: We took our precaution beforehand and they turn away rejoicing[alTawbah 9:50] Among their characteristics is mockery of Allaah, His Messenger and His religion. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 149

If you ask them (about this), they declare: We were only talking idly and joking. Say: Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed [al-Tawbah 9:65-66] Among their characteristics is that they spread corruption on earth, with disbelief, hypocrisy and sins. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And when it is said to them: Make not mischief on the earth, they say: We are only peacemakers. Verily, they are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not [al-Baqarah 2:11-12] Among their characteristics are slander and lies. Allaah tells us about them (interpretation of the meaning): They swear by Allaah that they are truly, of you while they are not of you, but they are a people (hypocrites) who are afraid (that you may kill them) [al-Tawbah 9:56] Among their characteristics is that they enjoin what is evil and forbid what is good, and they are stingy with their wealth. Allaah says concerning them (interpretation of the meaning): The hypocrites, men and women, are one from another; they enjoin (on the people) AlMunkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al Maroof (i.e. Islamic 150

Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allaahs Cause) alms]. They have forgotten Allaah, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah)[al-Tawbah 9:74] Among their characteristics are greed and avarice: And of them are some who accuse you (O Muhammad) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms. If they are given part thereof, they are pleased, but if they are not given thereof, behold! They are enraged![al-Tawbah 9: 58 interpretation of the meaning] Among their characteristics are those which were described by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): There are four (characteristics), whoever has all of them is a complete hypocrite, and whoever has some of them has some element of hypocrisy, unless he gives it up: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a treaty, he betrays it; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; when he quarrels, he resorts to insults.(Narrated by Muslim, 53) Among their characteristics is a concern with appearances and fancy speech whilst they are inwardly corrupt. Allaah says concerning them (interpretation of the meaning): And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as blocks of wood propped up. They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allaah curse them! How are they denying (or deviating from) the Right Path?[al-Munaafiqoon 63:4] If the kuffaar are obvious enemies from without, then the hypocrites are hidden enemies from within. They are more harmful and more dangerous to the Muslims, because they 151

mix with them and know their situation. Allaah has decreed that the ultimate destiny of the kuffaar and hypocrites will be in Hell: Surely, Allaah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell[al-Nisaa 4:140 interpretation of the meaning] But because of the seriousness of the harm they cause, the hypocrites will be in the lowest level of Hell, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire[al-Nisaa 4:145] Because the danger posed to the Muslim ummah by the kuffaar and hypocrites is so great, Allaah commanded His Messenger to strive against them: O Prophet (Muhammad)! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be severe against them; their abode will be Hell, and worst indeed is that destination [al-Tahreem 66:9 interpretation of the meaning] From Usool al-Deen al-Islami by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Tuwayjri (www.islam-qa.com) 11726: Is it counted as committing sin openly if a person commits sin in front of his children? Question: Is it counted as committing sin openly if a person commits sin in front of his children? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 152

We put this question to our shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him), who answered as follows: I seek refuge with Allaah! This is worse than committing sin openly, because in addition to committing sin openly, it is giving a bad upbringing. Question: If he does it inside his own house and not in front of people, will he still be counted as committing sin openly? Answer: If he were to do it in his own room on his own, we would not say that this committing sin openly, but the fact that he is doing it in front of his children means that he is giving them a bad upbringing as well as committing sin openly. Hence smokers must not smoke in front of their children, because by doing so they are teaching them to smoke. And Allaah knows best. shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen (www.islam-qa.com) 9562: Warning to the one who shows off and boasts about his sin Question: I boasted about my sins that I committed that Allah had hidden from people. I read such a person cannot be forgiven ? Is this true ? Is there any way out ? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 153

The Muslim should be far removed from obscenity and obscene actions. One of the most evil of things is that Muslims should openly manifest their immoral actions and their being far from Allaah. An example of this is when a Muslim commits a sin which angers Allaah, His Creator, Master and Lord, and Allaah, the Concealer, the Most Generous, the Forgiver, who could, if He willed, cause the earth to swallow him when he is committing that promiscuous act and neglecting the sacred limits set by Allaah, conceals his action. Even worse than that, he becomes proud of angering Allaah and spreads news of that among people, uncovering that which Allaah has concealed from the people. How could Allaah forgive something like this? Hence Allaah may deprive a person like this of repentance. It was narrated that Saalim ibn Abd-Allaah said: I heard Abu Hurayrah say: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: All of my ummah will be fine except for those who commit sin openly. Part of committing sin openly is when a man does something at night and Allaah conceals it, but in the morning he says, O So-and-so, last night I did such and such. His Lord had covered his sin all night, but in the morning he removed the cover of Allaah. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5721; Muslim, 2990) Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: Concerning the command to cover or conceal, a hadeeth was narrated which does not meet the conditions of alBukhaari. This is the hadeeth of Ibn Umar which is attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Avoid these obscenities which Allaah has forbidden. Whoever commits any of them, let him be concealed with the concealment of Allaah. The hadeeth 154

was narrated by al-Haakim and is also included in alMuwatta as one of the mursal reports of Zayd ibn Aslam. Ibn Battaal said: Openly flaunting ones sins implies disrespect towards Allaah and His Messenger, and the righteous believers, and is a type of stubborn provocation. Concealing sin protects one against being disrespectful in this manner, because sin brings humiliation upon the people who commit it, such as the hadd punishment if it is a sin that carries such a penalty, or the tazeer penalty if no hadd is enjoined. If it is something which violates the rights of Allaah, then He is the Most Generous and His Mercy precedes His Wrath. Hence if He conceals it in this world, He will not expose it in the Hereafter, but the one who flaunts it openly loses all of that. The hadeeth clearly condemns those who openly flaunt their sin, which implies praise of those who conceal their sin. The fact that Allaah conceals it implies that the believer must also cover himself. Whoever deliberately flaunts his sin angers his Lord, Who will not then cover him. Whoever deliberately conceals his sin out of shame before his Lord and before people, Allaah will bless him by concealing it. (Fath al-Baari, 10/487-488) al-Mannaawi said: What is meant is those who talk openly to one another about their sins. Ibn Jamaaah included in this disclosure of what happens between husband and wife of permissible things. This is supported by the famous report which warns against that: It is part of flaunting ones sins i.e., speaking openly about them and broadcasting them that a man should do an evil deed at night, then the following morning, when Allaah had covered him, he says, Last night I did such and such when all night his Lord had concealed his sin, but in the morning he uncovers what Allaah had concealed. by telling people about his sin. 155

This is a betrayal on his part of the covering of Allaah which had been lowered upon him, and a provocation of the desire for evil in the people who hear him or see him. So these are two offences which are added to his original offence and make it worse. If in addition to that he encourages others to do likewise, this is a fourth offence that makes the matter even worse The implication is that they have no sins unless they flaunt them, then he explained that the one who flaunts his sin is the one who does something at night and his Lord conceals it, then in the morning he says, O So-and-so, last night I did such and such, so he removes the covering of Allaah. He is to be condemned in this world by carrying out the hadd punishment, for it is among the attributes and blessings of Allaah that He brings forth what is beautiful and conceals what is ugly. So openly flaunting sin is a rejection of that blessing and disrespect towards the concealment of Allaah. Al-Nawawi said: It is makrooh for the person who is tested with sin to tell anyone else about it. Rather he should give it up, regret it and resolve not to do it again. If he tells his shaykh or a similar person who he hopes can teach him a way out from it or show him how to keep himself from falling into similar sins, or can tell him the reason why he fell into it, or make duaa for him, etc., this is fine. But is it makrooh (to tell someone else) if there is no benefit in doing so. Al-Ghazaali said: The kind of disclosure which is blameworthy is when it is in done by way of openly flaunting sin and mocking, not when it is done to ask questions and seek fatwas. The evidence for saying this is the report of the man who had intercourse with his wife in Ramadaan, and he came and told the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who did not rebuke him for telling him. (Fayd alQadeer, 5/11-12) This has to do with open flaunting of sins. But what you have said about showing off and boasting is not simply 156

the matter of not being forgiven for sin. There is the fear that it may imply riddah (apostasy) and going out of Islam, because showing off and boasting about sin may imply that one is permitting something that Allaah has forbidden. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: There is a third kind of immoral, promiscuous evildoer, who speaks of zinaa in order to show off we seek refuge with Allaah and tells people that he went to such and such a country and committed immoral actions and zinaa with a number of women, and other things of which he boasts. Such a person must be asked to repent; if he repents, all well and good, otherwise he should be executed, because if a person boasts of zinaa, this implies that he views it as permissible Allaah forbid and whoever regards zinaa as permissible is a kaafir. There are some evil people who do this, because of whom and their deeds the Muslims are suffering calamities. There are people who boast about such actions. They travel to countries which are well known for immorality and promiscuity, such as Bangkok and other places which are full of zinaa, homosexuality, alcohol, etc., then they come back to their friends and boast about what they have done. Such a person must as I have said be asked to repent. If he repents, all well and good, otherwise he should be executed, because whoever regards zinaa or other actions which by scholarly consensus are haraam, as being permissible, is a kaafir. (Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 1/116). The way out from your situation, is sincere repentance to 157

Allaah, and not going to extremes in committing sins. If you do happen to commit a sin, do not tear away the covering with which Allaah conceals your sin. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 9345: Deceiving and lying are not permitted in dealings with others Question: We have a shop selling auto parts. When we want to write the bill for the customer, we deduct part of the amount, but he asks us to write the original price on the bill, and he does that because the product is not for him. What is the ruling on that? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. If this involves deceit and cheating, it is not permissible under any circumstances. It is haraam for you to give him a bill stating more than the amount which he paid in order to take money from the state or any other body for this bill. This is deceit and cheating, and is not allowed. And Allaah knows best. From Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd, p. 189 (www.islam-qa.com) 158

7491: Thinking about immoral actions Question: There is much talk of homosexuality, and how much it is forbidden. I find this topic almost totaly solved. You say it is haram to be a homosexual. The are two main factors which come to mind. My question is, is the act of having homosexual relations haram, or the though of being homosexual/having homosexual thoughts? Is there a way to repent for those unfortunate? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. There is no doubt that homosexuality and lesbianism are forbidden, as mentioned in the question, and doing these actions is a major sin which deserves the wrath of the Lord and His painful punishment. The Lawgiver is wise and does not forbid anything to people unless it is harmful and damaging to them in this world and in the Hereafter. As far as merely thinking about such sins is concerned, a person will not be punished for that, so long as he does not do it or talk about it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah will forgive my Ummah for whatever crosses their minds, so long as they do not act upon it or speak about it. But thinking a lot about something could lead to a person doing it; at the very least it distracts a person from thinking about something useful that he could do. The scholars of Islam used to call for reform of ones thinking and striving against bad thoughts, because they may gradually lead one to disastrous consequences. The doctor of the hearts Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 159

Ward off passing thoughts, for if you do not, they will become ideas. Ward off ideas, for if you do not, they will become desires. Fight them, for if you do not, they will become resolve and determination, and if you do not ward them off, they will become actions. If you do not resist them with their opposite, they will become habits and it will be difficult for you to get rid of them. (Al-Fawaaid by Ibn al-Qayyim, p. 33). The way to repent is clear: give up the sin immediately; regret what has happened; resolve never to go back to it; do a lot of good deeds, for they wipe out bad deeds; keep away from the people with whom you used to commit this sin and shun them if they do not repent; keep away from bad company and everything that calls you to this sin. And Allaah will accept the repentance of those who repent to Him. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 11125: Telling lies in order to get a visa to enter the US Question: I will be taking a second wife ishaallah. I applied for a fiancee visa so we could marry in the US. That was denied.as well as an immigrant visa. Is it haraam to use another persons id for her to enter the country? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. I think that it is not permissible to deceive or tell lies in 160

such cases when the first request has been refused. Submit a second application and state your reasons. Using someone elses passport or ID, or someone elses visa we think that this involves some measure of lying or deception. So he should apply again until he gets what he has requested. Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen (www.islam-qa.com) 3365: Ruling on the one who sins openly and tells his friends about it Question: I heard from our Friday khutbah that a person will not be forgiven if he has bragged and boasted to his friends about his sin while Allah had hidden it, and he quoted a hadeeth to support his claim. Is this true ? I thought Allah forgives all sins! I am really in despair now. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. With regard to the idea that Allaah forgives all sins: this is correct, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Say: O Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [alZumar 39:53]. Minor sins (saghaair) are expiated for by doing acts of worship and by avoiding major sins (kabaair), because of the following evidence (daleel): 161

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise) [al-Nisaa 4:31] It was reported from Ibn Masood that a man kissed a woman, then he came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him about it. Then Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as- Salaah), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). [Hood 11:114]. The man said, O Messenger of Allaah, is this just for me? He said, It is for all of my Ummah. (Narrated by alBukhaari, 503; Muslim, 2763) It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The five prayers and Jumuah are an expiation from one week to the next, so long as you do not commit major sins. (Narrated by Muslim, 233). There are many things that expiate for minor sins, such as fasting, qiyaam, wudoo, etc. But major sins require specific acts of expiation, such as sincere repentance, the carrying out of the Islamic punishment (hadd) on the one who committed them, etc., as can be seen in the following texts: It was reported from Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, when there was a group of his Sahaabah around him: Give allegiance to me that you will not associate anything in worship with Allaah, not steal, not commit fornication, not kill your children and not disobey me in what is right. Whoever among you fulfils this, his reward will be with Allaah. 162

Whoever commits any of these sins will be punished in this world and that will be an expiation for him. Whoever commits any of these sins but Allaah conceals it, then it will be for Allaah to decide: if He wills, He will forgive him, and if He wills, He will punish him. So we gave allegiance to him on that basis. The phrase he will be punished in this world means, the Islamically-prescribed punishment (hadd) will be carried out on him. It was reported from Abu Saeed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleasd with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Among the Children of Israel there was a man who killed ninetynine people. Then he went out and came to a monk and asked him, Can I repent? He said, No, so he killed him. Then he started asking, and a man said to him, Go to such and such a town. But death caught up with him, so he inclined his chest towards (that town, as he was dying). The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment disputed concerning him. Allaah inspired (the good town) to come closer to him, and (the evil town) to move away from him, then He said, Measure the distance between them. They found that he was closer to (the good town) by a hand-span, so he was forgiven. (Narrated by alBukhaari, 3283; Muslim, 2766). But if a sinner dies in a state of sin, if his sins include shirk, then Allaah will not forgive him in the Hereafter. If his sins are less than that, then the person is subject to the will of Allaah if He wills, He will punish him and if He wills, He will forgive him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills [al-Nisaa 4:48, 116]. 163

It was reported that Ibn Umar said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: The believer will be brought close to his Lord until He conceals him and makes him confess his sin. Allaah will say, Do you remember such and such a sin? The man will say, Yes, I admit it. The Lord will say, I concealed it for you in the world and I forgive you for it today. Then He will close up his record of good deeds. As for the others or the Kuffaar, it will be called out before the witnesses, These are the ones who disbelieved in their Lord. The curse of Allaah is upon the wrongdoers. (Narrated by alBukhaari, 4408; Muslim, 2768). Your despairing of the mercy of Allaah is not permissible, because of the following evidence (daleel): Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Say: O Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [al-Zumar 39:53]. And He says (interpretation of the meaning): and My Mercy embraces all things [al-Araaf 7:156] It was reported from Abu Moosa that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah spreads out His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the day, and He spreads out His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the night. (He will continue to do this) until the sun rises from the West. (Narrated by Muslim, 2759). Speaking about your sin and flaunting it openly in front of your friends is haraam, and is a major sin. It is one of the ways of spreading immorality among the Muslims, encouraging evil and tempting others to do similar things. It also means that one does not take sin seriously and 164

regards it as insignificant, and that the sinner is damaging his own reputation and exposing his honour to the slander of others. Islam seeks to put people off from doing such things in the strongest possible terms, as in the following hadeeth: Abu Hurayrah said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: All of my ummah will be forgiven except those who sin openly. It is a part of sinning openly when a man does something at night, then the following morning when Allaah has concealed his sin, he says, O So and so, I did such and such last night, when all night his Lord has concealed him and the next morning he uncovers what Allaah had concealed. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5721; Muslim, 2990). Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him) said: there is a third kind of immoral, rebellious, promiscuous person, who speaks in a boastful manner about zinaa (fornication, adultery) we seek refuge with Allaah and tells people that he travelled to such and such a country and committed immoral acts of zinaa with a number of women, and so on, and he shows off about that. Such people should be asked to repent, and if they do not they should be executed, because when a person boasts about zinaa, this implies that he thinks it is permissible Allaah forbid and the one who thinks that zinaa is halaal is a kaafir. (Sharh Riyaad al-Saaliheen, 1/116). On this basis: We advise you to repent sincerely, and if you are tested with any kind of sin, do not speak openly of it or brag about it. You should be aware of the greatness of the One against Whom you are sinning, seek forgiveness for your sin, weep for the error of your ways and adhere strictly to the path of Allaah. Beware of despairing of the mercy of 165

Allaah. If you adhere properly to the religion of Allaah, you will have glad tidings of goodness in this world and in the Hereafter. We ask Allaah to help us and you to do that which He loves and is pleased with. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 6044: Reading and writing fantasy stories Question: Is it permissible in Islam to read and write fantasy novels and stories? Fantasy here refers to princesses, castles, magic and things you would find in a fairy tale, for instance. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 1. With regard to reading these stories, this is a waste of time. People are deceived by the idea of free time, for it is one of the things about which they will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection. It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of: good health and free time. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6049) Abu Barzah al-Aslami said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: A 166

person will not be let go on the Day of Resurrection until he has been asked about his life and how he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth and from where he earned it and where he spent it, and his body and how he used it. (Narrated and classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi, 2417) 2. As for writing these stories, in addition to the above point that it is a waste of time, it also involves a second forbidden matter, which is lying; lying cannot be avoided if one is to write in an attractive and compelling manner about things that do not exist. If a person has to write, then let him write about something that is real and happens in the lives of people nowadays, writing about things that really happened to him or to others, from which lessons can be drawn. Or let him write by way of giving examples and allegories, stating that in an introduction. Even better than that, let him write about the real and saheeh stories that have been narrated in the Quraan and Sunnah, or about the lives and biographies of great Islamic personalities such as the Prophets, scholars and righteous people, or Islam Q&A. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 6261: Ruling on being alone with a homosexual Question: What is the ruling on being alone with a homosexual? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We put this question to Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, 167

may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows: If he feels certain that this will pose no temptation (fitnah), then it is OK. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 6376: He wants to commit suicide because they rejected his marriage proposal Question: I am the brother who asked the question about whether it was allowed for a girl who I wanted to marry to study in university in a corrupt society. But now I have a new problem, the girl does not want to marry me any more because Im from India and shes from pakistan and she feels that her mother will not allow us to marry and will kick her out. Does her mother have the right to stop us from getting married just because weer from different countries? This whole situation is making me feel extremely upset. Its been about 2 weeks since it happened and I feel extremely depressed, I been constanly crying, I havent eaten anything, I just cant get any sleep and I feel like I want to kill my self. I just cant cope with this situation any longer, what am I to do? I need help and your the only reliable source I can turn to, I am desperate for help. Please brother answer my questions, I just cant bear this pain any longer. Thank you, and any answer will be GREATLY appreciated. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 168

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allaah is Most merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire [al-Nisa 4:29-30] No matter what psychological pressure or extreme distress befalls him, the Muslim cannot go ahead and kill himself, because he knows that the punishment for that is Hell and a painful torment, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever throws himself down from a mountain and kills himself, he will be in the Fire of Hell throwing himself down for ever and ever. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself will have the poison in his hand, drinking it in the Fire of Hell for ever and ever. Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron [a weapon] will have that piece of iron in his hand, stabbing himself in the stomach with it in the Fire of Hell forever and ever. (Narrated by alBukhaari, 5778). Starving oneself to death by refusing food is also a kind of suicide and deliberately killing oneself. How can a Muslim who believes in Allaah and the Last Day think of trying to move from the suffering of this world to the suffering of the Hereafter, which is more severe and more long-lasting? No sane person would do this. And for what? For a woman, when you could always find another woman to marry, for there are many women besides this one. Moreover, circumstances may change, and they may change their minds and agree to the marriage after a while. You could look for a college or school in your country that is only for women, which your wife could join, and that would solve a part of the problem. Whatever the case, you have to seek the help of Allaah and persevere with sabr (patience). 169

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). [al-Talaaq 65:2] Allaah will grant after hardship, ease. [al-Talaaq 65:7] We also suggest that you refer to the book Alhomoom Dealing with Worries and Stress, which is to be found on this web-site, and put into practise some of the things described therein, to calm you down and restore your equilibrium. Allaah is the One Whom We ask to relieve your distress and grief. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 4505: Writing fiction stories Question: My question is, is writing Islamic based fictional stories which are meant for dawah, islaahi and creating awareness among the Ummah, especially the youth, by using the imagination, sinful in Islam? In other words is it sinful to imagine words, ideas and situations? And whats the difference between folklore and this kind of modern writings? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 170

If it is made perfectly clear that this did not really happen, and that the story is being told just to give an example, then there is nothing wrong with that, but one should be careful to ensure that the style, contents and goal are beneficial and that the story helps to explain something about Islam and serves as a effective means of teaching and guiding people. We ask Allaah to grant you strength Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 4329: Accusing a Muslim of drinking wine Question: What is the ruling on someone (muslim) saying lies about his other brother.i.e saying he drinks Alcohol and other sort of things. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Accusing a Muslim of doing an evil deed without proof is a major sin which deserves punishment. Talking about it to other people is a kind of gheebah (backbiting, gossip) which Allaah has forbidden and likened to a person eating the flesh of his dead brother, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.[alHujuraat 49:12]

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Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter [al-Noor 24:19]. Whoever slanders his brother or accuses him of an evil deed has to repent to Allaah, ask his brothers forgiveness, and avoid everything that causes harm to a fellow Muslim. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him say something good or else remain silent. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 11/256, and by Muslim, no. 47). Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: No man accuses another of an immoral deed or kufr, but it will come back on him, if the person he accuses is not as he says he is. (Reported by al-Bukhari, 10/388). Accusing a Muslim of drinking wine is the same as accusing him of an immoral deed (fisq), and whoever accuses his brother of something he is not guilty of, Allaah will make him fall into the thing he of which he accused his brother. A man was brought to AbdAllaah ibn Abbaas, and he was told, This is so and so, his beard was dripping with wine. [Ibn Abbaas] said, We were forbidden to spy on others, but if something is obvious to us, we will accept it and act accordingly. (Reported by Abu Dawood, 4890, who said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth). It is not permissible for the Muslim to spy on his Muslim brother or to seek out his faults. If he accidentally sees him in a doubtful place or seeming to behave in a doubtful manner, he should not accuse him unless he sees him with his own eyes doing a wrongful action. He should advise and counsel him, then if he insists on doing that thing, and there is fear that he may harm other Muslims, or if one is asked about him for a legitimate reason, then he 172

should tell those who have something to do with it about what he knows. But he should not broadcast it unless the person does the evil action openly, because this will only help the Shaytaan against him and stop him from repenting. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 3108: Writing down the name of a person who is absent from work as if he is present Question: Sometimes my colleagues at college or at work ask me to make it look as if they are present even though they are absent, so that when the attendance sheet comes around, I should write their names. Is this a human service or is it deception and cheating? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. This is a kind of service, but it is satanic service which the Shaytaan is instilling in the person who does this and makes it appear that someone is present when this is not the case. There are three reasons for having reservations about this practice: (1) It is lying; (2) it involves deceiving those who are in charge; (3) it makes the absent person entitled to wages on the basis of attendance, which he then takes and consumes unlawfully. One of these reservations alone is sufficient to make this practice, which the questioner 173

apparently sees as a human service or favour, be described as haraam. Not all human favours are praiseworthy; only those that coincide with shareeah are praiseworthy those that go against shareeah are to be condemned. Calling favours that go against shareeah human services is in fact a misnomer, because anything that goes against shareeah is a bestial action. This is why Allaah described the kuffaar and mushrikeen as being like cattle. He says (interpretation of the meaning): while those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as cattle eat, and the Fire will be their abode. [Muhammad 47:12] and They are only like cattle; - nay, they are even farther astray from the Path [al-Furqaan 25:44] . So everything that is contrary to shareeah is a bestial action, not human. (Fataawa Islamiyyah, Ibn Uthaymeen, 220). (www.islamqa.com) 762: Ruling on wearing ones clothes below ones ankles Question: Assalamu Alaikum A brother was telling me that wearing clothing below the ankles is haram and that there are many hadiths that prove this. I would appreciate your opinion on this matter. Jazakallah Answer: Praise be to Allaah. What your friend has told you is true. Many ahaadeeth were reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of 174

Allaah be upon him) which forbid isbaal (wearing ones clothes below the ankles), for example: Al-Bukhaari reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whatever of the izaar (lower garment) is below the ankles is in the Fire. (al-Bukhaari, no. 5787) The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are three whom Allaah will not look at or praise on the Day of Judgement and theirs will be a painful punishment: the one who wears his garment below his ankles, the one who reminds others of his favours, and the one who sells his product by means of making false oaths (reported by Muslim, no. 106) The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Isbaal (wearing ones garment below the ankles) may apply to the izaar (lower garment), the shirt or the turban. Whoever allows any part of these to trail on the ground out of arrogance, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Judgement. (reported by Abu Dawud, no. 4085, and al-Nisaai, no. 5334, with a saheeh isnaad). Ibn Abbaas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah will not look at the one who wears his lower garment below his ankles. (Reported by al-Nisaai in al-Mujtabaa, Kitaab al-Zeenah, Baab Isbaal al-Izaar). Hudhayfah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took hold of the muscle of my calf (or his calf) and said, This is where the izaar should stop; if you insist, it may be lower, but it should not reach the ankles. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth; see Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 1783)

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All of the ahaadeeth quoted above speak against isbaal, whether or not the intention is to show off; but if a person does this deliberately out of arrogance, there is no doubt that his sin is greater. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah will not look at the one who trails his izaar on the ground out of pride. (alBukhaari, no. 5788) Jaabir ibn Sulaym said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: Beware of wearing ones lower garment below the ankles, because this is a kind of showing-off, and Allaah does not love showing-off. (Regarded as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2722). No one is able to be completely free of pride and arrogance, even if he claims that this is so. Such a claim is unacceptable, because by saying it, he is praising himself. Only in the case of those whom the wahy (revelation) testified that they were free of pride do we believe that this is the case. For example, there is a hadeeth which states that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever trails his garment on the ground out of pride, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection. Abu Bakr said to him, O Messenger of Allaah, my izaar slips down if I do not pay attention to it. He said: You are not one of those who do it out of pride. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 5784) What indicates that isbaal is prohibited even if it is not done out of pride is the hadeeth of Abu Saeed al-Khudri, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The lower garment of the Muslim should come down to mid-calf, but there is nothing wrong if it is between that point and the ankles. Whatever is lower than the ankles is in the Fire. Whoever trails his garment on the ground out of pride, Allaah will not look at him. 176

(Reported by Abu Dawud, no. 4093, with a saheeh isnaad.) These ahaadeeth describe two different deeds, for which there will be two different punishments: Imaam Ahmad reported that Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Yaqoob said: I asked Abu Saeed: Did you hear anything from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning the izaar (lower garment)? he said, Yes, listen! The izaar of the believer should come to mid-calf, although there is nothing wrong if it comes between there and the ankles, but whatever is lower than the ankles is in the Fire, and he said it three times. Ibn Umar said: I passed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and my izaar had slipped down. He said, O Abdullaah, pull up your izaar! so I pulled it up. He said, More! so I pulled it up more, and always made sure it was pulled up properly after that. Some people asked, To where did you pull it up? He said, To mid-calf length. (Reported by Muslim, no. 2086; al-Dhahabi, Kitaab al-Kabaair, 131-132) The issue of isbaal applies to women just as much as it applies to men. This is indicated by the hadeeth of Ibn Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever trails his garment on the ground out of pride, Allaah will not look at him. Umm Salamah said: O Messenger of Allaah, what should women do with their hems? He said, Let them go down a handspan. She asked, What if their feet show? He said, Let them lengthen it by a cubit, but no more. (al-Nisaai, Kitaab al-zeenah, Baab dhuyool al-nisaa). The punishment for showing off may come to pass in this world, not in the Hereafter. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah 177

be upon him) said: Whilst a man was walking arrogantly admiring himself and his clothes, Allaah caused the earth to swallow him and he is suffering in it until the Day of Resurrection. (Reported by Muslim, no. 2088). Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 110: Ruling on smoking Question: Is smoking cigarettes Haraam? Answer: Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be on His Prophet SAWS. Smoking is one of the things which has caused a lot of problems and harm these days and it has spread like wild fire. Before we discuss this topic in detail, we should know that Allaah the Almighty has divided things in the world into two types, good or permissible (al-tayyibaat, alhalaal) and evil or prohibited (al-khabaaith, al-haraam), and there is no third type. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning) in surat al-Araaf (7:157): And He makes good things halaal for them and bad things haraam. Considering this fact, smoking can either be permissible and good or prohibited and evil. Thus, we present some of its characteristics and let the 178

person asking the question see himself in which type lies smoking. There is no disagreement among the physicians and sane people that smoking is harmful for health. It is one of the major causes of lung cancer and other diseases. It is also one of the major causes of death. Since, it is known that the Islamic law prohibits everything that is harmful for a human being. Allah said (interpretation of meaning): Do not kill yourself. Allah is Merciful unto you. (Surat al-Nisaa 4:29) In addition, His Prophet SAWS (peace be upon him) said: There is no harm or causing of harm (in Islaam). (Arabic laa darar wa laa diraar) He SAWS (peace be upon him) also said: A person will not be able to move on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about ... his body as to what he engaged it in. Smoking also goes against the saying of the Prophet SAWS: Your body has a right on you. There is no disagreement among the physicians and sane people that smoking is harmful for the health of others who inhale the polluted breath of the smoker. Medical research has proven the harmful effects of smoking mothers on their children. The offensive smell caused by smoking is a source of pain to the worshippers of Allah among humans and angels. The angels are offended and suffer from the same things that the human beings suffer from. Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): 179

Those who cause harm to believing men and women without any reason do a great sin. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:58) The money that is spent on cigarettes is used on buying a harmful thing and is therefore an extravagance. Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): and do not be extravagant wasters. Those who are extravagant are kinsmen of Satan. (Surat al-Israa 17:26-27) Extravagance (in Islam) means spending on something haraam. Spending money on cigarettes is a waste of resources as well. The Prophet SAWS (peace be upon him) said: A person will not be able to move on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about ..... what he owned as to how he spent it. Considering all that has been presented, it can be clearly seen that smoking is an evil among many others. It is not permissible to indulge in it, or buy and sell it, or even to offer it to others. It is incumbent on a person who is addicted to it that he must make all efforts and get whatever necessary treatment to stop it. If the unbelievers have understood the harm caused by smoking and made laws regarding it, the Muslims should be even more eager to stop it and treat those who are addicted to it. We ask Allah the Almighty to cure everyone indulging in this evil and help him in giving it up. Allah is the Best Guide to the Right Path. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 180

329: Ruling on masturbation and how to cure the problem Question: I have a question which I am shy to ask but another sister who has come to Islam recently wants an answer to and I do not have an answer (with dilals from the Quran and Sunnah). I hope you can help and I hope Allah will for give me if it is inappropriate but as Muslims we should never be shy in seeking knowledge. Her question was Is it permissible in Islam to masturbate?. May Allah increase us all in knowledge. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Masturbation (for both men and women) is haraam (forbidden) in Islam based on the following evidence: First from the Quraan: Imam Shafii stated that masturbation is forbidden based on the following verses from the Quraan (interpretation of the meaning): And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, - for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. 23.5-7 Here the verses are clear in forbidding all illegal sexual acts (including masturbation) except for the wives or that their right hand possess. And whoever seeks beyond that is the transgressor. And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches 181

them of His bounty. 24.33. This verse also clearly orders whoever does not have the financial means to marry to keep himself chaste and be patient in facing temptations (including masturbation) until Allah enriches them of His bounty. Secondly, from the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Abdullaah ibn Masood said, We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allaahs Messenger said, O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power. Bukhari:5066. The hadeeth orders men who are not able to marry to fast despite the hardship encountered in doing so, and not to masturbate despite the ease with which it can be done. There are additional evidences that can be cited to support this ruling on masturbation, but due to the limited space we will not go through them here. Allaah knows what is best and most correct. As for curing the habit of masturbation, we recommend the following suggestions: 1) The motive to seek a cure for this problem should be solely following Allaahs orders and fearing His punishment. 2) A permanent and quick cure from this problem lies in marriage as soon as the person is able, as shown in the Prophets hadeeth. 3) Keeping oneself busy with what is good for this world and the hereafter is essential in breaking this habit before 182

it becomes second nature after which it is very difficult to rid oneself of it. 4) Lowering the gaze (from looking at forbidden things such as pictures, movies etc.) will help suppress the desire before it leads one to commit the haraam (forbidden). Allaah orders men and women to lower their gaze as shown in the following two verses and in the Prophets hadeeth (interpretations of the meanings): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is all-aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) ..... 24.30-31 Allaahs messenger said: Do not follow a casual (unintentional) look (at forbidden things) with another look. Al-Tirmidhi 2777. This is a general instruction by the Prophet to abstain from all that may sexually excite a person because it might lead him/her to commit the haraam (forbidden). 5) Using ones available leisure time in worshipping Allaah and increasing religious knowledge. 6) Being cautious not to develop any of the medical symptoms that may result from masturbation such as weak eyesight, weak nervous system, and/or back pain. More importantly, feeling of guilt and anxiety that can be complicated by missing obligatory prayers because of the need to shower (ghusl) after every incidence of masturbation. 7) Avoiding the illusion that some youth have that masturbation is permissible because it prevents them from 183

committing illegal sexual acts such as fornication or even homosexuality. 8) Strengthening ones willpower and avoiding spending time alone as recommended by the Prophet when he said Do not spend the night alone Ahmad 6919. 9) Following the Prophets aforementioned hadeeth and fast when possible, because fasting will temper ones sexual desire and keep it under control. However, one should not overreact and swear by Allaah not to return to the act because if one does not honor ones promise, one would be facing the consequences of not living up to ones oath to Allaah. Also, note that medication to diminish ones sexual desire is strictly prohibited because it might permanently affect ones sexual ability. 10) Trying to follow the Prophets recommendation concerning the etiquette of getting ready for bed, such as reading well-known supplications, sleeping on the right side, and avoiding sleeping on the belly (the Prophet forbade sleeping on the belly). 11) Striving hard to be patient and chaste, because persistence will eventually, Allaah willing, lead to attaining those qualities as second nature, as the Prophet explains in the following hadeeth: Whoever seeks chastity Allaah will make him chaste, and whoever seeks help from none but Allaah, He will help him, and whoever is patient He will make it easy for him, and no one has ever been given anything better than patience. Bukhari:1469. 12) Repenting, asking forgiveness from Allaah, doing good deeds, and not losing hope and feeling despair are all prerequisites to curing this problem. Note that losing hope is one of the major sins punishable by Allaah. 13) Finally, Allaah is the Most Merciful and He always 184

responds to whoever calls on Him. So, asking for Allahs forgiveness will be accepted, by His will. Wallahu alam. And Allah knows what is best and most correct. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com)

185

Chapter 3 Love and the steps that lead to immoral actions


49687: He fell into the trap of visiting chat sites and talking to girls, but has now repented Question: I fell into the trap of visiting a website on the Net to which I subscribed by paying money. The site initially appeared to be good but most of those who visited it were just playing. But I started to correspond with more than one hundred girls, and I spoke with them on the mobile, and I spoke to them in romantic terms and I met some of them. Now I have repented to Allaah and I hope that you can advise the owner of this site, because it has now become a means of evil and a means of approaching the opposite sex. May Allaah reward you with good. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We praise Allaah for having enabled you to repent, and we ask Allaah to make you steadfast in adhering to the truth and the right path. May He guide young Muslim men and women to guard their religious commitment and their honour. You should note that it is not permissible for men to start such websites or to visit them. The owner of this site is one of those who are addressed by the warning in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 186

Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter [al-Noor 24:19] Indeed he is more deserving of this warning, because the warning in this verse was addressed to those who like immorality to be propagated, so how about one who actually works to make that happen and become widespread? This is the way that is known to end in what we see and hear and read about those who use these means to approach the opposite sex. How many men have lost their religious commitment and how many women have lost their honour? Some of them have found no other way but suicide to escape from the dark tunnel that they got into because of corresponding and speaking to non-mahrams. We have already discussed the ruling on corresponding and speaking to non-mahrams. Please see the answers to questions no. 22101, 26890, 23349 and 10221. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 44819: He had a relationship with a girl for two years, can he propose marriage to her? Question: I am a young man who had a lot of problems in my life and I could not find anyone to show me sympathy, especially in the absence of anyone who is sincere in 187

friendship. So I turned to a girl who overwhelmed me with her kindness and sincerity which I will never forget as long as I live. But now after going out with her for two years during which I have not done anything wrong like zina, may Allaah keep us safe from that and from our bad deeds, I want to propose marriage to her. Is this relationship permitted or not?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The relationship mentioned in the question is a forbidden relationship and an obvious sin. It is not permissible for a man to form a relationship with a non-mahram woman where they become friends and go out together, because that involves doing things which Allaah has forbidden, namely looking, touching, being alone together and talking softly. Such relationships are not free of these things. It is one of the tricks of the Shaytaan to make such relationships attractive to people, so that a person feels his worries have been relieved or reduced because of this relationship. This is obvious from your words I turned to her sincerity I will never forget etc. In addition to your denial of having done anything wrong despite the fact that what has happened is a kind of forbidden relationship, even if we assume that it has not reached the level of zina. What you have to do is to repent to Allaah and to be convinced that what you have done is wrong. You have to give up this evil action and regret what has happened in the past. Remember the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the one who came to him and asked him for permission to commit zina: Would you like it for your mother? He said: No, by Allaah, may Allaah cause me to be sacrificed for you. 188

He said: And people do not like it for their mothers. He said: Would you like it for your daughter? He said: No, by Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah, may Allaah cause me to be sacrificed for you. He said: And people do not like it for their daughters. He said: Would you like it for your sister? He said: No, by Allaah, may Allaah cause me to be sacrificed for you. He said: And people do not like it for their sisters. He said, Would you like it for your paternal aunt? He said: No, by Allaah, may Allaah cause me to be sacrificed for you. He said: And people do not like it for their paternal aunts. He said, Would you like it for your maternal aunt? He said: No, by Allaah, may Allaah cause me to be sacrificed for you. He said: And people do not like it for their maternal aunts. Narrated by Ahmad, 22265; classed as saheeh by Shaykh Shuayb al-Arnaaoot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad. With regard to proposing marriage to her, there is no reason why you should not, after establishing that she is righteous and that she regularly fulfils the duties required in Islam, and that she keeps away from haraam things, and that she has repented from this sinful relationship. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 40618: Can she uncover her face in front of her sisters husband? Question: My sisters husband sleeps in our house sometimes and sometimes he stays all day, and I cannot cover my face in front of him. Am I sinning thereby? What is the solution?. 189

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Your sisters husband is a stranger (non-mahram) to you, and you have to cover your face in front of him and not be alone with him. Similarly it is haraam for him to look at you or to be alone with you. Unfortunately people are careless in their homes with regard to the in-laws, even though shareeah speaks strongly concerning them more than others, because people mix freely with them in their houses and the family members trust them. It was narrated from Uqbah ibn Aamir that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Beware of entering upon women. A man from among the Ansaar said: O Messenger of Allaah, what about the in-law? He said: The in-law is death. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4934; Muslim, 2172. The in-law is the husbands relative. We notice here that the Sahaabi wanted to make an exception in the case of the husbands relatives, but the ruling was re-emphasized in the strongest terms, because no one regards it as strange if he enters the house. Al-Nawawi said: With regard to the Prophets words, The in-law is death, what this means is that the fear in his case is greater than in the case of others, and evil is expected on his part and the fitnah (temptation) is greater, because he is able to reach the woman and be alone with her with no one denouncing him, unlike the stranger or non-mahram. What is meant by the in-law here is the husbands relatives, except for his father/grandfather and sons/grandsons.His father/grandfather and sons/grandsons are mahrams of the 190

wife and it is permissible for them to be alone with her; they are not described as death. Rather what is meant here is the brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and others who are not mahrams. People customarily take things lightly with regard to them, so a man will often be alone with his brothers wife. This is what is described as death and it is more important that he be stopped than a stranger, for the reasons we have mentioned above. What I have mentioned is the correct meaning of the hadeeth Ibn al-Araabi said: This is something that the Arabs say, as in the phrase al-asad al-mawt (the lion is death), because meeting it is like dying. Al-Qaadi said: What is meant is that being alone with the in-laws leads to fitnah (temptation) and the destruction of ones religious commitment, so this is described as being akin to the destruction of death. Sharh Muslim, 14/154. We advise this sister and others to fear Allaah and strive to wear proper hijaab in front of non-mahram men. Please see also questions no. 13728, 6408, 13261 And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 41693: She has committed haraam actions with her fianc Question: I am a Muslim girl. I pray and I fear my Lord a great deal, but I have a problem. I know a person who came and proposed marriage to me. My father agrees but he always postpones the matter because of family reasons. We cannot be patient and the more time goes by, the more I find myself attached to him. He used to ask me to meet him often, and we have met more than once. We spoke together and kissed one another as if we were married, and even 191

touched one another. I know that this is haraam and is wrong. Every time that happens I end up arguing with him and get angry with myself. I asked my Lord for forgiveness and I prayed Istikhaarah, asking whether this person is right for me or not. Every time I tell him that we should only meet in permissible ways, but then we make the same mistake. I want a solution. Please help me. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: You say in your question that you regularly observe the five daily prayers and that you fear Allaah a great deal. We hope that you will be fine, and we ask Allaah to make you steadfast in faith and in doing righteous deeds, and to keep evil and corruption far away from you. Secondly: Islam has blocked all the ways that may lead to committing immoral actions. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Come not near to Al-Fawaahish (shameful sins and illegal sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly [al-Anaam 6:151] Coming near implies doing something that may lead to those actions. Islam also warns against men mixing freely with women. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Beware of entering upon women. They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what about the inlaw? He said: The in-law is death. Agreed upon. In-law refers to the husbands relatives, his brothers, uncles, cousins, etc. 192

Islam also warns us against being alone with a nonmahram woman. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man is alone with a (nonmahram) woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present. Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim; al-Albaani said: It is saheeh. Saheeh al-Jaami, no. 2546. All of this is for the purpose of protecting peoples honour against committing immoral actions, and blocking all paths that may lead to the crime of zina (fornication, adultery). Thirdly: The fianc is a stranger (non-mahram) to his fiance until the marriage contract has been done. So your going out with this non-mahram man, kissing him, meeting him and the other things that you mention are all haraam. Fear Allaah and refuse to meet him until the marriage contract has been done, and be frank with him about that. See also questions no. 2572 and 23432. Fourthly: If this person sees that you are determined and righteous, this will make him more keen to marry you, because he will see that you have a strong personality and that you do not give in to your emotions. Who would not want his wife to have a strong personality and be keen to protect her honour? That will affect him and make him change his ways and become more righteous, and you will be the cause of that. Fifthly: Put your trust in Allaah and make a lot of duaa, especially at the times when prayers are answered. Be patient and remind yourself of that which Allaah has prepared for 193

those who are patient, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning [al-Zumar 39:10] Sixthly: We remind you that Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan), then, verily, he commands AlFahsha [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse)], and AlMunkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; and to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam)]. And had it not been for the Grace of Allaah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allaah purifies (guides to Islam) whom He wills, and Allaah is AllHearer, AllKnower [al-Noor 24:21] The Shaytaan gradually calls people to falsehood; before a Muslim commits zina, the Shaytaan draws him towards it by his being alone with a woman, and speaking to her, then kissing her, then meeting her in haraam ways, then the great evil which is zina we seek refuge with Allaah. As the saying goes: A look, then a smile, then a greeting, then speaking, then an appointment, then a meeting. Seventhly: You should avoid blind trust in anyone. How many women and girls have said, My fianc is decent, he is not what people think? Then they fell victim to their navet. So 194

you should not think of him in a positive way, rather you should be extremely cautious and careful. Eighthly: You should think carefully about this husband and find out more about him, because he is going to be your life partner. Is he fit to be your life partner even though he has tried to do something haraam and persisted in that? Ninthly: Try to find out what obstacles and problems are making your father postpone this marriage, and talk to him about the matter. If you cannot address him directly, then you can bring in someone who has an influence over him, whether that is your mother or your brothers, or any person who has any status in your fathers eyes and can urge him to hasten to do the marriage contract and explain to him the danger of a woman being left without a husband, especially as she grows older, because the opportunity may not come again, and can remind him of the bad consequences if he is careless in this matter. Some guardians may Allaah guide them exaggerate about family problems, even simple ones, and make them an obstacle to proceeding with matters such as marriage; others may suffer as a result but they do not care about that or pay attention to their responsibilities. And finally: We ask Allaah to guide you to all that is good, and we ask Him to guide your fianc and to make it easy for you to do that which pleases Him, for He is Able to do that. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 195

27329: She has repented from an illicit relationship but she wants to contact him in order to get married to him Question: I have recently started wearing hijjab al hamdilla and since then i have realized how dead iw as before hijjab.. This hijaab is a responsibility i have taken and i am trying my best to become a better muslim Before hijjab i knew this boy and we liked each other .. i know relationships are haram .. but then i wasnt aware of right and wrong.. well.. hamdilla we never did zina.. i am now 3rd year university and he is 4th he is mutdayin now too.. even if i dont talk to guys anymore.. i will always have feelings for him and i wish he would propose to me or at leat he would tell me something that will make me wait.. but that isnt possible unless if i email him or try to contact him.. so.. my question is .. if i write him and emaling asking him if i should wait for him to propose or not.. will itbe haram? i want to marry him 3al sunat Allah wa rasooloh.. and i think maybe he thinks i dont like him anymore.. so please let me know if i should send an email or not.. he is a very muhtaram respectable man and he too doesnt talk to girls anymore. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: It is well known in the religion of Allaah that it is forbidden to follow in the footsteps of the Shaytaan, and that all the steps that may lead to falling into something haraam are forbidden, even if they are permitted in principle. This is 196

what the scholars call preventing the means (that lead to haraam). The basic principle of shareeah is that when Allaah forbids a thing, He also forbids the ways and means that lead to it, so that it may indeed be forbidden. We are happy when we hear of or see someone who has come back to Allaah and to His religion after having lost their way, but at the same time we fear that the Shaytaan may make what they used to do when they were astray attractive to them, thus preventing them from following guidance and making them go astray again. Obviously this is what we fear for the sister who asked this question and for her former friend who has also repented. Hence we cannot condone her idea of getting back in touch with the one with whom she had a relationship before she was guided, even if that is on the basis of wanting to get married according to shareeah. For a non-mahram woman to be in touch with a person with whom it is not permissible for her to be in touch leads to evil consequences which are obvious to any wise person. Hence Allaah has forbidden establishing relationships and taking close female friends. We have already posted some of the fatwas of the scholars on this issue. See questions no. 23349, 20949and 10221. Secondly: With regard to the answer to your question, which may be summed up as: Is it permissible for a woman to propose marriage to a man or to tell him that she wants to marry him? The answer is that in shareeah the word khutbah (proposal) refers to the man asking the woman. See question no. 20069. If a woman wants to marry some man, there is nothing 197

wrong with her sending someone whose religious commitment and honesty she trusts to offer her in marriage to him, as Khadeejah (may Allaah be pleased with her) did when she heard of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and saw his good attitude and trustworthiness, and wanted to marry him. So she sent one of her relatives to offer her to him in marriage, and he agreed to marry her. Based on this, we say to the sister who asked this question: If you want to marry this young man, and he has a good attitude and is religiously committed, then there is nothing wrong with suggesting marriage to him through a trustworthy relative of yours. You should avoid getting in touch with him or with any other non-mahram men, because of the fitnah (temptation) involved in that. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 39931: He has repented from a relationship with a nonmahram woman but he still loves her and feels attached to her Question: I am a young man who had a relationship with a girl, but I did not commit any haraam action with her. I know that what I did is not permissible according to shareeah, so I ended my contact with her and she accepted that. But I cannot forget her. I love her very much but I cannot marry her, and I often meet her. Is there any means of ridding myself of these feelings and forgetting this girl? I am confused and my confusion may cause me to make a mistake. 198

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We have already explained in the answers to more than one question that it is haraam for a man to have a relationship with a non-mahram woman outside the framework of marriage. See the answer to question no. 23349 and 9465. The haraam things that the people who have these relationships fall into include: betrayal, being alone with a non-mahram member of the opposite sex, touching and looking; these are the ways that lead to falling into the sin of zina (fornication, adultery). This is in addition to the harmful effects it has on the heart, causing confusion and distracting it from the purpose for which it was created. You say that you still meet this girl, and the results of these meetings are obvious to anyone with common sense. You have to persist in your repentance from your former relationship with her, and cut off all ties with this girl. The solution to such a problem is to marry this girl, thus foiling the Shaytaan and protecting yourself from falling into sin. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: We do not think there is anything better for two who love one another than marriage. Narrated by Ibn Maajah, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 1847. What this hadeeth means is that the greatest remedy for treating love is marriage, because this is the only cure for it. See Fayd al-Qadeer by al-Mannaawi, 295. But you say that you cannot marry her, so you have no choice other than to be patient, strive to control your nafs (self), and keep yourself busy so that you will not think 199

of her. Your marriage to someone else may be the means of your forgetting her, and you should avoid meeting her as much as you can. You should know that the life of this world is very short, and the shortest thing in this life is haraam pleasure and the moments in which a person disobeys his Lord. But the joy of the Hereafter will last forever, so how can a smart person like you sacrifice that eternal joy for a moment of brief pleasure that will blacken the record of his deeds? You should know that Allaah may decree death for you when you are alone with her, so how will you meet your Lord in such a state? What will you leave behind of shame and scandal for your family and for hers? You should know that Allaah may punish you through your daughter or sister, because you were content to besmirch the honour of another, so you may expect the punishment of Allaah in this world rather than the Hereafter. Allaah protects the family and children of the righteous Muslim by means of his righteousness, but if a man is corrupt the only result can be is that his family and sons and daughters will be corrupt too. How can it be otherwise when he has set them the example by his own actions? There is no way to forget about this girl except by filling your heart with the love of Allaah and fear of His punishment, and trying to keep the blessing of Allaah from being diminished because of this sin. Think about the consequences of this action whether in this world or in the Hereafter. Hasten to give up this sin and seek the reward for that with Allaah, so that you will then see in sha Allaah the blessings of faith, piety and delight in worship that your Lord will bestow upon you.

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And Allaah is the Guide to the Straight Path. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 20949: Friendship and love between a man and a woman Question: I know keeping girlfriend will destroy the family and so on but what if we were just friends secretly were no one knew. this way we will we will stay togethr until marraige and we can garentee we wont perform any zinna. are there any cases in the old times of love . Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: Taking a girlfriend does not only destroy the family, it destroys society, and those who do this are threatened with the punishment and wrath of Allaah. Love is a sickness that destroys the heart and leads to evil and immorality. The Shaytaan will keep tempting them and pushing them until they commit immoral actions and thus each gets what he or she wants from the other. There are many forbidden matters associated with this, such as transgressing against the honour of others, betraying trust, being alone with a member of the opposite sex, touching, kissing, speaking immoral words, then the greater evil which occurs at the end, which is the sin of zina. The fact that the questioner says no one knows about 201

us is strange. How can he forget about his Lord Who knows what is secret and what is yet more hidden, and who knows the fraud of the eyes and all that the hearts conceal. (cf. Ghaafir 40:19). Our advice to you, as you are still young, is to discipline yourself to obey Allaah and always remember that He is watching; fear Allaah concerning peoples honour; strive for the Day when you will meet your Lord with your deeds; remember the scandal that may happen in this world and the Hereafter. Remember that you have sisters and will have a wife and daughters, so would you like for one of them what you are doing with the daughters of the Muslims? The answer is that you would certainly not like it, and other people do not like it either. Remember that you may see the results of your sin in some of your family members as a punishment to you from your Lord. You have to look for righteous friends, and you have to keep yourself busy doing that which Allaah loves and is pleased with. Pay attention to the best and most sublime things and leave alone the worst and most vile things. Make the most of your youth in obeying and worshipping Allaah, seeking knowledge and calling others to Allaah. Remember that there were those of your age and younger who were men who had memorized the Quraan, who sought knowledge, whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent to call others to Allaah and to enter the religion of Islam. We advise you to get married to a righteous, religiouslycommitted woman who will help you adhere to your religion and encourage you to adhere to the laws of Allaah, who will look after your children and bring them up with good morals and religious commitment. Give up this woman who agrees to go out with a man who is a stranger to her (a non-mahram) and meet him and talk to him; if 202

she agrees to do immoral actions now then what is going to prevent her from continuing to do so in the future? Remember that you are angering your Lord with such sins as being alone with her, meeting her and talking to her, and anything more than that is even more serious. You should realize that zina does not only involve the private parts, rather the eyes may commit zina, the ears may commit zina, the hand may commit zina and the foot may commit zina, as was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). All of that leads to the zina of the private parts. So do not let the Shaytaan deceive you, for he is an enemy to you who wishes you evil and tells you to commit immoral actions. Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-Uthaymeen said: Contact between lovers in improper and unlawful ways is a calamity and a real disaster. It is not permissible for the man to contact the woman in this case, or for the woman to contact the man. If he says that he wants to marry her, then he must tell her wali (guardian) that he wants to marry her, or she should tell her wali that she wants to marry him, as Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) did when he offered his daughter Hafsah in marriage to Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them). But if the woman contacts the man directly, this is the source of fitnah (temptation). Asilat al-Baab il-Maftooh (Question no. 868). Secondly: With regard to your question about such forbidden relationships in the ancient love stories, the fact that such stories existed among those who came before us cannot 203

be taken as proof with regard to shari rulings, because the rulings of shareeah having to do with what is forbidden and what is allowed are to be taken from the shari evidence of the Quraan and Sunnah, and the commands and prohibitions contained therein. Some of those mentioned in these stories came before Islam, such as Antarah and others, and such stories are to be found in other cultures as is well known. But we cannot take shari rulings from this because Islam came to bring people forth from being controlled by their desires to complete submission to Allaah the Lord of the Worlds. We ask Allaah to guide us and you and to give us strength. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 39770: Ruling on being intimate with a non-mahram woman without intercourse Question: What is the ruling on being intimate with a non-mahram woman without intercourse in the vagina? Is anal intercourse regarded as sodomy?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: It is by Allahs wisdom that when He forbids a thing He forbids the things that lead to it, because indulging in things that may lead to haraam may make the heart inclined towards it, in such a way that the individual develops a psychological conflict between falling into this 204

sin or the suffering that results from standing in the middle of the road, so that he is not shunning the haraam thing entirely, with the peace of mind that comes from keeping away from it, nor is he committing the sin and fulfilling the desires of his self that is inclined towards evil. In most cases of this type, the person will fall into major sins that he thought he would never commit, major sins that corrupt his religious and worldly affairs, ruin his life, and destroy the blessing in his wealth and children, as a befitting punishment for his sin, because he moved away from his Lord and transgressed His sacred limits, and did not care that Allaah was watching him and was aware of what he was doing. The wise man is the one who is not careless about things that lead to real disasters that affect his religious commitment, which is a mans capital and comes before any worldly consideration. The one who thinks about this question will realize that it is impossible for a man to reach that level of evil and then be able to control himself and refrain from falling into that great sin, which is as nothing compared to the anger and wrath of Allaah and the corruption that it causes, all just for the sake of the short-lived pleasure that the sinner is trying to achieve, which will be followed by never-ending regret. The Muslim has to understand things as they are and what they lead to, and not be tempted by the things that the Shaytaan makes attractive, or be deceived when the Shaytaan tries to make him think of evil actions as insignificant as a trick to make people join his party of losers. He has to fear Allaah his Lord in private and in public, and know that Allaah sees him and knows his intentions and his actions, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Allaah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal [Ghaafir 40:19] 205

He should remember that what is with Allaah is better and more lasting, and that the Hereafter and its blessings are better for him than this world, and that the reward for being patient in abstaining from evil actions is Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, in which there is whatever a person could want of absolute and untainted pleasure. For more information on the ruling please see question no. 27259 Secondly: Anal intercourse, if done with a man, is homosexuality which is condemned in the Quraan and Sunnah. It was one of the causes of the destruction of a nation, namely the people of Loot, the Prophet of Allaah. With regard to anal intercourse with a woman: if this is with ones wife, it is not permissible, and is known as lesser sodomy, so how about if it is with a woman who is not permissible for him? (a) What was narrated concerning sodomy: Ibn Hazam said: The action of the people of Loot is a major sin and a forbidden immoral action, like eating pork, dead meat and blood, drinking alcohol, committing adultery, and all other sins. Whoever regards it as permissible or regards any of the things we have mentioned as permissible is a kaafir and a mushrik, whose blood may be shed and whose wealth may be seized. Al-Muhalla, 12/389 Ibn Qudaamah said: The scholars are unanimously agreed that sodomy is forbidden. It was condemned by Allaah in His Book, and 206

by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the Aalameen (mankind and jinn)? Verily, you practise your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins) [al-Araaf 7:80] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: May Allaah curse those who do the deed of the people of Loot, may Allaah curse those who do the deed of the people of Loot, may Allaah curse those who do the deed of the people of Loot. Al-Mughni, 9/59 Ibn al-Qayyim narrated from his shaykh Ibn Taymiyah and from others that there was consensus among the Sahaabah that the one who does the deed of the people of Loot should be put to death, but they differed as to how that should be done. Zaad al-Maaad, (5/40). For more details on the ruling see also question no. 10050. (b) What was narrated concerning anal intercourse with a woman: Anal intercourse with a woman is a major sin, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who does that. Abu Dawood (2162) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Cursed is the one who has intercourse 207

with his wife in her back passage. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. This curse applies to one who has anal intercourse with his wife, so how about if the woman is a stranger (non-mahram) to him? Al-Tirmidhi (135) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating woman or with a woman in her back passage, or who goes to a soothsayer, has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. If a man and wife agree to anal intercourse and do not stop after being punished (with a tazeer punishment), then they are to be separated. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was asked about a man who has intercourse with his wife in her back passage. He replied: Having anal intercourse with a woman is haraam, according to the Quraan and Sunnah, and this is the view of the majority of earlier and later scholars. Indeed, this is lesser sodomy. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah is not too shy to tell the truth. Do not have intercourse with women in their back passages. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will [al-Baqarah 2:223] The tilth (harth) is the place from which the child is born [the vagina], because the tilth is the place of planting and sowing. The Jews used to say that if a man had intercourse with his wife from behind, the child would be born with 208

a squint, then Allaah revealed this verse, and Allaah allowed the man to have intercourse with his wife in all positions, so long as it is in the vagina only. Whoever has intercourse with her in her back passage, and she obeys him in that, they should both be punished, and if they do not stop, then they should be separated, as an immoral man and the person with whom he commits immoral actions should be separated, and Allaah knows best. AlFataawa al-Kubra, 3/104, 105 With regard to having intercourse with a non-mahram woman in her back passage, the scholars differed as to whether this is zina (fornication) or sodomy. See al-Mabsoot, 9/77; al-Faakihah al-Dawaanah, 2/209; Mughni al-Muhtaaj, 5/443; al-Insaaf, 10/177; al-Furoo, 6/72 The view favoured by Shaykh al-Sadi (may Allaah have mercy on him) is that having intercourse with a nonmahram woman in her back passage is considered to be zina (fornication). He said: Zina means having an unlawful sexual relationship in the front passage or the back passage. Manhaj al-Saalikeen, p. 239. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from evil and to purify our hearts of evil thoughts, and to help us to be steadfast in adhering to His religion and obeying His commands. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 27259: Ruling on the things that lead to zina kissing, touching and being alone together Question:

What is the ruling on one who is intimate with women but does not commit zina, i.e. kissing etc?. 209

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Zina (adultery, fornication) does not refer only to penetration, rather there is the zina of the hand, which is touching that which is forbidden, and the zina of the eyes, which is looking at that which is forbidden, even though zina that is committed with the private parts, is the zina which is punishable with the hadd punishment. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah has decreed for every son of Adam his share of zina, which he will inevitably commit. The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the tongue is speaking, one may wish and desire, and the private parts confirm that or deny it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5889; Muslim, 2657. It is not permissible for the Muslim to long for the things that lead to zina, such as kissing, being alone, touching and looking, for all these things are haraam and lead to the greater evil which is zina. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah Forgives him) [al-Isra 17:32] Looking at that which is forbidden is one of the arrows of the Shaytaan, which leads a person to doom, even if he did not do it intentionally at first. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking 210

at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) [al-Noor 24:30-31] Think about how Allaah connects the issue of lowering the gaze with the issue of protecting the private parts (guarding ones chastity) in these verses, and how lowering the gaze is mentioned first, before protecting the private parts, because the eye influences the heart. Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: In these two verses, Allaah commands the believing men and women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, which is because of the serious nature of zina and what it leads to of great corruption among the Muslims. Letting ones gaze wander freely is one of the causes of sickness in the heart and the occurrence of immoral actions, whereas lowering the gaze is one of the means of keeping oneself safe from that. Hence Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do. [al-Noor 24:30] Lowering ones gaze and guarding ones chastity is purer for the believer in this world and in the Hereafter, whereas letting ones gaze wander freely and not guarding ones 211

chastity are among the greatest causes of doom and punishment in this world and in the Hereafter. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. Allaah tells us that He is All-Aware of what people do, and that nothing is hidden from Him. This is a warning to the believer against doing that which Allaah has forbidden and turning away from that which Allaah has prescribed for him, and it is a reminder to him that Allaah sees him and knows all that he does, whether it is good or otherwise. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Allaah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal [Ghaafir 40:19] End quote. From al-Tabarruj wa Khataruhu. The Muslim has to fear his Lord in secret and in public, and keep away from that which Allaah has forbidden of being alone with a member of the opposite sex, looking, shaking hands, kissing and other haraam actions which lead to the immoral action of zina. The sinner should not be deceived into thinking that he will not commit zina and that he will stop at these haraam actions and not go that far, for the Shaytaan will never leave him alone. There is no hadd punishment for these haraam actions, such as kissing etc., because the hadd punishment is only for intercourse (zina), but the judge may punish him with a tazeer punishment to deter him and others like him from committing these sins. Ibn al-Qayyim said: Tazeer punishments may be prescribed for every sin for which there is no hadd punishment or specific expiation (kafaarah), for sins are of three kinds: those for which 212

there is a hadd punishment but no kafaarah is required; those for which kafaarah is required but there is no hadd punishment; and those for which there is neither a hadd punishment nor kafaarah. The first type includes such crimes as stealing, drinking alcohol, zina and slander. The second includes having intercourse during the day in Ramadaan, or when in ihraam. The third type includes having intercourse with a slave woman who is owned jointly with someone else, kissing a non-mahram woman and being alone with her, entering the public baths without a waist wrapper, eating dead meat, blood and pork, and so on. Ilaam al-Muwaqqaeen, 2/77 The person who has committed any of these actions has to repent to Allaah, for whoever repents Allaah will accept his repentance, and the one who repents is like one who did not sin. One of the greatest means of expiation for such sins is offering the five daily prayers regularly and on time. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The five daily prayers, and from one Jumuah to the next, and from one Ramadaan to the next, expiates for the sins that come in between, so long as you avoid major sins. Narrated by Muslim, 1/209 And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 34841: Men and women talking in chat rooms Question: I am a sister, who usually logs in to Paltalk and then goes to the Islamic rooms so that I may gain some knowledge 213

related to our religion. Sometimes while I am in one of those Islamic rooms in Paltalk,a muslim brother(looking for a wife) in the room asks me to have a private written chat with him so that we get to know one another. Some of the questions he asks me are: where i live, my age, whether i am married(by the way I am not married), if I am planning to get marry, whether I live with my parents, and so on. My problem is, I dont know whether I am allowed(Islamicly) to give non-muharim brother those kinds of informations which related to me. Is it really SIN to talk to a brother in writing ??. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. There is nothing wrong with a Muslim woman making use of the internet and entering the Paltalk website for that purpose, so long as that does not lead to anything that is forbidden in Islam, such as talking privately with men. That is because talking to men may turn into chat which usually leads temptation. Hence it is essential to be strict and avoid that, seeking the pleasure of Allaah and fearing His punishment. How often have these conversations lead to bad results, and even caused people to fall in love, and have led some to do things that are even more serious than that. The Shaytaan makes each of them imagine attractive qualities in other, which leads them to develop an attachment that detrimental to their spiritual welfare and worldly affairs. Shareeah blocks all the ways that may lead to fitnah (temptation, trial), hence it forbids softness of speech and does not allow a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. Undoubtedly these private chats are not regarded as khulwah in the sense that he people involved cannot 214

see one another, but they are one of the greatest causes of fitnah as is well known. What has happened to you is the best testimonial to the truth of what we are saying, because it is difficult for a man to ask these personal questions of a believing woman, unless he uses these means that are being used in a bad way. Fear Allaah, and do not speak to non-mahram men. This is safer for your religious commitment and purer for your heart. You should note that marriage to a righteous man is a blessing from Allaah, and a blessing cannot be acquired by means of sin. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: What is the ruling on correspondence between young men and women, if this correspondence is free from immorality and love? He replied: It is not permissible for any man to correspond with a woman who is not his mahram, because of the fitnah (temptation) involved in that. A person may think that there is no fitnah, but the Shaytaan will keep trying until he tempts him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded those who heard of the Dajjaal to keep away from him, and said that a man may approach him as a believer, but the Dajjaal will keep trying until he leads him astray. Correspondence between young men and women involves a great deal of fitnah and danger, so we must avoid it, even though the questioner says that this correspondence is free from immorality and love. From Fataawa al-Marah, compiled by Muhammad alMusnad, p. 96. 215

Undoubtedly correspondence via chat rooms is more dangerous than correspondence by mail, but both are bad. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 33702: He fell in love with a girl then he repented. Can he be friends with her? Question: A young Muslim man went to study aboard, far from his family. He got to know a Muslim girl and the relationship between them grew until it became love, and they touched one another and kissed, but they did not commit fornication (zina). He feels fear of Allaah and he asked her to change the relationship with him or to give it up because what they did is a sin. She understood that and said, Lets remain friends and we will never speak of love again, we can just be friends. He feels that he has made a sacrifice for the sake of Allaah, because he loves her very much, but he feels that this is not enough to please Allaah. Is it permissible for him to speak to her as just a friend? How can he explain to her that he does not want to be selfish, because he loves her very much but his love for Allaah is greater?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: Following the paths of fitnah is one of the reasons why Muslims fall into the traps of the Shaytaan. The rulings of Islam bar the way to many of these paths and warn 216

against following them. Islam also warns against following in the footsteps of the Shaytaan. One of these reasons or causes is Muslims travelling to kaafir countries and settling there either alone or with their families; studying in mixed universities and keeping company with immoral people who do not point him in the direction of good or warn him against evil; giving his faculties free rein to commit sin, such as letting his ears listen to singing or his eyes look at haraam things, and so on. A man cannot protect himself unless he keeps away from these paths that lead to evil, and looks for the ways of peace and guidance with which his Lord is pleased. Secondly: We think that our brother is on the right track and is guided in sha Allaah, because he fears his Lord and has given up his relationship with this girl, after committing sin with her because of his following the paths of evil mentioned above. The attitude of fearing Allaah is very important, and giving up ones desires for the sake of Allaah is something which no one can achieve except those who understand Tawheed truly, in whose hearts faith is alive and manifests itself in their physical actions. But he has to remain steadfast in his actions, and not let the Shaytaan lead him down another path that will lead to the same result of committing haraam actions. There can be no friendship between him and this girl who is a stranger (non-mahram) to him. What this friendship leads to is well known, so he must not respond to her request. He should adhere to his stance and seek the help of Allaah, asking Him to guide him to the straight path and make him steadfast in following true guidance. 217

Thirdly: If he really loves her, then the sound way that is prescribed in shareeah is for him to marry her; there is no other option. But if he thinks of marriage he should choose one who has a good character and is religiously committed, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised. If he does not marry her, then being friends with her will lead to him doing haraam things, as he himself says happened. Indeed, if the heart remains attached in this way, even if no physical immoral actions take place, it will still affect his heart and his relationship with Allaah and his submission to Him, in a way that is worse than committing physical immoral actions. Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-Uthaymeen said: If it so happens that there is love between a man and a woman, the most effective means of warding off fitnah (temptation) and immorality is for them to get married, because his heart will still remain attached to her if he does not marry her, and that may lead to fitnah. A man may hear that a woman has a good character, and that she is knowledgeable, so he may want to marry her; or she may hear that this man is of good character, knowledgeable and religiously committed, so she wants to marry him, but the communication between the two is not done in the proper Islamic manner this is very serious. In this case it is not permissible for the man to contact the woman or vice versa, and say that he wants to marry her. Rather he should tell her guardian that he wants to marry her, or she should tell her guardian that she wants to marry him, as Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) did when he offered his daughter Hafsah in marriage to Abu Bakr and Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with them both).

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But if the woman gets in touch with the man directly, this is what leads to fitnah. Asilat al-Baab al-Maftooh, question no. 868. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 7650: She did something haraam with her husbands brother Question: My husband travels a lot for his job and is gone most of the time. When we were newly married he treated my very badly, ignored me, emotionally abused me, sexually abused me (sodomized me). Over my objections he brought his younger (19 year old) brother to live with us and I was alone with him quite a lot. We had a brief affair which I am horribly ashamed of and have repented for. Does my husband share any blame for this affair as he in a way created this situation? Years later he discovered this affair through prolonged emotional and physical interrogation and pressure. He justified all he did saying he had a right to find out about my unfaithfulness. All I have researched since tells me that he had absolutely no right to dig up the past like this when he had no reason for suspicion or to think that this affair was continuing or would be repeated. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raajioon (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return).

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Your husband has fallen into that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned us against when he warned men against entering upon (non-mahram) women. It was said to him, What about the in-law? He said, The in-law is death. The word hamw (in-law) refers to the husbands brothers and other relatives such as cousins (sons of paternal uncle). What is meant by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying The in-law is death is that there is more to be feared from him than from anyone else because he is able to reach the woman and be alone with her without anyone denouncing him for that, because no one will find it strange that he enters the house. How often we hear of regrettable incidents that occurred because of the husbands brothers entering upon their brothers wife, even cases of adultery and the wife becoming pregnant by the husbands brother. Allaah is the One Whose help we seek. It is not permissible for your husband to seek out the past and try to unearth bad things. Rather he should cover up whatever Allaah has concealed, especially after repentance from such things, because his heart will never be clear again after that, and he will think of everything you do after that as being of that nature. It was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Avoid these filthy things (sins) that Allaah has forbidden, and whoever does them let him cover himself with the cover of Allaah and repent to Allaah, for whoever tells us about his sin, we will carry out (the punishment ordained by) the Book of Allaah on him. Narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak ala alSaheehayn, 4/425; al-Bayhaqi, 8/330. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 149. 220

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was in the mosque, and called him, saying, O Messenger of Allaah, I have committed adultery. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from him. The man came to the side of his face that he had turned away from him and said, O Messenger of Allaah, I have committed adultery. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from him again, and the man again came to the side of the Prophets face that he had turned away from him and said, O Messenger of Allaah, I have committed adultery. When he had testified against himself four times, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) called him and said, Are you crazy? He said, No, O Messenger of Allaah. He said, Are you married? He said, Yes, O Messenger of Allaah. He said, Take him and stone him to death. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6430; Muslim, 1691. In some reports it says that a man who had become Muslim came to Abu Bakr and told him that he had committed adultery. He said, Repent to Allaah and cover yourself with the cover of Allaah. Then he came to Umar likewise. See Fath al-Baari, 12/125. Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: From this case we learn that it is mustahabb for anyone who finds himself in a similar situation to repent to Allaah and to conceal his action and not mention that to anyone, as Abu Bakr and Umar indicated to Maaiz. Whoever finds out about any such thing should conceal it because of the things that we have mentioned and should not expose it or refer it to the ruler, as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in this story, If you had concealed him with your garment 221

[i.e., told him to repent and keep quiet], that would have been far better for you. Hence al-Shaafai confirmed this idea and said: If a person commits a sin and Allaah conceals it, I prefer for him to conceal himself and repent, and I quote the story of Maaiz with Abu Bakr and Umar as evidence. This story shows that it is mustahabb for the one who commits a sin and then regrets it to hasten to repent from it, and not to tell anyone else about it. He should cover himself as Allaah has covered him. If it so happens that he tells someone, it is mustahabb for that person to tell him to repent and conceal that from the people, as happened with Maaiz and Abu Bakr then Umar. Fath al-Baari, 12/124, 125 Based on this: The man has no right to seek out information on the past from which his wife has repented, for the reasons outlined above. And the women should not tell her husband of what happened in the past that she has repented from; she should cover herself as Allaah has covered her. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 10374: Bus driver being alone with a woman Question: There are many women who attend courses in one of the centers for memorization of Quraan, and there is a bus that picks them up and drops them off, and the driver has 222

no mahram with him such as his wife. The question is, with regard to the first female passenger in the morning and the last female passenger in the afternoon, is their being in the bus regarded as the kind of khulwah (being alone with a member of the opposite sex) that is haraam?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. There are many fatwas from scholars which say that it is forbidden for a driver to be alone with a non-mahram woman, because of the text which states that it is haraam to be alone with a non-mahram woman, and because of the obvious evil consequences to which that may lead, whether one is going to a center for memorizing Quraan or to a mosque, so the prohibition is even stronger when going to the marketplace etc. This ruling has to do as mentioned in the question with the first female passenger in the morning and the last female passenger in the afternoon. In order to avoid any problem, there should be two female passengers who get on together first in the morning, and two who get off together last in the afternoon. There follow some of the fatwas of the scholars: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: There can be no doubt that if a non-mahram woman travels with a driver without a mahram to accompany her, this is obviously wrong and involves a number of evils which are not insignificant. The man who approves of this for his mahrams (female relatives) is lacking in religious commitment and manhood, and he has little protective jealousy (gheerah) towards his mahrams. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, No man is alone with a non-mahram woman but the Shaytaan 223

is the third one present. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2165; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, 1758). For her to ride with him in a car is more serious than being alone with him in a house etc, because he can take her wherever he wants in the city or outside the city, whether she agrees to that or goes unwillingly, and there may result from that evils far worse than simply being alone with her. The fitnah (temptation) posed by women and the evil things that result from that are well known. According to the hadeeth, I have not left behind me any fitnah more harmful for men than women. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5096; Muslim, 2740). According to another hadeeth: Beware of this world and beware of women, for the first fitnah of the Children of Israel was because of women. (Narrated by Muslim, 2742) Because of this and other similar reports, and because of what is in the public interest and what is required of us by our religion, we think that we should definite in not allowing any non-mahram woman to ride with a taxi driver unless she is accompanied by one of her mahrams or people who could take the place of a mahram or a trustworthy person who is connected to her mahram. Fataawa al-Marah al-Muslimah, 2/553, 554 Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) It is not permissible for a woman to travel with a driver who is not her mahram when there is no one else with them, because this comes under the ruling on khulwah (being alone with a member of the opposite sex). It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man should be alone with a (non-mahram) woman unless her mahram is also present. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5233; Muslim, 1341). 224

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man should ever be alone with a non-mahram woman because the Shaytaan will be the third one present. But if there is one or more other men present, or one or more other women, then there is nothing wrong with that, because there is nothing dubious in this case, since there is no khulwah when there are three or more people present. This has to do with situations that are not regarded as travelling [i.e., journeys within ones city or town etc]. With regard to travelling, it is not permissible for a woman to travel without a mahram, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No woman should travel without a mahram. (Saheeh agreed upon). It makes no difference whether the travel is by land, by air or by sea. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Fataawa al-Marah al-Muslimah, 2/556 Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen said: It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman in a car unless he is her mahram, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man should be alone with a (non-mahram) woman unless her mahram is also present. But if there are two or more women with him, that is o.k., because there is no khulwah in this case, so long as he is trustworthy and they are not travelling. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Fataawa al-Marah al-Muslimah, 2/554, 555 Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: 225

It is not permissible for a woman to travel in a car on her own with a driver who is not her mahram, whether she is going to the mosque or anywhere else, because of the stern prohibition against a man being alone with a woman whom he is not permitted to be with. But if there is a group of women with the driver, then the matter is less serious, because this is not the khulwah which is forbidden. But they must observe proper etiquette and modesty, and not joke or chat with the driver, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner [al-Ahzaab 33:32] Fataawa al-Marah al-Muslimah, 2/556, 557 And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 22917: He is addicted to pornographic pictures Question: I feel embarrassed to pose this question: I consider myself to be a good Muslim. I am a young man aged 20, I pray the five daily prayers and fast in Ramadaan, and I help those who need my help. I also make dawah to non-Muslims and tell them about Islam. But I feel like a hypocrite because of my sins. I fear Allaah a great deal and I respect the Quraan and hadeeth, but despite that I cannot stop myself from committing sin. I am addicted to looking at pornographic pictures, even 226

though I know this is haraam. I cannot stop myself. I have tried so much but every time I stop, I go back to it again, and every time I go back to it, it is harder to give it up than the time before. What should I do? Is there any sound way I can deal with this matter according to the teachings of the Quraan and hadeeth? I am sure that I can give it up, but what should I do so that my faith and willpower will be strong enough to resist this temptation? I fear Allaah a great deal and I need help. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We appreciate your confidence in us, and we ask Allaah to make us and you steadfast, and to show us the truth as truth and help us to follow it, and to show us falsehood as false and help us to avoid it, and not let it confuse us and lead us astray. My brother in Islam, we can sense from your words that you are very distressed, and that you feel that you are doing wrong. In sha Allaah this is a sign of sincerity, and the beginning of repentance, by Allaahs Leave. Each one among us needs to re-examine his situation and sincerely resolve to start to strive against his own self which enjoins him to do evil, and to arm himself with certain weapons in this struggle. We will give you some advice through which we ask Allaah to benefit us and you: Firstly: Pray to Allaah and beseech Him, and know that Allaah does not let down the one who calls upon Him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 227

And your Lord said: Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation). Verily, those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation! [Ghaafir 40:60] Persist in calling upon Allaah and making duaa to Him, and seek the times when duaa is most likely to be answered, in sujood, after praying, in the last hour of the day on Friday, and in the last third of the night when our Lord comes down to the lowest heaven and says. Where is the one who calls upon Me, that I may answer him, where is the one who seeks My forgiveness, that I may forgive him? You should not feel that there is no response, for Allaah is always near and responds to the call of the one who is distressed if he calls upon Him, and He relieves him of his distress. Secondly: Each person must strive to do more acts of worship. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds [Hood 11:114] And he should focus on prayer in particular. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, AsSalaah (the prayer) prevents from AlFahshaa (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and AlMunkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed) [al-Ankaboot 29:45] 228

Thirdly: Each person must strive to increase his knowledge of Allaah, by studying His names and attributes, and by thinking of the creation of the heavens and the earth. Then he will feel shy before Allaah. As one of the salaf said: Do not look at the smallness of the sin, rather look at the greatness of the One Whom you have disobeyed. Fourthly: You should know that the way to Paradise is difficult and needs effort and patience. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allaahs religion Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allaah is with the Muhsinoon (good-doers) [al-Ankaboot 29:69] Fifthly: Think about the benefits of lowering your gaze, and this will motivate you to correct your behaviour and will enable you to ignore the evil ideas that cross your mind and the whispers of the Shaytaan. There follow some of its benefits, which we list for you in the hope that Allaah may benefit us and you thereby: 1- Lowering the gaze is obedience to the command of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) [al-Noor 24:30], and obeying the command of Allaah brings ultimate happiness to a person in this world and in the Hereafter. 2- It purifies the heart and soul and actions. 229

3- It prevents the poisoned arrows from reaching you, for a look is one of the poisoned arrows of Iblees. 4- The one who lowers his gaze is compensated with sweetness of faith in his heart. 5- He gains sound insight through which he can distinguish truth from falsehood. 6- He will rid his heart of the pain of feeling that one is missing out, for whoever looks without restraining his glance will always feel that he is missing out. 7- His heart will be filled with happiness, joy and light that is greater than any pleasure that may be gained by looking. 8- His will free his heart of the control of desire, for the one who is controlled by his whims and desires is indeed a prisoner. 9- Lowering the gaze strengthens the mind and increases wisdom, whereas letting the gaze wander freely only makes one follish and heedless of consequences Sixthly: We advise you to read the book al-Daa wal-Dawaa by Ibn Al-Qayyim, which is a very useful book. We ask Allaah to protect us and you from being led astray, and to enable us and you to do righteous deeds. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 230

26258: Woman riding with a non-mahram man Question: What is the ruling on buying clothes for children on which there are pictures of animals and people? What is the ruling on a woman riding with her sisters husband in a car accompanied by her sister? Or riding with her husbands brother accompanied by his mother? May Allaah reward you greatly on our behalf, O Shaykh Muhammad, and join me with you and all the Muslims in Paradise for eternity. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. With regard to clothes on which there are pictures, it is haraam to wear them for adults and children, males and females, alike. See Question no. 10439. With regard to a woman riding with a non-mahram man, one of the following two scenarios must apply. 1 That she is riding on her own with him. This is the khulwah (being alone with a member of the opposite sex) which is forbidden. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade it when he said: No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present. (Narrated by Ahmad and alTirmidhi in his Sunan, 2092; also in Saheeh al-Jaami, 2546). See also question no, 2986. 2 That she is riding with a group of women and that

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non-mahram man. This is permitted, subject to two conditions: (i) That the man should be trustworthy (ii) That it should not be a journey, rather it should be inside the city. But if that is a lengthy journey then it is haraam for her to travel without a mahram, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to travel the distance of one nights travel without a man who is her mahram. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1088; Muslim, 1339. This version narrated by Muslim). Based on that, it is permissible for a woman to ride with her sisters husband if they are accompanied by her sister, and it is permissible for her to ride with her husbands brother if they are accompanied by his mother, if there is no danger of fitnah. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 12879: Ruling on a man hugging a woman Question: Is hugging permitted in Islam? to be specific hugging females be them your relatives or not? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. If the brother who is asking this question knows that shaking hands with a non-mahram woman is not permitted, then it is obvious that hugging or embracing 232

her is also haraam and is more forbidden. The ruling on a relative who is not a mahram is the same as the ruling on a stranger (non-mahram). With regard to relatives who are mahrams, such as paternal aunts and maternal aunts, it is permissible for a man to shake hands with them, but as for hugging and embracing and kissing on the mouth, this is not allowed because that may provoke desire, and disallowing it closes the door to evil. It is sufficient to kiss the head or nose. There follow some questions posed to Shaykh Abd alAzeez ibn Baaz, and his responses: 1 Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baaz was asked: I am currently living in Riyadh where I have some relatives; the relationship between them and me is very close. Among them there are the daughters of my maternal aunts and the wives and daughters of my paternal uncles. When I visit them I greet them and kiss them and they sit with me with their faces uncovered. I am bothered by this, knowing that this custom is widespread in most areas of the south. What is your opinion of this custom, and what should I do? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you with good. He replied: This custom is bad and reprehensible, and it goes against the pure shareeah. It is not permissible for you to kiss them or shake hands with them, because the wives of your paternal uncles, the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal uncle, etc., are not mahrams for you. They must observe hijaab in front of you and not appear in front of you wearing their adornments, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 233

And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts [al-Ahzaab 33:53] This verse includes both the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and other women, according to the more sound of the two scholarly opinions. Whoever says that it applies only to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is saying something false for which there is no evidence. Allaah says concerning women in Soorat al Noor: and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands fathers [al-Noor 24:31 interpretation of the meaning] You are not one of those for whom an exception is made, rather you are a stranger for the daughters of your paternal uncle and the daughters of your maternal uncle and the wives of your paternal uncles, in the sense that you are not one of their mahrams. So you have to tell them what we have said and read this fatwa to them, so that they will excuse you and will know the shari ruling on this matter. It is sufficient for you to greet them with words, without kissing them or shaking hands with them, because of the verses that we have quoted above. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, when a woman wanted to shake hands with him: I do not shake hands with women. And Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The hand of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never touched the hand of a woman; when he accepted their oath of allegiance it was by words only. And it was narrated in al-Saheehayn from Aaishah, in the story of the slander (al-ifk), that she said that when 234

she heard the voice of Safwaan ibn al-Muattal, I covered my face, but he had seen me before hijaab [before the command of hijaab was revealed]. This indicates that women used to cover their faces after the verse of hijaab was revealed. May Allaah set the affairs of the Muslims straight and bless them with understanding of their religion. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/ 77, 78 2 The Shaykh also said: There is nothing wrong with a man kissing his daughters, whether they are young or grown up, without desire, so long as that is on the cheek if she is grown up. It was narrated that Abu Bakr kissed his daughter Aaishah on the cheek. Kissing on the mouth may lead to provoking desire, so it is better and more on the safe side not to do that. By the same token a daughter may kiss her father on the nose or his head, without desire. But if there is desire then that is forbidden to all parties, so as to ward off fitnah (temptation) and block the way to evil and immorality. Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/78, 79 And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 21784: The difference between erotic dreams and looking at women Question: Erotic dreams increase desire, so what is the difference between erotic dreams and looking at non-mahram women via the TV? 235

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Comparing these two things is intrinsically false, and whatever is built on a false basis is also false, and this is due to a number of things: Firstly: The word ihtilaam (translated here as erotic dream) refers to what a person sees in his sleep, which includes a man seeing images of intercourse and imagining the sexual act in his sleep. This is something natural which all men and women see. There is nothing wrong with it and there is no sin on a person because of that. It was narrated in the hadeeth of Umm Sulaym that she asked the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about a woman who sees in her dream what a man sees. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If a woman sees that she should do ghusl. (Narrated by Muslim, al-Hayd, 469) Secondly: Erotic dreams are beyond a persons control and he has no power to prevent them. Rather is a means of the body ridding itself of excess material that may harm it if it remains in the body. Hence sometimes a person may see something in his sleep, and sometimes he may not see anything but still experience nocturnal emissions. Hence it is not haraam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned [al-Baqarah 2:286] 236

With regard to masturbation, it is haraam because it happens by a persons intention and will. See the answer to question 329. The same applies to looking at women, because this happens by a persons choice and intention, and he does it deliberately. Hence it is not allowed. Because a person is unable to prevent a sudden glance, he will not be brought to account for that, rather the sin is in following it with another glance. It says in the hadeeth: O Ali, do not follow one glance with another, for you are allowed the first but not the second. (Narrated by alTirmidhi, al-Adab, 2701; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, no. 2229). What is meant by you are allowed the first is if that does not happen intentionally, and but not the second means because it is done by your own choice, so it is a sin on you. Thirdly: Allaah has commanded the believers to lower their gaze. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) [al-Noor 24:30] The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also commanded likewise. It was narrated that Jareer said: I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about a sudden look. He said, Avert your gaze. (Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Nikaah, 1836; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, no. 1880. Hence it is obligatory to obey the command of Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 237

And let those who oppose the Messengers (Muhammads) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them [al-Noor 24:63] What people should know and believe is that Allaah does not burden people with things that are too difficult for them or impose hardship upon them. He does not enjoin any impossible commands. This includes lowering the gaze, for it is within a persons reach to obey this command. But because the way to Paradise is lined with difficult things and the way to Hell is lined with whims and desires, Allaah has made this a test and a trial for His slaves. So whoever obeys the command of Allaah and keeps away from that which Allaah has forbidden, the consequences will be good for him and he will have a good Hereafter. And the converse also applies (i.e., one who goes against Allaahs commands will have bad consequences). Fourthly: Allaah has commanded us to lower our gaze and has forbidden us to look at women because of the great evil and mischief that result from that. For looking is the harbinger of zina (unlawful sexual relationships) Allaah forbid. Hence it says in the hadeeth that Allaah has decreed for the son of Adam his share of zina, which will inevitably catch up with him, and the zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the tongue is speaking; the heart wishes and hopes and the private parts confirm that or deny it. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Qadar, 6122). So if a person lowers his gaze and refrains from looking at that which Allaah has forbidden, how could he be motivated to commit 238

immoral actions? What the Muslim must do is to keep away from everything that may lead to immorality, whether that is looking at women, or thinking thoughts that provoke and increase desire. Whoever does those things will only make more worry and distress for himself, to no avail. As the poet said: If you let your gaze wander, this will cause you a lot of heartache. You will see things that you will desire but you are unable to acquire them, yet you are unable to bear that with patience. How many looks have been fatal to the heart of the one who looked, as fatal as an arrow, but with no bow and no string. And it was said that being patient in lowering ones gaze is easier than trying to put up with the pain that comes afterwards. We ask Allaah to guide us all. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 20229: Means of helping oneself to lower ones gaze Question: My question involves a complicated issue. Here in Canada, there is a lack of morals, people, women espically wear almost no clothing. My problem is that I cannot stop looking at these so called clothed women. I know that 239

marriage is obligitory upon me, other than moving to a Muslim country(which I cannot do right now), what, if any advice could you help me in dealing with this problem. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We have said here many times that it is not permissible for one who has no legitimate shari excuse to remain in the kaafir lands. This land is filled with kufr, immorality and sin, and people there deviate from the fitrah (sound innate human nature) with which Allaah has created them. One of the immoral actions that are widespread in those countries is immoral and wanton display (tabarruj), whereby women hardly wear anything that covers them, as the questioner has said. This situation leads to haraam things and major sins, including mixing, touching and zina (unlawful sexual relationships), all of which stem from looking. Shareeah came to forbid the ways that lead to immorality, one of which is looking at non-mahram women. 1 Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) [al-Noor 24:30] Imaam Ibn Katheer said: This is a command from Allaah to His believing slaves to lower their gaze and refrain from looking at that which is forbidden to them. So they should not look at anything except that which they are permitted to look at, and they 240

should lower their gaze and refrain from looking at forbidden things. If it so happens that a persons gaze accidentally falls upon something forbidden, he should quickly avert his gaze. Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/282 2 Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts [al-Ahzaab 33:53] 3 It was narrated that Jareer ibn Abd-Allaah said: I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about a sudden glance, and he commanded me to avert my gaze. (Narrated by Muslim, 2159) al-Nawawi said: What is meant by a sudden glance is when a persons glance unintentionally falls upon a non-mahram woman. There is no sin on him for the first glance, but he must avert his gaze immediately. If he averts his gaze immediately there is no sin on him, but if he continues looking, then he will be a sinner, because of this hadeeth, for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded him to avert his gaze, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) [al-Noor 24:30] Men must lower their gaze and refrain from looking at 241

them in all circumstances, unless that is for a valid shari reason, such as giving testimony, medical treatment, wanting to propose marriage, buying a slave woman, engaging in financial transactions such as buying and selling, etc. In all these cases it is permissible to look as much as is needed, and no more. And Allaah knows best. Sharh Muslim, 14/139 Secondly: There are means which help a person to lower his gaze, and we ask Allaah to help you to do them: 1 Bearing in mind the fact that Allaah is watching you, that He sees you and is with you (by His knowledge) wherever you go. It may be a secretive glance of which your neighbour is unaware, but Allaah knows of it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Allaah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the hearts conceal [Ghaafir 40:19] 2 Seeking the help of Allaah, beseeching Him and calling upon Him (duaa). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And your Lord said: Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation). [Ghaafir 40:60] 3 You should know that every blessing you enjoy comes from Allaah, and requires that you should give thanks. Part of the gratitude for the blessing of sight means that you should protect it from looking at that which Allaah has forbidden. Is there any reward for good, other than 242

good? [cf. al-Rahmaan 55:60] Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allaah [al-Nahl 16:53] 4 Striving with your self and training yourself to lower your gaze and be patient in doing so, and not giving up. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning: As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allaahs religion Islamic Monotheism) [al-Ankaboot 29:69] The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever seeks to be chaste, Allaah will make him chaste, and whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allaah will make him independent of means, and whoever strives to be patient, Allaah will make him patient (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1400) 5 Avoiding places where a person feels he will be exposed to the temptation of looking, if he can manage to avoid them, such as going to marketplaces or malls, and sitting in the street. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Beware of sitting in the street. They said, We have no alternative; that is where we sit and talk. He said, If you insist on sitting there, then give the street its rights. They said, What are the rights of the street? He said, Lowering the gaze and refraining from causing offence (Narrated by alBukhaari, 2333; Muslim, 2121). 6 You should realize that you have no choice in this matter, regardless of what the circumstances are and no 243

matter how great the temptation or motive to do evil, and no matter what emotions and overwhelming desires stir in your heart. You must lower your gaze and refrain from looking at haraam things in all places and at all times. You cannot use excuses such as the environment being corrupt or justify your mistakes by saying that there is a lot of temptation around. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error [al-Ahzaab 33:36] 7 Doing a lot of naafil acts of worship, because doing a lot of them whilst also regularly doing obligatory acts of worship is a means of protecting ones physical faculties. According to a hadeeth qudsi, Allaah said: and My slave continues to draw close to Me with supererogatory (naafil) works so that I shall love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. (al-Bukhaari, 6137 8 Remembering that the earth on which sin is committed will bear witness. Allaah says: That Day it will declare its information (about all that happened over it of good or evil) [al-Zalzalah 99:4] 9 Remembering the angels who are recording your deeds. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 244

But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you, Kiraaman (Honourable) Kaatibeen writing down (your deeds), They know all that you do [al-Infitaar 82:10-12] 10 Bearing in mind some of the texts which forbid letting the gaze wander freely, such as the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) [al-Noor 24:30] 11 Avoiding looking unnecessarily, so that you only look at what you need to look at, and you do not let your gaze wander right and left so that it falls upon something the effects and fitnah of which cannot be got rid of quickly. 12 Marriage, which is one of the most effective remedies. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and in guarding ones chastity. And whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1806; Muslim, 1400). 13 Fasting because of the hadeeth quoted above. 14 Doing obligatory acts of worship as Allaah has commanded, such as prayer. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, AsSalaah (the prayer) prevents from AlFahshaa (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) 245

and AlMunkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed) [al-Ankaboot 29:45] 15 Remembering al-hoor al-ayn, which will give you a motive to be patient in avoiding that which Allaah has forbidden, hoping to get al-hoor al-ayn. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Companions of Equal Age [al-Naba 78:33] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If a woman of the people of Paradise were to look out over the people of this earth, it would light up everything in between and fill it with fragrance, and the veil of her head is better than this world and everything in it. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2643). 16 Bearing in mind the shortcomings of the one who is looked at and the filth and waste material they carry in their gut. 17 Being ambitious and focusing on nobler things. 18 Checking on yourself from time to time and striving to make yourself lower your gaze whilst realizing that everyone makes mistakes. 19 Thinking of the pain and regret that will result from this looking, and the effects of letting ones gaze wander. 20 Understanding the benefits of lowering ones gaze, as mentioned above. 21 Bringing up this topic in meetings and gatherings, and explaining its dangers. 22 Advising your relatives, telling them not to wear 246

clothes that attract attention and show their attractions, such as how they dress, wearing bright colours, how they walk, speaking too softly, etc. 23 Warding off passing thoughts and whispers from the Shaytaan before they take hold and are acted upon. Whoever lowers his gaze after the first glance will be saved from innumerable problems, but if he keeps looking he cannot be certain that seeds that will be difficult to remove will not be planted in his heart. 25 Being afraid of a bad end, and of feeling regret at the point of death. 26 Keeping company with good people, because you are naturally affected by the characteristics of the people you mix with, and a person will follow the way of his close friend, and a friend will pull you to follow his way. 27 Knowing that the zina of the eye is looking, and that should be sufficient to put you off. Adapted from an essay entitled Ghadd al-Basr (Lowering the Gaze) by a student of shareeah. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 23349: Prohibition on either spouse forming a relationship with someone else just for fun Question: What is the ruling concerning married muslim men who cheat on thier wives(physically or non physically) and what is the ruling concerning muslim women who knowingly have an affair with married men just for fun? 247

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: For a man to form an illicit relationship with a nonmahram woman is not just cheating on his wife, it is also a sin and an act of disobedience towards his Lord. Allaah has forbidden such relationships and has barred the ways that may lead to the greater form of immorality which is zina (unlawful sexual relationships), which is what is referred to in the question. The forbidden acts which people commit when they have such relationships are many and include being alone with that person (khulwah), shaking hands with them, looking at them, etc. These are sins which are forbidden in the texts in and of themselves, and because of the sin of zina to which they may lead. Secondly: For a Muslim woman to form an illicit relationship with a man who is not her mahram whether he is married or not is also a major sin and is worse than what is mentioned in the first part of the question, because it results in mixing of lineages and it makes the husband doubt whether his children are really his or not, which leads to a great deal of mischief. There follow the fatwas of some of the scholars concerning something that is less serious than meetings between the sexes, so what about things that are more serious? 1 Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: It is not permissible for any person to correspond with a woman who is not his mahram, because of the fitnah 248

(temptation) involved in that. The person who is sending these letters may think that there is no fitnah involved, but the Shaytaan will keep at him until he tempts the man by means of the woman and vice versa. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded those who hear the Dajjaal to keep away from him, and he said that a man may come to him as a believer, but the Dajjaal will keep at him until he tempts him and leads him astray. There is a great deal of temptation and danger in correspondence between young men and young women, so they must keep away from it, even though the questioner may say that there is no love involved. Fataawa al-Marah al-Muslimah, 2/578 2 Shaykh Abd-Allaah al-Jibreen said, when he was asked about corresponding with a non-mahram woman: This action is not permissible, because it will provoke desire between them and will make them want to meet one another. This kind of correspondence often causes fitnah (temptation) and plants the seeds of zina in the heart, which leads to evil actions. So we advise those who are seeking that which is in their own best interests and who wish to protect themselves to avoid writing to or speaking with non-mahrams, etc., so as to protect their religious commitment and their honour, and Allaah is the Source of help. Fataawa al-Marah al-Muslimah, 2/578, 579 And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 249

10532: He is worried and distressed as a result of a haraam relationship Question: i am in a very emotionally difficult situation at the moment and cannot contemplate anything but my death. i cannot think of anything about my future or anything except death but even then i do not want to die now in the hope that almighty and all merciful allah grant me mercy for the sin i have committed. the problem is that over the past few months i have grown close to a female. i had no intention to form a sinful relationship at all. The reason i got close to her was to talk her out of the idea of her killing herself. you see she has been suicidal and keeps taking overdose, i tried talking to her and teach her so she would not do this sin and save her from hellfire. but what happened is slowly things went wrong and a wrong relationship formed...we never had sex i never had any intention to have sex. she is married. but the problem that has happened is that she claims that on a occasion i entered her..i do not beleive this because i did not take my clothes off but she was partially nude i am in fear that even if i didnt enter her, i may have done a sin.but if i did then i fear i am doomed. i do not beleive her because i have found that she does not have good intentions and she may have tried the excuse if being suicidal just to get close to me... i am very disturbed now i cant sleep or do anything i regret what has happened and pray to allah for forgiveness..all i wanted to do was save someone from hell and now i may have destroyed my own self. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 250

You have to repent to Allaah from your friendship with this woman, for this sin that you have fallen into came about as a result of your taking lightly the matter of this relationship and of being alone with women. This is an act of disobedience towards Allaah which is deserving of His punishment and torment. Concerning the seriousness of this matter, please see Questions # 1114 and 9465. Secondly: make a final end to your relationship with this woman and with any other women with whom you have a relationship, because most of these relationships end up in committing zinaa which is haraam, or some other kind of physical relationship which is haraam we seek refuge with Allaah even if at the beginning it was, as you say, a chaste relationship. For the Shaytaan flows through the son of Adam like his blood. Know that being alone with a non-mahram woman can never be described as a chaste relationship. Now you must hasten to repent to Allaah sincerely, by regretting what has happened in the past, giving up this relationship and sincerely resolving never to have any haraam relationship again. This evil woman is trying to make you imagine and to convince you that you committed an immoral action with her so that she may use that as a means to make you commit immoral actions with her again. Even if what she claims were true, that you committed a haraam action with her, do not let the Shaytaan make the most of this opportunity or make you despair of the mercy of Allaah, so that he can mislead you further by making you feel that doing this again and persisting in it is not a serious matter, or make you think that repentance is too difficult. The Shaytaan is eager to make you feel this way, but the mercy of Allaah is vast, so hasten to repent. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Say: O Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed 251

against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is OftForgiving, Most Merciful [al-Zumar 39:53] Allaah forgives the sins of those who sincerely repent. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful[al-Furqaan 25:68-70] It was narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Masood that a man kissed a woman. He came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him about that. Then the aayah was revealed (interpretation of the meaning): And perform As Salaah (Iqaamat as Salaah), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice)[Hood 11:114] The man said, is this for me, O Messenger of Allaah? He said, It is for all those of my followers who encounter a similar situation. 252

According to another report: a man did something with a woman that was less than intercourse. (narrated by Muslim, al-Tawbah, 4964) Do a lot of righteous deeds, prayer and seeking forgiveness. Look for good, religiously-committed friends who will offer you an alternative to these haraam relationships. Know that the gate of repentance is open until the sun rises from the west, and that Allaah accepts the repentance of His slave until the death rattle sounds in the throat. Finally, you must hasten to take the means prescribed in shareeah to protect yourself by Allaahs leave i.e., marriage, which will keep you from falling into haraam,. May Allaah help you and us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 9465: Why is it forbidden for a man and a woman who are not mahrams to have a relationship? Question: Why cant a Muslim date? Im an extremely strict Christian but I have Muslim friend who Im trying to understand. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 253

Islam forbids a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman (one who is not his wife or a close relative) even if he is teaching her the Quraan, which is the Book of Allaah, That is because the Shaytaan (Satan) would come between them. The Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan will be the third one present. If this woman wants to hear about Islam and read about it in detail, she can look at books about Islam that have been translated into different languages, so she can take the language that she understands, then if she understands what attracts her to Islam, she can become Muslim. If she does not understand something and wants someone to explain it to her, it is permissible (for her to speak to a man) so long as there is no khulwah (being alone with a member of the opposite sex) involved so she could have a mahram (close relative) with her, or a group of women, and the man should be a trustworthy Muslim, or a group of trustworthy men who could sit with this woman and teach her about Islam so that she can understand it and proof be established for her. This is permitted. Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen Allaah wants to make the Muslims pure, hence He forbade them all means that may lead to evil, immorality and obscenity. You know that if a man is alone with a woman and starts a relationship with her, this relationship often leads to bad consequences, and that being alone with a member of the opposite sex is the way to immorality and fornication. It is not permissible for a man to praise himself and say, I will be not affected by being alone with a woman. Islam does not allow the opportunity for things to get out hand; it keeps people away from the steps that might lead to that in the first place. The rulings of shareeah were revealed for all people, it is not the point that there are cases of khulwah which do not lead to haraam actions such as touching and kissing. Why should a person expose himself to temptation? 254

Is it not the truth that if a man is alone with a non-mahram woman and there is no one else present, that something may cross the mind of either of them, even if nothing actually happens. But frequent meetings may indeed lead to something happening. In this case, shareeah closes all doors that may lead to evil. If a woman needs to speak to a man for a genuine reason, or vice versa, then that may be achieved by sending letters, without having to meet, or they may meet from behind a screen, or in the presence of others so that no khulwah will be involved. This is provided that both are modest and wear concealing garments. And Allaah is the Guide to the Straight Path. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 1578: If the child of zinaa is present, will he be a chaperone for the two who committed zinaa? Question: If one has a child with a woman, and not married to them is it permissable for them to be alone with one another (not being married at the time of conception or after the birth) The 3rd party will always be shayton, and are children suitable chaparones. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 255

We put this question to Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, who replied: They will no longer be counted as being alone together (khulwah) if there is a third person present with them, whether he is their child or someone elses, and whether he is the child of zinaa or the child of a legitimate marriage on the condition that he is above the age of discretion and is of sound mind, that there is no fear of fitnah, and that the woman is wearing full hijaab. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 7492: She wants to go out with her fiance to make sure about him so that there will not be a disaster Question: i have a question thats bothering me alot for a while now..and i recently got divorce about a year now and i have no kids, its been a year now. my question is since i didnt knew the guy before i got married and i got married to hum coz my parents thought he was nice for me..now since it happened with me i thought it would be nice if i know somebody before i get married not in a sense of dating but just talking and knowing whether he is a right person or wrong.. the point is i dont want to hurt myself or end uplike this again so my question is does islam allows a girl to pick the guy and marriage i want some information regarding this.. i would appreciate your help Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Islam has prescribed asking the fathers permission when 256

one wants to marry his daughter, whether she is a virgin or has previously been married. It is the girls right to have sufficient information about the person who wants to marry her. This may be achieved by enquiring about him through various channels, such as asking some of her relatives to ask his friends and those who know him well about him, because they may know a lot about his good and bad points which other people would not know about. But it is not permissible for her under any circumstances to be alone with him (khulwah) before marriage, or to take off her hijaab in front of him. It is well known that in such meetings the man does not show his true nature, but rather he is on his best behaviour and tries to make a good impression. Even if she were to be alone with him or to go out with him, he will not show her his true character. Many of those who go out with a fianc in this sinful manner end up in tragedy and these sinful steps, whether they were taken in private or in public, do not bring any benefits. Often the fianc will use sweet words and play with the emotions of his fiance when he goes out with her, and he shows her his best side, but when she makes enquiries about him and tries to find out more about him, she will discover something entirely different. So going out with him or being alone with him does not solve the problem. Even if for the sake of argument we were to say that it does serve some purpose in finding out about the mans character, the resulting sin and possibility of leading to bad consequences is far greater than that (potential benefit). This is why Islam forbids being alone with a strange (non-mahram) man and the fianc is still a stranger or taking off ones hijaab in front of him. We should not forget another important matter, which is 257

that after the marriage ceremony (nikaah) and before the wedding night (when the marriage is celebrated and consummated), the woman has ample opportunity to get to know the mans character up close and to make sure about him, because now it is permissible for her to be alone with him and to go out with him, so long as the marriage contract has been concluded. If she discovers something bad that she really cannot put up with, then she can ask him for Khul (divorce). But usually the outcome is not so bad, so long as one has made enquiries about the person and found out about him in a proper fashion before the nikaah. We ask Allaah to choose what is best for you and to make things easy for you wherever you are. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 1200: Evidence Prohibiting of Mixing of Men and Women Question: My husband and I wanted to know if it were permissable to take Arabic classes at a college where the classes are mixed (men-women). We understand that there is no mixing between the sexes, but confused about the definition of mixing. Please tell us what is permissable, what is not and give proof Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The meeting together, mixing, and intermingling of men 258

and women in one place, the crowding of them together, and the revealing and exposure of women to men are prohibited by the Law of Islam (Shariah). These acts are prohibited because they are among the causes for fitnah (temptation or trial which implies evil consequences), the arousing of desires, and the committing of indecency and wrongdoing. Among the many proofs of prohibition of the meeting and mixing of men and women in the Quraan and Sunnah are: Verse No. 53 of Surat al-Ahzab, or the Confederates (Interpretation of the meaning); ...for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs... In explaining this Verse, Ibn Kathir (May Allaah have mercy on him) said: Meaning, as I forbade you to enter their rooms, I forbid you to look at them at all. If one wants to take something from a woman, one should do so without looking at her. If one wants to ask a woman for something, the same has to be done from behind a screen. The Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) enforced separation of men and women even at Allaahs most revered and preferred place, the mosque. This was accomplished via the separation of the womens rows from the mens; men were asked to stay in the mosque after completion of the obligatory prayer so that women will have enough time to leave the mosque; and, a special door was assigned to women. Evidence of the foregoing are: Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said that after Allahs Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) said as-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah twice announcing the end of prayer, women would stand up 259

and leave. He would stay for a while before leaving. Ibn Shihab said that he thought that the staying of the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) was in order for the women to be able to leave before the men who wanted to depart. Narrated by al-Bukhari under No. 793. Abu Dawood under No. 876 narrates the same hadith in Kitab al-Salaat under the title Insiraaf an-Nisaa Qabl al-Rijaal min al-Salaah (Departure of Women before Men after the Prayer). Ibn Umar said that Allahs Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: We should leave this door (of the mosque) for women. Naafi said: Ibn Umar never again entered through that door until he died. Narrated by Abu Dawood under No. 484 in Kitab as-Salah under the Chapter entitled: at-Tashdid fi Thalik. Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: The best of the mens rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the womens rows is the last and the worst in the first. Narrated by Muslim under No. 664. This is the greatest evidence that the Law of Islam (Shariah) forbids meeting and mixing of men and women. The farther the men are from the womens rows, the better, and vice versa. If these procedures and precautions were prescribed and adhered to in a mosque, which is a pure place of worship where people are as far away as they ever are from the arousal of desire and temptation, then no doubt the same procedures need to be followed even more rigorously at other places. Abu Usayd al-Ansari narrated that he heard Allahs Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) say to the women on his way out of the mosque when he saw 260

men and women mixing together on their way home: Give way (i.e., walk to the sides) as it is not appropriate for you to walk in the middle the road. Thereafter, women would walk so close to the wall that their dresses would get caught on it. Narrated by Abu Dawood in Kitab alAdab min Sunanihi, Chapter: Mashyu an-Nisa Ma arRijal fi at-Tariq.We know that the intermingling, mixing and crowding together of men and women is part of todays unavoidable yet regrettable affliction in most places, such as markets, hospitals, colleges, etc., but: - We will not willfully choose or accept mixing and crowding, particularly in religious classes and council meetings in Islamic Centers. - We take precautions to avoid meeting and mixing of men and women as much as possible while at the same time achieving desired goals and objectives. This result can be achieved by designating separate places assigned for men and women, using different doors for each, utilizing modern means of communication such as microphones, video recorders etc., and expediting efforts to have enough female teachers to teach women, etc. - We show fear of Allaah as much as we can by not looking at members of the opposite sex and by applying selfrestraint. There follow some of the results of a study on mixing undertaken by some Muslim social science researchers. When we put the following question: What is the Islamic ruling on mixing as far as you know? The results were as follows: 76% of respondents said It is not permitted. 12% said, It is permitted but moral, religious, etc. restrictions apply 261

12% said, I dont know. Which would you choose? If you had the choice between working in a mixed workplace and working in another where there was no mixing, which would you choose? The responses to this question were as follows: 76% would choose the workplace where there was no mixing. 9% preferred the mixed workplace. 15% would accept any workplace which suited their specialties, regardless of whether it was mixed or not. Very embarrassing Have any embarrassing situations ever happened to you because of mixing? Among the embarrassing moments mentioned by respondents in this study were the following: I was at work one day, and I went into one department where one of my female colleagues who wears hijaab had taken off her hijaab in front of her female colleagues. My entrance took her by surprise and I was very embarrassed as a result. I had to do an experiment in the lab at university, but I was absent on the day of the experiment. I had to go to the lab on the following day, and I found myself the only male among a group of female students, in addition to a female teacher and a female lab technician. I was very embarrassed and felt very awkward with all those female eyes glaring at me. I was trying to take a feminine towel out of one of the 262

drawers when I was surprised by a male colleague standing behind me, who wanted to take something from his own private drawer. He noticed that I was embarrassed and he left the room quickly to avoid my embarrassment. It so happened that one of the girls at the university bumped into me when turning a corner in a crowded corridor. She was walking quickly, going to one of the lectures. As a result of this collision, she lost her balance, and I caught her in my arms, as if I was embracing her. You can imagine how embarrassed I and this girl felt in front of a group of careless young people. One of my female colleagues fell on the stairs in the university and her clothes fell open in an extremely embarrassing fashion. She landed upside down and could not help herself; the young men standing nearby had no option but to cover her and help her to get up. I work in a company and I went in to give some papers to my boss. When I was going out, my boss called me back. I turned around and saw him with his face turned away. I was waiting for him to ask me for a file or for more papers, and I was surprised by his hesitancy. I turned away to the left side of his office, pretending to be busy with something, and he spoke to me at the same time. I thought that this boss would say anything except what he actually said, which was to point out that my garment was stained with menstrual blood. Can the earth open up and swallow a human being at the moment of making sincere supplication? For I prayed that the earth would open up and swallow me. Victims of mixing True stories Lost hope Umm Muhammad, a mature woman over the age of 40, tells her story. 263

I lived a life of modest means with my husband. There was never any closeness and harmony, and my husband did not have the kind of strong personality that a woman would hope for, but his good nature made me overlook the fact that I was the one who was responsible for most of the decision making in the family. My husband often used to mention the name of his friend and business partner, and he would talk about him in my presence, and I often used to meet with him in his office which was originally part of our apartment. This went on for many years, until circumstances led to us exchanging visits with this person and his family. These family visits were repeated and because of his close friendship with my husband, we did not notice how the number of visits increased and how many hours a single visit would last. He often used to come on his own to sit with us, me and my husband, for long visits. My husbands trust in him knew no bounds, and as days passed I got to know this person very well, and saw how wonderful and decent he was. I began to feel a strong attraction towards this man, and at the same time I began to sense that the feeling was mutual. Things took a strange turn after that, when I realized that this man was the kind of person I had always dreamed about. Why had he come along now, after all these years? The more this mans status increased in my eyes, the more my husbands status diminished. It was as if I had needed to see the beauty of his character in order to discover how ugly my husbands character was. The matter between this person and myself did not go beyond these persistent thoughts which were occupying my mind night and day. Neither he nor I ever voiced what we felt in our hearts until today. Yet despite that my life is over and my husband is little more than a weak man with no self-esteem. I hate him and I do not know 264

how all this hatred towards him started to boil over. I wonder how I put up with him all these years, bearing all these burdens by myself, facing lifes problems on my own. Things got so bad that I asked him for a divorce, and he divorced me at my request. After that he became a broken man. Even worse than that is that after my marriage was wrecked and my children and husband were devastated, problems arose in this mans family. His wife, with her feminine intuition, realized what had been going on in his heart of hearts, and his life became hell. She was overwhelmed with jealousy to the extent that one night she left her house at 2 a.m. and came to attack my house, screaming, weeping and hurling accusations. His marriage was also about to collapse. I admit that the lovely gatherings which we used to enjoy gave us the opportunity to get to know one another at a time that was not appropriate at this stage in our lives. His marriage has been wrecked and so has mine. I have lost everything, and now I know that my circumstances and his will not permit us to take any positive step towards coming together. Now I am more miserable than I have ever been, and I am looking for illusionary happiness and lost hopes. Tit-for-tat Umm Ahmad tells us: My husband had a group of married friends, and because of our close friendship with them, we used to get together with them once a week in one of our houses, to enjoy an evening of chat. Deep down in my heart I was never really comfortable with the atmosphere in which we would have dinner, 265

sweets, snacks and drinks of juice accompanied by waves of laughter because of the jokes and chit-chats that often went beyond the bounds of good manners. In the name of friendship, the barriers were lifted and every now and then one would hear suppressed laughter between a woman and the husband of another woman. The jokes were too much, dealing with no sense of shyness with sensitive topics such as sex and womens private matters. This was usual and was even accepted and regarded as desirable. Although I indulged in these things along with them, my conscience made me feel guilty. Then the day came when it became quite clear just how ugly and filthy this atmosphere was. The telephone rang, and I heard the voice of one of the friends in this group. I said hello to him and apologized that my husband was not home. He replied that he knew that, and that he was calling to speak to me! After he suggested starting a relationship with me, I got very angry and spoke harshly to him and cursed him. All he could do was laugh and say, Dont try and show these good manners to me; go and check on your husbands good manners and see what he is doing I was devastated by what he said, but I pulled myself together and said to myself, this person is only trying to cause the break up of your marriage. But he succeeded in planting the seeds of doubt concerning my husband. Shortly after that, the major disaster struck. I discovered that my husband was cheating on me with another woman. It was the matter of life or death as far as I was concerned. I found my husband out and I confronted him, saying: You are not the only one who can have a relationship. I have received a similar proposition. And I told him all about his friend. He was stunned and absolutely shocked. 266

(I said:) If you want me to respond in kind to your relationship with that woman, then this is for that, tit-fortat. This was a huge slap in the face for him. He knew that I did not intend to do that in reality, but he realized the great disaster that had befallen our lives and the immoral atmosphere in which we were living. I suffered a great deal until my husband finally left that loose woman with whom he was having a relationship, as he admitted to me. Yes, he left her and came back to his family and children, but how can I ever feel the same towards him as I used to? Who will restore respect for him in my heart? This huge wound in my heart is still bleeding out of regret and rage at that filthy atmosphere; it still bears testimony to the fact that what they call innocent get-togethers are in reality anything but innocent. My heart still begs for mercy from the Lord of Glory. Intelligence can also be a temptation (fitnah) Abd al-Fattaah says: I work as the head of department in one of the big companies. For a long time I admired one of my female colleagues, not for her beauty, but for her serious attitude towards her work, her intelligence and her excellent achievements in addition to the fact that she was a decent and modest person who focused only on her work. This admiration turned into attachment, and I am a married man who fears Allaah and never misses any obligatory prayer. I expressed my feelings to her and she rebuffed me. She is married and has children as well. She sees no reason why I should have any kind of relationship with her, whether it be friendship, as work colleagues or based on admiration etc. Evil thoughts come to me sometimes, and deep down I wish that her husband would divorce her so that I could get her. I started to put pressure on her at work and put her down 267

in front of my bosses. Perhaps this was a form of revenge on my part, but she accepted it with good manners and did not complain or comment. She works and works; her performance speaks of her quality, and she knows this well. The more she resisted me, the stronger my infatuation grew. I am not a person who is easily tempted by women, because I fear Allaah and I do not overstep the mark with them and go beyond what is required by my work. But this woman attracted me. What is the solution? I do not know. Baby ducks know how to swim N.A.A., a nineteen-year-old girl, tells us: At that time I was a little girl. My innocent eyes watched those evening get-togethers when family friends would meet in the house. What I remember is that I could only see one man, who was my father. I watched him as he moved about the room, how his glances would devour the women present, looking at their thighs and chests, admiring this ones eyes, that ones hair, the others hips. My poor mother had no choice but to take care of these get-togethers. She was a very simple lady. Among the women present there was one woman who would deliberately try to attract my fathers attention, sometimes by coming close to him, and sometimes by making enticing movements. I would watch this with concern, whilst my mother was busy in the kitchen for the sake of her guests. These gatherings stopped suddenly and I tried, young as I was, to understand and make sense of what had happened, but I could not. What I remember was that my mother collapsed 268

completely at that time, and she could not stand to hear my fathers name mentioned in the house. I used to hear mysterious words whispered by the adults around me: Betrayal bedroom she saw them with her own eyes despicable woman in a very shameful position etc. These were the key words which only the adults could understand. I grew up and came to understand, and I bore a grudge against all men. All of them were treacherous. My mother was a broken woman and accused every woman who came to us of being a man-snatcher who wanted to make my father fall into her trap. My father hasnt changed. He is still practising his favourite hobby of chasing women, but now he does it outside the home. Now I am nineteen years old and I know lots of young men. I feel great pleasure in taking revenge on them, because every one of them is an exact copy of my father. I tempt them and entice them, without letting them get anywhere near me. They follow me in gatherings and in the marketplaces because of my movements and deliberate gestures. Sometimes my phone never stops ringing and I feel proud of what I do to avenge the sex of Hawwa and my mother. But sometimes I feel so miserable and such a failure that it almost chokes me. My life is shadowed by a huge dark cloud, and its name is my father. Before it is too late S.N.A. tells of her experience: I never imagined that my work circumstances would force me to be in contact with the opposite sex (men), but this in fact is what happened In the beginning, I used to cover and screen myself from men by wearing niqaab (face-veil), but some of the sisters advised me that this dress was attracting more attention 269

to my presence, and it would be better for me to take off the niqaab, especially since my eyes were somewhat attractive. So I removed the cover from my face, thinking that this was better. But by continuing to mix with my colleagues, I discovered that I was the odd one out because of my antisocial attitude and my insistence on not joining in the conversation and chatting with others. Everyone was wary of this lone-wolf woman (as they saw me), and this is what was stated clearly by one person who affirmed that he would not want to deal with such a snooty and stand-offish character. But I knew that I was the opposite, in fact, and I decided that I would not oppress myself and put myself in a difficult position with my colleagues. So I started to join in their chats and exchanges of anecdotes, and they all discovered that I could speak eloquently and persuasively, and that I could influence others. I could also speak in a manner that was determined yet at the same time was attractive to some of my colleagues. It was not long before I noticed some changes in the expression of my direct supervisor; with some embarrassment, he was enjoying the way I spoke and moved, and he would deliberately bring up topics in the conversation where I would see that hateful look in his eyes. I do not deny the fact that I started to entertain some thoughts about this man. I found it astonishing that a man could fall so easily into the trap of a woman who was religiously committed, so how must it be in the case of women who adorn themselves and invite men to commit immoral actions? In fact, I did not think of him in any way which went beyond the bounds of shareeah, but he did occupy a space in my thoughts for quite some time. But soon my self-respect made me reject the idea of being a source of enjoyment for this man in any way, shape or form, even if it was only psychological in nature, and I stopped getting involved in any kind of work that would force me to sit alone with him. In the end, I reached the following conclusions: 270

1- Attraction between the sexes can occur in any circumstances, no matter how much men and women may deny that. The attraction may start within the bounds of shareeah and end up going beyond those bounds. Even if a person protects himself (by marriage), he is not safe from the snares of the Shaytaan. 3- Even though a person may be able to guarantee himself and he works with the opposite sex within reasonable limits, he cannot guarantee the feelings of the other party. Finally, there is nothing good in mixing and it does not bear fruit as they claim. On the contrary, it corrupts sound thinking. What now? We may ask, what comes next, after this discussion on the matter of mixing? Its about time for us to recognize that no matter how we try to beautify the issue of mixing and take the matter lightly, its consequences are bound to catch up with us, and the harm it causes will have disastrous results for our families. Sound common sense refuses to accept that mixing is a healthy atmosphere for human relations. This is the sound common sense which made most of the people included in this survey (76%) prefer working in a non-mixed environment. The same percentage (76%) said that mixing is not permitted according to the shareeah. What makes us sit up and take notice is not this honourable percentage which indicates the purity of our Islamic society and the cleanness of its members hearts but the small number who said that mixing is permitted; they number 12%. This group, with no exceptions, said that mixing is permitted but within the limits set by religion, custom (urf), 271

traditions, good manners, conscience, modesty, covering and other worthy values which, in their opinion, keep mixing within proper limits. We ask them: is the mixing which we see nowadays in our universities, market-places, work-places and family and social gatherings, taking place within the limits referred to above? Or are these places filled with transgressions in terms of clothing, speech, interactions and behaviour? We see wanton displays of adornment (tabarruj), not proper covering; we see fitnah (temptations) and dubious relationships, with no good manners and no conscience and no covering. We can conclude that the kind of mixing that is happening nowadays is unacceptable even to those who approve of mixing in a clean atmosphere. Its about time for us to recognize that mixing provides a fertile breeding-ground for social poisons to invade and take over our society without anyone ever realizing that it is mixing which is the cause. Mixing is the prime element in this silent fitnah, in the shade of which betrayals erupt, homes are wrecked and hearts are broken. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and to reform our society. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 5583: What is the ruling on having thoughts of intercourse even before marriage Question: What is the ruling on having thoughts of intercourse even before marriage? Must one try to get rid of these thoughts qyuickly? 272

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Thinking about this matter before marriage is of no benefit. Rather it is harmful, because it usually leads to the provocation of sexual desire and doing something that is not right in order to fulfil this desire. Try to get rid of these thoughts and keep yourself busy with the remembrance of Allaah (dhikr), issues of knowledge and working to propagate the cause of Islam. We ask Allaah to help us and you to do all that is good. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 6102: Should she cut off her ties with her adopted brother who has left Islam (is an apostate)? Question: My friends brother is adopted. He was not breastfed by her mother. Her mother got him when he was 3 months old from an adoption agency. There are no blood ties between them. She is muslim, he is muslim but he reverts back to the kuffar way of life. If he backbites her and he tells lies about her to other people, Can she cut ties off with him since he is adopted and there is no blood between them from the mother or father or anybody else? DOEs she still offer him salaams even though he is a revert Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 273

This person has no ties to this family, whether through blood or through breastfeeding (radaaah). On this basis, if he is a mature and responsible adult, it is not permissible for him to mix with them and look at that which is forbidden. This is the case if he is still Muslim, let alone if he has left Islam. So it is not permissible for her to shake hands with him, or to be alone with him, or to uncover in front of him, because he is not a mahram. (See also question # 5538). She should not greet him with salaam nor return his greeting so long as he is a murtadd (apostate). We ask Allaah to keep us all safe and sound. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 5395: Women watching men on TV with no desire Question: is it haram to watch the T.V and there is televisor male in and I watch the news or any program with no other reason. is it Haram to watch male in t.v with no(shahwa) Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The Muslim has to protect his senses and faculties from everything that is of no benefit to him, let alone whatever is haraam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allaah). [al-Israa 17:36] 274

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Looking is one of the arrows of Shaytaan. Television is full of men and women who are promiscuous and immoral, and usually is not free from music and all other kinds of haraam things, so in general it is not good to look at it. May Allaah help us. As regards women looking at what normally appears of men for a specific reason and without any kind of desire, this is permissible as a number of scholars have said. But looking at the TV does not come under this heading, because there is no need for it, so women should turn away from everything in which there is no benefit, and keep themselves busy with things that will bring good consequences. And Allaah is the source of strength. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 5445: Muslim man who has relationships with non-Muslim women Question: What is Allah advise to a Muslim married man who has had several relationships with non-Muslim girls and even had sex after marriage, with ex-girlfriend Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Zinaa (unlawful sexual activity, fornication/adultery) is one of the major sins, concerning which Allaah and His 275

Messenger issued a stern warning. Allaah has warned the one who does this of a painful torment, and has stated that it is an immoral action and an evil way. This person has to repent and seek forgiveness. His repentance will not be valid unless he gives up this evil action, regrets what he has done in the past and is determined never to do it again. Zinaa on the part of a married man is worse than zinaa on the part of one who is not married, hence the punishment for a married person who commits zinaa is stoning to death. He should know that Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful [al-Noor 24:31] . And according to a saheeh hadeeth: Repentance wipes out that which came before it. Let him hasten to repent and turn to Allaah. May Allaah help him to do that and to reform himself. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 4697: Christian woman living with a Muslim outside of marriage Question: I am a 46 year old catholic who loves a 62 year old Muslim . We have been together for 15 years. We were once married and after the divorce, we got back together but never remarried. He is presently in Mecca for the Muslim Pilgrimage Mecca Ritual. Once he comes back from Mecca, what will happen to our relationship? We would like to grow old together. Do we have to get married? Can our relationship stay the same? If we have to marry, can he marry me as a Christian woman? I am not a virgin 276

as I have been with him for the last 15 years. I have never been unfaithful to him. I do not want to convert as I am comfortable as a Christian. I respect the Muslim religion and I love him for being so religious and a good person. Please help us guide us in the right direction. Thank you. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The best thing for you to do is to become Muslim, because Allaah created mankind to worship Him as He wants. He wants us to worship Him in the Islamic way. The Christian religion was right in its own time (when it first came), but it has been distorted, then Allaah abrogated it with Islam. The Muslims recognize the religion of the Messiah, may peace be upon him, but it was followed before Islam came, by a small group of people. Then Islam came and abrogated it, so it is not right to follow it now. After man dies, he will have another life. Either he will be blessed (in Paradise), if he worshipped Allaah as Allh wants, or he will be doomed (in Hell) if he went against the commands of Allaah Who created him and gave him his provision. So how can you worship Allaah by following an abrogated religion? We advise you to read good Islamic books, and you will be guided to the truth, by the permission of Allaah. Do not be deceived by the large numbers of Christians around you, or by the fact that it is the religion of your forefathers, or by the influence of the media. You have a mind of your own, so use it and do not live according to what others think. If you insist on remaining Christian, then in Islam it is permissible for a Muslim to marry a Christian woman, if she is chaste and does not engage in forbidden relationships. It is not permissible for him to live with her outside of marriage. If he does that, then he is a sinner 277

who has disobeyed Allaah by committing a serious major sin, and he deserves punishment in this world and the next. We ask Allaah to guide you and him, to make you strong and to grant you a good end. Allaah is the Guide to the Straight Path. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 4688: She had a relationship with a man and wants to marry him, but her parents refuse and her mother is crying Question: What does islam says about this case: I want to marry a muslim man..but my parents refuse him totally because he is from a different country than mine. My mother is crying all the time which hurt me a lot. I love my mother deeply and i dont want to hurt her. but i want to get married with the man i choosed because he has the necessary qualities that islam asks for: kafaa and aql plus he is a good beleiver. in addition, we have involved in a relationship that im asking allah to forgive me..and the only solution now is to get married. i always talk with my parents with extreme care, but it just takes long time, and i want to finish this relationship by marriage as soon as possible, is my obligation to my parents more important than my marriage? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 278

Obeying ones parents is obligatory, as is respecting their wishes with regard to good things. It is better to respect their wishes in this matter, and Allaah will compensate you with someone better. Your description of the man in your question, as having the necessary qualities that islam asks for: kafaa and aql plus he is a good beleiver, does not fit with the sin that he has committed by having this haraam relationship with you. Whether this relationship involved zinaa (illicit sexual contact) or not, the way out is to repent and show regret. If this relationship resulted in pregnancy, then marriage is not the solution to this problem, because in this case the child is for the bed (meaning he should be given his mothers surname and the zaani [man who committed zinaa] has nothing to do with him), as was reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If you both repent to Allaah, and you manage to persuade your family , and your guardian agrees to let you marry this man, then praise be to Allaah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Any woman who gets married without her guardians permission, her marriage is invalid (Reported and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 1021). We ask Allaah to help you to repent sincerely and to help you to do the right thing, whatever it may be. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 326: He is in love with a girl but cannot marry her Question: I am currently in a sitaution that may be common among the muslim community. I have met a wonderful Muslim 279

XXX girl six months ago, I am XXX. We talked for many months and have become very close. Actually we are in love with each other. Everything about our relationship has been wonderful.I feel Allah has brought us together. We have talked about marriage and both agree we want to spend our lives together.Now here is where the problem begins.Her father would not agree to marry her to anyone but a XXX that he has chosen in an arranged marriage.Even if she doesnt love him. I have spoken to her mother and she really likes me.She tried to talk to her husband but he wouldnt listen.Now it looks like her dad will arrange a marriage for her soon. What can we DO!!!I dont want to lose her I love her soooo much.Is there anything we can do? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Praise be to Allaah besides Whom there is nobody to praise when calamity strikes. My dear brother, you should realize that no calamity befalls a person except because of sin, and it cannot be lifted except by repentance. Despite all the hardship you are facing and the intense pain you are feeling, you still have to think about the root of the problem and understand the shari ruling on it and learn a lesson from what has happened. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself [al-Nisa 4:79] it comes from yourself because you gave yourself free rein in starting this forbidden relationship and getting to 280

know this girl in a manner that is not approved of in shareeah, and because you indulged in absolute freedom in an environment that is far removed from the laws of Allaah. Dont you see that our Lord is truly Wise and All-Knowing when He forbids men to deliberately look at non-mahram women or to touch them or be alone with them or take them as friends? Allaah knows that this leads to haraam things whether it is immoral actions of varying decrees or falling in love which is the serious and fatal disease from which you are suffering because of your sin. You have become one of its victims, suffering its pain and choking on it. You have been very frank in describing this disease from its onset, and how you fell into this devilish trap, when you said in your question: I have met a wonderful Muslim girl six months ago... We talked for many months and have become very close. Actually we are in love with each other. But you mention that you feel that Allaah has led you to one another. If you mean that this has happened by the will and decree of Allaah, then this is correct. Even Iblees exists by the will and decree of Allaah. But if you meant that Allaah decreed this because He likes it and approves of it, (this is wrong, because) Allaah does not approve of anything that is haraam. Just because something happens does not mean that Allaah likes it or approves of it. Allaah decrees good and evil for reasons which only He knows. If you say now that what has happened has happened, and cannot be changed, so what can we do about this father who is standing in the way of these two lovers who want to get married? I would say that there is nothing wrong with making efforts 281

in halaal ways, of course to persuade this father, such as bringing mediators from within the family, or the imaam of the Islamic Centre where the father goes, and so on, and praying earnestly to Allaah to make this girl part of your lot in life if this is good for you and for her. If what you want happens, then praise be to Allaah, Who is the Giver of bounty and blessings. But if all attempts fail, mediation does not work and the wind blows in the way that the sailor does not like (i.e., things do not go the way you hoped), then you should know that from the point of view of shareeah you can never marry this girl without the consent of her guardian which is her father in the case because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Any woman who gets married without the consent of her guardian, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 1102, and by Abu Dawood, Ahmad and Ibn Maajah. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 2709). The marriage contract will not be valid even if it was approved by jaahili courts and kaafir judges. It is impossible for running away with this girl to be a valid solution, either in this world or in the next. We must also ask some other questions raised by your situation, such as: what is your commitment to Islam do you pray regularly, for example? Does she adhere to the hijaab prescribed by shareeah? What is the attitude of your own family to the idea of your marrying this girl? Finally, you must realize that you will have to forget about her if she marries someone else. In that case, you should not waste your life regretting losing her. You never know where good may come from. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

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it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know. [al-Baqarah 2:216] What has happened is a mistake of which you are going to bear the bitter consequences, but you have to be sincere towards Allaah and strive to repent and turn back to Him. If this girl is not destined to be your lot in life, then we ask Allaah to compensate you with someone better than her. Verily, he who fears Allaah with obedience to Him, and is patient, then surely, Allaah makes not the reward of the muhsinoon (good-doers) to be lost. [Yoosuf 12:90 interpretation of the meaning]. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 3807: Pre-marital relationships are not permissible Question: I am in a relationship with a guy who can not make up his mind to get married. I have not yet became a muslim and I will soon We have talked about this being wrong for us to be together and if he was back in XXX, that he would not be able. I feel like wrong is wrong, and even if I hav not yet converted, that should not be the problem. His family wants him to come home, but when does a man have the right to make a choice? Maybe, because I am from the US I dont understand the whole thing about family. When you have a wife or someone to be your wife, is she not your family too?Please help me to do what is right. Salaam,

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Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is true what you have said, that wrong is wrong. In Islam, pre-marriage relationships are not permissible. We believe that adultery is not permissible not only in Islam, but also in all religions of Allah (God). I believe that the gentleman of nationality XXX whom you are seeing is not serious in getting married, because if he were, he would have married you from the very beginning. In Islam, a man must respect the will of his parents, and in some cases he must obey them. You, in your present status, are not a member of his family. When you become his wife, then you are considered to be his family. Yet even then, if a father orders his son to divorce his wife because, for example, she has bad reputation or she is not a good Muslim, he must obey his father. My advice to you is to think seriously in embracing Islam, not for the sake of this man, but for the salvation of your soul and body from Hellfire. I believe by now, you have a good idea what Islam is, putting aside the bad example this gentleman has been setting. Therefor, you should stop seeing this man and you should become Muslim. If his love to you is genuine, he will propose to you. If he doesnt, then be sure that Allah will not leave you alone, and as He guided you to his religion, He will send you a good Muslim who will cherish you and give you a decent life as a wife not as a mistress. I pray to Allah that He may enlighten your heart with Islam and guide you to make the right choice. Islam Q&A. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 284

2572: Limits of looking at ones fiance and the ruling on touching her and being alone with her. Is her permission a condition of being allowed to look at her? Question: I read the hadiths about the prophet peace be upon him allowing the man to see the woman before deciding whether to marry her or not. My questions is, what exactelly is the person allowed to see exactelly? Is he allowed to see her hair (entire head) ? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Islam commands us to lower our gaze and forbids looking at non-mahram women. This is in order to purify peoples souls and protect their honour. There are, however, certain exceptions in which it is permissible to look at a nonmahram woman for reasons of necessity, one of which is in the case of proposing marriage, because it is the basis on which a very important decision affecting a persons life will be taken. There are texts which indicate that it is permissible to look at ones fiance, as follows: From Jaabir ibn Abd-Allaah: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so. I proposed marriage to a young woman, and I used to hide where I could see her, until I saw that which encouraged me to go ahead and marry her, so I did so. According to another report he said, a young woman of Bani Salamah. I used to hide from her, until I saw that which encouraged me to go 285

ahead and marry her, so I did so. (Saheeh Abi Dawood, no. 1832, 1834) From Abu Hurayrah: I was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when a man came and told him that he had married a woman of the Ansaar. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, Have you seen her? He said, No. He said, Go and look at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansaar. (Reported by Muslim, no. 1424; and by al-Daaraqutni, 3/253 (34)) From al-Mugheerah ibn Shubah: I proposed marriage to a woman, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Have you seen her? I said, No. He said, Look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you. According to another report: So he did that, and he married her and mentioned that they got along. (Reported by al-Daaraqutni, 3/252 (31, 32); Ibn Maajah, 1/574) From Sahl ibn Sad (may Allaah be pleased with him): A woman came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allaah, I have come to give myself to you (in marriage). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) looked at her closely, then he lowered his head. When the woman saw that he had not made a decision about her, she sat down. One of his Companions stood up and said, O Messenger of Allaah, if you do not want her, then marry her to me (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 7/19; Muslim, 4/143; al-Nisaai, 6/113 bi Sharh al-Suyooti; al-Bayhaqi, 7/84) The sayings of the scholars on the extent to which one may look at ones fiance 286

Al-Shaafai (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If he wants to marry a woman, he is not allowed to see her without a headcover. He may look at her face and hands when she is covered, with or without her permission. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent [al-Noor 24:31]. He said: The face and hands. (al-Haawi al-Kabeer, 9/34). Imaam al-Nawawi said in Rawdat al-Taalibeen wa Umdat al-Mufteen (7, 19-20): When (a man) wants to marry (a woman), it is preferable (mustahabb) for him to look at her so that he will have no regrets. According to another view, it is not preferable but it is allowed. The first view is correct because of the ahaadeeth, and it is permitted to look repeatedly, with or without her permission. If it is not easy to look at her, he may send a woman to check her out and describe her to him. A woman may also look at a man if she wants to marry him, for she will like in him what he likes in her. What is permissible for him to look at is the face and hands, front and back. He should not look at anything else. Abu Haneefah permitted looking at the feet as well as the face and hands. (Bidaayah al-Mujtahid wa Nihayyat alMuqtasid, 3/10) It is permissible to look at the face, hands and feet, and no more than that. Ibn Rushd also quoted it as above. Among the reports from the madhhab of Imaam Maalik: He may look at the face and hands only. He may look at the face, hands and forearms only. A number of reports were narrated from Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him), one of which says that he may look at the face and forearms. 287

The second says that he may look at what usually appears such as the neck, calves and so on. This was quoted by Ibn Qudaamah in al-Mughni (7/454), Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in Tahdheeb al-Sunan (3/25-26), and al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari (11/ 78) The reliable opinion in the books of the Hanbalis is the second opinion. From the above, it is clear that the majority of scholars say that a man is allowed to look at his fiances face and hands, because the face indicates beauty or ugliness, and the hands indicate the slimness or plumpness (literally, fertility) of the body. Abul-Faraj al-Maqdisi said: There is no dispute among the scholars that he is permitted to look at the face.. the focus of beauty and the place at which one looks. Ruling on touching ones fiance or being alone with her Al-Zaylai (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is not permissible for him to touch her face or hands even if is sure that this will not provoke desire because she is still haraam for him, and there is no need for him to do so. In Durar al-Bihaar it says: It is not permitted for the qaadi, the witnesses or the fianc to touch her, even if they are sure that this will not provoke desire, because there is no need for that (Radd al-Muhtaar alal-Durr al-Mukhtaar, 5/237) Ibn Qudaamah said: It is not permitted for him to be alone with her, because she is forbidden and Islam only allows him to look, thus khulwah (being alone with her) remains forbidden, and because there is no certainty that nothing forbidden will take place if he is alone with her, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man is alone with a woman, but the Shaytaan is the third one present. He should not look at 288

her in a lustful or suspicious manner. Ahmad said, in a report narrated by Saalih, He may look at the face, but not in a lustful manner. He may look repeatedly, and examine her beauty, because the aim cannot be achieved in any other way. The fiances permission to look A man is permitted to look at the woman to whom he wishes to propose marriage, even without her permission or knowledge. This is what is indicated by the saheeh ahaadeeth. Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (9/157): The majority of scholars said: he is permitted to look at her if he wishes without her permission. The hadeeth scholar Shaykh Muhammad Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani said in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah (1/156), supporting this view: Similar evidence is seen in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hadeeth, Even if she does not know. This is supported by the actions of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), in accordance with the Sunnah, such as Muhammad ibn Muslimah and Jaabir ibn Abd-Allaah, both of whom hid so as to see of their fiances that which would encourage them to go ahead and marry them Note: Shaykh al-Albaani also said (op.cit., p. 156): From Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to marry a woman, so he sent another woman to look at her and said, Smell her mouth (front teeth) and look at the back of her ankles. (Reported by al-Haakim, 2/166, who said it is saheeh 289

according to the conditions of Muslim, and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. Also reported by al-Bayhaqi, 7/87. In Majma al-Zawaaid (4/507) he said, Reported by Ahmad and al-Bazzaar, and the men of al-Bazzaar are thiqaat.) In Mughni al-Muhtaaj (2/128) it says: What we understand from this report is that the one who is sent may describe to the one who sends her more than that which he himself may see, so this sending achieves more than just looking. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 2986: Khulwah of female passenger riding in taxi driven by a man Question: As-salamu alaikum. Is it halal or not for a Muslim to drive a taxi because a member of the opposite sex might be alone in the car with him which would be khulwah? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man is ever alone with a woman (khulwah) but the Shaytaan is the third one with them. (Reported by Ahmad and by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 2091; Saheeh al-Jaami, 2546). Allaah says in the story of Yoosuf, peace be upon him (interpretation of the 290

meaning): And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said, Come on, O you [Yoosuf 12:23] It is not permitted for a man to be alone with a woman to whom he is not related, whether this is in a house, office, clinic, elevator, car or any other place, because this may be the cause of him doing something haraam. Shaytaan is keen to tempt people and make them fall into haraam deeds. The fuqaha are agreed that khulwah or being alone with a woman to whom one is not related is forbidden. They said: No man should be alone with a woman who is not his mahram (a close relative to whom marriage is forbidden) or his wife, but is a stranger to him, because the Shaytaan will whisper to them and tempt them to do something that is not permitted. (Al-Mawsooah alFiqhiyyah, 19/267) It is not permitted for a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman even if he is teaching her Quraan, or to lead her in prayer if only the two of them are present. The guideline regarding khulwah is that this prohibition applies in any situation where their figures are hidden from other people (Fath al-Baari, 9/333). A taxi driver is bound to pass through empty streets or highways, and the structure of the car conceals most of the body of a person riding in it. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a forbidden conversation will not take place, or that there will not be an agreement to do something forbidden. How many tragedies and painful stories and disasters have occurred because of a driver being alone with a female passenger! The wise shareeah of Islam has taken all precautions to avoid anything that may lead to wrongdoing. It is essential to completely avoid any situation where a man and woman who are not related may be alone together. A taxi driver should not accept a female passenger who is alone, except in cases of emergency such as accidents and the like. And Allaah is the Source of strength. 291

Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 2251: Womans former boyfriend took her away from Islam Question: Assalamu Alaikum. In the event that a non-muslim woman who has been in a relation-ship with another nonmuslim and then decides to leave him for a muslim because she realised that her boyfriend does not treat her well any-more and confesses to the muslim that she loves him and wants to be married to him. Based on her assurance that she does not love and does not wish to remain with her non-muslim boyfriend anymore, the muslim decides to accept her even-though she has committed fornication with her former boyfriend, because she decided to embrace Islam. Allah forgives all past sins of a new-believer. Then, she goes back on her words as her former boyfriend convinces her not to leave him when he realises that shes leaving him for another man(his friend-its me). When this happend I was simply devastated. Here I was willing to accept her for what she is since she was willing to embrace Islam and she goes back on her assurances. How am I to Perceive this please? Furthermore, upon knowing that her boyfriend has been fooling around with other girls(not sure if he has been sleeping around), I tried to carelessly warn her without any prove that she was going to regret her decision about going back to him. Thus, I was pictured in a bad light for that. Was what I did wrong, trying to get her back, since I thought eventhough she may have a Blissful life with her former boyfriend in this 292

life, Eternal punishment is awaiting for anyone who does not embrace Islam and die a believer? Please enlighten me. May Allahs Mercy and Blessings befall you in this world and the next. Wassalam. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It seems that you are confusing matters of the heart with matters of aqeedah and religion, because you state in your question that you were emotionally devastated when this woman left you and went back to her kaafir boyfriend. You need to keep matters of belief and religion separate from your emotions and personal desires. Adhere to the limits set by Allaah, and follow His rules, one of which is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): Let no man guilty of fornication or adultery marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever; nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman; to the Believers such a thing is forbidden. [al-Noor 24:3] It is not permitted to marry such a woman unless she repents, and this woman has not repented, she has gone back to committing haraam deed with a kaafir. So do not waste your time feeling regret about her. Ask Allaah to bless you with a chaste, believing wife, one who fasts and prays and devoutly adheres to the limits set by Allaah. This is the kind of woman you should long for, not this impure woman whose interest in Islam was only a temporary, emotional affair. I also advise you to adhere to the shareeah when calling non-Muslims to Islam, and not to treat the matter of speaking to non-mahram women (women to whom you are not related) lightly. You should not start any kind of forbidden contact or relationship with them in the name of dawah. The Muslim man should 293

use indirect means of communication when calling nonMuslim women to Islam, such as giving them books or tapes, or communicating with them via e-mail, etc., within the bounds of what is right and proper. We ask Allaah to guide us all and make us content with what is halaal so that we will have no desire for anything that is haraam. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 2252: Ruling on reading stories with sexual content and looking at dirty pictures Question: Assalamu Alaikum I have a muslim friend who would wish that youd answer her question (She doesnt have AOL). Her question is Is it Haram to read about bad things? What about hearing or reading about bad stories? If it is, then what should I do to recover my bad deed? Please answer it as soon as possible! Answer: Praise be to Allaah. One of the aims of shareeah is to protect peoples honour and to preserve lineages (keep them legitimate). For this reason, marriage has been prescribed, and fornication, adultery, sodomy and lesbianism have been forbidden. All the things that may lead to the above have also been forbidden, such as looking at non-mahram women 294

(women to whom one is not closely related), mixing with them or being alone with them. Dressing improperly and forming friendships with the opposite sex have also been forbidden. All of this is aimed at preventing the provocation of desires, and at directing desires into legitimate channels instead of letting them find forbidden means of expression. One of the principles of shareeah is that whatever leads to haraam deeds is itself haraam, so everything that leads to the provocation of haraam desires is haraam, because it may lead to a person falling into fornication and adultery. Once desire has been provoked, it invariably means that a person has to find a way of satisfying it, and so he or she commits a haraam act. Reading stories and magazines with sexual content, and looking at dirty pictures and movies provokes these kinds of desires and leads to haraam deeds, so they are not allowed. We should avoid them and keep away from them. Warn your friend about this and tell her to repent by keeping away from these things and getting rid of any bad books, movies etc. that she still has. She should feel remorse for the past, and should do more righteous deeds from now on. We ask Allaah to grant us all chastity and good health, to purify our hearts and to accept our repentance, for He is the Acceptor of repentance, the MostMerciful. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 2487: Expiation for haraam sexual activity Question: As Salaam Alaikum 295

I have a serious problem. I have been muslim for a couple of years. I have a major problem controling my sexually urges. Before I was muslim I had no sex whatsoever and was a virgin. But recently I have been doing some haraam things. On 3 occasions I have payed for oral sex from prostitutes. This is all I have done. My penis has never been in a womens vagina. Is this zinnah? Am i still a virgin? Am I still muslim? What can I do to stop? Please help me! jazaakum Allahu khirun Answer: Praise be to Allaah. There is no doubt that what you have done is a kind of zinaa (unlawful sexual activity), although it is not the worst kind, so you must repent sincerely to Allaah, give up this sin, regret what has happened and be determined never to go back to it. Avoid bad friends and bad places, lower your gaze and keep your distance from women to whom you are not related (non-mahram). If you repent to Allaah, He will accept your repentance. You are still a Muslim, but you have committed an act of disobedience towards Allaah by doing this sinful act, so come back to your Lord and seek His forgiveness for what you have done. Do more good deeds to expiate for and cancel out your bad deeds, do those things that will help you to remain chaste, and hasten to marry according to Islam. Finally, we will leave you with a story from which you may learn a valuable lesson: Ibn Masood reported that a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him that he had kissed or touched a woman, or something similar, as if he was asking how he could expiate for this 296

(according to another report: a man had done something with a woman that fell short of actual intercourse. He came to Umar ibn al-Khattaab, who regarded it as something very serious; then he came to Abu Bakr, who regarded it as something very serious. Then he came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). Then Allaah revealed the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): And perform al-salaah at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e., small sins). That is a reminder (advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice). [Hood 11:114]. The man asked, Is this concerning me, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: It is concerning whoever of my ummah does this. (Reported by Muslim, may Allaah have mercy on him, in his Saheeh, 4963). According to a report narrated by Abd-Allaah, a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, O Messenger of Allaah, I fondled a woman in the furthest outskirts of Madeenah but I did not actually have intercourse with her. Here I am, judge me as you wish. Umar said to him: Allaah had covered you, you should have covered yourself (i.e., you should not have spoken of it). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not reply at all, so the man got up and left. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent a man to follow him, call him and recite to him the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): And perform al-salaah at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e., small sins). That is a reminder (advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice). [Hood 11:114]. A man who was present said: O Prophet of Allaah, is this just for him? He said, No, it is for all the people. (Reported by Muslim, 4964). And Allaah knows best. 297

Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 2085: It is forbidden to have a love relationship with anyone except ones husband Question: Dear Sheikh, I am a Muslim female. Two years ago I went through a love experience with a young Muslim man,who was divorced. I liked him,and in fact I loved him. Then he asked me for making love, so I told him that I dont do that as I am religious and that this is zinah. So he told me i have to make love to you then i will marry you. Anyway, for two years, he is pushing me and twisting my arm to make love with him and that then he will marry me and i keep on refusing sex before marriage. In spite of all of that I am a strong Muslim and I can stand torture for not to commit any sin with him. My question is that how can I forget the torture and the very unfair behaviour he caused me and what is the status of this man in Islam? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Praise be to Allaah Who has saved you from this man. However, you should not have entered into any kind of relationship at all with him, not even meeting or speaking with him. He is a stranger to you, who is not related to you in any way, and Islam does not allow any kind of love relationship with anyone except ones legitimate 298

husband. Repent to Allaah from what has happened, and keep away from this man completely, especially since it it quite obvious to you how bad he is and how eager he is to commit haraam deeds and pursue fallen women. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and grant us good health. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 217: Mixing or travelling with the husbands brother Question: 1. What is the position of a woman when her husband invites his brother to dinner, does she eat dinner with them, can she serve him? 2. Is the husbands brother maharam, can she travel with him? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. 1. A wife is permitted to serve her husband and his guests if she is wearing complete hijaab and nothing of her body can be seen. She is also permitted to sit with them so long as there is no sitting alone with one non-mahram* man, wanton display or other cause of temptation involved. As far as eating with them is concerned, if this involves uncovering some part of her body, then she should not eat with them. 2. The husbands brother is not a mahram. The various 299

types of mahram have been described in the Quraan, and this matter has already been explained under question # 316. On this basis, it is not permitted for her to travel with him. In view of the seriousness of the matter of non-mahram men, especially the husbands relatives, entering upon women, and the fact that so many people take this matter lightly, there follow a few words of important advice: Warning against non-mahram relatives entering upon women in the absence of their husbands Some homes are not free of the presence of relatives of the husband who are not mahrams of his wife. They may be living with him for a number of reasons, such as brothers who are students or bachelors. These men enter the house without there being any sense of something strange, because they are known to the neighbours as relatives of the head of the household. The neighbours know that this is a brother, or nephew or uncle. This casual approach leads to many immoral deeds that earn the wrath of Allaah because the limits that He has prescribed are not being adhered to. The basic principle in this matter should be the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Beware of entering upon women. A man of the Ansaar asked, O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about the brother-in-law? He said, The brother-in-law is death. (Reported by alBukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 9/330) Al-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: This hadeeth refers to all the relatives of the husband apart from his father and sons, who are mahrams for the wife and she is allowed to be alone with them; they are not described as death. It refers to the brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and other relatives of the husband whom she would be permitted to marry if she were not already 300

married. Because people customarily treat this matter so lightly, and a man may sit alone with his brothers wife, the brother-in-law is likened to death, and he is the foremost among non-mahram men who should be prevented from doing so. The expression the brother-in-law is death may have a number of meanings, such as the following: That being alone with a brother-in-law may lead to religious doom if it results in sin. That it may lead to actual death if an immoral deed is committed that dictates the punishment of stoning. That it may spell disaster for the woman if her husbands jealousy leads to divorce. That you should fear being alone with a non-mahram woman as much as you fear death. That being alone with a non-mahram woman is as terrible as death. All of this stems from the fact that Islam wants to preserve families and households, and prevent anything that could lead to their destruction. What do you say now, after hearing the warning of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about those husbands who say to their wives: If my brother comes and I am not here, show him into the sitting-room or a woman who says to a male visitor: Go into the sitting room - when there is no-one else present in the house? To those who take the idea of trustworthiness as an excuse, and say things like, I trust my wife and I trust my brother or my cousin, we say: do not trust too much and do not doubt too much, but know that the hadeeth No man sits alone with a (non-mahram) woman, but the Shaytaan is the third among them (reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1171) 301

includes both the most righteous of people as well as the most immoral of people, and that Islam makes no exceptions whatsoever in such reports. A real problem This is the problem: a man marries a woman and brings her to his familys home, where she lives happily with him, then his younger brother starts to enter upon her when her husband is absent, and they begin to talk in an affectionate or even passionate manner. This leads to two things: she begins to detest her husband, and grows attached to his brother, but she cannot divorce her husband, or do what she wants to with the other. This is the grievous torment. This story represents one aspect of corruption, besides which are other kinds which reach the level of immoral sexual conduct and illegitimate children. In answer to the second question, a woman is not permitted to travel with her husbands brother, who is not her mahram, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: A woman should not travel unless she is with a mahram, and no man should enter upon a woman unless she has a mahram with her. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1729). Among the conditions of a mahram for travel purposes are: he should be someone whom she is permanently forbidden to marry, such as her grandfather, father, brother, paternal uncle, nephew, etc. And Allaah knows best. * Translators note: mahram refers to a blood-relative to whom marriage is permanently forbidden, such as a womans father, brother, son, uncle, etc. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 302

591: Abnormal relationship between women Question: I am a believer and I am in love with a believer. We are both women and have already had children who we are taking good care of, but their fathers have deserted us . We both want to live as good muslims, but we love each other so much . We have been told culturally that our love is an abomination, however we cannot find anything in the Quran which condemns us or our actions. We are hurting no one. We are employed. We are educating our children and nurturing our families. We know the passage in the Quran about Soddem and Gommorah, but that appears to deal with the rape of men by men. It does not speak to monogamous love between two women. We love Allah and want to do his will. We need more information about our situation. Answer: Just as illicit sexual relations can occur between men, they can also occur between women. The Muslim fuqahaa call this sihaaq (lesbianism), which they define as sexual relations between one woman and another (al-Mufassal fi Ahkaam al-Marah by Zaydaan, 5/450), and state that it is a punishable offence (the punishment is a form of discipline for disobedience; no specific punishment is given in the Quraan, so the punishment is to be set by the Qaadi according to the circumstances of the crime and the one who commits it). The lesbians testimony is unacceptable because she is a evildoer (al-Mawsooah al-Fiqhiyyah, 24/253). Ibn Qudaamah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: If two women masturbate one another, then they are cursed 303

fornicators (al-Mughni 10/162). Some of the scholars, like al-Izz ibn Abd al-Salaam say that a lesbian is not permitted to look at a Muslim woman, and that a Muslim woman is not permitted to uncover (take off her hijaab) in front of a lesbian, because she is an evildoer who cannot be trusted not to describe her to others. If what is described above is the nature of the relationship between the two women mentioned in the question, then they must repent sincerely to Allaah and stop their evil actions. If their being together in one place will lead to them committing this sin, then they must never meet, so as to avoid this wrongful act. Their husbands desertion of them may be one of the reasons for them falling into this kind of perversion, because they have no legitimate way in which to fulfil their desires and so they have resorted to this haraam way. So they must think seriously of finding Muslim husbands with whom they can live in the way prescribed by Islaam. As for love, this is a different kind of sin, which need not necessarily be associated with physical desire. It is dangerous because it leads to the lover worshipping the beloved, so that he thinks only of the one he loves, cannot bear to be parted from him by day and dreams about him at night; he lives and dies for his sake, and may change when he sees him and become sick when he is absent. This kind of relationship destroys a persons mental health and destroys his relationship with his Lord, because it makes the lover worship his beloved and it is haraam to worship anything other than Allaah. The solution to this disastrous situation is total separation, so that one will never see that person, or hear news of him again. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 304

671: In love with a none-believer Question: I am in love with a non believer and I dont want to stop seeing her. What are the options that I have. I thank you tremendously for you time. Answer: Al-hamdu lillaah You have two options; Your first option is: The woman must be a chaste kitaabiyya (be among people of the book, i.e. Christian or Jewish), and in that case you can marry her following what Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): and chaste women among the believers and chaste women among those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) Al-Maidah 4:5. The second option you have is that she converts to Islam and then you marry her. Otherwise, remember the hell fire, and remember what Allaah said in the Quraan (interpretation of the meaning): And do not marry Al-Mushrikat ( idolatresses, etc.) until they believe ( worship Allaah alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress, etc.) even though she pleases you. And give not your daughters in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon until they believe (in Allaah alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik ( idolater, etc.), even though 305

he pleases you. They (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and Forgiveness by His leave, and makes His aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations) clear to mankind so that they may remember . Al-Baqarah, verse #2:221 The meaning of a slave woman who believes is better than a non-believer is simply that she is better than a non-believer who is (free) even if the non-believer pleases you, even if she pleases you, EVEN IF SHE PLEASES YOU! We ask Allaah to show you the truth, and to guide you back to it. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the prophet Muhammad ). Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com)

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Chapter 4 Praised Manners


33749: Advice to women who spend most of their time in the kitchen Question: Many women spend most of their time in the kitchen, busy preparing various kinds of food, which takes a lot of time. Can you offer any advice to the Muslim woman concerning that?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The believer should be keen to make the best use of his time and not to waste it. Many women, as mentioned in the question, spend hours and hours in preparing various kinds of food. The believer should reduce his food intake and his main concern should not be to enjoy whatever he desires of food and other things, even if it is permissible. Umar ibn al-Khattaab entered upon his son Abd-Allaah and found him eating meat, and said, What is this meat? He said: I fancied it. Umar said: Every time you fancy something, you eat it?! It is enough extravagance for a man that he eats whatever he fancies! May Allaah be pleased with them. The Muslim should limit himself to what he needs of food, and not go beyond that. Moreover, the time that a Muslim woman spends in preparing food could be used in remembering Allaah or 307

reciting Quraan whilst she works. it should also be noted that if her intention when preparing food is sound, namely to serve her husband and children, then that is an act of worship for which she will be rewarded. Shaykh Abd al-Azeez Aal al-Shaykh said: Her work in her house is an act of worship to Allaah, and her doing her household duties and taking care of her children are an act of worship to Allaah, so she is in a state of worship, in sha Allaah. So she should make the most of the time in order to remember Allaah; it is permissible to remember Allaah whilst preparing food, praise be to Allaah. Majallat al-Buhooth, 58/81. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 34829: How can a person know if his Lord is pleased with him? Question: Is there anything that will tell a person that his Lord is pleased with him?. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Among the signs that the Lord is pleased with His slave is that He guides him to do good deeds and avoid haraam things. This is confirmed by the words of Allaah: While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their piety [Muhammad 47:17] 308

As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allaahs religion Islamic Monotheism) [al-Ankaboot 29:69] But if a person is hindered from doing good deeds and avoiding haraam things we seek refuge with Allaah then that is a sign that Allaah is not pleased with him. Allaah has also explained in His Book that the sign of His being pleased with His slave and of His guidance is that He opens his heart to true guidance and true faith. And the sign of misguidance and being far from the Straight Path is distress and constriction in the heart. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And whomsoever Allaah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allaah puts the wrath on those who believe not [al-Anaam 6:125] Ibn Abbaas said, commenting on this verse: And whomsoever Allaah wills to guide: He opens his heart to Tawheed and belief therein. Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/175 Another sign of Allaahs love for His slave and His being pleased with him is that He makes him beloved to His slaves. Al-Bukhaari (3209) and Muslim (2637) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: When Allaah loves a person, He calls out to Jibreel: Allaah loves So and so, so Jibreel loves him. Then Jibreel calls out to the people of heaven, Allaah loves So and so, so love him. So the people of heaven love him and he finds acceptance on earth. Al-Nawawi said: and he finds acceptance on earth means that people love him and are pleased to see him, 309

so their hearts incline towards him. It says in another report: and he finds love on earth. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 30864: Different kinds of humility Question: I suffer from an inclination to be arrogant towards people and to feel superior towards them, and I would like to be humble. I hope that you can tell me something about the virtues of humility and its various types so that Allaah may open my heart towards it. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Humility is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah can bestow upon His slave. He says (interpretation of the meaning): And by the Mercy of Allaah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harshhearted, they would have broken away from about you [Aal Imraan 3:159] And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character [al-Qalam 68:4] This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah 310

be upon him) being a true slave of Allaah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allaah and compassion towards the slaves of Allaah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant. Al-Majmoo al-Kaamilah li Muallafaat al-Shaykh alSadi, 5/442, 443 There are many means of attaining humility, which no Muslim adopts but he will attain this characteristic. They were explained by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim as follows: Humility comes from knowing about Allaah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and ones faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allaah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allaah gives to those whom He loves, honours and draws close to Him. Al-Rooh, p. 233. There are many reports which speak of the reward of humility. For example: It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allaah increases His slave in honour when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status). 311

Narrated by Muslim, 2588. Al-Nawawi included it in a chapter entitled: The recommendation of forgiveness and humility. Al-Nawawi said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status). This is understood in two ways: the first is that He will raise him (in status) in this world, and give him status in peoples hearts because of his humility, and give him a high status in peoples eyes. The second is that what is meant is his reward in the Hereafter, where his status will be raised because of his humility in this world. The scholars said: It may be that both are meant, (and that his status will be raised) both in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allaah knows best. Sharh Muslim, 16/142. Humility may mean various things, such as: 1. A person humbling himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah, doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids. Ibn al-Qayyim said: Because a person may hesitate to obey His commands out of laziness, thus behaving in a reluctant way in an attempt to flee from servitude towards Allaah, and his soul may have the desire to commit haraam actions, but when the person humbles himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah, he will humble himself to true submission (uboodiyyah). Al-Rooh p. 233. 312

2. Humbling oneself before the might, majesty and power of Allaah. Ibn al-Qayyim said: Every time he feels that he is great, he remembers the might of Allaah and that might belongs to Him only, and he remembers His intense anger against those who compete with Him in that, then he humbles himself before Him and submits to the might of Allaah. This is the ultimate humility and inevitably includes the first type of humility mentioned above, but the converse can never apply (i.e., this type of humility inevitably leads to the first type, but a person may submit to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah but he does not humble himself before His might). The one who is truly humble is the one who is blessed with both. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek. Al-Rooh, p. 233. 3. Humility in ones dress and manner of walking. It was narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whilst a man was letting his garment drag out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3297. It was also narrated by al-Bukhaari (5452) and Muslim (2088) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah. According to the version narrated by al-Bukhaari: Whilst a man was walking in a garment admiring himself with his hair nicely combed, Allaah caused (the earth) to swallow him up and he will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection. 313

4. Humility towards one who is of a lesser status and helping him It was narrated that al-Bara ibn Aazib said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was moving soil with us on the day of al-Ahzaab, and I saw him with dust covering the whiteness of his stomach, and he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) was saying, (O Allaah)! Without You, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allaah!) send tranquility (Sakeenah) upon us as they (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend affliction (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but would withstand them). And he raised his voice whilst saying it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6809; Muslim, 1803. 5. Humility in interactions with ones wife and helping her. It was narrated that al-Aswad said: I asked Aaishah what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do in his house, and she said: He used to serve his family and when the time for prayer came he would go out and pray. al-Bukhaari, 644. Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: This shows that we are encouraged to be humble and not arrogant, and that a man should serve his family. Fath al-Baari, 2/163 6. Humility towards the young and joking with them. It was narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the best of people 314

in character. I had a brother whose name was Abu Umayr. He said, I think he was weaned, and when he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) came he would say, O Abu Umayr, what happened to the nughayr (a small bird that he kept as a pet)? Narrated by alBukhaari, 5850; Muslim, 2150. Al-Nawawi said: The nughayr is a small bird. This hadeeth teaches us many things, such as being kind to small children. This demonstrates the good character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and how he was of noble character and humble. Sharh Muslim, 14/129 7. Humility towards servants and slaves It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If the servant of one of you brings his food and he does not want to make him sit and eat with him, then let him offer him a morsel or two, because he has prepared it and served it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2418 and 5144; Muslim, 1663. We ask Allaah to make us among those who humble themselves before His might. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 11440: Arguments with her husband she is asking how to become a righteous wife Question: I am a new muslimah and am fromthe U.S. I have been 315

raised not to let a man controll me. Now the problem is that my husband is not from here and we tend to argue alot.I know more of the laws and common everyday things more than he does.His english is not that great, so, I have to explain to him sometimes and he is used to how his country and culture are, so, in public I tend to do the talking alot.This makes him mad sometimes but I feel it is the only way to get things done right most of the time. Now we argue alot and I dont know how to be the wife that I am supposed to be Islamically. I am still in the learning process, but that is were I have my biggest problem.How can I change that or try to make the problem better. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: We praise Allaah for guiding you to Islam, which is the greatest blessing that Allaah can bestow upon His slaves. We would like to tell you that Allaah has given you rights over your husband, and has enjoined upon you duties towards him. You can read question no. 10680 to find out more about this. You have to do the duties towards your husband which Allaah has enjoined upon you. Islam regards the husbands rights as great because of the husbands great importance in building the Muslim household, and because Allaah has enjoined him (the husband) to look after his familys interests and take care of them. The Muslim woman should be wise in her dealings with her husband, because man usually is pleased with kind words and appreciates kind treatment. So if that 316

comes from his life-partner, that will have a greater effect. The wise woman must also keep away from all kinds of behaviour that will offend her husband, and rid herself of every kind of action that annoys him, and try not to control him. The man has the role of qawwaam (protector and maintainer), and the responsibility is his. Making him feel that he is falling short in certain situations may make him angry and not treat his wife well. One of them said: The best wife is the one who knows how to create harmony in her marriage and strikes a balance between obeying and respecting her husband and expressing her own strong personality. Your speaking to people on his behalf because he does not speak your peoples language well is permissible according to shareeah, but as stated above, you have to be wise in doing this. When doing these things you should not make him feel that he is lacking or that he is not important. Rather you should refer to him when speaking to the people, and consult with him, and do not make decisions in his presence without asking his permission. You should do that in front of the people to whom you are speaking so that he will feel that he is important. Try to make him feel that he speaks his own language better than you do, and that you complement one another; and you can help him to learn your language, and he can help you to learn his language. This is what we advise you to do, and this is what may reduce his anger and stop him from behaving in this manner. It seems that it is only a matter of time, and you have to be careful in handling this situation until he becomes more fluent in your language and is able to do things himself, on his own. Secondly: In order to become a good wife, you have to learn what 317

Allaah has enjoined upon you, so that you can do it. You have to know how righteous women behave, their attitude and the way they interact with their husbands. You will need to strive hard until you get used to it, but it is not impossible. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Knowledge comes by learning, and patience comes by trying to be patient. Whoever seeks goodness will be given it, and whoever fears evil will be protected from it. Narrated by al-Daaraqutni in alAfraad; this is a hasan hadeet, as was stated by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 2328. Some of these characteristics and attitudes are those of which a wise mother advised her daughter before marriage, which is comprehensive advice. We ask Allaah to help you to achieve this. That mother said to her daughter: O my daughter, you are leaving your house in which you grew up, and going to live with a man whom you do not know, a companion whom you are unfamiliar with. Be like a slave woman to him and he will be like a slave to you. Remember ten characteristics which will be a stored treasure for you: The first and second are to be devoted to him and be content, listen to him and obey. The third and the fourth are to consider his nose and eyes; do not let him see anything ugly of you, or let him smell anything but a good fragrance. The fifth and the sixth are consider the time of his sleeping and eating, for hunger burns and disturbance of sleep causes anger. The seventh and the eighth are to look after his wealth and to take care of his family and his dependents. 318

The ninth and the tenth are to look after his wealth and take care of his dependents. Thirdly: The husband has to fear Allaah his Lord, and not transgress the rights of his wife. He should give her her rights as Allaah has enjoined upon him. He should realize that people vary, and that what he knows, many people are ignorant of, and what he is ignorant of, many people know. For him to have a wife who will translate for him and show him what will benefit him and how things are done is better for him than having someone with him whom he cannot trust. Knowledge can only be acquired by learning, and the way to learn is by striving and working hard. Advise him to try to control himself at times of anger, and not to get angry unless you have transgressed one of the sacred limits of Allaah. This is the kind of anger that is regarded as praiseworthy. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 27196: She became Muslim but her family did not; should she honour her family even though they mistreat her? Question: I became Muslim when I was young. My father threw me out of the house so I moved to a Muslim country with my husband to live there. I still keep in touch with my mother. Is there any sin on me for not keeping in touch with my father, knowing that he tells people I am a prostitute and he is threatening to kill me and my family?.

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Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We praise Allaah for having guided you to Islam. Undoubtedly Allaah has blessed you greatly by choosing you from among your family to be the first of them to enter this religion. We ask Allaah to make you the cause of them also entering Islam. What you have done of calling your family to Islam is what Allaah has enjoined upon you; they take priority over others when it comes to dawah and telling them the truth. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Say (O Muhammad): This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allaah, i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah Islamic Monotheism with sure knowledge). And Glorified and Exalted be Allaah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah; those who worship others along with Allaah or set up rivals or partners to Allaah) [Yoosuf 12:108] And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred [al-Shuara 26:214] The person who calls others to Allaah should be gentle and subtle in his approach, especially with his family. Allaah has commanded us to treat our parents kindly, even if they are kaafirs and call us to kufr. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 320

Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Quraan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided [al-Nahl 16:125] And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents; but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do [al-Ankaboot 29:8] If any of them does not respond, his misguidance is his own problem and Allaah will not make the daaiyah accountable for any of his sin. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear anothers burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning) [al-Isra 17:15] What you did, migrating to one of the Muslim countries and getting married, was the right thing to do. The Muslim cannot usually maintain his or her religious commitment in a hostile environment where he or she is a stranger; it is especially hard for a woman who has no power and no strength except with Allaah. This difficulty is demonstrated by what your father did, throwing you out of the house when he found out that you are a Muslim, Your keeping in touch with your mother and asking after 321

your father is something for which you deserve praise; this is something that Allaah has enjoined upon you. The rights of parents are great, so do not cut off your ties with them, even if they mistreat you. Try to get in touch with your father and speak kindly to him; perhaps that will be a cause of his being guided and will dispel the hardness in his heart towards you. With regard to your fathers threats, do not pay any attention to them and do not worry about them; nothing will happen to you or your husband or your family except that which Allaah has decreed for you. So take precautions and seek refuge with Allaah, for He is the Best of protectors and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. With regard to his slander and accusations against you, this comes under the heading of the kaafirs persecution of the Muslim. The honour of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was slandered when his wife and our mother, the Mother of the Believers Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was accused of adultery; and it was said that he was a sorcerer, a soothsayer and a madman. Similar accusations were made against his brother Prophets as well. Be patient and trust that Allaah will give you a way out and will relieve you of your worry; seek His help and always make duaa to Him and turn to Him, for He is the Best of supporters and helpers. We ask Allaah to make you steadfast in adhering to His religion and to increase you in guidance, insight and knowledge. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 8844: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the establishment of the Islamic society Question: How and with what degree of success was 322

muhammed(s.a.w)able to establish a stable community in medinah 632ce. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Undoubtedly the society that was established by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Madeenah was an example of a stable and secure society. That was manifestly apparent from the moment the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) first set foot in Madeenah and stated to form the Islamic state. The security and stability of this society were due to a number of reasons and factors, including the following: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) built the mosque in Madeenah as soon as he arrived there, which helped to establish a focal point to which people could turn when calamities struck, and a place where the Muslims could gather to meet one another and find out about one another, so they could find out who was sick and go to visit them, attend the funerals of those who died, help their poor and arrange marriages for those who were single. These are some of the ahaadeeth concerning that: It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah, he ordered that the mosque should be built, and he said, O Banu Najjaar, name me a price for this garden of yours. They said, No by Allaah, we will not seek its price except from Allaah. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2622; Muslim, 524) It was narrated that al-Bara ibn Aazib said: [The verse] and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it [al323

Baqarah 2:267 interpretation of the meaning] was revealed concerning us Ansaar. We used to own date palm trees. A man would bring (the harvest) from his date palms, whether it was a little or a lot. A man would bring one or two bunches of dates and hang them in the mosque. Ahl al-Suffah or according to a report narrated by Ibn Maajah, the poor among the Muhaajireen had no food, so if one of them got hungry he would come and strike the bunch with his stick, and ripe and unripe dates would fall, and he would eat them. But there were some uncharitable people who would bring a bunch of dates that contained rotten or dried-up dates, or a bunch that was damaged, and hang it up. Then Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein [alBaqarah 2:267] He said: if any one of you were to be given something like they gave, he would not accept it unless he did so with his eyes closed or out of shyness. He said, after that one of us would bring the best dates that he had. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2987; Ibn Maajah, 1822. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2389. Secondly: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established brotherhood between the Muhaajireen (the Emigrants who had come from Makkah) and the Ansaar (helpers, the Muslims in Madeenah). This action strengthened the bonds between the members of the Madeenan society in a manner previously unheard of. The 324

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established bonds of brotherhood between non-Arabs and Arabs, between free men and former slaves, between people of Quraysh and members of other tribes. So the society became one entity, after which it was not surprising that an Ansaari would ask a Muhaajir to take half of his wealth, or an Ansaari would offer to divorce one of his wives so that a Muhaajir could marry her, or a Muhaajir would inherit from an Ansaari, because of the strength of the bonds between them. Then inheritance between them was abrogated by the verse on inheritance, but the Ansaar were encouraged to bequeath something to them. This was an exemplary society. There follow some of the ahaadeeth concerning that: 1 It was narrated that Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Awf (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When we came to Madeenah, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established bonds of brotherhood between me and Sad ibn al-Rabee. Sad ibn al-Rabee said: I am the wealthiest of the Ansaar, so I will give you half my wealth, and see which of my wives you would prefer, I will divorce her for you, and when she becomes permissible you can marry her. Abd al-Rahmaan said to him, I do not need that. Is there a marketplace where people trade? He said, The marketplace of Qaynuqaa. So the next day Abd al-Rahmaan went there and took some cottage cheese and ghee, and he did that the next day. It was not long before And al-Rahmaan came with traces of yellow (perfume) on him. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Have you gotten married? He said, Yes? He said, To whom? He said, A woman from among the Ansaar. He said, How much was the mahr? He said, A gold piece equal in weight to a date stone (or a date stone of gold). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be 325

upon him) said to him, Give a wedding feast (waleemah), even if with one sheep. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1943. 2 It was narrated from Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that when the Muhaajireen came to Madeenah, a Muhaajir would inherit from an Ansaari to the exclusion of the Ansaaris own relatives, because of the bonds of brotherhood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had established between them. When the verse And to everyone, We have appointed heirs [al-Nisa 4:33 interpretation of the meaning] was revealed, that was abrogated. And the phrase To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood) [al-Nisa 4:33 interpretation of the meaning] has to do with the covenant of helping, supporting and advising one another. So the rights of inheritance no longer apply, but they may bequeath to one another. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2170. Thirdly: Zakaah was prescribed in the second year of the Hijrah, which made the rich and poor more equal and increased the coherence of the Madeenan society, and the bonds of brotherhood for the sake of Allaah became stronger than before. Indeed, the matter went further than zakaah to include voluntary charity. It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Abu Talhah was the wealthiest of the Ansaar of Madeenah in terms of palm trees, and the dearest of his wealth to him was (the garden of) Bayraha, which was opposite the mosque. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to enter it and drink from good water that was to be found there. 326

Anas said: When the verse By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness here it means Allaahs reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allaahs Cause) of that which you love [Aal- Imraan 3:92 interpretation of the meaning] was revealed, Abu Talhah got up and went to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, O Messenger of Allaah, Allaah says By no means shall you attain AlBirr (piety, righteousness here it means Allaahs reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allaahs Cause) of that which you love and the dearest of my wealth to me is Bayraha. (I give it in) charity for the sake of Allaah, hoping to earn its reward with Allaah, so dispose of it, O Messenger of Allaah, as Allaah shows you. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Well done, that is a profitable deal, that is a profitable deal. I have heard what you said and I think that you should distribute it among your relatives. Abu Talhah said, I shall do that, O Messenger of Allaah, and he distributed it among his relatives and the sons of his paternal uncles. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1392; Muslim, 998 So the signs of harmony appeared among the Muslims in Madeenah, and the Muhaajireen recognized the rights that their Ansaar brothers had over them. There are a number of ahaadeeth concerning that, including the following: It was narrated that Anas said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah, the Muhaajireen came to him and said, O Messenger of Allaah, we have never seen any people more generous when they have the means and more helpful when they have little than the people among whom we have settled. They have looked after us and they have let us join them and share in all their happy occasions, to such an extent that we are afraid that they will take all the reward. The 327

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Not so long as you pray for them and praise them. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2487; classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2020. Allaah created loved between the hearts of the people of Madeenah, and love for the sake of Allaah was one of the symbols of the people that Allaah enjoined upon them and made it one of the signs of perfect faith. It was narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 13; Muslim, 45. It was narrated that al-Numaan ibn Basheer said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The believers, in their mutual mercy, love and compassion, are like a (single) body; if one part of it feels pain, the rest of the body will join it in staying awake and suffering fever. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5665; Muslim, 2586. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 9242: Helping an old woman in her home Question: If a old woman has converted to islam, is it permisseble for a young muslim man to go to her home, because he wants to help her in cleaning her home and washing her clothes, cooking and so on? Is it allowed to go to her to teach her Islam at her own home?. 328

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly: We must note that Islam forbids entering upon nonmahram women. The evidence for that is as follows: It was narrated from Uqbah ibn Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Beware of entering upon women. A man from among the Ansaar said, O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think of the in-law? He said, The in-law is death. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4934; Muslim, 2172) The in-law refers to relatives of the husband who are not mahrams for the wife. It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: No man should be alone with a (nonmahram) woman and (a woman) should not travel except with a mahram. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2844; Muslim, 1341). Secondly: The Shaytaan may make a woman, even if she is old, appear attractive in the eyes of a young man or old man, or vice versa, and may make him gradually fall into immoral actions. There are many stories that illustrate this. Thirdly: It is better for one of these young men to delegate his wife or sister or daughter, or some of the Muslim sisters, 329

to do this good deed. This is better than a man serving her (the old lady). It is better and more effective for women to deal with women than for men to do so, especially when it comes to matters having to do with rulings that affect women. But if there are women (who can do this), then it is permissible (for a man) to serve her, on condition that he not be alone with her. So one or more other brothers should go with you, and that should also be subject to other shari conditions such as hijaab etc., and you should only stay with her for as long as is necessary. Fourthly: May Allaah reward you greatly for this good deed. We ask Allaah to make us and you and all the Muslims steadfast. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 2424: The importance of being truthful Question: What is the importance of being truthful, both in personal and business relationships, in Islam? Is lying ever considered and acceptable action? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Being truthful means speaking the truth and also saying things that reflect reality. Being truthful is one of the necessities of a human society, 330

one of the virtues of human behaviour, and brings great benefits, whilst lying is one of the major elements of corruption in human society, and the cause of the destruction of social structure and ties, one of the most evil features of bad conduct, and causes widespread harm. Hence Islam commanded truthfulness and forbade lying. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are true (in word and deeds). [al-Tawbah 9:119] Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said (2/ 414): It means: be truthful and adhere to truthfulness, and you will be among its people and will be saved from calamity, and this will make a way out for you from your problems. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): if they had been true to Allaah, it would have been better for them. [Muhammad 47:21] Abd-Allaah ibn Masood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allaah as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth). Beware of telling lies, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hellfire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allaah as a liar. (Reported by Muslim, 4721) This hadeeth indicates that truthfulness leads to righteousness (al-birr), an all-embracing concept that includes all kinds of goodness and different kinds of 331

righteous deeds. Immorality is basically an inclination towards deviation from the truth, and the immoral person (faajir) is one who is inclined to turn away from the path of guidance. Hence immorality and righteousness are diametrically opposed. Al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: I memorized from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt, for truthfulness is certainty and tranquillity, whilst lying is doubt and confusion. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2520; al-Nisaai, 8/327; and Ahmad, 1/200) In the lengthy hadeeth of Abu Sufyaan describing his meeting with Heraclius, Abu Sufyaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: [Heraclius] said, What does he [meaning the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] command you to do? I said, He says: worship Allaah alone and do not associate anything in worship with Him, and abandon that which your forefathers did. He commands us to pray, to be truthful, to be chaste and to uphold the ties of kinship. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1/30 and Muslim, 1773). Hakeem ibn Hizaam (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Two parties to a deal have the option of changing their minds until they part; if they are open and honest, their deal will be blessed, and if they conceal and tell lies, the blessing of their deal will be diminished. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4/275 and Muslim, 1532.) Truthfulness includes being truthful towards Allaah by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful towards ones own soul by making it adhere to the laws of Allaah; and being truthful with people in ones words and by keeping 332

ones promises, and in dealings such as buying, selling and marriage, so there should be no deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information. Thus a person should be the same on the inside and the outside. As regards lying, it is highly forbidden, and is of varying degrees of abhorrence and sin. The most obnoxious form of lying is falsely attributing things to Allaah and His Messenger, because this involves fabrication about the religion and is an act of outrage against Allaah. Hence one of the characteristics of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that he truthfully conveyed that which Allaah commanded him to convey. So Allaah said (interpretation of the meanings): who does more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allaah, to lead mankind astray without knowledge. Certainly Allaah guides not the people whi are zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) [al-Anam 6:144] And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allaah? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, These are the ones who lied against their Lord! No doubt! The curse of Allaah is on the zaalimoon (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.). [Hood 11:18] Equally bad is lying about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as he is reported to have said in the mutawaatir hadeeth: Whoever lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell. (Agreed upon). The basic rule with regard to lying is that it is not permitted, but there are certain circumstances in which 333

Islam permits lying to serve a greater purpose or to prevent harm. One of these situations is when a person mediates between two disputing parties in order to reconcile between them, if reconciliation cannot be achieved in any other way. Um Kalthoom (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: He is not a liar who reconciles between people and conveys something good or says something good. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2495). Another example is a mans speaking to his wife, or a woman speaking to her husband, with regard to matters that will strengthen the ties of love between them, even if that is accompanied by exaggeration. Asma bint Yazeed said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Lying is not permitted except in three cases: a mans speaking to his wife to make her happy; lying at times of war; and lying in order to reconcile between people. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1862; he said: it is a hasan hadeeth. See also Saheeh Muslim, 4717). One of the most important forms of both being truthful and lying is in the area of promises and covenants. Being truthful in promises and covenants is one of the characteristics by which the believers are known. Both promises and covenants involve saying something about an issue to confirm that you will do it, especially with regard to ones duties towards Allaah. Allaah says, praising some of His slaves (interpretation of the meanings): Those who are faithfully true to their amaanaat (all the duties which Allaah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts, etc.) and to their covenants. [al-Muminoon 23:8] and who fulfil their covenant when they make it [al-Baqarah 2:177] 334

Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allaah [i.e., they have gone out for jihad (holy fighting), and showed not their backs to the disbelievers], of them some have fulfilled their obligations (i.e., have been martyred), and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed [i.e., they never proved treacherous to their covenant which they concluded with Allaah] in the least. [al-Ahzaab 33:23] We ask Allaah to make us sincere and truthful in word and deed. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 21673: Should he focus on purifying his heart or on doing naafil acts? Question: Which is more important dealing with feelings and thoughts that Allaah dislikes, such as destructive envy, hatred, arrogance, showing off, thinking highly of ones deeds, hard-heartedness, etc., which form the evil that resides in the heart, or focusing on doing outward naafil deeds such as prayer, fasting and other acts of worship and fulfilling vows even though those other things are present in the heart? Please advise us, may Allaah reward you with good. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Some of the acts mentioned are obligatory, and those 335

which are obligatory should be given precedence, as Allaah says according to the hadeeth qudsi narrated from His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): My slave does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined on him. Then He says: And My slave continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. Outward physical acts are not valid and acceptable unless they are accompanied by appropriate actions of the heart, because the heart is like the king and the physical faculties are like his troops. If the king is evil his troops will also be evil. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: In the body there is a piece of flesh: if it is sound the whole body will be sound and if it is corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Similarly the (hidden) actions of the heart inevitably affect the (visible) physical actions. So precedence must be given to that which is more obligatory, whether it is called inward or outward. Perhaps things that are called inward may be more obligatory, such as refraining from destructive envy and arrogance, for that is more essential than observing naafil fasts. Or acts that are described as outward or physical may be better, such as qiyaam al-layl (praying at night), which is better than simply giving up some thoughts that may cross ones mind such as (nondestructive) jealousy, etc. Inward and outward deeds support one another, and prayer keeps one from doing evil actions and generates fear of Allaah, and has other important effects. It (prayer) is the best of good deeds and charity. And Allaah knows best. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), Majmoo al-Fataawa, 6/381 So there is no separation between correcting what is inward and correcting what is outward or physical. The outward acts of worship which a person performs 336

with his physical faculties if he does them for the sake of Allaah will undoubtedly have an effect on his inward nature. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Shall I not tell you of something that will take away the evil of the heart? Fasting three days of each month. (Narrated by al-Nasaai, 2386; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaai, 2249). The evil of the heart refers to rancour, hatred and destructive envy. One of the most important remedies for diseases of the heart is to study and ponder the texts which include warnings to the one who leaves these diseases to fester in his heart, such as the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No one will enter Paradise who has an atoms-weight of arrogance in his heart. (Narrated by Muslim, 91). And the hadeeth according to which Hell will say, My share is the arrogant. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4850; Muslim, 2846) And the hadeeth: On the Day of Resurrection the arrogant will be gathered like ants in the form of men. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2492; classed as hasan by alAlbaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2025). And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The disease of the nations who came before you has started to spread among you: destructive envy and hatred. These are the shavers. I do not mean that they shave hair but they shave away religious commitment. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something which if you do it, you will love one another. Spread (the 337

greeting of) salaam amongst yourselves. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2510; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2038). Whoever ponders with true insight such warnings about the diseases of the heart will undoubtedly strive to cleanse his heart thereof, and will seek help in doing so by doing outward physical acts, praying to his Lord to cleanse his heart of hatred, destructive envy, rancour and so on, as Allaah says, describing the prayer of the believers: and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed [al-Hashr 59:10 interpretation of the meaning] And Allaah knows best. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com) 22006: Ruling on accepting an invitation, and the conditions for doing so Question: Sometimes I am invited to a meal or to a party. What should I do if these gatherings are mostly filled with backbiting, slander, showing off and competing in clothes, where they make fun of those who wear simple clothes (like me)? There may also be gossip, and I have housework to do (I dont want to bring a servant, but nearly everyone who attends these parties has a servant so she has free time). My husband and my house need me, and every moment I spend at home matters in sha Allaah. This is my primary mission. I also want to spend any extra time I have in 338

reading Quraan or a useful book. I dont want to attend worldly gatherings whose harm, as I see it, outweighs the benefits if there are any benefits. Please advise me, how should I deal with this? What suitable excuse can I give for not attending, if I have the right not to attend? What should I do if the hostess of the party looks down on me and enjoys seeing me in an embarrassing situation and talks about me? Do I have to accept her invitation? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (1164) and Saheeh Muslim (4022) that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: The rights of a Muslim over his fellow Muslim are five: returning greetings, visiting the sick, attending funerals, accepting invitations, and saying Yarhamuk Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on you) when he sneezes. The scholars divided the invitations which the Muslim is commanded to accept into two categories: 1 Invitation to a wedding party (waleemah). The majority of scholars said that it is obligatory to accept such an invitation, unless there is a legitimate shari excuse some such excuses will be mentioned below, in sha Allaah. The evidence (daleel) that it is obligatory to accept these invitations is the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (4779) and Muslim (2585) from Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The worst kind of food is the food of a wedding feast that is withheld from those who would come and to which people are invited who mayrefuse it. Whoever does not accept the invitation has disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger. 339

2 Invitation to various kinds of gatherings other than wedding-feasts. The majority of scholars say that accepting these invitations is mustahabb, and no one differed from that apart from some of the Shaafais and Zaahiris, who said it is obligatory. If we say that it is strongly mustahabb that is close enough. And Allaah knows best. But the scholars have stipulated conditions for accepting an invitation; if these conditions are not met then it is not obligatory or mustahabb to accept the invitation, rather it may be haraam to attend. These conditions were summed up by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen, who said: 1- There should be nothing objectionable (munkar) in the place where the party etc. is to be held. If there is something objectionable and it is possible to remove it, then it is obligatory to attend for two reasons: to accept the invitation and to change the objectionable thing. If it is not possible to remove it then it is haraam to attend. 2- The person who invited him should not be someone whom it is obligatory or Sunnah to forsake (such as one who openly commits immoral actions or sin, where forsaking him may be of benefit in bringing about his repentance). 3- The person who invited him should be a Muslim. If he is not, then it is not obligatory to accept the invitation, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The rights of a Muslim over his fellow Muslim are five 4- The food offered should be permissible for us to eat. 5- Accepting the invitation should not lead to ignoring a more important duty; if that is the case then it is haraam to accept the invitation. 340

6- It should not cause any trouble to the person who is invited. For example, if he needs to travel or to leave his family who need him there, and so on. (al-Qawl alMufeed, 3/111). Some scholars added: 7- If the host issued a general invitation, saying that everyone is welcome, then it is not obligatory to accept the invitation. From the above it should be clear to you that you do not have to accept such invitations, rather it may be haraam for you to do so, if you cannot change the reprehensible things (munkar) or if your attending the gatherings will affect your duties towards your husband and children and prevent you from taking care of them as you are supposed to do. Moreover you will not be safe from their evil and harm. This is an excuse which frees you from having to accept invitation which you are obliged to accept, let alone those which are not obligatory at all. Women should also note that they have to ask their husbands permission to go out to parties etc. to which they are invited. You should advise these sisters to try to make the best use of their time and their gatherings in ways that will benefit them either in religious or worldly terms. For the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned us of the consequences of attending gatherings in which Allaah is not mentioned. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No people sit in a gathering in which they do not remember Allaah or send blessings upon their Prophet, but they will regret it, if He wills He will punish them and if He wills He will forgive them. (Narrated by alTirmidhi, 3302; he said, this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. It was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh alTirmidhi, 3/140) 341

In Sunan Abi Dawood (4214) and elsewhere it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: People who get up from an assembly in which they did not remember Allaah will be just as if they had got up from a donkeys carcass, and it will be a cause of grief to them. (Classed as saheeh by al-Nawawi in Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 321, and by al-Albaani). Convey this advice to them, either verbally or in writing. In addition, you could invite them to your house and make the most of this opportunity to hold a dhikr circle, in addition to doing some permissible things that they will like. Perhaps Allaah will make you the means of starting a good trend of benefiting from such gatherings. And Allaah is the Source of strength. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 12212: Did children climb upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during prayer? Question: Is there a sunnah of the holy prophet regarding him allowing children to climb upon him during prayer and where can I find it? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It was proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere, in the 342

hadeeth of Abu Qutaadah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray whilst carrying Umaamah, the daughter of Zaynab, the daughter of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). When he prostrated, he would put her down, and when he stood up he would pick her up again. According to one report: I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) leading the people in prayer, with Umaamah bint Abil-Aas on his shoulders. When he bowed he would put her down and when he stood up from prostrating he would pick her up again. Shaykh Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr Al-Nasaai (1141) narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Shaddaad that his father said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out to us for one of the evening prayers (Maghrib or Isha), carrying Hasan or Husayn. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came forward, put the child down and said Takbeer (Allaahu akbar) to start the prayer. Then he prostrated during the prayer and his prostration lasted for a long time. My father said: I raised my head and saw the child on the back of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so I went back to my prostration. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished praying, the people said to him: O Messenger of Allaah, during your prayer you prostrated and it took a long time, until we thought that something had happened, or that you were receiving Revelation. He said, Nothing happened, but my son was riding on my back and I did not want to hurry him up until he had had enough. (Saheeh al-Nasaai, 1093). 343

Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islamqa.com) 4334: How to deal with a brothers wife who has a bad attitude Question: I have a brother wife Who has no respect for any-one even her husband and I live with them - can I say something to her to change her attitude . If she refuses, what shall I do? Do I give her Slam. Jazaka Allah Khira. Answer: Praise be to Allaah. A kind word opens the doors to peoples hearts and removes enmity from them, and tolerance, forgiveness and sincerity restore love between people. When a person speaks a kind word and turns a blind eye to bad treatment, he earns peoples respect and makes the one who has done something bad apologize for his bad behaviour or stop persisting in it. Undoubtedly some people may choose a way of dealing with people that they themselves would not like to be dealt with, and they think that being tough and confrontational is what will make people respect them. When a person insists on persisting in sin, and faces harsh criticism, he finds himself lost in a vicious circle of hatred and revenge, so he can no longer tell right from wrong or true from false. So nobody can advise him, because whatever is said is taken as the opening of a 344

confrontation or a continuation of enmity, and he is always watching and waiting for trouble. It is safer in this case to think about how we are going to deal with such a person, so we leave him alone for a while, trying to calm his fears of criticism and being called to account. We use some kind words, gentleness and smiles to make him feel that we forgive him and care about him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e., Allaah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! He between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality), except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e., Paradise, and in this world of a high moral character).[Fussilat 41:35] Leaving the person alone does not mean cutting all ties and refraining from returning greetings or talking to him; what it does mean is avoiding mixing with him so that we give him the opportunity to prepare himself to accept advice. Then we can start by mentioning his good points and saying what good things we wish for him and the hopes we have for him. Then we can give him advice (naseehah) in an appropriate manner, without hurting his feelings, offending him or boring him. We should do this in the hope of earning reward from Allaah, and with patience and tolerance. From our behaviour and good treatment we should set an example to the one whom we wish to advise. We should listen to the direction given by Allaah to His Messenger (interpretation of the meaning): Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e., dont punish them).[al-Araaf 7:199] 345

Rushing to condemn and criticize without looking for the appropriate moment usually leads to the opposite of the desired results. Humility and a gentle approach lifts barriers and removes aggression and hostility. According to a saheeh hadeeth narrated by Ayaad (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Allaah has revealed to me that you should be so humble that no one oppresses another or boasts to another. (Reported by Muslim, 2865). Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 1169: Differing from the mushrikeen with regard to the beard Question: I know that we are supposed to let our beards grow in order to be different from the mushrikeen, but nowadays they let their beards grow too. What is your opinion? Answer: Praise be to Allaah. It is waajib (obligatory) to let the beard grow, and shaving it is haraam (forbidden). Imaam Ahmad, al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others narrated from Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Be different from the mushrikeen: let your beards grow and trim your moutsaches. Ahmad and Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 346

Cut your moustaches and let your beards grow: be different from the Magians. Persisting in shaving ones beard is a major sin (kabeerah); the one who does this should be advised against it, and his action should be denounced, especially if he is in a position of religious leadership. The idea of being different from the Magians and other mushrikeen does not mean being different from them in every single thing, particularly if they happen to be doing something righteous or good in accordance with the fitrah (natural inclinations of man). What is meant is that we should be different from them in matters where they have gone astray and deviated from the truth and the dictates of the fitrah, and gone against the way of the Prophets and Messengers by shaving their beards. We should differ from them in this case by letting our beards grow and cutting our moustaches, following the guidance of the Prophets and Messengers, and in accordance with the fitrah. It is proven that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Ten things are part of the fitrah: cutting the moustache, letting the beard grow, cleaning the teeth with a siwaak, rinsing the nose with water, cutting ones nails, washing between the finger-joints, plucking the armpit hairs, shaving the pubic hair and cleaning ones private parts with water. (Reported by Ahmad, Muslim and the four authors of Sunan, from the hadeeth of Aaishah, may Allaah be pleased with her). Even if the kaafiroon start letting their beards grow, this does not mean that the Muslims are allowed to shave theirs, because as we have stated above, the idea is not to be different from them in everything, only in the things in which they have deviated from the truth and from the fitrah. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com) 347

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