IslamQA: On controlling the impulse to masturbate

I cannot control my impulse for masturbating can I?

It will get easier to control your impulses as you get older. So do not get disheartened but always do your best to make up for it by doing other good deeds. Please see this previous answer for more details: On how to stop masturbating

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Should Muslims just stay away from manga and anime?

Everyone should just stay away from manga and anime. So much, if not absolutely most of it is immoral filth. Juvenile stories told with immoral themes and aimed at teenagers. Fantranslations make the stories impossible to regulate and many children are subjected to stories they should never have seen, let alone anyone of any age should see. They are not only ugly in appearance and telling, but ugly in their morals and intent. I pray that the whole phenomenon dies away insha'Allah.

I have no interest in them myself but I think that if Muslims get invovled with the genre and contribute wholesome alternatives to it, then it can be reformed. For example I grew up watching Arabic-dubbed anime on the popular SpaceToon channel and there was nothing in that except good moral teachings, besides the entertainment and fantasy.

If just leave the genre alone then that would just increase the chances of our teenagers going to the unwholesome versions of it. So I believe the first step toward a solution would be an English-language alternative to SpaceToon that only presents the wholesome animes.

IslamQA: Islam and vegan extremists

Assalamu'alaykum. Brother, what are your thoughts on vegans who condemn and look down on people who consume meat? I find few vegan persons who seem to justify their belief in only consume greens and fruits and view that other people who are not vegan as a low-life. Thank you.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

You can just ignore such people, they are similar to religious extremists who dehumanize those who disagree with them. If you are interested, you can check out Roger Scruton’s book Animal Rights and Wrongs. I have not actually read it (but I have it and plan to), but I trust his opinions on most things. Maybe his book will clarify the matter to you.

IslamQA: Are virtual credit cards halal?

Salaam. I was planning to create a PayPal account, but I'm unemployed, have no credit card, and thought of creating a VCC or Virtual Credit Card to get a full access to PayPal and to make overseas online payment or transfer. Unfortunately, the VCC service asks their users to take up 1,9% to 4,5% from users' account balance. Does this count as usury? If so, I will undo this.

Since it is called a credit card and since a percentage is mentioned, it seems likely that it involves usury. Try to find services that offer debit cards rather than credit cards. Debit cards do not involve usury. You can go to a bank that offers VISA or MasterCard payment cards and open a checking (rather than savings, which involves usury) bank account with them, and first make sure their cards will work online.

Another way to pay with PayPal without having a bank account is to use prepaid gift cards (here is the PayPal page about it). You can buy a prepaid gift card at most Western supermarkets. Make sure they have a MasterCard, VISA, American Express or Discover logo on them. You can them use the prepaid gift card during checkout in PayPal. But I do not know if you can use them to transfer money to others.

If you ever have an urgent need for money in your PayPal account, let me know and I will try to help you.

IslamQA: Growing out of a person

What do you do when you grow out of a person? I no longer have that love for someone I loved so much.

I would say that is a natural part of life. We change and other change, and these changes sometimes lead to having different opinions about the person, or no longer enjoying their company, or no longer liking them.

I don’t know if there is anything you should do about it. Just continue being polite toward them, and if they expect love and kindness from you, try to show it to them even if you do not feel it. As discussed in this previous answer, being compassionate when you do not feel like it is actually greater in virtue than being compassionate when you feel like it.

IslamQA: Some personal questions for Ikram Hawramani

Did you have any mentors growing up? Also, who do you look up to?

I had an uncle who introduced me to Said Nursī and who encouraged me to learn English. I took up English-learning from 7th grade and possibly my main mentors in life were Victorian novels.

Do you have any siblings?

I have a brother and two sisters.

Are you a hafiz?

No I am not.

What are some things you have had to unlearn?

I cannot really think of anything I have had to unlearn.

What inspires you?

The Quran, praying at the mosque, all beautiful things.

What book impacted you most?

Probably Ibn al-Jawzī’s Ṣayd al-Khāṭir (Quarry of the Mind) which completely renewed my Islam and changed the direction of my life. I have selected the most inspiring parts of this book and published them in my books The Sayings of Ibn al-Jawzi and The Way of the Spiritual Muslim.

What are the main lessons you have learned?

Please see my blog post: Advice to my younger self

IslamQA: What is shirk (idolatry) in Islam?

What is shirk and how do you know that you have committed shirk?

Shirk is the sin of associating partners with God. It is often translated as paganism or polytheism, but the meaning is actually much wider. The Quran says:

And do not eat from that over which the Name of God was not pronounced, for it is abomination. The devils inspire their followers to argue with you; but if you obey them, you would be committers of shirk.

The Quran, verse 6:121.

According to this verse, whenever someone prefers Satan’s inspirations and opinions to God’s, that is shirk.

Shirk is any instance of the rejection of God’s authority in favor of another authority. If God tells you to do something and you refuse, preferring your own opinions and desires (which may have been inspired by Satan), then that is shirk.

All sins can be considered shirk because when committing sins we reject God’s authority. But there is minor shirk and major shirk. Minor shirk is the committing of any sin. We have all committed this whenever we have sinned, but God’s repentance and forgiveness are always open to us, so whenever we repent and God accepts our repentance, then our guilt for our shirk is erased.

Major shirk is to believe in an authority other than God and act according to it when you know that this is in contradiction to God’s authority. For example it is major shirk to believe that there are other deities beside God, or to believe that God is powerless over Satan, or that any of God’s attributes are false. For example if a person believes that God is powerless to help them, then that is major shirk, because they are preferring their own opinion (or Satan’s inspiration) over God’s clear statements.

The door of repentance is also open to majir shirk, so a person who has committed it is always welcome to repent and seek to submit to God again.

IslamQA: What is the one right way to pray (perform salah)?

Asalam Walikum, I was still wondering what would be the right way to pray? Ik different scholars have different opinions but in a ONE answer, what would be the right way to pray?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is sufficient to learn to pray from a source you like and respect, which is how most Muslims learn to pray. After that as your knowledge increases, you may choose to make small changes.

You may want to check out Being Muslim: A Practical Guide. It teaches how to pray in the Maliki way. The Maliki pratice of Islam is often the easiest for beginners, and since the Maliki school relies on three sources (the Quran, hadith and Medinan amal), it is often more reliable than the other schools which often only rely on the Quran and hadith.

I am not actually a Maliki so please do not consider this propaganda for that school. For my views on the different schools please see: On deciding which madhhab to follow and the multi-madhhab approach

IslamQA: Is it permitted for a Muslim to translate mangas?

Assalamu'alaikum, I wanted to ask is it wrong to translate Mangas? It's theme is reincarnation. Also I have put ads on my site where I post it, so the money that comes from it, is it halal or not?

I am the Anon from before, I am reading a manga where the girl goes back in time and meets Pharaoh Remisis ii, it’s a love story. Is it bad if I like those characters? I am so confused. Thanks.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The short answer is that many scholars would consider all of that permissible if the contents do not contain anything obscene. Please see the following pages on our site (especially the one on erotica) which should answer your question:

The Islamic view of watching anime and reading manga

Is reading erotica permitted in Islam?

Drawings, paintings and statues in Islam

IslamQA: Is it permitted in Islam for male doctors to deliver babies?

Is it haram to have a male doctor deliver a woman's baby?

The generally accepted opinion is that while it is forbidden for a male doctor to see a woman’s ʿawra (the parts of her body that should be covered by the hijab), this is overruled in cases where it is absolutely necessary. So if there are no female midwives or doctors available, and if there is a fear that the woman or the baby’s health and safety may be affected without the help of a male doctor, then it is permitted for the male doctor to deliver the baby.


IslamQA: Is it shirk (idolatry) to watch videos about ghosts, ouija and seances?

Assalamu'alaikum I discovered that it is shirk to go to a mediator. I never did it, but I watched YouTube vids of people telling stories of when they were "haunted"/using ouija boards/visiting haunted places/doing a seance. Although I know that these aren't ghosts & watched it for intrigue does this count as shirk? In one of the videos they talked about consulting a mediator. What he told them matched the Islamic perspective of the unseen. So I just thought that I already knew that from islam

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

If you do it merely out of curiosity without believing that there are other supernatural powers besides God, then it is not shirk and it is not sinful.

Summoning human spirits is considered impossible in Islam and it is considered forbidden to try to summon human spirits or jinns. But merely learning about it out of curiosity is not sinful as far as I am aware.

Source on the ruling on summoning:

IslamQA: Is the fajr prayer valid if the sun rises while performing it?

Assalamualaikum, if someone intends to pray Fajr but they wake up 5minutes before sunrise and then whilst they are praying it goes past sunrise, is their prayer invalid? Because when I first searched this online all the answers says just to wake up and pray immediately even if you're late. So I assumed you didn't have to make intention of qaza? Jzk

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The Prophet PBUH says:

"Whoever could get one rak`a (of the Fajr prayer) before sunrise, he has accomplished the (morning) prayer and whoever could get one rak`a of the `Asr prayer before sunset, he has accomplished the (`Asr) prayer."

Sahih al-Bukhari 579; a version is also in Sahih Muslim 608 a

So if you start the prayer, finish one rakʿa, then if the sun rises, then you have performed it correctly and there is no need to redo it. But if the sun rises during the first rakʿa, there are different opinions on whether the prayer is valid or not. According to some scholars, if the sun rises during the first rakʿa, then the prayer becomes a qaḍāʾ prayer, meaning the person has missed fajr (but they should still continue the prayer, considering it a qaḍāʾ prayer for fajr). According to others, if a person performs the takbirat al-iḥrām (the first “Allahu akbar” at the beginning of the prayer) before sunrise, then they have accomplished fajr and it is not qaḍāʾ.


IslamQA: Is a shower the same as ghusl? Is wudu necessary after ghusl?

selam My question is if I had intercourse and I take shower and then wudu is my prayer valid? Olso is Gusul considered under shower or are they any other steps involved thanks

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

As discussed in this previous answer, taking a shower is ghusl provided that you take the shower with the intention of ghusl and provided that the water reaches your entire hair, head, face and body. So taking a shower with the intention of ghusl is sufficient to be able to pray afterwards.

Most scholars also agree that there is no need to perform ablution (wudu) after ghusl, as ghusl brings you into a state of purity that includes the state of ablution. However, after the water reaches the parts of the body that are washed during wudu, if a person does something after that that nullifies wudu (such as touching the private parts), then they should make wudu afterwards in order to pray.


IslamQA: The biography of Ibn al-Jawzi

Assalamualaikum, I wanted to ask about the biography of ibn al-jawzi.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

If you Google “Ibn al-Jawzi”, you will find many articles about him. Unfortunately I could not find any comprehensive articles that I could link to. Below is also a lecture on Ibn al-Jawzi that you may find helpful.

IslamQA: How does one leave Islam?

In order to convert, there is the shahada, but what if some has left Islam, how do you leave Islam? I am not thinking to leave Islam but I was just wondering how can someone go about leaving Islam? Is there something you say?

There is no specific ritual for leaving Islam. Uttering anything that implies disbelief in God, the Hereafter, the angels, the Scriptures or the Prophets would imply leaving Islam if the person utters it solemnly, that is if the person really expresses disbelief in their heart.

IslamQA: He can’t stop using “goddess” as a compliment

Is it haram to say goddess to someone you find beautiful? I can't stop saying that and it's becoming chronic. What should I do?

As discussed in this previous answer, it is unclear whether that is halal or haram, but it is clear that it is not a good thing to do. So do your best to avoid it, and maybe tell the person that you are worried that this is displeasing to God and tell them to ask you to stop using it whenever you use it. Maybe they can help you stop.

IslamQA: Is swearing by God permitted in Islam? The ruling on breaking an oath or promise

Are you allowed to swear by God?

Yes, swearing by God is permitted in Islam. However, there are two types of oaths (swearing) which have different rules. The first one is a casual, rather than solemn, oath. For example many Muslims say “Wallahi (by Allah) this” or “Wallahi that” in casual conversation. This type of swear is not solemn, therefore breaking it has no legal consequences. For example if someone casually says “Wallahi I will do that tomorrow” and they do not do it, if their swear was casual, then even if they do not do the thing, there is no blame upon them.

God does not hold you responsible for your unintentional oaths, but He holds you responsible for your intentions. God is Forgiving and Forbearing.

The Quran, verse 2:225.

The other type of oath is the solemn oath or vow. When you clearly state something and swear by Allah, and in your heart you mean this oath to be solemn, then breaking it will be sinful unless you make atonement (kafāra) for it.

God does not hold you accountable for your unintended oaths, but He holds you accountable for your binding oaths. The atonement for it is by feeding ten needy people from the average of what you feed your families, or by clothing them, or by freeing a slave. Anyone who lacks the means shall fast for three days. That is the atonement for breaking your oaths when you have sworn them. So keep your oaths. Thus God makes clear His Revelations to you, that you may be grateful.

The Quran, verse 5:89.

If you make a binding oath to do something harmful, or if you later regret the oath and find a better alternative, it is recommended to break the oath and make the atonement for it.

Narrated Aisha: That her father (Abu Bakr) never broke his oath till Allah revealed the order of the legal expiation for oath. Abu Bakr said, "If I ever take an oath (to do something) and later find that to do something else is better, then I accept Allah's permission and do that which is better, (and do the legal expiation for my oath ) ".

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 138

However, if you vowed by God to someone (if you made a promise to them) and later you wish to break it, it is considered bad manners to do so. Therefore besides making atonement for it, you must try to get that person’s permission and forgiveness. But there is no legal ruling on breaking promises to a person, this is just a matter of etiquette.

Source on breaking promises:

IslamQA: The ruling on swearing by the Quran

What does the Quran say about swearing upon it? Is one allowed to swear on the Quran if you are telling the truth?

The Quran itself does not mention a ruling on swearing by the Quran. However, since in Islamic theology the Words of God are attributes of Him, swearing by the Quran is the same as swearing by God and the same rules apply to it.


IslamQA: Dealing with the meanness of people in Islam

Salam Aleyckoum, what to do when people act badly with me and what to do when people without even speaking to them come to distribute wickedness about me ? I always try to act nicely and never say anything but i always cry about that.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The best thing to do is to forgive them and ignore what they do. The Quran says:

Good and evil are not equal. Repel evil with good, and the person who was your enemy becomes like an intimate friend.

But none will attain it except those who persevere, and none will attain it except the very fortunate.

(The Quran, verses 41:34-35)

Every time they do something wrong toward you, if you patiently endure it, then you can consider that a good deed written for you by God. And perhaps their good deeds will also be given to you by the amount of wrong that they do. Try to think of them as an opportunity for you to increase your good deeds, even though I know this will not always be much consolation.

A powerful way to build patience is to develop a close relationship with God. When you fully submit to Him and rely on Him then the difficulties of this life will start to appear small and insignificant. Please check out the page Guides on Becoming a Better Muslim for more information on this.

Best wishes.