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Fatwas Regarding Women

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Questions Related to Marriage

Ruling Concerning Birth Control

Question: What is the ruling concerning birth control?

Response: This is a contemporary issue and many people ask about it. In the previous session of the Conference of the Leading Scholars [of Saudi Arabia], there was a study of this issue. They issued a verdict according to their opinion on this issue. In sum, they concluded that it is not allowed to take birth control pills. Allah has sanctioned the means that lead to procreation and a larger Muslim nation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Marry the child-bearing, loving woman for I shall outnumber the peoples by you on the Day of Resurrection."1

Another narration states at the end, "[outnumber] the prophets on the Day of Resurrection." The Muslim Nation is in need of being increased in numbers so that it may worship Allah, strive in His way, and defend the Muslims, by the will of Allah, from the plots of their enemies. It is a must to avoid such things [as birth control] and not to use them except in the cases of dire necessity. If there is a necessity, there is no harm. [This would be] for example, if the woman has some illness in her uterus or so forth that would harm her if she were to become pregnant. Then she may use such pills to the extent of her need. This is also the case if she already has many children and it would become a hardship on her to have another one soon, then she may use the birth control pills for a specific amount of time, such as one year or two years, which is the amount of time designated for breast feeding, until she reaches the stage where she would be able to raise the child properly. But if the women is taking them just so she will be free of responsibility or to be able to work or to live a comfortable life and other similar reasons why women take such pills these days, [it should be understood that] for these reasons it is not allowed to take birth control pills.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. This hadith is recorded by ibn Hibban, Ahmad, al-Tabarani and others. Without the words, "the Day of Resurrection," it is also narrated by Abu Dawud and al-Nasal. According to al-Albani, it is an authentic hadith due to its supporting chains. Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Irwa al Ghaleel fi Takhreej Ahadeeth Manaar al-Sabeel (Beirut: al-Maktab al Islami, 1979), vol. 6, p. 195.--JZ

The Appropriate Age for Marriage

Question: What is the appropriate age for men and women to marry? Some of the young ladies of today do not accept to be married to men older than them and also some of the men do not get married from anyone older than them either. We hope for a response, may Allah reward you.

Response: I advise the young ladies not to refuse a man because of his older age. Even if he be ten, twenty or thirty years older, this is not a valid excuse. The Prophet (peace be upon him) married Aisha when he was fifty-three years old and she was nine years old. Older age is not harmful. There is no problem if the woman is older than the man and there is no problem if the man is older than the woman. The Prophet (peace be upon him) married Khadijah when she was forty years old and he was twenty-five years old, before he received his first revelation. That is, she was fifteen years older than him (may Allah be pleased with her). And Aisha was married when she was a young lady of six or seven years and the Prophet (peace be upon him) consummated the marriage when she was nine years old and he was fifty-three years old. Many of those who talk on the radio or television and speak against having disparaging ages between husband and wife are wrong. It is not permissible for them to say such things. Instead, what must be done, is the woman must look at the prospective husband and, if he be pious and appropriate, she must agree to him even if he is older than her. Similarly, the man must try to marry a woman who is pious and virtuous, even if she is older than him, especially if she is still less than mid life. In any case, age should not be taken as an excuse. It should also not be considered a shortcoming, as long as the man is pious or the woman is pious. May Allah make the affairs good for everyone.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Marriage Comes First

Question: A common custom among the people nowadays is for a woman or her father to refuse a man's proposal so that she may finish high school, college or some specific amount of studying. What is the ruling concerning that? What is your advice for those who fall into that trap? Sometimes, the woman reaches the age of thirty or more and she has yet to get married!

Response: My advice to all young men and young women is to get married quickly if the means to it are made possible for you. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said,

"O youthful people, if any of you have the means to, he should get married, as it lowers the eyesight and protects the private parts. Those who have not the ability to do so should fast, as it will be a shield for him."

This was recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"If one whose religion and character pleases you proposes to you, you should marry him. If you do not do so, them will be tribulations in the land and great evil."

This was recorded by al-Tirmidhi with a hasan chain. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"Marry the child-bearing, loving woman for I shall outnumber the peoples by you on the Day of Resurrection."

This was recorded by Ahmad and graded sahih by ibn Hibban. Therefore, there are many benefits to marriage which the Prophet (peace be upon him) alluded to, including lowering the gaze, protecting the private parts, increasing the numbers of the Muslim Nation and being saved from great evil and misfortune.

May Allah grant to all what is best for their religion and worldly lives. He is All-Hearing, Close.

Shaikh ibn Baz

The Young Lady is Not to be Forced to Marry a Man She Does Not Want to Marry

Question: Is it allowed for a father to force his daughter to marry a specific man that she does not want to many?

Response: Neither the father nor anyone other than the father may force a woman who is under his guardianship to marry a man that she does not want to many. In fact, her permission must be sought. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

"The non-virgin [without a husband] must not be married until she is consulted. A virgin must not be married until her permission is sought." They said, "O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) how is her permission given?" He said, "By her being silent." Another narration states, "Her silence is her permission." Yet a third narration states, "A virgin's father seeks her permission and her permission is her remaining silent."1

The father must seek her permission if she is nine years of age or above. Similarly, her other guardians may not marry her off except by her permission. This is obligatory upon all of them. If one is married without permission, then the marriage is not valid. This is because one of the conditions of the marriage is that both partners accept the marriage. If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid. The only exception is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion. This is based on the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marrying Aisha without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadith. However, if she is nine years old or more, she cannot be married, even by her father, except with her consent. The husband should not approach the woman if he knows that she does not want him, even if the father approves of it. He must fear Allah and not approach any wife that did not want him even if her father claims that he did not coerce her. He must avoid what Allah has forbidden for him. This is because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ordered that her permission must be sought. We also advise the woman to fear Allah and to accept the man if her father finds that he is suitable to marry her, as long as the prospective groom is good in his religion and character. This is true even if the one who is doing the marrying is not the girl's father [but her legal guardian]. We make this advice because there is lots of good and lot of benefits in marriage. Also, there are lots of hazards in living as a maiden. I advise all young ladies to accept those men who come to them if they are qualified. They should not use schooling, teaching or other causes as an excuse to avoid marriage.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. These narrations are recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.--JZ

A Religious Young Man Proposed to Me but My Mother Refused

Question: I am seeking a solution to my problem. I am twenty-four years old. A young man proposed to me. He has finished college. He is from a religious family. After my father agreed to him, he asked me to come to see him. I saw him and was pleased with him and he was pleased with me. [We saw each other] because our pure religion has stated that I should see him and he should see me. However, when my mother came to realize that he was from a religious family, she became harsh against him and my father. She swore that such a marriage would never take place in anyway. My father desperately tried to persuade her, but to no avail. Do I have the right to seek the Law to intervene in this matter?

Response: If the matter is as you have mentioned in your question, then your mother has no right to make any objection. Indeed, such a stance is forbidden. You are not obliged to obey your mother in matter. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Obedience is in what is good and right."1

Rejecting a suitable proposal is not from what is good and right. In fact, it has been narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"If one whose religion and character pleases you proposes to you, you should marry him. If you do not do so, there will be tribulations in the land and great evil."2

If you have need to take your matter to a court of law, you would not be wrong in doing so.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.-JZ

2. Recorded by al-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah, with the last word being 'areedh instead of kabeer, as written in this text. (The two words are very close in meaning.) Shaikh ibn Baz presents the hadith in his answer in a form that implies that he does not consider the hadith authentic. However, in an answer to another question, he stated that it was recorded by al-Tirmidhi with a hasan chain. Similarly, al-Albani has concluded that it is hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 112.--JZ

If Someone is Known Not to Perform the Prayers in Congregation, One Should Not Marry Him

Question: A young man came to me asking for my sister's hand in marriage. I inquired about him and discovered that he does not perform the prayer in congregation. Therefore, we differed about whether or not we should allow this marriage to take place. My brother said, "Many him for perhaps Allah will guide him." However, my father refused. I want to know the Islamic ruling concerning this matter.

Response: If someone is known not to pray in congregation, then he should not be wedded to. This is because not praying in congregation is an open, public display of disobedience to Allah. This is one of the characteristics of the people of hypocrisy and it is one of the steps that leads to abandoning the prayer in totality. And abandoning the prayer completely is a greater form of kufr [that takes one out of the fold of Islam]. Allah has stated,

"Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He who deceives them. And when they stand to pray, they stand with laziness" (al-Nisa 142).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"The hardest prayers upon the hypocrites are the Isha Prayers and the Fajr Prayers. If they knew what they had [of reward and blessings], they would come to them even if they had to crawl."

This was recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

In this regard, ibn Masud said, "During our time, none would lag behind the prayer in congregation except for the hypocrite who was well-known for his hypocrisy." This was recorded by Muslim in his Sahih.

It is also confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"The covenant between us and them is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed kufr (infidelity)."

This was recorded by Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan collections with a sahih chain. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said,

"Between a man and disbelief and polytheism is the abandoning of the prayer."

This was recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih. There is no doubt that abandoning the prayer in congregation is one of the means that leads to abandoning the prayer in its totality, as we mentioned earlier. We ask Allah for guidance for all of us.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning a Christian Man Marrying a Muslim Woman

Question: What is the Islamic ruling concerning a Christian man marrying a Muslim woman? If they have children, what is the ruling concerning those children in Islamic law?

Response: The marriage of a Christian man to a Muslim woman is an invalid marriage. Allah says in the Quran,

"And give not [Muslim women] in marriage to idolaters until they believe"

(al-Baqara 221).

Therefore, it is not allowed for a disbeliever to marry a Muslim woman. Allah also says,

"They [Muslim women] are not lawful for them [the disbelievers] nor are they [the disbelievers] lawful for them" (al-Mumtahana 10).

If he does marry her, the marriage is invalid. The children are the children of fornication. They are to be given to their mother and ascribed to her alone -- unless that was done out of ignorance concerning such law. For ignorant people, the matter is different. In their case, the marriage is still invalid. However, the children will be ascribed to the father since the act was done out of ignorance. That is, if he was ignorant of the law and she was also, the marriage is still invalid but the children will be ascribed to their parents due to their ignorance and there was some doubtful aspect to their intercourse.1 But if he knew the Islamic ruling and she knew the Islamic ruling and they were being lax and disrespectful of the law of Allah, then the children are children of fornication. They will be ascribed to their mother and will not be ascribed to their father at all. The couple should be reprimanded and the penal punishment should be enforced upon him for having intercourse with a Muslim woman when he did not have the legal right to do so. This is what must be done if the Islamic state has the ability to do it. If he becomes Muslim after that and Allah guides him, then he can marry her with a new contract.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. That is, they did not knowingly and intentionally violate the law. Therefore, there is room to consider their marital relations as "acceptable" in the sense that the children will be ascribed to both of the parents.--JZ

The Condition that Has the Most Right to be Fulfilled

Question: A prospective wife laid down a stipulation that her husband will not prevent her from teaching and he agreed to that so they got married. Does he then still have to maintain her and her children although she is an employee? Is it permissible for him to take some of her salary without her approval? If the woman is religious and does not wish to hear singing and music but the husband and his family constantly listen to music and say that the one who does not permit music is being misled by the devil, is it allowed for the wife to stay or remain in her family's house due to such a state?

Response: If the woman stipulates to her fiancee that he will not prevent her from teaching or from studying and he accepts that stipulation, such a stipulation is sound and he cannot prevent her from that after he has conjugated the marriage. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said,

"The conditions that have the most right to be fulfilled are those that make sexual intercourse lawful [i.e., those of the marriage contract]."

This was recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim. If he then prevents her from teaching, she has the option to stay with him or to seek a separation from the Shariah judge. However, the husband and his family listening to singing and music does not invalidate the marriage contract. She must advise them and inform them that such is prohibited. She also should not be with them when they partake in that evil. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has said,

"The religion is sincere advice..."

Recorded by Muslim in his Sahih. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"Whoever of you who sees an evil must change it with his hand. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue. And whoever cannot do that, then with his heart and that is the weakest of faith."

Recorded by Muslim in his Sahih. Verses of the Quran and Hadith on this topic are numerous. The husband must also maintain her and his children from her. He may not take anything from her salary unless it be by her permission and approval. And she may not leave his house to go to her family's house or elsewhere except with his permission.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning Having Wedding Parties in Hotels

Question: What is your opinion about the parties that are held in hotels?

Response: The parties that are held in hotels have many things wrong about them and may be criticized for many reasons. First, they are usually done extravagantly and beyond what is needed. Second, this leads to the extra financial burden of having wedding parties in hotels and the presence of people for whom there is no need. Third, it may lead to mixing between the men and women of the hotel and others. This mixing is a disgraceful evil. This is why the leading scholars issued a decree and gave it to the King advising him not to allow parties and wedding parties to be held in hotels. Instead, they said, the wedding parties should be held in the houses and hotels should not be hired, as such wedding parties lead to lots of evil. Similar is the case with the halls that are rented for a great deal of money. This advice was all concluded out of concern for the people, economic considerations, avoiding of extravagance and luxury. Also, this will allow those who are of the middle class to be able to afford to get married and will not be a great burden upon them. If they see their cousin or relative getting married in an expensive hotel party, he must compete with him or do something similar. This will drive him to borrow money. Otherwise, he may have to delay his marriage out of fear of such heavy expenses.

My advice to all Muslim brethren is that they should not hold their wedding parties in such hotels nor in the expensive halls that are rented for that purpose. They should hold them in inexpensive halls or not hold them in the halls at all. To hold them in the houses is preferred anyway. Or one could hold them in his relatives' house if that is possible.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning Women Attending Wedding and Birthday Parties Which Have Objectionable Aspects

Question: What is the ruling concerning women attending wedding parties and birthday parties although they are innovations and every innovation is misguidance? Also, one finds in such parties singers to entertain the people. Is it forbidden if a woman simply goes their to witness the wedding and out of respect for the family of the bride and not to listen to the singing?

Response: If the wedding party has no objectionable aspects, such as mixing between men and women, shameless singing, or if the person attending has the ability to put an end to those aspects, it is then allowed for her to attend such a gathering to participate with the others in their happiness. In fact, it is a must to attend if the person has the ability to remove the objectionable aspects. If the party, though, has objectionable aspects and the person does not have the ability to stop them, then she is not allowed to attend such a party. This is based on the generality of Allah's statement,

"And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But remind [them] with it [the Quran], lest a person be given up to destruction for that which he has earned, when he will not find for himself any protector or intercessor besides Allah" (al-Anam 70).

Allah also says,

"And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks [singing, music] to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment" (Luqman 6).

The Hadith that have been narrated condemning singing and musical instruments are numerous.

As for birthday parties, neither a Muslim man or a Muslim woman should attend them because they are innovations. The only exception would be to attend them to put a stop to them and explain the rule of Allah concerning such parties.

The Standing Committee

The Dower is the Right of the Woman

Question: Can a man use his daughter's or sister's dower in order to get married?

Response: The dower of his daughter or sister is one of her rights and is a portion of her wealth. If she gives it as a gift to him or part of it, voluntarily and out of free choice and she is someone legally capable of such an offer, then it is permissible for him to take it. If she does not give it as a gift, it is not allowed for him to take it or take any portion of it as it is something that specifically belongs to her. However, the father may take a portion of it, but only if such is not harmful to her and only if he does not take specifically from some of his children. This is based on the Prophet's statement,

"The best of what you consume is that which you have earned. And your children are part of what you have earned."1

The Standing Committee


1. Recorded by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasai. Al-Albani has graded it sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 326.-JZ

Concerning Polygyny

Question: Some people say that marrying more than one wife is not allowed unless a person has orphans under his care and he fears that he will not do justice between them. Then he may marry their mother or one of her daughters. For evidence, they quote the verse,

"And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls, then marry women of your choice, two, three or four..." (al-Nisa 3).

Response: This statement is false. The meaning of the verse is that if a person has under his care an orphan and he fears that he will not give her the proper amount of dower, then he should marry other women, for there are many women and Allah will not make things difficult for him. The verse points to the legality of marrying two, three or four wives. This is allowed because it leads to more chastity, lowering of eyesight and guarding of the private parts. Furthermore, that is a cause for more children and the chastity of more women, as well as them being treated properly and cared for. There is no doubt that the woman who has one-half of a husband or one-third or one-fourth is better off than the one who has no husband at all. However, one must meet the condition of justice among the wives and the ability to take care of and tend to the wives. If a person fears that he will not do justice, then he may only many one wife in addition to having slaves. The practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) indicates and stresses that. When he died, he had nine wives. And Allah says about him,

"Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow" (al-Ahzab 21).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) made it clear to his Nation that it was allowed for him to have more than four wives. Therefore, following his example on this point would mean taking four wives or less. Beyond four wives is something that is specific for the Prophet (peace be upon him) only.

Shaikh ibn Baz

There is No Contradiction in the Verses Regarding Polygyny

Question: Concerning polygyny, it is stated in the Quran,

"If you fear that you will not be able to deal justly [with more then one wife], than [marry] only one" (al-Nisa 3).

However, in another place, it states,

"You will never be able to do perfect justice between your wives even if it is your ardent desire" (al-Nisa 129).

In the first verse, the condition of being just among the wives is stated while in the second it makes it clear that the condition of justice could never be met. Does this mean that the first verse is abrogated and that it is not allowed to many more than one woman since the condition of justice cannot be fulfilled? Benefit us, may Allah reward you.

Response: There is no contradiction between the two verses. There is also no abrogation by one verse of the other. The justice that is mentioned in the first verse is the justice within one's ability, which is related to being fair in division of time and in maintenance. As for being just with respect to love and sexual relations, this is not within one's ability. This is what is being referred to in the verse,

"You will never be able to do perfect justice between your wives even if it is your ardent desire" (al-Nisa 129).

In a Hadith about the Prophet (peace be upon him) Aisha stated,

"The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to divide his time between his wives and he was fair. He used to say, 'O Allah, that is my division with respect to what I have control over. Do not blame me for what You control and over which I have no control."'1

This was recorded by Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasai, ibn Majah. It was graded sahih by ibn Hibban and al-Haakim.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. This hadith seems to be one of those hadith where the specialists have noted a mistake in its transmission. Hence, they have concluded that it is a weak hadith. See, for example, al-Albani, Irwa, vol. 7, pp. 81-83; Shuaib al-Amaut's footnotes to Sahih ibn Hibban, vol. 10, p. 5. The first part of the hadith, though, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was just among his wives has supporting evidence and is considered confirmed.--JZ

Ruling Concerning a Woman Looking at Men

Question: What is the ruling concerning a woman looking at men on television or casual looks in the streets?

Response: A woman looking at a man must be one of two cases, regardless of whether it be on television or otherwise. First is a look with lust. This is forbidden as it contains evil and temptation. Second is a simple look free of any kind of lust and desire. There is no harm in that kind of look according to the correct opinion of the scholars. It is permissible because it is confirmed in the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim that Aisha watched the Abbysinians doing their war dance. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was concealing her from them and he approved of what she was doing. Furthermore, women walk in the streets and they look at men although they are wearing hijab. A woman may look at a man even though he does not see her. However, this is conditional that the look not be accompanied with lust, desire or temptation. If it is a look of lust or temptation, then it is forbidden regardless of whether it be on television or otherwise.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Ruling Concerning Women Looking at Non-Mahram Men

Question: What is the ruling concerning a woman looking at non-mahram men?

Response: We advise women not to look at non-mahram men. It is best for the woman if she is not seen by the men and she does not see them. There is no difference on this point between a battlefield or a sports field. A woman is weak and can easily be swayed. Many times, a woman looks at a movie or picture of a young man and her emotions and desires are excited. This expose her to temptation. Being away from the causes of temptation is always the safest approach.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

Correspondence between Young Men and Women is Not Allowed

Question: What is the ruling concerning letters or correspondence between young men and women, given that these correspondences do not contain any lewdness, passion or amorous flavor?1

Response: It is not allowed for a man to have correspondence with any woman whom he is not related to. This s because this is a source of temptation. The one involved may think that there is no temptation involved but the Devil may continue to work on him until he becomes enticed by her and her by him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered that the one who heard about the anti-Christ's arrival should remain far away from him. He said that a man will come to him as a believer but the anti-Christ will keep working on him until he tempts him. Similarly, correspondence between young men and women is a great temptation and something very much to be avoided. One must refrain from it even if he claims that there is no lewdness or passion involved. As for correspondence between men and men or between women and women, there is no harm in that as long as such correspondence does not contain anything forbidden.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen


1. Obviously, the answer to this question also applies to the kind of correspondence that goes on over the Internet, especially the chat rooms. This is a new area that many young Muslims have gotten involved in and many times the results are very unfortunate.-JZ

A Horrendous Crime

Question: A woman hired a lawyer to help her get her share of inheritance from her father. The lawyer charged her an amount larger than what she possessed. So he asked her to marry him due to the services he rendered for her. However, that woman was

already married. Her husband was not present, as he was out of the country. So that woman hired that same lawyer to have her marriage annulled. This was done without the husband being contacted in any manner, although the wife had his address and he used to send money to her to support her and their daughter of eleven years and son of eight years. What is the ruling concerning that marriage? Who has the right to take custody of that boy and that girl?

Response: There is no question that what was done was illegal, a heinous crime and a malicious attempt to get around the law. The woman was still under the marriage ties with her husband; he was still supporting her and their children. The lawyer only attempted to dissolve the marriage so that he could marry her even though he had every ability to contact the first husband and see what was his excuse for not being with her. Therefore, if this marriage was nullified by a Shariah judge after the causes and mandate for it were proven, then the marriage from the first husband is dissolved by the act of the judge. Otherwise, what was done was forbidden. Therefore, she would still be considered the wife of the first husband and the second marriage would be considered forbidden. As for the children, they stay with their mother. If the second husband refuses them, their custody goes to her closest relative or relatives of their father. If the husband returns soon, he can seek whatever he sees fit in this matter.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

One Should Not Burden His Wife with Toilsome and Difficult Work

Question: I read in a news paper a fatawa [religious ruling] from one of the scholars who said that it is not obligatory for the wife to serve a husband and such does not actually fall under the marriage contract which only implies his right to "enjoy" his wife sexually. As for her serving him, this is a type of good behavior from her only. He also said that it is obligatory upon the man to provide a servant for his wife if he does not serve her or does not serve herself for any reason. Is this correct? If it is not correct, then I thank Allah that this newspaper is not widespread as, otherwise, some husbands would become like bachelors when their wives would read that fatwa.

Response: That fatwa is not correct and is not to be acted on. The wives of the Companions used to serve their husbands. Asma bint Abu Bakr narrated how she served her husband al-Zubair ibn al-Awwam. Similarly, Fatima used to serve Ali. Such was the case with others also. The custom of the Muslims continues to be that the wife serves the husband in a customary fashion with respect to preparing food, washing clothing, washing utensils, cleaning the house and even watering and milking animals and helping in the farm. All of this is with respect to the customs of the people that have continued since the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) until our times without it being refuted. However, one should not burden one's wife with work that is toilsome and hard upon her. This determined by her abilities and custom.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

There is No Wedding Procession with the Bride and the Groom Together

Question: Is it allowed to have a wedding procession with the groom being with the bride among the women during the wedding parting?

Response: That act is not allowed. It is an indication that modesty has been lost. It is also an imitation of the people of obscenity and lewdness. In fact, the matter is very clear. The groom is too shy to be brought in front of the people! Then how is he going to be brought in front of those in attendance?

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

A Muslim Woman may not Be Wed to a Disbeliever

Question: Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to marry a Muslim man who embraced Islam simply because of her? That is, he asked her to marry him and told her that he would leave his religion and enter Islam. Please help me for I know that I am the only reason that he entered into Islam.

Response: It is not allowed for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. This is because Allah has said,

"They [Muslim women] are not lawful for them [the disbelievers] nor are they [the disbelievers] lawful for them" (al-Mumtahana 10).

Allah has also said,

"And give not [Muslim women] in marriage to polytheists until they believe and verily, a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he pleases you." (al-Baqara 221).

If he enters into Islam and truly practices Islam, then it is allowable . However, he must be "tested" first to make sure that he performs his prayers, fasts and other acts of worship. Also, he must be learning the Quran, learning the laws of Islam, abandoning shirk, avoiding alcohol and all other forbidden acts. He should also change his religion on his passport and identification papers. One should wait for some time after he embraces Islam to make sure that he is truly a Muslim and has not simply embraced Islam as a trick to be able to marry the woman. Otherwise, afterwards, he may apostate as soon as he gets married. If he does that, he must then be killed for the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said,

"The one who changes his religion is to be killed."1

Shaikh ibn Jibreen


1. Recorded by al-Bukhari.--JZ

Marriage from Distant or Non-Relatives is Preferred

Question: One of my relatives has come to me for the purpose of marriage but I heard that to marry from non-relatives or distant relatives is preferred for the sake of the future of the children and other reasons. What is your opinion on that matter?

Response: That principle has been stated by a number of scholars. It points to the fact that genetics and heredity has an effect. There is no doubt that genetics has an effect on the physical and psychological make-up of the person. This is shown in the Hadith where a man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and said, "My wife has given birth to a black child." (He was opposing that child because all of his ascendants were of light skin.) The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told him, "Do you own camels?" He said, "Yes." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "What color are they?" He said, "Red." The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, "Is there a dusky one among them?" He said, "Yes." The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, "How has that come about?" The man replied, "It is perhaps due to the strain to which it has reverted." So the Prophet (peace be upon him) told him "Perhaps that son of yours is due to the strain to which it has reverted."1 This is evidence that genetics has an effect and there is no doubt about that. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"A woman is married for [any of] four reasons: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her religion. So try to marry one who is religious, may your hands be smeared with dust."2

Therefore, the most important matter in proposing to a woman is her piety. The more religious she is and the more beautiful she is then the better she is, regardless if she be a close relative or distant [or non-] relative. The religious woman will protect the man's wealth, children, and house. Beauty fulfills his needs and lowers his gaze and he will not look to others. And Allah knows best.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.--JZ

2. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim. The expression, "may your hands be smeared with dust," is an Arabic expression encouraging the person to perform the action.--JZ

Marriage with the Intention of Divorcing After a Period of Time

Question: A person is going abroad to study and he wants to protect his chastity there by getting married for a specific period of time. Afterwards, he will divorce his wife although he does not inform her that he is planning on divorcing after a specific time period. What is the ruling concerning such behavior?

Response: Marriage with the intention of divorce must fall into one of two cases. First, it is explicitly stipulated in the marriage contract that the marriage is for a month, year, until he finishes his studies and so forth. This is known as muta. This is forbidden. The second case is where the person has that as his intention [in his heart] but it is not put as a stipulation in the contract. The widespread opinion among the Hanbalis is that that is forbidden and the contract is void. They say that what is intended is equivalent to what is actually stipulated, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Actions are based on intentions and for everyone is what he intended."1

They also say that if a man marries and plans on divorcing a thrice-divorced woman simply in order to make her permissible for previous husband, that marriage is not valid even if what was intended is not stipulated in the marriage contract. Again, this is

what is intended is like what is stipulated. So if the intention of making the wife "legal" for her previous husband makes the contract null and void, the intention to perform

[something similar to] muta also makes the contract null and void. This is the opinion of the Hanbalis.

The second opinion among the scholars is that it is permissible for the man to marry that woman with the intention that he will divorce her after he leaves her land, such as those who go to the West to study or for other purposes. They say that it is sound because it is not stipulated in the contract and this distinguishes it from muta. Furthermore, in the case of muta, as soon as the period finishes, the two are separated whether they still want that or not. In this case, though, it could be the case that he desires his wife and decides to remain with her. This is one of the opinions held by Shaikh al-Islam ibn Taimiya.

In my opinion, such a marriage is not muta since it does not meet the definition of muta. However, it is still forbidden since it is a type of deception of the wife and her family. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has forbidden deception and mendacity. If the woman knew that the man only intends to be married with her for that specific time, she would not agree to the marriage nor would her family. In the same way, he would not be pleased to marry his daughter to a man who intends to divorce her when he has fulfilled his needs from her. How can he be pleased with doing to others what he would not be pleased to have done to himself? This goes against the foundations of faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has stated,

"None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."2

I have also heard that this opinion has led some people to do something that none of the scholars would be in agreement with. That is, some people travel to such lands with the sole purpose of performing such a marriage and then they return to their countries. This is also a greatly forbidden act. Therefore, one must close the door that leads to such a possible practice. Furthermore, the act contains deception and cheating. And it opens a very dangerous door since people, in general, are ignorant and most of the people's desires will not keep them from violating what Allah has prohibited.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.--JZ

2. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.--JZ

The Marriage with the Greatest Blessings is that with the Lesser Financial Burden

Question: What is your opinion of the large dowers and expensive parties and honeymoons that cost a great deal of money? Does the Shariah approve of such things?

Response: Having very expensive dowers and extravagant wedding parties is something that goes against the shariah. The marriage that has the greatest blessings is the one with lesser financial burden. Any time the burdens are lessened, the blessings are increased. This is a matter that is many times caused by women. Women are the ones that often insist upon their husbands to set a very high dower [for their daughters]. If a lesser dower is offered, they will say that their daughter is deserving of such and such. Furthermore, expensive and luxurious wedding parties are prohibited by the Shariah. They fall under the command of the verse,

"But be not extravagant. Verily, He loves not those who are extravagant" (al-Anam 141).

Again, many times it is the women who force their husbands to do such things. They say that in so and so's party they had this and that. However, such gatherings must be according to the Shariah. The person should not spend what is beyond his means. He must also never be extravagant for Allah has prohibited extravagance.

"Verily, He loves not those who are extravagant" (al-Anam 141).

Honeymoons are worse and even more evil. This is because they are an imitation of non-Muslims. They also are a waste of lots of wealth. It also leads people to being lax with respect to their religious duties when such honeymoons take place in non-Muslim areas. The people come back with customs and behavior that are harmful for them and for the Muslim community. This is something that is to be feared for the Ummah. However, there is no harm, Allah willing, if a man travels with his wife to make Umrah or to visit Madinah.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Choosing a Husband

Question: What are the most important considerations a young lady should make when choosing a husband? If she refuses someone simply for economic or worldly reasons, will that expose her to the punishment of Allah?

Response: The most important attributes that a woman must look for in selecting a husband are character and piety. Wealth and lineage are secondary considerations. The most important aspect is that the proposed groom be a person of piety and proper behavior. The person of proper behavior and piety will not do his wife wrong. Either he will keep her in a way that is proper or he will leave her to go free in the best way. Furthermore, the person of religion and behavior may be a blessing for her and her children. She may learn manners and religion from him. If he does not have those characteristics, she should stay away from him, especially if he is one of those who is lax with respect to performing the prayers or if he is known to drink alcohol, may Allah save us. As for those who never pray, they are disbelievers. Believing women are not permissible for them nor are they permissible for the believing women. The important point is that the woman should stress character and piety. If he is also of a noble lineage, that is to be preferred. This is due to the Messenger of Allah's (peace be upon him) statement,

"If a person whose religion and character you approve of comes to you, then marry him."1

However, if he is also suitable [in other ways, such as economics standing and so forth], that is better.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Recorded by al-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah. As discussed earlier, it is

hasan hadith.--JZ

Relations Before Marriage

Question: What is the view of the religion concerning [pre-marital] relations?

Response: If the questioner means by "before marriage," before consummation of the marriage but after the contract1, the there is no harm in such relations since she is his wife by virtue of the contract, even though they have not decorously consummate the marriage. However, if it is before the marriage, such as during the period of engagement or otherwise, such contact is forbidden and impermissible. It is not allowed for a man to enjoy a nor related woman's company, either by speech, look or private company. It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"A man cannot be alone with a woman except in the presence of [one of her] mahram. And a woman cannot travel except with a mahram."2

In sum, if that contact or association is after the marriage contract, there is no harm in it. If it is before the marriage ceremony, even if it is after proposal and acceptance, it is not allowed. Such behavior is forbidden for him since the woman is a non-relative and non-wife until they conclude the marriage contract.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Here the Shaikh is referring to a practice which is quite common in the Muslim world. Sometimes, the marriage contract is performed but the two will not live together as husband and wife for some time. However, as soon as the marriage contract is done, the two are husband and wife and are legally free to behave as such toward one another (although "custom" may say otherwise). This is not to be confused with the period of engagement. During engagement, the two have agreed that they will get married but they yet to actually perform the marriage contract and become truly husband and wife.--JZ

2. Recorded by Muslim. Al-Bukhari has something similar.--JZ

One Can Only Practice Coitus Interruptus with the Permission of the Wife

Question: When is it allowed for a woman to use birth control pills? Is there a clear text or opinion of the jurists on birth control? Is it allowed for a Muslim to practice coitus interruptus for no reason?

Response: Muslims must increase their numbers to the best of their ability. This is the command that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave to the Muslims when he said,

"Marry the child-bearing, loving woman for I shall outnumber the peoples by you."1

Having more children means the Muslim nation will be larger. This is an honor for the Muslim Nation. Allah stated while talking about His blessings on the Tribes of Israel,

"We made you more numerous in man-power" (al-lsra 6).

And Shuaib said to his people,

"And remember when you were but few and He multiplied you" (al-Araf 86).

No one can deny that the larger the Nation, the greater its hone and strength. This is the opposite of those who falsely and wrongfully claim that large population is a cause for poverty and hunger. If the Nation becomes larger, relies upon Allah and believes in the promise Allah has made in the verse,

"And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah" (Hud 6).

Allah will make their affairs easy for them and enrich them from His bounty. Based on that comes the answer to the question. A woman should not use birth control unless two conditions are met:

The first condition is that she is in need of such a practice. For example, she may be ill and cannot sustain bearing a child every year, her body might be weak or other causes that may make it difficult for her to be pregnant every year.

The second condition is that the husband gives his permission for the practice. This is because it is the right of the husband to have children. Furthermore, they must consult with a doctor concerning those pills. They have to see if taking them or not taking them could be hazardous to her health.

If these two conditions are met, there is no harm in her using those pills. But such procedures as pills or other forms must not be of a permanent nature. That is, one cannot use a form of birth control that is of a permanent nature as that will cut off the possibility of procreation.

As for the second part of the question, the answer is that, in reality, birth control is something that is not possible. This is because pregnancy and non-pregnancy are both in the hand of Allah. If humans try to limit their children to a specific number, it is possible that all of them may die in one year due to some cause and they will be left with no children at all. Birth control is something that is not considered acceptable by the Shariah. However, temporary limitation of pregnancy due to necessity, as was mentioned above, is permissible. As for coitus interruptus that is done for no sanctioning cause, according to the correct opinion among the scholars, it is permissible. This is based on the hadith of Jabir who said, "We used to perform coitus interruptus during the time that the Quran was being revealed," that is, during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

If that act were forbidden, Allah would have forbidden them from it. However, the scholars say that coitus interruptus must not be done with a free [non-slave] wife except with her permission. This is because she also has the right to have children. It also reduces her sexual pleasure. The pleasure of the woman is not complete until after the male ejaculation. Therefore, for these two causes just mentioned, it is not allowed to perform coitus interruptus with one's free wife except with her consent.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. This hadith is recorded by Abu Dawud, al-Nasal, ibn Hibban, Ahmad, al-Tabarani and others. According to al-Albani, it is an authentic hadith due to its supporting chains, as was discussed earlier. Al-Albani, Irwa, vol. 6, p. 195.--JZ

Ruling Concerning Remaining with a Husband who Does Not Pray

Question: My husband is heedless with respect to his religion. He does not fast Ramadhan or pray. In fact, he keeps me from doing any type of good. Now, he has started to have doubts about me to the point that he has left his job so he can stay home and watch me. What shall I do?

Response: It is not allowed to remain with such a husband. By his not praying, he has become a disbeliever. And it is not allowed for a Muslim woman to remain with a disbeliever. Allah has said,

"If you know them [the women] to be true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful [wives] for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful [husbands] for them" (al-Mumtahana 10).

The marriage between you and him is annulled. There is no marriage between the two of you unless Allah guides him, he repents and returns to Islam. Then you will remain his wife. As for the husband, his behavior is very wrong. In my opinion, it is a kind of illness. It is the illness of doubt, suspicion and whisperings that some people are exposed to with respect to their worship and dealings with others. The only thing that can remove that sickness is the remembrance of Allah, turning to Him and putting one's complete trust in His decree. The important point, with respect to you and him, is that you must separate from that husband and not remain with him. This is because he is a disbeliever while you are a believer. As for the husband, we advise him to return to his religion and to seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. He should also be very keen on beneficial words of remembrance that will repel these whisperings from his heart. We ask Allah to benefit him. Allah knows best.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

The Son is for the Second Husband and the Missing Husband has the Right of Option

Question: A husband was missing for a long time, to the point that his wife had thought he had died. His wife, therefore, married another man and had a child from him. After some years, the first husband returned. Does the wife now stay with the second husband or is that marriage dissolved? Does the first husband have the right to ask for his wife back? If he does, do they have to perform a new contract?

Response: This is the issue of the marriage of the wife of a missing husband. [This is the case where] the husband is missing and searched for over a long period of time, it is concluded that he is dead, the woman marries somebody else and then the husband reappears. He then will have the choice of keeping the new marriage in tact or in having his wife returned to him. If the new marriage is left in tact, the matter is clear. The contract is valid. If he does not choose that and he wants his wife back, the wife is returned to him. However, he cannot have intercourse with her until she finishes her waiting period from the second husband. There is no need to make a new contract for the first husband because there was nothing that invalidated the previous contract. As for her child from the second husband, it is a legal child and will be ascribed to its father because the child was the result of a proper marriage.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

No Limit to What May Be Seen

Question: Is it allowed for a woman to look at all of the parts of her husband's body or for him to look at all of her with the intention of enjoying what is permissible?

Response: It is allowed for a woman to look at any part of her husband's body and it is allowed for a man to look at all of his wife's body without any exception. This is based on the Quranic verse,

"And those who guard their private parts except from their wives or slaves, for then, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors"

(al-Muminoon 5-7).

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Ruling Concerning a Young Lady who Refuses Marriage in Order to Finish Her Studies

Question: A common practice today is for a young lady or her father to refuse one who proposes in order for the woman to finish her high school, college or study of certain years. What is the ruling concerning that? What is your advice to those who do such, given that many times the woman reaches the age of thirty or more without getting married?

Response: This practice goes against what the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"If one whose religion and character pleases you comes to you [for proposal], then marry him."1

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said,

"O youth, whoever of you has the means to get married should get married for it lowers the gaze and protects the chastity."2

By preventing marriage, one loses out on the benefits of marriage. I advise my brother Muslims who are the guardians of women and my sister Muslims not to keep from marriage due to finishing school or teaching. In fact, the woman may put a condition upon her husband that she may remain studying until she finishes her studies or she remain teaching for a year or two, given that she does not become busy with her children. There is no harm in such an act. However, a matter which needs further consideration is where the woman is continuing her studies in an area that is not truly needed. In my view, when a woman finishes the elementary stages and has the ability to read and write, thereby being able to benefit from her knowledge through reading the Book of Allah, its tafseer, the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and their explanation, that is all she really needs. Unless, of course, she is continuing her studies in an area that the people need, such as medicine and similar fields. This is also conditional that the study not involve aspects which are forbidden, such as mixing with men and so forth.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Recorded by al-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah. Discussed earlier.--JZ

2. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim--JZ

Is the Marriage Contracting Valid if the Woman is Menstruating?

Question: I am a young woman who finalized my marriage contract with a young man some time ago. It happened that it occurred on a day in which I was having my menses. I did not agree to the contract until I asked the official about this matter and he said that such a marriage is valid and legal. However, I am not satisfied with that contract. I want you to help me by telling me if that contract was correct or not? Is it a must that I repeat the contract at a time when I am not on my menses?

Response: Performing a marriage contract with a woman while she is menstruating is permissible and valid. There is no harm in it. The basic ruling concerning contracts is that of permissibility and legality unless there is evidence to show that it is not allowed. There is no evidence to show that one may not finalize a marriage contract while the woman is menstruating. Therefore, the aforementioned contract is sound. There is no harm in it. One must also understand and know the difference between the marriage contract and divorce. Divorce is not permissible while the woman is menstruating. In fact, it is forbidden. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) became angry when it reached him that Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab had divorced his wife while she was menstruating. The Prophet (peace be ;upon him) ordered that he go back to her and not touch her until she became pure, had her menses again and then became pure again. Then he could afterwards remain with her or divorce her.1 Furthermore, Allah has stated,

"O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods (iddah) and count (accurately) their periods. And fear Allah your Lord. And turn them not out of their [husband's] homes, nor shall they [themselves] leave, except in cases where they are guilty of open illegal sexual intercourse. Those are the set limits of Allah. Whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself" (al-Talaq 1).

So it is not allowed for a man to divorce his wife while she is menstruating. He also cannot divorce her during a time of purity in which they had had sexual intercourse, unless it is clear that she is pregnant. If it is clear that she is pregnant, he may divorce her whenever he wishes and that divorce will take effect.

It is very strange that among the masses there is a common misconception that a divorce stated while the woman is pregnant does not take effect. This is not correct. The divorce of a pregnant woman does take effect. In fact, the rules are more liberal concerning it. For example, it is permissible for a man to divorce his pregnant wife even if he had just recently had sexual intercourse with her. This is not so for woman who is not known to be pregnant. If he has intercourse with her, he must wait until her next menses and their finishing or it becomes clear that she is pregnant before he pronounces divorce. In Surah al-Talaq, Allah states,

"For those who are pregnant, their waiting period is until they deliver" (al-Talaq 4).

This is a clear indication that such a divorce does take effect. Furthermore, in some of the hadith of ibn Umar, it is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Order him to return to his wife and then divorce her when she is pure [of her menses] or she is pregnant."2

If it is clear that the marriage contract done while the woman is menstruating is a sound marriage contract, I still feel that the man should not enter upon the woman [be with her alone] until her menses come to an end. This is because if he does join her before she becomes pure, it is feared that he may engage in an act which is forbidden while she is menstruating, especially if he is not able to control himself. Especially if he is a young man, he should wait until she becomes pure, at a time when he is able to enjoy her company by sexual intercourse. Allah knows best.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.--JZ

2. This version was recorded by Muslim.--JZ

Ruling Concerning Anal Intercourse

Question: A man asked his wife to have anal intercourse with him. Is this acceptable behavior from the point of view of the religion?

Response: That is an evil act. Abu Dawud, al-Nasai and others record with a good chain that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Accursed is the one who has anal intercourse with his wife."

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Prohibition of Shaking Hands with a Non-Related Woman

Question: Why does Islam forbid a man from shaking the hand of a woman whom he is not related to? Does shaking hands without lust invalidate one's ablution?

Response: Islam has forbidden that because it is a temptation.1 One of the greatest forms of temptation is for a man to touch a woman he is not related to. Everything that leads to temptation is prohibited by the Law. This is why one is required to lower one's gaze as a means of blocking that evil. As for a man touching his wife, it does not invalidate the ablution. This is so even if it is done with lust-- unless he releases some prostatic fluid or sperm. In that case, he must make ghusl if it were sperm; he must make ablution and wash his male organ and testicles if it were prostatic fluid.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. This word "temptation" found throughout this translation is actually an admittedly poor translation of the Arabic word fitnah. Fitnah has many connotations, including trial, tribulation and so forth. What it conveys here is the environment or actions that may lead to or induce one to commit a sin.--JZ

Advice to "Old Maids"

Question: I would like your advice concerning a matter that affects me and my fellow sisters. This matter is that it has been written [by Allah] for us that we should live without a husband. We have passed through the age of marriage and we are getting close to menopause. This is the case even though, and all praises are due to Allah and Allah is witness to what I state, we are women of character and we have all earned college degrees. However, this is what is destined for us and all praises are due to Allah. It is simply financial reasons that have kept people from proposing to us. The customs surrounding a marriage, especially in our land, are built upon cooperation between the spouses concerning what will take place in the future. I ask for your advice for me and my sisters.

Response: The advice that I direct to such women who have delayed marriage is what was suggested in the question itself: they should turn to Allah with supplications and submission so that Allah may grant them one whose religion and character is pleasing to them. If a person sincerely and resolutely turns to Allah, seeking His help, following the manners of supplications and being free of anything that prevents supplications from being answered, then Allah has said,

"And when My servants ask you [Muhammad] concerning me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me" (al-Baqara 186).

Another verse states,

"And your Lord said, 'Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation)"' (Ghafir 60).

Allah has stated that the response to the invocation comes after the person responds to Allah and believes in Him. I do not see anything stronger than turning to Allah, supplicating to Him humbling oneself to Him and waiting for the solution. It has been confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Know that victory comes with patience, relief with distress and ease with hardship."1

I ask Allah for these women and others like them that Allah makes their affairs easy and grants them pious husbands who marry them for betterment in their religion and worldly lives. And Allah knows best.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin


1. Recorded by Ahmad and others. Al-Albani has graded it sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1151.--JZ

The Family Driver and Women

Question: What is the ruling concerning the family driver1 mixing with the women and young girls of the family and him taking them to the market or schools?

Response: It is confirmed in the Hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"A man is never alone with a woman except that Satan is the third."2

Privacy is a general concept that applies to the house, car, market and so forth. When the two are in private, they are not safe from talking about private matters or what stirs the desires. Even though many men and women have a fear of Allah and piety, and they hate sin and evil, Satan enters between them and makes sins look like light matters and opens the door to getting around the law. Therefore, remaining away from such deeds will be safer and more protecting.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen


1. In many Muslim countries, it has become the custom to have family chauffeurs. The question is in reference to these chauffeurs being the only other one in the car with the females of the family.--JZ

2. Recorded by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi. Al-Albani says it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. I, p. 234.-JZ

Ruling Concerning Correspondence between Members of the Opposite Sex

Question: If a man has correspondence with a non-mahram woman and they fall in love with each other, is that act considered forbidden?

Response: Such an act is not allowed. It stirs up desires between the two. It stirs impulses in the two to meet and contact each other. Many times, the correspondence turns into soft speech that is a temptation and plants the love for fornication in the heart. I advise anyone who wants what is best for himself to remain away from such correspondence and speech in order to preserve one's religion and honor.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

The Brother-in-Law is Not Mahram

Question: Is it allowed for my sister to wear hijab in front of her cousin even though he is going to be related to us [through marriage]. That is, his daughter is going to marry my brother, although the marriage has yet to take place.

Response: Your sister must wear hijab in front of her cousin because he is not a mahram for her, even if he is related through marriage and even if his daughter marries her brother. This is because the wife of the brother is still not a mahram as is also the case with the father of the brother's wife and so forth.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

Speaking to Women on the Phone

Question: What is the ruling concerning a young man who is not married speaking to a young lady who is also not married over the telephone?

Response: It is not allowed to speak with a non-related woman with any speech that stirs desires, such as in a flirtatious, coquettish or soft manner. This is not allowed whether it is over the telephone or otherwise. Allah has said,

"Be not soft in speech, lest those in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire" (al-Ahzab 32).

There is no harm in casual speech due to some need if it is free from any sort of evil. However, such speech must be restricted to only what is necessary.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

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