Questions & Answers | Sh. Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi (Damascus 2002)

Answers provided by al-‘Allamah
Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya’qoubi of Damascus (may Allah protect him)
From shaykhibrahiminstitute.org

Beliefs
Q8: Regarding the Prophet`s (upon him be peace) parents

Question:

Dear Shaykh, I am honoured to be able to ask such a great scholar a question directly. My question relates to the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s parents.. I always believed that they would be forgiven as they had not received the message of Islam. However, a brother then posted me the following Hadith: “The following is from a book produced by Imam Anwar Al-Aulaqi, based upon Ibn Kathir’s ‘The Beginning and The End’. Anas narrated that a man asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, where is my father?’ He replied: ‘In Hell-Fire’. Then when the man turned away, he (The Prophet (SAW)) called him and said: ‘My father and your father are both in hell.’ Al-Bayhaqi stated after relating these traditions in his work Dala’il An-Nubuwah: ‘And how would the father and grand-father of the Prophet (SAW) not be in such circumstances regarding the hereafter when they used to worship idols until they died, and they did not follow the religion of Jesus Son Of Mary, upon whom be peace.'” In addition I was posted the following Hadith: Abu Huraira narrated: The Prophet (SAW) visited his mothers grave, and he wept and caused those with him to weep too. Then he said, ‘I asked my Lord’s permission to visit my mother’s grave and He allowed me. I also asked his permission to seek forgiveness for her, but He did not permit me. So do visit the graves, they will remind you of death. [Muslim] These Hadith were presented to me as evidence that the Prophet (s.a.w.’s) parents are in the Hell-fire. I would really appreciate if you could tell me (with evidences please) what is the correct opinion on this matter according Ahl us Sunnah wal Jamaah

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. First of all, I would like to mention that the reliable opinion on the parents of the Prophet Salla Allah-u alayhi wa’aalihi wasallam is that they will survive on the Day of Judgment and they will be in al-Jannah. One of the major scholars of advocated this opinion is the great Hafiz al-Imam as-Suyoutiy in several works, one of them is Masaalikul- Hunafaa fee waaliday al-Mustafaa salla Allah-u alayhi wa’aalihi wasallam. It is included in a collection of his famous collection of epistles known as “al-Haawee llifataawaa” published in two volumes. It is also published separately in several editions. Another scholar is al-Imam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd ar-Rasoul al-Barzanjiy; he also compiled a work that has been recently published, “Sadaad ad-Deen wa Sidaad ad-Dayn fee Najaatil -‘Abawayn ash-Shareefayn. It is clear that the issue is of dispute and every proof present to support the opposite opinion is refuted by method of exegesis, i.e. looking at its meaning as in father meaning uncle for instance, and by providing counterproofs as well. In subject that relates to the Prophet salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam, I advise the readers of taking heed to the works of the great later scholar, known as lover of the Prophet salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam, shaykh Yousuf an-Nabhaaniy rahimahu Allah ta’aalaa (d. 1350H.). His books were well received and recommended by the foremost scholars of his time across the Islamic world. Concerning the questioner’s request of a proof, I would like to say that the request is unusual and alien to the tradition of fatwa. The Mufti’s duty is to provide the ruling with a reference or without depending on the case but not to deliberate on the proofs of it. However I would like to seize this opportunity to draw some guidelines for this questioner and others who represent a layer of the society that is known in the field of sacred knowledge as the commons or “al-‘awaamm”. When faced by a legal or problem or doctrinal misunderstanding, the job of the common is to first to look for wherefrom he receives the answer, i.e. the source of knowledge, and make sure that it is authentic and trustworthy; So ask the people of knowledge if you do not know) as in surat al-Anbiyaa’. By authentic I refer to the integrity of the chain of the scholar and by trustworthiness I refer to the loyalty to the doctrine of ahlussunnah. Second, when getting the answer which may be difficult to understand, due to several reasons, the least of which is the incapability of the questioner to comprehend the answer, the questioner must listen and adhere without challenging the authority as Allah subhaanahu wata’aalaa described the believers in the Noble Qur’an (we hear and we obey). If the questioner is ambitious to learn more about the subject raised in the question he should change from a common to a student of sacred knowledge, find a shaykh or more, and gradually and systematically develop his understanding of the deen in a circle. The questioner should be satisfied with an answer that points out to the reliable opinion or provides the ruling and should also recognise his inability to make a judgment on this subject due the long list of requirements in the field of knowledge. The Western culture has changed Muslims’ attitude towards any religious issues from adherence to rebelliousness, from obedience to challenge and from following authorities to questioning authorities. The result is that people now believe that every person must make his own judgment and form an opinion in a field of studies that would take a scholar twenty years to be able to tread in with cautiousness and humility. The Western culture is built on rejection of faith, irrelevance of revelation, glorification of the human and the human authority versus the Divine thus putting reason over text, which is the reason why we are witnessing this intellectual mess in the Islamic arena.

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Q11: Ahl al-Bayt and the Shia

Question:

Assalaam walaikum Shaykh, What should the Ahl As-Sunnah stance be on the Ahl al-Bayt, and how does it differ with the Shia assertion of Ismah (infallibility), how much love should we bestow on them and is their maqam higher then the sahabah’s? Also what about their assertion of praying on Turbah or natural surfaces is this a valid Fiqh opinion

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayer and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. The descendants of the Prophet Salla Allah-u alayhi wasallam through his two grandsons Sayyidunaa al-Hasan and Sayyiduna al-Husayn radiya Allah-u ‘anhumaa are parts of the family of the Prophet salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam known in Arabic as (‘Aal al-Bayt). The major reference to the rights of the family of the prophet Salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam is in the Qur’anic verse, {Say, I do not ask you for any reward for IT [the Qur’an] except friendship to my kin}. In addition to this verse there are several hadith that speak loudly of the rights the Prophet Salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam laid upon us concerning his family. These rights vary from love and respect to financial rights in the Public Funds. Love and respect for the family of the Prophet is one of the features that distinguished the path of Ahlussunnah for centuries. The books of Fiqh, history, biographies have countless examples of the relationship between the Ulema and ‘Aal al-Bayt. The great Imam sidi Ahmad Zarouq wrote in his “Qawaa’id at-Tasawwuf” a principle on the love for the family of the Prophet; ash-Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyideen Ibn ‘Arabiy wrote a beautiful section in his “Meccan Revelation” on ‘Aal al-Bayt; both elaborated on the special high rank of ‘Aal al-Bayt and their special merit on the Day of Judgment. Al-Qadi ‘Iyaad rahimahu Allah quoted the various hadiths that compel Muslims to the rights he salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam has upon us concerning his family. A good reference on this subject is “ash-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad li-‘Aali Muhammad” By shaykh Yousuf an-Nabhaaniy. On how much love we should have for them let me quote for you this story that happened with me: One of the greatest Ulema and men of Allah now in Damascus is shaykh Saleem al-Hammamiy who is 100 years of age, (at least). He is known for his extreme love for the family of the Prophet Salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. Upon one of my stays in Damascus in the beginning of this year (2002) I met him a few times during several dinners held by his sons, he told me twice that he wanted to see me alone. So, I went to visit him; in his room he gave a gift (a lot of money) and wanted me to give him my word that I would consider him part of our family by saying (Saleem is one of us – the family of the Prophet); he added that this will give him one hope for survival on the Day of Judgment. When two scholars meet in a party, the scholar of ‘Aal al-Bayt is always foremost. Niqabat al-Ashraaf was a special administration that handled the register, birth, death, geneologies and financial rights of ‘Aal al-Bayt. Naqeeb al-Ashraaf was the official title of the head of that administration. Formally, half a century ago, when the Mufti and Naqeeb al-Ashraaf met, the latter takes precedence over the former, e.g. Naqib al-Ashraaf on the right-hand side of the president and the Mufti on the left-hand side. Ahlussunnah’s love and respect for ‘Aal al-Bayt is immense and strong but not extreme so that it kept them within the tenets of the Deen. The extreme love the Shee’as had for ‘Aal al-Bayt led them to believe that they are impeccable, a position they have held for centuries. In some of their most recent writings some prominent shi’i leaders make it possible that some of the Imams of ‘Aal al-Bayt may reach levels higher in ranks than some prophets, which contradicts the Islamic dogma which states that messengers and then prophets are the best of all humanity with no single exception. We love the family of the Prophet salla Allah-u alayhi wasallam for his sake, for the blood that runs in their veins, or if we may put it in modern scientific terms, for the genes they inherited from him. It is sometimes difficult to stimulate this love for ‘Aal al-Bayt when people see the majority of them as ordinary people, less righteous than others, have no knowledge of the deen, with some of them even getting far off the deen so they question the whole principle. Had we loved them for their own sake we would be excused if we disrespect them when they transgress; but we love them above all for the sake of their grandfather, and whether they are righteous or sinful, they are his descendants and he is still their grandfather. This is why one of the Algerian scholars, shaykh ‘Ashour al-Khanqi, a devotee to the family of the Prophet salla Allah-u alayhi wa ‘Aalihi wasallam wrote a book on this issue under the title: “al-‘Ithaaf bifadli ‘Usaatil- Ashraaf”. I came across the title of this book several years ago and was very much interested in the life of the author; feeling compelled to be grateful to him on behalf of the living members of family of the Prophet Salla ‘alayhi-u ‘alayhi wa ‘Aalihi wasallam but the book, in its lithographic one hundred year old edition is as rare as a manuscript. Two years ago, I visited Princeton Library in my search of some manuscripts on hadith and went to its Arabic printed stocks and thought, not knowing where to start the search, I wondered how to find any rare book. To my surprise, I walked between the shelves and picked up one volume, the very first and it was this book on ‘Aal al-Bayt.

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Q13: Status of the Quran and the Prophet (upon him be peace)

Question:

Salaam. In terms of status who’s is higher the Quran’s or the Prophet (pbuh).

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam; Al-Qur’an is in a higher status than the Prophet is. Actually there is no way to compare the Creator and His Attributes to the Created beings, not even to the Prophet himself. Every Muslim should be aware of the fact that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, which is one of His necessary Attributes. It is Pre-eternal, Everlasting, unlike the speech of the created beings. The Prophet Salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam is the best of creation. I find it strange that a Muslim is posing this question about one of the most self-evident truths. One has to be cautious with maqam al-‘Ulouhiyyah. I advise the brother of studying with a trustworthy teacher a booklet on the Islamic Doctrine (‘Aqeedah) such as al-Fiqhul Akbar, at-Tahaawiyya, or as-Sanousiya.

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Prayers
Q3: Jumua prayer

Question:

Is it obligatory to pray jumu’a prayer in a masjid?

Answer:

Jumu’a prayer is obligatory upon all men except the categories that are specified in the books of fiqh, such as women and travelers. There are certain conditions to be observed when holding Friday prayers in a place, but generally speaking, when other conditions are fulfilled, the prayer can be held either in a mosque or in any building or even in an open space.

Attending Friday prayer for people who are addressed with it is obligatory according to the Divine words in the Qur’an: “O ye who believe! When called for prayer on Friday, then rush to the remembrance of Allah, and stop selling, for that is better for you, if you really know.” The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam warned against missing Friday prayers as we read in al-Muwatta: “Anyone who does not attend Friday prayers for three consecutive weeks, Allah will block his heart.” Friday prayers cannot be performed individually, and if missed, Dhuhr must be performed whether within the time or after the time. I advise the questioner to study the section on Friday prayer in Salvation of the Soul which is a concise book on fiqh according to the Hanafite school of law.

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Q7: Joining obligatory prayers at work

Question:

When we are in certain work environments, e.g. hospital, it is sometimes not possible to pray all five prayers on time, not just during the winter months. Is it not better to join the relevant prayers (e.g. dhuhr and asr) than miss them? If one then finds the time then one can repeat the particular prayer in its appointed time?

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. “Allah does not task any soul beyond her capacity”. The five daily prayers must be performed within the allocated time; the required time is not included in any working contract. If the working schedule does not permit the person to pray then the person must leave the job and look for another job that accommodates the prayers. Working on the account of prayer time does not generate more income, as it apparently looks, but rather more calamities. The conditions of combining prayers are known in the books of Fiqh; working in a hospital is not one of them. One has to pray in time; if the prayer is missed then it has to be made up for, the impact of the sin is on the shoulder of the person who has to repent (do tawba) with the following conditions: 1- Immediate change of working timetable to fit in the prayers he is prone to miss. 2- Feel remorse about missing the prayers. 3- Determine not to miss any prayer again. One exceptional case, however, has to be mentioned in this context; it is the case of a medial doctor or assistant (e.g. nurse) and has to take part in a surgical operation that may last for several hours and cannot leave the operation, the person has to do the work that involves saving life and make up for the prayer he misses with no burden of sin in the delay.

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Dreams
Q1: Regarding true dreams

Question:

If one is in a state of wudu’ before going to sleep and does dhikr before sleeping and then has a very clear dream, how seriously should one believe the dream? Is it considered a ‘ru’ya?’

Answer:

There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when evaluating a dream. One of the most important is being in a state of wudu’ when possible; others include sleeping on the right side while facing towards the Qiblah, having performed prayer before sleeping, and having done the dhikr required before going to bed. The level of righteousness and purity a believer maintains is important in evaluating a dream; good dreams for a believer are one of 46 parts of Prophet-hood and are called “mubashiraat” as the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa’aalihi wasallam says, which means, “bringing good news.” There are other factors which may affect one’s vision, such as the psychological state (e.g. sadness or worries) and/or the physiological state (e.g. pain or hunger). More credence may be given to the vision if one is in a “normal” state when it is seen. Bearing all this in mind, it is important to note that not all dreams can be interpreted; Ibn Seereen, Rahimahu Allah, the well-known authority on dream interpretation, used to interpret only one dream out of forty.

The advice of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam when we see bad dreams is to slightly spit three times at your left side and then say the recommended du’a: “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the evil of what I just saw and ask you for the good of it.” The dream will not harm you, as the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam stated; and then the dream should be kept a secret, not to be told but to scholars who have the insight and experience in dream-interpretation. The person who sees the dream should not attempt to interpret the dream or be affected by its apparent events; as in most cases, they are symbols that allude to other realities. It is the job of the scholars to find the appropriate interpretation through a thread that connects the event with its meaning. This thread that hints to the answer might be religious, social, or simply linguistic derived from the words or from proverbs. Do not worry when you see what appears to be “bad dreams” as they may, in fact, carry for you a lot of good news. “Prophet-hood has ceased; what has remained is only glad tidings brought through a good dream that a believer sees or is seen for him,” the Prophet salla Allah-u alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam says in a sound hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari.

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Protection against Jinn
Q10: Jinns and black majic

Question:

Asalamualikum. My question is a strange one. A few years ago I was possessed by a jinn through black magic. I went to many alims for treatment. In the end, I had to take medication. It was quite bad. Alhumdulliah, I am better than before but not 100%.the problem is that I still feel as though I am trapped in a cage and every time I make an attempt to better my position for example at work or sports or in deen I struggle. Its as if I can’t be successful in life. I know this sounds strange but I struggle so much with my self. I just don’t know what to do. Somtimes I lose all hope and don’t feel like praying.astagfurallah. Pls, can u help me in someway, any sort of dhikr for sakoon. wassalam.

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. Two things I recommend to you and to all people who have similar problems: first, there is book of du’a called al-Hisnul Haseen by the great Imam Ibn al-Jazariy Muhammad ibn Muhammad. Maintain reading it all around the weekdays. It contains Qur’anic and Sunna du’a that protect from evil of jinn as well as the evil of humans from the Qur’an and from the Sunnah. Second, try to find a weekly dhikr session around your area or even if in another city and attend it regularly. The dhikr sessions and the company of the men of Allah both are inexpensive methods of protection. Mercy and tranquility come down from heavens together with angels to surround the people present in a dhikr session. As the Prophet salla Allah-u alayhi wasallam says in a sound hadith in Saheeh al-Bukhaariy narrated by Abu Hurayrah radiya Allah-u ‘anhu describing a session of dhikr and a by-passer, “they are the people whoever sits with them will never be under distress”.

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Decisions
Q2: Ruling on casting lots

Question:

Is it permissible to cast lots in order to make a decision?

Answer:

In order to provide an answer to this question, we need to specify the type of decisions to which the question is referring. Generally speaking, one has to look at the action to see if it is obligatory or recommended according to the shari’a in which case one should not show any hesitation about performing the act; if it is proscribed or disliked, then one has to distance himself from it without any attempt to foresee whether there be any good in it. If the matter in question is neither incumbent nor prohibited, neither recommended nor disliked, and is simply permissible, then one may find a way to know whether one should do it or not. The best way in this regard is to do the istikharah prayer which is an essential tool in our survival kit to be used throughout our lives whenever we need to make decisions.

Sometimes the decisions we intend to make may involve other people, and we do not want to have any prejudice towards the people involved, so we need to use another method for determining the good for them, which is, in this case, casting lots. To clarify, we may present the following example: Ahmad wants to travel from Syria to do some business; he has two options to choose from: either to do business in Egypt or in Italy . He intends to take with him one of his several sons. First of all, he has to seek the shari’a ruling on his trip. If it is for doing business that benefits his country, it is then encouraged; but the two options here do not bear the same legal status; if business is the same, then traveling to an Islamic country is preferred over traveling to a non-Islamic country for several reasons; thus, casting lots to choose between the two countries would not be valid. However, when choosing between his sons, in order to make them all content with his decision, he may cast lottery, and then take with him the one whose name appears in the lottery. We read in al-Sahih that the Prophet salla Allah-u alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam used to cast lottery between his wives to decide whom to take with him when he went for battles. This lead scholars of the Principles of Jurisprudence to consider casting lots (or more precisely “Qur’ah” as known in Arabic), one of the final sources of legislation to which a Mujtahid may have recourse. Our encyclopedic works of Islamic law contain some rare examples of the application of this principle.

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Studies
Q19: Studying Quranic sciences

Question:

Bismillah; I wish to study the reasons for every ayah revealed in the Qur’an but have no idea where would be the best place to do this. Please, could you recommend a suitable place ? (I am doing a degree in Arabic at the moment) jazakallah khayr

Answer

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. The best method of studying this science is the find a teacher and study with him one of the major texts written on this subject. Islamic colleges offer a whole package i.e. a curriculum that covers the most needed subject for a student of sacred knowledge. The most circulated reference on Asbaab an-Nuzoul is under the same title by al-Imam Jalaal ad-Deen as-Suyoutiy printed in one volume and included in several editions of tafseer al-Jalaalyn. There are other works for specialists. The large works of tafseer are good authority on the subject. One of the best in this regard is al-Jami’ li ‘Ahkaam al-Qur’an by al-Imam al-Qurtubiy Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad printed in twenty volumes.

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Q4: Studying Islam in Damascus

Question:

Asalamu ‘alaykum Sheikh Yaqoubi, I wondered if it would be possible to receive a breakdown of the course curriculum for studying Islam in Damascus as I’m interested in starting the course when I finish my current degree in 2005. I would also like to know who teaches the course. Thank you for your time.

Answer:

Asking for the curriculum of the course in Damascus while your plan is to travel there in two years seems to me too early. If you have this level of concern about studying the Sacred Knowledge, why do you not travel now to join the school and learn your Deen? Do you have a guarantee to live until 2005, and do you think that your university degree is going to help you on the Day of Judgment? Nothing is better and more rewarding in this life and in afterlife and more pleasurable more than seeking the knowledge that brings closer to Allah and His Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wa ‘aalihi wasallam.

For details of the curriculum of the shari’a courses in Damascus, you should contact the schools themselves, but beware as they do not usually write the curriculum in any foreign language. In addition, if you do not know Arabic well, then you should consider spending one year studying Arabic in order to be able to join one of the schools, which, by the way, run for six years. May Allah give you success with your endeavors to study the Deen and protect you from the evil of the Western educational system.

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Q5: PhD in Islamic Law

Question:

In sha Allah, I hope to begin a PhD in Islamic law and anti-discrimination law in September 2003. The study would be of a comparative nature. I am a human rights lawyer and thus am familiar with western concepts of human rights. However, I have not had the opportunity to study Islamic law in any great detail. I am however hoping that studying for the PhD will provide me with the opportunity to do so. A few people have said that it would not be wise to do so since I do not posses a vast amount of knowledge on Islamic law. I would greatly appreciate your advice on whether to proceed with the PhD in the chosen areas. I would love to study Islamic law but am worried about picking up the wrong information.

Answer:

Many Western universities have departments of religious studies that offer university degrees in Islamic studies. The question to ask is what is the goal of their curriculum? Do they intend to serve our Deen and provide our Ummah with ulama who know the shari’a? More importantly, do they really even present the Islamic point of view? A look at their curricula and the textbooks and the reference books they use will provide clearly negative answer as shari’a cannot be taught by John and George and the like and their writings. What is also important to examine is the methodology of studies the Western academia follows in its claimed quest for knowledge as the most predominant approach to the study of religion in post-modern times is the anthropological and the historical, both of which disregard the sacredness of texts and the impeccability of Prophets. They do not teach our shari’a; rather, they teach about it; they teach its history, looking at every text or event with a skeptical eye, and instead of showing conviction when firm belief is needed, they bring up their speculations instead. The result is disastrous: destruction of the foundations of Islamic Law, corruption of the students, and brainwashing the minds of Muslim students; all this is done under the name of “subjectivity.” I have visited several Western universities wherein I met professors and students, and I can say that there is hardly a department of religious studies in Western universities that teaches Islam without hammering its shari’a with the axe of so called “modernity,” so called “democracy,” and so called “Human Rights.” Our Muslim brothers and sisters who are enrolling in Western universities are not acquiring the necessary Islamic knowledge and are graduating with doubts and then some are even turning their weapons against Islam. Several graduates from such schools are now professors occupying chairs of Islamic studies in renowned Western universities often doing more damage to Islam than the Orientalists.

Frankly, I consider studying Islam at Western universities similar to studying Islam at Christian seminaries, or to be fair with Christians, like studying Christianity in Islamic colleges. Do you think that a graduate from an authentic Islamic university with a degree in Christianity will be entrusted by the church as an authority on Christian theology? Why, in our thirst for esteem (a degree) and money (a job) are we selling our Deen so cheaply? Most of the Muslim students who join departments of Islamic studies in Western universities come back to us with questions we would never have imagined anyone would pose. The dangers that lie in enrolling in these departments also lie in several other departments in faculties of humanity, such as departments of philosophy and departments of social sciences.

In summary, it is extremely dangerous for Muslim students to join such departments before getting deeply rooted in the studies of Islamic theology, Law, the basics of Qur’an and hadith sciences, history, and purification of the heart. Only after learning these sciences will they have immunity against the atheists’ attempts to pollute their minds. Studying Islamic Law and any other Islamic subjects should be done in Islamic colleges under the scholarship of the rightly guided ulama. There are many young Muslim students who, out of their love for the Deen and enthusiasm to support it, join departments of Islamic studies at Western universities before studying the shari’a in mosques with the ulama. By doing so, they expose themselves to the danger of being weakened in their faith and even losing their Deen.

I would like to take this opportunity to warn young Muslims against taking courses in these departments. Only after they are well trained in the sacred knowledge, and after they have graduated from Islamic colleges or studied for a similar number of years with the Ulama, could they join these departments with the intention that, after studying their methodologies and arguments, they can encounter them and refute them.

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Fianace
Q6: Islamic mortgage

Question:

Dear Shaykh, Assalamualakium. Today in the UK and US many financial institutions are offering ‘Islamic home mortgages’ which generally take the murabaha method where the bank buys the house and sells it on to you for a monthly payment which is dependent upon time i.e. If you pay them over 5 years, their ‘profit’ will be 5% per year and if you pay them over 10 years their profit will be 7% per year. This to me is very similar to a bank loan except that here the bank is getting involved in the purchase of the house and not just dishing out a loan. Is it still, in your opinion halal? They also say that the prophet (saw) allowed leasing in his time (how we lease cars today at a fixed APR rate over time). Is this true? Do you have any references where I can verify this and study the Islamic Economy, as it existed?

Answer:

Glory be Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. The above-mentioned information is not enough to issue a fatwa concerning the murabaha-based mortgage. A thorough look at the conditions of a given contract is a pre-requisite for the determination of its legality. Therefore, I would like to advise the brother to send us a copy of the proposed contract with all related information and give us enough time to look at it. (‘Aqd ‘Ijarah) which means in general terms a “rental contract” sometimes translated as lease, is one of the most common contracts in Fiqh with various pillars and conditions that can be looked up in any basic manual of Fiqh. One of the basic conditions of the rent (namely the fee) in a rental contract is that it must be defined and known so that the sum must be specified not a certain rate. The concept of a lease purchase as practiced in real estate in the West has no antecedent in Fiqh and contradicts in principle the general guidelines for legal contracts, e.g. two contracts in one. Therefore, we advise the questioner and all concerned people of keeping away from any mortgage contract that has not been verified in detail by trustworthy scholars who went through all the articles of the contract before determining its permissibility.

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Q14: Taking interest from non-Muslims

Question:

Asalam-o-alaikum. At one of your light study sessions, it was mentioned that Muslims were allowed to give mortgages to non-Muslims and take interest, but not allowed to take mortgages themselves. At a later date, you explained that this is to deprive the non-Muslim of wealth in this world. Hence, the question I pose is, are we allowed to have interest bearing accounts and also invest where we know there is a guaranteed element of interest to be generated to the policyholder from the varying financial products?

Answer:

Glory be to and salutation are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. According to the Hanafi School, we are allowed to charge interest over a loan we give to a non-Muslim in the non-Muslim land. Under no circumstances are we allowed to borrow money and pay it off with an interest, whether regardless of the lender and the land; it is absolutely haram. As to the issue of putting our savings in an interest-based account in banks in the West for example, it is a different issue from the issue specified in the Hanafi books. According to the general rules of Fiqh in the Hanafi School, it is haram to give the non-Islamic banks control over your wealth and allow. One may open an account to pay the monthly bills and run his business as required without leaving in the account any considerable sum. I have elaborated on this issue in several lectures and I have written an epistle on it, so I will do with this now inshaa’ Allah for the answer.

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Q9: Opening a "halal" cafe

Question:

As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum dear Shaikh. I have a question regarding business ethics. I am intending to establish a cafe of some sort in London, basically a Halal variant on the espresso places which have appeared in various parts of London. One of the suppliers I have been considering is called Costa. This firm was originally an independent family firm, but was taken over by a company which at that time had a large interest in the alcoholic drinks industry. However, that company has since divested itself of these interests. Is it still acceptable to sell this company’s coffee?

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. The question that you should be concerned about is not about the source of the income of your coffee supplier but rather about the legality of opening a café and still being an obedient servant of Allah without transgressing any of His boundaries. The way you put the question appears to be trapping me into giving you a fatwa that implies that opening a café is permissible. However, the best opinion I must have leads me to think that you are completely unaware of the issue and for you it is unquestionable, which shows how much of our actions we take for granted as halal. Opening a café in is forbidden due to what accompanies it and to what it entails. A café is a place where people buy coffee and sit to drink it. In the West, cafés are places of mixed genders where men and women sit at the same table. Often, lovers would sit together and God knows what they would be wearing and what they would be doing in that romantic place. If the café is for one gender, e.g. men, then the problem is worse. Do you think that you can open such a place, and make halal business and gain halal income from hosting lovers and offering the half naked people a shelter? I hope that you do not say that I want to make a halal café; as this in our time looks like carpeting the ocean. Do not think that opening a café for Muslims will make it halal, as a café is a usual place for gossip, where, men would sit by the sidewalk watching women by-passers, where men would sit to play card, or backgammon both of which are forbidden and often the café owner provides the cards and the tables. In the Islamic law, sitting in a café may invalidate a testimony of the witness. I would like to narrate a beautiful story that took place in our family. One of my father’s cousins some 60 years ago opened a café. Knowing that a café at a time when cafés were not as bad as they are now. My grandfather sayyid Ismael al-Yaqoubi, who was a great waliyy and highly respected amongst the Maghribi minority in Syria, happened to pass by the place in as-Suwayqa quarter, he paused for a few seconds and angrily threw a glance at the café then went on his way. His nephew, the café owner was not there at that moment, but when he came and was told what Sayyid Ismael did, he immediately kicked people out, put the chairs inside and closed down the café and never opened a café again. I mention this story as I heard it from a cousin of my father rahimahu Allah-u ta’aalaa, Abu ‘Ali ‘Abdo al-Yaqoubi. It is an example also of the society some sixty years ago, what the ulema needed to do and the response of the commons and their fear of Allah and shyness in front of Him. May Allah show mercy to those generations both the scholars and the masses and grant our generation the love for Allah, the fear and shyness of Him subhaanahu wata’aalaa. A person in your seriousness looking for the halal and investigating on the income of your supplier should not be involved in this business. I am sure that your reliance on Allah will be enough insurance for a prosperous life. Remember what Allah ta’aalaa said, “whoever fears Allah [by abstaining from haram] he will provide him with a recourse and give him rizq from where he does not expect”.

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Q15: Ruling on mortgages and working as a mortgage-broker

Question:

AsSalamu Alaikum. What is the situation regarding buying a house with a mortgage from say Barclays bank? Also I have been offered a job as a mortgage broker, is this halal for me?

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. Buying a house with a mortgage, namely interest based loan, is haram. No madh-hab allows borrowing money and paying interest neither from a Muslim nor from a non-Muslim. I have written a epistle on this subject in Arabic that I will try to make available inshaa’ Allah.

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Q16: Home, car, and life insurance

Question:

1) Can we insurance our house? 2) can you or person involve make a claim on your car insurance?

Answer:

Insurance in general is haram. Contemporary scholars have studied the subject. My father, the great ‘Allamah shaykh Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi Rahimahu Allah wrote a work on insurance in the Muslim land and concluded that the only type of insurance that can be allowed is only pension. As to the non-Islamic land, with the consideration of the different conditions the types of insurance that are halal are the following: health insurance, retirement plan, car insurance. As to home insurance and life insurance, they are haram. Making reasonable claims without lying is permissible and money earned is halal. The reasoning and proofs of my opinion will be insha’a Allah published later insha’a Allah, people who attend my classes may pose this question when it is appropriate for an elaboration.

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Q12: Listening to qasaid sung by women

Question:

As-Salam-u’Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah-e-Wa Barakathu, Is it permissible for males to listen to the recitation of qasa’id sung by female voices?

Answer:

Glory be to and salutation are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. It is haram for men to listen to women singing other than his wife and his mahaarim (women he is permanently forbidden to marry). Listening to woman’s voices when they sing is a door to fitnah. There are enough male chanters.

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Q17: Examining women for trainee doctors

Question:

Is it permissible to examine women which may involve looking at areas of the body which are unlawful for males, when training to become a doctor?

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. It is haram for a male student of medicine or a graduate doctor to examine a fit woman just for the purpose of familiarising himself with certain parts of a woman. Such goals can be achieved through other illustrative methods. If the woman is sick and needs treatment, it is permissible for a student to examine her with his supervisor but not for the whole class. Making the examination a show in a class is haram and seizing sick women to expose them is haram. Muslims have observed ethics in medicine for centuries and they should continue this tradition.

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Q18: Going out clubbing and partying

Question:

Aslamalaykum! I am a dentist student at Leeds uni. A lot my friends and people I know go out clubbing and go out to parties , and they are Muslims. I wanted to know if clubbing and going out to parties is acceptable in Islam, even when u don’t drink or smoke? Wsalaam.

Answer:

Glory be to Allah; prayers and salutations are due to His Messenger salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wasallam. It is haram to attend such parties as mentioned in the question. Such parties are not for Muslims. Muslims should keep away from places where non-Muslims meet, dance and drink alcohol. The number of the forbidden things committed when going to such clubs is countless. It is enough that they spread darkness in the heart and make the heart of the mu’min indifferent to sins. There are various types of leisure activities allowed in Islam. One has to be with righteous people whose company elevates and increases the imaan and benefits in the Hereafter.

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