Translator’s Introduction

All praises are due to Allah. We praise Him, and seek His Help, and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in our souls and from our sinful deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can mislead. And whoever Allah misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O believers, have taqwa [fear] of Allah according to His right and die not save as Muslims. O mankind, have taqwa of your Lord, the One who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and from them spread many men and women. And fear Allah from whom you demand your mutual rights and [do not cut] familial relations. Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. O believers, have taqwa of Allah and always speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed achieved a great achievement. To proceed:
In many parts of the Western or English speaking world, our Muslim sisters do not have as much access to scholars, lectures in the mosques, arenas in which they may ask questions, and so forth. Therefore there is a pressing need to get vital Islamic information out to them in means they can take advantage of. This book is a step, Allah willing, in that direction.
In this work, the collector has done a good job of compiling many of the most important and often asked questions from sisters. The responses are given by some of the top scholars in the Muslim world today, namely, Shaikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthaimin and Shaikh Abdullah ibn Jibrin. Some of the questions were responded to by the “Standing Committee” made up of eminent scholars similar to those just mentioned.

My role in translating this work is just that: translating the work. Therefore, I have tried to keep my comments to a minimum– except for the comments on hadith that is referred to in the text paragraph. Usually, comments will only appear to make the meaning of the question or answer clearer to those who are from a different background from the questioners and scholars involved. Very rarely, there may be a comment of a different nature.

Due to the nature of fatawa, or giving answers to questions received, many times important information about the hadith quoted is not mentioned by the scholars. In those cases where the Shaikh did not give the needed information concerning a hadith, I have made the effort to trace the hadith and mention such information. In general, if a hadith was from Sahih al-Bukhari or Sahih Muslim, that is all I would mention about the hadith. Otherwise, I would mention only the most important hadith references in which that hadith is to be found. Since the scholars responding to the questions are excellent scholars and very knowledgeable of hadith, it is very rare that they quote any hadith which is not authentic. Still, just to give the reader more confidence in the work, I did quote hadith specialists concerning those. Ahadith that were not taken from either Sahih al-Bukhari or Sahih Muslim.

It has been my attempt to limit the number of Arabic terms used in this translation. In this way, every English reader can, Allah willing, benefit completely from the work. However, on occasion, I was still forced to use some Arabic terms. Usually, when coming across such terms, they are defined in parenthesis or are clear from the context. Some of these Arabic terms are completely defined in the glossary at the end of the work.

I pray that Allah accepts this work from us and makes it beneficial for the Muslim community. I ask Allah to bless the Shaikhs who responded to these questions and to increase their knowledge and fear of Him. May Allah also bless Br. Muhammad al-Musnad for gathering these questions in one work and getting them published. May Allah also bless Br. Abdul Malik Mujahid of Darussalam for presenting this translation project to me as well as for his encouraging me to complete it. May Allah also especially bless three brothers (Br. Muhammad Tahlawi, Dr. Muhammad al- Osimi and Br. Fahd al-Yahya) who have assisted me a great deal over the years, although in very different ways.

I ask Allah to forgive my mistakes and shortcomings in this work and in general. O Allah, accept this work from me as a work done solely for your sake.

Br. Jamaal Zarabozo

May 30, 1996

Muharram 13, 1417

Publisher’s Note

All praise be to Allah. By His grace and mercy, Darussalam is having the golden opportunity to publish the Book of Fatawa (Shari’ah Rulings) for women to present it to the English-speaking world for the first time ever since.

Book of Fatawa has got a vital importance among the religious books. In day-to-day life, different people face different types of problems of varying nature and they need proper solution in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah. In addition to the common problems faced by both men and women, women are to face a lot of special problems regarding menses, post-partum bleeding, istihada, hijab, mixing with men; rights and duties with respect to their husband, husband’s household, children; inheritance, marriage, divorce and so forth. Women apart, even educated men are not having proper knowledge of these issues.
It is only the scholars who can derive rulings from Shari’ah and give legal verdicts. Hence the people are commanded by Allah to have recourse to the pious scholars of religion.

Allah says,

“So ask of those who know the Scripture if you know not.” (al-Nahl 43)

Allah also describes the dignified station of the scholars in the following verse,

“Say: Are those who know equal to those who know not?” (al-Zumar 9)

In a Hadith, it is also stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him) that,

“If Allah wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion (the understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah).” (Bukhari)

In Saudi Arabia women have got the facility to put their questions regarding different kinds of problems faced by them in their day-to-day life, to the eminent scholars herein who are from amongst the best scholars of the world. These are such Fatawa (responses to their questions) compiled in this book for all the women to benefit from them.

Scholars’ answers to the questions of the people, with respect to their problems and issues, are actually the gists of the vast studies over the Qur’an and Ahadith. And a common man, thus, through the Book of Fatawa gets the exact Shari’ah rulings with a very little effort. In this way, Fatawa are an authentic and easy accessible source of the knowledge.

In this regard, Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz al-Musnad is highly praiseworthy for his efforts to collect all the Fatawa in Arabic, where from it could be rendered into English in view of its vast usefulness for the women.

I am much grateful to Br. Jamaal Zarabozo who has rendered it into a very simple and eloquent English, intelligible to all. His comments on Ahadith and also those clarifying the meaning of the question or answer are much appreciable and are an added value to the book. I express my sincere thanks to the companions of Br. Jamaal, who have assisted him in different ways. I am also thankful to all of my brothers, especially Md. Daud, who have exerted their best efforts in bringing out the book.

Abdul Malik Mujahid
General Manager

Biographies

Shaikh ibn Baz
Abu Abdullah Shaikh Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdur-Rahman Aal-Baz was born in the city of Riyadh in Dhul-Hijjah 1330H. He memorized the Qur’an in his early age and then he acquired knowledge from many of the great scholars of the Kingdom. Some of his teachers were Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul-Latif Aal-Shaikh, Shaikh Salih bin Abdul-Aziz Aal-Sahikh and the eminent Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Aal-Shaikh who, in his time, was the Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Shaikh ibn Baz accompanied the eminent Shaikh and learned from him for about ten years. Thus he gained his religious education from the family of Imam Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahab. Afterwards Shaikh ibn Baz was appointed as a Justice and he worked for fourteen years in the judiciary until he was deputed to the education faculty. He remained engaged in teaching for nine years at Riyadh Islamic Law College, Riyadh Religious Institute. Then he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Islamic University, Al-Madinah; but shortly afterwards, he was made the Chancellor with all the administrative powers.

Later he was appointed President of the General Presidency of Islamic Research, Ifta, Call and Propagation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Presently he is the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia.
He is also the President of many Islamic Committees and Councils, the prominent among these are: Senior Scholars Committee of the Kingdom, Permanent Committee for Islamic and Educational Research, the Founding Committee of Muslim World League, World Supreme Council for Mosques, Islamic Jurisprudence Assembly Makkah; and the member of the Supreme Council of the Islamic University at Al-Madinah, and the Supreme Committee for Islamic Propagation.

He belongs to the Hanbali School of jurisprudence but his verdicts are based the arguments from Qur’an and Sunnah.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin
Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Salih bin Muhammad bin Uthaimin At-Tamimi An-Najdi was born in the city of Unaiza, Qaseem Region on 27th Ramadhan 1347H in a famous religious family. He got his education from many prominent scholars like Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Sa’di, Shaikh Muhammad Amin Shinqiti and Shaikh Abdul-Aziz bin Baz.

When he entered into teaching, a great number of students from inside and outside Saudi Arabia get benefited from him. He has his own unique style of interpretation and explanation of religious points. He is from among those scholars who served Islam without any type of religious prejudice and kept themselves away from the limitations of blind-following. He is distinguished in his great exertion of effort in religious matters and analogical deductions which clearly prove the religious understanding he possesses, and the correct usage of the principles of religion, he adopts.
In giving religious verdicts, like Shaikh ibn Baz, his Fatawa are based on evidence from Qur’an and Sunnah. He has about fifty compilations to his credit. Presently he is teaching Religious Fundamentals at the Shariah Faculty of Imam Muhammad bin Sa’ud Islamic University, Qaseem Branch. He is also a member of the Senior Scholars Committee of the Kingdom, and is the Imam and Khatib of the big Mosque of Unaiza city.
Shaikh ibn Jibreen

Abdullah bin Abdur-Rahman Al-Jibreen is the member of the General Presidency of Islamic Research, Ifta, Call and Propagation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He received his education from the great scholars of the Kingdom including the eminent Shaikh ibn Baz. He participates in various seminars and religious forums for the purpose of the propagation of the call to Islam. He also delivers special lectures for the same cause. He has compiled many books and pamphlets on various Islamic topics.

What Negates One’s Islam

Shaikh-ul-Islam Muhammad bin Suleiman At-Tamimi stated, “Know that ten matters negate one’s Islam. [They are:]

“First, associating partners in the worship of Allah. Allah says,

“Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom He pleases other sins than that” (al-Nisa 116).

Allah also says,

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers, there are no helpers”

(al-Maidah 72).

Included in this category of deeds is sacrificing animals for the sake of jinn or graves.

“Second, whoever sets up an intermediary between himself and Allah, whom he prays to, seeks intercession from and puts his reliance in, has blasphemed according to the consensus of the scholars.

“Third, whoever does not consider the polytheists as disbelievers or whoever has doubt concerning their disbelief or whoever considers their way as correct has committed an act of disbelief himself.

“Fourth, if a person believes that some guidance other than the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is more complete than his or that another’s judgment is better than the Prophet’s, [then that person has committed an act of disbelief]. This would be like the one who prefers the rule and law of false gods [be they human or otherwise] over the Prophet’s rule and law. This position is one of disbelief.

“Fifth, whoever dislikes anything the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought, even if he acts by it, has committed an act of disbelief.

“Sixth, whoever ridicules or jokes about any part of the religion of the Messenger (peace be upon him) or its rewards or its punishments, has committed an act of disbelief. The evidence for this is in the Words of Allah,

“Say: Was it Allah, or His signs or His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse, you have disbelieved after you had believed.”

(al-Tauba 65-66).

“Seventh, the performing of magic [is an act of disbelief], this includes those magical incantations that make one love or hate another person. Whoever performs them or is pleased with them has committed an act of disbelief. Allah says in the Quran,

“But neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) until they had said, ‘We are only for trial, so disbelieve not [by learning such magic from us]”‘

(al-Baqara 102).

“Eighth, assisting and supporting the polytheists against the Muslims [is also a type of disbelief]. The proof for this is in Allah’s statement,

“And if any among you takes them [the Jews and Christians] as helpers and protectors, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are wrongdoing” (al-Maida 51).

“Ninth, if a person believes that some people are permitted to be free of the Law of Muhammad (peace be upon him), in the same way that Khidr was free of the law of Moses (peace be upon him), then that person is a disbeliever.

“Tenth, turning away from the religion of Allah, not learning it or applying it, [is also a form of disbelief]. The evidence for this is Allah’s saying,

“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the signs of his Lord, then he turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the sinners”
(al-Sajdah 22).

“There is no difference with respect to all of the above whether the act is done jokingly, seriously or out of fear. The only exception is one who is coerced. All of them are from the greater of the dangerous acts and they are also among the most common in occurrence. A Muslim must be aware of them and fear for himself concerning such actions. We seek refuge in Allah from that which brings about His anger and the painfulness of His punishment”

Hypocrisy is of Two Types: With Respect to Belief and with Respect to Actions

Hypocrisy with respect to beliefs is of six types. The one who is guilty of any of them will be in the lowest pit of the Hellfire. These are:

(1) Denying or disbelieving the Messenger (peace be upon him).
(2) Denying something that the Messenger (peace be upon him) presented or taught.
(3) Having hatred for the Messenger (peace be upon him).
(4) Having hatred for something the Messenger (peace be upon him) presented.
(5) Being pleased if the religion of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is diminished or weakened.
(6) Being displeased if the religion of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is strengthened or victorious.

What Negates One’s Islam

Shaikh-ul-Islam Muhammad bin Suleiman At-Tamimi stated, “Know that ten matters negate one’s Islam. [They are:]

“First, associating partners in the worship of Allah. Allah says,

“Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom He pleases other sins than that” (al-Nisa 116).

Allah also says,

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers, there are no helpers” (al-Maidah 72).

Included in this category of deeds is sacrificing animals for the sake of jinn or graves.

“Second, whoever sets up an intermediary between himself and Allah, whom he prays to, seeks intercession from and puts his reliance in, has blasphemed according to the consensus of the scholars.

“Third, whoever does not consider the polytheists as disbelievers or whoever has doubt concerning their disbelief or whoever considers their way as correct has committed an act of disbelief himself.

“Fourth, if a person believes that some guidance other than the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is more complete than his or that another’s judgment is better than the Prophet’s, [then that person has committed an act of disbelief]. This would be like the one who prefers the rule and law of false gods [be they human or otherwise] over the Prophet’s rule and law. This position is one of disbelief.

“Fifth, whoever dislikes anything the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought, even if he acts by it, has committed an act of disbelief.

“Sixth, whoever ridicules or jokes about any part of the religion of the Messenger (peace be upon him) or its rewards or its punishments, has committed an act of disbelief. The evidence for this is in the Words of Allah,

“Say: Was it Allah, or His signs or His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse, you have disbelieved after you had believed.” (al-Tauba 65-66).

“Seventh, the performing of magic [is an act of disbelief], this includes those magical incantations that make one love or hate another person. Whoever performs them or is pleased with them has committed an act of disbelief. Allah says in the Quran,

“But neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) until they had said, ‘We are only for trial, so disbelieve not [by learning such magic from us]”‘ (al-Baqara 102).

“Eighth, assisting and supporting the polytheists against the Muslims [is also a type of disbelief]. The proof for this is in Allah’s statement,

“And if any among you takes them [the Jews and Christians] as helpers and protectors, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are wrongdoing” (al-Maida 51).

“Ninth, if a person believes that some people are permitted to be free of the Law of Muhammad (peace be upon him), in the same way that Khidr was free of the law of Moses (peace be upon him), then that person is a disbeliever.

“Tenth, turning away from the religion of Allah, not learning it or applying it, [is also a form of disbelief]. The evidence for this is Allah’s saying,

“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the signs of his Lord, then he turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the sinners”
(al-Sajdah 22).

“There is no difference with respect to all of the above whether the act is done jokingly, seriously or out of fear. The only exception is one who is coerced. All of them are from the greater of the dangerous acts and they are also among the most common in occurrence. A Muslim must be aware of them and fear for himself concerning such actions. We seek refuge in Allah from that which brings about His anger and the painfulness of His punishment”

Hypocrisy is of Two Types: With Respect to Belief and with Respect to Actions

Hypocrisy with respect to beliefs is of six types. The one who is guilty of any of them will be in the lowest pit of the Hellfire. These are:

(1) Denying or disbelieving the Messenger (peace be upon him).
(2) Denying something that the Messenger (peace be upon him) presented or taught.
(3) Having hatred for the Messenger (peace be upon him).
(4) Having hatred for something the Messenger (peace be upon him) presented.
(5) Being pleased if the religion of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is diminished or weakened.
(6) Being displeased if the religion of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is strengthened or victorious.

The Ruling Concerning Celebrating Birthdays

Question: What is the ruling concerning celebrating birthdays?

Response: Celebrating birthdays has no source whatsoever in the pure shariah. In fact, it is an innovation, since the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that does not belong to it shall have that action rejected.”

This was recorded by both al-Bukhari and Muslim. In a version recorded by Muslim and by al-Bukhari in definitive muallaq form1,

“Whoever performs a deed which is not in accord with our affairs, that deed is rejected.”

It is well-known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not celebrate his birthday at all during his lifetime nor did he ever order it to be celebrated. Nor did he teach such to his Companions. Therefore, the rightly-guided caliphs and all of his Companions did not celebrate it. They are the most knowledgeable of the people concerning his sunnah and they are the most beloved to the Prophet (peace be upon him). They were also the most keen upon following whatever the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought. Therefore, if one is supposed to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, this would have been made evident at their time. Similarly, not one of the scholars of the best generations2s celebrated his birthday nor did they order it to be done.

Therefore, it is known from the above that such a celebration is not from the Law that Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) with. We ask Allah and all Muslims to witness that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) had done so or ordered such to be done, or even if his Companions had done so, we would rush to do it and call others to do it. This is because, and all praises are due to Allah, we are the most keen in following his sunnah and respecting his commands and prohibitions. We ask Allah, for ourselves and for all of our brethren Muslims, steadfastness upon the truth, avoiding everything that differs from Allah’s pure shariah. Verily, He is Generous and Noble.

Shaikh Ibn Baz

Footnote
1. Mualaq is where al-Bukhari did not record the entire chain of the hadith. However, if it is in “definitive mualaq form,” it shows that he considered it authentic back to the one he is quoting from.– JZ
2. The first three generations of Islam, that is, the generation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the following two.–JZ