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April 8, 2005
HidayaOnline.com, Darul Ifta

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

On April 6, 2005 02:03 PM abdullah said:

i had a question. i'm in medina, and i'll be here for approximately a month. what's the ruling on my prayer? how do i pray? shorten, combine? there are a few shuyookh i can go to in the area, but first i wanted to hear what your opinion was.

Darul Ifta: "House of Issuing Fatawa."
of and relating to...
asif said

Salaam Everyone:

J U M M A H - M U B A R I K!!!!

By the way, there has to be a fatwah on travelling (Br. Hassan, we need you). As far as I am concerned, when I go to Pakistan to visit my family for 3-4 weeks...I pray complete salat.

Allahu Aalim

on April 8, 2005 12:20 PM
gillette said

ugh, i hate when people don't get it

on April 8, 2005 1:54 PM
Justoju said

Ok, lemme take a crack at it. The point is that people should stop fatwa shopping from the unqualified and should take advantage of the scholars within their reach and who they can easily study with. It is bad adab with both the ulema and the deen for one to do this when one has reliable authentic scholars (holding ijaaza's with a sound chain of transmission from their teachers) in one's area. The importance of studying with a scholar first-hand cannot be underestimated. It is often the difference between a true 'abdullah' and a 'pseudo seeker of knowledge'. As muslims we submit to that which is relayed by authentic scholars, we dont shop around until we find something which pleases our nafs.



Why learn from a teacher?
Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Q: What's the significance of studying fiqh with scholars rather than just reading the text yourself, if it's a reliable text. The texts have commentaries and are written by scholars, so you would still be getting your knowledge from scholars in a way. So what would you get from a sheikh that you wouldn't find in texts.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. Sound understanding: the chance of erring without a teacher to guide one in one's understanding and learning is far greater. Given how serious religious knowledge is, one cannot rely on someone whose knowledge is taken only from books. A teacher ‘tests’ one’s understanding, and picks up on one’s errors; a student is able to ask questions and to verify where they have understood.

2. Correct understanding: books, even the best books, sometimes contain weak positions, errors, false arguments, missing details, unmentioned conditions or implications, special terminological usages... without a teacher explaining how texts are unpacked and interpreted, one can and almost certain will fall into gross errors.

3. Correct progress: if you don't know, you are likely to have little knowledge or practical ability of how to gain knowledge. A teacher directs one's path of learning, and focuses one's endeavors.

4. Understanding context, wisdom, and how to apply the theoretical knowledge. Not everything can be applied literally...

5. Learning adab and humility, by submitting one's presumed understanding to the established understanding of an inheritor of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

6. Following the sunna of the Prophets, who didn't just print a 'book of guidance' and distribute it: they taught, and their companions learned.

7. The baraka of this teacher-student relationship. There are great secrets in it. The Prophets themselves were 'students' of Jibril (peace and blessings be upon him).

8. Benefiting from the manners, character, and habits of one's teacher.

Faraz Rabbani

on April 8, 2005 3:18 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Rather interesting how a person chooses Hidayaonline in precedence over the Ulemaa of Medina. Oh boy.

Waslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 8, 2005 4:53 PM
asif said

Salaam everyone:

Brother-Akhi: "Hate" is a strong word, even for your age. Lets say it is "irritating" to you.

Ukhti-Sister: Good point! We should all stop shopping for fatwahs, expecially those who are just out there for window shopping.

Hey I was just wondering, if all muslims were one group, like Sufis, or Salafis, or Ahle-Sunnah Wal-Jammah, or even Shias. Would we muslims be better off as one nation compared to our current status?

Alhamdulillah, Yesterday I was blessed to meet two individuals; One was a Mo'min and the other was an Angel!

Well, I forgot, I also met the accursed one!

Alrighty brothers and sisters. Keep your chin up, and live with a smile in your heart!


on April 8, 2005 5:55 PM
Humayun said


where was this posted, under which article? and I think this guy was trying to mess with us, i mean look at his email :seekerofpseudoknowledge@aol.com

i guess he got the last laugh

on April 9, 2005 1:13 AM
gillette said

OMG, you read too much into this, humayun.

on April 9, 2005 9:16 AM
humayun said

Can someone enlightmen me, how did I read too much into this? Im confused.

on April 9, 2005 1:04 PM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu alaikum

Im taking a guess but I think that that wasnt an actual comment,but one made up by gillete to emphasise his point,which is...

(refer to sis Justojo's informative post)

Was Salaam

on April 9, 2005 4:15 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I think it would be easier for everyone to get if you were to translate what Ifta means. I presume 'dar ul ifta' means 'House of fatwas' (referring to Hidayaonline becomeing a place where people seek fatwas) but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Wasalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 9, 2005 7:04 PM
gillette said

Woman's Reflection on Leading Prayer

Yasmin Mogahed

On March 18, 2005 Amina Wadud led the first female-led Jumuah (Friday) prayer. On that day women took a huge step towards being more like men. But, did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation? I don't think so.

What we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to God-not in relation to men. But as western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left-but men. As a result the western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man-the standard.

When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the " standard " had it.

What she didn't recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness--not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.

For 1400 years there has been a consensus of the scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way. Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading prayer is not better, just because it's leading. Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn't the Prophet have asked Ayesha or Khadija, or Fatima-the greatest women of all time-to lead? These women were promised heaven-and yet they never lead prayer.

But now for the first time in 1400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, " That's not fair." We think so although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind.

On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And God has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?

When asked who is most deserving of our kind treatment? The Prophet replied 'your mother' three times before saying 'your father' only once. Isn't that sxist? No matter what a man does he will never be able to have the status of a mother.

And yet even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men, to value it-or even notice. We too have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, inferior. Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother-a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and self-less compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.

As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is just a knee jerk reaction: if men have it-we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too. If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too. Somewhere along the line we've accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one's position with God.

A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn't need a man.

In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we, as women, never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.

Fifty years ago, society told us that men were superior because they left the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we were told that it was women's liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine. We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society-just because a man did it. Then after working, we were expected to be superhuman-the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker-and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men. We watched as our children became strangers and soon recognized the privilege we'd given up.

And so only now-given the choice-women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full-time. And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93% of them say they would rather be home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to 'financial obligations'. These 'obligations' are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West, and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.

It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize a privilege given to Muslim women 1400 years ago.

Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I'm not--and in all honesty--don't want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness.

If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet-I choose heaven.


on April 10, 2005 11:31 AM
Saima said

its so funny how news spreads. my father-in-law in pakistan was talking to my husband about the woman-leading-prayer incident as well.

I think we should put a Darul-Ifta link on the main page to direct traffice there, what do you think ? :)

on April 10, 2005 11:39 AM
asif said


Masha'Allah wa Allahu Akbar!

"What we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to God-not in relation to men."

What an awesome post by sister Yasmin Mogahed. (Gillette Bro, thanks a bunch for posting this!)

Almost every age, there are some groups/individual who would introduce or innovate a new thing/concept in Islam claiming that they have understood or interpreted Quran wa Sunnah better than those before them. In essence disregarding a millenia of scholarly works and understanding on Islam.

Ergo, I see this latest event/trend as something that will be short lived and hopefully soon, this sister will renounce what she did, Insha'Allah.

There is ONE fact we sometimes forget and that is that ISLAAM (in its purest sense) will eventually prevail through all turmoil and ages. To Allah this religion (the Quran/Sunnah) is so dear that if all the humans and Jinns were to revolt or go against it, Allah can and will replace them with those who will be obedient in Islaam to HIM.

We all, (men/women), have our shot in this life to be a loyal subject to Allah through Islaam. Any other varieties of ways wont cut it!


on April 10, 2005 3:39 PM
Donald Duck said

Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
JazakAllahkhair brother Gillete for posting that beautiful article of sister Yasmin Mogahed.

on April 11, 2005 9:58 PM
Justoju said

The Purpose of Knowledge

A living scholar in Cairo

Written by Imam Suhaib Webb

There is a brother living next to me in Cairo. Mashallah, he is a great student of knowledge, inshallah, and studies very hard. I decided to take him to meet one of our Azhari Sheikhs here and I knew, inshallah, that we would learn more from him than just today's lesson.

But I could have never imagined the lessons we took tonight. We arrived at the majid just after the first Tasleem. The Masjid was beautiful with its tall minarets and lighted court yard. The weather was nice the wind was sweet and pleasant. We entered the Masjid, prayed and waited for the Sheikh.Suddenly the Sheikh arrived with a bag and we greeted him. I informed the Sheikh about our guest and the Sheikh's face lit like the morning sun and a smile spread across his face. Then it was my turn to introduce the sheikh to the brother. The hard part is that this sheikh has me between a rock and a hard place.

He does, seriously, not like to be called sheikh or even ustadh! So, I was like, "This is is is is is is ...................is .........sheeeek....he looked at me like, "Boy if you do it!".....is is is is uh is, then he interrupted me, "I'm your brother ++++++ (if I write his name it would be going against his wishes). I turned, looked at the brother who was with me and saw an awe in his face. A short time latter the Imam of the Masjid, recognizing the Sheikh, came and begged him to lead the prayer. The Sheikh said to him, "Please excuse me. I can't" The brother was shocked. After our lesson the sheikh demanded that he walk us home (We live around 20 minutes from the Masjid) . We begged him and begged him, however, to no avail. As we were walking I decided to buy the Sheikh some sweets. I asked him and the other student with us to please excuse me as I needed to get something. The Sheikh began to follow me and I told him, "Sheikh the brother has some questions for you." Thus, seeing an opportunity to spread the elm, the sheikh stopped in his tracks and turned to the wide eyed American. I dashed into the store and purchased some sweets for the Sheikh on behalf of us. When I exited the store the Sheikh was taken aback and said, "What is this?" I said, "This is a gift from us to you." He said no and politely said he couldn't accept it. I stated to him, "Please sheikh accepting a gift is from the Sunna." I continued, "Please Sheikh! Please! It will make us happy!" He grabbed me and said (in Ammiyah Masriyaah so the student wouldn't understand him), "Suhaib, I don't have a refrigerator. I eat what I buy and store nothing!"

Enough said. May Allah bless Al-Azhar, protect the Ulema there and increase its bounties.


Oh! and by the way that sack that the Sheikh was carrying were sweets he brought for us to eat.

on May 8, 2005 1:09 AM
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