What Is The Ruling On Tourism?

Question: What is the ruling on tourism and traveling abroad recreationally, such as touring Europe with friends? What is the ruling from a spiritual perspective for one who studies Islam and feels it is wasteful, extravagant, and contrary to the Sunnah? 

Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother,

Thank you for your question. I believe that you have answered the question yourself.

No prayer dispensation for leisure

Here is a glimpse from the Reliance of the Traveller about the ruling of one’s prayer when traveling for leisure: (A: Purely recreational trips whose purpose is not disobedience are permissible, but there are no travel dispensations in them, though if undertaken in order to gain religious knowledge, to visit a fellow Muslim, or visit the grave of a righteous or learned Muslim (dis: g5.8), these and similar purposes are legitimate and permit the dispensations) [Reliance of the Traveller, 190-191].

Not recommended by scholars

My teachers in Jordan mention that it is inappropriate for students of Sacred Knowledge to embark on recreational trips or sightseeing when they are studying for spiritual refinement or purification of the soul. This has been a tradition across the board for generations. For example, some students studying in Egypt never visited the pyramids, while some students in Jordan never saw Petra.

Wasteful or harmful?

As for waste, many would agree that this kind of money can be used more wisely. But more importantly, it is customarily the environment that one encounters that is more damaging. Cruises, beaches, and non-Muslim countries contain plenty-a-sights that no one wants to see, and making oneself and one’s family desensitized to be around the haram (unlawful) is not good for the soul.

Finally, such decisions are best left to each family to make on their own. They should consider their finances, the destination, the purpose, (one might mix a religious intention with a recreational intention), and consider family bonding time. Pray istikhara always about such trips.

I know one family that only vacations to Muslim countries because they don’t want to deal with searching for halal (permissible) food. This would bring many other benefits to it. Please see the links below for more information.

Intention and the Spiritual Dimensions of Travel – Habib Umar bin Hafiz
Is It Permissible to Travel During Ramadan? (Shafi’i)

May Allah give us all well-being 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.

Parents Don’t Approve of Marriage Despite My Conversion

Question: I am in love with a Muslim girl but her parents won’t approve of our marriage. She has asked me to revert to Islam and I have. I started praying (with just the actions) and learning Arabic. I also fasted Ramadan. I am 35 and it is difficult to learn but I am trying my best. I will go to the masjid and accept Islam openly but I am afraid because I am alone. My mother supports my decision; my father has passed away. Her parents still refuse despite my conversion. We are both depressed now.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. First, let me congratulate you on your conversion! You have achieved a tremendous feat by converting, starting to pray, learning Arabic, and fasting. This is certainly not easy, but I pray that you have found peace and happiness in your heart from this.

Going to the mosque

There is no explicit obligation for you to go and convert at the mosque, but it would be better for you. You may be alone now, but if you go to the mosque and get to know the imam and the community, you won’t be alone anymore. The mosque is your best point of support and learning about Islam will become much easier with everyone’s help. May Allah make it easy for you to travel this path and open many doors of success, barakah, and progress for you. Please see this link for excellent articles about and for new Muslims:
https://seekersguidance.org/category/articles/converts/
Also, consider taking free courses on Seekersguidance in order to develop your newly-found religion. Try this one:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/introduction-to-islam-what-it-means-to-be-muslim/

The girl’s parents

I am so sorry that your conversion has not had any positive effect on her parents. Unfortunately, this is something that you have to leave in Allah’s hands. The best thing that you can do is exactly what you are doing now. Learn Islam to the best of your ability, apply it, and your sincerity and du`as will not go unrewarded. Learn and progress in your religion despite what is going on around you, you will not regret it.

Supplicate

Pray the Prayer of Need before dawn and supplicate to Allah for all that you desire.  This is an auspicious time, as the Prophet has told us, “When half of the night or two-third of it is over, Allah the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak” [Muslim].

Recite these du’as, even in English: https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/selected-prophetic-prayers-for-spiritual-physical-and-emotional-wellbeing-by-chaplain-ibrahim-long/

Meet them, pray istikhara, and walk away if you must

Your good character, uprightness, sincerity, and patience is what you can offer to her family. Have you met them? Have you told them about your journey to Islam? Can you explain to them that you are financially able and settled in order to take care of their daughter? Have they had a chance to get to know your character? The girl should try to have you all meet so that both parties get to know each other and make a clear decision.

You and the girl should also pray Istikhara, the Prayer of Seeking Guidance. See it here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/the-reality-of-istikhara/

If the parents do not agree, it is not possible to go forth with the marriage, so you would have to walk away and move on. Please don’t let this drag on and don’t get into a physical relationship with the girl, or the separation will be more difficult. Rely on Allah and trust that He wants what is best for you and we don’t know what that is. I know that it may be heartbreaking, but you, and the girl, are stronger than you think and Allah knows what is better for us.

I pray that you can both have success in your endeavors and that Allah blesses you both 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.

Validity of Prayer

Question: Is Valid My Prayer If I Repeat a Verse of the Fatiha Because I Mispronounce One Letter?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The hadith that you refer to is the following: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There is no Salat for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book (Fatihah al-Kitab).”

This hadith proves that a Muslim must recite the Fatiha in order for his prayer to be valid. This hadith is also used to infer whether a follower should recite the Fatiha behind his imam or not. There are differences of opinion on this.

As for the correctness of the Fatiha, it states in the Reliance of the Traveller, “If one omits one of the Fatiha’s letters (Ar. harf, a consonant or long vowel (A: mistakes in a short vowel (haraka) do not harm as long as they do not alter the meaning). If one fails to double a letter that should be doubled, or substitutes a wrong letter for the right one, it invalidates (0: one’s recital of that particular word and one must recite the word again (dis: s3.3). But it does not invalidate one’s prayer unless it changes the meaning and was done deliberately [Reliance of the Traveller, p. 131].

Shaykh Jamir Meah says, “If the mistakes are changing letters, and it is due to lack of concentration or neglect of learning correct recitation while being able to, or similar, then this would mean that your recitation is not valid. If, however, you have a valid excuse, such as you are learning correct pronunciation and still sometimes make mistakes, or if you are a very new Muslim, then you would still need to correct what you notice as errors but are excused otherwise. This applies to native Arabic and non-Arabic speakers.

A prostration for forgetfulness (sujud al-sahw) is not required for repeating the verse three times.

Try to focus on tajweed and pronunciation of Qur`an outside of the prayer. I am sure, with patience and perseverance, that you will get it one day. Keep focusing to produce the letter “qaf” until it comes naturally. However, during the prayer, try to focus on the presence of the heart and gradually increase it over the years. May Allah help us all pronounce His words correctly and establish the prayer for His sake.

Please see the following link for more details on this topic:

Pronunciation Errors in Prayer
Invalidation of Prayer by Inaccurate Pronunciation

[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.

Is It Permissible to Become a Beautician?

Question: Is it haram to go into a career in the beauty industry? This involves doing hair, makeup, waxing eyebrows, doing nails, and fake eyelashes.

Answer: Thank you for your question. Details of your question are answered in the link below.

The short answer is yes. A woman is allowed to beautify another woman to earn a halal living, because there are permissible uses for it, such as beautifying herself for her husband. She is not directly responsible for the sin of the ladies who go out of the house uncovered.

My teachers in Jordan have always preferred that this not be a first career choice for women because of indirectly assisting in sin. If one does choose this career path, one should be careful to follow all other legal rulings in the salon such as: not playing impermissible music, not allowing smoking, not using brushes made with boar bristles, and not using human hair extensions.

A Beautician With Non-Hijab Clients: Am I Accountable When They Go Out Uncovered?
Are Semi-Permanent Makeup and Microblading Allowed?
Can I Use Makeup Brushes Made From Animal Hair?

And Allah knows best.

[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.

 

Anxiety Regarding Missed Prayers

Question: I suffer from extreme anxiety regarding missed prayers. If I ever miss a prayer, even a recent one, I get extreme anxiety about death and the hellfire. This has had a bad impact on my life. I struggle with prayer as it is, this just makes life harder. My heart gets palpitations like a heart attack. I feel like this isn’t normal. I see people who miss prayers and never feel a thing, so there must be something wrong with me. I also stress about how it will be difficult to make them all up. From my knowledge, the Prophet once said that if the prayers aren’t good then everything in the hereafter won’t be good either. Thinking about that, and my current struggles amplify my pain and anxiety. I also have waswasa I regarding purity which makes it hard for me to pray already. All in all, this anxiety has taken the peace out of my prayers and prayer has started to just feel like a way to stop my anxiety. 

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you have so much anxiety surrounding your prayers. Although it is healthy to have a deep fear of Allah’s punishment and to know that missing a prayer is a serious sin, one should not allow this to take a toll on one’s physical health, and when coupled with waswasa, it can be damaging.

Hope and fear

It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, came upon a young man who was dying and said, “How do you feel?” He said: “I have hope in Allah, O Messenger of Allah, but I fear my sins.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “These two things (hope and fear) do not coexist in the heart of a person in a situation like this, but Allah will give him that which he hopes for and keep him safe from that which he fears” [Ibn Majah].

A believer finds his solace and balance in having fear of Allah’s punishment and hope in His mercy. Some scholars have said that one should have more fear in one’s youth and transition to having more hope in one’s old age. Others have said that believers should have fear at the beginning of their day and hope towards the end of the day. His fear will then translate into action for the day.

Action

To take action, learn your obligatory knowledge, your tajweed, your basic fiqh, learn about the Prophet’s life, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and take some `aqidah lesson- these are all free at SeekersGuidance. Read some Qur’an every day with the meaning.

Commit to praying as well as you can, on time, and ask Allah to help you by praying the Prayer of Need. A scholar once told me that if you pray all of your sunnahs, Allah will help you accomplish your fard (obligatory) prayers. If you have missed a prayer due to a valid reason, such as “someone asleep (N: when its time first came who remained so until the time ended)” [Reliance of the Traveller, f1.5(1)], then you need not worry or fear about punishment. Simply make up the prayer and move on.

Making up missed prayers

If you have a large number of obligatory prayers to make up, start off with tawba, and then gratitude for having being given this guidance, and come up with a system of making them up in sustainable and speedy fashion. Please see these links for some advice:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/making-up-obligatory-fasts-and-prayers/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/go-making-lot-missed-prayers/

Desperation and mercy

Consider the following prophetic hadiths:

“When half of the night or two-third of it is over, Allah the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak” [Muslim].

“Allah created a hundred mercies, and He placed one mercy among his creation, they show mercy to one another by it, and there are ninety-nine mercies with Allah” [Tirmidhi].

And most importantly, heed the words from Allah, Most High, from His book, “Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Qur’an, 39:53].

See these excellent articles and videos for more information to defeat your despair:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/hopelessness-despair/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/social-challenges/ours-is-not-a-caravan-of-despair/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/returning-from-umrah-a-feeling-of-despair/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/returning-from-umrah-a-feeling-of-despair/

Medical check-up

If you feel like you get a rapid heartbeat over this issue, I recommend that you get a check-up just to make sure that your blood pressure and general health is in order. Try seeing the tips on this website for generalized anxiety disorder:
https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder#diagnosis

Also please see this link on waswasa and intend to do your best to overcome it, for the sake of Allah, He will certainly help you:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/a-reader-on-waswasa-baseless-misgivings/

May Allah give you every good and success and help you make up your prayers easily in their entirety.

[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.

 

I Am Not Physical With My Girlfriend, Is This Ok?

Question: I am currently in a relationship with a girl. I have never had lust or urges for fornication towards her. I know that I am in a haram relationship, but why does Allah make it last this long? Does this mean that He is blessing this relationship or that he wants me to end it?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother.

Thank you for your question. I am very pleased to see that you have not fornicated with your girlfriend, so you should quit while you are ahead.

Allah’s actions or yours?

Allah has not made your impermissible relationship last this long, you have. Allah is not to be blamed for any kind of sin committed by man, rather, we say that all of our good deeds come from Him and bad deeds come from ourselves.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “After me, I have not left any trial more severe to men than women” [Bukhari].

Blessed?

I can tell you first that Allah does not bless any illegal relationship. Having a girlfriend is lust and nothing else. You must be a man and make a decision about what you want to do. True strength and good character lie in calming your rage and fighting your lust.

Istikhara

Pray Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance and ask Allah what you should do. Should you marry this girl or leave her? Continuing this haram relationship is not an option. I recommend that you stay away from her for a month or two while you clear your head and pray istikhara. Thereafter, you can go straight to her parents and propose. I am sure she has had plenty of time to think about it.

Before you even look at her as a prospective bride, consider this hadith. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!” [Bukhari and Muslim]. She may not be the right type of wife for you.

Or forget about her

If your istikhara comes out negative, and marriage does not work out, repent to Allah and move on. It won’t be easy, but when you get emotionally attached to one another, it’s never easy. Tell her that you respect her too much to get this close and that it’s time to think about your future and hers. Nothing good will come from having a girlfriend.

Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?
I Feel So Guilty About Having a Girlfriend. How Can I Get Through This?

May Allah bless you both and give you the best of both worlds.

[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.

 

Recording a Scholar Without Permission

Question: In the past, I have sat in semi-private and private gatherings with a well-known Sheikh. I recorded these meetings without notifying him. Have I done wrong here and should I delete these files?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is not permissible for you to record someone’s audio or video in a private or public setting without their permission. If I were you, I would return to that scholar and tell him the matter. If he permits that you keep the recordings for yourself or otherwise, then act accordingly.

Always be cautious of doing something out of good intention. It may still contravene the shari`ah if done without the correct knowledge. You could end up harming the very person that you are trying to benefit from.

See this related link:

Ruling on recording university lectures without the permission of the lecturer

[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.

Is It Permissible to Read the Mawlid and Ask for the Prophet’s Intercession?

Question: I wanted to know about the relevance of mawlid (birthday) of our beloved Rasoolullah (saw). What about the usage of words in manqoos mawlid such as “anta munjeena ghada” -“you are my saviour tomorrow” and “shafa`atuhu hab lana” – “bless us with the intercession”. 

Answer: Assalamu alaykum brother,

Thank you for your question. Manqoos mawlid originates in Kerala, India. It was composed of the Muslim Scholar from Malabar Sheikh Maqdoom Zainuddin bin `Ali bin Ahmad (1467-1522). At that time, there were frequent fears of plague, smallpox, and many natural disasters at the coast of Malabar. So, the people approached Sheikh Maqdoom who was the top spiritual leader of Muslims in Malabar, and expressed their worries.

Shaikh Maqdoom thought deeply about the matter and decided to compose a mawlid, following in the footsteps of former Muslim scholars. Some parts of this mawlid were extracted from other mawlids (and shortened), while some themes were added by himself to cater to the problems of the Malabar region at that time. Sheikh Maqdoom then asked everyone to read this mawlid in their homes and in all the masjids.

This mawlid is also known as ‘Al-Mawlid ul Manqoos’ (The word “Manqus” in Arabic means ‘The Shortened’). Since that time, this mawlid has been regularly recited by Muslims in Kerala and neighboring places with great devotion, especially in the month of Rabee’ul Awwal, and also during special events and for special needs. In different parts of the world, it has been recited with great enthusiasm by Kerala Muslim communities as well as by many other groups.

The following is an excerpt taken from one of the links below. Please read all the excellent articles below to answer your questions in full.

“Everyone who feels longing and love [for the Prophet] ought to manifest delight and gladness (al-surur wa-al-bishara) on that night and the following morning and treat his children and wife to whatever he can afford in order to receive its blessings. He should entertain them and teach them that he did so simply out of love for that night, delight in it, and concern for its merit. He should explain to them that it is the noblest of nights in the eyes of God because on it the Messenger of God was born, and mention to them the description of the Messenger of God, his beauty and comeliness, his perfection, virtues and moral qualities, his speech and eloquence, his generosity and magnanimity, his character and clemency, his forgiveness and tolerance, his miracles and signs, everything that endears him to their hearts and exalts him. He should also teach them poems praising and extolling him. I and every other person who loves the Prophet consider this to be judicious and well-considered (min husn al-ra’y wa al-nazar), because teaching something [to a person] in his youth is like carving in stone – especially since youths are enamored of wonders, and [the Prophet’s] miracles are among the most wondrous things.”

(Tadhkirat al-Muhibbin, trans. M. Katz)

As for the two statements that you mention, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace will be granted intercession on the Day of Judgment and will aid in removing many believers already in the Hell Fire. We pray that Allah grants us all his intercession.

See the links below for a full description.

The Intercession of the Prophet on the Day of Judgment
The Pedagogical Power of the Mawlid, Pt I
The Pedagogical Power of the Mawlid, Pt II
On The Permissibility of Mawlid, With Conditions, by Shaykh Salek Bin Siddina

Wassalam

[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. Afterwards, 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 Muslim Women Wear Tight Jeans and Tight Dresses at Home?

Question: We aren’t allowed to wear clothes that are similar to the clothes of the opposite sex. In that regard, is it allowed in the Shafi`i school to wear tight-fitting jeans and shirts at home or tight fitted dresses?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum. Thank you for your question.

What is obligatory to cover

How a woman covers and who she covers in front of, is one of the central points in a Muslim’s application of her religion. This article details everything about the `awrah of a woman and what she needs to cover.

Please read this first:  A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)

Impermissible to dress as the opposite gender

It is true that a man should not dress as a woman, nor vice versa. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, cursed a man who puts on the dress of women, and a woman who puts on the dress of men [Abu Dawud].

Culture and modesty

Once a woman understands what she needs to cover, and doesn’t do it like a man, culture comes into play. What some Muslims have forgotten over time is that all Muslim cultures represent Islamic dress. Pakistanis have kameez shalwars, Arabs have dishdashas, Afghans wear tombaans and parahaans, Malaysians wear baju kurung (a long shirt with pleated skirt). The list goes on. What do all of these things have in common? Modesty. Clothing from Islamic cultures has never tried to emulate the West, and they have always proudly worn traditional clothes that are modest and that they can pray in.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “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].

The above hadith has been the main motivating factor for Muslims to come up with their own dress.

Tight jeans and tight dresses

Although I cannot tell you that wearing these clothes at home are sinful, they could still fall under the category of makruh (disliked) if they are being worn around your older children or parents who should not be seeing your shape from navel to knee.

I think better judgment can be used. Mindlessly wearing what non-Muslims wear, or adopting their concept of beauty as ours can only lead to trouble and imitation of non-Muslims in everything else. This is a gradual form of cultural colonialism which eventually waters down Islam and Muslim cultures.

If your husband wants you to dress like this and is disturbed if you don’t, then, of course, you must obey him. It would be praiseworthy to do it for him and not sinful. Time usually wears down these ideas and he may not want you to dress like this forever.

Beauty from within and without

Always keep modest clothing on hand for special occasions and remember that beauty is not in showing your shape and skin, but actually beauty is a refinement of character. There is also beauty in keeping your face fresh and clean, with a hint of kohl, hair tidy perhaps with fresh flowers in it, and a touch of henna on the hands and feet. Practical pretty jewelry has its place too! Please see the links below for more information:

My Husband Wants Me Wear a Headscarf at Home: Is There Any Religious Proof for This?
Tight or Revealing Clothing on Men and Women
Is Wearing Jeans Prohibited in Islam for Women?
Clothes of The People of the Land

[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. Afterwards, 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.

I Made Promises to God That I Can’t Keep

Question: I made promises to Allah to stop doing some negative things, like not watching TV, not reading newspapers, and not reading novels. It has become somewhat difficult for me to keep up with these. So should I keep them? Or what should I do?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Dear questioner, thank you for your question.

Please read the following article in order to differentiate between a promise, oath, or vow. It seems to me that your situation falls under a promise to Allah and nothing else.

What is the Difference Between a Promise, an Oath, and a Vow?

I commend your zeal for wanting to stop these actions, but I caution you to do so gradually. It is the Devil’s (Shaytan) number one trick to make one pile up many acts of worship, or totally abstain from all pleasures, that the person eventually comes crashing down, only to find that he didn’t change anything at all.

Limit your TV watching by an hour every few weeks gradually until you stop. Reduce your novels per month until you cut them out. There is no need to stop reading the news unless you feel that it is a genuine waste of time for you and doesn’t benefit you or your family. Pick your news carefully, perhaps, by reading only the Health section or Discovery section until you only read as much as you feel you need. You probably don’t need to read more than five minutes of politics.

Instead of making promises to Allah, get a handle on how you want to improve your religion and keep the company of religious people. Read the Qur`an every day, and read the inspiring works of Imam al-Haddad and others. Pray tahajjud and ask Allah to guide you every day. Don’t miss a single obligation and remove the haram from your life one at a time. You will soon find that your bad deeds drop from you like flies and that your interests will be changed forever. And Allah knows best.

Is There a Difference Between Breaking an Oath and Breaking a Promise?

[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.