The Fiqh and Wisdom of observing ʻIddah

By Mufti ʻAbd al-Qādir Ḥusayn

In the dictionary the word Iddah means counting in terms of quantity. But for all intents and purposes Iddah in the context of when a husband has divorced his wife or when a husband has passed on – according to the jurists and fuqaha – will mean the lady has to observe Iddah. The waiting period until the counting period ends.

The Iddah for a divorced lady:

Whenever clarity on any issue is sought, the first point of reference is the Noble Quran. All Mighty Allah SWT states: the ladies who have been divorced will wait with themselves for three qurooh. Because the Arabic language is so unique and rich, certain words have two opposite meanings. In the Hanafi and Hanbali madhabs, when the husband divorces his wife by giving one or two or three talaqs, the Iddah will be the duration of three menses. So the ideal situation will be for the husband to divorce his wife in the period of cleanliness and in that period he has not fulfilled the conjugal rights with his wife, he issues the talaq either verbally or in writing. After the third menses ends, the Iddah has concluded. However another meaning of qurooh is tuhur which means cleanliness theretofore according to the Maliki and Shafi madhabs three periods of cleanliness have to pass. That is if a husband gave his wife talaq during her period of cleanliness, her Iddah begins, counting that period as the first period of cleanliness. Once the third period of cleanliness ends, the Iddah has concluded. The reason for differences of opinion in verdict between the different schools of thought is because Arabic words have different meanings and to understand this text and context need to be looked at. Another interesting issue connected to this: a husband has married his wife but he has not gone into Khalwah (privacy) with her and they have not consummated their marriage, and just after the nikah they have a heated argument in the presence of some people and the husband issues talaq. All Mighty Allah has addressed this issue also, “O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them, no iddah (divorce prescribed period) have you to count in respect of them. So give them a present, and set them free (i.e. divorce), in a handsome manner.” (Al-Ahzab-49) Immediately after the divorce the woman is able to marry another man. It is important to note that even if the marriage was not consummate but the married couple were alone, in privacy together, and then Iddah becomes necessary.

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Rankings of Mujtahids versus types of Ijtihād: Cutting through the confusion

By Shaykh Ismā’īl Ibrāhīm Patel[1]

Many people keep on talking about various rankings of Mujtahid scholars. This has caused a lot of confusion, as people then feel the need to see which scholar is of what rank. The following discussion is based on simple logic, which everyone should be able to appreciate and agree to. Hopefully by this way, the cloud of confusion can removed and solid facts can be distilled from arbitrary assumptions.

Laying down the foundations: Doing Ijtihad is not the same as being a Mujtahid

There are two separate discussions which many people conflate and confuse with each other. They are separate discussions:

  • The discussion of Ijtihad and Taqlid
  • The discussion of Mujtahids and Muqallids (and Talib if you want to add, see previous note)

The first discussion is in relation to practice, whereas the second is a label attached to the person. This means that:

  • A person worthy of the Mujtahid label may be doing Taqlid in one issue because he hasn’t researched it yet
  • A person who does not carry the title of Mujtahid may have researched an issue well enough to warrant himself Ijtihad in that matter, like is the case with advanced students of knowledge
  • A person who does Ijtihad may not necessarily be worthy of the Mujtahid title – like advanced students of Fiqh who do Ijtihad in a few issues
  • A person who does Taqlid in an issue may well be a Mujtahid scholar but only did Taqlid because he hasn’t researched it properly, or doesn’t have the time to research it, or it’s a niche area out of his area of expertise

The above proves that doing Ijtihad and Taqlid do not automatically make you a Mujtahid or a Muqallid. This also proves that the prerequisites of Ijtihad are different from the characteristics of a Mujtahid, and the prerequisites of Taqlid are different from the characteristics of a Muqallid. Unfortunately, some people these days think if a person does Ijtihad in one issue, he would be implicitly claiming to be a Mujtahid, and would be smeared with the label of neo-Mujtahid. This is totally wrong.

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The Fiqh of ‘Aqīqah: Rulings when a child is born

By Mufti ʻAbd al-Qādir Ḥusayn

The rules regarding Aqeeqa according to the four schools of Fiqh

What is the meaning of Aqeeqa

A distinction needs to be drawn between the literal meaning and the technical meaning of the term used by the jurists and the scholars of Islam. In the literal meaning of Aqeeqa according to the Lexicon Dictionary, we find that the letters in Aq – ‘A and ‘Q – means to cut. Nabi Muhammad SAW said not regarding the minor sins or the major sins but the worst and most heinous crimes, Uqooqul Waalidayn –which is the cutting of ties with ones parents, showing disobedience and disrespect to parents. This is considered a major crime, one of the worst crimes a person can commit. Therefore the literal meaning of Aq is to cut. When we discuss the word Aqeeqa technically it means the slaughtering of animals. When a baby is born, it is a joyous occasion, but we do not forget to thank All Mighty Allah SWT and thus slaughter a goat or a sheep. It serves as a thanksgiving to All Mighty Allah SWT and as a mark of this joyous occasion – the birth of a child.

When should the Aqeeqa be carried out?

Aqeeqa should be carried out on the seventh day bearing in mind how one calculates the seventh day. If a baby was born during the day on a Thursday for example, the seventh day would be the next Wednesday. If a baby was born on the night of Friday for example, then the seventh day is calculated as the next Thursday and for clarity’s sake if a baby was born on Monday then the seventh day is calculated as the next Sunday. One must take cognisance of the fact that in Islam the night precedes the day. Sunset serves as the ushering in of a new day. When we speak about the slaughtering of animals it is important to take note that some animals must be slaughtered in a particular place and particular time. An example, people performing Hajj who have to slaughter the hadi, referred to as such because one has to guide the animal to a particular place. When one performs tamattu or kiraan Hajj the animal has to be slaughtered in Makkah or Mina, in the Haram area. In this case the place and the time are specified, that is one has to slaughter on the 10th, 11th, 12th of Zul Hijjah. For the slaughter of some animals, only the time has been specified. Udhiya – Qurbani has to be slaughtered on the 10th, 11th, 12th of Zul Hijjah – the Shafi madhab includes the 13th – but can be done anywhere in the world. This particular slaughtering is referred to as Udhiya because slaughtering usually takes place at Duha, at around 10am or 11am when the sun is at its zenith. There is also the case where one can slaughter an animal any time during the year but it must be done in a particular place. dham, the penalty paid for a crime one commits while in the state of Ihraam can be slaughtered at any time of the year but must be slaughtered in the precincts of the Haram. Aqeeqa can be slaughtered anywhere and at any time. It is Sunnah that it is done on the seventh day. If it cannot be done on the seventh day for financial reasons for example, then it can be done later. Continue reading

Fiqh of the Masjid

By Mufti ʻAbd al-Qādir Ḥusayn

https://i0.wp.com/www.sahih-bukhari.com/image/mosque_monde/Zambia_Mosque_in_Chipata.jpgWhat is the meaning of Masjid?
When we read and study the Noble Quraan we find that All Mighty Allah uses the word Masjid, Masaajid in various places. One that is very important for our discussion is Surah Jinn (72), Verse 18.

وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا

And [He revealed] that the masjids are for Allah , so do not invoke with Allah anyone. (Qur’anm 72:18)

Masjid singular and Masaajid – the plural and wherever a Masjid is built, the land, the structure, the ground floor, the upper floors, right through till the Arsh (Throne) – all belongs only to Allah SWT. It cannot belong to any person, family or organisation. They can manage it and oversee it but the ownership of it is Waqf and it is to All Mighty Allah. Masjid, All Mighty Allah loves sajdah so much and All Mighty Allah sent Nabi Muhammad SAW to teach us. An authentic hadith in Sahih Muslim, Nabi Muhammad SAW said:

…. “The nearest the servant comes to All Mighty Allah is while that servant is in sajdah, so Masjid is the place of performing Sajdah. We stand there, we go into ruku, we bow down, we sit, but Masjid, because we make Sujood there, we prostrate there, prostrating / Sujood is so beloved to All Mighty Allah, the entire area is called Masjid.

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