Doubts Caused by Evolution

Question: Looking at the fossil record and other evidence for evolution has given me doubts. We know Allah fashioned the other creatures on Earth. The evidence for outlying genetic overlap between humans and ancient primates in a fossil record suggests the groups evolved separately from each other, and so on. We arrive at a very difficult situation where we have to dismiss an excessive quantity of evidence as “coincidence” because otherwise, it would contradict Islam, and from here my doubts began to stem. The very basis which one would assume from the truth of Allah is that creation cannot exist and be the way it is by coincidence, so how could I use the concept of a coincidence to dispel an extensive list of evidence?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Adam Did Not Evolve

We are certain that Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not evolve. He has created in a process the Qur’an and Sunna detail very clearly. The truth of the Qur’an is established through many types of proof: rational proofs, miracles, prophecies that came true, linguistic inimitability, etc.

Therefore, the fact that Adam was created directly, as he was, and that we are descended from him, is clearly established. These proofs are watertight – even if scientists do not work with this type of proof.

What Does the Qur’an Say About Evolution?

The Qur’an does not address the topic of evolution. We know that Allah created everything. All the means and processes He used are known to Him alone. We may observe some of them, but we do not know them all.

The Qur’an calls us to reflect on the way He created things to infer His knowledge, will, power, wisdom, etc. Some refer to this as ‘intelligent design.’ We are sure that Allah created everything, but the process of creation for anything other than humans is not addressed in the Qur’an.

As long as what you have come across does not contradict the above there is scope to look at the evidence and not ignore correlations as coincidence. Adam’s creation and his not evolving are proven in many ways. Therefore any proof you may see regarding evolution has to be understood with the above certainty in mind.

Any conclusions which contradict this certainty must be reevaluated in order to arrive at a conclusion that is in line with reality. Otherwise, there is clearly a flaw in the methodology.

For example, we know that sugar is sweet through a shared experience of the human race. If someone produced convincing scientific proof that it is sour how sound would we judge the conclusion to be?

The Incomplete Fossil Record

This is a matter many scientists have commented on and published works on. Instead of trying to argue it, I’ll point you to some resources that question the theory of evolution as a whole. Personally, I can’t claim to have a detailed argument against it, nor is it something the truth of Islam hinges on. There are, however, some problems some critics – Muslims and Non-Muslims alike – have identified.

Please look at the resources on the Dissent From Darwin website, where hundreds of scientists and medical experts express their skepticism in the ability of random mutations to explain the complexity of life. This should help you reevaluate the evidence.

Also, the book ‘God, Islam, and the Skeptic Mind’ has a very good analysis of the problems Muslims and Non-Muslims have found in the narrative of evolution. Please have look at it.

I also advise you to study theology with an experienced teacher so you can gain an understanding of the strengths of the proofs of the theologians. May Allah facilitate it for you.

I pray that helps.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Cosmetic Surgery for Insecurities

Question: I am 21 years old and I’m very insecure about my nose, causing me psychological distress and negatively affecting my social life. I don’t leave my house because of it, and I don’t even make eye contact with my own family. I avoid all socializing. My family says that my nose isn’t bad and it’s all in my head. I am unmotivated in any aspect of life. I also have a slightly deviated septum that makes my nose lean to one side and protrude out and I have fairly big nostrils, one looking bigger than the other. My septum doesn’t really affect my breathing although I do mainly mouth breathe. When when I smile or talk, the tip droops down and the nostrils flare, and it looks bigger. Will it be permissible for me to get surgery or nose filler to make my nose look more normal? I do not want to reshape it, I want it to look natural and centered.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I implore to see that you are beautiful and Allah made no mistake when He created you. You have countless other blessings, you must not focus so much on your looks. A woman’s beauty has always and will always come out through her character, charm, kindness, sincerity, generosity, gentleness, and smile.

Cosmetic surgery

Surgical procedures entail changing the way Allah created you, and this is forbidden unless it is done as corrective surgery. Your deviated septum should absolutely be corrected as breathing through your mouth can cause many health problems, from dry mouth to allergies and sickness. Please take that seriously and that, on its own, will be enough to fix the nose leaning to one side.

Motivate yourself

After this, be grateful that you have a beautiful nose, go outside, socialize, see people, help others, volunteer for a charity, and motivate yourself to do well in school and succeed in what you are passionate about. Step back and think about your grave, you will only be asked about your Lord, your religion, and your Prophet. Pray on time, be the best Muslim that you can be. Learn about your religion and read Qur’an with the meaning every day. Nowadays, you can wear a mask when you go out, this can also help you break the ice with people.

May Allah reward you and may you be convinced that you don’t need any fixing or the media’s approval, you just need yourself, your iman, your taqwa, and people that love you.

Please see these links:

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Is Verse 8:61 Abrogated?

Question: In Quran 8:61, the verse calls for peace to be established. But in Quran 9:29, it says that only jizya is acceptable. So is 8:61 abrogated? What did Ibn Abbas say about 8:61?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Abrogation in the Qur’an

The concept of abrogation has been overemphasized historically. Not many verses were abrogated. Less than twenty according to Imam Suyuti. Others held this number to be too high. Please refer to our ‘Ulum al Qur’an course for more information.

Most of the time there are other ways to reconcile the meanings of seemingly conflicting verses. This is the case for the verses you mentioned.

Qur’an, 8:61 Is Not Abrogated

There is a position that states this verse is abrogated. It is narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and Qatada. However, according to many scholars, it is not abrogated. Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Zamakhshari, Alusi, and others held this position. Tabari held that it referred to Bani Qurayza, based on the contextual factors.

The others said that it refers to people from whom accepting jizya was permissible. The Muslim ruler has a choice in certain situations to make treaties or not. The details are in the books of fiqh.

For the pagan Arabs, however, Jizya was not an option. This is due to the case against them being so strong – owing to their recognition of the miracle of the Qur’an and the truthfulness of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). They had also shown time and time again that they would be treacherous in the case of any treaty being made (Ruh al Ma’ani, Alusi, al-Tafsir al Wasit, Tantawi).

Insha’Allah, we’ll cover this point in detail in our complete Qur’an tafsir. I pray that helps.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is The Universe Eternal?


Question: How do we respond to the claim that the Universe is eternal, it has always existed so we don’t need a God to explain its existence?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

There are a number of water-tight arguments for the universe being created. For example, the Kalam Cosmological Argument proves that the existence of everything in the universe is finite and created. How so? Well, if the universe was eternal, meaning there was no beginning to it, then we would not exist.

This is because our existence would be tantamount to reaching the end of infinity. This is impossible.

Put in another way, if you started counting to get to infinity – the point at which a new universe would come into existence because of your reaching infinity – when would that happen? How much time would you need? The answer is it would never happen because you cannot reach the end of infinity. The same applies to our existence.

Who Created God?

The same argument dismantles the false ideas people have about the Creator. They ask ‘If God created the universe, who created him?’ They would keep asking the same question forever, due to the same logic as before, or they can accept that there is one, uncreated Creator who made everything.

I recommend you take a course on ‘Aqida with us, and maybe even have a look at a valuable resource called ‘God, Islam, and the Skeptic Mind.’

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Reading the Qur’an Without Tafsir

Question: Can one read the Qur’an without using a tafsir? Is it necessary to use a tafsir? Do you have a recommended tafsir to use as a layman?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is utterly key that Muslims read the Qur’an and understand its meaning. Otherwise, how can it be the guidance that can be applied in word, deed, and state? You should start off with reading a translation and then move on to a tafsir from there.

Translations/Interpretations

You can try reading one of the translations by the following translators. I recommend the first, as it was the first one I ever read:

  • Abdullah Yusuf Ali- this includes some commentary
  • Marmaduke Pickthall
  • Saheeh International
  • Muhammad Asad
  • Maulana Muhammad Ali
  • Arthur Arberry

Tafsir

Once you have read a full translation/interpretation, I recommend the Seekersguidance tafsir podcasts:
https://seekersguidance.org/names/quran-tafsir-understanding-the-word-of-allah/

You should also consider the full tafsir of Mawlana Mawdudi which you can access from the following link, or get a hard copy of multiple volumes: https://www.englishtafsir.com/

Reading without tafsir

There is much baraka in reading the Qur’an without the tafsir as well, and I recommend that Muslims, old and young, read some of the Qur’an every day, even if they don’t have time to read the meaning. However, one must never be satisfied with only reading Arabic; it must be accompanied by some effort of understanding it. Either start with the above tips or sign up to learn Arabic.

May Allah allow us to grasp the meanings of the Qur’an at all its levels, and allow us to attain illumination by it and the success of the ummah.

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’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.

Mispronunciation of the Fatiha

Question: I am a non-Arab who has OCD. After learning that mistakes in the Fatiha can invalidate salah, prayer is a burden and I get waswasa to stop praying. I spend about 10 to 12 minutes to pray my fard. I repeat many words of the Fatiha. My letter `ayn is not very good, does this invalidate the prayer? If I mispronounce in the first rak`ah but realize it in the 3rd or 4th rak`ah, what should be done? Are the following points true? A: Interchanging the ﻕ and ﻙ does not nullify salat. B: Likewise for interchanging ﺱ and ﺹ. C: Reciting “iyaka na’budu” in place of iyyaaka na’budu does not nullify the prayer. D: Pronouncing the letter ﻆ like a ﺯ during the ruku` nullifies the prayer because it changes the meaning. (Radd-ul-mukhtar) E: If I mispronounce a letter of the Fatiha is it obligatory to go back and pronounce it correctly even though it wasn’t intentional? F: If I say arrrahman nirrrahim instead of what I am supposed to say, would it invalidate it?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and distress and I pray that you can resolve this soon. Allah has not placed a burden on people to be perfect, but rather Muslims should learn their religion and do the best they can. It will not go unrewarded, by His grace. This is the upshot.

Here is the section on mistakes in the Fatiha, from the Reliance of the Traveller, to give you an overall idea of the ruling:

“If one omits one of the Fatiha’s letters (Ar. harf, a consonant or long vowel (A: mistakes in a short vowel (haraka) do not harm as long as they do not alter the meaning)), fails to double a letter that should be doubled, or substitutes a wrong letter for the right one, it invalidates (0: one’s recital of that particular word and one must recite the word again (dis: s3.3). But it does not invalidate one’s prayer unless it changes the meaning and was done deliberately)”[f18.8].

The letter `Ayn

Your pronunciation of this letter is acceptable according to your description and you should no longer worry about it. Don’t allow waswasa to make your decisions for you.

Interchanging the letters Qaf & Kaf and Sad & Sin

Your prayer remains valid if you have interchanged the letters above during the Fatiha, as long as the meaning hasn’t changed and you did not do it deliberately. If you do notice some errors, you should go back and fix them once, but you are excused otherwise because you are learning. Do sit with a tajweed teacher in order to learn how to pronounce them correctly and not overthink it.

Realizing a mistake later on

In your case, if you have made a mistake in the first rak`ah and realize in the third, I would attribute this to waswasa (baseless misgivings) and it should be ignored. As long as you are working on improving your pronunciation with a teacher, you don’t need to repeat prayers or rak` ahs.

Doubling the ya’

If you mispronounced ‘iyyaka‘, by not doubling the ya’, you should go back and pronounce it with a shadda, but not more than once. Don’t let waswasa take hold of you. This shadda will quickly become a habit and you won’t forget it again, by the grace of Allah.

The Basmala

As for your last point, it is obligatory to say the Basmala as it is considered one of the verses of the Fatiha: Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. Also be sure to recite the Ta`awwudh before the Fatiha so the Devil doesn’t whisper to you about your pronunciation: A`udhu biLahi minash Shaytanir rajeem.

Please see this answer for more detailed answers to your question:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/prayer-shafii-fiqh/invalidation-prayer-inaccurate-pronunciation/

And finally, see below an excerpt from the Reliance of the Traveller about delusions and how they are seen by traditional scholars:

“s3.3 Others are so bedeviled by inner misgivings at their initial Allahu Akbar in the prayer that they may miss a rak’a with the imam. And like them are those with obsessive doubts about the proper pronunciation of the letters of the Fatiha and other spoken elements of the prayer. One of them may take precaution upon precaution in doubling the doubled letters, distinguishing ض from ظ, and so forth, beyond the necessary, until he is finally so concerned about it that he does not think about anything else, neglecting the meaning of the Koran and the lessons he should be taking from it. And this is among the ugliest forms of delusion, for people are not required to pronounce the letters when reciting the Koran with more precision than that with which classical Arabic is normally spoken. Such people are as if delivering a message to a ruler, the messenger fastidiously pronouncing each letter and repeating those he is unsatisfied with, having quite forgotten the purpose of the message and the dignity of the assembly before whom he is delivering it. How richly such a person deserves to be thrown out and taught a lesson.”

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “One who is skilled in the Qur’an is associated with the noble, upright recording angels, and he who falters when he recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult for him will have a double reward [Abu Dawud].

May Allah reward you for your efforts!

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

The Devil’s Continual Disobedience

Question: If the Devil knows that he is damned to hell, why does he keep disobeying Allah? What does he hope to achieve?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

The Devil continues to disobey Allah and tries to send as many of mankind to hell as possible out of spite and revenge. Allah Most High tells us the story in the Qur’an:

‘[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay.
So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.”
So the angels prostrated, all of them entirely.
Except for Iblis; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers.
He said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?”
Iblis replied, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”
He said, “Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled.
And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense.”
Iblis said, “My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.”
He replied, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved
Until the Day of the time well-known.”
Iblis said, “By your might, I will surely mislead them all
Except for Your chosen/sincere servants among them” (Qur’an, 38: 71-83).

In another sura, in the Qur’an, the story is also recounted and the revenge that the Devil is trying to take against Allah is clearly mentioned:

Iblis said, “My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.”
He replied, “Indeed, you are of those reprieved
Until the Day of the time well-known.”
Iblis said, “My Lord, because You have sent me astray, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all. Except, among them, Your chosen servants” (Qur’an, 15:36-40).

This is why the Devil keeps trying to disobey Allah by sending others astray.

On a deeper level, Allah created the Devil, his disobedience, and his attempts to lead us astray to separate the wheat from the chaff, the sincere and devout from the insincere and perverted. Although the Devil is trial and tribulation for us, he is also mercy for us because his efforts are an opportunity to prove our sincerity to Allah.

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

 

Doubts About Purification

Question: If one has doubts about one’s purification (wudu or ghusl) during the prayer, does one have to restart the prayer?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

To answer this question properly, I will break this down into two sections.

Before and during the prayer

A. Doubts about breaking wudu

If one knows that one has wudu, and before or during the prayer starts to doubt whether or not one broke wudu, the prayer is perfectly valid. This is because the default assumption is that one has wudu, and one merely doubts whether or not one broke it, and certainty is given precedence over doubt.

B. Doubts about making wudu

If one knows that one broke one’s wudu, and before or during the prayer starts to doubt whether or not one made wudu after breaking it, the prayer is invalidated. One must go and make wudu, and start again. This is because one knows that one did not have wudu, and one merely thinks that one made wudu thereafter, and certainty is given precedence over doubt, as before.

After the prayer

Once one gives the salams, the default assumption is that the prayer is valid. So even if one knows that before the prayer one broke one’s wudu, and merely thinks that one made wudu thereafter, the prayer is still valid (Tuhfat al Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar al Haytami). This is assuming such thoughts only came to one’s mind after the prayer was finished and not before.

The reason for this is that the default assumption is that the prayer is valid, and the doubt is now regarding whether or not one actually had wudu, and certainty is given precedence over doubt, as mentioned above.

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

Breaking Wudu by Touching Private Parts

 

Question: What constitutes touching private parts that break wudu?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Touching means touching with the palm or inner side of the fingers without any barrier (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi).

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘When one of you touches his private parts with his hand when there is no barrier between the two, let him make wudu’ (Ibn Hibban).

A thick layer of cream would be a barrier that could be scratched off. A thin layer that can be felt but that does not form a layer over the skin would not.

For example, if someone put a thick layer of medication or cream on their own genitals or those of a baby, if they did not rub the cream in and left it as a thick layer, they would not really be “touching” the genitals. If they rubbed it in such that the layer of cream between their skin and the skin of genitals was no longer there, then it would break their wudu.

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

Washing of Whole Mouth During Ghusl

special supplication

Question: Must I move my detached gums in the ritual bath (ghusl) in order for the water to reach underneath?

Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

You are not obliged to move your detached gums in the ritual bath (ghusl) in order for the water to reach underneath [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah].

Water Reaches

Even though you may assume that water does not reach underneath your gums – the basis is that it does. Water is naturally thin and permeating. Since this is the basis of understanding one would need reasonable surety to assume otherwise [Ibid.].

Due to this, you should ignore any assumptions that the water does not reach. Merely swish the water around your mouth and consider that integral complete.

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences