Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Ruling concerning copyright law

Assalamu Alaikum Mufti.

What is the ruling on copyright in Islam? If there’s a copyright image of Islamic reminders as well as Eid images..can I use the photo from the internet and edit it with addition/ subtraction to the design and have it printed for Islamic wall art designs for sale?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Many Scholars have accepted the ‘law of copyright’ and have stated that a person who has written something or created/made/invented something has a right to claim possession and ownership over the rights of its usage, which in reality refers to copyright.

As such, Islamic reminders in the form of images, photographs on the internet etc. which are copyrighted to their owners, cannot be edited, taken and used as a person’s property except that one has permission to do so. For such products, works etc. which are under copyright, one can only use it for one’s own purpose and for what it was meant for.

Without the owner’s permission, these products cannot be modified and sold or distributed. Therefore, it will not be permissible for you to use a copyrighted photo/image from the internet and edit it by adding to, or subtracting from the design, and then print it as an Islamic wall art for sale.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

I’m invited to a Hindu wedding of a relative. What do i do?

Asslaamu alaikum,

My Hindu cousin is getting married this weekend and my aunt insists that I come to the wedding. I know it is a Hindu wedding and it is totally haram to accept such invitation. I was advised that for the sake of keeping family ties I should at least show up before or after the wedding. Knowing this family I know that there will be a lot of music present during and after the wedding… What should I do in such a situation?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

In the case you have mentioned, you were not supposed to attend seeing that many haram activities would have been present.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

8/8/17.

Explaination on What is Zakaatul Fitr?

Assalaamu Alaikum, can you explain in detail zaakatul fitr and saadaqatul fitr. The difference, who can receive it, should it be food or money and if money how can there be a set rate. I am a little confused i have never heard anyone explain this.

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Zakaatul Fitr and Sadaqatul Fitr both refer to the same thing.  It is the charity that is given on account of the day of Eid Ul Fitr. This is why it is called Zakaah Al Fitr or Sadaqah Al Fitr.

Those who are poor and needy can receive it. It can be given in food and also in cash. If it is given in food, then the following can be given:

  • 1 Saa’a of dates or barley. This is based on the tradition of Abdullah Bin Umar (R.A) who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) prescribed the payment of Zakaat Ul Fitr of Ramadhan for people, for every freeman, or slave, male and female among the Muslims, one Saa of dried dates or one Saa of barley.’ (Muslim Hadith No.2149)
  • 1/2 Saa’a of wheat. This is based on the tradition of Abdullah Bin Umar (R.A) who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah prescribed the Sadqa of Ramadhan (Sadaqatul Fitr) one saa of dates or one saa of barley for every free man or a slave, male or female, and then the Muslims (Sahabahs and Tabieen), equalized (one saa of dates or barley) with half saa’a of wheat’. (Muslim – Hadith No. 2151).
  • 1 Saa’a of raisins, dried cottage cheese. This is based on the tradition of Abu Saeed Al Khudri (R.A) who said, ‘At the time of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) we used to give a saa of food on the day of Eid Ul Fitr.’ Abu Saeed then said, ‘And our food was barley, raisins dried cottage cheese and dates.’ (Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith no. 1408).

Based on the above, Sadaqatul Fitr can be given in dates, barley, raisins, cottage cheese, wheat and flour. The Scholars have stated in this regard, ‘If the staple food of a people is corn, pearl millet,  thin husk barley, rice or any grain on which Zakaat is obligatory then they may give it as Zakaat Al Fitr.’ (Al Umm).

With respect to the amount which must be given in these grains, many Scholars have stated that on behalf of a Muslim, one Saa’a of dates, barley, raisins, dried cottage cheese, wheat, corn or flour etc. will be given to the poor and needy. One Saa’a is equal to 2kg 174 grams or 43/4 lbs. According to many scholars, one Saa is equivalent to four full handfuls (of both hands) of grain; such handfuls being of an average size.

Other scholars have stated that if wheat is given, then half of a saa’a of wheat will be given, and if barley, raisin or dates is given then one saa’a will be given. According to these scholars, one saa’a is equal to 3kg 240 grams or 7lbs 2 ounces.

The preferred view is that one saa’a will be used as the measurement for any  grain or the staple food of any community since one saa’a has been clearly stated in authentic hadith for the calculation of Sadaqatul Fitr and it is of precaution. Also, according to some scholars, the usage of half a saa’a for wheat by the companions of the Prophet (S.A.S) was due to the reason that at that time, half of a saa’a of wheat was equal in value to one saa’a of other grains such as barley or dates or raisins.

Therefore, with the preferred view, 43/4 lbs or 2kg 174 grams of wheat, barley, raisins, dates, flour or any staple food etc. will be given as Sadaqatul Fitr on behalf of a Muslim individual.

With respect to paying Sadaqatul Fitr in money/cash, this is also permissible. The purpose of sadaqatul fitr is that this charity be given to the poor and needy so that it will be a help to them, particularly on the day of Eid so that they may also enjoy themselves and have sufficient to eat on this day. It also serves as purification for the giver against mistakes made while fasting.

Seeing that the Sadaqatul Fitr is to be given to help the poor and needy, consideration must be given to them so that they will not be in a state of want and deprivation. In our times, dates, raisins, barley, wheat is not from the staple foods that many people consume. Although these are used, they are not from the food/meals that people eat on a daily basis. Therefore, one needs to consider whether the above mentioned dry foods will help in satisfying the needs of the poor and needy today. In our times, fulfilling the needs of the poor and needy can be easily done with cash which they can use to purchase food and clothing on the day of Eid.

While shedding light on the above topic, the prominent Muslim economist Dr. Monzer Kahf writes, ‘Zakaatul Fitr can be paid in cash if cash is better from the point of view of the recipient poor.’

‘We have correct sayings by the Prophet (S.A.S) that the due Zakaat Ul Fitr is one saa’a of barley, dates, raisins, or dried yoghurt. These were common foods in Madinah and its surroundings. At the time of the companions (Sahabahs), wheat started to become a food item for the well-to-do families, and was a lot more expensive than barley. They estimated that one saa of barley is equivalent in value to half saa’a of wheat.’

‘Consequently, we have several reports from the time of the companions that they substituted value for the items that are mentioned in the saying of the Prophet (S.A.S).’

‘Ibn Taimiyah, one of the prominent Scholars of the early ninth century of Hijrah, argued that the payment of Zakaatul Fitr in cash in metropolitan area such as Damascus where he lived, is actually better for the poor.’

When the cash value is given in Sadaqatul Fitr, then it will be equivalent to one saa’a which is 43/4 lbs of wheat/flour.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

22/06/17.

What exactly does Makrooh Salaat mean?

Assalaamu Alaikum
I have seen few places you mentioned that salaah will be makrooh, like performing behind an Imam who shaves or clips his beard or jummah salaah is makrooh where khutba is in English.  What exactly does Makrooh Salaat mean? Does it mean there is no problem or is it a sin of some kind?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Makrooh means an act which is disliked/reprehensible. When the Imam/leader does an action which is reprehensible in Islam and is in opposition to the instruction of the Prophet (S.A.S), then he is considered to be sinful in that regard. For example, shaving/trimming the beard shorter than a fist length is going against the teaching of the Prophet (S.A.S). This instruction is not one which is deemed to be light, but it has been given the ruling of being Wajib by all the Imams of Fiqh. When the Imam leads a Salaah in this condition, then he is leading it in the state where he has violated a clear-cut, essential injunction given by the Prophet (S.A.S) and hence, considered as sinful.

For this reason, the Salaah which he leads is not in its best manner due to his condition. Though, it will be valid and accepted, it will still be affected on account of his state. Therefore, Makrooh salaah means that the salaah is not in its 100% best form due to the presence of something which is against the teachings of Islam. However, it will still be valid and accepted. It will not be a sinful Salaah.

And Allah knows Best.

Mufti Waseeem Khan.

Will a person who left out salah for some time need to repeat Shahadah?

Assalaam Alaikum,

If a person had stop praying for a considerable amount of time is he out of the fold of Islam. Only Allah swt can guide he comes back after years an starts to make tauba and starts back praying his daily prayer but before that he live a life of sin and disobedience to Allah swt would accept his tauba and prayers .Would he have to say the shahadah  again. Even if he had says he still believes is the truth.

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

If a person had stop praying for a considerable amount of time, but still considered himself to be a Muslim, then he is not out of the fold of Islam. He will still continue to be a Muslim, but will be guilty of a major sin. If he turns in sincere repentance to Allah, and earnestly begs for His forgiveness and begins to perform his daily prayers (Salah), then it is hoped that Allah will forgive him and accept his tauba and prayers. It is however, essential upon him to make up for all the Salah he missed in the past, and must make a firm resolve that he will not return to the sins which he committed in the past.

If he knew very well that he never gave up Islam and always had Iman (Faith) as a Muslim, then it will not be essential for him to say the Shahadah again. If he is doubtful on account of the sinful life he lived in the past, then he should say it again so that he can re-affirm his faith and submission to Allah.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

9/5/17.

Fatwa regarding dog and animals mentioned in the Quran

Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatul Allahi Wa Barakatuhu,

My question is about the issue of dogs that in the West are commonly kept as household pets. It is commonly believed that dogs are unclean and not pure but at the same time we have heard of narrations from the HADITH related to a woman who showed kindness and compassion to a dog and was blessed.

Can you please elaborate on this issue? Is it permissible to keep dogs as pets without any sound reason??Also, which animals are mentioned in the Quran with their specific attributes? Does Quran mention animals that boarded Prophet Noah (Peace be upon Him)’s Ark? Thank you so much for taking the time out to read this email and answering this issue. Your help and knowledge in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Dogs are unclean and not pure. The mouth of dogs and its saliva etc. are all impure. It is for this reason the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘When the dog drinks from one of  your utensil, then wash it seven times.’ In another tradition, the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘The purification of your utensil when the dog licks in it is that it should be washed 7 times, the first of which should be with clay/dirt.’ (Bukhari, Muslim).

Besides the issue of the impurity of the dog, there are authentic narrations in which the prohibition of keeping dogs as pets are established. In this regard, the Prophet (S.A.S) is reported to have said, ‘Whoever keeps a dog except for guarding/watching over the livestock or hunting, then everyday two qirat (of blessing) are decreased from his good deeds.’ (Bukhari, Muslim). In another tradition, the Prophet (S.A.S) is reported to have said, ‘Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures.’ (Bukhari, Muslim).

From the above narrations, it is clearly understood that a dog can be kept for guarding purposes, and can be used for hunting. However, keeping them as pets is not permissible.

With respect to the woman who was blessed on account of showing kindness to the dog, this was on account of her kindness and not specifically what the animal was. As Muslims, we are ordered to show kindness to all animals, not only to those that are halaal for us to consume. As such, when the woman showed kindness to the dog, Allah rewarded her for the act of kindness.

Many animals have been mentioned in the Quran for varying reasons. These include, monkey, mule, sheep, wolf, camel, lion, horse, cow, calf, snake, python, donkey, pig, dog, frog, elephant. The Quran has also mentioned birds and insects. These include the quail, mosquito, fly, honeybee, spider, locust, hoopoe, crow, ant, moths, flea. Some of these have been mentioned with attributes while others have not been mentioned. It all depends upon the reason for mentioning a particular animal, bird or insect.

The Quran does not mention the animals that boarded the ark of Noah (A.S). Instead, in Sura Huud verse 40 (Huud 11:40), mention is made about the order which came to Noah (A.S) regarding animals. About this, the verse states, ‘(So it was) till Our command came and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said, ‘Embark therein, of each kind, two (male and female), and your family except him against whom the Word has already gone forth and those who believe.  And none believed with him except a few.’ (Surah Huud, verse 40).

Based on this, it is evident that Noah (A.S) carried animals and birds, (males and females) on the ark when the flood was sent by Allah. However, there is a difference of opinion regarding what was carried on board the ark. Some scholars hold the opinion that a pair of every type of animal species on earth were brought together and put on board. Some have stated that it is possible that only animals living in the region where Noah’s people resided were taken on board. This is based on the opinion of those scholars who state that the flood took place only in the region where Noah and his people lived.

Some scholars also hold the opinion that it is possible that Noah was asked to take on board such animals like cows, sheep, horses, poultry, camels and the like, since these were the primary animals that would have been needed for establishing a new life in a region which would have lost a great deal of its livestock due to the flood.

These are opinions which have been given by different Scholars. The Quran and traditions however, do not specify what types of animals were placed on the ark.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

4/5/17.

Is it permissible to do Kendo Martial Arts?

Assalaamu Alaikum,

My son is 12 years old and is a practicing Muslim. He is also an accomplished martial artist and one of the country’s best junior athletes. He has won the Point Kickboxing Association of Trinidad and Tobago Athlete of the year for 3 consecutive years and is currently being trained to turn professional. My concern is that he was invited to an interview  for training by the National Kendo team of Trinidad and Tobago. Before I accept this prestigious offer I would like to know if it is permissible for him to do this sport. This is a great opportunity for him and for Muslim Youths in the country but his religion comes first and this sport involves some bowing. Can you please review this matter urgently? Is Kendo permissible for Muslims?

In Kendo or any Japanese Martial arts, one is required to bow. In fact, there are two bows, one is done at the start and the other is done at the end. This bowing (in Kendo) is sometimes done in the standing posture or the sitting posture and is done on all occasions. It is done to one’s opponent; to one’s teacher and to any other person of a higher rank. Although it has been stated that this bow is done to show respect to the other person, it will still be prohibited in Islam.

In this regard, there is an authentic narration from Anas Ibn Malik (R.A) in which he states, ‘A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, when one of us meets his friend, can he bow/bend to him?’ The messenger of Allah said, ‘No’. (Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2728). In this tradition, it is evident that the man asked about bowing/bending to another person out of respect or greeting, and the Prophet (S.A.S) informed him that he cannot do that. The hadith therefore, establishes the fact that even if one‘s intention is to greet another or to show respect, it is still prohibited in Islam.

The Kendo arts is permissible, however, bowing is not permissible. If your son is exempted from doing the ‘bow’, then he can go ahead with the Kendo. However, if he is required to do the ‘bow’, then he must refrain from it.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

27/04/17.

Can marijuana be used as a medicine/supplement?

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

Can a person use marijuana or such things as a prescription drug recommended by a doctor for the treatment of a certain sickness?

And can a person use marijuana or such things as a supplement for better health care like using vitamin and mineral tablets daily?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

Marijuana is not permissible to use just as it is not permissible to use intoxicants. Hence, when it becomes part of a drug/medication, then that drug/medication will be considered as having unlawful substance in it.

If a doctor recommends such medicine which comprises of unlawful substances, then he should be told by the Muslim patient that such medications are unlawful for him, and he should recommend another drug/medicine which is free from such substances. Today, there are countless drugs/medications available in the market which are free from unlawful substances. A Muslim is required to search and find out about such medications before turning to anything that contains unlawful substances.

If however, a person suffers from such a sickness/illness and no other medication/drug can cure such sickness except that which has some unlawful substance, then it will be permissible to use this to the extent of necessity when it has been officially prescribed by a genuine and reliable doctor as the only drug to help cure the sickness.

Seeing that marijuana is an illegal drug, it is highly unlikely that a doctor may recommend this to a patient. If he recommends it, then this cannot bring about an allowance to use it, since the doctor’s recommendation means that he is simply suggesting that it can be used or maybe helpful. A recommendation does not indicate that such a drug is the only thing to use and there is no alternative. One must therefore be careful in this matter.

It will be unlawful to use marijuana or any other similar haram/unlawful thing as a supplement for better health care. This does not bring about good health nor does it bring benefits to one’s health. It is very harmful to a person and hence, should not be used. There are many vitamin and mineral tablets that can be used which are lawful and permissible.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

11/01/17.

Can one eat Shrimp, crayfish etc.?

Assalamu Alaikum,

For a very long time, I was told that the consumption of crayfish, shrimp, etc. was Makrooh. However, recently, I have heard reports from persons stating it to be Haraam.  So my question is, what is the ruling of the consumption of the aforementioned foods? Lastly, I am being told that if someone is eating these foods, then can continue but if someone isn’t then shouldn’t start. Is this ideology correct and should it be followed?

 

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

Due to the fact that there are no clear and explicit traditions regarding these, there have been differences of opinion among the great Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. Their opinions are based on their thorough investigation and hence, accepted in the shariah.

According to Imam Malik (A.R.), Imam Shafi (A.R.) and Imam Ahmad (A.R.), all animals that are fully aquatic and can live only in water and not out of water are all lawful and permissible to consume. This includes fish, sea crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, shark, squids etc.

These Imams based their view on the verse of the Holy Quran which states, ‘Hunting of the sea and its food have been made lawful unto you’. (5: 96).

In contrast to this view, Imam Abu Hanifa (A.R.) considers only fish to be permissible and not other marine animals.

This view is based upon the hadith in which the Prophet (S.A.S.) said, ‘Two types of dead (carrion) are lawful for us, they are fish and locust’. (Recorded by Ahmad and Ibn Majah).

The hadith clearly shows that from among all the animals which die on their own (‘dead’, ‘carrion’) only two are permissible. They are: the fish and the locust.

Hence, anything which can be categorized as a ‘fish’ will be permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa.

While explaining what a fish is, marine biologists have stated, it is ‘an aquatic, cold blooded, gill breathing vertebrate with a two chambered heart’.

Based upon this definition, shrimp, lobster, sea crab, crayfish, squid, oyster etc. will not be considered as a ‘fish’ and hence, not permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifa.

With respect to the verse of the Holy Quran which was used by the other Imams, that is, ‘Hunting of the sea and its food has been made lawful unto you’ (5: 96). Imam Abu Hanifa states that the verse shows the allowance of the act of hunting and not the eating of all that can be hunted in the sea. As for what can be eaten, Imam Abu Hanifa states that the hadith of the Prophet (S.A.S.) informs us of this when it states, ‘Two types of dead are lawful for us, they are the fish and the locust’. (Ahmad, Ibn Majah).

With respect to the ruling of shrimp and crayfish, some scholars of the Madhab of Iman Abu Hanifa have considered it as a type of fish and have allowed its consumption. Some have not considered it as a fish and have not allowed it.

Based on this difference of opinion, many scholars have mentioned that it is allowed to eat shrimps, but it may be better to avoid it.

While giving the ruling on consuming shrimp, the great Hanfi Scholar, Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (A.R) writes, ‘If shrimp is a type of fish, then it is permissible just as Allama Damiri Shafi (A.R) has mentioned in his book Hayatul Haywan (which states that it is a very small fish which is red) and this is what has been mentioned in ‘Imdadul Fatawa.’ However, if it is not a type of fish, then it will not be permissible, just as it is mentioned in Fatawa Rasheediya.’

‘In ‘Majmoo’atul Fatawa, the two opinions are given about it. It is mentioned that shrimp is unlawful to eat according to some Scholars since it is not like a fish. For us (Hanafis), only the different types of fishes are allowed from the hunt of the sea, and the shrimp is not like that (a fish). Some Scholars however, have stated that it is lawful because it is called a fish.’ (Majmoo’atul Fatawa, Vol. 2, Pg. 297, Saeed H. M. Company, Karachi).’

Mufti Mahmood (A.R) further writes, ‘In ‘Tazkiratul Khaleel’ its ruling is given as not being permissible to consume, and this is the preferred opinion.’

‘Also, when some Scholars have ruled that it is unlawful, then refraining from it is better than consuming it. This is in line with the guidance of the Prophet (S.A.S) in which he said, ‘Leave off that which is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful.’ (Musnad Ahmad) (Fatawa Mahmoodiya, Vol. 18, Pgs. 212, 213, Idara Al Farooq, Karachi 2009).

The ruling of crayfish is the same as that of shrimp.

With regards to the statement that it is Makrooh to eat shrimp, this is only on account of the conflicting evidence regarding it. Because of this, some Scholars have chosen not to consider it as unlawful like others, but have adopted the view that it is makrooh. They have stated that it cannot be called haram since there is evidence which shows that it is a type of fish.

As for the statement, ‘if you are eating these, then continue and if one is not eating these, then one should not start.’ Then in my humble opinion, this is not the approach that one should adopt in this or any similar matter.

One should instead, look at the research of the most reliable and knowledgeable Hanafi Scholars in this matter and adopt that opinion which corresponds to the most updated and sound investigation done by the experts of this field (who are reliable marine biologists).

Seeing that almost all marine biologists have stated that shrimp is not considered as a type of fish, then this must be accepted.

The difference among the Scholars here, is whether a shrimp is a fish or not. Thus, when this is proven through science by the experts of this field, then their statement should be accepted, and upon this, the Scholars should give their rulings.

Therefore, based on the research of experts done before, many of our past Hanafi Scholars have already issued the fatawa that one should refrain from consuming shrimp based on the fact that it is not a fish. This should be adopted by those who follow the Madhab of Imam Abu Hanifa.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

8/12/16.

Is the Accused is Innocent until Proven Guilty

What is in the principle: The Accused is Innocent until Proven Guilty, can you explain the rule of Sharī’ah about that: It is the plaintiff who should provide the evidence, and the oath is obliged on the one that contests?

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

In a tradition, it is narrated from Abdullah Bin Abbas (R.A) that the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘If people were given according to their claims, then some would claim the wealth and blood of others. However, the burden of proof is upon the claimant and taking the oath is upon the one who denies.’ (Baihaqi who considers it as Hasan (Good).

From this hadith, the principle of a person is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ can be derived. It tells us that if someone makes a claim against you, then you will be given the benefit of the doubt until he brings evidence to prove that you are guilty of what he accuses you of.

The claim made by the plaintiff cannot be accepted until the defendant is questioned about it. Where the defendant denies the claim, the plaintiff will be ask for his evidence/proof of the claim. If he cannot provide his proof, then the defendant will be ordered to take the oath that the claim against him is not true. When this is done, the matter is ruled in his favour.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

23/11/16.