Thursday, August 21, 2008

What should he start with when clipping his nails?

Q) What side of the body should one start when clipping the nails?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

Clipping the nails is one of the Sunan al-Fitrah, as is indicated by the saheeh ahaadeeth, and it is mustahabb to start on the right, because it is proven in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (163) that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to like to start on the right when putting on shoes, combing his hair, purifying himself and in all his affairs.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (1/339): There is scholarly consensus that clipping the nails is Sunnah, and that applies equally to men and women, and to the hands and feet. It is mustahabb to start with the right hand, then the left, then the right foot then the left. End quote.

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim (3/149): It is mustahabb to start with the hands before the feet, and to start with the forefinger of the right hand, then the middle finger, then the ring finger, then the pinkie finger, then the thumbs, then to move to the left hand and start with the pinkie finger then the ring finger, until all the fingers are done, then to move to the right foot and start with the smallest toe on the right foot and end with the smallest toe on the left foot. And Allaah knows best. End quote.

The Hanbalis mentioned a different sequence of fingers when clipping the nails, but no saheeh report has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning this matter.

Al-‘Iraaqi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Tarh al-Tathreeb (2/77): There is no proven hadeeth which may be followed with regard to how to clip the nails. End quote.

Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (10/345):

There is no proven hadeeth about the order of fingers when cutting the nails. … Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid rejected the order mentioned by al-Ghazaali and those who followed him, and he said: There is no basis for any of that, and to suggest that it is mustahabb when there is no evidence for that is abhorrent in my view. If anyone were to suggest that it is mustahabb to start with the right forefinger because of its honourable status, there is no basis for the rest of this sequence. Yes there is a basis for starting with the right hand and the right foot, which is “he liked to start on the right.” End quote.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

She is upset by her husband’s many guests who come all the time

Q) My husband likes to invite people all the time in our house. this causes me a great deal of inconvenience and upsets me as it takes out of our private time as a couple. to what extent we are obliged to our guests? and what is our rights and responsibilities towrads our guests in islam?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

It was narrated that Abu Shurayh al-‘Adawi said: I heard with my own two ears and I saw with my own two eyes when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) spoke and said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him honour his neighbour; whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him honour his guest as he is entitled.” It was said, ‘What is his entitlement, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “[The best treatment] for one day and one night; and hospitality is for three days, and anything after that is charity bestowed upon him. And whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him, speak good words or else remain silent.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5560; Muslim, 69. This version was narrated by al-Bukhaari.

The guest has rights, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. There should be no doubt about this matter. If guests come without being invited, they should be honoured, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said.

Yes, if they are bad friends or are those who have nothing better to do and impose themselves on others all the time, then they should be treated in a manner that befits them, because they annoy the people with their actions.

But if it is your husband who is inviting a lot of people to your house, then in this case you should speak to him in a gentle manner, and come to an agreement about how to invite people, so that he will not invite anyone without speaking to you first, and you can agree to reduce the number of invitations in a suitable manner.

You – may Allaah bless you – should not express displeasure to your husband when the guests are there, because this is something that will make matters worse and will not solve the problem. You have to be patient, because patience is the key to finding a way out.

Strive to create a calm atmosphere in your house, with good words and kind treatment. Some husband may resort to inviting a lot of friends over in an effort to relax, because their wives may not be good at creating an atmosphere that suits their husbands, so that makes them look for this atmosphere with their friends. So try to understand your husband’s nature so that you can create a suitable atmosphere that will make him happy and relaxed, which is what is he is looking for with his friends.

We ask Allaah to set things straight between you, and to help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

Islam Q&A

Which is better, to join the imam whilst he is prostrating or to wait until he gets up?

Q) Is it permissible for the worshipper who missed a rak’ah and found the imam prostrating to say takbeer and then prostrate, or should he wait until the imam gets up?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

If a person comes and finds the imam in a particular posture he should join the imam in whatever posture he is in. So if he comes and finds him prostrating, he should say takbeer and then prostrate, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whatever you catch up with, pray, and whatever you missed, make it up.” And because the prostration that he does may be a cause of forgiveness of his sins, so he should not miss out on that. Hence he should prostrate and then stand up with his imam, but that is not counted as a rak’ah for him, because the rak’ah can only be caught up with if one catches up with the bowing (rukoo’). End quote.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him).

Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh (1/408).

Employing non-Muslim workers and allowing them to eat in front of Muslims at the time of fasting

Q) There is a company owner who has non-Muslim workers. Is it permissible for him to stop them from eating and drinking in front of Muslims working in the same company during the day in Ramadaan?

A) Praise be to Allaah.


A person should not employ non-Muslims when he is able to employ Muslims, because the Muslims are better than non-Muslims. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember”

[al-Baqarah 2:221]

But if it is necessary to employ non-Muslim workers, then there is nothing wrong with doing that, but only as far as it is necessary.


With regard to their eating and drinking during the day in Ramadaan in front of Muslims who are fasting, there is nothing wrong with that, because the Muslim who is fasting will praise Allaah for having guided him to Islam, which leads to happiness in this world and the hereafter, and he will praise Allaah for protecting him. For even though he is deprived of food and drink in this world according to sharee’ah during the day in Ramadaan, he will have the reward of that on the Day of Resurrection, when it will be said to him (interpretation of the meaning):

“Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!”

[al-Haaqqah 69:24]

But non-Muslims should be stopped from eating and drinking openly in public areas because that goes against the Islamic identity of the country.

End quote, from the words of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 8/79.

She repented from a haram relationship in which she lost her virginity. Should she marry who fornicated with her?

Q) I am in a relationship with a man who took my virginity. I repented from such evil deeds and ask Allah to accept my repentance. This man proposed to me, but he is not religious, he smokes cigarettes and hashish and drinks alcohol. What should I do, he knows my matter. Or shall I leave him and have a hymen repair operation done and marry a religious man? I was pregnant and I aborted the baby. Allah knows how sincere my repentance is.

A) Praise be to Allaah.


Zina (fornication or adultery) is a major sin. Allaah has forbidden doing the things that lead to it and has prescribed the hadd punishment for the one who does it, and He has warned adulterers of punishment in the Hereafter.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin), and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah forgives him”

[al-Isra’ 17:32].

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

“And come not near” O people

“to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin)”. Zina (translated here as “unlawful sex”) is a great sin.

“and an evil way” i.e., the way of zina is an evil way, because it is the way of the people who disobey Allaah and go against His command; what a bad way is the way that leads a person to the fire of Hell.

Tafseer al-Tabari (17/438).

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

The prohibition on approaching it is more eloquent than a simple prohibition on doing it, because that includes the prohibition on all the things that lead to it and promote it, because “the one who grazes his flock around a protected areas will soon transgress upon it,” especially in a matter of this nature when the motive is very strong. Allaah describes zina as abhorrent, as He says “it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin)”, i.e., it is a sin which is abhorrent according to sharee’ah, reason and common sense, because it is a transgression against Allaah, and against the woman and her family or husband, and it leads to immorality, confusion of lineages and other evil consequences.

“and an evil way” means: what an evil way is the way of the one who dares to commit this grave sin.

Tafseer al-Sa’di (p. 457).

See also the answers to questions no. 76060, 20983 and 95754.


With regard to the abortion, if the soul had been breathed into the foetus, then this is another crime in addition to the crime of zina. If the soul had not yet been breathed into the foetus then it is less serious.

For a detailed discussion on that, please see the answers to questions no. 11195, 13319, 13331 and 90054.


We praise Allaah for having enabled you to repent, and we hope that it is sincere repentance. The conditions of sincere repentance include: regretting the sins that you have committed, and immediately giving up that immoral action, and everything that leads to it such as contact, correspondence and dates. The conditions of repentance also include resolving not to return to this deed.

You also have to do a lot of righteous deeds, such as prayer, reading Qur’aan and fasting, so as to strengthen your faith and piety. Good deeds erase bad deeds and sincere repentance erases that which came before it, and turns bad deeds into good deeds. Allaah says – after mentioning the sins of shirk (associating others with Allaah), murder and zina – (interpretation of the meaning):

“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 25:70].


With regard to marrying that criminal, you should understand that in order for the marriage of a man and woman who had committed zina to be valid, it is essential that they repent sincerely. It seems to us from your questions that he has not repented from what he did, rather he had added to the first calamity the other bad things that he is doing, such as smoking hasheesh and drinking intoxicants. What we think is that one who is like this also does not pray. If this is indeed the case, then it is definitely not permissible to accept him as a husband, because not praying is kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, and it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a kaafir.

For a more detailed discussion on the issue of marrying a zaani (one who commits fornication or adultery), please see the answers to questions no. 85335, 87894 and 96460.


With regard to having an operation to repair the hymen, this is haraam, because it is deceiving the one who marries you.

For a detailed discussion of this matter, please see the answer to question no. 844.

With regard to telling your future husband that you lost your virginity in this haraam relationship, that is not permissible, because it is exposing your faults, and the Muslim is required to conceal his faults. You can use double entendres in your speech. It is well known that the hymen may be broken by means of something other than intercourse in some cases, so you can make the most of that by using a double entendre.

See the answer to question no. 42992.

But if it is possible to encourage this person to repent sincerely and pray regularly, and he shows sincerity and signs of repenting and praying regularly, then there is nothing wrong with accepting him as a husband. Undoubtedly this solution would be easier for you, and more concealing for you, but how could one believe a person like that?!

We ask Allaah to accept your repentance and set your affairs straight, and to conceal our faults and yours in this world and in the Hereafter.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Imitation (taqleed), following the evidence (daleel) – and was Ibn Hazm a Hanbali?

Q) How can a person not make taqleed and still at the same time follow the teachings of one of the imams hanafi, maaliki, shaafi and ahmad bin hanbal(may allah(s.w) have mercy on them all). i am asking this because after reading a summary of the biography of bin baaz( may allah(s.w) have mercy on him)that he followed the school of ahmad bin hanbal(may allah(s.w) have mercy on him) but didnt do taqleed. please explain this to me because im confused .

A) Praise be to Allaah.


The followers of the madhhabs are not all the same. Some of them are mujtahids within their madhhab, and some are followers (muqallids) who do not go against their madhhabs in any regard.

Al-Buwayti, al-Muzani, al-Nawawi and Ibn Hajr were followers of Imam al-Shaafa’i, but they were also mujtahids in their own right and differed with their imam when they had evidence. Similarly Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr was a Maaliki but he differed with Maalik if the correct view was held by someone else. The same may be said of the Hanafi imams such as Abu Yoosuf and Muhammad al-Shaybaani, and the Hanbali imams such as Ibn Qudaamah, Ibn Muflih and others.

The fact that a student studied with a madhhab does not mean that he cannot go beyond it if he finds sound evidence elsewhere; the only one who stubbornly clings to a particular madhhab (regardless of the evidence) is one who lacking in religious commitment and intellect, or he is doing that because of partisan attachment to his madhhab.

The advice of the leading imams is that students should acquire knowledge from where they acquired it, and they should ignore the words of their imams if they go against the hadeeth of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Abu Haneefah said: “This is my opinion, but if there comes someone whose opinion is better than mine, then accept that.” Maalik said: “I am only human, I may be right or I may be wrong, so measure my words by the Qur’aan and Sunnah.” Al-Shaafa’i said: “If the hadeeth is saheeh, then ignore my words. If you see well established evidence, then this is my view.” Imam Ahmad said: “Do not follow me blindly, and do not follow Maalik or al-Shaafa’i or al-Thawri blindly. Learn as we have learned.” And he said, “Do not follow men blindly with regard to your religion, for they can never be safe from error.”

No one has the right to follow an imam blindly and never accept anything but his worlds. Rather what he must do is accept that which is in accordance with the truth, whether it is from his imam or anyone else.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

No one has to blindly follow any particular man in all that he enjoins or forbids or recommends, apart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Muslims should always refer their questions to the Muslim scholars, following this one sometimes and that one sometimes. If the follower decides to follow the view of an imam with regard to a particular matter which he thinks is better for his religious commitment or is more correct etc, that is permissible according to the majority of Muslim scholars, and neither Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i or Ahmad said that this was forbidden.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 23/382.

Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Rather what the believer must do, if the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have reached him and he understands them with regard to any matter, is to act in accordance with them, no matter who he may be disagreeing with. This is what our Lord and our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have enjoined upon us, and all the scholars are unanimously agreed on that, apart from the ignorant blind followers and the hard-hearted. Such people are not scholars.

Tayseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed, p. 546

Based on this, there is nothing wrong with a Muslim being a follower of a certain madhhab, but if it becomes clear to him that the truth (concerning a given matter) is different from the view of his madhhab, then he must follow the truth.

With regard to Ibn Hazm, he was an imam and a mujtahid, and he regarded blind following as haraam. He was not a follower of any of the imams, neither Imam Ahmad nor any other imam. Rather he was the imam of ahl al-zaahir (the Zaahiris or literalists) during his own time and until now. Perhaps the view that he was a follower of Imam Ahmad (if this report is true) has to do with matters of aqeedah and Tawheed, even though he held different opinions and reckless views with regard to issues pertaining to the divine names and attributes.

See his biography in Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’, 18/184-212

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

The reason why it is forbidden to have intercourse with one's wife when she is menstruating or bleeding following childbirth

Q) What is the wisdom behind the prohibition on having intercourse with one's wife when she is menstruating or bleeding following childbirth? If the reason for the prohibition is the blood because it is impure, then is it permissible to have intercourse using a barrier like a condom?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah has forbidden men to have intercourse with their wives in the vagina at the time of menstruation.

The Qur’aan clearly stated the reason for this prohibition, which is that menstruation is adha (a harmful thing). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore, keep away from women during menses”
[al-Baqarah 2:222]

Scientific studies in this field have disclosed to us some of the harm that is referred to in this verse, but they have not managed to describe all the harms that are referred to in the Qur’aanic text.

Dr. Muhiy al-Deen al-‘Alabi said: “It is essential to refrain from having intercourse with a menstruating women because doing so leads to an increase in the flow of menstrual blood, because the veins of the uterus are congested and prone to rupture, and get damaged easily; and the wall of the vagina is also susceptible to injury, so the likelihood of inflammation is increased, which leads to inflammation in the uterus and in the man’s penis, because of the irritation that occurs during intercourse. Having intercourse with a menstruating woman may also be off-putting to both the man and his wife, because of the presence and smell of blood, which may make the man impotent (i.e., uninterested in sex).

Dr. Muhammad al-Baar said, speaking of the harm that may be caused to the menstruating woman: The lining of the uterus is shed during menstruation, and the uterus is scarred as a result, just like when the skin is flayed. So it is vulnerable to bacteria and the introduction of the bacteria that are to be found at the tip of the penis poses a great danger to the uterus.

Hence the penetration of the penis into the vagina at the time of menstruation is no more than the introduction of germs at a time when the body is unable to fight them.

Dr. al-Baar thinks that the harm is not limited to what he describes of the introduction of germs into the uterus and vagina which is difficult to treat, rather it also extends to other things, namely:

1. The spread of infection to the fallopian tubes, which may then become blocked, which in turn may lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy, which is the most dangerous kind of pregnancy.

2. The spread of infection to the urethra, bladder and kidneys; diseases of the urinary tract are usually serious and chronic.

3. Increase of germs in the menstrual blood, especially gonorrhea germs.

The menstruating woman is also in a physical and psychological state that is not conducive to intercourse, so if it takes place it will harm her a great deal and cause her pains during her period, as Dr. al-Baar said:

1. Menstruation is accompanied by pains, the severity of which varies from one woman to another. Most women experience pains in the back and lower abdomen. For some women the pain is unbearable and has to be treated with medication and painkillers.

2. Many woman suffer depression and stress during their period, especially at the beginning, and their mental and intellectual state is at the lowest level during menstruation.

3. Some women suffer migraines just before their period starts, and the pain is severe and causes visual disturbances and vomiting.

4. Women’s sexual desire decreases, and many woman have no interest at all in sex during their periods. The entire reproductive system is in a state that is akin to sickness, so intercourse at this time is not natural and serves no purpose, rather it can cause a great deal of harm.

5. A woman’s temperature drops during menstruation, as does her pulse and blood pressure, which makes her feel dizzy, exhausted and lethargic.

Dr. al-Baar also mentions that the harm is not only caused to the woman by having intercourse with her, rather the man is also affected by this action, which may cause infection in his reproductive system which may lead to sterility as a result. The severe pains suffered as a result of this infection may be even worse than the sterility it causes.

And there are many other harmful effects, some of which have not yet been discovered, but Allaah has referred to them when He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath)”

[al-Baqarah 2:222]

Allaah has described it as adha, a harmful thing both for the wife and for the husband, and other harmful effects about which Allaah knows best.

Thus it becomes clear that the prohibition on intercourse at the time of menstruation is not just because of the blood, rather it is for many reasons as stated above.

The Muslim must also obey the command of Allaah, for He is the Creator and He knows best what is good for His slaves and what is harmful to them. He is the One Who says “keep away from women during menses”, so even if the reason behind this is not clear, we must still submit to the command of Allaah Who has commanded that a man should not have intercourse with his wife during this time.

See al-Hayd wa’l-Nifaas wa’l-Haml bayna al-Fiqh wa’l-Tibb by Dr. ‘Umar al-Ashqar.

Tawdeeh al-Ahkaam by al-Bassaam, 1/362.

However it is permissible for a man to be intimate with his wife, without having intercourse (at the time of menstruation).

See also questions no. 36740, 36722 and 36864.

Islam Q&A

The one who engaged in foreplay with his wife until he ejaculated has to make up the fast but he does not have to offer expiation

Q) I have a very urgent question pertaining to fasting in Ramadhan. I have read most of the general fatawa with respect to atonement for breaking the fast on purpose, etc. However my circumstance is unique and I need advice. This is very uncomfortable but here goes. During Ramadhan I was very sick and the doctor told me to break my fast and take medication which I did. The doctor instructed me to do so for 5 days and my wife insisted that I follow his instructions may Allah reward her. Anyhow during Ramadhan we engaged in some foreplay, which we have done before on a regular basis even during voluntary fasts that we try to do on a regular basis. It has never been a problem and I know my limits as does my wife. On the fourth day of illness I decided to fast but did not tell my wife as she would have argued that the doctor advised to finish the drugs in full. I was confident that Allah had returned my health and wanted to fast. So I did. That morning we engaged in foreplay and my wife did not stop either when I told her to. Unfortunately, she thought this was a game as we have played it before and continued. Then as I pushed her away the excitement overcame me and I ejaculated. As you can imagine I was shocked. As was my wife when I revealed I was fasting. So do I need to fast 60 days in a row? Or make up one day? Or does this fall under the Hadith of accidentally breaking ones fast as Allah is my witness that was not my intention? Please advise as soon as possible as we are going to hajj inshallah and want to remove this sin/burden from us. What should I do?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

You did well to break your fast when you were very sick, and you also did well to fast when you thought that you were able to, although it would have been better to consult the doctor. So long as you fasted that day and were not harmed by fasting, then you have to make up that day.

There is no reason why a man should not engage in foreplay with his wife when fasting, if he is confident that he will not spoil his fast or hers. But if he is not confident of that then it is not permissible for him to do it.

Al-‘Allaamah Mustafa al-Ruhaybaani said in Mataalib Ooli al-Nuha (2/204): Things like kissing are also forbidden, such as embracing, touching, and repeatedly looking for one who thinks that he may ejaculate, and there is no scholarly difference of opinion on this point. End quote.

If you engaged in foreplay with your wife and felt confident that it would not spoil your fast, then there is no sin on you for this foreplay even if it did spoil your fast.

But if you thought that you would ejaculate, then you sinned by engaging in this foreplay, and you have to repent to Allaah.

With regard to fasting, the fast is spoiled in either case, because you ejaculated, whether you intended to break the fast or not. Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If he was intimate with his wife, whether by touching or kissing and so on (less than intercourse), then if he ejaculates his fast is invalidated, but if he does nor ejaculate then he does not break the fast thereby. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (6/388).

You have to fast one day to make up for this day, but you do not have to offer any expiation. Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (6/377); If he spoils his fast with something other than intercourse, such as eating, drinking, masturbating or foreplay that leads to ejaculation, then there is no expiation because the text speaks only of intercourse, and these things do not come under the same heading. End quote.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A