Does the Concept of Karma Exist in Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: Is there something similar in the Quran/Islam that states that you will reap what you sow? Is it permissible to say that something is Karma? Sources will be much appreciated.

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

As salamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question. “Reaping what one sows”, or tasting the fruits of one’s actions whether good or bad, is definitely a concept in Islam. The consequences of some actions, such as respecting/hurting one’s parents, can play out in one’s worldly life, but the main theater of the recompense of actions is in the Hereafter, when we will be judged by Allah Most High. Since karma is not a true concept, it would not be permissible to cite it, rather all causes, effects and outcomes are from Allah alone and not an unseen, automated system.

“Reaping What One Sows” in Islam

A total harvesting of the outcomes of one’s deeds does not always happen in this life, but this is why there is divine judgment after death with perfect justice. Allah Most High says:

“And whoever does a speck of good [in life], will see it [on the Day of Judgement]. And whoever does a speck of evil, will see it.” [Qur’an 100:7-8]

It is not deeds however, but the mercy and justice of Allah that determine each person’s fate.

The Concept of Karma

Karma is a belief from ancient Indian religions in which an unseen system keeps a running total of one’s deeds throughout multiple lifetimes, to determine one’s status in fortune, caste and wisdom through each stage of reincarnation. Since reincarnation is not a true concept, with humans having only have one life to live, and the one who records all deeds and informs us of them and creates their outcomes is our Creator, there is no need to posit a theory of karma or cite it in one’s speech.

Wassalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Distinguishing Between Masjid al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is masjid al-Aqsa the one with the dark silver/black dome or is it the Dome of the Rock? I would like clarity on the difference between these two mosques and the individual significance of each. As of now, the understanding that I have is that masjid al-Aqsa is where the Prophet (saws) prayed with the other Prophets and then Dome of the Rock is from where he ascended during Isra wal Miraj. Is that correct or incorrect?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Masjid al-Aqsa is the building with a dark grey dome. The Dome of the Rock is the building with a gold colored dome.

What you have mentioned is correct. Masjid al-Aqsa is where the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) led the other Prophets (Allah bless them and give them all peace) in prayer during the night journey and ascent (isra wa al-mi`raj). The Dome of the Rock is the place from where he (Allah bless him and give him peace) ascended unto the heavens.

There is much virtue in prayer at Masjid al-Aqsa as is apparent from the narrations (hadiths) on it. It is reported with a sound chain of transmission that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The prayer prayed in the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) is akin to one hundred thousand prayers, and the prayer in my mosque is akin to one thousand prayers and the prayer in Jerusalem is akin to five hundred prayers.” [Musnad Bazzar]

Please see:

[1] Advice to Western Muslims on Visiting Jerusalem

[2] The Reward of Prayer in Masjid al-Aqsa

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can I Claim a Child from an Illicit Relationship?

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: I grew up with little familial guidance. In my early 20s I had a child from an illegitimate relationship. Ever since I found out about this child I denied it to my family, my wife and my friends. I have two young kids with my current wife. The love and devotion I have for my children has given me a wake-up call to consider my other child’s rights upon me. After 5 years of denial I finally told the truth to my entire family including my wife. I don’t know much about Islamic Fiqh but my wife called this child illegitimate. I refused her to label an innocent child as I don’t believe Allah’s creation can be illegitimate. She says that this child cannot be associated with the children we have together or call her their sister. She also says I can’t give this child my name.

My question is this:
– Can I call this child to be mine? Can I give her my name? Can my children and her be called siblings? Can I attempt to raise her under my roof?

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah reward you for your efforts to be a better parent and take responsibility for your child. It is indeed shameful that you denied your own child for so long, but the path to repentance and repairing one’s wrongs begins with the simple act of taking responsibility for one’s actions. May Allah make this path easy upon you.

All Children Are Equal Before God

Firstly, I want to stress that in no way should this child be treated or considered as less equal, illegitimate, or in any way worse than a child born in wedlock. This goes against the clear injunction of Allah in surah al-An`am that none shall bear the burdens of another. [6:164]

Indeed, it is said that A`isha (may Allah be pleased with her), when asked about a child of adultery, responded that the child has nothing of the sin of the parents, and cited this verse as her proof. [Tafsir ibn Abi Hatim]

Therefore, it is vital that this child be treated as a normal and precious human being, meaning that she should be completely free from any of the stigma attached to her parents’ actions. Your current wife is justified in being upset with you for your actions, but there is absolutely no Islamic basis for her or anyone else to extend this anger to the child in question.

The Rights of the Child

Since you did father this child, you can claim her as your own. This would make her and your current children siblings by means of their shared father. This also means that you have to fulfill the responsibilities of being her parent, including providing support and a means for proper upbringing, and also treating her in a nurturing and just manner. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Fear Allah, and be just with your children.” [Sahih Muslim]

Above all, never should your child have to feel the weight of your past sins. It is therefore your duty as a father to not only treat her as one of your own, but to furthermore do your best to right the wrongs of your past. This means that you have to do even more to make her feel loved, accepted, and supported as a child.

While I commend you for finally accepting responsibility, the fact that you rejected her for 5 years is a tremendous mistake. Not only should you seek Allah’s forgiveness, you must fix your relationship with your daughter and her mother, and do all that you can to repair the damage that your neglect has caused them both.

The Rights of Your Current Wife, and the Importance of a Sound Home

That said, it is indeed true that your current wife cannot be forced to raise a child that is not hers. Furthermore, you cannot simply take custody of the child from her mother. Custody is a very complicated and sensitive issue, so I encourage you to seek legal and religious counsel for advice on how to best approach these matters.

The dynamics of a family are important to keep in mind, as it is quite important for the health and well-being of your children that they grow up in a sound and peaceful home. No good can come from a long and bitter custody battle, nor can any good come from forcing a child to grow up in an environment where she is resented, either secretly or openly, by those around her.

It is therefore vital that you resolve these issues in a manner that prevents your children from being harmed and that preserves a safe and sound home environment for them. This is a delicate process, so I highly encourage that you seek the assistance of a professional family counselor who has experience dealing with these types of problems.

Remember that maintaining sound family relations is an important duty in Islam, and it begins with those closest to you.

May Allah make this trial easy upon your family, and may He protect your children from any type of harm.

Baarak Allahu Fikum,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Why Doesn’t Allah Answer My Supplications?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: I would like to ask relating to the dua of prophet Yunus (as). I read in Maariful Quran something like this: [(And this is how We rescue the believers – 21:87.) That is, just as We released Yunus from his misery and distress, so do We deliver other believers when they turn towards Us repenting their sins sincerely. According to a hadith of the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), if a Muslim prays to Allah Ta’ala for the grant of a wish in the words used by Yunus (a) when he was in the stomach of the fish i.e. la ila ha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minadhdhalimeen (21:87) He would accept his prayer and grant his wish. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Mazhari)] I’ve been trying this dua in my life for many years but didn’t always get what I prayed to Allah and wished for. If I turned to Allah and acknowledged that I did wrong and made that dua of Prophet Yunus(as), shouldn’t Allah answer my prayers? I don’t know what to do.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

Jazakum Allahu Khayr for your questions. May Allah give you every ease and facilitation.

Repentance and Trials

Allah Most High says, “And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.” [Qur’an, 24:31]

The key to having one’s prayers accepted is repentance. Nawawi mentions that there are three conditions for a valid repentance: [1] One leaves the sin; [2] One regrets doing the sin and [3] One resolves never to return to the sin. A believer sees his sins as mountains which are about to fall upon him.

Humans are weak and needy by nature, and Allah is the one who is absolutely free of any need. Ask Him, for He loves to be asked, “And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.” [Qur’an: 2:186] See:A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Trials are blessings in disguise, and an opportunity to return back to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ““How amazing is the believer’s affair! Allah decrees nothing for the servant except that it is good for him.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Continue saying the supplication of Yunus (Allah be pleased with him) and have conviction that Allah will answer one’s prayer. See:  What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

How Supplications are Answered

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Call on Allah while having full conviction that He will answer, and realize that Allah does not answer the du’a that proceeds from a heedless, inattentive heart.” [Tirmidhi]

It is important to note that Allah has promised that one’s supplication will be answered, though [a] in the way Allah wishes, and not how we wish and [b] when Allah wishes, and not when we wish.

Moreover, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us that supplications are answered in one of three ways:

[1] by actually giving the thing being asked;
[2] Or by warding off a harm that would have otherwise afflicted the person;
[3] Or as gifts awaiting the person in the next life, which is the best form of du’a being answered. [Musnad Ahmad]

Appreciating Blessings and Rejoicing in Allah

Realize that this is a test from Allah and that “Truly with hardship comes ease” [Qur’an, 94:6]. Further, remember that “Allah does not burden souls with more than they can manage” [Qur’an, 2:286]. Appreciate the blessings of Allah upon you and your family, be grateful for them, and Allah will increase you, ‘If you are thankful, I will surely increase you’ [Qur’an, 14:7] And finally realize that when Allah puts a supplication on one’s tongue, it is an sign that He wants to give you that thing. So have high hope, be ceratin of a response, and trust in Allah.

I’d also advise reading the following answer which outlines some key principles on supplicating: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Chronic Gas Problems

Answered by Ustadh Tabarze Azam

Question: I have chronic stomach problem which means I usually pass gas in salah. Some foods have a greater effect on me – but even when I fast and am not eating, I still pass gas.

a) When I eat something I know would effect my stomach, does that invalidate my wudu?
b) Can I pray two prayers with one wudu (for example, dhur, then asr)?
c) Usually I pass gas in salat, but sometimes I don’t.  When I don’t, am I still considered an excused person?
d) Can I make wudu and pray after one hour?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

In order to be considered an excused person, one must fulfill the conditions. The condition of initiation is that an entire prayer time passes with the excuse (that renders one unable to retain wudu) present such that one did not have enough time to perform a minimal wudu and pray a quick prayer. (See here for further details: The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution)

It is necessary to take all reasonable means to stop the excuse from occurring. For example, if it is possible to pray sitting (on the floor) without gas exiting, one must pray sitting.

The above is based upon the gas actually exiting, and one’s certainty in this. One does not act upon doubts and misgivings, even if strong. Many a time, it is an uncomfortable sensation or “feeling”, and not an actual exiting of gas. If one is in such difficulty, unless one: [1] hears or smells something, or is [2] absolutely certain that something exited, one should ignore the “sensation” completely.

[a] No, eating something knowing that it may give one some difficulty would not affect one’s ablution. However, it may be better to avoid, if reasonably possible.

[b] If it is established that you have an excuse, you would perform the ablution (wudu) for each prayer time.

[c] One would no longer be considered an excused person if a complete prayer time passed without the occurrence of the excuse.

[d] If it is established that you have an excuse, the occurrence of the excuse within the prayer time will not invalidate your ablution (wudu).

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “How amazing is the matter of the believer! All of his matter is good, and this is not for anyone except the believer. If ease comes his way, he is thankful, so it is good for him. And if hard times hit him, he is patient, so it is good for him.” [Muslim]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Cutting Hair and Nails Before Slaughtering on Eid

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: What are the guidelines in the Hanafi School about personal upkeep from the first of Thul Hijjah until Eid al Adha (post sacrifice)? Specifically, are there any restrictions for trimming nails, trimming beard, etc or is that only for the Hujjaj?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

It would be recommended to avoid cutting your hair and nails until your animal has been slaughtered. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

However, it would be prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to abstain from cutting one’s hair (i.e. below the navel, under armpits etc.) beyond forty days. Therefore, this would take preference over the recommended act.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Usage of Kalimatan in the Last Hadith of Bukhari

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is there any mention as to the reason for the usage of the word ‘kalimataani’ in the last Hadeeth in saheeh al-bukhaari. Why is it two words and not one, or three, why specifically ‘two’ words? Is there any special significance to it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Two phrases are light on the tongue, heavy on the scales, and beloved to the All Merciful: Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi subhan Allahi al-`Adhim.” [Bukhari]

The Arabic word kalimatan is referring to the two phrases mentioned at the end of the narration (hadith), namely: Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi subhan Allahi al-`Adhim. These are two separate phrases, hence the specification of “two” phrases.

As for the word itself, it is used here in its linguistic sense (i.e. two phrases/sentences), just as we would say: the kalima (in the singular form) of the testimony of faith (shahada). [`Ayni, `Umdat al-Qari; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Suspected Unlawful Earnings and Gifts

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I have some doubts regarding a family member’s income. This family member monthly government aid. The problem is this family member has huge cash savings. Sometimes this family member often buys food for us, and we use things that she has given us/gifted us. Is the income haram? If so, what should I do with all the food bought for us?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

You can assume that the food she gives you has been purchased from the halal portion of her wealth.

If she is accepting such money from the authorities by way of deception/cheating, it would be considered unlawful (haram), and would not be permitted to benefit thereof.

However, unless you know without doubt that she is accepting money from the government unlawfully, you should assume only the best of her. You are not expected to investigate into her business. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “From the excellence of a person’s religion is leaving that which does not concern him.” [Tirmidhi]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

What is the Ruling on Receiving Things From Others That Were Acquired With Unlawful Money?

Wasting Time at Work and Personal Use of Its Resources

Can I Borrow Money From Someone Whose Income Comes From an Unlawful Source?

Supplication for Overcoming Difficulty

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Can you recommend a supplication for overcoming difficulty?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Ask Allah as He loves to be asked and always gives, realize your neediness before Him, and trust in Allah, realizing: “There is no movement or power except through Allah (La hawla wa la quwwata illa bi Allah).”

The following supplication may also be recited:

“O Allah! There is nothing easy except that which You make easy; and You make the difficult, if You wish, easy (Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja`altahu sahla wa anta taj`al ul-hazna idha shi’ta sahla).”

اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا

See also: Qur’anic Reflections: Divine Tests and the Great Virtue of Steadfast Patience

And: What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

What Are the Scriptures of Ibrahim?

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: The Qur’an mentions the book of Abraham, but it doesn’t seem we know as much about it as the Bible and Torah.  Could you clarify this a bit?

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah reward you for your concern with learning about the details of your religion.

The Scriptures of Abraham (upon him peace)

As you noted, the scriptures of Abraham (upon him peace) are mentioned twice in the Qur’an:

“Or has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Moses and Abraham…” [53:36-37]

“Verily, this is in the earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Abraham and Moses” [87:18-19]

The reason we do not hear as much about the scriptures of Abraham (upon him peace) as we do about the Bible, Torah, or Psalms is because, unlike the others, very little is known about them, nor does any major religious community claim to have a copy of them. So all we do know about them comes from the Qur’an itself as well as a few isolated reports.

One such report claims that these scriptures contained educational parables, such as one wherein a tyrant king is rebuked by God for his amassing wealth, as well as general pieces of advice, such as the encouragement for people to divide their time between worship, remembrance and reflection, and worldly matters such as the acquisition of livelihood and fulfilling one’s needs [Uthmani, Ma`ariful Quran] It is also reported that this scripture was revealed on the first day of Ramadan. [Musnad Ahmad]

Aside from this, not much else appears to be known about this scripture.

Abrogated Revelations

While it is lamentable that we do not have much knowledge about this scripture, we should also remember that it, like all other scriptures prior to the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), were abrogated by the Qur’an. Furthermore, we believe that these other scriptures have been altered and distorted, so even the “surviving” and published copies of these scriptures cannot be taken to be reliable representations of the original scriptures brought by Jesus, Moses, and David (upon them peace).

However, what we do know is that all Prophets (upon them peace) come with a similar message, so we can imagine that the scripture that Abraham (upon him peace) brought was similar, at least in its messages, to the Qur’an. After all, this is what the Qur’an itself affirms when it says that these same messages are found in both the scriptures of Moses and Abraham (upon them peace). [87:18-19]

In other words, the messengers and scriptures may be different, but the central message – that of worshiping God and God alone – remains the same.

May Allah give us the tawfiq to follow the path of His Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, and our beloved messenger Muhammad, upon them be peace!

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani