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Do Unlawful Relationships Deprive One of Faith?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I have read that a muslim gets deprived of his faith when he is involved in fornication. Can I get deprived my faith if I kiss and touch a girl?

Answer:Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for your question.

Major and minor sins, including zina, do not deprive one of faith. Disobedience to God can however decrease one’s faith, in the same way obedience to God can increase one’s faith [Jawharat al Tawhid].

Works and Faith

Faith is not only linked to belief but also acts and states. This is evident from the words of the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Faith has seventy-odd branches, the most virtuous of which is La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) and the least of which is removing something harmful from the road. And modesty (Al-Haya’) is a branch of faith.’ [Muslim]

Persistence in sin leads to the ruining of the soul. A brand new, unstained shirt, is not the same as a stained shirt that has to be washed, and a repeatedly soiled and used shirt, even if washed multiple times, is not the same as a shirt that is new, or washed once. Such is our heart and soul, the less we soil it, the more innocent and pure it remains, and the same applies to our faith. The more we increase in obedience, the stronger and purer our faith becomes.

The Power of Repentance

Through God’s infinite Mercy, the door of repentance is always open, and the chance to make amends and start afresh is always there. Each time we make sincere repentance, the sin is washed away and we start anew, albeit with a lesson learnt, insha’Allah.

Genuine repentance means that one:

1. Is truly repentant for their wrong doing
2. That they pray two cycles of prayer followed by sincere supplication
3. That they desist from the sin (meaning stop all contact with the other person in this case)
4. That they resolve not to return to the sin

I urge you to make tawba, and then work on increasing your faith through good works, fulfilling your obligations, and learning about the religion.

May Allah increase you and us in faith until it is complete.

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.

Does a Picture of a Deity on a Bag Invalidate One’s Faith?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I bought my son a school bag. It has a drawing of a fictional superhero deity on comic books called Thor. If my son uses this bag would that invalidate our Islam?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in. I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Merely buying or using a bag which has pictures of fictional gods does not invalidate one’s faith. However, buying or selling an item with prohibited images or text printed on it is impermissible, but the sales transaction remains valid [Mughni al Muhtaj].

Disbelief

A person’s faith is a tremendous matter, and for this reason, those things that take one out of Islam are usually grave matters too, such as believing in false deities or worshipping them, even in jest, or disdain or ridicule for any aspect of the religion, or being pleased with disbelief.

Making the right choices

As Muslims, and especially as parents, we have to be more particular about our consumer choices. This can be difficult when buying children’s items, though usually if we look hard enough, we can find suitable clothes and accessories with neutral yet lively and colourful images and texts that are still appealing to children. This way the parent has not done anything wrong and it teaches the child how to make conscious choices as a Muslim.

Practical steps

Given that you have already bought the bag, you can consider the following options:

1. If it’s not too late and you can return the bag and exchange it, then do so.

2. If you have to keep it, then mark out with a permanent marker pen the writing or any problematic images, or sew patches over it.

3. Mark out the writing and any problematic images, then place badges or the like over the area.

4. If you are able to, buy a new bag, and after marking out the problematic designs, use the bag for some other use in the house, such as storage.

I hope this helps. May Allah grant you and your family to God’s Pleasure always.

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.

I Have Cursed at My Son. Am I Divorced?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I got a little angry against my son and all of the sudden I uttered a word in the punjabi language: “haraam da” which means “bastard”.

And ever since it happend I have been getting misgivings of “kufr” and “divorce”.

Does this constitute disbelief or divorce?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for your query.

Your statement does not constitute disbelief or divorce in any way. Children are a gift from Allah and should be shown love and affection. The regret and love you showed your son is beautiful and we all make mistakes. A beautiful guide for the upbringing and nurturing of children is the book, ‘Educating Children’ that was translated into English by Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed. I strongly encourage you to read and study it.

May Allah bless you and your family.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Does Not Talking About Islam With a Non-Muslim Mean That I Am Pleased With Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I was waiting on a cash desk when a man asked me if I am Muslim. I replied with “Yes” and then he said “Elhamdulillah”. He said:”I have the intention to become Muslim.” After that, we talked again without touching the topic of Islam and suddenly he walked away. Does it mean that I was pleased with his disbelief? What to do in such a situation?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, the scenario in question does not constitute being pleased or contented with disbelief (rida’ bi’l kufr).

In general, the jurists give examples which are indicative of principles they are trying to get across. They are not supposed to be taken literally, and this is why many jurists wrote explicitly that they do not give legal verdicts (fatwa) according to what is found in legal texts. Law is not so simplistic.

Even in an actual and serious case, the jurist will strive to take whichever position reasonably keeps the person within the fold of Islam. Anathema (takfir) is no small matter, and in our times, it is a cancer affecting the community of believers (umma). Please see the attached answers for further details and discussion.

Moreover, most people who intend to become Muslim are already subsumed within the faith by virtue of what they have believed in and accepted as truth. Thus, formally “accepting” and the like has social wisdoms, but isn’t an essential part of faith, just like the testimony of faith itself.

In any case, if you feel that you didn’t adequately assist, or you wish you would have said more, you can supplicate for the person in question. But if the person didn’t ask you of anything, nothing is specifically, religiously required from you.

[Qari, Sharh Alfadh al-Kufr (78-81); Ibn `Abidin, Sharh `Uqud Rasm al-Mufti (440)]

Please also see: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud? and: Misgivings Regarding Apostasy and How to Deal with Them and: Overwhelmed and Confused in Trying to Understand and Practice Islam: What Can I Do? and: Did I Become a Disbeliever by Repeating Lyrics Containing Disbelief?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[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.

Did I Become a Disbeliever by Repeating Lyrics Containing Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Did I become a disbeliever by repeating lyrics containing disbelief?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Merely repeating lyrics that contain statements of disbelief would not render one a disbeliever. However, it would be sinful to do so and one must avoid it.

The reason why it would not be disbelief is because judgments concerning the faith of someone rest upon what they believe or choose not to believe. An individual who is part of the Muslim community will continue to be deemed as part of this community unless there is decisive, certain, and unambiguous evidence that he or she has rejected a core belief of Islam that is necessary for one to be a Muslim.

Repeating lyrics without accepting what they signify in terms of beliefs, or doing so without paying much attention to what they actually mean (which seems generally to be the case), are not repudiations of core Islamic beliefs. While it may be severely disliked to utter such lyrics, a judgment of disbelief cannot be passed on individual merely based on this action.

As I have detailed elsewhere, anathema (takfir) is a very serious matter that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) severely warned against. There are stringent guidelines when it comes to the issue of takfir that demonstrate serious attempts by scholars to avoid it at all costs. For more on this, I would advise you to read the following answers:

Has My Father’s Joke Made Him a Disbeliever?

What Takes a Person Out of the Fold of Islam?

What Are the Consequences of an Oath of Disbelief?

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Is It Disbelief to Say That Allah Is Everywhere or That Allah Is in My Heart?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: In our schools children are taught that Allah is everywhere so that they know that Allah is seeing them wherever they go and He knows whatever they do. Is this statement disbelief?

If a person says: “Allah is in my heart” meaning by that that faith is in his heart, is he a disbeliever?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

This statement is certainly not disbelief, nor does it make one a disbeliever, and nor is it problematic as generally understood by Muslims.

The Qur’an itself states in reference to God that, “He is with them wherever they are” (58:7) and “He is with you wherever you are.” (57:4). There is agreement amongst the exegetes that this refers to the knowledge of God. These verses demonstrate that the Qur’an did use such expressions but their context clearly indicates that this relates to knowledge and not God being present everywhere in His essence. [al-Tabari, Jami al-bayan; al-Razi, Mafatih al-ghayb]

Therefore, it would be permitted to use the expression, “God is everywhere” provided that it does not lead to confusion or unsound beliefs. In situations where it may, one should simply clarify the statement in the manner scholars of the past did.

The same ruling would apply to an expression such as “God is in my heart.” Rather, the metaphorical intent behind this expression is almost immediately known to most people since it is rare and odd for one to believe that such a statement is expressed by someone to indicate that God is literally in his heart.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Am I a Disbeliever for Thinking That Lipstick Is Permissible for Me?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have very pale lips and I requested from Allah to allow me to use lipstick so that I won’t be punished. I felt He did but then realized that I might have changed Allah’s law by deeming something impermissible permissible.

Am I an apostate for this?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam

May Allah increase you in faith.

The ruling of lipstick differs from one situation to the another. When void of impure substances and used to adorn oneself for her husband—then it would be considered permissible. When it is used for adornment and would attract lustful gazes from strange men—then impermissible. I would advise that you explain your reason for wearing lipstick in more detail and where you would be wearing it before assuming it to be haram.

Regarding your question. The law of Allah may be divided into two broad categories: (1) categorical law, based on consensus, reaching the state of ma‘lum min al-din bi al-darurah (being known to be Allah’s law by necessity) and (2) Law not reaching a similar status.

Examples of the first would be: Prayer is compulsory; consumption of alcohol is impermissible; Zakah is obligatory, etc. These rulings are established by consensus and are known to all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Denying any of these rulings renders one a disbeliever.

Examples of the second would be law that is not based on consensus: does touching the opposite sex invalidate my ablution; is it permissible to eat crayfish or prawns; does bleeding invalidate my wudu, etc. You will often find scholars differing around its rulings. Denying any of these rulings does NOT make one a disbeliever.

Your deeming lipstick permissible, in such cases where it is indeed impermissible, falls in the second category and in no way renders you a disbeliever.

May Allah grant us steadfastness upon His Religion and allow us to upkeep His Law to the best of our abilities, Amin.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Is It Disbelief to Use Money on Which Images Representing Disbelief Are Found?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam Alaykum

If there are words of disbelief on the money of a country, or pictures that represent disbelief, are we doing anything wrong by using it?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

This is not disbelief.

The ruling of disbelief relates to what one believes or chooses not to believe. A Muslim does not leave faith except by denying that which brought him into it in the first place, as Imam al-Tahawi mentions. Using a stamp or some currency that has pictures or symbols of the type you describe does not mean that one actually believes in what these pictures/symbols represent.

In fact, the earliest Muslims used as their currency coins that were already in circulation in the Sassanian and Byzantine empires. For example, coins dated to the year 31 A.H./652 A.D. show an Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants. The same image is found on coin minted during the time of Mu‘awiya (God be well pleased with him) and his successors from the Ummayad dynasty. The fire altar, as you may know, was an important symbol in Zoroastrianism. Yet, early Muslims, which included the Companions, used coinage that depicted the fire altar for decades.

The above is merely to show that historically Muslim used such coinage and did not consider it “disbelief” to do so. Rather, as mentioned above, disbelief is a matter of the heart relating to rejecting that which one is required to believe in in order to remain a Muslim.

For more see: A Reader on Disbelief

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Does Saying “O My God” Entail Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Does using the following english phrases entail disbelief?

– O my goodness
– For goodness’ sake (it is to be said that this is used instead of “for God’s sake”)
– Goodness me
– O my god

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Generally speaking, uttering these expressions is not a sin nor shirk although some of them are best avoided.

Saying “O my God”

The expression “O my God” is equivalent to saying “Ya Allah”. Thus, there is no intrinsic problem in using it unless the context dictates otherwise, such as doing so in vain or where it may be seen as disrespectful to God’s name.

Saying “O my goodness”

“O my goodness” is merely a euphemism where the word God is replaced by the word goodness. The reference to God through the word goodness is an established usage particularly in exclamatory phrases. One reason why this switch is made is in order to not use the word God in vain and to avoid causing offense. Today, it is used primarily as a colloquial phrase to express shock or amazement without a dominant conscious recognition of its being a reference to God.

Saying “Goodness me”

“Goodness me” is similar to the above. This phrase is likely a shortened form of “goodness gracious me”, which is from “God grace me”. Again, while it originally related to a request for the good or grace of God, it is no longer colloquially used in that manner but merely as an exclamation of surprise and dismay.

Saying “for goodness’ sake”

Finally, “for goodness’ sake” is a euphemism for the phrase “for God’s sake.” This is perhaps the only phrase among those mentioned that may pose a problem since doing someone for one’s sake may be understood as doing something for someone’s good or advantage. However, it also has a valid meaning of doing something out of regard and consideration for someone. Because there is the potential for an incorrect understanding, the phrase “for God’s sake” is probably best avoided. However, “for goodness’ sake” in its dominant usage has lost a conscious connection to the word God (like some of the previous phrases) and is simply a colloquial expression of surprise, impatience, or some other emotion. As such, there is no harm in using it.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Can I Skip Difficult Parts of the Fatiha to Avoid to Commit Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum

I am having difficulties in reading surah al-fatiha. In particular when reading the word ey-yakah which is necessary to be read correctly as not reading it correctly can lead to kufr. Is it permissible to recite only the first couple of verse before this word?

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Reciting the entire Fatiha during each cycle (rak`ah) of the prayer is necessary (wajib). You should forget the strange point about “committing kufr,” and focus on doing your best in the prayer, and learning sound recitation outside of it. Allah Most High is Merciful, and this religion is easy; don’t make things difficult for yourself. Ignore misgivings.

Please also see: Should I Repeat My Qur’an and Du’a Recitations Due to Errors in Pronunciation?

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.