Monday Morning Haiku – Rahma

 
 
 

Snow resting on the branches
a reserve of mercy
washing my limbs for prayer

 
 
 
 
 


 

Qibla Direction and Prayer Validity

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about coming to realize that one has given others the wrong qibla direction.

Question:

Insha Allah this finds you very well.

I wanted to ask about a situation related to the prayer validity and the qibla. Some months ago we had friends visit our home to which we had recently shifted. The guests needed to pray and when asked about the Qibla, by complete accident I told them the wrong direction, not even realizing my error until later on.

When I realized, though it was a mistake, I felt really bad, but I also realized, to my relief, that the direction I had told them, alhamduliLlah, was not completely off. (It was within the 45 degrees of the exact Qibla direction, to the best of my knowledge, that I had learned would not affect the validity of prayer.) And so I thought insha Allah, it’s nothing to worry about and I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to alarm anyone either if it was not a problem.

I have been thinking about it now though and wondering if I did the right thing then? Where I live people do refer to Hanafi scholars but there is also a general confusion about whether or not to follow one madhab (people take other rulings as well), and I was thinking in that case should I have mentioned it?

May Allah reward and bless the SHG team, amin.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

The basis is that you would give a guest the exact direction of the qibla. If you mistakenly gave a direction which was less than forty-five degrees away from the qibla, this would also suffice because the Hanafi school allows for such digression, with or without intent. 

In times of religious confusion and unclarity, if an act of worship is valid and acceptable according to one of the legal schools (madhahib), this is usually going to be sufficient for most. This is particularly the case when a certain community or people are effectively ascribed to a given school. 

Please also see Facing the General Direction of the Qibla When the Exact Direction is Known.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 

Are There Prohibited Duas?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if there are prohibited duas, or a limit to what Allah gives.

There are a lot of sites saying that Allah answers all your duas. But are there not certain duas that are prohibited e.g. a dua asking Allah to beautify oneself. Can you please enlist all the duas Allah prohibited?

And is there a limit to which Allah grants one’s duas? I mean you cannot really ask for a unicorn and expect Allah to give it to you, right?

It is not permissible to supplicate Allah (dua) for:

  1. harm to someone else,
  2. something truly miraculous (a unicorn),
  3. something logically impossible (making two be three),
  4. or something religiously impossible (being reincarnated).

Besides that, we should ask for whatever we wish for of this life or the next, even if it seems far-fetched.

As for any limitations to what Allah gives, it is without limits: “Indeed Allah provides whosoever He wills without stint.” (Sura Aal Imran 3:37)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Vigilantism, Digital or Otherwise, Is Forbidden

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question on the legality of digital vigilantism in Islam.

I’d like to thank you for answering the last question. I have another question related to my life. I’m a 19 year old student, and I have always had a great love for how the things work on Internet. Now, I want to know more about the things and give it a shape, use it for doing good things.

I was wondering, for example, about hacking into a site like Dellywood. Dellywood is a website, a registration website actually, for selecting Mr or Miss India, and it is now kind of known what these things lead to. The females dress up, for instance vulgarly and there are so many things to be considered as well.

My question is, if I could, can I stop or damage their things like their database or could I do things like such as a good deed? Or if I find money anywhere from such websites, can I take that as a war booty and spend it for the cause of Allah? Or am I simply forbidden to make any move.

Thank you.

There is no vigilantism in Islam. All of this would be forbidden.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Student Assembly Review – Great Scholars of the Past

On Sunday May 5th, I had the pleasure of hosting SeekersGuidance students for our term opening Student Assembly. This was no regular student assembly of course – it wouldn’t be a Seekers event without an online component, and indeed, we broadcast live via our LiveStream channel from our Hub in Toronto and also from our new office in California. As students of sacred knowledge preparing for their classes, we sought to engage our audience by honing in on those whose legacy our classes are built on – great scholars of the classical Islamic period.
Shaykh Rami Nsour, our new Dean of Academics enlightened us on the life and work of Imam Malik.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani focused on Imam Abu Hanifa, and also took questions live from viewers.

When this term comes to an end, we will, God willing, have another Student Assembly, which will focus on great scholars of the modern era. Let us know which scholars you want to know more about by emailing us. Also stay tuned for video from the Assembly, to be posted on our website and Facebook page soon.

Indeed, our teachers sought to describe how a heart connected to saints and scholars of the Islamic tradition give a sincere student wisdom and energy with which to pursue sacred studies. I will leave you with counsel from Shaykh Faraz, who advised students of SeekersGuidance, through the words of Imam Abu Hanifa, as to how we can utilize mention of the rightly guided scholars in our own pursuit of knowledge:

“Abu Hanafi would say ‘moments spent in the mention of the righteous are more precious to me than hours spent in the review of Fiqh.’ Why? The mention of the righteous gives us an embodiment of what the purpose and reality of knowledge is, and qualities that remind us how to become of the true seekers of knowledge, and how we can fulfill the true purpose of knowledge.”

Like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Abrar Qadir,
Development Manager, SeekersGuidance Global

Operating without Barriers

Plagued by Thoughts of Faith in Allah

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil advises on how to deal with troubling and recurring thoughts.

I am troubled with waswasa concerning the rightness of my belief in Allah, and nothing helps to put me at ease. What do I do?

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

Troubling thoughts

Dear questioner, it sounds like these thoughts plague you, and cause you deep distress.

I strongly advise you to consult a trustworthy local scholar about the specifics of your situation

Knowing Allah

You need a trustworthy teacher to help ground you to a framework of what is pleasing to Allah. Please don’t leave your thoughts to circulate in your head and create your own counterarguments. This leaves the door wide open to even more waswasa, which will only torment you further.

I encourage you to study both of these courses: Introduction to Islamic Logic: Abhari’s Isaghuji Explained: Mental Inference in the Islamic Sciences  and Introduction to Islamic Theology: Sanusi’s Umm al-Baraheen Explained: Why Islam is True.

Holistic healing

You need to have spiritual medicine to counter your waswasa. I encourage you to speak to Sidi Zuhair Girash of Aafiyah Healing.

I pray this has been helpful.

Please see A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings).

Raidah

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.

Feeling Discouraged about Marriage

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil answers concerns about not feeling acceptable as a potential spouse.

I am an American college student trying to finish half my din. I have maintained haya all my life and avoided speaking unnecessarily with men, so I asked my parents to help me search. Unfortunately I’ve been met with rejection before I’ve even been introduced as a prospect.

Men have remarked on how they don’t want a hijabi, they don’t want someone with such dark skin, they are only attracted to Europeans, I am too religious, I am not religious enough, I am too educated, I am not educated enough etc.

I see girls much younger than me marrying remarkable men with ease. I feel like there is something wrong with me. How do I keep my head up? I always dreamed of being a wife and mother in my early twenties but it seems this is no longer possible.

I am not willing to stray from the din or remove my hijab to please a man, nor can I change the way I look and my race. Should I even continue to think of marriage? It seems I am unwanted.

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

Self-doubt Trap

“And whoever submits his self to Allah and is good in deeds, he in fact holds on to the strongest ring. Towards Allah is the ultimate end of all matters.” (Sura Luqman 31:22)

Dear sister, please know that there is nothing wrong with you. You sound intelligent, kind, and most of all, God-fearing. Your future husband will be so blessed to have you as his wife, and the mother of his children.

Please do not allow the comments of ignorant men get you down. You are a believer, and worthy of every good.

Unfortunately, many traumatized Muslim families produce sons who carry deep-seated feelings of post-colonial shame. They feel that lighter-skinned women who are not in hijab make better wife material. This is their baggage speaking, and it is not your burden to bear. This is not the kind of family you want to marry into.

Keep your heart focused on what pleases Allah, and know that He will never let you down.

Breaking Our Attachments

Many of us get attached to different ideas, and when they do not happen, we become heartbroken. I encourage you to let go of your hope to be a mother and a wife in your twenties, and instead, hold onto the fact that Allah will bless you with marriage and children when He deems best.

If this gives you any comfort, please know that I married my husband at 28. I had my first child when I was 31, and my second when I was 34. I would have been a terrible mother in my twenties even though I really wanted kids. Allah needed me to work through my issues before blessing me with my two little daughters. AlhamduliLlah, His Wisdom eclipsed my own short-sightedness.

Of course, this is my story. You have your own. Instead of wondering if there is something wrong with you, perhaps you can ask yourself a different question. What is Allah trying to teach you? What are some character traits you can improve? What are some gaps in your knowledge that you can fill in?

Preparing for Marriage

I encourage you to complete this course, while you have the time and energy. Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, every night, for a loving husband who has both din and good character.

Please read Sura al-Waqi‘a as regularly as you can, with the intention of increasing your rizq, namely, husband and children.

Reflections on Seasons in Life

Dear sister, I remember being a single student of knowledge in Amman, ten years ago. I was in my twenties, and really wanted to get married.

A wise older friend told me that life comes in seasons. This season of your life may feel like a winter, when you so want it to be spring. So, make the most of your winter. Buckle down, and nourish yourself with the courses and podcasts on SeekersGuidance. May the good seeds you plant now come to fruition when the time is right.

Use the time and energy that you have now to be of service to your family and wider community. One day, I pray that you will be a wife and a mother. You will exhausted beyond imagination, but you will be content too, insha Allah.

In the meantime, everything you are learning now will help you in those roles. Trust in Allah’s timing, and in His Mercy. He knows exactly what you need, even if it may not be what you want.

I pray that Allah blesses you with the gift of marriage, motherhood, patience, and contentment.

Please see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Doubts on the Validity of Prayer

Ustadh Salman Younas dispels misgivings on performing certain acts in prayer.

I’m one who frequently questions the validity of the prayer and genuinely questions whether I have committed a mistake. This has recently been magnified by my reading of that delaying a necessary act by the length of three tasbih is itself a wajib. Now I constantly question whether or not I have left too long a gap.

I used to take long pauses to reflect on prayer and now no longer do. This has been particularly problematic because I often make mistakes and/or stutter in my prayer and thereafter repeat the line, whether it be a takbirat or a verse, but now I am unsure if this would mean I am leaving this wajib.

Specifically: When performing Isha today in my third or fourth rak‘a when saying “Rabbana laka al-hamd,” I believe that I trailed off, failing to say the end. So I repeated “Rabbana laka al-hamd.” I then immediately went into sujood but then I questioned whether this would be classed as delaying the necessary act. Do I repeat the prayer?

A second question: I led my younger brother in prayer for maghrib, but I didn’t know then that the imam does not say “Rabbana laka al-hamd,” so I said it. Must this prayer be repeated?

You are suffering from waswasa, or baseless migivings. You must ignore these baseless misgivings otherwise you will find yourself in a situation where they will likely increase and make your life even more difficult.

You should ignore the three tasbih ruling. Even though scholars deemed it as wajib, leaving a wajib does not invalidate the prayer. There is no reason for you to focus on this minor wajib act to the point of constantly questioning whether you have contravened the ruling.

Further, this ruling of delaying a necessary act applies to completely finishing one act and then moving on to another. If you are still reciting, or correcting your recitation, etc., this is not counted as a “delay.”

Here, it should be pointed out that you are also suffering from baseless misgivings when it comes to recitation. Why the constant need to correct yourself? The rulings of recitation in the Hanafi school are extremely relaxed. “Trailing off” does not require repetition of the word, nor does it invalidate your prayer. The imam saying “Rabbana laka al-hamd” is also harmless. Stuttering does not require repetition either. Neither do common errors in tajwid. You should stop repeating your recitation for such mistakes.

It is extremely difficult to invalidate the prayer in the Hanafi school. My advice to you is pray a normal prayer and stop thinking too much and hyper-analyzing your prayer.

Salman

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.