Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fundamentals Of A Happy Marriage – Part II“Must Dos” of Every Relationship

By Shahina SiddiquiIslam Online, Canada Be Forgiving When the Prophet Mohammad (sws) asked his companions, “Do you wish that Allah should forgive you?” they said, “Of course O Prophet of Allah.” He responded, “Then forgive each other.” One of the main components of a happy marriage is that the spouses are able to forgive one another, and that they do not hold grudges or be judgmental towards each other. It is expected that when we live with someone , situations will arise where we say or do things that hurt our spouses. The challenge is not to dwell on it or lay blame but to move past it. This can only happen if we are not too proud to ask for forgiveness and we are not stingy to forgive. If we hope for Allah to forgive us then we must learn to forgive.
Be Willing to ForgetWhen we constantly remind our spouses of all the times they have let us down or hurt us, we have not truly forgiven. Things that happened in the past must be left there and not be used as fresh ammunition in new situations. Couples who use this technique usually fall in a rut and become victims of their own pettiness, unable to break free.
Be FlexibleMany couples unnecessarily make themselves miserable because they are unwilling to bend a little. We should not expect our spouses to be extensions of ourselves; they are their own person, with their own personalities and likes and dislikes. We must respect their right to be themselves as long as it does not compromise their deen. Being inflexible and not accommodating for individual differences leads to a very stressful and tense home atmosphere.
Be FaithfulIt is commanded by Allah (swt) that we be faithful to our spouses. Adultery is a crime in Islam that is punishable by death. However there are various forms of unfaithful behavior prevalent among some Muslims; the most common form is maintaining friendships with the opposite sex beyond the boundaries set by Islam. The latest trend of Internet relationships is also contrary to Islamic adab and is causing serious problems between couples. Once a sense of betrayal sets in repairing that relationship is difficult. Another form of not being faithful is when couples betray confidences. This is a trust issue and one, when compromised, that eats away at the heart of a marriage.
Be Fair Usually when we are angry or displeased the tendency is to not play fair. We try to convince ourselves that since we have been wronged it is OK to be unjust in our behavior and our statements. Allah (swt) states in the Quran, do not be unjust under any circumstances, even to your enemy, and here we are talking about our life partners and the parent of our children. To use words such as “never” and “always” when describing the behavior of the partner is unfair and puts the other on defensive.
Be Flirtatious A sure way to keep romance in a marriage is to flirt with your spouse. Many successful marriages have maintained a youthful demeanor by adopting special names for each other and secret communication styles. It is essential that your spouse always feel special and desired.
Be Frank Misunderstandings happen when couples are not honest with each other. In a marital relationship, the partners must feel safe to speak their mind with due consideration to the other’s feeling, but without compromising their own views. When the communication is not frank it hinders the development of closeness and deep understanding of each other’s inner self.
Be a FacilitatorWhen choosing our life partner, we must as the Prophet (sws) advised look for a pious Muslim. The reason is that, their first and foremost goal is the pleasure of Allah (swt). This commitment to Allah makes them an excellent facilitator for enhancing their partner’s spiritual development. In essence the couple facilitates their family’s commitment to Allah (swt) and his deen.
Be FlatteringPaying compliments and indulging in honest flattery is a very inexpensive way to win your spouse’s heart. Every one likes to be appreciated and noticed. So being miserly about compliments is actually depriving one self of being appreciated in return.
Fallible It often happens that our expectations sometimes are so high that we lose sight of the fact that we are fallible beings. When couples start to nitpick and demand the impossible they must remind themselves that only Allah (swt) is perfect.
Be Aware of FeelingsProphet Mohammad (sws) stated that Allah forgives all sins if we repent but not those we have committed against others, i.e. hurt their feelings, unless the person we have hurt forgives first. Couples are sometimes very careless when it comes to their spouse’s feelings; they take them for granted and assume that the other knows what they mean. It is surprising that people are more sensitive and courteous to strangers than they are to their loved ones. One must be ever vigilant and careful that they do not hurt the feelings of their spouses and if they do they should apologize as soon as possible. Since one does not know when someone they love will leave this world, is it not better to make amends when we have the time?
Be FondSo many times couples fail to work on developing fondness for each other by ignoring to see their spouses as people through the eyes of their respective friends. Spending quality time alone doing and sharing activities are ways in which one can develop fondness.
Shahina Siddiqui is a board member of the Islamic Social Services Association (United States and Canada). She is active with social services planning and delivery in the Islamic Center of Manitoba

Fundamentals Of A Happy Marriage - Part I"Must Have's" of Every Relationship

By Shahina SiddiquiIslam Online, Canada

International Islamic University - Malaysia
FaithThe most basic and essential attribute of a Muslim marriage is the common faith that binds the couple. Since Islam is a way of life and not just a religion confined to weekly worship it becomes an integral part of a Muslim's life. The religious frame of reference shared by the couple creates an ease of communication and a sharing of values that is not possible in an interfaith marriage. It is highly recommended that faith play an important role in developing a loving relationship. For example: As the Prophet Muhammad said that when a husband feeds his wife, he gets a reward for this act and Allah increases the bond of love between them. So when we love each other for the sake of Allah (SWT) we actually increase our faith.
ForbearanceSabr is the most useful tool to have in managing a healthy lifestyle. Being patient and forbearing puts us in a proactive frame of mind it brings us closer to Allah (SWT) through tawakul and reliance. We develop an inner mechanism that empowers us to handle life's difficult moments. As Allah states in surat Al-Asr "Surely by time humans are at loss, except those who believe and do righteous deeds and counsel each other to the truth and counsel each other to patience [sabr]."
Friendship With Your Spouse This aspect of marriage has three components. The first is to develop a friendship with our spouses. The relationship based on friendship is more able to withstand outside pressures. We honor, trust, respect, accept and care for our friends, in spite of our differences. These are the aspects of friendship we should bring to our marriages. Unfortunately one highly inappropriate aspect that people think of bringing to their marriage is the buddy scenario. Shariah has placed the husband in a leadership role within his family and this requires a certain decorum, which cannot be maintained if the spouses consider each other as pals. This should not be taken to mean that husband is a dictator, but a shepherd who is responsible to and for his flock. This is a position of grave responsibility and places an enormous burden on the husband. Furthermore, the children need to see their parents as friends, but not as pals as this encourages disrespect.
Friendship With In-LawsThe second aspect of friendship is to have friendly relations with in-laws. When couples compete as to whose parents are more important it becomes a constant source of grief. Much valuable time is wasted trying to convince one another of whose parents are most desirable. It is better if we accept that our spouses will not fall in love with our parents overnight just because we want them to. As long as they maintain relationships that are cordial and based on mutual respect, we should not force the issue.
Couple FriendsThe third aspect of friendship is our circle of friends. It is ok to have individual friends of the same gender but couples must also make an effort to have family friends so that they can socialize together. If there is friction being caused by a certain friendship it must not be pursued at the expense of the marriage. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) advised us to choose God-fearing people as friends, since we tend to follow their way. Friends should be a source of joy and not mischief.
FunCouples that do not laugh together have to work on sharing some fun times. The Prophet was known to play with his wives. A simple walk in the park can add much spark to the relationship. Taking up a sport together or watching appropriate funny movies is another way of sharing a laugh.
Financial PlanOne of the most common points of contention in marriages is money. Experts tell us that 80% of marital conflicts are about money. It is therefore highly recommended that the couple put serious time and effort in developing a financial management plan that is mutually agreeable and is reviewed every six months or so. Preparing a budget together is also a helpful and wise way to handling household finances. It should be remembered that the wife's money in Islam is hers to do with as she pleases and therefore should not be considered family income unless she chooses to contribute it to the family.
Respect For FamilyParenting can be a stressful experience if the parents are not well informed. This in turn can put extra pressure on the marriage. Sometimes couples are naive about the changes that come in lifestyle. This can cause depression in some cases, and resentment and misunderstanding in others. One golden rule that must always be the guide is "family comes first." Whenever there is evidence that the family is not happy or not our first priority, it is time to assemble at the kitchen table and discuss the situation with open hearts and open minds.
Couples who have elderly parents have an added responsibility to take care of them; this can also be very stressful if the couple is not prepared. A care plan must be worked out with respective siblings and parents as to who will be the primary care giver and what type of support network they will have. In case of mental incompetence a power of attorney must be in place. The making of a will is essential.
FreedomMarriage in Islam is a partnership and not bondage or slavery. To consider the wife as one's property is alien to the Islamic concept of husband and wife. The team spirit is enhanced and not curtailed when members of the team are free to be themselves. Freedom in the common western sense is to be free to do as one pleases, or even to be selfish. But what is meant by allowing freedom to one's spouse is to be considerate of her needs and to recognize her limitations.
Plan For The FutureSmart couples plan for their future together. They work on their financial and retirement plans. They make wills and discuss these plans with their children. This provides peace of mind and secures the relationship.
FulfillmentTo be all one can be to one's spouse is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. To be in love means to give one's all. The heart does not put conditions or make stipulations; it gives without expecting anything in return, but such selfless giving is always rewarded ten-fold
Shahina Siddiqui is a board member of the Islamic Social Services Association (United States and Canada). She is active with social services planning and delivery in the Islamic Center of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fiqh of the first night of marriage

After Having this blog for years now, I feel it's time to start putting more info on it from broader views of Muslims world wide and not only a selected few from Saudi ulama. Refreshing ilm about nikah is vital in keeping the marriage youthful and happy. Happy Anniversary to all who are celebrating this year ! ❤

Thursday, August 17, 2006

‘Azl (coitus interruptus) and using birth control pills

Question:according to Jabir radiyaahu canhu said: "we use to do cazli while Quran is revealing and Prophet did not prohibit?

my question is as follows

1- Is it allowed to use a condom/pill? 2- if so what is the conditions? 3- what type of niyyah do we need to have at performing either or both"Condom/Pills/cazli? 4- Why the Companion doing this?Answer:Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly, what the Muslims should do is to try to have as many children as they can, because this is the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers before the nations.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2050; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1805).

Having more children increases the numbers of the ummah, and increasing the numbers of the ummah is a source of its glory, as Allaah says, reminding the Children of Israel of His blessings:
“and made you more numerous in man-power”
[al-Isra’ 15:6 – interpretation of the meaning]
And Shu’ayb said to his people:
“And remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you”
[al-A’raaf 7:86 – interpretation of the meaning]
No one can deny that having a large number is a source of pride and strength for the ummah, contrary to what those pessimists think who say that large numbers causes poverty and starvation in a nation.

If the ummah increases in number, puts its trust in Allaah and believes His promises as mentioned in the aayah,
“And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allaah”
[Hood 11:6 – interpretation of the meaning], then Allaah will make things easy for them and will grant them independence of means from His bounty. Based on that, the answer to your question is as follows:

Birth control pills:
A woman should not use birth control pills, unless the following conditions are met:
1- She should need to use them, for example if she is ill and cannot cope with a pregnancy every year, or she is physically unfit, or there is some other reason that getting pregnant every year may harm her.

2- Her husband should give his permission, because the husband has the right to have children. There must also be consultation with the doctor, to find out whether these pills are harmful or not.

If these two conditions are met, there is nothing wrong with taking these pills, but that should not be on a permanent basis, because that means preventing having children.

With regard to ‘azl (coitus interruptus), or withdrawing during intercourse, the correct scholarly view is that there is nothing wrong with it, because of the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him): “We used to practise ‘azl at the time when the Qur’aan was being revealed” – i.e., at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If that action had been haraam, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have forbidden it. But the scholars say that one should not engage in ‘azl with a free woman except with her permission, because she has the right to have children. Moreover, withdrawing without her permission diminishes her pleasure, because the woman’s pleasure can only be completed after ejaculation. So not asking her permission causes her to lose out on pleasure and on the possibility of having children. Hence we state the condition that this may only be done with her permission.

From Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen.
From Fataawa Islamiyyah, vol. 3, p. 190.

Thirdly: the reason why the Sahaabah engaged in ‘azl was because they did not want the woman – especially a slave woman – to get pregnant, so that they could continue to enjoy a physical relationship with them and the woman would still be able to do their work. Abu Dawood narrated that a man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I have a slave woman and I engage in ‘azl with her, because I do not want her to get pregnant, but I want what men want. But the Jews say that ‘azl is a lesser form of infanticide.” He said, “The Jews are lying. If Allaah wants to create (a child) you cannot prevent that.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, Kitaab al-Nikaah, 1856; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1903).

Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Treating your spouse kindly.

She had an argument with her husband and went to her family’s house for three months
Question:I had an argument with my wife and she left the house and went to stay with her daughter, and she did not speak to me despite my many efforts. Then her parents came and took her with them, without referring to me or meeting me to talk about what happened or to try to bring about a reconciliation. Now it has been three months with no contact or asking about her children. What is the ruling – is she still my wife or is she considered to be divorced?.

Answer:Praise be to Allaah.

It should be noted that one of the main causes of problems between husbands and wives, which may lead to very bad consequences, is the lack of knowledge on both sides of the rights that each spouse has over the other. Islam came to establish these rights and to make each spouse adhere to them, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them”
[al-Baqarah 2:228]

The rights of each spouse are matched by duties that they owe to the other. This achieves balance between them, which leads to stability in family life. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said concerning this verse: This means that women are entitled to kind and decent treatment from their husbands, just as they are required to obey them in matters in which they are enjoined to obey their husbands. Al-Qurtubi said: The verse includes all marriage rights and duties.

These duties include overlooking insignificant matters and mistakes, especially words and actions by which no harm was meant. According to the hadeeth of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every son of Adam is prone to error, and the best of those who err are those who repent.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2499); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

Both husband and wife have to put up with one another, for everyone makes mistakes and the one who deserves most tolerance is the one who is with you most of the time. Neither party should respond in kind if the other is angry. If one spouse sees the other being irritable, he should restrain his anger and not respond directly to the irritation. Hence Abu’l-Darda’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to his wife: “If you see me angry, try to calm me down and if I see you angry I will try to calm you down, otherwise we cannot live together.” The Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah, Imam Ahmad, (may Allaah have mercy on him) married ‘Abaasah bint al-Mufaddal, the mother of his child Saalih, and he used to say of her: “Umm Saalih stayed with me for twenty years, and we never differed concerning anything.”

One of the greatest duties is that each spouse should advise the other to fear Allaah. In a saheeh hadeeth it is narrated that Thawbaan said: “When the verse ‘And those who hoard up gold and silver’ [al-Tawbah 9:34] was revealed, we were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on one of his journeys, and some of his companions said: ‘There has been revealed concerning gold and silver what has been revealed; if we knew what kind of wealth is better we would seek it.’ He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The best of it is a tongue that remembers Allaah, a heart that is grateful and a believing wife who helps him in his faith.’” Narrated by Ahmad (21358) and al-Tirmidhi (3094). It is also narrated in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (5231).

Moreover a man should not hate his wife if he sees in her something that he dislikes, because if he dislikes one characteristic in her, he will be pleased with another, so the one will make up for the other. According to the hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let not a believing man hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one characteristic in her he will be pleased with another.” Narrated by Muslim (1469).

One of the greatest things that will help to create a good relationship between spouses is a good attitude. Hence Islam attaches great importance to it. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The most perfect of the believers in faith are those who are best in attitude, and the best of you are those who are best to their womenfolk.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1162); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Part of kind treatment is forbearance, not following up on all matters, small or great, and not rebuking or scolding for everything, except with regard to the rights of Allaah.

The fact that your wife left the house without your permission and has been away for so long, does not mean that she is divorced, rather she is still your wife, and she is not divorced unless you divorce her.

But this leaving is counted as nushooz (wilful defiance) and she is sinning thereby, and she forfeits her right to maintenance, so long as she has no excuse for leaving, such as any harm or wrongdoing that you may have done to her. But her continuing to stay away from the home for this length of time, and her keeping away from her husband and children, are a sin that cannot be approved of, and her family should not help her in that. This staying away is one of the greatest means that the Shaytaan will use to destroy the household and create enmity. Hence a wise man, and a family that understands the consequences, will not approve of this staying away, rather they will strive to bring people together, discuss the matter and solve the problem in an atmosphere of kindness and love, so as to preserve the respect and love between the spouses.

Hence our advice to you is to get in touch with your wife, and admonish her and remind her of Allaah and of her duties towards her husband and children. If this advice does not succeed, then seek the help of good and righteous people among her relatives and others whom you know.
Our advice to the wife is to fear Allaah and beware of disobeying her husband and making him angry, and giving her family precedence over the interests of her home and children.

Both spouses should realize that stubbornly clinging to their own opinions will not solve the problem that exists between them, rather it will only make it worse. The one who is big hearted is the one who hastens to reconcile, and understands the importance of reconciliation. So be the big hearted one, and let that motivate you to seek an understanding and a solution to the problem. That will only raise you in status before Allaah, may He be exalted, and before His creation. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah only increases a person in status if he forgives, and no one ever humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him in status.” Narrated by Muslim (2588).

So hasten to get in touch and ask after her. Take the first step towards reconciliation and bringing the family back together, and your reward will never be lost with Allaah.
We ask Allaah to guide you both.
And Allaah knows best.
Reducing the mahr is the Sunnah
Question:I noticed that people nowadays are increasing the mahr (dowry) for marriage a great deal. Is this Sunnah? Does sharee’ah stipulate a certain limit for the mahr that should not be overstepped?.
Answer:Praise be to Allaah.
Marriage is one of the blessings of Allaah, and one of His signs.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect”[al-Room 30:21]

Allaah commanded guardians to arrange marriages for those who are under their care, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Saalihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people)”
[al-Noor 24:32]

That is because of the great interests that are served by marriage, such as increasing the numbers of the ummah, and causing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to feel proud before the other Prophets, and protecting both husband and wife from falling into haraam… and other great benefits.

But some guardians (walis) put obstacles in the way of marriage, which prevented those under their care from getting married in many cases.

That is because they exaggerate concerning the mahr, and demand huge dowries which a young man who wants to get married cannot afford, until marriage becomes something extremely difficult for many of those who want to get married.

The mahr is a right that is given to the woman, as enjoined by Islamic sharee’ah, as an expression of the man’s desire to marry her. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart”[al-Nisa’ 4:4]

This does not mean that the woman is a product to be sold, rather it is a symbol of honour and respect, and a sign that the husband is willing to shoulder his responsibilities and fulfil his duties.

Sharee’ah does not stipulate a certain limit for the mahr that should not be overstepped, but it does encourage reducing the mahr and keeping it simple.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of marriage is that which is made easiest.” Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3300.

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of mahrs is the simplest (or most affordable).” Narrated by al-Haakim and al-Bayhaqi, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3279.

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a man who wanted to get married: “Look (for something to give as a dowry), even if it is a ring of iron.” Agreed upon.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set the highest example for his ummah in that regard, so that a clear understanding of the basic principles would be implanted in society, and a spirit of simplicity would spread among the people.

Abu Dawood (2125) and al-Nasaa’i (3375) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that ‘Ali said: “I married Faatimah (may Allaah be pleased with her) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, let me go ahead with the marriage.’ He said: ‘Give her something.’ I said: ‘I do not have anything.’ He said: ‘Where is your Hutami shield?’ I said, ‘I have it with me.’ He said, ‘Give it to her.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i, 3160.

This was the mahr of Faatimah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the leader of the women of Paradise.

This reinforces the fact that in Islam, the mahr is not something that is sought for its own sake.
Ibn Maajah (1887) narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “Do not go to extremes with regard to the dowries of women, for if that were a sign of honour and dignity in this world or a sign of piety before Allaah, then Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have done that before you. But he did not give any of his wives, and none of his daughters were given, more than twelve uqiyah. A man may increase the dowry until he feels resentment against her and says, ‘You cost me everything I own, and caused me a great deal of hardship’.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 1532.

“Do not go to extremes” means do not exaggerate in increasing the dowry. “A man may increase the dowry until he feels resentment against her” means, until he begins to hate her when he is still paying off the debts incurred because of this mahr because it is too hard for him, or whenever he thinks about the matter.

From Haashiyat al-Sindi ‘ala Ibn Maajah.
Twelve uqiyah is equivalent to 480 dirhams, i.e., approximately 135 silver riyals (134.4). This was the mahr of the daughters and wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 32/194:
Whoever thinks of increasing his daughter’s mahr and asking for more than the daughters of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) were given – when they were the best women in this world in all aspects – is an ignorant fool. The same applies to asking for more than the Mothers of the Believers were given. This applies even if one is well off and can afford it. With regard to one who is poor, he should not give a mahr greater than he can afford to pay without any hardship.

He also said in al-Fataawa al-Kubra:
The words of Imam Ahmad according to the report of Hanbal imply that it is mustahabb for the dowry to be four hundred dirhams. This is the correct view in cases where the man can afford it. It is mustahabb to pay this amount and no more.

In Zaad al-Ma’aad (5/178), Ibn al-Qayyim quoted some of the ahaadeeth that indicate that the mahr should be reduced and that there is no minimum amount. Then he said:
These ahaadeeth indicate that there is no minimum amount for the mahr… and that exaggerating concerning the mahr is makrooh, and that it reduces its barakah (blessing). End quote.

Hence it is clear that what people do nowadays, increasing the mahr and exaggerating concerning it, is something that goes against the sharee’ah.
The wisdom behind reducing the mahr and not increasing it is quote clear:
This makes it easier for people to get married, so that they will not be diverted from it, which will result in all kinds of moral and social corruption.

For more information on the harm caused by exaggerating concerning the dowry, please see question no. 12572.Islam Q&A
What is the minimum amount of mahr? What is the modern equivalent of the mahr of the Mothers of the Believers?

Question:What is the minimum amount of mahr (Dowry) permitted by Shareea? I found in one book, the dowry of the most of the wives and daughters of Prophet (PBUH) was 480 Dirhams. What is the equivalent amount for the present time?

Answer:Praise be to Allaah.

The minimum amount of mahr has been explained in the report in al-Saheeh (no. 1425) narrated from Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Saa’idi, who said: “A woman came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I have come to give myself (in marriage) to you.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) looked at her and looked her up and down, then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) lowered his head and paused. When the woman saw that he had not made a decision about her, she sat down. A man from among the Sahaabah said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, if you are not interested in her, then marry her to me.’ He said, ‘Do you have anything?’ He said, ‘No, by Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah.’ He said, ‘Go to your people and see if you can find anything.’ So the man went, then he came back and said, ‘No, by Allaah, I could not find anything.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘Look and see (if you can find anything), even if it is only an iron ring which you can give.’ So he went, then came back, and said, ‘No, by Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah, not even an iron ring. But (I have) this izaar (garment) of mine, she can have half of it.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘What can she do with your izaar? If you are wearing it she will have nothing of it.’ The man sat down, then after a long time had passed, he got up (to leave). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw him leaving and called him. When he came, he said, ‘What do you know of the Qur’aan?’ He said, ‘Soorah Such-and-such and Soorah Such-and-such.’ He said, ‘Do you know them by heart?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Then go, you are married to her by what you know of the Qur’aan.’”
This hadeeth shows that it is permissible for the mahr to be a little or a lot of whatever is considered to be wealth, if both partners agree, because an iron ring is extremely little. This is the madhhab of al-Shaafa’i and is also the view of the majority of scholars among the earlier and later generations. This was also the view of Rabee’ah, Abu’l-Zinaad, Ibn Abi Dhi’b, Yahyaa ibn Sa’eed, al-Layth ibn Sa’d, al-Thawri, al-Oozaa’i, Muslim ibn Khaalid, Ibn Abi Laylaa, Dawood, the fuqahaa’ of the scholars of hadeeth and Ibn Wahb among the companions of Maalik. It was also the view of all the scholars of the Hijaaz, Basrah, Kufa and Syria, and others, that whatever the couple agree upon is permissible (as a dowry), whether it is a lot or a little, such as a whip, a pair of shoes or an iron ring, etc.

With regard to the question about the mahr of the Mothers of the Believers:
Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (no. 1426) that Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said: “I asked ‘Aa’ishah the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) what the mahr given by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was. She said: ‘The mahr that he gave to his wives was twelve ooqiyah and a nashsh.’ He said, Do you know what a nashsh is? He said, she said it is half of an ooqiyah. That was five hundred dirhams. This was the mahr given by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to his wives.”

The scholar Ibn Khaldoon said:

“The consensus of the scholars from the beginning of Islam and the time of the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een has been that the shar’i dirham is that of which ten coins weigh seven mithqaals of gold. The ooqiyah is forty dirhams of this type, and on this basis it is seven-tenths of a dinar… All of these amounts are agreed upon by scholarly consensus (ijmaa’).”
(Muqaddimah Ibn Khaldoon, p. 263)

Based on this, the weight of a dirham in grams is 2.975 grams.

So the mahr of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was 500 x 2.975 = 1487.5 grams of silver.
The price of one gram of pure silver that has not been worked is approximately 1 riyal, so the mahr in riyals is approximately 1487.5 riyals.

In dollars it is approximately $396.7

And Allaah knows best.Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Command to marry

These clear Ayat include a group of unambiguous rulings and firm commands.
(And marry those among you who are single (Al-Ayama)....) This is a command to marry. The Prophet said:
(O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him marry, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the private parts. Whoever cannot do that, then let him fast, for it is a protection for him.) This was recorded in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Ibn Mas`ud. In the Sunan, it was recorded from more than one person that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Marry and have children, for I will be proud of you before the nations on the Day of Resurrection.) The word Al-Ayama, the plural form of Ayyim, is used to describe a woman who has no husband and a man who has no wife, regardless of whether they have been married and then separated, or have never been married at all. Al-Jawhari reported this from the scholars of the (Arabic) language, and the word is applied to men and women alike.
(If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas: "Allah encouraged them to get married, commanded both free men and servants to get married, and He promised to enrich them.''
(If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.) It was recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said: "Seek the richness through marriage, for Allah says:
(If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.)'' This was recorded by Ibn Jarir. Al-Baghawi also recorded something similar from `Umar. It was reported from Al-Layth from Muhammad bin `Ajlan from Sa`id Al-Maqburi from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:
(There are three whom it is a right upon Allah to help: one who gets married seeking chastity; a slave who makes a contract with his master with the aim of buying his freedom; and one who fights for the sake of Allah.) This was recorded by Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. The Prophet performed the marriage of a man who owned nothing but his waist wrap, and could not even buy a ring made of iron, but he still married him to that woman, making the Mahr his promise to teach her whatever he knew of the Qur'an. And it is known from the generosity and kindness of Allah that He provided him with whatever was sufficient for her and for him.

Sexual Intercourse with Menstruating Women is prohibited

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Jews used to avoid their menstruating women, they would not eat, or even mingle with them in the house. The Companions of the Prophet asked about this matter and Allah revealed:
(They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: "That is an Adha, therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not in unto them till they are purified.)
Allah's Messenger said:
(`Do everything you wish, except having sexual intercourse.)
When the Jews were told about the Prophet's statement, they said, "What is the matter with this man He would not hear of any of our practices, but would defy it.'' Then, Usayd bin Hudayr and `Abbad bin Bishr came and said, "O Messenger of Allah! The Jews said this and that, should we have sex with our women (meaning, during the menstruation period)'' The face of Allah's Messenger changed color, until the Companions thought that he was angry with them. They left. Soon after, some milk was brought to Allah's Messenger as a gift, and he sent some of it for them to drink. They knew then that Allah's Messenger was not angry with them. Muslim also reported this Hadith. Allah said:
(. ..therefore, keep away from women during menses.) meaning, avoid the sexual organ. The Prophet said:
(Do anything you wish except having sexual intercourse.)
This is why most of the scholars said that it is allowed to fondle the wife, except for having sexual intercourse (when she is having her menses). Abu Dawud reported that `Ikrimah related to one of the Prophet's wives that she said that whenever the Prophet wanted to fondle (one of his wives) during her menses, he would cover her sexual organ with something.
Abu Ja`far bin Jarir related that Masruq went to `A'ishah and greeted her, and `A'ishah greeted him in return. Masruq said, "I wish to ask you about a matter, but I am shy.'' She replied, "I am your mother and you are my son.'' He said, "What can the man enjoy of his wife when she is having her menses'' She said, "Everything except her sexual organ.'' This is also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and `Ikrimah.
One is allowed to sleep next to his wife and to eat with her (when she is having her menses). `A'ishah said, "Allah's Messenger used to ask me to wash his hair while I was having the menses. He would lay on my lap and read the Qur'an while I was having the period.'' It is also reported in the Sahih that `A'ishah said, "While having the menses, I used to eat from a piece of meat and give it to the Prophet who would eat from the same place I ate from. I used to have sips of a drink and would then give the cup to the Prophet who would place his mouth where I placed my mouth.''
It is also reported in the Two Sahihs that Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyah said, "Whenever the Prophet wanted to fondle any of his wives during the periods (menses), he used to ask her to wear an Izar (a sheet covering the lower-half of the body).'' These are the wordings collected by Al-Bukhari. Similar was reported from `A'ishah. In addition, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah reported that `Abdullah bin Sa`d Al-Ansari asked Allah's Messenger , "What am I allowed of my wife while she is having her menses'' He said, "What is above the Izar (a sheet covering the lower-half of the body).'' Hence, Allah's statement: h
(...and go not in unto them till they are purified.) explains His statement:
(...therefore, keep away from women during menses.)
Allah prohibited having sexual intercourse with the wife during menstruation, indicating that sexual intercourse is allowed otherwise.

Allah's statement:
(And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you.) indicates that men should have sexual intercourse with their wives after they take a bath. The scholars agree that the woman is obliged to take a bath, or to perform Tayammum with sand, if she is unable to use water, before she is allowed to have sexual intercourse with her husband, after the monthly period ends.
Ibn `Abbas said:
"(till they are purified) means from blood, and,
(And when they have purified themselves) means with water.''
This is also the Tafsir of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Al-Layth bin Sa`d and others.

When the Wife Obeys Her Husband, Means of Annoyance Against Her are Prohibited

Allah said,
(but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance),) meaning, when the wife obeys her husband in all that Allah has allowed, then no means of annoyance from the husband are allowed against his wife. Therefore, in this case, the husband does not have the right to beat her or shun her bed.
Allah's statement,
(Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.) reminds men that if they transgress against their wives without justification, then Allah, the Ever Most High, Most Great, is their Protector, and He will exert revenge on those who transgress against their wives and deal with them unjustly.
(35. If you fear a breach between the two, appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is Ever All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things.)

Qualities of the Righteous Wife

Allah said,

(Therefore, the righteous) women,
(are Qanitat), obedient to their husbands, as Ibn `Abbas and others stated.
(and guard in the husband's absence) As-Suddi and others said that it means she protects her honor and her husband's property when he is absent, and Allah's statement,
(what Allah orders them to guard.) means, the protected ﴿husband﴾ is the one whom Allah protects.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The best women is she who when you look at her, she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are absent, she protects her honor and your property.)
Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,
(Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, ) until its end.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(If the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month, protected her chastity and obeyed her husband, she will be told, 'Enter Paradise from any of its doors you wish.')
A new Muslimah has married a Muslim man without her family’s knowledge

Question:I am a Chinese girl married to a Lebanese Muslim man. The main reason for this is that I have become Muslim… we got married in the Islamic manner, but this marriage was done without the knowledge of our families, because of some difficult circumstances. Do you think that this is haraam? I mean, is it against the Qur’aan?.

Answer:Praise be to Allaah.

The evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that a woman should not get married without a wali (guardian) to look after her and protect her interests, lest she be deceived by the devils among men. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians, Awliyaa’ or masters)”
[al-Nisa’ 4:25]

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no (valid) marriage without a wali (guardian).” Narrated by the five and classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Madeeni.

Al-Tirmidhi said: This is the correct view concerning this issue, based on the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “There is no marriage without a wali (guardian),” according to the scholars among the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), such as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah and others.
If one of your close male relatives is a Muslim, such as your father, brother, uncle or cousin, then he is your wali with regard to marriage, and your marriage is not valid without his permission and consent. He should do the marriage contract for you himself or appoint someone to do it on his behalf.
If all your close male relatives are non-Muslims, then a kaafir cannot be the wali (guardian) of a Muslim.

Ibn Qudaamah said: With regard to a kaafir, he cannot be the wali of a Muslim in any situation, according to scholarly consensus.

Ibn al-Mundhir said: Those from whom we acquired knowledge are unanimously agreed on that.

Imam Ahmad said: We have heard that ‘Ali allowed a marriage done by a brother, but he rejected a marriage done by a father who was a Christian. Al-Mughni, 7/356.
And a Muslim cannot be a guardian for the marriage of his kaafir children’s marriage. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was asked about a man who had become Muslim; could he still be a wali for his children who were people of the Book?

He replied: He cannot be their guardian with regard to marriage, or with regard to inheritance. A Muslim cannot do the marriage contract for a kaafir woman, whether she is his daughter or anyone else. And a kaafir cannot inherit from a Muslim or a Muslim from a kaafir. This is the view of the four imams and their companions among the earlier and later generations. Allaah has severed the ties of guardianship between believers and disbelievers in His Book, and has decreed that they should have nothing to do with one another, and that the ties of wilaayah (guardianship) exist among the believers. (32/35) But a Muslim woman should tell her family about that and seek their approval, so that this will help to open their hearts to Islam.
The question here is: what should a Muslim woman who does not have a Muslim wali do?

The answer is:
A Muslim who is in a position of authority or status should do the marriage contract for her, such as the head of an Islamic centre, the imam of a mosque, or a scholar. If she cannot find anyone like this, then she should appoint a Muslim man of good character to do the marriage contract for her.
Shaykh al-Islam said: In the case of a woman who does not have a wali among her relatives, if there is in her locality a representative of the ruler or the chief of the village, or a leader who is obeyed, then he can do the marriage contract for her with her permission. (32/35).

Ibn Qudaamah said:
If a woman does not have a wali or a ruler, then there is a report narrated from Ahmad which indicates that a man of good character may do the marriage contract for her with her permission. (7/352).

Al-Juwayni said: If she does not have a wali present, and there is no (Muslim) ruler, then we know definitively that closing the door of marriage is impossible in sharee’ah, and whoever has any doubt about that does not have a proper understanding of sharee’ah. To suggest that the door of marriage may be closed is as bad as suggesting that people may be prevented from earning a living. Al-Ghayaathi 388. Then he stated that the ones who should do that (do marriage contracts for women who have no wali) are the scholars.

If the marriage contract was done in this manner, and the imam of an Islamic Centre in your country or a Muslim man of good character did the marriage, then your marriage is valid. But if you did the marriage yourself (with no wali) then you have to go with your husband to the nearest Islamic centre and repeat the nikaah (marriage contract), and let the head of the centre, for example, be your wali in marriage.
With regard to your husband, he does not have to tell his family, because there is no stipulation that the husband should have a wali.

And Allaah knows best.Islam Q&A
Guardianship over a woman’s marriage and wealth

Question:We know that if a woman wants to get married, she has to have a wali (guardian) who will do the marriage contract on her behalf. But how does she decide who will be her wali? Does the wali have to take care of all the woman’s dealings? Please advise us, may Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.
The ways in which a man may be appointed as a woman's wali for marriage are five: being her owner (if she is a slave); being related to her; being her patron (as when one tribe is patron of another, etc.); being a leader (of the community, etc.); and guardianship (wisaayah). The wali is one of the conditions of the validity of a marriage. It is not permissible for a woman to be a wali in marriage either for herself or for someone else for any reason; she cannot act as a wali for herself, on behalf of another or as the deputy of another. If she does that, the marriage contract is invalid.

A woman who is adult, of sound mind and sensible has the right to manage her own money and to dispose of it however she wishes, whether that is in return for something or not, such as buying and selling, renting, lending, giving in charity or giving gifts, giving all or part of the money. No one has the right to stop her doing that, and she does not need anyone’s permission, whether she is virgin who has a father, or does nit have a father, or is married with a husband.
It is permissible for a mother to dispose of her children’s wealth, food or otherwise, as is also permissible for the father. It is also permissible for a woman to dispose of and eat from her parents’ wealth with regard to things that are permissible for her.

The mother has the right to guardianship over the wealth of her children who are still young or who are insane, because she is more compassionate towards her child than anyone else.
A woman does not have the right to dispose of her husband’s wealth or give any of it in charity without his permission, whether that permission is explicit or is implied by custom and habit.
It is permissible for a woman to have the position of guardianship (wasiyah) over someone else’s money and she may be in control of money over which she has been appointed guardian, so long as she meets the conditions of guardianship, whether she is the mother of the children or is not related to them.

It is permissible for a woman to be in charge of a waqf; she has the right to be the guardian in charge of a waqf and to decide how it should be disposed of. This is according to scholarly consensus.

Wilaayat al-Mar’ah fi’l-Fiqh al-Islami, p. 691

Children according to Quran and Sunnah

ChildrenAccording to Quran and Sunnah

To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth.He creates what He wills.He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills,and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.The Noble Qur'an - Ash-Shura 42:49Every child is born Muslim
Hadith - Bukhari 2.440, Narrated Ibn Shihab
Abu Huraira, narrated that the Prophet said, "Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira recited the holy verse: "So set you (O Muhammad SAW) your face towards the religion of pure Islâmic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allâh Alone) Allâh's Fitrah (i.e. Allâh's Islâmic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq­illâh (i.e. the Religion of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not. [Tafsir At­Tabarî, Vol 21, Page 41] " (30.30).
Show Loving Kindness
Hadith - Bukhari (#86), Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Nasa'i.
Barra' said, "I saw the Prophet of Allah with Hasan upon his shoulders. The Prophet was saying, 'O Allah! I love him, so You love him too.'"
Hadith - Bukhari (#91) and Muslim
Abu Salmah related that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Prophet of Allah kissed Hasan ibn 'Ali while Aqra' ibn Habis was sitting nearby. Aqra' said, 'I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.' The Prophet looked at him and said, 'Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy.'"
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahqaf 46:15
And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: "My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will)."
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir
The Prophet said: Act equally between your children; Act equally between your sons.
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir
I heard An-Nu'man bin Bashir on the pulpit saying, "My father gave me a gift but 'Amra bint Rawaha (my mother) said that she would not agree to it unless he made Allah's Apostle as a witness to it. So, my father went to Allah's Apostle and said, 'I have given a gift to my son from 'Amra bint Rawaha, but she ordered me to make you as a witness to it, O Allah's Apostle!' Allah's Apostle asked, 'Have you given (the like of it) to everyone of your sons?' He replied in the negative. Allah's Apostle said, 'Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children.' My father then returned and took back his gift."
Playing with Dogs
Hadith - Bukhari (#1302)
Ibrahim said, "Our associates used to permit all sorts of play, except for play with dogs." Imam Bukhari added: "He meant [the permission was] for children.
Hadith - Bukhari 4:523, Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah
Allah's Apostle said, "When night falls (or it is evening), keep your children close to you for the devils spread out at that time. But when an hour of the night elapses, you can let them free. Close the doors and mention the Name of Allah, for Shaytaan (Satan) does not open a closed door."
The Testimony of Children
Hadith - Muwatta 36.9
Yahya said, "Malik said from Hisham ibn Urwa that Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr gave judgment based on the testimony of children concerning the injuries between them."
Malik said, "The generally agreed on way of doing things in our community is that the testimony of children is permitted concerning injuries between them. It is not accepted about anything else. It is only permitted between them if they testify before they leave the scene of the incident and have been deceived or instructed. If they leave the scene, they have no testimony unless they call just witnesses to witness their testimony before they leave."
Obedience and Respect Due to Muslim Parents
The Noble Qur'an - Luqmaan 31:14-15 And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.
But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.
Hadith - Sahih Bukhari Vol. 4, No. 41, Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud I asked Allah's Messenger (saaws), "O Allah's Messenger! What is the best deed?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." I further asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To participate in Jihad in Alah's Cause." I did not ask Allah's Messenger (saaws) anymore and if I had asked him more, he would have told me more.
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Isra 17:23-24 And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young."
Note: Muslims must not pray for forgiveness for the Mushrikun.
Abusing a muslim is not allowed. But "spankings" and appropriate discipline as means of correction are Islamic.
Hadith - Bukhari (#883) and Abu Dawud
Nafi' said, "Ibn 'Umar used to beat his children for mistakes in diction."
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated As-Saburah
[Also recorded by Ahmand and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.]
The Prophet said: Order your children to pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten. And separate them in their bedding.
Hadith - Bukhari 3:734, Narrated Abu Huraira
The Prophet said, "If somebody fights (or beats somebody) then he should avoid the face."
It is permissible to admonish a child that is not your own...
Hadith - Bukhari 7:177, Narrated Aisha
Abu Bakr admonished me and poked me with his hands in the flank, and nothing stopped me from moving at that time except the position of Allah's Apostle whose head was on my thigh.
Children are a Test and Trial
Muslims are frequently tested by Allah s.w.t. Your children are a test or trial for you, and your actions or lack of actions will be judged by Allah swt alone. Do not raise your child simply based on what your family or peers thinks you should do. Do not fear the judgment of mankind, but of Allah, s.w.t., alone.
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib
The Apostle of Allah delivered a speech to us; meanwhile al-Hasan and al-Husayn came upon there stumbling, wearing red shirts. He came down from the pulpit, took them and ascended it with them. He then said: Allah truly said: "Your property and your children are only trial" (Ixiv.15). I saw both of them, and I could not wait. Afterwards he resumed the speech.
Hadith - Tirmidhi , a hasan sahih tradition.
Allah's Messenger said, "The believing man or woman continues to have affliction in person, property and children so that they may finally meet Allah, free from sin."
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Muhammad ibn Khalid as-Sulami
As-Sulami's grandfather, who was a Companion of the Apostle of Allah said: I heard the Apostle of Allah say: When Allah has previously decreed for a servant a rank which he has not attained by his action, He afflicts him in his body, or his property or his children.
The Noble Quran - Al-Hadid 57:25
Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power (in matters of war), as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help Him (His Religion), and His Messengers in the unseen. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.
The Noble Quran - At-Taghabun 64:15
Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).
A supplication...
Hadith - Tirmidhi, Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab
Allah's Messenger taught him to say, "O Allah, make my inner nature better than my outer, and make my outer nature good. O Allah, I ask Thee to give me some of the abundance thou givest to men, in family, property and children, which neither strays nor leads astray."
Hadith - Mishkat, Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal
Allah's Messenger instructed me to do ten things saying:
Do not associate anything with Allah even if you are killed and burnt on that account.
Don't be disobedient to your parents even if they command you to abandon your family and your property.
Do not deliberately neglect to observe a prescribed prayer for he who neglects the prescribed prayer deliberately will become out of the protection of Allah.
Do not drink wine for it is the height of every obscenity.
Shun evil, for with evil there descends the wrath of Allah.
Beware of running away from the battle-field even if the people perish.
And when the death overtakes the people (in a plague or disaster) and you are one amongst them, show steadfastness.
Spend on your children according to your means.
Do not refrain from using pressure (of punishment) with a view to training them.
Inculcate in them the fear of Allah.
Permission to Enter
The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:58-9
O you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before morning prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the 'Isha (latenight) prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, --attending (helping) you each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat (the Verses of this Qur'an, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
And when the children among you come to puberty, then let them (also) ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age). Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Commandments and legal obligations) for you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Acts of Charity
Parents sometimes overstress themselves and become like servants to their children. This is not to say that it is permissible to neglect a child, but to address the matter of people who begin to neglect their own self in an effort to help others. This hadith may help to alleviate those who feel that their children's needs are to be delivered at the expense of their own needs being fulfilled. For instance, if you neglect your own health while caring for your child, you may become extremely sick and then be unable to fulfill your role of providing. This hadith also shows that we should first spend our resources on providing for our family before giving gifts to others.
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib
The Prophet commanded to give sadaqah. A man said: Apostle of Allah, I have a dinar. He said: Spend it on yourself. He again said: I have another. He said: Spend it on your children. He again said: I have another. He said: Spend it on your wife. He again said: I have another. He said: Spend it on your servant. He finally said: I have another. He replied: You know best (what to do with it).
Balancing our Time
Parents should make time for both the worldly affairs and studying the deen of Al-Islam.
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib
I met AbuBakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzalah) said: Hanzalah has turned out to be a hypocrite. He (AbuBakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah's Messenger we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them before our very eyes. When we are away from Allah's Apostle we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to the After life) slip out of our minds. AbuBakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So AbuBakr and I went to Allah's Apostle and said to him: Allah's Apostle , Hanzalah has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah's Apostle, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, many of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the angels will shake hands with you in your beds and on your paths. However, Hanzalah, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the holy Prophet) said this thrice.
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Munafiqun 63:9
O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, they are the losers.
Hadith - Sahih al-Bukhari 8.65, Narrated Al Aswad
I asked 'Aisha what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied, "He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer."
Hadith - Sahih al-Bukhari 8.200, Narrated Abu Huraira
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'The offspring of Adam abuse the Dahr (Time), and I am the Dahr; in My Hands are the night and the day!' "
The Parent must consent to Jihad
Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Abu Sa'id
A man from Yemen migrated to Madinah to be with the Prophet . The Prophet asked him, 'Do you have any relatives in Yemen?' He answered, 'My parents.' 'Did you ask their permission?' the Prophet asked. On his replying that he did not, the Prophet told him, 'Go back to them and ask their permission. If they agree to it, go on jihad. Otherwise stay and serve them.'
Love for the Prophet s.a.a.w.s.
We must love Allah, subhana watala, far above all, with no comparison to the love we have for people.
Our love for the Prophet must surpass our love for our own children or parents. Teach the children to love Muhammad . Also teach about shirk, so that they know the difference between love and idol-worship (i.e. honoring, excessive praising, etc.).
Hadith - Bukhari 1:13, Narrated Abu Huraira
Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children."
Losing a Child
Hadith - al-Tayaalisi. [The story was also reported by Imaam al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Ahmad. al-Albaani collected all its isnaads in his book Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz, p. 20] Narrated Anas (may Allah be pleased with him)
So he [Abu Talhah, r.a.] married her [Um Sulaym, r.a.], and she was a woman with nice eyes, rather small. She was with him until she bore him a son, who Abu Talhah loved very much. The child became very ill, and Abu Talhah was very upset and distressed by the child’s sickness. Abu Talhah used to get up to pray the morning prayer, he would go to the Prophet and pray with him, and would stay with him for almost half the day. Then [Abu Talhah] would come to take a nap and eat, and when he had prayed Zuhr [mid-day prayer] he would get ready and leave, and would not come back until the time of the ‘Isha’ [night-time] prayer.
One evening, Abu Talhah went out to see the Prophet (according to another report: to go to the mosque), and the child died (during his absence).
Um Sulaym said, “No one is to tell Abu Talhah about his child’s death until I have told him.” She covered the child up as if he were sleeping, and left him in a corner of the house. Abu Talhah came back from visiting the Messenger of Allah , and brought some people from the mosque with him. He asked, “How is my son?” She said, “O Abu Talhah, from the time he fell sick, he has never been as calm as he is now, and I hope that he is resting.” (She spoke vaguely so as not to upset him; this was not a lie. She was referring to the calmness of death and the child finding relief from the pain of his sickness, but her husband took it to mean that the child’s condition had improved). She brought the meal and they all ate dinner, then the people left.
Then he went to bed and lay down, and she got up and put on perfume and adorned herself, making herself more beautiful than she ever had before. (This was a sign of her patience and great faith in the will and decree of Allaah. She was seeking reward from Allah and concealing her feelings, hoping that she would become pregnant that night to make up for the loss of her child). Then she came and lay down in the bed with him, and when he smelt the perfume, he did as men usually do with their wives (this is the narrator’s polite and circumspect manner of referring to what happened between them).
At the end of the night, she said, “O Abu Talhah, do you think that if some people lent something to some others, then they asked for it back, do they have the right not to give it back?” He said, “No.” She said, “Allaah, may He be glorified, lent your son to you, and now He has taken him back, so seek reward with Him and have patience.” He became angry and said, “You left me until I did what I did (i.e., had intercourse), then you tell me that my son has died!” Then he said, “Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return – the words uttered by Muslims when faced with news of death or calamity) and he praised Allaah. In the morning, he did ghusl (full ablution) then he went to the Messenger of Allah and prayed with him, and told him what had happened. The Messenger of Allaah (saaws) said, “May Allaah bless you for last night.” She conceived a child (thus the Prophet’s prayer for them was answered).
Um Sulaym used to travel with the Messenger of Allah , leaving Madeenah when he left, and returning when he returned. The Messenger of Allah said, “When she gives birth, bring the child to me.” He was on a journey, and Um Sulaym was with him. When the Messenger of Allaah (saaws) came back from travelling, he would never enter Madeenah at night (so as not to disturb the people, and so that wives would have time to get ready to greet their husbands). They reached the outskirts of Madeenah, and her labour pains started. Abu Talhah stayed with her, and the Messenger of Allah went on. Abu Talhah said, “O Allah, you know that I like to set out with your Messenger when he sets out, and come back with him when he comes back. I have been detained as You see.” Um Sulaym said, “O Abu Talhah, I do not feel the pains as much (this was one of her “miracles”; her labour pains ceased because she had asked Allaah to enable her to catch up with the Messenger of Allah ).
So they set off, and after they had reached Madeenah, her labour pains started again, and she gave birth to a boy. She told her son Anas, “O Anas, I will not give him anything to eat until you take him in the morning to the Messenger of Allah ,” and she sent some dates with him. (Because she wanted the first thing to enter the child’s mouth to be food from the Prophet ; this was a sign of her great faith, because the woman’s natural instinct is to hasten to feed the baby as soon as he is born). The child cried all night long, and I [Anas, the narrator of this story] stayed up all night taking care of him. In the morning, I took him to the Messenger of Allaah , who was wearing his burdah (a kind of cloak) and marking the camels and sheep that had been given to him (the animals had been given in charity and he was marking them so that they would not get lost or mixed with other flocks or herds). When he saw him, he said to Anas, “Has the daughter of Milhaan [i.e., Um Sulaym] given birth?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “I will be with you in a minute.” He put down the tool in his hand (with which he had been marking the animals) and took the child, then he said, “Do you have something for him?” They said, “Yes, dates.”
The Prophet (saaws) took some of the dates and chewed them, mixing them with his saliva (and the saliva of the Prophet was blessed by Allah). Then he opened the child’s mouth and gave him some of the dates, wiping them inside his mouth (this is called Tahneek and is one of the customs among Muslims when a baby is born). The infant began to smack his lips, sucking some of the sweetness of the dates and the saliva of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Thus the first thing that entered that child’s stomach was mixed with the saliva of the Messenger of Allah . He said, “See how much the Ansaar (the Muslims who were living in Madeenah when the Prophet migrated there) love dates!” I [Anas] said, “O Messenger of Allah, name him.” He wiped his face and named him ‘Abd-Allaah. There was no young man among the Ansaar who was better than him, and when he grew up he had a lot of sons, and was martyred in Persia (he died as a martyr when the Muslims conquered Persia; all of this happened as a result of the Prophet’s blessed du’aa’).

Monday, August 14, 2006

Problems in Interpersonal Relationships Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

All families have problems, be they great or small. Scarcely a home is spared. There are problems between siblings, between parents, between husbands and wives. How often do husbands and wives find themselves unable to see eye to eye?
Sometimes, the problems become so serious and difficult to solve that they become publicly known. Problems can get so bad that they lead a husband and wife to lose feelings for one another and ultimately to divorce. I have thought about the problems that people have with one another, and found that they all have one in common – there is a deficiency of justice in the relationship.
Each party to the problem always foists the blame on the other and absolves himself of fault. He is the one who has worked the impossible and carried all the weight and shown infinite patience. It is always the other party who is abusive, difficult, and neglectful. In order to lessen the magnitude of our problems, we need to be able to put ourselves in the other’s place, at least for a moment. We need to look at the problem from the angle that the other person sees it. We need to understand his motives and the reason why he has the attitudes that he has. We need to have the good will to show a sincere and concerned interest in the other party’s point of view.

This provides us with the opportunity to come to an understanding, a meeting of minds. This is the way to arrive at compromise and reconciliation. Rarely does anyone come complaining about a problem and say: “I am the one who is in the wrong. I am the one who has been unfair... What can I do to set things right and make it better?” No, everyone paints a beautiful picture of himself, as close to perfection as possible, and draws the other in as negative a light as he can. This is one point. The other is patience. Nothing in life can be achieved without patience. `Umar once said: “We found the best of our lives through patience.” Whoever practices patience, Allah fortifies him with patience. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever seeks chastity, Allah blesses him with chastity. Whoever seeks self-sufficiency, Allah enriches him. And no one is given a gift that is better and more extensive than patience.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1469) and Sahîh Muslim (1053)] There are some problems that can be solved. There are other problems that can be made less serious.
Then there is a third class of problems that can neither be solved nor lessened, however, they can be borne with patience. A person can acclimatize himself to living with them and can cope. Even those problems that can be solved or lessened, for them patience is the best remedy. People who have constant dealings with one another – husbands and wives, relatives, friends, colleagues at work – they will not be able to deal with each other over the long term unless they exercise patience.
This is why Khidr said to Moses (peace be upon him): “Truly, you will not be able to have patience with me. And how can you have patience about things about which you do not have understanding?” [Sûrah al-Kahf: 67-68] To this Moses (peace be upon him) replied: “If Allah pleases, you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter.” [Sûrah al-Kahf: 69] There are difficult and bitter circumstances that a person will have to live through, but enduring sometimes those circumstances is the only available option. At other times it is the best of all available options. A person may possess no other way except to wait for Allah to provide relief. Waiting for relief from Allah is an act of worship.
Allah says: “Truly with difficulty comes relief.” [Sûrah al-Sharh: 5] These, then are the two foundations in any relationship between people: The first is self-assessment by which a person realizes his own mistakes and then can work to address them. The second is patience, by which a person is able to bear with some of the mistakes of the other in exchange for that other bearing with some of his mistakes. Both parties to the relationship are called upon to exercise patience with the other. All of what I am saying here is general. It refers to no one in particular. It is not direct it at women to the exclusion of men, or men to the exclusion of women. Instead, it addresses most, if not all, of the problems that people face in their relationships with others.
Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

Inner peace is the source of all peace. When a person is at harmony with himself, he is able to live in harmony with others.

Allah says: “When you enter houses, greet yourselves with peace.” [Sûrah al-Nûr: 61] Believers recite the following words in all of their prayers: “Peace be upon us and upon Allah’s pious servants.” In the Qur’ân, we encounter the word “self” being used in the context a group of people. Indeed, it is from the depths of the self that peace radiates forth. Inner peace requires that a person’s relationship with himself is clear, and that his goals and objectives are understood and at harmony with his inner being. Indeed, after knowledge of the Lord, the most important thing for a person to have knowledge of is knowledge of his self and how to perfect it and purify it. He needs to be sensitive to his own gifts and talents, aware of his weaknesses and strengths. Would he describe himself as patient or hasty, forthright or timid, tenacious or easily bored? A person needs to know the truth about himself so he can go make good progress in a direction where he can best capitalize on his strengths and potential. This does not mean that a person must explore the nature of his existence and of the human soul. Such knowledge is outside of our grasp except for what is revealed to us in the sacred texts.

Allah says: “They ask you about the soul. Say: The soul is from the affair of my Lord, and you have not been given of knowledge save a little.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 85] At the same time, it is quite possible for a person to become acquainted with the dimensions of his personality, his latent talents, and his true nature. He can then use this knowledge to help him toward what is good and to safeguard him from misfortune. Islamic Law takes a person’s nature into account and often legislates in accordance with it without blame or reproach. This applies even to the Prophets and Messengers when they acted according to their instincts and their natures, for they were human beings, no more and no less.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “We re more deserving of doubt than Abraham was when he said: ‘My Lord, show me how you resurrect the dead.’ And (Allah) said ‘Do you not believe?’ And he said: ‘Yes, but it is just to make my heart content.’ And may Allah have mercy on Lot, for he had betaken himself to a powerful support. Had I languished in prison as long as Joseph had, I would have complied with their demands.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim] Abraham (peace be upon him) had sought after knowledge and desired to be acquainted with the true nature of things. This was just to satisfy his natural, human curiosity. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “I would have complied with their demands” he was alluding to our natural, human love of liberty and freedom and our loathing of being confined and having our potentials held back, especially for a long period of time. Moses (peace be upon him) knew himself well, and he was frank about his feelings, speaking about them unequivocally and without shame. He spoke about his natural fears when he said: “And I had fled from you when I was afraid of you.” And: “Our Lord! Truly, we fear that he will fall upon us or transgress against us.” When a person knows himself in this way and accepts himself, it keeps him to what is within his natural capacity and his abilities and defines for him his goals so he can go forward with a clear vision. Our submission should be to our principle and values in our heart, the values by which we relate to our Lord, and according to which we should speak and act. These true and established values should be the basis of our conduct. Otherwise, by always seeking to please this person or avoid that person’s displeasure, our lives become nothing more than perpetual pretentiousness and flattery, in surrender to those around us so that we lose our individuality and our independence. One aspect of inner peace is for our inner selves to be in harmony with our outward conduct. What we profess should be reflected in what we do. Allah says: “It is a grievous matter with Allah that you say what you do not do.” [Sûrah al-Saff: 3]

This requires us to be upright and correct in our approach. The Prophet (peace be upon him) defined what it means to be upright on the occasion when Sufyan b. `Abd Allah al-Thaqafî asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Tell me about Islam what will suffice me so I will not have to ask anyone else about it.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Say: ‘I believe in Islam.’ Then be upright.” [Sahîh Muslim] Our worship should be in harmony with the way we treat others. Our worship should give direction to our affairs and make us uphold justice and honor the rights that other people have. We should not lead a double life, one persona for the mosque and an utterly different one for the outside world. Many failures take place and reversals take place because of the abysmal state of those who live lives of outward piety accompanied by inward wretchedness. We really need to strengthen and deepen our faith, so that it can be a pillar to support us through all of life’s trials and tribulations. We are faced with problems and disappointments at home, at work, and within ourselves, and our faith in Allah must be strong if we are to endure them and prevail. This faith must be accompanied by genuine devotion that emanates from deep within the heart before manifesting itself in our outward worship. Inner peace requires our wants and aspirations to be in keeping with our abilities and with what is possible for us.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “O you who believe! Assume the works that you are capable of carrying out, for indeed Allah does not become disinterested until you do, and indeed the most beloved of works to Allah are those that are most constant, no matter how small they might be.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî] This applies to everything. In the pursuit of material gain, a person can destroy himself with avarice. Inner peace in what we call towards. No one of us can expect the whole world to respond positively to what he advocates, nor is it right that it should. This did not even happen for Allah’s select Messengers. Whatever one of us works for, there is always someone else working to the contrary and who may obliterate our achievements. Inner peace requires being at peace with our own unique dispositions. A person cannot compel himself to assume what is alien to his nature or at conflict with it. He must be in harmony with himself. We can see how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), when he was served a spiny-tailed lizard to eat, refrained from partaking in it. Khâlid b. al-Walîd noticed this and asked if eating the meat of the spiny-tailed lizard was unlawful.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “No. It is just that it is not found in the land of my people, and I find myself disinclined to it.” He did not eat it, simply because it did not agree with his disposition. It was not a question of whether or not its flesh was permitted by Islamic Law. The same can be said for the Companions; each of them had his or her own unique disposition. Abû Bakr was different than `Umar. The question of ow to deal with the prisoners of war at Badr is a clear case in point Each of them offered an opinion that concurred with his own personality and outlook, as long as the matter was open to more than one point of view. Abû Bakr was a man of gentleness and forbearance, and Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) acknowledged this about him. `Umar was forceful and strict, and likewise, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) took this into consideration. We must recognize our unique personalities and come to terms with them. We cannot force ourselves into a pretence of denying our individual qualities and temperaments. `Umar b. `Abd al-`Azîz had said: “The most pleasurable of things is a personal predilection that is in accordance with Islamic teachings.” We must be at peace with what Allah decrees for us, though we should seek by way of Allah’s decree to avoid the harm of Allah’s decree. It is as `Umar had said when he avoided entering a plague-stricken region: “We flee from Allah’s decree towards Allah’s decree.”

A believer is resigned to Allah’s decree and accepts it fully, so much so that he does not want to hasten what has been delayed nor defer what has been hastened on. The terminally ill, those homely of appearance,, the feeble-minded, the bachelors and spinsters, the orphans, and all those who suffer from misfortunes – such people have a pressing need to come to make peace with what Allah has decreed for them, and then go forward with their lives, taking recourse to all practical means at their disposal while resigning themselves to that which is beyond their power. Being fair and just is also an important factor in attaining inner peace. This requires us to do away with selfishness, vain desires, and avarice. `Ammâr, the illustrious Companion, used to say: “There are three things that if someone possesses them all he will have comprehended faith: applying justice to yourself, greeting the world with peace, and spending in charity under straitened circumstances.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî] When some of us disagree with one another, why do we not try to put ourselves in the other’s place and try to see things from their point of view, and accept that for them at least what they accept for themselves? I am almost certain that there is no one on Earth who is truly fair with himself except the extremely few whom Allah graces with that ability.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “One of you sees the dust in his brother’s eye but fails to see the crud in his own.” Inner peace also requires that we reconcile our minds to the knowledge of the unseen that the Messengers have brought us. That knowledge never contradicts with accurate scientific knowledge or with sound reason. We accept this knowledge of the unseen without allowing ourselves to succumb to the mindset of mythology that readily concedes every tale that is told without any discretion or discernment. Matters of the unseen are matters that are beyond the powers of the human mind to ascertain, while fables and myths are beneath the level of the human mind. We must employ reason and eschewing blind acceptance. Indeed, the mind is for discernment; it is not a mere repository for information. The eminent jurist and legal theorist `Izz al-Dîn b. `Abd al-Salâm pointed out that questions pertaining to welfare and harm are discernable by reason even before the revelation of the Law. I would like to ad that these matters are still discernable to reason even after the Law has been revealed.

This is how we understand the Qur’ân and Sunnah and how we weigh various legal rulings against one another. We take matters of welfare and harm into due consideration, neither deriding the true worth of our minds nor exaggerating our estimation of their powers and burdening them with matters that are beyond their scope. There are limits beyond which or minds must not transgress. We must also bring under control the misgivings that our human minds can fall victim to and that can spoil our lives by troubling us in both our worship and our worldly affairs. Most of these things that disquiet us so much are psychological in nature.

The best and most effective treatment for such misgivings is to force ourselves to ignore them, to simply refuse to give them the time of day. We must beseech Allah’s to help us in this effort and seek refuge with Him in the manner shown to us by our Prophet (peace be upon him) by reciting Sûrah al-Ikhlâs. We must each muster our inner strength and resolve not to heed the demands of our misgivings, especially regarding doubts about our purification. We should even consider the affliction of being beset by misgivings to be an exceptional situation that allows us license to overlook things until Allah reveals for us a way out of our difficulties. Allah knows the sincerity that is in our hearts and He helps those who are sincere.

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

Unnecessary Obstacles to Marriage

Young women have many hopes and dreams. Among the most important of these dreams focus upon their future husbands, the men who are going to be their partners through the long and arduous journey of life. Some girls want their husbands to be young and handsome. Others prefer men who are gentle and romantic. Still others want their husbands to be rich or famous.
These dreams are sometimes beset by obstacles that prevent the young woman from ever realizing them, obstacles to marriage that are uncalled for and unnecessary. Among the most important of these are the following.

1. Studies: This can take many years, depending on the program of study undertaken and the desired degree goals. In truth, a woman's marriage is not incompatible with her furthering her studies. What it needs is for there to be an understanding from the onset between the husband and wife about the matter of her studies.
I see this as part of facing up to our changing circumstances. There are many destructive influences that beset our young men and women today. The mass media has an overwhelming effect. The world is more open. Early marriage has become more of a necessity for our young men and women than it has ever been before. It needs to be given priority. A young woman should give the matter her attention, as should her parents.

2. The father: A father may turn away prospective suitors for his daughters for many reasons. These reasons might be financial or cultural. Sometimes the father insists that his daughter marry one of her cousins or no one else.
Consider the following examples:
- A woman over thirty years of age complains that her father has a distorted sense of his own greatness and sees himself as a man of considerable importance and status. He refuses to marry his daughter to anyone except a man who satisfies his standards. Such a man will never come.
- A university graduate who works and is obliged to give her monthly salary over to her father in full is prevented by her father from ever marrying for reasons that are obvious.
A father prohibiting his daughter from marriage is a terrible crime that makes the skin crawl. Even if the father's faith is weak and he is not God-fearing, we would think that he would have some humanity or mercy in his heart. We find more mercy exhibited by wild animals for their children. While this father sleeps comfortably in his room with his wife at his side, his grown daughters are tossing and turning restlessly in their beds, because they are being denied the greatest of physical blessings that Allah has placed within us the drive to seek out.
Allah is speaking to every believer when He says: “Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and purer. Allah knows and you know not.” [ Sûrah al-Baqarah : 232]
So where are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day?
Preventing one's daughters from marrying suitable men with whom they are pleased is a serious form of oppression. Friends and relatives need to intervene in order to help those women and free them from their confinement. If this does not happen, then the courts need to intervene. Social and governmental agencies should be mobilized to protect women who are being prevented from marriage and confront the transgression of those fathers.
It is true that most fathers are merciful and feel compassion for their daughters and it is allowed for them to prevent their daughters from marrying certain suitors when they have a valid reason to do so. However, there are situations – though they may be few in number, they are seriously painful for the women involved – where outside intervention is needed. In many cases, the daughter will be unable to speak up in her own defense or voice a complaint. This is because she fears destroying her relationship with her father or fears that her reputation will be tarnished. She might not have any opportunity to leave her from home in the first place or to speak to anyone who can air her grievances on her behalf. In this way she can spend her whole life and waste her youth in bitter waiting.

3. The man: The young man who wishes to get married wants a beautiful wife, and beauty to him is what his eyes have grown accustomed to seeing in the movies and on television. He wants her to be fair of complexion, tall, and young. He wants her to have the beauty of a fashion model, the piety of the Prophet's Companions, and the wealth of a tycoon, without him having to exert any effort on his part. He needs to come down to Earth.
This may be one of the negative effects of constantly watching movies and programs that cause our young people to live in a fantasy world that has no connection whatsoever with reality. Even if a young man lowers his unrealistic standards, he remains in distress and this puts a strain on his future relationship with his wife.
Allah tells us: “O ye who believe! Follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong.” [ Sûrah al-Nûr : 21]

4. Exuberant costs: Heavy expenditures for marriage as well as numerous and excessive material demands place a great burden upon the shoulders of young men, forcing them to turn away from the prospect of marriage. In Saudi Arabia , many tribal leaders have taken the judicious initiative to place an upper limit on marital expenses, determining a limit that is according to custom and that is reasonable. It is an initiative that deserves both our support and praise.

Al-Watan Newspaper has recently said that there are over 1.5 million spinsters in Saudi Arabia . Perhaps these statistics are not wholly accurate; however they do indicate that there is a genuine problem.

The postponement of marriage is a hindrance that everyone must work together to solve. It has to be addressed publicly by scholars, orators, intellectuals, public figures, and reformers. The means to marriage need to be simplified. Institutions need to be established to facilitate marriages materially, socially, and on a personal level.