Islamic Mis-Conceptions

  • Stunning – Halal or Haram?

    As far as stunning is concerned, the meat and chicken from animals who have been stunned prior to zibah are halaal as long as stunning isn’t the cause of death but the zibah (slaughtering/cutting through neck and arteries/veins etc) Is. Even as far as the zibah process is concerned, the faqeeh’s have stated many conditions of how the slaughter should take place, where the neck should be cut, which portion of the spine etc.. Etc. so even doing zibah with a knife requires specific training from a shariah perspective. Certainly according to the ahnaaf.
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  • What Takes a Person Out of the Fold of Islam?

    The General Boundaries of Islam

    Imam Tahawi states in his well-known creed, “A servant is not considered to have left his faith except by denying that which originally caused him to enter into it,” i.e., except by denying one’s very belief in the central tenets of Islamic faith, such as Allah and His attributes (His oneness, omnipotence, omniscience, etc.), His books, His angels, His prophets and messengers, the Last Day, or the Sacred Law (sharia).

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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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  • The Qur’an does not mention anything explicit with regards to our mother Hawa’ (Eve) being created from the rib of our father Adam (peace be upon them both). Rather, it states for example, “And from amongst His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, so that you may dwell in tranquility with them” [30:21]. Many exegetes did interpret the phrase “from among yourselves” to mean that Hawa’ was created from the rib of Adam (peace be upon them both), yet Imam Qurtubi and others interpreted “from among yourselves” as meaning “from the same species,” that is, human mates. [al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an]

    According to Imam Razi, this is a sounder interpretation than the oft-cited “from the rib of Adam” opinion. It is similar to the expression “There has indeed come to you a messenger from among yourselves” [9:128], i.e., a messenger from the same people as to whom he is sent.

    This interpretation is also proven by the next phrase in the verse “so that you may dwell in tranquility with them.” That is, the primary reason according to the verse for creating mates “from among yourselves” is so that spouses may be drawn to each other and find tranquility together. This supports the interpretation of “from among yourselves” meaning “from the same species,” since if the mates given to man were from a different species, neither spouse would find repose and comfort with the other. [Mafatih al-Ghayb]

    The same two possible interpretations would apply to similar verses, such as “O humanity, fear your Lord Who created you from one soul, and created from it its mate…” [4:1]. Again, many  scholars and exegetes understood this to mean that Allah Most High first created Adam (upon whom be peace), and then from him, i.e., from his rib, our mother Hawa’ (upon whom be peace).

    Yet Imam Razi and others mention that the other interpretation is also possible, namely, that the meaning is “Who created you from one soul” i.e., “starting from one soul” since “from” in Arabic could indicate the starting point of something [ibtida’ al-ghaya], and then “created from it its mate” i.e., “created from that same species, its mate.” [Mafatih al-Ghayb]

    The Narrations of the Prophet (Allah bless him) on the Issue

    As for sayings of our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), there is no sound narration that mentions her being created specifically from the rib of Adam, but rather “from a rib.” [Bukhari]. There were many interpretations classically as to what that means exactly. Many scholars did hold the opinion that the meaning is “from the rib of Adam,” yet again there is no explicit evidence of this from the Qur’an or sound hadith literature.

    In his masterful commentary of Sahih Bukhari, ‘Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri mentions that it was popular opinion that she was created from “a left rib,” and that this phrase could in fact be a metaphor, as the story of her creation is that Adam once woke up from sleep and – lo and behold – found her sitting on his left side. Hence, “created from a rib” was used in the hadith to mean that Adam saw her created [i.e., immediately after having been created by Allah] in the direction of his left side (peace be upon them both). [Fayd al-Bari]

    And Allah alone gives success.

  • A resident person is someone who is either in their home town or staying somewhere for 15 days without initiating a legal journey (>51 miles).

    Thus, you would be a traveller in the first part of your stay in the rural town, as you’re staying there less than 15 days; and also for the second stay there, if also staying less than 15 days.

    You are correct that you’re always considered a resident at home.

    [ref: Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

  • Should Muslims celebrate Mother’s Day?

    Should Muslims celebrate Mother’s Day?

    In today’s society, we have become accustomed to the traditions of the country that we live in. In the UK a prominent question on the mind of many Muslims is whether we should partake in national celebrations such as Mother’s Day. Is Mother’s Day an innovation that is forbidden within Islam? The ‘Halal or Haram’ team have come together with The Suyuti Institute to explore this issue from various angles.
    The aim of this article is:
    • To look at the history and origins of the concept behind Mother’s Day
    • To explore why some Muslims use the term ‘Bid’ah’ for certain practices
    • To offer a definition and explanation of the term ‘innovation’ (Bid’ah)
    • To highlight the rank of a mother in Islam
    • To conclude whether or not it is permissible to celebrate Mother’s Day in Islam

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  • Facing the General Direction of the Qibla When the Exact Direction is Known

    May Allah’s peace & blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his folk, companions, and followers

    Yes, it is valid and permissible to face the general direction of the Qibla even when one knows the exact direction, though facing the latter is (generally) superior and more scrupulous, in the Hanafi school of law.
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  • Question: If a person takes something they are not allowed to from the company they work for and then after leaving the organization realizes the sin that they committed. What should one do after they have repented to Allah to make their repentance successful? Are they allowed to give items of their own away which will cover some of the total to charity and pray that the money in some way goes back to the company?

    Answer: Wa ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

    I pray you are well. Alhamdulillah, your desire to make tawba and set things right is in itself a blessing from Allah, and should be taken as a good sign.
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  • Is Obeying the Prophet in Every Matter Obligatory (fardh)?

    Question: [1] Is obeying the Prophet in every matter fardh or wajib? When is it fardh, when wajib?Example, Hanafi scholars say the beard is wajib but the Prophet ordered us to wear it. [2] I suffer from horrible obsessive compulsive disorder and am always obsessed with kufr and shrik, always worrying if I fall in them. What can I do to help myself?

    Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

    1. We are supposed to do our utmost in following the Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) in every single aspect. However, in some cases it is incumbent, while in others it is something we should strive as much as possible to do.

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  • 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

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