Inheritance for muslims and non-muslims

Question

 I have studied the subject of meerath and I know that inheritance cannot be given to people of different religions. However I would still like to know if a deceased person leaves a muslim wife and/or children, non muslim parents and siblings, is the estate of the deceased supposed to be divided between the wife and/or children alone since the parents and siblings are not muslims? Can the parents and siblings receive anything?


Answer

 Yes, the estate of the deceased Muslim will be divided among the Muslim wife and children alone in this case. Parents and siblings who are non-Muslims will not inherit. In this regard, the Prophet (SAS) said, ‘A Muslim cannot inherit from a kafir and a kafir cannot inherit from a Muslim’. (Sunan Ibn Majah pg. 195)

Parents and siblings who are not Muslims could have received some thing from the deceased Muslim when he was alive. In this case they could have received gifts while he was alive. Now that he has passed away, they will not be able to inherit anything, except that he has made a will to the extent of 1/3 of the total estate for them.

If none of the above was done, then it is permissible for you, as the wife of the deceased, to give something out of your inheritance as a gift to the non-Muslim parents and siblings.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Working as an actuary

Question

 I am considering studying Actuarial Science in Waterloo, Canada. I would like to know if it is Haram to work as an actuary in an insurance company. Furthermore, if it is haraam to work in an insurance company, why? Also then, is it haraam to work in a non-insurance company as an actuary? For example if I were to work as a consultant or in a utilities company like T&TEC.


Answer

 It will not be permissible to work as an actuary in an insurance company. The reason for this is that an insurance company is engaged in interest based transactions which are totally haram in Islam.

It is allowed and permissible to work in a non-insurance company like T&TEC etc., however, it should not be in the Insurance Dept. of the company.

An Actuary is one who calculates insurance risks and premiums, and the scholars have stated that all forms of conventional insurances are based on interest and uncertainty. Hence, while working in the company’s insurance department you will be required to calculate figures based on interest as well as uncertainty which are both forbidden in Islam. If you are not in this department then working for such utilities company will be permissible.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Recitation of Surah Mulk

Question

Do we have to recite Surah Mulk after magrib or after isha for protection against tortures of the grave?


Answer

 The virtues which have been mentioned are given general in the hadith. For example Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘Certainly there is a Sura in the Holy Quran which is of thirty verses. It interceded for a person until it took him out from the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement and entered him in Paradise, and this sura is sura Tabarak (Sura Mulk)’. (Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah, Ahmad. Hakim has recorded it and has stated that it is Saheeh, Imam Tirmizi says it is Hasan (good)).

In another hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Abbas (R.A), the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘I wish that Tabarakalazi bi yadihil Mulk (Sura Mulk) should be in the heart of every believer’. (Hakim, Tabrani).

Other narrations have also been recorded which show that a fixed time has not been given. However, there is an authentic narration from the great companion, Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) who said, ‘Whoever recites Sura Mulk every night, then through it Allah will protect him from the punishment of the grave. During the time of the Prophet (S.A.S) we used to name it ‘the Sura that protects,’ and it is a Sura of the book of Allah. Whoever recites it every night, then he has done very good’. (Amalul Yawm Wal Laila – Imam Nasaa’i).

Based on this tradition, it shows that one will get the blessings/ benefits of reciting Sura Mulk anytime during the night whether it is after Magrib or after Isha.

There is however, another hadith narrated by Jabir (R.A) which states that the Prophet (S.A.S) did not go to sleep until he recited Alif Lam Mim Sajdah and Tabarakalazi biyadihil Mulk (Sura Mulk). (Tirmizi).

Based on this the scholars have stated that Sura Mulk be recited after the Isha Salaah.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Statements about predictions

Question

 I have a question about predictions. If someone asks me when computers will replace the way we work or in our daily lives, if I answer 5-10 years as a guess or estimate, and the questioner agrees with me, is this considered acting like a soothsayer, in terms of predicting the future?


Answer

 No, this does not fall under ‘predictions’ and it is not like soothsaying. Your statement is based on your experience and it is permissible to use such statements.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Jinns marrying humans

Question

Can jinns get married to humans? What is the relation between shaitan and the jinns?


Answer

No, Jinns cannot get married to humans.

Shaitan is that type of jinn that are totally disobedient to Allah. They are from the children of Iblees. (Luqtul Marjaan Fi Ahkaamil Jaan – by Allama Jalaludeen Suyootee)

In Sura Al Kahf (18) verse 50, Allah says about Iblees (satan): ‘He was from the jinns’.

Jinns is a species which Allah created 2000 years before Adam and they were made to live on the earth. Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) states, ‘The jinns used to live on the earth and the angels resided in the heavens’. (Luqtul Marjaan – Suyootee)

The Jinns were created long before Adam (A.S) from fire. Allah says, ‘And the Jinns, we created them from before from fire’. (Sura Al Hijr (15) verse 27)

So, Shaitaan and Jinns are all from the same species, however, Shaitaan is one type of jinn that are extremely wicked and disobedient to Allah.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Banning someone from the Masjid

Question

 Recently in our masjid, a few sisters created havoc when they started to raise their voices in a loud tone. They insulted other Muslims, and disrupted the entire Juma Khutba and Salaah. What are the guidelines of the shariah regarding them and their behaviour?

Answer

 The Masjid is the house of Allah which He Has made Sacred and Holy, and a place where believers visit in order to worship Allah with full devotion and dedication. It is therefore, compulsory upon all Muslims to uphold its sanctity and holiness, and conduct themselves in a manner that conforms to the sacredness of this Holy place. Form among those etiquettes which are required for Muslims, is that they do not raise their voices in quarrels, disputes and arguments in the house of Allah. All of these are totally Haram(unlawful) in Islam.

Violence, condemning one another, laying false allegations and attacking others with words and threats are all Haram (unlawful) in the precincts of the Masjid. No one is allowed to behave in this manner, whether male or female, young or old. Those who conduct themselves in this manner, are in reality creating mischief and confusion in the masjid and are guilty of committing acts of grave disrespect to the house of Allah. They are thus, violating the law and command of Allah which He Has given regarding the respect and esteem that is due to a masjid. Muslims who behave in this manner must be spoken to, and strongly advised to refrain from such behaviour in the future. If they do not abide by this good counsel, then it is permissible for the authorities of the masjid to ban them from attending the masjid until such time that they can conduct themselves in a peaceful manner. This ban is only given to protect the house of Allah from being disrespected, and to restore the peace, tranquility and respect that the Masjid deserves.

Banning Muslims from the Masjid for this reason is not opposing to the teachings of Islam. In fact, it is in total conformity to the actions of the Prophet (SAS) himself, since we see (in the narrations) that he had prohibited Muslims from attending the masjid for matters that were lighter than the issue that you have mentioned.

In the traditions recorded by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, we find that the Prophet (SAS) prohibited those who ate raw onions and garlic from attending the masjid. In fact, on one occasion he expelled a person from the masjid for the same reason (Muslim). He also strongly prohibited women who perfumed themselves from attending the masjid (Muslim). On one occasion, he dismissed an Imam from his position for having spat in the direction of the Qiblah. He banned him from becoming the Imam and /leader the people in Salaah, and considered him as one who has caused harm to Allah and His Rasool.( Abu Dawood)

Based on the above, it is evident that the Prophet (SAS) would sometimes ban certain Muslims from attending the masjid when harms emanated from them.

Scholars have used these actions of the Prophet (SAS) as evidence to ban people from the masjid who cause harms to others through their tongues and behavior. Abdullah bin Umar (RA) also gave fatawa (Islamic Verdict) upon this, and this is the main reason a ban/prohibition would come upon those who cause harm to others. Based upon this explaination, the authorities of the masjid should speak to the sisters (who behaved in the disrespectful manner) to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner in the future. If the sisters do not wish to abide by this advice and they are bent on their behaviour, then the authorities of the masjid should temporarily ban them until they can reform themselves.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

The Subud Movement

Question

 At the turn of the 20th Century, a new cult-like movement started in Indonesia in a secretive manner. After some time, it became open to a few people who accepted its teachings. During the years that followed, the founder (of this cult) reached his message to individuals across the city and introduced it to specific individuals. As the years passed, people of different places began to hear about this new cult, and a few were taken to its teachings. Unfortunately, this new cult reached the shores of our Country via its few followers (who were both Muslims and non Muslims) and Muslims began to hear about it.

It is based upon this, a number of Muslims enquired about this ‘cult like’ movement, and after having researched the ‘History of Subud’,  the following answer was given by the Darul Ifta of Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

Answer:

 With respect to the questions asked regarding the Islamic ruling of subud, the performance of salaah behind one who is involved in it, and what is required of an Imam who is involved in it, I hereby submit the following answers:

First of all, it must be known that subud seems to be a creed and a persuasion which can be termed as a cult that originated in the early 20th Century  in Indonesia. This cult has no relation to Islam, and its teachings and practices are in total  opposition to the teachings of Islam.

The word subud is an acronym of three words Susila Budhi Dharma, which are all derived from Sanskrit.

A glimpse into this movement reveals that it was introduced by one Bapak Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo in Indonesia during the period (1901 – 1959). Based on the historical facts regarding  this movement, it is clear that Bapak Muhammad ( the founder) made several claims regarding certain issues which the followers hold to be true. These claims, when viewed in light of the teachings of Islam, are all baseless and unsound, and they amount to false claims which cannot be attested to as being the truth.

While giving details regarding the experiences Bapak Muhammad had while formulating the subud  creed, his followers have written, ‘During those thousand nights of intense preparation, while following the latihan  (training, exercise), sometimes there arose in him the Muslim prayers, while on other nights he found himself doing pencak silat (an Indonesian martial art similar to karate or judo) with movements he had never learned before. He was made to dance every kind of dance, and walk in the way that men from different  races walk. He experienced how different nationalities behave and the custom of the people in distant lands. He moved, not only as men move, but he also followed the movements of animals, for instance a tiger, buffalo, cat, snake, and even a mosquito’. (History of Subud  Vol. 1  Bk. 1  Pg. 51 written by Harlinah Longcroft, a long time subud member. Published by International Subud Committee).

This is what the founder (of subud) claimed to have experienced, which he considered to be divine and God given, and it is the same type of experiences that the followers of the subud  do and witness.

Muslims should take note of the fact that these experiences have absolutely no connection to Islam, and it is sheer falsehood and blasphemy to attribute these weird actions to Allah. These are nothing but experiences that emanate from the satans, devils and evil jinns. It is a matter of utter folly and idiocy on the part of the followers to accept the act of walking like cats, snakes and mosquitoes to be divine, and a sign of godliness in a person.

Bapak Muhammad Subuh also claimed to have received books which vanished into his chest after looking at the contents. While describing this, his followers wrote, ‘Then, quite suddenly, a large book fell into his lap. It was about the size and shape of a World Atlas. Bapak actually felt that something was falling, and he automatically looked up. He opened the book, and found the pages were very thick, like a photo album. On the first page there was a man dressed like an Arab, in a long robe and wearing a turban. He noticed that below this picture was some writing in Arabic. He had learned to read Arabic as a child, but  had forgotten most of it. However, he started to try to work out what was written. Then the writing was helpfully changed into Roman characters, and at the same time translated itself into Dutch. So Bapak went on turning the pages until he had turned five of them. He shut the book and held it close to his chest, praising God Almighty. He was then even more surprised because the book vanished into his chest’. (History of Subud Vol.1 Bk. 1 pg 53).

Here, we see that Bapak made a claim of receiving a book from God, which he explained as having vanished into his chest. Further to this, he also laid the claim to have received revelations. About this, his followers wrote,  ‘In 1933, shortly after his ascension, Bapak received another revelation which must have seemed very surprising at that time. In a letter to Hussein Rofe dated January 9, 1953, Bapak says,  ‘Wignyosupartono obtained this contact from me in 1932, when I was still resident in Semarang, just after I had received the revelation from Almighty God’. (History of Subud Vol. 1 Bk. 1 Pg. 73).

May Allah forbid. This is nothing but a false claim and a fabrication. As Muslims, we know very well that revelations and scriptures came to an end with the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s). Hence, if this man lays a claim of receiving revelations, then it means that he has challenged the finality of the Holy Quran as being the last revelation, and has also attacked the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s), since a revelation and a scripture comes only to a prophet.

This is another false claim of the founder of the subud movement which the followers are required to believe, and accept as the truth. For the non Muslim followers, (who are many), this is not an issue, since their beliefs are not connected to the finality of prophets and scriptures. However, for a Muslim, it is a matter of rejecting Islam, to believe that there were other revelations that were sent by Allah after the Holy Quran.

It is also evident that Bapak Muhammad Subuh made claims that he had a physical ascension in the heavens. In other words, he  also made the claim that he was taken on a Miraj by Allah, just as the Prophet (s.a.s) was taken. While explaining this ascension of Bapak, his followers wrote, ‘It was 9:30 p.m and the children was falling asleep. Bapak lay down on his bed  and just surrendered to God Almighty. Almost immediately he felt that he was being stretched, as if he were elastic, and was being  stretched and stretched until his head began to feel cold and so did his feet. So he asked within himself, the meaning of this coldness, and he received the answer that his head was now at the north pole and his feet at the south. Then his upper side was split open starting from his chest, and again  he was stretched and stretched, but this time outwards from the middle, until the two sides were joined again and he was  elliptical like an egg. He felt no pain while this was happening. Again he asked what was going on, and this time he was told that he was now surrounding the earth –surrounding the world’. The narration goes on to describe Bapak flying with tremendous speed, moving into the skies, the galaxy and the entire universe. It also states that he entered inside the sun and passed through the  heavens. While describing what he witnessed, his followers wrote,  ‘This was the first heaven, and there he saw God’s creatures, clad in white, and praising the majesty and greatness of Almighty God. And then he looked up, and saw above him a golden umbrella of light, similar to the one which had been seen above his house in Semarang. Soon after this   he came to a row of exquisitely beautiful women. Their bodies were made of light and were clothed in light which looked like silk and they were in fact, heavenly nymphs (bidadari). They danced  before him with  superb beauty, and sang with such wonderful purity that it was as if it gave Bapak goose flesh just to hear them. Bapak asked, in his heart, who they were, and he was told that they were his wives. He felt that this was strange, because he wondered how he could have wives among the heavenly nymphs, but the women then came up to him one by one, and opened their clothes to show that each had written, below their breasts, the name Muhammad Subuh’. In this way, Bapak explained his ascension with many  experiences. (History of Subud Vol.1 Bk. 1 Pgs. 68,69).

Readers would be startled at these  weird and strange encounters of Bapak, and how women uncovered themselves and exposed their breasts to him. Muslims would immediately realize that these are nothing but fabrications and concoctions of Bapak. Such claims have no basis in Islam, and one who makes these claims have lied against Allah, and have exited the fold of Islam.

Writings and talks of Bapak that have been recorded and published by members of the Subud cult show clearly that the claims laid by Bapak Muhammad Subuh are nothing less than that which have been made by false prophets and imposters of the past. Bapak did not directly make the claim of being a prophet, however, based on the claims he made of having received revelations and books, and having been taken up on a Miraj, show that there is an indirect claim that he was a prophet whom God Almighty had specially chosen.

In the writings of his followers, it is evident that they considered him to be at a level of the Angel Jibrail (a.s). It is mentioned that on one occasion, while speaking about Bapak, the question was asked by some members, ‘Did Subuh (Bapak Muhammad) have a soul of the perfect human level? The reply was, ‘No. Still  higher’. The question was asked, ‘Was it at the archangelic level ? The reply was,’ Higher still’. The question was asked,  ‘Is it at the level of Roh Ilofi, which means the Holy Spirit; was Subuh at this level? To this question the Kyai Abdurachman replied,  ‘Probably’. (History of Subud Vol. 1 Bk. 1 Pg. 63). Sometimes, he will liken his experiences to those which occurred with the past prophets like that of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) and Prophet Jesus (a.s.). On one occasion, he even gave up his job permanently. When his wife spoke to him about it, he said, ‘It was a Divine command that I should no longer accept paid employment from men, the onus of caring for our welfare has been assumed entirely by God. Have faith and you will see that we shall be well provided for, we shall lack nothing essential. But if you force me to choose between God and you, then we shall have to part’. (History of Subud Vol. 1 Bk.1 Pg. 66). There are many such instances where Bapak behaved in a manner as if he was a prophet, always attributing his personal thoughts as divine commands or God has spoken to him. In the above mentioned narration regarding his concocted ascension, it is clear that he  gave his own personal answers to the questions that came in his mind, and then attributed his answers and explanations to God, saying that they were divine.

In this manner, when one goes through the pages of ‘the history of subud’, he will be totally astonished at the many fabricated statements that have been coined by Bapak. All these claims and assertions give ample evidence to the fact that subud is nothing but a cult invented by Bapak. In order to win the favor of followers and to attract newcomers, he presented his message in a way that accommodated people of all religions. He taught them that all religions were one and the same, and they can come together to do the latihaan (spiritual exercise) by surrendering themselves to God. It is strange to know that while the followers are asked to surrender to God in their exercise, they are free to bring into their minds whatever comes in- all of which are understood to be personal experiences which are given by God. In this latihaan exercise, people begin to do foolish things  like making sounds, walking around, dancing, jumping, skipping, laughing, crying, screaming and anything they feel like doing – and all are considered to be good, God given and spiritual training in the subud teachings. This is nothing but pure insanity and a cult-like behavior.

From this, it should be well understood that following the subud is not simply a matter of doing different forms of meditation etc., instead, it is also about believing in the false claims that were made by the founder, and accepting his personal teachings to be true, when in reality, they are totally opposing to the teachings of Islam. In fact, based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.s), the claims that have been made by the founder of this  cult have actually  taken him out of the fold of Islam. In the history of Islam (after the blessed Prophet (s.a.s)), these claims have only been made by imposters and false bearers. Many of the great saints and Mashaikh have passed, and though they have been honored to great ranks by Allah, they have never made such claims which contradicted the sacred teachings of Islam. Having read the writings regarding the Subud movement/cult, and having read the claims and statements made by Bapak Muhammad Subuh, I have no doubt in my mind that this movement and its teachings are based on falsehood, misguidance and deviation which stands as a new concocted creed that has been fabricated by its founder. There is no place for any of these misguided teachings and practices in Islam and there is the fear of Kufr (disbelief) on the part of those Muslims who are followers of this cult, and who accept Bapak Muhammad Subuh as their leader. And Allah knows best.

As for the other question regarding the performance of salaah behind a person who is involved in this cult, then it must be understood that those who become followers of this movement do so by accepting the leader and also attest to the truth of his statements. As we have seen before, the teachings of this movement are in violation of the teachings of Islam and will definitely take a person out of the fold of Islam. With this, it is possible that one who is on the subud path may have already entered the arena of kufr, in which case, none of his acts of worship will be valid and acceptable in Islam. So my answer to you, having investigated this cult, is that you should, at no time, perform salaah behind such a person.

With respect to the third question regarding an Imam who is involved in this cult, then from the aforementioned explanations, it can be clearly understood that a person who adheres to the subud movement can never be an Imam over the Muslims who are the true believers in the sight of Allah. If it is known afterwards that an Imam has been involved in this  cult, then he must be requested by the relevant authority to resign from his position. If he fails to do so, then he must be dismissed (by the relevant authority) immediately. Leniency cannot be shown in a grave issue like this, since it is a matter relating to beliefs (Aqeeda) and not simply connected to Fiqhi issues.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Adult marrying secretly with just Imam and witnesses

Question

 Can an adult over 25 years old virgin male or female get married secretly with just the imam and witnesses?

Answer

Marriage is a sacred institution that brings with it honor, respect and dignity, and for that reason Islam has given many guidelines that are connected to proposal, acceptance, guardians, witnesses, Mahr etc. etc. The Prophet (SAS) has also emphasized upon us that one should announce his marriage. This is done so that people would know that a person has married, and they will refrain from falsely accusing a person when he/she is seen with the opposite sex. If it is not known that one is married, then the character and honor of a person can be damaged, since he/she can be accused of having a haram relationship with another person. Announcing a marriage therefore protects a person, while keeping it a secret, damages the character.

The Prophet (SAS) also told us that the guardian of the girl must give consent for the marriage. This is also given in order to prevent a girl from making wrong decisions about the person she wants to marry.

Many scholars have held the position that even in the case of an adult female, she must still get the consent of her father/guardian for marriage. Along with this, others have held on to the other position that announcement of the marriage is necessary.

Both of these conditions which are evident from the above traditions make it abundantly clear that Islam does not favour secret marriages. This brings nothing except damage to the character of a Muslim man/woman.

Howbeit, some scholars have stated that the minimum requirement for a valid marriage in Islam is the proposal and acceptance, the Mahr, and two witnesses. These scholars have stated that once these are in place then the marriage is valid.

Based on this, it means that if the Imam or another person does the marriage of two adult Muslims (male and female) in the presence of two male witnesses, then the marriage will be valid. (as you have asked).

As I have mentioned before, this is the minimum requirement that has been given by some scholars for the validity of a Muslim marriage. This, in no way indicates that secret marriages are encouraged, nor is this the way to contract a marriage. The scholars have highlighted these as the ‘least amount’ that is needed for a marriage, without which, a marriage will not be valid.

So, based on what you have asked, the marriage will be valid when there is the proposal and acceptance, the Mahr and the two male Muslim witnesses.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Timing of Isha Salaah

Question:

I understand that girls should pray all the salaah at the beginning time, as soon as the salaah time sets in. Does it hold true for Isha salaah as well or should we pray it at the latest time before midnight? Or should we pray Isha at the beginning time as well? What is Sunnah?

Answer:

 With respect to the Isha Salaah, the practice of the Prophet (SAS) was that he used to delay it to the first third and also to half of the night, so that it would be the last act that he, as well as the companions engaged in, before sleeping. (Sahih Al Bukhari) However, seeing that Muslims are not accustomed to waking late, the sisters should perform it anytime before they go to bed once the time has entered. For the sake of having a larger Jamaat at the Masjid, the men should perform it at a time which is convenient to them (which is approximately 1/2 an hour after it has entered).

So, it is also within the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet (SAS)) to perform it at the beginning time.

As for that which is the Mustahab (commendable) or the best time for Isha Salaah, it is to delay it to the first third of the night or to midnight. This is based upon the tradition of Abu Huraira (RA) in which he said that the Prophet (SAS) said, ‘Had I not feared for difficulties upon my ummah I would have ordered them to delay Isha Salaah until one third of the night or half of it (i.e. midnight). (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmizi who says it is Saheeh).

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

Institute of Higher Islamic Studies & Secondary Education