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Meeting with a potential suitor in public?

Question: I have a question regarding getting to know a potential spouse. Is it permissible to meet him in a public place without a third person? I want to do it correctly when meeting the potential spouse.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your important question. There is a fine line between dating and meeting to get to know each other well enough to consider a proposal without overdoing it.

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan mentions in this answer, that it is customary for a suitor to meet a girl three times strictly in the presence of her mahrams.
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage-and-divorce-maliki-fiqh/proposal-for-marriage/

Also, please see this answer by Shaykh Rami Nsour; he mentions the limits of gender interaction while meeting a suitor:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-to-approach-getting-married/

In general, I don’t advise, as mentioned above, that a girl meets with a boy in a public space without a third person because the limits of gender interaction can easily be crossed without supervision. That’s a little too close for comfort. In order to maintain the honor and integrity of the girl, she should be spoken to in the presence of her family, close friends, or imam, if she has no family.

This doesn’t mean an elder has to be hovering over them. As long as the two individuals are in a visible vicinity, they can have some space to ask each other questions without feeling the pressure of being scrutinized over every word they say. I commend you for taking this seriously and for wanting to stay within the limits. May Allah reward you and help you find a suitable and pious spouse.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/is-one-allowed-to-chat-with-a-potential-spouse-for-the-purpose-of-getting-to-know-each-other/

[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 for a Muslim Woman to Marry Without Parental Consent?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim girl to marry without parental consent if she fears to commit fornication (Zina)?

Answer: In The Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for your question and we ask Allah to ease your difficulty

It Being Valid Doesn’t Make It Right

If one fears committing fornication and is certain that there is no way to refrain from it except through marriage it is then obligatory for such a person to marry. (al-Durr al-Mukhtar) However, you should not take the matter into your own hands and get married without parental approval. Even though the marriage of a mature free Muslim woman without consent from her guardian is valid [al-Durr al-Mukhtar], it is not advisable.

In such a situation, you need to be very candid with your parents. Explain to them the difficulty which you find yourself in and your need to get married.

Lack of Familial Support

Even though you may see quickly getting married as a solution to your difficulty, marrying without parental consent may have life long repercussions that you may regret later. Marriage is not just a union between two individuals, rather it is a union of families. To have familial support throughout your marriage is central to having a happy household; this is especially true when children are involved.

The Prayer of Need

Whenever we find our selves in difficulty, we should train ourselves to turn to Allah, Most High for help. The prayer of need is a prayer that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us. See the below link for the details.

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

Prevention

In the meantime, you should try to find and refrain from anything or situation which will increase any sexual desires. Refrain from places that exacerbate your feelings. Try to keep away from looking at anything that will increase your desires. If you find using the computer or the phone stirs up your desires then you should limit their usage and only use them in public spheres. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever seeks chastity, Allah will grant it to them.” [al-Bukhari]

Speak to your parents and beseech Allah to help you. We pray that Allah blesses you with a righteous spouse and eases all your difficulties.

Ameen

Allah A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Masturbating With One’s Spouse

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is masturbating during sex with husband permissible? What are the different schools of thought on this?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Masturbating oneself even whilst in the presence of one’s spouse and whilst engaged in sexual intimacy would be impermissible. But it is certainly permissible for each spouse to mutually satisfy the other’s desire in such a manner with a limb or otherwise.

Allah Most High says, “Those who guard their chastity except with their spouses or their slaves––with these they are not to blame, but whoever seeks beyond that are the transgressors.” (Sura al-Mu’minun 23:5-7) The attainment of sexual pleasure requires the presence and contact of a lawful partner because intimacy regularly directed in such a way inevitably preserves honor and lineage, two of the aims of the Sacred Law (shari‘a).

Unfortunately, sexual dissatisfaction is a cause of many problems in marriages. Accordingly, I would highly encourage talking to your spouse to inform him of the difficulty you are facing, and subsequently see how you can reasonably resolve the issue in an amicable manner. Your sexual needs are just as important as his and he needs to work harder to ensure that they are being met.

I would also recommend benefitting from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam’s beneficial work: Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations. Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) regularly, and continue to ask Allah to make you both stronger and more concerned for each other’s well-being. (see: https://www.seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/how-does-one-perform-the-prayer-of-need-salat-al-haja/)

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see: Mutual Masturbation Between Spouses and: What Is the Legal Definition of Masturbation According to the Hanafi School? and: My Husband Does Not Satisfy Me During Marital Relations. What Can I Do?

And Allah Most High 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 memorized 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 on his family.

Moving Away From my Husband

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: If I have moved away from my husband to live in another country, does he still have to support me financially?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

The default between husband and wife is a relationship between forgiveness and openhandedness. Allah Most High says, ‘And do not forget giving more to each other.’ (Qur’an 2: 237)

That said, at the same time there is a Sacred Law that defines and protects the rights of each spouse, and in the circumstance that the wife moves away from her husband to live in another country for her own reasons, he is not obliged to support her financially, even if he permitted her to travel. (Fath al Muin, Millibari)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Repentance

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: How do I repent from having boyfriends in the past, and how can I ask Allah to make my current suitor my husband?

Answer: Dear questioner,

Thank you for your valued question. May Allah give you light, knowledge, and practice.

My advice would be to first repent wholeheartedly for your past and completely avoid the people and places that let you to the haram. This is really, really hard, but it is the only way you can really repent.

With regard to your current suitor, you should just come to a decision and get married. If you don’t socialize with your former suitor, or go to places where he or his friends are, he shouldn’t be able to meddle with you.

Repentance

To repent from sin means that you genuinely regret doing it, actually stop doing it, resolve never to do it again, and repay anyone whose rights you have squandered in the process. (Riyadh al-Salihin, Nawawi)

Part and parcel of resolving to never do it again are to completely change your environment and friends. We simply do not have the moral muscle power to withstand the pressure of bad peers and bad places, so we have to vote with our feet, and go somewhere else.

One of the Early Muslims was so shocked by his sins that when he repented he actually walked out of his house (in which he was sinning) barefoot. Thenceforth he was called Bishr the Barefooted-One.

The point is not what is on your feet, but rather the depth and totality with which one turns around.

Emotional pain is also part of the process. Please see: Pain Is an Expiation

The New You and Men

Repentance also means that there is a new way that you interact with men—new shyness, distance, professionalism, what have you.

This will really help you with your current suitor. Just think about how Sayyidna Musa got married; he had just helped two young ladies to water their flocks, and the Qur’an explains the rest:

‘Then one of the two women came to him walking on shyness. She said, “Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having watered for us.” So when he came to him and related to him the story, he said, “Fear not. You have escaped from the wrongdoing people.”

‘He said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters, on [the condition] that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be [as a favor] from you. And I do not wish to put you in difficulty. You will find me, if Allah wills, from among the righteous.” ‘ (Qur’an, 28:25, 28:27)

Because she was shy and meek, Allah put baraka in their meeting, and they got married. This is how all Muslim marriages should begin.

This meekness also applies to your husband-to-be, and if you need to meet to discuss your marriage, it should be with a mahram or in a formal setting where you are not alone. It shouldn’t be a social thing, like having a coffee together or anything like that.

And as the scholars say, ‘He whose beginning is bright and shiny, his end will be bright and shiny.’ (al-Hikam al-Ataiyyah)

For more details, please see:

How Should I Interact With Non-Mahram (Marriageable) Males?
Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?
Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

Conclusion

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Allah is more joyful at the repentance of one of His slaves when he repents to Him than one of you would be over his riding mount were it to have escaped from him with all his food and drink [on its back] in the middle of the desert such that he had despaired of ever finding it and had gone to a tree to lie down in its shade, and then it suddenly appeared before him, at which he took it by its reins and then said out of joy, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ getting confused because of his sheer joy.’

InshaAllah, by the baraka of your genuine repentance, your new way of dealing with men in general, and your husband-to-be in particular, Allah will open everything up for you. You and your husband-to-be should just ignore the other man.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Custody Of A Child

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam u Alaikum, I have been a widow for 2 years. In the Hanafi fiqh, if I decide to marry again to a non-mahram, what custody and responsibilities will I have over my son and daughter? My father-in-law has stated he is the wali of the children, what age is this till?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah

In cases of marital separation by death or divorce, the custody of young children normally immediately transfers to the mother of the children.

If the child is a boy, the mother has a right to keep him until he is able take care of his own needs, such as eating, drinking, and using the bathroom without assistance. This has been estimated to be around seven lunars years of age. And if the child is a girl, the mother has a right to keep her until she begins becomes an adult according to the Sacred Law (shari‘a). Thereafter, the custody rights transfer to the father. In the absence of a father, the next in line is the paternal grandfather, the brother, and finally the paternal uncle. This is the upshot, but there are, of course, details.

Child Custody in Cases of Remarriage

Abu Dawud reported a tradition (hadith) in which a lady came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! My womb was a container for this son of mine, my bosom was a source of drink for him and my lap was a place of security and protection. His father divorced me and he wants to take him away from me.” So the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “You have a greater right to him as long as you do not marry.”

If a mother remarries somebody who is not a blood relative (mahram) of the child, she loses her right to custody. The reason for this is that her new marriage may busy her from giving sufficient attention to raising the children, and even if it doesn’t, it is assumed as such. Accordingly, the right transfers to the maternal grandmother and failing that, the paternal grandmother. Any time there is a death or a person is unfit or unable to look after the child, the right transfers to the next person. When the right is with other than a mother, both girls and boys have the same custody period.

Whenever the child becomes an adult, custody rights no longer apply. Hence, the children may choose where to live at this point. Similarly, and whenever the matter is taken to court, the verdict is going to be binding because it now becomes a procedural issue which one is normally bound to uphold. If this occurs in a non-Muslim country, the law of the land would need to respect. Hence, if the judge rules in favor of the mother, she would have the right to keep the children. Moreover, it is possible for somebody who has a right to forgo it, and thereafter, suitable living arrangements with the mother could potentially be organized.

Guardianship of Young Children

As for guardianship (wilaya), it remains in the hands of the paternal grandfather, as long as he is alive, who takes the place of his son, the father, normally until adulthood. The job of the guardian is to ensure that the child gets an education, medical attention, when and if required, and that his money and possessions are safeguarded. It doesn’t mean that he gets custody rights immediately because that is a separate set of laws.

(Qadri Pasha, al-Ahkam al-Shar‘iyya fi’l Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Kurdi, al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya)

Please also see: Who Gets Custody of the Children After a Divorce?

And Allah Most High 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 memorized 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 on his family.

Doubts About Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: I want to marry a man and he wants to marry me. The problem is that his mother wants him to marry someone else. What can we do?

Answer: Bismillahi al-Rahman al-Rahim.

Your suitor should make a wise decision based on advice from outside his family and the guidelines of the Sacred Law. Whoever he sees fit, he should marry. His mother is not his guardian, and he has to make decisions for himself.

Obeying One’s Parents

Our moral debt to our parents, and especially our mothers is something great indeed, and seldom we do really grasp what respect, reverence, and gratitude are due to them.

Allah Most High says:

‘And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.’ (Qur’an, 31: 14)

That said, respect and reverence, and care and financial support do not entail allowing them to ruin one’s life. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Let there be no harm or any harming back.’ (Malik, al-Muwatta)

So as long as there is no harm, he should obey his mother. For more detail please from the Hanafi school, please see: When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

In the Shafi’i school, it would not be obligatory to obey one’s mother or father in such a request. (Bulqini, al-Fatawa)

A wise and grateful son would navigate his way through such a problem taking both positions into consideration, and being respectful, loving, and polite to his mother. But he would not marry someone he knows he cannot ever live with.

Please also see: Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage 

Mama’s Boy

Many modern scholars of different schools of thought have warned of the over-involvement and control of parents, and particularly mothers, in their sons’ marriages. Sometimes, there is an all too close attachment between mother and son that is really not healthy. At a certain point, people have to realize that the married couple area new and independent family, and that the son is no longer a baby sitting on his mother’s lap filling her eyes with joy: he has moved on and has a life of his own.

Mothers may not take well to this realization, and it can sometimes require the son/husband to take the initiative and distance himself from his mother in order for the relationships to assume their proper mold.

Conclusion

Your husband-to-be should make his independent decision while being polite, caring, and respectful. He should also look at which of the two brides-to-be have the best character and religious practice.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid DingleFarid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Grave Visits

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: My husband offers only Friday prayers and their family belongs to a sect. They visit shrines. Is my marriage valid?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, your marriage is certainly valid.

Missing prayer is sinful but a person does not become a non-Muslim due to it. You should gently encourage your family to perform their obligatory prayers when the right moment presents itself for presenting such advice.

Similarly, visiting shrines is permissible. It is no different from visiting any other grave.

Marriage is only invalidated through divorce, annulment, a khul’, or the apostasy of one of the spouses. The latter case has a very high threshold. We do not rule Muslims as disbelievers unless there is decisive and clear evidence in that regard. The issues you mention do not relate to belief/disbelief.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and 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. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.

Heartbreak and Looking for a Blessed Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: I fell in love with someone married and we work in the same company. I don’t know what to do. Every time I see him with his wife it kills me inside. I have become depressed and I keep having mental break downs. Please advise me. Should I marry him? Should I leave him?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Practical steps

If I were in your shoes, I would just cut relations with him, and try my best to work in another company. You would not be doing anything haram, but it would make the heartbreak much easier if you just distanced yourself as much as possible.

It doesn’t sound like being a second wife will work out.

Please see: Can the Man I Love Take Me as a Second Wife Despite His Mother’s Disapproval? 

Building on love

We all know the adage ‘Love is blind.’ We all have to direct our deep feelings of love, adoration and obsession to the wider plain of being that it belongs to: Allah Mighty and Majestic.

The is a Persian maxim that goes: Fake love without real love is pointless, yet real love without fake love is pretty difficult. It means that loving this world or its creatures is a fake love that does not mean anything and is just worldliness. However, it is very hard to love Allah and worship Him fully if you have never tasted love, and usually, heartbreak.

Try and make a habit of reciting Surah ‘Qul huwa Allahu ahad’ and focus on Allah as the One to which your heart really turns to and needs.

I would also advise getting the book Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Marriage With a Minor.

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

An individual shared the following opinions with me (see below). I had been taught that the minimum conditions for intercourse were (i) menstruation, (ii) being 9 years of age, and (iii) having a valid marriage contract.Is it permissible for a pre-menstruating individual to engage in intercourse simply based on her father’s permission to do so?

(1) Al-Nawawi:

“And the sleeping with a minor age wife and having intercourse with her, if the husband and the guardian of the wife agreed upon something that is not harmful for the minor age wife, it is legitimate and if they did not agree upon then Ahmad and Aboo Ubayd say that if she is at nine years of age she can be forced to, not the younger ones, and Malik and Shafi’i and Aboo Hanifah say that the criteria is that she can bear intercourse, and the differences of opinion about this issue comes from these scholars. But the correct opinion is that it does not depend upon age.

Source: Saheeh Muslim Sharh Al-Nawawi. Vol. 9, Pg. # 206.

(2) Ibn Hajar:

“Nikah of a minor age to an adult is allowed, there is consensus of scholars on this, even if she was in cradle, but he should not sleep with her until she can bear it.”

Source: Fath ul-Bari fi Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari . Vol. 11, Pg. # 347.

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

The quotations you presented above are correct and accurate in so far as the theory may be concerned. A young girl may be married if the following conditions are met.

1. Her father marries her off. It is not permitted for anyone, other than the father to marry her off.
2. The father must be sane and possess integrity.
3. There must be a benefit or welfare for the young lady in the marriage.

Once the young girl is married, she may move in with her husband and partake in sexual intercourse, whether she reached the age of puberty or not, when the following conditions are met:

1. The father permits and deems it an acceptable practice.
2. She could physically bear sexual intercourse
3. Society in terms of its practice and culture approves of it
4. That the law of the country one lives in, is not contravened.

Taking points 3 and 4 into consideration, one may safely deduce that sexual relations for minors would not be permitted in most countries around the globe today. Societies and cultures have changed and one has to follow the law of his country, as long as it does not contradict an injunction of the Sacred Law.

Governments are allowed to establish a law that sees to the welfare of its citizens. Citizens who fail to uphold this law, may not be held accountable in the court of Allah, but may be punished accordingly by the government. These concepts are well established under the branch of our Sacred Law known as al-Siyasah al-Shar’iyyah.

Finally, and as a last thought, the Shari’ah is realistic. While the idea of permitting a minor to engage in sexual activity sounds almost barbaric, the reality is that cultures are forever changing. What was accepted in Christian Europe a thousand years ago is of course no longer accepted in modern day Europe. In the current world, where sexual activity for minors are considered abhorrent, the reality is that so many easily available statistics speak of girls from the ages of 10 and 11 already being sexually active. The current author is in no way encouraging sexual activity for minors, but drawing to light that our religious texts, such as those quoted above, refers to a norm in both the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds of yesteryear. Some of which can still be seen in this modern age.

And Allah knows best

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.