Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 19, No. 5, 2020
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Robert J. Lewis
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Bernard Dubé
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Oslavi Linares
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Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
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Tariq Ali
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Alex Waterhouse-Hayward




DAR AL-IFTA: What is the ruling of implanted contact lenses made of pig tissue?

ANSWER: If the chemical nature and components of this porcine substance change and it is transformed into another new gelatinous or spongy substance, then it is no longer considered porcine. In this case, it is permissible in the Shari'ah (Islamic law) to use it, trade in it, and use it for medical purposes. However, if in terms of its constitution, it is considered one of the components of a pig, then it is impermissible to use it except in the absence of a pure alternative and for an overwhelming necessity.


DEAR DAR AL-IFTA: Is it permissible for the wife to go through plastic surgery to look beautiful for her husband?

ANSWER: The principle is that it is legally prohibited to conduct plastic surgery with the purpose of changing one's appearance without a medical necessity. However, it becomes lawful [halal] if it is medically decided by the physician that the procedure will achieve either physical or psychological benefit especially one which affects the stability of life in general and of marital life in particular; or to remove either a congenital defect or one that occurs later in life. However, this must be done according to what is medically determined in order not to harm you.


DEAR DAR AL-IFTA: I have an abnormally large nose that is not only causing me breathing problems but mental distress as well. What is the Islamic stance on rhinoplasty to reduce the size my nose?

ANSWER: Among the established principles of Islamic law is that harm is to be removed. This is based on the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said, "Do not harm and do not reciprocate harm" (recorded by Ahmed, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim and others. Imam An-Nawawi declared it a fair hadith).

The principle is that it is legally prohibited to conduct plastic surgery with the purpose of changing one's appearance without a medical necessity. However, it becomes lawful if a physician determines that such a procedure will achieve either a physical or psychological benefit especially one which affects the stability of life in general and of marital life in particular. The procedure is also permissible for removing a congenital defect or one that occurs later in life.
And God Almighty knows best.


DEAR DAR AL-IFTA: Is it permissible for young Muslims to join QSIS to establish an Islamic state?

ANSWER: Dar al-Iftaa incriminated joining any armed organizations or supporting them in any manner due to their barbaric acts which cause destruction and distort the image of Islam. These horrific acts are condemned by humanity as it goes against the natural human disposition and are Islamically rejected.

Dar al Iftaa added that such organizations with their extremist ideologies have misguided many youth under the false name of religion, Jihad and Islamic state. In fact, their acts reveal nothing but their miserable attempt to distort religion, bring destruction and spread blood-shed. Such terrorist organizations failed to deduct legal evidence from its authentic Islamic sources and were driven by their incomplete interpretation of the verses of the Qur`an and hadiths of the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him]. They twisted the meanings of religious texts in order to justify their appalling acts of extremism which leads them to desecrate the sanctity of life and ruthlessly shed people’s blood with thirst that never seems to stop. Furthermore, they issued extreme condemnable infedilizing fatwas which they exploited in killing their opponents and spreading corruption all over the globe.


DEAR DAR AL-IFTA: I have a sister who has a child from a non Muslim. They are not married because neither of them wants to convert. Her family has spoken to her so many times and yet she doesn’t find anything wrong with her way of life. She says as long as she is still a Muslim then no one can blame her for anything. I have chosen to cut ties from her but the rest of my sisters and brothers choose to support her. Am I doing the right thing?

ANSWER: This relationship is considered fornication but is not worse than committing disbelief. Nevertheless, the Prophet [pbuh] ordered us to maintain ties of kinship with non Muslim relatives. In a hadith recorded by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet [peace be upon him and his family] ordered Asmaa` the daughter of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq to maintain relations with her non-Muslim mother. If this is so, then what about a disobedient Muslim relative? For this reason, the sin your sister is committing is not considered a reason to sever ties with her. Rather, you are to support and advice her, and try to make her feel safe. Otherwise, severing relations with her may be prohibited as it may lead to disbelieve, Allah forbid!


DEAR DAR AL-IFTA: My daughter is lesbian. Will God forgive her? We're Egyptian practicing Muslims and live in the USA. She prays, fasts, pays zakat, and possesses very good moral conduct except this lifestyle. She's convinced that Allah created her this way because she was never attracted to men nor she will ever be. She is attracted to girls/women only not necessarily for sex but it's the emotional attraction. She thinks that Allah will forgive her because those feelings are not within her control. For years she tried to get help via psychotherapy but it has not worked. Is it possible for Allah to have mercy and forgive her if she continues this lifestyle? In the Quran, Allah mentions lust but spoke of men not women.

ANSWER: Such kind of issues necessitates distinguishing whether one's tendency towards the same sex is physical or psychological. In case of physical tendency, it is a must to consult sexual and reproductive diseases specialists. This is carried out by a specialized committee to decide the basic gender of the patient. Concerning the psychological aspect, the patient undergoes a psychotherapy program which will require a strong will. The western methods of therapy may be not appropriate, because they begin with a primary agreement to the sex reassignment surgery in case therapy is not fruitful. This case is known in Islamic Jurisprudence as "al-Tinjeer" [En. an effeminate man] and results from an unbalanced upbringing.


DEAR DAR AL-IFTA: I want to ask about masturbation and whether is prohibited or not. I used to think it is prohibited but did it sometimes, I had anxiety and depression and went to a psychiatrist and during my healing process he said that it's perfectly normal and it has been proved healthy and said I needed to do it to let off some of the tension. I am a lot better now and I consider myself healed but I need to know since during Ramadan I didn't do it once.

Kindly advise me with proofs from Quran or Hadith. Please know that the doctor is a Muslim and I do consider him of good knowledge (he graduated from Azhar).

ANSWER: According to the opinion of the majority of scholars, masturbation is prohibited [haram] and it is impermissible to practice it except when there is a necessity through which a Muslim may encounter physical or religious harm. This includes the physician's advice to practice masturbation for a certain time.


Hanafi scholars have stated that it is prohibited [haram] to masturbate via any means other than the hand of one's spouse unless there is an excuse. Some scholars from among the Hanafis maintained that masturbation is undesirable [makruh]. These include The Hanafi scholar, Ibn Nujaim who said in Al-Bahr al-Ra'iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa'iq (vol.2, p.293), "It is mentioned in the collection of fatawa Al-Walwaljiya that there is no harm [in masturbating] if one only seeks to relieve sexual desire (i.e. excessive sexual desire that distracts a person from religious and worldly matters). Also if one is spouseless or has a spouse, yet it is difficult to reach her/him due to certain circumstances. This opinion is also stated in Al-Siraj Al-Wahaj."

Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali scholars have stated that masturbation is prohibited [haram]. However, the Hanbalis stated that it is permissible when there is a necessity.

The previous Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Mohammed Hassanien Makhlouf issued a fatwa that was published in al-Azhar magazine (Vol. 3, Muharram 1391 A.H, p.91). The fatwa included the following:

It is evident that the majority of scholars agreed that masturbation is prohibited and this opinion is supported by the fact that it poses serious harm to nerves and physical and mind health and this calls for its prohibition. There are various means that help one to refrain from practicing masturbation: These include

The most important is hastening to seek marriage as soon as possible while maintaining simplicity and avoiding excessiveness and complications.

Moderation in food and drink which contribute to stimulating sexual desire. In this regard, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended fasting as per his words, "O young men, whoever from among you can afford it, let him get married, for verily it is a means to lowering one's gaze and protecting one's chastity. And whoever cannot, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”.

Refraining from anything that arouses sexual desire such as listening to immoral songs and watching lewd images which are available in abundance in movies.

Directing one's aesthetic faculties to permissible channels such as painting flowers and nature scenery which do not arouse sexual lust.

Choosing righteous pious companions.

This dialogue was originally published and copyrighted in Dar Al-Ifta.


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