The Lawful & The Unlawful

  • 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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  • Is Wearing Pig Skin Haram?

    Pig skin is considered impure even if it has been tanned.

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  • The Basmala and Ritual Slaughter

    Before shooting the animal or releasing a hunting dog, a Muslim hunter must say the basmala, although the hunted animal is still permissible if he accidentally forgets to say it. However, if he intentionally omits the basmala, then the hunted animal is impermissible to eat.
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  • Is Selling Lottery Tickets Haram?

    It would not be permissible for an individual to sell lottery tickets in his or her store. This would be considered directly assisting in sin, which is prohibited.
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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?

  • In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

    Firstly, it should be understood that Islam is a religion of modesty and shame. It encourages its followers to be modest and not have the instincts of animals. Modesty is one of the things which distinguish a human being from an animal.

    However, this should not prevent one from learning about matters relating to sexual behaviour. Then Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them) were never shy and ashamed in learning the truth. There are many incidents where the companions came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and inquired about matters relating to sex. Even the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), despite being very modest and bashful by nature, did not feel ashamed to discuss matters regarding the do’s and don’ts of sexual relations.

    To proceed with the answer to your question:

    The issue of oral sex is frequently asked. Many people shy away from it, whilst others regard discussing it offensive. However, those people who live in the “real” world will know the importance of mentioning this topic. Therefore, it is important to mention the Islamic perspective on oral sex in detail.

    There are certain acts which have been clearly prohibited in Shariah, that are:

    1) Anal sex

    Anal sex is strictly prohibited in Islam. There are many narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which emphasize this.

    In a Hadith recorded by Imam an-Nasa’i and others, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

    “Allah will not look (with mercy) at the one that has anal sex with his wife” (meaning on the day of Qiyamah). (Sunan Nasa’i)

    2) Sex during menstruation (Haidh)

    The Qur’an has clearly and explicitly prohibited sexual intercourse during menstruation. Allah Most High says:

    “They ask you (O Prophet) regarding menstruation. Say: It his hurtful and impure. So abstain from women (sexually) in menstruation.” (Sura al-Baqarah, V.222)

    The above two things are clearly prohibited by the Qur’an and Sunnah. When books of Fiqh talk about what is lawful and what is not, they typically mention that a husband and wife may give pleasure to one another in any way they wish other than the above mentioned things.

    Although not specific to sex, we can add the following:

    1) Swallowing filth (sexual fluids of the wife or husband)

    2) Needlessly getting filthy

    These things are obvious as sexual fluids and filth is impure.

    There are also certain acts which are disliked, but permissible, for example: Total nudity, excessive sexual intercourse, etc…

    Oral sex

    As far as oral sex is concerned, there are two aspects to the issue. One being the moral aspect and the other the actual ruling regarding it in Islamic Law (meaning, to state whether it is Haram, Makruh or permissible).

    With regards to the first aspect, there is no doubt that the act of oral sex (in its full meaning) is a totally shameful act. The mouth which is used to recite the Dhikr of Allah, send Salutations on the blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), recite the holy Qur’an and other things, can not be used for filthy and dirty things such as oral sex, especially if it includes the filth entering the mouth.

    This is more or less what the scholars of the Indo/Pak mention in there Fatawa books and (according to this humble servant), this is the aspect (moral) they are referring to.

    As far as the second aspect is concerned, which is the Shariah ruling on oral sex; this actually depends on what you really mean by oral sex. The term “oral sex” covers a wide range of activities, from just kissing the private parts to the actual swallowing of filth.

    If “oral sex” means to insert the penis in the wife’s mouth to the extent that she takes in the filth, whether this filth is semen (Mani) or pre-ejaculatory fluid (Madhi), or the man takes the filth of the woman in his mouth, then this is not permissible. Taking the filth with all its forms in the mouth is unlawful. The fluids which come out are impure, thus make it impermissible to take it orally.

    However, if the same act is practiced by using a condom (to prevent the sexual fluids entering the mouth) or the wife merely kisses her husband’s penis and the husband kisses her genitals and they avoid any areas where there is pre-ejaculatory fluid, then this should be (according to this humble servant and Allah knows best) permissible, although disliked.

    It is mentioned in the famous Hanafi Fiqh reference book, and one regarded as a fundamental source in the school, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

    “If a man inserts his penis in his wife’s mouth, it is said that it is disliked (makruh), and others said that it is not disliked.” (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/372)

    This clear text from one of the major Hanafi books indicates that the scholars differed on the issue of inserting the penis into the wife’s mouth. According to some it was disliked whilst others totally permitted it. But it should be remembered that this is in the case when no sexual fluids enter the spouse’s mouth as mentioned in detail earlier. Due to the act being considered against the proper conduct of a Muslim, most scholars have held this practice to be disliked (even in the situation where one does not orally take the filth).

    This is what I have on this particular subject. I thought that there was a genuine need to shed some light on it from an Islamic perspective. I hope I have been able to clear the queries people have had on this topic.

    And Allah Knows Best

  • Oral sex takes various rulings depending on the situation:

    a) if oral sex entails swallowing or likely swallowing of filthy substances–such as pre-sexual discharge–then it is prohibitively disliked and sinful;

    b) if there is fear of this, and this fear is at the level of likelihood, then it would also be impermissible and sinful;

    c) if the fear is not at the level of likelihood–such as when all precautions are taken–then it would be disliked and improper;

    d) when there is no fear of swallowing any filth, even accidentally, then it would be other than the best thing to do (khilaf al-awla).

    And Allah alone gives success.

  • Is it Haram to Eat Machine Slaughtered Meat?

    In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

    Slaughtering animals mechanically is becoming a widespread phenomenon in many abattoirs, plants and firms in a number of countries. The idea and objective behind slaughtering animals mechanically rather than manually is to speed up the process of slaughter, thus cater for a mass production.
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  • What is the Islamic Stance on Having a Dog?

    According to the Hanafi school, it is permitted to have a sheep dog, a hunting dog or similar. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

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  • 1. White gold. The only jewelry permissible for men is a silver ring. Rings of any other substance are not permitted, according to both the Hanafis and Shafi`is. [Mawsu`a Fiqhiyya, and Hashiyat Ibn Abidin]

    2. If ties are from real silk (=that which is produced from the thread of silkworms), then they are not permitted. Now, while the Hanafi school permits a certain amount of silk in clothes, this is only if it is not entirely or overwhelmingly made from silk, such as silk piping or embroidery.

    It is permitted without dislike to wear items of clothing in which there is less than 50% silk content. Entire items, such as silk ties, are not permitted. [Naf` al-Mufti wa’l Sa’il of Imam Abd al-Hayy al-Lakhnawi; Nahlawi, al-Hadhr wa’l Ibaha]

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