What is the Etiquette in Warning Others from Slandering?

Shaykh Farid Dingle outlines the approach and etiquette that one should adopt when advising others to stop slandering.

 

Question:

As-salaam alaikum,

If someone is being slandered by someone else and I defend them saying that what the person who’s slandering is saying is wrong by way of insulting the words that they used to refer to the person slandered. Does that mean I slandered that person by insulting what they said?

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

An even keel

The believer sees the world and other people from a certain vista that prevents him from lowering his standards to harsh words or insults.

Allah Most High has described his slaves:

‘And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk lightly upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say, ‘Peace!’ ‘ [25: 63]

And the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘The believer  neither curses, nor backstabs, nor is he immoral in words, nor foul.’ [Tirmidhi and Hakim]

In light of this, the believer does not respond in an insulting, demeaning, or pontifical way to anyone, be they on the right or wrong. The believers hatred to directly solely to the actions or words that are being done or said, no the person who is saying or doing them.

The case at hand

If one were to hear, for example, some say, ‘Zayd is an idiot.’ and then you defended him by saying, for example, ‘No, you are the idiot,’ that would be verbal abuse and it would not be halal. If you were to say, ‘These are stupid words,’ or ‘That is a stupid thing to say,’ you are attacking the action (the initial insult), and what you are saying is true.

If what you said was clearly condescending or vulgar, then it would be a different kettle of fish.

I pray this helps,
Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How Should We Treat Wild Animals?

Shaykh Jamir Meah advises on how we should treat wild animals such as lions and tigers.

 

Question:

As-salaam alaikum,

We know that our prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) loved cats, and thus we as Muslims are to treat cats with kindness and respect. Does this apply to larger cats like lions and tigers? To what extent?

Thank you

 

Answer:

Wa’alaykum assalam, 

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) showed mercy to all of God’s creation and encouraged others to follow example. This extended to animals, plants and trees, and the earth in general. As such, it is unlawful to abuse, hurt, or mistreat, animals, plants, other organisms, or earthly resources without a valid excuse sanctioned by the shariah.

An example of the Prophet’s concern for animals is when he (peace and blessings be upon him) saw a camel which was burdened with a huge load, and he said, ‘Fear Allah when you deal with these beasts of burden.’ [Abu Dawud]

Cats were not particularly singled out, rather they are treated with the same compassion and respect as other created beings with souls, though the companion Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) did have a personal fondness of cats.

Warmest salams,
Jamir

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Using Terms as Colloquial Expressions

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked of using noble terms as colloquial expressions of approval or praise in a metaphorical sense is permissible.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Is it wrong to refer to things of this world as “heaven/heavenly/paradise”? For example, “This cake is heavenly” or, “My home is my paradise.” It is said as an expression, knowing full-well that nothing that we can conceive of is like that in the heaven/paradise of the afterlife. Nonetheless, is this wrong or a form shirk?

Likewise, is it wrong to say to someone whom you admire and appreciate, “You are an angel,” when obviously they are a human?

On the same line of thinking, is it wrong to name a child “Malak” meaning “angel”?

Jazakum Allah khayr.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Yes, it is permissible to use metaphorical expressions as long as they are tasteful and it is clear to the reader/listener.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) referred to extreme heat as being ‘of the blaze of the Hell-Fire’, meaning that it is like the Hell-Fire. [Muwatta]

So it is perfectly fine, as long as it does not detract from the reverence due to the original sense of the word.

Regarding naming someone Malak (Angel), there is some debate as to whether or not someone should name one’s child any specific angel’s name like Jibril, and there is also some debate about giving names that imply perfection or piety, such as Barrah (goodness).

On top of that, the name Malak in the Middle East is often used for girls, and Allah makes a very clear statement in the Quran that the Angels are not women. [43: 19]

In light of these considerations, I think it would be better to name the child the child after some prophet or righteous early Muslim. Though it would not be forbidden to name the child, male or female, Malak.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Name your children after the prophets. The most beloved of names to Allah are Abdullah and Abdurrahman. The truest [names] are Harith and Hammam, and the ugliest of them are Harb and Murrah. [Abu Dawud]

These names mean Plougher, Brave/Generous, and War and Bitter, respectively.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/18658/

 

Responding to Vulgarities

Shaykh Jamir Meah gives advice on how best to respond to vulgar language used by others in the workplace.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I come in to contact with people in my work place as I go about my work who, as a means of conversation swear for example when mentioning the weather, or talking about the work load or to show appreciation of how it’s almost time to go home.

In response, as this is just a passing remark as they pass me, I tend to smile or laugh and they say something in response and carry on with my work.

Is it permissible for me to laugh or smile like this obligingly as my intention is not to show approval of the vulgar word and I myself do not swear?
 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Thank you for your question.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, advised us, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand, and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue, and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)

The way to deal with these situations depends on the type of people you are working with, their reaction, and the potential consequences for you. Unfortunately, swearing and vulgar language is now acceptable in some work places and common place in social circles.

Since more than one person uses offensive language in your office, it would probably be difficult to kindly ask them not to swear, as this may well affect your position and general working relationship. The minimum is to hate such language in your heart, which all of us are able to do.

Smiling or laughing at only the general meaning of their sentence is not sinful in itself, such as the relief that the day is almost finished, even if they swear when expressing it. However, in order not to encourage them, I would suggest not smiling or laughing when they use vulgarities, rather, either stay silent if that is not awkward, or reply with something positive or constructive that is clean, with the intention of showing good character. Knowingly or unknowingly, they may stop swearing in front of you.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.