Incest & the validity of marriage

Question Title: 
Incest & the validity of marriage
Date: 
Thu, 06/30/2005
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
What happens to the marriage of a man who commits incest with his daughter? Does his act nullify his marriage with his wife, the mother of the daughter?
English Answer: 
Committing adultery with one’s daughter is a double crime. It is adultery. It is also the abominable crime of incest – unlawful sex with a near relative (mahram).

However, this abominable act will not invalidate the lawful marriage that exists between the incestuous adulterer and his wife.

The strongest opinion is that a unlawful sexual relationship will not invalidate the lawful marriage. Allah has only forbidden a man to get married with the mother of a woman who one has married in a legal way. It is not prohibited to marry the mother of a woman with whom one had engaged in illicit sexual relations.

The principle here is that an unlawful act will not make that which is lawful into something unlawful.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about a man who committed adultery with a woman then wanted to marry her or her daughter.

He said: “An unlawful act will not make what is lawful as unlawful, it only makes unlawful if it occurs by marriage.” [Sunan al-Dârqutnî]

Performing one’s own `aqîqah

Question Title: 
Performing one’s own `aqîqah
Date: 
Wed, 06/06/2007
Sender Name: 
nome
Question in English : 
Can an adult offer the `aqîqah on his own behalf if his father never did so for him?
English Answer: 
The `aqîqah is supposed to be carried out by the child’s father. The father is supposed to offer an animal sacrifice on behalf of his newborn child.

Scholars differ as to whether a grown person can offer the `aqîqah on hois own behalf if his father never did so for him.

The Hanbalî jurist Mansûr al-Bahûtî discusses in Kashshâf al-Qunnâ` (3/25) the differences of opinion that exist among Hanbalî scholars on this matter:
Nobody but the father should carry out the `aqîqah. Ibn Hajar writes in hos commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî: “According to the Hanbalî jurists, the father is the one who must carry it out unless that is impossible because of his death or his refusal to do so.”

As for the Prophet (peace be upon him) having performed the `aqîqah for his grandchildren al-Hasan and al-Husayn, this is because he has more rights over the believers than they have upon their own selves.

A person does not carry out the `aqîqah on his own behalf when he grows up… because the `aqîqah is something prescribed for the father. No one else should do so, like a non-relative for instance. If someone else does so, it is not disliked, since there is no evidence to say that. However, it will not take the ruling of an `aqîqah.

Others from among our scholars have ruled that it is recommended for a person to perform the `aqîqah for himself if his father never did so for him. These scholars include the authors of al-Mustaw`ib, al-Rawdah, the two works entitled al-Ri`ayah, the two works entitled al-Hâwî, and al-Nazam.

For instance, it says in al-Ri`ayah: “[The person can perform `aqîqah for himself] in emulation of the Prophet’s example. This was the opinion of `Atâ’ and al-Hasan. This is because the ``aqîqah prescribed on behalf of the person, and the person is in a sense held in mortgage by it. It is suitable for him to be able to carry it out on his own behalf to release himself from that mortgage.”
The scholars of the Shâfi`î school of law hold the view that it is recommended for a person whose father never performed his `aqîqah to do so for himself. We read in Nihâyah al-Muhtâj (8/138):
Whoever reaches the age of puberty without having has the `aqîqah offered on his behalf, then it is preferable for him to do so for himself.
We say in conclusion, if a person is able to carry out the animal sacrifice for himself, andit has not been offered on his behalf already, then it is preferred fro him to do so on his own behalf. This is according to the view of a number of scholars.

And Allah knows best.

Paying a non-refundable down payment for a future purchase

Question Title: 
Paying a non-refundable down payment for a future purchase
Date: 
Wed, 06/06/2007
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
What is the ruling of paying earnest money – a non-refundable down-payment for a purchase. I wish to purchase an automobile. The company that I wish to buy the automobile from ships it in from abroad when I agree to buy it. Before the company will do this, I must pay up-front a certain amount of money. If I decide later not to make the purchase, the company keeps the deposit. This money will not be refunded. Is this a lawful business practice?
English Answer: 
This is money that is paid by the purchaser to the seller before receiving the purchased item to demonstrate that the purchaser is serious about making the purchase. The money is later deducted from the purchase price when the purchaser completes the transaction.

This practice is a matter of scholarly disagreement among Islamic jurists, the majority of whom disallow it. There are a number of scholars who permit it, however, including Ahmad b. Hanbal.

These scholars cite as evidence for its permissibility that Nâfi` b. al-Hârith purchased a property for `Umar b. al-Khattâb from Safwân b. Umayyah. The condition of the purchase was that if `Umar was happy with it, the purchase would be completed. Otherwise Safwân would be entitled to a certain amount of money.

When Ahmad b. Hanbal was asked whether or not he agreed with what took place in this hadîth, he said: “What else can I say? This took place with no less than `Umar.”

The scholars who permit this kind of transaction also point out that the hadîth related by `Amr b. Shu`ayb that prohibits it is a weak hadîth.

Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz b. Bâz, the former mufti of Saudi Arabia, considered a non-refundable deposit to be permissible. He writes in his Fatâwâ Islâmiyyah (2/384):
There is no problem with taking a non-refundable down payment. This is the most correct of the two opinions that have been expressed by the scholars. This is on the condition that both the buyer and seller agree to it and the purchase has not yet been transacted.
The Islamic Law Council has published the following resolution on this matter:
After reviewing the papers presented to the Council in reference to the question of non-refundable down payments, and after listening to the discussions that have been put to the floor, the Council has made the following determinations:

1. The down payment under discussion is one where the buyer gives a certain sum of money to the seller as a deposit with the understanding that when the buyer receives the item being purchased, the sum will be counted as part of the purchase price. In the event that the buyer forfeits on the purchase, the seller keeps the deposit.

This deposit is legally treated like a rental agreement, since it is also a sale of benefits.

Exempted from this general permissibility is any sale where contractual validity is dependent on one of the two parties receiving his share of the exchange in full at the time of sale, as is the case with forward buying.

Also exempted is any sale where contractual validity is dependent on the full exchange on behalf of both parties at the time of sale, as is the case with currency exchanges and like-for-like transactions.

Likewise, in sales with a mediating reseller who sells to the buyer at a higher price (murâbahah), such down payments cannot be received by the party ordering the purchase if the transaction is at the stage where the purchase is being negotiated. At the actual time of sale, it may be received.

2. It is allowed for the seller to receive a down payment in sales where the date for concluding the sale is clearly defined. This down payment becomes part of the purchase price when the sale is concluded. It becomes the exclusive right of the seller in the event that the buyer defaults.
And Allah knows best.

Returning the Salâm of the Opposite Gender

Question Title: 
Returning the Salâm of the Opposite Gender
Date: 
Tue, 04/18/2006
Sender Name: 
n
Question in English : 
If a person of the opposite sex greets you with the Islamic greeting, do you have to reply to it, even if you are put to some discomfort by it?
English Answer: 
It is obligatory to reply to the greeting of peace given by a Muslim, regardless of whether that Muslim is a man or woman.

Allah says: “If you are addressed with a greeting, then reply with a greeting that is better or return the (same) greeting.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 86]

However, when replying to the greeting given by a member of the opposite sex, one must take care to reply in a suitable manner that is free from flirtation or innuendo.

The ruling is different regarding initiating salutations of peace with members of the opposite sex. It is merely permissible to do so when there is no fear of temptation. In the case where there is fear of temptation for either party, which is sometimes the case when a young man greets a young lady, it should be avoided. As long as no temptation or mischief is feared, then there is no objection to initiating greetings with members of the opposite sex.

The proof for this is what is related by Asmâ’ bint Yazîd that: “the Prophet (peace be upon him) passes us – we were a group of women – and he greeted us with peace.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (5294) and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (3701)]

Sahl b. Sa`d related: “There used to be an old lady among us who, on Friday, would harvest greens. When we departed from our Jumu`ah prayers, we would greet her with peace.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (938)]

And Allah knows best.

All-you-can-eat buffet

Question Title: 
All-you-can-eat buffet
Date: 
Tue, 03/06/2007
Sender Name: 
node
Question in English : 
Is going to an all-you-can-eat buffet permissible according to Islamic Law? The reason I ask is because some people in my area are saying that this is prohibited due to the fact that it involves uncertainty. This is because you pay a fixed price, like £5, and in return you can eat as much as you wish. The uncertainty is in the amount of food being eaten. Please clarify.
English Answer: 
It seems to us – and Allah knows best – that participation in an open buffet is permissible.

It is true that in Islamic commercial law, contractual uncertainty (gharar) can lead to a contract being deemed invalid or unlawful. This is the case when the degree of contractual uncertainty is major or unjustifiable.

The degree of contractual uncertainty in the case of an open buffet is not something major and will not affect its essential permissibility. It is an established principle in Islamic commercial law that if the uncertainty involved is something trivial, it is to be tolerated and overlooked.

The amount of food taken by people, in most cases, is roughly equivalent.

Nothing in Islamic commercial law appears to forbid such a practice.

And Allah knows best.

Separate Hajj & `Umrah during months of Hajj

Question Title: 
Separate Hajj & `Umrah during months of Hajj
Sheikh Name: 
Date: 
Wed, 03/30/2005
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
I intend to perform Hajj with my family this year. I am working in Saudi Arabia. Is it possible for me to go to Mecca with my family in Shawwâl to perform my `Umrah for Hajj and then return to my work in another city until the time for Hajj arrives? On the eighth of Dhû al-Hijjah, I plan to simply don the ihraâm garb and go on with my Hajj. Is this valid?
English Answer: 
The months of Hajj are Shawwâl, Dhû al-Qa`dah and ten days of Dhû al-Hijjah.

It is perfectly permissible for a Muslim to perform `Umrah during these months.

However, if that person had intended to perform Hajj Tamattu` (hajj and `Umrah combined) and then returns home after performing `Umrah, his Tamattu` status will cease.

In other words, when he comes back later for Hajj, he will simply be making Hajj by itself (Hajj Ifrâd) with a new ihrâm. Therefore, he will not be obligated to slaughter an animal during Hajj because he did not perform Hajj and `Umrah together. Instead he performed `Umrah on its own and Hajj on its own.

He should note that when he returns to perform Hajj, it will be obligatory for him to enter into a state of ihram before passing the mîqât. He may not postpone entering into ihrâm until after he reaches Mecca.

Islamic Work in the Medical Field – Methods

Date: 
Wed, 03/30/2005
Short Content: 
A doctor should make it clear to the patient that the one who gives healing is Allah alone. As Abraham (peace be upon him) said: “And when I fall ill, He is the one who heals me.”
Body: 
How can medical professionals call others to Allah? They can do so with both their words and their deeds.

They can speak directly, giving good advice. This means of calling to Allah has its etiquettes that must be observed. First and foremost, they must make certain that what they say is correct and accurate. Allah says: “Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who is satiated with what he is not given is like one wearing two garments of falsehood.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

Secondly, the one giving the advice must be careful not to act contrary to it. Allah says: “It is very hateful with Allah that you say what you do not do.” [Sûrah al-Saff: 3]

Finally, the one giving the advice must take into consideration the circumstances of the person being advised. `Alî observed: “Speak to people with what they know about. Would you like to have Allah and His Messenger put to the lie by them?” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

Medical professionals are is in a good position to advise their Muslim patients about a number of matters, for instance proper dress, encouraging men not to wear gold jewelry, and helping those who are suffering from an addiction.

Words can be employed indirectly through providing literature and recorded lectures.

Medical professionals can also engage in Islamic work through their conduct and their deeds. This is of vital importance. Dr. `Abd al-Rahmān al-Samît gives the following illustrative account:
We engaged in medical work among the Christian Lucu people of Sierra Leone without our calling them to Islam verbally, but they were affected by our doctors and asked them about Islam and were convinced of its truth. Two of the tribal leaders accepted Islamand then most of the tribe’s members accepted Islam as well. The percentage of Muslims in that region increased from 5% to 60% in the period of a year and a half. We then built an Islamic center in their area that included a school, a clinic, a mosque, and a vocational training center for women. We sponsored the tribal leaders for Hajj and they were greatly moved. When they returned, they were very eager to call others to Islam.
The following are some practical ways that a medical professional can call to Islam through his conduct:

1. Meeting people and departing from them with courtesy

Jâbir related: “When Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was receiving revelation or giving an exhortation, then he was the warner of a people whose punishment had come. When that had passed, however, I would see him to be the friendliest of expression and the best of men.” [al-Haythamî – who declared it a good hadith]

One aspect of this courtesy is to offer a prayer for the patient. The following supplications are found in the Sunnah:

“Remove the sickness, O Lord of humanity. Heal, as You are the one who heals. There is no healing except for Yours, a healing that will not return to illness.” [Sahîh Muslim]

“O Allah! Heal Your servant so he can repel for You an enemy or walk for You towards prayer.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd]

“I ask Allah Almighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal you.” [Mu`jam al-Tabarânî with a good chain of transmission]

“I seek refuge for you with Allah – the One, the Eternally Self-Sufficient, who begets not nor is begotten, and whom none is like unto Him – from the evil that you encounter.” [Mu`jam al-Tabarânî with a good chain of transmission]

A doctor should keep in mind that he is engaged in a visitation with a person who is suffering an illness and that visiting a sick person is a deed worthy of great blessings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a person who is ill is accompanied by seventy thousand angels, each of them beseeching his forgiveness. If it is morning, they will do so until evening, and if it is evening, they will do so until dawn.” [Musnad Ahmad – with an authentic line of transmission]

2. Excellence in work

Allah says: “And do well. Indeed Allah loves those who do well.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 195]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah loves it if one of you engages in some work, that he does so proficiently.” [Sunan al-Bayhaqî – with a good line of transmission]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Indeed Allah has prescribed good conduct in everything.” [Sahîh Muslim]

People like those who treat them well and who work hard to threat their illnesses and to provide them with proper consultation. They like those who pray to Allah for their recovery. If a medical professional’s conduct is good and at the same time his religious convictions are apparent, this has a positive reflection on the religion and on religious people. It can impress upon the patient to follow his doctor’s example.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) first started calling people to Allah, his Message was strange to Meccan society. His mission could quite possibly have failed were it not for his good nature and noble conduct. This supported him and his message and inspired many people to follow him.

3. Maintaining good relationships with others

Fathî Yakun observes: “The Islamic worker, in truth, lives for others, not for himself. His concern is for the welfare of others, even at the expense of his own welfare.”

He then offers the following account as an illustrative example:
There was a successful Islamic worker who served Allah through his patience in dealing with other people’s problems. He had a relative who was an alcoholic, someone who was shunned by people and turned away from every door. One day, this man visited the Islamic worker, who opened his heart and home to the man and honored him with his hospitality. The alcoholic continued to visit him for weeks on end until finally his condition improved and he was guided to Allah.

Then the Islamic worker fell ill and was admitted to the hospital for surgery. The newly guided man stayed by his side, praying for him and serving him, never leaving his company. Then one day as he tried to come inside, he was prevented by one of the Islamic worker’s friends. They quarreled and that “doorman” slapped him in the face. It was a slap sufficient enough to send the man back into alcoholism and to cause him to abandon the path of Allah.
4. Being gentle and kind

Allah says: “Had you (O Muhammad) been coarse and harsh hearted, they would have fled from around you, so pardon them and seek forgiveness for them.” [Sûrah Al `Imrân: 159]

Jâbir relates: “I offered the Zuhr and `Asr prayers with the Prophet (peace be upon him). When he finished, he said to us: ‘Stay in your places.’ He had been given a jar of sweets as a gift, and he then gave each person a spoonful, until when he came to me – I was a child at the time – and gave me a spoonful, he said: ‘Should I give you more’ I said yes. Then he gave me a second spoonful because I was a child. He then continued on until he had given to everyone. [Sunan Ibn Mâjah – with a good line of transmission]

Fathî Yakun observes: “Islamic work is not a platform to present views and opinions. An Islamic worker is not merely a disseminator of ideas. The worker and his message must go forth together, living among the people and their problems and shouldering a good portion of those problems for them.”

A doctor has to comfort the patient with kind words, assuage his worries. The psychological stress that a patient suffers from is often worse than the physical illness itself.

The following words are attributed to Hippocrates: “Anyone to whom God has favored and given knowledge of how to heal the sick, yet he is so hard-hearted as to not advise them and commiserate with them, then he is indeed far away from all good and far away from medicine.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) visited a young man who was on the verge of death. He said: “How do you find yourself?”

The man replied: “I hope in Allah and I fear my sins.”

So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No servant’s heart possesses both of these feelings without Allah giving him what he hopes for and saving him from what he fears. [Sunan al-Tirmidhî. Al-Nawawî said: “Its line of transmission is good.”]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “When any Muslim is afflicted with harm, Allah strips him of his sins on account of it like a tree shedding its leaves.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

He also said: “If a servant had been engaging in good works and then is prevented from doing so by sickness or travel, then Allah records for him the reward for it the same as when he was healthy or at home.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

5. Working for Allah’s sake

Medical professionals can work to serve the poor around the globe, keeping their fees as low as possible.

There have been many good examples of such people inour history. Among them was Abû Ja`far Ahmad Ibrâhîm al-Qayrawânî who died in 369 AH. He never took a fee from anyone. He never curried favor with princes and shunned their patronage. He authored a number of books on medicine and on various other topics.

6. Humility

A doctor should make it clear to the patient that the one who gives healing is Allah alone. As Abraham (peace be upon him) said: “And when I fall ill, He is the one who heals me.” [Sûrah al-Shu`arâ’: 80]

A medical professional must beseech Allah for success. He must provide relief for the poor and weak by lessening their fees.

Al-Râzî – the famous theologian and physician – writes in his treatise The Doctor’s Etiquette:
A doctor should provide medical care to the poor of the same quality that he provides to the wealthy.

I have seen some supposed doctors who, if they treat a patient with a severe illness and that patient recovers at their hands, they become enamored of themselves and speak as if they are despots. Anyone like that will not be divinely helped or guided rightly.

The doctor must place his reliance upon Allah in his treatments and entrust the cure to Him, and not to his own skill or knowledge. He needs to rely upon Allah for everything. If he does the opposite and looks upon his own skills, talents, and level of expertise, Allah will deny him success in healing.
7. Respect for religious injunctions

A Muslim medical professional must attend to prayers on time. He must show refgard for the fast and assist those who are suffering from illnesses in their fasts. He must lower his gaze from unlawful sights and show concern to avoid looking at his patients shameful parts unnecessarily.

Al-Harâwî writes in his book entitled The Doctor’s Manner:

Among the practices that any person of sense should engage in when arising from sleep is to cleanse both his body and his senses. And this is achieved in prayer, in giving thanks to the Provider, asserting His unity, and standing before Him in humility, for indeed He is the source of all good and all success. This is a known fact by reason and by faith.

By our eschewing shameful conduct and purifying the heart, Allah wipes away our sins, answers our supplications, and brings us to everything that we desire. For this we must engage in prayer during the last part of the night.

It is incumbent upon a doctor to supplement his devotions with the reading of Islamic texts, since they give the injunctions for what is righteous and encourage good deeds.

8. Engaging in special projects

Among these are participating in medical camps in stricken areas, volunteering for tours of duty abroad in impoverished regions of the world, and contributing to the efforts of Islamic centers around the world.

Audio Recordings as Court Evidence

Date: 
Tue, 02/06/2007
Short Content: 
The question we wish to ask is: Are audio recordings admissible as evidence to support the plaintiff's claim, meaning that the case will rest upon it and not reach a stage where the defendant can overturn it by swearing an oath?
Body: 
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) established the laws and procedures of the Islamic judicial system. He said: “The burden of evidence is upon the plaintiff and a sworn oath is required from the one who denies the accusation.” [Sunan al-Bayhaqî (8/123)]

This means that an oath on the part of the defendant is sufficient to overturn an accusation if sufficient evidence is not produced by the plaintiff. Sufficient evidence on the part of the plaintiff, however, cannot be overturned by the defendant swearing an oath.

Therefore, the question we wish to ask is: Are audio recordings admissible as evidence, so that the case will rest upon it and not reach a stage where the defendant can overturn it by swearing an oath?

Scholarly Views as to What Constitutes Court Evidence

This brings us to the important question of what constitutes evidence in an Islamic court of law.

Jurists have disagreed about this. We encounter three opinions on the matter in the Islamic legal texts:

1. The only recognized evidence is that which is established and prescribed by Islamic Law for various cases, like two or four witnesses, a witness and a sworn oath, and the like. This is the view of the majority of scholars.

2. Evidence can be defined as a clear contextual indicator. This is the view of Ibn al-Gharas from among the Hanafî jurists. However, some Hanafî scholars have strongly objected to this.

3. Evidence includes every means of arriving at or clarifying the truth. This is the opinion preferred by Ibn al-Qayyim. He was followed in this view by the Mâlikî jurist Ibn Farhûn and by others.

This last opinion is the strongest one. It is the view that conforms with the general intent of Islamic Law. Also, if we look at the practice of the Companions, we see that many of them adopted this approach in arriving at their judicial decisions.

In light if this, we can turn our attentions to the viability of admitting audio recordings as evidence in a court of law.

Audio Recordings as a Substitute for a Witness’s Attendance

The admissibility of audio recordings of a witness’s testimony as a substitute for that witness appearing in court depends on whether it is possible for the witness to physically appear. If the witness is able to appear in court, then it is obligatory for the witness to do so. Audio recordings will only be admissible in the event that attendance is impossible.

Audio Recordings as Evidence in the Absence of Witnesses

If the recordings are not a substitute for a witness’s testimony, but provide evidence that sheds light on the validity of the claims being made in the case, then we have to determine the quality of such evidence. After considering the nature of audio recordings, it appears that we can acknowledge them as circumstantial evidence, to the level that they contribute to other available corroborating evidence. Audio recordings do not, however, reach the level of being direct evidence. In other words, they do not constitute proof.

The reasons for this are as follows:

1. It is possible to fabricate such evidence by imitating the voice of the person whose voice is desired.

2. If a voice expert or recording expert is brought in to verify the evidence, then it remains the case that the expert relies upon tangible factors that might vary from person to person. The veracity of the recordings remains dependent on the strength of the expert’s opinion and belief. Such belief is not strong enough to establish the right in a legal case.

The uncertainty of such evidence is especially true today, with the advancements that have been made in recording and audio rendering technologies. The manufacture of counterfeit evidence is now easier than ever.

This leaves the assessment of the strength such evidence ultimately up to the judge’s discretion. The judge must look at all the corroborating evidence and see how all of it fits together.

And Allah knows best.

Visiting the Cave of Hira in Mecca

Question Title: 
Visiting the Cave of Hira in Mecca
Date: 
Wed, 12/05/2007
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
What is the significance of the cave of Hirâ'? Are we supposed to visit the cave of Hirâ' when we go to Mecca or is that an innovation?
English Answer: 
The cave of Hirâ' is located in one of the outlying mountains surrounding Mecca. It is the place where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the first revelation.

Before he began receiving revelation, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to go to the cave of Hirâ' to meditate in solitude. It was on one of these retreats that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was first visited by the angel Gabriel and heard from him the first verses of the Qur'ân.

After receiving revelation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never went back to the cave again.

Therefore, it is not religious practice to visit the cave of Hirâ'. Had there been any inherent virtue in visiting that cave, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have continued to frequent it or, at the very least, he would have encouraged his followers to do so.

Consequently, making a visit to this locality is not a Sunnah. A person does not emulate the Prophet's practice by visiting that cave, since what we are encouraged emulate is the Prophet's religious practice after his receipt of revelation and the Prophet's ethical character.

A visit to this cave should not be undertaken as an act of devotion or even be regarded as a virtuous act.

At the same time, it is not prohibited to visit the cave out of personal interest or curiosity. The cave is a legitimate point of historical interest and if someone visits it simply as a tourist then there is no problem with that.

And Allah knows best.

‘You are my wife in public only!’

Question Title: 
‘You are my wife in public only!’
Date: 
Sun, 12/17/2006
Sender Name: 
none
Question in English : 
My wife refused to have conjugal relations with me one night and I said to her in anger: “From this moment forward, consider yourself my wife in public only, but you are not my wife in what is between you and me.” I meant by it that she is not like my wife with respect to sex. Does this count as a pronouncement of divorce?
English Answer: 
A statement like this does not bring about a divorce, because you did not intend by it to bring about a divorce. You only meant by it that you were not going to have sexual relations with her. That is clear from the very wording itself, not to mention your intentions.

Also, such a statement does not prohibit you from having sexual relations with your wife if you wish to do so.

Finally, please know that Islam gives a stern warning to a woman who forbids her husband intimacy when he calls her to be intimate with him.

Abû Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses him, so he spends the night angry with her, the angels will curse her until the morning.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3237) and Sahîh Muslim (1436)]

In another narration it reads: “…those in the heavens remain angry with her until he is happy with her.” [Sahîh Muslim (1736)]

However, this does not apply in a case where the woman has a legitimate reason to refuse her husband. This could be on account of illness or any other sensible reason.

Also, the husband needs to take his wife’s circumstances, moods, and feelings into consideration in such sensitive matters.

And Allah knows best.