Religious Advice

  • 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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  • Etiquette Related to the Qibla

    The sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to respect and revere the prayer direction (qibla). This is indicated in several ahadith, such as the following:

    “When one of you stands in his prayer, he is in close conversation with his Lord or his Lord is between him and his qibla. Therefore no one should spit in the direction of his qibla” [Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Salah]

    “When any of you goes to relieve himself, he should not face the qibla nor turn his back on it. He should face the east or west.” [Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Wudu]

    These ahadith demonstrate the sunnah of being mindful of the qibla, as it is the noblest of directions. Just as Muslims should observe proper etiquette with the Qur’an, we should also aim to observe proper etiquette with the qibla as well.

    This etiquette entails that one faces the qibla when doing honorable and praiseworthy actions: doing wudhu, making dua, reciting the Qur’an, sacrificing animals, etc. It is similarly recommended to sleep on one’s right side while facing the qibla.

    This etiquette also entails that one does not face the qibla in situations where one is exposing oneself: such as when relieving oneself, taking a bath, or having sexual relations. It is similarly recommended to avoid having one’s back or pointing one’s feet to the qibla.

    Building a Home Around These Principles

    Given the above principles, the following recommendations could be made with regard to structuring one’s home:

    1. Toilets and showers should be perpendicular to the qibla direction. (If the qibla is North, then the toilets and showers are facing East-West). This way, one is neither facing the qibla nor turning one’s back on it while relieving oneself or taking a bath.

    2. Sinks, on the other hand, should be positioned such that one is directly facing the qibla when doing wudhu.

    3. Bedrooms should be designed such that a bed can be placed perpendicular to the qibla direction. The bed should be positioned so that someone sleeping on their right side will be facing the qibla.

    4. If one is making a dedicated prayer room, all seating arrangements and prayer rugs should be oriented toward the qibla. This will ensure that people are facing the qibla not only while they are praying, but also while they are sitting for dhikr, dua, or Qur’an recitation.

    5. If one has a study area, one could also orient the desk such that one is facing the qibla when studying, reading, or doing work.

    With the proper intention, facing the qibla while even doing mundane tasks can result in greater reward from Allah. This is in addition to any reward one gets for showing reverence for the qibla, which is praiseworthy in itself. As Allah says in the Qur’an: “Whoever exalts the signs of Allah, indeed that is from the piety of hearts” [22:32].

    *Keep in mind that “facing” the qibla means pointing in its general direction. So if the qibla is to the North, “facing it” would include the directions of North, Northeast, and Northwest as well.

    Final Note

    It is also important to remember that this endeavor is not meant to be excessively difficult. Remember that Allah tells us that He intends for us ease, not hardship (2:185) and that He does not burden a soul with more than it can bear (2:286). So while it is important to observe proper etiquette with the qibla, it is not expected of you to incur tremendous costs and labor to do so.

    Unlike in earlier times, many Muslims nowadays use bathrooms with fixed toilets and sinks. Oftentimes, they do not have a say as what directions the toilets and sinks face. As such, it is understandable that many Muslims cannot deliberately observe the proper etiquette regarding the qibla, although it is still recommended for them to do what they can.

    However, if you are able to design your home with the qibla in mind without undue hardship, then insha’Allah this little effort will result in a lifetime of reward for consistently observing proper etiquette with this noble direction.

  • In the Chapter of Repentance, God Most High reminds the believers that He is most deserving of their fear, “Do you hold them [the disbelievers] in awe? Nay, it is God alone of whom you ought to stand in awe, if you are [truly] believers!” (Al-Qur’an, 9:13)

    The lesson from this verse is important. No one is more deserving of our consideration than Allah Most High. People are people and they will have to stand before Allah just like you will; in other words, we’re all nothing before Allah. Why be uncomfortable if someone sees you performing ablution? Public facilities are just that. Public. No one can stop you from washing yourself. And if you start performing tayammum (dry ablution), not only is it invalid since you have access to water, you’re depriving people of the opportunity to interact with you and learn something about Islam.

    Finally, we live in a society where people have very little public shame. So we need to check ourselves to see why we put so much stock in what random strangers think of us. Who cares if someone has a problem with our hijab, beard, or foot-washing? We have to be confident in who we are as believing men and women, aspiring only for the approval of our Lord.

    May Allah Ta’ala grant ease

  • Does a Wife Have to Purchase Her Own Animal for Eid Slaughtering?

    1. Slaughtering a sheep or 1/7th of a cow or camel is necessary upon a person who is:


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  • HFA vs HMC

    If there’s one thing that Muslims will get behind, it’s food and whether it is halal or haram. Muslims are very sensitive when it comes to food and the majority want to know and feel secure that the food they are eating is halal. With all the meat scandal that’s been erupting in the UK and food being cross-contaminated with horse meat or pork, the focus has also spread to halal foods.
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  • The vast majority of the fuqaha of our times, and certainly those who actually understand the issue, have declared that copyright laws are absolutely binding, for many reasons.

    The most basic is that in our times intellectual property is the most valuable of assets in society, and not considering its worth has great societal harm.

    Secondly, in the socio-economic dynamics of our times, copyright laws do not hinder the spread of knowledge; rather, they encourage it, as they enable people to be duly compensated for their time and efforts. In the past, scholars and authors were supported by the rulers and through a powerful system of religious endowments (awqaf) that enabled them to devote themselves to their pursuits without concern for providing for themselves or for their families. Now, this is not the case. The scholars say, “Whoever is ignorant of their times is not a person of knowledge.”

    Thirdly, it is the law. Muslims are duty-bound, by their religion, to obey the law in everything that is not absolutely against the Shariah.

    Fourth, when it comes to matters of halal and haram, it is the duty of believers to seek the guidance of knowledgeable scholars. The scholars hold copyright to be binding. Many of the most brilliant minds of our times, including Shaykh al-Buti, Shaykh Zuhayli, Shaykh Taqi Usmani, Shaykh Sunbuhli, and others, including the major fiqh councils, have declared it sinful to break copyright laws.

    Fifth, anyone who knows about the cost of producing quality Islamic literature and materials, such as those Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (Allah preserve him) and others have struggled so hard to produce, understands that such projects are major undertakings. As such, we, as concerned Muslims, should encourage everyone and their aunts to go out and buy this stuff. We’ll buy new Nike shoes for $100. We’ll get a pair of jeans for I don’t know how much… But we won’t pay a reasonable amount for something that will transform our lives for the better in this world and the next?

  • Inwardly:

    1. Patience,

    2. Submission to the Divine Will,

    3. Reflection on the fleetingness of live,

    4. Taking admonition for one’s own situation.

    Shaddad ibn Aws reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The intelligent is one who controls his lower self and works for that which comes after death. The stupid is one who follows his caprice and vainly hopes that his desires will be fulfilled by Allah.” [al-Tirmidhi, Sunan]

    Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Race to good deeds! What do you await but delayed poverty, overbearing wealth, debilitating illness, senility, unexpected death or the Dajjal? Or are you waiting for unseen evil, or the Final Hour? And the Final Hour will be bitter indeed and terrible.” [ibid]

    Outwardly:

    1. Making sure the dead person’s estate is correctly divided according to the Shariah AFTER all debts have been cleared.

    2. If the person is expected to have missed fard fasts or prayers, their family (or friends) should make expiatory payments (fidya) to compensate for this, according to the rules of fiqh. [Can be explained upon request.]

    3. Reciting a lot of Qur’an oneself (and family and friends) and donating the reward to the deceased. One may not pay Qur’an reciters for this; it would be sinful and without reward.

    4. Making a lot of dua for them.

    There is agreement among the 4 Sunni schools that one may donate the reward of some or all one’s actions to some or all believers, living or dead. [Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir]

    Malik ibn Rabi’a al-Sa`idi said, “Once as we sat with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), a man from the Bani Salama came and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, is there any goodness I can show my parents after they die?’ He said, ‘Yes . Praying for them, seeking forgiveness for them, fulfilling the pledges they made, keeping ties with their relatives, and honouring their friends.” [Abu Dawud, Sunan]

    Finally, we should learn the manners and ways of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) and live them:

    Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessing & peace) said, “My entire community will enter Janna except those who refuse.”

    He was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who are those who refuse?

    He said, “Those who obey me will enter the Garden and those who disobey me refuse.” [al-Bukhari, Sahih]

  • 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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  • The key to improving one’s voice is to learn tajweed and master it. It is a common mistake to focus on style and rythm while neglecting the actual pronounciation. Reciting the Qur’an beautifully is more about precision in pronounciation than it is a question of voice and rythm.

    The scholars do not advise anyone who has not mastered his tajweed to focus on other things with regards to his recitation.

    Once someone has mastered tajweed, then he should seek out a teacher who knows the “Maqamat” (“the tunes of recitation”). This is a delicate science, where one learns different rythms, tunes and methods of beautifying recitation. This is the science that will really help improve one’s voice.  But one should not study this until one has obtained mastery of tajweed.

    One thing to keep in mind is that one’s voice will automatically be better when reciting with presence of mind. If one knows the meanings of the verses, then one can truly understand the tremendousness of what Allah is saying, and that will inevitably make an impact on ones voice.

    Just like the best of duas is from the heart, then the best of recitations is also the one recited from the heart.

    A few things, that are recommended to to when reciting the Qur’an, and will inshallah give you more baraka in your reading.

    • Make sure you have wudu when reciting the Qur’an
    • Use a miswak to use before reciting Qur’an
    • Being seated facing the direction of the Qibla
    • Being dressed properly, and with the head covered
  • Question: Is it permissible for a convert to attend his family’s Christmas celebrations?

    Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

    It would be permissible to attend such an event, since it would be from keeping ties with ones family. One can attend the social gatherings, but should discretely abstain from actively taking part in any “religious” activities.

    [Ibn Abidin, Nashr al-Urf; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha]

    And Allah knows best

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