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Cutting Ties to In-laws

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if it is permissible to cut ties to in-laws who are abusive in order to ward off harm to oneself and one’s children.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am in need of advice. As a daughter in law, I have cut ties with my husband’s brother and his family. (My husband still maintains contact.) The incidences were such that I no longer feel my children are safe in their presence, as it resulted in my children paying for the consequences of his action. He has committed many other negative deeds, which I have forgiven. Please note this brother in law is well-known for his hot temperament so reasoning with him is out of the question. I have therefore chosen to distance myself as a means to protect my mental well-being, to protect my children (both under five), and to avoid further problems.

I understand my children will be obligated to maintain kinship once they reach a balig age. My question is, given their young age – is it a necessity now?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

If the anticipated harm is only physical, you should all keep ties with your mother and father in-law by telephone. If the harm is more emotional and physical, then just keep your distance as long as you know the harm exists. You can still send letters and gifts on Eid, for example.

As for your brother-in-law, you don’t need to have anything to do with him anyway because he is not your mahram. You should just have the children send kind messages now and then – again, providing that does not also result in harm.

Have your husband keep ties, as to do otherwise will only worsen things. As a general rule, it is good to keep the son/daughter in the range of fire, and the daughter-in-law out of it, as long as that also doesn’t result in harm.

Their are a lot of toxic relationships in many families, and the principle of avoiding harm is given precedence over achieving benefit. That is to say that the words of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Let there be no harm and no reciprocating harm.” (Malik) is given precedence over his words, “He who cuts family ties will not enter Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

You should however consult some other members of the family and people with life experience to ascertain the best way to remove the harm once and for all, or how to navigate the whole issue in the best way.

Make a lot of dua for them, even if they have wronged you and your children.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Is It Sinful to Keep Exercising Despite the Pain?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My right leg is somewhat shorter than my left leg. Due to this imbalance I get painful muscular trigger points.I am getting waswasa with regards to the hadith “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” . Whenever I feel some pain while exercising I feel that I am going against this hadith. Can I continue being active such as weightlifting and cycling even though I will get pain?

Answer: In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate

Thank you for your question. May Allah grant you the best of states and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.

THERE SHOULD BE NEITHER HARMING NOR RECIPROCATING HARM

The hadith ‘There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm’ is found in the Sunnan of Ibn Majah and Imam Malik’s al Muwatta.

The scholars have offered different explanations to the hadith, but the common theme running through all these explanations is the impermissibility of harming another person, or each other, for no reason or for an unjust reason [Jami’ al Ulum wal Hukm].

The hadith is not referring to harming oneself, though the prohibition of harming oneself is evident elsewhere in the Qur’an and hadith.

HARMING ONESELF

Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an, ‘And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction’ [2:195], and ‘And do not kill yourselves’ [4.29].

Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.’ [al Bukhari]

The above references, as well as being established in the sacred law, make it clear that we are not permitted to cause harm to ourselves. Our bodies, like everything else we make use of and enjoy in this life, do not belong to us, but belong to God, and are things entrusted to us to look after. On the Day of Judgement our limbs and body parts will either speak for us or against us, depending on what we did with them. For this reason, we should look after our bodies, faculties, and senses as best as we can.

TRAINING SAFELY AND MEDICAL ADVICE

Given what you have said, it seems that you are training sensibly. However, you should seek professional medical advice. If the medical advisors say that the pain is normal and poses no long term risk to your health, then you can take their advice and continue. If the minor, passing pain continues then there is no blame on you. Though you should stop and seek further medical advice if it worsens.

If, however, they tell you that continuing on your current training/sports activity will lead to further complications in the future and deterioration of your condition, or they suggest methods and techniques which can minimise any risk, then you should adapt your program and activity accordingly.

Seeking advice from Islamic scholars, as you have done, and from medical professionals, will mean you have done all you can. Therefore, do not give the waswasa a second thought, or think you are doing anything wrong. Good health and keeping active is encouraged in the religion, and as long as the experts say you are not causing harm to yourself, even with the minor pain you experience during training, then you are doing something praiseworthy. And Allah knows best.

I wish you all the 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.

Finding Safety and Solace in the Sunnah

In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Sayyiduna Muhammad and His Folk and Companions.


In any matter that faces the believers, individually and communally, they would not find a better recourse than to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). 

Times of trial are reminders to hold fast to Allah and to find safety and solace in following the way of our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).  

It is related that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would exit his house he would say:

Finding-Solace-Iman-Badawi3

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might or power but in Allah. O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip, or cause injustice, or suffer injustice, or do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”

This supplication, as it appears here, is a combination of reports from the Sunnan of Abi Dawud, on the authority of Sayyida Umm Salama and Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be well-pleased with them all).  Imam an-Nawwawi, in his Adhkar, collected similar narrations from at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaa`i, and Ibn Maajah.  

Ibn Allan, in his commentary on the Adhkar, entitled al-Futoohat ar-Rabbaniyya, explains that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught this supplication to his ummah to teach them how to seek refuge from all harm in their dealings with people, both outwardly and inwardly. This can only come about through humbly turning to Allah, Most High, and asking for steadfastness upon the straight path.

He quotes at-Teebi as saying, “One who exits from his home will engage with people, and so it is feared that he would swerve from the upright way; either 

  1. in matters of religion, by leading others astray or being led astray; or 
  1. in worldly matters, such that one might oppress another or be oppressed; or 
  1. in one’s mixing with others, such that one would act imprudently or be treated as such.”

Ibn Allan explains that each one of these is a foundation in itself, not redundant.

 


TRUST IN ALLAH

Dua-RainNewImage.png“In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah.”

Through reliance upon Allah, the believer seeks to rise above every difficulty. This is sought by invoking the name of Allah with the intention of seeking His Assistance, Gentle Care, and Facilitation and that His Power protects one’s acts from deficiency and inconsistency.

Muslims often become exasperated by the default state of suspicion placed upon them in the wake of terrorist attacks.  While we must take every means to enjoin good and forbid evil and avert all forms of harm, it is not by our efforts that the truth prevails.  Rather, above all of that is the duty to trust in Allah.

 

MISGUIDANCE

“O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip

Guidance is to uphold the truth in belief and word and deed. Straying from guidance (dalaal) entails being distracted away from the high aims for which we were created.

Worldly events often cause a shift in this focus and lead to negligence in upholding Slavehood to Allah.  

The verb “zalla” means to slip from an elevated place. In this context it means falling from the lofty heights of adherence to the Straight Path to the low strata of following one’s caprice (hawa), or turning away from the dictates of God-consciousness (taqwa), or being consumed by the pursuit of worldly gains (dunya).  Misguidance is a willful turning from the truth, while slipping is an unintentional mistake resulting from weakness.  

Even as Muslims feel threatened or unsafe, we must not lose our resolve to adhere to the obedience of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in all circumstances. This is the means to overcoming difficulty and the manifestation of true reliance upon Allah.

Thus, it has been reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (may Allah be well-pleased with him) that Allah immediately answers and an angel declares, “You have been guided.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Book of Supplications]

 

OPPRESSION

“I seek refuge in You lest I….cause injustice, or suffer injustice”

Dhulm means to place something in other than it’s rightful place or to take the right of another.  

There can be no greater oppression than to take the words of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) out of their proper place to achieve the exact opposite of their aims. However, a believer is responsible for his or her own actions.  Thus, one will not be asked about the oppression of others before he is first asked about his own.

One who has been protected by Allah from oppression will have what our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) promised, as the hadith continues to say:

“You have been sufficed.”, meaning, of every worldly and next-worldly concern by your reliance upon Allah. 

 

IGNORANCE

“I seek refuge in You lest I…. do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”

This entails being ignorant of what is obligatory upon one or to act in a way that is contrary to the character of a believer or to be treated with like imprudence.

Incidents that provoke anger, fear and hatred are easily reciprocated with their like.  In that is a victory for the true enemy.  

Thus the angel responds, “You have been guarded.”, meaning from the harm of your enemies, of devils and jinn, by your sincere consigning of all affairs to the Creator.

 

Concern For Others & Praying for the Good for all Believers

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was granted the most succinctly eloquent and vastly comprehensive speech.  In this short supplication, he teaches us to seek protection, both from these harms and from being the cause of leading others to them.  There is no harm to recite it in English for one who finds difficulty memorizing it in Arabic.

In the narration of at-Tirmidhi, the same supplication has been narrated in the plural, intending all the believers.  This is a general recommendation, as it is from wishing for one’s brother what one wishes for one’s self. [Sunan at Tirmidhi, Book of Supplications, on the authority of Sayyida Umm Salama from ash-Sha’bi]

 

Planting Prophetic Meanings

Most of the Sunnah is habitual guidance; a consistent way of approaching our dealings with our Creator and our dealings with the creation.  Good habits are best established early. Through teaching this supplication to our children, explaining its meanings and reciting it with them consistently, every time we leave our homes, we pray that it’s beautiful meanings are imparted to them.  

 

Modern Interactions

The reality of our modern world is that we now engage with people, to a great extent, through social media.  Thus, the harms from which we seek protection through this supplication are no longer limited to leaving one’s home.   As the aim of du’a` is sincere turning to Allah in neediness, it would be a good practice to recite this supplication or, at least, bring its meanings to mind in all human interactions.  

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Allah, Most High, says:

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is your return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do. [Quran 5:105]

By Iman Badawi

 

Resources for seekers:

How Do I Seek Protection from Evil and Harm?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: As salam alaykum,

What can be recited to completely undo magic that has been done to me by a recently deceased relative? I also have somebody bothering me in my sleep. What can I do about this?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

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

The general “treatment” is four matters:

(1) Renew commitment to perform the five daily prayers on time, with renewed commitment to turn to Allah in them. This is the greatest protection of light, from Allah.

(2) Renew your commitment to leave sins—particularly major sins such as wronging others, nor fulfilling their rights, breaking closing relations, or other wrongdoing. This is the source of greatest darkness in life, and repentance from such sins removes the darkenesses that lead to spiritual and other harms.

(3) Recite the three Qul’s (Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq, Surat al-Nas—Suras 112-114 of the Qur’an), regularly. At least, commit to reciting them upon waking and when going to sleep. Ideally, also recite them after every obligatory prayer—bringing to mind their meanings, each time, as one recites them. Surat al-Ikhlas tells us about the Absolute Uniqueness and Perfection of Allah (al-Ahad, the Unique One); that Allah is the Absolutely Independent (al-Samad), whom all depend upon; and that He is Absolutely Self-Reliant, and Absolutely Distinct from everything, in every way—for everything besides Him is created by Him and dependent upon Him. Surat al-Falaq and Surat al-Nas teach us to seek shelter in the protection, care, and mercy of Allah from every type of harm—recognizing that we our hope and fear, reliance and trust are only upon Him.

(4) Recite Ayat al-Kursi, similarly—morning and night, and ideally after every prayer. Recite it with reflection on its meanings. Ayat al-Kursi tells us about Allah’s Unique Oneness: that He alone is the Absolutely Living (al-Hayy), whom all life depends upon for its very existence; and that He is the Absolutely Sustaining (al-Qayyum), who needs none to sustain Him, and who sustains all things in every way, at every moment—and the rest of the verse tells us about the Absolute Knowledge, Will, and Power of our Mighty and Merciful Lord.

If you wish further assistance, three recommended practices are:

1. Perform the prayer of need (salat al-haja):

Perform wudu, and pray two rakats of prayer, after which you should make heart-felt dua, asking Allah for your needs. It is good to recite the specifically-recommended sunna supplication (dua) of need:

How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?

2. Recite this brief Prophetic supplication, regularly:

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ
“O Alive and everlasting One,
I beseech You by Your mercy.” [Mustadrak Hakim]

See also:
Some Prophetic Supplications for Difficulty and Distress

3. Many scholars (such as Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf) recommend this practice:

After Isha, recite Hasbuna’l Llahu wa ni`ma’l Wakeel (Allah is our sufficiency and is the best of guardians) 450 times, sitting alone in a quiet room, facing the qibla, in state of wudu, with reflection on its meanings.

This is taken from the Qur’anic praise of true believers, in Surah Aal-Imran:

“Those whose faith only increased when people said, ‘Fear your enemy: they have amassed a great army against you,’ and who replied, ‘God is enough for us: He is the best protector,’ returned with grace and bounty from God; no harm befell them. They pursued God’s good pleasure. God’s favour is great indeed.” [3.173-175]

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation. ​

If there remain harms beyond this, then consult a reliable, learned scholar about the specifics.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Podcast (you will be abe to listen to the recording of this answer)

Let the Believer Have Three Things From You – Yahya ibn Mu`adh al-Razi

A gem shared by Shaykh Abdallah Adhami on Facebook:

“Let the believer have three things from you: If you are not going to benefit him, do not harm him; if you are not going to bring him joy, do not cause him grief; if you are not going to praise him, do not condemn him.” – Yaḥyā b. Mu‘āẓ b. Ja‘far al-Rāzī, of Rayy, Balkh and then Nishapur (258/872)

Guidance of the Prophet Muhammad on the Virtues of Patience (and Thankfulness) in Tribulation and Hardship

muhammed_arabicThese are a few hadiths of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) on the great honor that trials, hardships, and tribulations can represent for a true believer, and how these are opportunities to exhibit one’s patience, trust, reliance, contentment, and thankfulness to Allah Most High.

34. Anas said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Allah the Mighty and Exalted says, ‘When I test My slave regarding the two things he loves and he shows fortitude, I repay him for them with the Garden.'” He meant his eyes. [al-Bukhari]

35. ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah said, “Ibn ‘Abbas said to me, ‘Shall I show you a woman who is one of the people of the Garden?’ I replied, ‘Please do.’ He said, ‘This black woman came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “I have fits during which I expose myself. Pray to Allah Almighty for me.” He said, “If you wish, you can show fortitude and you will receive the Garden, and if you wish, I will pray to Allah Almighty to heal you.” She said, “I will show fortitude.” She said, “I expose myself so pray to Allah that I do not expose myself.” So he prayed for her.'” [Agreed upon]

36. Abu ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said, “It is as if I could still see the Messenger of Allah talking about one of the Prophets, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them, whose people beat him, making his blood flow. While he was wiping the blood from his face, he said, ‘O Allah, forgive my people. They do not know.'” [Agreed upon]

37. Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his mistakes by it.” [Agreed upon]

38. Ibn Mas’ud said, “I visited the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he had a fever. I said, “Messenger of Allah, you have a very high fever!’ He replied, ‘Yes. I have the fever of two of you.’ I asked, ‘Is that because you will have two rewards?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is like that. No Muslim is afflicted by harm, whether it is a thorn or something worse, without Allah expiating his evil deeds on that account and his sins fall away from him like leaves from a tree.'” [Agreed upon]

39. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When Allah desires good for someone, He afflicts him.” [Al-Bukhari]

Source: Chapter on Steadfastness (sabr) from Imam Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (tr. Ayesha Bewley)