Observing the “Islamic New Year”

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

At the end of Thul-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, some Muslims begin sharing messages with each other, with reminders to end the year with good deeds and begin the new year with obedience. Some observe the time as an opportunity for repentance and “setting things right”, similar to how the non-Muslims enter their new year by making “New Year’s resolutions”. Others may even go so far as to celebrate the event with special greetings, acts of worship like fasting, or festive gatherings.

THE ISLAMIC RULING ON OBSERVING THE ISLAMIC NEW YEAR

A question was posed to the Standing Committee for Fatwaa in Saudi Arabia about this issue, and their response was:

لا تجوز التهنئة بهذه المناسبات؛ لأن الاحتفاء بها غير مشروع

“It is not permissible to congratulate people on these occasions, since observing/celebrating them is not legislated.” [1]

Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan, one of the committee’s long-standing members, and widely recognized senior authority in Islamic verdicts, was asked Continue reading

Confusion Ended: “Thanksgiving is a Day of Gratitude Observed by Most Muslims” [?]

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

Thanksgiving Day is a modern Christian religious holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November in America. Thanksgiving has been adopted as a national holiday as well.

The Permanent Council of Scholars in Saudi Arabia, headed by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him), was asked about the observance of Christian religious holidays, and they responded:

It is not permissible to take part with the disbelievers in their holidays and religious celebrations, due to the description Allah has given to the servants of the Most-Merciful [what means]: ( Those who do not witness “zoor”, and if they pass by falsehood, they pass by it with dignity ). [25:72] “Zoor” is explained to be: the celebrations of the disbelievers and witnessing them, attending them, or taking part in them.

Source: The Permanent Council’s second series of Fatwas (1/452-453). [in Arabic here]

Many other clear statements of the scholars about non-Muslim holidays and celebrations have been made widely available in English.

Aside from being a Christian holiday, Thanksgiving is commonly represented by images depicting the “peace” made between Continue reading

Jumu’ah Prayer Established in Prisons

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

The Standing Committee for Legal Verdicts and Research in Saudi Arabia was asked about a prisoner’s stance on Jumu’ah Prayer when incarcerated. They replied:

إذا أقيمت الجمعة داخل السجن أو في غيره، واستطاع أداءها فتجب عليه، وإذا لم يستطع أداء الجمعة فيصليها ظهرا.

وأما الحرية التي يذكرها الفقهاء شرطًا في وجوب الجمعة فمرادهم الحرية من الرق؛ لأن المملوك لا تجب عليه.

If Jumu’ah Prayer is established inside the prison or elsewhere, and he is capable of performing it, then it is binding (waajib) upon him. If he is unable to pray Jumu’ah Prayer, then he offers (in its place) Thuhr Prayer. As for the condition of freedom which the scholars of Fiqh mention in order for Jumu’ah to be an obligation, the intended meaning was: freedom from slavery, as a slave would not be required (to attend Jumu’ah).

Signed by:
Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood
Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan
Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee
Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz

Source: Verdicts of the Standing Committee (8/184-185), as found here.

Translation: Moosaa Richardson

rev.aw.

Nutmeg, the Well Known Spice, is an Intoxicant (Khamr)

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Compassionate, the All- Merciful…

Nutmeg ( جوزة الطيب ) is widely known to have intoxicating properties.

 …Nutmeg’s intoxicating properties have long been known in Europe… it has been a substitute for other substances that for one reason or another were unavailable or unaffordable. Thus prisoners, soldiers, seamen and struggling musicians were among its users… In 1946, before his conversion to Islam, Malcolm X used nutmeg whilst in jail when his supplies of marijuana ran out. In his autobiography he wrote: ‘I first got high in Charlestown [prison] on nutmeg. My cellmate was among at least a hundred nutmeg men who, for money or cigarettes, bought from kitchen worker inmates penny matchboxes full of stolen nutmeg. I grabbed a box as though it were a pound of heavy drugs. Stirred into a glass of cold water, a penny matchbox full of nutmeg had the kick of three or four reefers.’ When the authorities became aware of such uses of nutmeg it was removed from many prison kitchens.

Source: http://www.moodfoods.com/nutmeg/index.html (Accessed Dec. 25, 2008)

Ahmad ibn Hajr al-Haytamee (d.974), the soofee ash’aree, however an authority on the Fiqh (legal rulings) of ash-Shaafi’ee according to his later followers, seems to have the most detailed information on the topic. Thus, his words and research on the matter are important, and our scholars have Continue reading

Wiping over Headwear (Turbans, Caps, Khimaars) for Wudhoo’

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

I was asked about the issue of women wiping over their khimaars (head coverings) for wudhoo’. Seeking the Assistance of Allaah, I say:

The Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) wiped over his footwear and headwear, as found in Saheeh Muslim and other source books of hadeeth. Some scholars said this is not for women and their khimaars, however, to consider a ruling in Islaam specific to one of the two genders requires evidence, as all rulings in Islaam are for men and women alike, unless there is evidence to show an intended distinction.

All rulings in Islaam are for men and women alike, unless evidence establishes an intended distinction.

This is a very important principle in Fiqh. Furthermore, it has been reported from Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her), that she used to wipe over her khimaar for wudhoo’. This is the short version of the answer. Stop reading here, unless you are interested in a more detailed discussion.

Some scholars said it is not allowed for women to wipe over their khimaars. This is due to either

  • [A] Their rejection of the entire issue of wiping over headwear, because the evidence for it had not reached them,
  • [B] Or because they affirmed the Sunnah of wiping over headwear in general, but no report from a female Companion reached them affirming their practice of it, so did not see any basis for it in the practical understanding of the female Companions. There are in fact many reports of women Companions reaching under their khimaars to wipe over their heads for wudhoo’. However, those who knew of the reports (of Umm Salamah, for example) are given priority over those did not have them.

Those who affirm the permissibility of women wiping over the khimaar either

The Ruling on Saying “Allaah and His Messenger Know Best”

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

The Permanent Committee of Scholars in Saudi Arabia has issued a verdict stating that saying “Allaah and His Messenger know best” was for the lifetime of the Messenger.  After his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), “Allaah knows best” is to be used. This was signed by Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Shaykh Ghudayyaan, and Shaykh Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee (may Allaah have Mercy on them).

What seems to be correct based on the overall practice of the Companions and the early scholars is to refrain from saying “Allaah and His Messenger knows best” after his death, and rather say, “Allaah knows best.”

“…Because the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) is not aware of what is happening after his death.”

Source: Verdicts of the Permanent Committee (2/163) [English translation]

In addition, Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan, Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd, and others mentioned that saying “Allaah and His Messenger know best” was for his lifetime, and that after his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), “Allaah knows best” is to be used.

Refer to: I’aanat al-Mustafeed (1/44), Mu’jam al-Manaahee al-Lafthiyyah (p.128).

However, some scholars allowed saying “Allaah and His Messenger know best” after his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), like Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have Mercy on him) and some of the explainers of Kitaab at-Towheed, relying on a passage from the Nooniyyah of Ibn al-Qayyim: Continue reading

Do not Disregard the Moonsighting to Rely on Calendars for the Beginning and End of Ramadhaan

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

All Muslims concerned with following the Quran and Sunnah properly should be advised that it is not permissible to plan the first day of Ramadhaan based solely on calendars and the scientific predictions behind them.

This is because Allaah has legislated fasting to begin with the sighting of the crescent of Ramadhaan or the completion of 30 days of Sha’baan when the crescent is not visible.  His Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) said, quite clearly:

لا تصوموا حتى تروا الهلال ولا تفطروا حتى تروه

“Do not begin fasting until you sight the moon, and do not break your fast (for ‘Eed) until you have sighted it.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Since Monday will be the 29th of Sha’baan, Ramadhaan 1434 will begin on either Tuesday (July 9, 2013) or Wednesday (July 10, 2013), depending on whether or not the moon is sighted.

Please be advised that any people claiming at this time that Ramadhaan will begin on a pre-specified day are people who are inviting you to leave the clear practice of fasting according to the Book and the Sunnah.

Please take the time to read the following official verdict of the Permanent Committee of Scholars on the topic if you are not entirely clear on the Islaamic rulings related to this matter:

http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?languagename=en&View=Page&PageID=30&PageNo=1&BookID=10

May Allaah bless the Muslims and unite them upon the Book of their Lord, the Sunnah of His Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), and the way of the Companions and early Muslims who practiced it purely.

NOTE: Do not allow the legitimate scholarly differing over the issue of “local” vs. “global” moonsighting to be grounds for anyone to introduce any concept they choose – like rejecting the entire concept of moonsighting altogether!

And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

Pork By-Products in Food, Medicine, or Cosmetics

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

The Permanent Committee of Scholars in Saudi Arabia was asked a question about foods, medicines, and cosmetics containing pork and pork by-products, like fat, oil, hair, or bones (crushed into powder).  They replied:

When a Muslim knows with certainty or near-certainty that pork, fat from the pig, or crushed pig bones are found in any type of food, medicine, toothpaste, or the likes, it is not permissible to eat, drink, or wipe it (on one’s body). And he is to leave whatever he is uncertain about, due to his statement (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace):

دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك

Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.

And through Allaah is success.  May Allaah raise the rank of our Prophet Muhammad, and that of his family and companions, and grant them all peace.

[Shaykh] ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Qu’ood
Member

[Shaykh] ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan
Member

[Shaykh] ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee
Vice Chairman

[Shaykh] ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn Baaz
Chairman

Source: Verdicts of the Permanent Committee (22/281).

Translated by: Moosaa Richardson

Q&A: Giving Charity on Behalf of the Deceased [Permanent Committee]

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the All-Merciful…

QUESTION: Is charity given on behalf of the deceased something that benefits the deceased?

ANSWER: Yes, the deceased will benefit from the charity given by the living on his behalf, according to the consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

This is based on the hadeeth collected by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from the narration of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), who said that a man came to the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah!  My mother’s soul was taken (suddenly), and she had not bequested anything (as charity to be given from her wealth).  I believe that she would have done so if she had spoken (before her death).  Would she get any reward if I gave charity on her behalf?”

He replied, “Yes.”

Also, due to the hadeeth collected by al-Bukhaaree from the narration of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father), that Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah’s (may Allaah be pleased with him) mother died in his absence.  He later went to the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah! My mother has died while I was absent, so would she benefit if I gave charity on her behalf?”

He replied, “Yes.” 

He (Sa’d) said, “Then I take you as a witness that I give away my garden, al-Mikhraaf (the name of the garden), as charity on her behalf.”

These are among the authentic evidences about the deceased benefitting from giving charity on their behalf.

And through Allaah (alone) is success.  May Allaah raise the rank of our Prophet Muhammad and that of his family and companions, and grant them all peace.

Signed by:

  • [Shaykh] ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood, Member
  • [Shaykh] ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee, Vice-Chairman
  • [Shaykh] ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn Baaz, Chairman

(May Allaah have Mercy on them.)

Source: The Permanent Committee’s Collection of Fatwaas (9/27-28)

Translated by: Moosaa Richardson

Q&A on Potential Dangers Found in Many Accounting Jobs

A Muslim concerned about his income asks:

I am an accountant that presents the financial statements of my organization to my employers. The banks pays interests (riba) on the company’s funds (the company is involved in halal business) saved with the banks and in the periodic statements they (the bank) send to us (accountant and my employers) they show clearly the analysis of the transaction my organisation has done with them over the period.

In the normal accounting profession, we are supposed to report this interest (riba) as well as all other transactions in the financial statements to the company, and the financial statements will not be complete unless they are shown, and thus Continue reading

The Permanent Committee of Scholars on the Kufr (Apostasy) of Illusionary Magicians

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

The Permanent Committee of Scholars in Saudi Arabia discussed the issue of sihr (magic) in an official published verdict (fatwaa) signed by:

  • Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Manee’
  • Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan
  • Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee

May Allaah have Mercy on all of them.  In this fatwaa, they explained the meaning of illusionary magic and its ruling, saying:

The word sihr (magic) also refers to illusions and tricks done to make someone think that an inanimate object is moving, while it is really not.  Such a person is shown the object in a way that changes his perception of its reality, and so he really believes it is like that (moving).  An example of this would be Continue reading

The “National Day” is Bid’ah (Blameworthy Innovation) and an Imitation of the Non-Muslims

In the Name of Allaah, the Ever-Merciful…

The National Day, or “al-Yowm al-Watanee”, widely celebrated in the various Muslim countries as a national holiday, is a bid’ah (blameworthy innovation) in Islam and an impermissible act of imitating the non-Muslims.

As collected in the two Saheehs of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) said:

من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد
“Whoever introduces something into this affair of ours (Islaam) that which is not part of it shall have it rejected.”

And he said:

من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم
“Whoever imitates a people is from them.”

The scholars Continue reading

Zakaat on Real Estate (Four Types)

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

The Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwaas, headed by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him), was asked about a vacant lot of land purchased three years ago – Is there zakaat due upon it?

Their official published answer was as follows: 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

Can We Write “SAW” or “PBUH” When we Mention the Prophet and Messenger of Allah?

Originally published: 06-06-1423 [1]

In the Name of Allaah, may the Salaah and Salaam of Allaah be upon His Final Messenger, to proceed:

Muslims are obliged to send Allaah’s Salaah [2] and Salaam [3] upon Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) when his name is mentioned. Allaah has commanded us [4]:

( Verily Allaah and His Angels send salaah on the Prophet. O you who believe! Invoke salaah upon him, as well as a complete salaam! ) Continue reading