Is Dropshipping Permissible?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if dropshipping permissible if one operates a store.

Dropshipping is where you may have a store, then the customer places the order. You then go to your supplier to send the product to the customer. You never own the product or see the product, so I am wondering if this is permissible within Islam?

This is perfectly fine with generic items as it constitutes a salam contract. You couldn’t do that with something specific, like a specific used iphone, or a specific antique item. (Minhaj al-Talibin)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Making up Prayers and Fasts

Ustadh Farid Dingle clears up some confusion regarding making up missed fasts and prayers.

I’ve been reading your answers about making up broken fasts. In the Ramadan Reader it says we must fast sixty consecutive days for any deliberately broken fasts. But in the answers section it says no expiation is stipulated, however all broken fasts should be made up? Which is the correct one?

I don’t remember clearly if I have broken fasts. I know I used to have the bad habit and think that due to this I may have invalidated my fasts in the past. What’s the ruling here on figuring out how much were missed and making them up?

Also, I have neglected prayers in the past. I have never properly learned to read namaz and I am now working towards rectifying this, Insha Allah. What’s the ruling in making up the prayers, as I’m starting to learn to pray so I’m not sure if I will immediately be able to read all five prayers. Do I have to calculate how many were missed and whilst learning, if any are missed, add these to the overall number that need to be made up, too?

I feel embarrassed asking these questions, but I would like to know what I need to do to make up in these areas.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Expiation for missed or broken fasts

In the Hanafi school, no expiation needs to be paid if you simply don’t fast. The expiation is due for breaking the fast in Ramadan that you did actually start. See When Is Expiation Required For A Fast?

Breaking the fast by intentional ejaculation would break the fast and call for an expiation. You would have to make-up each fast you know for sure that you broke, and expiate for those days.

Praying five times a day

Praying five times a day is an absolute must, even at work or around others who do not pray. Try your utmost to perform all on time from this day forth.

Regarding missed prayers, once you get well established in performing the five daily prayers, start making up the ones that you have missed in the past at a consistent and moderate rate.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in his farewell sermon: “Fear Allah, your Lord, pray your five prayers, fast your month [of Ramadan], give charity from your wealth, and be obedient to those in authority over you, and you will enter the Paradise of your Lord.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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.

Purity and Judging Pigskin

Ustadh Farid Dingle gives guidance on prayer and items made of pigskin.

I have been using a leather wallet and recently found out that it is made of pig skin leather. I have performed some prayers while this wallet was in my pocket. Will I have to repeat such prayers? 

Jazakum Allah khayr.

The Short Answer

Please see Praying with a pig-leather wallet… do I have to make up such prayers?

General Advice

Please bear in mind that the default on everything is purity until proven 100% otherwise. A “guesstimate” from a non-specialist that the leather is actually pig leather (and not peccary leather, for example) is not sufficient. You should be genuinely sure that it is indeed pigskin, and be wary of being OCD about everything and anything.

Also, in the future, you should actively ask what type of leather the item you are buying is made of. Pigskin is common in gloves and the insides of shoes.

Guiding Others

Oftentimes, we ask question for others, others who look up to us for guidance, but don’t necessarily have to drive to find out what is right and wrong, or even apply what we have to say to them.

We have to be understanding and merciful, but that doesn’t mean we have to bend the truth or water-down Allah’s religion.

That said, in this particular case, if you did find out that you had definitely prayed many years of prayers wearing or carrying filth, there is a strong position in the Shafi‘i school that says that the prayer does not have to be repeated. (Rawda al-Talibin, al-Nawawi)

This is in addition to the fact that there is some debate over pigskin being pure or not. (Hashiyat al-Tahtawi; al-Mabsut, Sarakhsi; al-Sharh al-Kabir, Dardir) You could guide others of less religious resolve to follow such an opinion in retrospect so that they do not have to make up such prayers. This do not entail that one could go ahead and knowingly use pigskin in the future.

Our religion is based on objective knowledge and genuine keenness to do what Allah wants us to do. It is between strictness and ease, and does not turn into inflexible harshness any more than it does into a lackadaisical neglect. We should be as strict on ourselves (within reason) as we can; and yet be as soft as possible with others as long it doesn’t spoil what they already have of resolve.

Imam al-Bayhaqi quotes one the Early Muslims saying: “Trials in religion are three: the trial of the common man is in the loss of religious knowledge, the trial of the learned is in the existence of dispensations and alternative interpretations, and the trial of those who know and appreciate [Allah] is in having a duty to be done at a particular time and then delaying it.” He also quotes another saying, “Whoever wants to do nothing and be nothing, let him see well to following [all sorts of] dispensations.” (Shuab al-Iman, al-Bayhaqi)

It is worth noting the al-Bayhaqi’s book is called the The Branches of Faith. That is to say the these points guide us in helping our faith grow and come to full fruition. This is what our religion is about, and something that we should always be working on.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Can I Perform Umra without a Mahram? (Shafi‘i)

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked if a wife can perform umra without her husband present.

I want to perform umra with my husband and children but he drinks alcohol so can I perform umra by myself? He can only travel with me and stay in the hotel while I go and do my umra.

In the Shafi‘i school it is permissible for a woman to travel alone to perform her obligatory hajj and umra. The permissibility to travel alone only applies to obligatory (first time) pilgrimages, and not sunna pilgrimages. (Bushra al-Karim)

 

If your husband travels with you and stays in the hotel, this would suffice in regards you traveling with a mahram, even if he ordinarily sins. Perhaps you could ask him to at least refrain from drinking to and during the trip out of respect, if you feel comfortable or safe enough to ask him.

Alternatively, you may ask another mahram to escort you, such as your father, adult brother, adult son, uncle etc.  

You may also find the following answer helpful for your situation: My Husband Is Not Practicing: What Can I Do To Make Him A Better Muslim?

I wish you all the best. 

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Uncertainty in Marriage (Shafi‘i Fiqh)

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan answers questions about uncertainty concerning marriage and divorce.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I need help. Sometimes I feel very sad. My husband and I have argued many times throughout our marriage and sometimes I wonder if we are still husband and wife. He has even joked about a conditional divorce once. He said “If there is violence, we’re over.” At first he said he didn’t mean divorce but when I asked him again, he said Yes. He said that he said “Yes” so that I would listen and stop asking. Is that now a conditional divorce? Can you change the intention of a past sentence?

Please help me, I just want to move on with my life.

Thank you.

Thank you for writing to us.

  1. Arguing, no matter how excessive, does not constitute a divorce, unless a divorce is clearly pronounced.
  2. Your husband’s statement, “if theres violence, we’re over” will only be considered a conditional divorce if he intended divorce by his words, “we’re over,” as is the case with all figurative speech. In the case at hand, he consistently seems to be saying that he did not intend divorce, which effectively means that there would be no divorce even if violence was to occur.
  3. One may not change his intention that he had when pronouncing a particular formula or sentence. By way of example, if he intended divorce while uttering the above words, it remains as such and he cannot change the intention that he had at the time of uttering. Similarly, if he did not intend divorce, his intention cannot change subsequently.
  4. In short, you are not divorced from your husband, even if violence may have occurred after his utterance of the above statement. In addition, it would be advisable that you and your husband go for counseling and try and determine what is the root cause behind all quarreling and arguing within your marriage. Many a times, the solution is rather simple and can easily be identified by and experience counselor.

May Allah bless your marriage and remove all difficulties and challenges, Amin.

And Allah knows best,

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Excusable Filth in the Four Madhhabs

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers a series of questions about the excusable amount of filth according to the four madhhabs.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a big problem. I suffer from OCD. It’s driving me crazy. I need to know how much filth (najasa) is excusable. I know what the four Madhhabs say about excusable amounts of filth for prayer, but I don’t know which is the best and correct position.

Sometimes when urinating I feel a tiny drop on my foot or when I’m washing myself I feel used water drop on my feet but when I check my feet, I don’t see anything. The Shafi‘is say that tiny drops we cannot see are excused and they think its true.

Please tell me which madhhab’s position is true and please explain why? And please tell me if the water of istinja is impure? (Water flows while I’m washing myself.) It doesn’t seem so to me, because there is more water than urine, so the color and smell doesn’t change.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The Four Schools of Law

All of the four schools of law are correct, because they are based on sound understandings of the the greatest scholars of the Umma. These scholars had the highest levels of knowledge, understanding, and ability. They did not make rulings up; rather they interpreted the Qurʾan and the Sunna to give the the rulings of the Shariʿa.

So if they are all valid, and all their rulings are correct, which one should you choose to follow? The answer is, the easier one for you, and the one which you can easily learn and apply.

I personally feel that the Hanafi school is very easy to learn; and there is a lot of flexibility in the rulings relating to purity. I think the Shafi‘i is slightly harder in this matter. See which school you can easily learn with local scholars or with a course at SeekersGuidance, and apply it.

Purity

As for the water for istinja, you cannot tell if it is actually impure. Also the fact that it is flowing means it is pure as long as the colour, smell or taste of impurity do not show. You can assume the drops are pure. Even small drops of urine in situations like this are excused (Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab; Shurubnulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

I advise you to learn a school with a qualified scholar, and have your questions on purity answered. Also, please look at our OCD archives and get some therapy if you need it to get over the issue.

May Allah facilitate every good for you in this world and the next.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Is It Valid to Marry in Secret?

Ustadh Salman Younas answers a question about the validity and rightness of wanting to marry someone without the parents’ knowledge and consent.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I love someone and I want that relationship becomes halal. Right now I want to marry her without telling anyone just to make it halal, and it is not possible right now to take permission from my parents neither from her parents.

If we marry each other will it be legitimate? And if we do not get involve in any physical relation before the marriage with the permission of our parents will it be legitimate?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

According to the Shafi‘i school, in order for a marriage contract to be valid the following must be present:

    1. 1. The bride’s guardian (wali)

2. Two upright Muslim witnesses

3. The groom

4. The offer and acceptance.

Without these being present, the marriage contract would not be valid. As you can see, “secret” marriages executed without the knowledge and consent of the bride’s legal guardian are not valid in our school. (Tuhfatul Muhtaj, Nihayatul Muhtaj)

Hanafi School

Although the Hanafi school holds that the bride’s guardian is not a legal integral for the validity of the marriage, when there is no serious need to take this position, marriage without your parent’s knowledge and consent would be highly discouraged.

While your feelings towards each other are strong right now, please do not forget your respective mother and fathers, their feelings, and everything they have done for you both. Marriage is a huge step and one that takes a child away from the family home forever. Do your best not to break their hearts and cause them unnecessary anxiety, for in many cases, couples that do so later regret it and wish they had done things differently.

For more detailed answers to the Hanafi position and related concerns, please refer to these answers, particularly the second answer: What Are the Minimum Steps That Must Be Taken for a Marriage to Be Valid? and Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Relationships

Whether one is in a physical relationship or purely an emotionally attached relationship, either way, it would not be permitted to continue. Allah has commanded us:

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ

And do not come near to adultery. (Sura al Isra 17:32)

Coming near zina includes every inclination of the heart, every loving gaze, every touch, every word spoken with intent of affection, with someone one it is not permitted to do so with. These tender emotions are guarded and preserved for after marriage, which makes the marital bond that much sweeter and pure.

There is a saying in Egypt which goes something like, “The one who walks through the door is respected, the one who climbs through the window is not.” In other words, the man who does not go through the proper means of asking for a bride’s hand in marriage, i.e. the father or guardian, deserves no respect, while the one who goes through the correct channels, regardless if his acceptance is accepted or not, is still respected and his dignity and reputation remain intact.

Don’t forget, by marrying this girl, you are essentially taking someone’s daughter away from them. This is hard enough for parents when their child gets married with their consent, let alone behind their backs.

Conversely, from the bride’s point of view, she should not give her affection to anyone easily, rather she should deem herself worthy, and accept only a man who is respectful, dignified and who carries out his affairs with principles and correct conduct. This not only earns the respect of the family, but the woman herself will value and respect him more, and he respect her more.

Though it may be hard to put your relationship on hold until a solution can be found in regards getting married, put it on hold you must. You should take the lead and show strength and resolution.

In this time, I suggest that you both work on your relationship with Allah Most High, for whom your love should be more than anyone else. When you truly love Allah, step by step, you will both desire what is pleasing to Him, and naturally forgo what you want and accept whatever Allah has in store for you both.

Solutions

Marriage is a celebration of two people coming together lawfully, and it is important that it is made public for many reasons.

Try to resolve the issue by following the helpful suggestions mentioned in this answer: Can I Marry Without My Parents’ Consent?

Be patient and true, and you’ll find that Allah will open up things for you in ways you never would have expected.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Tank Water Mixed with Dirty Water

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat clarifies the rulings on the purity of water, what makes it impure, and whether it can be used for purification.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I suffer from OCD in religious matters for the past year. I am getting psychotherapy for it. I used to repeat prayers and wudu due to misgivings but I am getting better now, Alhamdullillah, and the advice on your Website has been very helpful. May Allah reward you. I am currently doing the Steps 1 Hanafi Fiqh course. I reflect a lot on my past prayers.

Once when I was in Pakistan visiting family, there was problem with the tank water being mixed with dirty water. When this incident happened, I had only converted to Islam a few years ago so I asked my husband, should I do wudu with it? He replied, it should be OK. The water smelled filthy but I don’t remember taste or color.

This was years ago. I prayed at least one salah with that wudu. I don’t remember if I did any more, changed clothes (as there might have been filthy water on my clothes while doing wudu), had shower or what. Should I repeat my prayer, how many?

Jazak Allah for your help.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Alhamdulillah, it is good to know that your symptoms are improving. You can expect a lot of good from Allah, because His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Whoever Allah wants good for, He tests him time and time again.” (Bukhari)

As for your prayer, you do not need to repeat it. You can assume every prayer you have prayed to be valid – unless there is certainty of it being invalidated. Ignore any doubts.

Here we see the value of the sunna and voluntary prayers. If there is any deficiency in the obligatory prayers Allah will say to the angels, “Look, does my servant have any voluntary [works]?” If so, He will say, “Complete My servant’s obligatory [works through them].” (Ahmad) This shows that the defects of our efforts will be compensated for by the generosity of Allah Most High.

The Default Ruling of Water

The default ruling of water is purity. This is a legal ruling, and not a customary one. Sometimes, you may find water which is not hygienic or clean – such as if a wasp was found dead in a water tank, or muddy water – but this does not affect its purity.

So, if the default ruling of water is purity, and there is nothing to establish with certainty that the water was impure, then we stick with the default ruling: purity, and the validity of all prayers performed with wudu made with that water.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


‘Aqiqa for Adults – Is It Permissible?

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked if it permissible to perform ‘aqiqa for an adult, and if so, how does one go about it.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

My mother told me that she never had a ‘aqiqa done for her when she was a newborn. As such, I want to host one for her in the company of her family. My mother’s mother is currently alive and would insha Allah be present, however, her father has passed away.

Seeing as it is normally incumbent on the father to host the ‘aqiqa, is it permissible for someone else to financially host it in this circumstance? Can it be hosted by any one of her family members, including her children? Can it be a joint effort of multiple individuals or does it have to be carried out by one person only?

Given that she is an adult, does she have to be the one to carry it out for herself? We would like to host it for her as a surprise. Are there any rulings pertaining to this overall situation that we should be made aware of (that she is an adult, her father is not alive, that it is a surprise)?

Jazzakum Allah khayr for your time.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The ʿaqiqa is a sacrifice of an animal to give thanks to Allah for a newborn child. In the Hanafi school, according to one position, the ʿaqiqa is merely permissible (mubah), and recommended as a voluntary act of worship according to another. The Shafiʿi and Hanbali schools see it as an emphasized sunna, and the Maliki school recommends it.

Based on this, it is not necessary to perform it for your mother. Doing so with the intention of sacrificing for the sake of Allah, and to show thanks for the blessing of the life your mother was given is a very virtuous act. In fact, sacrificing is part of what Allah, Most High, Himself commanded His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, to do in order to show thanks to Him.

Sacrificing and feeding people are clearly mentioned by the scholars of tafsir with regards to Sura al-Kawthar 108:2. (Biqaʿi, Nazm al-Durar) These are acts which show gratitude to the giver of the blessing, and are a means for His creation to benefit from this blessing through being fed.

Should you choose to perform an ʿaqiqa, there are no hard and fast rules on how it should be done. You may do it in whichever way in convenient for you. You can keep the meat, or distribute it raw or cooked; with he bones broken or otherwise. (Ibn ʿAbidin, Radd al-Muhtar; al-Muwsuʿa al-Kuwaitiyya).

May Allah allow us to always thank Him for His favors upon us.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.