Sudden Fear of Dying

Question: Suddenly I got thinking that I will die tomorrow and I can’t stop crying. I prayed two Rakats, but I only fell asleep after hearing a dua and a surah. Today I feel the same and I’m confused whether it is from Allah or the Shaytan.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum Sister,

Thank you for your honest question. You sound like you are in much pain. May Allah guide you through this and relieve your heart.

I want to let you know that no one can tell you when you are going to die. This has been written in the Tablets, from the time that you were in the womb, and you must not preoccupy your mind with it. Every soul will taste death, as it says in the Qur’an, but we must focus on preparing for it.

If I were in your shoes, I would do the following:

1) Pray on time, five times a day
2) Read some Qur`an with the meaning every day
3) Give charity or do service every day
4) Exercise in the fresh air and eat healthy every day, especially drop the sugar
5) Keep the company of good, religious friends and family
6) Learn your personally obligatory Islamic Knowledge; it is your best weapon against anxiety and worry.

Allah, Most High, says, “those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.“ [Qur`an, 13:28]

Please regularly invoke the Du`as in the links below, may Allah give you every success and relief!

Abu Zayd Balkhi on Depression – Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf
Depression and Sadness
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[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

How Can I Help My Old Mother That Suffers a Mental Disorder?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: My old mother is bed-bound, disabled, demented, and now deaf. I have to look after her without much help from my siblings. She is very difficult to deal with, and I lost my cool with her a lot, but then repent. Please advise. 

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Dear sister, I pray you are well, and that Allah makes a way of these difficulties for you. You have a very difficult test, and I pray Allah Almighty makes it easier for you and rewards you tremendously for it.

Good News

A woman who had epileptic fits came to the Messenger of Allah, Allah blesses him and give him peace. She wanted him to pray for the affliction to be removed. He told her that if she remained patient she would get Paradise. (Bukhari)

From the details you described in your question it seems that you have an incredibly difficult test. Perhaps this is the means that will gain you a place in Paradise without any judgment. And perhaps your mother’s illness will gain her the same. Have a good opinion of Allah.

Do What You Can

Try your best to remain calm with your mother. If you do happen to lose your patience,  ask Allah for forgiveness and try to apologize to her. It’s clear that your test is an intense one, and as humans, there is only so much we can handle, especially when there is no rest from the trials. Don’t let the guilt burden you. With every repentance, assume your mistakes are all wiped away.

Practically, however, I don’t think this situation is something you can manage on your own long term. If you carry on like this you are going to end up getting ill yourself. Speak to your siblings, and if they cannot physically come to help, then maybe they can all make a monthly contribution towards hiring a carer to come to your home and assist you.

This is the least they can do, and it will give you some much-needed rest as well.

Please have a daily dose of reminders on patience and fortitude as they will provide you with invaluable support. May Allah grant you ease in all your affairs. Amin.

[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 Can I Deal With Fears and Suicidal Thoughts?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: I had a baby five months ago. I had this outburst of fear because someone recently committed suicide and that had stayed with me. I am having thoughts of doing something similar. This overthinking leads me to doubt my faith and trust in Allah. I don’t understand my problem.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

I am sorry that you are going through so much pain. Knowing someone that has committed suicide is very difficult, especially when she has stayed with you and you knew her well. The short answer to your question is that you must ignore all doubts and whisperings concerning your religion and your Lord. Cut off the thought immediately as it comes to you, and recite a blessing on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace.

Links

I want to recommend that you read this link to give you a better idea of strengthening your faith and fighting these thoughts: Doubts, Difficulties, and Suicidal Thoughts. In addition, read this excellent article on baseless misgivings (waswasa): Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?

Steps

I also recommend that you step back and re-establish your priorities. Here are some ideas.

1) Establish your daily prayers five times a day, and pray to Allah after each prayer to help you follow the path of Allah and His Messenger.

2) Learn your personally obligatory knowledge in all aspects of your life and apply it.

3) Ask Allah to send you a good company. Religious friends who are a good influence can console, comfort, and remind you when you are having these doubts.

4) Make a daily invocation of the Qur`an, dhikr, and du’a in the amount that you can handle. This collection of du’as is fantastic for your situation: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

5) Take care of your health. A woman who isn’t taking care of herself will eventually collapse when she tries to take care of others. Spend time in nature, even if it’s just a walk. Exercise, eat healthily, take enough vitamin D, etc.

6) Focus on your child’s religion. Read du`as to your child when he wakes, sleeps, before he eats, drinks when you change his diaper. Recite Qur`an to your child. As your child grows up, tell him the stories of the Prophets, the stories of excellence from his Companions. Teach him Qur`anic chapters (surahs) and their meanings. Teaching your son is a great act of worship that will renew your faith and strengthen you as well.

7) Devote at least on the religious family activity a week. Talk to your husband about going to the Friday prayer with him, or a weekly halaqa (lesson). You could also sign up for a class online, attend it together and discuss what you learned. Worshipping Allah together is more conducive to keeping your faith intact as a family.

8) Make du’a that Allah help you through this trial. Ask Him to remove your doubts. Be sure to see all the links above. They are key.

[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.

Mental Disorders That Affect My Religious Duties

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: The discharges I experience are very confusing, and I’m not sure whether or not I should make wudu. Sometimes while checking, I have ended up masturbating, which I know is wrong. The whole situation is making me suicidal. Can you advise me?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your really important questions. I pray that Allah gives you clarity, ease and happiness in your religious and worldly life.

Unless you are absolutely certain that the discharge is a sexual discharge, then just ignore it. There is no need to check.

If you have sexual thoughts of the opposite sex, just put the thoughts away and see protection in Allah from the Devil.

If ever you feel the desire to harm yourself or anyone else, you have to speak to someone. If you can’t speak to your parents, then speak to a friend or teacher at highschool. Don’t deal with it by yourself.

Breaking Wudu

If you experience a feeling of moisture coming out of your private parts, you do not have to assume that it is filthy. Rather you should assume the opposite, and just continue with your prayer, etc. For more detail, please see: Do I Need to Renew My Wudu at the Slightest Sexual Thought?

There is no need to check or continually touch yourself to see exactly what it looks like.

I also advise that you take this course: Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi): Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice

Thoughts of the Opposite Sex

It is perfectly normal and Islamically healthy to be attracted to the opposite sex. That said, out of kindness and concern for us, Allah Most High has given us clear guidelines on how to use this attraction.

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘O youth, whichever of you is able to get married, let him do so, because it will help him lower his gaze and protect his chastity.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah Most High has said, ‘And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts.’ (24: 31)

This verse means that one cannot look at the opposite sex in a lustful way and that one must not use one’s private parts in a way that is forbidden. (al-Lubab, Maydani) This also applies to look at images on TV or on one’s computer or iPhone.

If you are in your late teens, and perhaps will soon be moving to go to college/university, it might be an idea to consider talking to your parents about marriage. It can be a benefit for some young people to have a spouse and a bedmate during that time of their lives. It does however require a lot of thought, and you should never jump into it if you think you are not ready.

Please have a read of this for detail: Feeling Discouraged about Marriage

Masturbation

Masturbation is forbidden, and you should avoid checking the discharge that you see if it may lead to you doing that.

For more detail, please see: Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?

Sometimes people who suffer from depression are tempted to masturbate as some sort of relief, like binging on chocolate, or alcohol, etc. This of course is not halal. The key is to work out other ways to escape the pain of emotional lows, as discussed below. Turning to Allah in dua [prayer] is the first port of call.

Over Concerned about Small Things

Sometimes we have a tendency to get too carried away about small things. It is normal, but we can’t let it rule our lives. At the end of the day, we are worshipping Allah, our cherishing and kind God, and we are not worshipping filth and discharges.

Please have a read of these: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

Building Relationships

Reading your questions, it sounds like you don’t have a deep relationship with your mother. Perhaps it is also true to say that you don’t have a deep relationship with many other females. This is concerning, because we all need emotional and familial support, especially in our teens.

I would advise trying to build deeper friendships with religious Muslim girls of your age. You need to have a solid network to get you through your trials.

I’m not an advocate of Stephen King — horror literature at all — but the idea of the protagonists coming together as a united front against the enemy is something noticeably repeated: in It the children agree to tackle the monster together and they have to hold hands to stay strong; similarly, in The Institution the children escape by uniting their psychic forces. Together, put very simply, we are strong. And this is just how Allah has made us.

So you really need to reach out, build strong relationships that you sacrifice time and effort for, so that you can talk about these problems through with someone close to you. Trawling through the internet for help is really no substitute for a good friend.

Suicidal Thoughts

If you are having suicidal thoughts, you must reach out to someone physically near you. It can be at school, the local police station, or your friends. Don’t try these ideas tackle by yourself.

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.

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.

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.

When Are Drugs Considered Forbidden?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: When are drugs considered forbidden, and under what circumstances may they be permissibly used?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for asking this really important question.

Any substance, whether liquid, solid, or gas, that significantly alters your mind such that you cannot think properly is considered haram. Such substances would become permissible to use under extreme duress, such as using them as a pain killer or anesthetic. Sugar or caffeine used in normal doses is halal because merely getting excited does not significantly alter the mind.

Under the Influence

The ulema defines being under the influence of alcohol or drugs as ‘the loss of the ability to think properly.’ (Bushra al Karim, Bashin) This is significant because someone who enters this state is considered to have broken their wudu, and any substance that makes one enter such a state is forbidden. (Fath al Muin, Millibari)

For this reason, depressants like alcohol and marijuana, and stimulants like cocaine or ecstasy, are absolutely forbidden because they significantly affect the mind. Even if someone claimed that under the influence of a certain drug they could focus more or perform a task better, they would still not be thinking normally.

Sayyidna Umar said, ‘Wine is whatever overspreads [khamara] the mind.’ (Bukhari and others) Ibn Hajar al Asqalani explains this saying, ‘That is to say that whatever covers over [the mind] or alters it such that it does not remain the same … The mind is the tool by which we distinguish things, so it is for this reason that anything that covers it over or does anything else like that to it has been forbidden. This is because by losing [the mind], one loses one’s ability to understand, and understanding is exactly what Allah has commanded His slaves to do so that they might uphold what is due to Him.’ (Fath al Bari, Ibn Hajar al Asqalani)

Consuming any amount of any drugs whether depressants or stimulants is forbidden [haram], regardless of what effect it has on their minds. (al Insaf, Mardawi; Ianat al Talibin, Dimyati)

Coffee and Coffee Houses

Although coffee is a stimulant, you would have to drink an awfully large amount to actually have it work as a mind-altering drug. As such a normal amount is perfectly halal.

What is interesting to note is that coffee in Arabic is actually called wine. (Qahwa is one of the words in Arabic for wine). This is interesting because, as the questioner mentioned, coffee is also a drug, and some ulema in the dawn of its introduction some five hundred years ago actually deemed it haram.

Of the later pros/cons of drinking coffee was the opening on coffee houses enabled deep social and intellectual discussions to change societies throughout the world.

Please see: Ottoman Coffee: Love and Hate

and: English coffeehouses in the 17th and 18th centuries

Medicinal Drugs

The well-known principle states that duress [darura] shall render something haram halal. A further well-known nuance of that principle is that duress shall only be measured in its actual extent. (al Ashbah wa al Nadhair, Suyuti)

This means that under extenuating circumstances, such as surgery or extreme pain, substances that are forbidden can be used. (Ianat al Talibin, Dimyati) Obvious cases include the sedation of patients with morphine and pharmaceutical grade cannabis (medical marijuana) for pain relief.

In any such use, the decision to use such a substance must be given by either an upright Muslim doctor or fit under standard medical procedures. (Hashiyat Shabramallisi; Hashiyat Umayra)

Any unnecessary or recreational use of “medical” narcotics would be forbidden, even if they are considered legal in one’s state or country, because, as we mentioned, only the absolutely necessary amount can be used.

Conclusion

Any substance that stops one from thinking rationally is forbidden, and can only be used under pressing medical circumstances.

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

Cheating Husband

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Should I seek a divorce if my husband has been cheating on me?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Dear questioner, may Allah relieve you of your emotional pain, and reward for the disloyalty that has been shown to you.

If he is clearly trying to change, and your can emotionally bear living with him, you should try your best to stay married to him for the sake of you both, and for the sake of the children.

When to forgive and forget

The default modus operandi for a Muslim is to forgive and forget, even when cheated on by one’s spouse. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whosoever covers up the faults of others, Allah will cover up his faults on the Day of Rising.’ [Bukhari and Muslim] This even applies to a spouse being unfaithful, because it does not involve anyone else’s rights.

That said, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, ‘The believer is not stung from the same hole twice.’ [Bukhari and Muslim] Therefore, if your husband is not showing any real signs of change and you suspect he is continuing in his bad ways, you should seek a divorce.

This would also obtain if you just feel that you can’t live with him anymore given the gross level of his betrayal.

The right to divorce

According to many scholars, a woman has the right to ask for a divorce if she is being emotionally abused by her husband. They distinguish between a one-off major form of abuse and a one-off lesser form of abuse. [al Sharh al Kabir, Dardir and others]

In order to unilaterally enact a divorce, you would have to agree with your husband to go to a Muslim arbitrator. The arbitrator–ideally a mufti–would decide whether or not there are grounds to enact a divorce without your husband’s concept on the mere basis of what he has done.

Otherwise, you could just simply convince him to divorce you by telling him that you cannot live with him anymore.

Feeling down

Allah created us only knowing Him. Then we entered this world and turned our hopes and attention to other than Him. If He loves a slave of His, He turns him back to Him by sending him blessings or by calamities, or by sending both. What you are going through right now is that very thing: Allah is turning you to Him through a very difficult trial.

The only way to pass the trial and escape the pain of what others do to one is to turn completely to Allah and make Him your one goal. This isn’t easy, but it will change your life forever. Allah Most High says:

So flee to Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a clear warner. [51:50]

Please also read: Prayer For Mental Well-Being

Upshot

Ask yourself if you have the strength and willingness to live the rest of your life with him, and try to see if he has genuinely changed and has turned his back on his bad past. If it is just impossible, then just seek a divorce.

Allah Most High says:

And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of a settlement between them. And settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah, then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. [4: 128]

But if they separate, Allah will enrich each [of them] from His abundance. And ever is Allah Encompassing and Wise. [4: 130]

Please also have a read of this: Unfaithful Husband Working Overseas

[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.

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.