Friday, September 11, 2009

Islamic holy days and special occasions

what holy days does Islam have? what major historical events has Islam had?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is a special day in Islam which Allaah has singled out for blessings which are not to be found in any other days. This day is Friday, to which Allaah guided the Muslims and from which He led the Jews and Christians astray. It is the weekly festival of the Muslims, and it has many special features, some of which we will describe here:

1 – It was the teaching of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to venerate this day, honour it and single it out for special acts of worship that belong exclusively to this day. In Fajr (early morning prayer) on Friday he used to recite the Soorahs ‘Alif-laam-meem tanzeel’ (al-Sajdah, no. 32) and ‘Hal ata ‘ala’l-insaan’ (al-Insaan, no. 76).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite these two soorahs in the Fajr prayer on Friday because they refer to what happened and will happen on that day, for they speak of the creation of Adam, the resurrection and the gathering of mankind, all of which happened or will happen on a Friday. So reciting them on this day is a reminder to his ummah (nation) of what has happened and what is yet to come. This is one of the special features of Friday.

2 – It is mustahabb (recommended) to send lots of blessings upon the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the ay of Friday and the night before, because he said: “Send lots of blessings upon me on Friday and the night before.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 3/249; classed as saheeh (sound) by al-Arna’oot).

3 – Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers are held on this day; this is one of the most strongly-affirmed duties of Islam, and one of the greatest gatherings of the Muslims. It is the greatest and most obligatory gathering in which they come together, apart from ‘Arafah [a place near Makkah (Mecca) where the pilgrims stand and pray during the Hajj or pilgrimage]. Whoever neglects Jumu’ah prayers out of carelessness, Allaah will place a seal over his heart. The people of Paradise will be brought closer (to Allaah) on the Day of Resurrection and they will see Allaah sooner, commensurate with how close they were to the imam on the day of Jumu’ah and how early they came to Jumu’ah prayers.

4 – The command to do ghusl (take a bath for the purpose of purification) on Friday; this command is most emphatic.

5 – Wearing perfume on Friday; this is better than wearing perfume on any other day of the week.

6 – Cleaning the teeth with the siwaak (tooth stick); this is better than using the siwaak on any other day.

7 – Going to the prayers early.

8 – Keeping oneself busy with prayer, dhikr (remembering Allaah) and reading Qur’aan until the imaam comes out to give the khutbah (sermon).

9 – Listening attentively to the khutbah, because listening to it is obligatory according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. If a person fails to do that he is engaging in idle talk, and whoever does that has not prayed Jumu’ah. In al-Musnad a marfoo’ report [i.e., a report which is attributed to the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings be upon him)] states: “The one who says to his companion, ‘Be quiet and listen,’ has not prayed Jumu’ah.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 2034; classed as hasan by al-Arna’oot. See Haashiyat Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/377. Also narrated by al-Bukhaari (934) and Muslim (851), with the wording: “If you say to your companion, ‘Be quiet and listen,’ on a Friday when the imaam is delivering the khutbah, then you have engaged in idle talk.”)

10 – Reading Soorat al-Kahf (no. 18) during the day of Friday. It was narrated that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on a Friday, light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine on him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven from one Friday to the next.” (Narrated by al-Haakim, 2/368; classed as saheeh by al-Arna’oot).

11 – It is a festival which is repeated every week. Ibn Maajah narrated in his Sunan that Abu Lubaabah ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir said: “The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Friday is the best and greatest of days before Allaah, and it is greater before Allaah than the day of al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) and the day of al-Fitr (the Feast of Breaking the Fast). It has five characteristics: on this day Allaah created Adam; on this day Adam came down to earth; on this day Allaah caused Adam to die; on this day there is an hour during which no one asks Allaah for something but He will grant it to him, so long as he does not ask for something haraam (forbidden); and on this day the Hour [i.e., the Day of Judgement] will begin, so there is no angel who is close to Allaah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no tree that does not feel some apprehension on Friday.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1084. Al-Busayri said: its isnaad is hasan, and it was classed as saheeh in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 888).

12 – It is mustahabb (recommended) to wear the best clothes one has on Friday. Imaam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad that Abu Ayyoob said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘Whoever takes a bath on Friday, puts on perfume if he has some, wears his best clothes then goes out , walking in a dignified manner until he reaches the mosque, then he prostrates in prayer if he wants and does not disturb anybody, then he remains quiet until the imaam comes out and he prays, that will be an expiation from one Friday to the next.’” (Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 23059; classed as hasan by al-Ana’oot).

In Sunan Abi Dawood it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Salaam that he heard the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say on the minbar (pulpit) one Friday: “There is nothing wrong with any one of you if he buys two garments for Friday other than his workaday clothes.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1078; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 953).

13 – It is mustahabb on Fridays to perfume the mosque with incense. Sa’eed ibn Mansoor narrated from Na’eem ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Mujmir that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) commanded him to perfume the mosque of Madeenah with incense every Friday until noontime. This is why Na’eem was called al-Mujmir (from the word tajmeer meaning perfuming with incense).

14 – It is a day on which sins are expiated. In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it is narrated that Salmaan al-Faarisi said: “The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘No man takes a bath on Friday and purifies himself as much as he can, and makes his hair tidy, and puts on perfume, then goes out, and does not come between two people, then prays as Allaah decrees for him and listens attentively when the imaam speaks, but he will be forgiven for his bad deeds between this Friday and the other.’” (al-Bukhaari, 843).

15 – On Friday there is the “hour of response” which is an hour in which no Muslim asks Allaah for something but He will grant it. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘On Friday there is an hour in which no Muslim asks for something whilst he is standing in prayer, but it will be given to him” – and he demonstrated the shortness of that time with his hands. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 883; Muslim, 1406).

16 – On Fridays there is the khutbah (sermon) which is intended to praise and glorify Allaah, and to bear witness to His Oneness and to the Messengership of His Messenger, and to remind His slaves of His blessings, to warn them of His punishment and wrath, to advise them of that which will bring them closer to Him and His Paradise, and to forbid them that which will bring them closer to His anger and Hell. This is the purpose behind the khutbah and of gathering to hear it.

17 – It is the day on which it is mustahabb to devote oneself to worship and it has an advantage over other days by being characterized with all kinds of worship, obligatory and mustahabb. Allaah has made for the followers of each religion a day on which they devote themselves to worship and refrain from worldly work. So Friday is a day of worship, and in relation to other days it is like Ramadaan in relation to other months; the “hour of response” on Friday is like Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree) in Ramadaan. Hence whoever gets it right on Friday, his whole week will be good, and whoever gets it right in Ramadan, his whole year will be good, and whoever gets it right on Hajj, his whole life will be good. Friday is the measure of the week, Ramadaan is the measure of the year and Hajj is the measure of one's life. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

19 – It is the day with which Allaah has exclusively favoured this ummah, and from which He led the People of the Book astray before them, as it says in al-Saheeh, where it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The sun has never risen or set on any day better than Friday. Allaah guided us to it and led the people away from it. The people are behind us in this respect. It (Friday) is for us, Saturday is for the Jews and Sunday is for the Christians.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 10305, classed as saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, 3/114).

20 – It is the day which Allaah chose from among all the days of the week, just as He chose Ramadaan from among the months of the year and Laylat al-Qadr from among all the nights, and Makkah from among all places on earth, and Muhammad from all of mankind.

With regard to the second question, the Muslims have several special occasions, such as:

1 – The blessed month of Ramadaan, which is a month that has special characteristics. You will find more information in Question no. 13480.

2 – Eid al-Fitr (the Feast of Breaking the Fast). This is the first day of the month of Shawwaal, on which the Muslims express their joy at the blessing which Allaah has bestowed upon them by enabling them to complete the month-long fast of Ramadaan.

3 – The Day of ‘Arafah, which is the ninth day of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, the day of the greater Pilgrimage (Hajj), the greatest pillar of the Hajj. It has many virtues, details of which are to be found in question no. 7284.

4 – Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice). The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of days is the Day of Sacrifice.” This is the tenth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah. It was narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: “The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The Day of ‘Arafah, the Day of Sacrifice and the Days of al-Tashreeq [the three days following the Day of Sacrifice] are a festival for us Muslims, and they are days of eating and drinking.’” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 704; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 620).

See Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/375

The merits of Islam

There are many religions.
Why do Muslims think that Islam is true. Is there any factual basis?

Praise be to Allah.

This is a reasonable enough question for one who has not entered Islam, but one who believes in and practices this religion already knows the blessings which are his because of this religion. There are many reasons for this, which include the following:

(1) The Muslim worships One God, Who has no partner, and Who has the most beautiful names and the highest attributes. Thus the Muslim’s focus and aim is concentrated, focused on His Lord and Creator; he puts his trust in Him and asks Him for help, patience and support; he believes that Allaah is able to do all things, and has no need of a wife or son. Allaah created the heavens and earth; He is the One Who gives life and death; He is the Creator and Sustainer from Whom the slave seeks provision. He is the All-Hearing Who responds to the supplication of His slave, and from Whom the slave hopes for a response. He is the All-Merciful and All-Forgiving, to Whom the slave turns in repentance when he has committed a sin or fallen short in his worship of Allaah. He is the Omniscient and All-Seeing, who knows all intentions and what is hidden in people’s hearts. The slave feels ashamed to commit a sin by doing wrong to himself or to others, because his Lord is watching over him and sees all that he does. He knows that Allaah is All-Wise, the Seer of the Unseen, so he trusts that what Allaah decrees for him is good; he knows that Allaah will never be unjust to him, and that everything that Allaah decrees for him is good, even if he does not understand the wisdom behind it.

(2) The effects of Islaamic worship on the soul of the Muslim include the following:
Prayer keeps the slave in contact with his Lord; if he enters it in a spirit of humiliation and concentration, he will feel tranquil and secure, because he is seeking a "powerful support," which is Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. For this reason, the Prophet of Islaam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say: "Let us find relaxation and joy in prayer." If something distressed him, he would hasten to pray. Everyone who finds himself faced with disaster and tries prayer finds strength, patience and consolation, because he is reciting the words of his Lord, which cannot be compared to the effect of the words of a created being. If the words of some psychologists can offer a little comfort, what do you think of the words of the One Who created the psychologist?

Now let us look at zakaat, which is one of the pillars of Islaam. Zakaat purifies the soul from stinginess and miserliness, and accustoms people to being generous and helping the poor and needy. It will bring a great reward on the Day of Resurrection, just like other forms of worship. It is not burdensome, like man-made taxes; it is only 25 in every thousand, which the sincere Muslim pays willingly and does not try to evade or wait until someone chases him for it.

Fasting involves refraining from food and sex. It is a form of worship, and a way in which one can feel the hunger of those who are deprived. It is also a reminder of the blessings of the Creator, and it brings rewards beyond measure.

Hajj is the Pilgrimage to the sacred House of Allaah, which was built by Ibraaheem (Abraham, upon whom be peace). By performing Hajj one is obeying the command of Allaah and the call to come and meet Muslims from all over the world.

(3) Islaam commands all kinds of good and forbids all kinds of evil. It encourages good manners and proper treatment of others. It enjoins good characteristics such as truthfulness, patience, deliberation, kindness, humility, modesty, keeping promises, dignity, mercy, justice, courage, patience, friendliness, contentment, chastity, good treatment, tolerance, trustworthiness, gratitude for favours, and self-control in times of anger. Islaam commands the Muslim to fulfil his duty towards his parents and to uphold family ties, to help the needy, to treat neighbours well, to protect and safeguard the wealth of the orphan, to be gentle with the young and show respect to the old, to be kind to servants and animals, to remove harmful things from the road, to speak kind words, to forgive at the time when one has the opportunity to take revenge, to be sincere towards one’s fellow-Muslims, to meet the needs of the Muslims, to give the debtor time to repay his debt, to prefer others over oneself, to console others, to greet people with a smiling face, to visit the sick, to support the one who is oppressed, to give gifts to friends, to honour his guest, to treat his wife kindly and spend on her and her children, to spread the greeting of peace (salaam) and to seek permission before entering another person’s house, lest one see something private that the other person does not want one to see.

Some non-Muslims may do these things out of politeness or good manners, but they are not seeking reward from Allaah or salvation of the Day of Judgement.

If we look at what Islam has prohibited, we will find that it is in the interests of both the individual and society as a whole. All these prohibitions serve to safeguard the relationship between the slave and his Lord, and the relationship of the individual with himself and with his fellow-man. The following examples demonstrate this:

Islam forbids the association of anything in worship with Allaah and the worship of anything other than Allaah, because this spells doom and misery. Islaam also forbids visiting or believing soothsayers and fortune-tellers; magic or witchcraft that may cause a rift between two people or bring them together; belief in the influence of the stars on events and people’s lives; cursing time, because Allaah is directing its affairs; and superstition, because this is pessimism.

Islam forbids cancelling out good deeds by showing off, boasting or reminding others of one’s favours; bowing or prostrating to anything other than Allaah; sitting with hypocrites or immoral people for the purposes of enjoying their company or keeping them company; and invoking the curse or wrath of Allaah on one another or damning one another to Hell.

Islaam forbids urinating into stagnant water; defecating on the side of the road or in places where people seek shade or where they draw water; from facing the qiblah (direction of prayer) or turning one’s back towards it when passing water or stools; holding one’s penis in one’s right hand when passing water; giving the greeting of salaam (peace) to one who is answering the call of nature; and putting one’s hand into any vessel before washing it, when one has just woken up.

Islaam forbids the offering of any nafl (supererogatory) prayers when the sun is rising, when it is at its zenith, and when it is setting, because it rises and sets between the horns of Shaytaan (Satan); praying when there is food prepared that a person desires; praying when one urgently needs to pass water, stools or wind, because that will distract a person from concentrating properly on his prayer.

Islam forbids the Muslim to raise his voice in prayer, lest it disturb other believers; to continue offering supererogatory prayers at night when one feels drowsy - such a person should sleep then get up; to stay up all night in prayer, especially one night after another; and to stop praying when there is doubt as to the validity of one’s wudoo’ - unless one hears a sound or smells an odour.

Islaam forbids buying, selling and making "lost and found" announcements in the mosque - because it is the place of worship and remembrance of Allaah, where worldly affairs have no place.

Islam forbids haste in walking when the iqaamah (call immediately preceding congregational prayer) is given, and prescribes walking in a calm and dignified manner. It is also forbidden to boast about the cost of building a mosque; to decorate a mosque with red or yellow paint or adornments which will distract the worshippers; to fast day after day without a break; and for a woman to observe a supererogatory fast when her husband is present without his permission.

Islaam forbids building over graves, making them high, sitting on them, walking between them wearing shoes, putting lights over them or writing on them. It is forbidden to disinter the dead or to take graves as places of worship. Islam forbids wailing, tearing one’s clothes or leaving one’s hair unkempt when a person dies. Eulogizing the dead in the manner of the times of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah) is also forbidden, although there is nothing wrong with informing others that a person has died.

Islaam forbids the consumption of riba (interest); all kinds of selling which involve ignorance (of the product), misleading and cheating; selling blood, wine, pork, idols and everything that Allaah has forbidden - their price, whether bought or sold - is haraam; najash, which is offering a price for something one has no intention of buying, as happens in many auctions; concealing a product’s faults at the time of selling; selling something which one does not own or before it comes into one’s possession; undercutting, outbidding or out bargaining another; selling produce before it is clear that it is in good condition and free of blemish; cheating in weights and measures; and hoarding. A partner who has shares in a plot of land or a date palm tree is forbidden to sell his share without consulting his partners. It is forbidden to consume the wealth of orphans unjustly; to bet or gamble; to take anything by force; to accept or offer bribes; to steal people’s wealth or to consume it unjustly; to take something for the purpose of destroying it; to undermine the value of people’s possessions; to keep lost property which one has found, or to keep quiet about it and not announce it, for it belongs to the one who recognizes it; to cheat in any way; to ask for a loan with no intention of repaying it; to take anything of the wealth of a fellow-Muslim, unless it is given freely, because what is taken because of another person’s shyness is haraam; and to accept a gift because of intercession.

Celibacy and castration are forbidden, as is marrying two sisters, or a woman and her aunt (paternal or maternal), whether he marries the aunt after marrying her niece or vice versa, for fear of breaking the ties of kinship. It is forbidden to make deals in marriage, such as saying "Let me marry your daughter and I will give you my daughter or sister in marriage." Such reciprocal deals are a form of oppression and injustice, and haraam. Islaam forbids mut’ah (temporary marriage), which is a marriage contract for a period of time agreed by the two parties, at the end of which the marriage expires. Islaam forbids intercourse with a menstruating woman, until she has purified herself (by taking a bath after her period ends), and also forbids anal intercourse. A man is forbidden to propose marriage to a woman when another man has already proposed to her, unless the other man withdraws his proposal or gives him permission. It is forbidden to marry a previously-married woman without consulting her, or a virgin without seeking her permission. It is forbidden to wish (a newly married couple) "Bi’l-rafaa’ wa’l-baneen (a joyful life and many sons)," because this is the greeting of the people of Jaahiliyyah, who hated daughters. The divorced woman is forbidden to conceal what Allaah has created in her womb (if she is pregnant). A husband and wife are forbidden to speak (to others) about the intimacies of married life. It is forbidden to turn a woman against her husband or to take divorce lightly. It is forbidden for a woman to ask for another’s divorce, such as asking a man to divorce a woman so that she can marry him. A wife is forbidden to spend her husband’s money without his permission, or to keep away from his bed without good reason, because the angels will curse her if she does that. A man is forbidden to marry his father’s wife, or to have intercourse with a woman who is pregnant from another man. It is forbidden for a man to practise ‘azl (coitus interruptus) with his free wife without her permission. It is forbidden for a man to return home from a journey late at night and startle his family, unless he has previously notified them when he will arrive home. A man is forbidden to take anything of his wife’s mahr (dowry) without her consent, or to keep annoying his wife so that she will give up her wealth.

Islaam forbids women to make a wanton display of themselves (tabarruj). It also forbids extreme forms of female circumcision. Women are forbidden to admit anyone into their husband’s home without his permission; his general permission is acceptable so long as they stay within the limits of sharee’ah. It is forbidden to separate a mother and child (in case of divorce); to let one’s womenfolk behave foolishly (in an immoral fashion) and not say anything; to let one’s gaze wander everywhere; and to follow an accidental glance with an intentional glance.

Islaam forbids the eating of dead meat, regardless of whether it died by drowning, strangulation, shock or falling from a high place; eating blood, pork and anything slaughtered in a name other than that of Allaah or for idols; eating the flesh or drinking the milk of beasts that feed on filth and waste matter; eating the flesh of every carnivorous beast that has fangs and every bird that has talons; eating the meat of domesticated donkeys; killing animals by keeping them and throwing stones at them until they die, or detaining them without food until they die; slaughtering with teeth or nails; slaughtering one animal (for food) in front of another; or sharpening the knife in front of the animal to be slaughtered.

In the area of clothing and adornment, men are forbidden the extravagance of wearing gold. Muslim are forbidden to be naked or to expose their thighs; to leave their clothes long (below the ankles) and trail them on the ground for the purpose of showing off; and to wear clothes that will attract attention.

It is forbidden to bear false witness; to make false accusations against a chaste believing woman; to accuse someone who is innocent; to utter lies; to slander and backbite; to call people by offensive nicknames; to spread gossip and malicious slander; to make fun of the Muslims; to boast about one’s status; to shed doubts on a person’s lineage; to utter slander, insults and obscenities; to speak in an indecent or rude manner; or to utter evil in public, except by one who has been wronged.

Islaam forbids telling lies; one of the worst kinds of lie is to lie about dreams, like fabricating dreams and visions in order to prove one’s virtue, or make some material gains, or to frighten an enemy.

Muslims are forbidden to praise themselves, or to talk in a secret way: two may not converse secretly to the exclusion of a third, because this is offensive. It is forbidden to curse a believer or someone who does not deserve to be cursed.

Islaam forbids speaking ill of the dead; praying for death; wishing for death because of some suffering that one is passing through; praying against one’s self, one’s children, one’s servants or one’s wealth.

Muslims are told not to eat the food that is directly in front of others or to eat from the centre of the dish or platter; rather they should eat from what is directly in front of them or thereabouts, because the barakah (blessing) comes in the middle of the food. It is forbidden to drink from a broken edge of a vessel, because this could cause harm; or to drink from the mouth of a vessel; or to breathe into it. It is forbidden to eat while lying on one’s stomach; to sit at a table where wine is being drunk; to leave a fire burning in one’s house when one sleeps; to sleep with Ghamr in one’s hand, like an offensive smell or the remainder of food (grease); to sleep on one’s stomach; or to talk about or try to interpret bad dreams, because these are tricks of the Shaytaan.

It is forbidden to kill another person except in cases where it is right to do so; to kill one’s children for fear of poverty; to commit suicide; to commit fornication, adultery or sodomy (homosexuality); to drink wine, or even to prepare it, carry it from one place to another, or sell it. Muslims are forbidden to please people by angering Allaah; to offend their parents or even to say "Uff" (the slightest word of contempt) to them; to claim that a child belongs to anyone but his real father; to torture by means of fire; to burn anyone, alive or dead, with fire; to mutilate the bodies of the slain; to help anyone commit falsehood; or to cooperate in wrongdoing and sin.

It is forbidden to obey any person by disobeying Allaah; to swear falsely; to swear a disastrous oath; to eavesdrop on people without their permission; to invade people’s privacy or look at their private parts; to claim something that does not belong to one or that one did not do, for the purpose of showing off; to look into someone’s else’s house without permission; to be extravagant; to swear an oath to do something wrong; to spy on others or be suspicious about righteous men and women; to envy, hate or shun one another; to persist in falsehood; to be arrogant or feel superior; to be filled with self-admiration; to be pleased with one’s arrogance. Islam forbids taking back one’s charity, even if one pays to get it back; employing someone to do a job without paying him his wages; being unfair in giving gifts to one’s children; bequeathing everything in one’s will and leaving one’s heirs poor - in such a case the will should not be executed; writing a will that concerns more than one third of one’s legacy; being a bad neighbour; or changing a will to the detriment of one or some of one’s heirs. A Muslim is forbidden to forsake or shun his brother for more than three days, except for a reason sanctioned by sharee’ah; to hold small stones between two fingers and throw them because this could cause injury to eyes or teeth; to include his heirs in a will, because Allaah has already given heirs their rights of inheritance; to disturb his neighbour; to point a weapon at his Muslim brother; to hand someone an unsheathed sword, lest it harm him; to come (walk) between two people except with their permission; to return a gift, unless there is some shar’i objection to it; to be extravagant; to give money to foolish people; to wish to be like someone to whom Allaah has given more of something; to cancel out his charity by giving offensive reminders of his giving; to wilfully conceal testimony; or to oppress orphans or scold one who asks for help or money. It is forbidden to treat with evil medicines, because Allaah would not create a cure for this ummah which includes something that He has forbidden. It is forbidden to kill women and children in warfare; to boast to one another; or to break promises.

Islaam forbids betraying a trust; asking for charity that one does not need; alarming a Muslim brother or taking away his possessions, whether jokingly or seriously; changing one’s mind after giving a gift, except in the case of a gift from a father to his child; practising medicine without experience; or killing ants, bees and hoopoe birds. A man is forbidden to look at the ‘awrah (private parts) of another man, and a woman is forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of another woman. It is forbidden to sit between two people without their permission; or to greet only those whom one knows, because the greeting is to be given to those whom you know and those whom you do not know. A Muslim is forbidden to let an oath come between him and good deeds; he should do what is good and make expiation for the oath. It is forbidden to judge between two disputing parties when one is angry, or to judge in favour of one party without hearing what the other has to say. It is forbidden for a man to walk through the market-place carrying something - like a sharp weapon - that could harm the Muslims, unless it is properly covered. A Muslim is forbidden to make another person get up, so that he can take his place.

There are more commands and prohibitions which came for the benefit and happiness of individuals and mankind as a whole. Have you ever seen any other religion that can compare to this religion?

Read this response again, then ask yourself: is it not a great pity that I am not one of them? Allaah says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): "And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

Finally, I hope that everyone who reads this will be guided to the correct way and to follow the truth. May Allaah protect you and us from all evil.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

She is asking about the rights of women in Islam

What are the women rights like under Islam/ and how have they changed since Islams golden age (from mid 8th century until 12th century) if they have changed?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Islam honours women greatly. It honours women as mothers who must be respected, obeyed and treated with kindness. Pleasing one's mother is regarded as part of pleasing Allaah. Islam tells us that Paradise lies at the mother’s feet, i.e. that the best way to reach Paradise is through one's mother. And Islam forbids disobeying one’s mother or making her angry, even by saying a mild word of disrespect. The mother’s rights are greater than those of the father, and the duty to take care of her grows greater as the mother grows older and weaker. All of that is mentioned in many texts of the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

For example, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents”

[al-Ahqaaf 46:15]

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.

24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’”

[al-Isra’ 17:23, 24]

Ibn Maajah (2781) narrated that Mu’aawiyah ibn Jaahimiah al-Sulami (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allaah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allaah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?” I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honour her.” Then I approached him from the other side and said: O Messenger of Allaah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allaah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?” I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honour her.” Then I approached him from in front and said, O Messenger of Allaah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allaah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?” I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honour her (lit. stay by her feet), for there is Paradise.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah. It was also narrated by al-Nasaa’i with the words: “Stay with her for Paradise is beneath her feet.”

Al-Bukhaari (5971) and Muslim (2548) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, who is most deserving of my good company?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Then your father.”

And there are other texts which we do not have room to mention here.

One of the rights which Islam gives to the mother is that her son should spend on her if she needs that support, so long as he is able and can afford it. Hence for many centuries it was unheard of among the people of Islam for a mother to be left in an old-people’s home or for a son to kick her out of the house, or for her sons to refuse to spend on her, or for her to need to work in order to eat and drink if her sons were present.

Islam also honours women as wives. Islam urges the husband to treat his wife in a good and kind manner, and says that the wife has rights over the husband like his rights over her, except that he has a degree over her, because of his responsibility of spending and taking care of the family’s affairs. Islam states that the best of the Muslim men is the one who treats his wife in the best manner, and the man is forbidden to take his wife’s money without her consent. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and live with them honourably”

[al-Nisa’ 4:19]

“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise”

[al-Baqarah 2:228]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I urge you to treat women well.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 331; Muslim, 1468.

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Maajah, 1977; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

And Islam honours women as daughters, and encourages us to raise them well and educate them. Islam states that raising daughters will bring a great reward. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood, he and I will come like this on the Day of Resurrection,” and he held his fingers together. Narrated by Muslim, 2631.

Ibn Maajah (3669) narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink and clothes them from his riches, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.

Islam honours woman as sisters and as aunts. Islam enjoins upholding the ties of kinship and forbids severing those ties in many texts. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O people! Spread (the greeting of) salaam, offer food (to the needy), uphold the ties of kinship, and pray at night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise in peace.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 3251; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.

Al-Bukhaari (5988) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah, may He be exalted, said to the ties of kinship: ‘Whoever upholds you, I will support him, and whoever breaks you, I will cut him off.’”

All of these qualities may co-exist in a single woman: she may be a wife, a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunt, so she may be honoured in all these ways.

To conclude: Islam raised the status of women, and made them equal with men in most rulings. So women, like men, are commanded to believe in Allaah and to worship Him. And women are made equal to men in terms of reward in the Hereafter. Women have the right to express themselves, to give sincere advice, to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and to call people to Allaah. Women have the right to own property, to buy and sell, to inherit, to give charity and to give gifts. It is not permissible for anyone to take a woman’s wealth without her consent. Women have the right to a decent life, without facing aggression or being wronged. Women have the right to be educated; in fact it is obligatory to teach them what they need to know about their religion.

Anyone who compares the rights of women in Islam with their situation during the Jaahiliyyah or in other civilizations will understand that what we are saying is true. In fact we are certain that women are given the greatest honour in Islam.

There is no need for us to mention the situation of women in Greek, Persian or Jewish society, but even Christian societies had a bad attitude towards women. The theologians even gathered at the Council of Macon to discuss whether woman was merely a body or a body with a soul. They thought it most likely that women did not have a soul that could be saved, and they made an exception only in the case of Mary (Maryam – peace be upon her).

The French held a conference in 586 CE to discuss whether women had souls or not, and if they had souls, were these souls animal or human? In the end, they decided that they were human! But they were created to serve men only.

During the time of Henry VIII, the English Parliament issued a decree forbidding women to read the New Testament because they were regarded as impure.

Until 1805, English law allowed a man to sell his wife, and set a wife’s price at six pennies.

In the modern age, women were kicked out of the house at the age of eighteen so that they could start working to earn a bite to eat. If a woman wanted to stay in the house, she had to pay her parents rent for her room and pay for her food and laundry.

See ‘Awdat al-Hijaab, 2/47-56.

How can this compare to Islam which enjoins honouring and kind treatment of women, and spending on them?


With regard to the changes in these rights throughout the ages, the basic principles have not changed, but with regard to the application of these principles, there can be no doubt that during the golden age of Islam, the Muslims applied the sharee’ah of their Lord more, and the rulings of this sharee’ah include honouring one’s mother and treating one’s wife, daughter, sister and women in general in a kind manner. The weaker religious commitment grew, the more these rights were neglected, but until the Day of Resurrection there will continue to be a group who adheres to their religion and applies the sharee’ah of their Lord. These are the people who honour women the most and grant them their rights.

Despite the weakness of religious commitment among many Muslims nowadays, women still enjoy a high status, whether as daughters, wives or sisters, whilst we acknowledge that there are shortcomings, wrongdoing and neglect of women’s rights among some people, but each one will be answerable for himself.

Islam Q&A

The status of the family in Islam

Praise be to Allaah.

Before we find out about the role of Islam in organizing and protecting the family, we should first find out what the situation of the family was before Islam, and what it is in the west in modern times.

Before Islam, the family was based on mistreatment and oppression. All affairs were controlled only by men or in other words, the males, and women and girls were oppressed and humiliated. An example of that is that if a man died and left behind a wife, his son by another wife had the right to marry her and control her life, or to prevent her from getting married. Men were the only ones who could inherit; women and children had no share. They viewed women, whether they were mothers, daughters or sisters, as a source of shame, because they could be taken as prisoners, thus bringing shame upon the family. Hence a man would bury his infant daughter alive, as is referred to in the Qur’aan, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief!

He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision”

[al-Nahl 16:58]

The family in the broader sense, i.e., the tribe, was based on supporting one another in all things, even in wrongdoing.

When Islam came, it did away with all that and established justice, giving each person his or her rights, even nursing infants, and even the miscarried foetus who was to be respected and prayed for (i.e., given a proper funeral).

When you examine the family in the west today you will find that families are disintegrating and the parents cannot control their children, whether intellectually or morally. The son has the right to go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants; the daughter has the right to sit with whoever she wants and sleep with whoever she wants, all in the name of freedom and rights. And what is the result? Broken families, children born outside marriage, (elderly) mothers and fathers who are not looked after. As some wise men have said, if you want to know the true nature of these people, go to the prisons and the hospitals and seniors’ homes, for children do not remember their parents except on holidays and special occasions.

The point is that among non-Muslims the institution of family is destroyed. When Islam came it paid a great deal of attention to the establishment of strong families and protecting them from things that could harm them, and preserving family ties whilst giving each member of the family an important role in life.

Islam honoured women, whether as mothers, daughters or sisters. It honoured women as mothers. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, who among people is most deserving of my good company?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Then your father.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5626; Muslim, 2548)

Islam honours women as daughters. It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has three daughters or three sisters, or two daughters or two sisters, and takes good care of them and fears Allaah with regard to them, will enter Paradise.”

(Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, 2/190)

And Islam honours women as wives. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”

(Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 3895).

Islam gave women their rights of inheritance and other rights. It gave women rights like those of men in many spheres. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Women are the twin halves of men.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, 236, from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 216).

Islam encourages men to treat their wives well, and gives women the freedom to choose their husbands; it gives women much of the responsibility for raising the children.

Islam gives fathers and mothers a great deal of responsibility for raising their children. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his flock. The woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” He said, I heard this from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829)

Islam paid a great deal attention to implanting the principle of respect for fathers and mothers, taking care of them and obeying their commands until death. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour”

[al-Isra’ 17:23]

Islam protects the honour, chastity, purity and lineage of the family, so it encourages marriage and forbids free mixing of men and women.

Islam gives each family member an important role to play. So fathers and mothers take care of the children and give them an Islamic upbringing; children are to listen and obey, and respect the rights of fathers and mothers, on a basis of love and respect. Even our enemies have borne witness to the strength of family ties among the Muslims.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Relations with women according to Islam

Praise be to Allaah.

We cannot conceal our joy and pleasure at the intention expressed in your question of embracing the true religion, Islam. The confusion and hesitation that you describe are quite understandable, because when a person has been indulging in forbidden relationships and then wishes to move to a religion of purity and chastity, it is natural to feel that his own “nafs” (desires) will defeat him and that he will not be able to do what Islam requires of him in the way of purity and chastity. But we will tell you some things here which we hope will help you to overcome any difficulty that you may be fearing and give a true picture of the situation.

When a person follows the true religion, it is expected to have a far-reaching effect on his personality and behaviour, so that it re-forms him and gives him a fresh start and a new direction in life, completely different from the way he was during his “jaahiliyyah” (days of ignorance before his Islam). This radical change will produce morals and values that were not there before, which will purify his heart and fill him with a sense of chastity, so that the new Muslim looks with revulsion and disgust both at his own former deeds and at the ignorant world of promiscuity, infidelity, nakedness and utter corruption that exists in the society around him. He will come back to the sound nature (fitrah – the natural state of man) and purity of heart of which Shaytaan had robbed him during the days when he was a kaafir and sinner. This new direction in life is undertaken freely, by choice, and is accompanied by contentment and acceptance stemming from his total submission to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah, Who revealed this religion of Islam with all its laws. We have two sources of proof to support what we say here, one from the sharee’ah and one from history.

The shar’i evidence is to be found in numerous places in the Qur’aan, for example (interpretation of the meanings):

“Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and by disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and by faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out?…” [al-An’aam 6:122]

“And those who invoke not any other god along with Allaah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.

The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace,

Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds, for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Furqaan 25:68-70]

Concerning the phrase “Allaah will change their sins into good deeds” the mufassireen (commentators) said: their evil deeds will be replaced by good deeds. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “These are the believers, who before they believed did evil deeds, but Allaah wanted them to do something else, so He changed their bad deeds into good deeds…”

‘Ataa’ ibn Abi Rabaah said: “This is in this world: a man may be doing evil but then Allaah replaces it with good.” Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said: “Allaah changed them from worshippers of idols into worshippers of the Most Merciful, and changed them from those who fight the Muslims into those who fight the mushrikeen (polytheists), and from those who marry mushrik women into those who marry believing women.” Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Allaah changed them from evil deeds to good deeds, from shirk (polytheism) to ikhlaas (purity of faith), from promiscuity to chastity, from kufr to Islam.” This is the view of Abu ‘Aaliyah, Qutaadah and a group of others. (Ibn Katheer, Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem).

The historical evidence includes a number of stories of Muslims who entered Islam after having been kuffaar (disbelievers), and how they changed and became righteous. Among these stories is the following:

“There was a (Muslim) man called Marthad ibn Abi Marthad who used to smuggle Muslim prisoners-of-war from Makkah (which was the territory of the mushrikeen) to Madeenah (which was the territory of the Muslims). There was also a woman in Makkah, called ‘Anaaq, who was a prostitute. She had been a friend of Marthad’s (before he became Muslim). Marthad had promised to take one of the prisoners from Makkah to Madeenah. He said: “I came to the shade of one of the gardens of Makkah on a moonlit night, then ‘Anaaq came and saw my shadow by the garden. When she reached me, she recognized me and said: ‘Marthad?’ I said, ‘Marthad.’ She said: ‘Welcome! Stay with us tonight.’ I said, ‘O ‘Anaaq, Allaah has forbidden zinaa (unlawful sexual relations).’ She called out, ‘O people of the camp! This man is stealing away your prisoners!’ (i.e., she wanted to take revenge on him because he refused to have unlawful relations with her, so she called the mushrikeen to come and seize him). Eight men pursued me (and he described how Allaah saved him from them).” This event was the reason for the revelation of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever; nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman; to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.” [al-Noor 24:3 – Yusuf ‘Ali’s translation] (Reported and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 3101).

The reason for telling this story is that it illustrates how this man changed after he embraced Islam, and refused to commit the haraam deed with which he was tempted. Another story describes a woman who embraced Islam and became righteous:

‘Abd-Allaah ibn Maghfal reported that there was a woman who had been a prostitute during the days of ignorance (before Islam). A man passed by her, or she passed by him, and he touched her. She said: “Stop it! (Mah! A word connoting a rebuke or denunciation). Allaah has done away with shirk and had brought Islam.” So he left her alone and went away. (Reported by al-Haakim, who said this hadeeth is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim, although they did not report it).

If you enter Islam and become a truly practising Muslim, adhering to this pure sharee’ah, worshipping Allaah as He wants to be worshipped, obeying His commands and heeding His prohibitions, then in sha Allaah you will not encounter or suffer the difficulties you refer to in your question. Moreover, you will have the means of keeping chaste, such as marriage, which will help you to refrain from doing haraam deeds; marriage is enjoined by this sharee’ah. The one who chooses a pure and clean way has no need to enter the mire (of illicit relationships). We ask Allaah to guide you and make things easy for you, and to keep evil away from you. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

What is the high status of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?

Praise be to Allaah.

It is prescribed for everyone who hears the adhaan and call to prayer to repeat after the muezzin, and when he has finished repeating the entire adhaan, he should send prayers and blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then recite the words narrated in the saheeh hadeeth from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah, who reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever says when he hears the call to prayer, ‘Allaahummah Rabba haadhihi’l-da’wat il-taammah wa’l-salaat il-qaa’imah, aati Muhammadan al-waseelata wa’l-fadeelah, wab’athhu maqaaman mahmoodan alladhi wa’adtahu (O Allaah, Lord of this perfect Call and the Prayer to be offered, grant Muhammad the privilege and also the eminence, and resurrect him to the praised position that You have promised), will be granted my intercession on the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 579). There is no phrase in this du’aa’ like “al-darajah al-‘aaliyah al-rafee’ah (the high and elevated status),” so this should not be said. The conjunction “wa” in the phrase “al-waseelata wa’l-fadeelah (the privilege and also the eminence) is by way of explanation; waseelah is the status higher than the rest of creation. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained it in the hadeeth narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, who said that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “When you hear the muezzin and say something like he says, then send blessings on me, whoever sends blessings on me, Allaah will send blessings tenfold on him. Then ask Allaah to grant me al-waseelah, for it is a status in Paradise that only one of the slaves of Allaah will reach, and I hope that I will be the one. Whoever asks for al-waseelah for me will be granted intercession.” (Reported by Muslim, 577).

The “praised position”(maqaam mahmood) is intercession before Allaah so that He will start to judge between His slaves, and no one will be granted this except Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). This is mentioned in the words of Allaah addressed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):

“Perform al-salaah from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e., the Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers), and recite the Qur’aan in the early dawn (i.e., the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur’aan in the early dawn is ever witnessed (aatended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).

And in some parts of the night (also) offer the salaah (prayer) with it (i.e., recite the Qur’aan in the prayer), as an additional prayer (tahajjud – optional prayer) for you (O Muhammad). It may be that your Lord will raise you to maqaaman mahmoodah (a station of praise and glory, i.e., the highest degree in Paradise).” [al-Isra’ 17:78-79]

It is called al-maqaam al-mahmood because all of creation will praise Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for that status, because his intercession will ease their distress on that terrible day by setting the process of judgement in motion. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Stories of women who became Muslim and left their kaafir husbands

I know that Muslim women are not allowed in Islam to marry non-Muslim men; there is a sister on a converts list who recently became Muslim and who was asking what to do regarding her non-Muslim husband who accepted her conversion without any problems and who also lets her educate the children the Islamic way. However, when she asked for an advice, most of us told her that the husband has to take shahada or she should not remained married to him otherwise. Unfortunately, some other people don't believe so and advised her the opposite way, that she just should remain with the husband and so on,.... I would like you to send me concrete cases at the time of the Prophet (SAW) where Muslim women (sahabyate) would leave their non-Muslim husbands if those decided not to convert. I think those cases would be the only proof to convince the people of that list that Muslim women are not allowed to marry or remain married to non-Muslims men even though they are not against the woman's conversion.

Praise be to Allaah.

What you have said in your question about it being haraam for a Muslim woman to marry a kaafir man is correct, and there is no doubt concerning that.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon till they believe” [al-Baqarah 2:221]

Al-Qurtubi said:

“ ‘And give not (your daughters) in marriage’ means, do not give Muslim women in marriage to Mushrik men. The ummah is agreed that a Mushrik should not marry a Muslim woman because this is like putting Islam in an inferior position. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 3/72).

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them” [al-Mumtahanah 60:10]

Al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Chapter: when a mushrik or Christian woman who is married to a dhimmi (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule) or a harbi (non-Muslim belonging to a people who are hostile towards Islam) becomes Muslim. ‘Abd al-Waarith said, narrating from Khaalid from ‘Ikrimah from Ibn ‘Abbaas: if a Christian woman becomes Muslim shortly before her husband, she is forbidden for him… Mujaahid said: if he becomes Muslim during the ‘iddah [waiting period following divorce], then he may (re)marry her. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them” [al-Mumtahanah 60:10]. Al-Hasan and Qutaadah said concerning two Magians who became Muslim that their marriage was still valid. If one of them had become Muslim and the other had refused, the woman would have been divorced and he would no longer have any rights over her.

(Saheeh al-Bukhaari. See al-Fath, 9/421).

Examples of such women include:

Zaynab, the daughter of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). She was married to Abu’l-‘Aas ibn al-Rabee’ during the Jaahiliyyah, but when she became Muslim, their marriage was annulled, and she went and stayed with her father (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). When her husband became Muslim, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent her back to him.

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1143; Abu Dawood, 2240; Ibn Maajah, 2009; classed as saheeh by Imaam Ahmad, 1789. Al-Tirmidhi said, there is nothing wrong with its isnaad).

The correct view is that the husband can go back to her with no need to renew the marriage contract.

If the woman is still in her ‘iddah, he has more right (than anyone else) to marry her. If her ‘iddah has ended, she is free to choose whether to go back to him or not.

Al-Tirmidhi said:

On the basis of this hadeeth, the scholars said that if a woman becomes Muslim before her husband, then her husband becomes Muslim whilst she is still in her ‘iddah, then the husband has more right to her whilst she is still in her ‘iddah. This is the view of Maalik ibn Anas, al-Oozaa’i, al-Shaafa’i, Ahmad and Ishaaq.

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth 1142).

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said:

There is no dispute among the scholars concerning the fact that if a kaafir woman becomes Muslim then her ‘iddah ends, her husband has no rights concerning her if he has not become Muslim during her ‘iddah.

(Al-Tamheed, 12/23).

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

But what the ruling of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) indicates is that the marriage comes to a halt. If he becomes Muslim before the end of her ‘iddah, then she is (still) his wife, but if her ‘iddah ends, then she may marry whomever she wants. If she likes, she can wait for him, and if he becomes Muslim she is his wife and there is no need to renew the marriage contract.

(Zaad al-Ma’aad, 5/137, 138)

Al-Qurtubi said:

Talhah ibn ‘Ubayd-Allaah was married to Arwaa bint Rabee’ah ibn al-Haarith ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib. They were separated by Islam, then in Islam Khaalid ibn Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas married her. She was one of the [Muslim] wives of the kuffaar who fled to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kept her in Madinah and married her to Khaalid.

(Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 18/65, 66)

It was reported that Anas said: Abu Talhah married Umm Sulaym and the mahr between them was Islam. Umm Sulaym became Muslim before Abu Talhah. He proposed marriage to her and she said, “I have become Muslim. If you become Muslim I will marry you.” So he became Muslim and that was the mahr between them.

(Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 3340)

The daughter of al-Waleed ibn al-Magheerah, the wife of Safwaan ibn Umayyah, became Muslim before him, and the marriage was annulled. Then he became Muslim later on, and she went back to him. It was narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, 1132. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: I do not know of any unbroken saheeh isnaad for this hadeeth, but it is famous and well known to the scholars of seerah, Ibn Shihaab, the leader of the scholars of seerah, and al-Shu’bi. The fame of this hadeeth is stronger than its isnaad in sha Allaah.

(al-Tamheed, 12/19)

Umm Hakeem bint al-Haarith ibn Hishaam, the wife of ‘Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl. Her marriage was annulled, then he became Muslim during her ‘iddah, so she went back to her husband.

(Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 4/107)

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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