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Marrying a Practicing Non-Hijabi

Ustada Raidah Shah Idil is asked if marrying a practicing sister who does not wear hijab is permissible.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Where I come from, there are many Muslims that practice Islam without their parents’ consent. I belong to such a family, but alhamduliLlah things have changed a lot for me. I can join prayers in the mosque, and have permission from my family to do that.

But I have lots of friends who can not, for example, join prayers with jama‘a, or join Khalaqas given in Mosques, generally because of the fear of falling into the extremism of the religion. For these families, praying, reading Qur’an, joining Jumu‘as are things that put their kids in extremism, as well as the fear that their kids will leave the dunya altogether, and will leave science to seek knowledge for the deen. Anything along the lines of Islam is fearful for them.

There are sisters in my hometown who are religious. They pray, read the Qur’an, listen to khutbas through the web, and fast every Ramadan. Headscarf is another point that is risky to put on unless they’re praying. Families don’t give permission to wear the hijab outside, because it is a way of backwardness.

My question is, is it allowed for me to marry a non-hijabi sister who is religious, a good person, and a practicing Muslima? Do I get any share in the sin she does because of not wearing the hijab (if married to such person)?

Answer:

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Permissibility

“And each soul is paid in full for what it did. And He is Best Aware of what they do.” (Sura al-Zumar 39:70)

In short, yes, it is permissible for you to marry a non-hijabi sister. Her sins are on her, just like your sins are on you. As spouses, it is better for both of you to encourage one another to whatever pleases Allah, even if it may displease everyone else.

Marriage as Growth

Spouses, especially in the first year of marriage, often trigger old wounds from childhood e.g. fearing practising the din openly, feeling chronically unworthy etc. Use these uncomfortable feelings as opportunities to work on dismantling these patterns, together. For example, once she is married to you, then your future wife can rest easy knowing that you are supportive of her decision to wear hijab. Her family will still be unhappy, but when a married daughter leaves her family home, it is understood that her husband will have the greater influence, moving forward.

I pray that marriage will be beneficial for both of you, and increase you both in inward and outward observance of the din.

Please complete this course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


Is Historical and Cultural Knowledge Important for a Scholar?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it important for an islamic scholar to know about history and cultural background to better understand the people he is advising or the world he is living in, or should he use his time to acquire only islamic knowledge?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. I pray this finds you in the best of states.

The acquisition of knowledge is gradual and should be systematic. This means prioritising what you learn at each stage. General knowledge of history is not essential knowledge in most cases, though can be useful and very important in other situations.

Prioritising Knowledge

How, when, and what knowledge one seeks largely depends on what age one starts seeking knowledge. A child will be able to study to both Islamic and broader subjects together, while someone setting out to study the Islamic sciences in adulthood must obviously prioritise. Most people in the West fall into the latter category.

The first thing everyone must learn is the personally obligatory knowledge. Once this has been learnt, then, if the desire still exists, then one can continue to pursue further studies, which would be fulfilling the communal obligation. During these stages, one should concentrate on their Islamic studies and not be too distracted by other sciences. If one wishes, they could set some time aside for extra-curricular reading.

Once a person has completed the bulk of their Islamic studies, then they may freely choose to explore other broader aspects of knowledge such as history and culture, and ensuring not to neglect Islamic history, which includes the seerah.

Is historical and cultural knowledge useful or essential?

The Prophet ﷺ has said, ‘Be avid for that which benefits you’. As such, anything that strengthens one’s faiths, or enables one to strengthen the faith of others, is praiseworthy. Every sound, beneficial knowledge compliments another, and doubtlessly makes a scholar a much more well-rounded individual, and broadens his thinking and ideas. This doesn’t just apply to scholars, but also to all Muslims.

Whether history is essential for a scholar really depends on the role of the scholar, his location, and the situation. As mentioned, in most cases, it is not essential for a scholar to study general history. For example, a scholar of tafsir only really needs to know history relevant to tafsir, a hadith scholar only in the context of hadith. As for a scholar of the Prophetic biography, then they need to know the history of events, while broader world history would certainly complete his knowledge, but cannot be deemed essential.

As for a jurist, a scholar of sacred law, it also depends on the situation being presented. A knowledge of history is never really necessary to reach a correct ruling, though there may be exceptions (see below). In regards to knowing the culture and customs of a people, this may not be necessary in some cases, highly preferable in others cases, and may be essential in a few situations.

In certain situations, legal rulings should only be issued from scholars of the actual area only, who have knowledge of the history, culture and customs, geo-politics, even climate if relevant, and the specific problems facing the Muslims in that area.

Another area where knowledge of culture and history might be essential is for the one calling people to Islam (da’wah). In these cases, one should gain knowledge of the local history, customs and traditions, as well the dominant beliefs, mind-set, and trends of the local people. To enter into da’wah without this knowledge, one cannot really understand the people and their backgrounds, and therefore any outreach would be limited, and maybe even inappropriate.

It goes without saying, that anyone calling people to Allah in their countries, should first ensure they have at least studied their own personally obligatory knowledge and gained a sound understanding and practice of the religion before speaking to others about it.

Summary

In conclusion, personally obligatory knowledge should always be prioritised. If one is engaged in communally obligatory knowledge, one should focus on those disciplines. Knowledge of history for a scholar is usually not essential, but is always useful. Knowledge of local customs and culture is always useful for a scholar, and sometimes can be very important and essential, depending on the role of the scholar and the specific situation. And Allah knows best.

I wish you all the best. May Allah grant you tawfiq in your studies.

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.

Is a Henna Event Permissible?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I am getting married soon and had two questions:

1. Is a Henna event permissible? It will be an only women’s gathering in which girls will put henna on their hands and there will be food.

2. There is a tradition in which the sisters of the bride hide the groom’s shoe until he gives them a mutually agreed on sum of money. Is this ok to do?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

1. There’s no harm in specifying a day to have a Henna event for your upcoming wedding as long as what is taking place during the event is permissible (applying henna and serving food is).

Similarly, there is nothing wrong in calling this event a Mehndi.

2. The groom may, of course, give a monetary gift to his in-laws. As for the practice of ‘stealing’/hiding the groom’s shoes, this is primarily a cultural practice that occurs in Indian and Pakistani weddings. As long as there is (a) no shariah contraventions (such as physical touching between non-mahrams or the groom’s male relatives chasing the women etc.) or (b) specific imitation of others’ religious ceremonies, the act itself would be permitted.

I would add that a wedding in Islam is an important event connected to the completion of our religion. While expressions of joy and entertainment are permitted, also try to make it an event that demonstrates your thankfulness to God for all of His blessings.

May you have a blessed wedding.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani