Giving Zakat ul-Fitr to the Masjid

The following question was put to a marja`:

Is it permissible to maintain masjids with Zakah ul-Fitr or wealth meant for it?

The marja`, Imam Muhammad Zahid Al-Kawthari (d. 1371 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, said the following on the topic:

This question was put forward by `Abdul Maqsud Muhammad and the answer was printed in the number of the issue in the month of Safar Al-Khair in the year 1366AH in Al-Azhar Magazine.

The noble teacher put a personal stamp on this answer and said, “The Imams have differed in that matter. Some consider it permitted while another party forbid it but the evidence for those who take the position of prohibition is weak. As for the understanding that it is permissible, this is based on the strong evidence on the matter.”

The claim that permissibility is based on strong evidence is their understanding so that this made the answer like begging the question. He made the permissibility revolve around all acts of righteousness but not maintaining the masjids.

You can see the following statement from Ibn Hubairah Al-Hanbali[1] on the topic:

“The scholars have unanimously agreed on that it is neither permissible to discharge the Zakah for the building of a masjid nor the enshrouding and burying of the dead; this is even if it is the near relative that has Zakah set aside for that individual.”[2]

By “unanimously” he is referring to the Consensus of Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas, Ash-Shafi`ii and Ahmad ibn Hanbal and their students on the impermissibility of discharging the Zakah to the masjid. This shows the agreement of those before them on the matter from the fiqh scholars of the Companions and Followers.

Imam Malik ibn Anas in Al-Mudawwanah is quoted as saying,

“It is not permissible that any of the individual’s zakah be given for the burial shroud or interment of the deceased as this type of Sadaqah is only for the destitute, the needy and the rest that Allah has mentioned. This form of sadaqah is not to be given for the dead nor the building of the masjids.” [3]

Ibn Hazm[4] mentioned in Al-Muhalla:

“When the topic of Zakat ul-Fitr is discussed, one of the grades is ‘striving in the Cause of Allah in the literal sense.’ ” [5]

This is a hadith of `Ata’ ibn Yassar being made reference to on the topic. Ibn Hazm further said, “The hadith runs, It is not permissible to give this type of Sadaqah to a wealthy man except a fifth given to the warrior marching out in the Cause of Allah. This is based in the hadith.” [6]

The argument being put forward is that the intent of “in the Cause of Allah” is that the Zakah may be discharged to the individual that is a warrior marching out to war. The author of Al-Muhalla goes on to say,

“There is no dispute in that He, Exalted be He, was not making reference to every type of righteousness in the topic of people deserving to receive Sadaqah. Thus Zakah is not to be given except when there is a clear text and this was already mentioned by ourselves beforehand.” [7]

This refers to the warrior and he is specifically mentioned in the ayah under the heading of in “the Cause of Allah” in the aforementioned hadith which was collected by Malik ibn Anas, `Abdur-Razzaq As-Sana`ani, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.

This is evidence that the sense of “Cause of Allah” makes clear reference to the warrior as the context of the word and the ayah is agreed upon among the fiqh scholars of the Companions, their Followers and those after him up until the time of Ibn Hazm.

Al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn Al-`Arabi[8] said in Ahkam ul-Qur’an:

“Imam Malik said, ‘The Causes of Allah are many but I do not know of any dispute in that the intent of the Cause of Allah in the ayah here is none other than war.’ ” [9]

After citing the hadith of `Ata’ ibn Yassar previously referenced, Imam Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan Ash-Shaibani said in Al-Muwatta’,

“Muhammad has said, ‘By this understanding we know that the warrior is who is being referenced in the Cause of Allah.’ ” [10]

Imam Badr ud-Din Al-`Aini[11] has said in `Umdat ul-Qari:

“Ibn Al-Mundhir explained in his text Al-Ishraf: ‘The statement of Abu Hanifah and Al-Qadi Abu Yusuf is that the expression in the Cause of Allah refers to a warrior who is not wealthy and is enriched.

Abu Thawr narrated from Abu Hanifah that the warrior is less than the Hajj goer. Ibn Battal mentioned that this is the statement of Abu Hanifah, Malik and Ash-Shafi`ii. A similar statement was mentioned by Imam An-Nawawi in his commentary on Al-Muhadh-dhab.’

Ibn Al-Mundhir attributed to Abu Hanifah and his companions that they made it a condition that the warrior be poor in order for him to be a recipient of the Zakah as mentioned in the ayah.

The intent of this is clear and the ruling is that it is praiseworthy to give Zakah to the poor warrior headed out to battle as we have narrated from Imam Muhammad.” [12]

In deducing the evidence for the companions of Ash-Shafi`ii on that the intent of ‘in the Cause of Allah’ refers to warfare, Imam Yahya An-Nawawi in his Al-Majmu` said the following:

“Our Companions deduce as proof that the understanding is use. The immediate and first meaning of the expression ‘in the Cause of Allah, Exalted be He,’ goes to warfare. Most of what has come in the Mighty Qur’an using this expression refers to warfare.

The Companions of the School also deduce as proof of this the hadith, ‘Sadaqah is not permitted for the wealthy one except in the case of the fifth to be given.’ And of the categories he mentioned was the warrior. And of the eight categories mentioned in the ayah, no one has been given the title of combat besides those given a portion ‘in the Cause of Allah.’ ” [13]

The reality in the Revealed Law is immediately seen by the understanding used by the people of the Revealed Law.

[1] 499-560 AH (AD 1105-1165). He is Abul Muzaffar Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn Hubairah Ash-Shaibani Al-Baghdadi. Hanbali marja` and extensive writer on the topic of Usul ul-Fiqh.

[2] Al-Ifsah, pp. 106-108

[3] Al-Mudawwanah, vol.2, pp. 59-60

[4] 384-456 AH (AD 994-1064). He is Abu Muhammad `Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Sa`id ibn Hazm ibn Ghalib Al-Farsi Al-Qurtubi. Persian man of letters, he attempted to revive and popularise a contrived madhhab. He is often used by liberals and false academics in quoting bizarre legal understandings or for dispensations on agreed upon matters. cf. Ibn Al-`Imad in Shadharat udh-Dhahab, vol.3, pp. 296-299

[5] Al-Muhalla, vol.6, pp. 149-151

[6] Al-Muhalla, vol.6, pp. 149-151

[7] Al-Muhalla, vol.6, pp. 149-151

[8] 468-543 AH (AD 1076-1149). He is Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al-Ishbili Al-Maliki. Contemporary and student of Hujjat ul-Islam Al-Ghazzali, he is the author of many famous works and a high level authority in the Maliki school of fiqh. cf. Ibn Al-`Imad in Shadharat udh-Dhahab, vol.4, pp. 139-141

[9] Ahkam ul-Qur’an, vol.1, pp. 394-397

[10] Al-Muwatta’, pp. 177-179

[11] 762-855 AH (AD 1361-1451). He is Abu Muhammad Badr ud-Din Mahmud ibn Ahmad ibn Musa ibn Ahmad Al-`Aini Al-Hanafi. Hadith commentator and Hanafi marja`, he was Cairo’s most senior fiqh and hadith scholar in his time. He wrote the indispensable Hanafi commentator on Al-Bukhari, `Umdat ul-Qari Sharh Sahih il-Bukhari.

[12] `Umdat ul-Qari fi Sharh il-Bukhari, vol.4, pp. 390-392

[13] Al-Majmu` Sharh ul-Mahadh-dhab, vol.6, pp. 210-212

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Secularism and Anti-Theism

Every one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock

By Imam `Abdullah An-Nuri [1]

The Missionaries of Secularism and Anti-Theism have waged war against us with their astrayness and they have found in our youth acceptance of their astrayness. The reason for this is that these youth are ignorant of the Religion, knowing neither its’ value nor teachings.

These same missionaries are trying to completely destroy these values and uproot them from the hearts of the babies and youth so that a generation shall come in which these youth will now be men malleable to every call and ready to go to war for them.[2]

Based upon this, the armed West has opened the doors to these missionaries and called the Ummah – both in the East and the West – so that they might replace the current culture with the new one.[3]

The Muslims who are ignorant of their religion rejoice in this squawking and open their hearts in order to take it in, both the hearts and minds of these people begin to take heed of this message.

The Pure and Unadulterated Islam has more right to such acceptance and adherence from the Muslims and that they might enjoin their children to follow it. The same Islam has made each and every individual from the Ummah a shepherd and directly responsible for everyone in his flock.

The One sent with this Religion, the Conveyer and the Teacher,[4] peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and each and every one of you is responsible for his flock.”[5]

When the responsible people neglect this duty, the next generation is laid waste. When one lays waste to the future generation this will in turn impact the future of this Ummah.

Let everyone be responsible, righteous and pious – whether it is the father, brother or teacher – to those under his responsibility. Let him command them with righteousness and do so in front of them and not act in a contradictory manner.

This is especially the case with regards to impressionable children, as they are more likely to submit to and follow such a call from Secularist missionaries, whether they are boys or girls.

Impressionable children have a natural level of acceptance towards goodness when they are taught in a manner showing them how to be righteous and the matter is explained where they can come to see the goodness in it.

The guardian teaches the small child truth so that he does not lie, commands him with justice so that he does not commit oppression, forbids him from doing things that are not good. When he forbids him from doing something wrong, he should be sure not to himself commit that same wrong in front of him.[6]

The reason for this is that the small child is a mirror and this contradiction leads the child to do so as the father or guardian is older than him. In circumstances such as these, the child follows the guardian or parent without evidence and knowing the reasons for the said action.

The small child imitates the guardian and believes in the perfection of the one giving him his upbringing. He will boast to his friends about what was taught to him by his father, paternal uncle, maternal uncle or his older brother and what he does or how he imitates one of these people.[7]

Much of the actions committed by the father are internalised in the small son, who upon gaining his majority does what his father had done without reflection, care and without understanding the reason why. He will not even care about the consequences of committing these said actions. He merely follows.

Much of what has damaged the young boys and girls and has corrupted them as young men and women is precisely the imitation of those responsible for them. These young children have followed these adults on account of their not being able to find those who would set them straight after being crooked or take them from their mistakes and show them what is correct.

The father is involved in his delights to his heart’s content but the situation of the sons and daughters of his household does not concern him. He will only come to them – the sons or daughters – bringing food and clothes, thinking that this is all that is required in life.

This same father leaves them free reign to do as they please, so they grow up exactly how he left them. The short term outcome of this is bad for the family and evil for society in the long term.

Where is the one who knows his Religion so that he might rightly raise the one who has no religion? Where is the man committing to memory etiquettes and such while there is someone without any etiquette whatsoever?

And where would he get the understanding to follow his original culture when his parent or guardian is happy to rush towards the very thing that opposes all of what he knows?

And where is the enlightened and upright individual who knows of no error in his Religion and is aware of his obligations and the conditions of the creation around him? How could such a one even exist when the one responsible for him is ignorant of the actual Religion that would teach the child these matters?

This situation does not differ from one place to another. It is as much in the house as it is in the school. It is just as much the blame of the father as it is the teacher.[8] The father or teacher does not command with righteousness but instead command is exercised over him.

He does not forbid the wrong. Instead, he is forbidden to do such things.[9] The visible signs of the Religion are not established in the home or the school, so the child is neither here nor there. What traces remain of the Religion are here and there and nothing complete.

So then here come the missionaries of Secularism and Atheism,[10] ever vigilant and waiting for the slightest chance to administer their poison. They know the poison is ready for injection when they find the two twins of ignorance and neglect present in the same people.

It is even better when the people targeted have a twig’s worth of knowledge of the Religion; this enables the process to be accelerated, the poison to go deep into the heart and find a resting place from which Anti-Theism will later grow.

So what has our generation come to that we seek ‘the good life’ and glory in our deeds, that they might be followed, that those who follow them might boast of them and follow other things as well?

And it is with great sadness and trepidation that I report that our youth have gone into the ways of the Secularists, seeing the light as darkness and right guidance as falsehood to the point that they have changed their virtuous names to disgusting names.[11] They have declared the Religion backwardness and adherence to it as “retrogressive” and “conservatism.”

Each one of these children should receive no blame; the blame is upon those responsible for him. The responsible are to blame as they fled from the Religion or were ignorant of its value or they took hold of harmful customs and culture that are far from the Religion along with exposing this tribulation to the child.

Our Religion – praise be to Allah – is a light in every time and place but we are ignorant of it and put in it what does not belong to it. We declare as part of it what has no part in it out of stubbornness from us and following ignorant and astray imams who have put things in Islam that are not from it. These imams are astray, go further astray and then lead others astray.

Islam, praise be to Allah, is for reflection and thinking in totality. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, came with Islam to a people who think and reflect. It is ease and not hardship, rest and not difficulty. It is guidance without any astrayness in it. Indeed, Islam is just as the Master of the Messengers, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, described it, “…clear guidance, its’ night is like its’ day.”

Dear Muslim brother or sister,

Come to Islam. Salvation lies within. Come with me to the clearest path so that all of our ways and states might be rectified. Let us do this until we come to measure and demarcate by the light we find in order to see if in fact we are truly Muslims. Are we really exemplifying this noble call to Islam?

You who believe, save yourselves and your families from a fire that has as its’ fuel men and stones. Angels that are stern and mighty stand guard over it. They do not disobey their Lord in what He commanded them and they do as they are told.[12]

[1] Trans note: Taken from `Ulama’ wa A`lam, vol.1, pp. 632-634, ed. no. 22, Rabi` ul-Akhir 1387

[2] Trans note: Remember that the marja` is writing these in the early 1380s (beginning of the 1960s pagan era). Those referenced that have grown up to be men have now had children. Look at the Arab world and the wider Muslim world and see if this rotten fruit has ripened. As much as he is speaking about this group of people that have already hatched, he is speaking to those in the aftermath who with their understanding can put the pieces together, assess the damage and go on the offensive, moving forward with the faith. That generation previous to them is very much a ‘throw away’ and ‘lost generation.’

[3] Trans. note: Culture here is not referring to just dietary laws and eating habit, but the actual Religion and all matters associated with it.

[4] Trans note: These are all titles referencing the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

[5] Collected by Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Leadership, under the chapter of the Virtue of the Just Leader and the Punishment for the Tyrannical Ruler and classed by him as authentic.

[6] Trans note: This means the father has to be on guard so that he is an upright example and not guilty of the same crimes from which he warns his children.

[7] Trans note: This is especially visible in small children. One can often hear them speaking to each other about the things someone has taught them and how they will or will not do it.

[8] Trans note: This is referring to government schools that actively sought to replace the original kuttab system in the Muslim world in order to systematise nationalist rhetoric and feeling. One can know which country of origin these settler education institutions come from just by perusing what language of instruction they teach the pupils in each day.

[9] Trans. note: This means there is some external authority regulating him and controlling him. It will either prevent him from instructing the children or distract him from doing so at crucial points in the child’s life.

[10] A distinction is made between Secularism (Ar. `ilmaniyyah) and Anti-Theism (Ar. ilhad) based on the context they are used in and the words. Secularism involves the equalising of things initially, such as religious indifferentism, moral relativism, androgyny and so forth. Once all religions, social customs are held on one platform, Anti-Theism then comes, aggressive towards all manner of religion and bringing in whatever culture the conquerors or missionaries espouse (i.e. Americanism). This was detained in Imam Muhammad Al-Khidr Hussain’s ground breaking work on the subject.

[11] Trans note: this refers to the practice of some Muslims changing their names to those of the pagans in order that they might imitate the intruding culture and ideas. This has been accelerated through television.

[12] Surat ut-Tahrim (66), ayah 6

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The Strategic Importance of the Arabic Language

 

The Qur’an, Arabs and Arabic [1]

By Imam `Abdullah An-Nuri

Before and after Islam, the Arabs were the same people but a fundamental change swept over them that would differentiate between how they had been previously and the end product. Allah, Majestic is His Mention, sent His Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent down a book upon them in their language so that he might teach and purify them.

Before the revelation of the Qur’an, the Arabs were in the depths of the age of Ignorance and astrayness that rendered them blindmen. Any one of these men might purposely go to an infant daughter, take her and bury her alive due to the shame of having so many daughters.

These people were in utter scandal, with nothing to unite the hearts or gather the tribes together. They were thus in a perpetual state of war and enmity with one another with habitual bloodshed as the norm.

The society of that day had a class system. The lords and the lorded over, the elite and the low, the free and the slave. The strong devoured the weak and the mighty among them would forge idolatrous images out of dust and seek aid from them. He would prostrate at the foot of the idols and seek help and support from them.

Allah in the Qur’an made reference to this numerous times in many places. Allah, after the Revelation, even reminded these people of the Favour upon them when He united their hearts upon Islam when they had been enemies beforehand.

He permitted for them the pure and wholesome things and forbade them the filthy and unclean things along with meat found dead, blood and the flesh of pig. He also forbade them from the worship of idols and what cannot hear the call and cry of the seeker.

Allah showed the flaw and blame of this when he said,

When any one of them is given the glad tidings of the birth of a female, his face is gloomy and he is filled with grief. He hides away from the people due to the evil of what he has been informed. Will he keep her or bury her deep in the earth? Evil is such a decision being made.[2]   

The Qur’an was sent down to a people who at the time were in darkness and the tribes were in a state of war. The Messenger – by the command of Allah the Exalted – called the people to the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah, to worship Him Alone, the unification of direction for men and the liberation of man from the slavery to other than Allah.

The call of Islam was that there is no god but Allah and He is One and Unique without partner for Him. This means that Allah Alone is worshipped and none besides and that man has been endowed with nobility that should prevent him from subjugating himself to someone besides the Creator, Sustainer and Shaper for worship.

Man is to be considered the brother of his fellow man, he is not to use his strength to overcome the weaker among mankind. All men were taken to be brothers with no virtue of one man over another except by piety.

So they heard the voice of truth, believed in it, read and recited that which He sent down on His Messenger and thus the purification of the soul began and the path of true righteousness was laid out.

Their faith took them from ignorance and removed them from the mirage of astrayness and they now firmly placed themselves on the path so that they become the first family of the Ummah of the Qur’an. The Arab nation became manifest and known to the world after Islam.

Beforehand they were unknown and Islam then took them from being forgotten about by the world to the world hearing and seeing them and becoming a part of the best Ummah every brought forward for humanity.

They call to good, command with righteousness and forbid from the wrong.[3]

The people referenced in the ayah teach others the truth, command with justice and goodness, command with truth and patience so that they might connect with and bring the good that impacts the whole of creation.

And with Islam the Arabs entered into the full light of history and civilisation. The Book of Allah became a constitution for their state, the law of their judges, the basis of their society, the schoolteacher of the young and old among them.

The Book of Allah is the commander and forbidder in all points in life, whether it be the masjid, the school, at home, trade and work and conditions that pass by mankind or he passes by and this indeed became the reality established by history. No one can deny this except for the arrogant ones who ignore history’s lessons.

We understand from this that Islam is what taught the Arabs the meaning of honour, guided them to brotherhood and affinity towards others, with this leading to them tasting the sweetness of glory and majesty in the end.

These people believed that the Qur’an is the Book of Allah which no falsehood approaches it form the front or the back and the legislation that is within its’ pages is from Allah Alone. They took hold of this and never strayed from the path.

Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, is the One who chose them for this religion and made them armies due to their passion for Allah. He chose for them this religion as a guidance and strength and made them the best Ummah to guide humanity, give glad tidings to the good while knowing that whoever has passion for Allah shall never be conquered and whoever Allah has not given this is counted among those destroyed.

Before Islam, the Arabs were landlocked in Arabia and they did not as a whole go past its boundaries. When the Qur’an came, people came and learned the Arabic language that weren’t even Arabs as the message was in Arabic.

He (Allah) brought them out of being heads over tribes of Arabs to being heads over nations of Arabs and non-Arabs and this all became part of the Islamic and Arabic Ummah. The nations around them spoke different languages, made subscriptions to other religions, but then they learned the language of the Qur’an and came to the religion of the Qur’an.

These nations today speak with different accents – with the one in the east not understanding the accent in the west – but when they gather together they understand the timeless language of the Qur’an.

It is the noble language that Allah preserved with the Qur’an and that which one can access to have eternity is in the Qur’an. So the Arabic language shall not fade away until time itself ceases.

It is due to the Qur’an that we know and understand and we are obliged to gather together and become of one accord. I do not say this just to the Arabs alone; but I say this to the Arabs and all Muslims.

It is a great disservice and shame to abandon the very thing that Allah gave to raise the Arabs from the degradation in which they had been mired. He (Allah) gave them might, taught whoever was ignorant with the Qur’an and honoured them. He then guided them by way of the Qur’an to the right way so that they might use their insight. He also gave them the most amazing story and glory to ever be told in the annals of history.

[1] This was taken from `Ulama ul-Islam, vol.1, pp. 629-630, no.24, Jumada Al-Akhirah 1386 edition

[2] Surat un-Nahl (16), ayah 58-59

[3] Surah Ali `Imran (3), ayah 104

 

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A Husband Sleeping in the Bedroom with His Wife

A query was sent to the marja`:

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Dear Shaikh,

What is the ruling in the Revealed Law regarding the husband sleeping in the sitting room or next to the television in the living room and not sleeping in the bedroom. I ask as this bothers his wife and she has come and sought him many times, saying that it is compulsory for him to sleep in the bed with her in the bedroom.

His response is that he is not obliged to sleep next to anyone along with the fact that he gives his wife her rights according to the Revealed Law. What is the truth in this regard? May Allah reward you with every good.

 

The marja`, Imam `Abdur-Rahman Ash-Shami, may Allah preserve him, gave the following reply:

The husband is indeed not obligated to sleep in the room; but for the sake of himself if he sleeps in the bedroom then this is more pure and noble for his wife’s regard and mind and it will also put love and tenderness between them.

taken from the website of the maraji`

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A Husband Making Groundless Threats to His Wife

A question was put to the marja`:

A man said to his wife, “Do not do this thing or you will be forbidden to me!” However, he did neither intended disavowal nor divorce by this statement. It was only a word repeated by some of the people. In the case of the woman who then carried on and did the said act after he forbade her from it, then what is the ruling on this particular oath and the consequence?

The marja`, Imam `Abdur-Rahman Ash-Shami, may Allah be pleased with him, gave the following reply:

As long as someone neither intended disavowal nor divorce, then there is no penalty upon him.

Taken from the website of the maraji`. 

 

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Staying in a Corrupt Society; Kissing Women as a Greeting

A marja` was asked the following question:

As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

I am a young man that has been residing in Spain for a quite a fear years. It is a longstanding custom in this land that when people meet and greet one another, the men and women shake hands and kiss each cheek of his or her friend once.

Upon my first coming to this land, I had only recently arrived when a Spanish woman came to greet me and kissed me on the side of the face. This was a cause for many things that came into my mind among the people. Whenever this happened, I did not have the time to explain to them why this should not be done and why I avoided it. The next time this form of greeting took place, I pulled my face away from her.

In fact, I used to delay the meeting and greeting with the women the first time and whenever I had an opportunity to explain to them about the matter I would do so. I explained that I will never great them in this fashion and even went into detail on why this was the case and that my religion does not permit me to do this act.

Naturally, I would like to make clear that my stopping this action is neither a cause for me to become arrogant nor to hold women in low rank. In fact, my position is the opposite. After I followed this way of understanding, I was able to lift this difficulty without it being a cause of them rebuking me or going away from me on account of my being Muslim.

This is also a means for them listening to me and I have a doubt in the legality of doing the first thing, i.e. the kissing on the cheek and that which I am currently doing. Which of these should I be doing in reality?

I hope that you can guide me to the right path and the correct understanding so that we might agree upon it and cooperate in the good.

 

The marja,` Imam `Abdur-Rahman Ash-Shami, may Allah preserve him, said the following:

It is impermissible to greet women in the way in which you mentioned in your letter. It is impermissible and should neither be done on one cheek nor on the other in the case of members of the opposite sex.[1]

The most important thing that could be mentioned is that it is compulsory for you to think about a way to leave from that society so that you do not fall under the ruling mentioned of people Allah said of them,

Those who the angels take in death while they are oppressing themselves they shall have the angels question them, “What was your state?” They shall respond, “We were weak in the land.” The angels shall reply, “Was not the Earth of Allah spacious enough so that you could have emigrated…”[2]

An exemption to this would only be if you were residing in the land under real necessity. In this case, the threat mentioned in the ayah would not apply to yourself. Let it be the case that you seek counsel in a trustworthy scholar – firm and wise in his knowledge and his religion – so you can take your next course of action. And may Allah pardon us and you! Amin.

Taken from the website of the maraji`

[1] trans note: The Shaikh here is making note of the fact that men greeting eathother in this fashion is permitted as this is a common greeting among Arabs, Jews, Sicilians and the like and implies no immediate sexual intent.

[2] Surat un-Nisa,’ ayat 96-97

 

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Remarriage for Wife Abandoned by Husband

The following question was put to the marja`. 

In the case where the husband left the wife and the maintenance no longer comes – while the wife for the past five years has known nothing of his whereabouts – is it permitted for the woman to know re-marry as she has not heard from the husband since he left?

The marja`, Imam `Abdur-Rahman Ash-Shami, may Allah preserve him, gave the following reply,

The woman should raise her case to the Qadi of the area, seeking dissolving of the marriage on account of either 1) lack of maintenance or 2) her husband being absent for a long period of time.

It is then for the Qadi to make the decision on whether to dissolve the marriage or not. If he gives the ruling in favour of the dissolving, then she goes into her waiting period (Ar. `iddah) from the moment the marriage was pronounced dissolved. After this point, she may then re-marry.

If the woman in question has not done this, she still remains under the government of her husband, so she may not remarry until the marriage to the first husband is dissolved or ended.

Taken from the website of the maraji`.

 

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The “Study Qur’an”

Question:

To the honourable scholars, al-salam ‘alaykum.

Recently, an English translation and commentary of the Quran entitled ‘the Study Quran’, was published. It was undertaken by a group of western academics. The work includes Shia, Sunni, Sufi tafsir, in addition to several essays as appendices. Unfortunately, in spite of some benefits in the work, the authors have, while commentating on certain verses, presented interpretations that accord with the belief in the universal validity of religions. For instance, during the discussion on the tafsir to the verse: Truly the religion in the sight of God is submission (3:20), it says:

Many Muslims say that this verse shows that the only religion acceptable to God is the one revealed to the Prophet of Islam, but the most universal meaning of it, which been emphasised by many Islamic authorities over the ages, is that Islam in this verse refers to submission to God even if it is not in the context of Islam as the specific religion revealed through the Quran … [p. 135]

The reader is then referred to the essay at the end of the book entitled ‘The Quranic View of Sacred History and of Other Religions’ in which it is argued that previous scriptures and religions are not abrogated by Islam:

The notion that previous scriptures have been abrogated in the sense of being nullified or excessively distorted to such an extent that the message no longer reflects  the particularity of the original teachings, as some Muslims maintain, would seem to be contradicted by verses such as 5:43:And how is it that they come to thee for judgement …  It would be contradictory for the Quran to speak of the efficacy of judging by the Torah and the Gospel if it were to also maintain that these Scriptures have been abrogated or excessively distorted … If the previous religions were abrogated by the revelation of the Quran, it will be implausible to tell the Prophet Muhammad to seek their counsel when it says, Ask the people of the Reminder, if you know not. [p. 1767]

Regarding the verse: Whoever seeks a religion other than submission it shall not be accepted of him… (3:85), it says:

However, the idea that 3:85 abrogates 2:62 is connected to the interpretation expressed by some commentators that this verse denies the “acceptability” of any form of religion other than that brought by the Prophet Muhammad. This opinion is not without its inconsistencies, however, since it does not take into account the more general and universal use of Islam and muslim in the Quran to refer to all true, monotheistic religion… [p. 153]

Moreover, regarding the interpretation of the verse on the Christian trinitarian belief: They certainly disbelieve, those who say, “Truly God is the third of three,”… [5: 73], it says:

However, the verse clearly threatens punishment only for those among them who disbelieved, suggesting that it is not for all Christians. Moreover, an interpretation that considers all Christians to be barred from the garden in the next life would openly contradict both v. 69 and 2:62 where Christians and anyone who believes in God and the Last Day and works righteousness shall have the reward with their Lord. No fear shall, upon them, nor shall they grieve, and is not consistent with the description of Christian virtue in vv. 82-85. [p. 316-17]

The same author says in the above-mentioned essay as he speaks about the concept of trinity criticised in the Quran:

And say not “Three.” Refrain! … (4:171) … They certainly disbelieve, those who say,” Truly God is the third of three…” This, however, is not a direct condemnation of Christian theology, for trinitarian theology does not make God one of three, but rather speaks of the triune God, Who is both one and three in a manner that transcends human understanding. Viewed in this light, 5:73 does not oppose the various forms of orthodox trinitarian doctrine that have prevailed for most of Christian history. Rather, it appears to oppose crude misunderstandings of it that would lead one to believe that there are three gods instead of one. [p. 1779]

Similar notions to the above are frequently found throughout the work.

The author of another essay, also within the work, states the following on the matter of perpetuity of hellfire:

During the early period of Islam, scholars differed about the duration of Hell. The majority of them argued that Hell is perpetual and an actualised state that never ends. But some groups argued otherwise, citing verses that hinted at an end to Hell’s torment and arguing that this was more consistent with God’s saying, ‘My Mercy exceeds My Wrath.’ Thus the scholars fell into three camps. The first believed that although Hell did not end, its punishment and torment did. The proof for this was the verse: Truly Hell lies in ambush, a place unto which the rebellious return, to tarry therein for ages (78:21-23). This was the opinion of Aḥmad ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim, and Ibn al-ʿArabī; a similar opinion that the majority of Hell’s denizens are ultimately released also appears to have been held by al-Ghazzālī, as is evident in hisFayṣal al-tafriqah (Decisive Criterion). [p. 1849-50]

The work would probably not have gained much popularity were it not for certain popular Muslim preachers in West who promoted and endorsed the work unconditionally without any caution against its absurd interpretations and false beliefs; one of them went to the extent of describing it as ‘A major victory and a gift from god’, and another said, ‘It is probably the best work in English to date’ and called it ‘A mercy from God.’ This latter individual made the matter worse by allowing the hosting of an event in his Islamic institute in America wherein one of the translators of the work was invited to speak about the book. None of the panel attendees refuted or challenged his claims.  Instead, they encouraged the attendees to purchase a copy of the book at the end of the session and get it signed by the translator.  Since the book has gained much popularity and is increasingly bought we fear that it will pollute the minds of readers and therefore seek your guidance and fatwa in regards to the following questions:

(1) What is the status of those who believe in the validity of all religions other than Islam, claiming that it does not abrogate the previous religions: does it take them out of the pale of Islam even if they an interpretation (ta’wil) for such a belief?

(2) What is the ruling on believing that Hellfire or its torment will eventually extinguish? Is there a valid scholarly disagreement over the issue?

(3) What is the ruling on promoting, endorsing, and encouraging people to buy and read such a work, knowing full well its contents, without cautioning readers against the problematic points?

(4) What is the ruling on laymen reading such a work?


Answer: (Imam Muhammad Tawfiq Ramadan Al-Bouti)
In the Name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, the Unique, the One, the Singular, the Everlasting Sustainer, who has not given birth and was not born, and no one is comparable to Him, and blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad and upon his family, all of his companions and those who follow them on the path of truth until the Day of Repayment. To proceed:

I have looked at the explanation (tafsīr)[1] of certain verses from the Book of Allah which offends what the people of truth are upon and contradicts the Qurʾānic texts with interpretations that are inconsistent with what is correct. I believe that whoever stated them is upon misguidance in his theology and whoever has followed him is obliged to return to the path of truth. If not, then one becomes one of those whom Allah, may His affair be manifest, described by saying: “Do you, then, believe in one part of the Book and reject the other? What repayment will there be for any of you who do that except disgrace in this world? And on the Day of Standing, they will be returned to the harshest of punishments. Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [Sūrat al-Baqarah 2:85]

Indeed the Book of Allah the Exalted has commanded us to debate kindly with the People of the Book[2] whom we differ with regarding what they believe about our master ʿĪsā (Jesus), peace and blessing be upon him or ʿUzayr (Uzair), peace and blessings be upon him.

The Book of Allah calls on the People of the Book to have faith in our master Muḥammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and it does not consider those who disbelieve in our master Muḥammad to be from the people of salvation nor does it consider those who believe Allah to be the third of three or that the Messiah is the son of Allah to be from the people of salvation.[3] Our theology is not taken from those who are suspect in their theology nor from those who flatter those who contradict the truth, seeking to ingratiate themselves while having certain interests, or something similar, in mind.

Indeed a tafsīr like this aims to ruin the Muslims and to take them away from the true paths of knowing their religion and their theology. Indeed, treating the People of the Book kindly is one thing and presenting relinquishments to them in violation of our theology and our Revealed Law is something else. The obligation to debate with the People of the book in the kindest of ways is one thing and violating what is clear in the Book of Allah, seeking to ingratiate oneself with them, is something else.

Indeed the belief that the People of the Book, with the beliefs that they currently hold, are not disbelievers contradicts what is clear in the Book of Allah, and the circulation of such publications is one of the waves of misguidance that Muslims are exposed to, in addition to their other afflictions.

Likewise, the belief that the people of the Fire are not in there eternally is inconsistent with the Exalted’s statement: “As for those who disbelieve in Our Signs, We will roast them in a Fire. Every time their skins are burned off We will replace them with new skins so that they can taste the punishment. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” [Sūrat an-Nisāʾ 4:56] and other verses that clearly show that the people of the Fire are therein eternally and that the people of Paradise are therein eternally, and this is aside from what this tafsīr ignores from the clear, authentic Prophetic ḥadīths on this matter. This shows that the authors of this tafsīr have shunned the Exalted’s statement:“And we have sent down the Reminder to you so that you can make clear to mankind what has been sent down to them so that hopefully they will reflect.” [Sūrat an-Naḥl 16:44]

Al-Bukhārī has related on the authority of Abū Saʿīd Al-Khudrī, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {Death will come in the form of a black and white ram and then a caller will call out, ‘O people of Paradise’, and at that point they will stretch their necks and look. He will say, ‘Do you know what this is?’ They will respond, ‘Yes. This is death.’ and all of them will have seen it. Then he will call out, ‘O people of the Fire’, at which point they will stretch their necks and look. He will say, ‘Do you know what this is?’ They will respond, ‘Yes. This is death.’ and all of them will have seen it. It will thus be slaughtered and then he will say, ‘O people of Paradise, eternity and thus no death, and O people of the Fire, eternity and thus no death.’} Then he recited,“Warn them of the Day of Bitter Regret when the affair will be resolved. But they take no notice [i.e. the people of this worldly life]. They do not believe.” [Sūrat Maryam 19:39]

Indeed circulating books like this is to take part in misguiding and in serving the plan to disrupt the thinking of the Ummah away from the right path. And Allah knows best.

The servant of knowledge: Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān

[Translated by Mahdi Lock]

Original document taken from the website of the maraji` in Arabic and also in English

[1] (tn): because it is not actually possible to fully translate the Qurʾān, and thus any so-called translation is in fact only a conveyance of some of the meanings, and therefore it’s an explanation, or tafsīr

[2] (tn): for instance, see Sūrat an-Naḥl 16:125

[3]  (tn): for instance, see Sūrat al-Māʾidah 5:72-73

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Mortgages on Homes

The following question was put to the marja`: 

The European Council for Fatwa and Research has declared it permissible to purchase a house using an interest-based loan in non-Islamic countries based on the juristic principle that necessities permit forbidden matters [1] and based on the statement of the Ḥanafis that it is permissible to deal in interest in Dar ul-Harb, and according to the Ḥanafis Dar ul-Harb is non-Islamic countries, as is mentioned in the fatwa.

It is worth mentioning that many Muslims act upon this fatwa, especially in America and in European countries.  Thus, to what extent is this fatwa, which has been agreed upon by some scholars who are well-known in the Muslim world, valid and who bears the sin: the one who acts upon the fatwa or the scholars from this Ummah who issued it?

The marja`, Imam Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan Al-Bouti, may Allah have mercy upon him, answered with what follows: 

This fatwa that has circulated and been attributed to the Ḥanafi madhab is a lie and an act of oppression against them, for the Ḥanafis do not say that every land of unbelief is Dar ul-Harb.

If that were the case then it would be obligatory upon the Muslims to fight all of them, and may a Muslim be far from saying such a thing. Dar al-Harb refers to a country that the Imam of the Muslims has declared war against, and thus whatever of their wealth that reaches us during that time is war booty for us and whatever reaches them of our wealth is war booty for them.

Therefore, dealing in interest is impermissible for a Muslim in every time and in every place. When you find yourself in Dar al-Ḥarb you fight the combatants who fight you. Every event has a discussion and every problem has a solution.

This was taken from  Al-Hajj Mahdi Lock via the original personal website of the Imam that is no longer active.

[1] (tn): even though buying a house is not necessary for preventing death and destruction

 

 

Posted in Buying/Selling, Fiqh | Leave a comment

Impermissible Names for Children

The following question was put to the marja`: 

What is the ruling on giving a child names like `Abdun-Nabi (Slave of the Prophet) or `Abdur-Rasul (Servant of the Messenger) and is this in accordance with the rulings of the four madhhabs?

Are these types of names minor shirk according to the opinion held by some people?

The marja`, Imam `Abdur-Rahman Ash-Shami, may Allah preserve him, answered with what follows: 

It is not permitted to name a child in this fashion. If someone gave a child a name such as this and intended by that the real meaning of the expression, then this would indeed be minor shirk.

Taken from the website of the maraji`

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