Current Legal Issues



There are few issues that are a source of affliction [for the believers]. People often ask what to do about them. We mention these issues below with their answers that are derived from al -Masaa’il al-Muntakhabah and Minhajus Saliheen Manuals.

  1. The ceremonial cleanliness of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), and whether it is desirable to avoid [coming into contact with] them:

    "As for the People of the Book, it is widely believed that they are najis. However, it is likely that they are tahir, though, ihtiyat should be adhered to". Masaa’il, article 82.

  2. Preference of attending Jumuah [congregational] prayer, provided that it is held according to the conditions [stipulated in canon law]:

    Evidently, performing Jumuah prayer is obligatory as a matter of choice. This means that, on a Friday, the mukallaf has the option of either performing Jumuah prayer according to the detail that will follow, or holding Dhuhr prayer. However, performing Jumuah prayer is preferable. If it was performed according to stipulations, it would make up for Dhuhr prayer". Minhajus Saliheen, p. 307.

    "The time for holding Jumuah prayer is the start of zawaal of a Friday as urf have it. If it is not held during this time, performing Dhuhr prayer becomes a must". Al-Masaa’il, article 193.

  3. "Does Jumuah Ghusl make up for wudhu?"

    "Jumuah ghusl and similar ones have been proved through reliable sources to be mustahab. It is evident that they make up for wudhu". Al-Masaa’il, p.341.

  4. Performing tamam prayer.

    "Distance should be calculated from the point where a person is considered, according to urf, a traveller; it is the end of the bounds of the town, which may be the borough or neighbourhood in some very big cities". Al-Minhaj, p.891.

  5. Sighting of the New Moon:

    "Sighting of the new moon is ascertained by knowledge of the actual sighting or through solid news of such sighting, or some other means. Certainty can also be achieved through common knowledge. Amongst other sources of ascertaining the sighting of the new moon is the lapse of thirty days on Sha’ban’s crescent for the start of Ramadhan to be confirmed, or thirty days on the crescent of Ramadhan for the new moon of Shawwal to be confirmed [and so on]. Sighting can also be confirmed by the evidence of two witnesses of impeccable character (adl).

    However, sighting of the new moon is not recognised by the evidence of women, or by the evidence of one just witness, even with oath, or by the words of astrologers. Neither by its absence after dawn dusk, so that it could be said that it belongs to a previous night, nor by the evidence of two just witnesses, if the evidence is not confined to their own sighting of the newly born moon. Sighting is not recognised too when it is seen before zawaal so that the day of sighting be from the ensuing month. The impression of a ring it may give, proving that it could belong to a previous night, cannot be accepted as well.

    There is ishkal, rather objection, in ascertaining the birth of a new moon by a ruling from a judge, whose error cannot be verified, neither the error of his source. Of course, if his ruling or his evidence leads to certainty of sighting in the town and the like, it could be relied on". Al-Minhaj, p.335.

    The sighting of the new moon in a town could make up for its sighting in another.

    "Should the new moon be sighted in a town, it would suffice the sighting in another town, provided the two fall on the same horizon. That is, if the new moon was sighted in the first town, there would be a distinct possibility of sighting it in the second, barring any obstacles, such as clouds and high mountains". Al-Minhaj, article 1044.

  6. Obligation to pay zakat on money [capital] used in trading:

    "This money is that which is owned by a person, as a means of exchange [capital], intending to trade with it, earn a profit and, eventually, a living. It is obligatory, as a matter of ihtiyat, to pay zakat due on it, which is 2.5%, provided the following conditions are fulfilled:
    1. The owner is adult and sound in mind.
    2. The money should reach the bench mark of gold or silver. (For gold it is fifteen mithqal sairafi (of coins and bullion - a unit of weight, equivalent to 4.608 grams), then every three mithqals thereafter. As for silver, it is one hundred and five mithqals, then every twenty one mithqals thereafter - Al-Masaa’il, p.221.
    3. The lapse of one year on the [actual amount] of money, i.e. from the time it was intended for making a profit.
    4. The intention to make profit should be constant the whole year, in that if the person changed his mind and appropriated some or spent some of it [money] on living expenses, for example, zakat will not become obligatory.
    5. The ability of the owner to have the right of disposal over it for the whole year.
    6. The amount of capital should be intact or there was an increase [profit] in it during the whole year. If, however, there was a decrease during the year, zakat will not become obligatory". Al-Masaa’il, p.226.

  7. Leather [products] acquired from non-Muslims that may be considered tahir due to the possibility of [the animal] being slaughtered according to Islamic law:

    "It is permissible to sell [trade in] leather products, meat, and animal fat imported from non-Muslim countries [from a source] that is known to be unbeliever. The same goes for the ruling regarding its being tahir and performing prayer in it [wearing a leather belt for example]. This should be the case on the premise that the animal was slaughtered according to Islamic shari’a law. However, it is haraam to consume, unless it was ascertained that the animal had been slaughtered according to Islamic law. That is, unless such goods were produced Islamic land, or imported by an Islamic country, or handled by Muslims, [i.e. slaughtering is carried out in Islamic way]. The same goes for goods acquired through Muslims, if it was known that the source was unbelieving and without enquiring about the way of slaughtering.

  8. Painting in three dimensions, of living creatures, is haraam:

    Painting living creatures, such as human beings and the like, in three dimensions is haraam, as a mater of ihtiyat. As for ordinary painting, evidently it is permissible. There is no harm in photographic imaging that is commonly used nowadays. There is no harm too in acquiring three dimensional portraits and selling [trading in] them, albeit the latter is makrooh. Al-Masaa’il, article 634.

  9. [Islamic dress code] - the permissibility of exposing the face and hands [of a woman] to people, other than her mehaarim (immediate relatives -according to a certain classification detailed in shari’a law)

    "It is obligatory on the woman to cover her hair and the rest of her body, apart from the face and hands from people, other than her husband and other mehaarim, among the adults in general. Rather, she should cover herself from those who have not yet attained adulthood, if they were discerning, and their looking at her could result in sexual arousal. As for the face and hands, it is evident that it is permissible to expose them, except for fear of falling into a haraam act, or for the purpose of ensnaring man to look at haraam [objects]. In this case, exposing such parts of the body is haraam, even to mehaarim". Al-Masaa’il article 1021.

  10. What is the ruling on prayer performed behind a non-believer (ghayeril mu’min), especially if he holds it before its prescribed time?

    "[The prayer] is not in order, unless its prescribed time was already on". Al-Manasik, p366.

  11. At Mekka, is it permissible for a woman to stand ahead of a man during prayer, which is not the case elsewhere?

    Yes, it is permissible at times of crowdedness.

  12. A person stayed ten days at Mekka, having the intent to stay for the period. He then left for Arafat, assuming the distance between the two is less than four farsakh(a unit of distance equivalent to eleven kilometres). What is the ruling on the form of prayer, i.e. tamam or qasr, at Arafat, Mash’ar and Mina?

    If the distance is as suggested by the question, prayer should be performed tamam.

  13. What is the ruling on him who left Mekka for Arafat before completing ten days, for a valid reason that required him to abort his stay, and after he performed a fourruka’a (bowing) prayer at Mekka with the niyyah of being resident [for ten days or more]?

    On the assumption that the distance between Mekka and Arafat is less than four farsakh, he should perform tamam prayer.

  14. On the day of Eid, a pilgrim returned from Mina to Mekka, then went back to Mina. What form his prayer should take, tamam or qasr, noting that he had previously stayed in Mekka for ten days?

    If the distance from the periphery of Mekka to Arafat, Muzdalifa, Mina, and back was forty four kilometres or more, qasr prayer should be performed at these locations, and at Mekka on return, should he decide not stay there for ten days. Conversely, prayer should be performed tamam at all the said locations.