Is the child my father had outside of wedlock my brother?

Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High, reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
The child that is born out of wedlock is ascribed to the mother and not the father. Hence, the boy is not your brother.
If your father was married to the mother of this child, then he is your half-brother.
The relationship of unmarriageable kin (Mahramiyya) is established in three ways; kinship, foster relationship, and relationship through marriage.
If this child was not breastfed by the same wet nurse you had, he is not your brother through a foster relationship.
If this child is not related to you by marriage, he is not your brother.
Yes, this child was born from the same father. However, due to your father not being married to this child’s mother, the child is legally not his son and cannot be attributed to him.
As long as the child has not reached puberty, you may interact with him as you do with all children. Once the child reaches puberty, You must observe all the rules and decorum of dealing with the opposite gender when it comes to this child.

(Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i)

This child is your ‘brother in Islam’. You should grant him the same rights you would grant your neighbor or friend, such as helping them when they are ill, replying to their greeting, etc.

Please see: Who is a Mahram.
May Allah, Most High, raise your status in paradise for your worry and care of others.
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is it necessary to wash my hands during ablution?

Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High, reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
Washing your hands at the beginning of ablution is sufficient, and your previous ablutions are valid.
Washing the hands until the elbows is an integral of ablution. Washing your hands until the wrists, separately at the beginning of ablution, is a Sunna action that ensures no filth on your hands before beginning ablution.
(Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah)
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 Reciting loudly in the prayer

Question:  Salam. I wanted to ask you regarding the level of voice which makes recitation jahr. I mean, if I’m reciting in silent prayer in a low voice but which may be audible to 4 or 5 individuals on both sides, would that make it jahr? It isn’t evident until someone defines the audibility of one’s voice to make it jahr.


Looking forward to receiving a response.

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Assalam’aleykum, I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Jazakum Allah khayr for your question

For a recitation to be deemed loud (jahri), it is enough that only one person can hear the Imam. Less than that would be deemed silent. [Tahtawi; Hashiya on Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah knows best.

May  Allah Most High grant you the best of this world and the next. Please keep us in your du’as!

Wassalam

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Spouse no longers want sexual relations

Question: If one has become old and does not value sexual relations with one’s spouse anymore, is that a valid excuse?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

People vary in their sexual needs. But at the end of the day, as long as there is a need, and as long as one is physically able to satisfy that need, one should and must. At the same time, the other spouse should help their spouse fulfill their need by giving them the emotional atmosphere they require, including giving space and time when asked for.

If one’s migraines stop one from fulfilling one’s spouse’s needs, then one, of course, is excused.

Busying oneself with worship, however, is not an excuse. Fulfilling a personal obligation is far greater in Allah’s eyes than optional worship, especially if it is an obligation to others slaves of Allah.

If one really feels like one cannot muster the emotional energy to entertain one’s spouse’s physical needs, one should try and solve the problem through discussion and mutual understanding. Counseling is also a good idea. Failing that, one might consider either a divorce or facilitating one’s husband to take a second wife.

Allah does not ask us to do things we cannot do. At the same time, one cannot remain in relation on one’s own terms to the detriment of another. ‘Let there be no harming or harming back. Whoever makes things unbearable for another, Allah will make things unbearable for him.’ (Hakim)

Please also see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/wifes-right-to-intimacy/
https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/8306

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the Arabic language sciences 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 Should I Deal With Being Attracted to the Same Gender and Having Most of My Friends From the Opposite Gender?

Question: I am a man, and growing up, I was always very feminine, so I have more female friends than male. I relate to them better and have more meaningful friendships with them. I know this is wrong, but I don’t how to fix it. They’re not religious and would get very upset if I told them our religion has rules on gender interaction. They would also notice if I withdrew gradually as we’re very close. I’m also attracted to other men, and so I’m afraid of it causing fitnah if I were to get close to men. Advice?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration at having to push yourself in the other direction, but I guarantee you that your reward with your Lord will be multiplied if you do out of sincerity for Him.

Friendships with ladies

Yes, there are rules on gender interaction, and they are put there for an excellent reason. You are not the first one to enjoy friendships of the opposite gender. There are many reasons people get along with the opposite gender, including a) no fear of competition, b) acceptance and comfort, c) no romantic pressure, etc., and the list goes on. However, some authors and researchers have found that men and women can’t have platonic friendships because of hidden feelings most of the time.

Honesty

The reality is that in your case, even if you don’t have those feelings, the rulings don’t change. Anything can happen in the future, and Islam is eager to prevent the changing of friendships into something else. If you want to change your friends for the sake of Allah, you should do it, and it doesn’t matter if your friends get upset. They will calm down over time, and they should respect your decision to follow your religion. You don’t need to hide it or do it gradually; proceed as you see fit. Cold turkey is usually the easiest way.

Attraction

In short, if you are worried about being attracted to other men, don’t. If you haven’t done anything haram with a man until now, I am sure you won’t. Stick to your obligations to your Lord, Most High, reduce your screen time dramatically, spend more time in nature in the fresh air, eat less junk and sugar, take your supplements and surround yourself with religious positive people. Take a free course on the Prophet’s life and other obligatory knowledge to kick-start your transition.

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/meccan-dawn-the-life-of-the-beloved-prophet-muhammad-in-mecca/
Ask Allah

Pray to Allah that He helps you reconcile these feelings and makes it easy for you to subdue them. Express your feelings through du`a, ask Allah to help you, guide you, and give you the very best outcome. Allah is always there to listen and loves to be asked. Trust in Allah that if you take care of Him, he will take care of you, as we know from a Prophetic hadith.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “When half of the night or two-third of it is over. Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak.‘“ [Muslim]

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-friend-of-the-same-gender-has-feelings-for-me/

May Allah reward you for your sincerity and give you the best in 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.

 

 

Facing the Qibla

 

Question:  Assalamualikum,
I just changed my room & I am a bit confused about the positionings.
Is it compulsory to face qibla while sleeping, studying & making wudu?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Assalam’aleykum, I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Jazakum Allah khayr for your question!

No, it is not obligatory (fard) to face the qibla when sleeping, studying, or performing wudu.

It is recommended for one to sleep in a state of ritual purity and to lie on one’s right side, facing the qibla for a while [at least, and then, if it is difficult to fall asleep on one’s right] then one may sleep on one’s left side [without it being considered sub-optimal] [ al-Sirajiyya]

Facing the qibla while performing one’s wudu is merely recommended (mustahabb). [Nur al-Idah]

Facing the qibla while studying is advice given by many scholars, but it is not obligatory.

And Allah knows best.

May  Allah Most High grant you the best of this world and the next. Please keep us in your du’as!

Wassalam

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Become a Steadfast Muslim After Getting Out of an Illicit Relationship?

Question: Is every pain that we feel a trial? I was in a haram relationship, but by the Mercy of Allah, He led me out of it. When I was in that relationship, I was cheated on by him often and got verbally abused. I used to cry a lot. I thought that because I was in a haram relationship, Allah would never see my pain because of my disobedience. Those moments were excruciating. From now on, how can I be a good Muslim, and can I have tips for remaining steadfast?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your pain, and I am pleased that you have moved past this sin. I believe from now on; you will find much good and many blessings in your life by His grace.

Tawba

The first step toward changing yourself is repentance. Sincere repentance with sincere regret and the resolve to never do it again with any boy is essential. Please see the details here:

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/

Learn

The second step is to increase your knowledge and apply it to your life correctly. Learn your basic obligations in Islam and the halal and haram of daily life. Couple these with a class on the Prophet’s biography (Allah bless him and give him peace) for inspiration and heart softening. See these always-free classes linked here:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/meccan-dawn-the-life-of-the-beloved-prophet-muhammad-in-mecca/

Resources

Watch these videos on steadfastness, and see the other links below for more tips on changing yourself for the better after much pain and tribulation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5hJ56OYsT0
https://seekersguidance.org/show/dealing-tribulations-inward-outward/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HMzg0HSH1U

Finally, I want you to know that Allah did see the pain you were going through, and He did not cast you aside because of the disobedience. Proof that Allah heard your pain is that He took you out of this situation, giving you what was the best for you, and for that, your gratitude should be unending. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and bless you with a husband who will treat you well and give you all that you deserve and more.

[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.

Do I Have To Check If Meat Is Halal If I’m  A Guest?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.
If I get invited by a Muslim family which is not very religious, and I get served meat (not pork), do I have to avoid it or make investigations till I am sure the meat is halal? And what is the matter what would the matter be if I get the invitation from non-muslim families – should I be concerned every time?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Yes, it would be best if you were cautious about this. The classical works state that one does not need to ask when at someone’s house. (Birgivi, al Tariqa al Muhamadiyya) However, we find ourselves in non-Muslims countries where there have been multiple cases of people passing off haram meat as halal. Precaution should be the basis here.

The way around it is to call the people who have invited you to ask them that if they plan on preparing meat or chicken for you, you have a practice of only eating meat from whichever particular butcher that you know to be certified by a sound authority.

Make it clear that you are not trying to be difficult and that you’re not suspicious. You make a conscious choice to support these authorities that give peace of mind to Muslims.

Supporting A Reliable Authority To Support The Muslims At Large

I feel this is something one has to be careful about depending on where one lives. There have been many scandals about meat in the UK, and more keep appearing in the news. The safest thing to do is to consume meat approved by a reliable authority.

In the UK, HMC is the most reliable. They have a representative – usually a scholar – present at the abattoir who witnesses the slaughter. The meat is stamped at various points of the process until it reaches the butcher or fast food outlet. Also, they disapprove of stunning the animals. This leads to the premature death of chickens in many cases.

With a non-Muslim host, you can request fish or a vegetarian option; it’s easy. Many people have dietary requirements, so it wouldn’t be burdening anyone to mention a preference.

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. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is It Permissible To Watch Movies and Cartoons if I Fast-Forward the Kissing Parts?


Question: Is it permissible to watch movies and cartoons if I fast-forward the impermissible parts such as kissing and the like? What is the ruling regarding the `awra (nakedness) of a cartoon character?
Answer:Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, watching screens has become a common pastime for children and adults. Children do it for constant stimulation or out of addiction, and adults usually let them do it to have a break from the kids.

Please see the rulings pasted below written by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan about watching TV and cartoons.

The ruling of a male viewing a female


The prohibition of looking at members of the opposite sex is restricted to human beings. It is haram for an adult man to look at any part of the body of a strange, adult woman with desire. Shafi’i scholars differ on whether it is prohibited or permissible to look at the hands and face of a strange, adult woman without desire and in a situation where there is no fear of fitna.

For this purpose, fitna is defined as anything that may lead to intercourse or its preliminaries. The official view is that it is haram to look at her hands and face, even in the absence of desire and lack of fear of fitna. The unofficial view, which is the view chosen by many of our local scholars, is that it is permissible to look at the hands and face of a strange, adult woman without desire and where there is safety from fitna. [Mugni al-Muhtaj]

The ruling of a female viewing a male
Likewise, according to the official view, it is haram for an adult woman to look at the awra of a strange, adult man with or without desire. The unofficial view, which is the carried view of many of the scholars in our community, is that looking at parts other than the awra is permissible in the absence of desire and safety from fitna. [Mugni al-Muhtaj]

The viewing of non-humans
However, these rules do not apply to non-humans, whether real or imaginary (like a cartoon). It is permissible for a man to look at ,a woman’s cartoon image woman’s cartoon image provided he does so without desire. According to the Shafi’i school, looking at any object with desire, even a stone, is haram.

Summary
In short, looking at a cartoon is permissible if it is done without desire. If it is done with desire, it is impermissible.

Having said that, we have discussed the ruling on watching films, series, and television in detail in a different answer.

And Allah knows best.

Also, see the following answer, written by Ustadh Omar Popal, Watching animated television, as long as the content is lawful, is permissible.

If the cartoon promotes content that is unlawful in Islam, then watching, it would be impermissible. Ex. Using foul language etc.
Regardless of its permissibility, it is not something that recommend in the  Sacred Law due to it not having intrinsic benefit. Watching cartoons to relax is understood, but it should not become something that constantly takes away from one’s time.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There are two blessings in which many people incur a loss. Their health and free time.“ [Bukhari]
“The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement, until he is asked about five things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and what he wore it out in, about his wealth and how he earned it and spent it upon, and what he did with what he knew.” (Tirmidhi, al-Sunan)
Imam al-Ghazali mentions: Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it. So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. (Ghazali, Bidayatul Hidaya)
Using that which is permitted in the sacred law as a means of relaxation is good. However, it should only be limited to that and not become a custom or habit that distracts us from our life’s purpose; Getting to know and worship our creator.
And Allah alone knows best.“

I hope these answers give you what you are looking for, may Allah reward you for your sincerity and concern, and may He 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.

How Can I Help My Daughter Say No to Boys Who Approach Her for an Illicit Relationship?



Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question.

Role Model

The best thing you can do for your daughter is to be a role model of Islamic character, following the rules of gender interaction, and covering correctly. She should see you lower your gaze around men, speak to non-mahram men reservedly, and keep a distance from men.  This will set the standard of gender interaction for her and leave no confusion in her mind between right and wrong. Encourage her to cover correctly in loose, modest clothing and never leave the house with make-up.

Resources

See the links below to excellent answers and consider taking a course on raising righteous children; it’s never too late:

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/keys-to-raising-righteous-children-eight-lessons-on-successful-parenting/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-principles-of-gender-interaction-in-islam/
https://seekersguidance.org/podcast-feeds/family-society/modest-clothing-for-men-and-women/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-requirements-of-hijab/

Rely on Allah

The bottom line is that you cannot make every decision for her and you must be prepared to let her live her life. She might make mistakes along the way, but you should guide her and love her every step of the way. Ask Allah constantly to increase her taqwa (God-fearingness) and hand over your inabilities and fears to Him. Your willingness to support her and show her what is right without embarrassing her or destroying her self-confidence is the best thing you can do as a mother. May Allah give you and your family 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 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.