“To Mothers” – Moving Poem by Baraka Blue

To those mothers who buttered sandwiches
and lit loves lanterns when
sweet dreams turned into nightmares-
and cloaked us in radiant safety net bear hugs under covers and
sacrificed many a-night sleep like a coat over a puddle so our pillows stayed dry
and evaporated tears when we would cry, and
smiled at the clouds till they bowed gracefully to a blue sky
and answered all the times we asked, “why?”


to all those mothers who allowed faces to hide in pant legs
when we were shy
from strangers or neighbors or distant
family members who just wanted to say, “hi”
and who explained with true amazement
the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly

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Attending Christmas Festivities of One’s Non-Muslim Family

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible for a convert to attend his family’s Christmas celebrations?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

It would be permissible to attend such an event, since it would be from keeping ties with ones family. One can attend the social gatherings, but should discretely abstain from actively taking part in any “religious” activities.

[Ibn Abidin, Nashr al-Urf; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha]

And Allah knows best
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Muslims Having Christmas Trees

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible for muslims to have a Christmas tree in their house?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

The Christmas tree is amongst things that would be a unique distinguishing characteristic of other religions or traditions and therefore it should be avoided.

[Ibn Abidin, Nashr al-Urf; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha]

And Allah knows best
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Giving & Recieving Christmas Gifts

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible to receive Christmas-presents from one’s non-muslim family members, neighbors co-workers and the like? What about giving them?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

There is nothing wrong with accepting such presents, as they are not religious acts in themselves, but social customs. Keeping family ties, being good to one’s neighbors, co-workers and the like is from the general sunna of Islam.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized the rights of neighbors and those one has any kind of relationship with in numerous hadiths, and these do not distinguish between Muslim and non-Muslims.

Likewise it would be permitted to give presents in December with the intention of strengthening family ties, and promoting the good of Islam.

However, one should try one’s best to do so in a distinct and dignified manner to avoid imitating non-muslim traditions.

Muslim should not import the concept of Christmas-presents when dealing with other Muslims.

[Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha; Ibn Nujaym, Ashbah Wa al-Nazair; Mulla khisro, Durar al-Hukkam]

And Allah knows best
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is the Husband’s First Priority His Parents Whereas a Wife’s Her Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdur-Razacq

Question: Is it true that in Islam, a husband’s first priority is always to his parents, while the wife’s first priority should be to her husband?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question.

No. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace said, “Give everyone who has a right their due right.”

Both you and your husband have to learn to balance between the rights of each other, your respective parents, your children, and other members of your families.

In a situation where a conflict arises, you have to assess what is in everyone’s best interests. Generally, women obey their husbands unless they are ordering them to do something unlawful. That is why it might seem that husbands take priority. On the other hand, in some Muslim cultures, a man may listen to his parents before his wife. That is why it seems his parents take priority.

It is best to aim to strike a balance between these interests. If the interests compete, then you and your husband need to sit down, talk it out, and work out a solution that is pleasing to Allah and favorable to overall family harmony.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
October 6, 2009
Shawwal 17, 1430

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

My Parents Prevent Me From Practicing: What Should I Do?

Answered by Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I find it so hard to practice islam because every time i make an intention to do good i am stopped from doing so. I wanted to wear niqab but my parents weren’t happy with it so i stopped and due to other reasons as well. I wanted to attend halaqah’s but my father doesnt like it when i go so i stay home. My parents especially my mother treats me unfairly and complains to guests about me when i have done no wrong. Sometimes i feel she hates me and it leads me wonder why she gave birth to me in the first place. the only reason why i obey her is for Allah’s sake but sometimes it just goes to much that i cant handle it so i shout and raise my voice at my mother and i know how shameful that is but i am unable to control my anger. Please advice and tell me what i should do. Jazakallah for reading this.

Answer: Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuh,

Jazak Allahu khairan for your question.  I think it appropriate to begin with the words of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him):

“Surely, actions are only by their intentions.  And for every person is that which they intended…” (al-Bukhari, al-Saheeh)

It is very admirable to see that your aspirations are high and you have a strong desire to improve your Deen and do what is good.  Both modesty and knowledge are highly praiseworthy.  However, in both of those situations, although you think that you did not realize your practice of Islam, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said:

“If somebody intends to do a good deed and they do not do it, then Allah will write for them a full good deed in his account with Him…” (al-Bukhari, al-Saheeh)

The essence of our works is not in their completion, or even actualization, because that is not in our hands, rather the secret of works and their acceptance lies in the intentions that are behind them.  The final results are always in Allah Most High’s hands alone.  Once you tried and put your best effort forward to do good, and for some reason, what you wanted didn’t happened, you shouldn’t feel that your Islam is lacking.

When Parents Prevent One from Practicing an Aspect of Deen

It can be upsetting when your parents try to block you from doing what you feel is important for your Deen.  As a rule of thumb however, as long as they don’t ask you to do something that is unlawful (haram), or prevent you from doing something that is obligatory (fardh), then you should remain patient and try to listen to them.  If they ask you to do something haram or religiously disliked, or prevent your obligatory acts or a sunnah, you are not obliged to obey them.  However, in other than these cases, or when the obligation to do a certain act is differed upon between the schools of thought, there may be more reward in submitting to their demands, keeping your intentions pure, and then doing the good deed when you can, rather than arguing and disrespecting them until you get your way, only to achieve something that is a recommended act or something that there is dispensation for.

In terms of the niqab, your aspirations are praiseworthy, but since the obligation to wear it is differed upon between the schools of thought, and in modern times and places, between contemporary scholars, you have a strong reason to take the opinion your parents are pushing for.

As for learning, it is also admirable that you have the zeal to seek knowledge and attend halaqas.  However, you should never disrespect your parents over this as the praiseworthy is not attained by unpraiseworthy means.  Alhumdulillah, many times, when you intend to do good and are prevented from doing it, Allah Most High opens up another way for you to do it.  In this case, with all the growing online communities of Islamic learning, you can take a light course to keep up your inspiration, or go right up to serious spiritual studies.  That way, you would please your parents and move forward in seeking knowledge at the same time.  Do look into the Seekers Guidance Fall Session course listing to see what you can benefit from.

Excellence to One’s Parents and Thinking Well of Them

Since there are cases where one doesn’t have to obey their parents, one can still be considered “good” if they politely disobey in those situations.  But while unconditional obedience to parents (taa’at al-waalidayn) is not a duty in Islam, being good to one’s parents (birr al-waalidayn) is an unconditional duty, so one would not be considered as doing “good” if they disrespectfully obeyed them when it was required (say, by storming off to one’s room or yelling “Fine!” while also doing what they ask). Allah Most High says,

“Your Lord has decreed that you shall not serve any but Him, and to be good to parents, whether one or both of them attains old age with you; say not to them ‘Uff!’ neither scold them, but speak respectful words to them, and lower to them the wing of humbleness out of mercy and say; ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them, as they raised me up when I was little!'” [Qur’an, 17.23]

Allah Most High particularly highlights how indebted we are to our mothers when He says:

“And We ordained upon man concerning his parents; his mother bore him enduring weakness upon weakness, and his suckling is up to two years – therefore be thankful to Me and to your parents…” (Quran. 31:14)

Try to think well of your parents and give them excuses rather than assume that they are doing those things out of a lack of regard for religion, or because they dislike you.  Positive thinking (husn al-dhann) will in turn help you to respect them and ward off anger and discontentment (which as you rightly said, distances you from Allah). The fact that you recognize that shouting at them is wrong, and feel shame for it, is a good start, and of course, seek Allah’s and their forgiveness and ask Allah Ta’ala for strength is maintaining your composure.  Even when they complain about you to others or some do other similar seemingly unfair act, putting up with that entails a great reward.  Your beautiful example may also make you win their hearts and change their behavior towards you.  Remember, in most cases, we are only with our parents for a limited time; perhaps later on, you will be able to do the things you wanted to do, but the chance to be good to them may not always be there.  May Allah Ta’ala make us all good to Him, and good to our parents.


Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Obedience to Parents When They Are Being Difficult

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : Obedience to Parents when they are being Difficult

I was currently studying about the rights of parents and grandparents and recently my mother didn’t let me go visit my grandmother and I hadn’t seen her for 2 weeks. The reason being, she wanted me to stay home and clean my room. But she let my older sister visit my grandma because she was visiting from out of town! I got really sad and started crying and in result didn’t even do the things she told me to do! My mom does that many times like she would go to my grandma’s house and not let me go!!! and then here I am studying the rights of grandparents, my older sister told me that my mom has more rights over me and firstly I should listen to her! But I really did want to go visit my grandma, my mom didn’t mean it in a bad way, however, she just wanted me to finish up my house work before I went out but I ended up not even doing that cuz my crying and stuff.

Answer :  Yes, your mother comes before your grandmother. As such, you should obey her, listen to her and not be disobedient or disrespectful in any way. The Qur’an orders us not to even utter a word of resentment (such as saying uf/oh) to our parents, then where do you think being disrespectful would stand?

You may be able to persuade your mother in something you may want to do if you are gentle, polite and generally good with her. Persistence with having complete respect normally pays off. For example, you could have said to your mother, I promise I will get the work done as soon as I get back, etc…

Also read the posts on the fiqh of obeying one’s parents.

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

I Want to Study Islam Abroad but Parents Insist on Me Staying at Home

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : I want to Study Islam Abroad but Parents Insist on me Staying at Home

Answer : Your desire to learn sacred and Islamic knowledge is commendable. May Allah Most High give you great success in this world and the hereafter, Ameen.

As far as how to go about this, it really depends on a variety of things: time-limit, resources, being able to travel, marriage and most importantly what you really intend to do.

If you wish to study the various sciences of Islamic knowledge in depth, then this will require great effort, time and perseverance. You may enrol into a local institution (Madrasa or Dar al-Uloom) if one is present in your city/country and take up the full course of becoming a scholar. Alternatively, you may travel abroad to somewhere like Syria, Yemen or Jordon and study there.

Then there is also the issue of your marriage, which you don’t want to delay too much. Hence, I suggest that you find a suitable spouse for marriage who himself is willing to study and/or travel, thus you could marry after completing your degree and travel with your husband in pursuit of sacred knowledge. In this way, the issue of having a Mahram will also be solved. If you are able to marry someone who already is quite learned, then that will be an added bonus, Insha Allah.

Also, discuss this with your parents, family, friends and a local scholar who may be able to give you more information regarding institutions of Islamic learning in your area.

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK