Author: Abu Zeenat Afdal

Question # 294: Punishment for Rape in Islam

Question # 294: The brutal gang-rapes and murders of young and infant girls have provoked mass protests across India and social media campaigns for justice and safety. Can you inform what is the punishment for rape in Islam? Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm, Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Dear questioner, First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake. Shorter Answer: According to fuqaha, Rape is forcing a woman to commit unlawful sexual intercourse (zina bi al-jabr) against her will, i.e., when there is no consent and no deliberate action from the victim or with the consent of the victim, when the consent has been obtained by putting the victim in fear of death or of hurt. This includes instances when the condition of the victims prevents them from expressing their resistance, such as insanity, sleep or being underaged. The penalty of a rapist differs based on the consequences and circumstances of the way the crime was committed. It is punishable in some circumstances by the hadd[1] of zina (i.e., being stoned to death) as well as in some circumstances by the hadd of Hirabah[2] and it is also complemented by ta’zir[3]. As for Hirabah,...

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Question # 293: Misyaar Marriage

Question # 293: What is Misyaar marriage? Is it legally allowed in Islam? Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm, Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Dear questioner, First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake. Shorter Answer: Misyaar marriage is where a man does a shar’i marriage contract with a woman, meeting the conditions of marriage, but the woman gives up some of her rights such as accommodation, maintenance or the husband’s staying overnight with her; however, the wife can later reclaim the rights which she gave up at the time of contract at any time. Although this type of marriage is not found in the Qur’an or Sunnah in specific, the scholars differed concerning the ruling on this type of marriage, whereby some consider it permissible, and others permit but consider it makrooh (disliked). Those who dislike/ disallow, believe that the consequences of such marriage adversely affect the woman, as it is demeaning to her, and it affects the society as this marriage contract is taken advantage of by people weak in emaan for the sake of mere pleasure whilst forgoing the other benefits of marriage. It also influences the children from such marriage, whose...

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Question # 292: Is Basmalah (Bismillah) part of Soorah Fatihah

Question # 292: Is Bismillah part of Soorah Fatihah, that is it counted as the first verse of al-Fatihah? Should be recited loud or silently in salah? Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm, Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Dear questioner, First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake. Shorter Answer: According to scholars from Madinah, Basra. Syria and Hanafi school, the phrase ‘bi-smillahi r-raḥmani r-raḥim’ is an ayah in Soorah an-Naml and it is not an ayah in the beginning of Soorah Fatihah; hence, the first verse is ‘Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil ‘alamin’ and ‘bi-smillahi r-raḥmani r-raḥim’ is merely a blessing phrase. However, according to scholars from Makkah, al-Kufah and the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools, the first verse of Soorah Fatihah is ‘bi-smillahi r-raḥmani r-raḥim’, which is the most common in use (i.e., aka Kufan recitation).  Nevertheless, according to scholars, it does not matter whether Basmalah is regarded as a verse in some recitations and not others. This information is only for knowledge purposes and not to create any differences among ummah. According to authentic ahadith, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not pronounce the basmalah out loud in al-Faatihah in the prayer; rather...

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Question # 291: Tahleel Marriage (Halalah)

Question # 291: Can you explain Tahleel Marriage? Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm, Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Dear questioner, First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake. Shorter Answer: Tahleel marriage is a marriage in which a man marries a woman after she has been divorced three times by her [former] husband, solely for the purpose of making her permissible/ lawful for her [former] husband to remarry her. Hence, such an arrangement is a major sin, and the marriage contract itself is invalid and regard that as zina (adultery) in Shari’ah. It does not matter if the intention of halalah (making her permissible to her former husband) is stipulated or not in the marriage contract  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Allah has cursed the one who marries a divorced woman with the intention of making her lawful for her former husband and cursed the one for whom she is made lawful.” Long Answer: If this man divorced his wife one or two times only, then he may remarry her with a new marriage contract; however, if he divorced her three times, then that is an irrevocable divorce with major separation....

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Question # 290: The Clear (al-Muhkam) and Unclear (Al-Mutashaabih) Verses of the Qur’an

Question # 290: The Qur’an says it is clear but there are also Mutashabihaat ayaat which none but Allah knows the meanings of. 1. So is Qur’an clear or not; how are these two facts reconciled? 2. What is the wisdom behind Mutashabihaat Ayaat? Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm, Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Dear questioner, First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake. Shorter Answer: In order for a person to fully understand and appreciate the Qur’an, he must be knowledgeable in the Arabic language. The portion of the Qur’an that is muhkam (clear, non-ambiguous) forms the foundation of the Book, meaning it comprises all the moral and social laws that mankind needs for its guidance (such as commands, obligatory duties, prohibitions and punishments). The mutashaabih (unclear) portion of the Qur’an is clear in its meaning to ‘those well-grounded in knowledge,’ and it is necessary to understand these verses in light of the muhkam verses. The actuality of the mutashaabih verses; however, is known only to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) warns Muslims against those people who follow the mutashaabih without properly understanding them in light of...

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