Inhaling Smoke, Emitting Pre-Sexual Fluid, Accidental Eating and Fasting in Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Is it true that in the Maliki school if you unintentionally inhale cigarette smoke, steam or incense, emit pre-ejaculatory liquid or accidentally eat food that you’ve broken your fast?


Inhaling Smoke, Steam and Incense While Fasting

According to the Maliki school, inhaling smoke, steam or incense:

1. Will break the fast if the smoke reached the back of the throat. This is if the smoke was inhaled intentionally, or care was not taken to avoid it.

2. Will not break the fast if the inhalation was beyond one’s control. An example would be when one is on a street and inhales some accidentally.

The reason for this ruling given by Al-Dusuqi in his marginal notes on the Sharh Al-Kabir by Dardir on the Mukhtasar is that, “incense and steam are both matter and have an affect on the brain, giving it a benefit similar to that of food.”

Pre-ejaculatory Fluid (madhy)

In terms of the pre-ejaculatory fluid (madhy):

1. It breaks the fast if a person had control over the thoughts or touching, and then the fluid was released.

2. If one did not have control over the release of madhy, such as when one is asleep, then the fast is not broken.

While fasting, one of the matters that we must control is the intentional release of sexual fluid in addition to avoiding consumption of food and drink.

[Mukhtasar Khalil]

Accidentally Eating or Drinking

If one accidentally eats or drinks somethings, the fast is broken but they must continue the fast until sunset. The process of continuing to fast after it has been broken is called “imsaak.” The person who eats or drinks accidentally would then have to repeat that fast.

The reason why Imam Malik considered the fast to not be valid is that the purpose of fasting, which is not having anything digestible reach the throat or stomach, was not completely achieved. [Tafsir Al-Qurtubi]

The Traveler’s Prayer, Mixing Madhabs, and Maliki Reference Works

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu ‘aleikum. I have a few Maliki fiqh questions.

1. I currently live in one city and study in another city that is 163 km away from my city of residence. I travel there by train and it takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Can I consider myself a traveler while being in the city where I study and may I join prayers if there is a practical need to do so?

2. Is it obligatory or recommended for the traveler to shorten the prayers?

3.  Is it generally permissible to follow the opinion of another madhab when there are real difficulties involved in not doing so? 

4. Every madhab has some book which is considered a reference work, a book to turn to for reference when it comes to detailed or complicated issues. For the Shafi’is I think Imam al-Nawawis al-Majmu’ would be considered one such work, and for the Hanbalis al-Mughni of Ibn Qudama. Would Al-Kharshis explanation of Mukhtasar Khalil be considered such a work in the Maliki madhab, which has been printed with a hashiya of shaykh al-‘Adawi, or is al-Sharh al-kabir with the hashiya of al-Dasuqi a stronger reference?


1. The distance that you mentioned is sufficient to be considered a traveller and shorten your prayers. For the Maliki ruling on joining prayers, it would only be while you are en route during your journey. In the situation where you described about studying, you could pray maghrib and isha when you return to your home. While you are on campus, since you are a traveller, you can also join dhuhr and asr. It would be preferred for you to dealy Dhuhr to pray with Asr.

2. The shortening of prayers is a strong sunna according to the Maliki school.

3. Following the opinion of another school of the four schools of thought is valid and permissible, as long as one does the whole act of worship (or interaction) according to that opinion. If for example, one will follow a Shafi’i opinion on wudu, they should also make their prayer valid according to the Shafi’i school. To join between multiple opinions is called talfeeq and is not permissible.

When choosing to follow the opinion of another school there must be a need. This is called a dispensation (rukhsa) and is permissible. What is not permissible is constant following of dispensations (it-tiba’ al rukhas). This has been mentioned by the scholars such as Imam Nawawi in the Maqasid.

4. The two commentaries on the Mukhtasar that you mentioned are relied upon works and may be referenced when needed. In general, the Mukhtasar and its commentaries are difficult to navigate unless one has studied them with a teacher.

I would also suggest that you begin reading and referring to a more basic work, such as Ibn Ashir or Risala. Both have translations in English available on the internet.

Friday Prayer When Traveling in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalaam alaykum,

I will be traveling on a Friday for a work conference. I will be leaving for the conference right after Fajr salah and will be coming back home from the conference the same day, around the time that Dhuhr comes in.

I wanted to know if I should go attend Jumah in the city I will be in at the time or if I should pray Dhuhr and then be on my way home.

Thank you.

Answer: If I understand it correctly, you will be outside your city of residence at time of Dhuhr on Friday. If that is the case, then you have the choice to pray Jumu’ah in the city of the conference or you could pray dhuhr there. You could also pray dhuhr when you return home.

If you return to your city limits in time for Jumua’h, then you are obligated to pray Jumu’ah. If you miss the Jumu’ah prayer, then you would pray Dhuhr.

General Rules About Traveling on Friday

If a person lives in a city where there is a valid Jumu’ah prayer, then it would be prohibited to travel after dhuhr time comes in, if the destination does not have a Jumu’ah prayer. If a person leaves their city after dawn but before dhuhr time, to an area with no Friday prayer, then this would be disliked. If the person traveled after fajr, but before dhuhr, it would not be obligatory to find a Friday prayer in the destination.

[Al-Sharh al Kabir, Mukhtasar Khalil]

Giving an Adopted Child Your Family Name

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I’ve read “The Fiqh of Adoption” on your website. I have questions regarding the legal issues that arise when we want to care for an orphan, particularly an abandoned baby. Please shed some light on this important issue that is the cause of many people not helping when they are able.

In some Muslim countries, there are thousands of babies abandoned each year who are sent to orphanages. Since there are so many that are not being cared by people within that country, is it permissible to “adopt” those children and bring them to one’s own country?

In the US, a new birth certificate is issued with the adoptive parents’ names on it. Is this a hindrance if the child is raised to know the adoptive parents are not his blood parents?

What do we do about naming a child when the father’s name (and mother’s name) are unknown as in the case of babies found on the streets? Can the child in this circumstance be given the adoptive father’s family name or should it be given some other sort of name?


The Obligation of Caring for Orphans

In terms of caring for orphans or abandoned children, this is an obligation upon the Muslim community and a very noble act. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) said, “I and the caretaker of the orphan will be in Paradise like these [two fingers]” then he held up his index finger and middle finger together [Bukhari]. If you are planning on caring for an orphan or an abandoned child, I ask that Allah ennoble you in this life and the next and that He give me the ability to follow in your footsteps.

What is Prohibited When Adopting?

In terms of adoption, the thing that is prohibited is changing the lineage of the child. This would be where the child refers to the adoptive parent as their father or mother, and does not claim the true parent to be their parent [Maharim al Lisaan, Muhammad Mawlud].

If a person needs to file legal paperwork to be given the guardianship of a child or to process visa work, there may be a requirement to give the child the family’s name. This is permissible as long as the child is raised to know his or her lineage and that the legal last name is merely for registration purposes.

Historical Examples of Taking on Another Family Name

One thing to point out is that in many societies, entire tribes would take on the names of other tribes for various reasons. Many times, this would be for protection. By taking the last name of another tribe that was more powerful, it would give protection to tribes with less power.

As an example, many of the Idirisi Shurafa in Morocco would not go by their family name of Idrissi hundreds of years ago. They were living at a time when the Idrisi family was being persecuted by the ruling government. So you find some Idrisi families today that hold the last name of other families, but they usually know that they are Idrisi.

This has at times led to people losing track of their lineage though by the obscurity that it causes. For this reason, extra care should be taken when another family name will be used by the “adopted” child. The caring family should help create a written document or family tree for the child. They may also encourage the child to legally change the last name back to the original name once they are 18 or 21.

And Allah knows best.

Takbirs During the Days of Eid al-Adha in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: In the Maliki school, what is the legal ruling of reciting the takbirs? When do we begin reciting the takbirs and when does it end.  Also, how many times is it recited after each prayer?

Answer: The takbirs (saying “Allahu Akbar”) after the obligatory prayers done during the days of Eid al Adha are considered a recommended act (mandub) according to the Maliki school of thought.

The takbirs would be done after 15 obligatory prayers beginning with the dhuhr after the Eid al Adha prayer and ending with the subh (dawn) prayer of the fourth day of Nahr. The fourth day of Nahr is essentially the fourth day of Eid.

The way the takbirs should be stated is “Allahu akbar” three times after each of the 15 fard prayers. This formula is related in a Hadith. This is the narration that is found in the Mudawwana. There is another formula that is mentioned in the Mukhtasar of Ibn Abdul Hakam which is; Allahu akbar (twice), la illaha illa Allah (once), Allahu akbar (twice), wa lillahi hamd (once).

Both narrations are strong and can be followed. The narration of the Mudawwana is stronger. It would be disliked to add anything other than what has been narrated for the takbir formula.

[Hashiyatul Dasuqi ala Sharh al Kabir]

Developing a Mahram Relationship Through Nursing in Maliki Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu

My father was adopted and when he was about 7 yrs old his mother (who adopted him) conceived and she gave my father some of her breast milk with a spoon.

Does this make him her mahram? Will that also mean my uncle is now my mahram?

JazakaaAllahu Khairan

Answer: According to the verse in the Quran in Sura Baqara (2:233), “Mothers shall nurse their children for two complete years.”  The years here refer to lunar years.  From this verse the scholars have deduced that two years is maximum time that nursing can cause the mahram (non-marriageable) relationship.

Some scholars, such as the Maliki scholars, have added two months to the two years. This is based on the principle that “proximity to something will incur the same ruling.”  Two months were deemed as being close enough to the limit to be given their ruling.
Beyond this, nursing will not cause a mahram relationship to occur.  Thus, your father will not be considered to be the mahram of the caretaker who gave him milk when he was seven years old.  Since the mahram relationship did not occur, your “uncle” who is the caretakers son, will not be your mahram.
As a note, the Maliki scholars do not require that milk reach the child directly from the mother’s breast.  If the milk was given through a bottle, syringe, spoon or the like, that will be sufficient. But again, this would have to be before the 2 year and 2 month limit.
And Allah knows best.
[Mukhtasar Khalil]

Is Continuous Fasting Permissible in the Maliki School?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: As-salamu alaykum,

I wanted to know if continuous, unbroken fasting was permitted in the Maliki school. I’ve heard that it is permissible in the Shafi’i school.

Answer: According to the Maliki madhab, it is permissible to perform unbroken fasting. There is no dislike in fasting continuously and it would actually be recommended if a person is able to do it.

In response to the Hadith forbidding continuous fasting, the Maliki scholars have responded with the proof that there is consensus (ijma’) that if a person promised to fast continuously, he would have to fulfill it. If that was a prohibited or disliked act, it would not have been binding for him to go through with the promise.

[Hashiyatul Dasuqi]

Is It Permissible for Women to Wear Heels?

Answered by Shahkh Rami Nsour

Question: Salaam Alaykum,

Could you please tell us if it is permissible for women to wear heels? I have read that since they make a noise when we walk, it attracts the attention of men which makes it impermissible. However, what if they do not make a noise when one walks. What is the ruling on it?

Answer: If the heels make noise and attract the attention of men when a woman walks, then it would not be permissible (haram). This is because Allah says, “And let them not stomp their feet to make known their adornment which has been concealed” [Quran 24:31]. This was in reference to ladies who would wear bangles and stomp to make a sound thereby attracting the attention of men.

If they do not make noise, there remains another issue. High heels are worn for attraction, and can accentuate the female body and movements. A recent study on high heels showed that both men and women find that high heels make a woman more attractive. See the following Huffington Post article:

Why Do High Heels Make Women More Attractive?

The style of dress and walk that a Muslim woman should adopt should be something that avoids attracting attention as much as possible. Sisters should try to emulate the model of the daughter of Shuayb (peace be upon him) who would later marry Musa (peace be upon him). About her, Allah said, “She came walking with modesty” [Quran 28:25].

Another wisdom that we find in women, and men for that matter, reducing the attention of others, is to prevent jealousy and evil eye. The more we stand out to others, the more that we put ourselves in a position to have them possibly feel jealous of us.

In conclusion, it is prohibited for a woman to wear high heels if they accentuate her form to others or if they cause a sound that would attract the attention of men. And Allah knows best.

Is the Prostration of Recitation Required in Prayer in the Maliki School?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I want inquire if Sujood during recitation of Qur’an is compulsory also during salat in the Maliki School. If I recite a verse that requires sujood in salat, will I offer the sujood and continue with my recitation?

Answer: According to the Maliki school, the prostration of recitation (sajda tilawa) is considered a sunna, not obligatory, if one is praying a recommended (nafila) prayer. It is disliked (makruh) to recite a verse of prostration during an obligatory prayer.

Is It Permissible for a Woman to Grow Long Nails and Shape Them?

Answered by Saira Abubakr

Question: Assalamu alaikum warahamathullahi va barakathuhu

Is it permissible for a woman to grow her nails and shape it just to make her fingers look longer and not in any other intention of showing off?

Answer: Walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,

It is permissible, per se, for a man or a woman to grow his or her nails. However, the Messenger of Allah, peace and prayers be upon him is reported to have maintained short nails. Hence, growing out nails would be considered going against his blessed practice, peace and prayers upon him.

The recommendation is to clip them every Friday. It is reprehensible (makruh) in the Maliki school to leave them unclipped for 40 days or longer. (Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al Qarawani)

In addition, it is makruh tahrimi (sinful) in the Hanifi school to leave them for 40 days or longer.

The minimum practice would be to clip them such that they no longer cover the tips of the fingers. Covering of the fingertips by the nails could prevent water from reaching the specified area during wudu. Water not reaching a portion of the limb would render the wudu incomplete and possibly invalid.

In the Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd AlQarawani, the Shaykh mentions five acts under the chapter of Fitra. Fitra acts are those that, when performed, complete the person’s outward appearance. One of these is clipping one’s nails.

Some scholars recommend starting with the right index finger (shahadah finger) then the right middle finger till one completes the right hand (except for the thumb) then one moves to the left hand starting with the pinky finger, then the ring finger and so on ending with the left thumb and then finally the right thumb (in a circular fashion). However other scholars mentioned that it cannot be confirmed that the order of clipping was the practice of the Messenger of Allah, peace and prayer upon him.

And Allah knows best.

Saira Abubakr

Checked & Approved by Rami Nsour