Are a Muslim Woman’s Non-Muslim Relatives Acceptable as Mahram for Traveling?

In the Name of Allaah, the All Merciful, the Ever Merciful…

As reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) and collected in the most authentic Hadeeth sources like al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) forbade believing women from traveling without a mahram.

A mahram is a woman’s close male family member, like her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, or uncle.

Traveling means to leave one’s city, by a distance considered according to local customs to be a journey, not just normal daily movement around and outside of the borders of one’s city.

In the West, a woman often accepts Islaam and thereafter faces the difficulty of being the only Muslim in her family. She may ask: How am I to implement this hadeeth? Since my immediate male relatives are disqualified from being my walee (guardian) in a marriage contract, are they also disqualified from being my mahram during a journey?

This issue was recently addressed by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Umar Baazmool (may Allaah preserve him), Professor of Higher Studies at Umm al-Qura University in Makkah. He stated: Continue reading

Correction: The Widow’s Period of Mourning (‘Iddah) and Her Prayer (No Connection)

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

In an audio clip uploaded to YouTube entitled, “The Concern of Giving Full Preference to the Kaafir Calendar,” (15 min., 35 sec.) I became confused about an issue and spoke incorrectly.

Discussing the harms of living by the Gregorian calendar, I mentioned the point of the ‘iddah (mourning period) of the widow – four months and ten days. After mentioning the difference of two or three additional days that would be mistakenly included within her ‘iddah by following the Gregorian calendar, I then erred by mentioning that she would begin making her prayers up a few days late, since she would not be praying during her ‘iddah.

This is clearly erroneous, as there is no connection between the mourning period and performing the prayer or leaving it. To be absolutely clear: Women leave their prayers during their menses, not during their ‘iddahs.

While I am personally very embarrassed about this error, it is my duty to correct it using my available resources. I hope that my brothers and sisters would help me by informing anyone who has uploaded it about this retraction. Then, it could be edited out (15:35 to 16 minutes), along with a reference to this article. If it cannot be edited, then at least let it be paired with the retraction.

May Allaah bless the sister who informed me of the mistake, and may Allaah bless all of those who help me to correct it.

And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

Common Mistakes: Replacing the Father’s Name or the Family Name

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful…

A common mistake made in the West is when new Muslims are instructed to change their family names, or to change, replace, or abandon their fathers’ names. For example, a new Muslim named “Joe Smith”, whose father’s name is Michael, may be advised to change his name to “Abdullaah Muhammad al-Amreekee”. Often, without the right guidance, a new Muslim may be inclined against his family’s name and want to free himself of it. He may even feel this is required or encouraged in Islam!

In reality, from the most basic human needs preserved in all the divine religions throughout history is the preservation of the people’s ancestry. Islam, as the culmination of all previous revelations, gives this matter the utmost urgency, as our Lord orders us:

ادْعُوهُمْ لِآبائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ

“Call them by their fathers’ (names), it is more just with Allaah” [33:5]

A Muslim is required to keep his father’s name, as well as his family name. This Islaamic manner of naming is so important that the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) warned those who replace their fathers’ names with a very serious consequence:

مَنِ ادَّعَى إِلَى غَيْرِ أَبِيهِ، وَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ غَيْرُ أَبِيهِ، فَالْجَنَّةُ عَلَيْهِ حَرَامٌ

“Whoever ascribes himself to someone other than his (real) father, knowing that he is not his (real) father, Paradise is forbidden for him!” [al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

We see clearly that changing one’s name in a way that replaces the father’s and/or family’s names with other names is absolutely forbidden, and we must Continue reading

Hadeeth About Not Naming Children Ya’laa, Barakah, Aflah, Yasaar, and Naafi’

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful…

I was asked about the following hadeeth:

Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah reported that the Prophet (S) decided to forbid names like Ya’laa (elevated), Barakah (blessing), Aflah (successful), Yasaar (wealth) and Naafi’ (beneficial) (Reported by Muslim)

[1] Firstly, as an obligation, we say ( صلى الله عليه وسلم “sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam” when mentioning our beloved Prophet, which may be expressed in English with the phrase: May Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace.  It is not permissible to change legislated phrases of thikr into abbreviations, like (S), (SAW), (PBUH), or the likes. Review the detailed verdicts of the scholars and further explanations here.

[2] Secondly, this prohibition has been collected by Imaam Muslim and others from two of the Companions, Samurah ibn Jundub and Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillaah, may Allaah be pleased with both of them. There are some slight differences in the wordings of their reports, and the wording mentioned in the question above seems to mix some of them together.

[A] Samurah’s wording is explicit, that he forbade four names: Aflah, Rabaah, Yasaar, and Continue reading

The Stillborn Fetus Will Drag Its Mother into Paradise by the Umbilical Cord!

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Compassionate…

Imaam Ibn Maajah collected an amazing hadeeth in his Sunan, on the authority of Mu’aath ibn Jabal, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said that Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) said:

 وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ إِنَّ السِّقْطَ لَيَجُرُّ أُمَّهَ بِسَرَرِهِ إِلَى الجَنَّةِ إِذَا احْتَسَبَتْهُ

“By the One in whose Hand is my soul, verily the stillborn fetus will drag its mother into Paradise by the umbilical cord if she accepts it (i.e. deals with it patiently, hoping for reward).”

Source: Sunan Ibn Maajah, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Chapter: Regarding Those Afflicted with a Stillborn Fetus (#1609).  Al-‘Allaamah al-Albaanee called it “saheeh” (authentic) in his checking of the book.

My shaykh, Dr. Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Baazmool (may Allaah preserve him), said:

If a woman gives birth prematurely, or has a miscarriage, and what comes out is in the form of a human, then it is considered a siqt (stillborn). And the blood that comes with it is nifaas (post-partum) blood, and thus takes the related rulings (ie. 40 days of not praying or until the bleeding ceases).

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

ST Archives – Originally Published 09-13-2003

Don’t Play Games with Wilaayah (the Right of Being the Walee for a Marriage)

In the Name of Allaah…

In the West, it is not too uncommon to find a woman who disputes with her father about a potential spouse, who then goes to an Islamic center to get another walee (legal representative for the marriage) appointed for her, so she can get married without the father’s permission.

Sometimes, another relative is brought in to take the father’s place, and other times a walee is requested to be appointed from outside of her family.

Let’s be perfectly clear here – Playing games with wilaayah (the right of being the walee) can lead to the marriage contract being invalid, even if Continue reading

Common Acts of Religious Excessiveness (Ghuluww): Overplanning an ‘Aqeeqah

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

Allaah says, addressing the Jews and Christians with a stern admonition that Muslims are required to also heed and live by:

يا أهل الكتاب لا تغلوا في دينكم
“O people of the Book!  Do not go overboard in your religion!” [1]

His Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) said:

إياكم والغلو فإنما أهلك من كان قبلكم الغلو
“Be warned against ghuluww (religious excessiveness), since that which destroyed the people who came before you was ghuluww!” [2]

To help fulfill this Prophetic order, this series of brotherly reminders highlights some everyday manifestations of religious excessiveness that Muslims may commonly fall into, so that we can be on guard against them and warn others of them.

Overplanning an ‘Aqeeqah

An ‘aqeeqah is when a Muslim father slaughters two sheep after being blessed with a newborn baby boy, or one sheep for a girl. Continue reading

Giving Charity in Silver Equal to the Weight of the Newborn’s Hair

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Baazmool (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: Our shaykh!  It has been reported that Faatimah – may Allaah be pleased with her – used to give charity (in silver) equal to the weight of her newborn’s hair after shaving it on the seventh day.  Is that a Sunnah she got from the Prophet – may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace – or was it her own preferred way of giving (optional) charity?  May Allaah reward you and bless your time and deeds.

He answered:

Yes, what seems correct is that it was a Sunnah she learned from the Messenger – may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace – to give the weight of the newborn’s (shaven) hair in silver.  Al-Albaanee alluded to this in al-Irwaa when he traced the sources Continue reading

Can a Lady’s Step-Father or Maternal Uncle Act as a Walee (Legal Representative) for her Marriage?

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Legal Verdicts, headed by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz [d.1420] (may Allaah have Mercy on him), was asked about the step-father and maternal uncle of a young lady – Can they take the position of the walee (legal guardian or representative) in a valid marriage?

They replied:

The step-father is not a (valid) walee for his step-daughter, and nor is the maternal uncle (from her mother’s side).  Instead, only the male inheriting blood relatives can be legal representatives (for marriage), Continue reading

Kunyahs (Nicknames) for Men Based on Female Names

Is it against the Sunnah to have a kunyah (parental nickname) based on a female child’s name, like Aboo ‘Aa’ishah (the father of ‘Aa’ishah) or Umm ‘Aa’ishah (the mother of ‘Aa’ishah), because they are the parents of a girl named ‘Aa’ishah?  Someone told me that the Sunnah is to use male names only in kunyahs.

While male names were predominantly used in kunyahs, there is nothing against having a kunyah based on a female name, like Aboo ‘Aa’ishah.

A group of the Companions had kunyas like this, namely:

  • Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (Aboo Laylaa)
  • Aboo Hurayrah
  • Aboo Umaamah
  • Aboo Ad-Dardaa’  Continue reading

The Ruling on the ‘Aqeeqah (Slaughtering for a Newborn)

In the Name of Allaah…

‘Aqeeqah: Slaughtering sheep after the birth of a newborn, two for a boy, one for a girl, preferably on the seventh day after the birth.

Ibn Qudaamah (d.620), may Allaah have Mercy on him, said:

“The ‘aqeeqah is a Sunnah (recommended deed) according to the vast majority of the scholars, like Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar, ‘Aa’ishah, the jurists of the taabi’oon (those who came after the companions), and the scholars of the various lands, with the exception of Ahlur-Ra’y (the Hanafees), who held that it was from the customs of Jaahliyyah (the pre-Islamic period of ignorance)… And Al-Hasan (al-Basree) and Daawood (ath-Thaahiree) held it to be an obligation…” [1] Continue reading

Preferring to Spend on One’s Poor Parents Over Slaughtering Sheep for an ‘Aqeeqah

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee (d.1376), may Allaah have Mercy on him, was asked, “If someone has poor parents, should preference be given to spending on their needs over slaughtering sheep for an ‘Aqeeqah (i.e. for a newborn child)”?

His answer: Continue reading