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

Miscellaneous Questions and their Rulings

  1. Question: What is the ruling on television today?

    Answer: There is no doubt that television, today, is Haraam (forbidden). This is since television is like the radio and tape recorder – they are like all the other blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants, as He has stated:

    "And if you were to count the blessings of Allaah, you would never be able to count them." [Surah An-Nahl: 18]

    Thus, hearing is a blessing and eyesight is a blessing, and so are the lips and the tongue. However, many of these blessings become trials upon their possessors because they do not use them in a way that Allaah loves and wants for them to be used. Therefore, I consider the radio, television and the tape recorder to be from the blessings of Allaah, but when are they deemed as blessings? When they are used to bring benefit to the Ummah. Today, ninety-nine percent of what is on television is evil, licentious, immoral, forbidden, and so on, while one percent of it has some shows presented that are of benefit to some people. But the consideration is with regard to the majority (and not the minority). So when a true Muslim state exists that can place programs based on knowledge, which would be beneficial for the Ummah, at that point I will not say that television is permissible, but rather I will say that it is obligatory. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #10]

  2. Question: What is the ruling on the nasheeds (songs) [1] that are circulating amongst many of the youth and which they call "Islaamic nasheeds?"

    Answer: If these nasheeds possess Islaamic meanings, and there aren't any stringed or musical instruments accompanying them, such as the Duff, the drum and its types, then there is no problem with it. However, an important condition to its permissibility must be clarified. And it is that they must be free of anything that opposes the Religion, such as going to extremes and its sorts.

    Also, there is another condition. And it is that it must not be taken as a (habitual) practice. This is since it turns those who (constantly) listen to it away from reciting the Qur'aan, which the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet encourages. Likewise, it turns them away from seeking beneficial knowledge and calling towards Allaah (i.e. da'wah), the One free of all defects. As for using the duff with the nasheed, then it is permissible for the women when it occurs (solely) amongst them, apart from the men. And it is permissible during the time of 'Eed and marriage only. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #2]

  3. Question: Warning mankind about the issue of standing up (for others)

    The Messenger of Allaah, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Whoever loves that the people appear before him standing (up for him), then let him find his seat in the Hellfire."

    Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in Al-Adab-ul-Mufrad (977), Abu Dawood (5229), At-Tirmidhee (2/125), At-Tahaawee in Mushkil-ul-Athaar (2/40) and the wording is from him, Ahmad (4/93 & 100), Ad-Dawlaabee in Al-Kunaa (1/95) Al-Mukhlis in Al-Fawaa'id Al-Muntaqa (sec. 196/2), 'Abd Ibn Humaid in Al-Muntakhib min Al-Musnad (sec. 51/2), Al-Baghawee in Hadeeth 'Alee Ibn Al-Ja'd (7/69/2) and Abu Nu'aim in Akhbaar Asbahaan (1/219).

    It occurs from the path of Habeeb Ibn Ash-Shaheed on the authority of Abu Mujliz, who said:

    "Mu'awiyah entered a house in which was 'Abdullaah Ibn Az-Zubair and 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Aamir. So Ibn 'Aamir stood up while Ibn Az-Zubair remained seated – and he was the one with the most experience of the two. So Mu'awiyah, (رضي الله عنهما), said: "Sit O Ibn 'Aamir for I heard the Messenger of Allaah, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), say: [and he mentioned the hadeeth].

    At-Tirmidhee said: "It is a hasan hadeeth."

    I say: Rather, it is a saheeh hadeeth. The reporters of its chain of narration are all reliable, men of the standards of the two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). Abu Mujliz's name is Laahiq Ibn Hameed and he is reliable. And Habeeb Ibn Ash-Shaheed is reliable and established as is stated in At-Taqreeb. So there is no grounds for restricting it to just the grading of hasan, even if Al-Haafidh (Ibn Hajr) remained silent about it in Al-Fat'h (11/42), especially when it has other paths of narration.

    Al-Mukhlis said in (his book) Al-Fawaa'id:

    'Abdullaah narrated to us: Dawood reported to us: Marwaan reported to us, Mugheerah Ibn Muslim As-Siraaj reported on the authority of 'Abdullaah Ibn Buraidah that he said: "Mu'awiyah went outside (one day) and saw that they were standing up because he was going out. So he said to them: Sit for the Messenger of Allaah, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said: 'Whoever is pleased that the Children of Adam (mankind) stand up for him, Hellfire becomes binding upon him.'"

    This hadeeth has an authentic chain of narration. All of its narrators are reliable , they are the narrators of Muslim except for Al-Mukhlis' shaykh (teacher), 'Abdullaah – and he is Al-Haafidh Abul-Qaasim Al-Baghawee – and Mugheerah Ibn Muslim As-Siraaj. But they are both reliable without any disagreement. Dawood refers to Ibn Rasheed and Marwaan is the son of Mu'awiyah Al-Fazaaree Al-Koofee, who was a Haafidh (of hadeeth).

    Shabaaba Ibn Siwaar followed up the same hadeeth except that he reported "Whoever loves that men gather around him standing (up for him)..." and the rest is the same.

    Reported by At-Tahaawee (2/38/39) and Al-Khateeb in Taareekh Baghdaad (13/193).

    And the hadeeth has another supporting evidence with Al-Khateeb (11/361) in mursal form concerning a road story. He reported it from 'Abd-ur-Razzaaq Ibn Sulaimaan Ibn 'Alee Ibn Al-Ja'ad who said: I heard my father say:

    "Once Al-Ma'moon (the Khaleefah at that time) went to visit the jewelers in the market place. So he haggled with them on the price of an object that they had. Then Al-Ma'moon embarked on completing some of his needs. Then he left, so everyone that was in that gathering stood up for him except for Ibn Al-Ja'ad, for he did not stand. So Al-Ma'moon looked at him with an expression of anger. Then he took him to the side and said: 'O Shaykh, what prevented you from standing up for me as your companions stand up for me?' So he ('Alee Ibn Al-Ja'ad) said: 'I honor the Ameer Al-Mu'mineen too much (to stand up for him) because of the hadeeth that we report from the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم).' He said: 'What is it?' "Alee Ibn Al-Ja'ad said: 'I heard Al-Mubaraak Ibn Fudaalah say: I heard Al-Hasan say: the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said...[then he mentioned the hadeeth with the first wording]. So Al-Ma'moon lowered his head pondering over the hadeeth. Then he raised his head and said: 'No one should buy except from this Shaykh.' So the people bought only from that Shaykh on that day till he had the amount of thirty thousand deenaars."

    So Allaah's saying:

    "And whoever fears Allaah, he will make a way out for him (i.e. from difficulty), and he will provide for him from places he never imagined"

    became a reality for 'Alee Ibn Al-Ja'ad, the reliable and trustworthy reporter. Ad-Dainooree reported a similar story to this in Al-Muntaqaa min Al-Majaalisah: Ahmad Ibn 'Alee Al-Basree narrated to us saying:

    "Al-Mutawakkil (the Khaleefah at that time) turned his attention to Ahmad Ibn Al-Mu'adhal and other scholars and so he gathered them in his home. Then he came out to them, so all of the people there stood up for him except Ahmad Ibn Al-Mu'adhal. So Al-Mutawakkil said to 'Ubaidullaah. 'This man does not agree with swearing allegiance to us (bay'ah).' So he ('Ubaidullaah) said to him: 'Yes O Ameer Al-Mu'mineen, but he appears to have bad eyesight.' So Ahmad Ibn Al-Mu'adhal said: 'O Ameer Al-Mu'mineen, I do not have any defect in my eyesight. But rather I removed you from the punishment of Allaah, the Most Exalted, for the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said: 'Whosoever loves that men present themselves to him standing (up for him), then let him find his seat in the Hellfire.' So Al-Mutawakkil went to sit down beside him."

    Ibn 'Asaakir reported in Taareekh Dimashq (19/170/2) with his chain of narration to Al-Awzaa'ee: Some of the guards of 'Umar Ibn 'Abd-il-'Azeez (the Khaleefah) narrated to me saying:

    "'Umar Ibn 'Abd-il-'Azeez came out one day while we were waiting for him on the day of Jumu'ah. So when we saw him, we stood up. So he said: 'When you see me do not stand up but instead spread out (to make way for passing).'"

    The Fiqh (understanding) of the Hadeeth:
    This hadeeth indicates two matters to us: First: The prohibition of someone loving that people stand up for him when he enters. And this evidence is clear such that there is no need for it to be clarified.

    Second: The disapproval of those sitting to stand up for the one who is entering, even if he doesn't have a love for people standing up for him. This falls under the aspect of helping one another in goodness and avoiding opening the door to evil. And that is an accurate understanding that has been indicated to us by the narrator of the hadeeth, Mu'awiyah, (رضي الله عنهما), when he refused that 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Aamir stand up for him, and he used this hadeeth as evidence for what he said. He did this because of his understanding and knowledge of the Religion and it's legal principles, which include "preventing the means", and because of his awareness of the natural dispositions of humans and their reactions to good and evil factors.

    And if you were to imagine a community like the community of the first predecessors, they never practiced the custom of standing up for one another. It would be very rare that you find among them anyone that loved this kind of standing, which can throw someone into the Hellfire. And this was due to the lack of there being present that thing which would remind one about it – and it is the standing itself. On the other hand, if you were to look at a society like our society today, they have taken this particular type of standing as a normal custom. Indeed, this practice, particularly when done repeatedly, constantly reminds the person. So then the person's soul desires it and finds pleasure in it until he ends up loving it. So when he loves it, he becomes ruined. So it becomes from the aspect of helping one another towards righteousness and Taqwaa to abandon doing this standing, even to those whom we feel don't have a love for it, out of fear that our standing up for him will bring him to love it, for then we would be assisting him in bringing destruction to his soul and this is not permissible.

    Among the proofs that bear witness to this is when you see some of the people of knowledge of whom it is thought have good manners, their souls change when their eyes fall upon an individual that does not stand up for them. This is if they don't become angry with him and attribute him with having little manners and give him the tidings of being prevented form the blessing of knowledge due to his lack of showing respect for its people, according to their claim.

    Rather, there is even among them he who calls others to stand, deceiving them with such sayings as "You do not stand up for me for the sake of a body of flesh and bones, but rather you only stand up for the knowledge that is contained in my chest!!" As if the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), did not have knowledge in his!! For the Companions did not used to stand up for him. Or is it that the Companions did not used to give him the respect that was befitting of him! So can a Muslim honestly say this or the other?!

    And due to this hadeeth and others beside it, a group of scholars have taken the opinion that it is prohibited to stand up for another person, as is stated in Al-Fath (4/14). Then he (Ibn Hajr) said:

    "The outcome of what has been reported on Maalik is the forbiddance of standing for the length of time that the one who is being stood up for doesn't sit., even if he is busy serving himself. For he (Maalik) was asked about the woman who goes to great extents in hosting her husband, by receiving him, taking off his (outer) garments and standing until he sits? So he responded: 'As for her receiving him, then there is nothing wrong with this. But as for her standing until he sits down, then no, for this is from the acts of the tyrants. And 'Umar Ibn 'Abd-il-'Azeez forbade this."

    I say: There is nothing in this subject that presents a contradiction to the evidence found in this hadeeth at all. And those who oppose and hold the opinion that it is permissible to stand, rather that it is recommended, they use as evidence ahaadeeth, some of which are authentic and some of which are weak. But all of them, when one reflects on their chains of narration and texts do not present a contradiction to the evidences for that (prohibition).

    And what further confirms and clarifies this is the Prophet's dislike of people standing up for him:

    "There was no individual in the world that was more beloved to them than the Messenger of Allaah, (صلى الله علیه وسلم). And when they would see him, they would not stand up for him due to what they knew of his dislike for that."

    Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in Al-Adab-ul-Mufrad (946), At-Tirmidhee (2/125), At-Tahaawee in Mushkil-ul-Athaar (2/39), Ahmad (3/132), and Abu Ya'laa in his Musnad (2/183) and the wording is from him. It is from the path of Humaid on Anas, (رضي الله عنه‎). And At-Tirmidhee said: "It is a hasan saheeh hadeeth, ghareeb from this perspective." I say its chain of narration is authentic according to the standards of Muslim.

    This hadeeth strengthens what the previous hadeeth has indicated from the forbiddance of standing out of respect and honor. This is since if standing up were a legislated form of showing respect, it would not be permitted for him (صلى الله علیه وسلم) to make it disliked for his Companions. And he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), is the most deserving of people to be shown respect and honor. And they, (رضي الله عنهم), were the most aware of people of what he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), deserved.

    Also, the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), hated this standing up for him to be done by his Companions. So therefore, it is upon the Muslims – especially if they are from the people of knowledge and exemplary figures – that they should hate that for themselves, in accordance with following his, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), way. And they should hate that for those Muslims beside themselves due to his saying:

    "None of you truly believes untill he loves for his brother what he loves for himself from good."

    So no one should stand up for him nor should he stand up for anyone. Rather their hatred for this standing should be greater than that of the Prophet's hatred (for it). This is since if they do not hate it, it will become a normal practice for some of them to stand up for others. And that will lead them to hold a love for it, which then will serve as a cause for which they will be deserving of the Hellfire, as is stated in the previous hadeeth. And Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) was not like this, for he was free and protected from having any love for this act of disobedience. So if he also hated it along with that, it becomes clear that it is more fitting that the Muslim hate it. [2]

    The Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), has gathered the comprehensive and abundant good manners in his saying:

    "He is not from us who doesn't have mercy for our young, and respects our old and knows the right of our scholar." [3]

    So knowing the right of the scholar requires having good manners with him in his presence as well as in his absence. However, this does not require that one should worship him, as is the case with some of the Sufis and the extremists among the shaykhs. An example of this is standing up for the scholar when he enters the gathering. This act is not befitting for the pure and uncorrupted Islaamic society. So the main concern of the true Islaamic callers is to bring back as close as possible the first Islaamic society, in which it was not possible to adopt a practice any way they felt like. So indeed the matter is only as the famous saying goes:

    "So imitate them if you are not like them,
    Verily, imitation of the righteous is success."

    So we are trying to imitate those righteous and good individuals (from the Salaf), and we are attempting to bring forth a society that resembles that first luminous society that existed in that radiant time. So our attention must always be directed towards doing what they used to do, as much as we are able to, for the reality is as his, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), saying indicates:

    "Whatever I command you to do, then do as much of it as you are able. And what I forbid you from, then stay away from it." [4]

    So the matters related to actions are restricted and thus additions to them are not accepted. An example of that is being kind to the scholar by outward gestures, such as by standing up for him or others when they enter one of the gatherings. And I do not say the gatherings of knowledge, for this is very clear - that the students in that situation should not stand up for this scholar. However, if he enters a gathering that is not a gathering of knowledge, is it from the beneficial knowledge and from the righteous deeds that the people of that gathering stand up for that scholar who has entered the gathering?

    Answer: "So imitate them if you are not like them." Who is the only single individual that we should imitate apart from others? He is, as we all know, Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah. And the people of knowledge know, and this is something that they do not differ about.

    Nowadays, the whole Islaamic world – except for those whom Allaah has mercy on – is in opposition to the Prophet's guidance of the past concerning this matter. So the people of knowledge do not forbid their companions nor the general people when one of them enters a gathering and they stand up for him. And those who stand up for him out of kindness and respect, they deem that this is how the first society (of the Companions) were. Therefore, it is upon us to constantly direct the attention towards physically imitating the (way of this) first society.

    These are from the matters of which it is obligatory upon the scholars, rather upon the students of knowledge, to take concern of. This is since if you are truthful in your imitation of the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then spread amongst your companions the fact that you hate this outward expression. This means to humble yourself as the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), used to humble himself. The Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), used to hate this standing and so the people accepted it, for in reality he hated this thing. So if the scholar is following the example of the Messenger then let him spread that amongst his companions. This comes first.

    Second, it falls into the realm of "preventing the means." For instance, if the scholar makes it a normal habit for the people to stand up for him, his soul will yearn for this standing. Then there will come a time when he will see his student who loves him and is devoted to him. He used to stand up for him then all of a sudden he stopped standing up for him. So there will occur disputes, then blaming, then perhaps more than that between the scholar and the student. This is because this scholar made it a normal habit for himself to love this standing. So what brought him to fall into this hated and forbidden love was the people's accustoming him to it. I also wanted to remind the scholar and the students of knowledge to not adapt the societies because this adapting (and conforming) has no fixed limits today, for an innovation may appear and we will say: “There is something more important than it.” And then tomorrow there will be another innovation and we will say what we said in the first instance, until the society has gone far away from acting in accordance with what Islaam has brought, due to these distortions and false justifications. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #20]

  4. Question: What is the ruling on Islaamic videos?

    It is not possible to believe in this name at this time in which the desires have become reversed and the scales (determining right from wrong) have become unstable. However, the day that Allaah permits the Islaamic rule to be established – and perhaps it may be near – and a group of the scholars of the Religion are gathered together. And this group of scholars institutes a system of regulations for the video that is permissible according to the Sharee'ah. At that point in time, it would become permissible, consisting of religiously legislated standards and principles based on knowledge. But as for today, while the desires flow in accordance with people’s lusts, then there is no possible way for an opinion to be issued in favor of its permissibility. Unless we chose to name things by other than their proper names, such as Islaamic banks and Islaamic songs (nasheeds), etc. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #4]

  5. Question: What is the ruling concerning masturbation?

    Answer: We have no doubts regarding the forbiddance of such a practice. And this is due to two reasons, the first of which is the saying of Allaah, the Most High, concerning the description of the believers:

    "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayer with full submissiveness. And those who turn away from false and vain talk. And those who pay the Zakaah. And those who guard their chastity – Except with their wives or (slaves) that their right hands possess, for (in that) they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors." [Surah Al-Mu’minoon: 1-8]

    Imaam Ash-Shaafi'ee used this ayah as proof for the forbiddance of masturbating. This is since, in this ayah, Allaah has placed two ways for the true believers to fulfill their desires - either by marrying free women or by enjoying the slave women and female war captives. Then He says: "But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors" meaning: Whosoever desires a way by which to transmit his desires, apart from these two ways of marriage and taking female war captives, then he is a transgressor and a wrongdoer.

    As for the second reason, then it has been medically established that there are unhealthy consequences for the one who does such an act, and that there are harms to the health caused by this practice, especially for those who constantly engage in it day and night. It is reported on the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), that he said:

    "Do not harm and do not be harmed."

    Thus it is not permissible for a Muslim to engage in anything that will cause harm to himself or to others.

    There is one more thing that must be mentioned and it is that those who engage themselves in this practice fall under the statement of Allaah:

    "Will you exchange that which is lower for that which is better?" [Surah Al-Baqarah: 61]

    Also there has been reported on the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), that which further confirms this forbiddance and it is his saying:

    "O you group of young men! Whosoever amongst you is able to marry then let him marry, for indeed it is the best means for lowering one's gaze and the best way to protect one's private parts. And whosoever is not able, then let him fast, for indeed it will be a shield for him."

    [Al-Asaalah, Issue #3]

  6. Question: One of the students of knowledge asked: Many school students ask one another concerning the ruling on leaving one's hair to grow and shaving it off. They are confused about this issue because of what the school presses on them from the obligation of shaving all of the head or cutting it very short and because of what the students see from some practicing teachers who let their hair grow and do not cut it, but they maintain and groom it.

    So therefore I say [5] – seeking assistance from Allaah – that leaving the hair is Sunnah, as Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (رحمه الله) said:

    "It is sunnah. If we were able to manage and control it, we would keep it. But there is discomfort and trouble with (keeping) it (long)."

    And Ibn Al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said in Zaad Al-Ma'aad:

    "And it was not preserved from him, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), that he used to shave his head except during the sacrificial ceremonies of Hajj (nusuk)."

    There are many authentic ahaadeeth that clarify the description of the Prophet's (صلى الله علیه وسلم) hair. It is stated in Al-Mughnee:

    "It is recommended that a person's hair be according to the description of the Prophet's hair. If it is long, then it should go to his shoulders and if it is short, then to the earlobes. And if it grows longer than that, then there is no harm in that. This has been reported on Ahmad."

    Indeed, keeping one's hair and leaving it to grow must meet certain requirements, among which are:

    1. There must be sincerity to Allaah, the Most High and following of the guidance of the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), in order to attain reward and merit.

    2. There should be no imitation of women in his leaving of the hair to grow, such that he does with his hair what the women do with their hair, from the aspects of beautification that is specific to them.

    3. He should not desire by it to imitate the People of the Book or anyone else among the idolworshippers. Or in imitation of the haircuts and hairstyles of sinful Muslims, such as music and film artists or whoever treads their way, such as the shameless ones among the sports figures.

    4. One should clean it and groom it every other day. And it is recommended to oil it, perfume it and split it down the middle of the head. And if it grows long, then one can put it in locks.

    As for shaving the hair off, then Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah has written a detailed discussion on this subject and divided it into four types. A summary of what he said is as follows:

    If the shaving of the head is done for (1) Hajj or 'Umrah or (2) for a necessity such as medical treatment, then this is established and prescribed in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, and there is no doubt about it's allowance (under these circumstances). As for it being done for any other reason besides those mentioned above, then it falls into being one of two types:

    (3) First: That he shaves it with the intention of making worship to Allaah (ta'abbud), to practice his Religion (tadayyun) and to abstain from the worldly affairs (zuhd) and not for Hajj or 'Umrah. An example of this is such as his making the shaving of the head a trademark of the people of piety and Religion or from the highest level of abstinence and worship. Or that he places those who shave their heads as being better or more practicing or more pious than those who don't shave it. Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said:

    "This is an innovation that neither Allaah nor His Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) commanded. It is neither obligatory nor recommended according to any of the Imaams of the Religion. Nor was it done by the Companions and those who followed them in righteousness, nor by the scholars who were well known for their piety and their worship, whether from the Companions, the Taabi'een, those who followed them or those that came after them."

    (4) Second: That he shaves his head for a reason other than the sacrifice of Hajj or 'Umrah, and for other than a necessity, and not for trying to please or get closer to Allaah. The scholars have two opinions concerning this:

    The first opinion: The dislike of it: This is the madh-hab of Maalik and others and it is found in one of the reports on Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on them all.

    Ahmad said: "They used to dislike that." The proof used by those who hold this opinion is that shaving the head is a trademark of the people of innovation, for the Khawaarij used to shave their heads. And the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Their sign is the shaving of the head."

    Also, some of the Khawaarij consider the shaving of the head as the completion of repentance and religious sacrifices. It is established in the Saheeh that: "When the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم) was distributing the war booty on the Day of the Conquest, a man with a thick beard and a shaved head came to him..." And it is stated in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad that the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "He is not from us who shaves his head."

    Ibn 'Abbaas said:

    "The one who shaves his head persistently is a devil."

    The second opinion: Its allowance: This is the most known opinion with the followers of Abu Haneefah and Ash-Shaafi'ee and it is found in a report from Ahmad also. And their proof is what Ahmad, Abu Dawood and An-Nasaa’ee have reported with an authentic chain, as has been stated by the author of Muntaqaa Al-Akhbaar, on the authority of Ibn 'Umar, (رضي الله عنهما), that:

    "The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) saw a young boy who had shaved part of his head and left the rest of it, so he forbade them from that. And he said to them: '(Either) shave all of it or leave all of it.'" Afterwards, three small children were brought to him and he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), shaved their heads.

    Because he forbade al-qaz', and that is to have some of the head shaved, then this provides evidence for the allowance of shaving all of it. Ash-Shawkaanee said in Nail-ul-Awtaar commenting on the hadeeth that the author of Al-Muntaqaa mentioned:

    "In it is proof for the allowance of shaving all of the head. Al-Ghazaalee said: 'There is no harm in it for the one who desires cleanliness.' And in this is a refutation against those who hold that it is disliked."

    Furthermore, it is stated in Al-Mughnee:

    "Hanbal said: 'My father and I used to shave our heads during the lifetime of Abu 'Abdillaah. So he would see us while we had our heads shaved and he would not forbid us from it."

    Ibn 'Abd-il-Barr said:

    "The scholars have unanimously agreed upon the allowance of shaving the head. And this is sufficient as a proof."

    I say, [6] and with Allaah lies the success, this second opinion is what is more established to me due to the authenticity of its reports and their conclusiveness. And Allaah knows best.

    As for the school's executive board preventing the general mass of students from letting their hair grow, then this regulation is only in the way of "suppressing the means and preventing the evil." And this is because of what the school has noted in that a group of students, not small in number, keep their hair long not for the sake of following the Sunnah. But rather, they only do so for the sake of resembling and imitating the famous amongst the shameless celebrities and sports figures, regardless of whether they are Muslims or not. And this is done by them combing their hair in a manner that resembles the hair of these celebrities, expressing their love for them, their amazement with them and with what they are upon. Also, the harm of these students, who blindly follow, is not just limited to themselves and that's all. Rather, their influence extends to their school colleagues and so they become affected by this false way, which leads to the wearing down of the students to having weak souls amidst their group. This is especially since they are in this age in which they have constantly changing personalities, numerous desires, and are quick to be influenced and quick to make make decisions. So you will find that the student at this age will receive more influence from his colleagues in school than from the incentives of his teachers or even his parents!! This is what I have to say and Allaah knows best.

    Answer: All praise is for Allaah, and may the peace and blessings be upon Allaah's Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), his family, Companions and those who follow his guidance.

    To proceed, I strongly support the words that were stated in the last part of the fatwaa for it is traced back to an important legal principle, which is "Preventing the evil (mafsadah) comes before bringing about the good (maslahah)." So how can it be when there is no sort of maslahah (beneficial good), but only imitation of the disbelievers or the sinful people? And the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said in the authentic hadeeth: "...And whoever imitates a people is one of them." There are many other ahaadeeth in various subjects of the Religion that bear this same meaning. I have mentioned about forty ahaadeeth from them in my book "Hijaab Al-Ma'at-ul-Muslimah", which I have printed recently under the title "Jilbaab Al-Mar'at-ul-Muslimah."

    So due to this, I will always give the ruling that it is not permissible for the male youth and students to let their hair grow long and that they should either shave it off or cut it short, as the general masses of Muslims are doing today, and with Allaah lies the success.

    And furthermore, it is not for anyone to say today that it is disliked to shave the head, for there is no proof for that other than that it was a trademark of the Khawaarij. But today, they – and from among them are the Ibaadiyyah – do not adhere to this practice anymore, from what I know. And if they are found in some land to still be abiding by this practice, then the people of that land should contradict them in that due to what has been stated previously. And if this is not the case, then the fundamental principle is the allowance (to cut), as is stated in the hadeeth of Ibn 'Umar which has been authenticated in Al-Muntaqaa. And Muslim has also reported it as I have verified in Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah (no. 1123).

    As for the hadeeth: "He is not from us who shaves his head" then it is a shortened version of the hadeeth of Abu Moosaa Al-Ash'aree, (رضي الله عنه‎), with the wording:

    "He is not from us who shaves (his head), tears (his clothes) and wails."

    This is the way a group of the scholars have reported the hadeeth, such as Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad (4/411) and the two Shaykhs in their (respective) Saheeh collections. Al-Bukhaaree introduced it in his Saheeh by saying: "Chapter: What is forbidden from the act of shaving due to a calamity." So therefore, the hadeeth is specific for someone who shaves his head as a means of announcing his grief due to the death of one of his relatives. What consists of this person's objection of Allaah's Divine Ordainment is the Prophet's, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), linking it to his words "tears", meaning his clothes and "wails" meaning raises his voice in wailing.

    And what supports this is the occasion in which Abu Moosaa Al-Ash'aree, (رضي الله عنه‎), reported this hadeeth, for he reported it at the time when he was on his deathbed as occurs in the two Saheehs. And it is verified in Irwaa-ul-Ghaleel (no. 771) and in Ahkaam-ul-Janaa'iz. As for the narration from Ibn 'Abbaas that has been mentioned in the previous fatwaa, then I have not come across its chain of narration and I do not deem that it is authentic. But if it is authentic, then it is likely that it is in reference to imitation of the Khawaarij based on what has been stated previously.

    As for the saying that growing the hair on one's head long is Sunnah, then there is no proof for it by which an argument can be established. And it is not sufficient in that regard to say that it is authentically reported on the Prophet (that he had long hair), for that was from his customs ('aadaat). And it has also been authentically reported on him, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), that he entered Makkah while having four locks (of tied hair), as is mentioned in my book "Mukhtasar Ash-Shamaa'il Al-Muhammadiyyah" (35/23). And "locks " means braids and plaits. But this was just an Arab custom, which some of them did not do all the time. So can it be said that this was the Sunnah also? Of course not! So then in customs like this, there must be a specific proof that asserts that it is a Sunnah of worship. But how can this be when the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), has placed an equality between the one who shaves his hair and the one who leaves it to grow as is found in his, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), saying: "(Either) shave all of it or leave all of it." Rather, he shaved those three children's heads as was mentioned in the fatwaa. And that is an authentic hadeeth also, which I have verified in my book "Ahkaam Al-Janaa'iz wa Bid'ihaa" (pg. 166).

    So it is not for any of the youth that are being tested with imitation of the disbelievers or of the sinful people in their hairstyles, to use the "Sunnah" as a pretext (i.e. excuse), for it is a Sunnah of custom and not a Sunnah of worship. And this is especially since many of these youth do not imitate the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), in what is obligatory upon them, such as trimming the moustache and growing the beard.

    "Verily, in that there is a reminder for he who has a heart or lends his ear, while he is heedful." [Surah Qaaf: 37]

    Perfect are You, O Allaah, from all imperfections, and by Your praise, I bear witness that no deity has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek forgiveness in You and repent to You. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #12]

  7. Question: What is the religious ruling concerning buying in installments?

    Answer: First of all, buying in installments is an innovation of the actions that was not known to the Muslims in every preceding generation. Rather it is from the aspects that have been passed onto them from the disbelievers, those who, in the past, took over their lands, colonized them and governed over them with their rules of disbelief. Then when they departed from the lands' major districts, they left behind their evil and misguided traditions. And, today, the Muslims live upon those practices and acts that the disbelievers imposed on them.

    Another point – which is the most important – is as the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "I have not left anything that would bring you closer to Allaah, except that I have commanded you to do it. And I have not left anything that would distance you from Allaah, while bringing you closer to the Hellfire, except that I have forbidden you from doing it." [7]

    From those thing is that he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), forbade that which today is called "buying in installments", for, this kind of business transaction is an innovation, which the Muslims of the past did not know of. I also want to say that this name is an innovation (in itself) for there is nothing found in the books of Fiqh with the name "buying in installments." Rather, there is found in the Muslim books, that which is called Ad-Dain (debt) and that which is called Al-Qard-ul-Hasan (a goodly loan), which nowadays has become, in the daily affairs of Muslims, just a name without any form and reality to it. This is even though the Prophet encouraged giving loans and he went to great extents in that, to the point that he regarded the lending of two dollars to be as if you gave one dollar away in charity. This means: If you lend your Muslim brother two dollars, it is as if you have taken a dollar out of your pocket and given it for charity. Just as he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), encouraged these loans, he forbade from taking extra money in exchange for delaying your brother's payment of his end of the deal.

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

    "Whoever makes two business transactions out of one, then he gets either the lowest of the two or the interest."

    And in another hadeeth, he

    "forbade that two business transactions be made for one (transaction)."

    The reporter of this hadeeth was asked about the meaning of this forbiddance, so he responded: "It is that you say: 'I will sell you this thing for such and such amount of money in cash, and for such and such (more) money in delayed payment."

    I will sell you this appliance for 100 dollars in cash directly, and for 105 dollars in installments, meaning as a debt. He, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Whoever makes two business transactions out of one, then he gets either the lowest of the two or the interest."

    This means that if he takes the exra money, then it is interest, as is seen in the example of the appliance that was sold for 105 dollars, five dollars more in exchange for the delay.

    If there is an Islaamic Rule for the individuals and the rulers, this buyer who was deceived and had five extra dollars taken from him in exchange for the businessman's waiting on the delay, he would have the right to take hold of him and complain about him to the people of knowledge.

    So this is the understanding of this hadeeth. The thing being sold is one, however the offer is in two transactions: In cash directly for this amount and in delayed payment for that amount. So the increase of money for the delay in paying at once was labeled as interest by Allaah's Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم). [Al-Asaalah, Issue #6]

  8. Question: Is it permissible to excavate the graves of the Muslims and the graves of the disbelievers?

    Answer: There is a difference, naturally, between excavating the graves of the Muslims and excavating the graves of the disbelievers. Thus, excavating the graves of the Muslims is not permissible except until after the corpse has deteriorated and become decay. This is since excavating the grave would expose the buried cadaver and its bones to wreckage, and the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

    "Breaking the bones of a deceased believer is like breaking his bones if he were alive."

    So the believer has sanctity after his death, just as he used to have sanctity during his lifetime. However, this sanctity is of course within the legislated bounds.

    As for excavating the graves of the disbelievers, then they do not possess this (same) sanctity. Therefore, it is permissible to excavate them based on what is established in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim that when the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), migrated from Makkah to Madeenah, the first thing he instituted was the construction of the Prophet's masjid, which is still in existence today. But (at that time), there used be a garden there that belonged to a group of orphans from the Ansaar, in which were graves of polytheists. So he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said to these orphans:

    "Give me a price for your land."

    He meant by this, "Sell me your land for it's price." They responded: "It is for Allaah and His Messenger. We do not want any price for it." And there was found old ruins and graves of polytheists on that land. So the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), put someone in charge of the graves of the polytheists and so they were leveled (and the bodies were taken out). And he put someone in charge of the old ruins and they were flattened. Then the Prophet's masjid was established on the ground of that garden.

    So therefore, the excavation of the graves is from two perspectives. As for it being done to the Muslim graves, then it is not permissible. And as for it being done to the disbelievers' graves then it is permissible. I have indicated in the response, that it is not permissible to excavate the Muslims' graves until the bodies first deteriorate and become dust, but when is this? Indeed, it differs according to the different types of land. There are arid desert lands, in which corpses can remain for as many years as Allaah wills. And there are moist lands, which expedite the decaying of the bodies buried in them. Thus, it is not possible to put a regulation that would determine the specific time it takes for the bodies to decay. So just as it is said: "The inhabitants of Makkah are the most knowledgeable about its mountain trails", then those individuals who bury people in that land know best the approximate time it takes for the dead buried in the graves to decay. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #10]

  9. Question: Is it permissible for a bookstore to sell newspapers and magazines that have immoral pictures, false stories and praise for the hypocrites and evildoers in them? And is it permissible for them to sell books that contain beliefs, ideologies and understanding that do not agree with what the Salaf us-Saalih were upon, in order that it could further promote its Salafee books?

    Answer: It is not permissible to have any hesitation about not selling magazines that have immoral pictures in them, for selling them is Haraam (forbidden). As for the other books, such as those of Fiqh, then one who desires to keep within the bounds of the Religion must have knowledge of what is contained within these books from opinions, rulings and ideologies. And once he knows, then the ruling is based on what (material) is predominantly held within the book. So if for the most part, the book is correct, then it is permissible to sell it. And if not then it is not permissible to sell it at all. However, the Muslim will never find a book – apart from the Book of Allaah – that is free from error. So if it were held that it is not permissible to sell any book that had an error in it, then it would mean that it is not permissible to sell any book. So the matter should be considered with respect to what is predominantly held within it. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #10]

  10. Question: To what extent is the saying "There is no shyness in the Religion" correct?

    Answer: We find evidence for a saying similar to this – if it is understood in the correct way – in a statement reported in Saheeh Muslim. And it is the saying of 'Aa'ishah, (رضي الله عنها):

    "May Allaah have mercy on the Ansaar women. Their shyness does not prevent them from acquiring knowledge and understanding of the Religion."

    However, this statement necessitates that some limitations be set to it, because the sayings reported (in the ahaadeeth) provide explanations for one another. Therefore, we say:

    If such a statement is made during the circumstances of:

    1. researching some knowledge,

    2. asking a question, or

    3. in the context of acquiring knowledge of the Religion, or

    4. if it is put in a proper place (i.e. situation), then it is correct.

    As for when it is said: "There is no shyness in the Religion" without putting any limitations to it, then it is not correct since "Shyness is part of Faith (Eemaan)", as has been stated by the Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم). [Al-Asaalah, Issue #6]

  11. Question: Many of the Muslim youth exchange and pass around tapes that have songs (nasheeds) on them, which they call Islaamic. What is the correct opinion on this matter?

    Answer: If these songs (nasheeds) are void of stringed and musical instruments, then generally I say that there is no harm in them on the condition that they are free from things that are in opposition to the Religion, such as asking for help from other than Allaah (Istighaathah) and seeking a way of getting close to Allaah (tawassul) through the creation. Also it is not permissible to take them as part of the Religion for this would turn the Muslim youth away from reciting the Book of their Lord and reflecting on it. And that is what Allaah's Messenger, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), urged us with in many authentic ahaadeeth, such as his saying:

    "Recite the Qur'aan and chant it (i.e. recite it in a nice melodious manner), before there comes a people that will rush through it and not take their time with it. So chant it (nicely)."

    And whoever reflects on the condition of the Companions, will find that they did not have the likes of these songs (nasheeds) in their lives, for they were men of realities and not men of entertainment. [Al-Asaalah, Issue #17]


[1] Translator’s Note: A nasheed is a song or hymn in Arabic. These songs are distributed on tape and they often occur without music. Also they are usually about the subject of Jihaad.

[2] Silsilat Al-Ahadeeth As-Saheehah (no. 358)

[3] Saheeh Al-Jaami'-us-Sagheer (no. 5443)

[4] Agreed upon.

[5] These are still the words of the questioner.

[6] These are still the questioner's words.

[7] As-Saheehah: no. 1803.


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