Translations of the Qur’an and Blind following (taqlid)

Question: As a student, is it dangerous to learn specific translations of the Qur’an or hadith? Is that a form of blind following (taqlid)?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

As a student of any Islamic science, you have to blindly follow some part of the learning process, especially if you are learning Arabic. Even reading a dictionary is blind following. How do you know that Ibn Mandhur, Zabidi, or Firuzabadi, or any other lexicologists were right? They certainly don’t present any raw linguistic data collected by Farahidi, Sibawayhi, Ibn Durayd, or any other early lexicologist. Ultimately, ijtihad in its absolute sense would mean that you never follow anyone else in any conclusions they ever make. This kind of thinking is extreme and not practical.

The same would apply to a lot of hadith discussions. Often we have to trust the judgment of hadith critic without really being able to judge for ourselves. This means that even advanced scholars are doing multiple levels of taqlid.

Practically, as a student, one has to blindly follow one’s teachers’ facts and arguments, accept their presentations of the discussions, and accept the translations they give you. This is just part of the learning process that cannot be avoided. Please also see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee7n7dgS0SE

So in the beginning, all you can do is take a translation as it is, and bit by bit as you learn more Arabic, Fiqh, Aqida, Hadith, Tafsir, etc., you will see better how the translate the Qur’an and the Hadith in a way that makes sense to you.

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.

How Do I Deal With Parents Who Are Constantly in Debt and Drain My Savings?



Question: I have many times given my parents my savings. They are burdened with debt because of their poor financial decisions and spending habits, and it has taken me years to recover financially. I am now the only one working, barely getting by, and my parents struggle with debt again. I have been trying to talk to them about this problem, and they told me to mind my own business. I have advised and offered them many solutions which they do not want to accept. I can’t afford it, what should I do?
Answer:
Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question. Your parents are so fortunate to have a child-like you, and I pray that you can help them balance their finances. You have truly done more than your share, ma sha Allah. 

Obligation

The obligation to support parents financially only exists when the parents need it and the son can provide it. Helping your parents is one of the most praiseworthy things that you can do. If they are poor, they will be counted as one of your dependents. Please see the details here:
https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/7933

Balance

The best thing you can do to ensure that you don’t resent them and that your parents understand how much suffering they are causing you is to give them a fixed sum every month. This sum should not cause undue hardship to you, and they should adjust their spending within that sum. If you are currently giving too much, then give less. Discuss it with them and explain your limits. They will understand as long as you are polite, respectful and don’t get angry. Hopefully, in the future, you will make a budget for them and guide them to better decisions.

Blessings in your wealth

Please read this article in the link about bringing blessings into your wealth. Sheikh Anik Misra describes this as follows. “Having more barakah in one’s wealth does not mean the dollar amount increases- rather, that the benefits seen from that limited amount increase, reach further and last longer.“
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/bringing-barakah-into-your-wealth-and-life/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/interest-parents-upholding-good-character/

Ask Allah

Ask Allah, Most High, to guide you and your parents in financial affairs and ask Him to facilitate these matters for you. Ask Him to let this be a means for you to draw closer to Him and pray the Prayer of Need when you feel stressed out about this. Make a good character and gentleness your only method to deal with them, and I pray that even greater good comes out of this for you from whence you never expected.

May Allah give you the best of 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 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.

Islam and Shahada

Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Islam and Shahada
A person should accept Islam because it is the Truth. It is the only perfect and true religion. All other faiths and beliefs other than Islam are false.
“Whoever seeks a way other than Islam, it will never be accepted from them, and in the Hereafter, they will be among the losers.” [Quran 3:85]
There are different reasons or factors which lead a person to become Muslim. The intention in all of them is good if it leads them to enter Islam. The ultimate purpose and goal of a human being on earth are to recognize and know its creator. Allah Most High says,
“I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me.” [Quran 51:56]
Whatever leads a person to this faith, that is what is important.
That is a blessing from Allah, and it requires gratitude on their part.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can One Cover One’s Chest With Loose Clothing or Must the Hijab Be Drawn Down Over It?

Question: Is it required that women cover their chest area with the scarf they wear on their head? If so, to what extent? I am aware of the verse that says to cover the bosom with it, but can this be done with loose clothing? For example, a popular style nowadays would be a rectangle hijab wrapped around the head with one strand on one side of the chest and the other thrown back behind the shoulder.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Covering the chest

As you indicated in your question, it is a Quranic injunction covering one’s bosom or chest area with one’s khimar. Please see this link for full and explicit detail about the verse:
https://seekersguidance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/unveiling-hijab-ebook.pdf

Fashion

As you have read from the link, a woman is commanded to cover her bosom with her head-covering, and fashion or popularity would not be a valid reason to ignore this. Women will always come up with eye-catching ways to don their hijab, and you should look into your heart about how you feel about that. If you incline to the meaning of this verse, and it feels right in your heart to draw your hijab down over your chest, then that is your taqwa (God-fearingness) speaking. Listen to that voice and ignore the latest Muslim fashionistas.

May Allah give you the best of both worlds, and may you don the finest silks and brocade in the highest Paradise.

[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.

 

Was My Nikah Performed Over Text Message for Fun Valid?

Question: I used to talk to a boy over text messages. We (unintentionally in fun) asked each other whether I accepted a nikah to him. This situation took place over text message, and we both agreed to do it as a joke. He asked me, “Do you accept me in nikah with the haq mehr of your choice?” to which I said yes. I want to know if this was the nikah is valid. Note that there were no witnesses on my side, nor did I have the permission of my wali.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Your nikah as such was not valid, but I highly recommend that you cease this kind of behavior with boys who are not your mahram. Delete that message as this is no laughing matter.

Take into consideration the seriousness of a nikah by these Prophetic words. “There are three matters in which seriousness is serious and joking is serious: marriage, divorce, and taking back (one’s wife).“ [Ibn Majah]

As such, if two male witnesses had been privy to the messages, you could have been married, sinful, and then would have to annul the marriage and explain all this to your parents and future spouse.

May Allah give you the best of 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 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.

What Should I Do if I Always See Clear Discharge After Taking an Obligatory Ritual Bath?

Question: After having an obligatory bath for janaba (intercourse) and thoroughly cleaning myself, I always, at some point after a few hours, get a clear discharge with no smell. Sometimes it can appear a few times during the day. Is this classed as sexual fluid, and would I need to have a ghusl again?

Answer: 

Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question. Your answer is in the following excerpt:

“e10.3: When a woman who has been made love to performs the purificatory bath, and the male’s sperm afterward leaves her vagina, then she must repeat the ghusl if two conditions exist:
(a) that she is not a child, but rather old enough to have sexual gratification (A: as it might otherwise be solely her husband’s sperm);
(b) and that she was fulfilling her sexual urge with the lovemaking, not sleeping or forced.“ [The Reliance of the Traveller]

In summary, if the woman had experienced an orgasm, then she should repeat her ritual bath after the exiting of discharge. But if she had not, it would only be her husband’s sperm, and she does not need to repeat her ritual bath.

May Allah give you the best of 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 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.

Sleeping through a Prayer or Forgetting to Pray

Question: What do I accidentally miss a pray through sleep or mere forgetfulness?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

If one sleeps through prayer or forgets it, one makes up the prayer.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Whoever forgets to pray or sleeps through it, its expiation is to pray it when he remembers.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/halal-and-haram/lecture-valid-excuse-delay-prayer/

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.

Hijri Calendar and the Seasons

Question: Was the Hijri calendar originally in synchrony with the four seasons? Is Ramadan supposed to be fasted in the Spring?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

While there is evidence that certain pre-Islamic Arab communities adjusted and aligned the lunar calendar with the four seasons utilizing a system of intercalation, it is not fair to state that all pre-Islamic Arab communities did that.

Furthermore, to assume that this practice happened during the Medinan period of the  Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) when all the details of Islamic law and Islamic rituals were established is incorrect. This is clearly evinced by comparing clear and well-documented historical dates such as the Covenant with the Christians of the World and the Covenant with the Jews of Khaybar and Maqna with Jewish and Christian calendars.

For a full discussion on this topic, please see:
On the Origins of the Hijrī Calendar, Ibrahim Zein and Ahmed El-Wakil
Mémoire sur le calendrier arabe avant l’islamisme, Mahmoud Effendi

We have to understand that Allah has preserved this religion. Allah has made sure that scholars have been there to preserve the religion in its pristine form and solve new confusions that the Muslims face in every generation. When all the scholars of jurisprudence agree that the lunar calendar is the basis of the Islamic calendar, despite their very desperate and variegated research methods and conclusions, we know as a fact that this is what Allah wants us to do. Revisionist ideas on issues that are agreed upon are not welcome.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘There will always be a group of my nation who will keep to the way of Allah unharmed by those who try to trick them or work against them until Allah’s command comes while they are in power.’ (Muslim)

Revisionists posit that the Sunna was lost a long time ago and that everyone has been wrong for centuries. This is completely against the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunna.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/is-it-necessary-to-act-upon-the-consensus-of-the-sahaba/

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.

 

 

How Do I Deal With a Family Who Is Pressuring Me To Marry My Cousin Back Home?



Question: I am a 21-year-old Afghan woman currently in college in the United States. A week ago,, my mom and dad told me that I need to get married to my cousin whose family had asked them for my hand. I’ve been directly saying no to them,, but they were insistent that the family wants me,, and my grandfather and father have agreed,, and celebrated that I was given to them. I haven’t said yes at all,, and I’m afraid they will take me to my country and force in a nikah that I don’t want.
Answer:Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry for this predicament that you are in, and I pray that you can understand with your parents with mutual respect.

Saying no

A girl cannot be forced into marriage, especially if the boy is not suitable, and you will have to be strong and firm, as you state your position, and you may have to do so repeatedly. Please see these links for some tips on this situation:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-friends-mother-wants-him-to-get-married-to-her-niece-what-should-he-do/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/can-mother-force-marry-someone/
https://islamqa.org/shafii/shafiifiqh/29973

Two options

Try to sit down and explain your reasons to your parents, have open and honest communication. Tell them that you want to finish your degree and have certain goals you want to achieve. If they refuse to listen, at least tell them to wait until you graduate, so you can buy more time to talk to them.

Your other option is to consider this man. Have you spoken to him or seen him? Do you think that your parents actually might have chosen someone suitable for you, as they do care for your best interest? Is it possible that they know you better than you think? I urge you to speak to the boy before you say no, and see for yourself the reality of the situation. It would help if you had a basis for saying no since it is so important to your parents.

Istikhara

I recommend that you pray istikhara and actually consider him. Ask your parents and the boy in question to pray it too. Come back and discuss the results and feeling from your istikhara, then take it from there. Until then, ask Allah to help you, guide you and facilitate this matter for you. Turn to Him whole-heartedly, fulfill your duties to Him and rely on Him. By his grace, you will come out of this situation stronger and happier. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/how-do-i-deal-with-parents-forcing-me-to-marry-a-man-that-i-do-not-like/

[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.

How to become a better Muslim

Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullah
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
A great scholar I respect once said, ” Make your goal only Allah, and you will get there.” From what you wrote, I could see that you are sincerely trying to find a way to get better and reach the state of the righteous. That is or should be the goal of every Muslim. First of all, you need to make a firm resolve and intention to seek Allah and take the means to achieve this.
I highly recommend the following advice I have received from my teachers, and I know it will prove very beneficial for you as well.
 Seek knowledge
Set an hour or so a day or sometime during the week to study Islamic sciences. Start with learning our beliefs [Aqida] or the creed of the Muslims; a text like Imam al-Tahawi’s is good to start with for a beginner. Study a classical text on worship. Mainly the five pillars [ “Ascent to Felicity” by Faraz Khan is excellent!]. Last but not least, study a manual on Islamic spirituality. Perhaps the ” Book of Assistance” by imam al Haddad or “The Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance ” of Imam al Muhasibi [ translation of Imam Zaid Shakir!] or “Purification of the Heart” by Hamza Yusuf.
We offer courses on the above at SeekersGuidance, so you can register and take the class for free.
Pray on time
Try this for at least forty days. If you mess up on the 35th day, start a new calendar. Our teachers taught us that this is the way to achieve consistency.
Musa [peace be upon him] was granted forty nights to draw near to Allah.
This number is significant by scholars.
 Keep good company.
I highly recommend you find a mentor or a shaykh that you trust to guide you concerning your progress.
That is an excellent place to start, Insha Allah, and may Allah guide your affairs.
Please see:
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani