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Islamique Magazine Online | April 29, 2017

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Q&A

Q&A

Q. I am a Bengali and in our culture we have a custom of touching the feet of elders out of respect. A girl is normally obliged to touch the feet of her in-laws, especially when they come to see her before marriage. I personally think this is wrong, as to bow in front of anybody else is not permissible. However, my family does not understand. How can I explain to them?

A. In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
There are few situations here:

1) If one was to touch or kiss the feet of the future parents in-Law in a way that the posture of prostration (sajda) was avoided, then this has two possibilities:

a) If the person whom one is touching the feet of, is from the opposite sex and is a non-mahram, then to touch the feet will be impermissible. Thus, it will not be permissible for the prospective bride to touch the feet of her future father in-Law, as he is regarded a stranger in Shariah before marriage, unless he is a mahram (unmarriageable kin), such as an uncle.

b) If the person whom one is kissing and touching the feet of, is from the same sex or he/she happens to be a Mahram (unmarriageable kin), then in principle it is permissible to kiss the feet (See Durr al-Mukhtar).
However, if touching or kissing the feet of the future parents in-Law is regarded to be part of marriage in Islam, and is considered an act of reward, then there is no basis for this in Shariah and should be avoided.

2) If the kissing or touching was practiced in the posture of prostration (sajda), then this is unlawful (haram) and regarded as one of the major sins.

The prostration of worship (sajda al-ibadah), for other than Allah Almighty, is absolutely and undeniably disbelief (kufr). The prostration of respect (sajda al-ta’dhim) or greeting (tahiyya), for other than Allah, is unlawful and a major sin, according to all four Sunni schools of Islamic law, and could lead one to kufr.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) is reported to have said: “It is not permissible for one human to prostrate in front of another.” (Sunan Tirmidhi).
Given this and similar texts, the scholars are unanimous on the fact that any type of prostration for anyone besides Allah is strictly unlawful, and regarded a major sin. If practiced out of worship, then it will be disbelief (kufr).

Therefore in your situation, if touching of the feet does not consist of touching the feet of a non-Mahram, and you are able to avoid the prostration posture (such as not kissing by prostrating on the ground), then it will be permissible, but normally better to avoid.
However, if the case is otherwise, then it would be obligatory to avoid it. In such a case, explain to the elders of the family that this is an un-Islamic practice and must be avoided. Ensure this is done with gentleness, calmness and wisdom.

And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Q. Do you agree with the esteemed opinion of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani who consulted with Shaykh Adib Kallas of Damascus and other eminent Hanafi jurists that Masah on Sealskin (Non-Leather socks) is permissible?

A. In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
After personally inspecting and examining SealSkinz socks, I can confirm that it is permitted to wipe (masah) over such socks, since they are waterproof and fulfil the basic conditions required for Masah to be allowed on footgear.
The jurists of the various fiqh Schools have permitted wiping over socks that, although not made of leather (khuf), have the qualities of leather due to their thickness. These qualities include water not being able to penetrate through them, staying upright without having to tie them, and the possibility of walking a mile or two without them being torn. (See: Bada’i al-Sana’i 1/10 and Al-Hidaya 1/61 for the Hanafi School, Hashiyat Dardir ala Sharh al-Khalil 1/226-227 for the Maliki School, and Al-Majmu’ 1/283-284 for the Shafi’i School)
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Q. What is the meaning of this hadith: “do not celebrate me and lift me to a high status as the Christians did with Jesus the Son of Mary?”

A. In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The Hadith towards which you have referred is recorded by Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih, on the authority of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (RAH) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say: “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the Son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Messenger.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 3261)

The meaning of this Hadith is quite clear and simple, in that one must avoid exaggeration in praising the Messenger of Allah (SAW) in a manner the Christians praised Esa (AS). Anything besides this has been implicitly permitted in this Hadith.

Now, we need to see how the Christians exaggerated in their reverence for Esa (AS). The Christians exaggerated in praising Esa (AS) to the level that they considered him to be either a God, son of God or a partner of God. Hence, it will be completely unlawful and disbelief to elevate the status of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) in a manner that one considers him to be a god, son of God or a partner of Allah.

Allah Most High is one and unique in his essence and attributes, as Imam al-Tahawi (RA) states: “We say about Allah’s unity (tawhid) – with Allah’s help- that Allah is One, without any partners.” (al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya, p: 5)
The renowned commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Imam Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (RA) states in the explanation of this Hadith, quoting from Ibn al-Jawzi:
The rest of the answer is available online

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

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