Mental Disorders That Affect My Religious Duties

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: The discharges I experience are very confusing, and I’m not sure whether or not I should make wudu. Sometimes while checking, I have ended up masturbating, which I know is wrong. The whole situation is making me suicidal. Can you advise me?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your really important questions. I pray that Allah gives you clarity, ease and happiness in your religious and worldly life.

Unless you are absolutely certain that the discharge is a sexual discharge, then just ignore it. There is no need to check.

If you have sexual thoughts of the opposite sex, just put the thoughts away and see protection in Allah from the Devil.

If ever you feel the desire to harm yourself or anyone else, you have to speak to someone. If you can’t speak to your parents, then speak to a friend or teacher at highschool. Don’t deal with it by yourself.

Breaking Wudu

If you experience a feeling of moisture coming out of your private parts, you do not have to assume that it is filthy. Rather you should assume the opposite, and just continue with your prayer, etc. For more detail, please see: Do I Need to Renew My Wudu at the Slightest Sexual Thought?

There is no need to check or continually touch yourself to see exactly what it looks like.

I also advise that you take this course: Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi): Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice

Thoughts of the Opposite Sex

It is perfectly normal and Islamically healthy to be attracted to the opposite sex. That said, out of kindness and concern for us, Allah Most High has given us clear guidelines on how to use this attraction.

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘O youth, whichever of you is able to get married, let him do so, because it will help him lower his gaze and protect his chastity.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah Most High has said, ‘And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts.’ (24: 31)

This verse means that one cannot look at the opposite sex in a lustful way and that one must not use one’s private parts in a way that is forbidden. (al-Lubab, Maydani) This also applies to look at images on TV or on one’s computer or iPhone.

If you are in your late teens, and perhaps will soon be moving to go to college/university, it might be an idea to consider talking to your parents about marriage. It can be a benefit for some young people to have a spouse and a bedmate during that time of their lives. It does however require a lot of thought, and you should never jump into it if you think you are not ready.

Please have a read of this for detail: Feeling Discouraged about Marriage

Masturbation

Masturbation is forbidden, and you should avoid checking the discharge that you see if it may lead to you doing that.

For more detail, please see: Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?

Sometimes people who suffer from depression are tempted to masturbate as some sort of relief, like binging on chocolate, or alcohol, etc. This of course is not halal. The key is to work out other ways to escape the pain of emotional lows, as discussed below. Turning to Allah in dua [prayer] is the first port of call.

Over Concerned about Small Things

Sometimes we have a tendency to get too carried away about small things. It is normal, but we can’t let it rule our lives. At the end of the day, we are worshipping Allah, our cherishing and kind God, and we are not worshipping filth and discharges.

Please have a read of these: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

Building Relationships

Reading your questions, it sounds like you don’t have a deep relationship with your mother. Perhaps it is also true to say that you don’t have a deep relationship with many other females. This is concerning, because we all need emotional and familial support, especially in our teens.

I would advise trying to build deeper friendships with religious Muslim girls of your age. You need to have a solid network to get you through your trials.

I’m not an advocate of Stephen King — horror literature at all — but the idea of the protagonists coming together as a united front against the enemy is something noticeably repeated: in It the children agree to tackle the monster together and they have to hold hands to stay strong; similarly, in The Institution the children escape by uniting their psychic forces. Together, put very simply, we are strong. And this is just how Allah has made us.

So you really need to reach out, build strong relationships that you sacrifice time and effort for, so that you can talk about these problems through with someone close to you. Trawling through the internet for help is really no substitute for a good friend.

Suicidal Thoughts

If you are having suicidal thoughts, you must reach out to someone physically near you. It can be at school, the local police station, or your friends. Don’t try these ideas tackle by yourself.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Guidelines for Using Makeup

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu-alaykum, I am a nonmarried woman and I love beauty, and its a big part of who I am. I don’t wear makeup to provoke the lust of men. I wear light natural-looking makeup, it makes me feel better and more confident. Is it permissible?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Using makeup is not intrinsically impermissible. But the permissibility of the extent of its usage depends on the circumstance at hand.

Makeup: Limits and Guidelines

In private settings, such as when a lady, married or otherwise, is in the company of the same gender or members of her unmarriageable kin (mahram), it is permitted for her to wear makeup as she likes provided the environment is safe from improper gazes. Similarly, it would be praiseworthy for a married lady to adorn and beautify herself with makeup or otherwise for her spouse whilst in the privacy of her home or the like.

In public settings, makeup usage needs to be restrained, unassuming, and restricted, if required, to what maintains reasonable presentability alone, such as covering up blemishes and the like. What this means is that it should not be plain and obvious that you are wearing makeup. Usually, the sign of an amount of makeup that is not impermissible is that which would not normally attract the undue attention of the opposite gender. But if it is more than the minimum required amount, it would appear to enter into the realm of impropriety and offensiveness (karaha), depending on the amount used.

Note that what counts is the reality of how you are perceived by the opposite gender, even if your intention is not to attract such attention. Of course, things are not easy and times are difficult, particularly given the constant barrage of idealism pumped out by the fashion and cosmetic industries, but the reward of obedience is in accordance with the difficulty borne by each person. Ask Allah for steadfastness and do your best.

The Centrality of Modesty

The Blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Modesty is from faith.” (Bukhari) Believers should strive to be colored by their modesty, namely, an inward trait of reserve which drives one to leave that which is ugly and unbecoming, such as disobedience and wrong. This subsequently manifests on the limbs and outer body in dignified, gracious comportment and uprightness in following the Sacred Law (shari‘a). Both genders are called upon to uphold such modesty, seeking thereby Allah Most High’s eternal grace and bounty in this world before the next.

Finally, it’s important to be aware that some may resort to makeup as a blanket to cover insecurities in confidence, appearance or otherwise. This is unhelpful and can be damaging to a person’s self-esteem and general emotional health in the long term, so it is wise to be honest with oneself and seek some counsel, even professionally, if needed. It may also be helpful to keep the company of a religious group of sisters in such circumstances because you can sometimes do in a group what you cannot do alone. As a community, we need to work on having strong faith, recognizing and appreciating our worth, as we are, before our Ever-Loving Lord, and having a principled outlook in living life governed by religious values and ethics.

Please also see: Is It Permissible to Have Semi Permanent Eyebrows Done? and: Is It Permissible to Use Cosmetics and Body Care Products That Contain Animal Ingredients?

(Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah, quoting Ibn al-Humam (1.154); Jurdani, al-Jawahir al-Lu’lu’iyya Sharh al-Arba‘in al-Nawawiyya)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

It Is Permissible to Name a Child Jalal?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: It is permissible to name a child Jalal?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner, Thank you for your valued question.

Jalal is not one of Allah’s names such that one would ever say Abd al-Jalal [Slave of the Majesty]. Therefore such a name would not be forbidden.

It would be nicer to say Jalal al-Din [Majesty of the religion of Islam].

Names that discouraged [makruh tanzihan] are names that are ugly (like Dog, War, Ugly), names that are specific to Allah (like King of Kings), names that are too religiously presumptuous or things whose absence is not the sort of (like Good-one). (al-Majmu’ and Sharh Muslim, Nawawi)

These details are all borne out in hadiths in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) changed people’s names, such as a woman who was called Asiya (with an Ayn) [Disobedient], and other women who were called Barrah [the Good-one]. (Muslim)

Similarly, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘The vilest name in Allah’s eyes is King of Kings: there is no kinghood save Allah’s Mighty and Majestic.’ (Muslim)

Given that Jalal [Majesty] is not one of Allah’s names, it does not count as giving someone a name specific to Allah. That said, is it too religiously presumptuous? Or is it something whose absence is not the sort of. I’m not sure. But it doesn’t seem so.

Regardless, this name at worst would be discouraged [makruh tanzihan] and not forbidden.

There are many scholars who had the name Jalal al-Din [The Majesty of the Religion]: Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, Jalal al-Din al-Bulqini, Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, to name but a few.

This name would be far superior. And Allah knows best.

For more information, please see:

Is it Permissible to Name Children with Names of Angels?
Can I Name My Baby Girl Inara Mayameen or Inara Al Mayameen?
Naming Children with the Names of Allah

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Is It Permissible for a Muslim Woman to Marry Without Parental Consent?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim girl to marry without parental consent if she fears to commit fornication (Zina)?

Answer: In The Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for your question and we ask Allah to ease your difficulty

It Being Valid Doesn’t Make It Right

If one fears committing fornication and is certain that there is no way to refrain from it except through marriage it is then obligatory for such a person to marry. (al-Durr al-Mukhtar) However, you should not take the matter into your own hands and get married without parental approval. Even though the marriage of a mature free Muslim woman without consent from her guardian is valid [al-Durr al-Mukhtar], it is not advisable.

In such a situation, you need to be very candid with your parents. Explain to them the difficulty which you find yourself in and your need to get married.

Lack of Familial Support

Even though you may see quickly getting married as a solution to your difficulty, marrying without parental consent may have life long repercussions that you may regret later. Marriage is not just a union between two individuals, rather it is a union of families. To have familial support throughout your marriage is central to having a happy household; this is especially true when children are involved.

The Prayer of Need

Whenever we find our selves in difficulty, we should train ourselves to turn to Allah, Most High for help. The prayer of need is a prayer that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us. See the below link for the details.

https: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?

Prevention

In the meantime, you should try to find and refrain from anything or situation which will increase any sexual desires. Refrain from places that exacerbate your feelings. Try to keep away from looking at anything that will increase your desires. If you find using the computer or the phone stirs up your desires then you should limit their usage and only use them in public spheres. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever seeks chastity, Allah will grant it to them.” [al-Bukhari]

Speak to your parents and beseech Allah to help you. We pray that Allah blesses you with a righteous spouse and eases all your difficulties.

Ameen

Allah A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Masturbating With One’s Spouse

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is masturbating during sex with husband permissible? What are the different schools of thought on this?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Masturbating oneself even whilst in the presence of one’s spouse and whilst engaged in sexual intimacy would be impermissible. But it is certainly permissible for each spouse to mutually satisfy the other’s desire in such a manner with a limb or otherwise.

Allah Most High says, “Those who guard their chastity except with their spouses or their slaves––with these they are not to blame, but whoever seeks beyond that are the transgressors.” (Sura al-Mu’minun 23:5-7) The attainment of sexual pleasure requires the presence and contact of a lawful partner because intimacy regularly directed in such a way inevitably preserves honor and lineage, two of the aims of the Sacred Law (shari‘a).

Unfortunately, sexual dissatisfaction is a cause of many problems in marriages. Accordingly, I would highly encourage talking to your spouse to inform him of the difficulty you are facing, and subsequently see how you can reasonably resolve the issue in an amicable manner. Your sexual needs are just as important as his and he needs to work harder to ensure that they are being met.

I would also recommend benefitting from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam’s beneficial work: Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations. Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) regularly, and continue to ask Allah to make you both stronger and more concerned for each other’s well-being. (see: https://www.seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/how-does-one-perform-the-prayer-of-need-salat-al-haja/)

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see: Mutual Masturbation Between Spouses and: What Is the Legal Definition of Masturbation According to the Hanafi School? and: My Husband Does Not Satisfy Me During Marital Relations. What Can I Do?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Is One Allowed to Chat With a Potential Spouse for the Purpose of Getting to Know Each Other?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Is one allowed to chat with a potential spouse for the purpose of getting to know each other (to consider the other for marriage)? In some conservative cultures meeting in person (in presence with a mahram of the girl) is not proper or nor even allowed.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question because this topic is often misunderstood. See the following two links for looking at and communicating with a potential spouse:

Can a Man Look at the Shape of His Potential Spouse’s Body?

How to Approach Getting Married?

My teacher in Amman taught us that a person may speak to the potential spouse as many times as needed until one makes one’s decision. This however has to be within the confines mentioned in the above links.

There are many conservative cultures that misunderstand what is permissible in Islam. This is why it is imperative to learn one’s obligatory knowledge from a traditional scholar so as not to fall in these culture traps, often having no basis in Islam.

May Allah give you tawfiq,

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What Is Considered Slander?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: What is considered slander?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful and Compassionate

Slander is to mention something false about someone and is strictly prohibited.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To mention your brother in a way that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I said about my brother is true?” He said, “If he is as you’ve said, then you have backbitten him. If it is not true what you said, you have slandered him.” [Muslim]

Argumentation

Even though what you said is not slander, it is best to leave argumentation. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever leaves dispute, while they are incorrect, a house will be built for them in the outskirts of Paradise. And whoever abandons it, while they are correct, a house will be built for them in the center of Paradise, and whoever’s character is made beautiful, one will be built for them in the highest part (of Paradise). [Tirmidhi]

May Allah bless us all with beautiful character

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Is It Permissible to Sit at a Table or in a Restaurant Where Alcohol Is Served and Consumed?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible to sit at a table or in a restaurant where alcohol is served and consumed? Also, how do we apply this ruling in the context of western countries?

Answer: It is sinful to accompany people of open sin and transgression unless one intends to prevent them or reproach them in that sin. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

The Western Context

In the western context, though many things that the Muslims do not partake in are common, we find that there are many alternatives. It is not farfetched to meet friends and colleagues at a coffee shop or a restaurant that does not serve alcohol.

One must use wisdom in these matters. For example, being the first to suggest the meeting place or if necessary by excusing one’s self in a very tactful manner. If one is frank and straightforward, with a respectable and dignified approach, it is usually taken well and with respect. For example, “Sorry, but as a Muslim, I would prefer we go somewhere where alcohol is not served.”

May Allah bless you

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Is Standing for a National Anthem Shirk?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is standing for national anthem shirk? If yes, then if a student stands for the national anthem because it is the rule of the school and hates to do so would he or she be out of the fold of Islam what should a student do in such a case?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, standing for the national anthem is not shirk.

What is Shirk?

Shirk would be to:
a. Say there is another independent god besides Allah.
b. Say that Allah is part of another god – like the trinity.
c. Say that someone else is worshipped because he can make you closer to Allah.
d. Worship others besides Allah due to following another person.
e. Affirm that conventional causes bring about their effects independently of Allah.

For more details on this please take one of our Courses on Theology. (Sanusi, al Muqaddimat).

So, clearly, standing for the national anthem is none of the above, therefore it is not shirk. It is a mark of respect, which is not impermissible.

If, however, the anthem has any lyrics which clash with belief or values of the din then the ruling would change accordingly. In this situation, it would be best to speak to the school and clarify that you mean no disrespect, but there are elements that are problematic, and you would like to be excused from it.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Do I Have to Pay Back my Father After Graduating?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum, My dad gave me a lot of money for my undergraduate studies. Do I have to pay it back?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

If your father did not specify that this money was a loan then you are not obliged to pay it back. You can assume it was a gift.

Repaying Good With Good

Having said that, some of the best qualities one can acquire are gratitude and being appreciative. If it is possible do give it back to your father. Even if he does not accept the money he will appreciate the gesture.

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever does something good for you do something equivalent for them. If you’re unable to do so then pray for them until you think you have done the equivalent.“ (Abu Dawud)

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.