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BIRTH RELATED.

 

1.            ADOPTION OF ORPHANS AND SPONSORING

 

2.            ADOPTION: PROHIBITED IN ISLAM

 

3.            COMPLICATIONS OF ADOPTING CHILD

 

4.            ABORTION ISLAMIC PERSPECTION

 

5.            BIRTH CONTROL DUE TO LIMITED RESOURCES

 

6.            FAMILY PLANNING ISLAMIC PRESPECTIVE

7.            BIRTH CONTROL: COITUS INTERRUPTUS

8.            BIRTH CONTROL BY CONDOM

9.            KNOWLEDGE OF MALE OR FEMALE AND ITS RELIGION & FATE

10.       CIRCUMCISION: IS IT OBLIGATORY?

11.       GIRLS CIRCUMCISION

 

12.       CIRCUMCISION: JURISTIC, MEDICAL & SOCIAL

13.       NEW BORN BABY

14.       AQEEQAH : IS IT AN OBLIGATION?

15.       SELECTING MALE / FEMALE CHILD

16.       Test tube babies: Islamic view

17.       RULING ON IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION (ivf)

18.       Rights of a child born by an illegitimate relationship

19.       ILLEGITIMATE CHILD

20.       EVE (HAWWA) THE WAY ALLAH CREATED EVE

21.       ADAM AND EVE IN THE BIBLE AND THE QUR'AN

22.       WAS MAN CREATED TALL AND GETTING SHORTER

 

 

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1. ADOPTION OF ORPHANS AND SPONSORING

Question:

Is it Haraam to adopt someone in Islam? My question is, doesn't Islam allow us to adopt the orphans, only that the orphan does not change his last name, nor is he considered the child of the one adopting him.

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.  

There is a difference between adoption and sponsoring orphans. 

A – Adoption means that a man takes an orphan and makes him like one of his own children and calling him after him, so that the orphan is not allowed to marry one of the man’s mahrams; so the sons of the adoptive father are regarded as brothers of the orphan and his daughters are regarded as his sisters, and the adoptive father’s sisters are regarded as his paternal aunts, and so on. This was one of the things that were done during the first Jaahiliyyah, and some of the Sahaabah carried the names of their adoptive fathers, as in the case of al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad whose real father’s name was ‘Amr, but he was called ibn (son of) al-Aswad, after the man who had adopted him.

 This continued into the early days of Islam, until Allah forbade that, according to a well-known story. Zayd ibn Haarithah was called Zayd ibn Muhammad, and he was the husband of Zaynab bint Jahsh, then Zayd divorced her. 

It was narrated that Anas said: When Zaynab’s ‘iddah came to an end, the Messenger of Allah said to Zayd ibn Haarithah, “Go and tell her about me (that I want to marry her).” So he went to her and found her kneading dough. He said, “O Zaynab, good news. The Messenger of Allah wants to marry you.” She said, “I will not do anything until I consult with my Lord.” Then she got up and went to her prayer-place, then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came and entered upon her.

Concerning this, Allah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd bin Haarithah the freed‑slave of the Prophet) on whom Allah has bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favour (by manumitting him): ‘Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.’ But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And Allah’s Command must be fulfilled” [Al-Ahzaab 33:37] 

(Narrated by Muslim, 1428) 

B – Allah has forbidden adoption because it causes knowledge of people’s lineage to be lost, and we have been commanded to preserve people’s lineage. 

It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “There is no man who knowingly calls himself after someone other than his father but he has committed kufr. Whoever claims to belong to people to whom he has no ties of blood, let him take his place in Hell.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3317; Muslim, 61) 

What is meant by “committed kufr” is that he has done an act of kufr, not that he is beyond the pale of Islam, because he is forbidding something that Allah has permitted and is permitting something that Allah has forbidden. Because forbidding the orphan to marry the daughters of the adoptive father, for example, is forbidding something that is permissible that Allah has not forbidden. And allowing the orphan to inherit [like a son] from the adoptive father after he dies is permitting something that Allah has forbidden, because the inheritance is the right of the children who come from his own loins. This may generate hatred and resentment between the adopted son and the children of the adoptive father, because it will cause them to lose out on something that is rightfully theirs, which will go to this orphan unlawfully who they know is not entitled to it as they are. 

Sponsoring an orphan means that a man brings the orphan to live in his house, or he sponsors him somewhere other than his house, without giving him his name or forbidding that which is permitted or permitting that which is forbidden, as is the case with adoption. Rather the one who sponsors an orphan does it as an act of charity. So there can be no comparison between one who sponsors an orphan and one who adopts a child, because of the great difference between them and because sponsoring orphans is something which is encouraged in Islam. 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allah knows him who means mischief (e.g. to swallow their property) from him who means good (e.g. to save their property). And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties. Truly, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise” [Al-Baqarah 2:220] 

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that sponsoring orphans is a means of being together with him in Paradise. 

It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be like this in Paradise” – and he gestured with his index and middle fingers, holding them slightly apart.  (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4998) 

But we must point out that when these orphans reach adolescence, they must be separated from the wives and daughters of the sponsor; when doing an act of charity we should not let that lead to immorality. We should also note that the one who is sponsored may be an orphaned girl and she may be beautiful and may become attractive before adolescence, so the sponsor must watch his sons lest they fall into doing haraam things with the orphans, because this could happen and be a means of causing mischief which it will be difficult to put right. 

We encourage our brothers to sponsor orphans, for this is something that is rarely done except by those whom Allah has made righteous and caused them to love good and feel compassion for the orphans and the poor.

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2. Adoption: Prohibited in Islam

Question :

Adoption is forbidden in Islam. But according to authentic Hadiths related by Al-Bukhari, the Prophet adopted a son named Zaid. Please comment.

Answer :

Both statements of the prohibition of adoption in Islam and the Prophet's adoption of Zaid are correct. The explanation of these two apparently contradictory facts lies in their chronological order. Zaid ibn Harithah was a young child when he was kidnapped by fighters who raided the living quarters of his tribe when their men were out on their business. Zaid was sold as a slave and he ended up in Makkah when he was given as a gift by her uncle to Khadeejah, who later was married to Muhammad, her third husband. At that time, he was 25 years of age. Lady Khadeejah was a rich woman who married Muhammad, having learned much about his character which filled her with admiration. At that time, Muhammad was being carefully prepared by Allah for his forthcoming mission as the last prophet to be sent to mankind.

Needless to say, neither he nor Khadeejah knew anything at that time. Prophet-hood came 15 years after his marriage. Khadeejah made a gift of Zaid to her husband so that he would have a good servant. Zaid's father was full of grief when he learned of what had happened to his son. He tried hard to find out where he was carried to. Perhaps, it was a few years before he learned that Zaid was in Makkah, a slave in one of its most distinguished households. He, therefore, traveled with his brother hoping to buy his son's freedom. When they spoke to Muhammad about Zaid, they requested him to agree to sell Zaid back to them and to accept a reasonable price for him.

He made them a different offer saying: "I will charge you nothing. If he prefers to stay with me, I will not part with anyone who prefers my company." They said: "This is indeed a very reasonable offer." When Zaid was called in, Muhammad asked him whether he recognized the two men. On receiving an affirmative answer, Muhammad offered him the choice of going back or staying with him. Unhesitatingly, Zaid chose to stay with Muhammad saying to his father and his uncle, "I have seen things of this man which make me keen never to part with him." When Zaid made his choice, Muhammad took him by the hand and went to the Ka'aba where he addressed the people present saying to them: "Bear witness that I have adopted Zaid as a son who will inherit me and I will inherit him."

Zaid's father was gratified and he went back home with his brother. This is how the adoption of Zaid by the Prophet came to pass, long before he became a prophet. Ever since that day, Zaid was called in Makkah and everywhere else as "Zaid ibn Muhammad." This continued to be the case throughout the 13 years during which the Prophet preached his message in Makkah and in the early years of his stay in Madinah. It was later that the verses of the Qur'an which speak of adoption were revealed. These make it clear that adoption is prohibited and that every adopted son or daughter must be called after his or her real father.

This automatically abrogated the adoption of Zaid who reverted to his original name, Zaid ibn Harithah, in compliance with Allah's orders. The Prophet was very kind to Zaid through their association. He arranged Zaid's marriage to his own wet nurse Umm Ayman who gave birth to Zaid's son Ussamah, whom the Prophet loved very dearly. Later on, the Prophet married Zaid to his own cousin, Lady Zainab, who only accepted the marriage to please the Prophet. The marriage was an unhappy one and Zaid reluctantly divorced Zainab.

The seal on the prohibition was placed by Allah Himself when He instructed the Prophet to marry Zainab. Thus, the Prophet demonstrated practically the nullification of all adoption. Had adoption been of any significance, it would not have been possible that the Prophet marries a former wife of his former adopted son. The fact that the marriage took place and was specifically ordered by Allah left no doubt whatsoever that adoption is totally forbidden in Islam.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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3. COMPLICATIONS OF ADOPTING CHILD

Question:

Is adoption allowed in Islam? What are complications?

Answer:

Islam has always stressed in the Qu’ran that you should help the poor people, help the needy people - You can even get a child to your house, and give him your fatherly love. What Islam objects to is, you cannot legally adopt and you cannot give your name to the child. Legal adoption, is prohibited in Islam.

Why? … because if a person adopts a child legally, there can be several complications.

First : The child, whether it is a girl or boy, will loose its identity.

Secondly : if suppose after you adopt a child, you may have your own children. No one can say, that you will never have children throughout your life. If you have your own children, you will be bias towards your own child, than the adopted child.

Thirdly : If the children born to you, and suppose if they are of opposite sex of that of the adopted child, they cannot freely stay in the same house, because they are not blood sisters and brothers, to each other. If the adopted child, after grows up and If it is a girl, after she grows up she will have to do Hijab with the so called father, because he is not his original father. If the adopted child is a boy and he becomes elderly, he becomes a man, and then if he marries, there has to be Hijab between the daughter-in-law, and the so called father.

Fourthly : And there are several other reasons besides that, suppose if you adopt a child, you will be depriving many of your relatives of their rights. When after a person dies, whatever property he has, is divided according to whatever is mentioned in the Qur’an. If the person has children, and if he adopts a child, but natural he will be depriving a share of his own children.

Also there are different share his wife will get, if he was having own children or no children but adopted children. Also share problem of parents etc. So to prevent these complications, legal adoption is prohibited in Islam.

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4. Abortion ISLAMIC PERSPECTION

Question:

What is the rule on abortion in Islam? Is it halal or haram and is there any exceptions?

Answer:

Abortion is Haram in Islam, and the only exception is if the life of the mother is at risk. Only pious Muslim doctors, who are specialists in that field, can make that determination based on the individual cases.

Muslim scholars have different views about abortion. Some of them forbid it from the first day of conception while other ones allow it before the 120th day of pregnancy when the soul is breathed into the fetus. After that period, all of them agree that it is not allowed unless there is an unavoidable danger on the health of the pregnant mother. This danger should be the judgment and opinion of qualified doctors. As to the case where the baby has a birth defect, or that a rape was committed, abortion is not allowed after the 120th day, because the issue is about forbidding the killing of a human soul, whether on the 120th day of gestation, on the day of birth, or when the human is adult. Before that, it is a matter of disagreement. Each side has its argument and each case has its specific factors. Therefore, it is better to give an opinion based on each case. 

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5. Birth control DUE TO LIMITED RESOURCES

Question  :

Is it appropriate for a married couple not to have more than two children because of their limited economic resources? Is it acceptable that they take measures to prevent pregnancy after having had two children?

Answer :

During the time of the Prophet, some of his companions tried to reduce the chances of conception and pregnancy, because they did not want any more children. The Prophet was aware of that. Some referred to him while some relied on the fact that no verdict was given concerning the question of preventing pregnancy. The general rule is that "everything is permissible unless pronounced otherwise."

Thus, we have statements by some of the Prophet's companions such as: "We resorted to contraception at the time when the Qur'an was being revealed", and "We resorted to contraception and the Prophet was aware of that but he did not stop us."

These statements are clear in their import. If the Prophet's companions had been doing something unacceptable to Islam, God would have either revealed a prohibition in the Qur'an or the Prophet would have given an order in a Hadith. The fact is that the Prophet did not give such an order. Instead, when he learned from one of his companions that he resorted to contraception, the Prophet said clearly that no method of contraception would stop the creation of a child, should God will that the child be born. As such, no method of contraception can stop God's will being fulfilled.

The method of contraception which was known at that time was coitus interruptus. Modern methods are equally permissible, provided that they are safe and they prevent conception. Sterilization of either the man or the woman is not permissible except when it is made absolutely necessary for medical reasons. Thus, if doctors determine that any pregnancy is likely to present a serious risk to the life of the mother, then sterilization may be approved. But each case must be considered separately on its own merits. What I have said so far applies at the individual level only. A national policy of family planning which aims to reduce the population is unacceptable because it is likely to have serious repercussion on the health of the nation as a whole.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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6. FAMILY PLANNING ISLAMIC PRESPECTIVE

Question:

Please let me know what Islam says about the family planning and it's advertisement? Please be detailed as I have to explain to others as well. Allah Hafiz

Answer:

The issue of family planning is very broad and Islam doesn't prohibit or approve of all of the categories "family planning" usually refers to. For example, in family planning, there is big emphasis on a mother breast feeding her babies, which is strongly encouraged in Islam, while family planning also suggests to limit the number of children through sometimes, permanent /irreversible operations, which is not allowed in Islam (unless there are specific medical reasons for it). Since the issue of Birth control is extremely talked about in the family planning circle, we will attach you at the end of this answer our general response for birth control. In the future, please tell us exactly which aspect of family planning you are interested in knowing about its legality in Islamic Law.

Birth control: We should first know that the purpose of marriage in Islamic Law is to fulfill the sexual needs in a legal manner and to continue the human progeny at the same time so that people can always know and worship God. Therefore, any attempt to change the purpose of marriage is not allowed, and that's why when people do an operation to permanently not be able to conceive children (such as tying the tube), their act is considered Haram, unless there is a necessary health reason for the operation. Having many children is something encouraged in Islam to propagate the religion. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to the Muslims: 'Get married, have children, for I'll be proud of you on the Day of Judgement in front of (all) the people'.

However, to control the number of children for economic or health reasons, especially after having had children, is allowed. Temporary birth control is therefore allowed if there is the intention to have children or if the couple already has children. Of course, humans are judged according to their intentions. If however, there is no health or economic excuse to retard pregnancy, then birth control is considered Makrooh (discouraged) but it is not Haram. The choice of the birth control method should be evaluated with a doctor to see the most appropriate with the least side effect for the couples. Thank you for asking and God knows best.

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7. Birth control: Coitus interruptus

Question:

You advised a young man to get married and delay having children until he has finished his studies. This obviously means that he has to resort to methods of birth control. In our community, most scholars say that birth control is not acceptable from the Islamic point of view. Please comment.

Answer :

In ancient times, before the new methods of birth control were invented, people resorted to coitus interruptus in order to restrict the number of children. This is a safe method, because it does not involve the use of any substance or chemical compound. It is a simple method which involves withdrawal before discharge. It is not highly effective, because some of the sperms may be released before the actual discharge. These could easily fertilize the female egg. This method was practiced in Arabia, as well in many other places. The companions of the Prophet mentioned it to him and asked him whether it was wrong. The Prophet did not forbid them that, but he told them that it could not stop Allah's work.

If He wants us to create something, or in this case, if He wants a child to be born, the resort to contraception would not prevent the mother from getting pregnant. We have reports from companions of the Prophet mentioning that he was aware of their resort to contraception, but he did not forbid them that. In the light of the foregoing, we can say that using a safe and effective method of birth control is permissible, if it does not involve the use of a harmful substance. The couple must check with their doctor if a particular method is safe for them to use. If so, then they decide whether to use it or not.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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8. Birth Control BY CONDOM

Question:

Is birth control by the use of condom permissible in Islam?

Answer:

Regarding your question, we should first know that the purpose of marriage in Islamic Law is to fulfill the sexual needs in a legal manner and to continue the human progeny at the same time so that people can always know and worship God. Therefore, any attempt to change the purpose of marriage is not allowed, and that's why when people do an operation to permanently not be able to conceive children (such as tying the tube), their act is considered Haram. However, to control the number of children for economic or health reasons, especially after having had children, is allowed.

Temporary birth control is therefore allowed if there is the intention to have children or if the couple already has children. Of course, humans are judged according to their intentions. If however, there is no health or economic excuse to retard pregnancy, then birth control is considered Makrooh (discouraged) but it is not Haram.

The choice of the birth control method should be evaluated with a doctor to see the most appropriate with the least side effect. For that reason, condoms are acceptable and are among the methods with the least side effect, although not the most efficient. Still, having many children is something encouraged in Islam to propagate the religion. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to the Muslims: 'Get married, have children, for I'll be proud of you on the Day of Judgment in front of (all) the people'.

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9. KNOWLEDGE OF MALE OR FEMALE AND ITS RELIGION & FATE

Question :

How can we reconcile between the fact that doctors can find out whether the fetus is male or female, and the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “....and [He] knows that which is in the wombs....” [Luqmaan 31:34],

Is there any aayah or hadeeth to make the general meaning of this aayah (“what is in the wombs”) more specific? When a child is born, what is child religion if it is born to non Muslim and what you say about the fate of those children who die after birth?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. 

Before I discuss this matter, I would like to explain that there can never be any contradiction between an unambiguous statement of the Qur’aan and reality. If there appears to be a contradiction with reality, it is either because what we think is reality is a baseless claim, or the (text of) the Qur’aan  is not opposed to this reality in a clear and definite manner. The unambiguous statements of the Qur’aan and the facts of reality are both definitive, and two definitive things can never contradict one another. 

Based on the above, it may be said that now they (doctors) are able, through the use of precise machines, to discover what is in the wombs and to find out whether it is male or female. If what is said is false, then there is no point in discussing it. If it is true, then it does not contradict the aayah, because the aayah is referring to a matter of the unseen, which has to do with the knowledge of Allah about these five matters.

The matters of the unseen as far as the fetus are concerned are: how long he will remain in his mother’s womb, his life, his deeds, his provision, whether he is doomed (destined for Hell) or blessed (destined for Paradise), and – before it is fully formed – whether it will be male or female. But after it has been fully formed, knowledge of whether it is male or female is no longer the matter of the unseen, because once it has been fully formed it becomes the matter of the visible world, but it remains within the three layers of darkness which, if they were removed, it would be known what it is.

It is not far-fetched to think that among the things that Allah has created are powerful rays which can penetrate these layers of darkness so that it may become clear whether the fetus is male or female. The aayah does not clearly refer to knowledge of whether the fetus is male or female, and the Sunnah does not refer to that either. 

Allah is Omnipotent and Omniscient. Allah has granted knowledge of certain things to humankind. But Allah has knowledge of the seen as well as the unseen.

1.     Allah has knowledge of all things

Many people believe that the Qur’an claims that Allah alone knows the sex of the child in the mother’s womb. The Glorious Qur’an says:

"Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He who sends down Rain, and He who knows what is in the wombs…." [Luqman 31:34]

A similar message is given in the following verse:

"Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, By how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion." [Ar-Ra’ad 13:8]

2.    Sex can be determined by Ultrasonography

Today science has advanced and we can easily determine the sex of the child in the womb of a pregnant mother, using ultrasonography.

3.    The word ‘sex’ is not mentioned in the verse of the Qur’an

It is true that many translations and commentaries of this verse of the Glorious Qur’an say that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the mother’s womb.

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his tafseer of the aayah from Soorat Luqmaan: “No one knows what Allah wants to create in the wombs apart from Him, but once He decrees that it should be male or female, doomed or blessed, the angels who are appointed in charge of it know that, and whoever else He wills among His creation.” 

This verse does not refer to the sex of the child in the womb but it refers to, how the child in the mother’s womb will be. How will his nature be? Will he be a blessing or a curse to his parents? Will he be a boon or a bane to the society? Will he be good or evil? Will he go to heaven or hell? The complete knowledge of all things is with Allah alone. No scientist in the world, no matter how advanced his equipment, will ever be able to accurately determine the knowledge of these things about the child in the mother’s womb.

4.     No one besides Allah can determine the nature of the child

With regard to your question about what may make the general meaning of this aayah (“what is in the wombs”) more specific, we say that if the aayah was speaking about being male or female after the fetus is fully formed, then that which would make it more specific would be tangible facts.

Since the aayah does not refer to after the fetus is fully formed, but rather it refers to before that time, there is nothing in it that would contradict the idea of knowing whether the fetus is male or female. Following hadith clears more about your question.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus and the angel says, 'O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now ) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.' And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks, 'O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female? A wretched (an evil doer) or a blessed (doer of good)? How much will his provisions be? What will his age be?' So all that is written while the creature is still in the mother's womb."  Volume 8, Book 77, Number 594:

Praise be to Allah, there is not, and never will be, anything in reality that contradicts the unambiguous statements of the Qur’aan. The accusations made by the enemies of the Muslims against the Qur’aan, that things happen which outwardly appear to contradict the Qur’aan, arise from their misunderstanding of the Book of Allah which stems from their bad intentions. But the committed Muslims and scholars have enough knowledge to discover the truth which will refute the specious arguments of these people. Praise and blessings be to Allah. 

Another hadith also describe about a human total age.

Narrated 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle, the truthful and truly-inspired, said, "Each one of you collected in the womb of his mother for forty days, and then turns into a clot for an equal period (of forty days) and turns into a piece of flesh for a similar period (of forty days) and then Allah sends an angel and orders him to write four things, i.e., his provision, his age, and whether he will be of the wretched or the blessed (in the Hereafter).

Then the soul is breathed into him. And by Allah, a person among you (or a man) may do deeds of the people of the Fire till there is only a cubit or an arm-breadth distance between him and the Fire, but then that writing (which Allah has ordered the angel to write) precedes, and he does the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters it; and a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is only a cubit or two between him and Paradise, and then that writing precedes and he does the deeds of the people of the Fire and enters it." Volume 8, Book 77, Number 593:

With regard to this matter of what is in womb, people may be one of two extremes, or a middle group. 

One extreme is to adhere to the apparent meaning of Qur’aanic verses which are not unambiguous, and to reject any certain facts that go against it. Such people either expose themselves to criticism, or they expose the Qur’aan to criticism, because their view contradicts the certain realities of everyday life. 

The other extreme is to turn away from that which is indicated by the Qur’aan and to adopt a purely materialistic approach. Thus one becomes a heretic. 

The middle path is to accept both the indications of the Qur’aan and the facts of reality. These people know that both of them are true, and that the unambiguous statements of the Qur’aan cannot contradict something that is well known and visible. They combine acceptance of the transmitted texts with reason, thus keeping their religious commitment and their intellect safe and sound. Allah guides those who believe to the truth of that wherein they differ, and Allah guides whom He wills to a Straight Path. 

Regarding a new born child, following hadith give very clear answer.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "No child is born but has the Islamic Faith, but its parents turn it into a Jew or a Christian. It is as you help the animals give birth. Do you find among their offspring a mutilated one before you mutilate them yourself?" The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! What do you think about those (of them) who die young?" The Prophet said, "Allah knows what they would have done (were they to live)."  Volume 8, Book 77, Number 597:

About the fate of on the day of judgment, it is consensus by scholars of Islam that as they were innocent, they will be going to Heaven.

And Allah knows the best.

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10. Circumcision: Is it obligatory?

Question:

A Hindu friend of mine has embraced Islam. He is very happy with his new faith and everyone is encouraging him to learn more about Islam. Our sponsor wanted to take him to hospital for circumcision, but we were told by an Egyptian friend that there was no need. Please comment.

Answer:

Your Egyptian friend is right. Circumcision, for new born boys, is recommended. It is not compulsory. Therefore, if a child born to a Muslim family is not circumcised and he remains so until his death, he does not commit a sin. It is true that it is unhygienic to remain un-circumcised, but when we speak of a certain situation from the Islamic point of view, we have to classify it according to the teachings of the Prophet. Since this friend of yours is an adult, and he has only recently embraced Islam, to pressure him into going to hospital for circumcision is wrong. Let him choose for himself.

There should be no great emphasis attached unduly to circumcision. If he is a good Muslim, whether he is circumcised or not, it does not affect his status in any way. Some people may be scared lest this action in adult life should result in some complications. Others are too shy  to go through it. Why should there be pressure when Islam has not required it?

Modern investigation has confirmed that circumcision prevents many diseases and now being practiced in western hospitals mandatory unless advised otherwise. Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was also circumcised on 6 th day of birth.

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11. GIRLS CIRCUMCISION

Question :

Could you explain me what is the medical benefit of girl’s circumcision?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.

Just as Allah has created mankind, He has also guided them that which is best suited to their interests in this world and in the Hereafter, so He sent them Messengers and revealed Books to guide mankind to what is good and urge them to follow it, and to teach them what is evil and warn them against it. 

Islam may enjoin or forbid something and the people – or most of them – may not be able to see the wisdom behind this command or prohibition. In that case we are obliged to obey the command or heed the prohibition and to have certain faith that the laws of Allah are all good, even if we cannot see the wisdom behind them. 

Circumcision is one of the Sunnahs of the fitrah, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): "The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, plucking the armpit hairs, cutting the nails, and trimming the moustache."   Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5889) and Muslim (257). 

Undoubtedly with regard to the Sunnahs of the fitrah, some of the wisdom behind them is obvious, and that includes circumcision. There are clear benefits to it which we should pay attention to and understand the wisdom behind it. 

Circumcision is prescribed for both males and females. The correct view is that circumcision is obligatory for males and that it is one of the symbols of Islam, and that circumcision of women is mustahabb but not obligatory. 

There are reports in the Sunnah which indicate that circumcision for women is prescribed in Islam. In Madeenah there was a woman who circumcised women and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to her: “Do not go to the extreme in cutting; that is better for the woman and more liked by the husband.”  Narrated by Abu Dawood (5271), classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

Female circumcision has not been prescribed for no reason, rather there is wisdom behind it and it brings many benefits. 

Mentioning some of these benefits, Dr. Haamid al-Ghawaabi says: 

1) The secretions of the labia minora accumulate in uncircumcised women and turn rancid, so they develop an unpleasant odour which may lead to infections of the vagina or urethra. I have seen many cases of sickness caused by the lack of circumcision. 

2) Circumcision reduces excessive sensitivity of the clitoris which may cause it to increase in size to 3 centimeters when aroused, which is very annoying to the husband, especially at the time of intercourse. 

3) Another benefit of circumcision is that it prevents stimulation of the clitoris which makes it grow large in such a manner that it causes pain. 

4) Circumcision prevents spasms of the clitoris which are a kind of inflammation.  

5) Circumcision reduces excessive sexual desire. 

Then Dr al-Ghawaabi refutes those who claim that female circumcision leads to frigidity by noting: 

Frigidity has many causes, and this claim is not based on any sound statistics comparing circumcised women with uncircumcised women, except in the case of Pharaonic circumcision which is where the clitoris is excised completely. This does in fact lead to frigidity but it is contrary to the kind of circumcision enjoined by the Prophet of mercy (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he said: “Do not destroy” i.e., do not uproot or excise. This alone is evidence that speaks for itself, because medicine at that time knew very little about this sensitive organ (the clitoris) and its nerves. 

From Liwa’ al-Islam magazine, issue 8 and 10; article entitled Khitaan al-Banaat (circumcision of girls). 

The female gynaecologist Sitt al-Banaat Khaalid says in an article entitled Khitaan al-Banaat Ru’yah Sihhiyyah (Female circumcision from a health point of view): 

For us in the Muslim world female circumcision is, above all else, obedience to Islam, which means acting in accordance with the fitrah and following the Sunnah which encourages it. We all know the dimensions of Islam, and that everything in it must be good in all aspects, including health aspects. If the benefits are not apparent now, they will become known in the future, as has happened with regard to male circumcision – the world now knows its benefits and it has become widespread among all nations despite the opposition of some groups. 

Then she mentioned some of the health benefits of female circumcision and said: 

a)  It takes away excessive libido from women

b) It prevents unpleasant odours which result from foul secretions beneath the prepuce.

c)  It reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections

d) It reduces the incidence of infections of the reproductive system. 

In the book on Traditions that affect the health of women and children, which was published by the World Health Organization in 1979 it says: 

With regard to the type of female circumcision which involves removal of the prepuce of the clitoris, which is similar to male circumcision, no harmful health effects have been noted. 

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12. CIRCUMCISION: JURISTIC, MEDICAL & SOCIAL

Question :

There is an issue that raises a great deal of controversy among people, that is, the issue of circumcision, especially female circumcision. What is your point of view in that regard?

Answer :

The least to be said about male circumcision is that it is a tradition pertinent to nature. Some jurists are of the opinion that it is obligatory and the majorities say it is a Sunnah.


As for female circumcision, it is a controversial issue among scholars and doctors. Some argue for and some argue against.


Shedding more light on the issue, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

Circumcision is an act pertaining to fitrah (pure human nature). Male circumcision means removal of the foreskin of the penis, and female circumcision means removing the prepuce of the clitoris [not the clitoris itself].

Jurists have differed on the issue of circumcision with regard to both males and females.

Concerning male circumcision, Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik maintain that it is considered a confirmed sunnah, whereas Imam Shafi`i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal see that it is mandatory (wajib).

This means that male circumcision is an important ritual in Islam. Consequently, if a whole community of Muslims agreed to give up this ritual, the ruler of the Muslims would have to fight them for this, the same as if a community collectively abandoned calling to Prayer (Adhan).

From the medical point of view, circumcision has many benefits for man’s health and personal hygiene.

First, circumcision helps the penis remain clean. Microorganisms flourish in the warm, moist area under the foreskin, leading to a foul odor and infection.

Second, circumcision reduces the possibility of the penis becoming infected with syphilis, especially since the foreskin is the place where the germ breeds.

Third, the foreskin is most likely to be exposed to inflammation due to repeated friction, especially during sexual intercourse.

Fourth, it has been proved that circumcision (especially during the first five years of life) also reduces the incidence of penile cancer.

Fifth, circumcision helps man prolong the period of erection. This is because the nerves related to sexual stimulation are mostly located at the head of the penis. If the foreskin is present, it would prevent the penis' head from constant touch with other materials, which makes the penis sensitive to any kind of touch. When the foreskin is removed, the head of the penis becomes less sensitive due to its repeated friction against clothing.

The medical benefits of male circumcision prove the wisdom of Islam in emphasizing the importance of this practice.

There is a difference of opinion among scholars regarding female circumcision.

The Maliki school holds that female circumcision is Sunnah, while Hanafi school as well as a reported view from the Hanbli school maintain that it is not sunnah; rather it is merely a makrumah (customarily recommended act, but no provisions in the Qur’an or Sunnah obligate nor recommend it).

The Shafi`i school, on the other hand, and the famous view of the Hanbali school are of the opinion that it is mandatory as in the case of male circumcision.

The latter group cites as evidence for their opinion the Qur’anic verse: “And afterward We revealed to you (Muhammad, saying): Follow the religion of Abraham, as one by nature upright. He was not of the idolaters”  (An-Nahl 16: 123).

It was authentically reported that Prophet Abraham circumcised himself after he had passed the age of eighty years.

This group also argues that if circumcision had not been obligatory, exposing private parts would not have been allowed for it. [This argument is based on that exposing private parts to others is only allowed in mandatory cases, and that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) by guiding the midwife how to circumcise women, allowed her implicitly to uncover the circumcised women's private parts, which entails that circumcision is obligatory].

Such reasoning was also argued against by saying that exposing one’s private parts for unnecessary medical treatment is allowed as long as the benefit sought by such treatment is greater than the benefit of keeping the private parts covered.

There is a third point of view (cited by Ibn Qudamah in his book Al-Mughni) that circumcision is obligatory on men and makrumah for women.

In fact, I prefer the first opinion which maintains that male circumcision is a ritual sunnah. This opinion is not significantly different from the third view that male circumcision is an obligatory act as the first opinion stipulates that in case a community should abandon this ritual entirely, it should be fought for this abandonment.

Anyway, it is important to note that male circumcision is generally practiced in Muslim countries with almost no opposition.

There is, however, an important point to be mentioned here, that is, the opinion that circumcision is mandatory for men makes it difficult for new converts to Islam.

During a visit to Indonesia in the 1970s, its Minister for Religious Affairs told me that a huge Indonesian tribe wanted to embrace Islam, but when its chieftains called some senior Muslim sheikhs to enquire about the rituals they were to follow in that regard, the sheikhs told them the first thing required was to perform circumcision. The result was, of course, that the chieftains changed their mind and did not embrace Islam.

As for my point of view regarding female circumcision, I see that all the evidence cited by jurists concerning circumcision’s being either mandatory or recommended (sunnah) do not apply to women.

There is no clear-cut evidence in Shari`ah indicating that circumcision is prescribed either as mandatory or sunnah for women in Islam.

The hadith
“When the two circumcised parts (of a man and a woman) contact, performing ghusl (for both) becomes a must” indicates that females were circumcised at that time; however, this does not include evidence either for its being mandatory or sunnah.

There is another hadith to the effect that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a woman who circumcised women in Madinah: “Cut out a small part, and do not be excessive (in cutting).”

This hadith is not authentic, for all its chains of reporters are weak, although Sheikh Al-Albani considered this hadith to be authentic due to its being narrated with a number of chains of reporters. Nevertheless, one doubts such a way to conclude its authenticity. Circumcision is an issue of interest to every Muslim family that requires clear evidence. This being the case, why was this hadith transmitted through weak chains of narration?

Even if one approves of its authenticity, does the way the hadith is expressed refer to the circumcision’s being imperative or recommendable, or does it simply clarify how it should be performed?

I believe that the hadith merely guides women to what is best to be done when they perform female circumcision, and this does not imply that this operation is obligatory or even a confirmed act of the sunnah.

In my point of view, female circumcision is permissible, but it is an established rule that permissible matters may be banned if they happen to involve harm, due to the juristic rule that there should be no harm, nor reciprocating harm. Permissible matters may also remain in practice and be improved, as implied in the above hadith regarding the way of female circumcision.

In fact, female circumcision needs to be scrutinized. If unbiased experts prove that it really has harmful effects on females, it should be banned so as to ward off such effects.

At the same time, if it is proved by some specialized doctors that some females are physically in need of being circumcised, this operation can be performed.

In conclusion, female circumcision is permissible, on condition that just a small part is to be cut.

Medical opinion on female circumcision:

Specialized contemporary doctors are of the opinion that circumcision has significant harmful effects on most women, the most apparent of which is that it leaves them without the ability to enjoy sexual stimulation in their marital life.

Moreover, some doctors have proved that circumcision has undeniable far-reaching negative effects on women's health, as well as on their social, sexual, and psychological well-being.

For example, Dr. Ahmad Shawqi Al-Fangari says:

It is medically established that the clitoris plays a central role in female sexual stimulation. Female circumcision, as practiced by midwives, means cutting the entire clitoris, and sometimes it involves cutting part of the labia. This operation violates a human right for women, for it makes it impossible for them to experience orgasm later in their marital life. It may even cause them to be frigid, which is one of the most important causes leading to divorce and disintegration of the family in the Muslim world.

A related and not less serious phenomenon in the countries that practice female circumcision is men's becoming addicted to opium and hashish, believing that this would enable them to prolong erection in a desperate attempt to make their circumcised wives experience sexual gratification. Sociologists are almost unanimous that there is no hope of combating men's addiction to such drugs in the Muslim world unless female circumcision is first stopped. In addition to the damaging effects circumcision has on the sexual feelings of women, it causes them many other health problems. The operation itself is often performed in unhygienic conditions by unqualified midwives, meaning that females are at risk of contracting infections, and it may even cause sterility or obstetric problems later in life. These are just a few examples of the many harmful effects of circumcision on females.”

I believe that the way the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised the midwife to follow in practicing female circumcision does not have such damaging effects as cited by doctors and sociologists above. Such effects are rather the result of what is called Pharaonic circumcision (that is, infibulation), which, in fact, mutilates the female genitals and involves removing the entire clitoris, the prepuce, and adjacent labia, followed by sewing up the vulva.

This way of circumcision is practiced in Egypt and Sudan. In the rest of the Arab countries, there is almost no female circumcision. Hence, if female circumcision is prescribed in Islam, would the religious scholars of these countries overlook their country’s noncompliance all that time?

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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13. New Born BABY

Question :      

What rituals are to be done as per sunnah and Islamic tradition for new born baby?

Answer :         

Muslim parents should welcome their newly born baby in a most fitting manner. There are certain rituals associated with child birth which are as follows: 

1.  After birth the Adhan should be called in the child’s right ear. Abu-Rafi, a companion of the Prophet reports: "I saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) calling the 'athan' close to the ear of Al-Hassan ibn Ali (the Prophet's grandson) when his mother Fatimah (the Prophet's daughter) gave birth to him." (Related by Abu Dawood, Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and others). If someone does not do it, he misses reward from Allah for not practicing what is recommended. However, he violates no principle of Islam.

2.  A tiny piece of date should be chewed well by the father or a pious person and then rubbed on the baby’s gums.

 3. On the seventh day, the naming of the child should take place

 4. On the same day, his or her head should be shaved and the hair weighed, and the equivalent of the hair in gold (i.e. the cost of that weight of gold) should be given away in charity to the poor.

5.  If the family can afford it, preferably on the same day, a goat or lamb should be sacrificed and the meat should be distributed to the poor, family and friends. If instead of giving away the meat, a feast is organized to which the poor as well as family and friends are invited, that would be sufficient as well. It is Sunnah to sacrifice two lambs if the child is a boy and one lamb if the child is a girl.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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14. AQEEQAH: IS IT AN OBLIGATION?

Question :

I wanted to know more about "aqeeqa" , which to my knowledge is to be done by the 7th day after the birth of a child. What is the exact purpose and what does it entail, and is it a fard, an obligatory sunnah, or optional? Also, is this requirement found in Quran or Hadith?

Answer :

Dear brother in Islam, thanks a lot for your question, which reflects your care to have a clear view of the teachings of Islam. Allah commands Muslims to refer to people of knowledge to become well acquainted with the teachings of Islam in all aspects of life.  
 
First of all, we would like to stress the fact that `aqeeqah is a Prophetic Sunnah. Muslims who have the means to do it should not ignore it.

In his response to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Aqeeqah is a great Sunnah. It is part of the legacy inherited from Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and a great Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Every child is mortgaged to his `aqeeqah."

Aqeeqah involves sacrificing a goat or lamb on behalf of the child. It is giving thanks to Allah for the gift of a child. The meat is distributed to the poor, or it can be used to arrange a feast to which the poor as well as relatives and friends are invited.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sacrificed a goat each for his grandsons Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn. It is recommended that, on the day of `aqeeqah, the child is given a good name, his/her head is shaved, and his/her hair is weighed and the equivalent in money of its weight in gold is given in charity. If, for any reason, `aqeeqah cannot be done on the seventh day, it can be done on the fourteenth, twenty-first or whenever possible. However, it should not be unnecessarily delayed.

Furthermore, according to the vast majority of scholars in Islam, `aqeeqah is a highly recommended practice (Sunnah). There is, however, a small minority of scholars who consider it obligatory. This is the position of Imam Hasan Al-Basari.

Lastly, the significance of `aqeeqah is that it is part of the Abrahamic legacy. Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) was a man of tawhid (belief in the oneness of Allah), and his entire life typified that of a perfect muwahhid or monotheist. He abolished sacrifices or rituals to deities other than Allah and allowed sacrifices and prayers to be directed solely to Allah. The rituals associated with `aqeeqah, therefore, can be considered as a child's initiation into the lessons of tawhid.

In short, `aqeeqah is a great Sunnah, which all Muslims should practice, especially if they have the means to do so. 

Aqeeqahis a great Sunnah. It is part of the legacy inherited from Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and a great Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Every child is mortgaged to his `aqeeqah."

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America states:

"Aqeeqah is a Sunnah. It is a ceremony done in thankfulness to Allah for the newborn child.

Although `Aqeeqah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, it is mentioned in Hadith. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have urged Muslims to make `Aqeeqah for their children on the seventh day of their birth. If for some reason it was not possible to do it on the 7th day then it can be done at a later date. Those who cannot afford it can give some other charity or just make du`a' for their child.

Naming the child should be done as soon as the child is born. According to the Sunnah, every child that is born alive should be given a name. If the `Aqeeqah was done before naming the child, there is no harm. There is no need to repeat the `Aqeeqah.

The method of `Aqeeqah is to shave the baby’s head or to trim the hair. One may give silver or gold out of charity according to the weight of the baby’s hair. One or two goats or sheep should be slaughtered as sacrifice and the meat should be distributed among the poor, the friends, and the family members can use part of it.  
 
Some Prophetic hadiths mention two goats to be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl. But, according to Muslim jurists, one can sacrifice only one for the boy and one can also sacrifice two for the girl.

And Allah Almighty knows best.

Excerpted, from:  http://www.islamicity.com/qa/

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15. SELECTING MALE / FEMALE CHILD

Question :

It is currently easy to know the sex of the fetus via amniocentesis (extracting a small amount of the amniotic fluid and analyzing the fetal cells in it). Many women use amniocentesis to know the sex of their baby, and some even abort their baby if it is not the sex they want. I know that Islam forbids abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk.

A physician can also interfere to choose the sex of the child before conception based on recognition of the differences between male and female sperms. Would it be allowed in this case to choose the sex of one’s child?

Answer :  

Determining the sex of a fetus before conception does not go against religious morals, nor does it infringe upon faith, for it is nothing other than utilizing the means given to us by Allah. What falls beyond that utilization is up to the Creator of that means. The supreme will is His, Most Sublime is He. Nor does the procedure amount to an alteration of Allah’s creation; for the sperm is still a sperm and the ovum an ovum, and the only intervention is the fertilization of the ovum with a particular type of sperm, while both of them are created by Allah.

It is known that there are two kinds of sex chromosomes, X and Y. A female has two X chromosomes, while a male has one X and one Y chromosome. When a sperm containing an X chromosome fertilizes an egg, the resulting offspring will be female. When a sperm containing a Y chromosome fertilizes an egg, the offspring is male.

Researches have been conducted in order to discover the differences between the sperms bearing the X chromosome and those bearing the Y chromosome. It has been proved that they differ in their mass, speed, electrical effect, ability to penetrate into and across a viscid medium, and their degree of activity according to the chemical interaction of the surrounding environment. Such differences have been used to make one of them precede the other in fertilizing the egg, and thus deciding the sex of the fetus.

However, it should be clear that the Islamic legal viewpoint is that sex selection is unlawful when it is practiced at a national level. On an individual basis, there is nothing legally wrong with an attempt to fulfill the wish of a married couple to have a boy or a girl through available medical means.

In his response to your question, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, professor of fiqh and its principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:

Thank you for your question. Certainly, the final and definitive determination of the gender of a child is in the hands of Allah; thus, He is the Creator. In this regard, one should believe that scientific researches would never contradict the will of Allah.

Having said that, I shall point out that there is no harm in looking for ways and means that might help in having a female or a male child, as far as the means are lawful and permissible. In other words, one should not use any unlawful means that lead to the abortion of a child because of his or her gender.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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16. Test tube babies: Islamic view

Question :

What does Islam say about test-tube babies, artificial insemination, sperm banks and the so-called "children-on-demand" techniques?

Answer :

Much is being said about the techniques now available as a result of what is termed the "revolution" in genetic engineering. There is the sperm bank which is used to fertilize eggs of women who have remained childless after a number of years of marriage.

There is also the method known as "surrogate" motherhood where one woman is employed to bear the child for a married couple who cannot have a child of their own. The surrogate mother is paid a fee for her troubles.

There are other techniques and methods which are being tried on animals to determine whether they can safely be applied to human beings. There is a ruling which has been agreed by many scholars and which applies to all these techniques and methods.

That ruling states that whatever is used strictly between a married couple to help them have a child of their own is permissible, provided that no third party is involved in any way.

If, for example, the egg of a woman is taken out of her body and fertilized in the laboratory out of her own husband's sperm, which means that the conception takes place outside her body, and then the fertilized egg is replanted in her body, and she carries the fetus for the rest of the pregnancy term before giving birth to it, this is acceptable.

When any process involves a third party, either in the shape of a surrogate mother or fertilizing the egg of one woman with the sperm of someone other than her husband, then all this is forbidden. In the latter case, the sperm may come from a bank and the man who gave it is not known to the woman. The prohibition is based on the principle that Islam is keen to maintain proper family relationships. The children must be aware of who their parents are. When a mess like the one happening in the West is allowed to take place, all sorts of problems arise. What is more, the inevitable result will be total confusion of parenthood and of the child-parent relationship. This is something which Islam does not allow.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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17. RULING ON IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF)

Question:

I just wanted to know that is it permissible in the Quran and Sunnah to have a IVF treatment for children one of the sisters I know has been trying for a while to have children but is finding it very difficult so I would appreciate it if you could reply as soon as possible.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

Undoubtedly children are one of the blessings and adornments of this world, and one of the greatest purposes of marriage is to produce offspring. A righteous child is a treasure for his parents in this world and in the Hereafter, and his righteous deeds will be recorded in the balance of his parents’ deeds. A man or a woman may be faced with lack of children or delay of having children. What they must do is be patient and seek reward, and say a lot of du’aa’ and prayers for forgiveness. They should understand that Allah only decrees things for a reason. If a person has available Islamically acceptable means of getting children, there is nothing wrong with his pursuing that. But the Muslim should beware of false ways involving sihr (witchcraft) and myths, and he should beware of doctors who do not fear Allah and whose main aim is to make money from those who want to have children. Hence some of them switch eggs or sperm. This is why some scholars have forbidden these methods of having children or have stipulated very strict conditions. 

Secondly: 

One of the methods that doctors use to help couples have children is that which is mentioned in the question, namely IVF. This method involves stimulating the ovary to produce a number of eggs, similar to the way in which a woman naturally produces one egg. This is done by giving the woman an injection of Decapeptyl to prepare the ovaries for the next step, which is injections of hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce a number of eggs. After ascertaining that the eggs have grown, the woman is given an injection of HCG to complete the development of the eggs before they are extracted. This injection is usually given 36 hours before the eggs are extracted. 

On the day on which the eggs are extracted, semen is taken from the husband and 100,000 sperm are placed with each egg in a test tube so that fertilization may take place. Two or three days later, the fertilized eggs divide to form what is called the embryo, and the embryos are divided into categories according to their quality. The best embryos are selected to be returned to the uterus, where they are placed, and later on an examination is carried out to make sure whether there is a pregnancy or not. The success rate of this procedure according to doctors is 30-40 %. 

This summary was mentioned by Dr. Usaamah Saalihah, a specialist in gynaecology, obstetrics, infertility and laparoscopic surgery in Britain, and the director of the test tube baby unit in the new Dar al-Shifa’ Hospital. (From al-Watan Clinic magazine) 

Thirdly: 

With regard to the shar’i ruling: it should be disallowed, in order to be on the safe side. This is the view of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah al-Jibreen (may Allah preserve him) and it was quoted from the scholars of the Standing Committee. Or it may be permissible subject to certain conditions, including the following: 

1 – That there be a real need for that. A delay of one or two years in having children is not an excuse for the couple to pursue this or similar methods. Rather they should be patient, for Allah may grant them a way out soon without them doing anything that is haraam. 

2 – The woman should not uncover her ‘awrah before men when there are female staff available. 

3 – It is not permissible for the husband to masturbate, rather he may be intimate with his wife without penetration, and produce semen in this manner. 

4 – The woman’s eggs and man’s sperm should not be kept in a freezer for later use, or another appointment, and there should not be any delay in placing them in the woman’s uterus. Rather that should be done immediately without any delay, lest they be mixed with others or be used for other people. 

5 –The sperm must come from the husband and the egg from the wife, and be implanted in the wife’s uterus. Anything else is not permissible at all.

6 – There should be complete trust in the doctors who are doing this procedure. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on putting a woman’s egg in a test tube then fertilizing it with the man’s sperm, then returning it to the woman’s uterus so that it may develop. 

He replied: 

(a) If there is no need for this procedure then we do not think it is permissible, because it involves surgery to extract the eggs – as you mention in the question – and this surgery involves uncovering the ‘awrah unnecessarily, then it involves surgery and there is the fear that it may have effects even in the distant future, such as damaging the Fallopian tube or causing infections. 

Moreover, if things are left to proceed naturally as created by the Most merciful of those who show mercy and the Wisest of judges, that is closer to proper etiquette with Allah and it is better and more beneficial than ways invented by man, which may appear initially to be good but they fail later on. 

(b) If there is a need for this procedure, then we do not think there is anything wrong with it, so long as three conditions are met: 

1 – That this fertilization be done with the husband’s sperm. It is not permissible to use the sperm of anyone but the husband for this fertilization, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 “And Allah has made for you Azwaaj (mates or wives) of your own kind, and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons, and has bestowed on you good provision. Do they then believe in false deities and deny the Favour of Allah (by not worshipping Allah Alone)” [An-Nahl 16:72]  

2 – The collection of sperm from the man should be done in a permissible manner, such as by the husband being intimate with his wife, and ejaculating between her thighs or in her hand, so that the semen may be emitted, then the egg may be fertilized with it. 

3 – After fertilization, the egg should be placed in the wife’s uterus. It is not permissible to place it in the uterus of any other woman under any circumstances whatsoever, because that involves inserting the sperm of the man into the uterus of a woman who is not permissible for him, and Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth,  when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) for your ownselves beforehand. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers” (Al-Baqarah 2:223) 

Tilth is mentioned specifically with regard to a man’s wife, which indicates that a woman other than his wife is not appropriate for his tilth. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (17/p. 27, 28). 

And he (may Allah have mercy on him) also said: 

Artificial fertilization is when the husband’s sperm is taken and placed in the uterus of the wife by means of a syringe. This is a very serious issue. Who can be certain that the doctor will not put the sperm of one man in the uterus of someone else’s wife? Hence we think that precautions must be taken and we should not issue fatwas except in specific cases where we know the man, the woman and the doctor. As for opening the door to this, there is the fear of evil consequences.  

The matter is not to be taken lightly, because if any deceit takes place, it means that lineages will be mixed, and there will be chaos, which is something that sharee’ah has forbidden. Hence the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “One should not have intercourse with a pregnant woman until she gives birth.” I will not issue fatwas to this effect, unless a specific case is referred to me and I know the man, the woman and the doctor. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (17/question no. 9) 

This is the verdict of the Islamic Fiqh Council of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in which it says: There is nothing wrong with resorting to this in the case of need, but it is absolutely essential to take all necessary precautions.  

Majallat al-Majma’ (3/1/423). 

We ask Allah to bless the couple with righteous offspring with no need for such methods, and to enable them to bear this trial with patience. 

And Allah knows best.

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18. Rights of a child born by an illegitimate relationship

Question :

May I ask the responsibilities of a man who has a child born to him by an illegitimate relationship? What are the rights of the child? Does the man have to marry the mother? If so, does she need her father’s permission to marry him? What about financial support to the child and how far is the father responsible to provide Islamic education to the child?

Answer :

When a Muslim commits a sin, particularly one which is punishable by a specific punishment, he should not publicize what he has done. Publicity is an additional sin. If he makes a confession of what he had done, the punishment prescribed by Allah must be enforced. To make such a confession is permissible, but the Prophet teaches us that a person who commits a sin should not lift the mantle with which Allah has covered it. Therefore, a person who commits adultery should not publicize that.

If he has a child born to him illegitimately and he marries the mother of the child, no one will ask him about the legitimacy of the child. The relationship between an illegitimate child and his father is broken. That means that neither the child nor the father have any rights or duties toward each other. The two are like strangers. This means that the child does not have the right to be supported by the father, but equally the father cannot require the child to be dutiful to him.

However, the family relationship between the child and his mother is perfectly established and should be observed. The child has all the rights which any child claims from his mother, and so does she from him. He inherits her and she inherits him in the normal way. He must be dutiful to her and she has to support him.

You ask whether a man should or must marry the mother of his illegitimate child. There is an important rule included in Verse 3 of Surah 24 which states: “An adulterous man may only marry an adulterous woman or one who associates partners with Allah; while an adulterous woman may only be married to an adulterous man or one who associates partners with Allah. This is forbidden to believers.” (An-Noor 24:3)

Therefore, one may not marry a partner who practices adultery or takes it lightly. If a man or a woman is known to do so, it is not permissible for a Muslim to marry him or her. It is only when such a person repents of his or her past conduct and resolves not to do it again that he or she may be married to a Muslim. In the light of the foregoing, if the man has repented of his sin, he may marry the woman if she has also repented. If both feel that they have done wrong and they want to live a proper life, obeying Allah and his messenger, they may get married and the man is recommended to help the woman keep her error a secret and bring up the child normally.

The marriage of such a woman is the same as the marriage of any other woman. In Islam, she must have her father or guardian present at her marriage. It is needless to say that every child is entitled to be given proper Islamic education. How else could the father expect the child to avoid the sin which he himself has been guilty of?


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News – Jeddah )

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19. ILLEGITIMATE CHILD

Question:

If a couple begets a child illegitimately, what is to be done?

Answer:

In a state in which Islamic law is applied, the pregnancy of an unmarried woman is an undeniable evidence of adultery [unless a case of rape has earlier been reported by the woman] which is punishable in Islam. The punishment is the same for both man and woman. No blame is attached to the child as the result of his parents' sin. Any person who is guilty of fornication or adultery should repent his or her sin and pray to Allah to forgive him or her. An order that applies to all sins is that the perpetrator should not publicize his action. This also applies in this case. If an adulterer confesses to his guilt or if four witnesses testify to having seen him doing it, the punishment described by Islam is enforceable.

The child born out of wedlock, like every other child, he or she is born sinless; it does not carry the stigma of the sin of the father or mother or both. A basic principle in Islamic justice is that no one bears the blame for another’s fault. A child born as a result of an illegitimate relationship suffers no adverse discrimination on account of his parents’ sin.

Since you acknowledge that child is yours, you are his/her father and he/she is your child. He/she is not orphans as long as you are alive. If you want to take care of them, then you should do that, but if mother wants child, that is acceptable.

In this respect, the prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, adds:

“The children born out of wedlock deserve all the care they need as children; thus you should provide them with all the requirements and elements to make them succeed in this life.

They are not responsible for the past deeds of their parents. However, the attribution of the child’s name to the father is based on the acceptance of the father. If he approves of it, then he/she can be named after him.”

However, if the couple get married when the pregnancy becomes evident, and try to keep their affair secret, they do well, especially if they repent having committed this sin. They may hope to be forgiven by Allah. If the father admits that the child is his own, his admission is accepted and he is not questioned with regard to the time of pregnancy and whether it was a legitimate one or not.

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20. EVE (HAWWA) THE WAY ALLAH CREATED EVE

Question :

We all know that God has created the Prophet Adam, and presumably he created Eve in the same way. Why, then, the scholars say that Eve was created from Adam's left rib? Does it look natural? Medical science rejects such an assumption. Can you interpret it in a logical way? That would be very helpful for all of us.

Answer:

The first thing that I would like to say about this question is that when something relates to God's power or how He does whatever He wishes to do, or how He creates, then we should accept what is stated in the Qur'an or in an authentic Hadith without any reservation. We know that God has power over all things, and he is able to accomplish His purpose easily, and without difficulty.

We know, for example, that man was created from clay and then God breathed of His soul into him. God certainly could have created man from some other substance, or without using any substance whatsoever. There is no limit to God's ability. What we also know is that whatever God decides, or whatever method of creation He adopts, it must have a definite purpose known to Him. Therefore, we do not question that purpose of the method employed. There is certainly a report which suggests that the first woman, Eve, was created from Adam's left rib. This report, however, cannot be described as highly authentic. But even if it was, we need not have any problem in accepting it, because God must have a purpose, for choosing to create Eve in this way.

God's will is not subject to medical science, or indeed to any science whatsoever. What science does is to observe God's creation and try to define laws that apply to God's creation. Hence, it cannot impose its findings on how God works or creates. On the other hand, we have some highly authentic Hadiths which speak that women generally have been created from a rib. These could be interpreted as referring to the creation of the first woman. They could also mean that such a method of creation reflects itself in the nature of women generally.

The most complete version of these Hadiths is the one which may be translated as follows: "Take good care of woman, for they have been created from a rib. The most prominently crooked part of a rib is its top part. If you were to try to straighten it, you will inevitably break it, but if you leave it alone, it remains crooked. Therefore, take good care of women." (Related by Al-Bukhari) It is evident that the description here is figurative.

The Prophet's purpose is to remind men everywhere and in all generations that they must take good care of women, whether they are their wives, mothers, sisters or daughters. The Prophet also refers to a certain way wardness in women's nature. This is present in almost all women and it requires some careful handling in order to ensure that life continues happily. It is as if the Prophet is telling men not to try to impose their will rigidly over women, because that may lead to a break-up of the family home.

In another version of this Hadith, related by Muslim, the Prophet explains that "to break while trying to straighten crookedness is to divorce one's wife." Therefore, men must be tolerant and must take good care of their women. Those among us who act on the Prophet's advice will certainly be rewarded by God.

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21. ADAM AND EVE IN THE BIBLE AND THE QUR’AN

Question:

Name of Questioner: Maria   - United States Date: 09/Sep/2004

Did God create Eve from Adam's rib or did He create them together? What is the difference between the Islamic version of the story of creation and the Christian version? Is there any contradiction between the two versions?

Answer : Name of Counselor: Shahul Hameed

There is a lot of common ground shared by the Judeo-Christian tradition and the Islamic tradition with regard to belief and practice. Both the Bible and the Qur’an tell the story of the creation of the first man, Adam. This story is significant for its universal appeal, as it tells how mankind began its earthly existence. Indeed, the same story is repeated in several surahs, such as Al-Baqarah, Al-A`raf, and Ta-Ha. In all these places, the emphasis is on the creation of Adam, and we should understand that Adam here stands for Man in the generic sense. The Qur’an says what means:

“We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape”   (Al-Hijr 15:26)

It also says what means:

“He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay (7) And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised”   (As-Sajdah 32:7-8)

The creation of Eve is not described in the Qur’an as in the case of Adam; though it is stated that a "mate" was created with Adam, from the same nature and soul. The Qur’an says what means:

It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love…."  (Al-A`raf 7:189)

We find “Eve” as the name of the first woman at the beginning of Chapter 4 of the Book of Genesis, in the Bible. Though the Qur’an does not give her name, she is known in Islamic tradition by the Arabic name Hawwa`.

The Bible describes the creation of Eve in these terms:

“The Lord God said: ‘It is not good that Man should be alone; I will make him a help meet’... the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam... and He took one of his ribs... and made He a woman ... and brought her unto the man ... and ... Adam said, “… She shall be called woman”  (Genesis 2:18,21-3).

The Qur’an confirms that Hawwa` was indeed created out of Adam but is silent on the specific process of her creation. It states what means:

“O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered [like seeds] countless men and women;—reverence God, through whom ye demand your mutual [rights], and [reverence] the wombs [that bore you]: for God ever watches over you.}”  (An-Nisaa’ 4:1)

Both the descriptions in the Bible and the Qur’an clearly show that the creation of Hawaa’ also was unique as she was the only woman created from a man. But unlike the Bible, the Qur'an does not say that Hawwa was created from Adam's rib, but says that she was made "of like nature."

We may note, however, that the biblical statement above is not contradicted by the Qur’an, and what is more, it is supported by the hadith reported by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him). He relates that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Treat women kindly. Woman has been created from a rib and the most curved part of the rib is the uppermost. If you try to straighten it, you will break it and if you leave it alone, it will remain curved. So treat women kindly” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

This does not mean that Islam views women as biologically warped, but only that their basic nature demands special consideration and kindness.

The rib implies that the process of creation of woman differed from Adam and was unique. The Bible says,
“God said, ‘It is not good that Man should be alone; I will make for him a help meet,’” and the Qur'an speaks of humanity's *{Guardian-Lord... [creating] from a single person, ...of like nature, his mate}*. We may say that the rib is symbolic of the husband’s duty to treat his wife as part of himself, as well as the wife’s dependence on the husband for care and protection.

The few differences between the Biblical presentation of creation and the Qur’anic one can be summarized thus:

All the three religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam agree on one basic fact: Both men and women are created by God. But the Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that Satan appeared in the form of a serpent before Eve and tempted her to eat from the forbidden tree and that it was Eve who seduced Adam to eat with her. According to the Genesis story, God rebuked Adam for what he did, but the latter put all the blame on Eve: “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12).

Consequently, God said to Eve,
“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).

To Adam He said,
“Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree … cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:17).

The Islamic view of the matter is clear from the verses that mean:

“So by deceit he (satan) brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?" (22) They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost."  (Al-A`raf 7:22-23)

A careful look into the two accounts of the story of the creation reveals some essential differences. The Qur’an, contrary to the Bible, places equal blame on both Adam and Eve for their mistake. The Qur’an does not say that Eve tempted Adam to eat from the tree or even that she had eaten before him. Eve in the Qur’an is not a seducer or deceiver. God, according to the Qur’an, punishes no one for another’s faults. Both Adam and Eve committed a sin and then asked God for forgiveness and He forgave them both. So there is no question of a hereditary sin called Original Sin in Islam.

In short, the whole story clearly teaches us the divine directive for equality of the sexes, fairness, and justice in matters relating to men and women. The following Islamic principles are brought to light also; that humans have freedom of will, responsibility for their choice of action and the consequent accountability before God.

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.readingislam.com/

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22. WAS MAN CREATED TALL AND GETTING SHORTER

Question :

In saheeh al bukhari hadith No. 246, rasulullah states Adam was created 30m in height. I cannot understand and imagine this can you please explain?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah .  

Firstly: 

This hadeeth was narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: 

“Allah  created Adam and he was sixty cubits tall. Then He said, ‘Go and greet those angels and listen to how they greet you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your progeny.’ He said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alaykum (Peace be upon you).’ They said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allah  (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah).’ So they added the words ‘wa rahmat Allah.’ And everyone who enters Paradise will be in the form of Adam. People kept on growing smaller until now.”   Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3336; Muslim, 7092 

According to a version narrated by Muslim: “Everyone who enters Paradise will be in the form of Adam who was sixty cubits tall. People kept growing smaller until now.” 

With regard to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “People kept growing smaller until now,” al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (6/367): “This means that in every generation people grew shorter than the previous generation, and continued to grow shorter until the time of this ummah, then they stayed like that.” 

The Muslim is obliged to believe in every idea for which there is evidence in the Quran or saheeh Sunnah from the Messenger of Allah  (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “I believe in Allah and in that which came from Allah  in the sense meant by Allah. I believe in the Messenger of Allah and in what came from the Messenger of Allah  in the sense meant by the Messenger of Allah.” See al-Irshaad Sharh Lam’at al-I’tiqaad, p. 89. 

So the believer is required to believe with firm faith in everything that we are told by Allah and by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him), if it is proven to be soundly reported from him (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He must believe in it with firm faith that leaves no room for the slightest doubt. He must accept it in general and specific terms, whether he understands it or not and whether he finds it strange or not, because not understanding something that is proven in a sound report does not mean that it did not happen. All that means is that he cannot comprehend this particular issue. Allah has commanded us to believe in everything that He tells us and everything that His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tells us. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful”  (Al-Hujuraat 49:15) 

Part of faith is belief in the unseen (al-ghayb). The hadeeth we are discussing here comes under this heading. Allah praises those who believe in the unseen, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“This is the Book; in it is sure guidance, without doubt. (2) To those who fear Allah; Who believe in the Unseen, …”  (Al-Baqarah 2:2-3)

You should note that Allah is able to do all things. Just as He is able to create man in the form that he appears in now, He is also able to create man in a larger or smaller form. 

If this is difficult for you to understand, then think of the dwarves that we see, who are child-sized men. If this can happen, then why could the opposite not happen, namely a man being sixty cubits tall? In the history of mankind there have been giants as the archaeologists tell us. 

The basic principle here is to accept the absolute power of Allah and to accept what He tells us and what His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tell us, and to say what those who are well versed in knowledge say: 

“….We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord…”  (Aal ‘Imraan 3:7) 

We ask Allah to show us the truth as true and help us to follow it, and to show us falsehood as false and help us to avoid it. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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