Thursday, September 23, 2004

Miscellanneous questions

Question: I know that the religion permits men to have up to 4 wifes. Is there any hadith that proves that men taking up a second wife - should not ask the first one reg. her approach?

Answer: The man is permitted by the Quran to take 2, 3, or 4 wives. This is an absolute permission from the Quran. The man can ask her, but he does not have to. If he does, and she disapproves, he can still go ahead and do it. However, if he does not need a second wife to stay away from haram, and he avoids a second marriage in order to be kind to her, then this is a rewardable act in shaa' Allah.

Question: Is men allowed to take a second wife without any 'reason'?

Answer: Yes, for the same reason as mentioned above, as long as he is able to fulfill his obligations of adding another.

Question: Is a wife, whose husband taking a second wife - allowed to divorce him? Prophet gave his wife an Option reg. that issue.

Answer: A woman cannot divorce her husband. All she can do is ask for separation, with or without a compensation for him. However, this still requires his agreement to be effective. Moreover, she should not ask for this unless there is wrongdoing (sins, bad manners) from his side, or serious fear of sinfulness of the two parties regarding their duties associated with marriage. There is a hadith that indicates that women are not to ask for separation or divorce without a valid excuse, related by Ahmad and others. This is not an excuse, since it is permitted for the husband to take a second wife. It is neither sinful nor bad manners from his side.

The prophet gave his wife the option, but this had nothing to do with taking a second wife. A man is free to give his wife the option to divorce him. This is a kind of conditional divorce, where he makes a divorce contingent upon some future event. It is a kind of oath.

Question: How would you understand a hadith Sahih in which Prophet did not agree to the second marriage of Ali - because he was affraid that this second marriage could be a fitna in the religion for his daughter, Fatima?

Answer: It can be understood as follows: because she is the Prophet's daughter, and the fiancee was the daughter of Abu Jahl, the enemy of Allah. For those to share the same husband would have caused the Prophet to feel annoyed, and it is forbidden to annoy a Prophet. Something like this is found in the explanation of Nawawi for Sahih Muslim.

Question: Is the verse reg. 'polygamy' an option for men or religious obligation? If it is an option can a man resign from this option and agree not to take any other wifes apart from the first one?

Answer: It is not an obligation unless he is seriously afraid of doing haram if he does not. In general it is better to spend one's time on acquiring Islamic knowledge, if one can be satisfied with one wife.

Question: If a man is allowed to marry more than one wife under the condition that he treats all his wives equally - if he is not fullfiling this religious obligation (to treat wifes equally is a condtion allowing to get marry to more then one wife) - can any of the wife divorce him?

Answer: The woman does not have the ability to divorce. However, she can ask him for separation or divorce from him in such a case, because he is not giving her her right.

Question: Regarding your answer - to the question of not treating all wifes in an equal way - How can a women take money from her husband - without his permission? I mean in a 'practical way' - he has separate bank account and she does not have any access to the money.

Answer: She may take something of his that does not belong to his basic needs. E.g. she CANNOT take his car and sell it because it is part of his basic needs.

Question: Can a woman divorce her husband if right of divorce is given to her by the husband at the time of Nikah?

Answer: No, this is an invalid condition, and is ignored. The marriage is still valid, and she has no ability to execute a divorce.

Question: Has not the Qur'an abrogated the punishment of "stoning to death" with lashing by the revelation of Surah Nur? Therefore, can those Ahadith regarding rajm still apply?

Answer: The practice of stoning was continued by the companions, which shows that it is not abrogated. Stoning is for the special case of the accountable, free (i.e. not a slave) muslim who had intercourse with another accountable, free muslim in a correct marriage while both were in this state (free and accountable). If such a person commits adultery after that, and this is established by the court according to the conditions for establishing it (such as there being 4 trustworthy male witnesses, no dubiosity, etc.), then he or she is stoned.

Question: Can a child accept a payment (as a gift) from their parent if the parent pays it on an interest-bearing credit card?

Answer: Any money that has been borrowed on the condition of some benefit to the lender (even if this condition is conditional such as: "if you don't pay me by such and such a date, then I'll charge interest so and so), must be returned and it is forbidden to benefit from it. However, if your parents use a debit card (a card that only spends from money already in the bank, and charges a fixed amount per transaction - not a percentage) then you may take the gift. Try to convince them to use a debit card. By the way, according to Abu Haniifah, if you are all in a non-muslim country your parents are not muslims, then you may take the gift, even if it is through a credit card.

Question :What about if I am not sure if they are paying interest on it, then can I accept it?

Answer: Yes.

Question: If someone was sick and died during this sickness from something unrelated, such as a car accident, is this considered "sickness of death" so that his gifts to others during the sickness would be considered part of his testament (which can't be more than 1/3 of his wealth)?

Answer: Yes. The conditions for a sickness to be called "sickness of death" are that it has some danger attached to it and that it prevents him from engaging in his regular work. If these conditions are met, and he dies during it, from any apparent cause, then this is called sickness of death, and all its rulings follow.

Question: Is it allowed for a woman to make abortion?

Answer: Only if it is before the first 120 days of the preganancy have passed, and only if there is a necessity, such as serious fear for the pregnant woman's health. She should not show her ^awrah, but use other available means if possible.

Question: Does a parent have to distribute gifts equally between daughters and sons?

Answer: Yes, unless there is a reason to do otherwise, such as one being less able to take care of him/ herself.

Question: Can a woman in her ^iddah go out in the garden of her house?

Answer: Yes, but if strangers can see her she must of course cover.

Question: Can a widow in her ^iddah go to court during the distribution of her late husbands inheritance?

Answer: Yes, but only if she cannot find someone to represent her. In general, the woman in her ^iddah may exit from her house if there is a necessity, and she finds no other solution.

Question: What are the evidences that can proove a ta^ziir case in an Islamic court?

Answer: There are 3: (1) The admittance of the perpetrator to the judge. (2) Two trustworthy witnesses (3) Refusal to swear on the part of the perpetrator that he did not do the crime. There is a 4th evidence, which is no longer accepted by the scholars, because of the low quality of judges in general: the knowledge of the judge himself about the crime. Ta^ziir is punishment assigned by the court in cases where there is no particular prescribed punishment (such as stoning or flogging in the case of adultery).