Does Blood Break Wudu?

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if wudu is broken when one comes in contact with blood.

After coming home from a long day I went to the bathroom to make wudu. After doing wudu I noticed small bloodstains on the rug near my toes. I realized that some of my toes had dried blood on it which I hadn’t noticed before, and because of wetting my feet, the blood which didn’t wash away came off on the rug in the bathroom.

My question is: does this blood affect the wudu of other people when they step on it with their wet or damp feet? I am not sure if this dried blood is from bleeding or from a wound. I would wash this rug but it has a sticky film underneath, so it is hard to remove from the floor without leaving marks. I have told someone senior in my family but they don’t seem to think it’ll affect their wudu? Please answer my question clearly and directly.

Jazak Allah khayr.

No, the ritual ablution (wudu) is unaffected by coming into contact with blood or other ritually impure substances. Rather, the ablution is nullified by the exiting of filth from your own body. 

Nevertheless, impure substances can transfer to something pure, such as a hand or foot, if certain conditions are met. If somebody is affected by filth, they simply need to wash it away under the tap, for instance.

The solution, here, would be to clean up the blood stain so that its traces are no longer visible. If you would like to purify it, then you should wash the affected area by pouring a little water over it thrice, and then drying it up.

Please also see Filth, Carpets and Misgivings and A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings).

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

The Question of Illegal Downloading

Ustadh Tabraze Azam clarifies the rulings on illegal downloading and usurping the rights of others.

Unfortunately, in the past I have illegally downloaded things such as movies, shows, music, games etc, using various apps to illegally download,

Can you please tell me how to go forward from this, is this classed as stealing, do I owe anything to anybody?

There was so much I used to do, how do I go about fixing this?

Downloading copyrighted material from the internet, whether it be movies, games or music, is both conventionally illegal and religiously impermissible.

That’s nothing to say of the religious permission or otherwise of actually watching, playing or listening to such things.

Repentance and Redressing the Wrong

As such, you should repent from the wrong of having usurped the rights of another without due consent, and from the wrong of any sinful activity which came about because of engaging with such material.

Remember that true, sincere repentance wipes out the sin and its traces out of the pure Grace of Allah Most High. It might also be praiseworthy to give something in charity as a manner of expressing your remorse.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There is no faith in one who cannot be trusted; and there is no religion in one who cannot uphold his covenants.” (Ahmad) The commentators explain that this is a negation of the completion or perfection of faith and obviously not its reality.

The believer is upright in his dealings, conscious of his religious duties and behavior, and sincerely recognizes the value of living an ethical life in accordance with the guidance of the Noble Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

The Exception

However, if there is useful, required material which (1) has been freely disseminated by the copyright holders, (2) has expired rights, or (3) may only be acquired in such a manner, due to the absence of the original or alternatives, then the matter would be otherwise.

Needless to say, the last point must be soundly verified, and also legal or customarily acceptable in your country of residence, lest you fall into the impermissible. Further, if the actual product then later becomes available, you should take the means to obtain a lawful copy. The rights of others are something to be very careful about.

Please also see What Is The Ruling of Intellectual Property Rights? and Does Copyright Law Violate Islamic Ownership Rights By Denying the Right to Freely Pass on Or Sell Your Property? and A Reader on Tawba (Repentance).

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Thinking “The Almighty Has Children” and Rejecting It

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan makes clear the rulings on thinking thoughts unbefitting of Allah.

If someone were to bring to his mind the sentence “the Almighty has children.” At the same time he hates it and is disgusted by it, and doesn’t believe it or doesn’t hold that thought to be true because he is a Muslim by birth.

Don’t confuse with waswasa in the sense that it is not an unsolicited or unbidden thought, but with his own will he brings it to mind just like with his own will he imagines a green tree.

Would that be considered deliberately bringing kufr thoughts to mind and thus nullify his Islam?

Thank you for your question.

Intentionally drawing these thoughts to mind, while detesting them does not tantamount to disbelief. If your intention by drawing such thoughts to mind is to develop responses for them, or to break them down, then it may be praiseworthy. However, if this is not the case, it’s best that you refrain from doing so.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Telling Future Wife about Pornography Addiction

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil advises on pornography addiction and honesty towards one’s spouse.

I have been struggling with a pornography addiction for a few years now and it’s something that has taken a toll on me, I would be able to go for periods of five weeks without problems and then I’ll return to this horrendous habit.

The problems return during times of stress. Every time it spiritually drags me down. I have a good idea of the root problems of this addiction and how I can control it, it is just easier said than done. I am currently looking for a spouse, would this be something I would have to mention to my future wife?

Jazakum Allah khayr.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Honesty about pornography

Dear questioner, my sincere advice is for you to be honest about your pornography addiction to your future wife. The right wife for you would welcome your honesty, and be your supporter in your journey towards healing. We all all wounded in some way, and our spouses help us along our healing journeys.

It is normal to feel ashamed. It is courageous to admit that you need support.

Please let me share something from someone who was honest with his future wife about his own pornography addiction:

Allah is teaching him how to surrender herself completely to Him. As an addict, his addiction is often overpowering, and it can only be overcome by surrendering to Allah completely. For example, when thoughts to act out come to him, he should realize that he has not control over these thoughts and must surrender to Allah at that moment. He must have the determination and patience to transform his life into one of complete surrender to Him. This requires guidance which she can find via addiction programs like Purify Your Gaze. He will relapse many times but he shouldn’t focus on it. He should focus on discovering himself and the underlying causes that drive his addiction. It is a difficult road but his addiction would be a blessing in disguise if it is a means for him to know himself and thus know his Lord.

Marriage is a blessing, but life in this dunya is stressful. There is no escape from stress, and relapses are part and parcel of your healing. Imagine how even more stressed and ashamed you would feel, if you hid this from your wife.

I encourage you to prepare for marriage through this course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Commit to healing

Please commit to a path of healing, and start with Purify Your Gaze. This is an excellent resource for you.

Allah’s Forgiveness

Anas, Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of ‘Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of ‘Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earthload of forgiveness.’” (Tirmidhi)

Never, ever, ever lose hope in the mercy of Allah. Perhaps Allah is testing you with this because through overcoming your addiction, you can attain closeness to Allah. And nothing in this dunya can compete with that sweetness.

I pray this has been helpful. May Allah grant you healing and the gift of a loving wife who can be your helpmate to Jannah.

Please see A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation and A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah.

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Diya for Car Accident Resulting in Death

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about paying blood money and expiation due to the accidental death of someone.

If a Muslim is involved in a traffic collision which results in the death of an individual is he liable for diya and kaffara?

Usually, if a person unintentionally kills another, he is expected to pay the blood money (diya) and perform the expiation (kaffara). The former would commonly be paid with assistance from family members (‘aqila) over a period of time. However, there is some detail here depending on the nature of the accident, who did it and where it occurred.

Allah Most High says: “It is not lawful for a believer to kill another except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer unintentionally must free a believing slave and pay blood-money to the victim’s family – unless they waive it charitably…” and towards the end of the verse, “Those who are unable, let them fast two consecutive months – as a means of repentance to Allah.” (Sura al-Nisa 4:92)

Given the sensitive nature of the topic, I’d suggest consulting a local, reliable scholar with the specifics of the situation.

(Usmani, Buhuth fi Qadaya al-Fiqhiyya al-Mu‘asira (1.297); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta‘lil al-Mukhtar)

Please also see The Punishment for Murder: Reconciling Verses 4:93 and 4:116.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam, Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Breaking Fast without Knowing the Rules

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about making up broken fasts.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I had a question related to how I can make up missed fasts.  I’ve always fasted since I’ve hit puberty.  But due to an increased sexual desire when I was a youth, I often masturbated while fasting and there were times that I ejaculated. At the time I didn’t know that this invalidated the fast.

When I learned that this in fact does invalidate your fast, I began calculating and realized that there are perhaps hundreds of fasts that I might have invalidated unknowingly while under the impression that I was in fact fasting.

My question is, how do I make up these fasts? Am I required to fast 60 days for each missed fast? I certainly will not be able to do that because of the sheer number of fasts that I’ve invalidated. Your guidance on the subject will be much appreciated.

PS: I’m a Hanafi.

I pray you are well.

Making Up Fasts

Masturbating only breaks one’s fast if there is ejaculation. If this happened during a fast in Ramadan one would only have to make up the fast, as is the case with any other fast. No expiation (kaffara) is required. You should make a good guess about the number of fasts which need to be made up, and do so. Winter is perfect for making up fasts due to the shorter days. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah)

Repenting 

Due to His infinite mercy, Allah has made repentance after a sin a means for us to draw closer to Him, just as He has made good deeds an avenue for that too. In fact, repentance is one of the acts which people who Allah loves has: “Indeed Allah loves the frequent repenters, and He loves those who purify [themselves].” (Sura al-Baqara 2:222) Turn to Him – especially when you are about to break a fast at sunset – and you’ll see wonders.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Contemplating Suicide Because No One Will Marry Me

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil answers a question on how to deal with suicidal thoughts and feeling despair about not being able to find a marriage partner.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray five times a day but feel like my life is coming to an end. Allah has not given me height, good looks, or wealth. I know that those who kill themselves are punished in Hellfire forever, but I am already going to hell because I am not a good Muslim anyway. Why am I suffering like this? I have been rejected so many times for marriage, and have given up on marriage because I am only 5 foot 4. I see only two options: kill myself or cut myself off from everyone I know like my family, and this world. Please help me.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us during your time of crisis.

Dealing with Thoughts of Suicide

Dear questioner, I cannot imagine the amount of pain you must be in right now. The fact that you are contemplating suicide shows me how overwhelmed you feel. It sounds like you have tried everything to make things better, but nothing is working. and you feeling that ending your life is the only way to release you from pain.

Do you have a plan as to how you wish to end your life? If so, I urge you to seek professional help. Please look up a suicide hotline in your locality and call them immediately.

If you do not have a plan, then please, consider the possibility that there is a way for you to feel better. You have listed only two ways forward, but there is a third option. You can only access the problem-solving part of your brain when you move out of your current state of fight or flight.

Allah’s Love For You

It was narrated from Mus’ab ibn Sa’d that his father, Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas, said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets, then the next best, and then the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him on the earth with no sin on him.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Dear questioner, please know that Allah tests those whom He loves, and the depth of your trials indicate to me how much Allah loves you. You probably do not believe me, but please know this to be true.

Love, especially Divine Love, does not mean getting everything you want. Sometimes, it is often an act of love to withhold. It is easy to forget sometimes, but we were not created to marry. We were created to worship Allah, and submit to His Decree even if – especially if — what He wants for us does not align with what we want for us.

Know that Shaytan is the one who despaired, and he wants you to despair too. Do not fall for his lies. None of us know whether we are destined for Hellfire or Paradise. That is why we strive, and have a good opinion of Allah.

Source Of Your Pain

Please know that the true source of your pain is disconnection from yourself, and disconnection from Allah. When you remedy these disconnections, then only then can you find lasting relief.

Self-soothe First, Counsel Next

When you are physiologically flooded, nothing I say to you will calm you down. You need to work on soothing yourself first.

What helps you relax? Does listening to Qur’an help? Nature sounds? Going for a walk? I recommend guided meditations from apps such as Calm and Headspace. Find your breath, and be connected to it. Imagine breathing in relaxation, and breathing out your pain. Being in nature is also very calming, so I recommend that too.

The deepest healing lies with dhikr and dua. I recommend that you consult with Aafiyah Healing as soon as you can. In the meantime, pour your sorrow out in dua: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

Perspective

Perfectionism is a lie the world teaches us. So many of us believe that if we were only more attractive, more successful, more charming – anything – then we would finally get what we long for.

It sounds like you believe that the reason you are not married is because you are not tall and handsome. I invite you to consider this possibility: perhaps you are not married yet because Allah, All-Knowing, knows that you are not ready.

Marriage, and then child-rearing, is both blissful and difficult. I encourage you to learn better self-soothing and emotional regulation skills before you become a husband and a father. Too many men around the world unleash their unhappiness and anger upon their wives and children, causing them great trauma.

The greatest gift you can present your future wife and children is this – good character. Work on acceptance, contentment, gratitude, forgiveness, and other Prophetic qualities.

Born without Arms or Legs

In the modern day context, I encourage you to reflect upon the life of Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms and no legs. His story is a deeply moving one. After a failed suicide attempt at 10, he drew meaning from his great hardship, and now touches the lives of millions of people around the world. He is also married, and has four children.

If he had succeeded in ending his own life, he would have missed out on marrying his loving wife, and fathering his children. He is not Muslim, and Allah blesses Him with blessing upon blessing. What wonders lie in store for you?

Please, dear questioner, choose life. Choose to have a good opinion of Allah. Trust in His plan for you.

I pray that one day, you will be playing with your children, smiling at your wife, and that your terrible pain will be a long forgotten memory.

Please see A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah and Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Wassalam,

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Sincere Repentance from Zina

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked how to sincerely repent from having committed zina and if it is necessary to ask the other for forgiveness.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am a young Muslim guy. I do pray five times a day. But I have committed zina several times. I did make tawba and went back to it. And then I did make tawba again. I am trying to full fill the 3 conditions of tawba. But since my crime involves other individuals, how do I ask forgiveness from them?

I heard one of the condition of tawba involves the rights of others. But I am so ashamed to go to the person that I committed zina with and ask for forgiveness. My question is, will that be sufficient if I regret my sin and ask Allah for forgiveness? Or do I have to ask forgiveness from them too?

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

It’s enough in this case to seek the forgiveness of Allah, feel remorse for your sin, and intend to never return to it again.

The sin that you have committed is something quite serious. However, you should not lose hope in the mercy of Allah, which has lifted people who were trapped in much darker places to very lofty states. As the Qur’an states, “Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, God forgives all sins.’ (Sura al-Zumar 39:53)

Keep turning to Allah in repentance, and in thankfulness for allowing you to realize your errors. You should also seek forgiveness for those who you assisted in carrying out sinful actions by being a partner to it. While, you do not have to actually seek their forgiveness, you should ask Allah to turn their hearts towards Him, wipe clean their sins, and allow them to enter into His obedience.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Losing Hope and Struggling with the Din

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question about struggling with one’s din, not feeling worthy of Islam, and losing hope and trust in Allah.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’ve been struggling with the din since Allah drew me back into the religion when a calamity had befallen me because there was no other way out. Since then I’ve been practicing. I think to myself, “Why me?” because I disobey Allah a lot and then I repent and then intentionally go back to it. This same cycle repeats over and over again. Eventually I give up. I start to pray less and fall into despair.

There are times where I also disobey my parents. I try my best to obey as much as I can but when it comes to matters which are prohibited in Islam I don’t listen. There’s a hadith that says, whoever is disobedient to their parents will never enter paradise. When I read this, I just start to give up and think to myself, “What’s the point? Might as well just go all out.”

This was one of the reasons why I nearly left Islam. I really don’t know what to do anymore.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an,

“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’”

“And return utterly in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.” (Sura al-Zumar 39:53-54)

And the Holy Prophet has said, Allah bless him and grant him peace, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would do away with you, and bring a people who would sin and then they seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)

And he also said, “Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert on whose back is his provision of food and drink which is then lost. He, having lost all hope (to get that back), lies down in shade despaired of ever finding his camel; when all of a sudden he finds the camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then, out of boundless joy, blurts out, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ making a mistake out of extreme joy.’” (Muslim)

So we can learn from these divine teachings that we should not despair of Allah’s forgiveness, and that the cycle of sinning and then repenting, that sinning and then repenting again is part and parcel of our relationship with Allah, and that He loves us to repent to Him. All we have to do is keep striving.

Hope and Fear

In the verses above, Allah first reminds us of His mercy and then reminds of His punishment. This is a repeated theme in the Quran: always having hope, but not forgetting to fear Allah.

The Devil likes to trick us by making us give up hope, or by making us too hopeful. The way of safety is in between, with fear and hope always vying to control our hearts and always encouraging us to keep going.

Company

Allah Most High has told us, “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (Sura al-Tawba 9:119) And the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look well to whom he befriends.” (Abu Dawud)

This verse and hadith tell us that we have to be very careful about those with whom we associate, be it in friendships or in the virtual world. Often we get held back by the bad company we keep.

It is not a lack of loyalty to politely avoid your friends of the past who keep dragging one into sin. In fact it is from loyalty to Allah that one do that.

If you don’t change your environment to the extent you can, it is very, very hard to change your life and progress.

Persistence

You are not alone in your struggle. This is what all of us face in life on various different levels. We just have to keep working on ourselves bit by bit, trying our best, relying upon Allah, and seeking His forgiveness when we fall on our nose.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


I Have Hurt People before and after Puberty

Shaykh Farid Dingle gives advice on how to deal with having hurt people in one’s past and rectifying this in the present.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I can recall times when I was younger when I have hurt individuals through my words or actions. For many of them however, I cannot recall particularly if the incidents took place before or after I reached the age of puberty. Additionally, some of them were against members of the opposite gender.

I am now older and married. Reaching out to those individuals who are adult members of the opposite gender feels like a challenging and potentially touchy thing to do with respect to me, with respect to my spouse, and with respect to that individual. I fear however that these individuals may have not forgiven me and that I will thus be accountable for having hurt them on the day of judgement.

As far as I can remember, nothing grave was done to their rights and there is nothing that I can do to return matters to an original state (i.e. no money was taken and no property was damaged, but I surely hurt those individuals). Since then, I have seen some of these individuals and though they have not expressed anger towards me, I always fear that they are holding on to negative emotions towards me in their hearts.

Please advise me on how I should go about dealing with this. How can I fix these mistakes? What do I have to do to rectify these situations (both for before and after puberty, and in cases where I am not sure when it occurred)? Am I accountable for having hurt someone else before I reached puberty?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner, your concern is valid, and it is true that we are responsible for every word and deed we do after we reach puberty.

The question is how we can make this genuine concern actionable. As you mentioned, many of these wrongs are neither financial, such that they could be returned, nor are they of a nature that would allow you to formally seek forgiveness without that causing bigger problems.

The answer is to try your best to give extra charity, extra prayers, recite extra Qur’an, without that violating your current obligations to your family.

You should bring to mind these sins now and then, and seek genuine forgiveness, but it should not reach a level of depression or obsession.

At the end of the day, Allah is greater than us and our sins, and He can find a way for the sins to be forgiven. This could be by inspiring those that we have wronged to forgive us now or on Judgment Day, or by giving us extra deeds that will be rendered over to them as recompense.

As for you current interactions with such people, we were all young and foolish at some time in our lives, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I doubt each and everyone of the people we have hurt or insulted or teased is still holding on to each and every offense we did them. People do grow up and move on, usually. For this reason, I don’t think you should give too much consideration to what offenses they are still holding on to. I would imagine that they have forgotten or now ignore such historic events.

Holding on obsessively to one’s past crimes is to doubt in Allah’s omnipotence and complete control of the whole universe. And to forget one’s sins is to deem light that which is terrible in His eyes. We have to tread a healthy middle way that moves us to action and new resolve, as opposed to depression. As one scholar put it, “Don’t be sad, and don’t be depressed, and don’t be comatose. Just get going!”

Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ (Sura al-Zumar 39:53)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.