Offering Supplications after Voluntary Prayers – Who Says I Can’t?!

Question Title: 
Offering Supplications after Voluntary Prayers – Who Says I Can’t?!
Date: 
Sat, 08/04/2007
Sender Name: 
m
Question in English : 
I entered the mosque one day and offered two units of prayer as tahiyyah al-masjid. Afterwards, since it happened to be one of the preferred times for supplication, I began to supplicate to Allah. Another person in the mosque came over to me and told me that what I was doing was wrong. He said we are not supposed to supplicate after offering a voluntary prayer, since this is not established in the Sunnah. What is the truth about this matter?
English Answer: 
It is encouraged for a Muslim to beseech Allah in supplication at all times. Allah says: “And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 186]

This is especially true at the times when supplications are most readily answered. These times include the interval between the adhân and the iqâmah, the last third of the night, the last hour before sunset on Friday, and when it rains. These and other times are mentioned in the Sunnah.

With respect to the five obligatory prayers, the scholars have determined that it is not best to supplicate immediately thereafter. This is because there is something else which is strongly encouraged for us to engage in at that time – the prescribed remembrances. It is not recommended for the worshipper to busy himself with something else – even something that is good in and of itself – at the expense of a prescribed Sunnah.

With respect to the time after completing a voluntary prayer, there is nothing specifically mentioned in the Sunnah to recommend it as a time to single out for supplications. Therefore, we should not treat it as a special time to set aside for our supplications.

However, the time after one makes the taslîm form a voluntary prayer is just like any other time. A person is free to supplicate at this time as the inclination takes him. Supplication is a generally encouraged form of worship.

And Allah knows best.

Calling someone to Islam on their deathbed

Question Title: 
Calling someone to Islam on their deathbed
Date: 
Wed, 07/04/2007
Sender Name: 
noe
Question in English : 
I accepted Islam two years ago. Now my grandmother who is not Muslim is in the hospital, and the doctors feel that she does not have much longer to live. Is it possible for me to explain Islam to her and call her to embrace the faith by simply declaring her belief? It would not be possible at this time to teach her about prayer and wudû’ and other obligations. What should I do?
English Answer: 
We praise and thank Allah for guiding you to Islam. We ask Him to strengthen you in faith and to guide your grandmother.

You should strive hard to convince her about Islam and to have her declare her faith that “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”

This is established by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his own actions.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) visited the home of a Jewish man in Madinah whose son was on his deathbed. He invited the boy to accept Islam. The boy turned to his father, who said to him: “Listen to the father of al-Qâsîm.”

Then the boy said: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.”

Soon thereafter the boy died. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up and with happiness said: “Praise be to Allah who has saved him from the Fire.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1356)]

On another occasion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited his uncle Abû Tâlib on his sickbed, while he was very near to death. He implored from him: “My uncle, say that there is no god but God. It is a statement that I can come to your defense with before Allah.”

At that time, Abû Jahl and `Abd Allah b. Abî Umayyah were in the room. They said to Abû Tâlib: “Would you desire to leave the religion of `Abd al-Mutalib?”

Abû Tâlib died at that point, declaring that he remained on the faith of `Abd al-Muttalib. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1360) and Sahîh Muslim (24)]

Therefore, you should follow the Prophet’s example and try very hard to convince your grandmother to accept Islam. It will be better for her as well as for you that she embraces Islam.

I ask Allah to guide her to the truth at your hands.

Breastfeeding your baby when you need to make ghusl

Question Title: 
Breastfeeding your baby when you need to make ghusl
Date: 
Wed, 07/04/2007
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
If a woman has engaged in sexual intercourse with her husband and has yet to bathe, is she allowed to breastfeed her baby? Please give your answer in light of the Qur’ân and Sunnah.
English Answer: 
The state of janâbah is a state or ritual impurity on account of sexual activity. When a Muslim is in the state of janâbah, he or she is prohibited from engaging in certain acts of worship.

There is nothing in Islamic law to prohibit a woman from breastfeeding her baby while she is in a state of janâbah.

In fact, such a restriction would go against the very wisdom of Islamic Law that seeks ease and facilitation and that seeks to save people from injury and harm. Such a ruling would bring great difficulty to the mother and could lead to serious harm for the baby who is in need of sustenance.

A Muslim should never feel personally impure because she is in a state of janâbah. The state of janâbah is a state of ritual impurity (hadath) not a state of physical impurity (khabath). It is an abstract state wherein a person cannot perform certain acts of worship.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) made this clear to us.

Abû Hurayrah relates to us that he saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was walking down a road in Madînah. Abû Hurayrah hid himself out of sight of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Then he went off, bathed himself, and went to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him: “Where have you been, Abû Hurayrah?”

He said: “I was in a state of major ritual impurity (janâbah) and I disliked that I should sit with you while in such a state.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Glory to Allah! A Muslim never becomes impure.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (283) and Sahîh Muslim (371)]

This shows us that the state of janâbah does not make a person physically impure. It is merely a state of ritual impurity. It certainly does not make a woman’s breast milk impure.

A person in a state of janâbah can do everything except engage in certain acts of worship. He or she can engage in all mundane activities, including shopping, cooking, eating, and taking care of children.

And Allah knows best.

Spending on sinful father’s wasteful habits

Question Title: 
Spending on sinful father’s wasteful habits
Sheikh Name: 
Date: 
Mon, 06/04/2007
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
My father always asks for me to give him money. However, he spends most of it on drink and on pornography and on his friends who are just as bad as he is. I do not want to keep giving him money to squander on these people and their ugly activities. What can I do?
English Answer: 
Our parents have a great right over us. Allah has commanded us to uphold their rights, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, whether they are virtuous or sinful – even if they are openly hostile to Islam. Upholding their rights becomes even more important as they grow older.

We are commanded to obey them in what is lawful and not to obey them in sin. In all cases, we are supposed to show kindness and exercise patience.

Allah says: “And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him. And his weaning was in two years. (Hear the command), ‘Give thanks unto Me and unto your parents. Unto Me is your (final) goal.’ But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not: Yet bear them good company in this life, and follow the way of those who turn to Me in repentance. In the end, the return of you all is to Me, and I will inform you of what you used to do.” [Sûrah Luqmân: 14-15]

The more you honor your father, the greater an act of piety it will be for you. It will weigh heavily in your balance of good deeds in the Hereafter.

You do not have to give him money if you feel it will bring him to harm. You can honor your father by purchasing for him things that he needs, like clothing and food, and by giving him gifts.

At the same time, you should gently advise him and guide him to better things. You should never be pushy, however, or show impatience. You should never be harsh in your dealings with him.

Seek Allah’s help in frequent supplications. Ask Allah to guide your father.

May Allah bless you and guide your way.

Emulating & Resembling Non-Muslims

Date: 
Tue, 06/28/2005
Short Content: 
The prohibition of emulating the unbelievers is a principle of Islamic Law about which there is no dispute. However, there are various forms of emulation and ways of resembling the unbelievers, and they all take different rulings.
Body: 
The prohibition of emulating the unbelievers is a principle of Islamic Law about which there is no dispute.

However, there are various forms of emulation and ways of resembling the unbelievers, and they all take different rulings. The various forms that such resemblance can take come under two broad categories:

The First Category – Unlawful Emulation

There are two levels to this kind of emulation.

The first level: The more serious of these two levels is tantamount to apostasy and is dealt with as such in Islamic Law.

This is where a Muslim’s emulation and imitation of the non-Muslims takes place in the heart as a tendency or longing for unbelief. This would include participation in their religious rites and festivals to the extent of revering those rites and their appointed days as sacred in the same way that the unbelievers do.

Allah says: “Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. Say: “The guidance of Allah – that is the (only) guidance.” Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached you, then you would find neither protector nor helper against Allah.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 120]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever resembles a people are of them.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (4031)]

Ibn al-Qayyim mentions in his book Ahkâm Ahl al-Dhimmah: “It has been related from Ibn `Umar that he said: Whoever passes through the foreign lands and then engages in their rites and festivals and emulates them until he dies while in that state, he will be gathered along with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

There can be no doubt that religious holidays are, as Ibn Taymiyah observes, among the most distinguishing and conspicuous features of a religion.

The second level: This is where such resemblance does not go so far as to bring the emulator to the point of unbelief, but where the resemblance is a prohibited and sinful act. This would include, for instance, giving gifts to the Christians on their religious holidays, because it communicates to them a type of approval, conformation, and encouragement of their beliefs.

The Second Category – Permissible Resemblance

There are two levels to this kind of resemblance.

The first level: This is where resemblance is merely permissible. This would include wearing the same kind of clothing as the non-Muslims as long as that clothing is not a specific, distinguishing dress of their faith.

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî discusses the distinction in Fath al-Bârî, his commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî while discussing the hadîth where Anas says that he saw people wearing tayâlisah (a shawl-like garment that used to be worn by judges) and described them “as if they were the Jews of Khaybar.”

Ibn Hajar then explains: “It is suitable to use the account of the Jews as evidence during an age where the tayâlisah was a part of their distinguishing religious rites. This is no longer the case at these times and these close fall under the ruling of what is generally permitted.” [Fath al-Bârî (10/275)]

The second level: This is where resemblance of the non-Muslims is preferable. Occasionally, it can even be obligatory. This would include resembling them in their general manner of dress in order to facilitate calling them to Islam.

Ibn Taymiyah writes: “If the Muslim lives in a disbelieving country, whether or not that state is hostile with the Muslim states, he will not be obligated to expose himself as different than them. This is on account of the difficulties that doing so can pose. Indeed, it might become preferable or even obligatory for him to conform to their outward standards of appearance if there is a benefit for the faith in doing so like inviting them to Islam, a prevention of difficulties for the Muslims, or the realization of any other wholesome intention.” [Iqtidâ’ al-Sirât al-Mustaqîm (176)]

We cannot doubt that our resembling them in their steadfast pursuit of scientific knowledge and education, in their precision in manufacturing, and the way they serve and develop their nations are matters of priority that we as Muslims are required to resemble them in.

And Allah knows best.


-----------------------------------------

Note for clarification:

Ibn Taymiyah's statement above does not mean that women living in non-Muslim countries can uncover what Islamic Law requires them to cover. Proper hijâb is obligatory. However, hijâb is merely a degree of covering. It is not a particular type or style of dress, as some people believe. It is not a “symbol” of Islam, nor is it some abstract religious duty that has no rationale behind it. It is not a mere display of religious identity. It is not a particular “head scarf”. It is a question of what Islamic Law defines as decent and indecent exposure.

Consequently, a woman can figure out stylish ways to dress modestly and cover her hair and neck that do not make her conspicuous in the society in which she lives, and thereby avoid difficulties. What matters is that she covers what she is required to cover.

And Allah knows best.

Fatwâ Department Research Committee of IslamToday chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

The Tafsîr of Ibn `Abbâs

Question Title: 
The Tafsîr of Ibn `Abbâs
Date: 
Sat, 05/28/2005
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
Some people on Internet came up with the reference “Tafsîr Ibn `Abbâs”. Did Ibn `Abbas write any commentary of the Qur’ân known as “Tafsîr Ibn `Abbâs”?
English Answer: 
It is well known that `Alî b. Abî Talhah had a copy of the commentary of Ibn `Abbâs which was praised by the scholars for being the best in its attribution of authenticity to Ibn `Abbâs.

Ahmad b. Hanbal said: “There is a manuscript in Egypt of Qur’ânic commentary related by `Alî b. Abî Talhah. If a man were to travel there solely for its purpose, it would not be a major hardship.”

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî writes: “This copy was in the possession of Abû Sâlih, the scribe of al-Layth. It is narrated from Mu’âwiyah b. Sâlih through `Alî b. Abî Talhah through Ibn `Abbâs. Al-Bukhârî has it by way of Abî Sâlih. He (al-Bukhârî) uses it a lot in his Sahîh in what he related from Ibn `Abbâs.”

Al-Suyûtî writes: “The commentary of the Qur’ân that is attributed to Ibn `Abbâs is too considerable to count, coming in various narrations by various means of transmission. One of the good lines of transmission from him is that coming by way of`Alî b. Abî Talhah.”

Choosing the Gender of Your Child

Image: 
Author: 
Date: 
Sat, 05/28/2005
Short Content: 
A boy or a girl… This is the question that has occupied the minds of expectant parents throughout the ages.
Body: 
A boy or a girl…

This is the question that has occupied the minds of expectant parents throughout the ages. Thanks to advances in technology, it has become possible with the simplest of medical examinations to know the gender of the child only a few months after conception. Now, after decades or research, science has brought a contentious matter before us – the real possibility of being able to choose the gender of your child before conception.

This is achieved by way of a surgically placed implant which is now widely available in the United States, Great Britain, and a number of other countries. No legislation has been enacted to restrict or regulate this procedure. Nevertheless, it has a heated debate world-wide.

Those who oppose this medical procedure argue that being able to choose the gender of one’s child has dangerous consequences for society as well as for families. It also creates a form of sexual discrimination. Some see it as a violation of Divine Law. Others see it as a way of custom ordering children, making the children some sort of salable commodity. Another danger is that the gender of the child might become a decisive factor for parents as to whether a child already conceived will be allowed to come to term.

Some authorities in the field of Biological Ethics say that couples who are overcome by a strong desire for a child of a particular gender can become quite rigid in their outlook when the possibility of determining the gender of the child is available to them. This makes matters all the worse when the operation fails and a child of the unwanted gender is conceived. This can affect how the parents treat that child. The operation itself is expensive and does not guarantee success. One in ten attempts to conceive a female child result in a male child being conceived while one in four attempts to conceive a male child result in a female child being conceived. The child, throughout its life, will have to live with the knowledge that it was unwanted.

Some experts believe that determining the gender of a child will create an imbalance in human populations and within the family unit itself.

On the other hand, those who advocate this procedure argue that if certain regulations are put in place, an imbalance of gender in the human population can easy be avoided. It would be as simple as requiring the registration of couples desiring children so that an equal number of operations will be authorized for couples desiring a girl child and couples desiring a boy child.

Some fertility experts argue that ethically, it is the right of an individual to exercise the freedom of choice in matters that have a major impact on his life as long as it does not cause any harm to the child.

Some go so far to argue that an operation to determine the gender of the child can even become obligatory in some cases to combat heritable diseases where gender plays a crucial role, like hemophilia and muscular dystrophy.

With respect to the position of Islamic Law on choosing the gender of one’s child, Sheikh Yûsuf al-Qaradâwî says the following in his official ruling on the matter:
Initially, it would seem that the idea of choosing the gender of the fetus – whether it should be male or female – runs up against religious sensibilities. This is for two reasons:

First, knowledge of what is in the wombs is the domain of the creator, not that of created beings. Allah says: “Allah knows what each female bears, by how much the wombs fall short or extend beyond (their appointed time or number)…” [Sûrah al-Ra`d: 8]

Knowledge of what is in the wombs is one of the five keys of the unseen mentioned in the Qur’ân: “Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah. It is He who sends down the rain, and He who knows what is in the wombs…” [Sûrah Luqmân: 34]

So how can a human being know the gender of the fetus and make decisions about it?

Secondly, claiming to be able to make determinations about the gender of the fetus can seem like an attempt to presume against Allah’s will, for it is by Allah’s will that the two genders are distributed with wisdom and precision, with the balance being maintained for countless ages. This is even considered to be one of the evidences for Allah’s existence, His concern for his creatures, and His governance of His dominion.

Allah says: “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the Earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows male or female (children) according to His will.Or He bestows both males and females, nd leaves barren whom he will. For He is full of knowledge and power.” [Sûrah al-Shûrâ: 49-50]
Al-Qaradâwî then goes on to say:
Why, however, do they not explain “knowledge of what is in the wombs” with particular knowledge of all that relates to the fetus. Allah knows, for instance, whether it will live or die. If it is delivered alive, will it be intelligent or feebleminded? Weak or strong? Prosperous or wretched? As for us humans, the most we can determine is whether it is going to be a boy or a girl.

In the same way we can describe the activities of the human being with respect to choosing the gender of the child. Those human activities do not fall outside the domain of Allah’s wills. Quite the contrary, they are an example of His will being carried out. Everything that a human being does takes place by Allah’s power and determination. Whatever a human being wills, he does so by Allah’s will. Allah says: “And they do not will except that He wills.”
Al-Qaradâwî then makes it clear that Islamic Law could permit a medical procedure for the determining the gender of the child.
However, it must only be a concession to be resorted to in cases of necessity or need. What is safer and better is to leave the matter to Allah’s discretion and wisdom. “And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses. They have no option.” And Allah knows best.
The Islamic Law Council of the Muslim World League arrived at the following ruling:
If the intended purpose is to acquire a male child out of dislike for a female child or if the intent is to know the gender of the embryo in order to abort it, then this is impermissible. If, on the other hand, if the intent is to predetermine the gender of the embryo from the start in a situation where there is a history of heritable illness in the family, especially those illnesses that are passes along with the sex chromosomes, then this is possible. It is best to avoid resorting to this method except in the most extenuating of circumstances.
Dr. Muhammad Ra’fat `Uthman, speaking on behalf of the Islamic Legal Research Committee of the Islamic Research Council of Azhar University, pronounced the ruling that it is permissible to utilize genetic engineering technologies in order to choose the gender of the fetus. He emphasized that choosing the gender of the fetus is permissible in Islamic Law because it is an activity that falls within the domain of what is permissible, since there is no evidence from the Qur’ân or Sunnah to prohibit it. The legal axiom governing the matter is that the default ruling assumed for something is that it is permissible except where prohibition is stated by Islamic Law.

He said: “It is by unanimous agreement (ijmâ`) that it is permissible to supplicate to Allah asking Him to bless one with a male or female child. Everything that it is permitted to ask Allah for, it is permitted for a person to do. Whatever it is prohibited for a person to do, it is prohibited likewise for him to supplicate for.”


* Hadîl al-Safadî is a Muslim scholar and journalist. She hails from Jordan.

The Objectives of Islamic Law

Date: 
Wed, 04/04/2007
Short Content: 
Al-Shâtibî considered knowledge of these purposes to be as essential for a Muslim jurist as knowledge of Arabic.
Body: 
Allah says: “Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that you may receive admonition.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 9]

This verse presents to us in broad terms the objectives of Islamic Law. It calls for justice in legislation, for precision, quality and ethical conduct in interpersonal conduct and industry, and for generosity in the flow of wealth. This verse expresses the noblest values for life and the greatest concern for the general welfare.

The objectives of Islamic Law are the purposes and goals that it aspires to achieve through its laws, especially with respect to human welfare. Among Allah’s many names are al-Hakîm (the Wise) and al-Khabîr (the Well-Acquainted). Whatever he does in the heavens or on Earth is always founded in great wisdom and for a good purpose.

With respect to this topic – the objectives of Islamic Law – we find that certain people have gone to one of two extremes.

At one extreme, there are people who use this idea as the basis for overturning the laws of Islam, even the essential religious obligations that constitute the pillars of Islam. They argue that the purpose of our worship is to develop the soul, and some people might attain a level of spiritual excellence whereby they do not need to offer prayers or fast or perform the pilgrimage. Such people, in fact, are renouncing Islamic Law altogether and severing it from its basis in revelation. Islam, in its essence, is to submit ourselves to Allah in obedience. “Whoever submits his whole self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy hand-hold: and with Allah rests the end of all affairs.” [Sûrah Luqmân: 22]

Justice – for instance – is not a concept of purely human effort, but rather it is implicit in the teachings of Islam. A Muslim cannot hope to achieve perfect justice divorced from the laws and principles of Islam.

At the other extreme are those people who regard the objectives of Islamic Law to be the various rulings themselves, denuded of context, divorced from human understanding, and closed to scrutiny. By approaching Islamic Law in this way, they let their narrow, personal understanding of a hadîth or a Companion’s statement or a passage in a legal text besiege the general principles of Islamic Law and undermine its goals.

True, we must not turn away from the rich legacy of Islamic scholarship that has preceded us in the various fields of jurisprudence, law, commentary, and history. However, we must use that legacy to guide us in engaging with the sacred texts: the Qur’ân which “no falsehood approaches from before or behind, a revelation from the Wuse and Praise-worthy” and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who “does not speak of his own desire.”

The way to understand the Qur;ân and Sunnah is through its clear, decisive statements and broad injunctions that safeguard and secure human welfare in this world and the Hereafter.

We can see this where Allah says: “He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation, but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none will take heed except those who have understanding.” [Sûrah Al `Imrân: 7]

The objectives of Islamic Law are to be found in the reasons behind particular legal rulings, reasons that appear time and time again. These are the considerations of welfare that are enshrined in Islamic Law and that surface as a consistent pattern when the rulings are studied in conjunction with one another and not in isolation. Scholars who specialize in the study of the purposes of Islamic Law, like al-Shâtibî, insist that it takes a broad survey of Islamic Law to discover these purposes.

It is through understanding these general purposes that the scope of Islamic Law is broadened, so that the needs and aspirations of the people can be fulfilled in accordance with Islam and within a legal framework that upholds the sanctity of the sacred texts. It is through these purposes that humanity can carry out its sacred duty of developing the world.

Allah says: “Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them attain succession in the Earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others); and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear.” [Sûrah al-Nûr: 55]

The exercise of juristic reasoning (ijtihâd) in our contemporary context needs people with the acumen for approaching the texts with insight and understanding as much as it needs them to have knowledge of the texts themselves. This acumen can only be developed through focusing on the purposes of the Law, the purposes of specific rulings, and the purposes of the people who carry out those laws. Otherwise, the exercise of juristic reasoning will be pedantic and superficial, and it will yield results that are contrary to the very objectives that Islam came to bring about.

We should consider how one of the Companions understood the verse telling us when to stop eating and start our day’s fasts: “…until the white thread becomes distinct from the black thread of dawn.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 187]

He took it to mean strings of thread and took a literal black thread and white thread and thought that he should begin fasting when the day became bright enough for him to distinguish between the two.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about this Companion: “His understanding is limited.” How many are the people today who are equally limited in their understanding of Islamic Law. They put people into great hardship over the minutest and most tertiary of issues, and, without realizing it, undermine the purposes of Islamic Law.

There can be no true exercise of juristic reasoning without taking the objectives of Islamic law into consideration. This is why al-Shâtibî considered knowledge of these purposes to be as essential a condition for juristic reasoning as knowledge of Arabic. This is because only through such knowledge can a jurist hope to recognize the necessities, needs, and niceties of life that the religion of Islam seeks to preserve. A person with limited understanding might look in isolation at a ruling regarding a certain need or nicety without bringing it into context of the broader necessities that Islamic Law seeks to uphold.

Scholars of Islam have investigated these necessities, and determined them to be five: life, faith, reason, honor, and wealth. Some contemporary scholars have suggested a sixth, proposing things like justice, liberty, and fraternity. I believe it is more precise to refer to this sixth necessity as something like “society” which embraces all aspects of social justice, liberty, equality, and human dignity.

We can clearly see how Islamic Law makes “society” a primary consideration, sometimes at the expense of other considerations. We can see this in congregational prayer, in the Friday prayer, and in Hajj.

We see how the Prophet (peace be upon him) took this as a matter of necessity when he refrained from rebuilding the Ka`bah on its original foundations.

It is essential for a jurist to take these principles into consideration when dealing with issues, especially those that are exceptional and that require extra diligence in determining what is best. When jurists fail to take these things into account, it causes the public to doubt the value of Islamic Law, but really what the public is seeing is a misrepresentation and misapplication of the Law.

The purposes of Islamic Law are not all equally evident. Some are clear to the general public, like basic ethical principles and the essential necessities of life. Others, however, require a trained jurists eye, because they are more subtle, and require deeper investigation to discern. This is where juristic reasoning really needs to be exercised. This is where the jurist qualified to engage in juristic reasoning – the mujtahid – comes into play, someone who can understand the sacred texts in conjunction with the broad purposes of Islamic Law and then apply this knowledge to the actual circumstances of the outside world in order to come up with an appropriate legal ruling.

Our present need is all the more acute due to the paucity of understanding that Muslims have regarding what Islam wants for Muslim society and for the people – the protection of their liberties, the effective management of their affairs, the cultivation of virtue among them, the prohibition of vice, the development of their resources, the advancement of their capabilities, and the inculcation of the value of being a productive member of society. Today’s Muslims are in need of all of these things, people who often know a lot of Islamic legal rulings but know very little about the purposes behind them.

Nursing prohibits marriage only if it occurs during first 2 years

Question Title: 
Nursing prohibits marriage only if it occurs during first 2 years
Sheikh Name: 
Date: 
Wed, 04/04/2007
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
I wish to marry a girl who is my second-cousin. However, I found out that my mother nursed her repeatedly when she was two-and-a-half, but not before then. Does this make her my foster-sister and unlawful for marriage. Is it true that she has to be under two years of age for the nursing to count?
English Answer: 
Nursing can only produce a foster relationship that prohibits marriage if it occurs during the first two years of a child’s life.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The nursing (that produces a foster relationship) is only due to needful sustenance.”

The majority of scholars say that the nursing that is considered in fosterage is only where the milk is essential to the growth of an infant’s flesh and strengthens its bones.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) came one day to `Aishah, and when he found her sitting with an unrelated man, his expression changed immediately. ` Aishah said that the man was her foster brother due to nursing. The Prophet (peace be upon him) explaimed: “Beware of what you say. Nursing is only due to needful sustenance.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2647) and Sahîh Muslim (1455)]

And Allah knows best.

Offering the Duhâ prayer every day

Question Title: 
Offering the Duhâ prayer every day
Date: 
Thu, 03/16/2006
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
What is the difference between the Duhâ prayer, the Awwâbîn prayer, and the Ishrâq prayer? Also, I read that it is not Sunnah to offer the Duhâ prayer every day, since `Umar once called it an innovation, and meant by it that it is an innovation to offer the Duhâ prayer every day, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not offer it every day. Is this true?
English Answer: 
The terms ishrâq and awwâbîn are used to refer to the Duhâ prayer.

There is no separate prayer called al-Ishrâq. The word ishrâq simply means “sunrise” and the meaning of this prayer is the same as the Duhâ prayer. The Duhâ prayer starts approximately fifteen minuets after sunrise and lasts up to the time the sun reaches its zenith. It is preferred to be performed when the day becomes warmer.

The prayer of the awwâbîn (the very penitent) is the Duhâ prayer, as demonstrated in Sahîh Muslim (748) where Zayd b. relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘The prayer of the very penitent (al-awwâbîn) is offered at the time when the young camels feel the heat.”

This hadîth indicates that the prayer should preferably be offered later in the morning when it gets hot.

The Duhâ prayer is certainly a Sunnah. It is true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not pray it every day. However, he advised his Companions to pray it.

Abû Hurayrah said: “The dearest person to me (the Prophet, peace be upon him) advised me to do three things, and I will not leave them until I die: to fasting three days of each month, to offer the Duhâ prayer, and not to sleep until after I pray Witr.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1178) and Sahîh Muslim (721)]

Abû Dharr reports that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “In the morning, charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah's glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of His praise is an act of charity. Every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity. Every utterance of a profession of His Greatness is an act of charity. Enjoining good is an act of charity. Forbidding wrong is an act of charity, and two units of prayer which one offers in the forenoon will suffice.” [Sahîh Muslim (720)]

Since these hadîth are authentic, it is a Sunnah to pray the Duhâ prayer on any day and every day, regardless if someone has opined that it is not Sunnah to do so every day.

And Allah knows best.