Posts

Is It Permissible to Name My Baby Dhul-Qarnayn?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it permissible to name my baby Dhul-Qarnayn?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum, sister,

Historians and Quranic exegetes (mufassirun) mention that Dhul-Qarnayn was a pious king that ruled ancient Yemen around the year 1330 B.C. He conquered lands and ruled much of the East and the West.

His good deeds are mentioned in the Qur`an when he erected a barrier between a people and the evil Ya’juj and Ma’juj. [Qur`an, 18:93-98]. Dhul-Qarnayn is a nickname which lexically means “the owner of the two horns” or “the owner of the two centuries”.

It is permissible to name one’s child Dhul-Qarnayn. It also would be fine to nickname your son Qarnayn.

May Allah give you an easy pregnancy, delivery and make him the coolness of your eyes.

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] 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. 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.

A Nursing Mother’s Ramadan Reflections, by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil thought she knew what a challenging fasting day was…until she became a mother and began nursing her baby.

I thought that my hardest Ramadans were the ones I spent in Jordan, as a young student of knowledge. The days were incredibly long, and the blistering summer heat was like nothing I’d ever felt before. I missed the comfort of my mother’s cooking, and the familiar faces of my family and friends. In place of the loved ones I left behind, Allah blessed me with the warm company of new friends. May Allah reward the families who opened their homes to me, especially during Ramadan.
Almost a decade later, I find myself faced with an entirely different set of circumstances. I am married, living in Malaysia and nursing my baby daughter. She is almost one, and I am so grateful that she enjoys eating solids. Fiqh rulings about fasting while breastfeeding have taken a whole new meaning for me. Once, I would have thought it impossible. Nursing mothers like myself often experience a hunger that accompanies nursing a baby. Despite that, I’m realising how much Allah sustains my baby daughter and me, from heartbeat to heartbeat. Is it easy to fast while nursing a baby? Absolutely not. It’s humbling, it’s exhausting, it’s possible, and for now at least, I’ll keep going.

Tips for nursing mums:

1)   Drink plenty of water after iftar, alongside chia seeds soaked overnight.
2)   Have a solid suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and ask Allah to sustain you.
3)   Nap during the day when your baby naps!
4)   Express milk after suhoor or iftar, or both, if you need to.
5)   If you start getting unwell or your milk supply drops enough to impact on your baby’s nourishment, then know that it’s OK to stop fasting. Pay it back later, and look at the rules of fidyah for your school of thought. Some women can fast while nursing, while others can’t. Allah knows.

Extra Worship Is Another Matter

This Ramadan, I haven’t been able to step into a masjid, because my baby daughter doesn’t sleep through the night. Some nights, she can stay asleep for long stretches, and other nights, she wakes up continuously. I’ve made my peace with that. Instead of the luxury of hours of tarawih like in days gone by, I have precious moments of solitude as my daughter sleeps, or plays with her father and grandmother. These are the moments where I close my eyes and remember the power of intention. Every day looking after my baby is a day spent in love and service, for the sake of Allah Most High. Keeping connected to that intention is challenging, even on the best of days. What’s helped me stay present with that intention is listening to the SeekersHub Ramadan Podcasts in between putting her to sleep, feeding her, and playing with her. Mercy, forgiveness, and salvation – we are all in need.
May Allah help us make the most of the days we have left, help us be of service to others, and help us be pleased with His Decree.

Resources for seekers

Naming a Child Eesa Ibrahim Khan.

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Me and my wife have just had a baby boy, we were thinking about names and we wanted to name our child Eesa Ibrahim Khan. I just wanted to check if we can 2 prophets names together or if it was best just to go with Eesa Khan?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

There is no problem in joining the names of two prophets in the manner you have described.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

What Is the Sunnah in Regards to Receiving a Newborn Baby?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am expecting my first child with my wife. Is there anything in the sunnah we need to do leading up to the birth of the baby next month? What do we do when the baby arrives and the days coming after the birth of the baby?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Sunnah

Congratulations! May Allah ease your wife’s discomfort in this last stage of her pregnancy and bless her with an easy birth and postpartum recovery.

I recommend that you look up this excellent resource by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra: What Acts Are Recommended After Giving Birth To A Child

Birth

Preparing for birth is similar to preparing to a marathon: there are a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical components. First-time parents like yourself may benefit from the support of a doula, who is trained birth companion and an advocate for your baby’s gentle birth.

I have found these resources tremendously helpful in the birth of my own babies, and I pray that these may benefit you and your wife:

101 Tips For Having A Natural Childbirth

Spinning Babies

Breastfeeding

Have you and your wife attended any breastfeeding or birth support classes? Breastfeeding is from the sunnah, and does not necessarily come naturally to many women. It takes practice, support, and much patience, especially when a baby is born early, or in other challenging circumstances.

Postnatal Care

Abdullah bin ‘Amr (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said: “The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens. The womb is named after Ar-Rahman, so whoever connects it, Allah connects him, and whoever severs it, Allah severs him.” [Tirmidhi]

Do you have sufficient postnatal care support for your wife? This is an oft-neglected tradition in the modern world. Alhamdulilah, where I live in Malaysia, it is very much the norm for a woman to rest for 40 days at home, with live-in support (mother, mother-in-law or a live-in helper). This may seem excessive at first glance, but it makes such a difference.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to support your wife in her post-partum state. If it is not possible for you to take at least two weeks off from work, then ensure that your mother or her mother is close by to provide support.

Ensure that your wife’s main role is to bond with her baby and rest. Either you cook her nourishing meals, or provide the means for someone else to do so. Her body has just gone through something incredible and exhausting, and she needs as much support as you can provide. Please relax your expectations (clean home, freshly ironed clothes etc) and take the initiative to do the chores she would normally do, or pay someone else to do it. Know that being there for your wife when she is at her weakest is also very much from the sunnah.

I recommend that you and your wife read this book together: After the Baby’s Birth: A Complete Guide for Postpartum Women.

Visiting

Culturally, it is common for excited relatives to visit as soon as they hear the good news. Please help to ensure that your wife is well-rested and sufficiently covered before that happens. She is in a vulnerable state, and so is your baby. It is not rude to gently remind them to wash their hands before they hold your baby. If your baby is asleep or nursing, then it is fair to let them know that.

Again, congratulations on the upcoming birth of your first child. The newborn stage is exhausting and exhilarating. Get some rest too, in between caring for your wife and newborn.

Please see:

Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz’s advice on duas to read during pregnancy and labour
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Can I Name My Baby Girl Inara Mayameen or Inara Al Mayameen?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can I name my baby girl Inara Mayameen or Inara Al Mayameen?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

It is recommended to name one’s children beautiful names, and particularly recommended to name them after righteous predecessors such as the Prophetic Companions or others. Names like Maryam, Asiya are names of righteous women in the Quran; names like Zaynab, Asma, Fatima, Umm Kulthum are names of female Prophetic Companions. Any other beautiful name in any language, as long as it isn’t too religiously pretentious, will also do.

As far as I know, inara means lighting, as in lighting up a house, and mayameen means blessed ones. It would kind of mean that your daughter is the enlightenment of those who are blessed, but it would sound a little awkward in Arabic. Maybe a name like Muneera (she who gives light) or Maymoona (she who is good/blessed, and also one on the Prophet’s wives (Allah bless him and grant him peace)) might be more simple.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.

Is It Wrong to Name My Baby Miraj in Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it wrong to name my baby Miraj in Islam?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question.

There is nothing wrong with naming a child Miraj as it is not inherently impermissible, nor does it have a negative meaning. The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Indeed you will called by your names and the names of your fathers on the Day of Judgement, so [choose] good names’ (Abu Dawud).

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

I Want to Have a Baby but I Don’t Feel Safe at Home. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I live with my parents-in-law, brother-in-law and husband. My brother-in-law is mentally unwell, screams, shouts, and pushes his parents. My husband and I want to have a baby but I don’t feel safe at home. What do I do?

Everything between myself and my husband are good alhamdulilah, we both love and respect one another, but this situation is affecting me and I really want to start a family in a happy environment.

Answer: Assalamulaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Rights

Dear sister, the living environment you are in sounds very troubling. Pregnancy and having a newborn are both blessed and stressful times, and it sounds like you need a much calmer home.

In terms of your rights, please refer to this link: A Wife’s Right to Housing Separate From Her In-Laws

In a nutshell, even under normal circumstances, you have the right to your own private quarters. Your living situation you describe is already unsafe for you, and will be especially unsafe with a newborn.

Husband

Your husband is a good man who wants to look after his parents. He is obligated to look after them, and he is also obligated to look after you. The key here is balance, which can be very difficult to attain, and maintain.

I encourage you and your husband to study the Islamic rulings behind marriage, the rights of parents, and the rights of children. SeekersHub has courses on all three topics. When you both have a better understanding of what Allah has outlined, then it is easier for you to separate Islam from culture.

Your husband may feel too guilty to move out of his family home. He is probably very worried about his parents as well as his brother. Perhaps he feels like the only one who can protect his parents from his brother. This is a deeply complex and difficult situation.

Ideally, it is far safer for you and your future children to live in your own separate home, even if it is right next door to your in-laws.

Communication

I encourage you to communicate your concerns with your husband through softening your startup. Read articles such as and Manage Conflict: The Six Skills and Soften Your Startup. Work on improving your ability to repair conflict with your husband.

This is probably an extremely stressful topic for both of you, so if it is too difficult for you to broach on your own, then I encourage both of you to speak to a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor.

Self-care

Please look after yourself during this time. You have already been diagnosed with depression, and your health will have a direct impact on everything else in your life. Please get the help you need. Is there a culturally-sensitive counsellor or psychologist you can speak to?

As much as possible, strive to keep your self-care cup full. Wake up in the last third of the night and perform the Prayer of Need. Read, recite and listen to Qur’an, Lean on your loved ones. Eat well, exercise, and spend time in nature.

Solutions

I can offer you some suggestions, and I pray that Allah facilitates ease for you.

1) Is it possible for your brother-in-law to get better psychiatric and holistic help?
2) Could your in-laws afford to hire a male nurse or equivalent to help support your brother-in-law?
3) I suggest that you, your husband and his family consult with Aafiyah Healing and/or Elements of Healing.
4) Calmly discuss options for more privacy and safety with your husband.
5) Consult with a compassionate local scholar about how to move forward.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Is It Permissible to Use Numerology When Deciding a Name for a Child?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it permissible in Islam to use numerology/date and time of birth when deciding a name for a child?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Numerology has been defined as “the study of the occult meanings of numbers and their supposed influence on human life” (American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Ed.).

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) is reported to have said: “Whoever goes to an astrologer or diviner and believes them has disbelieved in that which has been revealed to Muhammad (ﷺ).” (recorded by ibn Majah and Darimi).

To believe that astrology, numerology, or the like cause benefit or harm independently of Allah’s Divine Will is utter disbelief (kufr). It is also disbelief (kufr) to believe that the practitioners of these things know the unseen independently of Allah’s knowledge. We seek refuge in Allah from such beliefs.

Even if one maintains the correct Islamic belief, it would still be impermissible to practice astrology, numerology, or the like. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, when asked about augury: “That (i.e. the outcomes of augury) is something they find in their hearts” (recorded by Muslim). In other words, through augury and similar practices Shaytan leads people away from correct belief (i.e. no harm or benefit except by Allah) and towards kufr (i.e. these things harm or benefit).

Therefore, you should avoid naming your child based on numerology or similar practices. Traditionally, it was common for Muslims to request an elder or a pious person to select a name for the child. Alternatively, you may pray istikhara.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) is reported to have said: “Assign names using the names of the Prophets. The names dearest to Allah are Abdullah and AbdurRahman, the truest are Harith and Hammam, and the worst are Harb and Murrah.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud and Nisa’i).

He (ﷺ) is also reported to have said: “From the rights of the child over his father is that he names him well and teaches him good manners” (Narrated by Bayhaqi in Shi’b al-Iman, and he declared it weak).

Arabic sources are below.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Umer Mian

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ أَتَى حَائِضًا أَوْ امْرَأَةً فِي دُبُرِهَا أَوْ كَاهِنًا فَصَدَّقَهُ بِمَا يَقُولُ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ (رواه ابن ماجه والدارمي)

عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ، قَالَ: وَإِنَّ مِنَّا رِجَالًا يَأْتُونَ الْكُهَّانَ، قَالَ: ” فَلَا تَأْتِهِمْ “، قُلْتُ: وَمِنَّا رِجَالٌ يَتَطَيَّرُونَ، قَالَ: ” ذَاكَ شَيْءٌ يَجِدُونَهُ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ فَلَا يَصُدَّنَّهُمْ ” (رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ)

عَنْ أَبِي وَهْبٍ الْجُشَمِيِّ وَكَانَتْ لَهُ صُحْبَةٌ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَسَمَّوْا بِأَسْمَاءِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَأَحَبُّ الْأَسْمَاءِ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَعَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ وَأَصْدَقُهَا حَارِثٌ وَهَمَّامٌ وَأَقْبَحُهَا حَرْبٌ وَمُرَّةُ (سنن أبي داود)

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، قَدْ عَلِمْنَا حَقَّ الْوَالِدِ عَلَى الْوَلَدِ، فَمَا حَقُّ الْوَلَدِ عَلَى الْوَالِدِ ؟ قَالَ: ” أَنْ يُحْسِنَ اسْمَهُ، وَيُحْسِنَ أَدَبَهُ ” (شعب الإيمان للبيهقي)

Is It Permissible to Name My Baby After an Angel?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Is it permissible to name my baby after an angel? (i.e. Jibreel).

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, it is permitted to name your child after an angel. For more see:

Is it Permissible to Name Children with Names of Angels?

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

How Can I Clean My Hands to Feed My Baby While Performing Umra?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

How can I clean my hands to feed my baby during my Umra if I can’t find unscented soap?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,

Whilst in a state of pilgrim sanctity (ihram), you can clean your hands with that which is unscented and fulfils the purpose, such as hand wipes.

The basis is that perfumes and scents are to be avoided during the state of pilgrim sanctity, and until you complete the rites.

This reason for this is that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said that the person in a state of pilgrim sanctity is “dishevelled,” and perfuming oneself negates this meaning.

[Kasani, Bada‘i al-Sanaæ‘i]

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.