Ask a Muslim Scholar February 2019

Question: My father shouts abuses at me. He threatens to kill me. I am afraid to ask him to buy me anything like clothes or normal use things like makeup. He insults me and makes fun of me. He beats me. He has never said anything nice to me. He beats me badly. He is very strong and powerful because he has been a body builder and he hits me badly. What should I Do?

Answer: If your father is abusive and violent, you need to report him to the legal authorities – if that is the only way to stop him.

You don’t have to tolerate abuse of anyone – whether parents or anyone else for that matter.

You are allowed to resort to the law if he continues to abuse: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There shall be no toleration of inflicting harm.” Based on this, jurists have ruled that one is allowed to have recourse to law to remove harm if there is no other way.

Question: I want to become a neurosurgeon and I would have to perform surgery on both males and females so would it be permissible? As the surgery would be on brain. If not the money earned from this profession would be halal or haram?

Answer: As a physician, you are allowed to perform surgery on both males and females – for training purpose – or when demanded by the ethics of your profession.

Although men are to treat men and women are to treat women, in case of necessity, it is okay for a male to treat a female or a female physician to treat a male patient. According to the rules of jurisprudence, things otherwise deemed as impermissible can be rendered permissible because of necessity.

The Prophet (peace be upon him). Anas reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to take Umm Sulaym and a group of women to accompany him to the battle to give water and treat the wounded soldiers. We also know that when Sa’d b. Mu’adh was injured in the war, the Prophet (peace be upon him) set up a tent for him in the Mosque and appointed a female nurse to take care of him.

Based on these reports Imam Showkani states: It is permissible for a woman to treat a male patient when necessary.

In light of these, if you consider this as an area for you to excel and make a contribution, then you may go ahead; you don’t need to worry about treating male patients – if and when your profession demands it as long as you maintain the necessary safeguards.

Question: Assalamu alaikum. I’m in a difficult situation; I have been born with various cognitive impairments but at the same time I am having to provide food for my dad who has Alzheimer’s Dementia. If I was to leave him without any meals then he wouldn’t have any. On the other hand, my body will shut down and I won’t get food. Based on this is it permissible for me to purchase ready meals containing alcohol? It’s just that I only ever come across sandwiches my dad would eat, containing wine vinegar, and my mother is concerned for our welfare as I won’t purchase these and thus we often miss meals. JazakAllahu Khair Salaam

Answer: I empathize with your situation and pray to Allah to give on you ease, comfort and relief. I also pray to Allah to help you overcome the challenges you are facing and make it easy for you, your mother and your dad. I would urge you to turn to Allah invoking His mercy and calling upon Him by using His most beautiful names such as Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem, Yaa Shafi, Yaa Lateef.

Now coming to whether you can order meals that may contain wine vinegar the answer is. There is no need to worry about it for the alcohol in wine vinegar is not the same as found in wine or alcoholic drinks; it has undergone chemical transformed in such that it does not have the effect of intoxication. Here is an answer posted online by the experts:

“Does red wine vinegar have alcohol? Although there may be some traces of alcohol in the vinegar but it is nothing to worry about. The same traces of alcohol that are left in vinegar are also contained in foods like fruit juices or stewed fruit. The trivial amount of alcohol that remains in vinegar is so low that you cannot be seriously affected by it, as if you consumed an alcoholic beverage.” (

It should comfort for you to know Islam is a natural and easy religion to practice. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has warned us against being rigid in practising Islam, and he said, “Whoever makes it rigid will become overwhelmed by it (and thus will end up giving it up altogether).” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim) In conclusion. you don’t need to worry about ordering such meals.

Question: As I Muslim woman who was raised in the US but originates from a polygamous society am I forced to accept polygamy? Is polygamy an obligation for a muslim woman? I do not want to be a part of any polygamous relationship, does that make me a disbeliever? Is making dua that Allah keeps me away from the polygamous relationship a sin? My husband has signed monogamy; yet if he decides to marry a second wife and I decide to divorce for that reason will I have transgressed? Is not wanting to accept polygamy a sign of myself becoming a disbeliever? I love my Creator above all and I do not want to ever go against his commands; is not wanting polygamy going against the commands of my Creator? Do I need to repent? PlEASE HELP ME? I can’t even enjoy my marriage because of all these doubts and questions.

Answer: You are not obligated to accept a polygamous marriage. You have the right to choose to be married to a monogamous man. In Islam, monogamy is the ideal and polygamy is an exception.

We read in the Qur’an:

“If you fear you cannot do justice to the orphans, then marry the women (widows with orphans) as you choose two or three, but if you fear you cannot do justice, then only one.” (Qur’an: 4: 3)

It is clear from the above verse that the permission to marry more than one was in the context of widows with children whose fathers had been martyred, so it was a social problem and the practical solution was to provide a home for these children where they will enjoy a fatherly figure as well as their mothers. Moreover, the qualification, if you fear you cannot do justice (to the women you marry), then you are not allowed to marry more than one.

Accordingly, Imam Muhammad Abduh inferred that in Islam monogamy is the ideal and that polygamy is an exception allowed only in exceptional cases.

So, since you have a prenuptial agreement that you would not allow your husband to take a second wife, he is bound by the terms of the contract. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Of all the contractual obligations, the terms of the marriage contract are of greater priority than others.” (Reported by Bukhari)

By signing such a contract, you are not in any way displeasing Allah by violating His commandments. I pray to Allah to make us all steadfast on the straight path.

Question: Is it permissible to donate blood?

Answer: Blood donation is considered an extremely meritorious and rewarding act of charity in Islam; since Islam exhorts us to be charitable to all of God’s creation; we cannot think of any charity greater than a gift of life. It is a matter of common knowledge that in many cases, persons injured in accidents, etc. can only be saved from imminent death if they are given enough blood to replace what they have lost.

So by giving blood, which is in short supply today, Muslims are helping people live; by doing this they are indeed carrying out the order of Allah,”Whoever saves the life of a single person, it is as if he has saved all of humanity.” (Al-Ma’idah: 32)

Based on the above and similar considerations, scholars and jurists have agreed that Muslims should have no inhibitions whatsoever in donating blood in the communities they are living. They should consider such activities as a most rewarding act of charity.

We cannot make any distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims in donating and receiving blood; all of our bodies and faculties are in a way Muslim (obedient to the laws of Allah). Just as Islam encourages us to be charitable to all regardless of differences of religion or race, there is no distinction to be made in giving or receiving blood; for there can be no greater gift of charity than blood donation as it amounts to saving a life. The Quranic mandate for Muslims is to foster life and be engaged in activities that strengthen and maintain it in all forms the opposite of which is fasad or destruction-including all activities that diminish or destroy life in various forms.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has exhorted the faithful to be engaged in charitable deeds every single day; he is reported to have said,”Everyday that sun shines, every one of you ought to do some charitable deeds.”He then counted numerous examples of charity all of which are intended to enhance the quality of life. He also said,” You will be rewarded for any act of compassion rendered to any creature with a throbbing heart/liver.”

In other words, fostering and maintaining life in all forms, human and others, is indeed one of the most meritorious acts, entailing greatest of rewards in the sight of Allah. How can it be otherwise, when humans are the trustees of the earth, and as such we are to enhance God’s work?

In conclusion: Blood donation undoubtedly tops the list of charitable deeds in Islam. Therefore, Muslims should consider it a priority in participating in all such life-saving ventures/projects-including organizing blood banks.

I pray to Allah to give us the honor of saving lives and thus earn His goodly rewards in both worlds-Aameen.”