What is Taaghoot?

Question: When can we single someone out as Taaghoot?

Answer: Someone can be declared as Taaghoot (false god) in case that they call to Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), to offer `Ibaadah (worship) to them, claim knowing matters of Ghayb (Unseen), or judge according to anything other than what Allaah has revealed and the like. Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allaah be merciful to him) said: Taaghoot is anything in which a servant exceeds the limits whether in the field of `Ibaadah, following, or obedience… read more here.

Tafseer of Ayah “They wish to go for judgment to the Taaghoot”

Question: What is the meaning of Al-Taaghoot in general? We would also like to know the interpretation of Ibn Katheer concerning the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) mentioned in Soorah Al-Nisaa’: Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaytaan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.We would like to know two things:

Firstly: What is the meaning of Al-Taaghoot in general? Is what is said by Ibn Katheer: “The Taaghoot of every people are those whom they refer to in judgment beside Allaah,” included in this meaning? Does the word Taaghoot comprise rulers and those who refer to them in judgment when they do not judge according to the Shar` (Law) of Allaah according to the interpretation of Ibn Katheer?

Secondly: What is the meaning of His saying: They wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) ? Some of them said that the “wish” here is a hidden act that nobody knows. Therefore, we cannot judge with Kufr (disbelief) for whoever goes for judgment (outside the Shar` of Allaah) except after realizing his inner intention which is inconceivable. Others said that the “wish” here means an explicit doing derived from the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that means content and continuity in seeking judgment in this way. Which one is true?

Answer: Firstly, The general meaning of Taaghoot is what is worshipped instead of Allaah. This `Ibaadah (worship) may be Salaah (Prayer), Sawm (Fast), vowing, resorting for removing harm or bringing benefit,referring to him in judgment instead of Qur’aan and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) or any other thing that should be dedicated to Allaah Alone… read more here.

Obligation of appealing to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah for legal rulings in case of disputes

Question: What is the ruling on someone who says: “Laa ilahaa illaa Allaah (there is no god but Allaah),” supplicates to none other than Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and only has Tawakkul (trust in Allaah Alone), but they seek judgment from other than Allaah and His Messenger (peace be upon him)? They invite people to join certain groups and reject others, and claim that the Deen (religion) is in the heart and in observing Salaah (Prayer), Sawm (Fasting), Zakaah, and Hajj, and in loving people. They say that there must be unity between the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and Muslims be treated the same as Christians, and they say that the only distinction should be whether people are Egyptian or not.

What is the ruling on someone who appeals to man-made law for legal rulings, when they know that this is invalid, but do not oppose it or try to work to stop it? And what is the ruling on someone who befriends a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allaah in worship) and lives with them, knowing that Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah be merciful to him) stated, “Anyone who sharpens a pencil for them (Mushrikoon) or gives them a sheet of paper will be one of them.” This person claims that they detest them in their heart, but what is seen of the way they treat them contradicts what they claim. What is the ruling on this person?

Answer: It is obligatory to appeal to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for legal rulings in case of disputes. Allaah (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Judging by laws other than those revealed by Allaah

Question: Is one who judges by other than Allaah’s revealed Law considered a Muslim, or a disbeliever, guilty of major Kufr (major disbelief)? What about the acceptance of their deeds?

Answer: Allaah (Exalted be He) says (what means): And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allaah’s Laws). Allaah says… read more here.

Complete reward for seeking Allaah’s nearness by deeds

Question: If a person does a good deed not out of the intention of being rewarded, as they were ignorant of Thawaab (reward from Allaah), will they still get a recompense for their good deeds?

Answer: As long as the person intends by doing this deed to draw closer to Allaah and it is in conformity with the Sharee‘ah, they will have the reward that Allaah has promised for such a deed, even if they are ignorant of the reward… read more here.

Paying for a charitable project to please one’s boss, not Allaah

Question: I donated some money to a charitable project out of embarrassment and fear of my boss, but if I had had the choice, I would not have donated a penny. Will I be fully rewarded for this deed just as if I have done it out of free will? Please, clarify this point and cite the evidence.

Answer: If the case is as you mentioned, then you will not be rewarded for donating this sum, as it was not in the Cause of Allaah, but out of fear of your boss. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Actions are only according to intentions, and every person shall have but that which he intended…… read more here.

Getting rid of Riyaa’

Question: Someone wants to learn and work according to what they learn and teach others. They fear that this may lead them to Riyaa’ (showing-off ). Thus, they abstain from teaching others. However, they remember the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) where he threatens those who conceal knowledge. What should they do? What should a person do in order to differentiate between what is done for the sake of Allaah and what is done for fame and ostentation? How can a person get rid of Riyaa’? What should someone do to be sincere in their deeds?

Answer: You should be sincere to Allaah in seeking, applying, spreading and teaching knowledge. You have to do so for the sake of Allaah Alone and the Hereafter. Do not do so for the sake of praise and commendation… read more here.

Expressing pride in being knowledgeable to others

Question: What is the ruling on expressing pride in being knowledgeable to others?

Answer: It is not permissible to do so. Seeking, publishing and debating about knowledge should be for the sake of Allaah Alone… read more here.

Swearing by other than Allaah

Question: Some Muslims I know jokingly utter some phrases which the monotheistic creed clearly states that they involve Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), such as saying “By my mother’s head” or “Praise be to Allaah and to master Daawood.” Are they held accountable for the literal meaning of their utterances?

Answer: It is not permissible to swear oaths by other than Allaah such as saying, “By my mother’s head”… read more here.

Striving to follow Allaah’s Orders and abstaining from His Prohibitions

Question: How can a Muslim be sure that their deeds are performed with the required sincerity for Allaah (Exalted be He), to avoid them reproaching themselves too much? Doing this persistently can lead to invoking the evil insinuations that Islaam prohibits. In his treatises, Imaam Ibn Rajab recognized different conditions in relation to this issue. He said: “This is a subtle form of Riyaa’ (showing-off) that is only recognized by those who are protected by Allaah.” Is it then obligatory for us to stop reading about issues that make us upset and confused, and if so, what is the substitute? Is paying careful attention to obedience crucial for preserving sincerity?

Answer: Muslims should do their utmost to comply with Allaah’s Commands and to avoid His Prohibitions, hoping for His Reward and fearing His Punishment. If they are in doubt regarding any of their religious affairs, they should seek the help of knowledgeable scholars, because Allaah (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Refraining from a deed because of people out of the fear of Riyaa’

Question: Al-Fudayl ibn `Iyyaad (may Allaah be merciful to him) said, “Refraining from doing a deed because of people is Riyaa’ (showing-off) and doing a deed because of them is Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship).” Many of my Muslim brothers and I sometimes feel obliged to refrain from some supererogatory acts of `Ibaadah (worship), fearing Fitnah (trials) to ourselves, being beaten, or being insulted; or that our Muslim brothers in general will be subjected to Fitnah by the government tightening its grip around them. By Allaah! I ask you, have we, as a consequence, fallen into Riyaa’ and if this is the case, what is the way out?

Answer: The second part of the statement of Al-Fudayl, namely, that doing a deed because of people is Shirk, is absolutely true, as the evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah shows the obligation of sincerity in `Ibaadah that should be for Allaah Alone and the prohibition of Riyaa’, called Al-Shirk Al-Asghar (minor form of associating others in worship with Allaah) by the Prophet (peace be upon him). He declared it as being the thing he fears most for his Ummah… read more here.

Violating `Aqeedah out of ignorance

Question: There has been much controversy among the Islaamic groups in the Arab Republic of Egypt about one of the issues related to Eemaan (Faith), which is the ruling on violating the Islaamic ‘Aqeedah (creed) and abandoning part of the Sharee’ah (Islaamic law) due to ignorance. It has even reached the extent of creating hostility among the brothers; many debates and researches were made by both parties: those who accept excuse by reason of ignorance and those who do not. Some of them say that people can be excused regarding the branches of faith, but not its fundamentals; others say that people can be excused in both the branches and the fundamentals of faith; whereas others say that the evidence is already established. Those who accept excuse by reason of ignorance call the people to Islaam and do not judge them as disbelievers until Da‘wah (Call to Islaam) reaches them. If they refuse this guidance, they are then considered disbelievers. On the other hand, those who do not accept excuse by reason of ignorance judge them as disbelievers for committing acts of Kufr (disbelief), and declare people to be disbelievers, outside Islaam, for committing acts of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) and provide evidence for their beliefs.I am confused between both parties, which one should I follow? Each of them accuses the other of Ibtidaa‘ (heresy) and each party thinks they are right and the other is wrong. I have no idea who is right and who is wrong. This problem has spread among the Muslims as a result of disagreement on this issue. Who is right and who is wrong? I want to follow the truth which the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and his Sahaabah (Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them all) followed.

Answer: A Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) cannot be excused for worshipping other than Allaah, or offering sacrifices as a means of drawing closer to other than Allaah, or making a vow to other than Allaah, and other acts of worship that should be devoted to Allaah alone… read more here.

Manifestations of Shirk in Muslim communities

Question: What are the aspects of Shirk in words or deeds in Muslim communities?

Answer: Aspects of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) in Muslim Communities are many, for example: 1- Invoking or seeking help from other than Allaah in something no one can do except Allaah. 2- Making vows to other than Allaah… read more here.

Invoking Allaah’s Peace upon the Messenger while facing his grave and deeds of major and minor Shirk

Question: I was in Madeenah and went to visit Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah). I stood before the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and greeted him. I, then, invoked peace upon him from the booklet of a person standing there. The book includes no statements entailing Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), but Allaah knows best. We seek refuge in Allaah from this! It includes statements of praise of the Messenger (peace be upon him), his family and Sahaabah (Companions). It is the blue booklet currently circulating in the market. While reading in the book, I began to cry for I was sincerely praising the Prophet (peace be upon him) and invoking peace upon him. I once read in a book, whose name I do not recall, that when visiting the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him), one should stand before the grave and greet the Messenger (peace be upon him) with reverence and sound faithas if they are standing before him while he was still alive. I also heard a Hadith which means that Allaah returns the soul of His Messenger (peace be upon him) to his body to return the greeting of whoever greets him. I felt nothing strange in what I did. However, a few days after this visit, I attended a religious lecture in Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee in which the lecturing shaykh warned against committing sinful deeds – as is stated in a Math-hab (school of jurisprudence) – when visiting Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee. The shaykh added that visitors have to turn their backs to the grave and direct their faces towards the Qiblah (Ka`bah-direction faced in Prayer).

The shaykh warned against raising the hands in Du`aa’ (supplication) while standing at the grave and asking for the intermediation of the Messenger (peace be upon him). He even warned against other deeds which entail Al-Shirk Al-Akbar or Al-Shirk Al-Asghar (major or minor form of associating others in worship with Allaah). At this point, I began to recall what I did on that day lest I might have committed something unlawful – may Allaah save us. Since then, Satan has been bewildering me regarding what I did. I only invoked peace upon the Messenger (peace be upon him) and praised him. I was even standing with my left side towards the grave, casting a look at it from time to time. After the invocation of peace, I surprisingly found myself crying. I do not know why, was it because of the Muslims’ status after the Prophet (peace be upon him) or because of my love for him? My mind was wavering with many thoughts and emotions while invoking peace upon him. May Your Eminence answer the following questions:

1- Did any of my actions entail Al-Shirk Al-Akbar or Al-Shirk Al-Asghar – may Allaah save us?

2- What are the deeds entailing Al-Shirk Al-Akbar and Al-Shirk Al-Asghar? May you illustrate with examples of each?

3- Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says in the following Aayah (Qur’aanic verse): Bismillaah Al-Rahmaan, Al-Raheem (In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) Say: “O ‘Ibaadee (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah: verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Allaah is Most Truthful. Some Mufassiroon (exegesis of the Qur’aan) state that Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) forgives all sins, including Shirk. Does the intended Shirk refer to Al-Shirk Al-Asghar or Al-Shirk Al-Akbar or to both of them?

Answer: Firstly: It is permissible to invoke peace upon Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) while facing his grave. It is a good sign to cry while doing this only if you were crying due to your love for the Messenger (peace be upon him) and your noble feelings towards him and the wavering thoughts that filled your heart and mind did not entail Shirk… read more here.

Why did Allaah create all creatures?

Question: I teach Arabic in the public high school of Kerala and I try, with the Help of Allah, to be a faithful servant of the true Deen (religion) of Islaam. It is with great sadness and hope that I am informing Your Eminence that there is a dispute among our scholars regarding the meaning of these Words of Allah (Exalted be He): And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). One group says that Allaah created the Jinn (creatures created from fire) and humans to worship Him Alone and not to worship other than Him. Accordingly, if someone worships other than Allaah, they will be ruined and deserve His Punishment eternally.

The other group says that it means that Allaah created the Jinn and humans to worship Him Alone. Accordingly, if someone does anything other than worshipping Allaah, they will be ruined and deserve His Punishment eternally. Bearing in mind that both of these views have lengthy explanations behind them, please explain to us which view is true and most correct.

Answer: Allaah created all creatures to worship Him Alone, associating nothing in worship with Him. It is therefore only impermissible to worship other than Him or associate others in worship with Him… read more here.

Salaah behind someone who invokes other than Allaah

Question: I had previously asked you about the ruling on the validity of praying behind an Imaam (leader of congregational Prayer) who commits Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) while claiming to be a Muslim, such as those who offer sacrifices to Awliya’ (pious people), invoke them, make vows to them, circumambulate around their graves, set out to visit them and so on.We are frequently asked about this issue during our travels to some Muslim countries, and it was repeatedly posed by Ansaar (Supporters) of Sunnah in Sudan when we went there earlier this year. You recommended that we send you this question in writing, to be viewed by the Iftaa’ Committee and the answer be discussed in detail and then published. Again, I am reminding Your Eminence, and waiting for your written reply in detail. May Allaah reward you the best for your efforts.

Answer: If a person makes vows or offers sacrifices to other than Allaah; or invokes other than Allah for something beyond normal means, such as healing the sick or having progeny; or invokes people who are absent to relieve a distress, or someone dead to repel harm; circumambulates graves; set out on a special journey to them; or seeks the help of idols and similar objects, they are considered Mushrikoon (those who associate others with Allaah in worship), guilty of major Shirk… read more here.

Obeying Allaah in His Legislations

Question: One of the idol worshippers met us and said: “Allaah has sent His Prophet (peace be upon him) to all people as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. Allaah ordered him to prevent idol worshipping. But He left Al-Hajar Al-Aswad (The Black Stone in the southeastern corner of the Ka`bah from which Muslims begin circumambulation) in the corner of Ka`bah to be kissed and visited and that people may perform Du`aa’ (supplication to Allaah) there. Why did He leave Al-Hajar Al-Aswad? He did so because those who offer `Ibaadah (worship) to idols do not intend idols with `Ibadah. But they offer `Ibaadah to idols to be a means between Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and them.” He added: “If this is so, then Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and the idols are similar.” Therefore, I sent you this question in order to know your answer that I may be guided and guide others.

Answer: `Ibaadah is to obey Allaah, carry out His commands, abstain from what He prohibits, obey the commands of the Prophet (peace be upon him), follow his example in the good deeds he did, regard as lawful what He considers to be lawful and to regard as unlawful what He decreed to be unlawful… read more here.

Invoking other than Allaah such as jinn, the dead and absentees and those who follow idolatrous conventions

Question: Is the Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) mentioned in the glorious Aayah include the Muslims who follow some sufi orders such as Al-Teejaaniyyah, and Al-Qaadiriyyah; or those who wear amulets, whether Aayaat of the Qur’aan are inscribed on them or not; or those who embrace Islaam but practice some idolatrous traditions?

Answer: The Shirk mentioned in the Aayah includes whoever seeks the help of anyone other than Allaah e.g. The Jinn (creatures created from fire), the dead, or absent people… read more here.

The meaning of – “And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat”

Question: What is the Tafseer (exegesis of the meanings of the Qur’aan) of the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) in which Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allaah Alone). ?

Answer: The Tafseer of the Aayah: And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allaah Alone). Is that Allaah (Exalted be He) is forbidding His Believing Servants from marrying women who are Mushrikoon (those who associate others with Allaah in worship), with the exception of the women of the People of the Book; the Jews and Christians… read more here.

Difference between major Shirk and minor Shirk

Question: What is the difference between major Shirk and minor Shirk in terms of their definitions and rulings?

Answer: Major Shirk is: (i) Regarding anything equal to Allaah, in terms of His Names and Attributes, such as by calling them by the Names or the Attributes of Allaah. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do. The forms of heresy in relation to Allaah’s Names include naming others by His Personal Names and Attributes… read more here.

Shaving the beard and letting clothes trail

Question: An Imaam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) delivered Jumu’ah (Friday) speech on 10/6/1408 A.H. He admonished people and reminded them of Jannah (Paradise) and the blessings Allaah (Exalted be He) prepared therein. At the end of his speech, he swore that whoever shaves his beard or lets his garment down will not enter Jannah. We would like you to guide us to the truth in this regard. Is this true or false?

Answer: Shaving the beard and letting clothes down are prohibited acts. Whoever does so is disobedient to Allaah. If such a person dies as persisting in doing so without making Tawbah (repentance to Allaah), his case will be up to Allaah… read more here.

Working in Ribaa-based banks and illness as a remover of sins

Question: Is it true that my father’s illness is a sign of Allaah’s love for him, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: When Allaah loves a servant, He tries him (by affliction). However, my father did not use to offer Salaah (prayer) before his illness and it is known that sickness expiates sins. Is it true that working in banks is unlawful? What is the legal decision when a person is compelled to do so, because there is no other work available?

Answer: First, We have already issued Fatwaa no. 4961 regarding working in a bank that deals in Ribaa (usury or interest). It states that if the bank does not deal in interest bearing transactions, the salary or the bonus an employee receives for work is Halaal (lawful), for earning it through lawful work… read more here.

Authenticity of the Hadeeth: “Whoever says: ‘I am a believer’ is in fact a Kaafir”

Question: A Hadith was mentioned in the book entitled “Al-Kabaa’ir” (Major Sins) by Shaykh Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab which reads: “Whoever says, ‘I am a believer’ is in fact a Kaafir (disbeliever). Whoever says, ‘I will be in Paradise’ will be in Hellfire” or something to that meaning, without Takhreej (referencing) or Ta‘leel (logical and methodical reasoning). Please advise regarding the authenticity and explanation of this Hadeeth.

Answer: This was not authentically confirmed to be a Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), but was narrated as an Athar (narration from the Companions) attributed to `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him)… read more here.

Committing a major sin while living in a country that does not enforce Sharee`ah

Question: What is the ruling on those who commit major sins, such as murder, theft, Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage), and the like, while living in a country that enforces laws other than the Islaamic Sharee`ah? Please provide us with authentic evidence.

Answer: Those people who are Mushrikoon (those who associate others with Allaah in worship) and are committing major Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) when they die, will abide in the Fire eternally… read more here.

Aadam descending to the earth after disobeying Allaah and being forgiven

Question: Was Adam (peace be upon him) driven out of the Garden, and is his progeny to bear the burden of his sin?

Answer: Allaah (Exalted be He) informed us that He caused Aadam (peace be upon him) to descend from the Garden after he disobeyed, and then Allaah forgave him. He also informed us that He would send the scriptures, prophets, and messengers… read more here.

Ruling on abandoning Salaah even if without denying its obligation

Question: What is the ruling on a person who does not perform any obligatory acts of `Ibaadah (worship) like Salaah (Prayer) even though he is well? He used to do good deeds and avoid evil ones. He says: “Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful. I do no evil deeds and I love doing good.” However, some people also perform Salah and do righteous deeds, but commit sins such as Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage), Ribaa (usury) and drinking Khamr (alcohol or any other intoxicant). What is the ruling on doing so?

Answer: Firstly: Abandoning Salaah is an act of Al-Kufr Al-Akbar (major form of disbelief) even if one does not deny its obligation. This is the most proper viewpoint of scholars. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: That which differentiates us from the Kuffaar (disbelievers) and hypocrites is our performance of Salaah. He who abandons it, becomes a Kaafir (disbeliever).There are other Ahaadeeth of the same meaning… read more here.

State of a Muslim dying after deliberately killing a person

Question: Some of my father’s acquaintances told me that he killed some people at a time when stealing and corruption prevailed. My father died while I was young. Since knowing this, I am confused regarding what I should do to make up for what my father did. He died without performing Hajj but I offered it on his behalf. It is worth mentioning that he did not have any children other than me.

What shall I do? Shall I feed a needy person for every victim my father killed? I swear by Allaah that freeing a slave is beyond my means. What shall I do regarding Sawm (fast), which he never observed? May you guide me! May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: If a Muslim dies after deliberately killing a person or persons, then he has committed a major sin other than Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). He is left to the Will of Allaah Who forgives or tortures him according to His Will… read more here.

State of a Muslim who dies persisting in a major sin

Question: What is the ruling on a habitual drinker who died not having performed Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) for their sin after being advised and warned about it? Is it obligatory for us to bury them in a Muslim graveyard? Also, what is the ruling on someone who deliberately kills themselves?

Answer: If a Muslim dies persisting in a major sin, such as drinking alcohol, Ribaa (usury), Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage), stealing, or similar sins, or if they commit suicide, according to Ahl Al-Sunnah Wa Al-Jamaa`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream), they are considered to be a believer due to their Eemaan (Faith), but their major sin renders them a Faasiq (someone openly and flagrantly violating Islaamic law)… read more here.

Will a believer remain in the Fire eternally?

Question: Will a believer abide eternally in the Fire? And what happens if they believe in Allaah, His Angels, etc., but do not perform Salaah (Prayer)?

Answer: A believer will not remain in the Fire eternally. If someone dies having committed major sins, other than Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), without having performed Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) for them, it will be left to the Will of Allaah to decide… read more here.

Prohibition of calling anyone who drinks wine or commits Zinaa a “Kaafir”

Question: Is it lawful to call a person who commits Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage) or drinks intoxicants a “Kaafir (disbeliever)”?

Answer: Whoever drinks intoxicants or commits Zinaa should not be called a “Kaafir” according to Ahl Al-Sunnah Wa Al-Jamaa`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream). He is as much of a believer as he has of Eemaan (faith) and as much of a lecher as he has committed of sin… read more here.

State of a Muslim who dies insisting on committing a major sin

Question: Allaah (Exalted be He) says: The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. He (Exalted be He) also says: And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes He further says: And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off (from the wrist joint) their (right) hands as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allaah. And Allaah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.

What is Allaah’s ruling on the Day of Resurrection on those who commit these major sins and die without repenting or being subject to the above-mentioned punishments?

Answer: The `Aqeedah (Creed) of Ahl Al-Sunnah Wa Al-Jamaa`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) in this regard is that any Muslim who dies persisting in committing one of the major sins like Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage), Qadhf (falsely accusing a chaste person of illegal sexual intercourse outside marriage) or theft… read more here.

State of a Muslim who dies as a believer

Question: Ibn Hazm said that Mu’minoon (believers) will be given their Record in their right hands, and Kuffaar (disbelievers) will be given their Record in their left hands, and Mu’minoon who committed major sins will be given their Record from behind their back. Kindly give us your Fatwaa in this regard!

Answer: Ahl Al-Sunnah Wa Al-Jamaa`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) are of the opinion that whoever dies as a Mu’min, will be given their Record in their right hands, regardless of committing major sins. And whoever dies as a Kaafir – may Allaah protect us – will be given their Record in their left hand or from behind their back in a way that represents their suffering and reluctance to take what is given to them… read more here.

Photocopying ID cards and documents that bear photographs

Question: We have a photocopier. Is it permissible to photocopy identification cards and documents that bear photographs and the like?

Answer: The ruling on picture making of living beings that have souls is prohibition. It was reported on the authority of `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Prohibition of taking photographs of living beings unless when necessary

Question: Looking through “Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree”, I read the following words from the Messenger (peace be upon him), Every Musawwir (those who make pictures, photographs, and statues) will be in the Fire. I have worked as a photographer for 18 years, taking photos of people, animals, and other living beings. I am now working in the photography department of a munitions factory and take the photographs that are required by the factory for its publications and other reasons. Since I came across this Hadeeth I have been feeling very afraid, so I hope that Your Eminence will give me a Fatwaa on this matter.

Please bear in mind that I have been earning my living from photography for 18 years and that is still my source of income.

Answer: Firstly, taking photographs of beings with a soul, whether they are people or animals is Haraam (prohibited), unless it is an obligatory necessity, such as the photographs used for ID cards or on a passport for someone who has to travel, or photographs of criminals or people involved in incidents that endanger security, so they can be identified and arrested when this is required… read more here.

Do angels enter a house in which there is a picture?

Question: We have been informed by some Muslims that pictures are Haram (prohibited), and that angels do not enter a house where there are pictures. Is this true? Do these prohibited pictures refer to the three-dimensional images of humans and animals or do they include all pictures such as those in the ID card or on paper money? If the prohibition is general, how can we remove all images from the house? Please, enlighten us! May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: Yes, all images of animate beings whether humans or animals are prohibited, whether they are three-dimensional pictures, drawings, or paintings on paper or cloth, or even photos. Angels do no enter a house where there are pictures, according to the general meaning of authentic Hadeeth.… read more here.

Photography to obtain an ID card

Question: People have to include a personal photograph in Identification Cards, Family Records, Driving Licenses, Social Insurance papers, Exam Forms in schools and universities, Passports and the like. Is it permissible to take photographs for this purpose? If it is not permissible, what should the employee do in his job? Should he leave it?

Answer: The basic principle regarding photography as well as carrying and keeping pictures is that they are Haraam because the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed image-makers… read more here.

Putting photos on ID cards

Question: People have to include a personal photograph in Identification Cards, Family Records, Driving Licenses, Social Insurance papers, Exam Forms in schools and universities, Passports and the like. Is it permissible to take photographs for this purpose? If it is not permissible, what should the employee do in his job? Should he leave it?

Answer: Photography is Haraam (prohibited) according to the Saheeh Ahaadeeth (Ahaadeeth that have been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) reported from Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) where he cursed Al-Musawwiroon (painters, drawers, sculptors, and subsequently photographers) and mentioned that they will receive the severest punishment on the day of judgment… read more here.

Possessing embalmed birds sold as gifts and decorative ornaments

Question: There are many embalmed birds such as pigeons and hawks that are sold as gifts and decorative ornaments. These birds are from the creations of Allaah and they have not been changed. We would like to know the ruling on keeping them at home.

Answer: This is not a type of picture making or resembling the creation of Allaah that is prohibited in the Ahaadeeth, but keeping these embalmed birds as antiques at home is a waste of money and lavishness if their meat is … read more here.

Owning embalmed birds and animals

Question: The phenomenon of selling embalmed animals and birds has recently appeared. We hope that Your Eminence will give us the legal opinion regarding the ruling on owning embalmed animals and birds? What is the ruling on selling these figures? Is there a difference between what is prohibited and what is lawful to own alive and after embalmment? What should a Muhtasib (i.e. A public official entrusted with keeping order), do regarding this phenomenon?

Answer: Owning embalmed birds and animals, whether lawful or unlawful to own if alive, is a waste of money and a type of extravagance because of the cost of embalmment. Allaah has forbidden extravagance and wastefulness. Likewise, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade wasting money… read more here.

The price of selling prohibited photos

Question: Your Eminence, I know that your time is precious, but I have to relate my problem to you in detail, so your Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) will be compatible with my actual situation, because, as far as I know, explaining the problem is as important as the Fatwaa itself. In brief, I am a graduate from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Cairo. I used to work as an artist to earn my living; drawing pictures on papyrus. This type of paper is expensive, even without drawings,and even more expensive with drawings. I used to draw pharaonic pictures of men, women, and birds. I used to live like so many Muslims, not knowing anything about Islam, except its name. I did not perform any of the Islaamic acts of `Ibaadah (worship), such as Salaat (Prayer) or any other type of worship. But Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) favored me with guidance and commitment to the Deen (religion) and enabled me to follow its Sharee`ah (Islaamic law). I hope that I will obtain Allaah’s Pardon from the Fire, enjoy His Mercy, and be among those who will be admitted to Paradise. I started to change my lifestyle, in accordance with the Sharee`ah of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He), but I did not know the ruling of Islaam on Tasweer (painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography). In the wave of detentions that swept Egypt, I was arrested just like any bearded young man was. I was arrested on 4/9/1981 at the Masjid (mosque) in my village during Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer and sent to prison until 20/1/1983 – all praise be to Allaah in all cases. What is important is that while I was in prison, I learned from knowledgeable brothers that Tasweer is Haraam (prohibited), and consequently, the money that I earned from Tasweer was Haraam, and that I would have to change my work when I was released from prison.

All praise be to Allaah, I am now working as a calligrapher, writing signs and other such things. However, I am now asking for a Fatwaa, because I have some papyrus that I bought, which is worth around 800 Egyptian Pounds, that has pictures on it, and I paid for the paint to draw those pictures. I did this before I knew the Islaamic ruling on Tasweer, as I did this before I was arrested. I used to sell the pictures to European tourists, who were non-Muslims, but I still own some of these pictures now, as I was arrested beforeselling them. Following my release from prison, I am in dire need of money to repay the money my family borrowed to support me while I was in prison and also to pay the original cost of the paper. I support a family of four brothers, but I cannot save money from my current work and I have also made the intention to marry from the money I earn through this work. Should I sell these pictures and use the money, as I mentioned to Your Eminence, or would this money be Haraam, because it would be gained from the selling of Haraam pictures? It should be borne in mind that I sell these pictures to foreigners.

Answer: It is obligatory for you to erase the pictures of beings with a soul that you have, as you cannot benefit from them at all. As to the sheets of paper themselves, you may benefit from them by selling them or drawing on them – but not living beings with souls… read more here.

Is it permissible to depict the Sahaabah in movies and plays?

Question: Is it permissible to depict the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him)? We perform plays and we stopped showing one of them in order to know the ruling in this regard.

Answer: Depicting any of the Sahaabah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is prohibited as this makes them liable and an easy target for contempt and insult… read more here.

Prohibition of taking photos of beings with souls and earning a living from them

Question: My father (may Allaah guide him) makes his living by taking photographs. Is the money earned from this job Haraam (prohibited) or Halaal (lawful). And what is meant by the Hadeeth: Allaah curses Al-Musawwireen (painters, drawers, sculptors, and subsequently photographers)?

Answer: Picturing animate beings is Haraam as well as earning a living from it. If the money earned from taking photos is Haraam, then making use of it is also Haraam… read more here.

Selling statues as a profession

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to sell statues and make it their profession as a way to earn a living?

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to sell statues or trade in them, according to what is related in the Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth on the absolute prohibition of making images of beings with a soul and making statues… read more here.

Keeping pictures even if not hung on walls

Question: Is it permissible to keep the photographs of children, whether they are of half the body or the whole body, in an album and not for the sake of hanging them on walls? Guide us regarding this please!

Answer: It is impermissible to keep pictures even if not hung on walls or kept in other places unless they are necessary for an identification card, passport, money or for other essential reasons… read more here.

Keeping prohibited photos

Question: I found a picture of my wife’s older brother-in-law in a small frame, which she has been keeping in her bag for a few months. Is it permissible for her to keep this picture? I am angry at her but she claims to consider him as her own brother. What is the ruling on this? May Allaah bless you!

Answer: Photographing soul-possessing creatures is Haraam (prohibited) and a major sin. Accordingly, neither your wife nor anyone else has the right to keep such pictures… read more here.

Hanging pictures on the walls of houses

Question: What is the ruling of Islaam on hanging pictures on walls or house walls?

Answer: Taking or making pictures of beings with souls and hanging these pictures on the walls is prohibited. This has been confirmed by the Saheeh Hadeeth (a Hadeeth that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish)… read more here.

Hanging pictures on walls

Question: What is the ruling on hanging pictures on walls, especially the pictures of prominent people such as kings, scholars and righteous people as souls are inclined to glorify them?

Answer: Photographing or drawing pictures of living beings that have souls and hanging them on walls are prohibited whether they are materialized or not and whether they are of kings, scholars, righteous people or others. This is because of the general meaning of the authentic Hadiths reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard… read more here.

Keeping pictures of beings with souls hung on walls

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to offer Salaah (prayer) in a house where the walls are covered with pictures of human beings or animals?

Is it permissible for a Muslim to offer Salah with a garment embellished with pictures of animals?

Answer: Photographing an animate being is Haraam (prohibited), and keeping their pictures hung on the wall and the like is also Haraam. Offering Salaah in a place containing such pictures is not permissible, except in the case of necessity… read more here.

Pictures on paper money

Question: e some issues causing me a great deal of anxiety, one of which is the issue of pictures on paper money that we have been afflicted with and which we bring into the Masaajid (Mosques) in our pockets. Does our bringing them into the Masaajid cause the angels to leave? Would this make it Haraam (prohibited) to bring it in? Is it considered among the humiliated things, as menial images do not prevent the angels from entering houses?

Answer: The pictures on money are not under your control. You have no choice but to own money… read more here.

Photos of Muslims offering congregational Salaah and of children reciting the Qur’aan

Question: Some scholars in Britain permit taking photos of Muslims offering Salaah (Prayer) in congregation and of children reciting the Qur’aan. They think that these pictures may impress non-Muslims and encourage them to know about Islaam and Muslims when they are published in the newspapers and magazines.

Answer: Photographing animate beings is Haraam (prohibited), whether they are humans or animals, and whether the pictures are of those who perform Salaah, recite Qur’aan or any other act… read more here.