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.

Shahada Online

Answer by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: I converted to Islam online. Do I need to proclaim my shahada again with an Imam in a mosque?

Answer: Wa Alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for writing to us.

The testimony of faith recited by yourself through an online facility is valid and we welcome you the Religion Islam. You are now our brother/sister and as such we are obliged to support and assist each other.

While it is not incumbent upon you to “retake” the shahadah with an Imam in your locality, it is undoubtedly desired. It is necessary for you to attach yourself to a Muslim community and visiting and introducing yourself to one of the leaders of that community will prove to be beneficial. I would also like to advise you to take up one of the introductory courses on offer here at SeekersGuidance.

May Allah bless you and accept from us all, Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Reading Qur’an For A Deceased

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

A few years ago I signed up to read a juz of the Quran as part of a khatm sign up sheet for someone’s passing.. I had forgotten about that for a while and now I don’t even remember what juz number I signed up for.. I feel very worried. What should I do? Do I read the whole Quran with the intention of all of it being towards that same khatm? JazakAllah Khair.

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

The moral weight of promises

Allah Most High has said:

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. [2: 177]

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘The signs of a hypocrite are three, even if he fasts and prays and claims to be a Muslim: when he speaks he lies, when he gives a promise he breaks it, and when he is trusted he is treacherous.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]

We can learn from these divine teachings that fulfilling one’s promise is of the perfection of faith, and breaking one’s promise is of the signs of hypocrisy.

The believer vs. the hypocrite

That said, there is a big difference between making a genuine promise with full intent to fullfil, and just lying to someone’s face. The latter is what is meant by the hadith.

So, if one makes a promise, one must keep it, but if you unable to or you just happen to forget this is not a sin: ‘Indeed Allah has overlooked for my the mistakes of my nation does, and that which they do forgetfully or under compulsion.’ [al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Majah]

This means that if you generally meant to fulfill the promise but then forgot, you are not sinful, and the hadith of the signs of hypocrisy does not apply to you.

It is however a deficiency in one’s faith, even if it is not sin, to forget about something that you are supposed to do. May Allah forgive us all?

What to do now?

InshaAllah, you are not sinful for forgetting to recite then portion of the Quran you had promised to do, but this is a wake-up call from Allah to raise you to a higher level of trustworthiness with Him and His creation.

What you should do is, this month, when you are reciting Quran intend that the whole khatm is dedicated to whatever the original cause was and when you finish each day make a special dua to Allah to make you a trustworthy slave. Please make that dua for me too, if you remember.

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 crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Delaying an Expiation Fast

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if it is sinful to delay an expiation fast for breaking an oath.

Is it sinful to delay fast for an oath expiation?

Yes, it is considered to be religiously sinful to delay the mandatory expiation (kaffara) of a nullified oath (yamin), unless you have a reasonable excuse to do so, such as being too poor to make the payment and too sick to fast.

The general basis with duties is that they are to be taken care of as soon as reasonably possible and without undue delay, except if you have a reasonable excuse to do the contrary. At the very least, you should include the expiation (kaffara), in this case, in a document containing any other unfulfilled duties which you owe to Allah Most High.

Allah Most High said, “And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful of Allah.” (Sura Aal ‘Imran 3:133) The divine injunction here is to rush to that by which you will attain unto forgiveness, such as by fulfilling your duties (wajibat).

Note that if there is an undue delay, you should repent for your error.

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

Please also see How to Expiate a Broken Oath? and A Reader on Tawba (Repentance).

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Kaffara for Broken Oath If Genuinely Forgotten

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question about expiation for broken oaths.

I have been gaining weight recently. In an attempt to curb that, I made an oath to Allah, saying “Wallahi, I will not drink any soda for the month of December.” However, at work, I just went about my day and having completely forgotten about my oath, went to the deli and purchased a can and drank it. I remembered over a day later that I had indeed made the oath. Am I liable to pay kaffara, feed the poor, or fast?

Maybe this connection is not right, but I know during Ramadan, you can accidentally eat an entire meal and if in your mind, you have truly forgotten that you were fasting, you can stop when you remember and complete your fast with no sin incurring on you. Please let me know if my breaking my oath requires expiation.

Jazak Allah khayr.

No, there is no expiation for someone who breaks their oath forgetfully in the Shafi‘i School. (Asna al-Matalib)

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “My nation has been forgiven their mistakes and that which they do out of forgetfulness or force.” (Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi, and others, deemed sound by Imam al-Nawawi)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Can One Swear an Oath on One’s Honor?

Shaykh Farid Dingle is asked about the permissibility of taking the Boy Scout’s oath or swearing to do something on one’s honor.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am writing to you because I need guidance on something. Bismillah.

I have decided to become a den leader for my daughter’s Cub Scout den for Boy Scouts of America. Our scout pack is with our masjid community with all Muslim members. I feel uneasy about reciting and leading other cub scouts during the Scout Oath which begins with “On my honor I will do my best.”

The scout oath is a very important part of being a scout and is memorized and recited at every meeting. Is it permissible to swear on one’s “honor?” I was taught not to swear on any of Allah’s creation and to be cautious when taking an oath. I have learned that we can only swear on the names and attributes of Allah.

I have emailed our masjid Imam regarding this matter a couple of times because I know he is (to some degree) involved with the scouts. I have not yet heard a response from him regarding this matter. Can you help me?

Jazak Allah khayr, and thank you!

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim.

My knowledge of English language isn’t very good, but what I understand from this oath and saying, “On my honor …” that means that you are willing to forfeit your honor as a decent human being should you fail to keep to your promise.

This is quite different to swearing by the greatness of Allah, because when you swear by Allah, you are saying that Allah is so great that you would never lie or not fulfill your oath. When you make a promise to do something, say, on pain of death or on pain of forfeiting your own honor, you are not saying anything about the greatness of that thing you are going to forfeit. So it doesn’t even count as an oath.

Furthermore, the whole spirit of the Scouts is a very noble thing. Serving your country is a virtuous and Islamic act. Organizing such principled activities for Muslims is perfectly good and moral, especially when it involves the moral education of the young.

In general, Muslims in non-Muslim countries should take part in any non-Muslim organizations or organized efforts to fulfill the general objectives of Islam, as long as there is no sinful actions, no other harm, and no involvement in any specifically religious activity.

Well before his prophethood, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, took part a pact made in Mecca to protect the the wronged and remedy any ill-doings. This was known as Hilf al-Fudul https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilf_al-Fudul. Later during his prophethood, he said of it, “I was present as a youth with my uncles at the Pact of the Perfumed-Ones in the house of Abdullah ibn Judan, and I wouldn’t give that up for the most expensive camels!” (Ahmad)

So we can learn from this that even something before Islam, if it is in keeping with Islamic principles, then it is noble, and so too with any ‘non-Muslim’ effort to do good. Again, this is all on the proviso that it is in keeping with the Sacred Law, there is no fear of any moral or religious confusion, and no direct involvement in any specifically religious activity. And this, as far as I know, is the case with the Scouts.

May Allah give you success in fulfilling the weighty task of giving the next generation of Muslims what they deserve of sincere guidance, clear and authentic knowledge, and practical examples of how to play, have fun and grow physically, mentally and spiritually in a way that pleases Allah.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


What Do I Have to Do After Breaking an Oath?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I made an oath that if commit a certain sin then I will fast 40 days. Due to temptation I have committed that very sin. Do I have to fast for 40 days?

Answer: As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You may fast the 40 days, or perform the expiation of an oath; the choice is yours. Normally, if someone swears the he will perform a particular act of worship if a particular situation takes place (nadhr), he must do so if he the condition occurs. However, in your situation, your intention was to avoid a particular sin so this is also considered an oath from one perspective. Therefore, you may perform the expiation of an oath to absolve yourself should you choose to do so (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

Options

You have two options:

1. Fast for 40 days.

2. Perform the expiation of an oath, which is either:

a. Feeding 10 poor people

b. Clothing ten poor people.

If you cannot feed or clothe them, then fasting for three consecutive days will cover it.

Feeding the ten poor people is with two satiating meals on one day, or feeding one poor person for ten days. An alternative is to give them / him the monetary equivalent of the food instead. The amount payable is the value of 2.6 kgs or wheat flour, or 5.2 kgs of dates (al-Lubab, ed. Bashar Barkri ʿArabi). This amount was roughly the same in the past, but with wheat flour being much cheaper in our times it would be superior to give value of the dates, although the former is valid nonetheless.

Clothing them is with a normal set of clothes of medium quality or it’s monetary value.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

I Wasn’t Praying on Time. Were My Good Deeds Valid?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have fed poor people for the expiation of an oath at a time in which I did not pray properly. Was my expiation accepted?

I am basing my doubt upon the Hadith that states that a person deeds are not accepted if he missed the Asr prayer.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

If you paid the expiation for the oath in an acceptable manner [see: Expiation for a Broken Oath], the duty to expiate would be lifted from you.

As for the tradition (hadith) regarding the nullification of works found in Bukhari and elsewhere, it refers specifically to the loss of reward for missing the ‘Asr prayer.

But you also need to repent for your wrongdoing, namely, for delaying prayers without legitimate excuse, or missing them altogether; and in the latter case, by making them up.

Please also see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) and: Does Failing to Pray Asr Cancel All Our Good Deeds?

And Allah Most High alone 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.

Am I a Disbeliever for Breaking My Oath?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam Aleykum,

I  have been suffering from severe waswasa (baseless misgivings). To stop myself, I swore on Allah’s name that if I do not stop now I will be a disbeliever. I was not able to keep the oath. Am I a disbeliever now? I have also had my nikaah (marriage) done, is my marriage still valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, you have not become a disbeliever by breaking your oath of disbelief, namely, and in your case, the resolve to refrain from an action conjoined with an affirmation of disbelief otherwise.

The jurists explain that such an oath is only problematic when it is combined with an acceptance and contentment of falling into disbelief. In the absence of such resolution, it would not take a person outside the faith.

Consequently, your marriage is clearly unaffected. And you would need to pay the expiation (kaffara) for nullifying your oath. Expiation for a broken oath

[‘Ala’ al-Din ‘Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya]

Please also see: A reader on waswasa baseless misgivings and: What are the consequences of an oath of disbelief

And Allah Most High alone 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.

How Can I Become a Believer Again After Breaking a Vow?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have been ashamed to ask Allah for anything since I broke the promise I made to Him to protect my chastity. I have been seeking for Allah’s forgiveness ever since. But I feel like I can no longer be believer. How can I become a believer again?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

You are a believer, and there is no need to doubt your faith. You made a promise, fell short and repented; the latter is exactly what Allah Most High wanted from you.

As long as your repentance is true, your misdeed will be wiped out of your record by His Grace and Mercy. Have a good opinion of Allah Most High, and busy yourself with the good from now onwards.

Please also see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah Most High alone 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.