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Buying House Opposite to Temple

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked if buying a house across from a temple dedicated to another religion is permissible.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Is buying a house opposite to a non-Muslim Temple permissible?
 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well insha Allah.

There is no objection to buying a house situated opposite a non-Muslim place of worship.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

 


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What Is the Difference Between a Mortgage and a Rent-To-Own?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

In a mortgage, the bank buys a house in my name and I pay the bank the principal plus interest for using their money. On the other hand, in rent to own, the bank buys the property in their name and I pay them rent which includes the principal and the mark-up (interest). In essence, these two are the same so why is one seen as haram and the other halal?

A scholar has the opinion that the former is technically halal as the essence is the same.

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

I pray you are well.

Giving Interest Is As Wrong As Taking It

The premise that only taking interest is impermissible is incorrect, and it directly clashes with the narration ‘The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) cursed the one takes interest, the one who gives it, the one who writes [the contract], and those who witness it.’ (Muslim).

‘Islamic Mortgages’

The conventional mortgage and the ‘Islamic alternative’ are two different contracts. The former is clearly one where the buyer pays back more than he borrows, falling into the problem in the above narration. In rent-to-own alternative, the buyer owns part of the property, and the bank owns the rest.

The buyer then has two agreements with the bank: the first is to pay a sum per month as rent for living in the share owned by the bank; this is permissible in the Shariʿa, and not interest. The second agreement is to purchase some of the banks share every month over a number of years until he is the sole owner. This is also permissible in the Shariʿa.

A simple look at the outcomes of the two transaction seems like the buyer is getting money from the bank and paying more back. This is a over-simplification and incorrect.

The Implications of words

The wordings and their meanings in legal contracts have consequences and sanctity in the eyes of Allah Almighty. Otherwise, what would be the difference between a man marrying a lady with a mahr and marriage contract and then consummating that marriage, and a man who made an agreement with a lady, paid her some money and slept with her outside of marriage? An over-simplification would say that both are the same.

The jurists summed this up with the legal maxim ‘In contracts the meanings are of consequence, not just the wordings.’ (Zarqa,Sharḥ al-Qawaʾid al-fiqhiyya)

I hope that clarifies matters for you.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

When Can a Woman Leave Her House?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I know a woman shouldn’t leave the house unless there’s a genuine purpose, and shouldn’t aimlessly wander the street. But does this mean it’s haram to go for a walk, or enjoy the sunshine in my yard or at a park? Does this qualify as having a purpose, or should this be avoided?

Answer: Dear questioner,

Leaving one’s house: a basic human need

Allah Most High has said, ‘Do not go to extremes in your religion, save but in the truth.’ [4:171] and the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said, ‘There is to be no harm, nor any reciprocating harm.’ [al-Hakim and other]

There is nothing offensive or forbidden about a woman stepping out of her house, walking down the street or taking a stroll in a park. I personally know of righteous women who get out and about for business, work, fundraising or just to get a breathe of fresh air. I even remember Sheikh Nuh Keller–a modern Shafi’i scholar who isn’t one to cut corners in his religion–once joking about a woman who had never left her house from the day she got married till the day she died. ‘It can’t have been a very long time!’ he said. That is to say that getting out of the house is a basic human need.

Culture affects halal and haram

Opinions that we may hear shunning such practice are to be understood in their cultural settings, settings in which certain places were not visited by men, and the only women found there were those with ill intentions.

In ancient Arabia, for example, there was a particular term for a woman who would go out and deal with or speak to men: she was called a baraza, or ‘out-goer’. She was defined as, ‘a women of great moment who would come out to the people and with whom the tribe would consult, who was trusted by dint of her wisdom and good intentions.’ [Lisan al-Arab]

We might compare her, to some extent, to the likes of Our Mother Khadija (Allah be well-pleased with her) who was a businesswoman, but sent men to do the business for her [Ibn Hisham, Sira], or even religious and practising sisters we may know of in our communities who are today headmistresses, lecturers or even C.E.Os.

Not rocking the Boat

In highly conservative Islamic cultures where segregation is healthily applied, a woman’s being in a certain place or dressing in a certain way, may cause genuine social strife. In such places, we must respect the social norms — as long as they don’t contravene the Sacred Law — and learn how to carry ourselves in a way that reflects modesty as they define it.

The principle that should applied, in such cultures, and indeed elsewhere, is that anything that would normally lead to realistic and significant temptation from either of the two genders must be stopped. [al-Fatawa al-Kubra al-Fiqhiyya, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami] This will vary based on place, time, culture, age of those involved, and their religiosity.

Using our Head

That said, we should be wise and understand that the Sacred Law has protected Muslim women with two hijabs: the hijab of covering her hair and dressing modestly, and the hijab of carrying herself with shyness and decorum, and not unnecessarily mixing with the opposite sex, or intentionally exposing oneself to their gaze or attention. Women are not stupid: they can tell the difference between walking in the park to worship Allah by taking some exercise or enjoying the blessings of nature, and between disobeying Him by trying to be seen.

It is worth noting that shyness and decorum equally apply to men around women, and men should be careful where their footsteps and gazes fall. The Prophet himself (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was described as ‘shyer than a virgin’ [al-Bukhari]. May Allah make us all walk in his footsteps.

I hope this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Should I Stay in Parent’s House or Wife’s Parents House?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My wife wants me to live with her at her parents house. My parents won’t allow it.

What should I do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam.

While it is important to give everyone their due rights, especially parents, there comes a time when a person has to assess a situation himself, and make a decision that he feels is the right thing to do, even if others disagree. You can’t please everyone all of the time.

Given the situation you have described, and if this is just a temporary situation, then I suggest that your wife stays at her parent’s house and your parents stay in their house, until the work in your house is complete. That way you are not asking anything from anyone.

As for yourself, if your wife has her own family around her and your parents are dependent on you, then it might be a good idea to stay with your parents, and visit your wife when you can during the week. Preferably, you should stay overnight with your wife twice a week, not leaving more than 4 days apart between visits, if this is possible. Your parents will just have to accept this. There is nothing to lose respect over.

If your parents are not dependent on you, then there is nothing wrong with you staying with your wife at her parents’ home. In this case, visit your parents in their house when possible.

If your parents get upset or angry, then be patient and kind with them.

Discuss things with your wife and your parents, make a firm decision, and pray Istikhara. Then act.

I wish you all the very best.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Do I Have to Pay Zakat on a House?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

My brother and I inherited our parents house after their death.
We plan to sell it as soon as we get a suitable offer for it. It may take some years due to formalities. It is unoccupied as it cannot be rented out.

Do we have to pay zakat on this house every year?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

There is no zakat due on residential properties or otherwise.

Personal possessions and property are not subject to zakat. However, the money which you receive from the sale of property and the like is zakatable, and hence, you would subsequently include those funds with your other assets.

Please also see: Is Your Zakat Due? – A Reader and Resources on Giving Zakat and: Zakat: A Comprehensive SeekersHub Reader

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

My Mother Refuses to Let Me Marry Until I Buy Her a House. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My mother made it very clear that I am not allowed to marry until I buy her a house. This distresses me deeply. I feel so terrible, have moved out of home, and have fallen into the sin of pornography. My mother has also threatened to ruin the life of whoever I marry. What do I do?

Answer:Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.

Mother

Dear questioner, your mother in this scenario sounds extremely unwell. Despite this, you must still treat her with respect. Respect does not mean blind obedience. Respect means not raising your voice at her, being patient with her, and being of service to her.

When registration reopens, I please enrol in and complete this course: Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents.

Please do everything in your power to mend ties with your mother. Give her gifts. Ask her how she is. Help her with her errands. Do this out of sincerity, and not because you want her to give you permission to marry. Please work on establishing a genuine, caring relationship with her. Take a break from the battleground of marriage talks.

Fears

Try to understand what your mother is afraid of. The elderly often have very strong fears, and struggle to communicate them. Instead of having vulnerable and honest conversations, it is easier for them to lash out in anger. Is she afraid that when you marry, you will abandon her? What have you done to reassure her?

Prayer

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance about getting married. You may think it is a good idea, but only Allah knows best.

Please perform the Prayer of Need about healing your relationship with your mother.

Marriage

Are you still addicted to pornography? If so, then please refer to Purify Your Gaze.

When registration reopens, please enrol in and complete Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. in the meantime, I encourage you to listen to:

1) Podcasts such as Content of Character and The Rawha.
2) Lesson sets such as Getting Married.

What do you have to offer your future wife?

It sounds like unless things change, you must inform your future wife that:

1) that your mother is deeply unhappy with you and whoever you marry
2) you have a pornography addiction which you are working on healing.

The right woman for you will be able to accept your challenges and be a support for you.

Support

What kind of support do you have? How are your prayers? Are you sleeping, eating and exercising well?

Blessings

Fiqh-wise, you can get married without your mother’s blessings. However, there is the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law. It is far better for you, your wife, and your future children, for you to marry with your mother’s blessings.

I pray that Allah grants you the wisdom, courage and patience to draw closer to your mother, and through that, closer to Allah.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Missed Prayers
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Is It Permissible for a Muslim to Permanently Stay at a House Containing Hindu Idols? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

1. Is it permissible for a Muslim to permanently stay at a house containing Hindu idols?

2. Will my worship be affected?

3. People say that angels do not enter a home that has idols. Thus, it is not protected from shaytan. Is it true?

4. Is it a must to purify a house that was previously occupied by a non-Muslim?


5. Are there certain prayers to be done when moving into a new place?

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.

1. Is it permissible for a Muslim to permanently stay at this house for up to a year or two?

There is a difference of opinion in the Shafi’i school whether one is permitted to enter into a house (or room) where there are images or statues of animate beings. Many hold that it is impermissible, while others have stated it is disliked. The latter being the reliable opinion (that it is disliked).

(Note: This ruling differs to the ruling for entering such places when invited to a festive feast or when entering a place of worship (e.g. church), in which there is no difference of opinion regarding its prohibition, unless one’s presence will lead to the removal of the objects)

As for when the prohibited items are in the building, but not in the same room that one is staying, then it is permissible (without dislike).

Likewise, if the images are only above the front door and the hallway (and not in the room one is), then it is also permissible.

[Hashiyat Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Mughni al Muhtaj, Iyanat al Talibin]

2. Will my ibadah be affected? Will blessings and du’a be blocked? Is du’a blocked due to sins?

Your worship itself will not be affected as long as your own state is good, and you remain sincere in your supplications, insha’Allah.

It is true that sins affect the acceptance of supplication. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘[A man] stretches his hands out toward the sky and says, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]?’ [Muslim].

What this hadith is referring to is sins in which the person is directly involved in, and not incidental circumstances, such as making supplication in a place which it is disliked to be.

We will discuss blessings below.

3. Also, people say that angels do not enter a home that has idols, statues or even sculptures of living things. Thus, this house is not protected from shaytan and jinn, and it and its occupants are not blessed. I would like to ask for your clarification on this.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘The Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture.’ [Bukhari, Muslim].

Imam Nawawi explains, ‘Those angels that do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture are angels who bring mercy and blessings and forgiveness. As for [those angels that bring] protection, they enter into every house.’ [Rawhda al Talibin].

Therefore, while angels of mercy, blessings and forgiveness do not enter into the house, the angels of protection do. Obviously one should say their regular daily invocations, sunna dua’s and recite Qur’an for further protection.

Also, if there are no prohibited objects in your room, there is nothing to say that you will not receive blessings of some kind in that specific area.

4. Is it a must to purify a house that was previously occupied by a non-Muslim?

No, it is not obligatory. though if there was something previously in the house which we deem to be filth, such as a dog or alcohol, then one should give the house a good clean.

5. Are there certain prayers to be done when moving into a new place?

There isn’t any specific supplication or du’a for entering into a new home. However, the following are good practices:

1. Whenever you enter the house say the Ta’awudh (أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم ), Bismillah, and then,

أعوذ بكلمات التامات من شر ما خلق
I seek refuge in the Perfect Word of Allah from the evil of what He has created

It is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, ‘When anyone lands at a place, and then says, ‘I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what He has created’, nothing will harm him until he leaves that place’. [Muslim].

2. Recite Surah Al-Baqarah in the rooms which you will be spending time in. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, ‘Offer some of your prayers at home, and do not take your houses as graves. In fact, Satan flees from the house where Surah al Baqarah is recited’ [Muslim]

3. Keep the house alive by reading Quran, dhikr, and praying. Play Qur’an on audio in the house daily.

Conclusion

As a general rule, it is always better for a Muslim to stay clear of anywhere where there are prohibited objects, particularly statues of deities.

However, since you said that it was difficult to find a place to stay during your work (and I assume it would be difficult to find somewhere else to stay, or at least at the same cost), and your friend offered her place to you and kindly stored away the main objects, it is obvious that there are many reasons for taking up the offer, and therefore it would be permissible for you to stay there.

If at all possible, I would suggest trying to cover the remaining items while you are there. Perhaps light cloth draped over each item will suffice.

I wish you all the best in your studies. May Allah protect you and us.

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.

Should I Leave My Parents to Allow My Wife to Have Her Own House?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have three brothers that live in their own houses with their wives and children and I am currently living with my wife and children along with my parents. My parents have reached their old age. Now my wife would like her own house. My parents are not happy to live in their own house and they also need a lot of care in their old age. What should I do?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,

This is a sensitive situation, and it’s difficult to respond without any particulars. But in general, you should sit down with your brothers and have a frank conversation about how to move forward in a way which facilitates matters for all parties involved.

Service to parents in their old age is a tremendous act, worthy of deep reward, but your immediate family also have rights upon you. You don’t want to be in a situation where your children grow up in an atmosphere of complaint, discontentment and unhappiness because this is the Islam they absorbed from their mother’s state.

Consider having the parents move around so all share in the responsibility, for example. Children need to realise the duty they have towards their parents—they didn’t turn away when you were ailing and in need. Involving a community leader or scholar may also be useful.

With that, pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah). [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?]

Please also see: A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws and: How to Handle Mean In-Laws? and: I Live With an Abusive and Depressed Mother-In-Law – Should I Leave My Husband? and: Living With Disrespectful and Overbearing In-Laws and: In-Laws Leaving Me No Privacy: What is the Proper Response?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Should the Entrance of a House Be Facing the Qibla? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Should the entrance of a house be facing the qibla? My husband believes that the prosperity of our household depends on it.

Answer: Assalāmu ʿAlaykum,

I pray that you are well.

You can have the entrance to your residence face any direction convenient, or available.

There does not appear to be any established reason in our primary texts or legal corpus that indicates that the entrance of a house should be facing the direction of the Ka’ba.

We have not been given reason to hold that prosperity in a household is related to its entrance facing a specific direction.

Please also see:Can a Kitchen Stove Face the Qibla?

God knows best.

Shuaib Ally

Photo: edward musiak

Is It Disliked to Live in a Building Which Has Statues on the Outside?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum

I am searching for a flat to rent and have found one in an old building which has statues on the outside.

Is it disliked to live in a building which has statues on the outside? Will Angels still enter such a building?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

You aren’t responsible for statues found on the building itself. Rather, keep them out of your house so it remains a haven of blessings and angels.

If you are able to reasonably find another place, then do so, but it isn’t a specific religious requirement.

Please see: The Maliki View on Pictures of Humans and Animals and: How Can I Avoid Worshipping a Picture While Praying?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani