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How Can I Get My Questions Answered by God?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I would like to ask God to reverse time and to change His religious rulings because I find them to difficult. Especially regarding music and drawing.

I want to know God’s opinion on this. How can I have it? Is there a du’a for this?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Allah is not going to change His rules for you, because He loves the believers and has given them rules that will make them happy in this life and the next.

Just focus on what you can do, enjoy it, thank Allah for it, and don’t think too much about what you can’t.

Happiness comes from Allah directly. Everything else is just part of the traffic jam! So just make your relationship with Allah, and you’ll be very, very happy.

Please also see this answer.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.

Traveling without a Mahram

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about a mother traveling to a wedding without a mahram and attending a walima that involves music, dancing, and mixing.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

My mother is going to travel to turkey for a wedding next week without a male mahram accompanying her. My father let’s her go. In those weddings there is music, dancing, and mixing between men and women.

Should I go with my mother so she doesn’t travel without a male mahram? Or should I stay here and not go to this wedding.

You should know that talking with my parents about this most likely isn’t going to help because they aren’t really religious.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Generally, the schools of law are quite restrictive with respect to ladies travelling without an accompanying unmarriageable kin (mahram) or husband. But there is a position in the Maliki school which allows safe, public and dignified travel for women. Contemporary jurists clarify that this is an acceptable dispensation to follow whenever there is a clear need or benefit in doing so.

Accordingly, you don’t need to accompany your mother on her journey, particularly if you may be pulled into compromising situations which you’d rather avoid. However, consider giving your mother some sincere counsel (nasiha) regarding avoiding any potential, un-islamic elements at the event. If she isn’t religious, don’t lecture her, as she’ll just ignore it, but say something sensible and straightforward that she is likely to accept.

Sometimes you need to give people the benefit of the doubt, and also weigh potential benefits and harms before deciding whether to attend such events. Family marriages are often sensitive occasions. Hence, it can be good to make an early appearance, bring a gift, congratulate the family and then make a discreet exit before things take a turn for the worst. Please note that this is general advice, so it may not be applicable in every single scenario.

(Baji, al-Muntaqa; Hattab, Mawahib al-Jalil; Zannati, Sharh al-Risala)

Please also see The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima) and Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Is It a Divorce If a Spouse Sings a Break up Song and the Husband Nods to the Beat? 

Question: I would like to know if, while I am singing a break-up song and my husband nods his head to it, that would constitute a divorce? What if he sings a break-up song to me?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in.

Going by the examples you have given, no divorce has been affected.

Divorce

Words that affect divorce are of two types: explicit, where the meaning is unequivocal, such as ‘I divorce you’, and implicit (of which there are a great many expressions), where the words are ambiguous and could mean divorce or could mean something else, such as ‘Leave the house’.

An explicit expression does not require an intention of divorce for divorce to be affected. An implicit expression requires an intention of divorce to be made for it to be affected.

In the specific examples you gave, the lyrics are not explicit expressions of divorce. It does not seem that they are implicit expressions of divorce either. If other lyrics were sung at other times which were implicit, then from your account, it does not sound like either of you made any intention for divorce while singing them. Your husbands nodding his head up and down to the beat of the songs in these cases also do not constitute as a divorce. As such, no divorce has taken place.

Sincere counsel

Dear sister, as much as it may seem hard to not listen to music for those of us who grew up in the West, I would highly encourage you and your husband to wean yourselves off listening to music.

There are many elements in music and songs that are impermissible, and the lyrics are most often than not incongruous with the high moral spirit of the religion, leading one to a state of heedlessness and a deadening of the heart. At the very least, it will prevent scenarios that fill one with doubts and anxieties such as you have described in your question. Needless to say, Muslims should not be supporting the music industry in any way.

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions [Muslim].

We must remind ourselves when Allah looks at our works, that we ensure that our actions are in accordance to what He has made lawful, not engaged with something displeasing to Him. When He looks at our hearts, we want Him to find hearts which are alive, that are filled with only good intentions and occupied with love and gratitude for Him.

The first step towards attaining to this is to gradually and systematically diminish any aspects of our lives which distract us from our real objective in life. ‘You will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.’ [Ahmad]

I pray Allah makes you and your husband among those who are firm in the faith, and guidance to others.

Warmest salams,

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he travelled 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.

Is It a Divorce If a Spouse Sings a Break up Song and the Husband Nods to the Beat? 

Question: I need urgent help. If there was a song playing that says “You ruin my life, by not being mine” and “there’s nothing I hate more than what I can have.” and my husband nods and moves his hand up and down. I sang other parts of the song. Is it considered a divorce if a Muslim husband sings a break-up song or if a Muslim wife sings a break-up song and the husband nods to the beat?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in.

Going by the examples you have given, no divorce has been affected.

Divorce

Words that affect divorce are of two types: explicit, where the meaning is unequivocal, such as ‘I divorce you’, and implicit (of which there are a great many expressions), where the words are ambiguous and could mean divorce or could mean something else, such as ‘Leave the house’.

An explicit expression does not require an intention of divorce for divorce to be affected. An implicit expression requires an intention of divorce to be made for it to be affected.

In the specific examples you gave, the lyrics are not explicit expressions of divorce. It does not seem that they are implicit expressions of divorce either. If other lyrics were sung at other times which were implicit, then from your account, it does not sound like either of you made any intention for divorce while singing them. Your husbands nodding his head up and down to the beat of the songs in these cases also do not constitute as a divorce. As such, no divorce has taken place.

Sincere counsel

Dear sister, as much as it may seem hard to not listen to music for those of us who grew up in the West, I would highly encourage you and your husband to wean yourselves off listening to music.

There are many elements in music and songs that are impermissible, and the lyrics are most often than not incongruous with the high moral spirit of the religion, leading one to a state of heedlessness and a deadening of the heart. At the very least, it will prevent scenarios that fill one with doubts and anxieties such as you have described in your question. Needless to say, Muslims should not be supporting the music industry in any way.

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions [Muslim].

We must remind ourselves when Allah looks at our works, that we ensure that our actions are in accordance to what He has made lawful, not engaged with something displeasing to Him. When He looks at our hearts, we want Him to find hearts which are alive, that are filled with only good intentions and occupied with love and gratitude for Him.

The first step towards attaining to this is to gradually and systematically diminish any aspects of our lives which distract us from our real objective in life. ‘You will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.’ [Ahmad]

I pray Allah makes you and your husband among those who are firm in the faith, and guidance to others.

Warmest salams,

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he travelled 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.

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman–On Listening to Spiritual Poetry

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

In this segment, Shaykh Ibrahim discusses sama, or listening to spiritual poetry and songs. Continuing the discussion about entertaining discourse–music meant to distract from God–he mentions that even good things can fall into the category of being impermissible, if they distract from Allah.  Given that, spiritual poetry only becomes wrong if it is used for a purpose other than to help people in their path of knowledge.

Some people may be listening to spiritual poetry or remembrance, or even something like Qur’an recitation, in a way that distracts them from Allah, whereas others will be using it as a means to Allah. Similarly, if someone is praying, but is very proud of their prayer, then the prayer, although intrinsically a good thing, has now become a distraction.

Throughout history, many poets and scholars have written spiritual poems that seem to the layman as if they are speaking about the love of a woman, although they are actually speaking of Divine Love.

By way of explanation, an Andalusian poet once said,

“Not everyone who smells obtains the fragrance,

and human beings are of clear degrees,

some people who stop at the outer shell,

never getting to the inner essence.”


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman – On Entertaining Discourse

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

Shaykh Ibrahim continues to give the commentary on this Sura, beginning with these verses:Ibrahim Osi-Efa

From amongst people, are those who finance entertaining discourse, to deviate (others) to from the way of Allah without knowledge make it the butt of mockery. Those will have a humiliating punishment. And when our verses are recited to him, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard them, as if there was in his ears deafness. So give him tidings of a painful punishment. (31:5-6)

He explains that the nature of this world, is that it entertains you, at the expense of your future. Imam Abdullah ibn Masoud believed that the “entertaining discourse,” was music. In our times, the “entertaining discourse” is not only the music culture, but also film, sports, talk shows, and everything else found in the entertainment industry. These things aren’t haram in the general sense, but if they distract from the remembrance of Allah, they should be avoided.


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

Is Enjoying Music Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I would like to know the authenticity of this hadith stated by some Hanafis: ” Listening to music is sin (fisq) and enjoying it is kufr”. Is this hadith authentic?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I didn’t come across the specific wording of the tradition (hadith) in question as being established from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), despite its presence in numerous works of law (fiqh).

Having said that, Ibn Qutlubugha commented in his explication of the traditions found in Imam Mawsili’s Ikhtiyar that its basis is the expedient (mursal) tradition related by Makhul who said, “Listening to instruments is a sin…” Hafiz al-‘Iraqi came to the same conclusion in his Takhrij Ahadith al-Ihya’.

At any rate, the scholars have explained that the denial (kufr) in this context is understood as an exaggerative statement (tashdid/taghliz), as found in many other traditions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and it is not supposed to be taken literally. Similarly, others have explained that the denial being referred to is one of blessing (kufran al-ni‘ma) because directing limbs to other than what they were created for is a manifestation of rejecting blessings as it goes against the dictates of true gratitude (shukr).

Otherwise, generally traditions should be taken from books dedicated to transmitting them, just as law is to be taken from books of law, exegesis from the exegetical literature and so on. Perhaps the reason for the presence of the aforementioned report is due to the fact that jurists (fuqaha) occasionally omit part of a tradition by way of seeking brevity, or they may decide to use a more obscure wording, or even change the wording altogether by way of transmitting the mere meaning of the text in question.

Given the above, it is usually proper to abstain from negating the existence or basis of such traditions and suffice with, “I believe in what is true according to Allah Most High and His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace),” and then take the reliable means to seek a satisfactory answer.

I hope this answers your query.

[Ibn Qutlubugha, al-Ta‘rif wa ‘l-Ikhbar bi Tahkhrif Ahadith al-Ikhtiyar (3.413); Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta‘lil al-Mukhtar (4.147); Khadimi, al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa; Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, with Ibn ‘Abidin’s Marginalia (5.223)]

Please also see: Listening to Islamic Songs with Musical Instruments and: Spiritual Music – Renewing Religion: An Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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.

Diffused Congruence In Conversation With Nader Khan

Diffused Congruence’s latest podcast episode features one of our favourite Muslim singers/songwriters Nader Khan, who speaks about his life journey, how he ended up choosing the path that he did, and what new projects he has coming up.

Also, hear co-host Zaki Hasan discuss his trip to Washington DC for the Eid-al-Fitr reception at the White House, as well as other odds and ends. Remember to follow Diffused Congruence on Facebook!

Imam Zaid Shakir on The Futility of The "Haram Police"

When Imam Zaid Shakir first became Muslim, he was a massive jazz fan. It was all he listened to.

“No one ever told me music was haram,” he says. “No one threatened to lynch me or burn me in a pile of melting LPs.”

So how did he give it all up? Find out in this brief video, courtesy of Al Madina Institute.

Resources for seekers

Cover photo by Alan Eng.

Words of Divorce and Dealing With Abuse in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question:  My husband is addicted to pornography and music. He does not want to stop.  Once I found that he watched obscene stuff on his computer, so I hid it, but I told him that i threw it away. Hearing this he got very angry and asked me to leave him and go away if I have a problem with him. Does this count as a divorce? After that he called his parents and said that he wants to divorce me. Did that constitute divorce?

My husband and his family also make rude remarks about my height and make fun of me. I began to feel that he doesn’t love me and I don’t want to be a burden on him , so I told him I will observe idda for three months and during that time he can decide whether he wants to keep me or leave me. Please advise me on this.

Answer:

Does Saying “Leave Me and Go Away” Count as Divorce?

May Allah give you patience to bear and accept this test in your life. To answer your question, a divorce is dependent on the intention of the husband. So, if he were to tell you to “go away” and did not intend divorce by that, then it is not a divorce and you do not have to go through an iddah. If he made the intention for divorce, then it would be binding. You should ask him if he intended a divorce and if so how many did he intend. [Dusuqi, Hashiyatul Sharh al Kabir]

Does Discussing Divorce Count as Divorce?

As for him discussing with his family that he would like to divorce you, that also does not count as a divorce. Merely discussing the idea of divorce does not count as a divorce. One way that divorce is binding is when a person says the words “divorce” to his wife in English or in any other language (such as “I divorce you” or “You are divorced”) and this would be binding even if he did not intend divorce.

The second way is to have an intention to divorce, even if he did not say the word “divorce.” An example would be like if he said, “Go away” or “go back to your parents” and intended by this divorce. If he was only saying it out of emotion but did not intend it, then it would not be a divorce. [Dusuqi, Hashiyatul Sharh al Kabir]

Marriage is Meant to Honor People

One thing that you should remember is that marriage is there to protect people in terms of faith, finance, and dignity. If at any time you feel there is harm and you cannot reconcile the differences, then you should consider seeking a divorce. You have to consider your safety in terms of spiritually, mentally and physically.

If a person is in a place where they are being humiliated they must move away from that as the Messenger of Allah said, “It is not befitting for a believer to belittle himself.” The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, asked, “And how would he humiliate himself?” He said, “He faces a tribulation more than he can bear” [Tirmidhi and others].

Consider the Future of Abuse

You should think about your own health (spiritually, mentally and physically) and the health of your child. You may be thinking that you are staying in the marriage for your son, but you have to find out whether staying will actually harm your son more. As humans, we learn by imitation.

What is your son learning about how to treat a wife? How will he treat his wife when he gets married? There is a lot of research showing that this can start a vicious circle of transfer of abuse. You should seek more advice (shura) from other scholars, family and professionals and then pray istikhara before making your decision.

Pornography and Abuse are Diseases

You have to also realize that a person addicted to pornography is dealing with a serious sickness and addiction He needs professional help and counseling unless he makes a sincere tawba that turns him away from that entirely. His abuse of you (whether physical, verbal, mental, or spiritual) is also something that he needs help for. If he is not willing to get outside help, then you must seriously consider going through a divorce.

Your Sustenance is With Allah

Finally, remember that your sustenance (rizq) is with Allah and do not have a fear of not being provided for. Your decision to stay with your abusive husband who is addicted to pornography should not be based on a fear of not being provided for. Some women stay in an abusive relationship because they feel they have no other choice and can either not live unmarried or they won’t be able to find another husband.

Whether or not you find another husband, Allah will provide for you. So, do not base your decision on the fear of not being provided for. You have to make your decision based on what is best for you and your son. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you will be asked about his flock” [Muslim].

And Allah knows best.