OnIslam.net

Family Issues (Live Fatwa)

Questions and Answers of Sh. Ahmad Kutty on Family Issues
Kutty

On Sunday, May 13, 2012, we managed to run a successful e-mail based Live Fatwa session with Sheikh Ahmad Kutty on “Family 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, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty kindly responded to all the questions.

Below you can review all the questions and Sh. Kutty's kind replies:

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Question 1:

Saman Iqbal – 20 – Pakistan

Annulment of Marriage

Previous Sessions:

I want to ask when according to Islam in law is a marriage annulled. Also, whether secret marriage i.e. without the knowledge and consent of parents prohibited in Islam. And whether forced marriages are legal marriages according to Islam. Thank you.

Answer:

Marriage is null and void under the following conditions:

1. Marriage of a Muslim woman with a non-Muslim is not permissible in Islam. Such a marriage, if takes place, has no religious status. Likewise, a Muslim man cannot marry a non-Muslim, who does not follow any of the revealed scriptures, or an agnostic.

2. A Muslim cannot marry a man or woman who, though coming from a Muslim background, does not recognize the fundamental beliefs or tenets of Islam, or if he or she legalizes that which has been considered as haraam in Islam.

3. A marriage is also rendered invalid if one of the spouses after marriage renounces Islam.

4. Since consent is a condition for the validity of marriage, where there is no consent, the marriage is considered null and void;

5. Marriage without parent’s consent can be a cause for the annulment of marriage, unless father’s objection is simply based on other than the valid considerations: that would be the case if they object to a marriage based on race, ethnicity, family status, wealth, etc.

6. Marriage of a person with impediments to marriage: as it would be the case for marrying close blood relations who are considered mahaarim or milk relations as stated in the verse (Qur’an: 4: 23).

7. Marriage with the intention of divorce or for other than the valid purpose of marriage such as marriage for legal papers, etc.

8. Temporary or conditional marriage is not valid.

9. Marriage of a woman during her ‘iddah or waiting period following divorce or death of her husband.

10. Asking a woman to divorce a married woman or vice versa in order to marry her or him.

11. If they place conditions in marriage, which are contrary with the fundamental objectives of marriage such as insisting on no consummation, or planning not to have children.

12. Since marriage is a sacred contract between man and woman, there is no room in Islam for the so-called same-sex marriage.

Based on this, a secret marriage is not considered as valid.

Since parents’ consent is a general condition, according to the majority of scholars, the marriage is deemed as invalid if there was no parental consent. However, if the parents’ objections are based on other than the criteria, acceptable in Islam as mentioned above, then marriage can be deemed as valid.

There is no room in Islam for forced marriages since the consent of both parties is an essential condition.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 2:

Khaled Mahdy – 19 – Egypt

Challenge to Fatwas on Polygamy

As-salamu `alaykum. I would like to challenge the currently-accepted fatwas claiming that a man need not take his first wife's permission before marrying a second wife, or even notifying her.

1) The Qur'an requires just and equal treatment of both wives, so it would be very unjust for the second wife to approve of being part of a polygamous marriage, while first wife doesn't, and lives her whole life not accepting this arrangement, or in some cases even not knowing about it.

2) A husband not informing his first wife that he married another inevitably forces him to lie on a regular basis (about his life, whereabouts, etc.) which changes his very nature to become manipulative and deceptive, which is totally against Islam.

3) The penalty for adultery for people who are already married in Islam is death, because cheating on your spouse hurts them enormously, so how is a secret marriage any different from adultery in the eyes of the first wife when the result is the same (her husband is sleeping with another woman against her will and knowledge)? Also, non-Muslims would see it also from this point of view which undoubtedly hurts the image of Islam.

4) If ishhar is a condition of any marriage, it should be assumed that everyone from the first wife's side knows about the man's second marriage. Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer:

While I do not wish to comment on your reasoning, nevertheless, I do wish to make only one point:

I am of the opinion that no one is allowed to take another wife in a culture where monogamy is the norm since Muslims are bound to comply with the conditions-agreed upon between the parties prior to the marriage. Conditions can be either stated in writing or words, or they can be simply taken for granted or assumed in a culture or milieu. Since in this culture a woman would not normally marry a man if she knows in advance that he would take another wife, then he is not allowed to do that, unless he has informed her of his intent upfront. Otherwise, he is breaking that tacit agreement.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 3:

Umema – 27 – US

Conversion to Islam

As-salamu `alaykum. My question is whether there is a way to find out if a person who has converted to Muslim has really converted or just being a hypocrite (munafiq) to achieve something?

Answer:

We are allowed to judge people based solely on the tangible actions and words that are discernible to us. If, therefore, a person is observing his religious duties and the well-known laws of Islam, then we may assume he is sincere in his conversion. Should it not be the case, we have the right to question his intentions. The Prophet said, “We judge people based on their actions that we see; as for the hidden secrets of their hearts, it is known only to Allah’."

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 4:

Muslimah - Female - Pakistan

Divorce granted In USA is being refused by Islam

As-salamu `alykom I am a Muslim girl and was married in Pakistan in 2005. I stayed with my husband for 2 months and then he left for states. I went after him in 2007. When I went there he didn’t maintain any marital relationship at all. He was on drugs and alcohol non-stop and had an American girlfriend. i waited and prayed a lot but he never improved. Things got out of hand. I got m y green card after staying in states with my uncle and then filed for divorce in 2009. I sent him papers through my aunt and there were three forms to sign which he did. I filed the case and it was approved according to Oklahoma state jurisdiction on 02 Oct. 2009. Now when i am getting offers for marriage again from other Muslim families, the ex-in laws have threatened to kill me and my family and refusing to accept my divorce. I haven’t seen my ex-husband since the September 2007. He didn’t even show up to the court. He didn’t support me or anything. I started working and asked family and Allah for help. I want you to tell me what to tell them.

Answer:

If the scenario you have described is correct, then you are divorced from him. Since you had every right to ask for a divorce under those conditions, the divorce granted to you considered as valid. For the reasons, you have stated are legitimate grounds for divorce or annulment of marriage. Therefore, the divorce judgment by the court is deemed as acceptable, according to the best rulings of Muslim jurists who specialize in the fiqh of minorities. Your ex-in-laws have no right to threaten or intimidate you. If they continue to harass you, you do have the right to seek legal protection.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 5:

Adeeb

Muhammad Prophesized in Hindu

Is Prophet Muhammad prophesized in Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian scriptures?

Answer:

I am not familiar with the scriptures of the religions you have mentioned sufficiently enough to be comfortable to answer your question. There are some authors that have written about this issue saying that such prophecies do exist. However, I cannot vouch for their veracity or authenticity. Therefore, all that I can say is, “Allah knows best.”

Having said this, I should also point out: As the Qur’an makes it abundantly clear that Allah has sent a messenger to every single nation on the face of the earth and that every prophet has taken a pledge from his people that they would follow the messenger who would come after him confirming the truths they were taught.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 6:

Ahmed

OCD and Vows

If one has OCD about vows, and the treatment is to write his thoughts down; if he wrote a vow, would it count? Also, I have read that with vows, a verbal declaration must be made, and written vows are ineffective. Is this true?

Answer:

If you indeed suffer from OCD you need to get medical attention. Your question has nothing to do with the valid vow in Islam.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 7:

Edwin Quiles – 34 – US

Philosophy/Origins

Hello I am in a World Religions class at Waubonsee Community College and have an assignment to ask one question to five different religions.  I am hoping that I can pose you this question.  Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Edwin Question:

Being that the Bible, the Qur'an, and the Torah basically start with the first five books of the Old Testament, is it possible that all three religions are based on the same god, and why?

Answer:

I have no idea what you mean by the first part of your question, for the Qur’an definitely does not start with the five books of Old Testament. The Qur’an starts with an opening prayer, which is translated as follows:

“In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace: All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds, The Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, Lord of the Day of Judgment! Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid. Guide us the straight way. The way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!” (Qur’an, Chapter 1: 1-7).

Now coming to the second part of your question, since all three religions are monotheistic and accepts Abraham as the patriarch, they believe in the same God, whose name in Arabic is Allah.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 8:

Farah – 23 – Canada

Poppy Seeds

As-salamu `alaykum. I've recently came across the fact that poppy seeds are part of opium poppy. And to my understanding opiates are extracted from several parts of the plant. I also read that poppy seeds contain zero to trace levels of opiates, and that doesn't affect brain function. Is it still permissible to consume poppy seeds? I've had them several times before without knowing these facts. Jazakum Allah Khairan.

Answer:

Poppy seeds that are used in foods as spices are not forbidden since they have no mind-altering effects. To say its use is forbidden because opiates are extracted from generic poppy plants is not different from saying that dates or grapes are haraam because one could make wine or alcohol from them.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 9:

Tameem – 18 – UK

Ruling on Vows and Covenants

Salams. My question is that I read that if you make a vow or covenant, it has to be uttered or formally declared. Does this mean that you can’t write them?

Answer:

A vow is a vow, whether it is written or verbally made. However, a vow is a volitional act of a person who is fully conscious of what he or she is doing or saying. A person who has a compulsive medical condition cannot be deemed fit to make a vow. It is simply a thoughtless utterance.  We read in the Qur’an,  “ Allah will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought, but will take you to task [only] for what your hearts have conceived [in earnest]: for Allah is much-forgiving, forbearing.” (Qur’an:2:225).

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 10:

Madina – 27 – Afghanestan

Sehr

Salam. I have a question which I believe is in regards to Sehr. I have this problem that every time my parents get offers for marriage for me it doesn’t happen. There are times the guy is every good. There are times where it almost gets finalized but then something happens. This is not the first time it has happen numerous times.

I tried listing to surah Al-Baqarah over and over again and but still the same. Let me tell you a little about my background. There was this guy back home (currently I live in the USA but he was in Afghanistan) whose family really wanted me but the guy and the family wasn’t that great. He wasn’t suitable Islamically and just generally. So, I refused and ever since I been having this problem. I don’t know what to do its just becoming too much. I’m 27 years old and need to get married. I have read 41 Yasin to get married and even do naps everyday for me to get married but still nothing. I need help so please help me. What can this possibly be if its sehr which I think it is like 100% what should I do? Please, help! Jazak Allah Khair.

Answer:

I am afraid that you seem to be dwelling too much on your failure to get a marriage proposal. There is no need to connect this to black magic. Mind you, it has become a major industry that is thriving in some communities, among Muslims and others, as they are either too lazy, pessimistic, and cynical.

Islam teaches us not to fall into such beliefs; since only Allah can do harm or benefit. Everything in the universe happens by His will. As humans we are to strive to achieve beneficial goals in life. We have to do this by using methods that are sanctioned or allowed by the law-giver. After having done so, we need to pray to Allah to bless our efforts.

So, you should not think that you do not get proposals because someone has done sihr. You need to empower yourself by practicing dhikr and turning to Allah through diligent performance of your religious duties. You may find more details on this elsewhere on this site.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 11:

Anonymous – 18 – Male - UK

Serious Problem

Salams. I am in a very strange dilemma and I have a very strange question. So, I think it’s best if I just tell you the whole thing. I was playing a video game, and the character in the game said that they performed a sacrament and that it worked. The character I was playing as had the option to say "obviously now tell me what you need". Now: after selecting the option, I started getting scared if I had accidently made some kind of covenant. So then I searched on Google things like "Islam sacraments" and "what is the difference between a sacrament and an covenant" and I got scared that writing this might have made something binding on me by accident. So do I owe anything?

Answer:

You need to repent and ask forgiveness of Allah. If it was a simple unintentional statement which you repelled, then you need not worry.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 12:

Adeeb

Son of Adam

There are some hadith where son of adam is mentioned. What does this son mean? Does it mean both son & daughter or just son? What is correct meaning of son of Adam?

Answer:

The expression son or sons of Adam refer to both males and females. Allah says O children of Adam, it includes both the males and females; and so is the expression ibn Adam, unless specified otherwise.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 13:

Anonymous – 18 – male - UK

Serious Problem

Salams. I am in a very strange dilemma and I have a very strange question. So, I think it’s best if I just tell you the whole thing. I was playing a video game, and the character in the game said that they performed a sacrament and that it worked. The character I was playing as had the option to say "obviously now tell me what you need". Now: after selecting the option, I started getting scared if I had accidently made some kind of covenant. So then I searched on Google things like "Islam sacraments" and "what is the difference between a sacrament and an covenant" and I got scared that writing this might have made something binding on me by accident. So do I owe anything?

Answer:

This question was answered above.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 14:

Imrankhan – 27 – male - India

Umrah

As-salamu `alaykum. Inshaa’ Allah, I am going to do `umrah with my parents next month. I want to know: can I perform more than one `umrah with same ihram, because I live in India and cannot afford to visit every year. If it is possible, how to perform more than one?

Answer:

You cannot make umrah twice with the same ihraam. However, you can do so by assuming ihraam, again, after you have come out of the ihraam by going out of the boundary of haram.

Let me explain:

Once you have completed the umrah, and released yourself from ihraam, you may, if you wish, make extra ‘umrahs while in Makkah. However, for this you will have to leave the boundary of haram; the closest and most convenient place to go for this is a place called tan’eem which is known today as Masjid Aaishah.

If you want to do ‘umrah in this way, I would advise you to perform wudhu at the hotel. Put on your ihraam attire, and then go to masjid Aa’ishah. Once you get there, you should pray two rak’ahs in the mosque and make the niyyah for ‘umrah. You should proceed to Makkah and perform tawaaf and sa’y as you did in your first ‘umrah. Having completed these, you can come out of ihraam. Your ‘umrah is complete.

Should you wish to do another ‘umrah, you may do so.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 15:

Adeeb

Woman’s Hair

I read in islamqa that a woman is allowed to put her hair in a bun at the nape of her neck but she shouldn't do this when going outside because this is a kind of tabarruj. Can you explain why it is tabarruj?

Answer:

Tabarruj is flaunting one’s beauty; so, if a woman is going out and exposing her hair in this way, that is called tabarruj. If, however, she wears a scarf or covers her head, it cannot be called the forbidden tabarruj since her beauty is concealed.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 16:

Rama – female - Canada

Converting to be Able to Marry

I'm a Muslim girl and I live with my boyfriend (he is not Muslim) but my dad wants us to do katb el ketab (excuse the writing). We want to, but I just want to know if he has to convert to a Islam to be able to do that, or is it ok if he doesn't right now?

We have very busy lives, and to convert right now wouldn't be fair because he hasn't learned much of the culture and my dad wants us to do this signing of the papers very soon. What’s my best option, because I want to get this done asap.

Answer:

I should remind you that as a Muslimah you are not allowed to live with a man, whether you call him boyfriend or by any other name on the pretext, you intend to marry him; secondly, Islam does not allow a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim. Thirdly, you cannot get married even if he accepts Islam until both of you have repented of your sins and come clean; otherwise, it is not different from legalizing fornication or adultery.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 17:

Najia Shahwaz – Female - United States

After Pregnancy

I want to know about after pregnancy all Muslim women do ghusl after 40 days but I need to know should I remove hair before 40 days.

Answer:

A woman, following delivery, should perform the ritual ghusl only after the post-natal bleeding has stopped. Since it is dependent on the cessation of bleeding, it could even be before forty days or later.

As for the shaving of the hair of the new born, it should take place on the seventh or fourteenth, or twenty-first; if you couldn’t do it, you should do it as soon as you can.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 18:

Nasimul – male - Canada

Send Parents to the Hajj

I am planning to send my parents for the Hajj. In regards I start saving money. But I have a student loan, mortgage and vehicle loan. So my question is: am I allegeable to send my parents for the Hajj?

Answer:

Your priority is to pay off your debts; you cannot send your parents to hajj by borrowed money. Your student loan accumulates interest, and you need to get rid of it first. Your parents are not required to perform hajj in this case, if they cannot afford to go by income that is pure and free from debts.

So, once you have paid these outstanding dues, then you may think of sending your parents for hajj.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 19:

Furqan – male - Canada

Making Du`aa’ for My Relatives and Family Friends

I have relatives and family friends that I care about so much. I started practicing Islam a little more than usual. I started to keep up with my fajr prayers and I do a little extra enough that I think I can handle. But I try to do the minimum.

Odd Question: but if I start practicing more, will my relatives and family friends start practicing more too? (I know it sounds odd)

A better question would be that: Can I make du`aa’ for them? They don't live in the same city. Please, help. I care about them.

Answer:

First of all, I must commend you for being serious in your practice of Islam. I pray to Allah to make you steadfast in it.

Your first responsibility in Islam is to save yourself. So, you need to focus on yourself, while praying to Allah to guide your family and friends.

Islam is not all about rituals; it is also character and morals. So, when you become a better Muslim through your actions and behavior, perhaps they may be inclined towards Islam.

Once you have worked on yourself, you need to persuade them to practice Islam seriously. You may find detailed answers on how to do it wisely and gently elsewhere on this site.

Anyhow, it is Allah, alone, who can guide people. Ours is the task to convey the message. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reminded, time and again, in the Qur’an that his task is simply to convey the message and not to force people to convert.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 20:

Medwin – male - Canada

Piercings and Males

Is it permissible for men or the male gender to pierce their ears?

Answer:

In answering your question, I cannot do any better than citing from one of my previous answers on this:

“According to the teachings of Islam, our body - including all of our physical faculties - is a trust from Allah and we are required to protect and preserve it according to the best of our ability. Consequently, we are not allowed to alter or tamper with our physical faculties unnecessarily; we are only permitted to interfere with them in order to correct a natural deformity or repair or remedy an ailment. Any other form of interference or tampering with our body is akin to altering Allah’s creation which has been condemned in the Qur’an. We read in the Qur’an that Satan, the accursed one, has pledged to Allah that he will be tirelessly working to lead humans unto ways of perdition and self-destruction: “… ‘And I will surely lead them astray, and arouse desires in them, and command them and they will cut the cattle’s ears, and I will surely command them and they will change Allah’s creation.’ Whoever chooses the Devil for a friend instead of Allah is assuredly a loser, and his loss is manifest.” (An-Nisa’: 119) While reflecting on the above verse, we must also read the following statements of Allah in the Qur’an: “There is no altering Allah’s creation.” (Ar-Rum: 30); “And do not cast yourselves into destruction by your own hands.” (Al-Baqarah: 195). In light of the above, body piercing, tattooing, branding, etc. all fall in the category of unnecessary interference, alteration and mutilation of Allah’s creation. Therefore, no Muslim, who is conscious of his religion, should ever contemplate such activities. Neither are such procedures harmless, physical refinements as they are often imagined to be. Rather the truth is that these procedures have often been associated with numerous health hazards. For sensitive parts of the body such as tongues, lips, eyelids, etc. are more prone to be easily infected, and thus become infected with diseases, some of which may even be fatal. There is nothing at all surprising about all of these, for every unnecessary tampering with Allah’s creation is bound to produce adverse repercussions. In Islam, all such acts that entail possible health hazards are considered totally forbidden even if they contain some imagined or presumed benefits; such presumed benefits are considered as being outweighed by the hazards. This fact alone warrants declaring body piercing as forbidden. The only exception some scholars and jurists have made in this context is the case of ear piercing specifically for females. This is so because of the specific need of women to wear jewelry. Men, however, according to Islam, have no such need. In fact, Islam forbids men from copying styles that are distinctively feminine. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah has cursed men who copy women as well as women who copy men.” It should be remembered here both men and women have different roles in Islam. It is also worth mentioning in this respect that ear piercing is somewhat different; for there are fewer hazards in ear piercing as compared to piercing of tongues, lips and eye-lids, etc. Still another consideration strengthening the case for declaring body piercing as forbidden for males: Islam forbids us from copying other people in their specific customs and life-style without any tangible benefits. Such copying has been condemned by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. In conclusion: Body piercing for males is not at all permissible in Islam. Ear piercing has been permitted for females, according to some scholars. Such an exception, however, does not apply to males.”

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 21:

Samour – female - France

Rape Before Marriage

I was raped and abused by my brother since I was 7 years old and he would never stop. A couple of months ago I tried to kill myself. I was so determined to do it but a guy stopped me just before it. He convinced me to live and to tell my parents. I told him everything. When I told my parents they said I was never to see this boy again and that I should get married to someone else but never tell them what I have been through. What is the Islamically right thing to do?

Answer:

You need to get professional counseling; that is your first priority. You should also cut off relations with this brother of yours who is an abuser, and he has broken the trust. You should never again isolate yourself with him.

Once you are completely healed, you may get married, it is not necessary for you to divulge everything that happened to you. However, you should definitely tell him that you had a bad past; you should also undergo a medical test in order to make sure you didn’t contract any sexually transmitted disease. To get married without such a test would be jeopardizing the health of another person, which is deception and cannot be tolerated in Islam.

In conclusion, you can get married only after you have recovered from this traumatic experience; it would take time.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 22:

Moad – Male - Canada

Parent Against Wearing Izar Above Ankles

My Dad is against me wearing Izar over the ankle. Every time I try to show him the saheeh hadith in Abu Huraira: The Prophet said: "The part of an ‘izar which hangs below the ankles is in the Fire", he always tries to avoid it. My mother says it is only in salat but in other hadith of the same topic is describes this as all the time whether it be arrogance or non-arrogance. What is your insight?

Answer:

There is no need for you to be rigid on this. The Prophet’s hadith does not apply to someone wearing a normal pant which does not touch the floor. So, if you wear a regular pant, you would be pleasing your dad, and you won’t be going against the Prophet’s order. For when Abu Bakr told the Prophet (peace be upon him), ‘ O Messenger of Allah, my clothes come down-unintentionally’. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) told him, 'but you are not doing it out of pride'. It is clear from his statement that his prohibition was directed at those who deliberately let their clothes hang loose, down their ankles, ostentatiously. You can understand the intent of the Prophet’s words when you see the royalty in many parts of the world wearing loose clothes, which hang down and hit the ground, often even dragging them.

In conclusion, there is no need to take this hadith out of context to target those who wear normal pants.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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Question 23:

M. Shakeel Khan

Reciting Al-Fatiha After Imam

As-salamu `alaykum. Dear Scholar, When an Imam is  reciting aloud during a salah, do I have to recite Al-Fatiha too? Jazak Allah Khair

Answer:

The preferred view on this is that you should be listening to the imam when he is reciting aloud-if you are able to hear him.

However, I should point out that scholars differ on this issue: Their views can be briefly stated as follows:

1. According to the majority of scholars, one should not read fathihah while praying behind the imam, if the imam is reading aloud, and he can  hear him;

2. One should not read fathihah while reading behind the imam regardless of whether he is reading aloud or silent, for according to him, imam’s reading suffices.

3. One should fathihah at all times: This is the view of Imam Shafi. He is basing himself on the tradition there is no prayer without reciting fathihah.

The majority of the majority seems to take into account all the available evidence, including that of the Qur’an and the traditions from the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Allah says, When the Qur'an is recited, pay attention and listen in silence, so that you might be graced with (Allah’s) mercy." (Qur’an: 7: 204). Furthermore, we read in a tradition reported by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The imam is to be followed in salah: so if he makes takbir, make takbir after him; if he goes to ruku, follow him into ruku’ when he makes sujud, do sujud. When he recites the Qur’an, listen attentively.

Furthermore, the question arises, why the imam reading aloud-if the followers are not meant to listen to him?

In light of the above, you should not be distracting yourself by reading fathihah when the imam is reading.  You may read-if possible-between his pauses. However, here is no need for you to do that, for the imam’s reading would suffice.

Having said this, I should also point out: You should read the fathihah in the following situations: If the imam is reading aloud, but you cannot hear him; b. when the imam is reading silent; c. while praying alone; d. if you are the imam.

Allah Almighty knows best.

The editor of OnIslam Live Fatwa service.

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