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I Struggle with Thoughts of Disbelief and Suicide

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked about despair and contemplating suicide from being a lone Muslim.

I struggle with thoughts of disbelief and suicide. I have non-Muslim family members and feel so guilty when I spend time with them during Christmas and so on. I feel ashamed about telling them I am Muslim, because of ISIS.

I have so much uncontrolled anger because I am overwhelmed by my problems. Sometimes I wish I was not brought into existence. I wish for new type of prayer because I’ve been humiliated badly in grade 7, and whenever I want to pray, my mind starts to flashback and then I start to feel shy, embarrassed and then I stop praying,

Can I meet the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and ask him to reverse time? I have so many regrets. My grandfather died a Christian and I am so sad.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.

Suicidal Thoughts

Dear questioner, you sound like you are in a tremendous amount of pain.

Do you have a plan to end your life? If so, I urge you to please seek professional help. At a very minimum, please contact a suicide or mental health hotline in your locality. You need to speak to someone compassionate, to help you break the cycle of despair in your mind.

Thoughts of Disbelief

It may be useful for you to seek out culturally-sensitive counseling to help you manage and eventually overcome these thoughts which plague you.

Please continue a daily litany of repentance and other duas to help protect you from these thoughts: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.

Please refer to these links to help start your journey towards healing:

Getting Therapy for Irreligious Thoughts
Having Seriously Evil Thoughts
Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin

Uncontrolled Anger

Please read this resource about the Anger Iceberg. You are lugging around so much unresolved pain, which contributes to you feeling so triggered, so often. When you start to release that pain, then will slowly feel less angry.

I encourage you to try some calming meditations, specifically, Islamic Meditations by Shaykh Muhammad Mendes.

Prayer

I am so sorry that you were so shamed for praying in public while you were in Grade 7. May Allah help you heal from this, and increase you in reward for your struggles.

There is no way for prayer to be changed, but perhaps there are ways you can find a private, secure place to pray. Could you speak to your school counsellor about what happened, and ask him/her to facilitate a safe place for you to pray?

Past Trauma

I urge you to contact Sidi Zuhair Girash of Aafiyah Healing. He is a compassionate and wise Muslim holistic healer who can help you, insha Allah. He can help you loosen the grip of your past trauma, and help you live more easily in the present moment.

It sounds like beneath your anger lies deep feelings of shame, powerlessness and sadness. There are ways to overcome this, with the right help.

Reversal of Time

Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Sura al-Furqan, 25:70)

A wise high school teacher told me once that instead of a “rewind” button for life, Allah gave us something better – He gives us the gift of repentance. Please know that Allah can transform all of your bad deeds into good deeds.

No matter what happened in your past, know that Allah’s Mercy is greater than that. He loves you, even with all of your imperfections.

Non-Muslim Family Members in Hellfire

Only Allah knows where any of us end up in the Afterlife. Because you are already in a troubled mental state, I urge you not to dwell on the fate of your grandfather.

Trust in the Mercy of your Creator. It is not difficult for Allah to have created belief in your grandfather’s heart, before he passed away, for example.

Please seek comfort from this: How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death.

Christmas and Other Festivals

Please know that because you have non-Muslim family members, then it is very important for you to be part of their lives, and attend their festivals. Please attend the social aspects of these gatherings and avoid the religious components, as best as you can.

Please seek comfort from these answers Is Christmas Haram? Being Muslim in a Non-Muslim Family and Partaking in a Thanksgiving Dinner: Permitted or Not?

Meeting The Prophet, Peace and Blessings be upon Him

Narrated Anas, may Allah be pleased with him: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever has seen me in a dream, then no doubt, he has seen me, for Satan cannot imitate my shape.’ (Bukhari)

One interpretation of this is that one will see him in this life in one’s waking state. (Fath al-Bari)

I pray that you do see the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, in a dream. Know that his heart is connected to yours, he feels your deepest acutely, and he is making dua for you. I encourage you to be open to the winds of mercy from God, even if they do not fit your current rigid concept. Rigidity comes from fear and pain – you have endured a huge amount of suffering. Flexibility and openness comes from surrender.

I pray that Allah eases your terrible burden of pain. Please know that you will will feel better, some day soon. It will not always hurt this much. Please choose to keep alive, so that one day, you will look back at your younger self with compassion and love.

You may not believe me right now, but because you have endured so much, you will be able to offer so much comfort to other broken-hearted souls.

Please write back if you need any more help.

Please also see A Reader on the Problem of Evil, Suffering, Destiny, and Allah’s Mercy and A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah.

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Disbelief to Picture God in One’s Mind as Understood by Other Religions?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it disbelief for a muslim to denounce christianity by thinking within himself that if God had a son that would imply that God has a genital organ like that of human beings and to bring to his mind the exact image of a human genital organ in the context that God would have that if he had a son?

Answer: As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Consolation from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

There is nothing to worry about. Finding that you have such thoughts and feelings revolted by them is something which people better than us experienced. Some of the Companions went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘We find that we have have thoughts too terrible for us to express!’ He said, ‘Is this really the case?’ ‘Yes!’ they responded, at which he said, ‘That is clear faith!’ (Muslim).

The intent of the hadith is that the disgust at having such thoughts is the appropriate reaction anyone with true faith would have. In fact, the advice of the great Moroccan saint, Mawlana al-Arabi al-Darqawi, is for you to actually feel happy when you have such thoughts (al-Rasaʾil al-Darqawiyya).

Why, you ask? Such thoughts originate from the Devil. He is envious of all humans – especially those who believe in Allah. This is faith that makes you loath these thoughts is a ticket to a place where there is no pain, no sadness, no loneliness, no fatigue, no effort, even: Paradise. Allah has promised it to all believers.

This is why you should be happy. Thanking Allah for your faith will help you much more than worrying about whether it is a sin. If you can’t control a thought you are not questionable for it. Do this and they should disappear.

What to do if they persist

If you do not find any improvement then you should look into some from of therapy, such as those mentioned in this answer. Intrusive thoughts are a form of O.C.D. which can be treated.

May Allah give you the best of both worlds.

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.

Is Praying in Front of Pictures of Animate Objects Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu Alaykum

I hope all are well. Please tell me if any of the following constitute disbelief (kufr).

1) Praying in front of pictures of animate beings or praying when one has a strong urge to relieve oneself.
2) Not going to hajj and not paying zakat however not denying their obligatory nature.
3) To commit Zina (I came across a Hadith which warranted that whoever does this belief departs from their body).
4) To have one or all of the qualities of a hypocrite mentioned in Ahadith.
5) At what point would disobeying the prophet become disbelief.
6) Is raising your voice above the prophet’s صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم disbelief and if so what actions fall into this?
7) If one utters a blasphemy whilst unaware are there consequences?

ANSWER: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well.

Disbelief usually occurs due to saying something blasphemous, denying something that is necessarily known of the religion, or mocking the religion. While one should always be careful in speech, fretting too much or constantly about one’s whether one’s words amount to disbelief can lead to baseless misgivings (waswasa).

General advice:

– Be mindful in speech, no matter what the subject.

– Learn the religion, particularly fiqh (law) and aqidah (belief), as well as spirituality.

– Repeat the testification of faith much daily, ‘La ilaha ill Allah’

Specific Answers:

Q1 – 4: No, these do not constitute disbelief.

Q5: Disobeying the Prophet would only constitute disbelief if one outright denies a confirmed sunna, makes mockery or light of a sunna, or meaning to debase the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) or the sunna, or other similar things. Not fulfilling an obligation while believing it is obligatory is sinful but not disbelief, even if neglected out of laziness. While not fulfilling a sunna is not sinful, but one has lost a great reward.

Q6: No, this is not Kufr unless done with the intentions we have mentioned above.

Q7. If one utters words which could entail blasphemy without being aware or out of ignorance, then it is possible that there are consequences. This depends on what is said and how it is said and the context it is said in. For example, a mocking person is different to a person who is merely questioning a matter. While others should try to give the person the benefit of the doubt and must avoid making takfir of anyone, the person themselves, if they fear they may have said something that could entail disbelief, then they should say the testification of faith to themselves, repent, and be more careful with their speech.

Please also see these related answers:

Disbelief Archives

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 It Possible to Become a Disbeliever Through an Oath?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

You have mentioned that if someone takes an oath saying “If I do this or do not do this, I will become a Kafir forever”, the person does not become a kafir.
But recently on your website, it was mentioned that if the person’s intention at the time of making an oath was to become a kafir, then he will become a kafir.

Is it a difference of opinion?

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

I pray you are well.

In order to understand this we need know that there are two types of oaths relevant here:

1. A conditional oath – ‘If I do / do not do x then the I am a Y’ or ‘By God I will never do x’. This oath is usually sworn to make oneself do an act or to prevent oneself from it.

2. A false oath -such as saying ‘I swear by God I did not do x’ when you know it to be untrue.

If a person says something to the effect of ‘If he does x he will become a kafir’ – which is from category 1 – what we clearly understand is that he does not with do that thing – which is why he placed such a serious consequence upon doing it. Therefore, if he did do it, it will be considered an oath, and he will have to perform the expiation as a penalty for breaking it. This is because he considers this statement an oath, and therefore a preventative means.

If someone swore an oath from category 1 or 2 thinking that he will indeed become a disbeliever if he breaks the oath – as with category 1 – or knowing that he had done the act – as with category 2 – then this person becomes a disbeliever in that situation. This is because he thinks that doing such a thing will make a disbeliever and then he goes ahead and does it, or he has done something, and then he swears that if he has done it he is a disbeliever.

This shows that in the last two scenarios – according to his understanding – both lead to disbelief. Therefore doing them in the first scenario is an acceptance of disbelief, and swearing the oath in the second is a sign that he is happy with disbelief. Therefore he becomes a disbeliever because he thinks that swearing the oath or doing the act will make him and disbeliever, and then he does it anyway. This is just like someone knowing that rejecting a verse of the Qur’an is disbelief, and then he does so anyway (al-Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

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.

Is Breaking This Oath Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I made this oath:

“wallahi I won’t talk to my friend (non mahram) and if I do it will mean that I have committed shirk”

I broke it. Do I have to repeat my testimony of faith?

Answer: Wa’leykum salam,

The fuqaha (jurists of Islamic law) differed about someone who makes an oath (اليمين) upon disbelief (كفر), such as by saying: “If I do such and such, then I am a non-Muslim,” or “I am free from Islam,” or “I worship other than Allah” (we seek Allah’s refuge from all of this). Does such a person become a disbeliever by making such an oath?

The fatwa is according to the person’s intention at the time of making the oath, according to two possibilities:

a) At the time the person made the oath, they intended that doing the thing mentioned results in their disbelief. Then, despite that intention, the person goes ahead and does the stated thing. In this case, the person becomes a disbeliever (كافر) because they have clearly demonstrated their satisfaction with disbelief. The fiqh principle states: “Satisfaction with disbelief is disbelief” (الرضا بالكفر كفر).

b) At the time the person made the oath, they intended that doing the thing mentioned does not result in their disbelief (kufr). In this case, if the person goes ahead and does the stated thing, they do not become a disbeliever (kafir). Rather, they repent for the sin and pay the expiation for violating an oath (كفارة اليمين).

Since you stated that you are unaware of your intention at the time of making this oath and since the fuqaha have differed upon this issue, it is most precautionary that you repeat your shahadah (Islamic testification of faith), make sincere tawbah (repentance), and avoid making any similar statements in the future. In addition, if you were married at the time of making the oath, then you should renew the nikah (Islamic marriage contract) with your wife. This is most precautionary, since disbelief of either spouse breaks the nikah.

Sources: al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar.

Arabic source texts are below.

من “الفتاوى الهندية”، كتاب الأيمان:

ولو قال : إن فعل كذا فهو يهودي ، أو نصراني ، أو مجوسي ، أو بريء من الإسلام ، أو كافر ، أو يعبد من دون الله ، أو يعبد الصليب ، أو نحو ذلك مما يكون اعتقاده كفرا فهو يمين استحسانا كذا في البدائع .
حتى لو فعل ذلك الفعل يلزمه الكفارة ، وهل يصير كافرا اختلف المشايخ فيه قال : شمس الأئمة السرخسي رحمه الله تعالى : والمختار للفتوى أنه إن كان عنده أنه يكفر متى أتى بهذا الشرط ، ومع هذا أتى يصير كافرا لرضاه بالكفر ، وكفارته أن يقول : لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله ، وإن كان عنده أنه إذا أتى بهذا الشرط لا يصير كافرا لا يكفر ، وهذا إذا حلف بهذه الألفاظ على أمر في المستقبل أما إذا حلف بهذه الألفاظ على أمر في الماضي بأن قال : هو يهودي ، أو نصراني ، أو مجوسي إن كان فعل كذا أمس ، وهو يعلم أنه قد كان لا شك أنه لا يلزمه الكفارة عندنا ؛ لأنه يمين غموس ، وهل يصير كافرا اختلف المشايخ فيه قال : شمس الأئمة السرخسي رحمه الله تعالى ، والمختار للفتوى أنه كان عنده أن هذا يمين ، ولا يكفر متى حلف به لا يكفر ، وإن كان عنده أنه يكفر متى حلف به يكفر لرضاه بالكفر ، وأما إذا قال : يعلم الله أنه قد فعل كذا ، وهو يعلم أنه لم يفعل ، أو قال : يعلم الله أنه لم يفعل كذا ، وقد علم أنه فعل اختلف المشايخ فيه عامتهم على أنه يصير كافرا كذا في الذخيرة .

من “الدر المختار”، كتاب الأيمان:

لَا يُقْسَمُ بِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى كَالنَّبِيِّ وَالْقُرْآنِ وَالْكَعْبَةِ

وَلَوْ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْ أَحَدِهَا فَيَمِينٌ إجْمَاعًا

وَبَرِيءٌ مِنْ اللَّهِ أَلْفَ مَرَّةٍ يَمِينٌ وَاحِدَةٌ ، وَبَرِيءٌ مِنْ الْإِسْلَامِ أَوْ الْقِبْلَةِ أَوْ صَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ أَوْ الصَّلَاةِ أَوْ مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَوْ أَعْبُدُ الصَّلِيبَ يَمِينٌ ، لِأَنَّهُ كُفْرٌ وَتَعْلِيقُ الْكُفْرِ بِالشَّرْطِ يَمِينٌ وَسَيَجِيءُ أَنَّهُ إنْ اعْتَقَدَ الْكُفْرَ بِهِ يَكْفُرُ وَإِلَّا يُكَفِّرُ .

قَالَ الرَّازِيّ : أَخَافُ عَلَى مَنْ قَالَ بِحَيَاتِي وَحَيَاتِك وَحَيَاةِ رَأْسِك أَنَّهُ يَكْفُرُ وَإِنْ اعْتَقَدَ وُجُوبَ الْبِرِّ فِيهِ يُكَفِّرُ ، وَلَوْلَا أَنَّ الْعَامَّةَ يَقُولُونَهُ وَلَا يَعْلَمُونَهُ لَقُلْت إنَّهُ مُشْرِكٌ .
وَعَنْ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ : لَأَنْ أَحْلِفَ بِاَللَّهِ كَاذِبًا أَحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْ أَنْ أَحْلِفَ بِغَيْرِهِ صَادِقًا .

من “رد المحتار”، كتاب الأيمان:

( قَوْلُهُ أَوْ أَعْبُدُ الصَّلِيبَ ) كَأَنْ قَالَ إنْ فَعَلْت كَذَا فَأَنَا أَعْبُدُ الصَّلِيبَ
( قَوْلُهُ لِأَنَّهُ كُفْرٌ إلَخْ ) تَعْلِيلٌ لِقَوْلِهِ وَلَوْ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْ أَحَدِهَا مَعَ مَا عُطِفَ عَلَيْهِ
( قَوْلُهُ وَتَعْلِيقُ الْكُفْرِ إلَخْ ) وَلَوْ قَالَ هُوَ يَسْتَحِلُّ الْمَيْتَةَ أَوْ الْخَمْرَ أَوْ الْخِنْزِيرَ إنْ فَعَلَ كَذَا لَا يَكُونُ يَمِينًا .
وَالْحَاصِلُ أَنَّ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ هُوَ حَرَامٌ حُرْمَةً مُؤَبَّدَةً بِحَيْثُ لَا تَسْقُطُ حُرْمَتُهُ بِحَالٍ كَالْكُفْرِ وَأَشْبَاهِهِ ، فَاسْتِحْلَالُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ بِالشَّرْطِ يَكُونُ يَمِينًا ، وَمَا تَسْقُطُ حُرْمَتُهُ بِحَالٍ كَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخَمْرِ وَأَشْبَاهِ ذَلِكَ فَلَا ذَخِيرَةٌ
( قَوْلُهُ وَسَيَجِيءُ ) أَيْ قَرِيبًا فِي الْمَتْنِ
( قَوْلُهُ وَإِلَّا يُكَفِّرُ ) بِالتَّشْدِيدِ : أَيْ تَلْزَمُهُ الْكَفَّارَةُ .
( قَوْلُهُ وَإِنْ اعْتَقَدَ وُجُوبَ الْبِرِّ فِيهِ يُكَفِّرُ ) لَيْسَ هَذَا مِنْ كَلَامِ الرَّازِيّ الْمَنْقُولِ فِي الْفَتْحِ وَالْبَحْرِ بَلْ مَا بَعْدَهُ ، وَهَذَا إنَّمَا ذَكَرَهُ فِي الْفَتْحِ قَبْلَ نَقْلِ كَلَامِ الرَّازِيّ ، وَكَأَنَّ الشَّارِحَ ذَكَرَهُ هُنَا لِيُبَيِّنَ بِهِ أَنَّهُ الْمُرَادُ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ يُكَفِّرُ ، وَكَانَ الْأَوْلَى التَّصْرِيحُ بِأَيٍّ التَّفْسِيرِيَّةِ .
ثُمَّ الْمُرَادُ بِاعْتِقَادِ وُجُوبِ الْبِرِّ فِيهِ كَمَا قَالَ ح اعْتِقَادُ الْوُجُوبِ الشَّرْعِيِّ بِحَيْثُ لَوْ حَنِثَ أَثِمَ وَهَذَا قَلَّمَا يَقَعُ .
( قَوْلُهُ وَلَا يَعْلَمُونَ ) أَيْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ الْيَمِينَ مَا كَانَ مُوجِبُهَا الْبِرَّ أَوْ الْكَفَّارَةَ السَّاتِرَةَ لِهَتْكِ حُرْمَةِ الِاسْمِ وَأَنَّ فِي الْحَلِفِ بِاسْمِ غَيْرِهِ تَعَالَى تَسْوِيَةً بَيْنَ الْخَالِقِ وَالْمَخْلُوقِ فِي ذَلِكَ
( قَوْلُهُ لَقُلْت إنَّهُ مُشْرِكٌ ) أَيْ إنَّ الْحَالِفَ بِذَلِكَ .
وَفِي بَعْضِ النُّسَخِ إنَّهُ شِرْكٌ بِدُونِ مِيمٍ : أَيْ أَنَّ الْحَلِفَ الْمَذْكُورَ .
وَفِي الْقُهُسْتَانِيِّ عَنْ الْمُنْيَةِ أَنَّ الْجَاهِلَ الَّذِي يَحْلِفُ بِرُوحِ الْأَمِيرِ وَحَيَاتِهِ وَرَأْسِهِ لَمْ يَتَحَقَّقْ إسْلَامُهُ بَعْدُ .
وَفِيهِ : وَمَا أَقْسَمَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بِغَيْرِ ذَاتِهِ وَصِفَاتِهِ مِنْ اللَّيْلِ وَالضُّحَى وَغَيْرِهِمَا لَيْسَ لِلْعَبْدِ أَنْ يَحْلِفَ بِهَا
( قَوْلُهُ وَعَنْ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ إلَخْ ) لَعَلَّ وَجْهَهُ أَنَّ حُرْمَةَ الْكَذِبِ فِي الْحَلِفِ بِهِ تَعَالَى قَدْ تَسْقُطُ بِالْكَفَّارَةِ ، وَالْحَلِفُ بِغَيْرِهِ تَعَالَى أَعْظَمُ حُرْمَةً وَلِذَا كَانَ قَرِيبًا مِنْ الْكُفْرِ وَلَا كَفَّارَةَ لَهُ ط

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Umer Mian

Is It Disbelief to Commit a Sin While Knowing That Allah Is Watching?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

If you sin knowing that Allah is watching you at the very instant you are sinning what punishment does that entail? Are you considered a kafir at that moment?

Answer:  Walaikum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

This is not kufr. It is sinful, and a sign of weakness of faith.

Address this with:
(a) sincere repentance and (b) commiting the actively remembering Allah.

See: Reader on Repentance (tawba)

Strive to follow the Prophetic sunna to, “Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” [Tirmidhi] In your walking, work, and rest. Engage your tongue, heart, and mind with the remembrance of Allah.

One way is to repeat the the “lasting good deeds” the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) recommended: Subhana’l Llah; Alhamdu li’l Llah; la ilaha illa’l Llah; and Allahu Akbar. These can be recited in order or individually. Stay constant on them, and you’ll find peace of heart and increasing presence with Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Is Enjoying Music Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I would like to know the authenticity of this hadith stated by some Hanafis: ” Listening to music is sin (fisq) and enjoying it is kufr”. Is this hadith authentic?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I didn’t come across the specific wording of the tradition (hadith) in question as being established from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), despite its presence in numerous works of law (fiqh).

Having said that, Ibn Qutlubugha commented in his explication of the traditions found in Imam Mawsili’s Ikhtiyar that its basis is the expedient (mursal) tradition related by Makhul who said, “Listening to instruments is a sin…” Hafiz al-‘Iraqi came to the same conclusion in his Takhrij Ahadith al-Ihya’.

At any rate, the scholars have explained that the denial (kufr) in this context is understood as an exaggerative statement (tashdid/taghliz), as found in many other traditions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and it is not supposed to be taken literally. Similarly, others have explained that the denial being referred to is one of blessing (kufran al-ni‘ma) because directing limbs to other than what they were created for is a manifestation of rejecting blessings as it goes against the dictates of true gratitude (shukr).

Otherwise, generally traditions should be taken from books dedicated to transmitting them, just as law is to be taken from books of law, exegesis from the exegetical literature and so on. Perhaps the reason for the presence of the aforementioned report is due to the fact that jurists (fuqaha) occasionally omit part of a tradition by way of seeking brevity, or they may decide to use a more obscure wording, or even change the wording altogether by way of transmitting the mere meaning of the text in question.

Given the above, it is usually proper to abstain from negating the existence or basis of such traditions and suffice with, “I believe in what is true according to Allah Most High and His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace),” and then take the reliable means to seek a satisfactory answer.

I hope this answers your query.

[Ibn Qutlubugha, al-Ta‘rif wa ‘l-Ikhbar bi Tahkhrif Ahadith al-Ikhtiyar (3.413); Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta‘lil al-Mukhtar (4.147); Khadimi, al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa; Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, with Ibn ‘Abidin’s Marginalia (5.223)]

Please also see: Listening to Islamic Songs with Musical Instruments and: Spiritual Music – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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.

Do These Statements Entail Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it disbelief if I mistakenly thought someone had left Islam although she hadn’t?

Is it disbelief if someone said they love their spouse more than anything (or anyone) else?

A child asks in childplay who is the boss of the universe, and an adult replied jokingly ‘you are’. Is that disbelief?

I once said I “hate” correcting things (forbidding the wrong) but what I meant was I don’t enjoy correcting or confronting others. Did I disbelieve?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well.

None of the aforementioned statements entail disbelief. Please ignore the whispering of the shaytan which you experience as your own thoughts. Do not despair. Trust in the Mercy of Allah and work on increasing your faith.

Suggestions

I suggest the following:

1. Read Qur’an regularly

2. Have a daily wird, one which contains ‘La illaha illa Allah’

2. Keep the company of the righteous

4. Learn Sunni Creed (see our course page here)

5. Pray the obligatory prayers at the masjid whenever possible

6. Keep busy with work, social life, hobbies, and community work

7. Ignore thinking through any of the thoughts that come to you

8. Please also refer to these archives of related answers: Disbelief Archives

9. If the thoughts persist and trouble you, it may be worth considering counselling.

I wish you the very best.

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.

Am I a Disbeliever by Believing in Evolution?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Am I a disbeliever by believing in the evolution theory?

1. Does believing that human beings (homo sapiens) evolved from other species (other hominids) entail disbelief?

2. If one believes that we are not just the descendants of one couple (Adam and Eve, peace be upon them), but that through an evolutionary process it would have been multiple pairs/couples, would this constitute kufr?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, you are still considered a Muslim and a believer. However, the belief itself – as it currently stands – is considered contrary to orthodox Islamic doctrine.

As for your other questions:

1. As mentioned in the previous answer, this does not necessarily entail disbelief. It would depend on whether one’s understanding of evolution involves clearly disavowing (takdhib) an aspect of faith that one is required to believe in. Therefore, if someone’s belief in evolution leads him to deny the prophethood of Adam (blessings upon him) or that this process occurred causally independent of God, this would be considered disbelief.

2. The same considerations mentioned above would apply here as well.

You should note though that a particular belief not rendering an individual outside the fold – which is for the main part a judgment belonging to a judge or a group of qualified scholars – does not mean that the belief is acceptable.

[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 Disbelief to Disagree That Being Alone With Someone of the Opposite Gender Is Sinful?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Is it disbelief if a muslim, while being alone with a teacher of the opposite gender in a classroom, thinks that it is not something wrong? Can you tell me how I can truly repent?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

True repentance entails leaving the sin, having remorse, and resolving never to return to it.

You are a Muslim, and the thoughts you are experiencing are misgivings. I’d suggest consulting with a qualified psychologist about how you can rid yourself of such negative self-talk. In the meantime, take the following class to learn more about your religion: Excellence in Faith & Action (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)

Please see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

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.