Can I Perform Umra without a Mahram? (Shafi‘i)

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked if a wife can perform umra without her husband present.

I want to perform umra with my husband and children but he drinks alcohol so can I perform umra by myself? He can only travel with me and stay in the hotel while I go and do my umra.

In the Shafi‘i school it is permissible for a woman to travel alone to perform her obligatory hajj and umra. The permissibility to travel alone only applies to obligatory (first time) pilgrimages, and not sunna pilgrimages. (Bushra al-Karim)

 

If your husband travels with you and stays in the hotel, this would suffice in regards you traveling with a mahram, even if he ordinarily sins. Perhaps you could ask him to at least refrain from drinking to and during the trip out of respect, if you feel comfortable or safe enough to ask him.

Alternatively, you may ask another mahram to escort you, such as your father, adult brother, adult son, uncle etc.  

You may also find the following answer helpful for your situation: My Husband Is Not Practicing: What Can I Do To Make Him A Better Muslim?

I wish you all the best. 

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Can a Son Force His Mother to Wear Hijab?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked whether a son can force his mother to wear hijab.

Can a teenage son force his mother into hijab or certain types of clothing?

A teenage son cannot force his mother to do anything, but he can and must, just like anyone else, command her to comply to Sharia which includes wearing the hijab and dressing modestly.

Please see What Are the Requirements of Hijab? for more detail.

It would be a good idea for both mother and son to read these together too: A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

The Point of a Shaykh and a Path

I have learned from this shaykh since I was a little boy. This shaykh is very pious, masha Allah, and he has never done anything harmful to me or anyone. But lately people have been telling me that he dislikes me or avoids me and it is effecting me. So I went to my shaykh and asked him: “Do you dislike me?” and he said, “No. I do not dislike you.” I keep on bothering him with my doubts and I feel as if it is effecting my relationship with him.

I do not want a new shaykh because I already benefit from my shaykh and he is the one who taught me about Islam and is a blessing from Allah Mashallah. But he does have a lot of favorite students and those are the ones that tell me that he dislikes me. I know he doesn’t but I ended up falling for their lies. I am not one of my shaykh’s favorites but behind my back I know my shaykh once said that he worries about me a lot and then during the day he does put time aside to talk to me.

I was wondering if you could tell me how to make sure he does not dislike me and how to fix my relationship with him?

Your relationship with your shaykh should not be a personal one: he is not your buddy, and it does not matter whether you “like” each other.

The point of the shaykh is to direct to Allah, and help you get through the obstacles that stop you from being a true slave of Allah. As long as that is happening, don’t worry about anything else, and don’t listen to anyone else either.

Let it be just you, your shaykh and Allah, until it is just you and Allah, and then just Allah. That is the point of a shaykh and a spiritual path.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Friendship between a Boy and a Girl

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil answers questions about friendship before marriage.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

Months ago, I met a brother in a seminar. We kept in contact and built a friendship with a lot of respect. A few days ago, I asked him how he would react if his sister had contact to a strange guy he doesn’t know. He thought about the question and suggested to break off. (We have written over WhatsApp.) We both are Muslims and he understood it and showed respect to me and my family. But we promised to stay cool if we’re going to see us again.

Now my problem is, since this happened, I feel broken. I feel pain inside me. But it isn’t just because of him. I’m really under stress and feel that it wasn’t the right time to ask him this question even though it’s Islamically right. I’ve lost a good friend. I want to write him again but I don’t understand why it’s Islamically incorrect. I want to have a clear explanation. I’m aware of the relationship between men and women. But I need him right now as my friend. And thinking a lot of Islam makes me just more sad.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Friendship between Opposite Genders

Dear sister, I am sorry for your heartbreak. Please know that you have done what is pleasing to Allah, even if it hurts.

For a clear explanation, I encourage you to read this answer by Shaykha Zaynab Ansari: Can a Young Man and Woman be Platonic Friends?

Emotional Regulation

Because you are in pain, I encourage you to treat yourself with love and compassion. Soothe yourself through the different aspects of your being – the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. You know yourself best, so write down the different things you can do for yourself, every hour, every day, until you feel more balanced.

I have some suggestions for you, to help you get started.

Spiritual Self-care

  1. Do everything in your power to have a good opinion of your Merciful Lord.
  2. Guard your obligatory prayers, and strive to perform them mindfully.
  3. Wake up in the last third of the night, even if it is 5-10 minutes before the entry of Fajr and pour out your sorrow to Allah.
  4. Perform the Prayer of Need as often as you need to.
  5. Read these duas as often as you need to: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Mental Self-care

  1. Write down your troubling thoughts so you can see them in front of you.
  2. Investigate your beliefs, which have often been installed from childhood. Do you believe that the world is a safe place? Do you believe that you are more than enough, as you are? Do you believe that Allah is there for you?

Emotional Well-Being

  1. Journal about how you feel, allow yourself to feel those strong emotions, and let them go. Remind yourself that feelings are signals, but not fact.
  2. Reach out to close family and female friends.
  3. Listen to guided meditations on apps such as Calm and Headspace.
  4. Store your worry on apps such as Worry Box.

Physical Well-being

  1. Walk every day.
  2. Ground yourself in nature.
  3. Strengthen and relax your body through pilates and/or yoga.

Possibility of marriage

Please know that we are all hard-wired for connection. Allah has set loving limits on gender interaction because He knows our easily we can fall. If you feel so strongly about this young man, and feel ready, could marriage be something to explore? Do speak to your parents first, if you think that could be the case. It is far better to have them on board, from the beginning.

Also, please remember that marriage is another big shift. It is not a silver bullet that will heal all of your pain.

In any case, I encourage you to prepare for marriage through empowering yourself with knowledge through this course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages and reading this book Before You Tie The Knot.

I pray this has been helpful. May Allah ease your heartache, and gift you with a husband who is your dearest friend and your companion on the path to Jannat al-Firdaws.

Please see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Criticizing a Companion

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked about speaking ill of the Companions.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

If one has the i‘tiqad of Ahl al-Sunna, but criticizes, or speaks ill, or curses a Companion of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, what is his state?

  1. Is he still among the Ahl al-Sunna, but with an opinion of Ahl al-Bid‘a?
  2. Or is he totally Ahl al-Bid‘a, because the i‘tiqad of Ahl al-Sunna cannot be separated, as iman (belief) cannot be separated?

Jazak Allah khayr.

I pray you’re well insha Allah.

While love and veneration of the Companions of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is not a fundamental tenant of Sunni doctrine, it is nevertheless a benchmark of one’s belief in, love and obeisance of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, which is a central component of Islam.

Insulting the Companions

Those who insult or disrespect the Companions have disobeyed the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, and have a serious issue in their faith. This is clear from the many pre-emptive narrations of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. Among them:

Do not abuse my companions, for if one of you were to spend the weight of mount Uhud in gold it would not surpass a small amount of their charity or even half of that. (Bukhari)

The best people are those living in my generation. (Bukhari)

The Ansar: no one loves them but a believer and no one hates them but a hypocrite. Whoever loves them, Allah will love him, and whoever hates them, Allah will hate him. (Bukhari)

Ruling on Those Who Insult the Companions

While Sunni scholars do not state that those who insult the Companions fall out of the pale of Islam, the position on such people are stern. Illustrious Imams such as al-Hafidh ibn Hajr and al-Dhahabi explicitly call such people zanadiqa (sing; zindiq), which is another name for a hypocrite (munafiq). (Al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba; al-Kaba’ir)

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Mixed Schools and Talking to Other Students

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan answers a question about how to deal with having to sit next to a person of the opposite gender in a mixed school.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I go to a school that is mixed and in one of my classes, I sit near a boy. I do my very best to avoid him, but is it okay if I talk to him now and again – obviously staying in the limits?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you’re well insha Allah. Jazakum Allah khayran for your question and may Allah reward you for being concerned about your religious practice.

Unfortunately, mixed gender schools are now part of most people’s lives and for some, there are no alternatives. Religious individuals and groups must therefore learn how to deftly maneuver within the reality of their environment; balancing the often difficult task of remaining firm on clear principles of social conduct while at the same time doing their best not to isolate or repel others.

We often have to remind ourselves that traditional gender barriers that religion places are no longer understood or observed by most people, especially in the West. Of course, we should maintain these barriers for they serve a necessary purpose, however, we must also be sympathetic in attitude to people to whom such formal interaction may seem strange or extreme. Acknowledging this at least allows us to view and interact with others in a merciful and respectful manner. In time, they may even admire and appreciate the wisdom in our customs.

In these situations, one can only do the best one can, observing proper etiquette and modesty while remaining genuine and good-natured. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Do not be extremists, but try to be near perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Suggestions on Mixed Schools

You could ask the teacher if it is possible to seat you next to a female student.

If you must sit next to a boy, then just ensure that you are properly covered and avoid physical contact. Talking now and again to greet him or when needed is fine. Be natural and don’t be harsh. It’s also not his fault he is sitting next to you!

Simple questions and answers usually suffice to be pleasant yet succinct.

You may also refer to this post: How to Deal with Free Mixing in Public Schools.

I wish you the very best. Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Is It Valid to Marry in Secret?

Ustadh Salman Younas answers a question about the validity and rightness of wanting to marry someone without the parents’ knowledge and consent.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I love someone and I want that relationship becomes halal. Right now I want to marry her without telling anyone just to make it halal, and it is not possible right now to take permission from my parents neither from her parents.

If we marry each other will it be legitimate? And if we do not get involve in any physical relation before the marriage with the permission of our parents will it be legitimate?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

According to the Shafi‘i school, in order for a marriage contract to be valid the following must be present:

    1. 1. The bride’s guardian (wali)

2. Two upright Muslim witnesses

3. The groom

4. The offer and acceptance.

Without these being present, the marriage contract would not be valid. As you can see, “secret” marriages executed without the knowledge and consent of the bride’s legal guardian are not valid in our school. (Tuhfatul Muhtaj, Nihayatul Muhtaj)

Hanafi School

Although the Hanafi school holds that the bride’s guardian is not a legal integral for the validity of the marriage, when there is no serious need to take this position, marriage without your parent’s knowledge and consent would be highly discouraged.

While your feelings towards each other are strong right now, please do not forget your respective mother and fathers, their feelings, and everything they have done for you both. Marriage is a huge step and one that takes a child away from the family home forever. Do your best not to break their hearts and cause them unnecessary anxiety, for in many cases, couples that do so later regret it and wish they had done things differently.

For more detailed answers to the Hanafi position and related concerns, please refer to these answers, particularly the second answer: What Are the Minimum Steps That Must Be Taken for a Marriage to Be Valid? and Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Relationships

Whether one is in a physical relationship or purely an emotionally attached relationship, either way, it would not be permitted to continue. Allah has commanded us:

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ

And do not come near to adultery. (Sura al Isra 17:32)

Coming near zina includes every inclination of the heart, every loving gaze, every touch, every word spoken with intent of affection, with someone one it is not permitted to do so with. These tender emotions are guarded and preserved for after marriage, which makes the marital bond that much sweeter and pure.

There is a saying in Egypt which goes something like, “The one who walks through the door is respected, the one who climbs through the window is not.” In other words, the man who does not go through the proper means of asking for a bride’s hand in marriage, i.e. the father or guardian, deserves no respect, while the one who goes through the correct channels, regardless if his acceptance is accepted or not, is still respected and his dignity and reputation remain intact.

Don’t forget, by marrying this girl, you are essentially taking someone’s daughter away from them. This is hard enough for parents when their child gets married with their consent, let alone behind their backs.

Conversely, from the bride’s point of view, she should not give her affection to anyone easily, rather she should deem herself worthy, and accept only a man who is respectful, dignified and who carries out his affairs with principles and correct conduct. This not only earns the respect of the family, but the woman herself will value and respect him more, and he respect her more.

Though it may be hard to put your relationship on hold until a solution can be found in regards getting married, put it on hold you must. You should take the lead and show strength and resolution.

In this time, I suggest that you both work on your relationship with Allah Most High, for whom your love should be more than anyone else. When you truly love Allah, step by step, you will both desire what is pleasing to Him, and naturally forgo what you want and accept whatever Allah has in store for you both.

Solutions

Marriage is a celebration of two people coming together lawfully, and it is important that it is made public for many reasons.

Try to resolve the issue by following the helpful suggestions mentioned in this answer: Can I Marry Without My Parents’ Consent?

Be patient and true, and you’ll find that Allah will open up things for you in ways you never would have expected.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Clothes of The People of the Land

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers the question of wearing jeans as opposed to wearing jubbas in relation to modesty and prayer.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I wanted to know about wearing certain clothes, I am 18 years old and live in the UK, I wear a Jubba everyday and pray in it and find it comfortable compared to other clothes for prayer, however I sometimes feel a bit embarrassed wearing a jubba outside sometimes, I also study Islam, one of my friends and fellow student doesn’t like me always wearing a Jubba in a sense, he even said to me that if you want to be accessible to people, wear the clothes that they wear.

Now based on this, I would tend to wear jeans whenever wearing other clothes, I don’t particularly like other types of pants, what i find about jeans is that, even though they may not be like skin-tight jeans, when sitting down in the tashahhud position they do tighten up to the skin, I think from what I have read that this may be makruh, I think many jeans would be like this,

Could you please advise about what to do in my situation, I do feel embarrassed at times wearing a jubba and also i am not sure about wearing jeans (even if they are loose they may still tighten up), could you pleased tell me the ruling about wearing such clothes as well as the fact that I am young so I wouldn’t wear a suit pant style, like most older people tend to,

Is it best for me to carry on wearing my jubbas? Is it allowed for me to wear clothes like people around me, even if they can become tight in certain prayer positions?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Clothes fulfill a number Sharia countenanced goals which I shall try to detail as follows.

Covering Oneself

The first and foremost is covering your nakedness, which is an obligation, and part of this is the covering of shape and form of the area between your navel and your knee. Clothes that show the shape of this area (like tight emo trousers) are un-Islamic.

Avoiding Sin

Another almost equally important goal is reducing avoidable attraction from the opposite sex. Showing off one’s vanity muscles is forbidden, not just because it constitutes pride, but almost because it can be a temptation to some women. The is nothing wrong with sex or sexual attraction in Islam, but it just has its place and time, and that is not the street.

Self-expression

We all know the maxim “You are what you eat.” This is often true regarding clothes too.

What we choose to buy and wear is a form of self-expression: people dress like they are businessmen because they want to show that they are effective people who achieve; people also dress like they are ‘straight outta Compton’ or ‘too cool for school’, then that is exactly what they are feeling inside and what they want to be seen as.

For this reason, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Whosoever drags/wears anything out of pride, Allah will not so much as look at on the Day of Rising.” (Bukhari and Muslim) This applies to how you dress, what you drive, and how you carry yourself in general.

Message

What you wear is also a message, be it a good, bad, or neutral message. And this is very important. Wherever you are and in whichever setting you find yourself, the way you dress sends intended and unintended messages.

In the Middle East, for example, wearing a red hat with a white turban usually means, ‘I am a religious scholar so ask me questions.’ This will affect the behavior and reactions of those around such a person, and will affect how their words and actions are received.

This is true for a Muslim in the West, and for this reason we have to be careful about what exactly the messages are that we wish to convey. This is what you friend is talking about.

For example, are you trying to install awe in others, such that they see you as a ‘man of the cloth’, from a Christian perspective, or as ‘foreign and Eastern’? Are you trying to lead other Muslims to hold tighter to the ‘outward’ signs of religiosity, or are you trying to show them that you are more than they? These are all possibilities that you must think about with regards to your own intention, and with regards to what effect you might be having on other people, and no one can tell you the best thing to do but yourself.

The Upshot

Wear clean and smart clothes that are concealing of the area between your navel and knees, and then choose based on the above discussions whether you should dress Eastern or Western, or whether you should dress like a scholar or a average religious Muslim.

I am personally a big advocate of the wearing a Muslim-looking hat: I find that it almost a statement to oneself that one is a practicing Muslim, and it is also a way of giving emotional and religious support to sisters in the West who are having a hard time keeping the hijab.

And Allah knows best.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Greeting, Hugging Non-Mahram Men and Women

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked about a wife seeing his husband hug a non-Mahram woman in front of her children and how to deal with this.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have been married for almost six years and have two daughters. My husband usually shakes hands with non-Muslim women and I don’t. I was thinking to talk to him about that. It was first time after six years that my husband’s non-Muslim friend invited us to a dinner. I was surprised to see when my husband’s friend’s wife asked to hug him and he said yes. They hugged each other and then we left. It was a shame for me because they did it in front of me and our kids. I want to raise my children on Islamic manners and now I am getting concerned about it because i believe that our children do what they see.

I talked to him about it and he acknowledged his mistake but I didn’t get any answer that he would not do that again or not. And now after that I am having doubts about our relationship that whether I should continue it or not.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Unless there is something more to the situation that you have failed to disclose, it would seem ill-advised to think of ending your marriage solely based on this action of your husband, which he himself admits is a mistake.

Often, even practicing Muslims find it difficult to avoid shaking hands with the opposite gender in certain situations. There is a social and psychological pressure that people often succumb to when confronted with the choice of shaking someone’s hand or not doing so in both casual and professional settings. Your husband is certainly not the first person to slip in this regard. In fact, it is a common problem that people report and inquire about.

If your husband is a good partner otherwise and someone who tries to practice his faith, I would advise you to be a loving and supporting spouse. Nudge him in the right direction. Try to understand his struggle and speak to him like a friend and sincere confidant. Help him overcome the difficulties he is facing. But don’t suffocate him. Rather, advise him and then give him some space to take it in and work on himself.

People slip, and sometimes they do so repeatedly. It does not mean they are bad people, nor does it mean that they do not care for their religion and practice. As the Prophet, blessings upon him, said, “Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who repent.” (Tirmidhi)

It is also important to ensure that other areas of your life are ones where both you and your husband are practicing your faith as this may eventually be the key to overcoming one’s vices.

Finally, you should continue making supplication for him and your family. In the end, God is the one who changes hearts.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Prints of the Qur’an in the Living Room

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked if it is permissible to hang framed Qur’an verses in the house as decoration and remembrance.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I could really use some help right now for this issue I’m having and hoping it’s permissible to use this to ask. If not, can I be directed to where it would be appropriate. I’ve put myself in a bad spot by not speaking up initially and now just trying to save our relationship before it gets even more uglier.

My wife purchased a print with a lot of her money that has Ayat al-Kursi on it and we are now debating whether or not to actually keep it and use it. My wife initially wanted to have it hung in the living room of our house. My intentions of having it, was to have it as a reminder of what it stands for and to help with remembering and reciting it. After hearing opinions from others and considering the fact there’s a TV across the room (which I didn’t say anything about), we’re having second thoughts.

Is there any sort of ruling or resource that may be able to help in remedying the situation? Any rulings on Qur’anic verses being used in such a way?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

In general, we are encouraged by the Shariʿa to remember Allah a lot, “O believers, make much remembrance of Allah.” (Sura al Ahzab 33:41). Anything which aids this remembrance would be praiseworthy with the proper intention and requisite adab.

Use the print as a means of remembering Allah and reflecting on His blessings; this will bring great good into your life. Please also see Rulings Regarding Selling and Displaying Islamic Wall Stickers.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.