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Q&A I       Q&A II        Q&A III

Questions & Answers II

 
I have been continuously receiving emails and queries about basics of Islam from my esteemed visitors to my site ever since I have been on line for last few months. May i say how delighted I am at your evident eagerness and interest in Islam. Me at Abdul Mateen Khan's Islamic Web Directory endeavor to answer queries about the basics of Islam and I be only too pleased to try and assist you in any way possible at all. A very respectable and knowledgeable Muslim lady, Um-e-Khadija, has been kind enough to do her best in responding and answering to the queries and will continue to do so in future as well. May Allah reward her for this selfless service.
I will post some selected questions and answers on this page for the general benefit of my visitors. Please send your question to info@abdulmateen.com and I shall try to do my best to be of some help.
 
Question
Are men and woman equal? I read somewhere that the Holy Quran says that the man is the leader and a woman should obey him always. Please let me know if it is true.
Answer
In Surah Al-Nisa, Chapter 4 of the Holy Quran it reads: "Men are guardians over women because Allah has made them excel others, and because they (men) spend of their wealth. So virtuous women [are those who] are obedient, and guard the secrets [of their husbands] with Allah's protection...." The Quranic word used to describe the status of men is Qawwam, which means one who manages affairs, a guardian. Therefore, whilst the verse gives men the authority, it clearly defines their responsibilities as well.Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
I have seen your answer on your question and answer page, you answering to somebody that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Not only the bshar (human being) but also nur-allah. That means you are saying that Allah is a nur. But remember, Nur is the creature (mukhlook) of Allah in the form of angels) this means that Allah is itself a mukhlook. How could you say that Allha is a nur because nur is already the creature of Allah...?
Answer
Allah Subhanta'ala calls Himself "Nur" in the Holy Quran, in Surah Al-Nur He Commands; "Allaho Nurussamawate Wal Ardh" (Allah is the the Nur (Light) of the heavens and the earth). Indeed, "Al Nur" is one of the Divine Attributes of Allah the Almighty. Allah Subhanta'ala is a most Exquisite Being. His Splendor and His Brilliance is His Nur, which is incomprehensible for us, we can only endeavor and understand Him by human examples and Nur is one such example.
 
Question
In Sura Nisa punishment for lesbian women is death, without any chance of repentance. But gay men have a chance of repentance and their punishment is not specified (It appeared to me that it is not capital punishment). Why have the women not given a chance for repentance, when it is said over and over, Allah is oft forgiving to the repentant. I shall be most grateful if you answer my questions. May Allah bless you for your good work.
Answer
In my most humble opinion the Holy Quran does not lay out any capital punishment for "Fahisha" which I would interpret as an excess or indecency, or anything exceeding the bounds of rectitude at all. I do not find any reference to death penalty anywhere for this or a greater crime. Indeed no more than a handful people were stoned to death in the life of the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings be on him) for such crimes - these occurred either before the decisive verses of Surah Al-Nur were revealed or the guilty were followers of the Mosaic Law and had to be punished accordingly. Indeed the revealed word of Allah in the Holy Quran is final and absolute. Now onto the said verse of Surah Al-Nisa. In my most humble opinion, if we reflect on it word per word, the verse begins by the condition of collecting four witnesses first, then the proviso that they have all to bear witness against the women, and then and then alone the punishment is prescribed. I deduce this is the all-embracing Raheemiyyat (Mercy) of the Almighty. However, the clear punishment given is confinement alone - and connotes that they should be prevented from mixing with other women until such time as they reform themselves or get married. I believe the following verse about men found guilty of similar crime and this verse have to be read in conjunction with each other. Confinement not having being prescribed for men supports the fact that they are responsible for the livelihood of the family and is thus required to go out to earn a living. To my mind wherever doubt is raised about the difference in any prescription between men and women in the Holy Quran, the deciding factor is the element of the grave responsibility given to men to earn a livelihood to support their families. This is my humble opinion. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
I read the ingredients of everything I buy from the supermarket for obvious reasons. I usually buy all-beef, chicken, or turkey hotdogs to eat. Somebody tells me the other day he heard that even the all-beef, etc hotdogs may have some pig in them as the producer sometimes uses pig intestines as the casing for the packed meat to shape the hotdogs. I guess this is possible. I want to know if it is my duty as a Muslim to research this further by trying to contact these companies? If it is haram for me to buy all-beef hotdogs from a vendor in which I have no access to the ingredients or even the company that produced these hotdogs? Or is this unnecessary probing that is making my life as a Muslim in America harder than it has to be? Awaiting your reply. Jazaak allahu khaire.
Answer
Thank you for your message. In my most humble opinion you do try to the best of your ability to check out the ingredients before purchasing a doubtful product. I believe in the West all products have to be very carefully labeled and I believe failing to do so leaves the manufacturers open to litigation, which they would avoid at all cost. Allah Ta'ala enjoins to eat Tayyab food. You have to satisfy these criteria. Please note this is my humble opinion and nothing more. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Can a woman appear in public and can they hold political post.
Answer
Yes, they can. Hadhrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) wife of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him) was the leader of an army. Similarly, some Muslim Queens have played very important role in the affairs of their countries. Muslim women are taking active part in politics in some Islamic countries. In Pakistan, Miss Fatima Jinnah and then Benazir Bhutto have played important political roles. In Bangladesh, a woman has been at the helm of political power as was in Turkey. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
With reference to Holy and Hadith Singing and Dancing, is it allowed in Islam.
Answer
Yes, only on festive occasions and in a good taste. Dancing of women should be in the circle of women only. Men can dance manly dances in the open with the beat of drums, etc. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Is it compulsory for all women to use Niqaab to cover their face.
Answer
Hijaab is fundamentally a state of mind. In different cultures the nature of Hijaab will be different. In some cultures it is entirely practical to cover one's face, however, in other countries it can work against the woman observing Hijaab, therefore one can be flexible about it. There are guidelines in the Holy as to the physical aspect of Hijaab that should be observed by all Muslim women, however exemptions are there. At Hajj time, woman cannot cover their faces though they may be doing so in their cultural Hijaab. In early history of Islam, at the time of war, the women who were working as nurses tending to the injured soldiers, had to move freely among the men and even their legs were not fully covered. It is permissible under the circumstances, just as a professional woman, like a lady surgeon is allowed the uncovering of face. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Can woman use perfume? Please explain the defect of using strong perfume with strong scents if use by women. But mostly all perfume have strong scent.
Answer
It very much depends on the circumstances when the perfume is being used. It is blatantly obvious that liberal use of perfume in a public place is not correct, as it will attract unwanted attention. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
If a lady or woman take political post or perfect in school, and in some occasion, they are to present a gift or award to male pupil (that means they have to shake his handing before presenting the gift) Is she allowed to do so?
Answer
Hand shaking between males and females is not permissible in Islam. This is easily avoidable. The organizers of any event etc., should and could be informed well in advance that the lady will not shake hand with males. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Can a woman be allowed to give spiritual lecture, recite the Holy Quran in public even if the both sexes are present?
Answer
In my humble opinion there is no hindrance in this. It is desirable that the lady makes her speech/recitation of the Holy Quran from a separate room and adequate sound system carries her message across. Hadhrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) the wife of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him) used to teach men from behind the curtain. They used to ask her religious questions. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Is it compulsory for Muslim to carry out all aspect of the Sunnah of prophet (S.W.A)?
Answer
After the Holy Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him) is a supreme means of guidance for us. It is most desirable to carry out the Sunnah. In essence, Sunnah is the practical demonstration of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) of what is essential Islam. Through Sunnah, the Holy Quran was demonstrated in action. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
What is the view of Islam on taking picture and hanging them on the wall at home? Can a Muslim pray in that particular home where pictures are hung?
Answer
I believe taking of aesthetic pictures and displaying them in one's home is OK. It is best not to say Salat in a room with pictures in it, specially prayer should not be made in front of any picture of photograph of any living thing. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Portraits and Sculpture artist, drawing of human being as a profession what is the Islam point of view.
Answer
Under the fear that people might start making portraits and statues of religious leaders and later on they might start worshipping them, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him) discouraged such artistic endeavors. Modern photography did not exist at that time. There have been many Muslims artists who did make portraits of human beings. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Demonic possession, what is the view of Islam on the belief and what is the possible solution for people that are affect by it.
Answer
The Holy Quran repeatedly mentions the "Jinn". It could be described as, among other things, an unseen entity; termed as a germ or virus that may cause chemical imbalance. Medical treatment as well as prayers are needed to get rid of an emotionally disturbed condition. There are no 'demons' as such. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
With the Sunnah of prophet (S.W.A.), how can Muslim carry out the burial ceremony? And on the burial day, how did Islam view taking food during the party?
Answer
The burial ceremony is well established in Islamic tradition. The body needs to be washed in a prescribed manner and covered in white cloth. Funeral prayer is required. Burial should not be delayed, no more than three days. If people visit the bereaved family and it is a meal time, food may be offered, but not like a ritual. Friends and neighbors may bring food for those who come for condolences, but it not essential. There is no need to prepare food ritualistically that would further burden the bereaved family. Charitable acts on behalf of the deceased person can be conducted in many other ways without making it a show of feast. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Does Islam have concern for individual culture in different countries or does Islam discourage all other culture apart from Islam?
Answer
This very much depends if the culture flagrantly disobeys Islamic injunctions or stays within the parameters. Islam is a way of life, however it is a universal religion and thus acknowledges cultural differences spread across the globe. There is Islamic "guidance" but no fixed "culture." For example, the way people dress is an important part of their culture. Islam's guidance is to adorn decent and modest dress. However, from country to country, the dresses do vary within those parameters. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
What is the view of Holy Quran and Hadith about a woman leading a community, or can they been allowed to rule a country e.g President, Governor, Chairman, Senators etc.?
Answer
If a woman is blessed by Allah with all the required leadership qualities, Islam does not put any restrictions to her if she wishes to use those qualities in a positive way to serve her nation and community Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Does Islam prescribe certain garment or cloth for Muslim woman?
Answer
Your question is not very clear to me. Certainly Islam enjoins women to cover themselves decently and not to wear revealing clothes. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
During special occasions like marriage, Naming ceremony, can men and woman allow to sit down beside each other especially the couple?
Answer
During weddings, in some cultures the bridegroom is brought to the 'ladies side' for a brief period of time. However, a mixed sitting arrangement for the guests is certainly not permitted. If by "the couple" is meant the couple getting married, yes they can sit beside each other. However, other married couples should not sit in one gathering that will make it a “mixed” gathering. In that case, the women have to observe Hijaab regardless what occasion it might be. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
During the answer given for head covering and I quote "in such circumstances they have to do away with "formality" of the outer- coverings etc." Does that mean they can leave their head uncover while going to work if their work asks them to do so?
Answer
If I remember correctly my reference here was loosely based on women who work in fields etc. in places like Africa or parts of Asia. In the developed world, where a woman has “choices” I believe this does not apply. It certainly does not apply to a situation where one's employer demands that one leaves one's head covering at home. Such an employment is certainly not worthy of a Muslim woman. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
I have a question and I was hoping you could help me, because I saw that you answer questions on your website. A couple years ago, I swore on the Holy Quran that I would never smoke again. Unfortunately I have not been able to keep this promise. I still smoke till this day. I wanted to know how bad is this sin and also how can I help myself?
Answer
Allah Subhan Ta'ala is 'Arhamar Rahimeen' (Most Merciful God), there is no end to His mercy. You are indeed sorry for the mistake you made. In my humble opinion, if you seek His forgiveness from the bottom of your heart with total and absolute sincerity, may He forgive you, Inshallah. He forgives all sins, if He so wishes, except shirk (associating partners with Him). Develop a personal relationship with the Almighty through earnest worship and seek His help and guidance in ridding of this unpleasant habit. MayAllah help you all the way, Ameen. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
What is the exact definition of "tayyab" food?
Answer
Tayyab food is pure, wholesome food. Not all 'halal' food is necessarily tayyab; this factor is dependent on how food is kept or cooked. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
How is it possible to reconciled in some peoples minds to commit random, violent acts against other humans while claiming to adhere to the tenants of Islam as laid out in your web site? This has really puzzled me for a long time.
Answer
Islam is, beyond doubt, a religion of peace. The Holy Quran is a testimony to that. Your question is relevant indeed. Without singling out any one community, it is acknowledged with the utmost regret that there has been mindless violence in the name of Islam. In what way can individuals square it in their minds is a most personal matter for them, one only they can answer. The Holy Quran teaches us that each soul is accountable for what it earns in this world. Islam believes that God taught all major religions. Indeed, all religions preach non-violence against innocent people. However, followers of all religions practice terrorism. I shall not go into the details of it, I do not believe I need to. However, in the present age, the media invariably highlights terrorist acts by Muslims, although a Muslim who commits heinous crime is, unfortunately not an exception. The mind of all religious fanatics thinks it is doing a meritorious job! Islam does not promote violence. Any religious teachings can be perverted in the mind of a "believer." Almost always there are underlying strong motives -- political, racist, or good old-fashioned revenge, based on hate. That blurs the thought process of an individual or a group and they view their heinous acts as meritorious screening their negative passion with the cloak of religion. Indeed, throughout history, many a tormenting crimes have been committed in the name of religion. It has been and still is a most unfortunate universal phenomenon. Islam cannot be singled out regarding this. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
If you are a Muslim and there are needy person around you that needs your help such as the Baby's doesn't have any food to eat. The parents of the baby's can't work Can you help them. Like What if they are not Muslim? What if they are Christian or Jewish can I as a Muslim help them?
Answer
Islam is a universal religion. The Holy Quran calls the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings on him) "Rahmatul lil a'lameen' (mercy for all peoples). We as Muslims endeavor to walk in his footsteps. It is desirable to help needy Muslims first and then extend one's help to others, however, if you have non-Muslims in your vicinity and can offer your help to them, it will be a meritorious act. The Holy Quran places great emphasis on the feeding of the poor. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
I also would like to make a comment. I believe that Allah (PBUH) sent us to this earth with a special blessing and that is we are a Muslim and we should be really thankful because of that. We could have been sent to earth with some other religion but we are lucky. And I am really proud to be a Muslim.
Answer
As a mere human, it is not a matter for me to even dare to answer. That rests solely with Allah the Almighty. May He give you and I the strength to abide by all His commands. Ameen. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Please, if possible e-mail me with information on where to buy the garment that woman need to be properly attired in Islamic countries. Thanking you in advance for any help that you may be able to give me.
Answer
There is no set attire for women in Islam. The idea is to cover one's body and not to display flesh and the curves of the anatomy. This 'attire' could indeed comprise of trousers and a long blouse with long sleeves. A carefully draped scarf would complete the outfit. If this is not satisfactory and you wish to know something specific, please do write again. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Just recently became interested in the Nation of Islam through reading various books. Want to know why you continue to use the word God in your text? You claim your god to be called Allah?
Answer
Thank you for your e-mail. Lets deal with the issue as to why do Muslims use "God" instead of "Allah"? In many books written in English language, the word "Allah" is also used alongside God. Indeed the Christians Arabs refer to God as Allah, an obvious choice of word in their own language. God is an English word while Allah is Arabic, both meaning the same - God the Creator of us all. In other languages the concept of God is expressed in varied and different words. Unfortunately in the literature of Nation of Islam the founder Elijah Muhammad perverted the concept of Allah. He taught that his mentor Fard Muhammad was Allah in person on earth and he himself was the Messenger of Allah, purporting that Mr. Fard Muhammad had made him a Messenger for the Afro-American people. The basic Islamic concept of God, Allah, however, lies in His Unity, Oneness - that He is Oone, the Creator of all the universes, He is Compassionate, Most Merciful and is the Master of the Day of Judgment. Allah created Adam and Eve (on whom be peace) and He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses (on whom be peace). In this sense the Biblical word God is the same. Therefore in some English books the English word God is used instead of the Arabic word Allah. However, most Muslims prefer to use the original Quranic name Allah not least because it cannot be either used in plural nor can it be changed in gender, whereas the English word God is commonly altered into 'gods' and 'goddesses'. This cannot be done to the Arabic word Allah. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
Do people of the Islam faith consider Allah to be the same god as the one worshiped by Jews and Christians? I am a non-denominational Christian, and it is my personal belief that all religions worship the same god, simply in different ways. (For example, many Native American religions believe in a Great Sprit or Sky Chief) I am wondering... Do Muslims believe the same thing?
Answer
Islam's cardinal belief is in the One God, Allah. Islam believes that God taught religion to mankind by sending His prophets through out the ages. It is a main article of faith in Islam to believe in all the prophets (Moses, Jesus on whom be peace) and Divinely revealed Books (e.g Torah) of God. We believe the message of Islam is for the entire mankind and in it God has perfected religion. Indeed Unity of God is the first and foremost belief in Islam and every other belief hangs upon it. Islam is a universal religion. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
I would like to know why you consider the dog unclean as compared to any other animal which may be worse than the dog and even more unclean? I would be very grateful if you could answer this query for me.
Answer
Dog is indeed considered unclean in Islam. However, it is not the only animal considered thus. The faithfulness of the dog is never questioned and guard dogs are occasionally kept by Muslims as pets. The Pig, a most filthy creature, is considered foul in Islam. If you have information on an animal, which you think, is not clean and is considered clean in Islam, please let us know and we will endeavor to answer your query. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
How could a boy who is 13 years old make a towba “Ask for forgiveness from Allah” if he made a shirk on Allah? Does it involve special concentrations and what could he do to get it out of his heart?
Answer
We understand from your message that the 'shirk' you refer to is an error committed by a 13 year old. The Holy Quran is full of the message of the Mercy and Compassion of Allah. The Holy Quran tells us that Allah forgives those who truly repent and that He forgives all sins, IF He so wishes but He does not forgive real shirk. In our humble opinion, the 13 year old, who made an error of judgment and thinks they committed a kind of shirk, need to seek forgiveness of Allah from the bottom of their heart. Any prayer when made from the depth of one's heart and with absolute truth is 'special'. One can pray in one's native language to the Omni-potent Allah. He is not dependent on languages, time and place. Indeed one needs all one's concentration when seeking Allah's forgiveness. Allah is the Knower of the seen and the un-seen, He knows what is in our hearts. If the 13 year old truly seeks Allah's mercy, then may Allah grant it to them. Amen. If He so pleases, when the Gracious God truly pardons someone, a peace descends in their heart. We pray this peace for the 13 year old. Amen. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
I am a teenager who is looking to learn more about Islam. I am a Christian and I believe that all people should just respect each others culture. Religion, of course, is a very large part of a person’s culture. This weekend a few friends and I were in the mall ad a man came up to us and handed us an article entitled Jesus a Muslim was Neither Killed nor Crucified. My friends decided to throw it out but I kept the one that I was given and read it. I can tell it was taken from a web site but I can’t find it.
Answer
We respect your most sensible out look on religion. It would have been interesting to note the exact information the leaflet contained. Jesus (on whom be peace) brought his message to the world before Islam's, however, the word 'Muslim' means one who submits to God, so in that sense, yes, Jesus, Moses, Adam (peace be on them all) and all the other prophets of God were all Muslims. We believe in Islam God perfected religion and blended all the excellent teachings of all the previous religions. We believe that Jesus (on whom be peace) was a man and a prophet of God. We believe that there is One God, the Supreme Being, the Creator of everything, that He always was and always will be and that He begets not, nor is He begotten. We believe that Muhammad (may peace and blessings be on him) was God's Messenger. We believe that through worship we can all try and have communion with God. We believe the path to spiritual development is open to all. The fundamental belief of Islam is that there is One God, that He has no partner, He begets not, neither is He begotten, He always was and always will be. He is All Good, All Mercy and All Power. The Unity of God is the basic Islamic belief and all other articles of our faith are dependent on it. The Muslim belief is that Jesus (on whom be peace) was a very holy man and a true prophet of God as opposed to the Christian belief of today that he was Son of God. We believe that Jesus (on whom be peace) did not claim to be Divine. It is an essential part of the Muslim faith to believe in the Holy Bible. However, we understand that man interpolated with the earlier scriptures and what we see today is a much ‘changed’ divine word in the shape of Bible, consequently losing it's message. We believe that the final 'revealed' word of God in which He brought together all the excellent teachings of all the older scriptures is the Holy Quran. God Himself promised to safeguard this book. It was revealed 1,400 years ago and to this day not a word has changed in it's original Arabic text. It is still intact and we believe shall always remain so. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
Question
What are the Islamic teachings on violence?
Answer
Without commenting on any one specific group or nation, we would like you to know what the Islamic teachings regarding 'violence' are. We hope you will judge for yourself what the Islamic message regarding fighting in the name of Allah is. In the Holy Quran, the Muslim scripture, which we believe to be the revealed and absolute word of God, the Muslim are enjoined to 'strive' in the name of Allah, this is the true meaning of Jihad (the holy war). Jihad can be done in several ways, without ever picking up arms. People fail to understand the true philosophy of it and engage violently in territorial/political issues in the name of religion. Indeed the word Jihad is also applied for fighting in the cause of religion. Islam permits taking up arms only in opposition to people who themselves take up arms first. Islam does not allow Muslims while they are subjects of a non-Muslim ruler, who is fair to them, to rebel against him. Islam is not supposed to be spread by 'sword'. It's beautiful message always attracts people naturally. In the days of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) who brought the message of Islam to this world, many battles were fought. It is ignorant to draw parallels with those times and take up arms in the name of Allah. In those days, 1,400 years ago, severe cruelty was employed and terror used to stop Islam from spreading. Over a period of thirteen long years many Muslims were brutally killed, because they believed in Allah. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) himself was persistently targeted with persecution. In return, he was the model of patience. However, when this cruelty exceeded all bounds Allah informed the Holy prophet (peace and blessings be on him) to go ahead and fight the oppressors. Those who believe that Islam's cause can be won through force and brutality and engage in violent actions are indeed ignorant of the real beauty of Islam. May Allah guide them. Amen. Wallaho Alam Bissawab.
 
   
   
   
   

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