OnIslam.net

Live Fatwa with Dr. Shihab (General Session)

shihab

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, we managed to run a successful e-mail based Live Fatwa session with Dr. Wael Shihab on “General Juristic Issues".

Interestingly, users reacted positively and sent their questions via the Fatwa section’s e-mail address in and ahead of the session’s time. The honorable guest, Dr. Shihab, Head of the English Shari`ah Dept. of OnIslam.net, answered some interesting questions.

Below you can review all questions and Dr. Shihab’s replies:

*********************************************************

More sessions:

Question 1:

Qamar – Bangladesh

As-amalamu `alaykum. I am a Muslim. I am admitted to MC Master University in Canada for a major in biochemistry. The motto of this university states: In Christ all things consist. It is written on the logo as well, and the logo also has a cross. Can I, being a Muslim study there? I have no bad intention in mind and I only want to go there to gain knowledge on biochemistry and earn an undergraduate degree. Please, help me and give me reference from Qur'an and hadith supporting your answer. Thank you.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

First of all, you are advised as a Muslim to seek beneficial knowledge and to do your utmost to be successful in this regard. You are to benefit yourself, your community, and all people, Muslims and non-Muslims, with your knowledge.

Islam praises and commends seeking knowledge and therefore scholars are highly appreciated and estimated. Allah says in the Qur’an, "Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted (mystic) knowledge." (Al-Mujadalah 85: 11)

Commenting on the above Qur'anic verse, ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said, "Scholars will have higher degrees seven hundred times than the other believers; the distance between each degree and the other is five hundred years of marching."

Also, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Surely, Allah, His Angels, the inhabitants of heavens and earth, and even the ant in its nest, and the whale in the sea pray for him who teaches people virtue.” (At-Tirmidhi)

“Knowledge” praised in the above texts is not confined to a specific kind of knowledge; it rather applies to all types of beneficial knowledge and sciences. Therefore, merits of seeking knowledge are applicable to students and scholars of every beneficial field of science and knowledge as long as they have good intention to benefit people and their own selves with their knowledge.

Given the above, your efforts to study “biochemistry” are Islamically praised and commended in order to benefit yourself, your community, and all people of the world. You may study at any university or college as long as it doesn’t have negative impacts on your faith or Islamic values.

It is noteworthy that the noble Qur’an and the sunnah call on Muslims to seek beneficial knowledge and cooperate with all human communities—irrespective of their cultures, faiths, or races—on goodness for the sake of peoples’ wellbeing and interests. The Qur’an says, "And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression." (Al-Ma’idah 5: 2)

Also, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If one treads a path in order to seek knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the (way) to enter Paradise.” (Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami`, No. 6577)

The above hadith indicates that a Muslim may travel and leave his or her homeland to seek knowledge. Well-reputed Muslim institutions and universities such as Al-Azhar used to send eligible students to various parts of the globe, including Europe and the States, to pursue their higher education. Western and Eastern education systems and universities have positive and distinguished features. We, Muslims, may refrain from some educational courses or systems that contradict our religious or cultural values. However, we do not reject all sciences or educational systems that come from the West or the East.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 2:

Mirza – Bangladesh

As-amalamu `alaykum. There is an allegation against Shari`ah law that it is very unjust and gender biased regarding the rape case. It is said that, according to classical fiqh: if any female rape victim can't bring forth four male adult witness who saw the rape, then the accused go free. Isn't it very much weird to demand four male witness to be brought forth because, it is inconceivable that four adult just male will see the rape happening, do nothing until the rape is complete. Moreover the witness of female is also rejected in the case of hudud. Isn't it very much gender biased? Please, enlighten on this issue.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

In fact, Islam considers men and women as equals, though not similar. There is a great difference between equality, which is Islamically secured for women and men, and similarity.  All people are equals, irrespective of their gender, culture, or race. However, people are not generally similar. Men have different nature than women. Therefore, Islam considers the different natures of both genders in a way that secures the wellbeing of both men and women. For example, women are exempted from praying and fasting in the times of their menses for health and other reasons. Women enjoy equal financial, social, devotional, etc., rights as men. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Verily, women are the twin halves of men”. (Abu Dawud)

Also, the Qur’an states, "O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is the believer who has Taqwa (piety and righteousness). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (Al-Hujurat 49: 13)

Therefore, it is not acceptable for anybody to claim that Islam differentiate between men and women on the basis of gender. Women and men are equally considered and respected in Islam.

As for the issue of rape, a victim of rape deserves the community’s help, care, and consideration. A rape victim is not to be punished; she should be kindly and honorably treated. She is not required to bring four witnesses, men or women. It seems that you confused the case of adultery and rape. A criminal, who commits the crime of rape, is to be punished as long as he is proved guilty. A judge could inflict a suitable legal punishment on the criminal even if there are no witnesses as long as the court gets proofs—such as DNA tests and other modern scientific evidences—that prove the crime.

Witnesses in many legal cases could be women. Islam has no problem with women witnesses. Moreover, in some cases, Islam prefers women witnesses. For example, in cases that needs checking or looking at some parts of a woman’s body, women experts and witnesses are generally preferred. Islam gives preference to experts and professionals in every field. So, in some cases, men witnesses may be preferred and vice versa. What matters therefore are the adequacy, authenticity, and assurance of testimonies for the wellbeing of people, women and men.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 3:

Amanda – USA

As-amalamu `alaykum. I understand that Islam's culture is to have a mahram with the woman if she goes out. I want to know how many things they can do without a mahram.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

First of all, you need to differentiate between “cultures” and “religious rulings”. The issue of “mahram” (unmarriagle relatives) is connected to the religious, not cultural, scope. However, you should never confuse people’s practices with religious dictates.

The mahram relationship aims, among others, at cementing kinship relations and ties. A Muslim is Islamically required to keep good ties with his mahrams. Mahrams enjoy more rights within the society. For example, a brother should provide his sister if the father is not capable to maintain her. The mahram relationship secures and protects the family members.

It is not right to assume that a woman cannot go out or travel without a mahram. She is allowed to go out and travel normally as long as she is safe regarding her life, faith, property, and honor.

There are some religious rulings that are applicable on maharim. For example, a woman is not required to wear hijab in the presence of mahrams, though she is required to wear it in the presence of strangers.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 4:

Maria

As-amalamu `alaykum.

1- Is it haram to be friends with non-Muslims and go outside with them for dinner and stuff?  Is it haram for a young Muslim girl to come home after dark? I am asking because my parents play the religious card and don't let me go out for dinner with my friends! They put me in a catholic school, how can I have Muslim friends? Canada is a safe country, nothing happens after dark to girls (most of the time anyway but seriously it is safe).

2- This past summer, I went to Pakistan and I was healthy, masha'Allah, and all my relatives commented saying wow you look great! So healthy and glowing! etc etc. Then during my trip, I got extremely sick and got blemishes on my face.  It has been 8 months since I returned back to Canada and I have still not been able to achieve my former health. Do you think this has anything to do with nazar or the evil eye? I don't know much about nazar or the evil eye. So, if you could explain if I have caught it, and if so, how should I get rid of it? Thank you very much.

Reply:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

In fact, a Muslim is required to be kind, cooperative, faithful, and friendly with his or her community members, colleagues, neighbors, etc.

At school, in office, or in any workplace a Muslim should cooperate with his or her colleagues in goodness for their and the public benefit and wellbeing. Allah Almighty says, "And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression." (Al-Ma’idah 5: 2)

It is your duty, as a Muslim student, to be faithful, friendly, and cooperative with all your colleagues, Muslims and non-Muslims. You should translate the Islamic ethics and values into practice. Close and intimate friendship between boys and girls is un-Islamic. This kind of close friendship between boys and girls always lead to unacceptable behaviors.

So, you are to cooperate and deal with all your colleagues, boys and girls, within the general morals and values of Islam. Normal, decent, beneficial, fruitful, and moral talks, interactions, and communications among boys and girls are allowed provided that the dictates of Shari`ah are considered and adhered to.

It is apparent that your parents are very concerned about you and your safety. So, you may engage in fruitful and kind dialogues and discussions in order to reach acceptable arrangements for your day-to-day affairs. What matters in Islam is your security, wellbeing, and success in this world and in the Hereafter. Your coming back home or going out schedule is to arranged within the family in a lovely, compassionate, and kind atmosphere.

Regarding your illness, you need to continue have medical treatment until recovery. Moreover, ask Allah Almighty to grant your speed recovery. So, it is my advice also for you to check some reliable professional physicians, as a Muslim is recommended to seek medication and rely on Allah. Imam Ahmad reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said “Seek medication, O slaves of Allah, for Allah has not caused any illness but provided a medicine for it except one illness i.e. old age.

Moreover, you may say the following Prophetic du`a’s:

O Allah, Lord of mankind, I beg you to remove the suffering. I beg You, as You are the Healer, and there is no healing but Yours, to bring about the healing that leaves behind no ailment.

I seek refuge in Allah‘s perfect words from the evil of all what he has created, from all devils and insects and from all envious eyes.

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If one has a pain, one should lay one‘s hand on the painful spot and say: I seek refuge in Allah‘s Dignity and Ability from the evil of what I am suffering and guarding against.

One, moreover, may read the last two chapters of the Qur’an (surat al-Falaq and surat an-Nas) three times every day and night. In addition, one may recite ayat al-Kursi (verse no. 255 of surat al-Baqarah).

It is not necessarily that you have been afflicted with evil eye or envy. So, continue seeking medical treatment, rely on Allah, and make du`aa’ seeking Allah’s help and recovery.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 5:

As-amalamu `alaykum. I cheated in my final exams and my assignments and essays and that was the only way I received my degree/qualification. If I use this qualification/degree to get a job will the wages from that job be halal? If I get a job that is not related to my degree? for example say I have a degree in pharmacy but I get a job as a secretary, the only reason I got that secretary job was because I have a university degree in pharmacy but my job is not related to my degree so will my wages be haram?

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

Cheating, in whatever form or type, is not allowed in Islam. A person who cheats and gets something, such as a degree, on the basis of cheating, has to repent and correct his or her mistake.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) happened to pass by a heap of corn. He thrust his hand in that (heap) and his fingers felt wetness. He said to the owner of that heap of corn, "What is this?'' He replied: "O Allah’s Messenger! These have been drenched by rainfall.'' He remarked, "Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) over the corn so that people might see it? He who deceives is not of us.'' (Muslim) "He who deceives is not of us" refers to the prohibition of cheating people in general, Muslims and non Muslims as well.

It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said in an authentic hadith, "He who cheats us does not belong to us." (Al-Bukhari)

In another authentic hadith Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "He who takes up arms against us is not of us; and he who cheats us is not of us.'' (Muslim)

"He is not of us'' means: "He is not following the way of Muslims'' or "His conduct is unlike that of Muslims." It is therefore a must for every Muslim to refrain from such act.

If a person gets a degree by means of cheating, he or she is to repent to Allah—by seeking Allah’s forgiveness, feeling remorse for his or her wrongdoing, and resolving no to commit such a sin again—and correct his or her wrongdoing. For example, if a person cheats in some courses that are related to his or her career, he or she may re-study and pass in such courses in order to be eligible to earn living by his or her degree.

If a person’s work is not dependant on the degree he or she got by means of cheating, then his or her earnings are lawful, though he or she is still sinful for cheating; a sin that requires repentance.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 6:

Tara S

As-amalamu `alaykum. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said if a woman plucks her eyebrows she is cursed by Allah, what does it mean to be cursed by Allah?

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

A Muslim woman is prohibited to pluck her eyebrows even if she does this to please her husband as there is a clear warning in the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prohibiting this act. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has cursed women who tattoo their bodies, wear false hair, those who pluck their eyebrows, and those who artificially widen gaps between their teeth.

Allah’s curse signifies, among others, the prohibition of this act, incurring Allah’s anger and wrath on the sinner, and deserving Allah’s punishment for the sin committed.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 7:

Habib Surnamesafi

As-amalamu `alaykum. What is the status of political Islam in central Asian countries?

Reply:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Thank you for your question.

Islam, as a way of life, covers all aspects of people’s lives. It lays down general values and principles that guide people to achieve their interest and wellbeing in this world and the world to come. So, Islam establishes justice, equality, security, freedom, faithfulness, and good morals.

Muslims everywhere are to follow the Islamic guidance in order to lead happy and good life. Politics, as well as all aspects of people’s lives, should adopt values and ethics of Islam such as justice, equality, freedom, etc.

Regarding your question, it is so general. So, if you are asking about a specific practice or system, please write back specifying what you are exactly asking about in order to get a specific reply.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 8:

Aysha Samrah Abrar

As-amalamu `alaykum. Is it permissible to use hair oil with 0.98% alcohol (made by grape/ fruits)? Jazak Allah khair. Aysha

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

What is prohibited in Islam is drinking alcohol. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was once asked about certain drinks made from honey, corn, or barley by the process of fermenting them until they became alcoholic. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) succinctly replied, "Every intoxicant is Khamr, and every Khamr is haram." (Reported by Muslim)

Though drinking alcohol is prohibited, wearing or applying alcohol-based perfumes or oils is not prohibited as alcohol is not impure in itself.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 9:

Adeeb

As-amalamu `alaykum. Is the opinion of some scholars that fighting against all the non Muslims is obligatory even if they are peaceful a valid opinion? They also say that Islam was spread by the sword and all verses of peace in the Qur'an are abrogated! What's the truth? Please, explain.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

It is not valid for any person to claim that Muslims should fight non-Muslims to convert them to Islam. It is a wrong notion and sheer misconception about Islam and its values. The basic principle of Islam is that Muslims should spread peace, justice, and security all over the world. Muslims are Islamically commanded to cooperate with all peoples, Muslims and non-Muslims, in goodness.

The noble Qur’an and the sunnah call on Muslims to cooperate with all human communities—irrespective of their cultures, faiths, or races—on goodness for the sake of peoples’ wellbeing and interests. The Qur’an says, {And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 2)

Allah also says, {God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your]  faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loves those  who are just.} (Al-Mumtahanh 60:8) A Muslim therefore should be kind, peaceful, just, and cooperative with all people irrespective of their faiths, cultures, or races. Introducing Islam to people is by the following two ways:

First, translating Islamic ethics and values into practice, and

Second, presenting Islam correctly through media outlets, websites, books, seminars, etc.

Like all world religions and laws, Islam permits fighting only in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. The Qur’an says: {Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God  does not love transgressors.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 190)The Qur’an says again, {If they seek peace, then seek you peace.  And trust in God for He is the One that hears  and knows all things.} (Al-Anfal 8: 61)

Legal and just fight, which is one of jihad types, against occupying and aggressive forces is legitimate according to all world laws and conventions. Jihad is never a tool of waging war against the innocents; it's never a means of flexing muscles or bullying the weak and oppressed.

The word jihad does not mean “Holy War”. It means “struggle” or “striving”. Jihad means serious and sincere struggle on the personal as well as on the social level. It is a struggle to do good and to remove injustice, oppression and evil from the society. This struggle should be spiritual as well as social, economic and political. Jihad is to work hard to do right things. In the Qur’an this word is used in its different forms 33 times. It often comes with other Qur’anic concepts such as faith, repentance, righteous deeds and migration.

Jihad is to protect one’s faith and one’s human rights. Jihad is not a war always although it can take the form of war. Islam is the religion of peace, but it does not mean that Islam accepts oppression. Islam teaches that one should do one’s utmost to eliminate tension and conflict. Islam promotes non-violent means to bring change and reform. Actually, Islam urges that one should eliminate evil through peaceful means without the use of force as much as possible. In Islamic history from the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) until now, Muslims most of the time resisted oppression and struggled for liberation in non-violent and peaceful manners.

Given the above, Islam doesn’t justify oppression, injustice, or violence. If a Muslim violated these Islamic ethics and values, he or she would be subject to due punishment, irrespective of the victim’s faith, race, color, or country. A Muslim should live in peace with his or her brothers and sisters in humanity, even if they are of different faiths. In his farewell sermon in hajj, Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) maintained that all humans are brothers and sisters in humanity. He (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said, “O people! Verily, your Lord is one and your father is one. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab; nor for red over the black nor for the black over the red except in piety. Verily, the noblest among you is he who is the most pious.” (Al-Bayhaqi, Shu`ab Al-Iman, hadith no. 5137)

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

*********************************************************

Question 10:

Waqas Riaz – UK

As-salamu `alaykum. I Hope you are all well. When I was a younger I was diagnosed with cancer and I had chemotherapy treatment to suppress the disease. Alhamdulillah by the will of Allah the treatment worked it’s been almost five years since I had it. Unfortunately this treatment has many side effects and the doctor told me that one of the side effects of this treatment is that I may not be able to have any of my own children.

When looking for a partner in marriage, will I have to declare my previous medical history to them regarding this?

Answer:

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for your question.

I ask Allah Almighty to grant you speed recovery and reward you for your patience and satisfaction with Allah’s decree.

You may continue having medical treatment to be able to have children, if it’s scientifically possible.

Moreover, you may say the following Prophetic du`a’s:

O Allah, Lord of mankind, I beg you to remove the suffering. I beg You, as You are the Healer, and there is no healing but Yours, to bring about the healing that leaves behind no ailment.

As for marriage proposals, you should be faithful, frank, and transparent with your prospective spouse. Be assured that faithfulness and transparency between spouses lead to a happy family life.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.

The editor of OnIslam Live Fatwa service.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Banner