How Much Should I Learn To Know Basic Worship Is Valid?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Could I get an answer specific to the Shafi’i school? How far should one exert oneself to find out and practice rulings for something, like salah, for their worship to be valid in Shafi’i school? When is their liability cleared, and when is their act of worship considered to be valid by default?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your desire to cover your basics in your religion for the sake of Allah. This is an excellent question.

A Muslim is expected to learn his personally obligatory knowledge with a teacher, and then when he puts this into practice, he can and should expect that his worship is valid without any fear of waswasa (baseless misgivings).

In the Reliance of the Traveller, (sections a.4.0 to a.4.7), the author discusses the obligation of learning the tenets of faith (`aqidah), learning the fiqh of obligatory actions when they become obligatory on one, such as prayer and purification, fasting, clothing, food, and drink, and the enormities of the body and tongue. He also mentions the obligation of learning the illnesses of the heart, their definitions, their causes, their remedy, and treatment.

I highly recommend that you take the following courses on personally obligatory knowledge and practice as best as you can. Ask Him to guide you in your every step, word, and deed, and rely on Him. 

https://academy.seekersguidance.org/enrol/index.php?id=598

https://academy.seekersguidance.org/enrol/index.php?id=295

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next. 

[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 Master’s 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.

Can I Start a YouTube Channel as a Female Muslim?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

 As a Muslimah, I would like to start a YouTube channel for my poems and other similar videos (true stories, etc.) and want to know if it is halal. I would like this to be a source of income to work from home and not have to go out for work.

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Gray areas

Starting a Youtube channel can be tricky for a Muslimah, and there are many gray areas that you should consider. Naturally, one would have to make sure that nothing haram is involved in your channel, such as being dressed inappropriately, wearing make-up, or playing music in the background.

Profit-sharing

But there are other things to consider, such as profit-sharing from ads that may have questionable content. I have read that one can turn off ads of their choice on their channel. Another option is not to put yourself in your videos, but only your voice, so that the audience can concentrate on the content. Many Youtubers zoom in on their written poetry, storybooks, or even show an Islamic image while speaking in the background.

Modesty

A woman’s identity in Islam is centered around modesty, shyness, and concealment, and this does not preclude her from running a business or serving the ummah. Consider this Prophetic hadith, “There is never any obscenity in a thing, but it mars it, and there is never any modesty in a thing, but it adorns it.” [Ibn Majah]

All things considered

Consider the centrality of modesty for Muslim women, do all of your research on this, explore your options for there are many types of work to do from home, examine your intentions, and of course, pray istikhara.

Istikhara Prayer

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next. 

[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 Master’s 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.

 

As a Woman, Can I Move Out of My Abusive Mother’s Home?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My mother and I have a strained relationship. She is very controlling and emotionally and physically abusive. I am a 25-year-old woman with a chronic heart condition. Being around her takes a toll on me because we constantly argue. She repeats, “Don’t think that now that you have a paying job that you are something, you are nothing, and you will never amount to be what I am.“ I love my mother and appreciates everything she has done, but I want out. I will not cut her off; I just want space.

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, and you are not alone. Many unmarried women are tired of living at home and wish to have a new beginning. I pray that you can do so in the best way.

Living alone

There is nothing in the sacred law that prohibits a female from living alone, whether out of choice or necessity, and whether she is happy in her parent’s home or not. Your mental and physical well-being should be a priority, and it is obligatory for you not to accept abuse. Please see the details of living alone here:

https://seekersguidance.org/tag/living-alone/

Your mother

Before you leave, have you tried any other methods to get along? Can you try communication, getting therapy for both of you, spending more time with her, bonding, or doing her favorite things together? Have you tried softening her heart by buying her gifts, doing something special for her, traveling together, and praying together? Usually, when one party softens, the other party follows suit. 

It is essential to maintain respect and tolerance for your mother without accepting any physical or verbal abuse. You should not leave the house angry, but optimally, after sitting down with your parents, or maybe some elders in your family, and having discussed the issue and gotten their blessing. It’s not even essential to be direct about your reason for moving out, but just tell her that you desire independence and a taste of real responsibility not to hurt her feelings.

Istikhara

No matter what the outcome, be sure to pray istikhara before you decide. Turn to Allah with your whole being, and most importantly, with a pure intention, such as moving out to be a better Muslim, having easier worship and focus, bettering your health, and having clarity of mind while improving your relationship with your mother.

Istikhara Prayer

Turn to Allah

Ask Allah to help you by supplicating at dawn, and praying on time, and read some Qur’an every day. Attempt to learn your religion and to apply it as well as you can. You are a victim of abuse, and your supplication is heard and accepted. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Tirmidhi]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next. 

[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 Master’s 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.

 

How Can I Deal With My Fat-Shaming Mom?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am 16 years old and have been obese since I was little and have constantly been shamed for it by my parents, especially my mother. She is relentless. She doesn’t let me see a therapist for my suicidal thoughts and tells me I am seeking attention. I want to get healthier, but her forced workouts have made me hate exercising over the years. She’s constantly watching me and never lets me out. I have to deal with her angry meltdowns. She’s threatening me with marriage. What am I to do?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your pain and pray that your mother improves her behavior towards you.

Fat-shaming

Fat-shaming involves criticizing and harassing overweight people about their weight or eating habits to make them feel ashamed of themselves. The belief is that this may motivate people to eat less, exercise more, and lose weight, but this could not be further from the truth. Usually, it has the opposite effect by worsening the problem and causing psychological damage.

Journey to accepting yourself

Changing your mother is not going to be easy, but you need to do something else first. You have to strive for body positivity. Take the first step towards self-love and self-acceptance. It requires you to unlearn the idea of a “perfect body” and make peace with the body you have. Go easy on yourself. And most importantly, body positivity is all about being kind, compassionate, respectful, and accepting of everyone’s bodies, especially marginalized bodies, who don’t get mainstream representation. Remember that Allah does not judge your appearance, nor does He care about how you look. Instead, He cares about the state of your heart.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah does not look at your forms or your wealth, rather He looks at your deeds and your hearts.” [Ibn Majah]

Your mental health

Although your mother may not bend, you must still look out for your well-being and peace of mind. If she doesn’t let you see a therapist, try to find one online or speak to one on the phone. Ask at your school for resources, or your local mosque, or through friends. You have a right to treat yourself when you feel unwell, mentally or otherwise. If you are in the US, consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). It’s always open, and you can speak to a trained counselor.

Your mother

Communicate to your mother and tell her that her negativity and pressure are affecting you. Talk to your father as well, and ask him to help defend you. Undergoing criticism by one’s mother is far too familiar in Eastern cultures, and it’s wrong. Islam does not condone this, and a woman’s worth does not lie on her body shape but instead on the soul that her body houses. See these links to articles written by women with similar experiences, and recite the duas given in the link below for mental well-being:

https://southasiantoday.com.au/article-9098-being-body-shamed-by-my-own-mother-details.aspx

https://magdalene.co/story/how-my-mom-and-others-unintentionally-body-shames-me

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/prayer-for-mental-well-being/

Turn to Allah

Turn to Allah with the sincere intention that all you do is for Him and place all your trust in Him. Know that you are never alone and that Allah is nearer to you than your jugular vein. Pray all your prayers on time, read some Qu’ran every day, and make dhikr during your free time.  Learn as much as you can about our beautiful religion and try to apply it in your life. Make repentance daily and involve yourself in charity and helping others. Eating healthy and exercising are instrumental as part of your mental wellness. Make a daily routine for spiritual wellness and physical wellness and stick to it. 

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next. 

[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 Master’s 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.

 

Is It Wrong To Learn From International Scholars Instead of Local Scholars?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I’m from Bangladesh, and I’m doing a major in religious studies. I want to learn Islam & the rulings in-depth, but I don’t find local teachers welcoming and trustworthy because of their ill & insensitive treatment towards women. I do believe there are good ones, and I respect them all. My inability is that the more I listen to them, the more I fall into depression. Now I am learning online from scholars abroad, and I plan to study in repudiated institutions if Allah wills. I plan to work & teach in the academic field.

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Scholars

There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning from international scholars, as reliable knowledge can and should come from anywhere and everywhere. I would typically tell you to study locally first, but it seems that you have already done so and that you are ready to move on. Please listen to this podcast on choosing a teacher:

https://seekersguidance.org/show/030-rawha-daily-guidance-seekers/

Resources

Consider studying with SeekersGuidance, as we have complete tracks on different subjects taught by authentic scholars. You won’t find any ill or insensitive treatment of women here, alhamduliLlah. Please see these links for more details on seeking knowledge:

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/study-guide-for-seekers-of-knowledge/

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/path-seeking-knowledge/

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/knowledge/the-place-of-knowledge-in-islam/

I pray that Allah makes you of the people meant in this hadith, “For whomever Allah wants good, he gives him understanding in the religion.“ [Tirmidhi] May Allah give you tawfiq in your journey and bequeath you knowledge of that which you never knew, and allow you to benefit from it.

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next. 

[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 Master’s 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.

 

Should I Marry a Relative That My Mother Is Pressuring Me About?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I have been receiving pressure for four years about marrying a relative. I said no due to uneasiness, but this last year began to potentially consider it due to the pressure of my mother & partly my father. I prayed much in Ramadan for an opening. We recently heard inappropriate pictures were circulating of this guy. My mother is still pressuring or hopeful in this proposal despite this all, and I spoke to her with much anger. She says I am disobedient, rude, and disrespectful.

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry for the pressure that you are under regarding this relative. Follow your instincts and your istikhara.

Instincts

If this person is already making you uneasy and strange pictures of him are found on the net, then I feel that your feeling is correct, and you need to stand your ground. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or her piety. Select the pious. May you be blessed!“ [Bukhari & Muslim]  Of course, this applies to husbands, too. A mother’s pressure is not a good reason to marry someone, especially if he doesn’t seem to fulfill the prophetic advice.

Istikhara

Pray istikhara in any case for guidance, and wait for Allah to put the right decision in your heart with confidence and trust. If there is any hope for this person, or if he just misunderstood, your istikhara will shine a light on that. This will put blessings in your decision and give it more weight in front of your parents.

Istikhara Prayer

Disrespect

As for disrespecting your mother, it is true that this behavior probably hurt her feelings. Try your best to stick to the point and if you feel that you might end up yelling at her, try to keep silent. Ask her to understand your feelings. Communicate better and have an honest conversation from A-Z about this man, so when you make your final decision, there will be no doubt, and she will leave you alone. Please see more details here:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/parents-2/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-can-i-be-a-dutiful-son-while-maintaining-independence-from-controlling-parents/

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next. 

[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 Master’s 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.

 

Is It Sinful for the Wife To Hate Obeying Her Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

 What is the ruling on a wife who doesn’t like to be ordered around by the husband or anyone in her family? Is she disobedient because she fails to obey her husband, or is it a minor sin due to pride? Or is it a major sin because it puts one’s faith in danger? Her behavior could be due to her not knowing about the mandate to obey her husband.

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is sinful and unfortunate that she does not know about obeying her husband because she has stepped into a contract ignorantly. I pray that she can rectify this.

Obedience to the husband

A woman who does not want to obey her husband might fall into the category of rebellious (nashizah), and this is evident from the Qur’an itself. This is a dangerous category to be in, and you should follow the tips given in the link to help this lady. Please see the details here:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-help-mother-despite-abusive-father/

Pride

Pride is a major sin in Islam and was the first sin ever committed by Iblis when he refused to obey Allah in prostrating to Adam. It is obligatory for Muslims to be aware of pride, treat themselves for it, and take precautions against its causes and effects. Please see and listen to the details here:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-is-the-difference-between-self-respect-and-arrogance/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-is-the-islamic-understanding-of-pride/

https://seekersguidance.org/show/24-worldliness-pride-conceit-delusion-repentance-renewing-religion-shaykh-faraz-rabbani/

Advice

My general advice is that you advise this woman to step on her ego and prioritize what is important to her in life. If a woman doesn’t hold on to a good thing, she will lose it. She must take a course on Islamic Marriage and learn her obligations and rights. It’s never too late. Please see more information at the links below.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-it-sinful-to-disobey-to-my-husband/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/im-fearful-islam-causing-depression-can/

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[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 Master’s 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 Are Some of the Etiquette of Intimacy in the Shafi’i School?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am planning on learning the Shafi’i madhab. Could you please advise me on the rules of sexual intimacy in the Shafi’i madhab?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah facilitate your journey in learning this school of thought. Please see the courses linked below for your convenience.

Overview

Your question is quite broad, so here is a quick overview, and some of this is shared by other schools. Please take your time to read the relevant links:

-A man should be conscious of his wife’s conjugal rights in the same way that he knows about her financial rights:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/islam-say-neglect-wifes-sexual-rights/

-A man should make an effort to give his wife climax as per the Prophetic advice:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/husband-not-satisfy-marital-relations-can/

-Oral intercourse is permitted in the Shafi`i school:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/is-it-permissible-to-perform-oral-sex-to-ones-wife-shafii-school/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/can-a-wife-perform-oral-sex-on-her-husband-shafii-school/

https://islamqa.org/shafii/qibla-shafii/33513/bedroom-fiqh-oral-sex/

Resources for learning Shafi fiqh

Please consider taking these excellent and valuable courses and don’t hesitate to follow up with questions on the course forums or through the Q/A service:

https://academy.seekersguidance.org/enrol/index.php?id=598

https://academy.seekersguidance.org/enrol/index.php?id=295

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[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 Master’s 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 Is the Ruling on Normal Vaginal Discharge in the Shafi’i School?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I have seen conflicting opinions about normal discharge breaking wudu. I feel like male scholars don’t understand the issue. No matter how thoroughly I wipe the area, the organ is always somewhat damp. Does that dampness (clear/watery) and not related to arousal or such nullify wudu?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Although a man does not experience this for themselves, the true scholars of Islam understand these discharge issues, and we, women, have taken our knowledge of it from them, may Allah be pleased with them.

In the Shafi’i school, this is the breakdown.

As for normal healthy discharge (rutubat al-farj), it is white or clear and regularly exits from a woman, is visible when squatting. This area is washed when cleaning oneself after using the bathroom (istinja’). Some scholars say this is like the sweating of the vaginal walls. This discharge does not nullify the ritual ablution (wudu) and is pure.

There is another regular, healthy, clear, white discharge (rutubat al-farj) that exits from a little deeper in the vagina. This area is not obligatory to wash when using the bathroom, and the male private part reaches this area. This discharge is also pure, but when it exits, it nullifies ritual purity (wudu). [Ibn Hajar] 

Imam al-Ramli considers this impure but excused.

Another discharge exits from deeper within (i.e., not reached by the male private part); it is considered impure (najis), and when it exits, its nullifies ritual purity (wudu). [Tuhfa al-Muhtaj, p.45] This is usually more sticky and clumpy.

If one doubts what kind of discharge she has, she assumes that it’s pure. [Imam al-Ramli] 

Because of her doubt, it is more religiously precautionary to perform a new ablution instead of praying on the ablution from the previous prayer. With this doubt, there is no need to purify her clothes before praying. 

I hope this helps. 

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[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 Master’s 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.

 

Am I Sinful for Always Being Late Despite Having Asperger’s Syndrome?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I came across an article that said being late is unbecoming of a Muslim and being “unduly” late is sinful. I am often late, sometimes by a half-hour, for class. Is this sinful? What if I try my best daily to be on time but then slow a bit when I realize I’m going to be late? I and others I know suspect that I have Asperger’s. I took online tests, and they consistently show that I likely have it. I plan to get treatment when able. I struggle with being on time and organized as executive functioning is affected. Is there any leeway if I’m trying my best not to be late?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your sincerity and for trying hard for the sake of Allah.

Asperger’s Syndrome

This syndrome is considered a higher form of autism and can consist of one, some, or all of the following symptoms:

-Repetitive behaviors

-Inability to understand emotional issues

-First-person focus

-Exaggerated emotional response

-Abnormal response to sensory stimuli

-Social difficulties

-Speech difficulties

-Exceptional verbal skills

-Below-average nonverbal skills

-Lack of eye contact

-Clumsiness

-Obsession

Moral Responsibility

You are not sinful for being late, especially if you are trying your best. Don’t let waswasa get the best of you, and don’t obsess over something that you have very little control over. More important than worrying about your lateness, seek treatment immediately with your doctor or therapist. This will help your condition, physically and mentally.

Trust in Allah Most High

Ask Allah to guide you in every step and help you be the best that you can be. Take solace in this Qur’anic verse, “So be mindful of Allah to the best of your ability, hear and obey, and spend in charity—that will be best for you. And whoever is saved from the selfishness of their own souls, it is they who are ˹truly˺ successful. [Qur’an, 64:16] 

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[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 Master’s 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.