Fataawa of Shaikh al-Albaanee (رحمه الله)

Author: Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee

Source: al-Asaalah Magazine Issues 1-21
Translator: Abu Maryam Isma’eel Alarcon

Published: Wednesday 29th July, 2015

Questions on Women’s Issues

  1. Question: Is it permissible for a woman to be a judge?

    Answer: It is not permissible for a woman to be a judge. And whoever claims that passing judgement is merely informing a religious ruling, then he has limited its meaning, because judgement is more than (just) Iftaa (passing fataawaa or religious verdicts). This is since not everyone who issues fataawaa is a judge and likewise, not everyone who judges passes religious verdicts. But sometimes they are both combined in a person.

    Indeed, the judge is like the ruler (haakim), he is commanded to execute the religious verdicts (given by the muftee). As for the muftee, then he has no executive power to enforce the religious verdicts. And the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), has informed us that any people who entrust their affairs to a woman will never prosper. This is established in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree from the hadeeth of Abu Bakrah, (رضي الله عنه‎). [Al-Asaalah, Issue #17]

  2. Question: There are some masjids in which the women pray below the actual masjid, such as in the basement or in an upper level (above the masjid). We are women who pray in these masjids, at times following the Imaam from a point where we are not able to see him nor the male followers. And sometimes there is a large empty space left over in the area of prayer for the men. Is our prayer valid if we cannot see the Imaam or any of the (male) followers, and while knowing that sometimes we enter the masjid and don't know what rak'ah he is in. Is it allowed in this situation to follow (the Imaam) by (hearing) the raised voice only? And is it correct for us to follow the Imaam while we are on an upper or lower level knowing that at times there is ample room in the masjid (floor)?

    Answer: The answer is in two parts. The first is that the prayer and the mentioned scenario is valid so long as the women pray in the masjid, regardless of whether it is in the upper or lower level. And it is so long as they are able to hear the takbeers from the Imaam indicating the change in position, such as from standing to bowing to prostrating.

    The second part is that it is not proper for the women to pray like this unless the area for the men is filled with people and they (the women) cannot find a place behind the rows for them to pray in. In these circumstances, it is permissible for the women to pray in the upper or lower level of the masjid. But if this masjid, where the Imaam and the men behind him pray, has ample room left over, then it is not allowed for the women to go up to the upper level or down to the lower level where they won't be able to see the movements of the Imaam or the movements of the men praying behind him. The reason for this goes back to two matters:

    1. When the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said: "The best rows for the men are their first ones and their worst (rows) are their last ones. And the best rows for women are their last ones and the worst (rows) are their first ones", he meant by it the same ground that the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), and his Companions behind him used to pray on. The women were not in upper or lower levels.
    2. The underlying reason for this is that the speakers at times can be low and at other times they are not working. So the prayer of the women who are following him from an upper or lower level, from which they cannot see the prayer of the Imaam or those behind him, is subject to becoming invalid.

    To summarize this answer: The prayer that is performed while on an upper or lower level is valid. However, it is not permissible to designate those places for prayer when there is enough room in the prayer place (musalla), such that the women are able to pray in the back of it. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

  3. Question: If a woman rides in a taxi with a driver who is a male stranger to her (i.e. he is not her mahram), is this considered the privacy (khulwah) that is forbidden in the Religion? And what if two women ride together (with this taxi driver)?

    Answer: A woman riding alone with a taxi driver that is not a mahram to her may encounter herself in privacy (khulwah) in the sense that some of the forbidden matters that occur normally in khulwah (privacy), are likely to occur in such a situation. Furthermore, there is no third person that is with them. But from here, I do not hold that it is khulwah (privacy), but instead it is a motive and an incentive for fitnah (temptation). And this fitnah is not found in the other example in which there is another woman present or another man. Indeed the occurrence of fitnah in this situation is less likely than in the first situation. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #10]

  4. Question: We know that a woman's dancing in front of her husband, and likewise her dancing with women, which is swaying, and the dabkah [1] of men are forbidden, but what is the proof for that? Please provide us with some insight on this, may Allaah reward you.

    Answer: This question consists of three parts:

    First: A woman dancing in front of her husband
    Second: Her dancing in front of other women
    Third: The dabkah performed by men

    As for the first part, which is a woman's dancing in front of her husband. If her dancing is natural and not professional – i.e. she did not learn how to dance, as is the fashion of this time – even if she stirs the desires of the man, then there is no text that can be found that forbids this. But this is on the condition that it occurs between her and her husband only. As for the case where she has learned to dance and she applies the rules of modern-day dancing, then this is not permissible. This is because I believe that if she will do that in front of her husband, then she will surely also do it in front of other men besides her husband.

    As for her dancing in front of other women, then I also say that if her objective in dancing is to dance this modern style of dancing, then it is clear that it is not permissible. And if it is said: "What is the proof for what you have stated?" I say:

    Moderation in matters is very rare; there is either excessiveness or there is negligence. This is especially the case with people who have lived a long period of time in deviation of a specific nature. Then when it becomes clarified to them that this matter was a deviation and that the Religion rejects it, they turn away from it and introduce in place of that, a severe reaction.

    This is what has befallen us in this present time with regard to the issue of demanding the proof in place of the liberation from blind following. The Muslims, both special and common people, have lived long generations not knowing anything but the madh-hab of so and so and the madh-hab of so and so – four madh-habs, the madh-habs of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah. And this is not to mention the other madh-habs, those that have deviated from the Sunnah and the Jamaa'ah. As for relying on what Allaah and his Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said for support, then this was only found in the generations that have received testimony of their excellence. Then that affair came to an end for a point in time until there came the time of Ibn Taimiyyah and those of his students who were devoted to him. So they informed the Muslims of the obligation of returning back to what the first Salaf (predecessors) were upon, such as relying on the Qur'aan and the Sunnah for support.

    There is no doubt that the Call of Ibn Taimiyyah and his students had a positive effect. However, its scope was very weak during his time and intellectual impassiveness (i.e. not reflecting on proofs) took over and became dominant amongst the special classes of people, not to mention the common ones.

    Then there followed succeeding generations in which this re-awakening that Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah ignited died out. And the Muslims turned back to their indifference of comprehending and understanding (i.e. the evidences), until this present time and a brief period before it, for many scholars rose to take charge of the Da'wah's revival, due to the need of returning to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. They were preceded in some of that by Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 'Abd-il-Wahhaab, for in reality, he called to the following of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. But looking at the areas in which the Arabs of Najd during Shaykh Muhammad's land used to live in, and considering the paganism that took place in their lands, his greatest effort was in showing strong concern for Tawheed.

    And as is very natural, in my opinion, such that mankind's ability is limited, he was not able to wage his war on every front, as they say. So because of this, all of his efforts were geared towards spreading the call of Tawheed and waging war against paganism and idolatry. And he received all the success in that and his splendid Call was spread all over the Islaamic world afterwards. And this was even though, unfortunately, there occurred battles between him and his opponents. But this is the Sunnah (Way) of Allaah with regard to His creation. And you will not find any change in the Sunnah (Way) of Allaah.

    However, in current times, the scholars have renewed their call to the Book and the Sunnah and thus many of the common and special people in the Arab lands have re-awakened. As for the non-Arab lands, then unfortunately they are still in a state of sleep.

    However, these Arab lands have been tested by a reversal, which is what I have indicated previously, such that some of them do not stop at the middle point of moderation. Instead they know of one thing and are ignorant of another thing. So you will see the common man who doesn't understand anything, when he asks the scholar on any subject "What is its ruling? ", regardless of whether the answer is a denial and a negation, he begins with his demand: "What is the proof?"

    And sometimes that scholar is not able to establish the proof, especially if the proof is deduced and adopted through thorough research, and it is not stated in a specific text in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. So in issues of this nature, it is not proper for the questioner to go deep and say: "What is the proof?" And it is required that the questioner know himself. Is he from the people that understand evidences or not? Does he have any share in knowledge of the general ('aam) and the specific (khaas), the unrestricted (mutlaq) and the restricted (muqayyad), the abrogating (naasikh) and the abrogated (mansookh). So if the person does not understand any of these things, then does he get any benefit from saying: "What is the proof"?! For what?! – For the ruling on a woman dancing in front of her husband or her dancing in front of her Muslim sister, whether it is either permissible or forbidden! And the dabkah of men! He wants the proof for that! But in reality, there is no textual proof from the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), on that matter that exists for us. There is only investigation, deduction and the acquisition of understanding for it.

    Due to this, we say at certain times: Not every issue has an explicit proof that can be presented in detail, which every Muslim can understand, whether he is a common unlettered person or a student of knowledge. But this is not for all the issues. This is why Allaah, the Most High, says: "Ask the people of knowledge if you don't know."

    From the extremism that we indicated previously – and due to it, the most ignorant of people has begun to decline the proof – is that many of those who attribute themselves to the Book and the Sunnah: They believe that the scholar, when he is asked on an issue, it is obligatory upon him to link "Allaah said and His Messenger said" with his answer.

    I say that this is not an obligation, and that it is from the benefits of belonging to the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (righteous predecessors). And furthermore, their biographies and their fataawaa (religious verdicts) is a proof in action for what I have stated. So based on this, mentioning the proof is obligatory when the situation necessitates it, however it is not an obligation on him every time he is asked a question to say: "Allaah says such and such" or "The Messenger of Allaah, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said such and such." And this is especially if the issues are from the detailed and intricate issues of Fiqh in which there are differences of opinion.

    Furthermore, the saying of Allaah:

    "Ask the people of knowledge if you don't know"

    is first of all in the unrestricted sense, so all you have to do is ask someone whom you feel is from the people of knowledge. And when you hear the answer from him, then it is upon you to follow it, unless you have a doubt about it due to what you heard from another scholar. There is no harm in you mentioning that to him. So at that point, the scholar must make an effort, with the knowledge he has, to remove this doubt which has been presented to the questioner.

    In summary: A woman dancing in front of her husband, along with the restrictive condition mentioned previously, is permissible. As for her dancing in front of other women, then it has two forms also, as we have stated before. With regard to a woman dancing in front of her husband, then if her dancing is not joined with professionalism (i.e. learned way of dancing), but rather it is just a moving and waving of hands, and there is no shaking of the hips or those sorts of things that stir the desires and causes doubts, then there is also no problem with this dancing. If it is correct to call it dancing!

    But if any of those (evil) things mentioned above are found in it, then refraining from it is the original principle. As for the dabkah of men, then if it is in imitation of the dances, which we see are normally joined with singing, not to mention that there are words mentioned in them that are not from the Religion, then this is lahw (a vain pastime) and it is not encouraged. Rather, it is encouraged to stay away from it, as the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Every lahw (vain pastime) the Son of Adam engages in is falsehood, except his playing with his wife, his playing with his horse, archery and learning to swim."

    So due to this hadeeth, we hold the opinion that it is falsehood.

    So if this is the condition of the pure vain pastime in that we are encouraged to refrain from it and that is not from the truthful matters, then we say that it allowable, so long as is not accompanied with something that opposes the Religion in any aspect of it. However, it is an allowance that must be weighed by the hadeeth that I have mentioned previously.

    But in my opinion, and Allaah knows best for I have not witnessed any of these dabkahs, it is not possible for it to be free from any opposition to the Religion. And this is because, for example, we have heard the dabkah at times, and it is not just it alone. Rather, we hear along with it, music, the mu'adhdhin calling the Adhaan and the Imaam reciting the Qur'aan out loud. And they do not care about anything else but instead they are busy with their vain pastime. Therefore, the dabkah is from the vain pastimes that must be weighed and determined. And we do not say that it is Haraam (forbidden) unless it is combined with something that goes against the Religion from one of the aspects, for then it would turn without a doubt into something Haraam (forbidden). [Al-Asaalah, Issue #8]

  5. Question: What is the best way for women to give da'wah?

    Answer: I say to the women:

    “Remain in your homes.” [Surah Ahzaab: 33]

    And you should not concern yourselves with da'wah. I reject the use of the word "da'wah" amongst the male youth by them making it seem like they are from the people of da'wah – as if the word da'wah has become the fashion of modern times. So every individual that knows something about the Religion becomes a Da'ee (caller to Islaam)! And this matter did not stop with the male youth until it was carried over to the female youth and housewives. And in many instances, they have begun to turn away from fulfilling the obligations of their households and their husbands and their children, turning away from these obligations towards something that is not obligatory upon them, such as establishing the da'wah.

    The general rule concerning the woman is that she is to stay in her home. And it has not been legislated for her to leave it unless she has a dire need. This is based on the statement of the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم):

    "And (praying in) their homes is better for them", i.e. than the (congregational) prayer in the masjid.

    Today we see a prevalent phenomenon amongst the women in that they go out often to the masjids in order to pray the congregational prayer, not to mention the Jumu'ah prayer. In spite of this, their homes are better for them – unless there is a masjid in which the Imaam is a scholar who teaches those attending some aspects from the sciences of the Religion. So in this case, the woman could go out to pray in the masjid in order to listen to the knowledge. There is nothing preventing her from that. As for the woman preoccupying herself with the da'wah (!), then let her sit in her home and read from the books that her husband or brother or other male relatives provide for her.

    Furthermore, there is nothing preventing her from setting a day in which she calls the women to come to her house or she goes out to attend the house of one of them. That is better than a group of women going out (to her). One woman going out to a group of women is better for them than all of them going out to her. As for her moving about and traveling, perhaps traveling without a mahram, and she justifies that by claiming that she went out for the purpose of da'wah, then these are from the presentday innovations. And I do not specify the women only with that, rather, even some of the male youth speak excessively about the da'wah and yet they have very little knowledge. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

  6. Question: What is the ruling on a man delivering a child for a woman?

    Answer: The aspect of bringing a woman into a hospital in order for her to deliver her child should not bring about an opinion for its absolute allowance. Rather there must be some limitations and restrictions set to it.

    So if a female doctor sees, with her knowledge and experience, that this pregnant woman will not be able to undergo a natural birth, and that she will require an operation or surgery. Then in this situation, she should be transported to the hospital. But in the case where the birth is natural, it is not permissible for her to leave her house to be admitted into a hospital just to deliver a baby that can be delivered naturally. But if this woman is forced to enter the hospital, a male doctor must not be put in the supervision of delivering her baby. But in the case that a female doctor is not found, there is no harm in a male doctor (seeing her), for that is from the aspects of extreme necessity. Rather, if a female doctor is not present, it is obligatory for a male doctor to deliver her child, if the pregnant woman is in a situation in which there is danger.

    This answer is derived from two principles from the principles of Usool-ul-Fiqh, which are:

    1. Cases of necessity make the forbidden allowable, and
    2. A necessity is determined according to its extent

    So the general rule is that a woman is not permitted to leave her home except in the case of a necessity. This is stated in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree. When Allaah’s saying was revealed:

    "And remain in your homes and do not display yourselves like the evil displaying of the first Days of Ignorance",

    the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Allaah has permitted you (women) to go out (from your homes) for your necessities."

    [Al-Asaalah, Issue #3]

  7. Question: What is the ruling concerning a woman cutting some of her hair?

    Answer: With regard to a woman cutting her hair, then one must look into the motive behind her doing it. So if a woman cuts her hair in imitation of the disbelieving or sinful women, then it is not permissible for her to cut it while having this intention. As for cutting only a small portion from her hair or cutting it in accordance to the desires of her husband, then I do not see anything preventing this from being done.

    It is reported in Saheeh Muslim (no. 320) that:

    "The Prophet's wives used to cut their hair to the point that it would reach the earlobes."

    [Al-Asaalah, Issue #1]

  8. Question: Is it permissible for a woman to freely dispose of her own money without the permission of her husband? And what if she knows prior to that, that her husband does not agree with her disposing of her money, even if it is for charity? And also, what about giving away her jewelry which she bought with her own money, without his permission. What is the ruling concerning this?

    Answer: The ruling on this matter is clear from the hadeeth of the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم):

    "It is not permissible for a woman to freely dispose of her wealth except with the permission of her husband."

    This is a hasan saheeh hadeeth, hasan by itself and saheeh based on its various routes of narration. And as for all the reports that it is thought present a contradiction to this hadeeth, then it is not correct to rely on that or claim that they contradict the hadeeth. As for the hadeeth in which the women gave their rings and earrings away in charity, as is reported in the Saheeh, then this has been responded to from many different angles:

    One of them is that it was probable that these charitable donations were given with the permission form the husbands of these women. And it is also possible that this event occurred before this ruling that occurs in the hadeeth became firmly established. So due to this, we advise every Muslim woman that adheres to acting on the Qur'aan and the Sunnah to not give away from her wealth without the permission of her husband. This is because it will be a cause and a reason for the occurrence of disputes between the couple, and the end result of that will be very bad.

    But in the case where a husband is mean and oppressive to his wife (by not granting her permission), she can take her case to the legal jurisdiction. And this is especially the case since today, the legal jurisdictions are in favor of the women. And in a more particular example, in cases like these, all of the judges are in agreement that the woman may freely dispose of her money without the permission of her husband. So if the matter is taken up to the court and the judge rules that this action was a violation on the part of the husband to his wife and he rules that she can give away her money, (she may do so). But if her husband objects and holds that by her doing so, she will be squandering money, at that point the judge can prevent her because, even though he bases it on the rule that it is allowed for her to spend from her wealth, he can not permit her to give away in charity that which is considered excessiveness and a squandering of money. And Allaah knows best. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

  9. Question: If a woman disagrees with her husband over a Fiqh issue, such as travelling without a mahram, then in general, can he force his Fiqh opinion on her?

    "Men are guardians over women due to what Allaah has favored some of them over others with." [Surah An-Nisaa: 34]

    So with regard to the likes of this question, the opinion of one of the spouses – either the wife or the husband – must be carried out. And there is no doubt that so long as Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, has made it obligatory upon the woman to obey the husband, her opinion is not a decisive factor. So in this situation, she must obey him. However, before that, they must first yield to one another and communicate to try to come to an understanding with one another. But if (after doing this) the situation has reached the point at which the question was asked, then the answer is that (at this point) it is obligatory upon her to obey him and to not oppose him. [Al-Asaalah, Issue # 19]

  10. Question: If a girl has reached the proper age for getting married, can her guardian force her to get married?

    Answer: It is not permissible for the guardian of a girl’s affairs to force her into getting married. So if the girl has not reached the proper age and has been forced into marriage, she can look for a way to dissolve this marriage after having reached the age of comprehension and maturity. This is because there was a girl that was forced into marriage during the time of the Messenger of Allaah, (صلى الله علیه وسلم). After the marriage, she went to the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), and said to him:

    "O Messenger of Allaah! My father has married me to a man that I dislike, in order to raise his own status."

    So the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), nullified her marriage.

    Due to this, it is not permissible for a girl’s guardian to force her into marriage, regardless if she is a girl who has reached the legitimate age (of marriage) or she is divorced or she was married and then lost her husband. Rather it is only required of him to direct her towards what is most beneficial for her in her affairs of this world and the hereafter.

    The Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "There is no marriage except with (the permission of) a guardian and (the presence of) two trustworthy witnesses."

    And he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), also said:

    "Do not force your women (to get married), but rather get their consent."

    And he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Her silence is her consent."

    These are etiquettes and conditions that must be adhered to. However, at times there occurs something that opposes the Divine Legislation, such as when the father prevents his daughter and delays her marriage because of a materialistic ambition. Or because the man proposing marriage to her is poor, and due to this, his status will not be elevated. And so the girl remains without a husband. In this situation, the Divine Legislation has permitted her to marry herself because the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), has said:

    "Any woman that marries herself without the permission of her guardian, then her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid. But if they differ, then the authoritative figure (sultaan) is the guardian of one who has no guardian."

    Therefore, this girl – whose father has prevented her marriage due to an obvious materialistic reason – she can take her case to a legitimate judge. So he will investigate the guardian of the girl's affairs and interrogate him as to the reason why he is preventing her (from getting married). So if he hears a legitimate reason from him, such as that the man intending marriage is an innovator or he doesn't pray or that he drinks alcohol, then the judge cannot oppose him in this. But if he hears illegitimate reasons from him, then at that point, the judge can assume guardianship of her marriage. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #6]

  11. Question: A postpartum bleeding woman regains a state of purity (i.e. stops bleeding), but finds some blood has come down from her after a few days. Is this blood considered her Istihaadah (irregular bleeding) or something else?

    If she has exceeded the maximum period of postpartum bleeding, which is forty days, then this blood without a doubt is the blood of Istihaadah and not postpartum blood. And if she felt according to her notion that she had reached a state of purity before having completed these forty days, then it is probable that her estimation of becoming purified before the forty-day period was an error on her part. So then she should look at the blood that is presently coming out. If it is a darker blood, as menstrual and postpartum blood is commonly, then she should consider herself as if she never reached the state of purity. In that case, she must refrain from the prayer and fasting as well as the other religious acts she is forbidden from doing (while in this state). [Al-Asaalah No. 15-16]

  12. Question: Concerning the (part of the) verse:

    "[Forbidden for you (in marriage) are your mothers...] And your step-daughters who live in your homes, [born] of your wives whom you have gone into (had sexual intercourse with)." [Surah An-Nisaa: 23]

    The majority of the scholars say about this part of the ayah (i.e. “who live in your homes”): There is no mafhoom [2] (i.e. opposite understanding) to it and that it was only revealed (so) because of the most likely situation (makhraj alghaalib). [3] However, there is an athar (narration) reported on 'Alee, (رضي الله عنه‎), that indicates a specification to this (ruling) for only those who reside in the (stepfather's) house. So what is the most correct opinion?

    Answer: Before answering, I see something in the question that must be corrected, which is the questioner's statement that there is a specification to this ayah found in the narration of 'Alee! This assertion is not correct because the ayah is itself specific, according to the correct view, and it is made restricted by the part "who live in your homes." So the ayah itself is specified and restricted. If it were unrestricted, and then there came another understanding with a restriction like the one that is mentioned in the same ayah, at that point it could be said that this text puts a restriction on the ayah. However, the ayah here, in itself is restricted.

    After making this correction, I say: The fact of the matter is that this issue has been under dispute since long before. And I am amazed, personally, at how the majority of the scholars have agreed, on two things regarding this matter:

    First: On cancellation this restricting text of "who live in your homes" and claiming that this restricting text has no mafhoom (opposite understanding) to it.

    Second: On their conformity with rejecting two authentic narrations from two of the rightly guided Khaleefahs, 'Umar and 'Alee, (رضي الله عنهما), which confirm that they both applied this ayah with its restriction. Thus, they used to pass rulings that it was permissible for a man to marry his stepdaughter, on the condition that she did not live in his house. So I am astonished by this conformity for it makes two claims:

    1. There is no mafhoom to this restriction
    2. A contradiction of the two rightly-guided Khaleefahs

    From my understanding from many of the people of knowledge – and I will mention specifically the Hanbalees – they find it sufficient, in issues such as these, to bring a report, which is not authentic – from one of the Sahaabah. So they accept this narration and then follow it saying: "We know of nothing that opposes it." So here, it would be more correct for them to say: "We know of nothing that opposes these two Khaleefahs." This is firstly, and secondly, what is apparent from the Qur'aan would be on their side (also).

    There is another hadeeth on this subject, which is found in the two Saheeh collections. The Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), was presented with the suggestion of marrying a certain woman, but he used the excuse that she was his stepdaughter from his household (to not marry her). Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said in one section of his valuable book "Iqtidaa As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem" when dealing with the subject of generally censuring innovations in the Religion, which is supported by authentic and well-known ahaadeeth, that:

    The Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), would constantly repeat in his sermon, which was his Khutbat-ul-Haajah (the necessary sermon), his saying:

    "And every innovation is a misguidance. And every misguidance is in the Hellfire."

    He (رحمه الله) said:

    "The Prophet's approval of this general text, without making a note that it was a text restricted by any restriction from the Book and the Sunnah is a confirmation of action on his part that the text will not cease to be in its general and universal sense."

    So here we can use this principle that Shaykh Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (رحمه الله) has benefited us with in many of the disputed issues as well as the topic we are discussing now, such that Allaah says: “who live in your houses.” The hadeeth (mentioned previously) supports this same restriction for the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), did not inform us of a cancellation of this restricting factor of the “house.” All of this indicates the incorrectness of their saying: “This restricting factor has no significance.”

    I wanted to bring this discussion to an end with this principle that I have applied here in this issue, but there came to my mind another doubtful argument that might be used as a proof by some of them, when opposing such an issue by saying: “This restricting factor has no mafhoom.” This is such that they will bring some texts, which are similar and in which there is a restricting factor that has no direct significance to it. And it will be said about such a text (the same as before) that it has no mafhoom (opposite understanding). An example of that which came to my mind was Allaah’s saying:

    “Do not take interest (whether) double or multiplied.”

    And they will say: “'Doubled or multiplied' does not have any mafhoom to it.” [4]

    This is true, there is no doubt or confusion about it. However, this example does not resemble the thing that it is being compared to at all. This is because the restricting factor, which the scholars have unanimously agreed has no mafhoom, “doubled or multiplied” is opposed by strong and explicit texts, which force the researching faqeeh to say that this restricting factor has no mafhoom.

    As for the issue of the stepdaughter, then the matter is completely different. For the restricting factor is in conformity without there having to be a text that contradicts this restricting factor like the successive texts that come to cancel out the restricting factor of “doubled or multiplied” such that it can become evidently clear that this restricting factor has no mafhoom. So how can they seek to bring that distant example close to this example, for which the proofs have been established that there is no mafhoom to it?!

    Therefore, it is not permissible for us to say: "This restricting factor (of the house) has no mafhoom to it", unless there is proof and evidence for that. And there exists no proof for that with regard to the issue of the stepdaughter.

    Furthermore, the Prophet's application of this restricting factor to himself in the hadeeth I mentioned before is from that which nullifies the example used in the claim that the ayah "who live in your homes" has no mafhoom to it!

    What is most correct in my opinion is that the stepdaughter whom the man (stepfather) is forbidden to marry here is the one who lives in the house of her mother’s husband. As for the stepdaughter that lives far away, then it is as is found in the narration of ‘Alee, (رضي الله عنه‎), and likewise in the narration of ‘Umar, (رضي الله عنه‎):

    “Once a man divorced his wife, and she had a daughter. So ‘Alee asked him about this and he responded: ‘I divorced her.’ He asked: ‘Does she have any daughter?’ He said: ‘Yes, but she is my stepdaughter.’ So ‘Alee said to him: ‘Does she live in your house?’ He said: ‘No, she lives in Ta’if, far away.’ So ‘Alee said: ‘Marry her.’”

    A similar story to this is authentically reported on ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, (رضي الله عنه‎), also. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #8]


[1] Translator’s note: A dabkah in Arabic is a dance in which people form a line by holding each other’s arms. The question is with regard to this dance being performed by a group of men.

[2] Translator's Note: This refers to the mafhoom mukhaalafah, which is the opposite understanding that is derived from the generality of an ayah. This part of the ayah in Surah An-Nisaa states that a man is forbidden to marry his stepdaughter (after having married her mother), if that stepdaughter resides in his house. So the mafhoom, or what is understood from this ayah, in it's opposite meaning, is that he is permitted to marry his stepdaughter if she did not live in his house. The questioner states that this second understanding, derived from the mafhoom al-mukhaalafah, has no basis in this ayah and that it does not exist.

[3] This means that this condition found in this ayah of those “who live in your houses” has no significance to it. So the ayah is general and refers to all stepdaughters, those that live in the house of the stepfather and those that live outside it. As for it taking the principle of makhraj al-ghaalib, which means the most likely situation, then it means that the words “who live in your houses” was only stated as such because for the most part, stepdaughters lived with their step-fathers in those times and it was not stated as a restricting factor. However, the Shaykh disproves this and clarifies that the ayah is in fact restricted and forbidden in marriage are only those stepdaughters who live in the house of the stepfather. As for the stepdaughter who lives in another house, then she is permissible for him to marry.

[4] Translator's Note: This is since interest is forbidden in all forms, whether large or small amounts. So the restricting factor here of “doubled or multiplied” has no mafhoom, or opposite understanding, because if this were so, the opposite understanding of the ayah would be that we are permitted to take interest so long as it is not doubled or multiplied, and this is false, because there are other texts that restrict this ayah and prove that there is no mafhoom in this case, as shall be explained.


Return to “Dealings”