Is It Permissible to Eat Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s?

Question: Is it OK to eat a Filet-O-Fish sandwich from Mcdonald’s? They say their fries are 100% vegetarian and are cooked in vegetable oil, as well as the Filet-O-Fish. My husband wants to avoid it to be safe but I sometimes crave it because I came from a Muslim country where Mcdonald’s is halal.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

I understand where you are coming from. Living in a Muslim country and then moving to a non-Muslim country means that everything you eat will be different. Even the produce tastes different. It will take time to get accustomed to this, but in sha Allah you will.

I believe your husband is a wise man. There are many issues these days with ingredients, food contamination, supporting fast-food franchises while Muslim mom and pop shops suffer. Everyone is responsible for making correct choices and none of this is lost on Allah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better” [Musnad of Ahmad].

I was able to find the Filet-O-Fish ingredients online and pasted them below. According to what I see, you will have to contact them to ask about the source of their enzymes in the bun and the lipase in the cheese. The fries seem to be vegetarian.

Filet-O-Fish Portion

Alaska Pollock fish fillets, toasted wheat crumbs, vegetable oil (canola, corn, soybean, and hydrogenated soybean oil), modified corn starch, water, flour (corn, wheat), color (paprika, turmeric), cellulose gum, salt, spices. Cooked in vegetable oil (high oleic low linolenic canola oil and/or canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane).

CONTAINS WHEAT, FISH.

Regular Bun

Enriched wheat flour, water, sugar, yeast, vegetable oil (canola and/or soy), vegetable proteins (pea, potato, faba bean), sunflower oil, corn dextrose, corn maltodextrin, corn starch, salt, may contain and or all of the following in varying proportions: wheat gluten, dough conditioners (monoglycerides, datem, ascorbic acid, enzymes), vinegar. Toasted in the same toaster that also prepares other buns containing butter and egg. MAY CONTAIN MILK AND EGG.

CONTAINS WHEAT.
MAY CONTAIN: SESAME SEEDS.

Tartar Sauce

Soybean oil, relish (pickles, water, salt, vinegar, capers, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, spice extractives, polysorbate 80), water, liquid egg yolk, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard flour, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum, parsley, calcium disodium EDTA.

CONTAINS: EGG, MUSTARD.

Processed Cheese Slice

Cheese (milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, microbial enzyme, lipase), modified milk ingredients, water, sodium citrate and/or sodium phosphate, salt, potassium sorbate, citric acid, soy lecithin, colour (annatto).

CONTAINS: SOY, MILK.

French Fries

Potatoes, high oleic low linolenic canola oil and/or canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavour (vegetable source), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain colour), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent). Cooked in vegetable oil (high oleic low linolenic canola oil and/or canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane).

Salt

Salt, silicoaluminate, dextrose, potassium iodide

After considering the ingredients, food contamination can be a problem. Please see this article specifically about that: Should I Eat at Restaurants With Food Cross-Contamination Problems?

Finally, your husband’s choice to avoid it altogether just to be safe is scrupulous and praiseworthy. Please listen to this podcast by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus about Setting Aside What Causes You Doubt. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Leave what causes you doubt and turn to what does not cause you doubt” [Tirmidhi]. This is the way of those who want closeness to their Lord and His complete pleasure without any doubtful matter coming in between them.

Supporting Muslim restaurants is also a tremendous act of worship. They need our support to succeed and to provide halal wholesome food to all Muslims and we need them to be sure we consume only the halal, instead of jeopardizing our religion. This makes strong Muslim individuals which make stronger Muslim communities, and hence a stronger ummah, by the grace of Allah.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, ‘if only I had done such and such‘ rather say ‘Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).‘ For (saying) ‘If’‘ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.”  And Allah knows best.

A Guide for Consuming Various Meats, Foods, Alcohol, Animal By-Product Ingredients, and Cosmetics

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied Aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied Fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Making a Non-Verbal Oath in the Heart

Question: I am 15 years old and addicted to masturbation. l tried before many times to stop but I failed. A week ago I was so disappointed because I swore in my heart not to masturbate again. I now think this is a very terrible decision because in the near future I might do it and forget or be very unconscious of myself. What if I break this oath? I don’t want to fast three days because my parents will find it suspicious, I don’t know what to do.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

I am very sorry that you are addicted to such a sin at this young age, but you absolutely are capable of breaking this habit. Please consult this website which is a safe place of healing for Muslims:
https://purifyyourgaze.com/

The best advice that I can give you for overcoming masturbation is in these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-masturbation-sinful-how-do-i-stop/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-can-i-do-to-stop-masturbating/

As for your oath, because you thought it in your heart, it is certainly not binding. Please refrain from making such oaths out loud in the future because one must beat addiction through therapy and healing, and not through rash ultimatums. This is just a nasty trick of the Shaytan.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/words-makes-oath-binding/

May Allah help you through this,  give you immense tawfiq in your endeavour, and make you a means to help others.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How to Deal with an Abusive Father?

Question: My father verbally abuses me and my siblings and my mother. He used to beat me and my sister and has used a hanger to beat my sister when she was young. He also threatens to abandon us is as he is the only source of income in our family. He has verbally abused in a manner that I would not use for even my enemies. He recently left the house for two days after having a disagreement with my mother. He does not allow us to visit my mother’s home. He even slanders my cousins for inviting us to their homes behind their backs. He uses any type of leverage he has to hurt me. I am at the extent of my patience. I feel my life is a mistake.

Answer: 

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that you are suffering from abuse at your father’s hands. He is doing something unlawful and extreme and is attaining Allah’s displeasure. Please don’t despair because of this pain but trust in Allah that something better will come. Your du`a and attitude are key and it will save you.

Turn to Allah and trust in Him

Trust in Allah, rely on Him, and ask him to help you out of this painful situation. At this time, devote yourself to Allah, fear Him as much as you can, and know that He is the one who sent this test, and He is watching for a correct reaction from you. Don’t let the Devil persuade you to do something haram in return and don’t leave off worshipping Him because He is worthy of worship no matter what is going on in your life.

Take this opportunity to draw closer to Allah, for there is no better and faster way to draw close to Him than through the shackles of pain and suffering.

Channel all of your pain into discourse with your Lord in the depths of the night and wait for Allah to send your family what is best in the timing and manner which He deems fit, without rushing or being impatient. Be the best Muslim that you can be and strive to fulfill Allah’s commands. Don’t forget the value of the dua of victims of abuse:

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while” [Tirmidhi].

Physical abuse

I don’t know what the situation is in India, but I found this helpline that might be useful to you when your father gets violent:
http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines

Also, consider calling the police when your father abuses one of you, you have every right to do this, and you all deserve protection and safety. Is there a family member, elder, or trusted friend that can help you? Can you appeal to one of his family members about this violence?

Can you communicate with your father directly about his behavior? Can you tell him that it hurts all of you and breaks your confidence? Can you tell him that you feel scared and want to live in peace? Please see this link for excellent advice on what to do:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-help-mother-despite-abusive-father/

Self-care

Eventually, you will need to talk to a counselor or therapist to deal with and work through your emotions and scars. Please seek out treatment as soon as you can. It is also helpful to speak to a local imam, elder, trusted friend, teacher, or a trusted relative. Don’t think that you have to face this alone. I pray that as soon as you are old enough, that you move out and then help your mother and siblings.

In the meantime, take care of yourself. You deserve comfort, support, and love. Take on any beneficial activity that makes you feel good, take a class, start a new hobby, learn a skill. Spend time with your friends when you can. Play a sport, eat healthily, and exercise. Do what you need to get your lively self back and gain your confidence and strength.

May Allah rectify this for you and may it make you a stronger person with even better character and fortitude.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Waswasa, low faith, and insincerity

Question: I have done some bad things two weeks ago and I need to make tawba. I keep trying but I feel insincere or that the remorse I had would disappear. I feel like my heart is blocked. My heart doesn’t listen to me because it is hardened. How can I feel true remorse and make tawba? I started getting really bad waswasa a year ago and I used to fight it really well but now it’s hard. I either forget all my problems or am in despondency when I remember. I’ll never let shaytan win, but how do I get rid of the waswasa once and for all? The lowering of my iman worries me the most because I feel like every day that passes, it gets worse. I’m worried that a time will come where I can’t fix my situation. I have read your reader on repentance but I don’t think anyone has the evil of feeling little to no remorse. How I could
bring it back?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Feeling that you have done bad things and need to repent is a clear sign of your faith. This is good news and you should not worry about what you think might be in your heart.

Don’t assume that you are insincere

Allah, Most High, accepts repentance in any form by the one who is sincere. Don’t assume that you are insincere and continue to make your tawba. The Shaytan’s job is to trick you into not repenting even when you are inclined towards it. He has thousands of years of experience with mankind, so don’t fall into his trap. Follow your heart and repent with its conditions.

Hardened heart

If you feel that your heart is hard, there are many ways to soften it. The first and foremost  way it to bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, night and day. Learn about his life, his sacrifices, make dhikr, and keep the company of those who are striving for Allah. Try listening to these heart soothing lectures by SeekersGuidance or take a free course:
https://www.facebook.com/SeekersGuidance.org

Waswasa

Getting rid of your waswasa is key to having a successful and happy religious life without undue hardship. Please see these links for good tips:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/a-reader-on-waswasa-baseless-misgivings/

Please make yourself accustomed to discarding any negative thoughts that come to you immediately and make dhikr when they do come. Eventually, the Shaytan will see that his whispering doubts lead you to  dhikr and he will stop. Also, address the topic of your waswasa by acquiring correct reliable knowledge. This is the best weapon against it.

Low iman and remorse

I know that you feel that your iman is low but you should not obsess with trying to measure it. The only thing that you should measure is your obligations. Make a checklist and check off your deeds every day, it’s the only way to grow and change. Try something like this:

Prayed 5 times a day today on time: Y/N
Did I backbite today?: Y/N
Am I caught up on my zakat and missed fasts?: Y/N
Did I do a charitable deed today: Y/N
Did I read my daily litany of Quran?: Y/N
Did I read the translation and understand it?: Y/N
Did I do something for my knowledge and growth today?: Y/N
Etc….

Once you have a list, just focus on completing it and you don’t need a measuring stick for anything else. Continue to do good deeds for verily faith increases by good deeds.

As for your remorse, please don’t measure that either. Feeling a little remorse is fine and be sure to repent when you get that feeling. Ask Allah to increase you in every good, and pray the Prayer of Need to increase your reliance on Him and hand all your problems over to Him. He will not abandon you. Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-can-i-do-to-strengthen-and-increase-my-faith/

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Is It Permissible to Carry Out Surgical Procedures to Make Myself Look Younger?

Question: Can I dress up for my husband outside of the house? Is it permissible to carry out surgical and/or non-surgical procedures to make myself look younger?

Answer:

Dear Questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

May Allah make you and all believing women beautiful in His eyes and in the eyes of their husbands.

Beautification is sunna for women, and in the house, you can do whatever you like to be as attractive and beautiful in his eyes. In public, it is forbidden to wear tight or revealing clothes, but you can use Kuhl or elegant clothes even if they are colorful.

As for surgical procedures, that would only be permissible as corrective surgery. Any non-surgical procedures would be halal as long as they do not have any short- or long-term harm.

Covering Properly

It is of the God-consciousness [taqwa] of the wife and her husband to wear a proper hijab outside of the house, or in front of non-immediate relatives [non-mahrams].

Please see:

What Are the Requirements of Hijab?
Am I a ‘Dayyuth’ If I Let My Wife Go out Without Hijab and How Do I Maintain Protective Jealousy (Ghayrah)?

Cosmetic Surgery

Surgical procedures entail changing the way Allah created you, and this is forbidden unless it is done as corrective surgery.

Please see:

Is Cosmetic Surgery Allowed?
Is Cosmetic Surgery Allowed?Is It Permissible to Get Botox Injections?
Ruling on Cosmetic Surgeries
Are Breast Implants Permissible?

You should also read:
Complications and management of breast enhancement using hyaluronic acid

Keeping up with Barbie

It is, unfortunately, the case that many men think that women are or can become human Barbie dolls. This neurosis is exacerbated by the sex industry and the media in general.

The reality is that women are not walking talking Barbies (and men are not usually as handsome as Ken or as heroic as any Box Office action hero). We live in the real world, with real men and women, who all have pros and cons, both physically, emotionally, and religiously.

It is utterly imperative that we all acknowledge this, and live our marital and sexual lives in a mature and realistic way. If we don’t, we will never be satisfied with ourselves, our spouses, and the blessings that Allah has granted us.

Not doing so and continually looking for what else we imagine exists out there leads to being ungrateful for the blessings that Allah has bestowed us. Allah Most High has said, ‘And were you to count the blessings of Allah, you would not be able to: Indeed, man really is a gross wrong-doer and an inveterate ingrate.’ (Qur’an, 14: 34)

And the opposite — to be content with what one has, and not keep looking at the greener “other side” — is the means to happiness and gratitude. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Look at those who are below you and don’t look at those who are above you, for that way you are less likely to discount what Allah has blessed you with.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

So one should look at the countless blessings one has, and look at the good points in one’s spouse. ‘Live with them in accordance with what is fair and kind: if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something in which God has put much good.’ (Qur’an, 4:19)

It is normal as a wife, or husband, to feel at times that one is not quite the woman or man that one’s spouse is looking for. This is unavoidable. We do not live in Paradise, and expecting our lives and relationships to be paradisiacal is not realistic.

Rather we should try our best to be that which we can be — emotionally, physically, and spiritually — and be accepting of our spouses as long as they are trying their best too.

Talking things out, and setting realistic and halal measures to better the relationship is very important. Some things can change naturally, and sometimes we can guess what we need to change, but nothing beats having a proper one to one conversation.

Practical Measures

Tell your husband that you really want to look nicer for him, so that he doesn’t feel that you are turning down his wishes, but at the same time don’t do any surgical procedures (since by default they are forbidden), and don’t do any non-surgical procedures that may affect your health or that of the baby.

Try and act like you are more interested in him physically (even if you are not), and make him feel that you appreciate him being around. He may well just be saying these things because he can’t express his dissatisfaction with other aspects of your life. Try to get to the core of the problem.

Talk to him in a kind and receptive way, while being very frank about the reality of your body, your pregnancy, and your staunch adherence to what is halal. Make it clear that you are on his side, but that you are not willing to do something forbidden or unrealistic to keep him happy.

Be ready for some level of immaturity: if he is as you explained, he may not take any of what say seriously, and still want you to be aesthetically perfect despite the fact that you are human, and on top of that, pregnant. You just have to make sure that you have expressed yourself clearly, and wait for him to absorb the ideas.

Unfortunately, you also have to be ready to have your emotions hurt now and then. There isn’t really any way out of it. Even the wives of the best of creation, the Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace) sometimes felt that other women were more attractive in his eyes: he did have multiple wives after all.

The pain of jealousy is not always avoidable. But there is a difference between consistent and intentional affronts to your looks and the very occasional sense of not being the apple of his eye. The first has to be weeded out through frank conversations and/or counseling. The second is just part of life. And remember that men get jealous too.

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Indeed, Allah has prescribed that women should bear the weight of jealousy and that men should bear the weight of jihad. Whosoever of them [women] is patient, believing in Allah, and seeking reward from Him, will have the reward of a martyr. (Bazzar and Tabarani)

Conclusion

Try your best, be as affable and hopeful as possible, and don’t get too sad. Marriages can change 180 degrees.

There is also a good book to read which is Yasmin Mogahed’s Reclaim your Heart. You cannot, and should not, detach your heart from your husband, but he also shouldn’t be the Kaaba of your existence.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Can I Eat Supermarket Meat With My Christian Family to Make Them Happy?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: My family members are non-religious Christians. They do not buy halal meat. I live with them and eat with them. Of course, I never consume pork. While I am living here, is it permissible to eat chicken and beef that are not halal to avoid conflict? How can I begin to deal with this issue?

Answer: I empathize with your situation, it is very difficult indeed when the family does not eat the same food together.

You are correct

Always remember that you are correct in eating only halal meat. You will see at the links below about the impermissibility of eating chicken and beef from supermarkets. May Allah reward you and guide you for your strength, conviction, and determination to follow this ruling.

Talk to your parents

Tell your parents that you love them very much and that eating halal is your new way of life. Take them to a halal butcher shop with you so you can shop together, cook together and eat together. Buy some new cuts of meat to try out. Cook halal meat for them too so they can have a treat. Be kind and patient, and don’t get upset. Then have them talk to your grandmother, or approach her directly if you think that’s better. Perhaps when they get used to the idea, you can all go to a halal restaurant together!

Prayers not being accepted

Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “O people, Allah is Good and He, therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying: ‘O Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do‘ (xxiii. 51). And He said, “O those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you“ (ii. 172). He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication): “O Lord, O Lord,” whereas his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and he was nourished with the unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted? [Muslim]

If My Parents Prepare Meat That is Not Halal, Should I Avoid Eating It?
The Issue of Halal Meat (A Detailed Article)
A Reader on Halal Meat
Can We Eat Machine Slaughtered Meat?

May Allah give you ease and well-being always.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Guidelines for Using Makeup

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu-alaykum, I am a nonmarried woman and I love beauty, and its a big part of who I am. I don’t wear makeup to provoke the lust of men. I wear light natural-looking makeup, it makes me feel better and more confident. Is it permissible?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Using makeup is not intrinsically impermissible. But the permissibility of the extent of its usage depends on the circumstance at hand.

Makeup: Limits and Guidelines

In private settings, such as when a lady, married or otherwise, is in the company of the same gender or members of her unmarriageable kin (mahram), it is permitted for her to wear makeup as she likes provided the environment is safe from improper gazes. Similarly, it would be praiseworthy for a married lady to adorn and beautify herself with makeup or otherwise for her spouse whilst in the privacy of her home or the like.

In public settings, makeup usage needs to be restrained, unassuming, and restricted, if required, to what maintains reasonable presentability alone, such as covering up blemishes and the like. What this means is that it should not be plain and obvious that you are wearing makeup. Usually, the sign of an amount of makeup that is not impermissible is that which would not normally attract the undue attention of the opposite gender. But if it is more than the minimum required amount, it would appear to enter into the realm of impropriety and offensiveness (karaha), depending on the amount used.

Note that what counts is the reality of how you are perceived by the opposite gender, even if your intention is not to attract such attention. Of course, things are not easy and times are difficult, particularly given the constant barrage of idealism pumped out by the fashion and cosmetic industries, but the reward of obedience is in accordance with the difficulty borne by each person. Ask Allah for steadfastness and do your best.

The Centrality of Modesty

The Blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Modesty is from faith.” (Bukhari) Believers should strive to be colored by their modesty, namely, an inward trait of reserve which drives one to leave that which is ugly and unbecoming, such as disobedience and wrong. This subsequently manifests on the limbs and outer body in dignified, gracious comportment and uprightness in following the Sacred Law (shari‘a). Both genders are called upon to uphold such modesty, seeking thereby Allah Most High’s eternal grace and bounty in this world before the next.

Finally, it’s important to be aware that some may resort to makeup as a blanket to cover insecurities in confidence, appearance or otherwise. This is unhelpful and can be damaging to a person’s self-esteem and general emotional health in the long term, so it is wise to be honest with oneself and seek some counsel, even professionally, if needed. It may also be helpful to keep the company of a religious group of sisters in such circumstances because you can sometimes do in a group what you cannot do alone. As a community, we need to work on having strong faith, recognizing and appreciating our worth, as we are, before our Ever-Loving Lord, and having a principled outlook in living life governed by religious values and ethics.

Please also see: Is It Permissible to Have Semi Permanent Eyebrows Done? and: Is It Permissible to Use Cosmetics and Body Care Products That Contain Animal Ingredients?

(Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah, quoting Ibn al-Humam (1.154); Jurdani, al-Jawahir al-Lu’lu’iyya Sharh al-Arba‘in al-Nawawiyya)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Forms of Charity Not Permissible in Islam

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Amongst subcontinental Muslims, there is a practice of “sadaqa utarna” which is done when someone is suffering from sickness, or there is a suspicion of black magic. Something used for charity is cast over the affected person thrice, The object is then discarded or given to the poor for their use. Is this permissible or a bidah?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

This practice does not have any basis in the sunna as far as I know and should be avoided. There are many sunna supplications, suras, and collections of verses which are effective in such matters. It is better to refer to them.

Innovations

An innovation, bid’a, is a practice that contradicts the spirit of the sunna. In a sense, it opposes and attempts the replace it. Otherwise, new practices are not automatically problematic. (Nabulsi, al Hadiqa al Nadiyya).

This is understood from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, “Whoever initiates in this matter of ours that which is not of it, it is completely rejected.“ (Bukhari) So, any matter which embodies the spirit of the sunna, and strives to achieve one of the higher aims of the Sacred Law, is not blameworthy – as long as it doesn’t contradict an established practice.

Seeking Protection and Healing

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace would seek healing and protection through the recitation of the last two chapters of the Qur’an and various other supplication which can be found in Imam Nawawi’s Book of Remembrances. He also sought out conventional means of treatment when he was ill.

It is better to adopt this approach than to take up superstitious actions. Always remember the words of our Maker, “If Allah afflicts you with any harm then there is no one who can remove it save Him.” (Qur’an; 10:107)

The practice you described is not rooted in Islam, nor in any form of medicine. It’s the best shunned.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

How to Repent From an Homosexual Relation

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am a Muslim male who had sexual intercourse with the same gender and I decide to repent and ask God for forgiveness because really I would like to change. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

There is no prescribed expiation (kaffara) for engaging in sexual intercourse with the same gender, nor for any type of fornication whatsoever, which occurs outside the month of Ramadan.

Nevertheless, engaging in any form of sexual activity outside of a valid marriage is deemed to be a grave sin which requires deep and sincere repentance. True repentance has three conditions: (1) to leave the sin immediately, (2) to remorse over having committed the sin, and (3) to resolve never to return to it. You need to be honest with yourself and take all reasonable means to ensure that you don’t slip up again.

The Sunna Way of Repentance

The Blessed Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “There is no servant who commits a sin, performs the ritual ablution (wudu) well, and then prays two cycles (rak‘as) after which he seeks Allah’s forgiveness, save that He is forgiven.” (Abu Dawud) This is a description of the Prayer of Repentance (salat al-tawba), and one may even perform the ritual bath (ghusl) in place of the wudu to indicate one’s complete washing away of the sin from one’s life.

On another occasion, the Noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.” (Ibn Majah) He (Allah bless him and give him peace) also told us to “follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out.” (Tirmidhi) Though the repentance alone is a good deed, consider also giving some charity (sadaqa) and performing a number of good deeds as a manner of beautifying your repentance and voluntarily expiating for the wrongs committed.

Seeking Professional Help

Further, given the number of times that this major sin has occurred, I’d recommend that you also reach out to a sensitive professional who can help counsel you so you can break free of such behaviour altogether. I’d encourage avoiding living or being alone as much as possible, drastically reducing your accessibility to the internet and to also travel for a period of time, if you’re able.

Finally, Ibn ‘Ata Illah al-Sakandari (may Allah sanctify his secret) said, “How often a sin that bequeaths humiliation and neediness is better than worship that bequeaths exultation and haughtiness.” This is a trial from Allah Most High, and by turning back to Him to sincerely change, you’ve opened all kinds of doors of eternal good for yourself. Do everything you can to keep up the impetus in the right direction. “Watch out for Allah, and you will find Him before you.”

(Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin (33-34))

Please also see: Intercourse During the Month of Ramadan and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Prayer For Mental Well-Being

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Is there´s a Prayer for mental well-being?

Answer: Bismillahi al Rahman al Rahim.

Dear Questioner,

May Allah give you and your perfect faith and well-being.

I am personally not aware of any specific duas for mental health. However, the following dua for a cure should suffice:

Allahumma, Rabba n-nas Adh-hibi l-bas Wash-fi wa anta sh-Shafi La shifa-a illa shifa-uk Shifa’an la yughadiru saqama

O Allah, Lord of mankind! Take away the harm and cure him. You are the curer. There is no cure save Your cure. [Cure him] such that no sickness remains. [Abu Dawud]

Duas

Well-being in general is something the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) frequently encouraged us to ask for. Sayyidna Abu Bakr once stood upon the pulpit and then started to cry. Then he said, ‘In the first year [of Hijra], the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood up here and then wet. Then he said, ‘Ask Allah for forgiveness and for well-being, for after certainty, no one is given anything better than well-being.’ ‘ [Tirmidhi]

I think it is pertinent that they both cried before saying these words. Someone struggling with mental health would understand why.

There are specific duas for sadness and depression. For example,

Allahumma, inni a-udhu bika mina l-hammi wa l-hazan Wa l-azji wa l-kasal Wa l-bukhli wa l-jubn Wa dala-i d-dayn Wa ghalabati r-rijal.

O Allah, indeed I ask seek refuge in you from worries and sadness, from inability and laziness, from cheapness and cowardice, from the weight of debt, and from the overbearingness of men. [Bukhari]

There are also duas for protection from decrepitude, which arguably includes senility. For example,

Allahumma inni a-udhu bika mina l-jubni wa a-udhu bika mina l-bukhali Wa a-udhu bika min an uraddu ila ardhali l-umur Wa a-udhu bika min fitnati d-dunya wa adhab l-qabr.

O Allah, indeed I seek refuge in You from cowardice and I seek refuge in You from cheapness, and I seek refuge in You from being returned to old-aged decrepitude, and I seek refuge in You from the trials of This Life and the punishment of the grave.

Giving One’s Matter to Allah

The concept of consigning one’s whole being to Allah Most High comes frequently in the Qur’an and Sunna. Allah Most High quotes the words of the unnamed staunch believer to Pharaoh, ‘And you shall all remember what I’m telling you. I consign my matter to Allah. Allah sees well [Bukhari]

You should also look into mental health treatment, and changing your diet.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.