Should the hair of the deceased man be put into three braids, as is done for a woman?

It is mentioned in a hadith about the washing of the daughter of the Prophet (saw) that the hair of the women is to be divided in three parts, the two sides and the center. What is the sunnah in regards to men? Is it the same? At a recent funeral, a brother parted the hair of the deceased person from the middle saying that was the sunnah.

Praise be to Allaah.

The Sunnah is the put the hair of a deceased woman into three braids. It was narrated that Umm ‘Atiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: One of the daughters of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) died. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to us and said: “Wash her with lotus leaves an odd number of times, three, or five, or more than that if you see fit, and put camphor in (the water) the last time, or a little camphor. And when you have finished, let me know.” When we had finished, we let him know, and he gave us his waist wrapper (to shroud her in). And we put her hair into three braids and put them behind her.  Continue reading

A Christian woman is asking a Muslim woman for help in raising a Muslim girl

I’m in a little strange situation now and cannot say no to the person who is asking me for help. I’m a university student in the U.S. and meet this African American women who is a Christian, began talking to me and I felt the need to talk to her since she was going through a lot of issues and things that bothered her. I tried not getting to close to her, but she was unavoidable and I felt the need to be nice so I don’t make it seem that Muslims are mean, etc.
Her husband’s family she says are Muslims, I suppose they are, and did not judge. Her husband has two+ women who he has a relation with.One of the ladies he has a relation with has a 9 year old daughter.
This 9 year old child has attempted suicide and is really depressed and cares nothing about life.
The African American lady that I met at school told me she has taken it upon herself to try and care for this 9 year old daughter even though she is not her child. She wants to know the Islamic ruling on how to care for this child so that she doesn’t lose her parents’ faith.
I’m not sure how to go about this situation, especially since the women is of a different faith than the 9 year old child.
If you understood my situation well, can you provide me with advice on how to help the women help the child. The mother of this child seems to only tell her this and that is wrong in Islam and don’t do it. How is the best way to convince this child of the reality of life, etc. The child doesn’t have a close relationship with the parents and most likely is in a bad school setting, with bad friends, etc. I myself do not know the whole situation of the child but will know soon through the African American lady who asked for my help.

Praise be to Allaah.

If this woman is the mother of that girl it is not permissible for her – according to sharee‘ah – to have custody of her Muslim daughter, because a kaafir cannot be entrusted with raising a Muslim child in Islam; rather he will cause the child to follow his own religion. We have discussed this previously in the answer to question no. 21516. So how about if she is not even her daughter? Continue reading

Can a woman pray naafil when the iqaamah for prayer has been given?

Is it permissible for a woman to offer a regular Sunnah prayer before an obligatory prayer, such as the Sunnah prayer before Zuhr, when the iqaamah (call immediately preceding the congregational prayer) has been given?
A woman is not obliged to offer the prayer in congregation like a man, such that she would have to stop or delay the Sunnah prayer that is offered before the obligatory prayer and offer it after the obligatory prayer in order to catch up with the congregational prayer.

Praise be to Allaah.

Muslim (710) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet |(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When the iqaamah for prayer is given, there is no prayer except the prescribed prayer.” This applies to the one to whom the command to pray in congregation is addressed or to the one who is present in the mosque when the iqaamah for prayer has been given. With regard to the woman who is in her house or a man who is excused for not attending prayers in congregation, they are not addressed in this hadeeth, so they may offer the naafil prayer even when they can hear the iqaamah from the mosques.

The same applies to a man if he wants to pray in a mosque other than the one in which the iqaamah has been given; he may offer the naafil prayer in his house.

It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ (1/460): If the iqaamah has been given, i.e., the muezzin has started to give the iqaamah for the prayer the he wants to offer behind the imam (then he should not do any naafil prayer), otherwise he may do so, such as if the iqaamah is given in a mosque in which he does not intend to pray. This was stated in al-Furoo‘. To sum up, there should be no prayer except the prescribed prayer (after the iqaamah has been given), so he should not start any naafil prayer or any regular Sunnah prayer, before Fajr or otherwise, in the mosque or elsewhere, or even in his house, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When the iqaamah for prayer is given, there is no prayer except the prescribed prayer.” End quote.

For more information see the answer to question no. 33582

And Allah knows best. Continue reading

He married a woman before the end of her ‘iddah following the death of her husband

A man married a woman who was still in ‘iddah following the death of her husband, before the ‘iddah ended. This happened thirty years ago without any knowledge of Islam, and now she has children from her second husband. What should she do?.

Praise be to Allaah.


What is required of a woman after her husband dies is to observe an ‘iddah of four months and ten days from the date of his death, if she is not pregnant, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days”

[al-Baqarah 2:234]

If she is pregnant, then her ‘iddah lasts until she gives birth, because Allah may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their Iddah (prescribed period) is until they deliver (their burdens),”

[at-Talaaq 65:4].

If she gets married during the ‘iddah, then her marriage is invalid according to scholarly consensus, and they must be separated. Continue reading

Where should a revocably-divorced woman observe ‘iddah when her husband is in another country and there is no marital home?

If a husband and wife are living in two different countries, and each is living in a different country to complete his or her studies, and the last time they met was two months ago, and he contacted her recently and told her that he had divorced her, does she have to go to his house to observe the ‘iddah? Please note that he does not have his own house in the first place.
The wife is a new Muslim and has no Muslim among her relatives in her own country. Her husband lives with two other people in the apartment where he is staying. What should they do then? How can she stay near him during her ‘iddah so that his heart may be softened and he may take her back?.

Praise be to Allaah.


The woman who is revocably divorced (first or second talaaq) has to stay in her husband’s house and it is haraam for her to leave it. She is also entitled to be provided with accommodation by him, and for him to spend on her maintenance during the ‘iddah, and it is haraam for her husband to turn her out of her home during this period, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and turn them not out of their (husbands’) homes, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open illegal sexual intercourse. And those are the set limits of Allah. And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself” [at-Talaaq 65:1].

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: What highlights the difference between ‘iddah in the case of revocable divorce and in irrevocable divorce is that ‘iddah in the case of revocable divorce is for the husband’s sake (to make it easier for him to take her back), and the wife is entitled to maintenance and accommodation during this period according to the scholarly consensus of the Muslims.

End quote from Zaad al-Ma‘aad fi Hadi Khayr al-‘Ibaad, 5/674

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (25/113): The woman who is observing ‘iddah in the case of revocable divorce is still regarded as a wife, because the marriage contract is still in effect; so her status after divorce (talaaq) is the same as her status before it. Hence the scholars are unanimously agreed that she is still entitled to accommodation, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Lodge them (the divorced women) where you dwell” [at-Talaaq 65:6]. End quote.

The husband has the right to take back his wife who is revocably divorced during her ‘iddah, and she does not have the right to refuse to go back to him. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation” [al-Baqarah 2:228]. Continue reading

If a menstruating woman puts her hand in water, does that make it najis?

My wife had her period and a piece of soap fell in a bucket of water, so she put her hand in the water to take out the piece of soap and she forgot to tell me about that until after I had done ghusl. Is this water regarded as najis or nor, and should I repeat my ghusl or not?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The basic principle concerning water is that it is pure and a means of purification, and this description is not cancelled out unless some impurity falls into it that changes its colour, taste or smell; in that case the water is deemed to be najis (impure).

The fact that a woman who was menstruating put her hand in the water does not affect the water or make it impure, because the body of a Muslim is pure (taahir) whether he is junub or whether a woman is menstruating, because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (276) and Muslim (556) from Abu Hurayrah, according to which he was seen by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on one of the streets of Madinah when he was junub. He slipped away and did ghusl, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) noticed that he was not there. When he came to him he said: Where did you go, O Abu Hurayrah? He said: O Messenger of Allah, you saw me when I was junub and I did not want to sit with you until I did ghusl. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Subhaan Allah! The believer does not become najis.”

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth sets out a great principle, which is that the Muslim is pure in life and in death. In life he is pure (taahir) according to scholarly consensus… Continue reading

Marrying an atheist woman who became Muslim, then apostacized

Can a Muslim man marry a former Muslim woman who is now a Christian? For example: An agnostic woman converts to Islam and after a couple weeks decides she has too many doubts to consider herself a Muslim and stops practicing. However, she later accepts Monotheistic Christianity (believing in one God and NOT believing in the trinity.) Is it permissible for a Muslim man to marry her as a Christian (Person of the Book), even though technically she is an apostate from Islam?.

Praise be to Allaah.


It is permissible to marry women from among the People of the Book. Allah says (what means):

“And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you” (Quran 5:5)

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “There is no dispute between the people of knowledge, praise be to Allah, concerning the permissibility of marrying the free women from among the People of the Book. Of those from whom this is narrated are: ’Omar, ‘Othman, Talhah, Huthaifah, Salman, Jabir and others. Ibn al Munthir said: It is not correct that any of the earlier (scholars) prohibited this.” End quote, al-Mughni (7:500)

2. If a woman accepts Islam then apostates to the Jewish or Christian religion, she must be asked to repent; if she repents and returns to Islam, then all praise is for Allah, otherwise she is an apostate and all the rules which apply to apostates apply to her as agreed upon by the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them). See the answer to question 14231.

Therefore, it is necessary to advise this woman and remove any doubts, if she has doubts. This task should be undertaken by specialists from among the people of knowledge. If she insists on her apostasy, it is not lawful for a Muslim to marry her since marriage to an apostate is not valid by consensus. Continue reading

Ruling on a woman removing her clothes in a place other than her own house

I have read these two hadeeths:
I came out of the bathhouse and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Where are you coming from, O Umm ad-Darda’?” I said: From the bathhouse. He said: By the One in Whose hand is my soul, there is no woman who removes her clothes in a place other than the house of one of her mothers but she is destroying every screen between her and the Most Merciful, may He be glorified and exalted.”
At-Targheeb wa’t-Tarheeb, 1/119
“There is no woman who removes her clothes in a place other than her husband’s house but she has removed the screen between her and her Lord.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in ad-Radd al-Mufhim, p. 73 
My question is: We have a sports club near us that is a respectable place and very well monitored. Inside it there is a room for exercise that is only for women. All the women in charge of this building and those who frequent it are religiously committed and wear hijab, and they do not allow any man to enter it at all. The doctor has advised me and my sister to exercise in order to overcome our general state of weakness and muscular and joint pain. They have also given similar advice to my mother, because she suffers from osteoporosis. My sister and I go to that gym wearing full hijab and covering ourselves properly, but when we enter it we exercise wearing clothing like that which we wear in front of our mahrams; there is no indecency there or extreme uncovering at all; only our heads and forearms are uncovered, and that is in safe rooms that are entirely enclosed inside this building, and all the people around us are women. Is it permissible for us to do that or does it come under the heading of what is forbidden by the two hadeeths quoted above?
I would also like to find out from you any exemptions to the prohibition in the two hadeeths if there is any? Does it also mean that it is not permissible to go to beauty parlours or hairdressers who work with women who wear hijab for the purpose of simple and permissible beautification in which there is nothing that is contrary to the laws of Allah, in places that are safe, where all the workers are women, even if one of my mahrams is going to take me there and back by car? (And does that apply) even if I am a bride and even if it requires me to uncover a little as a woman uncovers in front of her mahrams?
What is the ruling on beauty parlours or cosmetic surgery clinics that are operating on a larger scale than that and in which more extensive procedures are carried out?
I hope that you can respond in detail; may Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

Ahmad (6/173), Abu Dawood (4010) and at-Tirmidhi (2803) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that some women from Homs asked permission to enter upon her, and she said: Perhaps you are among those who enter bathhouses? I heard the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “There is no woman who removes her clothes anywhere other than her husband’s house, but she has torn the screen that is between her and Allaah.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah.  Continue reading

Who is the mahram with whom a woman can travel and who can act as a “chaperone” to prevent khulwah between a man and woman who are not related to one another?

How old should a person be to qualify as a mahram according to sharee‘ah? I heard that once a boy reaches the age of four, he may be a “chaperone” to prevent khulwah. Is he regarded as a mahram, or is it only an adult who is regarded as a mahram?.

Praise be to Allaah.


It should be noted that this question covers two issues: who is a woman’s mahram for the purpose of travel, and who is the one who is a “chaperone” and prevents forbidden khulwah between a man and a woman who is not his mahram? It is not essential for the one who prevents khulwah to be a mahram, as we shall see below, in sha Allah.


A woman’s mahram is anyone whom she is permanently forbidden to marry, because of blood ties, breastfeeding or ties through marriage, such as her father, son, or brother.

Is it essential for the mahram to be an adult? This was stipulated by the Hanbalis, but the majority of scholars are of the view that if the mahram is a boy who has reached the age of discernment and is close to puberty, and the woman feels safe when he is with her, then that is sufficient, and they regarded the boy who is close to the age of puberty as coming under the same ruling as an adult.  Continue reading

A Christian woman married a Muslim without a wali (guardian); is her marriage valid?

I will apologize in advance for my lengthy questioning. I am a Christian woman who just recently married a Muslim man. Firstly after reading some of the info on your website I am questioning if we are actually married under Islamic law, as since I had no wali, the Imam who performed the nikah became my wali for the ceremony. We are speaking of divorce. He has moved out of my house, and I do not know where he is living. We only communicate via text messaging because he says he cannot control his emotions when talking over the phone. He never actually said I divorce you, but we told others that we were getting a divorce. I told him I don’t know how an Islamic divorce actually works, so I will handle the legal documents from the state, and he can handle the Islamic part, but I don’t think he even knows how to go about that. I should probably state that we have only been married for four months. I married him two weeks after he was released from prison, because he said that he could not live with me if we were not married. We had a previous relationship with several children involved before he went to prison and became a “practicing Muslim” I agreed to a lot of things in regards to Islam in our household, letting him teach the children about Islam, giving up a male friend that I had for numerous years before I knew him, no pork, no music, no alcohol, dressing conservatively, etc. I even agreed that once we could afford to, I would get my tubal ligation reversed, because he says it is against Islam for my tubes to be tied, (even though the surgery and a future pregnancy has the potential to cause me great harm). I never said that I would stop celebrating some holidays and he agreed. I never promised that I would convert either, but now this is a problem. He feels as though he cannot deal with me because I haven’t converted yet. I told him that I used to have a genuine interest in Islam, until he continuously “harassed me about it” I try to hold conversations with him, and he says unless it is about Islam, there is nothing to talk about. We are both not happy, but I don’t think that divorce is a good idea either. One major issue is that he feels as though I hate Islam, which I don’t, but I have said some not so nice things to him about Islam, because he constantly belittles me and is very condescending about my religion. Are we allowed to agree to disagree about our religious views? I also am very concerned that he is talking to women on Facebook, one who he has had a prior sexual relationship with, but he states that it is all innocent, he is only talking with them about Islam, but I was able to see messages where he asked several women if they were married or not, which I don’t feel is appropriate. He also made conversation with a woman from another country about flying her here to the US. How can he do this? He is not even taking care of me and our family. He has no money, or work, and I take care of us all, all 13 of us. A lot of things that he does and says seem to push me further away from Islam, because he seems so selfish and I feel like he uses Islam to excuse behaviors that I feel are inappropriate. We were once having relations in the bedroom, and we had not had intercourse yet, but he had already climaxed, so when we tried to have intercourse, because I hadn’t yet climaxed of course, he withdrew in the midst of it, got up, and said we’ll try later it’s time for prayer. I felt very hurt and ashamed, but he said he doesn’t have to justify anything to me. I thought Muslims were to treat their wives with kindness. He says that he can’t love me because I am not Muslim. Is this true? He also says that I am not allowed to talk to anyone about our marital problems, but what am I to do if I can’t even get him to talk to me about our problems? When I bring to his attention about facts in Islam, that he is not adhering to, he states that I am not a believer, and can’t tell him anything about Islam. I even told him some information that I learned from this website, that he also frequents, but he still says I have no right to question him, and that I am just fuel for the Hell-fire because obviously Allah has placed a veil over my heart. Please help.

Praise be to Allaah.


In order for the marriage to be valid, it is stipulated that the contract be done by the woman’s guardian.

The guardian of a Christian or Jewish woman is a male relative who is a follower of the same religion: her father, grandfather or brother… If there is no such relative or he refuses, then her marriage contract is to be done by the Muslim judge if there is one; if not, her marriage should be done by the director of the Islamic Centre in her locality, because the basic principle with regard to guardianship in the case of marriage is that it belongs to the father, then to male relatives, the closest then the next closest. If there are no male relatives or they are not qualified to be guardians for any reason, or if they refuse for no good reason, then guardianship passes to the ruler or one who takes his place.

Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 18/162  Continue reading