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April 5, 2005
How to Talk to a Guy

by Sister Ibtisam


Dear sisters, this article is written for you by a sister. When I was asked to write this article, the first thought that went through my mind was that I was not worthy of writing on such a topic, perhaps a year or so before but not now. But I implore you that although one is not doing something correct in shari'a or even if one is committing a sin, he or she has no right to change the laws of Allah just to excuse their behavior. For this reason, when you read the article, it is to say that this is halal and this is haram. This is right and this is wrong. Pick your choice without regards to what the writer does or doesn’t do because the writer is telling you how it is without changing the word of Allah.

Back in the day, I would try to realize my mistakes and try to be overly cautious about the tricks of shaitaan. One should try their utmost not to sit next to a boy in class if we get to pick our own seats. And one should try to choose female partners on projects as much as one could and even if one is working with a guy, one might try acting in a serious manner and finish the project, never cracking jokes and never saying anything inappropriate because one should think, "I am a Muslim and I carry an Islamic image with me." I have realized that Islam for a reason has put gender interactions to a minimum because women are kind-hearted people and can fall for the wrong guy and mess up their lives. Although you shouldn't need a reason to follow Allah’s command, you can see this reason.

So dear sisters, hijab is a barrier to much of the un-Islamic interaction. But following Islamic rules is more important in terms of gender interactions. With hijab, you're only half of the way there; you still have to follow the other half of the way.

Allah says in the Qur’an al-Kareem: "...and when you ask [his wives] for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen; that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts..." [al-Ahzaab 33:53]

"...then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner." [al-Ahzaab 33:32]

Allah instructs women to speak in a strong and straightforward manner, short and to the point, even though it might come off as rude. I had friends in college who used to say that they only felt shy speaking or working with Muslim guys and it was not the same with non-Muslim guys. In fact, there was once a non-Muslim guy that became “friends” with a group of sisters. I always hated the fact that he used to talk to them or study or work with them too much. He knew that of the Muslim women in our class, I could not stand his presence. I convinced the sisters that they shouldn't be “hanging out” or talking with this specific guy and so one sister told him, alhamdulillaah. He became friends with a bunch of Hindu girls and eventually one of them became his girlfriend.

When I was doing umrah this past summer, I noticed first-hand the way women of Medina or women in Saudi Arabia speak with men. They are generally very soft-spoken women and I could see it took an effort to speak in such a manner for them. I was doing wedding shopping at a store and picking out stuff, my mother asking the questions and prices, when I heard a young abaya-clad woman say in a stern but not loud voice: “lau samaht, kam hadhi?” There was emphasis, short and stern in her voice, and I could see the obvious struggle to speak in such a manner. I was impressed, I loved the way she spoke and this is the way we should speak.

We should speak in an appropriate tone. We should not laugh even if a man, Muslim or non-Muslim, makes a joke. This is because some women have a very attractive way of laughing: there is energy and life in their laughter that would surely invite a diseased man to desire. Also, Arabic female speakers have a certain dialect or accent where their voices come out soft and they elongate their alifs and waws. The scholars have prohibited against this.

Sheik Salih Al-Munajjid said about the previously mentioned ayaat: “Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in his Tafseer: 'This means that they should not speak softly. Allaah commanded them to speak in a concise and decisive manner (i.e., they should be serious and brief in their speech, and not be vague or talk aimlessly). There should be no possible indication on the face that could be taken to indicate any softness in the heart, as the Arab women (before Islaam) used to do when speaking to men, by making their voices soft like women who are taking care of small children, or like prostitutes. Allaah forbade women to do that.'"

Some pious sisters ma shaa Allaah have great akhlaaq and soft voices to begin with. For them it takes a great struggle to speak in a stern voice with a man.

Non-Muslim men = Muslim men = men. It is important to remember that just as Muslim men are men so are non-Muslims men and both can be moved to desire if a woman is talking or laughing or smiling or making her speech soft or elongating her words. I once asked my father when I was a 9-year-old wearing hijab, "Why do we have to wear hijab in front of non-Muslims" as we couldn't possible marry them (my father had told me you wear hijab in front of people you can marry) and my father said, "Because they can become muslim in the future."

Furthermore, Sheik Al-Munajjid said, “The phrase 'lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire' means lest such a person should hope for immoral deeds, indecency or romance. 'Speaking in an honourable manner' means speaking in a way that does not go against Sharee’ah or offend people. Women are encouraged when speaking to men to whom they are not related and to mahrams among their in-laws to be somewhat rough or abrupt in their speech, without raising the voice, because they are commanded to lower their voice.”

One important point is to speak in a short, abrupt manner and in an honorable manner, meaning don’t curse at a man or insult him. Also, greeting a Muslim that is in your classes or that works in the MSA with you is not necessary unless you have to ask him a question or have to buy something halal from him, such as at a store, or have to sell something halal, like scarves or books. According to Sheikh Al-Albaani it is not necessary for a muslim man to say salaam to muslim women and it is absolutely not necessary for women to reply. He went so far as to say that it was an innovation because the pious predecessors did not do so.

Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî, former professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh said, "It is permissible to talk to members of the opposite sex out of necessity provided that no excitement exists and no softness in speech is employed. Men and women used to talk to each other at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with politeness and modesty. You may greet a member of the opposite sex or reply to a greeting unless it could lead to temptation. You can do business with them in the marketplace and engage in other necessary interactions. As for shaking hands with members of the opposite sex, this is forbidden as you may know."

To recap, in Islam, examples of in what circumstances a woman can speak with a man: if she has to get homework information, class information, solve a math problem, buy something from the store, address a police officer or security, ask a sheik a question, inform or do da’wah to a general audience or to a non-muslim man who is asking a question about Islaam, email administration of a site or editor, and so on. Just pretend you are in 7th century Arabia, what interactions do you think will be considered halal? So please respect yourself, may Allah have mercy on you, whether with hijab or without hijab. Do not let a Muslim or non-Muslim man disrespect you or flirt with you. Be straightforward in your speech and your dealings. Remember, you do not want to find a spouse by disobeying Allah, if that is your concern for speaking with men or having conversations. You can have genuine and pure fun by hanging out with sisters and talking and laughing as much as you want.

May Allah allow us to follow these rules and regulations especially on HidayaOnline.com, as the internet is a great fitnah where the reality of gender interactions is blurred and many rules broken. I ask forgiveness from Allah for doing anything inappropriate in terms of gender interactions and I ask forgiveness from brothers who I have offended or insulted and likewise from sisters.

of and relating to...
Justoju said

favorite line:

"Non-Muslim men = Muslim men = men"

on April 5, 2005 3:13 AM
asif said

Salaam:

Masha'Allah I really appreciate the concern that the sister has reflected in this advice of an article.

However, I dont agree with a lot of what is mentioned in this article.

As I said before its not what you say, is how you say it....and this is exactly what this article is all about: The writer keeps on repeating that all sisters should always talk in short, abrupt (and almost in a crude manner) with the opposite gender.

Yet the ayah in Quran emphasizes (to Ummahatul-Momineen) two points; not be soft in speech and to talk in an honorable manner (for the specific reason given in the ayah). In the next ayah Allah further establishes the rules for the (mothers of the believers) to stay home and do good, as Allah wants to make them pure and distinct. Alhamdulillah!

It could be that the writer may have taken ayah #32 (of surah Ahzab) generally applicable to all muslimahs. If so, then I am curious as to why the next ayah is also not applicable for all muslim ladies as well. I mean the writer should highly recommend for all sisters to stay quietly in home and not to get out!!!

But thats not what I read or heard in the article.

Anyways, I am nobody. SO dont mind my bantering.

And no sister you didn't offend me. I was just being direct and straight to the point!

Ma'Assalaama

on April 5, 2005 3:15 AM
asif said

Salaam Again:

I believe the advice of the sister was most sincere. May Allah bless the sister for her Fikr and concern...Ameen

Just wanted to add something (that was missing) in my last comment to this article.

Its a given that the interaction between the genders should be minimal and must have a purpose. In my humble opinion frivilous talking (without any aim or specificity) with the opposite gender is usually a complete waste of time.

May Allah keep us on the right path and Bless us with HIS mercy and maghfirah...Ameen

on April 5, 2005 4:30 AM
ManBeast said

Assalamu alaikum

The sister is mostly correct. However, there are a few things to consider. I wanted to touch on the beginning of the article.

First, let us understand that it is not women's "kind hearts" that leave them vulnerable to the "wrong guys". Nor is it their gullibility. They fall for the wrong guys for the same reason that kind-hearted guys fall for the wrong girls, and that is desire. It is very important for a Muslim to understand himself/herself, for the key to the perfection of ibadah of Allah is to know ourselves. If we don't know how to analyze our thoughts, our emotions, and our words, then we will not be as capable to struggle with our nafs or beautify our soul.

That being said, this is not a gender specific issue. This pertains equally to both genders. For there have been countless kind-hearted men that have fallen for the wrong girls and have messed up their lives, as they would put it. I know of a few at this present moment.

The keyword is desire. Keep in mind, the following analysis can easily be valid if the genders were switched. A woman, Muslim or not, lays her eyes on a man, Muslim or not. She may have been taken in by his words or his disposition. But most women, almost all, are prey to a man with good looks. Throughout history, most of the relationships that involved women being hurt or burned started with a handsome man. And when the handsome fellow lends his attention to the "idle, unassuming, and innocent" girl, the story finishes itself in a broken-record style. He had his fun and is once again on the move to find the next girl that will satisfy his lust for attention.

Why did the girl fall for him? Why did she compromise her deen and values for him? Why would she still take him if he came back? Why doesn't she listen to anybody giving her rational and logical advice? Desire. Desire. Desire. We are human beings with emotions and lusts.

Each one of us attempts to fine tune our natural responses in life, to levels that we, individually, deem fit to live by. Reasons are many; religion, social acceptance, reputation, incarceration intolerance.

For example, practicing muslims tend to control lusts to a higher degree than the general population. This is a conscious choice and effort. Now, going back to the example of the girl and the handsome fellow. Most girls unconsciously find good-looking men attractive. The idea of good looks may vary from region to region , century to century. But the social arrangement of handsome men given unconditional attention and respect by the common woman has always prevailed everywhere.

By the way, this is one of the ways of the jahil world that Islam came to change; where a woman grows up being taught to control her gazes and ultimately her heart's thoughts through her fear of Allah. And so when she marries, her husband is the first man she gives her real attention to, oogles over, and fantasizes about. Most women these days lack that consciousness. Keep in mind the statement I made about this analysis being just as valid if the genders were switched.

And because the women of today lack that consciousness, they will succumb to all the traps of an unconscious mind. Therefore, when a handsome man lends his attention to a woman, despite her being Muslim or moral, the eventual cascade of events will take place. He initiates, she receives.

Despite the warnings of angelic whisperings and the sincere advice of her friends, she recieves. Moral principles compromised and Islamic vows on pause, she receives. Why? Because she desires him. He is good looking. It is a very simple reaction to understand.

Facial bone structure explains alot these days. And because she is unconscious, she lets her nafs take control of her. Instead of fearing Allah and telling the scrub to go jump off a bridge, she lets her desire of him dictate her thoughts and actions. And when uneasy moments of guilt and responsibility fight through the muck to shine some logic and modesty, it is not long before darkness prevails again. And we all know how this happens.

"This is wrong, but I'm going to end it soon.""If I was married, we wouldn't have to do this.""He promises he will change for me.""He has no one else to turn to.""He is so much more than people give him credit for, they don't know him like I do.""We are always in view of the public.""My parents and siblings don't mind." And my favorite, "I'm helping him become a better Muslim."

Her nafs will help her come up with many creative ways to justify her self-denigration. This response to the attempts of men is not an all or nothing response. We are human, not robots. Therefore, we can expect to react within the infinite degrees of possible responses between the two extremes of total rejection and total acceptance of a man's wooing. (note: this writing pertains to the illegitmate relations between the genders, not regarding marital maneuvers) These are dark days.

Most Muslims are astray to some significant degree, compromising or ignoring many of Allah's commands and injunctions. Therefore it is not surprising that even our pious can get caught up in the mess. As a matter of fact, it shouldn't be all that shocking if we consider the fact that many of our pious are still struggling to implement some basics into their lives. The quality of Islamic practice is at an all-time low and this is reflected in our pious, the best of the best. Realistically speaking, in some aspects of life, there isn't much of a difference between the religious and the irreligious but that is another discussion for another time. We all know stories of hijabis who partook in illegitmate relationships, most of whom regret it immediately after it went sour. We know that it changed them, mostly for the better. If this can happen to religious Muslim girls, then it can happen to any Muslim girl. And it does everyday. And like it was illustrated, it starts with the handsome fellow being received by the unassuming Muslim girl. The more religious the girl, the fiercer the struggle to reject him. But in the end, she will succumb, to some degree of thought or action. Even in halal matters such as marriage, pious Muslim women tend to give preference to good-looking men with little piety than to the non-GQ looking pious men. And if these women act in this way, what is to be expected of the irreligious women. Most of the girls in the general population will never be approached by ill-willed handsome fellows and this should be a cause for celebration. For these girls shouldn't want to expose themselves to the strength of their desires and should pray to partake in a wholesome process of marriage to a good upright man. Empowering the nafs and not relying on Allah to give you the strength to fight it is a recipe for disaster. Few these days have the will to refuse a good looking face. And if one is secure in their belief that if the situation were to present itself, that one would display the proper restraint at the proper time, it's a different ballgame when you're up at bat. And you wouldn't want to be at bat. The reputation of the world renowned Muslim chastity that we enjoy is not a result of willpower, but of circumstance. We are taught to manipulate our circumstances so that our willpower is not our first line of defense. Many Muslim women have compromised themselves in the past and will continue to do so in the future. But this shouldn't prevent us from nurturing the hope that Allah intends the best for them and for us.

Wasalaam

ManBeast

on April 5, 2005 6:11 AM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

Masha Allah,the article and comments(especially the LONG but certainly beneficial comment) has opened up my eyes.I needed that reminder Jazakallah.

'May Allah allow us to follow these rules and regulations especially on HidayaOnline.com, as the internet is a great fitnah where the reality of gender interactions is blurred and many rules broken. '

Ameen

WAs Salaam

on April 5, 2005 7:25 AM
Justoju said

Some great points by ManBeast mashaAllah.

...though I dont think women put as much of an emphasis on the pretty face as men do. Our eyes are more squarely on the money--and the financial security that could be gained by it--and on the validation of our looks/worth that the curr's attention will afford us...a pretty face is just a nice bonus...

...and I am willing to pay ManBeast to get him to start using paragraph form...my eyes are burning.

(and I dont say that with soft speech)

on April 5, 2005 7:48 AM
Justoju said

Its driving me nuts.
I really dont want that comment to be sitting there as is (without line breaks or paragraph separation) because I think it might prevent people from reading it. Could the author please pop some line breaks in there and email it to br. hassan so that we can put the unscary-looking version up? JazakumAllahu khair.

on April 5, 2005 7:53 AM
Ibtisam said

excuse my obnoxious ramblings in the article, if you see it that way. I dont do it intentionally (wallaahi) but rather due to some situational circumstances and emotional attachment, I might write a certain way but I dont mean to come of as arrogant or obnoxious. Plus, I live around jews (and muslims) who are obnoxious so their behavior rubs off on me :)

on April 5, 2005 11:29 AM
Talal said

“lau samaht, kam hadhi?”
subhaaanAllah, I never took note of it, but you're so right. Their voices automatically become stern when having to deal with Non-Mahram.

MashaAllah... very insightful piece.

on April 5, 2005 11:56 AM
Masta P said

jazakallah khair for the awesome post.

now maybe some of these chicks will stop kickin' game so hard, insha'alllah ta ALA.


i'm about to put on hijab mahself if this keeps up yo!

on April 5, 2005 12:20 PM
gillette said

please stop anonymously bashing sisters.

on April 5, 2005 1:58 PM
asif said

Salaam ManBeast:

Great nick!

And an awesome article...Masha'Allah.

All of your comments were geared on aesthetic appealing towards the opposite gender and you hit the nail right on the head with this article.

Please write and/or comment more often, insha'Allah.

on April 5, 2005 3:03 PM
Ibby said

Br Manbeast,
very nice post, offcourse that is why we have (in my opinion) islaamic rules and regulations because we do not have taht strong willpower, so Islaam facilitates us taht we avoid such traps. When genders are largely segregated and when are accompanied by righteous company if they are outside their homes, Allaah protects them and likewise for brothers.
You are right many a brothers have fallen to tempting and tricking women(i was writing an article on that in the "One man Chronicles" but perhaps it was deemed a little offensive towards women taht is why it was nto posted). The story of Shakeel Khan in the"One man Chronicles" will actually reflect what you mentioned about poor righteous men getting into trap by women. So, yes I did not mean that it was only women that could get trap but the other way around as well.
hope this clears up a bit.
wasalaamu alikum

on April 5, 2005 6:50 PM
Ibby said

"I mean the writer should highly recommend for all sisters to stay quietly in home and not to get out!!!"


The writer thinks that is the best way but she does not want to offend sisters who do not agree with her and the writer wishes and for the most part does the above except going to school.

on April 5, 2005 6:52 PM
asif said

Salaam:

Ahhh...we muslims...we lost miserable souls...and I am lost more than most...

I have been reading some islamic articles and i am drained...with my mind full of unsettled complaints...

What is bidah and what is not...a parody of acts & virtues, some mixed and confused...

Where is that goal, a common urge, that brings the hearts together in the mingling of hugs...

Are we content with what we have and what we lost...is there someone who steps up and gathers at all cost...

I have seen and heard nothing new, or have I...maybe the smokes will clear and sighting is nigh.

For those that choose to be self sufficient...Beware of day full of interesting trepidations.


(disclaimer: I was just feeling slightly overwhelmed and I just coined this. I hope nobody takes offense)

Ma'Assalaama

on April 5, 2005 8:12 PM
ukhti said

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

I came across this question on an Islamic forum:

'Keeping in mind all the rules about hijaab (purdah i mean, not the cloth worn on the head),, would it be permissible for sisters to say LOL or , , etc when posting msgs? Or as a matter of fact, showing any emotions of happiness or sadness? '

The discussion somehow led to the permissibility of sisters attending message boards, and so the brother posted up this:


Quote:
I seek refuge in Allah from even comparing myself or any situation I'm in to that of the Anbiyaa, but I will just quote (a interpretation of the meaning of the translation) what Shu'ayb (alayhi as-salaam) said, as their is no better speech than that of Allah:

I only desire reform so far as I am able, to the best of my power. And my guidance cannot come except from Allâh, in Him I trust and unto Him I repent.

Thereafter, I will relate what was said to me. The shaykh who i asked used to visit 'muntadaas' before (arabic msg boards) so he had an idea of the environment found in it. He said, first of all, since 'Aishah (radiyallaahu anhaa) used to relate ahaadeeth and other matters (behind a veil), it is therefore permissible for a sister to also relay Islamic information using the same means. He then quoted the ayah mentioned before by the sister:

“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allaah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.” [al-Ahzaab 33:32]

With these two evidences, it is said to be permissible for sisters to visit and post at msg boards, with the following conditions (which brothers should apply too):

1) Real names should not be disclosed. Best is to use kunyaas like Abu ___ or Umm ___ as from this no information about the person is attained, and it will not be known whether one is married or not (which is a valid concern).

2) Information posted should be strictly relevant to the topic being discussed, which should have nothing to do with dunyaa.

3) One should not have anything extermely distinguishing about themselves (like how I had a banner in my signature). This is to make sure that one sees each other as simple ppl.

4) Discussions should not be between any two individuals, but if it is required it is best that the msg's are addressed to everyone.

5) Lastly, emotions, especially if directed towards any person of the other gender (like replying to a msg with LOL or anything) of anykind should not be expressed.

Now, i'm sure all agree that if one applies all these conditions, then it will be known that they come with the right intention of benefiting from the knowledge of others or for clarification. And honestly, when someone has that correct intention, then what need is there to do anything opposing to these conditions? (alot of us did otherwise because of ignorance regarding this, so we dont say that anyone who did opposite had a wrong intention).'

ANother related post:

Quote:
I'm not trying to be a mufti, however in regards to rulings, sometimes one must look at the 'illah, or the reason for something being permitted or prohibited. This is the usool called qiyaas which is used in many rulings for the present day matters where clear text can not be found. An example is chatting, there was no way of two people of the opposite genders to have a conversation before without them hearing each others voices or them being in close proximity. Some people I know use this last fact to their advantage, and would chat with random girls online.

I'm sure we all agree that chatting is wrong without any evidence or anything. To make it clear, another friend of mine, who was studying in the sixth year of the 'aalim course at the time clearly told me that what they were doing is wrong, because in matters like that, you have to look at the 'illah as mentioned above. The reason why women can not speak softly with elongating words is so that the listener will not be affected by the voice so that a disease will develop in his heart. This prohibition stands whether with or without a veil in between. If a brother chats with a sister and says something to that sister despite not seeing her like 'oh, you must be very pretty' or a sister says 'you're the most nicest person ever' (stupid examples), then is there anyway that the opposite person will NOT be affected by this??

Using this same usool (i didnt make up my own thing), one can realize that saying LOL, ROTFL, or have you what, that a sister IS expressing her emotions. And I'm being fully honest here, while sisters aren't so easily affected by what a brother says, what a sister says/does has a strong impact on a brother. Even a single LOL can cause a brother to think something never intended by the sister who said it. This is a fact, especially for those brothers who stay away from fitnah as much as possible, and lower their gazes at everything, etc (may Allah make me amongst them).

Wallahu a'alam.

on April 6, 2005 3:28 PM
asif said

Salaam:

What is ROTFL???

By the way I found this ahadeeth and I thought I should post it:

Sahih-Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 62, Number 19:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "The best women are the riders of the camels and the righteous among the women of Quraish. They are the kindest women to their children in their childhood and the more careful women of the property of their husbands."


Many things here...but a good rider of a camel shows that she is better than those who cant ride a camel.

Does this mean those sisters who can drive a car vs those who dont are better? I will say this, if any sister that can do parallel parking without much fuss, my hats down to her....cause I cant do that without getting huffed and puffed!

Moreover, What is not Sheikh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) gave fatwah not allowing women to drive in Saudia...well here you have a hadeeth which says that women who can ride camels are the best. So isn't the camels of yesterday the cars of today???

Something to ponder about...while I go for lunch!

Ma'Assalaama

on April 6, 2005 4:03 PM
gillette said

please cite a real scholar if you intend on refuting bin baz (i'm certain there are some out there who have disagreed with him).

on April 6, 2005 5:28 PM
asif said

Salaam:

First of all my dear Akhi (my tandoori offer is still ON).

Secondly, I am no one to refute one scholar or the other. I am just quoting what RasulAllah (sal-lal-la-hu-wa-sal-lam) had especifically said about women riding on camels.

Now, I like things plain and simple...thats how Allah made me...ergo, I would say that what Sheikh has given fatwah on women not driving, is not alaigned with this hadeeth. But it may be that the Sheikh has other resources that are more evident and credible than the saying of Prophet Muhammad (sal-lal-la-hu-wa-sal-lam) in this hadeeth.

Also, I wonder why hasn't the other muftis and sheikhs in other muslim countries have aligned with this fatwah of Sheikh Ibn Baaz...makes you wonder, if this is more of a politically motivated Fatwah and not much to do with the Sunnah and practice of RasulAllah and His companions...

By the way, wasn't there a hadeeth that a time would come to pass when a woman can travel alone from a certain place to another without having any fear...obviously that meant travelling while riding on camel, which could be analogus to driving alone in a car today...to me both hadeeth makes perfect sense that directly shows women should be able to drive a car....Allahu Aalim!

I am no one and my words dont matter...so dont fret me with your admonishments. :)

Maasalaama

on April 6, 2005 5:44 PM
Talal said

Let us not wander into the realm of hypotheticals and assumptions, inshaAllah.
If we haven't read Shaykh Bin Baz's (rahimahullah) fatwa on women driving, we don't really have a right to comment on it (or him or his reasoning or his abilities). It is not the way of the student of knowledge to do otherwise.


on April 6, 2005 10:37 PM
Justoju said

Br. Talal is right. If it is wrong to backbite our brethren, it must be an enormity to backbite people of knowledge.

I remember a year ago when I overheard a group of sisters talking about sheikh Hamza Yusuf (ra) after having read some emails that were circulating at that time (which I have read as well and have followed up with). One sister said that he wasnt qualified to be a sheikh. Another said that he was immersed in bida and didnt know his Islam. Another said that he wasnt even Muslim and was a kaafir and should be 'disciplined' by real muslims. I wanted to vomit. I could not believe that people who had never studied with sheikh Hamza, who had never directly taken their concerns to him, and who, aside from heresay, really had little knowledge of his views, could malign him to the point of taking away his islam and wishing for him to be beat up. There was ZERO benefit of the doubt in their conversation, no personal research, no adab, and complete blind following and reliance upon what they heard others say. The convo was oozing with nafs. I remember at some point it even became fashionable to bash certain scholars!

I seriously have an issue with people maligning scholars, whether their views are agreeable/understandable or not. In the end, each and every one of them is waaaayyyy above us in learning and deserving of our respect as the scholars are the heirs of the prophets. If they disagree with one another, then ok, thats between them and they know their daleel for their positions best. They are in a position to debate one another. But unlearned laypeople need to keep in mind that as long as the scholar is a muslim, he/she is guaranteed the rights of a muslim. This means respect, adab, protection of honor, and benefit of the doubt.

Br. Asif, if you do not understand/agree with sheikh Bin Baz's (ra) fatwa then perhaps it would be best to hold the public speculation and to try with your utmost effort to contact him and ask him yourself. It is best for us (and our deen and relationship with Allah) to give the intentions and motivations of those of learning the benefit of the doubt.

on April 6, 2005 11:06 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I believe Br. Gillete posted the fatwa on another thread (but I'm not sure which). I've heard pretty cool things about Ibn Baz, but at the same time I know some other scholars that I really like (sheikh Sharaawi) who make the occasional 'say what?' fatwa.

I believe Sheikh Ibn baz was referring to mostly in his fatwa about the 'fitnas' that can go along with women driving cars alone. In my humble opinion, I believe this problem is more relative to a specific area (Suadi Arabia) than other places. I believe what he is referring to is that in Saudi when a guy or girl want to hook up (for lack of better words); while they are driving the man will give a glance at the woman (who is in niqab btw). Judging by the her eyes (the way she looks back) he can tell whether she wants to meet with him later. She then opens the window and while they are driving he flicks his business card into her car and then before you know it they're partying with tequilas in Dubai.

That doesn't really apply in most countries, and so maybe this fatwa was really meant for a certain region of the world and not general to all. Perhaps it would be best to ask for a sheikh on IslamOnline.net.

Of course, Allah subhanna wa talla knows best and we are sub-pseudo-scholard as I believe Br. Gillete put it once. May Allah forgive us for our pseudo-scholarization fatwacizing.

Waslaam Aleikum Warahamatullah Wabarakatu

on April 7, 2005 12:37 AM
rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

SubhanAllah, isnt that interesting how that veering off of the topic actually led us right back to the subject because the fitna mentioned above was about "how to talk to a guy" (in the wrong way)...in some parts of the world at least.

Waslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 7, 2005 12:47 AM
Talal said

Rami, you missed one point:
They don't need to fly over to Dubai, they just cross over the Causeway into good ol' Bahrain.
It's pretty interesting; on any night of the weekend, all the cafes/malls/restaurants are packed, and all you see outside are Saudi plates.

They come, they get hammered, they leave...
They come, they get hammered, they leave...
They come, they get hammered, they leave...

That's not everyone who comes from Saudi of course, but it's a noted phenomenon in Bahrain.


on April 7, 2005 12:53 AM
gillette said

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

People have spoken a great deal in the al-Jazeerah newspaper about the issue of women driving cars. It is well known that it leads to evil consequences which are well known to those who promote it, such as being alone with a non-mahram woman, unveiling, reckless mixing with men, and committing haraam actions because of which these things were forbidden. Islam forbids the things that lead to haraam and regards them as being haraam too.

Allaah commanded the wives of the Prophet and the believing women to stay in their houses, to observe hijab and to avoid showing their adornments to non-mahrams because of the permissiveness that all these things lead to, which spells doom for society. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salaah (Iqamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification”

[al-Ahzaab 33:33]

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed”

[al-Ahzaab 33:59]

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sxual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sx. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[al-Noor 24:31]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.”

Islam forbids all the things that may lead to immorality or accusations of immoral conduct made against chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity, and it has stipulated a punishment for that which is one of the most severe of punishments, in order to protect society from the spread of the causes of immorality.

Women driving is one of the means that lead to that, and this is something obvious, but ignorance of the rulings of sharee’ah and the negative consequences of carelessness with regard to the things that lead to evil – as well as diseases of the heart that prevail at present – and love of permissiveness and enjoying looking at non-mahram women all lead to indulging in this and similar things, with no knowledge and paying no attention to the dangers that it leads to. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sxual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge”

[al-A’raaf 7:33]

“and follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy”

[al-Baqarah 2:168]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I am not leaving behind me any fitnah more harmful to men than women.”

It was narrated that Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The people used to ask the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things, fearing that I would live to see such things. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a state of ignorance (jaahiliyyah) and evil, then Allaah sent us this good (i.e., Islam). Will there be any evil after this good?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Will there by any good after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it will be tainted.’ I said, ‘How will it be tainted?’ He said, ‘(There will be) some people who will guide others in a way that is not according to my guidance. You will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of others.’ I said, ‘Will there be any evil after that good?’ He said, ‘Yes, there will be people calling at the gates of Hell, and whoever responds to their call, they will throw them into it (the Fire).’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, describe them to us.’ He said, ‘They will be from among our people, speaking our language.’ I said, ‘What do you command me to do if I live to see such a thing?’ He said, ‘Adhere to the jamaa’ah (group, community) of the Muslims and their imaam (leader).’ I asked, ‘What if there is no jamaa’ah and no leader?’ He said, ‘Then keep away from all those groups, even if you have to bite (eat) the roots of a tree until death overtakes you whilst you are in that state.’” Agreed upon.

I call upon every Muslim to fear Allaah in all that he says and does and to beware of fitnah and those who promote it. He should keep away from all that angers Allaah or leads to His wrath, and he should be extremely cautious lest he be one of these callers to Hell of whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) tells us in this hadeeth.

May Allaah protect us from the evil of fitnah and its people, and protect this ummah from the evil of those who promote bad things. May He help the writers of our newspapers and all the Muslims to do that which pleases Him and may He set the Muslims straight and save them in this world and in the Hereafter, for He is Able to do that.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 3/351-353.

on April 7, 2005 12:59 AM
Donald Duck said

Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
Really liked the article. The ManBeast comments were a killer; the comments should be posted by itself as an article.
JazakAllah

on April 7, 2005 1:21 AM
asif said

Assalaamu Alaikum All:

Hmmm..I think I owe an apology to the Hidayaonline community.

Secondly, what Br. Rami said really creeps me out. If this is really happening (or close to it) in Saudia then for people of such acts, the fatwah of Sheikh Bin Baaz is irrelevant!....Any kind of fatwah will be useless for such folks because they will find loop holes and eventually get what their Nafs so desires.

As far as I am concerned, I still dont agree with the Fatwah in its simple term of women not able to drive. This is nothing against any Sheikh, nor a certain culture nor a particular nation.

This is our problem isn't it? We try to band-aid our society with Fatwahs and injunctions while we know that we are rotten to the core. No matter how much we try to cover up the tumor in any muslim community our ailment is really getting worse, and if we dont return to Islaam (completely) we will be history...and so will be our scholars and their fatwahs....

Ma'Assalaama

on April 7, 2005 1:25 AM
ManBeast said

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/wobb.htm

on April 7, 2005 7:55 AM
Muhsin said

Br. what does the above link have to do with this article? It has nothing to do with it. The sister is only talking about rules and regulations taht are part of traditional sunni Islam as well.
Furthermore,
Dont you remember, Umm Habibah's husband left islam when he was in Abyssinia? And this was at the time of Prophet(SAW) and he emigrated for the sake of Allah, yet he left islam as was in qadr and went to christianity and drank away until his death.

There were people AT the time of the Prophet SAW that left Islam too: the christian man that use to be a scribe for the Prophet (SAW) and numerous others.

To blame one ideology over another is not the way to address the issue of people leaving islam, rather, it is the lack of emotional support these people get. If the author is regretful that his friend left islam, he should really blame himself. Because many people go that institution and many people come out of it sane and within Islam. To say that a certain ideology shuns beauty or shuns architecture or poetry is heresay. (I have heard wahhabis speak of poetry in which they describe the struggle of Ibrahim AS). Perhaps,the author should find out why the person left and convince him to come back. The author should also convince the chinese wife to accept Islam.
Many a people in USA go through Islam as a trial to see how it is or accept and leave islam: ref to Jeffrey Lang's books. Many times these people make things difficult for themselves without coercion or without brainwashing. If things are made difficult, people leave quickly but then again, even at the time of Prophet SAW people left Islam. So perhaps we should give a clear picture of what islam is from the beginning so people know what they are getting themselves into that is why the kuffar of makkah did not say the kalimah because it had tremendous implications. Allah knows best, these are the opinions of a person with shortcomings and please forgive my ignorance.

on April 7, 2005 6:31 PM
asif said

Salaam Akhi Muhsin:

You just summarised it beautifully in these lines.

"So perhaps we should give a clear picture of what islam is from the beginning so people know what they are getting themselves into that is why the kuffar of makkah did not say the kalimah because it had tremendous implications."

Jazak Allah Khair!

on April 7, 2005 6:53 PM
ManBeast said

To address Justoju's first response to my comment, I was attempting to address illegitimate relations between men and women. It was not a piece regarding the marriage process. For it is during the marriage hunt where you see women chasing financial security.

on April 10, 2005 3:46 AM
duaa said

assalam u alikum!

interesting comments, alhumdulliah.

some issues to put out on the table...when it comes to 'talking to a guy' that you are going to marry or are deciding to marry...Most of us, we all know the rules, we cant go out...two people can't be alone, satan being the third, no touching, no intimacy, no dating etc., etc.,and so that leaves most of us with two mediums of communication, phone and e-mails, and this usually is the fate of; the religious and the non religious, the pious and the non pious, the cultural and the non-cultrual.

For the religious and the pious, after the initial 'ok' from both parties, (if) it comes down (and usually does) to talking on the phone and/or e-mails, they know it should be supervised...but alot of times, and im sure there will be those who agree with me, that the supervision doesnt really happen...we know it should happen...we know its better if it happens...we know of the possible consequences of it if not happening (like emotional attachment, heart ache, failing to adhere to the limits set my islam etc etc)...but the reality is,supervision doesnt happen...usually the first time around, the speaker is usually on in the parents room...which really doenst lead to any real-deep-conversations...just scratching the surface...and its usually in that first tele-convo when e-mails are exchanged...and from that point on the supervision is kind of there but at the same time its not...like in the sense, the parents, instead of listening to the convos, would relax and just ask what you talk about, and you would tell as much as you remember or as much was relevent...
So, although the parents are not there supervising every word that is uttered or have the speaker ON to hear everyword that the guy utters the parents will know, have the knowledge of, that their daughter/son is talking/e-mailing such and such person and so their is a level of trust that nothing 'bad' per say is going on, just relevent stuff to "understand" each other...parents do trust their children (specially the religiously-motivated ones)and the children (well not children, they are full grown adults)also trust themselves to not to step over any boundaries as set by islam...but yet there are things, issues, concerns that must-be discussed with the spouse to be...things you want them to know...things you want to know about them...and in doing all that...we silently slip away...falling into our own desires...thinking we are doing the right thing...or, thinking, it's okay, there's nothing wrong with it...we mentally accept it without consciously understanding that boundaries are getting stepped over...cuz there is alwayz that occasional laugh or a joke or an emotional statement or a desire thats expressed and think about it how rude and stern can you be with a person that you know you are going to marry, as in after engagement...and even if you are...there have been cases in which a sister is like very rude and stern to the brother, and he found that very attractive.

so, if i am not mistaken, that should be the dilemma that most of us (i.e, spouse seekers)go through. Agree? May Allah Guide us All.


About women prohibited to drive b/c 'it will lead to' problems, in a society as a whole etc etc...this whole ideology doesnt really makes sense becuase it has to do with the individual itself...if a women intends to have illicit relationships, she can do so while sitting in her own home (while husband is at work etc.) so by putting these fatwas, we are just putting a 'band-aid' to the problem and not at all going to the core of the problem.

As far as ManBeast comment (which, i agree, should be posted as an article itslef) women falling for looks, hijabi's and non hijabi's, its just a matter of Emaan and prioritizing. say You find a good looking fellow, good job but no deen. and you find an okay looking guy, with an Okay job (no status) but with good deen. What are you going to choose? who doesnt want looks and money? It all depends on the level of Eman that a person has at that given time...and if its high enough, one will choose the pious even though he may not be all that good looking or doesnt have that much money. So its all relative. its all about Tawakul. but if the pious comes with looks and money, then as Justoju puts it: its just
a nice bonus : )

Duaa

on April 14, 2005 1:32 AM
asif said

Salaam:

Well, if both the boy & the girl will cc their parent (and or a sister/brother) in their email correspondense, it will limit the type of conversation to what is relevant and appropriate.

By the way, I wont mind a stern speaking women...women are usally not stern in their constitution...even if they are, they can be unraveled quiet easily if the Man knows what he should be doing...(and I am refering to spousal relationship - post marriage).

Nobody can know the level of Imaan in anybody's heart, so if a lady prefers a potential suitor (over another one) based on what is apparent by his looks, deeds, and financial situation, I think this is very appropriate...I mean if my daughter is interested in someone based on his (looks + financial status + Deen) then I will be the first one to approach him as her Wali...(and that lad better accept the proposal...or else!)

Ma'Assalaama

on April 14, 2005 10:17 AM
Ibtisam said

sorry, cannot really give a comment on the interactions between engaged people before marriage. My parents let me send two emails to my "fiance" he was not really a fiance because I got married within a month. So I cc'ed my both emails to my dad's account, my parents did not ask me to, but I did anyway, well in one of the emails, I write a mini(or major) autobiographical, in which I mentioned what books I read, which scholars, I listen to and admire, my life goals, aspirations, thoughts on life, etc, and how much I hate school, needless to say the email became a laughing stock in my family, my brothers and my mom were laughing at majority of what i wroteand my dad was just mad at why I wrote, that I hate school.
After that I did not speak to him or emailed my 'fiance' until I got married, so I really dont know what would be the right approach.
A teacher at AOU said that phone conversations is probably not good because parents cannot hear what you are saying and emailing is not good unless you cc the email to your parents( and you are not gonna be made fun of like myself :) )
I think the whole idea of mahram presence still counts even after engagement, you cannot be 'alone' with the guy, so in that case, it is probably best if he comes over to your house to talk to you and your dad or brother is around.
wallaahu alim.

on April 21, 2005 7:34 PM
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