Going Back on a Pledge

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I pledged 200 Euro at a mosque fundraiser, but then found out that my cousin in Iraq needs help for her basic food and needs. Can I go back on my pledge?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Such a pledge is a promise. It is sinful to make promises without the firm resolve to fulfill the promise. Allah Most High says, “Believers! Fulfill all commitments.” [Qur’an, 5.1]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) mentioned that among the signs of a hypocrite is that they don’t fulfill promises.

It is highly recommended to actually fulfill the promise, and wrong not to. However, it is not blameworthy not to fulfill a promise when there is a greater interest in not doing so, though high resolve would entail trying to take the reasonable means to both fulfill the promise and the greater interest.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Using Fertility Pills

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Can we use fertility pills in order to get pregnant? It has been two years since I’ve been married. Someone suggested we try that, but sometimes I feel that maybe Allah Most High doesn’t want me to have a baby right now. So should I wait and keep trying? Would it be wrong to use fertility pills?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If the fertility pills are medically safe—which one should consult reliable medical experts (such as doctors) about—then there is nothing legally wrong with taking such fertility pills.

Whether one should take them is entirely a personal decision that the wife and husband should sit down and make together, though in this the decision is ultimately the wife’s.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Is Voting Permitted?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I don’t think Muslims are split over whether it’s permitted to vote or not, but over the issue of voting in a democratic system. The democratic system recognizes man as ruler (Al-Hakim) and it is man who governs himself. Surely this is verging on associating partners with Allah (shirk) where man does not recognize Allah Most High as ruler and makes up rules on his own (in other words, he is “playing God!”).
Just think of the sheer insult of this when Muslims support this system by voting. It’s as if we’re saying Allah Most High’s rules aren’t good enough for us… we’ve rejected them and instead have followed our whims and desires to adopt a man-made system. Whatever leads to an obligation (wajib) is an obligation (wajib), and hence, in the absence of Islamic rule, it is an obligation upon a Muslim to establish such a system… not settle for the next best alternative.

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I don’t see the logic in this thinking.

In traditional curriculums, both in the Islamic world and Europe, logic was an important science taught to young adults, for the simple reason that they be able to reason without falling into simple errors.

Without study of logic, or keeping the company of those who think according to the dictates of Sacred Law and reason, arguments like “we were told to eat mangoes, so it is impermissible to eat oranges” arise.

People have to wake up. If you are living in a non-Muslim country, you have accepted the reality that you are not living in a land where the Sacred Law’s public and political laws can be applied (unless, some time in the future, the population chooses to enter Islam), at least at present.

In these situations, Muslims have three main duties:

a) fulfill their personal religious obligations;

b) as a community, fulfill their communal religious obligations; and

c) promote the general good.

Muslims dream of and work towards ideals, but live realities. The only way these three duties can be fulfilled now and in the future is for Muslims to be strong at the individual and community levels, and have strong individual and community presence in society at large, at every level.

As for sitting in London, and saying you are “working towards establishing an Islamic state”, this is folly. No Islamic state can exist without a state of Islam; otherwise, more harm is done than good.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Giving the Greeting of Salams to Someone in Open Disobedience to Allah

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I read in The Reliance of the Traveller that it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrimun) to give the greeting of salams to someone who is openly in disobedience to Allah. If an extremely close family member is of the above description, then do I stop giving salams to her, considering she would be saddened by me doing this and it may lead to worsening of relations?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

What is definitely highly disliked is to give salams while someone is openly disobeying Allah, such as someone drinking wine, for example–unless there is benefit in giving the salams.

Otherwise, one can give salams even to a corrupt person (fasiq).

Wassalam,

Faraz

Foreign Sweets Sold in Mecca and Medina That Appear to Be Impermissible

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: We see many sweets sold in shops in Mecca and Madina which are impermissible (haram) back home. These sweets are produced/packed abroad, and appear to have the same ingredients. Should these sweets be avoided? We also see many ‘locals’ buying these sweets, whereby I assume that they think they are permissible (halal). Can you please clarify this issue?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

If something is produced in a Muslim country, you can assume that it is halal. However, if there is reasonable doubt about it, then caution would be recommended. When there is strong doubt about it, then caution is necessary.

It is also necessary to avoid things imported to a Muslim country when you know that the same item, when sold in non-Muslim countries, has impermissible (haram) ingredients and you don’t have reason to believe that the local authorities are scrupulous about such matters.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Intimate Conversations on the Phone Before Marriage.

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Recently I spoke to a brother with the intention to get married, but after a while the conversion turned sexual and he would talk about sex acts he would perform on me. He would ejaculate and I would have an orgasm. I know this is wrong and I shouldn’t speak to him, but I enjoy myself. Would phone sex be permitted between husband and wife?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

Any intimate contact or conversation is impermissible (haram) before marriage, as clearly established by the Quran, the Sunna and the consensus of the scholars of Community of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Not only would the actual intimate contact (such as the sexual phone talk) be impermissible, but the means that lead to the starting of such talk would also be impermissible, because of the decisively established principle that, “The means to the impermissible are themselves impermissible.” [Ibn Abd al-Salam, al-Qawa`id al-Kubra]

Thus, you have to be very wary of such phone conversations: they are absolutely impermissible. It is only permitted to talk to someone of the opposite sex who is unrelated if it is done within the limits of dignity and propriety–within limits of need or benefit.

When you find yourself slipping, remember Allah and the Last Day: If you died this very moment, is this a state you would want to die in?

Faraz Rabbani

Denying the Obligation of Wearing Hijab

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: If a person denies that wearing hijab is obligatory for women, are they considered a disbeliever? If not, what is their status?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. The obligation of covering applies to both men and women, and the limits of what men and women must cover are clearly affirmed in the Qur’an and Sunna of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).

From this obligation is an adult woman’s obligation to cover all but face, hands, and feet in front of unrelated men. There is clear and decisive scholarly consensus (ijma`) on this, and it is not a ruling subject to change.

However, given the troubled times we live in, the scholars do not declare people who deny this obligation disbelievers. Rather, our duty is to call people to sound understanding of Islam and the Sacred Law. If people understand the big picture, and the wisdom and mercy the Sacred Law is based on, they will understand and accept its rulings.

Allah Most High said in the Qur’an, “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! Your Lord is Best Aware of those who stray from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.” [Qur’an, 16.125]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Call people with good tidings, and do not turn people away.” [Muslim]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Drinking Wine With Good Intention?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: In reference to your statement, “Our scholars said that the one who takes a glass of water to drink from, and then brings to mind that it is wine, it is unlawful for him to drink it,” if I take a glass of wine and then bring to my mind that it is water, then is it lawful for me to drink it?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. No, it is not permissible to drink wine–nor do anything else impermissible–with a “good intention.”

Good intentions may make a permitted action worthy of reward; bad intentions may make even a good action worthy of reproach or even sin.

However, good intentions do not make disobedience permissible, as the scholars explain. [Ibn Nujaym/Hamawi, Hashiyat al-Ashbah]

A “good intention” is an intention that is (1) to seek the pleasure of Allah, doing so in (2) a manner pleasing to Allah.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

The Meaning of Qurbani (Eid Sacrifice)

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am a convert and I recently found out that udhiya/qurbani is obligatory.This year I have the nisab minimum and so as I understand it would be wajib for me to do it (unless I am able to take a ruling from another madhab where it is sunna. is this possible?). It is difficult for me to do udhiya/qurbani, partly because I don´t fully understand the meaning of this practice in our deen. Could you please explain the reasons why we do this and the intentions one should have and how this should draw us nearer to Allah swt? Could I ask a brother at the mosque to do it for me and do I have to be present when the animal is sacrificed? Also, I rarely eat meat and I live with my non-muslim parents so could I just donate most of the meat to the mosque and leave a bit for my parents/family?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, the sacrifice (udhiya) is necessary (wajib) upon the sane, mature, resident in possession of the zakatable minimum (nisab) in any form of wealth.

See: Who Has to Sacrifice?

The Meaning of the Sacrifice (udhiya/qurbani)

The sacrifice is offered in order to commemorate the total submission displayed by Ibrahim (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he was commanded to sacrifice his son. Allah Most High says, “And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice thee. So look, what thinkest thou ? He said: O my father! Do that which thou art commanded. Allah willing, thou shalt find me of the steadfast.” [Qur’an, 37:102]

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani states that the philosophy behind ‘Udhiya’ is that it is a demonstration of total submission to Allah and a proof of complete obedience to Allah’s will or command. When a Muslim offers an ‘udhiya’ this is exactly what he intends to prove. Thus, the ‘udhiya’ offered signifies that he is a slave of Allah at his best. And that he would not hesitate even for a moment once he receives an absolute command from his Creator to surrender before it, to obey it willingly, even if it be at the price of his life and possessions. [Taken from: http://www.inter-islam.org/Actions/Qurbani.html]

`Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reports that the Apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The son of Adam does not perform any actions on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the shedding of blood. He will come on the day of resurrection with its hair, horns and hooves, and the blood certainly will fall in a place near Allah before it falls on the ground. So, make yourselves purified there with.” [Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah]

Zaid bin Arkam reports that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, what is this sacrifice?” He said: “It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim .” They asked: what (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal’s body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair).” They asked: “For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” [Ahmad; Ibn Majah]

Other Details

You can ask another to perform it on your behalf. However, it is not a condition that you be present at the sacrifice. And there would be no harm in donating most of the meat away. See: Do I Have to Give 1/3 of the Sacrificial Meat Away in Charity?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Removal of Shaytan’s Portion from the Prophet’s Heart

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Questions: I would like to know when the angels took the flesh/clots that causes one to sin/evil out of prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him)heart, were they physical lumps of flesh/clots? Do we all have those lumps of flesh/clots in our hearts that is the cause for us to think/feel/act evil or sin? Can we remove those clots like the prophet had his removed? Is it right to say that he was free from sin as he didn’t have the ability to sin or do evil to begin with by the removal of these lumps of flesh/clots?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Yes, it was a small piece of flesh that was removed from the heart of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). It was said to him that this is “shaitan’s portion from you”. [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

However, this was a miracle. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) experienced no feeling or pain neither at this event, nor in the subsequent opening of his chest during the night journey and ascent. (There is some difference as to whether there was a third occasion, too.)

Nevertheless, we affirm that the Prophets are necessarily truthful, trustworthy, and by extension protected from sin. It was not by the removal of the clot that he (Allah bless him and give him peace) acquired this trait. Rather, it is absurd for him and likewise all Prophets (Allah bless them all and give them all peace) to go against that which has been commanded. [Dardir, Sharh Kharida]

Please also see:

[a] How Do We Understand the Sinlessless of Prophets?

[b] How are the Prophets Protected from Error and Sin?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani