Tuesday, 28 February 2017

What a woman must cover while in prayer

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What is the evidence that a women must cover everything except her face and hands while she is praying?


The majority of the scholars hold the opinion that the whole body of the woman is `awrah in prayer. However, they all agree that she may uncover her face. Ibn `Abd al-Barr asserts that there is juristic consensus (ijmâ') on this issue. He writes: “They have agreed that the woman may expose her face in prayer.” 

Regarding the hands, there have been some scholars who have considered them to be part of the `awrah of the woman, ruling that they should be covered. However, the vast majority of the scholars hold the opinion that they are not `awrah

Likewise, a decent majority of scholars agree that the feet do not have to be covered. This is the opinion preferred by Ibn Taymiyah. I also support this opinion. Nevertheless, it is preferred for the woman to cover her feet in prayer. 

In case the woman prays where strangers can see her, then should cover her face in the same way that she does at other times when she is in public and not in prayer. 

The evidence that a woman must cover her `awrah in prayer is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah will not accept a prayer from a woman who (has reached the age where she) menstruates except with wearing her head covering.” [Related in the four Sunan compilations and Musnad Ahmad. It was classified as good hadîth by al-Tirmidhî and authenticated by Ibn Khuzaymah] 

The meaning of the phrase “a woman who menstruates” is an adult woman. In other words, the prayer from any women after attaining puberty will not be accepted without her wearing her head covering. The word used for “head covering” is khimâr, which is a cloth that covers the head and the neck. 

The following has been cited as evidence by some of those who support that the feet need to be covered from the top: It was related that Umm Salamah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Could a woman pray in a gown and a head covering without a waistcloth?” 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Yes, if the gown is long and covers her feet from above.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd]. 

However, Ibn Hajr, as quoted in Subul al-Salâm, says regarding this hadîth: “The scholars have concluded that these words are not attributable to the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself.” 

Therefore, it does not stand as evidence. 

And Allah knows best.

Metaphor of divorce depends upon husband's intention

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Assalaamu alaykum. I am very distressed right now and look forward towards your help. A few months ago, my husband and I got into an argument until, out of anger, he said, "Go to your mother's place." We did not pay attention to it at that time, but a few days ago, I came across a lecture by a scholar on Facebook who said that divorce occurs when such words are said. Now, my husband says that his words were, "Go to your mom's place forever," while I clearly remember that he did not mention the word 'forever'. About his intention, he said that he was angry at the time. We were not aware of the phrases that can count as divorce. He thought that only the word divorce (Talaaq) was used for this purpose. We are both scared, as we have one son and I am presently pregnant with our second child. Secondly, a year ago, we had a fight; I was trying to make amends, and he was very unresponsive, so I asked, "Will you leave it like this?" and he abruptly answered, "I left." Does this count as a divorce as well? My father-in-law said that it did, so we renewed our vows in front of two men.


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. 
What your husband said is not an explicit wording of divorce. Rather, it is a metaphor of divorce, through which divorce does not take effect except if the husband actually intended to issue a divorce while saying it. 
Hence, since your husband did not intend to issue a divorce by uttering those statements, divorce has not taken place. In any case, we advise you and your husband to be keen on treating each other with kindness and respect.
Allah knows best.

Holding the Qur’ân in prayer to follow the reading of the imam

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What is the ruling on the one who wishes to hold a mushaf whilst praying behind an imam during the tarâwîh prayer, so that he can better understand and follow along with what is being recited?


A worshipper can hold the Qur’ân to follow the reading of the imam in prayer if there is a need for it. This would be because the imam has a weak memory and has to delegate one of the worshippers to follow along with his reading in case he makes some mistake. 

Otherwise, I do not think that a worshipper in prayer should follow the imam’s recitation by reading from the Qur’ân. This is because, by doing so, he has to leave out certain desirable practices in his prayer and engage in other things that are undesirable. For instance: 

1. Holding the Qur’ân in prayer prevents the worshiper from placing his right hand over his left while standing, though this is a Sunnah act of prayer. 

2. It prevents him from looking at the place of prostration while he is standing in prayer, which is also a Sunnah act. 

3. It forces the worshipper to make many extraneous and unnecessary movements, such as opening and closing the Qur’ân and putting it somewhere, like under his arm, when he bows, prostrates, and the like. 

Scholars say that any movement in prayer that is unnecessary is something disliked, since it detracts from the worshipper’s humility and concentration. 

Some scholars have even said that the unnecessary movements of the eyes are enough to invalidate the person’s prayer. The eyes have to follow along with the recitation, moving from right to left and from line of text to line of text. Due to the amount of words he will have to read, this adds up to a lot of unnecessary movement, enough to invalidate the prayer. 

Therefore, my advice to my fellow Muslims is to avoid this practice, and instead, concentrate on improving their concentration and their humility in prayer.

Monday, 27 February 2017

‘You are my wife in public only!’

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My wife refused to have conjugal relations with me one night and I said to her in anger: “From this moment forward, consider yourself my wife in public only, but you are not my wife in what is between you and me.” I meant by it that she is not like my wife with respect to sex. Does this count as a pronouncement of divorce?


A statement like this does not bring about a divorce, because you did not intend by it to bring about a divorce. You only meant by it that you were not going to have sexual relations with her. That is clear from the very wording itself, not to mention your intentions. 

Also, such a statement does not prohibit you from having sexual relations with your wife if you wish to do so. 

Finally, please know that Islam gives a stern warning to a woman who forbids her husband intimacy when he calls her to be intimate with him. 

Abû Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses him, so he spends the night angry with her, the angels will curse her until the morning.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3237) and Sahîh Muslim (1436)] 

In another narration it reads: “…those in the heavens remain angry with her until he is happy with her.” [Sahîh Muslim (1736)] 

However, this does not apply in a case where the woman has a legitimate reason to refuse her husband. This could be on account of illness or any other sensible reason. 

Also, the husband needs to take his wife’s circumstances, moods, and feelings into consideration in such sensitive matters. 

And Allah knows best.



Chapter-114,-An-Nas.jpgThis is the final chapter of Quran and it is the second in a pair of chapters that were revealed at the same time.  These six short verses and the previous chapter are generally thought to have been revealed in Mecca, although there is some scholarly dispute about this.  Their subject matter and themes are similar, and they are known together as the ‘chapters of refuge'. Both the final two chapters are used as invocations against evil.  The title of this chapter is ‘The People’.  It is named for the last word in the first verse where God refers to Himself as the Lord of all the people. 
At the end of chapter 113, we sought refuge from the harm caused by envy and jealousy and thus we move straight to chapter 114 where we are urged to seek refuge from the one who is the most jealous and causes the most jealousy and envy in the hearts of the people—Satan.  The evils mentioned in the previous chapter are those that are out of our control.  However, in this chapter, the evils are such that we are liable for them ourselves thus to a certain extent these are the greater evils.
The final chapter begins with the same word as the two chapters before it.  That word is ‘say’ or in the Arabic language Qul.    Together chapters 112, 113, and 114 are known as the ‘three quls’.  There are many authentic traditions from Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and his companions that recommend saying the final three chapters when seeking God’s protection throughout the day or the night.  Thus in chapter 114, God says, when you seek refuge in Me say these words.

Verse 1 - 3 The Lord, King, and God

God is telling us to humble ourselves and ask Him for help.  The word say is a command.  Seek refuge, God says, in Me, the Lord, Master, and Protector of all the people, of all humankind.  Seek refuge in the King, or Ruler of all the people.  Here God is saying that He is the One with all the authority, therefore go straight to Him.  There is no need for an intercessor or a person who can only solve a little bit of the problem.  Go straight to the top.
People tend to leave seeking the protection of God until the very last resort.  That is not the way God intended.  He is saying to us that He is the source of all protection and He is your first and only line of defence.  He is the Master, the King and the God of all humankind.  Seek your refuge with Him.  God alone is the One who has all control, the only Ruler and the only Deity; there is no one apart from Him in which to seek refuge.  Ask Him.
In the first three verses, God mentions three of His attributes, the Lord, the King and the God (or Deity).   The word Nas meaning all of the people, is also mentioned three times, this contributes to the rhythm of the chapter, stressing each point.    One of the root words of the word nas is nasiyya - to be forgetful.  One of the inherent traits of people is to be forgetful; thus this powerful and rhythmic chapter is a reminder to those of us who forget that God is our only refuge.  In addition to this, God has given Satan the power to make people forgetful.  Therefore God commands us to seek refuge in Him and then tells us who we are seeking refuge from. 

Verses 4 – 6 The whisperer

God tells us quite clearly the identity of this slinking whisperer so that we are alerted and ever watchful.  Satan is the one who is continually performing his role.  He is obsessed with it and will not stop.  We therefore need to be on our guard and ever vigilant because Satan will not cease his whispering and he is sneaky.  He operates secretly, hidden away, whispering into the dark, and the dark recesses of our minds.   We have however been warned; we know that the only way to overpower this threat is to seek refuge with God.  This is a most powerful weapon.   The only way to defeat Satan is to remember God and know that it is our faith that will strike down this whispering threat.
Describing Satan as slinking is very significant because it indicates the intrinsic feebleness of Satan.  He meekly withdraws when he is openly confronted.  Satan places himself close to the heart of the believer and whispers but when the believer remembers God and seeks His protection, Satan steps back, he retreats.   Satan can also transfer this task of distracting and whispering to others.  God tells us in the last verse that evil whisperings can come from people as well as Satan and his ilk.  The harmful thoughts, suggestions and whispers need not always be Satan; they can come through other people, other jinn and from evil circumstances that might commonly surround us.
Thus this chapter not only protects us from the whispers of Satan, but also from the evil suggestions of our fellow humans.  If you feel the whisperings of Satan or feel tempted by the actions of those around you calling you to evil, harmful or disobedient acts—recite this chapter, obey God and seek His protection.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Woman has more right than her guardian to set the amount of her dowry

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If a woman's guardian asks for a certain amount of dowry and the women wants it to be less, then which of them has the right to decide the amount of the dowry?


The guardian of a woman has the right to determine the amount of dowry in consideration of the best interests of the woman under his guardianship.

He is the one who will meet the people who intend to marry this woman and discuss the matters pertaining to the marriage with them. The dowry is for the woman. If the woman demands only a part of this amount for herself and of her own free will waives her claim to the rest, then the excess will be for her guardian.

Allah says: “And give the women (on marriage) their dower as an obligation; but if they of their own good pleasure remit any part of it to you, take it any enjoy it with right good cheer.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 4]

In a case where the woman’s guardian insists on a large dowry and the woman is willing to accept a smaller one and the suitor will abandon the marriage on account of the heavy dowry, then the guardian may not allow the marriage to fall through as long as the suitor is suitable for her in his religion and character.

He must accept the suitor at the lower dowry, because the interests of the woman are of paramount importance and she is willing to accept a lower dowry. The dowry is something that is her right and her property, so if the suitor is equal to her, then the guardian may not turn him away seeking a higher dowry than the woman herself is willing to accept.

Allah says: “And do not prevent them from marrying their husbands if they come to an agreement between themselves in a lawful manner.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 232]

And Allah knows best.

Menstruating woman in mosque

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Please, can you advise us about menstruating women entering the mosques and remaining within them? Are there differences of opinion among the scholars on this matter? The reason that I am asking this question is because there is a Qur’ân memorization class which I know of that is held in the upstairs women’s prayer area of the mosque. The sheikh giving the class says that women can still attend when they are menstruating. Is this correct?


There are two opinions on this issue of a menstruating woman staying within the mosque. 

The first is the one adopted by the four Imams who ruled it as impermissible. They argued that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered women in menses to stand apart at the prayer area during the `Id prayer. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (351) and Sahîh Muslim (890)] 

The answer to this argument is that the order is meant for them to stand apart from the prayer itself as is clearly stated in in the narration in Sahîh Muslim “Let them stand away from the prayer.” 

As for the hadîth related by Abû Dâwûd (232): “I do not permit a woman in her menses or a person in a state of major ritual impurity into the mosque” It is a weak hadîth. Its line of transmission contains a narrator who is unknown. 

They also cite as evidence the ruling that a women is prohibited from tawâf around the Ka`bah. It is mentioned in the hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him) addressed `Aishah by saying: “Do as the pilgrims do but do not perform tawâf around the House until you become pure.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (305) and Sahîh Muslim (1211)] 

However, it appears that this is a prohibition from tawâf itself and is not referring to entering the mosque. Indeed, it could well be argued that this hadîth provides us with good evidence that it is permitted for a menstruating woman to enter the mosque, because it does not say that she could not enter it. 

The second saying is that it is permissible for the woman to stay in the mosque while she is in her menses. This is according to the school of thought of al-Zâhiriyyah as well as the opinion of the Shâfi`î jurist al-Muzanî. This view was also adopted by some later researchers and scholars.

They argue that since the basic ruling is that it is permissible for women to enter the mosque, therefore any claim that they are prevented from doing so needs to be substantiated by evidence. 

They also argue that when Abû Hurayrah avoided the Prophet’s company because he was in a state of major ritual impurity, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him: “Glory to Allah, the Believer would not become impure” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (283) and Sahîh Muslim (371)] 

They also argue that it is allowed for unbelievers to enter the mosque and stay in it. 

This is clear from the story of Thumâmah b. Athâl when he was tied to a column in the mosque. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (469)] 

Therefore, if it is argued that the menstruating woman is prohibited from entering the mosque because of abstract impurity, then it is countered by the fact that an unbeliever is permitted to enter the mosque. 

If, on the other hand, it is argued that the prohibition of a menstruating woman from staying within the mosque is because of the problem of physical impurity, then this is countered by the fact that it is permissible for a woman who is suffering from continuous vaginal bleeding to enter the mosque. 

This is according to the hadîth of `Aishah where she said: “One of the Prophets’s wives joined him in i`tikâf and she used to see blood and yellow spots. She had a bowl under here and would pray.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (310)] 

Children were also allowed to enter the mosque, as is established in many authentic hadîth, while they do not care much to avoid physical impurities. 

It is also authentically established that dogs used to walk through the mosque and urinate in it at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and they never used to splash any water over that. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (174)] 

These are strong, mutually supporting points of evidence that strengthen the basic ruling of the permissibility of a menstruating woman staying in the mosque, and it can be adopted when necessary. 

And Allah knows best.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Pre-conditions for a woman to work

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Is it true that Islam forbids women to leave their homes? if some women get good qualifications or want to serve their country or their families, are they allowed to do so, in Islam?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Saying that "Islam does not permit the woman to go out or leave her house" is not true. In fact, Islam permits women to go out of their houses in order to satisfy any necessary needs or to acquire anything that is profitable for their community like learning the Sharia or other necessary worldly knowledge. Islam even permits women to work.

But Islam sets conditions for women's work and other activities outside the house.

1. She should have permission from her guardian (father or husband).

2. She should not stay outside her home for a period exceeding that which is necessary for her very need. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {And stay in your houses, …}[33:33].

3. She should not wear perfume or be unveiled when going outside. Allah Says 

(interpretation of meaning): {O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. …}[33:59] Allah also Says (interpretation of meaning): {And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, …}[33:33]

4. She should not be soft in speech when talking with men Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {… then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, …}[33:32]

5. She should not stay in seclusion with any alien man (marriageable man).
If the Muslim woman applies the above, there is no harm in her going out to study, work or do other necessary activities. 

Allah knows best.

Sex out of wedlock

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I need to clear up the doubts of the Muslim youth. Many of them are asking me if it really is unlawful to have sex with someone if they agreed. Please give me some advise on what to tell them.


Our religion has determined the lawful relationships between men and women and prepared for them the reasons which guarantee their happiness in this world and the Hereafter. 

Allah forbids any relationship between a man and woman outside the marital relationship. We are, in fact, ordered in the Qur’ân to lower our gaze from the opposite sex, so how can we manage to go further and have such an intimate relationship as a love or a sexual relationship? 

Allah says: “Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.” [Sûrah al-Nûr: 30-31] 

Any form of sexual relationship between man and woman outside marriage is fornication. Allah says: “Nor come nigh to fornication: for it is an indecent (deed) and an evil way” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’:32]. 

Allah says, regarding His true believers: “Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this deserves punishment.” [Sûrah al-Furqân: 68] 

Moreover, those who engage in fornication and do not repent are the most maligned of people. Allah says: “The adulterer cannot marry any but an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress, none mary her but an adulterer or an idolater; to the believers such a thing is forbidden” [Sûrah al-Nûr: 3] 

Allah says: “The woman and the man guilty of fornication flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the believers witness their punishment” [Sûrah al-Nûr: 2]. 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The fornicator does not commit fornication while he is a believer” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim

A young man once came to our Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “O, Messenger of Allah give me a permission to commit fornication.” 

The Companions were angry with the way that young man who dared to ask such a thing from the Prophet (peace be upon him), but the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not grow angry and immediately asked him: “Would you like a man to fornicate with your mother?” 

The young man replied: “No.” 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Hence other people do not like it for their mothers. Would you like it for your daughter?” 

The man said: “No.” 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Hence people do not like it for their daughters....” [Musnad Ahmad]

And Allah knows best.