Archive for the ‘Islam Question and Answers’ Category


May 8, 2016 Leave a comment

The evil eye refers to when one person harms another by means of the eye.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: The origin of the evil eye is liking something, then the evil soul follows it, pursues it and seeks to do harm to it, seeking help to apply its poison by looking at the object. Zad Al-Mi’ad by Ibn Al-Qayyim, 4/167

Ibn Manzur said: It is said “So-and-so was struck by the evil eye” if an enemy or an envious person looks at him and he is affected by that and becomes sick as a result. Lisan Al-‘Arab by Ibn Manzur, 13/301

Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar said: What is meant by the evil eye is looking at something with admiration contaminated with envy from one who is evil in nature so it results in harm. Fath Al-Bari, by Ibn Hajar, 10/200.

Evidence for the existence of the evil eye from the Qur’an and Sunnah

1 – Evidence from the Qur’an

The Verse in Sura Yusuf:

(And he said: ‘O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allah at all. Verily, the decision rests only with Allah. In Him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him.) (Yusuf12:67)

The majority of Mufassirin are agreed that the brothers of Yusuf were handsome and good looking, and Ya’qub feared that the people might affect them with the evil eye, for the evil eye is something real. Tafsir Ibn Kathir —Al-Tabari – Al-Qurtubi – Al-Alusi – Al-Suyuti — Al-Fakhr Al-Razi.

The passage in which Allah says:

“And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes (through hatred) when they hear the Reminder (the Qur’an), and they say:

“Verily, he (Muhammad) is a madman!” But it is nothing else than a Reminder to all the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).) (Al-Qalam 68:51-52)

Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid and others said: “Make you slip with their eyes” means, they will put the evil eye on you. This Verse is evidence that the effect and impact of the evil eye is something real and happens by Allah’s will.  ‘

2 – Evidence from the Sunnah

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“The evil eye is real,” and he forbade tattoos.

It was narrated from ‘Aishah (RA) that the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“Seek refuge with Allah from the evil eye, for the evil eye is real.”

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, the evil eye would do so. If you are asked to wash (to treat someone for the effects of the evil eye) then do so.”

Imam Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This Hadith affirms that both the divine decree and the evil eye are real; it is powerful, but neither the evil eye nor anything else can cause harm or do any good or any bad except by the decree of Allah.

It was narrated that Asma bint ‘Umays said: “O Messenger of Allah, the sons of Ja’far are smitten with the evil eye; should I recite Ruqyah for them?”

He said:

“Yes, for if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye.”

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“The evil eye may follow a man by Allah’s Leave, until he climbs up a high mountain then falls from it.”

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“The evil eye is real and can bring down a person from a high mountain.”^

What is meant here is that the evil eye follows a person by Allah’s will, until it causes him to fall from a high mountain. Musnad Ahmad; Al-Tabarani; Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak. Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is Hasan

It was narrated that Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“Most of those who die of my Ummah, after the will and decree of Allah, will die because of the evil eye.” Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Al-Tarikh, and by Al-Bazzar. Shaykh Al-Albani said: a Hadith Hasan – Sahih Al-Jami’, 1217

It was narrated that Jabir (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“The evil eye will put a man into his grave and a camel into the cooking pot.” Hilyat Al-Awliya’ by Abu Na’im. Shaykh Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is a Hasan Hadith – Al-Silsilah Al-Sahihah, 1250.

Imam Ahmad, Al-Nasa i, and Ibn Majah narrated, in a report that was classed as Sahih by Ibn Hibban, that Abu Umamah Sahl ibn Hanif said: Abu Sahl ibn Hanif did Ghusl in Al-Kharar (Al-Kharar: it is said that this was a well in Madinah, or one of its valleys). He took off his cloak, and ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah was looking at him. Sahl was very white, with beautiful skin. ‘Amir said: “I have never seen anything (as beautiful) as this, not even the skin of a virgin.” And Sahl fell to the ground and became very sick. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) was told about his sickness, and it was said to him: “He cannot raise his head.” He said:

“Do you accuse anyone with regard to him?”

They said, “‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah.” The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) called him and rebuked him strongly, then he said:

“Why would one of you kill his brother? Why did you not pray for blessing for him? Wash yourself for him.” So ‘Amir washed his face, hands, forearms, knees and the sides of his feet, and inside his Izar (lower garment) in a vessel, then it was poured over him from behind, and Sahl recovered straight away.  Muwatta’ Malik, 2/938.

The evil eye is real

From the evidence quoted above from the Qur’an and Sunnah, it is clear that the evil eye is real and that its effects are proven and do exist. It can follow a man until it makes him fall from a high mountain, and if it is able to overpower a healthy man it can kill him and put him in his grave, and if it overpowers a camel, it will fall and be injured, and its owner will slaughter it and cook it in a pot. So the evil eye is real and its effects are real. It may kill, or it may affect the spot or the things that the envier likes in the body of the person affected, or in himself or his possessions. This is the view of the scholars of this Ummah, such as Malik, Al-Shafi’i, Ahmad and others.

The difference between the evil eye and envy

The word Hasid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word ‘Ain (one who puts the evil eye on another), hence in Sura Al-Falaq mention is made of seeking refuge with Allah from the evil of the one who envies.

The Hasid (envier) is an envious man whose envy is accompanied by resentment, so he wishes that the blessing be taken away, whereas the ‘A’in (the one who puts the evil eye on another) simply likes a thing. Hence the evil eye may come from a righteous man or woman, and a man may put the evil eye on his own wealth, child or family without realizing it. But the evil eye and envy have the same effect, which is causing harm to the thing that is liked or envied.

Envy (Hasad)

Envy (Hasad) means resenting the blessings of Allah that are enjoyed by the one who is envied, and wishing that it be taken away. In other words, the envier wishes that the blessing be taken away from the one whom he envies, whether the blessing comes to him or not.

So the envier resents the blessing of Allah and wishes that it be taken away, and he may even make efforts to take it away.

Evidence for the existence of envy

Allah says:

(Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them.) (Al-Baqarah 2:109)

And Allah says:

(Or do they envy men (Muhammad and his followers) for what Allah has given them of His Bounty? Then, We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah – Divine Revelation to those Prophets not written in the form of a book), and conferred upon them a great kingdom.) (Al-Nisa 4:54)

And He says:

(And from the evil of the envier when he envies.) (Al-Falaq 113:5)

Evidence from the Sunnah

Al-Tirmidhi narrated that the freed slave of Al-Zubayr (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“The disease of the nations who came before you has started to spread among you: jealousy and hatred. This is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of that which will strengthen love between you? Spread (the greeting of) Salam amongst yourselves.”

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“My Ummah will be stricken with the disease of the other nations.” They said: “What is the disease of the other nations?” He (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:

“Insolence, arrogance, accumulation (of wealth), competition in worldly gains, mutual hatred and envy, until there will be wrongdoing and then killing.”

Characteristics of the envier – so that they may be avoided

The issue of the evil eye includes all people, even those who are righteous if they do not pay attention to it, whereas envy is limited to certain people. Hence the envious person has certain characteristics by which he may be distinguished, such as the way he looks and smiles, the expression on his face, and the way he speaks. All of that points to what is in his heart. Whatever a person conceals in his heart will inevitably show on his face and through slips of the tongue, in the way he looks and smiles, and in all his movements and expressions.

By His wisdom, Allah has made man’s face a mirror which reflects the thoughts that are hidden in his mind and heart. The effects of sickness are seen in the sick man’s face, and the sorrow of one who is grieving and depressed shows on his face, and the good health of one who is sound is reflected on his face. If a person is happy and content, his hidden thoughts show on his face and through slips of the tongue. If a believer is true and sincere in his faith and humble before the Most Merciful, and reads the Qur’an frequently, that joy and light will show on his face; his nature will be humble and kind, and his speech will be polite and noble. The opposite is also true: the effects of an evildoer’s immoral actions and sin will be reflected in his face and in slips of the tongue, even if he outwardly resembles those who are righteous.

By the same token, the envier who resents the good things that people have and wishes that the blessings of Allah be taken away, is sick at heart and lacking in faith. No matter how much he tries to conceal what he feels inwardly, he will soon let out the envy that he feels.

What are the characteristics of the envier?

1 – The envier is always angry at the decrees of Allah.

2 – The envier always complains and rarely thanks Allah even if he owns the whole world.

3 – He follows up the mistakes of the one whom he envies, and tries to seek out his faults, and exposes them and exaggerates about them before others.

4 – He conceals or ignores or belittles the good qualities and distinguishing characteristics of the person whom he envies.

5 – So you will notice that the envier cannot speak in front of the one whom he envies without addressing him in a laughing, jocular manner, but deep down he is filled with hatred and resentment that is clear from the way in which he looks at him.

6 – He clearly criticizes the one whom he envies, with or without evidence.

7 – He looks for opportunities and makes the most of any chance to harm the one whom he envies in himself or his wealth.

8 – Finally, the envier is a troubled man, due to the resentment that is always festering in his heart, so depression and dullness show on his face.

Treatments Against the Evil Eye

There are many preventative measures and treatments in Islam that a person can adopt to safeguard themselves against the evil eye. The main one is the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) and the reading of the Qur’aan.

Any person engaged in these acts is less likely to be affected by the evil eye, destructive envy (hasud) and other kinds of harm from the devils of humankind and the jinn. Others forms of treatment include dua’s, invocations and Rukya:

The Prophet (pbuh) used to seek refuge with Allaah for himself by reciting Surat Al-Fatiha, Ayat Al-Kursi (surah 2:255), Surat An-Nas and Surat Al-Falaq.

Other dua’s narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) are:

  • “A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammaati min sharri maa khalaq

(I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created).” (Muslim, 4881)

  • A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammah min kulli shaytaanin wa haammah wa min kulli ‘aynin laammah

(I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every bad eye) ( Bukhari, 3120).

  • “Bismillaahi arqeeka min kulli shay’in yu’dheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin haasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillaahi arqeek

(In the name of Allaah I perform ruqya for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqya for you).” (Muslim, 4056)

The Prophet (pbuh) also instructed the use of rukya to anyone who was under the influence of the evil eye as Aisha (RA) narrated: “The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) commanded me, or he commanded (the people) to use ruqya to deal with the evil eye.” (Bukhari, 5297).

Rukya is reciting any of the above verses and blowing on the afflicted person.

Aisha (RA) also narrated another treatment for the evil eye, “The man who cast the evil eye would be commanded to do wudoo (ablution)’, and then the man who was affected would wash himself with (the water).” (Abu Dawud, 3382 & 3282)

To prevent anyone from unintentionally casting an evil eye through praise, it is recommended to say ‘Ma sha’a Allah wa la Kuwata illa Billah’

(Whatever Allah wishes and there is no Power except with Allah).



Washing with soap when doing Wudoo’

January 8, 2011 Leave a comment


I am a new Muslim and have a question about performing Wudu. Do you need to use soap when performing Wudu, specifically washing the face, hands (to the elbows) and feet. All of the sources I have read never say to use soap, but use the word “wash”.
Also, does changing a baby’s diaper invalidate wudu?


Praise be to Allaah.

We would like to congratulate you and offer praise to Allaah for the blessings He has bestowed upon you by guiding you to the Straight Path. We ask Him to help us and you to be steadfast in adhering to this religion.

You do not have to use soap at all when doing wudoo’. The word “wash” which you have read in the books you refer to does not mean using soap or any other kind of cleanser.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him) said:

Washing the hands and face with soap when doing wudoo’ is not prescribed in sharee’ah. On the contrary, it is a kind of obstinate and excessive zeal. It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who are obstinate and excessively zealous are doomed.” He said it three times.

If there is some kind of dirt on the hands that can only be removed by using soap or some other cleanser, there is nothing wrong with using it in this case, but under ordinary circumstances, using soap when doing wudoo’ is a kind of excessive zeal and bid’ah (innovation), so it should not be used. (Fataawaa Islamiyyah, 1/223)

With regard to changing a baby’s diaper, if you mean the act of changing itself, this does not affect the validity of one’s wudoo’.

If you mean that it involves touching something that is naajis (impure, i.e. the baby’s urine and stools), this does not affect your wudoo’ either, because there is no connection between touching something naajis and the validity of one’s wudoo’. It has been reported that there is scholarly consensus on this point, as stated in the book Al-Awsat by Ibn al-Mundhir (1/203). All one has to do is wash one’s hands to get rid of any naajis material.

If you mean that it involves touching the child’s private parts, whether the child is a boy or a girl, in the case of a child under the age of two years, the rulings on ‘awrah (that which is to be covered) do not apply, as the scholars have stated, so if you touch them, this does not affect your wudoo’. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Can one wipe over thick wool socks in Wudu?

August 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Assalamu ‘Aleikum,

Can i wipe over thick wool socks (during wudo) instead of the traditional leather socks?


The primary requirement in the sock over which wiping is permitted in wudu is strength: it should be sturdy enough to be worn without shoes or sandals (even though this would not actually need to be done) in one’s normal daily routine. Strength is not seen as an exclusive attribute of leather; it is well possible for a sock made of material other than leather to exhibit the same quality of strength. In fact, we sometimes find leather socks that are so delicately thin that wiping over them would not be permitted.

An extension of this condition of sturdiness is that the sock should prevent the penetration of water. Therefore, where a non-leather sock is thick enough to prevent the penetration of water when it is poured over the sock, one may validly wipe over it in wudu. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj 1:252)

What if the sock is sturdy enough to walk in, but does not quite prevent the penetration of water when poured over it? In terms of the position set out above, wiping over such a sock would not be permitted. This is the preferred view of the madhhab.

Alongside it, however, two alternative opinions exist within the madhhab:

  • In one of these, the penetration of water is to be considered, not where one pours water over the sock, but rather where one wipes over the socks with a wet hand. A number of scholars of the madhhab held this view. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj 1:252) In terms of this view, a sock which is strong enough that one is able to walk around in it, and thick enough to prevent water from penetrating when one wipes over it, may validly be wiped on.
  • The other opinion, which is preferred by Imam al-Ghazali and his mentor Imam al-Haramayn, states that preventing the penetration of water is not required in the sock at all. (al-Wasit 1:400) Under this view, one may validly wipe over a sock strong enough to be walked around in, even if it does not prevent the penetration of water at all.

While these views do not represent the formal position of the madhhab, they may–as we are informed by the scholars of our madhhab–be practiced upon in one’s personal capacity.

And Allah (SWT) knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Taha Karaan

Zakaah to a relative on whom he is not obliged to spend

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It is permissible for a person to give his zakaah to a relative on whom he is not obliged to spend

I have a number of brothers and sisters and each of them has a large family and does not have anything to cover the expenses of his children’s education. I am better off, praise be to Allaah. Is it permissible for me to distribute the zakaah of my wealth to them, on condition that I do not tell them that this money is the zakaah of my wealth, so as to avoid embarrassment and lest they refuse to accept it if they find out about that?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Giving zakaah to such people is permissible, because they are in need of that so long as their income is not sufficient to meet their essential needs. With regard to telling them that this is zakaah or not telling them, that is according to interest. If it is better not to tell them, then you should not tell them, and if it is better to tell them, then you should tell them. End quote.
Al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Fawzaan (2/326)


Did ‘A’ishah (r) Advocate the Murder of ‘Uthman (r)?

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Answered by Shaykh Taha Karaan


Hadrat ‘A’ishah was a severe critic of Hadrat Uthman. How is it that following his murder, she chose to rebel against Imam Ali (as) on the premise that his killers should be apprehended? During her lifetime Hadrat ‘A’ishah was a severe critic of Hadrat Uthman, to the point that she advocated his killing. How is it that following his murder, she chose to rebel against Imam Ali (as) on the premise that his killers should be apprehended? Why did she leave Makkah, portray Hadrat Uthman as a victim and mobilise opposition from Basrah? Was this decision based on her desire to defend Hadrat Uthman or was it motivated by her animosity towards Hadrat Ali (as)? History records that she said the following about Hadrat Uthman “Kill this old fool (Na’thal), for he is unbeliever”, see History of Ibn Athir, v3, p206, Lisan al-Arab, v14, p141, al-Iqd al-Farid, v4, p290 and Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v16, pp 220-223


The questioner has assumed as an historical fact the claim drawn from the named sources that Sayyidah ‘A’ishah advocated the killing of Sayyiduna ‘Uthman. He labours under the common misconception that the simple fact that the moment something mentioned is in a history book it is an incontrovertible fact. He fails to understand the need for authentication.

The fact of the matter is that in order for narrated information to be regarded as a valid basis for making claims that affect one’s belief system, or influence the way one views personalities, the information HAS to be authenticated. Leave aside reports of history; even the ahadith of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam have to be authenticated by rigorous criteria before store can be set by it.

What does authentication entail? Does it amount to providing a mere reference to a source or two such as what the questioner has given? Anyone who regards this as authentication hasn’t got the vaguest idea of what authentication is or what it entails. The questioner and other like him would be well advised to equip himself with some knowledge of the discipline before venturing boldly into making claims that may well affect their destiny in the hereafter.

Coming now to the issue under discussion: The questioner provides the following four references for his claim that history records Sayyidah ‘A’ishah as saying about Sayyiduna Uthman, “Kill this old fool (Na’thal), for he is unbeliever”:

1. History of Ibn Athir, v3, p206
2. Lisan al-Arab, v14, p141,
3. al-Iqd al-Farid, v4, p290
4. Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v16, pp 220-223


The book “Lisan al-’Arab” by Ibn Manzur is a not a work on history, but a lexicon of the Arabic language. Does the questioner not see the utter ridiculousness of his endeavour to establish historical truth by quoting a dictionary? His attempt is comparable to quoting scientific material from an anthology of poetry.


Ibn Abil Hadid was an extremist Shi’i whose beliefs would be repugnant even to the “moderate” Shi’ah themselves. His views of the near-divinity of Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib are reflected in his poetry, some of which is reproduced in the editor’s introduction to his commentary on “Nahj al-Balaghah”. As an extremist Shi’i, his being cited on a matter concerning the Sahabah cannot be free from prejudice, and must therefore be called into question seriously.

If we are going to accept everything the Shi’ah say about the Sahabah, we will eventually end up having to accept that beyond inciting the murder of Uthman, Sayyidah A’ishah was also guilty of adultery, [as recorded by Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi in his Tafsir (vol. 2 p. 377), Hashim al-Bahrani in al-Burhan (vol. 4 p. 358) and Abdullah Shubbar in his Tafsir (p. 338)]; that the sixth of the seven doorways of Hell will be exclusively for her [as stated in Bihar al-Anwar vol. 4 p. 378; and Tafsir al-‘Ayyashi vol. 2 p. 243]; and that she was a hypocrite who, along with the vast bulk of the Sahabah turned apostate openly after the demise of the Nabi sallallahu `alayhi wasallam.


Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih’s book “al-’Iqd al-Farid” is a literary book about which the author states in his introduction, “I have written this book, and I have chosen its rare jewels from amongst select gemstones of literature.” He makes no claim that everything in his book is historically accurate and authentic. Again, the absolute inappropriateness of establishing historical truth from a source as unsuited for this purpose as a literary omnibus seems to escape the notice of the questioner.


The fact that the questioner names this work as the ” History of Ibn Athir” appears to reveal that he himself is unfamiliar with the book, and happens to be citing it from second or third hand sources. For his information, the book’s proper title is “al-Kamil”. Had the questioner been familiar with this book he would have been aware of the fact that this book is directly based upon Ibn Jarir at-Tabari’s work; and had he been familiar with Tabari’s work he would have known that Tabari has recorded the material in his book complete with chains of narrations. He would also have known that Tabari himself, in a disclaimer at the end of his introduction (vol. 1 p. 24) declares that in terms of authenticity the material in his book is only as good as the chains of narration through which it has come down to him.

In light of the above, let us now proceed to evaluate the authenticity of the statement which the questioner has so boldlessly and recklessly (and also – mind you – ignorantly) ascribed to Sayyidah A’ishah.

This statement is to be found on page 226 of the 5th volume of the edition of Tarikh at-Tabari published by Dar al-Fikr, Beirut in 1418/1998. It is recorded by Tabari on the authority of the following chain of narration:

Tabari narrates from ‘Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan al-’Ijli, who narrates from Husayn ibn Nasr al-’Attar, who narrates from his father Nasr ibn Muzahim al-’Attar…

Up to this point the following flaws present itself in the chain:

1. Of Tabari’s immediate source, ‘Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan al-’Ijli, no trace can be found in the biographical works of narrators. He is thus an unknown person.

2. The next person in the chain is Husayn ibn Nasr ibn Muzahim. Of him too, no trace is to be found in the biographical literature ¯ hence another unknown person. The only thing that is known about him is the fact that he is the son of Nasr ibn Muzahim.

3. Nasr ibn Muzahim presents a major problem. He was known in his lifetime as a forger of historical material, and was condemned for it by, amongst others, the hadith expert Abu Khaythamah Zuhayr ibn Harb. His general unreliability as a narrator of historical material is echoed by al-’Uqayli, Abu Hatim ar-Razi, ad-Daraqutni, al-’Ijli, al-Khalili and Ibn ‘Adi. He is described by a number of these experts as a hardcore extremist Shi’i. (See Lisan al-Mizan vol. 7 p. 187) Even a non-muhaddith such as the literary biographer Yaqut al-Hamawi describes him as an extremist Shi’i who stands accused of forgery and is generally unreliable. (Mu’jam al-Udaba vol. 19 p. 225)

As may be expected, Shi’i hadith critics are generally more affable towards Nasr ibn Muzahim. However, even they have located a problem with the historical material which he transmits. The Shi’i hadith critic Abul ‘Abbas an-Najashi, for example, remarks about him that while he himself was a person of righteous conduct, his problem was that he transmitted material on the authority of unreliable sources. (Rijal an-Najashi vol. 2 p. 384) This statement of an-Najashi is corroborated by al-’Allamah al-Hilli in al-Khulasah. (Jami’ ar-Ruwat vol. 2 p. 291)

With this background on Nasr ibn Muzahim, let us now proceed to investigate the sources on whose authority Nasr ibn Muzahim has ascribed this alleged statement to Sayyidah A’ishah.

Nasr produces two separate chains of narrators through which he claims to have received this information. They look as follows:

1. Nasr ibn Muzahim narrates from Sayf ibn ‘Umar, who narrates from Muhammad ibn Nuwayrah and Talhah ibn al-A’lam.

2. Nasr ibn Muzahim narrates from ‘Umar ibn Sa’d, who narrates from Asad ibn ‘Abdullah, who narrates from some learned men whom he met.

The first chain of narration shows glaring defects. Sayf ibn ‘Umar is that historian whose total unreliability has been a matter of much discussion, especially in Shi’i circles. The contemporary Shi’i scholar, Murtada al-’Askari has written an interesting book in which he has pointed a finger of accusation at this very same Sayf ibn ‘Umar. The charge which he levels against Sayf ibn ‘Umar is that he is responsible for inventing of the personality of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba. Despite the flaws in al-’Askaris’ research (upon which some light has been cast in an article that may be read at) this book has been highly acclaimed in Shi’i circles, and everyone climbed on the bandwagon of labeling Sayf ibn ‘Umar as a shameless liar and forger. But suddenly, when the material which Sayf transmits is not about Ibn Saba, but disparages Sayyidah A’ishah, his unreliability is conveniently forgotten, and an-Najashi! ‘s complaint of Nasr ibn Muzahim narrating from unreliable sources is cast to the wind. Such “objectivity” leaves one in complete amazement.

Furthermore, Sayf ibn ‘Umar’s two sources, Muhammad ibn Nuwayrah and Talhah ibn al-A’lam, are completely unknown entities.

Nasr ibn Muzahim’s second chain of narration suffers once again from the same defect. His immediate source, ‘Umar ibn Sa’d is unknown, as is ‘Umar ibn Sa’d’s source Asad ibn ‘Abdullah. The person or persons from whom Asad ibn ‘Abdullah allegedly received the information are not even named at all.

In summary it may therefore be said that not a single person in the entire chain of narration, from Tabari up the final sources, may be relied upon at all. Is it on the basis of such worthless historical material that the questioner wishes us to believe that Sayyidah A’shah advocated the killing of Sayyiduna ‘Uthman?

If the questioner can bring himself to accept such worthless material, it creates a question in the mind as to why he would do so. It cannot be because of the intrinsic value of the report itself, for it has been adequately demonstrated here that the report has no value at all. The only reason for his acceptance of such narrations will have to be his own sectarian prejudices. He himself will have to answer to Allah for accepting and believing information provided by such worthless and unreliable sources.

As for the rest of us, we abide by the instruction of Allah Most High: “O you who believe, when an evil-doer comes unto you with news, then ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards regret what you have done.” (49:6)

And since Sayyidah A’ishah was of the Muhajirin, it may be of interest to the questioner to note what attitude Allah has instructed those who come after the Muhajirin and the Ansar to adopt towards them: “And those who come after them, they say: Our Lord, forgive us and [forgive] our brethren who preceded us in faith. And do not put in our hearts rancour towards the Believers. Our Lord, You are Most Kind, Most Merciful.” (59:10)


The Wahhabi Movement: History and Beliefs

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Name riyaz  –
Title The Wahhabi Movement: History and Beliefs
Question Dear Scholar, Assalamu alaikum, Could you give some explnation on the wahabi sect? As some people claim that most of the saudis are wahabis.
Date 4/13/2005
Mufti IOL  Shari`ah  Researchers

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of your religion, Islam!

In the first place, we’d like to state that Imam Muhammad Ibn `Abdul-Wahhab is the founder of the Wahhabi Movement. The Wahabis are part of Ahl-As-Sunnah wal Jama`ah. Concerning its historical background, Wahhabism is a faith-based, political and reformist movement attributed to its founder, Imam Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab.

Wahhabism is one of reformation movements that emerged during the time that the Muslim world at large suffered from a great intellectual setback.

So it was originally established by its founder to focus mainly on purging Islam of its decadence, alien ideas that mean nothing more than polytheism, in addition to reviving the fervor of days gone by. That is, the main goal of the movement is to call all Muslims back to pure Tawhid (Monotheism) and to stick to the teachings of the Qur’an, and the Prophetic Tradition.

Reviving the ideas of the two notable Islamic figures: Sheikh Ibn Taimiyah and his disciple, Ibn al-Qayyim, as well as upholding the juristic opinions of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, both in creedal and juristic matters, are also part of the goals of this group.

Here, we’d like to cite for you the fatwa we issued in this regard:

“Its foundation and prominent members:

1- Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab Al-Mashrafi At-Tamimi An-Najdi (1115-1206 AH /1703-1791 CE). He was born in a town called `Uyaynah to the north of Riyadh.

He studied Hanbali Jurisprudence, tafsir (Qur’anic Interpretation) and Hadith from his learned father; in fact, he memorized the Qur’an by the age of ten.

He went to Makkah to perform Pilgrimage, then to Madinah to obtain more knowledge about Islam. There he met Sheikh Muhammad Hayat As-Sandi (who died in the year 1165 AH), the author of the book Al Hashiyah `Ala Sahih Al-Bukhari. He was greatly influenced by this renowned scholar.

He went to Iraq in the year 1136 AH/ 1724 CE, but was forced to leave Basrah for Ahsa’, then he went to Huraymila’, a village of Najd, because his father had moved there and stayed with him.

After propagating (pure) monotheism in Huraymila’, he returned back to `Uyaynah, and explained his reformist movement to its governor, `Uthman ibn Mu`ammar. The latter, upon responding to his call, assisted him in demolishing all the graves and bringing down the dome over the grave of Zayd ibn Al-Khattab. Together, they carried out the prescribed punishment for adultery on a woman who had confessed to it.

Then Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab went to Dar`iyyah, a place taken by the Su`ud dynasty as its administrative base.

2- Prince Muhammad ibn Su`ud

Muhammad bin `Abdul Wahhab made an alliance with Imam Muhammad ibn Su`ud to spread this thought which now dominates the whole Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and forms the ideological and philosophical basis of the kingdom.

Beliefs and Principles:

1. Although the founder belonged to the Hanbali School of Jurisprudence, he used to sidestep it whenever he found evidence that sounded more convincing to him. Hence, the Salafi call does not follow a specific school in respect to its principles but it follows the views of the Hanbali Juristic School in respect to minor issues.

2. This Salafi movement calls for the revival of Ijtihad (personal reasoning) after it has been abandoned since the fall of Baghdad under the Abbasid Caliphate.

3. It emphasizes the necessity of returning to the teachings of Allah’s Book (the Qur’an) and the Sunnah and not to accept any thing with regard to belief unless it is based on a clear-cut evidence from both these sources (i.e., the Qur’an and Sunnah).

4. It adopts the method of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah when it comes to understanding a certain evidence and forming a certain ruling thereupon.

5. It also calls for refining the concept of monotheism (Allah’s Oneness) and calls upon Muslims to adopt what the early Muslims would believe in that regard.

6. It propagates the belief in the Divine attributes and names of Allah, by believing in the names and attributes that Allah Almighty has described Himself with and that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) attributed to Him, without thinking that He has a shaped body or how He lives and without giving a certain interpretation to the verses that include attributes of Allah.

7. It also calls for believing that it is Allah Almighty alone that is worthy of worship. Allah Almighty says: “Serve Allah and shun false gods” (An-Nahl: 36)

8. It revives the obligation of jihad.

9. It calls for abolishing the innovations and superstitions spread because of ignorance and lagging behind, such as:

– visiting a certain grave claming that it is the grave of the Prophet’s Companion Dirar ibn Al-Azwar, and asking him to fulfill their requests,

– visiting a specific dome claiming that it belongs to Zayd Ibn Al-Khattab,

– visiting a certain tree they claim to be of Prophet’s Companion Abu Dujanah

10. The sect also believes that tawassul (invoking Allah through an intermediary) is of two kinds: one is desirable, that is, supplicating Allah by virtue of His Glorious Names, and the other is innovative, that is, supplicating Allah Almighty through, for instance, the person of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or through the persons of so-and-so sheikhs or saints and their closeness to Allah Almighty.

11. The movement prevents building tombs and decorating or lightening them and the like.

12. It calls for firmly opposing the extreme views of the Sufis and the innovations they have introduced to the religion of Islam.

13. It prohibits saying anything about Allah Almighty without knowledge. Allah Almighty says: “Say: My Lord forbiddeth only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are within, and sin and wrongful oppression, and that ye associate with Allah that for which no warrant hath been revealed, and that ye tell concerning Allah that which ye know not.” (Al-A’raf: 33)

14. The things about which the Islamic Shari`ah is silent (as to whether they are lawful or not) are not up to people to decide upon, and so, no one is licensed to say that such things are obligatory or unlawful or desirable or undesirable. Allah almighty says: “O ye who believe! Ask not of things which, if they were made known unto you, would trouble you…” (Al-Maidah: 101)

15. It believes that giving up a clear evidence with regard to some issue and citing instead a controversial, allegorical one is a method followed by misled people or groups like Ar-Rafidah and the Kharijites. Allah Almighty says: “But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it.” (Al `Imran: 7)

16. The Prophet stated that what is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters. Therefore, no one can claim that every issue can be judged in clear, decisive terms.

17. On shirk (associating partners with Allah or polytheism), Sheikh Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab maintained that it is of three kinds:

a- Major shirk, which relates to the aspects of worship, intention, obedience and showing fidelity to people.

b- Minor shirk, which relates to the act of showing off, pursuant to the Prophet’s words: “Showing-off, even in a minor way, is a form of shirk.”

c- Hidden shirk, in which a believer may fall inadvertently, according to the following Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “Shirk is more hidden in this Ummah (i.e. Muslims) than the crawling of the black ant, on the soundless rock, in the tenebrous night.”

18. The movement is keen to awaken the Ummah intellectually and remove the stains of several decades of ignorance, backwardness, and blind imitation. ”

To Shorten or Complete Prayers While Traveling

July 21, 2010 Leave a comment
Title To Shorten or Complete Prayers While Traveling
Question Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I was on a trip and when the Prayer was due I performed it in its shortened form (qasr). Some of my friends did so, while others opted for completing the Prayer, arguing that this is the preferable act. What is the Shari`ah ruling in this regard? And what is the better choice for a traveler: to complete the Prayer or to shorten it? Jazakum Allah khayran.
Date 3/Oct/2004
Mufti A Group of Islamic Researchers

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam thanks for your question, which emanates from a God-fearing heart, since it shows your commitment to Prayer, the cornerstone of Islam.

As a matter of fact, Muslim scholars are not in agreement on this issue. But the most correct opinion is the view held by the majority of scholars that shortening the Prayer is better for a traveler, since the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the caliphs used to shorten their Prayers while traveling. This opinion, in addition, spares us the controversy whether shortening the Prayer is obligatory or not. However, a traveler is permitted either to shorten his Prayer or complete it, according to a group of scholars. Other scholars deem completing the Prayer while traveling as reprehensible since the traveler who completes the Prayer does not follow the Sunnah.

This debate is applicable if the traveler prays alone or is led by another traveler. If a traveler is led by a resident, then the preponderant opinion is that he should complete the Prayer.
To elaborate on the subject, we cite the scholars’ arguments in this regard:

In his book Al-Majmu`, Imam An-Nawawi says:

If the travel continues for three days, then the shortening is better. `Umran ibn Husain (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I performed Hajj with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and he used to pray two rak`ahs. And I traveled with Abu Bakr and he used to pray two rak`ahs until he died. Also, I traveled with `Umar and he used to pray two rak`ahs until he died. I traveled also with `Uthman. He used to perform two rak`ahs for six years, then he performed the whole Prayer in Mina.” Thus, to follow the footsteps of the Prophet is the better choice.
However, the traveler is permitted to complete the Prayer, as `A’ishah reported that she traveled with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in Ramadan to perform `Umrah. He did not fast but she did. He shortened the Prayer and she performed the whole Prayer. Then `A’ishah said, “O Messenger of Allah, you did not fast but I did, and you shortened your Prayer and I completed it.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “You did well, `A’ishah.”

In fact, shortening the Prayer is rukhsah (a legal concession) that can be abandoned, exactly as is the ruling of with wiping over leather socks in ablution.

Imam Ibn Taymiyah says in his Collection of Fatwas:

Some scholars deem completing the Prayer in travel better than shortening it. Others prefer shortening but they see no harm in completing the Prayer. Rather, they consider it the apparent ruling and they say that one should not shorten his Prayer unless he intends to do so. Still others argue that completion is not permissible, and the Sunnah is to shorten the Prayer while traveling. According to them, it is reprehensible for a traveler to complete his Prayer. These scholars hold that shortening the Prayer is a permanent Sunnah for the traveler, while combining the Prayers (jam`) is a temporary legal concession. In fact, this opinion seems to be the closest one to Sunnah.

Shedding more light on the question, the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Fiqh states:

The Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali scholars maintain that the original ruling is the completion of the Prayer, and the shortening is a legal concession. They corroborate their argument with the hadith narrated by Imam Muslim to the effect that shortening the Prayer is “an act of charity which Allah has done to you.”

Yet, the prevalent view in the Shafi`i School is that, in case a travel should last three days, shortening the Prayer is better than completion as it conforms to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and spares us the controversy introduced by those maintaining the obligation of shortening the Prayer, such as Imam Abu Hanifah. In this context, some cases are exceptional, such as the crew of a ship accompanied by their families in their travels overseas, and one who is in permanent travel with no specific homeland. Such people are recommended to perform the whole Prayer to avoid the controversy introduced by a group of scholars, including Imam Ahmad, who hold that people in such cases should complete their Prayer.

On the other hand, the unpopular view in the Shafi`i School is that completing the Prayer is better in all circumstances, due to the fact that it is the original ruling and the oft-repeated practice. Yet if a travel would not last for three days, then completing the Prayer is deemed better since it is the original ruling.

Hanbalis maintain that shortening is better than completing the Prayer, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the caliphs always shortened the Prayer while traveling. Yet there is no harm in completing the Prayer for those originally allowed to shorten the Prayers.

Hanafis, on their part, have the view that qasr is the original ruling of the Prayer. Prayer was initially composed of only two rak`ahs for both travelers and residents. This is indicated by the hadith that `A’ishah narrated: “The Prayer was prescribed as two rak`ahs, both in journey and at the place of residence. The Prayer while traveling remained as it was (originally prescribed), but an addition was made in the Prayer (observed) at the place of residence.” As a matter of fact, this cannot be known except through tawqif (revelation). Thus, performing only two of the four rak`ahs by the traveler is not originally considered a kind of shortening (qasr). In fact, this is the original and complete ruling as far as the traveler is concerned. Also, completing the Prayer would not be deemed as rukhsah for a traveler, but rather an act of disobedience to the Sunnah.

Moreover, shortening the Prayer is `azimah (an established and confirmed ruling). Had the completion been the `azimah, the Prophet would not have persisted in abandoning it. It is known that `azimah is better than rukhsah, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to choose the best of deeds. He would abandon the better deeds once or twice only to teach his Ummah the legal concessions. He (peace and blessings be upon him) shortened his Prayer in Makkah and said to the Makkans, “Complete your Prayer.” If the completion of the Prayer had been permissible, he would not have performed only two rak`ahs.