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Personal System:
These questions have been posed to Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad - Principal Lecturer of the School of Shari'ah

The Reality on the Ground!

Find Question Quickly

- Are Muslims allowed to draw pictures?

Drawing pictures of any living being is Haram except if it is not human or animal. The Ahadeeth regarding drawing, sculpturing or any similar action (whether by hand, machine or computer) state that these are Haram. The exception to the above is the reflection of the shade of reality for example in the mirror, river or on a photograph, TV, Internet etc. (as long as it does not display anything Haram). The origin of images in computer games with 2D or 3D humans or animals could be from drawing or from reflection. If they are from drawing it is Haram (prohibited) to make whereas if they are from reflection it is Halal (permissible) to make. However to control them by moving them and hanging their positions and actions is Haram because it will take the role of drawing.


- Are we allowed to use Playing Cards?

1. Playing Cards for money or bits is gambling and gambling is Haram i.e. Prohibited
2. Playing Cards is a type of lottery even if it's not for money and lottery is Haram (prohibited).
3. Cards are the tools of gambling and lottery: to manufacture them, to buy them, to sell them, to trade with them or to play with them is Haram.

Allah (SWT) created all things e.g. Steel, Iron, Wood, Trees, Water, dates, etc. The original rule for things in Islam is that they are permissible until the divine text indicates otherwise. Some things in origin are permissible but can be transferred to becoming Haram, For example:
1- Dates are permissible BUT to make Idols from them is Haram. The prohibition being for the idol and not for its substance i.e. dates The evidence is not derived from the above principle but from other evidences related to idols.

2- Grapes are permissible BUT to make from it Alcohol is Haram. The prohibition is for the Alcohol not for its substance i.e. Grape. Again the evidence is not derived from the above principle but from other evidences related to Alcohol.

3- Paper Cards come from wood and wood are permissible BUT to make Playing Cards from it is Haram. The prohibition is for the Playing Cards not for its substance i.e. wood or paper. The evidence is not derived from the above principle but from other evidences related to playing cards.

4- Metal and plastics in origin are permissible and can be transferred into something-permissible e.g. Computers, TV's or Videos. The permissibility of the computer, TV and Video is derived from other evidence regarding things and not from the above principle. As far as the principle 'the means to Haram is Haram' is concerned it is nothing to do with the Hukm of playing cards … Playing Cards is Haram based on other Divine evidence. However, the above principle can be used for anything permissible which leads to Haram e.g. Honey and Sugar are permissible to eat but if they cause me direct Harm they become Haram for me but Halal for anybody else.


- Can we use perfumes that contain Alcohol?

I far as I am aware all Alcohol used in perfumes, cosmetic products and foods is Ethanol Alcohol which is Haram to buy, to sell, to trade with, to use, to eat, to drink or to benefit from except for medical reasons. Whereas the Methanol alcohol is allowed to be brought, sold, traded with but it is not edible. Therefore you must stop using or trading with any perfume or food which contains ethanol Alcohol. It is Haram (prohibited) to wear, to buy or to sell perfume, after-shave or deodorant containing alcohol


- Can we use medicines that contain Alcohol?

There is a permit (rukhsah) to take medicines that contains alcohol. The only condition is that it be taken for medical reasons for example for treatment from illness, sickness or medical operations.


- Are Muslim men allowed to wear gold?

Islam forbids Muslim men to wear silk and gold as a substance regardless of whether the colour of the silk or the gold is reddish, yellowish or whitish. Therefore a white gold ring is haram for Muslim men to wear. Islam Forbids Muslim men to wear gold regardless of the colour of it i.e. white, red or yellow. The Divine texts addressed the substance of gold with the issue of its colour being irrelevant. However, some professional people claim that the substance of Platinum is the same substance as that of Gold and they call it White gold and some people claim that Platinum is not Gold therefore the rule for a Platinum ring is Haram to wear for men according to the scholars who believe that Platinum is white Gold. Whereas the rule for a Platinum ring is permissible to wear by men according to the scholars who believe that Platinum is not gold. And Allah (SWT) knows best.


- How should one go about cleaning one's nose?

To pick and clean your nose is permissible as long as you do not harm people and it is recommended in wudu' and ghusl etc… However to eat this would be to eat Najasah (impurity) which is Haram. It is recommended to pick your nose privately with your left hand. Please wash your hand before shaking the hands of other people.


- Can one Masturbate?

Masturbation is Haraam (prohibited) for a man or a woman, whether married or un-married.


- What are some etiquettes of eating and drinking?

It is makrouh (i.e. disliked) to eat or drink while you are standing or walking and it is haram to eat or drink using your left hand.


- Are we allowed to attend Football matches and the like?

Can you please tell me whether it is permitted to go to a sports game to watch e.g cricket when only men are playing against each other and their aworah is covered but the audience is mixed? Is it permitted to play in such a game?'
Some scholars permit the above scenario and other scholars said it is Haram. I follow the opinion that it is not allowed (haram) to go to mixed games or mixed entertainment e.g. sports, a gym, an adult funfair, football matches, the cinema, Music concerts (whether Islamic songs or not) etc. However it is permissible to visit natural resources e.g. waterfalls, parks, rivers or mountains etc..
'Can you also tell me whether it is permitted for example to take a walk in a park or if you travel to go see the creation of Allah e.g. the Niagra Falls when there is going to be both males and females present, but you are Islamically covered and with a mahrem if necessary?'
It is permissible (Mubaah) as long as there is no nudism involved e.g. uncovering of the Hard Aworah amongst the people surrounding you. Note that the Hard Aworah for woman is from her chest up to her knee and for a man its from under his Naval down to his upper knee (Fakhiz)


- Are Muslims allowed to wear garments below their ankle?

It is makrouh (disliked) to lower your izaar below your ankles (all the time) and it is haram to do so for arrogance or to show off.


- Are we allowed to shake the hands of non-mahrem of the opposite gender?

The classical scholars differed about the issue of shaking hands between non-Mahram men and women. Some scholars said it is allowed if there is no sexual desire or inclination whilst others said it is Haram with or without any sexual desire or inclination, others still say that it is a permit during Bay'ah (allegiance to Khalifah) without sexual desire and others that it is allowed if the woman is wearing gloves or their hand is under cover.

I used to follow the opinion of Sheikh Taqi (ra) which stated that it is (Mubaah) permissible. Since then I looked at the evidences of other classical scholars and I studied the topic and the evidences for the opinions of those scholars. I arrived at the conclusion that shaking hands between non-Mahram men and women is Haram (prohibited). Because the evidences and the arguments for this are stronger and more sound. Therefore I call upon those who quote me or have heard me saying it is allowed to realise that I did change my adoption because of my new conviction of the stronger evidence and arguments.


- Are Muslims allowed to act?

Islam forbids Tashkhees or acting. Acting is a type of lie and lying is Haram known by necessity.


- Are Muslims allowed to wear rings?

Islam requested us not to wear any rings on the middle finger (Al-Wustta), the index finger (Al-Sabbabah) or in the Thumb (Al-Ibhaam) on either hand. Some classical scholars said it is Haram and some said it is Makrouh. The opinion I follow is that it is Haram to wear a lawful ring on the middle finger (Al-Wustta), the index finger (Al-Sabbabah) or on the Thumb (Al-Ibhaam).


- Can Men wear earrings?

It is prohibited for men to wear earring and this fall under the category of wearing what the Shari'ah specified to women only regardless of his intention... Moreover there is Hadeeth specifically saying that wearing earring for men is Haram.


- Can Muslims have Tattoos?

Tattoos (Al-Washem) is prohibited in Islam. Whether tattooing others or if they do it to you. If you can get rid from the Tattoos on your body then that will be a good deed and Allah (SWT) will reward you. New Muslims are not accountable for the tattoos they did during the time of Jahilyyah (non-Islam) however to keep their Tattoos covered is better for them.


- Are we allowed to chew Qat?

After a careful study of the reality of Qat and its effect on the human mind I arrived at the conclusion that it is Haram to trade with, to consume or to chew it.


- Are Muslims allowed to curse/swear?

It is Haram to swear at a person, animal or at a thing and it is Haram to use sexual or filthy language or to curse whether in speech publicly or alone privately. However it is permissible to curse the Kuffar and Kufr (depending on the situation) but not to swear at them.


- Is it a bad sign if one dies whilst on the toilet?

Death is in the Hands of Allah (swt). It makes no difference where or when a person dies because Allah (swt) promises to account us according to our actions not where or when ones dies. However I am not aware about any divine text informing us that dying in the toilet indicates whether a person is good or bad. Moreover some classical scholars in Islam have died whilst urinating or excreting.


- Are we allowed to watch TV?

It is permissible to have a TV and to watch TV, however it is prohibited to watch nudity or to let your children be exposed to western culture.


- Can Muslims listen to Music?

The Question is very abstract but I am going to explain the different divine rules regarding music to you. First of all, Islamically we distinguish between listening and hearing and between playing instruments and singing in different environments alone, with or without free mixing and with or without Haram words or instruments. Singing songs or Nasheed have the same rules as far as Islam is concerned.

It is permissible to play instruments (A'zef) alone as long as they are permissible instruments. However playing string or wind instruments is prohibited. It is prohibited to listen (Istimaa' i.e. live in the presence) to a person playing prohibited instruments. Listening (Istimaa') to permissible instruments in free mixing environments is Haram (prohibited). It is permissible to hear (Samaa' i.e. on tape) instruments alone regardless of the types of instruments. It is prohibited to hear (Samaa' i.e. on tape or passing by e.g. in the market) instruments in free mixing environments. It is permissible to sing (Ghinaa) alone without Haram words e.g. without Sexual, Kufr or abusive words and without Haram instruments. It is prohibited to sing (Ghinaa) in free mixing environments with or without Haram words or with or without Haram instruments. It is permissible to sing (Ghinaa) without being in free mixing environments and without Haram words or instruments. It is prohibited to listen (Istimaa') to singing (Ghinaa) involving Haram words or instruments with or without being in free mixing environments. It is permissible to hear (Samaa') or sing (Ghinaa) without involving Haram Words with or without Haram instruments providing there is no free mixing. It is prohibited to intentionally hear (Samaa') singing (Ghinaa) involving Haram words with or without being in free mixing environments.

Note that it is also Haram to trade (i.e buy, sell, produce, manufacture, develope, hire or promote) music tapes or videos involving singing in free mixing environments or with Kufr words.


- Can Muslims apply for Legal Aid?

It is permissible to get legal aid.


- Can we eat the food of the Jews and the Hindus?

It is permissible to eat food which is cooked by the people of the book i.e. Jews and Christians as long it is Halal, so this does not include Pork or Alcohol and the meat must be slaughtered etc…but it is prohibited to eat food which is cooked by Hindus, Sikhs or Mushriks etc. even if it is vegetables.


- Can we eat the Food of the Ahl-Kitaab?

Allah (swt) says: "The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you" [EMQ 5:3].
1) This verse is restricted by other verses, which mentioned the forbidden food upon Muslims. For example, Allah (swt) says: "It is Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah, that which bas been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death, that which has been partly eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter it in due form, that which is scarified on stone (altars).." [EMQ 5:3]. Therefore, the Food of the people of the Book is Halal for us unless they it is prohibited in Islam.
2) Further, The verse refers to their slaughtered animals, as Ibn Katheer reported this from many companions and Tab'een..."This does not include dead meat Meetah (i.e. killed and not slaughtered) which is haram according to the Qur'an, the Sunnah". Though the People of the Book eat pork but it is a Haram food for us. The same applies to dead meat. Any distinction in ruling between pork and dead meat is proof-less. Therefore the un-slaughtered meat of the people of the book is Haram (prohibited) for us, and its ruling is as the one of the dead meat (Meetah).

3) The People of the Book are Kaaffir, at the time of the Prophet (saw) when the Qur'an was revealed and now. Allah (swt) Has in many verses described them as disbelievers, and despite of that He still considered them People of the Book and made lawful to us what they slaughter unless is a flesh of swine, or has been invoke or offering it for the sake of another deity than Allah (swt). The slaughtered meat of the disbeliever's other than the People of the Book is Haram, and its ruling is as the one of the dead meat.


- If we are allowed to eat the food of the Christians can we eat at KFC?

The answer is very simple... It is prohibited to buy, sell or eat unslaughtered meat or chicken ... Therefore, IF (big if - the current people of the Book i.e Christians or Jews) slaughter their meat or chicken without mentioning a Kufr word over it... it is allowed for Muslim to eat from it... But my advice to all Muslims not to trust the current people of the Book even if they claims that they slaughter their meat and chicken.

- If we were not practising in the past; can we talk about it now?

It is subjective if the information of your past has any impact in any new contract or commitment in the Present… As a matter of principle you are not obliged to tell any person about your private past even if you have been asked bout it but it is permissible to speak about your past in some cases, which are related to a specific contract as a subject matter of that particular contract. For example a person has the right to know about the girl he is going to marry to, as to whether she is virgin or if she was married before or if she has any children ... and vice-versa a woman has the right to know about the person she is going to marry if he has other wives and children or if he is Sunni or Shee'ie etc… In the above cases any hidden information will have an impact on the new contract and it may invalidate the contract.

- Can a Muslim use Clever Language?

The answer to this question depends on what is meant by clever language? If one means Taworiyyah i.e. to give an answer not related to the question but the person assume that it is so related then the hukm of Taworiyyah is a divine permit (Rukhssa) in three situations:
1. Protection of the Deen
2. Protection of Life
3. Protection of wealth (but this is a disputed matter)

In addition, if you have been asked about Hukm Shar'ie (which you know about) it is prohibited to hide or to use clever language. However, if you have been asked about a matter which is not Hukm Shar'ie e.g. a private matter, it is permissible not to answer but it is haram to lie or to distort the truth.

- What is the Hukm of Studying?

1- It is obligatory upon every Muslim, Mature, Sane and capable to study Al-I'lm Al-Dharuri i.e. What every Muslim Must Know From His/Her Deen (Islam) By Necessity in any permissible places such as Universitiy, collegaes or Mosques etc. with Al-Ijtimaa' ettiqutes between the opposite sex.

2- It is permissible for Muslim to study any wordly (Duniya) matters from Islamic prespective in any permissible places such as Universitiy or collegaes or Mosques etc. with Al-Ijtimaa' ettiqutes between the opposite sex.

3- It is prohibited for a Muslim, Mature and sane to free-Mix with any opposite sex (non-Mahram) while he/she studying a worldly matters from Kufr presepectives in some public places inside its privates places such as classrooms in Universitiy , collegaes, Mosques or private places such as houses, private offices etc.

4- It is permissible for a Muslim to enter the university with pure attention to indulge in Da'wah inside the classrooms in university or college and get study worldly matters.

5- If the place is public places it does not means it is a card blanch for mixing for the Juristic principle: Free-Mixing (Ikhtilaat) between the opposite (non-Mahram) sex is prohibited until a divine text stated otherwise… Therefore night clubs, theatres and cinemas though they are public places…. But there is no permits in Shari'ah.

- Can Muslims go to the Cinema?

It is permissible to go to cinema or theatre providing that there is no free mixing involve, no sexual films and no prohibited or kufr seeing or thoughts as entertainment. However it prohibited to go to the current cinemas or theatres because its involve most of the above reasons.

- Is Spirit Vinegar Haraam or Halaal?

If the Vinegar made from fruit or vegetable by one continues process it is permissible to consume. But any Vinegar made from Alcohol or wine... It is prohibited to consume... As for keeping Vinegar and honey at home that is nothing to do with the fact that the honey and the vinegar must not be mixed with haram items.

Try to understand the difference between the two different reality mentioned below:
1- Any vinegar made AT FIRST from (e.g. vegetable, fruit or any halal substances) and turned (NATURALLY BY ALLAH) to alcohol (second), and then turned (NATRUALLY BY ALLAH)at the same process from alcohol to vinegar, that is Halal vinegar....

BUT Any vinegar made AT FIRST from alcohol (made by man) and from alcohol is turned into vinegar, that is Haram vinegar. In other words it is haram to buy alcohol to made vinegar but it is halal to buy grapes to make vinegar regardless of the change during the natural process.

- What is the Hukm for urinating whilst standing?

The Classical Scholars have two different opinions regarding a male to stand up or sit down whilst urinating.

The First opinion stated that a male to urinate while he is standing up is Makrouh based on the following Evidence(s):

a) For the Hadith of Ibn Majah which is contains a narrator call U'die Bin-ul-Fahdel stated the Messenger (saw) requested a male not to stand up whilst urinating.
b) For the Hadith of Ahmed and Tirmizi that A'eisha (r) said: Whoever told you that the Messenger urinate sometimes whilst he standing up do not believe him. He always urinates while he is seating.
c) For the Hadith of Omar bin-ul-Khattab, which is one of it narrated call Ibn Abi Al-Makhaareq, that Omar said: The Messenger saw me urinate while I was standing up and told me: O' Omar Do not stand up whilst urinating, therefore I did not urinate after his request from me.

The Second opinion states that for a male to urinate while he is standing up is permissible based on the following Evidence(s):-

a) Reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmizi, An-Nasaa-ei and Ibn Majah by the authority of Huzeifah (r) that he was walking with the Messenger Muhammad until we arrived near an area when he urinated while he was standing up, after he finished he asked me to come near to him which I did. Later on he perform his Wudu and he wiped his socks" [Hadith Saheeh].
b) it has been reported that the following companions use to urinate while they are standing up: Omar bin-ul-Khattab, Zaid bin Thaabit, Ibn Omar, Sahel bin Sa'ed, Anas, Abu Hureirah, Ali bin Abi Taalib. And in addition to them: Ibn Sireen, U'rwah Bin ul-Zubair.
c) Imaam Ibn ul-Munzir said: I like to urinate while I am seating but it is permissible to stand up whilst urinating. That is the opinion of Al-Khattabi, Al-Beihaqi and Al-Shafi'ie.
d) As for the Ahadeeth which left some people to think that to stand up whilst urinating is Makrouh or Makrouh are weak Ahadeeth. For example the Hadith of Ibn Ma'jah is Dha'eef (weak Hadith) because of the defected narrator U'bid-ul-Fadhel. In addition, for the Hadith of Omar is weak because of it reporter Ibn Abi Makhaareq.

As for the Hadith of A'eisha (ra) it is not stronger than the Hadith of Huzeifah moreover A'eisha (ra) did not say the Messenger said it is Haraam or Makrouh or he requested all of you not to do so…. A'eisha described the Messenger etiquette in his home and itself is an evidence that it is permissible i.e. it is a matter of choice to do or not to do. Therefore, it is permissible for a male to stand up or to sit down whilst urinating on a condition that not to face the Qiblah, and not to urinate on solid concrete or solid places and nor to hold his private part by his right hand.

- Can Muslims use Products made from Pigs?

It is prohibited for Muslims to benefit, trade or use items or products made from pig's skin whether jackets, wallets or shoes etc..

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