Should he fast with his own country or with any country that sights the new moon?

Question: What should I do if the moon is sighted in some Muslim countries but the country where I am working completes the month of Sha’baan and Ramadaan as thirty days? What is the cause of the people’s differences in Ramadaan?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

You have to stay with the people of your country. When they fast, then fast with them, and when they break the fast then break the fast with them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The fast is the day when you fast, and the breaking of the fast (al-iftaar) is the day when you break the fast, and the sacrifice (al-adha) is the day when you offer the sacrifice.” And because dissent is evil. So you have to be with the people of your country. So when the Muslims in your country break the fast, then break the fast with them, and when they fast then fast with them.

As for the cause of differences, the reason is that some people see the new moon and some do not see it, then those who have seen the new moon may be trusted by others who follow their sighting, or they may not be trusted, and hence differences arise. One country may sight it and rule accordingly, and fast and break the fast on that basis, whereas another country may not be convinced of this sighting and may not trust the other country, for many reasons, political and otherwise.

What the Muslims must do is fast all together when they see the new moon, and break the fast when they see it, because of the general meaning of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When you see the new moon then fast, and when you see the new moon then break the fast, and if it is too cloudy then complete the number of days as thirty.” If they are all certain of the validity of the moon sighting, and that it is real and proven, then they must fast and break the fast accordingly, but if the people differ and do not trust one another, then you have to fast with the Muslims in your country, and break the fast with them, in accordance with the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):  “The fast is the day when you fast, and the breaking of the fast (al-iftaar) is the day when you break the fast, and the sacrifice (al-adha) is the day when you offer the sacrifice.”

It was proven from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that when Kurayb told him that the people of Syria had started fasting on a Friday, Ibn ‘Abbaas said: We saw it on Saturday, and we will carry on fasting until we see the new moon or we complete thirty days. He did not follow the sighting of the people of Syria because Syria is far away from Madeenah and there may be a difference in moonsighting between the two. He (may Allaah be pleased with him) thought that this was a matter that was subject to ijtihaad. You have a good example to follow in Ibn ‘Abbaas and the scholars who followed him and said that you should fast with the people of your country and break the fast with them. And Allaah is the Source of strength. End quote.

[Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanwwi’ah (15/100-102)]

Was Islaam spread by the sword?

Question: Some enemies of the religion claim that Islam was spread by the sword. What is your response to that?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

Islam was spread by proof and evidence, in the case of those who listened to the message and responded to it. And it was spread by strength and the sword in the case of those who stubbornly resisted, until they had no choice and had to submit to the new reality.

And Allaah is the source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

[Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 12/14]

Establishing the beginning and ending of Ramadhaan by sighting the moon

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to rely upon astronomical calculations in order to establish the beginning and ending of fasting or is it a must that the new moon is seen?

Answer: The Islaamic Sharee’ah is a merciful legislation and is general. Its rulings are appropriate to all of man and jinn upon their differing status whether they be scholars or illiterate, city people or villagers and for this reason Allaah made it easy for them the way to establish the timings of different forms of worship. He made signs showing their beginning and end times all these people can participate in establishing that. He made, for example the disappearing of the sun a sign for the beginning time of the Maghrib prayer and for the ending time of the ‘Asr prayer. He made the setting of the red horizon a sign for the beginning time of the ‘Ishaa. prayer. He made the sighting of the new moon after it had been hidden at the end of the previous month a sign for the beginning of the new lunar month and for the end of the previous month and he did not burden us to establish the beginning of the lunar month by means that only a few people know, that being knowledge of the stars and the science of astronomy. In this manner did the text from the Book (the Qur.aan) and the Sunnah make the sighting of the new moon and it being spotted as a sign for the Muslims to begin fasting the month of Ramadhaan as was the sighting of the new moon of Shawwaal a sign to stop fasting. The situation is also the same when establishing the `Eed of sacrifice and the day of ‘Arafah. Allaah (‘azza wa jal) said:

{So he who from amongst you should witness the month should fast it} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185].

And Allaah (‘azza wa jal) said:

{They ask you about the new moons, say these are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 189].

And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«When you see it (the new moon) then (start to) fast and when you see it (again) break your fast (stop fasting). If your vision was impaired (due to clouds or mist) complete the period of thirty days».

So he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) ordained that fasting start by affirming the sighting of the new moon of Ramadhaan and the end of the month of fasting be by affirmation of the new moon of Shawwaal. He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) did not link any of that to astronomical calculations nor to the movement of stars. Based upon this, the people acted in the time of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and in the time of the righteous Khaleefahs, the four Imaams and the three generations that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) bore witness to, with virtue and goodness. So going back to the science of astronomy to affirm the lunar months in beginning and ending forms of worship without actual sighting is from the innovations that has no good in it and has no basis in the Sharee’ah. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is holding fast to that which the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and the righteous predecessors were upon by affirming the beginning and the end of the month of Ramadhaan, the `Eeds and the times of Hajj and their like with the sighting of the moon. And all good is in following the predecessors in religious matters and all evil is in the innovations that were introduced into the religion. May Allaah protect us and all the Muslims from all trials, open or hidden.

And with Allaah lies all the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (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 Munee’
Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 1, Page 60-61, Fatwa No.27;
Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Fatwa No.386

Published: 5 December 1999

Concerning the Hadeeths ”Whoever Listens to a Female Singer” And ”Music Makes Hypocrisy Grow”

Question: I read in a Hadeeth that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever listens to a female singer, then molten lead will he poured into his ears.” And another Hadeeth: “Music makes hypocrisy grow in the heart just as water makes grass grow. Are these Hadeeths authentic? And what is the ruling regarding someone who hears singing in a car or in a gathering, when he does not have the ability to turn it off?

Answer: Listening to a voice implies that one is listening carefully, concentrating on what he is listening to. So in the case of singing, listening to it implies that one is listening carefully and concentrating on it.

As for hearing, it could be on purpose, the same as listening carefully and concentrating, in which case it is also called listening, and the same judgements apply. On the other hand, hearing could occur without it happening on purpose, without concentrating on the voice, then it is not called listening and the judgements related to listening do not apply.

Accordingly, listening to what the questioner mentioned, different types of singing, is unlawful for anyone who concentrates on it. This is the case, be it a man, a woman, in the home, or not in the home, in the car, or in gatherings, large or small. It is the same, whenever one chooses to do so, and is inclined to participate in what is unlawful according to the Shari’ah.

Allaah Almighty said:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talk (Lahwul-Hadeeth) to mislead men from the path of Allaah without knowledge, and takes it by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment.” [Luqman 31:6]

The singing that the questioner mentioned is part of Lahwul-Hadeeth. It tempts heart, and it leads it to evil, taking it away from good, and causing people to waste their time. So because of this it falls under the general meaning of Lahwul-Hadeeth, it is the same for one singing and the one who listens to singing, all of them fall under the general category of purchasing Lahwul-Hadeeth and misleading others from the path of Allaah. So there is prohibition and a warning of a sever punishment for doing so.

Just as the prohibition of singing and listening to it is proven in the Qur’aan, so too has the Sunnah. The Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

ليكونن من أمتي أقوام يستحلون الحر والحرير والخمر والمعازف ولينزلن أقوام إلى جنب علم يروح عليه بسارحة لهم يأتيهم يعني الفقير لحاجة فيقولوا ارجع إلينا غدا فيبيتهم الله ويضع العلم ويمسخ آخرين قردة وخنازير إلى يوم القيامة

“There will be from my Nation a people who will deem fornication, silk (for men), alcohol, and music to be permissible; and there will be a people who will camp beside a high mountain, when a poor man passes by them and asks for a need, they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ In the morning Allaah will make the mountain fall upon them and the others (who are saved) are transformed into apes and pigs, until the Day of Judgement.” (Al-Bukhari no. 5990)

Music is the use of instruments of Lahw, and part of this is singing and listening to it. So Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) condemned those who seek to legalize fornication, the use of silk for men, drinking alcohol, and such entertainment instruments and listening to them. Here he accompanied music with other major sins. In the end of the Hadeeth he threatened those who do that with a punishment.

This shows that listening to music is unlawful. But a person is not sinning when he accidentally listens to music, such as a person who is walking in the street and hears music being played in stores, or in a car, as long as he does not desire to listen to it. Such a person is not sinning because he has no choice; however, he must advise and warn those who are playing the music, he must do so with wisdom and good exhortation. And should avoid as much as possible going to places where music is played, and Allaah does not place a burden on a soul greater than it can bear.

A group of scholars use authentic proofs and then follow that with narrations that have some weakness in their chains of narration, or from the view of proving the objective. There is nothing wrong in this because they mention these narrations as secondary, narrations to be reflected upon, but they depend entirely on authentic Hadeeth for proof. An example of this regarding singing and listening to it, where scholars first mention the authentic narrations and then mention narrations that are weak. Here are some examples of the weak narrations:

1) Al-Hakim At-Tirmithi related from Abu Musa Al-‘Ashari that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

من استمع إلى صوت غناء لم يؤذن له أن يسمع الروحانيين

(قراء أهل الجنة)

“Whoever listens to the sound of singing will not be permitted to listen to the spirits in Paradise.” (Kanzu ‘Ummal no. 40660, 400666 and Qurtubi no. 14/53-54)

2) Ibn ‘Asakir relates from Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

من استمع قينة صب في أذنيه الآنك يوم القيامة

“Whoever listens to a female singer, molten lead will be poured into his ears on the Day of Judgement.” (Dha’ifu-Jami’ As-Saghir Lil-Albani no. 5410 and Ad-Dha’ifah no. 4549)

3) In Thamm Al-Malahi Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya’ relates from Ibn Mas’ud a saying of the Prophet:

الغناء ينبت النفاق في القلب كما ينبت الماء البقل

“Singing makes hypocrisy to grow in the heart like water makes herbs grow.” (Al-Baihaqi 10/223 and Abu Dawud no. 4927)

4) Al-Bayhaqi related from Jabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

الغناء ينبت النفاق في القلب كما ينبت الماء الزرع

“Singing makes hypocrisy to grow in the heart like water makes plants grow.” (Shua’bul-Iman no. 5100)

All of these Hadeeths are weak, but just because they are weak doesn’t affect the ruling on singing and on listening to singing; both are unlawful because of other authentic proofs from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. And with Allaah is the facilitation to do what is right.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts

Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Pages 188-189, DARUSSALAM

What is Meant by The Salafee Manhaj?

Question: It has become frequent on the tongues of the people that so and so is “Salafee” and so and so is “not Salafee” so what is meant by the Salafee Manhaj, and who are the most predominant callers to it from the ‘Ulamaa of the Muslims? And is it permissible to call them Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah or the Saved Sect? Also wouldn’t this be considered a Tazkiyah (praise) of oneself?”

Answer: The meaning behind the Salafee Manhaj is that which the Salaf (predecessors) of this ummah were upon, from the Sahaabah, the Tabi’een and those esteemed Imaams from correct ‘Aqeedah, sound Manhaj and true Eemaan as well as strictly adhering to Islaam based upon Aqeedah, the legislation, etiquettes and (good) manners. In contrast to that which the Mubtadi’ah, the deviant and astray are upon.

From the most predominant callers to the Salafee Manhaj are the four Imaams (Abu Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shafi’ee and Imaam Ahmad), Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyah, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahaab and his students and other than them from every rectifier and reformist as there is no time period except that there is someone who establishes the [call to the truth] for Allaah.

There is no problem in them calling themselves Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah distinguishing themselves from those who follow deviant Mathaahib and this is not a Tazkiyah (praise) of oneself but indeed it is only a distinction of the people of truth from the people of Baatil.

[Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan, Al Muntaqaa Min Fataawa As Shaykh Saalih Al Fawzaan:1/459]

Waswaas (insinuating whispers) of the Shaytaan

‘Question’: A man is experiencing waswaas (insinuating whispers) from the Shaytaan having to do with Allaah, and he is very afraid of that.

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

The questioner has mentioned this problem and is afraid of its consequences. I say to him, Rejoice, for its consequences cannot be anything but good. By means of this waswaas, the Shaytaan tries to gain control over the believers and shake the sound belief in their hearts, and make them suffer psychological and intellectual anxiety that will affect the purity of their faith and their life, if they are believers.

This is not the first or the last time that the believers are exposed to this. It will continue so long as there is any believer in this world. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) also faced this problem. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said to him, ‘We find in ourselves thoughts that are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Are you really suffering from that?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of faith.’” (Narrated by Muslim).

It was narrated in al-Saheehayn, also from Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The Shaytaan comes to one of you and says, ‘Who created such and such? Who created such and such?’ until he says, ‘Who created your Lord?!’ If that happens to any of you, let him seek refuge with Allaah and put a stop to these thoughts.”

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “I think thoughts to myself, which I would rather  be burnt to a cinder than speak of them.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Praise be to Allaah, Who has reduced all his [the Shaytaan’s] plots to mere whispers.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Kitaab al-Eemaan: “The believer may suffer from the whispers of the Shaytaan insinuating thoughts of kufr, which may make him feel distressed. The Sahaabah said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, some of us think thoughts which we would rather fall from heaven to earth than speak of them.’ He said, ‘That is a clear sign of faith.’ According to one report, ‘… thoughts which are too terrible to speak of.’ He said, ‘Praise be to Allaah, Who has reduced all his [the Shaytaan’s] plots to mere whispers,’ meaning that the fact that these whispers come, but they are so greatly disliked, and they are pushed away from the heart, is a clear sign of faith. This is like the mujaahid to whom the enemy comes, but he resists him until he overwhelms him, and this is a mighty jihaad… Hence the seekers of knowledge and devoted worshippers experience waswaas and doubts which others do not face, because they (the others) are not following the way prescribed by Allaah, rather they are following their own whims and desires and neglecting to remember their Lord. This is what the Shaytaan wants, in contrast to those who are striving to draw closer to their Lord by seeking knowledge and worshipping Him. He is their enemy and seeks to prevent them from drawing closer to Allaah.” (p. 147 of the Indian edition)

I say to this questioner, if you are faced with this waswaas from the Shaytaan, then fight it and resist it. Know that it can never harm you when you fulfil the duty of fighting and resisting it, and you refuse to be controlled by it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Allaah will forgive my ummah for any insinuating whispers that may cross their minds, so long as they do not act upon it or speak of it.” (Agreed upon).

If it is said to you, Do you believe the insinuating whispers you experience? Do you think that they are true? Do you really think that Allaah is like what this waswaas says? You would say, “It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allaah)! This is a great lie” [al-Noor 24:16 – interpretation of the meaning]. You would denounce that in your heart and with your tongue, and be the one who objects to it the most, for it is only whispers and thoughts that cross your mind. It is a trap set by the Shaytaan, who flows through the son of Adam like blood flows, to make you doomed and to confuse you about your religion.

Hence you will find that the Shaytan does not cast doubts or suspicions into your heart about trivial matters. For example, you may hear of the existence of great cities filled with people and buildings in the east and the west, but it would never cross your mind some day to doubt that they exist or to criticize them and say that they are in ruins and unfit for habitation, or that they are uninhabited, and so on. The Shaytaan has nothing to gain by making people doubt about these cities. But he does have a lot to gain by corrupting the believer’s faith, so he strives with his cavalry and his infantry to extinguish the light of knowledge and guidance in his heart and to make him fall into the darkness of doubt and confusion. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us of the appropriate remedy for that, which is to seek refuge with Allaah and put a  stop to it. If a person puts a stop to that and continues to worship Allaah, seeking and hoping for (the reward) which is with Allaah, that will stop by Allaah’s leave. So turn away from all the thoughts of this kind that cross your mind. You are worshipping Allaah, calling upon Him and glorifying Him, and  if you were to hear anyone ascribing to Allaah the things that are whispered to you (waswaas), you would probably kill him if you could. So the things that are whispered to you are neither real nor true, they are merely imagination and whispers which have no basis.

Our advice may be summed up as follows:

1. Seek refuge with Allaah and give up these thoughts completely, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded.

2. Remember Allaah and control yourself and do not continue to think of these whispers.

3. Occupy yourself with worship and doing good deeds, in obedience to the command of Allaah and seeking to please Him. When you devote yourself completely and seriously to worship, you will forget about these whispers, in sha Allaah.

4. Frequently seek refuge with Allaah and make du’aa’ to free you from these whispers.

I ask Allaah to keep you safe and sound, and protect you from all evils,

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Fadeelat al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, vol. 1, p. 57-60

‘There is no compulsion in religion’

Question: Some friends say that whoever does not enter Islam, that is his choice and he should not be forced to become Muslim, quoting as evidence the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind, until they become believers”
[Yoonus 10:99]
“There is no compulsion in religion”
[al-Baqarah 2:256]
What is your opinion concerning that?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

The scholars explained that these two verses, and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah.

Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.

Some of the scholars are of the view that others may also be given the choice between Islam and jizyah, but the most correct view is that no others should be given this choice, rather these three groups are the only ones who may be given the choice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought the kuffaar in the Arabian Peninsula and he only accepted their becoming Muslim. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Tawbah 9:5]

He did not say, “if they pay the jizyah”. The Jews, Christians and Magians are to be asked to enter Islam; if they refuse then they should be asked to pay the jizyah. If they refuse to pay the jizyah then the Muslims must fight them if they are able to do so. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger  (Muhammad), (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”

[al-Tawbah 9:29]

And it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the jizyah from the Magians, but it was not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) accepted the jizyah from anyone except the three groups mentioned above.

The basic principle concerning that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]”

[al-Anfaal 8:39]

“Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Tawbah 9:5]

This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).

These and similar verses abrogate the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/219]