Eating at Restaurants That Play Music

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to eat at a restaurant run by Muslims and that claims to provide halal meat, but where music is played and the owner shaves his beard?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

There are two issues here:

The legal limits;
What piety (taqwa) and recommended restraint entail.

As for the legal limits, one can assume that the food itself is permitted if the Muslim says it is and there is no cause for reasonable surety otherwise.

However, going to a restaurant where music is being played is blameworthy. Choosing to be in a place where there is sin taking place when it is not unavoidable is blameworthy and undignified (khilaf al-muru’a). Going to or remaining in a “place of sin” (such as a bar or night club, and other places whose primary purpose is vice) is impermissible (haram) and a serious sin indeed.

If, without thinking ill of others, circumstances make one doubt the reliability of the owner’s claims, then piety entails not eating at such a restaurant.

The grandson of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), Sayyiduna Hasan ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with them), narrates from his noble grandfather, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that he said, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, and Ahmad; Tirmidhi deemed it soundly authentic (hasan sahih), and this was confirmed by other hadith masters]

Imam Bukhari narrates from Hasan ibn Abi Sinan, one of the Followers (tabi`i: of those who met the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)), that he said, “I have seen nothing easier than scrupulousness (wara`): leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Bukhari, al-Jami`, al-Sahih, Bab Tafsir al-Mushabbahat]

May Allah give us success to be of those of piety, devotion, and true love for Allah and His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him, his family, companions, and followers).

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Hair in Food

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What should one do if one finds hair in one’s food after it has been cooked?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Hair is pure (tahir), so it would not affect the purity of the food or the permissibility of eating it. However, one cannot choose to eat human hair.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

The Sunnah of Clipping Nails

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Based on the Sunnah, in which order should a person clip their nails?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

The general sunna is to start with the right hand, and the right fingers, and to go left.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Removing Excess Facial Hair

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to remove excessive dark hair on her upper lip and chin, such that leaving it makes her look like a man and displeases her husband?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his folk, companions, and followers.

It is permitted for women to trim excess facial hair.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Disposing of Hair and Nails

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is there a specific recommended procedure for the disposing of nails and hair that have been cut?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

The scholars generally concur that it is recommended to bury everything that is separated from a living human’s body, such as a limb, hair, nails, and the like. [Shafii: Nawawi, al-Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 5.213; Hanbali: Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina 2.96; Hanafi: Turi, Takmilat al-Bahr al-Ra’iq 8.232].

This is because every part of the human being has been honored by Allah Most High: “Verily we have honoured the Children of Adam.” [Qur’an, 17.70]

This was from the habitual practice of many of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the early Muslims, as mentioned in works such as Ibn Abi Shayba’s Musannaf.

Some Hanafi works would seem to indicate that it is necessary (wajib) to bury the hair and nails, but other texts make it clear that what is meant is a linguistic usage of wajib, namely “highly recommended” because they follow it up by saying, “And if one throws it away there is no wrong in it (la ba’sa bihi), though if one throws it in the toilet or washroom it is disliked.” [Muhammad ibn Husayn al-Turi, Takmilat al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 8.232, quoting al-Nawazil]

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Sending kids out on Halloween

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I live in Canada where on Halloween, all kids go out for getting treats. Is it okay if we send out the kids and do not dress them up in scary costumes or wear masks, but just wear a dazzling hat. When our kids see that all other kids are getting treats, they will probably get upset if we stop them because we live in such an environment. Also is it okay if we give treats (Halal ones)? As Muslims we do not believe in any of these costums, but just regard it as a day when children get and give treats.

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Given the pagan origins of this celebration, many North American scholars state that it is not permitted to participate in. Instead, one should give one’s children treats; or take them out somewhere special, instead.

However, you may want to consult reliable local scholars about the ruling.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Advising Others and Not Allowing People to Mistreat You

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahu Wa Barakatuhu,

I work with a non Muslim lady who seems to always have “grudges” against me. Once a week or every few weeks she tends to not talk to me or acts weird towards while she acts normal with the other staff.

Just last week and today it was obvious she had an issue with me so I politely asked her what was wrong.

She replied with that the compliment I made of her hair looking nice and lighter actually offended her. I learned my lesson to not give compliments to non-muslims as it could possibly back fire. I nicely said if I offend you please speak up. I would prefer to speak about it rather than you not speaking to me. After my little speech she said thats okay not to worry, though shes still the same. My boss always praises me, my hard work, and great attitude.

I would like some advice on how to deal this. I have never been ill mannered or rude towards her, and I want to represent Islam well.

Answer:

Advise in the Best of Fashions

If you are going to advise another person, you should do so in the best of methods (Quran 16:125) and avoid being harsh (Quran 3:159). At times, not saying anything at all will be the advice. For more on enjoining righteousness, see this answer: The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil 

Stand Up for Your Rights

As you said, you do not want people to walk over you, so be sure to stand up to speak the truth. If a person makes an inappropriate comment about Islam, you have a duty to speak up. If you cannot address the issues with the person directly, then go to a manager and report workplace discrimination. If we let too many things go without addressing them, we may be enabling the person who is insulting us and discriminating.

Related Answers:

How Do I Motivate Someone to Perform the Good?

A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good

Can I Pray Fajr After Sunrise if I Wake Up Late?

Answered by Saira AbuBakr

Question: I sometimes wake up after sunrise and I am not able to pray fajr prayer on time. Is it okay if I pray it after sunrise?

Answer: walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,

May Allah bless you for asking the question. Waking up for the dawn prayer is a struggle for many people. If you happen to not wake-up on a given day, then make-up the prayer as soon as you wake-up. Perform the two obligatory (fard) cycles (rakahs) of Fajr first and then make-up the two sunnah rakahs (non-obligatory).

The sunnahs are the ones typically prayed before the fard. The sunnahs may be made-up up to the entrance of the Dhuhr (afternoon) prayer. However the fard is made-up indefinitely.

Before sleeping it is important to take all the means possible to enable one to wake up in time. These may include a strong intention; sleeping on wudu and on your right side; an alarm clock; seeking assistance from a friend with a phone call; sleeping early; avoiding heavy meals before sleep etc.

However, above it all, do not despair and know that habits take time to develop. Ask Allah to assist you in this great affair. Do the supplication for facilitation of ease,

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَا إلِّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلاً وَ أَنْتََ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا

Allahuma la sahla illa ma ja-‘altahu sahlan, wa Anta taj’alu ‘l-hazna idha shi’ta sahlan.

“Oh Allah there is no ease, except that which you make easy. You make the difficult easy, if You Will”. Narrated by Imam Ibn al Sunni

The morning time is very blessed. The Messenger of Allah, peace and prayers upon him, is reported to have said,

“Oh Allah bless my nation in the early morning time”. Narrated by Imam alTirmidhi and others.

Hence you will find a lot of benefit in your daily life if you are able to wake-up and pray the dawn prayer in its time. May Allah facilitate ease for you in all your situations.

And Allah knows best,
Saira

Dealing With Difficult Parents and Keeping Promises

Answered by Saira AbuBakr

Question: Assalamu alaikum

I find it hard to keep some of my promises and I live with a father who is sometimes cruel. I’m trying to find a way to stay on the right path, but it is hard.  Could you please advise me?

Answer: Walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,

May Allah ease your situation for you and give you well-being in this World and the Next.

Dealing With Your Father

Know that prophets have been tested with difficult families and it is a sign of righteousness and expiation of sins, to be tested with those closest to us, especially parents. Make dua that Allah grants your father righteousness and facilitates ease for you in your patience with him.

Maintaining a Promise

Most of us, at some point or another in our lives, have broken promises, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If one was sincere at the time of making the promise but was unable to fulfill it due to unforeseen circumstances, then one is not sinful in the matter. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said,

“Actions are by intentions and each person has what he/she intended….” [Imam AlBukhari and Muslim]

If one feels one has intentionally not kept a promise then the sunnah is to follow-up a wrong action with a good one. The former is erased by the latter.

The Prophet (Allah blesse him and give him peace) is reported to have said,

“….follow-up a wrong action with a good one, it will (the good action) erase it (the bad action). [Imam alTirmidhi]

Also,

” All Children of Adam are sinners and the best of sinners are those who repent often”. [Narrated by Imam al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad and others].

And Allah knows best.

Saira

Related Answers:

Ridding Oneself of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

Dealing With Depression Caused by Unemployment and Loneliness

Breaking Promises and Repentance

Does the Qur’an Mention OCD or Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) Being Caused by Jinn?

Advice to a Young Man with OCD and Struggling with Pornography and Other Major Sins

What Do We Know About Gog and Magog?

Answered by Shaykh Idris Watts

Question: Can you please explain the coming of Gog and Magog according to traditional scholarship ? What is known about them?

Answer: The coming of Gog and Magog is established in the Qurʾān and Prophetic traditions as one of major signs of the end of time. Allah says:

“Till, when Gog and Magog are unloosed, and they slide down out of every slope, and nigh has drawn the true promise, and behold, the eyes of the unbelievers staring: ‘Alas for us! We were heedless of this; nay, we were evildoers.’” (Qur’an, 21:96-7)

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The Hour will not come until there are ten signs: the rising of the sun from the west, the False Messiah, the Beast, Gog and Magog…” (Ibn Majah)

Who Are They?

Gog and Magog are from the children of Adam and Eve according to the sounder position. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah, most-High, says on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Adam!’ So he replies, ‘My Lord, here I am at your service and all good lies before You.’ So He says, ‘Bring forth the party of the Hellfire’ and he will ask, ‘Who are they?’ He says, ‘From every one thousand, they are nine hundred and ninety nine.’Upon hearing this, the youths will turn grey and every pregnant women shall miscarry and you will see the people as if they are intoxicated, but they are not so. Yet the chastisement of Allah is most severe.’ Upon hearing this, they (the Companions) asked, ‘Who of us will be that one if from every thousand nine hundred and ninety nine shall be taken?’ He replied, ‘Bear glad tidings for every one of you Gog and Magog are a thousand.’” (Bukhari)

There is a tradition related to ʿAmr b. ʿᾹṣ that there is not a righteous man amongst them and they are all doomed for Hell.

Ibn Ḥajar mentioned in his commentary on Bukhārī, attributing the position to Imam Nawawī that they are human beings like us from Adam but not from Eve and that Adam had a wet dream and his semen mixed with the soil and Allah created Gog and Magog from it. However, this position has no basis except for a narration ascribed to Kaʾb al-Aḥbār. Therefore, the majority of the scholars believe them to be from both Adam and Eve.

According to Ibn Kathīr, they stem from the progeny of Japheth, the son of Prophet Noah, upon whom be peace. Some of the scholars such as Qurṭubī were of the opinion that they were the Moguls, who emerged in the seventh century IE and decimated the Muslim principalities of the time. However, the coming of Gog and Magog is one of the signs of the end of time and thus this cannot be so.

How Many Are They?

They are vast in number. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Gog and Magog are from the progeny of Adam. If they were to be sent upon the rest of mankind, they would spoil their livelihood. Not one of them shall die except that he leaves over a thousand of his children behind. From them shall emerge three nations: Taʾwīl, Tārīs and Mansak.” (al-Hakim)

It is related from ʿAṭiyyah b. Ḥassān that they are two nations of which each nation comprises 400, 000 and each nation does not resemble the other. It is related that al-Awzāʿī said that the world is made up of seven parts or which six parts of it is occupied by Gog and Magog and the rest of creation reside in the last seventh.

It is related that Qatādah said that around 24, 0000 farsakh (1152000 kilometres) of the world’s land is for other than Gog and Magog: India and Sind have twelve thousand (57600 kilometers), China has eight thousand (38400 kilometers), Europe has three thousand (14,400) and Arabia has one (4800 kilometers). The rest of the land is occupied by Gog and Magog. It is also related from Ibn ʿAbbās that the earth is divided into six parts and all but one fifth of it is occupied by Gog and Magog.

What Do They Look Like?

Ibn Kathīr mentioned that they resemble the Mongolians in their appearance. They have narrow eyes, small flat and thick noses and their hair is reddish black. They have wide faces as if their faces are like lowered shields. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“You say that you have no enemy but you will continue to fight (your) enemies until Gog and Magog emerge with wide faces, small eyes, and reddish black hair. They will pour down from every slope as if their faces are like lowered shields.” (Ahmad)

Ibn Ḥajar mentioned other descriptions of Gog and Magog but they are all very weak or fabricated narrations attributed to Kaʿb al-Aḥbār. Some of these narrations relate that they are of three types in height: some of them will be the height of a hand span, two or three, another group of them are four cubits in height, and some of them will be the size of huge cedrus or pinus trees. Qurṭubī narrates from Kaʿb al-Aḥbār and a relation from ʿAlī, may Allah ennoble his face, that they peck the rampart with their beaks and that some of them have horns, claws, tails and protruding fangs and they gorge on raw flesh.

It is said that there is a type from amongst them whose ears are so large that they can lie down on one of them, which is covered in fur, and cover themselves up with the other, which is of thick bare skin. However, Ibn Kathīr was very critical of these opinions and said that they have no basis. Rather, the stronger opinion is that they are humans like us who have been endowed with great strength.

They are mentioned in the Qurʾān in two places: in Sura Anbiyāʾ and Sura Kahf.

“Till, when Gog and Magog are unloosed, and they slide down out of every slope, and nigh has drawn the true promise, and behold, the eyes of the unbelievers staring: ‘Alas for us! We were heedless of this; nay, we were evildoers.’” (Qur’an, 21:96-7)

Then he followed a way until, when he reached between the two barriers, he found this side of them a people scarcely able to understand speech, They said, ’O Dhū al-Qarnayn, behold, Gog and Magog are doing corruption in the earth; so shall we assign to you a tribute, against you setting up a barrier between us and between them?’ He said, ’That wherein my Lord has established me is better; so aid me forcefully, and I will set up a rampart between you and between them. Bring me ingots of iron!’ Until, when he had made all level between the two cliffs, he said, ’Blow!’ Until, when he had made it a fire, he said, ’Bring me, that I may pour molten brass on it. So they were unable either to scale it or pierce it. He said, ’This is a mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into powder; and my Lord’s promise is ever true.’ Upon that day, We shall leave them surging on one another, and the Trumpet shall he blown, and We shall gather them together. (Qur’an, 18:85-99)

Dhū al-Qarnayn built a mighty barrier in the eastern lands according to Ibn Kathīr to prevent Gog and Magog from spoiling the lives of the people. It was between two huge mountains.

Where Is This Rampart?

We do now know where the location of this rampart is, though. There is a tradition related by Bukhārī in which one of the Companions claimed to have come across it. The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked him to describe it and he said it was like a striped colored cloth. He replied, “You saw it so?” In another relation he said, “I saw it as if it were a striped colored cloth of which part of it was black and part of it was red, and the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, “You have seen it.”

Many rulers and historians have attempted to locate it. Ibn Kathīr mentions in his book Bidāya wa Nihāya a narration that the Abbasid Sultan Hārūn b. Muḥammad al-Muʿtaṣim b. Hārūn ar-Rashīd (d. 232 IE) sent some of his generals with an army to seek out the rampart and to come back with information regarding it. After much traveling, they came across a rampart in the north east of the lands in a vast area made of steel and copper that had a great door laden with enormous locks.

No one was able to ascend it or the mountains surrounding it due to its height. They found the remnants of steel bricks and weaponry in a tower there and it had guards representing the neighboring kings there. When the men returned from their journey, they had been absent for more than two years and they had seen many terrible and wondrous things.

It is reported that Ibn Baṭūṭah confused the Great Wall of China with the rampart of Dhū al-Qarnayn.

Sayyid Qutb said:

“A rampart was discovered in a graveyard in the city of Termez, Uzbekistan known as the Steel Gate. It was mentioned in the 15 century by the German scholar Sildburger and he recorded it in his journal. It was also mentioned by the Spanish Historian Kalafigo in the year 1403 and he mentioned that it was on the road to Samarqand and India…and perhaps this is the rampart that Dhū al-Qarnayn built.” (Tafsīr fī ẓilāl al-Qurʾān)

Yūsuf b. ʿAbdullāh b. Yūsuf al-Wābil comments in his book Ashrāṭ as-saʿah, “Perhaps this rampart is the wall that surrounds the city of Termez that Yāqūt al-Ḥamawī mentioned in Muʿjam al-Buldān, which is not the rampart of Dhū al-Qarnayn.”

When Will They Break Through the Rampart?

Gog and Magog dig everyday until they almost penetrate the wall. Then their leader will order them to cease digging and resume the next day. That night Allah reinforces the wall stronger than it was the previous. This will go on until the day it is decreed for them to come out on the earth. The next day God will not reinforce it and they will be able to exit. They will ruin everything they touch as mentioned in the tradition of Tirmidhī:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Zaynab one day in a state of panic, saying, ‘Woe to the Arabs! A great evil has drawn nigh! Today a whole has appeared in the rampart of Gog and Magog the size of this (and he made a ring shape with his thumb and index.’ Zaynab b. Jaḥsh asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, will we be destroyed whilst there are righteous from amongst us?’ He answered, ‘Indeed, if wickedness becomes rife.’” (Bukhari)

When the appointed time comes and the Hour draws nigh, the barrier will collapse and Gog and Magog will emerge with great haste in droves and no one will be able to stand in their way and they will cause great corruption on the earth. This is one of the major signs of the end of time after the killing of the Anti-Christ and just before the blowing of the horn.

“Till, when Gog and Magog are unloosed, and they slide down out of every slope, and nigh has drawn the true promise, and behold, the eyes of the unbelievers staring: ‘Alas for us! We were heedless of this; nay, we were evildoers.’” (Qur’an, 21:96-7)

Ibn Mājah relates in a sound tradition that they will fill the lands with their vast numbers and the Muslims will escape with the livestock to their fortresses and citadels.

The details of their emergence is given in the tradition of an-Nawwās b. Samʿān, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

When Allah reveals to Jesus: ‘I have brought forth servants of mine who no-one can face in battle, so goad my servants on to Mount Tabor!’ Then Allah will send forth Gog and Magog, who will pour down from every slope and they will pass by the Sea of Galilee and drink from it. (In the relation of al-Ḥākim, it does not specify the Sea of Galilee)

The last of them who passes it will say, ‘One time there was water here.’ (in one relation of Muslim when they reach Mount Tabor they will say, ‘We have killed those on the earth, let us now kill those in the heaven!’ and so they hurl their arrows to the skies and Allah returns them back to them covered in blood and they cry out, ‘We have subdued the hosts of the earth and we have overcome those in the heavens with might and loftiness!’)

Jesus, the Prophet of Allah, and his followers will be blockaded whereby the mere head of a bull of theirs will be worth more to them than a hundred gold coins of yours today and so Jesus and his followers will call upon Allah and He will send worms upon their napes and they will all die like one soul (in another sound narration by Ibn Mājah it mentions that they will die in their droves like locusts heaped on top of one another). Then Jesus, the Prophet of Allah and his followers will be taken down to the land (in the tradition of Ibn Mājah, they will be in their fortresses and they will no longer hear them outside and so they request someone goes down and risks his life to see what has happened.

He descends, believing that he will lose his life, and finds that they have all been killed, so he calls back to the others to bear glad tidings for their enemy has been destroyed. They will come out with their animals) and they will not find a hand span of space except that it is filled with their stench and smell. (In the narration of Tirmidhī, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘By the One in whose hand is Muḥammad, the beasts of the land shall grow plump and they will relish over their blessing and their udders will overflow and they will be full and meaty from (eating) their flesh (and blood).’)

Then Jesus, the Prophet of Allah, and his followers will call upon Allah and He will send flying beasts with necks like camels and they will take them away and toss them where Allah wills (in a relation of al-Ḥākim, they are tossed into the ocean or in a fire in yet another relation). (Muslim)