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 It Licit to Go to a Snooker Lounge That Doesn’t Have Gambling and Betting?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Is it halal to go to a snooker lounge that doesn’t have gambling and betting?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for this excellent question. Playing snooker, also known as pool or billiards is permissible in the type of lounge that you mention. Although it isn’t prohibited, I must mention some detail.

Wasting time has become far too common among our youth and boys. They don’t perceive that the reason for the absence of blessings (barakah) in our lives as a nation (ummah) is because of how much time is wasted. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” [Musnad Imam Ahmad]

This hadith is sufficient to indicate to us that our days and nights are meant to be valued as precious. Our youth should be pre-occupied with learning obligatory and beneficial knowledge, serving the poor, elders, and the needy, seeking to build skills to acquire halal provision, seeking to strengthen one’s body with fresh air and exercise. Building relationships with neighbors and family and not forgetting one’s duties are of utmost importance.

The lifestyle that comes along with snooker lounges is not appropriate for a person who spends his day thinking it could be his last. A Muslim may not enter into an activity that might cause him to miss a prayer, neglect his duties at home, ignore his children and forget about their upbringing, fall short in helping his parents, etc. Ponder this last hadith and I leave the decision up to you. Please see the related links for clarification on wasting time.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The feet of a servant will not touch the ground until he is asked about his life and how he spent it; his knowledge and how he acted upon it; his wealth and how he acquired it and spent it and his body and how it was used.” [Tirmidhi]

Do make time for leisure, but with the right intention. Have a picnic with your family, connect with friends for sport, food, worship, or other quality time. Fill your time with beneficial activities and service, you will see the blessings rain down, near and far in sha Allah.

The Blameworthy Trait Of Wasting One’s Time and Its Cure

On Using Time Appropriately

[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. Afterwards, 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.

Watching Pornography.

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

In the past I used to watch pornographic videos in which there were actresses wearing the hijab. I know this is a disgusting thing, but have I committed kufr by watching them? Also, there are certain chatrooms online where people talk about seducing and converting kafir women to Islam. Is it kufr to have this type of fetish?

Please let me know if I must renew my faith, these thoughts have been tormenting me.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You can rest assured that you are still a believer. The acts you mentioned do not take one outside of the fold of Islam. Please refer to this answer for more details on the matter.

Turn Back To Allah

The best thing to do is to turn to Allah with duʿa, repentance, and salat al hajah. Beg for forgiveness, and ask Him to open for you the doors to leaving these bad habits. That is the way out. Rely on Him.

One of the companions went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and complained of his many sins. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told him to say,

“ْاللَّهُمَّ مَغْفِرَتُكَ أَوْسَعُ مِنْ ذُنُوْبِي
ْوَرَحْمَتُكَ أَرْجَى عِنْدِيْ مِنْ عَمَلِي”

(O Allah your forgiveness was more vast then my sins
And I have more hope in your mercy than in my own deeds).

He was told to say it three times, and then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said his sins had been forgiven (Hakim).

These inspired words expressed the reality of our sins not being greater than the mercy Allah. No sin is too great, and no crime overwhelms His mercy. Reliance on Allah’s kindness and mercy is the way of the intelligent because even the best of our deeds are not up to the standard that Allah’s beauty, majesty, and perfection deserve. So relying on Him is the intelligent choice.

Seek His help in finding a practical solution to your problems, and you’ll find the help there. Imam Muhammad al Harraq, said in a beautiful line of poetry,

“He has a beautiful trait of not letting the hopes of the seeker be dashed,
And a door before him which is never locked.”

There is always hope in the mercy of Allah.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with 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 Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, 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 amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Will Allah Be Displeased With Me?

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil advises a sister whose husband is addicted to porn on how she best can tackle this sensitive issue.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have been married for 21 years. My husband has been addicted to porn since before we got married. I did not know this until a few years into our marriage. I have tried to talk to him several times but he gets angry and defensive. He tells me he doesn’t want to be controlled and if I continue to try to stop him he will be more determined.

In other aspects of his life he is very religious, masha Allah. Recently his addiction had become too much for me and I no longer want him to touch me. At first I did not refuse him, but tonight I had a long talk with him. I told him I want to help him stop his addiction and only do what pleases Allah.

He had the same reaction as before and again said he will not be controlled. Finally I told him I don’t want to have relations with him if he will not stop. He said in that case Allah will be displeased with me because I am not fulfilling my duties as a wife.

My question is, is that true in this case? Am I still obligated to fulfill my wifely duties even though he continues to watch pornography and I cannot bear to have him touch me?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Witholding Marital Intimacy

Narrated Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him:

Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.” (Bukhari)

Dear sister, I cannot imagine how difficult this situation is for you. I pray that Allah heals your husband and your marriage. 21 years is a very long time to struggle with his refusal to repent.

Although you are at your wit’s end, I do not encourage the use of ultimatums, especially in regards to withholding intimacy. Doing so is a form of controlling your husband’s behavior, and this would naturally cause him to be defensive.

As hard as it might be, try to imagine his pornography addiction as a drug or alcohol addiction. Threatening to withhold marital intimacy from an alcoholic does not make him more likely to stop drinking alcohol. This route could add to his feelings of anger and frustration. However, he is choosing to refuse to get help. He is still responsible for his actions.

In short, for as long as you are married to him, you are still obligated to have marital relations with him. I say this within the context of your husband being gentle with you and being sensitive to your needs and wants in the bedroom. If you are feeling repulsed by him, then you both need to work on solving this issue.

By the same token, these actions are displeasing to Allah:

1) watching pornography

2) masturbating while he watches it

3) disregarding your feelings.

Marriage Counselling

It was narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, blessing and peace be upon him, said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

A successful Islamic marriage is a mutually respectful and loving partnership with the joint intention of pleasing Allah. Within this context, your husband is failing to recognize his role in displeasing Allah through how much he is hurting you.

Is it possible for at least you to attend culturally-sensitive counseling? Ideally, it would be better for both of you to attend counseling, but your husband seems resistant to any form of change. Please know that you can still tremendously benefit from counseling, even if you attend it by yourself. A good counselor can help empower you and help you recognize what is within your sphere of control, and what is not.

Accepting a Wife’s Influence

A wise husband knows how to accept his wife’s influence. Consider these links:

Love Quiz: Do You and Your Partner Accept Each Other’s Influence?
Husbands Can Only Be Influential if They Accept Influence

Prayer of Need

You probably feel extremely powerless. Because of this, I encourage you perform the Prayer of Need to appeal to the One who created your husband.

Pornography Addiction

Purify Your Gaze is an excellent resource for people like your husband. Again, only he can decide to get help.

I encourage you to consult Megan Wyatt from Wives of Jannah to help you navigate your difficult and sensitive marital situation.

Prayer of Guidance

I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance as often as you need to in regards to staying in your marriage. A positive answer could be your husband softening and finally getting the help that he needs to treat his addiction. A negative answer could be your husband persisting in his addiction and refusing to repent.

Oppression

Narrated Anas, may Allah be pleased with him:

Allah’s Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.” People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Bukhari)

At the end of the day, if you cannot bear to touch your husband, then it does not seem like a marriage worth staying in. Please exhaust all options and consider divorce a last resort. Divorce may be frowned upon, but it is still permissible. If both of you fail to fulfill your obligations towards each other, and continue to oppress one another, then divorce may even be obligatory. Please remember that Allah has given you the gift of agency. Use it to draw closer to Him.

Please see Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long, A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation, and “Too Embarrassed to Talk About It”: Pornography Addiction and Some of Its Effects on Muslim Marital Life.

I pray that Allah blesses you with wisdom, courage and insight to do whatever is most pleasing to Him.

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.