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Suhaib Webb – Tafsir of Surah Luqman

August 5th, 2009 No comments

mam Suhaib’s tafsir of surah Luqman at MCA on 7/29/09. He will be continuing his tafsir on surah Luqman every Wednesday after Maghrib at MCA, insha’Allah.

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Islamic rulings change with the changing of customs: A question on Hijab answered by Imam Suhaib Webb

August 5th, 2009 1 comment

Asalamu alaykum,

“Why do we have to wear Hijab in the USA? Don’t religious laws change according to time and place? Isn’t there room for this to change?”

The Answer:

Asalamu alaykum,

I pray that this message reaches you well, full of faith and please with your lord,

Dearest Sister:

I would like to thank you for taking the time to type this email to me. Such questions are a sign of one’s faith and concern for Islam. I ask Allah to reward you greatly for this concern and pray that He will bless us all. Indeed, as you noted in your question, there are certain rulings in Islam that can change according to place, time and situation. The general principle is that the rulings themselves don’t change, but the articulation of such rulings can. Meaning, the ruling, whether permissible, forbidden or disliked is still met, however, it is done so in a manner that facilitates its practice for Allah’s servants while meeting the requirements set by the faith. An example would be buying and selling [check, credit card or cash], what type of prayer rug one uses, and the instrument one might use to hunt or the means by which one travels to Hajj. However, there are times where one is excused from doing religious acts due to abnormal circumstances. Such situations would need to be addressed by a qualified mufti and demand an article dedicated to the topic itself.
On the other hand we have rulings which are fixed and unchangeable. The only way a change would be possible is under dire circumstances like the threat of death, harm or sickness and other things.

Examples

  • Fasting, although an obligation, in the face of sickness one is allowed to break his fast
  • Prayer, although it is an obligation for one to prayer standing, if one can’t she can do so sitting
  • Hajj, although and obligation, its obligatory status is based on ability
  • Even faith itself, if one is threatened with death, he’s allowed to deny is faith.

The above rulings, and their exceptions, are prescribed in our holy texts. However, scholars considered the threat of one of the five following as being enough for a ruling, even when dealing with a fixed ruling, to change:

  • Faith
  • Intellect
  • Life
  • Lineage
  • Property

With some adding honor.

Ruling on Hijab

The hijab is identified by all the scholars [Save a few non-Orthodox scholars over the last 20 years] as a fixed obligation which cannot change unless a qualified legal scholar deems that a sisters situation demands it. Examples would be the Inquisition in Spain and the recent wars in Bosnia and Rwanda. However, it should be noted that such a change is, at least most of the time, considered temporal at best as it would fall under what are known as Nawazil. The latter are identified as temporary trials who’s outcomes, at least for the most part, are not permanent.

Read more…

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