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Looking at Mahram without desire

Question Summary

Is it permissible for a man to look at a Non-Mahram woman, aside from her awra, if done without desire?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is permissible for a person to look at the non-awra parts of the opposite gender if there is no desire or reasonable fear of falling into desire. [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

Though the above is permissible, it is still best not to look except when necessary, or there is a clear benefit in doing so. To lower one’s gaze when there is no need or foreseeable benefit is recommended. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and some texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Why Are Women Accountable for All the Fitna in the World and Men Are Not?

Why Are Women Accountable for All the Fitna in the World and Men Are Not?

Question: Why is it that scholars these days hold women to account for all fitna. I’ve heard from people that even though a women’s voice is not `awra (nakedness), she should refrain from talking in public or covering her face since people ‘might’ be attracted to it even though it’s not `awra. I heard that a woman is not supposed to seek higher education since it is ‘mixing with men,’ but men are not sinful for mixing with women. Doesn’t Islam hold everyone equal in education, or is this all true?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question. I recommend that you take your Islamic knowledge from reliable and correct sources of knowledge, such as Seekers. Please don’t fall into the trap of believing everything that you hear from anyone.

Speaking publicly

It is acceptable for a woman to speak publicly, as long as she is covered correctly. This is not because she is blamed for all fitna (temptation/affliction) in the world but rather because this what Allah and His Messenger have taught us. A woman who covers her hair, head, and neck and wears loose clothing will only benefit herself in this life and the next.

Covering the face

There is a difference of opinion on the obligation of covering the face according to traditional scholars. Generally, even those who encourage covering the face don’t encourage it if living in the West. Once you know the ruling, you don’t need to be upset about what you hear. Act on the knowledge that you know. Please see the details here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-niqab-obligatory-in-our-religion/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/the-lawful-nature-of-niqab-face-veiling/

Seeking education

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim, […]“ [Ibn Maja] A Muslim, man or woman, is never prevented from seeking knowledge in our religion, but one should be avid to learn his obligatory knowledge alongside or before his secular education. One should always follow the shari`a in his personal and professional life and never forget one’s priorities according to one’s position in life, as a spouse, mother, father, or child.

Who is to blame

There is no question that fitna, or temptation in the land, is caused by both parties and can only be remedied by both parties. Men and women alike need to restrain their gazes and protect their private parts, as Allah told us in the Qur’an:

“˹O Prophet!˺ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, guard their chastity, and not reveal their adornments except what normally appears. Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their ˹hidden˺ adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, their fellow women, those ˹bondwomen˺ in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness. Let them not stamp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance altogether, O  believers, so that you may be successful. [Qur’an, 24:30-31]

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.

How Can I Help My Daughter Say No to Boys Who Approach Her for an Illicit Relationship?



Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question.

Role Model

The best thing you can do for your daughter is to be a role model of Islamic character, following the rules of gender interaction, and covering correctly. She should see you lower your gaze around men, speak to non-mahram men reservedly, and keep a distance from men.  This will set the standard of gender interaction for her and leave no confusion in her mind between right and wrong. Encourage her to cover correctly in loose, modest clothing and never leave the house with make-up.

Resources

See the links below to excellent answers and consider taking a course on raising righteous children; it’s never too late:

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/keys-to-raising-righteous-children-eight-lessons-on-successful-parenting/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-principles-of-gender-interaction-in-islam/
https://seekersguidance.org/podcast-feeds/family-society/modest-clothing-for-men-and-women/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-requirements-of-hijab/

Rely on Allah

The bottom line is that you cannot make every decision for her and you must be prepared to let her live her life. She might make mistakes along the way, but you should guide her and love her every step of the way. Ask Allah constantly to increase her taqwa (God-fearingness) and hand over your inabilities and fears to Him. Your willingness to support her and show her what is right without embarrassing her or destroying her self-confidence is the best thing you can do as a mother. May Allah give you and your family 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 Masters’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.

Is It Permissible for a Woman To Work as a Lawyer When She Has Male Clients and May Have To Be Alone With a Man in an Office?

Question: Can I work as a woman as a lawyer? Is it a problem if a woman works with men? As a lawyer, I will also have male clients and have to be alone with them in my room at work. Is it in Islam allowed?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your concern about your religion and your sincerity.

It is permissible for a woman to work as a lawyer even if she has male clients. However, she must still follow the rules of seclusion (khalwa) regarding gender interaction and not neglect her duties at home if she is married. Please see the details here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWhCd676peA
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/wife-working/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-it-permissible-to-work-for-a-women-who-doesnt-actually-need-it/

Also, see the rules of gender interaction and follow them to have blessings in your job and circumstances.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/a-reader-on-gender-interaction/

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.

Can I message my friend’s sister to plan a surprise for him?

Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High, reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
Sending text messages to your friend’s sister to plan a  surprise for him is permissible as long as nothing prohibited is being discussed.
If you begin to feel romantic feelings in the process of these messages, you must stop messaging and pursue the proper method of asking for a girl’s hand in marriage.
In general, messaging between genders should always be within daylight hours. Adding a third person to the discussion is always a good choice and a sign of piety.
And Allah alone knows best,
Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Possible for a Woman Who Hates Homosexuality To Still Be Attracted to Women?

Question:

Is it possible for a Muslim woman to feel attracted to the same sex, even if she does not prefer homosexuality? If a woman hates homosexuality and has no interest in it, still is it possible for her to find other women sexually attractive?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is my firm belief that with the presence of toxins and hormones in our food and pollutants in the air, water, and earth that the health of a man is not what it used to be, making it possible to be attracted to the same gender.

 

Do Not Worry

In short, if you are worried about being attracted to other women, do not be. Stick to your obligations to your Lord, Most High, reduce your screen time dramatically, spend more time in nature in the fresh air, eat less junk and sugar, take your supplements. and surround yourself with religious positive people.

 

Ask Allah

Pray to Allah that He helps you reconcile these feelings and makes it easy for you to subdue them. Express your pain through du’a, and ask Allah to help you, guide you, and give you the very best outcome. Allah is always there to listen and loves to be asked. Trust in Allah that if you take care of Him, he will take care of you, as we know from a Prophetic hadith.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “When half of the night or two-third of it is over. Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak.'” [Muslim]

 

Please See:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-friend-of-the-same-gender-has-feelings-for-me/

May Allah reward you for your sincerity and 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 Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, 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.

Can I Mix With My Non-Muslim Friends?

Question:

Can I mix with my non-muslim friends?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Rest assured that you have come to the right place. You can find reliable and authentic Islamic knowledge here, along with always-free courses, if you decide that you want to increase your knowledge.

 

Gender Interaction

Islam is eager to prevent temptation between the genders in all its forms, hence we have the rules of gender interaction. The Prophetic guidance in this area, when followed correctly, prevents a whole slew of problems that people currently face today. Allah, our Creator, understands exactly how he made us, and He placed these rules for us as a mercy and guidance so that we can protect ourselves and others, flourish as families, and build strong Muslim societies.

Please see the rules of gender interaction here:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-principles-of-gender-interaction-in-islam/

 

Non-Muslim Friends

There is no harm in having non-Muslim friends, but as with all of one’s actions, one should weigh how much it harms or benefits one. It may be that you have a friend who is moral and principled, making you a better person. On the other hand, you may have a friend that distracts you from your prayers and makes you question your faith.

Either way, there is usually nothing better than befriending a like-minded person who has more knowledge than you and good character from which you can learn. In this vein, see these links:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-it-haram-to-befriend-non-muslims/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/friendship-with-non-muslims-explaining-verse-551/

 

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and guide you in every step of your journey to good.

[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 Masters 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.

Is It Permissible To Be Alone With the Children’s Nanny?

Question:
Is it permissible to be alone with the children’s nanny?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
A man should never be in seclusion with a strange woman, and a woman should never be alone with a strange man.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“Whenever a man is alone with a woman the devil makes a third.” [Tirmidhi, al-Sunan]
“No man should be alone with a woman except when there is a Mahram with her.” [Muslim, al-Sahih]
The legal ruling of seclusion is lifted when there is a family member of the woman present, another man is present, or there is a barrier between them. The presence of children does not lift the ruling of seclusion.
It is permissible for you to be in the same house with the nanny as long as you are in different rooms.
[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
When there is a need to speak to the nanny, you should do so by phone or while you are in different rooms. Let the nanny know of your preferences so that it becomes an easy process for both of you.
Outwardly, this may seem like something quite difficult and overbearing. However, Islam seeks to prevent all possible harm before it can occur.
Having someone other than the parents look after the children is a big step. Please see:
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Distance Myself From Someone Who Has Fallen in Love With Me?

Question:

How do I distance myself from someone who has feelings for me?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Your feelings are correct, and it was wrong to allow your friendship to go so far. The poor guy probably wants to marry you, and now his heart will be broken.

 

Gender Interaction

Please see the rules of gender interaction here. Following these rules ensures that relationships do not develop unnecessarily and end up in broken hearts. Islam is eager to squash temptation to avoid sin at the very outset, and this applies especially to online friendships and digital communication. Please see the details of the gender interaction rules here:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-principles-of-gender-interaction-in-islam/

 

Cut Him Off

Cold turkey is the best way to go. The pain that you cause him now will be forgotten with time, but dragging it on will make him suffer more. Tell him that you appreciate the friendship but that you want to restrict yourself to only female friends. He will most likely respect you for that and then propose, so you should tell him clearly that you are not interested.

 

Istikhara

However, pray istikhara before rejecting him. It may be that this man is the best for you, and you do not know it. Does he fulfill all the requirements? Does he pray and have a good job? Not being emotionally attached is a tremendous advantage, and you should consider the possibility. Oftentimes people do not know what is right for them until another points it out! 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 Masters 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.

What Is the Ruling On Complimenting the Beauty Of a Potential Spouse?

Question: What is the ruling on complimenting the beauty of a potential spouse?

Answer:

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

The general ruling with regards to interacting/speaking with the opposite gender is that the interaction must be done  (a) when there is need or likely benefit and (b) to the extent of the need and in a formal manner.

Due to the above principle, speaking to a potential spouse is indeed a need with likely benefit. However, the interaction must not become too informal or lighthearted that could lead to the stirring-up of desires and flirting.

Thus, if the above guidelines are not upheld, such interaction may be considered a precursor to fornication. All precursors to fornication are prohibited by the explicit verse of the Qur’an. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Allah Most High says, “Do not go near adultery. It is truly a shameful deed and an evil way.” [Qur’an; 17:32]

Here Allah Most High not only prohibits adultery itself but He prohibits going near adultery. From this, the scholars have extended the prohibition to anything that could potentially lead to adultery/fornication. [Abu Sa’ud, Tafsir Irshad al-‘Aql al-Salim]

 

Formal Does Not Mean Harsh

Though the discussion between potential spouses should be kept to formal discourse with regards to the style and topics of discussion, it is permissible to speak in a manner that customarily constitutes good etiquette and comportment.

Thus, certain niceties will be allowed if such niceties are not customarily considered flirting. If however, such statements are customarily used flirtatiously, one must refrain from doing so.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.