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My Parents Want to Pray Behind Someone Who Can See the Unknown. Is It a Good Thing?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

My parents want to pray together in regards to our family matters. They suggested that we should pray together and the prayer should be led by someone who has ‘closeness’ with Allah. According to them it is someone who can see the unknown. To my knowledge, this person is not a scholar.

What is the ruling in Islam about this?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Generally, it is proper for the prayer to be led by the person who is most knowledgeable with respect to the rulings of it.

Otherwise, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Each of you will be answered as long as he does not become over-impatient, saying, ‘I called on my Lord and He did not answer me.'” [Bukhari and Muslim] Further, he (Allah bless him and give him peace) also informed us, “He will answer his supplication soon, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it.” [Ahmad, al-Musnad]

Strive to remove the impermissible from your lives, ensure that you are eating lawful food acquired through lawful earnings, and fulfil the conditions of proper supplication, as found in the attached article. Consider also praying the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah).

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.405)]

Please also see: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

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.

Is Giving Advice to Parents Disobeying to Them?

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

One of my parents speaks rudely to me. Should I give him advice (nasiha), or is that considered disobedience to parents (uquq al-walidayn)?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

Offering Nasiha in a Respectful Manner

Giving advice is not disobedience to parents, but doing so without the proper etiquette is. For example, giving them advice with arrogance or abusive words or gestures that cause humiliation or hurt feelings or provoking them, would be disobedience. Giving advice in the proper, respectful way is not disobedience. And superior to this is to arrange for someone else to advise them, as this is more likely to meet with acceptance and is even farther from disobedience.

Elevation of Rank Through Patience

But in any case, your patience with their rudeness in speech or any other such harm to yourself will be a cause of your elevation and nearness to your Lord, and a means of attracting goodness and warding off evil from yourself. And if you are able to do this, then stand by it as much as you are able. And know that it is Allah who has chosen to place you in this trial. if you are successful in handling it, He will give you more than you could seek or aspire to, of the goodness of this world and the Hereafter.

Nonetheless, this does not mean that you must be silent from giving advice, or seeking the help of someone else to speak with them, so that you may be their helper and support in doing goodness to their children.

Imploring Allah for Rectification

And among the best things you can do in your situation is to implore Allah to rectify your parents and assist them in upholding the rights they owe to their children in raising them well. “And say: My Lord have mercy on them as they had mercy on me when I was young.” [Quran 17:24]

Translated by Fazil Ahmed Munir

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer

ليست النصيحة من عقوق الوالدين، ولكن خروج أسلوب النصيحة عن الأدب هو الذي يكون عقوقاً، بأن تكون النصيحة بنوع من التعالي أو كلمات فيها إساءة وإذلال وتجريح مشاعر أو حركة نرفزة تؤثر، فهذا هو العقوق. أما إلقاء النصيحة على وجهها فليس من العقوق في شيء.

وخيرٌ منه أن تطلب من ينصحه غيرك ليكن ذلك أقرب إلى القبول وأبعد لك عن القرب من العقوق.

وعلى كل الأحوال فإن صبرك على إساءته في كلامه وعلى تحامله عليك أو إيذائه لك، كلُّ ذلك من أسباب الرفعة لك وأسباب القربة إلى ربِّك وأسباب تحصيل الخير لك ودفع الشر عنك، فمهما قدرت على ذلك فلتقم به ما استطعت. ولتعلم أن ذلك اختبار لك من الله إن نجحت فيه أعطاك فوق ما تتمناه وفوق ما تريده من خيرات الدنيا والآخرة.

ومع ذلك كله فليس يلزمك أن تسكت عن نصحه ولا أن تستعين بأحدٍ ينصحه ويكلمه ويخاطبه؛ ليكون رفيقاً لأولاده ويكون معيناً لهم على بره.

ومن خير ما تتعامل به في هذه الحالة كثرة دعائك لله تعالى في إصلاح والديك وقيامهم بخير ما يربّون به الأولاد ((وقل ربِّ ارحمهما كما ربياني صغيراً)).

Can I Pay for the Hajj of My Parents?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam alaykum

Both my parents are poor and spent most of their lives trying to make ends meet. They don’t have the means to pay for both of their Hajj trips. Is it permissible for my sisters and I to pay? What it is in it for me?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

Paying for the Hajj of your parents would:

  1. Fulfill their obligation, fully without diminishment of their reward;
  2. Give you (and whoever else contributes) the reward of Hajj (though it doesn’t fulfill your own obligatory Hajj!)—because, “Whoever assists in the good has the reward of those who act on it,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace);
  3. Count as a great act of excellence to parents (birr al-walidayn) which is of the greatest of spiritual acts in Islam after faith (iman) itself, and the obligatory prayer, as the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) affirmed in authentic hadiths.

Please see: A Hajj Reader

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and translator of several Arabic works to the English language. After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner.

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 I Abandon the Life I Have Built Abroad to Take Care of My Parents?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: I am living in Australia. My parents live in Bangladesh. I am the only son in my family whilst my 3 other sisters are married.

Who is going to stay at home to look after my ageing parents?

Now that I have my daughter and wife here in Australia, it is not a simple decision to relocate to Bangladesh. However, the guilt of being negligent towards my parents has been haunting me for years. I can’t sleep anymore.

What should I do?

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.

Balancing the rights and happiness of one’s parents with the needs and practicalities of one’s own life can be a difficult balance, especially for Muslim families in the West. I admire your desire and concern over your parents wellbeing. May Allah reward you immensely for efforts.

RIGHTS OF PARENTS IN THE QUR’AN AND HADITH

God tells us, ‘We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents’ [46:15], and ‘Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.’ [17:23]

Likewise, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) when asked about which deed is most beloved to Allah, he (peace and blessing be upon him) replied that the second deed most loved by God was ‘to be good and dutiful to one’s parent’s.’ [Sahih al Bukhari]

From the many references to parental rights in the Qu’ran and Hadith, what becomes clear is that the duty of the child to a parent is that the child treats the parent with kindness, gentleness and goodness.

RIGHTS OF PARENTS IN SACRED LAW (FIQH)

While most references in the Qur’an and hadith deal with the emotional relationship between child and parent, the books of sacred law deal with the practicalities of this relationship.

The fuqaha state that it is the right of a parent that their children provide for them on the condition that they (the parents) do not have enough money to support themselves and fulfill their needs, and that the child has money that is surplus to his own needs and that of his dependents. This is the case, even if the parent is physically able to work. If the parents have enough money to fulfill their needs, then it is not obligatory on the child to provide for the parent.

‘Need’ here means that the parents have enough food to satisfy themselves for one day and night (each day becomes a new obligation to provide this, though practically speaking one would rarely give sustenance for a day and night only). ‘Need’ also includes clothing, shelter, a servant if needed, and medical care. [Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Yaqout al Nafis]

If there is more than one child, then the obligation is shared between the siblings, regardless if they are male or female (as long as they have surplus money above their own needs). In the Shafi’i school the male(s) would contribute two thirds of the total amount, and female(s) one third. In the Hanafi school it is shared equally between sons and daughters, though another Hanafi opinion concurs with the Shafi’i opinion. [Abyani, Sharh al Ahwal al Shakhsiyyah, al Fatawaa al Hindiyaah].

There is actually no legal obligation that the parents live with one of the sons only, or one of the daughters only, or indeed any of them. Rather it is what is most practical and most satisfactory, even if the parents live by themselves (in which case if a servant is needed to help the parent then this must be provided).

The above is a brief outline of the fiqh rulings pertaining to parental rights. However, while it is important to know the fiqh rulings, it’s rarely possible or advised to go by fiqh rulings alone. This has to be executed with the kindness and goodness towards parents obligated in the Qur’an and hadith. The culmination of these obligations should lead to ‘Ihsaan’, having excellence in all that one does, which is the true spirit of Islam that should adorn one’s daily dealings and human relations.

BALANCING PARENT’S RIGHTS AND YOUR NEEDS

The personal situation that you have described is challenging as it seems it will be very difficult to please your parents fully without causing a great deal of stress and long term upheaval in yours and your family’s life.

As mentioned above, the obligation upon you (and your able siblings) towards your parents is that you financially provide for their needs (if they do not have their own means already) and to treat them with goodness and in a gentle manner. It seems to me that you are fulfilling these need, or at least working out the means to, as well as providing financial support for you sister, which is not obligatory on you, but is nevertheless a very honourable thing to do.

We have also explained that you are not obliged to move back to your home country, more so due to the fact that you have employment and your family is settled where you are now. It is unlikely you will have such opportunities in your home country. Whilst this may not solve the issue of your parents not being entirely happy without you living with them, at least you know that you are not doing anything sinful. You also said that they did not want to leave their country to come to you due to their relations in back home, which makes it more problematic.

WHAT NEXT?

You now know what you need to provide for your parents if need be, and that you are not obligated to leave and go back home, but there is however the aspect of wanting to please your parents as much as possible, despite not being in the same country. Perhaps the following will be of help:

· Speak to them on the phone or Skype regularly, daily if necessary, so they never feel far away. Speak to them lovingly and patiently. Ask them if they need or want anything. Perhaps call them before you go to bed each or most nights so you can all feel that you have connected with each other before retiring for the day. This may help with the guilt and sleeplessness.

· Go to visit them as much as you can with the family and grandchildren. This will bring a lot of pleasure to them. When they see you and your family happy and that you are making the effort to visit them as much as you can, they will see that where you are is better for you and they will be more content with you staying where you are.

· Invite them to your country when possible and spend quality time together.

· Send gifts or extra support (if viable) above and beyond the obligatory financial support they may need. This will make them feel comfortable and a reminder of how much you love and care for them.

· Make du’a for them each night before bed (and any other time). This may also help with the sleeplessness and guilty feelings.

In this way, not only will you be fulfilling your obligations towards your parents, but also providing a lot of happiness to them.

FEELINGS OF GUILT AND SLEEPLESSNESS

Many of us will feel guilty for not always being able to do the everything right for our parents. The love and sacrifice of a parent is deeply felt in the child, and this is ingrained even through adulthood. For many, circumstances in life make it very difficult to create the ideal setup for everyone.

However, if you do the above, you should know that you are doing all that you can. It is not a clear cut or easy situation. It is test from Allah. During a test, it is how we deal with it and our intentions and actions that count. The result of that striving is only seen at the end. For now, be patient and work with balancing your parents needs and happiness where they are, alongside your own needs and that of your family’s, where you are. Remember the words of Allah, Most High, ‘On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear’ [2.286]

Before you go to sleep, recite the following supplication,

اللَّهُمَّ غَارَتِ النُّجُومُ وَهَدَأَتِ الْعُيُونُ وَأَنْتَ حَيٌّ قَيُّومٌ * لَا تَأْخُذُكَ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ أَهْدِئْ لَيْلِي وَأَنِمْ عَيْنِي

‘O Allah, the stars have receded and the eyes rested. You are Alive and Infinite, neither slumber or sleep overtakes You. Oh Alive and Everlasting One, grant me rest tonight and let my eyes sleep.’ [Hisnul Hasin]

Continue to be sincere and ask God to help you fulfill everyone’s right. You never know, the situation may change and a resolution found, insha’Allah.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir

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. Away from the Islamic sciences, Jamir is a qualified homeopath and runs a private clinic in Amman.

Rethinking How Our Actions and Habits Affect Our Children, by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

When adults, and parents in particular, fiddle with their smartphones are every given opportunity, what example does it set for the children watching us? It is that we know no better way to fill our time when we’re bored. Ustadha Shireen Ahmed uses this example and others to remind us how important it is to examine our habits and actions in front of those who look up to us.

VIDEO SERIES: Key Lessons from the Prophet ﷺ as a Parent & Educator

How do we go about nurturing children in a prophetic way? Being effective parents is a challenge for many of us. The Prophet ﷺ  is often called The Teacher. In fact, his entire life is a lesson.

In this seminar video recording given at SeekersHub Toronto, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus and Ustadha Umm Umar explore how the Prophet  taught, nurtured and guided children through compassion, love and modelling right action. They explore how, as parents and educators, we can take this Prophetic advice and use it to nurture children to have good character and also discuss how to overcome common parenting hurdles, and key methods in raising children to embody piety and devotion.

Part 1 of 4 : What Are the Responsibilities of Nurturing Children? – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Part 2 of 4: Shepherding as a Parent: Balancing Authority and Compassion with Children – Shaykh Zahir Bacchus

Part 3 of 4: Planting Seeds in Your Children: Rethinking Our Habits and Actions – Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Part 4 of 4: Key Q&A’s on Parenting and Raising Children – Shaykh Faraz, Shaykh Zahir, & Ustadha Shireen


Nurturing children
[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for Seekers:

Islamic Parenting: Raising Upright Children (course)
Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children
Raising a Muslim with Manners

Raising Your Children with Deen & Dunya – Radio Interview with Hina Khan-Mukhtar
Raising Children with Deen and Dunya
Ibn Khaldun on the instruction of children and its different methods
The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for Children
On Parents Showing Righteousness to Children

Cover Photo by Lead Beyond

Prepare, Before Your Marriage Goes Belly-Up

So many of the questions Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil sees on SeekersHub Answer service have to do with marriage. By the time the questions reach her, things have already gone badly.

An oft-repeated theme I see is this: parents who are deeply unhappy with the cultural background of the person their son or daughter wishes to marry.
If you’re single and reading this, then it’s likely that you have parents who are actively involved in your lives. If you’re from a very cultural background, then it’s possible that your parents want you to marry from that same culture. Sometimes, even the same village. Parents want what’s best for their children, based on their understanding of the world. Invariably, their version of what’s best is so different to their adult children’s.

Please do something differently.

Rather than wait until you meet Mr or Ms So-Right-For-You-But-So-Wrong-For-Your-Parents at your local halaqa, college, or work, please broach the topic from now. Even better – please enrol in and complete this course: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. (I know how hard it can be to successfully completing an online course. Pair yourself up with an accountability buddy. Discuss lessons after you listen to them.)

Talk to your parents.

Ask them what they envisage for you in terms of a suitable marriage partner. They may surprise you, or they may not. They key is to let them talk, and then really listen. Not a “I’m pretending to hear you so then I can get my opinion in”, but a sincere, open-hearted kind of listening. Stay calm. Read between the lines. Try to understand what your parents are really telling you. Is it fear of the unknown? Is it social pressure from their friends and family members? Is it their own baggage from their marriage?

Validate their concerns.

Help them feel like you actually care about what they have to say. Then use wisdom and tact to offer your point of view. Ask compassionate scholars and/or elders in your community for support, if need be.
Is talking to your parents a sure-fire way of guaranteeing their blessings and smooth sailing? I can’t guarantee that. But I can hope and pray that it’s a step in the right direction. I encourage you to enrol in The Rights of Parents to get an idea of the tremendous station of parents, and the reward in treating them with goodness.
May Allah soften the hearts of our parents, give us the wisdom and patience to approach them, and bless the ummah of our Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace).
[cwa id=’cta’]

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered in this comprehensive reader.

Should I Move Away From My Parents to Pray in Congregation? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalamu alaykum,

Since my parents live in the same city as my new job, I am planning on living with them. But they live far from the mosque and I would be unable to make it to congregational prayers.

Is making congregational prayer a reason to leave my parents’ home and live on my own?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum,

I pray that you are well.

Praying in the masjid, while highly recommended, is not obligatory. Treating your parents well is an obligation; moving away from them for this purpose may lead to hard feelings, misunderstanding, and broken ties.

Live with your parents and pray with them in congregation; the Sunnah of praying in congregation is fulfilled by doing so anywhere, not only in the masjid. On the days when you are not working, you can make the congregation in the masjid, which combines both the Sunnah of praying in congregation, as well as that of performing the prayer in the masjid

Wassalam,
Shuaib Ally

Photo: AhmedKamal92

Learn A Comprehensive Dua For The Deceased (30 Deeds, 30 Days), by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Learn A Comprehensive Dua For The Deceased, by Shaykh Walead Mosaad

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live.

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

 

Photo by Md. Mafizul Hasan Hawlader.