Eating Bread With Trace Amounts of Alcohol in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: As-salāmu ʿalaykum. I just discovered that normal bread, which is leavened, contains alcohol as a by-product. Does this then mean that, according to the Mālikīs, all leavened breads are ḥarām to consume? Also, allegedly unleavened bread also contains trace amounts of alcohol. Would these trace amounts be ignored or are they significant?

Answer: Eating leavened bread would be permissible according to the Maliki school. As for the concern about the content of alcohol, there may be trace amounts produced during the process of the dough rising, but trace amounts of alcohol do not make something impure. There are trace amounts of alcohol in ripe fruit even while it is still on the tree yet there is no doubt about the permissibility of eating fruit.

It is important in this discussion to take into consideration the Maliki definition of intoxicants (muskir) when discussing what it impure (najas). Liquid intoxicants are liquid, impair the intellect but not the body, and cause energy and happiness (Dardir, Sharh al Kabir). If one of these conditions are not present, such as something being solid, then it would not be considered impure.

Leavened bread does not fall under the definition of what a intoxicant would be because it is solid and one cannot be intoxicated by eating it. As for the trace amounts of alcohol, we are not taken to account to look for them nor do we have to avoid them. There are trace amounts of alcohol in many other permissible foods, such as certain yoghurts. If the amount becomes noticeable by one being able to become intoxicated if they were to consume it, then it would be impure. An example of this would be certain fermented milk that can intoxicate a person.

And Allah knows best.

Rami Nsour

Is It Permissible to Shave a Baby Girl’s Head?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalaamu alaykum

My daughter is nearly 1.5 years old. We shaved her head on the 7th day after she was born, along with her aqeeqah, and also a couple of times afterwards as she has fine hair in order to help thicken it.

I was advised afterwards that, in fact, it isn’t permissible to shave girls’ heads as it likening them to boys.

Please could you advise if this applies to very young girls.

JazakumAllahu khayran,


Answer: There is no harm in shaving the hair of a very young girl. For an older girl or a young woman, it is not permissible because it is a disfigurement of their natural beauty (Nafrawi, Fawakih Al Dawani).

Ruling of Wiping the Face After a Du’a in Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: as-salaamu alaikum,

I know that it is mustahhab to wipe the face after making dua (supplication) according to the hanafi school.

But what is the ruling about this in the maliki school? Is it also mustahhab in this school?

Answer: An Nafrawi said, “There is a difference of opinion in regards to raising the hands in supplication. On the opinion that one does raise them, there is a difference of opinion about whether or not to wipe the face.

In Tirmidhi it mentions that Umar ibn Al Khattab said, ‘ If he [The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him] raised his hands while supplicating, he would not put them down until he wiped his face.’ So this is a proof that he would raise his hands and wipe his face.”

In another part of his commentary on the Risala, Al Nafrawi said, “It has been narrated that one raise their hands in supplication and wipe their face when complete but without kissing [the hands]” (Fawakih al Dawani).

Praying Nafl Prayers When You Have Make Up Prayers in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: As Salaamu Alaikum:

In the Matn of Al-Akdhari it states that it is not permissible to perform Nafilah prayers if you owe make up prayers. It specifically states Taraweeh and Ad-Dhuha as examples of those that are not permissible to pray. The text, however, does not have anything about the nafilah that are connected to the fard prayers (with the exception of the two rakas of Fajr as being permitted to pray) or Taheeyatul Masjid. Are these Nafilah of those that aren’t permissible to pray while owing Qad’aa or would they fall under the category of those that remain permissible to pray such as Shafi and Witr…


A Note About Maliki Terminology for Prayers

In the Maliki school, there are four types of prayers and each have a specific definition. The first are the obligatory prayers which are referred to as fard or wajib. The second, which are the highest level of non-obligatory prayers, are referred to as sunna. The sunna prayers are those that were regularly performed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) but there was not an indication that they were made obligatory. The third category of extra prayers are referred to as raghiba and are above nafila and below sunna in degree of reward. The fourth category are referred to as nafila and they are prayers that were done by the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) regurlay but sometimes skipped by him.

Make Up Prayers and Supererogatory Prayers

It is mentioned in the Text of Al-Akhdari that a person who has to make up missed obligatory prayers (qada) may not perform extra (nafila) prayers. Although the Text of Al Akhdari uses as examples the nightly Ramadan prayers (Taraweeh) and the mid-morning prayer (Duha), the ruling applies to all supererogatory prayers (nafila). This would include the extra prayers done before and after the obligatory (fard) prayers. The prayer to greet a masjid (Tahiyatul Masjid) is also considered a supererogatory prayers (nafila) and would not be done when a person owes obligatory prayers.

What May be Performed by the One Who Owes Prayers

The only extra prayers that a person could pray when they have to make up obligatory prayers are the raghiba and sunna prayers. In the raghiba category, there is only one prayer which is the two rakas of fajr before the obligatory Subh/Morning prayers. The only prayers that are sunna are the two Eids, Witr, the drought prayer (istisqa), and the solar eclipse (kusuf) but not the lunar eclipse (khusuf) as the lunar eclipse is a nafila. The two raka’s of Shafi before Witr are technically a nafila but are allowed to be prayed with the Sunna of Witr.

Fard in Place of Nafila

One thing to note is that is would be permissible and even recommend to use make up prayers (qada) in place of when a supererogatoy prayer would be done. So, instead of praying the Nightly Ramadan prayer (taraweeh) as a supererogatoy prayer one would just do that amount of make up prayers. One would pray a make-up prayer when entering a masjid or during the mid-morning time (duha).

[Mukhtasar al-Khalil and commentaries]

Does My Wife Have to Cover in Front of My Stepfather?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: One year ago I reverted to Islam and 3 months ago I got married to a Muslim woman. My parents are not Muslims.  My mother’s husband is not my real father, but they have been married for 20 years. My question is if my wife is obligated to wear hijab in front of him, since he is not my real father?

Answer: Marriage only causes a non-marriageable bond (mahramiyya) between a woman and the real father of her husband. Thus, your wife would have to wear her hijab in front of your step-father. [Khalil ibn Ishaq, al-Mukhtasar]


Expiation for Breaking an Oath to Fast in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: What can I do if I have broken an oath of ibada? I made an oath to fast every second day and I was not able to continue. Do I have to start again doing every second day or is there an expiation I can do in this case? I have heard that if its an oath to do with a promise to do a certain ibada then you must fulfill it?  Also, this is too many fasts for me to make up, so what should I do?

Answer: To begin, an oath to make a non-obligatory action (nafila) obligatory is called a Nadhr (نذر) and is recommended to do if it is a one time act. If the nadhr is to do something on a regular basis, then it is disliked (makruh) according to the Maliki school. In any case, once a person makes the nadhr oath, then they complete it or pay an expiation (kaffara) if they do not do it or break the promised habit.

If the nadhr was a regular fast and not fulfilled, then the person would have to pay an expiation (kaffara) even if the person went back to the fasting. Additionally, once the nadhr is broken and the expiation is paid, then the nadhr is no longer binding. The expiation (kaffara) is one of three methods:

1) Feeding ten poor people each a mudd (0.5 liter measure) of a staple grain (it is recommended for those outside of Medina to give 1.3 mudds to each miskeen), or giving them each two loaves of bread weighing two Baghdadi ritls for each loaf, or satiating each poor person (miskeen) with two separate meals for each person. The definition of a poor person (miskeen) according to the Maliki madhab is a person who does not have food for more than one day.

2) Clothing ten poor people. For each man a thobe is given. For each woman a thobe and and hijab. A child may also be included in the ten.

3) Freeing a slave as a person would do in dhihar.

If all of these three are not a possibility for the person, then a person can fast for three days consecutively.

And Allah knows best.

Rami Nsour

Joining Prayers Due to Rain in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: What is the Maliki school’s position on combining prayers due to rain or bad weather in general, and what are the conditions to make it valid? We live in Florida and it rains here frequently in the summer. Also, even though some masajid are far, we travel in cars so there is not much of a hassle when it comes to getting wet or dirty from the rain and puddles.


The Ruling of Joining Prayers due to Rain

According to the Maliki madhab, it is a recommended dispensation (rukhsa mandubah) to join Maghrib and Isha at Maghrib time on the night when it is raining. Maghrib would not be delayed until Isha but rather you bring Isha forward and pray it after Maghrib. Joining of Dhuhr and Asr due to rain is not allowed according to the Maliki school.

The Conditions

The conditions for this dispensation is that this only be done due to rain, hail or heavy snow. The joining can also be done if there is both darkness (due to heavy cloud cover) and muddy pathways, but not if there is only one or the other. This joining would be done in what is considered a masjid but not another place like a musallah or a school.

The Method of Joining

The call to prayer (adhan) would be given for Maghrib right after complete sundown and done on the minaret as usual. Then Maghrib prayer is delayed a short while and followed immediately by Isha prayer. The only thing that would be done between Maghrib and Isha would be a call to prayer (adhan) for Isha but done inside the masjid with a lower voice followed an iqamah. No extra prayers (nafila) should be done between Maghrib and Isha.

[Dusuqi, Hashiya al-Sharh al Kabir]

Wearing Pig Skin in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: In the Maliki school, what is the opinion regarding wearing pig skin? Do prayers need to be repeated when somebody’s foot has come into direct contact with pig skin contained in a shoe?

Answer: In the Maliki school, pig skin is considered impure even if it has been tanned. If a person has pigskin clothing on while praying or they move an item that is pigskin while in prayer, then the prayer is invalid and must be repeated. Your foot would not become impure by coming into contact with the pigskin unless some part of the leather was rubbed onto your foot.

One thing to point out it that it is not permissible to wear or use pig-skin like a wallet, belt, shoe insole, briefcase or jacket. The prohibition of use of pig-skin is in addition to the prohibition of buying or selling it. [Ahmed al-Dardir, Sharh al-Kabir]


Repeating Prayers in Maliki School for Not Doing “Dalk” in Wudu

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I just learned that it is obligatory to pass one limb over another limb in ghusl. Do I have to pray for all the years that my ghusl was not sound? Do these prayers become qada?

I would like to have this answered according to the Maliki school.

Answer: I have personally brought this issue up to one of my shuyukh while I was studying as this situation does happen often. People who have not formally studied may go for years not realizing that they are missing something integral and sometimes even serious students or even scholars may overlook something.

In your situation, there is room within the Maliki madhab to allow for you not to have to repeat those prayers. The reason for this is there is a sound Maliki opinion that passing one limb over another (dalk) is not an obligation (see the shuruh of the Mukhtasar in the section of the obligations of wudu).

Furthermore, dalk is not an obligation in the Shafi’i and Hanafi schools and this should be considered by a person when they analyze past actions that may be deficient. This analysis though should be done with the guidance of one trained in the science of law (fiqh). Because you were leaving dalk not realizing that it is an obligation according to the school, your previous acts of worship are valid.

If you would like to make them up out of wara (leaving matters of difference of opinion) then you can do that as a spiritual practice. But you should not embark on that if it is going to cause you resentment. If you feel happy about repeating those prayers out of wara, then do so, but remember it will be a big task that will take a while. And Allah knows best.

Rami Nsour

A Follower Praying a Different Prayer than the Imam in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: In Morocco when there is rain usually the Maghrib and the Isha prayer are combined in the mosque. The adhan for Maghrib is called outside the mosque and right after the maghrib prayer the adhan for isha is called inside the moque and isha is prayed.

In his case he joined the prayer assuming it is maghrib but he was late and instead of joining the maghrib prayer he joined the isha prayer. So he prayed the isha prayer in congregation without having prayed maghrib.

Should he pray maghrib and isha again?

Answer: According to the Maliki school, a condition for the validity of prayer for one following an Imam, is that the follower be praying the same exact prayer as the Imam. So, a person praying Dhuhr cannot pray behind someone who is praying Asr.

One praying Dhuhr from his current day (adaa’) cannot pray behind someone making up a Dhuhr from a previous day (qadaa’). This condition is referred to as “musawatun bis salat” and is mentioned in the section of congregational prayer in the Mukhtasar or Khalil. Also according to this principle, someone praying a fard prayer cannot pray behind someone praying a nafila prayer.

In terms of the person who unintentionally prayed Maghrib behind the Imam praying Isha, the prayer of the follower would be invalid. Thus, the follower would have to repeat the Maghrib and Isha prayers.

And Allah knows best.