IslamQA

Answers to questions received on my islamic-art-and-quotes tumblr blog.

Can you do a khatm (complete reading) of the Quran with a translation?

Salaam 🙂 I had a question. I was wondering since I am currently finishing trying to complete the Quran inshAllah, would I be able to read a translated version in English instead? So I can understand each Surah. Would reading the translation version be considered as completing the Quran? Thank you so much for you input, I highly appreciate it. JazakAllah khair

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The common opinion among scholars (al-Nawawi, Ibn Baaz) is that there is something special about the Arabic Quran. They believe that it is forbidden to recite the Quran during the prayer (ṣalāh) in a different language, and believe that reading the Quran as an act of worship is only permissible in Arabic. As for translations, they only consider them useful as an educational tool.

The best thing to do would be to read a side-by-side Arabic and English book of Quran, reading each verse in Arabic then in English.

If your goal is to understand God’s words and wishes better by reading a translation, then He will reward you for your effort and you will benefit from it even if this does not constitute a formal qirāʾah (recitation) of the Quran. Therefore you can do what works best for you until your Arabic is good enough to easily understand the Arabic.

On proposing to a man as a Muslim woman

Salam Alaikum, I have a question, I want your opinion on it. There is a guy, he seems very nice conservative and holds good deal of manners and deen. He is single, I really would like to have a future with him. I'm not sure if he is looking for marriage now or if he's interested in me. He is a family friend. How can I approach him without looking so unmodest. He does not have any family around and only our friends. Any tips on how to address that situation. Thanks and jazak Allah

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The best thing would be to tell someone who is respected by both of you and ask them to introduce the topic to him. This would be less awkward for both of you.

What is acceptable in one culture may not be in another, therefore it is the people around you who will have the best ideas on how to deal with this matter.

There is nothing in Islam to forbid you from talking to him directly, although this can be very awkward for most people, especially if he is not planning to marry. Having an intermediary gently introduce the topic to him would be much better.

Writing him (such as through email) is not a good option because it can send the wrong impression and because it puts you at his mercy. Even  if he is a good person and you expect no harm from him, you never know how people may change in the future, therefore it is always best to act cautiously (and get other people’s approval and involvement) in this matter.

Why doesn’t Islam have paintings and music?

Why doesn’t Islam have historical paintings/art like other religions? For example, Christians have that painting of Jesus at Last Supper. Also, why are there modern Christian songs in pop and rock but no such thing as Muslim songs? Is music seen as distracting or misguiding you from your path?

It does. All that you need to do is search “Islamic painting” to find thousands of examples. Below is an example from the 16th century:

There was a belief among religious scholars that painting living things is not allowed by God, although this is being challenged today. Despite that, Muslims developed a form of painting known as miniature paintings. Unlike in European paintings, there wasn’t a focus on realism until the past century, for this reason the paintings look very different from European art.

As for Islamic music, again, simply Google “Islamic music” to find thousands of examples. Below is an example:

Enduring the difficulties of having an abusive mother

So i gave in thinking that maybe she had undrestood herself and that she could not treat me and my sibling like that. Well I was wrong, every time she gets mad she wants me out and calls me crazy and maniac because of my mental illness. She is still bitter because of my father and i don't like it when she brings him and his family in our arguments (when they divorced she used us as a weapon and made dad leave us children because of the problems she was causing problems and manipulated us to hate

him. Anyways few years ago he came back in our live (this was again because of an argument between me and her and for some reason she called dads family) anyways she always calls him names and took it the point where she calls my late grand mom awful names. She made always makes bad duas to me and my sibling and calls my sister fat (she's overweight) and all. Our dad lives overseas so I can't move there. I'm really sick and tired of this and in Islam says that we always have to bare it all with

I appreciate the difficulty of your situation. Do you not have any relatives you could ask for your help or advice? They may be able to help you in some way.

Islam teaches us how to deal with life’s problems, it does not solve them for us. Muslims and non-Muslims both suffer from such problems. Sometimes you just have to endure, to read the Quran and to pray. If you are patient, your difficulties will help build your character and make you a wiser and better person than others of your own age. Some years from now you may be rewarded with a great life for your present difficulties. Prophet Yusuf and Prophet Muhammad both suffered through many difficulties, but eventually God gave them all that they desired. Always remember this sura 93 of the Quran:

1. By the morning light.

2. And the night as it settles.

3. Your Lord did not abandon you, nor did He forget.

4. The Hereafter is better for you than the First.

5. And your Lord will give you, and you will be satisfied.

6. Did He not find you orphaned, and sheltered you?

7. And found you wandering, and guided you?

8. And found you in need, and enriched you?

9. Therefore, do not mistreat the orphan.

10. Nor rebuff the seeker.

11. But proclaim the blessings of your Lord.

On not speaking to someone for more than three days

Salam, Is it true that according to hadith ones prayer or supplication becomes invalid when you don't speak to a person for more than three days. Many times I have neglected my prayers because I thought that there was no point of continuing. But I don't also understand why my prayers have to be affected to the point of validity if people are immature and don't solve issues by sitting down and communicating.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is a narration in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim in which the Prophet ﷺ says it is not permissible (halal) for a Muslim to stop talking to another for more than three days. The Maliki jurist Ibn Abd al-Barr says:

أجمعوا على أنه يجوز الهجر فوق ثلاث، لمن كانت ‏مكالمته تجلب نقصاً على المخاطب في دينه، أو مضرة تحصل عليه في نفسه، أو دنياه. فرب ‏هجر جميل خير من مخالطة مؤذية .‏

They [i.e. the scholars] have agreed that it is permissible to stop talking to someone for over three days with a person who, if one was to talk to them, this would bring a deficiency in one's faith or a harm in their psyche or their material well-being, therefore perhaps a good avoidance of someone [i.e. avoidance with good intentions] would be better than a mixing that brings harm.1

In other words, what the Prophet meant is that it is not acceptable to intentionally inflict suffering on someone by not talking to them. But if there is a good reason for not talking to them, then that might be fine.

You should not let others affect your relationship with God. If someone tells you something about Islam that sounds like nonsense to you, instead of thinking that God is illogical, you should think that that person has misunderstood Islam, taken something out of context or is following an extremist or literal interpretation that more intelligent scholars do not support.

Dealing with a family who want to marry off a daughter without her consent

Kindly forgive me if what I'm about to ask is uncomfortable in anyway. But I am stricken with grief and anger in my heart. I am aware this is wrong for my soul. But its when things take non-islamically that I feel most stricken with disappointment. My father has without my consent promised me to a family. I am already in love with a muslim man who I believe will help my deen and faith. How can I help myself and my cause. Any dua or insight?

Sorry to hear of that. Have you told him that you do not wish to marry that person? Perhaps talk to your mother and ask her to explain things to your father if you do not want to talk directly to him. If he does not listen to your wishes then you could ask the help of any male relatives you have. And if that does not help, if you live in a Western country there are various agencies who can help, although escalating things this far can seriously damage your relationship with him.

You should seek out all the help you can get from family and friends if necessary and perhaps you will find a peaceful solution. If absolutely necessary, you could even reach out to that family if at all possible and tell them you do not want to marry their son, maybe they will take your wish seriously even if your own family does not. You could ask for a private talk with the man, and during that talk you could tell him you do not want to marry him.

Dealing with betrayal and slander from friends

So I've shared a secret to a friend and said to her she shouldnt tell anyone especially not to person xy.. so what she did was exposing me infront of this person and told him/her everything what I said (the secret wasn't about the person I just wanted to make sure she don't tell it anyone).. she also told other person about it who weren't involved in it.. she blocked me on social media etc.. all this people are talking behind my back and everyone ignores me and possibly hates me for it..

These people are Muslims.. I’m so depressed these days.. can you say what should I do and is this a sign in form of punishment by Allah swt say because of my sins? I’m so confused and sad about it. They won’t listen to me.. I even apologized but they ignores me.. please help me!

All of God’s prophets were lied about, ignored and attacked by their societies, just because it is happening does not mean that it is a punishment. Perhaps it is preparation for something better that will come. Perhaps it is there to help you see who your real friends are and who the shallow and selfish ones are.

God is your protector. Always remember this verse:

That is because God is the protector of the faithful, while the evildoers have no protector. (The Quran, verse 47:11)

If God is your protector, then nothing that happens around you can possibly harm you, even if from appearances the thing is hurtful and upsetting. God is your protector, seek to please Him and forgive and forget those who wish to hurt you.

Getting over an impossible love

I don’t know if this is gonna sound ridiculous/stupid... but I’ve been having feelings for someone for the past 3 years and I can’t seem to get over it, I make dua Everyday asking Allah to strengthen my heart and remove these feelings, I try to keep myself busy with work and worship but at the end of the day I still come back to this , the worst part is that this person is married. I will never act on this feelings but it hurts a lot that I can’t do anything

Everyone’s life seems to contain some unsolvable problems. It can be a chronic illness, poverty, having a disabled child, having an elderly parent that one is forced to take care of, having a grown child who constantly causes problems, having an uncaring spouse, not being able to find someone to marry, etc. Your unsolvable problem appears to be your love for that person.

The main thing to do regarding life’s unsolvable problems is to accept them, to humbly submit to God’s decree and be thankful that things are not worse, and to realize that God could be saving us from many other problems that others suffer from. If our problem is solved, it is quite possible that a new problem may arise in our lives that is just as serious and painful as the one before, and most people’s lives appears to be a story of going from one unsolvable problem to another. This is how this world works, there is no way to achieve permanent peace in it. This world always promises us utopia but never delivers. Regardless of what we accomplish, in a few days or weeks we are always back to square one, always with new problems, worries and discomforts ruining things for us.

The thing to do is to sit back and understand that this is how the world works. We want to create heaven on Earth, but we can never achieve it. It is far better to keep in mind that this world will soon pass and that the comfort and peace we desire can only be achieved in a different world.

One thing you could do that might help you move on is to read a lot of books (50 or more). As you read more and more, your thinking and understanding will change and this can make it easier to get over the past and look forward to the future. You can check out this page on my my site for a list of books to read.

Do Muslims need to make up prayers intentionally missed for years?

I have a question to ask and i don't really know where and whom to ask about it. So, I’ve been neglecting salah for 24 years of my life, I’ve started to pray fully 5x times a day and I’ve been wondering how do i replace all the salah that I’ve been neglecting before. How do i know the numbers to replace, and what should i do? From what i heard, even if you seek for His forgiveness, you still have to pay back all the salah that you’ve missed out. Same goes to fasting.

Short answer: No, you do not need to make up those missed prayers.

The opinion of the founders of the four schools (Malik, al-Shafi`i, Ahmad and Abu Hanifah) is that a Muslim should make up any prayers missed after puberty even if this amounts to decades worth of missed prayers. Their reasoning is that since the prayer is obligatory on every Muslim, a missed prayer is like debt that one has to pay back.

Comparing a missed prayer to debt is known as qiyas (‘analogy’). The Islamic texts do not give us any clear pointers toward whether a person who habitually abandons the prayer should make them all up or not, this is an issue that is never mentioned in the Quran or hadith.

Ibn Taymiyyah rejects the debt analogy and provides a better analogy, that of intentionally missing the Friday prayer. People who intentionally delay the Friday prayer by not performing it in its proper time are not allowed to hold the Friday prayer later on to make up for it. The Friday prayer has a set time and it is only valid during that time.

As for making up missed prayers, according to Ibn Taymiyyah this only applies to cases when one’s daily life is interrupted by something that prevents them from praying in its proper time. Those who intentionally abandon the prayer cannot make it up; they have sinned, and once they repent, they should simply resume a Muslim’s life.

If you miss the Friday prayer intentionally by praying at home, there is no way to make it up, you cannot go to extra Friday prayers since there is no such thing as extra Friday prayers. I think this might be Ibn Taymiyyah’s point regarding the Friday prayer analogy. It appears that in Ibn Taymiyyah’s view the prayer is like a train that you either catch or miss. If you miss it by performing it defectively (such as by praying the Friday prayer at home) or by simply abandoning it, then you miss the train and there is no way to get back on it, since the prayer for each time period belongs to that time period and cannot be prayed outside of it. The noon prayer for March 5, 2018 belongs to a set period in time (say 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM), if one intentionally misses the prayer belonging to this period of history, then there is no way for them to make it up (unless they get on a time machine).

 

Ibn Taymiyyah’s view seems more like common sense and is, of course, far more humane, therefore I prefer it.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s view regarding missed fasts is similar; if the fast is intentionally abandoned, one is not required to make it up.

Can a Muslim woman marry an uncircumcised man?

How if I marry a converted man & he haven't circumcised yet. I mean, I've read it somewhere that u can't get married before circumcised first. Like, can we do the Ijab qabul first & few days after that the husband will be circumcised. Well, people who get circumcised need other people to look after them right? So what I try to say is I want to look after him during the recovery but obv it's haram before the marriage. That's why I want we get married first so I can look after him

Male circumcision is a matter of difference among scholars. The Hanafi and later Maliki opinion, and the opinion of al-Hasan al-Basri, is that it is recommended but not obligatory, while the Shafi`i and Hanbali view is that it is obligatory. According to the modern Egyptian scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, there is no conclusive evidence in Islam to make it obligatory, but that it is close to being obligatory and that it should not be abandoned by a society as a whole.

In your case, you can do whatever is most convenient. Here is an answer from a Mufti in Trinidad and Tobago saying:

Being Uncircumcised does not prevent you from becoming married. There is absolutely no statement that it is haram for a Muslim woman to marry a non circumcised man. When you intend to marry, it is good to tell your spouse that you are not circumcised, so that this does not create problems in your marital relationship.

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