Remarrying after the death of a spouse

Question: Is it recommended to remain unmarried after one’s husband or wife has passed away?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Short Answer

Generally speaking, being married and having more children is better than being single.

General encouragement to get married

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘O youth, whoever of you is able to marry, then let him get married.’ (Bukhari and Muslim) There are also many sound and weak hadiths that encourage getting married and having children.

Encouragement to remain a widow

That said, if one doesn’t feel that one could be married again and can’t physically have children, it is perfectly fine to remain unmarried.

In fact, in his book Matters Pertaining to Women, Ibn al Habib (d. 238 AH) mentions several reports from the Early Muslims encouraging women not to marry if their husbands pass away.

He even mentions a hadith saying, ‘A woman will be with her last husband.’ (Adab al Nisa, Ibn al Habib; Tabarani) This last hadith would suggest that if one wants to be with one’s first husband/wife in the next life, one should not get married.

Being with the best of one’s husbands

However, there is also another hadith that mentions that she will be with whichever husband was the best to her. (al Tadhkira, Qurtubi) Furthermore, what is known from Islamic history is that many of the female Prophetic Companions remarried, sometimes multiple times.

It worth noting that neither hadith is that strong.

Conclusion

In summary, it is generally better to be married than to be alone for the sake of having more children, being kept chaste, and not being alone.

I pray this helps.

[Shaykh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh 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

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

Notifying One’s Wife Before Returning From a Trip

Question: Is it obligatory or recommended in Shafi’i school to warn one’s wife when the husband returns home or is he allowed to return unexpectedly? I ask you the question in the case of returning from a long trip or of a short absence of a few hours. Is it the same rules for men and women?Answer: Thank you for your question. It is not obligatory in the Shafi’i school to warn one’s wife when returning home from a trip, but rather praiseworthy to do so [Al-Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhdhab]The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “When one of you stays away (from his family) for a long period of time, let him not surprise his family by night.“ In another narration, Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, prohibited us from coming back to our family at night.“ [Bukhari and Muslim].

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “If you enter (your town) at night (after coming from a journey), do not enter upon your family till the woman whose husband was absent shaves her pubic hair and the woman with unkempt hair, combs her hair.“ Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, further said, “(O Jabir!) Seek to have offspring, seek to have offspring!“ [Bukhari and Muslim]

The tremendous benefits of informing the lady of the house before returning home is clear. It is more conducive to a loving relationship when a lady has time to prepare and beautify herself, even beautify her children and home, in order to receive her provider properly. This makes him feel honored and respected, and the whole reception is more pleasant. May Allah bless every home with such Prophetic standards.

As for the case of a person, who came home to find his wife fornicating, he has bigger problems. I will go as far as to say that a cheating wife should not be given advance notice that her husband is coming home.

As for coming home after a few hours, it is superior manners (adab) to inform one’s wife that the husband is coming home. Some of my teachers from Jordan and Damascus always rang the doorbell or knocked twice before opening the door with the key, in order to inform the wife. This was very useful especially if she had a visiting friend sitting in an open view.

As far as I know, this does not apply to a woman coming home from a (permissible) trip to her husband. However, she would be rewarded according to her intention as nothing is lost on Allah. And Allah knows best.

May Allah guides us all to living Islam as the Prophet taught us, may Allah bless him and give him peace.

[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.

I Am a Convert and Ready to Marry

 

Question: I am converted and recently found a person I want to complete my deen with. We both agree to marry and I am very sure. What I fear is my parents because they are non-Muslim and in this case, I wonder… how much of their wishes should I obey as I have a duty towards them as a Muslim? 

Answer: I want to congratulate you on finding a Muslim spouse that is suitable for you and someone that you can complete your religion with.

There is naturally going to be discomfort and fear that arises between parents and a child when that child is choosing a new path and way of life. This however, is not a reason to not move forward.

Istikhara

You should first pray Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance and make sure that you have asked Allah to guide you in this decision. If you still feel positive, you can gently explain to your parents what is happening. They may not agree, but you can respectfully tell them that you have made your decision (assuming you are over 18 years old) and will go ahead with it. It is not your duty to obey them in this matter, because they are not Muslim. Your duty is to be kind and respectful to them. If marrying this man hurts them, it would not be sinful.

Respect and kindness

You can involve them in the wedding process, tell them how well he treats you, visit them when you can, and call them regularly. It is these little things that make a person feel loved, included, and involved. When you treat your parents like this, they will get on your side very quickly. When they see how you live as a Muslim, it may even change their own hearts towards Islam.

Guardian

If you have no Muslim guardian, you may authorize a male Muslim who is legally upright to act as your guardian in marrying you to the groom. [Mughni al-muhtaj ila ma’rifa ma’ani alfaz al-Minhaj]

May Allah bless you both in this union.

[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.

Meeting with a potential suitor in public?

Question: I have a question regarding getting to know a potential spouse. Is it permissible to meet him in a public place without a third person? I want to do it correctly when meeting the potential spouse.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your important question. There is a fine line between dating and meeting to get to know each other well enough to consider a proposal without overdoing it.

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan mentions in this answer, that it is customary for a suitor to meet a girl three times strictly in the presence of her mahrams.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage-and-divorce-maliki-fiqh/proposal-for-marriage/

Also, please see this answer by Shaykh Rami Nsour; he mentions the limits of gender interaction while meeting a suitor:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-approach-getting-married/

In general, I don’t advise, as mentioned above, that a girl meets with a boy in a public space without a third person because the limits of gender interaction can easily be crossed without supervision. That’s a little too close for comfort. In order to maintain the honor and integrity of the girl, she should be spoken to in the presence of her family, close friends, or imam, if she has no family.

This doesn’t mean an elder has to be hovering over them. As long as the two individuals are in a visible vicinity, they can have some space to ask each other questions without feeling the pressure of being scrutinized over every word they say. I commend you for taking this seriously and for wanting to stay within the limits. May Allah reward you and help you find a suitable and pious spouse.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/is-one-allowed-to-chat-with-a-potential-spouse-for-the-purpose-of-getting-to-know-each-other/

[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.

Considering beauty in a prospective bride

Question: I have come across a girl who has an Islamic and simple mindset, who does not thrive off materialism. Marrying her would be for her Imaan and to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet. My dilemma is that I am perceived by others as a fairly good looking man, and I get noticed wherever I go from women. I am trying not to put much emphasis on looks (and I’m willing to marry a girl with less) but I am really struggling to find attraction in her. Lowering the gaze is important, but I am worried about the fitnah of women similar in attractiveness to myself after marriage. Do you advise marrying her and hoping for attraction to form later or would it be better for me to find another suitor?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The issue that you bring up is an important one. It cannot be overlooked nor over-emphasized. I have copied Shaykh Farid Dingle’s detailed and excellent answer on the subject here. I pray that you benefit from it and are guided to make the right decision. Always pray istikhara in situations like this and follow it, may Allah give you every happiness and success and bless your union with whomever you choose.

Shaykh Farid wrote:

Short Answer:

Although the religious practice is indeed the most important trait to look for in a prospective spouse, one should not completely ignore looks. It is also recommended to marry someone that is good looking. However, one should not give it so much importance that one accepts marrying someone who is not religious.

The key is to have a pure intention, and strike an intelligent and godly balance.

Fuller Answer

Religiousness as a Priority

The Messenger of Allah to me and you, and to all those who wish to get married, told us, ‘Women are married for four reasons: for their wealth, their status [lineage], their beauty, and for their religiousness. Make sure you get a really religious woman. Otherwise, may you come to misfortune!’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

This hadith clearly tells us that marrying a woman who is a practicing Muslim is more important than marrying a woman who is not “really religious” for any other reason.

Allah Most High also tells us in the Quran not to prioritize looks, status and wealth, and look rather to the religiousness of our prospective spouses:

‘And a bondswoman [a slave] who believes is better than a [free] pagan woman, even if you really like her looks … And a bondsman who believes is better than a [free] pagan man, even if you really like him. Those invite to the Hell-Fire, while Allah invites to Paradise and forgiveness with His permission.’ (Qur’an, 2: 221)

This the end of this verse is very, very powerful. Notice how Allah mentions that the pagan spouse calls us to the Hell-Fire, while He does not mention that the believing spouse calls to Paradise; rather, He puts His name [Allah] in place of the believing spouse. This is as if to say that the righteous believing spouse is almost Allah’s agent and spokesman, calling those He permits to Paradise on His behalf. This is a very important point indeed.

So it is clear from the hadith and Qur’anic verse above that marrying someone (the bride or the groom) who is Muslim and religious is a priority.

Autumn Leaves

Because the believer lives for the Next Life, he is always forward-thinking. While he invests his actions at the moment, he is not blind to the long-term.

Marriage is a long-term plan: it is not a just halal fling. Someone who looks at marriage thus will naturally think about how their prospective spouse will be in ten, twenty, fifty years and beyond.

In this light, marrying someone who is religious and actively working to become more so, is quite likely to be a better long-term partner in whom one will find more beauty, and indeed attraction, than someone who is a Helen of Troy on the outside, but a Medusa within.

‘Marriage,’ as an old German Sufi once told me as he watered some plants, ‘cannot work on sex alone.’

And the beauty and attraction of religiousness is often something far more satisfying than mere appearance. Imam al Shafi’i said, ‘See well to abstinence [zuhd] because the abstinence in the abstinent one is more beautiful than jewelry on a buxom maid.’ (Siyar Alam al Nubala, Dhahabi)

Sexual Pragmatism

Notwithstanding the foregoing, prioritizing religiousness over looks does not mean that looks are ignored. Indeed it is recommended [sunna] to marry someone who is good-looking. (Mishkat al Misbah, Ba Fadl)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘When you [wish] to propose to a woman, then if you are able to look at her to see if you want to marry her, then do so.’ (Abu Dawud)

The encouragement to look tells us quite clearly that looks are important. Indeed it is quite clear from the Prophet’s actions (Allah bless him and give him peace) and teachings that although looks are not a priority, they are not irrelevant at all.

If we reflect on the Prophet’s multiple marriages (Allah bless him and give him peace), we see that beauty, although by no means a priority, is given consideration.

Our Mother Aisha (Allah be well-pleased with her) tells us that when Our Mother Juwayriyya came knocking on the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace), ‘She was a very beautiful woman.’ She added, ‘I knew the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would see in her what I had seen.’ (Tahdhib Sirat Ibn Hisham, Abd al-Salam Harun)

Now we know Our Mother Juwayriyya was very religious, and explicitly chose Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) over her previous husband, and spent hours in worship. (Tahdhib al Kamal, Mizzi; Muslim and others) But to say that her looks had nothing to do with it at all would be far-fetched, just as it would be far-fetched, or rather downright wrong, to say that her looks were all that he saw!

So too, when he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) married a woman from the Ghifar tribe, on the wedding night he saw a white mark on near her hip and distanced himself from her. He then told her to go back to her family, letting her take the entire dowry. (Ahmad, Hakim, and others; Subul al Huda wa al Rashad, Salihi) Now it is of course possible that he did this for fear that it was leprosy, but it is also quite possible that he felt that as a mortal man, the purely aesthetic defect was too much for him.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) also asked one of his companions if he had seen his prospective bride. Upon responding in the negative, he advised him to do so, explaining that some of the Medinan Helpers (from whom the bride was amongst) had something odd about their eyes. (Muslim) Clearly, he was advising his followers to be wise and not marry someone whom they had never seen before because, from a purely aesthetic point of view, they might be disappointed.

This of course also applies to women. Sayyidna Ali said, ‘Women should not marry men that are not like them [in age and looks]. After all, they like in you [men] what you like in them [women]. Similarly, Sayyidna Umar said, ‘Does one of you really go out and find an old, ugly man for his daughter?! They love for themselves what you [men] love for yourselves!’ (Adab al Nisa, Ibn Habib)

Good Looks

As mentioned before, scholars tell us that it is recommended to marry someone who is good looking. What does that actually mean?

The late Shafi’i scholars actually debated this. Ibn Hajar al Haytami was of the opinion that it meant marrying someone whom you personally found good looking. Others opined that what was relevant was that the person was generally considered good looking. (al Manhal al Naddakh, Qarahdaghi)

This is a very interesting debate and applies to other things one might look for in a spouse. Do you marry someone you personally feel attracted to or someone your peers would otherwise be interested in? Do you marry a doctor because you like doctors, or because your extended family values doctors? From an individualistic point of view, it might seem like a silly question, but we cannot ignore the fact that our values, and therefore what we value in other people, are clearly affected by our surroundings. One would do well to think hard about this.

Conclusion

One should definitely prioritize religiousness overlooks, but one should also follow the advice of the Sacred Law and find someone one can live with and keep one chaste. Allah Most High says,

‘The believers have already succeeded–those who humble themselves in awe in prayer, who turn away from nonsense, who give in alms, and who protect their private parts.’ (Qur’an, 23: 1-5)

I pray this helps.

Farid

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

 

 

Is It Permissible for a Muslim Woman to Marry Without Parental Consent?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim girl to marry without parental consent if she fears to commit fornication (Zina)?

Answer: In The Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for your question and we ask Allah to ease your difficulty

It Being Valid Doesn’t Make It Right

If one fears committing fornication and is certain that there is no way to refrain from it except through marriage it is then obligatory for such a person to marry. (al-Durr al-Mukhtar) However, you should not take the matter into your own hands and get married without parental approval. Even though the marriage of a mature free Muslim woman without consent from her guardian is valid [al-Durr al-Mukhtar], it is not advisable.

In such a situation, you need to be very candid with your parents. Explain to them the difficulty which you find yourself in and your need to get married.

Lack of Familial Support

Even though you may see quickly getting married as a solution to your difficulty, marrying without parental consent may have life long repercussions that you may regret later. Marriage is not just a union between two individuals, rather it is a union of families. To have familial support throughout your marriage is central to having a happy household; this is especially true when children are involved.

The Prayer of Need

Whenever we find our selves in difficulty, we should train ourselves to turn to Allah, Most High for help. The prayer of need is a prayer that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us. See the below link for the details.

https: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?

Prevention

In the meantime, you should try to find and refrain from anything or situation which will increase any sexual desires. Refrain from places that exacerbate your feelings. Try to keep away from looking at anything that will increase your desires. If you find using the computer or the phone stirs up your desires then you should limit their usage and only use them in public spheres. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever seeks chastity, Allah will grant it to them.” [al-Bukhari]

Speak to your parents and beseech Allah to help you. We pray that Allah blesses you with a righteous spouse and eases all your difficulties.

Ameen

Allah A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Masturbating With One’s Spouse

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is masturbating during sex with husband permissible? What are the different schools of thought on this?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Masturbating oneself even whilst in the presence of one’s spouse and whilst engaged in sexual intimacy would be impermissible. But it is certainly permissible for each spouse to mutually satisfy the other’s desire in such a manner with a limb or otherwise.

Allah Most High says, “Those who guard their chastity except with their spouses or their slaves––with these they are not to blame, but whoever seeks beyond that are the transgressors.” (Sura al-Mu’minun 23:5-7) The attainment of sexual pleasure requires the presence and contact of a lawful partner because intimacy regularly directed in such a way inevitably preserves honor and lineage, two of the aims of the Sacred Law (shari‘a).

Unfortunately, sexual dissatisfaction is a cause of many problems in marriages. Accordingly, I would highly encourage talking to your spouse to inform him of the difficulty you are facing, and subsequently see how you can reasonably resolve the issue in an amicable manner. Your sexual needs are just as important as his and he needs to work harder to ensure that they are being met.

I would also recommend benefitting from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam’s beneficial work: Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations. Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) regularly, and continue to ask Allah to make you both stronger and more concerned for each other’s well-being. (see: https://www.seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/how-does-one-perform-the-prayer-of-need-salat-al-haja/)

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see: Mutual Masturbation Between Spouses and: What Is the Legal Definition of Masturbation According to the Hanafi School? and: My Husband Does Not Satisfy Me During Marital Relations. What Can I Do?

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.

Is One Allowed to Chat With a Potential Spouse for the Purpose of Getting to Know Each Other?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Is one allowed to chat with a potential spouse for the purpose of getting to know each other (to consider the other for marriage)? In some conservative cultures meeting in person (in presence with a mahram of the girl) is not proper or nor even allowed.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question because this topic is often misunderstood. See the following two links for looking at and communicating with a potential spouse:

Can a Man Look at the Shape of His Potential Spouse’s Body?

How to Approach Getting Married?

My teacher in Amman taught us that a person may speak to the potential spouse as many times as needed until one makes one’s decision. This however has to be within the confines mentioned in the above links.

There are many conservative cultures that misunderstand what is permissible in Islam. This is why it is imperative to learn one’s obligatory knowledge from a traditional scholar so as not to fall in these culture traps, often having no basis in Islam.

May Allah give you tawfiq,

[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.

Abusive Relationship

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: After over a decade of incessant emotional abuse from my mother-in-law, and physical abuse from my husband, I want to know what my rights are as a wife?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for reaching out and seeking to know your rights as a wife, Muslim, and human being. May Allah give you a way out of the suffering that you are experiencing.

As a wife, you have a right to have your own place where no one can interfere with your life and in which you are safe, both emotionally and physically.

Given the scenario you have described, you have the right to ask your husband to divorce you. If he does not, you can seek Islamic arbitration with a local imam/mufti. If that does not go ahead, you can seek a legal divorce through a secular court.

Right to be Physically Safe

Every human being and owned animal has a right to be safe. Whenever anyone is being physically abused, the abuse must be stopped. This is keeping with the legal principle ‘Harm shall be removed.’ (al-Ashbah wa al-Nadhair, Suyuti)

This applies a fortiori to the wife and children. If a woman is physically abused, she has the right to be unilaterally divorced. That is to say, she is divorced by a Sharia court/Islamic arbitration whether or not he agrees to it. (al Sharh al Kabir, Dardir)

Right to be Emotionally Safe

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Everything about a Muslim to inviolable with regards to other Muslims: his blood, his wealth, and his good name.’ (Muslim)

This hadith tells us that we have a right not to be called names.

Emotional harm is recognized by the Sacred Law as a state of duress [darura]. The scholars tell us that a woman who is in her post-marital waiting period [idda] must stay at home except under duress, such as ‘fear for her person, property — such as the house falling down, there being a fire or thieves about — or being harmed by neighbors or in-laws.’ (al-Anwar, Ardabili)

It is clear from this text that being harm emotionally and socially is equivalent to being harmed physically and financially. And this applies to a better right to wife in her home.

So a wife has a right to have a place to stay in which she is not under constant attack from her in-laws.

‘Sometimes your mother is your door to Hell.’

Your mother-in-law is not your husband’s wife. If he thinks she is, he should think again. If after over a decade he still hasn’t picked up on this, it is probably time to move on.

Try to have him listen to this video of Mufti Menk: Stand By Your Wife, RIP Mother-In-Law | Mufti Menk

If your marriage is to continue, he needs to leave her out of the picture and work on things between you and him and none besides.

Too much “loyalty” to one’s mother (or anything except Allah and His Sacred Law for that matter) can lead one to do great wrong. And as Mufti Menk mentions in the video, ‘Sometimes your mother is your door to Hell.’

Please also see: Doubts About Marriage

Conclusion

Try your best to have your husband see how he has to steer things in the right direction. If it doesn’t work, try to get a divorce.

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.