Athan for the Newborn Child

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Q: What is the ruling of giving azaan and iqaamah in the ears of the newborn? Many people are leaving this out. Is this permissible?

A:
It is a practice from the time of Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam. In Tirmidhi it is mentioned that when Sayyidina Hasan Radhiyallaahu Anhu was born, Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam gave the Athaan in his ears.

In Shu'abul Imaan it is recorded that Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said that when a child is born then give the Athaan in the right ear and the Iqaamah in the left ear. This will protect the child from a certain type of epilepsy that affects kids.

Thoughts of Despondency

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Q: Every day when I wake up, I think of my sins and it grieves me. If suicide was allowed, I would have opted for this and freed myself from sin. I sometimes become very despondent. Please advise. 

A:
Never lose hope in the mercy of Allah. The mercy of Allah Ta'aala is much, much greater than ALL our sins put together.

Allah says in the Qur'aan:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say (O Nabi, on My behalf) O servants of Mine who have acted recklessly against their own selves, do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Surely, Allah will forgive all sins. Surely, He is the One who is Most-Forgiving, the Very Merciful. (Surah Zumar verse 53).

Just look at this verse for a moment. Although the person is a sinner, Allah is still referring to him as 'MY SERVANTS'. Isn't this a great favour from Allah, that although you have sinned against Me, I still call you MY servant! This itself is a great mercy.

By virtue of Taubah, everything gets forgiven. Therefore Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said that when a person seeks forgiveness from a sin, it is as if he did not commit that sin at all. (Ibni Maajah V2 P1419).

A beautiful Hadeeth is mentioned in the books of Tafseer. The Hadeeth says that Allah says: The crying (lamenting, pangs of grief, sounds of regret and repentance) of the sinner is more beloved unto Me (Allah) than the humming sounds of those reciting Tasbeeh.

Ponder over this Hadeeth. This is an invitation from Allah to sinners like us. Allah is saying that cry and repent unto Me, because I love those moments. Thus, this means that the person who repents becomes the beloved of Allah! What more can we ask for?

We do not have the right to lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. Therefore Allah says:

وَلَا تَيْأَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

And do not lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. In fact, only the infidels (disbelievers) lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. (Surah Yusuf Verse 87).

Thus despondency, losing hope, giving up good actions, thoughts of suicide, etc. is NOT the makeup and traits of a Muslim. Understand that we deal with a Compassionate. Merciful, Loving, Kind, Benevolent, Oft- forgiving, Generous Allah!! 

Irrespective of the amount of sins we commit:

1. We will not lose hope in the Mercy of Allah.

2. we will keep on repenting. A person who has not given up sin cannot afford to give up repenting. It is a deception of Shaytaan that we think that I keep on sinning, so how can I keep on repenting, I am making a mockery. This is pure deception. If you keep on sinning then you will keep on repenting.

Never lose hope, keep repenting, keep up good actions whatever you can, avoid sin as much as possible, constantly make Du'aa, keep on striving to fulfil your duties towards Allah and Inshaa Allah you will be engulfed in the mercy of Allah.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Qurbani through an Agent

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Q: In regards to qurbani, the charity advises that they do not say you your name at time of slaughtering due to the number of people that donate they do not have time. Is this still permissible? I'm not to sure as it does not state and this is the same with most of the charities. Here locally in Australia nobody slaughters themselves and is generally done through a charity or butcher. I was told that I am make the niyah for qurbani once paid and once passed to the charity it is their responsibility to complete. Some say that have to mention your name at time of slaughtering but then some say due to the volume of people donating this is impossible to do so, it is not required. No major charity that I have found says your name at time slaughter.

A:
Your query regarding the above subject was referred to me by my colleague. Here is your answer:

When you give money to an agency or organisation that will execute the Qurbani on your behalf, then you have made that person your wakeel or agent. Thereafter when the agent slaughters the animal that was purchased with your money, automatically the Qurbani is done on your behalf, even if the agent had not taken your name. Therefore, it is necessary that you intend making the agency your wakeel at the time of giving them the money. It is written in the fatwa books of former senior Muftis that when seven people have shares in one cow, and they appoint someone else (who has no shares in that cow) as their agent to execute the Qurbani then such a sacrifice is valid and acceptable even if the slaughterer did not take the names of the shareholders in that cow.

I therefore assure you that you may hand your money over to the organisation of your choice and intend making them your wakeel to fulfil the Qurbani. It will be valid, insha Allah.

Allah Ta’ala knows best

Mufti Siraj Desai

Adoption and Hijab

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Q: My paternal grandfather Yusuf gave my father Salim to his brother Ahmed and his wife Hawa who didn't have kids. Ahmed legally adopted Salim. Ahmed passed away recently and Hawa is in iddat. I am Salim's son, Sulaymaan. Can I go live with Hawa when her iddat ends?

A:
In the above case, Hawa, who is your grand-uncle’s wife (your grandfather’s sister-in-law) is not a mehram to you. So you cannot interact with her without the presence of her mehram. If you can live in the same house as her and observe some sort of purdah, then that will be permissible. Otherwise not.

Remember that through adoption a male and female do not automatically become mehram, unless the adopted child was breastfed by the adopting mother before the age of two.

Allah knows best

Mufti Siraj Desai
Darul-Uloom Abubakr

Disciplining Children

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Q: Can you give me the authentic hadith about the rules of disciplining children.

A:
'Tarbiyyah' i.e. proper up-bringing of a child consists of many facets, one of them is punishment when required. Our Shari'ah has not ignored this facet but acknowledged it and presented us with guidance on this important branch of Tarbiyyah.

The Ulama versed in Tarbiyyah have said that physical punishment is not the only means of Tarbiyyah and not the first measure to be resorted to.

Before resorting to physical punishment, the parent/teacher/guardian should observe the following:

a) Dealing with a child is predominantly based on consideration, kindness and mercy. A Hadeeth teaches us to make kindness and gentleness compulsory upon ourselves and to avoid harshness and obscenity. (Al Adabul Mufrad V1 P116)
b) Start with the easiest and lightest method of discipline, moving to severer methods step by step, if there is a need.
c) Be considerate of the disposition and nature of the errant child when deciding a punishment. It will be oppressive to punish a child above his/her fortitude.

THE STAGES OF SEVERITY:

* It is best to first admonish the child verbally with civility and courteousness and this is learnt from our beloved Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). He advised a boy on the etiquette of eating in the following manner: O boy! Take the name of Allah, eat with the right hand and eat from in front of you. (Muslim V6 P109)
* Make the child aware of the error with a hint towards the error committed.
* If the above-mentioned two points do not have the desired effect, now reproach and reprimand the child.
* Thereafter, if still not successful, cut ties with the child for a short while, so that the displeasure of the parent can be fully impressed upon the child.
* The last resort is beating the child. The permissibility of physical punishment is taken from the Hadeeth wherein Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said that instruct the children to perform Salaah when they are seven years of age and beat them regarding their Salaah when they are ten years of age. (Abu Dawood V1 P185)

Parents/teachers should remember that this beating is also governed by Shari'ah.

1) The Hadeeth discourages from hitting on the face. (Nisa'i V4 P325). Bruising and wounding must also be avoided. Do not hit on any delicate part of the body.

2) When a stick, whip, etc. will not be used for neglect in Salaah, it will not be used for any other misdemeanour. (Raddul Muhtaar V3 P86). The open hand will be used and not a fist.

3) More than three strikes should not be inflicted. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) advised a teacher: If you inflict more than three strikes, Allah will take revenge from you. (Raddul Muhtaar V3 P86)

Another important advice: Do not make a decision on the child or mete out punishment while in anger. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has discouraged making a decision while in the state of anger. (Muslim V5 P132). When in anger, a person gets carried away with emotions, the intelligence is impaired and the parent later regrets the decision and punishment. The parent/teacher who punishes without equilibrium and fairness will be answerable in the court of Allah.

When sorting out a problem between two children, do not let one of them feel that the other is being favoured in any way. Focus your gaze equally on them, let them be seated on the same level and do not raise your voice on only one of them. These are lessons derived from a Hadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). (Musnad Abu Ya'laa V10 P264).

Do not embarrass, belittle and ridicule a child in front of others. Do not expose his fault in front of others. Do not be the cause of the child suffering from an inferiority complex by telling him how 'stupid' he is and how intelligent the other children are. Be his source of encouragement and compliment him when required. This compliment from you the parent will encourage the child towards greater heights.

May Allah Ta'aala grant Taufeeq to one and all to hold on to justice and fairness in all walks of life, Aameen.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Mocking a Sunnah

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Q: I live in England. If I decided I want to follow a particular aspect of Islam which is not obligatory to follow (but Sunnah). So if I decided to openly follow the Sunnah in public, even though I know for a fact that the people would mock Islam if they saw me adhering to the Sunnah, and I still go ahead and follow the Sunnah, would I become a Kaafir (non Muslim)? Because didn’t I initiate them to mock Islam, even though I hate for them to mock Islam. I love following the Sunnah.

A:
If they mock it, you will not become Kaafir. Even if they mock, the Sunnah will not be discarded on account of their mocking.

I will explain two incidents here and Inshaa Allah the issue will be resolved.

1. The conqueror of Iran Sayyidina Huzayfah bin Yamaan (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) was called to the palace of the Kisra for discussions. Food was presented to them. He began eating and while eating, a morsel of food fell from his hand. The instruction of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is that such a morsel should be picked up and eaten. Sayyidina Huzayfah recalled this Hadeeth and reached out to pick it up. The person next to him said: "what are you doing? This is the palace of the superpower of the time. If you pick up that morsel, these people will lose respect for you. They will consider you to be low, so do not pick it up, today is not appropriate to do so". In reply, Sayyidina Huzayfah uttered a beautiful, eye-opening and comprehensive statement applicable to all times and situations. He said: Must I discard the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) because of these fools!!

In other words, whether they disgrace, mock ridicule or think of me as low, I will not and cannot discard the Sunnah of my beloved Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam).  

2. At the time of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam sent) Sayyidina Uthmaan (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) into Makkah to negotiate with the Quraysh. He went and stayed at the house of his paternal cousin. In the morning when it was time to go to the meeting with the Quraysh, his pants was above his ankles, raised to midway of his calves, because the instruction of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is that it is not permissible for it to be below the ankles. His cousin said to him: "the custom of the Arabs is that the lower the pants hangs, the more respectable the person is considered to be, so leaders and influential people always let the pants hang. If you go with your pants raised in this manner, they will lose respect for you, resulting in your discussion being ineffective". Sayyidina Uthmaan replied: This is how the Izaar (pants, lungi) of my companion (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is.

In other words, this is how Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) wears his and instructs us to wear it. So if they consider me low or respect me, honour me or disgrace me, I am not bothered. I have seen the Izaar of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam); mine is the same and I will not change the style for anyone. (Islaahi Khutbaat Hadhrat Mufti Mohammed Taqi Saheb)

In summary, if by practicing on the Sunnah, it leads to mockery by others, the Sunnah will not be discarded.

The Muslims have not gained any respect by discarding the Sunnah, rather, they have lost respect because of neglecting and discarding the Sunnah.        

Allah Ta'aala knows best.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

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