Connect with us


11 Ways to Impress a Muslimah for Marriage




2 Rings in the Sand

For many Muslims, the process of finding a spouse can sometimes prove challenging and frustrating. During this time not only do brothers and sisters have to wrestle with their own personal quirks, but they also have expectations about the potential mates they are considering. From a sister’s point of view, a suitor can exhibit subtle but significant traits that turn her away from wanting to continue getting to know a brother for marriage.

The following are the top 11 issues that can help brothers avoid having a sister becoming uninterested and discontinuing communication. In no way is this an exhaustive list; in fact, it was difficult to trim the list down. This list is a collaborative effort on the part of many MuslimMatters Associates – a big jazakum Allahu khayran to all of them.

11. Dress to Impress

Generally, when meeting with a suitor, sisters put a lot of effort into presenting themselves respectfully and in a composed manner. A brother who is going to visit his potential wife should reciprocate in like. Remember – first impression, lasting impression. During the first meetings, it is important for the brother to dress decently. Nothing fancy or bling-blingy, just make sure you dress with a purpose – you are presenting yourself to the person you may end up making this big commitment to. Avoid wearing a t-shirt, sweats, or dirty socks – trust us, sisters notice.  And be well groomed. Don’t walk in looking like a ruffian with your beard all over the place.

Although its important to dress well during this courtship period, a brother shouldn’t pretend to dress differently than he normally does. For example, thobes can turn parents off sometimes.  If guys prefer wearing thobes, then they should make that known to the sister when they talk to her; otherwise, she’s gonna get scared and so will her family. Know your taste, but survey the landscape before taking a dive.

10. Kitchen Politics

Some girls do not like being directly asked, “What dishes can you cook?”, or when a trolley is rolled out during a visit, “What did she make from these items?” Cooking is something anyone can easily learn after marriage, and most do, so please do not ask this question directly.

9. Information Highway

Don’t spread information about a sister that you’re talking to. At this delicate stage in a relationship, a brother should be very discreet and guard the privacy of the sister he is communicating with – even if the relationship doesn’t end up in marriage.

If you’re a single brother, most likely your friends are also single and looking. If you tell other brothers that you were courting sister so-and-so, this may make them acquire the mentality that “he talked to her, so I can’t”. Don’t inadvertently ruin a sisters chances by being overly chatty about your courting escapades.

8. Call Back

If they are not interested in a sister or something comes up, some brothers just never contact her or her family again. Call back. It’s as simple as that.  It won’t break her heart if you do so…but not calling and making her family wait for days upon days until they give up hope in the proposal… that’s worse. It’s just one call – make it so that everyone can move on.

7. Sharing is Caring

Be sure to show that you’ve put some thought into the meeting you’re going to have with the sister. This can easily be done by bringing a cake, some flowers, or other items with you to the visit. Brothers not bringing something to the house or for family when they first come may be a turn off for some sisters, but this could just be a cultural thing. Find out ahead of time so you can check off this symbolic but sweet gesture from your to-do list.

6. Pathways to Citizenship

Please do not marry a girl just because she has a foreign passport or is a citizen of the U.S./U.K./Canada if all else is not compatible with her. It is an insult to choose a girl just for her nationality and then coerce her to change herself to suit your other requirements.

5. Don’t be a jokester

Seriously, if you want to impress the lady, you have to come off as a serious man. If you’re funny, that’s a great quality, but not when the girl is sizing you up as a future bread-winner plus role model for kids plus protector (i.e. men are “Qawwaam” over women). To a sister, one significant sign of readiness is when a brother is financially prepared. Have savings (not just a job) if feasible, and communicate to her that you are financially responsible.

4. Avoid oversharing

Some brothers actually mention to the sister the number of girls they’ve seen for marriage (not for information purposes, but for boasting purposes). Never, ever joke about or carelessly mention other girls you may have been involved with for marriage in the past or other girls you’re interested in at present. Be in the moment, and know that a sister is sensitive to comparisons. What wins a sister’s heart is making her feel chosen – understandably, everyone has a past, but avoid overly showcasing your past experiences with other sisters.

3. To See or Not to See

Before meeting a sister in person, some brothers prefer to see a picture of the sister. Approach the whole picture/seeing her thing gently. It’s really easy for a brother to come off rude if he doesn’t ask or approach this properly. Some tips for approaching the picture topic graciously: volunteer your picture first, treat the photo like an amanah – look at it once and give it back. Please do NOT take pictures of her on your mobile phone when you are introduced to her. It is disgusting, intrusive, mean, rude… in short, don’t do it! Do not ask for a photo at all if you know that the girl wears niqab. And most importantly, don’t get offended if the girl’s family refuses to hand over a picture of her to you at the first request.

2. Put All the Major Cards on the Table.

You want to live with your parents? How many kids do you want?  Do you want sister to observe hijab before other male relatives? Do you want sister to wear niqab or not? Will you prevent the sister from working after marriage?  Make sure you marry someone who wants the same things that you do, it’s best to disagree and move on now than it is to emotionally invest in someone who is pulling in a different direction on issues that you don’t feel like you can budge on.  It’s not about being confrontational but rather about being honest and upfront about how you see yourself living and whether the potential can see themselves in that same situation happily too.

Major expectations should be out in the open immediately, but if problems existed in the past (i.e. past psychological issues), this is very sensitive and I imagine it would be very difficult for a prospective suitor to discuss them within the first couple of meetings.  Also, people tend to keep things like this under wraps so the family may only discuss them once a solid relationship has developed.  While this is understandable, this also causes huge issues and can result in a great deal of heartbreak since an attachment may have already developed by this point.

1. Be honest.

At all times. It’s very easy to find a lot of information about a guy online, so if he says one thing, yet his Facebook or Twitter profile shows an entirely other side, that’s a major red flag for a sister during the initial stages. Honesty is the best policy.



  1. Avatar

    Abu Samaiyah

    June 8, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Bring gifts, but dont bring flowers. A well respected Shaykh i Canada told me that when I first met my wife. I brought an Islamic book and took her family for dinner.

  2. Avatar

    Ibn Yahya

    June 8, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    MashaAllaah…Thanks for these PriceLess tips…JazaakumuLLAAHU khayra wa BaarakaLLAAHU feekum

  3. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    MashaAllah, very informative.

  4. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Interesting article. May Allah reward the author(s). I have to admit, at first the title didn’t sit with me very well and I thought why would a brother want to impress the sister, shouldn’t he be himself?! But after reading through the list perhaps a more appropriate title would be a list of Etiquettes when visiting a potential spouse.

    What was interesting though is that from a brother’s perspective, I would have mentioned every one of these 11 points, so I thought why not go ahead and make a list of 11 tips from a brother’s point of view, or at least from my own point of view.

    11. Dress to Impress

    Easy on the makeup, sister. When a brother goes to see a potential wife, he wants to get the chance to actually see how she looks, and that isn’t possible with 3 layers of makeup on, not to mention that more makeup usually makes the person less attractive. Speaking of getting the chance to see how she looks, if you usually wear niqab, don’t wear it when the brother comes to see you as it is sunnah for him to see you and for you to see him. If you usually wear hijab, don’t take it off when the brother comes to see you as he is still a stranger and you two might never get married.

    Also don’t think that a brother would actually go over to see a potential spouse without combing his beard, so if his beard does look like it is all over the place, then most likely that is the type of (fuzzy/curly) hair the brother has and it doesn’t matter how much he combs his beard it will still look the same.

    10. Work Politics

    Some guys do not like being directly asked, “What job do you do?”, or when a list is rolled out during a visit, “What degree does he have from that list? Is he a Dr. or Engineer? Or is he Sheikh Dr. Engineer?” Working is something anyone can easily do after marriage, and most do, so please do not ask this question directly.

    9. Information Highway

    This goes both ways, so don’t spread any information about the brother or even talk about him to your close friends, because as you might know, people talk, and once the news spreads among most sisters in the community that this brother was visiting that sister, they would not consider him for marriage if he was to go visit them. Some sisters acquire the mentality that “he was interested in her, so I don’t want to be his second choice”. Don’t inadvertently ruin a brother’s chances by being overly chatty about your courting escapades. You would be surprised as to how many rumors and misinformation spread around due to gossiping. If a brother came over for a visit but nothing happened beyond that, don’t tell your friends that he “proposed”, especially if he didn’t. Coming over for a visit does not equate to proposing.

    8. Answer

    If the brother and his family express interest, let them know if you are interested or not within a reasonable time frame. Don’t keep them waiting for months while you decide if he is suitable for you or not. If you take too much time to decide, it looks like you are trying to buy some time in hopes that some one “better” would propose to you, and if no one “better” proposes then you would be willing to “settle”. We know this is an important decision to make, but if you need several months to give the brother a definitive answer to his proposal, then that isn’t good for the both of you. Let the brother and his family know within a reasonable time frame what your decision is after he proposes or expresses interest.

    7. Sharing is Caring

    If you are the oldest child, then chances are your father is going to be over protective. That means he might “interrogate” the brother without allowing him any time to actually talk to the girl. Make sure the brother gets some time to talk to the sister herself and not just to her father, after all, he is looking to marry the girl, not her father. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for the father to talk to the guy and get to know him, but if the father is discussing everything alone with the guy without the guy having any time to even talk to the girl or see her and discuss with her the important issues, then that might scare the guy away.

    6. Pathways to Citizenship

    Please do not ask us about our citizenship status from the first visit. We understand your concerns, but you don’t need to be rude and make us feel like you are working for the INS. It is also important to mention that not every brother who is not a citizen is looking to get married for the purpose of getting the citizenship. Some brothers have other reasons for getting married, like I don’t know, say starting a family?

    5. Don’t be insecure about your provision

    A brother knows that it is his responsibility to provide for his wife, but don’t ask him about his finances or how much does he makes. Not only will that not make your future any more secure, but asking him about his salary or savings makes him think twice about the reason why you are marrying him.

    4. Avoid over-asking

    Asking questions is expected and a natural part of the whole process. However, over-asking is not. Avoid asking too many questions, especially detailed ones about the brother’s past/work/school. No one wants to feel like they are being interrogated, and this is not a job interview but rather it should be more of a conversation.

    3. Assume nothing

    If you are in doubt, ask. Never assume anything. Just because the brother came over for a visit does not mean he is proposing or that he is certain that he wants to marry you. In most cases, the brother is usually there to find out more about the girl and figure out if they are both suitable for each other. Some sisters fall into the trap of assuming that just because a brother came to visit that he is very interested and would do anything to marry her, and with that assumption in mind the girl usually approaches the whole issue with what can be perceived as an arrogant mentality by the brother. Because of that assumption, some sisters think that they can make any demand that they want, place whatever rules or restrictions on the brother, without having to offer anything in return or agreeing to any of the brother’s requests, because she thinks that he is dying to marry her and is willing to do whatever it takes.

    2. Put All the Major Cards on the Table

    You want to live near your parents? How many kids do you want? Do you want to work after marriage and have a career? Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they will change the person after marriage or that she can convince him of doing (or of allowing her to do) certain things later on. Although this is possible, yet this is the exception to what usually happens and not the rule. Make sure you are direct and discuss all the major issues upfront.

    1. Be honest

    Just as easy as you were able to look up all the info about the brother online, it is just as easy for him to look you up online too, which he probably did. And remember, if his Facebook or Twitter profile shows an entirely other side, then double check to make sure you have the right person as there could be other people who have the same name, and in some cases the brother might not have Facebook or Twitter altogether. Honesty is indeed the only good policy.

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      Haha jazakAllah kheir for that!

    • Avatar


      June 10, 2011 at 7:54 AM

      nice return of serve my friend…

    • Avatar


      June 11, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Jazakallahukhaeran, am a Sister and i really appreciate this. May Allah reward you.

    • Avatar


      June 27, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      I think there’s a problem with taking some MAJOR issues off the table right off the bat, such as citizenship and financial situation. Even if a brother legitimately just wants to get married, if he is not a citizen or permanent resident, this is no light undertaking for a sister to consider him. For one thing, there is no guarantee of staying in the country. Even if they get married, it can take months to years for a green card to get approved. I know more than a few sisters who are waiting here while their husband has been forced to return overseas due to lack of legal status, while they wait for the paperwork to be approved. During this time of course, they often have small children and no or little financial support. The application process is not cheap either. Application fees are close to 1000 dollars to sponsor your spouse for a green card, and you also have to provide financial documentation proving that you are able to provide for him and his financial needs while he is in the US (money in the bank and coming in). Also until (and there’s not even any guarantee that it will be, years down the line) the card is approved, the sponsored brother will likely be unable to legally work, or if he is allowed to work with special permission from INS, only with certain provision or restricted hours. If he is a student, he will also have to keep full time student status to avoid being deported.

      How do I know this? I’ve been married before, I’ve sponsored my previous husband. At the time, I thought it would be no big deal. It was, and in fact the repercussions continued for years even after we divorced! (this does not automatically end your financial responsibility either). I’ve also known other sisters who married in this situation. It is NOT just a situation of “oh, I think he’s just out for a green card”. This is not the issue. It may be an issue for some people but I don’t think it’s the common problem, however there are plenty of others as I’ve highlighted with this scenario.

      Now, it’s the same deal for brothers who are considering marrying a non-citizen, but if you are already expecting to financially support your wife and for her to not seek an outside job, this may not be a big deal. For a sister supporting herself, and possibly also children from a previous marriage, this is a sizeable financial commitment to take on (if she could even afford it at all), in addition to probably having to financially support the man until he is granted permission to work in this country. Also, she does not have any way of knowing if the man is capable or willing to hold down a job even once all the paperwork does go through, having not had any example of this prior to marrying him. It’s quite a gamble to take on. Also in my opinion it does not get the marriage off to a very good start to have the wife providing all the financial support, from either spouses perspective.

      Which leads into the other issue of not discussing financial situations. You say that the brother already knows he is financial responsible for the family, islamically, this is so. However, that doesn’t mean that the actual brother you talk to is willing/able to do this! Some brothers expect their wife to work and contribute, others want their wife to stay home. Some are not able to support children, or will want to wait several years for this (sometimes, this is not an option if your prospective wife already has children to support! It’s not an ideal world…). Some profess to want to support the wife and family, but they do not manage their finances, keep a job, do not have any savings, or have thousands of dollars in debt on top of that. In some cases with riba based loans/credit cards. Personally, if I am planning on going from a relatively sure situation of supporting myself and my child, to relying on someone else to do so, I want to know within a reasonable expectation that he is capable of it and can show that he has a stable background. A steady job, savings, lack of a huge debt, managing month to month, are all evidence of this. Living with parents/friends, no job, no job history, no savings, and a huge pile of loans… not confidence-inspiring. I am not looking for a show of wealth by ANY means, just the ability to manage it and also not afraid to talk about money. Discussions of money are a big source of friction in many families, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to look for someone who is not afraid to be open and up front about it, when he’s potentially asking you to put yourself at his financial mercy once you get married.
      Why are we not able to discuss these things up front? Asking about someone’s citizenship is not accusing them of trying to marry for a green card. Asking about their financial stability is not accusing them of anything either. Yes, these factors are social constructs and not important except in matters of getting through this world, but they ARE very real practical issues and it would be foolish to ignore them.

    • Avatar


      January 9, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      OMG definitely helpful! JAK, bro.

  5. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Salam wonderful article! Jaz.

    My one critique is that you missed something big entirely though! Personality! Muslimahs are looking for a personality that works for them and acknowledges them as women. I would probably make this its own article though.

    You run into brothers who seriously are poor at conversation or enjoy lecturing the girl on work and politics. They just put her to sleep, they are so boring. Unfortunately there is a stereotype I see, and Allah forgive me for saying this, that the more interesting brothers are not so religious. They are charismatic, well-groomed and fun to be around. Why is that so?

    Sometimes I feel religious brothers completely miss this part when working on themselves. I’ve seriously had brothers who met me for marriage, looking at me to keep the conversation interesting and when they do speak they go on and on about themselves. Or they expect her interests to be mirrors of theirs in every way. Forgive my rant, but the real issue is that some brothers have spent so long studying that they have neglected to learn how to improve their personalities. I’m not saying they should be too much in front of a girl they do not know, but they need to show that they are willing to put some effort into this, even if it is conversation.

    • Avatar

      HFZ SP

      June 8, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      I think you are right in that personality is vital but at the same time i think personality is an innate trait as opposed to being acquired. I know many muslim brothers who have a religious side with a great personality, prime example being Shaykh Abu Esa. The art of face to face conversation, i believe is declining with the ever increasing rise in websites such as facebook.

      Jazakallah for the article. I now know what not to do… just need to learn what i need to do.

      • Avatar

        Nadim Baksh

        June 8, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        A BROTHER VERSION of this article should be circulated throughout the Muslim West Indian Community in Toronto A.S.A.P. because the Sisters should be mindful of certain things.

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Totally true. Religious people need to show their human side.

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM

      Unfortunately there is a stereotype I see, and Allah forgive me for saying this, that the more interesting brothers are not so religious. They are charismatic, well-groomed and fun to be around. Why is that so?

      Sister, I will answer this question for you very blunty: because they’ve had PRACTICE.
      Being charismatic, fun to be around and well groomed are all great things…but they take practice more often than not, especially when it comes to dealing with or satisfying the expectations of the opposite sex. So great to have, but know that 9 out of 10 times it comes w/ the price that you are not the first girl he’s talked to at length for other than academic/work related purposes…and further he’s probably eveb flirted, dated, been in relationships, etc. and now that it’s time to get hitched his momma’s picked out a religious girl for him.

      Very few people born with those skills…so let’s cut the religious brothers some slack here. For many of them it’s simply that it’s a new experience for them and they’re nervous. It doesn’t mean they can’t hit their groove once the engagement takes place and over the course of the marriage.If one is that concerned…ask a common friend or someone similar who knows the guy in question what he’s like around people he’s comfortable with. That’ll provide a more accurate pic than his “performance” at the visit…

      To be fair to your concerns though, I guess it’s a worldwide phenomenon for many women to be attracted to “bad boys” or whatever. But the question I’d ask is whether it’s worth the cost. Too many women think they can change a guy, but that’s something only Allah can do. More often than not, the same things that made him suave and exciting will cause problems after marriage.

      In any case, it’s not my intent to bash ALL non-religious guys. Plenty of them are good folks too, though they might be lax compared to others. I’m just saying, cut the religious guys a break on this front and don’t judge based solely on this…

      • Avatar


        June 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

        I’m sorry I disagree. I am a religious Muslima and I find that many practicing Muslim women have great personalities. They spread the dawa and know how to improve themselves and can certainly hold a conversation. This whole practice thing seems like an excuse to me, brother.

        Why can women do it without doing haram but for men they ‘had to practice’? Don’t they have sisters, aunts, cousins and relatives to talk to and understand? I never said they had to born with these skills or be don juans. It is that they seem to neglect this when looking for a married partner, people can and do improve.

        • Avatar


          June 8, 2011 at 11:33 PM

          Sorry sister, but we have to agree to disagree.
          Plenty of the brothers also spread the dawa, know how to hold conversations, etc.
          Many of their friends, family, etc. can attest to that fact. Plenty of religious Muslim men heading Muslim organizations, which require socialization, etc. If they are however new to romantic issues, they most definitely can freeze up…They don’t necessarily have less than great personalities, they just see things differently than women do..

          Men and women simply aren’t the same, and I think therefore that bringing up religious,vibrant and outgoing women you know and comparing it to the religious brothers, especially regarding romantic matters and the requisite attraction is a nonstarter…

          You ask why women who don’t have practice are able to do these things, yet the men are not. Well, that’s where the standards and differences come in. What you might consider a boring conversation is perfectly acceptable to them because their priorities and how they evaluate an interaction is different than yours. What attracts men and what attracts women are often very different, and how they evaluate that standard is different still. .

          Some of the things you point are not as much an impediment for women because a large portion of men simply don’t care…many men will be perfectly happy with a woman who has the personality of a door knob as long as she’s really beautiful or whatnot or what they consider good conversation might be different than what women assume to be one. Again, it’s a matter of different standards and expectations between the sexes as to what constitutes attraction…

          I agree with you that conversation, personality, and the like are important. My argument is not about that…I’m simply saying what CONSTITUTES those things is not exactly the same for men and women and further how men and women assign value to specific things that define attraction is also different. Finally, there is room for improvement but for many religious people that might not become apparant until after engagement or marriage when people are more open and comfortable with eachother…

          Less religious males who’re used to flirting or whatever obviously have an advantage in this regard. Many of them know how to engage a woman and fashion what they say and how they carry themselves to appeal to the opposite sex. Asking why the religious ones can’t learn from female family members is talking apples and oranges. Sorry, but conversation with sisters, cousins and mothers is nothing like talking to a potential wife.

          If you said that men should learn what is important to women in the romantic sense, I’d agree. Unfortunately these things aren’t talked about as openly as they should be in the Muslim community. That’s why I commend Muslim Matters for discussing this issue and trying to guide the youth. But teaching men that, is different from simply interacting with female family members and how they interact with women for marriage is not necessarily a judgement on their personality as a whole.

          Perfectly acceptable to disagree with me, that’s just my take…not a universal law. So what do YOU think is the REASON religious males interact that way?

          • Avatar


            June 8, 2011 at 11:52 PM

            I personally don’t think that this is because of a lack of “practice” brother ZAI, because these are things that come naturally to us as men when we are around women, if we free ourselves from any restrictions that is and allow ourselves to act upon our natural instincts. It is not that hard for a brother to loosen up and socialize with women and have fun, this doesn’t need much practice. But I think the issue is that practicing brothers usually try to observe the proper Islamic guidelines so they won’t appear to be so interesting and attractive in front of random women.

          • Avatar


            June 9, 2011 at 1:21 AM

            Honestly I’m still trying to figure this whole problem out. I guess its just been too many times where brothers literally look at me to keep the conversation going or they go into lecture mode and I don’t get why. I mean we can talk about the weather, they could try to keep me interested instead of the other way around. Brothers just don’t seem to want to impress me, they are looking for me to do that for them, and it should be mutual. I’m not looking for compliments, I just wish they’d consider me as a woman and try cater to me just a little conversationally. Read up on women’s psych or something.

            Are religious brothers just nerdy and awkward to the opposite gender in general? Really you hear about these great brothers with great qualities. but then talking to them is like pulling teeth. Maybe they need to ‘practice’ in halal ways.

          • Avatar

            Your sis

            June 9, 2011 at 2:16 AM

            To be honest, I don’t think it has anything to do with religious, less religious, having had practice or not. Some people are just less sociable than others, and they may initially come off as awkward.

            You will find less practicing brothers who are just as awkward as religious brothers. You will find religious brothers who are extremely sociable just as the less practicing brothers. I can understand how “having practice” might have some influence. But then I know a bro who has been trying to get married for a long time and is still extremely awkward. And I know a sister who pretty much never speaks to brothers casually but is still sociable and confident when there is a need to speak with them.

            Also… they could just be nervous and self-conscious when in that situation (or maybe they are just struck speechless by your beauty :P I wouldn’t be surprised lol). Heck, I’m would say I’m pretty easygoing and sociable, but even I get all jumbled up & nervous when talking to a suitor. Know what I mean? :)

          • Avatar


            June 9, 2011 at 3:21 AM

            I think everybody here has brought up valid explanations. I don’t believe it has to do with religious brothers are fun and the “shady” ones are the fun ones. I think no matter what religion or experience level, when a man and woman meet for the first time, most normally tend to freeze up when nervous/excited, etc. Now, if you throw in there being less experienced, they get even more nervous = even more tense/frozen up/quiet/shy, etc. Think of it this way, if you’ve never driven a car before, you are probably a lot more scared, crappier at driving, freak out and stop after about 5 minutes, but after you’ve driven a car for 10 years, it’s no big deal at all and it doesn’t bother you or make you nervous because it’s second nature. Then if you throw in there a naturally quiet person, well that makes things even more awkward. On TOP of all of that if you throw in a more religious person in the equation, we are taught to respect the opposite sex and I think for men it’s harder because they are taught to treat us like gently and be more fragile and like they are scared they might offend us you know? Whereas I don’t think women have as much of that fear as men do. Also I think women more naturally have that warm, smily, giggly, cute feeling going on where the guy is like omg shes so adorable, he doesn’t take it as her being flirty or gets offended, like it doesn’t take THAT much to impress a guy, he’s already usually impressed by how cute/attractive a girl is where let’s face it guys, and guys are harder to offend in terms of being chatty or whatever. Girls, on the other hand, are a little more demanding in terms of the guys needing to be like tom cruise or prince charming or shah rukh khan! Haha…and girls tend to get offended a lot more easy than men do in terms of being forward/flirty, so it’s a really thin line for then in between being too flirty/offensive and boring… it’s hard for them on top of all that other stuff I said above.. .so give them a chance sisters!

            From personal experience when my husband and I had met for the first time we were both completely mute the whole night so we both thought that ‘oh no he/she totally hates me!’ but then we talked about it after and we both confessed we were freaking out and totally nervous since we didn’t have much experience in this field. I normally am the most talkative person on the planet and I could barely get out 3 sentences much less look him in the face even once and that made him think I thought he was unattractive! He’s normally a pretty quiet and mellow and shy type of guy and of course wanted to be really respectful and was excited and didn’t have much experience talking to girls so adding all of this up, of course he was mute too. And after getting to know each other a little bit and then getting engaged, we both slowly got more and more friendlier and now we’re married and our personalities work great together Alhamdullilah and we make new jokes together and find fun things to talk about all the time u know so all I’m saying is give each other a chance, the first impression isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! You will both learn and grow together and if there is kindness, mercy, and love between the two of you, then the chemistry will just automatically be created even if he doesn’t have jokes on his own, he will learn what makes you laugh and entertains you later on you know?

            I also do agree with the brother who said the “bad boys” are usually seem like the more “fun” ones but those things usually end up giving the problems later in the marriage and I’ve seen lots of divorces unfortunately caused by girls who thought they could change bad boys. So you have to think really maturely about what is more important to you in the longer run, in the grand scheme of things.

            Just my personal opinions from person experiences. .. everybody has valid points here… there is no right or wrong answer. InshAllah those who are looking for a spouse for the right reasons meet their perfect match and live a happy family life, Ameen :)

            *side note: and my husband didn’t bring any flowers or anything the first time he came to visit me and my family and that really annoyed me so I told him like that hurt my feelings hahahah so the second time, he brought flowers, a cake, and an Islamic book to make up for it! :) yay for second chances

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        I agree with Zai.
        Obviously you can’t generalize, but this is definitely more true than not.

        “Practice” is a big part of it – whether legitimately or illegitimately

      • Avatar


        September 6, 2016 at 9:39 AM

        Bravo akhi. I am used to be like one of those guys living up the 3isyaan, mixing with girls and I can confirm exactly what you just said. May Allah forgive me, but the first girl I had a thing with, I was completely terrible in keeping her entertained face to face, several girls later, when I got to the last one, not a single nervous conversation for me and from what it seemed, not a single dull moment for her (May Allah forgive me). And sisters you don’t even want to know what came with those relationships. Nothing but pure filth. If I can take it all back I would.

        Don’t get me wrong however… Just because he is charismatic at first, doesn’t mean he engaged in haram with other women. Some are just charismatic and I could actually think of a few. So refrain from assumptions in the first place.

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 8, 2011 at 5:28 PM

      You’re right; personality could probably be its own article. There are so many fascets of personality – which is why we included the honesty and oversharing pointers – which also fall under personality traits. But thank you for sheding light on other aspects of it..

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 8:39 PM

      Unfortunately there is a stereotype I see, and Allah forgive me for saying this, that the more interesting brothers are not so religious. They are charismatic, well-groomed and fun to be around. Why is that so?

      I agree, that is true to an extent, but I would also say that the same goes for the sisters (and I have seen some brothers who said the exact same thing about the sisters). The reason for that though I believe is because practicing brothers and sisters usually observe the proper Islamic guidelines so they won’t appear to be so interesting and attractive. A practicing sister might not flirt with the guy when she talks to him, where as other women who are not restricted by the guidelines in Islam won’t have a problem flirting, and flirting with the guy will definitely make them look more interesting and appealing to the guy. And I don’t think anyone would say that practicing sisters don’t know how to flirt or that they don’t flirt with their husbands after they get married (if you are married and you don’t, maybe you should). So I don’t think it is a matter of practicing brothers not being charismatic or are not very interesting, but rather they are not going to act this way around women before marriage. Where as a not so religious guy might not care to follow any of such guidelines and so he won’t have a problem acting and behaving in a way which makes him look interesting and charismatic in front of random women. The same I believe goes for practicing sisters. At least that is what I think is the case.

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 12:13 AM

        Very well written brother and I totally agree with you..
        it is true that wanting to uphold what one thinks is proper Islamic etiquette prevents both brothers and sisters from being too outgoing or wanting to seem like they want to create an attraction…

        Don’t discount practice totally though. What you’re saying is true as a core concept…but practice becomes more and more of an issue as time goes on. What happens is that since the modesty instills different standards of behavior on top of already established innate difference, the less religious guys get better and better at it all than the religious folks…so in time a chasm develops which makes the less religious guys seem all that more attractive..

        So, I agree entirely with what you say…
        But I think that this practice at interaction plays a part as time goes on…

        • Avatar


          June 9, 2011 at 3:28 AM


          i agree with both of you brothers. (and that’s a lot coming from a girl!! haha)

          i blame some of it to expectations created by bollywood =/


    • Avatar


      January 9, 2016 at 12:27 PM

      Seriously. Why is that so? Thanks for asking, Gal. Unfortunately, the situation is still the same in 2016.

  6. Avatar

    Ameera Khan

    June 8, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Oooh, glad this is finally out! :) Seriously, this post should be bookmarked, saved, printed by any guy who’s looking to get married. You won’t get “backstage” information from the sisters like this very commonly and it’ll be really helpful, Insha’Allah.

  7. Avatar

    Tariq Nisar Ahmed

    June 8, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    This list is a collaborative effort on the part of many MuslimMatters Associates

    LOL, alhamdolillah, NOT ME!!!! :)

    So, how “many”? Were they all sisters? Is the list of those of us blissfully unaware of this piece longer than the “many”?

    I still think it is funny to post this so soon after the Shaykhy Crush… especially if it was written by sisters!

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 8, 2011 at 5:23 PM

      Br. Tariq the major of the MM’ers who contributed were sisters, a couple of brothers (we didn’t hear back from more of them). The idea for the article was announced to associates about a couple of months ago – to take input. Alhamdulilah, the sisters overwhelmingly responded.

      I agree that it is peculiar that the article comes up after the Shaykhy Crush post. Hey, its time to give the sisters a chance!

  8. Avatar

    Nabeel Azeez

    June 8, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    As’salamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    In the article about sisters crushing on du’aat and tullab’ul ‘ilm, many of the sisters claimed that there are very few brothers around these days who are suitable for marriage.

    Given that, perhaps it’s a good idea to publish an article discussing the opposite scenario, since if the above claim is true, the it’s the sisters that need to make themselves appealing enough to snag one of the dwindling herd of “good brothers”.

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM


  9. Avatar

    Yaumul Masyir

    June 8, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    Salam wonderful article…hope i can find my life partner…follow true life of islam rule

  10. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    Excellent article mashAllah.

  11. Avatar

    Your sis

    June 8, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    8. Call Back

    If they are not interested in a sister or something comes up, some brothers just never contact her or her family again. Call back. It’s as simple as that. It won’t break her heart if you do so…but not calling and making her family wait for days upon days until they give up hope in the proposal… that’s worse. It’s just one call – make it so that everyone can move on.

    I just wanted to emphasize this particular point. I know way too many sisters who were talking to bros for weeks, months, and everything was going fine. They were communicating on a regular basis, and things seemed to be moving forward. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the bros stopped communicating and weren’t heard from for several weeks. When they finally got in touch with the sisters again, they just apologized and said they could no longer go through with anything.

    Really ya’ll, that’s just bad manners. It’s not that hard to send a text or email that says, “Salams sister, things aren’t going to work out. I’m sorry. Insha’Allah all the best for your future.”

    Bros, please remember when you talk to a sis that she actually has feelings and the capacity to feel hurt and pain. If you are no longer interested, be a man and tell her so. When you prolong telling her that things aren’t going to work out, you are dehumanizing her. Such actions imply that she is just a toy that can be played with – used and discarded whenever you deem fit. This can really do some serious damage to her self esteem, even if she was a pretty confident sister to begin with. So please be conscious of how your actions affect others, I cannot stress that enough.

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 8:02 AM

      Very well said, dear Your sis. Thank you for speaking up and represent us sisters :-) I’ve experienced myself in this case, waiting for wasting. If I may say, not only be a man but be THE man and do not to be a coward.

      All the best to you all single Muslims and Muslima :-)
      Jazakallah khair for the tips poster :-)

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      Salaamu alykum,

      Just want to add that this also applies to sisters, especially when they have approached the brother. Have had this a few times.

      Overall the article is well written and brothers would do well to take on board the advice given.

      Jazakallah khayr.

      • Avatar

        Your sis

        June 8, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        You’re very right, alhamdulilLah jazak Allahu khayran for pointing that out. Insha’Allah we can all learn to be more respectful to one another

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Assalamu Alaikum

      These kind of things are not very common in this part of the world.Our walis do the courting and girl and the boy officially meets only during the wedding. But they usually spot their fiance/fiancee in a family gatherings or something.

      I know way too many sisters who were talking to bros for weeks, months, and everything was going fine. They were communicating on a regular basis, and things seemed to be moving forward.

      This is halal? Why do they have to communicate sooo long(in the presence of Mahrams(hopefully)).
      Is this an american muslim custom ?

      • Avatar

        Tanvir Hassan

        June 8, 2011 at 12:55 PM

        I am Muslim American if you think for one second I’m about to marry a sister I only get to see at our wedding then u might as well take that concept back to the EAST because it makes no sense. We meet for the first time at our wedding lay off the Hookah there are some side affects.

        • Avatar

          Mansoor Ansari

          June 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

          I m confused by ur post Br Tanvir, are u saying American Muslims talk, meet without mahram present when the talks r in process or once engaged? And this is acceptable?

          • Avatar


            June 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

            no his saying its ridiculous to meet your future spouse on the weeding day Br. Tanvir never advocated for non mahram communication for a long period of time before engagement.

          • Avatar

            Tanvir Hassan

            June 9, 2011 at 7:03 AM

            Salaam Alaikum, Pardonnmeni should hav been more clear. I’m saying that I by all means follow Islamic ruling on socializing with the father or qali present however I don’t think it would be fair to meet your bride for the first time at the wedding. What really helps is the sisters father makes an effort to break the ice and loosen up the two with joke and vet the personality flowing in the room. There is a time for seriousness then there should be some time for humor that’s where the walks come in. If I were a Wali I would suggest meeting a couple times in my presence before meeting the wedding.

          • Avatar


            June 9, 2011 at 8:08 AM

            I understand the culture differences between the east and the west. No explanations needed there.And no, you dont have to follow the east,nor will we be taking you guys our rolemodels.

            Actually our role model is the prophet(pbuh). To look at the bride(in an honorable way) until the heart softens for each other is a sunnah of our beloved Nabi(pbuh).

            If the glance(and also preferably some speech) is enough to convince each other,then why do long hours of meeting and talking necessary?An imitation of the Kuffar’s life,perhaps?

            EDIT: Reading some of the comments below, I m forced to think that women (&men) are not very flexible and want their ways. Its a pity that such long discussions are one of the ways to avoid the possible havoc in their marriages.I hope its halal.

            I pray we all stick to our sunnah. Forgive my ignorance.

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 8, 2011 at 5:19 PM

      @Your sis – you’re points are very well stated. Calling the family back is absolutely important; its a shame some brothers don’t do so. I think thats a major red flag – better of without him.

  12. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    I chuckled a couple of times while going through the DO NOT advice. It is amazing to see the antics of some people while they are on a bride search. I’ll add some more. Perhaps these things do not happen in west but I’ve seen them happen here in India.

    Do not ask the girl to stand next to your daughter just so that you can measure her height. Do not pull her hair to ‘see’ if it is real and not a wig. Do not look at the feet of the to-be bride so that you can make out her REAL color(she has put on make up, you see). It is almost like they have come to buy vegetables and not to look at the bride-to-be.

    The saddest part is that these actions are mostly done by the women who come to ‘see’ the girl. It is also sad that people even allow this to happen. Of course this can be avoided if people get their priorities right and follow the Sunnah of Rasoolullah(saws).

  13. Avatar

    Bilal Saeed

    June 8, 2011 at 7:15 AM


    I never knew that there is so much involved in this matter. The things mentioned in this article, i am assuming they do in fact take place or why else would they be brought up here. Things like, asking what the sister cooks or taking pictures, subhanAllah.

    Must say, a lot to things i need to think about now.

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 8, 2011 at 6:26 PM

      Yes, Bilal; its surprising, but true. As a sister I was surprised by the kitchen politics one – I didn’t know that occurs.

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 3:33 AM

        oh my goodness, that gets asked soooo many times, it’s become a joke between my friends and i! and if the brother didn’t ask it , it would always SURELY be his mother!! it’s so annoying to hear that… .but to give the brothers some slack… women do ask the “so what’s you job, whats your title, whats your salary” type question a lot too, and if not her, then her father… so it goes both ways.

        • Avatar


          June 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM

          and if the brother didn’t ask it , it would always SURELY be his mother!!

          Just one thing to note though, just because his mother asked about cooking doesn’t mean the brother had anything to do with it or that he actually cared about this issue either. The mother is her own separate being, and it is not like the brother can tell his mother what she can or cannot ask.

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 5:56 AM

        It does :-D

        “love goes through the stomach”

  14. Avatar

    Jaffri Trini Coolie Saddiqq

    June 8, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    Discreation, Discretion, Discretion!!!

    Sisters and Brothers stop informing the entire Ummah of your intentions for a mate. Keep this information to yourself until both parties have committed to marriage then you inform the entire universe. What usually happens is you will tell everyone in your community within the first two weeks ur getting married and everybody is hype then something goes wrong you’re not getting married like you planned so guess what, you have to tell the whole community the bad news. You hyped everybody up on a “maybe” so sit down shut your trap iron out the quirks find out if he or she is sure of themselves then get it in fa sho. One more thing don’t rush it or you will be sitting empty handed. Sistas stop jacking up these outrageous dowries wonder why youre are still single. This article touched my soul in the name of Allah the most merciful and the most gracious!

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 6:28 PM

      I like your writing style :)

  15. Avatar

    Jaffri Trini Coolie Saddiqq

    June 8, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    * Discretion

  16. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    All good tips but…..if it’s common for Muslim brothers to do the “Do not do” stuff, I can see why sisters are despairing :D

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Although I agree with most on what is on that list, yet I think it would be wrong for a sister to not consider a brother just because of some of the things on that list. Deen and good manners should be the main criteria, and I don’t think something like asking about cooking or not bringing a gift should be something major enough for a sister to reject a good brother altogether. I think some sisters limit their options by not considering some brothers for the most trivial of reasons.

  17. Avatar

    S Michaels

    June 8, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    wow,.. Women empowered set free from all their responsibilities and free to act as sluts and dress as they feel like, shame all men as pigs and rapists(including their own fathers and brothers too) but if a man asks is she can cook at all, he would offend her? And he rather thing twice abt it? Funny feminaized world it is !!

    • Avatar

      Hena Zuberi

      June 8, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      See I would agree with you about asking about cooking if you would have worded your comment nicely-

      You could have said-

      I love a good meal and would like a wife who can cook- maybe she could teach me a thing a or two. So I would like to ask her about her cooking without offending her or making her feel that that is her sole role in our future life together. This is important to me and should not be taken negatively.

      That would add to this discussion and benefit the readers by giving them a point of view from a man.

    • Avatar

      ibn Insaan

      June 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM

      can someone please remove the above comment. Our families shouldn’t have to read such insulting comments especially about our ladyfolk.


  18. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Alhamdulillah – Great article! I chuckled at a few places.. the comments on MM are so well thought out, they seem like an extension of the article, Masha Allah

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 6:05 AM

      That’s the purpose of commenting, to make it multidimensional…. in shaa Allaah

      Read this:

      “How the ‘Thumbs Up/Like’ Button is Dumbing Users Down” :-)

  19. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 8, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    I just like to say Jazak’Allaah khair fo rthe tips given to the brothers. But, as a religous brother I am disappointed at some of the comments made by some sisters. Its as though these Sisters have the licence to free mix and talk in the name of looking for a siutable Husband, whether by text, e-mail, facebook etc….Is this Halal or Haram?

    For example; GAL wrote she prefers non-Practising Brothers as they have a better personality, Charm etc. the moderators should fear Allah and should never have up-loaded these kinds of comments as it portrays the unislamic behaviour of some and lack of Islamic Tasfiyyah and Tarbiyyah.

    From amongst the permissible processes is that Guardian, Mahrams, etc bring a proposal to the sister to consider and so she sits with her mahram and the propspective husband to find out whether he is practising, religous, of good character, life style, personality, if she is attractive to him etc. or the other way is that she may see a brother whom she likes and is attracted to or vise-versa, so she or he finds out her where her family lives and sends a proposal to meet her with her mahram and talk, if they are compatible etc. But is it allowed now for them to talk on mobile, text, e-male, face book etc etc, just to get to know each other??? NO..

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      You are assuming too much ya Shaykh. Personalities comes out during the the courtship process in front of a mahram. Also after they have been talking for a couple of weeks to know each other.

    • Avatar

      Haneef Abdul-Malik

      June 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      Salaam Alaikum Brother while I respect your concern but where does it say phone text social networks are not permissible in the process of finding a mate or having contact to determine if someone is suitable for marriage? We are not in ancient times the mode of communication without ever meeting face to face find out if someone is suitable is convenient plus it gives the Ummah the opportunity to broaden the search. With the use of a couple emails u determine whether or not someone is worth your time.

      • Avatar

        manal k

        June 8, 2011 at 3:16 PM


        I would like to further add to that.. sometimes checking up on prospects on social media is actually a wise thing. You never know what people are up to these days.. this goes for both the gals and guys. Trust me, i’m speaking from experience. How else are you gonna know a person? From his or her friends and how they interact with them right? And in a world that is relying on social media more and more, checking them up on such sites makes sense. A person will always be good in front of their parents and parents will always think their son or daughter is the best.. happens all the time. And most parents have no clue, what their son or daughter is upto on social media sites. But then again, there’s only so much digging you can do. And at the end of the day, marriage is a risk you are taking. You talk, investigate and decide after praying istikhara and take the step and leave the rest to Allah swt.

        • Avatar


          June 9, 2011 at 3:55 AM

          i TOTALLY AGREE with you!!!!!!! In front of their parents, etc they act really great and the adults are boasting “oh yes he is the best boy ever, so shareef and innocent mashAllah” then you see their facebook profile picture and they’re in a club it’s insane!!!!

  20. Avatar

    Adib Contractor

    June 8, 2011 at 10:15 AM


    Excellent article MashaAllah, on point!

    It’s no surprise that the majority of these points fall under the basic heading of manners and etiquette, plain and simple. If everyone was taught Islamic manners growing up, they would know not to ask silly things about what she can cook, they would know that calling back is the right thing to do, they wouldn’t talk about themselves only or tell inappropriate jokes, they’d be social and interesting to be around, they wouldn’t spread anything about the sister around to friends, etc.

    The problem is that we have forgotten this basic principle of our Deen.

    • Avatar

      Haneef Abdul-Malik

      June 8, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      Brother I was not raised Muslim but I am Muslim now so your comment means what to the convert??? See brothers and sisters need to stop thinking eveything is a given an understand just because you’re raised a certain way does not mean u retain it nor does it mean eveyboy had the sane upbringing. This articles is an attempt put things in perspective and give insight. I appreciate it on behalf of the converts and reverts.

      • Avatar

        Adib Contractor

        June 8, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        You grew in the religion, did you not? Whether it is a child growing up, or a new Muslim coming into the deen, the point is that manners and etiquettes must be from the primary things taught to us, no matter how old we are.

        The vast majority of the Sahaba were converts as well. Yet they were the most well-mannered and chivalrous of people — because they learned that from the one with the best manners.

        My comment was in support of the article by the way, I fully agree with the points made.

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      SubhanAllah! very true!
      Oh Allah! instill in us the best of behaviours and manners!

  21. Avatar

    Tariq Nisar Ahmed

    June 8, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    How much of an impact is this article having? Don’t know. But the brother sitting next to me in class would not stop begging me to send him the link to this article.

  22. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    June 8, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Some of the DO NOT are troubling. Where’s the class men?

    Pardon me since I don’t know much about these things but I want to ask: Do people still take this seriously? Would the converts do things differently? I don’t know many Muslims who would go through it this way, even amongst practicing Muslims. It seems artificial, phoney, stiff and unnatural- like it makes all the men appear no different than any other man, and the women appear no different than any of the other women. And that can make for some very poor decision-making.

  23. Avatar

    Sabour Al-Kandari

    June 8, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    I’d hazard a guess that brother Ismail made the list format! Although I am surprised it went to 11 instead of 10 – I’m not comfortable with this change!

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 8, 2011 at 5:17 PM

      No, it was me. I was going to stop at 10 items, but I couldn’t resist and had to thrown in an extra (plus I had to eliminate other items on the list too). It sort of plays into the mood of the whole piece I guess.

  24. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Gooooooooooooood article I must admit.

    There are alot of things that I learned from this article. I prefer to show my personality as it is but it is reasonable to believe that this may scare some people away such as dressing habits and teacher-mode. I didn’t think to much about it but inshallah, I will become more attentive to such things. Sigh, guess I’ve gotta stop wearing sweatpants where ever I go now.

  25. Avatar

    a sister

    June 8, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Agreed with comment #1 : Bring a sweet/meaningful gift, not flowers (unless of course you know the sister really likes a particular kind of flower…although that’s still cheesy)

    Things that have made me decline a proposal right of the bat:
    – Whatever you do; do not ask/hint at it directly (email included) even if your only alternative is getting another brother to ask, do that. Just find a married couple talk to husband and get the wife to ask.
    – Expressing interest and expecting an answer within 24hrs. People need time to think, if you really are in a hurry then provide a reasonable time frame for a response.
    – Wanting to meet me in person before speaking to/meeting my parents.

    Hope there is some benefit in what I’ve mentioned for someone

  26. Avatar

    Abdul Quader

    June 8, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Really interesting stuff, inshallah I’ll get to use this info one day

  27. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Some of these are very good rules (duh, #6, #2).

    But one way NOT to impress me is by assuming I’ll be doing the cooking. Rule #10 implies that it’s a woman’s job to cook, which she can “learn after marriage.” Chores are something that each couple needs to work out for themselves. Sorry, gentlemen, but if you think it’s my job to cook, you’ll get nothing but lukewarm Hotpockets FOR LIFE.

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 8, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      “Sorry, gentlemen, but if you think it’s my job to cook, you’ll get nothing but lukewarm Hotpockets FOR LIFE.”

      lol. That’s so funny!

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 3:43 AM

        hahahhahaha love it!! hahahah

        ya my husband actually never asked that question when we were getting to know each other before marriage because i think he was trying to be polite and not offend me but since i know that’s on every boys mind when thinking about marriage (sadly it is a stereotype that women should take care of the home.. times have changed i know… but still … i thought ‘ok i assume he will earn and provide for me so i should be fair by at least bringing it up and talking about it) … and plus it’s just a part of reality… how are we going to eat?! who will take care of this?? i brought it up and we talked about it and i told him i’ve never cooked in my life and he said he’s cooked a million times and loves to cook and i said okay i will learn as well and we can do it half and half the time iA to be fair to both of us …. but now after marriage… it’s just a fact that he works 24/7 and doesn’t have time do groceries, errands, cooking, etc and he loves to cook but doesn’t have the time so i eventually had to learn and even though i hate to cook … i cook most of the time …i guess it’s just a part of growing up you know… i go to school full time and so when we are both busy then we eat out lol it’s a compromise … i mean, but somebody’s gotta do it and i guess it depends on both people’s schedules and being fair and kind with one another and treating each other how you would like to be treated. … if you both refuse to do it… then that’s fine as long as you both are happy with eating out every night! :) lol

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        I remember a sister saying something to this effect at an Islamic conference. The conversation went like this:

        Sister: “I’m not cooking for my husband for the rest of my life. That’s me, take it or leave it!”
        Sheikh: “Girl….you gonna get left!”

        If the comments by the sister here are accurate, there’s a dearth of good brothers out there. For the good brothers then, they’ve got their pick and like the sheikh said, “Girl…you gonna get left!”

    • Avatar

      Looking for potentials

      June 8, 2011 at 10:40 PM


    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      I’m sorry sister, but I was wondering what would you eat for the rest of your life if you are not going to cook, and what would you feed your kids? Are you also going to be eating hotpockets for life too, or are you going to cook for yourself but not let your husband eat any of it and just offer him hotpockets? I’m just curious.

      Just as a piece of advice, dealing with the issue of cooking as a “my job/ not my job” type of approach is not very beneficial, and also when you think about cooking don’t think that you are cooking for him, why do you think about the two of you as being separate? When (if) you will cook, then it will be for the both of you as you will be eating from your cooking too.

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        MashAllah…excellent advice Brother!

      • Avatar


        June 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

        i agree… it’s not a “me or you” situation… it’s whats best for “us” type of thing. so let’s say if both the husband and wife are both working hard all the time, i think they should split it and help each other … but let’s say only 1 of you are working, the other should take care of the house duties.. it’s not a “it’s a woman’s job” thing.. .it’s just that women are normally the ones who stay home so it only makes sense that she would take care of that, because is it fair to demand the husband work all day and come home tired and then force him to cook too? that’s really mean. if you love him and your family, you just naturally understand you should do it. and vice versa. for some reason if the woman is working and man isn’t working, the man should help with the house/cooking chores, etc. plus like the brother said… what are you and your kids and everybody going to eat if you dont cook? somebodys gotta take care of everybody or else who will? :(

        • Avatar


          June 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM


          brothers need to learn to cook a few dishes before they get married, no matter how disgusting it tastes. It’s a sign of a well rounded person, and will work wonders in the marriage.

  28. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    I would think a woman would want a suitor to reassure her, in words and in actions, that he seeks an equal partner, a person whose opinion he would truly respect and heed. Also, I think it would help to show that you are kind-hearted, even-tempered, patient and caring, or, at least, that you seriously aspire to be that way. Don’t be fake, but be on your best behavior. If you can’t act on your best behavior when you are courting, what does that portend about how you will behave when you have been together for a decade?

  29. Avatar

    Concerned Sister

    June 8, 2011 at 7:53 PM


    Mashaa’Allah beneficial article even though much of it seems common mannerisms. But reminders benefit the believers since despite them being common mannerism, not many people practice it.

    Of course every Muslim woman has to go through this difficult process of meeting the suitor and it’s natural that the brothers too are nervous. In fact, I would be worried if they’re not nervous. However I’d like to further stress a few things so inshaa’Allah it is helpful for brothers in future because really brothers are the future leaders. And so the future leaders must know how to find excellent companions inshaa’Allah.

    Few things:

    – maintaining Al Hayaa: Alhamdolilah the Shariah has given us the liberity to look at our spouses before we get married to them and it is understandable that the brother may want to look once or twice to ensure settlement of heart. Yet, this may be very difficult for a Muslim woman who doesn’t like to be looked at by a stranger even for a second so please make it short and respect the Hayaa of the Muslim lady you’re proposing. In short, if she lowers her gaze after looking…please lower your gaze after some time inshaa’Allah. Another aspect of Hayaa is the way you carry conversation. Of course some of the brothers may have had experience talking to other sisters for marriage and so on but that must not decrease the level of care you take when you talk. Like mentioned in the article and I’m talking from personal experience: although everyone loves light-hearted humorous people…at the same time, the brother should remember that he’s being judged by the sister and her Wali. Now regarding my personal experience …if I hadn’t known that the this particular brother was popular for his good sense of humor and light-hearted nature (got to know this from my own brother), I would immediately reject the proposal. Why? Because at that moment, I felt he was not taking things seriously. In my head, I thought to myself…here I am, tensed and putting in the effort to ask the right questions and he’s just taking it too easily. You know what I mean? So even know I’m sure the brother didn’t mean that but it may work against you if you’re interacting with a sister who is not very patient with you.

    -Being honest: this doesn’t mean you lay down your life-history infront of the lady you meet. What this means is that you accept your weaknesses (present or past) and have changed for the better. One of the things that impressed me was when a brother admitted the specific thing he was struggling with and he’s willing to learn about it. I was like, ‘Mashaa’Allah! This brother has the courage to admit his weakness and is willing to learn and is very crystal-clear about it without being shady.’ Being honest is absolutely going to work for you inshaa’Allah. It hurts a lot of men’s ego to admit their mistakes openly. Again, it’s understandable. But it gives you plus points if you do it courgeously and wish to learn from them.

    -The Calling-back issue: it is a very hurtful process for most sisters when the brother’s family delays responding for no reason. Dear brothers: the faster you inform the family, the better. Because it is human nature to start having hopes etc. so please behave as gently and swiftly as possible. I mean Rasulalah SAW has asked us to use sharpened knives to slaughter an animal so that it is done fast and that it causes little harm to the animal which by the way will be dead soon after. What about then when we interact with humans especially women who are extremely sensitive?

    -Forgiveness and Ihsaan: If any one (whether the brother or the sister) transgresses, I would like to remind everyone to forgive each other in this process. Allah SWT has encouraged to do Ihsaan during filing a divorce (surat al Baqarah, verses 228 and onwards). Divorce when usually people have the right to dislike each other but Allah SWT encourages not hurting the woman and making things easy for her. So in that light, I would advise brothers to be cautious because even though you may not marry this sister…she’s your sister-in-Islam first and you must take care of her rights because doing that, you’d be fulfilling the Commands of Allah SWT. And of course the same is true for sisters. We must make things easy for each other inshaa’Allah.

    -Istikhaara: please know the right concept of Istikhaara and don’t make a sister suffer just because your father’s dream had so and so thing in it. With all due respect, it just shows that it’s an excuse unless any clear explanation is given. So please be direct, avoid anything which will lead to miscommunication and false assumptions. And finally please have knowledge and confidence when you speak. JazakummAllahu khayran.

    And Allah SWT knows best.

    May Allah SWT make all our affairs easy and reward us for taking the right steps to that which is halal.Ameen.

    • Avatar


      June 8, 2011 at 11:23 PM

      I agree with everything you said sister, except the first point. I know that people who have haya’ might be shy at first and might lower their gaze, but it is sunnah to look at each other when one is interested in someone for the sake of marriage. I’m not saying that the guy should stare at her from beginning to end, but I also don’t think he should lower his gaze after looking once or twice. I understand that the sister might be shy and feel uncomfortable having a strange guy looking at her, but I think it is important to note that he isn’t looking at her with lust, and it is also important for them to be sure about being attracted to one another because this is a key part of marriage.

      I remember a story about a brother who said that when he went over to see the girl he took a glance or two but didn’t really look a lot at her and then they got married, only for him to realize later on that he isn’t really attracted to her and that he is not satisfied. Hopefully this is an isolated case and is not the norm, but it shows us how important it is to follow the sunnah even in this regard and look properly at the one whom we are considering for marriage.

      I think that this is a very important issue especially since the world we live in is full of fitnah and we are exposed to it everywhere, so if the man is not attracted to his wife then that will make him more susceptible to fall into haram.

  30. Avatar


    June 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    As a girl, I think I would have to disagree with some of the points here. I wouldn’t make financial stability a great priority, this is something that is developed, and most Muslim men have the sense to work on it. I would probably like the opposite of number 5, this is not a job interview, you could joke around and be a bit laid back. Most girls love a sense of humor.

    The most important thing, I think, is that his demeanor (the way he talks, walks, greets people, keeps his gaze down, sits, eats) exude the beauty of Islam, they give a sense that he tries to follow the sunnah (the same goes for girls).

    And, if your Pakistani, flowers or cake on behalf of the guy would be really awkward.

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 1:25 AM

      agree with your comment.

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 3:46 AM


      i agree with everything you said.. .but i am pakistani and i dont think flowers or cake would be awkward at all… it’s like a sweet offering if him or his family are coming into your home to meet your family for the first time it’s like a friendly thing like “salaams thanks for welcoming us into your home” type thing… kinda like when you go to somebody’s house for the first time… people bring flowers or a little plant or something u know?

      • Avatar


        June 9, 2011 at 6:02 AM

        wa-alaikumu’salaam wa rahmatulla,

        I totally agree, usually in Pakistani culture we bring like a little gift or sweets whenever we go to someone’s house we never went to before, and its a beautiful tradition, BUT that gift is usually from the parents to the parents. I’ve never seen the guy bringing something, and giving it to the girl. This article says that the brother should bring something.

        I’m saying it would be awkward because on the first meeting nothing has happened yet, to me personally it would feel inappropriate for the brother to bring a gift or the like until both parties have agreed on marriage.

        • Avatar


          June 9, 2011 at 10:09 AM

          imagine…he comes with flowers or whatever, that’ll most probably lead to hopes on the girl’s side and when he decides to drop this then that might hurt her you know what i mean? so please if anyone has to bring gifts it’s better for the parents to get it and give it to her parents…and it’s better to get sweets since they’ll get digested and won’t remind her of anything if it’s not gona work.

          • Avatar


            June 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM

            oh ya i guess i meant that it would be okay for the brother to give it to her parents… like what a gentleman … he’s coming into our house and it’s like ‘thanks for welcoming me into your home and giving me a chance to talk to you about your daughter’ .. i dont know, i think its rude to go to somebodys house for the first time empty handed =( … but i do agree, it would be weird for boy to give it directly to the girl, that’s a little strange and yes could hurt her feelings.
            also, flowers die, they dont last forever. so it doesn’t only have to be digested sweets! haha

          • Avatar


            June 9, 2011 at 11:39 PM

            why would she feel hurt if he chnages his mind after getting her flowers? Im not joking, I would keep those roses or whatever in a water-villed vase and be happy…stuff happens. At least I received something and didnt have my time wasted on something that didnt work out lol.

          • Avatar


            June 10, 2011 at 6:09 PM

            I kind of meant it more in the Islamic sense, not because of any feelings. Is it even appropriate to bring flowers to a strange girl, who you don’t even know, who you might not even get married to?

            Better leave it to the parents.

  31. Avatar

    Abu Muhammad

    June 9, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Love is truly in the air. Waiting for tomorrow’s continuation of the romance trilogy :)

  32. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 9, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    Men and women talking in chat rooms
    I am a sister, who usually logs in to Paltalk and then goes to the Islamic rooms so that I may gain some knowledge related to our religion. Sometimes while I am in one of those Islamic rooms in Paltalk,a muslim brother(looking for a wife) in the room asks me to have a private written chat with him so that we get to know one another. Some of the questions he asks me are: where i live, my age, whether i am married(by the way I am not married), if I am planning to get marry, whether I live with my parents, and so on. My problem is, I don’t know whether I am allowed(Islamicly) to give non-muharim brother those kinds of informations which related to me. Is it really SIN to talk to a brother in writing ??.

    Praise be to Allaah.

    There is nothing wrong with a Muslim woman making use of the internet and entering the Paltalk website for that purpose, so long as that does not lead to anything that is forbidden in Islam, such as talking privately with men. That is because talking to men may turn into chat which usually leads temptation. Hence it is essential to be strict and avoid that, seeking the pleasure of Allaah and fearing His punishment.

    How often have these conversations lead to bad results, and even caused people to fall in love, and have led some to do things that are even more serious than that. The Shaytaan makes each of them imagine attractive qualities in other, which leads them to develop an attachment that detrimental to their spiritual welfare and worldly affairs.

    Sharee’ah blocks all the ways that may lead to fitnah (temptation, trial), hence it forbids softness of speech and does not allow a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. Undoubtedly these private chats are not regarded as khulwah in the sense that he people involved cannot see one another, but they are one of the greatest causes of fitnah as is well known.

    What has happened to you is the best testimonial to the truth of what we are saying, because it is difficult for a man to ask these personal questions of a believing woman, unless he uses these means that are being used in a bad way.

    Fear Allaah, and do not speak to non-mahram men. This is safer for your religious commitment and purer for your heart. You should note that marriage to a righteous man is a blessing from Allaah, and a blessing cannot be acquired by means of sin.

    Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: What is the ruling on correspondence between young men and women, if this correspondence is free from immorality and love?

    He replied:

    It is not permissible for any man to correspond with a woman who is not his mahram, because of the fitnah (temptation) involved in that. A person may think that there is no fitnah, but the Shaytaan will keep trying until he tempts him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded those who heard of the Dajjaal to keep away from him, and said that a man may approach him as a believer, but the Dajjaal will keep trying until he leads him astray.

    Correspondence between young men and women involves a great deal of fitnah and danger, so we must avoid it, even though the questioner says that this correspondence is free from immorality and love.

    From Fataawa al-Mar’ah, compiled by Muhammad al-Musnad, p. 96.

    Undoubtedly correspondence via chat rooms is more dangerous than correspondence by mail, but both are bad.

    And Allaah knows best.

    Men and women talking to one another on the internet within the limits of good manners
    Well a year from now one of my friend, a girl, had introduced me to one of her online brother..and we have been talkin online for about a year now. Its not like we have ever talked about anything indecent, we talk in a well respected manner, and he sometimes jokes around,too. We both are aware of our religion..and we know how it is haraam to have girlfriends or boyfriends. But over time we both hav grown interested in each other.. and he has told me that he wants to marry me, but right now is too soon, i m only 16 and will be 17 in 2 months… the situation is too hard to explain…and i am really confused on what should be done..and what shouldnt. I really dont want to do anything that is Haraam or isnt right.. and i do have faith in Allah..that if he is good for me oneday we will be together… So i just needed some advice on this.. is talkin to a non-mahram guy online wrong?.. And this is the only way we know each other which is through internet…we havent met..but we have seen each other’s pictures.. Well i hope all this makes sense to you..and you will be able to help me out here, cause right now i really need it.. i have been lookin through ur site and trying to learn more about our religion..and it is mashallah a good source.. but me still confused..about this situation… we havent done anything wrong..just talk online.. and hoping that Allah will guide us to be together… but the question that keeps coming up on my mind is if Islaamicaly is all this acceptable.. i have talked to other ppl..and he has talked to people too..and some say its wrong…and some say its ok as long as our niyyat is good and we havent done anything wrong.
    please give me some advice here..thank you.. khuda hafiz

    Praise be to Allaah.

    It is known in the religion of Allaah that it is forbidden to follow in the footsteps of the Shaytaan. Everything that could lead a person to fall into haraam things is also haraam, even if in principle it is originally permitted. This is what the scholars call “the principle of warding off harm.”

    Concerning this matter, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan.” [al-Noor 24:21].

    With regard to the second matter, He says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allaah, lest they insult Allaah wrongfully without knowledge…” [al-An’aam 6:108]

    Here Allaah forbids the believers to insult the mushrikeen lest that leads to them insulting the Lord, may He be glorified and exalted.

    There are many examples of this principle in sharee’ah. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned many of them and explained them well in his excellent book A’laam al-Muwaqqi’een. (See 3/147-171 thereof).

    The issue under discussion here also comes under this category. Conversation – whether verbally or in writing – between men and women is permissible in and of itself, but it may be a way of falling into the traps of the Shaytaan.

    Whoever knows that he is somewhat weak, and is afraid that he may fall into the traps of the Shaytaan, has to refrain from such conversations, in order to save himself.

    Whoever is sure that he will be able to remain steadfast, then we think that it is permissible in his case, but there are certain conditions:

    The conversation should not be allowed to wander too far from the topic being discussed; or it should be for the purposes of calling others to Islam.

    They should not let their voices be soft, or use soft and gentle expressions.

    They should not ask about personal matters that have no bearing on the matter being discussed, such as how old a person is, how tall he or she is, or where he or she lives… etc.

    Other brothers (in the case of men) or sisters (in the case of women) should take part in the conversation or read the correspondence, so that the Shaytaan will find no way to enter the hearts of the people who are conversing or corresponding.
    The conversation or correspondence must be halted immediately if the heart starts to stir with feelings of desire.

  33. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 9, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    “Sorry, gentlemen, but if you think it’s my job to cook, you’ll get nothing but lukewarm Hotpockets FOR LIFE.”
    lol. That’s so funny!

    Well if you are a sister striving to be upright on the Deen, based upon knowledge upon the way of the Companions and striving to please Allaah and you Husband. You would never say that. Allah has created male and female different. Their primary role are different, unlike the non-Muslims. Huband is the bread winner, women cooks the bread. If man can cook and does cvook when its easy for him, weekend etc, thats good. But, ultimatly wife has to cook for the family. Unlike the Kuffar, they wont cook or can cook, so the eat TV meals.

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 6:13 AM

      Actually in the true fiqh sense, it is not the obligation of the wife to provide food to her husband. It’s not that she will be sinful if she doesn’t cook- its not the same as for example if she leaves the house without his permission. In terms of being a better Muslim, trying to please your husband, the woman should do her share in household work. The wives and daughters of the Prophet (saw) worked really hard around the house, and it was while Khadija (ra) was lovingly giving food to the Prophet (saw) that Allah (swt) sent His salaam to her.

      At the same time, the Prophet (saw) was grateful, he didn’t expect to be served. It wasn’t like he demanded they do those things. When the husband is that beautiful in character and the way he interacts with his wife, what wife wouldn’t want to do those things for him? A husband should realize these things and be grateful that his wife is doing this work since its not incumbent on her, she is doing it out of love. He shouldn’t say “You have to do this, or you’re a bad Muslim!”

      • Avatar

        I am

        June 12, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        So why should a man marry when a wife refuses to cook food .

        Does the man only need to marry a woman so that she would sit at home or work all day outside and don’t do any household work.

        • Avatar

          Janaid Khan

          September 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM

          Ive been holding muslim marriage events ( for the past 5 years now.

          I find the brothers are sometimes either too stuck up or think they are gods gift.

          Sisters i have found seem to have a long check list of what they would like in a brother and seem to get no where with it which puts brothers off straight away.

          I have always told brother and sisters who attend the muslim marriage events to leave there check lists at home and come to the events with an open mind.

          Sisters i find are the ones who are best prepared when they attend the events. Brothers i have always find either always come too late or if they cant find what they are looking for in a sister, seem to be very disappointed.

      • Avatar


        June 28, 2011 at 11:37 PM

        I agree with you Javeria, but also, how much culture stuff is intermixed, and not really Islam? A ton (IMHO). I was married to a brother, and we are now divorced. He always expected me to do the housework, cook clean, etc., even when I was working full time and going to school(college) full time, and he would get mad if he had to help out, or put laundry in the dryer while I napped.
        Obviously things did not work out between us. And in the future I hope (isA) that I find a brother who can follow Islam without intermingling some cultural stuff that ends up hurting the marriage and us. May be I am a small bit naive. As well, this article also help me to understand what I think as well.

  34. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 9, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    That is why Allaah legislated that we sit with the prospective wife with her mahram and talk. And not start talking on the email, text, phone etc. One may share ones general profile with others on the internet, email etc But start having personal conversations etc. This is not permissible, as Shaytan is the third.

  35. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 9, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    Javeria: Actually in the true fiqh sense, it is not the obligation of the wife to provide food to her husband.

    No one is saying it is an obligation for the wife to cook, as that will need proof from the Book and the Sunnah. But you know what I mean, it is from her responsibility, task, wifes role that she cooks for her family, this is well known in the Muslim Community, asian, African etc.

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      I dont knw about that..i come from a family where we are used to servants and cooks..infact ive entered the kitchen only twice in my life and im 24 now!! My husband (got married a year ago yayy) actually hates the thought of me entering the kitchen and cooking..sometimes i wish i could do smt sweet for him like preparing his favorite dish bt then he would probably be more displeased that i worked and also alarmed and looking for tell-tale band aids ( im very accident prone!)..and on top of that id probably make a mess of things since i dont even knw how to make i guess it depends from person to person and your background and also culture.. Watever it is just enjoy life with a good muslim mother always says theres no blessing in our wordly life bigger than a kind,considerate, pious man..cuz in the end thats only wat counts

      • Avatar


        June 13, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        wow that sounds great!! haha what country do you live in? i would imagine like pakistan, india or dubai perhaps??? because it also depends on your surroundings right so in pakistan for example it is very normal to have servants… but in america, we gota do it ourselves or else we have to eat like junk food or fast food or something very unhealthy :( and here, since economy is so horrible these days, usually both husband and wife are working, and since there’s lots of layoffs, sometimes even only the woman is working… so this is where i start saying, nothing is as cut and dry anymore like 1500 years ago.. yes man was out fighting wars and women were inside protected in tents and cooking like “I AM” keeps talking about… but dude, times are different and u have to keep an open mind now… nobodys situation is the same so it’s all about what works best for both of you together. if u can afford servants, great. if both have no time to cook, you gotta figure something out together. if the wife has more time to cook and she is kind enough to do so, wonderful.

        • Avatar

          I am

          June 14, 2011 at 3:43 AM

          Sofia …..I partially agree with you

          • Avatar

            Abu J

            June 14, 2011 at 7:23 AM

            Sofia; Times have cahanged it now 1432 years after Hijra, but the religion is the same and likewise the role of the husband and wife still remains the same!

  36. Avatar

    Abu Ibu

    June 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Funny I was actually asked by a sisters parent to see my W2 Tax statement to verify my job and how much I made. Remember with certain cultures you are not just marrying the sister or brother but the whole family.

    • Avatar


      June 10, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      Wow. That is so incredibly tacky. I hope you excused yourself right then.

  37. Avatar


    June 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Abu J, I guess you and I won’t be gettin’ hitched. MAJOR FROWNY FACE.

    • Avatar


      June 9, 2011 at 2:21 PM


    • Avatar

      Hena Zuberi

      June 11, 2011 at 2:18 AM

      Aww shucks – we were hoping for some happily ever afters ;)

  38. Avatar


    June 9, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    As-salamu Alaykum,
    A lot of the stuff on the list is common sense, especially things like having basic hygiene. However, I think it is more beneficial to sisters if they just allow brothers to be themselves and do not “advise” them on how they should act when expressing interest in marriage. You want to see the “real” brother and not an act that goes against his natural inclinations. If he can’t be bothered to comb his hair, etc., then this is beneficial for you because it will provide you with clues on what type of person he really is. If he is naturally inclined towards certain topics of discussion, let him talk and find out what is important to him. If he already has in mind that women don’t like to be asked certain things, he may stifle these inclinations during courtship, but they are certain to come out at some point down the road, and you will find yourself very surprised at that point in time.

  39. Avatar


    June 9, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Great article, although displaying some sense of humor is also nice :)

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      June 9, 2011 at 6:17 PM

      Jzkh. Some folks don’t seem to get the comic relief part out of it – it is supposed to be light hearted.

      • Avatar


        June 11, 2011 at 1:52 AM

        LOL. I scared my husband by displaying *my* sense of humour… good thing he married me anyway :D

  40. Avatar


    June 9, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Nice article and good discussion. I would just like to add that when its not working out let the sister/her family know honestly, politely and most of all CLEARLY that its not going to working out. Don’t string them along or make it seem like you really want to marry the sister when you don’t. It might not make you look nice, but its the kinder thing to do so the other party can move on. This applies to sisters too.

    • Avatar


      June 10, 2011 at 8:58 AM

      she is clean and jerking, not bench pressing. And yes aA I can clean and jerk more than her, she isn’t lifting THAT much, but then again i played football in high school and we clean and jerked a lot.

  41. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 10, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Fatema: Abu J, I guess you and I won’t be gettin’ hitched. MAJOR FROWNY FACE.

    I thank Allah.

    Rasool sallallaahualaihi wa sallam said; The whole world is a place of enjoyment, but the best enjoyment is a Pious Wife.

    • Avatar


      June 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      Assalamu Alaikum Brother,
      Are you implying that a Muslimah who does not wish to cook isn’t pious? May you please clarify your statement above?
      Jazakumullahu Khair!

      • Avatar

        I am

        June 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM

        If she is causing displeasure to her husband

        • Avatar


          June 12, 2011 at 6:51 PM

          According to the Jurists he has no right to feel displeasure at such a thing.

          The ruling lays down that according to the Shari’ah it is not the responsibility of a woman to cook food for the household.
          “It is the responsibility of the husband to provide his wife with cooked food.”

          The wife cannot be forced to cook food neither by force, nor by the law, because the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu alyhi wasallam] has said in clear words:
          “This means: You have a right to keep them in your house which it is not lawful for them to leave without your permission.”

          With this exception the laws of the Shari’ah have imposed no responsibility on them.

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 12, 2011 at 7:32 PM

            So what are we supposed to do with our wives …

            Keep them in homes to do nothing and just eat and sleep and get fat in the end …

            I really don’t understand your logic .

            Most of the pious women in the prophet’s time did household work and were not lazy and they did COOK food .

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 12, 2011 at 7:49 PM

            Sebkha … Please don’t start a rights war over here . If I started to quote the rights of husbands over their wives …..You wouldn’t be able to reply to my post .

          • Avatar


            June 12, 2011 at 8:33 PM

            Whatever-I spent 3 hours the other day on a tagine, and couscous for my husband, and there was plenty of other stuff I could have done with that time for myself that go well beyond eating or sleeping, or even getting fat. There are plenty of intellectual pursuits for me to engage in, at my husband’s encouragement, and plenty of just plain fun things to occupy my time with my husband and kids. I cook for my family because I like to do it, and I’m really picky about food anyways, so I like it to be prepared to my strict standards. But sometimes my husband would rather spend time with me instead of me being in the kitchen. Believe it or not, some married couples like each other enough to want to give each other a break and just focus on each other, rather than household tasks. Sometimes instead of him working overtime, I pitch in with the bills so we can have more time together too. Honestly, the man is such a kind, generous sweet person to live with, that the thought of ranting about rights over each other is completely foreign to us anyways. It all falls into place naturally, instead of raising friction and resentment between us. I don’t need some stupid lecture about rights from the likes of an emotionally stunted social reject like yourself. I’m married, in a positively blissful, happy manner, and have nothing to learn from the likes of you.

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 13, 2011 at 4:05 AM

            As expected … typical women behavior .

      • Avatar


        June 14, 2011 at 4:43 AM

        Ahhh, I actually know someone who does this, anytime he doesn’t have a response to a woman, or anytime she actually verbalizes a solid complaint against him, he just says “typical woman” as if she has less brains than an animal.

        Please know it is incredibly insulting.

        • Avatar

          I am

          June 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM

          Ahhh, I actually know someone who does this, anytime he doesn’t have a response to a woman, or anytime she actually verbalizes a solid complaint against him, he just says “typical woman” as if she has less brains than an animal.

          You are just assuming which is also a sign of huge IGNORANCE

        • Avatar

          I am

          June 14, 2011 at 2:58 PM

          I am not wasting my time lecturing you people . If you are interested in islamic rights of spouse then go look up on internet or find it in books ….

      • Avatar

        Abu J

        June 30, 2011 at 7:39 AM

        No. I am merely stating what Rasool salallaahua alihu wa sallam said; The whole world is a place of enjoyment , but the best enjoyment is a pious wife.

        Who is this pious wife? she is one who fears Allah in private and in public, she strives hard to worship and Allah and follow the Sunnah strictly to the best of her ability. She strives to obey her husband and please him.

        She knows that Muslim women are not the only ones that are abused and looked down upon when she goes out wearing the correct Islamic Hijab, she knows her husband is going through the same and even more day in and day out as he has to keep the beard, keep his trousers, garments above the ankle, he has to work at least 5 days a week, he has to face muslims, pious and impious and non-Muslims, their abuse and backbiting, slandering, plus face the fitnah of women and their beauty. And on top of that does he come to a house where the wife expects for him to start cooking? does he come to a house where the first thing he sees and hears are the children screaming their heads off and a frowny wife complaining? Or does he come to a house where the wife beutifies herself to temp and excite his desire, has the food ready, has the children calm down ready for him??? If a husband does not help around the house to do those particular task that the wife is expected to carry out (even though he should help out whenever he can), it should not effect the marriage nor should the wife get upset, only the religous educated pious wife will know this and she will be content that she has marries rigeous, pious husband.


  42. Avatar


    June 10, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    is it okay to add a prospect on facebook? like some people dont like to do that, but like sometimes people act different in different situations, and you can tell sometimes on facebook.

  43. Avatar


    June 11, 2011 at 6:46 AM

    No. I am merely stating what Rasool salallaahua alihu wa sallam said; The whole world is a place of enjoyment , but the best enjoyment is a pious wife.

    Who is this pious wife? she is one who fears Allah in private and in public, she strives hard to worship and Allah and follow the Sunnah strictly to the best of her ability. She strives to obey her husband and please him.

    She knows that Muslim women are not the only ones that are abused and looked down upon when she goes out wearing the correct Islamic Hijab, she knows her husband is going through the same and even more day in and day out as he has to keep the beard, keep his trousers, garments above the ankle, he has to work at least 5 days a week, he has to face muslims, pious and impious and non-Muslims, their abuse and backbiting, slandering, plus face the fitnah of women and their beauty. And on top of that does he come to a house where the wife expects for him to start cooking? does he come to a house where the first thing he sees and hears are the children screaming their heads off and a frowny wife complaining? Or does he come to a house where the wife beutifies herself to temp and excite his desire, has the food ready, has the children calm down ready for him??? If a husband does not help around the house to do those particular task that the wife is expected to carry out (even though he should help out whenever he can), it should not effect the marriage nor should the wife get upset, only the religous educated pious wife will know this and she will be content that she has marries rigeous, pious husband.

    • Avatar


      June 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      I would have to disagree. If every woman were to be happy by having a pious husband, none of the sahabiyat would have gotten divorced…and they were far more patient and pious than we will ever be.

      There is more to maintaining a happy marriage than doing everything “right” even if that is coming from both sides.

    • Avatar


      June 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Aoa wr wb, brother , I would sincerely advise you as a married sister, that while you have certain expectations of your wife to be – those expectations might not be shared by everyone else. Life is not a utopia where every thing is prefect. The wife is tired after looking after the kids and house all day and may actually need a BREAK when you come in and may want you to calm down the screaming kids which again do NOT work like clockwork and have been tiring her all day and now she wants you to help her. piety lies in pleasing the husband but the husband needs to have practical expectations of a wife based on her resources, temperament and the nature of the children. Some children brother are easy while others are a handful. Try putting even 2 boys in one room and the chaotic effect that follows- that too is because ALLAH has Created everyone differently- He has laid down a general rule but this rule will have different meanings for everyone based on their personalities, background and upbrining. Just make istikhara and lower your expectations. Expectations ruin any relationship specially if one has them before even starting one. Look for basic qualities and not secondary ones which may be developed overtime. May ALLAH Grant you success in obtaining a pious spouse- ameen

      • Avatar


        June 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        i totally agree with UA and UMM ISMAEL

  44. Avatar


    June 11, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    Ps; I would not wish to eat from a servant who has cooked, even if I were to be a Prince. I would like to eat from my own wifes cooking, unless she cant cook, i.e. due to illness etc.

    • Avatar


      June 12, 2011 at 5:22 AM

      if you were a prince and had all the luxuries available, you would still make your wife stand hours in the kitchen to prepare food for you rather than letting her enjoy the same kind of comfort you would? not to mention she would have more hours available to learn and spread her deen and teach the children more?
      then again , who ever prefers what upto them.. im just glad my husband realizes what other things I can do for him, my children and my extended family with the free hours! lol

      • Avatar

        Abu J

        June 13, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Who told you that cooking for your husband and children is an unpaid Job and no woman likes to do? If she cooks and sees her family eating happily from that which she has cooked with her own hands and she knows exactly what she is putting in the mouth of her husband and children, is that not sufficient to be happy and rejoice and seek Allaahs reward due to it????? Cooking is not a barrier to learning your deen and teaching your children, it is part of wifehood and motherhood. Whether you like it or not! Just admit it, you cant cook or are too proud to cook, thinking that its a mans duty aswell.

        • Avatar

          I am

          June 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

          Who told you that cooking for your husband and children is an unpaid Job and no woman likes to do? If she cooks and sees her family eating happily from that which she has cooked with her own hands and she knows exactly what she is putting in the mouth of her husband and children, is that not sufficient to be happy and rejoice and seek Allaahs reward due to it????? Cooking is not a barrier to learning your deen and teaching your children, it is part of wifehood and motherhood. Whether you like it or not! Just admit it, you cant cook or are too proud to cook, thinking that its a mans duty aswell.

          Very well put bro … very well put . This was exactly what I was trying to say but unfortunately only a handful or even few women understand this .

        • Avatar


          June 16, 2011 at 8:25 PM

          Umm did u actually read my reply? Lol and i cant ever imagine my husband in a kitchen let alone cooking!! Dont make assumptions please but yes i confess (as i did before) i dont know how to cookComing back to point, i was just curious why a prince would make a princess cook since we never see that happening..

          Anyway, brother you should not think that a woman who does not cook is lazy. Ofcourse one who does is earning a great reward. But with the free time I manage a females only orphanage/madrasa that homes 221 of these beautiful, wonderful girls. The centre falls i side the boundary of our property so its very convinient for me without being too near. But brother even if being the head manager wasnt so demanding, trust me running a household with 11 definity is! And brother I know exactly what goes in to my familys mouth as i have to discuss and plan meals with my cook everyday, so please dont accuse me of neglecting my family.

          Brother my point is that because I dont cook means I have more time to do all the things I do, and I dont understand why you should accuse me of having beliefs that i honestly never thought of!
          P.s. horror of horrors, even though i dont cook, i absolutly love giving foot massages to my husband everyday when he comes from work (its our little bonding ritual) yes brother this sister is able to do little extra things to please her husband

          Oh and when did i ever say cooking is an unpaid job and no woman likes it? Weird

          • Avatar


            June 17, 2011 at 12:21 AM

            I agree Ayesha :)
            There is nothing wrong with having a cook. As a rule, moderation in everything is the key.

  45. Avatar

    Jamil S

    June 11, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Some good points raised. But observations need to be made.
    1. If a practising brother who follows the Sunnah sends a proposal out to a practising sister, surely the girl and her family would expect to see a bearded brother with his garments above the ankle, wearing atar and may be wearing a Toub, Kabooli, punjabi or anything that is popular amongst the practising brothers ???
    2. Dont be surprised, sisters know better, how many sisters cant cook? even wont cook? They think that this task needs to be shared. Even though they are happy and prepared to go out and work like men???

  46. Avatar

    I am

    June 12, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    This article is about basic manners and also has some feminist ideas .

    As for me . I am not going to impress any one . I consider man and woman equal . I don’t elevate woman to a higher position where we have to impress them to marry us .

    If a woman doesn’t like me , I don’t care , I will simply move on . I know that there are a lot of girls in this world who would accept me and I would definitely not have to “IMPRESS “ them .

    As far as cooking is concerned . Well let me ask you woman . You think cooking is a job ? My Goodness , you consider making your husband happy as a job . Wow . What else can I say about this modern woman .

    Woman label men inconsiderate and pigs and when some thing is told to woman , they label us sexist and misogynist .

    I am remembering one of prophets hadith in which he said that ” when the end of times will be near , woman will control men ”

    Women expect men to allow them to look and dress as they want . They want us to allow them to work and earn , but when (we) men want them to do something as small as cooking , they object and get all furious .

    This western feminism is crippling the minds and souls of muslim women. Women are more like men now . Most of them aren’t even real women and expect men to be super gentle . On one side muslim woman claim that they are all pious and religious but when it comes to serve a husband they forget all their religious laws and duties . They think that serving their husband is equivalent to doing a job and being less important than their husbands .

    What they don’t understand is that Islam has given some responsibilities to woman but sadly now it is all women world . Men all always the one who is too be blamed and still needs to “Impress” the woman

    • Avatar

      I am

      June 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      Sadly my comments won’t make a difference .

      The situation would even get much worse as indicated in Islam .

      If some one gets a chance . Please look up signs of qiyamant or end of times

    • Avatar


      June 12, 2011 at 7:09 PM

      Last I checked, yeah cooking is a job. Some people even do it professionally. What do you think happens in kitchens, women just get a pan out of the cupboard, open the refrigerator, and then the the table is automatically set like magic, and the entire family’s plates filled with yummy food, ready to eat? You think women just sit there sipping a cup of tea while the food preps and cooks itself, and miraculously winds up on the table ready to go?

      Is that how I should imagine the money my husband comes up with to provide his family with food, clothing, and shelter appears? He just walks into his place of employment, opens a couple drawers here and there, and suddenly our bank account has money in it. Or should I give him credit where credit is due, just like women who put a lot of time and effort into preparing lovely meals for the family, when they don’t even technically have to? There’s not a thing wrong with a man or woman stating they want to be cooked for or they don’t want to cook for anyone. No one deserves a guilt trip for either position. If it’s important to a man to be cooked for, then don’t marry a woman who doesn’t want to, and just leave it at that. Leave it at that-it’s nobody else’s business!

      • Avatar


        June 12, 2011 at 7:28 PM

        Well said.

      • Avatar

        I am

        June 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM

        I only wanted to say that woman must do it because it is one of their responsibilities .

        Men work outside and women work inside.

        Isn’t this more like a Islamic family lifestyle .

        If women doesn’t want to cook then its fine but why they don’t want to cook . Will you rely on restaurants only ? or the husband has to earn and cook the food at the same time . ??

        • Avatar


          June 12, 2011 at 8:45 PM

          No. It’s not their responsibility at all. Men are free to ask, but there is no fault whatsoever in politely declining, and maybe helpfully suggesting another option for food. If he were asking for intimacy, or asking his wife to not go anywhere that afternoon-that’s a different story and a legitimate obligation. Food prep does not fall under that standard. Allah never enjoined on me or any other women to cook or wash windows. It’s an act of kindness and charity, that can be politely declined or postponed if she wants.

          • Avatar


            June 13, 2011 at 2:13 PM

            i completely agree with everything you are saying sebkha! very well said!!!

      • Avatar

        I am

        June 12, 2011 at 7:47 PM

        “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” [al-Nisaa’ 4:34]

        ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women” means, they are in charge of them, i.e., she should obey him in matters of obedience that Allaah has enjoined upon her, and obey him by treating his family well and taking care of his wealth. This was the view of Muqaatil, al-Saddi and al-Dahhaak.(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/492)

        I highlighted some words . I hope you understand what I am trying to say . Requesting one’s wife to cook is not a sin . The wife must accept husband’s request as Allah has given this authority to the man .

        I really don’t understand why are you posting such illogical comments .

        • Avatar

          Muslim Brother

          June 12, 2011 at 10:59 PM

          I don’t get you…

          What does treating his family well and protecting his wealth have to do with her cooking food for him…

          so where is your logic?

      • Avatar

        Abu J

        June 14, 2011 at 7:27 AM

        Its not a job for a wife who cooks for her family. Please erase your feminist ideas and be a proper muslimah

        • Avatar

          I am

          June 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM

          Its not a job for a wife who cooks for her family. Please erase your feminist ideas and be a proper muslimah

          Right on spot

          • Avatar


            June 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

            i dont understand. “its not a job”.. then what is it? a leisure activity?!! lol. Shouldnt the better description be ‘a job but one that is extremely rewarding’, just like raising a child? Raising children IS a job (believe me i have 5!!) but its unbelievably rewarding. However it doesnt mean it does not drive me crazy on a daily basis (5 VERY active ones whom I homeschool). Its tiring, exhausting, exasperating and tear inducing, and I wouldnt trade my days for anything! Brothers you need to understand that similarly, cooking and cleaning themselves are big jobs and it cant be fun dicing vegetables, gutting fearsomely raw poultry and facing the heat so much (and rubbing the same surface area day after day in case of cleaning). But the point the brothers are missing is that ANY woman will be more than willing to do these day after day if the husband appreciates it, just as hubby would love to be appreciated slaving away at work to provide for the family (just because its his duty doesnt mean we should take it for granted). I remember a very very old woman once told me that the most important thing men need to know about women is that, and please think about it too. – a woman loves doing the thing she hates the most when her husband acknowledges (values) it!! So kindness is the keyword here, rather than duty, job, muslimah, etc etc. Even if the wife hates cooking, it wouldnt hurt the husband to show kindness by being patient and encouraging her. And ofcourse wives should be eager to please husbands. He is her hell or heaven. At the end of the day we should all remember that happiness doesnt just drop by at every household..its something a family has to work hard to keep at home

        • Avatar


          June 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM

          ok if housework/cooking/cleaning is not a job… why is being a chef a job, why is being a maid/janitor a job…………….. and then that means since men are going to work to earn for their families and that is their islamic DUTY… then that means they dont have a job or shouldn’t be tired or upset or stressed out and should be very happy and skip merrily to work and the wife shouldnt appreciate or say thank you for his hard day’s work right? she should take him and his hard work and paycheck and earnings for granted like you guys are proposing that men should not appreciate when women work hard inside the home for the husband and family?! you guys dont understand………… working inside and outside of the home… these are JOBS and both are HARD WORK… but both do it because they love each other and want to create a happy households.. it has nothing to do with DUTIES … it has to do with wanting to make each other happy and bring something to the home to create peace and a sense of peace and love. and this gets pushed further when they both appreciate each other, say thanks and not take it for granted, and not EXPECT it, but rather just say thanks that the other is doing them a favor by being so responsible and sweet. this means equally on both sides. wife should thank husband for being so kind to bring money home but husband should also be so kind to thank wife for working so hard to make meals, keep the home clean, and the kids taken care of … etc. this creates a loving peaceful family, im sure you can agree to that, no matter what background you are from.

  47. Avatar


    June 12, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Just out of curiosity, how many years of marriage do the people talking about the obedient wife have among themselves? I’m just curious.


    • Avatar


      June 12, 2011 at 11:20 PM

      good question bro :D

      you know what people? I thought iblees was our sworn enemy.
      To both the genders: have you seen those cartoons in which two people are fighting and the devil is laughing. Thats the thing that comes to my mind when both the genders are fighting with eachother.

      Beware of pride/ arrogance when dealing with the opposite gender since we all know an atom of it can put us straight into hell fire (yeah we wont have to cook there but will be cooked instead! azoobillah!)

      • Avatar

        I am

        June 13, 2011 at 4:07 AM

        Neither gender is all goody goody .. Both are equally guilty but most of the time it is the male gender which is bashed and females mostly over look their faults and blame men as pigs .

        • Avatar


          June 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM

          bro, i understand it’s not a nice feeling to be bashed all the time especially if the fault is not on the one who is being accused.

          inshAllah let’s pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters that we all learn to respect eachother and stop accusing and look into our own mistakes. And may Allah grant us the ability to correct our brothers and sisters in a polite and kind manner.

          By the way MM staff is there any info any of you have or are planning to put up about the fiqh issues related with nikkah and walima (especially related with the number of guests one should invite and how to know if we are being extravagant or not) ?

          Im in a hurry :) please do make dua for me and my future hubby!

          may Allah bless everyone with righteous spouse and help us to be righteous spouse as well!

  48. Avatar


    June 12, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Let it be said though, that it is a nice thing to cook for your family, especially if a woman has had an easy day, and her husband is tired and starving from working all day. There is so much good and kindness in taking care of your family. All of that benefit though is obliterated when some knuckle dragger starts grunting about women having to do this and that for him, instead of appreciating the kindness and love that goes into doing tasks for one’s family. I hate it when people try to make it ugly and crude instead of being a source of harmony and love.

    • Avatar

      I am

      June 13, 2011 at 4:10 AM

      Blah blah blah ….whatever ….

      Nobody is interested in your love and harmony lecture .

      • Avatar


        June 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        Brother.. was that really very islamic of you to reply like that to another muslim? even if you believe her to be in the wrong.. seriously is that how we respect each other? im curious if you’d b ok to let another brother talk to your wife or mother down like that.. we really need to grow up! agree to disagree and move on! we cant force opinions down each other’s throats.. and every persons situation is different.. you want a wife to cook for you, alhamdulillah either you have one already or you will inshaAllah.. my husband hates me working and prefers servants to do my work..does that mean im not a responsible wife? should I try to be ‘obedient’ by displeasing him instead? really, dont generalize and force your opinions.. they really might not be applicable everywhere

        • Avatar


          June 13, 2011 at 2:25 PM

          very well said sebkha and ayesha… I am – there are many different situations, try seeing it through other points of views. and if you cant, respectfully agree to disagree. if you want your wife a certain way, either you have one who is happy making you happy or you will find one that fits into that mold. but try not to FORCE a woman to be someway that she doesnt like to be. some women LOVE to cook, some DONT. it is a LOT of hard work afterall, and it is not her duty, and just because she doesnt cook, doesnt mean shes sitting around getting fat or being lazy. housework and kids and errands and chores etc etc take up a lot of time and effort and energy so she gets exhausted after a long day of all of that too, try keeping that in mind. at the end of the day, man and wife are like a TEAM and what’s wrong with working together to make love and harmony? how else do you want your wife and you to feel together? you dont want love and harmony? if you are both happy, and have a happy household, there is pleasing Allah in that too. there’s no such thing as one of you ruling the other, that is not healthy under any circumstance. try to be a little more open-minded, times have changed but that doesnt mean the western culture is ruining women and women are ruling men and men get bashed, etc, these are all very generalized statements.

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 14, 2011 at 3:39 AM

            I think I was a bit hard .. I apologize for that . Nevertheless I stand firm on my facts .

            People who are commenting over here , especially females , please go and look for the rights of husbands on wives and all those hadiths regarding it . You will then understand what I am trying to say .

            You will just continue posting illogical and western ideas to my replies if you don’t know the islamic rights on spouses .

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 14, 2011 at 3:41 AM

            Unfortunately .. when dealing with spouses we forget all islamic laws and rights and instead follow the cultural or western practice .

            Let’s face it nobody is angel over here and everybody has faults . Most of the time , muslims also act like non-muslims .

          • Avatar


            June 14, 2011 at 5:55 PM

            @I am,

            Are you saying that feminism, the notion that men and women are equal, is only a Western idea? Are you saying that equality of the sexes is illogical?

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 15, 2011 at 5:42 AM

            Carlos …. I don’t know whether you are a muslim or not but if you are not a muslim then please don’t bother to reply to my post .

            In short …. there is a difference b/w islam and western feminism .

            In islam … men and women both have equality but in a different and unique manner unlike western feminism . If you are not a muslim …. you can’t understand it . but if you are a muslim then please go and read about islamic rights of men and women …

          • Avatar


            June 15, 2011 at 11:59 AM

            @I am : that was rude to say “if you are not muslim, dont bother responding”… even if Carlos or anybody else is not muslim, they are still free and have the right to ask you are anybody else any questions they have about Islam. as a muslim it is your duty to answer any questions kindly in order to spread knowledge and the deen. you can’t just say “you wont understand, so stay out of this discussion” .. it’s your job as a muslim to help somebody understand and be inviting and polite and open-minded. it is backward crazies like you that scare non-muslims away from trying to enter our deen.

    • Avatar

      Abu J

      June 14, 2011 at 7:33 AM

      Face it sisters, why is there a high level of devorce rate in the muslim community now? greatest factor is that woman dont listen to their husbands, are impatient and think that cooking is a job. They rather prefer to work for a Kuffar than to clean the house. To cook for your family is a job???? who would want to marry you? No wonder we have splinters, sisters reaching age of 25, 30 and plus yet not married.

      • Avatar

        I am

        June 15, 2011 at 5:44 AM

        Abu J …… I agree to your post ….. 100% correct and then these females wonder why they are single yet …. ironic isn’t it

      • Avatar


        June 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        yes but some of these girls have spent a long time studying and becoming doctors and lawyers and are trying to do something great with their lives… they have become 25 or 30 because they have their MD, MS, MBA, JD, OR PHD….. isnt that something to be proud of and let her follow her dreams to? personally, i am both a mix of western and traditional thinking… i think traditionally and culturally, it is the job of the woman to be at home and take care of the food, home, kids, etc, but not islamically. first off, taking care of all of this is a job, but you brothers are hearing the word “job” in a bad way, when we say it is a job, it means it takes a lot of effort and energy and it is a lot of hard work, this is different from saying “we hate doing it” .. those are 2 separate things. it IS a job for all women, however SOME love it and SOME hate it. there is a difference between those two. and i think what is annoying a lot of women on this thread is you guys keep saying its womens job and DUTY to stay in the house but it is not, islamically it is not her duty. it was just like that back in the day because there was no such thing as women having jobs etc and it was too dangerous for women to go out so they had to stay inside and plus there was a lot of servants, etc. and the economy and job structure and education system etc etc everything was totally different.. they didnt need to buy expensive houses and cars, etc. Then you have to see the factor of what are the life circumstances around the person you are talking to … now with the economy so horrible and layoffs and so many bills, mortgages things getting expensive. some husbands need the wife to earn as well because they need 2 full paychecks to provide for the whole family and then they are both happy to split the housework, there are some families where the husband brings home the whole paychek and the woman is taking care of the house and is happy with that, and some where the woman is bringing in the paycheck and man is taking care of the house… im not saying these are perfect circumstances for everybody but we have to understand (I am and Abu J especially) that all we are saying is that it is different for everybody and you cant label 1.5 million people in america as being all unislamic and becoming all westernized and not good muslims and not living the proper lifestyle… you dont know what makes some guys happy.. you dont know what works for certain families and what needs some families have or dont have. some young couples dont have any kids yet and have a small apartment with not much cleaning to do and only a tiny amount of cooking to do for the man and wife…. so if she can get that done easily in 2 hours a day… .what should she do the rest of the day?? just “sit around and be lazy” like you said in your post?? what if she wants to go and be productive with her life before she has kids or something? u see what im saying? all im saying is have an open mind… if the traditional way works for you two, thats great mashallah you and your wives and families are happy and working fine, and thats good. but you have to see that you cant expect every family in america to be happy and content doing the same exact things. theres no black and white here, no perfectly right or wrong way…. it’s whatever makes the family happy and hte husband and wife happy together. thats all we’re saying. its not a war about who is married and who is married longer and thats not the point we are trying to explain here. just have an open mind and be more open to having a positive discussion instead of becoming nasty and mean, that is not a nice way to have a forum about anything. it is not nice at all how you two are getting happy that there are sisters out there without husbands yet and this is not a reason to get happy, instead you should try to understand what is the problem and try to figure out a positive solution.

        • Avatar


          June 16, 2011 at 4:10 AM

          Sofia; we are talking generally about the situation of Muslim sisters out there. Not specific conditions and situations. But generally and particularly in the western world, what do you see in the US, UK? With all due respect to the sisters. They wish to study, so they reach the age of 25. Then they wish to work, so they reach the age of 30. Then they start or their Gurdian starts looking for a partner for them, so they reach 35 plus. This is the reality that we need to look at and deal with and not just sympethise. We are not rejoicing over this situation but are saddend and at the same time hightlight it. With all this process that they went through they have not looked in to the rights of husband and wife and the Children. Those particular tasks that are well known to be carried out by wives such as cooking, they tend to reject it…since western thoughts has influenced them…

  49. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Well put, I am. Like your style.

  50. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 13, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    UA said; I would have to disagree. If every woman were to be happy by having a pious husband, none of the sahabiyat would have gotten divorced…and they were far more patient and pious than we will ever be.

    You have made specific divorse cases and used it for general purposes. Divorce that took place between a Sahabi and Sahabiyah are individual specific cases, they parted from one another due to their own reasons. You cannot justify and use it in the general sence. In general if both husband and wife who are educated religous and pious then they will be happy and content and live in bliss, they will know how to deal with trials etc. Even though there may be some cases were some religous Husband and dwife have to divorce due to their specific reasons.

    • Avatar


      June 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      yeah, it’s better to never generalize and instead we should focus on the best lessons we can take from their lives…And Allah Knows Best!

  51. Avatar

    Abu J

    June 13, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Siraaj stated; Just out of curiosity, how many years of marriage do the people talking about the obedient wife have among themselves? I’m just curious.

    10yrs alhamdhulillah.

    • Avatar


      June 13, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      i hope your wife is happy, and if she is… that is great and mashallah for both of you and inshallah many more years to come :) if she is happy, it shows she loves to cook for you and likes making you happy and you treat her with kindness, and mercy, etc. if she is not happy however, then that is nothing to be proud about because all you have is a slave :(

      • Avatar

        Abu J

        June 14, 2011 at 7:38 AM

        Yes, she is happy. Masha’Allaah. Accept it sisters, it will be easier on yourselves to be what Allaah created you to be and carry out the role of a wife and a mother. If you are single, then dont ask the man that you expect him to cook, or contstantly eat take aways or TV food.. Otherwise you will be questioning yourselves as to why you are being rejected and single.

        • Avatar


          June 15, 2011 at 8:47 AM

          its just food. Im curious: Why is who is cooking such a big deal? Are men embarrassed to cook or to stand in a kitchen? Is it a cultural thing and something to do with one’s manhood? Im asking because it seems to be a big duscussion here. I don’t think if a man says he wants to cook sometimes or intsead of his wife that it decreases him in any way, shape or form. Its whatever both spouses feel comfortable with, what works for the both of them…because not every marriage works the same way.Just like cleaning the house or doing household chores, the Prophet salal Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam used to help around in his house but in some cultures it is ”wrong” for the man to help in the house because it makes him look ”weak” or less of a man or ‘womanly’ and it looks bad in the eyes of his friends/family/community.Even if its not due to any sort of abuse from his wife or anything, just him being considerate or helpful… you know, human-like.

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM

            It is not about cooking it is the attitude and behavior associated with it .

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

            And besides I know how to cook and I probably won’t rely on any one for cooking . I was just annoyed that women these days think cooking is a chore and a job for their families/husband …

            Once again I was talking about the attitude not the cooking art or skill

          • Avatar


            June 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM

            I AM : it is a chore and it IS a job… but that has nothing to do with attitude… some women love it and some hate it. some women dont want to cook no matter what. some want to but dont know how… and some love doing it 24/7 … some dont want to but still love to see how happy it makes their husband. personally i never learned how to cook before i was married because i was studying and working 24/7 and never had any time then i got married and i felt bad that my husband was working 24/7 and wanted a nice healthy home cooked meal so i learned slowly and figured it out and though i still dont really like to cook and its tons of harddd work and even though i am tired from going to school and studying and homework, and lots of meetings, etc etc i still go do groceries and errands and clean everything and prepare and cook lots of food and clean everything after and it takes soooo long and i get reallyyy exhausted at the end of it but then when my husband eats it and is really happy and appreciates it and says thanks for being such a sweet and caring wife it makes everything totally worth it to me :) so there’s a difference between ability to cook, attitudes towards it before marriage, attitudes during marriage, and attitudes towards cooking itself, and attitudes towards cooking for your husband …….these are all separate. a girl can hate cooking. but still love to cook for her husband … at the same time. just keep an open mind dude, theres tons of girls out there and just relax. i think you are just freaking out because some girl jokingly said “my husband will eat hot pockets for life!” … she was obviously joking.. so just laugh, dont make a huge argument about it, it shouldnt be your problem. and if she wasn’t joking, she’s young and will learn soon after she is married that there is no way around it, she will of course learn and will have to start, that’s just reality. but let the girls grow up and mature and learn by themselves when they hear guys like you yelling about it and saying mean things and being so hateful and backward like it is the DUTY OF WOMEN TO STAY IN THE HOUSE ARRRGHHH!!! type stuff it is just scary and makes girls more scared of marrying a more traditional muslim brother because it makes her fearful of what he might think her roles are and how he will treat her. this fear leads a lot of girls to marry less religious men because she thinks the religious brother doesnt know how to balance Islam and our Western culture. and let’s face it, if you are living in the west, you need to balance the culture somehow, you cannot just be blind to it, or else if you hate it so much, just move to the middle east. if you want to stay here, show some patience and understanding to the culture around you. there are MANY degrees of religious/cultural balance/integration and you need to be open-minded and patient with all types of people. show kindness and mercy and this is the way to spread Islam, not through all these harsh words, that is just disgusting and shameful.

          • Avatar


            June 16, 2011 at 4:13 AM

            No ones saying that the husband if he can cook or learns how to cook then obviously he will cook whenever he wishes and not the other way round…you catch by drift?

  52. Avatar

    Jamil S

    June 14, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Impressing a potential Husband.

    1. At the meeting, dont wear the Hijab. As it is allowed to show that which is allowed to be seen by your Mahram – wear your normal best clothes and beutify yourself for the potential Husband. So that he sees you properly and vise versa.
    2. Do not look like a baboon with lavish make-up, as it is a right put off for brothers. Limit your make-up to a natural look.
    3. Have your Mahram/Wali with you in the room, only one of them, either Father, Brother, Uncle, Nephew, Son….not all of them together nor chuck in your sister-in-law etc.
    4. Know the rights of Allah and His Prophet, know the Deen
    5. Know the rights of the Husband, Wife and Children
    6. Look for one who is religous and has good character and see whether you are attracted to each other.
    7. Do not expect the bro to have a Degree/PHD ( if he does alhamdhulillah)
    8. Do not expect the bro. to be earning $£50k plus. So long as he can maintain a family.
    9. Make sure you put down the price for your Dowry and not your Father, Uncle. as in most cases it becomes trade for them.
    10. Expect to fullfill your role as a wife and a Mother, and if you are in a dire need to work, make sure you are working in an women only environment, and that your work does not infringe on your household duties.
    11. Expect to cook for the family, its not a job, but a duty. If you dont cook who will, unless your living in poor country ann in a rich house. Tip; cook so that it lasts for 2/3 meals.
    12. Expect to eat out side or take away atleast twice a month. If you are ill and no Mother-in-law around then every day.
    13. If you cant cook start learning it.
    14. If you hate cooking, start loving it.
    15. Remember, you complete him and he completes you. Garment to one another.
    16. If you have a view in a minor issue and he has his, tell him and be quite, dont argue etc…
    17. When he is at work and comes home at the end of the day, no matter how hard time you’ve had with your children etc…Make sure you beutify yourself and receive him, keep the food ready, calm the children, keep the house clean etc….You dont know what he has gone through whilst working and the fitnah of women he has gone through living in the west.

    Brothers; add if you wish

    • Avatar

      I am

      June 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      HAha …. I was laughing the whole time ….. Brother , in order to avoid disappointment , don’t expect this from today’s women …. They usually can’t do this so its better not to expect anything from them …..

      Today’s muslim women ……. better not to say anything about them !!

      • Avatar


        June 15, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        you both are insane. that’s all i have to say.

        • Avatar

          I am

          June 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM

          Insane ?? now that is harsh

          btw there is nothing wrong in the above post . Your way of thinking is wrong and absurd

          • Avatar


            June 15, 2011 at 2:58 PM

            yes thats why i know hundreds and hundreds of women/couples/families where both the women and the husband both study/go to school/have jobs, etc they both are either full time students, full time employed, or a mixture of both and both the women and the men help out together with cooking, chores, house stuff, etc etc and they are all living happily and peacefully .. the kids are happy, the mothers are happy, and the husbands are happy because his family is happy and he is also taken care of and they are all happy. what is your problem with this? i dont understand. my problem is not with your preferences of how you personally want to live your own lifestyle.. my issue arises out of you saying that anybody who does not live like this one certain way that you think is perfect… is not right… it is wrong.. and is unislamic….. that is backward, that IS insane, and your attitude towards this whole discussion has been ignorant, close-minded, unaccepting, impatient, and i might even go as far as to say unislamic!!! but Allah knows best!

          • Avatar

            I am

            June 15, 2011 at 5:11 PM

            Sofia you will never understand …..

            i might even go as far as to say unislamic!!! but Allah knows best!

            That’s your insane and ignorant assumption .

  53. Avatar

    Jamil S

    June 14, 2011 at 10:21 AM


    It is impossible for the marital relationship to be successful if the wife does not play a continuous positive roll in it, even if the husband is an excellent example so be mindful – O righteous wife – of this matter and take hold of your responsibilities as the success of the family unit relies upon you.
    • If you want to do a voluntary fast, do not do so before seeking the permission of your husband. If he does not allow you then it is not your right to fast at that point.
    • If your husband is not pleased with a particular member of his family, your family, a neighbour or other then that from entering his home, then do not allow that individual to enter.
    • Each time you please your husband or fulfil his rights, you draw closer to his heart. Most husbands view their wives who handle their needs as a sign from the signs of love. So do not be heedless of your obligations regarding him and be mindful when he requests them from you.
    • Know that the abilities of your husband are limited. So be pleased with him by making things easy upon him and not burdening him with that which he does not have the ability to undertake or by requesting things that are out of his reach. Doing so, you may place him and the family in debt, even if your husband is from the richest of men. Spending excessively on clothing and furniture is disliked as well as a detested matter, which is not befitting for an intelligent lady to indulge in. There is only one class of people who have to buy everything they see and their children desire!!
    • Greet your husband with a smile when he returns home from work likewise by beautifying your hair, your dress and your overall appearance and smell good for him. If he is clearly having a bad day, go to him and assist him.
    • Do not immediately approach him with your problems or the problems of the children or begin with complaints for verily the pains of work in which you do not know about are sufficient for him. If you were to persist in these matters while he is tired, then it is upon you alone to deal with its results if your husband becomes upset. Hence, it is for you to preserve a healthy environment for a man who works long hours in a society already full of problems, diversions and trials as present in our society.
    • Debate your problems with your husband in private without the presence of the children, family members and friends.
    • Your respect and kindness to your husband’s family is respect and kindness to your husband.
    • Remain clean with regards to your teeth and always have good smelling breathe. Always guard these two matters.
    • You are the leader of your home and its shepherd; therefore, handle your responsibilities with the trust entrusted to you. In addition, take care of the furniture and the property of the home.
    • The right of being maintained and supported is a right entrusted to the men by Allaah ta’ala upon you. Do not request things that the women of the west request, rather ask for things but be just in doing so and do not over step the rights in which Allaah has given you.
    • Do not leave the home frequently and do not do so when your husband is certainly not pleased with it.
    • Do not speak to strange or foreign men (those who you are not married to) except that your husband allows you to do so and under the conditions set by the Sharee’ah.
    • If you leave with your husband to the store or to visit others, then do not precede him (walking in front of him out of respect).
    • BEWARE of spreading details of your sexual relationship, as this is indeed a serious sin.
    • Do not argue and speak exceedingly (by talking back) with your husband if it becomes clear he is not pleased with the conversation. Stay away from useless back talk as it is evil.
    • If your husband talks to you then be attentive in your listening.
    • When your husband travels away from you, guard yourself, your family, his property, his children and his home.
    • Try not to allow your husband to see you except that you have a pleasing appearance, a clean outfit and you are beautified.
    • Do not hesitate in showing your love for your husband; as this is what will bring him closer to you and strengthen him in his home and with his family at a time when there are many temptations outside of the home.
    • Accept that which your husband has provided for you and the home with gratitude and thanks and not with rejection and ingratitude.
    • If one of your husband’s friends seeks information about your husband while he is away, then do not speak with him for a long period of time. Make the responses short and simple.
    • It is not for you to allow anyone to take anything from the home without your husband’s permission.
    • If your husband divides something for you then it is not correct for you to have displeasure in that division.
    •Beware of leaving the bed of your husband no matter what the reasons were that led up to that point.

  54. Avatar

    Jamil S

    June 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM


    After returning from work, school, travel, or whatever has separated you:
    • Begin with a good greeting.
    • Start with Assalamau ‘Aliaykum and a smile. Salam is a sunnah and a du’aa for her as well.
    • Shake her hand and leave bad news for later!
    • Choose words that are positive and avoid negative ones.
    • Give her your attention when she speaks.
    • Speak with clarity and repeat words if necessary until she understands.
    • Call her with the nice names that she likes, e.g. my sweet-heart, honey, saaliha, etc.
    • Spend time talking together.
    • Spread to her goods news.
    • Remember your good memories together.
    • Joking around & having a sense of humor.
    • Playing and competing with each other in sports or whatever.
    • Taking her to watch permissible (halal) types of entertainment.
    • Avoiding prohibited (haram) things in your choices of entertainment.
    • Doing what you as an individual can/like to do that helps out, especially if she is sick or tired.
    • The most important thing is making it obvious that he appreciates her hard work.
    • Specifically in family matters.
    • Giving her the feeling that her opinion is important to you.
    • Studying her opinion carefully.
    • Be willing to change an opinion for hers if it is better.
    • Thanking her for helping him with her opinions.

    • Choosing well raised people to build relations with. There is a great reward in visiting relatives and pious people. (Not in wasting time while visiting!)
    • Pay attention to ensure Islamic manners during visits.
    • Not forcing her to visit whom she does not feel comfortable with.

    • Offer a warm farewell and a good advice.
    • Ask her to pray for him.
    • Ask pious relatives and friends to take care of the family in your absence.
    • Give her enough money for what she might need.
    • Try to stay in touch with her whether by phone, e-mail, letters, etc..
    • Return as soon as possible.
    • Bring her a gift!
    • Avoid returning at an unexpected time or at night.
    • Take her with you if possible.
    • The husband needs to be generous within his financial capabilities. He should not be a miser with his money (nor wasteful).
    • He gets rewards for all what he spends on her sustenance even for a small piece of bread that he feeds her by his hand (hadeeth).
    • He is strongly encouraged to give to her before she asks him.
    • Following the Sunnah in removing hair from the groin and underarms.
    • Always being clean and neat.
    • Put on perfume for her.
    • It is recommended to do it habitually if you have no excuse (sickness, etc.)
    • Start with “Bismillah” and the authentic du’a.
    • Begin with foreplay including words of love.
    • Enter into her in the proper place only (not the anus).
    • Continue until you have satisfied her desire.
    • Relax and joke around afterwards.
    • Avoid intercourse during the monthly period because it is haram
    • Do what you can to avoid damaging her level of Hayaa (shyness and modesty) such as taking your clothes off together instead of asking her to do it first while you are looking on.
    • Avoid positions during intercourse that may harm her such as putting pressure on her chest and blocking her breath, especially if you are heavy.
    • Choose suitable times for intercourse and be considerate as sometimes she maybe sick or exhausted.
    Avoid disclosing private information such as bedroom secrets, her personal problems and other private matters.

    • Wake her up in the last third of the night to pray “Qiyam-ul-Layl” (extra prayer done at night with long sujood and ruku’ua).
    • Teach her what you know of the Qur’an and its tafseer, about the religion.
    • Teach her “Dhikr” (ways to remember Allah by the example of the prophet) in the morning and evening.
    • Encourage her to spend money for the sake of Allah such as in a charity sale.
    • Take her to Hajj and Umrah when you can afford to do so.
    • Take her to visit her family and relatives, especially her parents.
    • Invite them to visit her and welcome them.
    • Give them presents on special occasions.
    • Help them when needed with money, effort, etc..
    • Keep good relations with her family after her death if she dies first. Also in this case the husband is encouraged to follow the Sunnah and keep giving what she used to give in her life to her friends and family.
    This includes:
    • The basics of Islam
    • Her duties and rights
    • Reading and writing
    • Encouraging her to attend lessons and halaqahs
    • Islamic rules (ahkam) related to women
    • Buying Islamic books and tapes for the home library

    • Ensure she is wearing proper Hijab before leaving house.
    • Restrict free mixing with non-mahram men.
    • Avoiding excess jealousy.
    Examples of this are:
    1- Analyzing every word and sentence she says and overloading her speech by meanings that she did not mean
    2- Preventing her from going out of the house when the reasons are just.
    3- Preventing her from answering the phone.
    • Problems are expected in every marriage so this is normal. What is wrong is excessive responses and magnifying problems until a marital breakdown.
    • Anger should be shown when she exceeds the boundaries of Allah SWT, by delaying prayers, backbiting, watching prohibited scenes on TV, etc..
    • Forgive the mistakes she does to you.

    • First, implicit and explicit advice several times.
    • Then by turning your back to her in bed (displaying your feelings). Note that this does not include leaving the bedroom to another room, leaving the house to another place, or not talking to her.
    • The last solution is lightly hitting (when allowable) her. In this case, the husband should consider the following:
    o He should know that Sunnah is to avoid beating as the Prophet PBUH never beat a woman or a servant.
    o He should do it only in extreme cases of disobedience, e.g. refusing intercourse without cause frequently, constantly not praying on time, leaving the house for long periods of time without permission nor refusing to tell him where she had been, etc..
    o It should not be done except after having turned from her bed and discussing the matter with her as mentioned in Qur’an .
    o He should not hit her hard injuring her, or hit her on her face or on sensitive parts of her body.
    o He should avoid shaming her such as by hitting her with a shoe, etc.
    • Accounting her only for larger mistakes.
    • Forgive mistakes done to him but account her for mistakes done in Allah’s rights, e.g. delaying prayers, etc..
    • Remember all the good she does whenever she makes a mistake.
    • Remember that all humans err so try to find excuses for her such as maybe she is tired, sad, having her monthly cycle or that her commitment to Islam is growing.
    • Avoid attacking her for the bad cooking of the food as the Prophet PBUH never blamed any of his wives for this. If he likes the food, he eats and if he doesn’t then he does not eat and does not comment.
    • Before declaring her to be in error, try other indirect approaches that are more subtle than direct accusations
    • Escape from using insults and words that may hurt her feelings.
    • When it becomes necessary to discuss a problem wait until you have privacy from others.
    • Waiting until the anger has subsided a bit can help to keep a control on your words.

    • Avatar

      I am

      June 14, 2011 at 3:04 PM

      Very good advices

      • Avatar


        July 2, 2011 at 11:43 PM

        Instead of constantly advising sisters on how to make you happy, why don’t you see how you can make your wife happy.


        – A brother.

        • Avatar


          July 23, 2011 at 5:56 AM

          lol, read the above advice, How to make your wife happy.

  55. Avatar


    June 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    SubhanAllah, to see all these comments being exchanged back and forth between some brothers and sisters about the issue of cooking is not really worth it. I think anyone who is making such a big deal about the issue of cooking is not really ready to get married!

  56. Avatar


    June 24, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    In the UK we have something like this; if US doesnt, may they should.

  57. Avatar


    June 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Ma Sha Allah.

    A refreshingly good, mature and intuitive article.

    Now I have a question:

    Some of us guys are NOT rich. Not much savings, perhaps debts, part time work…

    Well we need to marry too… And there are sisters who are in situations where they may compromise on thjis aspect…

    I am not atalking about an irresponsible man who shirks his duties and responsibilities but people DO sometimes get setbacks in life, that are not always easily rectified… and girlfirends are easy but HARAAM so we want to marry…

    Why so people like us feel discluded?

    Am I wrong in thinking that you don’t have to be ideally set-up to marry? Ya’ni… Ask Allah’s help and just do it!

    What do you guys think on this financial aspect?

    • Avatar

      Safia Farole

      July 5, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      I think you’re right. Not every man who wants to marry is going to have savings, a large 401(k), stocks and bonds, exc.. As you allude, everyone has to be realistic; and I think many Muslim women are aware of this reality. But there are a fraction of women who are high maintainance, and have a “no need to apply” if not wealthy enough standard.

      At the end of the day I believe women are looking for someone who is financially responsible, with the amount of income he makes. And there has to be a promise of growth, not perpetual stagnation (i.e. men who are unwilling to try different means to attain money, uncreative in this regard, exc.)

  58. Avatar

    Muhammad 'abd al-Haqq

    June 29, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    As-salamu alaikum,

    What about polygyny(polygamy)? I ask this in relation to the idea of not oversharing certain things. If a brother is already married and is seeking another wife, at what point should he bring this up? If he is single but has the intention of marrying more than one sister, at what point would it be considered proper etiquette to mention this?

    And sisters, before any of you respond please remember that marrying more than one wife is a sunnah, so I am not interested in hearing any Western Feminist ideas about marriage, monogamy,jealousy and practicality in these “modern” times. Western culture is not modern culture by any means or stretch of the imagination; there are more than one modern cultures in the world. After all “modern” actually means “contemporary”.

    I am also not interested in any culturally-influenced ideas masquerading as “Islamic”. The idea that women are naturally weak, jealous, etc are simply falsehoods perpetuated by patriarchal cultures. Allah made men and women the same but not identical, and if you cannot understand this statement, you will never really understand where I am coming from or what “equality” truly means in Islam. I am interested in an authentic Islamic perspective with daleel from the Qur’an and Sunnah and the fiqh surrounding this issue.

    Jazak Allah

    • Avatar


      September 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      it should be discussed clearly and early. So that nobody will feel ‘cheated’. As most of the lady especially young lady, usually has some expectations which ‘married’ is non of them. but the one who can accept that for herself, can move on even in the 1st meet.
      ps; not everyone refusing to be 2nd wife is against polygamy.

  59. Avatar

    A Brother

    July 5, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    I got to admit the title of this article is very catchy! lol

  60. Avatar


    September 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    well done

  61. Avatar

    Faysal Hasan

    September 9, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    One of the greatest scholars of the sunnah gave his son this advise on his wedding day:

    ” Women like from their husbands what their husbend like from them: kind words, good looks, clean cloths and a pleasent odour. Therefore always remain in the state.”-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal(raheemahullah)

  62. Avatar


    December 13, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Bring mithai, cake, books, whatever. Just please don’t bring flowers. It’s going to embarrass her so bad.

  63. Avatar


    January 25, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Abu J- based on your comments, a religious educated wife, such as the hypothetical figure you previously mentioned, probably earns more than you. Seeing as how she’s the breadwinner I guess you better have baked some bread for when she gets home from her 9-5 eh?

  64. Avatar

    Abu Ali

    January 30, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    Good men are for good women and good women are for good men, if you are good then InshaAllah you will get a good spouse.

  65. Avatar

    val spa

    August 24, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    If you are employed, how can you justify your breaks for prayers? Smokers are now banned

  66. Avatar


    December 25, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    What do you think a guy can take to the sister for the first time

    • Avatar


      June 13, 2015 at 1:19 PM

      just suppose there is a man and he has a sister. How would he feel if someone want to take his sister out for dinner or lunch or whatever just to get to know her. Or if he bring gift for her? I am definitely sure no muslim brother would like any non-mahram man to bring anything for his sister. If something you don’t like it for your sister, how come you wanna do it to another man’s sister?

      This shows that get to know or talking and all that is useless and forbidden in islam.. Allaah says in al-qur’an,

      أَفَرَ‌أَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِ‌هِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّـهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُ‌ونَ ﴿٢٣﴾

      interpretation of the meaning:

      “Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?”

      (surah al-jaathiyah chapter: 45 verse 23)

      So we have to keep our desires and whims a side and then think about what is allowed and what is disallowed in islam. May Allaah azza wa jalla guide us, aameen.

  67. Avatar


    June 13, 2015 at 4:46 AM

    Actually this was useless discussion. As we Muslims live like a Muslims, In sha Allaah. So a Muslim brother should not at all be talking to a muslimah even though his intention is marriage. Rather the only thing allowed in Islam is that he can look at her, once his intention is marriage and she can of course look at him. And this is one mare glance. So all these things which are discussed above would come under un-islamic. Yes, he should talk to the mahram and wali of that woman, once his intention is for marriage. If the wali agrees then can then talk to this woman and if she agrees to marry then simply one mare glance of look and thats all and after that nikaah can be placed and marriage can be done. This is so simple in Islam.

    Other than that, all that comes from the way of kuffaar and sadly the Muslims have adopted that way too and it is very sad to see that people are saying jazakAllahu khayran on such things, subhanAllaah.

    We read the kuffaar articles 10 way to do this, and 15 way to do that, subhanAllaah.

    We have to stop seeing what media shows and what is the way of life of kuffaar. Our way of life comes from Qur’an wa sunnah, which is simple. These days women are not getting married because they are dreaming falsely.

    Once up a time we used to hear from women that they feel like an object. A Muslim family comes at her home and see her, she has to smile and blush and bring tea and then she goes away and that family says no.. i don’t like this girl so they don’t want to ask her family for her hand for their son. So its like family comes again then another then another and she is never been asked for her hand, so she feels like an object of display, subhanAllaah, very wrong. Now in this time of era men says we feel like we are an object of fish-market. How? So they say like in fish market you choose a fish from many of fish.. which you wanna buy. The same way there are many brothers who maybe willing to marry a muslimah. So now she has to decided which of the brother is the best one. So the men now say we feel like are an object of fish market, subhanAllaah.. it is wrong as well.

    This is happening because a sister say.. oh i want a husband who is tall, handsome, is business tycoon or earn a lot, has his own home and his new car, ok if he don’t have beard or pray 5 times a day regularly or if he don’t know about tahweed of Allaah.. so it is ok i will teach him after marriage and persuade him to do that, and blah blah blah. So such sister would be getting waited for years and years and not getting married because she can’t find such tycoon lol or Maybe she is got married just in 20’s wish such a tycoon but he don’t know about deen neither he love his deen so gradually this woman would stop loving and learning the deen as well, so what would be their future and how their off-springs would be? and what benefit they would be giving to the Muslim society??

    And on top when such articles are written so she totally start believing in it, subhanAllaah…

    may Allaah guide the men and women towards islam and the life of a Muslim, and may we take our deen from sahaba, tabeon and atba-at’tabeon and act on it, aameen. And may we never take deen as granted rather dunya is for granted more or less and deen is always bout learning the ilm and acting upon it.

  68. Avatar


    November 8, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    I am a Anoriginal Australia Woman married to a Muslim man from Syria . I am wondering why he is receiving bunches of flowers by txt message . I asked who’ s that from . The reply was MY SISTER

  69. Avatar


    November 16, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Can you please not use ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ for such an article?

    It is such a put-off, and it is not necessary for neither the Quran nor the Hadith use these words in this context.

    Thank you for an otherwise useful article.

  70. Avatar


    December 24, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    salaam aleykum’ pls my view is different. pls I need ruqya and some quranic verse for prayer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Current Affairs

The Duplicity of American Muslim Influencers And The ‘So-called Muslim Ban’

Dr Joseph Kaminski



As we approach the beginning of another painful year of the full enforcement of Presidential Proclamation 9645 (a.k.a. ‘the Muslim ban’) that effectively bars citizens of several Muslim majority countries from entering into the United States, the silence remains deafening. As I expected, most of the world has conveniently forgotten about this policy, which thus far has separated over 3,000 American families from their spouses and other immediate relatives. In June 2019, the Brennan Center of Justice notes that: The ban has also kept at least 1,545 children from their American parents and 3,460 parents from their American sons and daughters. While silence and apathy from the general public on this matter is to be expected— after all, it is not their families who are impacted— what is particularly troubling is the response that is beginning to emerge from some corners of the American Muslim social landscape.

While most Muslims and Muslim groups have been vocal in their condemnation of Presidential Proclamation 9645, other prominent voices have not. Shadi Hamid sought to rationalize the executive order on technical grounds arguing that it was a legally plausible interpretation. Perhaps this is true, but some of the other points made by Hamid are quite questionable. For example, he curiously contends that:

The decision does not turn American Muslims like myself into “second-class citizens,” and to insist that it does will make it impossible for us to claim that we have actually become second-class citizens, if such a thing ever happens.

I don’t know— being forced to choose exile in order to remain with one’s family certainly does sound like being turned into a ‘second-class citizen’ to me. Perhaps the executive order does not turn Muslims like himself, as he notes, into second-class citizens, but it definitely does others, unless it is possible in Hamid’s mind to remain a first-class citizen barred from living with his own spouse and children for completely arbitrary reasons, like me. To be fair to Hamid, in the same article he does comment that the executive order is a morally questionable decision, noting that he is “still deeply uncomfortable with the Supreme Court’s ruling” and that “It contributes to the legitimization and mainstreaming of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

On the other hand, more recently others have shown open disdain for those who are angered about the ‘so-called Muslim ban.’ On June 6th, 2019, Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, a Senior Faculty Member at Zaytuna College, Islamic scholar and the founder of the Lamppost Education Initiative, rationalized the ban on spurious security grounds. He commented that,

The so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his potential. But, to be fair, a real Muslim ban would mean that no Muslim from any country should be allowed in the US. There are about 50 Muslim majority countries. Trump singled out only 7 of them, most of which are war torn and problem countries. So, it is unfair to claim that he was only motivated by a hatred for Islam and Muslims.

First, despite how redundant and unnecessary this point is to make again, one ought to be reminded that between 1975 and 2015, zero foreigners from the seven nations initially placed on the banned list (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) killed any Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and zero Libyans or Syrians have ever even been convicted of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil during that same time period. I do not think these numbers have changed over the last 4 years either. If policy decisions are supposed to be made on sound empirical evidence and data, then there is even less justification for the ban.

Second, Bin Hamid Ali comments that ‘the so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his [Trump’s] potential.’ Whoa… hold on; on edge about his potential? For the millions of people banned from entering the United States and the thousands of Muslim families connected to these millions of people, this ‘potential’ has been more than realized. To reduce the ‘so-called Muslim ban’ to just targeting ‘war torn and problem countries’ is to reduce our family members—our husbands, wives, and children—to (inaccurate) statistics and gross stereotypes. Are spouses from Syria or Yemen seeking to reunite with their legally recognized spouses or children any less deserving to be with their immediate family members because they hail from ‘problem countries’? How can one be concerned with stereotypes while saying something like this? Is this not the exact thing that Abdullah bin Hamid Ali seeks to avoid? Surely the Professor would not invoke such stereotypes to justify the racial profiling of black American citizens. What makes black non-Americans, Arabs, and Iranians any different when it comes to draconian immigration profiling? From a purely Islamic perspective, the answer is absolutely nothing.

More recently, Sherman Jackson, a leading Islamic intellectual figure at the University of Southern California, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity, also waded into this discussion. In his essay, he reframed the Muslim ban as a question of identity politics rather than basic human right, pitting Muslim immigrants against what he calls ‘blackamericans’ drawing some incredibly questionable, nativist, and bigoted conclusions. Jackson in a recent blog responding to critiques by Ali al-Arian about his own questionable affiliations with authoritarian Arab regimes comments:

Al-Arian mentions that,

“the Muslim American community seemed united at least in its opposition to the Trump administration.”  He and those who make up this alleged consensus are apparently offended by Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.  But a Blackamerican sister in Chicago once asked me rhetorically why she should support having Muslims come to this country who are only going to treat her like crap.

These are baffling comments to make about ‘Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.’ Jackson creates a strawman by bringing up an anecdotal story that offers a gross generalization that clearly has prejudiced undertones of certain Muslim immigrants. Most interesting, however is how self-defeating Jackson’s invocation of identity politics is considering the fact that a large number of the ‘blackamerican’ Muslims that he is concerned about themselves have relatives from Somalia and other countries impacted by the travel ban. As of 2017, there were just over 52,000 Americans with Somali ancestry in the state of Minnesota alone. Are Somali-Americans only worth our sympathy so long as they do not have Somali spouses? What Jackson and Bin Hamid Ali do not seem to understand is that these Muslim immigrants they speak disparagingly of, by in large, are coming on family unification related visas.

Other people with large online followings have praised the comments offered by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Sherman Jackson. The controversial administrator of the popular The Muslim Skeptic website, Daniel Haqiqatjou, in defense of Jackson’s comments, stated:

This is the first time I have seen a prominent figure downplay the issue. And I think Jackson’s assessment is exactly right: The average American Muslim doesn’t really care about this. There is no evidence to indicate that this policy has had a significant impact on the community as a whole. Travel to the US from those four countries affected by the ban was already extremely difficult in the Obama era.

What Haqiqatjou seems to not realize is that while travel from these countries was difficult, it was not as ‘extremely difficult’ as he erroneously claims it was. The US issued 7,727 visas to Iranian passport holders in 2016 prior to the ban. After the ban in 2018, that number dropped to 1,449. My own wife was issued a B1/B2 Tourist visa to meet my family in 2016 after approximately 40 days of administrative processing which is standard for US visa seekers who hold Iranian passports. On the other hand, she was rejected for the same B1/B2 Tourist visa in 2018 after a grueling 60+ day wait due to Presidential Proclamation 9645. At the behest of the Counselor Officer where we currently live, she was told to just finish the immigration process since this would put her in a better position to receive one of these nearly impossible to get waivers. She had her interview on November 19, 2018, and we are still awaiting the results of whatever these epic, non-transparent ‘extreme vetting’ procedures yield. Somehow despite my wife being perfectly fine to enter in 2016, three years later, we are entering the 10th month of waiting for one of these elusive waivers with no end time in sight, nor any guarantee that things will work out. Tell me how this is pretty much the same as things have always been?

What these commentators seem to not realize is that the United States immigration system is incredibly rigid. One cannot hop on a plane and say they want to immigrate with an empty wallet to start of Kebab shop in Queens. It seems as if many of these people that take umbrage at the prospects of legal immigration believe that the immigration rules of 2019 are the same as they were in 1819. In the end, it is important to once again reiterate that the Muslim immigrants Jackson, Bin Hamid Ali and others are disparaging are those who most likely are the family members of American Muslim citizens; by belittling the spouses and children of American Muslims, these people are belittling American Muslims themselves.

Neo-nationalism, tribalism, and identity politics of this sort are wholly antithetical to the Islamic enterprise. We have now reached the point where people who are considered authority figures within the American Islamic community are promoting nativism and identity politics at the expense of American Muslim families. Instead of trying to rationalize the ‘so-called Muslim Ban’ via appeals to nativist and nationalist rhetoric, influential Muslim leaders and internet influencers need to demonstrate empathy and compassion for the thousands of US Muslim families being torn apart by this indefinite Muslim ban that we all know will never end so long as Donald Trump remains president. In reality, they should be willing to fight tooth-and-nail for American Muslim families. These are the same people who regularly critique the decline of the family unit and the rise of single-parent households. Do they not see the hypocrisy in their positions of not defending those Muslim families that seek to stay together?

If these people are not willing to advocate on behalf of those of us suffering— some of us living in self-imposed exile in third party countries to remain with our spouses and children— the least they can do is to not downplay our suffering or even worse, turn it into a political football (Social Justice Warrior politics vs. traditional ‘real’ Islam). It seems clear that if liberal Muslim activists were not as outspoken on this matter, these more conservative voices would take a different perspective. With the exception of Shadi Hamid, the other aforementioned names have made efforts to constrain themselves firmly to the ‘traditional’ Muslim camp. There is no reason that this issue, which obviously transcends petty partisan Muslim politics, ought to symbolize one’s allegiance to any particular social movement or camp within contemporary Islamic civil society.

If these people want a ‘traditional’ justification for why Muslim families should not be separated, they ought to be reminded that one of al-Ghazali’s 5 essential principles of the Shari’a was related to the protection of lineage/family and honor (ḥifẓ al-nasl). Our spouses are not cannon fodder for such childish partisan politics. We will continue to protect our families and their honor regardless of how hostile the environment may become for us and regardless of who we have to name and shame in the process.

When I got married over a year prior to Donald Trump being elected President, I vowed that only Allah would separate me from my spouse. I intend on keeping that vow regardless of what consequences that decision may have.

Photo courtesy: Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch

Continue Reading


Obituary of (Mawlana) Yusuf Sulayman Motala (1366/1946 – 1441/2019)

Monday, September 9, turned out to be a day of profound anguish and sorrow for many around the world. In the early morning hours, news of the death of Mawlana* Yusuf Sulayman Motala, fondly known as “Hazrat” (his eminence) to those who were acquainted with him, spread. He had passed away on Sunday at 8:20 pm EST in Toronto, after suffering a heart attack two weeks earlier.

Dr. Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera



Dar Al Uloom Bury, Yusuf Sulayman Motala

A master of hadith and Qur’an. A sufi, spiritual guide and teacher to thousands. A pioneer in the establishment of a religious education system. His death reverberated through hearts and across oceans. We are all mourning the loss of a luminary who guided us through increasingly difficult times.

Monday, September 9, turned out to be a day of profound anguish and sorrow for many around the world. In the early morning hours, news of the death of Mawlana* Yusuf Sulayman Motala, fondly known as “Hazrat” (his eminence) to those who were acquainted with him, spread. He had passed away on Sunday at 8:20 pm EST in Toronto, after suffering a heart attack two weeks earlier. (May the Almighty envelope him in His mercy)

His journey in this world had begun more than 70 years ago in the small village of Nani Naroli in Gujarat, India, where he was born on November 25, 1946 (1 Muharram 1366) into a family known for their piety.

His early studies were largely completed at Jami’a Husayniyya, one of the early seminaries of Gujarat, after which he travelled to Mazahir Ulum, the second oldest seminary of the Indian Sub-Continent, in Saharanpur, India, to complete his ‘alimiyya studies. What drew him to this seminary was the presence of one of the most influential and well-known contemporary spiritual guides, Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (d. 1402/1982), better known as “Hazrat Shaykh.” He had seen Mawlana Zakariyya only briefly at a train stop, but it was enough for him to understand the magnitude of his presence.

Mawlana Yusuf remained in Saharanpur for two years. Despite being younger than many of the other students of Shaykh Zakariya, the shaykh took a great liking to him. Shaykh Zakariya showered him with great attention and even deferred his retirement from teaching Sahih al-Bukhari so that Mawlana Yusuf could study it under his instruction. While in Saharanpur, Mawlana Yusuf also studied under a number of other great scholars, such as Mawlana Muhammad ‘Aqil (author of Al-Durr al-Mandud, an Urdu commentary of Sunan Abi Dawud and current head lecturer of Hadith at the same seminary), Shaykh Yunus Jownpuri (d. 1438/2017) the previous head lecturer of Hadith there), Mawlana As‘adullah Rampuri (d. 1399/1979) and Mufti Muzaffar Husayn (d. 1424/2003).

Upon completion of his studies, Mawlana Yusuf’s marriage was arranged to marry a young woman from the Limbada family that had migrated to the United Kingdom from Gujarat. In 1968, he relocated to the UK and accepted the position of imam at Masjid Zakariya, in Bolton. Although he longed to be in the company of his shaykh, he had explicit instructions to remain in the UK and focus his efforts on establishing a seminary for memorization of Qur’an and teaching of the ‘alimiyya program. The vision being set in motion was to train a generation of Muslims scholars that would educate and guide the growing Muslim community.

Establishing the first Muslim seminary, in the absence of any precedent, was a daunting task. The lack of support from the Muslim community, the lack of integration into the wider British community, and the lack of funds made it seem an impossible endeavour. And yet, Mawlana Yusuf never wavered in his commitment and diligently worked to make the dream of his teacher a reality. In 1973 he purchased the derelict Aitken Sanatorium in the village of Holcombe, near Bury, Lancashire. What had once been a hospice for people suffering from tuberculosis, would become one of the first fully-fledged higher-education Islamic institutes outside of the Indian-Subcontinent teaching the adapted-Nizami syllabus.

The years of struggle by Maulana Yusuf to fulfil this vision paid off handsomely. Today, after four decades, Darul Uloom Al Arabiyya Al Islamiyya, along with its several sister institutes, also founded by Mawlana Yusuf, such as the Jamiatul Imam Muhammad Zakariya seminary in Bradford for girls, have produced well over 2,000 British born (and other international students) male and female ‘alimiyya graduates – many of whom are working as scholars and serving communities across the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, the US, Canada, Barbados, Trinidad, Panama, Saudi Arabia, India and New Zealand. Besides these graduates, a countless number of individuals have memorized the Qur’an at these institutes. Moreover, many of the graduates of the Darul Uloom and its sister institutes have set up their own institutes, such as Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda in Blackburn, Islamic Dawah Academy in Leicester, Jami’ah al-Kawthar in Lancaster, UK, and Darul Uloom Palmela in Portugal, to just mention a few of the larger ones. Within his lifetime, Mawlana Yusuf saw first-hand the fruit of his labours – witnessing his grand students (graduates from his students’ institutes) providing religious instruction and services to communities around the world in their local languages. What started as a relationship of love between a student and teacher, manifested into the transmission of knowledge across continents. In some countries, such as the UK and Portugal, one would be hard-pressed to find a Muslim who had not directly or indirectly benefited from him.

Mawlana Yusuf was a man with deep insights into the needs of Western contemporary society, one that was very different from the one he had grown up and trained in. With a view to contributing to mainstream society, Mawlana Yusuf encouraged his graduates to enter into further education both in post-graduate Islamic courses and western academia, and to diversify their fields of learning through courses at mainstream UK universities. As a result, many ‘alimiyya graduates of his institutes are trained in law, mainstream medicine, natural medicine and homeopathy, mental health, child protection, finance, IT, education, chaplaincy, psychology, philosophy, pharmacy, physics, journalism, engineering, architecture, calligraphy, typography, graphic design, optometry, social services, public health, even British Sign Language. His students also include several who have completed PhDs and lecture at universities. His vision was to train British-born (or other) Muslim scholars who would be well versed in contemporary thought and discipline along with their advanced Islamic learning, equipping them to better contribute to society.

Despite his commitment to the establishment of a public good, the shaykh was an immensely private person and avoided seeking accolade or attention. For many decades he refused invitations to attend conferences or talks around the country, choosing to focus on his students and his family, teaching the academic syllabus and infusing the hearts of many aspirants with the love of Allah through regular gatherings of remembrance (dhikr) and spiritual retreats (i’tikaf) in the way of his shaykh’s Chishti Sufi order.

During my entire stay with him at Darul Uloom (1985–1997), I can say with honesty that I did not come across a single student who spoke ill of him. He commanded such awe and respect that people would find it difficult to speak with him casually. And yet, for those who had the opportunity to converse with him, knew that he was the most compassionate, humble, and loving individual.

He was full of affection for his students and colleagues and had immense concern for the Muslim Ummah, especially in the West. He possessed unparalleled forbearance and self-composure. When he taught or gave a talk, he spoke in a subdued and measured tone, as though he was weighing every word, knowing the import it carried. He would sit, barely moving and without shifting his posture. Even after a surgical procedure for piles, he sat gracefully teaching us Sahih al-Bukhari. Despite the obvious pain, he never made an unpleasant expression or winced from the pain.

Anyone who has listened to his talks or read his books can bear testimony to two things: his immense love for the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his love for Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). It is probably hard to find a talk in which he did not speak of the two. His shaykh was no doubt his link to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in both his hadith and spiritual transmissions.

Over the last decade, he had retired from most of his teaching commitments (except Sahih al-Bukhari) and had reduced meeting with people other than his weekly dhikr gatherings. His time was spent with his family and young children and writing books. His written legacy comprises over 20 titles, mostly in Urdu but also a partial tafsir of the Qur’an in classical Arabic.

After the news of his heart attack on Sunday, August 25, and the subsequent effects to his brain, his well-wishers around the world completed hundreds of recitals of the Qur’an, several readings of the entire Sahih al-Bukhari, thousands of litanies and wirds of the formula of faith (kalima tayyiba), and gave charity in his name. However, Allah Most High willed otherwise and intended for him to depart this lowly abode to begin his journey to the next. He passed away two weeks later and reports state that approximately 4,000 people attended his funeral. Had his funeral been in the UK, the number of attendees would have multiplied several folds. But he had always shied away from large crowds and gatherings and maybe this was Allah Most High’s gift to him after his death. He was 75 (in Hijra years, and 72 in Gregorian) at the time of his death and leaves behind eight children and several grandchildren.

Mawlana Yusuf educated, inspired and nourished the minds and hearts of countless across the UK and beyond. May Allah Almighty bless him with the loftiest of abodes in the Gardens of Firdaws in the company of Allah’s beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and grant all his family, students, and cherishers around the world beautiful patience.

Dr Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera
Whitethread Institute, London
(A fortunate graduate of Darul Uloom Bury, 1996–97)

*a learned Muslim scholar especially in India often used as a form of address

Continue Reading


Reflections on Muslim Approaches to the Abortion Debate: The Problem of Narrow Conceptualization

American Muslims must go beyond simplistic and emotionally-charged approaches to the abortion question.

Shaykh Salman Younas




“Islam is the golden mean between all ethical extremes’ is what certain Muslims would assert… This moral assumption isn’t far from the truth.”

Shaykh Abdullah Hamid Ali in A Word on Muslim Attitudes Toward Abortion

“The golden mean is kind of a summit, and it is a struggle to get there. The ego does not want balance because you have to think and make sacrifices.”

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad in Paradigms of Leadership (6)

A few months ago, Governor Kay Ivey signed into law House Bill 134, or the Human Life Protection Act, which prohibited all abortion in the state of Alabama except in cases where it was deemed necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the mother. The bill additionally criminalized abortion or any attempt to carry it out in situations deemed non-necessary. A motion to exempt rape and incest victims from this law was defeated in the Alabama state senate, which give the state the (dubious) distinction of possessing one of the most restrictive abortion laws in America. This move by Alabama to place extreme restrictions on abortion followed a spate of similar legislative moves by other states, such as Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

This escalation in anti-abortion legislation occasioned intense debate within the Muslim community.[1] Muslims who self-identify as progressives chanted the familiar mantra of “my body, my choice” to affirm a notion of personal rights and bodily autonomy in defending a woman’s right to choose. The ideological underpinnings of this view are extremely problematic from a theological perspective, and the practical policies arising from it that sanction even late-term abortions contravene the near-consensus position of classical jurists and is rightly seen as an assault on inviolable human life. For this reason, this essay will not pay any particular attention to this view.

Several people pushed back against this permissive attitude by arguing that abortion is essentially prohibited in Islam in all but the direst of situations, such as when the life of the mother is at genuine risk. This opinion has a sound precedent in the legal tradition and is the mainstream view of some of the legal schools, but it has often been presented in a manner that fails to acknowledge the normative pluralism that exists on the matter in the shariah and rather perniciously presents these alternative opinions as ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’. Similarly, those who favour the more lenient view found in other legal schools are often seen characterizing the stricter opinion as ‘right-wing’ or reflective of the Christianization of Islamic law. Despite having legal precedent on their side, both groups engaged the abortion question in a manner that was rather superficial and fundamentally problematic.


Did Jurists Only Permit Abortion in ‘Dire’ Circumstances?

I will begin this essay by offering a corrective to the mistaken notion that classical jurists only permitted abortions in cases of necessity, an assertion that has become very common in current Muslim discourse on abortion in America. One need not look much further than the Ḥanafī school to realize that this claim is incorrect. Though there are opinions within the school that only permit abortion before 120 days with the existence of a valid excuse, the view of several early leading authorities was that abortion was unconditionally permissible (mubāḥ) before this period and/or prior to the physical form and features of a fetus becoming clearly discernible.[2] In his encyclopaedic work al-Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī, Burhān al-Dīn ibn Māza (d. 616/1219) presents two main opinions on abortion in the school:

(i) It is permitted “as long as some physical human features are not clearly discernible because if these features are not discernible, the fetus is not a child (walad)” as per Fatāwā Ahl al-Samarqand. Some scholars asserted that this occurs at 120 days,[3] while others stated that this assertion, though incorrect, indicated that by discernibility jurists intended ensoulment.[4]

(ii) It is disliked because once conception occurs, the natural prognostication is life and so the fetus is granted this ruling at the moment of conception itself. This was the view of ʿAlī ibn Mūsā al-Qummī (d. 305/917-18).[5]

The first opinion of unconditional permissibility was not a solitary one in the school. It was forwarded by many of the foremost Ḥanafī authorities, such as Ḥussām al-Dīn ibn Māza (d. 536/1141),[6] Raḍī al-Dīn al-Sarakhsī (d. 575/1175),[7] Jamāl al-Dīn al-Ghaznawī (d. 593/1196),[8] Zayn al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 666/1267),[9] ʿAbd Allāh ibn Maḥmūd al-Mawṣilī (d. 683/1284),[10] Fakhr al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī (d. 743/1343),[11] Qiwām al-Dīn al-Kākī (749/1348),[12] Jalāl al-Dīn al-Khawārizmī (d. 767/1365),[13] Kamāl ibn al-Humām (d. 861/1457),[14] Muḥyī al-Dīn Jawīzāda (d. 954/1547),[15] Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī al-Ḥaṣkafī (d. 1088/1677),[16] and several others.[17] The reasoning underlying this view was that prior to a specific period (whether defined by days or by fetal development), a fetus is not a ‘child’ or ‘person’.[18] Therefore, no ruling is attached to it at this stage.[19]

Another opinion in the school, and one that has gained wide acceptance amongst contemporary Ḥanafī jurists, argued that abortion prior to 120 days was disliked and sinful unless carried out with a valid excuse. This view was most famously expressed by Fakhr al-Dīn Qāḍīkhān (d. 592/1196) in his Fatāwā and subsequently supported by the likes of Ibn Wahbān (d. 768/1367),[20] Ibn Nujaym (d. 970/1563),[21] and Ibn ʿĀbidīn (d. 1252/1836).[22] These sources, however, do not define or fully flesh out what constitutes an excuse, sufficing mainly with a single example as illustrative of a case where abortion would be permitted, namely when a woman ceases to produce milk on account of pregnancy and her husband is unable to provide an alternative source of sustenance for their child and fears his or her perishing. Cases of rape, incest, adultery, and other possible excuses are not discussed by most of these authors, and it is not clear whether they would have deemed these valid excuses or not.[23]

The Ḥanafī school, therefore, had three main opinions on the issue: unconditionally permissible prior to a specific time period; unconditionally disliked; and conditionally permissible prior to a specific time period. Of the three, the first view seems to have been the dominant one in the school and held by multiple authorities in virtually every century. The view of conditional permissibility was also a strong one and notably adopted by several later jurists. It is also the view that has gained currency among modern Ḥanafī scholars who are generally not seen forwarding the view of unconditional permissibility.

Some Contemporary Views on Abortion

A wide range of opinions is also found in the discourse of contemporary jurists. Shaykh Muṣṭafā Zarqā (d. 1999) presented a gradated scheme where abortion prior to 40 days was permitted without a “severe excuse”, which included “undertaking necessary travel where pregnancy and giving birth would prove a hindrance, such as for education or for work that requires a couple to move.”[24] He also considered financial strain arising from a child as a valid excuse during this limited time period. According to him, the threshold for a valid excuse would become higher as the pregnancy proceeded beyond 40 days.

Muftī Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī (d. 1996), one of the foremost scholars of the Deobandī school, permitted abortions when conception occurred out of wedlock (zinā).[25]

Muftī Salmān Manṣurpūrī states emphatically that the basis is that abortion is impermissible unless there is a valid excuse before 120 days, such as the life of the mother being at risk, serious consequences to her general health, an actual inability to bear pregnancy, clear harm or danger to one’s current children, and adultery, but not fear of economic difficulty nor the decision not to have children.[26]

In Fatāwā Dār al-ʿUlūm Zakariyya, Muftī Raḍā’ al-Ḥaqq states that a fetus diagnosed by medical professionals with an incurable and serious disorder that will prove to be an extreme burden on the child and its family is permitted to abort prior to 120 days as per the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Mecca.[27] Elsewhere, he divides pregnancy into three stages. The first stage is when the general form and facial features of the fetus take shape but prior to the formation of its limbs. At this stage, it is permitted to carry out on abortion with a valid and established excuse, such as the fetus suffering from a “dangerous hereditary disease”, “physical abnormality/deformity”, the life of the mother being at risk, or reasonably-established fear of the mother’s “physical and mental health” being impacted. The second stage is when the limbs of the fetus are clearly formed and discernible, and the third stage is after 120 days. In both these stages, the respected Muftī rules that abortion is not permitted except in cases of necessity, such as saving the life of the mother.[28] The permission to abort the fetus is also extended to cases of rape.[29]

Mawlānā Zubayr Aḥmad Qāsmī (d. 2019), a founding member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, India, argued that the permission to carry out an abortion before ensoulment (even after discernibility) is not simply restricted to cases of necessity (ḍarūra) but includes cases of need (ḥāja), which broadly includes “any situation that entails bodily or psychological harm for the parents or the child and is a cause for continual distress.”[30] Examples of valid excuses include “danger to the general health, mental health, or life of the mother”, pregnancy resulting from rape or fornication (so long as it is not someone who has engaged in the latter habitually), the strong possibility that the child will be born with serious physical abnormalities or defects as determined by a medical professional, and the genuine inability of the parents to raise and maintain/sustain more than one child without it negatively impacting their current children.[31]

Mawlānā Khālid Sayf Allāh Raḥmānī states, “Essentially, abortion is impermissible in Islam, and there is no time period in which it is acceptable to abort a fetus. However, this impermissibly has degrees. In the first scenario (i.e. post-ensoulment) it is a grievous sin and categorically prohibited; in the second scenario (i.e. pre-ensoulment but post-discernment of limbs) it is lesser than this; in the third scenario (i.e. before features/limbs become discernible) it is relatively less severe than the previous two.” He then goes on to rule that abortion is not permitted for the following reasons: not desiring more children; conception out of wedlock; or being physically or mentally unable to care for a child, since others may be able to do so. Excuses that permit abortion before ensoulment include a doctor concluding with reasonable-surety that the child will suffer from a dangerous hereditary disease, physical abnormalities, and deformities, and the life of the mother is at serious risk.[32]

There are stricter views than some of those mentioned above, especially from non-Ḥanafī scholars. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, taking the Mālikī school as his basis,[33] has argued that abortion before 40 days is prohibited “with rare exception.”[34] This view of impermissibility is also held by Shaykh Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī although he allows for a dispensation to be given to victims of rape.[35]

Shaykh ʿAbd Allāh ibn Bayya also deems abortion at all stages of pregnancy to be sinful to varying degrees except in situations where the life of the mother is at risk.[36]

Shaykh Wahba al-Zuhaylī (d. 2015) ruled that abortion was impermissible from the moment of conception “except in cases of necessity” such as being afflicted with cancer or an incurable disease.[37]

Framing the Problem: Basic Levels of Engaging the Law

The discussion so far makes one point quite evident: there are an array of opinions on the issue of abortion ranging from the extremely restrictive to the more permissive. Though ‘difference of opinion’ (ikhtilāf) has generally been viewed as one of the outstanding and unique features of Islamic legal discourse, it is precisely the range of views that exist in the tradition on abortion that partly plays a role in the problematic approaches to the issue seen amongst certain Muslims. It is not so much the differences themselves that are the issue, but the manner in which particular opinions are selected by individuals who subsequently propagate them to the community as binding doctrine.

To better understand this, one can broadly identify four basic levels of engagement with religious law applicable to Muslim leaders and scholars in the West in the context of the abortion issue,[38] which often overlap with one another: (a) personal, (b) academic, (c) fatwā, public preaching, and irshād, and (d) political.

(a) The Personal

The ‘personal’ level concerns an individual’s own practice where he or she can follow the legal school (or trusted scholar) of their choosing or decide on the rulings that govern their lives when possessing the ability to do so. This level does not directly concern anyone but the individual himself.

(b) The Academic

The ‘academic’ level in the current context refers primarily to a process of study, reflection and deduction, and research to arrive at a personal conclusion regarding some aspect of the law that is undertaken in conversation with a guild of peers and not the general population. Such academic activity is often theoretical, abstract, and conceptual, and even when it addresses more practical concerns, it constitutes a general articulation of an opinion, not an individualized responsa, that others engage with as members of a scholarly class. This scholarly class includes the ʿulamā’ and others whose input is relevant to a particular issue.

(c) Fatwā, Irshād, and Public Preaching

The realm of fatwā is exclusively for a qualified scholar. Here, the scholar enters most directly into the practical implementation of a legal ruling. Fatwā does involve an academic process, and it is often conveyed by a jurist as a universal ruling in accordance with his academic conclusions. However, the practice of fatwā is commonly understood as an answer directed by a qualified jurisconsult (muftī) to an individual (mustaftī) who requires guidance on a particular religious matter. The jurisconsult providing said individual with an answer is now tasked with translating the abstract, theoretical, and academic into a practical solution, which requires taking into account the circumstances of the questioner.[39]

The delicateness of this matter has led some scholars to compare the relationship of a jurisconsult with the questioner to that of a doctor and his patient.[40] Indeed, the answer that a scholar provides a questioner may not be fully in accordance with the theoretical and abstract conclusions the former has reached in an academic setting, it may disregard an opinion that the jurisconsult otherwise deems a valid legal interpretation because its application is not appropriate in the specific case at hand, it may be strict or lenient, in accordance with the legal school of the scholar or a dispensation from another, and it may be inapplicable to anyone but the questioner. Further, a fatwā is non-binding (unlike a judicial court ruling) and does not negate other valid opinions or peoples’ choice to follow them. This is important to note in contexts where a fatwā is issued to communicate a universal rule.

In many cases, the answer that is provided to a person is not presented as a fatwā but merely a form of religious advice or irshād. Though there is presumably a difference between these two concepts, they are sometimes indistinguishable in a Western context. Irshād has a seemingly less formal quality to it, and it can be offered by a non-scholar though the prerequisite of sound knowledge still remains. Like fatwā, the proffering of religious advice and guidance can assume a more public form and have an academic flavour to it. The articles written by non-scholars on the blogosphere, lectures and speeches delivered by speakers, and religious counsel extended to others falls within this general category of irshād. For those in leadership roles, the public nature of their work means that high standards are required even here when it comes to addressing and conveying religious issues of a complex or delicate nature.

(d) The Political

If the issuance of a fatwā and providing religious advice is a delicate matter, the process of forming, advocating for, and/or enacting laws on the political level is far greater in this regard. Such laws are made in the context of human societies and affect large swaths of people who objectively vary in their circumstances – individual, social, religious/ideological, and economic. Unlike a fatwā or irshād, once a law has been settled upon by the state, it becomes binding upon an entire population and any reasonable alternative ceases to hold validity in practice at least until the law is reviewed and amended. Exemptions are only tolerated when affirmed by the law itself. Further, law interacts with and influences society in complex ways. This is true for all forms of law, not just ones that are state-enacted.

A core question in legal philosophy is what the law ought to be or what makes a law good. The ‘good’ is a moral concept and might be described as one that is essentially contested in so far as people differ over its conception and the criteria for its application. Some emphasize the consequences of a rule (consequentialism), while others favour a deontological moral ethic or one that is virtue-centred. Each of these families of theories subsume within them further particular theories that differ with one another. There are also considerations of fairness, equity, distributive justice, enforceability, practicality, and/or efficiency that those evaluating the law might assign significant value to. These notions of morality and the good influence policy-making and legal systems.

How do Muslims approach this issue? Islam is viewed by Muslims as a comprehensive moral and philosophical system where the moral value of an act is determined by the divine will. It is the commands and prohibitions of God that render an action good or evil, and under this divine command theory, revelation is the primary source for moral knowledge.[41] However, this legal notion of moral value is not as straightforward as it sounds since a significant number of legal rulings are probabilistic in nature and differed upon. Consequently, the moral value attached to these rulings lack a decisive character, which engenders a plurality of moral outlooks. This pluralism is an indelible feature of the tradition itself creating a paradox whereby Muslims can affirm that good and evil are known through revelation, while recognizing that differences concerning moral judgments are part of the moral vision of revelation itself.

This raises important questions regarding the political approach a minority Muslim population in the West might take regarding the abortion issue. Should Muslims seek to accommodate a pluralism justified by tradition and avoid commandeering the state to coercively impose laws that negate the right of people to follow an acceptable and mainstream Islamic legal opinion?

Should Muslims simply support restrictions on abortion practices that contravene the consensus position of Islam? Or should Muslims seek to promote an opinion, or some combination of opinions, among those found in the legal schools on the basis of a reasonably defined criteria that assesses the issue holistically from the perspective of the theological, legal, ethical, and the public good?

Indeed, there are many classical opinions whose validity scholars did not accept, others that were prima facie valid but not put into practice, and classical jurists themselves erected systems to keep a check on legal chaos resulting from people being allowed to arbitrarily follow any opinion with a basis in precedent. Yet, Muslim societies always tolerated differences of opinion, and for most of its history, people living in these societies had recourse to various scholars from multiple legal schools. Unlike the centralizing and homogenizing tendencies of the modern nation-state, Islamic law was centrifugal and operated on a grass-roots level to produce self-governing societies. In many periods, this diversity was even found in judicial settings where courts were established for each of the legal schools. This was extended to non-Muslim populations living under Islamic governments as well who were accorded a high degree of autonomy. While this might strike some as a thing of the past, a nostalgic yearning for a bygone era, there are many lessons the community can draw from the attitudes and approaches of past societies.

In a political context, the notion of the ‘public good’ (maṣlaha) is particularly relevant given the scope and consequences of legislative actions, but it is a notoriously complicated one to pin down and, like the ‘good’, might be described as essentially contested. Even the basic question “who will this law or opinion impact, and in what manner” takes one into a complex maze of considerations and perspectives that demand careful attention and thought. It is hard to imagine any informed answer to this question without the input of a variety of experts. While Muslims are not quite in a position to craft legislation, influential religious activists and scholars who advocate for specific legislation and/or discourse on it to the wider community should keep the above points in made for any advocacy that proceeds in the name of religion is one that must be approached with care and seriousness.


Identifying the Problem: Beyond Personal Preferences, Emotions, and Selective Madhhab Picking

With this framework in mind, it is now possible to identify a major problem in current American Muslim discourse on abortion, which is that it does not meaningfully engage any of the levels described above save the personal. The distinction between these various engagement contexts is hardly recognized. Most public discourse on abortion promotes one traditional opinion over another based not on a rigorous standard that is grounded in revelation, theology, legal theory, ethics, the public good, and a keen awareness of human nature, the individual, political, social, and ideological currents and factors, historical trends, and the challenges of the contemporary world, but seemingly on personal opinions based on little more than a reaction to a perceived ideological threat, individual proclivities, or pure taqlīd. The mainstream opinions of the legal school simply act as tools of legitimation for one’s personal view.

The Problem of Imposition

On a personal level, this is not a problem per se, and people have their reasons to select certain views as opposed to others and even vociferously promote them in some limited capacity to friends, colleagues, or family over a session of tea or a short-lived social media feud with random individuals. However, for those in positions of leadership and influence, this cannot be the basis for a fatwā, general communal irshād, or public advocacy impacting millions of people. The imposition of the personal onto these areas in this manner is both ill-advised and potentially harmful. Even the conclusions reached by a scholar on the basis of sound academic research may be put aside in these contexts, i.e. fatwā and political activism/legislation, when the scholar feels that competing considerations and interests demand so. Thus, a scholar may believe in a reading of revelation that is extremely restrictive on abortion but recognizing the probabilistic nature of his interpretation and the variety of individual circumstances, the ethical norms of ease and warding off hardship, profound societal and economic changes, complex and strained community and family structures, the advice of other experts, and the general public good chooses not to advocate for this view as a matter of policy to be implemented as law or provided to a specific individual as a legal edict.

The Sunna Imperative for Leniency, The Lack of Depth of the Lenient

It is often forgotten that a peculiar response by some classical jurists to the degenerated state of society was not in toughening up legal prescriptions but relaxing them: “Our time is not one of avoiding the doubtful (shubuhāt), meaning if a person only avoids the impermissible, it is sufficient.”[42] This was an ethical consideration influencing the judgment of the jurist who saw it not as compromising religion nor a dereliction of his duty but part of the guidance of the sunna itself where facilitating the affairs of people was deemed important.[43] As Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad states commenting on the instruction of al-Birgivī (d. 981/1573) not to give the laity the more difficult opinion on an issue validly differed upon:

This, of course, is a Prophetic counsel. The ego doesn’t always like giving people easy options because we assume it is because of our laziness or some kind of liberal Islam. For al-Birgivī it is taqwā to give the ordinary Muslims the easier interpretations… but nowadays, we tend to assume that the narrower you are, the less compromises you make, the more the West will be angry and, therefore, the better the Muslim you must be.[44]

The Prophetic counsel that Shaykh Abdal Hakim refers to is known to many: “Make things easy and do not make them difficult.” This attitude of facilitating matters for people, granting them leniency, and not repulsing them with harshness and difficulty is a part of Islam. As Imām al-Shāṭibī stated, the removal of hardship (rafʿ al-ḥaraj) is a decisively established foundational principle in the shariah.[45] From this foundational principle arises some of the most important legal and ethical principles in the Islamic tradition, such as hardship necessitates ease, there is no harm nor reciprocating harm, harm is lifted, the lesser of two evils, taking into account the consequences of an act, custom as a source of law, and more. In fact, some jurists opined that when the evidence for an issue was contradictory or conflicting, the more lenient opinion was to be given preference due to the generality of revelatory texts affirming ease in the shariah.[46]

But there is a problem. Many of those who promote and relay the lenient Ḥanafī opinion of unconditional permissibility approach it in a manner that lacks substance. On the academic plane, even basic questions regarding this position are not addressed or understood, much less entertained. Take, for example, the difference between the statement of Ḥanafī jurists that abortion is impermissible after the physical features of the fetus become discernible and the statement of others in the school that this impermissibility comes into effect after a 120-day period. Are these the same? Who in the madhhab held these positions? Is there a clear preference for one or the other? How was discernibility understood? What features needed to be discernible? Did discernibility refer to what is normally observable by humans or to what is discernible by modern embryogenesis? How have contemporary jurists addressed this issue? Then there is the matter that one is hard-pressed to find a single contemporary Ḥanafī jurist who favours the view of unconditional permissibility. What does this reveal about this opinion and the possibility of critically evaluating past opinions that fall within the scope of differences of opinion?[47]

These questions largely fall within the parameters of an intra-school discussion and do not even begin to address the broader social and political considerations mentioned earlier.

Here, the sheer fact that there were over six-hundred thousand abortions reported in America in 2015, the latest year for which statistics exist from the CDC, should be alarming to people and cannot be callously dismissed.

Though the overwhelming majority of these occurred well within a 120-day period (≤13 weeks’ gestation, which is measured from the first day of the woman’s last menstruation and not from the day of conception), most of those who obtained these abortions were unmarried women who did so in non-dire circumstances.[48] The culture of sexual freedom out of which the abortion movement emerged and its ideological grounding in notions of bodily autonomy and personal choice cannot be ignored in this discussion.[49] Nor can the devaluing of family and motherhood,[50] the practice of female foeticide, the increasingly materialistic outlook of society, and its mechanistic view of human beings.

Additionally, some Muslims seem largely oblivious to the fact that abortion politics link to many other issues that have little do with abortion itself, such as assisted suicide or end-of-life care. In a famous district court case on assisted suicide, Compassion in Dying vs. Washington, it was Planned Parenthood vs. Casey that was cited as an important precedent to rule that a ban on physician-aided suicide was unconstitutional.[51] Clearly, it is not sufficient to make simplistic appeals to leniency to justify promulgating an opinion that leads to such wider consequences. Abortion, in other words, cannot be treated as a ‘stand-alone’ issue with little or no relation to a broader philosophical outlook that downplays a sanctity of life ethic.[52]

Thou Shalt Make No Exceptions, But Should We?

Many of the issues highlighted in the previous paragraph raise serious theological and ethical concerns for Muslims and should push them to reflect on the type of society they wish to create and sustain in America. Is the abortion movement today in line with the moral vision envisioned for society by God and His Prophet (blessings upon him)? Clearly not. But while the seriousness of this crisis cannot be understated, a core question, at least in the context of this debate, is often missed: if it is misplaced and dangerous to forward the most lenient opinion in this context, in what way does the strictest possible position on abortion where exemptions are not even extended to victims of rape and incest ameliorate the current situation? Or to put it differently, how do these social and ideological problems make the strictest possible opinion on abortion the most appropriate one to adopt for the individual and society?

The answer to this question is not usually satisfactorily provided. Generally, such a view returns to a genuine moral belief one holds regarding a fetus being an inviolable living person. This moral belief may be grounded in a preferred reading of revelation, simple adherence to a specific legal school, a reaction to a perceived ideological battle framed in the language of pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal inclinations, or, as is usually the case, some combination of these factors. But the no-exception view is at least initially a personal view one holds, which is then forwarded as a broad religious and political solution. One may wonder why this is an issue. After all, why shouldn’t a person forward what he or she personally believes to be the Islamic ruling on an issue?

Certainly, this is expected especially when it concerns human life, but as stated earlier, it is problematic when that personal view, which it should be noted in this case lacks a decisive legal/moral character from a religious perspective, moves into the realm of fatwā and public advocacy without taking into account the many considerations required to make an informed decision in these areas. This is in addition to the fact that those who hold this view feel perfectly within their rights to tell others to set aside their personal moral views permitting abortions precisely in view to a broader context.

Here, it is worth sharing the response given by Shaykh Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī when he was asked about abortions for Bosnian Muslim women who were raped during war. After mentioning that his basic view is that abortions are impermissible “from the moment of conception” and “this is what we give preference to”, he states:

However, in cases of need, there is no harm in taking one of the two alternative views (i.e. permissibility before 40 or 120 days), and whenever the excuse is more severe, the dispensation will be more established and manifest, and whenever it is before the first 40 days, it is closer to dispensation.

We know that there are jurists who are very strict on this matter and do not permit abortion even a day after conception… but what is most preferable is a middle path between those who are expansive in granting permission and those who are excessively strict in prohibition.[53]

This is, of course, how knowledge and fiqh operate. They do not merely float around in the world of the abstract but address a complex world of real people, which in the context of fatwā, irshād, and politics often requires setting aside individual feelings and personal adherences to particular legal opinions: “Know that this ikhtilāf [between scholars] may be a reason to provide facilitation and ease, which is one of the higher aims of the shariah affirmed by the unequivocal text of the Qur’an and sunna.”[54]

Too often, many of those who vociferously promote the strictest view on abortion address the issue on the level of the abstract and then transfer it to the practical realm with little further thought. Take, for example, the argument that Muslims should oppose the legalization of abortion because a majority of abortions are due to economic anxiety or a feeling of unreadiness, which in turn return to the increasingly materialistic outlook of society and crumbling family structures.

This materialistic outlook and erosion of the family must be remedied. However, no justification is ever furnished as to why a no-exception abortion stance is the best method to address this social problem, and there is almost no focus on the individual. It never crosses the mind of the proponents of this view that it is the very fact that society is materialistic to its core and the family lay in ruins that causes economic anxiety and feelings of unreadiness to be felt much more palpably and intensely by young, unmarried, pregnant women.

Web MD

By largely confining their analysis and presentation of the issue to ‘materialism’, ‘decay of family’, ‘feminism’, etc., proponents of the restrictive view (inadvertently) divert attention away from the lived realities of people. This leads to neglecting the more concrete conditions and circumstances people are subject to, such as poverty, unemployment, drug abuse, poor health, psychological issues, sexual abuse, incarceration, social inequality and stratification, and the varying abilities of people to cope with life pressures and struggles. This focus away from the individual produces an unsympathetic, even antagonistic attitude, where the solution favoured is uncompromising and rigid. The ethical is erroneously conflated with strictness even though it might entail leniency in recognition of individual and social conditions.

To take one example where these broader considerations come into play, take the issue of pregnancy resulting from rape. Though statistics regarding rape are inconsistent because the crime is so underreported, it is safe to say that hundreds of thousands of women are victims of rape every year with tens of thousands of these rapes resulting in pregnancy (approximately five percent).[55] A significantly high number of rape victims are under eighteen with many actually being under the age of twelve.[56] Victims of rape spend many weeks simply recovering from physical injuries and managing mental health symptoms, which can remain with them for years. Beyond the physical and psychological symptoms common after rape, if a rape victim decides to carry her child to term, she is forced to go through a lengthy and exhausting process to prosecute her rapist in a criminal court and contest custody in a family or dependency court.

The political and legislative context makes matters even more difficult. Not every state has legislation in place allowing for parental rights to be terminated for a rapist. Most states that do have such legislation in place require a criminal conviction of rape beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard of evidence possible, with several also requiring a civil court conviction by clear and convincing evidence that conception resulted from rape.

Some states require the rape to be of the first-degree, which is varyingly defined.[57] Generally, the chances of obtaining a conviction of first-degree rape are slim. Not only do rape crimes go unreported in a majority of cases,[58] there are numerous hurdles in the criminal justice system that disadvantage rape victims at every stage of the process, such as ‘rape myths’ that influence police, investigative officers, jurors, and judges.[59]

In most cases, a rapist will plead guilty to lesser crimes in order to avoid prolonged jail time, which would potentially allow him to gain parental rights in states requiring first or second-degree rape convictions for such rights to be terminated.[60] In view of this, one can state that the suggestion by some Muslims that abortion should not be permitted even in such contexts because a woman can simply put her child up for adoption is seriously misinformed and potentially harmful.[61] Is the correct solution in this context to support the most restrictive view on abortion?

Conclusion: Refining our Conceptualization & The Bigger Picture

American Muslims must go beyond simplistic and emotionally-charged approaches to the abortion question. This issue, like many others, cannot be properly addressed through a narrowly defined law, politics, or clash of ideologies narrative, especially at the level of individual fatwā, communal irshād, or political activism, advocacy, and legislation.

Nor can the wider community be shown direction on this issue, or have a course charted for them, merely on the basis of narrowly-informed personal opinions and proclivities neatly presented in the classical opinions of our choosing. Our approach must address the issue through real fiqh, namely deep understanding, where the question of abortion is tackled with an academic rigor that is cognizant of lived realities and is grounded in the ethics and guidance of revelation.

Today in America, a crisis we face is of an activism not based in, or guided by, real scholarship, and a scholarship that is wanting, uninspiring, and disconnected from those it seeks to guide. The first step scholars must take on this issue is to gain a proper and thorough conceptualization of the issue. No sound and effective conclusion can arise without such a conceptualization. This is true for any issue we find ourselves dealing with.

On the level of addressing the broader community, this is not an issue to be decided by an individual but a collectivity of minds coming together to exchange ideas and opinions. The laity should understand that American Muslims will not reach an agreement on this matter, and nor should we demand that they do. People will continue to forward different opinions and solutions. The progression of time will likely result in a plurality of acceptable views emerging within our context. This should not be met with confusion.

Muslims once lived in an age of ambiguity where opinions were confidently held but differences embraced. Today, we live in an age of anxiety, people with confused identities, threatened by modernity and various ideologies, so much so that “the only form of Islam [we] can regard as legitimate is a totalitarian, monolithic one” as Shaykh Abdal Hakim once remarked. Let us avoid this, allow for different perspectives, but demand higher standards from those who seek to guide us and speak on our behalf especially when the matter veers into a space that impacts people and communities in a very real way.

Finally, and most importantly, Muslims must break out of the mindset that social problems can simply be legislated away or solved through polemical battles waged on the internet against pernicious ideologies. The political and social are intimately intertwined, but it is all too common to see many Muslims neglecting the latter while imagining that the activities they are engaged in to address the political are actually meaningful and impactful. In fact, it is often detached from the real world, a mouthing of clichés and idle moralizing on social media platforms that elicits rage and fails to yield actual solutions on the ground. If television altered the meaning of being informed as Neil Postmann asserted, social media has undoubtedly taken things a step further by altering the meaning of ‘taking action’.

The erosion of family, the decay of morality, the rise of materialistic outlooks, the loss of higher purpose and meaning, and the devaluing of life must be addressed more directly through education, the creation of a real community, the nurturing and training of leaders who embody knowledge and wisdom, and the erection of structures that support peoples’ faith and anchor them in times of crisis. It should not be forgotten that these non-legal institutions play an important role in shaping behaviours and promoting social mores.

Muslims should learn from the many conservative Christian activists who, contrary to popular stereotypes, demonstrate an acute awareness of the struggles and anguish that many women contemplating abortion experience. As the prominent pro-life activist Frederica Mathewes-Green states:

This issue gets presented as if it’s a tug of war between the woman and the baby. We see them as mortal enemies, locked in a fight to the death. But that’s a strange idea, isn’t it? It must be the first time in history when mothers and their own children have been assumed to be at war. We’re supposed to picture the child attacking her, trying to destroy her hopes and plans, and picture the woman grateful for the abortion, since it rescued her from the clutches of her child.

If you were in charge of a nature preserve and you noticed that the pregnant female mammals were trying to miscarry their pregnancies, eating poisonous plants or injuring themselves, what would you do? Would you think of it as a battle between the pregnant female and her unborn and find ways to help those pregnant animals miscarry? No, of course not. You would immediately think, “Something must be really wrong in this environment.” Something is creating intolerable stress, so much so that animals would rather destroy their own offspring than bring them into the world. You would strive to identify and correct whatever factors were causing this stress in the animals.[62]

It is this realization, which arises from a perspective that looks beyond abortion as simply an ideological battle between ‘the feminist’ or ‘the liberal’, that generates a sense of empathy within many conservative Christian activists who are then motivated to assist women in concrete ways.

Take the example of Embrace Grace, a Texas-based non-profit organization, which describes its purpose as “providing emotional, practical and spiritual support for single, young women and their families who find themselves in an unintended pregnancy” and to “empower churches across the nation to be a safe and non-judging place for the girls to run to when they find out they are pregnant, instead of the last place they are welcomed because of shame and guilt.” Christians have set up hundreds of pregnancy care centers across the United States, which, despite issues of concern, provide resources and services to pregnant women. Various churches have set up support groups for single mothers and mothers-to-be, while the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) has set out to confront systemic injustices in society that lead women to seek out abortions, such as poverty.[63]

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said reaching the golden mean requires that we think and make sacrifices. It is time for leaders, thinkers, and scholars in our community to begin thinking more deeply and contemplatively about the issue of abortion in its various contexts, and it is time for our community to sacrifice their time, wealth, and energies in providing concrete solutions and remedies that demonstrate a true concern for both the unborn and the women who carry them.

God alone is our sufficiency.

[1] References to Muslims in this article should be primarily understood as referring to people in positions of leadership and influence. In this article, I discuss some of the technical aspects surrounding the legal debate over abortion, but my intent is to simply provide a brief overview of this aspect of the debate in order for a general audience to appreciate some of the complexities of the topic.

[2] Though the term fetus technically refers to the unborn after 8 weeks of gestation, many use it to refer to the unborn throughout the period of pregnancy. I will be using the latter convention for the sake of simplicity.

[3] al-Ḥasan ibn Manṣūr al-Farghānī, Fatāwā Qāḍīkhān, on the margins of Fatāwā Hindiyya (Bulāq: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Amīriyya, 1310 A.H.), 3:410.

[4] Ibn Māza himself framed the ruling in terms of ensoulment. He stated that jurists differed on the permissibility of abortion pre-ensoulment with some permitting it. He then cited the text of Fatāwā Ahl al-Samarqand, which only speaks of discernibility. Qāḍīkhān mentioned how the discernibility of physical features and limbs was “determined” by some as occurring at 120 days. Kamāl ibn al-Humām and others correctly pointed out that observation proves otherwise but proceed to state that the connection made between discernibility and ensoulment shows that scholars intended the latter when expressing the former. Ibn ʿĀbidīn, however, questioned this. I agree for several reasons: firstly, many jurists make no reference to 120 days or ensoulment when presenting this ruling; secondly, discernibility and ensoulment are clearly different stages during the pregnancy, a fact that was known to classical scholars who sometimes applied different terms to these two stages, such as taṣwīr/ṣūra and takhlīq/khalq; and, thirdly, most Ḥanafī rulings premised on determining personhood rely on the discernibility criterion. Given this, there are two possible views in the Ḥanafī school regarding the period before which abortion is permissible: before some of the physical features of the fetus become discernible or prior to ensoulment at 120 days. Additionally, there was discussion in the Ḥanafī school on the features that were to be given consideration when assessing whether a fetus was a ‘person’. These discussions are highly significant in modern debates for if the criterion for personhood is discerning a particular physical form on the basis of observation, this potentially broadens the scope for modern Ḥanafī understandings of the concept of personhood and how/when it is established. I hope to address these issues in a separate paper. See Maḥmūd ibn Aḥmad ibn Māza, al-Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī fī al-fiqh al-Nuʿmānī, ed. Nuʿaym Ashraf Nūr Aḥmad (Karachi: Idārat al-Qur’ān wa’l-ʿUlūm al-Islāmiyya, 2004), 8:83-84; al-Farghānī, Fatāwā Qāḍīkhān, 3:410; Muḥammad Amīn ibn ʿĀbidīn, Radd al-Muḥtār (Būlāq: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Kubrā al-Amīriyya, 1323 A.H.), 1:201.

[5] Ibn Māza, al-Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī, 8:83-84. It is worth noting that al-Qummī did not say fetus is a life at conception but that it has begun a process that concludes with life.

[6] Ḥussām al-Dīn ʿUmar ibn Māza, al-Fatāwā al-Kubrā (Istanbul: Rāghib Bāshā #619), ff. 96b.

[7] Raḍī al-Dīn al-Sarakhsī, al-Wajīz (Istanbul: Koprulu #684), ff. 116a.

[8] Jamāl al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad, al-Ḥāwī al-Qudsī, ed. Ṣāliḥ al-ʿAlī (Lebanon: Dār al-Nawādir, 2011), 2:326.

[9] Zayn al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr al-Rāzī, Tuḥfat al-Mulūk, ed. Ṣalāḥ Abū al-Ḥajj (Amman: Dār al-Fārūq, 2006), 290.

[10] ʿAbd Allāh ibn Maḥmūd al-Mawṣilī, al-Ikthiyār, ed. Shuʿayb Arna’ūṭ (Damascus: Dār al-Risāla 2009), 4:153.

[11] ʿUthmān ibn ʿAlī al-Zaylaʿī, Tabyīn al-Ḥaqā’iq Sharḥ Kanz al-Daqā’iq (Multan: Maktaba Imdādiyya, n.d.), 2:166.

[12] Amīr Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Kākī, Miʿrāj al-Dirāya (Istanbul: Koprulu #619), ff. 395b.

[13] Jalāl al-Dīn ibn Shams al-Dīn al-Khawārizmī, al-Kifāya Sharḥ al-Hidāya, on the margins of Fatḥ al-Qadīr (Cairo: Maṭbaʻat al-Maymaniyya, 1901; reprint Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, n.d.), 3:373.

[14] Kamāl ibn al-Humām, Fatḥ al-Qadīr (Cairo: Maṭbaʻat al-Maymaniyya, 1901; reprint Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, n.d.), 3:372-73.

[15] Muḥyī al-Dīn ibn Ilyās Jawīzāda, al-Īthār li-Ḥall al-Mukhtār, ed. Ilyās Qablān (Istanbul: Maktabat al-Irshād, 2016), 4:98.

[16] Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī al-Ḥaṣkafī, al-Durr al-Mukhtār (Lebanon: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2002) 197.

[17] I am usually disinclined to list names of jurists in this manner when relating who held a specific legal opinion. One reason for this is that it creates the mistaken illusion that every one of these jurists came to this conclusion on the basis of their individual ijtihād when it may in fact simply be an exercise in taqlīd. Thus, one finds that most of these authors merely relate verbatim those who preceded them without any additional comments. However, it still indicates that these jurists accepted the ruling in question as the position of the school without qualms.

[18] When does a fetus qualify as a ‘person’ or a ‘human’? What are the necessary and sufficient features for personhood? Does personhood correspond to the beginning of life? If not, when does life begin? How is this connected to ensoulment? When does ensoulment occur? When does a fetus have moral standing? What is the nature of this moral standing over the course of a pregnancy? These are central questions in classical and modern debates on abortion. Sometimes, one finds that ‘person’, ‘human’, ‘life’, and related terms, are not properly defined, which is a problem given that conclusions regarding abortion are often premised on their proper conceptualization. Further, when attempts at proper definition are undertaken, people naturally come to different conclusions. For example, some modern pro-life philosophers argue that ‘persons’ are individuals of a rational nature and a fetus has no capacity for sentience, at least not until mid-gestation. Conception, therefore, cannot mark the beginning of a person. Yet even here, some scholars note that the fetus is a potential person. Therefore, it has some moral value and standing, but others counter with a “person-affecting restriction” that argues that merely potential people possess no moral claims. Some people work under material assumptions regarding the nature of the mind and opine that a moral person must be a ‘self’ and a necessary condition for something to be a self is some form of electrical brain activity. The bioethicist, Baruch Brody (d. 2018), also relied on this criterion of brain waves in his conception of personhood. Jane English presents a range of features or ‘factors’ that she views as being found in typical conceptions of a person: biological, psychological, rationality, social, and legal. There are religious conservative thinkers who define being human on the basis of genetics. John T. Noonan stated, “The positive argument for conception as the decisive moment of humanization is that at conception the new being receives the genetic code. It is this genetic information which determines his characteristics, which is the biological carrier of the possibility of human wisdom, which makes him a self-evolving being. A being with a human genetic code is man.” Many religious conservatives also maintain that there is no moment during pregnancy that can be identified as conferring moral significance on the unborn, i.e. it possesses moral standing before birth and after. Thus, brain waves, sentience, quickening, viability, physical human form, etc., are given no consideration as points at which moral standing is affirmed for the fetus and prior to which it is denied. For important early works on this topic see John T. Noonan, The Morality of Abortion: Legal and Historical Perspectives (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970); Jane English, “Abortion and the Concept of a Person,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5, no. 2 (1975): 233-43; Baruch Brody, Abortion and the Sanctity of Life (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1975); Stephen Buckle, “Arguing From Potential,” Bioethics 2, no. 3 (1988): 226–253; Mary Anne Warren, Moral Status: Obligations to Persons and Other Living Things (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Michael Tooley, Abortion and Infanticide (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983); Richard Warner, “Abortion: The Ontological and Moral Status of the Unborn,” Social Theory and Practice 3 (1974). The literature on this is vast.

Classical jurists of Islam were guided fundamentally by revelation in their answers to these questions, but they still had substantial disagreements. Some identified a fetus as a person from the moment of conception, others as potentially so, yet others as a person only when its physical features became discernible, while some seemingly assigned no status to it at any fetal stage prior to ensoulment. When it came to ensoulment, the majority said this occurred at 120 days, while others said 40 days. Some equated ensoulment with personhood, while others distinguished between them. There were other conceptual frames utilized in discussions concerning the fetus as well, such as dhimma and ḥuqūq, being ‘animate’ or ‘inanimate’, a constituent part (juz’) of the mother or a separate self (nafs), and so forth. This occasioned a degree of ambiguity regarding the moral standing of the fetus at various stages of pregnancy. For example, Imām al-Ghazālī prohibited abortion at all stages of pregnancy but stated that the sin of doing so is less severe in earlier stages than later ones. Some jurists deemed it permissible to undergo an abortion due to a minor excuse in the first 40 days, requiring a more serious excuse from that point up until 120 days, and impermissible in all but the direst of situations following ensoulment. The fetus, therefore, seems to have a diminished moral standing at the beginning of the pregnancy and full moral standing post-ensoulment even in the eyes of jurists who affirmed personhood from conception. This is also reflected in rulings concerning financial compensation (ghurra) and expiation (kaffāra) owed by someone who causes a woman to miscarry. Meanwhile, many Ḥanafīs seemed to have assigned no moral status to the fetus before it had a discernible human form. The moral standing of the fetus was also influenced by the manner of conception with some jurists suggesting that a fetus conceived out of wedlock was not similar to a fetus that was conceived through a religiously sanctioned relationship. Besides revelation, observation played an important role in these determinations, as did the specific legal traditions jurists operated within. Today, science and embryology have guided the conclusions of many scholars, which has raised questions regarding the epistemological and interpretive value of the former. There is arguably a need to go beyond limited legal conceptions of personhood and life and engage in deeper theological and philosophical discussions on this matter.

[19] This ruling was consistent with several others in the school regarding whether a miscarried fetus is named, shrouded, and washed, whether a miscarriage concludes the waiting-period of a pregnant woman, and even whether a fetus is resurrected in the next-life. These rulings, among others, returned to whether the miscarried or stillborn fetus was actually considered a child/person, which in turn related to the formation and discernibility of its physical features. I believe this strengthens the view that discernibility of physical features was the main criterion for personhood in the Ḥanafī school. For some of these rulings see Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī, al-Aṣl, ed. Mehmet Boynūkālin (Beirut: Dār Ibn Ḥazm, 2012), 1:296, 4:415, 481, 5:144. This interconnectedness of legal doctrine, or its organic unity, is expressed in a famous aphorism, “The law is a seamless web.” These discussions are also present in the other three legal schools.

[20] Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ibn Wahbān, ʿIqd al-Qalā’id wa-Qayd al-Sharā’id, ed. ʿAbd al-Jalīl al-ʿAṭā (Damascus: Maktabat al-Fajr, 2000), 195.

[21] Zayn al-Dīn ibn Nujaym, al-Baḥr al-Rā’iq (Cairo: al-Maṭbaʿa al-ʿIlmiyya, 1893; reprint by H.M. Saeed, n.d.), 3:215.

[22] Muḥammad Amīn ibn ʿĀbidīn, Radd al-Muḥtār (Būlāq: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Kubrā al-Amīriyya, 1323 A.H.), 2:388-89.

[23] The Hidāya mentions that a child conceived out of wedlock is still muḥtaram and so cannot be aborted. Imām ʿAbd al-Ḥayy al-Lakhnawī mentions that this only applies to a fetus that has reached the stage of post-discernibility. He then goes onto state that the fatwā position in his time is that it would be permissible pre-discernibility and post-discernibility. See Burhān al-Dīn al-Marghinānī, al-Hidāya Sharḥ Bidāyat al-Mubtadī maʿa Sharḥ al-ʿAllāma ʿAbd al-Ḥayy al-Lakhnawī, ed. Naʿīm Ashraf Nūr Aḥmad (Karachi: Idārat al-Qur’ān wa’l-ʿUlūm al-Islāmiyya, 1417 A.H.), 3:25.

[24] Muṣṭafā Zarqā, Fatāwā (Damascus: Dār al-Qalam, 2010), 285.

[25] Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī, Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyya (Karachi: Idārat al-Fārūq, 2009), 18:321.

[26] Sayyid Muḥammad Salmān Manṣurpūrī, Kitāb al-Nawāzil (Muradabad: al-Markaz al-ʿIlmī lil-Nashr wa’l-Taḥqīq, 2016), 16:248-81.

[27] Muftī Raḍā’ al-Ḥaqq, Fatāwā Dār al-ʿUlūm Zakariyya (Karachi: Zam Zam Publishers, 2015), 6:756.

[28] Ibid., 6:755.

[29] Ibid., 6:763.

[30] Zubayr Aḥmad Qāsmī, “Khāndānī Manṣūbabandī,” in Jadīd Fiqhī Mabāḥith (Karachi: Idārat al-Qur’ān, 2009), 1:332.

[31] Ibid., 1:331-32.

[32] Khālid Sayf Allāh Raḥmānī, Kitāb al-Fatāwā (Karachi: Zam Zam Publishers, 2008), 6:218-226

[33] The relied-upon position in the Mālikī school prohibits abortions almost entirely even if done prior to ensoulment, which Mālikī jurists opine as occurring at 40 days.


[35] Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī, Fatāwa al-Muʿaṣara (Cairo: Dār al-Qalam, 2005), 2:541-50.

[36] ʿAbd Allāh ibn Bayya, Ṣināʿ at al-Fatwā wa-Fiqh al-Aqaliyyāt (UAE: Masār lil-Tibāʿa wa’l-Nashr, 2018), 577-78.

[37] Wahba al-Zuhaylī, al-Fiqh al-Islāmī wa-Adillatuhu (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, 1985), 3:557.

[38] The delineation and explanation I have presented here should not be seen as a comprehensive exposition of the concepts being discussed. Rather, it should be seen as a basic explanatory framework to understand the problem I wish to highlight in the next section. I have intentionally left out many details surrounding fatwā, siyāsa, taqlīd, etc., for the sake of the average reader.

[39] Muḥammad Kamāl al-Dīn al-Rāshidī, al-Miṣbāḥ fī Rasm al-Muftī wa-Manāhij al-Iftā’ (Deoband: Ittiḥād Book Depot, n.d.), 61-62 in the Takmila; Ibn Bayya, Ṣināʿ at al-Fatwā, 28-29, 230.

[40] al-Rāshidī, al-Miṣbāḥ, 28.

[41] ʿ Abd al-Malik ibn Yūsuf al-Juwaynī, Kitāb al-Irshād ilā Qawāṭiʿ al-Adilla fī Uṣūl al-Iʿtiqād, ed. Aḥmad ʿAbd al-Raḥīm (Cairo: Maktabat al-Thaqāfa al-Dīniyya, 2009), 210-11. This is admittedly a simplification of a very complex debate on the role of reason, its meaning and limitations, its relationship to revelation, deontological vs teleological theories of Islamic normative ethics, and more. These were issues of fundamental debate between the great theological schools, namely the Ashʿarīs, Māturīdis, and the Muʿtazila.

[42] Ibrāhīm ibn Ḥusayn Bīrīzāda, ʿUmdat Dhawī al-Baṣā’ir li-Ḥall Muhimmāt al-Ashbāh wa’l-Naẓā’ir, ed. Ilyās Qablān & Ṣafwat Kawsa (Istanbul: Maktabat al-Rushd, 2016), 2:415.

[43] This is also seen in the tradition of rukhas, or dispensations, and ḥiyal, or legal stratagems/loopholes.

[44] From his Paradigms of Leadership (6) lecture series.

[45] Ibrāhīm ibn Mūsā al-Shāṭibī, al-Muwāfaqāt, ed. Mashhūr Ḥasan (Cairo: Dār Ibn ʿ Affān, 1997), 1:520.

[46] For reference to this see Ibn Bayya, Ṣināʿ at al-Fatwā, 273-75.

[47] One might state that these people are simply engaging in a form of taqlid. This is fair, but there is still a level of diligence and rigor expected from anyone who wishes to publicly opine on a matter of such nature.


[49] Take the following statements made by Judith Thomson in her well-known defence of abortion, which continues to be loudly echoed by the pro-choice movement: “My own view is that if a human being has any just, prior claim to anything at all, he has a just, prior claim to his own body” and “No doubt the mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body.” The violinist analogy she forwards, among others, expresses this point quite clearly. See Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 1, no. 1 (1971): 48, 54.

[50] The sociologist Kristen Luker noted over three decades ago that pro-life and pro-choice activists were mainly divided due to their differing views on the meaning of sexuality, motherhood, and the role of women. See Kristin Luker, Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Berkeley (California: University of California Press, 1984), especially Ch 7.

[51] Compassion in Dying v. Washington, 850 F. Supp. 1454 (WD Wash. 1994). This was unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court in 1997.

[52] The phrase ‘sanctity-of-life’ has featured prominently in theological, political, and biomedical ethical discussions related to abortion and end-of-life questions. Some members of congress, for example, have tried repeatedly to introduce a ‘Sanctity-of-Life Act’ to protect the unborn. However, the origins, meaning, and application of the phrase remain unclear and heavily debated. For a basic overview see the edited volume Sanctity of Life and Human Dignity (Boston: Springer Dordrecht, 1996).

[53] al-Qaraḍāwī, Fatāwa al-Muʿaṣara, 2:609-13.

[54] Ibn Bayya, Ṣināʿ at al-Fatwā, 273.

[55] The Federal House Bill 1257 that passed in 2015 as the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act cites between 25,000 and 32,000 pregnancies from rape annually but this is almost certainly an underestimate.

[56] For details on these and other related statistics see

[57] For detailed information regarding state statutes and provisions on the termination of pregnancy in contexts of children born as a result of sexual assault see

[58] For statistics on this see the Department of Justice Criminal Victimization analysis (revised, 2018) at There are several reasons why women choose not to report such crimes, which include fear of retaliation, shame and guilt, and a belief that police will not be able to help them.

[59] For a brief discussion on existing research around rape myths see Olivia Smith & Tina Skinner, “How Rape Myths Are Used and Challenged in Rape and Sexual Assault Trials,” Social & Legal Studies 26, no. 4 (2017): 442-45.

[60] Rachael Kessler, “Due Process and Legislation Designed to Restrict the Rights of Rapist Fathers,” Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy, no. 10, vol 1 (2015): 199-229.

[61] There is a sensitive discussion surrounding the definition of rape in Islamic law specifically as it relates to intimate married partners. I have ignored this issue because it would distract from the main purpose of this article.


[63] There have been initiatives in the Muslim community directed at addressing these pressing issues, such as the work of Dr. Aasim Padela of the University of Chicago and his Initiative on Islam and Medicine, Dr. Rafaqat Rashid and the work of al-Balagh Academy, Dr. Mansur Ali of Cardiff University and his research on bioethics, and several others. This is not to mention the many individuals who have tried to create practical spaces to assist people who may find themselves in difficult life circumstances. While there is much more to do, the efforts of these people should not go unnoticed.

Continue Reading