Should I Blame Family’s Members Who Are Hanafis for Eating Lobster?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

1. I have some relatives who are Hanafi muslims. But they really like eating lobster, crab, calamari etc., even though they know it is not permissible within the Hanafi school. And I don’t think they’re going to stop. Should I forbid them to do this?

2. What is the ruling about keeping the name ‘Rabiba’ for a girl in Islaam? And what is the precise meaning of that name?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

(1) If there is a legitimate difference of opinion on the particular food, they cannot be blamed as there is leeway to take a dispensation from another school.

(2) Yes; a rabiba is the step or foster daughter. Please see: Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim?

And Allah alone knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What is the Proper Response to Non-Muslims Wearing Jewellery Bearing Allah’s Name‏?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: My colleague who is a non Muslim often wears a pendant and bracelet bearing Allah’s name. Sometimes it ignites anger within me because she practices most of the vices that are prohibited to Muslims.
Is it in my place to say anything to her? How can I do that without upsetting her?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
This returns to the guidelines scholars have stipulated for enjoining the good and forbidding evil. It would only be obligatory or recommended to counsel your colleague if you firmly believe that he or she will in fact listen to your advice or you have reasonable hope that this will be the case.
However, if the situation is likely to get exasperated as a result of your advice, it would be better to avoid, and, in some situations, even necessary.
Wisdom & Tact

It is important to note that when counseling someone, one should do so in a manner that is tactful and takes into account the particulars of the situation. One can, for example, resort to indirect advice when direct advice is not beneficial. Instead of telling your colleague that she should not wear the name of God in the manner she does, you could point out how you have noticed it and casually mention how people of faith in general treat the name of God. The purpose of enjoining good is to nudge people towards what is correct and so one must be circumspect before extending any enjoinder.
For more details, please refer to:
The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Sinful to Watch a Reality Show In Which Backbiting Takes Place?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam ‘aleykum
Are you sinful for listening to backbiting and fighting on a reality show?
Sometimes I can’t avoid being in this situation and I would to advise some friends regarding this.

Answer: wa `alaykum assalam
It would be sinful to watch reality television shows that show the backbiting of people whether non-Muslim or Muslim.
As for your specific situation, if you are unable to excuse yourself from such settings then you should at least hate the sin in your heart.
Additionally, if you are able to advise those engaged in this act in a manner that does not cause harm to your relationship and worsen the situation, you should go ahead and do this.
Here are some answers on backbiting and commanding the good that I would recommend you read. The second link is particularly important before you make any judgments in advising those around you:
When is Backbiting Permissible?
The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Obigatory to Forbid a Disliked Action?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalaamu alaikum,
Is it obigatory to forbid a disliked action performed by someone else?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
In general, the basis in commanding the good and forbidding the evil is to do so of something which is agreed upon to be reprehensible in the Sacred Law. The principle here is: there is no condemnation in matters of disagreement.
Shaykh Faraz Khan writes, “With respect to matters on which there is scholarly disagreement, although they cannot be forbidden per se, one can still offer counsel and advice (nasiha), which is often needed as certain positions are not appropriate or applicable in all circumstances.” [see: The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil]
However, if two persons follow the same school, and one of them does something reprehensible in that school, then the other person can forbid the wrong in such a circumstance.
An action which is improper (makruh tanzihan) would be proper to correct, if benefit is likely, and as per the conditions found in the aforementioned article.
I’d recommend the following class: Fiqh of Life: Essentials of Halal and Haram
See also: Book Q in the Reliance of the Traveller.
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Advising My Father to Keep a Beard

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I know it is disrespectful to tell your parents to do thing, 
but I also know it is sunna to keep a beard and it is highly disliked to shave the beard. Is there a way that I can tell my father to keep his beard without being disrespectful.


The Sunna of the Beard

Before answering your specific question, it is important to understand that the scholars have valid difference in regards to the obligation of keeping a beard. Some of the madhabs, including the Maliki and Hanafi, have considered keeping a beard on the entire jawbone to be an obligation. Other scholars, such as some of the Shafi’is, have considered that it is a Sunna and to shave it would be disliked but not prohibited. Because this valid difference of opinion exists, one would have to be gentle in advising of keeping a beard.

Enjoining Righteousness (Hisba)

One of the three conditions to enjoin righteousness (hisba) is that there be consensus on the matter that is being enjoined. If there is a valid difference of opinion, then one must take a different approach which is called advice (nasiha) and must use more gentleness in the method (Dardir, Hashiyatul Sharh al-Kabir). For more on the conditions of Hisba see the following answer: The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Hisba with Parents

Imam Malik was asked about how a person goes about enjoining righteousness with a parent and he said, “He does so but also lowers the wing of humility” referring to verse 17:24 (Mawlud, The Rights of Parents). Normally, not angering a person is not a condition of Hisba but in the case of the parents, it is. Imam al Ghazzali in the Ihya, when speaking about enjoining righteousness, also mentions that a condition of this when dealing with the parents is that they do not become angry.

Noble Speech

Allah ordered us to speak kindly to our parents and to use “noble speech” when speaking with them (Quran 17:23). Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib was asked what constitutes noble speech to which he responded, “The way a meek slave who has committed a crime would speak with his harsh and majestic master” (The Rights of Parents, Mawlud). So, imagine you are that slave and you wanted to advise you master about following the sunna of keeping a beard, how would you approach the topic? Or would you approach it at all?

In conclusion, if advising one’s father to keep a beard will make him angry, then it is prohibited to do so. And Allah knows best.

Advising a Spouse to Be a Better Muslim

Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja

Question: I have been married for 15 years.  My husband can’t read the Qur’an.  Now we have a Hafiz coming to our home to teach Quran to our kids,I asked my husband to sit with him and finish his Quran too. But he said to me, “I will have to answer Allah, not you”.

As a wife, I want good for him too in the hereafter. I am really giving up on him now, I don’t know how to approach him. Whenever I tell, him I think you should read Quran or pray salah, he gets really angry and turns towards me, saying you do it first and don’t tell me. Please help me, I need a solution to this, with a Hadith and Quran quotation so i can show this to him.


Answer: As salam alykum Dear Sister

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Every adult Muslim is personally responsible for carrying out the commands of Allah and no one else is blamed where they fall short. Allah Most High says, “Whosoever goeth right, it is only for (the good of) his own soul that he goeth right, and whosoever erreth, erreth only to its hurt. No laden soul can bear another’s load. We never punish until We have sent a messenger.” (17:15)

Nonetheless, being of encouragement to your husband is important. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The one who points to the good has the reward of the one acting upon it.” (Sahih Muslim)

It is often difficult for us to accept being told what we must do, especially if there is no prior connection to Allah and the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. One of the best ways to bring people to Islam, and to it’s practice is by inculcating it within our own actions.

Often consistently telling people what Islam forbids them from doing or telling them to ‘do this and do that’ simply pushes them away from Islam rather than bringing them closer to it. Perhaps a better approach is to speak about the Love, Mercy and Gentleness of Allah, and that of his beloved, peace and blessings be upon him. With Allah’s Mercy His love will enter his heart inshaAllah. Once he begins to connect to, and love Allah, obedience to His commands will, inshaAllah be something he adopts himself with ease.

Ultimately it is important to remember that success is with Allah (Exalted be He) alone, and it is simply our duty to try with sincerity and complete faith in Him.

May Allah (Exalted be He) grant you and your husband ease and facilitation in your journey to Him inshaAllah.



Related Answers:

Should I Advise My Husband Islamically or Remain Silent?

My Husband Doesnt Pray: How Do I Advise Him?

Should I Advise My Husband Islamically or Remain Silent?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I recently found out I pregnant. I have been married for less than a year. My husband and I are overjoyed; however since being married and finding out I am pregnant, my husband stopped praying. He misses all his prayers. He argues with me on all matters of Islam, and ultimately, it is having a negative impact on me because i need his support and prayers as I am going through a tough time adjusting to marital life and the pregnancy. I feel as though i have no patience. What can i do to help him? Do i leave him to his own devices or do i help him?

Answer: May Allah grant you success in dealing with your situation. Before giving advice and suggestions on how you can approach the situation, it is important to know the ruling regarding changing a wrong. Any wrong (munkar), including leaving prayer, must be changed by a Muslim if one is able. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whosoever of you sees a wrong (munkar) must change it with his hand. If he is not able to, then with his tongue. If he is not able to then with his heart.”

There are conditions to this changing though and they are 1) Knowledge that there is consensus about the prohibition of the matter at hand, 2) The belief that the attempt to change will be of benefit, and 3) That they changing does now lead to a greater harm.

In terms of the first condition, you know that there is consensus about the obligation of the prayer. Now you have to see if there is a benefit for you to mention something to him. If there is, even if it requires many times until he gets the point, then you have to work towards that. If you feel there is zero benefit to your urging him to pray then it is not an obligation to work towards the change. We must be careful though in allowing ourselves a way out by saying that there is no benefit in changing the wrong.

In terms of helping him see the right, one of the best things that you can do is lead by example. Make sure that he sees you do wudu and pray. You can also send him inspirational articles and videos that you may find he would benefit from. You have to use wisdom in choosing what to send him and when.

You know your husband’s temperament and you would be the judge of how much and how often to remind him. Another important thing to remember about calling to the good is that you have to work incrementally. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered Muadh ibn Jabal to focus on calling the people to tawheed when he sent Muadh to Yemen and said that once the people are firm in their faith to work on the prayer.

Based on this, I would say that you should work on helping your husband strengthen his faith. As you see his faith grow, then start incrementally with encouragement about the prayer. Do not worry about all the other details of the religion that he is not accepting, since faith and prayer are the most important. The people once complained to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) about a young man who they said he did every wrong action around.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told them to not worry about the young man because he prays with him in congregation and this would cause him to leave those foul things. Eventually, the young man left all foul things because of the prayer and Allah says, “Indeed prayer prohibits indecency and foul things” (Quran 29:45).

May Allah grant you success in working towards providing a spiritual place to bring your child into. The most important part of your “nesting” will be creating a space where your child can grow spiritually. Have sincerity in your endeavor, trust in Allah, depend on Him, leave things ultimately to Him, and you will find success.


Reference for Hadith on Patience with Others

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Can you please tell me if this is an authentic hadith and what is the reference? Hadith: “The believer who consorts with people and endures their harm is better than a believer who does not consort with people nor does he endure their harm.”

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

“The believer who keeps the company of people and is steadfastly patient over their harm is better than the believer who does not keep the company of people nor is he steadfastly patient over their harm.” In some variants, “is better” is replaced by “is greater in reward”.

The narration (hadith) has been reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi’s Jami`, and the Sunan of Ibn Majah. Shaykh Shu`ayb Arna`ut has noted that its chain of transmission is authentic (sahih).

The believer who keeps the company of people commands the good (with its requisite conditions; for details see: The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil), forbids the evil, and displays excellent character in dealing with them.

There should be some form of benefit in keeping company with them. With the righteous and with a religious reason, it would be considered worship. Though, one should be wary of those keeping the company of others for the sake of keeping their company, busying themselves from Allah.

Of the greatest forms of patience is patience in dealing with other people and the harm which comes about from them. Realize that Allah did not send them upon you except for some sin that you committed, so seek His forgiveness; and realize that this is a punishment from Him. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir]

Allah Most High says, “And We have appointed some of you a test for others: Will ye be steadfast?” [Qur’an, 25:20] Here, Allah is telling us to be patient. It is a command, “Be patient!”, and not just a question. May Allah make us all of the foremost of the righteous.

See also: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: When should one be vague to avoid disputes (when one disagrees with the other person, but doesn’t say something negative in response) versus not supporting or even correcting incorrect Islamic beliefs. How does one know to choose one over the other?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health states.

This returns to the issue of enjoining the good and forbidding evil, which is a communal obligation (fard kifaya) and an essential duty in Islam. Based on the criteria outlined below, if the conditions of enjoining the good and forbidding evil are met, one must do so. Otherwise, one can be vague so as to avoid disputation of no benefit.

The Obligation and Importance

Allah Most High states, “And let there be amongst you a group inviting to virtue, commanding the good and forbidding evil—those indeed are the successful ones” (3:104).

And our Master Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you must certainly command the good and forbid evil, or else a punishment from Him would soon be sent upon you, after which you would call upon Him yet your supplication (dua) would not be answered.” [Tirmidhi]

Other narrations state that the punishment for abandoning this obligation is sweeping and general, afflicting both the righteous and the corrupt. Ibn Allan comments that the punishment can manifest as “the tyranny of leaders, the dominion of enemies, and other forms of tribulation.” [Dalil al-Falihin Sharh Riyad al-Salihin]

Ya Latif – how unfortunately accurate for our times! And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) swore by Allah when conveying this, and said that supplication itself is unanswered until the community returns to enjoining the good.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also described that when the people of knowledge in previous communities stopped condemning the evils of their societies and kept on socializing with evildoers despite the wrongs, Allah turned the hearts of the community against one another and cursed them upon the tongue of their prophets (peace and blessings be upon them). [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]

And to get annoyed when corrected is itself a major sin. Our Master Ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Verily among the greatest of sins in the sight of Allah is for a person to be told, ‘Fear Allah,’ to which he responds, ‘Mind your own business!'” [Sunan Nasa’i]

Conditions of Incumbency

While it is a communal obligation, commanding the good and forbidding evil is incumbent only if the following conditions are met:

(1) Sound knowledge and understanding of the issue one is exhorting to. Scholars mention that anyone who takes up this obligation must know the different schools of thought on the issue at hand, such that his enjoining and forbidding only takes place with evils that are evil by scholarly consensus. This relates to clear matters that are generally known by the Muslims.

With respect to matters on which there is scholarly disagreement, although they cannot be forbidden per se, one can still offer counsel and advice (nasiha), which is often needed as certain positions are not appropriate or applicable in all circumstances.

(2) Gentleness and wisdom in one’s enjoining or forbidding. The sunna is to exhort in a manner that is general and discreet, so as to protect the feelings of the other party as much as possible. My teacher, for example, told me that if I am ever in a situation where someone else falls into backbiting, I should simply say, “Allah has prohibited us from backbiting.”

If, however, one crosses the limits or is excessive in their condemnation, the good they perform is less than their own evil.

(3) Clemency and steadfastness in the face of any difficulty one may encounter.

(4) That one feels reasonably sure that the other party will take heed and listen. That is, a condition of incumbency is that benefit is likely or expected. This condition (reasonable surety of benefit) is the opinion of Imam Bajuri, Imam Qarafi, Imam Haskafi, Allama Ibn Abidin and others.

Otherwise if one does not think they will listen, enjoining the good is recommended if there is a chance of benefit yet one is unsure. If benefit is unlikely, enjoining the good is permissible yet possibly disliked. And if one is certain that there would be no benefit, enjoining the good could be impermissible, as it might entail frivolous and useless speech and might worsen the situation (see condition 5 below).

The upshot is that one must consider the likely benefit of one’s exhortation, and if benefit is unlikely, then silence might prove more beneficial. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say the good or remain silent.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

If one does not enjoin the good or forbid evil, then one must try to change the subject so as to end the unlawful talk; if this is not possible, one must get up and leave.

(5) That one’s advice not lead to greater harm or worsen the situation, such as leading to more sin, more unlawful talk, or the other party’s outright disdain for the religion. In such cases it would be better — or at times obligatory — to remain silent, so as to choose the less harmful of two matters. Of course, one must still hate the wrong in one’s heart.

(6) Sound intention, which is to desire nothing except that the word of Allah Most High reign supreme. This is essential and often neglected, as many people exhort others in religious matters for the sake of their own egos or out of animosity towards the other party.

One’s motivation to correct others should also be out of sincere love and care for one’s brethren. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that the basis of the entire religion is sincere and genuine concern for others (al-Din al-nasiha), and he also said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

In fact, in his renowned hadith collection Riyad al-Salihin, Imam Nawawi placed the chapter on “Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil” immediately after the chapter on “Sincere and Genuine Concern”.

As Imam Nahlawi states, “To conclude, there is a major catastrophe that one must be careful to avoid, namely: for the person of knowledge, when enjoining something, to perceive his own dignity due to his knowledge, and the other’s lowliness due to their ignorance. If this is one’s motivation, then this evil is itself much more vile than the evil he is forbidding. Truly, no one is safe from the plotting of Satan except one to whom Allah shows his own faults, and whose insight Allah opens by the light of true guidance.”

[Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha; Khadimi, Nabulsi/Birgivi, Shuruh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya; Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh Jawharat al-Tawhid; Ibn Abidin/Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar ala Durr al-Mukhtar]

And Allah knows best.
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani