Page 3 Q&A Articles

How to seek knowledge if you can’t reach the people of Knowledge

How to seek knowledge if you can’t reach the people of Knowledge

This is an advise from Shaykh Bazmool, found on the site concerning the person that is not able to reach the scholars in person.

Question: What does a person who wants to seek knowledge do if he is not able to reach the people of knowledge? Do they suffice with taking knowledge from books, and what is the methodology of doing so in this case?

The Shaykh repeated the question and asked:

Is the person an Arabic speaker or a non Arabic speaker?

The questioner responds that he is as Arabic speaker.

The Shaykh answers:

As for seeking knowledge, the origin is that the Muslim travels to the scholars to gain knowledge from them if he does not have a scholar in his locality. What is befitting for him is to travel to the scholars if he is able. All praise is for Allah (Aza wa Jel), during our present time means of communicating with the scholars have become widespread. (It has become easy for us to communicate with) the scholars who are upon the straight methodology and safe aqeedah, but we will lay (mention) some easy affairs for the one seeking knowledge in our present time so that a person can seek knowledge while he is in the confines of his home.

This is done in the following ways:

1. If he is able to call a scholar (one upon the Sunnah) if he has the financial means, him and a group of his friends can attend a class with the scholar. This is a means of seeking knowledge.

2. Another way which is also easy it that an individual for example travels to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah and during his visit, he buys tapes of the people of knowledge that are well known for their correct beliefs and methodology. (A person) can also request someone else who is traveling to buy these tapes for them. Thereafter the individual listens to these audio recordings, he listens to the speech of the people of knowledge. It is, by the permission of Allah, as if he is in front of the scholar.

3. If an individual is able to be consistent with the classes on the radio, for example the classes of Shaykh Saleh al Fawzan or other than him (may Allah preserve him) from the scholars that are well known who’s classes are broadcasted on the Quraan radio station (KSA). It is upon the individual to be consistent with this program. This is very good, but at the same time, I warn of some stations that have lessons with individuals whose affairs are not known or those who are known to have deviated from the salafi methodology. Verily, one does not take knowledge from these stations for indeed those individuals that are unknown or have deviated from the correct path and the salafi methodology; one does not take knowledge from them. This is because knowledge is from the religion, so let everyone look to who he takes his knowledge from. (Unclear sentence) Verily if you seek knowledge from a person of innovation or a man that you do not know his religion, you do not know if is methodology is safe or unsafe. And the methodology (of an individual) is known by either being widespread or asking the salafi scholars. You say to them: We have an individual so and so, do you know this person? If they reply: We know him to have the correct methodology and belief. Then one can take from him, but if they say, we don’t know him then you should continue to ask until you find out about him.

4. By way of internet, for indeed there are (paltalk) rooms for Shaykh Zayd al Madkhali, Shaykh Ahmad an Najmee and Shaykh Rabee al Madkhali and other than them from the salafi scholars. There are also rooms for some salafi students of knowledge, classes that an individual can go on the internet and enter these rooms and schedule classes for himself. I also warn from intensive lessons from some directions that it is not known who is teaching. An individual says: I take the lesson and I just continue upon my way! I warn you of this. I warn you from taking lessons from rooms that either have individuals who are unknown or they are known for incorrect beliefs. Do not be deceived because an individual teaches in such and such university or such and such institute etc… verily these titles: (BA, MA, PhD) do not benefit and do not satisfy ones hunger. The respect of an individual is the praise of the salafi scholars for them, and their knowledge of them. A person merely being a doctor and the likes, an individual may in fact be a revolutionist. So be aware and do not be deceived by his degree (unclear words) I am informing you of sources for seeking knowledge but there might be some sort of danger in some of them, so I have to warn you from this danger.

Other means of seeking knowledge similar to what was mentioned by the questioner, such as reading books.

But in reading books there are also things one should be cautious of:

1. If a person does not have knowledge, he can misunderstand something

2. He may incorrectly pronounce words

3. He may read from whoever comes and goes and the affair becomes confusing to him. He reads from the people of Ahlus Sunnah and he, for example reads from the people of innovation, and he does not distinguish between the two. But on the other hand, if he knows the arabic language, he understands the speech and he has sat with the people of knowledge and he has some foundations for example; the foundations that by the permission of Allah, he is able to continue reading, writing and researching, then this is ok.

But he should be aware of the following matters:

1. He should refer to the speech of the scholars, not depend on his own understanding

2. He must be diligent and read the books of the people of sunnah, those known with the correct methodology and belief only!

3. When he is able to reach the Ulamaa, it is upon him to do so. To go to them, to refer back to them, to ask them.

4. His reading of books is done so out of need he does not make this his means of seeking legislated knowledge, rather, he takes if from the mouths of the scholars just as the salaf took it from the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) and his students and those who came after took it from the salaf. This is (the way) knowledge (should be sought). If a person merely takes it from books, and reads from those who are not known, then a person may deviate. Verily knowledge is obtained by seeking it and having a relationship (with the people of knowledge). The purpose of seeking knowledge is not merely to have abundant amounts of information; verily there are affairs that are related to knowledge, such as its manners and understanding. It is because of this, ignorance and mistakes have increased for the individual who has made reading books a habit instead of sitting with the scholars.

These are some means of seeking knowledge that I advise myself and the questioner with. Allah knows best, and may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family and his companions.

Article taken from

Translated by: Mustafa George

Ruwais, United Arab Emirates

Source :

Black Magic And Its Cure

Black Magic and Its Cure – Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee

Question: How does one know that he is afflicted by (black) magic and what is the correct Islaamic cure for it?

Answer: There is no difference between black, red, white or green magic. Any type of magic done to harm someone else is impermissible. Even to learn it is impermissible although one is not acting with it. What is apparent from the texts and the statements of the Muslim scholar is that to learn magic in itself is disbelief. That is because it is not possible for one to learn it without disbelieving in the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Why is it that the one that learns magic is considered a disbeliever?

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says:

وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَـكِنَّ الشَّيْاطِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ

{… Sulaimân did not disbelieve, but the Shayâtîn (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic …} [al-Baqarah 2:102]

And also in the same ayah:

وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّى يَقُولاَ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلاَ تَكْفُرْ

{… but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).”…} [al-Baqarah 2:102]

And later in the ayah:

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُواْ لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلاَقٍ

{… And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter…} [al-Baqarah 2:102]

The magician/sorcerer does not have the ability to have an effect of his magic (to practice it) except by worshipping the Shaytaan, or he doesn’t exactly worship him but by making ihaanah (إهانة) i.e. looking down (insulting) or disgracing the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or anything else that may have in it the remembrance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, or for example making sajdah (prostration) to the Shaytaan or anything other than Allaah سبحانه و تعالى in order that these devils allow him or gives him the ability for his magic to have some sort of effect on the people that he wants it to affect.

It is impermissible to learn or to practice magic/sorcery, even if the goal or objective is correct e.g. if one wants to remove magic from someone by using magic – this is incorrect because the end does not justify the means. A disease is not cured with another disease, so it is impermissible to learn or teach magic no matter what the situation may be.

Answered by: Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee حفظه الله

Title of Lecture: Special Questions and Answers Session

Date of the Lecture: March 11th, 2006

What are the conditions for the clothing of a man?

Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) was asked about the conditions of garments

Question: What are the conditions for the clothing of a man? And upon what garments from those that are common today are these conditions applied?

Answer: The Muslims in their different lands are not required to adhere to a specific type of clothing and a specific dress that Islaam has made obligatory upon them. Rather, it is allowed for every nation of people to wear what they wish. This is as the Prophet (‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) said,

“Eat whatever you wish, and wear whatever you wish, as long as you avoid wastefulness and arrogance.

However, Islaam has placed upon the garments of the Muslims some limitations and conditions. After Islaam made the matter a broad one for them (the Muslims) allowing them to wear what they wish of garments and adornments, it placed limitations for them that it is obligatory upon them to adhere to them. An example of this is that Islaam made it obligatory upon them that their garments not resemble the garments of the disbelievers. Wear whatever you wish, but this is only as long as your garments do not resemble the garments of the disbelievers. This is a condition.

A second condition is that you do not wear your garment where it extends to beneath the two ankles. Whatever garment it may be, and whatever kind of garment it is; whether it is a shirt, or a cloak, or pants or any garment that you know its name. It is not permissible that it be, in reference to men, long where it falls beneath the two ankles. Because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“Whatever passes the two ankles”,


“Whatever falls beneath the two ankles then it is in the Fire.”

Similar to this first limitation, and it is to not wear garments that resemble the disbelievers in their dress. And the second limitation is that the garment does not fall beneath the ankles, and the third limitation, and it is that which has been mentioned previously in the hadeeth,

“Eat whatever you wish, and wear whatever you wish, as long as you avoid extravagance (i.e. wastefulness) and arrogance.”

Meaning, do not be wasteful in your clothing and do not be arrogant in it, because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“Whoever drags his Izaar (a garment that wraps at the waist and hangs down to cover the legs) in arrogance;

Allaah the Mighty and Majestic will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.”

So therefore the answer is clear. Every nation of people may wear whatever they desire of clothing, but under the condition that they avoid these contradictions (to the Sharee’ah): imitating the disbelievers, wearing the garment too long, being extravagant (or wasteful) in it, and arrogance in it. This is the answer. (Some brothers among those listening in the gathering said something. So the Shaykh adds to his answer.) Here some of the brothers are reminding that naturally, these are from the conditions that I gathered in my book Hijaabul-Mar’atil-Muslimah (The Muslim Woman’s Hijaab), which is being printed now with the title Jilbaabul-Mar’atil-Muslimah (The Over Garment of the Muslim Woman). And there are conditions stipulated regarding the garment in specific, some of them for women and some of them for men also, and they are eight conditions. From these conditions is that the garment should not be tight such that it describes the ‘Awrah (the part of the body that is private and it should be concealed from public view). And the ‘Awrah of the woman of course, is larger (broader) than the ‘Awrah of the man. So a condition is that the garment should not be descriptively tight. Pants, for example, it is not permissible to wear them from two aspects.

1- The first aspect is that they are from the garments of the disbelievers.

2- And the second aspect is that they describe the shape of the thighs, and the buttocks.

Rather, they also describe what is between them as well, with much regret. This garment (pants) also contradicts the Islamic law. And what is even more important to mention is that which allows the ‘Awrah to be seen through it. So a condition is that the garment does not allow that which is beneath it to be seen. These see through garments, it is as if they increase the ‘Awrah in its Fitnah (seductiveness, temptation). For this reason he (the Prophet – ‘alayhis-salaam) said in a well-known hadeeth,

“Two types among the people I have not seen them yet. Men who carry whips like the tails of cows, striking the people with them; and women who are clothed, (yet) naked, seductive (by walking among people wearing fragrance and perfume), and attracting attention (due to their swaying of their shoulders with their walking). Etc., to the end of the hadeeth.

They are women who have on clothes but yet they are still naked, because they wear garments that are transparent. And this is also from that which is not permissible.

Al-Imaam Al-Muhaddith, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah)

Transcribed and translated from a tape of the Shaikh entitled Hum al-Ghurabaa’, by Aqeel Walker

The hatred of polygamy is a cause of disbelief and apostasy from Islaam

His eminence Ibn Baaz, may Allah have mercy on him

The hatred of polygamy is a cause of disbelief and apostasy from Islaam


Q. Some women prefer social customs in Europe, the West in general, or in non-Muslim countries. In this regard they said: “verily, plural marriages are forbidden”, for an example, legislative rulings permits plural marriages. What is the ruling of attaching this accusation (Plural marriage is forbidden) in Islam?

A. Whoever hates polygamy and claims that the lack of polygamy is best, is a disbeliever and an apostate from Islaam. For indeed he/she is a denier of Allah’s legislation, we seek refuge in Allah from the hatred of Allah’s rulings.

Allah the Almighty says: “That is because they hate what Allah has sent down (this Quraan and Islaamic laws, etc); so He has made their deeds fruitless.” (Suratu Muhammad ayah 9).

Whosoever denies what Allah has sent down their deeds will be fruitless. As for the one who denies polygamy and sees that verily the shariah indeed oppresses, or the rulings of Allah in this regard has deficiency in it, or it is not good, or what is done in Christian countries who marry one (wife) is better, all of this is apostasy in Islaam. We seek refuge in Allah from that, just like the one who will say: “verily, the obligation of Salaah is not appropriate”. Supposedly the people leave off Salaah, fasting and Zakaah it could have been better. Whoever says this he/she is a disbeliever. Whoever says verily lack of Salaah, Fasting Zakaah and Hajj is foremost, is a disbeliever. Like this, supposedly he said: it is permissible to rule with other than the sharia’h, even if the person says the sharia’h is better, but if he/she says: rulings with other than what Allah has sent down is permissible or is good, all of this is apostasy from Islaam. We seek refuge in Allah from that. What is taking place is, Verily whoever denies what Allah has sent down and what Allah legislated he/she has apostate, and like this whoever loves or is pleased with what Allah made unlawful and says it is good and appropriate for example: fornication and stealing, the individual will be a disbeliever as well. We ask Allah for His safety, Aameen.

Source: The Arabic text is from

Rifqaan Ahlus-Sunnah bi Ahlus-Sunnah by Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad

Taken from Rifqaan Ahlus-Sunnah bi Ahlus-Sunnah by Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad

There are some from amongst the people of Ahlus-Sunnah who, if they see a mistake from anybody from Ahlus-Sunnah, they write a refutation against him. Then the one who was refuted writes a refutation of the refutation. Then both of them busy themselves reading everything that the other has written recently or in the past, and listening to all of the audio tapes of the other hoping to find a mistake and catch him in it. Some of these mistakes may have simply been a slip of the tongue,the likes of which he or someone else could (easily) have made. Then each one of them strives to get as many supporters as he can to also stand against the other. Then each group of supporters raises their voices with the statements of anyone who supports them and criticizes the other party. They also try to force everyone they meet to ‘take a position against’ those who do not support him. And if he does not(take a position against the other) then he is said to be a person of bid’ah based solely on the fact that they have pronounced the other(person or) group as people of bid’ah. Then they ostracise (the one who did not take ‘the proper position’). The actions of two groups such as these are some of the most serious causes of the fitnah and one of the most serious reasons why it has spread so far and wide.

The matter becomes even worse when each of the two parties spread their criticisms of the other party on the Internet! At that point, the youth of Ahlus-Sunnah from various countries and even various continents,busy themselves keeping up to date with what has been published on the website from qeela wa qaala (talking about what this one said and what that one said) which is an activity that does not bring about any good,and only brings about harm and disunity. In fact, these activities cause them to resemble those who watch the news bulletins in order to find out what is the best news to publish. They also resemble sports enthusiasts who cheer for one team or another, and get into arguments and quarrels as a result!

And also…

I say: The students of knowledge are in great need of disciplining themselves with these manners which will bring goodness and benefit to them, as well as others. (They also need to) stay far away from harshness and rudeness, the only result of which is quarreling,disunity, turning away of the hearts, and breaking up into groups.

It is upon every sincere student of knowledge to stop following on the Internet what this group is saying about that one, and what that group is saying about this one. Instead they should use the Internet to look at websites such as the website of Shaykh ‘Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz(rahimahullaah) in order to read his essays and fataawaa that have now reached up to twenty one volumes. (They should also use the Internet to read) the fataawaa written by The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawaa which have now reached up to twenty volumes.Likewise, (they should also use the Internet to look at) the website ofShaykh Muhammad ibn al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) , and read his manybooks and fataawaa.

Andin conclusion, I advise the students of knowledge to: thank Allaah theMighty and the Majestic for the success that he gave them when He madethem from amongst His students. And to make sure that they have Ikhlaas(sincerity) in seeking knowledge and that they work as hard as they canto obtain it. (I also advise the students of knowledge) not to wastetheir time and to spend it seeking knowledge, because knowledge cannotbe obtained by simply wishing and lingering about while being lazy andindifferent.

Article sent by BTTB student

Who are the Scholars ?

Who are the Scholars and from whom should knowledge be taken?

by Shaykh Ahmed Muhammed Al-Munayee حفظه الله

Introduction to the Shaykh

Shaykh al-Allaamah Ahmed Muhammed Uthmaan Al-Munayee حفظه الله is well-known among the scholars and imaams of our time and is very active in the fields of Da’wah, calling to the tawheed of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and the Sunnah of Rasool Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم. He is extremely busy and his efforts are countless in clarifying the misconceptions about Islaam and the Da’wah of Imaam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab رحمه الله. We thank him for making himself available to us regardless of his tight schedule, and we ask Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to reward him tremendously and bless him in his knowledge and his efforts.Read More

Shaykhs’ Introduction

The Shaykh حفظه الله began with the basmallah and by praising Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and by sending salaah and salaams upon our Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and his family and his companion and those that follow him in goodness until the Day of Judgment. He then said that it pleases him to participate with his Muslim brothers and sisters in this particular gathering. He then acknowledged that Shaykh Zaahid described him with what he is not really deserving of, as he is just a student of knowledge.

He then said that inshaa Allaah he would be dealing with this very important topic: Who are the scholars and from whom should knowledge be taken?

Definition of Knowledge

The Shaykh حفظه الله began with a definition of ‘ilm (knowledge). In the Arabic language it means ‘understanding’ or ‘knowing’, and its Sharee’ah (legislation) meaning is: ‘knowing the Deen (Religion) of Islaam with evidences’.

From amongst the best of what I am aware of regarding the definition of knowledge is what al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab رحمه الله has mentioned in his book The Virtues of the Knowledge of the Salaf above the Knowledge of the Khalaf. He رحمه الله said concerning knowledge:

“Knowledge is light which is cast into the heart. With it the servant understands the truth, and with it he distinguishes between truth and falsehood; and he articulates this with concise expressions which achieve the intent (goal)”

The meaning of “light which is cast into the heart” is not from the realm of inspiration, or that an individual awakes from sleep or from inattentiveness and then finds knowledge in his chest. However, it is with an abundance of seeking knowledge and eebaadah (worship) and a desire to follow the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم, and to act upon this knowledge, put it into practice and teach it to the people. This is one of the highest stations of subservience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. So if a servant fulfils this, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى casts into his heart understanding of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and makes him from the People of Understanding.

Knowledge of the Deen (Religion)

Knowledge of the Deen of Islaam comprises knowledge that we get from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the unseen and of what is apparent. From the unseen is what will happen on Yawmul Qiyaamah (the Day of Reckoning) and in the life to come. It also includes acts of worship, business transactions, and other social relationships in the Deen.

This is based on eemaan (belief) that we have; and believing in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, submitting to Him and carrying out whatever He commands us to do. This ability to implement whatever Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has commanded us to do is based on knowledge that we have from the unseen; that was received from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم; and by putting those things into practice.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم informed us of some of the things from the unseen – things that would happen during his time and after that. This is part of the knowledge that we have received from Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.

Now that we have mentioned the definition of knowledge, the remainder of what follows concerns the Virtue of Knowledge and the Status of the Scholars so that we may become aware of who the scholars are.

The Virtue of Knowledge

Indeed Allaah عز و جل has favoured knowledge. He سبحانه و تعالى has mentioned the virtue of knowledge in His Book – the Noble Qur’aan and in the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. He سبحانه و تعالى has also mentioned the People of Knowledge. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has encouraged the acquisition of knowledge, and this is also found in the Book where Allaah سبحانه و تعالى explains the station of the People of Knowledge and their status. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions in the Qur’aan:

يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

{…Allâh will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allâh is Well-Acquainted with what you do.} [Al-Mujaadilah 58:11]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى orders the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم to seek an increase in knowledge:

وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

{…and say: “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”} [Taa Haa 20:114]

Also, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى poses a particular question when dealing with the virtue of knowledge and the People of Knowledge, He asks:

قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

{…Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?”…} [Az-Zumar 39:9]

This is a rhetorical question, meaning ‘no, they are not equal’.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Indeed for the ‘Aalim (scholar) everything in the heavens and the earth seek forgiveness for him and the fish in the sea, and the virtue of an ‘Aalim over the servant is like the virtue of the moon on a full-moon night over the rest of the heavenly bodies and the Scholars are the inheritors of the prophets and indeed the prophets do not leave behind as inheritance dinaar nor dirhaam, they leave behind as inheritance the knowledge, so whoever takes from it then he has grasped an abundant fortune.”[1] Collected by Abu Dawuud, At-Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah, ibn Hibban, Haakim who authenticated it.

Ibn Hibban mentions that this is a clear explanation of the status of the scholars in that they, and not other than them, are the ones who carry and convey the knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. So, the scholars then, are the inheritors of the prophets, and the knowledge that they inherit is the knowledge of the Deen – knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and not the other types of knowledge.

There is an abundance of knowledge available, but what is intended in terms of knowledge, and the acquisition that is encouraged is knowledge that is taken from the Book and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.

The Shaykh حفظه الله continues his discussion on knowledge by mentioning the hadith from Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyaan رضى الله عنهما that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Whoever Allaah wants for him good he gives him understanding of the Deen.” [2]

For those people who Allaah intends good for them, He gives them understanding of the Deen, whereas for the duniyaa (present life), Allaah سبحانه و تعالى give the duniyaa to those whom He likes as well as those whom He dislikes. As for knowledge, He only gives it to those whom He loves. We ask Allaah عز و جل to make us of those whom He loves.

From Imaan Ahmad[3] in his Musnad from the hadith of Anas رضى الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Indeed the example of the scholars in the earth is like that of the stars in the sky, one is guided by them in the darkness of the land and the sea.”[4]

The scholars are not all at one level but those who attribute themselves to legal knowledge are on different levels and in different stages. A mistake that should not be made is to deal with them as though they are all at the same level because they are at various levels and different ranks regarding their knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah and the concern that they have for it and their fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and the tranquility and humility that they have. The aim here is to clarify their levels from the perspective of their knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah.

Levels of the People of Knowledge

* Mujtahid al-Mutlaq – Those absolute in their ijtihaad (judgment).

The highest level of the People of Knowledge is the mujtahid al-mutlaq. They are those who are absolute in their ijtihaad (independent opinion or judgment) in the issues of Islaamic law. They are very well aware of the different issues concerning our Deen. What distinguishes this group is that they know the evidences for each issue from the statements of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, the Sahaabah (companions) and those after them (from the Salaf).

When looking at the situation that is presented to them, they consider the daleel (evidence) that they have, and based on the evidence, they deal with each particular situation as it presents itself. These are the mujtahidoon (those that make ijtihaad) without exception. They themselves are a source of references for the Ummah. When difficulties arise, this is the group of scholars that the Ummah returns to, in every time and place. This is the mujtahid al-mutlaq – those who are absolute in the areas of ijtihaad, meaning that they are not just restricted to only one aspect of learning.

* Mujtahid al-Muqayyid – Those restricted in their ijtihaad.

We have the second group which is below the first. It is the level of the mujtahid al-muqayyid i.e. one who is limited in his ijtihaad. He benefits from the different opinions that we have, and also perhaps from his madhab, from the principles of Islaamic Jurisprudence and the discussions in the other branches of learning. He uses these to draw analogies to help him deal with different circumstances. He does not necessarily have a lot of evidences and he is not just blindly-following an individual. His ability is limited. This person normally invites to his madhab (words unclear) and they are of different levels.

For this reason the madhaahib (schools of thought) that we have legally, although they have different deductions in terms of law, they are all taken from the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and also there is the ijmaa’ of the People of Knowledge which is used in terms of evidences.

* Mujtahid

There is a third level – the mujtahid who is actually following a specific imaam. At this level the individual usually takes from a particular scholar and normally does not go beyond the imaam that he takes from.

* Other than them

We have another level and this is for those individuals who attribute themselves to knowledge generally, but they have not attained a level of those previously discussed. They are Students of Knowledge they go out and they seek knowledge but their status or the level that they have attained, is not the level of ijtihaad.

Then there is another level – those taking from different aspects of learning. There are some students of knowledge who are seasoned in their development of Islaamic learning. There are those who are intermediate and those who are beginners. Those are two different levels also. There are also some of the People of Knowledge who specialize in one area of learning as opposed to another area of Islaamic learning e.g. hadith, tafsir or Fiqh.

Characteristics of the Scholars

The scholars that should be followed have certain qualities and characteristics that set them apart from others. These qualities are as follows:

* Memorization of the Qur’aan – from the heart.

* Memorization of the pure Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم – They have knowledge and understanding from the Fiqh of the companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and the textual evidences from the Book and the Sunnah. They have knowledge of the understanding of the Sahaabah which the Sahaabah took from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

* In spite of these scholars having understanding of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah they take the Fiqh of the Sahaabah and utilize it.

* They honour the knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, holding it in high esteem. They also honour the Sahaabah and recognize their station; and they honour those that preceded them in knowledge from amongst the Salaf and considered their opinion also.

* They stop wherever the evidence stops. Once there is evidence they leave aside their own opinions and statements and they adhere to the truth, whatever it may be. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah رحمه الله points out:

“This group is stationery wherever the daleel (evidence) is stationery and they move with the daleel wherever the daleel moves. Once there is evidence they adhere to it and take it and they go to it collectively and individually.”

The textual evidences are more magnificent in their hearts than the statements of anyone else. They do not put any analogy or opinion before the textual evidence.

* They are cautious and take their time before passing any type of religious ruling (fatwa) i.e. they are not hasty. Also, they would prefer that someone else passes a religious ruling instead of themselves, if there is another individual. They are also cautious in the area where they have no knowledge on a particular issue. If at a given moment they do not have at the forefront of their mind the evidence for a particular issue they will refrain from answering.

* They are concerned about conveying knowledge and passing it on to others, and also teaching and instructing others in the knowledge that they have been given.

* They are preoccupied with knowledge and putting it into practice.

* When they deal with knowledge – whether conveying it or acquiring it – they start with that which is most important and then that which is important – there is prioritisation. This is done without becoming bored or tired, although it is something that they do constantly.

* They have great concern for the knowledge; and for the areas of Tawheed and the Sunnah – that nothing touches these aspects of our Deen.

* They are the ones who stand in defence of the Qur’aan, the Sunnah, and for the Deen in general.

* They have humility and fear of Allaah and they depend on Him سبحانه و تعالى and they adhere to whatever He commands. Narrated by ‘Awf ibn Maalik al-Asja’ee رضى الله عنه that: “The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم once looked at the sky and he صلى الله عليه و سلم said “This seems to be the time of the raising up of knowledge,” so one of them said: “O Messenger of Allaah, how is it that knowledge will be raised up and we have the Book of Allaah and we read it and we study it and we teach it to our children?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “I used to consider you one of the most knowledgeable people of Ahlul Madinah, didn’t the Jews and Christians have their book with them?[5] Should I not inform you of the first of the knowledge to be raised up?” He صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “khushoo and the fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى until you will not see a person having this type of humbleness in a state of fear in times to come”.”[6]

* They put knowledge into practice, so you find the scholar working with the knowledge that he has from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and being concerned about it. They practice the optional acts of worship, not to mention the compulsory acts of eebaadah (worship). They adhere to all these acts of worship, and they stay away from those things that are disliked and should be shunned.

* Their knowledge is in the heart and not on the tongue. Knowledge is of two types:

1. Knowledge on the tongue – this is the evidence of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى that is used to convey to the people from the Qur’aan and from the Sunnah. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم mentions in the hadith: “The Qur’aan is an evidence for or against you.”[7]

2. Knowledge found in the heart – this is the beneficial knowledge. Al-Hasan رحمه الله said that “Knowledge is of two types, knowledge on the tongue is the evidence of Allaah against the children of Aadam as comes in the hadith: “The Qur’aan is an evidence for or against you.” and knowledge in the heart is the truly beneficial knowledge.”

* They do not try to find an easy life which goes against the Deen and they stay away from innovations and from discussions which have no basis in the Deen. When Ibn Rajab رحمه اللهdealt with the virtue of knowledge of the Salaf over the Khalaf, this is one of the things that he pointed out as one of the characteristics that they (the Scholars) possess.

* They try to avoid hasty religious rulings or being involved in passing them. This is an aspect of the Deen which the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم had much concern for – persons who pass religious rulings without being properly qualified. One of the reasons that we find the scholars of the past being very cautious is due to their fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and the caution that they had in respect of their Deen, and a desire to free themselves form the responsibility of the fataawa that would be given. For this reason we find that this was the mannerism of the Sahaabah who were chosen to be the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. They used to try and pass on the fataawa to someone else, who might be more knowledgeable in their eyes to pass religious rulings. Sometimes a person would come into Madinah and he would ask a question, and he would be told to go to someone else, and that person would say to go to someone else and he would go to that second individual who would tell him to go to a third, until he would go all around Madinah and return to the first individual. Because of this, we find in regard of the Mufti (the person who passes religious rulings) that he should have certain qualities.

Characteristics of the Mufti

* One of these is his concern for the Arabic language – he exerts himself in acquiring and excelling in the Arabic language, until he becomes one of the most eloquent individuals. This is because the Arabic language is the language of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. So, if you have an understanding of the Arabic language you will be able to understand the verses of the Qur’aan – what is abrogated and what is not abrogated. You are able to understand the general and restricted expressions. You will be able to understand what is specific and what is not specific. All these things are accomplished by understanding the Arabic language. You will know what has been explained in detail and what has not been explained in detail.

* After that you find them having concern for the knowledge of the Sunnah. One aspect of the Sunnah is that one is supposed to be aware of what is authentic and what is da’eef (weak); and to have some understanding of those people who are acceptable to take narrations from and those whose narrations must be rejected, so that based on the hadith being authentic in his view he will be able to make religious rulings based on it.

* He must understand the different madhaahib (ideologies) of the People of Knowledge from the Sahaabah, and those that came after them from the Tabi’een, in order to have an understanding of the issue at hand; and to be able to attribute the particular issue he is dealing with to a source i.e. from where it (the basis of his decision) was obtained.

* To understand the knowledge of qiyaas (juristic reasoning by analogy) and the levels of evidence as they are presented – which is strongest, which comes next in importance etc.

* The Mufti must be a cautious person and a person with taqwa. If he is not an upright person – one with taqwa, then no one will trust his religious rulings. In this position he must adhere to his Deen. Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله said “If a person really wants to be in this position, carrying the responsibility of passing religious verdicts, then he must be knowledgeable of the asaaneed”, meaning, he must have knowledge of the people in the chains. He must have knowledge of the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.

* It is not lawful for a person to pass a religious ruling unless he has knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and what is necessary for him to have to base his ruling on, of other levels of understanding.

* He must have some understanding of the statements of those who preceded him.


He is cautious not to say anything about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى without knowledge i.e. textual evidence for what he is saying. He has taqwa. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions:

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً

{And follow not (O man, i.e., say not or do not or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allâh).} [al-Israa’ 17:36]

Whoever speaks about the Sharee’ah without knowledge has done something that he should not do, as he has no knowledge of it. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions in the Qur’aan:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَاناً وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

{Say (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]): “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawâhish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allâh for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allâh of which you have no knowledge.”} [al-A’raaf 7:33]

In a narration from Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Allaah does not take away knowledge by simply snatching it away, but the knowledge is taken away by removing the People of Knowledge, until there is no scholar remaining and the people shall take as their leaders ignorant individuals, and they will be questioned and they will give religious rulings and they shall go astray and lead other astray also.”[8]

Those who we should take knowledge from

The qualities of the People of Knowledge have been mentioned. Those that possess these qualities are the ones that should be taken from. They are the Scholars and they are the ones from whom you should take knowledge. It is no problem to take from other than them, but with the condition that they are from the followers of the Scholars who we have mentioned previously.

So the person who wants to admonish should be very familiar with what he is speaking about and familiar with the principles of our Deen and its branches. This is the least that can be said about an individual who wants to admonish and advise. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has defined certain limits for the person who wants to pass religious rulings, and He has warned against those who disregard the limitations and regulations that have been ordained.

As for the person who does not possess these qualifications, when he opens his mouth, it is as though he is speaking about Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم without knowledge. This person is actually representing the Book of Allaah as ibn Qayyim mentions in his book إعلام الموقعين عن رب العالمين. One who examines this book understands the importance of the matter, and recognizes the mistake of some of the people in dealing with matters which they are not qualified to deal with; in the name of da’wah, admonition, clarification, rectification, teaching, or in the name of commanding what is right, or in the name of forbidding what is wrong, or from other than that from matters which Shaytaan beautifies for them in their heart. From the effects of this is becoming indulgent in desiring popularity, and to be at the forefront of things. He feels very safe putting himself at the level of the People of Knowledge, which he does not deserve. He places himself at the position of the Scholars at times of dealing with trails and tribulations when in reality he is not qualified to deal with this.

These days many of the people do not differentiate between a recitor of the Qur’aan or one who narrates a story to the people; or one who warns the people and one who reminds them, or between the khateeb who gives the khutbah and one who gives sincere advice (naseehah) and the one who is in charge in the Islaamic community and capable of giving commands to enjoin the right and forbid the wrong and the person who is deeply involved in research.

They do not differentiate between these and likewise they do not differentiate between

* The person who is deeply in involved in research

* a student of knowledge

* the Scholar who specializes in an area,

* the Faqeeh (jurist) – the Jurist who is well grounded in Islaamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and the Jurist who has mastered Fiqh

* a student of knowledge working with hadith, or experienced in hadith or well grounded in hadith

* a student of knowledge working with tafseer, or experienced in tafseer or well grounded in tafseer

And they do not differentiate between the Mujtahid al-Mutluq (absolute Mujtahid), the Mujtahid al-Muqayyid (restricted Mujtahid), the Scholar proficient in the Sciences, the scholar firmly grounded in the Sciences and all the other levels.

You find the people listening to one Shaykh or Scholar. How do they differentiate between their different statuses and ranks? It is necessary to lower every group to the place at which they deserve to be without being influenced by emotion or (word unclear). However, belittling people is oppression, and raising them above their station is also oppression and equating them above the station they really deserve is oppression.

For this reason you find people going back to du’aat, or those that are simply callers, or those who admonish, or those only involved in training, or those who are good at telling stories, and they take from them religious rulings at the same level – all of them. They have statements, tapes and the like available.

The person who is wise in his understanding knows who to take from. How many people don’t really have anything to invite you to? They claim to have what they don’t possess. It is important therefore, if you are going to take from an individual, that the individual has also taken from someone who is himself scholarly, and it is known that he has spent some time in acquiring knowledge.


The Shaykh حفظه الله continued: I would like to end our session, but before I do so I would note the characteristics of the scholars in another way.

The well grounded scholar (الراسخ العالم) has signs or characteristics:

1. He has become known for the purity of his belief.

2. He is known for the purity of his manhaj (methodology).

3. He is well grounded in Islaamic Sciences, he is known for his research in it and for entering into the issues concerning it.

4. It is known that he has graduated from the sittings of the Scholars that came before him who were grounded (الراسخ) in knowledge.

5. He is well-known in his establishment of Tawheed al-Uboodiyyah – to seclude and make Allaah unique in your worship towards Him. He teaches it, implements it and incorporates it in all aspects of his life.

6. He is known for his glorifying and honoring the Sunnah and teaching it to the people, and making it established and well-grounded in the people, and glorifying it for the people, and calling them to it and incorporating it in all aspects of their life.

7. He has spent the majority of his life in knowledge – learning it and teaching it.

8. From the signs of the scholar who is well-grounded in knowledge is that he is not young in age, rather he is one who is well-experienced, and has been tested with trials and has been put in tough situations.

9. His knowledge is not little. Rather, he is one who has entered into knowledge, delved into it and has put much time into seeking knowledge. He has also participated in knowledge with its people and looked into the rulings. He also has experience in the rulings concerning the nawaazil (overwhelming incidents).

10. He has sound intellect and is patient with the affairs. He is not hasty in serious affairs – he understands and he is not from the lowly/despicable people.

11. His knowledge in the fundaments and branches of Islaam – not in one Science without the other. He is one who has looked into all the sciences and has knowledge of all, or the majority, of the sciences of Islaam. So, he is not someone you would find strong in one area and weak in another area e.g. being strong in one area but being weak in Fiqh, or being strong in Fiqh and weak in the methodology and the way of the Salaf – the aqeedah. This one is not from the People of Knowledge. The Scholar knows about the fundamentals, foundations and principles of Islaam – the Shar’eeah, and its branches as well.

12. He threads upon the path of those who came before him from the People of Knowledge. He does not oppose or contradict them except after he has attained a level of knowledge, and has come forward in knowledge, and his level has been raised and the proof has become clear to him and he has an imaam, a predecessors from the Scholars, that has the same stance on that issue that he is opposing the scholar in, so he has a predecessor for what he is saying.

13. The Scholars give testimony to him; that he is firmly grounded in knowledge, and to the purity of his methodology (manhaj) and the scholars that testify to this continue to testify to it and are still upon it i.e. their testimony is not nullified.

14. Knowledge has become apparent upon him when you see him – his characteristic, his manner, his dealings, his humility to Allaah in his worship, and his being ascetic in this world i.e. he does not indulge too much in the duniyaa.

15. Having wisdom and knowing the boundaries within which to deal. Knowing the boundaries of the politics of the Sharee’ah of Da’wah, meaning, that he knows how to give da’wah, in his fatwa, in his teaching, and ordering with good and forbidding from wrong. This is due to his knowledge of the reasons for legislation – why the legislations were sent down.

16. His preserving the Jama’ah of the Muslims and uniting them and taking into consideration what is best for them, and his being serious and forth-going in that. And forbidding them from that which will split and divide their Jama’ah and its unity. This is due to his preserving the fundamental principles of Sharee’ah.

17. He does not try to make the ruler go against those that are being ruled, nor does he try to incite those that are being ruled against their ruler.

And other that these, are characteristics that clarify to us that the person is from the People of Knowledge, and not from those that are just seeking fame, or those that just have some thoughts that are political or concerning business or other than this, from those that put on the clothing of the People of Knowledge, primarily in order to attain their goal.

We ask Allaah عز و جل to grant us success to all that is good.

Transcriber’s Footnotes

1. Sunan Abi Dawuud [3/317] #3641 Shaykh al-Albaani says with a Saheeh chain.

2. Saheeh al-Jaami’ #6611, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal Vol. 4 #16924

3. The translator mentions that this narration (regarding the similitude of the scholars and the stars) as being from Abu Haakim, however in the Arabic it seems that the Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned that the hadith was collected by Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله in his Musnad from Anas رضى الله عنه.

4. What the Shaykh mentioned was found as part of the following hadith from the Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal Vol. 3 #12621. Note that Shaykh al-Albaani says it (hadith #12621) is da’eef in Da’eef al-Jaami’ #1973.

5. Iqtidaa’ul-Ilmil ‘Amal إقتضاء العلم العمل of Khateeb al-Bahgdaadi with tahqeeq Shaykh al-Albaani who said the hadith is saheeh, pg. 58.

6. Reference pending

7. Occurs as part of a hadith in Saheeh Muslim, Chapter: The Merit of Wudu’, Vol. 1 #223, also as part of hadith in at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’ee and others.

8. Saheeh Bukhaari, Book of Knowledge, Vol. 3, #100; Saheeh Muslim, Book of Knowledge, Vol. 4, #2673.

Seeking knowledge from other than the Scholars

Seeking knowledge from other than the Scholars

Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan

The confining of some youth to themselves and their (establishing) lessons in some of the homes and memorising amongst themselves and reading to themselves – in (all of) this there is great danger; This does not benefit them at all, rather, they may become deluded (into thinking they are actually benefitting) by it.

It is imperative they go to the scholars and sit with them in whatever place. As for sitting in the homes and groups of ignorant youth reading and explaining and expounding for themselves, then therein is great danger.

And their remaining upon ignorance is better (for them) than following this path. (This is) because (the condition of) al-jaahil al-baseet (one who is ignorant and knows he is ignorant) is simpler than (that of) al-jaahil al-murakkab (one who is ignorant but does not recognise himself as such). (So) al-jaahil al-baseet knows he is ignorant, however, al-jaahil al-murakkab thinks he is knowledgeable whilst (in reality) he is ignorant.

Reference: al-Ijaabaat al-Mulimmah fil-Mashaakil al-Mulimmah – Volume 2, Pages 81-82

Category: Knowledge

Women Giving Da’wah


By Shaykh Abdul Azeez Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baaz (d.1420H)

[Q.1] `What do you say about the woman’s role in calling to Allaah?’

[A.1] `She is like the man, she should call to Allaah, and order the good and forbid the evil, since the texts from the Noble Qur`aan and the Pure Sunnah prove this, and the words of the scholars are clear about this. So she should call to Allaah, order the good and forbid evil in accordance with the manners prescribed in the sharee’ah (revelation) which are required from the man. [1]

Along with this, she should not be diverted from calling to Allaah by impatience and by lack of perseverance due to the fact that some people belittle her or abuse her, or make fun of her. Rather, she should bear that and patiently persevere – even if she sees something from the people that may be counted as being mockery.

She should also take care of another matter, which is that she should be an example of chastity and cover herself with hijaab in front of males who are not mahram for her and she should avoid mixing with men. Rather her da’wah (call) should be done while taking care to avoid everything for which she would be censured.

So, if she gives da’wah to men, then she does so while wearing proper hijaab and without being alone with any one of them. And if she gives da’wah to women, she does so with wisdom and pure manners and conduct so that no one remonstrates with her and asks her why she does not begin with herself.

She should also avoid clothing which, will be a trial (fitnah) for the people, and she should keep far away from every cause of fitnah , such as revealing her beauty and speaking in a sensual manner – which would be censured. Rather, she should take care to call to Allaah in a manner which will not harm her Religion, or her reputation.” [2]

[Q.2] `What is the knowledge needed by a caller to Allaah and for ordering the good and forbidding evil?’

[A.2] “It is necessary for the (Daa’ee) caller to Allaah and who is ordering the good and forbidding evil to do so with knowledge. Allaah states: “Say: This is my way, I call unto Allaah upon knowledge ( ‘alal-baseerah ).” [Soorah Yoosuf 12:108]

Knowledge is defined as what Allaah has stated in His Noble Book, or what was stated by the Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) in his authentic Sunnah . Both actions should be based on the Noble Qur`aan and the Pure Sunnah . The caller will know from them what Allaah has ordered and what He has forbidden. She will know the methodology of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in Da’wah to Allaah and disavowal of evil, and the method of his companions (radiyallaahu ‘anhum).

The caller can do this by looking at the reference books of hadeeth and paying close attention to the Noble Qur`aan and referring to the statements of the scholars in this regard for they have written much on this topic and laid the necessary foundation. What will put one in position to fulfill these matters is to give attention to it to the point that they are upon clear knowledge of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in order to put matters in their proper place. The caller can put the call to good in its proper place and ordering to the good and forbidding the evil in its proper place clearly and with knowledge until they will not fall into disavowing or forbidding a wrong with what may be worse. Also to not call to good in a manner which may lead to an evil worse than if they merely left off calling to that good thing. The point is to emphasize the necessity of the caller possessing knowledge so that they may put matters in their proper place.” [3]

[Q.3] `If a believing woman sees someone from her near relatives committing some sins, then what should her stance be?’

[A.3] “She should forbid the evil in a good manner and with good words, gentleness and kindness – since it may be that the sinful person may be ignorant or ill-tempered and if they are strongly censured it will only make them worse. She should therefore forbid the evil with a nice manner and good words and with clear proof from what Allaah and His Messenger said and while making du’aa (supplication) for them that they be guided so that estrangement is not caused between them. This is how ordering the good and forbidding evil should be. It should be with knowledge, insight and clarity, gentleness and forbearance as will help the one being censured to accept it and not be averse and resist it. The one ordering the good and forbidding the evil should therefore endeavor to use words which one hopes will be a reason for acceptance of the truth.” [4]


[1] Refer to the following fatwaa (Islaamic ruling) for a clearer explanation of this point.

[2] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa wa Maqaalaatul-Mutanawwi`ah (4/240) of Shaykh Ibn Baaz

[3] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa wa Maqaalaatul-Mutanawwi`ah (4/232 – 233)

[4] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa wa Maqaalaatul-Mutanawwi`ah (4/233)

Verily my happiness is my iman &verily my iman is in my heart & verily my heart does not belong to anyone but Allah (Asma bint Abu Bakr Radiyallaahu anhumaa)

A woman embracing Islaam whilst her husband does not

Question: Sometimes women embrace Islaam while their husbands do not. It is well known that a Muslim woman is not lawful for a non-Muslim man. However, for a woman to separate from the husband she loves and on whom she may depend for material support and in the breakup of her family is a great trial for her. It might even be a cause for her to hesitate about embracing Islaam. It also often happens that the husband embraces Islaam after a year or so. The wife hopes to attract her husband to Islaam while remaining in the same house as him after she has embraced Islaam. Is there any room in this matter for new independent reasoning, taking into consideration changing circumstances, benefit and the rule “the lesser of two evils”? Or is this matter something decided with no room for independent reasoning and so a woman entering Islaam must separate from her husband and perhaps even from her children?

Response: This question contains in fact two questions, one of which is more important than the other. The first and most important of them, is whether there can be new independent reasoning to solve this problem. The answer to this is that rulings in Islaamic law are of two kinds. The first are those where there is no room for independent reasoning but rather that these rulings are beneficial at every time and in every place. The benefit therein might be clear, apparent and immediate or, alternatively, it might not be. Allaah, the Exalted says:

{And Allaah knows while you know not}, [Soorah an-Noor, Aayah 19].

It might appear to some people that to implement Islaamic law is difficult and sever in this matter and that it causes problems, while the truth of the matter is quite the opposite to what they imagine. Here, in this issue Islaamic law must be applied and there is no room for independent reasoning.

The second kind of ruling in Islaamic law, are those that are general and dependent upon circumstance. The circumstances, meaning or wisdom might be relevant and applicable at one time but not at another. If the ruling is relevant then it is established and applied and if it is no longer relevant then it is annulled. The issue of a Muslim woman staying with a disbeliever is a matter in which there is no room for independent reasoning because Allaah, the Exalted says:

{O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allaah knows best as to their faith. If you are sure that they are true believers do not send them back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them}, [Soorah al-Mumtahinah, Aayah 10].

Also, a person is not concerned about losing his son, husband or father if it is necessary in order to establish his or her faith and religion. If we consider our righteous predecessors we find that a man might kill his own father or son because they opposed him and stood in his way, in the matter of Allaah’s religion. Accordingly, if a woman embraces Islaam and her husband persists in disbelief, most scholars say that one should wait until the ‘iddah has ended. If the husband embraces Islaam during the period of the ‘iddah, the marriage contract remains valid and they do not separate. However, if the period of the ‘iddah ends before the husband has embraced Islaam, then the marriage is recorded as having ended at the time the woman embraced Islaam. She is then no longer lawful for him until her embraces Islaam and remarries her with a new contract (of marriage).

Some scholars say that a woman who embraces Islaam is tied to her husband until the ‘iddah comes to an end. During this time it is not possible for her to remarry and if he embraces Islaam she remains his wife. If, on the other hand, the period of the ‘iddah has ended and he then embraces Islaam, she has no choice between returning to him, should she so wish, or not. This opinion is the most correct because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) sent his daughter, Zaynab, back to ‘Abu al-‘Aas Ibn Rabee’ after six years. Therefore, if a woman embraces Islaam and her husband remains a disbeliever, they must separate. If he enters Islaam before her ‘iddah has ended, then she is still his husband and does not have a choice of returning to him or not. However, if the period of the ‘iddah has ended and she wishes to marry someone else, she has the right to do so. If she remains unmarried and her husband embraces Islaam, even after a long period of time has elapsed, if she so wishes she can go back to him.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

al-Aqalliyaat al-Muslimah – Page 69, Fatwa No.9