Question Title: 
Tue, 04/17/2007
Sender Name: 
Question in English : 
Is horsemeat lawful for a Muslim to eat? Is it true that Imam Mâlik regarded it as prohibited? Is it prohibited in the Mâlikî school of thought? Is it prohibited in any other school of thought?
English Answer: 
The Mâlikî school of law is the only school from among the four canonical schools of law that prohibits horsemeat. Interestingly, in most issues, that Mâlikî school is generally the most liberal of the four schools of law in its approach to questions of dietary law.

For instance, the majority of scholars categorically prohibit the flesh of fanged predatory animals and taloned birds of prey. Mâlik b. Anas, on the other hand, regarded the flesh of such animals as permissible to eat.

However, it is worth saying that Mâlik’s opinion on this issue is a weak one, since it is related in Sahih Muslim that Ibn `Abbâs said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade eating the flesh of fanged predatory animals and birds of prey”.

In spite of this liberality, Mâlik regarded horsemeat as unlawful. This opinion of his is likewise a weak one.

The correct ruling is the one advanced by the majority of jurists that horsemeat is permissible to eat. The proof for this is the hadîth in Sahîh al-Bukhârî where `A’ishah relates: “We slaughtered a horse during the time of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and we ate it.”

And Allah knows best.

“Allah’s right over His servants & their right over Him”

Tue, 04/17/2007

Mu`âdh b. Jabal relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him: “O Mu`âdh! Do you know what is Allah’s right over His servants and what their right is over Him?”

I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.”

He said: “Allah’s right over His servants is that they worship Him without associating any partner with Him in worship, and their right over Him is that He does not punish anyone who worships Him without associating any partner with Him in worship.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

Islam came as a new religion to the world, reviving, invigorating, and kindling the greatest human values and qualities. Its message was unambiguous and it came with clear injunctions enumerating the rights of the human being – the rights of the governed and those who govern; the rights of the young and old; the rights of the student and the teacher; the rights of the man, woman, and child; the rights of the employee and the employer…

When Islam came forth onto the world and announced its truth, it came upon nations that had long been neglectful of what is right and had transgressed against the rights of the people. People saw Islam as coming to their rescue. This is the secret behind why Islam spread so rapidly to the farthest reaches of the known world. People accepted it with their hearts and their minds. They freely embraced the faith, because of the unprecedented way that Islam guaranteed and protected their human rights.

This hadîth above speaks about Allah’s rights over the people and their rights over Allah. Islamic legal scholars have spoken at length about this topic, and they have concluded that the rights of Allah are based upon leniency and pardon, whereas the rights of human beings are incontestable.

The theory of human rights in Islam has a strong spiritual dimension. The human being is directly accountable to his Lord. It is not just a matter of accountability before the law. Honoring the rights of other human beings is a means by which a person can become elevated in the sight of his Lord – or debased if he does not honor those rights. In other words, the issue of upholding human rights becomes a means by which a person’s fate in the Hereafter can be sealed.

Indeed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) describes how a person can arrive “bankrupt” on the Day of Judgment without any good deeds to his credit, simply because he failed to uphold the rights of others.

Abû Hurayrah relates in Sahîh Muslim:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked us: “Do you know who is bankrupt?”

We replied: “The one among us who is bankrupt is someone who has neither gold nor silver nor any provision.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said: “Among my people, the one who is bankrupt is the one who – after praying, fasting, and paying charity – arrives on the Day of Judgment having cursed one person and slandered another, assaulted another, and misappropriated the wealth of someone else. Then those people will be given of his good deeds, and if his good deeds run out before redress is made, then some of their sins will be taken from them and put upon him. Then he will be cast into Hell.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The nest of you is the one who exhibits the best ethical conduct.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

This ethical conduct is none other than to uphold the rights of others and safeguard their honor.

Islam teaches us to determine the rights of others by considering our own rights. A person may well know what his own rights are, but fail to honor the rights of others. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

He also said: “Treat others how you wish to be treated.” [Sahîh Muslim]

In this way, Islam raises the devoted Muslim above selfishness. A Muslim should not act as if the world revolves around him, thinking only to safeguard his own rights and considering nothing of the rights that others have over him.

Islam has come with a concept that no body of legislation has addressed. This is the notion of “oppression of the self”. Islam seeks to preserves the person from transgressing the rights that he has over his own person. Allah says: “And whoever does evil or oppresses his soul, then asks forgiveness of Allah, he shall find Allah forgiving, merciful.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 110]

Allah says: “We did them no injustice, but they were unjust to themselves.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 118]

Islam has made the individual responsible to police his own conduct in how he fulfills the rights of others. At the same time, Islam has placed in its sacred law legal injunctions to safeguard those rights, in the context of a painstakingly detailed understanding of inter-personal ethics. In this context, it presents a formidable corpus of law to ensure human rights, the rights of women, spousal rights, the rights of citizens, and the rights of children, the rights of labor, and the rights of property owners. These rights, in turn, exist within the context of civil rights, political rights, and economic rights.

Unfortunately, the prevailing culture in today is one that promotes the violation and crass disregard for the rights of others. It is seen as a matter of course to try and infringe upon the rights of someone else and impose one’s authority whenever one gets the chance.

This is why the eminent jurist, Ibn Daqîq al-`Id said that the rights of others are “a pit from the pits of Hell, at the precipice of which stand two types of people: those who have knowledge and those who hold political power.”

He meant that the transgression of the rights of others is often carried out by people who wield political power and by those who have cultural or religious authority. Through such people, political, religious, and social oppression is carried out.

To prevent injustice, Islam has come with clear and precise ethical injunctions. These are put in place to ensure that the human being can live in dignity, with freedom of speech, or vocation, and of religion.

Allah says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]

Allah details many of the civic rights that people have over each other in Sûrah al-Hujurât, verses 11-12:
O you who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by (offensive) nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoever does not turn in repentance, such are evil-doers.

O you who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it. And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is relenting, merciful.
Short Content: 
The Prophet asked: “Do you know what is Allah’s right over His servants and what their right is over Him?”

Using vows to discourage oneself from sin

Question Title: 
Using vows to discourage oneself from sin
Sat, 03/17/2007
Sender Name: 
Question in English : 
I know someone who falls into major sin quite often. He sincerely repents for his sin, but sooner or later succumbs to temptation again. He has resorted to swearing vows to Allah that he will not return to those sinful deeds. Because of this, he repeatedly has to observe the prescribed expiation for breaking a vow. He has now asked me about the possibility of his vowing that his wife will be divorced from him if he returns to the sin again. He loves his wife dearly and has children with her. He thinks this will keep him from falling into sin again. Is it permissible for him to do this?
English Answer: 
There is nothing in the Qur’ân and Sunnah – as far as I know – that tells us to resort to swearing oaths to discourage us from committing sin. This is an unfounded practice, no matter how serious the sin might be. We know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us of every possible means to piety. He withheld nothing from us in that regard. Therefore, if there was any virtue in swearing oaths to avoid sin, he would have told us about it.

In my readings about the Pious Predecessors, I never came across an instance where one of them resorted to swearing oaths in order to discourage himself from sin.

What we are told to do, whenever we start yearning to commit a sin, is think about Allah’s greatness. We need to remind ourselves that He is watching over us. We need to frighten ourselves by remembering the severity of His punishment and encourage ourselves by recalling the vastness of His reward.

Allah says: “As for those who fear having to stand before their Lord and thereby refrain their souls from low desires, their abode will be Paradise.” [Sûrah al-Nâzi`ât: 40-41]

Allah says: “This is for those who fear having to stand before Me and who fear my foreboding promise.” [Sûrah Ibrâhîm: 14]

He also says: “And those who, when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins – and who forgives sins but Allah – and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath – an eternal dwelling. How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!” [Sûrah Al `Imrân: 135-136]

We should take note of the fact that Allah here refers too those who “remember Allah”. He does not speak about those who “remember their vows” or what have you.

Therefore, I sincerely advise this brother to work on strengthening his faith by remembering Allah and by actively reading the Qur’ân and contemplating on what it says. He should be faithful in carrying out his obligatory worship in the best possible manner, as well as in offering more voluntary worship. Prayer is especially important. In this way, Allah will protect him from sin, evil, and disobedience.

Allah says: “Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and keep up prayer; for surely prayer keeps one away from indecency and evil. And certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest thing, and Allah knows what you do.” [Sûrah al-`Ankabût: 45]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) related to us that Allah says: “My servant does not approach me with anything more beloved to me than what I have made obligatory upon him. He then continues to draw nearer to me with voluntary worship until I love him. And when I love him, I become the hearing that he hears with, the sight that he sees with, the hand that he grasps with, and the feet that he walks with. If he asks Me for anything, I will give it him. If he seeks refuge with Me, I will give him refuge. I have no hesitation in anything that I do greater that my hesitation to take the life of a believer who hates death while I hate to displease him.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6502)]

I also warn this dear brother against using a vow to divorce as a means to any purpose – whatever that purpose may be. The marriage bond is something sacred, something that both the husband and wife should safeguard with all their might. It is contrary to Islam and to common sense to expose this special bond to harm for trivial reasons or to assist oneself in overcoming base desires.

I pray to Allah to bless us all to be successful in our repentance and to help us in doing what He loves and is pleased with.

Selling medical samples to patients

Question Title: 
Selling medical samples to patients
Wed, 03/29/2006
Sender Name: 
Question in English : 
I know a doctor who receives many medicines from companies on which it is printed "physicians sample not for sale". He sells them to his patients at market price without telling them. Is it lawful for him to do so? Please explain your answer.
English Answer: 
It is unlawful for doctors to sell to their patients the medical samples given to them by pharmaceutical companies.

From the standpoint of Islamic Law, these samples are not a gift (hadiyyah) but rather a trust in deposit (wadî`ah). The company entrusts the doctor with the medications to be used specifically as samples – meaning that they are to be given to patients who need to try those medications or to those professionals who wish to examine or study the medications.

Anybody who falls into one of those two categories – including the doctor – may utilize the medical samples for one of these legitimate purposes.

These medications may not be sold. Indeed, that is often a specific written condition on the package and it is something contractually specified for anyone who wishes to accept the trust in deposit.

Anyone who sells the medical samples is violating the trust.

Allah says: “O ye who believe! Betray not Allah and His messenger, nor knowingly betray your trusts.” [Sûrah al-Anfâl: 27]

And Allah knows best.

Offering Tahiyyah al-Masjid Whenever One Enters the Mosque

Sat, 03/17/2007
Short Content: 
It is a Sunnah to offer two units of prayer as a greeting to the mosque – referred to as tahiyyah al-masjid – regardless of what time you enter the mosque.
Abû Qatâdah al-Sulamî relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “If one of you enters the mosque, he should not sit down without offering two units of prayer.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

In another narration from Abû Qatâdah al-Sulamî, relates that he entered the mosque and sat down among the people. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to him: “What has prevented you from offering two units of prayer before sitting down?”

Abû al-Qatâdah replied: “O Messenger of Allah, I saw you and everyone else sitting down.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said: ““If one of you enters the mosque, he should not sit down without offering two units of prayer.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

It is a Sunnah to offer two units of prayer as a greeting to the mosque – referred to as tahiyyah al-masjid – regardless of what time you enter the mosque. Al-Nawawî writes in his commentary on Sahîh Muslim:
This hadîth shows that it is recommended for us to greet the mosque with two units of prayer. Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to do so. Al-Qâdî `Iyâd attributes to Dâwûd (al-Zâhirî) and his followers the opinion that it is obligatory.

The hadîth certainly makes it clear that it is disliked to sit down in the mosque without first offering a prayer. This dislike is only to the level of disapproval. It is merely preferable to offer this prayer.

The hadîth shows that it is preferable to do so whatever time one enters the mosque. This is the ruling adopted by our (Shâfi`î) school of law as well as by a number of other scholars.

Abû Hanîfah and al-Awzâ`î, by contrast, disliked offering this prayer at times when prayer is generally forbidden. Our scholars disagree by saying that the prohibition at those times applies only to prayers that do not have a particular reason for offering them. We see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) made up after `Asr the two-unit Sunnah prayer for Zuhr that he had missed. This is a time when prayers are generally forbidden, so the Prophet’s action narrows down this prohibition to prayers that have no reason preceding them.

In fact, he never left out tahiyyah al-masjid under any circumstances. He even ordered a person to get up and pray who came in the mosque and sat down while he was delivering the Friday sermon. He told the man to get up and offer two units of prayer. This is in spite of the fact that it is forbidden to offer prayers while the sermon is going on – except, that is, for tahiyyah al-masjid.

If there had been any time that tahiyyah al-masjid would have been overlooked, it would have been at this time. The man had already sat down – and tahiyyah al-masjid is supposed to be performed before sitting down – but this man did not know the ruling. The Prophet (peace be upon him) interrupted his sermon to tell the man to get up and pray. If it were not a very important to offer this prayer at all times, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would not have shown so much concern about it.
The hadîth about the Friday sermon that al-Nawawî refers to is as follows:

Jâbir relates that Sulayk al-Ghatafânî came on Friday while Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was delivering the sermon. He sat down. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Get up and offer two units of prayer, and be brief about it.” Then he said: “If anyone of you arrives on Friday while the imam is delivering the sermon, he should offer two units of prayer, but be brief about it.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1166) and Sahîh Muslim (875) – the version quoted is that of Muslim]

We should understand that it is not necessary to have the express intention of offering a prayer called “tahiyyah al-masjid”. What matters is to follow the hadîth and offer at least two units of prayer before taking a seat in the mosque. It will be enough to offer the Sunnah prayers that one performs before the obligatory prayer. Also, if one commences with the obligatory prayer immediately upon entering the mosque, that will be enough. What is important is not to sit down directly, without offering at least two units of prayer.

Al-Nawawî writes in his commentary:
It is not necessary for the person to have the express intention of offering tahiyyah a-masjid. Any two-unit Sunnah prayer or obligatory prayer will do.

It will not be enough – according to our school of thought – to offer a funeral prayer, a prostration of thanks, or prostration of recitation. Also, it will not be enough to offer a single unit of prayer, even with the intention of greeting the mosque with it. This is because the wording of the hadîth clearly states two units of prayer.
And Allah knows best.

Salman: “We May Not Need Valentine’s Day…But We Definitely Need Love”

Sat, 02/17/2007
Short Content: 
During his television program entitled First Monday which airs weekly on NBC in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Salman al-Oadah was asked to comment on Valentine’s Day...
During his television program entitled First Monday which airs weekly on NBC in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Salman al-Oadah was asked to comment on Valentine’s Day. He said: “We do not feel a need for this holiday, since it is foreign to the mores and values of our society, but we are definitely in need of love.”

He stressed that though Valentine’s Day is something foreign to Saudi culture, “love is an indispensable part of our very humanity. It is an indispensable aspect of our faith and our mores – and Muslim societies need more than ever to be reminded of the importance of love and affection.”

The Sheikh was speaking generally on the topic of “The Right to Marriage”. He explained that the marital relationship is a relationship based upon love, affection, and mercy. It is not one of discord and separation. He pointed out that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was the best, most elevated example of marital affection.

He said: “A feeling heart is like good land from which springs flow. The heart should not be hard and brittle, so that it cannot be moved and never beats faster.”

The Sheikh added: “The tongue is what ladles out the outpourings of the heart, and it is a means of expressing love… Express your love. Tell your children that you love them. Tell your wife that you love her. Say nice things to your brothers, your sisters, and other members of your family.”

Under the topic of “The Right to Marriage” the Sheikh took the opportunity to address the problem in his society where fathers prevent their daughters from getting married or cause a separation between their daughters and their husbands and prevent their daughters from going back to their husbands.

He said: “The Qur’ân comes with a clear and unambiguous statement prohibiting a father from preventing his daughter from marriage or from her returning to her husband, and shows it to be a crime for him to do so. It is a crime for the father and upon the daughter… This is because it forbids the woman from being with her husband. If forbids that husband from being with his wife. It forbids her from having children and forbids her from a proper marital life. Also, the father takes upon himself the onus of his daughter falling into disreputable behavior.”

The Sheikh is of the opinion that some Muslim societies “take advantage of the weak position of the daughter, as well as her having been brought up to be shy and unassertive, and use this to deny her her rights and to prevent her from marriage.”

The Sheikh then stressed that a father’s concern about his daughter marrying a suitable husband should not lead him to make it impossible for her to get married, due to his exaggerated expectations and standards. He reminded his audience that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If a man approaches you whose religion and good manners please you, then let him get married.”

“Unfortunately”, the Sheikh added, “many fathers do not consider religion and good character as much as they consider wealth and prestige.”

God's Name: Non-Muslims Calling the Creator "Allah"

Tue, 02/05/2008
Short Content: 
The recent measures that have been taken in some countries to bar non-Muslims from referring to God as "Allah" are quite unfortunate.
The name "Allah" is the Arabic word that refers to the one true God who created the heavens and the Earth – the God of all the Prophets from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to Jesus to Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The word Allah comes from the Arabic word “ilâh” meaning “deity, god, divine being” combined with the definite article “al”. Put together, they make “al-Ilâh” or literally “the God” which is then elided together as “Allah”.

Essentially, "Allah" is the literal Arabic equivalent to the English word "God" with a capital "G" while the Arabic word "ilâh" is the literal equivalent of the English word "god" with a lower-case "g".

The Qur'ân uses the name Allah consistently when referring to the message of all of the prophets and to the various beliefs of all of the people.

Even when the Qur'ân quotes people of other religions saying false things about the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the word Allah is used.

We have, for example, where certain Jews are quoted as saying: "And the Jews say: 'The hand of Allah is tied up!' Their hands shall be shackled, and may they be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out, He bestows as He pleases." [Sûrah al-Mâ'idah: 64]

We have the Christian doctrine of the trinity conveyed in the following verse: "They surely disbelieve who say: 'Lo! Allah is the third of three' when there is no god but the One Allah. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve." [Sûrah al-Mâ'idah: 73]

We also have in the Qur'ân: "And the Jews say: 'Ezra is the son of Allah', and the Christians say: 'The Messiah is the son of Allah'." [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 30]

These verses are in Arabic and use the Arabic name Allah. The fact that the Qur'ân does not shy away from using this word even when it speaks about the falsehood of the people of unbelief shows that the name "Allah" is truly universal, and can be used by anyone to refer to the true Creator of the heavens and the Earth.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) always referred to God as Allah when he discussed the beliefs of the Jews and Christians with him. They did so as well.

We have the challenge between the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the Christians of Najran about their false belief in the divinity of Christ. The Arabs of Najran were Arab and were certainly speaking Arabic.

We read in the Qur'ân where Allah commands His Messenger: “If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee, Say: Come! Let us gather together, our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: then let us earnestly pray. And invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie.” [Sûrah Al-`Imrân: 61]

The people of Arabia all referred to the Creator of the heavens and the Earth as "Allah", whether they were Jews, Christians, or pagans. This is the reason why, in pre-Islamic times, many people of all three faiths already carried the name `Abd Allah.

They included the Prophet's father `Abd Allah b. `Abd al-Muttalib who died before the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born, as well as the Prophet's cousin `Abd Allah b. Abî Umayyah who only accepted Islam shortly before the conquest of Mecca.

They included the prominent Jewish rabbi of Madinah, `Abd Allah b. Salâm, who became one of the most eminent of the Prophet's Companions. Of course, he had been given the name `Abd Allah by his Jewish family long before Islam.

The measures that have recently been taken in some countries to bar non-Muslims from referring to God as "Allah" in their religious publications are quite unfortunate. The publications is question are ones written in languages where the name used for the Creator of the heavens and the Earth is the name "Allah".

The purpose behind these restrictive measures is the fear that those publications will confuse Muslims who speak those languages and who might read those publications. Be that as it may, the confusion on a global scale which is being caused by the restriction is far worse.

Islamic workers who try convey the message of Islam to Jews and Christians have been struggling against the widely held belief idea that the god of the Muslims is some exotic deity other than the one who sent Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all). It has been a long and uphill effort. These recent measures in some countries to ban non-Muslims form using the name Allah have resulted in confirming and entrenching those false suspicions among non-Muslims.

It is the duty of Muslims today to redouble their efforts to teach the people of the world that there is only one true God who created the heavens and the Earth; that all of the prophets and messengers were sent by Him with the same essential teaching: to worship the Creator alone and not set up partners with Him; that Allah is the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus – and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

And Allah knows best.

Offering greetings for the Islamic New Year

Question Title: 
Offering greetings for the Islamic New Year
Sheikh Name: 
Sun, 01/29/2006
Sender Name: 
Question in English : 
On the first of Muharram, many people are in the habit of offering greetings and salutations for the Islamic New Year. Is this practice valid or is it an innovation?
English Answer: 
Exchanging greetings on the first of Muharram for the new Islamic year is something permissible.

The best opinion that has been expressed about the question is that whenever someone gives you a greeting, you are supposed to reply with some good words in a similar manner. You do not need to initiate such greetings.

This is identical to the view expressed Ahmad b. Hanbal regarding the holiday greetings on the occasion on `Id. Whenever someone else offered him an `Id greeting, he returned it accordingly. However, he would not initiate an `Id greeting on his own.

I know of nothing authentically established regarding `Id greetings. Nevertheless, scholars, including those of the Hanbalî school of law, say that there is nothing wrong with greeting someone else on the occasion of `Id by saying: “May Allah accept it from me and from you.

It follows that there is nothing wrong with people offering each other greetings on the occasions where it has become customary for them to do so.

Evidence for this general permissibility can be seen in the general permissibility of offering the prostration of thanks. It can also be seen in the permissibility of offering consolations to he bereaved.

We have the glad tidings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) concerning the arrival of Ramadan. [Sunan al-Nasâ’î (2106)]

Also, Talhah b. `Ubayd Allah greeted Ka`b b. Mâlik with a salutation in the Prophet’s presence without the Prophet (peace be upon him) voicing any objection to it. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (4418) and Sahîh Muslim (2769)]

Ibn Taymiyah observes: “It has been narrated about a number of Companions that they used to offer one another such greetings. The principal jurists, Ahmad b. Hanbal among them, regarded it as something permissible.”

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî also asserts the permissibility of the practice. There are numerous narrations from scholars of a similar nature.

Ahmad said: “I do not initiate such things, but if someone else does so with me, I return his greeting.”

This is because returning someone else’s salutations is obligatory. Allah says: ‘If you are greeted with a salutation, then reply with something better or similar.’ [Surah al-Nisâ’: 86]

There is no prohibition against greeting someone else with salutations of the New Year. Therefore, the command to return the greetings of others with what is similar or better applies to it. And Allah knows best.

The question of heretical innovation (bid`ah) does not even come up, since this is a matter of what is deemed to be accepted customs and good manners. It is not something that is intended as a formal act of worship.

And Allah knows best.

Making up missed prayers due to menstruation

Question Title: 
Making up missed prayers due to menstruation
Wed, 01/17/2007
Sender Name: 
Question in English : 
When should a menstruating woman resume her prayers again at the end of her menstration? Must she wait to be sure that her menstruation is over before making her ghusl and resuming her prayers? Which prayers must she make up?
English Answer: 
When a woman’s menstrual period begins before the time of prayer has come in, then she does not make up that prayer. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when a woman is menstruating, she neither prays nor fasts?” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (304)]

Also, `A’ishah said: “When this came upon us, we were commanded to make up our fasts but not our prayers.” [Sahîh Muslim (335)]

A woman also does not make up her missed prayer if her menstrual period begins after the time for the prayer has arrived. During the time of the Companions, women would have surely experienced the onset of their menstrual cycles after the time for their prayers had come in. If it had been obligatory for women to make up those prayers, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have commanded the women among his Companions to do so. If he had given such a command, it would have been related to us.

The only exception to this is where the woman has already delayed her prayer until right before the end of its timeframe, so close that there is not enough time left for her to complete that prayer. If her menstrual cycle begins at that moment, she will be required to make up that prayer when her period ends. In this case, the real reason she did not offer her prayer on time is her neglect, since even had her menstrual period not started, she would not have been able to complete that prayer on time.

With respect to the end of her menstrual cycle, a woman should refrain from praying until she sees her normal indication of purity, like the white emission if it is normal for her to see it. She should not be hasty. If she has no visible sign, then she should wait until the blood has completely stopped.

`A’ishah’s ward asked relates that women used to send to her the cloths containing yellow menstrual blood for her decision about the end of their periods, so she said: “Do not be hasty. Wait until you see the white emission.” [al-Muwatta’ (117)]

When she is certain that her menstrual period is over, she should offer whatever prayer whose time it is. If that prayer can be combined with the one that preceded it – as is the case for the time of `Asr and the time of `Ishâ’ – then she should offer both. Otherwise, she must simply offer the current prayer.

Therefore, if her period ends during the time of Fajr, Zuhr, or Maghrib, she only has to offer the current prayer.

However, if her period ends at `Asr time, she should pray Zuhr along with `Asr. If her period ends at `Ishâ’ time, she should offer Maghrib along with `Ishâ’. This practice has been related to us by `Abd al-Rahman b. `Awf and Ibn `Abbâs. The logic for it is that the time for these two prayers is one for people who have an excuse to combine them, like travelers or those who are ill. A menstruating woman is likewise a person with an excuse.

And Allah knows best.

“Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech…”

from Varse: 
Wed, 01/17/2007
Short Content: 
“Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done; and Allah is He who hears and knows all things.”
This verse gives us the Islamic ruling about complaining against the wrongs and injustices perpetrated by another person. Ibn `Abbâs says: “This verse was revealed because one man oppressed another. Therefore, it is permissible for one who has been wronged to mention the other person regarding the wrong the he has committed without adding anything more.”

It is also related from Ibn `Abbâs that the verse is speaking about the permissibility of supplicating to Allah out loud against the wrongdoer. These two interpretations are not mutually exclusive, since both activities are permissible.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Two people who insult each other will have the sin of what they say, but the sin will be entirely upon the one who initiated it as long as the wronged party does not transgress bounds.” [Sahîh Muslim (2587)]

Abû Hurayrah relates that a man approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) to complain about his neighbor. The Prophet told him: “Go home and be patient.” The man returned with his complaint two or three times, whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Go home and throw your household affects out in the road.”

The man did as he was told, and people came up to him asking him what he was doing, so he told them about his neighbor’s bad behavior. Upon hearing this, the people began cursing that neighbor, saying: “May Allah do this and that with him.”

Soon, the neighbor came out of his home and said: “Go inside. You will never again see from me anything that you dislike.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (5153)]

Once, a shawl was stolen from `A’ishah, so she began invoking Allah in prayer against the thief. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to her: “Do not make things lighter for him (by your invoking prayers against him).” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (1497)]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “It is an act of oppression when a person of means puts off honoring his debts. If he refuses to pay, his reputation can be tarnished and he can be punished.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (3628)]

Ibn al-Mubârak – who is one of the hadîths narrators – explains to us that “tarnishing his reputation” means to accuse him and rebuke him for his wrongdoing and the punishment refers to imprisonment.

This evidence shows us that it is permissible for someone who has been wronged to speak against the wrongdoer to the extent of his wrongdoing. He cannot make up anything else, exaggerate his grievance, or mentions anything unnecessary against the other party. He will be sinful for everything that he says that goes beyond his legitimate grievance.

Ibn al-`Arabî, in his commentary of the Qur’ân, claims that this ruling only applies to people who are social equals or near equals. He claims that people of base character cannot behave arrogantly about those who are of noble character, but that they should simply demand redress without making accusations of oppression or showing a display of anger. He claims this is supported by the textual evidence.

I disagree with this idea. The verse is quite general in its language. It applies to everyone who has been wronged. I have not found any textual evidence to afford special treatment to people of noble character with respect to others. They are the same with respect to their right to express their grievances against those who wrong them.

Still, in cases where speaking out publicly against the person who wronged you will lead to consequences that are worse than the original wrong, either to the aggrieved individual or to society at large, then it is best to refrain from doing so. For instance, this can be the case when the one who committed the wrong is a ruler who might bring great difficulties upon someone who speaks out against him. It is also the case where speaking out might lead to public unrest and civil strife. In such cases, it is best to refrain from speaking out publicly against the wrongdoer, not because of his noble status, but because of considerations of what is in the best interests of the aggrieved party.

Is Speaking Out Contrary to the Dictates of Patience?

Sometimes it is best for the aggrieved party to speak out against the person who wronged him. This is when it has the affect of prohibiting wrongdoing or preventing others from coming to harm. It is also best when it is hoped that the wrongdoer might change his ways and act properly in the future.

Sometimes, remaining quiet about the grievance is not allowed, like when it leads to emboldening the wrongdoer to continue in his iniquities against others. In some cases, it can be the cause of great reward – the reward of striving in Allah’s cause – when the wrongdoer is a person of strength or power and speaking out against him will lead to preventing him from abusing the people.

Therefore, it is not always laudable to suffer in patient silence. Sometimes it is best to speak out. However, it can often be a virtue to bear patiently someone’s wrongdoing instead of speaking openly about it. This is the case where the person who did the wrong is a good person and he perpetrated the wrong unintentionally and without planning. We can consider, for example, an honest judge who misjudges a case due to the insufficient evidence presented to him and not due to any maliciousness. It would be wrong to publicly malign him.

We have already mentioned that it is best to bear wrong patiently when speaking out against it leads to severe consequences instead of redress. Such considerations differ from one time and place to another.

And Allah knows best.
Verse Contnet: 
“Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done; and Allah is He who hears and knows all things.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 148]