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Infidelity and Misplaced Blame in the Muslim Community | Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar Suleiman

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By Sh Omar Suleiman

Infidelity is a major topic that too often, like many other embarrassing elements of our community, gets brushed under the rug. Imams routinely have to deal with couples where one spouse is being unfaithful. I don’t believe that it’s a greater epidemic in the Muslim community than society at large, but it is probably almost just as bad.

It is estimated that roughly 30% to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage (Buss & Shackelford 1997). Just like with any community, there are unique complications and considerations when dealing with an issue of this nature. In our community, we have the following :

A. As a defense mechanism, the cheating spouse will often talk his/her spouse down and belittle them in order to deflect from their own major sin while also gaining sympathy from the onlookers.

Under the influence of cultures that place unfair expectations and blame on the wife, many women are likely to be blamed for not keeping their husbands happy, even at times by their own families. This approach, of course, is completely devoid of any Islamic precedent or Prophetic tradition. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) never chastised the spouse of an adulterer for not doing enough to stop them from cheating.

According to John and Julie Gottman’s 40 years of marital research, there is one common denominator that tends to begin the cascade toward betrayal in a marriage: When one spouse attempts to connect with the other and the other spouse turns away from this while negatively comparing, this is the first step toward betrayal. A negative comparison sounds something like this, “Who needs this frustration? I could do so much better with someone else.” This type of belittling and justification, while imagining oneself as innocent, deteriorates trust and starts people on the downward spiral toward infidelity.

B. Often, men who are unfaithful will try to “right the wrong” by marrying the person they were unfaithful with, at times without even fulfilling the requirements of a marriage. This is where the all too common “secret” second wife comes into the picture.

Or many men ditch the first wife and make it seem like the woman they were cheating with just came into the picture. Alas, even the most practicing Muslims will forsake all principles and beliefs regarding Islamic marriage— holding weird Skype Nikahs — without the most basic conditions of a marriage contract being met. They will continue to beat up on the first spouse for “making them do it.”

The very idea of a secret marriage defeats the purpose. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us to publicize the marriage for so many different reasons. One of them is that the man with a secret second wife often may have seven or eight other “second wives.” In a very awkward scenario that I witnessed a few years ago, a brother in the community sought the help of an Imam to pursue a sister who was secretly married to that very same Imam.

In looking at the research, how many affairs become lasting relationships? Dr. Frank Pittman, an expert on treating affairs, found that the divorce rate of those who marry the person they were unfaithful with is 75%. What was the major reason for these divorces? A lack of trust. How can you trust someone who chose to be with you by cheating on someone they had previously committed to?

Can’t Cheat Allah

A piece of advice to the brothers and sisters who are cheating on their spouses: There is no justification for adultery, and victim shaming here won’t save you from being held accountable by Allah on the Day of Judgment. No human being will bear the burden of another on the Day of Judgment. Seeking validation from backward cultural elements or friends that are just as unfaithful as you won’t change the creed.

Allah says in the Quran in Surah Al-‘Isrā’ 17:32

17_32

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.

In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The one who cheats is not one of us.” (Sahih Muslim).

Nothing that started with the deception of Shaytan will suddenly gain the blessing of Allah. If you were unfaithful, you need to sincerely seek forgiveness from your Creator and the people you’ve hurt with your infidelity. You need to fully accept blame for your sin, and start taking the necessary steps to try to fix things.

Heard It Through the Grapevine- Churning the Rumor Mill

A piece of advice to people who immerse themselves in rumors, there is nothing more sacred than a chaste person’s dignity or honor. Yes, there are many that are guilty of the crimes above. But to wrongly accuse one person is enough of a sin in the hereafter to doom you. I’m all for transparency and calling out these social ills, but I reject falsely projecting them on people without proper evidence.

Too Close for Comfort

A piece of advice to those who are starting to get too close and comfy with another person at work or school. The adultery of the private parts is the most severe manifestation of it, but you may already be committing adultery with your tongues, eyes, and hands. Even if you’re not physically cheating yet, you may already be emotionally cheating on your spouse. Don’t walk the footsteps of shaytan to a place of no return. Cut it off before it goes any further.

According to Dr. Shirley Glass, the dynamics of emotional infidelity result in sexual relationships in 80% of cases. Substituting emotional intimacy, friendship and empathy with someone else other than your spouse is not a “platonic” relationship; it is seeking one of the most essential aspects of a marriage outside of it.

Graced By A Cold Shoulder

And most importantly, a piece of advice to those who have been cheated on by their spouses and unjustly blamed for not doing a good enough job to stop your spouse from cheating. It is not your fault that he/she couldn’t save themselves from their lowly desires. Allah will not punish you in the hereafter, even if society unjustly does in this world. Even if you have made mistakes, no mistake justifies your spouse making THAT mistake. Don’t internalize society’s backwardness or your spouse’s devilish taunts.

Rise above it all.

Imam Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square. He holds a Bachelors in Accounting, a Bachelors in Islamic Law, a Masters in Islamic Finance, a Masters in Political History, and is currently pursuing a Phd. in Islamic Thought and Civilization from the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

71 Comments

71 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mr H

    August 25, 2016 at 12:52 AM

    I’m sorry to say but it sounded only like men cheat on their spouses (though the article is written unbiasely, the examples are only of the men).

    In order for this discussion to go anywhere, it has to be fair to both genders.

    • Avatar

      Mrs. B

      August 25, 2016 at 6:28 AM

      Mr.H
      Seriously ? Thats what you got out of this artical ? Do you not get the point of the advices given. If you’re a male or a femake take this whole artical like if the person was talking personally to you. Naseehat is the best thing for a persons soul and mind. May Allah swt guide us and protect us from evil

    • Avatar

      sK

      August 25, 2016 at 9:47 AM

      there was a point about a woman who was second wife to an imam and another guy seeking to make her his second wife. Which makes her also “cheating.” Regardless of the examples used, the point of the article isn’t to “be fair ” to the adulterers, it is to guide all Muslims in such situations, and help us avoid them in the future inshallah.

    • Avatar

      Maliha

      August 25, 2016 at 9:47 AM

      And how exactly did you come up with that conclusion? Read again!

    • Avatar

      Nur

      August 25, 2016 at 1:25 PM

      Mr H.

      He’s talking about marriage. Ofcourse it’s male. Polygamy is commonly practiced in Islam. Duh..

    • Avatar

      Haroon

      August 31, 2016 at 10:47 AM

      Salaam Aleikum brothers and sisters. I would like to thank the brother for writing on this very sensitive topic.
      After reading all the comments to this post, Allow me to add some advice to that already suggested.
      In order to lead happier and successful lives as Muslims, we need to focus on what is the greatest thing in our lives! The goal of our existence. If you get this right, many things become clearer. Allah has allowed us to inflict misery on our own souls and those of our loved ones because we have prioritized the life of this world and its pleasures over the hereafter ”And Allah will never change a condition of a people until when they change what is within themselves.” Quran 13:11. We need to change our attitude and when we do Allah will in turn make our path clearer! You may be a little sad today, a bit poor tomorrow but if you remember Allah always , the indiscretions and justifications of others will never confuse you about the love Allah has for you as an individual and you will never lose hope of success in the hereafter. So if you have been treated unfairly today, just use this trial to come closer to Allah…..on the day of judgement, you may even be happy you got treated in this way….”Remember Me and I will remember you….” Quran 2:152. Allah promised you in the holy Quran! And the promise of Allah is true.I wish you all the love and Mercy and Guidance of Allah. For He is Often forgiving most merciful.

      • Avatar

        M

        December 6, 2016 at 12:22 PM

        I agree with you! We focus on this dunyia.

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        Mohamed Ali

        December 7, 2016 at 3:55 AM

        JazakAllahu kheyr brother Haroon
        You are 100% right, if we only be able to remember Allah often, Thank Him more for all his blessings, and not lose the purpose of our existence it will be easier to lead our life InchAllah.
        May Allah guide us, May Allah remember us in whatever way, to not despair of His mercy, to repent continuously to Him for our mistakes. May Allah forgive us all our sins, make us better people, light of guidance for others, protect us from the punishment of the grave, protect us from the fire and admit us in Jannah.
        May Allah soften our hearts and protect us from being Ignorant, from the fitna, form our desires.
        Peace and blessing upon the Last Messenger Muhammad, his family and his companions and upon all the Prophets and Messengers.
        Amin

    • Avatar

      Mr I

      December 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      You sound guilty bro

    • Avatar

      Linda

      December 6, 2016 at 8:04 PM

      He does say spouse, but he also states that a man keeps a secret wife. It is much easier for a man to gain that second spouse, than it would be for a woman. Without nitpicking the issue, the point he is trying to make is, don’t do it. Commit yourself to your spouse and work on making that union one that is for the sake of Allah.

  2. Pingback: Infidelity and Misplaced Blame in the Muslim Community | Imam Omar Suleiman - MuslimMatters - What is Infidelity

  3. Avatar

    sumaira Rasheed

    August 25, 2016 at 3:48 AM

    Islam religion is the name of peace. All blames on Muslims are wrong.

  4. Avatar

    Mrs A

    August 25, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    Very comprehensive article with amazing advice.
    May Allah protect all of us from fitna
    Ameen

  5. Avatar

    Sadaf Afshan

    August 25, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    The fact that four wives are allowed in Islam is often misused as an excuse to cheat . Unfortunately, even practicing Muslim men justify adultery by portraying that they are simply looking (albeit secretly) for a second spouse to “follow the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH”, rather than admitting to the grave sin of zina. It has been rightly stated in the article that zina is not limited to physical relations but is also committed by the tongue, hands and eyes.
    Very often, men who indulge in adultery also act as martyrs who are trying to help a damsel in distress (rather than giving in to their desires) and it seems that the only way that they can do so is by putting their own wife in distress.
    It’s true that adultery is not limited to men but it’s most often seen that men are more likely to give in to their desires, especially since they can play the second wife card. May Allah SWT protect our families and keep us away from this grave sin.

    • Avatar

      M.

      August 25, 2016 at 9:49 AM

      BEAUTIFULLY ELABORATED

  6. Avatar

    Barbara Sarah Filaih

    August 25, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Many Muslim men use the excuse of following the Sunnah by ‘taking a second wife’ usually someone they met in a haram way. Some men abandon their families dumping them on welfare and shacking up with the other woman. This behaviour is ignored by Imams after all these ‘brothers’ are ‘following the Sunnah.’ This could be labelled ‘Al la carte’ Sunnah – marrying a younger woman. I have yet to hear of a Muslim man including some English speaking scholars marrying either divorced or widowed sisters. I live in Ireland – there are now several divorced sisters. The Muslims like to brag that they came to Ireland in the 1950’s, to however there are no counselling or marriage guidance services. Many reverts are bullied into marrying ‘good men’ whom they hardly know. There are no real background checks done, nobody really knows whether they have a criminal record or even a wife & family in their ‘home countries.’

    • Avatar

      Fatima

      August 25, 2016 at 3:23 PM

      Y o u said that so right on the nail.
      And the same applies for women too. I had a so-called friend that was two-timing. Cut her off like a bad growth, I did.
      Many of the reverts- as you said- are bullied into marriages with people whim they know nothing about, except that this one says “he/she is a good brother/sister you should marry them.”
      Then get into it and find out everything isn’t what they were lead on to be. It’s worse for widowed and divorced reverts, of any gender. Culturally, it’s a disgusting occurrence that of someone is actually a good Muslim by heart and deed, but no longer married, they’re only less than 10% as good as an unmarried person, even if that person has questionable lifestyle or habits. Allah guide us..

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      August 28, 2016 at 4:36 PM

      This is an unfortunate situation. I think a thorough ‘ background check’ is neccessary before marriage, including a bloodtest, you cannot be too careful thesedays. Background checks can be tricky because people dont want to defame another Muslim and information is always biased. Sometimes you have to do your best and ask the Almighty for guidance. If all the important requirements are there in a partner and just say Biesmillah, in the name of Allah. You would have done your best and whatever comes your way is God’s will.

  7. Avatar

    Abdullah

    August 25, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Mr.H is indeed correct. Though the author didn’t directly say men are the only culprits, his one-sided usage of examples and pronouns might reflect that. Truly, for this issue to be discussed properly and objectively, one needs to address both sides without feeling the need to be unnecessarily sensitive to one demographic over the other. Any article that discusses the general concept of infidelity must not create assumptions of one gender’s guilt over the other.

    This article should have been more objective and not the characteristic “people-pleasing” article generated by a number of ulema to appease to highly sensitive masses.

    Also, that Buss citation seems a bit old.

    Good read though.

    Though comments are hidden by the dust this article kicked up, I can see them becoming men-bashing in nature since when everything clears.

    • Avatar

      Marium

      August 25, 2016 at 11:44 AM

      The article was intended for both husbands and wives, maybe you should re-read the article. He used examples for both genders and the reason the concept of the “second wife” was only applied to a male example is because in Islam only men are allowed multiple wives, not the other way around. So maybe before you start bashing this article and finding flaws in it, look at it from a neutral view and accept the fact that this is an issue in our community.

      • Avatar

        Zuma

        August 25, 2016 at 1:17 PM

        At least these guys now know how women sometimes feel when the Quran always addresses the ummah’s males lol but in actuality anytime something is said by Allah in a manner that seems to exclusively address men, Allah is addressing women too. Same way we should take the advice from this article to apply to both genders.

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      August 28, 2016 at 4:45 PM

      Perhaps it is a bit one-sided, but is the reason not because this is so much more common amongst males? Women arent completely innocent, I know of a few cases where the woman is to blame, but many more where the man is guilty of cheating. I am no marriage councillor, so my opinion is not extremely well-informed, but this appears to be more of a male-issue than a female one. Allah SWT has created men and women differently, equal, but different. We may be swept into the western notion of feminism, but we can’t expect to apply every issue equally to males as females, it ignores our difference in nature.

      Take the lesson for its benefit, there is no need to be defensive.

  8. Avatar

    jkm

    August 25, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    When people cheat and it is because needs aren’t being met and there is a serious failure to communicate. There is a serious lack of accountability in all that are involved. There are no innocent victims here and we need to not stop pretending that there are. The reality is that there are halal solutions to this problem but when they are introduced they are often shot down under the illusion that a monogamous one woman marriage is the best route to go. This is what dooms a marriage from the start: unrealistic expectations, noisy people and severe lack of accountability.

    • Avatar

      Fatima

      August 25, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      You’re right
      That doesn’t excuse a cheater though. No excuses for that.
      Inatead, one needs to communicate that with the spouse instead of sneak around somewhere else.

      • Avatar

        KS

        August 25, 2016 at 9:31 PM

        I agree with Fatima. Cheaters always want an easy way out. They don’t want to work on the marriage or shed filthy habits they may have. Instead want to cheat and force polygamy; If that not possible then simply cheat.

      • Avatar

        monching

        August 26, 2016 at 7:36 AM

        Communication fail when wife has mindset of monogamy as the best, too much nealousy dims her faith, wanting only realities in this world

    • Avatar

      KS

      August 25, 2016 at 9:32 PM

      I agree with Fatima. Cheaters always want an easy way out. They don’t want to work on the marriage or shed filthy habits they may have. Instead want to cheat and force polygamy; If that not possible then simply cheat.

    • Avatar

      KS

      August 25, 2016 at 9:40 PM

      Cheaters only think about their needs and no one else’s needs.

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      August 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM

      There are halaal solutions to this problem and ONLY HALAL solutions should be sought. Cheating IS NOT a halal solution. You want a second wife, do it properly, not without your first wife knowing, ive seen this happen before. Its halal, but sunnat says it shouldnt be secret for good reason. How are you going to spend time with wife#2? By lying to wife#1? Not spending equal time with both, which is also sunnat.

      I know a woman who is a second wife and very happy, they were inlove and he had an arranged marriage with the first wife. The first wife has children, the second wife never wanted any and is happy with the arrangement. It works out well in many cases, perfectly halal. This is the right way. Cheating is haram.

    • Avatar

      Haroon

      August 31, 2016 at 10:59 AM

      Well said JKM! Especially lack of accountability for our own actions before Allah. Which is what matters most.
      However some times the way we men talk about the ”solution” of polygamy makes it sound as if Monogamy is haraam!
      And like you pointed out the way many of our sisters talk about Polygamy is like it is haraam.
      But neither Polygamy nor monogamy will solve the problem of a heart that has mixed priorities for life on Earth….one that prefers the pleasures of this world over pleasing Allah.This heart will find its life miserable regardless of what aspects of shariah you choose to adopt…..Allah says in the Holy Quran ”Whoever turns away from my remembrance, for him will be a life of misery” 20:124.
      This is our real problem and the solution is clear..may Allah guide us!

    • Avatar

      Josh

      November 3, 2016 at 8:44 PM

      No, when people commit ‘adultery’, its because they don’t fear Allah, not nearly enough, there are simply NO excuses for such behaviour, if your needs are not being met in a marriage then as Muslims and as decent human beings, there are ways to address such problems without indulging in such a grave and heinous sin, when someone chooses to commit such an act they are ENTIRELY responsible, hence why the punishment for the sin is on the perpetrator, not the other spouse,

      Allah has given us steps to take, regarding marital difficulties etc, his has also made divorce permissible when required, many brothers and sisters go through life with no spouse, by your thinking, that should excuse them in any acts of zina? wether you have one wife or 4, 1 husband or none, Zina/adultery is a CHOICE you make, blaming actions on circumstances isn’t going to hold much weight before Allah…

  9. Avatar

    Mr AR

    August 25, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    One of the major factors leading to an increase in infidelity among Muslims is forced marriages. A situation where a brother or a sister is married against their will to to his or her cousin from ‘back home’. The imported brother or sister is completely incompatible in terms of profession, interests, and culture. This creates a huge gulf between the two; instead of basing the marriage on shared interests, the differences just propel the artificial couple away from each other. One is constantly home sick and the other longs to be with whom he/she can connect culturally, professionally, or based on shared interests. While wading through such an emotional maelstrom, the aggrieved person comes across someone that catches their fancy and then one thing leads to another. It could be something professional: a lawyer impressed by another lawyer or something cultural: liking the same type of books. You get my drift…

    • Avatar

      Haroon

      August 31, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      I agree with you too Mr AR to some point. But that may be looking at things with a rather materialistic eye!A potential spouse does not become ”bad” simply because we did not choose them. Our knowledge of the world,what is best for us, what will lead us closer to Allah or what may doom our life is limited by our being only human! It may be that those things we want to pursue….which our ”forced partner” does not enjoy are actually not good for us(even if we desire them). And it may be that his or her interests which we do not share are indeed good for us….especially spiritually!
      If both spouses prioritise the remembrance of Allah, then no union will be greater than that,regardless of how you came to be married! Allah says”It may be that you hate a thing and it is good for you and that you love a thing that it is bad for you.And Allah Knows and you know not” Quran 2:216
      Let us all remember that insha Allah.

      • Avatar

        M

        September 2, 2016 at 9:25 AM

        You know there is also a possibility that forced-marriage partner may not really care about Islam, and follows cultural Islam instead, or a very different brand of Islam. There is also a possibility that neither ours nor there interest are ‘haram’, they just happen to be different. Either ways, may Allah make everything easy for us, and not put us in a position where we get inclined towards sinning.

      • Avatar

        Haroon

        September 9, 2016 at 2:18 PM

        You are right M, there are things in each specific relationship that may be too complicated for us to comprehend. But this is the the whole point of this world! Its a temporary trial! All the complications and differences our spouses may come with are part of this test regardless of how we got married! Infidelity on the other side is the worst grade a married Muslim can score in this temporary test! Divorce if a moderate fail!
        So we must try as much as we can to seek out Allah and get closer to Him the more difficulties we encounter in our marriage. Remember that Allah the Most Gracious, All Knowing, All powerful knows well when He allows any marriage to take place…regardless of the other more apparent human forces. And if we turn to Him, spiritually we can only become stronger and closer to our goal of life on Earth. Even if in the process we may hurt a little bit….or much. A life leaved with some sorrow here, sadness their all of which bring you closer to Allah is far better than one in which all our ” halal desires and interests” are fulfilled but we gradually grow so complaisant that we forget our true purpose on this world……and lose out permanently in the hereafter! Don’t you think? But Allah is Most Gracious Most Merciful!
        Allah reminds muslims thus “You shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your lives; and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you…But if you patiently persevere and be pious, then surely this will be of great resolution.” (Quran Surat Al Imran 3:186)
        If our trials bring us closer to Allah, on the Day of judgement when we can see clearly on how short this life really is compared to eternity, we shall wish we got 1000 times more trial of this nature,……..if we forget our Lord and true purpose of our shot probational life……any comfort or satisfaction of even lawful desires will be useless to us….we shall wish we had got some difficulty at least in our marriage to turn us closer to Allah, to self restraint, to unconditional love of even those who seem to us too difficult to please today….May Allah make what is difficult today easier tomorrow…Ameen

  10. Avatar

    xyz

    August 25, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    I’m so glad this article has been published. I hope it’s widely circulated bc many Muslim men don\’t consider secretly pursuing or interacting with other women (without involving her wali) while being married as cheating. To them, it’s just a matter of exercising the privilege that God has given them. Enter imams who have sanctioned secret second wives ‘until the first comes to terms with it’ and women (ignorant or otherwise) who have no qualms about entering such relationships without pausing to consider the repercussions on the first wife, the children and family, and we have a formula for chaos within the community.
    Let’s all pause for thought and think how much each of these parties is contributing to the mess that Muslim families are increasingkly finding themselves in these days. It’s a global problem exacerbated by the social media and lack of islamic boundaries everywhere

  11. Avatar

    Fatima

    August 25, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Thank you very much …This article is a reminder for me of the subtle ways Allah comforts .. may Allah protect you and your authenticity and bless you and your famity with the highest jannah

  12. Avatar

    xyz

    August 25, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    In Steve Harvey’s book ‘Act like a lady, think like a man’ there’s a chapter called Why men cheat in which he explores various reasons for infidelity. “The biggest reason of all: there’s a woman out there willing to cheat with him. That’s the truth no woman wants to face. Imagine if every woman said: “You’re married, I can’t do that with you.”

    enough said.

    • Avatar

      Aisha

      November 22, 2016 at 7:55 PM

      That shouldnt even be taken into consideration, excuse me for commenting. It doesnt matter if theres some woman out there willing to cheat with you. The blame is on the man still for cheating, because the spouse made a promis with the man, not with the woman thats outside the relationship. Just another excuse men use to explain cheating. Assalamualaikum

  13. Avatar

    SAS

    August 25, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    Thank you, Sheikh Omar, for bringing up this very important topic, and not skidding around it. We need more data on why infidelity occurs among Muslims (and non-Muslims for that matter), if we’re ever going to improve this situation. I have to say, this is a serious concern for women in particular when seeking to marry, partly because society is more inclined to turn a blind eye to men having affairs before (and after marriage), but also because of the abuse of polygyny. I’m amazed at how many people are willing to go for illegal “marriages”, just as long as they can call them “marriage”, instead of admitting to themselves that they’re fornicating/adulterating. This goes for women as well as men, although women are more often the victim because they weren’t aware of the first marriage, or of the second (and counting) “marriage”. Thank you for bringing up the point that imams engage in this frequently as well, as well as justify secret “marriages” by saying the couple just needs a couple of male witnesses. But then, the purpose of a witness is to bear witness. So how is it that witnesses are expected to keep silent on the issue? Again, we need to survey people and ask why and how they’re justifying it, and to better educate the Muslim community at large about marriage rulings, as well as to their legal rights. Women should also know that they have the right to stipulate in their marriage contracts that they also hold the ability to divorce their husbands (without having to go to court, especially where courts are known to automatically side with the men), or to set conditions for divorce in advance.

    • Avatar

      Haroon

      September 9, 2016 at 2:44 PM

      Salaam SAS, I agree with you that we may need to explore some of the social complexities that have made married life generally and among muslims difficult today. However like i pointed out earlier, the results of this studies and the man made solutions we design to alleviate our condition may not help us spiritually come closer to Allah. This is the whole point of this temporary World. The best research will yield only limited superficial knowledge with little or no spiritual bearing on our souls. This is because we are humans with but limited knowledge and capacities. Allah reminds us in the Holy Quran of our limits ”They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless”. Quran AL Rum 30:7
      A better solution may therefore come from turning closer to Allah in every condition in our marriage confident of His Mercy, unlimited Knowledge and power.
      Another point must be highlighted here. Just because a certain man or woman has abused the law and guidance of Allah to oppress his/her spouse on this temporary world does not mean that he/she has ”won” as we call it. Noooo .That is looking at things like a disbeliever whose only hope is life on this world and its temporary pleasures……and schemes
      Indeed the spouse you have oppressed using all the tools men(and women) have corrupted (including ”islamic laws” to fulfill their desires may be the real winner…..due to her patient perseverance, her sincere night prayers to Allah, her sincere yearning for His Pure love and Mercy.
      My advice then. Make sure that when you turn to the Quran, you seek the restriction of your own desires, and rights for the sake of Allah for a happy hereafter….many things will get clearer for you…..
      Many apparent injustices will feel you only with gradually more gratitude towards Allah and more faith, patience, remembrance…..you will not feel that sad that someone turned you to your Lord and cherisher….you will win in the end regardless….in a big permanent way. May Allah make it easy for us.

  14. Avatar

    Zaka

    August 26, 2016 at 1:39 AM

    Great Article, JazakumAllah Khyra for awareness and taking your precious time to write one. May Allah guide us and keep us sincere.

  15. Avatar

    YIR

    August 26, 2016 at 2:20 AM

    Thanks for this article. May ASW bless you for that. I have never heard something like “secret marriage” until today,subhana Lah. but my question is, how should a married man go about getting a second wife without emotionally cheating his wife. because, one needs to approach a lady and propose to her before getting married to her. thanks.

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      August 28, 2016 at 5:14 PM

      The decent thing to do would first be to speak to his wife and obtain her blessing, if possible, otherwise she may hear it fron someone else before her husband tells her and this would erode trust in the marriage. If a man believes that he is capable of having more than one wife, he should be brave enough to do it the proper way, despite the probable emotional meltdown of the firstwife on hearing about this(our notions of love have become westernized and we do not expect that our husbands will ever want to look at another woman, and I include myself), but this is not historically the way love is viewed in Islam. It is a modern woman’s expectation, but something that should be understood by her husband. He will have to deal with however she feels about this situation and it will not be pleasant, but if he is determined, perhaps it will work out, it does sometimes, even in our modernworld. Sorry this is only my own feelings on the matter. Perhaps the Sheikh can elaborate further.

      Also, the man is expected to spend equal time and money on both wives, it is not an easy thing to do properly and I think very few men can, but some do.

      • Avatar

        Shabana

        December 4, 2016 at 7:48 AM

        Agree with you sister. Today`s modern world has made women so possesive that they can`t accept a second wife.

    • Avatar

      Haroon

      September 9, 2016 at 3:31 PM

      Salaam YIR. You raise an important question which may be difficult to answer in a short post. It may also be even more difficult to answer in the context of the current atmosphere in which our own desires and interests have become part of Islam. May Allah enable me to attempt a sincere reply. I hope it helps you if you are searching for a second wife.Not that am recommending this as a ”good solution” to a problem i know nothing about.
      1.I shall be blunt on this one. There is nothing like ”emotional cheating” if both your intentions and actions are sincere to marry a second wife. You have got the permission of the Quran to marry her with or without the consent of the first wife.

      However it is not Haram to consult your current wife in any matter that may affect both your lives. It may indeed be highly recommended in some cases if you ask me.This may be before or after your marriage to the second wife.It is not to seek her permission but to show sensitivity, love and mercy to your wife. Allah said in the Holy Quran ”And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” Noble Quran 30:21
      But like i mentioned before, the purpose of Life on earth is not the fulfillment of all our desires and rights that Allah has granted us. No. Seek first your spiritual development and closeness to Allah in whatever circumstances Allah has put you in at the moment, before seeking to satisfy all the lawful desires that Allah has knowingly permitted you to enjoy!
      You will not be perfect but if you put the love of Allah and His pleasure (rather than our own) beyond everything, many things will be easier on this world.
      I did not quote other Quran verses related to this subject intentionally because they would raise more questions than we can answer in this context at the moment.
      Finally as you consider your choices, remember that even one wife if Halal! Being patient with some of the aspects of her that you find displeasing or unsatisfactory at the moment, and doing this purely for Allah’s pleasure may land you directly into Jannah Firdausi Halidina Fiiha(For ever)…and you know what you will find there when you get there………..
      No pleasure on this earth can be compared to the pleasure of Allah with us on the final Day of Judgement….
      May Allah make it easy for Us to stay on His straight path.

  16. Avatar

    Mohammad Khan

    August 26, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    I like the way the article was written. The article is fast and clear and unapologetic, which is what needed most nowadays for the issues like this. We need voices which are clear and strong. Straightaway, the idea of further oppression of the victim by the guilty party is stated. The idea that we bond good emotions with bad acts (Too Close for Comfort)(cheating your spouses just by tongue, eyes, ears, etc.) is also mentioned very clearly. The topic is a huge one, but the writer wrote a relatively short article, and yet still managed to accumulate so much knowledge and advices and made the article full of much, much wisdom. We really, really need much more articles and discussion like this. May Allah (S.W.T) benefit all behind these giant efforts of bravery.

  17. Avatar

    Jiminy Cricket

    August 27, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    Why are imams trying to act like feminists now too? This is a man-bashing article that makes it sound that women do no wrong. Whatever keeps the speaking income coming in for our “religious” leaders is the only end goal and imams like this know that you have to be a PC progressive to get speaking invitations.

    • Avatar

      SOA

      August 27, 2016 at 1:16 PM

      Jiminy cricket,

      I’m a woman and I didn’t do anything wrong…. Explain that?!

      • Avatar

        Akh

        September 6, 2016 at 10:37 AM

        Does that mean that women will never do anything wrong? You missed the point of what he was saying

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      August 28, 2016 at 5:24 PM

      Jiminy Cricket, men are by-nature, the way they have been created, more prone to cheating. Why is the four-wife rule there and there is no need for a 4-husband rule? Your average female has no such desire. This physiology, not being progressive, feminist, men are different to women, some women do cheat, but are outnumbered by the number of men who cheat in my personal experience of being a human being and noticing these things. This article is not about blaming men, but about looking for solutions to this problem. Women are weaker in other areas, but that is a different discussion.

      • Avatar

        Josh

        November 3, 2016 at 9:32 PM

        Physiology does not dictate that women have no desire to cheat….. at all… that is why they do cheat?!!
        people who don’t fear Allah cheat, and commit all kinds of perversions, there is nothing that makes either sex more inclined to commit adultery/fornicate except lack of fear of Allah…. Mankind has not been created more inclined to disobey Allah then womankind….

        There are a number of reasons why women are only permitted to be married to one man at a time, these reasons upon thinking are fairly obvious, levels of desire vary greatly in Men and Women, carnal desires alone are NOT the reason why women are limited to one spouse at a time, if this were the case, limiting them to only one husband, while their desires may well surpass their husbands, and shocker the desire for only one man, would be an oppression, furthermore if carnal desires were the ONLY reason Allah permitted ( some) men polygamy, this would in turn be oppressive towards the women folk…..
        The Islamic doctrine regarding polygamy is far more sophisticated then your theory…..

        The average non Muslim female, cannot be compared to the average Muslim female, and this is the same for men, wether we are married or not married, there are no excuses for infidelity/fornication period.

        Lastly – Men are the SAME as women, although the sexes have some differences, we are not differing species, with respect this constant rhetoric, ‘Men and women are different’ just serves to cause animosity and alienation between the sexes, so does the thinking that women are sexually weaker then men, whilst this might be true for you, or for a great number of women, there are also a great deal of women who are being ostracized by this line of thinking, made to feel ashamed/dirty…. it needs to stop!
        Mens desires are often in my opinion, highly exaggerated, I often wonder, what on earth women must think of us Men, if they were to take us as we often are discussed, as if we are some rampant dogs, with the inability to control ourselves.
        There have been many studies which offer statistics that demonstrate men and women are almost as guilty as one another in regards to infidelity, however, it is not a competition, adultery is a sin, that both men and women engage in regardless of percentages, therefore it should be addressed in a manner that acknowledges this.

      • Avatar

        Arjmand

        December 6, 2016 at 5:19 PM

        Thank you Josh, thank you.

  18. Avatar

    pleasure destroyer

    August 27, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    it seems that the burqini ban,,,is a move to cause more infidetly and the likes….do you have on tv sex shows in the user states, like the rest of the civilized world?…emotions taking over me so sorry….oh they are clever….work done on emotions and the like….suppose the chemists and the likes are busy in making more abnormal behaviours more rampant…Allah al mustaan al ma yasifoon.

    beware of thoughts….reminder to myself too. As adultery and fornication is also in the look. so first for me and you and the second against…..

  19. Avatar

    Arshad

    August 28, 2016 at 12:29 AM

    Quite frankly, the only one who can avoid an affair is the one that is about to have one.

    Affairs are almost always with friends and co-workers. That’s because the people you work with and those you spend leisure time with are usually in the best position to meet your most important emotional needs. But in the world of the internet, total strangers can also meet your emotional needs through chat rooms and e-mail.

    Check this article below, under the heading “Escaping the Jaws of Infidelity: How to Avoid an Affair”

    http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5024_qa.html

  20. Avatar

    M

    August 30, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    I sort of agree with jkm and Mr. AR on some level. There is definitely a reason behind the infidelity, mainly the lack of communication between the spouses and yes, forced marriages. There need to be resources for people so they can deal with these issues. With forced marriages, there isn’t much that can be done. Both parties are basically stuck in the situation as divorce is a taboo topic and so is the consent of the two individuals actually getting married.

    I don’t understand why the second marriage is being classified as a form of infidelity. I mean, would you rather want your husband to have an unlawful relationship with another woman instead? He’s taking responsibility for her which is actually honorable. The only problem with these relationships is the secrecy. Which I believe the husband is keeping because of, again, the taboo. Instead of divorcing the first wife and leaving her to fend for herself and her children he’s actually choosing to take responsibility for both, isn’t that a good thing? If the husband can provide equal treatment to both wives I believe such relationships can work out.

  21. Avatar

    Fritz

    September 5, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Of course its always more worthwhile dealing with the root cause rather than the actual symptoms.

    Punishing your spouse by withholding intimacy is one sure way to drive them to cheat. And of course this doesn’t just mean physical intimacy, but emotional intimacy as well. As men can be just as aloof to the latter as women are to the former. In our secular societies, using sexuality to manipulate the other is seen as ok – as this was the tool used to “hook” the other partner in the first place.

    Sadly some of these values/ideas have crept into our communities. Of course you don’t share the blame of adultery, but whats the value of winning a blame game and losing a marriage.

    There are many other reasons of course, but lets not overlook the elephant in the room.

    • Avatar

      Akh

      September 6, 2016 at 10:32 AM

      Akhi/ukhti… I recommend reading what is prescribed in the Quran for you to do when your spouse is persistently insisting on doing something that you must get them to stop doing.

  22. Avatar

    Akh

    September 6, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    There is no excuse for infidelity. The is a difference between your reasons for doing something and your excuse for doing something. There is no doubt that you had reasons for fornicating with someone else. You almost never doing anything without a reason. But that doesn’t mean that your reason is a legitimate excuse. Your spouse isn’t fulfilling your desires anymore? Guess what… You’re not an chimpanzee. You are a human and a muslim one at that. You acknowledge that Allah swt created you to worship Him (by obeying Him). And that He created the realities of these world to test you and that he won’t leave you to say that you believe without testing you. You weren’t created to get your filthy fix of whatever it is that makes you itch. So in conclusion… Just because you were tested in that specific manner whether it’s desiring someone else or getting bored with what you have… As someone who claims to be a muslim… There is nothing to excuse your filth. Both sisters and brothers. Don’t want to be with that person anymore, pursue a divorce. Simple.

    • Avatar

      Josh

      November 3, 2016 at 8:51 PM

      Exactly, I am truly shocked at ‘Muslims’ giving reasons as to why cheating is so prevalent for Muslims,

      Forced marriage
      Lack of opportunity for Polygamy
      Getting Bored of your spouse
      Feminism
      People with big mouths
      Marital problems

      Er…. have you all forgot, that we are supposed to be Muslims??? there are ZERO excuses for disobeying Allah

  23. Avatar

    Linda

    October 9, 2016 at 2:41 AM

    Very enlightening topic as it relates to what Im facing currently with my marriage . My situation is indeed very depressing that after 24 years of marriage . Im 53 and he’s 56 years .
    with 3 kids ( grown up all attending medical school ) my husband suddendly surprised his whole family as well myself by declaring marriage to a woman with whom he was online chatting for almost 3 years now . The woman also is an adulterer as she was married that time when she was chatting with my husband, however have recently divorced maybe by June/July this year –then my husband proposed marriage to her in August. Nobody from his own family members were informed hence now situation became chaos , as his whole family is not accepting the marriage as well as the woman . Just bit worried because my husband seems to have misunderstood the meaning of having 2nd wife — or just pretending to be dumb because of his selfishness . Allah said polygamy is acceptable provided that you are financially stable and should be fair to both parties , which unfortunately its not in the case of my husband which he is ” ZERO ” when it comes to financial matter. We do not have yet our own house and I am the one supporting for the educational needs and other expenses of our kids whom currently studying abroad . Though we never fight on money because I know how much is his salary and alhamdulallah I am better paid off than him . How could he do this to me ??have spent most of my life for the family and has been loyal to him for this 24 years of marriage . I never been engaged into chatting or texting . The blame is on me because I’m always fighting and arguing it seems with him … why ?? because of his addiction on online chatting with this woman .
    Appreciate if I could have some comments /advise please from you brothers /sisters .
    Do I have to fight for this marriage or let go or means I will leave my husband . though they have no fix plan yet of their marriage . His relatives are saying that there will be no Marriage but I dont what to expect anything on this situation .By the way our kids is not aware yet about whats happening as we do not want to disturb their studies.. This is really heart breaking and i dont know what to do ??

    • Avatar

      Anon

      October 17, 2016 at 11:46 PM

      Stay strong Linda. I would advise to take this to a local community leader whom you trust, and also has a strong foundation in Islamic sciences. If the situation is truly as you describe, then Allah swt will iA reward you on the day of Judgement for your patience, chastity, steadfastness. From what I read, you have given the best of your life to be with him, and you are being betrayed in return. He seems to have committed adultery on an emotional level, which can sometimes feel worse than the real act – and committed it with another one of the same!

      Use this hurt and opportunity to get close to Allah, who will never betray you, and give you ease in this world & next iA

  24. Avatar

    Alisha

    October 18, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    We are holding the next Muslim Marriage Events Manchester on Sunday 13th November 2016 at Royal Nawaabs, Manchester.

    The event is acting as an intermediary for people who are seeking marriage partners. The setting is very much open to all individuals to speak with each other. However, we will have advisors that will support individuals who feel shy or need an intermediary between their discussions.

    Inshallah we will also be supporting women who feel they need to be in a segregated environment.
    Please bear in mind these events are going to be conducted in a professional manner.

    An attempt to ensure that there is an equal ratio of the sexes, hence spaces are limited to first come basis. Should you feel you need to speak to someone and arrange for bookings please contact one of our advisors, details are as below. Please forward to all Muslim brothers & sisters who are looking for marriage.

    Please note we do not offer services for 2nd wives to the brothers.

    These events are open to all single muslims, divorced muslims and widowed muslims
    3 course Buffet Meal and soft drinks Included.
    For more info please call Alisha on 07737309349 or visit http://www.muslimmarriageevents.info

    • Avatar

      Linda

      October 23, 2016 at 12:43 AM

      Thanks Anon for your advise , yes indeed I was emotionally betrayed and its like somebody has stabbed you at the back then reaches your heart .Might time take to heal but inshallah with Allah’s ( SWT ) support and guidance I will be able to move on . I told my husband that it wont be
      easily for me to forgive what both of them has done to the family and I will be carrying this till my graveyard ..
      Great lesson as well for me to have this problem as my relationship with Allah became more closer and stronger (SWT ).
      Inshallah … shall keep you posted whatever will happen ..as I already involved Allah in solving our problems .

      Good day All and be strong enough to fight any temptations that will come your way . Praise be to Allah .
      Allah Kareem.

      • Avatar

        Waheeda

        December 7, 2016 at 12:36 AM

        Dear Linda, So sorry for your situation. May Allah bless you with patience and the wisdom to make the right decision for yourself and your children. Ameen. Please seek counseling and help with your local masjid or community center regarding this matter. If you choose to stay in the marriage you are in no way obligated to provide for your husband or his wife. Take care of yourself and be strong when dealing with him about your finances and your rights as his spouse and mother of his children.

  25. Avatar

    ifat saeed

    December 6, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Very nice article very well put..

  26. Avatar

    Essam Rashid

    December 7, 2016 at 3:23 AM

    Sheikh Omar Suleiman just blew the lid of infidelity in various forms. Just to add, physical infidelity also includes self pleasure which Dispossesses the Spouse (Wife/Husband) of their physical right in Islam on the cheater either be married or single. Further, there is nothing is Islam (HARAM) such as opposite Gender friendships or companionship (excluding the Mahrams) which again dispossesses the Spouse (Wife/Husband) of their emotional right in Islam on the cheater either be married or single.

  27. Avatar

    Salma

    December 14, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    I wonder how the situation would be if women were allowed to have more than one husband as well…..

    • Avatar

      polygimous by nature yaqoob

      December 31, 2016 at 2:39 AM

      dear sister salma, medically that would be the cause of many diseases and problems…but apologies may be you did not intend that responded answer……

  28. Avatar

    Sister in islam

    November 12, 2018 at 2:06 PM

    Good article. But it is not always only the husband who is unfaithful. More often I see married women falling into this. I would hope you could speak more of that too, in future articles. And also about women / men who try to allure married husband / wife into a relationship. Many people doesn’t back off trying to seduce another, even if they know they are married. Woman rapist are increasing. Many aren’t even interested in marriage. It’s just about the «private part» for them.

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#Life

Chronicles of A Muslim Father: It All Began With a Prayer

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fathers, Muslim fathers

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Family, friends, neighbors, coaches, and teachers are all part of that community and the pillars of that system are the parents. Mothers specifically have and continue to make monumental contributions to this effort. But what about Muslim fathers?

There are thousands of blog posts and hundreds of books on the fundamentals of raising Muslim children in the current climate written by mothers across a diverse array of the spectrum. They have tackled issues that range from Aqiqa’s to matrimonials and beyond, but when I needed a fresh perspective on raising Muslim children by someone like me, a Muslim father, I could hardly find any readily available resources.

I don’t know if this is a cultural deviancy or just men in general, but we leave all the parenting to the mothers and justify skimming over our responsibilities in the name of “breadwinning”. Whatever the case may be, I am a person who is constantly looking for guidance so that I, as their father and the head of the household, can make the right moves for my kids morally, academically and socially.

Furthermore, I am convinced that there are thousands, if not millions of Muslim fathers, just like me looking for the same thing that are coming up empty handed just like I did.

It’s for this reason, with the help of Allah that I have endeavored to fill in this much-needed gap and compose this essential series that will be comprised of archives from my own experiences coupled with advice on best practices and pitfalls in raising Muslim children from a father’s perspective.  

I hope and pray that my work will be a source of guidance for both mothers and fathers on raising Muslim children, if not at the very least a catalyst for a call-to-action for fathers to assume their respective roles. May Allah guide all of us to be the best parents for our children and raise our children amongst the righteous to be the coolness of our eyes. 

Jameel Syed  

Hajj 2000- I find myself at the time of Tahujjud standing humbled with all my faults in front of the ancient house of Allah trying to collect myself under the shade of night, to muster up the courage to address my Lord in efforts to ask…

What makes me think my voice would reach Him amongst a legion of believers who have come to this place with their righteous deeds and all I have to offer Him are years ladened with transgressions? How do I ask? Where do I begin…

Standing at six feet, I began to shrink both in stature and in spirit. Tears began to swell up in my eyes as I stood as still as a statue. I truly felt more insignificant than the idea of the word “below” itself. As natural as rain falling from the sky to the ground, in one action I collapsed into prostration, embracing the ground as if it were life itself. There I remained for what seemed like an eternity— sometimes praising Him, other times asking for His forgiveness as my body shook uncontrollably with tears running a constant flow. I had no concept of my surroundings or that the world existed at all. In that moment in the darkness, I just felt it was me, Him and the appeal that I had to make. I knew that I had no right. It was not my place to ask and that I had come with nothing to offer, but there was no place else to go, nobody else to turn to. I maintained my sajdah for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually, I summoned up my courage and brought the sentiments of my heart to my lips:

“Ya Allah pair me with a righteous wife who will give me righteous children.” 

At that moment, my prayers that were for me were for them. My tears flowed for them, whatever ramblings came from my mouth were for the unborn children that I have never met. If you think about it, it seemed foolish, so absurd, but in my bones, it felt so right. I didn’t even have a wife and there I was begging for righteous children. The truth in context was that I wanted something very special from the Treasury of His Majesty and I came to His House to humble myself to get it.

It was on the sound of the Fajr adhan that I finally arose from my prostration. My cheeks and kurta (shirt) wet with tears and all that was left was contemplation. It seemed as if I was transitioning into yet a different train of thought. 

I began to take account of who I am, what I wanted and what I needed to do. I didn’t know the first thing about being a husband or father. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes I made as a son. I wanted my children to have the best in this world and the next but didn’t have a clue on how to pave that path. I wanted to endeavor to strive to be at least as good as my own father and put my family first. In all honesty, as these thoughts began flooding my head, I felt totally helpless and totally overwhelmed. 

I knew that I would have to sacrifice, upgrade my character, prioritize to put the pleasure of Allah at the forefront of my thoughts and actions. This was a huge shift from how I lived my life for the past couple of decades. My time was mine, my money was mine and I impulsively chased my desires. All that had to change!

Change Brings Change

One thing did, however, make sense to me:

I thought to myself that if I laid down the track based upon my style of thinking, it would certainly be disastrous. I needed to consult with scholars and gather as much information as I could to construct a path in accordance with what Allah has prescribed to give myself a chance at achieving my dream.

This, I concluded, was what was needed to be done in order to ensure a chance of success. I felt resolute to act upon it. At that thought, the Muaddhin began to recite the Iqama and the entire ordeal concluded.

Six months later, I found myself in the living room of Dr. Ahmed Muneeruddin whose lineage goes back directly to AmĪr-ul-Mu’minīn, Umar Al-Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him). I was witness to one of the most profound events of my lifetime. My father (the late) Dr. Abdus-Salam Syed recited Khutbah Al-Haajah for the company that was present, which included immediate family from both sides. He then turned his attention to his host and began to declare with profound emotion:

“Praise to be Allah and blessings and peace be upon His final Prophet and Messenger Muhammad. I enjoin you to fear Allahﷻ. I have come to you to engage your noblest daughter Maria Muneeruddin to my son Jameel Abdul Syed in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet and the pleasure of Allah .” 

He then went on to conclude with Du’a for happiness, well being, prosperity, that the beginning and end of this affair should be on the straight path and that this union should bare righteous children in the future.

She was going to be the mother of my children

It is noteworthy that I had only known my future wife then for two weeks in total with no more than two physical meetings and a half a dozen phone calls.

She presented very strong qualities, which matched all of the qualifiers outlined by the Prophet: Beauty, wealth, status and religion. As most prospective couples do, we dialogued back and forth measuring each other up against our ideals, but truthfully my decision to pursue her at the end had little to do with any of her questions to my answers. Rather it was the fact that when I looked into her eyes, I saw the mother of my future children and I knew that no other woman on the face of this earth could hold that status for me. It was a feeling I knew to be true and the final criterion for my decision that I feel my heart was guided by Allahﷻ. The series of events that led to my engagement was idiosyncratic and unplanned. In my experience, when Allah wants something to happen, it happens rather quickly and arrives unannounced and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. 

Our marriage took place on July 1st, 2001 in Ontario, Canada. Shortly thereafter she became pregnant and learned that it was going to be a baby boy. Both of our families were elated. It was the first child of the next generation on both sides. We debated back and forth about the name until we finally reached a unanimous decision: Muhammad Jibril Syed. Maria constantly listened to Surah Al-Baqarah during her pregnancy and prayed for him during this eight-month period. My job was to keep her happy! 

On March 13th, 2002, Jibril had arrived at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, Michigan honoring both Maria and me with the titles of parents. I gingerly picked up the boy and took him to my father who raised the adhan in his right ear and the iqama in his left as per the tradition of The Prophet. The feeling was indescribable. A feeling of pride, disbelief, elation. Maria felt the same, but she was obviously exhausted. The hospital was flooded with friends and family— it was total chaos. I had to escape, if only for a moment.

I broke away from the excitement and retreated to the hospitals chapel to pray. After prayer, I sat by myself in that room and reflected on how I got to this point. That prayer I made during Tahajjud in front of the Kaabah. It was the beginning of my journey into fatherhood. My heart softened and I began to cry. SubhanAllah, I thought to myself. “Just look at the plan of Allah. He didn’t turn a deaf ear to the pleas of a sinner that day. He’s given me so much in such a short period of time. I promised myself that I would not be an ungrateful slave. That I would honor the trust that He’s bestowed on me with this child and any other future children by devoting myself to try and raise them in accordance with His pleasure.

As I walked out of the chapel and back to my family, I thought to myself: “I wonder what he’s gonna call me…”

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#Life

Fall Apart: Be Weak to Find Strength in Allah

Hiba Masood

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Growing up in Jeddah, every evening in Ramadan, we would pile into our car and whiz off to the mosque for Taraweeh prayers to Shoaibi Mosque and spend a few spell-bound hours under the reassuring baritones of Sheikh Abdullah Basfar. His beautiful voice became the anthem of my childhood in many ways but more than his voice, it was the building of tradition and memory that became ingrained in my system. By doing the same thing, day in, day out, year in, year out, my parents gave us a sense of stability and predictability that set the tone for our entire adolescence.

How that rhythm seeped into the very bones of who I am is something I am still discovering well into adulthood.

Last night, standing in my grandmother’s garden in Karachi, I experienced my first Taraweeh Khatam-e-Quran since leaving my parents home in Jeddah so many years ago. It is also, incidentally, my first Ramadan without both my parents, who last year seemingly decided they would much rather be together in Jannah than spend more time in this rubbish world and in quick succession, returned to their Maker, leaving me understandably grieving, awash in memories, struggling to steer my ship.

And so it was, that by the time the imam reached Surah Qadr, I was chokey. By Surah Kawthar, I had tears streaming down my face. And by the time the last three surahs, the comforting Quls, began, I was openly sobbing. Probably more openly than what is considered socially appropriate…but honestly, I was restraining myself. Because what I actually felt like doing was throwing my head back and howling up at the sky. Thankfully, I was flanked by women who knew, who understood, who with tears in their own eyes, let me be with my heaving shoulders and a chest that felt it would crack open under the weight of my emotions.

As the imam had recited surah after surah and the end of the Quran had approached, the ghosts of Ramadan Past had flooded into me and my body had remembered. It had remembered years and years of experiencing that same excitement, that same sense of weight as Sheikh Abdullah Basfar gently and methodically guided us over the course of the month through the Book of all books, that same uplifting, heartbreaking, momentous trepidation of offering something up to Him with the hope that He would bestow something shining in return.

Had this Book been revealed to a mountain, the mountain would have crumbled. You get a tiny glimpse of that weight when you complete a khatam. Here I am, Allah, here I am, in my little hole-y dinghy, with my itty bitty crumbs of ibaadah. Pliss to accept?

Back in Jeddah, after the khatam, we would pile back in the car and go for ice cream. Last night in Karachi, after the khatam, the Imam gave a short talk and in it he mentioned how we are encouraged to cry when conversing with Allah. We should beg and plead and insist and argue and tantrum with Him because He loves to be asked again and again. We live in a world of appropriateness, political correctness, carefully curated social media feeds and the necessity of putting our best, most polished face forwards at all times. How freeing then, that when we turn to our Lord, we are specifically instructed to abandon our sense of control. All the facades and the curtains are encouraged to be dropped away and we stand stripped to our souls in front of Him. In other words, He loves it when we fall apart. Which is exactly what I had just done. 

Last night, I found myself wondering what exactly had I cried so hard over. Which tears were for Him and the desperate desire for His mercy? Which were for the loveliness of the Quran, the steadying rhythm of it, not just verse to verse but also, cover to cover? Which tears were for the already achey yearning of yet another Ramadan gone past? Which were for my breaking heart that has to soon face my first Eid day and all the days of my life without my beloved Mumma and Baba? Which tears were of gratitude that I get to stand on an odd night of the best time of the year, alongside some of my dearest people, in the courtyard of a house full of childhood memories, under the vast, inky, starry sky and standing there, I get to fall apart, freely, wholly, soul-satisfyingly?

And which tears were of a searingly humbling recognition, that I am so wildly privileged to have this faith of mine – the faith that promises if we navigate the choppy dunya waters right, we will be reunited with our loved ones in a beautiful, eternal place, that if we purposely, and repeatedly crumble under the weight of our belief in Him and His plans, our future is bright?

Today, I’m convinced that it doesn’t matter why I cried. Because here is what I do know:

1. “If Allah knows good in your hearts, He will give you better than what was taken from you…” (8:70)


2. “If Allah intends good for someone, then he afflicts him with trials.” Prophet Muhammad

3. “Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him. If he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” Prophet Muhammad

In losing my parents, I have drawn closer to Allah. And though I miss them dizzyingly, I am so thankful that through the childhood they gave me, through the anchoring to the Quran they gifted me with, through their own tears that I witnessed during those long-ago khatams in the Shoaibi Mosque in Jeddah, they left me with the knowledge that if in losing them, I have gained even an atom’s worth more of His pleasure, then that’s a pretty great bargain.

 

As a parent of three young ones myself, I’ve spent my days teaching my children: be strong, be strong, be strong. Stand tall, stay firm, be sturdy in the face of the distracting, crashing waves of the world. But now I know something just as important to teach them: be weak, be weak, be weak.

Crumble in front of Him, fall apart, break open so that His Light may enter and be the only thing to fill you. It’s not easy but it will be essential for your survival in the face of any loss, grief, trial and despair this world throws your way. It will help you, finger to tongue, always know which way the wind is blowing and which way to steer your ship. Straight in to the sun, always. To Jannah. Because how wondrous are the affairs of us Muslims that when it comes to our sorrows and our hopes, out there on the horizon of Allah’s wise plans, it all shimmers as one – The grief of what is, the memory of what was and brighter than both, the glittering, iridescent promise of what will be.

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A Word On Muslim Attitudes Toward Abortion

Dr Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

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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

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