Islam

Islam

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The difference between major sins and minor sins

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QUESTION :

Can you explain to me the difference between major sins and minor sins?
ANSWER :
Praise be to Allah
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Sins may be divided into minor sins and major sins, according to the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the consensus of the early generations, and how they are regarded by scholars. End quote.
Madaarij as-Saalikeen (1/315)
Once we know what major sins are, then we will know what minor sins are.
There are various scholarly views concerning the definition of major sins, after establishing the fact that they are not limited to the seven (mentioned in a well-known hadith).
Al-Haafiz said:
It was said that the major sin is that for which the doer is subject to a warning of punishment in a text of the Qur’an or Sunnah.
Ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam said: I have not come across any definition of major sin that could be completely free of some flaws. The best is to define it as any sin that could indicate that the level of negligence of the one who commits it is like the level of negligence of one who commits the least of the major sins mentioned in the texts. Some defined it as any sin that is accompanied by a warning of punishment or being cursed.
Ibn as-Salaah said: Major sins have indications such as: the stipulation of hadd punishments for such acts; a warning of punishment in Hell and the like in the Qur’an or Sunnah; a description of the doer as an evildoer; and mention of a curse upon the one who does it.
Ismaa‘eel al-Qaadi narrated, with a sound chain of narration from al-Hasan al-Basri, that the latter said: Every deed concerning which Allah, may He be exalted, warned the doer of Hell is a major sin.
One of the best definitions is that given by al-Qurtubi in al-Mufhim: Every sin concerning which a text of the Qur’an or Sunnah, or scholarly consensus, states that it is a major sin or a grave sin, or mentioned a severe punishment for it, or decreed a hadd punishment for it, or denounced it in the strongest terms, is a major sin.
Based on that, one can check the texts and see where mention is made of a warning of punishment or curse, or a deed is described as evildoing, in the Quran and saheeh or hasan hadiths. We may add to that cases where the text of the Qur’an or the saheeh or hasan hadith state clearly that an act is a major sin. Al-Haleemi said in al-Minhaaj: There is no sin but it is either minor or major. A minor sin may become a major sin when there is something to indicate that, and a major sin may become a faahishah (shameful, abhorrent deed) by the same token. For example, killing a soul unlawfully is a major sin, but if someone kills an ascendant (parent or grandparent) or a descendant (child or grandchild) or a relative, or he kills someone in the Haram (sanctuary), or during the sacred months, then it is a faahishah. Zina (unlawful sex) is a major sin, but if it is with a neighbour’s wife or a mahram (close relative) or during the month of Ramadan, or in the Haram, then it is a faahishah.
Stealing less than the threshold amount [that is, less than the value of stolen goods at which the hadd punishment of amputating the hand becomes due] is a minor sin, but if the one from whom it is stolen possesses nothing else and losing it will lead to him becoming vulnerable, then it becomes a major sin.
End quote from al-Haafiz.
See: Tafseer Ibn Katheer (2/285-286].
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the major sins mentioned in the Qur’an and hadith: is there a definition by which one may recognise them?
He replied:
The best of the views concerning this issue is that which was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas and was mentioned by Abu ‘Ubaydah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others. It is the view that the minor sin is that for which no punishment is specified in this world or the hereafter. This is similar to what was said by those who say that it is a sin that is not subject to a hadd punishment in this world. And it is similar to what was said by those who say that any sin concerning which mention is made of a curse, divine wrath or warning of Hell is a major sin. And it is similar to what was said by those who say that the minor sin is that concerning which there is no hadd punishment in this world, and no warning of punishment in the hereafter – that is, a specific warning such as a warning of Hell, divine wrath or curse.
Similarly, every sin concerning which the doer is warned that he will not enter Paradise or even smell the fragrance of Paradise, or it was said concerning it that the one who does it is not one of us, or the one who does it is a wrongdoer – all of these are major sins. End quote.
Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (11/650-652). See also Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (11/658-659); Madaarij As-Saalikeen by Ibn al-Qayyim (1/315-327)
There is a report which appears to limit the major sins to seven:
Al-Bukhaari (2767) and Muslim (89) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Avoid the seven sins that doom a person to Hell.” It was said: What are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “Associating others with Allah (shirk); witchcraft (sihr); killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden us to kill, except in cases dictated by Islamic law; consuming riba; consuming orphans’ wealth; fleeing from the battlefield; and slandering chaste, innocent women.”
At-Tabaraani narrated in al-Mu‘jam al-Awsat (5709) from Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The major sins are seven: associating others with Allah (shirk); killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden us to kill, except in cases dictated by Islamic law; slandering chaste women; fleeing from the battlefield; consuming riba; consuming orphans’ wealth; and going back to living in the desert like Bedouin after having migrated (hijrah).”
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘ (4606)
But this is not intended to limit the number of major sins to seven.
Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath:
At-Tabari narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that it was said to him: The major sins are seven. He said: They are more than seven plus seven. According to another report from him: They are closer to seventy. According to another report: They are closer to seven hundred. His words may be interpreted as emphasising that the hadith is not to be understood literally as meaning that there are only seven. End quote.
There are three points to which we should pay attention and be aware of:
Firstly:
Persisting in a minor sin may make it a major sin.
Al-Qaraafi said: A minor sin does not undermine a person’s integrity or make him an evildoer, unless he persists in it, in which case it becomes a major sin.… There is no minor sin if one persists in it, and there is no major sin if it is followed by prayer for forgiveness, as the early generations said… What they mean by prayer for forgiveness is repentance fulfilling all the necessary conditions, not asking for forgiveness whilst persisting in the sin and not intending to give it up. End quote.
Al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (34/156)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Persisting in a minor sin may incur a burden of sin equivalent to a major sin or even more. End quote.
Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (2/151)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If a person persists in a minor sin and that becomes his habit, then it becomes a major sin because of persisting in it, not because of the deed in and of itself. Talking to a woman on the phone for the purpose of pleasure is haraam, but it is not a major sin. However, if a person persists in doing that and it becomes his main focus to call these women and talk to them, then it becomes a major sin. Persisting in a minor sin makes it a major sin because of persisting in it, because persisting in a minor sin indicates that one is heedless of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, or that one does not care about the prohibitions of Allah. End quote.
Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (5/172)
Secondly:
Thinking lightly of minor sins leads to doom. Ahmad (3808) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: Beware of these sins that are regarded as insignificant, for they will accumulate until they destroy a man.”
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) gave a likeness of such deeds: the likeness of “people who stopped to camp in the wilderness, and they wanted to prepare some food, so one man went and brought a stick, and another man brought a stick, until they had gathered a huge pile and lit a fire, and whatever they put in the pot was cooked as a result.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb (2470).
Avoiding major sins is an expiation for minor sins.
No one is free of sin in his daily life, whether that sin has to do with the relationship between him and his Lord, or between him and other people. So let him strive to purify his record constantly, and let him know that if he keeps away from sins that could lead to doom, major sins and sins that could doom a person to hell, Allah may forgive him for small faults other than that. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise)”
[an-Nisa’ 4:31]
“Those who avoid great sins) and Al-Fawahish (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) except the small faults, verily, your Lord is of vast forgiveness”
[an-Najm 53:32]
.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Al-Khattaabi said: What is meant by small faults is what Allah, may He be exalted, mentioned in the verse “Those who avoid great sins) and Al-Fawahish (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) except the small faults”; this is what is overlooked. In the other verse He said: “If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins”. From the two verses we understand that the small faults are minor sins, and that they may be remitted or expiated if one avoids major sins.
End quote.
And Allah knows best.
-islamqa.info

Birthday parties

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Question

What is the ruling on celebrating birthdays?

Answer

If you mean formally celebrating the likes of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as a devotional act, then this is clearly unlawful. Such festive days are newly contrived innovations that conflict with the dictates of Islamic Law. 

Such rites are from the traditions of the People of the Book. They have a devotional purpose and are carried out seeking nearness to Allah. This is the reason I view such occasions to be unlawful and prohibited. 

If, on the other hand, you mean celebrating personal birthdays, then this is something different, since it is not intended as a devotional act or an act of worship. Therefore, it is not as serious a matter. 

Still, personally I tend to regard it as something disliked for people who are not already accustomed to celebrating this event in their culture, but do so merely to blindly ape cultural practices that are outside of their own experience and understanding. 

All the same, birthday parties are not religious occasions and do not have an overtly religious cast to them. 

A birthday party is not a festival of the nature of an `îd that is a general festive day for the entire community. It is merely a personal occasion that means nothing more than a remembrance of something dear. Therefore, it is permissible. 

And Allah knows best.

-islamtoday.net

Friday, 28 April 2017

Can he pray two rak‘ahs with more than one niyyah (intention)?

Image result for muslimah praying two rak‘ahs with more than one niyyah

QUESTION :

Is it possible to combine intentions when offering a naafil (supererogatory) prayer, such as praying two rak‘ahs with the intention that they be a naafil prayer including the two rak‘ahs following wudoo’ and the Sunnah prayer following Maghrib?
ANSWER :
Praise be to Allah
Combining of acts of worship falls into two categories:
The first category:
The first category includes acts of worship where it is valid to combine those acts. The guideline concerning that is that one of the two acts of worship is not intended for its own sake. In this case it is permissible to combine them, so that one deed counts as two.
An example of that is the two rak‘ahs to “greet the mosque” (tahiyyat al-masjid) and the two rak‘ahs following wudoo’, and similar prayers that are not intended for their own sake. So it is permissible for a person to pray two rak‘ahs with the intention of offering the two rak‘ahs following wudoo’ and the Sunnah prayer of Maghrib, as the questioner mentioned, because the purpose of the two rak‘ahs following wudoo’ is so that the Muslim prays straight after making wudoo’, whether it is his regular prayer or Duha prayer or some other prayer.
Another example of that is “greeting the mosque” (tahiyyat al-masjid), because the purpose of this prayer is that the one who has entered the mosque does not sit down until he has prayed.
Shaykh Khaalid al-Mushayqih said: “Greeting the mosque” is not a prayer that is intended for its own sake, so it may be combined with another prayer, such as the regular Sunnah prayer. So if you enter the mosque to pray Zuhr, then you can pray two rak‘ahs with the intention of the regular Sunnah prayer and with the intention of greeting the mosque. If you intend to greet the mosque and to offer the regular Sunnah prayer, you will attain the reward of two prayers in two rak‘ahs. If you do wudoo’ and come to the mosque with the intention of offering the regular Sunnah prayer and greeting the mosque and praying the two rak‘ahs following wudoo’, then you will attain the reward of three prayers in two rak‘ahs. This is one of the benefits of forming the intention. Similarly, if a person does wudoo’ for Duha, then prays two rak‘ahs, intending them to be the two rak‘ahs following wudoo’ and the two rak‘ahs of Duha, he will attain the reward of two prayers in two rak‘ahs.
End quote from al-‘Aqd ath-Thameen (p. 161).
The second category:
The second category includes cases where combining acts of worship is not allowed. That is if each of the two acts of worship is intended for its own sake. In this case it is not possible to combine two intentions for one action.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen gave an example of that. He said: A man missed the Sunnah prayer of Fajr, until the sun rose and the time for Duha prayer came. In this case, the Sunnah of Fajr cannot suffice for Duha prayer, and Duha cannot suffice for the Sunnah of Fajr, and they cannot be combined either, because the Sunnah of Fajr is separate and the Sunnah of Duha is separate. Doing one of them does not suffice for the other.
Similarly, if one of them is connected to the one that came before it, then they cannot be combined. If someone were to say: I want to form the intention to combine the obligatory prayer of Fajr and the regular Sunnah of Fajr, we say: That is not valid, because the regular Sunnah prayer is connected to the (obligatory) prayer, so doing one of them does not suffice for the other.
And he said: A similar example is the Sunnah prayer following tawaf and the Sunnah prayer of Fajr. For example, if a person finishes his tawaf after the adhaan for Fajr prayer and before the iqaamah, and he intends to combine the Sunnah prayer of tawaf with the Sunnah prayer of Fajr, this is not valid, because doing one of them does not suffice for the other, because the Sunnah of tawaf is to be intended for its own sake, and the Sunnah of Fajr is to be intended for its own sake.
End quote from Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh.
As-Suyooti said, quoting an-Nawawi: … If one of the two sunnahs is not implied by the other, then the intentions thereof should not be combined in one act, such as the Sunnah prayer of Duha and making up the Sunnah of Fajr. This is unlike greeting the mosque and the Sunnah of Zuhr, for example, because greeting the mosque may be implied and included in the Sunnah of Zuhr.
End quote from al-Ashbaah wa’n-Nazaa’ir (p. 23).
See also: al-Majmoo‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (5/75)
One of those who explained this principle in great detail was al-‘Allaamah ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) in his book al-Qawaa‘id (p. 23)
And Allah knows best.
-islamqa.info

Good Expectations of Allah While Facing Difficulties in Life

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Question
I am feeling very disappointed right now. In fact, my heart is burning. I have been searching for a better half for four years, as my marriage failed to materialize at the eleventh hour four years ago. I thought that it was for the best, as Allah, the Exalted, plans something better for you. I also asked for the best better half in Makkah, where supplications are not rejected. After four years, when I finally arranged my marriage and was going to get married, I got some information about the girl. Shaytan (the devil) created suspicions about the girl having fornicated. For four years, I continued to supplicate for a girl with a worthy character and made all possible supplications, including 'Allahumma Ajirni fi musibati...' I also performed Istikharah (prayer of consultation) before going ahead. At this stage, it is not possible to go back on my decision without concrete evidence, which is impossible to obtain, as only Allah, the Exalted, knows the facts, and more importantly, it would break many hearts. So I think I will let my heart burn instead of breaking so many hearts and so many dreams. However, I am very disappointed and ask myself why Allah, the Exalted, put me in such a situation while I continuously prayed to save me from such a scenario. I have not ever touched any girls, so where is the call of Allah, the Exalted, Who says that "for good men, I have made good women."
Answer
May Allah make thing easy for you. From your letter, I see some things that are part of the problem. You need to understand the nature of this life, as Allah informed us in the Quran. This life is a test, everyone is tested, whether it be with things we like or things we do not like. Allah, the Almighty, said, {Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.} [Quran 21:35]
Some people are tested with matters of ease, they have wealth, health, and all that they ask for. They can be Muslims or disbelievers, it does not matter, because all are being tested. If Allah is testing you with what you see as difficult, you should be pleased with Allah. You use all the means that you have, and at the end you are pleased with what Allah decrees for you, knowing that everything is there for a reason.
It is not clear from your statements why you have suspicions regarding your intended wife. If you do not have clear, concrete evidence, then you should stay away from these doubts, and it should not burn your heart, because there is no basis to it then. If she is not religious and openly commits sins, then you should avoid marrying her, even if you think that this will break hearts. Do what is beneficial for you and your religion, and do not worry about breaking anyone's heart. One of the big mistakes that people do is when they get married just because they feel bad for their partner. It causes difficulties later on in life. Make your decision now before you get married, regardless of whether this is a good choice for you or not; if you are not convinced to marry that girl, then do not betray her and stay away.
When we supplicate for matters of this life, we do not know what is good for us; that is why we pray Istikharah and leave it to Allah. You should use all available means, ask the people of knowledge, be determined, and then rely on Allah, the Most High, for all of your affairs.
Life is too short to be wasted in worries and sadness. Look positively at everything you go through, and always keep your focus on the end result, the Hereafter. That is why the Quran always takes us to the Hereafter to see the outcome of our actions, so that we make decisions accordingly. The real regret is the regret in the Hereafter, and the real loss is the loss in the Hereafter. So my sincere advice to you is for you to have good expectations in thinking about Allah, the Most Merciful; He only decrees what is best for you if you know how to worship Allah accordingly, with patience and while being grateful. May Allah make it easy for you. -islamweb.net

Taxicab drivers taking customers anywhere

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Question

I am a taxicab driver who owns my own cab. According to the law in the city where I work, I cannot discriminate between passengers and cannot refuse to take them places. Also, I used to work in another city where there were no such laws on the books. However, I worked for a taxicab company that prohibited drivers from refusing customers. Is my profession lawful? Am I allowed to take passengers to nightclubs and bars?

Answer

Taking people to places where lawful and unlawful activities are both possible – like a restaurant, a hotel, or the general marketplace – is perfectly lawful. You are not obliged to ask them what they are going to eat and drink at the restaurant. 

This is a matter about which there is general agreement. 

Scholars differ regarding taxicab drivers taking passengers to places where they will certainly be carrying out predominantly unlawful activities. Such places include bars, nightclubs, and known brothels. Many scholars deem this prohibited, since it is helping people in sin and iniquity. 

Allah says: “Help ye one another in righteousness and piety but do not help one another in sin and rancor. Fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 2] 

However, even in these cases, if taxicab drivers are prohibited from refusing passengers by law or by company regulations, or due to the negative feelings against Muslims that refusing passengers might engender in society, then it will be permissible to take all passengers wherever they want to go. 

This is because a taxicab driver’s work is basically lawful in and of itself. Indeed, the driver is providing people with an essential service. If either the law or circumstances prohibit drivers from discriminating against passengers, this does not mean that Muslims should be barred from an essentially lawful and useful profession. 

And Allah knows best.

-islamtoday.net

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Spouses sleeping in separate beds

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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I came across these words of the Scholar Ibn Jawzi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him: “The wife should have her own bed, and the husband should have his own bed. They should not engage in intimacy except in a state of [physical] perfection.” [Sayd Al-Khatir, p: 606] In light of this, is it permissible for spouses to have separate bedrooms or even apartments within the same house?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 
This is not an obligation for either of the spouses; it is permissible for them to be together in one bed, or room, or house, and it is also permissible for them to be in a separate bed, or room, or house.
What is obligatory is to give the wife her right in having sexual intercourse with her and in being just between her and other wives.
However, the scholars stated that it is better for the husband to sleep with his wife in one bed, unless he has an excuse.
An-Nawawi said in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim:
The correct procedure is that the husband sleeps with his wife if none of them has an excuse for being alone. Being together in one bed is better. This is what the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) constantly did even though he constantly observed standing in night prayer as well. So the husband sleeps with his wife, and when he wishes to get up for worship (or otherwise), he gets up and leaves her. Thus, he fulfills his worship and observes her recommended right, especially if he knows that this (sleeping with him in the same bed) is important to her.
The statement of Ibn Al-Jawzi which you mentioned is found in Sayd Al-Khaatir, and he did not give any justification for it, but some scholars said that this is useful in bringing affection, because always being side by side may lead to boredom, and if they are separate, then this may generate longing for each other. However, it may lead to the opposite, especially if the woman loves her husband and her heart is attached to him. So it is more appropriate for the husband and wife to sleep together in one bed as much as possible as we have mentioned at the beginning.
Allah knows best.
-islamweb.net

Looking at girl when proposing second time

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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. A boy once sent a betrothal and got permission to take a look at the girl in front of her family. Then there was a pause for about two years because he was jobless. After having secured a job, he wants to meet the family again to carry on with the marriage. Is he allowed to look at the girl after these two years have passed? Note: the girl wears the niqab.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
It is permissible for the suitor to look at the girl to whom he is proposing for a need, and it is impermissible without a need. If the suitor looked at the girl and decided that he liked her or not before cancelling the engagement, it is impermissible for him to look at her again because she is a non-Mahram (marriageable) to him.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked, "Is it permissible for a man to propose to a woman and that she remains engaged to him for more than two or three years and he continues to look at her?" He replied, "Looking at the woman one is proposing to is allowed for a need only. If he looks at her the first time and he liked her or did not like her, then he should act upon this, and there is no need to look at her again, because he has already decided whether he would carry on with the engagement or not. It is impermissible for him to continue to look at her for no need because she is a non-Mahram woman." [Fatawa Noor ‘ala Ad-Darb]
However, if the suitor fears that her appearance might have changed, which would cause him to change his mind about the marriage, then he may look at her again because the rationale behind the permissibility of looking at her the first time recurred, namely the need to look at her in order to decide whether to carry on with the marriage or not.
Allah knows best.
-islamweb.net