Giving lessons outside of school in something other than his speciality

I work as a teacher and I teach more than one subject to people outside of school in areas that are not my speciality although I know them well. Is this halaal or haraam?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If you know the subject well that you are teaching, and the students know that it is not your specialty, then there is nothing wrong with you teaching them. But if you do not know it well or you give them the impression that this is your speciality, then it is not permissible, because that is deceiving them. The student is looking for a specialized teacher and dealing with him on that basis, so you should tell him the truth so that he will know what is going on, otherwise it is deceiving him.

Muslim (101) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who deceives us is not one of us.”

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

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Using something to remove bad breath during Ramadaan

In the pharmacies there is a kind of perfume that is just for the mouth, which comes in the form of an aerosol. Is it permissible to use it during the day in Ramadaan to remove bad breath?

Praise be to Allaah.

Instead of using an aerosol when fasting, it is enough to use the siwaak which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged us to use. If he uses an aerosol and nothing from it reaches his throat, then that is o.k. But it should be noted that the smell that comes from the fasting person’s mouth as a result of the fast is not something to be disliked, because it is the effect of obedience to Allaah. In the hadeeth it says that “the smell from the fasting person’s mouth is better in the sight of Allaah than the fragrance of musk.”  Continue reading

Is it permissible to change a vowed action to something better?

If I have made a vow, is it permissible to change the action and place to another action and place? After I made the vow, I realized that a different action and place would be better than the first.

Praise be to Allaah.

Yes, it is permissible to change the action mentioned in a vow to something that is better.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Ikhtiyaaraat (p. 329):

Whoever vows to observe a specific fast can change it to a better time. End quote.

For example, if a person vowed to fast on Tuesday, then he may fast on Monday instead because that is better.

The Standing Committee was asked about changing a vowed action to something that is better than the first. They replied:

The basic principle is that if a man mentions a specific place in his vow, such as a vow to give charity or build a mosque in a specific place, he is obliged to fulfil that vow in the place and manner specified, so long as there is no shar’i reason not to do so, unless he changes it to a place that is better, such as the two Holy Sanctuaries (Makkah and Madeenah). There is nothing wrong with that. This is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the man who had vowed to sacrifice a camel in Bawaanah. He said: “Were there any idols of the Jaahiliyyah there that were worshipped?” He said: No. He said: “Were any of their festivals held there?” He said: No. He said: “Then fulfil your vow.”

He commanded him to fulfil his vow in the place that he had specified because there were no reasons why he should not do so. The fact that a vowed action may be moved to a better place is indicated by the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a man who had vowed to pray in Bayt al-maqdis (Jerusalem): “Pray here.” The man repeated his statement and he said, “Pray here.” The man repeated his statement again and he said: “It’s up to you.” Narrated by Abu Dawood and Ahmad.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Ifta’, 23/318. Continue reading

She fed her mother something harmful and she died

My mother told me not to cook a certain type of herb, and she said, “If you cook these herbs it will make me die, because I cannot stand to smell them.” Note that these herbs are permissible according to sharee’ah. And in fact after my mother and I ate some of these herbs for dinner, she died a few hours later. Am I guilty of sin for that? Did I have a hand in my mother’s death? Is there any sin on me for that?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If the situation is as you describe in the question, then you have sinned because this was disobedience and bad treatment towards her. You are guilty of sin since you knew that your mother was bothered by (that food) and that she had told you not to cook it. So you were sinning by doing that, and you were disobedient, severing the ties of kinship and disobeying your mother. You have to pay the diyah (blood money) because your act is counted as semi-deliberate killing. You also have to offer expiation (kafaarah), which is to free a believing slave; if you cannot do that, then you have to fast for two consecutive months, i.e., for sixty days. And you must also repent to Allaah.

We ask Allaah to accept your repentance and ours, and to help us to do all that is good.  Continue reading

Should she testify to something that she has not been asked for but that may benefit the person against whom she is testifying?

I work in a department and it so happened that one of the men insulted the head of the department. I was present with a group of other people, so they asked us to testify. I will testify and – in sha Allah – I will tell the truth which is that he – may Allaah guide him – insulted her openly and in front of her; he cursed her father and her. After he went out, when they dragged him out, she said: “I’ll show you, O So and so,” i.e., a threat – but he did not hear her, so he did not say that she had said, “I’ll show you,” because he was nowhere near the desk then. I was the one who was nearby and heard it. Should I say that when the matter is investigated? I hope to receive a reply.

Praise be to Allaah.

This phrase (“I’ll show you”) is a threat but what may be meant by it is to make an official complaint, which is in fact what happened. We do not think that it matters if you tell them or not when the matter is investigated.

If she added any other words to it, such as insults or condemnation of the one who insulted her, then you should mention that, because she may have taken her rights by saying these words or more, and it is not right to punish him when the other person has already settled the score. Responding to an insult in kind is a kind of taking one’s rights or settling the score, as al-Nawawi said in his commentary on the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When two people trade insults, the sin will be on the one who started it, unless the one who has been wronged went too far in returning the insults.” Muslim 4688. Al-Nawawi said: They said:  If the one who has been insulted return the insult then the matter is settled, and the first one owes nothing to the second one, but the sin of initiating the insults remains on him. And it was said: He will be free from any sin if the other person returns the insult but the blame will still be on the initiator, but not the sin.

If what was said in response is not as bad as what was said, then the matter is not settled, however by responding, part of the matter is settled. This may remove or reduce the punishment for the one who insulted the other first.

Islam commands us to be just with all people. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety; and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Well‑Acquainted with what you do”

[al-Maa’idah 5:8]

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Can the person praying behind the imam read something from the Mushaf other than what the imam is reciting?

I pray behind the imam in Taraweeh prayers, but after saying ameen and reciting al-Faatihah, I read from the Mushaf that is in my hand, for my own completion of the Qur’aan, then I follow the imam in the rest of the prayer. Is it permissible for me to read from the Mushaf after al-Faatihah, knowing that I am reading a different soorah than the imam?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

What the person praying behind the imam should do is to recite al-Faatihah then listen attentively to the recitation of his imam. It is not permissible for him to recite anything more than al-Faatihah, whether he recites it from memory or from the Mushaf.

Allaah has commanded worshippers and others to listen attentively when the Qur’aan is recited to them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So, when the Qur’aan is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy”

[al-A’raaf 7:204]

A similar command was issued by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was narrated that Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The imam has been appointed to be followed, so when he says takbeer, then say takbeer, and when he recites, then listen attentively.” Narrated by Muslim, 404.

No exception is made from that apart from the recitation of al-Faatihah only.

It was narrated that ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: We were behind the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Fajr prayer, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited and the recitation became difficult for him. When he had finished he said: “Perhaps you were reciting behind your imam?” We said: Yes, that is so, O Messenger of Allaah. He said: “Do not do that, except for the Opening of the Book (al-Faatihah), for there is no prayer for the one who does not recite it.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 823; classed as saheeh by Shaykh Ibn Baaz in his Fataawa, 11/221.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

It is not permissible for the one who is praying behind the imam in a prayer in which Qur’aan is recited out loud to recite anything more than al-Faatihah, rather after that he must remain silent and listen attentively to the recitation of the imam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Perhaps you were reciting behind your imam?” We said: Yes, that is so, O Messenger of Allaah. He said: “Do not do that, except for the Opening of the Book (al-Faatihah), for there is no prayer for the one who does not recite it.” And because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “So, when the Qur’aan is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy”, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When he recites, then listen attentively.”

With regard to the exception that is made with regard to al-Faatihah only, that is because of the hadeeth quoted above, and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book.” Saheeh – agreed upon. End quote.  Continue reading

If he missed something at the beginning of Taraweeh, how can he make it up?

If I enter the mosque late for ‘Isha’ prayer and I missed the ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation and I pray it on my own, and I am late in joining the Taraweeh prayers because of doing ‘Isha’, and I miss two rak’ahs of Taraweeh, how should I do these two rak’ahs? Alone or what?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

If you miss ‘Isha’ and you arrive when the imam is praying Taraweeh, it is better for you to join him with the intention of praying ‘Isha’. When he says the salaam, you should complete your prayer and not pray alone or with another jamaa’ah (congregation), so that there will not be two jamaa’ahs at the same time, which may lead to distraction due to the intermingling of voices.

Secondly:

As for what you have missed of Taraweeh, if you wish you may do it, so you may pray two rak’ahs when the imam prays Witr, then pray what you missed, then pray Witr.

What is meant by praying two rak’ahs when the imam prays Witr is that you do not say salaam with him when he ends his Witr, rather you should stand up and pray another rak’ah, then say the salaam.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: If I join the people when they are praying Taraweeh and I have missed part of it, should I make up what I have missed after Witr or what should I do?

He replied: Do not make up what you have missed after Witr, rather if you want to make up what you have missed, then pray two rak’ahs when the imam prays Witr, then offer the prayers you missed, then pray Witr. Here there is an issue to which attention should be drawn: If you arrive when the imam is praying Taraweeh and you did not pray ‘Isha’ yet, what should you do?  Should you pray ‘Isha’ on your own or join the imam in Taraweeh with the intention of praying ‘Isha’?

The answer is that you should join the imam in Taraweeh with the intention of praying ‘Isha’. When the imam says salaam from Taraweeh, then stand up and make up the rest of ‘Isha’. Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned the exact same issue, and this was also the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, and this is the correct view, because the correct view is that it is permissible to offer an obligatory prayer in congregation behind an imam who is offering a naafil prayer, based on the evidence of the hadeeth of Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that he used to pray ‘Isha’ with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then he would go back to his people and lead them in offering that prayer – it was naafil for him and obligatory for them. End quote from al-Liqa’ al-Shahri.

It is better for you to make it up in congregation if you can, but if that is not possible then there is nothing wrong with you making it up on your own.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Ruling on stopping one’s prayer if something serious happens

If I am praying and someone knocks at the door, and there is no one else in the house, what should I do? If I stop praying, am I sinning?

Praise be to Allaah.

If a prayer is naafil (supererogatory), there is more room for manoeuvre, and it is o.k. to stop praying in order to find out who is at the door. But in the case of a fard (obligatory) prayer, it is not permissible to stop it unless there is something important which one is afraid of missing. If it is possible to alert someone else, by saying “Subhan-Allaah” out loud in the case of men and clapping in the case of women, so that the person at the door will realize that the person in the house is busy praying, that will do away with any need to stop praying. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is alarmed by anything whilst praying, let men say ‘Subhan-Allaah’ and let women clap.” (Agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, 1234; Muslim, 421).

If it is possible to let the person who is at the door realize that the person inside the house is praying, by clapping in the case of women and saying ‘Subhan-Allaah’ in the case of men, whilst still praying, this will save you from having to stop the prayer. If that will not work, because one is too far away from the door or the person outside will not be able to hear, then it is o.k. to stop the prayer if necessary, especially if it is a naafil prayer. But in the case of an obligatory prayer, if it is something important or necessary, and there is the fear of missing it, it is also o.k. to stop the prayer, and to repeat it from the beginning. Praise be to Allaah. Continue reading

If something comes out of the stomach it does not break wudoo’

Does the gastric reflux (heartburn) – where a little bit of food or drink comes back up but does not fill the mouth or only reaches the back of the throat – break one’s wudoo’?

Praise be to Allaah.

This does not break wudoo’ at all. Continue reading

If one is not sure whether a dog has licked something

If you think that a dog may have licked a piece of clothing but you’re not sure for sure, then what should you do?  Is it okay to pray in it?  I really need to know because it’s bothering me because I have a dog at home( I am a convert,) and sometimes I don’t see if he is there or not.

Praise be to Allaah.

Keeping a dog is haraam, unless it is a dog for farming or hunting, or a sheep dog. It is haraam to keep any kind of dog apart from these, because that takes away one qeeraat of reward from its owner each day. According to another report, it takes away two qeeraats. If it is kept for a purpose which is allowed, if it licks a vessel or anything else, it must be purified, by washing it seven times, one of which must be with soil. This is if one is certain that it has licked it. In cases where there is doubt, it is not obligatory to wash it if we are not certain, because the basic principle is that things are pure. Continue reading