Re Previous Answer on Wife’s Conjugal Rights

Shaykh Jamir Meah clarifies certain aspects of a previous answer on a wife’s conjugal rights.

I am writing to inquire a further look at this portion from a previous answer: What Does Islam Say About the Neglect of the Wife’s Sexual Rights?

Islam already takes into account the fact that a woman may have times where she is physically or psychologically unable to fulfill her husband’s desire, and by doing so, her condition may worsen. In these cases, the husband would be prohibited from forcing the wife to have intercourse, and if he did so, he would be sinful.

I am concerned about whether the wording is intentional. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that a man should never force his wife to have sex with him, and if she refuses he cannot force her to? I think the traditional definition of rape here still applies in that case, but I think that would also be an example of domestic abuse. This hadith is often misquoted by people to scare and demoralize Muslim women, in my experience. It would be good to see a lesson or article dedicated specifically to it.

Jazak Allah khayr, for all the good work that you do. Insha Allah that good only increases in the future.

Due to the question being predominantly about the wife’s conjugal rights and the husband’s neglect of it, the answer was mainly focused on this issue.

The “rape” section was in response to a very brief, almost passing, part of the question. (I think it was completely edited out from the final question published.) Hence my very brief response to it. I cannot remember the exact question, but it was not a direct or general question about forced sex within marriage, more about if the husband demands relations while the wife is unable to have relations, hence my specific answer on that.

I wholeheartedly agree that a specific and detailed article on this latter topic would be beneficial. For now, the relevant rulings and details, which concur with my own understanding and how I would address the issue, can be found in this excellent answer by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam: Can a Wife Refuse her Husband’s Call to Bed?

This is a sensitive topic that can be exploited by many, both men and women. For sure, we need to do more to educate and warn Muslim men about these rulings and to have proper conduct and care in marriage, but we must also be aware that there is currently a very strong feminist movement at work which has it’s own agenda, much of which is insidious.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Told by Parents to Cut Ties with Brother

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives a detailed answer on being asked by parents to cut ties with a brother.

I have an older brother who is very dear to me (raised me and my sister very well). He is a really great guy, but recently he has “fallen in love” with a horrible woman. She had her eye on him when he was in relations with her cousin, and since then she had flirted with him and made him fall in love with her.

She is older and also has two young children. She always goes out and she shows my brother off as if they are married. She has sworn at my parents many times and called my family bad names, but my brother really wants to marry her and she won’t let go.

This has been going on for four years and my parents are very hurt by his actions. They have done everything to get him to stop other than agree to let him marry her. I am very lost and don’t know what to do. It’s like choosing between my parents and brother. I resent his girlfriend as well, I really don’t like her. My parents gave them two chances, They ruined both, but they won’t stop asking to get married.

My father said to my brother that he can go get married but we will cut all ties with him. Should we be cutting ties with my brother? In Islam, we are supposed to do everything for our parents, but we are also told not to cut ties, so I’m very confused on what to do at this point.

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

Cutting off Ties

“If they strive to make you associate with Me anything about which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Yet keep their company in this life according to what is right.” (Sura Luqman 31:15)

I am sorry to hear about your troubled family situation. It is very difficult when your own brother wants to marry someone who has treated your family so poorly.

Even so, cutting off ties with your brother is impermissible. You are permitted to keep a reasonable distance from him and his future wife e.g. visiting them monthly instead of weekly, for example.

Even if your parents forbid you from visiting him, please know that there is no obedience in disobeying Allah.

Looking to the Future

Please know that if your brother has children, then they are innocent from the sins of their mother, and are still your nephews and nieces. Especially while they are young, the only way you can cultivate a relationship with them is through keeping on civil terms with your future sister-in-law. You do not have to like her, but you do have to treat her with respect and kindness.

Cultivating Influence

Connection brings about influence. Cutting off ties will render your parents and you powerless. The more you distance yourself from your brother, the more he will stay connected to the woman he wants to marry, instead of you and your family. If your parents cut him off, how will they get to know their future grandchildren? Choosing short-term relief will cause long-term pain. Choosing short-term difficulty (working on accepting a difficult daughter-in-law) will bring about long-term happiness, inshaAlah.

Wisdom behind This

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (peace and blessings be upon her): Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Keys of the unseen knowledge are five, which nobody knows but Allah.Nnobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain.” (Bukhari)

Allah Most High knows what we do not know. This whole difficult situation is a means to exercise patience and good character.

Perhaps your brother just needs to learn the hard way by getting married to this woman. Perhaps Allah has destined this woman to be the mother of his children.

Perhaps marriage will soften her heart. Being a single mother of two children is no easy task. Perhaps the security of marriage will help to bring out her kindness, and perhaps she will ask forgiveness from your parents. The question is whether or not your parents can find in their hearts to forgive her. In the end, she is the wife your brother has chosen.

In case his marriage does not work out, then it is all the more important for you to stay in touch with your brother.

Goodness to Parents

Narrated Ibn Mas‘ud, may Allah be pleased with him: A man asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him: “What deeds are the best?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “(1) To perform the (daily compulsory) prayers at their (early) stated fixed times, (2) to be good and dutiful to one’s own parents, (3) and to participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” (Bukhari)

It is indeed your personal obligation to be respectful and kind to your parents. However, this does not include obeying them in that which displeases Allah. Explain this to them calmly, with the utmost deference.

See Excellence With Parents: Muhammad Mawlud’s Birr al-Walidayn and Explained: Your Parents’ Rights and How to Fulfil Them.

Beneath your parents’ anger are probably deep feelings of helplessness, disappointment, grief, and so on. They are both probably so heartbroken that after everything they have done to raise your brother, he has turned his back on them by wanting to marry a woman of bad character. This is a great test for them.

Good Character and Boundaries

It is a very big headache to feel stuck in between your parents and your brother and his future wife. So I encourage you to see it this way: the more they complain about each other to you, the less likely they are able to mend ties. They need to talk to each other, not about each other. This is, of course, easier said than done.

It is all the more important for you to show good character. This does not mean being a doormat, however. When you do attend your brother’s wedding and visit his family home, be kind and patient. If your future sister-in-law starts to badmouth your parents, then draw a polite and firm boundary, e.g. “Please do not speak about my parents like that.” Suggest that she raise her concerns directly with them, with a mediator.

Similarly, suggest that your parents find a wise elder/local scholar to mediate a discussion with your brother and his future wife.

Working with Reality

Four years of bad blood is a long time. Unless your brother’s future wife has an undiagnosed mental illness, I do not understand the motive behind her bad behavior towards your parents. Is she lashing out in response to feeling shamed?

She probably knows that she is not ideal wife material. It sounds like your parents would have preferred that your brother marry someone younger and a virgin, and perhaps someone of their choosing. Instead, he chose a culturally frowned upon older single mother. She didn’t “make him” fall in love with her – nobody has that kind of power. He freely gave his heart away and wants to marry her.

Growth Mindset

She is either a problem or an opportunity for growth – and she is not going away. I advise you and your parents to accept this reality, and to embrace her place in your brother’s life with open, forgiving hearts. At least she is Muslim. Reflect on that. She is openly sinful, but at least she is still Muslim. Imagine your brother wanted to marry a non-Muslim single mother.

I am not saying that what she is doing is right. I am merely stating this fact – she is not going away. So show her compassion and good character, in the hopes that she will soften, and perhaps one day ask your parents for forgiveness. I pray that your brother knows the responsibility he is carrying, by being a stepfather to two small children. Perhaps his kindness to them will help them be better in behavior than their mother.

However, for as long as he is angering your parents, then he is not in a good state with Allah. So I encourage your parents to find a way to forgive him for his foolishness, and his poor decision-making skills. He has many other virtues, from your description. It is better for your parents’ hearts, too, to let go of their understandable anger. May Allah elevate their ranks in Jannah for enduring so much. You all have a choice in how you respond to this tribulation. It has dragged on for far too long, so choose forgiveness, compassion, and mercy.

Reflection Exercise

Imagine the difference in these two scenarios:

Scenario A (what your parents are headed to): A wedding where your brother has none of his family with him, a heart full of rejection, anger and sadness, and a daughter-in-law who is even more sure that her in-laws do not want her, and stepchildren who will not know their stepfather’s family. Your sister-in-law is unlikely to want your brother’s unborn children to have a relationship with any of you. Rejection breeds more rejection.

Scenario B: A wedding with the blessing of your parents, and a joining of families. Your brother’s heart overflowing with love for all of you, your future sister-in-law softened by the acceptance of her in-laws, and her children knowing that they have a stepfather, new step-uncles and step aunties, and even step-grandparents. Your brother’s children will be happily embraced by your parents. Love brings about more love.

The choice is yours. I pray this has been helpful.

Please also see When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How? and Do I have to Obey my Parents if they Order me To Leave Sunnah Acts?

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Parents’ Strong Refusal of Reverts

Shaykh Jamir Meah answers a question about marrying a revert who has been deemed unfit by parents.

I am a 26 year-old born Muslim female who still strives to be a better Muslimah every single day and am currently interested in a revert 33 year-old brother of two-and-a-half years in Islam. We met on a Muslim dating app since we both want to get to know our half of our religion as soon as possible, because we all know that we are on the suitable age.

I am a nurse working in Saudi Arabia and he is a smelter in another region of the Middle East. We haven’t chatted much in the application since he prefers to get to know the potential spouse in personal and of course with the presence of my wali.

We set the date and place, and I had my mother, uncle from my mother’s side, and his wife at the dining table. He came alone all the way from another region to my current place to seek permission from my parents. Unfortunately, my father was in the Philippines and was not amused about meeting a revert.

However, my mom and I persuaded him that there is nothing wrong in trying to get to know the brother. At least he is meeting me with my relatives present and not alone. Mostly, my uncle and mom did the interrogation regarding how he reverted and why, and his family background, and such and such, and he honestly answered that yes, he was from a broken family and Alhamdulillah he had made his mother a Muslim.

He wanted a Muslim-born woman to marry since he wants to build a family that has a strong religious grounding. To be honest, it was also both our first time to gather folks in meeting or getting to know each other for the purpose of marriage to get away from the world’s fitnah.

At the end of the discussion or meeting, he once again thanked Allah and my parents and me for allowing him to be seen and that he wanted to state his purpose which is that he wanted me to be his wife, if permitted by my parents. And that he won’t force anything if it is against some laws of Islam.

Uncle advised us to pray istikhara first before deciding and we did. I usually don’t have signs but my heart is light when I think how inclined he is to Islam than to the Muslim-born men I have known. We were permitted to have a limited chat in messenger but never did. We call to hear each others’ voices or video call to see each other. Both our Facebook accounts are mainly all about Islamic reminders. No pictures of awrah shown too.

I wanted to pursue the marriage with him since what I have been praying for: a righteous man, disregarding the race or status as long as his love for Allah is much stronger than this dunya. The problem is, my father got angry when I told him that i wanted to do nikah with him.

The reasons both parents told me are, he is a revert. We don’t know his purpose. His family is still a Christian. Why can’t he find his own revert wife? He is from a broken family (the reason why he was 33 and never got married was because he was afraid of not being able to be responsible enough to be a father. That’s why he was lead to Islam and knew the importance of marriage). He was just a high school graduate. And my family’s ancestors only allowed revert sisters. Never a revert brother. That maybe he reverted because he wants many wives.

The brother was hurt and all he could do is feel hurt and said “It is only Allah who knows what’s in my heart, and mind and my intention in marrying your daughter is pure and clear. If I have the evil intention or you’re afraid i might go back to my own religion, then may Allah prepare the most severe punishment for me. I fear Allah for that.”

No matter how much I tried to persuade my parents and how the brother did too, never-ending sermons are received from my parents. What will people say, it’s not in our culture. You’re still young, don’t go to haste. All these are so worldly reasons. I was already prepare to get married to the brother and even had enough mahr to give in case they approved but no. My parents say never! Never a revert!

But he is whom I wanted my children to follow. Until the brother gave up and sent a long message to my parents asking for forgiveness for being only a revert and that we will be gladly to raise his hands and surrender me to my parent since he told me he don’t want the woman he wanted to marry to face having to break family-ties with my parents.

I cried but my parents only justify their cruel intentions by saying, “You see he is not for you.” I told them, he only respects you all, since it is not allowed to be judgemental and rude in Islam. We tried getting someone to persuade them but that only made it worse. How could such parents value culture and discrimination more than the teachings of Islam?

Now I don’t want to both lose my family and the righteous man I found but why does my parents told me that they only care for me? They say they don’t want my future children to be at the man’s side but the brother has already broken his ties with his non-believing families, for they are too engrossed in haram and could only send Islamic pamphlets and make dua. He was so in tears for Allah’s mercy to grant him his mother to become a Muslimah and next we want to stay connected with his father to let him embrace as well. Insha Allah. 

I need advice. Can a Muslim-born woman marry a revert even if it is against the rejection of the walis? Can I still pursue the nikah when I reach the age of 40 with the righteous man I have chosen? Since I am also willing to be a second or a third wife as long as I see the religion and religious man that fears and loves Allah.

Can I choose the man to get married with instead of my family, since they say they will disown me and kill us both if we both get married secretly? I was planning to wait until 30 and if he still inquires I would still, insha Allah, like to pursue the nikah with him in a far country and would still try not to cut connections since I fear Allah. Please do give me advice on this.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is obviously a very sensitive and difficult one. Normally, in these situations, we would advise that you get a third party involved to see if they can intercede. Perhaps there is a local imam or respected scholar who can speak to your family?  

While your parents may be being prejudiced against converts, I’m sure they are deeply concerned about your happiness and well-being. Older generations see culture differences as much more important than younger generations, and though this can sometimes be misplaced, their concerns should still be considered.  

I would also say that it is important to remember that you have only known this man for a short space of time and communication is limited. I am sure he is a good person, but it is very difficult to ascertain the good character and piety of a person until one has spent more time with them (such as having more arranged meetings) or at least inquired about the person’s character from others who know him well on a personal level. Ideally one would do both.  

Using religious words and speech doesn’t always translate to good character and suitable spouse material in private practice. Even when a person is practicing and comes across as having firm faith, it does not necessarily mean that they are ready to marry, to live with another person with love, compassion, and patience. This applies to men and women.  

Do you feel that you know enough about him to feel he is an ideal match for you? That he will treat you with kindness and make you happy? You may well do, but do consider these matters carefully before you set your heart on only one person and waiting years to marry him.  

Given that your family said that they will disown you and even kill you both, though this is incorrect and deeply concerning, it seems that not pursuing this offer of marriage is best at the moment, at least until you can talk them round.  

Lastly, do not forget that everything is in Allah’s hands. Whatever is meant to be will be, and if this man is meant to be your husband, it will be. Make use of the Prayer of Guidance (istikhara) often and the Prayer of Need (haja).  

Please also refer to these answers for further advice: 

Convert Marriage Archives

I wish you every happiness,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Pooling Funds for Hajj

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about the legality of polling funds for Hajj.

In our culture, we have a system of informal savings whereby people come together in groups and decide on an amount of money to deposit in a savings (locally, a wooden–metal box that is entrusted to a group member). They also decide on the frequency of tallying and awarding the bulk money to a group member that has been chosen out of a “hat.”

For example, if you have 5 people who have decided to contribute $200 per month and every 5 months, they give the total ($1, 000) to a person chosen at random. That means it will take 25 months for all the group members to benefit from the $1, 000. Currently, this method solves materia needs within communities. Now a group of UN colleagues want to use this same concept to purchase a ticket for Hajj.

Essentially, a group of 10 colleagues want to contribute $200 every month starting this January with the aim of awarding $6,000 per person every Hajj season until they all go for Hajj. So if they start in January, Hajj is in June, in sha Allah, then they would be able to pay for 2 people; then next Hajj season, 4 people, and so on, finishing in 2.5 years.

What makes this different from taking a loan is this: these people work for the UN, which means that they contribute a mandatory 7% of their salary towards a pension scheme every month, and at the time of death, the UN will pay out this, including their own contribution of 15% –  if you have more than 5 years of service to the employee’s designated beneficiary.

Hence every month on their pay slip, everyone can tell how much they have contributed towards their pension thus far. Obviously, everyone has different salaries and different years of service, but at the end of 2.5 years each one would have given $6,000 to the group. So, if one of them dies, the intention is to have a written document signed by each member of the group stating that $6,000 (minus whatever they have already paid to the group before their death) should be taken from their pension money and given to the group by their beneficiary.

The question is: is this method of going for Hajj acceptable in Shari‘a? Are there any conditions that need to be followed if yes? If possible, please provide the Hanifi as well as Maliki opinion, if they are different.

Jazakum Allah khayr for this opportunity to ask a question and have it responded to by competent scholars.

The manner of pooling funds together in order to facilitate the hajj pilgrimage for those otherwise financially unable is acceptable. But it isn’t necessary to do this because the hajj is only obligatory once its strict conditions have been met. 

As for deducting a certain sum from the estate after death, the specific scenario is unclear in your question. If the deceased person leaves a bequest (wasiyya) to contribute a certain amount to the fund, then this would be permissible as long as the guidelines of fulfilling such bequests are followed.

Please also see A Hajj Reader.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Permanent Dental Retainer and Wudu

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan is asked about the validity of wudu and ghusl when wearing a permanent retainer.

I have a permanent retainer fixed to my top teeth. If they are removed my teeth will move.

In the past I have committed sins but now I want to do the right thing.

In terms of prayers will my wudu be valid with the fixed retainer? Before having the fixed braces put in I wasn’t making ghusl and had the bad habit. Does that mean I will not be in a state of purity unless the permanent brace is removed?

I don’t want my teeth to move, but I want my prayers, wudu, and ghusl to be accepted too.

Shukran for your question.

The presence of a retainer in your mouth does not impact the validity or invalidity of your wudu or ghusl.

In the Shafi‘i and Maliki schools, rinsing ones mouth (madmadah) in wudu and ghusl is not compulsory, but recommended. Even if you were to omit the madmadah all together, your wudu and gusl will still be valid.

In addition, it is not a requirement that the entire inside of the mouth be rinsed during madmadah. Accordingly, madmadah will be valid with the presence of retainers or braces in one’s mouth.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Reading Romance–Erotica with One’s Spouse

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan gives the ruling on reading romance–erotica with one’s spouse.

Is it halal or makruh to read romance or erotic stories with one’s wife?

Thank you.

Thank you for your question.

The reading of romantic or erotic novels essentially leads one to draw images of romance or sexual relations to mind. If, when reading such stories, each spouse draws an image of the other to mind, then the reading of such novels will be permissible. If, however, the reading of these erotic encounters causes one or both of the spouses to imagine having relations with other than his or her spouse, then this would not be permissible as it constitutes intentional reflection upon haram. Yes, thoughts that appear unintentionally in ones mind are overlooked, but this is not the case with intentional thoughts.

In his Adhkar, Imam al-Nawawi said, “Thoughts that are established or does not settle in one’s mind are overlooked by the agreement of the scholars. This is so, since he has no control over them and there is no way for one to avoid it completely.” Accordingly, thoughts that are entertained or intentionally brought to mind will not be overlooked and one would be held accountable for that.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Skin Color Modification

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked about being forced by parents to use skin-lightening cream.

I am a brown-skinned girl from South Asia. My parents lately have been really forcing me to apply skin-lightening cream on my face. I really do not want to put it as I’m content and thankful with how Allah have beautified me. Their perception is that I won’t be getting marriage proposals from nice families if my skin color is brown.

Would it be considered disobeying my parents if I refuse to their demand? Also, would it be considered displeasing in the sight of Allah if I really get into changing how He has made me?

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

Skin Color

Abu Hurayra, Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts and accomplishments.’” (Muslim)

Dear sister, I am sorry about your dilemma. Please know that it is the contents of your heart, and not the color of your skin, that matters to Allah Most High. Alhamdulillah, I am so happy to hear that you are content with the looks Allah has given you. May He beautify you inwardly, as He has beautified you outwardly.

Parental concern

Your parents love you, and want you to get married. Unfortunately, they have a problematic belief that only light-skinned women will get proposals from “good families.” I would argue that only superficial families would insist on light skin in a daughter-in-law. A God-fearing family would look at your character. When you are tested with difficult matters in your marriage, the color of your skin will not matter, but the strength of your character will.

It would not be considered disobeying your parents if you politely decline their strong request. Please do not be rude to them, under any circumstances, and address the root of their fear – reassure them that insha Allah one day, you will get married to a good man, from a good family, and the most useful thing they could do for you is to make dua, and send the word out to their social networks.

I suggest that you read this useful link: When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

Harmful Ingredients in Cream

On another note, skin-lightening creams often contain harmful ingredients that can hurt your skin. It would then be impermissible for you to harm yourself through applying it, as harming yourself is forbidden, and displeasing to Allah.

Changing What Allah Has Given

It is praiseworthy for you to look after your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Consuming healthy food, exercising and applying moisturizing creams to nourish yourself, for example, is something you would be rewarded for, insha Allah. However, deliberately changing your appearance through something like cosmetic surgery would be impermissible. See: Is Cosmetic Surgery Allowed?

Preparation for Marriage

I suggest that you prepare yourself for marriage not with skin-lightening creams, but with knowledge of the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. Please complete the course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. The book Before You Tie The Knot: A Guide For Couples is also very educational.

I recommend that you perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, for as long as you need to, and ask Allah for a loving and husband who has both din and good character.

The greatest gift you can bring your future husband, in-laws and children is your own excellent character. I pray that Allah grants you the blessing of a kind husband who comes from a good family.

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

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Christian Woman in Love with Muslim Man

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat responds to a Christian woman asking for advice about marrying a Muslim man.

I am a non-Muslim woman who is falling in love with a Muslim man I work with. I believe in God and my family are non-practicing Christians.

The man I care for has all the qualities I longed for a partner to have but never found until now.

He has rekindled my own faith and makes me want to be better. He has told me he is fond of me also but I am aware that we can not have any physical contact etc. He has also expressed that I would need to be Muslim to be with him (Marry). He does not want me to convert to be with him but because I truly believe in Islam.

I love listening to him telling me about Islam and have begun to read the (translated) Qur’an to try to understand Islam better. I feel a pull towards it as I naturally seem to possess qualities that closely align with Islam but I am confused and torn between Islam and Christianity.

I believe Islamically the man could still marry me if I am Christian and I would support him in raising any children we may have Muslim, but he wants me to be Muslim too.

I don’t believe we would have met and shared mutual fondness for each other if it was not blessed by God as both of us before knowing the other was interested tried to ignore it and prayed for guidance and were still lead to each other in odd “coincidences.” We have done our best to keep our relationship/interaction halal as this is important to him and to me as I can not bear to be the cause of him to sin.

What should I do?

Hello.

I pray you are well.

Thank you for reaching out to us. I pray that God facilitates that which is best for you both, in this, and the next life.

It’s a huge blessing from God that He presented this opportunity to you. The person you refer to sounds like an excellent individual, and your open-mindedness has allowed his qualities to shine through.

He is right. You should look into Islam with an open mind and heart. God has opened up an opportunity to learn about Islam, and put you in a position to learn about its beauty and see it embodied in an upstanding individual.

Our ‘Why Islam is True‘ podcast is an excellent place to start.

Belief

The heart of the matter here is that we, as Muslims, are convinced of Islam’s being the the final, and truest set of beliefs and practices revealed to humanity by the Creator. It is the natural progression of what the other Abrahamic faiths lead to, and the perfect balance of a righteous worldly life, the devotion to divine that spirit yearns for, and cognizance of the ever-lasting life that is certain to come to us all after death.

This truth is based on sound, rational proofs, among other things, such as thousands of documented miracles – the greatest of them being the Qur’an itself. A believer in this truth feels completely at ease once it settles in a his heart. The mind can easily accept it. It feels natural for the body to submit to its dictates. And the soul thrives in its light.

It is commendable that this individual asked you to accept this based on personal conviction. As Muslims, we are not a recruitment drive. There are no targets to hit; no agenda to serve. Rather, the Messenger of God told us that “No one truly believes until they love for their brother what they would love for themselves.” The brotherhood  referred to here is that which binds humanity as they are all the children of Adam.

We want perpetual, permanent, Paradisal bliss for ourselves and everyone else on the planet. Everyone makes their own choice though.

Marrying a Non-Muslim Lady

Islam does allow a Muslim man to marry a Jewish or Christian lady, but would anyone want his beloved wife to come to any harm? Rejecting God and His Messengers has consequences. This is clearly why he wants you to learn about and accept Islam on your own accord.

There is also the matter of the children. Would they not be confused as to why each parent has a different religion – especially when religions talk about eternal fates? What about other matters, such as important questions each religion answers differently, or points of practice?

The Messenger of Allah

God sent us Messengers to convey to us His will, and to instruct us. The greatest of them is Muhammad, God’s final Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. I urge you to learn about his qualities, teachings, and his life. Never has there been a more beautiful, caring, loving, generous, forgiving, gentle, beloved, reliable, courageous, and strong human being. You’ll see the truth of this when you look into his life yourself.

Allah sent His final message at the hands of the most extra-ordinary human being. Every who learns about him with a fair mind and open heart, falls in love with him. You can learn more about him here and here.

The Qur’an

The Qur’an is Allah’s final message. Read it, reflect on it, and – as with everything else about Islam – ask those qualified to answer if you have any questions at all. The Qur’an is an Arabic book, and some aspects of it need explanation. I recommend taking out course The Qurʾan: What it is, How it was Preserved, and Why it is True.

Christianity

Religion is supposed to be something which answers all the questions the soul demands answers for. Islam’s worldview provides soul-nourishing answers which satisfy the mind to boot. Issues like the purpose of existence, suffering and the ‘Problem’ of Evil, the reality of the Trinity, and others, which Christians have struggled to answer, have simple and profound answers in Islam. It makes more sense to the mind, and better answers the questions of the soul.

Christianity has many internal contradictions, which Christians themselves are forced to recognize. How can such a religion have divine origins? God doesn’t make mistakes.

Look into the works of Bart Erhman, an ex-Christian scholar of Christianity. They are sufficient to show this if Muslim sources are not enough. Dr Ali Ataie’s free course is also a great place to start.

Accepting Islam is the best possible choice you could make. Many people who embrace Islam after having been Christians actually feel closer to Jesus once they become Muslims. This is the account of one of the greatest scholars of the day.

Ask Allah For Guidance

At this time, one of the best prayers you can make to God is, “O God, let me see the truth as the truth – and give me the ability to wholeheartedly follow it. And show the falsehood as falsehood – and give me the ability to completely shun it.”

If you have any further questions or matters you wish to discuss please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you.

I leave you with the promise of Allah spoken with the Royal “We” to show that just as He is truly majestic, His promise will certainly be fulfilled:

Whoever, male or female, does good deeds and is a believer [in God’s religion] We will make them live a truly amazing, fulfilling, beautiful life, and We will reward them according to the standard of the best they used to do. (Sura al-Naml 16:97)

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Can Father Arrange Prepubescent Daughter’s Marriage without Consent?

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question about a father forcing his prepubescent daughter to marry.

From what I have read on another website, a father can forcefully arrange his daughter’s marriage without her consent if she is prepubescent. Why is this allowed?

Even if this marriage is supposed to have a clear interest for her, this does not mean she is ready to be married. If she is forced to be married when she doesn’t want to, then she will be trapped in an extremely miserable, depressing, and ungrateful life.

Is there any way she can get out of a marriage she does not want to be in so soon? Please answer.

Dear questioner

While it may be true in principle that the father has the right to marry his prepubescent daughter to a suitable match even without her consent, it is not the Islamic teaching, and is not what is applied by most Sharia-influenced laws applied in many Muslim countries.

The Islamic teaching here is to have the daughter’s full, un-coerced approval. “The Prophetic example is that the guardian asks her permission before marrying her off.” (al-Ikhtiyar)

Many Islamic family law codes stipulate that the daughter be 18 years old and that she give her explicit approval. I would suggest you have a scholar discuss this issue with your guardian and family.

Please also see: My Father Is Emotionally Blackmailing Me to Get Married. What Do I Do?

N.B. I wouldn’t agree wholeheartedly with the statement in the answer above that “Your marriage contract is invalid if you are forced into it,” as we have mentioned.

I pray this helps

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is My Adopted Son Mahram?

Shaykh Jamir Meah advises on adoption, the rulings on mahram, and telling the truth to an adopted child.

My question is: I was childless me and my husband adapted the son of my husband’s brother. Ten years ago my husband died. This boy is 29 and I am 60 so there is huge age gap. My son doesn’t know I am not his real mom, so like an actual mother, when he comes home he shows his respect with hugs, and kisses on the head. What are the rulings on this? I need guidance.

This is a very sensitive issue, however, if handled carefully, will work out fine insha Allah. There are two issues that need to be dealt with; informing your husband’s nephew and adopted son of his real parents, and how to interact with each other.  

Telling the Truth

You should tell your adopted son the truth about his parents. This may be very difficult to do, but he has a right to know who his real mother and father are. It is not clear from the information given whether his real parents are alive or not, which may simplify or complicate the process. 

Either way, hopefully he will realize that what you and your husband did was out of love. He is a grown man and should understand the complexities of the situation. You may also want to seek advice from other family members who can support both you and him during this process.  

Mahram (Non-Marriageable Kin)

Because he is your late husband’s nephew, your adopted son is not your mahram, unless you breastfed him when he was under the age of two years old, with certain conditions fulfilled. For further details on who would be your mahram please consult this answer

This means that a) you will have to fully cover in front of him except for your face and hands, b) avoid seclusion with him, and c) avoid physical contact.  

I understand that this is going to be the most difficult and strange thing to you both as your relationship is of mother and son. Therefore, be patient and know that your love and care for each other will not go unrewarded and whatever hardship you undergo for the sake of Allah, will be recompensed. It may take more thought and effort, but try to find ways you can be in each other’s company lawfully, such as with another female family member present, so you can still enjoy one another’s company.  

If at times, the maternal bond over takes you and you forget or slip in your interaction, or your adopted son towards you, then do your best to stay within the limits while being assured that Allah Most High is most Knowing and ever Compassionate.  

I wish you both every happiness, and that your bond is made stronger for the sake of Allah Most High. 

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.