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Is Missing Prayers Due to Impurity Shirk?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My friend missed a prayer because while he was urinating he had an erection, which led him to release prostatic fluid. Has my friend committed shirk?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, what you have described is not shirk. But the right thing to so would have been to ignore the misgivings (waswasa) and pray before the time exited. In order to compensate for the error, he needs to sincerely repent for his mistake and perform a makeup (qada’) for the missed prayer. If he does another good deed, such as a voluntary prayer (nafila) or gives some charity, this too would be good as good deeds wipe out bad ones.

Please see the following articles for future practice: Ritual Purity Urine Leakage and Misgivings and: A Reader on Waswasa Baseless Misgivings

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.

Jinn, Black Magic and How to Protect Yourself, by Shaykh Amer Jamil

In just under an hour, Shaykh Amer Jamil explains the essential what-you-need-to-know about sihr (black magic). It’s a reality – do you know how to recognise the signs and how to protect against it?

What is Black Magic and How Do We Recognise The Signs?

How Do We Protect Against Black Magic?

Resources on sihr (black magic) and related matters for seekers

Please subscribe to Shaykh Amer Jamil’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
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Confronting Atheism and Our Own Doubts

In Islam, faith is an active rather than passive concept. From the sinner to the saint, everyone’s faith will waver from time to time.

What do we do about it?

Regardless of which faith group we belong to, we will waver in of our faith in the existence of God, our confidence in the applicability of faith in modern times, as well as in the strength of our spiritual connections.  As Shaykh Walead Mosaad explains, a decrease in faith is a test just like pain, fear, or financial difficulty. Watch him discuss this difficult topic and advise us how to keep our religious equilibrium.

Clarify your inderstanding of the Islamic beliefs and creed by taking a FREE SeekersHub course: Ghazali’s Foundations of Islamic Belief Explained

Cover photo by Ryan Melaugh.

Resources for Seekers

Does Jokingly Pretending to Convert to Cullenism or Not Liking Beards Make Me an Unbeliever?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

(1) During my adolescence I became obsessed with the Twilight books. As a result I said, as a joke, ” I have converted to Cullenism,” and, “I won’t die before I see this movie”. Have I committed disbelief?

(2) In the past, I have said that I don’t like beards. Have I committed disbelief?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

(1) No, this is not disbelief (kufr). [See these related answers.]

(2) No. Please see the link at (1).

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And see also: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: flickr.com/photos/larkyn/

Am I a Hypocrite for Losing Focus in Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I think I might be a hypocrite. Whenever I do an act of worship, I find it very difficult to think about Allah, and I nearly always end up thinking of something or someone else, and it feels like I am worshipping them. Am I committing major shirk?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Being Fearful of the State of one’s Worship

Having fear that one’s worship will not be accepted is not a sign of hypocrisy or shirk. It is, rather, a sign that a person recognizes the importance of worship, and is trying to fulfil them, while also recognizing their own shortcomings.

The Qur’an describes fear over one’s state as a sign of belief, not one of hypocrisy or shirk. It describes believers as “those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord;” [Qur’an; 70.27]; and “those who give what they have been given, while their hearts tremble at the thought that they will return to their Lord” [Qur’an; 23.60]; and, “for those who fear standing before their Lord shall be two gardens” [Qur’an; 55.46].

It is in this vein that ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him) is reported to have said, “Had I known that God had accepted one of my prostrations, or one silver coin in charity, nobody would have been more beloved to me than death.”

However, the proper way to deal with this fear is not to be paralyzed by it, but to take the steps towards beneficial action.

Difficulties in Focusing in Prayer

Building focus and concentration in prayer here is the desired goal, as prayer is truly beneficial when one’s heart and body work in concert, not when one is distracted by outside concerns. The Qur’an says, “Successful are believers; those who are attentive in their prayers” (Qur’an; 23.1-2).

However, while one should work on building this presence of mind, one should recognize that being distracted is a good sign that the devil is attempting to come between you and your Lord.
The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) said that “when the iqama is done, the devil approaches, to the point that he comes between a person and his soul, saying, ‘Remember this and remember that,’ about things that he hadn’t thought about prior, until a person can no longer remember how much he has prayed” [Bukhari, Muslim].

Imam al-Shaʿrawi, in his exegesis, explains the verse, “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and be on guard…” [Qur’an; 5.92] by saying that we are instructed here to be on guard because the devil cannot stand one obeying, and thus seeks to confuse a person or otherwise compromise their worship while they are doing so.

In this regard, al-Shaʿrawi relates a story that has been told about Imam Abu Hanifa (may God be pleased with him), who was approached by a man who had buried some money and could no longer find it. He instructed him to spend the night in prayer, and then come back and report to him. The man later came and told the Imam that while he was standing in prayer, he suddenly envisioned the precise location of his money. The Imam replied, ‘By God, I knew that the devil would not allow you to complete the night with your Lord.’

Achieving Presence of Mind in Prayer

Imam al-Ghazali, in his Ihya ʿUlum al-Din, puts forward various pieces of advice related to building concentration in prayer. He lists among them:

-Proper preparation for prayer, including thinking about the afterlife and standing before your Lord

-Pondering over the words and meanings that are recited during prayer

-Removing from one’s immediate surroundings anything that can distract during prayer

-Removing from one’s life things that distract during prayer

-Removing from one’s heart love of this world, that is a root cause for much distraction

-Immediately dragging one’s mind back to prayer when you catch it wandering

For further practical advice on how to achieve presence of heart in prayer, please see the following comments from a number of leading scholars: Presence of Heart in Prayer: A Reader

Please see also: How to Strengthen Faith in Allah and Return to Him? A Reader

Shuaib Ally

What To Do When You Hear Slander and Backbiting

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When a poor opinion of others occurs to mind, recognize that it is a type of whispering the devil has sent your way. You should consider it a fabrication, as he is the most evil of evildoers, and Allah has said, “When an evildoer brings you news, verify it before you harm others in ignorance and are then sorrowful over what you have done.” It is therefore not permissible to lend credence to the devil.

If there happens to be some circumstantial evidence that indicates impropriety, but it is also possible that the charge is not true, it remains impermissible to harbor malignant thoughts towards another.

Tenuous Threads

One of the signs of having such thoughts towards others is that your heart is no longer the same with respect to them; you flee from them and find their company burdensome; you are unable to give them due consideration, to be hospitable towards them or to feel pain at their situation.

That is simply because the devil tries to convince the heart, with even the most tenuous of threads, of the evilness of another. He even throws into the heart the idea that this observation of another’s state is actually due to one’s own perspicacity, intelligence, and sharpness of mind, and that after all a believer can see clearly with the light of the Divine, while he is really speaking through the deception of satan and his darkness!

Even were one trustworthy person to tell you something about another person, do not lend credence to it, but do not at the same time consider it false. This is just so that you don’t end up thinking badly of another.

Do The Opposite

Whenever a malevolent thought towards another Muslim comes to mind, respond by doing even more to treat him well and honor him. That alone angers the devil and drives him away from you, such that he no longer throws those kinds of thoughts your way, for fear that you would respond by busying yourself with prayers for that person.

Whenever you learn of the misstep of another Muslim, through clear proof that does not admit doubt, advise them secretly. Do not allow yourself to be deluded by Satan, who calls you towards speaking about them behind their backs.

When you admonish them, do not do so happy that you’ve managed to come across a deficiency on their part, such that they have to look up at you in your position of strength, while you look down at them as if they are nothing.

Rather, have as your ultimate goal ridding them of this sin, while being in a state of sorrow, the way in which you would be sad over your own character when it is found to be be in some way deficient.

It’s Not About You

And finally, let it be the case that this person’s leaving off this blameworthy trait without you having said anything is more beloved to you than them having done so due to your having admonished them.


May Allah reward Shaykh Shuaib Ally for unearthing this valuable advice from Imam al-Ghazali, as quoted in Nawawi’s Adhkar.

 

Resources for seekers:

Am I Starting to Be a Disbeliever for Not Crying Anymore Regarding Bad Thoughts Towards Allah and His Messenger?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I always have bad thoughts regarding Allah and his messenger (peace be upon him). At first these thoughts were making me crying but now, even if I still hate these thoughts they don’t make me cry anymore. Am I getting accustomed to them? Am I starting to be a disbeliever?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You are a Muslim. Remember that “bad thoughts” also arose in the minds of the Companions (sahab) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

They said, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.” [Muslim]

However, continue seeking repentance, as this is the sign of those who are close to Allah Most High, and strive to seek out ways to increase in worship, knowledge and remembrance, gradually, whilst not omitting any responsibilities you have.

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]

Please see: Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

“Your Attempts to Reach Allah are His Attempts to Reach You”

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All night, a man called “Allah”
Until his lips were bleeding.

Then the Devil said, “Hey! Mr Gullible!
How come you’ve been calling all night
And never once heard Allah say, “Here, I am”?
You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what?
I’ll tell you what. Nothing!

The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned.
Depressed, he threw himself on the ground and fell into a deep sleep.
In a dream, he met Abraham, who asked,
“Why are you regretting praising Allah?”

The man said, “ I called and called,
But Allah never replied, “Here I am.”

Abraham explained, “Allah has said,
“Your calling my name is My reply.
Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silence surrounding every call of “Allah”
Waits a thousand replies of “Here I am.”

~ Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

 

Resources for Seekers:

The Reality of Dua and Turning to Allah
Bringing Certainty to the Heart: A Step-by-Step Guide

Is Asking a Question About Uttering Statements of Disbelief Disbelief in Itself?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum

Someone has thoughts of disbelief and, in order to know the ruling, asks a scholar by writing saying that he has uttered this statements of disbelief.

Does writing this question make him a non muslim?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, this does not make one a non-Muslim.

What would take a person outside the faith is denying that which brought him into it, namely the testimony of faith and all that it entails of that which is necessarily known to be of the religion.

As for misgivings and passing thoughts of disbelief, they are no consequence as Sheikh Nuh Keller writes in Sea Without Shore, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.”

Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih collection that some of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless
him and give him peace) came and asked him, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.”

Please see: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Deal with Obsessive Thoughts about Purity and Filth?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Religion has become really difficult for me. I fear becoming impure, which means I can’t offer my prayers.

If my husband touches the phone after intimacy I feel that impurity is transferred. I feel like impurity has travelled everywhere and I keep cleaning.

I feel Allah will not forgive me for this. If an impure hand touches a place do I have to wipe the place 3 times or just once is enough?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

May Allah grant you ease in your tribulation.

Purity and filth

Fiqh-wise, washing with water just once is sufficient to clean medium filth. Three times is recommended.

In the Shafi’i school of thought, examples of filth include:

-blood
-pus
-vomit
-anything which exits the front or rear private parts other than sperm or female sexual fluid
-any animate life which dies without being Islamically slaughtered, other than aquatic life, locusts or human beings
-dogs, swine of their offspring (major filth)

from Al-Maqasid, Nawawi’s Manual of Islam

Certainty vs Doubt

There is a legal maxim in which certainty is not lifted by doubt. Suspecting that something has filth on it does not make it so. You must be absolutely certain that there is filth on your hand (you must be able to see it, smell it, etc), instead of suspecting that it is there.

Obsessive thoughts

Are you able to consult a skilled and compassionate therapist? It sounds like you are struggling with obsessive thoughts, and it is very difficult to overcome this on your own. Therapists are trained to help you manage these symptoms, and a good therapist can help you uncover and heal the root cause of your pain. In the meantime, please consider listening to this OCD treatment track on Hypnosis Downloads.

The rules of purity and filth in Islam are clear and simple, and are not meant to burden you in any way. To give you some peace of mind, please enrol in a fiqh class, either Hanafi or Shafi’i, and revise the rulings on purity and filth.

I pray that Allah helps you take the means to heal.

Please refer to the following links:

Key principles relating to certainty, doubt and baseless misgivings (waswasa)

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani