Addressing, attributing and giving thanks to “Nature” as a metaphor for Allaah

Question: A bottled water company wrote a strange sentence on a roadside advertising billboard. It says: “There are still some gifts granted by nature in our world,” and beside it is a picture of flowing water from somewhere. I told them that this is not permissible according to the Sharee`ah (Islaamic Law), because it is Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) Who gives us the gift of water, and not nature as the communists say – may Allaah destroy them. And what is this nature that they claim has the ability to give water or prevent it? However, they argued that the words are metaphoric, in the same way as you would say: “The prince built the city.” So what is ruling on this sentence?

Please, explain this to us, as people see this by day and night, and some of them might think that there is nothing wrong with it, and this may be dangerous for their `Aqeedah (creed). May Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) help Muslims understand their religion well, and have a correct `Aqeedah in which there is no doubt.

Answer: It is not permissible to say this sentence: “There are still some natural gifts in our world,” or to write it, even if it is claimed to be metaphorical, because it causes confusion… read more here.

Please advise me about a statement in the book “Al-Tawheed” by Muhammad Qutb

Question: I am a teacher at a night secondary school. When I read: “Al-Tawheed (Monotheism),” there was a phrase that I was uncertain about and have no knowledge. Would you please tell me how accurate it is and whether it is suitable for the status of Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds? It is mentioned in “Al-Tawheed” by Muhammad Qutb, a book we study in the second grade of the secondary school, p. 23, line 17: “When the Messenger is sent by Allaah, he says, ‘O people! Worship Allah as you have no other deity but Him.’ This is what was said by all Allaah’s Messengers to their people. The Messenger is calling to return the usurped authority to Allaah, the True Owner, the Only Lawgiver for the people, Who determines the lawful and the prohibited, the permissible and the impermissible.” In the third grade book written by the same author, p. 82 in the last three lines, he mentions the meaning of La ilaaha illaa Allaah (there is no god but Allaah) saying: “Returning the usurped authority, by which people subjugate others, to Allaah (Praised and Exalted be He), the Lord of all.” He was then silent and did not describe it by its permissibility or lack of it. Please, advise me.

Answer: We cannot see any harm in what you have mentioned regarding the meaning, but the style is not respectful to Allaah, because no one is able to overwhelm Him (Glorified be He) to take His Right. He is the Subduer over His Servants… read more here.

Most Sinful: The eye or the mouth?

Question: What is the most sinful; the eye or the mouth?

Answer: The sins committed by people’s mouths may be more grievous than the sins committed by their eyes. A person may commit Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), which is the ever grievous sin whereby Allaah is disobeyed, with the person’s tongue… read more here.

Ruling on saying: “Allaah knows” or “Allaah forbid” or “Allaah knows that…”

Question: What is the Islaamic ruling in your opinion on saying these phrases: “Allaah knows that…,” “Allaah forbid!” “Allaah’s Will,” and “Allaah and His Messenger know the best”?

Answer: There is no harm in saying “Allaah knows that…” if the person is saying the truth… read more here.

Calling a deceased “Al-Marhoom” and “Al-Maghfoor Lahoo” or “inhabitant of the Jannah”

Question: I often hear people say some words about which I would like to know the Islaamic viewpoint. For example, when a person dies some people call him “Al-Marhoom” (The person upon whom Allaah’s mercy is bestowed). And if the person is of a high rank, they say, “Al-Maghfoor Lahoo (The Forgiven) such and such.” Have they looked into Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth (The Preserved Tablet) to know that someone is forgiven or has been granted Allaah’s Mercy? This is why I am inquiring about this issue. Allaah (Exalted be He) stated in His Glorious Book: (And remember) when Allaah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the news of the coming of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and the religious knowledge) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it I would appreciate your guidance in this matter.

Answer: Confirming Allaah’s Mercy or Forgiveness (Glorified be He) for a deceased person is of the Ghayb (unseen) affairs which no one knows except Allaah (Exalted be He), and those informed by Allaah from amongst His angels, messengers, or prophets. Thus, it is impermissible for anyone other than those previously mentioned to declare that Allaah has bestowed forgiveness or mercy upon a deceased person unless there is a clear text from the infallible one (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him)… read more here.

Addressing someone as: “O Sayyid”

Question: Is it permissible to say to a police or armed forces officer: “Yes, Sayyid (master)!”?

Answer: It is permissible to say the “Yes,” but it is not permissible to say the “Sayyid.” When some of Sahaabah (Companions) said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “You are our Master,” he (peace be upon him) said, “The Master is Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted.”… read more here.

Saying: “There is one death, but it has several causes”

Question: Is it permissible to say: “There is one death, but it has several causes”?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to say this expression and there is no harm in it, In Shaa’ Allah (if Allaah wills)… read more here.

Concluding letters with: “May you last forever”

Question: What is the ruling on concluding letters and petitions with the phrase “May you last forever”?

Answer: It is a reprehensible act, for immortality belongs to Allaah (Praised be He) alone and creatures do not live forever… read more here.

The use of the phrase: “Islaamic Customs and Traditions”

Question: Some phrases are used in Muslim societies to distinguish these societies’ way of life as following the Islaamic teachings. For example, it is said, ‘In conformity with Islaamic customs and traditions, we adopt so and so.’ Contemporary scholars have different views on the permissibility of using this phrase. Some maintain that it is impermissible to use this phrase because Islaam is different from customs and traditions. They protracted discussions on reasons of prohibition until they claimed that it is an extraneous phrase that found its way into our life at the hands of the enemies of Islaam.

Others argue that there is no harm in using this phrase, for it indicates the Muslim’s submission to the commandments of His Lord (Glorified and Exalted be He) and that of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) regardless of any other commandments. Indeed, this is the essence of worship according to the scholar’s definition of the traditions in religious books.

Please, present a careful argument of the legal decision in this regard;whether we can use this phrase or not?

Answer: Islaam is different from customs and traditions; it is Allaah’s Revelation to His Messengers and for which Allaah revealed His Divine Books. If Muslims act upon Islaamic teachings, these teachings will be part of their identity. All Muslims know that Islaam is not a system derived from habits and traditions. This knowledge is a must for Muslims to have perfect faith in Allaah, His Messengers and the rest of the basic rules of the Islamic Sharee`ah. But it becomes common on the radio, newspapers, and magazines to use phrases like the one mentioned in the question: (In conformity with Islaamic customs and traditions). Ordinary people use this phrase with good intentions to convey their surrender to the teachings and ruling principles of Islaam… read more here.

Can a Muslim’s ignorance of Creed be excused?

Question: In our country, the worship of graves is rampant;there are many advocates who claim that the worshippers of graves among Muslims will be excused for their ignorance. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with establishing marriage relationships with them, being led by them in congregational Salaah (Prayer). Briefly, they should be treated as Muslims. Moreover, these advocates denounce any one who describes grave worshippers as disbelievers and label them as innovators. They claim that your Eminence excuse grave worshippers for their ignorance and that you approve a memorandum prepared by a person called Al-Ghubashy, in which he seeks excuses for the grave worshippers due to their ignorance. Would you please send us a clear-cut statement showing the cases in which someone can be excused for their ignorance? Kindly, provide a list of some related references that can be consulted on this particular question. Many thanks for your efforts!

Answer: Excusing someone due to ignorance of some religious issues depends on the way he was informed, the clarity of the issue in question, and the varying levels of understanding… read more here.

Muslims should not judge with certainty that others will be dwellers of the Hell

Question: One of the educated Buddhist young women recently embraced Islaam after a comprehensive study that lasted for seven years. She is active in the field of Da`wah (calling to Islaam). She was one of the causes behind the conversion of some men and women to Islaam. In one of her rounds with some of the new converts to Islam for the sake of spreading and calling to Islam, she was asked by a Buddhist: “How can you say that non-Muslims will enter Hellfire when we do not know anything about Islaam until now. Will our fathers be in Hellfire? How is it their fault, if Muslims did not convey the true religion to them?” This sister in Islaam called us and wants a conclusive answer for the issue raised by this man who entered Islaam after that meeting.

Answer: Muslims do not say that non-Muslims will be in Hellfire unless they reject the message of Islaam and Qur’aan after it has been conveyed to them by the callers of Islam through their many languages. Allaah (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Permissibility of calling one of the People of the Book a Kaafir

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to describe Christians or Jews as Kuffaar (disbelievers)?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to call and describe Jews and Christiansas Kuffaar. We can do this as Allaah Himself does so, as He (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Ruling on describing the Jews and Christians as Kuffaar

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to describe Christians or Jews as Kuffaar (disbelievers)?

Answer: It is permissible for a Muslim to describe the Christians or Jews as Kuffaar based on the description they were given in the Qur’aan. Whoever ponders the related Qur’aanic Aayaat becomes aware of this fact. Allaah (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Ruling on not regarding a disbeliever as a Kaafir

Question: We would like to know what the ruling is on a person who does not regard someone who is a disbeliever as a Kaafir (disbeliever).

Answer: It is obligatory to believe in the Kufr (disbelief) of anyone who is confirmed to be a Kaafir. The ruler is the one who should apply the Hadd (the prescribed penalty) for apostasy if they do not perform Tawbah (repentance)… read more here.

When is it permissible to declare a person as a Kaafir?

Question: When is it permissible to declare a person a Kaafir (disbeliever) and when is it impermissible? What type of Kufr (disbelief) is mentioned in Allaah’s statement, 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)?

Answer: You should explain to us the issues you find confusing in order to give you the ruling regarding declaring someone a disbeliever… read more here.

Declaring specified and unspecified people as Kuffaar

Question: Do religious scholars have the right to declare someone to be a Kaafir (disbeliever)?

Answer: It is permissible to describe unspecified people as Kaafir (disbelievers) based on their actions. Therefore, it is not wrong to describe any one who seeks help from people other than Allah for something which can only be sought from Him as Kaafir… read more here.

Committing acts of disbelief

Question: Is it permissible to declare a person as a Kaafir (disbeliever) before advising him regarding the blasphemous act he commits?

Answer: If such a sinful person has committed an act of Kufr (disbelief), his fellow should tell him that he has practiced an act of Kufr and advise him kindly… read more here.

Ruling on accusing a Muslim of Kufr

Question: A Muslim man said to his brother in Islaam: “You are a disbeliever,” though the accused person performs the five obligatory prayers and observes Sawm (fast). What is the ruling in this regard? Also, what is the remedy for continuous forgetfulness?

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to accuse his brother in Islaam of disbelief, if he is not so. He should repent to Allaah and seek his forgiveness from this sin. Moreover, he has to ask the accused person to pardon him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade this in many authentic ahaadeeth… read more here.

Ruling on the denial of a Muslim’s Eemaan

Question: What is the ruling on denying a Muslim’s Eemaan (Faith)?

Answer: This is not permissible, in fact it is Haraam (prohibited), because of what was narrated on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) who reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Ruling on Takfeer of a Muslim for committing a sin

Question: What is the ruling on Takfeer (declaring a Muslim as a disbeliever)? In Egypt, there is a group that declare Muslims as Kuffaar (disbelievers) for committing sins other than Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). Can committing minor or major sins render someone a Kaafir despite their declaration of the Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith)?

Answer: Major sins differ with respect to the gravity of the offence; some of them are Shirk and others are not. Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) do not declare Muslims to be Kuffaar if they commit sins other than Shirk, such as killing, drinking alcohol, Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage), theft, consuming orphans’ property, slandering chaste Muslim women, and consuming Ribaa (usury), and other major sins. In these cases, the ruler should carry out the penalty prescribed for the sin they commit, such as Qisaas (just retaliation), Hadd (prescribed punishment), or Ta`zeer (discretionary punishment)… read more here.

Ruling on the call to rapprochement between religions

Question: Is the call for rapprochement between religions (Islaam – Christianity – Judaism) a legitimate one? Is it permissible for a Muslim believer to support it? I heard that this is done by some scholars in Al-Azhar and other Islaamic institutions. Is the call for rapprochement between Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) and the Shiites, Druze, Al-Ismaa`iliyyah, Al-Nusayriyyah and such sects useful for Muslims?

Is reconciliation between them possible, although all of these sects entail Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), offense to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and hostility towards Islam and Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah? Is this rapprochement permissible according to Sharee`ah?

Answer: First, the roots of Eemaan (faith) which Allaah has revealed to His Messengers in the Holy Books: Tawraah (Torah), Injeel (Gospel), Zaboor (Psalms), and the Qur’aan; and which the Messengers Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosaa (Moses), ‘Eesaa (Jesus), and other Messengers (peace be upon them) called to, are all the same… read more here.

Offering a non-Muslim guest unlawful food

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to be generous to non-Muslim companions by offering them foods and drinks that are prohibited by Islaam upon Muslims? What is the ruling on this especially when a Muslim visits his non-Muslim companion?

Answer: Islaam is the religion of tolerance and ease; it is also the religion of justice. Generosity to companions is one of the morals of Islaam. But if the companion is a non-Muslim, then the ruling differs according to the intention of the Muslim who offers, and what is being offered… read more here.

Ruling on a Muslim wearing a cross

Question: A dispute arose among us over the judgment on a Muslim who wears a cross pendant, which is a symbol of Christianity. Some maintain that such a person is a disbeliever with no need to discuss his reasons for wearing it. Others maintain that such a person should not be judged a disbeliever until he has been discussed and it has been made clear to him that wearing a cross is Haraam for a Muslim and that it is a symbol of Christianity. If he still insists on wearing it, he will be regarded as a disbeliever.

Answer: This matter and the like must be detailed and made clear. This person should be informed of the ruling on wearing the cross and that it is a symbol of Christianity. Moreover, he should be informed that wearing a cross is an indication of being satisfied with and belonging to the Christians and their beliefs… read more here.

Ruling on having one temple for the three religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islaam

Question: Is it permissible to have one temple for Judaism, Christianity, and Islaam?

Answer: It is not permissible to have one place of worship that gathers the three religions… read more here.

Muslims entering non-Muslim places of worship

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to enter a church to know of their prayers or listen to a lecture?

Answer: A Muslim is not allowed to enter the places of worship of disbelievers as this leads to increasing their number. It was reported by Al-Bayhaqee with a sound chain of transmitters on the authority of `Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said… read more here.

Non-Muslims entering Mosques

Question: What is the ruling on non-Muslims entering a Masjid (mosque) or Musallah (a place for Prayer), whether to attend the Salaah (Prayer) or to listen to a lecture?

Answer: When we answered Fatwaa no. 2922, we stated that it is Haram (prohibited) for Muslims to let any Kaafir (disbeliever) enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) or any part of the Sanctuary, because Allaah (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Giving Islaamic books to Christians

Question: Is it permissible to give them books containing Qur’aanic Aayaat which prove the Oneness of Allaah? Given that these books are written in Arabic and translated into English.

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to give them books containing Aayaat of the Qur’aan to prove the rulings, such as Tawheed (monotheism) and others, whether these books are in Arabic or translated… read more here.

Permissibility of the People of the Book’s food

Question: Some of my Christian colleagues invite me for meals in their homes. Is it permissible to eat if the food served is Halaal (lawful)?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to eat from the food served by your Christian colleague, whether in his or another person’s home, provided that the food itself is not prohibited or its status is unknown. The principle regarding things is that they are permissible until it is proven otherwise. So, being a Christian does not prohibit his food, because Allaah has made the food of the People of the Book lawful to us… read more here.