What Are the Things That Nullify Someone’s Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: What are the things that nullify someone’s Islam?

Answer: Dear questioner,

Thank you for your valued answer.

No one leaves Islam except by willingly and actively rejecting Islam. Imam al Tahawi tells us, ‘And nothing takes a slave out of faith except rejecting that which brought him into it.’ (Al Aqida al Tahawiyya)

No sin takes one out of Islam. (Al Aqida al Tahawiyya)

Please also read:

Waswasa, Apostasy and Pure Faith
I Think I’ve Committed Apostasy. How Do I Repent?

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

Clarifying Innovations in Islam

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: What is blameworthy innovation? Did the Messenger of Allah distinguish between a praiseworthy and blameworthy innovation? What is the proof for reciting specific surahs at the grave, a specific amount of times?

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

May Allah bless you for your inquiry and your desire to know the sunnah of our beloved Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace]

Blameworthy innovation is that which is newly introduced to the religion and goes against the Qur’an, Sunnah of the Prophet [may Allah bless him and give him peace], and the consensus of the scholars. This is the innovation of misguidance mentioned by the Prophet. It is considered strictly prohibited (Haram) and one of the grave sins.

This understanding is explained below.

What is Innovation?

The word for innovation in the Arabic language is (بدعة – Bid’ah). Bid’ah, lexically means something newly introduced not based on any previous example. This meaning can be seen in the verse:

(Allah is the) the originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is. [al-Baqarah – 117]
But when we discuss the word Bid’ah in the context of the Sacred Law, the Scholars have defined it in the following ways:

Imam al-Shafi’ [may Allah be pleased with him] said, “Bid’ah is two. The praiseworthy bid’ah and the blameworthy bid’ah. Thus that which coincides with the Sunnah is praiseworthy and that which goes against the Sunnah is blameworthy.

Imam al-Bayhaqi relates that Imam al-Shafi’ [may Allah be pleased with them both] also said, “Newly introduced matters are two types: that which was introduced and goes against the Book (i.e. the Qur’an), or the Sunnah, or the consensus of the scholars, then it is an innovation of misguidance; and that which was newly introduced of good which does not go against any of that, then it is not blameworthy

Types of Innovation

This distinguishment between blameworthy and praiseworthy innovations can be clearly understood from the statement of the Prophet [may Allah bless him and give him peace],

The Messenger of Allah [may Allah bless him and give him peace] said, “Whoever initiates, in Islam, a good sunnah (practice), then for him is its reward and the reward of all who practice upon it, after him, without decreasing from their rewards, anything. And whoever initiates, in Islam, an evil sunnah, then for him is its sin and the sin of all who practice, after him, without decreasing from their sins, anything.” [Muslim]

In this context we now can understand what the Prophet [may Allah bless him and give him peace] meant when he said:

Every newly introduce matter is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the fire. [Ahmad; Tirmidhi]

If we take this narration to its fullest apparent meaning then many aspects of our worldly and religious lives would also be considered innovation (bid’ah). We would have to discard our telephones and computers, remove the lights and carpets from the masjid, no longer drive cars, etc… And if one were to claim that it only refers to innovation in the religion, then they have not taken the apparent meaning of ‘every’.

How to understand primary texts:

Regarding verses of the Qur’an and the body of Prophetic Narrations, we must examine them as a whole. We cannot use one narration and disregard others. All of the aforementioned narrations, when observed together, indicate a distinction between the two types of innovation. That which is blameworthy is, therefore ‘in the fire’. And that which is not blameworthy which would be considered (sunnah hasanah) a good practice, for which one will be rewarded, as mentioned by the Prophet [may Allah bless him].

Examples of praiseworthy innovations

The Companions [may Allah be pleased with them all] introduced matters, both in and after the time of the Prophet. For example:

It is narrated that ‘Umar [may Allah be pleased with him] said, “A man came while the people were in prayer. Once he reached the rows (of prayer) he said, “Allah is most certainly the greatest, much abundant praise is due to Allah, and glory be to Allah morning and evening.’ When the Prophet [may Allah bless him and give him peace] finished the prayer, He said, ‘Who is the one who said those words?’ The man replied, ‘I am, O’ Messenger of Allah, I swear by Allah, I only intended good by them.’ He said, ‘I surely have seen the doors of the heavens open for them.’” Ibn ‘Umar [may Allah be pleased with them] said, “Since the day I heard them, I haven’t left them.” [Sahih Muslim]

It is narrated the Rifa’ah bin Raaf’i [may Allah be pleased with him] said, “We were once praying behind the Prophet [may Allah bless him and give him peace] and when he raised his head from the bowing position (ruk’u), he said, ‘Allah hears the one who praises Him.’ A man from behind us said, ‘O’ our Lord for You is all praise, abundant, blessed, and pure praise.’ When finishing the prayer He (i.e. the Prophet) said, ‘Who is the one who spoke?’ He (the man) said, ‘I did.’ He said, ‘I have seen some thirty angels racing to see which of them can write it down.’” [al-Bukhari]

In these two of many, many examples, it is clear how the Companions [may Allah be pleased with them] understood innovation. Other examples are:

Gathering the Qur’an into one book
Taraweeh Prayer behind an Imam
Islamic Seminaries
Recordings of Qur’anic Recitation
Books of Islamic Law
The Science of Hadith

And this list goes on…

Allah, Most High, says in the Qur’an:

…and whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he prohibits you from, then desist. And fear Allah. Verily Allah is severe in punishment. [Qur’an: 59.7]

Allah, Most High, never said, ‘whatever the Messenger did not do, then refrain.’ Our Mother ‘Aisha [may Allah be pleased with her] relates that the Messenger of Allah [may Allah bless him and give him peace] said, “Whoever introduces into this affair of ours (i.e. Islam) that which is not of it, then it is rejected.’

This narration clearly indicates that there will be matters introduced that are of the religion and thus not rejected.

Qur’anic Recitation at the Cemetery

Reciting Qur’an at the grave of the deceased is a practice rooted in the Prophetic Sunnah and practiced by the righteous since the time of the Companions [may Allah be pleased with them] till present-day.

Specifying amounts of recitation

As for stipulating a specific amount of any particular surah or verse other than what is narrated in the Prophetic Hadith, then there is nothing wrong with this. As long as one doesn’t deem such an amount to be obligatory or force others to do that amount, no more, no less, it is permissible and not an innovation.

It is narrated by M’aqil bin Yasaar [may Allah be pleased with him] that the Prophet said, “YaSeen is the heart of the Qur’an, no one recites it, seeking Allah and the final abode, except that Allah forgives him. Recite it over your deceased.” [Abu Dawud]

Note: The word deceased here is literal. The metaphorical meaning of ‘those on the verge of death’ is not taken. This is because to leave the literal meaning for a metaphorical interpretation would necessitate a legal reason to do so, which is not found.

Al-Hafiz al-Suyuti [may Allah be pleased with them] mentioned, “Whoever enters the cemetery, then recites al-Fatihah, al-Takaathur, and al-Ikhlaas, then says, ‘I give the reward of what I recited of Your speech to the people of the graves, from the believing men and women, they will be intercessors for him on the Day of Rising.” [al-Qawaa’id]

Al-Nasaai narrates, as well as al-Raaf’i in his (Tarikh) and Abu Muhammad al-Samaqandi in his (Fada’il of Surah al-Ikhlas), the narration of ‘Ali [may Allah be pleased with him], that he said, “Whoever passes by a graveyard and recites ‘Say! He Allah is one.’ 11 times then gifts the reward of it to the deceased, he is rewarded according to the number of the deceased.”

Lastly, it must be noted, that even though some of the narrations related to this topic are of weaker transmission than others, that does not mean they cannot be acted upon. Many scholars have considered it permissible to act upon weak transmissions. Some have said that the permissibility is absolute and others have stipulated conditions. Either way, it falls under a matter of difference of opinion amongst authentic scholarship, and differences of opinion when they come from the authorized scholarship are respected.

May Allah bless you and 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.

Shahada Online

Answer by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: I converted to Islam online. Do I need to proclaim my shahada again with an Imam in a mosque?

Answer: Wa Alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for writing to us.

The testimony of faith recited by yourself through an online facility is valid and we welcome you the Religion Islam. You are now our brother/sister and as such we are obliged to support and assist each other.

While it is not incumbent upon you to “retake” the shahadah with an Imam in your locality, it is undoubtedly desired. It is necessary for you to attach yourself to a Muslim community and visiting and introducing yourself to one of the leaders of that community will prove to be beneficial. I would also like to advise you to take up one of the introductory courses on offer here at SeekersGuidance.

May Allah bless you and accept from us all, Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Satan And Mary

Answer by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu Alaikum, I read this hadith: “Satan touched every son of Adam the day his mother beareth him, save only Mary and her son.” What is its proper meaning in relation to the life of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and his Exalted Spiritual Station?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

The hadith, ‘When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead’ is a sound hadith found in al Bukhari.

However, to conclude from this hadith that one prophet is better than the other, namely Sayyidina Isa (peace be upon him) is superior to Sayiddina Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) because of this, is incorrect thinking.

Incorrect conclusions

To understand why the above assumption is incorrect, please consider the following:

1. We affirm that Allah Most High gives to whom He pleases whatever He pleases.

2. Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an, ‘The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” [2.285].

3. Using the logic that if God gives x something and he doesn’t give the same thing to y, x must be better than y, or to put it in another way, if God singles out x for special treatment in a matter, x must be superior to y because y does not receive the same special treatment in the same situation, is incorrect. This would mean the following:

a) That any prophet given something unique is better than others, such as Sayyidna Sulaiman (peace be upon him) is better than all other prophets because God granted him a kingdom and power over creation not given to anyone after him, Sayyidna Yusuf because of his manifest beauty, Sayyidna Adam (peace be upon him) is better than Sayyidna Isa (and all other prophets) because not only did Satan not touch him, but he was created directly by Allah, and even the four that spoke in the cradle, including Jesus because they spoke as babies, etc.

b) That Sayyidina Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) is better than all prophets because of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), ‘Do not say I am better than Moses for mankind will faint on the Day of Judgment and I will be the first to recover, and Moses at that time will be holding the side of the Throne. I do not know if he would faint and recover before me, or if Allah will make an exception for him.’ [Muslim]

4. It is an integral part of our faith that we believe that all the Prophets were infallible and divinely protected (ma’sum). If a person is infallible and it is impossible that they sin, then this means that satan has no power of them. As such, it makes no difference whether satan touches them at birth or not! There must then be another reason for Sayyidna Isa being excluded from the norm.

5. It is documented in various instances that each person has an accompanying devil, and that the devil accompanying the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) not only had no control over him, but became Muslim!

Why Satan was unable to touch Maryam and her son

Imam al Qurtabi tells us that the touch of satan at birth is the beginning of his trying to control the person, but Allah protected Sidtina Maryam and her son through the blessings of Maryam’s mother’s du’a, ‘Verily, I seek refuge for her and her offspring from the cursed Satan’ [3:36], and Maryam had no progeny other than Isa (so the result of her supplication could only descend upon him). [Fathul Bari]

From the few simple examples above, it is clear that it is erroneous to conclude that because of an event, namely, Sayyidina ‘Isa not being touched by satan at birth, then it must mean that he is more exalted than the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). Rather, Sayyidna ‘Isa was given a special exception in this situation through a) the Wisdom and Will of Allah who gives to whomever He pleases, and b) as an acceptance of his pure mother’s du’a for her offspring which God chose to answer in this way. Thus it was an honour for mother and son, not a sign of their superiority over others.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the leader of all the Prophets and the leader of all mankind. ‘I will be the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection and the first for whom the grave will be opened and the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted.’ [Muslim]

His chest was open, his black spot (found in all hearts) was removed, and his heart was cleansed with Zamzam water on numerous times, not because he was blotted somehow by the devil. The removal of the spot was the removal of a matter found in everyone, as well as a means to make us know what is what is inside our hearts so we may be aware of the danger of letting it grow and spread.

As for the purifying of his blessed heart, this was never because of its need to be purified, but rather, it was in preparation for the tremendous gifts, bestowals, favours, strength, knowledge, wisdom, love and compassion that Allah Most High wished to pour into him, and to prepare him for the greatest experience ever bestowed upon anyone, the ascent to the heavens and the beatific vision of his Lord, an experience not given to any prophet before.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. He travelled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years privately studying a range of Islamic sciences under the foremost scholars and muftis from the Ribat Tarim, specializating in Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies under many of Amman’s most prominent scholars, in a range of Islamic sciences, including Islamic theology, logic, legal principles and precepts, hadith studies, grammar and rhetoric, seerah, Quranic studies and tafsir. He is also an experienced homeopath

Lack Of knowledge

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: As-salamalaikum,

I have been living my life as a muslim without knowing many things about Islam, Allah, His Throne, and i have been very anxious about seeking knowledge because of the fact that I might discover that I have been believing misconceptions about Islam or that I have been ignorant about certain things. I hope you can help me out.

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayran for your question

What makes a person a Muslim is that they simply testify in their heart that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Whosoever testifies that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Allah has made the Fire unlawful for him’. [Muslim]

This belief makes a person a Muslim. Therefore, do not doubt your faith or anyone else’s.

Obligatory Knowledge

Beyond this testification which makes a person Muslim, there are matters that are obligatory for each Muslim to know in order to make their basic belief sound and complete. These matters are some details relating to what is termed the ‘Six Articles of Faith’. These are: Belief in Allah Most High, His angels, His prophets, His books, the Day of Judgment, and divine decree.

While knowing some details about these matters is obligatory (to the extent possible given each individual’s ability and situation) not knowing them does not negate a person’s basic testification which makes them a Muslim, so long as they do not knowingly negate anything that is necessarily known to be part of the religion, such as the obligation of the five pillars.

The Throne

Not included in obligatory matters one must know is the nature or reality of God’s ‘Throne’ or related theological issues and exegetical discussions. A person will not be asked on these matters in the grave or on the Day of Judgment, but they will be asked about their basic belief in Allah, his Messenger, and held accountable for his works.

I highly recommend taking a basic, structured ‘aqida course which will give you the obligatory knowledge that each individual should know. However, to answer your specific question on the meaning of Allah Most High being above or elevated over His throne, the following brief points suffice for now:

1. God is absolutely dissimilar to creation, for Allah Most High has said, ‘There is nothing like unto Him’ [42:11]. He does not possess a corporeal body and is not defined by time and space.

2. Some of the early Muslims did not delve into the meaning of this verse (or similar verses), but rather contented themselves with assigning the meaning to Allah Most High, while at the same time negating that Allah Most High is anything like creation.

3. Some of the early Muslims, such as Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), and later scholars, explained ‘Allah is above His throne’ as meaning that Allah is established in Authority and Power over His dominion. This explanation is supported linguistically, is reinforced by the context of the rest of the verse(s) and by other verses of the Quran, and again, negates any concept of corporeality.

Though there is much more to the discussion, a simple example of this explanation from a linguistic point of view is the statement, ‘The king was on his throne for 10 years’ which clearly does not mean the king was physically sitting on his throne for a period of 10 years, but rather he reigned over his kingdom/subjects for 10 years. Even at this basic lexical level, the meaning is clearly understood by all.

The simplest things in life are most often the most profound and the most beautiful. The most beautiful and profound thing in life is faith. Keep it simple and guard it.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Shaytan’s Promise to Adam, Peace Be upon Him

Ustadh Tabraze Azam explains the meaning of Shaytan’s promise to Adam, peace be upon him, concerning eternal life in Paradise.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question regarding the 120th ayah of Sura Ta Ha in which, according to a translated commentary of this ayah, Shaytan promised immortality and the everlasting kingdom to Adam, peace be upon him, in order for him to eat from the forbidden tree.

My question is: Wasn’t Adam, peace be upon him, immortal in Paradise at that time? And how did Shaytan whisper to Adam and Eve, peace be upon him, when he himself was not in Paradise? I would appreciate a deep explanation of this if possible.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The answer to your questions has a little detail which you may find below. But it is important to remember three matters: (1) the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, was cunningly deceived by the devil in Paradise; (2) the Prophets, peace be upon them all, are sinless, and protected from sin, before and after prophethood, as we learn in our studies of Theology (‘aqida); and (3) his descent to earth was to fulfill a divine purpose, to manifest His divine wisdom and to honor the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him. It was certainly not a “punishment.”

Thereafter, the verse in question is Allah Most High’s saying, “But Satan whispered to him, saying, ‘O Adam! Shall I show you the Tree of Immortality and a kingdom that does not fade away?’” (Sura Ta Ha 20:120)

Immortality in Paradise

The Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, was actually created for custodianship or vice-regency (khilafa) of the earth, so he was not going to be in Paradise forever at this stage. Abu al-Su’ud, Shaykh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire of his time, and widely considered to have authored the greatest work of exegesis (tafsir), clarifies this in his explanation of the relevant verses in Sura al-Baqara (2:36), namely, that the divine instruction wasn’t to remain in Paradise forever.

Elsewhere, Allah Most High says, recounting the words of the devil, “He said, ‘Your Lord has forbidden this tree to you only to prevent you from becoming angels or immortals.’” (Sura al-A‘raf 7:20) Imam Alusi explains that immortality, here, meant either that (a) you will never die, or (b) you will remain in Paradise forever, just as the “Tree of Immortality” (Sura Ta Ha 20:120) indicated eternal life. This is perhaps another indication that the Prophet Adam knew that Paradise wasn’t an eternal abode at the present time.

How Did the Devil Get into Paradise?

As for how the devil managed to deceive them, the reality isn’t clear to us. We do know that he was instructed to leave Paradise by the command, “Get out of Paradise, for you are truly cursed,” (Sura Sad  38:77) and that he was known to them as somebody harmful, “We said, ‘Adam, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not expel you from Paradise.’” (Sura Ta Ha 20:117)

The exegetes, however, have forwarded a varying number of possibilities explaining the issue. Some of these affirm that the devil was no longer permitted to enter Paradise in a state of honor like the angels, but could enter in a humiliated state; others said that he called upon them from the door as they were close to it; others still that he took on the form of another creature and the guardians of Paradise didn’t realize, and a variation of that, namely, that he entered whilst being carried in the mouth of another animal or creature.

The Moral of the Story

At the end of the day, these kinds of details aren’t relevant to the message of the story, as Ibn ‘Ashur points out in his Tahrir. The important point is that we come to realize and appreciate the presence of a divine command, the great gift and blessing of belief and guidance, the duty to avoid the unlawful and it great harm in this life and the next, the tremendous opportunity to attain unto eternal salvation and divine pleasure, and the reality that this is the one and only chance we get.

Allah Most High sums the final matter up in a few words, “a group will be in Paradise and another in the Blaze.” (Sura al-Shu‘ara 42:7) But Allah Most High has made Paradise for the believers, and it is up to us to ensure that we get both feet there. Ibn ‘Ata’ Illah al-Sakandari commented in one of his Aphorisms, “He has made worship binding upon you, and in reality, He hasn’t made anything but Paradise binding upon you.”

We ask Allah Most High to shower His everlasting mercy upon us out of His pure grace and favour.

Please also see How do We Understand the Sinlessness of Prophets in Light of Their Reprimand in the Qur’an?  and How Did the Devil Tempt Adam & Hawa (Eve)?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

(Abu al-Su‘ud Effendi, Irshad al-‘Aql al-Salim; Alusi, Ruh al-Ma‘ani; Tantawi, al-Tafsir al-Wasit; Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta’wil; Sabuni, al-Muntaqa min ‘Ismat al-Anbiya’ (34))

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Bringing to Mind Graphic Blasphemy

Shaykh Jamir Meah explains the rulings on blasphemous thoughts presented to one in discourse.

Can there ever be a cause that makes the bringing to mind of very graphic blasphemy (insulting images and actions of God that are very grave with sexuality and humiliation) permissible or halal? Like when it is sent to a scholar?

Does the simple fact that you read my question not mean that you imagined what you read – at least the sentences or maybe the entire act – in context?

It is possible to listen to, or read something, and understand the gist of what is being said without vividly imagining it in one’s head, particularly absurdities.  

If an image is inadvertently conceived in the mind, then it does require that it fall under a ruling of “permissibility,” etc., especially if it is discarded afterwards. One is not accountable for thoughts that occur unintentionally or that are presented to one without one seeking them.  

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah forgives my nation those [evil inclinations] their souls may whisper or suggest to them, as long as they do not act (on it) or speak.” (Bukhari)

Certain images may be presented to scholars when listening to people’s psychological issues or when studying and refuting erroneous theological beliefs, or for example, therapists when treating patients with various disturbing thoughts. 

In these cases, it is permissible to listen, read, attempt to understand and discuss what is being said, with the intention of confronting the issues people are struggling with and finding a solution, or in order to expose and disprove false beliefs. Indeed, it may be obligatory to do so and rewarded as such. However, even here, one limits oneself to what is necessary to fulfill the need at hand, and not enter into and engage in blameworthy discussions. And Allah knows best.  

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Apostasy and Good Deeds

Ustadh Salman Younas unpacks the question of the deeds of an apostate who returns to Islam.

My question is on the deeds of the apostate. I know that apostasy invalidates good deeds but I want to know the opinion of the majority of scholars and maddhabs; whether they are returned to him when he repents and reverts back to Islam?

Also, when he or she does return back, is it necessary to repeat Hajj because I find it against the mercy of Allah Most High to wipe out all good deeds and keep his sins even if the apostate repents because apostasy is very easy to fall into so how can one word of kufr destroy all hard work even if one repents?

The first thing to point out is that apostasy is absolutely not a very easy state to enter into. While some people and texts may give such an erroneous and dangerous impression, scholars are quite clear that the conditions for deeming a person out of the fold are extremely stringent. When it comes to supposed acts or statements of kufr by a person, any excuse or interpretation that keeps him or her inside the fold of Islam is favored over those that do not.

As for the deeds of the apostate – someone who is shown to have decisively left the faith – there are two main positions on the issue:

  1. The deeds of the apostate who returns to Islam are not invalidated. Thus, he or she would not be required to repeat Hajj if they had already performed it before their apostasy and while Muslim.
  2. The deeds of the apostate who returns to Islam are invalidated. Thus, he or she would be required to repeat the Hajj even if they had already performed it before their apostasy while Muslim.

There is also a difference on the reward for previous acts. Some scholars stated that the rewards for the actions an apostate performed while Muslim are also nullified (and this was stated even by those who opined that such a person does not have to repeat acts the apostate did while Muslim, such as Hajj), while others stated that if he returns to Islam, he or she may continue to possess these rewards in some form. (al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim; Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’an; Ibn Abidin, Hashiya; al-Shafi‘i, Kitab al-Umm)

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Uncreated Beings Besides Allah?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is questioned about the possibility of their being other creators besides Allah.

Are there other uncreated beings alongside Allah? Seeing as how the definition of god is the one who created the universe and creation, is it possible for there to be uncreated beings that Allah did not create? A being that created their own universe and creation. That is not regarded as god by us but regarded as god by their own creation that they have created.

I am asking this question because I have a thought going through my head that before the existence of any creation Allah had a quarrel with other uncreated things over who is more powerful. And that is why Allah has created the mankind and jinn to worship him; to prove to the other uncreated things that He is the most powerful.

I also go through thoughts that other uncreated beings alongside Allah do exist, but they all live in peace and that they all have created their own things and only the things they created regard them to be gods but not the things that the other uncreated things have created.

I know this sounds like it is against the teachings of Islam and I have tried to find anything that goes against this but I can neither find any convincing evidence against this claim or for it. The Qur’an mentions the impossibility of multiple gods in Sura al-Anbiya 21:22. But that only had to do with multiple gods creating the same thing.

My question is to do with multiple uncreated beings that create their own creation who are not regarded as god by the creation of other uncreated beings, but regarded as god by their own creation.

Please I would like for you to clear this up for me and give me an answer as soon as possible, because I am extremely confused and I need to desperately know what is the answer against this claim.

I also have other thoughts that Allah has sexual organs. I go through this thought because Allah mentions he has hands and a shin. I need to know what is the response to all of the above queries I have.

Dear questioner, I would strongly advise you to listen to this series of podcasts: Why Islam Is True.

Regarding your question, it is logically impossible that there be multiple creators because that necessitate a level of dependency in being or actions.

Were there other beings with the power to create and destroy, nothing would stop them from destroying each other, and then they wouldn’t have necessary existence. Similarly, if there were there beings with the power to create and destroy, the execution of such powers would be contingent upon the agreement of other such beings, and this would also be a dependency.

In short, the being that keeps everything in existence and keeps things the specific way everything is exists without any dependency whatsoever, and this dictates that it (He) be one.

As for His not having body parts, this also returns to His freedom of need: parts take up a certain among of space and this would entail that He needs space to exist. Verses that mention His hand or face are metaphorical. For more detail, please see Literalism and the Attributes of Allah.

Theologically, whenever anyone returns the whole of existence to one being, that being must be completely self-explainable: that it is and what is does cannot return to some other external determiner.

This is why the Big Bang cannot be the reason for the universe, Brahma, Jesus or, anything else apart from Allah as He is in the Qur’an.

Allah summarizes this beautifully in Sura al-Ikhlas 112: 1-4.

Say: It is the Allah is One, the One to Whom all else returns;
Never has He had children, nor was He ever born;
And there was [and never will be] anything equal to Him.

Again, listen to the podcasts and this will be more than clear, insha Allah.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.