Tuesday, 28 February 2012

There is nothing wrong with singling out Saturdays for family visits

We live in the west, and my wife’s family also live in the same city as we do. We always go to visit my wife’s family on Saturdays. My wife has married sisters who also live in the same city, but my wife and her sisters have set aside a day to visit their family, which is Saturday. I told my wife off for that, and said to her, “Why Saturday? Because it is the day of rest for the Jews, and we do not want to imitate the Jews.” But she said to me that the children have two days off in the week, Saturday and Sunday. I said to her: Why don’t you go on Friday, or sometimes on Friday and sometimes on Saturday, or any other day? But my wife is not convinced of that. I hope that you can answer this, may Allaah reward you with good. Please note that my wife goes to her family whenever she wants, but she and her sisters still go on Saturdays.

Praise be to Allaah.

First of all, we ask Allaah to reward you with good for your keenness to avoid following the ways of the disbelievers, and your fear of imitating them. This is how the believer is; he is proud of his faith and his Islam, and he does not agree to be a blind follower of those with whom Allaah is angry among the Jews and Christians. 

But there is nothing wrong with what your wife and her sisters are doing, as it seems to us. It is not the haraam kind of imitation, in sha Allaah, because setting aside Saturday for visits is not because it is a special day, rather it is because this is easier for them and is more suited to the family’s circumstances, as it is possible for everyone, because of this day off, to visit. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to the one who does something and it so happens that others do it too, and one of them did not copy the other, then the question of whether this is an imitation or not  is subject to further discussion. End quote. 

Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (p. 82) 

He also said: 

That which is not originally taken from them, but they do it too, does not come under the prohibition on imitating them, but it may mean missing out on the benefits of being different. Whether it is makrooh or haraam depends on shar’i evidence as to whether it is imitating them, because we cannot say that we are imitating them, rather it may be said that they are imitating us. End quote. 

Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (p. 223) 

From the words of Ibn Taymiyah quoted above about the guidelines on what is the haraam kind of imitation or resemblance, it may be understood that your wife and her sisters setting aside Saturday for their visits is not haraam according to sharee’ah, for several reasons: 

1.     Visiting relatives is prescribed in our religion at all times, and it is the practice of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and of our righteous forbears at all times and in all places. There is nothing wrong with singling any day out for that, according to circumstances and time. This is according to scholarly consensus.

2.      Visiting people on Saturdays is not one of the unique characteristics of the Jews and Christians, and it is not something that has been adopted from them. Rather it is something that all people have in common, and is not unique to one nation rather than another. Rather what is unique to the Jews is taking Saturday as a holy day on which the people show the outward manifestations of it being a holy day, that they do not do on other days. 

In the answers to questions no. 21694 and 108996 we have mentioned some of the guidelines on the imitation of others that is haraam. 

As it does not seem that this action of theirs is imitation of the kuffaar, and there is no fear that they may do that, then there is nothing wrong with their singling out Saturdays for such visits, if that is easiest for them and most suited to their circumstances. 

Al-Bukhaari (1193) and Muslim (1399) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Dinar that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to go to Quba’ every Saturday and he used to say: I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) coming to it every Saturday. 

To sum up: If singling out Saturdays for visits is easier for them, then there is nothing wrong with it, in sha Allaah, and it does not seem that there is anything wrong with it. If their circumstances allow them to choose another day, other than Saturday or Sunday, or they can switch it every time, that is more on the safe side for them and further removed from imitation of the kuffaar, and is more obviously being different from the kuffaar in their festivals and special days. 

And Allaah knows best.

What is the ruling on signing up for and participating in Facebook?

What is the ruling on Facebook?.

Praise be to Allaah.


The website Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, a student at Harvard University in America, at the beginning of 2004 CE. Use of the website was initially limited to students of the University, then the network expanded to include other universities in Boston, and eventually to include the entire world at the end of 2006 CE. 

The aim behind the founding of this site was to enable people to get to know one another and build social relationships. This site is regarded as the most important virtual community on the Internet. The number of users runs to tens of millions and is constantly increasing. It is widely accepted in the Arab and Muslim world and is available in more than forty languages; the people in charge of the site are planning to add further languages. 


The world of Facebook is a world in which one may communicate in writing or verbally (chat), in which there are both major sins and benefits for people, but this site is distinct from others in many ways, including the following: 


Availability of detailed personal information about users, which has already resulted in negative consequences such as: 

(a)   It has led to reviving old relationships between lovers which led to a resumption of those (illicit) relationships, leading to betrayal and divorce. 

A team from the National Centre for Social and Criminal Research in Egypt prepared a study on Facebook which took several weeks, from which it noted serious consequences (of using this site). Among other things it noted: “many visitors to the website succeeded in finding their first love and former relationships, and rebuilt destructive relationships outside the family, which is threatening marriages and Muslim family life.” 

(b)  Some foreign spy services have recruited some Facebook members by looking at their details, their economic situation and standard of living, and they have exploited that to recruit them to spy for them. 

A foreign newspaper discovered a Jewish spy network that was working to recruit Arab and Muslim youth to spy for them.

 On the Muheet website – dated 25 Jumaada al-Oola 1431 AH – they quoted from a French newspaper the story of Jewish exploitation of Facebook to recruit agents: 

Gerald Nero, a professor in the college of psychology in the French University of Provence and the author of the book Dangers of the Internet, says: “This network was discovered in May 2001 CE; it was a group of networks run by Israeli specialists in psychology who were recruited to work on youth in the Third World, especially those living in Arab states that are hostile towards Israel, as well as South America.” 

In fact, this recruitment began before the founding of the Facebook site, which offered more opportunities for this network – and others like it – to find youth who were suitable for recruitment by looking at their details and by chatting with them. 

(c)   Hacking into bank accounts and stealing the identity of a Facebook member by looking at his personal information. 

2. The spread of this website has made it a global chat site which brings together people from all parts of the world; they made matters worse by giving the users of their site a program that makes it easy for these conversations to take place without entering the site, such as that which was produced by Hotmail and Messenger. Chatting results in negative consequences that are known to everyone who has any experience of that on the Internet, especially if the program takes it possible for people to see one another as well as writing. Among the negative consequences of chat and sinful relationships are the following: 

(a)   Wasting valuable time in trivial talk and getting to know people. 

The wise Muslim should realise that his lifespan is limited and that he will not live on earth for ever; he is going to meet his Lord, may He be exalted, Who will ask him about his youth and how he spent it, and about his life and what he did. So let the wise one look at the early generations of this ummah and its scholars, and think about how they thought about time and their lifespan. 

Ibn ‘Aqeel al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said of himself: It is not permissible for me to waste an hour of my life. When I stop discussing issues of knowledge and debating them (with others) and when I stop reading in a book, I would start pondering and thinking when I am resting and lying down, and before I get up, I will have already an idea that I should write down and I am very keen to increase my knowledge now I am in my eighties and more keen than when I was twenty years old. 

Quoted from him by Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Muntazam, 9/214 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: A man’s time is in fact his life, and his eternal life, whether it is eternal bliss or eternal suffering, is based on how he spent it. Time is passing quickly; whatever time he spends for the sake of Allah and by the help of Allah, this is his true life; any other time is not counted as part of his life, even if he spends it doing what animals do. So if he spends his time in heedlessness, idle entertainment and false wishes, and the best of what he spends his time in is sleep and idleness, then his death is better than his life. 

Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, p. 109 

(b)  Establishing sinful relationships between men and women, which may cause the destruction of a stable family. 

In a study by the National Centre – mentioned above – it says: 

One in every five cases of divorce came about when one partner discovered that the other was having a relationship through the Internet, and through Facebook. 

We have discussed the ruling on correspondence and chat between the sexes in a number of fatwas. Please see the answer to questions no. 78375, 34841, 23349, 20949, 26890 and 82702. 


It cannot be denied that there are a number of benefits in this site, which are attained by wise people who are keen to guide people to goodness. These people have done well by using modern means of communication – such as the Internet, mobile phones and satellite channels; they have entered the world of those people to serve their religion and call people to their Lord, especially activities that are done collectively, because that makes it less likely that the one who does this type of work collectively will fall into the temptations of that world. Among the benefits of that website are the following: 

1.     Personal pages for some shaykhs and daa‘iyahs, in which they offer advice to the people and answer their questions, especially those who have groups. The leader or founder of the group benefits when a number of people who are part of that group get together and send out messages to the group, open up topics for discussion, and post a large number of high-quality video clips.

2.     Global campaigns to alert users of that site to global Islamic events that are suppressed and ignored by the kaafir media, or to support oppressed peoples, or to close a website or personal page.

3.     Spreading useful and beneficial books, articles and websites among visitors to that site.

4.     Communication between friends and relatives, especially those who live far apart from one another. Communication has a good impact in maintaining bonds and encouraging one another to remain steadfast in Islam.  


With regard to the shar‘i ruling on signing up for Facebook, it depends on the intention of the one who wants to sign up. If he is a man of knowledge or a seeker thereof or a member of a da‘wah group, then it is permissible and good, because of the benefits they have to offer to the people. But for the one who joins it for evil purposes or for whom there is no guarantee that he will be safe from temptation and may easily slip, especially young men and women, it is not permissible for them to sign up for it. 

The one who knows the reality of our times and the temptation and turmoil that is knocking at the door of all of our houses will not object to any faqeeh or mufti who disallows anything in which there is harm, whether it is totally or mostly harmful. The fact that there is some small benefit does not encourage one to say that it is permissible because there is still fear for the one who embarks upon it. If what is good and beneficial is great and the evil and harm is small or non-existent, then we may with a clear conscience say that it is permissible. Hence some of our scholars were very strict about satellite channels at first, because of the pure harm and evil in them; but when there started to be some great good in them and completely Islamic channels were founded, and receivers that only accepted those channels became available, the view that they are permissible became valid; indeed we see that many scholars have contributed to these channels and have useful programs on them. 

The one who cannot control himself on Facebook and similar sites should refrain from joining them. Joining them is permissible for the one who acts in accordance with the shar‘i guidelines by controlling himself and not following his whims and desires, and who joins them  so that he can benefit himself and others others.

We ask Allah to keep us safe from temptations both visible and invisible, for He is the Guide to the straight path. 

And Allah knows best.

Is it permissible to keep and train foxes and wolves and other predators?

I know that it is not permissible to keep a dog as a pet, but what about foxes and wolves? It is known from years of experience that it is possible to train these animals and live with them. What is the shar‘i ruling on that?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to keep and train foxes, wolves and other predators such as lions and tigers, because there is no benefit in that, and because keeping them may lead to great harm, as there is no guarantee that they will not get loose and harm people. Moreover, keeping them is a waste of money and spending on something inappropriate. It is also an imitation of those spendthrifts who have no ambition except satisfying their whims and desires. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo‘ (9/286-287): The second category of animals is those in which there is no benefit, so it is not permissible to sell them, such as dung beetles, scorpions and snakes. … Our companions said: that also includes wild animals that are not suitable for hunting with or fighting, and cannot be eaten, such as lions, wolves, tigers, bears and so on. Sales of such animals are not valid, because there is no benefit in them. End quote. 

Zakariya al-Ansaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Sales of insects that are of no benefit are not permissible, and neither are sales of wild animals that are of no benefit, such as lions, wolves and tigers. The awe involved when kings keep such animals and show that they can handle them is not regarded as being of any benefit, unlike cases in which there is some benefit, such leopards for hunting or, it was said, elephants for war. End quote. 

Fath al-Wahhaab, 1/273 

The Scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked about the shar‘i ruling on dealing in or keeping animals that are used to fulfil whims and desires, including predators such as wolves, lions, foxes and so on.

 They replied: 

It is not permissible to sell predators such as wolves, lions, foxes and other wild animals that have fangs, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade that. And because it is a waste of money, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade wasting money. End quote. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 13/38-21 

It is well known that many of those who keep and train predators find that the animal does not forget its wild origins and devours its keeper, or attacks him or someone else. 

There is a story that a Bedouin took a young wolf and raised it on the milk of a sheep he had, and he said to himself: If I raise it with the sheep, it will develop compassion towards it and will protect it, and it will be better than a dog, and will not know the ways of its own kind. But when it grew strong, it pounced on the sheep and devoured it, and the Bedouin said:

You ate my little sheep although you grew up amongst us;

How did you know your father was a wolf?  

Muhaadaraat al-Udaba’, 1/115 

For more information please see the answer to question no. 103706 

And Allah knows best.

Ruling on eating pickles and bread made with yeast in the dough

Is it permissible to eat fermented foods made at home, such as pickled cabbage, soy sauce, leavened bread, in order to help the digestion process?.

Praise be to Allaah.


The general principle with regard to foods is that they are permissible, and nothing is disallowed except that for which there is evidence that it is haraam and should not be eaten. 

But the problem is the use of yeast in these pickles. 

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-‘Arabiyyah, under the heading Khameerah (yeast): 

Yeast is a substance that ferments the dough when making bread. Its effect is the formation of carbon dioxide which created bubbles that make the colour of the dough lighter, and makes the dough expand during baking and rise and increase in size. Yeast is also used to make beer, nabeedh and other alcoholic drinks. The he yeast that is used commercially is made from colonies of microscopic single-celled yeast organisms. Although there are more than 600 kinds of yeast, only a few of them are used commercially. 

Based on that: 

If the amount of yeast in these pickles and the like is very little, and it has dissolved in them, so that it does not have the effect of causing intoxication or languor, there is nothing wrong with using yeast in them, and eating these pickles. 

But if the yeast has a lasting effect on them, such that if the one who ate a lot of these pickles would become intoxicated or tired, it is haraam to use the yeast in them, or to eat anything to which yeast has been added in this way. 

Thus it become clear that pickles made from permitted foods are permissible. It should be noted that the vinegar which is put with these products or that is produced by pickling these materials, comes under the heading of drinks that are originally permissible, and is a type of food that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ate and praised, saying, “What a good condiment is vinegar.” [Narrated by Muslim, 2051]. 

For a more detailed discussion on the ruling on vinegar, please see the answer to questions no. 106196 and 113941. 


There is also nothing wrong with eating bread made with yeast. The yeast (khameerah) that is added to the dough does not come under the heading of khamr (intoxicant) that is haraam, and does not have any effect of causing intoxication or languor, especially since cooking it with fire alters the yeast completely, so that it no longer has any effect. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

How should we respond to the ruling on the yeast that they put in flour to help leaven it and make it easy to cook, as some people say that it is khamr and it is not permissible to use it? 

He replied: 

My response to that is that there is nothing wrong with putting yeast in the dough for the purpose of leavening it, because this does not affect it at all. Moreover, I do not think that this yeast would cause intoxication if a person were to eat it. The basic principle concerning all foods and drinks and clothing is that they are permissible, unless it is proven that they are haraam, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He rose over (Istawa) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything”

[al-Baqarah 2:29]. 

So there is nothing wrong with putting yeast in the dough to leaven it. 

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb (tape 70, side b) 

And Allah knows best.

Ruling on bridesmaids

I was just wondering if it is permissible to have brides maids for a reception in Islam. I am not sure if the practice is cultural or religious.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible for the bride to have someone to help adorn her and accompany her, or a female servant who will serve her, in return for a specified wage paid by the husband or bride or someone else. This was widespread in ancient times and is still done in some countries. It is permissible according to sharee‘ah, as stated above. The fuqaha’ stated clearly that if it is the woman's custom to have a servant, then the husband has to bring someone to serve her. 

It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ (5/463): If the wife needs someone to serve her, because a woman like her does not serve herself or because of her high position, and she has no servant, then she is entitled to a servant because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and live with them honourably” [al-Nisa’ 4:19], and because it is something that is needed all the time. But the servant should only be someone for whom it is permissible to look at the wife, either a woman or a relative who is a mahram. End quote. 

Having bridesmaids or a servant is not something that belongs to one particular culture or that has to do with religion; rather it a matter of custom or tradition, which varies from one society to another, and may be necessary. 

And Allah knows best.

Monday, 20 February 2012

He suffers from continual emission of madhiy and he uses sticky tape. Does he have to change it for every prayer?

I suffer from continual emission of madhiy, and to be frank I have found a way to save me a lot of trouble from washing and purifying my clothes. I put a small piece of sticky tape on the head of the penis, and when I want to urinate I remove it, then when I have finished I put another one. My question is: do I have to remove it if it is contaminated with madhiy at the time of prayer, because it is difficult to change it before every prayer. If I pray and there is madhiy on the tape, does that invalidate my prayer? This method in fact has made things easier for me, especially when I go to university and outside the home.

Praise be to Allaah.

The one who suffers incontinence, whether it involves urine or madhiy, has to do two things: 

(i)                He has to wash the place and then wrap it with a piece of cloth or a handkerchief to prevent the urine or madhiy spreading.

(ii)              He has to do wudoo’ after the time for prayer begins, if anything has come out of him. 

He does not have to wash the place and the wrapper again for every prayer, unless he has neglected to take precautions. 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (1/206): The one who suffers from urinary incontinence or a great deal of madhiy that does not stop is like the woman who suffers from irregular and lengthy bleeding: he should do wudoo' for every prayer, after washing his private parts. The woman who suffers from irregular bleeding, and the one who suffers from urinary incontinence or excessive madhiy, and others like them who continually break their wudoo' and cannot maintain their tahaarah (purity), have to do wudoo' for every prayer after washing the site of impurity, wrapping it and trying to avoid emission of that which breaks wudoo' as much as possible. End quote. 

It says in Sharh Muntaha al-Iraadaat (1/120): everyone whose impurity is ongoing, such as a woman with irregular bleeding, or one who has urinary incontinence, or excessive madhiy, or continual breaking of wind, has to wash the site that is contaminated with impurity and wrap it up, i.e., take precautions by doing that which will prevent emission as much as possible, such as using a cotton pad or tying it with a clean piece of cloth. But he does not have to repeat it, meaning washing and wrapping for every prayer, if there has been no negligence on his part, because this condition is overwhelming and complete precautions cannot be taken against it. So the one whose cause of impurity is ongoing should do wudoo' at the time of every prayer if something comes out. End quote. 

Some fuqaha’ do not think that it is obligatory to wrap it and tie a piece of cloth. 

Al-Hattaab al-Maaliki (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Mudawwanah: It is mustahabb to take precautions by wrapping it with a piece of cloth. Sanad said: It is not obligatory, because he is going to pray with the piece of cloth on which there is some impurity, just as he would pray in his contaminated clothes if he did not use it. Sanad said: Is it mustahabb to change the cloth? Al-Ibyaani said: It is mustahabb for him to do that at the time of prayer and wash it, but according to Sahnoon, it is not mustahabb, and washing the private parts is easier for him than that. End quote from Mawaahib al-Jaleel (1/143). 

As you are putting a piece of sticky tape to prevent the madhiy spreading, this is appropriate protection and you do not have to change the tape for every prayer. 

And Allaah knows best.

Ruling on using waste water after purifying it by modern means

There are stations which purify waste water so that it may be reused. Is it permissible to use it if it has been purified?.

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to reusing waste water after it has been purified, a statement has been issued by the Council of Senior Scholars, the text of which is as follows: 

Praise be to Allah alone and may the blessings of Allah be upon the one after whom there is no Prophet, Muhammad, and upon his family and Companions. 

During the thirteenth session of the Council of Senior Scholars, which was held in the latter half of the month of Shawwaal 1398 AH in the city of al-Taa’if, and based on a question from the editor of the Muslim News newspaper of Cape Town, which was submitted to the Muslim World League and passed on by them to the Council of Senior Scholars, to research the matter and issue the statement of the Council on it:  

The Muslims in that place face problems because of what the Council of Industrial International Projects is planning to do of producing clean drinking water from waste water, and they are asking about the ruling on using this water for wudoo’ after it has been purified. 

Based on that, the Council examined the view concerning that expressed by the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas. The Council also studied the speech of His Highness the Minister of Agriculture and Water, no. 1/1299, dated 30/5/1398 AH. After researching and discussing the matter, the Council determined the following: 

Based on what the scholars have said about water of abundant quantity which has altered because of contamination with impurity, and that if the impurity is removed or pure water is added to it, or the impurity is removed by natural means with the passage of time or by the effects of sun or wind on it and so on, then the ruling of impurity ceases because the reason for it is no longer there. 

Impurity in water can be removed by many means, and the modern technical means used to purify water are regarded as being among the best means of purification. A great deal of effort and technical methods may be used to rid water of impurities, as testified and approved by specialists and experts in that field, whose expertise is well established.  

Hence the Council thinks that this water is pure after it has been purified completely, in that it goes back to its original state in which there is no sign of alteration caused by impurity in its taste, colour or smell, and it is permissible to use it to get rid of impurities and dirt. One may use it to purify oneself (wudoo’ and ghusl), and it is also permissible to drink it so long as no harm to one's health will result from using it, in which case one should refrain from that so as to preserve one's health and ward off harm, not because it is impure. 

The Committee affirms that if it is possible to use something else instead of this to drink, that is safer for health and so as to ward off harm, and to keep away from something that may be off-putting. 

And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings upon Allah Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and Companions. End quote. 

Council of Senior Scholars

Important note to learn and Read Quran online

The Holy Quran is the word of Allah; it has been sent down to guide us and the guidance can online be gained through reading quran online. No other book can be like holy quran. As you come to the learn tajweed quran, Allah speaks to you and reading Arabic Quran is to hear Him, even to converse with Him, and to walk in His ways. So it is must for us as a Muslim to learn and do quran memorization by heart and the Quran tutor should teach the kids from quran qaida and then teaching quran online along with the quran tafseer and let the kids memorize quran so that we as Muslim could learn quran tajweed rules and then understand the quran tafseer  It is the encounter of life with the Life-giver. 'God - there is no god but He, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting (by whom all subsist)  He has sent down upon you the Book with the Truth ... as a guidance unto mankind ...' (Al 'Imran 3: 2-3 learn quran recitation). So we should always remember the guidance of Allah and we should be listening to quran online along with obeying the commandments of Allah so let us join hands to lean the Koran and let our kids do quran memorization and learn the teaching of quran education online and apply them in there life there is kids quran lesson available online as well

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Ruling on placing biers in front of the worshippers during an obligatory prayer

When attending the funeral prayer, the people put the bier in the direction of the qiblah, then they offer the obligatory prayer facing it first, then they offer the funeral prayer. What is the ruling on that?.

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with placing the bier in front of the worshippers so that they can offer the obligatory prayer then offer the funeral prayer. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: If there is a funeral on Friday, during the prayer should we place the bier in front of us or behind us? Thank you. 

He replied (may Allah have mercy on him): This matter is broad in scope. There is nothing wrong with placing it in front of the worshippers or behind, or on their right or their left. The deceased may be placed inside the mosque or near the mosque until the people have prayed, then the bier may be brought forward so that the people may offer the funeral prayer over it. It does not matter if it is placed in front of the worshippers or to their right or left, or behind them. I do not think there is anything wrong with that. 

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb, 2/1120 

Shaykh ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on the bier if it is placed in front of the worshippers so that they can offer the obligatory prayer and then offer the funeral prayer? 

He replied: There is nothing wrong with that if we know that it will not distract them. But if we know that it will distract them then it is makrooh for one who is praying to face that which will distract him. It will not distract the worshippers if, for example, it is placed in a corner of the mosque and not in the middle of the row.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb 

Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abdullah al-Maajid (may Allah have mercy on him) said: There is nothing wrong with the people offering the obligatory prayer with the biers placed in front of them, because there is no evidence to suggest that this is not allowed. With regard to the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “Do not pray towards graves,” [narrated by Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi], this does not indicate that, because the bier is not called a grave in either linguistic, customary or shar‘i terms. And Allah knows best.

End quote from the Shaykh’s website:


Some scholars are of the view that this is not allowed because the Prophet (sa) said: “Do not sit on graves and do not pray towards them.” Narrated by Muslim, 972 

Shaykh al-Mubaarakfoori (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Do not pray towards them” means facing towards them. Al-Qaari said: By the same token, this is more applicable to the bier i.e., the bier that is placed (in front of the worshippers). This is a mistake that the people of Makkah have been doing, when they place the bier beside the Ka‘bah then pray facing towards it.

End quote from Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi Sharh Sunan at-Tirmidhi 

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said, commenting on the words quoted above: I say: i.e., with regard to the obligatory prayer, this is a problem that is widespread and has spread to Syria, Anatolia and elsewhere. A month ago we saw an extremely unpleasant photograph that showed a row of worshippers prostrating towards a number of biers that were placed in front of them, that contained the remains of a group of Turks who had drowned in a shipwreck. End quote from Tahdheer as-Saajid min Ittikhaadh al-Quboor Masaajid. 

And Allah knows best.

To whom should condolences be offered among the family of the deceased?

If someone dies, to whom should we offer condolences among his family?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is mustahabb to offer condolences to everyone who is affected by the loss of the deceased, old or young, except a child who has not reached the age of understanding, or a young woman, to whom only her mahrams should offer condolences, according to what we said previously in the answer to question no. 157874. 

It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 2/169: It is mustahabb to offer condolences to the bereaved family, even children and even friends of the deceased and so on, such as neighbours of the deceased. End quote. 

Al-Hajjaawi said in Matn az-Zaad: It is Sunnah to offer condolences to the bereaved. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: He said “condolences to the bereaved” and not “condolences to the relatives”, so everyone who is affected by the loss, even if he is not related, may be offered condolences. And everyone who is not affected by the loss, even if he is a relative, may not be offered condolences. So whoever is affected should be offered condolences and whoever is not affected should not be offered condolences.

End quote from ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 5/186 

In Mawaahib al-Jaleel, 2/230, 231, it says: Condolences may be offered to old and young, whoever will understand what is said to him. … It says in al-Madkhal: A man should be offered condolences for the death of his friend, because he is one of those affected by the loss. End quote. 

And Allah knows best.

Can the washing of the deceased be attended by one who does not need to be there?

Is it permissible for the washing of the deceased to be attended by one who does not need to be there?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is makrooh for anyone other than the one who is washing the deceased and those who are helping him to attend the washing of the deceased, because it is makrooh to look at the deceased except if there is a reason, and it is mustahabb for those present to avert their gaze from him unless there is a reason to look at him. The reason for that is that there may be in the deceased a defect that he was concealing and that he would not like people to see or know about after his death, or there may be some issues that a living person would not like people to see or know about. And there may appear something that may indicate something objectionable and he may tell others about it, which is like exposing the deceased to scandal. And his ‘awrah may become uncovered and be seen. Hence we prefer for the one who washes the deceased to be trustworthy and righteous, so that he will conceal anything that he may see.

End quote from al-Mughni, 2/164 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is mustahabb to transfer him to a private place and conceal him from people’s gaze. There was no scholarly difference of opinion concerning this.

End quote from Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 5/125 

There is no particular limit to the number of people who may be present; rather it is limited to what is needed. If there is an urgent need for more than one person, there is nothing wrong with that. This is indicated by the report narrated by Umm ‘Atiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) entered upon us when his daughter died and said: Wash her three times or five times or more than that if you see fit, with water and lotus leaves, and put camphor or a little camphor in the last time. Then when you have finished call me.” Them when we had finished we called him… 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari. 1253; Muslim, 939 

But some of the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) made an exception for the next of kin of the deceased and said that he may be present even if there is no need for him to be there, out of compassion towards the deceased. 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Our companions said: it is mustahabb for no one to be present except the one who is washing him and whoever is needed to help him in washing. Our companions said: and the next of kin may enter, even if he does not wash him and does not help.

End quote from Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 5/125 

al-Qaadi and Ibn ‘Aqeel among the Hanbalis said: And that is not unlikely. End quote from al-Insaaf, 2/486. 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar ash-Shanqeeti (may Allah preserve him) said: Some of the scholars granted a concession allowing some of the relatives (to be present) out of compassion, such as if it is his son and he wants to be present to wash him, and that may apply to some of the relatives so that it will help them to accept the decree of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, because they may see signs that are indicative of good and that will help the relatives to be patient. And this is something well known; perhaps they will wash him and will see good signs whilst washing him, so that will help his relatives to be patient and seek reward with Allah for their loss.

End quote from Sharh az-Zaad. 

And Allah knows best.

Visiting the graves on Fridays for one who cannot do so on any other day

We read your fatwa no. 12322 in which you quoted Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) as saying that it is not permissible to single out Friday for visiting graves. What is the ruling if the Muslim does not have any time apart from Friday in which he can visit the graves? Is there anything wrong with it if he only visits them on Fridays because he is not able to do so on other days?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If the Muslim is not able to visit the graves except on Fridays because he is working on all other days of the week apart from Friday, then it seems that there is nothing wrong with that because by doing that he is not singling out Friday as having an advantage over other days. He is not doing that because he singling out Friday for that purpose; rather it is because it is his day off. 

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Friday is a day off for us; if we single out this day or a few hours of it for visiting graveyards, does this come under the heading of bid‘ah (innovation)? 

He replied: It does not come under that heading, because there were some reports which speak of visiting graveyards on Friday. … So long as you did not deliberately single out this day and this is when you have free time, then there is no sin on you in sha Allah. There are some reports that speak of singling out this day and of its virtue, but they are not proven. End quote from Fataawa Ibn Jibreen. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The apparent meaning of the evidence indicates that it is general in application and that it is makrooh to single it [i.e. Friday] out for fasting, whether it is an obligatory fast or a naafil one. But if a person has work and is not free and he cannot make up his fasts except on Fridays, then in that case it is not makrooh for him to single out this day for fasting, because he needs to do that. End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 20/55 

And Allah knows best.

Ruling on writing the name on the grave in case of necessity

Some people write the name of the deceased only on the grave, so that it may be known when visiting it, because there are so many graves and they all look alike, and it is not possible to know the grave except by writing the name on it. Is it permissible to do that or not?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The basic principle is that writing on the grave is haraam and is not permissible. See the answer to question no. 9986. 

But some of the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) are of the view that it is permissible to write the name only in case of necessity. 

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (32/252): The fuqaha’ also differed with regard to writing on the grave. The Maalikis, Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis are of the view that it is makrooh to write on the grave in all cases, because of the hadeeth of Jaabir who said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade plastering over graves, sitting on them, erecting structures over them and writing on them. The Hanafis and al-Subki among the Shaafa‘is were of the view that there is nothing wrong with writing on it if there is a need for that so that the location will not be lost and so that the grave will not be treated with disrespect. End quote. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: (The issue of) writing on the grave is subject to further discussion. There is nothing wrong with writing which is intended only to confirm the name and indicate that this is a grave. As for writing which is similar to what was done during the Jaahiliyyah, such as writing the person’s name accompanied by a eulogy, stating that he did such and such and other words of praise, or writing lines of poetry – this is haraam. 

That includes what some ignorant people do, namely writing Soorat al-Faatihah, for example, or other lines on a stone that is placed on the grave. All of that is haraam and the one who sees it in the graveyard should remove this stone, because this comes under the heading of evil that must be changed. And Allah is the source of strength.

End quote from Sharh Riyadh as-Saaliheen 

Shaykh Hamad ibn ‘Abdullah al-Hamad (may Allah preserve him) said: But is it permissible to do that (putting the name on the grave) as a sign if the family of the deceased cannot put a marker on it because there are so many graves and there is no way to tell them apart except by means of writing? Some of the scholars are of the view that that is permissible and that if only the name is written, there is nothing wrong with it, so long as no other marker will serve that purpose. And that is because there is a need to know the grave of the deceased. 

It is proven in Sunan Abi Dawood that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put a rock at the head of ‘Uthmaan ibn Maz‘oon (i.e., on his grave) and said: “So that I may know the grave of my brother thereby, and I will bury near him those who die of my family.” 

This is a good opinion, in sha Allah.

End quote from Sharh az-Zaad 

And Allah knows best.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

What is it permissible for a man to do with his wife during the day in Ramadaan?

Is it permissible for a man to sleep beside his wife in Ramadaan?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Yes, that is permissible. In fact it is permissible for a man to be intimate with his wife when he is fasting, so long as no intercourse or ejaculation takes place. 

Al-Bukhaari (1927) and Muslim (1106) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to kiss and be intimate when fasting, and he was the most able of you to control his desire.” 

Al-Sindi said: 

The word yubaashir (translated here as “be intimate”) means touching the wife’s skin and her touching him, such as putting his cheek against hers and so on. 

What is meant here is touching the skin, not intercourse. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

What is it permissible for a man who is fasting to do with his wife who is fasting?

 He replied: 

A man who is observing an obligatory fast is not permitted to do anything with his wife that will lead to ejaculation. People vary in how quickly they reach climax; some of them are slow and can control themselves completely, as ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said concerning the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “he was the most able of you to control his desire.” Some of them cannot control themselves and ejaculate quickly. Such a person should not be intimate with his wife and touch her or kiss her etc when observing an obligatory fast. If a person knows that he can control himself, then he can kiss and hug his wife even when observing an obligatory fast, but he must beware of intercourse because having intercourse (during the day) in Ramadaan for one who is obliged to fast results in five things: 

1-     It is a sin

2-     The fast is invalidated

3-     He should refrain from eating etc for the rest of the day. Everyone who breaks his fast in Ramadaan with no legitimate shar’i excuse has to refrain from eating etc (for the rest of the day) and also has to make up that day.

4-     He has to make up that day because he forfeited an obligatory act of worship, which he has to make up.

5-     He has to offer an expiation which is one of the most burdensome of expiations: freeing a slave; if he cannot do that then he must fast for two consecutive months; if he cannot do that then he must feed sixty poor persons. 

If it is an obligatory fast that was being observed at a time other than Ramadaan – such as making up a day missed in Ramadaan, or observing an expiatory fast etc, then breaking the fast results in two things: sin and having to make it up.  But if it was a voluntary fast and he has intercourse during it, then he does not have to do anything.

There is nothing wrong with putting oil on the hair during the day in Ramadaan

What is the ruling on putting oil on the hair during the day in Ramadaan?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

There is nothing wrong with putting oil on the hair during the day in Ramadaan and that does not affect the fast. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (15/259) was asked: what is the ruling on using kohl and cosmetics for women during the day in Ramadaan? Does that break the fast or not? 

He replied: 

Kohl does not break the fast for women or for men, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, but it is better to use it at night for one who is fasting. The same applies to things that are used to beautify the face such as soap and creams etc, that are applied externally to the skin, such as henna, make-up and the like. There is nothing wrong with the fasting person using them, but make-up should not be used if it is harmful to the face. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Fataawa al-Siyaam (228): 

All kinds of creams, whether used on the face, back or elsewhere, have no effect on the fasting person and do not break his fast. 

The Standing Committee (10/253) was asked: Does kohl or cream used by a woman during the day in Ramadaan break the fast or not? They replied: 

Whoever uses kohl during the day in Ramadaan when fasting does not invalidate his or her fast. The same applies to one who puts oil on the hair during the day in Ramadaan – it does not break the fast.”.

Can he taste coffee whilst fasting?

I work in a company that produces coffee. We often have to taste the coffee to compare the flavour and smell. I know that it is permissible to taste things whilst fasting, if you make sure that none of the drink enters the body. When I taste the coffee I try very hard to make sure that I do not swallow any amount, not even a small amount. But tasting coffee leaves a taste and smell in the mouth. Does tasting coffee whilst fasting invalidate the fast?.

ؤ Praise be to Allaah.  

If a fasting person needs to taste the food whilst fasting, there is nothing wrong with that, and it does not affect the fast so long as none of the food enters the throat of the fasting person. This applies equally to coffee and other things. 

If he tastes it without any need to do so, this is makrooh, but it does not invalidate the fast. 

Ibn ‘Abbaas said: There is nothing wrong with tasting what is being cooked or whatever. Narrated by al-Bukhaari in a mu’allaq report. 

Imam Ahmad said: I prefer that he should avoid tasting food, but if he does that it will not affect him and there is nothing wrong with that. Al-Mughni, 4/359. 

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said in al-Fataawa al-Kubra (4/474): 

Tasting food is makrooh if there is no need to do that, but it does not break the fast. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 356): Is the fast invalidated by tasting food?  

He replied: The fast is not invalidated by tasting food so long as one does not swallow it, but you should not do that unless there is a need for it; in that case if a little of it reaches your stomach by accident your fast is not invalidated. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/332): 

There is nothing wrong with a person tasting food during the day when fasting, when there is a need to so that, and his fast is valid if he does not deliberately swallow any of it. 

If the taste or smell remains, that does not affect the fast, so long as you do not deliberately swallow anything. 

Ibn Sireen said: There is nothing wrong with using a wet siwaak – i.e., when fasting. It was said: It has a flavour. He said: And water has a flavour, but you rinse your mouth with it. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (3/261): 

It is makrooh to taste food such as dates, bread and soup, unless there is a need to do that, in which case it is o.k. 

The reason for that is that some of this food may go down into the stomach without a person realizing, so tasting this food exposes him to spoiling the fast. Also he may be desiring the food a great deal, so he tastes it in order to enjoy it, and he may swallow it, then some of it goes down into his stomach. 

Examples of necessity are when a cook needs to see how salty or sweet the food is, and so on. 

Based on this: there is nothing wrong with tasting the coffee when you are fasting, because you need to do that. But you have to be very cautious and make sure that nothing reaches your stomach. 

And Allaah knows best.

Semen coming out during the day following intercourse at night – does this invalidate the fast?

After intercourse at night, some semen may come out of the vagina during the day. Does this invalidate the fast? Is it necessary to do ghusl in order to pray?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Firstly, if semen comes out during the day after intercourse at night, that does not invalidate the fast. We have been permitted to eat, drink and have intercourse from sunset until dawn comes. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As‑Sawm (the fasts). They are Libaas [i.e. body-cover, or screen, or Sakan (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with them)] for you and you are the same for them. Allaah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allaah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)…”

[al-Baqarah 2:187] 

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) have stated that if semen comes out during the day after having had intercourse at night, that does not invalidate the fast. 

It says in al-Jawharah al-Nayyirah (1/138), which is a Hanafi book: 

If a person who is having intercourse fears that dawn will come so he withdraws, then he emits semen after dawn, that does not break his fast. End quote. 

And it says in Haashiyat al-Dasooqi (1/523), which is a Maaliki book: 

If a person has intercourse at night and his semen is emitted after dawn, it seems that he does not have to do anything, as is also the case for one who puts on kohl at night then it reaches his throat during the day. End quote. It says something similar in Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel, 2/249. 

Al-Nawawi, whose madhhab was Shaafa’i, said in al-Majmoo’ (6/348): 

If a person has intercourse before dawn then he withdraws when dawn comes or straight after it comes, then ejaculates, that does not invalidate his fast, because it came as the result of permissible intimacy, so he does not have to do anything. The same applies if a man’s hand is cut off in a case of hadd punishment and he dies as a result (i.e., no one is responsible for his death). End quote. 


If a person has intercourse then does ghusl, then some semen comes out of him after doing ghusl, he does not have to do ghusl again, because the reason for that is one reason, so there is no need to do two ghusls. Rather he has to do ghusl if he ejaculates again as the result of renewed desire. 

This has already been discussed in the answer to questions no. 44945 and 12352. 

And Allaah knows best.

Ruling on swallowing one’s own saliva or that of someone else

What is the ruling on a person swallowing his saliva, because I noticed that many people in Ramadan spit a great deal to avoid swallowing their saliva, especially after rinsing their mouths during wudoo’. What is the ruling if the saliva comes from someone else such as his wife’s saliva? Please advise us, may Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Firstly : 

The laws of Islam are based on making things easier and on warding off unusual difficulty. Allaah says in the verses on fasting (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”

[al-Baqarah 2:185] 

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour to you that you may be thankful”

[al-Maa'idah 5:6] 

“and [Allaah] has not laid upon you in religion any hardship”


Hence if something is usually difficult to avoid and cannot be avoided, it does not affect the fast – which includes a person swallowing his saliva when fasting. 

Ibn Qudaamah said: 

What cannot be avoided, such as swallowing one’s saliva, does not invalidate the fast, because avoiding that is difficult. This is similar to dust on the road and the dust from flour. Even if a person lets saliva gather and swallows it deliberately, that does not invalidate his fast because it reaches his stomach in a similar way even if he does not let it gather. 

Al-Mughni, 3/16 

Similarly if he sticks out his tongue with saliva on it, then brings it back in and swallows what is on it (of saliva), that does not break his fast according to the more correct view, because however the tongue moves it is regarded as part of the inside of the mouth, the nature of which cannot change, so it does not matter what is on it (of saliva). 

Haashiyat Qalyoobi, 2/72. 


What the fasting person has to do after rinsing his mouth: 

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (6/327): 

Al-Mutawalli and others said: If the fasting person rinses his mouth he has to spit out the water, but he does not have to dry his mouth with a piece of cloth etc,. There is no scholarly dispute on this point. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: He does not have to spit even after drinking water when he hears the adhaan for Fajr. There is no report from the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) as far as we know to suggest that when a person drinks when dawn breaks he has to spit until the taste of the water disappears. Rather this is an area in which there is lenience. 

Al-Mumti’, 6/428. 

Those scholars who think that a person should spit after rinsing his mouth do not ask him to spit more than once after expelling the water from the mouth. The reason why they stipulate spitting is that the water is mixed with the saliva so it does not come out just from spitting it out. But they do not recommend going to extremes in spitting, because all that is left after that is simply wetness and moisture, and cannot be avoided.  

See al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 28/63 

But if anything else is mixed with the saliva that can be avoided, then it is essential to spit it out, then it will not matter if any trace of that is left after that, like a smell etc. This is like what is left from food after suhoor or small pieces that break off the siwaak, or bleeding that comes from the gums. See also questions no. 37745, 37937, 12597. 

Based on this, there is no justification for those who spit a great deal during Ramadaan except for being cautious to avoid something which it is not prescribed to be cautious about. This causes dryness in the mouth and makes them thirsty, and makes fasting difficult for them. It also causes them some hardship, especially if they are in places where spitting is not possible or they do not have any handkerchiefs etc with them. This may also cause them not to sit for long in the mosques to recite dhikr or read Qur’aan, so they miss out on these good deeds during this blessed month. 


With regard to swallowing his wife’s saliva, Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to swallowing the saliva of someone else, this invalidates the fast, because he is swallowing something that did not come from his own mouth, so it is likened to swallowing something else. If it is said that ‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to kiss her when he was fasting and suck her tongue (narrated by Abu Dawood, 2386), our response is that it was narrated from Abu Dawood that he said this isnaad is not saheeh. 

Among those who also classed the additional phrase “and suck her tongue” as weak (da’eef) is al-Albaani in Da’eef Sunan Abi Dawood. Ibn Qudaamah mentioned two ways of understanding the hadeeth if we assume that it is saheeh: 

1 – That the two matters are not connected. He said: It may be that he used to kiss her when fasting and suck her tongue at other times. 

2 – The hadeeth does not refer to swallowing saliva at all. He said: It may be that he sucked it (her tongue) but did not swallow the saliva, because the wetness on her tongue was not transferred to his mouth.

 Al-Mughni, 3/17 

Based on this, if neither spouse swallows the saliva of the other, the fast is not invalidated. 

But nevertheless, one spouse sucking on the tongue of the other comes under the general heading of things that lead to intercourse, and kissing and other things that lead to intercourse are forbidden if there is the fear that a person’s fast will be invalidated by ejaculation. But if he is confident that he can control himself then the correct view is that it is permissible but makrooh, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to kiss his wife whilst fasting. (Al-Bukhaari, 1927; Muslim, 1106) 

Al-Mumti’ 6/433. 

But he should guard his fast against anything that may detract from it, especially since these things are permitted during the night in Ramadaan. 

See also questions no. 20032 and 14315.