Mens’ Awra when Swimming

Ustadh Farid Dingle explains the rulings concerning the awra for men, how that applies to swimming, and suggests ways to make it halal.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmatuLlah wa barakatuh.

I would like to start swimming as a way of staying fit. However I can’t find trunks that cover the awra. Also the pools are mixed gender.

As the majority of the time would be spent in the pool, would it be permissible to go swimming in normal shorts, not trunks.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The Letter of the Law

There are number of websites and companies that sell swimming trunks that conform to what Allah wants from us. See, for example, Kap Swim.

A mixed pool is completely out of the question. Whether you like it or not, you will definitely see men and women exposing themselves, and being around more than half naked women is not exactly something Allah wants for us. You just have find a pool that has men-only times. Or even better, go for a swim in a river, lake, or sea.

Sayyidina Umar once saw some men and women making wudu from large water container and ordered that they be separated. I somehow doubt he would be very keen on mixed swimming pools.

As Muslims who believe that Allah is true and His religion is true, we have to stick by the truth come what may.

The Wisdom of the Law

This world has always been a bit crazy, but we are now seeing it at one its craziest times, a time when society, families, and marriages are really struggling to survive.

Allah has commanded us to clothe ourselves and protect our eyes for many, many reasons: it ennobles and spiritually uplifts us and those around us, it maintains healthy relations, protects trusts of chastity, and above all sets rules and standards for our relationships.

The Sacred Law preserves our communities, and ultimately, our minds, by clearly outlining who is who and how each interacts with the other. This is your father and this is your mother, so you see such-and-such of their body, and your can interact with them physically within such-and-such parameters; this is your wife or husband, so you can so you see such-and-such of their body, and your can interact with them physically within such-and-such parameters.

All of these parameters preserve certain spiritual, psychological, and societal needs, and when they are transgressed people and their relationships really suffer. The story of King Oedipus, and many, many other social trials and ailments that we all see on a regular basis, are all a testimony to this.

The Chapter of Light

To understand this all more clearly, let us look at a few verses from the Chapter of Light in the Qur’an.

Tell the believing men to lower their gave somewhat and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.

And tell the believing women to lower their gave somewhat and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which appears thereof and to wrap their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women … (Sura al-Nur 24:30-31)


Notice how these societal measures deal with clothing and nakedness, and measure very, very clearly who is to see who, and what they are to see of each other. Notice too that these societal strictures are followed almost immediately by some of the profoundest spiritual words in the whole Qur’an.

 

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Unfathomable light upon unfathomable light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.
In houses that Allah permitted to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings[Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about. (Sura al-Nur 35-37)

 

Dress and social decorum are linked inseparably to religious vibrant and flourishing communities and families that produce people who love Allah, and seek Allah in all that they do, and strive with might and main to fulfill their slavehood to him.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Muslim Woman to Marry Christian Man

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil makes it clear that a Muslim woman cannot marry a Christian man.

If a Muslim woman wants to marry a Christian man on the condition that he will allow their children to be practicing Muslims, and their life and all matters will be handled as per Islamic teaching, then is there an issue in getting married?

The Qur’an doesn’t mention clearly that Muslim women are prohibited from marrying Christian men. It seems to be just a matter of scholars thoughts or considerations.

Best regards

Marriage Validity

“Do not marry polytheistic women until they believe; for a believing slave-woman is better than a free polytheist, even though she may look pleasant to you. And do not marry your women to polytheistic men until they believe, for a believing slave-man is better than a free polytheist, even though he may look pleasant to you. They invite you to the Fire while Allah invites you to Paradise and forgiveness by His grace. He makes His revelations clear to the people so perhaps they will be mindful.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:221)

Dear sister, it is not permissible for you to marry a Christian man.

There is no scholarly difference on this very clear matter. Please refer to these previous answers for further clarification: Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims? and Why Is a Muslim Woman Not Allowed to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

The only way for your relationship to be made halal is this – he must embrace Islam, and you must do a valid nikah with him.

Future Children

Your marriage contract to a non-Muslim man is invalid, causing your children to be born out of wedlock. Your unborn children will be innocent of your sin of zina, but they deserve a better start to life. Please read: Can I Claim a Child from an Illicit Relationship?

Reality of Your Situation

You are both already in love, want to marry, live by Islam and raise your children as Muslims. As a courtesy to you, your Muslim family, his own soul, and most of all, to Allah Most High, please encourage your partner to embrace Islam.

Even if he does not fast a single day in his life or complete a single prayer, it is better for him to die on belief, so the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, can intercede for him on the Day of Judgement. Death, Hellfire and Heaven are real. Would you not want the man you love to be with you and your children in Paradise?

I encourage you to share this with your partner: Advice to a Christian Man Who Wants to Marry a Muslim Woman.

I pray that Allah opens his heart to Islam, and blesses you with a loving marriage and pious children.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Praying in Clothes with Dog’s Saliva on Them

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if it is permissible to disregard dog saliva if the dog serves a useful function.

I read in one of your answers that if you work in a place where a dog may lick your clothes quite often it is allowed for a Hanafi person to follow the Maliki opinion on the matter and be able to pray.

I was wondering, if the dog licks a person on Monday and the person wears the same clothes to work on Tuesday but doesn’t get any saliva on his clothes on Tuesday, can he still pray in those clothes or is it essential that he should have worn clean clothes to begin with on Tuesday when coming to work for that rukhsa to be valid?

Insha Allah you get a chance to answer.

The basis is that it is acceptable to take a dispensatory ruling from another legal school (madhhab) if there is a hardship (haraj/mashaqqa), or a need (haja) or benefit (fa’ida) in doing so. This is on condition that you avoid impermissible talfiq, namely, joining between the positions of the legal schools in a manner which none would deem valid.

Thereafter, if there is actual difficulty in upholding the Hanafi position of the ritually filthy nature of the saliva of dogs, it would be permitted to follow another legal school on the issue, the details of which may be sought from its scholars. As for the applicability of the dispensation, it doesn’t have a time restriction as we are talking about a type of saliva affecting your clothing.

Please also see Dog Saliva, Dog Hair, and How to Purify Impurities, Can I Pray in Clothes that Were Licked by a Dog? and Why Is Mixing Between Madhabs (Talfiq) Impermissible When The Earlier Generations Seem To Have Done It?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam
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Receiving Funding from a Commercial Bank

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about receiving start-up funding from a bank that deals in riba.

I am a revert to Islam doing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and have been given a project in my field of study by a start-up (let’s call it X). X works in the domain of Computer Science. The owner of X is told that if you complete this project, we may get you funds to start your own company.

X is funded by a bank and, Insha Allah, if I am able to complete the project and be able to start my company, which would be of course dealing with Computer Science, then it will also be funded by the same bank dealing in riba.

Is it permissible for me to go for that startup even if my company-to-be will be doing halal work but will be funded by a riba-earning bank?

Jazak Allah khayr for answering.

Yes, it is permitted to accept funding and remuneration from a conventional bank, particularly when it is an institution which isn’t required to follow the dictates of the Sacred Law (shari‘a).

Among the primary sources of capital for a bank is the cash deposited by its customers. Common interest payments or usurious transactions (riba) would normally form only a portion of the money a bank has at its disposal.

Normally, two matters would dictate the permissibility of employment: (a) the line of work itself, and (b) the source of remuneration. When both matters are acceptable, the line of work is deemed lawful.

(Mufti Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyu‘: 2.1027/1033)

Please also see Bank Employment When is it Permissible? and Is It Permissible to Work on the Projects of a Riba (Usury) Based Bank? and Working for a Company Providing IT Solutions in Un-Islamic Markets.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Pain Is an Expiation

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat advises on the pain of ending an illicit relationship and turning to Allah.

Four years ago, I was in a haram relationship with a female. We were both conscious of our din and so had wanted to end the haram and make the relationship proper.

Disobeying Allah and also keeping the relationship a secret from her parents took a toll on our emotional and psychological health and the relationship deteriorated.

At some point I felt that perhaps our fighting was due to us being incompatible not realizing that perhaps these were just relationship struggles that are normal for couples. There was also some dishonesty on my part and then on hers, about talking to the opposite gender during our time together which fractured the trust between us.

I ended the relationship thinking for the best but a year or two afterwards, reconsidered that perhaps I’d been mistaken. I know that she’s an amazing person and so I attempted to approach her again with little success. I regret having let her go and long dearly for companionship, sometimes to the extent that I become depressed and despondent, amd reach out to her. To the best of my ability, I’ve steered clear of dating, although I falter from time to time.

Sometimes I fear that leaving her was a mistake, and that I might never find a spouse who I consider beautiful, loving and deen concious. It makes me depressed and this affects my life and my studies.

How do I go about seeking a spouse and asking Allah’s guidance so that I can find a spouse who will be the coolness of my eyes

I pray you are well.

Pain Is an Expiation

You shouldn’t consider ending that relationship to be a mistake. If you did it for the sake Allah then both of you will be rewarded for the choice and the act. Perhaps the pain you both felt at ending the relationship was a means for the sins from that relationship to be washed away. Allah knows it all. Allah sees it all. Allah doesn’t “lose” any of the reward He has promised for struggling for His sake.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us that “The Garden is surrounded by matters disliked, and the Fire by pleasures.” (Bukhari). Meaning, that is it through struggling with matters one does not readily enjoy that Paradise is granted to a person. And the pleasures that are easy to attain through impermissible means are what lead to Hell.

Ask Allah

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the support of one’s relationship with Allah, and the light of the heavens and earths.” (Hakim) You’re in a situation of need. The only way to get out of that need is to express you need to Allah; show your slave-hood to Him by turning to Him and asking Him to fix the problem you have. Then leave the matter to Him. If He makes things go the way you want them or not, He will certainly bring about what is best for you.

I recommend you pray Salat al-Haja, on a daily basis, and ask Allah to facilitate a good marriage for you. We shouldn’t regret having stopped a sinful act. Rather, we should ask Allah for them ability to remove all disobedience from our lives, and for Him to fulfill our needs through means which are permissible. This is where the benefit lies.

I leave you with the words Allah revealed for us to ask Him with:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Our Dear Lord, grant us, through our spouses and offspring, peace of mind, and make us the leaders of the God-Fearing.

May Allah facilitate the matter for you quickly and easily.

Abdul-Rahim

Visiting Christmas Markets

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked about visiting Christmas Markets having promised not to celebrate Christmas.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I study in Europe and I promised by Allah that I will never celebrate Christmas. However will I keep my promise if I visit the Christmas Markets (where candles, food, and alcohol for Christmas is sold) without buying and consuming anything?

Here I never joined my peers to any gatherings therefore now I am always left alone. However I always dreamed of having international friends from all over the world. Last time some people invited me to go with them for simple shops and then later visit a Christmas Market. I really wanted to join them just to make friends. I went there and really did not enjoy the Christmas Market, rather I was happy to be with some international peers. Have I broken my promise?

If not, they again invited me for other Christmas Markets in other regions of Europe. Can I join them just for the reason of making friends? They are also not pure Christians and have no intention to engage me in their religion, they just want to spend a good time.

Thank you for your answer in advance.

If you swore an oath to never celebrate Christmas, you would be bound to this oath and breaking it would require expiation. However, the word “celebrating” is vague. Your oath would, therefore, apply to the type of celebration you intended when making it.

Generally, simply visiting a Christmas market is not considered by people as “celebrating” Christmas. Rather, celebrating Christmas involves partaking in celebratory rituals associated with this holiday, such as erecting a tree with lights or going to church for services etc.

If this is what you had in mind when you swore your oath (and not simply visiting a Christmas market or having dinner with your family on Christmas day), then your oath would be limited to these more formal celebratory aspects of Christmas.

Salman

Wife Confesses Pre-Marital Affair

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked what to do if one finds out that one’s spouse was sinful before marriage.

I am a 26 year old male who did his nikah a few months back. I had approached this girl’s family as she was hijabi and seemed pious and simple. Before our nikah, she had confided in me that she was in contact with a boy who was a non-Muslim and had a soft spot for him. He had promised to convert to marry her but he did not, so she broke things off. At that time, the way she described it, it seemed like a verbal kind of innocuous relationship and I did not find it appropriate to probe further as we were not married.

I unknowingly came across some old messages of hers and she confessed to me that she had committed zina multiple times with that non-Muslim in different hotels throughout the period that she was in a relationship with him. He also possesses illicit images that she sent him during that time period.

For three months we have had the best of marriages AlhamduliLlah and we have been very compatible with each other, but this news has shattered me. I don’t want to end my marriage, but this has completely changed my perception of her and I am finding it hard to respect her even though she repented. She has also apologized for hiding things from me.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Coping with Betrayal

Dear questioner, I am so sorry for your deep heartbreak. I cannot imagine how shocked and betrayed you must feel. Make space for your feelings – weep, journal, turn to Allah in dua – and work on slowly letting them go.

Covering Sin

Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “All the people of my Umma would get pardon for their sins except those who publicize them. And (it means) that a servant should do a deed during the night and tell the people in the morning that he has done so and so, whereas Allah has concealed it. And he does a deed during the day and when it is night he tells the people, whereas Allah has concealed it.” Zuhair has used the word hijar for publicizing. (Sahih Muslim)

Please use this terrible incident as a reminder about why Allah has forbidden us to speak of past sin. Your wife made a grave mistake by confessing the explicit details of her sinful pre-marital relationship to you. Now you are both heartbroken.

It would have been better for her to carry her secret to her grave, and to trust in Allah’s Mercy. Instead, she has uncovered something that she can never take back.

Repentance

Abu Sirmah narrated from Abu Ayyub, that when death reached him, he said: “I have concealed something from you that I heard from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, saying: ‘If you did not sin, Allah would create a creation that would sin, so He can forgive them.’” (Tirmidhi)

I do not need to remind you that repentance wipes away all sin. I encourage you to do everything within your power to forgive your wife, and to allow her back into your heart again.

Know that Allah has protected you from the sin of zina, and make shukr for that. None of us know what trials lie ahead of us. We are all in need of mercy from our Creator and His creation. Choose mercy, love and forgiveness.

Compromising Photographs

Please make dua that Allah removes all evidence of those illicit photographs, then surrender the matter to Allah. Please do not torment yourself over her past.

Marriage Counseling

I encourage you and your wife to attend culturally-sensitive counseling, as a way of finding your way back to each other. You have said so yourself, that you and your wife have had a happy marriage up until her confession.

Your wife will need to work through her own feelings of guilt over her past sin. If she had resolved them on her own, then she would not have confessed them to you. Perhaps she feels unworthy of your love, because she has not forgiven herself. Please see Learning to Love Again After an Affair.

Divorce as a Last Resort

If you absolutely cannot forgive your wife, then I encourage you to let her go. She would be happier with a husband who can respect her, even when she commits terrible sins. Please perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to proceed. If Allah softens your heart towards your wife, then stay in your marriage. If you still cannot look upon her with love, then it may be better for you to let her go. If this is what you decide on, then I pray that she has the wisdom to not confess her sins to the next man she marries.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Vigilantism, Digital or Otherwise, Is Forbidden

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question on the legality of digital vigilantism in Islam.

I’d like to thank you for answering the last question. I have another question related to my life. I’m a 19 year old student, and I have always had a great love for how the things work on Internet. Now, I want to know more about the things and give it a shape, use it for doing good things.

I was wondering, for example, about hacking into a site like Dellywood. Dellywood is a website, a registration website actually, for selecting Mr or Miss India, and it is now kind of known what these things lead to. The females dress up, for instance vulgarly and there are so many things to be considered as well.

My question is, if I could, can I stop or damage their things like their database or could I do things like such as a good deed? Or if I find money anywhere from such websites, can I take that as a war booty and spend it for the cause of Allah? Or am I simply forbidden to make any move.

Thank you.

There is no vigilantism in Islam. All of this would be forbidden.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Is Margin Trading Permissible?

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers a question on the legality of margin trading.

Can you please confirm if margin trading is permissible? This is where you predict if the market will go up or down by using leverage positions.

Thank You.

I pray you are well.

Margin trading is not permissible for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it entails entering into a interest-bearing contract with the broker. “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, cursed the one takes interest, the one who gives it, the one who writes [the contract], and those who witnesses it.” (Muslim)

Also, the use of leverage positions, as done in Forex, is problematic as this process uses instruments, such as options and futures, which fundamentally contradict the nature of a sound, Shari‘a-complaint contract. (Mufti Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyuʿ).

It is better to ask Allah to open the doors of halal provision for you; you’ll be saved from the problems that rain down on people to deal with interest.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Siblings and Verbal Abuse

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked if an older sibling has the right to abuse younger siblings verbally.

Is it permissible for an older sibling to verbally abuse a younger sibling during a conversation on the basis that the abuser is older and therefore has the right?

Does Islam allow someone who has been harmed with verbal abuse from an older sibling to return the equivalent in verbal abuse?

Jazak Allah khayr.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Verbal Abuse

Narrated Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (i.e., an evil-doing), and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).” (Sahih Muslim)

In Islam, it is not permissible to verbally abuse anyone.

Solutions

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As, may Allah be pleased with him: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Those who do not show mercy to our young ones and do not realize the right of our elders are not from us.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

I am sorry to hear about the abuse you have been enduring from your older sibling. He or she does not have the right to abuse you. If anything, he or she has the responsibility to treat you with love and compassion because you are younger.

Anger Iceberg

Anger is at the very top of the anger iceberg. Beneath it are often feelings like helplessness, grief, shame, and so on.

What is driving your older sibling’s anger? Older siblings who are abusive often have at least one parent who is also abusing them. Whatever it is that’s causing your older sibling’s pain, he or she is discharging their negative feelings on you, which is unacceptable.

Your sibling needs to take responsibility for their hurt, seek out help, and ask you for forgiveness.

Boundaries

Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger, upon him be blessings and peace, said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?’ The Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Bukhari)

The solution is not to verbally abuse your older sibling in return. Rather, you need to set boundaries. Calmly explain that you will not tolerate the abuse. Walk away if you need to. Do not cut ties, but remain civil.

This is understandably very difficult to do at first. I recommend that you seek out the support of a culturally-sensitive counselor or therapist.

Healing

I encourage you to practice self-compassion. Please do not blame yourself. You are worthy of love and belonging. So is your older sibling. I pray that over time, you will find your way back to each other, after finding your way back to yourselves.

Please see How Do I Forgive a Sibling Who Hurts Me? and Can We Break Family Ties With Siblings Who Treat Us Badly?

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.