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WHAT DOES ISLAM SAYS ABOUT CULTURES AND CUSTOMS?

QUESTION:

As Salaamu Alaykum
What does Islam says about cultures and customs?
because some People says Culture and Customs are Islamic,but how can that be ? because some of them are comming from the Hindus like some customs(are they Halal?) in marriage and other thinks.
Can you please give me are answer to my questions.

ANSWER:

Wa Alaikum As Slaam,

Culture and customs that are Un-Islamic, and are against the teachings of Islam, are not acceptable in Islam and cannot be practiced. However, those that do not violate or oppose the teachings of Islam will be acceptable and accommodated in Islam. Therefore, if an act has become the culture of the people or has become a custom, but there is a ruling of the Shariah which states that it is not permissible, then that will not be allowed in Islam and cannot be practiced.

If however, there is no ruling of impermissibility or prohibition, then if there is good in it, it can be practiced by Muslims, and if there is bad in it, it must be avoided.

And Allah Knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan

28/11/2017

What is Taqleed? Why follow an Imam?

Taqleed literally means to follow, and according to the technical meaning used in the Shariah, it means ‘to follow someone in what he says, considering it to be the truth, without looking into the evidence for it’. (Baghwi)
Based on the above meaning, we find that in reality, all Muslims do Taqleed knowingly or unknowingly. The reason for this is clearly seen from the conduct of all Muslims. Almost all Muslims rely on one Scholar or the other. They take their advice and adopt their rulings. All these are done without even knowing the evidence for the ruling. Whether Muslims accept a particular Alim/Shaikh or another, they cannot escape the fact that they rely on the opinions of a person and accept it even though they are not aware of the evidences for the said opinions.

This act of following/ accepting a Scholar’s opinion can be more easily understood when we see that most of the Muslims are not Scholars of Islam nor have they studied any sort of Islamic teachings. Most of them are engrossed in their private jobs and occupation and spend absolutely no time in acquiring a sound Islamic education. Although some may be practicing Muslims, yet they do not get involved in formal studies. As such, we see that most of the Muslims are not aware of Hadith Studies, Quranic Studies, and Islamic Jurisprudence, etc.

However, notwithstanding their ignorance (of most of the Sciences of Islamic learning), they are nevertheless devout and practicing Muslims who continue to fulfil and abide by the teachings of Islam. This, they are able to do on account of their acceptance and adherence to the teachings given by scholars whom they have accepted as their Ulama. Hence, whenever they are confronted with any situation, they refer to their Scholars and do not question the authenticity and soundness of the opinions and advise which have been given.

Almost all Muslims in the world, Scholars and non Scholars find themselves in the above situation. As for the Muslim who is not a Scholar, he places his trust and reliance on a Scholar and then accepts his opinion, teachings, explanations and advice.

As for the Muslims who are Scholars, they are totally dependant on the Scholars of the earlier generations of the Salafus Saaliheen, for their understanding of the sciences of Islam. As a Scholar, one accepts their rulings, explanations and opinions and also gives his verdicts upon their statements. In this way, he (the Islamic Scholar) finds himself following other Scholars, and he knows to himself that he cannot escape this. As such, regardless of what one may say against Taqleed, he must also do it, since there is no other way of understanding the teachings of Islam except through the way of accepting and following the explanations given by the Salafus Saaliheen from among the Sahabahs, Tabi’uun and Tabut Tabieen.

It is on account of this reality, we find that even those who condemn Taqleed, are forced to quote statements of ‘Ibn Katheer,’ ‘Imam Bukhari’, ‘Imam Muslim’, ‘Ibn Taimiya’, ‘Ibn Qayyim’, ‘Imam Barbaharee’, ‘Imam Ahmad’, ‘Sheikh Albani’ etc, etc…

The mere fact that a person may quote any of the above name as a proof for what he says, shows that he is using the name (quoted) as an authority and evidence. It therefore means, that he relies and places his trust upon a certain Scholar and follows what he has said. In many cases, the one quoting such names (as a proof) do not understand or even investigate the evidence for such statements. Instead, he simply relies upon the name of the Scholar, accepting his opinion to be sound. This, in reality is Taqleed. It’s simply a matter of following someone who others are not following. Therefore, this act of condemning Taqleed is based on ignorance and arrogance, and out of mere obstinacy, for certainly, a person finds himself doing Taqleed and is totally dependant upon it.

From this explanation, it can be seen that basically, every Muslim does Taqleed. It is simply a matter of who he may choose to follow. There are some Muslims who may not adhere or adopt the Mazhab of Imams Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi or Ahmad bin Hambal, but yet, they adhere to the opinions and teachings of Hafiz Taimiya and Hafiz Qayyim. So in reality they are also doing Taqleed (following). Some may reject the practice of Taqleed, but yet, may listen and follow what a certain Sheikh may say or write. This itself is Taqleed and they are also involved in doing Taqleed even though they may not accept it.

Taqleed therefore, is one which is done by every Muslim and no one can escape it. It is not something which is newly invented, nor has it been condemned in Islam. Instead, it is one which is encouraged in Islam and the Holy Quran and the Sunnah bears ample testimony to this.

In this regard, Allah commands the Muslims in the following manner, ‘O those who believe! Obey Allah and obey His Messenger and those in authority over you’. (Quraan 4:59). Here (in this verse), Allah Has commanded the believers to obey Him. He has also commanded them to obey His Messenger, Muhammad (SA), and He has ordered them to obey those who are in authority. The verse makes it abundantly clear that all Muslims must be obedient to Allah, to His Messenger (SA) and to those who are in authority.

With respect to who are ‘Those in authority’, the great commentators of the Holy Quran from among the Sahabah, the Tabi’uun and those after them, have stated that ‘those in authority’ in this verse means the Fuqaha (the Jurists of Islam). This is the explanation given by Jabir bin Abdullah (RA), Abdullah bin Abbas (RA), Mujahid (RA), Ata bin Abi Rabah (RA), Ata bin Sa’ib (RA), Hassan Basri (RA), Abul Aliyah (RA) and many others from the Salafus Saaliheen (Pious Predecessors). (Tafseer ibn Jareer)

Based upon this explanation, it therefore means that Allah has issued a command in this verse of Sura An Nisa, informing the Muslims that they must obey the Fuqaha ‘Islamic Jurists’ who have been given a degree of authority over them. The reason for this command is quite clear, since the Fuqaha are those who have been endowed with the knowledge and the understanding of the religion of Allah (Al Islam).

As such, (with their understanding and knowledge) they are able, to teach and explain the laws of Islam. They are able to guide the Muslims with respect to halal and haram, and are able to issue verdicts on many matters. When this is done, it becomes imperative upon the Muslims to listen and obey them, and to follow their guidelines since it is all connected to Allah and His Messenger (SA).

It is for this reason, Allah has commanded the believers in the above mentioned verse to obey the Islamic Jurists, who, according to the commentators are the ones in authority. It should be noted that obedience comes about only by following, and there is no law mentioned in this verse which tells the Muslims that they must know the evidence for a certain issue before they obey. The verse, rather, is straight, explicit and simple, in that it commands the Muslims to obey those who are in authority (that is, the Fuqaha-Islamic Jurists).

In another verse, Allah says, ‘Ask those of knowledge, if you do not know’. (An Nahl: 43; Al Ambiya: 7) In this verse, Allah Has commanded those who do not possess knowledge to ask those who possess it. Obviously, asking is done in order to follow and obey. As such, when the Muslims seek advice or ask the religious Scholars questions, they are required to accept the answers and follow what have been told to them. So in reality, the act of asking questions brings about the act of ‘following’.

It is therefore clear from this verse, that Allah by commanding the believers to ask the Scholars (who are endowed with knowledge) of the things that they do not know about, is in reality ordering them to follow the Scholars in the answers they give.

So what is evident from these verses and explanations is that the act of following ‘scholars’ and ‘knowledgeable people’, (which in essence is the concept of Taqleed) is one which is not only encouraged in the Holy Quran, but it is also a requirement of a Muslim. It is for this reason, the scholars of the early and latter generations have all accepted Taqleed and have encouraged the Muslims to do Taqleed. In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Taimiya has written in his Fatawa that it is the agreement of the scholars that Ijtihaad (deductions) is permissible and Taqleed is permissible. Ijtihaad is permissible for that person who has the ability to do it and Taqleed is for that person who cannot do Ijtihaad’.

Allama Baghwi has also written, ‘It is essential for a person who does not possess the qualifications for Ijtihaad to do Taqleed’. The great scholar, Khateeb Al Baghdadi writes: ‘As far as the Islamic rules are concerned, there are two types. The first are those which are known by necessity to be a part of the Deen of the Prophet (SA) like Salaah, Zakaah, Fasting etc. Taqleed is not allowed in these issues since they are such that everyone should know and understand (that is, every Muslim is required to know that these are compulsory and hence, must obey the commandments of Allah). The second type are those rules which need to be understood and explained, such as the details of the rituals of worship, transactions, etc. Taqleed is allowed in these issues since Allah says, “Ask those of knowledge, if you do not know”. (Nahl verse 43)

Based on the above quotations, we see that the scholars have made two divisions. One is with respect to those who can do Ijtihaad, and the other is with respect to those who must do Taqleed. Ijtihaad, as explained by the pious predecessors, is the process of extracting laws from the four basic sources of the Shariah, namely, the Quran, the Sunnah, Ijma (Concensus of opinion) and Qiyas (analogy based on explicit rulings of the Quran and Sunnah). A Mujtahid is therefore a scholar who is qualified to do Ijtihaad.

As explained before, Taqleed technically means to accept the view of a Mujtahid in issues of Islamic law, without seeking to know the proof thereof, on the belief that the views are based on legitimate evidences of the Shariah. Thus, a Muqallid (follower) is one who ascribes to the Taqleed of a Mujtahid, because he lacks the qualifications to perform Ijtihaad.

It should be understood that ‘Following (making Taqleed) of an Imam or a Mujtahid does not entail believing the Mujtahid to be an independent source of law, who has to be followed in totality. Rather, the idea is that the Quran and Sunnah be followed as it is understood by the great scholars of the past, whose understanding, knowledge and authenticity has been accepted by the Ummah.

The Imam/Mujtahid whose opinion is followed is regarded as an interpreter and not a law maker. The only reason a person follows an Imam/Mujtahid is because of the conviction that the Mujtahid has great knowledge and understanding of the Quran and Sunnah, (which he, the follower does not possess) through which the Imam/Mujtahid is able to understand their meanings. In this regard, the follower has relied upon the Imam’s opinion/verdict/ruling.

Taqleed therefore, facilitates the following of the Quran and Sunnah. It is to be noted also that Taqleed existed during the time of the Sahabahs (RA) (Companions), where many of them would follow the most knowledgeable among them and adhere to his opinions, rulings and explanations. This act of following was so strong that they would not accept the opinions which contradicted the rulings/fatawas of that person whom they followed.

It is therefore clear, that ‘Taqleed’ conforms to the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah and hence, has been encouraged by the scholars of the former and latter generations. While some have strongly encouraged the Muslims to do it, many great Scholars from the Salaafus Saliheen and the latter generations have stated that it is essential for Muslims to do Taqleed. This, they explain, is in order to protect one’s religion and to save one self from practicing upon the opinions of Scholars to one’s convenience. It is generally seen , that those who do not do Taqleed, ‘pick’ and ‘choose’ opinions (of Scholars) at random. Whatever suits their desires are normally adopted, without having any strong evidence to support (their actions). Sometimes an Imam’s/Scholar opinion is accepted in a certain issue, but the same Scholar/Imam is rejected in another issue.

Due to the fact that one is not disciplined in Knowledge, he finds himself roaming from one Scholar to the other, from one opinion to the other, until he finds that which is convenient and acceptable to him. It is strange to know that those guilty of these practices are not from among the learned, instead, they are those who have no formal Islamic education and are not even qualified to give an opinion in Shariah matters.

About this, the great Muhaddith Shah Waliyullah (RA) writes, ‘The Ummah has unanimously agreed upon the validity of following one of the four Schools of thought which has been organized and documented. There are many obvious benefits in this, especially today where determination has dwindled, where desires have penetrated our consciousness and gloating with one’s opinion is seen as a virtue’. (Al Insaaf)

About the attitude of those who continue to attack the following of an Imam/Mujtahid, thereby choosing opinions at random, the great Scholar of Hadith, Sheikh Siddiq Hassan writes, ‘There has arisen in this era, a party who do their actions for fame and to show others. They call themselves people of Hadith and Quran, and they claim to have perfect knowledge, actions and recognition of the Shariah.

So how strange is this! That they call themselves people of Tauheed, who are sincere, and brand others as Unbelievers and Mushrik, while they themselves are worst of all people, with respect to partisanship and the worst of all in exceeding the bounds of deen’. (Al Hittatu fi Zikr Sihah As Sittah pg. 67,68).

The great and renowned Scholar, Khateeb Al Baghdadi also writes, ‘As for those who should do Taqleed, they are those who do not know the methods of extracting Islamic rules. These people should follow one specific Imam and act upon his ruling. This is so because they do not posses the tools for Ijtihaad’. (Al Faqeeh Wal Mutafaqih).

WHILE PRAYING SALAATUL TASBEEH AND ZAWAAL COMES IN IS SALAAH VALID?

QUESTION:
ASSALAMOALIKUM
MUFTI SAHIB
I WILL WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF SOMEONE IF PRAYING SALATUL TASBEEH AND ZAWAL TIME COMES IN,WILL HIS SALATUL TASBEEH BE VALID .
AND IF ZUHR STARTS AT 12 05 HOW MUCH MINUTES BEFORE AND AFTER ZAWAL TIME SHOULD BE OBSREVED BEFORE ZUHR TIME COMES IN.
WAS -SALAM
Answer:

Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
If someone is performing Salaatul Tasbeeh, and Zawaal time comes in (upon him) while he is still in Salaat, then his Salaah will be invalid (and broken).
Regarding this, the following is written in the famous book of Fiqh, Al Hidaya. It states:-
‘Salaah’ is not permissible at the time of the rising of the sun, at the time of Zawaal and at the time of the setting of the sun. This is based on the Hadith of Uqba bin Amir (RA) in which he said, ‘Three timings are such that the Prophet (SAS) has prohibited us from performing Salaah and burying our (dead) (that is, Salaatul Janaza) in them (i.e. in these three timings). These are, at the rising of the sun until it rises, and at Zawaal until the sun leans and moves (on one side) and when the sun sets.’ (Muslim) (Al Hidaya vol.1 pg. 82).
While commenting on the above text, many of the Fuqaha (jurists) have stated that the above prohibition includes the Farz Salaah and the Nafl (optional) Salaah. (Fathul Qadeer).
Based on this, it means that your Salaatul Tasbeeh will be invalid, and you will need to repeat it at a proper time.
If one wishes to perform optional Salaah before Zawaal, then he should stop a few minutes before the actual Zawaal time (say about 5 minutes). After Zawaal, a person should wait for about 5 minutes before he begins the Zuhr Salaah.

And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan
8/10/2011

When to perform sajda tilawah

Question:
Assalaamu Alaikum i would like to find out if u can read out the holy quran and then make the 14 sajad or when u reach each sajad u have to make it same time. Please explain in detail Jazakallah.

Answer:
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
Making the Sajda of tilawah (Sajda of recitation )is Wajib when the relevant verses of Sajda are recited. The practice of the Prophet (SA) was that of making a Sajda when he recited the verse of Sajda, and this was the practice that became established as the Sunnah. However, seeing that delaying the Sajda is permissible, it means that if one makes the Sajda after the complete recitation of the Quran, it will be permissible when this was done outside Salaah. The best however, is that one should do the Sajda as soon as he recites the verse of Sajda.
If the verse of the Sajda was recited in Salaah, then one will have to perform the Sajda while in Salaah
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan
17/08/2011

Salaatul Istikarah

Question:
Assalaamu Alaikum,
I would like to know how to pray Salaatul Istikarah? Please explain in detail. Also give the dua for it.

Answer:
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
With respect to Salaatul Istikharah, it is important that one understands the concept of Istikharah and what it can be done for.
Istikharah means ‘seeking that which is good’ or ‘seeking that which is best’.
The underlying objective of Istikharah is that a servant should seek Allah’s guidance and goodness before undertaking any matter.
Istikharah (Salaatul Istikharah) should be done in such matters which are permissible and allowed in Islam. Its purpose is to remove doubt from one’s heart in doing a certain task. Hence, if one is doubtful in his mind about doing or ‘not doing’ an action from among two permissible actions, then he must do Salaatul Istikharah so that his doubt regarding one can be remove, and his heart can be firm upon the other one.
It should be noted that Istikharah cannot be done regarding matters that are unlawful in Islam. Similarly, Istikharah is not done in such matters which Allah Has made essential upon the Muslims. It is only done in permissible actions in which ‘doing it’ and ‘not doing it’ are both allowed in Islam.
Regarding Istikharah, the Prophet (SAS) is reported to have said, ‘When anyone of you intends to undertake an important affair then let him perform two rakaats (of optional Salaah), and then say,
‘ Allahumma Inni Astakheeruka be ilmika.
Wa As’aluka min Fadhlikal Azeem.
Fa innaka Taqdiru wa la Aqdiru.
Wa talamu wa laa A’lamu.
Wa anta Allaamul Ghuyub.
Allahumma in kunta Ta’lamu
Anna Hazal Amr khairun li fi Deeni
Wa Ma’ashi wa Aa qibati Amri.
Faqdir’hu li wa yassirhu li.
Thumma Barik li fihi.
Wa in kunta Ta’lamu
Anna Hazal Amr Sharrun li fi deeni
Wa Ma’aashi wa Aaqibiti amri.
Fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir li Al khair haithu kana
Thumma Ardhini bihi.

MEANING: O Allah, I ask You the good through Your Knowledge and I ask You to grant me ability through Your Power and beg Your favour out of Your infinite bounty. For surely, You have power and I have none. You know all and I know not. You are the Knower of all that is hidden. O Allah, if, in Your knowledge, this matter be good for my faith, my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs in the world and the hereafter, then ordain it for me and make it easy for me and bless me therein. But if, in Your knowledge, this matter be bad for my faith, my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs in the world or the hereafter, then turn it away from me, and turn me away therefrom and ordain for me the good wherever it be and cause me to be pleased therewith.(Recorded by Bukhari).

It is mentioned that the above Salaah (2 rakaats) should be performed after the Isha Salaah. In the first rakaat, after Sura Faatiha, one should recite Sura Kafiroon and in the second rakaat, one should recite Sura Ikhlas.

After performing the Salaah, one should make the dua with full concentration and attention and place his request and need before Allah. In making this dua, it is not essential that one says it in the Arabic language. If it is difficult for one to say it in the Arabic, then one can say it in his own language.

After this, one should go to bed in a state of Tahara (purification such as being in the state of wuzu) and should turn towards the Qibla while sleeping. If one is reciting the dua in Arabic, then when he reaches the words “Haazal Amr’, he should make the intention of his need. If one is making the dua in English, then when he reaches the words ‘O Allah, if, in your knowledge, this matter be good for my faith’, he should make intention of his need. (That is, he must focus on the matter/need for which he is making Istikharah (in his mind and heart).

After making Salaatul Istikharah, it is not necessary that one gets a dream, as a guideline. It is also not necessary that if one gets a dream regarding the affair, it is on account of the Istikharah. This may not be so.
After making Istikharah, whatever matter the heart becomes firm on, or is satisfied upon, then one should chose that. It is possible that this firmness of the heart comes on account of a dream. One should continue to make Istikharah until his heart becomes settled on a matter. (Raddul Muhtar- Fatawa Haqaniya vol.3 pg.262; Kitabul Fatawa vol.2 pg.382).

And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan
5/10/2011

virtures of Surah Yaseen; and the permissiblity of zikr and reciting Darood

Question:
In trying to seek additional knowledge in my deen I often look at lectures on Youtube from various Scholars. Please find hereunder a link from one of the lectures with regards to the recitation of Surah Yaseen to derive certain benefits. Can you kindly advice me if this is authentic as many muslims including myself have been taught like the brother said to recite Surah Yaseen for various reasons and if this should not be done I would like to know please.
Also can you tell me the daleel in reciting Allah’s names a certain number of times again to derive certain benefits like saying Ya Wahab 1000 times for whatever needs you may have as Wahab means Bestower and other such names for different things.
In addition what is the daleel for reciting darood for certain benefits say like a 1000 times for increase in baraka.
Jazakallah

Answer:
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
Sura Yaseen is a very blessed Sura which has many virtues and benefits in it. Some of these are:-
1) Maqal bin Yasar (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAS) said, ‘Sura Yaseen is the heart of the Quran. Whoever recites it for the sake of Allah and for goodness in the hereafter, then he will be forgiven. Recite it upon your deceased ones’. (Recorded by Nasai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Hibban who says it is Saheeh (Sound). Recorded also by Ahmad and Hakim who says it is Saheeh (Sound).
2) In the Hadith of Anas (RA), it is recorded that whoever recites it (Surah Yaseen) one time, it is like reciting the Quran ten times’. (Recorded by Tirmizi).
3) In the Hadeeth of Jundub (RA), it is narrated that whoever recites it at night, seeking Allah’s pleasure, then he will be forgiven’. (Recorded by Ibn Hibban and Ibn Sunni).
4) Abu Darda (RA) narrates that whoever recites Sura Yaseen close to a dying person, then his death will be an easy one. (Recorded by Ad-Dailami and Ibn Hibban)
5) Abdullah bin Zubair (RA) narrates that whoever recites Surah Yaseen for any specific need, then it shall be fulfilled’. (Tafseer Al Mazhari).
6) It is narrated in the tradition of Harith bin Abu Umama that whoever recites Surah Yaseen, then if he is in fear, he will gain peace and safety. If he is sick, he will be cured. If he is starved, Allah will nourish him’. (Ad-Daa’i wad Dawaa).
7) In the narration of Ata (RA), it is reported that the Prophet (SAS) said, ‘whoever recites Sura Yaseen at the beginning of the day, then he will be in ease and goodness until the evening. And whoever recites it in the evening, the he will be in ease and goodness until the next morning’. (Recorded by Ad Darimi with a Sound Sanad).

With respect to reciting Allah’s names to invoke His blessings and assistance, this is permissible. However, reciting a specific name for a fixed number of times (as you have mentioned) is not evident in traditions (according to what we have read). Nevertheless, they are not empty of blessings and good results. It is possible that such practices can be from among the experiences of pious scholars of the past. In a similar manner, there are many benefits in reciting different daroods which are recorded in authentic books. However, doing it in a manner which you have described, is not evident from the traditions (according to our knowledge).

And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan
04/10/2011

correcting a mistake while lead by an Imam

Question:
Salaams! How does one correct a mistake during fard Salaat with Jamaat? Eg. sitting in tashahood instead of rising in qiyam whilst in the first rakaat. Please verify.

Answer:
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
If it is the Imaam who has made a mistake in the Salaat, then he must accept the correction given by the Muqtadi (when he hears Allahu Akbar or Subhaanallah from the Muqtadi). He will then go to the correct position and then make the two Sajdah of forgetfulness at the end of the Salaat.
If it is the Muqtadi who makes the mistake while performing Salaat behind the Imaam, then he would simply continue to follow the Imam in all his actions. The Muqtadi is not allowed to make the 2 extra Sajda of forgetfulness (on his own without his Imaam).
If he does this, then he will be opposing the Imam which is not allowed.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan
03/10/2011

Hadith One

The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent to me is like abundant rain falling on the earth’ (Bukhari).

‘There is no worse calamity for knowledge and its people than when outsiders intrude. They are ignorant, but presume to know. They cause trouble, yet think that they are helping.’ (Imam Ibn Hazm (AR).