Books, but I do not read Them
I am a man who has - all praise and thanks be to Allah - many beneficial books
and reference works, yet I do not read them, instead, I choose just a few of
them. Am I guilty of sin in keeping these books in my house, bearing in mind
that some people borrow some of these books and benefit from them, after which,
they return them to me?
There is no sin upon the Muslim in collecting beneficial books and keeping them
with him in his library in order to refer to them, benefit from them, and to
lend them to those who visit him among the educated people so that they might
benefit from them. Nor is there any sin upon him if he does not refer to them
much. As for lending them to reliable people, who benefit from them, this is a
lawful action and a means of getting closer to Allah, the Most Glorified, since
it supports the acquisition of knowledge and because this is included in the
Words of Allah, the Most High: “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa
(virtue, righteousness and piety)” (Al-Ma'idah 5: 2).
And the words
of the Prophet (Salallahou ‘aleyhi wa salam): “Allah helps the worshipper so
long as the worshipper helps his brother” (Muslim no. 2699).
I am a Teacher Who is asked Questions by the Students, should I
I am a teacher, a graduate from Intermediary College, «Islamic Studies Section,
and I have studied a number of Fiqh books. What is the ruling in my case when I
am asked questions by my students and I answer, according to my knowledge, that
is, by way of Qiyas (Qiyas : Deduction by analogy) and Ijtihad, without going
into the rulings of Haram and Halal?
You should refer to the books and Ijtihad and then answer in accordance with
what you perceive to be correct, and there is no objection to you doing this.
However, if you are in doubt about the answer and the correct position is not
clear to you, then say: "I do not know," and promise them that you will look
into the matter and after investigation, answer them, or refer the matter to the
scholars in order to ascertain the truth.
Ijtihad and Formal Legal Rulings
Is the door to Ijtihad in formulating Islamic rulings considered to be open to
every person, or are there certain conditions which must be fulfilled by the Mujtahid And is it permissible for any person to rule according to his opinion,
without knowledge of any clear evidence. And what is the grade of the Hadith
which says: “I warn you against delivering legal rulings as I warn you against
the Fire” (Ad-Darimi no. 157) or what carries the same meaning.
The door of performing Ijtihad in order to recognize the legal Islamic rulings
remains open for those who are qualified to do it. They must have knowledge of
Qur'anic Verses and Hadiths and be able to understand them, and to use them as
evidence as required on the questions in which they are exercising Ijtihad. He
must possess knowledge to the extent that he is able to cite relevant Hadiths on
which there is consensus in all questions, so that they do not depart from the
consensus of the Muslims (i.e. the scholars) in their judgements. They must have
sufficient knowledge of Arabic language to allow them to understand the texts
(of the Qur'an and Sunnah) and to derive and extract the proofs from them and
then speak or deliver the ruling according to their convictions and what
satisfies them in religion.
As for the
Hadith: “I warn you against delivering legal rulings as I warn you against the
Fire” (Ad-Darimi no. 157).
- it was
narrated by Al-Hafiz 'Abdullah bin 'Abdur-Rahman Ad-Darimi in his Sunan, from 'Ubaidullah
bin Abi Ja'far Al-Misri in Mursal form (Mursal: That is a chain of narration in
which a Tabi'i reports from the Prophet (Salallahou ‘aleyhi wa salam), with no
mention of any reporter from among the Companions).And may peace and blessings
be upon our Prophet, Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.
is no Objection to Citing Legal Judgements
There is a teacher who is asked for legal rulings by his students and he has
reasonably good knowledge. He is not qualified to give legal rulings, but he has
heard the answers given by some reliable scholars to questions similar to those
which he is asked. Is it therefore permissible for him to answer his students
using these rulings, or is it necessary for him to attribute them to those who
If one who is unable to formulate legal judgements is asked, and he has
memorized the rulings of reputable scholars, there is no objection for him to
cite such rulings for them, but he should not attribute them to himself;
instead, he should say: "I heard about so-and-so ruling such and such," so long
as he has memorized them perfectly, without doubt. And Allah is the Granter of
The Ruling on
seeking Islamic Knowledge
Is a person excused for not seeking (Islamic) knowledge due to being busy with
studies unconnected with Islamic knowledge, or because of work etc.?
The acquisition of Islamic knowledge is Fardh Kifayah -meaning that if enough
people do so, it becomes a Sunnah for the rest of them. But the acquisition of
knowledge could be Fardh 'Ain for all of the people - that is, if a person
wanted to worship Allah through a certain act of worship, it would be incumbent
upon him to know how to perform this act of worship to Allah. In view of this,
if one were to occupy himself with something to the neglect of seeking Islamic
knowledge, he and his family would be protected by learning what was sufficient
for them, so long as they maintained the acts of worship which are an obligation
upon them. We hold that this is excused and there is no objection to it, but he
must learn as much Islamic law as is possible for him.
The Four Mathhabs
I do not know any of the four Mathhabs which I might follow, so is it
permissible for me to choose any Mathhab?
The four Mathhabs agree upon the essentials, that is, in beliefs; they only
differ over matters of Ijtihad in questions of Fiqh due to their different
understanding and opinions on matters and differing degrees of knowledge. In
spite of this, they are rewarded for their Ijtihad; whoever is right receives
two rewards, while whoever is wrong receives one, and his mistake is forgiven,
due to his good intention. It is therefore allowed for us to follow any of them
in any matter except where it is clear that they are wrong, just as it is
permitted to take the most preponderant view from every Mathhab.
If I enter a Religious Gathering, should I give Salutations?
What is the best thing to do if a person arrives late for a lecture in College
or a religious gathering and the teacher has already begun speaking, is it best
to give salutations, or sit down without giving salutations?
It is better not to give salutations if this will interrupt the class, or cause
annoyance to them. However, if it does not effect them, then giving salutations
is a Sunnah for every person arriving at the gathering. In view of this, he
should give salutations, and if any of those sitting answers him, it is
What reason is there for a scholar to hesitate to give a legal
What reason is there for a scholar to hesitate to give a legal ruling?
A scholar may hesitate to give a legal ruling, if he is qualified to do so, and
has knowledge, because the evidences that he has seem contradictory, or it could
be that he feels that the questioner is not serious, as some questioners are not
searching for the truth, they only want to play around, or to know the opinion
of this scholar, and a second scholar, and a third scholar, etc. In such cases,
the scholar may hesitate or refuse to answer the questioner who knows, if he
feels it likely that he is playing around in order to see what the people (i.e.
the scholars) say, or he wants to compare some of the sayings of the people
(i.e. the scholars) with others - and this is worse, for he goes around saying:
"The scholar so-and-so said such and such and the scholar so-and-so said such
and such." These are some of the reasons why a scholar may hesitate to deliver a