Women using makeup

Q: “Is it allowed for a woman to put on makeup if she leaves her house wearing hijaab?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“It is not permissible for a woman who does not wear hijaab, let alone who wears hijaab, to use the makeup of the disbeliever, the makeup of the faasiq (someone who disobeys Allaah by committing major sins). When did you come to know of a certain women’s adornment called a name for which Allaah has not sent down any authority: ‘makeup’? This is a word that neither we nor your forefathers know. Rather, it is a foreign expression for a particular adornment of the faasiq women of Europe; and our women – except those whom Allaah protects – unfortunately imitate them by decorating themselves with this adornment i.e. makeup which has affected the Islamic community. So it is not permissible for a woman.

This reality is a strange paradox: we see a woman on the road wearing an acceptable hijaab – I don’t say the legislated hijaab – who ties what they call an ishaarb, or khimaar which is the Arabic word, and covers her hair, neck, etc., but she has face powder and lipstick on. These are two contradictory matters that conflict and do not go together. What is the reason behind this? It is one of two things: either ignorance and heedlessness of the legislated ruling or following the evil insinuations of shaytaan.

Therefore, we firstly remind the women who are tried with this make-up. Then secondly, we remind the women’s guardians such as a father or husband or brother, as the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Every one of you is a caretaker and every one of you is responsible for what is under his/her care. A man is a caretaker responsible for those under his care…’[1] etc. This is why the Arabic or common proverb states: ‘The horse is part of the horseman.’ So you are the woman’s husband; it is not permissible for you to allow her to go out in this manner which tempts middle-aged men, let alone young men! You, O man, O father, O brother, are supposed have protective jealousy. Why? Because the Prophet ﷺ used to say: ‘A duyyooth will not enter Paradise.’[2] Why? Who is a duyyooth? He is the one who does not have protective jealousy for his womenfolk.”

I will conclude this talk, through which I hope Allaah عز وجل benefits the listeners, with the following narration from the Prophet ﷺ about women of the end of time. He ﷺ said: ‘There are two types of people I haven’t seen yet: men holding whips like the tails of cows who beat people with them, and women who are clothed yet naked, deviants themselves and deviating others, with heads like the humps of Bactrian camels. Curse them for they are cursed. They will not enter Paradise nor smell its fragrance though its fragrance can indeed be smelt from such-and-such distance.’[3] This is how the narration goes. In another narration, he ﷺ said: ‘Whoever kills a mu`aahad (a non-Muslim with whom Muslims have a peace treaty) unlawfully will not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can indeed be smelt from a hundred years away.’[4] So the Messenger ﷺ said about these clothed yet naked women who impermissibly display their beauty/adornment: ‘Curse them for they are cursed. They will not enter Paradise nor smell its fragrance, though its fragrance can indeed be smelt from a hundred years away’ as in the second narration.”

[1] Saheeh al-Bukhaari 893
[2] Saheeh at-Targheeb 2071
[3] Saheeh al-Jaami` 3799, As-Silsilah As-Saheehah 2683
[4] As-Silsilah As-Saheehah 2356

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 697 / alalbaany.com]

Women using makeup

Shaking hands when meeting & parting

Abu Hurairah said that: “When the Prophet ﷺ used to see someone off, he would say:

أَسْتَوْدِعُ اللهَ دِينَكَ وَأَمَانَتَكَ وَخَوَاتِيمَ عَمَلِكَ
(I leave your religion, your trusts, and the last of your deeds in Allaah’s protection).”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“A number of benefits can be derived from this authentic narration. First: the lawfulness of seeing someone off with its statement:

أَسْتَوْدِعُ اللهَ دِينَكَ وَأَمَانَتَكَ وَخَوَاتِيمَ عَمَلِكَ

The traveler then responds to him by saying:

أَسْتَوْدِعُكُمُ اللهَ الَّذِي لا تَضِيعُ وَدَائِعُهُ
(I entrust you to Allaah whose trusts are never lost).[1]

Second: taking hold of one hand when shaking hands (al-musaafahah), which has been mentioned in many narrations. This is what its linguistic derivation indicates, as Lisaan al-`Arab states that: ‘Al-musaafahah is taking hold of the hand, the same as at-tasaafuh. A man shakes hands with another man if he places the safh of his hand in the safh of the other’s hand, safh meaning the front (palm). An example of this is the narration about al-musaafahah upon meeting, which is an interaction of joining one palm to another and turning face-to-face.’ I say: some of the afore-mentioned narrations report this meaning as well, like the marfoo` narration of Hudhaifah: ‘Indeed, if a believer meets another believer then greets him with the salaam and takes hold of his hand and shakes hands with him, their sins fall off as leaves of trees do.’[2] Al-Mundhiri (3/270) said: ‘At-Tabaraani reported it in al-Awsat, and I don’t know of anyone who was refuted among its narrators.’ I say: it has supporting narrations that raise it to the level of saheeh, such as the narration of Anas mentioned by ad-Dhiyaa al-Maqdisi in al-Mukhtaarah (240/2-1) which al-Mundhiri attributed to Ahmad and others. All these narrations show that the way of the Prophet in shaking hands is to take hold of one hand; hence handshaking with both hands which some of the shaikhs do is against the Sunnah, so let this be known.

Third: shaking hands is legislated at the time of parting as well, which is supported by the general meaning of his ﷺ statement: ‘Shaking hands is part of perfecting the greeting of salaam.’ This is a jayyid narration considering its chains of narration, and perhaps we will dedicate a special chapter to it if Allaah تعالى wills. Then I traced these chains of narration and it became clear to me that they are extremely weak, which cannot be used as supporting evidence to strengthen the narration. Hence, I reported it in as-Silsilah adh-Dha`eefah 1288. The basis for using it as evidence, rather supporting evidence, only becomes clear if one remembers the lawfulness of giving the salaam when parting as well due to his ﷺ statement: ‘If one of you enters a gathering then let him give the salaam, and if he goes to leave then let him give the salaam, as the former is not more deserving than the latter.’[3] Abu Daawood, at-Tirmidhi and others reported it with a hasan chain of narration. So what some people say –that shaking hands at the time of parting is an innovation– is baseless. Yes, whoever looks at the narrations about shaking hands upon meeting will find them to be more numerous and stronger than those about shaking hands when parting. A naturally intelligent person will conclude that the lawfulness of the second handshaking is not like the first one in rank. The first one is sunnah and the second one is mustahabb. As for the second one being an innovation, then no, due to the evidence that we mentioned. On the other hand, shaking hands immediately after the prayers is an innovation no doubt, unless it is between two people who had not met before that, in which case it would be sunnah as you learned.”

[1] Saheeh al-Kalim at-Tayyib 168
[2] As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 526
[3] Saheeh Abu Daawood 5208, Saheeh at-Tirmidhi 2706

[as-sisilah as-saheehah 16 / alalbaany.com]

Shaking hands when meeting & parting

Eating with three fingers

Q: “Does it occur in the Sunnah to eat with three fingers in general with respect to all food or just with thareed (a dish of meat and bread)?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There isn’t anything in the Prophet’s ﷺ Sunnah that would help us answer this question. There isn’t anything except that the Prophet ﷺ used to eat with three fingers; but what we should say about the meaning of this hadeeth is:

This hadeeth definitely does not mean that it is impermissible for a Muslim to eat with other means like spoons that are well-known today. Rather it only means that if a Muslim eats a type of food that can be eaten with three fingers, then he does not show that he is greedy with the food such that he eats with the whole hand when he is able to eat like Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ would eat: with three fingers. This is the first point. Secondly, it is known that meat gravy for example cannot be eaten with three fingers so here one must use other means to eat it. This is from the worldly affairs; it is not from the affairs of the religion, all the rulings of which Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ was charged to convey to the people. Regarding the worldly affairs, he ﷺ said: ‘You are more knowledgeable about your worldly affairs than me.’”[1]

[1] Saheeh al-Jaami` 1488

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 692 / alalbaany.com]

Eating with three fingers

A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with women

Q: “Does a woman raise her voice when saying ‘aameen’ during prayer, and does she also give the adhaan and iqaamah?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

If she is praying with women, then yes she raises her voice when saying ‘aameen,’ but if she is praying with men who are not her mahram, then no. I do not say that a woman’s voice is `awrah, as many say, since the Mothers of the believers and the wives of the Companions, the foremost, used to speak and communicate with men; and oftentimes a woman would come to the Prophet ﷺ and ask him something in front of the men, and he ﷺ would answer her question. However, it is not proper for a woman to raise her voice when reciting the Qur’aan. We are often asked if it is permissible for a woman – when she is learning the recitation from a Shaikh, a Muqri – to repeat the recitation to him so he may correct her: the answer is no. Although she learns, her learning is restricted to listening only, like the women of all the Companions learned from the Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ by listening to his recitation during prayer or outside of prayer.

If a woman prays with women as the imaam, she raises her voice and the women behind her also raise their voices, because of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men’[1] i.e. every ruling in which men are being addressed, women are also included except for that which is made an exception. For example, it is best for a woman, in other than the taraaweeh prayer, to pray in her house, whereas it is obligatory upon a man to pray the five prayers in the mosque with the congregation. So here, the woman is not like the man. But the fundamental principle is as he ﷺ said: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’

So if a woman leads women in prayer as an imaam, she does just as a man would do as an imaam. Firstly: she raises her voice when reciting and when saying ‘aameen,’ and the women behind her also raise their voices when saying ‘aameen.’ Secondly: not only does she lead women in prayer as an imaam, she even gives the adhaan and iqaamah. Why? Because of the previous narration: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’ Moreover, `Aa’ishah – the Mother of the believers and the foremost of the Mothers of the believers in fiqh, knowledge and da`wah, may Allaah bless her and her father – used to give the adhaan and iqaamah when she led women in prayer as an imaam.

Now I would like to draw your attention to something that wasn’t asked about: the woman here is also different from the man in that she does not step up before the women’s row, but rather she stands in the middle as if she is one of those in the row. She does not step up before them. There is legislative text regarding this also, and thus a woman in this case is not included in the general meaning of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’”

[1] As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 2863

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor  697/3 / alalbaany.com]

A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with women

A resident combining prayers

Q: “Is it allowed for a resident to combine Dhuhr and `Asr prayers without any excuse?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“Imaam Muslim reported in his Saheeh that Ibn `Abbaas said: ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ combined Dhuhr with `Asr and Maghrib with `Ishaa in Madinah when he wasn’t on a journey nor was there any rain.’ They said: ‘Why did he do that O Abu l-`Abbaas?’ This was `Abdullaah bin `Abbaas’s kunyah. He replied: ‘So he would not make things difficult for his ummah.’’[1]

What is apparent from the narration is that it is permissible to combine two prayers while being a resident and without the excuse of rain, as rain is a legislated excuse that allows the combining of two prayers. And here Ibn `Abbaas says that the Prophet ﷺ combined while he was a resident and combined without the excuse of rain, and he confirmed that when he was asked the previous question ‘Why did he do that?’ by saying: ‘So he would not make things difficult for his ummah.’ This is the narration, and it is in Saheeh Muslim not al-Bukhaari. The same meaning is found in al-Bukhaari: that he combined prayers in Madinah as eight rak`ahs,[2] but it does not have this elaboration that Imaam Muslim reported from Ibn `Abbaas which contains this important subtlety – i.e. his رضي الله عنه statement ‘So he would not make things difficult for his ummah’ in answer to that question.

So some scholars of both old and recent times hold that this combining is permissible for a resident without any excuse, and I don’t consider this correct because the narrator justifies the Messenger’s ﷺ combining without an excuse with another excuse: which is to legislate and explain to the people, as Ibn `Abbaas said ‘So he ﷺ would not make things difficult for his ummah.’ This means that the ruling of combining as a resident is restricted to the presence of difficulty if one were to not combine. So when there is difficulty in performing the prayers in their known appointed times, it is permissible to combine to avoid the difficulty, which Allaah عز وجل negated in the likes of His Statement: {He has not placed any difficulty upon you in the religion}.[3] But if there is no difficulty, it is obligatory to maintain performing the five prayers, each prayer in its time, because there is no difficulty.

For example, I am sitting here and I hear the adhaan there in the nearby mosque and I am able to go out without any difficulty, then it is not permissible for me to combine. And vice versa: when I came on this trip I found that this electric elevator wasn’t working, and it is very difficult for me as you can see to go up or down by stairs because of a pain in my knees; so some prayers went by and I didn’t go out to the mosque, but when the electric elevator was fixed and saved me the difficulty of going up and down, it became obligatory upon me to pray every prayer in the mosque because I no longer experienced the difficulty I had when I just came here. Therefore, combining is only allowed to avoid difficulty; and when there is no difficulty, there is no combining. These are two inseparable matters: when there is no difficulty, there is no combining; when there is difficulty, there is combining. This is the best that can be said to reconcile between this authentic narrration and the narrations which clearly state that every prayer is to be prayed in its appointed time and that it is not allowed to distract oneself from it – especially since in most circumstances, combining necessitates that one leaves praying with the congregation, like my initial situation that I described to you.”

[1] Saheeh Muslim 705, Musnad Ahmad 4/192
[2] Saheeh al-Bukhaari 543
[3] Surah al-Hajj 22:78

[fataawaa jeddah 13/5 / alalbaany.com]

A resident combining prayers