FAQ in the category of Family

1 Can a husband make use of every part of his wife during sexual intercourse?

A rule like "Every part of a spouse is mubah (permissible) for the other spouse, it is not haram (forbidden) is not right; According to Ahl Sunnah, anal intercourse is not permissible. The mouth was not created for sexual intercourse but for other things; oral sex is contrary to the creation and the nature of man; people with uncorrupted nature hate it.

Islam is a religion that covers the whole life of man and evaluates every issue. Therefore, Islam did not ignore sexuality that has an important place in the life of man and sex education. It was arranged within certain criteria and within the limits of halal (licit), being enough for pleasure.

Sahaba (the Companions of the Prophet) and their wives, who asked the Prophet about all of their problems, asked him about the issues regarding sexuality in person and learned from him.

As a matter of fact, one of the Companions wanted to have intercourse through her wife’s reproductive organ but he wanted to approach her from the back; his wife objected to it by putting forward the Judaist understanding that the child to be born out of such intercourse would be cross-eyed.

When our Prophet was informed about the issue, the verse stating, “husbands could approach wives as they wished so long as the intercourse was through the reproductive organ.”(1)

Our prophet explained that verse and stated that “intercourse could be carried out from behind, top, bottom, side and as the spouses wished as long as it was through reproductive organ.” (2)

Islam prohibits a man to have sexual intercourse with his wife for the following cases:

1- Intercourse when the woman is in menstruation period and afterbirth period.

2- Anal intercourse. It is a great sin for a man to have anal intercourse with his wife.

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

"Allah does not have mercy on a man who carries out anal intercourse with his wife. (Ibn Majah Bayhaqi)

We understand that our religion allows sexual intercourse except those mentioned above and does not regard it haram as long as it is done through the reproductive organ. We can say that what the spouses do to prepare themselves for the sexual intercourse like licking, caressing, kissing touching various places with hands or lips are not regarded as haram.

However, the fact that there is not a definite ban does not mean there are no recommendations: The following are the issues that are advised to be paid attention during sexual intercourse:

1- To have a covering over the bodies during the intercourse. (3)
2- Not to look at each other’s sexual organs. (4)
3- Speaking a little during the intercourse. (5)

It is better to act in accordance with those recommendations but all kinds of intercourse is permissible as long as it is through the reproductive organ.

References:
1- Chapter al-Baqara, 223
2- See Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır and Ibni Kathir tafsirs: the interpretation of the verse 223 of al-Baqara.
3- Kanzu’l-ummal, 6/415
4- Ibn Majah, Nikah, 28
5- Fayzu’l- Qadir, 1/327

2 What should we do at the wedding night? What are the commands and advice of our religion about this topic?

The wedding night/the bridal chamber: The night when the husband and wife who are married come together for the first time. The quality of this gathering is the disappearance of material and spiritual privacy and intimacy which is new to the woman and man. For the two persons who lived in different worlds before that night have come to the state of getting closer to each other and sharing the same life. And above that, they have started to 'actively live' certain rights and duties as a family.

It is necessary not to see the wedding night only as two opposite sexes knowing each other sexually. This unity is the start of a spiritual and emotional completion, at the same time. The lives of two young people who have attained maturity will last according to a certain measure and plan afterwards. For these reasons, the wedding night is the start of a life filled with utterly serious and hard responsibilities. To put it in a nutshell, it is the time when a decision of planning is taken. A couple will clearly explain what they think of one another in the life they will share and they will speak about what behaviors and actions they expect from one another.

Bridal chamber (wedding night) is an Islamic event. This is because the extraordinary situation that catches our attention in the event of bridal chamber is that the woman and the man come together under legal measures and that such a big event as marriage is thought about, discussed and finally realized.

In the event of bridal chamber, the couple who knew each other from a far before evaluate one another in a measured way in close contact and in a serious atmosphere. This is because, at the start of a new life with marriage, they are to be known with all their qualities. When the Islamic privacy is lost and when the woman and man come together with no measure and seriousness as is the case today, this cancels the necessity for the bridal chamber. For there is no privacy in this case, nor a serious reckoning about the future. The parties are either unaware of the fate awaiting them or only 'sexual satisfaction' prevails their coming together.

Therefore, sometimes in such illegal relationships, there are even those who do not see the need for marriage. Of course, such relationships end with grave pains and catastrophes.

The marriage in Islam is the arrangement of sexual feelings in the circle of a religious program and with the purest qualities of human love. Of course, this pure and clean unity will need such spiritual and bodily unity as the bridal chamber, of which others are oblivious.

Necessary Information about (first) Marriage:

Many fall into depression because of ignorance about sexual relation. For this reason, firstly, it is better to know well what jima (completion of intercourse) is. If not known properly and if done wrongly, unrest may increase in time and this may lead to the collapse of the family. Therefore, it is important to learn these pieces of intimate information correctly and to practice them accordingly.

After marriage, zifaf (wedding night) is one of the most important periods of marital life. Couples should pay attention to cleanliness as much as possible. Clean and beautiful clothes prove effective at the first night. The room of zifaf must be in a solitary and secure place. There is no drawback for the groom to benefit from the advice of a trustable bestman who has marriage experience. But it is also possible without bestman.

Certain points that couples should pay attention to at the first night:

First of all, couples should behave very sincerely, politely and tenderly toward each other and should view each other with love and compassion. The man should prepare his spouse psychologically for relation. He should give her confidence; he should explain to her that her preoccupations are groundless in a comely atmosphere by letting her speak, too. He should avoid any small action which would hurt his spouse, even a hint of it. He should know that his spouse is in much need of receiving love and compassion and of hearing compliments especially at that night.

The man should not be hasty and rude. Such a thought as “Now that we are married, I can approach her however I want.” is utterly mistaken. Jima is an act which happens during plays of love. Both parties should actively take part in the contact. In the same way, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) attracted attention to that point and asked men to comply with the rights of their wives, too. Sexual satisfaction is also a right of the woman.

The young lady should also share the excitement and love of her spouse and should submit herself to him naturally and willingly. She should think that jima is a duty of creation and she should remember the meaning and wisdoms of it and by trusting her love and qualities of creation, she should overcome groundless fears and preoccupations.

Couples may become tired and sleepless after the stressful and tense aura of the wedding. For this reason, generally they are not ready for jima. In this case, the first day of jima may be postponed. This does not have any drawbacks; on the contrary, it may have many advantages.

The first night is the time when curious excitements are experienced by couples-a happy, enjoyable and exciting time which was awaited for years and looked forward to, which embellished the dreams of the lady and the young man. The one who followed an illegal life is deprived of that feeling.

The groom should enter the chamber with a smile and with courtesy; he should salute the bride and should congratulate her. He should please her with morale-inspiring words and should try to appease her nervousness. And the bride should reciprocate him with warmth and should not show unnecessary sulkiness and shyness.

That night, supererogatory two part-prayer is performed and supplication to Allah is done. Prayers are performed to Allah as offering thanks to have reached these days and for the continuance of happiness in the coming days. Also, they should sit and talk for some time. Thus they try to contain excitement.

Every lady feels more or less shyness at this first night. She feels the bashfulness of being alone together with a man and of confiding in him. This state of hers is quite natural and should be welcomed.

The man should show a sincere intimacy without ever pressuring and forcing the lady and should try to lessen her timidity. Even if the girl feels shy to speak and to confide in him, the man should continue sincere talk and intimacy and enter her heart gradually. It is also enough for the lady to listen silently and to answer now and then with a short response.

The groom should approach with warmth and say pleasant words, compliment and congratulate his wife. Such behavior proves much helpful in decreasing the lady's excitement. The whole matter is to make the lady ready for jima by kissing and touching! It should not be forgotten that the first night is not an unchangeable measure. The first night is only a beginning. The first try may be unsuccessful; it should be accepted as normal.

The man who stays away from women because of his belief can most often ejaculate just by seeing a woman closely or by touching her. Without falling into hopelessness, after preparing for about half an hour, another try is taken. In the second state, as the first excitement is over and therefore ejaculation does not take place quickly, the initial preparation can be made more comfortably. This situation is of great importance. The couples who know this situation and prepare themselves accordingly will be untroubled. They will not fall into the apprehension of whether it was alright or not. For this is a natural situation. A couple of hours' rest can be taken or it can be delayed until the next day. In this case, the lady should also accept and tolerate the situation.

When the touch is successfully carried out, the man should share his feelings of happiness with his wife, should offer his thanks and should pray for the lifelong continuance of their happiness.

At the first night, if there is shyness and timidity in the lady, the man should welcome this state which is a natural result of the first meeting and should not show unnecessary haste and intolerance. Shyness, being hurt and disagreeableness caused by the rudeness at the first night may have a long lasting negative effect. Similarly, the reward of the patience and politeness at that night will be received afterwards.

Of course, it is a very important event for a young lady to be together with a man for the first time, to separate  from her family in which she found shelter for many years and to enter a new family life. At that time, she is in need of the man's wide wings of compassion and love. A woman does not ever forget the man whom she first meets. If the woman experienced pleasurable excitements at the first night, if she was shown love, patience, politeness and a broad understanding, she feels grateful to the man all her life. This first experience is an unforgettable memoir for the woman. Even if that man leaves the woman afterwards or lets her down, the mysterious memoir in her heart lives for ever.

The first night does not allow any rudeness; especially at that night, the man should be very polite.

There is an anecdote I want to quote: A woman weirdly lives with her husband for ten years; she engages in intercourse with her husband only once in a month and during that intercourse the woman behaves completely coldly. The thing is, at the first night, that man offended the woman. He said “How skinny and ugly you are!” The woman could not forget that. As is understood, the husband should avoid any words which may upset the woman such as “you are skinny; fat; too tall; short; old; ignorant; passive, etc.”

Preparation: Another important point at the first night is that preparation should not be in such a way as to put off the woman or scare her. To that end, one should be careful about taking off one's clothes. First of all, it is not appropriate for the groom to attempt to strip the bride himself. The bride and the groom should take off their clothes on their own. It is not appropriate to strip stark naked, either. In general, the bride feels horror and distress to be seen naked for the first time and to see the man naked.

In order to protect feelings of shame, during taking clothes off, that action should also be veiled. For that, either the lamps should be turned off, or a night-lamp with little light should be used. They should take into account the distress that would result from being seen with a stark naked body. This situation is also against good manners.

At the first night, some men both exhibit their bodies and strip the woman stark naked, which puts her in a distressing situation. That is extremely inappropriate.

During taking clothes off, one should not attempt to fully strip while standing, but should remove the heavy upper clothing. Underwear should be removed after lying beneath the quills.

The first touch: Love-play is important during intercourse. It should be polite and if the man's method to excite the woman is perfect, no matter how shy the woman may be, her trust in her husband starts to increase and she starts to be relieved. After that, her feeling of submissiveness grows and instead of inhibition, desire is aroused. What hurts and scares many brides is their husbands' rude and insensitive behavior. The groom should gradually prepare the bride who is for the time being in a state of inhibition, for the marriage life. He should search for the ways of how to arouse desire in the bride and should help her overcome her feelings of shyness. A normal woman may firstly behave shy in order to tempt her husband's desire. Actually, she likes to be conquered. But she never welcomes any rude attempt to break the resistance. For this reason, the groom should never neglect the points of politeness, patience, and delicacy. And the bride also should avoid behaviors which may handicap the success of her husband as much as possible, who is probably living the most exciting moments of his life.

Breaking of Virginity: This does not pose any hardships for ladies and young men with normal qualities. What is to be done is, to prepare opportunity for intercourse through love plays; and after the bride comes to that stage, in other words, when the slippery fluid which makes the intercourse easier is emitted, the intercourse is completed with a little pressure downwards. Even if such a slippery fluid is not emitted, it is still carried out easily. Applying some vaseline on genitals will make it easier.

In such cases as irritation or pain, it is better to allow an interval of 1 to 2 days. But this is not obligatory, either. If there is mutual desire, the next day or a couple of hours later intercourse may be performed. Extreme desire suppresses pain. There is no need for panic if the blood that comes with the tearing of the membrane does not stop. If the lady lies on her back, lifting her knee, contracting and bringing her legs close to each other, most often the bleeding stops by itself. It is also experienced, however rarely, that blood sttill continues to flow.

Indeed, on condition that both parties are well prepared for the intercourse both spiritually and bodily, that the man stimulates his wife successfully and that both reach a satisfactory level of sexual excitement, almost no pain is felt. Excessive excitement and excessive joy remove the feeling of pain. Wounds received in wars or fight are understood afterwards by seeing blood. In the mean time, spouses should help each other and especially the man should be very patient, understanding and compassionate. He should understand the timidity of the lady at the first night which is just natural because of the fear of pain, feelings of shame due to close intimacy with an until-then stranger and because of the transition from being a girl to being a woman.

After sincerely making himself familiar with her and after assuring her feelings of shyness, the man has the duty to pave the way for their uniting in a polite and soft manner. To conclude, he should be careful, patient and prudent during and after the first intercourse of the first night. If those conditions are not taken into account, the lady may feel pain from sexual relation rather than pleasure. It is natural that in the first intercourse the desired sexual pleasure may not be felt.

Hindrances of Intercourse

If the first night's intercourse is hindered by a serious obstacle, it is necessary to delay intercourse to the next days. For example, if the menstruation of the lady continues, there is the necessity to opt for delaying. In essence, the first night should be arranged in such a way that it is within the time period in which the lady is cleaned of menstruation. The intercourse may not necessarily be performed at the first night. If acted with patience and understanding, hardships and hindrances will be gone at other nights.

Some men may fall into temporary sexual impotence because of the excessive excitement that they experience at that night. If such a situation is experienced at the first night, it is necessary to delay trial a couple of hours or to delay it until the following nights. For this situation is a temporary failure; it is removed after a while with the breaking of excitement and handicaps. It may continue from a couple of hours to a couple of nights.

The Outstanding Hindrances of The First Night's Intercourse:

The lady's excessive shyness:

This situation may arise from some wrong ideas that the first night will be very troublesome, which is conceived for long by ladies, or it may arise from the impatient, impolite and hasty behaviors of the man caused by a rude show of “manhood”.

Worries of the Man:

That some men are worried that they may fail in the first night's intercourse, that they are anxious and agitated with those feelings, and that they are faced with early ejaculation during intercourse may cause a temporary failure.

Various Effects:

The pressure that the conventions in many places of waiting for the result of the first night pose on men's psychology, the unsuitable, noisy, and visible place of the bridal chamber, observance of an instantaneous unexpected and unpleasing state in the lady, the extreme levels of love, compassion, and regard felt toward the lady are among the causes of temporary impotency.

So, the one who fails sexually in the bridal chamber for such reasons should know that it is temporary and should delay the intercourse until next nights.

Normal Relations:

In sexual relations, the first stage should be well prepared. Abandoning that is rude on the part of the man, and cruelty on the part of the woman. For this reason, one should make appropriate use of the five senses.

Vision and Audition:

Before the relation, eyes should see legal things which stir up the feelings in question and they should not be distracted by such visions which may have bad effects on feelings. For example, if it is night time, it is appropriate if the room is dimly lit, if the light is put out or decreased such as with a night light. The most important of all, for man or woman whether with clothes or naked, no visions which may disturb eyes and which may cause more or less coldness should not be allowed and clothes which appeal to eye should be worn. A woman should adorn herself for her own husband, not for outsiders. Before relation, annoying words should not be heard, and no dispute or upsetting expressions should be allowed. At that time, cheering whispers, a mutual pleasurable conversation, some affectionate words are useful.

Smelling and Tasting:

In the beginning of the relation, such nice odors as musk and lavender are generally effective for pleasure-sensitive men. A woman who is aware of this fine point does not neglect perfuming herself with nice odors. It is also enough to clean the body and to remove foul smells. For the natural odor that spouses emit from their clean bodies is altogether effective in attracting each other. The most disturbing smells are mouth smell and intense smell of sweating. Therefore, the areas of armpits and groins which accumulate much sweat in body should be shaved once in a week and should be cleaned. Teeth should be brushed frequently and better be brushed with miswaq (a stick of wood from toothbrush tree; a practice of the Prophet). As smells of onion, garlic and cigarette are disturbing, relation in such a foul smelling atmosphere should be avoided. 

Touching and Caressing:

The most effective plays of love in preparation for intercourse are those of touching and caressing certain parts of the body. For that, spouses should be naked enough. Not leaving anything except for underwear in the upper part of the body, or even being naked in the bed according to the situation, provides ultimate joy from the relation. As in other points, the duty of touching and caressing is more upon the man than upon the woman.

Oral sex, woman's taking man's sexual organ into her mouth, which has become widespread among perverted people, is much abhorred religiously. It is also a bad action for man to kiss or lick the woman's sexual organ.

The Phase of Intercourse:

After the love plays that are performed for a long or a short time according to spouses' need, with the arousal of feelings of lust, a fluid called mazi is emitted in woman's genitals which make intercourse easier. If the woman is weak in sexual feeling at that time or if she is not excited enough, such a fluid is not seen.

Couples choose the style of intercourse that they desire.

The most important issue during intercourse is that the man should not make haste. It is an important duty for man to be patient. If the man acts only for his own pleasure not caring about the lady, he comes to the end of the pleasure in a couple of minutes. And this situation means abandoning the woman who is just aroused and leaving her in distress.

Therefore, with occasional intervals and with cautious actions, man should delay the state of ejaculation at the end and should try to ensure togetherness with the woman in this respect. The state of touch that continues till the state of orgasm, which is the exciting peak of pleasure, is thus continued as a calm and contented pleasure.

The Manners of Intercourse:

Although each lustful desire ends in darkening of the heart and distress, the intercourse performed in a religiously legal way causes relief in heart, and calmness and ease in spirit and body. The real wisdom in intercourse is the aim of continuing the generation and the pleasure in that is given as a Divine blessing to that end. Spouses who perform intercourse by complying with the appropriate manners also gain reward of worship with that. The intercourse performed under marriage is called jima; the one performed outside marriage is called zina (adultery).

It is a grave sin for woman not to accept the relation without a legal excuse. To make the semen flow out rather than inside the woman's sexual organ during ejaculation is permitted if it is done with the permission of the woman; and it is makrooh (abhorred) if done without her permission. If there is need, when the woman is in her period, too, ejaculation by benefiting from her body outside of the parts between her knees and the belly is permitted. According to another source, only the genitals are excepted for benefiting during that period.

One should intend to protect oneself from the illicit and to suffice with the permitted and should invoke Allah Most High during intercourse saying  “Bismillahi Allahumma jannibna-sh-shaytana wa jannibi-sh-shaytana ma razaktana”. If she becomes pregnant in that state, satan will not harm her.

Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, said: “Say Basmala (Bismillahirrahmanirrahim; In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate) in jima. Rewards will be written for you until you are cleansed of junub. If you beget a child in this jima, you will be given as many rewards as the breaths of this child and as the breaths of his/her lineage.”

The man should make love plays with the woman until lust and desire emerge in the woman. The benefits of that are the relief of the body and the perfection of the child to be born. He should not make haste. It is stated in hadiths (saying of the Prophet): “A man should not jump and dive like a cock while engaging in intercourse with his wife. Just as he himself is relieved, his wife should stay on her belly until she is relieved, too.” “If you are relieved before the woman is relieved, the rest of the day passes with laziness and sluggishness for the woman.” The woman who is in her period should put on old clothes in order to decrease her husband's desire.

It is a grave sin to engage in intercourse with the woman from her back (i.e. from her anus). In a hadith, it is stated: “The one who approaches his wife from her back is cursed.” One should take a nap after jima.

3 Unable to accept the khula from wife.

Khula is the right of women in Islam to give divorce or get separation from her husband. After divorce the husband is responsible for the education, food and residence of children. The children live with the mother for 7 years. After 7 years children have the right to live with father or mother, as the parents decide.   Before Islam, Arab women could also divorce their husbands by the simple pronouncement of the word "Talaaq" and they would use the applicable idol, Hubal, Manat etc) to legitimize the divorce. It may be difficult for a Muslim woman in a Muslim country to get a divorce. In the situation where a woman can no longer remain in the marriage of her husband and all attempts to save the marriage have failed, then the ideal solution would be for her to obtain a divorce from the husband. The husband, seeing that the marriage is futile and there is no hope of reconcilement, should also issue one divorce according to the prescribed method in Shariah.

However, in the case where the husband refuses to issue a divorce, the wife may persuade the husband to enter into an agreement of Khul’ (a release for payment from the wife). The wife may also opt to forgive the husband from paying her dowry (mahr).

Khul’ is an Arabic term that literally means ‘to take out’ and ‘remove’. The Arabs say: “Khala’tu al-libas” (I took off my cloths). Similarly, AllahSWT said to Sayyiduna Musa (Peace be upon him) when he went to receive the sacred law:

“Verily I am your lord! Therefore, take off (fakhla’) your shoes.” (Surah Ta Ha, 12)
The lexical definition of Khul’ as explained by the famous Hanafi Mujtahid, Ibn Humam is as follows:

“To remove the union of marriage in exchange of a financial settlement with the words of Khul.” (Ibn Humam, Fath al-Qadir, 3/1999)

Similar to other agreements and transactions, an agreement on Khul’ will also come into effect by acceptance and offer. (al-Kasani, Bada’i al- Sana’i, 3/145 & Radd al-Muhtar, 2/606)

The couple can normally agree upon any financial arrangement they desire. However, the Fuqaha state that, if the husband was at fault and it was his wrongdoings that resulted in the failure of their marriage, then it is impermissible for him to demand a financial payment in return for a divorce. He should divorce the wife without demanding anything in return.

“But if you decide to take one wife in place of another, even if you had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, take not the least bit of it back. Would you take it by slander and a manifest wrong? And how could you take it when you have gone into each other, and We have taken from you a solemn covenant?” (Surah al-Nisa, 20-21)
Due to the above verse of the Qur’an, the Fuqaha have declared the taking of anything in return as a major sin if the husband was at fault.

However, if the husband was not at fault, but the wife for some reason or another wishes to end the marriage, then it is permissible for the husband to demand and receive some financial payment. It would be superior for him not to take more than the actual stipulated dowry. However, it would be permissible for them to agree on any amount. (See: Bada’i al-Sana’i, 3/150 & Bahr al-Ra’iq, 4/83)

“It is unlawful for you (men), to take back (dowry, etc…) from your wives, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. If you (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she gives something for her freedom.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 229)

According to the Majority of Jurists (jumhur), a Khula’ agreement can be carried out without having to go to an Islamic court. Merely, the consent of both parties is sufficient. (See: al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, 6/173)

A Khul’ is considered an irrevocable divorce and a finalized cancellation of marriage (ba’in), differing from a threefold divorce by the fact that they may remarry in such a case without her marrying another husband first.

If they did remarry, the husband will only remain the owner of two more divorces. Meaning, if he further issued two more divorces, it will total to three, thus he will not be able to take her back until she marries another man. (See: al-Mabsut, 6/173)

The waiting period (idda) for the woman will be similar to that of a woman who was given an irrevocable divorce (ba’in) which is three menstrual cycles. The husband can not take her back within or after the waiting period without her consent (by contracting a new agreement of marriage).

Finally, it should also be remembered that a Khul’ agreement can only be carried out with the consent of the husband. The wife does not have the jurisdiction to enforce Khul’ without the consent of her husband. This is an agreed upon ruling in all of the four Sunni schools of Islamic law.

The great Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Sarakhsi says:

“An agreement of Khul’ is permissible with or without the presence of a judge, as it is a contract that is based on mutual agreement.” (al-Mabsut, 6/173)

The same has also been mentioned in Radd al-Muhtar, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya and other major works.

4 Is marriage between Shia and Sunni is permissible in Islam?

The First answer: Since a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man, we should define “Muslim” first. A Muslim is a person who accepts all definite rulings of  the religion of Islam and does not reject any of them. That is, he is the person who believes in and accepts the orders such as salat (prayer), zakat (obligatory alms), hajj (pilgrimage), wudu (ablution), ghusl (full ablution), etc. and prohibitions such as fornication, alcoholic drinks, interest and so on. However, a person who does not accept all or some of the things specified above is not regarded as a Muslim and marrying him is not permissible. If a marriage has taken place, then that marriage life is illicit. It does not matter whether he is Sunni or Shi’a.

Then, the criterion in marrying is Islam. Unfortunately, many Muslim women within the country or abroad marry non-Muslim men without asking the circumstances and learning Islam’s decision and make themselves deserving of Allah’s curse till doomsday. (Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar (Fatwas For the Current Matters) II. 119)

The Second answer: Questions about that issue have been asked and answers have been expected for some time. First of all, I want to specify a particular point.

I will try to answer the question within that concept.

Firstly, we should specify what Alawism (adherence to Shi’a beliefs and practices) is so that we would be successful in making a decision. What is Alawism, really? Well, that is the question we seek an answer for. If we can specify what Alawism is, then the matter is solved and we can answer whether marrying a Shi’a is permissible or not. However, the Alawism concept in our country is not single and clear.

- Alawism cannot be out of the bounds of the Qur’an. It cannot be comprehended in contrast to sunnah. It cannot be interpreted in opposition to the Prophet’s way of living. All religious orders such as salat, sawm (fasting), hajj, zakat take place in Alawism. People claiming the opposite are those who want to use Alawism as a tool to realize their aims. One should not be up to their tricks and should not show respect to people who want to show Alawism outside Islam.

If Alawism is like that, there is no problem. We regard them as our brothers of religion; we even ignore some of their mistakes and deficiencies since we all can have defects and imperfections in our deeds…    
However, if Alawism is not like that but like some people claim it to be… Namely: If salat, sawm and zakat are lacking; and if they regard their worship only as a matter of heart and they deny five daily prayers; and if they fundamentally show disrespect to rightly-guided caliphs of Allah’s Messenger and have the idea of keeping enmity alive by carrying some historical events to present time; especially if they do not accept fard ghusl and they do not consider it right to have full ablution after janabah (the state of a person after sexual intercourse)… then it is not religiously permissible for people who accept those mentioned above and who do not to come together and it is not logically possible for them to set a peaceful marriage and live happily in a lovely manner together. Nowadays, some difficulties occur in getting along with even for people who share the same culture, then to what extent it can be realistic to consider that people from different cultures can carry on a happy family life in peace. Therefore,  I say: “We should first detect how parties consider Alawism!”

If they consider the Qur’an as the holy book fundamentally, if they accept the Qur’an’s meaning is explained in sunnah and if they take Allah’s Messenger’s and his family’s way of living as an example, then there is no difference between us fundamentally. It can be possible to tolerate other differences.

A person who accepts fards is a believer and a person who does not accept them is a denier. Determining it can be possible by meeting and talking. To give judgment before meeting and talking is having prejudice.
I want to indicate another important point:

One who interprets Alawism as within Islam is our coreligionist and who regards it outside Islam is our citizen. We want to live in mutual peace with our citizens. This is a necessity of Islam.

Alawism can not be outside the Qur’an. It cannot be comprehended in contrast to sunnah. It can not be interpreted in opposition to the Prophet’s way of living. All religious orders such as salah, sawm, hajj, zakat take place in Alawism. People claiming the opposite are those who want to use Alawism as a tool to realize their aims. One should not be up to their tricks and should not show respect to people who want to show Alawism outside Islam... It is our duty to love and esteem people whom the Prophet deems worthy to be his son-in-love and father-in-love.

Aile İlmihali, Cihan Yayınları (Catechism for Family, Cihan Publications)

5 Is it a sin for the wife and husband to avoid having intercourse with each other? Can a man or woman reject the sexual desire of their spouses when they are sick?

It is not permissible for a man or woman to avoid sexual intercourse.

1. Oppression is not just beating. The main oppression in marriage is that one who is impotent gets married and cannot satisfy his wife's sexual desires. It is not permissible for such a man to get married.

2. It is not permissible for the wife and husband to avoid having intercourse with each other.

The man has the right to benefit from his wife sexually and the woman has the right to benefit from her husband sexually. If the woman does not let her husband use that right, the woman is considered a sinner.

Allah states the following: “And they (the women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in equity; but men have a degree of advantage above them. And ALLAH is Mighty and Wise. (Al-Baqara, 228)

The degree mentioned in that verse is not about sexuality. Men and women are equal in terms of sexuality. Man’s “a degree of advantage above them” is related to protecting his wife and her assets, looking after her rights, and being loaded with the burden of the family.
The Messenger of Allah said: “If the woman performs nafilah (supererogatory) fasts without the permission of her husband and avoids meeting the desires of her husband, Allah loads the sin of three bad deeds over her.”
When a man calls his wife for sexual intercourse, even if the woman is cooking at that moment, she should answer her husband’s call.”

“When a man wants to sleep with his wife, if the woman does not want to come without an excuse and if the man sleeps offended, angels curse that woman till morning.
Do you want to know women deserving Heaven? They are women who say to their husbands “I will not sleep till I make you satisfied” when they make a mistake or are treated unfairly by their husbands and who are fond of them.”

“Even if the woman is cooking, she should sleep with her husband calls her.”
Similarly, a woman has the right to demand sexual intercourse from her husband. It is the duty of the husband to help her have it. If the husband does not do his duty, he will be considered guilty and sinner. (Tafsir Qurtubi 3/124) Moreover, if the husband cannot do his sexual duty, the woman has the right to divorce him by applying to the court. The husband also has that right.
The Messenger of Allah likened people who did that duty without foreplay to roosters, namely animals and he recommended that sexual intercourse should not be started without foreplay because men can be aroused even by only looking at a woman, but women become ready after a long period of foreplay. A good husband is the husband who can make his wife ready for it and satisfy her as much as he satisfies himself. Men who just think of themselves in the sexual relationship should not forget that they torture their partners by enjoying only themselves. 
That is, spouses should not avoid their sexual duties. Each side should do that duty. However, if one of the spouses is not ready to do it psychologically and biologically, the spouses should be patient, understanding, and tolerant towards each other.
3. Almighty Allah made sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife legitimate. It is stated that there is no blame and condemnation for the sexual intercourse within the limits of morality between them (see al-Mu'minun, 23/6.). However, the aim of protecting women in terms of physical and spiritual life, Islam brings some restrictions to the sexual life of the spouses.
It is not permissible for a woman to have sexual relationship with her husband in the periods of menstruation and puerperum, when she is in Ihram in Hajj, in the cases of zihar or ilaa (indirect ways of divorcing), till the atonement is paid for it. In such cases, the woman has to avoid sexual relationship with her husband. 
Furthermore, the woman who cannot bear sexual relationship because of illness and weakness can also avoid sexual intercourse. As a matter of fact, if the man has sexual intercourse with his wife in such a case, he will be responsible for it, because it will hurt her. (Ibn Abidin, al-Uqudu'd-durriyya I/26.)
The woman has the right to reject sexual intercourse with her husband because of biological and psychological reasons or sickness. If the spouses disagree over the matter, they should consult to an expert Muslim doctor and behave in accordance with the doctor’s instructions.
It is not permissible for a man or woman to satisfy themselves with their hands (masturbation), etc.  However, the man can satisfy his wife with his hands and the woman can satisfy her husband with her hands. (Sarakhsi, Mabsut X/159)  A woman can satisfy her husband who cannot have sexual intercourse due to an excuse without having a sexual intercourse.

6 Is it permissible for me to talk with my fiance via sms before marriage?

Engagement is not a marriage agreement, but it is a marriage promise. For this reason, those who are engaged are regarded as namahram (not a close relative) for each other and they cannot be together unless there is a mahram (so closely related by blood that marriage with him/her is forbidden) person with them. For this reason, even if they are engaged, it is not permissible for them to be together, to look at the parts of their bodies which are haram (forbidden) to look at and touch each other. And they should pay attention to their talk.

The engaged people have to be careful when they talk to each other on the phone, through msn etc...
For example, if they talk about love, affection, backbiting, lies, and about anything that arouses sexual desires, it is definitely not right.

However, if it is about religious matters that remind Allah, death, hereafter and religious feelings and thoughts, certainly it cannot be said that it is forbidden. The criterion should be as mentioned. When you act in accordance with those criteria, we can say that you do not commit sins and you protect yourselves. Also, we advise you to ask your conscience about what you do. If your conscience is not comfortable, give up what you are doing.

7 What are the conditions of polygamy?

Conditions of marrying more than one woman:

Islam set forth some conditions for marrying more than one woman. Those conditions are as follows:

1- To deal justly among the wives. This is limited with the human capability; it includes being just in food, clothes, housing, interest and treatment. However the Quran denotes that it is very difficult: "...if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or that which your right hands possess" (an-Nisa, 4/3). So if there is a fear that one cannot deal justly or one can oppress, then the principle of being content with one woman becomes valid. However, justice does not include issues like liking, inclination of the heart and love, because they cannot be controlled. Islam does not place a burden on man greater than he can bear. However, it is forbidden to incline to one of the wives extremely and deprive the others from love. The following is stated in a verse: "Ye are never able to do justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air).” (an-Nisa, 4/129).

When the two verses above are evaluated, we can draw the conclusion that polygamy is not an essential rule but a permission that can be used when extraordinary conditions are present.

2- To be able to maintain the family. In Islam, it is necessary for a man who wants to marry one woman or more to be able to meet the eating, drinking, clothing and housing expenses of her or them. The Prophet (PBUH) said the following: O young men! Those among you who can support a wife should marry " (Bukhari, Sawm, 10, Nikah, 2, 3, 19; Muslim, Nikhh, 1,3; Abu Dawud, Nikah, I; Ibn Majah, Nikah, ; Nasai, Siyam, 43). There is no doubt that the hardship of marriage lies in the expenses of the wife.

The reasons why Islam permits polygamy:

In Islam monogamy is essential and polygamy is exceptional. It can be used only when it is necessary or compulsory. Islam did not make polygamy obligatory for anybody, nor did it encourage polygamy. However, it is regarded permissible when there are some general or special reasons.

General reasons: In some regions the male population decreases and female population may increase above normal. During the time of wars it is more frequent. As a matter of fact, after the World War I in Germany, there were four or six women for one man. Then German women advocated that men should marry more than one woman. In such a situation polygamy serves to protect women from prostitution, to provide them with a warm home and to guard fatherless children.
Sometimes it may be necessary to marry more than one woman to increase the population in some regions; for instance, the death of most of the population in war.
There may be polygamy in order to spread Islam. So the Prophet was married to one woman Hazrat Khadijah until he was 54 and had 9 wives after that. (az-Zuhayli, VII, 169, 170).

There are a lot of special reasons:

1- The woman may be ill and cannot meet her husband’s sexual needs. It may be a gynecologic disease that cannot be cured; the woman may be barren and cannot bear a child. In such a case divorcing the diseased wife and marrying another may seem to be a solution but instead of sending her away from her children’s home, marrying a second woman with the consent of the first wife should be a better solution. Thus the rights of the first wife are preserved.

2- Some men may have fallen in love with another woman. The only way to prevent him from adultery is the second marriage.

So, the fact that polygamy is permissible is due to obligation, necessity, illness or a valid cause.

Love and polygamy

Islam advises spouses to love each other in a legitimate way. However, it does not want that love to be confined to this world only but to become eternal. It defines some criteria for it. One of them is to love someone for the sake of Allah, because everything depends on Allah and belongs to Him. He is the owner of all estates. He who loves the people he loves for the sake of Allah makes his love eternal and guarantees it. Death and partings cannot cause the disappearance of that love.
A man who thinks of marrying more than one woman can marry only if he is determined to act equally among his wives in terms of treatment, spending the night with, justice, clothing, meeting their necessities and other issues and if he needs a second marriage Otherwise it is not permissible. If he does not observe these conditions he will have committed a haram (a forbidden act) and violated other people’s rights.

Allah permitted marrying more than one woman in the Quran. However, it demanded monogamy in cases where there may be injustice. Therefore we can easily say that marrying more than one woman is not right unless it is obligatory. We see that treating all of the wives equally is almost impossible, at least very difficult and that not every man can do it.
However, a person who thinks that a second marriage is obligatory can marry with the presence of witnesses and it is not compulsory for him to inform his relatives about it.

POLYGAMY

"A man who has two wives and who is completely inclined to one and who ignores the other emerges with one side of his body paralyzed in the Day of Judgment." (Hadith; Ibn Majah, Nikah, 47; Mishqatl’l-masabih, 2/196)

Antique Egypt Law: A man could marry more than one woman under some circumstances.

Babel Law: according to Hammurabi laws if a woman could not bear a child or had a serious disease the husband could have a concubine.

Chinese Law: If the wealth of the husband were sufficient, he could marry secondary wives. However, the children from the secondary wives were regarded as the children of the first wife.

Antique Brahmans: According to the book Vichnou, men could marry one, two, three or more women in accordance with their classes. In the book Apastamba there was a limit; if the woman carried out her tasks and she had a male child, the husband could not marry a second woman. In the laws of Manu, the husband had to choose his first wife from the same social class; he could marry a woman of lower classes as his second wife.

Ancient Iran: Polygamy was legal.

Roman Law: It was possible to have a concubine, without a legal wedding.
The Bible: It is stated in the Old Testament that Hazrat Dawood married several women. There are some other places that mention polygamy in the Old Testament. There existed polygamy in Judaism.

In the New Testament, there is not an item prohibiting polygamy. However there are recommendations that it is better to be content with one wife.

In Christianity, polygamy was normal until the 16th century.

Arabia before Islam: There were no limitations regarding polygamy. Men could marry as many women as they wanted; sometimes they even exchanged their wives.

POLYGAMY IN ISLAM

Allah states the following:

"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or that which your right hands possess. That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." (Chapter an-Nisa / 3)

It is seen clearly in the verse that marrying more than one woman 2, 3 and finally 4 is not an order that has to be carried out like fardh or wajib (compulsory) but permission. However, this permission depends on dealing justly among the wives. It is stated that being content with one wife is the closest and rightest way to justice; it is ordered that a person who fears that he won’t be able to deal justly has to be content with one wife.

PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM REGARDING POLYGAMY

1) Limitation of the number: Islam put a limitation to the limitless marriages of men during the period of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance). After Allah sent down that verse, acting on the order of the Messenger of Allah, those who had more than 4 wives divorced the extra ones.

2) Dealing justly among wives: It will be in eating, drinking, clothing, housing, intercourse and love. However, it is very difficult, almost impossible to deal justly in terms of love. Various physical and psychological characteristics will cause differences in the level of love. No matter how hard he tries to deal justly, it is almost impossible for a man to achieve it.

Allah states the following:

"Ye are never able to do justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful." (Chapter an-Nisa/ 129)

In this verse, Allah exempts men from dealing absolutely justly in terms of love and liking. However, he prohibits men from inclining totally to one and ignoring the other(s), and He orders men to do their best to deal justly. The following is stated in a hadith:

"A man who has two wives and who is completely inclined to one and who ignores the other emerges with one side of his body paralyzed in the Day of Judgment." (Hadith; Ibn Majah, Nikah, 47; Mishqatl’l-masabih, 2/196)

A woman does not consent to share his husband with another woman under normal circumstances, and no woman would like to marry a married man unless she has to.
It is a necessity of belief that polygamy is right. However, to believe it does not necessarily mean for a woman to consent to the second wife and approve it.
No believer father would like his son-in-law to marry a second, third or fourth woman along with his daughter. The jealousy nature of the woman and the affection of the father prevent it. As a matter of fact,
The daughter of our Prophet, Hazrat Fatima, objected to his husband’s, Hazrat Ali’s, marrying to a second woman. If it weren’t permissible to object Hazrat Fatima, who was brought up by our Prophet, would not have objected. The Messenger of Allah would have warned her and ordered her to consent to her husband’s wish. However, it did not take place like that. On the contrary, the Messenger of Allah, who saw that his daughter was sorry, asked Hazrat Ali to give up his wish and told him that if he did not give up, he could marry another woman after divorcing Hazrat Fatima. He did not consent to Hazrat Ali’s second marriage and to depress his daughter.
By considering that act of the Messenger of Allah, it can be stated that Muslim daughters and fathers may object to the second marriage of the husband or son-in-law.

To sum up: Islam neither orders nor prohibits polygamy. It only permits it when it is necessary. There is no need to say much after narrating the happening above.

References:

1) While preparing this article we mostly referred to the book "İslamda Kadın Hakları" by Mehmet Dikmen.
2) Elmalı Interpretation (Tafseer)

8 What are the responsibilities the woman in the family and her duties toward her husband?

The duties of a woman toward her husband:

1- Contentment: Being content is one of the reasons for the ease of the heart; a woman should avoid alienating her husband from herself and from the home by her shamelessness and greed. Contentment means to feel content with what is sufficient and not to be greedy.   

2- Obedience to the husband: Our Prophet (pbuh) said, “a woman with whom her husband is pleased will go to Paradise when she dies.”

3- Cleanliness: To pay attention to the places that her husband sees and to clean those places. One should know that the best thing for cleanliness is water. She should always wear nice scents.  

4- Meeting his needs: To pay attention to the time when her husband eats a meal, not to pass the time for sleep, to prepare the meal and the bed in accordance with the habits of her husband.  

5- Protecting his goods: To protect her husband’s property and belongings because protecting the property and belongings shows that she is a skillful woman.

6- Showing respect to relatives: To show respect to the relatives of her husband because if a woman shows respect to the relatives of her husband, it means she is a good housewife and manager.

7- Keeping secrets: The woman must not tell anyone about the secrets of her husband. If she reveals his secrets, she will lose the trust of her husband, and she cannot be sure about him anymore.  

8- Respect: To fulfill the orders of her husband, not to oppose him and to obey him.  If she opposes him, she may cause him to have a grudge against her and become hostile toward her. 

In addition, it is not permissible for a man to force his wife to do something that he wants, and religiously, the woman does not have to do things like that. For instance, a woman does not have to cook a meal or take care of her child. However, it is better for her to do legitimate and positive things (even if she does not like it) for the peace and safety of the family in order to establish mutual respect among the members of the family.

Division of labor between the wife and husband in the family:

In Islam, the family is one of the main holy things that need to be protected. Therefore, the family is not left unattended; someone that will protect the members of the family is deemed responsible as the head of the family. That person should be strong and powerful enough to make the other members obey him so that he will control those who go beyond the limits and keep them within the legitimate bounds. It will be the father and the husband that can act authoritatively in the family and make everybody obey him. 

In Islam, the head of the family is not completely independent. On the contrary, the head of the family is someone who undertakes the heavy burden of the responsibility of the family and to be the breadwinner. That is, the responsibility of working outside and bringing home the bread lies on the father and the husband. The woman does not have to work outside and bring home the bread.

When our Prophet (pbuh) married Fatima, his daughter, with Hazrat Ali, his son-in-law, he assigned the tasks in the home to Fatima and the tasks outside the home to Ali and said,

- To bring water from the fountain, to knead dough and bake bread, to clean the home and to arrange the things in the house belong to Fatima. The tasks outside the house belong to Ali.  

However, it is permissible for the man to help his wife to do housework and for the woman to help her husband outside the house. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) helped his family with the housework, and it is stated in the religious books that it is sunnah for men to help with the housework.

Does a woman have to cook for her husband?

The food, clothes, the residence of a woman have to be provided by her husband within the legitimate conditions. It is necessary to avoid extravagance. Our Prophet (pbuh) said to a woman, “Take kindly from the goods of your husband what will be enough for you and your child.”

It is an ethical duty and an honorable service for a woman to cook meals, to bake bread, to do the washing, sweep the rooms, to arrange the housework and to try to relieve the burden of her husband. (Hukuku İslamiyye Ö. N. Bilmen 2/483)

Our Prophet (pbuh) said to Fatima, his daughter, "You should do the housework and Ali should do the tasks outside the house.” Our Prophet is the best model and example for us in everything, including the family life. The most important reason of the problems we have today is the fact that we have moved away from the Quran and the Sunnah.

Can a woman be forced to breastfeed her child?

The father (husband) shall bear the cost of their (the mother and the child’s) food and clothing on equitable terms." (al-Baqara 233)

A woman cannot be forced to breastfeed the baby she gave birth to. However, if the baby does not suckle any other woman than its mother, then she is forced. Allah stated the following in the Quran:

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years.”( al-Baqara 233) That verse is evidence that women breastfeed their children.

When the mother does not breastfeed her baby, the father has to hire a wet nurse to breastfeed the baby near her mother because the right to protect and educate the baby belongs to the mother.

To breastfeed the baby is necessary for the mother religiously because the sentence in the Quran: “The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years." is a strong imperative sentence. (Mawqufat 1/597)

The woman should treat the family of her husband well:

Another aspect of treating her husband well for a Muslim woman is to treat the parents of her husband well and to show them respect and appreciation. The woman does a favor to her husband by helping her mother-in-law. Therefore, the husband treats his wife and her mother well in return. The woman actually does herself a favor by doing so because Allah says the following in the Quran, " Is there any Reward for Good other than Good?” (ar-Rahman 60)

Our Prophet (pbuh) stated the following, "The best among you are those who are useful to people."

The mercy that our Prophet (pbuh) teaches his ummah includes not only the relatives but also the whole mankind. The following is stated in a hadith:

He who shows no mercy, will receive no mercy.” (Muslim)

"Allah shows mercy to those who shows mercy to others. Show mercy to those on the earth so that those in the sky will show mercy to you. "( Tirmidhi)

Mercy is not only a feeling of pity as some people think. It is a comprehensive feeling that develops with love and grows with help and altruism. If there is no mercy in a heart, that heart is ill.

Today, some people cause the family life to be unbearable by saying, ‘the woman does not have to wash the clothes of the man; she does not have to breastfeed her baby”. Although she does not have to do them, there exists a religious and humane aspect of the issue and a dimension of mercy. A woman civil servant serves many people that she knows or does not know for at least eight hours a day in return for the money that she receives; why should she not obey her husband, children, her husband’s mother and father? Those strange ideas and similar mistakes cause the break-up of many families and discontent. Families need love more than anything else.  

For the happiness of the families in the world and the hereafter, the members of the family must obey Allah and His Messenger first, and then to each other for their legitimate desires of each other. They must not obey anyone if it involves committing sins. 

Secondly, if everyone fulfils their responsibilities toward each other, the happiness of the family will be realized. Otherwise, the family life becomes unbearable. Another aspect is that life is not related only to this world; there is also life in the hereafter, which is the real life. We should establish such a family life that it would be a life in the atmosphere of the Quran and Sunnah, a Paradise life with people of common sense. Allah likes those who act with goodwill and common sense.

9 Could you please give information about "Nafaqa" (Sustenance: Maintenance: Alimony)?

Nafaqa means something given as maintenance; provisions, food; the food, clothes, housing and similar things that the head of the family has to provide. The word infaq, which is derived from the root “nafaqa” means to spend money on charity. The plural of nafaqa is “nafaqat”. As a term, it means the food, clothes and housing sufficient for one person.

Nafaqa is generally divided into two: 1. The nafaqa necessary for the person himself. It comes before the nafaqa a person will give to others. The Prophet said, "Spend money on yourself first, and then on those whom you have to look after." (Muslim, Zakat, 95, 97, 106; Abu Dawud, Zakat, 39, 40; Ahmed b. Hanbal, II, 94).

2. The nafaqa a person has to give to others. That kind of nafaqa originates from three reasons: marriage, blood relation and property (ownership).

In Islam, the duty of winning the bread for the wife and children lies on the father, as the head of the family. In addition, if his mother, father, brothers, sisters and other relatives become needy and dependent, their maintenance is included in this duty. Furthermore, the animals that the head of the family owns or uses have to be sustained by him. (al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, IV, 40). Causing the death of an animal due to hunger or thirst brings about responsibility. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah said the following for a woman who caused the death of a cat: "A woman was tortured in Hell because she imprisoned a cat until it died. She did not give it any food and she did not let it free to feed itself. " (Bukhari, Anbiya, 54; Shirb, 9; Muslim, Salam, 151, 152; Birr, 133, 134; Kusuf, 9; Nasai, Kusuf, 14, 20; Ahmed b. Hanbal, II, 159, 188, 286, 424).

It is forbidden to make an animal carry the load that it cannot bear. A slave cannot be made to carry a load like that, either. If the owner of an animal does not feed the animal, he is forced to feed it legally and religiously according to most of the scholars. According to Hanafis, he cannot be forced legally. (al-Kasani,ibid, IV, 40; ash-Shirazi, al-Muhadhdhab, II,168 ff.; az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh, Damascus 1405/1985, VII, 763, 764).

People that deserve to receive nafaqa are as follows:

The Nafaqa of Married Woman

When a woman marries and moves to her husband’s house, all of her spending regarding food, clothes and housing lies on her husband. They are provided without extravagance or stinginess in accordance with the social levels of the spouses. If both of the spouses are rich, the money is spent in accordance with their levels. If both of them are poor, the woman cannot ask her husband to spend money on her like rich people. If one of them is poor and the other is rich, a moderate level is maintained. However, some scholars say that only the state of the husband is taken into consideration regarding the amount of the nafaqa.

The following is stated in verses: “But the father shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms" (al-Baqara, 2/233).

”Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what he has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief." (at-Talaq, 65/7).

The husband has to meet the clothing expenses of his wife. Here, the criterion is the social level and the customs that are in compatible with Islam. A woman has the right of having at least two sets of clothes a year: one for the summer and one for the winter. Things like quilts, beds, linens and pillows are regarded among the clothing items.

The husband has to provide his wife with a dwelling with appropriate interior fittings suitable for her social state and without bad neighbors. That dwelling has to be safe for the property, life and honor of the woman and it should be appropriate for a marriage life.

The following is stated in a verse: "Let the women live (in 'iddah) in the same style as ye live, according to your means: annoy them not, so as to restrict them" at-Talaq, 65/6).

The woman cannot be forced to live with the relatives of her husband. However, the husband has the right of making his daughter from another marriage who has not reached the age of puberty live with them. 

The wife can rent her house to her husband so that her husband will allocate that house for her dwelling (Ibnul-Humam, Fathul-Qadir, III, 321-339; al-Kasani, ibid, IV,14,15; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, I, 544 ff.; Ö. N. Bilmen, İstilâhat-ı Fıkhıyye Kâmusu, II, 450).

If the woman needs to be looked after or if the women who are equal to her in terms of social state have maids, having a maid is included in nafaqa. 

If the woman does not come to her husband’s house despite his demand or if she leaves the house without obeying him or abandons the religion of Islam, the husband is freed from the responsibility of nafaqa.

The nafaqa of the woman in the period of iddah (the period of waiting for a woman after her marriage ends): Iddah starts when the husband of the woman dies or when she is divorced.

Nafaqa is not necessary for a woman whose husband dies because when the man dies, all of his property passes on to the inheritors. She becomes one of the inheritors at a rate of one-fourth or one-eighth. In the first periods of Islam, the husband had to will that his wife would be given nafaqa for a year after his death.  

The following is stated in a verse: "Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year's maintenance and residence" (al-Baqara, 2/240).

However, the decree regarding one-year nafaqa and dwelling, and the decree of will were abrogated by the 12th verse of the chapter an-Nisa; the one-year iddah was shortened by the following verse: "If any of you die and leave widows behind; they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days when they have fulfilled their term" (al-Baqara, 2/234).

The nafaqa responsibility of the husband continues during the period of iddah, whether the divorce is revocable or irrevocable. It does not matter whether the divorce has taken place twice or three times. However, according to Shafii, Malik and Ahmad b. Hanbal, only dwelling is provided if it is the third divorce; other things like clothing, food, etc are not necessary.

The sustenance of the children, the nafaqa of the sons and daughters have to be provided by the father.  The nafaqa of the children covers food, clothing and dwelling needs of the children.

The following is stated in the 6th verse of the chapter at-Talaq: "and if they suckle your (offspring), give them their recompense". Here, the verse gives the decree that a woman who suckles her baby after her period of iddah is over has the right of receiving money. It shows that the nafaqa of the child has to be provided by the father.

If a married woman does not want to breastfeed her baby and if the baby does not refuse to suck at another woman’s breast, the baby’s mother cannot be forced to breastfeed her baby.

The following is reported from Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): Hind, the mother of Mu'awiya said to Allah's Apostle, "Abu Sufyan (her husband) is a miser. He does not give me and my children enough sustenance. Am I allowed to take from his money secretly?" The Prophet said to her, "You and your sons may take what is sufficient reasonably and fairly." (Bukhari, Buyu', 95; Nasai, Qudat, 31; Ibn Majah, Tijarah, 65).

The hadith above shows that it is wajib for a man to provide his wife and children with nafaqa.

The conditions for the father to have the liability for providing nafaqa for his son

a) The son must be no older than the age of puberty. However, if the child has reached the age of puberty but if he is disabled, crippled, paralyzed or chronically ill and if he is unable to earn his living, the responsibility of the father continues.

b) The son must be poor. If the child has his own property, the money for his sustenance is taken from it.

c) The father must afford to take care of his children.  He is regarded to be so if he is rich or able to work. 

d) The father and his son must be free people, not slaves.

The conditions for the father to have the liability for providing nafaqa for his daughter

a) There is no condition of age or having reached the age of puberty for daughters. The sustenance of the daughters has to be provided by the father until they get married. After they get married, it has to be provided for the husbands. If the husband of the woman dies or if she is divorced, she returns to her father’s house. The woman cannot be forced to work. However, it is permissible for her to work if she finds a job in compliance with Islamic principles. 

b) She must be poor. If she has her own property, the money for her sustenance is taken from it.

c) The father must be able to work and earn money or be rich.

d) The father and his daughter must be free people, not slaves.

It is stated in a hadith to whom a person should give priority in providing sustenance for his relatives as follows: "A man came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have one dinar with me. How should I spend it? Hazrat Prophet said: Spend it on your needs.” The man said, “I have one more dinar.” The Prophet said, “Spend it on your wife.” The man said, “I have one more dinar.” The Prophet said, “Spend it on your children.”

The man said, “I have one more dinar.” The Prophet said, “Spend it on your servant.” When the man said he had one more dinar, the Prophet let him free what to do by saying, "You know it better how to spend it.”  (Ahmad b. Hanbal, II, 251, 471; Nasai, Zakat, 54).

Expenses of the parents and grandparents

If the parents become poor or if they become too old and cannot work, their sustenance and care have to be provided by their children.

The following is stated in the verses regarding the issue:

" Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents " (al-Isra, 17/23). " Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents " (Luqman, 31/14). " But if they strive to make the join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration)." (Luqman, 31/15).

The following is reported from Jabir b. Abdullah: A man came to Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) with his father and said

"Oh Messenger of Allah! I have my own property; my father has his own property. My father wants to have my property.” The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "You and your property belong to your father." (as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, V, 222-229; al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, IV, 30; Ibnul-Humam, Fathul Qadir, III, 349 ff.).

However, the right of the parents on the property of their children were delimited by interpretation and it was bound to the condition that they had to be poor and needy, because when the verses regarding inheritance were sent down, the rights of the parents on the property of their children who died were determined.

The conditions under which parents can receive nafaqa from their children: They must be poor. Otherwise, their expenses are met from their own property. The child or grandchild that is responsible for nafaqa must afford to pay it. He can afford it if he is rich or if he can work and earn money. 

The conditions under which one is responsible for nafaqa for relatives are as follows:

1. The relative must be poor. A person is poor if he has no property or if he cannot work. A person cannot work due to young age, insanity or chronic disease. However, parents are excepted because it is necessary to give them nafaqa even if they are healthy or they can work.  Accordingly, if one’s relatives except his parents and wife are rich or if they can work, giving them nafaqa is not necessary. According to the preferred view of Malikis, when parents can work, they cannot demand nafaqa from their children. (al-Kasani, ibid, IV, 36, 37; Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Mukhtar, II, 923; ash-Shirazi, al-Muhadhdhab, II, 167; ash-Shirbini, Mughnil-muhtaj, III, 448; IbnQudama, al-Mughni  VII, 595; Ibnul-Humam, ibid, III, 347).

2. The person to give nafaqa to his relative must be rich or be able to work and to be in a position to provide sustenance for his relative. However, the father and the wife are excepted. A man has to provide sustenance for his parents and wife even if he is poor. According to Malikis, a poor child does not have to give nafaqa to his parents even if he can work and earn money.

The following is stated in a hadith reported by Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him): "If one of you becomes poor, he should meet his own needs first. If he still has some money after meeting his own needs, he should spend it on the members of his family. If he still has some money after that, he should spend it on his other relatives." (Abu Dawud, Itaq, 9; Nasai, Buyu', 84; Ahmad b. Hanbal, III, 205).

3. The person to be provided nafaqa for must have a blood relation. However, the wife and the female slave are excepted. 

According to Hanafis, the person to give nafaqa must be such a close relative to the person to receive nafaqa that he can be an inheritor to him. The evidence of this view is the following verse:" ... No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child Nor father on account of his child. An heir shall be chargeable in the same way if they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation. " (al-Baqara, 2/233). According to the verse above, the rights and responsibilities that are valid between the parents and their children are also valid for other inheritors. It contains the expenses of sustenance, too, when necessary.

The effect of being in different religions on nafaqa: Being in different religions does not hinder the right for nafaqa unless the woman is disobedient or abandons the religion of Islam. As for the responsibility for nafaqa for other relatives,

according to Hanafis, being in the same religion is not necessary for the nafaqa of the parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. Being in the same religion is necessary for the nafaqa of the other relatives because no relation of inheritance is valid between a Muslim and non-Muslim. Accordingly, nafaqa for the relatives other than the wife, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren is not necessary if they are not in the same religion. The responsibility for nafaqa for parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren originates from the fact that they are part of one another. The part of a person is like the person himself. Since a person cannot refrain from providing sustenance for himself because he is an unbeliever, he cannot refrain from providing sustenance for his parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren, either. However, if they are harbi (person living in a non-Muslim country that is in a state of war with an Islamic country) and even if they are foreigners with passports, they are not paid nafaqa because Muslims are prohibited from helping those who are in a state of war with them. 
The reason why one provides sustenance for somebody else is being needy. It is not necessary to provide sustenance for someone who is not needy. The expenses of a person who has property are met from his property. It does not matter whether this person is a child or adult. However, the wife of a person is excepted. Even if a woman is rich, her expenses are met by her husband because the reason why the wife is given nafaqa is not being needy but living in the same house due to marriage.   

Is the decision of the judge necessary for nafaqa?

The nafaqa of parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren is wajib (obligatory) irrespective of the decision of the judge. However, if there is some lost property belonging to a small child and if the father wants to find and use it for his sustenance, the decision of the judge or the witnessing of two people is necessary. If he spends some money without the decision of the judge or the witnessing of two people, he cannot use the property of the child legally. He can use it religiously, as an issue between Allah and him.  

The nafaqa of relatives except parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren can only be valid by the decision of the judge or mutual consent. It is because there is a difference of opinion among mujtahids regarding the issue of the nafaqa of relatives. (al-Kasani, ibid, IV, 22, 25; Ibnul-Humam, ibid, III, 238; Ibn Abidin, ibid, II, 906).

The states in which the nafaqa for wife cease to be obligatory: 1. Nafaqa is wajib; unless it becomes a debt by the decision of the judge or mutual consent, the nafaqa belonging to the period that passed ceases to be obligatory. According to Malikis, the nafaqa belonging to the period that passed does not cease to be obligatory. The woman can demand nafaqa from her husband for the days that passed.

2. Accepting that one has no debt about the past invalidates nafaqa. However, according to Hanafis, it is not valid to accept that one has no debt about the future or disclaim of future nafaqa is not valid because the nafaqa of the wife becomes obligatory as she lives with her husband. Disclaim of future nafaqa means giving up something before it becomes obligatory, which is not valid. 

3. Death of one of the spouses: If the husband dies before he gives the nafaqa, the woman cannot take if from the property of her husband. If the woman dies, the inheritors cannot demand it.
4. Disobedience of the wife. If the woman disobeys the legitimate desires of her husband or abandons the house without any excuse, the responsibility for nafaqa of the husband ceases to be obligatory. 

5. Conversion of the wife from Islam. When the wife abandons the religion of Islam, the responsibility for nafaqa of the husband ceases to be obligatory because it is not permissible to have sexual intercourse with her in this situation. When she embraces Islam again, the right for nafaqa becomes valid again.

6. Divorce caused by a bad deed of the wife annuls the right for nafaqa. For instance, her conversion from Islam, insisting on being an unbeliever despite her husband’s embrace of Islam or having a sexual intercourse with her stepson. In all of those situations, the responsibility for nafaqa of the husband ceases to be obligatory because the wife has committed a sin that has eliminated the possibility of sexual intercourse with her husband. Therefore, she is regarded to be nashiza (disobedient). However, only her right to continue to live in the dwelling continues because that right is not invalidated by committing a sin.   

If the divorce has not happened due to committing a sin, the right for nafaqa is not annulled. For instance, not approving the marriage when she reaches the age of puberty, absence of equality between the husband and wife, sexual intercourse due to rape. She is regarded to be excused regarding those situations.

Divorce caused by the husband, whether it is due to a sin or not, does not annul the right for nafaqa.  (See al-Kasani, IV, 22, 29 ff.; Ibnul-Humam, ibid, III, 322 ff.; Ibn Abidin, ibid, II, 889-892; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul-Mujtahid, II, 54; ash-Shirazi, ibid, II, 160).

Annulment of the nafaqa for the relatives other than the wife

The right for nafaqa of the relatives like parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren are annulled when the period ends. When the judge decides for nafaqa for those relatives, if the relative does not take it or if he/she has not borrowed money on the account of the nafaqa, the nafaqa is annulled. According to Hanafis, the nafaqa is annulled unless the judge lets the relative borrow money because the nafaqa of the other relatives become obligatory to meet their needs. If the relative does not take the nafaqa during the given period, it shows that he/she does not need the nafaqa.  (See al-Kasani, ibid, IV, 37; Ibnul-Humam, ibid, III, 354; al-Maydani, al-Lubab, III, 109).

Hamdi DÖNDÜREN

10 What are the limits of sexual intercourse with a woman in menstruation?

There are some limits while being together with a woman in menstruation. As it is known, a husband can be together with his wife at normal times. The intercourse must be through the reproduction organs. However, when a woman is in menstruation, she cannot make love with her husband as comfortably as she normally does. It is not permissible for her to make love and to have sexual intercourse through her reproduction organ. 

However, a husband can kiss and caress his wife even when she is in menstruation. There is no drawback to touching, kissing, etc the part of the woman over the navel in terms of religion when she is in menstruation.

To make love with a woman when she is in menstruation is one of the sunnahs of our Prophet (pbuh). A woman who is in need of being desired and loved even without lust can feel bored and frustrated because of being uncared for and unlovely for a certain period every month. Therefore, it is not right to leave women uncared for in those days.

Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates:

" When one of us, the wives of the Prophet, was in menstruation period, the Messenger of Allah wanted her to have a large cloth (covering the part between the navel and knees) on and then he turned towards her breasts.." (1)

The husband can touch and play sexually with his wife as long as he does not touch between her navel and knees when she is in menstruation. He can satisfy himself using his wife’s hand or other parts of her body; he can also touch and use between her navel and knees if that part is covered with something. There is no drawback to it; it is a virtuous and recommended act because he protects himself from haram and he cares for her wife when she is kind of ill, in menstruation period, and when she is likely to feel lonely. It is reported that our Prophet approached his wives like that when they were in menstruation. According to some scholars, the husband can do anything except sexual intercourse with his wife when she is in menstruation. Imam Muhammad holds that view. (2)

If the woman has an orgasm when she is in menstruation period, she does not have to make ghusl.. She can make ghusl after her period of menstruation ends. 

1) Nasai, 1,189.
2) İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi

11 Does the duty of taking care old parents belong to son and his wife?

Looking after the old mother and father is a duty for their children, not for daughters-in-law or sons-in-law.

There will always be some troubles in societies or people that Islam is not practiced properly. We need to cure these troubles with the Quran and Islam.

When Islam evaluates situations, it considers them in terms of being fard (obligatory) or haram (forbidden). That is, it expresses matters as “it is forbidden or it is not forbidden”.

For this reason, something that is not obligatory does not mean that it does not have to be done. For example, in the sect Hanafi, the prayer (salat) done without reading the Surah al-Fatiha is valid. However, reading al-Fatiha in the prayer is wajib (compulsory). It means leaving to do a wajib act does not invalidate the prayer. It does not mean that the prayer can be performed without reading al-Fatiha. Reading al-Fatiha is wajib; one who omits it deliberately will be responsible for it. However, the prayer is valid because the fards of the prayer have been performed.

Islamic scholars say the following about whether daughters-in-law are responsible for looking after their mothers-in-law: “It is not obligatory for a daughter-in-law to look after her husband and even her child. For this reason, she is also not responsible for looking after a mother-in-law. The rule is like that in terms of being fard. Namely, it is not a sin if a woman does not look after her mother-in-law. However, she is regarded to have abandoned sunnah and committed makrooh (something abominable) if she does so.

Let us suppose we are talking to a daughter-in-law:

Your mother-in-law, as she is your husband’s mother, is the grandmother of your children. Even if you divorce your husband or your husband dies, you will still be relatives due to your children. There will be rights and responsibilities within the family whether little or much depending on the frequency you will see and meet each other. You will maintain your relationships with each other in an atmosphere of understanding and tolerance without harming love, respect and religious criteria. There will not be a problem if you feel comfortable in terms of religion and conscience, but if you behave coldly against her, hurt her feelings, gossip about her, and do not meet her legitimate demands, you will be unfair to her. You should apologize to her and ask her to forgive you.

A woman should behave well towards her husband’s parents

A woman should behave well towards her husband and her husband’s parents. She should respect, appreciate them and be polite to them. The woman does her husband a kindness by helping her mother-in-law. Because of this, the husband, paying attention to his wife’s acts, behaves similarly towards his wife and her parents. Doing so, the woman actually does herself a kindness. Allah said in the Surah ar-Rahman 60 “Is the reward of goodness anything but goodness?”

Our Prophet (pbuh) says, “A good man is the one who is good and useful to people

The mercy that our Prophet taught to Islamic community is very broad one; it is not just for relatives but also for all human beings. In a Hadith he says:

Allah does not feel compassion for those who do not feel compassion for people. (Muslim)

Allah will also be merciful towards those who are merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth (people or things) so Allah will be merciful to you. (Tirmidhi)

In our time, some cause the family life to be unbearable by saying, “the woman does not have to wash the clothes of her husband and does not have to suckle her children”. Even if she is not obliged to do that in terms of responsibilities, there is also a dimension related to the religion, humanity, and mercy. While a working woman is serving people that she knows or not for eight hours in a day, why does not she serve her husband, child, and her husband’s mother and father? Those kinds of thoughts and similar mistakes cause uneasiness and discontent in many homes. Family members need to obey Allah and His Messenger and then to each other if it is legitimate in order to be happy both in the world and in the hereafter. Nobody’s orders have to be carried out if they are contrary to Islam.

On the other hand, if everybody behaves responsibly towards each other, it will bring about happiness in the family. Or else, the family life will be unbearable. What is more, life is not limited with the life in this world; there also exists the life in the hereafter, which is the real life. We should build an atmosphere like in the Heaven in our homes far away from harams, full of the air of the Quran and Sunnah, because Allah loves people who do good deeds.

12 How can a woman get Khula (divorcement)?

If a woman wants to divorce, it is necessary that her husband give her the right to divorce. If a married woman wants to divorce and her husband does not divorce her, the families can choose an arbitration committee and the divorce can be realized.

A woman is religiously the wife of the man whom she performed a marriage; therefore she cannot marry anybody else unless her husband divorces her.

The things that can be done in such a situation is to make the man divorce the woman or to divorce them through an arbitration committee.

In a situation like that, it is not right for the man not to insist on not divorcing the woman only in order to harm her. (al-Baqara, 2/231).

Therefore, in a situation like that, a respectable, wise, virtuous scholar should go and talk to the man as a mediator and tell him that he should end a marriage that does not benefit him at all, that the religious marriage cannot be used to satisfy oneself by harming the woman and that it is contrary to Islam; he should persuade the man to divorce the woman.

If the man insists on not divorcing, the families of the woman and man choose an arbiter each because they cannot apply to the court since there is not an official marriage. If one of the families does not agree to choose an arbiter, the other family can choose a just and impartial arbiter for them.

The arbiters try to arbitrate first. If there is a real necessity, they can decide to divorce the man and the woman even if the spouses do not consent.

After a divorce like that takes place and the waiting period for the woman ends, the woman can marry again.

In order to prevent such incidents from happening, it is necessary to perform official marriage contracts and have a legal assurance. The young people or their families who say that they are religious people may deny the contracts they have made among themselves when there is no official recording and one of the parties, usually the woman, faces a difficult situation.

Thus, let alone realizing the high aim that our religion assumes out of the marriage, people try to oppress one another using the religion. (Directorate of Religious Affairs)

13 Is dowry permissible in Islam? Isn't it a burden on man?

One of the problems that may occur in the later years of marriage is to demand a large amount of money that will leave the male in a difficult situation when speaking about dowry (mehr) for the female. Or to demand extreme quality goods that will force the budget of the man or woman’s side when buying presents or household goods. Under these circumstances, both sides fulfill and supply what is wanted by forcing their potentiality and financial recourses and also if required by incurring a debt. In spite of the fact that the case has been solved and the demands have been fulfilled, there will remain a big difficulty and a heavy burden like a heritage either upon mother-father or upon the newly married couple. Sometimes paying this debt lasts for years. So, the first years of the young couple while it should have been good, it will have been with the difficulty of paying the installment or debt.
Like in every matter, so in this matter, too; he is Our Prophet (peace be upon him) who shows the safest and the most reasonable way in this case. By saying the hadith which is “The most advantageous nikah (marriage) is the one which is the easiest.” (1), he advised a marriage that everyone can carry out and to spend a suitable amount of money.
And also the amount of the mehr which is a right of the woman and which is to be given by the man is available in the sunnah (the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad, which form a basis for much of Islamic law). And in this case it can be seen clearly both in his personal practice and with the examples that he showed to his excellent Sahabas (the companions of Our Prophet (pbuh)).
The dowry and household goods of Hazrath Fatima (may Allah grant her peace) were only composed of a few goods that were needed to be in a house. Our Prophet (pbuh) who wanted to prevent the young companions from going wrong (who did not have any money and economically very poor), -by easing the act of nikah- conduced them to have a family. Indeed, once he said to a companion, “Even if you have an iron ring, give it to woman as a dowry.” Then, when he said Our Prophet as “Even I have no an iron ring.”; Our Prophet said to him that “I have married you with her as long as you teach her the chapters (surah) that you memorized from the Qur’an.” (2).  
The saying of the just, Hazrath Omar (may Allah grant him peace), upon peoples’ asking for extreme amount dowry says as follows: “O believers, do not go to extremes concerning with the case of increasing the amount of the dowry given to the women. Because, if exceeding in this case were something to praise in this world life and a piety before Allah, he would be Hazrath Muhammad (pbuh) who has the most right and capacity for that. Whereas he did not paid above 12 ukiyya (500 dirham) to any of his wives as a dowry and did not demand above 12 ukiyya for any of his daughters.” (3).  
In the Islamic law there is no “bonnet money”, but dowry. Some mixes the dowry with bonnet money. While dowry is given directly to the girl as a present from the man; in the bonnet money, the father of the girl asks for money in return for his daughter to his account.  This money that is demanded from the groom candidate makes the marriage a material deal.
The Parts of the Dowry
According to the Islamic jurisprudence, a woman married to a Muslim man has a right to get a property or money which is called mehr. It is advised to mention about mehr while solemnizing the nikah. However, either mentioning about it or not during the nikah, even if it is ignored or denied; the woman has the right of having mehr. That is to say, the mehr is the most natural right of woman.   
At the same time this is a divine right given to the woman. However, woman can remit the dowry to her husband after marrying. Unless woman remits that dowry voluntarily, her right to take it back continues.  
Concerning with this matter in the chapter of Nisaa, in the Qur’an, the fourth verse’s meaning is as follows:   
“And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.”  
(1). Ebu Davud, Nikah: 31.  
(2). Muslim, Nikah: 76.  
(3). Ibn-i Mace, Nikah: 17.

14 Will you give information about Lian: the method of ending a marriage due to adultery?

Ending a marriage due to adultery:

Lian and mulaana are synonymous; they are derived from the root la'n and they are nouns; they mean being driven away from the mercy of Allah; it is an Islamic legal term meaning the mutual act of swearing is carried out before a judge when a husband accuses his wife of adultery and cannot prove it with four witnesses. According to the common definition of Hanafis and Hanbalis, if the husband lies, the curse of Allah is attracted on him with the strengthened witnessing. If the wife lies, she attracts the wrath of Allah on her. That mutual swearing replaces qazf for the husband and the punishment of adultery for the wife. Lian is a divorce method of ending the marriage.

The reason for lian is as follows: If a man accuses a woman who is not a relative of his, he has to prove it with four witnesses. Otherwise, he is flogged with eighty stripes. (an-Nur, 24/4). The punishment of qazf was applied for a man who accused his wife of adultery and could not prove it with four witnesses beforehand. As a matter of fact, when Hilal b. Umayya (may Allah be pleased with him) accused his wife of adultery, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asked him to prove it with four witnesses and said that the punishment of slandering (qazf) would be applied if he could not prove it. He repeated it several times. Hilal b. Umayya said, "O Messenger of Allah! One of us sees his wife committing adultery with a man; you ask us for evidence. I swear by Allah, who sent you as a true prophet, that I am telling the truth. I believe that Allah will send down a verse to you that will save my back from these stripes." (Bukhari, Shahadat, 21, Tafsir Surah 24/3, Talaq, 28; Muslim, Lian, II; Abu Dawud, Talaq, 27; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, I, 273, III, 142). Thereupon, the following ‘verse of mulaana’ was sent down.

"And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own― their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth; And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie; And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth. " (an-Nur, 24/6-9).

The first application of the verse was used for the family of Hilal. Hazrat Prophet summoned Bilal. Bilal swore by Allah four times that he was telling the truth; he wanted the curse of Allah to be on him if he lied. Then his wife was brought there. She swore the same way. She wanted the curse of Allah to become on her if her husband told the truth. Then, the Messenger of Allah divorced them. (ash-Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, 1250 H, y.y., VI, 268). It is also reported that the verse of lian was sent down about Uwaymir al-Ajlani and his wife, whom he accused of adultery. The view that the decree of the verse was applied for the family of Hilal first and for the family of Uwaymir later. (ash-Shawkani, ibid., VI, 268).

There are two reasons for lian: The first one is when a man accuses his wife of adultery which necessitates the application of the punishment of adultery when the accusation is made for a woman who is not a relative of his. The second one is when the father rejects (does not accept) that he is the father of the child that has not been born yet or that was born. 

According to Abu Hanifa, the rejection of the child must take place just after the birth or in the first week following the birth at the latest. When the husband does not accept the child that is born, he is regarded to have accused his wife of adultery, and mulaana is applied. After that period passes, the child is regarded to have been accepted due to silence. According to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, it is possible to reject the child until the period of puerperum is over. (al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, Beirut 1328/1910, III, ?39; Ibnu'l-Humam, Fathu'l-Qadir, Cairo, n.d., III, 260 ff.; al-Maydani, al-Lubab, III, 79). The period of puerperum is forty days beginning from the day of giving birth. 

The essentials of lian are showing Allah as a witness together with swearing and attracting the curse of Allah by both spouses.

There are three conditions of lian.

1. The state of marriage between the spouses should be continuing. It does not matter whether they have had a sexual intercourse before or not. When the accusation is directed against the people who are not married, or if a man accuses a woman who is not a relative of his, mulaana cannot be applied. If a man marries a woman who is not a relative of his after accusing her of adultery, the punishment of qazf is applied to him; mulaana is not applied. 

2. The marriage contract must be valid. For instance, if someone has married without any witnesses, his marriage is not valid; and mulaana is not applied.

3. The husband must be liable to be a witness. That situation demands the spouses to be sane, to have reached the age of puberty, to be Muslims and not to have been given the punishment of qazf before. If the spouses are blind or fasiq, it does not make any difference.  (al-Kasani, ibid, III, 24; Ibnu'l-Humam, ibid, III, 259; al-Maydani, ibid, III, 75,78; Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Mukhtar, Egypt, n.d., II, 805 ff.).

There are some conditions for the rejection of the child:

1. The judge must give the decision of divorcing the spouses because rejecting the child before the decision of divorce is not necessary.

2. The child must be rejected within the first week after the birth at the latest according to Abu Hanifa and during the period of puerperum according to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad. According to the majority of the scholars, the rejection of the child should take place as soon as possible.

3. No deed that means the acceptance of the child must be done.

4. The child must be alive during the divorce. (al-Kasani, ibid, III, 246-248; al-Maydani, ibid; III, 79; Ibn Abidin, ibid, II, 811).

If the husband refrains from swearing during mulaana or quits lian, he is imprisoned until he swears or he confesses that he has lied according to Hanafis. If it becomes evident that the imprisonment will not be of any use, the punishment of qazf is applied. If the woman refrains from mulaana, she is imprisoned until she agrees to do mulaana and approves her husband. If she approves her husband, she is freed. As it is stated in this verse: " it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by Allah, " (an-Nur, 24/8), according to the majority of the scholars except Hanafis, those who refrain from lian are applied the punishment of adultery because lian had replaced the punishment of adultery.

If the husband breaks his swearing after the mulaana in the presence of the judge, he is given the punishment of qazf. (al-Kasani, ibid, III, 238; al-Maydani, ibid, II, 808; Ibn Abidin ibid, II, 808).

The judgments about lian:

As a result of mulaana in the presence of the judge due to the adultery of the spouse, the following outcomes emerge:

1. The husband is saved from the punishment of qazf or tazir. The woman is saved from the punishment of adultery.

2. Sexual intercourse between the spouses becomes haram after mulaana. Hazrat Prophet said the following in a hadith: "Those who do mulaana cannot come together again forever." (ash-Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, VI, 271).

3. The spouses become divorced with the decision of the judge as a result of mulaana. The evidence to it is the fact that Hazrat Prophet divorced Hilal b. Umayya and his wife. (ash-Shawkani, ibid, VI, 274). Here, the decision of divorce by the judge is like talaq bain (irrevocable divorce) according to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad because, as a principle, the divorce by the judge is regarded as talaq bain.  If the husband accepts later that he has lied or loses the liability to be a witness, his wife becomes halal for him; however, according to the most of the scholars, the divorce as a result of mulaana is like the cancellation of the marriage as it is the case in the divorce due to being relatives based on breastfeeding; it necessitates eternal prohibition and it is impossible for those two spouses to marry again.

4. The child that is born or will be born as a result of fornication is regarded to have been rejected by the father. There will be no inheritance or alimony between that husband and that child anymore. (See al-Kasani, ibid, III, 244-248; Ibnu'l-Humam, ibid, III, 253 ff.; al-Maydani, ibid, III, 77-78; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatu' l-Mujtahid, Egypt, n.d., II, 120 ff.; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, Cairo, n.d., VII, 410-416; Abdurrahman as-Sabuni, Mada Hurriyati'z-Zawjayn fi't-Talaq, Beirut 1968, II, 896 ff.).

Hamdi DÖNDÜREN

15 widow

The religion of Islam gives great importance to virginity. Our Prophet (pbuh) said, “When you marry, prefer virgin girls because they are more soft-spoken; they can satisfy their husbands better and they will be content with fewer things." This hadith does not mean that Islam does not give importance to widows. There is no drawback for a bachelor man to marry a widow in terms of Islam. As a matter of fact, our Prophet’s first marriage was with a widow, Hazrat Khadija. Furthermore, all of the wives of our Prophet were widows except for Hazrat Aisha.
Some widows are superior to virgins in terms of ethics. It is better to act depending on the conditions and decide accordingly for marriage.
The decree about marriage is divided into parts as fard (obligatory), wajib, sunnah, haram (forbidden), makrooh (abominable) and mubah (lawfully permitted but not obligatory) depending on the condition of the person to be married:
1. If a person is sure to commit fornication if he does not marry, it is fard for him to marry if he can afford to pay mahr (marriage gift) and to look after his spouse.
2. If a person faces the risk of committing fornication if he does not marry, it is wajib for him to marry if he can afford to pay mahr and to look after his spouse. The majority of the scholars, except Hanafis, do not distinguish between fard and wajib (Ibnul-Humam, Fathul-Qadir, II, 342; al-Qasani, al-Badayi, II, 260 et al.).
3. If a person is sure to oppress his spouse, it is haram for him to marry. If a person faces the risk of both committing fornication and oppressing his spouse, the haram aspect is preferred. When halal and haram unite in an issue, haram is given superiority and it becomes necessary to avoid it. As a matter of fact, in a verse, the following is stated, " Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace " (an-Noor, 24/33).
4. If a person is likely to oppress his spouse, it is makrooh for him to marry. (Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar, III, 82).
5. If a person is moderate in terms of sexuality, it is sunnah for him to marry. The word moderate is used for a person who is not likely to commit fornication if he does not marry and who is not likely to oppress his spouse if he marries. The majority in a community are likely to belong to this group. The hadiths that recommend the youths who cannot afford to marry to fast and that warn the three sahaba who refrained from marrying are evidences for it. 
On the other hand, Hazrat Prophet and his Sahaba (companions) married and those who followed them continued that sunnah (marriage). That is the preferred opinion. (see al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, I, 267).
According to Imam Shafi’, it is mubah to marry for the above-mentioned person. It is permissible for him to marry or to remain single. According to Imam Shafi’ it is better to spend one’s time worshipping and to try to learn knowledge than to marry. The evidence that he refers to is this: God Almighty praised the prophet Yahya (Jonah) using the following words: "...noble, chaste" (Aal-e Imran, 3/39). The word chaste in the verse means a person that does not have sexual intercourse although he can. If marriage were better, it would not be praised in the Quran. Most of the faqihs (scholars) said it was an application of a previous Shariah and that it did not bind Islam.
Another evidence of Imam Shafi’ is the following verse: " except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,― desiring chastity, not lust " (an-Nisa, 4/24). If something is halal it means it is mubah. Those two words are synonymous. On the other hand, marriage benefits a person in terms of sex. It is not wajib for a person to do something that will benefit him. Therefore, marriage is one of the mubah acts like eating, drinking and shopping. (az-Zuhayli, al Fiqhu'l-Islami wa Adillatuh, Dimashq 1405/1985, VII, 33, 34; Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Bulughul-Maram min Adillatil-Ahkam, Trans. Ahmed Davudoğlu, İstanbul 1967, II, 228 et al.; Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle İslâm Hukuku, İstanbul 1983, p. 183, 184).

16 What is the conditions of nikah to be valid?

Nikah is a contract, an arrangement and a marriage agreement. Therefore it requires some conditions. If one of these conditions doesn’t accrue then the nikah is invalid;

1. Those who are going to marry or their agents must be present.
2. The declaration of the acceptance of the parts. The spouses must declare their acceptances of marriage by saying “I accept”.
3. Nikah must be announced, not be kept secret. This condition is according to some of the sects.
4. The permission of the parent of the girl. This rule is according to all sects but Hanefi sect.
5. Testifiers must be present. Such testifiers must be whether two males or one male two females who are sensible and at least in their adolescence. So there must be at least one male testifier.

17 Could you please give information about Walima?

A feast thrown on the occasion of a wedding. There have been scholars who say feasts given owing to any occasion which represents joy and happiness are also called walima. (Shawkani, Nayt’ul Awtar, IV, Egypt n.d., 198) 

Since weddings are occasions of joy and happiness and conducive to both demonstrating happiness and opportunity to provide food for friends and the poor, giving a walima is praiseworthy.

The custom of walima was present in the time of Jahiliyya. The Prophet (pbuh) organized a walima on his wedding with our mother, Khadijah. He threw a feast for people by having two camels slaughtered. His uncle, Abu Talib arranged a banquet in his domicile for this reason, and he invited the Prophet (pbuh) and our mother, Khadijah. The Prophet (pbuh) organised banquets for his weddings with his other wives, too; and as a result, walima that was a tradition before became a sunnah (custom of the Prophet [pbuh]). Furthermore, the Prophet gave advice to believers on this issue. In the same way, when he heard Abdurrahman bin Awf was getting married, he advised him: “Arrange a banquet even if it is only one sheep’s meat.” (Ibn Majah, Sunan, Hadith No: 1907) We can see a vivid example of this custom in the occasion of Ali and Fatima’s wedding. Ali, for this reason, hypothecated his armor to a Jewish person so as to buy half a scale of barley. At that banquet, a meal which was prepared by mixing flour, oil, yoghurt and chopped seedless dates and barley bread was served. This was considered to be a good banquet according to those days’ conditions. (Asim Koksal, Islam Tarihi, I-II Istanbul 1981, 259). 

The Prophet slaughtered a sheep on the wedding of  his daughter Zainab, and He served date and sawiq ( a mush made of wheat and barley) on his wedding with Safiyya.

The wedding banquet depends on the financial strength and generosity of the host., Although he is the most generous of all people, the Prophet served simpler food instead of meat and bread. (Ibn Majah, Sunan, Hadith no: 1908-1910).

People should avoid serving haram ( religiously forbidden) food and signs of reputation and ostentation. Regarding this issue, The Prophet (pbuh) said: “giving a banquet on the first day is rightful; on the second day, it is nice but giving a banquet on the third day is an outward show and propaganda.” (Abu Dawood) II, 307). Moreover, poor people should be invited to such occasions along with the rich. For the feasts where the poor are not invited, the Prophet said: “The worst banquet of all is the one to which rich people are invited while the poor are not.” (Ibn Majah, Hadith no : 1913)

It is necessary for one to attend such occasions on condition that they are licit. Regarding this issue, the Prophet (pbuh) stated : “If any of you is invited to a wedding banquet, you should attend it right away” (Ibn Majah, Sunan, Hadith no : 1914). If a person is invited to more than one occasion at the same time, it will be best to attend the one belonging to the nearest neighbour in accordance with the advice of the Prophet (pbuh).  If one of the invitations is informed earlier than the other(s), it will be good to comply with priority. ( Shawkani, ibid, II:203) 

As for the food and entertainment provided at the wedding ceremony, they must be compatible with Islamic regulations. And as for the matter of attendance to illicit banquets and ceremonies, if it is known in advance that the food and beverage to be served at the banquet will be inappropriate (in terms of religion), such occasions must not be attended. If one attends an occasion without knowing about its content and then realizes its inappropriateness, they must warn people about religiously forbidden things if they can, yet if not, they should be patient. If the one in this position is a person whose words and attitudes are deemed as criteria and who is considered to be leading in the religious sense, they are to leave such meetings if they cannot hinder people from committing religiously forbidden deeds. Otherwise, this kind of attitude of theirs might be considered to be an example for others and as a license for consenting to evil. (Marghinani, Al-Hidayah, IV, 80) 

If beverages containing alcohol are served at the banquet, no one should partake of the food and drink at that banquet because, the Prophet (pbuh) said regarding the issue : Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Resurrection must not sit by a table where alcohol is partaken. (Shawkani, ibid, XI, 206)

On occasions nowadays, people do not comply with Islamic principles and they also perform every kind of behaviors which are religiously forbidden such as alcohol, dancing women and men together etc., and afterwards, the Qur’an and mawlid is recited. These kinds of scenes which are fundamentally controversial to one another demonstrate clearly the religious and national weaknesses of our community and also display what we have sacrificed for the sake of imitating the west and how we have become hypocritical characters or rather characterless.

The institution of family is sacred and it represents the base of our community. This kind of institution must be constructed not over forbidden stuff but over divine principles and attitudes. Truths cannot be built upon the mistakes.

Ali Riza TEMEL

18 How to Resolve Family Conflicts?

1. Save your marriage!

Most of us evaluate our wives according to our own point of view. We can be acting emotionally. Our point of view can be selfish. We can approach everything according to our own benefit.

How about of being objective, instead? Who knows? Perhaps your wife can be right. Which one of us apply the magical formula called empathy?

Can we not behave by thinking of our spouse’s expectations and putting ourselves in their shoes? Is it so hard to see the events from the point of view of your spouse? It is the rule of objectivity. Try it. You will see that your marriage will undergo a magnificent change.

2. We are bound to be happy!

If you are married, you are bound to be happy and get on well with your spouse. Suppose that you get divorced, do you have a guarantee that you will be happy in your second marriage?

Even if you were happy in your second marriage, would the memories of the ruined lives and sorrows of children left behind not make you unhappy? Can you face it?

Never think of the sacrifice one-sided. You two endure each other. Everybody loves himself or herself and thinks that they are right. If she is unbearable to you -I always object the one-sided evaluations-, you are unbearable to her similarly.

3. Determine the reasons of conflict

There is the only reason of conflict between spouses: not to know how to get on well. We fill in our brains with so much unnecessary information till we get married. Most of it has no use. Look around. Many young people get married before they are ready. They do not have enough education and information. As a result, they cannot manage it properly.

Some people who have family problems think, “I am bored with the nagging of my wife”. Have you ever thought why she nags? Is the only thing that your wife does at home nagging? Why do you not see her good aspects?

4. Get rid of the big mistake

The biggest mistake of those who are newly married is that they get disappointed by dreaming “a rose garden without thorns” and of those who are married for years is that they do not do anything to improve their marriage by thinking, “it will go on like that”.

Think that there is no sea without waves and no rose garden without thorns. So, you will be relaxed. There are problems in every place where people live. The basic problem is dreaming of a life without problems. We should be prepared by thinking of the problems to occur.

5. First, think that you may have made a mistake!

First, remove the mistakes you have done. Man always thinks others are wrong. However, the best thing to do is to try to eliminate our mistakes first.

What is important is not what you are like but how your spouse perceives you. Perhaps you love your spouse more than anybody does but he/she might not be aware of it. Then, you should show that you love him/her. What everybody likes is different. What does your spouse like? He might like presents, traveling, chatting, care, compliments, or something else. Are you sure that you have tried them enough?

Let me tell you an effective and wonderful rule: Treat your spouse as you would like him/her to treat you.

6. Discuss properly!

If you want to have a happy and peaceful marriage, do not fear to discuss. However, obey the rules of a useful and effective debate.

A proper debate which is made by obeying its rules is the key to a great happiness and the best solution to the conflicts within the family.

The debate causes spouses to know and discover more about each other. There are people who do not know their spouses enough although they have been married for years. We know that the communication is the means for people to understand each other; so you cannot know each other without talking.

7. Marriage is the beginning of the real love and the end of the cheating love.

Marriage is not the end of love and affection; it is the settlement period of it. The love before marriage is the phase of meeting; it may deceive one if one is not careful in this period. However, he real love is the one in the marriage and gets strong and strong day by day.

The mutual love between spouses is so strong that no problem should ruin it. Love is suffering, enduring, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. The love for which you do not suffer or risk to suffer is not love, and you can leave it easily.

Those who get married of their own accord but who plan to divorce their wives when a small problem or sickness  arises because of their wives, are not lovers; they are the greatest liars.

8. Do not neglect your family when you focus on your job

Some family problems originate from the fact that the man does not allocate time to their families because of being interested in the work too much. The same case is also valid for the working women.

The saying, “out of sight, out of mind” is not said in vain. If the spouses do not see each other enough, they will have communication problems. Those who do not talk to each other cannot express their feelings, ideas, and expectations. When the spouses do not talk to each other, there will be guesses, presumptions and suspicions. The spouses evaluate each other according to presumptions, assumptions, and gossips. As a result, many problems arise.

The solution: “first your spouse, then your wife” is the rule.

9. You are the doctor of your spouse!

If your spouse has a psychological problem, do believe this absolutely: you are the greatest doctor. Yes, absolutely you should find an expert doctor but you should not top praying for him/her. However, only the person who is ill can solve the psychological problem. Since many patients cannot do it, you should be her/his closest helper.

Two of the most basic conditions of the marriage is fidelity and chastity. A spouse who escapes on seeing the difficulty, boredom, and suffering cannot deserve the sweet and happy days.

You should show patience to your spouse’s problem. You should do your best to solve it.

10. Build a new and happy world!

You will give the biggest support and help to your wife, who has a psychological problem. Most people think that this unbearable and long-term problem will never end. He thinks that these impositions, troubles, pains, acts which make one perplexed will keep on continuously.

No! You are wrong. Allah has created a solution to every problem and a cure for every sickness. Those painful days will not keep going forever. One day, everything will be great. The sun will shine again happily and you will see that the black clouds are scattered.

Your spouse will be healthy again, maybe better than ever before. I have met so many people who have become healthy again after a good treatment that you would never believe that they would get well if you had seen their previous state.

11.  Responsibility of being husband

If you do not feel a passionate love towards your wife, think of her future, not today. Love your wife’s future.

A teacher does not test students about an issue that he/she does not teach. First, you should teach something and then wait for a response. Without answering their expectations, you have no right to demand something.

Some men say that they have been mistaken by their expectations regarding their wives. After marriage, you cannot leave your wife by saying “I am disappointed”  because you did not buy a household appliance or an automobile; you cannot try to change her. Even those appliances have a five-year guarantee.

12.  Make her totally feel your love

Many people who become aware that their marriages begin to dissolve and there are problems waiting to be solved between them think, “I have done everything for her but I cannot make her happy.”

In reality, has he done everything for her? We cannot accuse the heart of anybody and we do not have any right to think that others are bad. Of course, if someone who wants to save his marriage says, “I have done everything for her”, he may be uttering an important reality. Perhaps he has not done everything but he may have done many things that he believes should be done.

However, we measure actions by their results. If you cannot find happiness that you have expected, it means that you have not done “everything” or “what you should have done”.

13. Do not resort to beating!

O men who are given one of the most valuable bounties of Allah! First of all, our Lord who has an endless compassion entrusted women, “the example of compassion”, to you. Do not betray. Be trustable and reliable.

You are responsible of protecting your wife from every kind of evil. Although you should protect her against others’ bad acts, how can you give the biggest damage to her? Would you not fight for her, if someone insulted or attacked her? While preventing the others from hurting your wife, how can you yourself hurt her?

14.  Pay attention to sexual problems

The aim of marriage is to produce and educate man. However, since those two duties are difficult and heavy, the sexual feelings have been given as a fee in advance. Allah, to some extent, has offered sexual intercourse as stimulus for a heavy duty like marriage.

Since you start a family by getting married, you have to fix problems about sexuality like other problems. You do belong to each other and it is your first duty to make each other happy.

You should make your sexual life orderly and productive so that you can easily cope with problems happening in the future.

Each spouse should be interested in making his/her spouse happy sexually. The spouses should be satisfied with each other.

If the spouses do not find the satisfaction that they expect, one of them or both will search different ways. Perhaps that search will remain just as an idea in some, but others might make mistakes and destroy both their world and hereafter by deceiving their spouses.

Here both sides are guilty, not just one who makes the mistake because he or she has neglected his/her spouse and has not answered his/her expectations.

15. Show respect your spouse’s parents

It badly affects marriages not to get on well with your spouses’ parents and relatives. The negative attitudes of spouses remove the happiness from the family.

Sometimes one of the spouses or both cry through all their lives and sometimes not getting on well with spouses’ relatives ends up in divorce.

First of all, you should definitely avoid generalizations. We mean this by generalization:

The views like “all mother-in-laws are evil” or “all daughter-in-laws are good”  or vice versa are totally wrong. Unfortunately, we have such prejudices about our spouses’ relatives.

Each spouse respects and tolerates their own parents and relatives; but they are intolerant, disrespectful, questioning, and accusatory towards the parents or relatives of their spouse.

Of course, it is valid for those families that have problems. However, there are also daughter-in-laws and son-in-laws who love and respect their father-in-laws and mother-in-laws as if they are their own parents.

16. Read books about marriage

Everything has its cure. However, the exact solution is possible only by applying the method of solution as it is needed. You are the engine of it. The real power and management are in your hands in the process of solution. You are in the driver’s seat. The formulas we have written above are just to offer clues and methods of solution.

The problem between the spouses is the source of most of your worries. You should do your best to fix it. If it is necessary to read books, do read tens or hundreds of books. If you need consulting, do not refrain from it. If you need an expert’s views, ask without hesitating and learn. Do not worry. You are not the only one to have problems.

19 Which of the Quranic verses forbids a Muslim woman to marry a man from the people of the Book? Is there such an order?

The ones who try to see all the orders of Islam in the Quran, will have ignored at least two thirds of the whole religion. Such a judgment is the common emphasis of thousands of Islamic scholars. Thus, we will have to alter hundreds of laws of Islam with the same reason, if we judge that a Muslim woman can marry a man from the people of the Book by depending on the absence of a verse saying “it is clearly forbidden”. It is obvious that such an approach is perilous from the point of religion.

The Islamic scholars have concluded that a Muslim woman may not marry a man from the People of the Book acting upon the following verses:

1) Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe; a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman even though she allure you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allure you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of Bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: that they receive admonition (al-Baqara, 2/221)

"O ye who believe! when there come to you believing women refugees, examine (and test) them: Allah knows best as to their Faith: if ye ascertain that they are Believers, then send them not back to the Unbelievers”(al-Mumtahina, 60/10)

In these verses, it has been concluded that the believing women may not marry the unbelievers. Besides, the following conclusions were drawn from those two verses:

a. Even if the idolaters (mushriks) are clearly mentioned here , from the phrase of the verse “idolaters invite you to Hell”, we must deduce that “the believing women may not marry the People of the Book as they may not marry idolaters”. For, it is very likely for a man to cause to change the religion of the woman since the man is the head, leader and director of the family.(Fatawa al-Hindiyya)

b. The verse: “And never will Allah grant to the Unbelievers a way (to triumph) over the Believers.” (an-Nisa 4/141) expounds that it is forbidden for the unbelievers to be dominant over Muslims.(See W. Zuhayli, al-Fiqh al-Islami, 7/152)

Moreover, the main factor for the happiness and peace in the family is the harmony between the wife and husband in terms of views and thoughts. Besides, the reason for the necessity of equality between the spouses is for establishing this peace and accord in the family. The most important aspect of this equality is the religious views and beliefs that have reflections on the basis of thoughts. From this point of view, we will be able to understand the permission of marriage between a Muslim man and a woman of the People of the Book, and the prohibition of marriage between a Muslim woman and a man from the People of the Book. It is because the Muslim husband respects his wife’s beliefs –like belief in Allah, angels, books, prophets and the destiny- . Therefore, he does not follow a path that will oppose her beliefs and cause a discord that will lead to a stance that will harm the peace in the family. However, an unbelieving husband does not believe in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and that the Quran is the word of Allah; thus, he may resort to some attitude that might cause unhappiness and discord in the family. (cf Zuhayli, 7/153)

On the other hand, a Muslim man that married a Christian woman does not deny his wife’s Holy Book and prophet; on the contrary, he complies with them and respects them. Thus, a Christian woman does not face a humiliation from her Muslim husband. She has no loss.

One of the mechanisms of the “evidences of the Islamic laws” is the Ijma (Consensus) which is an important method in jurisdiction. That means, it is the concord of the Islamic scholars on a certain matter. There is a clear and widespread consensus of all of the scholars about the unlawfulness of the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man. (see Zuhayli, ibid 7/152)

The Second Caliph Umar said the following about the issue : “A Muslim man may marry a Christian or Jew woman,  but the other way around is not allowed” (See, Tabari, Interpretation of al-Baqara 2/221)

According to a tradition coming from Jabir (a companion of the Prophet (PBUH)) , the Prophet (PBUH) said : “We may marry a woman from the People of the Book but they may not marry Muslim women” (See, Tabari, ibid)

A short comment on this hadith : The hadith was reported from Jabir by Hasan Basri. However, some scholars say he did not hear any hadith from Jabir. Therefore Tabari said : “Even if the narrator of the hadith is problematic, the consensus of the scholars supports its reliability

However, the well-known hadith scholar Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, who examined and commented on the interpretation of Tabari, mentioned those views while evaluating those words of Ibn Jarir : It is a convincing argument for us to believe that Hasan has heard hadiths from Jabir personally, that Hisham b. Hisan narrates hadith from Jabir via Hasan Basri.

To sum up, a Muslim man can only marry a Muslim woman or a woman from the People of the Book. However, a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man. A Muslim woman who loves and knows Allah and the Prophet (PBUH), should never feel obliged to marry a man who denies her Holy Book and the Prophet (PBUH). It is a belittling situation. She should not be obliged to go through such an invalid marriage.

If a non-Muslim man converts to Islam, then this marriage is lawful.

20 How does a nikah be solemnized?

How does a nikah be solemnized? What is said and what prays are recited?
Nikah is performed as follows;
The person (an Imam or a sensible person) who is going to solemnize nikah firstly writes the name of the girl going to marry, for instance he writes “Fatima bint-i Ahmed”.
Then he writes the name of the agent of the girl, for example “Ali bin Zayd”.
Then he writes the names of the two testifiers.
Then he writes the name of the boy going to marry, for example “Omar bin Hussein”.
Then he writes the name of the agent of the boy, if the boy is not present.
Then he writes the amount of mahr-i mueccel (mahr paid in advance) and mahr-i muaccel (mahr paid on account) by asking both parts. (mahr: the money which is supposed to be given by the man as a right to the woman)
Then he seeks refuge in Allah and recites A’udhu-Bismillah (A’udhubillahiminasshaytanirrajimm- Bismillahirrahmanirrahim) and says; “Alhamdu lillahillezi zavvacal arvaha bil ashbah ve ahallannikaha ve harramessifah. Vassalatu vassalamu ala rasulena Muhammadinillezi bayyana-l-harame va-l-mubah ve ala Alihi va A
ashabi-hillezina hum ahlussalahi valfalah”.
Then he recites again A’udhu-Bismillah and reads 32nd verse of the Surah An- Nur (24th chapter of the Quran) and after he reads “Sadakallahuladhim”. Then he says; “Kale rasulallah, “An-nikahu sunneti faman ragiba an sünneti falaysa minni” sadaka Resulullah. ‘Bismillahi va ala sunnet-i rasulillah’”
Then he asks the agent of the girl;
“By the order of Allah and the sunnah of Rasulallah and the rule (ijtiha) of the Imam of our sect (Abu Hanife) and the testimony of present Muslims, do you agree, since you are the agent of the girl, to give Fatima bint-i Ahmad in marriage to Omar bin Hussein, who promise to give such amount of mahr-i mueccel and mahr-i muaccel?”
Then he reads the same pray by starting from (Bismillahi va ala) and asks the agent of the boy going to marry; “And since you are the agent of the boy going to marry, do you agree to take Fatima bint-i Ahmad in marriage to Omar bin Hussein by agreeing to give such amount of mahr-i mueccel and mahr-i muaccel?”
Three times the questions are asked to the parts and the answers are received from them. Then the prayer given below is recited;
(Allahummac’al hadhal akta maymunan mubarakan vacal beyna-huma ulfetan va mahabbeten va karara va la tac’al beyna-huma nafratan va fitnetan va ferara. Allahumma allif baynahuma kema allafta beyna Adama va Havva. Va kama allafta beyna Muhammadin va Khatica-tal-Kubra va Aişa -ta umm-il muminine . Va beyna Aliyyin va Fatima-taz-Zahra. Allahumma ati la-huma evladan salihan ve umran tavelan va rizkan vasian. Rabbena hab lana min azvacina va zurriyatina kurrata ayunin vac’alna lil muttekina imama. Rabbena atina fiddunya hasanatan va fil ahirati hasanatan va kina azabannar. Sabhana rabbika rabbilizzati amma yasifun va salamun alal mursaleen valhamdulillahi rabbilalameen al fatiha).
Therby performing nikah finishes.

21 Does the daughter-in-love have to live in the same house with her mother-in-law?

Joint family system is not mandatory in Islam. Detailed explanation is given below.

Does the daughter-in-law have to live in the same house with her mother-in-law?

The daughter-in-law does not have to stay in the same place with her parents-in-law; she does not have to look after them (legally). However she is advised (religiously) to serve them.

In accordance with her husband’s financial position, she may want to stay in a separate home, if not possible a separate room; she cannot be forced to serve them.

However, the happiness and peace of mind of a woman’s husband will be her happiness and her peace of mind too, so if a woman tries to serve her parents-in-law and not to depress them, she will contribute to the happiness and peace of the family.
No son neglects or ignores his parents; he never refrains from serving them when they need.  

He will certainly serve his parents and become happy when they are happy and become unhappy when they are unhappy.
If a woman uses her legal right and does not serve her parents-in-law will cause the unhappiness of her husband and a decrease in his love. A woman would not like it, of course.

Besides, today’s daughter-in-laws are tomorrow’s mother-in-laws. It is obvious that if they ignore their parents-in-law today, they will be destined to be ignored tomorrow. So the daughter-in-law should not neglect the service of her parents-in-law which is not demanded legally but demanded religiously and she should not forget that in the future she will need service and respect similarly.
In addition, these favors are reciprocal. Today she serves her parents-in-law, and tomorrow her husband will serve his parents-in-law. Only Allah knows who will need whom, when and how. The real fidelity and loyalty will be apparent then.

Furthermore, this service and care is not for strangers, but for father-in-law and mother-in-law, who are like father and mother. Even if they are not natural parents, they are like parents...

 Ahmed ŞAHİN

22 What is your advice about flirt kind of relations?

Neither the word flirt takes place in the dictionary of the Muslims, nor the meaning it carries finds life in the life of the Muslims; whoever loads whatever meaning into it. Islam puts definite borders on this sensitive issue and Hz. Muhammad’s (pbuh) famous warning takes both parts under protection with definite rules.

What is our prophet’s definite and very logical warning?

If two strangers, a woman and a man remain in private, the third one is the Satan!

Yes, when two strangers of opposite sex remain in private when there is no other one around, their sexual senses become active by their creation and they may rebel. Then things become dangerous. We know that most of the regrets, evils, even murders in the society occur because of not paying attention to this warning and going beyond the borders.   

Isn’t there an exception of this; is every woman and man like this?

Of course we have not such a claim and every rule may have its exceptions. But exceptions do not change the general rule. Truth that the woman should not be too familiar and saucy, she should not become a toy for fun easy to acquire and leave.

As we know easy come easy go. We can not appreciate the things we have easily and we can leave them easily. And precious things are acquired hard, thus they are not left easily too. The woman is the most precious of the values, and the first to protect the honor. If she becomes one day here and one day there she becomes sentenced to disgrace for her life. And whether you call flirt or something else the thing which makes the precious woman such worthless and discredited, neither it can be defended nor it can be considered as a simple and natural issue.

Again as we learn from a holy text, parts will regret the illegitimate relations such that they will cry in the afterlife:

– If only I held a piece of fire and didn’t start such a relation giving these consequences.

But it will have no use. Because the bullet shots the target and destroys it with no return back.

Therefore a faithful woman does not want to have a past with faults, and acts very carefully for a happy marriage and family life. And because of this care and attention she carries the pride of having the honor and lives happily without regret.  

Men making women joy for their daily life instead of a founder for a clean and happy family, or women accepting this, may not agree with us. But as you make your bed, you lie on it.

Ahmed Şahin, Aile İlmihali (catechism for family), 142.

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What is the criterion in meeting (getting to know each other) before the marriage?

Is it permissible for a Muslim to kiss others lips before marriage?

23 Is it permissible to find out the sex of the baby before giving birth?

With the intention of treatment, if a woman undergoes an ultrasound treatment and as a result learns the gender of baby, only with this purpose it is permissible. However, if there is no health problem and the intention is only to find out the gender of baby, it is not permissible. Since finding out the gender of the child is not included in health problem and treatment. In addition, -unless there is a health problem or treatment-, even a woman is not allowed to look at another woman’s private parts. It is not permissible.

24 How can a women get talaq (the right to divorce) from her husband?

If a woman wants to divorce, it is necessary that her husband give her the right to divorce. If a married woman wants to divorce and her husband does not divorce her, the families can choose an arbitration committee and the divorce can be realized.
If a man and a woman perform a religious marriage before their official marriage in the period of engagement and then they leave each other and the man does not divorce the woman, how can the woman be divorced?

A woman is religiously the wife of the man whom she performed a marriage; therefore she cannot marry anybody else unless her husband divorces her.

The things that can be done in such a situation is to make the man divorce the woman or to divorce them through an arbitration committee.

In a situation like that, it is not right for the man not to insist on not divorcing the woman only in order to harm her. (al-Baqara, 2/231).

Therefore, in a situation like that, a respectable, wise, virtuous scholar should go and talk to the man as a mediator and tell him that he should end a marriage that does not benefit him at all, that the religious marriage cannot be used to satisfy oneself by harming the woman and that it is contrary to Islam; he should persuade the man to divorce the woman.  

If the man insists on not divorcing, the families of the woman and man choose an arbiter each because they cannot apply to the court since there is not an official marriage. If one of the families does not agree to choose an arbiter, the other family can choose a just and impartial arbiter for them.

The arbiters try to arbitrate first. If there is a real necessity, they can decide to divorce the man and the woman even if the spouses do not consent. 

After a divorce like that takes place and the waiting period for the woman ends, the woman can marry again.

In order to prevent such incidents from happening, it is necessary to perform official marriage contracts and have a legal assurance. The young people or their families who say that they are religious people may deny the contracts they have made among themselves when there is no official recording and one of the parties, usually the woman, faces a difficult situation.

25 Is it permissible to use contraceptive pills? If it is not permissible, is it as sinful as abortion?

"Get married, and have children for I shall take pride in your number on the Day of Judgment." (Bayhaqi, 7:81) "Marry lovely and fertile women" (Abu Dawud, Nikah, 2; Ibn Majah, Nikah,1). We learn something very important from the hadiths above: to ensure the continuation of the generation. The point to be paid attention regarding the issue is to take measures for the continuation of the generation at the beginning; that is, marrying fertile women.

There are certainly some exceptions regarding the issue as in every issue. Azl (coitus interruptus; withdrawal method), a kind of birth control, is permitted in some hadiths under certain conditions, 
What is essential in Islam is not to prevent the babies to be born but to bring up a generation that the Messenger of Allah will be proud of due to its plenitude. Therefore, we should not avoid having many children.
However, the conditions of today’s life make it difficult to take care of many children, to feed them, to bring them up, and to equip them with the ethics of Islam and educate them so that the Messenger of Allah will be proud of them; the family may face many difficulties. Therefore, parents prefer to have the number of children that they can take care of and educate; they avoid having more children than they can take care of; thus, they want to use birth control methods.
The permission regarding azl (coitus interruptus) is valid for pills, condoms, intrauterine devices and other devices. They are considered to have the same conditions. The evidence that permits azl permits the methods mentioned above, too. They are similar. On the other hand, since it is permissible for men to withdraw in order to prevent conception, it is also permissible for women to take measures in order to prevent conception because the judgment is related to preventing conception no matter which method is used.

26 Is it halal for a woman to accept the right of nafaqa (alimony) given to her by official law? Does that nafaqa given substitute for mahr? Does man have to look after his own children and his step children?

After a woman is divorced from his husband, her nafaqa is the responsibility of his divorced husband until the period of iddah (three periods) is completed. She also has the right to claim depreciation compensation because of marriage. After iddah is completed, the nafaqa of the woman is the responsibility of her children. If she has no children, it is the responsibility of the closest relative. If she has no relatives, it is the responsibility of the public and of the government in the name of public. A woman cannot be left financially helpless in Islam. If a woman is left financially helpless, all Muslims around her will be called to account for it on the Day of Judgment.

Moreover, the woman is paid a sum of money for her child(ren)’s expenditure as long as the child(ren) need to be taken care of and looked after.

For this reason, when a woman is divorced and has completed her period of iddah, her former husband does not pay her nafaqa. If she is receiving nafaqa unfairly, it can be considered to substitute for a lawful debt which is owed to her by her former husband (for instance, mahr).

Moreover, the man does not have the right to claim compensation money, alimony and the likes from the woman at the end of the divorce according to Islam. However, he can divorce his wife, who wants to divorce him, on condition that she pays him some money. This kind of divorce is called “khul” or “mukhala’ah”. It is also same for man. That is to say, he can accept divorcing his wife in return for a specific amount of payment.

The father is responsible for looking after his all children who have not reached adolescence yet. Besides, he is responsible for looking after his daughters until they get married.


According to the Islamic law, one is not responsible for paying alimony for his step children. However, if he promised to do so when marrying their mother, he has to keep it. Moreover, he should look after his wife’s children as long as they need in terms of humane and conscientious responsibilities and it is also of significant importance for tranquility and peace in the family.

Mahr is the woman’s right. One cannot take mahr, which he paid his wife, back after divorce and if he has not paid her mahr, he certainly has to pay it after divorce.

Nafaqa includes needs for food, clothes and dwelling.

Father’s responsibilities in terms of looking after his son(s) are as follows:

a) The son must be no older than the age of adolescence. However, if he is disabled, crippled, paralyzed or chronically ill and thus unable to earn his own livelihood although he has reached adolescence, the father’s responsibility for nafaqa continues.

b) The son must be poor. If he has got his own property, his expenditures can be met by it.

c) The father must be capable of looking after his children. This is valid when the father is either rich or is able to work.

The father’s responsibilities pertaining to looking after his daughter(s):
 
a) The daughter does not have to be adolescent or be of any specific age. The expenditure of the daughters is the father’s responsibility until they get married. This responsibility is taken over by their husbands when they get married. If their husbands die or if they get divorced, they return to their fathers’ house. The woman cannot be forced into earning livelihood and working. However, it is permissible if she wants to work and make money within the frame of Islamic principles.

b) She must be poor. If she has got her own property, her expenditure is met by it.

c) The father must be either rich or able to work.

27 Could you give information about parents equal treatment to their children and children's rights over their parents?

Equal treatment is a matter which the Prophet (pbuh) emphasized about disciplining children. It is a criterion which applies both to the children in the same family and children educated by the same teacher at school. That is to say; parents are forbidden to discriminate between their children such as boy-or-girl, older-or-younger, this-or-that; similarly teachers are forbidden to discriminate between their students such as rich-or-poor or relatives-or-strangers.

Numan Ibn Bishr narrates: “My father had granted some of his property to me. My mother Amra Bintu Rawaha said ‘I will not accept it unless you tell the Messenger of Allah about this grant’. Upon this, my father took me to the Messenger of Allah in order to tell him about the grant.

Having learned the matter, the Messenger of Allah asked: ‘have you got any other children?’ My father said ‘yes’ and the Prophet asked again: ‘Did you also grant to your other children like this?’ My father said ‘No’. Upon hearing this, the Prophet said: ‘Fear Allah! Be just to your children!’

My father left and returned the grant” In other narrations of this hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said: “Treat equally to your children.” “Return it.” “Do not make me a witness about it, I cannot witness unfairness.” “It is not right, I only witness the truth.” “Make someone else witness about it.” “One of the rights of the children on you is to treat them equally.”

According to the explanation by Tirmidhi, depending on this hadith, Islamic scholars stated that everything that is visible, even the kisses given to children, must be equal, just like the case of “Ihsan and Atiyya.” (1)

While the Islamic scholars reached this conclusion, they must have depended on the hadith of the Messenger of Allah “Allah likes you to treat your children equally in every matter including kissing.” (2)

The order for teachers to treat all their students equally is deduced from the following instruction of the Prophet: “A teacher who takes over the education of three children from this ummah will be resurrected amongst the traitors unless s/he teaches them all together without discriminating between the poor ones and the rich ones.” (3)

The reason why children must be treated equally gives significant hints about precautions to prevent children from committing crimes. In the case of Numan Ibn Bishr, which we narrated above, while prohibiting Numan from treating his children differently in granting, the Prophet asks: “Would it not please you if your children treated you justly in respect and obeisance to you?” When Numan said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!”, he said: “Then make someone else witness about it!” In another narration, the following is stated: “Just as it is your right to receive equal treatment from your children, so too is it their right to receive equal treatment from you.”

In this sense, assuring children’s respect to their father and protecting the love and cooperation between siblings and the elevated relationship called “family relations” primarily depends on this equal treatment. As a matter of fact, in the story of Joseph in the Quran, Allah attributes the reason of hatred and jealousy among brothers to their father Jacob’s showing more affection and interest to Joseph. Such feelings led the brothers to commit the crime of throwing Joseph into the well and then brought on sadness and grief which caused their father to lose his sight.

It would be useful to remember the following hadith at this point: “May Allah make His mercy wide upon the father who helps his children to treat him well.” (4)

Islamic scholars who consider treating children equally wajib make this conclusion: “Equal treatment is a necessary element of wajib, because breaking off relations between siblings and violating right of parents are two things which are forbidden (haram) in Islam. In this sense, anything that leads to these two harams is also haram. And making discrimination between one’s children is something which leads to these two harams.” (5)

Another Islamic scholar evaluates the matter of equal treatment on a larger scale and says: “Order in both the World and the Hereafter depends on justice. Discrimination between children (between siblings) causes mutual hatred and enmity; and it also causes some of the siblings to love their parents while causing the others to hate them. This situation brings about unfairness both to the parents and their children.” (6)

In this sense, treating children unequally both at home and school is the beginning of a process which will lead children to various crimes. The Chapter “Yusuf” gives nice messages regarding the issue.

It is always the best for a father to treat his children equally. However, when a father does not treat his children equally, for instance, when he gives one of them more property than he gives to the others, one should not say to him ‘You are doing haram.’ Indeed, one is free to spend his property on anything halal as he likes. One can give someone a car, a house to another one or something else to someone else. Therefore, it is possible to think that why it should be haram to give them to one of his children.

However, as stated in the hadiths above, it can cause jealousy and resentment between siblings.

In summary, there are two main views on this matter:

1- A father has to treat his children equally; otherwise, he becomes a sinner.

2- Although equal treatment to children is a favorable behavior, a father cannot be forced to do so. That is to say, if he does not treat them equally, one cannot say to him ‘You are committing haram.’ As a matter of fact, the Prophet did not prohibit it, but he said he disliked it. In this sense, it is not as bad as haram. It is makrooh, which is abominable yet permissible.

On the other hand, it is also fard for children to respect their parents and not to grieve them. We must be very careful in order not to grieve them. We should not make things worse while trying to better them. We are going to be parents, too.

References:
1-For references and more information see Hz.Peygamberin Sünnetinde Terbiye (Discipline according to the Sunnah of the Prophet), p. 172-177
2- al-Jamius-Saghir, 2, 297
3- Ibnu Sahnun, ibid., p. 353
4- al-Jamius-Saghir, 4, 29
5- Ibnu Hajar, Fathu’l-Bari, 6, 141
6- Munawi, Fayzul-Qadr, 5, 557

Prof. Dr. İbrahim Canan

28 get pregnant do in Ramadan

There is no inconvenience to get pregnant in Ramadan in the circle of Halal (permissible).

29 How to select a soul-mate for marriage?

It is very important for the peace of the home to be established and the training and education of the children to be born that the man choose the girl to marry carefully and the parents of the girl choose the son-in-law carefully. Our Prophet, who advised us to be careful in choosing the son-in-law and daughter-in-law, wanted us to be cautious by saying, "People are like mines in terms of good deeds and bad deeds."(1) Hazrat Umar tells the following three things to his son who asks him about the rights of a child regarding his father: 'Choose a mother with high ethics and good manners, give him/her a nice name, and teach him/her the Quran." (2)

First of all, the main purpose of a marriage is to bring up good children; it is also important because marriage prevents the person to be married from committing some sins and ensures him/her to have a regular life. Otherwise, it is certain that an attempt originating only from the desires of the soul and based on only satisfying some temporary pleasures will cause constant problems in the future.

When Imam Ghazali lists the principles of our religion regarding the issue, he mentions the following two qualities in the first two places:

(1) religiousness,
(2) high ethics.(3)
A similar or equal level between the couples is very important so that the marriage will not break in the future. It is certain that a religious girl and a frivolous man will not make a good couple. Such a marriage will probably break down because it usually becomes impossible to live in harmony for spouses with different lifestyles. Similarly, the marriage of a religious man with a woman who does not act in accordance with the divine commands and who is not religious will cause a lot of problems and will be difficult to continue. Thus, Islam prevents possible incidents beforehand by taking necessary measures. So, it ensures the continuation of the system in the community on sound principles. 

Our Prophet (pbuh), who attracts attention to the issue, gives believers the following advice:

"Women are preferred for four qualities in marriage: for her property, nobility, beauty and religion. Prefer the religious one, you will be happy."(4)

It is the advice of the Prophet to give importance to the religiousness of the woman apart from the other qualities. Therefore, it is the most important point to be taken into consideration by Muslims.

When Hazrat Umar asked the Prophet, "What kind of goods should we obtain to meet our needs?", he answered: "The best goods are a tongue that mentions the names of Allah (dhikr), a heart that thanks Allah and a believing woman who helps her husband in Islamic activities regarding the hereafter."(5)

Our Prophet regards the woman who helps her husband in Islamic activities as one of the most important wealth.

Our Prophet, who often warns us regarding the issue, wants us to be more careful with his following advice: "Do not marry women only for their beauty because their beauty may put them in danger. Do not marry them only for their property because their property may deprave them. Marry the religious one. Doubtlessly, a black female slave with a cut nose, and pierced ear is better that a woman who is not religious."

A man should look for a religious woman to marry; similarly, it is the duty of the parents of the girl to give importance to the religiousness of the man to marry their daughter. The parents who give importance only to beauty, wealth and social status but not to religiousness may cause disturbance and mischief.

A man whose daughter’s hand is asked for marriage goes to Hasan al-Basri and asks him; “To what kind of a person shall I give my daughter?" Hasan al-Basri says, "Give her to a man who fears Allah. If he loves your daughter, he will treat her well; if he hates your daughter, he will not oppress her."(6)
Badiuzzaman says; " According to the Shari’a, the husband should be a good match for the wife. That is, they should be suitable to one another. The most important aspect of this being suitable is from the point of view of religion. Happy is the husband who sees the wife’s firm religion and follows her, and himself becomes pious in order not to lose his companion of eternal life. Happy is the wife who sees her husband’s firmness in religion and becomes pious so as not to lose her eternal friend."(7)

When both parties take the aspect of religiousness into consideration, they will naturally give importance to other aspects. Another quality to be sought in the woman is being good-tempered and having high ethics. After all, most of the women who are careful in their religious life will try to act in accordance with the Islamic ethics. 

The opinion and preference of the woman about the man should not be forgotten and neglected because marriage is a lifelong togetherness that will go in the eternal life too.  

Another point to be taken into consideration is that the mahr of the woman should not be much. That is, it should not cost a lot for the man. Today, in some regions, bride price, which is a custom of ignorance, still leads to the prevention of marriage.  

Islamic scholars state that the poverty of a good and virtuous candidate will not be a barrier for equality between the husband and wife and for the marriage. Then, if the spouses agree to marry, an inequality in terms of richness and poverty will not be a serious drawback to marriage.

In addition, if the religiousness and ethics of a woman has the desired quality, the fact that she is from a rich family and that she has her own property can be an additional reason for preference. That quality is mentioned as a different reason in the hadith.

1. Musnad, 2: 539.
2. Tarbiyatu'l-Awlad, 1: 38.
3. Ihya, 2: 38.
4. Ibn Majah, Nikah: 6.
5. Tirmidhi, Tafsiru'l-Qur'an.- 48, Ibn Majah, Nikah: 5.
6. Ihya, 2: 43.
7. Lem'alar (Flashes), p. 186.
Mehmet Paksu

Please click on the link given below.

Is it religiously allowed to marry without the permission of Parents?

30 Are children supposed to be looked after by their father or by their mother after their parents have divorced? If mother is supposed to look after them, does father have to pay compensation money for children until they reach puberty?

Answer: General principle in case of divorce is as follows:

Children should be looked after by their mother, however, their maintenance is the responsibility of their father.

Actually, mothers have got affection and adeptness which are necessary for looking after children and fathers are capable of providing necessary conditions and meeting their needs. For this reason, father has to pay child maintenance for his children who are living with their mother. However, mother does not have to look after children. If she refuses to look after them, father’s mother or other close relatives have to look after them.

• A mother looks after and takes care of daughters until the age of nine and sons until the age of seven. Then, it is father’s right to protect them. Father is regarded to be more appropriate for protecting them.


• Even though mother can be non-muslim, children should still be given to her. However, if it is understood as the children grow older that they are receiving an education and discipline which are inappropriate for Islam, they should be given to a relative that will not give them such education. In this case, mother loses her right to look after children.


• Mother, in order to keep her right to look after children, must not marry a stranger and must be capable of looking after them and protecting them. A mother who has got married or who is not very careful about her morals or has got mental problems loses her right to look after children. Children are taken away from her and given to father.


• A mother who is continuing to look after children has got three rights of expenditure.


- Remuneration for nursing, if child(ren) is(are) sucking from mother
- Remuneration for looking after and taking care of them
- Child maintenance

Father pays mother for these three expenditures according to the amount determined by scholars who are knowledgeable in this topic. He can visit his children in mother’s house. Mother is not obliged to take children to him to see.

31 What is the correct age to get married?

The age for marriage changes from person, society, and conditions to person, society and conditions. You can see it more detailed in the following address:

How old was Aisha (PBUH) when she got married to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?

32 Can a husband prevent his wife to get pregnant?

One of the purposes of marriage is to have child and to bring up the child as a good Muslim. If one of the spouses says to delay having child with a permissible and reasonable excuse, it is complied. If says not to have child any time, that demand is not permissible, it is not complied and when insistently refuses to have, there occurs a right for divorcement. (Prof. Dr. Hayrettin Karaman)

 What are the basic factors in family institution?

33 What is the criterion in meeting (getting to know each other) before the marriage?

In Sunnah we see that there are two ways. The first one is to send a lady whom that person trusts to go see the girl whom he wants to get married with. It is been narrated that Enes bin Malik said about this matter that:
Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) has sent Ummu Sulaim to see a woman for him telling her ‘look above her feet and smell her mouth.’” The reason for Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) requesting Ummu Sulaim to do these tasks is to find out if the woman has nice legs and bad breath smell.1 
This matter has both sides, meaning same case applies for women too. The girl who is going to get married also can send someone to the man whom she is going to get married to see if he has the qualities she is looking for.
According to the Sunnah seeing each other in person is another way of prospecting for the sides who wants to get married. This way the man sees the beauty of her face and body, however while doing that he can only look at her face, her neck and her hands. Her face depicts her beauty, her hands depict elegance and her height depicts if she is tall or short.
There is a direct approval in this matter which is given personally by Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) himself.
According to the story narrated by Ebu Humaid Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) has told:
 “When one of you wants to get married with a woman, there is no inconvenience in looking at her. It is permissible only with the purpose of marrying her. The rule does not change even if the woman he is looking at does not know his intentions. ”2
We even see that Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) encourages this method as in:
Muire bin Shûbe wanted to marry a woman. Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) told him, “Go and see her, for seeing her in person is much better for having the harmony between the two of you.”3
In another hadith we learn how Prophet Mohammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) showing us the way of doing it:
 “When one of you wants to get married with a woman, if he can do it, he should look at the attributes and features of the woman that would encourage him to marry her.”4
These hadiths are telling us the necessity, the benefits and the mysteries of seeing each other for the both sides. However there are some limitations during these times of looking at and meeting with each other. First of them is related with the place of the meeting, the following hadith is shows us the way to do it accordingly:
Who among you has faith in Allah and the judgment day, should not stay alone in solitude with a woman who is not related closely to him. If he does that the third among them will be the devil himself.”5
For this reason there should be a third person ready at that place among the sides that got together with the intention of getting married to each other. Otherwise this would lead to the case of being “halvet” which means being alone in a secluded place whish is not permissible. Within this meeting it is possible for the sides to talk, to have a conversation and to ask for their demands and requests from each other. For this the more they talk the more it reveals the thoughts and the intellectual levels of the sides either through their shyness and stuttering or through the tone of their voices.      
After some time through this meeting and conversation both sides will have opinions and impressions of each other which will them to decide. Not long after they would inform their decisions. There is permission to meet only once according to the religion, it would be flippant and not too serious to meet a few times and there would be no benefits in meeting a few times for the family that is to be established by the sides.  
The Shafi'i perspective about this matter is very striking for indicating the importance and the seriousness of the foundation of marriage. The person who wants to get married with someone should see that girl before becoming her suitor. The girl and the family of the girl should not know about this intention. To proceed as such will be much more appropriate for the sake of the honor and dignity of the girl and her family. If he will like the girl after seeing her, then he would proceed with becoming a suitor so both the girl and the family of the girl would not be hurt and offended. This is the way that is reasonable and worth praising. It is confirmed by the hadiths which states that looking is permissible either with or without the permission of the girl.6
From that moment on, in the further meetings till the wedding clearly there is no inconvenience in looking at each other unless there is any lustful feelings as in looking at any other stranger women. 
1 Hâkim, el-Müstedrek, 2: 166.
2 Neylü’l-Evtâr, 6: 110.
3 Neseî, Nikâh: 17.
4 Hâkim, el-Müstedrek, 2: 165.
5 Buharî, Nikâh: 111.
6 İslâm Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi, 9: 24.

Mehmed Paksu Aileye Özel Fetvalar

34 Do I need to give all my money (Mahr) to my husband?

Mahr (dowry) is a fiqh term meaning the amount of money paid to the bride during marriage, the goods or the amount of money that a woman deserves by signing the marriage contract or after the sexual intercourse.   
Mahr is the right of the woman; she does not have to give it to her husband to spend it on the expenses of their home. However, she may give it to her husband on her own accord, without any force.
Islam does not order the woman to save money in order to give it to the man when she gets married as it is the practice in Christianity; on the contrary, it orders the man to give the woman something as a present and as a symbol of his desire for her. Men are obliged to pay mahr; not women in Islam. It is as a result of the respect shown to women. 

There are various verses in the Glorious Quran, mentioning mahr. Some of them are as follows:: "And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift " (Nisâ, 4/4). During the age of Ignorance (Jahiliyya), the parents of the girl or woman used to take the mahr and it was called “nihla”.. "...Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess. thus hath Allah ordained (prohibitions) against you: except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,― desiring chastity, not lust. Seeing that ye derive benefit from them give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, ye agree mutually (to vary it) there is no blame on you" (Nisâ, 4/24).

The Messenger of Allah told one of his companions who wanted to marry to pay mahr to the woman. When the companion returned from his house having nothing in his hands, he said, “try to find something, even an iron ring” and sent him back to his house again. When he returned with nothing the second time, the Prophet asked him how much Quran he knew. Then, the Prophet said, “Go! I gave her to you in return for the Quran that you know.” (ash-Shawkani, Naylu'l-Awtar, VI, 170).

The following judgment is reached from the verses and hadiths regarding the issue: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) never permitted a marriage without mahr. If mahr were not wajib (obligatory), he would have sometimes ignored it to show that it was not so. 

On the other hand, the Islamic scholars have unanimously agreed on mahr since the period of the Companions of the Prophet. (See as-Sarahsi, al-Mabsut, V, 62 et al.; al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, II, 274-304; Ibnu'l-Humam, Fathul-Qadir, II, 434 et al.; al-Jassas, Ahkamu'l-Qur'an, III, 86 et al.; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, II, 16 et al.; Ibn Abidin, Raddu'l-Mukhaâr, II, 329 et al.).

Mahr is not an essential or condition of marriage. Therefore, a marriage that is carried out without mahr is regarded valid and the woman deserves the precedent value. The following is stated in the Glorious Quran:

"There is no blame on you if ye make an indirect offer of betrothal or hold it in your hearts." (al-Baqara, 2/236). In the verse, it is stated that it is valid to divorce a woman before sexual intercourse or determination of mahr. Since divorce can be possible after a sound marriage, the verse indicates that mentioning mahr during marriage ceremony is not an essential, nor a condition. (Kasani, ibid., II, 274; ash-Shirazi, al-Muhazzab, Halabi print, II, 55, 60; Ibn Rushd, ibid, II, 25).

The maximum and minimum limits of mahr:

There is no maximum limit for mahr. The following is stated in a verse: "even if ye had given the latter a whole treasure for dower take not the least bit of it back" (an-Nisa, 4/20). Hazrat Umar wanted to limit it with 400 dirhams and he declared that otherwise the extra amount would be transferred to the Treasury. The evidence Hazrat Umar based his decree on was the fact that no mahr over 480 dirhams (12 ukiyas) was given for the wives and daughters of the Prophet. After Hazrat Umar stepped down from the pulpit, a Quraishi woman recited the verse above (an-Nisa, 4/20) and said that Allah did not impose any limits; on the contrary, He regarded women deserving a whole treasure. Thereupon, Hazrat Umar stepped up the pulpit again and took his words back. He said: 

"I had forbidden you to give more than 400 dirhams for mahr. Those who want ca give as much as they want." (ash-Shawkani Naylu'l-Awtar, VI,168; Haysami, Majmau'z-Zawaid, Egypt, t.y., IV, 283 et al.).

According to Abu Hanifa, the minimum amount of mahr is ten dirhams of silver or its equivalent. During the Period of our Prophet, that money was worth two sheep to be sacrificed.  The minimum amount for the punishment of theft is one dinar gold coin; mahr was compared to that. One dinar gold coin equaled to ten dirhams silver money. According to Imam Malik, the minimum amount of mahr is three dirhams. That madhhab (sect) based that comparison to their own criterion for theft. Imam Shafii and Ahmad b. Hanbal did not determine a minimum limit for mahr. Their evidence is that there is no minimum limit for mahr in the verse regarding mahr. (Bukhari, Nikah, 34-51; as-Sabuni, Tafsiru Ayati'l-Ahkam, Damascus 1397/1977, I, 453; az-Zuhayli, ibid., VII, 256; Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, İstilâhât-ı Fıkhıyye Kâmusu, İstanbul 1967, IV, 121-123; Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle İslâm Hukuku, İstanbul 1983, p. 279, 280).

Things that can be given as mahr:

Everything that is not forbidden to sell or to use can be given as mahr.  Movable and immovable properties, jewelries, animals, fungible goods, usufructuary rights of movable or immovable goods are among those. However, the things that are forbidden by Islam cannot be given as mahr; for instance, alcoholic drinks, pigs and the flesh of dead animals cannot be given as mahr. If those were given as mahr, the marriage is regarded to have been carried out without mahr and the woman deserves to get the precedent value. (al-Kasani, ibid., II, 277 et al.; Ibn Abidin, ibid., Egypt, t.y., II, 252, 458-461; al-Jassas, Ahkamu'l-Qur'an, II, 143).

The Owner of Mahr:

Mahr belongs to the woman who will marry. Her father and grandfather can take mahr on behalf of her but they cannot own it. However, if the woman does not consent, the payment made to her father, etc is not valid. If the woman is too young, insane or senile, than mahr is given to the authorized relative.

According to Abu Hanifa and some other fiqh scholars, it is not permissible for the father of the girl to take anything other than mahr from the man to marry his daughter. The following judgments are present in Ottoman Family Law Decree dated 917: "Mahr is the right of the woman to marry; she cannot be forced to use it as trousseau. It is forbidden for the father, mother or other relatives of the girl to take money or other things from the man to marry their daughter in order to marry or deliver her." (Family Law Decree, item, 89, 90).

Consequently, mahr is a kind of insurance for the woman during her marriage life. If she loses her husband suddenly, or if her husband divorces her, mahr will support her until she starts a new life because it may be difficult to stay in her husband’s house. Considering that the minimum limit of mahr is the amount of money that can buy two sheep to be sacrificed and that the maximum limit can be over four hundred dirhams and that one sheep could be bought for about five dirhams during the Period of the Prophet, it is obvious that a real mahr will be a kind of insurance for the woman.

35 In the Paradise houris (houri : A nymph in the form of a beautiful virgin supposed to dwell in Paradise for the enjoyment of the faithful) will be given to men. What about the marital status of women in the Hereafter?

How will the poygamy be in Paradise? How should we understand the verses about this matter?

For example, in the commentary of the verse “ ... and they have therein companions pure (and holy)...” this sentence of the scholar Elmalılı : “ in the heavens, there are pure, clean spouses, that is, wives for men and husbands for women” ((Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur’ân Dili, Eser Bookstore, İstanbul, nd, I, 276.) has been misunderstood by some as if the women would be given many men (ghilman) just like many houris will be given to men.
However, what is meant here is that all men and women will be married and will have pure spouses. Because they are mentioned in the plural form as men and women, their spouses are also mentioned in the plural form. That is, each man and woman will have a pure spouse.

This expression is just like the words of a teacher told to the students: “I will hand out your report cards now” at the end of the year. It does not mean that a student will receive more than one report card. Conversely, it means each student will receive one report card. Since the students are plural, so the report cards are plural. The reason of this misunderstanding is just the lack of knowledge about the subject matter.

The mankind that was created to be tested on this earth, which is a member of the Milky Way Galaxy and the Solar System in the endless cosmotic space of the universe, is obliged to get to know the Creator of the universe and worship Him through faith.

The true believers who had faith and did good deeds in accordance with the purpose of creation  have been given the good news of entering Paradise in all heavenly books and have been encouraged to do good deeds in order to gain it.

For the man who is prone to and desires the perfection and the beauty at the utmost degree with a passionate feeling, the Quran elaborates the boons of Paradise; and beyond this, the contentment of Allah was promised.

Paradise contains all the blessings of both spiritual and emotional kind, and at the same time, all the bodily and material pleasures. Eating, drinking and marriage are among the highest boons of Paradise. According to the statements of the Quran and hadiths, a marriage bond established in this world, will continue in the other life on condition that both spouses deserve Paradise; and their relationship will last forever in Paradise. However, an unbeliever spouse who died denying Allah and other tenets of the religion, -like the spouses of the prophets Noah and Lot, and the Pharaoh, the husband of the believer Asiya- will be separated from his/her spouse and will suffer the eternal torments of Hell, in return for their denial.

The believing women that went to Paradise because of their faiths and good actions, will be given back to their husbands by Allah, after removing all the worldly flaws with His Compassion and Might. Those women of the earth will be more beautiful than houris, be an eternal life-time companion to their spouses and a sultan of houris. They will make use of the blessings of Paradise together with their beloved ones eternally, and without any feeling of jealousy and antagonism.

The believing men and women that die before marrying anyone in this world, will surely get married in Paradise and there will be no one remaining single. However, the ones who died in the infancy period are exempted from this rule. According to the meaning of this verse of the Quran: “Wildanun mukhalladun” (Endless living children), the kids of the believers that died before adolescence, will directly go to Paradise, but they will remain kids forever and thus they will give the pleasure of child caressing and loving to their parents.

However, as for the kids in the period of pre-adolescence that performed prayers and fasted the Ramadan, with the encouragement of their parents, Allah will create them like adults and will bestow onto them this difference as a reward of their good deeds. The children of the infidels will go to Paradise too, but they will be servants there. The insane ones, the ones that were unaware of the true religion because of living in the period of Interregnum (a period between two Prophets) will not be accounted for their sins; and thus, they will go to Paradise.

The word “ghilman” is mentioned only in one verse of the Quran. It is the surah at-Tur ,- the 52nd surah- the verse 24, “Round about them will serve, (devoted) to them, youths (handsome) as Pearls well-guarded.” In the dictionary, “ghulam” means “child, young boy, servant” (but ghilman is the plural of ghulam), which, at the same time, apparently means the youths that were created by Allah for serving the believers in Paradise. They serve food and drinks for the residents and they do this service happily.

As for houris, they are very beautiful women that were created specially for the believing men in Paradise and they are under the command of the women of Paradise. Many verses mention and describe them. Generally, they are described in several verses as “they have big eyes with pure white and darkish black, girls having white and silvery skins” ,” they are fond of their males, unaware of the others, untouched by others, pearly skinned, ruby cheeked, peer young girls” They are so beautifully created that, a hadith says “ Even if they wear seventy garments, their bone marrows are still visible”

Badiuzzaman expounds this fact as follows : “Yes, by saying, "The Houris wear seventy garments and the marrow of their leg-bones can be seen," the Hadith points out that however many senses, feeling, powers, and faculties man has which are enamoured of beauty, worship pleasure, are captivated by ornament, and yearn for loveliness, the Houris comprise every sort of adornment and exquisite loveliness, physical and spiritual and immaterial, which will please and satisfy all of them, and gratify and make happy each of them..

That is to say, since the Houris are of seventy of the varieties of the adornment of Paradise, and not of one sort, as they are clothed in garments which do not conceal one another, they display from their beings and selves and bodies, perhaps more than seventy of the different sorts of its beauty and loveliness. They demonstrate the truth indicated by the verse: “There is everything that their souls desire and eyes enjoy” (Words p.813) However, the women of the earth will be created more beautifully than them because of their good deeds on the earth and those women who had married more than once will have the chance to prefer the husbands that they would like.

36 divorce

Marriage and talaq (divorcement) are very sensitive and important subjects. For this reason the matter changes according to intention and what is said by your husband. We see that the answers given by e-mail are being understood wrongly and different comments are being held. In this respect, we do not approve to answer the matter of talaq by e-mail.

We advice you to go to Mufti or Imam (official learned in Islamic law who is in charge of Islamic affairs for a province or district) and to tell the situation and to behave inaccordance with it.

37 Is a marriage without the consent of the parents valid?

For the answer, please click the link given below.

Is a marriage without the consent of the parents valid?

38 What are the responsibilities of the partners within the family?

The wife should treat her husband’s family nicely.
For a Muslim wife, treating her husband’s family nicely, respecting and appreciating them is another way of treating the very husband nicely. By helping her mother-in-law, the wife is actually honoring her husband and doing favor for him. In respect to that the husband appreciating what his wife is doing he will also treat his wife’s family accordingly. In fact by doing so the woman is doing a favor for herself. For that Allah (C.C.) said “Is there any reward for good other than good?”  (Surat Ar-Rahman, 60)

Our prophet Mohammed sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem  says “The most favorable among the humans are the most favorable ones for humans.”

The mercy which our prophet Mohammed sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem taught us embraces not only our relatives but also the whole humanity. In some of the hadiths its been stated that: 
Allah (C.C.) would not be merciful to those who would not be merciful to the humans. (Muslim)

To those who are merciful Allah will be also merciful. You, have mercy to the ones on earth so the ones up above the sky will have mercy on you. (Tirmizi)

Having mercy is not an act of having pity as some people thinks, on the contrary it is an extensive emotion that develops with love and grows sacrifice. If there is no mercy in a person’s heart, that heart is sick.

Nowadays some people are causing great harm to the family lives which people are living in by saying: “wife does not have to do her husband’s laundry, the wife does not have to breast feed her baby.” Even though casually it is not a must to do any of those chores, there is also religious, humanitarian and merciful aspect to it. When an officer wife abiding and serving  to those people which she knows or not for eight hours in return of the money she will get, why would she not abide and serve to her husband, to her kid and or to husbands family. These strange and wrong ideas causing discomfort within the family and causing the families to dissolve. Families need conversation more than anything else.

For prosperity both in this life and after life, the families need first to abide Allah and his messenger then to abide each other on equal basis. You should not abide anyone when it comes to committing sins.
When everyone fulfills their responsibilities within the family, happiness and prosperity will prevail, otherwise the life within that family will become intolerable. Another aspect to that is also life is not only limited with this world we living in, the real one is the afterlife that we should consider. We should create such a nice family atmosphere away from haram, under the shade of Qur’an and Sunnah, with right minded people who are living a heavenly life. For that Allah (C.C.) loves those who behave with such nice manners.

39 seperate entrance
40 Could you please give information about the law of fraternity?

A person should treat his/her sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws in the same way as he/she would like his/her spouse to treat his/her own sisters and brothers. However, there is no fard duty regarding the issue.
The Law of Fraternity:
Fraternity based on blood is a kind of relation that Islam gives importance to. Brothers and sisters have rights and duties over each other. Brothers and sisters should treat one another in a friendly way, justly and well.
In the Holy Qur’an, the following is stated about Adam’s two sons, Cain and Abe: “Recite to them in all truth the news of Adam's two sons;
How they each made an offering, and how the offering of the one was accepted while that of the other was not. He said: 'I will surely kill you.
' (The other) said: 'Allah accepts only from the righteous. If you stretch your hand to kill me, I shall not stretch mine to kill you; for I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. I would rather you bear my sin and your sin and become among the inhabitants of Hell. Such is the recompense of the harm doers.'
His soul made it seem fair to him to slay his brother; he killed him and became one of the losers.
(Al-Maida, 5/27-30)

Also in the Chapter Yusuf, the evil deeds that Joseph’s brothers committed are narrated in detail . In the end when everything became clear, his brothers said to him: “'By Allah,' they said, 'Allah has preferred you above us all. We have indeed been sinful.' He replied: 'Let no reproach be on you this day. Allah will judge you. He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.” (Yusuf, 12/91-92); Joseph (pbuh) forgave them.
Moses also wished from Allah that his brother be a partner for him in goodness, as follows: “'Lord,' said Moses, 'expand my chest, and ease my task for me. Unloose the knot upon my tongue, that they may understand my speech. Appoint for me a minister from my family, Aaron, my brother. By him confirm my strength and let him share my task, so that we exalt You and remember You abundantly. (Taha, 20/24-34)
The reason why prophets do kindness for their brothers is told in the Qur’an is for being an advice and serving as a model to Muslims. Brothers and sisters should behave according to these rules:
1 – Brothers and sisters should be affectionate and respectful towards each other. Younger ones should obey older ones by accepting them as their mothers or fathers and avoid treating them disrespectfully. The older ones should forgive mistakes of the younger ones.
2 – Siblings should not worry their parents, should live in unity and fraternity by treating them properly. They should not bear a grudge over each other with reasons like money, inheritance etc. and should behave in a common spirit of fraternity.
3 – Things such as fame, money, etc. should not be a reason for jealousy. If one of the siblings gets higher positions or becomes rich, this condition should be counted as a reason for being proud of. One who gets higher positions or becomes rich should not despise his other siblings and should help them by doing his best.
4 – They should gently handle conflicts and business among each other by showing respect to each other’s ideas and coming to a decision without hurting each other.

41 What does Quran say about nuclear vs extended families?

The daughter-in-law does not have to stay in the same place with her parents-in-law; she does not have to look after them (legally). However she is advised (religiously) to serve them. From that point of view, it can be said too that a woman does not have to live with her husband's brothers and with their wives, she has right to live in a seperate house.

For further information please click on the link given below.

Is joint family system mandatory in Islam? Is there such a concept?

42 How should engaged people behave when they come together?

Engagement is not a marriage agreement, but it is a marriage promise. For this reason, those who are engaged are regarded as namahram (not a close relative) for each other and they cannot be together unless there is a mahram (so closely related by blood that marriage with him/her is forbidden) person with them. For this reason, even if they are engaged, it is not permissible for them to be together, to look at the parts of their bodies which are haram (forbidden) to look at and touch each other. And they should pay attention to their talk.

The engaged people have to be careful when they talk to each other on the phone, through msn etc...

For example, if they talk about love, affection, backbiting, lies, and about anything that arouses sexual desires, it is definitely not right.

However, if it is about religious matters that remind Allah, death, hereafter and religious feelings and thoughts, certainly it cannot be said that it is forbidden. The criterion should be as mentioned. When you act in accordance with those criteria, we can say that you do not commit sins and you protect yourselves. Also, we advise you to ask your conscience about what you do. If your conscience is not comfortable, give up what you are doing.

Editor's Selected Link;

What are the Significant Points in the Relations Between Man and Woman? 

43 Should we honour one brother's gift to another from a piece of family land after they have died?

The properties of someone dead are left to his heirs. The properties left behind are distributed in accordance with Islamic Law. However, if heirs come to an agreement among themselves, they can distribute that property howeverthey wish.

Accordingly, if the eldest brother’s other brothers are agreeing with that situation, certainly his son can appropriate that land. But if the heirs are not content with that, the son only can appropriate his father’s right. If their fathers do not live, he can give the remaining to the heirs’ children as well.

44 Can a husband divorce his wife unilaterally?

Yes, although it is not advised, a man can divorce his wife unilaterally; it is permissible.
Talaq (divorce), in Islamic law, means to break the connection of a marriage and abolish it. The word is also used as in the form of “tatliq” meaning “divorcing”.
According to Islam, the aim of marriage is to establish a peaceful family life and to raise a good generation in that home. However, it is not possible for all marriages that have such high purposes to be successful. Sometimes natural obstacles such as death and illness, and sometimes obstacles that arise from spouses such as incompatibility, mutual hatred, not loving each other or not getting along well with each other may prevent marriages from continuing. When a marriage moves away from the main purpose and there is no possibility of living together peacefully, and when necessary, Islam allows ending such a marriage. In accordance with that permission, the marriage can be ended by the husband directly or by receiving a determined amount of compensation from the wife; it can also be ended by the wife who has the right of “talaq”, by a judge or with the decision of an adjudicate or a judge.
The wisdoms (reasons) of “talaq”:
A marriage’s continuation in a peaceful and happy life -before everything- depends on the love and respect of the spouses towards each other. Almost every marriage is established having that thought in mind. However, it cannot be said that all of the marriages reach that target. If those people who were happy and had sincere feelings towards each other at first and became unhappy afterwards, there is no point in putting up with such a marriage for the rest of their lives. In this case, they should end such a marriage in order to get rid of that distress.  
When we deal with man in terms of his material and spiritual characteristics, we see that he is not perfect in every aspect. For this reason, one of the parties may have done wrong, made a mistake at the beginning of or during the marriage. It may be impossible to correct those wrongs or mistakes. It is not right for the parties to suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives. Then, the solution is to end the marriage which has become unbearable and enable the parties to have different marriages that they may be happy.
The judgment of the “talaq”:
Islam is a realistic religion. That is to say, its judgments have been laid by paying attention to the existing features of man. Allah Almighty, who knows man the best because He knows about those situations, let the marriages that become unbearable be ended:
“A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness...” (Qur’an, Al-Baqarah, 2/229).
“O Prophet! When you do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods...” (Qur’an, At-Talaq, 65/1).
And Our Prophet (pbuh) said:
“By Allah, the most unlikable halal (permissible act) is divorcement.” (Abu Dawud, Talaq, 3)
As it can be understood from the verses above, talaq is permissible and acceptable. However, it is an alternative that must be carried out when necessary and when there is no other alternative. That is the general judgment of talaq but it may change in accordance with the situations. For example, the “bid-i talaq” is haram (forbidden) (Bid-i talaq: Divorcing wife with a word saying “talaq” several times when she is in the period of menstruation or when getting clean or after having sexual intercourse). Divorcing a wife who has no fault in a convenient way is makrooh (abominable); divorcing in order to become more devout and chaste is mandub (laudable); in case of discord, the divorcement that the arbiter approved is fardh (obligatory); and divorcing a spouse who is not loved is permissible.
The Authority of Talaq:
a.
The right of divorce belongs to man in principle. In respect of having much more responsibilities and difficulties during marriage life, man has been regarded as deserving it. However, in order that the talaq can be valid, man has to have some conditions. They are intelligence and puberty. It is controversial among scholars whether the talaq that the compelled (by being threatened to death), the drunk, the madhush (one who is in the state of fury) uttered is acceptable or not, that is to say, whether the talaq that they uttered is valid or not. According to the Hanafi Sect, their talaq is valid.
b- The right of talaq can be handed over to the woman or to a third person if is laid down as a condition during the marriage agreement. Handing over the right of talaq is called “tafweez”; and the woman who gets the right of divorce is called “mufawwaza”. In that case, the woman can use the right of talaq whenever she wants. If man wishes, he can hand over the right of divorce after nikah (marriage).

45 What are the women's rights? What are the duties of wives and husbands against each other?

Let me try to explain the rights of women briefly: 

“And when a daughter is announced to one of them his face becomes black, and he is full of wrath.”(Koran16 (en-Nahl)/58) In this verse God tells the view of people of ignorance towards women and reprimands it. However, “He gives daughter to whom He wills, and sons to whom He wills. Or he gives both sons and daughters to whom He wills, and makes barren whom He wills.”(Koran 42 (es-Sûrâ)49-50) 

A woman is also born as a man is born; she is an offspring of human being. Parents will be responsible when they favour one of them. They deserve depriviation of the Prophet since they ignored the will of the Prophet. Since the Prophet knows that feelings of ignorance will reappear from time to time, he points out the education of women specifically and announces that “a father who raises three, two even one daughter properly will be with him in the paradise (Ibn Mâce, edep3).” When a daughter is born, an “akika” is sacrificed (sacrificing animal) as a thank to God, as it is done for sons. She is named with a good name and has a compulsory education. She learns necessary sexual information from her mother. Everybody who encourages people into Koran and Sunnah includes women in this. The prophet specially advised women to be educated since he knows that they will be neglected and demanded their rights protected. In his age müctehid (a person who knows the religion in all ways details) women appeared.( for example Âishe (pbuh) who is the wife of the prophet, is one of them.)

A woman should never be discriminated in rising. And when came to the marriage, she should see the nominee of husband. That is her right and Sunnah at the same time. If she doesn’t like him she can turn him down, insistence of the parents or the nominee of husband changes nothing.

When marrying, she should puts her hand on the desk and take her “mihir”(a kind of alimony) as much as she desired. Mihir is her natural right established by God and guarantee of life. The field of expenditure belongs to her in legal circle. She can use her “mihir” or her other property (if she has) for charities or for commercial companies, can establish a company, can be a partner of a company with share certificates, gain money and can spend it on where she wishes, because, her social security was taken under guarantee by marriage. Expenses of home and hers belong to the man. Her husband can’t say “buy your dresses and cosmetic with your own money.” He has to gain livelihood of his wife as possible as he can. If he can’t then he can not marry her. If he can’t do that after the marriage, the woman has the right of the divorce.

Her husband can’t affront her; he always has to remember that she is his spouse. He can’t leave her home alone when he gets angry. Best of men is the one who treats his wife best. (See Buhâri, nikâh 43; Müslim, fedâil 68)

It is one of husband’s duties to tell jokes to his wife have fun and amuse her. A man can not beat his wife for unreasonable reasons except when she ignores rights and rules. (see Koran 4(en-Nisâ)/34 about beating wife) as an example see Ibn Kesîr N/257; Kurtubî NI/170,172,173; Elmalı N/1351; Ebû Dâvûd, menâsik 56; Ibn Mâce, menâsik 84; Müslim hac 147; Tirmizi, Rada'11; Ebû Dâvûd, menâsik 56; Halebî Sağîr s. 395; Halebî Kebîrs. 621; Canan, Terbiyes. 391 ;) He can’t disturb his wife with sudden raids for his jealousy of sickness.The prophet prohibited people that had been away from his family for a long time from entering the home suddenly without informing beforehand. In this issue, it is mentioned as a reason to let her clean her armpit and genital part, adorn herself and get ready for her husband. About the issue there is a hadith:”When you came (from far away) at night, don’t enter your wife’s room so that she can use razor and shave and get clean if dirty (she can get ready for your coming)” Buhârî, nikâli 121,122; Müslim, radâ' 58, imâret 181,182; Dârimî, nikâh 32, cihâd 163; Müsned NI/298. Hadith interpretations points out that coming home suddenly at night may mean that he has a suspicion about her unfaithfulness.

The husband also has the duty of sexually satisfying his wife. The Prophet likened men who never thinks about his wife and does his job and finish the relation, to a rooster likened to an animal and advised not to begin having relation without caressing before. (From deylemî, Gazâlî, Ihyâ N/52 (Terc. N/129); also see Suyutî, el Camiu's-sağîr (Fethu'I-Kadîr ile) VI/323)

Because a man can getready and tempted by just looking but a woman can be ready for a relation after a long time of caressing. A good husband is the one who can get his wife ready for it and satisfying himself and his wife too. Men who never think just about himself in sexual relation must keep in mind that they have pleasure by toturing the spouse.

She has the right to separate from her husband who can’t have relation in a year. Again she has the right not to have relation with the husband before getting “mihir”

The treatment and expenditure of medicine belong to the husband as the alimony does. If the woman has no ability to make bread he has to buy from the market. If he wants her to adorn herself, cosmetic and perfume expenses belong to him too. And two dresses one for summer and one for winter belongs to the husband. If a disagreement should occur, features of the dress are established by local management. She has the right of taking money when the husband intends to have a journey. She has the right to have a separate bed during her menstruation days.

The wife can demand a servant when necessary. The wage of the servant belongs to the husband. She doesn’t have to do any chores except ones that are supposed to done by the wife according to the traditions.

When she needs they have agreement about the amount of the money for livelihood. If she thinks it is not enough she may consult to the judge.

When she doesn’t want her husband’s relatives at their home, the husband has to find a different house for her. This is because that their presence can prevent their making love. She even has the right of having a separate room for the same reason, because of her children except ones who are not aware of sexual relation.
The woman has the right to visit her family once a week, her husband can’t hinder that. She has the right to work in legitimate ways in jobs that don’t harm the husband’s rights.

If she wants to go to puclic bath when she has menstruation or birth blood, the man has to give the money for it. But if she is known not to be careful about keeping the body closed, she isn’t let to go.

All we told till here are the rights of woman on man written in all fiqh books, and they are several examples of explained issues. They are not in form of advice; they are legal rights that have sanction. Today women in black sea region in Anatolia are forced to work and get tired in jobs that men can do. But that is not fault of Islam; it is fault of those that keep them away from Islam.

When there is a selection, it is told by many Islam scholars that women have the right of election. Because there is no proof for that they don’t have such a right. The selection consists of "bey’at". The Prophet took "bey’at" from women. (See Koran60/12 verses and interpretations.) After caliph Omer, everyone icluding unmarried girls were asked for advise about selecting the caliph. (See Muhammed Hamîdullah, Islâm Müesseselerine Giriş Ist.1981, s. 112 (Ibn Kesîr'den nakil))
When the woman died the funeral expenses belong to the husband. (For more information about the ıssues we told in summary see Ibn Âbidîn, Reddü'l-muhtâr, Mısır 1380 (1960) NI/571 vd. Furthermore alimony sections of all fiqh books especially Serahsî, Mebsût V/180 vd.)

As it is seen, a woman is a person who has no anxiety or problem about livelihood and a person who has social insurances as much as possible. And all those issues are legal rights that can be established by court when they have disagreement. In Islam wife and husband are not two sides who are trying to get each other’s right unceasingly. They are parts of a unit that complement each other, help each other, support, and be source of peace and happiness. Just like the Prophet’s helping the chores and making division of chores between Caliph Ali and his wife Fatima.

WOMAN AS A FAMILY MEMBER

Islam says men and women are created as equal existences innately “O! Mankind we have created you from a male and female…”(el-Hucurat, 49/13). Again Islam religion says there is no discrimination between men and women, and says there is no superiority over each other in birth, death and in hereafter, because a person will account for his deeds to God alone and without supporters. (Meryem, 19/93). Women who are believers and have righteous deeds and be on the way of God are mentioned in groups that will grant a happy life in paradise forever (en-Nahl, 16/97).

The difference between a man and a woman results from organs and women are told to be fragile and delicate being. So we see differences in functions of these two sexs in individual and life and society and see that the woman is protected. Islam religion neither pushes women down to lower levels just like in the beliefs of “ignorance life”  nor makes her live in a maternal ( the rule of women in the family) life model. It made such a good family model that each member of it has a special duty and there is nothing unfair in these duties against each other. The order of Islam made a model that broke a new ground with its new rules thus hindered all kinds of behaviors that may be an element of pressure on men or women in the family.

Islam made the man the head of the family. “Men are the protectors of the women (they are the heads of the families.) Because God has made the one (man) superior to the other (woman), and because they spend their wealth to maintain them…” (En-Nisâ, 4/34).

Again God said in another verse “…And women have rights against men; men are a degree above them in status, and God is the All-mighty, the All-wise. (El-Bakara, 2/228) So, it is inferred that man is given the status of being the head of the family. Man has a great responsibility since he is supposed to meet all needs of the family and protect the family from outside dangers. However, the husband can’t interfere with the wife’s own money and give her some extra responsibilities. She can even want her husband to have a babysitter if she likes. She may not do house chores. But such tasks and responsibilities about work and house are signs of taqwa of the woman, so those are advised to do by the Prophet. The woman is obliged to obey the demands of man in the acceptable circle.

To maintain Islamic family life is possible with the ptotection of rights between husband and wife. “You have rights against your wives, and your wives have rights against you” (Tirmizi, Radâ', 11). The meaning of the obedience of the woman in mutual rights is to fulfill her duties against her husband in acceptual circle.

THE RIGHTS A WOMAN HAS AGAINST HER HUSBAND

Since husband has to maintain his wife, he has to meet her material comforts and needs. He must do that in Islamic ways. (En-Nisa, 4/34). The man is liable to have a good relationship with his wife and is liable to protect her rights. “… You should live with them in an honorable manner, even if you dislike them; it is possible that God may bring much good to you through that very thing you dislike. (He may give you a good son or daughter or you start to have a good relation with each other.)” (En-Nisâ, 4/1 9).

Islam forbids man to misuse his position of being head of the family. The aim in this is to carry on the order of the family. So, it is not religiously allowed for man to use that position on woman in a bad way. When he behaves so, the relation between the wife and the husband will be good and normal.

Islam lets a woman use her adequacy and abilities in social relationships as much as possible in acceptable level. Again it gives freedom about working and doing some tasks and get educated to help to muslim people as much as possible. (Buhârî, İlim, 36; İbrahim Cemal, Müslüman Kadının Fıkıh Kitabı ( the fiqh book of the muslim woman), terc. Beşir Eryarsoy, İstanbul 1987, s. 483 vd.).

“The woman is like a rib bone. If you try to straighten, it breaks. If you want to be happy, be happy with that warp” (Buhârî, Nikâh, 79). “The best of you is the one who treats his wife best.” (Tirmizi, Radâ, 11; İbn Mace, Nikâh, 50). We infer from these hadiths that the Prophet continually warns Muslim men about their wives and adviced them to get on well with them. A woman shouldn’t be beaten, she should be adviced. But, if the woman is being refractory and doesn’t obey her husband in Islamic levels, sits and spends time with people that she shouldn’t be with, spends her husband money extravagantly and doesn’t try to keep family secrets, she gets a warn then the vehemence of the warn is increased. If there is no good result, she can be beaten a little just for intimidating (en-Nisa, 4/34). But if that is useless and doesn’t change the woman in the positive way, she should never be beaten.

THE RIGHTS A HUSBAND HAS AGAINST HIS WIFE

“Men are the protectors of the women. Because God has made the one (man) superior to the other (woman), and because they spend their wealth to maintain them…” (En-Nisâ, 4/34).”Righteous women are obedient; they guard their rights carefully in their absence under the care and watch of God….” (En-Nisa, 4/34).
The women should be obedient and respectful against their husbands so that the husband can do his duties as needed. The women are obliged to obey their husbands in acceptable conditions. And house chores and raising the childeren are things that increase her taqwa. Because Islam didn’t make such an obligation but encouraged it and told them that they will gain the consent of the God if they do so.
Men are superior to women since they have some features and qualifications that women lack. That doesn’t mean that they are superior in virtue and honour (Mevdûdî, Tefhimu'l Kur'an, I, İstanbul 1986, s. 317, 318). “If a woman performs her daily prayers five times a day, and fasts a mounth in a year, keeps her chastity and obeys her husband, the doors of the paradise is open to her” (Buhârî, Miskat, II, 202). But the obedience here must be in the frame of God’s demands. If the husband ignores that it is unnecessary for the wife to obey her husband, because, obedience to God has the priority over the obedience to the husband.

It is a need satisfaction between the wife and the husband. So, it is not good to ignore that both by the wife and the husband. The wife should know the condition of the husband and be respectful to him. Islam says that women and men are equal in creation. There is no difference in punishments in the world between the women and men. The punishments of the crimes committed against women are the same with the punishments of the crimes committed against men.In sharing the inheritance; women get the half of what the men have. This is not humiliating and inequality. When we know the view of Islam against women, that  the men are responsible in maintaining the family and that expenses of the women before marriage belongs to the parents and after the marriage it belongs to the men, it is clearly understandable what kind of wisdom God wishes about that.

The woman is free not to spend from the amount that is inherited for the man except ones with her consent. However the man is obliged to spend when necessary. So, the woman may inherit and may not touch it. (İbrahim Cemal, a.g.e. s. 485).

God has created the woman as the house owner. The man is liable to maintain the family and gain money, and the woman is liable to spend that money to run the house, because, the woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house. Islam doesn’t give responsibility to woman in works outside the house. Koran encouraged women to stay in the house by saying “And stay in your houses” (el-Ahzâb, 33/33). But in some situations, it is necessary to go out for women. For example; when the woman has no man to maintain her life, when the woman has to work since the family has economical problems, when the man is sick and is not able to work. When the woman faces such events, there is a way out to relief in Islam. “God lets you women go out for your needs”. (Buhârî-Müslim). But against all these, in today’s circumstances, a muslin woman is unable to protect herself from the eyes of the wicked people in the streets however she obeys the Islamic rules. In this respect, it is better for a woman to be away from the streets even if she is in economical problems.

Islam gives the woman some tasks in the house and solves the problem of working. Islam saves the soul of the human who have betrayal in harem and selâm.

[Seyyid Kutub, İslâm Kapitalizm Çatışması, (clash of Islam and capitalism) İstanbul 1988, s. 129; also see Said Havva, İslâm, terc. Said Şimşek, Ankara ts., s. 197 vd; İbrahim Cemal, a.g.e. s. 481 vd; Mustafa Sibai, Kadının Yeri (the place of the woman), İstanbul 1988, s. 57 vd.; Abdullah Nasuh Ulvan, İslâmda Aile Eğitimi(the education of the family in Islam), I, s. 221 vd.; Ömer Ferruh, İslâm Aile Hukuku terc(Islamic family law). Yusuf Ziya Kavakcı, İstanbul 1976, s. 228 vd; Hz. Peygamber ve Aile Hayatı(The Prophet and his family life), Komisyon, İstanbul 1989, s. 171 vd.; M. Ali Haşimi, Kur'an ve Sünnette Müslüman Şahsiyeti( The character of a muslim in Koran and sunnah), terc. Resul Tosun, İstanbul 1988, s. 63 vd.>.

Naci YENGİN

46 weddings marriage

It is permissible to play musical instruments like the drum, clarion and pipe in the weddings only to announce the wedding. When the drum and clarion are played together with epic songs and chants, they are considered to be within the legitimate framework. They are regarded as permissible because they do not appeal to carnal senses. However, in the weddings of our time, illegitimate elements are included in the ceremonies made with the drum and clarion and they are used in forbidden ways. Therefore they are not permissible to play.

47 How do i get my space and privacy while living with my In-laws?
48 steps after birth of child

Religiously and medically there is no drawback to take the baby outside the house after s/he is born. Also there isn't any Hadith in regard with this matter. What you heard is nothing but supersitition.

49 What are the duties of a husband to his wife?

According to your calculation, you allocate two or three hours for worshipping and reading books. It is a normal thing. It is not so much as to complain about. However, during the weekend holiday, you should allocate a bit more time for your family and win their hearts.

Extremes in both sides (excess and deficiency) are not appropriate in anything including worshipping. What is desired and recommended is the moderate way, not the extremes.
As a matter of fact the same judgment is made in the hadith and the same criterion is recommended:

The most virtuous kind of worshipping for Allah is the one which is moderate!

Moderate worshipping does not cause a person to fail to carry out his obligatory responsibilities. It does not cause a person to ignore his wife and children. On the contrary, it reminds a person to give everybody their due; it ensures the maintenance of that chance.

Although the truth is as we have mentioned above, the young person whom we are going to write about did not have such an attitude. Although he had just got married, he performed fasting even in the hottest days of the summer and prayed until morning. That is, after fulfilling his obligatory responsibilities, he performed a lot of nafilah (supererogatory) prayers; he neglected his wife by doing so.

His considerate and patient wife did not complain about his situation thinking that it would not last long and tolerated it. However, her husband had the intention of continuing that state. Therefore, she felt obliged to tell Hazrat Umar about the situation. However, she did not know how to tell him about it and what words to use.

She found a style of expressing herself and went to the presence of the Caliph. Ka’b, the famous jurist, was with the Caliph.

She plucked up her courage and spoke:

– O Leader of the Believers! I have such a devoted husband that he fasts throughout the hot days of summer and prays until morning in short nights. He always does them without interrupting!

The Caliph became pleased to hear that there was such a young person.

– How blessed is your husband. He worships during these long days and short nights all the time; we should congratulate such a young person.

The woman left without saying anything because the caliph was pleased with what he heard although she meant to complain about it.

However, Ka’b, the Qadi (judge) of Basra, opposed it:

– O Leader of the Believers! Have you congratulated the husband of that woman? The woman complains about it to you.

The Caliph was hesitant:

– No, she did not complain, she apprecited him.

They argued whether it was a complain or not. Then the Caliph sent for the woman.

– Now tell me the wife of the devoted husband! Did you complain about your husband or did you speak so because you appreciated him?

– I did not appreciate him O Leader of the Believers! I complained about him. I am like other women. I have normal and natural needs. However, he does not have an issue like that. He fasts during the day and performs prayers till morning. He is interested in nothing else; nothing else keeps him busy. He is not even aware of my existence.

When what Ka’b had said turned out to be true, Caliph Umar turned to him:

– What will you say for that woman O Ka’b? You diagnosed; so, you will show the treatment.

– O Leader of the Believers! Bring me the husband of this woman and I know what I will say to him.

They brought the young man to their presence. Ka’b gave him the following advice:

– O young man who fasts all day and performs prayers till morning! Know it very well that what you do is excess. Excess is not good at anything including worshipping. It is not recommended. The best of deeds is the moderate one.

Kâ’b continued as follows:

– You must not neglect your wife for days from now on. You must definitely be with her once in four days. If you do not be with her at least once in four days and insist on leaving her alone, the rewards that you receive as a result of your worshipping will not eliminate the responsibility of leaving her alone.

Listening to that advice from Ka’b, the Islamic jurist, the young man thanked him and left. The Caliph asked Ka’b:

– O Kâ’b! Now answer my question; how will you find evidence for your fatwa in the presence of Allah when you die? How will you explain your sentence, “You must definitely be with your wife once in four days”?

Kâ’b answered it easily:

– O Leader of the Believers! Does Allah, the Exalted, not say in the Quran that a man can marry up to four women? – He does.

– What does it mean? It means a woman can be alone, without her husband, for three days. The fourth day will be her turn. It means the husband must not leave her alone for a long time; he must be with her at least once in four days. If they had needed fewer than four days, Allah would not have permitted marrying four women.

– The Caliph, Hazrat Umar said, “This answer is better than your diagnosis”. Gazing at Ka’b, the Caliph added:

– O Ka’b! Get ready for a journey. Now you are the Qadi of Basra! You have been appointed.

Ka’b, who corrected the excessive behavior of the young man and made it moderate, was the Qadi of Basra until he died.

Ahmed Şahin

50 I would like to marry a Christian woman. Which marriage ceremony should be preferred?

First of all, we should state that although the religion of Islam allows Muslim men to marry women from the People of the Book, we cannot say that it is an ideal marriage. It is a difficult environment especially for children. It is very difficult for spouses from different faiths to get along well. It will be something terrible if sentimentality takes precedence over belief.
- As a Muslim, we can only recommend you a ceremony in compliance with Islam. The commands of the religion are apparent. However, it is difficult to say that - for not only you but also - most of the Muslims hold ceremonies in compliance with Islam. Marriage ceremonies are occasions that the consent of both sides should be sought. If there are different views, then, problems that are difficult to overcome will occur. Generally, the desires of young people, who have contrary views, become dominant.
-What we recommend you is that, first of all, you should try to show the beauty, courtesy and ethical values of the religion of Islam with both your words and actions as much as possible to your future wife sincerely not factitiously.
-You should enable your wife to adopt Islam by using a clever method. There are two important conditions to manage to do it. The first one is to know Islam very well. The second one is to obey the orders and prohibitions of Islam. We wish you to establish a spiritual and material home that will lead you to Paradise.

51 Is it permissible to force a girl or woman into marriage?
Is it permissible to force a girl or woman into marriage?
If a female or a male is forced into marriage by being threatened with death, intensive beating or long-term imprisonment, that marriage is not valid. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) stated the following regarding the issue:
“Allah forgave my ummah for actions carried out as a result of mistakes, forgetting and being forced for my sake.”1
The following hadith reported by Imam Nasai enlightens the issue in a very nice way:
Hansa, the daughter of Hidama from Ansar, goes to Hazrat Aisha and complains to her:
“My father forced me into marriage with the son of his brother to increase his prestige. I do not want him.”
Hazrat Aisha says “wait until the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) comes” and makes her sit down.
When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) comes, Hazrat Aisha informs him about the situation. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sends for the father of the girl and gives the girl the authority to marry.
Then Hansa says to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH):
“O Messenger of Allah! I will accept to marry him but I wanted to make it clear that fathers had no authority to force their daughters into marriage.”2
What we understand from taking the authority from fathers is that they cannot force their daughters into marriage. Both of the hadiths above show that the consent by the female is one of the conditions for the marriage to be valid. Since forcing eliminates consent, the marriage becomes invalid.
This decision is the view of the majority of the mujtahid imams. However, Hanafi sect has a different view. According to Hanafis, consent, in essence, is not one of the conditions for the marriage to be valid. As evidence, they present the hadith that states being serious and making a joke have the same effect in carrying out the act of marriage.  
However, the view of the majority of the imams regarding the issue is better in terms of the state of the home to be set up and to prevent unjust treatment of the parties in marriage.
1 Ibn Majah, Talaq: 16.
2 Nasai, Nikâh: 36.

52 Is family planning forbidden in Islam or not ?

Family planning is not forbidden in Islam. That is to say contraceptive methods are permissible. However giving so much importance to this subject, our religion protects the child in the uterus till the child is born and burdens some responsibilities to the parents. It doesn’t’ permit to terminate the existence of the child in the uterus called “fetus” by propounding arbitrary and fictitious reasons although there is no real reason. It considers the ones performing such a crime as “murderers”. Because, “the fetus” is counted as a human being.

As a fetus is considered as a human being after it is animated; having a miscarriage, that is, having an “abortion” in medicine terminology is like killing an adult person. If the fetus isn’t animate yet, since having an abortion in this case is deemed as preventing an innocent from coming into the world, then again it implies a serious responsibility.

For more information, please click on the link given below;

Is having an abortion religiously permissible?

53 Do I have to get married?

If you have no financial difficulty, we suggest that you marry.  Perhaps donations that you make will not be as much as they used to be but we should be aware that the money we spend for our families is also alms. We do not think that your marriage life can prevent you from learning Islam.

Editor's Selected Link

Does a Muslim have to get married?

54 What are we supposed to do if our parents are disbelievers? If our parents try to make us to do something which is contrary to the pillars of the religion, What should we do?

Asma' bint Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with her) said: My mother came to me while she was still a polytheist, so I asked Messenger of Allah (PBUH), "My mother, who is ill-disposed to Islam, has come to visit me. Shall I maintain relations with her?'' He (PBUH) replied, "Yes, maintain relations with your mother". [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It is clearly understood that even if our parents are disbelievers, we are supposed to carry out our humane approaches towards them and show them due respect as their children.

Also the verse sheds further light on this issue: Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (Al-Mumtanahah, 8)

Even if they are disbelievers, the following verse makes it quite clear that one needs to respect their parents: "But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did." (Al-Lukman, 15)

As a result, if your parents try to make you do something which is contrary to the pillars of the religion, you should refrain from doing it. Apart from this, it is quite advisable to get along well with them.

55 Is it religiously allowed to marry without the permission of Parents?

A man doesn’t have to have the permission from his parents for marriage. But the consent of the family is an important issue. It is better when he gains their consent. But when he marries without permission, he doesn’t become a sinner.

A similar question was asked before. Please click on the link given below for further information.

Is it religiously allowed to marry without the permission of Parents?

 

 

56 Is the official marriage accepted as religious marriage?

Marriage is a religious institution and has certain conditions. If the same conditions and principles are present in the official marriage, which is carried out by an officer authorized by the municipality, then that marriage is a religious marriage, too. However, if the conditions and principles are not taken into attention and are neglected, then it is different; the marriage may then be overshadowed. That's as follows:

In the official marriage, couples to get married profess their expressions about getting married clearly. However, those expressions must indicate certainty. They must not be ambiguous. Another important point is that witnesses must be Muslims and one of the witnesses must be a man. However, in the secular procedure, it is enough for the witness to belong to the nationality of the country. The marrying parties must not be brother and sister of milk (If the mother of one of the parties had given her milk to the other party when suckling,then they are considered as brother and sister of milk.) However, that is not inquired in official marriage, nor is asked by the officer.

A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. However, that is not paid attention to in the current legislation, and the officer performs the marriage without asking about it.

If those drawbacks are not in question, couples are religiously lawful to each other with only the official marriage, too. Actually, the requisite of marriage is both parties' accepting each other as husband and wife in the presence of two witnesses.

However, all that said, one should not neglect having the contract of marriage carried out within Islamic measures.

Mehmed Paksu

Aileye Özel Fetvalar

57 Could you please give information about the Islamic term "Nushuz" (Discord Between The Wife and The Husband)

The Islamic term 'nushuz' refers to causing discord, indulging in lewdness, acting in a disobedient and reckless manner toward the husband, and a woman's hatred of and rebellion against her husband. It is an Arabic derivative; the word 'nashiza' is derived from it and means disobedient woman.

In marriage, spouses should be in harmony. In Quranic verses and in hadiths (sayings of the Prophet), mutual rights and duties are determined. Allah says: “…women have rights similar to those against them (that men have), but men (in respect of their heavier duty and responsibility) have a degree above them (which they must not abuse)…” (The Qur’an, Al-Baqara, 2:228). In that verse accord between spouses is encouraged:

Consort with them in a good manner, for if you are not pleased with them, it may well be that you dislike something but God has set in it much good.” (The Qur’an, An-Nisa, 4:19)
As long as the woman takes the ‘mahr’ (money paid to the woman by the husband) which was agreed on in advance, and as long as the husband provides her livelihood, she has to obey his lawful commands. However, that obedience does not mean that the woman will obey every kind of command of her husband. If commands which are against morals and good manners or which violate the rights given to her by Islam are in question, then her obligation to obey them is lifted. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, said: 
“Where there is disobedience to Allah, there is no obedience to a servant (human being).” (Bukhari, Ahkam, 4; Muslim, Imara, 39). For the woman to consent to sexual desires of her husband except when she is in the menstruation period is also a necessity of that obedience. (al-Kasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, II, 334; al-Jassas, Ahkamul-Qur'an, Muhammed as-Sadiq, Darul-Mushaf, Cairo, II, 68 ff.; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul-Mujtahid Egypt, II, 46 ff.; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, Egypt 1310/1892, I, 556 ff).
If the woman shows disobedience to her husband, the appropriate way of conduct is described in the Qur'an: “As for those women from whose determined disobedience and breach of their marital obligations you have reason to fear, admonish them (to do what is right); then, (if that proves to be of no avail), remain apart from them in beds; then (if that too proves to be of no avail), beat them lightly (without beating them in their faces).” ((the Qur’an, An-Nisa, 4:34). This verse gives the husband the right to better his wife's way of conduct. The husband applies the following steps, if the wife does not obey her husband's lawful wishes and disobeys him:
1. Firstly, he warns, gives advice and tries to persuade her. If no result is obtained this way,
2. He leaves the woman alone in her bed, or in her room. If it does not prove useful, either,
3. The husband can beat his wife lightly, as a kind of discipline punishment. However, the husband can only beat her without leaving any scar on her body. 

It is not peculiar to Islam that the husband has the right to amend his wife's ways. The classical church law accepts that if there is a rightful reason, the husband can beat his wife lightly. In the 12th and 13th centuries in France, the husband could beat his wife on condition that he did not wound her. In England, before the legislation dated 18th August 1882, the husband had the right to amend his wife's ways by beating her lightly.
The man must behave well toward his wife in words and actions and so must the woman . The Prophet said:
“The best of you is the one who is the best toward his family. And I am the best toward my family among you.” (Ibn Majah, Nikah, 50; Darimi; Nikah, 55). It is mustahab (good act which is liked in religion) for the couples to behave toward each other in a good way (al-Kasani, ibid., II, 334). It is makrooh (religiously abhorred) for the man to apply coitus interruptus during sexual intercourse in order to prevent her wife from having children without the consent of his wife. This is because the woman has rights on the possible child. Here that coitus interruptus is makrooh is according to Abu Hanifa, due to preventing the conception; according to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad because it causes lack of satisfaction (al-Kasani, II, 334, 335).
To give the woman what is her right without delay is included in the scope of behaving well toward her because The Prophet said: “It is a wrongdoing (zulm-cruelty) for the wealthy to postpone his debt.” (Bukhari, Hawala, I,II, Istikraz, 12; Muslim, Musakat, 33; Abu Dawud, Buyu, 10; Tirmidhi, Buyu, 68; Nasai, Buyu',100,101; Ibn Maja, Sadaqat, 8). Again, it is necessary not to bring two wives together in the same lodging without their consent. It may cause enmity and rivalry among them. Similarly, it is a disrespect and ill behavior to have a sexual intercourse with a wife in the presence of another wife.
Spouses have the right to benefit from their sexual aspects. They have the right to want intercourse from each other. According to the Hanafi and the Shafii Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence, it is legally sufficient for the husband to engage in intercourse with his wife for once during their marriage. The woman has the right to get their marriage cancelled if it could not be realized because of the man's impotency. More intercourse than one, on the other hand, is seen as vital for the continuance of the marriage.
According to the Shafii School, it is wajib (required) to engage in one intercourse because it is the right of the husband. After that, just like leaving the rented house on its own without living there, it is also permissible to leave the woman on her own because what calls for the intercourse is lust and love. And it cannot be made wajib (required). However, it is mustahab (recommend) not to leave the woman on her own in the matter of sexual relation: The Prophet said to Abdullah b. Amr b. As (may Allah be pleased with him): “Do you fast during daytime?” He answered, “Yes”. The Prophet continued: “Do you spend the nights worshipping?” He replied, “Yes” again. And The Prophet said: “As for me, I fast, and sometimes I do not fast. I perform prayers, and I sleep as well. I also engage in sexual relation with women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah (practice) is not from me.” (Bukhari, Nikah,I; Muslim, Nikah, V; Nasai, Nikah, IV; Darimi, Nikah, III; Ahmad b. Hanbal, II, 158). This is because if the woman is left on her own in that matter, it is feared that corruption and disorder may prevail (az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh Damascus, 1405/1958, VII, 105, 106).
According to the Hanbali School, the man must engage in sexual relation with his wife at least once in four months, because the time period specified for the vow of abstinence (ila) is that long (see the Qur'an, Al-Baqara, 2:226-227). On the other hand, it is a mutual right for the spouses to benefit from their sexual aspects. Marriage is made lawful for the good of spouses. It is one of the instances of its goodness that they appease their lust in a lawful way. If an unexcused period of more than four months passes without intercourse, they may get divorced upon their appeal. Here there is a comparison to the vow of 'ila' (see al-Buhuti, Kashshaful-Qina', Matbaatul- Muhammadiyya, V, 214; az-Zuhayli, ibid., VII, 106, 107).
If the discord between the couples continues and the precautions specified in the above-mentioned verse do not yield a result, in the next verse the method of appointing an arbiter is ordained. “And if you fear that a breach might occur between a couple, appoint an arbiter from among his people and an arbiter from among her people. If they both want to set things aright, God will bring about reconciliation between them.” (The Qur'an, An-Nisa', 4:35)

In this verse, the group addressed is judges. If the husband failed to maintain accord, then the right of one of the spouses to apply to a judge and to demand the appointment of an arbiter emerges. It is more appropriate to choose the arbiters from among the relatives because they will know the parties, know the reasons for the discord and they will have more chances of reaching a reconciliation.
Is the duty of arbiters only reconciliation? Or do they have the authority to divorce the couple? According to Abu Hanifa and Ahmad b. Hanbal, as long as the spouses do not give special authority, arbiters do not have the authority to divorce because they are in the position of deputy and cannot go beyond the authority granted. In the verse, the authority of the arbiters is only to set things aright. However, if the spouses have given them special authority, they can divorce the couple.
In the practice of the Ottoman Empire, the divorce through arbiters did not prevail because the judges themselves performed the duty of arbiter upon appeal. As a result, the method of arbiter has prevailed not as a means of divorce but as an institution of reconciliation (ash-Shirazi, al-Muhadhdhab, II, 74; ar-Ramli, Nihayatul-Muhtaj, Egypt, nd VI, 44). That view of the Hanafi School was narrated from Hasan al-Basri, Qatada and Zayd b. Aslam.
According to a view from Imam Shafii, the arbiter (hakem) is only a reconciliator and is in the position of a deputy. According to another view, 'hakam' means 'hakim' (judge). For this reason, even if the two parties do not consent, the arbiters may also decide to divorce them if they see it necessary (as-Sabuni, Tafsiru Ayatil-Ahkam, Damascus 1397/1977, I, 472; Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle İslâm Hukuku, Istanbul 1983, p. 398, 399).

Hamdi DÖNDÜREN

58 Is it permissible for me to get divorced from my current husband and get married again with another man?

If you are a married women, then it is not permissible for you to get married before you get divorced from your current husband. Besides, it is not true for you to follow a lustful desire that will break up your family and make decisions that will affect the lives of your children negatively. It is also not true for you to get divorced unless you are subjected to violence and oppression by your husband. But the final decision is yours.

By Allah, the most unlikable halal (permissible act) is divorcement.” (Abu Dawud, Talaq, 3)

Talaq is permissible and acceptable. However, it is an alternative that must be carried out when necessary and when there is no other alternative.

59 To what extent are friendships of chat right? How can the families that crack online be saved?

The article given below illuminates the reality behind media,internet,celebreties,TV, and Internet Cafés.We hope you will benefit from the this article which is full of life experinces and stories. You should also pay more attention to the part called, Families that Crack. It is all about "Chatting" which is also the main point of your question.

Why do the media encourage sexuality? To what extent are friendships of chat right? How can the families that crack online be saved?

Young people are enticed into the world of celebrities

There are certain things which cannot be learned through explanation, but can be learned only by living. One cannot know without experiencing them. No matter how much you explain to your child that fire burns, s/he cannot know what fire really is without feeling the pain it causes.
Fame and money are among the things the harms of which cannot thoroughly be understood without experiencing. Especially youngsters sacrifice many of their spiritual and material values in order to attain those two goals and to be an artist. However, they are things which are visibly fine but inwardly painful.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, explains the harms of those wishes concisely: “The harm that the passion of property and fame wreaks on human is more than the harm that two hungry wolves wreak when they attack a herd of sheep.” “One who has a valley full of gold wants another valley full of gold!” (Bukhari, Raqaiq 10)

Wise people know how to benefit from the advices of our religion and from others' experiences. Small kids and fools, on the other hand, do not believe in others' experiences until they themselves experience them.

Now I want to present to you what a famous female singer of ours has experienced and what fame and money turn humans into, in her own narration. The following interview is carried out by Kenan Erçetingöz, a tabloid writer. The singer says:

“That trouble called money does really mislead people. In other words, you spend money like mad; 55-meter yacht does not suffice, so you buy a 75-meter one. Ten servants in the house are no longer enough, so you increase the number to 20. That is being misled. You forget the hungry in the streets. You start to forget your religion. I have never eaten pork, but everybody around me ate pork and I became sick I saw it. You feel you have the money so you have the power. You forget your Creator. And one day, He blows such a slap on your face to make you gain consciousness.

Now I do not miss that luxurious life but I miss my former days. We used to live in a three-room one-hall apartment. I wish we had not had that much money. I wish there were no boats, no planes. That I cannot explain to people.

You lose your spiritual feelings. Material feelings prevail. It is not important where you are, but with whom. If you live in a tent with a person you like much, then that tent becomes like a palace for you. But if you live alone in a palace, that palace becomes like a prison for you. In other words, the more important material becomes, the haughtier you get. You start to look down on others. Indeed, that disease called money does lead people astray.”

Those are the expressions of a singer which should serve as a lesson to us. I am sure you also realized the expressions of remorse between the lines. For this reason, we advice our youngsters: “Youths, for goodness sake, take heed! Do not ever envy the flashy lives you see on TV.”

There may be left remorse, sins and pains only 

The story of the change of the famous model and actor Yasar Alptekin, which he made into a book with the name “Namazla Yeniden Doğdum (I was Resurrected with Prayer)” is also full of lessons. Here is what he says: 

It is of much interest and curiosity how models and artists live and what they do when they are famous. But afterwards?

Most often, they are forgotten in oblivion. I do not know how many people care about what life brings to forgotten models and how many people take lessons from their lives. There is one thing I know; I came to this world and am leaving it.

Sometimes, in a big crowd, everything one experiences may be the summary of what everybody else there has lived and will live because fame is not a life for one person. Fame is like the flux of the crowds in one person's body in a certain direction. Those crowds which applaud or boo are doing so in the name of everything that they have lived by themselves and that they could not while looking at you, i.e. at your fame.

In that situation, when I look at my life in retrospect, to the question that some people around me ask in a rather derisive way “Yasar Alptekin has done that much work, and become that famous; every kind of blessing from fame, money to woman and respect was offered to him. So what does he have at hand right now from them?” I give this answer wholeheartedly:

First of all, I came to this world not to possess but to witness. For me, it is important to need the least rather than to possess many things. From my former life remorse, sins and pains are left. It is the greatest bounty that my Lord blessed on me to progress on the way of guidance through the experiences I have gathered by understanding it and by repenting.

I fear that young people who read what I experienced may say: “So we, too, will live as we wish till the age of 30-40 and then will turn to guidance and be saved.” However, in that life, no one can know where they will be tomorrow.

Moreover, I abandoned such opportunities in my previous life as money, fame, women, etc., which youngsters would be interested in, when I had them. There are people at the age of 50-60 in the field of modeling and of acting which I followed formerly and they continue with the same way of life. I did not think “From now on I cannot live like that, being old. At least I should turn to guidance.” On the contrary, I am at the age of 42 and I could by all means follow the same way of life. However, the beauty of faith, prayers, and of being a servant of Allah has proven superior to all attractions of my past life.

Everything I have experienced till now and all the ups and downs in my life have shown me that each breath that I take in becomes invalid with the next breath. And life is like a podium. We put on and take off a garment in fashion shows and exhibit new clothes with new creations; similarly, each breath that we take is like different clothes that we wear.

I address especially my young brothers; for youngsters may envy the flashy life of art and cinema. If that life made people happy, if it satisfied people's mind, heart, spirit and feelings, I would not have left that pompous life and take refuge in a tranquil life like Yunus (a renowned Anatolian poet and sage).

Do not ever misunderstand me! 'Living Islam' does not mean leaving the world, arts, joys; it only means being selective and paying attention to suitability to our religion. Indeed, the circle of the licit is enough for our pleasure and enjoyment; no need for unlawful joys.

And I did not abandon modeling, the television and cinema completely; but I act selectively and pay attention to suitability to our religion. After all, is art not a means of explaining religion to others? If we do it properly and with sincerity, we may even earn rewards (of good deeds).”

They hide behind the expression “Freedom of the Media

Unfortunately, today, dressing indecently and losing moral sensitivity is virtually accepted as a prerequisite of modernity. People who show such reactions as “This is obscene, against morals and harmful” are blamed for being reactionary and outdated. It is one of the biggest handicaps of Turkey in fighting obscenity.

All over the world, the media is free and cannot be censored. Freedom of the media is the warranty for the media to carry out right, unbiased and reliable publication. In that sense, freedom of media is not a privilege for the media but a requisite of the freedom of “obtaining information/news”, which is a constitutional right of the public.

However, broadcasts with obscene content are not limited to the news. What relation to freedom of media may advertisements, serials, movies and many other programs have?

It does not limit the freedom of media to control broadcasts with obscene content. Freedom of media cannot be measured depending on how much obscenity they broadcast. For broadcasting can be performed without obscenity, too. Indeed, there are many newspapers, magazines, TV and radio channels which carry out publishing/broadcasting in an appropriate way for the values of the community.

The media companies should first check themselves instead of opposing to the legislation against obscenity with the pretext of “freedom of media is being jeopardized.” And they should think whether they are taking into consideration the order, culture and values of the community.

Similarly, laws grant freedom to the media, but they also state that those companies are institutions carrying out public service. The broadcasts/publications which provide public service should have the quality of providing culture and value exchange and of encouraging unity and solidarity. In this respect, publications/broadcasts with obscenity also contradict the idea of public service.

One of the Strongest Weapons of Illicit Intercourse: Internet

Technological inventions are like a sword with two sharp edges. The most striking example is the atomic bomb and nuclear energy. If not used in a beneficial way, it exterminates thousands even millions of humans and other beings. The television and the Internet should also be seen that way. If used wrongly, they will bring about many unwanted results.

Firstly, we were caught off-guard by TV, which is an important invention of technology. The background of the West was suitable for that. People were adequately used to reading and most importantly, that had become a habit. Therefore, the television did not harm the constitution of the West as much as it did our constitution. Those in the West watch TV moderately and as much as needed, and not much time is spent in vain.

As for us, on the other hand, as TV has entered our lives before we acquired the habit of reading, the already feeble habit of reading nearly came to altogether extinction. The balance was lost and our community became TV-Alcoholic. Whether they need or not, our people do not quit watching TV till they go to sleep. And it severs social relations.

The same thing is valid for the Internet, which is a wonder of technology of our time. We were caught off-guard again. However, the Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. We need to make good use of it in every field. Today, commerce and education are not really possible without the Internet.

However, unfortunately we dived into the ocean of Internet without learning what it is, and what it is not, how to make use of it and what its benefits and harms are. Only a minority who knows how to swim can make good use of it, but the others are about to get drowned.

New Type of Addiction: Internet Cafés

In a research carried out in the University of Cumhuriyet, this bitter truth is demonstrated: According to the research called “New Type of Addiction: Internet Cafés”, it is found out that of the people who go to Internet shops, %43 chat, %26 play different computer games, %7 watch movies, and %19 browse the Net. And of those who chat, %36 chat so as to find friends, %14 so as to flirt, %34 so as to talk about ordinary topics, and %6 chat with sexual intentions.

While of those who go to Internet cafés to play games, %54,5 play games featuring violence, %22 choose to play games of intelligence. And the percentage of those who play games of sport is 19. For those who play games which feature violence, an ordinary murder is not “attractive”; games of murder by tearing into pieces and by making others suffer are opted for.

As for the third activity in Internet cafés, in browsing the Internet the most outstanding sites are the sites with obscenity. Of those who browse the Net, %24 visit sites of games, %23 culture & arts, %20 sites with obscenity, while the percentage of those who enter sites of education is 4.

The Internet, which has opened new perspectives in sharing and communicating knowledge, turns into a dangerous weapon if not used properly, and for some, the Internet, which becomes an obsession, has the effect of drug addiction.

As a certain standard could not be achieved in Internet cafés, which have proliferated in recent years, because of lack of legislation and control, they are places where extremely unhealthy conditions reign, rather than places of modern facilities.

The Outcry of a Mother

We cannot speak ill of or overlook that blessing of technology just because we do not have a culture of Internet or knowledge about it. We should learn its benefits and harms and turn it into good. Today we are in the era of computer; as we cannot do without it, we are bound to take the necessary precautions.

Not only we, but also the pedagogues in the developed West are worried about the addiction to the computer and the Internet. In Europe, public organizations are organizing campaigns against the obsession of computer, which has virtually spellbound youngsters. The slogan in the campaign carried out in Germany named “I do not have a computer, but a lot of friends!” is notable.

The youngsters who have PCs at home and who spend all their days in front of the screen cannot easily make friends. In time, they turn into antisocial and problematic individuals. Computer games and browsing the Net detach children and youngsters from society more and more. As we are not familiar with the culture of computer and Internet, it causes many economic and social troubles. Those troubles are also reflected on newspapers.

By analyzing those troubles, instead of abolishing the computer, we should remove the troubles; and to that end, we should educate our young people. Otherwise, we will have to bear the consequences. Here is an incidence which is caused by an unwary user:

A Poor Mother cries out:

“When our son told us about the benefits of the Internet, it all sounded good, until he became its captive. Our landline was cut off because of high bills and because of debts which we could not possibly pay with our revenues.

In the meantime, the computer broke down. We were firstly very happy as we thought that if we did not get it repaired, our son would recover from that addiction, but we were happy in vain. Internet cafés were open till late hours. The first day he went there, he came home at two o'clock at night. When he sits in front of the Internet, he forgets the notion of time, and money runs out.

A year passed like that. We did not insist, just warned him from time to time, but our son was like drunk; he would not be affected. In the end, we went bankrupt. When he could not find money, he started taking money from his father's colleagues without us knowing. We put all our belongings up for sale so as to pay our debts. The harms it did to us far exceeded its benefits.

The ages of 22-23 are the most productive years in human life. After what happened, school was over for my son. He did not work, either. The youth pass their most beautiful time in front of that device. How can that facility be turned into a beneficial device, and what can organizations and institutions do for that? The authorities need to find a solution to that.”

When the measure is lost, the Internet may have other side effects, too. Let us summarize those with the words of the celebrity writer Aykut Işıklar:

“The Internet is good, of course, but it is necessary not to exaggerate. Indeed, addiction to it has many harms. Firstly, it may cause you to be cross with your spouse. Recently, many women complain that their husbands care about the Internet more than they care about them. They complain about being neglected. There are even those who feel like their husbands' mistress.

Some of my friends say: “We no longer have Saturdays or Sundays. I could hardly see his face before, now I do not see him at all.” It is indeed a social problem to be thought about. I wonder if our sociologists carry out a serious research about the Internet and family life. I will suffice to relate what I have heard. It is certain that there are men who spare less time with their wives because of the Internet.” (Mehmet Oruç, Huzurun Kaynağı Aile, p. 54)

To what extent is the friendship of chat right?

Humanity is experiencing a new phase of development with the computer and the Internet, which have rapidly proliferated in a short time today, and which have found place in all fields of life from shopping and commerce to the organization of institutions and companies, from propaganda, advertisements, and serious studies to recreation, and most importantly to families.

Our religion is not against the innovations and inventions of the humanity, to the service of whom it granted all blessings of the world. For Allah Almighty, as the Knower of all knowledge and all the unknown which man does not penetrate but which does exist notwithstanding, teaches the knowledge that He ordains and which He wills humans to know through observations and experiments, to His slave (man) whenever He wills.

In other words, man attains a piece of knowledge through working/studying and through Allah's bestowal as a result of his/her endeavors. As that is the case, why should religion oppose to science, technique, innovations and inventions

However, our religion is against not using innovations for the benefit of humanity, against harming people through them, and against violating the commands and prohibitions set by Allah. Through today's innovation, the Internet, people reach information easily and reliably. They exchange knowledge. Information is thus conveyed to people who need it in a short time and with ease and in an environment of well-intentioned seriousness.

Religion does not prohibit such exchanges of information between people and such respectable and serious relations that take place between them with clear aims. However, not all relations in the Internet comply with those criteria. There are some relations which are based on only curiosity, excitement, adventure, interest and satisfaction and on sexuality.

Such friendships of Internet, which are tried to be made innocent with such names as “virtual friendship-imaginary friendship”, are not religiously permitted, in view of its aims and content (the topics talked about), of privacy and isolation (being together in an isolated place) and most importantly, in view of its harms to families. There is no pure intention and clarity to acquire knowledge here. On the contrary, there is a relation in which the sexual drive aims at the satisfaction of desires through moving humans away from rules.

The moral character of the individual is harmed to a great degree by that futile and irresponsible relation. That relation captures children, youngsters and spouses who have families, like an illness. It separates them from the family and vicinity they have, and casts them into vanity with run-down psychology and morals.

It opens up the door to degeneration

It is no longer possible to explain away the friendships in the Internet by saying “It should not be mistaken for real as it takes place in artificial environment.” For if the dimensions, developments and consequences of the events are carefully observed in all aspects, it will be established that there is a great danger of sexual degeneration which threatens the group of people between the ages of 14 and 34 in the society.

The religion of Islam, which takes the protection of chastity and integrity as basis in sexual ethics, commands men and women to protect their chastity and integrity (The Qur'an, An-Nur, 24:32-33), while it does not overlook the satisfaction of sexual needs and desires, which are necessitated by human's creation; on the contrary, it views that as absolutely natural and points out marriage as the permitted way to satisfy their needs.

The 21st verse of Chapter Ar-Rum in the Qur'an sheds light clearly on that topic. The believers who protect their chastity, are content with the permitted sexual relation in marriage, and who thus succeed in being happy, are also highly praised. (The Qur'an, Al-Mu’minun, 23:5-6)

Besides, it is seen appropriate for possible spouses who make marriage initiatives, to see each other in the presence of their relatives (without khalwat : being together alone), to look at each other (even if there is lust involved), to get to know each other, to talk to each other and to express their mutual conditions.

Now it would be appropriate to dwell on the subject called “khalwat” in Islamic Law. According to the Islamic Law, it is “khalwatfor a man and a woman between whom there is no permanent obstruction against marrying, to be together alone in a place.

In hadiths, it is forbidden for the man and the woman who are not married and who do not have any permanent prohibition to marry each other, to be together in a closed place. In a hadith, the Prophet said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment, let him not be alone with a woman other than his mahram (According to Islamic Law, a person so closely related by blood that marriage with him/her is forbidden); for otherwise the third one of them is the devil.” (Muslim, Haj, 74)

Such a situation is tempting for the other sex. It may lead to fornication or rumor and to damage to their chastity. Therefore, that point should especially be paid attention to.

To sum up, no matter at what age is, every adolescent/adult Muslim should always bear in mind that it is his/her duty of servitude to Allah to protect himself/herself from behaviors and relations which would lead to violating Allah's commands and prohibitions, and which herald mistakes.

I am married, but I chat online!”

Now I want to mention an email. The writer of the email says:

“In my workplace, my friends told me insistently that chatting was fun and I should certainly try it. I am a person who is affected a lot by people and so I tried it. In the meantime, I met a person in the Internet. Firstly, it was harmless; it was like a therapy for each of us. It was relieving both for me and for him to find solutions to his certain problems. And my partner would tell me that he was pretty affected by my words and he attracted me by writing fine words every day.

Now we are only writing to each other, that is all; but I do not want my family to get harmed by that. He insistently wants to meet me. Have I committed a sin by having such a relation with the person whom I only write to? If we meet -actually I do not want to-, will it be forbidden (haram)? Why do I continue such a situation? Is it because of the things I experienced in the past? What should I do to get saved from that situation?”

It is certainly not right for somebody to have such harmful relations with a person of the opposite sex even if through the Internet. Let us say that first.

One of the reasons for somebody to continue that situation may be the negative experiences s/he had about his/her spouse in the past. Feelings of revenge hidden in the subconscious may lead the person to do that. Other than that, it may be something which started with curiosity but in time turned into a habit. Whatever the reason is, that situation, which pleases feelings but troubles the reason, will leave the spirit in dilemma and lead to certain psychological troubles.

First of all, to get saved from that trouble, one should develop empathy. Afterwards, the greatest step to take is to be determined and to end that situation by making the other party feel that determination. Of course, what the person experiences with his/her spouse at the time may prevent ending that situation. Therefore, one should increase what one shares with the spouse and should spend more time with him/her as partner.

Families that Crack

Today, unfortunately, chatting has become a kind of artificial partnership. A man sits in front of the computer for hours and browses in another realm neglecting his wife and children. He makes friends with the computer rather than caring for his wife and become her life-partner. When it is asked “Is what you do appropriate?” he answers “I do it to be benevolent.”

First of all, our biggest mistake is to start being benevolent with others, rather than with those at our home. It appeals to our souls to first care about strangers, instead of those at home. One should be benevolent firstly to oneself and to one's family, then to one's close vicinity, and then to one's further vicinity. Now, we should ask those with the illness of chatting the following questions:

Now be careful to be just and confess, are you busy more with your spouse and children or with your computer? Some males with the illness of chat may say: “My wife does not care about me, and therefore I resort to chatting.” Do be honest; did you really care about your wife and she did not care about you? That is no acceptable excuse.

Whether male or female, people need care and love. If you give, you take; care and love are mutual. TV and computer kill such values of us as friendship and sharing love; beautiful families virtually turn into a fridge. There are many women who do not see their husbands because of chat and who thus have psychological problems.

As for singles, if we leave those with bad intentions aside, and if we handle the issue optimistically, they chat in general with the dream of marrying. When they make progress and meet each other, they become disappointed. For neither party really behaves honestly while chatting. It is as if chat is built upon lies. Men pretend to be women and women pretend to be men. Many more lies; everything in fake perfection...

It is not possible to make a real marriage with the person one gets to know through chatting. Unfortunately, the world has become cruel and the feeling of trust is lost. Do not tell me that there are people who knew each other through chat and who then formed a happy family; that would only be a gamble. That is only one out of a thousand. Do you expect the 'one out of a thousand' to find you? After the couples who marry by knowing each other through Internet understand that they are people from different worlds later on, there remains remorse only. The poison of the honey starts to cause great sufferings and in the end, a bitter result is added to the experience chart.

That is not everything about chat; it is almost nothing other than killing time. And it is not only time that it kills; it kills one's care about and love for one's family, relatives and friends. Whatever deed it is, if the harm in doing it is more than its benefit, it is the requisite of reason not to do it. So, all those who chat, please think with your conscience; Are there more pros or more cons? Will you stop or keep doing it? You decide accordingly.

Artificial Partnerships threaten the family

As is pointed out above, today, artificial partnerships are on the increase. Actually, it is something composed solely of fantasies, unrelated to the reality, void, misleading, and a rather ugly situation which makes oneself and the other person an object to satisfy.

Even such excuses may be made to justify it, as shyness, distress, problems with the spouse, not knowing what one does because of not finding the real happiness one has looked for.

These reasons may also be added; wanting to find the answer to the questions one is curious about but cannot ask others thinking that it will not be appropriate; starting it out of curiosity but then continuing it because of the inability to resist; not being happy about one's own appearance and thus experiencing an inferiority complex; assuming that one will feel better if one experiences partnership online.

Artificial partnerships are preferred in the first place because they satisfy the person emotionally and because no harm is done to each other (!). Women and men, without knowing each other firstly, get to know each other online randomly and after some talk, they embark on it. There is no difference between the educated and the uneducated; married, single; old, young. Many assume a different identity and disguise their real identity; that is why they experience everything easily in front of the screen.

That situation, which they like a lot in the beginning, leads to psychological problems in time. As the partnership which they continue does not have a systematic and stable form in itself, in time, it leads to at least feelings of guilt. Why feeling of guilt?

It is because, however artificial it may be, everybody knows very well that what they do is a forbidden relation. It may be called a kind of fornication. Those people who behave like “integrity incarnate” at other times, are very well aware that they use expressions in the artificial realm which they do not dare verbalize. Therefore, subconsciously, conscience interferes and asks: “Are you aware of what you are doing?” Even without knowing who his/her partner is.

Actually, it is a psychological disorder. Such people need to receive treatment as soon as possible. It indicates the existence of a psychological problem to live “as if” by severing the bonds with the real and trying to exist in the artificial. And it also indicates the values that have been lost.

One should protect oneself from one's curiosities which will lead one to perpetrating the forbidden. One should take pains not to be one of the oppressors who oppress their own selves, should try to determine one's limits, should avoid actions which would violate one's limits or which would lead one to the feelings of guilt. For once man gets the habit, it becomes hard to free himself of it. You should endeavor not to go astray in the first place. Instead of just blaming yourself, all you should do is to row against your impulses. (Mehtap Kayaoğlu)

(See Gençliğin Cinsellik İmtihanı, M. Ali Seyhan, NESİL YAYINLARI)

M. Ali Seyhan

60 How should we treat old aged parents? We may have difficulty in being patient against their wrong behaviors. What would you advise?

If people are defeated by their souls, they should show the consequences of the events to the mind and this is how they should convince the mind and the soul. Respect for elders is essential. We might end up with an eternal punishment if we treat our elders in a way which may break their hearts. For this reason, we should always consider the cost that our behaviors may result in and we should always remember this. This will become a habit in time and in any case, spiritual consequences will be remembered first.

Our elders remained patient against any troubles and problems we caused them while they were raising us, similarly, now we should remain patient against our elders who behave like children.

The matter of respect for parent from the Risale-i Nur Collection:

Should one of them, or both, attain old age in your lifetime, do not say "Ugh!" to them (as an indication of complaint or impatience), nor push them away; and always address them in gracious words.Lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy, and say: "My Lord, have mercy on them even as they cared for me in childhood. "Your Lord best knows what is in your souls (in respect of all matters, including what you think of your parents). If you are righteous (in your thoughts and deeds), then surely He is All-Forgiving to those who turn to Him in humble contrition.” ( The Qur’an, Al-Isra’, 17:23-25).

“O heedless one in whose house is an elderly parent or an invalid or someone no longer able to work from among his relations or brothers in religion! Study the above verses carefully and see how on five levels in different ways it summons children to be kindly towards their elderly parents. Yes, the highest truth in this world is the compassion of parents towards their children, and the most elevated rights, their rights of respect in return for their compassion. For they sacrifice their lives with great pleasure, spending them for the sake of their children’s lives. In which case, every child who has not lost his humanity and been transformed into a monster honours those respected, loyal, self-sacrificing friends, serves them sincerely, and tries to please them and make them happy. Uncles and aunts, maternal and paternal, are like parents.

So understand from this how base and lacking in conscience it is to be contemptuous towards those blessed elderly people, or to want their deaths. Know what a wicked wrong and iniquity it is to want the lives to pass of those who sacrificed their lives for yours.”

O you who struggles to secure his livelihood! The means of plenty and mercy in your house, and the repeller of disaster, is that elderly or blind relative of yours, whom you belittle. Beware, do not say: “My income is little, I have difficulty in making ends meet,” for if it was not for the plenty resulting from their presence, your circumstances would have been even more straitened. Believe this fact which I am telling you; I can prove it most decisively and can convince you. But in order not to prolong the discussion, I am cutting it short. Be content with this much. I swear that this is absolutely certain; my evil-commanding soul and own devil, even, have submitted to it. You should be convinced of a fact which has smashed my soul’s obduracy and silenced my devil.

Yes, the All-Glorious and Munificent Creator, Who, as the universe testifies, is infinitely Merciful, Compassionate, Bountiful, and Generous, provides infants with the finest of sustenance when His sends them into this world, causing it to flow into their mouths from the springs of their mother’s breasts. So too, He provides, in the form of plenty, the sustenance of the elderly, who are like children though even more in need and deserving of kindness and compassion. He does not burden the avaricious and miserly with their livelihood. All living creatures, all their species, declare through the tongues of their beings the truth expressed by the following verses:

“For God is He Who gives [all] sustenance,-Lord of Power and Steadfast [for ever].” ( The Qur’an, Adh-Dhariyat, 51:58)

“How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is God Who feeds [both] them and you;” ( The Qur’an, Al-Ankabut, 29:60)

they state this munificent truth. In fact it is not only elderly relations, certain creatures like cats, who are a friend to man-their sustenance also comes in the form of plenty, sent within the food of the human beings. An example which corroborates this and I myself observed is as follows: my close friends know that for two to three years my appointed lot every day was half a loaf of bread, the loaves in that village were small, and very often this was insufficient for me. Then four cats came and stayed with me as my guests, and that same portion was sufficient both for myself and for them. There was frequently even some left over.”

“This situation has recurred so often that it has made me certain that I was benefiting from the plenty resulting from the cats. I declare most definitely that they were not a load on me. Also, it was not they who were obliged to me, but I to them.”

“O man! If an animal which is as though wild is the means of plenty when it comes as a guest to the house of a human being, you can compare for yourself what a means of plenty and mercy will be man, the noblest of creatures; and the believers, the most perfect of men; and the powerless and ailing elderly, the most worthy of respect and compassion among the believers; and relatives, the most worthy and deserving of kindness, love, and to be served among the ailing elderly; and parents, who are the truest and most loyal friends among relatives, if they are present in a house in their old age. According to the meaning of, "If it was not for the elderly, bent double with age, calamities would be visited on you in floods," you can see what an important cause they are of disasters being repelled.”

“O man, come to your senses! If you do not die earlier, you too will become old. If you do not honour your parents, in accordance with the meaning of, “the punishment is similar to the act that required it,” your children will not be dutiful towards you. If you love your life in the hereafter, this is an important treasury for you: be dutiful towards them and gain their pleasure. While if it is this world that you love, still try to please them, so that through them your life will be easy and your sustenance plentiful. For if you are contemptuous of them, wish for their deaths, and wound their sensitive and easily hurt hearts, you will manifest the meaning of the verse,

“They lose both this world and the hereafter.” ( The Qur’an, Al-Hajj, 22:11)

“If you want the mercy of the Most Merciful One, be merciful towards those in your house whom He has entrusted to you.”

“There was someone called Mustafa Cavus, one of my brothers of the hereafter. I used to observe that he was very successful both in his religious life and his worldly life. I did not know the reason for this. Then I later understood that the reason for his success was that he had understood the rights of his elderly parents and he observed them to the letter; due to them he had found ease and mercy. God willing, he repaired his life in the hereafter as well. Those who wish for good fortune should try to resemble him...”

“O God, grant blessings and peace to the one who said: "Paradise is beneath the feet of mothers," and to all his Family and Companions.”

61 What should a woman do if she is unjustly treated?

A woman can divorce from her husband if she is unjustly treated. She can even get the right of her mahr (portion paid by the groom to the bride for marriage) payment in the event of divorcement.

Who has to take after the children in the case of spouses getting divorced?

Taking care of the children is the responsibility of the mother and affording the expenses is the responsibility of the father.

Because, the mother has the compassion and the skills needed to take care of the children and the father has the skills for preparing the conditions and affording the expenses. Therefore, the father has to supply the alimony of the children who are with their mother. However, the mother does not have to afford her children’s subsistence in the same way. If she does not accept to look after them, the mother of the father and his other relatives are obliged to take care of the children.
• The mother’s protecting the children continue till the daughter is nine and the son is seven. After that, the right of protecting them belongs to the father. The father is deemed more suitable to protect them, then.
• The children are given to the mother even if the mother is not Muslim. However, if it appears that they are raised in a way opposite to Islam and they are indoctrinated to be estranged from the religion, they are taken from their mother and given to a relative that will not act so. Thus, the mother loses her right to protect the children.
• In order that the mother can keep her the right of protecting her children, she must not be married to another man and she must be able to take care of her children and protect them. A mother, who gets married or has deficiency in her chastity and intelligence, loses her right of protection. The children are taken from her and given to the father. 
• A mother, who continues protecting her children, has three kinds of payment in point of expenses:
- If the child is suckling, the payment for breast-feeding; the payment for nursing and the payment for the child’s own expenses.

For those three kinds of expenses, the father pays an amount that the experts approve for the mother. He can visit his child when s/he is with mother. There is no obligation for taking the child to him.

62 Can a married woman visit her parents without the permission of her husband?

We should primarily state that the issue in the question has two dimensions: the first one is the right of a married woman to visit her parents or her parents to visit her. The second one is the maintenance of the family bliss of the couple and the maintenance of the peace and happiness in their marriage.

As regards to the first dimension of the issue, it is an indisputable right of a married woman to visit her parents or to be visited by her parents. However, the timing for such visits is left to be determined with mutual agreement according to customs and traditions or positions of the couple. The frequency of visits of parents by a married woman who lives in a village consisting of 100 houses is not the same as for example that of a woman who lives in a city or who lives abroad.

63 What does Islam say about the rights and duties of woman?

There is no verse or hadith regarding that view. It is a conclusion deduced from the Quran and hadiths by some scholars of Islam. It is an evidence showing the broad freedom given by Islam and the statue of woman in the family. Islam put a stop to the ignorant mind that views women as slaves; Islam regards her not as a servant but as a lady of the house, states that her husband is not entitled to making her do something that she is reluctant to do, guarantees her with a reward for her every service she does. In addition, Islam considers households duties equal to jihad (holy war in the cause of Allah and His command). Our prophet advised his daughter Fatima to do the housework and asked her to assist her husband.

64 What are the duties of a husband towards his Family?

1- Every Muslim has some responsibilities to himself, his wife, children, relatives, neighbors, and friends. It is not true to take no notice of the others while carrying out a duty. However, he may have some duties in terms of fard, obligatory (fard), nafila (optional), and customary practices. A person who fulfills the fard and obligatory tasks of his wife and children cannot be charged with not caring of his family. It is not religiously true to allege him for failing to carry out the traditions, customs and conventions of society. 

If he engaged in trade, owned many companies and as a result did not have any time for his family, would they raise the same objections? 

We are in the opinion that those having religious knowledge do not neglect his family, wife and children which make him responsible in terms of religion. 

2- If the man as a father of family does not carry out the necessary religious and worldly needs of his family, wife and children then he will be held responsible. At least he has to fulfill fard and obligatory requirements. Otherwise, he will be held responsible before Allah and by his servants.

65 Can you give some infromation about times of sexual intercourse? Are there any haram (forbidden) days?

In some books of manners, times about sexual intercourse and the effect of those times on the child to be born are mentioned. They are not obligatory judgments that need to be followed. However, it will be useful not harmful to take those times into considerations. 
Times recommended for sexual intercourse:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights and days before noon.
The times that are not recommended for sexual intercourse:
1- Sunday and Wednesday nights.
2- The first, fifteenth and last nights of the moon calendar.
3- The nights of eid al-fitr and eid al-adha,
4- The night of Barat (the fifteenth night of the month of Shaban);
5- The night when one intends to set off;
6- In the afternoon.
They are all recommendations. They will not be regarded makrooh if there exists a danger of looking at a woman lustfully. On the contrary, it will be necessary to have a sexual intercourse with one’s wife. Days and times are not taken into consideration. Let me clarify a point that is asked a lot about: in the lunar calendar, the night of a day is the night before the day. For instance, Friday night is the night connecting Thursday and Friday.

66 What is the judgment about living completely away from other people and breaking all relationships with one’s family?

Living away from other people can be permissible if it has a justifiable reason. For instance, not to be friends with people who are definitely harmful is something justifiable both religiously and worldly. As a matter of fact, some people in the Islamic history lived in seclusion. 

It is not appropriate to keep away from other people if there is not a serious reason. In Islam, serving people is essential, not living in seclusion. The following hadith asks people to live together with other people:“The best people are those who are most useful to other people.” (Faydu'l-Qadir, 3/480)

Besides, we need to take many lessons from the following hadith:“A believer who lives with other people and shows patience against their infliction is better than a believer who lives away from other people and who does not show patience against their infliction.” (Bukhari, Adabu’l Mufrad, 388) It is possible to evaluate this hadith for all aspects of the life and community.

It is not something preferable to live away from people just because one wants to relax and to satisfy his emotions.

Breaking the family relationships is very different. Sila ar-rahm (taking care of close relatives) is a very important duty and an important source of reward in Islam; breaking off ties with them brings about great responsibility. There are levels of family members. For instance, we cannot keep away from our parents. Uncles and aunts are regarded like fathers and mothers. Brothers are like that, too. There are many lessons to be drawn from the following hadith: “Establish good relationships with those who break off ties with you; grant to those who deprive you of what you desire. Do not retaliate against those who wrong you; forgive them!” (Majmau’z-zawaid, 8/188).

We should not forget that it is not permissible for a believer to be cross with another believer for more than three days. (see Abu Dawud, Adab  47) It is worse to be cross with a believing relative.

However, it is not objectionable, in fact, it is preferable to keep away from people who will definitely harm you religiously and ethically. One of the most important good or bad factors regarding religion and ethics is our environment that we are closely related to.   

Some hadiths regarding the issue:

“He who shows no mercy, will receive no mercy.” (Bukhari, Adab 18, Tawhid 2; Muslim, Fadail 66)

“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He will not lie to him or betray him; he will not abandon helping him. The honor, property and blood of a Muslim is haram for another Muslim. Taqwa lies here. Despising one’s Muslim brother is enough for evil.” (Tirmidhi, Birr, 18)

"Do not quarrel with your Muslim brother; do not make jokes that he will not like; do not make him a promise that you will not keep." (Tirmidhi, Birr, 58)

“A person who cannot behave leniently is regarded to be deprived of all kinds of good deeds.” (Muslim, Birr, 74–76)

“A nice word is sadaqah.” (Bukhari, Adab 34, Jihad 128, Muslim, Zakah 56)

“Do not be like the people who say ‘we will do favors if everybody does and we will commit unjust deeds if everybody commits unjust deeds’; do favors to those who do you favors but do not unjust deeds against those who commit bad deeds against you.” (Tirmidhi, Birr, 63)

"A Muslim is a person from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are free. A muhajir (migrant) is someone who keeps away from what Allah has prohibited." (Bukhari, Iman 4, 5, Riqaq 26; Muslim, Iman 64-65)

"A person who breaks off ties with his relatives cannot enter Paradise." (Bukhari, Adab, 11; Muslim, Birr, 18)

"A strong person is not the one who is strong in wrestling but who controls his soul when he is furious." (Bukhari, Adab, 76.)

"A person who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment should not harm his neighbor and should entertain his guest generously. A person who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment should talk what is good or keep quiet." (Bukhari, Adab, 31, 85; Muslim, Iman, 74, 75)

“A person who helps widows and the poor is like a person who fights in the way of Allah or a person who fasts during the day and worships during the night.” (Bukhari, Nafaqat, 1; Muslim, Zuhd, 41)

67 Is it permissible for me to get married informally?

It is religiously permissible to get married in the presence of witnesses. However, we do not regard it suitable to marry without civil marriage. We regard it necessary to perform civil marriage along with religious marriage ceremony, especially in order to protect the religious and worldly rights of a woman.

In the ordinance of Ottoman family law, there was a law stating that it was mandatory to register the marriages and that unregistered marriages would be invalid.

If a man and woman get married in the presence of witnesses without civil marriage, they will be regarded as husband and wife; the woman cannot marry another man unless the man divorces her. Therefore, it is very risky. As a matter of fact, we are asked many questions regarding the issue. We come across with many questions like “I got married to a man with a religious marriage ceremony. He does not divorce me, what can I do?” “I got married to a man without getting divorced religiously from the man I had a religious marriage contract. Is it regarded adultery?”  In this respect, although it is religiously permissible to marry in the presence of witnesses, in the end you can be hurt badly. For this reason, we do not regard it suitable to get married without civil marriage.

The marriage is a contract, a pact, and an agreement. It has some conditions. If one of those conditions cannot be done properly, the marriage will be invalid.

1. Presence of the persons who get married or their proxies.
2. Both persons’ declaration of intention. Persons who will get married should say “I accepted”.
3. The parent of the girl must allow that marriage. This rule is according to all sects except Hanafis.
4. The presence of witnesses. These witnesses must be two men or a man and two women who are baligh (of age) and sane. It means that it is mandatory for at least a man to be present.

There is one more condition apart from those mentioned above. It is the announcement of the marriage. It is according to Maliki School.

However, in the ordinance of Ottoman family law, there was a law stating that it was mandatory to register the marriages and that unregistered marriages would be invalid.

68 Seeking permission from a husband who walked out

If they have not divorced yet, they should not live separately. They are still husband and wife. The rules about marriage are still valid.

69 Is marriage without flirtation not possible? What are the disadvantages of flirtation? Does Islam permit flirtation?

Flirtation brings about harms instead of benefits

The sentimental relationship between a woman and a man is called flirtation. When we look at the Western communities, flirtation was considered to be an experience and a type of education which was supposed to enable young people to become sentimentally mature, to get rid of their various complexes, to inform them about sexuality and to enable them to establish a conscious relationship by getting to know each other more before marriage and it was commonly tolerated.

However, sentimental relationships turned into physical relationship by leaps and bounds and fell off the agenda as if they were proclaiming the collapse of all the opinions and hypotheses regarding it. Western communities nowadays, on the one hand, are struggling against the social problems caused by the issue of flirtation which they used to consider as innocent relationships, on the other hand, they have begun to discuss the concepts like sexual liberty which has now replaced sentimental relationship. 

Today, flirtation, in other words, temporary illicit relationship with the excuse for young people to get to know each other before marriage has become common. Although it is against Islam, it might even appear among the people who are religiously sensitive now. Here at this point, we should say that the claim that “ young people have the opportunity to get to know each other if they meet and flirt before marriage. If their habits and perceptions do not match, they can end it before marriage, when they have not started it” is absolutely wrong.

Experiences show it is not like that. Today, the rate of divorce is the highest in the Western countries where people do not get married without flirtation. Both sides try to seem tolerant and conceal their bad habits when they meet in order to look good, on the stage of getting to know each other; in other words, they deceive each other. However, after marriage, the truth reveals. Yet, it is too late.

For this reason, the real faces of people to marry should be seen before marriage. And this is only done with investigation about those people by the experienced ones and by asking people who know them.

Furthermore, a man or woman who met many people when they were single will still have the desire to meet many people even after they get married. Living with a single person begins to make them bored in time and they begin to look for a change. As a result of this, cheatings, quarrels and murders which we see every day full page on the newspapers occur. An instant of carelessness, and desire for change blackens the life of people both in the world and the hereafter. Be careful!

They may seem meaningless to many people who are young because an advice given to a person who become infatuated is like nonsensical words of a mad man. For this reason, the Prophet says “ Infatuation makes people go blind and deaf”. (Kashfu’l Khafa, 2:129)

No matter what you tell a deaf person, he will not hear. A blind person cannot see no matter what you do. In this case, we should listen to the advice of our parents, relatives and friends who are far-sighted and experienced. Parents do not see the person with whom their son or daughter is planning to get married, the way they see them. They see it with the lessons of bitter experiences. Parents do not only look at the appearance but also at what is behind the curtain because the curtain prevents seeing what is real.

Is marriage without flirtation not possible?

The period of flirtation does not always reflect the real relationship. If flirtation could be lived the same as the real life, it might possibly provide us with hints and clues on how the marriage would be; however, this has several prices to be paid as you know. If flirtation is as we know it, that is, meeting sometimes and having a chat together, it is actually a period in which people perform a sort of personality which they do not display in their real lives.

For example, if a person spends twenty-three hours alone in a calm and quiet lifestyle and if they leave their need to have a chat or to wander into this one-hour meetings daily, he may behave like a talkative, lively and amusing person. And if the person “whom he dates” like lively, venturesome and social people, he may look good to her.

However, when it comes to marriage, she understands that the person who appeared to be active can only put up with one-hour wandering and chatting and he actually likes a calm and quiet lifestyle and this results in conflicts between this couple.

I have seen a plenty of people who flirted for three or four years but who became disappointed when they got married in several months. When marriage life begins, it is like the announcement “ you have watched the commercials and now the news”. 

You may say “ how can I choose a person to marry even without flirtation?”. Actually, it does not take too long for one to get to know a person. Researches have shown that especially women have the ability to assess a person and categorize him/her within the first three minutes.

For a careful person, features of the face, gestures, tone of voice, the way of speech even word choice may bear a number of signs about the character of a person. Especially women can evaluate these particular signs very well.

For instance, suppose you have asked the person whom you address “ It is nice today, isn’t it?”. You may receive various answers which refer to different personalities.

-It really is a nice weather. It fills human with enthusiasm. ( Lively, optimist)
-Do you enjoy such weather? (interested in the person he is talking to)
-Yep. (Reticent)
-You’re right, it really is, isn’t it? (Responsive, participative)
-It was nicer three days ago. (Living in the past)
-Yeah, but we’re stuck in the house in such a good weather. (Complaining, pessimist)

See, how many clues you can get out of even a single sentence as long as you look carefully, listen carefully and evaluate the clues. ( Dr. Yusuf Karacay)

What are the harms of flirtation?

Flirtation has many disadvantages: there is a trap in flirtation. In flirtation, women are mostly deceived and abandoned by men. The opposite is possible as well.

Flirtation may cause bitter experiences in young people. And many of these experiences may result badly. A person does not risk his life by putting gun powder in his pocket just to have an experience. It would be a bad idea to keep the powder next to fire. And it is also a bad idea to play with a snake just to learn how a snake stings.

Flirtation destroys the sense of logic and reasoning. A person who gets used to flirtation often changes partners. The man who deceives and abandons the girl is deemed as malicious and the deceived woman is considered as fool. For a Muslim woman, this is the most destructive disaster. Flirtation makes most of young people awful, extravagant and distraught. It causes inferiority complex, jealousy, grudge, hatred, pessimism and various psychological depressions among young people.

The desire of flirtation calls people to meet in isolated places. In the end, many young people fall into trouble, which cause them regret and pain afterwards.

In a research carried out at Pennsylvania University in USA, 1400 people who got married between years of 1964 and 1997 were asked about their experiences when they married.

Scientist Claire Kamp-Dush states that couples who share the same house before marriage are less happy than other couples and their rate of divorce is higher. He also states that considering that a separation might be easier, couples do not care too much about the relationship when they decide on it and their endeavor and children are effective on their decision to get married.

A young man who only cares for his satisfaction is easily done with the flower he smells and he looks for other flowers. He cannot be satisfied by this scene anymore; the secret, temptation, ties and knots in it come undone. He now looks for another attraction and a more mysterious tie and some other amusement. For this reason, girls or women should be careful about flirtation.

Does Islam permit flirtation?

Our religion does not permit such relationship by any means. Two strangers meeting in isolated places conduce to rebellion of their emotions and sentiments which they have in their nature to rise up. No one can make out what could happen after the rising of sexual emotions and their rebellion. A proverb says “do not keep the gunpowder next to the fire”.

Such relationships begin innocently but they end up with disappointment. Daily events stand as evidence for the fact that a majority of regrets even murders and evilness in social life are caused by not heeding this warning and exceeding the bounds between. Newspapers and television programs are full of such events, aren’t they?

Is there not any exception, is every woman or man like this? We cannot surely claim it. Every rule definitely has its exception. However, exceptions always remain exceptions; they do not change the rule itself.

Women should stay away from levity which might make them look suspicious and they should not become an object of amusement which is easily obtained and easily abandoned. Besides, men should not consider life as a place for lust only; they should not waste their energy that Allah bestowed upon them on such simple thoughts and emotions and they should use their mind and step onto the future this way.

Can I have a secret religious marriage with my girlfriend?

Today, plenty of young people ask this question. I am going to tell you a real story. A young boy asks Ahmet Hodja this question: “My Hodja! I want to have a religious marriage with my girlfriend with whom I would like to marry in the future. However, we know that our families will not allow this. Would it be acceptable if we have a secret religious marriage for now and establish our relationship and think of the official marriage when its time comes?”

Ahmet Hodja replies the boy : “I consider your wanting to have a religious marriage instead of the official one at first, wanting it to be secret as the deception of youth desires that you are under the pressure of. If a person is under the effect of his desires, he will find a way to realize these desires no matter how negative and untimely they are. It should be known that marriage is not that simple. You should consider it thoroughly.

In a religious marriage even if it is secret, rights of marriage completely come into existence and parties now assume the rights and responsibilities for each other. They even have their right of heritage. However, is it possible with the laws today to prove this marriage and to secure incurring rights?

And if one party gives up saying “I do not want to continue this secret marriage; it is not as attractive as it seemed!”, then what will the solution be? Men mostly lose their passion after a while and it then becomes easy to give it up for them; however, women become obliged even bound to be left-off and regret fills them with all its severity; but this regret does not help anything.

Meanwhile, when families who find out about this marriage are also included, then problems cause a deadlock. As it is expressed in the saying “a mad person throws a stone into a well but many clever people cannot take it out”, people become entangled in this miserable event. One solution remains and it is official marriage with witnesses in order to take back the incurred rights.

For this reason, according to Shafi’i school, people cannot get married without permission and acceptance of the family. According to Hanafi school, if parties are found to be unequal when families learn about the marriage, the right of divorce occurs. The best is to wait patiently for the time when families permit the marriage.

However, in order to bear such patience, people should keep away from levity which may cause them to exceed the bounds of legitimacy and from places which may stimulate emotions so that they can patiently wait for the time of marriage.

Otherwise, if secret meetings which lead to rebellion of emotions continue, people cannot obtain the patience to wait and they feel obliged to have a secret marriage untimely and they may end up complaining “why did the experienced elders not warn us?”. 

Do not become a victim of your temporary emotions

For this reason, keep away from places which may get your emotions our of control; do not make yourself obliged to make decisions against your mind and logic and even against your family’s acceptance, by exceeding the bounds of legitimacy. You should remember that if sexual emotions inside man are secured within legal bounds and kept away from temptation, they will not force the owner to make decisions out of mind and logic and to commit deeds which they may feel ashamed.

When these bounds are exceeded and they turn into suspicious intimate meetings with strangers, then motives of emotion which cause people make illogical decisions take place.

This warning of the Prophet (pbuh) also indicates its:

“A person who exceeds the legal bounds and make his lustful emotions rebel, is like someone who has lost  his mind completely or two thirds of it.” ( Kashfu’l Khafa, 2:129)

His decisions which he will make are not of his mind and logic but of his flaming emotions. Emotions are blind; he comes to his mind later but this time, it is too late for him. The only solution in order not to be exposed to such tragic events is to avoid meeting people suspiciously in isolated places and abstaining from tempting images and places, and to secure themselves.

Briefly, those who know the bounds of what is permitted and what is forbidden protect themselves and those who do not, feel obliged to make mistakes.

M. Ali Seyhan

70 Can a woman accept estate gifted to her by her terminally ill sister , without informing her other siblings?

Firstly, if a person appropriates an estate at his/her pleasure (which does not only belong to that person); that person becomes responsible for not giving other heirs’ shares. Also that unethical behaviour is accepted as a rightful share. If there is an injustice, it is advisable to put right that injustice without any force and compelling. If that injustice passes to hereafter without correcting, the repentance offered there will not be accepted. And also, Allah, the Great Forgiver, forgives a believer’s all sins if s/he sincerely repents; except the rightful share s/he committed.

Secondly, your aunt’s younger sister should have asked for the consent of other rightful owners. Without informing them to sign the official papers is not ethical. She becomes responsible for that. And what she did is a rightful share as well. As we expressed above, if there is a possibility for her to recorrect this mistake with her own desire, it is best for her.

After all, if you have right to get your due through a legal way, you can do it. But if it is legally impossible to get your due back, our recommendation to you is to abstain from illegal actions.

“Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.” (Quran: 99:7-8)

71 Is it religiously allowed to marry without the permission of Parents?

According to the Islamic laws, there are some conditions for the validity of the marriage. One of the conditions is that the couple should have the consent of the woman’s parent. This rule is accepted by three sects except Hanefi. The permission of the parents for the marriage is a “rukn” and condition (şart) for Hanbeli. According to all three sects, the marriage done without the permission of woman’s parents is invalid.

According to the sect Hanefi, the girls who didn’t reach adolescence, who are very immature that they can’t live on their own and those who are senile can’t marry without permission. People apart from those can marry without permissions of their parents, because, the word of the woman is binding in the marriage.

This is a rule of fiqh but, it is an Islamic tradition and family customs, it is the best decision to have the permission of the parents. Normally, people take permission of parents in marriage; they are first consulted and talked apart from some exceptions. When they have the opinion and the consent of the girl, they begin preparations for the marriage.

According to the three sects except Hanefi, the parents, which are rukn of the marriage, are in a position of “compelling parents”. In order; father, grandfather, mom-dad, brother become “compelling parents”. Actually these people can make a virgin girl marry without the permission of her.

This rule may seem absolute, but it has some exceptions and conditions. For example, when these five conditions occur, a woman can marry without permission on her own decisions. These conditions are:

1-When there is any kind of enmity between the woman and the parents of the men.
2-When there is any kind of enmity between the woman and the men' s ancestors
3-When the man is so poor that he can’t give “mihr” (livelihood)
4- When the man is so poor that he can’t give “mehri misil” (similar to mihr)
5-When the man is blind or very old.

In such situations, even if the parents use their authority, the marriage can’t be valid. Because it is clear that the woman will be in a difficult position, that she will have unrest and bad times. The main aim of the marriage is living in happiness and the family’s being the house of bliss.

According to the sect of Shafii, when a man wishes to marry a woman and the girl accepts but the parent objects to it and tries to hinder the marriage, they will be responsible and loses their position of parenthood. And again a proper man wishes to marry a woman but the father demands a very high “başlık” (money paid by the bridegroom to the bride’s family) as it happens in eastern parts of our country, he cant be compelling parent, his parenthood is ignored. The permission of him is not necessary anymore. If possible, people help them marry. If the parent tries to hinder it he gets into a great responsibility.  These bad events happen in places where “başlık” is common and parents bring about some sins and unrest by using their position of parenthood.

It depends on the sect that the permission of parents is included in the conditions of the marriage. But it is important in the respect of traditions and family’s own conditions. Sometimes a woman marries a man and can’t see some facts and can’t think clearly because she is inexperienced, she insists on marrying an improper man. But some time later, she realizes that her husband is improper for her and a continuous unrest begins to occur.

In such situations, the permission of the parents is an Islamic necessity and is suitable for respect to elders. But sometimes, as we mentioned above, the man and the woman who want to marry may be in harmony in respect of interest, idea and character. And the father objects to the marriage by having some prejudices about the man, in this situation it will be better to ignore him. According to the sect Hanefi the marriage is valid, so no need to have permission of him.

1. Hukuk-i islâmiye ve Istılâhat-ı Fıkhiyye Kamusu, 2: 55-8.
2. el-Ümm, 5: 20; Şafiî ilmihali, s. 443.

72 Isn't it unfair that a Muslim husband's family rejects a Christian lady for marriage?

The verse 221 of the Surah al-Baqara clearly and apparently tells us that marriages between polytheists and Muslims are forbidden regardless of gender. A polytheist is a person who associates partners with Allah and who believes that there are other gods and who worships them. As for the People of the Scripture (Book), according to Islam, it means the people who had got further away and deviated from their original religions in terms of belief and worship when Islam emerged, who believed in a prophet and the religion he brought even if they lost their original books and who regarded their religion as the true religion although it was distorted according to Islam. When looked at closely, it can be seen that there are some polytheistic elements within faiths of the People of the Scripture, at least in some of them; they think that some created people like Jesus and Mary have some features special to Allah and worship them. For that reason, the faith of the People of the Scripture cannot save them from Hell unless they clear their faith from the polytheistic components. Despite this, since Christians and Jews have had some beliefs and applications based on revelation even if in part and are probably more inclined to believe in the Right Religion, they have been given some privileges and they have been made exempt from some of the laws peculiar to unbelievers. One of those exceptions relevant to our issue is that “Muslim men are allowed to marry women of the People of the Book”.

In the verse 5 of the Surah al-Maeda, after it is expressed that Muslim men and women can eat foods of the People of the Book (if offered), it is said that just Muslim men can marry women from the People of the Book; it is not stated that a Muslim woman can marry a man from the People of the Book. As there is nothing about it, we need to arrive at a decision based on the applications of the Prophet (pbuh); if there is not such an application, then we need to come to a decision by making comparison. Since women and men are subject to different rules about marriage, it is not possible to apply a rule about one gender for the other. Therefore,  a comparison was not made about the issue. As a matter of fact, before comparison, there is Sunnah. Some Sahabah and mujtahids who bring a different comment on the verse, said that even marriages between Muslim men and woman from the People of the Scripture is not halal (permitted) after the death of the Prophet. As for the issue about a Muslim woman’s marriage to a man from the People of the Scripture, they did not even make it a matter of discussion. There were men from the People of the Scripture in places where Muslim women lived in the time of our Prophet but there was not an example of such a marriage; there has been a consensus about that it is not halal. Fiqh scholars accepting that judgment as a rule based their views on this verse of the Quran about women who migrated from the country of unbelievers to a Muslim country in addition to the evidences mentioned above “O ye who believe ! When believing women come to you as Refugees, examine them. Allah knows best their faith. Then if you find them true believers, send them not back to the unbelievers.” Being supported by some other evidences, it was concluded that that the word “unbeliever” mentioned above included the People of the Scripture and that a Muslim woman could not get married to a man from the People of the Scripture or could not maintain her marriage ( al-Baqara 2/212). Most of the Fiqh scholars did not see a difference between marriages that continued and new marriages and some Fiqh scholars paying attention especially to some applications in the time of our Prophet and Umar said that it was not permissible to get married but that the marriage would not be invalid if one of the spouses became a Muslim ( Ibn Qayyim, Ahkam'u Ahli'z-Zimma, Damascus 1961, , 317 et al. , 340 et al.). Qardavi, one of contemporary scholars, also accepted that judgment.

It is natural that Islam wants to be spread and be accepted by people. A more natural outcome of it is to maintain the religion of the people and the following generations that believe in it. Maintaining it becomes possible through education and the most important means of education is family. If there are two religions in a family, it will affect the children and will pose a serious risk for them. For this reason, the ideal one is that Muslims get married to Muslims and start a family. If there is not a compulsory reason for it, a Muslim man should get married to a Muslim woman. It is more important that the husband of a Muslim woman should be a Muslim in terms of protection, education, and influence. In some matters like the continuation of the lineage, heritage, and guardianship, if the father is not a Muslim, there will be a series of problems. We can easily understand why it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to get married to a non-Muslim man when all those reasons are taken into consideration.

Prof. Dr. Hayrettin Karaman

73 What should a recently converted Muslim woman do If she has already had a marriage with a non-Muslim man?

As you said, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man.

As is learned from Islamic sources, at the time of Umar Ibn-i Khattab's caliphate, may Allah be pleased with him, a Christian woman became Muslim, but her husband did not become Muslim. Thereupon, Caliph Umar divorced them. (See V. Zuhayli, al-Fıkhu’l-Islami, 7/158)
If the couples become Muslim together, their former marriage is valid. (Zuhayli,7159).
According to the majority of Muslim scholars, if a Christian woman becomes Muslim and her husband does not become Muslim, after the period of “iddat” (the time period a divorced woman has to wait before marrying another man) ends, they get divorced. (Halil Günenç, al-Muntahabatu’l-Fıkhiyya, p.199)
The best way is to persuade your husband immediately and to enable him to become a Muslim.
Let us point out that you have saved your eternal life by choosing Islam. For this reason, whatever the circumstances, do not ever turn back from this way. We believe that you can talk to your husband and persuade him in the three-month period of “iddat” and we pray for you.
If this time does not suffice, -without sexual intercourse- you can share the same house and thus earn some more time. Indeed, instead of being outside of Islam, other sins may even be preferred unwillingly.
As is narrated from some scholars, Umar Ibn-i Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “After becoming Muslim, a non-Muslim (Christian) woman, if she wills, may divorce her non-Muslim husband, and if she wills, may wait for him to become Muslim (without engaging in sexual intercourse). Even if after years, when her husband becomes Muslim, their marriage continues.” (Günenç, the work mentioned, p.200. –For more information, see Ibn Kayyim, ahkamu’z-zimme, 2/641-648).
May Allah be your helper, Who has sent Jesus Christ and Muhammad as Prophets, peace and blessings upon them both.

74 Is it religiously permissible for the spouses to kiss each other when their children are around?

It is not appropriate for a man to kiss his wife with lust, no matter from which part of her, when their children are around. It is not appropriate to kiss her on the lips even without lust when their children are around. However, it is permissible to kiss her on the forehead or on the cheek without lust.

It is religiously permissible for the spouses to kiss each other’s hands if it is all right in terms of customs and traditions.

75 What should a woman do If her husband has more than one wife and doesn't treat them fairly?

In such a situation, it is the duty of husband to settle the matter. The intervention of the other wives can cause greater problems. The other wives should just request from their husband to protect their rights. If the husband is interested in one of his wives more than the others, he is considered to violate the rights of other wives.
The Prophet said:
If someone has two wives and he does not treat them fairly, he will be resurrected partly paralyzed in the Day of Judgment.” (Ibn Majah, marriage 47).
Islamic rules about polygamy
1) The limitation of the number: unlimited marriage that was prevalent during the time of Jahiliyya was taken under control. After the relevant verse was sent down, those who had more than four wives divorced the extras.
2) Treating wives fairly: it is necessary to treat wives fairly in terms of providing food, clothing, housing, sexual intercourse and love. However, it is almost impossible to treat them fairly in terms of love and affection. Various spiritual and physical features of a woman will bring about difference in the level of love and affection. No matter how hard a man tries, it is close to impossible to achieve equality.
God Almighty says:
Ye are never able to do justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding and practise self-restraint, Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” (The woman: an-Nisa, 129)

In that verse of the Quran, Allah forgives men if they cannot show an exact equality toward women about love and affection. He just prohibits them from neglecting other wives by being completely interested in one of his wives and He orders men to try their best to act equally. In a Hadith, the following is stated about the issue:
If someone has two wives and if he is interested in one and neglects the other, he will be resurrected partly paralyzed in the Day of Judgment.” (Ibn Majah, marriage 47 Mishkatu’l-masabih, 2/196).

Please click on the link given below to learn about Polygamy

What are the conditions of polygamy?

76 What is the age that girls are recommended to cover their bodies in accordance with tasattur?

Since human beings can differentiate between the good and the evil only after they reach the age of puberty, our Lord will not question us about our childhood in the Gathering Place (mahshar); however, He will question us about our responsibilities of worshipping like prayer (salah), fasting, tasattur, etc beginning from the day that we reach puberty; so our religious responsibility starts from the age of puberty.

However, the time of puberty is not certain.  A boy may reach puberty at any day beginning from the age of 12 and a girl beginning from the age of 9 until they reach the age of 15. The age of puberty starts with wet dreams (ejaculation) for boys and menstruation for girls; beginning from that moment, the responsibilities are recorded separately in the form of “done” or “missed” in the book of deeds.

If a boy does not have wet dreams (ejaculation) and if a girl does not menstruate although they reach the age of 15, they are regarded responsible beginning from the age of 15.

Allah created people in different structures. It can be shown as one of the reasons of the difference of the age of puberty. However, in general, people reach the age of puberty at about the same periods.

77 Can a woman take care of her parents without her husband’s permission? Does a woman have to take care of her husband’s parents?

Answer 1:

In a family, matters like love, respect and service are mutual. In the duties of the couple for each other, both of them should be willing to take the first step. One that seeks self-sacrifice from his/her spouse should show sacrifice first and s/he who wants his/her spouse to take care of his/her parents should take care of their spouse’s parents first. Therefore, there will be peace in the family and the conflict of you-me will be resolved.

If parents are in need, their children must take care of them. A woman has some duties toward both her husband and children and her parents in the first place and her relatives. She should not neglect anyone while fulfilling her duty for another. However, she should let her husband know while she fulfils these duties.

It is best for a woman whose parents should be taken care of to do this duty by asking for permission from her husband. However, if her parents are ill and if there is no one to take care of them, then she can visit to take care of them without her husband’s permission. Even if her parents are not Muslims and they live in an Islamic country, it is the same for them. ( Bazzaziyya, Fatawa al-Hindiyya, Beirut, 1400 V: 1, p : 341)

Answer 2:

A woman does not have to take care of her husband’s parents according to Islamic jurispuridence. She does not have such responsiblity. However, on condition that there is no one else to take care of them and if they need their care, it is both a religious and a humanistic duty for a woman to share the responsibilty of her husband to take take care of them .

However, the peace and bliss of the married couple, who share the same life, is not provided by formal law but social etiquette, principles of good manners, criteria of piety and duties for humanity. In Islam, it is important that a woman attain her husband’s approval. The easiest way to do this is treating the parents well and gain their contentment.

78 Can the spouses continue their lives in the world similarly in the hereafter?

Man has thousands of feeling. Allah will give man tables that will satisfy all of those feelings in the hereafter. Therefore, Allah will satisfy each one of our feelings and faculties no matter if they are mental, emotional, related to the heart or the soul without ignoring any as long as we obey the limits imposed by Allah for those feelings in this world.

In the Quran, detailed information is given about the bounties of Paradise, and the consent and pleasure of Allah have been promised to man, who has a tendency toward all kinds of perfection and desires the highest level of it with great love. Paradise, which contains all spiritual and emotional bounties, also contains all of the bodily and material tastes. Eating, drinking and marriage are listed among the highest bounties of Paradise. According to the statements of the Quran and hadiths, the family lives that are set up in the world will continue in the hereafter and husband-wife relationship will go on forever in Paradise if both spouses deserve to go Paradise. However, the spouses that have no belief and that die as deniers will be separated from their spouses eternally and be punished in Hell for their denial forever even if they are they are the wives of Noah and Lot or the husband of Asiya (the Pharaoh).

God Almighty will purify the believing women that go to Paradise from all of their worldly faults and deficiencies by His mercy and power, and give them to their husbands as spotlessly clean. The world women who will be created more beautifully than houris will be eternal friends of their husbands and they will be sultans of the houris. They will enjoy Paradise forever with the people they love and without having any feeling of jealousy and rivalry. Believing men and women who die before getting married will be married in Paradise and there will be no unmarried people in Paradise.

It is possible to give the following short information about the issue asked in the question:

a. In general, the togetherness of each couple (husband-wife) will continue in Paradise. 

b. Women who die as single will be married to people they like.

c. A woman who married two or more men in the world will marry her first husband in Paradise – if she married other husbands as a result of the death of her first husband – but according to another view, she will marry her last husband. However, she can marry the one that she likes the most. (cf Alusi; Duhan, interpretation of the verse 44/54)

d. Everybody will be given what he/she wants in Paradise but if one spouse wants the other one but the other one does not want him/her, the one that wants will be married to a similar person (if there is consciousness or demand like that), and the one that does not want will be left free to choose whomever he/she wants.

- It should not be forgotten that there will be nothing saddening in Paradise. When a person marries someone, no matter whom, there will be no one more beautiful and beloved than his/her spouse for him. The sadnesses and aspirations in the world are not in question there. In other words, the aspirations and longings remaining from the world will be satisfied by reunion or nothing will be left from them as long as both couples go to Paradise. Therefore, it is necessary to compete in taqwa, that is, in obeying the orders and prohibitions of Allah, which is a prerequisite for going to Paradise.

Please click on the links given below;

Do all your wishes become true in the paradise? How it will be possible?

Does Sexual Life exist in Paradise?

79 what are wifes duties towards husband and vice versa?

The duties of a woman toward her husband:

1- Contentment: Being content is one of the reasons for the ease of the heart; a woman should avoid alienating her husband from herself and from the home by her shamelessness and greed. Contentment means to feel content with what is sufficient and not to be greedy.   

2- Obedience to the husband: Our Prophet (pbuh) said, “a woman with whom her husband is pleased will go to Paradise when she dies.”

3- Cleanliness: To pay attention to the places that her husband sees and to clean those places. One should know that the best thing for cleanliness is water. She should always wear nice scents.  

4- Meeting his needs: To pay attention to the time when her husband eats a meal, not to pass the time for sleep, to prepare the meal and the bed in accordance with the habits of her husband.  

5- Protecting his goods: To protect her husband’s property and belongings because protecting the property and belongings shows that she is a skillful woman.

6- Showing respect to relatives: To show respect to the relatives of her husband because if a woman shows respect to the relatives of her husband, it means she is a good housewife and manager.

7- Keeping secrets: The woman must not tell anyone about the secrets of her husband. If she reveals his secrets, she will lose the trust of her husband, and she cannot be sure about him anymore.  

8- Respect: To fulfill the orders of her husband, not to oppose him and to obey him.  If she opposes him, she may cause him to have a grudge against her and become hostile toward her. 

In addition, it is not permissible for a man to force his wife to do something that he wants, and religiously, the woman does not have to do things like that. For instance, a woman does not have to cook a meal or take care of her child. However, it is better for her to do legitimate and positive things (even if she does not like it) for the peace and safety of the family in order to establish mutual respect among the members of the family.

Division of labor between the wife and husband in the family:

In Islam, the family is one of the main holy things that need to be protected. Therefore, the family is not left unattended; someone that will protect the members of the family is deemed responsible as the head of the family. That person should be strong and powerful enough to make the other members obey him so that he will control those who go beyond the limits and keep them within the legitimate bounds. It will be the father and the husband that can act authoritatively in the family and make everybody obey him. 

In Islam, the head of the family is not completely independent. On the contrary, the head of the family is someone who undertakes the heavy burden of the responsibility of the family and to be the breadwinner. That is, the responsibility of working outside and bringing home the bread lies on the father and the husband. The woman does not have to work outside and bring home the bread.

When our Prophet (pbuh) married Fatima, his daughter, with Hazrat Ali, his son-in-law, he assigned the tasks in the home to Fatima and the tasks outside the home to Ali and said,

- To bring water from the fountain, to knead dough and bake bread, to clean the home and to arrange the things in the house belong to Fatima. The tasks outside the house belong to Ali.  

However, it is permissible for the man to help his wife to do housework and for the woman to help her husband outside the house. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) helped his family with the housework, and it is stated in the religious books that it is sunnah for men to help with the housework.

Does a woman have to cook for her husband?

The food, clothes, the residence of a woman have to be provided by her husband within the legitimate conditions. It is necessary to avoid extravagance. Our Prophet (pbuh) said to a woman, “Take kindly from the goods of your husband what will be enough for you and your child.”

It is an ethical duty and an honorable service for a woman to cook meals, to bake bread, to do the washing, sweep the rooms, to arrange the housework and to try to relieve the burden of her husband. (Hukuku İslamiyye Ö. N. Bilmen 2/483)

Our Prophet (pbuh) said to Fatima, his daughter, "You should do the housework and Ali should do the tasks outside the house.” Our Prophet is the best model and example for us in everything, including the family life. The most important reason of the problems we have today is the fact that we have moved away from the Quran and the Sunnah.

Can a woman be forced to breastfeed her child?

The father (husband) shall bear the cost of their (the mother and the child’s) food and clothing on equitable terms." (al-Baqara 233)

A woman cannot be forced to breastfeed the baby she gave birth to. However, if the baby does not suckle any other woman than its mother, then she is forced. Allah stated the following in the Quran:

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years.”( al-Baqara 233) That verse is evidence that women breastfeed their children.

When the mother does not breastfeed her baby, the father has to hire a wet nurse to breastfeed the baby near her mother because the right to protect and educate the baby belongs to the mother.

To breastfeed the baby is necessary for the mother religiously because the sentence in the Quran: “The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years." is a strong imperative sentence. (Mawqufat 1/597)

The woman should treat the family of her husband well:

Another aspect of treating her husband well for a Muslim woman is to treat the parents of her husband well and to show them respect and appreciation. The woman does a favor to her husband by helping her mother-in-law. Therefore, the husband treats his wife and her mother well in return. The woman actually does herself a favor by doing so because Allah says the following in the Quran, " Is there any Reward for Good other than Good?” (ar-Rahman 60)

Our Prophet (pbuh) stated the following, "The best among you are those who are useful to people."

The mercy that our Prophet (pbuh) teaches his ummah includes not only the relatives but also the whole mankind. The following is stated in a hadith:

He who shows no mercy, will receive no mercy.” (Muslim)

"Allah shows mercy to those who shows mercy to others. Show mercy to those on the earth so that those in the sky will show mercy to you. "( Tirmidhi)

Mercy is not only a feeling of pity as some people think. It is a comprehensive feeling that develops with love and grows with help and altruism. If there is no mercy in a heart, that heart is ill.

Today, some people cause the family life to be unbearable by saying, ‘the woman does not have to wash the clothes of the man; she does not have to breastfeed her baby”. Although she does not have to do them, there exists a religious and humane aspect of the issue and a dimension of mercy. A woman civil servant serves many people that she knows or does not know for at least eight hours a day in return for the money that she receives; why should she not obey her husband, children, her husband’s mother and father? Those strange ideas and similar mistakes cause the break-up of many families and discontent. Families need love more than anything else.  

For the happiness of the families in the world and the hereafter, the members of the family must obey Allah and His Messenger first, and then to each other for their legitimate desires of each other. They must not obey anyone if it involves committing sins. 

Secondly, if everyone fulfils their responsibilities toward each other, the happiness of the family will be realized. Otherwise, the family life becomes unbearable. Another aspect is that life is not related only to this world; there is also life in the hereafter, which is the real life. We should establish such a family life that it would be a life in the atmosphere of the Quran and Sunnah, a Paradise life with people of common sense. Allah likes those who act with goodwill and common sense.

WOMAN AS A FAMILY MEMBER

Islam says men and women are created as equal existences innately “O! Mankind we have created you from a male and female…”(el-Hucurat, 49/13). Again Islam religion says there is no discrimination between men and women, and says there is no superiority over each other in birth, death and in hereafter, because a person will account for his deeds to God alone and without supporters. (Meryem, 19/93). Women who are believers and have righteous deeds and be on the way of God are mentioned in groups that will grant a happy life in paradise forever (en-Nahl, 16/97).

The difference between a man and a woman results from organs and women are told to be fragile and delicate being. So we see differences in functions of these two sexs in individual and life and society and see that the woman is protected. Islam religion neither pushes women down to lower levels just like in the beliefs of “ignorance life”  nor makes her live in a maternal ( the rule of women in the family) life model. It made such a good family model that each member of it has a special duty and there is nothing unfair in these duties against each other. The order of Islam made a model that broke a new ground with its new rules thus hindered all kinds of behaviors that may be an element of pressure on men or women in the family.

Islam made the man the head of the family. “Men are the protectors of the women (they are the heads of the families.) Because God has made the one (man) superior to the other (woman), and because they spend their wealth to maintain them…” (En-Nisâ, 4/34).

Again God said in another verse “…And women have rights against men; men are a degree above them in status, and God is the All-mighty, the All-wise. (El-Bakara, 2/228) So, it is inferred that man is given the status of being the head of the family. Man has a great responsibility since he is supposed to meet all needs of the family and protect the family from outside dangers. However, the husband can’t interfere with the wife’s own money and give her some extra responsibilities. She can even want her husband to have a babysitter if she likes. She may not do house chores. But such tasks and responsibilities about work and house are signs of taqwa of the woman, so those are advised to do by the Prophet. The woman is obliged to obey the demands of man in the acceptable circle.

To maintain Islamic family life is possible with the ptotection of rights between husband and wife. “You have rights against your wives, and your wives have rights against you” (Tirmizi, Radâ', 11). The meaning of the obedience of the woman in mutual rights is to fulfill her duties against her husband in acceptual circle.

THE RIGHTS A WOMAN HAS AGAINST HER HUSBAND

Since husband has to maintain his wife, he has to meet her material comforts and needs. He must do that in Islamic ways. (En-Nisa, 4/34). The man is liable to have a good relationship with his wife and is liable to protect her rights. “… You should live with them in an honorable manner, even if you dislike them; it is possible that God may bring much good to you through that very thing you dislike. (He may give you a good son or daughter or you start to have a good relation with each other.)” (En-Nisâ, 4/1 9).

Islam forbids man to misuse his position of being head of the family. The aim in this is to carry on the order of the family. So, it is not religiously allowed for man to use that position on woman in a bad way. When he behaves so, the relation between the wife and the husband will be good and normal.

Islam lets a woman use her adequacy and abilities in social relationships as much as possible in acceptable level. Again it gives freedom about working and doing some tasks and get educated to help to muslim people as much as possible. (Buhârî, İlim, 36; İbrahim Cemal, Müslüman Kadının Fıkıh Kitabı ( the fiqh book of the muslim woman), terc. Beşir Eryarsoy, İstanbul 1987, s. 483 vd.).

“The woman is like a rib bone. If you try to straighten, it breaks. If you want to be happy, be happy with that warp” (Buhârî, Nikâh, 79). “The best of you is the one who treats his wife best.” (Tirmizi, Radâ, 11; İbn Mace, Nikâh, 50). We infer from these hadiths that the Prophet continually warns Muslim men about their wives and adviced them to get on well with them. A woman shouldn’t be beaten, she should be adviced. But, if the woman is being refractory and doesn’t obey her husband in Islamic levels, sits and spends time with people that she shouldn’t be with, spends her husband money extravagantly and doesn’t try to keep family secrets, she gets a warn then the vehemence of the warn is increased. If there is no good result, she can be beaten a little just for intimidating (en-Nisa, 4/34). But if that is useless and doesn’t change the woman in the positive way, she should never be beaten.

THE RIGHTS A HUSBAND HAS AGAINST HIS WIFE

“Men are the protectors of the women. Because God has made the one (man) superior to the other (woman), and because they spend their wealth to maintain them…” (En-Nisâ, 4/34).”Righteous women are obedient; they guard their rights carefully in their absence under the care and watch of God….” (En-Nisa, 4/34).
The women should be obedient and respectful against their husbands so that the husband can do his duties as needed. The women are obliged to obey their husbands in acceptable conditions. And house chores and raising the childeren are things that increase her taqwa. Because Islam didn’t make such an obligation but encouraged it and told them that they will gain the consent of the God if they do so.
Men are superior to women since they have some features and qualifications that women lack. That doesn’t mean that they are superior in virtue and honour (Mevdûdî, Tefhimu'l Kur'an, I, İstanbul 1986, s. 317, 318). “If a woman performs her daily prayers five times a day, and fasts a mounth in a year, keeps her chastity and obeys her husband, the doors of the paradise is open to her” (Buhârî, Miskat, II, 202). But the obedience here must be in the frame of God’s demands. If the husband ignores that it is unnecessary for the wife to obey her husband, because, obedience to God has the priority over the obedience to the husband.

It is a need satisfaction between the wife and the husband. So, it is not good to ignore that both by the wife and the husband. The wife should know the condition of the husband and be respectful to him. Islam says that women and men are equal in creation. There is no difference in punishments in the world between the women and men. The punishments of the crimes committed against women are the same with the punishments of the crimes committed against men.In sharing the inheritance; women get the half of what the men have. This is not humiliating and inequality. When we know the view of Islam against women, that  the men are responsible in maintaining the family and that expenses of the women before marriage belongs to the parents and after the marriage it belongs to the men, it is clearly understandable what kind of wisdom God wishes about that.

The woman is free not to spend from the amount that is inherited for the man except ones with her consent. However the man is obliged to spend when necessary. So, the woman may inherit and may not touch it. (İbrahim Cemal, a.g.e. s. 485).

God has created the woman as the house owner. The man is liable to maintain the family and gain money, and the woman is liable to spend that money to run the house, because, the woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house. Islam doesn’t give responsibility to woman in works outside the house. Koran encouraged women to stay in the house by saying “And stay in your houses” (el-Ahzâb, 33/33). But in some situations, it is necessary to go out for women. For example; when the woman has no man to maintain her life, when the woman has to work since the family has economical problems, when the man is sick and is not able to work. When the woman faces such events, there is a way out to relief in Islam. “God lets you women go out for your needs”. (Buhârî-Müslim). But against all these, in today’s circumstances, a muslin woman is unable to protect herself from the eyes of the wicked people in the streets however she obeys the Islamic rules. In this respect, it is better for a woman to be away from the streets even if she is in economical problems.

Islam gives the woman some tasks in the house and solves the problem of working. Islam saves the soul of the human who have betrayal in harem and selâm.

[Seyyid Kutub, İslâm Kapitalizm Çatışması, (clash of Islam and capitalism) İstanbul 1988, s. 129; also see Said Havva, İslâm, terc. Said Şimşek, Ankara ts., s. 197 vd; İbrahim Cemal, a.g.e. s. 481 vd; Mustafa Sibai, Kadının Yeri (the place of the woman), İstanbul 1988, s. 57 vd.; Abdullah Nasuh Ulvan, İslâmda Aile Eğitimi(the education of the family in Islam), I, s. 221 vd.; Ömer Ferruh, İslâm Aile Hukuku terc(Islamic family law). Yusuf Ziya Kavakcı, İstanbul 1976, s. 228 vd; Hz. Peygamber ve Aile Hayatı(The Prophet and his family life), Komisyon, İstanbul 1989, s. 171 vd.; M. Ali Haşimi, Kur'an ve Sünnette Müslüman Şahsiyeti( The character of a muslim in Koran and sunnah), terc. Resul Tosun, İstanbul 1988, s. 63 vd.>.

80 What are the responsibilities of a woman within the family and her duties toward her husband?

The duties of a woman toward her husband:

1- Contentment: Being content is one of the reasons for the ease of the heart; a woman should avoid alienating her husband from herself and from the home by acting shamelessly and greedily. Contentment means to feel content with what is sufficient and not to be greedy.

2- Obedience to the husband: Our Prophet (pbuh) said,

“A woman with whom her husband is pleased will go to Paradise when she dies.” (Ibn Majah, Nikah, 4)

3- Cleanliness: To pay attention to the places that her husband sees and to clean those places. One should know that the best thing for cleanliness is water. She should always wear nice scents.  

4- Meeting his needs: To pay attention to the time when her husband eats a meal, not to pass the time for sleep, to prepare the meal and the bed in accordance with the habits of her husband.

5- Protecting his goods: To protect her husband’s property and belongings because protecting the property and belongings shows that she is a skillful woman.

6- Showing respect to relatives: To show respect to the relatives of her husband because if a woman shows respect to the relatives of her husband, it means she is a good housewife and manager.

7- Keeping secrets: The woman must not tell anyone about the secrets of her husband. If she reveals his secrets, she will lose the trust of her husband, and she cannot be sure about him anymore.  

8- Respect: To fulfill the orders of her husband, not to oppose him and to obey him.  If she opposes him, she may cause him to have a grudge against her and become hostile toward her. 

In addition, it is not permissible for a man to force his wife to do something that he wants, and religiously, the woman does not have to do things like that. For instance, a woman does not have to cook a meal or take care of her child. However, it is better for her to do legitimate and positive things (even if she does not like it) for the peace and safety of the family in order to establish mutual respect among the members of the family.

Division of labor between the wife and husband in the family:

In Islam, the family is one of the main holy things that need to be protected. Therefore, the family is not left unattended; someone that will protect the members of the family is deemed responsible as the head of the family. That person should be strong and powerful enough to make the other members obey him so that he will control those who go beyond the limits and keep them within the legitimate bounds. It is the father and the husband that can act authoritatively in the family and make everybody obey him.

In Islam, the head of the family is not completely independent. On the contrary, the head of the family is someone who undertakes the heavy burden of the responsibility of the family and to be the breadwinner. That is, the responsibility of working outside and bringing home the bread lies on the father and the husband. The woman does not have to work outside and bring home the bread.

When our Prophet (pbuh) married Fatima, his daughter, off to Hazrat Ali, his son-in-law, he assigned the tasks in the home to Fatima and the tasks outside the home to Ali and said,

“To bring water from the fountain, to knead dough and bake bread, to clean the home and to arrange the things in the house belong to Fatima. The tasks outside the house belong to Ali.”  

However, it is permissible for the man to help his wife to do housework and for the woman to help her husband outside the house. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) helped his family with the housework, and it is stated in the religious books that it is sunnah for men to help with the housework.

Does a woman have to cook for her husband?

The food, clothes, the residence of a woman have to be provided by her husband within the legitimate conditions. It is necessary to avoid extravagance. Our Prophet (pbuh) said to a woman, “Take kindly from the goods of your husband what will be enough for you and your child.”

It is an ethical duty and an honorable service for a woman to cook meals, to bake bread, to do the washing, sweep the rooms, to arrange the housework and to try to relieve the burden of her husband. (Hukuku İslamiyye Ö. N. Bilmen 2/483)

Our Prophet (pbuh) said to Fatima, his daughter, "You should do the housework and Ali should do the tasks outside the house.”

Our Prophet is the best model and example for us in everything, including the family life. The most important reason of the problems we have today is the fact that we have moved away from the Quran and the Sunnah.

Can a woman be forced to breastfeed her child?

The father (husband) shall bear the cost of their (the mother and the child’s) food and clothing on equitable terms." (al-Baqara 233)

A woman cannot be forced to breastfeed the baby she gave birth to. However, if the baby does not suckle any other woman than its mother, then she is forced. Allah stated the following in the Quran:

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years.”(al-Baqara, 2/ 233) That verse is evidence that women breastfeed their children.

When the mother does not breastfeed her baby, the father has to hire a wet nurse to breastfeed the baby near her mother because the right to protect and educate the baby belongs to the mother.

To breastfeed the baby is necessary for the mother religiously because the sentence in the Quran: “The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years." is a strong imperative sentence. (Mawqufat 1/597)

The woman should treat the family of her husband well:

Another aspect of treating her husband well for a Muslim woman is to treat the parents of her husband well and to show them respect and appreciation. The woman does a favor to her husband by helping her mother-in-law. Therefore, the husband treats his wife and her mother well in return. The woman actually does herself a favor by doing so because Allah says the following in the Quran, " Is there any Reward for Good other than Good?” (ar-Rahman, 55/ 60)

Our Prophet (pbuh) stated the following,

"The best among you are those who are good to people."

The mercy that our Prophet (pbuh) teaches his ummah includes not only the relatives but also the whole mankind. The following is stated in a hadith:

He who shows no mercy to the people will receive no mercy from Allah.” (Bukhari, Tawhid 2, Adab 27; Muslim, Fadail 66, Tirmidhi, Bırr 16)

"Allah shows mercy to those who shows mercy to others. Show mercy to those on the earth so that those in the sky will show mercy to you. " (see. Abu Dawud, Adab 58; Tirmidhi, Bırr 16)

Mercy is not only a feeling of pity as some people think. It is a comprehensive feeling that develops with love and grows with help and altruism. If there is no mercy in a heart, that heart is ill.

Today, some people cause the family life to be unbearable by saying, “the woman does not have to wash the clothes of the man; she does not have to breastfeed her baby”. Although she does not have to do them, there exists a religious and humane aspect of the issue and a dimension of mercy.

A woman civil servant serves many people that she knows or does not know for at least eight hours a day in return for the money that she receives; why should she not obey her husband, children, her husband’s mother and father? Those strange ideas and similar mistakes cause the break-up of many families and discontent. Families need love more than anything else.  

For the happiness of the families in the world and the hereafter, the members of the family must obey Allah and His Messenger first, and then each other for their legitimate desires of each other. They must not obey anyone if it involves committing sins.

On the other hand, if everyone fulfils their responsibilities toward each other, the happiness of the family will be realized. Otherwise, the family life becomes unbearable. Another aspect is that life is not limited with only this world; there is also life in the hereafter, which is the real life. We should establish such a family life that it would be a life in the atmosphere of the Quran and Sunnah, a Paradise life with people of common sense. Allah likes those who act with good will and common sense.

A working woman can be near men in the same place as much as her work necessitates. However, this being together must not exceed the necessity of the work and must not be regarded as ikhtilat (men and women mixing freely). The administrators in the workplace must be careful about the issue and must not force Muslim women to work and sit together with men unnecessarily, must not pressurize them; the workmates of the women should understand them.

It is a praiseworthy act that in Turkey in intercity buses, a non-mahram man is not allowed to sit near a woman and that seat is left empty if there is not another woman to sit next to her. It is the right of the Muslim women (who want to live in accordance with their belief) to expect the same niceness in government offices and workplaces.” (Hayreddin Karaman, Kadın ve Aile, p, 98)

Yes, the criterion regarding the understanding of family in Islam is more or less like that: The husband needs to take care of the works outside the house and meet the needs of the family; the wife needs to do the housework and other domestic tasks. It is always possible for them to help each other in their duties. However, if the woman feels that she must work outside, she needs to talk to her husband about its conditions and decide together with him. If the workplace and working conditions are not suitable, she does not have to insist and she needs to give priority to the happiness of the family.

“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.” (an-Nahl, 16/97)

“...Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: ye are members one of another...” (Aal-i Imran, 3/195)

81 If one's parents are sinners, how can that person obey them? What are the boundaries of obeying parents?

Asma bint Abi Bakr narrates:

"My mother, who was still a polytheist then, came to my house. I asked the Prophet (pbuh) how I should treat her:

'My mom has come to my house and wants to talk to me. Shall I treat her well?' The Prophet (pbuh) said,

'Yes. Show respect to her.'" [Bukhari, Hiba 28, Adab 8; Muslim, Zakah 50 (1003); Abu Dawud, Zakah, 34 (1668)]

There are discussions about Asma's mother mentioned in the hadith. What matters for us is the decree the hadith expresses. It is understood from the hadith that it is necessary to fulfill our duties and to show respect toward our parents even if they are unbelievers. The decree that it is wajib to give nafaqa (sustenance money) to parents even if they are unbelievers is extracted from this hadith.

The importance of the issue to show respect to parents and to give them sustenance money even if they are unbelievers is understood from the fact that revelation was sent after the hadith mentioned above and the issue was made definite by the Quran:

"Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just." (al-Mumtahina, 60/8)

The following verse is clearer regarding respect toward parents:

"But if they strive to make the join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love)…" (Luqman, 31/15)

According to those explanations, it is understood directly that it is necessary to show respect to Muslim parents no matter how sinful they are.

To obey is one thing and to rebel is another. We are ordered to definitely obey our parents unless rebellion against Allah is in question. Then, it is necessary to fulfill all of their orders that are not contrary to the orders of Allah. Their request that are contrary to Allah’s orders cannot be fulfilled; however, it is necessary not to rebel against them. These requests are not fulfilled; it is better to keep silent and to continue showing respect to them.

It is Allah who changes hearts. It is necessary to take refuge in Him. The love and respect shown to parents by children may cause the hearts of parents to soften. The aim should be to win their hearts.

Our religion regards aunts and uncles as mothers and fathers. Therefore, respect shown to them is regarded as respect shown to parents. Their haram requests cannot be fulfilled but it is necessary to show respect to them and to visit them.

As for the other relatives, it is not appropriate to stop visiting them. Instead of stopping visiting them, it is necessary to try to show them the right path even if they are sinners.

Anybody can act like a brother when a person has a good and easy life. What matters is to act like a brother when a person has hard times and not to leave that person alone with evil deeds and sins. This is the real friendship and brotherhood.

It is our duty to try to complete the missing deeds of our relatives who make some mistakes and who have some wrong beliefs in terms of Islamic life and to introduce them the truth. 

The advice of Allah Almighty to the Prophet (pbuh) is clear:

"And admonish thy nearest kinsmen." (ash-Shuara, 26/214)

Is this divine advice not valid for all of us?

82 If a mother or father curses their children about an issue though he or she is wrong, will their curse be accepted?

The religion of Islam asks a child to show respect to his/her parents and renders any disrespect toward them as haram. Therefore, a child needs to obey his parents' requests and orders if they are legitimate and receive their prayers. A child needs to avoid the curse of his parents. However, if they curse unjustly, Allah knows inside of everything. The child will not be accounted for because of the unjust curse of his parents and the child will not be held responsible if his parents do not forgive them. What matters for a child is to fulfill his duties toward his parents.      

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following:

"I was not sent as a curser." (Muslim, Birr 87)

"To curse a believer is like to kill him." (Bukhari, Adab 44)

"If a curse is unjust, it will return to the person who has cursed." (Tirmidhi, Birr 48; Abu Dawud, Adab 45)

It is Allah who accepts prayers and curses. If the parents are unjust, their curses will not be accepted. However, it is not appropriate for a child to disobey his parents and to offend them even if they are unjust. It is necessary to obey all of their legitimate requests. However, their illegitimate requests are not fulfilled.

Besides, unjust curses are not valid. To become parents does not necessitate the right to have unlimited authority on children. The child needs to warn his parents using soft words for their unjust behavior. If they do not change their behavior even if the child speaks softly, it is better to keep silent.

83 At what age should children be taught the concept/idea "Hell"?

Children should always  be told about the idea of Paradise up to the age of puberty.

However, when they reach the age of puberty, when they can discriminate between the good and the bad, they should be told that evil people and oppressors will be accounted for what they do and that there is a prison called Hell. Thus, it is stated that those who are oppressed and wronged will get their due. 

Children start to wonder about death and ask questions about it beginning from the age of 3. They can ask questions like, “What does death mean?”, “Where do the dead go?”

Death can be taught to children together with the idea of Paradise : “Those who die go to Paradise, which is a very beautiful place. There are houses made of glass and chocolate in Paradise. There are huge parks and funfairs there. There are pools and seas of milk and fruit juice. Allah gives a person who goes to Paradise whatever he wants.” This explanation will relieve children.

Children start to be aware of the realities more when they are between 6 and 12. Children can be aware of the difference between body and spirit especially after the ages of 9 and 10.  However, this awareness does not mean that they can definitely distinguish between body and spirit.

In this period, we can mention that man stops breathing, that his heart stops beating and that he cannot move when he dies along with mentioning Paradise.

In this period, it is time to mention the concept Hell along with Paradise. You can easily tell the children at this age that those who do good deeds will go to Paradise and that those who do bad deeds will go to Hell.  

Abstract thought has not developed fully in the children of this age; therefore, they might not understand abstract concepts in the same way as adults do.   

At the age of 12, abstract thought has developed fully. The children of this age can understand death with all of its dimensions like adults. The difference between body and spirit, the fact that sins and good deeds will cause man to go to Hell and Paradise, the existence of the Day of Judgment and Allah are perceived better in this period.    

It is appropriate to talk to a child about death after the death of a person and to share our feelings about the dead person with the child. Many people think that talking about death will harm the child.

What is appropriate is to ask the child what he feels, to share our feelings with him and to answer his questions. If we do not do so, the child will think that death is something bad that is concealed and he can show an exaggerated response to death.

84 Will you explain the terms milk kinship and milk bank?

Milk kinship is one of the drawbacks to marriage peculiar to Islamic law. This prohibition was introduced by verse 23 of the chapter of an-Nisa. In this verse, God Almighty prohibited the believing men from marrying their wet nurses and milk sisters. The following is stated in a hadith:

"What is haram through birth is haram through breastfeeding." (Muslim, Rada: 1)

One of the biggest wisdoms of this prohibition is that the milk of human beings, who are the most honorable beings, is also very valuable and that a different bond of kinship is established among human beings through breastfeeding. Milk establishes a material connection and a spiritual connection that is impossible to eliminate between the mother and the child. Milk kinship is a different means of solidarity and an independent element of approaching for people. Therefore, milk relatives are regarded as mahram and it is forbidden to marry them. They can look at one another but they cannot marry.

It is necessary to be very careful about whether there is a milk kinship between the people who will get married. For milk kinship prevents marriage. According to Abu Hanifa, a woman who breastfeeds or gives milk to a child at most two and a half years (30 months) after birth - according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf, two years - is regarded a wet nurse. With this breastfeeding, kinship occurs between the child and the wet nurse and the mahram relatives of the wet nurse and the other children who were breastfed by the same wet nurse. It is enough for a little amount of milk to go down the stomach for kinship. 

It is not necessary to suck the milk from the breast. It is enough for the milk to be sent to the stomach through other ways. According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, kinship through breastfeeding does not occur when a baby is breastfed once; it is necessary to be breastfed at least five times by the same mother.

The milk of a woman that is drunk or sucked by a child after he is two and a half years old does not bring about kinship through milk. That is, when a boy who is two and a half years old or older is breastfed by a woman, she does not become his wet nurse.

The women that a man cannot marry due to kinship through milk are as follows:

1. Wet nurse: He cannot marry the mothers (both milk and biological) of the wet nurse and her husband. Accordingly, a person cannot marry her wet nurse first of all. He cannot marry the biological or milk mother of his wet nurse. The same prohibition is valid for her husband's biological mother or wet nurse or grandmother.  

2. The girls that his wife breastfed: He cannot marry the biological and milk daughters of his milk daughter. A man cannot marry the girls that his wife breastfed because they are like his own milk daughters. Similarly, it is forbidden for him to marry the biological or milk daughters of his milk daughters and sons, that is, his milk granddaughters. This line called "furu" goes on in chain and the grandfather cannot marry his milk granddaughters.

3. His full or maternal/paternal half sisters of milk kinship: He cannot marry the biological and milk daughters of his milk brothers and sisters and their daughters. A man cannot marry his milk sisters, either. The children who sucked milk from the same wet nurse are milk sisters or brothers. The biological and milk children of a woman who breastfeeds other children and her husband's children are full milk sisters and brothers. The biological and milk children of a woman who breastfeeds other children from her previous or future husband are maternal half milk sisters or brothers. The biological and milk children of a husband from another wife are paternal half milk sisters or brothers with the children of his wife who breastfeeds. A man cannot marry any of these milk sisters.

4. His full or maternal/paternal half maternal and paternal aunts: He cannot marry his biological mother and father's milk mothers, milk sisters milk maternal and paternal aunts. In that case, the biological and milk brothers and sisters of the milk father and the biological and milk brothers and sisters of the milk mother are milk relatives of the children who suck milk. Therefore, a man who sucks milk cannot marry milk maternal and paternal aunts. The relatives of the milk mother and milk father are the relatives of the milk son but the relatives of the milk son except his wife and children are not relatives of the milk mother and milk father. For instance, a milk mother can marry the biological father or brother of her milk son.

It is necessary to say that the following statement that is widespread among people about milk kinship is not a statement based on the Shari'ah: "Milk kinship does not go down; it goes up." The children who suck from the same breasts are milk siblings even if they suck at different time periods and even if their fathers are different as long as they suck within the age of breastfeeding. Therefore, a wet nurse's son cannot marry a girl who was breastfed by his mother; his son cannot marry her either. It does not matter whether her son was born before or after the girl sucked milk from her and whether there were many years between the child's birth and her breastfeeding.

Click here for information about milk bank:

Is it permissible to establish a milk bank? What are the disadvantages of it and what measures can be taken against them?

85 If one's parents are sinners, how can that person obey them? What are the boundaries of obeying parents?

Asma bint Abi Bakr narrates:

"My mother, who was still a polytheist then, came to my house. I asked the Prophet (pbuh) how I should treat her:

'My mom has come to my house and wants to talk to me. Shall I treat her well?' The Prophet (pbuh) said,

'Yes. Show respect to her.'"[Bukhari, Hiba 28, Adab 8; Muslim, Zakah 50 (1003); Abu Dawud, Zakah, 34 (1668)]

There are discussions about Asma's mother mentioned in the hadith. What matters for us is the decree the hadith expresses. It is understood from the hadith that it is necessary to fulfill our duties and to show respect toward our parents even if they are unbelievers. The decree that it is wajib to give nafaqa (sustenance money) to parents even if they are unbelievers is extracted from this hadith.

The importance of the issue to show respect to parents and to give them sustenance money even if they are unbelievers is understood from the fact that revelation was sent after the hadith mentioned above and the issue was made definite by the Quran:

"Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just." (al-Mumtahina, 60/8)

The following verse is clearer regarding respect toward parents:

"But if they strive to make the join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love)…" (Luqman, 31/15)

According to those explanations, it is understood directly that it is necessary to show respect to Muslim parents no matter how sinful they are.

To obey is one thing and to rebel is another. We are ordered to definitely obey our parents unless rebellion against Allah is in question. Then, it is necessary to fulfill all of their orders that are not contrary to the orders of Allah. Their request that are contrary to Allah’s orders cannot be fulfilled; however, it is necessary not to rebel against them. These requests are not fulfilled; it is better to keep silent and to continue showing respect to them.

It is Allah who changes hearts. It is necessary to take refuge in Him. The love and respect shown to parents by children may cause the hearts of parents to soften. The aim should be to win their hearts.

Our religion regards aunts and uncles as mothers and fathers. Therefore, respect shown to them is regarded as respect shown to parents. Their haram requests cannot be fulfilled but it is necessary to show respect to them and to visit them.

As for the other relatives, it is not appropriate to stop visiting them. Instead of stopping visiting them, it is necessary to try to show them the right path even if they are sinners.

Anybody can act like a brother when a person has a good and easy life. What matters is to act like a brother when a person has hard times and not to leave that person alone with evil deeds and sins. This is the real friendship and brotherhood.

It is our duty to try to complete the missing deeds of our relatives who make some mistakes and who have some wrong beliefs in terms of Islamic life and to introduce them the truth. 

The advice of Allah Almighty to the Prophet (pbuh) is clear:

"And admonish thy nearest kinsmen." (ash-Shuara, 26/214)

Is this divine advice not valid for all of us?

86 How should a child be trained and religiously educated? How should we teach Allah to children?

Experimental psychology claims that a child has an artistic style of thought until he comes to school age. Accordingly, the child thinks that everything he sees was manmade and that difficult things like the sun, moon, stars, seas, etc was made by a stronger and bigger human.

The thought,"big things are made by big people" in child makes it easy for him in the future to accept the following belief easily along with the development of abstract intelligence: "Allah is the only owner of the universe who creates everything out of nothing, who knows everything and who has power over everything."

According toexperimental psychology, even if a child is not taught the belief of Allah, he can easily find that the universe has a creator and an administrator thanks to this talent of artistic thought. Since the child has the worldview of - accepting everything as a living being - up to the school age when abstract intelligence starts to function, he cannot help likening Allah to a big human. Therefore, we should tolerate their questions like "Where does Allah live? Does Allah have a house? Why cannot we see Allah?" and we should not get angry with them.

We hear that some mothers and fathers give answers like the following: "Allah lives in the sky. Allah lives in Paradise." These answers are contrary to the Islamic creed since Allah is free and away from place.

The questions that are asked the most frequently by children are as follows: "Where is Allah?", "Why cannot we see Allah?" We can answer this question as follows: "Allah does not have a material body like us. Therefore, He is not anywhere. However, the creatures that Allah created are everywhere; and He is everywhere with the beauty and perfection that are seen on these beings, which He created."

The following example given by a family can be useful:

The child starts to ask his father and mother questions like "Where is Allah?", "Why cannot we see Him?" Once, their grandmother, who lives in another city, cooks a special pie and sends it to them with a relative who came to their city. While eating the pie, an idea comes to the father's mind.

"Kids! Where is your grandmother now?"

They say the name of the city she lives in. The father asks,

"Who cook this pie and sent it to us?"The children say,

"Grandma!" The father asks again,

"How do you know she cooked it?"

"For, she always cooks this delicious pie," say the children. The father says,

"We cannot see your grandmother through our eyes now but we know her through this pie. Even if she is not in Istanbul now, she is here with us thanks to this pie. We cannot see our Creator through our eyes now but He is with us thanks to the flowers, wind, strawberries that he created."

We can say that Allah is too big and that we are too small to see Him. Allah sees us but we cannot see Him. We see the people on TV but they cannot see us. Our duty is not to see Allah but to know and love Him. He gave us everything that we love. Then, we need to love him very much. We should do what He wants in order to show that we love Him. We should be as He wants us to be, that is like our Prophet (pbuh). Who is he? He is the Messenger of Allah, the human that He loves the most. If we direct the curiosity and glance of the child to the Prophet, and enable him to think about the Prophet, it will make things easy. Allah will love us as we live like him; He will show Himself to us after death.

Another question children frequently ask is: "What kind of a being is Allah?"

The question "what kind" implies two different meanings. The first is about the material being, like big-small, short-long. The second implies the characteristics of that being.

Since Allah is not a material being, He cannot have properties that are valid for material beings. This can be told to a child like this:

An approach like "There is one Allah var. He created everything," cannot satisfy the feelings of a child. He is the Creator, who is merciful, who gives life and death, moves the wind, sends his bird that dies to paradise, creates beautifully and perfectly, who is just, who does not do any meaningless things, who loves and appreciates man, creates all tiny and huge things, creates cockroaches, snakes, mouse and sheep in the best form, who gives the mother the feeling of making a cake, inspires the mother to cook delicious food and who wants good things for people.  

It is possible to tell the child what kind of a being the Creator is at any occasion:

"Our Lord created trees nicely; it means He is nice."
"He gives the wish of giving milk to the cat; He is so compassionate."
"He creates clouds neatly. How just He is."
"Everywhere where man has not touched, is so clean; He must be Quddus (the Pure One)."

One of the reasons why children ask insistently about the material being of Allah is the lack of telling the child what kind of a being Allah is including His characteristics. If this lack is completed, children will not be insistent on questions like "Why cannot we see Allah? What kind of a Being is He materially?"

The child needs to be directed and educated by the family until he distinguishes between the right and the wrong. His education should target distinguishing what is true in the future. It is very difficult to expect a girl who did not receive any religious education when she was a child to cover her head and body when she is twenty years old. The child should be educated in this way but it is necessary to work hard so as not to make him/her hate religion but love it.

When does a child's religious education start?

Child education is a long process that starts before the birth of the child and goes on until the death the father and mother; it needs to be carried out with the joint mission of the father and the mother.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, whom we wanted to show as an example, started to be educated by his own mother and father before his birth. After his mother became pregnant, she always walked having wudu; after his birth, she never breastfed him without wudu. His father acted in the same sensitive way and tied the mouths of his cattle on the way to his field so that they would not eat the grass from the fields of other people.

As it is seen in the example above, the father and the mother educated themselves first before the birth. A father and a mother should correct and improve their worshipping before the birth of the child and try to give up their bad habits. It should not be forgotten that education is not something to be postponed to the period after the birth of the child. A child learns almost half of what he learns between the ages of one and five. The family needs to be well-prepared for this period.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi expresses another important issue in child education as follows:

“… If a child does not receive a strong lesson of belief when he is very young, he can adopt Islam and the principles of belief with great difficulty afterwards. It becomes hard like a non-Muslim accepting Islam. If his father and mother are not practicing Muslims and if he is educated only through worldly sciences, it will be much more difficult. In that case, this child will not show respect to his father and mother when they get old; on the contrary, he will want them to die as soon as possible, causing trouble to them. In the hereafter, he will not intercede for them but will sue them: 'Why did you not save my belief with Islamic education?'…” (Emirdağ Lahikası-I, 20. Mektup)

Besides, regarding the issue of making young children start to perform prayers, he states that the children who die after the age of seven will be called to account like adults, that they will not be included in the scope of the phrase “wildanun mukhalladun (youths of perpetual freshness)” in the verse; hence, he states the wisdoms behind the following decree of the shari'ah:“the children who do not start to perform prayers at a certain age can be beaten slightly”.

Religious Education in terms of Child's Mental Health

Some pedagogues say that it is contrary to laicism to give children religious education when they are very young and that they need to decide about it freely when they reach the age of puberty. This view is not a realistic approach. An atheistic mother or father can be against religious education but they cannot isolate their child from the community he lives in. For, a child does not have prejudices like an adult. He is interested in everything he sees around; he is full of the desire of learning; he is an impartial observer. He will want to know and ask questions about adhan when he first hears it or a mosque when he first sees it.

In his book called"Psychologie Religieuse " Antonie Vergote, a psychologist, say children have an inborn feeling of religion. Man is not a material being consisting of flesh, bones and blood only. What distinguishes him from other living beings is the inborn richness of spirit and feelings. Man is a social being. He wants to love, to be loved, to have a belief and to feel estimable and strong. It can be possible only through being attached to a family, community, state and religion.

There is no community without rules. The whole of rules that supports a community is called law. Where there is no law, there is anarchy, chaos and vulgar power. The items of law that prohibit theft, unlawful profits, oppressing the weak, killing or wounding people, grabbing people's property, rape, etc originate from religion. All of the prophets that are messengers of Allah were sent so that they will inform people about these rules and establish law and order in the community. It is very difficult to give children high ethics without using the concepts halal-haram, sin-reward, that is, without referring to religious sources.

How shall we tell our children about Allah?

Children learn the issues that are told in the form of stories more easily. While teaching them Allah and His attributes, we can tell them the talk between Luqman (pbuh) and his son in the form of a story. When I told my children about our Prophet, I told them how much he loved children by giving examples from his grandsons, Hazrat Hasan and Husain and his daughter, Fatima. Similarly, when I told them about the miracles he showed, I told them stories. For instance, when I told my son about the miracles of the spider and pigeon when our beloved Prophet and Hazrat Abu Bakr hid in the cave of Thawr for Hijrah in the form of a story, my son was four years old. He liked it so much that he asked me to tell it again.

When we consider the advice that Luqman (pbuh) gave his son, we see that the belief that ‘there is no god but Allah’ comes first. Luqman said to his son:

"O my son! Join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing" (Luqman, 31:13).

We should tell them about the greatness of Allah based on that verse. "–It is He Who created the universe, sun, stars, moon, earth and all the creatures in it. It is He Who gives life to the strongest king of the world and to the tiny fly. There is no god but Allah. It is only He Who is worthy of worshipping and praying. We bow down only in front of Allah and ask from Him what we cannot do. If we forget Allah and bow down in front of others in order to obtain goods, money and rank, we will be regarded to have associated partners with Allah and to have committed injustice."

Luqman (pbuh) continued his advice as follows, "O my son! If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finer mysteries, (and) is well-acquainted (with them)." (Luqman, 31:16).

We should tell our children like Luqman did that Allah sees everything we do, that He knows the most hidden feelings we have in our mind and heart, that we cannot conceal anything from Him, that He will enjoy it when we do good deeds and that He will love us.

In the following verses, Luqman (pbuh) said:

"O my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs. And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.". (Luqman, 31:17-19).

In those verses, our duties towards both Allah and human beings that He created are listed and a summary of good manners is given. When we tell about them to our children, we should choose the words and their explanations in accordance with their age and understanding.

We Should Approach Questions with the Logic of a Child

When we answer the questions of children relating any issue, we should think with the logic of a child not an adult. A small mistake that we will make will be enough to confuse their minds. Children have an egocentric style of thinking until they are four years old. They do not discriminate between living and non-living things; according to them, everything is living. Therefore, they believe in everything that happens in tales; they do not think that they are made up.

The role of tales and religious stories is great in the education of pre-school children. It becomes easier to teach the right acts through the legendary characters. The child puts himself in the hero’s place and becomes identified with him/her.

Children become content with the simple explanations we make; they do not wonder about more. Once a mother told me the following:

My four-year old son asked me, ‘Mum! Why can’t we see Allah?’ I said, ‘Because our eyes are small.’ He murmured, ‘Yes. We can’t see Him because our eyes are small.’ That answer was enough for him; he did not ask any other questions. That explanation may not be enough for older children.

We need to answer questions like "Why can’t we see Allah, Where is Allah, How big is He?" and correct their suspicions and the wrong images in their minds. I answered my son, who asked me those questions when he was ten, in the form of dialogs.

I showed him the table in front of us asked him:

- Can this table form on its own?
- No, it can’t.
- You mean there is someone who forms it.
- Yes, there is.
- Those slippers and shoes we wear cannot form on their own, can they?
- No, they can’t.
- Who makes them?
- Men.

- Yes, men make them. We call them shoemakers. Does the shoe resemble the shoemaker at all? The shoemaker has a mouth, eyes, ears, legs and arms; he walks and talks. The shoe does not resemble the shoemaker that makes him at all; It has neither eyes nor ears; it can neither walk nor talk; can he?
- No, he can’t.

- Since a simple table and shoe cannot form on their own, can the sun, moon, stars and the earth that we live on form on their own?
- No, they can’t.
- It means there is someone who makes them, that is, who creates them. Who is He?
- Allah.

- There is a Being Who has perfect knowledge and power and Who created the world and the living things on it; we call him Allah. A shoemaker does not resemble the shoe he makes; similarly, Allah does not resemble any of the creatures He created. Things like eating, drinking, sleeping, living in a house are peculiar to human beings. Allah does not need any of them because he does not resemble us. We know the existence of Allah but we do not know Him. We cannot see, hear, or know everything because our feelings, mind and knowledge are limited. We cannot see the angels because Allah created them out of light.

How Can We Accustom Our Children to Worshipping and Supplication?

Children believe in everything until they become seven years old since thinking through symbols, that is, abstract thinking has not yet developed fully. There is nothing impossible for a child at the age of four; everything is possible. If you say to him "last night, while you were sleeping, a star came down to the earth, kissed you and left, he will believe it." He will not think that it is impossible.

Worshipping and supplication are very interesting for children aged four; they try to imitate us. They like to perform prayers, pray, fast and go to mosque very much. To thank Allah aloud before and after the meals for the bounties He gave us, to pray aloud after salats (prayers), to wish good things for ourselves, our spouses, elder family members and children will affect our young children a lot and make them approach Allah.

Small children cannot express the aims of their questions fully since their lingual and mental development has not matured sufficiently.

Once I was in the market, wandering. A two or three-year old child in his mother’s arms pointed to a mosque and asked her:

- What is that? His mother said
- It is a mosque. The child asked again:
- What is that? His mother gave the same answer:
- It is a mosque. The child asked again in order to show that he could not get the answer he wanted:
- What is that? The mother answered again, speaking out and pronouncing each word clearly,
- It is a mosque. I approached the mother and said,
- Madam! The child is not asking its name, he is asking what it is used for since it does not look like a house.

Cezmi Tahir Berktin, a pedagogue and a writer, narrates one of his experiences in his book “Okul Öncesi Eğitim” (Pre-school Education):

- My four-year old daughter suddenly stopped eating as if she was on a hunger strike. She did not sit at the table with us; she did not even eat one morsel. We tried hard but could not understand why she did not eat. One night, it was time to go to bed. I held her in my arms and took her to her bed. I caressed her head and said, “I love you but it distress me that you do not eat.” She started to cry and put her hands around my neck. She said, “Please stop eating dad!” and started to tell me the reason why she stopped eating.

I found out that my wife had made a mistake. As she gave too much importance to the nourishing of the child like every mother did. My daughter asked her:

- Mum, why should we eat?
- In order to grow up.
- What will happen when we grow up?
- We will get old.
- What will happen when we get old?
- One day, we will die as every old person does.

My daughter decides through her logic that she will not die if she does not eat. She uses a simple logic as: "if I do not eat, I will not grow up. If I do not grow up, I will not get old. If I do not get old, I will not die."

As Berktin expresses, no matter how long we hide, the child will find out about the reality of death. He/she will ask us when his/her beloved grandmother, grandfather or friend dies: "Where did my grandmother (or friend) go?" How will you console that small heart full of the pain of separation if the belief in the hereafter is not included in your answer? How will you answer his/her question when he/she asks about the coffin that people carry?

We Should Educate Our Children through Love not Fear

Children cannot discriminate between dream and truth until they become four or five years old; they believe that thoughts and dreams can be realized. When he/she is jealous of his/her brother or sister and wants him/her to die, he/she fears that it will happen, and assumes a feeling of guilt.

When a mother becomes tired of her child’s naughtiness and says, "You are making me distressed, I will die because of it"  or, "Allah does not love children who distress their mothers and puts them into Hell," the child thinks that it will happen and gets into a panic.

When teaching children about religion, many families use the concept of fear without being aware of it. I had translated the “Crab Book”, a classic in pedagogy, written by Salzman with the name of "Educating Children in the Wrong Way". –The following advice was under the heading of ‘Ways of Making Children Irreligious’:

" Make them memorize prayers by force; punish them when they cannot memorize.

" When they are naughty, scare them by saying ’Allah will burn them in Hell’.

" Backbite clergymen, religious relatives and neighbors; discredit them by listing their mistakes.

Narrating the story of an awkward mother who cannot make them obey her, Salzman says:

"That foolish woman tried to intimidate her children using three things: bogey, father and God. When she wanted to make her children sleep, she said,

- Go to sleep quickly, close your eyes; or else, bogeys will come and eat you. When they were naughty, she intimidated them by saying,

- God will burn the children who distress their mother in Hell. When one of her children committed a bad deed or told a lie, she threatened him/her by saying,

-When your father comes home in the evening, he will give you a good trashing and you will get what you deserve.

Our actions are more effective than our words in educating children.

There are some parents who send their children out of their room when they perform prayers. You always see some old men who reprimand children in mosques and drive them away. When you ask them why they do it, they say, "They invalidate our prayers by being naughty." They are not aware that they alienate children from mosques through their attitudes.

Once we went to visit an old relative of us. After some chatting and having tea, it was time to pray. While we were praying, my four-year old son climbed my back and put his hands round my neck. Both my son and I are used to it. While telling them about the Prophet’s love of children, I had told them that Hazrat Hasan and Husain climbed the back of their grandfather and that the Prophet did not object to them and prayed together with them. After that day, he climbed my back and put his hands round my neck while I was praying, maybe regarding himself as Hazrat Hasan and Husain, and we prostrated together.  When he was asked what he was doing, he said "I am praying with my father."

While I was in the last rakat (part) of the prayer, our old relative took my son away from my back harshly, took him out of the room and closed the door. He said to me, "Your prayer was invalidated; you must perform that prayer again." I laughed. I said, "Why should something that did not invalidate the prayer of the Prophet should invalidate mine?" He did not understand what I meant. He asked angrily, "What is the thing that did not invalidate the prayer of the Prophet?" I told him about it but he was not convinced. He said, "It is not true, you have made it up!.."

We Should Tell Our Children About Allah Who Has Paradise.

One evening, one of my neighbors called me. He said,

- Mr Ali, something happened to my child; he was probably affected by an evil eye; the devil makes him say very bad words.

I said, -Tell me what happened.

He started to talk: -I do not understand what happened to my nice child, who used to go to mosque with me. As a matter of fact, he is four years old but what he said made me crazy; I do not know what to say. He said, "I am not going to perform prayers!.." I said, - Allah will burn those who do not perform prayers in Hell. He said, "I will burn Him!.." I wanted to take him to a hodja but before that, I decided to ask you.

After listening to him, I laughed.

- There is no need to take him to a hodja, I said, the child is right.

As he did not expect to receive such an answer, his reaction was harsh.

- What do you want to say Mr Ali?

- No child will love Allah who burns small children in Hell and will perform prayers voluntarily. We have no right to intimidate a child with Hell and alienate him from Allah. Do you not know that Hell is closed for children? Our Prophet says: "Children until they reach the age of puberty and insane people will not to be accounted for." You commit an injustice to both Allah and the child by intimidating him with Hell. The reaction of the child is not against the real Allah but against Allah that you made up. How will you get out under that sin?

My words were harsh because I was sorry for the child; I knew it but I could not control myself. After keeping silent for a few moments, the man said:

- Sorry Mr Ali, I got confused, he said. I heard from hodjas that our Prophet said: "Accustom your children to perform prayers beginning from the age of seven."

- Yes, but he did not say accustom them by intimidating them with Hell!..

- I think you are right... What will happen now? How will I repair my mistake?

- Your child needs therapy; come to my place and talk about how to do it.

The father was an obedient man with good intentions; so, he followed my advice and the belief of the child that had been distorted recovered in a short time.

Fear of Death in Children

Researches show that the fear of death is dominant in pre-school children. The child is first afraid of his parents’ death and then his own death. The only remedy for the fear of death is the belief in the hereafter. Since we cannot kill death and we cannot close the door to the grave, we must find an answer to the question "Where do we come from and are we going?" The answer to that question is present in Islam.

Once, one of my female readers called me. She talked as if she was going to cry:

- Mr Ali, my mother died.

I gave her my condolences and wished patient for her.

She went on talking:

- I am not very sorry that my mother died; she was very old and she could hardly walk. I heard her praying, ‘Oh Allah, do not make me a burden for my children, take my life without making me bedridden, take me near my Hasan’ many times. She meant my father when she said Hasan. I do not want to disturb you more by talking so much. I have called you for my four-year old daughter. When my mother died, I took my daughter to her aunt. I told her that her grandmother was ill; she does not know that she is dead. I cannot conceal it for a long time; she will hear it from somebody else or she will ask us where her grandmother went. I do not know how to answer her and what to say; please help me.

I gave her my condolences and wished patient for her again.

- You are a believing person, I said. When your pain relieves one or two days later, take your child from her aunt. Tell her that "her grandmother is dead but that she has gone to Paradise and will have a better life there."

After hesitating for a moment:

- I thought of telling her something like that, too, she said. However, if she asks, -Shall I see my grandmother again?, what shall I say to her?

- We should be honest when we answer the questions of our children. We should answer using short and simple words without giving details. We should say what we believe. According to our belief, we will come together in the hereafter, our affinityand friendship will continue. Tell your child about them. Tell her that her grandmother will meet her in Paradise and will love her again in Paradise.

You will appreciate that I cannot explain the religious education of children in one article. You can send the questions of children to my e-mail address; you can be sure that I will try to help you as much as I can.

87 Can having little income be regarded as a barrier to marriage?

"Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace."(an-Nur, 24/32)

Marry the believing free women and men, and good ones among your slaves since you are their masters; allow and help them to marry so that they will not commit bad deeds due to negligence. For, marriage is the means of the continuation of human species; it is an end in itself and it is a good deed that prevents the community from debauchery and the generations from elimination. Therefore, to ease marriage and to reproduce is an important good deed and duty for benefactors and administrators.    

As it is seen, the word "salih (virtuous)" is used for male and female slaves but it is not used for free men and women. For, what is essential for Muslims is to be virtuous. The meaning of "salah" here is being eligible for marriage along with being ethically good.

The following is stated for those who want to use financial difficulties as an excuse: If they are poor, Allah will make them rich with His grace. Therefore, one of the parties should not give up marriage by using only poverty as an excuse. They should not lose hope of Allah's grace; through marriage, they get rid of the most of the necessities of bachelorhood. Allah's grace is vast; His generosity is abundant and His power is immense. He gives whomever He wishes unexpected grace and sustenance. However, He does not have to do so; He does it if He wishes. He is the Knower of all; He knows why He gives a lot to some and a little to others.

Allah orders us to marry young and free men and states the following:

"Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace:  Their poverty should not be an excuse for not marrying them. Allah is generous. He gives whomever He wishes a lot of sustenance. He knows all of the states of people."

Allah orders the young people who cannot afford to get married due to material and social reasons to keep away from fornication and what Allah rendered haram until He makes them rich with His grace. For, if a person keeps away from Allah's prohibitions, Allah shows him a way out. Allah states the following in the Quran: «…and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.» (at-Talaq, 65/4)

Allah also orders masters to make a deal with slaves who want to be freed and to accept the money or goods given by them for their freedom. He forbids female slaves from being forced to prostitute themselves in order to earn money by their masters. He states that a grievous penalty is prepared for those who force their female slaves to prostitute themselves by violating their rights and that the sins of those who are forced to prostitute themselves will be forgiven.     

Allah expresses clear verses, detailed decrees and boundaries so that His slaves will follow the right path. The goodness and happiness of His slaves are based on the decrees and boundaries shown by these verses. Many examples from the previous ummahs are given so that people will take lessons. There is also advice for those who have taqwa.     

Yes, there must not be even one bachelor in a society. Every woman and every man must have a spouse. If this is ensured, a clean life is led in the community; thus, privacy in the society, which is demanded by Allah, is preserved; consequently, fornication is prevented in the society and chaste people are protected. If marriage is not established in a society, it is impossible to for men and women to protect their chastity. If we cannot marry people so that there is no single man and woman who are not married, it will not be possible to keep men and women in a clear environment. It is necessary to meet the natural and sexual needs of men and women through legitimate ways so that they will fulfill their responsibilities.

Is that not right? For instance, what would a man who was hungry do if we did not put any halal food in front of him and told him it was haram to eat them? Eating is a natural requirement. He has to eat in order to live. It is necessary to put halal food in front of him and then say these things are haram and those things are halal; only then can he obey the rules.   

Similarly, man has natural needs; one of them is sexual need. Man needs to fill his stomach with halal food and his mind and heart with knowledge of Allah; similarly, he has to satisfy his sexual organs through legitimate ways. Allah states the following in the Quran:

O Muslims! Marry those among you who are single, divorced, without husbands, without wives, that is, those who need to marry. Marry your daughters, your sons, divorced women and men, old men and women, that is everybody who needs marriage.   

This statement addresses Muslim individuals, fathers, mothers and the Muslim community, that is, everybody. Upon this divine order, we need to marry our daughters and sons who have reached the age of puberty as soon as possible. We need to marry the divorced men and women and those whose spouses died as soon as possible (after the period of iddah for women). A woman whose husband died or who was divorced has the right of adornment and marrying again as soon as her iddah ends. It does not matter whether she is young, middle-aged or old. Besides, Allah's order involves the following, too:

Marry the virtuous and sincere male and female Muslim slaves. Marry those who are righteous and who, you believe, will fulfill their responsibilities when they get married. That is, marry those who you believe will not destroy the lives of others.   

Yes, along with encouraging us to marry free men and women, our Lord also orders us to marry our virtuous male and female slaves. It should be noted that the word virtuous is nor used for free men and women but for male and female slaves. Yes, male and female slaves also have the right to marry. They also have sexual needs.

Yes, this order is regarded as advice for Muslims; and Muslims must fulfill this responsibility so that there will be no bachelors left in the community. All Muslims need to try to ensure it so that a clean, chaste and honest community will be formed. Either the Muslims fulfill this duty and go to Paradise by forming a clean community and protecting their chastity and honor, or they will avoid this responsibility, will not help those who are not married, which will consequently cause illegitimate relationships to spread in the community, and a dirty community will form. If Allah's wrath is sent upon that community, it will be destroyed. The biggest problem in this materialistic community is the economic problem.  

First of all, some single women, whether they are unmarried or divorced, and some men think as follows: I have enough money and property; I have material facilities and friends. I do not need to marry. They look at the issue from the point of view of economic power.

Some women and men have the opposite view. They say, "I have no money or property. How can I marry?"

Another aspect of the issue is the attitude of other Muslims. They think as follows: How can I marry those Muslims? I do not have enough money. If I help them financially, I may get into financial difficulty. Thus, they avoid helping single Muslims. However, they increase their expenses.   

For example, when they marry their own children, they spend a lot of money by organizing expensive wedding ceremonies; they damage the social ethics and disturb the economic balance in the society and make marriages and weddings more difficult.

Prevention of marriage due to the three reasons mentioned above is one of the biggest misfortunes in a community. Economy is not the basis of life. Belief is the basis of life. Can economy prevent it if the community is an Islamic community and decides to make use of this bounty rendered halal by Allah through marriage? We have the models of marriage of the Messenger of Allah, his daughters and Companions. Their modal life is so nice and so easy.

The girl to get married definitely has a bed in her house; the boy to get married also has a bed in his house. If you combine these two beds, it is done. Food? The boy eats in his house and the girl eats in her house. They are not hungry now. They can share the same bread. However, if you think things are important and modernism is important, it will be difficult. Is your daughter without clothes now? Does she not have anything on her? Is your son without clothes? What else is necessary?

Think of a man and a woman who are 25-30 years old. Is it better for such a man and a woman to live in wealth but as bachelors? Or is it better for them to live with some difficulty but as a married couple? In which situation will they be happier? Even if she has a simple piece of cloth and only some bread, it will be better for her to live with her husband in peace. Are many families, their daughters and sons not in trouble because of this? Do we have any right to make life so difficult? 

We now see that some communities of unbelievers and oppressors meet their sexual needs through relationships out of marriage, which Allah does not want. Should we do something like that? No, our Lord informs us about the alternative: Make marriage easy if you do not want to fall into a dirty situation like that. Marry your Muslim brothers. This is the alternative of such a bad situation.

Now please tell me which one of the following fathers is better? Think of a father who goes to a Muslim man and says to him, "I have a daughter. Will you marry her?" For instance, Hz. Abu Bakr goes to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and says to him, "O Messenger of Allah! Will you marry my daughter?" Another father, Hz. Umar, goes to Abu Bakr as soon as the iddah period of his daughter whose husband died ends and asks him, "O Abu Bakr! Would you like to marry my daughter? "He goes to Hz. Uthman and asks him, "O Uthman! Would you like to marry my daughter? Is a father like that better or a father who says, "O my daughter! Here is your house, money and wealth. Here are my children and grandchildren for you to love"? Is a father like Hz. Umar considerate and thoughtful or a cruel father who utters the statement above? Tell me: Which one of them is better? Which one is more merciful?

You are with your wife whenever you wish and have a second and third; you do not put up with being away from your wife even for a week but you do not marry your single daughter or divorced daughter. What a strange thing? What kind of a father are you?

O Muslim! You live with your wife and do not put up with being away from your wife even for a day; do you not ever think of the men and women who are not married around you? Do you not ever think of those widows and bachelors who go to bed alone and weep in bed? O sons! Do you not ever think of your mothers and fathers when their husbands and wives die? Do you not ever think of your divorced sisters? If you do not think of them, try living away from your wives or husbands. Can you do it? How can you want for your daughters and sons something that you do not want for yourself? This issue is settled if our hearts is filled with the Quran and the Sunnah and if our hearts beat in accordance with the Book and the Sunnah.

If we reach a point where we can view things under the light of the Book and the Sunnah and question life through revelation, they will definitely be easier. A Catholic or Protestant understanding, Judaism or customs have become dominant in our community since we do not know the verses of the Quran and the practices of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about the issue and we do not know the marriage models of the Companions. 

Our Lord states the following: "If they are poor, Allah will make them rich with His grace." What kind of calculations do we make? We think as if the rich people became rich based on their own minds, plans and programs. How can you think like unbelievers? Then, let the poor slaves of Allah marry. We can marry them by giving them a bed and a quilt without making any other calculations. Allah states that He will make them rich. That is, our Lord states with that verse that Muslims should not think about money when they get married. Why do you make materialistic calculations by giving up hope of Allah’s grace and grants? Allah's grace is vast. He gives unexpected bounties and sustenance to whomever He wishes. That is, He knows what He will give to those He wishes and who needs what. He does not become poor when He feeds His slaves. His treasure never runs out.

88 Will you give information about bringing up a child? What should pregnant women do so that the birth and puerperium would be healthy and the baby in her womb be educated?

Today's pedagogy says that child education starts in the womb. Because of this, what the mother eats and drinks, the environment she is in, the breath she takes, the drugs she uses and the happy and sorrowful events that take place during the pregnancy shape the personality and education of the baby in her womb.

Personality is the combination of the inborn characteristics of a person and the characteristics he acquires through his environment; education means bringing up a child through a certain type of education.

The child entrusted to his parents receives the first form of his personality from these sacred beings despite everything. His immaculate and pure heart is far from any evil intentions.

The child, who harbors purity and angelicness in his inner structure, is like untreated marble; whoever has him in his/her hands will shape it. It is like clean soil; and any seed that is thrown into it grows in the best way. He who sows goodness and beauty in this soil will reap it in the end.

The environment in which the child is enables his character to form. If the child is desired to be a good person, the people who will be examples to him should be very good representatives. And they need to set good examples to the child beginning from a young age both their words and deeds.

Bringing up the child well depends on the attitude of the parents first. This should be in the first months and early ages. It may be too late to delay it.

The child starts to learn very well from the first years. This learning is generally imitative. However, the child does not easily forget what he sees and perceives. His learning is like carving on the stone.

The parents who want their child to have a clean nature, good personality and good manners need to prepare a clean and beautiful environment for him. A good seed turns into fruit in beautiful and good soil. Parents should not prepare the cradle and the room before they are ready for the upbringing and care of the child. Parents should not have a child without feeling the anxiety of “how to bring up the child in a nice way”.

The parents need to know this: Most of the beautiful and ugly feelings in man starts in childhood. Feelings like shame, greed, aggression, kindness, having high ethics and selfishness start to form in this period. Training a child to have these feelings and similar ones enables a child to form a strong personality, and a strong intelligence and reasoning. The child shows his first greed toward eating and a sibling. Therefore, manners of eating and drinking should be the first education to be given to the child.

The parents should address the child according to the gender; when they buy clothes, they should take gender into account; toys also should be bought accordingly. If a child is neglected during the first upbringing period, his ethics will deteriorate and a lot of bad characteristics will occur, which will bring about irreparable problems.

The parents should take care of the education of the child before school age. Since the child will not be affected from advice very much, it is better to tell him real stories and show the lives of good people as examples. When a nice attitude of the child regarding high ethics is observed, he should be rewarded with something that will make him happy. It should not be forgotten that reward encourages the child to act nicely. However, it is important that the award be balanced and timely.

If the parents investigate their children's hidden mistakes, they will have a problematic child. Parents should not forget this; if a child makes ten mistakes, nine of them should be overlooked. If a child is directly informed of and blamed for his mistakes, he will not correct his mistakes. He will act shamelessly and think that what he does is normal; his characteristics will form like that. His mistakes should be told him in a nice and soft way, without blaming him harshly. If the parents cannot cope with these problems, they should seek help from an expert.

It is necessary to avoid humiliating, condemning and blaming the child very often. A child who grows up by accumulating his subconscious with such negative commands will start to assume that such defective behaviors are in his nature in the course of time; and his personality will develop like this. After a certain time, he will ignore the warnings of both his mother and father. Therefore, the parents should keep away from such negative deeds; if they think, they must, they should do it very rarely; I think this approach will be more effective.

89 Can a woman choose a different man as her spouse in the hereafter? Or does she have to marry her husband in the world? I would be glad if you answered this question based on resources.

- This issue is not mentioned in sound hadith resources like kutub as-sitta.

However, it is necessary to give the following short information regarding the issue:

a) What is essential is the continuation of the relationship of the wife and the husband in Paradise.  

There are some scholars who say that what is meant by companions (houris) in the following verse are the women in the world“Moreover, We shall join them to Companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes.” (ad-Dukhan, 44/54)(see Alusi, the interpretation of the verse)

b) The men who did not marry in the world will definitely marry houris but they can also marry the women who did not marry in the world. The women who did not marry in the world will be able to marry anybody they wish.

c)A woman who married two or more men in the world will marry her first husband if her first husband died, not if she was divorced; according to another view, she will marry her last husband. However, she can marry the one she liked the most. (cf Alusi; ad-Dukhan, interpretation of verse 44/54)

d)“There will be there all that the souls could desire all that the eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein.” (az-Zukhruf, 43/71) According to this verse, everybody will be given what they want in Paradise.

Then, if one of the spouses who were married in the world does not want the other but his or her spouse wants him or her ( if something like that happens), the one who wants will be given someone similar and the other will be free to marry anyone he/she wishes. 

e) The women of the world will be more beautiful than houris. (Tabarani, Awsat, h. no: 3141; Majmau’z-Zawaid, h. no: 11396).

f)If a woman who married two or more times in the world goes to Paradise with all of her husbands, she will marry the one with the best ethics or the one she liked the most. (see Tabarani, Awsat, h. no:3141; Majmau’z-Zawaid, h. no: 11396)

- It is necessary to keep in mind that no sorrow will exist in Paradise.No matter whom one marries, there will be nobody more beautiful/handsome and beloved than one's spouse for him/her. The sorrows and longings in the world will not exist in Paradise.    

In other words, the longings from the world will be eliminated by reunions and nothing will be left from them when we enter Paradise. Therefore, it is necessary to compete to have belief and taqwa, that is, obeying the orders and prohibitions of Allah, which are the prerequisites of entering Paradise.

90 Is it permissible to marry between two eids?

Some of the issues that are talked about among people are partly or wrongly understood. One of them is the idea, "It is not permissible to have a wedding reception, to marry between two eids."

When conditions and facilities are ready, it is permissible to have a wedding reception/ceremony, to marry any day or time of the year. That is, there is no certain time for marriage. There is no condition like "Marriage is permissible on such days and it is not permissible on such days."

As for the origin of the issue, the incident is as follows:

As it is known along with eid al-fitr and eid al-adha, we also have a weekly eid, that is, Friday. That is, if eid al-fitr or eid al-adha corresponds to Friday and if a marriage takes place on that day and if people may miss the Friday prayer because of being busy with marriage preparations, it is not permissible to marry in that hour on that day.

For, being busy with marriage at this time causes the Friday prayer, which is fard al-ayn to be abandoned. Something evil is done while trying to do something good.

However, if marriage ceremony is held quite a long time before the Friday prayer or after the Friday prayer, it is permissible.

Besides, something like that does not take place. The statement "It is not permissible to marry between two eids" has an origin in history. This belief was common among people, especially among the Arabs of Jahiliyyah before Islam. They regarded marrying in the month of Shawwal, which started after Ramadan, ominous; they married in other months. The Prophet himself eliminated this custom of Jahiliyyah as he did with the other customs. The Messenger of Allah got engaged with Hz. Aisha in the month of Shawwal and married her three years later in the month of Shawwal again. Thus, it became sunnah to marry in the month of Shawwal, which is between two eids. (Muslim, Nikah: 73)

(see Mehmet PAKSU, Kadın, Aile, Hayat, Nesil Yayınları)

91 What are our duties toward our close relatives and siblings?

Doing favors to relatives, taking care of their rights, helping them materially and spiritually on any occasion, asking about their health and meeting their needs through various means, empathizing with them and trying to solve their problems are among important religious duties. It is frequently and insistently reminded in both the Quran and hadiths that a person should treat his relatives, especially his parents, well and not to offend them.

Hz. Abu Burda narrates:

When I returned to Madinah, Abdullah Ibn Umar came to visit me. He said, "Do you know why I came to you?" I said,"No." Thereupon, he said, "I heard from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He said,

"If a person likes to visit his father who passed away, he should visit his father's friends who are living."

My father, Umar, and your father were very close friends. Therefore, I wanted to visit you."1

Along with the father, the same rights are valid for the mother too. After the mother, the maternal aunt is in the second place. Doing a favor to the maternal aunt is regarded as doing a favor to the mother. By the way, we want to mention an incident that took place in the Era of Bliss:

According to what Ibn Umar narrates, somebody cane to the Prophet (pbuh) and said,  

"O Messenger of Allah! I committed a major sin. How should I repent so that my sin will be forgiven?"The Messenger of Allah asked, "Is your mother alive?" The man said,"No." He asked again,"Is your maternal aunt alive?" The man said, "O Messenger of Allah! Yes." Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Go and do her a favor (good deed)."2

As it is stated in the verse "those things that are good remove those that are evil", it is advised in the hadith that one should do a good deed in order to have his sin forgiven.

Another issue mentioned in the hadith is that the maternal aunt is regarded as the mother and is spiritually regarded to have replaced her. For, the closest relative of a woman apart from her father and mother is her sister. Thus, due to this kinship, a favor done to the maternal aunt is regarded as a favor done to the mother.  

As for the siblings, the closest relative of a person after his parents is his sibling. They have many common aspects like coming from the same parents, growing up in the same house and sharing the same feelings at most times, unlike the other relatives. Besides, a person is linked to his parents and siblings emotionally. Therefore, a person protects his siblings with compassion and loves them if they are younger; he shows them respect and does them favors if they are older.

A person whose father dies sees his older brother as his father; a person whose mother dies sees his older sister as his mother. The Prophet (pbuh) mentions the rights of older siblings concisely in the following hadith:

"The rights of older siblings on younger ones are like the rights of the father on his children."3

Therefore, a person needs to accept his older siblings as his father and mother and act accordingly. It is an Islamic duty to listen to their advice that is not contrary to the religion , take care of their rights, help them when they are in need, visit them and show respect to them like his mother and father. It is a humane and Islamic duty to show the same love and compassion to younger siblings. It is an important duty for a person to take care of them and do his best to bring them up well.

It is an abominable act to cut off relationships with one's siblings by using some worldly issues as an excuse, to alienate and to prefer to keep away from them. If they have some faults regarding belief and some deficiencies in terms of Islamic lifestyle, it is our duty to try to compensate them and to make them warm toward Islam and the truth. The advice of God Almighty to the Prophet (pbuh) is clear:

"And admonish thy nearest kinsmen."4.

Is this divine advice not valid for all of us?

Footnotes:

1. at-Targhib wat-Tarhib, III/323.
2. ibid, III/337.
3. Ihya, II/219 (reported from Ibn Hibban)
4. ash-Shuara, 26/214.

(Mehmed PAKSU, Kadın, Evlilik ve Aile)

92 Why is being kind to parents mentioned in the Quran but obedience to them is not mentioned?

Ihsan is something beyond obedience. Being kind means to treat people well. Treating well is a concept that includes love and respect. If you show respect and love to a person and if you treat him well, it means you already obey him.

Besides the Quran says, “say not to them a word of contempt”:

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.’" (al-Isra, 17/23-24)

The Quran, which prohibits uttering “any word of contempt”, shows with this phrase that it does not allow even the slightest disobedience.

It is indicated by the following phrase of the verse that we will never be allowed to disrespect them: “lower to them the wing of humility”.

Yes, we have to obey them related to the issues that are not contrary to Allah’s orders and prohibitions. If they have some interventions or advice that we see as contrary to wisdom, we should try to persuade them using a soft style. If the conditions are not suitable, things change. Allah states the following:

“On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear.” (al-Baqara, 2/286)

Thinking about the good deeds and treats our parents did to us when we were children, their efforts to educate us, the troubles they suffered while doing it and the compassion and mercy they showed to us, we should fulfill all of their orders and try not to make any mistakes while serving them. 

Allah lists our five duties – in the verse of the chapter of al-Isra given above – and He virtually addresses us as follows:  

1. I do not want you to say evena word of contemptto them. I want you to show patience in the face of pains, agonies and troubles caused by them.

2. When they order, offer or want something, try to fulfill them as much as you can. Do not refuse and reject their requests.

3. Please your parents by saying soft and sweet words to them. Smile to them and say nice words. Use words like “Mummy! Daddy!”, which express respect and kindness to win their hearts. Therefore, avoid the expressions and words that will sadden them.

4. Lower to them the wing of humility originating from compassion and mercy; avoid acting conceitedly toward them. 

5. Do not find them enough and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy! For, they cherished me in my childhood, when I was very weak. They protected and raised me. O Allah! Show them mercy by treating them with your generosity and grants!"

However, we should not do these careful deeds respect and services in order to win their favor, obtain their wealth or outdo the other inheritors; we should do them in order to attain divine consent. What we do should be in accordance with what is in our hearts. That is, we should do them for the sake of Allah, not for material interests.

93 Are parents held responsible for the sins their children commit?

One of the rights of a child over his parents is to be given religious education and to be taught about halals and harams by his parents.

Parents receive their shares from the good deeds their children do and they will be held responsible for the sins they commit if they have not shown them what is true. Therefore, parents must be careful about the religious education of their children.

94 Is the statement "The right of an older child over his younger sibling is like the right of the father" a hadith? Will you explain it?

Family is the smallest unit of the community that consists of a father, mother and children if any and that forms with marriage. Therefore, family is regarded as the building block of the community. Along with the mother, father and children, paternal uncles and aunts, and maternal uncles and aunts are also regarded as the members of the family.

Family is the essence and foundation of the community. Nations are formed by the combination of many families. The sounder the foundations of the families, the sounder and more peaceful the nations.

The religion of Islam gives importance to establishing families, encourages marriage and wants it to be protected. Allah Almighty states the following in the chapter of an-Nur:

“Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace.” (an-Nur, 24/32)

The Prophet (pbuh) also encouraged marrying and having children. Therefore, it is not regarded nice not marry without a reason. The people who spend their youth by obeying the desires of their souls are destroyed in the end. Such people may attain the positions, money and fame that they want but they will be deprived of the joy of a cozy home and the loving and respectful looks of the family members; they will not be remembered well after death either.

Our religion gives great importance to the family and the relationships among the family members.According to Islam, the family is a holy environment in which a person is born and grows up. The feelings of love, respect, compassion, mercy and pity underlie this holiness. There is a place where everybody lives; it is our home. We call the building a house, flat etc., but we call the place where the members of a family live home. It is also called a nest and hearth. The terms like nest and hearth are used in the sense of the places that give us the feelings of comfort and security and where we feel the coziness. Thus, we call the material structure of the place in which we live a house but we call the spiritual environment where we live home, nest or hearth.

As family members, we share our joy in our family, laugh and have fun together when we are happy, feel sorry together when we are sad and seek solutions to our problems together. Joy increases when it is shared; we become happier when we share our joy in the family. Similarly, when we share our sorrow, we forget it more easily.

We learn to love, to be loved, to show respect and to love nature, animals and humans from our family. Our family teaches us to love children and respect elders. We learn from our family how to act in the community and how to be protected from evil.  

We have stated that familyconsists of a father, mother and children if any; children have a different place in the family. According to our religion, children are entrusted to parents by Allah. For, Allah states the following for children: 

“Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world;…” (al-Kahf, 18/46)

Parents are asked to pray as follows in the Quran:

“(Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous!” (al-Furqan, 25/74)

It is one of parents’ main duties to bring up children in a way that will be useful to the community. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

“There is no gift that a father/mother gives his/her son more virtuous than good manners.” (Tirmidhi, Birr 33)

Children who are born of the same parents or from the same mother or father are called siblings. There must be love and respect on the basis of the relationship among children. Thus, the siblings who love and respect one another will get on well.

Siblings are like the parts of a whole that complement one another. Nothing should break this unity and alienate siblings from one another. Older siblings are like parents for younger ones. The Prophet (pbuh) said,

“The right of an older child over his younger sibling is like the right of the father.” (Ihyau Ulumuddin, II/195)

Therefore, younger siblings should respect their older siblings, should not oppose them and should avoid offensive statements and deeds. Older siblings should love their younger siblings and protect them with compassion. The Prophet warns us as follows regarding the issue:

“Those who do not respect older ones and who do not show mercy to younger ones are not of us.” (ibid, II/485)

One of the causes that decrease the love and respect among siblings isthe jealousy among them. The feeling of jealousy is not good for any siblings. Therefore, siblings should not be jealous of one another and should not annoy one another. In the Quran, the story of the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) is narrated about the evil of being jealous of one’s brother in the chapter of Yusuf.

Siblings have certain duties toward one another. For, sibling means two parts of the same body. They resemble the branches of a tree that come from the same root. Therefore, a person needs to love his/her sibling, who is a part from him/her, as much as he/she loves himself/herself.

The siblings who grow up in the same house should establish their relationship among one another and between their parents based on love and respect; thus, they should contribute to the maintenance of the institution of the family.

95 Is it halal, haram or permissible to circumcise girls? Will you explain the issue with resources (verses-hadiths)? As far as I know, circumcision of girls is an old tradition dating back to Pharaohs.

In some communities, girls are circumcised like boys. This circumcision, which is usually practiced secretly, still exists in some of the Muslim communities living in Egypt, Arabia and Java. The existence of circumcision in those communities was known before Islam too. With the emergence of Islam, it assumed an Islamic aspect. If the whole Islamic world is taken into consideration, it will be seen that it is a local custom that is in minority. (A. J. Wensinck, Hitan, IA, VlI, p. 543).

The circumcision of women, which involves cutting a small part off the clitoris, dates back to the time of Hz. Ibrahim According to a narration and the first woman to be circumcised was his wife Hagar. (Tabari, Milletler ve Hükümdarlar Tarihi, translated by. Z. K. Uğan, Ankara 1954, I, 371).

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) states the following: "Circumcision (khitan) is Sunnah for men and a virtue for women." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 75; Abu Dawud Adab, 167; al-Fathur-Rabbani, XVII, 1312) This sunnah is absolute sunnah according to Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik, and it is wajib for men and sunnah for women according to Ahmad b. Hanbal. Shafii does not see any difference between men and women in terms of being wajib. (al-Fathur-Rabbani, XVII, 1312). Women are not circumcised in Turks, most of whom are Hanafis.

Abus-Suud Efendi was asked, "Women are circumcised in the land of Arabs. Is it sunnah?" He answered, "It is mustahab." (M. Ertuğrul Düzdağ, Şerhul-İslam Ebu's-Suud Efendi Fetvaları, İstanbul 1972, p. 35).

Islamic scholars put forward different views about the circumcision of women. Some scholars decree that the women of the east are physiologically different from the women of the west and hence the women of the east are obliged to be circumcised due to the natural excess in them and that the other women are not obliged to be circumcised since they do not have such an excess.

It is stated in narrations that during the time of the Prophet (pbuh) girls were circumcised in Madinah and that there were women whose job was circumcision. We also learn that the Prophet (pbuh) gave instructions to them so that circumcision would be healthy.

Abu Dawud’s narration is as follows: "A woman in Madinah (her name was Umm Atiyya) circumcised girls. The Prophet (pbuh) said to her,

"Do not cut too deep; for, if you do not cut deep, it will be better for her and her husband in terms of pleasure."

According to a narration from Hz. Ali, the Prophet summoned a woman who circumcised girls and said to her, "When you circumcise, cut slightly; do not cut deep." While explaining this hadith, Munawi says that if the clitoris is cut deep, the sexual desire of the woman will fade and that she might hate sexual intercourse because of it.

In the light of these explanations, we can say that the circumcision of girls varies based on their biological structure, that if there is an excess, it is appropriate to remove it and that there is no religious objection if it is not removed.

96 Is extreme love of children not permissible? We always hear that it is necessary not to love children so much.

Love of Allah comes before everything. It is important in what sense and why you love something. It is a deed of worship to love something for Allah as a boon of Allah. From this point of view, it is necessary to regard our children, who are entrusted to us, as His grace and grant and to work legitimately in order to make them gain their worldly life and otherworldly life.

There are thousands of reasons why Allah gives love of children to all parents. It is a deed of worship to fulfill this love.

For instance, it is different to love a letter that one has received due to its paper and nice handwriting than to love it because it is something entrusted to him by the sender; similarly, it is different to love children based on one’s intention. It is nice to love them as boons of Allah. The criterion for loving them for Allah is to raise and educate them in the way that Allah wants.

Love of the Prophet comes after love of Allah. To love the Prophet means to love Allah. To love scholars, people of taqwa and benefactors is like that. For, one loves the beloved of the beloved too. The Messenger of the Beloved One is also loved. The one who loves the beloved is also loved. The real beloved one here is Allah. There is nobody except Him that deserves real love. We can explain it with an example:

The first thing one loves is his soul. To love one’s own soul means to want to continue living and not to like elimination. This characteristic is inborn in man. In fact, this feeling, which exists in man, necessitates loving Allah. For, one who knows himself and his Lord understands that the continuation and perfection of his life is based on Allah, not himself. It is Allah who created him out of nothing and who makes him live. For, among the beings, it is only Allah that exists as a necessity of His being and that does not need anything to exist. Everything except Him exists based on His power and creation. A person who knows it like that loves and has to love the one that created him and gave him everything he has. His love of his Lord originates from knowing Him.

Love is the fruit of knowledge. If there is no knowledge, there is no love. One loves his parents. Why does he love them? For, they are the reason for his creation. Besides, they raised and educated him. Therefore, one loves his parents. However, the one who creates man is Allah. It is He who makes parents a reason for his creation. It is also He who gives parents love of their children. He gives this love even to animals. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

"Allah divided mercy into one hundred parts. He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part, creatures deal with one another with compassion so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it." (Ahmet Serdaroğlu, İhyaû Ulûmi'd-Dîn Translation, İstanbul 1975, IV/537)

The Prophet (pbuh) loved children very much. He would take them on his lap, pat them and kiss them with compassion.

The Prophet kissed his grandsons, Hz. Hasan and Hz. Husayn too. When a man saw him kissing them, he said,

"I have ten children; I have not kissed any of them."The Prophet said,

«He who shows no mercy, will receive no mercy.» (Muslim, Fadail, 65; Tirmidhi, Birr wa Sila, 12)

When the Prophet (pbuh) performed a prayer, his beloved grandsons, Hasan and Husayn would climb up his shoulders. He would tolerate this act of children even when he performed a prayer; he would not prevent their games.

When he sat somewhere, he would get up when his daughter, Fatima, came, kiss her on the forehead and make her sit in his place. He loved not only his children and grandchildren but also other children; he would talk to them and loved them; he would give them things that they liked. He even loved the children of non-Muslims.

The Prophet were interested in children very much. Once, he organized a race among children. He stood at the place where the race would end. He loved the children who came to him by running and gave them gifts. (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, I/214)

The Prophet (pbuh) gave the following advice related to children:

«Fear Allah and treat your children fairly.» (Jamius-Saghir; Bukhari, Hiba, 8/26)

«Allah wants you to treat your children equally when you kiss them.» (ibid)

97 Which child has to look after his/her parents, the son or the daughter?

Every child is responsible for looking after their parents who are in need based on their own state.

Islam gives great importance to the rights of parents and regards them holy. It is accepted in Islam that one of the ways to Paradise is based on the consent of the parents.

Islam orders children to show respect to their parents and to serve them. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the Quran regarding the issue:

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.“ (al-Isra, 17/23)

Therefore, children must always be under the command and at the service of their parents.

However, the respect and service of a child to his parents must not harm his Islamic life. That is, he can meet their needs without violating Islamic principles. As a matter of fact, during the era of the Prophet (pbuh), the parents of many Companions did not embrace Islam in the first days of Islam; they insisted on polytheism, which is opposite of Islam. They pressurized their children and wanted them to abandon Islam.

The Companions were ordered by the revelation that was sent down no to obey their orders that were contrary to Islam but they were ordered not to leave their parents altogether. They were ordered to serve them as much as possible and to try to win their hearts without obeying their orders that were contrary to Islam.

Accordingly, every child has to look after their parents and fulfill their orders and requests. However, if their orders contradict Islam, they cannot fulfill them. For instance, if one’s mother and father tell him/her to abandon Islam or to stop performing prayers, he/she cannot have to obey them; if he/she obeys them, he/she will be a sinner.

All children are responsible for looking after their parents. However, sons who are well of are obliged to look after them first. If they do not look after them, daughters will be obliged to look after them.

If parents become poor or too old to work, their care belongs to their children.

The following is stated in verses:

"Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents..." (Luqman, 31/14).

"But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration)." (Luqman, 31/15)

The following is reported from Jabir b. Abdullah:

A man came to the Prophet (pbuh) with his father and said,

"O Messenger of Allah! I have some property and my father has his own property. My father wants to take my property too." The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"You and your property belong to your father." (as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, V, 222-229; al-Qasani, Badayius-Sanayi, IV / 30; Ibnul-Humam, Fathul Qadir, III / 349 ff.)

However, this right of property of the parents on the property of their children were interpreted as and limited to being poor and needy. For, when the verses of inheritance were sent down, the rights of parents on the property of their children that died were determined.

The conditions for parents to receive nafaqah (money for sustenance) from their children are as follows: They have to be poor. Otherwise, their needs are met from their own property. The child or grandchild to pay nafaqah must have the power to pay it. This power means to be rich enough to pay it or to be strong enough to work and earn money.

The conditions for the necessity of nafaqah for relatives are as follows:

1. The relative must be poor. This means having no money or property or not being able to work. Not being able to work might be due to being too young, too old, having a mental illness or a chronic disease. However, parents are excluded. For nafaqah is necessary for them even if they are healthy and strong. Accordingly, if the relatives except parents and spouses are well off or can work, nafaqah does not have to be paid to them. According to the view preferred by Malikis, when parents can work, they cannot demand nafaqah from their children. (al-Qasani, ibid, IV / 36, 37; Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar, II / 923; ash-Shirazi, al-Muhadhdhab, II / 167; ash-Shirbini, Mughnil-Muhtaj, III / 448; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, VII / 595; Ibnul-Humam, ibid, III / 347)

2. The person who is to pay nafaqah must be in a position to meet the needs of his poor relatives in terms of wealth and being able to work and earn money. However, parents and spouses are exceptions. A man has to look after his parents and his wife even if he is poor. According to Malikis, a poor man does not have to pay nafaqah to his parents even if he is strong enough to work and earn money.

The following is stated in a hadith reported by Jabir:

"If one of you is poor, let him start with himself; if there is anything left over, (let him give it) to his dependents; if there is anything left over, (let him give it) to his relatives." (Abu Dawud, Itlaq, 9; Nasai, Buyu´, 84; Ahmad b. Hanbal, III / 205).

3. The kin to be looked after must be related with blood.

According to Hanafis, the person to pay nafaqah must be a kin to the person to be paid nafaqah related with blood and a kin that can be an inheritor to him. The evidence is the following verse:

" ... No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child. Nor father on account of his child, an heir shall be chargeable in the same way..." (al-Baqara, 2/233)

According to that verse, some rights and responsibilities between parents and children are also valid between them and other inheritors. This includes money for sustenance when it is necessary.