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Is It Permissible to Just Read the Qur’an Until I Learn How to Pray?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum, I just converted to Islam. Is It Permissible to Just Read the Qur’an During the Prayer Time until I Learn how to pray?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well. Congratulations! I pray Allah makes your faith thrive and that He makes you embody the beauty of this religion such that you are pleasing to Him.

Start Now

You should pray the five daily prayers in their time. This is quite simple as you only need to do the bare minimum of actions for the obligatory prayers (2 units for fajr, 4 for Zuhr, 4 for ‘Asr, 3 for Maghrib, 4 for ‘Isha, 3 for witr). This can be learned in five minutes.

You should get someone who prays to help you with the following, but it is fairly straight forward. Start a minimal wudu: wash you face, arms up to the elbows, and feet unto the ankles once; and wipe a moist hand over a 1/4 of your head,

Then, face the Qibla, intend the prayer you are praying, and say ‘Allahu Akbar’. If you do not know the Arabic pronunciation you can say ‘God is the greatest.’

Then recite just one verse in Arabic – which shouldn’t be difficult to learn (try ‘Allah-us-Samad’). Then bow (ruku’) and stay there for a couple of seconds, stand for a second, and go down in to the prostration (sujud). Sit up, and then do another sujud.

This is one unit complete. Stand for the next. For fajr, sit for about 30 seconds after the second unit, then look at your shoulders and say ‘salam’ to end the prayer.

For the rest of the prayers, you will sit after the second unit and then stand for the third or the last unit. Repeat what you did earlier to end when the number of units for the prayer are done.

One last thing – in the witr prayer, in the third unit, after reciting a verse, raise your hands and say ‘Allahu Akbar’ once more before bowing.

Doing the above will give mean that your prayers are valid, and as you learn the elements of the prayer you can add to the above formula as you go. Learning the above is not difficult, and you’ll find it very easy with the help of another.

Go Slow

The prayer is a great source of benefit for a believer, and a means of showing gratitude to Allah for what He gives us. Getting it going will aid you in strengthening your faith – but take it easy. Learning about the details of the religion can be overwhelming, and sometimes adding new practices is very tempting too.

Please take our course on the Absolute Essentials of Islam. It will help you build your practice in a balanced way.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Conversion And Abusive Mother

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: How do I deal with the difficulties I face from my non-muslim mother?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for embracing Islam and may He make easy your relationship with your mother and soften her heart toward Islam.

Your responsibility to your mother is to treat her with good character and the utmost respect. At the same time, if she demands from you anything that is against your faith, refuse with kindness and dignity.

The Challenges a Convert Faces

Dealing with non-muslim relatives is one of the main challenges for the convert. It proves much more difficult when that relative is one’s mother. This is not something new. The Companions [may Allah be pleased with them] – many of whom were converts – faced very similar issues, sometimes far worse.

Obtaining the Pleasure of Allah

Islam is a relationship with Allah, Most High, in which we seek to obtain His divine pleasure. That is achieved by doing what Allah wants from us, in whichever situation He puts us in. We are all tested in different ways and your test is your relationship with your mother. Although challenging this may be how you obtain the pleasure of Allah, Most High, it may be your ticket to Jennah, per se.

Islam commands us to be righteous to our parents while holding to our principles. We are commanded to be humble, respectful, and not to utter any words on disrespect. If they ask of us, that which is permissible in our faith, we strive to fulfill that request. But if they ask of us that which is displeasing to Allah, we refuse with respect and kindness.

Allah, Most High, says:

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to me will be your return, then I will inform you of what you used to do. [Qur’an: 31.15]

In matters such as these, one should turn themselves to Allah, Most High, in supplication. Allah, Most High is the possessor of the hearts. If He wishes, He can change your mother’s heart. Allah, Most High, says:

Perhaps Allah will put between you and those you have enmity with, from them, love. And Allah is All-Able. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful [Qur’an: 60.7]

May Allah make easy your affairs

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

I Am a Convert to Islam and Struggle to Interact with My Family.

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I converted about a year ago at 15 and since then, I have been struggling with interaction with my family. Recently on a road trip I’ve been repeatedly slandered by my brother who is also a Muslim. He pays very little heed to the religion and engages in prohibited acts. I’ve been struggling to maintain myself being around my family because of the things they do when i’m with them. I hate the kinds of things they do that are prohibited, but I love them and politely ask them to stop or try to change the subject when something comes up.

My Muslim brother who knows these kinds of things are wrong does them the most. He pays no regard to prayer, scowls and belittles me when I ask for something like the car to be stopped so I can pray. I finally had enough, then I said and did something I regretted. I want to repent and make amends, but it is very hard to talk to my brother who won’t listen to a word I say. Even if I tried to apologize, he would probably insult me as usual. How do I deal with my family, especially my older brother, and please Allah with regards to my family and repentance?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Repentance

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘The believer should not be stung from the same hole twice.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

In addition to repenting privately to Allah, I suggest that you write a letter of apology to your brother, give it to him, and leave it at that. Please do not confront him directly if you believe that he will only insult you. It would be good for you to also give some charity in his name, with the intention of facilitating good for him, and completing your repentance.

Working with reality

Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say: ‘Whoever among you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart- and that is the weakest of faith.'” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

It is natural to love your family, and want goodness for them. It sounds like you are deeply concerned for them. However, please remember that they are all adults, and have free will. Show them the beauty of Islam through your good character. Make dua for their guidance. Refer to this excellent resource: A Convert Dealing with Non-Muslim Parents.

Setting Boundaries

It can feel very difficult to set boundaries around family members. I recommend that you read books such as Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day. It may be useful for you to attend courses on assertiveness and communication skills.

The more you set boundaries with your brother, then the it easier it will become. Boundary-setting is a muscle that becomes stronger with practice. He may not like it at first, so you must remain polite and firm.

It sounds like he is troubled, and is unfairly taking out his anger and frustration on you. His decision to neglect his prayers is up to him, but it is not acceptable for him to treat you poorly.

Draw strength from your spiritual foremothers, who were all incredibly strong in the face of oppression and hardship. This is your heritage, too.

May Allah make this easier for you. Please keep in touch.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Am I Accountable if My Family Doesn’t Practice Islam?
How Can I Help Non-Practising Family and Friends?

[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.

My Husband Is a Convert to Islam but He Has Gone Back to Drinking.

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My husband is a convert to Islam. He took his Islam seriously when we first married. Since we moved to the house he was raised in, everything has changed. We are far away from my parents and our Muslim friends.

I discovered by accident that he was meeting and having sex with another woman, that he is drinking alcohol regularly when I’m not around, that sometimes he didn’t even have wudu when we were praying together.

His family knows he converted but he drinks with them and never mentions Islamic things. He promised he would not have an affair or drink again, but I discovered that he has been drinking again. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay. Your question required much reflection and consultation.

Difficulties With Husband

Dear sister, I am so sorry about the great tribulation you find yourself in. You love your husband, he is a kind man, but you have found out that he has broken his promise to you.

Understanding Addiction

People who struggle with addictions often have deep pain. The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20

From what you have described of his parents and childhood, I cannot begin to imagine the amount of trauma he is carrying around. It sounds like he has been trying to drown out his deep sorrow using addictions such as sex, drugs and alcohol.

Please ensure that he has had a blood test done to ensure he has not caught any sexually-transmitted infections, which he can then pass to you.

Marriage

“And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative. You can only warn those who fear their Lord unseen and have established prayer. And whoever purifies himself only purifies himself for [the benefit of] his soul. And to Allah is the [final] destination.” [Qur’an 35:18]

Dear sister, it is only natural for you to want to protect your marriage. He is so blessed to have such a loyal wife.

However, it is not your duty to protect your husband from himself. Only he can do that. Your duty is to be a compassionate, faithful and loving wife. That is hard to do when he has been unfaithful to you, and continues to break his promises.

Unfortunately, you are unable to force him to change. All you can do is set boundaries on acceptable behaviour. I suggest that both of you attend culturally-sensitive marital counselling. If he is unwilling to, then please go by yourself. You need to figure out for yourself, if this is a marriage you are willing to stay in.

I suggest that you reach out to your family for help. You do not have to offer specific details, but you can describe that your husband is going through a hard time, and you are struggling too. Your parents will be heartbroken, but perhaps they can reach out to your husband and positively influence him.

Healing Power of Connection

We all need love and connection to thrive. Your husband has lost his connection to himself, and his connection to Allah. Both of you have lost your connection to a strong Muslim community.

Find ways to grow these connections, starting with your own connection to Allah, your own connection to yourself, and your connection to your husband. You cannot force your husband, but you can nourish your own soul.

Moving homes

Is it possible for you to move closer to your parents, your Muslim friends, or another location with a stronger Muslim community? It sounds like your husband has gone back to his old ways because he has returned to a location of so much past sin. Darkness brings about more darkness, and light brings about more light.

At this stage of his life journey, It is better for him to not be in such regular contact with his non-Muslim family, especially because his faith is so fragile. He is too easily influenced by their dunya-seeking ways. Perhaps one day, when his faith is stronger, he can be a source of guidance for them. Right now, he is not ready to be continually exposed to them.

Prayer of Need

Please wake up in the last third of the night (even if 10 minutes before the entry of Fajr) and perform the Prayer of Need. Pour out your sorrow to Him. Beg Allah to ease this burden.

Prayer of Guidance

If your husband continues to break his promises, drink alcohol, have affairs, and so on, dear sister, I ask you to consider this – what will happen if you fall pregnant? Do you want him, in his current state, to the the father of your child?

Please know that having a baby is not a magical cure that will fix your marriage. Well-meaning relatives may try to suggest that. However, the stress of a newborn can break an already troubled marriage. You want to have a husband who is firm on his faith, so he can be a support to you in your vulnerable times of pregnancy, post-partum recover, and the exhausting early years of child-rearing.

Your husband is likely to fall back on unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Divorce

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Please exhaust all options before considering divorce as a last resort.

Please do not blame yourself for his choices. He is a grown man, with deep trauma, and perhaps going separate ways will be better for both of you. If Allah has written for him to return to you, then inshaAllah he will return, after his repentance, as a stronger Muslim.

Reflect on the possibility that it may be better for you to be divorced, with a heart and body free to worship Allah, than to be tied to a man who is growing more and more distant from Allah. No man is worth losing faith over.

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.

Can I Make Dua to Marry a Convert?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

If I marry, I would marry a convert. Due to racist reasons, my mother disagrees with this but my father doesn’t. To me, character and lifestyle matter more than nationality. But I have noticed that so many born Muslims are so nationalistic and have cultural traditions that are against Islam. The mothers-in-law and families are often very difficult, and I know this because I see this in my own family. Most converts are not nationalistic and don’t live with these traditions. That’s why I don’t want to marry a born Muslim. Am I right? Can I make dua for this?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Marrying converts

Unfortunately, what you say is true. There are many deeply problematic and ingrained cultural problems that lie within many ethnic Muslims and their marriages. Difficult mothers-in-law are an especially sore point. All of this is cultural, and not from Islam, because Islam condones the exact opposite – forgiveness, letting go of grudges, compassion, giving others the benefit of the doubt etc.

However, it is a mistake to think that one can avoid problems by marrying a Muslim convert. Marriage to anyone will bring its own set of challenges. These problems are all opportunities for growth, if handled well, or opportunities for misery, if handled poorly.

For example, common issues faced by people who marry converts are this: difficulties with non-Muslim in-laws, mismatched expectations, difficulty explaining one’s family’s traditions etc.

By marrying a convert, you may not have a traditionally difficult ethnic mother-in-law, but you may have the difficulty of a mother-in-law who does not respect your Islam, and how you wish to raise your children.

Everyone, even those from the West, has some kind of culture, and a set of beliefs and expectations. There is no escaping this. What matters is how maturely you handle the challenges brought to you by marriage.

Husband

I suggest that you ask Allah to make dua for the best kind of husband for you.

If you wish, you can be as specific as you like, but know that Allah will give you exactly what you need, even if it may not be exactly what you want.

Please study and read more about marriage through these resources:

Before You Tie The Knot

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.

How Should I Tell Parents About Becoming Muslim?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I have a close friend who is 14 and has recently converted to Islam. He attends the Friday prayer in school but hasn’t been able to pray at home yet, due to his parents not knowing. How should he go about telling his parents? If their reaction is negative, how can he continue practising Islam at home?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well. Alhamdulillah, may Allah guide your young friend in the religion, and make his faith firm.

There is no one answer to your question, as the best way to deal with the situation depends on many variables. How and when to deal with telling his parents about his conversion, if to tell them at all, largely rests upon on his relationship with his parents, the parent’s personalities and outlook in life, their understanding and exposure to Islam and Muslims, and indeed, the parents own religious convictions etc. All of these factors have to be taken into account.

However, we can offer general guidance that can be applied:

Suggestions

1. Make Du’a: The most powerful means to overcome any difficulties is to turn to and rely on the One who is in control of all affairs, their beginnings and outcomes. Your friend should ask Allah to guide him in dealing with his parents, to make the situation easy, and to make his Islam a source of happiness and guidance for them all.

2. Assess the situation: Your friend alone knows whether he should tell his parents now or later. This depends on what he feels his parent’s reactions will be. If they are kind and tolerable parents, then it may be a good idea to tell them sooner rather than later.

At the same time however, he should give himself enough time to feel comfortable in the religion. Becoming Muslim is a big step, and is the first of many steps. After one has entered Islam, this is actually where most of the guidance is needed for new Muslims, as many issues can arise and finding one’s way in the religion and among the Muslims is not always very easy.

For this reason, he should allow time for himself to adapt and build confidence in the religion, understand more of it and how faith translates into practice. This may be good to do before telling others, perhaps including parents, because speaking with some knowledge and experience is very different to speaking with no knowledge and no experience.

In the meantime, he can pray in his room, and avoid certain foods at home. Other than this, during this period of self-adaption, he does not need to implement every rule by the book at home, thereby causing confusion and discord to his unknowing parents.

On the other hand, if he feels that his parent’s reactions will be hostile and even threatening, then it would be better he does not tell them, for now at least, especially given his young age. In this case, he must just go about as normal, and pray in his room without bringing attention to his new faith. Allah knows everyone’s situation.

3. Mercy and love: If your friend does choose to tell his parent now, then he should ensure that he is respectful and calm at all times, even if they show anger, or become upset. Being defensive or aggressive won’t win anyone’s heart.

We have been commanded to be compassionate and kind to our parents in all situations. If we have to stay firm for the sake of the religion and this means upsetting parents, we stay firm without breaking their hearts any more than what may occur unavoidably. We then do our utmost to console them by other means. For this reason, your friend should show even more care and concern for them now he is Muslim than ever before, so they can see that his religion elevates a person and orders goodness and does not debase the person and invites to evil and harshness. Loving actions shoot through the heart with warmth and engenders acceptance, while harshness pierces with coldness and creates hostility.

3. Keep the message simple: Whether they accept his conversion or not, ultimately, most parents want what is best for their child. It is normal to fear what we don’t know, and for most non-Muslims, lslam is an unknown or even a threat. Your friend should be aware of this and understand it, as respecting and allaying other’s fears and concerns is usually more effective than standing defiant and defensive. It is not the unfamiliarity of Islam that may unsettle them, but it is the uncertainty of whether they will ‘lose’ their son to Islam.

If he does tell them, he should just speak from his heart and explain what stirred him to take this decision, and what he feels the religion has offered him. This personal approach will have much more effect on his parents because they will know by own that it is their son speaking, and not the influence or voice of others.

While contentious questions about Islam may arise, he should avoid entering into detailed discussion on peripheral or politicized aspects of the religion, but rather, return everything to the pure essence of Islam, meaning believing in one God, all the Prophets, the books etc., and the 5 pillars.

The aim in this approach is to build upon what is common ground or familiar to them, rather than discuss the many unfamiliar aspects or issues in their mind connected to the religion. This way, we build on ready foundations, not having to dig out from scratch, bridges are built, not burned, and understanding can occur, not misunderstanding.

By doing this, the pure message of Islam will be made clearer to his parents, and they can begin to understand what is behind their son’s new faith without being distracted and their thoughts cluttered with other issues or previous notions they had in their minds. This simple approach will be easily and more readily processed and agreeable.

4. Speak according to their understanding: Also, he should speak with what according to his parent’s level of understanding. If he must discuss things in more detail, then he should use those things that he knows appeal to them or touches their hearts. For example, if they pride themselves in being tolerant, open minded people, then he should evoke the high principles they have always taught him to follow. If they are people who believe in doing charity and good works, then he should emphasise the Prophets charity and Islam’s stress on helping others. If they are neither of the above, perhaps even anti-religion or intolerant of others, but perhaps very family orientated, then he should focus on family and what the religion says about family ties and parents etc., or if they are material and money orientated, then he can put more emphases that Islam does not demand that we give up all our worldly life and comforts for the sake of faith, but rather it can be a balance of both, and so on.

5. Support: Lastly, it is important that you, as his friend, and others, continue to support him and guide him to clarity and ease in the religion. Do not overwhelm him with too much information, rather give him space, letting him get used to the absolute basics of the religion before anything else. Most importantly, keep him strong by being strong yourselves, and show him the beauty of the religion by being beautiful people.

May Allah make you and your friends among the strong believers and the next generation of leaders. Amin.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Mother Is Not Muslim. How Can I Help Her?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I’m 15 years old and I’ve always wanted one thing – for my mum to become a Muslim. She loves Islam, she defends it anywhere, and she even tells me to pray. She was brought up with a Christian/Orthodox background but she doesn’t practice ever since she married my father. How do I help my mother?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Mother

Abu Huraira reported that a person said: “Allah’s Messenger, (upon him be blessings and peace) who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness). [Sahih Muslim]

Dear questioner, your mother is blessed to have you has her child. Your deep concern for her Akhirah is proof that your parents have nurtured you well.

Nobody can force belief into another’s heart. This is a gift from Allah alone. However, there is still much you can do to positively influence your mother.

He said, “My Lord, put my heart at peace for me, and make my task easy for me, and remove the knot from my tongue, so that they may understand my speech.” [Qur’an 20:25-28]

I suggest that you perform the Prayer of Need and recite the dua of Nabi Musa for eloquence (see above). Make the intention to have an honest and sincere conversation with your mother. You do not know her feelings about Islam until you ask her, but from your description, it sounds like she is already very supportive of your deen. Perhaps you can start with asking her how her feelings are about Islam. Consider this the start of an ongoing conversation over many weeks, months, and maybe even years.

When you feel she is ready, ask her what could be stopping her from becoming Muslim. Remember to approach her with an attitude of respectful curiosity. You are concerned about hurting her feelings. This is a possibility, as any difficult conversation comes with risk. However, speak to her gently, kindly, do not push her into a corner, and apologise if you do speak out of line.

Dua

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “One of you will be responded to, so long as he is not hasty, saying: ‘I supplicated, and I was not responded to.’” [Tirmidhi]

Never, ever underestimate the power of dua. It can be challenging to keep making the same dua when you do not see any immediate change, but please persist. You are not responsible for the outcome, but you can do everything in your power to do your part.

Self-care

Please learn to manage your anxiety and worry about your mother. Instead of getting frustrated at yourself or your mother, focus on what is within your control. In addition to dua, consider practising strategies from this website: Emotional First Aid.

Decree of Allah

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “When Allah created the Creation, He wrote in His Book–and He wrote (that) about Himself, and it is placed with Him on the Throne–‘Verily My Mercy overcomes My Anger.'” [Bukhari]

Rest your heart with the knowledge that Allah’s Mercy is vast. He knows how much you love your mother. Trust that, even if it takes time, He will never let you down.

Please see:

Am I Accountable if My Family Doesn’t Practice Islam?
Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (II)
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
[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.

Should I Make up the Prayers During the Time I Was Inclined to Islam? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am a convert to Islam and I said the shahada when I was 25. However I was keen to convert to Islam when I was 14 or 15. I even did fast (mostly) on Ramadan.

1. Is it possible that I entered Islam without knowing it and if so do I have make up prayers?

2. When I began praying, I learned wudu from a video with mistakes in it. I don’t know how many prayers I made with a wrong wudu. What should I do?

3. 6 years ago I had a leather jacket and didn’t know that it was pigskin. I prayed with this jacket. What should I do?

4. If I have to make up prayers for two or more reason, which prayers should I make up first?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well insha’Allah. Thank you for your questions. May Allah reward you for striving in the faith.

1. For a person’s Islam to be outwardly valid, the Shahada (The Testification of faith) must be said with certainty. If one doubts whether they have uttered the Shahada then they would not be considered Muslim in regards the outward rulings of the law.

However, if a person believes in Islam without uttering the Shahada, in that they believe that there is no deity except Allah and that Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger, then inwardly they are considered a believer, according to the correct opinion. This means that while outwardly they would have to be considered a non-Muslim (as this is all people can go by), the person would be amongst the believers in the next life.

[Hashiyah al Bajuri ‘ala Jawhara, ‘Iyanat al Talibin]

Keenness, devotion to Islam, and observation of Islamic practice can all be part of the process in preparing a person to take the Shahada, but they do not constitute as the formal, legal entrance into the faith.

As long as there is doubt in the matter, you should consider yourself as having becoming Muslim on the day you took the Shahada. This means you are not obliged to make up any prayers before this day. Nor will you be taken into account for any sins prior to Islam, as the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Islam wipes out whatever sins came before it’ [Musnad Ahmad].

2. When it becomes apparent that wudu or other purifications have not been performed correctly, then you have to make up the prayers performed with these incorrect practices. However, because you were relatively new to Islam and tried to learn, you would not have been sinful.

The way to make up the prayers is to estimate the maximum length of time the prayers were incorrect, and then add extra for precaution, so that you feel certain it wouldn’t have been more than this time. For example, you said it was roughly a year, so make up one year and 2-4 months extra just to be sure.

I would say however, please do be careful who you learn your religious practice from, especially on the internet. The safest way is to find a teacher and enquire whether they follow one of the four schools of law. That way, even if you choose to follow another school of law later, your worship would be valid in one school.

3. It is not permissible to wear clothes made from pigskin and any prayers performed whilst wearing the item would be invalid (and need to be made up), as mentioned in all the major works of all four madhabs.

Again, to gauge how may prayers need to be made up, we take the maximum period and then add extra for precaution to put it beyond doubt. You mentioned it could have been two years, so make up two years and 2-4 months. If after taking the maximum time and adding extra and you felt confident that this sufficed for the time period, there was a mistake in your calculation, then you will not be taken account for this.

If you make up more than what was needed it will be counted as supererogatory prayers, so you get rewarded anyway, for Allah does not allow a person’s good works go in vain.

[Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Mughni al Muhtaj, Sharh al Kabir]

4. It is sunna to make up the prayers in the order they were missed, regardless of the reason. If the incorrect wudu preceded the wearing pigskin, then start with the prayers from the incorrect wudu. If you cannot remember which exact prayers were prayed with incorrect wudu / wearing the skin, then you make up all the prayers of each day.

Please also refer to the following answers:

A Reader on Missed Prayers
Wearing Pig Skin in the Maliki School
Is Pigskin Permissible as Clothing (Hanafi)?
Why Is It Permissible to Wear Leather Regardless of How the Animal Has Been Slaughtered? (Shafi’i)

May Allah make your affairs easy.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Should I Marry a Man Ready to Convert to Islam For Me?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

I am a Muslim women and I pray and fast. I am in a relationship with a Christian man who is willing to convert because he thinks all religions are the same. I fear that his background isn’t similar to mine. He is a man of honor, his mom is a spiritual christian, almost all his friends are. Even if he converted for us to marry it is very confusing and upsetting. What should I do?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

It seems that in a way you may know the answer to your own question. Clearly, the man you are thinking of marrying is not serious about Islam as a guiding faith but merely as a way to marry you. As someone who takes her faith seriously, it is inevitable that you will run into serious problems by marrying someone who does not view Islam in the same light as you do.

You need to give priority to your religion over a temporary worldly relationship that might undermine your beliefs and practice. This relationship will only last a finite amount of time, while the next world is never ending. When given a choice between the two, a believer chooses the latter and does not compromise his religious beliefs for fleeting worldly pleasures and desires.

In the moment, this might seem like an extremely agonizing decision. However, this is the worldly test that all of us must go through. Remember the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), “Verily, you will never leave something for God except He will replace it with something better.” [Musnad Ahmad] Similarly, the Quran states, “And whosoever fears God, He will make for them a way out.” (65:2)

Marriage is a serious matter. It is deciding on who you wish to spend the rest of your life with, who you wish to have a family with, someone who you want to be your spiritual support, and so forth. You should choose someone who is compatible with your religious background and supportive of your religious practice.

In light of this, I would advise you that as things stand, you should move on from this relationship. It might seem difficult and painful but eventually you will get past it. Pray to God for the good of this world and the next, trust in Him, and remember that we all live for something greater than this world.

[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.

Is It Valid to Marry Someone Who Has Been Drinking Alcohol?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

A friend met this guy who agreed to do marry her. He started to learn about Islam, he understood everything and on the day of the marriage he had a glass of wine.

He then came at night, read his shahada and did the marriage in front of witnesses.
The marriage was then consummated.

After a big argument few weeks later he said to the girl that “if you don’t stop contacting me I want divorce”.

1) Is this marriage valid?
2) Is his shahada accepted?
3) Are they divorced?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

In general, drinking alcohol or doing any other unlawful action does not affect the validity of a person’s faith.

According to your description of the events, the person pronounced his faith, and subsequently married the girl. If all the conditions of a marriage contract were met, then it would be a legally valid marriage. Thereafter, “I want divorce” is not a statement of divorce, so the marriage would be unaffected.

However, I’d recommend getting in touch with a sensitive marriage counsellor so that the issues can be resolved; and couple this with some guidance from a local, reliable religious scholar.

Please also consider taking: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[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 memorised 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.