Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Showing off (riya) in worship

Q) Is there any chance of getting blessings from an act ruined by riyaa if one's intentions change to please Allaah after the thought of riyaa has already come? For example, I finish reciting Qu'raan, and the thought of riyaa enters my mind. If I immediately fight this thought with thinking about Allaah, can I still get blessings for my recitation, or is it completely ruined forever because of riyaa, given that the act is over and the riyaa thought came after it was already over?

A)Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

Showing off may affect worship in three ways:

1 – When the basic motive for worship is to be seen by others, such as one who stands and prays so that people will see him, and so that they will praise him for his prayers. This invalidates the act of worship.

2 – When it is a factor that develops during the act of worship, i.e., if the worshipper is initially sincere in his intention towards Allaah, then the idea of showing off develops whilst he is doing it. In this case one of the following two scenarios must apply:

(i) There is no connection between the first part of his act of worship and the last part, so the first part is valid in all cases, and the last part is invalid.

For example: a man has one hundred riyals that he wants to give in charity, so he gives fifty of them in a sincere act of charity. Then the idea of showing off develops with regard to the remaining fifty. So the first was a sound and accepted act of charity, but the last fifty was an invalid act of charity because the sincerity was mixed with a desire to show off.

(ii) The first part of the act of worship is connected to the last part, in which case one of the following two scenarios must apply:

(a) He wards off the idea of showing off and does not give in to it, rather he turns away from it and hates it. This does not have any effect on him, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has forgiven my ummah for what crosses their minds, so long as they do not act upon it or speak of it.”

(b) When he gives in to this idea of showing off and does not ward it off. In this case the entire act of worship becomes invalid, because the first part is connected to the last part. For example, he starts the prayer with a sincere intention towards Allaah, then the idea of showing off develops in the second rak’ah, so the entire prayer becomes invalid because the first part is connected to the last part.

3 – The idea of showing off develop after the act of worship has ended. This does not affect it or invalidate it, because it has been completed soundly, so if showing off occurs after that it does not affect it.

It is not showing off if a person feels happy that the people come to know about his worship, because this developed after he has finished the act of worship.

It is not showing off if a person feels happy because he has done an act of worship, because that is a sign of his faith. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever feels happy because of his good deeds and sad because of his bad deeds, that is the believer.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about that and said: “That is the first glad tidings of the believer.”

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/29, 30.

Islam Q&A

Should she refuse marriage to someone who has a bad past?

Q) I am a moderate muslim, I practise my faith to the best of my ability, which means no drink, smoke, drug, clubbing, freely socialising with the opposite sex... I am a stage my parents want me to get married. But I am finding it difficult to say yes to anyone of the proposals because they have all had some kind of relationship or been clubbing etc in the past.....
Most people say they have changed and so forth, but i tend to think, these actions have ramifications in the future.....

A) Praise be to Allaah.

Islam is all moderation. Adherence to the teachings of Islam, doing the obligatory duties and avoiding the things that are forbidden are not optional for the Muslim, because these are things that Allaah has enjoined upon him. There is so much confusion nowadays that a person who avoids some haraam things and does some obligatory duties is regarded as being over-strict and stubborn. Undoubtedly this is because the people have deviated from correct understanding of Islam and because they indukge so much in sin and neglect the obligatory duties prescribed in sharee’ah.

We appreciate your keenness to adhere to the teachings of Islam in a society such as the one in which you are living. You should note that what you are doing is an action that is beloved by Allaah and by His believing friends, and that it is something which is hated by the devils among mankind and the jinn.

Your keenness to find a righteous husband is in accordance with teachings of Islam on choosing and marrying a spouse, but you should not reject a person who is known for his good character and religious commitment because of his past. If a person has repented, his past should not be a source of shame and he should not be rejected if he comes seeking marriage. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin at all.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as hasan by al-Albaani. But if he has a past record of sin and it is not known whether he had given it up, in such a case you cannot be sure of his morals or religious commitment, so he cannot be accepted as a marriage partner.

It is not enough for a person to tell his fiancée or her guardians that he has changed and has given up the bad and immoral things that he used to do; his word cannot be accepted and believed until there is the certainty that he is telling the truth or that he has definitely given up those bad things.

Strive to choose a righteous man even if he has a past and do not reject him. Reject everyone who is known to have a bad past and has not given it up, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told men: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, or her religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5090; Muslim, 1466).

This applies also to women, i.e., a woman should not accept anyone but a man who is religiously committed and of good character. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If there comes to you to marry (your daughter) one who with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that, there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1084; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 866.

It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi: The phrase “if there comes to you to marry (your daughter)” means if he comes to ask to marry a woman from among your children or relatives. “One with (whom) … you are pleased” means you think well of him, and are pleased with his religious commitment. “His character” means his attitude and how he deals and interacts with others. “Then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that” means, if you do not marry (your daughter) to one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, and you are only concerned with lineage, beauty and wealth, “there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption” i.e., great corruption, because if you will only marry her to someone who is wealthy or of high status, most of your womenfolk may remain without husbands, and most of your men will remain without wives, so there will be a lot of temptation to commit zina, and perhaps the guardians may feel that their honour has been violated (because of zina), so there will be a lot of tribulation and corruption, which will result in illegitimacy and a lack of righteousness and chastity.

Some of the Sahaabah were mushriks, then they entered Islam and became good Muslims, and they got married, and were not rejected because of what they had done in the past.

What matters is what a man is adhering to now, so long as he has repented from whatever he has done in the past.

We ask Allaah to make it easy for you to find a righteous husband and have righteous children.

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds.

Islam Q&A

Ruling on exchanging a large piece of land for another that is smaller but closer to the city?

Q) What is the ruling on exchanging a large piece of land for another that is smaller but closer to the city?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to trade a large piece of land for another that is smaller than it, because land is not one of riba-type of commodities for which it is required that they be equal when trading one for another. So there is nothing wrong with exchanging one piece of land for two others, or a large piece of land for a small one.

The riba-type commodities are mentioned in the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Gold for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, salt for salt, like for like, same for same, hand to hand. But if these commodities differ, then sell as you like, as long as it is hand to hand.” Narrated by Muslim (1587).

To these categories may be added other commodities that may have the same reason to be included in this list.

The reason in the case of gold and silver is because they are measures of price [i.e., they may be used as the price for things; in the past the prices of things were reckoned in gold and silver, or dinars (gold coins) and dirhams (silver coins), so it would be said: This is worth so much in dinars and so much in dirhams]. Hence currencies are connected to gold and silver.

The reason with regard to the other four categories (wheat, barley, dates and salt) is that they are staple foodstuffs, or because they were measured by volume. Rice may be added to them by analogy.

There is a difference of opinion among the fuqaha’ with regard to the reason why a commodity may be regarded as being of a riba type, but land does not come under this heading at all.

It is proven in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (2116) that Ibn ‘Umar sold some land to the north of Madeenah to ‘Uthmaan for some land that was closer to Madeenah.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: This shows that it is permissible to sell land for land.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Ascendants and descendants of the couple acting as witnesses to their marriage

Q) Is it permissible for the woman’s maternal or paternal grandfather to act as a witness to the marriage contract?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

In order for the marriage contract to be valid, according to the majority of scholars it is essential that it be witnessed by two Muslim witnesses of good character. It is acceptable for the witness to be the woman’s grandfather on her mother’s or father’s side, according to the more correct opinion.

Some of the fuqaha’ did not allow the ascendants or descendants of the couple or wali (guardian) to act as witnesses.

It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (5/66): The marriage contract cannot be valid if the witness is biased, such as the sons of the couple or the sons of one of them and the like, such as their fathers, or the son of one of them and the father of the other, because of the risk of bias. End quote.

i.e., he may be suspected of being biased, because he is likely to testify in favour of his father or son.

It says in Sharh al-Muntaha (2/648): The testimony of the wife’s father or grandfather concerning [the marriage contract] is not valid, nor that of her son or grandson. The same applies to the father, grandfather, son and grandson of the husband, because of the risk of bias. The same applies to the father and son of the wali. End quote.

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah (41/300), discussing the conditions of the two witnesses to marriage: The witnesses should not be sons of the couple.

The Hanbalis stated – as al-Mardaawi said: That it is stipulated that neither of the two witnesses to marriage should be a son of one of the partners. So the marriage contract cannot be witnessed by sons of the couple or by the son of one of them.

The same conclusion may be understood from the general views of the Hanafis and Maalikis, that the testimony of a father for his son cannot be accepted, or of a son for his father.

The Shaafa’is have several views, the soundest of which is that the marriage contract is valid (when witnessed by the relatives discussed above). End quote.

One report is narrated from Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) which says that the witness of ascendants and descendants is valid. This view was favoured by a number of his companions. Al-Insaaf (8/105).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The second view concerning this issue is that it is valid for the witnesses or one of them to be one of the ascendants or descendants. This is undoubtedly the correct view, because the testimony of ascendants and descendants is not allowed when it is testimony in favour of a person, because of the risk of bias. But when it is testimony for or against him, as is the case with a marriage contract, it is not disallowed.

The marriage contract in fact is not exclusively about rights for the husband or wife, nor is it exclusively about duties, rather it includes both rights and duties for the one who enters into it. So the correct view is that the contract is valid. This was also narrated from Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) and was favoured by many of our companions. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (12/99),

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Her fiancé does not pray and deals with riba. Should she go ahead with the wedding?

Q) I have become engaged to a young man who is of good character as far as I know, and he told me that he never misses prayers. But after we got engaged I found out that he does miss some prayers and fasts, and that he puts his money in a bank with riba (interest). But he tells me that he chose me to help him get rid of his bad deeds and sins, because he saw that I am religiously committed and I dress properly. Now I am wondering how I can help him with his religious commitment, and whether there will be any sin on me if I marry this person because I know that the one who does not pray is a kaafir. I thought of leaving him but the most hated of permissible things in the sight of Allaah is divorce. Now I have been engaged for a year and I have not been able to change anything in him, and I cannot leave him, and I do not think that I can live with anyone else. His is a good person but I do not know what to do. Please help me, may Allaah reward you with good.

A) Praise be to Allaah.

The one who does not pray at all is a kaafir as you mention, whether he does not pray because he denies that prayer is obligatory or because he is lazy. This is according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. Some of the scholars even said that one who delays an obligatory prayer until its time is over is a kaafir.

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (6/30) concerning the case of a woman who delays the prayers until their time is over and encourages her grown-up and small daughters to do likewise:

“If her situation is as described, then she is an apostate who is corrupting her daughters and the daughters of her husband. She should be asked to repent, and if she repents and reforms, then praise be to Allaah. But if she persists in that, then her case should be referred to the ruler to separate her from her husband, and the hadd punishment should be carried out on her, namely execution, because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” This is if she delays the prayers until their time is over, such as delaying ‘Asr until the sun goes down, or delaying Fajr until the sun rises, because delaying them until the time is over with no legitimate shar’i excuse comes under the same ruling as not praying.”

Based on this, it is not permissible for you to marry this young man no matter how nice his character. What good character can be left after abandoning prayer and dealing in riba?!

So long as he has not repented from that and the signs of righteousness have not appeared in him, then you should reject his proposal of marriage. If the marriage contract has already been done then you should tell him that the contract is not valid because he does not pray and it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a kaafir. But if he repents and prays regularly on time, then you must make a new marriage contract with him, because the first contract was not valid.

Do not be deceived by his words and promises. If he does not keep his word during the engagement period, then do not expect him to keep his word after that.

Your saying that you cannot leave him is a trick of the Shaytaan. Rather you can do that, by putting your trust in Allaah and seeking what is with Him, and because of your fear of falling into that which is haraam. It is not right for a kaafir to be the husband of a Muslim woman under any circumstances.

It seems from your question that the marriage contract has been done, because you say that the most hated of permissible things in the sight of Allaah is divorce, but at the end of your question you mention engagement. If the marriage contract has not yet been done, then we would remind you that the fiancé is a non-mahram for his fiancée and it is not permissible for him to be alone with her or to see any part of her, or for her to speak to him in an alluring voice or to speak to him needlessly. All that is permissible at the time of engagement is for him to see of her that which will encourage him to marry her, without being alone with her.

The best advice we can give you is to fear Allaah in private and in public, and to pray to Allaah to bless you with a good and righteous husband.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

A Christian asking about repentance

Q) If a man decides after a life of sinfulness to come to God and promise to reform his life, I understand that Islam says that he will be forgiven and therefore inherit the promises etc. My questions though is what has happened to the weight of this man's sin, as in sinning he has offended God and therefore this sin has to be atoned for, who is going to atone for his sin, if God is just going to forgive him on the promise of his being good and faithful? Surely as we saw with Adam there has to be a consequence for sin....

A) Praise be to Allaah.

Praise be to Allaah Who has guided us to Islam, for we would not have been guided had He not guided us.

First of all, we thank you for your question, and we ask Allaah to bless you with guidance.

Allaah has created us for a great purpose, which is to worship Him Alone with no partner or associate. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”

[al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

This is the purpose of life: to worship Allaah alone.

So Allaah has not created us to eat and drink… or to relax and play… or to strive and work hard… rather He has created us to worship Him and not to be ungrateful to Him; to remember him and not forget Him.

This is the purpose of life, and what a beautiful purpose it is. When man lives to worship his Lord and Master, to serve His religion and establish His command, with his body on earth and his heart with Allaah and the Hereafter, then he understands the reality of this life and how insignificant this world is, and that what is left of this life should not be wasted in passing pleasures and temporary desires. O Allaah, bless us with Your guidance.

Because worship requires explanation and guidance, Allaah sent His Messengers:

“Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allaah after the (coming of) Messengers”

[al-Nisa’ 4:165]

Whoever submits is guided, and whoever turns away is doomed and lost.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whosoever sees, will do so for (the good of) his ownself, and whosoever blinds himself, will do so to his own harm, and I (Muhammad) am not a watcher over you”

[al-An’aam 6:104]

If a person submits (becomes Muslim), he has chosen happiness for himself:

“And whosoever has embraced Islam (i.e. has become a Muslim by submitting to Allaah), then such have sought the Right Path”

[al-Jinn 72:14 – interpretation of the meaning]

Because man is vulnerable to making mistakes and forgetting, and to falling into sin, Allaah has prescribed repentance for His slaves and has opened the door of repentance until the Hour begins, and He invites His slaves to repent sincerely. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)…”

[al-Tahreem 66:8]

“And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”
[al-Noor 24:31]

See also question no. 14289.

It should be noted that sins are of two types:

1 – Transgressions against the rights of Allaah.

2 – Transgressions against the rights of created beings.

With regard to the first type:

Transgressions against the rights of Allaah – such as adultery, drinking alcohol, neglecting obligatory duties such as prayer, zakaah, etc. These sins are punishable according to sharee’ah, such as adultery and drinking, for which the hadd punishment is to be carried out on the one who does them, and that is an expiation and a purification for him. If the hadd punishment is not carried out on him, but he repents to Allaah, then Allaah will accept his repentance and turn his bad deeds (sayi’aat) into good deeds (hasanaat).

Whoever meets Allaah with these sins, without having repented or had the hadd punishment carried out on him, is subject to the will of Allaah on the Day of Resurrection: if He wills He will punish him and if He wills He will forgive him.

Al-Bukhaari (18) and Muslim (1709) narrated from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allaah be pleased with him) – who was present at the Battle of Badr and was one of the prominent figures on the night of al-‘Aqabah – that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, when there was a group of his companions around him: “Give me your oath of allegiance (bay’ah), pledging that you will not associate anything with Allaah, you will not steal, you will not commit adultery, you will not kill your children, you will not fabricate lies and you will not disobey with regard to anything that is right and proper. If you fulfil that, your reward will be with Allaah, but whoever commits any of these actions, his punishment will be in this world and it will be an expiation for him. Whoever does any of these things then Allaah conceals him, it will be up to Allaah: if He wills He will forgive him and if He wills He will punish him.” So they gave their oath of allegiance to him on that basis.

According to a report narrated by al-Bukhaari (6416): “Whoever does any of these things will be punished in this world and that will be an expiation for him and a purification.”

Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (1/68): It is understood from this hadeeth that carrying out the hadd punishment is an expiation for sin, even if the person who is punished does not repent. This is the view of the majority of scholars…

Ahmad (1365) narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever commits a sin in this world and is punished for it, Allaah is too just to punish His slave a second time. Whoever commits a sin in this world then Allaah conceals that and forgives him, Allaah is too generous to go back to something that He has forgiven.”

This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Arnaa’oot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad, and al-Haafiz classed a similar report from al-Tabaraani as hasan.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.

The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace;

Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Furqaan 25:68-70]

“Verily, Allaah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills, sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, has indeed strayed far away.”

[al-Nisa’ 4:116]

This verse has to do with the one who does not repent. He is subject to the will of Allaah, unless he commits shirk (the sin of associating other with Allaah), because shirk cannot be forgiven.

With regard to the second type of sins:

Transgressions against the rights of people, such as transgressing against their wealth by stealing it or seizing it by force, etc., or transgressing against their honour by means of gossip and slander, or harming them physically by striking them, etc. Repentance from this type of sin is subject to the condition that the rights be restored to the people, or they agree to forgive the offender.

Whoever does not do that will remain subject to the effects of his sin until the Day of Resurrection, when an amount commensurate with his offence will be taken from his good deeds (hasanaat), as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has wronged anyone with regard to his honour or anything else, let him settle the matter today before there is no dinar and no dirham, and if he has any righteous deeds, an amount commensurate with his wrongdoing will be taken from him, and if he has no good deeds (to his credit) some of the bad deeds of his companion will be taken and added to his burden.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2317.

From this we know that the view that the sinner must be punished in this world is a view for which there is no evidence, but if a person is punished (in this world) that will be an expiation for him, and if he is not punished then he repents from his sin, Allaah will accept his repentance.

Even more false than this is the view of those who say that the punishment for sin may be borne by someone other than the sinner, as some ignorant people say concerning Adam (peace be upon him), claiming that his progeny – including the Prophets – bore the burden of his sin until God sent down His only son to be crucified and slain to free the world of sin! This is a lie and a fabrication against Allaah and against His Prophets, and is a kind of injustice of which the divinely-revealed laws are free, because Allaah does not punish anyone for the sins of another. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden”

[Faatir 35:18]

Allaah is too merciful and too just to punish the offspring for the sins of their father, especially since he repented and Allaah accepted his repentance.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then the Shaytaan (Satan) made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: ‘Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.’

Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful”

[al-Baqarah 2:36-37]

“Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray.

Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance”

[Ta-Ha 20:121-122]

So two things apply in the case of Adam: he was punished for his sin, and he repented from it and Allaah accepted his repentance, and He chose him and honoured him.

The point is that whoever lives a life filled with disobedience and sin only has to turn to his Lord, the most Merciful and Most Generous, and seek His forgiveness and repent, in order for Allaah to accept his repentance, as Allaah has promised (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Zumar 39:53]

This is part of the kindness that Allaah has made in this tolerant sharee’ah. It was decreed for the Children of Israel that the innocent among them kill the wrongdoers so that their repentance would be accepted [cf. al-Baqarah 2:54], then Allaah lifted this heavy burden from this nation on whom He has had mercy.

Finally we ask Allaah to bless the questioner and guide him and open his heart to Islam, so that he may become a member of the Muslim ummah (nation) which accepts Allaah as its Lord, Islam as its religion and Muhammad as its Prophet.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Why did the Muslims conquer Andalusia?

Q) A Jewish man understood from one verse of the Quraan, that Islam forbids attacking people in their homes. Why then did the Muslims conquer many lands?
Taariq Ben Ziyad, the Muslim knight, conquered Andalusia, although its people where in their homes. Taariq Ben Ziyad said to his soldiers: “the sea is behind you and the enemy is before you”. Please clarify this.

A) Praise be to Allaah.

Andalusia was one of the greatest periods of Islamic history, indeed it is a beacon in the history of mankind as a whole, because it was a source of knowledge on earth for many centuries, from which Europe learned all its lessons of civilization and civility. Its conquest, beyond a doubt, was one of the greatest incidents of the first Hijri century (92 AH/711 CE). That period was the greatest and most prosperous in the history of Andalusia from the beginning of history and perhaps until the end of time.

Because of the importance of this topic, it is essential to explain a number of important matters that have to do with this great event.


The most important aim for which jihad has been prescribed is to convey the message of Tawheed by eliminating all suppressive powers which come between the people and Tawheed, and calling people to Islam without compulsion or force, rather they should come to it willingly and by choice.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allaah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az‑Zaalimoon (the polytheists, and wrong-doers)”

[al-Baqarah 2:193]

Qataadah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Until there is no more shirk, “and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allaah (Alone)” means, until it is said Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (there is no god but Allaah). It is for this that the Prophet of Allaah fought and it is to this that he called. Tafseer al-Tabari (3/567).


Andalusia, the ancient name for which is Iberia, was under the rule of the Roman Empire. At the dawn of the fifth century CE, in around 410 CE, it was overrun by the Gothic tribes (Visigoths) whose religion was Arianism, during which they established a Gothic state, the capital of which was Toledo.

Hence we can understand that the original peoples of Andalusia – Catholic Canaanites – were, before the Islamic conquest, subject to Gothic rule. The inhabitants formed four classes which were in conflict with one another: the ruling, colonialist class of Goths; the Roman elite, which also included feudal lords and clergymen; the Jews; and a working class composed of indigenous inhabitants of the land.

It was a land under occupation and persecution, which was not under the rule of its indigenous inhabitants. It was not the Muslims who initiated the idea of conquering it, rather they rid the land of an unjust occupation and it turned into a Muslim land whose inhabitants chose to follow Islam and become part of this Islamic state.


In addition to the occupation that the Visigoth tribes imposed on Andalusia, domination, oppression and persecution were prominent features of their period of rule which lasted for approximately three centuries.

Husayn Mu’nis says in his book Fajr al-Andalus (p. 8, 18-19):

But their authority was not well established in the land at first, because of the religious conflicts that occurred between them and the original people, and because of the disputes that occurred among their rulers. Hence throughout the sixth century the land was subjected to civil wars and the chaos and problems that resulted from them, until the time of the last Visigoth ruler, whose name was Roderic (in Arabic, Ludhreeq). What is clear and indisputable is that the man felt that he was not fully in control and all his life he feared an attack from his many enemies. These enemies were not only the sons of Wittiza, whose kingdom Roderic had usurped, rather they included most of the Iberian, Roman and Jewish people, i.e., most of the people of the land which the Goths had invaded. End quote.

Many Spanish historians have tried to defend the Gothic state – out of resentment and rejection of the Islamic presence in that land – but the history books are filled with evidence of what Professor Husayn Mu’nis mentioned of the local people’s rejection of Gothic rule. On p. 10 he quotes Rafael Balasteros, the Spanish historian, as saying “If the Arabs had not interfered in the Peninsula’s affairs in 711 CE and put an end to this age of turmoil, the Goths would have inflicted unimaginable harm on Spain.”


When the Goths’ oppression of that land intensified and its people could not longer put up with it, they sent word to the Muslims, asking them to help them and save them. The Arabic sources are agreed that the ruler of Ceutah, whose name was Julian, sent word to Moosa ibn Nusayr, asking him to enter the land and rid it of the evil of Roderic. Many sources also state that the sons of Wittiza sent word to Moosa ibn Nusayr asking him for help against the one who had usurped their father’s kingdom. Even Western historical sources state that the Jews in Andalusia who were being persecuted by the Goths sought help from those who were across the sea in Africa, or the Muslims, to save them from the oppression of Roderic and his helpers. Although this is denied by some historians, they are all agreed that the Jews, during that period, were subject to persecution that almost destroyed them and would have left no trace of them. See Fajr al-Andalus by Husayn Mu’nis (p. 14).

In the surviving texts there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that the Andalusians welcomed the Muslims as saviours. For example:

The author of the book Akhbaar Majmoo’ah fi Fath al-Andalus (p. 24) says, describing the services that some of the Spaniards offered to Moosa ibn Nusayr:

When he reached the Peninsula, it was said to him: Follow this route. He said: I will not proceed by this route. The non-Muslim guides said to him: We will show you a way that is better than his way, and cities that are of greater importance than his cities, that have not been conquered yet, but Allaah will grant you victory over them if Allaah wills. End quote.

He also says:

Then he travelled to the city of Qarmoonah. He sent ahead to it the non-Muslims who were with him. There was no more strongly fortified city in Andalusia than this, and none that was less likely to be conquered by means of fighting or siege. It was said to him when he drew close to it: It will not be taken except with diplomacy. He sent ahead to it non-Muslims to whom he had granted safety and who he felt could be trusted, such as Julian, and they may have been companions of Julian. They came to them, bearing arms, and they admitted them to their city. When they entered it, he sent the cavalry to them by night, and they opened the gate for them, and attacked the guards, and the Muslims entered Qarmoonah. End quote.

Some of the Christian bishops also helped the Muslims in their conquest, such as Awbaas the bishop of Seville, as it says in the book al-‘Arab lam yaghzu al-Andalus (p. 187).

The author of Tareekh al-Nasaara fi’l-Andalus (p. 45) reports what happened during the life of Saint Theodard, the head bishop of Narbonne, who lived around 266 AH. When the Muslims entered the Languedoc for the first time, the Jews sided with them and opened the gates of the city of Toulouse to them.

The Muslims believe that supporting the oppressed and achieving justice and peace are among the greatest aims of jihad in Islamic sharee’ah. The evidence for that is what happened during the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), namely Hilf al-Fudool (the treaty of al-Fudool), where the tribes agreed to restrain the wrongdoer and support the one who was wronged, even if he was a kaafir.

Shaykh Muhammad Abu Zahrah said in his book al-‘Alaaqaat al-Duwaliyyah fi’l-Islam (83):

Islam looks at the people who are being ruled unjustly and whose freedoms are being restricted with compassion and kindness, and it supports them if they ask for support, and relieves them of the harshness of the tyrants if they ask them for help. End quote.

This is what some of the Jews bore witness to when they realized the great favour that the Muslims did to them by providing them with a life of dignity and freedom, the like of which they had not experienced throughout the history of their presence in Europe.

The Jewish writer Chaim al-Za’faraani says in his book Alf Sanah min Hayaat al-Yahood fi’l-Maghreb (A thousand years of Jewish life in the Maghreb) (p. 13): The Jews of Andalusia in general knew a life of the greatest ease and security, such as they had never known anywhere else. End quote.

Naseem Rajwaan – Editor-in-chief of the Israeli newspaper Israel haYom:

The Jews had suffered for many centuries in misery, as the hardhearted tyrant kings of Spain knew nothing of pity and compassion. When the Muslims entered Spain, they did not only liberate the Jews from persecution, but they also encouraged them to establish a civilization that parallels in its richness and depth the most famous civilizations of all ages. End quote from Ahl al-Kitaab fi’l-Mujatama’ al-Islami (p. 49).


What has been mentioned above may be crowned with certainty when we bear in mind that the conquest of that land took no more than approximately three years (92-95 AH), during which the Muslims reached France, and no more than a few thousand troops took part in this conquest, which shows you definitively that it was not so much a military conquest as an intellectual and ideological conquest in which the inhabitants of Andalusia came to believe in the ‘aqeedah of the Muslims, and they chose – out of love and voluntarily – to submit to this new religion and rid themselves of the tyranny of the church and the feudal system that had been prevalent before the Muslims came. One of the most famous historians of Spain, Ignacio Olagi, wrote a book which became famous in the 70s, which was called The Islamic Revolution in the West, which was summarized and translated into Arabic by the historian Ismaa’eel Ameen, under the title al-‘Arab lam yaghzu al-Andalus, which was published by Riyaadh al-Rayyis li’l-Kutub wa’l-Nashr. In this book, the author sought to demonstrate that conversion to Islam in Andalusia only took place because of the spread of ideas and a conflict between ideas, then the domination of what the author calls the strongest idea, which formed the basis of the Islamic Arab civilizations in three quarters of the known world at that time. Despite the exaggerated criticism in the book of everything that is well known about the history of Andalusia, what concerns us here are a few texts which show that the introduction of Islam to Andalusia was not done by force, rather it was an opening of hearts and an illumination of minds. I hope the reader will put up with the length of the text that is quoted here, because it is one of the most brilliant texts that have been written by the enemies of Islam concerning a matter that those who bear grudges keep stirring up.

It says on pp. 55-66:

“Thus the foreign invasion is reduced to a passing incident in a civil war. Is there any connection at all between this military event, on the one hand, and the fact that the Iberians embraced Islam, then developed an Islamic civilization in Iberia, on the other?

“With regard to the myth of invasion, we have accurate figures. Taariq, along with seven thousand men, arrived to defeat Roderic, and Moosa ibn Nusayr arrived at the head of eighteen thousand men to subjugate the Iberians to his rule. Twenty-five thousand men introduced this huge change to the Latin language, Christianity and monogamy. In one fell swoop the Iberians changed their customs, traditions and religion. After this great achievement, the Muslims hastened without bringing in any reinforcements or consolidating their gains, to invade France.

Despite that, it remains to be explained how this transformation of the people of Iberia, which was fortified geographically and naturally, was completed in such a speedy manner, by small numbers of people to whom many miracles are attributed, especially since the Iberians and the conquerors did not share a common origin.

It is obvious that an army of this type could have been absorbed into these multitudes (of indigenous people) when that army took this risk and penetrated deep into that land, let alone the fact that the Iberians, throughout their long history, had never been a peaceful people when confronted with such events. Was it not possible for them to launch a guerrilla campaign, the type of warfare that they introduced to the world?

What did the Iberians do at this time? After 711 CE, history does not tell us anything about them, even though ten million souls – according to the lowest estimate – did not disappear in one fell swoop during that blessed era when there were no means of mass destruction. It would have taken the conquerors a long time to butcher this number of people by the sword, and the small valleys of Asturias could not have absorbed this number of refugees. It is enough for these valleys that they served as fortresses for the few rebels who later formed the core of the Christian kingdom. Thus ten million Iberians disappeared from the pages of history. If the conquest of Christian land by the “heathens” (i.e., Muslims) started on such a huge scale, then how can we explain that its people converted to Islam, adopting Arabic, Islamic culture? Either all of them were killed or they were enslaved, or they fled to the mountains, or their existence was simply ignored by the historians. How and why did the human communities who were located in the Byzantine regions of Asia, Egypt, North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula embrace a new faith and a new concept of the universe? It may be easy to turn the myth of the Arab conquests, which are impossible in geographical and historical terms, into facts, but we cannot deny that Islamic, Arabic civilization spread in all these regions.

Some researchers may be astonished when they realize from the reports that the number of conquerors was only twenty-five thousand and they destroyed ten million!

In fact the process of embracing the Islamic religion continued and took between two and three centuries to complete. It was a complete conversion, which left only a few islands whose existence is regarded as dubious. How can we explain this leaving of Christianity and this embrace of Islam as being by means of force?

What were its consequences?

Some historians accepted the traditional prepared answer to these questions, and some others were utterly confused.

They were unable to understand the way in which the peoples of Egypt and the Byzantine region submitted to what they call “Bedouin laws”. Kazafi Plan Hall stated in his book al-‘Aalam al-Islami (the Islamic World) that Islam was always a religion of the city, but let us assume nevertheless that they were subjugated forcefully by Bedouin groups. Why did they give up all their civilized ways for these Bedouins?

The Byzantine regions enjoyed an advanced civil life; their cities were prosperous and large. The number of inhabitants in Antioch was 300,000, and among the four hundred Byzantine dioceses, 371 were in Asia. Hence we see the importance of the Islamic victory at the intellectual level.

Do we have to imagine that the city-dwellers were dazzled by the culture of those who were coming in from that vast wilderness? It seems impossible if all that these Bedouin had was the sword.

Religious fanaticism and misunderstanding, resulting from lack of awareness and sometimes deliberate, concealed in the midst of lies and myths an important chapter in the history of thr spread of Islam along the eastern and southern coasts of the Mediterranean. In accordance with a primitive interpretation of history, they interpreted this giant spiritual, social and cultural transformation in the seventh and eighth centuries CE – in the eastern and Mediterranean worlds – as the result of military conquest that imposed language, culture and religion by means of a curved sword.

Force does not explain everything.

In fact the historians confused the spread of brilliant ideas that a certain civilization carries with military abilities that do not lead to anything but the emergence of temporary empires that diminish with the passage of time. They confused intellectual power with material strength.

From the study of similar movements, we may conclude that the spread of Islam was the result of an idea combined with strength; it was not the result of the ability to launch a military attack. Just as Hellenic civilization was dominant in the past, and the West is dominant today, the domination of Islam could only be the result of this interaction between ideas and strength.

Continuing to believe that people could be invaded in their own country by a destructive civilization, and that they gave up their beliefs and changed their customs because a group of courageous horsemen defeated them militarily, does not indicate anything but a childish and foolish concept of how societies function and develop.

The military aspect of these events should be retracted and regarded merely as a minor issue that is no more than an interesting aspect of some individual lives. We should understand this problem from an intellectual and cultural perspective.

There was no military aggression, rather there was a revolutionary crisis, and a call conveyed by the scholars, not by the generals.

Scholars alone can understand the movement of peoples and are able to lead them. Military domination could not have lasted for eight centuries in Andalusia or forever in huge areas of the world. End quote.

Useful historical references include al-Bayaan al-Mugharrib fi Akhbaar al-Andalus wa’l-Maghrib by Ibn ‘Adhaari al-Maraakishi (2-9) and Nafh al-Teeb by al-Muqari (1/229-263) etc.

On our site there are some questions dealing with the topic of jihad. Please see questions no. 21961, 26125, 34647 and 43087.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Ruling on wearing trousers and a suit and tie

Q) What is the ruling on wearing trousers if they are tight and stick to one’s body, or if they are baggy in order to imitate the westerners, what if a person wears a different style from what the westerners wear?
What is the ruling on wearing suit and tie and other clothes usually used by the unbelievers? Is it acceptable because it became of Muslims’ habits and that an average Muslim will not think that they are worn to resemble the unbelievers? What should a Muslim wear nowadays?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

The basic principle with regard to clothes is that they are permissible, except those which Islam has definitely excluded, such as gold and silk for men, except in the case of scabies and the like. Wearing trousers is not something that is unique to the kuffaar, but wearing tight trousers which show the shape of the body, even the ‘awrah, is not permissible. Loose pants are permissible, unless the wearer intends to resemble those of the kuffaar who wear them. The same applies to wearing a suit and tie. These are not garments that are unique to the kuffaar, so they are permissible, unless the wearer intends to imitate them.

To sum up, the basic principle with regard to clothes is that they are permissible, unless there is shar’i evidence to show that they are not allowed, as stated above.

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

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq al-‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta (24/40).

How will the kaafir be brought to account in the Hereafter, when he is not required to adhere to sharee’ah?

Q) How will the kaafir be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection, when he is not required to adhere to sharee’ah?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

This question is based on an incorrect understanding, because the kaafir is subject to the same requirements as the believer, but he is not obliged to follow them in this world. The fact that this is required of him is indicated by the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Except those on the Right (i.e. the pious true believers of Islamic Monotheism).

In Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another,

About Al‑Mujrimoon (polytheists, criminals, disbelievers) (and they will say to them):

‘What has caused you to enter Hell?’

They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the Salaah (prayers)

Nor we used to feed Al‑Miskeen (the poor);

And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allaah hated) with vain talkers.

And we used to belie the Day of Recompense’”

[al-Muddaththir 74:39]

If they would not be punished for not praying and not feeding the poor, etc, the verse would not have mentioned these things. This indicates that they will be punished with regard to minor issues of Islam. As this is proven in the texts, it is also indicated by rational thinking, because if Allaah will punish His believing slave for his shortcomings with regard to the obligations of his religion, how can He not then punish the kaafir?

Moreover, the kaafir will be punished for all the blessings that Allaah bestowed upon him of food, drink and other things. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate (in the past), if they fear Allaah (by keeping away from His forbidden things), and believe and do righteous good deeds, and again fear Allaah and believe, and once again fear Allaah and do good deeds with Ihsaan (perfection). And Allaah loves the good‑doers”

[al-Maa'idah 5:93]

The wording of this verse states that the believers will be spared any blame for what they ate, which implies that the kaafirs will be subjected to blame for what they ate. Similarly Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allaah, which He has produced for His slaves, and At-Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) things] of food?’ Say: ‘They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them)’”

[al-A’raaf 7:32]

The words “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe” in this verse indicate that non-believers have no right to enjoy them in this world – i.e., they have no rights according to sharee’ah, but according to real life as Allaah has decreed it to be, Allaah has created these blessings and the kaafirs are benefitting from them, and this is something that no one can deny. This indicates that the kaafir will be brought to account for what he ate of permissible things and what he wore. What is implied by the text is also implied by reason, otherwise how could this kaafir who disobeys Allaah and does not believe in Him deserve to enjoy that which Allaah has created and has bestowed upon His slaves? If this is clear to you then the kaafir will also be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection for his deeds, but the reckoning of the kaafir on the Day of Resurrection will not be like the reckoning of the believer, because the believer’s reckoning will be easy; his Lord will address him in secret and will tell him of his sins until he confesses, then He will say to him, “I concealed them for you in the world and I forgive you for them this Day.” But for the kaafir – we seek refuge with Allaah – his reckoning will involve his being told of his sins and being disgraced in front of the witnesses:

“and the witnesses will say, ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord!’ No doubt! the Curse of Allaah is on the Zaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, oppressors)”

[Hood 11:18 – interpretation of the meaning]

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/38.

Ruling on a woman saying zihaar to her husband; and does she have to offer expiation for that?

Q) My husband always makes fun of me and mocks me, and I have put up with a lot and been patient. But one day he insulted me in all kinds of ways and made me cry and get angry. So I said to him, “You are to me like my brother, you are to me like my brother’s back.”
Is this considered to be zihaar [a jaahili form of divorce in which the husband says to his wife, “You are to me like my mother’s back”]? What is the kafaarah (expiation) that I have to offer?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible for a Muslim to make fun of his brother. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: ‘O sinner’, or ‘O wicked’]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zaalimoon (wrongdoers).”

[al-Hujuraat 49:11]

The husband is obliged to treat his wife kindly. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and live with them honourably”

[al-Nisa’ 4:19]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895.

Our advice to you is to continue to be patient and put up with your husband’s mistreatment, and pray for him to be guided, and keep reminding him of his duties.

With regard to your telling him, “You are haraam to me like my brother” etc., this is not zihaar, rather it is a yameen mukaffarah (an expiable oath). Zihaar is done by a man to his wife, not vice versa. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihaar (i.e., by saying to them ‘You are like my mother’s back’)…”

[al-Mujaadilah 58:2]

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked:

My wife always says to me, “You are my husband, you are my brother, you are my father, you are everything to me in this world.” Do these words make me haraam to him or not?

He replied:

These words do not make her haraam for you, because what she means by saying “You are my father and brother” etc is that you are like her father and brother in love and care. She does not intend to make you a mahram like her father and brother.

Even if we were to assume that she does mean that, you are not haraam for her, because zihaar cannot be given by women to their husbands, rather it is something given by men to their wives. Hence if a woman tries to give her husband zihaar by saying to him, “You are to me like my father’s back” or “my brother’s back” etc, this is not zihaar, but it comes under the ruling of oaths, in the sense that it is not permissible for her to allow him to be intimate with her unless she offers kafaarat al-yameen (expiation for breaking a vow). If she wishes, she can offer the expiation before she allows him to be intimate with her, or if she wishes she may do that afterwards.

Kafaarat yameen (the expiation for breaking a vow) is to feed or clothe ten poor persons, or to free a slave. If the person cannot do any of these things, then he or she must fast for three days.

Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 2/803.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

She vowed to fast seven consecutive days if she passed her exams

Q) During my exams I vowed to fast 7 consecutive days if I pass. Allah blessed me and I passed the exams and started to fulfil my vow. I could not fast consecutive days so I fasted seven separate days. Is what I did correct or should I repeat fasting them consecutively? What should I do if I cannot fast continuous days?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

If a person vows to fast for seven consecutive days, he must fulfil the vow and fast these days consecutively, and it is not permissible for him to fast them separately, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever vows to obey Allaah, let him obey Him.” This was a vow to obey or worship Allaah. What the questioner says about having started to fast these days but she was unable to fast them consecutively, means that she failed to fulfil her vow. If she was prevented from fasting them consecutively by some excuse, as she said, then she has the choice between two things: either to start over and fast the days consecutively, or to complete the remaining days, but she will have to offer expiation for breaking an oath (kafaarat yameen). The expiation for breaking an oath is well known; it is freeing a slave, or feeding ten poor persons, giving each poor person half a saa’ of the local staple food, or clothing ten poor persons, giving each one clothing that will cover him when praying. She may choose one of these three things. If she cannot do any of them, then she must fast for three days.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (1/89).

Was ‘Eesa (Jesus – peace be upon him) a Jew?

Q) Do muslims believe jesus was a jew? in the bible is says jesus was a jew.

A) Praise be to Allaah.

‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary – peace be upon him) was one of the noble Prophets of Allaah, and one of the Messengers of strong will, whom Allaah sent to the Children of Israel, and taught him the Torah and Gospel, and stated that he had come to confirm what was in the Torah, i.e., to reaffirm what was said in it, except that he abrogated some of its rulings, and permitted to his followers some of what was forbidden in it.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And He (Allaah) will teach him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom), (and) the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).

49. And will make him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allaah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allaah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.

50. ‘And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawraat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allaah and obey me’”

[Aal –‘Imraan 3:48-50]

“And in their footsteps, We sent ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), confirming the Tawraat (Torah) that had come before him, and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Tawraat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”

[al-Maa'idah 5:46]

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer (2/44):

Tawraat and Injeel: The Tawraat is the Book that Allaah revealed to Moosa ibn ‘Imraan, and the Injeel is the Book that Allaah revealed to ‘Eesa (peace be upon them both). ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) followed them both. End quote.

He also (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“confirming the Tawraat (Torah) that had come before him” means, following it, not going against what was in it, except in a few matters where he explained to the Children of Israel that concerning which they differed, as Allaah tells us that the Messiah (peace be upon him) said to the Children of Israel: “and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you”. Hence the sounder view among the scholars is that the Injeel abrogated some of the rulings of the Tawraat. End quote.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer (3/126)

Hence it is known that ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) believed in the Torah which was revealed to Moosa (peace be upon him) and followed it; he did not go against it except in a few matters.

The religion of Moosa, ‘Eesa and all the Prophets was, generally speaking, Islam, which means believing in the Oneness of Allaah (Tawheed) and worshipping Him alone with no partner or associate, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:19]

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

And He tells us that Nooh (peace be upon him) said (interpretation of the meaning):

“and I have been commanded to be of the Muslims (i.e. those who submit to Allaah’s Will)”

[Yoonus 10:72]

And He tells us of Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):

“Ibraaheem (Abraham) was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Haneefa (Islamic Monotheism — to worship none but Allaah Alone) and he was not of Al‑Mushrikoon”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:67]

And He tells us that Moosa (peace be upon him) said (interpretation of the meaning):

“ ‘O my people! If you have believed in Allaah, then put your trust in Him if you are Muslims (those who submit to Allaah’s Will)’”

[Yoonus 10:84]

And He tells us that Yoosuf (peace be upon him) said (interpretation of the meaning):

“ ‘Cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous’”

[Yoosuf 12:101]

So it cannot be said of Moosa that his religion was Judaism, rather his religion was Islam, and his followers were called Jews (al-Yahood) because they said Hidna ilayka i.e., we have repented and come back; or because they are called after Yehoodhah (Judah) the oldest of the sons of Ya’qoob (Jacob – peace be upon him). Similarly, the religion of ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) was Islam, not Christianity. The Christians (al-Nasaarah) are his followers who supported him (nasaruhu).

But he (peace be upon him) was a follower of the Tawraat (Torah), who followed and affirmed it, because he was one of the Children of Israel, to whom Moosa (peace be upon him) had been sent, then Allaah revealed to him the Injeel (Gospel) in which was a confirmation of what was in the Torah, as stated above.

What we have mentioned means that the religion brought by ‘Eesa was Islam, if what the questioner meant was to find out and ask about his religion.

But if he was asking about the lineage of the Messiah (peace be upon him) and the people among whom he was born and to whom he was sent, then the Prophet of Allaah ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) was indisputably one of the Children of Israel, the Children of Israel who subsequently became known as the Jews, as we have indicated above.

What the scholars state here is that he is to be attributed to his lineage and people, so it may be said that he was one of the Children of Israel. As for the word “Jew”, it is used to refer to a specific religion, so it should be avoided when referring to ‘Eesa (peace be upon him), even though we know that his people were the Children of Israel who used to follow the law of the Torah before him, and he came to confirm what was in it except for a few rulings which he changed.

Ibn al-Atheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

‘Imraan ibn Mathaan [i.e, the grandfather of ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) and the father of Maryam] was one of the descendants of Sulaymaan ibn Dawood (Solomon son of David). The family of Mathaan were the leaders and priests of the Children of Israel. End quote.

Al-Kaamil fi’l-Tareekh (1/251).

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

There is no dispute that she [Maryam – peace be upon her] was one of the descendents of Dawood (peace be upon him). Her father was ‘Imraan the prayer leader of the Children of Israel of that time. End quote.

Al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah (2/52).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

There is no doubt that the people of Moosa were the Children of Israel, and the Torah was revealed in their language. The Children of Israel were also the people of the Messiah (peace be upon him). The Messiah spoke their language. Neither of these two Messengers addressed anyone in any language other than Hebrew; neither of them spoke Latin, Syriac, Greek or Coptic. End quote.

Al-Jawaab al-Saheeh li man baddala Deen al-Maseeh (2/94).

He also said:

It is known from the consensus of the Christians that the Messiah did not speak anything other than Hebrew, like the other Prophets of the Children of Israel, and that he was circumcised on the seventh day like all the Children of Israel; he prayed facing their “qiblah” or direction of prayer, and he did not pray towards the east or enjoin praying towards the east. End quote.

Op. cit. (3/32).

For more information please see the answer to question no. 10277.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A