Is It Permissible To Use a Membership Or Discount Card?

Question:  Is it considered usury or gambling to use a membership or discount card from which one gets points and discounts?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

It is not impermissible to use rewards cards or discount cards. They do not entail usury as there is no exchange of money for money. Nor do they entail gambling as there is no risk involved. [Maydani, Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

 

Detailed Answer

What is Usury?

Usury applies to transactions in which weighed or measured items are exchanged for like items in incongruous amounts. Likewise, this applies to the sale of money – whether it be gold for gold, silver for silver, one currency for the same currency – if one is given for the other in incongruous amounts.
[Maydani, Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

Thus, the giving of discounts, points, or store benefits as an encouragement to make further purchases in that store does not share the above meanings.

What is Gambling?

Gambling is defined as a competitive action between two people in which the winner wins a monetary gain from the loser and vice versa. However, if the condition is one-sided it is not gambling. [Ibid.]

Thus, the discounts and benefits of a membership card do not entail the above meaning as there is no risk or chance involved.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[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

Repentance

Sin, Forgiveness, and Repentance in Islam

 

Question: I have an addiction to something haram. I have tried to quit cold turkey in the past but have failed and relapsed. My new method is a gradual reduction until I completely stop. One of the conditions of repentance is to resolve never to return to the sin. When I am repenting, I know for a fact that I will return to the sin, will my repentance not be accepted until I reach the end goal of my gradual reduction?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. First, I commend that you have recognized that you have an addiction and that you are taking steps to eliminate the problem. It is very challenging and I pray that Allah helps you until the end. I know that you will overcome this, by His grace.

Continue your tawba

As for your repentance, you should continue to make repentance every step of the way. I believe that your sincere repentance from this sin is one of the very reasons that you have been able to gradually reduce your sin. Allah hears you and wants to help you change. It is simply a trick of the Shaytan to tell you not to bother repenting and that will lead to your problem becoming worse.

Allah loves to hear your repentance Your interacting and connecting with Allah, the Changer of Hearts, is valuable in changing yourself. He hears you, He helps you, you pour your heart out to Him, you beg Him to help you, He inspires you to change, and He responds with His blessings and grace. The Devil wants to stop this interaction so he is telling you that your repentance is worthless. Please ignore him and continue on your path.

Death at any moment

In addition, one does not know when death will come. You can die at any moment on any day. Would you be ready to face Allah, knowing that you held off on your repentance? Muslims should live every day as their last. I am certain that you will achieve your goal and I pray that you can be a guiding light for others. May Allah give you the best in this world and the next.

Allah’s pleasure with a servant’s tawba

Consider this Prophetic hadith: “Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost. He, having lost all hopes (to get that back), lies down in shade and is disappointed about his camel; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of boundless joy blurts out: ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Rabb’. He commits this mistake out of extreme joy” [Muslim].

See these links as well:
Is Repentance Accepted If You Sin Again? (Video)

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the specifics of the situation. Jazakum Allah khayr.
[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 Master’s 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.

Is Joking About Something Sinful Disbelief?

Is Religion Relevant in the 21st Century

Question: Is it true that if someone makes a joke or laughs about something sinful or something that we should be doing in Islam then this is kufr? Isn’t almost everything in life either a sin or a command from Allah through the Quran or sunnah/Hadith? Therefore I feel like almost everything we laugh about therefore relates to this.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Laughing At a Sin Is Not Kufr

No, joking about sin or laughing about a sinful matter is not disbelief. It is, however, a sin to joke about sins or discuss them in a way in which one derives pleasure from it (Nabulsi, al Hadiqa al Nadiyya). One should work towards removing this from their speech.

I highly recommend the course we have on Imam Birgivi’s al Tariqa al Muhammadiyya (The Muhammadan Way). You will learn about all of these matters in a clear and structured way in this course.

Mocking Islam Can Lead to Disbelief

Mockery of religion is a dangerous matter. It can lead to disbelief as it is a manifestation of a deeper problem. This is a deliberate action and not something that would happen accidentally. It’s best to bear in mind the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Whoever is quiet is safe” (Tirmidhi).

May Allah protect us all.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

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 many erudite scholars. 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. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Family Members in Hell

Question: How could a believer be happy in Paradise if he knows that one of his family members will be in hell forever?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Love and Concern for Everyone

As Muslims, we love all people and we want the best for everyone. We hate bad deeds and bad beliefs, but we love people and pray that all our friends and relatives die in faith.

However, once Allah has informed us that He hates someone, we no longer love them. This is because we love that which Allah loves and hate what He hates. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Whoever loves for Allah’s sake, hates for Allah’s sake, gives for Allah’s sake and withholds for Allah’s sake will have complete faith’ (Abu Dawud). Consequently, it is of our faith that we do not love the Devil, Pharaoh, Abu Jahl and any other person whom we know died in disbelief.

Intercession

While intercession is possible for the sinful relatives of believers, it is not possible for disbelievers.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Ibrahim will meet his father Azar on the Day of Rising, and his face will be covered in dust and soot.
‘Did I not tell you,’ Abraham will tell him, ‘to do what I said?’
‘Today,’ his father will say, ‘I will do as you say.’
Then Ibrahim will say, ‘O my Lord, indeed You did promise me that You would not forsake me on the day they would be raised, and what disgrace is worse than this lost father of mine?!
Allah will then say, ‘Truly I have made Paradise forbidden for the disbelievers” (Bukhari).

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/memorizing-quran-intercession/

The Final Word

Thus, on the Day of Judgment, when a Muslim, like Prophet Nuh or Prophet Ibrahim (upon whom be peace), will come to know that one of his family members is doomed to an eternity in Hell, he will not suffer grief and sorrow but will be content with Allah’s just decree.

Allah Most High says:

And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups until, when they reach it, its gates are opened and its keepers will say, ‘Did there not come to you messengers from yourselves, reciting to you the verses of your Lord and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?’ They will say, ‘Yes, but the word (decree) of punishment has come into effect upon the disbelievers.”

[To them] it will be said, ‘Enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and wretched is the residence of the arrogant.’

But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, ‘Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein.’

And they will say, ‘Praise to Allah, who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit the earth so we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And excellent is the reward of [righteous] workers.”

And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne, exalting [Allah] with praise of their Lord. And it will be judged between them in truth, and it will be said, ‘All praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds’ (Qur’an, 39: 71-75).

On the Day of Judgment, there will be complete justice and everything will be completely fair, and everyone will see and appreciate that, even those in Hell. The sacred family ties of this world will be over and the realities of faith (iman) will bind the people of Paradise.

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 Difficulty a Sign That One Should Desist

Question: If one keeps trying to do something and continually fails, does that mean that Allah is telling you not to do it?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

If one keeps trying to do something and continually fails, it does not necessarily mean that Allah is telling you not to do it.

If it is an obligation, then one just has to keep asking Allah for help, and pick oneself up and try again. One should look hard at which permissible, offensive or even recommended actions are stopping one from doing something obligatory. For example, you keep missing Fajr because you are out with your friends at night, or reciting too much Qur’an at night. These obstacles need to be avoided.

If it is a sunna, the same applies. Look to see why you can’t do it. Sometimes, honestly, people just put too much on their plate. They keep failing at doing a certain sunna because they are just doing too much. Either they need to remove other less important things from their life, or just accept the fact they can’t do everything.

Salman al-Farisi said, ‘Be careful of going to extremes, adhere to moderation, and be consistent’ (Tabarani).

Please see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-can-i-find-balance-in-religious-practice/

If it is something permissible, but it is important and one sees it as something that Allah wants one to do, then the same applies. If it is not, then if it doesn’t work out, then you can understand that it wasn’t meant to be. As they say, one of the signs of Divine success is that things come easily.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

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

OCD About Impure Water

Question: My question is that I know that water becomes impure if it gets mixed with impurity but what if it is so small that it did not change its properties. I know I can’t use that water for purification, but what if it falls on my clothes? Do I have to wash it even if no trace of impurity appeared? I mean even if it did not change these three properties of my clothes, but only the wetness of the water can be felt. This affects my OCD and mental health.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Which Types of Water Are Impure?

In the Hanafi school, two types of water are impure: a small body of water (which is around 5 square meters) in which some impurity – such as blood or urine – has fallen; and flowing water or a larger body of water in which the smell, taste, or colour of impurity is present (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah).

Alongside this, it is important to know that flowing and moving water is pure – as long as one or more of the above mentioned three traces of the impurity is not present.

Assume Purity Unless There is Certainty

Most of the water you will come into contact with will likely be pure. If you have not seen any impurity come into contact with the water,  assume it is pure and carry on. If you see that some water has come into contact with impurity, if it is a small amount, simply wash it by running it under a tap. The flowing water will wash away the impure water.

If it is a large body of water or it has flowed or moved, then assume it is pure unless the change in smell, colour, or taste is apparent to you.

It’s that simple. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Indeed, the [practice of the] religion is ease itself” (Bukhari).  Remember this.  If you’re having issues then amend your practice. Learn how to do it in a way that is easy itself.

Learn the Rulings With a Teacher

The solution to your issue is twofold: learn the rulings of purity with a teacher, and take the steps to heal your OCD. Studying with a teacher is helpful because a teacher can provide a clear and simple understanding of the rulings of purity and how to apply them.

To heal, please refer to this seminar. It will explain matters and show the way of getting the help you need. May Allah facilitate matters for you.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

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 many erudite scholars. 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. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

I Made Promises to God That I Can’t Keep

Question: I made promises to Allah to stop doing some negative things, like not watching TV, not reading newspapers, and not reading novels. It has become somewhat difficult for me to keep up with these. So should I keep them? Or what should I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Dear questioner, thank you for your question.

Please read the following article in order to differentiate between a promise, oath, or vow. It seems to me that your situation falls under a promise to Allah and nothing else.

What is the Difference Between a Promise, an Oath, and a Vow?

I commend your zeal for wanting to stop these actions, but I caution you to do so gradually. It is the Devil’s (Shaytan) number one trick to make one pile up many acts of worship, or totally abstain from all pleasures, that the person eventually comes crashing down, only to find that he didn’t change anything at all.

Limit your TV watching by an hour every few weeks gradually until you stop. Reduce your novels per month until you cut them out. There is no need to stop reading the news unless you feel that it is a genuine waste of time for you and doesn’t benefit you or your family. Pick your news carefully, perhaps, by reading only the Health section or Discovery section until you only read as much as you feel you need. You probably don’t need to read more than five minutes of politics.

Instead of making promises to Allah, get a handle on how you want to improve your religion and keep the company of religious people. Read the Qur`an every day, and read the inspiring works of Imam al-Haddad and others. Pray tahajjud and ask Allah to guide you every day. Don’t miss a single obligation and remove the haram from your life one at a time. You will soon find that your bad deeds drop from you like flies and that your interests will be changed forever. And Allah knows best.

Is There a Difference Between Breaking an Oath and Breaking a Promise?

[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.

 

My Father Looks At Pornography

Question: Growing up, my father watching porn created fights between my parents. My mom despised it especially when we would find out. My father asked me to set some things up for the house via the Internet on his phone. In doing so, I saw several disturbing porn pages that were open. This isn’t the first time, I’m just not sure if I should confront my father or tell my mother. I feel bad knowing that he is still hiding such things but I don’t want to create problems, I also feel uncomfortable in confronting him. Please advise on how to handle this situation.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It truly is a disturbing thing to see what you have seen, but truly wise and mature of you not to fall into the same unlawful habit. I praise you for this and pray that you can continue on the same path of piety when so much of humanity is hooked on this addiction

Enjoining good and forbidding evil

Islam commands Muslim to enjoin good and forbid evil according to certain criteria, please see them here and act accordingly:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/the-criteria-of-enjoining-good-and-forbidding-evil/

Bring him good company and keep him busy

One of the best things that you can do is to find good company for your father. Introduce him to scholars, influential people, other religious elders, your friend’s parents and invite them over for dhikr, Qur’an recitation, or just dinner.

In addition, try to help keep him busy with good things. Ask him to take you to the mosque, or for some other outing to bond with you. Ask him to spend time in nature with you. Suggest that he take up some form of exercise or better yet, volunteer for charity.

If you confront him

You may or may not choose to confront him, according to the criteria above, but if you do, make it sweet and short. You would be surprised how even one sentence can get someone thinking or shame them into changing their ways.

If he does not change, remember that “no soul bears the burden of another” [Qur’an, 35:18]. He is an adult and must face his own account on the Day of Judgment. Intend to try to help him, respectfully and effectively, but hand the matter over to Allah, for only He can change hearts.

Your mother

As for your mother, it is not obligatory for you to tell her, but do pray istikhara about it. Sometimes, if a man cannot help himself, his family needs to help him. If you did tell your mother, your intention would be to help him and work with your mother to encourage him to stop and to support him. You shouldn’t tell anyone else.

Please see this excellent advice for your topic as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-father-watches-pornography-what-shall-i-do/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/father/

May Allah reward you and help you support your father. Your sincerity and willingness to help will not go unrewarded, by the grace of Allah.

[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.

A Phobia of being Touched

Question: My fiance has a fear of being touched? Will it go away after we get married?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

In general, one should never assume that any physical, mental, moral, or personality problem in your future husband or wife will go away after marriage. You have to be prepared to take them as they are.

A phobia and oddities are not that rare in reality, and most people have been scared by one problem in their life or the other. The issue is how big the phobia or psychological problem is.

You need to have a very frank conversation with your fiancé and get a proper picture from his/her family of what exactly the problem is. It might also be wise to consult a psychiatrist.

Please also see:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320763#treatment-and-coping

For your other questions, please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-physical-intimacy-allowed-if-you-are-engaged/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/intimate-conversations-on-the-phone-before-marriage/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/controlling-sexual-desires-when-marriage-is-put-on-hold/

If you have further questions, please contact us again.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

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

My Husband is Addicted to Marijuana

Question: I got married 2 years ago. He had confessed before marriage that he used to smoke and gave up and now occasionally smokes weed. I told him that for me smoking was a deal-breaker. I decided to marry him because he seemed like an overall wonderful person. The first few months were fine, but then I began to smell it. As the months went by, he now does it multiple times a day and I realized that he is addicted. I asked him to quit, and he responded saying that he would try to smoke less. I cannot ignore this addiction like how his parents have been for years. Last night I stumbled across his stash and I learned that he has been lying to me for months. I am heartbroken that he has lied so often and this is the only thing we fight about. I don’t want the father of my children to do this. I’m considering divorce. In-laws are of no help. I don’t want to worry my mother after I already told her he stopped. Sex is already a problem. We have tried it but we couldn’t. I blame this on his smoking, but he dismisses it.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through so much pain and suffering from your husband’s addiction. It is not fair that he lied to you and what he is doing is unlawful. I am also very concerned that you have not accomplished intercourse yet.

Smoking weed

You are correct that this addiction cannot be ignored and that the father of your children shouldn’t be doing this. No intelligent woman would accept this. Please see this excellent advice for a woman who has caught her husband smoking weed and please recite the du`as in it daily:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/saw-husband-smoking-marijuana/

Here is the ruling on smoking weed:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/smoking-marijuana-and-the-importance-of-keeping-good-company/

Erectile Dysfunction

This brings us to the next problem. Smoking marijuana has a common side effect of ED (Erectile Dysfunction), but it may be reversed if the person stops smoking. I believe this is a result of smoking for years, but you should confirm with a doctor.

Not having accomplished intercourse for the past two years is a major marital calamity and contrary to the Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. You should seek treatment for this, or talk to your doctor or his doctor together or alone, and try to rectify this. This is clearly adding to your frustration and your unhappiness and you deserve to be satisfied. This is not asking for too much.

Decision

With the two factors in front of you, namely: Marijuana addiction and lack of intercourse, these would be valid grounds for divorce. You have two options. You can commit to helping him recover, heal, get therapy, medical help, and draw on a depth of patience and fortitude until he changes. The other option is that you leave him, especially because there are no children yet, so the adjustment would be a little easier.

Please pray istikhara for 21 days and tell him that you are considering it. You must tell your in-laws and parents the whole story and get their advice as well. They may all try to help you through this and be your support to help him change, or perhaps they will guide you to something else. Substance abuse is not a small thing so please don’t go any further wasting your time without a firm plan in place.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/

May Allah reward you for your patience and give you the very best in this world and the next.

[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.