IslamQA

Answers to questions on Islamic topics. Ask a Question.

IslamQA: Dealing with parents who favor their other children

Assalam alleikumwarahmatuallahi wabarakatu.am stayn wid ma mother and ma daughter but ma mother loves ma others sisters kids more dan mine we always have fight bZ off of dis situation plz would like u to help me what to do.i was thinking to go leave alone widout my mom but shes old .and i dnt want to leave her but no peace.what should i do.help

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

Sorry to read about your situation. May Allah help make things better. Unfortunately there is little we can do about how our parents treat us. The best that you can do is be patient and treat your mother with love and kindness regardless of how she treats you, similar to the way that some parents treat their selfish and unloving children with love even if the children do not deserve it.

Work to maintain a close relationship with God through such acts as daily Quran reading as this can be a great help in giving you the contentment and motivation to always act according to what is good and right.

Best wishes inshaAllah.

IslamQA: Dealing with a toxic family

Assalamualykum Dear Brother, Allah says that family is a great trial. I have been living in a toxic family environment for some time in which my sisters and mother do not get along. In this situation, I love them both, and it hurts me in a deep way when they fight and I can do nothing at all to make the situation better. I try my best to stick to the commands of Allah and have made constant dua regarding this situation. What should be the response of my heart? Am I too attached to my family members or is patience the only solution?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I’m sorry to read about your situation. May Allah make things better for you. Unfortunately there is often little that we can do about how others, including our family members, behave. The best we can do is be patient. Something that helps greatly is to have a close relationship with God, such as through daily Quran reading. This helps detach you from worldly concerns and enables you to always act according to what is good and right regardless of how others behave.

May Allah bless you.

IslamQA: Is talaq (divorce) valid if the husband hasn’t paid the full mahr?

Akhi Does saying talaaq 3 times together make it valid even if the husband hasnt paid the full mehr?

The triple talaq counts as only one talaq according to the opinion I prefer, and it may not even count at all if it is not done at the correct time. Please see my answer: Triple talaq (divorce) counts as only one talaq

I cannot find anything on whether having paid mahr or not affects divorce. As far as I can find that has no relevance, but the husband must pay the full mahr whether they divorce or not if the couple have been sexually intimate.

IslamQA: How to calculate the last third of the night for performing tahajjud

When is the correct time to pray tahajjud? Where I live fajr is at 6 so I pray it an hour before. How exactly do we work out last 3rd of the night?

From what I understand, the last third of the night is calculated this way: If the time between the isha prayer and the fajr prayer is nine hours, the last three hours of these nine hours would be the last third of the night.

Note that if it is more convenient, you can perform tahajjud (more commonly called qiyam) before going to bed. You can even perform the same kind of worship during the daytime, though it would not exactly be tahajjud, but inshaAllah God will still reward you amply for it. See my essay: Mysticism without Sufism: A Guide to Tahajjud, Islam’s Meditation Practice

IslamQA: What does it mean that everything is from Allah? Does it include evil?

وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُوا۟ هَٰذِهِۦ مِنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۖ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُوا۟ هَٰذِهِۦ مِنْ عِندِكَۚ قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۖ According to this verse from surah an nisa everything is from Allah. Then why is it said that good dreams are from Allah n bad ones from satan? Not just for dreams, for other things too its said. Thanks dear brother

Everything is from Allah in the sense that this universe is like a video game maintained by God. Nothing can ever happen inside this game without God making it happen. This universe would be like a lifeless ball of steel, with nothing ever moving or changing, if it wasn’t for God changing it moment by moment and in this way creating what we call “time”.

But God is not the only actor in this game. God and all beings with free will are actors. So while nothing can ever happen unless God makes it happen, the reason something happens can be either God or another agent. So when a murderer shoots someone, it is God who changes the positions of the atoms so that the murder can take place. But the reason the murder happened was the murderer’s choice. So God changed the universe from a state in which the murder had not happened to a state where the murder had happened. But the murder only happened because of the murderer’s choice.

Think of it like playing a video game that’s controlled by a higher power. You can issue commands for your character in the game to do certain things. But none of your commands will have any effect unless that higher power puts your commands into practice. So you can command your character to do something, but it will only happen if that higher power takes your command seriously and allows it to happen.

So Satan can inspire certain thoughts in us, but Satan has no power over the universe. Satan can only wish, and God either allows those wishes to have an effect or not. Satan is the reason for the bad inspirations, but they would never happen unless God actually allows it to happen and changes the universe to a state where it happens.

For more on why things are this way see my essay: Why God Allows Evil to Exist, and Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

IslamQA: Did God forgive Adam for disobeying Him?

bro prophet Adam (as) was forgiven or punished?I know that Adam AS was created to b sent as khalifa on earth but this verse of Quran: get down [from the Garden to the earth] some of you being the enemies of the other, and there is on the earth your abode and the necessities [of life] for a time”The tone indicates displeasure On other hand Quran says Adam asked for forgiveness.We know Allah accepts repentance. So were they punished or forgiven?do v hv to bear consequences even after forgiveness

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله I’m the same anon who asked the question about Aadam (as). One reason i wanna know if we have to face consequences of our mistakes n sins even after acceptance of tauba. Pls add this to my prior post / qs. Id be very thankful if u replied. Thankyou for ur consideration.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Adam (as) was forgiven by God, but God had planned to put him on earth if he disobeyed. So Adam’s forgiveness had no effect on the plan that God had for him. And yes, I believe our sins can have consequences even if we repent and are forgiven. But we must always think the best of God, knowing that in His wisdom, knowledge and mercy He can always turn the seemingly bad consequences into a great blessing. Adam went from an innocent and unburdened human to a true saint who was able to worship God in difficult circumstances rather than in Paradise, so it can be considered a great blessing, especially since his mistake made it possible for millions of similar saints to exist after him.

I fully agree with Imam Ibn al-Qayyim when he says:

Satan rejoiced when Adam (peace be upon him) came out of Paradise, but he did not know that when a diver sinks into the sea, he collects pearls and then rises again.

IslamQA: What kind of jewelry material is halal for men?

Salamu alaikum, brother. I want to ask what kind of jewelry material is permissible for a man to wear? For example, are palladium and rhodium permissible to be used for a wedding ring and for a man to wear it on his finger? Thank you.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is only gold that is forbidden to men. All other elements are permitted as long as they are not mixed with gold.

References:

Followup Question:

Thank you for the answer, brother. Also, this is a follow-up question for the jewelry material. Does forbidding gold applies for the white gold, as well?

Yes, it applies to everything that has the chemical element gold (Au) in it. White gold is just gold mixed with nickel, silver, or palladium usually.

IslamQA: Islam and nationalism

Asalam Alaikum❗️ Do you have any advice on how to not be a nationalist? Sometimes I feel too proud and have too much love for my country and culture. I feel it is wrong, since I should only be that proud of islam and being Muslim, alhamdulillah 🤲 But sometimes I just forget, and idolize my culture and country too much astaqfiruAllah. In shaa Allah any advice brother?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I don’t really feel that anything good can come from nationalism. I think the best way to avoid such feelings is to focus on your soul and your relationship with God, knowing that regardless of your country and lineage your soul is exactly like everyone else’s soul, and its only superiority can be through how pious and virtuous you are. I recommend doing what is necessary to be really close to God, such as by reading the Quran for an hour every day, and inshaAllah that will make it easy to forget about nationalism.

IslamQA: How to overcome guilt over major sins such as committing zina (sexual activity outside of marriage)

Assalamualaikum. I have a question. I committed zina once but I am really ashamed of it, regretted it and have made taubah prayer. I know that Allah will forgive sinners if they really mean it but how do I live with knowing that I have committed this sin?? I just can’t take this out of my head and I feel like I am always a useless being for having done so. And I feel embarrassed because of that to even do good deeds. Does a sinner like me even have a place to see Allah?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The Prophet PBUH says: “A person who repents from a sin is like one who has not committed the sin.” I understand your guilt and I believe the best way to overcome it is to try to be an extraordinary Muslim from now on, such as by reading the Quran for an hour every day for the rest of your life. You can also promise God to do a significant extra act of worship for Him, such as giving away $10,000 in charity in small amounts, or performing 1000 rakats of extra prayers (in units of two), doing as many as easy to do every day whether during the day or night. You could also start fasting every Monday and Thursday until you have performed a certain number of fasts, such as 100. You can also commit to seeking religious knowledge, such as by reading all of Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim. InshaAllah these things will help ease your guilt. 

Best wishes inshaAllah.

IslamQA: Is it permissible to eat meat cooked alongside pork?

As salamu alaykum brother. I am spending Christmas eve with the family, and the typical Danish Christmas dinner is pork roast and sometimes duck; we have both. Because of it being time and space consuming my mum will only be making one gravy - mixed, which I can live with, I just wont have any. But is it a problem the duck and pork is roasted in the oven right next to each other ?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

That’s not a problem as long as the oil from the pork does not spatter on the duck, so it depends on how your mother is roasting them. If one or both are in covered containers or aluminum foil then inshaAllah there will be no issue.

Also you can buy vegetarian gravy from sites like Amazon.

IslamQA: Keeping up the motivation to pray during cold weather

It's really hard to pray in this cold weather. Any advice how can I keep up the motivation to offer prayer?

Reading Quran daily will probably help keep up your motivation. Performing the prayer is one of God’s rights on you. You cannot ignore it without risking losing God’s blessings and protection. If you wish for His making your life easy and granting you success, then performing the prayer is essential to having such things.

IslamQA: Can Muslims go to church and listen to the prayers?

Can Muslims go to church and listen to the prayers?

It is permitted to visit churches to attend lectures or events, or to just see the proceedings, as long as you do not participate in the Christian rites yourself. Ibn Abbas actually used to perform the Islamic prayer (salah) at a church.

References:

IslamQA: On overcoming dislike for family members and relatives

Assalamualaikum. I need your opinion about something. I have a big family and we have certain members that we're not a fond of because of their characters and things that they did. It's very hard to forget because it really hurt and disappoint us. And I know that we should have mercy on people like Allah does to us. So is there anything that I can do to let it go all of these feelings and treat people kindly no matter what they have done. Jazakallahu kheir.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Your personality is made up of two elements. You have a soul that wishes to treat everyone with kindness and forgiveness. And you have a brain that has memories of the past wrongs they have done you and that resents them for that. Unfortunately there is little you can do about how your brain responds to people, because it has its own instincts and thought processes. We often find ourselves in situations where our brains are in conflict with our souls. We just have to do our best to force ourselves to be nice and kind regardless of how we feel.

Something that helps greatly is to be close to God. After an hour’s Quran-reading I feel that I am able to treat people with a clean slate without worrying about what they have done to me in the past. This of course requires daily work, because we always go back to our normal instincts if we ignore the work needed to maintain a strong relationship with God.

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Does Islam ask us to sacrifice good sleep and productivity for worship?

Brother Allah has made the night for rest & day for work. If a person gets up during the night for an hour or so for tahajjud its natural that during the daytime he 'll feel sleepy and not be as productive. He wont be able as alert in the daytime and his day-night schedule will be unbalanced. Please explain how to reconcile these two.

People during the time of the Prophet PBUH used to sleep for a number of hours in the afternoon, so in this way they got a healthy amount of sleep during the 24 hours. But you are right, if you stay up to pray then it can affect you negatively the next day. Personally I’m very sensitive to bad sleep and I can barely get anything done the next day if I don’t get my 8 hours of sleep.

I don’t think there is any virtue in ruining one’s sleep and productivity for the sake of worship. What matters is to make the effort to do extra worship in whatever way that fits your schedule.

IslamQA: Is supermarket cheese halal? How to find halal cheese

Assalamualaikum what is your preferred opinion on whether cheese is halal or haram? I've read online that during the manufacturing process rennet can become mixed in with the cheese and therefore it is doubtful? It's very hard to confirm with companies if that happened and also I read one opinion that said the companions ate cheese made in the traditional way and there was no problem with it, but I don't know how authentic or valid that is. Jazak Allah khairun

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

According to many great scholars (such as Ibn Taymiyya) rennet is halal regardless of whether it has been taken from an animal slaughtered in the Islamic way or otherwise, because the rennet is not an organ of the animal but an independent organism. The only controversial issue is whether rennet from pigs is halal, some say it is and some say it is not.

The safest choice is to eat only vegetarian and kosher-certified cheeses, both of which are halal. Vegetarian cheese is made from milk like any cheese but does not use rennet. Here is a long list of cheese brands that are vegetarian and thus halal. Whole Foods brand (365) and Kroger brand cheeses are vegetarian.

Wal-Mart’s brand (GreatValue) uses pork ingredients in its cheeses according to some sites, so that is best avoided.

References:

IslamQA: Is it permitted to use interest to save for marriage or college?

Salam! We have been going through hard circumstances since I'm born. It has always been hard for us to meet our ends. My mum has saved some amount of money for my marriage now, she wants to fixed deposit it in the bank. So that until I get married she can afford my brother's university fees with the interest she would get on it. Would that be right? Cux there's no other mean by which my brother can get his education 🙁

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

May Allah ease your circumstances. Unfortunately interest is never OK to earn, Islam considers it immoral, it’s similar to stealing. She can instead invest in halal savings accounts such as those offered by Al Rayan Bank in the UK. She can also invest in the Azzad Wise Capital Fund which earns money from Islamic bonds.

IslamQA: Does God burden humans with more than they can bear?

Assalamu Aalaikum! it is said that Allah SWT does not burden anyone more than he can bear. My question is why some people go into chronic psychological illnesses after getting struck by some incident. Doesn't this means he's been gone through the burden that he could not bear?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The more accurate translation of that is that “God does not hold a person responsible for more than what is in their power.” It is not about what kind of stress God allows to happen to someone, it is about what God holds us responsible for. For example if someone is unable to pray due to mental illness, God will not hold them responsible, because God only holds humans responsible for what is in their power.

God allows this universe to function in a natural way, meaning that He allows whatever that could go wrong to go wrong, although He sometimes does intervene to protect certain individuals, or to make history go a certain way He wants.

For more on why God has designed things this way see my essay: Why God Allows Evil to Exist, and Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

IslamQA: Is depression a character flaw or weakness if it interferes with Islamic duties?

AO, on your answer about depression and anxiety, a lot of times I struggle with faith bc depression & anxiety deprives me of motivation & energy and fills my head with all these thoughts, and I feel so guilty because of the way it interferes with my ibadah, I wish I just had the will power to overcome it but I always stay stuck in my old ways,whereas the Prophets PBUT were able to overcome their weakness by their good character, I feel like a loser bc of it, hope what I'm saying makes sense

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Depression is not a character flaw. It is not something you are doing to yourself, it is being done to you by your brain. I know there are many people who think they have strong characters because they have never suffered depression, but if they take a large dose of retinol (a type of vitamin A) they can become suicidally depressed within hours regardless of how “strong” they think they are. Retinol depletes serotonin from the brain, which is also what happens when someone is depressed.

You are not your brain. You are a soul connected to a brain. If you intend with your soul to do good but your brain and body do not cooperate, then you are still a good person. This is why Islam rewards us for our intentions. If you really want to perform tahajjud but mental or physical fatigue doesn’t let you, then inshaAllah God will still reward you, since He knows you would have done it if you had the energy. God only holds us responsible for the powers He has given us.

I recommend that you seek medical help. Sometimes depression is caused by a genetic problem that causes your brain to lack the chemicals it needs. No amount of positive thinking and will power can help if your brain simply cannot produce the chemicals it needs. The right drugs can restore the balance and give you back your energy and motivation inshaAllah.

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Does the Quran say Judgment Day will be in 1000 years of our reckoning?

Salam, in the Quran it says Judgement day will be like a 1000 years of our reckoning, in an Islamic youtube video it was mentioned that for the Believers this time will pass like the hours between dhuhr and asr. Is this authentic?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The Quran doesn’t say that. It says a day in God’s view is similar to 1000 years of ours, it is not related to the Day of Judgment. But it seems likely to me that once we die, we wake on the Day of Judgment feeling like just a few hours have passed, even if tens of thousands of years have passed in the world until the Day of Judgment.