Connect with us

Aqeedah and Fiqh

Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution? | Yasir Qadhi

Avatar

Published

on

Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mr. Who

    January 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Where’s the other side of the argument? Without that this makes a poor report/blog entry.

  2. Avatar

    Dean

    January 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    I must agree with Mr. Who. I’ve seen so many Muslims who hold no punches in unjustly demeaning their brother Dr. Usama Hasan for some views he holds, in flagrant disregard of the respect afforded each one of us in Surah Hujurat. Seeing certain facebook sites like “Quilliam Memes,” set-up by Muslims who aught to know better about adab, pains my heart.

    Until we can see the other side of the debate, we cannot make any just conclusion on the matter.

  3. Avatar

    Hamayoun

    January 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Salam

    To me, the bigger issue is not whether evolution is true or false, but the way Usama Hasan has been crucified by muslims the last few years.

  4. Avatar

    Hamayoun

    January 9, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Salam

    I am not taking “sides” here, but please also keep in mind that the late Dr Israr Ahmed, who was considered very orthodox and very conservative, seemed to be very open minded to human evolution. See this video for his opinion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjw7IyltcNQ&feature=related

  5. Avatar

    Hamayoun

    January 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Again, not taking sides here, but neither Usama Hasan nor Israr Ahmed were the first muslims to talk about human evolution. Even before Darwin, Ibn Khaldun talked about it! This is what he said.

    One should look at the world of creation. It started out from the minerals and progressed, in an ingenious, gradual manner to plants and animals…The animal world then widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it finally leads to man, who is able to think and reflect. The higher stage of man is reached from the world of monkeys, in which both sagacity and perception are found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking. At this point we come to the first stage of man after the world of monkeys. This is as far as our physical observation extends.

    • Avatar

      mww_m

      January 9, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      …..I guess watching the video is out of the question?

  6. Avatar

    Mr. Who

    January 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I am surprised to see no one seem to be considering the possibility that Islamic definition of Human could be different from Homo Spaien. If you were to show Adam (AS) to a biologist, what would he see? A being who is 72 cubits tall, living for about 1000 years, always reproducing in doubles (male-female pair of twins). I doubt such a being would be considered to be Homo Sapien.

  7. Avatar

    Abu Asiyah

    January 10, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    @Hamayoun: Clearly you didn’t bother to watch Sh. Yasir’s response if you’re mentioning Ibn Khaldun.

    While I do prefer the position that the Shaikh outlines in the video, I also find the problem with how a video can be titled “Muslim X destroys Muslim Y”. Since when do we support the destruction of other Muslims? Why are people so happy that one scholar won over another one in debate?

    While I do find that the reasons for claiming that Islam accepts evolution of human beings are unsubstantiated, the brother who is promoting them is still our brother and thus deserving of the respect and dignity that is afforded to other Muslims.

  8. Avatar

    kaschif

    January 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    salaam all,

    Here is an article that goes over the event in an article:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2013/jan/11/muslim-thought-on-evolution-debate

  9. Avatar

    ahsan arshad

    January 14, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    is there a video of the whole event?

  10. Avatar

    Abu Ibaad

    January 21, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    Salam Alaykum,

    Dear Shaykh, Did you try to find out from Dr Usama who/what the Adam referred to in the quran is? Is he a man, ape, fish, worm, bacteria or just a metaphor? We seek Allah’s aid against the devils’ whisperings.

    May Allaah keep us steadfast on the deen.

  11. Avatar

    Umer Toor

    January 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Surrender of theology to this theory of macro-evolution (in which they claim humans came out as transformed species with some predecessor specie) is not an option. Here’s a discussion of various lines of attack that can be made against this ideological theory:

    http://toorumer.blogspot.com/2010/08/evolution-and-islam-talk-with-dr-seyyed.html

  12. Avatar

    most

    February 3, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    “Destroy” Usama Hasan? Keep it classy MuslimMatters; keep it classy. I didn’t know “discourse” consisted of arrogating an opinion so rudely. Muslim Matters is a joke.

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      February 4, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      Dear “most”

      I think you missed this at the top of the article

      “Note that this is not the official video of the entire discussion, which is not yet available online, and neither MuslimMatters nor Shaykh Yasir Qadhi chose the title of the video.”

      Best Regards
      -Aly

      • Avatar

        Fritz

        March 15, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        It is however an apt description of what happened lol

  13. Avatar

    Muslim X

    February 17, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    The full video of the conference can now be viewed here: http://www.thedeeninstitute.com/evolution-conference

    Apparently there is a post conference discussion forum where people can go more into the theology and science in more depth. I attended the conference and thought it was absolutely amazing. I hope the Deen Institute continue to hold such conferences.

  14. Avatar

    Alkalaamblog

    February 21, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Jazak Allah, may Allah reward all

  15. Avatar

    Muslim biologist

    February 21, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Jazakumullah khair for uploading the entire discussion!
    Sr. Fatimah Jackson’s discussion was especially moving and touching, grounded so firmly in core Islamic principles as well as modern science. May God bless her and the other speakers.
    In my opinion, though Shaikh Yasir Qadhi is a far better debater, I find his argument heavily based on rhetoric. Maybe because of the format, I don’t find him to convey the “vividness” of Adam’s creation that he relies upon to argue against human evolution. If that vividness is based on the Quran’s statement that Adam was created from “turab” or “teen” or other earthly materials, I wonder what his opinion would be on the following verses:
    For instance, in surah Kahf, one companion says to the other, “Do you disbelieve in the one who created YOU (singular) from turab, then from semen, then created you a man” (18:37). Again in surah Rum, we find, “Among His signs is that He created YOU ALL (plural) from turab, and behold, you are people scattered” (30:20). And again in surah Fatir, we find, “And God created YOU ALL (plural) from turab, then semen, then made you pairs” (35:11) . And again we read that in surah Ghafir (40:67).
    In surah An’am, we read, “He was the one who created YOU ALL from teen and decreed a term” (6:2). And in surah Saffat, “We have created THEM ALL from clay mixed with water” (37:11).
    As the shaikh would probably agree, never in the history of Islam have these many verses been interpreted LITERALLY, so as to say each and every one of us was created first from turab or teen before descending to earth. Instead, scholars have long argued that these verses are a FIGURATIVE reference our ancestor who was created from turab or teen. Traditional commentary has said that ancestor was Adam, but how can any such interpreter honestly then claim that the Muslim scientists’ opinion is hermeneutical gymnastics. The Muslim scientist simply says that the ancestor precedes Adam.
    Based on the Quran alone, one does not find the “vivid” picture of creation that the shaikh claims, but maybe that “vividness” comes from his taking hadith into account. Indeed many hadith narrations are explicit with regards to Adam’s creation. But if the shaikh truly holds to the hadith wording, why does he claim he has no problem denying the geocentric understanding of the universe? This hadith in Saheeh Muslim seems to explicitly state that the sun revolves around the earth:
    “It is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) one day said: Do you know where the Sun goes? They replied: Allah and His Apostle know best. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Verily it (the Sun) glides till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it falls prostrate and remains there until it is asked: Rise up and go to the place whence you came, and it goes back and continues emerging out from its rising place and then glides till it reaches its place of rest under the Throne and falls prostrate and remains in that state until it is asked: Rise up and return to the place whence you came, and it returns and emerges out from it rising place and the it glides (in such a normal way) that the people do not discern anything (unusual in it) till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it would be said to it: Rise up and emerge out from the place of your setting, and it will rise from the place of its setting. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said. Do you know when it would happen? It would happen at the time when faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from the faith. Saheeh Muslim”

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      March 2, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      I didn’t see any geocentrism in that hadith whatsoever…..and yes the sun does move up and down, I remember watching it on Nova.

      Yasir Qadhi clearly won. Evolution when it comes to humans is a total sham.

      • Avatar

        Dean

        March 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        No geocentrism? That, if anything, is “hermaneutical gymnastics.” ;)

      • Avatar

        Muslim

        March 4, 2013 at 2:50 AM

        Wa’alaikum Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

        Thank you brother Gibran for your interesting interpretation of the hadith. You suggest that the setting and rising of the sun mentioned in the hadith refer to these blips of the sun (something you think you saw on Nova). In the Arabic version of the hadith, the terms used include “maghrib” and “matli’,” which Arabs understand as the sunset and sunrise, respectively.

        I will not question the validity of your interesting interpretation except to ask the following: Do you honestly think that the Sahabas understood those terms the same way you are interpreting those terms? Do you honestly think that the Tabi’een and the Salaf understood those terms the same way you are interpreting those terms?

        It is highly unlikely that the early Muslims understood terms like “maghrib” and “matli'” in this novel way that you are. It is because of hadith like these that scholars thought the sun revolved around the earth for centuries.

        But you (and Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, apparently in his talk) believe that such hadith can be reinterpreted in light of modern science. That’s fine and good, alhamdulillah. And yet for Sheikh Yasir to apply one methodology for this matter and another methodology for human evolution smacks of an inconsistent approach.

        Indeed, Sheikh Yasir is a far better speaker and he “won” this round, so to speak. But speeches and rhetoric only goes so far when one’s underlying methodology is inherently inconsistent.

        By applying Sheikh Yasir’s own methodology consistently, one can easily interpret the Quran in light of human evolution. Alhamdulillah

        God knows better

        • Avatar

          Gibran

          March 8, 2013 at 12:32 AM

          Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

          Yasir Qadhi was not being inconsistent at all. The reality is, there is no feasible way to interpret evolution and Quran in the same manner.

          As Yasir Qadhi points out, Usama’s position is neither the Muslim position, nor even the position of biologists.

          • Avatar

            Gibran

            March 8, 2013 at 12:42 AM

            Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

            “No geocentrism? That, if anything, is “hermaneutical gymnastics.”

            By all means, point out to me the geocentrism in this. Even upon first hearing the hadith I don’t remember associating it with geocentrism….

            Surely Allah guides whosoever he wills.

        • Avatar

          Gibran

          March 8, 2013 at 1:12 AM

          Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

          “By applying Sheikh Yasir’s own methodology consistently, one can easily interpret the Quran in light of human evolution. Alhamdulillah”

          No, Alhamdulilah one cannot. Usama’s “interpretation” neither confirms to Islam nor to biologists. Adam and Eve (alayhumasalam) does not confirm to biology at all…

    • Avatar

      UZ

      March 22, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Just wanted to add that scientists are predicting that the earth will flip on its axis. So the north pole will be where the south pole relative to the sun. When that happens– due to global warming, rising oceans and increased earthquakes or possible astroids or meteors hitting the earth making the earth unstable–the earth will continue rotating, but flip on its axis. If this happens the sun will rise from the west, and not the east….and this will have a calamitous affect on human life on the earth. Some scientists say this polar wander has a probability of happening in the next 2000 years, and they have now evidence that the earth has shifted on its axis 800 million years ago. Something to think about regarding to the hadith quoted above where science clarifies the meaning of hadith and Quranic verses. Evolution also explains other verses in the Quran that didn’t make sense until science began showing how the earth and universe was created. Humans are made from this earth and will return to this earth. That is what Allah says in verses of the Quran. Our souls however are heavenly as they come from Allah’s breath. But for sure humans were made to live on this earth from the beginning, however they had a choice to live in peace and free of sin by obeying Allah (swt) or in misery by disobeying Allah. Each one of us has this choice. Allah says no one can carry the burden of one another. Than why would all humans suffer life on earth for the sin of Adam and Eve? This would mean that each of us suffers on earth because of the mistake a human made thousands of years back? That never made sense to me until I realized that the Jannah Allah was speaking about was a Jannah on Earth. Each of us starts our lives in that state of innocence but our sins makes us descend spiritually unless we repent.

      http://www.universetoday.com/558/did-the-earth-flip-over-in-the-past/

  16. Avatar

    shahzad

    February 26, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    A video of full event would be appreciated, Jazak Allah Khair for Sharing this discussion.

  17. Avatar

    Umm Zaheen

    February 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this debate and the full event. With all respect with Sh. Yasir, I think he is citing some verses and completely ignoring others in the Quran that completely spell out that one species can become another species.

    In three different places in the Quran, Allah describes that He transformed humans into apes and swine! They didn’t just become “ape like or pig like”. It says he turned them into those animals. So Allah (swt) can create anything He wants in any form He likes, whether through evolution or instant creation. All is a miracle of creation.

    Sh. Yasir also says that Adam came down from the heaven Jannah. Yet the Prophet explicitly said that no human will understand or has seen the actual Jannah Al-Firdous, which is meant for humans “after” the Day of Judgement. Even Shaytan in the Quran knew of the Day of Judgement and was not in Jannah of after Day of Judgement.

    What the evolutionists should wonder is the amazing accuracy of the Quran verses regarding creation 1) life started from water and clay 2) everything came from a “single” ancestor and from it, its mate. 3) life was created in “stages” and 4) that humans were able to be transformed into apes and pigs.

    How are we able to do heart transplants with pig’s hearts if these pigs didn’t have a “human” similarity. Pigs are the descents of the humans who became pigs. Hence eating them is cannibalistic!

    I am not making these up. This is all in the Quran, as well as the Big Bang! Also all knowledge comes from Allah. To think science is human knowledge is arrogant and wrong. Scientific knowledge is divine knowledge as Allah tells us that He is the one who teaches us how to transform “iron” into armor to protect ourselves, or the ships we ride on and so forth.

    Our religion is the only truth and the science of evolution helps us understand the actual verses of Quran, not counters it.

    Thank you to all the panelists, especially Dr. Jackson who I felt really understood both Islam and Science.

    Jzk,

    • Avatar

      Parvez

      February 19, 2019 at 4:37 PM

      Islamic scripture is unequivocal on the creation of humankind from Adam: “Behold! Verily to Allah belong all creatures, in the heavens and on earth. What do they follow who worship as His “partners” other than Allah? They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie.” (Qur’an, 10:66) In the opening passage of Surah al-Nisa, God describes all humanity as descendants of Adam and Eve: “O Humankind, be mindful of your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and made from him his mate, and from the both of them He created many men and women” (Qur’an 4:1). The verse is patently explicit: all of mankind, without exception, originates from one couple.

  18. Avatar

    Umm Zaheen

    February 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    One other note. The bio diversity of the world cannot fully be explained without evolution, as it was not possible to have all the diverse animals in the world today in the Arch of Noah. But it is possible to have all the animals in the Arch if he was just having the archetype of animals, their ancestors.

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      March 8, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Quit obfuscating the argument. Yasir Qadhi wasn’t arguing against all evolution, just when it comes to humans.

  19. Avatar

    Umm Zaheen

    March 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Here is a link by a brother who has found many more verses that express support for the idea of a single ancestor for all life that branched out to the different species including humans. While the Quran mentions that Allah fashioned the first human with his hands and breathed His spirit in him, he didn’t describe whether this was all at one time or over a process. When life first forms in the womb, we know according to hadith that Allah sends the angels to breath in the spirit after 40 days of conception, not before. Is this not a sign from Allah (swt) that life creation is a process, not an instantaneous development?

    Lastly in Surah Hashr 59, Allah describes Himself as “Bariul wa musawir”

    He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things(the EVOLVER, the shaper, the maker, the initiator), the BESTOWER OF FORMS (the fashioner). To Him belong the Best Names . All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (59:24)

  20. Pingback: Islam, Biological Evolution, and Adam | Abdullah Sameer – My Journey From Islam

  21. Avatar

    Parvez

    February 19, 2019 at 4:38 PM

    “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her in love.” (Quran 7:189). From these two individuals, generations of human beings have inhabited the earth. “Oh humankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other. Indeed the most honoured among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted.” (Quran 49:13) And “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat from wherever you will but do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers. But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.” And he swore [by Allah] to them, “Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.” So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?” They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.”[Allah] said, “Descend, being to one another as enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time.” [Quran 7:19 -24] The above verses clearly states that Allah created Adam from clay in Paradise. Then Adam and eve were sent to earth. Thus there is no human evolution from animals.

Leave a Reply

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

#Islam

A Word On Muslim Attitudes Toward Abortion

Dr Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, Guest Contributor

Published

on

The Qur’an describes Muslims committed to its mores as “a moderate nation,” and that sense of balance qualifies them to stand as “witnesses over humanity” (Q 2:143). Contemporary Muslims revel in this assertion, especially when it seems that “Islam” proposes a via media solution to a highly polarizing subject as abortion. What currently constitutes “Islam” on a given topic, however, often reflects the personal prerogative apparently offered to the average Muslim by a list of diverse legal perspectives. In other words, the mere fact that multiple legal opinions exist on one or more topics is now taken as license to appropriate any one of them, without any deep ethical reflection on the implications of the opinion, however anomalous it may be.

“Islam is the golden mean between all ethical extremes” is what certain Muslims would assert. So if one extreme bars abortion under all circumstances and the other seeks to allow it throughout the duration of the pregnancy, one would assume that Islam must land somewhere in the middle, both forbidding and allowing abortion in certain circumstances. This moral assumption isn’t far from the truth. However, the mere existence of multiple opinions on a topic does not mean that each opinion has equal validity, nor does it mean that every opinion is valid for one to adopt. Similarly, “Islam” or “Islamic law” cannot be summed up into a simple formula like “majority rules” or “when in doubt about prohibition or allowance, the action is, therefore, merely disliked.”

Legal positivism plagues both religious and secular-minded people. Just as an act does not acquire its moral strength simply because it is legal, morally appropriate opinions are not always codified into law. If it is true that any unjust law is no law at all, where is the injustice and to whom is it being perpetrated against in the debate between pro-lifers and pro-choicers? Is it deemed unjust to prevent a pregnant woman from disposing of an “insignificant lifeless part of her body” that no one other than herself should be able to decide what to do with? Or is one “depriving a helpless growing person” of the opportunity and right to exist after its Creator initiated its journey into the world? Does a law that prevents a woman impregnated by a family member or rapist from an abortion oppress her? Or does such a law protect the life of a vulnerable fetus, who, like other weak members of society, is expected to be protected by the strong? Does it do both or neither? And if one is taking the “life” of this fetus, what proof is there that it is a living creature?

While these are all extremely important questions, this missive is neither intended necessarily to answer them nor to resolve today’s raging political debate. The main goal here is to offer ideas that should be on the minds of Muslims when deciding to join such debates or promoting the idea that their “religion” provides the best solution to social polarization, when by “religion” we mean the opinion of a small minority of scholars in some place and time in Muslim history.

Islamic law is very sophisticated; the legislative process is not facile, nor is it a place where any Muslim is entitled to pragmatically select the opinions that he/she finds attractive and accommodating. It demands knowledge of particular aims, the ability to properly realize those aims in the lives of people, and understanding the epistemic and metaphysical foundations that ensure that judgments conform to coherent rationale. In other words, the laws of Islam and the opinions of jurists cannot be divorced from their philosophical and evidentiary underpinnings. Otherwise, the thread holding the moral tapestry of Islam together falls apart completely at its seams.

Is Abortion Lawful in Islam?

Many past and present have written about the Islamic view of abortion. The ancient scholars prohibited it at all stages of the pregnancy and made practically no exception. Some would later allow for it only if the mother’s life was in danger. That notwithstanding, six popular legal opinions exist regarding abortion:

  • Unlawful (haram), in all stages of the pregnancy.
  • Permitted (ja’iz), during the first 40 days but unlawful (haram) afterwards.
  • Disliked (makruh), before the passage of 40 days but unlawful (haram) afterwards.
  • Permitted (ja’iz), if it is from illicit intercourse (zina).
  • Permitted (ja’iz) without conditions, before 120 days.
  • Permitted only for a legitimate excuse.

The late mufti of Fez, Morocco, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ta’wil (d. 2015) said,

The first opinion forbidding that during the [first] 40 [days] and beyond, regardless of whether or not it is due to an excuse, even if from illicit intercourse, is the view of the supermajority [of jurists].[1]

The Qur’an is a Book of Ethical Teaching

The reasons for the cavalier attitude among contemporary Muslims about abortion are multiple. The most significant reason may be that at times Islam is seen as a synonym for shariah. The truth, however, is that the shariah is only part of Islam. Islam covers law (fiqh), creed (aqidah), and ethics (akhlaq). Even though the Qur’an consists of laws, it is not a book of law. It is a book of ethical teachings. Merely 10%–12% of the Qur’an relates to legal injunctions. It is not characteristic of the Qur’an to enjoin upon Muslims to command what is “compulsory” or “recommended” and to forbid what is “unlawful” and “disliked.” What is common though is for it to command us to do what is “ma’ruf” and to avoid what is “munkar.”

“Ma’ruf” and “munkar” can be translated respectively as “what is socially commendable” and “what is socially condemnatory.” This is in spite of the fact that social acceptability and unacceptability are often subjective. This does not mean that the Qur’an is morally relativistic. It is quite the contrary. What this means, however, is that the Qur’an’s aim is not merely to teach Muslims what one can and cannot do. It means, rather, that the Qur’an has a greater concern with what Muslims “should” and “should not” do. For this very reason, the companions of the Prophet seldom differentiated between his encouragement and discouragement of acts by the juristic values of disliked, unlawful, recommended, and compulsory. Rather, if the Prophet encouraged something beneficial, they complied. And, if he discouraged from something potentially harmful, they refrained.

The Qur’an permits many actions. However, to permit an act is not equivalent to encouraging it. It permits polygyny (Q 4:3), the enslavement of non-Muslim war captives (Q 8:70), and marrying the sister of one’s ex-wife (Q 4:23). Similarly, some Muslim jurists validate marriage agreements wherein the man secretly intends to divorce the woman after a certain period of time known only to him.[2] This is the case, even though the average Muslim man is monogamous; practically no Muslim today believes it is moral to enslave a person; the vast majority of Muslims find the marriage of one’s sister-in-law upon the death of one’s wife to be taboo; and they chide men who marry with a temporary intention of marriage. If the mere existence of permission or legal opinion permitting a socially condemnable act is a legitimate reason to adopt it, why would Muslims be uneasy about these cases but inclined to take a different stance when it comes to abortion?

The proper Islamic position on any given issue of public or private concern should not only consider what the law or jurists have to say about the topic. Rather, one should also consider how theology and ethics connect with those laws or opinions. That is to say, one should ask, “What wisdom does God seek to realize from this injunction or opinion?” assuming that such a wisdom can be identified. Secondly, one need ask,

“Who and how many will be helped or harmed if this action is undertaken?”

The Qur’an is the primary source of Islam’s ethics. And, one often observes a major difference between its morality and the morality validated by certain jurists, often lacking a clear connection to Qur’anic and prophetic precepts. That notwithstanding, a juristic opinion can sometimes masquerade as one that is authentically Islamic, especially when it aims to appease or assuage a social or political concern. Consequently, one finds some contemporary scholars championing opinions simply­ because they exist, like that of mainstream Shafi’is who traditionally argued that the reason for jihad was to rid the world of unIslamic doctrines (kufr); or certain contemporaries who validated taking of the lives of innocent women, children, and other non-combatants in suicide bombings; those who endorsed the execution of Jews for converting to Christianity and vice versa;[3] or others who classified slaves as animals rather than human beings?[4] For, surely, there are Muslim jurists who validate each one of these opinions, despite their evidentiary weakness. Hence, simply because there is an opinion allowing for abortions does not necessarily mean that it is something Islam allows, even in cases of rape and incest.

When Does Life Begin?

Medieval Muslim scholars, naturally, lacked the scientific tools that we have today to determine whether or not the fetus growing in its mother’s womb was actually a viable creation and a living creature from conception. Other than when the fetus first showed signs of movement in its mother’s belly, scholars took their cues from the Qur’an and prophetic tradition on when the fetus possessed a soul or if it did so at all. For this reason, very few scholars have offered clear answers to the question of when human life begins, while they agreed that upon 120 days, the child is definitely a living person.

According to the Andalusian scholar of Seville, Ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1148),

The child has three states: 1) one state prior to coming into [material] existence …, 2) a state after the womb takes hold of the sperm …, and 3) a state after its formation and before the soul is breathed into it …, and when the soul is breathed into it, it is the taking of a life. [5]

Al-Ghazzali (d. 1111) said,

Coitus interruptus (‘azl) is not like abortion and infanticide (wa’d) because it [abortion] is a crime against an actualized existence (mawjud hasil). And, it has stages, the first being the stage of the sperm entering into the womb, then mixing with the woman’s fluid, and then preparing for the acceptance of life. To disturb that is a crime. Then, if it becomes a clot (‘alaqah) or a lump (mudghah), the crime is more severe. Then, if the soul is breathed into it and the physical form is established, the crime increases in gravity. [6]

These are some of the most explicit statements from Medieval Muslim scholars; they deemed that life begins at inception. The Qur’an states, “Does man think that he will be left for naught (sudan)? Was he not a sperm-drop ejected from sexual fluid?” (75:36-37). In other words, the “sperm-drop” phase is the start of human existence, and existence is the basis for human dignity, as with other living creatures. The human being was a “sperm-drop.” If that is so, this strongly suggests that meddling with this fluid, even before the fetus begins to grow and develop limbs and organs, would be to violate the sanctity of a protected creature. The Qur’an further says, “Did We not create you from a despicable fluid? And then, We placed you in a firm resting place, until a defined scope” (Q 77:20-22). The use of the second person plural pronoun (you) in these verses strongly suggests that the start of human life begins at inception. This is not to mention the multiple verses forbidding one from killing one’s children due to poverty, fear of poverty, or out of shame or folly.

The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) similarly offers sufficient indication that even though the fetus is not fully formed, it is still an actualized existence and living creature. The Prophet reportedly said, “The miscarried fetus will remain humbly lying with its face down at the gates of heaven saying, ‘I will only enter when my parents do.’”[7] Similarly, it is reported that when the second caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khattab ordered that an adulteress discovered to be pregnant be stoned to death, the companion, Mu’adh b. Jabal, said to him, “Even if you have a right to punish her, you do not have a right to punish what is in her belly.”[8] The Prophet and his followers after him never executed a pregnant woman guilty of a capital crime until she gave birth and someone had taken on the care of the child. In addition, they imposed a hefty fine on those who were directly responsible for a woman’s miscarriage.[9] All of this indicates that the fetus is to be respected from the time the male’s sperm reaches the ovum of the woman.

Imam Al-Razi’s Ethical Reflection on the Qur’anic Verse, 6:140

God says in the Qur’an, “Ruined are those who murder their children foolishly without knowledge and forbid what God has provided them with while inventing falsehoods against God. They have strayed and are not guided aright” (6:140).

About this verse, Imam Fakr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1210) comments,

Many issues relate to the verse: the first issue is that God mentioned, in the preceding verse, their murder of their children while depriving themselves of the sustenance that God provided them with. Then, God brings these two matters together in this verse while clarifying to them all that is a logical consequence of this judgment, such as ruin, folly, lack of knowledge, the deprivation of what God has provided them, false statements against God, straying, and the privation of guidance. So these are seven characteristics, each of which is an independent cause for censure. The first is ruin (khusran), and that is because a child is an immense blessing from God upon a person, so when one strives to terminate its existence, he/she suffers great ruin and especially deserves great censure in life and a severe punishment in the hereafter due to terminating its existence. Censure in life is warranted because people say one has murdered one’s child out of fear of it eating one’s food. And there is no censure in life greater than such. Punishment in the hereafter is warranted because the closeness resulting from childbirth is one of the greatest sources of love. Then, upon achieving it, one sets out to deliver the greatest of harms to it [the child], thereby committing one of the gravest sins. As a consequence, one of the greatest punishments is warranted. The second is folly (safahah), which is an expression of condemnable frivolousness. That is because the murder of the child is only committed in light of the fear of poverty. And, even though poverty is itself a harm, murder is a much graver harm. Additionally, this murder is actualized, while the poverty [feared] is merely potential (mawhum). So enforcing the maximum harm in anticipation of a potential minimal harm is, without doubt, folly. The third regards God’s saying, “without knowledge.” The intent is that this folly was only born of the absence of knowledge. And there is no doubt that ignorance is one of the most objectionable and despicable of things. The fourth regards depriving one’s self of what God has made lawful. It is also one of the worst kinds of stupidity, because one denies one’s self those benefits and good things, becoming entitled by reason of that deprivation of the severest torment and chastisement. The fifth is blaspheming God. And it is known that boldness against God and blaspheming Him is one of the cardinal sins. The sixth is straying from prudence (rushd) with relation to the interests of the faith (din) and the benefits found in the world. The seventh is that they are not guided aright. The benefit of it is that a person might stray from the truth but may return to proper guidance. So God clarifies that they have strayed without ever obtaining proper direction. So it is established that God has censured those described as having murdered children and denied what God has made lawful for them, with these seven characteristics necessitating the worse types of censure. And that is the ultimate hyperbole.[10]

The Ethical Contentions of a Moroccan Mufti

We have already quoted Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ta’wil of Morocco. Like the medieval scholars, he maintained a very conservative opinion on abortion, allowing it only if the mother’s life was at risk. The following is a list of his nine ethical contentions against abortion and those scholarly opinions allowing it. The bulk of what follows is a literal translation of his views. Regarding why abortion is immoral, he says:

  • Firstly, it is a transgression against a vulnerable creature who has committed neither sin nor crime, a denial of it from its right to existence and life that God has given it and Islam has guaranteed as well as the taking of a life in some situations.
  • Secondly, it is a clear challenge to God’s will and a demonstratively defiant act meant to stubbornly contend with God’s action, creative will, and judgment. And that manifests itself in the murder of what God has created, the voiding of its existence, and a commission of what He deems unlawful.
  • Thirdly, it a decisively demonstrative proof of hard-heartedness, the absence of mercy, and the loss of motherly and fatherly affection or rather the loss of humanity from the hearts of those who daringly undertake the act of abortion with dead hearts and wicked dark souls.
  • Fourthly, it is the epitome of self-centeredness, selfishness, narcissism, and sacrifice of what is most precious¾one’s own flesh and blood, sons and daughters¾to gratify the self and enjoy life and its attractions far away from the screams of infants, the troubles of children, and the fatigue resulting from them.
  • Fifthly, it is a practical expression of one’s bad opinion of God, the lack of trust in His promise to which He decisively bounded Himself to guarantee the sustenance of His creation and servants. It also shows ignorance of His saying, “And, there is not a single creature on earth except that God is responsible for its sustenance, just as He knows its resting place and place from which it departs. Every thing is in a manifest record (Q 11:6); as well as His saying, “And do not kill your children due to poverty. We will provide for you as well as for them” (Q 6:151); in addition to His saying, “And, do not kill your children out of fear of poverty. We will provide for them and for you” (Q 17:31). This is in addition to other verses and prophetic traditions that indicate that all provisions are in God’s control and that no soul will die until it exacts its sustenance in full as the Prophet said.
  • Sixthly, it is a bloody war against the Islamic goal, introduced by the Prophet and to which he called and strongly encouraged, of population growth and increase in posterity.
  • Seventhly, it undermines the aims of the Islamic moral code that considers the preservation of offspring to be one of the five essentials upon which the sanctified revealed moral code is built.
  • Eighthly, it goes against the nature to which God has disposed both animals and human beings to of love of children, childbearing, and the survival of progeny….
  • Ninthly, it is the grossest display of bad manners towards God and the epitome of ingratitude towards a blessing and the rejection of it. And that is because both pregnancy and children are among God’s favors upon His servants and among His gifts to the expectant mother and her husband.

These are some important matters of consideration. Every Muslim, woman, and man, will ultimately need to decide what burdens he/she is prepared to meet God with. While abortion is an emotionally charged matter, especially in Western politics, emotions play no role in the right or wrong of legislation. Although our laws currently may not consider a fetus aborted before its survival outside of the womb to be viable, the Muslim who understands that legal positivism does not trump objective or moral truths should be more conscientious and less cavalier in his/her attitude about the taking of life and removing the viability of life.


[1] Al-Ta’wil, Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Qasim. Shadharat al-Dhahab fi ma jadda fi Qadaya al-Nikah wa al-Talaq wa al-Nasab. Hollad: Sunni Pubs, 2010, p. 148.

[2] Muhammad b. ‘Abd Al-Baqi Al-Zurqani quotes Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr as saying,

They unanimously agreed that anyone who marries without mention of a particular condition while having the intention to remain with her for a period that he has in mind is permitted (ja’iz), and it is not a temporary marriage. However, Malik said this is not an attractive thing to do (laysi hadha min al-jamil). Nor is it part the conduct of moral people (la min akhlaq al-nas). Al-‘Awza’i took a solitary view saying that it is a temporary marriage. And, there is no good in it (la khayra fihi). ‘Ayyad stated it.

Al-Zurqani, Muhammad b. ‘Abd Al-Baqi b. Yusuf. Sharh al-Zurqani ‘ala Muwatta’ al-Imam Malik. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, (no date), 3/201.

[3] Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said about the prophetic tradition, “Kill whoever changes his lifepath”, “Some Shafi’i jurists clung to it concerning the killing of anyone who changes from one non-Islamic faith to another non-Islamic faith (din kufr)…”

Al-‘Asqalani, Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar. Fath Al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari. Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abd Al-Baqi Edition. Riyadh: Al-Maktabah Al-Salafiyyah, (no date), 12/272.

[4] Al-Ra’ini, Muhammad al-Hattab. Qurrah al-‘Ayn bi Sharh Waraqat al-Imam al-Haramayn. Beirut: Mu’assassah al-Kutub al-Thaqafiyyah, 2013, p. 78.

[5] Al-Wazzani, Abu ‘Isa Sidi al-Mahdi. Al-Nawazil Al-Jadidah Al-Kubra fi ma li Ahl Fas wa ghayrihim min al-Badw wa al-Qura al-Musammah bi Al-Mi’yar Al-Jadid Al-Jami’ Al-Mu’rib ‘an Fatawa al-Muta’akhkhirin min ‘Ulama al-Maghrib. Rabat: Wizarah al-Awqaf wa al-Shu’un al-Islamiyyah, 1997, 3/376.

[6] Al-Ghazali, Muhammad Abu Hamid. Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din. Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, p. 491.

[7] This is how Qadi Abu Bakr b. al-‘Arabi relates the report as related by Al-Wazzani in his Nawazil 3/376. In the Musnad of Abu Hanifah, however, the Prophet reportedly said, “You will see the miscarried fetus filled with rage.” When it is asked, “Enter Paradise”, it will respond, “Not until my parents come in [too].” Al-Hanafi, Mulla ‘Ali Al-Qari. Sharh Musnad Abi Hanifah. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1985, p. 252.

[8] Ibn ‘Asakir, Abu al-Qasim ‘Ali b. al-Hasan. Tarikh Madinah Dimashq wa Dhikr Fadliha wa Tasmiyah man hallaha min al-Amathil aw ijtaza bi Nawahiha min Waridiha wa Ahliha. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1997, p. 342.

[9] Among the fines due for causing the miscarriage of a fetus are: 1) prison or flogging; 2) the penance for murder (kaffarah), which is the freeing of a slave, fasting two consecutive months which is compulsory for Shafi’is and recommended for Malikis; and 3) the gifting of a slave to the woman who lost her child.

[10] Al-Razi, Fakr al-Dina. Tafsir al-Fakr al-Razi al-Mushtahir bi Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir wa Mafatih al-Ghayb. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1981, pp. 220-221

Continue Reading

#Islam

What Does Sharia Really Say About Abortion in Islam

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice, Islam recognizes the nuance.

Reem Shaikh

Published

on

The following article on abortion is based on a research paper titled ‘The Rights of the Fetus in Islam’, at the Department of Sharia at Qatar University. My team and I presented it to multiple members of the faculty. It was approved by the Dean of the Islamic Studies College, an experienced and reputed Islamic authority.

In one swoop, liberal comedian Deven Green posing as her satirical character, Mrs. Betty Brown, “America’s best Christian”, demonized both Sharia law as well as how Islamic law treats abortion. Even in a debate about a law that has no Muslim protagonist in the middle of it, Islam is vilified because apparently, no problem in the world can occur without Islam being dragged into it.

It is important to clarify what Sharia is before discussing abortion. Sharia law is the set of rules and guidelines that Allah establishes as a way of life for Muslims. It is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is interpreted and compiled by scholars based on their understandings (fiqh). Sharia takes into account what is in the best interest for individuals and society as a whole, and creates a system of life for Muslims, covering every aspect, such as worship, beliefs, ethics, transactions, etc.

Muslim life is governed by Sharia – a very personal imperative. For a Muslim living in secular lands, that is what Sharia is limited to – prayers, fasting, charity and private transactions such as not dealing with interest, marriage and divorce issues, etc. Criminal statutes are one small part of the larger Sharia but are subject to interpretation, and strictly in the realm of a Muslim country that governs by it.

With respect to abortion, the first question asked is:

“Do women have rights over their bodies or does the government have rights over women’s bodies?”

The answer to this question comes from a different perspective for Muslims. Part of Islamic faith is the belief that our bodies are an amanah from God. The Arabic word amanah literally means fulfilling or upholding trusts. When you add “al” as a prefix, or al-amanah, trust becomes “The Trust”, which has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one’s obligations due to other humans.

The body is one such amanah. Part of that amanah includes the rights that our bodies have over us, such as taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally – these are part of a Muslim’s duty that is incumbent upon each individual.

While the Georgia and Alabama laws in the United States that make abortion illegal after the 6-week mark of pregnancy are being mockingly referred to as “Sharia Law” abortion, the fact is that the real Sharia allows much more leniency in the matter than these laws do.

First of all, it is important to be unambiguous about one general ruling: It is unanimously agreed by the scholars of Islam that abortion without a valid excuse after the soul has entered the fetus is prohibited entirely. The question then becomes, when exactly does the soul enter the fetus? Is it when there is a heartbeat? Is it related to simple timing? Most scholars rely on the timing factor because connecting a soul to a heartbeat itself is a question of opinion.

Web MD

The timing then is also a matter of ikhtilaf, or scholarly difference of opinion:

One Hundred and Twenty Days:

The majority of the traditional scholars, including the four madhahib, are united upon the view that the soul certainly is within the fetus after 120 days of pregnancy, or after the first trimester.

This view is shaped by  the following hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما ثم يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثم يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثم يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الروح..

“For every one of you, the components of his creation are gathered together in the mother’s womb for a period of forty days. Then he will remain for two more periods of the same length, after which the angel is sent and insufflates the spirit into him.”

Forty Days:

The exception to the above is that some scholars believe that the soul enters the fetus earlier, that is after the formation phase, which is around the 40 days mark of pregnancy.

This view is based on another hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مر بالنطفة إثنتان وأربعون ليلة بعث الله إليها ملكاً، فصوره، وخلق سمعها وبصرها وجلدها ولحمها وعظمها…

“If a drop of semen spent in the womb forty-two nights, Allah sends an angel to it who depicts it and creates its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones.”

Between the two views, the more widespread and popular opinion is the former, which is that the soul enters the fetus at the 120 days (or 4 months) mark, as the second hadith implies the end of the formation period of the fetus rather than the soul entering it.

Even if one accepts that the soul enters the fetus at a certain timing mark, it does not mean that the soul-less fetus can be aborted at any time or for any reason. Here again, like most matters of Islamic jurisprudence, there is ikhtilaf of scholarly difference of opinion.

No Excuse Required:

The Hanafi madhhab is the most lenient, allowing abortion during the first trimester, even without an excuse.

Some of the later scholars from the Hanafi school consider it makruh or disliked if done without a valid reason, but the majority ruled it as allowed.

Only Under Extreme Risks:

The Malikis are the most strict in this matter; they do not allow abortion even if it is done in the first month of pregnancy unless there is an extreme risk to the mother’s health.

Other Views:

As for the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, there are multiple opinions within the schools themselves, some allowing abortion, some only allowing it in the presence of a valid excuse.

Valid excuses differ from scholar to scholar, but with a strong and clear reason, permissibility becomes more lenient. Such cases include forced pregnancy (caused by rape), reasons of health and other pressing reasons.

For example, consider a rape victim who becomes pregnant. There is hardly a more compelling reason (other than the health of the mother) where abortion should be permitted. A child born as a result in such circumstances will certainly be a reminder of pain and discomfort to the mother. Every time the woman sees this child, she will be reminded of the trauma of rape that she underwent, a trauma that is generally unmatched for a woman. Leaving aside the mother, the child himself or herself will lead a life of suffering and potentially neglect. He or she may be blamed for being born– certainly unjust but possible with his or her mother’s mindset. The woman may transfer her pain to the child, psychologically or physically because he or she is a reminder of her trauma. One of the principles of Sharia is to ward off the greater of two evils. One can certainly argue that in such a case where both mother and child are at risk of trauma and more injustice, then abortion may indeed be the lesser of the two.

The only case even more pressing than rape would be when a woman’s physical health is at risk due to the pregnancy. Where the risk is clear and sufficiently severe (that is can lead to some permanent serious health damage or even death) if the fetus remained in her uterus, then it is unanimously agreed that abortion is allowed no matter what the stage of pregnancy. This is because of the Islamic principle that necessities allow prohibitions. In this case, the necessity to save the life of the mother allows abortion, which may be otherwise prohibited.

This is the mercy of Sharia, as opposed to the popular culture image about it.

Furthermore, the principle of preventing the greater of two harms applies in this case, as the mother’s life is definite and secure, while the fetus’ is not.

Absolutely Unacceptable Reason for Abortion:

Another area of unanimous agreement is that abortion cannot be undertaken due to fear of poverty. The reason for this is that this mindset collides with having faith and trust in Allah. Allah reminds us in the Quran:

((وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا))

“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Israa, 31)

Ignorance is not an excuse, but it is an acceptable excuse when it comes to mocking Islam in today’s world. Islam is a balanced religion and aims to draw ease for its adherents. Most rulings concerning fiqh are not completely cut out black and white. Rather, Islamic rulings are reasonable and consider all possible factors and circumstances, and in many cases vary from person to person.

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice. These terms have become political tools rather than sensitive choices for women who ultimately suffer the consequences either way.

Life means a lot more than just having a heartbeat. Islam completely recognizes this. Thus, Islamic rulings pertaing to abortion are detailed and varied.

As a proud Muslim, I want my fellow Muslims to be confident of their religion particularly over sensitive issues such as abortion and women’s rights to choose for themselves keeping the Creator of Life in focus at all times.

Continue Reading

#Islam

Should I Pray Taraweeh Or Make Up Prayers?

Danish Qasim

Published

on

Every Ramadan I’m asked by Muslims whether they should pray Taraweeh or make up missed prayers. They have the guilt of missed prayers but the desire to pray Taraweeh. They do not want to miss out on the special Taraweeh prayer but know that they have to make up obligatory prayers.

I find Muslims bogged down by not only the number of prayers to make up but by the fact that they have to make up prayers that they missed, sometimes too many to count. They emotionally want to move past the memory of missing prayers. While one should not dwell on the sin of missed prayer, at the same time, they should also realize that the prayers remain a debt that needs to be addressed.

Many of us feel a shame associated with past sins. This connection is a sign of true repentance. Shame due to sins, however, becomes problematic when it serves as an impediment for our religious progress. When the guilt reaches this level, one should seek refuge in Allah from Shaytaan and ignore all negative thoughts.

We, as Muslims, should believe that Allah has forgiven our sins, including missed prayers. Forgiveness is done through our repentance. Therefore, we should see makeup prayers as an opportunity to draw closer to Allah, rather than a punishment. Allah tells us in a Hadith Qudsi that

“My servant does not draw nearer to Me with anything more beloved to Me than what I have ordained upon him. He continues to draw near to me with nafl (non-obligatory) actions until I love him” (Bukhari).

Each time we perform a make-up prayer, we are doing what Allah loves us to do the most- an obligatory action. We are drawing nearer to Allah and should feel grateful for being able to do so.

In the Hanafi school of thought, one can pray makeup prayers as non-emphasized sunnahs, which include the prayer of greeting the mosque[1] and Tahajjud prayer. Many Muslims feel more spiritual praying these types of nafl prayers, and they will take their time to pray with the presence of heart. However, when they pray makeup prayers, they rush, praying quickly to get past it as soon as possible. The dreadful feeling of makeup prayers is due to a negative association for the initial neglect, but we must see makeup prayers as not only more critical than nafl prayers, but as something that can be done as nafl prayers.

Taraweeh is an emphasized Sunnah[2] and for Hanafis that means one does not neglect taraweeh[3] due to previously missed prayers[4]. One should have a regiment of making up prayers, such as praying one makeup of Zuhur after praying Zuhur for the day and manage that along with Taraweeh.

For Malikis[5] and Shafis[6] however, one is not supposed to pray Taraweeh if he has prayers to make up. For those following this view, I would advise them to still go to the masjid if that is their habit during the Taraweeh time and pray those due prayers in a space outside of the congregation so they can still enjoy the Ramadan atmosphere in the masjid. Also, it’s worth noting that in the Shafi school, one can have the intention of a makeup prayer even if the imam is praying a different prayer[7]. Hence, twenty rakah of Taraweeh in units of two can be prayed by a follower as ten makeup prayers for Fajr.

Ramadan is a great time to form positive habits. If you do not already have a routine of making up missed prayers, establish one this Ramadan. Make your routine something that you can be consistent with throughout the year, not just when you have the Ramadan energy. We are advised in a hadith to only take on the amount of good actions that we are able to bear because the best actions are those in which we can be persistent, even if they are minor (Ibn Majah 4240).

Lastly, as Ramadan is here, I urge everyone to remember that praying Isha in congregation is more important than praying Taraweeh in congregation. Taraweeh is more alluring due to its uniqueness, and you will see latecomers quickly praying Isha so they can join the Taraweeh prayer. Each prayer is worship, but the priorities of worship are based on its status. Obligatory prayer is more important than a non-obligatory prayer, although every prayer is important. We must prioritize what God prioritizes.

[1]  “ويسن تحية ) رب ( المسجد ، وهي ركعتان ، وأداء الفرض ) أو غيره ، وكذا دخوله بنية فرض أو اقتداء ( ينوب عنها ) بلا نية)”
(رد المحتار على الدر المختار)

[2]  (التراويح سنة  مؤكدة لمواظبة الخلفاء الراشدين  للرجال والنساء إجماعا ” ( رد المحتار على الدر المختار

[3] (والسنة نوعان : سنة الهدي ، وتركها يوجب إساءة وكراهية…”  (رد المحتار على الدر المختار”

[4] وأما النفل فقال في المضمرات : الاشتغال بقضاء الفوائت أولى وأهم من النوافل إلا سنن…”
المفروضة وصلاة الضحى وصلاة التسبيح والصلاة التي رويت فيها الأخبار . ا هـ . ط أي كتحية المسجد ، والأربع قبل العصر والست بعد المغرب” (رد المحتار على الدر المختار،باب قضاء الفوائت)

[5]   (ولا يتنفل من عليه القضاء، ولا يصلي الضحى، ولا قيام رمضان…”  (لأخضري”

[6]   “وَإِنْ كَانَتْ فَاتَتْ بِغَيْرِ عُذْرٍ لَمْ يَجُزْ لَهُ فِعْلُ شَيْءٍ مِنْ النَّوَافِلِ قَبْلَ قَضَائِهَا”
(الفتاوى الكبرى الفقهية على مذهب الإمام الشافعي ,فتاوى ابن حجر الهيتمي)

[7]

تنبيه : تصح قدوة المؤدي بالقاضي ، والمفترض بالمتنفل ، وفي الظهر بالعصر ، وكذلك القاضي بالمؤدي ، والمتنفل بالمفترض ، وفي العصر بالظهر ؛ نظراً لاتفاق الفعل في الصلاتين وإن تخالفت النية ، والانفراد هنا أفضل ؛ خروجاً من الخلاف ، وعلى أن الخلاف في هذا الاقتداء ضعيف جداً فلم يقتض تفويت فضيلة الجماعة ، وإن كان الانفراد أفضل . ( تحفة المحتاج مع حاشية الشر واني ۲ / ۳۳۲ – ۳۳۳ )

وذكر في ( إعانة الطالبين ۲ / ۷ ) : وإن لم تتفق مقضيتها شخصاً . . فهي خلاف الأولى ولا تكره

. وذكر في « البجيرمي على المنهج ۱ / ۳۳۳ ) : قوله ( ويصح الاقتداء لمؤد بقاض ومفترض بمتنفل . . . ) : أي ويحصل له فضل الجماعة في جميع هذه الصور على ما اعتمده الرملي .

————————————————————

– قول متن المنهاج ( وتصح قدوة المؤدي بالقاضي ، والمفترض بالمتنفل . . . ) قضية كلام المصنف – أي النووي – كالشارح الرملي أن هذا مما لا خلاف فيه ، وعبارة الزيادي وابن حجر : ( والانفراد هنا أفضل ؛ خروجاً من الخلاف( فيحتمل أنه خلاف لبعض الأئمة وأنه خلاف مذهبي لم يذكره المصنف ، لكن قول ابن حجر بعد على أن الخلاف في هذا الاقتداء ضعيف جداً . . ظاهر في أن الخلاف مذهبي . ( الشبراملسي ) . ( حاشية الشرواني ۲ / ۳۳۲ )

وهذا لا يجوز في المذهب  الحنفي  “…يشترط أن يكون حال الإمام أقوى من حال المؤتم أو مساويا”  (رد المحتار على الدر المختار(

Continue Reading

Trending