Ask a Muslim Scholar Volume 3

Q: We are a couple trying to have a baby for the last years and Allah did not allow it to happen yet. We have an option to do an In vitro fertilization. We have the money in a line of credit. Can we use this money even though we have a home mortgage and a credit card to pay every month? We would like to know what Islam say about it. Note that we are making our payments every month without any problems.

A: If the process you have mentioned involves interest then the transaction is considered as haraam (unlawful), for interest is haraam. If, however, by paying your installments every month when they are due, you can avoid paying the interest, then there is nothing wrong with that. For in that case, it is not at all different from your credit card purchases; which may or may not involve interest, depending on whether you pay it of in full when it is due or you choose to pay it with interest. If, therefore, your payments involve interest it is considered as haraam.

Q: My wife miscarried at the end of third month of gestation. Sonographic test in the th week of gestation showed Cardiac activity absent in both fetuses. This was again confirmed in the th week. Due to severe bleeding at the end of th week the doctor advised to abort the pregnancy or it will be dangerous to the mother. Learned Sir, have we done wrong and how do we deal in accordance with the sharia’h.

A: Your wife has done nothing wrong in aborting the pregnancy in this case. For, as I can infer from your question, she underwent the procedure because of perceived threat to her life in case of carrying the pregnancy to the end. In exceptional case like this, Islam permits abortion. This falls under the category stated in the principle, “exigencies render the prohibited as lawful” (al-zzarooraat tubeehu al-mahdhooraat).

So neither you nor your wife should feel guilty about it; ask forgiveness of Allah and implore Him to grant you a substitute or patience in your loss.

Q: I wear an abaya but for my workplace I was thinking of wearing western long dresses that do not touch the skin and would require a sweater or jacket on top. Would this be all right? Can you give some advice on that?

A: It is not essential for you to wear the abaayah. You may wear the Western dress as long as you have fulfilled the requirements of the modest attire prescribed for women in Islam. The absolute requirements of the Islamic attire for women include: covering the whole body except the face, and hands and avoiding the tight-fit or transparent clothes: The purpose is to appear in public modestly, while not flaunting one’s charm.

Q: When a woman is not fasting due to her monthly period, what is the ettiquette to follow when eating during the day? Is it OK if other men in her house or at her workplace see her eating or should she eat discreetly?

A: You are best advised to observe the sanctity of Ramadhaan by choosing to do so discretely rather than making a public display of it. 

Having said this, however, I must state that there is nothing wrong for you to eat and drink while you are not fasting due to reasons that are acceptable in the Shari’ah. We know from the authentic sources that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to eat and drink in public in order to show people that they are allowed to so while journeying or in jihad. Therefore, we also find the practice of the Prophet’s companions never abstaining from food and drink while they were traveling during the month of Ramadhaan. Therefore, you need not have any inhibition in this matter.

Q: Is it ok if I memorize the Quran using a transliteration?

A: It is not at all advisable or recommended to memorize the Qur’an by simply relying on transliteration; it may even be wrong to do so, since it may condition oneself to making major mistakes in reading/pronunciations and thus one may end up distorting the noble Qur’an. 

The Qur’an properly should be learned from the mouth of a qualified teacher. In the event of someone not being readily available, the next best thing to do is to buy a taped recitation of a well known Qaari (reciter) and follow his recitation for practice.
In the modern world, since there are numerous teaching aids are available in the form of videos or cassettes or computer software, there is no excuse for people for relying on transliteration. Remember, once we condition ourselves in reading the wrong way, it would be very hard to unlearn it.

Therefore, we might as well begin it right. Although a little hard in the beginning, practice, InshaAllah, will make it perfect. The Prophet, peace be upon him, assured us that when a person tries hard to learn the Qur’an, he receives great rewards. Allah says, “Verily, with every hardship comes ease!” (Q.94: 5).

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