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Should Woman Pray as Men Pray

20 Jan
There Is No Difference Between The Prayer Of The Man & The Woman
Question:

The Messenger sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Pray as you have seen me praying” And that which is understood from this Hadeeth is that there is no difference between the prayer of the man and the prayer of the woman, not in the standing, the sitting and nor in the prostration. So I have been acting in accordance with that since reaching the age of at-Takleef (burdened/obligated to abide by the Sharee’ah). But we have women in Kenya who quarrel with me and they say that your prayer is not correct because it resembles the man’s prayer. And the examples they mention where the man’s prayer differs from the woman’s prayer are holding the two hands upon the chest and when releasing them both and the keeping of the back level in the bowing position (Rukoo’) and other than that from the issues about which I have conviction. So I would like you to clarify to me is there a difference between the performance of the prayer of the man and the woman?

Answer:

O questioner, my sister for the sake of Allaah, indeed that which is correct is that there is no difference between the man’s prayer and the woman’s prayer. As for what some of the jurists mention from the difference [in the prayer of the man and the woman] then there is no evidence for it. And the hadeeth that you mentioned in the question being the statement of the prophet may the peace and blessings be upon him:“Pray as you have seen me praying”1

[This Hadeeth]is a fundamental principle which generally includes everybody and the legislations are in generality for men and women except for when there is established proof making it specific. So the Sunnah for the woman is that she prays as the men pray in the rukoo’ (bowing), the prostration (sujood), the recitation, putting the hands upon the chest and other than that. This is what is best, this is how to put them (hands) upon the knees in the rukoo’, this is how to put them upon the ground in prostration either in level with shoulders or in level with the ears, this how you make your back level in the rukoo’ and this what is said in the rukoo’ and the prostration and after the rising from the rukoo’ and rising up from the prostration and between the two prostrations. All of it is just the same as the men acting in accordance to his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement:

“Pray as you have seen me praying” [Reported by al-Bukhaaree in as-Saheeh.]

Writing Conditions in Marriage Contract

7 Jan

I am a young man who is engaged and is going to get married. I’ve heard that at the time of the marriage contract, the wife can stipulate conditions in the contract. My question is: what are the limits of these conditions? What happens if the conditions are broken? Is it possible to give the wife herself the right to divorce (talaaq) if I break these conditions? Is it possible for the condition to be, for example, that I will not take another wife and in the event that I do take another wife she will be divorced from me?  
I hope you can advise and explain this matter in detail. May Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah. 

The basic principle with regard to the conditions stipulated by both partners in the marriage contract is that it is a valid condition that must be fulfilled, and it is not permissible to break it, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The condition which most deserves to be fulfilled is that by means of which intimacy becomes permissible for you.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2721) and Muslim (1418). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The basic principle with regard to conditions in the marriage contract is that they are valid, unless there is proof to show that they are not valid. The evidence for that is the general meaning of the evidence which speaks of fulfilling covenants: 

“O you who believe! Fulfil (your) obligations”

[al-Maa’idah 5:1]

“And fulfil (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about”

[al-Isra’ 17:34] 

and in the hadeeth narrated from the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) it says: “The Muslims are bound by their conditions, except a condition that forbids what is permissible or permits what is forbidden.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1352). And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever stipulates a condition that is not in the Book of Allaah it is not valid, even if he stipulates a hundred times.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2155) and Muslim (1504). 

To sum up, the basic principle with regard to conditions is that they are permissible and valid, whether they are to do with marriage, buying and selling, renting, pledges or mortgages, or awqaaf. The ruling on the conditions that are stipulated in contracts, if they are valid, is that they must be fulfilled, because of the general meaning of the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Fulfil (your) obligations”

[al-Maa’idah 5:1].

End quote. 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/241 (Egyptian edition). 

For examples of that ,see the answers to questions number 20757 and 10343 

With regard to the woman stipulating that the husband should not take a second wife, the opinion of some scholars is that this condition is permissible, and if the husband breaks it, the wife has the right to annul the marriage and take her dues in full. 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If he stipulates that he will not take her out of her house or her city, or that he will not travel with her or will not take another wife, then he is obliged to fulfil that, and if he does not do so, then she has the right to annul the marriage. This was narrated from ‘Umar, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas and ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with them). End quote. 

Al-Mughni, 9/483 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

If she stipulates that he should not take another wife, this is permissible. Some of the scholars said that it is not permissible, because it is restricting the husband in something that Allah has permitted to him, and it is contrary to the Qur’aan in which it says (interpretation of the meaning): “then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four” [al-Nisa’ 4:3]. It may be said in response to that that she has a reason to ask him not to marry another wife and she is not transgressing against anyone. The husband himself is the one who is giving up his right; if he has the right to marry more than one, he is giving it up. So what is to prevent this condition being valid? 

Hence the correct view with regard to this matter is the view of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him), which is that this condition is valid. End quote. 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/243 

It should be noted that if the husband breaks this condition, his wife does not become divorced as a result of that, rather she has the right to annul the marriage, and she may either annul it or give up the condition and accept what her husband has done, and remain as his wife. 

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) said: 

Among other conditions that are valid in marriage is if she stipulates that he should not take another wife. If he fulfils the condition (all well and good), otherwise she has the right to annul the marriage because of the hadeeth, “The condition which most deserves to be fulfilled is that by means of which intimacy becomes permissible for you.” Similarly, if she stipulates that he should not separate her from her children or parents, this condition is valid and if he breaks it, she has the right to annul the marriage. If she stipulates that her mahr should be increased or that it should be in a specific currency, the condition is valid and binding, and he has to fulfil it, and she has the right of annulment if it is broken. In that case she has the choice and may decide any time she wants and may annul it whenever she wants, so long as there is nothing on her part to indicate that she accepts it if she knows that he has gone against what was stipulated; in that case she would no longer have the option. 

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the one who he ruled was obliged to fulfil what his wife had stipulated, when the man said, “Divorce us in that case,” ‘Umar said: It is a must to fulfil the conditions, because of the hadeeth, “The believers are bound by their conditions.” Al-‘Allaamah Ibn al-Qayyim said: It is obligatory to fulfil these conditions which are the most deserving of being fulfilled. This is what is implied by sharee’ah, reason and sound analogy, if the woman did not agree to become a man’s wife except on these conditions, and if it were not obligatory to fulfil them, then the marriage contract would not be based on mutual agreement, and it would be making something obligatory upon her that Allah and His Messenger have not made obligatory. End quote. 

Al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhi (2/345, 346) 

And Allah knows best.

Legitimate Reasons for Divorce for Women

22 Dec

Is it permissible to ask for divorce from a husband who has haraam relationships with other women?.

Praise be to Allaah. 

It is not permissible for a woman to ask for khul‘ or talaaq from her husband except for a legitimate shar‘i reason, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (2226), al-Tirmidhi (1187) and Ibn Maajah (2055) from Thawbaan who said: The Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce when it is not absolutely necessary, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.”.

This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

“absolutely necessary” indicates a case of hardship in which divorce is the only recourse. 

It was narrated from ‘Utbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Women who seek divorce by khul‘ are the hypocrite women.”

Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer (17/339); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘, no. 1934. 

What is meant by that is women who seek divorce by khul‘ when there is no reason that makes it permissible for them to seek that. 

If the husband is having haraam relationships with other women, this is a reason which makes it permissible for the wife to seek talaaq or khul‘, so as to protect herself and her honour, and as a precaution against diseases that the husband may bring because of these relationships. 

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah preserve him) said, explaining what justifies seeking talaaq or khul‘: If the woman dislikes her husband’s character, such as if he is harsh or hot-tempered or quick-tempered or gets angry a great deal for the slightest reason and rebukes for the slightest shortcoming, then she has the right to seek divorce by khul‘. 

Secondly: 

If she dislikes his physical make-up, such as if he has a defect or is ugly or is lacking in one of his senses, then she has the right to seek divorce by khul‘. 

Thirdly: 

If he is lacking in religious commitment, such as if he does not pray or is careless us about praying in congregation or breaks the fast in Ramadan without any excuse, or he does haraam things such as zina, drinking alcohol, listening to songs and music, and so on, then she has the right to ask for divorce by khul‘. 

Fourthly: 

If he denies her her rights to maintenance, clothing and other essential needs and he is able to provide that, then she has the right to ask for divorce by khul‘. 

Fifthly: 

If he does not give her her right to regular intimacy and that which will keep her chaste because of impotence (inability to have intercourse) or because he is not interested in her or is attracted to someone else, or he does not divide his time equally (among co-wives), then she has the right to ask for divorce by khul‘. 

And Allah knows best. End quote. 

See also the answer to question number 1859

And Allah knows best.

Fiqh of Dress for Salaah for Women

22 Dec

Can girls pray in pants? What is the clothing that is prescribed in sharee’ah for praying?.

Praise be to Allaah. 

The clothing that is prescribed for women to pray in is any clothing that covers her entire body apart from the face and hands; it should be loose and opaque, so that it does not show the shape of any part of her body. 

The fact that a woman’s clothing should cover all of her body whilst praying is indicated by the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who was asked about what clothes a woman should pray in. she said: “She should pray in a khimaar (head cover) and a long chemise that covers the tops of her feet.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 639. It was also narrated in a marfoo’ report (i.e., attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Buloogh al-Maraam (p. 40): The imams classed the mawqoof report as saheeh. Ibn Taymiyah said: The well known view is that it is mawqoof, with an isnaad that stops at Umm Salamah, but it carries the same weight as a marfoo’ report. Sharh Kitaab al-Salaah min al-‘Umdah, p. 365. 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah does not accept the prayer of a woman who menstruates (i.e., an adult woman) unless her head is covered.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 641; al-Tirmidhi, 377; Ibn Maajah, 655; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7747. 

So it is essential to wear something that covers the entire body apart from the face. The scholars differed as to whether it is obligatory for a woman to cover her hands and feet when praying. 

With regard to the hands: the majority of scholars are of the view that it is not obligatory to cover them. Two views were narrated concerning that from Imam Ahmad. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was of the view that it is not obligatory. It says in al-Insaaf: That is the correct view. 

With regard to the feet: the majority of Maalikis, Shaafa’is and Hanbalis are of the view that it is obligatory to cover them. This is also the view stated in a fatwa of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas (6/178): 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The entire woman is ‘awrah when she is praying, apart from her face. The scholars differed with regard to the hands. Some of them said it is obligatory to cover them, and others said it is allowed to leave them uncovered. The matter is broad in scope, in sha Allaah, but it is better to cover them so as to avoid an area of scholarly disagreement. As for the feet, it is obligatory to cover them when praying, according to the majority of scholars. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 10/410 

Imam Abu Haneefah, al-Thawri and al-Mazani were of the view that it is permissible for a woman to uncover her feet when praying. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and by al-Mardaawi in al-Insaaf.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (2/161): 

There is no clear evidence on this matter. Hence Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was of the view that a free woman is ‘awrah except what appears of her when she is in her home, namely the face, hands and feet. He said: Women at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to wear chemises in their homes, and not every woman had two garments. Hence if menstrual blood got onto her garment, she could wash it and pray in it. The hands and feet are not ‘awrah when praying, or with regard to looking. Based on that, there is no solid evidence on this matter, and I follow Shaykh al-Islam in this regard; this is how we understand it, but we cannot be certain of it, because even if a woman has a garment that reaches to the floor, when she prostrates the bottom of her feet will appear. End quote. 

See: al-Mughni, 1/349; al-Majmoo’, 3/171; Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, 5/121; al-Insaaf, 1/452; Majmoo’ al-Fataawa by Ibn Taymiyah, 22/114. 

But if the garment is thin and shows what is beneath it, and the colour of the skin can be seen, then it is not regarded as covering. 

Rawdat al-Taalibeen by al-Nawawi, 1/284; al-Mughni, 2/286. 

This is indicated by the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: people with whips like the tails of cattle with which they strike the people, and women who are clothed yet naked…” Narrated by Muslim, 2128. 

With regard to the words “clothed yet naked”, al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (4/3998): It was said that they wear thin garments that show the colour of the skin. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Tamheed (13/204): What is meant by the phrase “clothed yet naked” is those who wear light garments which show and do not conceal, so they are clothed in name but naked in reality. End quote. 

The evidence that the garment should be loose and opaque is the hadeeth of Usaamah ibn Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave me a qubti garment from the gifts that Dihyah al-Kalbi had given to him, and I gave it to my wife to wear. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Why are you not wearing the qubti garment?” I said: “I gave it to my wife to wear.” He said: “Tell her to put a ghalaalah underneath it for I fear that it will show the size of her bones.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 2/234; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, p. 131. 

The qubti garment is a garment made of thin white linen that was made in Egypt. Lisaan al-‘Arab, 7/373. 

The ghalaalah is a kind of slip or undergarment.  

Based on this, it is not permissible for a woman to wear tight clothes that show her ‘awrah, such as pants or trousers. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: 

Even if they are wide and opaque, because they distinguish one leg from the other, so they do not cover properly. Moreover there is the fear that this makes women resemble men, because pants are a man’s garment. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 12/286 

As for the validity of her prayer, even if she goes against this ruling and prays wearing these tight clothes, her prayer is still valid, because what is required is to cover the ‘awrah, and she has done that. 

See also question no 46529 

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:  

It is not permissible to wear tight clothes which show the limbs and the shape of a woman’s body. Tight clothes are not permissible for men or women, but it is especially forbidden for women, because the fitnah in their case is greater. 

With regard to praying in particular, if a person prays with his ‘awrah covered in such clothes, his prayer is valid in an of itself, because the ‘awrah is covered, but he is sinning by praying in tight clothes, because he has transgressed one of the rules of prayer by wearing tight clothes. This is one aspect. Another aspect is that it is a cause of temptation and draws attention, especially in the case of women. So women should cover themselves with loose garments which will cover them and not show any of the limbs of their body or attract attention. So it should not be a thin or see-through garment, rather it should be a concealing garment which will cover the woman completely. End quote. 

Al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, 3/454.