Do Mistakes in Recitation Invalidate the Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Do mistakes in recitation invalidate the prayer?

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

Your mispronunciation or mistakes does not invalidate your prayer.

What Types of Mistakes Invalidate the Prayer

The scholars have discussed this issue in a great deal and have mentioned that any mistakes made in the pronunciation of the Arabic do not break the prayer unless the change of the meaning is drastic, such that the meaning is tantamount to disbelief. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

Others have mentioned that no mistakes invalidate the prayer because many people are unlearned and would often make pronunciation mistakes.

There is expansiveness in the matter.

Allah, Most High has not placed any undue hardship in the religion. Sometimes we overburden ourselves with doubts that may lead to waswasa.

How To Deal With Waswasa

For the one who is constantly in doubt abandoning caution is sometimes the best cure.

“As for the one who is often inflicted with waswasa, it is necessary for them to sever the cause of the waswasa and not to give it any consideration. This is because it is the doing of Shaytan and we have been commanded to oppose him.” [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

Knowledge

The long-term cure for these constant doubts is to seek a deeper understanding of Islamic Knowledge. With knowledge, Shaytan can not deceive you with his whispers and plots. I would advise that you find authentic scholars in your area and study with them a basic text in Islamic Jurisprudence.

Please note that SeekersGuidance has classes available in Islamic Jurisprudence and many other subjects.

May Allah ease your affairs

Allahu 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 Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

When Does One Need to Perform Ghusl From a Wet Dream?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: When does one need to perform ghusl from a wet dream?

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

Hope this finds you in the best of faith

Noticing Wetness When Awaking

If you wake up and notice wetness you must perform ghusl regardless of whether you saw any dreams or not. If you have a dream but do not see any wetness when awaking ghusl is not necessary. The basis in this matter is the wetness, not the dream.

When Does A State of Impurity Occur?

The ghusl will only be necessary when semen comes out to the visible surface of the private part. Thus, you are not obliged to push out the semen. If it has not come out to the surface you are still pure and only when it comes out fully will you need to perform ghusl.

Applying Caution

Although it is not obligatory to check oneself for impurity when awaking a quick glance would be a cautious stance for one who often has nocturnal emissions. If nothing is visible when you are not in a state of impurity.

[Reference: Maraqi al-Falah; Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

May Allah bless you

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf WeltchDre

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.

What Are the Rulings Regarding the Fast of Prophet David?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: What are the legal maxims regarding the fast of Dawood (peace upon him)? How long can you do it?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

It is permissible to fast every other day as long as doing so: (a) does not weaken you from fulfilling your obligations of earning a living with the expected level of competency, supporting your dependents, praying whilst standing and the like, (b) does not entail harm to a spouse, whether physically, emotionally or otherwise, and (c) will not cause any harm to you in the long term.

If the aforementioned conditions are met, it would be a praiseworthy and recommended type of fast. Otherwise, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) reminded us that, “Your eye has a right over you. Your body has a right over you. Your spouse has a right over you.” (Muslim) Accordingly, fasting in moderation would be superior. Consider starting with a fast once or twice a week, and then if you want to increase, see if it is reasonably possible.

The Fast of Prophet David

The fast of the Prophet Dawud (Allah bless him and give him peace) was described by the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) as being the “most beloved of fasting to Allah.” (Bukhari) He would fast every other day such that his body did not have time to fully recuperate and settle into a normative schedule.

Of course, that is likely to happen to a certain level eventually, so perhaps this is the reason why the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) didn’t actually do this himself. Rather, he would fast a month “until we thought he has no intention of stopping,” (Tirmidhi, al-Shama’il) and also the opposite.

The idea is that the irregularity maintains a sufficient level of hardship whereby a person can benefit more deeply from his sincere devotion and striving for the sake of Allah. Generally, what needs to be avoided is for worship to become a mere habit, or for one to lose sight of the purpose of the fast.

Important Sunna Fasts and Fasting Restrictions

However, please note that there are other, important, recommended sunna fasts which should not be omitted given the tremendous rewards transmitted regarding them. This includes the day of ‘Ashura (10th Muharram), optimally conjoined with the ninth or the eleventh of the month, and the day of ‘Arafa (9th Dhu’l Hijja). If your habit of fasting every other day would entail an omission of one of these two fasts, they should be given priority.

Moreover, it is impermissible to fast on the two ‘Eids and the three days after ‘Eid al-Adha, irrespective of whether or not you have a fasting habit. After all, fasting is a specific form of worship and if the Sacred Law (shari‘a) isn’t being followed, then one should think carefully about what one’s intentions are. I’d also recommend getting a book on praiseworthy intentions and supplications so that you can magnify the impact of the fast in your life.

(Razi, Tufat al-Muluk; Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha; Tahatwi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah; Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih)

Please also see: Fasting: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader

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.

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.

Keeping Silence During the Friday Sermon

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: How do you tell someone to be quiet while the Friday sermon is being given?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner, thank you for your question. May Allah increase you in light, knowledge, and practice.

Just tap him on the back, or gesture to him to be silent without talking. This should work, inshaAllah.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whoever tells his friend to be quiet while the imam is giving the Friday sermon, has himself said something wrong.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

In the al-Shafi’i school speaking while sitting down listening to the Friday sermon is offensive, and not haram. (al-Manhaj al-Qawim, Ibn Hajar) As such, telling someone to be quiet would not be forbidden, but it would still be offensive.

The proper thing to do is to just gesture to the person to stop talking. If this doesn’t work, one could utter actual words to make them stop talking. This would not be offensive:

‘All one can do if you wish to stop someone else speaking is to gesture in a manner that lets him know that he should be silent; if it is not understood, he should say as few words as possible to get the point across.’ (Hashiyat al-Tirmisi)

In fact, it could even be obligatory to tell the person to stop talking if it is the only way it could be achieved and if his talking prevents the minimum amount of people needed for a valid Friday prayer (40 people) from hearing the Friday prayer. (Bushra al Karim, Ba Ishin)

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.

Is It Permissible to Work for a Women Who Doesn’t Actually Need It?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaikum, Is it permissible to work for women who don’t actually need it because her husband earns enough? Some workplaces even require women to show their faces. Also, some of my relatives live in the West and work in places that require women not to wear abaya. Is it permissible to work there even if she doesn’t need the money?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for your question. What you ask is a sensitive question, especially considering different cultures and customs around the world.

Women Working

The short answer is yes. It is permissible for a woman to work with her husband’s permission, even if he earns enough to support her.

The Prophet’s wife, may Allah bless him and give him peace, Khadijah was a wealthy businesswoman when she married the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and she wasn’t shunned for it.

Islam has not prohibited women to work. Think of a woman who is single and has no family; is she left to take charity or welfare with no recourse? No, rather, she is encouraged to make a living. Even if she is in this state, and has parents (who need support) with no one else to help, she must also provide for them!

Here is a detailed article about gender interaction whether at work or not, which every Muslim woman and man should read to know the limits in Islam: Mixed Gatherings: A Detailed Response Regarding Gender Interaction

Loose outer garment and face veil (Abaya and Niqab)

You ask about whether a woman can show her face at work or remove her abaya.

In terms of her clothing, the minimum obligation is that her clothing is not tight-fitting nor transparent to the skin and that she covers everything except the face and hands. More often than not, it is a woman’s attitude at work that that is more important: her modesty, manner of speech, lowering of the gaze, etc. These elements can cause much attraction or eliminate them completely.

Please read this informative essay by Imam Zaid Shakir about the legal rulings of the face veil (niqab) in the different schools.

The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)

Please also see this excellent and practical answer on the face veil (niqab) by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School?

May Allah give you success and may He help you follow a path that is best for you and your family.

[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.

Important Traits to Look for in a Prospective Spouse

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Given that religious practice is the most important trait to look for in a prospective spouse, how relevant (or irrelevant) are looks?

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.

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 overlooks 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 the [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.

[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.

The Importance of Education in Life

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: My sister has stopped going to school for the last three years. She is too scared to go to school. We tried to contact many scholars but no one could help us. I request you to please help us and tell us what to do.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

May Allah reward you for being concerned for your sister. This is a serious matter indeed. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Seek knowledge from your cradle until your grave.“ Getting an education is something that is necessary for a girl, no matter the age, in order for her to raise a generation of intelligent, devoted believers.

The first thing I would do is take a step back and look at your family’s life as a whole. You must do your best to eliminate the strictly prohibited (haram) and the offensive (makruh) from everything in your family’s life. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Verily, this world is cursed and everything in it is cursed. Except for the remembrance of Allah and what is conducive to it, the scholar and the student.” [Tirmidhi] Here are a few examples to follow for your sister and the family:

1) Only eat of the permissible (halal); do not go near unslaughtered meat or any doubtful ingredients in the food you buy.

2) Remove any statues from the home, or pictures of animate beings from the walls and decor, such as birds, butterflies, etc)

3) Be sure that she and everyone else is praying five times a day. No men should be missing the Friday prayer. Everyone should learn or review their personally obligatory knowledge to make sure that their worship is valid. Check to see if you owe any zakat and pay it in full. Also, pay off any debts.

4) She and everyone in the home must read some Qur’an every day, preferably understanding the meaning of a translation.

5) She should be covering herself with hijab when she leaves the home or comes in the company of marriageable (non-mahram) men.

6) She and the rest of the family should reconcile with any enemies or with anyone against whom they are holding grudges.

7) Check for any contraventions of the shari`ah that might be going on.

Once you have begun to apply at least these guidelines above, you can hope that Allah will solve this issue for you. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Take care of Allah, and He will take care of you.“

Get up in the last third of the night to pray The Prayer Of Need. Ask Allah to forgive you all, ask Him to rectify this problem.

During this period, make sure that she is learning at home, and keeping up to date with her English, Maths, and Islamic Knowledge and Qur’an. https://www.khanacademy.org/ is an excellent website to use.

She should recite all of her sunna du’as when leaving the house, or returning to it when eating, entering or exiting the bathroom, when getting dressed, waking or sleeping, etc. Especially recite the Verse of the Throne (ayah al-kursi) before bed and the last three chapters (surahs) of the Qur’an.

A teacher once told me, “Nothing gets rid of a problem better than charity does“. Give in charity when you can, you can even slaughter an animal to feed the poor. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Verily, the most beloved of deeds to Allah are the consistent ones, even if only a little.“

I ask that Allah solves this situation for you all and that she return to sound mind and body, capable of helping herself and others.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

What Will Be the Punishment for Those Who Are Cruel to Animals?

Answered by Ustadh Mohammed Tayssir Safi

Question: What will be the punishment for those who are cruel to animals? For example, those who cut their body parts when they are alive and enjoy their misery and pain?

Answer: As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

May Allah reward you for your concern for Allah’s creation. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), prohibited the harming or killing of animals unless done for legitimate reasons that were designated and sanctioned by the sacred law. Furthermore, all such actions must be done in a manner that is ethically outlined by the Lawgiver.

The ḥadīth corpus is replete with various testimonies commanding the believers to avoid harming animals without justification. For example:

Bukhari narrates on the authority of Sa’id ibn Jubayr who said: I was with Ibn Umar as they passed a group of young men who had bound a chicken that they were taking shots at. When they saw Ibn Umar, they dispersed, and Ibn Umar said: “Who did this? The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) cursed whoever does such a thing.”

In the same section, Bukhari narrates another ḥadīth on the authority of Anas, where he says, “the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), prohibited,” such actions.

As for your question concerning the type of punishment one will receive for such sinful behavior, that is not something we can opine about. Unless there is revelation indicating that a given sinful action will be punished in a particular way, we are not in a position to guess what the punishment will be. Rather, we affirm the sinfulness of the deed and stop short of commenting beyond that.

There is a ḥadīth narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and elsewhere that states: “Whosoever mutilates anything with a soul and does not repent thereafter, Allah will mutilate him on the Day of Resurrection.” However, the report cannot be considered to have reached a level of authenticity which qualifies it to be treated as creedal for us to then include it among our formal beliefs. Rather, we take it as a warning of what could possibly be done as a punishment and we seek Allah’s protection from harming others or from ourselves being harmed.

One who truly recognizes that animals are Allah’s creation will treat them gently and show them respect, since respecting them and all of Allah’s creation is a means of showing respect to Allah. We ask Allah that He make us of the people described in His Generous Book:

“The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace.’” (The Differentiator 25:63)

Allah knows best,

[Ustadh] Mohammed Tayssir Safi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Mohammed Tayssir Safi was born in Dubai and moved to the United States six months after he was born. In 1994, the Safi family settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor in 2006 as a double major in Political Science and Middle Eastern and North African Studies. He spent the next 3 years of his life traveling the Middle East, completing the Arabic program, CASA, in Egypt, and pursuing private studies in Arabic linguistics and introductory Islamic sciences. His brief introduction to Islamic studies continued for another year at the Dar al-Mustafa Institute in Tarim, Yemen. He is currently enrolled in an MA program at the University of Michigan titled, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language. He will be finishing the MA in April of 2013, God willing. Mohammed also teaches Arabic at the University of Michigan. Apart from classes at the University of Michigan, Mohammed studies at the hands of Muslim scholars privately in multiple sciences including linguistics, law, and theology.

Are Protein Supplements Halal?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam Aleykum, My question is regarding Whey protein. As a person who workouts I need to take protein supplements. In most protein bars or powder, it contains whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate which are often byproducts resulting from the manufacture of rennet types of hard cheese. Are these halal?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The basis is that rennet is permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa, irrespective of whether or not the animal was slaughtered correctly. His two Companions (sahibayn), however, disagreed and held that rennet extracted from non-slaughtered animals is impermissible due to its proximity and contact with filthy moisture in the stomach. This is a safer and more precautionary position to follow.

Whey is a by-product of the cheesemaking process in which initially rennet is added to milk in order to curdle it. The resultant liquid which is released from the coagulum is termed whey; accordingly, this would also be permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa regardless of the source of the rennet, with the obvious exception of a swine which is unconditionally impermissible to use or consume altogether.

Commercial Methods of Rennet Extraction

However, many contemporary methods of rennet extraction wherein the entire stomach of the animal is treated in order to chemically extract the rennet are religiously problematic when the animal has not undergone a correct religious slaughter. The reason for this is that the stomach itself is not deemed to be legally pure in such a case, nor is it thus permissible to consume anything extracted from it.

What this means is that the process of extraction undertaken by means of using something religiously filthy, through a filthy solution and the like, would cause the by-product to also be filthy and impermissible to consume. This is something which deserves caution and our attention lest we fall into a situation of consuming that which is prohibited. An easy way to find out is to simply ask the company in question what the source of the rennet is.

Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives in our times to animal-based rennet such as GM, microbial, plant-based, and the like which would generally be permissible to use in the cheesemaking process, and the cheese produced thereby would be legally permissible to consume, barring any other impermissible ingredients. Similarly, plant-based whey protein may be used as an alternative to commercial whey protein powders unless the process used in the latter is clearly known to be permissible or the animal has been correctly slaughtered.

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar/Minhat al-Khaliq ‘ala al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, quoting Ibn Amir Haj; Halabi, Multaqa al-Abhur)

Please also see: Is Rennet in Cheese Halal or Haram to Consume? and: A Guide for Consuming Various Meats, Foods, Alcohol, Animal By-Product Ingredients, and Cosmetics

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.