Hijab Clothing: Desi-style, Arab-style, or Western-style?

Question:  If you found a secluded area in a public place like the beach, wearing a hijab is a requirement, correct? What kind of hijab would be safe to swim in at the ocean? Is it halal to wear a burkini with loose pants in public? I noticed there’s a difference of opinion on the hijab. I’ve seen some opinions that jilbab is the obligation because of the verse that references it. What about abayas, or regular clothes, like a long-sleeved blouse, tunic, blazer, and long skirt or baggy pants? Or other non-Arab clothing? Are these allowed, or must it be jilbab and abaya? Must the sleeves be super loose or can they be somewhat fitting for practical purposes of being able to use my arms? What colors, designs, prints, or patterns are allowed or not allowed? How am I to gauge what attracts attention, when every man is attracted differently? Can I wear a floral skirt or is that haram? Can the clothing have beads, sequins, or prints or must it be solid colors only? Is wearing red allowed?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your confusion because the fashion industry has taken on a life of its own and has given women too many options to be able to choose, let alone across cultures.

Here is the general ruling about modest clothing and hijab:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-wearing-a-jilbab-obligatory/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-requirements-of-hijab/

Swimming

One can only remove the hijab in a secluded public place if it is sure that a man will not be able to see her without hijab. If she feels that she has privacy, but she is at the beach, a man could probably appear out of nowhere, so she should keep her hijab on. As for the type of hijab, she should probably go with a polyester hijab.

Burkini

A burkini can cover most of the body modestly if worn in a larger size and especially if the top goes to the knees. I have seen this personally, but it certainly doesn’t conceal in the same way that a skirt or jilbab does. If a woman was to wear a burkini, I would recommend that she still take measures to distance herself from male crowds and wrap a towel around her as soon as she leaves the water. Loose pants are fine to wear in public as long as the top is long; to the knees at least. Of course, `urf must be taken into account.

Jilbab, Abaya, Skirt, Tunic, Blazer, etc.

As you have seen in the link above, it is obligatory to cover oneself with loose, modest, and non-transparent clothing that covers the awrah. This fulfills the command of jilbab. The `urf would be taken into account, and you are the best judge of that.

Sleeves

Sleeves don’t need to be super-loose, as this oftentimes, causes the sleeves to slip down and reveal the whole forearm. The fashion industry in Dubai usually makes abayas with sleeves that taper at the wrist, and they are well-known not to fall down at all even if a woman raises her arms up. Of course, they should not be too tight.

Prints, embroidery, sequins, beads, and floral patterns

I would say that since a woman cannot gauge what is attractive to every man, she should play it safe and stay away from these. I asked my own teacher this question, and he recommended staying away from sequins and sparkles. Slight plain embroidery or print that is not “busy“ or loud should be fine. One does not have to confine oneself to solid colors. Once again, `urf must be taken into account. Red seems to be internationally known as a loud color, so I would personally choose something darker, even a maroon could work.

`Urf

The concept that concerns us here the most is “`Urf“, the customs of one’s land and locality. One’s concept of how to dress is usually guided by this, as one can look at what is considered modest in their society and follow that. See this link for more information.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/wearing-western-style-womens-clothing-and-dressing-modestly/

Check your own heart

You are the best judge of knowing if your clothes are modest or not. Ask Allah to guide you in your clothing, and when you marry, ask your husband for his opinion too. You know very well if you are choosing something that cinches your waist, has a little extra embroidery, or makes heads turn. If you choose Allah’s pleasure and simplify your dress, I guarantee you that you will feel more comfortable, free, and liberated. This is the reason that millions of women have chosen to invest in their beautiful indoor clothing and kept the utmost simplicity for their outdoor clothing. And Allah knows best.

[Ustahd] Shazia Ahmad

 

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

Does wearing a Nose-ring and Bangles Extend My Husband’s Life?

Question: I was told that if I do not wear bangles on my arm or a nose pin in my nose, then my husband’s life expectancy will decrease. Is his life expectancy dependent on these according to Islam?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am very relieved and happy to tell you that this is a myth or an old wives’ tale. Your bangles and nose-ring are irrelevant to your husband’s life expectancy.

The best thing that you can do to increase his life expectancy is to make him happy and encourage a healthy regimen of diet and exercise. Consider this hadith:

It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best? He said, ‘The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything with regard to herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve” [Ahmad].

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

 

Where the Idea of Taqiyya Comes From

Question: People often accuse Islam of permitting taqiyya, or deliberately lying about being Muslim, for whatever reason. How do we respond to this, and where did the idea come from?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

The first thing that must be said about this is that Muslims don’t lie about their religion. Our religion has always been one that Muslims exalt, honor, and propagate. It is by the sheer courage and fearlessness of the Companions (sahaba) and the early Muslims that Islam has the numbers that it has today. Their bravery in war, their open and public worship, and trust in Allah, their firmness of faith, and their readiness and eagerness to teach others have been instrumental in the last 1400 years in the spread of Islam. A famous example of this bravery is the conversion of `Umar ibn -Khattab.

The story of `Umar ibn al-Khattab is well-known. With his sword, he went out to kill the Prophet, but instead, he converted to Islam. What did he do straight after?

Following his conversion, `Umar went to inform the chief of Quraysh about his acceptance of Islam. According to one account, `Umar thereafter openly prayed at the Ka`bah as the Quraysh chiefs, `Amr ibn Hisham and Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb, reportedly watched in anger. This further helped the Muslims to gain confidence in practicing Islam openly.  At this stage `Umar even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying, although no one dared to interfere with `Umar when he was openly praying.

`Umar’s conversion to Islam granted the power to the Muslims in Mecca. It was after this event that Muslims offered prayers openly at the Kaaba for the first time. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

“`Umar’s embracing Islam was our victory, his migration to Medina was our success, and his reign a blessing from Allah. We didn’t offer prayers in Al-Haram Mosque until `Umar had accepted Islam. When he accepted Islam, the Quraysh were compelled to let us pray in the Mosque ” [Serat-i-Hazrat Umar-i-Farooq].

His migration to Medina was even more admirable. When all of the Muslims were leaving in secret, he did the contrary. “In 622 CE, due to the safety offered by Yathrib (later renamed Medinah al-Nabi), Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Medina. Most Muslims migrated at night fearing resistance from Quraysh at their migration, but `Umar is reported to have left open during the day saying: ‘Anyone who wants to make his wife a widow and his children orphans should come and meet me there behind that cliff.‘ [Serat-i-Hazrat Umar-i-Farooq] Umar migrated to Medina accompanied by his cousin and brother-in-law Saeed bin Zaid.“ [Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya]

This shining example of `Umar is what Muslims have strived to emulate throughout history. Any thought of hiding or lying about one’s religion has been looked down upon, because of the rank given to those who die for Islam as martyrs. This has always been the default.

You ask where the idea of taqiyya comes from. When the family of `Ammar bin Yasir converted to Islam, they were among the victims who were tortured in Mecca to make them recant their beliefs. He and his parents were taken out in the heat and tortured with fire. `Ammar’s scars lasted for the rest of his life. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, used to pass by them and say, “Patience, O family of Yasir! Your meeting-place will be Paradise.”

His mother Sumayya was killed for being Muslim by Abu Jahl. When the grieving `Ammar was tortured after that, he recanted his Islam, in order to be released from his torture. Many new Muslims criticized `Ammar and called him a disbeliever but the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, corrected them. He said, “No (he is not a disbeliever), indeed `Ammar is full of faith from head to toe” [Ibn Majah].

This is an example of taqiyya (guarding against danger by lying). This event led to the revelation of the verse from Allah, Most High, about `Ammar: “With the exception of those who are forced to say they do not believe, although their hearts remain firm in the faith, those who reject God after believing in Him and open their hearts to disbelief will have the wrath of God upon them and a grievous punishment awaiting them” [Qur`an, 16:106].

The principle of taqiyya was very important for Muslims during the Inquisition in sixteenth-century Spain, as it allowed them to outwardly convert to Christianity while practicing Islam in secret. Muslims were forced to eat pork and drink wine, after being baptized, and all forms of religious dress and expression were forbidden. Many paid with their lives, may Allah have mercy on them.

It is mentioned in Fath al-Bari, (a commentary on Bukhari), “There is consensus that whomsoever is forced into apostasy and chooses death has a greater reward than a person who takes the license [to deny one’s faith under duress], but if a person is being forced to eat pork or drink wine, then they should do that [instead of choosing death]”

Taqiyya is a permissible practice though not obligatory. It is meant for safety when being persecuted by non-Muslims, but not when persecuted by Muslims, contrary to Shi`a Muslim belief. Imam al-Tabari explains, “If anyone is compelled and professes unbelief with his tongue, while his heart contradicts him, in order to escape his enemies, no blame falls on him, because God takes his servants as their hearts believe.”

Do people still apply taqiyya today? I think not. Muslims now, all over the world, stand in the face of danger, whether it is concentration camps in China, land occupation in Palestine, the war in Syria, civil strife in Yemen, or just criticism and prejudice in the West.

May Allah protect all Muslims from all harm, inwardly and outwardly.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Can I Pray With Rolled-Up Sleeves?

Question: Can I pray with rolled-up sleeves with a long-sleeved top underneath so no awrah is exposed? Sometimes the sleeves are rolled and sewn that way into the shirt or I roll up the sleeves myself. I read somewhere that men cannot do this.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

It is permissible for you to pray with your sleeves rolled up (whether sewn in or not) as long as you have a long-sleeved shirt underneath that is not tight or transparent. See the following link about a woman’s attire when she prays and otherwise:

What Is Proper Prayer Attire for Women?
What Are the Requirements of Hijab?

Please see the following link about a man’s proper attire:

Short Sleeves in Public for Men [Shafi’i School]

JazakAllahu khayran

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

How We Should Treat Our Non-Muslim Friends in Regards to Sin?

Question: Assalamu alaykum. Could you explain how we should treat our non-Muslim friends in regards to sin? One of my husband’s friends non-Muslim is going through gender reassignment surgery and he wants us to visit him. Are sinful non-Muslims allowed to visit your home?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum, sister.

I understand why you feel uncomfortable in this situation. It is difficult to be around blatant disobedience to Allah and His commands. At the same time, this is your husband’s close friend.

Abu Darda reported: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Nothing is heavier upon the scale of the believer on the Day of Resurrection than good character. Verily, Allah hates the vulgar, obscene person.” I take this to mean that when you are faced with a difficult situation with a sinful non-Muslim, you choose mercy over anger, and you choose compassion over criticism.

I would first make the noble intention to keep in touch with this person so that he may know Muslims, Islam, and mercy. He should think of your husband and yourself as people to support and help to him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful” [Abu Dawud].

If it comes up in conversation, I would be very gentle and clear that you don’t support gender reassignment surgery because it is prohibited in Islam. Then you could let him know that you can still help him in his time of need and Muslims don’t abandon friends. Allah says in the Qur`an, “Do good for God loves those who do good” (2:195).

At the same time, I would try to maintain a healthy distance and limit your interactions. I would not recommend that this be your husband’s first friend to hang out with every week. I would make the visits short but effective, perhaps by taking a nice gift or food. I would exemplify good character at all times with him so he may learn how Muslims are and should be.

As for inviting him to your home, I would leave that matter in your hands. If you are so uncomfortable with it that you might end up being cold to him, then don’t do it. But if you think you can handle a short visit with good character, do it, but not very often. Tell him that you are free, for example from 1-3, so that it’s time-boxed. Allow him to talk about what he likes, and make sure you get to talk about what you like. You might end up speaking about inspirational topics, like trust in God, reliance, good character, patience, positivity, etc.. If you listen to him, he has to listen to you too!

Please take a look at this link also which might benefit you.

Is It Permissible to Assist Homosexuals in Their Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections?

May Allah give you Tawfiq

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Covering Nakedness While Swimming

Question: I recently heard that Muslims should wear shorts from navel to knees when we are swimming. But I don’t have this kind of shorts. My shorts only cover to the knee but not up to the navel. A few days ago I ordered the Islamic shorts but they have not arrived yet. Can I swim in the meantime with regular shorts until the Islamic shorts arrive? Or should I wait? Is it haram if I don’t use Islamic shorts?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is truly a great thing that you have learned the ruling and decided to apply it in your life right away. May Allah reward you for that and give you great ease in applying the shari`ah in everything else.

It is obligatory to cover between navel and knees, and a little beyond, to ensure that the nakedness stays covered with movement. It would not be permissible to swim in shorts that expose the nakedness. See this link for all the details:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/mens-awra-swimming/

You might also consider buying a pair of three quarter length compression pants to wear under your regular swimming shorts. This way, your nakedness is guaranteed to stay covered.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Asking Allah To End My Life

Question: Is it permissible to ask Allah to take your life? I am an 18-year-old Muslim. The immense amount of uncertainty in my life, plus the numerous parental fights I’ve been witnessing my whole life is making me consider suicide as an option. I have thought about the easiest way to commit suicide without causing anyone any inconvenience, and I think asking Allah to take my life is the easiest. I don’t have anything to live for. I constantly question how insanely more difficult my life is just going to become if I fail to go to a good university for an undergrad, an option which seems extremely unlikely.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am very concerned about your question and I pray that you can understand that you are very much wanted and needed by everyone around you. If you have a plan to end your life, please seek professional help immediately and seek a therapist that can help you break out of this cycle of despair.

Suicide

The absolute best advice that I can give you is to read this article by Ustadh Anik Misra:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/ridding-oneself-of-depression-and-suicidal-thoughts/

Suicide seems like the way out, but it is not. It is not permissible to ask Allah to end your life, and leaving this world in a manner that is displeasing to Allah is the very thing that the Devil wants from you. You will be robbing yourself of a chance at a lifetime of good deeds, repentance, gratitude, family, maturity, love, closeness to your Lord, education, progress, improving yourself, and abundant worship. Muslims, on the other hand, look for a “good end“ and wait until their Lord has decreed to meet them. Suicide leaves your family in unimaginable pain, anger, and lets the Devil win. It truly is the worst possible option for any believer.

Life is full of problems

It is true that life is full of problems and that things are not easy. I understand that you are stressed out and hate to see your parents fight. I can understand that your fear of not getting into university and the uncertainty is blinding you. However, there is good in your life as well. You have a soul that is worth working for. You have a body that has yet to experience many joys and moments of happiness. You have people around that you love and more people to come who will be beloved to you. If I were to count the problems that you don’t have, they would be innumerable.

Most of all you have your Lord, who never abandons his servant. Allah, your Lord, your Creator, who was always there and always will be, loves you and rewards you for all your suffering and patience. He wants you to live and He wants you to be the best that you can be. Work and strive for Him, even if it seems everything else around you is falling apart, for He doesn’t change and sees and hears everything.

Du`as

One of the greatest means that is available to you is du`a. Allah the Exalted says, “Who [other than Allah] answers the distressed when they call upon Him? Who [other than Him] removes their suffering?” [Qur’an, 27:62] and, “Your Lord says, ‘Call on Me and I will answer you” [Qur’an, 40:60]. Make a daily habit of it and look forward to your time alone with Allah to pour your heart out to him.

I highly recommend praying Salat ul-Hajah, the Prayer of Need:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/how-does-one-perform-the-prayer-of-need-salat-al-haja/

Please say these du`as when you are feeling overwhelmed and trust that Allah will answer your du’a and is even answering your du’a right now without you knowing it:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/selected-prophetic-prayers-for-spiritual-physical-and-emotional-wellbeing-by-chaplain-ibrahim-long/

Resources

Please see this video for Islamic meditation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eFZbRuWFlg

Please see this video and link:
Why Are Those Who Commit Suicide Punishable in Islam …

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/doubts-difficulties-and-suicidal-thoughts/

Also, consider calling this free helpline where someone can always listen to you:
Naseeha Toll-free Helpline at 1 866 627 3342.

May Allah help you break out of this thought cycle and give you the very best in everything you do in 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 Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Vaginal Discharge

Question: What should a woman do if she is not sure whether a secretion is madhy or just moisture? Sometimes I feel a tingling in my private part when I see a sexual word or hear a male voice or for no reason. I also get constant moisture most days so I assume that it is madhy. But I don’t feel any sexual feelings or have sexual thoughts, I just assume I am aroused because of the secretion. This had become difficult for me as these two things together occur often and I end up changing my underwear or washing it around three times on some days. Is it normal for me to get this as a teenage girl? Am I worrying unnecessarily? Should I assume it is pure? How do I purify myself and my underwear when I get a madhy secretion and does this differ at all between madhabs?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you and this is completely normal for a teenage girl. It is very good that you asked instead of facing years of confusion and possible mistakes.

Madhy

Madhy is a sticky discharge that exits from arousal. If you are fairly certain that madhy has exited, especially after feeling a thrill in the private parts, you should simply wash your private parts, wash the underwear, or remove it, and make wudu and pray. One of my friends visited Yemen and said it was very common for women there, who are all Shafi’is, to remove their undergarments, and then make wudu and pray.

Other discharge

If you are having other discharge during the day, you should assume that is pure. You don’t need to remove your underwear, nor wash it, because it is not filth. You only need to perform wudu. To purify your underwear, you can just hold it under the tap and rub it until it is gone. You can use soap as well, just be sure to wash all the soap off. There are different opinions between the madhhabs, you can see some here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/clear-white-vaginal-discharges-invalidate-wudu/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/does-vaginal-discharge-break-wudu/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/releasing-pre-sexual-fluid-allowed-pray/

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

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

 

 

 

Depending On Good Deeds

Question: What is the ruling on a person who does good deeds that are guaranteed to save him from Hell, and after doing them uses them to do bad deeds? Sometimes after doing the bad deeds, at their worst feels that something is wrong, but continues to do them on the basis that he will be forgiven?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The question that you ask represents the same struggle that we all have. Weighing our bad deeds against our good deeds leaves us all with an uneasy feeling that we have not done enough good. So, one must continually strive to do good and never be satisfied.

Guaranteed salvation

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed salvation for anyone except the Prophets, Messengers, and the ten Companions who were promised Paradise. Some others are also mentioned in the Qu’ran and seerah. If you feel that your good deed will save you from your sins, I am afraid the Devil is making ground with you.

If one has performed a great deed, such as performing hajj or some other act of magnanimity, one should thank Allah for it and pray that He accepts it, for He says in His book, “…Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]” [Qur’an, 5:27]. There is no guarantee whatsoever that Allah will be pleased with, or accept your good deed.

Feeling safe from Allah’s plan is the most dangerous feeling a believer can have. I strongly advise you to not be pacified but to strive to repent and eliminate your bad deeds. My teacher in Jordan told me that a Muslim strives in his life until he has nothing haram (unlawful) left in his life, and then he strives until he has nothing makruh (disliked) left. Even then he would not meet his Lord satisfied. Allah, Most High, says, “Did they feel secure against Allah’s planning? None would feel secure from Allah’s planning except the losers” [Qur’an, 7:99].

Follow your instinct

If you feel like something is wrong when you are committing a bad deed, your gut, or your fitra (innate disposition to good), is talking to you. Listen to it and stop yourself. This gift of instinct from Allah to us is very useful and you should always follow it, for it is your conscience.

Please see these links about the fitrah and the Devil’s plot and don’t be fooled by him:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/knowledge/knowing-god-celebrity-saints-yusuf-abdulrahman/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-can-a-muslim-be-fully-aware-of-satans-plan/

I pray that you can look beyond yourself and your deeds and know that Allah deserves to be obeyed and worshipped, for that is why He created us. May Allah give you the best in 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 Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Financial Support for Women During COVID-19

Question: Who is responsible to feed those who are currently going hungry due to COVID 19? Who is responsible for a woman’s upkeep – housing, groceries, and clothing? Is a female financially responsible for this herself? Is she supposed to go to work and pay her own way? Would she be entitled to receive zakat money if she cannot or does not wish to work? Also, does one need to pay zakat if one does not own their own house? Also, when given an Islamic ruling is it the responsibility of the Sheikh to provide evidence from the Quran and Hadith etc for the ruling?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I pray that your situation improves, it is very difficult and frustrating to be in financial straits. May Allah lift you out of this suffering and help everyone involved to fulfill their obligations.

A Woman’s Support

A woman is not responsible for feeding herself as her closest male relatives are responsible for her. Her father must care for her if he is able to,  unless she is married, in which case her husband must. Ustadh Tabraze mentions in one of his answers:

“Before they become adult (baligh), the father must support his children whether they are male or female. Thereafter, he is responsible for the financial support of his female children until they marry, upon which the duty transfers to her husband. (…) however, if, after she becomes an adult, she is able to earn a living by means of a safe, dignified job, then she could be sought to support herself through her own income. In the case that she does so, yet her income is insufficient, the father would need to supplement it so that it fulfills the remainder of her needs.”

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam says, “The husband will be solely responsible in supporting his wife, so much so that if a woman has a husband who is poor (and not capable of supporting her) but has a son, from a previous husband, who is wealthy or a wealthy father or a wealthy brother, her financial support will still remain on her husband, and not on her father, son, and brother. However, her father, son, or brother will be ordered to spend on her, and then recover it from the husband when he becomes well-off” (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya).

Woman Working

A woman is not financially responsible for herself, but she may do so and work, by way of charity, to ease the burden on her family. A woman would be entitled to zakat money if she meets the criteria of a zakat-eligibility and her husband is unable to provide for her. See those criteria here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/zakat-how-to-calculate-who-to-give/

Paying Zakat if One Rents

Whether a person owns a house or rents it, is irrelevant. One must pay zakat if one possesses the minimum zakat-payable amount for one lunar year. Please see the details at the links above and these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/zakat-six-months-advance-rent/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/beneficial-knowledge/zakat-a-comprehensive-seekershub-reader/

Providing Proof

It is not the responsibility of a teacher to provide the proof from primary texts behind a ruling when he gives an answer. To do so, would be an unimaginable burden on himself and the questioner. Rather, a questioner should be sufficed by knowing that the teacher follows traditional Islam, one of the four madhhabs, and knows that he has taken his source from the trustworthy and credible scholars and books of his school.

I pray that you can resolve this issue and find peace in your financial affairs. Generally speaking, give charity, for doing this, solves the worst of problems. May Allah give you the best in 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 Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.