IslamQA: Is reading and acting upon the Quran better than memorizing it?

Salaam, brother. Does reading the Quran and internalize then act upon it is better than just memorize it and wear it as a pride of being a Muslim? Does we have to memorize and act upon the Quran? What if I don't have the intention to memorize all the entire Quran, but only want to internalize it and act upon it in real life? I have seen some people memorize the Quran, but act like they haven't read it. And I have seen some people who seldom read the Quran, but is more civil than those who do. Am I just confused?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I believe reading and acting by the Quran is better than memorizing it. The Quran never praises Quran-memorizers, it only praises those who read/recite the Quran frequently.

And [I swear by] the reciters of the Reminder.

The Quran, verse 37:3.

They are not alike. Among the People of the Scripture is a community that is upright; they recite God’s revelations throughout the night, and they prostrate themselves.

The Quran, verse 3:113.

Those who recite the Book of God, and perform the prayer, and spend of what We have provided for them, secretly and publicly, expect a trade that will not fail.

The Quran, verse 35:29.

O you Enwrapped one.

Stay up the night, except a little.

For half of it, or reduce it a little.

Or add to it; and chant the Quran rhythmically.

The Quran, verse 73:1-4.

I am therefore not convinced that there is any special virtue in memorizing the Quran; the virtue of memorization comes from the fact that a person spends a lot of time with the Quran, so if a person spends a lot of time with the Quran without memorizing it, the same virtue applies to them as well. And if a person memorizes the Quran without acting upon it and taking it to heart, then there is little benefit in that and in fact the Quran mocks such religious people who acquire knowledge without acting upon it:

The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah, but then failed to uphold it, is like the donkey carrying works of literature.

From the Quran, verse 62:5.

So since I am convinced that the virtue comes from reading the Quran and taking it to heart rather than from memorizing it, I spend an hour every day with the Quran but do not plan to memorize it.

IslamQA: Wearing hijab with hearing aids

How can I wear a hijab if I wear hearing aids, because I need access to my ears in case the hearing aid battery dies or I need to change its settings? I don't want the hijab to potentially block the microphone on the hearing aids because it might affect my hearing.

You can wear the hijab in a way that does not cover your ears. According to a Saudi fatwa this is permitted for someone who needs hearing aids.


IslamQA: Why do Westerners think Islam is not progressive?

Salaam. What motivates the Western to be progressive and thinks that Islam is a religion that does not encourage its follower to be progressive?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Western progressivism is an ideology that has been getting built since the 16th century. While it believes itself to be the opposite of religious unreason and the promoter of rationality and intelligent reasoning, it is actually the other side of the same coin as religious fundamentalism. Rather than humbly admit the limits of human reasoning and show equal respect to all humans, it arrogantly claims to possess some fundamental truth that others do not posses (therefore just like religious fundamentalists, progressives believe that those who disagree with them are mentally deficient, instead of respecting dissenters as equals).

Progressivism is often simply the reflection of an atheist’s anger against their fairy tale ideas about religion and their arrogant belief that they can somehow do things better and more correctly than the hundreds of generations before them. From such a view Islam is not progressive but backward; the very fact that it calls for belief in God can be considered the very opposite of progressivism; progressivism is often the expression of the atheist’s desire to be a god himself/herself. Since progressivism has no standard beyond its self-satisfied trust in human reason and intelligence, it cannot accept any standard that claims to be derived from a higher power (such as God). So anything in Islam that the progressive does not understand or that the progressive thinks is opposed to their own limited idea of what “progress” means is automatically considered backward and superstitious.

Of course this does not apply to everyone who considers themselves a progressive since there is no single definition for what it means to be a progressive. Many things in Islam can be considered highly “progressive”, such as its zakat system which can create a “universal basic income” system when properly implemented.

IslamQA: Can a Muslim also be a free thinker?

Can a Muslim also be a free thinker?

It depends on what you mean by “free thinker”. “Freethinker” usually means someone who rejects revelation; if that is the meaning used here then one cannot be a Muslim and a freethinker since the two would be contradictory. But if by it you simply mean being skeptical and believing strongly in reason and logic then that is not opposed to Islam.

IslamQA: The ruling on using alcohol in cooking

What is your opinion on cooking with alcohol, like wine etc. I know most Muslim ruling is NO on the subject. I am personally liberal in general in life and on this subject also. You simply can't get drunk on the food cooked with alcohol.

As discussed in this previous answer, vanilla extract that comes in alcohol is halal since it is not possible to get drunk on it. As for using alcohol in cooking, I believe this is closer to the forbidden side because when used in cooking, the point is to consume the alcohol itself, unlike vanilla extract where the alcohol is merely a carrier for the vanilla, and the Prophet PBUH says that anything that causes intoxication in large amounts is forbidden in small amounts.

The alcohol in the house may also act as an encouragement for your family members to try it, especially teenagers.

IslamQA: The baby name Irsyad

Does Irsyad has good meaning? I can’t find it in your website but in others website has it. So would like to confirm. Thank you.

Irysad seems to be an Indonesian (or similar) spelling of the Arabic word Irshād, which means “to guide”, “the act of guiding”. This is a good name.

IslamQA: On conspiracy theories

What are your thoughts on conspiracy theories?

According to a former US government official the CIA invented the phrase “conspiracy theory” to discredit US dissidents who criticized certain actions of the US government. It is, for example, widely known that the Roosevelt government did its best to plunge the US into World War II; they even knowingly allowed the Pearl Harbor attack to happen in order to mobilize US public opinion against the Japanese. But if someone had stated these facts in the 1940’s or 1950’s, they would have been attacked and called unpatriotic, and later they would have been called conspiracy theorists.

A very effective way of discrediting dissidents is to first call them conspiracy theorists, and second fund and promote crazy conspiracy theories about the Illuminati, aliens, ancient Egyptian technology and so on. In this way the “real” conspiracy theories are mixed with obviously false and silly theories, helping discredit them all.

So when dealing with conspiracy theories, one should remain aware of all of these facts. Just because something is a “conspiracy theory” does not mean it is false; and just because someone claims to stand up for truth and justice does not mean their crazy conspiracy theory is right. One should be skeptical and critical and try to read as widely as possible in order to be able to tell truth from falsehood.

IslamQA: The baby name Tanzima

Assalamu alaykum. What is the meaning of the name Tanzima? And is it a good name for a female child? Jazakumullah khairan.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Tanzima appears to be a feminization of the Arabic word Tanẓīm (“to put into order”, “to compose”, “to organize”). It is common in languages like Urdu to feminize Arabic words like this, but this is not done in Arabic itself. The name is appropriate to use since it has a good meaning.

IslamQA: Is covering the hair necessary when reading the Quran?

Assalamu alaykum Please I want to know it it's obligatory for Muslim women to cover their hair whenever they want to recite the Quran

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is not necessary to cover the hair or any other part of the body when reading the Quran as there is no legal evidence on this issue. But it is recommended to cover up as a way of respecting the Quran.


IslamQA: Question about jobs for a “Sodiq”

what are the job that Sodiq can do or train

I am not sure if you are asking about the job prospects of someone named Sodiq or whether you are asking about the type of jobs that a good Muslim can have. If the first is meant, there is nothing in Islam that tells us names have an effect on a person’s future. If the second, any job that is necessary or beneficial to the community is a good job if it does not break any of Islam’s rules.

IslamQA: Sea and water-related baby names

Are there any names with meanings related to the ocean, sea, water - I am from an island nation and I want to name my child with an element from Allah's creations that most resonates with our lives and environment

Please check out the following names:

IslamQA: A daughter’s duty to financially support her parents

Salam, I am an unmarried woman and a single child. To what extent do I have to financially provide for non-elderly parents who live way beyond their means? When they are elderly, am I expected to continue to pay for their self-imposed financially unsustainable lifestyle? Finally, if I were to become a housewife, how would financial support to my old parents work since I'd have no income and am an only child? Thank you for your time!

There are differences of opinion on the financial responsibility of a daughter toward her parents. Al-Shāfiʿī says the duty only belongs to sons, not daughters, while Abū Ḥanīfa says the duty is equally shared between sons and daughters.

The responsibility is only according to your own ability and according to your parents’ need. If they can survive without your help then anything you give to them is charity; it is not strictly a duty. If they live beyond their means, you do not have to support this but only give them enough to survive on unless you want to be generous.

If you marry, your duty is only according to the amount of money you personally have. If you have no income then you are not responsible for supporting them. However, you still have the duty of caring for your parents within your means, and if your husband would be willing to support them if you ask for it, then this is something that maybe you should look into.

Your first duty is toward yourself and your family (husband and children). Parents come after that.

Source for a daughter’s financial responsibility toward her parents:

IslamQA: Why does God let us pray for blessings when they can harm us?

Why did God give us the chance to ask anything we want when there can be a downside to it?

We already enjoy an incredible number of blessings; the very fact of existing is a blessing that cannot be repaid. It makes no difference to God to increase these blessings for us; if we submit and constantly seek His guidance then we will be safe from the downsides.

It is natural for humans to desire to have more than they already have. God does not tell us to completely suppress this desire since it is a morally neutral thing. It pleases God to give us blessings since it is a place where His attribute of the Most Generous is expressed.

IslamQA: The income of a father who works in a usurious bank

Salaam. My father works in a bank, to which we all know that no bank is free from usury. When I have enough courage to tell him that his job involves usury, he made an excuse that it is totally fine. My question is, does this make his effort to make a living for the family haraam or will God Forgive him for trying to sustain his family?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is your father’s duty to seek other employment. The money he earns is not entirely haram, it is a mix of halal and haram since the income of a bank comes from various sources, both halal and haram.

As for you benefiting from that money, according to a fatwa from the Qatari Fatwa Authority it is permitted for the child to benefit from such income since it is a mix of halal and haram. Benefiting from mixed parental income is not clearly forbidden in Islam, although you should try to encourage him to purify his income.

As for whether God accepts his excuses and forgives him, this depends on his intentions and his ability to find other jobs. If he prefers working at a bank because that is where he can make the most profit, then that is more morally condemnable than if he has no other job prospects.


IslamQA: Responding to insults against the Prophet PBUH

Brother, I wanted to ask if Muslims are offended when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is being mocked, how should we respond to it? Is it correct if we condemn the person mocking or do we have to stay calm and brush it off?

The Quran’s message is clear with regards to dealing with such situations; we should ignore them and turn away from them. No good is served by getting upset and condemning the person(s), since this will only make them feel more powerful. Since they do not have the decency to respect what we consider holy and sacred, they will enjoy the feeling that they are causing us anger and upset.

They are those whom God knows what is in their hearts. So ignore them, and admonish them, and say to them concerning themselves penetrating words.

The Quran, verse 4:63.

When you encounter those who gossip about Our revelations, turn away from them, until they engage in another topic. But should Satan make you forget, do not sit after the recollection with the wicked people.

The Quran, verse 6:68.

Follow what was revealed to you from your Lord. There is no god but He. And turn away from the polytheists.

The Quran, verse 6:106.

Be tolerant, and command decency, and turn away from the ignorant.

The Quran, verse 7:199.

So proclaim openly what you are commanded, and turn away from the polytheists.

The Quran, verse 15:94