The name 'Muhammad' in the Qur'ân

Question Title: 
The name 'Muhammad' in the Qur'ân
Date: 
Sat, 11/17/2007
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
I wanted to know how many times the nae "Muhammad" is mentioned in the Qur'an. Someone recently send me an e-mail that this name is mentioned only four times in Qur'an. How is it then, when I read various English translations, I find the name "Muhammad" mentioned in almost every chapter? Please clear up my doubts about this matter.
English Answer: 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is spoken about or referred to in many places in the Qur'ân. In quite a number of verses, Allah addresses him directly.

However, the word "Muhammad" is mentioned only four times in the Qur'ân.

The four verses in which the word Muhammad is mentioned are as follows:

"Muhammad is no more than a messenger: many Were the messenger that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then Turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude. " [Sûrah AL `Imrân (3): 144]

"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things. " [Sûrah al-Ahzâb (33): 40]

"But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad – for it is the truth from their Lord – (Allah) will remove from them their ills and improve their condition." [Sûrah Muhammad (47): 2]

"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart regarding those who disbelieve, full of compassion for each other. You will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Taurat and their description in the Injeel; like as seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward. " [Sûrah al-Fath (48): 29]

In many English translations of the Qur'ân, the name is inserted between parentheses to clarify that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is being directly addressed by a given verse or is being directly referred to. This is often the case where it would otherwise not be clear in the translation.

For instance, we see in the Pickthall translation of verse 119 of Sûrah al-Baqarah:
Lo! We have sent thee (O Muhammad) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And thou wilt not be asked about the owners of hell-fire.
The phrase (O Muhammad) is not in the original Arabic, hence the parentheses. It is cited betweenparentheses to clarify in the English rendering what is obvious from the tense of the pronoun to a person reading the Arabic.

This is a common practice in translation.

Sleeping during the fast

Question Title: 
Sleeping during the fast
Date: 
Sun, 10/29/2006
Sender Name: 
no
Question in English : 
Some people sleep all day during Ramadan. They wake up for the prayers and go back to bed. Then, close to sunset, they get up and prepare to break their fasts. They do not feel a thing. Are their fasts valid? Some people argue that a fasting person's sleep is blessed. Is this true?
English Answer: 
It is not sinful for a fasting person to sleep during the day in Ramadan. It has no affect on the validity of the fast, no matter how much of the day a person sleeps.

It is also by no means encouraged to sleep during the day in Ramadan. This was not the practice of the Companions nor of the Pious Predecessors. If anything, they increased their daytime activities in Ramadan. It is merely permissible to sleep.

There is a weak hadîth that reads: "The sleep of the fasting person is worship." However, this hadîth is far too weak to be used as evidence for anything.

Even if we assume – purely for the sake of argument – that the hadîth were authentic, it still does not justify laziness. It certainly does not pardon the practice of those who sleep all day in Ramadan and then spend the nights in feasting and merriment. The hadîth only refers to a person's normal sleeping habits, like a person's usual daily nap. This normal sleep helps invigorate the person for further acts of worship.

And Allah knows best.

The Tasâbîh prayer

Question Title: 
The Tasâbîh prayer
Date: 
Sun, 10/29/2006
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
What is the ruling on the Tasâbîh prayer? Is it Sunnah?
English Answer: 
I hold the view that the prayer known as al-Tasâbîh is not from the Sunnah and that the hadîth referring to it is weak. I hold this view for the following reasons:
1) In cases of worship, any act is prohibited unless legal evidence is provided to show that it is legally valid.

2) The hadîth about this prayer is contradictory in many ways.

3) It was not recommended by any scholar. Ibn Taymiyah said: “Ahmad and his companions stated their dislike of it and no scholar recommended it.” He also said: “Abû Hanîfah and al-Shafi`î knew nothing about it.”

4) If that prayer is lawful it would have been conveyed to us clearly by the scholars and it would have been well known, because of its great benefits and its being very different than other prayers other forms of worship. We know of no other form of worship that offers the choice of performing it every day, once a week, once a month, once a year, or once in a lifetime.
Also, since it has so many advantages and is not similar to any other prayer, and at the same time is not well known and not recommended, then we know it is has no basis to it. This is because when people know of something so unique possessing so many advantages, they pay attention to it and talk about it with others until it becomes widely circulated among the people. Since this is not the case with this prayer, we know the prayer is not prescribed. This is why none of the great legal scholars ever recommended it.

There are a sufficient number of voluntary acts of worship that are established by sound evidence and that provide sufficient blessings for those wishing to do more. This prayer – which has so much disagreement and ambiguity surrounding it – is unnecessary.

And Allah knows best.

Offering prayers after Witr

Question Title: 
Offering prayers after Witr
Date: 
Sun, 10/29/2006
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
I know that the Witr prayer is ideally supposed to be the last prayer of the night. However, is that just a preference, or is it forbidden to offer prayers after Witr? I want to offer Witr before I go to sleep to make sure that I do not miss it. Does this mean that I cannot wake up and pray Tahajjud at night?
English Answer: 
It is preferable to offer the Witr prayer as the last prayer in the night. It is preferably offered after performing Tahajjud. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The night prayer is two units then two units then if the one of you expects the coming of the morning prayer, he can pray one unit to make odd the number that he had prayed”.

Aishah said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) never prayed more than eleven units, whether in Ramadan or in other times. He used to pray four – do not ask how perfect and long were they – then he would pray four, do not ask how perfect and long were they – then he would pray three.” [Sahih al-Bukhârî (1147) and Sahîh Muslim (738)]

If you have completed your witr prayer after performing the `Isha’ prayer, it does not make other prayers unlawful or undesirable. You may still pray Qiyâm al-Layl (Tahajjud) later on. In fact, these prayers are still encouraged.

This is in accordance with the saying of Abû Bakr al-Siddîq. He used to offer the Witr prayer early in the night and say: “I have done my share, and I look forward to offering more voluntary prayers.”

However, in this case you should perform all of your night prayers as sets of two units and not perform another Witr prayer at the end. You may not pray more than one Witr prayer in a single night.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There should not be two Witr prayers in one night.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (470)]

And Allah knows best.

Selling rare coins & notes of currency at more than their face value

Question Title: 
Selling rare coins & notes of currency at more than their face value
Date: 
Mon, 09/17/2007
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
Is it lawful in Islam to sell a currency note or coin for more than its face value if it is rare and collectible? Or would that be a form of interest? Does it make a difference if the bill or coin is in a denomination that is no longer recognized as money?
English Answer: 
You may sell rare coins and bills of currency for more than their face value.

It is unlawful to exchange gold, silver, and currency except hand to hand, and if the metal or currency is the same, in equal amounts.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Gold for gold, silver for silver, like for like, hand to hand, and whoever increases or ask for increasing he falls in usury.” [Sahîh Muslim]

Money takes the ruling of gold and silver in that it fulfills the exact same function in society. Money acts as a medium of exchange and as a store of value.

However, rare notes and coins have – according to the customs (`urf) of the market wherein they are sought – have ceased being traded as a medium of exchange and have become objects of value in their own right.

Therefore, it is permissible to purchase these objects with currency. This is the case even if the rare coin or bill is of a type that is still recognized by statute as being legal tender. One can purchase a rare coin or bill with modern currency of nominally the same type.

This means a person may purchase – for instance – a rare 19th century dollar note with current dollars, even if that 19th century note is still permitted as legal tender by statute. This is due to the fact that the actual role the note plays in the market has changed drastically. Now it is regarded in the market as being no different than a rare document or a rare print.

In the sale of a rare and collectible note or coin, the item being sold is not treated as currency, nor does it function in any practical capacity as currency. It functions as an object of value like any other antique.

And Allah knows best.

Reciting the Qur’ân to provide healing for non-Muslims

Question Title: 
Reciting the Qur’ân to provide healing for non-Muslims
Date: 
Tue, 07/17/2007
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
Is it true that the Qur’ân can be read upon non-Muslims as a healing for them? If yes, then how should we understand the verse of the Qur’ân which reads: “And We send down in the Qur’ân that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.” ?
English Answer: 
The Qur’ân can be read upon non-Muslims for the purpose of healing. This is established in the Sunnah.

Abû Sa`îd al-Khudri relates the following [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (5295)]:
Some of the Prophet’s Companions came to an Arab settlement, but the inhabitants did not allow them to water their animals.

Then it happened that their chieftain was stung by a scorpion and asked: “Does anyone among you have medicine or the ability to perform ruqyah?”

The Companions replied: “You did not give us leave to water our animals. We will not do anything unless you pay us.”

They agreed to pay the Companions a number of sheep. Then one of the Companions began to recite Sûrah al-Fâtihah, gathering the moisture of his breath together and blowing it on the wound.

The man’s wound was healed by this, so he brought the sheep to them. The Companions conferred among themselves: “We ill not take these as our own until we consult with the Prophet (peace be upon him).

When they went and asked him, he laughed, and said: “And how did you come to know that (Sûrah al-Fâtihah) is a ruqyah? Take the sheep, and let me share with you.”
This hadîth shows that reading the Qur’ân can provide healing for non-Muslims. It also shows the Prophet’s approval of doing so. It tells us the Sûrah al-Fâtihah is a particularly good chapter for ruqyah.

This is not contradicted by the verse: “And We send down in the Qur’ân that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 17:82]

The believers benefit from both the healing and the mercy of these verses. That benefit extends to their physical as well as spiritual lives and it applies to Allah’s mercy upon them in this world and the Hereafter.

This does not contradict the idea that the Qur’ân can be a healing for the physical ailments of those who reject its message, while not otherwise being a mercy for them in either this world or the next.

As for the Qur’ân increasing them in nothing but loss, we can understand to apply to the consequences in the Hereafter for those who, after hearing the message of the Qur’ân and understanding it, choose to reject it and disbelieve in its message.

And Allah knows best.

The Spring of Life

Question Title: 
The Spring of Life
Date: 
Sun, 06/17/2007
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
I read in Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr that Moses (peace be upon him) came upon the Spring of Life while he was on his quest to find Khidr. I read elsewhere that the spring is in Paradise, and is especially for the people who gain admittance to Paradise after spending time in Hell? Are there really these Springs of Life? Are they one and the same spring?
English Answer: 
The story of Moses’ quest for Khidr is related in the Qur’ân in Sûrah al-Kahf. The Qur’ân does not make mention of any “Spring of Life”.

The “Spring of Life” mentioned in reference to the Khidr story is, to the best of our knowledge, just a story passed down from older traditions. Its authenticity is not verifiable. This is the case for many stories related in books of Qur’ân commentary (tafsîr).

The verse in question is verse 63 of Sûrah al-Kahf:
He replied: “Did you see (what happened) when we betook ourselves to the rock? I did indeed forget (about) the fish – and none but Satan made me forget to tell (you) about it – It took its course through the sea in a marvelous way!”
These words are said to Moses (peace be upon him) by his traveling companion.

Mention of this Spring of Life is found in Sunan al-Tirmidhî (3074) in a hadîth explaining this verse. However, the discussion about the spring is given by one of the hadîth’s narrators. They are not the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

Sufyân (a narrator) said: “People have alleged that this rock contained the spring of life, and if its waters touch something dead it must come back to life. They had already eaten from the fish, but when this water splashed on it, it returned to life.”

Sufyân attributes this to hearsay, not to the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is a case where a narrator inserts commentary into his narration of a hadîth, while clearly distinguishing his commentary from what is actually part of the hadîth

The hadîth in Sunan al-Tirmidhî is itself authentic, and is graded as authentic by al-Albânî and others. This commentary about the Spring of Life, however is not actually part of the hadîth.

Consequently, we cannot assert the existence of such a spring on this Earth. And Allah knows best.

There is another hadîth reference to a Spring of Life in the Herafter.

Ibn Mas`ûd relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “There will be people in the Hellfire for however long Allah wishes them to be there. Then ALlah will show mercy to them and take them out. They will be at the very lowest area of Paradise. They will then be bathed in the Spring of Life. The People of Paradise will call then ‘Jahannamites’…” [Sahîh Ibn Hibbân (7428)]

Shu`ayb al-Arna’ût says about this hadîth: “Its chain of transmission is strong.” [Critical notes on Sahîh Ibn Hibbân (16/449)]

Therefore, the Spring of Life in the Hereafter is established in the Sunnah.

And Allah knows best.

Credit cards & debit cards

Question Title: 
Credit cards & debit cards
Date: 
Thu, 06/05/2008
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
What is the difference between a credit card and debit card? Are both of them unlawful for Muslims?
English Answer: 
You should preferably use a debit card, if available, instead of a credit card. In this way, you can avoid altogether the possibility of having to make an interest payment.

A debit card is a card connected with an account into which you deposit money. You can then use the card to make your purchases. You can only purchase with the amount of money that you have deposited. You will not be able to make purchases in excess of that amount.

Essentially, a debit card is lawful. The only problem is the possibility that some companies might pay you interest if you leave a credit balance in the account. In this case, it would be unlawful to receive that interest. If you had to use such a card that pays interest, you would have to make sure to deposit in the account only what you presently intend to spend and not to leave money in the account to accrue interest. To learn about the details of any particular debit card, you need to enquire with the issuing company.

A credit card is where the issuing company extends to you a line of credit. When you make purchases with the card, the issuing company pays the seller on your behalf. Then you are liable to pay that amount back to the company as a debt. Such credit cards generally charge interest on the loan, and dealing in interest is unlawful.

However, having a credit card is often necessary today for making purchases online, reserving hotel rooms, and a number of other everyday transactions. If a debit card is unavailable and you need to have a credit card for business reasons, then you may do so provided that you do not get involved in interest.

One way to do this is to deposit money in your credit card account before you make a purchase. In this way, you are essentially using the credit card as if it were a debit card.

Also, many credit cards give their users an interest-free grace period in which to pay. If this is the case, then it will be alright to use the card n this way when absolutely necessary as long as you make sure that you pay it off in time so you will not be charged any interest.

And Allah knows best.

“…an act of charity, or goodness, or reconciliation”

from Varse: 
114
Date: 
Thu, 05/17/2007
Image: 
Short Content: 
“In most of their secret talks there is no good, except where one exhorts to an act of charity or goodness or reconciliation between people.”
Body: 

The act of reconciling between two disputants is a great deed. Indeed, it is one of the branches of faith. It is a deed that brings an end to enmity and quenches the fires of hatred.

Yet, noble as this virtue is, it is a difficult task that requires practice, experience, and considerable people skills as much as it requires sincerity to Allah. The person who wishes to broker a reconciliation between others needs to know how to navigate tricky cause-and-effect relationships and how to enter into uncertain social terrain. These are, in the broadest terms, the things that a would-be pacemaker needs to contend with if he is to get involved in the disputes of other people.

Though a detailed exposition of all that is needed to engage in this noble task would be an extensive work indeed, it is possible for us to briefly touch upon the most salient points that can make a success out of an attempt to reconcile between others.

1. The person who wishes to achieve peace between two disputing parties needs to always keep in sight the overarching goal of attaining Allah’s reward. Allah says: “To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall soon give a reward of the highest value.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 114]

Allah lets us know that He regards this as a blessed and noble work, worthy of a great reward. When the person who embarks upon it is conscious of this fact, he will be encouraged to go forward with greater determination and a resolute heart. He will be able to bear patiently and calmly the hardships he is bound to face.

2. The person should also see himself as carrying out Allah’s command, for Allah says: “Set right the relations between yourselves. And obey Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe.” [Sûrah al-Anfâl: 1]

3. The person should be aware that reconciling between people is a means of building community solidarity. A society that is fraught with conflict and schisms is a society on the way to ruin. Consequently, repairing the relationships between people is a source of community strength.

4. The person must give thanks to Allah for being blessed to have the opportunity to bring reconciliation between people who have problems with each other. He should thank Allah for inspiring his heart and for giving him the innate interpersonal skills that make him well-received by others. These are surely Allah’s gifts.

5. The person needs to have a gentle and patient temperament. This is because he is placing himself between two parties who can often be unreasonable and unjust, whose disputes goad them on towards unjust and ignorant behavior. The person who wishes to make a positive contribution must therefore possess a great degree of self-control and be willing to grin and bear a lot of abuse. He needs to apply calm as a remedy form the maladies of the people he is dealing with.

6. It is vital for the person to have a clear and full understanding of the issues connected with the dispute. It is not possible to make intelligent decisions about a matter without grasping it properly. The person needs to be able to see the problem from all angles and be able to sympathize with differing viewpoints.

7. The person needs to assess the likelihood of his successfully mediating the matter. This can only come after acquiring an in-depth understanding of it. He may need to consult with others or pray to Allah for guidance. It may be that the issue is beyond his scope. It may be that his intervention will have no effect or even a negative one. He may subject himself to harm without bringing any benefit to others. These matters need to be given considerable thought.

8. The person should seek Allah’s help in supplication and prayer. No matter how insightful, skillful, and diplomatic a person may be, success is only by Allah’s grace. We all need Allah’s help. Therefore, we must turn to Him and beseech Him to guide us and bless us with success.

“And your Lord said: Call upon Me, I will answer you.” [Sûrah Ghâfir: 60]

9. The person must safeguard the secrets of the people he is dealing with. This is an essential point of ethics. He must not treat this matter of trust lightly. As for mentioning certain things to trusted parties whose assistance or expert opinions are needed, this is part of the reconciliation process.

10. The person should not let himself succumb to despair. Maybe on your first try you gave your best effort but failed to resolve the problem. If you do not have a strong resolve, you might feel like giving up.

However, if you take the long view, you will persevere. Reconciling between people can be a gradual, step-by-step process. The issues at hand are often not the kind that can be resolved at one go. Therefore, despair is a dangerous feeling that prevents a person from looking for alternatives and trying other approaches.

11. The person should be willing to appeal to others who may be able to help. They may be relatives or friends of one of the disputing parties, or someone that person respects. However, it is necessary to make sure that those people are themselves people of good sense and judgment.

12. The person needs to have his finger on general sentiments and know what is “politically correct”. This is because something that might seem very trivial can have a marked affect on the chance of success. A person needs to know what tone of speech to employ and what sensitive words to avoid.

He must be able to observe the customs of the people he is dealing with and he must be able to gauge their personalities and attitudes.

The person must also have the ability to keep up a cheerful disposition. He must be able to exude warmth and kindness and maintain cordial relations. At times, he must be able to show a degree of anger or give criticism if the circumstances warrant that.

He has to be able to navigate these various considerations, steering clear of excessiveness, neglect, and artifice.

13. The person needs to employ excellent listening skills. We should understand that each of the two disputing parties thinks he has right on his side and that the other person is wrong. Both parties need someone who will listen carefully to his grievances.

Each aggrieved party needs a chance to vent his frustrations. This makes him more conducive later on to do what is needed to bring about reconciliation.

14. The person should speak to both parties in private. This allows each party to speak his mind in the beginning of the process without the chance of precipitating a confrontation that could frustrate later efforts at reconciliation.

These private consultations give the person a chance to ascertain what is really going on and what each of the disputants’ wants and expectations of the other.

15. The person must show respect for both disputants. He should address each of them with the title that he likes to be addressed with. He should never belittle either of them or make light of his status.

16. The person should be careful not to disparage either of the two parties in front of the other. First of all, this is a form of backbiting. Secondly, even after the parties are reconciled, bitterness might remain, and one of them might later on mention any negative thing you might have said about the other.

17. There needs to be honesty, transparency, and frankness in the proceedings. Neither of the disputants should be left to persist in falsehood. Neither party should make promises to the other that he really cannot keep. This requires honesty and openness.

This does not mean that the person seeking to achieve reconciliation between others should be undiplomatic in speech or confront one of the disputants with certain facts in an unpalatable manner. Being frank does not mean that one has to be unpleasant or ill-mannered. Words should be gentle and moderate and palatable to the ears of the person being addressed.

18. It is good to remind the disputants about the negative outcome of their persisting in their dispute. They should be made to think about the harm caused by the persistence of discord and enmity and how hatred blinds people to their own best interests. They should also be reminded of the positive consequences of reconciliation that they will benefit from in this world and the next.

Allah says: “And it is nearer to righteousness that you should relinquish (the claim)” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 237]

Allah says says: “Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) people;- for Allah loves those who do good.” [Sûrah Al `Imrân: 134]

He also says: “If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah.” [Sûrah al-Shûrâ: 40]

They should also be told factual accounts about people who overcame their differences and reaped the rewards of doing so. This provides needed encouragement for the parties to get past their dispute.

19. Ample time should be given to achieving the reconciliation. Once the person working for reconciliation does all that he can, he must give time its chance to work things out. People need time to calm down. They need time to let new ideas settle in their minds. They need time to rethink their positions and adopt new points of view.

20. The person should take every caution to avoid subjection either of the disputing parties to injury or harm as a result of the reconciliation.

For instance, this might be the case for someone who intervenes to reconcile two people who have just had a car accident. The well-meaning person might speak well and convince the party in the right to forego any claim from the other party. This means that the person who was not at fault has to bear the full burden of the accident on his own, even though he might be poor and have to beg the assistance of his friends to get his car fixed.

Therefore, it is crucial to avoid a solution that harms or wrongs either of the two parties. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There shall be no harm or the causing of harm.”

Any pardon given by either of the parties to the other or any waiver of rights should be for the betterment of circumstances and not a cause of injustice or injury.

21. The person should not intervene in a dispute with the precondition that the outcome must be successful. He must do the best he can and accept the fact that success is not guaranteed. He should realize that he will attain blessings for his sincerity and for his good attempt. Allah’s blessings are not contingent upon a successful outcome.

We must adopt the words that Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) said to his people: “I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I turn.” [Sûrah Hûd: 88]
Verse Contnet: 

“In most of their secret talks there is no good, except where one exhorts to an act of charity or goodness or reconciliation between people. To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall soon give a reward of the highest value.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 114]

Horsemeat

Question Title: 
Horsemeat
Date: 
Tue, 04/17/2007
Sender Name: 
none
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.