Ask a Muslim Scholar June 2018

Q: My husband married a second wife. I do not know her or anything about her. She has been divorced. IF I want to resume sexual relations with my husband I am requesting testing done on he and this woman. I feel that I do not know of her history and feel it is not fair to me. I would agree to be tested as well although I have not had a new sexual partner only my husband. Is this a haram thing to ask for?

A: Islam teaches us that we ought to protect ourselves and others and spare them from harm as best as we can. Since promiscuity is rampant in the society now, because of which HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are on the increse, everyone should take whatever reasonable means are necessary to preserve one’s health and the health of others he or she is interacting with. Therefore, it is your right to ask your husband and his second wife to undergo medical tests, if you have any reasonable cause to suspect. By doing so, you are not breaking any rule; rather you are simply asserting your right to protect yourself and your family as well other the public at large. Allah orders us in the Qur’an, “Do not drag yourself into perdition (by committing actions that may jeopardize your life or health).”

In conclusion, you have every right to refuse sexual relations with your husband, should you have any reasons to worry about HIV transmission.

Q: I wonder if you can help me. I am a 28 Muslim girl whose found a man who is a few months older then me who wishes to marry me and I wish to marry him in the name of Allah (SWT). He has come to ask for my hand and my parents have agreed. However, his parents is against the marriage purely for the fact I am too old, even though i am younger then him, and i am not his parents type or culture even though we both love each other. We have tried persuading his parents, and even tried to break up but this has affected not only our personal but our work lives and our feelings are too strong, so we want to make this halaal by getting married. We have only know each other 3 months but have done the Istikharah Salah and feel even stronger about each other and we know to not cause further sins we want to conduct ourselves in a Islamic married state. Therefore, if we get married are we causing sin even though we are of sane mind and my parents agree, because we are going against his father who does not agree based on cultural differences which do not exist in Islam?

A: There is nothing wrong with him in marrying you. Differences in age between both of you should never prove to be a barrier so long both of you have determined you are compatible and so long as your parents have agreed to it. The Prophet, peace be upon him, married Khadijah who was fifteen years senior to him.

If his father is objecting for valid religious reasons then they have a right to do so, but mere cultural or ethnic considerations should not be cited as extremely decisive in rejecting a marriage proposal so long as both of you have higher Islamic consciousness.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, says: “If a person of good religion and character approaches for marriage marry him; otherwise, there would be sedition and widespread corruption in the land.”

Having said this, however, I must point out the following: If the parents feel that both of you don’t have a high level of Islamic consciousness, and hence the cultural differences separating both of you may later act up and prove to be a sour point in your relations, then they have a genuine and valid concern. Therefore, you should consider this issue carefully and make up your mind that such factors will never prove to be a sour point in your relations later. As believers it is our duty to enter into marriage after having weighed all factors that may help forge a lasting relationship rather than merely getting carried away by looks or appearances.

The above point notwithstanding, his parent’s refusal to give permission does not in any way render the marriage invalid. Marriage shall still be deemed as valid so long as it has been solemnized in accordance with all the stated requirements.

So if you do decide to get married in spite of the objections of his parents, both of you still owe it to them to mend your relations with them as soon as possible. You can play a major role in this by going out of your way to be good to them and encouraging him to do so; for we cannot afford to earn the displeasure of our parents.

Q: I am a university Student studying mathematics. I plan on becoming a mathematics Professor, insha’Allah. I love solving mathematics problems. My question is, will I have the chance to do mathematics problems in Jannah, if I ever enter it? I think I would love doing that because math is simply a part of my life, especially after reading about Isaac Newton and the Greek mathematicians.

A: I must commend you for your zealous devotion to mathematics. If you are taking up this field of study to benefit humanity, while you are truly conscious of your duties to your Creator, then insha Allah, you can hope to enter paradise. Paradise we are told is where all of our dreams and desires find ultimate consummation and fulfillment. It is where we shall experience such eternal bliss, “the like of which no eyes have ever seen, no ears have ever heard about, and no mind has ever conceived.” Many philosophers thought that the pleasures of paradise are purely intellectual as they considered only such pleasures as worthy of mention, others reduced it to purely physical pleasures, and still others to pure spiritual ecstasy, the sound approach to take– if we are to do justice to all of the evidences in the scriptures describing the pleasures of paradise– is to say: in paradise all of our desires will find ready fulfillment. Therefore, it is only apt to conclude that as a mathematician you let us assume that insha Allah you will enjoy solving the most abstruse problems of mathematics. So prepare yourself for it by ardently devoting yourself to the service of your Creator even as you focus on your own chosen filed of specialization: mathematics.

Q: I have been wearing a hijab for as long as I can remember but to me it is just something that covers my head. I have decided that I no longer want to wear it. I am now an adult and so I would be facing the consequences of not wearing it. Does this make me less of a Muslim?

A: Hijab in the sense of modest attire for woman that covers the whole body excluding face and hands is ordained by Allah in the Qur’an. This is the understanding of the Muslims from the time of the Companions (the first addressees of the Qur’an) down through the centuries. There is not a single scholar or mufassir (interpreter of the Qur’an) of the past that I know who has questioned this ordinance.

Once it has been proven to be the order of Allah, no Muslim or Muslimah can reject it on the ground that I am an adult, and I can decide for myself.

Allah says: “When Allah and His Messenger have decided on a matter that concerns them, it is not fitting for any believing man or woman to claim the freedom of choice in that matter: whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger is far astray.” (Qur’an: 33: 36).

May Allah inspire us to see the truth as truth and follow it, and to see the error as error and shun it–aameen.

Q: If an animal is applied electrical current for a few seconds to make it unconscious and then it is slaughtered in Islamic way of Halal Slaughter, would it be considered Halal? It is made scientifically sure that when the animal is slaughtered, it is alive and breathing. The current applied or electrical stunning, only make it immobile to save the struggle of both the animal and the slaughterer. According to the two main requirements of Halal Slaughter, the animal must be alive at the time of slaughter and maximum blood should be let out of the animal body. If we meet these two requirements even after applying current,the meat should be Halal. Do you agree?

A: Animals slaughtered in this way are considered as halall and therefore lawful for us to consume as long as they did not die before slaughter. This has been the position of the World Fiqh Council; for, after due deliberations they have concluded that stunning or applying electric shock to the animals before slaughter will not in themselves render the animals unlawful for Muslim consumption, as long as the animals are still alive while they were slaughtered. Of course, the slaughter thus made must fulfill conditions of halaal slaughter: the major arteries are to be cut with a sharp knife or instrument in such a way that the entire blood is drained off; the name of Allah should also be invoked at the time of slaughter.