When will a Muslim be excused?

Question: Will a Muslim be excused when doing acts of Shirk such as offering a sacrifice for or making a vow for anything other than Allah out of ignorance?

Answer: There are two categories of acts: First: Acts are excused when done ignorantly. Second: Acts not excused when done ignorantly.

If the doer lives among the Muslims and commits acts of Shirk, worshipping anything other than Allah, he will not be excused, for he is negligent in knowing and understanding his religion. His excuses for worshipping anything such as the dead, trees, stones, and idols other than Allah are not acceptable because of his negligence. Allah (may He be Praised) says:

But those who disbelieve turn away from that whereof they are warned. [Surah Al-Ahqaf, 46:3]

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) sought Allah’s permission to ask His forgiveness for his mother who died in Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance), he was not permitted to do so as she died believing in her tribe’s faith (worship of idols). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to someone asking about his father’s fate:

He is in the Hellfire. When he saw his face gloomy, he said: My father and yours are in Hellfire.

This is because he died as a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). If this is the case of such Mushriks who lived during the times of ignorance, what about those who live among the Muslims and worship Al-Badawy , Al-Husayn , Shaykh `Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilany, , the Prophet (peace be upon him), or `Aly or any other person!

Such a person and his like are not to be excused because they commit major Shirk (associating others in worship with Allah) while they are living among the Muslims and read the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him). They turn away from these sources which point out the impermissibility of their acts.

As for the second category that are excused for ignorance, they are like those who live in a land far away from the Muslim world and Ahl-ul-Fatrah (those to whom Da`wah has not reached in an uncorrupted manner). Such people are excused and their case is left to Allah. The correct view is that they will be tested on the Day of Resurrection: if they respond and obey, they will be admitted to Paradise. However, if they disobey, they will enter Hell as Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:

And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning). [Surah Al-Isra’, 17:15]

Other authentic Hadiths mentioned in this regard also.

The encyclopedic scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be merciful with him) explained this issue in the closing part of his book entitled [Tariq Al-Hijratayn] tackling the ranks of Mukallafs (persons meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions). You may refer to this useful book.

[Fataawaa Ibn Baaz, 4/26-27]

Drawing living objects – is it considered major or minor kufr?

Question: Is making pictures of (all) that which has a soul (from amongst the humans and animals) (considered) major kufr or minor kufr or is it (just) a sin?

Answer: It is not (considered) major kufr, however it is considered from the major sins; for that which it contains of serious warning and the cursing of the one who makes the picture(s). Along with this, he is (considered) an accomplice to major shirk.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Verdicts, comprising –
Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Abdullaah Ibn Baaz;
Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee;
Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Ghudayyaan;
Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Qu’ood

[Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., – Volume 1, Page 676, Question 3 of Fatwa No.6541]

Published: 13 May 2001

The consequences of committing ash-Shirk al-Akbar

Question: Does everyone who commits ash-Shirk al-Akbar (the association of a partner in worship with Allaah on a major level) become a mushrik, and thereby the (appropriate) rulings pertaining to the mushrikeen are applied upon them?

Answer: Yes. Whoever disbelieves in Allaah becomes a kaafir, and whoever commits shirk with Allaah becomes a mushrik; Just as whoever believes in Allaah and His Messenger becomes a believer (mu.min) and muwahhid (one who attests to the Oneness of Allaah).

As for he to whom the (Islaamic) da’wah has not been conveyed, then it is not said of him that he is a believer and nor a kaafir, and he is not to be dealt with as a Muslim, rather his affair is with Allaah on the Day of Resurrection, and they are those who are unaware since the (Islaamic) da’wah has not been conveyed to them, they shall (instead) be tested on the Day of Resurrection.

As for him to whom the (Islaamic) da’wah has been conveyed and he has (subsequently) not believed and become a Muslim, then he is a kaafir and an enemy of Allaah.

[Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Silsilah Kitaab ad-Da ‘wah (11), al-Fataawa – Volume 4, Page 3]

Published: 16 July 2006

Authenticity of the hadeeth: «Verily Allaah created Aadam upon His appearance»

Question: What is the authenticity of the hadeeth:

«Verily Allaah created Aadam upon His appearance»?

…and may Allaah reward you with good.

Answer: This hadeeth is authentic; So Allaah the Mighty and Majestic created Aadam upon His appearance, with hearing, sight, speech, with a face, hands, eyes and feet. And this does not mean he resembles Him, as Allaah the Mighty and Majestic says:

{There is nothing like unto Him}, Soorah ash-Shooraa, Aayah 11

…and also:

{And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him}, Soorah al-Ikhlaas, Aayah 4.

Just as the scholars of the Sunnah such as Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others have said.

[Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Silsilah Kitaab ad-Da ‘wah (11), al-Fataawa – Volume 4, Page 4]

Published: 25 November 2004

Ruling on studying man-made laws

Question: What is the ruling on studying man-made laws, and teaching them?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

There is no doubt that Allaah has enjoined upon His slaves to rule according to His sharee’ah and to refer to it for judgement, and He has warned against ruling by any other laws and has stated that this is the characteristic of the hypocrites. He has also stated that any rule other than His rule is the rule of Jaahiliyyah (ignorance) and that there is nothing better than His rule. Allaah tells us that people do not truly believe until they refer to His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for judgement in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against his decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. In Soorat al-Maa’idah Allaah tells us that ruling by anything other than that which He has revealed is kufr (disbelief), wrongdoing and evildoing. All these things that we have mentioned here are clearly stated by Allaah in His Book.

With regard to those who study and teach man-made laws, they fall into different categories:

-1-

Those who study it or teach it in order to understand its real nature, or to understand the superiority of sharee’ah to these laws, or to benefit from it in ways that do not go against sharee’ah, or to benefit others in such ways. It seems that there is no sin on the one who does this, indeed he may be rewarded for that if he seeks to expose its faults and demonstrate the superiority of sharee’ah. The ruling on people in this category is the same as the ruling on those who study the rulings on riba and the various kinds of alcohol and gambling, and false beliefs, or who teach about such matters so that he may know them and the Islamic rulings on them, or he may inform others of that, whilst also believing that they are haraam, just as those in this category who study law believe that man-made laws which go against the laws of Allaah are haraam. They do not come under the same ruling as those who learn or teach witchcraft and the like, because witchcraft is haraam in and of itself, as it involves shirk and worship of the jinn instead of Allaah. So the one who learns it or teaches it to others only attains it by means of shirk, unlike the one who studies law or teaches it to others, not because he thinks that it is permissible, but for a permissible or Islamically prescribed purpose, as stated above.

-2-

Those who study law or teach it to others in order to pass judgements thereby or to help others to do so, even though they believe that it is haraam to rule by anything other than that which Allaah has revealed. But their desires or love of money makes them do that. These people are undoubtedly doing wrong and they are committing kufr, wrongdoing and evil, but it is minor kufr, minor wrongdoing and minor evil that does not put them beyond the pale of Islam. This view is well known among the scholars. It is also the view of Ibn ‘Abbaas, Tawoos, ‘Ata’, Mujaahid and a number of the earlier and later generations, as was stated by al-Haafiz ibn Katheer, al-Baghawi, al-Qurtubi and others. The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) also mentioned something similar in his book Kitaab al-Salaah. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Lateef ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan (may Allaah have mercy on him) wrote an excellent essay on this topic which has been published in the third volume of al-Rasaa’il al-Oola.

Those who learn and teach man-made systems of law are likened to those who learn about different kinds of riba, alcohol and gambling and teach them to others for some whims and desires of their own or because of their greed for money, even though they do not regard that as permissible. They know that all dealings involving riba are haraam, just as they know that drinking intoxicants and gambling are haraam, but because they are weak in faith and are overwhelmed by whims and desires or greed for money, their belief that these things are haraam does not stop them from dealing in these forbidden things. According to the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah, they are not regarded as kaafirs because of their dealing in those things, so long as they do not believe that that is permissible.

-3-

Whoever studies or teaches manmade laws and believes that ruling by them is permissible, whether he believes that sharee’ah is superior to them or not, is a kaafir in the sense of major kufr, according to the consensus of the Muslims, because by believing that it is permissible to rule by man-made laws that go against sharee’ah he is regarding as permissible something that no Muslim has any excuse for not knowing that it is haraam. So he comes under the same ruling as one who regards adultery or alcohol etc as permissible, and because by believing these laws to be permissible he is disbelieving in Allaah and His Messenger and rejecting the Qur’aan and Sunnah. The scholars of Islam are unanimously agreed that the one who regards as permissible something that Allaah has forbidden, or regards as forbidden something that Allaah has permitted, which is well known in Islam and no Muslim has any excuse for not knowing it, is a kaafir. Whoever studies the words of the scholars of all four madhhabs on the rulings on apostates will understand what we have said clearly.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 2/325-331]

Does the one who goes to a fortune teller and asks him about something become a kaafir?

Question: How can we reconcile between the two following hadeeths?
1 – “Whoever goes to a fortune teller and asks him about something and believes him, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days.” Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh.
2 – “Whoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.” Narrated by Abu Dawood. The first hadeeth does not point to kufr whereas the second hadeeth does.

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

There is no contradiction between the two hadeeth. What is meant by the hadeeth “ Whoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad” is that the one who asks a soothsayer a question, believing that he tells the truth and that he knows the unseen, has committed an act of kufr, because he has gone against the Qur’aan in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: “None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allaah” [al-Naml 27:65]. As for the second hadeeth, “Whoever goes to a fortune teller and asks him about something and believes him, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days”, which was narrated by Muslim, it does not contain the words “and believes him”.

Thus we learn that if a person goes to a fortune teller and asks him anything, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days, and if he believes him, then he has committed an act of kufr.

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

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azez ibn baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan

[Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta’ (2/48)]

Ruling on praying in a mosque in which there is a grave

Question: Is it correct to pray in mosques in which there are graves?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

Prayers should not be offered in mosques in which there are graves. The graves should be dug up and the remains transferred to the public graveyards, with each set of remains placed in an individual grave as with all other graves. It is not permissible for graves to be left in mosques, whether that is the grave of a wali (“saint”) or of anyone else, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that and warned against that, and he cursed the Jews and Christians for doing that. It was narrated that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, “He was warning against what they had done.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1330, Muslim, 529.

And when Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah told him about a church in which there were images, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a righteous man died among them, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They are the most evil of mankind before Allaah.” (Saheeh, agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, 427; Muslim, 528)

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who came before you took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship – I forbid you to do that.” (Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 532, from Jundab ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bajali).  So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade taking graves as places of worship and he cursed those who do that, stating that they are the most evil of mankind. So we must beware of that.

It is known that everyone who prays at a grave is taking it as a place of worship, and whoever builds a mosque over a grave has taken it as a place of worship. So we must keep graves far away from the mosques and not put graves inside mosques, in obedience to the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and so as to avoid the curse issued by our Lord against those who build places of worship over graves, because when a person prays in a mosque in which there is a grave, the Shaytaan may tempt him to call upon the deceased or to seek his help, or to pray to him or prostrate to him, thus committing major shirk; and because this is the action of the Jews and Christians and we are obliged to differ from them and to keep away from their ways and their evil actions. But if the graves are ancient and a mosque was built over them, then it should be knocked down, because this is an innovated thing, as was stated by the scholars, and so as to avoid the means that may lead to shirk. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al Shaykh Ibn Baaz 10/246]

Prescribed means of warding off sihr (witchcraft) before it happens

Question: What are the prescribed means of warding off sihr before it happens?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

Among the most important means of warding off the danger of sihr before it happens is seeking protection through the adhkaar (dhikr) prescribed in Islam, making du’aa’ and reciting prayers seeking refuge that were narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). These include:

1 – Reciting Aayat al-Kursiy [al-Baqarah 2:255] after every prescribed prayer, after reciting the adhkaar which are prescribed after the salaam.

2 – Reciting Aayat al-Kursiy when going to sleep. This is the greatest aayah in the Qur’aan, in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists). Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursiy extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great”

[al-Baqarah 2:255]

3 – Reciting “Qul huwa Allaahu ahad”, “Qul a’oodhu bi Rabb il-Falaq” and “Qul a’oodhu bi Rabb il-Naas” [i.e., the last three soorahs of the Qur’aan] following every prescribed prayer, and reciting these three soorahs (three times) at the beginning of the day after Fajr prayer, and at the beginning of the night after Maghrib prayer.

4 – Reciting the last two aayahs of Soorat al-Baqarah at the beginning of the night. These are the aayahs in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers’ — and they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).’

Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. ‘Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawlaa (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people”

[al-Baqarah 2:285-285]

And it was narrated in a saheeh report that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites Aayat al-Kursiy at night will have ongoing protection from Allaah and no devil will come near him until morning comes.” And it was also narrated in a saheeh report that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites the last two aayahs of Soorat al-Baqarah at night, that will suffice him.” The meaning – and Allaah knows best – is that that will be sufficient protection for him against all evil.

5 – Seeking refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created, night and day and when stopping to rest anywhere, be it in the city, in the desert, in the air or on the sea. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stops to rest and says, ‘A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah il-taammah min sharri ma khalaq  (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created),’ nothing will harm him until he moves on from that place.”

6 – The Muslim should say at the beginning of the day and the beginning of the night (three times): “Bismillaah alladhi laa yadurr ma’a ismihi shay’un fi’l-ardi wa laa fi’l-samaa’i wa huwa al-samee’ al-‘aleem (In the name of Allaah with Whose name nothing on earth or in heaven can cause harm, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing).” According to saheeh reports, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to recite this, and this is a means of keeping safe from all evil.

These adhkaar and prayers for refuge are among the greatest means of warding off the evil of sihr (witchcraft) and other evils, for the one who recites them regularly with sincerity and faith, putting his trust in Allaah and depending upon Him, and being content with that.

They are also some of the most effective weapons for warding off sihr after it has happened, along with humbly beseeching Allaah constantly and asking Him to remove the harm and relieve the distress. Among the du’aa’s which have been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to treat diseases such as sihr and other things is the ruqyah by means of which he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to treat his companions: “Allaahumma Rabb al-naas, adhhib il-ba’s, washfi anta al-Shaafi laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an laa yughaadir saqaman (O Allaah, Lord of mankind, remove the harm and heal him, for You are the Healer and there is no healing except Your healing, with a healing which does not leave any disease behind).” There is also the ruqyah by means of which Jibreel treated the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Bismillaah urqeeka min kulli shay’in yu’dheeka, wa min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin haasid Allaah yashfeek, bismillaah urqeek (In the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you, from every thing that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allaah heal you, in the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you).” This should be repeated three times. And Allaah knows best.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8]

The evil eye

Question: Can the evil eye afflict a person? How is it treated? Does being on one’s guard against it contradict putting one’s trust in Allaah?

Answer: Our opinion concerning the evil eye is that it is real and is proven both by Islamic teachings and by real life experiences. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes (through hatred)”

[al-Qalam 68:51]

Ibn ‘Abbaas and others said, commenting on this verse: this means, they put the evil eye on you with their glances. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.” Narrated by Muslim. Al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah narrated that ‘Aamir ibn Rabee’ah passed by Sahl ibn Haneef when he was bathing… and he quoted the hadeeth.

Reality confirms that and it cannot be denied.

In the event that you are afflicted by the evil eye, you should use the treatments recommended in sharee’ah, which are:

1 – Reciting ruqyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There is no ruqyah except in the case of the evil eye or fever.” al-Tirmidhi, 2057; Abu Dawood, 3884. Jibreel used to do ruqyah for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and say, “Bismillaahi arqeeka min kulli shay’in yu’dheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin haasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillaahi arqeek (In the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allaah heal you, in the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you).”

2 – Asking the person who has put the evil eye on another to wash, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded ‘Aamir ibn Rabee’ah to do in the hadeeth quoted above. Then the water should be poured over the one who has been afflicted.

With regard to taking his waste, such as his urine and stools, there is no basis for doing so; the same applies to taking any of his belongings. Rather what is narrated is that which is mentioned above, washing his limbs and washing inside his garment, or likewise washing inside his headgear and garments. And Allaah knows best.

There is nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil eye before it happens, and this does not contradict the idea of tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allaah). In fact this is tawakkul, because tawakkul means putting one’s trust in Allaah whilst also implementing the means that have been permitted or enjoined. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to seek refuge for al-Hasan and al-Husayn and say: U’eedhukuma bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammati min kulli shaytaanin wa haammah wa min kulli ‘aynin laammah (I seek refuge for you both in the perfect words of Allaah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every evil eye).’”  Al-Tirmidhi, 2060; Abu Dawood, 4737. And he would say, “Thus Ibraaheem used to seek refuge with Allaah for Ishaaq and Ismaa’eel, peace be upon them both.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3371.

[Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/117, 118]