When Do I Make Wudu When I Have a Chronic Excuse?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am a person who has a problem of constant breakdown of wudu. So, due to this reason I perform the wudu once when the time of prayer begins and pray as much as I want till the end of prayer time. At the time when my wudu breaks most after using the toilet, at that time can I do wudu once at the beginning of prayer time and pray as much as I want till the end of prayer time? Can I do this at situations such as when paying in school because at that time I cannot go to toilet or other situations when if I go to toilet then my prayer may become qada.

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

If you are considered excused (ma`dhur), you would perform the ablution for each prayer. (Please see here: The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution

Otherwise, you must wait until the traces of urine have ended before praying. Please use the following guidelines as mentioned in this article: What Should I Do About Left Over Drops of Urine?

a. After using the toilet, wait a few moments to make sure all remaining drops exit,
b. Squeeze and slightly twist the private part,
c. Wipe the private part with toilet paper,
d. Wash the private part with water three or so times, as mentioned in the Maraqi al-Falah, and
e. Sprinkle water onto your clothes and private parts.

After this, any doubts of urine being admixed with the water can be and should be ignored.

Please see: Chronic Gas Problems and Consistent Flatulence and Tarawih Prayer

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Supplication at the Birth of a Child

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Ibn Ishaq reported that the mother of the Prophet s.a.w. was told/inspired to say ‘I place him under the protection of the One against the treachery of the envious’. Would this make it a sunnah to do so at the birth of a newborn?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

No, this would not be considered a specific sunna. However, the meaning is sound and it would be a good supplication to make.

أُعِيذُهُ بِالْوَاحِدِ مِنْ شَرّ كُلّ حَاسِدٍ


U`idhuhu bi al-Wahid min sharri kulli hasid

“I place him under the protection of the One against the treachery of the envious.”

A Note on the Sunna and Legal Rulings

The confirmed sunna (sunna mu’akkada) is that which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) or the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them) did most of the time (and was not of worldly habits).

In general, legal rulings are not taken from historical references such as this. Rather, they are established by way of sound interpretation of the authentic, primary sources: namely the Qur’an and the Hadith. The scholars of hadith were rigorous in their transmission of narrations. Historians were not. Hence, many of them came under much scrutiny for their narrations from the experts in hadith criticism. As such, their narrations are accepted insofar as general history is concerned, but they do not establish any legal rulings.

Please also see: What Acts Are Recommended After Giving Birth to a Child?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

When Can One Propose to a Divorcee?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: There is a girl in our community that was divorced about a month and a half ago. My family is interested for her hand in marriage for my brother. When will it be appropriate for us to initiate the talks with the girl’s family?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

It is not permitted to express one’s interest (ta`ridh) in marriage to a divorced woman whilst she is in her waiting period (`idda). [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Allah Most High says, “And do not resolve on the knot of marriage until the book has reached its term” [Qur’an, 2:235]

The wisdom being that it gives the couple time for reconsideration (if revocable) and reflection, particularly as the former husband continues to financially support her during this time, and also shows the seriousness of divorce and its implications. But when the waiting period (`idda) is over and the former husband and wife are legally unrelated, one may initiate talk with the woman.

Please also see: Basic Rulings and Length of the Waiting Period (`idda)

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Fiqh of The Islamic Month of Muharram

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What is the fiqh of the Islamic month of Muharram?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Duties of the Month of Muharram

1. It is the best of months for general voluntary fasts, after Ramadan.

2. It is especially recommended to fast the 10th of Muharram (known as the Day of `Ashura), with a day before it or after it [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Kasani’s al-Bada’i`].

3. It is also virtuous to give in charity on this day.

Extracts from Ibn Rajab’s Lata’if al-Ma`arif, regarding the month of Muharram:

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram and Its First Ten Days

Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer.” [Muslim, 1163]

This refers to general voluntary fasts. According to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him), these are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.

The virtue and honor of this month can be attested to by the fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) called it, “the Month of Allah.” Such ascription is only made by Allah to the most special of His creation, such as the ascription of the Prophets Muhammad, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya`qub, and others to his slavehood (Allah’s peace and blessings be on them all), and His ascription of the House (Ka`ba) and the camel to himself.

Given that Allah ascribed fasting, amongst all spiritual works, to Himself, [saying, “It is Mine,”] it was suitable that this month, which is also ascribed to Allah, be selected for this particular form of worship.

Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi),] “Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “The fasting person has two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord.” [Muslim]

Night Prayer

As for voluntary night prayer (qiyam al-layl), it is superior to voluntary prayer during the day because it is closer to secrecy, and nearer to sincerity.

Allah Most High said, “Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain.” [Qur’an, 73.9]

This is because the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) is the best of times for voluntary prayer, and the closest a servant gets to his Lord. It is a time when the doors of the skies are opened, supplications answered, and needs fulfilled.

Allah Most High has praised those who wake up at night in His remembrance, supplication, seeking forgiveness, and intimate entreating (munajat), saying, “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” [Qur’an, 32.16-17]

And, “Or he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only those of understanding will pay heed.” [Qur’an, 39.9]

And He said to His Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), “And some part of the night awake for it, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17.79]

It has been said that those who worship at night will enter Paradise without reckoning, and that standing in night prayer shortens the length of one’s Standing on the Day of Judgment.

This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Stick to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you. Night prayer is a means of closeness to Allah Most High, of expiating for bad deeds, avoiding sins, and keeping away illness from one’s body.” [Tirmidhi (3543), Bayhaqi, and others; it is a sound (hasan) hadith]

Similarly, it has been related that fasting is a means for good health. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “Fast, and you shall have good health.” [Ahmad, from Abu Hurayra]

Lovers have no time more joyous than when they are alone in entreating their Beloved. This is the healing for their hearts, and the greatest thing that they could long for.

This is why Abu Sulayman al-Darani would say, “The people of the night find more joy than the people of distraction (lahw) in their distractions. Were it not for the night, I would not like to remain living.”

The Day of ‘Ashura’: The Tenth of Muharram

It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of ‘Ashura’ [10th of Muharram]. He said, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day,” meaning the Day of ‘Ashura’. [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)]

The Day of ‘Ashura’ has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to fast this day even in Mecca, though he had not yet ordered others to do so, as mentioned in both Bukhari and Muslim. [Bukhari (2002), Muslim (1125)]

When he migrated to Medina and found the People of the Book fasting this day and venerating it, he ordered the Muslims to fast it, and encouraged it so much that even the children would fast it.

It has been reported in both Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, “When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of ‘Ashura’, so he asked them, What is this day you are fasting? They said, “This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too.” The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “And we are more deserving of Musa than you are.” So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted. [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]

At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) made the determination not to fast this day alone, but with another day [F: either before or after it], in order to be different from the People of the Book.

It has been reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him), also from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that, “When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fasted the Day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered his companions to fast it, they said, “O Messenger of Allah! This is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate.” So the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “When next year comes, if Allah wills, we will fast the Ninth [of Muharram with it].” But the next year did not come before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) passed away [Muslim (1134), Abu Dawud (2445)].

And it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him), from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Fast the Day of ‘Ashura’ and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it.” [Ahmad]

Giving in Charity on the Day of ‘Ashura’

It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him) that, “Whoever fasts ‘Ashura’ it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year.”

Mourning on the 10th of Muharram is an Innovation

As for the mourning and grieving of the Shia on this day because of the martyrdom of Sayyiduna Husayn ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with him and his father), this is of the actions of those whose actions in this life are misguided while they think that they are doing well. Neither Allah Most High nor His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace) commanded us to mourn on the days of the tribulations of the Prophets, or their deaths, let alone anyone else.

[F: The jurists have mentioned that it is an innovation to consider Muharram a month of mourning. It is not disliked to marry in this month. It is a highly reprehensible innovation to participate in the rituals of the Shia in mourning the death of Husayn (Allah be pleased with him).]

Some of the Virtues of the Day of ‘Ashura’

It is a day in which Allah forgave an entire people. Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to a man, “If you want to fast a month after Ramadan, then fast Muharram, for it has a day in which Allah forgave an entire people, and He turns to others in repentance in.” [Tirmidhi (841)]

And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani

Dancing in Private For One’s Spouse

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible for a wife to dance for her husband’s pleasure in private? Can she play music while dancing?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the next.

The husband/wife relationship is important, and it is important that it be lived within the limits of the Qur’an and Sunna.

The guidance of the Qur’an and Sunna only permit certain types of music. Music that is associated with people of corruption and indecency is not permitted by any of the scholars. As such, it would be sinful to dance in any way to “belly dancing music,” because of the negative associations of such music. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) warned us that, “Whoever imitates people becomes like them” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Tabarani, from Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him); Iraqi said it is rigorously authentic (sahih)].

Thus dancing that is distinguishably of the corrupt and immoral dancing would be impermissible. But innocent dancing that is not like the dancing of the corrupt would be allowed in private, between husband and wife, even if sensual. This is what some leading scholars have explained on this issue.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Complete the Qur’an Forty Days After Someone’s Death?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to complete a reading of the Qur’an forty days after someone’s death?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

It is permitted to gather for the recitation of the Qur’an. In fact, this is a praiseworthy sunna of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).

However, there is no specific proof for holding a gathering to complete the Qur’an on a specific day–and deeming that such specification is religiously binding or necessary would be a reprehensible innovation.

Thus, the ulema mention that it is best to hold such gatherings, with proper observation of Islamic propriety, on other than the 40th day after someone’s death.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Extending Life Support When No Recovery is Expected

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What would be the Islamic position on terminating life support when someone enters into a ‘”vegetative state?” Can Muslims state, in their will, their desire not to be kept alive by machines?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is permitted to stop medication, because it is established from the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) that it is a recommended sunna, but not obligatory, to undertake medical treatment. This is the position of the overwhelming majority of Islamic scholarship.

The issue remains whether it is permitted to stop feeding, because it is not generally permitted to stop eating and drinking, whether directly or through a guardian or caretaker’s decision.

In cases where a patient is in a ‘vegetative’ state, such that no human function is likely to return to them even in the future according to expert medical opinion, this feeding is considered akin to medication and the decision to continue it or cease it returns to the individual or their guardian or caretaker.

Some of the Fiqh of This Case

In general, the ruling of medical treatment itself is that it is a sunna, for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told us, “Allah has created a cure for every disease He has created.” [Related by Bukhari and Muslim] It is not obligatory, however, because of the many narrations from the first generations in which they chose to forgo available medical treatment that was likely to benefit. This is related from some of the leading Companions (Allah be pleased with them all), including Ibn Mas`ud and Abu al-Darda’, and the righteous Caliph Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz [Ibn al-Hajj, al-Madkhal, 4.115-116].

This is the position of the Hanafi school, and also of the majority of Islamic scholarship [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nawawi, al-Majmu`; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni]. Iraqi said in Tarh al-Tathrib that it is the position of the vast majority of the early Muslims (salaf) and the generality of the later Muslims (khalaf) [Iraqi, Tarh al-Tathrib, 8.181].

Some scholars, however, considered leaving medical treatment better because they deemed it closer to reliance on Allah–this is a strong position in the Hanbali school, though some notable Hanbali ulema such as Abu Ya`la and Ibn al-Jawzi disagreed [Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina`, 2.76]. Other scholars held that when the treatment is of reasonably sure healing or cure, then it is either a very strong sunna or even obligatory to pursue such treatment.

Living Will To Leave Treatment

It is permitted to make a living will in which one expresses the desire not to be kept alive by machines or through medication. However, it would not be permitted to request that one not be given food or drink in situations when there is medical hope of recovery.

Euthanasia

Active euthanasia, in which means are taken to end the life of the patient, is prohibited and a major sin, because of the words of Allah Most High,

“Say: Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord has made a sacred duty for you: That you ascribe no thing as partner unto Him and that you do good to parents, and that you slay not your children because of penury – We provide for you and for them – and that you draw not nigh to lewd things whether open or concealed. And that you slay not the life which Allah has made sacred, save in the course of justice. This He has command you, in order that you may discern.” [Qur’an, 6.151]

Suicide Is Not An Option

Likewise, suicide is also prohibited and a major sin, even in situations of grave physical or emotional hardship, because of numerous texts of the Qur’an (like the above verse) and the Sunna.

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (909-974 AH) wrote in his al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir, which lists and explains the major sins (kaba’ir),

“The 314th Major Sin: Killing oneself. Allah Most High said, ‘Do not kill yourselves. Verily, Allah is ever Merciful unto you. Whoever does that through aggression and wrongdoing, We shall cast them into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah’ [Qur’an, 4: 29-30].” [Haytami, al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir]

May Allah give life to our hearts, minds, and souls, through true love for Him and His Beloved Messenger, our master Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Intimate Conversations Over the Phone

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Can a married couple have phone sex, as they are currently apart from each other due to immigration issues?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Such ‘intimate talk’ is permitted between spouses whether they are together or apart. However, one has to be cautious not to delve into impermissible acts such as masturbation (which is prohibited and sinful).

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

What Does It Mean to Have a Covenant with Allah?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: What exactly does it mean to have a covenant with Allah and to break it?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

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

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Sa’id that he had heard that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said, “Stealing from the spoils does not appear in a people but that terror is cast into their hearts. Fornication does not spread in a people but that there is much death among them. A people do not lessen the measure and weight but that provision is cut off from them. A people do not judge without right but that blood spreads among them. A people do not betray the pledge but that Allah gives their enemies power over them.” [Muwatta]

Allah Most High says, “And that you approach not the property of the orphan, save in the fairer manner, until he is of age. And fill up the measure and the balance with justice. We charge not any soul save to its capacity. And when you speak, be just, even if it should be to a near kinsman. And fulfill God’s covenant. That then He has charged you with; haply you will remember.” [Qur’an, 6:152]

Ibn `Ashour in his al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir explains that fulfilling God’s covenant is fulfilling that which He has made obligatory upon us of the noble sacred law; it can also include those acts we enjoin upon ourselves for the sake of Allah, such as oaths and vows.

In short, it is upholding the commands of Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) inwardly and outwardly.

See also: Is It Obligatory to Fulfill my Promises? and: Understanding the Qur’anic Verse “Slay them wherever you find them”: Balance, Justice, and Mercy in Islamic Rules of Jihad

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Encourage My Siblings to Become Muslim?

Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja

Question: I was blessed to accept Islam, but my siblings still haven’t done so.  How can I encourage them to become Muslim without being too aggressive or appearing wierd to my family.   Also, how can I tell them to become Muslim when I sometimes have doubts in my faith.  I feel hypocritical doing this.

Answer: Walaikum salam

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

In a well known aya of the Quran Allah (Exalted be He) speaks to the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and tells him “Verily, you (Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.” (Quran, al-Qasas, v. 56).

One of the most profound ways in which the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and the companions spread the message of islam was through their character and practice. InshaAllah you should seek to maintain the best of character and continue to struggle in your own path.

Openly practicing your faith in front of your siblings goes a long way towards offsetting the obligation to inform them of the duties associated with Islam.

As they become more comfortable seeing you practice, the more interested they are the more they may be willing to approach you, and thus create opportunities to discuss your own thoughts further inshaAllah.

In addition to this, communicating with your siblings will be easier through stories of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and about yourself.

To not look weird in front of your family, you first have to accept that your practice of Islam is not weird. It is simply a different choice than your siblings have chosen to make.

As for feeling hypocritical, one should not leave one good deed because another is not being observed. That said, dips in iman are natural, and provide us with an incentive to strive to attain the higher state we were once in. To perservere in practice despite struggling with ones iman is a very high state inshaAllah. To then talk of faith does not make you hypocritical.

Ultimately, know that Allah (Exalted be He) guides whom He wills, and as such, your greatest tool is dua.

May Allah (Exalted be He) make the path easy for you and your family bi’idhnillah.

Ma’salam

Bano