Some Points from a Question and Answer Session with Shaikh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaani
produced by: JAM'IAT IHYAA' MINHAAJ AL-SUNNAH, 24 BISHOPS HILL, IPSWICH, SUFFOLK, IP3 8EN
Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albani, may Allah have mercy upon him, was born in the city of Ashkodera, capital of Albania in 1914 CE. While he was young his parents migrated with him to Damascus, Syria. From an early age he became fascinated by the science of Hadith and thereafter spent his time devoted to seeking knowledge. In later life he was given Professorship of Hadith at the Islamic University of Madinah. He was later forced to migrate several times from one country to another due to persecution by various Arab governments. His knowledge and writings are well known to students and scholars, and he is survived by many well known students. He was of enormous service to the Prophetic Hadith, taking great pains to check and sort the authentic from the weak and fabricated narrations. He produced many pamphlets and books, some of them running into many volumes, on topics of great importance to the Muslims, and he fully checked many of the famous books of Hadith including the Sunan of Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, An-Nasai and Ibn Majah, along with Suyooti's huge "Jami-us-Sagheer" and "Mishkat-ul Masabih". He was considered by many to be the foremost scholar of Hadith and related sciences of this age, and Allah knows best.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: (Zawaj.com Editor's Note: Shaykh Al-Albani has of course produced entire volumes of Islamic writings. Here we have presented only a small selection having to do with the topics of marriage and women).
Question: What is the Islamic ruling on a husband offering Khamr (intoxicants) to his wife, and threatening to divorce her if she refuses it, although he knows that she is regular at her prayers?
Answer: The answer to this question is well-known: "There can be no obedience to the created which involves disobedience to the-Creator." (Saheeh-Haakim & Ahmad) It is not permissible for the wife to obey her husband in disobedience to Allaah the Exalted, and her divorce from him is better for her; Allaah says: "But if their intention is firm for divorce, Allaah hears and knows all things" (Baqarah 2:227) This is especially true when the cause for divorce from the woman is her obedience to Allaah, and disobedience to her husband who is flouting the commandments of Allaah. However, other issues need to be taken into account and each case is judged by its individual merits; if this woman is divorced from her husband, her and her children's lives may be ruined; in such a case, it would be possible for us to say that she should stay with her husband, by way of choosing the lesser of two evils. However, we do not give such a ruling generally, for it is against the essential principle; the matter is as Allaah says: "Nay, each man is aware of his own self (situation)." (Qiyaamah 75:14)
Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to uncover her hair in front of a woman of the People of the Book, e.g. a maidservant?
It is not allowed for a Muslim woman to appear in front of a disbelieving woman, whether she is of the People of the Book or otherwise, unless she is covered the way she would be in front of a strange man. This is because when Allaah allows the women to uncover themselves in front of various categories of people, He says, "... or their women'' (Noor 24:31). Their women indicates Muslim women only.
lf parents refuse permission for their daughter to visit her sister, and she longs to see her and misses seeing her, then is she allowed to make up a false story to enable her to go out and visit her, or can she go without her parent's permission?
It is not permissible for her to visit her without their permission, just as it is not permissible for her to lie to them. Rather she should convince them that this visit is something ordered in the Sharee'ah. So if she convinces them, then good, and it is not permissible for the daughter, especially if she says that she is following the Sharee'ah, to leave the obedience of her parents for the like of this visit.
What is the ruling for wearing the 'Niqaab' (face- veil) these days, and gloves? And further, if she feels there is a chance of 'fitnah' so she wants to wear this, but the parents refuse to let her, then what should she do?
If their refusal only refers to her not covering her face and hands, then she has to obey her parents in that, but if their refusal includes more than that, then, "There is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator." Since covering the body except for the face and hands is obligatory for the Muslim woman, and covering her face and hands is not obligatory but 'mustahabb' (recommended). So if the parents do not want her to cover her face and hands, then there is no harm in her obeying them and no sin in it, as opposed to what would be the case if they wished her to uncover other than that, in which case she owes no obedience to them since that is a sin.
What is the ruling regarding a woman's wearing a scarf on her head?
That is not enough - she has to wear a 'khimaar' which covers the head and chest. The scarf is not loose fitting and does not cover enough.
Should not the shoulders also be covered by it?
Yes, that is the 'khimaar'. It is a wide cover covering the head and shoulders. When we say that it covers the chest, then it covers the shoulders since it is wide. But as regards the head-scarf we often see a woman wearing it revealing a part of the neck due to it, but the 'khimaar' covers the neck and shoulder, and Allaah ta'aala orders that saying:
WALYADRIBNA BIKHUMURIHINNA 'ALAA JUYOOBIHINNA
The head-scarf is as they say these days a compromise, and there is no such thing in Islaam!
Many people hold that the khimaar' is a covering for the face.
That is ignorance with regard to the language. The 'khimaar' is a covering for the head and the man also wears the khimaar - putting it upon his head - the same as for the woman. He ta'aala said:
WALYADRIBNA BIKHUMURIHINNA 'ALAA JUYOOBIHINNA
If the khimaar covered the face then He ta'aala would not say WALYADRIBNA meaning pull/draw together, but he would have said "let fall" [ using the verb 'sadala' ]. This is ignorance regarding the language.
Is it permissible for women to wear high-heeled shoes?
That is not permissible. It involves resembling the Disbelieving Women or the wicked women. It has its origin among the Jewish women before Islaam. When one of them wanted to attend a gathering where her lover was present, then she would wear a pair of high shoes for him to see her, being taller. Then after a time that became high- heeled shoes! Further, this type of shoe changes a woman's way of walking, causing her to tilt from left to right and therefore the wicked and the unbelievers choose this type of shoe. Therefore a Muslim woman following the Sharee'ah should not wear high-heeled shoes - specially since many times it causes her to fall.
ADVICE FOR THE NEWLY-MARRlED HUSBAND:
1. The Sunnah is to say to them in congratulations:
Baarakallahu laka wa baaraka 'alaika wajama'a bainakuma fi kheir and not use the congratulations of Jaahiliyyah.
2. Also from the Sunnah for the one wishing to marry is to seek a wife whom it is thought will provide many children, as he (S) said "Marry the beloved who have many children, because I will vie through you with the nations on the Day of Resurrection."
3. Family Planning/Birth Control: It is something introduced amongst the Muslims by their enemies and it is from the Unbelievers and weakens the strength of the Muslims. The idol-worshipping people will perhaps fall into this, but the Muslims should be far from it and from this plan to weaken them.
The Muslim marries as a means of nearness to Allaah, as the Messenger (S) said "O youths, he amongst you who is able, then let him marry for it is better for withholding the gaze and better for the private parts and he who is not able - then let him fast - for it is a shield for him."
And the Muslim is rewarded for fulfilling his desire - as is shown in the clear hadeeth: that when a poor companion came to the Messenger (S) and spoke of the rich and the Messenger (S) replied "Verily there is for you in every 'tasbeeh' sadaqah and in every 'tahmeed' sadaqah and in every 'takbeer' sadaqah and in every 'tahleel' sadaqah and ordering good is sadaqah, and forbidding evil is sadaqah and repairing relations between two people is sadaqah and in the sexual intercourse of one of you is sadaqah." They said: "Does one of us fulfilling his desire receive reward for it?" He (S) said "Yes, if he did that in what is forbidden then would he not be sinful?" They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allaah." So he (S) said "Then likewise if he does that in what is permissible then he receives reward."
So when the Muslim marries - he does not only fulfill his desire but also carries out Allaah's orders.
Furthermore, by marrying he intends to increase the side of the Ummah
Further, he intends if he is granted children to bring them up and train them - and they will after his death be a source of good for him. The hadeeth: "When the son of Adam dies his actions are cut off except for three: a recurring charity, or knowledge from which benefit is derived or a pious son who supplicates for him."
Further, if he has children and they die young - then there is for him reward for that - Paradise.
Therefore the Muslim who marries and has children - either they outlive him and make du'aa for him - or they die before him and he is promised Paradise; hadeeth of the Messenger (S): "There are no two [married] Muslims - of whose children - three die except that the Fire will not touch them - except for the oath (see Sooratul-Maryam aayah 71 to 72) causes that." They said: "And two, O Messenger of Allaah?" He said "And two." His Companions said, so that we thought that if we were to say "And one?" that he would say "And one."
So this practice is a practice of the Unbelievers having no connection with Islaam and does not befit the intellect of the Muslim who lives for Allaah and lives with his children as righteous worshippers of Allaah - and that their rewards may be written in his record and his wife's, and that if they die early - then Allaah has promised Paradise for the parents - and that the Fire will not harm them.
ABOUT MUT'AH MARRIAGE:
There are many ahadeeth about the forbidding of Mut'ah marriage in Bukhaaree and Muslim; from them: "That the Messenger (S) forbade Mut'ah until the Day of Resurrection."
That it was not 'Umar (R) who made it forbidden, but he affirmed the ruling conveyed by the Messenger (S).
ABOUT THE GREETING OF WOMEN BY MEN AND MEN BY WOMEN:
That general ahadeeth are to be understood and acted upon according to the understanding and action of the Salaf.
That if we have a general hadeeth covering various cases - then to act on some parts of that not acted on by the Salaf is innovation. This is how innovations begin - and if we wished to produce a general text to support many innovations (we could do that). So the fact that the Salaf did not act on something covered by a general hadeeth shows that that was not intended, and for us to do so would be an innovation.
An example is the ahadeeth recommending Prayer in Jamaa'ah - this covers all Prayer, even Nafl Prayer and the 'Sunnah Prayers' - but the Salaf had not used to pray, for example, the rak'ahs before dhuhr in Jamaa'ah - so to do so acting on the ahadeeth recommending Jamaa'ah would be an innovation.
And with regard to this question - we find that the Salaf had not used to greet the women whom they came across. And this is also to prevent fitnah.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN VISITING A BROTHER AND THE DOOR IS ANSWERED BY HIS WIFE - SHOULD HE GREET AND THEN STATE WHO HE IS, ETC.?
That is from the Sharee'ah since there is no Fitnah.