teacher and student
Hadith of poking w/ foot
Plucking off eyebrows
Hadith of Adam (as) 60 cubits
Writing S.A.W.
Vest (not T-shirt)
Deobandi & Wahabi?
Questions about belief
Nifaq and splitting hearts
Correcting Others' Belief
questions - nasiha
football
Sources Of Islamic Law
Talibaan & Idols
Regarding Holyness
P's Knowledge of Unseen
Non-Hajj Sacrifice Requisites?
report add. by al-Buti in his fatwa
Loan settlement - zakat dues
Tatoos
Studying Islam in Yemen
Copyright in Islam

Various Questions

Hadith of poking with foot

NNM wrote in a message

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by a man who was lying on his stomach, so he poked him with his leg [correction: foot] and said, `This is a posture that Allah the Mighty and Majestic does not like.'"

Questions:

1) Is this a sahih hadith?

It was questioned by al-Bukhari and Ibn Abi Hatim due to its discrepant chains although the authorities term them strong.

The poking is mentioned in the narration of Abu Dawud and - with many chains - Ahmad from the Companion Ya`ish ibn Tikhfa or Tighfa ibn Qays al-Ghifari (ra) with good chains.

One good-chained narration in Ibn Majah and Ahmad comes from Tikhfa (ra) himself, also a Companion.

One weak-chained narration by Ibn Majah comes from Abu Dharr (ra).

There are four alternate wordings: "On his/my stomach/face." There are also the wordings: "This is a posture Allah abhors" and "This is the posture of the people of Hellfire." These are strong warnings.

Other strong-chained narrations in al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad, both from Abu Hurayra (ra), do not mention the poking. See a documentation of its chains in Sahih Ibn Hibban (Risala ed. 12:359-360).

2) What is said to someone who objects: "i dont think this is the proper way of ADAB....our prophet wudn poke some one with his leg...because this shows disrespect to that person"

First, he lacks adab that borders on kufr in criticizing an action that may well have been done by the Prophet and second, the meaning of such an act is understood from its actual context, not from anachronistic speculation.

Plucking off eyebrows

Question:

My wife asked me about shaping her eyebrows. All that I know is that it is haraam for her to pluck the eyebrows. I've already read the hadith about women wearing false hair, tatooing, pluck eyebrows, and placing gaps between the teeth. I need to know the complete ruling on shaving/plucking the eyebrows. Are there any exceptions? Can my wife trim her eyebrows to make them even with one another or to make the hairs look like they go in the same directions (she has little wild hairs on her eyebrows which make them look wild and uneven). If it is ok for her to do so, then I don't have a problem with it.

Reply:

The Prophet said - Allah bless and greet him:

"May Allah curse women who wear false hair or arrange it for others, who tatoo or have themselves tatooed, who pluck facial hair or eyebrows or have them plucked, and women who separate their front teeth for beauty, altering what Allah has created!"

Al-Dhahabi cited it in al-Kaba'ir [the Enormities] and he said: "It is agreed upon [by al-Bukhari and Muslim]." Both al-Dhahabi and al-Haytami include plucking off facial hair among the enormities.

The enormity lies in the permanency of the change as elucidated by the phrase "altering what Allah has created." Impermanent changes such as dyeing or trimming hair are not prohibited. So the prohibition does not preclude the use of scissors for clipping, and Allah knows best. There are also exceptions to the prohibition on women plucking off facial hair:

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani said in Fath al-Bari (10:378) in commentary of this hadith:

Al-Nawawi said: "An exception from the prohibition of plucking off facial hair is when a woman has a beard, mustache, or hair growing between her lower lip and chin, in which cases it is not unlawful for her to remove it, but rather is commendable (mustahabb)," the permissibility being on condition that her husband knows of it and gives his permission, though it is prohibited if he does not, because of the deception it entails.

Mufti Lajpuri's Fatawa Rahimiyya even states it is required (wajib) for her to pluck such hair from her face.

Hadith of Adam (as) 60 cubits

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

Someone has claimed that Ibn Hajar (rh) rejected the hadith that stated that Ali (ra) was 60 cubits tall in his book Fath ul Bari and that the reasoning was archaeological evidences which didn't conform to the hadith?

Ibn Hajar did not reject the hadith but said that there was an apparent contradiction between its wording of sixty cubits and the archeological findings of the people of Thamud whose distance from the time of Adam (as), he said, "is less than the time elapsed between them and the beginning of this Umma." This is phrased as just a thought that causes the explanation of the hadith to be problematic, not a rejection of the basis of the hadith. Further, one might see a problem in the objection itself.

In sum, (1) the assumption that Ibn Hajar "rejected" the hadith of the sixty cubits is inaccurate even if thus forwarded by M. Zubair Siddiqi in his _Hadith Literature_ and (2) the problem raised by Ibn Hajar is open to question.

Surely the archaeological information would be subservient to the knowledge of hadith?

The knowledge imparted by hadith is assumptive (zanni) and becomes categorically binding only with the mutawatir.

Further, is there true conflicting information here, i.e. correctly interpreted and dated findings?

Writing S.A.W.

nowadays, many people write sal'am (in urdu) or SAW (in English), this is extremely forbidden and Haraam.

Subhan Allah! Not true.

Vest (not T-shirt)

1) Is it permissible to wear a vest (ie, both shoulders are naked) to perform Salah if there aren't any extenuating circumstances.

2) Is it permissible to lead the prayer in this state?

3) Is it permissible to pray behind an Imam who has only a vest on?

Yes to all three.

What is Deobandi and Wahabi

Deobandi = Pertaining to the school of Deoband, India, which is principally Hanafi. Wahhabi = Pertaining to the school of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab presently followed by the Saudis.

Questions about belief

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

What is the ruling about people who are born in poverty or war. They may not have the means to learn about Islam and thus die in disbelief through no fault of their own?

Allah does not take to task a people before He sends them a messenger.

What about people who are born after the door of repentance is closed (i.e. near the Day of Judgement). Will they be condemned?

After that very last sign (the rising of the sun from the West) there would be no time for a newborn to grow into the age of accountability in which repentence comes into play.

I have the means to seek answers to such questions. What about people who are being persecuted for their religion and don't have any means to attain true belief if they have doubts - e.g. Palestinian muslims?

They are in the very midst of means and the heartland of belief (Syro-Palestine).

We are living very comfortable lives. Will be questioned for not fighting Jihad to end the atrocities being suffered my Muslims all over the world?

We will be questioned about Salat and then the way we spent our lives and property. If it was done correctly, it is all Jihad.

I am thinking of the Hadith that mentions that anyone who dies without the intention to fight Jihad will die on a branch of hypocrisy.

One should ask for Shahada in one's du`a and Allah is able to grant it in the way He sees fit.

One of the miracles of The Qur'an is it's inimitable language. However if people are born in a society that doesn't speak Arabic will they be held accountable for not recognising this miracle - through no fault of their own.

The answer is in the question. One is not held accountable for something in which one is not at fault. The lexical I`jaz of the Qur'an is a miracle directed first and foremost at Arabic speakers, most especially the Arabs. Hence an obdurate Christian or Jewish Arab is irremediable.

Given that Allah (SWT) does not require worship and can do whatever He wishes without any assistance, why were the Angels created?

Allah requires worship but does not need it. The Angels were created to worship and obey Allah. The two propositions are compatible.

I understand that the reason for our creation was to see which of us would pass the test of this life - i.e. we were given free will. However the Angels have no free will so they are not being tested.

The last sentence is not agreed upon among those who have delved the topic, which excludes us for good reason: knowing and meeting our own human responsibilities is by far the priority.

Please reply to me and give me some advice or recommend books I should read/ courses I should go on/ people I should meet. I don't know where else to turn - I don't want to die in disbelief. May Allah (SWT) reward you for your effort.

Keep a good opinion of your Lord, focus on regular practice beginning with the five prayers, read the lives of the Awliya' after your daily page(s) of Qur'an, and (intend to) keep company with traditional Sufis. May Allah have mercy on you and all of us.

Nifaq and splitting hearts

I'm simply hoping to find information re: the hadith (if I have it right) wherein the Prophet tells the Ummah (and others) that he had not been sent to look into peoples' hearts.

Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

In Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri (ra):

[After a distribution of the spoils] There got up a man with sunken eyes, raised cheek bones, raised forehead, a thick beard, a shaven head and a waist sheet that was tucked up and he said, "O Allah's Apostle! Be afraid of Allah." The Prophet said, "Woe to you! Am I not of all the people of the earth the most entitled to fear Allah?" Then that man went away. Khalid bin Al-Walid said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall I chop off his head?" The Prophet said, "No, for he may offer prayers." Khalid said, "Numerous are those who offer prayers and say by their tongues (i.e. mouths) what is not in their hearts." Allah's Apostle said, "I have not been ordered to search the hearts of the people or cut open their bellies." Then the Prophet looked at him (i.e. that man) while the latter was going away and said, "From the offspring of this (man there will come out (people) who will recite the Qur'an continuously and elegantly but it will not exceed their throats. (They will neither understand it nor act upon it). They would go out of the religion (i.e. Islam) as an arrow goes through a game's body." I think he also said, "If I should be present at their time I would kill them as the nations a Thamud were killed."

In Sahih Muslim from Anas (ra):

The Companions were talking about Malik ibn Dukhshum, and they wished that the Prophet would curse him so that he should die or meet some calamity. The Prophet said: "Does Malik ibn Dukhshum not testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah?" They said: "Yes, he no doubt says this but it is not in his heart." The Prophet replied: "No-one ever witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that I am Allah's Messenger and then enters the Fire nor is consumed by it." Anas said: "This hadith impressed me so much that I ordered my son to write it down and he did." Muslim narrates it.

Correcting Others' Belief

In my circle yet there are so many friends of mine, even relatives who realy dont care about thier aqeeda and even some are having corrupt aqeeda. I feel very unconmfortable to speak or deal with a person having corrupt aqeeda, but at the same time I want to work to make them understand the real problem, but I dont know the perfect way. Here in India, Pakistan the situation is worst, No body want to listen to anybody. I am sure you must be knowing all these problems.

I seek your guidence, how to approach blank people and misleaded, to get back to real madhab, because realy there are so many innocent, who are misleaded by thier tricks. I have obesereved there are so many tableegis who are not aware of thier aqeeda and when we starts to tell about it they just say "you sunni have nothing but blaming to these poor tableegis who are working hard for deen"

2:112 Nay, but whosoever surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. Also 4:125 and 31:22.

There is consensus in the commentaries that these verses point to the two conditions of acceptance of any deed in Islam: 1- It must conform with the Divine Law 2- It must stem from sound intention.

This is why the Sufi Masters stressed knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunna first, then purification of the nafs. Without realizing these two goals, one's faith and deeds remain vulnerable to destruction.

However, one should advise oneself first and the Prophet said that the best du`a is that one makes for oneself. This is because only through reforming oneself can one help others. Short of this it is only the blind leading the blind, even with so-called best intentions.

Al-Sha`rani said in Lawaqih al-Anwar [al-`Uhud al-Muhammadiyya]:

"The general covenant was taken from us by Allah's Messenger -- Allah bless and greet him -- that we should not dispute in one of the sciences of the Law except with the intention of supporting the Religion and on the conditions of sincerity and full consciousness (hudur) of Allah Almighty and Exalted. These [intention and conditions] must be based on unveiling (kashf), not conjecture, self-display, heedlessness, or presumption; and with the texts of the authorities before his eyes.

"One who undertakes such work must have a teacher imbued with the sciences of the Law who has looked into the totality of the proofs of the Schools that are practiced and studied, trained in the path of the [Sufi] Folk in the degrees of sincerity.

"As for one who puts this covenant into practice without a teacher, then he is in the majority of cases displaying himself."

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

questions - nasiha

As-Salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah:

Is it permissible to eat at or even enter places such as Mcdonalds restaurant even though the food itself is not explicitly or apparently haraam?

Yes, because there must be positive knowledge or conviction of the haraam nature of an animal food or ingredient, or of its slaughtering process for that food or ingredient to be haraam. Mere suspicion is enough for abstaining, out of scrupulosity, from eating at or entering such places, but not enough for declaring it impermissible. And Allah knows best.

What is the Shar'ee ruling regarding eating at or going into places which sell alcohol?

Makruh if one can do otherwise, haram if one does so just because they sell alcohol or to support or promote such sale. And Allah knows best.

At what point in the history of the resurgence of Islam are we at this very moment in time? Is there a downhill phase or uphill going on at the moment? What do the Adillat-Shar'ia mention regarding how and when and where the Islamic resurgence will begin where Muslims will again begin to revive the Khilafah?

We are at the lowest point in the history of the resurgence of Islam right now except for the Friends of Allah that are scattered here and there on the globe, and even they are not permitted to show themselves. The phase is downhill with respect to the beginning of the Umma, and uphill with respect to the expectation of deliverance. The latter was described in great detail in the narrations pertaining to the Fitan and the conditions of the Last Hour.

How can I , on an individual level, ensure that I don't fall into the trap that so many youth have and may do of becoming either morally and religiously lax or entering into a phase of belonging to a neo-Kharaji group?

Keep Salat, travel to visit a holy person, and remember that { the Hour is near} and { Do not let length of time harden your hearts as were hardened the hearts of those before you} .

One thing that bewilders me is that how did the British Manage to cause all this fitna mentioned in the above book by exploiting only a few members of the Muslim ummah like Ibn Abdul Wahhab, Mustapha Rashid Pasha, Abduh, etc. etc. when the Khilafah and Uthmani Sultanat could not have been broken up by people like Khwaarij, Shi'a, Yazidis, Gengis khan's Barbaric Army, etc. etc. How comes single individuals like those above managed to cause such a great loss to the Islamic Empire?

They didn't. They entered into a larger scheme of history at a time Allah saw fit to more fully disclose to us what happens when we put the world before the hereafter.

What approach should I use in warning and trying to prevent those who are in these two mentioned groups of Muslims from becoming members of them e.g. counselling or talking to them, warning and explaining to them the history of these fanatical groups or will this cause more resentment?

Sincerity and your best effort in addressing their need from you if they have any, and trust in Allah to do the rest.

What hope do we have of re-establishing the khilafa as long as the followers of the above mentioned carachters like the "Salafi-Saudi" state are present?

It is fard to keep not only hope but certainty that Allah will re-establish the Khilafa, and its signs are all around us so we know it is very near, and He will do so with or without us regardless of the presumed obstacles. The Khilafa is divinely appointed, it is not a question of human organization or power. AND THERE IS NO KHILAFA BEFORE AL-MAHDI.

Is it permissible in Islam to play games such as chess or draughts or any game for that matter whether it be on computer or on board?

`Ali and Ibn `Umar - Allah be well-pleased with them - detested chess because of those who neglected worship due to it and because of the gambling and betting involved. This is why it was forbidden (cf. Sahih Muslim vol. IV,no. 5612) and the Faqih of Madina, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad - Allah be well-pleased with him - said: "All that distracts from remembrance of Allah and Salat is dice (maysar)."

Otherwise, al-Nawawi said "In our school it is makruh, not haram, and this is the position reported from a number of the Tabi`in" while al-Qurtubi said in his Tafsir, it is permitted once in a while without being disliked according to the vast majority of the Fuqaha' and despite the misleading words of Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir, "Malik, Abu Hanifa, and Ahmad stipulated that chess is haram while al-Shafi`i disliked it."

It is established that Abu Hurayra (who entered Islam in the year 7 after the Hijra) and others of the pious Salaf played chess - but not as an all-consuming activity. In the final analysis the correct position in the matter seems that of Imam al-Shafi`i - Allah be well-pleased with him - who said: "It is disliked and not forbidden, for a number of the Companions played it and countless of the Tabi`in and those after them" while the Hafiz Ibn Hajar said: "There is not one firmly-established narration to prohibit chess, neither sahih nor hasan." [Fayd al-Qadir.]

Note: The hadith "Whoever plays chess and dice is as one who dipped his hand in swine's blood" is inauthentic. The correct wording does not mention chess but only dice, narrated from Burayda by Imam Muslim in his Sahih.

6. What does islam say about going to football matches? what about spending about 300 pounds for a season ticket?

Lahw. Israf.

What does Islam say about the following:

a group of young muslim brothers choose football players and create a full team on paper and then as each player within an individuals team scores goals etc. they get points added on to their team. At the end the one with the least points has to buy everyone a pizza. The thing what I am concerned about is the fact that thse young muslims seem to concentrate alot on such activities and very little, if any, on learning and implementing the religion. what naseeha should be given to them regarding this?

Add the condition that the one with the most points has to give a ten-minute talk on a verse or hadith of his choice after they finish playing and eating.

Hajj Gibril

Sources Of Islamic Law

Assalam alayk Brother, I know of no evidence that these four sheikhs are to be the guides of the ummah as you have described. Please explain this to me brother.

Wa `alayk as-Salam. The evidence is Ijma` of the Umma. The wellsprings of the Law are Four: Qur'an - Sunna - Ijma` - Qiyas. There is Consensus about the first three, so it is useless to dispute the validity of Ijma` as a principle, and it is further useless to dispute the fact that its definition does not take into account the non-Sunni sects. I agree with you that this may appear highly arbitrary but it is a Divine Hukm with its roots solidly planted in the Qur'an and Sunna and you will need, not polls of fellow US Muslims, but an actual teacher in Usul to help you begin to see that. Otherwise, you are probably wasting your time. Success is from Allah.

Hajj Gibril

Talibaan & Idols

M H S wrote:

"We ask the Taliban government of Afghanistan to stop the destruction of Buddhist statues and relics in their country. Their decision is un-Islamic and very dangerous. It will give a very bad name to Islam and will create hate against their people among the nations of the world. It may also create intolerance and hate crimes against Muslims in Buddhist and other non-Muslim countries.

Their decision is probably based on (1) the Prophetic example and (2) the Prophetic injunction to `Ali and others and therefore is not "unIslamic" in absolute terms as the above seems to suggest. What he may have meant is that it is unIslamic at this point in time because it is illegible to the world other than as an act of inept barbarism.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached the message of God to the people of Makkah, and when they accepted Islam he then asked them to clean the Ka'bah from idols because it was originally built for the worship of one God.

It seems Mr.Siddiqui needs to brush up on the Sira or at least watch the movie "The Message" which is accurate enough to correct himself in the above respect. The Prophet certainly did not ask anyone but went ahead and toppled, destroyed, erased, and removed the idols and images from outside and inside the Ka`ba even when many of the Kuffar had not yet accepted Islam, much less helped him eradicate them.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never told Muslims to destroy other people's places of worship or their symbols.

Mr. Siddiqui should brush up on al-Bukhari and Muslim also. The Prophet gave explicit orders for the Muslims to raze any worshipped grave and/or statues or other pagan symbols wherever they saw them. Do not confuse the latter with churches and synagogues.

The statues in Afghanistan are its historic treasures. They are very useful for Afghans and others to know about Afghanistan's past history and its transformation into a Muslim community that recognized Tawhid and worshiped only one God. Islam also teaches respect of other religions' holy places and sacred symbols. Past generations and governments of Afghanistan did not destroy these images and yet Islam flourished in Afghanistan. In many other countries where Muslims are a majority, and have ruled those lands for centuries, they did not destroy the religious symbols of other people. Such images and symbols of the past still exist in almost all Muslim countries.

This is by and large true and correct. The Salaf left those statues in place in Afghanistan although they were more scrupulous and closer to the time of sheer idolatry than we. Why pretend that we must do something that they and all our pious predecessors did not consider such destruction necessary nor even recommended? What is worse, the Afghans have huge problems and priorities which they have not yet addressed, much less resolved.

The Taliban should not have any fear that their people will worship those statues. Afghans have been very staunch believers in Tawhid for centuries despite the presence of these statues. The Taliban should focus on the Islamic education of their people and give them good examples of Islamic kindness, mercy, respect of human rights and care for men, women and children. These positive measures will strengthen the faith of the Afghan people in Islam much more then the negative methods of suppression or destruction."

I agree. On the matter of Tawhid there is no fear that such statues pose a threat to the Religion in that part of the world, nor that the pyramids of Luxor form a risk that pharaonic cults make a comeback in the land of Egypt. I believe this and other recent examples show a real lack of wisdom and compassion in this orphaned and widowed Muslim land upon which trod the feet of the Companions of the Prophet . Add to this that the primary income of the Talibans is apparently the cultivation and exportation of drug plants, which is completely illicit. No, this cannot possibly be Islam. May Allah forgive us and change us for the better.

Hajj Gibril

and also:

And for this reason, Allah prohibited us in the Quran from cursing false gods lest the pagans curse Allah.

When Mecca was conquered the Prophet destroyed the idols of the Ka`ba and sent out `Ali (ra) and others to destroy any statue and grave used for worship that they would find. Muslim troops would be sent out to that effect. But at the same time Muslims invited non-Muslims into the fold of a new order of previously unseen justice and civilization. Today, Muslims are weak again. And what is being offered to non-Muslims, apparently, except defiance and scorn?

Hajj Gibril

Regarding Holyness

In my opinion Muslims must not adress any human being as holy. I wonder if we are allowed to call RasulAllah holy, since he is also "just" a human...

The Most Holy, Blessed, Sanctified, and Exalted Prophet said that this world is unholy except for four things: Dhikr of Allah, all that relates to it, the `alim, and his student.

The Qur'an is holy. The Prophet is holy. The friends of Allah Most high are holy. Ibn al-Jawzi in the introduction to Sifat al-Safwa (his dictionary of Awliya) said: "They [the Saints] are the purpose of creation." Everything that is related to Allah Most High is holy and never perishes while everything else is Batil.

Here are Ibn al-Jawzi's words:

"The Friends of Allah and the Righteous are the very purpose of all that exists (al-awliya wa al-salihun hum al-maqsud min al-kawn), they are those who learned and practiced with the reality of knowledge... Those who practice what they know, do with little in the world, seek the next world, remain ready to leave from one to the other with wakeful eyes and good provision, as opposed to those renowned purely for their knowledge." Sifat al-safwa (Beirut ed. 1989/1409) p. 13, 17.

Probably, the confusion comes from not understanding the words that we use and tending to limit their use arbitrarily.

I vaguely remember an interesting etymological and comparative discussion on the meaning of the English word "holy" ( Germanic?) in Martin Lings' booklet - available in print - _Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions_.

Then I saw the responses from Brothers Dhul-Qarnayn and Mahmud Khan for which I am grateful.

The discussion brought to mind also, that it is a very small step from saying he is "just a human being" to denying his Prophetship because the greatest proof of Prophetship is the mu`jiza, meaning "overwhelming miracle". It was called mu`jiza because it overwhelms human capacity (mental and physical) to deny, reject, or come up with anything the like of it. Those who pretend to be not overwhelmed, i.e. the liars who cover up the truth, use expressions like "he is just a human being like us." This is a recurrent theme in the Qur'an, quoting the disbelievers.

No sincere Muslim will say any such thing, except by mistake. Those who believe rather use words like, "he is a special, unique human being who receives Divine revelation and converses with heavenly beings. He is not just a human being like us." Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa' said the truth is, Prophets are human only in externals. Internally Allah Most High gives them angelic hearts so that they can receive revelation.

At least we should say "The Prophets are human beings the like of whom crush the imagination and boggle the minds of normal human beings." That would be a truly scientific observation.

Hence Hassan ibn Thabit said:

"And Allah Most High extracted for him "a name from His Name to emphasize his greatness: "The Owner of the Throne is 'Glorified' (mahmudun), "And here is 'the Most Praised one' (muhammad)."

The above in Arabic, by the way, is a RUQYA for facilitating child delivery bi idhnillah. Its design is described in al-Zurqani's commentary on al-Qastallani's Mawahib al-Laduniyya, chapter on the Names of the Prophet .

Similarly the Companions compared him to a Light Illuminating Darkness, to the Full Moon Without Eclipse, to the Peerless One from the Hashemite House, to ... to.... but never did you hear any of them use such a miserly expression as "he is just a human being."

Contact with awliya' is astronomical enough for us. Or even reading a book by one of them such as al-Ibriz, overwhelms the mind enough to prevent us from calling even them "just human beings". With Prophets, in truth we must hang our heads in shame even lower but there is no more room. Our stiff-necked brothers will say we are making sajda.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

"Muhammad is the noblest of the Arabs and `Ajam. Muhammad is the best of those who trod the earth." (Al-Busiri)

c/f Prophet's Knowledge of Unseen

This was a helpful post to which can be added the following precision by Shaykh Ahmad Rida Khan - Allah sanctify his secret.

In al-Dawla al-Makkiyya he says that all agree that knowledge of the creature is like a drop or less in the ocean of Divine knowledge. The difference between the two parties is that Ahl al-Sunna consider the drop of the Prophet's knowledge to be a huge ocean in comparison to the drop of everybody else's knowledge.

So yes, the Prophet's knowledge has boundaries, but those boundaries cannot be known by other human beings so they do not exist in relation to them. And Allah knows best.

GF Haddad

Non-Hajj Sacrifice Requisites?

"Question: What must the Muslim avoid during these ten days if he wants to offer a sacrifice? The Sunnah indicates that the one who wants to offer a sacrifice must stop cutting his hair and nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When you see the new moon of Dhu'l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice." According to another report he said: "He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin." (reported by Muslim with four isnaads, 13/146)

There is a stronger, MUTAWATIR hadith in al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Malik, and al-Darimi that states:

From `A'isha:

"I used to prepare the garlands of the sacrificial animals of the Messenger of Allah MHMD then he would send his sacrificial animals to the Ka`ba; and he refrained from none of all the things from which the muhrim refrains until the slaughter of the sacrifices."

Another wording states: "He would stay away from nothing and quit nothing at that time."

"The Prophet's instruction here makes one thing obligatory and his prohibition makes another haraam, according to the soundest opinion, because these commands and prohibitions are unconditional and unavoidable. However, if a person does any of these things deliberately, he must seek Allah's forgiveness but is not required to offer (an extra) sacrifice in expiation; his sacrifice will be acceptable. ..." The wisdom behind this prohibition of the one who wants to offer a sacrifice from cutting his hair etc., is so that he may resemble those in ihraam in some aspects of the rituals performed, and so that he may draw closer to Allah by offering the sacrifice. So he leaves his hair and nails alone until the time when he has offered his sacrifice, in the hope that Allah will save him in his entirety from the Fire. And Allah knows best..."

According to the vast majority of the authorities including Imams al-Shafi`i, Abu Hanifa, Malik, and their Schools, it is neither obligatory to not touch the hair and nails nor haram to do so. The Sunna in fact indicates two things and the resolution of this apparent contradiction is that it is a *recommended sunna* and NOT obligatory to refrain from cutting hair and nails until the sacrifice is offered.

As for the "soundest opinion" mentioned above is only according to the Hanbali madhhab and this should have been mentioned in keeping with Islamic criteria of faithful Nasiha! For the vast majority, however, including Imams al-Shafi`i, Abu Hanifa, Malik, and their Schools, hair and nails may be cut like at any other time, although al-Shafi`i considers it somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihi) and so does Malik in one of the two positions reported from him, while Abu Hanifa sees no dislike in it whatsoever. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

With regard to the report adduced by al-Buti in his fatwa

He says that copyright is sanctioned by Islam without a doubt. He quotes Imam Ghazali, who reports Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal answering one who asked him finding a paper with ahadith or whatever else written on it, that has fallen from someone: can one copy it before returning it to its owner? Imam Ahmad said: "No, but he should ask for permission, then write."

There are more than two hundred years between Imam al-Ghazzali and Imam Ahmad - Allah have mercy on them and be well-pleased with them - and the latter's position on this or any other topics surely needs not be taken from outside his madhhab or other than those directly connected with him.

Secondly, assuming the veracity of the report, the meaning of the question put to Imam Ahmad would be: Can we narrate the hadiths from the owner of the paper as if he had given us ijaza? This method of narrating from the original source a "found" (wujida) document is called ijaazat al-wijaada and is mentioned among the types of isnaads in Manhaj al-Naqd fi `Ulum al-Hadith by our teacher Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr. The Imams of hadiths are known to differ on this particular issue. Imam Ahmad's position is that an ijaza to narrate through wijaada is invalid - while many or most other authorities accept it as valid. In fact, our fashion of saying, X (who perhaps died 200 years ago) said in his book... is a type of wijaada transmission the validity of which everybody takes for granted.

You can see that if this evidence were relevant it would actually draw attention to the jumhur's position which is the opposite of what al-Buti is attempting to support, except that the evidence, as I said, is not relevant to copyright issues but to the validity of a specific technique of hadith or other narration.

After that, Shaykh Buti concluded by refuting the opinion of those opposed to copyright on the basis that Shari`a dictates that "whoever owns something, has the right to dispense of it in whatever way he likes". He said that whoever buys a book, cannot reproduce it without permission of the author because he owns the book only as far as the *material* (as opposed to *intellectual*) part of the book is concerned, i.e. the papers and ink, not the information documented in the book.

There is undoubted consensus that the rule "whoever owns something has the right to dispense of it in whatever way he likes" applies for true ownership i.e. of tangible possessions over which there is no doubt that the right of property extends and applies. The issue here, however, is a moral or abstract type of property called "intellectual property," over which there is disagreement in the Shari`a, the other side arguing that there is no such thing as intellectual ownership in Islam other than the common good of the believers. This is the viewpoint of the Hanafi Shaykh Adib al-Kallas the student of Sayyidi Abu al-Yusr Ibn `Abidin rahimahullah, as I heard it luminously exposed last `Eid in his home in Damascus although most of the mustaftis around him were hoping to hear otherwise. But he was firm in his answer: Once out there, it belongs to everyone - and there many proofs to support this fatwa - especially if it is part of the knowledge of the Shari`a, which is the common property of the believers. WAllahu a`lam.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

Loan settlement against zakat dues

I HAVE LOANED QUITE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT TO ONE OF MY FRIEND WHO IS PRESENTLY WORKING IN SAUDI ARABIA. IT IS BEEN FOUR YEARS NOW & HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY MONEY BACK. I DID ASK HIM COUPLE OF TIMES WITHOUT PRESSURING, HOWEVER, I GOT NOTHING EXCEPT BLIND PROMISES. THEREFORE I AM ASKING YOU THAT IS THERE ANY PROVISION TO WRITE OFF THE OUTSTANDING MONEY AGAINST ZAKAT PAYABLE AMOUNT? / WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES OF OFFSETTING THE LAONED AMOUNT? ALTHOUGH I KNOW IN PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES HE WOULD NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR IT.

There is no provision for you to write off the outstanding money owed to you against a zakat payable amount owed by you, because zakat is paid for wealth that has been in one's possession for a year, and out of that same wealth. At the very least, it must be paid out of wealth that is in one's possession. Whereas the money owed to you is not in your possession nor has it been for a number of years. Secondly, supposing your friend were eligible for zakat remittance, nevertheless it is invalid to use a pardon of his debt as a zakat remittance. For a zakat remittance to be valid, the actual, tangible zakat must go from the muzakki's hand to that of the beneficiary(ies). The only way this could be done in the present case would be for him to remit you his debt, then for you to give it right back to him as zakat of your other money. I heard this fatwa from Shaykh Adib Kallas and Shaykh Wahbi al-Zuhayli in Damascus. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

Tatoos

Tatoos are forbidden for both men and women except in certain war and child-abduction situations when tribesmen feared the probability of losing their sons and daughters to the enemy. If one had them before reverting to Islam then there is no offence whatsoever and Allah knows best.

Following are the bases for the prohibition of tattoos in Islam.

The meaning of the verse [And obey the Prophet] (4:59, 5:92, etc.) is not that the Prophet MHMD is also a judge whose orders and prohibitions are law issuing from him rather than Allah Most High. Allah Most High declared the obligatoriness of obeying the Prophet MHMD only in the sense that He made it obligatory for us to obey him in whatever he MHMD orders and makes obligatory for us to do. It is Allah Most High Who makes it obligatory for us both to obey and to do, except that the order for some of the acts are formulated by the Prophet MHMD. Such formulation is only a proof or sign of Allah's own binding order. The meaning of [And obey the Prophet] is therefore "Know that whatever the Prophet MHMD commands or forbids you to do, it is I Who commands and forbids you to do" as explicited in the verse [And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids, abstain from it] (59:7). Without such order, the Prophet's MHMD command would not have been binding upon us. Illustrating this principle is the following narration from `Alqama:

`Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud ra said: "Allah Most High curses women who tatoo others, women who have tatoo applied to them, women who have their eyebrows clipped, and women artificially tooth-gapped, all for cosmetic purposes, changing Allah's fashioning." News of this reached a woman of Banu Asad called Umm Ya`qub. She came to him saying: "O Abu `Abd al-Rahman! I heard that you cursed such-and-such." He replied: "Why should I not curse those whom Allah's Messenger MHMD cursed?" She said: "Lo! I certainly read all that is between the two covers [of the volume of Qur'an], and I did not find this." He replied: "Had you read it you would have certainly found it. Did you not read [And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids, abstain from it] (59:7)?" She said yes. He said: "Allah's Messenger MHMD forbade it."

Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah in their Sunan, Ahmad and al-Darimi in their Musnads, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (7:312) and Shu`ab al-Iman (6:170), Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (12:314), `Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf (3:145 #5103), al-Humaydi in his Musnad (1:53), and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm (2:1181-1182 #2336-2337). Al-Dhahabi narrated it in al-Kaba'ir [the Enormities] and he said: "It is agreed upon [by Bukhari and Muslim]."

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani said in Fath al-bari (10:378) in commentary of this hadith:

Nawawi said: "An exception from the prohibition of plucking away facial hair is when a woman has a beard, mustache, or hair growing between her lower lip and chin, in which cases it is not unlawful for her to remove it, but rather is commendable (mustahabb)," the permissibility being on condition that her husband knows of it and gives his permission, though it is prohibited if he does not, because of the deception it entails. End of excerpt.

Mufti Lajpuri in his Fatawa Rahimiyya declared it required (wajib) for her to pluck such hair from her face.

There is a kind of temporary metaphorical "tattoo" that is desirable for women: to dye the hands and feet with henna. Of course women also use it for the face and hair, and men for the beard. In some countries of the Borneo peninsula men also apply it on their hands and feet on the occasion of weddings, although it is actually forbidden in their [Shafi`i] madhhab. However, it would be wrong to call all this tattoo since that word lexically means an _indelible_ marking of the skin.

A man came to the Prophet, Peace be upon him, with his hands dyed with saffron. This is a removable, temporary skin ornament, yet the Prophet MHMD did not even return his salam. All he said to him was: Go wash this away. He went and came back, and there was a little bit left. Again the Prophet MHMD did not address him except to tell him to wash it away more thoroughly. So this is a lesson for men that decorating/altering the skin in such manner is not allowed.

Another factor which makes it prohibited is that tatooing is the fashion of unbelievers, and the Prophet MHMD said: "Whoever looks [i.e. wilfully] like a people is one of them." And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

Studying Islam in Yemen

s-Salamu `alaykum:

In his beautiful page on "Studying Islam in Yemen,"
(http://www.abuhanifah.8m.com/Yemen.html), brother S E says, "It is more important that the shaykh love the student than that the student love the shaykh."
This sentence drew my attention because it obviously came out from personal experience and so must be very true to the one who experienced its meaning.
However, Sidi `Abd al-`Aziz al-Dabbagh in al-Ibriz stated that in reality, the very reverse is true. Meaning, it is absolutely vital for the student to love the Shaykh and far more important than vice-versa.
The reason for this is that the love of the student for his Shaykh is an eye and ear-opener, it brings out the best in the student and prepares in the best way to learn from the Shaykh. The Shaykh always loves his students, he loves those Allah has placed in his care more than a mother cherishes her infant. However, as much as a Shaykh loves his student, or a father his son, if on the receiving end there are only deaf ears and a rush to misguidance, then on the giving end there is nothing that can be done. I.e. nothing other than ask Allah Most High to guide them beyond the usual causes and effects. Look how much the beloved Messenger of Allah loved his uncles and supplicated Allah for their guidance.
The only relation of senior to junior in which the rule does not apply that the junior MUST love the senior to benefit, Sidi `Abd al-`Aziz al-Dabbagh said (qaddas Allahu sirrah), is the relation of Allah to the servant. In the latter relation, if Allah decides to love that servant, then it does not matter at all where or who that servant is: he will be raised instantly and "despite everything" including himself........

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

Copyright in Islam

Like you said, there is a difference of opinion among the Ulema about copyright laws, so they cannot be declared haram. Furthermore, the Shari`a dictates that the law of the land - yes, ostensibly man-made laws - be obeyed as long as this can be done without disobedience to Allah and the Prophet. And with regard to copyright laws, there is no problem in obeying them in most cases that can be imagined but Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

 



 

 

2002-10-27
latest update: Thu, 12 Feb 2009
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