Islamic Manners

  • Tight or Revealing Clothing on Men and Women

    It is better for a man to wear loose slacks and something (whether a longer shirt, a coat or a jacket) that covers his rear.

    Somewhat tight jeans would be at least somewhat disliked and blameworthy. Form-fitting jeans that fully define the shape and form of a part of the body that must be covered with clothing (awra) during normal wear would be sinful to wear and prohibitively disliked.
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  • Explanation of Hadith Regarding How the Prophet Restrained His Anger

    The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)–as Messenger and Beloved of Allah–had this innate awe (khashya) of Allah that governed his humanness, and kept any “merely human” inclinations others would have–to respond with harshness or personal anger–at bay. This particular instance taught us numerous lessons: having patience for the sake of Allah, remaining firm on what is right, putting up with others’ annoyances, remembering the Last Day, and many more.

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  •  The Ruling on Women Visiting Graves and Etiquettes of Visiting

    It is permitted for your mother to visit the grave itself.  Of course, this should be done observing proper Islamic dress, not mixing with strange men, nor doing any impermissible actions at the grave such as wailing out loud in grief or similar actions.
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  • There are a number of invocations that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would perform before going to sleep. These include:

    a.     1. The narration of Anas ibn Malik (Allah be well pleased with him) that when the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) went to bed he would state:

    الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنَا وَسَقَانَا وَكَفَانَا وَآوَانَا فَكَمْ مِمَّنْ لَا كَافِيَ لَهُ وَلَا مُؤْوِيَ

    [Muslim]

    b.     2. The narration of `A’isha (Allah be well pleased with her) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would recite the three Quls, namely al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq, and al-Nas, every night and then rub his body with his two hands. [Bukhari]

    c.     3.The narration of Abu Hurayra (Allah be well pleased with him) where the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) instructed him to recite ayat al-kursi before sleeping, which would prevent the devil from coming close to him and Allah would protect him throughout the night.

    d.     4. The narration of Bara’ (Allah be well pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Shall I not teach you some words that you’ll say when going to bed such that if you die that night you will die on the fitra and if you wake up you will attain the good? Say:

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْلَمْتُ نَفْسِي إِلَيْكَ وَوَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَ وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ لَا مَلْجَأَ وَلَا مَنْجَى مِنْكَ إِلَّا إِلَيْكَ آمَنْتُ بِكِتَابِكَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلْتَ وَنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلْتَ

    [Tirmidhi]

    e.    5. The narration of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would say before going to sleep while lying on his right:

    بِاسْمِكَ رَبِّي وَضَعْتُ جَنْبِي وَبِكَ أَرْفَعُهُ إِنْ أَمْسَكْتَ نَفْسِي فَارْحَمْهَا وَإِنْ أَرْسَلْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا بِمَا تَحْفَظُ بِهِ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِينَ

    [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Muslim with very similar wording]

    f.       6. The narration of Bara’ (Allah be well pleased with him) that when the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) intended to sleep he would place his hand under his cheek and say:

    اللَّهُمَّ قِنِي عَذَابَكَ يَوْمَ تَبْعَثُ عِبَادَكَ

    [Abu Dawud, Ahmad]

    There are a number of other soundly established narrations relating to what one can do and say before sleeping. The above should, insha’Allah, suffice.

  • In the name of Allah, the inspirer of truth. All praise is to Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate, and all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

    Anger is something both the Shariah and the sound intellect regard as generally blameworthy. This is why the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) told the one who sought his counsel, “Don’t get angry,” repeatedly.

    The scholars recommend many measures to deal with anger, including:

    1. Turn to Allah, and seeking refuge in Allah, from Satan.

    When a man got angry in front of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), he told his companions, “I know some words that would make his anger leave, if he said them. They are, A`udhubillahi min al-shaykhtan (‘I seek refuge in Allah from Satan’). [Bukhari] Imam Mawardi said in Adab al-Dunya wa al-Din that one should remember Allah when angry, for this leads to fear of Allah, which directs him to obey Him and restrain one’s anger by returning to proper manners. Allah Most High said, “And remember Allah when you are heedless.” [Qur’an, 18: 24]

    Turn to Allah in supplication, in order to control one’s anger. One should turn to Allah with one’s heart and tongue, asking him to rid one of anger, and all other lowly traits. If you can do this using the supplications of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), it is even more beloved to Allah.

    `A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reports that, “The Prophet entered while she was angry. So he rubbed the tip of my nose and said, ‘My little `A’isha. Say, ‘O Allah, forgive my sin, remove the anger in my heart, and protect me from Satan.’ (Allahumma’ Ghfirli dhanbi, wa adhhib ghaydha qalbi, wa aajirni min ash-shaytan)” [Ibn al-Sunni, as mentioned in Barkawi’s Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

    اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي وَأَذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قَلْبِي وَآجِرْنِي مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ

    2. Silence.

    Do not say anything when angry, lest it contravene the Sacred Law, or go against your personal or social interests. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “If you get angry, stay silent.” [Ahmad]

    3. Change your physical posture.

    The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “If you get angry while standing, sit down…. If you get angry while sitting, lie down.” The wisdom in this is that it prevents one from doing that which one’s anger would have made one do in that posture.

    4. Perform ritual ablutions

    The Prophet informed us that anger is from Satan, and he was created from fire, so we should extinguish anger with ritual ablutions. [Abu Dawud]

    5. Follow the counsel of the Best of Creation (Allah bless him & give him peace)

    His repeated counsel for the one who sought advice was, “Do not get angry.” [Bukhari]

    6. Remember the great reward mentioned by Allah for those who control their anger.

    “And vie with one another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for those fear Allah (al-muttaqin) ; Those who spend (of that which Allah has given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath, and are forgiving toward mankind; and Allah loves the good. And those who, when they do an evil deep or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins. And who forgives sins but Allah?…” (Qur’an, 3: 133-135)

    7. Remember that true strength is not physical, but spiritual and moral.

    The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “The strong one is not one who can out-wrestle others. Rather, the strong one is one who can restrain themselves when angry. [Bukhari& Muslim] Imam Kumushkhanawi, the great 19th Century hadith expert and Naqshabandi spiritual guide, explained that, this is because, “…the one who can control himself when his anger swells up has overcome the most powerful of his enemies and the worst of his adversaries. From this hadith, the Sufis deduced that it is incumbent on the knower of Allah to bear those who harm him, such as neighbors and others. (Lawami` al-`Uqul, 4: 23-4)

    Imam Barkawi mentioned in his Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya that the way to remove the tendency to anger is, “By removing is cause, which is avidness for rank, arrogance, and conceit. One who has these traits is easily angered by that which normally does not anger others.

    8. Remember the example of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace)

    Remember the clemency, forbearance, and easy-going nature of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) with others, and did not get angry unless the anger was for the sake of Allah. The examples of this from his life are numerous. The scholars say that every Muslim should strive to read about the life and example of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) daily.

    9. Remember the harms of anger.

    Be aware of the harms of anger, which include falling into that which Allah deems impermissible of words or actions, and acting in a way unbefitting of a believer. Would we act like this if we were aware that Allah sees all our actions? Would we act like this in the presence of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace)?

    Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (Allah have mercy on him) counted getting wrongly angry as one of the first major sins in his Zawajir.

    10. Remember that anger is generally animalistic.

    Be aware that one resembles animals, more than noble humans, when in a state of anger. [Barkawi, Tariqa]

  • In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

    Agreeing to be somewhere at a given time is akin to a promise and the fiqh of promises therefore applies to it. It is improper to make a promise without firm resolve and reasonable surety of fulfilling it. However, it is not sinful if it is due to secondary issues that may arise and prevent one from fulfilling it.

    However, contractual matters such as jobs, classes, and appointments are different. Allah says: “Oh you who believe, fulfill your contracts”. The scholars have explained that “contracts” here refers to every type of commitment. It is obligatory (fard) to be on time if this is the expectation. Even being a little late is at least improper, and is unbecoming of a Muslim. Undue delay is otherwise sinful. Slight delays that are customarily overlooked are not.

    The believers should uphold themselves to the most excellent of character. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said “The closest of you to me on the Day of Judgment are those best of character.”

    Shaykh Muhammad Qaylish mentions that when the Shariah is distant from society, such as in our times, we are ambassadors of Islam and must act in order to uphold a favorable impression of Islam. This entails:

    1. upholding commitments with excellence

    2. being easy-going without being lax.

    And Allah Most High knows best.

  • There is no doubt that wearing the turban is a sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), there being numerous narratives that demonstrate this. It is narrated that Jabir ibn `Abdullah said, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) entered Mecca on the Day of Conquest wearing a black turban.” [Tirmidhi, Shama’il] Ibn `Umar said, “When the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wrapped his turban he would let its extremity hang between his two shoulder blades.” [Tirmidhi, Sunan] Similarly, it is narrated that many of the companions and pious predecessors wore turbans of varying colors, from black to white to yellow.

    Further, the legal texts of our tradition explicitly mention the wearing of the turban when discussing “recommended clothing”, which is clothing for the purpose of adornment and manifesting the blessings of Allah. It is narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. He loves to see the remnants of His blessings on his servants.” [Muslim] Similarly, it is narrated in a number of narrations that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would oil and comb his beard, keeping a tidy appearance which is of the sunnas of dressing.

    As such, wearing a turban with the desire to imitate and follow the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), adorn one’s outward self, and display the blessings of Allah, is a highly recommended act that is a means to attain Allah’s pleasure and reward.

    The Effects of Outward Appearance:

    It is important to note, before discussing the specifics of the question, that outward appearance plays an important part in maximizing the acceptance and benefit of one’s words and teachings. This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) dressed well. Imam Ghazali states regarding this:

    “This [s: dressing well] was an act of worship from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) because he was commanded with the preaching of creation, making them desirous in following, and winning over their hearts… and so it was necessary for him (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to display the beautiful qualities of his state to them in order that their eyes grasp sight of him (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Indeed, the eyes of the laity among creation only stretch toward looking at the outward as opposed to the inward secrets.” [Ihya `Ulum al-Din]

    As such, dressing in a beautiful manner was a means the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) employed to spread the teachings of Islam. It is obvious to anyone, even in our times, that an unkept person draws attention and respect away from himself and people rarely submit or defer to him or his opinions. This is, sadly, regardless of how knowledgable that person may be. Since the scholars are the “inheritors” of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him purpose), serving the similar role of preaching to creation, drawing them closer to the religion, winning over their hearts, and so forth, it is pertinent for them to also dress in a noble and dignified way and also in a way that distinguishes them as people of knowledge. This is all in order for people to recognize them and defer to their authority. [Khadimi, Bariqa al-Muhammadiyyah]

    The Dress of the Scholars:

    In light of the above, the texts have discussed aspects relating to the dress of the righteous scholars under discussions relating to the “distinguishing marks of the scholars” (shi`yar al-`ulema). The discussion also relates to distinguishing styles adapted by scholars that have no specific precedence in the sunna. Imam Khadimi mentions that the basic principle here is that it is recommended for an individual to adorn himself and dress in a manner coinciding with others of the same rank and file. Thus, scholars should dress in a scholarly way, the laity should dress in their own specifically normal way, and so forth.

    Ibn Hajar al-Haytami says regarding the wearing of large turbans:

    “If its largeness is due to the excuse of [warding off] cold and the like, or because its largeness is from the distinguishing features of the scholars, one being from among them and not being known… then there is no dislikedness in its large size.” [al-Haytami; al-Fatawa al-Fiqhiyya al-Kubra]

    The above is also stated in the books of the Hanafi scholars. Shaykh Zada states in his Majma` al-Anhur:

    “In the Qunya [it is stated], ‘A long turban and the wearing of spacious clothing is commendable (hasan) for the scholars who are the signs of guidance as opposed to all other people.” [Zada, Majma` al-Anhur]

    In the Mawsu`at al-Fiqhiyyah it states:

    “The Hanafis and Shafi`is have opined that it is recommended for the scholars that their dress be splendid (fakhir)… and that their clothing be spacious. It is commendable for them to wrap a lengthy turban that makes them known. If the customary practice is known in another locality to wear it without making it lengthy then it is done in order to manifest the abode of knowledge and in order that they be known and asked regarding matters of the religion.”

    Lastly, Imam Khadimi quotes Imam Abu Hanifa as stating to his student, “Make large your turbans and widen your sleeves.” Imam Zarnuji states that Imam Abu Hanifa stated this so knowledge and those who possessed it would not be taken lightly and deemed unimportant. Therefore, the practice of the Imam himself was to wear splendid, expensive, and beautiful clothing.

    Upshot

    The above clearly demonstrate that the scholars should wear a particular dress that distinguishes them from other individuals, which is dignified, splendid and noble in appearance. This dress may vary from place to place, but, nonetheless, it is a means for people to recognize, respect, and defer to them in order to make it easier to seek them out and learn about their religion.

    As such, it would be advisable for individuals who are not scholars to avoid dressing in a way that would indicate that one is. This is especially true when the customary practice of a locality dictates that the wearing of turbans in specific styles is a sign of scholarship. This is, ofcourse, not to say that it will be prohibited for an individual to wear the turban altogether but, rather, that it should be worn in a way that does not give the impression that one is a scholar.

    As for wearing black, then if in the locality of an individual it has become a distinct sign of sects at variance with the Ahl al-Sunnah, one should not wear it. Otherwise, it would be permitted. This is what I have personally seen from the practice and advice of the scholars.

    In the end, for normal people, the best way is the way of moderation. Imam Sarakhsi mentioned that one should try to wear normal clothing that conforms with the sunna most of the time. One should wear worn-out or old clothing some times, in order to recall Allah’s blessing. Sometimes, one should wear one’s finest clothes, such as on Friday, or the days of Eid, or when visiting others, with the intention of manifesting Allah’s bounties. This is the safest recourse for the laity and saves us from the entrapments of pride and showing-off.

    And Allah Knows Best

  • The first legal maxim that Ibn Nujaym mentioned in his Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir is: “There is no reward without intention.” This is one of the most repeated and well-known of legal maxims.

    It is taken from the well-known hadith in which the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Verily actions are by their intentions, and one shall only have that which one intended.” [Bukhari & Muslim] The scholars stated that there is something implicit in this hadith, namely: “Verily actions are [rewarded] by their intentions, and one shall only have [the reward] for that which one intended.”

    Therefore, if one’s habits or whims are in conformity to the sunna of the Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), one should strive to have an intention in it for Allah. Otherwise, it remains a habit. The scholars say, “Through intentions habits become worship.” ( bi’l niyyaat tanqalibul `aadaat `ibaadaat)

    Abd Allah ibn Mubarak (Allah be pleased with him), said, “How often it is that a small action becomes great by its intention. And how often it is that a great action becomes small by its intention.” [Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, 8: 400]

  • Is it backbiting when i say something about my “family” or about “parents” to a non-muslim. They dont know them. fex they are talking about islam and me, then i say my family is not much religious, i like it myself to wear hijab. (most of them think you are forced to wear hijab).

    2) If you talk about an organization is bad, or a website, will it be considered backbiting when people know who is the owner/leader.

    3) is this backbiting when a mother tells her children what her husband/childrens father has done during the day (a number of foolish things)?

    4) is that backbiting when someone says something bad about a person “with his/her namebut i dont know that specific person? Should one then stop them?

    5) A friend of mine tells me her personal mattes (about her marriage life, her husbands attitude to her). She is depressed, wants to talk to someone. Is she backbiting her husband? i know her husband. What should I/someone do with such persons?

    6)is it considered lying if you say ” i think so”, “I think it costs so much”, “i think thats uncle jamil at the door”? E.g when “think” is putted before?

    Answer : 1. It would be backbiting to mention something negative about one’s parents that they would dislike–as saying it is one’s parents is sufficient specification. The exception would be if there is genuine need to mention it, to the extent of the need, only.

    2. In general, we should uphold the Prophetic command to, “Say the good or remain silent.”

    Speaking ill of large groups or organizations isn’t backbiting, but can fall under many other sins of the tongue or heart (such as thinking ill of others, not having sincere concern for them, not wishing well for them, arrogance, etc)

    3. Any mention of another with that which they’d dislike is backbiting, unless there is a good reason in doing so–and it is couldn’t otherwise be fulfilled.

    4. Mentioning someone’s name is sufficient specification for the negative mention to be backbiting, even if the person addressed doesn’t know them. (As they could well get to know them, or tell someone else who may know them.)

    5. If someone wants to talk, one should “direct” them to stick to the issues–with discretion and tact, but without wronging oneself by listening to the haram–rather than attacking individuals.

    6. Saying “I think…” would make it an opinion rather than an assertion of fact. However, if one’s opinion could be listened to or followed, then one shouldn’t affirm it unless one has good reason to think that one is correct. Be sure before you speak.

  • Obeying the Law of the Land in the West

    Answer : Muslims are generally obliged to abide by the laws of the land and the country they live in, whether it is a Islamic state (al-khilafa), Muslim countries, or non-Muslim countries such as those in the west, as long as they are not ordered to practice something that is against Shariah. If they are forced by the law to commit a sin, then in such a case, it will not just be unnecessary to abide by the law, rather impermissible.

    Some Muslims are under the impression that it is permissible to violate the laws of countries that are not an Islamic state (al-Khilafa), which is totally incorrect. Muslims must adhere to the laws of any country they live in, whether in the west or the east, as long as the law is not in contradiction with one’s religion.

    Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “It is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin. If he is commanded to commit a sin, then there is no adherence and obedience.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2796 & Sunan Tirmidhi)

    The above Hadith is general, in that it does not distinguish between Muslim and non-Muslim lands, although the understanding of the scholars is that it generally applies to Muslim lands.

    Furthermore, many scholars have divided non-Muslim lands (dar al-Harb/kufr) into two categories, Dar al-Khawf & Dar al-Aman. The former (dar al-khawf) refers to a land where Muslims are under a constant threat and fear with regards to their religion, life and wealth, whilst the latter (dar al-Aman) refers to a land where Muslims are relatively secure and safe. In Dar al-Aman (such as many non-Muslim countries in the west), many of the injunctions and rulings are very similar to Muslim lands (dar al-Islam), thus the command of following the laws of the land would also apply in these non-Muslim lands. (See: Radd al-Muhtar)

    Those who are of the view that it is not necessary to obey the laws of the land unless it is ruled by a proper Islamic governance system, usually say that these laws are non-Islamic and man made, and one is only obliged to abide by the laws of Allah!

    In reality, this is a very immature understanding of Islam, for even an Islamic Khilafa government would implement laws that are the creation of their own minds and Ijtihad. If an Islamic government sees the need to implement a certain law, then it has the full jurisdiction to do so, even if it is not found in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    All the scholars unanimously agree that, if an Islamic government decides to implement a law for the benefit of the country and its citizens, then there is nothing wrong in doing so, as long as it does not contradict Shariah, and this law will be binding upon every citizen of that country, even if it was not made obligatory by Shariah initially. Therefore, the laws which an Islamic Khilafa government will set down will also be “man made”, and binding upon all the citizens.

    Then the case here is not between “Allah’s laws” and “man made laws” rather one must understand and deal with the issue more rationally and deeply.

    When one lives in a particular country, one agrees verbally, in writing or effectively to adhere to the rules and regulations of that country. This, according to Shariah, is considered to be a covenant, agreement and trust. One is obliged to fulfil the trust regardless of whether it is contracted with a friend, enemy, Muslim, non-Muslim or a government. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) always stood by their word and did not breach any trust or agreement, as it is clear from the books of Sunnah and history. Thus, to break a promise or breach a trust of even a non-Muslim is absolutely unlawful and considered a sign of being a hypocrite (munafiq).

    Allah Most High states:

    “And fulfil (every) engagement (ahd), for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the day of reckoning).” (Surah al-Isra, v. 34)

    Similarly, Allah Most High states:

    Allah does command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due, and when you judge between people that you judge with justice.” (Surah al-Nisa, v. 58)

    And regarding the one who breaks an agreement and is guilty of treachery, Allah Almighty says:

    “Allah loves not the treacherous.” (Surah al-Anfal, v. 58)

    Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “The signs of a hypocrite are three: When he speaks he leis, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is given a trust he breaches it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 33)

    Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Amr (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Four traits, if found in an individual, then he will be a complete hypocrite (munafiq), and if an individual possesses one of these four, he will have one portion of nifaq: When he is given a trust he breaches it, when he speaks he leis, when he makes an agreement (ahd) he is guilty of treachery and disloyalty (gadar), and when he disputes he is fouled mouth.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 34)

    The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) clearly gave guidance as how to one’s behaviour should be towards a person with whom one has an agreement or a covenant.

    Safwan ibn Sulaym narrates from a number of Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah be pleased with them all) on the authority of their fathers who were relatives of each other, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Beware, if anyone oppresses (or wrongs) the one with whom one has a agreement (mu’ahid), or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall plead for him on the Day of Judgment.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 3047)

    The above Hadith is quite clear, in that a Muslim is obliged to fulfil the covenant or agreement of even a non-Muslim. If such an agreement (ahd) takes place, then one will be considered to have safeguarded his life, wealth and property. It will be unlawful (haram), as mentioned quite clearly in the Hadith, to take any wealth of the one with whom there is an agreement without his consent. This categorically rules out the notion of some who consider taking of government wealth even by unlawful means to be permissible.

    The practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) also clearly illustrates the importance of fulfilling a covenant, and the unlawfulness of treachery.

    During the battle of Khaybar which took place between the Muslims and Jews, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) besieged the fort of Khaybar wherein the Jews were residing. A poor Shepard who was working for his Jewish master had already heard about the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), and upon seeing the Muslim army, thought that it was a good opportunity to inquire about Islam. He came out of the fort with the goats and sheep he was looking after and asked the whereabouts of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). Upon being directed towards the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), he inquired about the basic teachings of Islam, and then said: “What will my status be if I accept Islam?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) replied: “I will embrace you, you will become my brother and enjoy the same rights as other Muslims.” He said: “I am very poor and in a bad state. I am totally black and have bad odour coming from my body and cloths. How will you embrace me if I am in such a condition?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) replied: “I shall embrace you, for all of Allah’s servants are equal in His sight.” He said: “If I embrace Islam, what will my fate be?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “I bear witness that if you accept Islam, Allah will change the darkness of your body to light, and the bad odour to good fragrance.” These words of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had their effect on his heart, thus he embraced Islam.

    After entering into the fold of Islam, he asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) what he was obliged to do? The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said that they were at the moment in the midst of war, thus the obligation at this moment and time was to participate in Jihad. However, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said to him: “The first and foremost thing you need to do is return these animals to its Jewish owner and then engage in Jihad.”

    As mentioned earlier, these animals belonged to a Jew who was in the opposing army, but the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) ordered him to go back and return them. The reason being, that he had taken these goats and sheep on a trust, and it is necessary by Shariah to return the belongings taken on trust back to its owner.

    Thereafter, he participated in the holy battle (jihad) and was amongst the martyrs. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) recognised his body, thus addressed his Companions that I see with my own eyes that he has been given a bath in the sacred water of paradise, and Allah has changed his darkness to shining white and his bad foul smell to refreshing fragrance.

    The above is an amazing example of fulfilling a trust of even an enemy. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was in the midst of war with the Jews of Khaybar, yet he ordered the herdsman to go back and return the animals.

    It is true that, a Muslim army is allowed to seize the wealth and belongings of the opposing army during the state of war, but because the Shepard had taken these animals under a contract before the war, he was ordered to fulfil the contract, thus return them to its rightful owner sound and safe.

    Those who claim that one may rob and loot the wealth of the western governments in any way possible, should ponder over the abovementioned incident with due diligence. If the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) orders the belongings of a Jew (who is in the opposing army) to be returned to him, then how can one substantiate the permissibility of taking the wealth of the government unlawfully!

    In conclusion, it is necessary by Shariah to abide by the laws of the country one lives in, regardless of the nature of the law, as long as it does not contradict Shariah. However, if the law demands something that is against Islam & Shariah, then it will be necessary to abstain from adhering to it, for the famous Hadith states:

    “There is no obedience of the creation wherein there is disobedience to the Creator.” (Musnad Ahmad).

    And Allah Knows Best

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