Saturday, 3 December 2016

The wisdom behind the prescription to remove pubic hair and armpit hair

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What is the reason for shaving pubic hair and armpit hair? What did they use to shave it with at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)? Is it sufficient just to cut it or must it be shaved?
Praise be to Allah
The Sunnah indicates that it is prescribed to remove pubic hair and armpit hair. Al-Bukhaari (5889) and Muslim (257) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking the armpit hairs, and trimming the moustache.”
The wisdom behind the prescription of removing the hair from these two places – and Allah knows best – is that removing it helps one to attain a perfect level of cleanliness and prevents what could emanate from them of bad smells if the hair was left without removing it. And there are other reasons and wisdom behind it.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: These characteristics of the fitrah may serve some religious or worldly interests, that one may notice by reflecting upon the issue, such as: improving one’s physical well-being; cleansing the body thoroughly; taking precautions to ensure purity when doing ghusl or wudoo’; doing a favour to one’s friends and companions by avoiding unpleasant smells that may offend them; differing from the practices of the disbelievers such as the Magians, Jews, Christians and idol-worshippers; obeying the command of the Lawgiver; preserving that which is mentioned to in the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning), “and [Allah] has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking)” [Ghaafir 40:64], because by doing so one is preserving that beautiful image – it is as if the verse implies: I have given you beautiful shapes, so do not distort them with anything that may make them ugly, and take care of them so that they will continue to be beautiful, for taking care of them is a kind of adhering to dignity and maintaining harmony with others, because if a person appears handsome or beautiful, that makes others feel at ease with him, so people will listen to what he says and appreciate what he says, and vice versa.
End quote from Fath al-Baari.
What was well known at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was that they would use a razor to shave their hair.
Al-Bukhaari (5079) and Muslim (715) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We were with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on campaign, and when we approached Madinah, we wanted to enter the city straight away, but the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Delay it until we enter at night, so that the one who is dishevelled may tidy herself up and the one whose husband is absent may shave her pubic hair.”
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari: This refers to the woman whose husband is absent. What is meant is so that she may remove her pubic hair, and the word used in this hadith refers to shaving, because that is the usual method of removing hair, but that does not mean that it is not allowed to use something other than a razor. End quote.
Al-Bukhaari (3989) narrated the story of Khubayb ibn ‘Adiyy (may Allah be pleased with him), in which it says:… when they [the disbelievers who had captured him] decided to kill him, he asked to borrow a razor from one of the daughters of al-Haarith so that he could shave his pubic hair, and she lent it to him…
It says in Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (26705), in the hadith of Ma‘mar ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him): … When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had slaughtered his sacrifice in Mina, he instructed me to shave his head. So I picked up the razor and stood by his head. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) looked me in the eye and said to me: “O Ma‘mar, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) has let you take hold of his earlobe when you have a razor in your hand…”
The Sunnah with regard to the removal of pubic hair is to shave it. In the case of armpit hair, the Sunnah is to pluck it, but if a person simply trims it, there is nothing wrong with that, but it is not what is best.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Shaving the pubic hair is mustahabb and is part of the fitrah, and it is very inappropriate to leave it, so it is recommended to remove it, and whatever means one uses, there is nothing wrong with it, because the point is to remove it. It was said to Abu ‘Abdullah (i.e., Imam Ahmad): Is it acceptable for a man to cut his pubic hair with scissors, even if he does not cut all of it? He said: I hope it is acceptable, in sha Allah.
End quote from al-Mughni (1/65).
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Shaving the pubic hair is called istihdaad in Arabic because iron (hadeed) is used, i.e., the razor. That is Sunnah, and the purpose behind it is to cleanse the area. The best is to shave it, but it is permissible to cut the hair, pluck it or remove it with a depilatory paste…. With regard to plucking the armpit hair, that is Sunnah according to consensus. The best is to pluck it for the one who can stand it, but it may also be done by shaving or using a depilatory paste. It was narrated that Yoonus ibn ‘Abd al-A‘laa said: I entered upon ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him), and the barber was with him, shaving his armpits. Ash-Shaafa‘i said: I know that the Sunnah is to pluck it, but I cannot stand the pain.
End quote from Sharh Muslim by an-Nawawi (3/149)
And Allah knows best.

Praying with one's eyes closed

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Can someone close his eyes while performing prayer so as to achieve greater concentration?


The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not close his eyes during his prayers. If keeping the eyes open during prayer does not compromise the tranquility of the person praying, then it is clearly preferable to do so. 

However, closing eyes is not totally prohibited. If the worshipper fears being distracted by some sights or decorations that are within his view, then closing his eyes is not disliked. One might even say in this case that closing his eyes is preferable in order for him to achieve the objective of his worship. 

And Allah knows best.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Man obliged to spend on wife and unmarried daughters

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Assalaamualaikum. My father is not spending on my mother, who has been critically ill for a long time. Actually, ever since our childhood, he is just providing food and also provides education to us; he never gives any money for other things like clothing or other needs. I am married now, and he did not gave me a single penny for my marriage as he told me that I was working so he could not give me anything. I am working as a teacher and am now married. Now, when my mother is not well, he also does not give anything for her medicines, and when he is asked for money, he stops talking with us and always fights. Praise be to Allaah, He never lets us down, but now my mother needs surgery, which will take place in another state, and we are just two sisters and one brother with her, and we know that he will not pay anything, so I told my mother not to ask as we already know the answer. He is not a poor person; he has quite good properties and earns well. He even prays five times daily, but ever since our childhood, we have heard his abusive language. Now there is the matter of my mother, and he is still not spending on her, and her condition is critical, but he does not care. I want to ask if I may stop talking to him as it is high time, and we always forgive him, but his torture is getting unbearable now. Whenever I go home, he abuses me and says that I am interfering with their matters and tells me to go away. I only go there to visit my mother. If I stop talking to him now and for ever, then I will be punished according to Islam, and what is his punishment for causing so much pain to his family? I have two sisters that are still unmarried, and he does not even care for them. What am I to do? I am helpless and want to completely sever my relation with him as I cannot see my family suffer like this because of him. How is Allaah giving to him even though he is torturing his family like this? Please pray for my mother as her surgery is really critical. Please pray for her as she has already faced so much in life because of my father.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
We ask Allah, The Exalted, to grant your mother a complete recovery that leaves behind no disease. We also ask Him to guide your father to the truth, cause him to come to his senses, and rectify his affairs. We advise you to frequently supplicate Allah in their favor. Indeed, Allah is Near and He answers the supplications of those who invoke Him. He commands us to supplicate Him and promises to answer our supplications; He says (what means): {And when My servants ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.} [Quran 2:186] 
It is an obligation on your father to provide for your mother, and for your sisters if they have no wealth of their own until they get married and the marriage is consummated. If he falls short in this obligation, then he is sinful for it. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "It is enough sin for a person to neglect providing for his dependents." [Abu Daawood] 
If you have access to his wealth, then you may take from it what he is obliged to provide, even if it is done without his knowledge. Hind bint ‘Utbah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "O Messenger of Allah! Abu Sufyaan is a miser and he does not give me what is sufficient for me and my children. Can I take from his wealth without his knowledge?" The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Take what is sufficient for you and your children, a reasonable amount." [Al-Bukhaari] 
There is no doubt that it is unbecoming of the father to cause such pain to his own children and abuse them as such. The father is often loving and compassionate towards his children, keen to serve their best interests and ward off any harm befalling them rather than incurring harm on them, especially his daughters. Hence, it is advisable that you should investigate the matter and try to find out the reason for such actions on his part. You should try to solve the problem by means of an apology if you have fallen short in fulfilling his due rights over you or by removing any possible misunderstanding between you and him on any given issue. 
You should bear in mind that you are enjoined to show dutifulness and kindness towards your father regardless of his abuse. You should keenly beware of committing undutifulness, even by the least offense. You should know that forsaking your father and refraining from talking to him are considered aspects of the prohibited undutifulness to parents. If he does not want you to visit him and visiting him would cause any harm, then you should seek other means to the uphold ties of kinship with him, such as calling him or the like. 
Allah knows best.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Vast Mercy of Allah The Almighty - I

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Mercy is one of the attributes of Allah The Almighty. It is from the mercy of Allah The Almighty that calamities and trials expiate one's sins, and a believer is rewarded for showing patience through these calamities. Another aspect that manifests the mercy of Allah The Almighty is that He conceals our sins and faults in this life and forgives them in the Hereafter.
The vastness of the mercy of Allah The Almighty:
One of the Names of Allah is, the Most Merciful and the ever Merciful. Allah The Almighty created mercy in one hundred parts, but only sent down one part amongst mankind and kept the rest for the pious slaves in the Hereafter. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts; and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] In another narration, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah created one hundred units of mercy on the Day He created the heavens and the earth. Each one of them can contain all that is between the heaven and the earth. Of them, he put one on earth, through which a mother has compassion for her children and animals and birds have compassion for one another. On the Day of Resurrection, He will perfect and complete His mercy". (That is He will use all the hundred units of mercy for his slaves on that Day).”
Moreover, Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Were an infidel to know the mercy Allah has, none would despair of His Paradise.” [Muslim]
The mercy of Allah The Almighty far exceeds that of the mother for her child. `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) amongst whom there was a woman who was running (searching for her child). When she saw a child among the captives, she took hold of it, pressed it against her belly and breastfed it. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: 'Do you think this woman would ever throw her child into fire?' We said, 'By Allah, she would never throw the child into fire.' Thereupon the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: 'Allah is more kind to his slave than this woman is to her child'. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) saying: 'When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: `Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath.' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] This is the mercy that the believer’s soul resorts to after death, as the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) indicated to the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.
Allah The Almighty extends His mercy to his disobedient slaves whenever they repent and turn to Him for forgiveness. Allah The Almighty bestows on him His mercy and forgives their sins and conceals them for him. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “Once a group of the disbelievers came to Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) who had killed many people and committed adultery excessively. They came to him  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and said, 'What you are saying and calling people to is a good thing, but is there a way to expiate for what we have committed in the past?' Then the following verse was revealed (which means): {And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated. Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful} [Quran, 25: 68-70]
No one can limit this vast mercy of Allah The Almighty nor prevent it from reaching the people. With His mercy, Allah The Almighty guides people, forgives their sins, accepts their good deeds and overlooks their wrongdoings.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Menstruating woman in mosque

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Please, can you advise us about menstruating women entering the mosques and remaining within them? Are there differences of opinion among the scholars on this matter? The reason that I am asking this question is because there is a Qur’ân memorization class which I know of that is held in the upstairs women’s prayer area of the mosque. The sheikh giving the class says that women can still attend when they are menstruating. Is this correct?


There are two opinions on this issue of a menstruating woman staying within the mosque.

The first is the one adopted by the four Imams who ruled it as impermissible. They argued that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered women in menses to stand apart at the prayer area during the `Id prayer. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (351) and Sahîh Muslim (890)]

The answer to this argument is that the order is meant for them to stand apart from the prayer itself as is clearly stated in in the narration in Sahîh Muslim “Let them stand away from the prayer.”

As for the hadîth related by Abû Dâwûd (232): “I do not permit a woman in her menses or a person in a state of major ritual impurity into the mosque” It is a weak hadîth. Its line of transmission contains a narrator who is unknown.

They also cite as evidence the ruling that a women is prohibited from tawâf around the Ka`bah. It is mentioned in the hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him) addressed `Aishah by saying: “Do as the pilgrims do but do not perform tawâf around the House until you become pure.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (305) and Sahîh Muslim (1211)]

However, it appears that this is a prohibition from tawâf itself and is not referring to entering the mosque. Indeed, it could well be argued that this hadîth provides us with good evidence that it is permitted for a menstruating woman to enter the mosque, because it does not say that she could not enter it.

The second saying is that it is permissible for the woman to stay in the mosque while she is in her menses. This is according to the school of thought of al-Zâhiriyyah as well as the opinion of the Shâfi`î jurist al-Muzanî. This view was also adopted by some later researchers and scholars.

They argue that since the basic ruling is that it is permissible for women to enter the mosque, therefore any claim that they are prevented from doing so needs to be substantiated by evidence.

They also argue that when Abû Hurayrah avoided the Prophet’s company because he was in a state of major ritual impurity, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him: “Glory to Allah, the Believer would not become impure” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (283) and Sahîh Muslim (371)]

They also argue that it is allowed for unbelievers to enter the mosque and stay in it.

This is clear from the story of Thumâmah b. Athâl when he was tied to a column in the mosque. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (469)]

Therefore, if it is argued that the menstruating woman is prohibited from entering the mosque because of abstract impurity, then it is countered by the fact that an unbeliever is permitted to enter the mosque.

If, on the other hand, it is argued that the prohibition of a menstruating woman from staying within the mosque is because of the problem of physical impurity, then this is countered by the fact that it is permissible for a woman who is suffering from continuous vaginal bleeding to enter the mosque.

This is according to the hadîth of `Aishah where she said: “One of the Prophets’s wives joined him in i`tikâf and she used to see blood and yellow spots. She had a bowl under here and would pray.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (310)]

Children were also allowed to enter the mosque, as is established in many authentic hadîth, while they do not care much to avoid physical impurities.

It is also authentically established that dogs used to walk through the mosque and urinate in it at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and they never used to splash any water over that. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (174)]

These are strong, mutually supporting points of evidence that strengthen the basic ruling of the permissibility of a menstruating woman staying in the mosque, and it can be adopted when necessary.

And Allah knows best.

Toilet facilities in mosques

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In our country, many mosques are built with toilet facilities inside of them. Often, the restrooms will be on the ground floor and the prayer space (musallâ) will be on the floor above. Is this an acceptable arrangement?


Ideally, the toilet facilities should be constructed outside of the mosque building so that it is separate from the prayer area (musallâ). However, if this is impractical, either because of economic constraints or because of the size or nature of the plot upon which the mosque is built, then there is nothing wrong with having the toilet facilities constructed on the ground floor of the mosque and the prayer area set on the floor above.

There is nothing wrong with offering prayer in a place that is in the proximity of impurities as long as there is a physical barrier between the prayer space and those impurities, since the worshipper is praying on a pure surface.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Earth has been made for me a mosque and a purification.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (438) and Sahîh Muslim (521)]

He also said: “All of the Earth is a mosque except for the graveyard and the bathroom.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (317), Sunan Abû Dâwûd (492), and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (745)]

As for the hadîth related on the authority of Ibn `Umar where the bathroom is mentioned as one of seven places wherein prayer is prohibited, it is unauthentic.

In any event, prayer in a mosque constructed with the musallâ separate from the toilet facilities – like where the prayer room is on the upper floor and the bathrooms are on the ground floor – does not constitute prayer inside of a bathroom.

It is permissible to construct a mosque in such a manner and prayer in such a mosque is most certainly valid. However, it is preferable to construct the bathroom facilities outside of the mosque building if that does not present any serious inconvenience.

And Allah knows best.

The Dilemma of Ill Thoughts

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The disease of ill thoughts is one of the most fatal diseases that can destroy individuals and communities. Once it becomes deep-rooted in the soul of a person, it destroys all ties of intimacy and affection, and it incites hatred and resentment. Some people, whose hearts are morally diseased, only look at others through dark glasses. For them, all people are, by default, suspects, or even guilty.
There is no doubt that having ill thoughts about others contradicts the teachings of the Noble Quran, the Sunnah and the guidance of the righteous predecessors. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.} [Quran 49:12]
Besides, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Beware of ill thoughts, for ill thoughts represent the worst of false speech. Do not look for other's faults. Do not spy on one another.”
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also taught Muslims how to think well of others. A man came to him and said, “My wife has delivered a black baby (and I suspect that he is not my child).” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked him: “Have you got camels?” The man said, “Yes.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked: “What is their color?” The man said, “They are reddish (brown).” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked: “Are any of them grey?” He said, “There are grey ones among them.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked: “From where do you think this color came to them?”The man said, “It probably resulted from a hereditary trait.” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Similarly, this (your child) might be a hereditary trait.” [Muslim and Al-Bukhaari, with the wording of Muslim]
The righteous predecessors, may Allah have mercy upon them, avoided this evil quality. They, may Allah have mercy upon them, would seek excuses for Muslims to the extent that some of them would say, “I seek seventy excuses for my brother's misdeed, then I say that he might have an excuse that I do not know of.” Why do we not follow the example of the righteous predecessors, may Allah have mercy upon them, in this regard? Those who think ill of Muslims follow the example of the man who said to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “This division is not based on justice and it was not intended to gain the pleasure of Allah,” when he was referring to some wealth that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had divided and distributed.
Some scholars divided ill thoughts into two types, both of which are from the grave major sins:
Ill thoughts about Allah: This type is one of the most heinous crimes and sins because it attributes to Allah what is improper for His Generosity and Benevolence.
Ill thoughts about Muslims: This type is also a grave major sin because whoever judges his brother based on ill thoughts, the devil will make him belittle his brother, deny his rights, slander him and spy on him. Obviously, all of these things are forbidden destructive acts. Some scholars have said, “If you see a person who always thinks ill of people and seeks to expose their faults, you should know that he is an evil person. The believer always seeks excuses for others because he is good and righteous, whereas, the hypocrite searches the faults and defects of others given his evil nature.”
Hence, dear Muslim brothers and sisters, beware of ill thoughts. We advise you to supplicate Allah to protect you from them. If you cannot repel your ill thoughts, then the least you can do is to remain silent and avoid speaking about them. If you manage to get rid of these ill thoughts, then you would have escaped a grave danger. Otherwise, you might not be forgiven.