Category Archives: How to be a Muslim

Colliding with a Pig is Better

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Protect yourself from visiting a non-Mahram woman in privacy. I swear by the One who has my life in His Hand, when a man visits a non-Mahram woman in privacy, Shaitaan is always between them. It is better for any one of you to collide with a pig covered completely in mud than to rub your shoulder against the shoulder of a woman who is not permissible for you.” [Tabrani]


Take precautions! Don’t be alone with a non-Mahram in any place and be careful not to even accidentally touch one!



Question: I have done a lot of things which God would not be happy about. Now that I realize that those things were not as trivial as I thought and do carry a lot of significance in-front of God. I feel bad and guilty. What should I do?

Answer: Although a Muslim should be concerned about every deed of his and should constantly strive for his spiritual advancement, yet his concern should not be a case of ‘straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel’. The puritanical attitude of being finical about trivialities while ignoring the real issues is not an Islamic attitude. The true believers avoid big sins (see the Qur’an 42:37 and 53:32) and continually seek the forgiveness of their Lord’ (9:112). If your attitude is not of insisting on your sin knowingly (3:135), which insistence can at times eat up all your virtues (2:81), then you should know that your Lord, whose love and care has sustained you since you were a drop of ‘mingled water’, is immensely kind and gracious to those who believe and put their trust in Him. If you are sincerely trying to avoid sin, He’ll replace the blunders you make with the good deeds that are part of a Muslim’s everyday life (25:70). He understands all our imperfections and failings, and what He, in His unfathomable mercy, requires of us is not perfection but sincerity. For He knows. And He cares. Therefore, never let your depression after blundering into a sin make you lose heart. Let each mistake be a lesson, and a reason to move ahead with greater fervour. For that is what Tawbah means: returning. Even if a true believer commits a serious sin incidentally, he should remember that the doors of repentance and atonement are always open. If he has wronged someone, he should make the best effort to make amends, and if he has wronged his own soul, he should ask God for forgiveness and make a solemn pledge to restrain himself in future.

If you do not deceive your Lord and turn back to Him, you’ll find Him welcoming you with open arms. In this is indeed a reason to rejoice. So, never lose hope and never stop trying. ‘The Lord is your shepherd. You shall not want. He shall make you lie down in green pastures: He shall lead you beside the still waters. He shall restore your soul: He shall lead you in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fear not; for you are with Him. His rod and His staff shall comfort you.’

Coping with Teasing

Question: Some of the people in my hall go on screaming ‘Allah, Allah’ whenever they see me just for fun sake — nothing to offend me or my religion. What should I do about that?

Answer:Rejoice in being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Smile back. Jesus (sws) is reported to have said:

Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you for my name’s sake, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.

Remember, in such situations the best way to repel some evil hurled at you is to return the favour with goodness. For that is what will show to all the difference between you and your opponent, even to your opponent himself. (Also see the Qur’an 41:34).

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Christian lady interested in Islam

For the last few years, I have been interested in Islam. I have no idea where to begin in further studies. I am a nearly 50 year old woman and am a bit put off by the retractions (seemingly) regarding women. How can I begin to enter the realms of Islam to study? I am open to learning.

Praise be to Allaah.
How women are dealt with is something that varies from one culture to another. A woman is usually subjected to the teachings, systems and customs of her society, good and bad alike. Many non-Islamic social systems, customs and ways of life are unfair to women. Anyone who studies them will find that the purpose behind them is to make women a means for men’s enjoyment under the banner of freedom. This is something which goes against the true religion and is contrary to the dictates of common sense and wisdom.

Is it wise or fair that a precious pearl should be shared by a number of people when one of them is able to keep it and look after it? Is it wise to uncover that which should be hidden merely for a few moments of fleeting pleasure?

Is it wise to open the door to provocation of desires, free mixing and women uncovering their beauty so that men may commit immoral actions with them, which leads to the spread of disease and large numbers of illegitimate children and the mixing of lineages? Is it wise to burden women with work outside the home which results in them neglecting the house and being crowded together with men and neglecting their children, which they are not able to bear, mentally or physically?

Look at this simple comparison between the situation of women in Islam and their situation in other systems and religions.

Firstly: Islam liberated women from enslavement to human beings and to whims and desires; other religions and systems have subjugated women to the devil and to whims and desires.

Secondly: Islam protects women’s honour and dignity; other religions and systems cheapen their honour and dignity.

Thirdly: Islam makes spending on women an obligation so that their dignity may be preserved; other religions and systems make women a product to traded in, and they put too much pressure on women to spend on themselves and go out to work.

Fourthly: Islam protects women when they are young and honours them when they are old; other religions and systems make that a burden on society.

Fifthly: Islam protects women’s wealth, children and life, and organize her life in a proper manner; other religions and systems neglect all of that.

So firstly: you should read the Book of Allaah (the Qur’aan) and study the commentaries on it (tafseer), such as the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer. [Translator’s note: this is now available in English, published by Darussalam, Riyadh] Then read Saheeh al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim [also available in English]. Listen to Islamic tapes, especially those made by the shaykhs of Ahl al-Sunnah (Sunni shaykhs).

Secondly: you should go to the nearest Sunni Islamic center to find out what programs they have for teaching women.

Thirdly: you can benefit from the many Islamic sites on the Internet which present pure Islam and will be able to answer your questions, and you could write to some of the trustworthy Sunni Islamic institutions and ask them to send you books and magazines that will be of use to you, such as the al-Haramayn Institute and WAMY (World Association of Muslim Youth) – which has a women’s section.

Fourthly: You can get to know some Muslim sisters who could help you and teach you that which will benefit you, because a woman is better able to make another woman understand than a man is.

Fifthly: Beware of being deceived by some of those who claim to be Muslims but who in fact have nothing to do with Islam, like the Qadianis (also known as Ahmadis), Shi’ah, Baha’is and Sufis.

Kinds of speech that we must refrain from

I know theres certain types of speech which we must refrain from. like the speech the Prophet sallalaho alayhe wasalam stayed away from please could you send that to me.

Praise be to Allaah. 

The Muslim has to control his tongue and not speak unless he says something good.

Al-Bukhaari (6018) and Muslim (47) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him speak good or else keep silent…”

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “If he wants to speak, then if what he wants to say is good and he is confident that he will be rewarded for it, whether it is obligatory or praiseworthy, then let him speak, but if it does not seem to him that it is good and he will be rewarded for it, then let him refrain from speaking, whether he thinks it is haraam or makrooh or permissible. Based on this, it is recommended to refrain from saying permissible words and we are enjoined to avoid that, lest that lead us into something that is haraam or makrooh, which is what happens in many cases or in most cases. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

‘Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)’

[Qaaf 50:18]

Imam al-Shaafa’i understood the hadeeth to mean that if a person wants to say something, he should think about it: if it seems to him that it will not do any harm, then he should speak, but if he thinks that it will do some harm or he thinks that this is most likely, then he should refrain from speaking.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to control our tongues in more than one hadeeth, such as that narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2406) from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir who said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, what is salvation?’ He said, ‘Control your tongue, keep to your house and weep over your sin.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 3331.

Al-Tirmidhi (2616) also narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Mu’aadh, after teaching him some of the laws of Islam, “Shall I not tell you what is the foundation of all that?” I [Mu’aadh] said: “Of course, O Prophet of Allaah.” He took hold of his tongue and said, “Control this.” I said, “O Prophet of Allaah, will we be held responsible for what we say with it?” He said, “May your mother be bereft of you, O Mu’aadh! Will the people be thrown into Hell on their faces or on their noses for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?”

 Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2110.

The hadeeth enjoins refraining from indulging in specific things, because that is something that is of no benefit to a person, and indeed it may cause him a great deal of harm in his spiritual and worldly affairs.

It was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If my companions are mentioned, then keep quiet; if the stars are mentioned, then keep quiet; and if the divine decree is mentioned, then keep quiet.” (Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 2/96. Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 34).

This hadeeth indicates that it is not permissible for a person to speak badly of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that he should keep quiet about the disputes that occurred among them, because speaking badly of them or criticizing them implies that one is rejecting what Allaah said about them in the Qur’aan, where He praised them by saying (interpretation of the meaning):

“And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allaah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success”

[al-Tawbah 9:100]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allaah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers)”

[al-Fath 48:29]

This is how Allaah has described them in His Book, so no doubt they are of just character and are the best and greatest of mankind. So no one hates them but a hypocrite and no one loves them but a believer.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“One of the basic principles of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that they think and say nothing to criticize the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as Allaah has described them in the verse in which He says (interpretation of the meaning):

‘And those who came after them say: Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful’

[al-Hashr 69:10]

And they obey the command of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): ‘Do not curse my companions, for by the One in Whose hand is my soul, if any one of you were to spend the equivalent of Mount Uhud in gold, he would not reach the status of one of them, nor even come half way.’ (Agreed upon).”

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 3/152.

Abu Zar’ah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“If you see a man criticizing any one of the Sahaabah, then know that he is a heretic, because the Qur’aan is true, and the Messenger is true, and what he brought is true, and no one conveyed all of that to us but the Sahaabah. So whoever criticizes them means in effect to say that the Qur’aan and Sunnah are false, so it is more appropriate that he should be criticized and ruled to be a heretic who is misguided.”

Al-Sawaa’iq al-Muhriqah ‘ala Ahl al-Rafd wa’l-Dalaal wa’l-Zandaqah, 2/608.

With regard to the second part of the hadeeth, which enjoins refraining from speaking about the stars, what is referred to by that – and Allaah knows best – is seeking guidance by the stars concerning matters that are unseen, as the people of the jaahiliyyah used to do by means of astrology, such as using the movement of heavenly bodies to indicate when certain earthly events would occur, such as the blowing of the wind, rainfall, changes in prices, and other matters which they claimed to know from the movements of heavenly bodies. They used to say that whoever got married under such and such a star, such and such would happen to him, or whoever traveled under such and such a star, such and such would happen to him, and whoever was born under such and such a star would be lucky or unlucky, etc.

(See Kitaab al-Tawheed by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Baab Id’aa’ ‘ilm al-Ghayb min Qiraa’at al-Kaff wa’l-Finjaan wa ghayrihima. See also Fataawa al-‘Aqeedah, 2/185-186-187-190) by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, where he makes some very useful comments).

With regard to the third part of the hadeeth, which refers to refraining from speaking about the divine decree (al-qadar), Abu Ja’far al-Tahhaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“The divine decree is a secret known which Allaah has hidden from His creation. No angel who is close to Him and no Prophet whom He sent knows that. Pursuing such matters only leads to failure and deprivation of the mercy of Allaah, and it leads to injustice, so beware of looking into the matter, thinking about it and wondering about it. Allaah has kept knowledge of His decree from His slaves, and has forbidden them to pursue the matter, as He says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning):

‘He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned’

[al-Anbiya’ 21:23]

So whoever questions what Allaah does has rejected the ruling of the Book, and whoever rejects the ruling of the Book is a kaafir.”

Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah, p. 276

So the Muslim has to submit to Allaah in all His affairs, and know that whatever happens to him could never have missed him, and what misses him could never have happened to him. There is a lot that may be said on this topic. May Allaah bless the man who believes in the will and decree of Allaah without indulging in philosophical discussion about the matter.

And Allaah knows best.

Her husband forces her to tell him everything that she hears from her family and other people!

My husband forces me to tell him the whole dialogue I had with my mother or brothers or anyone else. He justifies this by saying that my mother may say something that can spoil our relationship. It causes problems between us if I refuse to tell him. Shall I respond to his request?.

Praise be to Allaah. 


What this husband should do – if what his wife is saying about him is true – is fear his Lord with regard to this demand that he is making of his wife, and he should realize that he is sinning by doing this, and that it is not permissible for his wife to obey him in this matter.


We advise this husband to focus on himself rather than other people, and to look at his own faults and correct them, and to look at his own shortcomings and strive to perfect his own self that is inclined towards evil. That is better for him and is more appropriate than focusing on other people and what they say and do. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The greatest loser is the one who is distracted from Allaah by himself, and even worse off is the one who is distracted from himself by other people. Al-Fawaa’id (p. 58).


He should not think badly of people and believe that he is perfect, because not everything that people say concerns him or has to do with him, rather it is his desire to hear people’s stories and find out about their situations, and to rejoice at their shortcomings.


It is to be hoped that this husband does not approve of his wife telling him what her family and other people say to her, even if they are talking about him, because by doing that she would be a gossipmonger and one of the salaf said: A gossipmonger and a liar could cause more damage in an hour than a practitioner of witchcraft could do in a year. So how about if he is the one who tells her to do that, and even orders her to do so, and threatens to punish her if she does not do it?!

al-Nawawi said, quoting from Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali (may Allaah have mercy on them both):

The one to whom gossip comes, saying So and so said this about you, or did that to you, should do six things:

1-    He should not believe it, because the one who gossips is an evildoer.

2-    He should tell him not to do that, and advise him, and condemn his action.

3-    He should hate him for the sake of Allaah, for he is hateful before Allaah, may He be exalted, and he should hate the one whom Allaah hates.

4-    He should not think ill of his absent brother.

5-    He should not let what he is told lead him to spy on others or try to find out about it.

6-    He should not approve for himself what he told the gossipmonger not to do, so he should not transmit the gossip and say “So and so said such and such”, in which case he would also be a gossipmonger and would be doing that which he told someone else not to do. End quote.

Al-Adhkaar (275).


What this husband wants from his wife is nameemah (gossip) which is a major sin. Undoubtedly passing on such gossip will lead to evil consequences, severing of ties, resentment and enmity, and undoubtedly the wife’s family would hate for their words to be passed on. He should understand that gossip is not merely passing on what people say for the purpose of causing trouble, rather it may be for the purpose of enjoyment.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

What should be avoided and shunned totally is gossip which means transmitting words from one person to another, or from one group to another, or from one tribe to another, with the aim of causing trouble and creating problems between them. It means disclosing that which should not be disclosed, whether it is disliked by the one from whom it is transmitted or the one to whom it is transmitted or a third party, and whether it is disclosed verbally, in writing, in symbols or by gestures, and whether what is transmitted is words or actions, and whether it refers to a fault or shortcoming in the person from whom it is transmitted or not. A person should keep quiet about whatever he sees of people’s situations, unless speaking of it will bring some benefit to a Muslim or ward off some harm.

The motive in spreading gossip is either ill will towards the person of whom one speaks or to show love to the person to whom one speaks, or to indulge in unnecessary talk and falsehood. All of that is haraam.

There is a great deal of evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah to show that gossip is haraam, such as the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) obey you not everyone Hallaaf Maheen (the one who swears much and is a liar or is worthless).

11. A slanderer, going about with calumnies”

[al-Qalam 68:10,11]

“Woe to every slanderer and backbiter”

[al-Humazah 104:1]

It was narrated that Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No gossipmonger will enter Paradise” (Agreed upon). And it was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you what is falsehood? It is nameemah (gossip), transmitting what people say.” Narrated by Muslim.

Gossip is one of the things that incur the punishment in the grave, because of the report narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), according to which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by two graves and said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for anything that was difficult to avoid.” Then he said, “No. One of them used not to protect himself from his urine, and the other used to walk around spreading malicious gossip.”

Agreed upon.

Rather backbiting and gossip are forbidden because they involve attempts to cause trouble among people and create splits and chaos, and fan the flames of enmity, rancour, destructive envy and hypocrisy, and to take away love and friendship, by causing rifts and disputes and resentment among brethren. It also involves lying, deceit, betrayal and trickery, and making accusations against those who are innocent, and giving in to slander and reviling and mentioning bad deeds and qualities, and because they are a sign of cowardice, meanness and weakness; moreover those who indulge in them commit sins which incur the wrath of Allaah and a painful punishment.

Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (3/237-239).

It was said that al-‘adhu (translated above a falsehood) means witchcraft in the language of Quraysh, and it was said that it means lies and fabrications.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked:

My husband tells his family what I say, then he tells me what they say, and that leads to many problems. I have often asked him not to do that but he does not pay any heed. What should I do?

He replied:

This is called nameemah (malicious gossip), which means transmitting what people say by way of stirring up trouble. As for the warning, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “ A slanderer, going about with calumnies”

[al-Qalam 68:10,11]. This is a description of some of the people of Hell. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter”[al-Humazah 104:1]. This refers to the gossipmonger. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No gossipmonger will enter Paradise.” And according to a report: A gossipmonger could cause more damage in an hour than a practitioner of witchcraft could do in a year. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that “The gossipmonger will be punished in his grave.” Undoubtedly the prohibition is more emphatic if the gossip is among a man and his wife and relatives. He has to fear Allaah and remember that He is always watching him, and he should keep away from things that will incur punishment in this world or the next. He has to avoid lying, backbiting, gossip, slander and stirring up trouble among people. He should be honest, protect people’s honour, fear Allaah and remember that He is always watching, and that He is stern in punishment. End quote.

Al-Hulool al-Shar’iyyah li’l-Khilaafaat wa’l-Mushkilaat al-Zawjiyyah wa’l-Usariyyah byShaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreem (fatwa no. 42).

So the husband must stop asking his wife to do this, and if he persists then it is not permissible for his wife to respond to his request. By agreeing to transmit what people say, one is persisting in sin and listening to it, but by refusing one is refraining from it and putting a stop to it.

If the wife is afraid that it will lead to troubles between her and her husband, there is no sin on her, if her husband insists that she should tell him what her family says, if she tells him that they praised him and said good things about him, and other such words that will spread love and friendly feelings, and will extinguish the flames of fitnah and disputes between her husband and her family.

We ask Allaah to guide your husband and bring you together in a good manner.

And Allaah knows best.