In Da’wah: Violence Doesn’t Bring Any Good

Using gentleness with those who are hoped to embrace Islam is a desirable thing, in order to attract their hearts to it. This is with regards to the disbelievers; what then should the attitude be towards someone who is hoped to make repentance while he is a Muslim who believes in Allah and His Messenger? Is he not worthier of gentleness than the disbeliever who is hoped to embrace Islam?

In Da’wah (calling to Islam), gentleness is a form of a kind treatment that opens the heart of the recipient. This is one of the established principles of Da‘wah in Islam that is uniformly mirrored in the Quranic discourse and the practices of all Messengers of Allah with their peoples. It is more evident in the story of Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allah exalt his mention, when he was inviting his father to believe in Allah. He repeatedly called him “O my Father”, thereby hoping to appeal to him through this firm father-son bond. It is also quite clear in the story of Prophet Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, with Pharaoh, who claimed to be God. Allah The Exalted commanded Moosa and Haaroon (Aaron), may Allah exalt their mention, to invite Pharaoh to believe in Him with kindness; He Says (what means): “And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].” [Quran 20:44] There is no doubt that gentle speech is more likely to be responded to positively.

Islam preaches this same general attitude when calling people to Allah The Exalted. Rather, the Quran emphasized it and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) implemented it; Allah The Exalted Says (what means): “And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter.” [Quran 3:159]

Contemplating the Quran, we notice that harshness is not mentioned except in the context of fighting the enemies in battlefields. Here, there is no room for gentle speech as no sound is louder than that of the sword and spear. The rules of efficiency in combat dictate toughness when confronting the enemy until the battle comes to an end. However, even in this context, Islam preaches kindness by establishing the refined etiquette of Jihaad in this glorious religion. There should be no fighting before conducting Da‘wah (calling people to Islam). In fact, the object of Jihaad in Islam is to usher people to guidance; the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: ~“If a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.”~~ In Islam, the purpose of Jihaad is not killing people and taking captives and war booty; rather, it is prompted by mercy in all its aspects. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) used to instruct his Companions to observe the Islamic etiquette of war, saying: ~“Set out with the blessing of Allah. Do not kill a decrepit old man, or a child, or a woman; do not steal (from the booty) or act treacherously, and do right and act kindly, for Allah loves those who act kindly.”~~

If Islam preaches kindness and gentleness in the context of war, how about that of Da‘wah?

Violence Yields no Good

Violence in the context of Da‘wah begets no good. Nothing mars Da‘wah more than violence, because the caller to Allah hopes that his call delves into the depths of the recipient to make him a person of God in his conceptions, feelings, perceptions, and attitude. It alters his whole being and transforms him to another person in terms of thought, feeling and willpower. It also targets the community to change its inherited beliefs, deeply rooted traditions, and prevailing moral and social systems that do not conform with the laws of Allah or the tenets of faith and the concepts of truth.

It is thus a substitution at the intellectual, ideological, and emotional levels. It is well known that beliefs and ideologies can never be changed through violence, force, or coercion. Being harbored by the hearts and minds, there is no way to force beliefs and ideas on others. In fact, the only effective means to change beliefs and ideas are persuasion and reasoning.

This can only be achieved by means of wisdom, clever handling of matters, and knowledge of the human nature and man’s innate inclination to hold on to the old norms, while taking into account his inherent inclination to dispute; Allah The Exalted Says (what means): “… but man has ever been, most of anything, [prone to] dispute.” [Quran 18:54] This entails adhering to gentleness and skillfully trying to win the heart and mind of the recipient to soften his heart, weaken his persistent clinging to old ideas and practices, and eliminate his prejudice.

There Should Be no Compulsion in Religion

Allah The Exalted and Glorified does not force anyone to believe in Him or embrace His religion. In fact, He forbade the believers from coercing people into embracing Islam; He Said (what means): “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.” [Quran 2:256] Evidently, coercion is utterly pointless as far as beliefs and ideologies are concerned. It does not yield genuine faith, as a person cannot become a true believer under duress.

It goes without saying that Allah The Exalted is able to cause all His servants to be believers; He Says (what means): “And if we had willed, We could have given every soul its guidance…” [Quran 32:13], “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?” [Quran 10:99]

However, He did not do so and instead provided His servants with clear and compelling evidence to usher them into the correct path, and sent them Messengers to guide them to the truth; Allah The Exalted Says (what means): “[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers.” [Quran 4:165] He then left them the choice to believe or disbelieve so that the consequences would be those of the servant’s own choice, not of someone else’s actions forced on him. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): “so whoever wills – let him believe, and whoever wills – let him disbelieve. Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them.” [Quran 18:29]

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) lived in Makkah and saw the idols everywhere, yet he did not demolish or burn them. Rather, he continued calling people to Allah and communicating the divine message to them to enlighten their minds, change their false beliefs wisely, and correct their perceptions so that the change would stem from within them out of full conviction.

The Muslim youth around the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) were sometimes carried away by zeal for their cause and asked him to take up arms against their enemies. However, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) urged them to adhere to patience and commanded them to refrain from fighting the disbelievers until instructed otherwise, and concentrate their efforts, instead, on establishing the prayer and paying the Zakah until the budding Muslim community is strong enough to take the apt measures. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): “Have you not seen those who were told, ‘Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give Zakah’?” [Quran 4:77]

Assume that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) had given in to their wishes and commanded them to fight the disbelievers of the Quraysh, how would have the Muslims, few in number as they were then, been able to confront their enemies? Had the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) demolished the idols around the Ka’bah, what would have been the consequences of such an act?

Saddening Reality

Some ardent Muslim youth in a large Muslim country dug up the graves erected inside mosques and demolished shrines venerated by some misguided Muslims who made offerings to them. These zealous Muslim youth defended their action by bringing forth textual evidence from the Quran and Sunnah regarding the obligation of forbidding such sinful acts. There is no doubt that their intention was good and they sought to enjoin good and forbidding evil. However, their actions incurred adverse consequences; they were arrested and so were large numbers of scholars, seekers of knowledge and religious Muslims. All of them were severely harmed, and their families suffered material and moral harm as well.

Add to that, these shrines were rebuilt better than they were before. In brief, forbidding the evil in this case incurred a graver one.

I recall another incident in a Muslim country where a statue of a naked woman was installed at a square. It was an old worn-out statue that people hardly cared about or noticed. A zealous Muslim young man broke the statue and vandalized it. Perhaps he was somewhat right, but again the consequences were unfavorable; he was arrested and subjected to much suffering, and the officials rebuilt the once-neglected statue, turning it to a better and more noticeable version. It became the talk of the town and the incident actually drew people’s attention to it even more.

We do not accept or approve of preserving such idols and statues or of building shrines and allowing people to circumambulate them. We do not accept or approve of any sinful act committed in a Muslim country; however, we must consider the consequences of actions and their results. Forbidding an evil may be considered an evil itself if it led to an even graver evil, as Muslim scholars agreed.

Addressing corruption and evils with violence or in a manner that does not conform to the principles of the Sharia and the due conditions of enjoining good and forbidding evil often incurs legal implications on the doer under the man-made laws. It also constitutes a major irritant for some influential notables, who benefit from preserving such corruption and evil. Thereupon, the caller to Allah would be exposing himself to the punishment and oppression of authorities and no good would be generated from his action. It would not benefit the call to Islam or Muslims in the slightest. His efforts would be wasted and his call would be rejected and prevented from spreading.

We are not suggesting that the caller to Allah should be a coward; rather, we want him to expand his mental and psychological horizons and address the root causes of the problem wisely and patiently, taking into account the beginnings and endings of matters. This is the normal way of addressing problems.

In fact, demolishing idols and statues does not eradicate corruption or uproot disbelief, and it will not change the situation in the slightest. On the contrary, people would more likely erect new ones or rebuild the broken ones to be better than before, and they may be blinded by stubbornness from seeing the truth. Most likely, such an act would enrage them, driving them to retaliate against Muslims and their Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) as did the people of Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allah exalt his mention, when he demolished their idols.

The Role of the Caller to Allah

The role of the caller to Allah is not to kill idol worshipers. Killing them is pointless because it does not end idol worship. His role is not to demolish these idols, while their love remains vivid in the hearts of their worshipers; because, as we said before, they would rebuild them and make them better than they were. Rather, the role of the caller to Allah is to demolish the idols within the hearts and minds of the worshippers until their love is eradicated and people learn that these idols are false gods that do not benefit or harm themselves, let alone their worshipers. He is required to uproot the reverence, love, and glorification for such idols from the hearts and channel that reverence, love, and glorification to the One who is truly worthy of them. By doing so, the worshippers will demolish the idols with their own hands after the callers to Allah have demolished them within their hearts. This is the real change, and this is the role, job and duty of the callers to Allah.

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Reconcilation of The Place from Where The Isra’ Journey Began


There are different narrations about the place from where the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (SAW) was ascended to the heavens. One narration reads: “…while I was resting in the House [i.e. the Ka’bah]”, and another narration reads: “…while I was in Al-Hateem (Al-Hijr, i.e. the area adjacent to the Ka’bah enclosed by a low semi-circular wall).”, another narration reads: “…(while I was) in Al-Hijr”, and another narration states: “The ceiling of my house was opened while I was in Makkah.” Another narration reads that he spent the night in the house of Umm Haani’ who said: “I missed him by night and he said that Jibreel came to him…”

The scholars may Allah have mercy upon them reconciled between these different narrations; Ibn Hajar may Allah have mercy upon him said,

“To reconcile between these statements, the Prophet SAW was sleeping in the house of Umm Haani’ and her house was in the Sh’ib (valley) of Abi Taalib and the ceiling of his house was opened – the house here belongs to him because he used to dwell in it – and from it [the opening in the ceiling of the house] the angel descended and took him out from the house to the mosque and there he [Prophet SAW] was lying down and sleepy. Moreover, in a Mursal Hadeeth (i.e. narrated by a Tabi’ie (successor of the Prophet’s companions) while omitting the companion’s name whom he heard the Hadeeth from) reported by Ibn ‘Is’haaq from Al-Hasan Al-Basri may Allah have mercy upon him it states that Jibreel came to him and he took him out to the mosque and he made him mount the Buraaq (a very vast animal whose stride is the farthest distance its eye can see); indeed, this strengthens this reconciliation.”

Allah Knows best.

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Mi’raj: Journey of The Prophet SAW

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (SAW ) is His slave and Messenger.

The details of the night of Al-Mi’raj (the Ascension) are reported in Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Here we present the translation of the text as reported in the collection of narrations by Al-Bukhari, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated from Malik ibn Sasaah, may Allah be pleased with them both, said that the Messenger of Allah SAW described to them his Night Journey saying: “While I was lying in Al-Haatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here.” I [Anas] asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, ‘What does he mean?’ He said, ‘It means from his throat to his pubic area,’ or said, ‘From the top of the chest.’

“The Prophet SAW further said: ‘He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Faith was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Faith) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.’ (On this Al-Jarud asked, “Was it the Buraaq, O Abu Hamzah?” I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative).

“The Prophet SAW said:

‘The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within reach of the animal’s sight. I was carried on it, and Jibreel (Gabriel) set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven. When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel answered, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has Muhammad been called?’ Jibreel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit is his!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Aadam (Adam) there. Jibreel said (to me), ‘This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.’

Then Jibreel ascended with me until we reached the second heaven. Jibreel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel answered, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Jibreel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit is his!’ The gate was opened. When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and ‘Eesa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other. Jibreel said (to me), ‘These are Yahya and ‘Eesa; pay them your greetings.’ So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Jibreel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Jibreel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit is his!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven, there I saw Yoosuf (Joseph). Jibreel said (to me), ‘This is Yoosuf; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Jibreel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Jibreel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit is his!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idrees. Jibreel said (to me), ‘This is Idrees; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Jibreel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked. ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Jibreel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit is his!’ So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Haaroon (i.e. Aaron), Jibreel said, (to me). This is Haaroon; pay him your greetings.’ I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Jibreel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Jibreel replied in the affirmative. It was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit is his!’ When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),’ This is Moosa (Moses); pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, ‘What makes you weep?’ Moosa said, ‘I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.’

Then Jibreel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was asked,’ Who is accompanying you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Jibreel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit is his!’So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Ibraaheem (Abraham). Jibreel said (to me), ‘This is your father; pay your greetings to him.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.’

Then I was made to ascend to Sidratul-Muntaha (i.e. the farthest Lote Tree). Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Madeenah) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Jibreel said, ‘This is the farthest Lote Tree.’ Behold! There ran four rivers; two were hidden and two were visible. I asked, ‘What are these two kinds of rivers, O Jibreel?’ He replied, ‘As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.’ Then Al-Baitul-Ma’moor (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Jibreel remarked, ‘This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.’ Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day.

When I returned, I passed by Moosa who asked (me), ‘What have you been ordered to do?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.’ Moosa said, ‘Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allaah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’

So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moosa, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allaah and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moosa and he said the same, I went back to Allaah and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moosa, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allaah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day. When I came back to Moosa, he said, ‘What have you been ordered?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.’ He said, ‘Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have experienced people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’

I said, ‘I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allaah’s Order.’ When I left, I heard a voice saying, ‘I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My worshipers.'”

For more details please read the books of Seerah (biography of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and the explanation of Chapter Al-Israa’ (Chapter 17) in the books of Tafseer (Quranic exegesis).

Allah Knows best.

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Hijab: Definition & Conditions


Hijab is an Arabic word that describes the Muslim woman’s entire dress code, which includes a veil and whatever else is needed to cover everything except the face and hands. It is adopted at puberty – an age when, according to Islam, people become accountable for their actions.

This article will attempt to briefly enumerate the basic requirements regarding the Hijab as stipulated by the Sharee’ah (Islamic Law). The term Hijab includes not only dress and the covering of the body, but also the methods of behavior that one has before members of the same and/or opposite sex, promoting privacy for females and prohibiting loose intermingling between males and females; it is, therefore, an encouragement of modesty, decency, and chastity.

The following requirements represent the ones agreed upon by the overwhelming majority of Islamic scholars and are all solidly backed by firm evidence taken from the Quran, the Sunnah (Prophetic traditions) and the practice of the Companions of the Prophet.

1. The Extent of Covering

The dress worn in public must cover the entire body except what has been specifically excluded, based upon the following verse:

Allah Says (what means): “And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not display their adornment [Zeenah] except only that which [ordinarily] appears thereof and to draw their headcovers [Khumur] over their chests and not display their adornment [i.e., beauty] except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their female slaves, their women [i.e., their sisters in Islam], or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O Believers, in order that you might succeed.” [Quran 24:31]

The word Zeenah in the above verse literally means adornment, and includes both:

(a) That which Allah has adorned (i.e., the woman’s natural and/or physical beauty), and,(b) That with which they adorn themselves (i.e., jewelry, eye shadow, attractive clothing, hand dye, etc). The word ‘Khumur’ (pl. of ‘Khimaar’) refers to a cloth that covers the head (including the ears), hair, neck, and bosom.

2. Thickness

The garment should be thick and opaque so as not to display the skin color and form of the body beneath it. Delicate or transparent clothing does not constitute a proper covering. Imaam Al-Qurtubi reported a narration from ‘Aa’ishah that some women from the tribe of Banu Tameem came to see her wearing transparent clothing. ‘Aa’ishah said to them: “If you are believing women, these are not the clothes of believing women.” He also reported that on another occasion, a bride came to see her wearing a sheer, transparent Khimaar, whereupon ‘Aa’ishah remarked: “A woman who wears such clothing does not believe in Soorah An-Noor (i.e., the chapter in the Quran that contains the abovementioned verse regarding the Hijab).” Moreover, the following Hadeeth makes this point graphically clear. Prophet Muhammad said: “There will be among the last of my Ummah (Nation), scantily dressed women; they will wear their hair on top of their heads, like a camel’s hump. Curse them – for verily they are cursed.”

3. Looseness

The clothing must hang loosely and not be so tight and fitting to show the shape and size of the woman’s body. This obviously prohibits such things as skin-tight bodysuits and the like. The following Hadeeth proves this point clearly. Usaamah bin Zayd said: The Prophet once gave me a gift of thick Coptic cloth that he had received as a gift from Dahiyyah Al-Kalbee, so I gave it to my wife. Afterward, he asked me: “Why haven’t you worn the Coptic cloth? I replied: ‘I gave it to my wife.’ The Prophet then said: “Tell her to wear a thick gown under it (i.e., the Coptic garment) for I fear that it may describe the size of her limbs.” [Narrated by Ahmad, Al Bayhaqi and Al-Haakim]

4. Colour, Appearance, and Demeanour

Allah Says (what means): “O wives of the Prophet! You are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.” [Quran: 33:32]

The reason for the revelation of this verse was not due to the fear of distrust or misbehavior on the part of the women, but rather to prevent them from speaking invitingly, walking seductively, or dressing revealingly so as to arouse sexual desire in the heart of lecherous and evil men. Seductive dressing and enticing speech are the characteristics of ill-intentioned women, not Muslims. Imaam Al-Qurtubi mentioned that Mujaahid said: “Women (before the advent of Islam) would walk about among men.” Qataadah said: “The women (at that time) would wear an untied cloth on their heads, while provocatively toying with their necklaces, earrings, and other ornamental jewelry.”

5. The difference between Men’s Clothing

The clothing of a Muslim woman must not resemble that of men. The following statement helps to explain this: Abu Hurayrah said: “The Prophet cursed the man who wears women’s clothes and the woman who wears men’s clothes.” [Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah]

6. The difference from the Clothing of Unbelievers

Her clothing must not resemble the clothing of the unbelievers. This is a general ruling of the Sharee’ah which encompasses not only the dress but also matters such as manners, customs, religious practices and festivities, transactions, etc. Indeed, dissimilarity with unbelievers is a precedent that was established by the first generation of Muslims. ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin Al-’Aas sad: “The Prophet once saw me wearing two saffron-colored garments, so he said: “Indeed, these are clothes of ‘Kuffaar’ (unbelievers), so do not wear them.” [Muslim]

7. No Vain or Ostentatious Dressing

The woman’s dress must not be an expression of ostentation, vanity or a status symbol by being excessively showy or expensive, nor must it be excessively tattered so as to gain admiration and fame for being extremely humble. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet said: “Whoever dresses for ostentation in this world, Allah will dress that person in a dress of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, and then set it on fire.” [Abu Daud]

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Our Position Towards Who Introduce Misconceptions


Now, what should be our stance towards these people who introduce and arouse misconceptions? Should we sit with them? Should we listen to what they say? Did Allah not command us not to sit with them and not to listen to what they say in the above-mentioned verse? Did the Prophet  not warn us against them in this regard when he said: “Beware of mixing with them.”

Did the Prophet not comment on the saying of Allah which means: “…As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]…” [Quran 3: 7] by saying: “When you see people who arouse misconceptions, beware of them, because they are the ones referred to in this (verse).” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

Our Salaf would adopt a very tough stance towards those who aroused and spread misconceptions. Once, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, heard that a man by the name of Subaygh ibn ‘Aslam was asking questions that created doubts and misconceptions in the minds of the people, so ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, summoned him and beat him until the man said: “O leader of the believers! Please! This is enough! I am now clear about the things I inquired about.” After this, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, sent him to live in exile in another city and commanded the people to boycott him, which they did. This continued until the governor of that city sent a letter to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, seeking permission to allow people to talk to him, as his life had become a miserable one.

Also, Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was once informed that a man by the name of Najdah, who was a member of the deviant Khawaarij sect, was spreading doubts and misconceptions, but he, may Allah be pleased with him, avoided listening to the specific details of what he was propagating, lest it would affect his heart. Note that he did this despite him being one of the well-established scholars amongst the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

Ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said regarding misconceptions: “He who lives long enough to see those who spread misconceptions should run away and refuse to talk or listen to them.” One does not have to physically leave the city they are in, but he must allow his heart and mind to escape, for his own protection.

Al-Fudhayl said: “If a man consults a person about a matter and then later direct him to inquire from an innovator, then he has betrayed Islam. Beware of sitting with innovators because they will divert you from the truth … he who sits with innovators has become poisoned (i.e. in his mind), so be aware of him.”

How did Jahm ibn Safwaan, to whom the deviant sect of Al-Jahmiyyah is attributed, divert from the right path? He did this by sitting with atheists who asked him: “Sit with us and discuss your religion, if we convince you then follow our way, and if you convince us, then we will follow yours.” He thought of this as a good opportunity to convince them. They then asked him: “You claim to have a Lord, but did you ever see him, hear him, smell him, find any trace of him, or see a statue that resembles his form?” He replied: “No!” So they said: “Then he does not really exist” Jahm sat for forty days after that, not knowing who to worship as a result of this debate.

Unfortunately, Jahm ibn Safwaan did not possess the intelligence to debate, because if he did, he could have asked them in return if they possessed brains, to which the answer would, of course, be yes; after this, he could have asked them the same questions that they asked regarding Allah about their brains, and conclude that they did not possess any.

A man came to a scholar and asked him: “What are the Jinn created from?” He answered: “Fire.” The man then asked: “Then how can they be punished with fire if they are created from it?” The scholar asked: “What are you created from?” The man replied: “Clay.” So the scholar asked him: “Well, why do you get injured if you are hit with dried clay?”

Many people deviated simply due to allowing themselves to sit with others who aroused certain misconceptions; they listened to what they had to say and thus became confused and doubtful. Others read books that addressed and discussed misconceptions. Yet others deviated due to surfing websites that propagate misconceptions and by chatting online to the people behind them. There is a final type whose curiosity led them to browse such websites simply to see what they contained, and they thus fell into their traps.

One may ask why Allah decreed for such misconceptions to spread. We say that it is a means of testing people generally, as well as their reaction and steadfastness. Of course, Allah knew how people would react before they were even created, but it is to make their reaction evident, as He Says what means: “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?” [Quran: 142] How can anyone be admitted into Paradise without having persevered and fought Jihaad? It is not possible. The Knowledge of Allah must become manifest in reality.

The issue of listening to misconceptions is a grave one, especially during the era in which we live when we are exposed to so many things via numerous means that could divert people and poison their hearts and minds. Yes, we must face these misconceptions and expose their reality to people, but this is the responsibility of the people of knowledge and not that of the common masses – their task is to stay away from such evils and their propagators and not expose themselves to them, because they would not then have the tools to defend themselves and protect their minds and hearts from being influenced. If a common person were to become exposed to any misconception or even think about one, he should immediately refrain from this thinking and rush to inquire from trustworthy scholars to clarify the matter for him as Allah Says what means: “…So ask the people of the message (i.e. people of knowledge)  if you do not know.” [Quran 21: 7]

What are the methods that the deviants deploy to confuse people? They might quote a text from the Qur’aan or the Sunnah that is general in it is meaning and apply it to specific cases where it is not applicable, or quote a part of it, or explain it to mean other than what Allah or the Prophet intended it to mean. They decorate their ideas with eloquent phrases to confuse people, and many people are deceived by these decorations because they are presented in a very clever way.

When a follower of the truth tries to refute these misconceptions, the propagators of doubt prevent him from doing so and play around with the words and terms he uses, but when a deviant request to speak, they open the way for him via numerous satellite television channels or various other media.

Lastly, deviant people generally do not dare to debate with well-founded scholars. This is why the deviant Khawaarij deviant sect refused to debate with Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, when he went to publicly debate with them regarding their beliefs.

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Gems from The Treasury of The Quran


The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “The best amongst you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” [Al-Bukhari]

What is the Quran?

The Quran is the Book of Allah, which He chose to be the Final of the Heavenly Books. He, the Merciful and Most High, revealed it to Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) as the source for the Last Religion and a guidance for mankind. Its revelation was a turning point for humanity; it was the power that changed the world, shifted the flow of history, saved and reformed humanity, so much so that the entire existence appeared as if it had been recreated anew.

The Quran is the strongest evidence in support of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) and his greatest sign. It is the proof of his prophethood and trustworthiness. Allah, the Most Exalted, Says in the Quran (which means): “They (unbelievers) want to extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths. But Allah will perfect His light, even though the unbelievers may detest it. It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, so that he may exalt it over all religions, much as the pagans may dislike it.” [Quran (61): 8-9]

The Quran is the guidance that mankind needs to achieve freedom, happiness, and success, in this life and the next.

The Quran is a complete and comprehensive Book. It deals with the issues man needs, not only for salvation in the Hereafter but also to achieve peace, justice and prosperity in this world. These issues are discussed in the Quran in three main categories: Theology, Fables and Wisdom, Islamic Law (or Shari’ah). Thus, it provides the basic principles, vision and knowledge necessary for planning and leading a good life. All this is packaged in a very comprehensive approach to living that combines the pursuit of worldly affairs as well as those of the Hereafter.

Allah Almighty Says in the Quran (which means): “And seek by the wealth provided for you by Allah the eternal abode (the Hereafter) but do not forget and (and forsake) your share of this world. Be kind and good (to others) just as Allah was kind and good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” [Quran (28): 77]

The Quran has an inimitable style and format that has never been seen or experienced in any other book or methodology. The richness of its text and the discourse it offers are unprecedented and unmatched in their eloquence, proficiency, fluency, conformance, and harmony. Not only is the Quran a linguistic masterpiece and magnum opus par excellence, but it is also indeed a miracle in the fullest sense of the word. Those reciting it never become weary of it and those who ponder upon its meanings do not doubt it; rather, they always discover fresh insights and knowledge. It guides those seeking guidance and increases those who believe in it in faith. Its first parts resemble its latter parts and it can only be likened to itself in its unparalleled beauty.

The Quran is free from contradictions and those who understand the Arabic language and contemplate upon its chapters and verses will find harmony between its various parts. Allah, the Most High, Says (which means): “Why do not they contemplate the Quran? And if it were from other than Allah, they would have found in it numerous discrepancies.” [Quran (4):82].

Indeed, every time the disbelievers tried to raise issues of contradictions in the Quran, Muslim scholars proved beyond doubt that no part of the Quran belies or contradicts another. The reason is that what may appear as a ‘contradiction’ in the Quran is actually what the Quran calls Muhkam (clear) and Mutashabih (unclear) verse. This is actually a part of the Quran’s textual strength and miraculous composition.

The Quran Restores Soul Calmness
The Islamic Medical Sciences Organization declared the striking results of a study conducted by Dr. Ahmad Al-Qadhi over a group of volunteers from the USA who were subject to a recitation of the Holy Quran. A trace of a tranquilizing effect was recorded at a whole rate of 97%. Although many of these volunteers do not know Arabic, yet involuntary physiological changes that led notably to alleviate the acuity of tension they had before were observed in their nervous systems.

Furthermore, an experiment of EEG during Quran rehearsal revealed that while listening to Quran, the encephalic waves moved from the fast pattern of vigilance (12-13) wave/ second to the slow pattern (8-18) wave/ second; indicating the state of deep calmness. Non-Arabic speaking persons felt reassured, quiet, and complacent during the process of listening to Quranic verses, in spite of their inability to understand the meanings. This is one of the miracles of the Holy Quran.

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) revealed that miracle when saying;

“No people assembled in one of the houses of Allah (mosques), and recite and study the Book of Allah (among themselves), except that tranquility would prevail over them, mercy would encompass them, the angels would surround them, and Allah would make a mention of them in the presence of those near Him (angels).” [Muslim]

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The Dangers of Smoking


People should make use of what Almighty Allah has made lawful for them and beware of what He has prohibited. He left nothing which is good without making it lawful out of His grace, and nothing which is evil except that he prohibited it out of His mercy. So, just as He conferred upon you the bounty of making the good lawful, He also conferred upon you the bounty of making the evil prohibited. People should therefore offer praise to Him for both cases by willingly taking the lawful things and shunning the prohibited saying: ‘we hear and obey.’

Nowadays smoking has spread to every section of our society, even to young boys in the markets and in their homes. No one can deny the harmful effects that it has on one’s body, financial condition, society and religion.

The Affects Smoking on The Body
People smoke for different reasons (as they claim), some smoke to relax when they feeling tense, others smoke to feel more alert when they feeling dull, while others smoke when they’re depressed or bored, or to overcome feelings of anger or grief. The question here is; how can a mere cigarette be so many things to so many people? The answer lies in the chemicals in cigarettes and the powerful psychological effects they have.

There’s hardly a part of the human body that’s not affected by the chemicals in the cigarettes you smoke. Let’s take a tour of your body to look at how smoking affects it.

The Head & Mouth
As a smoker, you’re at risk for cancer of the mouth. Tobacco smoke can also cause gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. The teeth become unsightly and yellow. Smokers may experience frequent headaches. And lack of oxygen and narrowed blood vessels to the brain can lead to strokes.

Lungs and Bronchi
Moving down to your chest, smoke passes through the bronchi or breathing tubes. Hydrogen cyanide and other chemicals in the smoke attack the lining of the bronchi, inflaming them and causing that chronic smoker’s cough. Because the bronchi are weakened, you’re more likely to get bronchial infections. Mucus secretion in your lungs is impaired, also leading to chronic coughing. Smokers are 10 times as likely to get lung cancer and emphysema as nonsmokers.

Smoking and The Heart
The effects of smoking on your heart are devastating. Nicotine raises blood pressure and makes the blood clot more easily. Carbon monoxide robs the blood of oxygen and leads to the development of cholesterol deposits on the artery walls. All of these effects add up to an increased risk of a heart attack. In addition, the poor circulation resulting from cholesterol deposits can cause strokes, loss of circulation in fingers and toes and impotence.

Smoking and The Body’s Organs
The digestive system is also affected. The tars in smoke can trigger cancer of the esophagus and throat. Smoking causes increased stomach acid secretion, leading to heartburn and ulcers. Smokers have higher rates of deadly pancreatic cancer. Many of the carcinogens from cigarettes are excreted in the urine where their presence can cause bladder cancer, which is often fatal. High blood pressure from smoking can damage the kidneys.

Nicotine—A Stimulant
Nicotine, the chemical that makes addicts out of cigarette smokers, is a stimulant with properties similar to those of cocaine and amphetamine (speed). Nicotine provides the pick-me-up that smokers feel. It increases heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate, and makes the smoker feel more alert. Unfortunately, these effects wear off after 20 minutes or so and the smoker is left craving another pick-me-up.

Acetaldehyde and Carbon Monoxide—Sedatives
Acetaldehyde, a byproduct of both cigarette smoke and alcohol, has some sedative properties. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes makes you feel dull the way you would in a stuffy room with not enough air. These chemicals seem to dampen some people’s feelings of tension, anger or strong emotion.

Other Psychological Effects
For many, the act of smoking itself—pausing in one’s work, lighting up, exhaling a certain way—becomes a comforting ritual in itself. The smoker may be involved in a private fantasy that relieves feelings of boredom and meaninglessness. Smoking may go hand in hand with other activities, such as drinking coffee or alcohol or eating dessert. These “triggers” are why quitting smoking involves more than just kicking the nicotine habit. Sooner or later everyone who smokes does so to relieve the craving for nicotine—a powerfully addictive drug. The addicted body sends messages of uneasiness and needs to the conscious mind until the smoker gives in and lights up.

Understanding Is Power
Take a close look at the feelings that make you want a cigarette and those that you have after you light up. Understanding these feelings will put you in charge when you’re ready to quit smoking. Do not be deceived by smokers who might appear to be of strong stature; unlike their outward appearance, they are not healthy in light of their lack appetite, the condition of their lungs, coughs, tuberculosis, and feebleness which might be felt upon very little exertion.

The Good News
Despite the bad health effects of smoking, the good news is that when you quit smoking your body begins to repair itself. Ten years after you quit, your body has repaired most of the damage smoking caused.

The Affects Smoking on The Financial Condition
Just ask any of them about the money that they expend daily on smoking, which, if spent on what is beneficial for a person and his family such as good food, drink, clothes, etc., would be of many benefits for one’s religion and worldly life. Rather, a smoker uses up most of his money on this vain pursuit which only adds to his immediate and deferred injuries. We seek Allah’s guidance for us and for them.

As for the traders who earn money from buying and selling such items and become wealthy after being poor and rich after being needy, then these are all ill-gotten gains and sinfulness. Such people are rich financial terms but very poor in their hearts; wealthy in this world but have nothing in the Hereafter, due to these ill-gotten gains which they made in this worldly life. They do not know when death will come to them forcing them to leave their wealth to their heirs while their hearts still long for it. Indeed poverty is better than wealth gained by disobeying Allah.

The Affects Smoking on The Community
Smoking diffuses social diseases that spread corruption amongst society, but most smokers do not care about the spread of this phenomenon among people; in fact they may actually enjoy seeing it spread among people to entertain and ease their own disastrous lifestyle. Therefore, they intentionally smoke in public before the youth, who become accustomed to this bad habit and regard it as a normal practice of the community. This leads to the inevitable outcome of the youth indulging in this fad to the extent that they rapidly become addicted to it. How many are the diseases that afflict those who use the remnants of cigarettes which are thrown in streets and public places!

The Affects Smoking on The One’s Religion
Most scholars, who are pure of all maladies and are well versed in the rulings of Islamic Law, know for certain it’s a prohibition from the Islamic texts and principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Smoking is disobedience of Allah and His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) and disobedience opposes faith, which decreases by committing sins just as it increases by doing good.

Those upon whom Allah has conferred His bounty of being protected against this habit should praise Him for this bounty and ask Him for steadfastness and to protect his brothers who are plagued with this addiction so that they may give it up. They should also ask Allah repeatedly to guard them and approach all possible means that might help others to shun it such as having a strong will, avoiding the places where this vice is practiced and replacing it with that which Allah has made lawful of food and drink, for Allah has made lawful any gate that might lead to good. They should also think of the affairs of those whom Allah has released from the fetters of this habit and to what extent they regained their health and recovered from the diseases that afflicted them because of this addiction – surely all praise is due to Allah.

Those who wait until cancer or emphysema has set in aren’t so lucky—these conditions are usually fatal. It’s one more reason to take the big step and quit now, but a more worthy reason to quite is to adhere to the command of Allah to eat and drink healthy and refrain from harmful matters. Allah Says (what means): “O you who have believed! Eat from the good [i.e., lawful] things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.” [Quran, surah al-Baqarah: verse 172].

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Damages Caused by Animals

Allah SWT has prohibited usurping other people’s property and has imposed liability for whatever is damaged of the property taken without right even if it was by mistake. Whoever damages another person’s property – that is considerable – without its owner’s permission, is financially liable to make up for it.

Imaam Al-Muwaffaq may Allah have mercy upon him said: “There is no juristic disagreement in this regard, whether or not the damage is intentional, and whether or not the one causing it is legally accountable.”

Similarly, whoever causes damage to another person’s wealth is financially liable for it. For example, when one opens a gate causing what is locked in to be lost or stolen, or when one unfastens a container causing what is therein to be wasted and damaged, he is liable for them. Likewise, if someone ties a riding animal in a narrow street causing a passerby to stumble and be harmed or injured, he has to pay him for the damage caused. This is exactly like the one who parks a car in the middle of the street, and as a result, another car or a person is hit, whereby damage is caused, the one who parked the car is liable to make up for the damage. This opinion is based on the Hadeeth reported by Ad-Daaraqutni and others, which reads: “If one ties a riding animal in one of the pathways of the Muslims, or in one of their markets, and it treads on someone (or something) by one of its front or back legs, one is liable for it.” [Ad-Daaraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi]

The same ruling applies when one leaves clay, a piece of wood or a stone in a pathway or digs a hole in it, causing harm or injury to a passerby. In the same way, if someone throws watermelon peels or lets water in the street, causing a passerby to slip and get injured, he is to make up for it. People who do all such actions are financially liable for the resulting damage, as such deeds are regarded as transgression.

Unfortunately, there are many such instances of carelessness everywhere nowadays; too many holes are heedlessly dug on the roads and streets, too many blocks and obstacles are put therein, and too much damage is caused by that heedlessness due to the lack of control and supervision. Some people may even occupy streets as if they were their own, dedicating them for their own use, causing harm to those passing by without caring for the sins they are committing in this way or the punishment that awaits them.

Among the matters that incur financial liability is when one has a mad dog that assaults the passersby or bites any of them. The owner of the dog is liable to make up for the resulting damages or injuries, for having such a dog is an act of transgression. On the other hand, if someone digs a well in his courtyard for his own benefit, he is financially liable for any damage that might be caused through it; he is obliged to keep it in a condition that prevents harming the passersby. However, if he leaves it without such precautions, he is deemed a transgressor.

Moreover, if someone owns cattle, he is obliged to keep them away from damaging other people’s crops especially at night; otherwise, he is financially liable for whatever they damage. The Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) judged in such a case: “The owners of a property (i.e. cattle) should keep it during the daytime and they are liable for the damages they (the cattle) cause during the nighttime.” [Imaam Ahmad, Abu Daawood, and Ibn Maajah]

The owner of a domestic animal is not liable for it during the daytime, except if he releases it close to what it usually damages. Imaam Al-Baghaawi may Allah have mercy upon him said: “Scholars hold the opinion that the owners of grazing cattle are not liable for the people’s properties they (the cattle) damage during the daytime. However, their owners are liable for whatever they damage during the night, for it is conventional that the owners of gardens and orchards are to protect them properly during the daytime while the cattle owners are to detain them during the nighttime. Thus, whoever breaks this habit has deviated from the convention. This is in case the owner of the cattle is absent, but if he is there, he has to pay for what his cattle have damaged.”

In the Quran, Allah mentions a story about Prophets Daawood (David) and Sulaymaan (Solomon), may Allah exalt their mention, and their judgment concerning a similar case of damage. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): “And [mention] David and Solomon, when they judged concerning the field —when the sheep of a people overran it [at night], and We were witness to their judgment. And We gave an understanding of the case to Solomon, and to each [of them] We gave judgment and knowledge. And We subjected the mountains to exalt [Us], along with David and [also] the birds. And We were doing [that].” [Quran 21: 78 -79]

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah may Allah have mercy upon him said: “According to the Quran, Sulaymaan (Solomon) was clearly favored by understanding the wisdom of liability on equal terms. The sheep were grazing at night and damaged a grape orchard. Daawood judged that the shepherds should pay the exact value of the damage, and then he estimated the sheep and found that their value was equal to the compensation for the damage. Therefore, he gave judgment that all the sheep should be given to the owner of the orchard. However, Sulaymaan judged that the owners of the sheep were liable for the damaged orchard and that they should pay its exact equivalent in compensation by cultivating the orchard until it returns to its original state. He did not also deprive the owners of the orchard of the crops that were supposed to be yielded from the time of damage until the time of recovery. Thus, Sulaymaan gave the owners of the orchard the sheep so as to benefit from them as much as the sheep owners used to benefit from the orchard. In other words, they would utilize the shepherds’ sheep in return for the fruits they missed of their orchard until the orchard was re-cultivated by the shepherds (in compensation). So, Sulaymaan evaluated the two guarantees and found them equal, and that was an example of the knowledge Allah favored him with and the wisdom He praised him for.”

If an animal has been led or ridden by someone, he is liable only for whatever it damages with its front organs, such as the forelegs or the mouth. Yet, he is not liable for what is damaged by the animal’s hind parts such as the hind legs, for the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “There is no compensation for whatsoever is damaged (or killed or injured) by a beast’s leg.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah may Allah have mercy upon him said: “The injuries or damages caused by animals like cows, sheep, and the like are not to be compensated (by the owner) if they are off a leash. This occurs, for example, when an animal breaks loose from the person leading it and then causes damage. In this case, there is no financial liability on the owner for the damage provided that the animal is not used to biting and that its owner has not been negligent in detaining it at night and keeping it away from market places and people’s gatherings.”

The same opinion is maintained by some other scholars, who state that there is no compensation (for the damage caused) if the animal escapes and wanders about aimlessly without a leader or a rider unless it is a wild beast.

In addition, if someone is attacked by a human being or an animal, and killing is the only way to stop them, there will be no compensation on that person in case he killed them. This is because killing here is a means of self-defense which is permissible, so there is no liability for its consequences. Moreover, the killing of an assaulter is intended to prevent its harm, so one will not be regarded as a killer when one kills it in self-defense. Rather, the assaulter itself will be regarded as a self-murderer in this case. Sheikh Taqiyyud-Deen may Allah have mercy upon him said: “A person has to stop the assaulter, and if it cannot be stopped except by killing, it is permissible for the attacked person to do so according to the unanimous juristic agreement in this regard.”

Among the objects for which there is no compensation in case of damage are musical and entertainment instruments, crosses, wine containers, and books on misguidance, superstition, dissoluteness, and profligacy. This is implied in the Hadeeth related by Imaam Ahmad may Allah have mercy upon him on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, who narrated that the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) ordered him to get a knife and then he SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) went to the markets of Madeenah, where there were leather containers of intoxicants brought from Ash-Sham (The Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine). Ibn ‘ Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, added that those leather containers of wine were torn by knives in the presence of the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) who commanded his Companions, may Allah be pleased with him, to do the same [Ahmad].

This Hadeeth proves the religious obligation of destroying such immoral things without giving anything in compensation. Still, this should be carried out under the control and supervision of the authorities so as to guarantee public interests and prevent any evil or corruption resulting thereof.

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The Islamic Ruling on Al-Luqatah (Lost and Found Item)


Linguistically, ‘Al-Luqatah’ refers to anything that is found and picked up from the ground. Technically, as Imam Ibn Qudamah may Allah have mercy upon him a Muslim scholar, defined it as: ‘Property that the owner loses and a person finds and takes away (to preserve it in trust).’

Legal Validity
Muslim scholars vary about the ruling. The Hanafi and Shafi’i jurists maintain that it is better to pick up a lost property because a Muslim is duty-bound to preserve his Muslim brother’s property, as evidenced by the saying of the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention), when he was asked about Al-Luqatah: “Remember the description of its container and the string with which it is tied. Make a public announcement of it for one year. If nobody comes and claims it, then utilize the money but keep it as a trust with you. And if its owner comes back one day seeking it, then return it to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

According to the Maliki and Hanbali jurists, it is a Makrooh (disliked) act to take away such property. This is also the opinion of Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbas may Allah be pleased with them. They argued that by taking away such lost items, one is bound to use something that is deemed unlawful. They also argued that one may not be able to undertake his duty efficiently regarding it, in terms of advertising it, returning it to its lawful owner and preserving it.

It’s Ruling in Terms of Liability
Al-Luqatah remains a trust with the person who finds it and keeps it, and he is deemed liable for it only if he abuses it. He is also deemed liable for it if he gives it to somebody else without the permission of a judge. If it is damaged while still in the finder’s possession, after publicly announcing that he has found it and asking people to refer its rightful owner to him, then he is not deemed liable for such damage because he volunteered to preserve it in trust. The Ahaadeeth (prophetic statements) on this issue is very clear. The Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) said in the above-quoted Hadeeth: “…But keep it as a trust with you“.

Types of Al-Luqatah

  1. If it is an animal, the finder should see if it is able to protect itself or not. If it is able to, then he is not allowed to take it away. When the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) was asked about the Islamic ruling concerning a lost camel, he replied: “It is none of your concern. Leave it, for it has its feet and a water-container (reservoir), and it will reach water and eat from the trees until its owner finds it.” [Al-Bukhari]. However, if the lost animal is not able to protect itself, such as a sheep, a sick camel or a horse with a broken leg, the finder is allowed to take it away. When the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) was asked about the ruling concerning a lost sheep, he replied: “Take it, for it is either for you, or for your brother (i.e., its owner), or for the wolf.” [Al-Bukhari]
  2. As for lost property that is not an animal, such as money of an unknown owner, one should consider the following rulings:

The Ruling Concerning Trivial Fallen Items
For trivial items such as a loaf of bread, a whip, a date or anything that people generally do not claim when they lose, according to the predominant custom, the person who finds such an item is allowed to claim it as his own without publicly announcing it. He is also allowed to utilize it. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah may Allah be pleased with him who was one of the Prophet’s companions, said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) allowed us to utilize (such trivial objects as) a rod, a whip, and a rope if we found it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Announcing Lost Property Publicly
a) If someone finds an object, he should acquaint himself with the features that distinguish it from all similar objects. This will allow him to identify the right owner if he comes to claim it and asks him about its distinguishing features.
b) If he knows its distinguishing features, he should advertise it in public places, markets and outside Mosques, but not inside the Mosques, as this is deemed a Makrooh act. He should then wait for a year.

How should the finder be compensated for announcing, publicizing or maintenance expenditure?
Hanafi and Hanbali jurists maintain that the finder should incur such expenses. Imam Malik may Allah have mercy upon him maintained: “The owner is to be given two options: either to reclaim it from the person who has found it, by paying him back for what he has spent on it, or to give it to him in return for the expenses incurred.” Shafi’i jurists say that the judge takes the money from the public treasury of the Muslim state and gives it to the finder of the lost property to use it for advertising purposes, or the finder may borrow this money and would consider it as a loan to the owner.

Returning Lost Property to the Person Who Claims It
If someone comes and claims that the lost property is his, its finder should ask him about its distinguishing characteristics. If the claimant adequately describes it and distinguishes it from similar items, or if he proves to him with clear evidence that it belongs to him – by describing its container or the string with which it is tied, for instance – then the finder should return it to him, as the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) said by way of example: “If its owner shows up and satisfactorily describes its container, the string with which it is tied and the amount of money in it, then return it to him.” [Muslim]

A question arises here: After the claimant provides a satisfactory description of the lost property, should the finder return the property to him or should he take him to a judge to establish the evidence and act upon the judge’s decision? According to the Hanafi and Shafi’i schools of Fiqh (jurisprudence), the finder of the lost property is not obliged to return it. The followers of the Maliki and Hanbali schools of Fiqh have stated that he is obliged to return it to its owner if the latter gives a satisfactory description of it, in accordance with the dictates of the prophetic tradition mentioned above.

Claiming Lost Property as One’s Own
The finder of the lost property can claim such property as his own if he still has it, or he can claim its price as his own in case he sold it after advertising it for the required period of time. In such a case, he should give it or give its value to the owner should the latter come forward to claim it, as the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) said in this regard: “Advertise it for a year. If nobody claims it, then utilize it, and keep it with you as a trust.” One is not allowed to claim it as his own without advertising it for a full year.

Some scholars argue that it is not permissible to consider lost property as one’s own, and whoever finds it should, after advertising, give it in charity to the poor because it is considered other people’s property, and it is not permissible to use it without its owner’s consent, in accordance with prophetic textual evidence: the Prophet SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “A Muslim’s property is not lawful (for another Muslim) without the former’s own free will.” He SAW (may Allah exalt his mention) also said: “Lost property is not lawful. Whoever finds it should advertise it for a year. If its owner shows up and claims it, he (the finder) must return it to him; if he does not show up, he should give it in charity.” [Al-Bazzar and Ad-Daraqutni]

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