Maintaining Hijab During One’s Wedding: Advising a Potential Spouse

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: My fiance wears hijab, but for our wedding she will be wearing something that will reveal her neck. I have advised her that I do not want her doing this and that its not proper hijab. I have tried showing her other styles of hijab that she could use and still cover her neck but she starts to get really irritated about it and says she doesnt like how they look. What is the best way to handle this situation?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I hope you are doing well inshaAllah.

As I am sure you have found, this is a very sensitive issue and must be dealt with carefully and with wisdom. Because of this, it is best to find someone, such as an elder or imam, with whom you and your fiancee feel comfortable discussing this issue. There are however some points of advice that I would like to offer you. I pray they will be of benefit and that Allah will grant both of you every ease, happiness, and His contentment.

1. One solution to the problems that women face in wearing a proper hijab for weddings is to make the wedding gender-separated. If women and men can be seated in completely different rooms and pictures can be avoided, your fiancee will have much more freedom in what she would like to wear. If you choose to take pictures, she can wear the hijab during the pictures, but keep it off for the rest of the events. Maybe the both of you can reach a compromise by designating certain events which require the hijab, like when she is signing papers and may be in front of non-mahram men; but also allowing for other events that do not require the hijab, like a party for the bride hosted by her girlfriends.

2. Weddings are extremely important occasions and family members and loved ones often work tirelessly to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Sometimes this results in pressure on some to act a certain way or to wear particular clothes. Brides feel pressured to look their very best. If you feel your fiancee knows what she is doing wrong but she is being pressured, directly or indirectly, to wear the hijab improperly, see if you can address this source of pressure and replace it with a positive influence. See if any friends or members of the family can encourage her to wear a proper hijab. Have someone consult her religious friends who wear the hijab appropriately to show her how she can dress in accordance to the shariah and still look beautiful.

You have done a good job so far by advising her and showing her alternatives. InshaAllah with your good intention and gentle and proper manner, Allah will help you.

wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Should a Woman Sit and Prostrate in Prayer?

Answered by Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali

Question: In the ”Absolute Essentials of Islam” it’s written that women should have their hands at shoulder level in prostration and keep their forearms on the ground. Yet when I attempted to practice this, I found that I could not keep my forearms on the ground without having my hands at head-level, like men.  Can you explain this and the way women should perform prostration? Can you also describe the exact sitting position women should be in, please.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuhu

The basis of the woman’s prayer in the Hanafi madhhab is that it follows the same rulings as the man’s prayer, and any differences between the two return to the principle of what is most concealing and modest for her. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al Muhtar]

In prostration, it is sunna for a woman to draw all of her limbs closely together in order to achieve maximum modesty. Her abdomen rests on top of her thighs and her upper-arms remain closely at her sides while her forearms lay on the floor. [Radd al- Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah] It is sunna for men to prostrate in-between their hands, and their hands are placed at the level of the ears like the opening takbir. So far, I have not found a specific text that indicates that a woman does differently but I am still researching this matter. Yet, it should be noted that the placement of the hands do not affect the validity of the prayer and it is permissible to place one’s hands at the head level while prostrating as long as the ideals of modesty and concealment are upheld. In regards to her toes, it is obligatory for a part of the toes to touch the ground while in prostration in order for the prayer to be considered valid. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has mentioned that it is not a specific sunna for women to keep their toes upright but there is no harm in doing so during prostration.

While sitting for tashahud, she sits in the tawarruk position, which means that she sits on her left buttock with her knees bent and both legs are conveniently positioned to the right side of her body. In Maraqi Falah, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya, and Imdad al Fatah, the authors mention that the thigh is placed on top of the other thigh while her leg rests underneath her right hip. In Majma al-Anhar, the author explains further and says that “…she sits on her left buttock and positions both legs to the right side of her body because this is most concealing for her, and she brings together both of her thighs and places her right leg on top of her left leg.”

In terms of additional information, the great Hanafi jurist Ibn Abdin notes the differences found within the woman’s prayer in Radd al-Muhtar. I have translated the majority of the details from his list while also adding extra explanations from sources like al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya, Maraqi al-Falah and Imdad al-Fatah.

1.) When performing the opening takbir, she raises her hands to the level of her shoulders, while men raise their hands to the level of their ears.

2.) When performing the opening takbir, she does not withdraw her hands from underneath her sleeves because it may expose her forearms which are awrah (nakedness), while men should remove their hands from underneath their shawls.

3.) When standing, she places her right inner-palm on top of her left hand and rests them on her chest without clasping them, while men place their hands below their navels and clasp them together.

4.) When bowing, she bends her back slightly so that she touches her knees but she does not straighten her back fully, unlike men who completely align their limbs.

5.) When bowing, she does not spread her fingers apart but rather she keeps them closed together, unlike men who keep their fingers outspread.

6.) When bowing, she places her palms upon her knees and does not grasp her knees, unlike men who grasp their knees.

7.) When bowing, she bends her knees, unlike men who keep their knees straightened.

8.) When bowing and prostrating, she keeps her upper arms (the area from the shoulder to the elbow) as close as possible to the sides of her body, unlike men who distance their upper arms from their bodies.

9.) When prostrating, she rests her forearms on the ground, unlike men who keep their arms raised above the ground.

10.) She does not keep her toes upright like men.

11.) While sitting for tashahud, she sits in the tawarrak position (explained above) and she places her hands on top of her thighs such that the tips of her fingers reach her knees.

12.) While sitting for tashahud, she does not spread her fingers apart but rather she keeps them closed together, unlike men who keep their fingers outspread.

13.) If the Imam forgets something in his prayer, she claps without excessive movement instead of saying ‘SubHanAllah’ like men.

14.) She does not lead the man’s prayer.

15.) It is prohibitively disliked (e.g. sinful) for her to pray in a woman’s group prayer, to give the adhan, or to give the iqama.

16.) If she prays in a mixed congregation, she stands behind the men.

17.) She is not obligated to attend the Friday sermon prayer, but if she does and completes it, it counts as her Dhuhr prayer.

18.) It is not necessary (wajib) for her to attend the Eid prayer as opposed to men.

19.) It is not recommended for her to wait until the brightness of the sun to pray Fajr like it is for men performing the group prayer, but it is best for her to pray at the earliest part of the Fajr prayer time.

20.) She does not recite out loud in the non-silent prayers. Yet, it is important to note that if she is praying by herself in any prayer, she must recite at a level where she can hear herself in order for her prayers to be considered valid.

While the majority of information found within this post was extracted from Arabic texts, I would recommend the following English resources for more details about this topic:

The Salah of Women” by Madrasa Arabiya Islamia Azadville, South Africa

Heavenly Ornaments’‘ by Maulana Muhammad Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Barak Allah fikum
Naielah

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Does the Layperson Need to Determine the Reliability of a Scholar and His Opinions?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: When we ask the scholars for a legal opinion we have a certain responsibility, in that we should ascertain that the person being asked is learned in an accepted manner. How about when we ask a mufti from one of the four schools of law and we receive an answer, to what extent are we responsible when acting upon the guidance that we received?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Ultimately, we are the ones responsible before Allah, and we are responsible to take sound, reliable, and reasonable means of finding out about His Command.

Thus, the follower (muqallid) must exercise judgment about (1) finding someone reliable to take religious guidance from; and (2) whether the guidance they get appears to be reliable. Thus, a degree of religious awareness is needed. We don’t believe in “blind” following but, rather, in principled following.

If one doesn’t do the above, then one has fallen short–and may well be culpable if the scholar one was following was in blatant error.

And Allah knows best.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Gardens of the Righteous Course Forum)

What is the Difference Between ”Tawbah”, ”Inabah”, and ”Awba”?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I’m interested in learning more about the difference between tawbah, inabah and awbah.  What are the definitions of each? Do they differ in degrees of closeness to Allah Most High?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits

These are states of the people of repentance.

Imam Qushayri explains in his great Risala:

“The people of repentance (ta’ibin) have characteristics and states… this is pointed to by the words of the spiritual masters regarding the meaning of repentance (tawba).

I have heard the teacher Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, “Repentance has three categories: its first is tawba [returning from sin to submission]; its middle is inaba [returning from heedlessness or lack of sincerity or lack of resolve to heedfulness, higher sincerity, and resolve]; and its last is awba [returning from other than Allah to complete turning to him alone]…”

The comments in brackets are from me.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Gardens of the Righteous Course Forum)

الرسالة القشيرية – (1 / 46)
وللتائبين صفات وأحوال: هي من خصالهم، يعدُّ ذلك من جملة التوبة، لكونها من صفاتهم، لا لأنها من شرط صحتها، وإلى ذلك تشير أقاويل الشيوخ في معنى التوبة: سمعت الأستاذ أبا عليّ الدِّقاق، رحمه الله تعالى، يقول: التوبة على ثلاثة اقسام: أوَّلها التوبة، وأوسطها الإنابة، وآخرها الأوبة.
فجعل التوبة بداية، والأوبة نهاية، والإنابة واسطنهما.
فكلُّ ما تاب لخوف العقوبة فهو صاحب إنابة.
ومن تاب مراعاة للأمر لا للرغبة في الثواب أو رهبة من العقاب فهو صاحب أوبة.
ويقال أيضاً: التوبة صفة المؤمنين، قال الله تعالى: ” وتوبوا إلى الله جميعاً أيه المؤمنون ” .
والإنابة: صفة الأولياء والمقرَّبين، قال الله تعالى: ” وجاء بقلب منيب ” .
والأوبة: صفة الأنبياء والمرسلين، قال الله تعالى: ” نعم العبد إنه أوَّاب

Not Setting a Price Beforehand in Taxi Rides

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What does one do when getting into taxi’s with drivers who do not have a meter or they refuse to use it and won’t agree upon a price for various reasons?

Answer: In the Name of Allah Most Merciful & Compassionate

This is a situation where there is a corrupt custom (`urf fasid). In such cases, one should mention a reasonable fare, commit to pay it, and offer it. If they don’t refuse it, then it would be considered as if they agreed.

After that, one handles is in the ways dignified, upright people in that land/area would handle such matters, balancing one’s right with dignified behavior–and avoiding ill-manners.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Islamic Law for Seekers: Transactions Course Forum)

Can One Set a Price Range as the Price in a Sale?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to have a range as the price? If one is agreeing on a price of an item/service but the exact price is not available although a range is, would this render the contract corrupt?  For example, I buy tickets at a travel agency and I give him my credit card number. The agent tells me that he will process the payment and that there will be a service fee. Although he is unable to tell me exactly how much the service will be, he can give me a range and says that it will be somewhere between $20 and $40. Is that a corrupt contract?

Answer: In the Name of Allah Most Merciful & Compassionate

If the upper limit is set in such transactions, it is implicit agreement to pay that amount, and the contract is thus valid and sound.

The mentioned entails an acceptance of paying $40 and the contract is not corrupt.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Islamic Law for Seekers: Transactions Course Forum)

Are Price Tags Considered Offers?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Are price tags considered an offer?


Answer:
In the Name of Allah Most Merciful & Compassionate

Price tags are considered to be a “display price” for goods on display for the purpose of sale (ma`rud `ala sawm al-shira’). That display price has consequences–if an item is damaged or destroyed, for example, the customer would be liable–but it isn’t considered (on its own) an offer. For example, the item could be the last unit–and the company doesn’t sell the last (display) unit.

[ref: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Majalla]

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Islamic Law for Seekers: Transactions Course Forum)

What Can One Sell, Islamically?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What is an item of value that is permissible to sell? It is said that only items of considered value can be sold. Could you please clarify what that means?

Answer: In the Name of Allah Most Merciful & Compassionate

An item is of “value” is anything that people consider to be valuable (such that they would seek, buy, sell, store it).

An item is of “considered” value if it is permitted to benefit from, according to the Shariah.

[ref: Majalla; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Wasalam
Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Islamic Law for Seekers: Transactions Course Forum)

Are Islamic Mortgages Really Different From Conventional Mortgages?

Answered by Shaykh Suheil Laher

Question: I bought a couple of homes recently with conventional loans from American Banks, Im regretting that decision due to the prohibition of usury in Islam. So with that in mind are Islamic banks considered a halal means by scholars to purchase homes? Ive heard theyre like conventional loans with twists in terminology. I dont know i would really like some guidance in this area. JazakAllah for all your efforts.

Answer: wa`alaykum as-salam

May Allah reward you for your pursuit of beneficial knowledge.

Islamic banks and financing institutions structure their home-purchase contracts in a different way than conventional mortgages. While the end result (in terms of the amount you pay) might not be much different, the Islamic contract differs in important respects, involving issues such as details of ownership, liability, responsibility, and clear stipulation of a single, known price. The following, brief paper may be helpful to you for an overview of what has come to be called “Shari`ah-compliant financing.”

Therefore, the short answer to your question is that it is definitely advisable if not required (wajib) for you to look into re-financing your existing, conventional mortgages through a Shari`ah-compliant alternative. However, the details of the contracts of each Muslim financing institution vary; some may be satisfactorily Shari`ah compliant, while others may have problematic or controversial details in their procedure. In general, it is advisable and an established sector-wide, international practice to look for an institution that has their products reviewed and approved by a Shari`ah Board, an expert body consisting of a minimum of three qualified and  trustworthy Muslim scholars (fuqaha’).

And Allah knows best.

Suheil Laher

Are Corrupt Contracts Sinful?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it sinful to enter into corrupt contracts?

Answer: In the Name of Allah Most Merciful & Compassionate

Assalamu alaikum,

The `ulama’ have clearly stated that entering into corrupt contracts is sinful, as it is going against the Divine Command to make one’s dealings on the basis of mutual agreement. [Qur’an, 4.24]

Ibn Abidin mentions that:

“It is a contract contrary to the religion, as was explained in [Ibn al-Humam’s] Fath. It will be coming that it is a sin that is necessary to lift. And it will be coming in the Chapter on Riba that, ‘Every corrupt contract is akin to riba,’ that is, if its corruption is due to a corrupt stipulation.” [Radd al-Muhtar, 4.111, Bulaq ed.]

Imam Kasani says in Bada’i al-Sana’i`,

“Entering into a corrupt contract (al-`aqd al-fasid) is sinful.”

The same was affirmed before him by Imam Sarakhsi in al-Mabsut.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Islamic Law for Seekers: Transactions Course Forum)