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How Do I Deal With a Mother Who Constantly Backbites and Gossips About Family?

Question: How should we treat our mother in the following situation? When I am talking to her, usually she spends most of the time complaining about her grandchildren on my sister-in-law or my brother or my father. I try to steer her to another topic, but she ends up going back to complaining or backbiting or gossiping. Sometimes I just put the phone down and let her rant without listening, checking every 30 seconds or so until she is finished.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Alhamdulillah, it truly is a blessing that you have hatred in your heart towards backbiting, especially in this holy month, and that you want to help her change. Your concern is a gift in and of itself.

Help her change

The best thing that you can do is to help your mother change to become a better person. This will make her more beloved to Allah and those around her. Start with telling her, before she starts ranting, about a recent book that you might have read about the Prophet’s life, about the enormities of the tongue, about the great blessings in keeping silent. If you tell her often enough, she will start to listen, by the grace of Allah.

Tactics

In addition, you can try different tactics like changing the subject, keep bringing up your favorite topics, finding her a hobby or pastime, sending her recorded lessons that she can relate to and listen to, and if she really starts ranting, tell her that you need to go. You can also defend your siblings and tell your mom that nobody is perfect, and it doesn’t really help to complain. Tell her that the negativity will affect her health, and you don’t want her to get sick or stressed out.

Ask Allah

As with anything, ask Allah to help you and supplicate to Him to help you steer yourself and your family away from the Hellfire. He will certainly listen, and you’ll gradually see improvement. Work on yourself as well, and be sure to understand the enormities of the tongue and its repercussions. Knowledge is a light, and it can be spread to others; I pray that Allah gives you success with your sincere intention with your mother. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

See:  https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/constitutes-slander-backbiting-avoid/

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Am I Sinful for Not Contacting My Relatives As I Am Introverted and Socializing Gives Me Anxiety?

Question: I am somewhat of an introvert; being an only child I was very much accustomed to solitude and in recent years I have come to realize I also suffer from social anxiety. The thought of picking up the phone to speak to a relative is unpleasant and causes anxiety but my parents sometimes expect me to call family members. It’s not something I neglect on purpose. With my immediate family, I keep in contact. Am I sinning or do I need change?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is refreshing to see that you care about this issue and sincerely want to do the right thing to make your parents happy.

Speaking to relatives

When you are on good terms with someone, there is no maximum or minimum limit to the interaction between the two parties. If you are on bad terms with someone, it is forbidden to cut them off for more than three days. There is no sin on you in the situation that you describe.

Increase your interaction

I encourage you to train yourself to call them a few times a year, or send them messages online, to rid yourself of this anxiety and to do the sunnah of upholding good relationships with them for the sake of Allah. I recommend joining a messaging group with your relatives to interact with them in a healthy amount but not waste time. You may also consider calling them on Islamic holidays, such as the two `Eids and the Prophet’s birthday, or the beginning of Ramadan. Phone calls need not be more than a few minutes. Make notes to look at so that you can converse on a few points.

Socialize

Socializing is very important because our religion is a social one. People need each other, they support and encourage each other, and even their worship and good deeds have more value when done together. Keep in touch, not just with relatives but also with positive, religious people maintaining friendships with good Islamic etiquette. You will need these skills after you are married, too.

Du’as

You will find that the du’as of the elders are very special and that you are very fortunate indeed if they remember you and include you in their supplication. If they can benefit you and you benefit them, you will be fulfilling the Prophet saying, “The best of people are those that bring the most benefit to the rest of humanity.“ [Daraqutni]

May Allah gives you the best of this world and the next and raise you in the company of the most beloved of all.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Do I Tell My Family That I Won’t Join Their Family Business but Wish To Marry, Work, and Settle Abroad?

Question: I am about to graduate from my university soon, and my family wants me to join the family business. I don’t want to do that; instead, I want to get married and go abroad for my masters and try to settle there with my wife. My family does not know about my intention to marry (they might disagree), but they know about my intention to go abroad. I have known the girl I want to marry for four years now, and we have been waiting for this time to marry finally.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for safeguarding your religion and for taking steps to be independent.

Decisions

As a male, you do not require your family’s permission to marry whom you want, go abroad, work abroad or settle abroad. But with this independence and freedom comes responsibility and wisdom. Please pray istikhara about your decisions first to make sure they are the right decisions for you. Are you choosing this girl for her religion? How will living in a different country affect your religious life and your future children? Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/choosing-a-spouse/

Reflect on this Prophet saying and always intend to take care of them, however best you can. Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘(Honoring) one’s father may lead one to enter through the best of the gates of Paradise, so take care of your parents, (it is so, whether you take care of them) or not.‘“  [Ibn Maja]

Tact

You must be polite, kind, and respectful to your parents when you explain what you desire. You must try to come to some compromise of visiting them when you can, and perhaps sending them money regularly if viable. You should introduce the girl and her family to your parents properly, sit down, and discuss the matter without any anger or compulsion. Please don’t force your decisions down their throats but explain your reasons. Convincing them that your decisions are best for you is the most tactful way you can do it. Also, do tell them soon so they have time to digest your announcements.

Please see these answers in full about balancing your parents’ rights with your needs:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/abandon-life-build-abroad-take-care-parents/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/leave-parents-allow-wife-house/

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Our Mother Khadija after marriage

Question: Did our mother Khadija (Allah be well pleased with her) work after she married the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Allah knows best, but it seems like she still kept her business going either by herself or with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as her agent as she did before they got married.

What is clear, though, is that she had significant wealth. While praising her after her death, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that she helped him financially when everyone turned their backs on him (mana’ani al-nas). (Musnad Ahmad, ed. Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut) This also tells us that he must have had his own independent source of income that was then stunted by his prophethood and the treatment he received from the Quraysh. This would give the sense that he did not take over her business. But, again, Allah knows best.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-my-wife-obligated-to-give-me-her-income/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/can-a-husband-prevent-his-wife-from-working/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/financial-help-from-relatives/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/do-i-have-to-cook-and-clean-for-my-husband-if-i-work-too/

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Surrogate Motherhood

Question: Is it permissible to be or request someone to be a surrogate mother for one? Who is considered the birth mother?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

It is not permissible to have a woman be the surrogate mother of one’s child or to provide that service for someone. This would be the same whether the father impregnated the surrogate mother or the mother’s egg was fertilized by him and then transferred to the surrogate mother.

Please see:
https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/7822
https://www.aliftaa.jo/DecisionEn.aspx?DecisionId=288#.YFZcHZNKgy8
https://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/irsyad-fatwa/irsyad-fatwa-umum-cat/1235-irsyad-al-fatwa-series-130-the-ruling-of-surrogate-mother

That said, if the fertilized egg were transferred to the surrogate mother, the actual mother whose egg was used would be the mother of the baby and not the surrogate mother. (Hashiyat al-Rashidi)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Should I Go To A Family Gathering Where My Cousin Will Be Without Hijab?

 

Question:
Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I know that cousins are non-mahram. But my maternal cousin, who is around 23 years old, does not wear a hijab in front of me. We have a family gathering tomorrow. And most probably, she won’t wear hijab. What should I do? I am very young, and I am scared to correct them. And it can spoil the relationship too.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Attend And Act Modestly

You should attend the family gathering, behave modestly around her, and lower your gaze as much as you can. This is a sensitive matter for many ladies, so it’s best not to cause a scene.

If you can gently encourage her to cover properly, do so – but only if this won’t cause harm. Otherwise, a one-off suggestion to one of her siblings to have a gentle word with her might be beneficial. Even when forbidding the wrong, it is better not to do so if it will make matters worse. (Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al Din)

Encouragement and Deterrence

There are two ways to direct people to do something: encouragement with what entices them to do the good (the carrot) and firmly commanding them to do something. Both have their proper place in the right contexts. The Prophets (Peace and Blessings be upon them) gave good news, and they warned.

Ours is a time where it is more effective to encourage people to turn to Allah in obedience by showing them how much He does for us and that we owe Him much gratitude. Being harsh with religious matters pushes people away from God – something we have no right to do.

Many ladies struggle with covering due to the way they were raised and due to unfulfilled emotional needs. Not having strong relationships with their father can lead to many types of unresolved emotional needs. For some, this makes them dress in a way that gets attention from people.

Couple this with the blitz of beauty standards from the media and fashion industry, the effects of social media, and being distant from religion in general; it’s a big struggle for them. You can learn more about this in Leonard Sax’s ‘Girls On The Edge.’

It is, therefore, better to encourage people to move to Allah at a pace their situation allows. Do this by reminding them of the favors of Allah and inspiring a desire to love Him within them. Once that spark is ignited, many great changes can occur.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

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 Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is it haram to keep secrets from your parents?

Question: Is it haram to keep secrets from your parents?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Secrets vary in nature, so there is no black and white answer for this.

If one has been entrusted with a secret, it is considered an ‘amana, a trust, and one may not betray it. Betraying trust is a characteristic of hypocrites, and one must do one’s duty to fulfill one’s trust and teach one’s children to do this as well. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks he tells a lie; whenever he is entrusted he proves dishonest; whenever he promises he breaks his promise.“ [Bukhari]

That being said, there are some secrets that absolutely should not be kept from parents. If one knows about a certain abuse or problem taking place, one must rush to one’s parents or authorities to help the victim, while keeping it a secret could even be impermissible (haram). I pray that Allah blesses us all with such wise judgment and protects all Muslims from harm. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Marrying a Virgin

Question: What is the hadith about marrying a virgin, and what does it mean?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Context

When reading a Hadith, it is essential to read it in the light of the Qur’an and Sunna as a whole. The overall message of the Qur’an and Sunna is that This Life and its pleasures are not to be valued and sought after for themselves, but rather as means for the Next Life.

Allah Most High says, ‘Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire of women and [of having] sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the mere enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.’ (Qur’an, 3: 14)

Our religion teaches us to be in the world, but not of it. It tells us to get married, have children and earn “heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses” but use them for Allah’s sake and in the way that Allah wants. This is what the Prophet (peace and blessing) is saying. He is telling men whom Allah prefers they marry; he tells them how to make choices in this life that maximize their next life. He is not saying that lusting after virgins is some religious goal.

Additionally, it would also be unforgivable not to mention that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that religiosity is the number one priority when choosing a spouse, and not youthfulness that may often accompany beauty. He said, ‘A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or piety. Make sure you marry a really religious woman. You will come to misfortune if you don’t!’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

So without question, a religious woman who has already been married is far more suitable than a virgin woman but isn’t serious about her religious practice. This tells us that marriage is a spiritual relationship in essence and that age or virginity is secondary.

The hadith and basic lessons

The hadith has various wordings, as we shall discuss, but one narration reads:

Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) said that Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said to me, ‘Jabir, have you got married?’
I said, ‘Yes.’
He asked, ‘A virgin or one previously married?’
I said, ‘One who was previously married.’
He said, ‘Why didn’t you marry a young girl who you could play around with and who could play around with you?’
I said, ‘I actually have a number of [young] sisters so I wanted to marry a woman who could look after them, comb their hair, and run their affairs.’ (Muslim)

Another version in Bukhari and Muslim reads “laugh around with” in place of “play around with.” Another version in Muslim reads, “What’s wrong with virgins is their saliva?”. Yet another hadith from a different Prophetic Companion about the same discussion comes in Tabarani with the words “you can bite her, and she can bite you.”  (Sharh Tulathiyyat al-Imam Ahmad, Safarini)

A third hadith also mentions a clear recommendation to marry virgins. ‘See well to marrying virgins because their mouths are sweeter and they can give birth more easily.’ “Give birth more easily” is one possible translation of the hadith. (Ibn Majah; Sharh Tulathiyyat al-Imam Ahmad, Safarini)

We learn from this hadith that it is generally recommended for a man to marry a virgin woman, that sexual play is morally good, and that seeking out someone who is more sexually gratifying is good. We also learn that it is perfectly fine to marry a non-virgin depending on the circumstances and that it is acceptable for a husband to agree with his wife that she will help him with his dependents. (Sharh Thulathiyyat al-Imam Ahmad, Safarini; Zaytunat al-Ilqah, Ba Sudan)

The flipside

Just as it is recommended for a man to marry a virgin, it is also recommended for a virgin woman to marry a virgin man, all things being equal. (Ihya ‘ulum al-din, Ghazali; Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami)

It is also important to note that women are supposed to marry someone who will fulfill their physical wants and needs (with the same caveat that religion should be prioritized). It is extremely unwise for a young woman to marry a much older man than her and whom she does not find attractive and cannot fulfill her needs. (al-Adab al-Shar’iyya, Ibn Muflih)

Sayyidna Umar said, ‘Do not force your daughters to many an ugly man! [After all] they like the same thing that you like.’ He also said, ‘O people! Fear Allah and let each man marry a woman who is on his same level, and let each woman marry a man who is on her level.’ (Sunan Sa’id ibn Mansur; Adab al-Nisa, Ibn al-Habib)

This is all to say that just because it is recommended for a man to marry a virgin girl shouldn’t be at the cost of young women’s sexual or relational happiness.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/important-traits-to-look-for-in-a-prospective-spouse/
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/marrying-young/

A gross phenomenon

Another way that this hadith can be misunderstood is as discouragement from marrying widows and divorcees. Just because it is recommended in principle to marry a virgin, that doesn’t mean that there is anything taboo about marrying someone who has previously been married. This is one of the worse innovations (bida’) that we see in marry Muslim communities, and it is something strikingly contradictory to the way of the Early Muslims.

Let us first remind ourselves that the vast majority of the wives of the Messenger of Allah had previously been married.  In fact, many of them had been married more than once before they married him.

Let us also look at an amazing conversation that he had with his wife-to-be Umm Salama when he proposed to her, and she mentioned that she had previously been married. She said, ‘I am old, and I have some father-less children. On top of that, I am an extremely jealous woman!’
The Mercy to the Worlds replied, ‘Well, I’m older than you, and your dependents are only the dependants of Allah and His Messenger. As for your jealous nature, I will pray to Allah that He takes it away.’ (‘Uyun al-Athar, Ibn Sayyid al-Nas) He clearly didn’t find any fault in her age or the fact that she had been married before.

The idea that a woman would be widowed or divorced and then remain unmarried was not common among the Prophetic Companions. When Sayyidna Ja’far was martyred (Allah be well pleased with him), his former wife Asma bin ‘Umays married Abu Bakr (Allah be well pleased with both of them), and when he was also martyred, she married Sayyidna Ali (Allah be well pleased with him). Atika (Allah be well pleased with her) married three or four of the Prophetic Companions. This was all very normal, acceptable, and good in their eyes.

Unfortunately, many ethnic Muslim cultures reject the idea of marrying someone who has been widowed or divorce. In a societal sense, she is thrown on a pile of corpses to rot. This is grossly un-Islamic and not what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught or practiced.

Conclusion

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged Muslim men to marry virgin women. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with non-virgin women or that it should be done to the detriment of young women.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh Farid]

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Are Video Games Haram?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.

The majority of scholars say that animated pictures are haram. Does this carry on to video games? After looking at the hadith about dolls, I thought that maybe they are permitted if they are non-realistic and not hung up where they will be glorified.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

There is a valid difference between animated and moving images, such as in videos and video games. Many scholars distinguish between drawn images and video. (Usmani, Takmila Fath al Mulhim)

The ruling on video games and their permissibility is partially based on this issue. There is also the issue of providing a halal form of entertainment for the youth – especially in places where the alternatives are destructive and immoral. Not everyone can engage with a book or sports.

Gaming, when it is devoid of obscene content or gambling (loot-boxes, etc.), and other haram elements can be a halal and wholesome avenue for bonding. The content, to a large degree, determines the ruling.

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/are-video-games-fornite-allow-in-islam/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/family-ties/can-i-play-video-games-to-keep-family-ties-strong/

I hope that clarifies matters. May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

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 Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Can A Man Live Alone, Away From His Parents?

Question:

Assalamu ‘Alaykum.

Is it permissible for a man to move out and live in an apartment rather than live with his parents? What if the parents command him to stay? Would it still be permissible?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Yes, it is permissible for a man to live alone, away from his parents. However, he is obliged to treat them well and provide financial support if they need it. (Quduri, Matan al Quduri) The general Islamic guidance of good treatment of parents should be borne in mind.

He is not sinful for moving out if there is no mistreatment or neglect. For some, with strained relationships or abuse, some distance can be healthy for all parties.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

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 Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.