Mixed Schools and Talking to Other Students

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

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

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

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

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

Suggestions on Mixed Schools

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

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

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

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

I wish you the very best. Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Having Seriously Evil Thoughts

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about intrusive thoughts that are heretical. He explains their origins, what they mean, and how to counter them.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am a fourteen year old. My problem is that it has been five months that I am having these thoughts. First it started with thoughts suddenly coming about Allah. I resisted it. Then it went to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. I resisted that too. And now it is the Qur’an and Islam.

I don’t like having these thoughts. I hate having them. When I go to school and go away from the remembrance of Allah they, suddenly, out of nowhere, just come. But when I start to pray and remember and come closer to Allah, they are not there. It makes me very stressed. For example they are like, I seek refuge in Allah, “Is Allah really true?” “Was the Prophet really a prophet?” Or like, “Is the Qur’an Allah’s word or did the Prophet make it up?”

These are thoughts which I hate to have and it was very hard for me to even write them. But I really need help. I am sad and very depressed. They just come out of nowhere. I am just sitting there and pondering on the greatness of Allah or the nobility of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, or pondering upon the Qur’an and suddenly these thoughts just come.

Please if you could answer me soon I would appreciate it very much.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Intrusive thoughts are not sinful

The thoughts you are having are not from you, and your dislike of them is a proof of this. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Indeed Allah has overlooked for my umma the thoughts that their minds say to them as long as they do not act on them or speak about them.” (Bukhari; Muslim)

There is no need to focus on them. The more you focus on them the stronger they get. It’s like trying you best not to think of white elephants: pretty soon all you can think about is white elephants.

You should relax, accepting that what is happening is out of your hands, and that you are being rewarded for the test of having them. Please refer to this answer for more information, and consider some of the forms of therapy mentioned in it.

Childhood experiences

Something which is quite noticeable in many, but not all, cases such as yours is that they went through a very difficult situation when learning religion as children. Children are sensitive and traumatic Qurʾan learning experiences leave a long-term effect, which sometimes manifests as an aversion to religion, or brings symptoms like this.

This is simply a defense mechanism due to their subconsciously associating the din to the painful memories or individuals who traumatized them. Many of these people need therapy or some form of help just to be able to focus themselves towards religion later in life.

It is obligatory on us a community to ensure that early learning of Qurʾan and Islamic Studies is engaging, enjoyable, and enveloped in the spirit of the tenderness found in the Sunna. May Allah facilitate these matters for the Muslims worldwide. Amin.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim.

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


My Teenager Is Disrespectful and Has No Empathy. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have a teenager who is hyper most of the time, is disrespectful to everyone around her (elders and children), has no empathy and says some things that are out of context. I am stuck as how to deal with her. Can you help me?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Assessment

I encourage you to bring your daughter to get some kind of behavioural and mood assessment. It is possible that she may be struggling with something deeper. If your teenager has no empathy, then she may be on the autism spectrum. If she is, then it is imperative for you to get the right kind of support.

If she is not, it still sounds like she is struggling with basic rules of interaction. Please consider finding a culturally-sensitive counsellor for her. Family therapy may also be useful for you and your daughter.

Hyperactivity

You describe your teenager as being hyper. What is her daily screen time usage? It may be a good idea to limit her screen time to one hour a day. Please look at articles like this for ideas.

What is her diet like? Common dietary causes of irritability could be certain types of food or preservatives. Look at articles like this to guide your teenager’s food consumption.

Connection

What are some ways you can help your teenager feel more connected to you? Can you spend some quality time, no-expectation time together on a daily basis? Please read this article for more ideas.

Respectful behaviour

I encourage you to set clear limits with your daughter. Before social events, remind her about what is respectful behaviour with elders: giving salams, addressing them by appropriate titles, making eye contact, smiling etc.

With younger children, encourage her to be compassionate, forgiving, gentle, and so on.

If you have already established these clear guidelines and she still does not comply, it could be because she is genuinely struggling to read social cues. Again, this goes back to her possibly being on the autism spectrum. She is not trying to be difficult; she may be finding social situations too difficult and overwhelming for her.

Self-care

I cannot imagine how stressful this must be for you. Please know that Allah Most High knows how much you are trying. Do not blame yourself for your daughter’s shortcomings. Instead of blame, focus on problem-solving.

Please look after yourself in this time. I encourage you to do at least one thing for yourself every day – a cup of tea, a walk in the park, or a phone call to someone who can listen to you and offer warm support.

Duas

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace), “The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): ‘I supplicated my Rabb but my prayer has not been granted’.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Please remember the power of your duas. Don’t give up on your daughter, and please don’t lose hope. Allah can transform her. It will take time, but it is entirely possible for your daughter to become a kinder, more grounded, and  more compassionate version of herself. I know of many troubled teens who have become pillars of strength and support to others in their late twenties and beyond.

Spiritual nourishment

Continue to perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night for your daughter. Consider giving small regular charity and make dua for your daughter’s healing. May Allah draw you ever close to Him through this trial, grant healing for your daughter, and soothe your tired heart. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Emotional First Aid

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

How Should a Child Address His Elders?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My question is regarding relationships and their titles.

I know of a single mother who is currently staying with her parents and has a 4 year old son. The mother delivered at her parents house since she was divorced while pregnant. Now the question is about the child’s maternal grandfather. He has taught the child to call him as the father and the wife as the mother. He has been taught to call both his uncles by their names. The child at times even calls his own mother by her name. Is it allowed?

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

I pray you are well.

The child in question has not been taught the proper manners of addressing his elders, and this should be rectified. As for the child referring to his grand-parents as ‘mother’ and ‘father’, if this does not lead to him knowing who who his actual parents are, and if he addressed his own parents respectfully, then it should be fine as long as it does not lead to friction.

Maternal and paternal grandparents are considered to be one’s parents metaphorically, because on one level, they are the means through which we enter the world. This is they we are referred to as the ‘Children of Adam’ in the Qurʾan.

This whole situation should be tackled with wisdom and gentleness. Worsening relations in this situation really would be the worst case scenario.

Respecting Elders

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘He who does not show kindness to our young, respect to the elders among us, and due respect to our scholars, is not from us.’ (Tirmidhi). ‘Not being from us’ is an expression used to indicate that such a person is not following the guidance the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) on these matters, and that it something which should be rectified.

Titles

Children should be taught to refer to their elders with titles. Islam is not a military, so the titles do not have to overly aggrandised. Rather, the opposite is true. If we look at the way in which the prophet Yusuf addressed his father as a child, Yā Abati, two matters becomes very clear.

Firstly, there was respect in the address. The word ‘Yā’ is usually used to refer to someone who is far away, or metaphorically for someone who is high in rank. This is a recognition of his father’s rank.

Secondly , the word ‘abati’ could be translated as ‘my dear, beloved father’ (12:4-5). The word is full of love. Consequently, we can infer from this that children should be taught to love their parents, and to respect them. Both aspects are important.

In modern times some parents wish for their children to be friends with them – which is fine if done properly – but they sacrifice the respect element in the process. In the worst cases, this makes the children rude and disrespectful. According to social scientists like Dr Leonard Sax, children who are disrespectful end up with depression in many cases later in life because they do not know how to navigate simple relationships.

Give Respect To Receive It

The greatest way is that of the prophets. We see that the prophet Yaʿqub also spoke to his children with love and respect. He used the same particle ‘Yā’ to address his son, and he used the word ‘bunayya’ address him. This can be translated as ‘my dear little boy’, a term full of endearment and love.

Addressing someone with love and respect – even if it may be a child – brings the same sort of love and respect back. Children learn better this way. This was also the term used by Luqman the Wise when he advised his older son.

Allah knows best.

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.

What Job Opportunities Can I Pursue After Finishing My Islamic Studies?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: I am a recent graduate of a traditional Darul-Uloom in the UK and I find myself unsure of what career path to pursue. Salaries offered in mosques are low in relation to the current cost of living in the UK. Essentially, I would like a job whereby I can help people and benefit them with what I’ve studied. What do you recommend?

Answer: In the Name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful,

It seems that you are already aware of the opportunities to be the imam of a masjid or teacher in an Islamic school or madrasah. These are perhaps the most common careers pursued by graduates from Islamic seminaries such as the Darul Ulums. If you don’t find yourself inclined towards such opportunities or don’t feel they would be practical for you, then you may want to consider the following possibilities:

1) Chaplain. I cannot speak for the U.K., but in the U.S. and Canada, Muslim chaplaincy has really taken off in the past decade or so. Large institutions such as universities, hospitals, etc. are hiring Muslim chaplains to act as advisors, teachers, mentors, and administrators of Muslim activities. Your studies at the Darul Ulum could provide a strong foundation to fulfil these roles. However, you’d probably need to complete a chaplaincy course in order to be best prepared for the job. This career provides a great opportunity for da’wah and serving the Muslim community.

2) Arabic language instructor. Your studies at the Darul Ulum probably included significant exposure to the sciences of the Arabic language. Universities and other institutions in the Western world are in need of Arabic language instructors. Teaching in such places can provide great opportunity for da’wah. Many of one’s students would likely be Muslim, and there’s nothing better than connecting Muslims with the language of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

3) Graduate student/Researcher. Some students of sacred knowledge choose to pursue graduate studies in Western universities. The curriculum of a Darul Ulum has overlap with numerous academic fields, such as Near Eastern Studies, Religion, Law, History, etc. Obtaining a Ph. D. in one of these fields opens doors to the roles of academic researcher, professor, author, etc. Prior to pursuing this path, one should consult with trustworthy, knowledgeable Islamic scholars, in order to avoid the many pitfalls and challenges present in academia.

The above are some ideas of paths you could take to work your Darul Ulum education into a sustainable career. Of course, there are many other opportunities that are not directly related to the religious education you received at Darul Ulum. Some people choose to go back to school to study a profession such as medicine (doctor or nurse), information technology (programmer, systems administrator, help desk technician, etc.), business (small business owner, real estate agent, etc.), and so on.

With the financial independence offered by one of these careers, a person could be free to teach and serve the Muslim community on their own terms. Ultimately, choosing a career will depend on a number of personal factors such as education, experience, talents, natural inclinations, job market, family situation, etc. One should be sure to consult with trusted elders and Islamic scholars, and also pray istikhara.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “No one ever ate any food better than that which his own hands had earned, and the Prophet of Allah Dawud (upon him be peace) used to eat from what his own hands earned” (Bukhari).

Wassalam,

[Shaykh] Umer Mian

 

What Is the Etiquette to Follow for a Woman Towards a Male Teacher? (Habib Umar)

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

What are the shariah boundaries regarding the interaction between a female student and her male teacher?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

The shariah boundaries are those that were present in the interaction between the greatest teacher (Peace be Upon Him) and the women folk of his ummah who used to ask him, discourse with him, seek clarification from him and benefit from him. They are the ones who used to attend his preachings, sessions and sermons while sitting behind the men. The following are the boundaries that were upheld by the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and were followed thereafter by the rightly guided caliphs:

-She is not to show any of her physical beauties to him

-She is not be with him alone by themselves because the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said: “Let none of you be with a woman alone even if he was teaching her Quran and even if she were Mary the daughter of Imran”.

-She is not to divulge any of her secrets to him unless it is related to something obligatory or prohibited (in the shariah) that he is teaching her.

-She is to avoid softening her voice when talking to him.

-She is to fear Allah in her speech and dealings with him as it is the case for him (he is to fear Allah in dealing with her) for he (the teacher) is a “foreign” man i.e. not among her unmarriageable kin and so he is to be treated as such. For example whatever she must conceal of her body from a “foreign” man she must also conceal from him.

It is then to be known that the teacher has a high and lofty rank; he is indeed like a father when it comes to giving advice, training and counseling about important matters but not when it comes to permissibility of seeing his female students’ physical traits that are only permissible to their unmarriageable kin nor when it comes to being alone with them. In other words his fatherhood is a spiritual and metaphorical one that entails mutual religious benefit (in knowledge and spirituality).

And so he should wish for each of his female students to be at a high rank of understanding and spirituality just as he wishes this for his own daughter.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

Translated by Abdullah Alrajhy

How to Raise Children in Difficult Environments?

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

A woman who lives with her husband and children in a non-Muslim home, what is her responsibility in safeguarding her faith and the faith of her children?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

She is responsible for:

-Filling her heart and the hearts of her children with the love of Allah, The Truth, and His Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his folk)

-Guarding the performance of the obligatory prayers

-Taking on a share of the [consistent] reading the of Quran

-Recitation of the morning and evening supplications

-Frequent recounting of the Sirah (biography) of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his folk), both among the spouses and to the children
[Mention of] the news of returning back to Allah, entering into the life in the grave (barzakh), the Day of Judgment, and Paradise and Hellfire.

-In addition, the parents should arrange for their children gatherings of group remembrance during the week; if not every night.

-On occasion, they should present to them beneficial lectures and recordings of the righteous.

-Vigilant supervision of their children’s behavior and character;

All this is to be done infused with the spirit of mercy, beautiful kindness, intellectual persuasion and gentle demeanor.

Translated by Rayshaud Jameer

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

What Is the Ruling on Cutting Hair for Umra?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am due to go for Umra soon but I am nervous about shaving my head due to aesthetic reasons as I worry that it won’t suit me and will take a while to grow back. Is the ruling that it is compulsory to shave one’s head or does one only need to trim their hair?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

It is necessary (wajib) to shave or trim at least one quarter of the hair on your head after performing the rites of a pilgrimage (hajj/‘umra). The sunna is to shave or trim the entire head, and it is disliked to do less than this.

Generally, it is superior to shave, given that it was emphatically encouraged by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), but trimming your hair is also acceptable on condition that the hair is shortened by roughly the extent of a finger-joint, namely, two centimetres.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “‘O Allah, forgive those who shave their heads.’ They said, ‘And those who cut their hair short!’ He said, ‘O Allah, forgive those who shave their heads.’ They said, ‘And those who cut their hair short!’ He said it a third time and said, ‘and those who cut the hair short.” [Bukhari]

[Sindi, Lubab al-Manasik, with Qari’s Gloss (153)]

Please also see:What is the Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram After Hajj or Umrah? and The Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.
Wasalaam

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Who Were the ‘Unbelievers’ Referred to in the Hadith Concerning Sun Worshippers?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: In a Hadith from Fath al-Bari, there is a Hadith which prohibits praying between the times of sunrise and sunset as that’s when the ‘unbelievers’ prostrated to the sun. Who are these ‘unbelievers’? Did the Arabs also worship the celestial bodies in addition to their idols?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for your question.

The major books of hadith commentary do not seem to mention a specific people in regards to the hadith you have mentioned (quoted below). What becomes clear from perusing these texts, as well as major works of tafsir on related verses, is that the reference to the unbelievers prostrating to the sun is general.

Sun worship

Sun worshipping, in one way or another, is a primeval practice and was widespread in many cultures such as Ancient Egypt (Ra), Norse Mythology (Sol), the Romans (Apollo), Greek (Helios), Persia (Magians), Britain and Gaul (Druid’s ‘Mighty Oak’) and various Arabian and the Levant tribes.

Amongst the well-known of the Arabs who worshipped the sun, and who survived in various forms during the time of the Prophet ﷺ, were the Sabeans who worshipped the celestial bodies and historically, a solar goddess named Shams, and in Palmyra, Syria, the Temple of Bal was dedicated to a triad of deities, one being Yarhibol, a sun god.

Mecca was a busy trading center, and the Custodians of the Sacred Sanctuary invited people from all of Arabia to make the holy pilgrimage each year, and these people were encouraged to bring with them their various divinities and deities. It would be very likely that there were sun worshipers among them and this was familiar to the Quraysh.

Sun worshippers in the Quran

In surat al Naml, we find the Hoopoe’s words ‘I have found her [Saba] and her people prostrating themselves to the sun, instead of Allah, and the Satan has beautified their deeds for them, and has prevented them from the way, so they do not take the right path.’ [27:24]

And in al Fussilat, God tells people, ‘Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun, or to the moon. And prostrate yourselves to Allah who has created them, if it is Him whom you worship.’ [41:37]

This again is a general admonishment to all who worship the sun and moon. Imam al Razi in his Tafsir, mentions the Sabeans as an example of those addressed in this verse, indicating that the practice of sun-worship was still part of their religious practise at the time of revelation. Other authors (though the references given need to be verified) have stated that there were Arabs tribes who worshipped the sun and called the sun ‘al Ilaha’ [Taw’il Mukhtalif al Hadith]

Prohibition of praying when the sun rises and sets

Two of the prohibited times for praying is when the sun rises and when the sun sets. This is based on the hadith you mentioned, ‘Observe the dawn prayer, then stop praying when the sun is rising till it is fully up, for when it rises it comes up between the horns of Satan, and the unbelievers prostrate themselves to it at that time.’ … ‘then cease prayer till the sun sets, for it sets between the horns of devil, and at that time the unbelievers prostrate themselves before it.’ [Sahih Muslim]

The reason for the prohibition is three-fold:

a) Because satan puts his head in front of the sun as it rises and sets, so that those worshipping the sun look as if they are prostrating to him.

b) Because Allah Most High and the beloved Prophet ﷺ only want good for the believers so prevent the Muslims from being in such a situation and letting the devil get the upper hand over the believers.

c) Because this was the specific time sun worshippers pray, and the Prophet ﷺ was always keen to distinguish the practice of the Muslims from the practice of other religions.

[Fathul Bari, Sharh Muslim]

In conclusion, the hadith we discussed, as well as some verses of the Quran address sun worshippers in general, though the Prophet ﷺ would have had knowledge of some of these groups, such as the Sabeans, previous nations, and most likely, other Arab tribes, particularly among the outlying Bedouins. And Allah knows best.

Warmest salams
Shaykh Jamir Meah

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.

How Can a Single Mother Raise a Muslim Son?

Answered by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I am a single mother raising a Muslim son who is nearing the age of puberty. Without a man to model the religion for him and take him to be among the men, how can I best encourage his development of religion and chivalrous character?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this message reaches you in the best of health and iman.

I have a couple of suggestions I can make it in this case. Firstly, we do have a course on SeekersHub called Becoming a Man with Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, and in that class he teaches young men or teenagers about how to have a good conduct and the things that they need to know. That is an excellent resource for your son. The course will next be offered after Ramadan.

Secondly, you can look for good role models in the community, for example at your local masjid or Islamic Center. You may find other students of knowledge or teachers that your son can be around and look up to. You need to look out for older teenagers who exemplify good character and are avid to seek sound Islamic knowledge to be good to companions for your son.

With regard to the prayer, you can certainly take your son to the Friday prayer and even other prayers if that is easy for you to do. That really depends on your situation. The main knowledge he needs to learn is known as personally obligatory knowledge. We offer courses on that on SeekerHub online. But he definitely needs real-life interaction with good companionship if you can find it in your own community.

Finally, it is very important for you to pray for him and pray that Allah Most High protects him from any kind of trials or tribulation so that he grows up to be a strong young man. May God make this task easy for you and help you to teach him in the best way. Do not under estimate the role you play in his life because you can teach him how to have good character with other people and help facilitate for him to learn sound Islamic knowledge. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me anytime. All the best to you.

Wassalam
[Ustadha] Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar)

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar) was born and raised in Canada, where she graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. After graduation, she set out to formally pursue sacred knowledge, studying Arabic at the University of Damascus and Islamic studies at Jamia Abi Nour and taking private classes in Qur’anic recitation, Prophetic traditions, Islamic Law (Hanafi) and the Prophetic biography.