European Council for Fatwa and Research
Final Statement of
The Fifteenth Ordinary Session of
The European Council for Fatwa and Research
Held in Dublin, Ireland
During the period
22-26 of Jumada Al-Ula, 1426 AH
29th June-03rd of July, 2005
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, the Worlds’ Sustainer, and peace be upon our leader Muhammad and on all his family and his Companions.
By Allah’s Grace and His Assistance the fifteenth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) was held in Istanbul, Turkey, during the period 22-26 of Jumada Al-Ula, 1426 AH corresponding to 29th of June-03rd of July, 2005, chaired by His Eminence Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and attended by most of the Members of the ECFR and a number of guests and observers.
The opening meeting, attended by almost a thousand of a wide range of Turkish scholars and officials and a number of Muslim ladies and gentlemen interested in Muslim intellectual and Fiqh issues in the West, was commenced with a welcoming speech delivered by Mr. Jamal Ad-Deen Kareem, Director of Al-Hikma Organization. This was successively followed by another welcoming speech by Dr. Ali Uzak, former Dean of Faculty of Theology. The programme also included an introductory speech of the ECFR delivered by the Deputy Chairman of the ECFR, High Court Judge, Mr. Faysal Maulawi. This meeting was concluded by a speech delivered by His Eminence Dr. Sheikh Qaradawi, Chairman of the ECFR.
In the Administrative meeting a suggestion regarding the future performance of the ECFR was submitted by the Assistant Secretary General, Professor Dr. Abdel-Majeed An-Najjar. The Secretary General, Sheikh Hussein Halawa, as well as, the heads of the committees of Fatwas in England and France and the committee of research submitted concise reports about the performance of these committees since last session, submitted his report covering the performance of the ECFR in the last period.
The agenda of this session was dedicated to the accomplishment of the studies and researches on Muslim Family in the West started by the ECFR two sessions ago.
The following fourteen researches were submitted and deliberated:
- “Fitness in Marriage” by Sheikh Mustafa Mula Auglu
- “Marital Life in the West; Actual problems and Practical Solutions” by Dr. Salah-Ud-Deen Sultan
- “Family Dialogue” by Dr. Taher Al-MAhdi
- “Rules of divorce in Islam” by Sheikh Hussein Halawa
- “Separating the Husband and the Wife because of disputes” by Sheikh Salem Al-Shaikhi
- “ Judicial Separation of the Husband and the Wife Through the Channels of the Islamic Shari’a Council” by Dr. Suhaib Hassan
- “The Impact of Intention and Approval on Divorce” by Professor Dr. Ali Al_Qura Daghi
- “The Islamic Way of Estimating Alimonies” by Dr. Abd-SSa-Tar Abu Ghidah
- “Means of prevention of divorce” Ali Qura Daghi
- “Attestation of Divorce” by Sheikh Yusuf Ibram
- “Khul’, its Islamic Rules and applications for Muslims living in non-Muslim Countries” by Hicourt Judge Sheikh Faysal Maulawi
- “Issues Relating to Children Custody” By Sheikh Salem Al-Shaikhy
- “Children Custody” by His eminence Sheikh Abdu-L-Lah Ben Baiyah
- “The Traditional Marriage” By Sheikh Al-Arabi Al-Bishri
Upon deliberation on the above mentioned researches, the ECFR has issued the following resolutions:
Fitness in Marriage
(Resolution of adding the following paragraph to the previous resolution No.1/14)
Fifth: Regarding man’s fitness to marry a woman, Muslim scholars hold different views; some categorize it as a condition that when not fulfilled the marriage is nullified, but others describe it as a binding condition that if it is discovered, after entering into the marriage contract, that the most important elements thereof, namely religiosity and good manners, are not met, the wife and the guardian will be entitled to revoke the marriage provided the wife has not become pregnant. This opinion outweighs the previous one. As for the Muslims living in Europe, the ECFR preponderate that fitness in marriage is recommended and worthy of taking into consideration by both the bride and the bridegroom prior to marriage to guarantee stability and continuity in marital life and to attain the most prominent Islamic objectives thereof i.e. building a coherent Muslim family.
Objectives and intentions of marriage and divorce
Upon discussing the issue of “Objectives and intentions of marriage and divorce” and deliberating on the researches submitted in this regard, the ECFR reached the following resolution:
First: The contract’s validity is dependent on the genuineness of intention and will free from mistake, compulsion, deception and fraud. Consequently, marriage and divorce entered into by mistake or compulsion or when one was so angry that he became almost unconscious is not valid.
Second: Reward and punishment are based on intention. Regarding its influence on contract, Muslim scholars have different views. The outbalancing opinion is that the marriage of Tahleel and the divorce of Far are not valid.
Third: Relevant issues e.g. marriage with intention to divorce and contracts (marriage, divorce, remarriage) entered into frivolously were postponed for more studies and researches and information about actual problems and applications in the West.
Upon deliberation of the issue of Khul’ and the researches submitted in this regard the ECFR reached the following resolution:
Khul’, i.e. the agreement of both the husband and the wife to divorce in return for a compensation, is proved to be legitimate by the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah.
Significance: Relieving the woman if she cannot live with her husband as a result of hatred or the fact that he does not fulfill his responsibilities towards her.
One of the most important pillars of Khul’ is the compensation paid by the wife to her husband in return for divorce, which is Islamically legitimate unless the husband causes her much trouble to make her relinguish her dowry or some thereof. Allah said: “You should not treat them with harshness that you may take away part of their dowry.”(Trans. 4:19)
Whether the Khul’ is perceived as divorce or nullification of marriage contract, it is considered as a minor separation i.e. they cannot be husband and wife unless they enter into a new marriage contract and the husband is obliged to pay a dowry. When Khul’ is accomplished the woman should observe her iddat.
Khul’ is not dependent on the permission of a notary or a ruler. Once the husband and the wife agree on it, it becomes effective for both of them. Nonetheless, it should be officially registered.
In non-Muslim countries where Khul’ is not recognized, the husband and the wife should pursue the official divorce procedures of the land where they live provided their marriage took place therein. The wife is not allowed to marry another man upon the expiry of her iddat. She is obliged to wait until all the procedures of divorce, according to the laws of the land where marriage took place, are finished.
Attestation of marriage
Upon deliberation on the issue of “Attestation of marriage” and the researches submitted in this regard, the ECFR reached the following resolution:
Since marriage is solemn covenant, Islam has set conditions, rules and ethics to maintain marriage and guarantee its continuity as a means of chastity and preserving lineages and attaining prosperity on earth. All means that support the continuity of marriage is recommended and all means that disturb the marital relations is condemned. Due to the results of divorce in terms of rights and responsibilities between the husband and the wife and as a prevention of denial and false statement, Islam legitimizes attesting divorce. Allah said: “Then when they are about to attain their term appointed, either take them back in a good manner or part with them in a good manner. And take as witness two just people from among you and establish the testimony for Allah.”(Trans. 65:2) Upon deliberating the views of Muslim scholars in this regard – the majority of Muslim scholars recommend attesting marriage, Ibn Hazm and other contemporary scholars view it as an obligation – the ECFR reached the resolution of categorizing it as an obligation. However, even if attestation is not observed, divorce is applicable since attestation is not a condition. The ECFR recommends Muslim families residing in the West to observe Allah in public and in private and to exert efforts to protect their families and children via education and Tarbia and not to be neglectful regarding the issue of divorce. The ECFR also recommends all Muslims to observe witnessing divorce in the western governmental offices or the Muslim embassies and consulates to preserve the rights.
Rules of Child Custody
Upon deliberation on the issue of “Child Custody” and the researches submitted in this regard, the ECFR reached the following resolution:
First: Child custody means to protect the child at home and look after him in terms of his food, clothing and cleanliness.
Second: The rules of the Child custody:
It is an individual duty of one of the parents or their relatives according to a system of priority the Muslim scholars explained deliberately. If none who are obliged to accept the Child custody exists or declines due to any reason, it becomes an individual duty for all Muslims. In order to fulfill this duty, the Islamic Centers should provide a suitable custody.
Third: Child custody should be awarded primarily on the basis of fitness, so that any negative impact on the child, in term of religion, honour, body etc should be prevented since it contradicts the objective of Islamic Shari’a and in particular the objectives relating to the child’s custody.
Fourth: Originally the Child custody is a woman’s right since she uniquely possesses the innate characteristics of a certain type of tender and clemency. Woman is milder and more patient and capable of performing things of the Child interest. On this basis Child custody is granted to the mother as long as she is not married. Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – said to the woman that demanded her Child custody: “You deserve it as long you are not married.”
Fifth: Since the Child custody is a mutual right of the mother and the father, the mother has the right to relinguish her right under the condition of not loosing it. Nevertheless she is not to be compled to accept the right of the Child custody unless it will negatively affect the child.
Sixth: Conditions of Child Custody:
Muslim scholars – May Allah shower them with His mercy – stipulated many conditions that the person taking the right of the Child custody should meet. All these conditions aim at facilitating good environment to the child in custody. The ECFR stipulates the two following conditions:
- Good behaviour
The custody of the Child should not be granted to a person whose extrinsic behaviour negatively affects the custody. The fact that the parents believe in two different faiths, according to the preponderant opinion, this is insignificant in this regard.
- Capability of fulfilling the duties of custody
If one is occupied with other issues e.g. work to the extent that he/she is unable to fulfill his/her duties towards the child in custody he/she should be deprived of the right of custody.
Seventh: When the mother having the child in her custody remarries:
According to the previously mentioned hadith, the majority of Muslim scholars hold the view that the mother’s remarriage deprives her of the right of custody provided:
- The father or whoever will be granted the right of custody is capable of fulfilling his responsibilities towards the child in custody.
- That the child in custody will not move to a city other than the city where his mother lives since this will separate the mother from her child.
- That the father does not demand the Child custody after a period of time that indicates his approval of the child remaining with his remarried mother.
- That the mother is not deprived of the right of Child custody by entering into the marriage contract but by the start of the actual marital relations
Eighth: Meeting the child in custody:
The ECFR stresses the fact that it is prohibited to deprive, in case of divorce or separation- a parent of meeting his/her children. To prevent this, the ECFR recommends:
- Initially the father and the mother should reach an agreement, in the light of Shari’a law, that will organize the relations, as this is the only way to guarantee the rights, and the judges of civil courts prefer that the parents reach an agreement regarding the issues that positively affect the child in custody.
- If the child in custody is younger than the school age and cannot stay with his father or if the father is unable to fulfill the Child affairs i.e. food and cleanliness, the person who is taking the child under his/her custody should facilitate meetings between the father and the child.
- When the child reaches school age, it becomes the father’s responsibility to take him to school provided this is based on agreement between the husband and the wife and that the child overnights in the house of the person taking the child under her custody.
- The father has to observe the ethics of visiting the child under custody e.g. prevention of privacy of the divorced parents after the expiry of iddat, short visits, choosing an appropriate time to visit, requesting permission before entering the house and in the event that the father is refused admission, the child should be sent out to see his father.
- The father’s meetings with his child are dependent on the custom like on weekends or more. However, the parents should reach an agreement in this regard.
- Attention should be paid to the fact that teaching the child to sever his relations with his relatives; parental or maternal, or not visiting them or to show ingratitude to his parents is prohibited.
- The father and the mother should fully cooperate in all issues that help to preserve the Child religiosity and morals e.g. frequenting mosques and Islamic centers, witnessing Fridays’ prayers and the congregational prayers and participating in Qur’anic memorization circles.
Ninth: Other issues relating to child custody have been adjourned for more studies and information about applications in the West.
The ECFR deliberated on issues relating to the family and adjourned them for more studies. They are as follows:
- Marriage with intention to divorce
- The impact of frivolousness on marriage, divorce and return to one’s wife after divorce
- Civil marriage and marriages that are not registered in the official civil offices
- Rules regarding the period of the Child custody and its expenditure
- Divorce resulting from causing harm.
Regarding the issues of the family the ECFR, while confirming the resolutions and recommendations issued in this session and the previous one, recommends the following:
- That Muslims running mosques and Islamic centers should exert efforts to attain permission to issue official marriage contracts through which the rights of the husband and the wife are guaranteed.
- That for a woman who has no guardian e.g. a new Muslim, a guardian, e.g. an Imam of a mosque, an official of a Muslim association, the one who has guided her to Islam or whomsoever she chooses from among the Muslims, should be nominated to look after her marriage affairs.
- That the Councils of Arbitration should not hasten in reaching the decision of separation of the husband and the wife unless they have exhausted every possible means of reconciliation. When reconciliation becomes impossible the council should demand that both the husband and the wife should submit a declaration to fulfill their responsibilities resulting from this separation.
- That Islamic centres should exhaust every possible means to attain a decision from the official European organizations that makes decisions issued by the Committees of Arbitrations and Reconciliation applicable when considered by judicial authorities.
- That Muslims should cooperate with scientific social organizations in the West in order to be informed of the current reality of the Western family and in particular the Muslim family so that they can provide practical solutions.
- That the Imams of Mosques and officials of the centers should assume a greater role in Islamic education and family instructions via lectures and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial training courses.
- That Muslims should work hard to establish social organizations that help with the following:
- Preparing the youth, male and female, for a stable marital life via courses to train and educate them in Islamic rules and foundations of building the family.
- Islamic arbitration as the means of sorting out Muslim family daily problems.
- Studying inherited customs of some Muslims that contradict Islam and taking suitable procedures.
- That Imams of mosques and officials of Islamic centres should scientifically commit to writing the cases reported to them and submit practical researches on the daily problems of Muslim families in the light of understanding the Islamic literature and the reality of Muslim families.
Third: The Fatwas
The ECFR deliberated on a number of issues and issued the following fatwas:
Question: I’m an engineer missioned to study in Romania. I’m a single young man of the age of 32. Thanks to Allah, I pray and observe my religion as much as I can. I’m facing a great difficulty. If I marry a woman from my country, the Romanian authority will not grant her a visa to live with me during the period of my study. Moreover to find a righteous Muslim wife in Romania is extremely difficult. I got engaged to a Romanian Muslim lady, but due to my financial circumstances the marriage was refused. Temptations are surrounding me and I cannot tolerate being single. Taking into consideration that the Romanian girls do not keep heir virginity after reaching the age of fifteen, can I marry a Romanian lady for the period of my study bearing in mind that my intention is to continue this marriage if she becomes righteous? Can I marry her without the consent of her guardian since her father refuses to marry her to an Arab or a Muslim?
Answer: Allah has permitted Muslims to marry chaste Kitabiyah. Allah said: “(Lawful to you in marriage) are the chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christian)”(Trans. 5:5)
According to the majority of Muslim scholars of Tafseer, a chaste woman is the woman that refrains from adultery. Allah forbids marrying a woman that commits adultery even if she is a Muslim. The majority of Muslim scholars consensually state that marrying a Muslim woman who used to commit adultery if she repents is permissible. It is evident that the same rule applies to the Kitabiya. So marrying her is permissible provided she gives up adultery. But if she persists in adultery, marrying her is prohibited. If the difficulty you are facing is due to your residence in Romania and the unavailability of marriage there, there is no harm in marrying a Romanian woman provided she gives up adultery and proves that she is not pregnant by one monthly period.
As for marrying a woman without the consent of her guardian, according to the majority of Muslim scholars this marriage is not valid if she is a Muslim and her guardian is a Muslim too. This is due to the fact that the consent of the guardian was traditionally recognized even in non-Muslim societies, likewise the majority of Muslim scholars stipulate it if a Muslim marries a Kitabiya. The situation has currently changed in non-Muslim societies. Most of the laws in these societies donot recognize the consent of the guardian. As your planed marriage will be subject to Romanian laws, there is no harm if you marry her without her guardian’s consent if Romanian law does not stipulate his consent as a condition, otherwise you should abide by the law. Above all we advise you to obtain her family’s consent as this supports the continuity of the marital relations.
I have a Muslim English friend who is married to a Muslim English man. They got married in the Islamic way but this marriage has not been registered in the registrar’s office. Her husband has an Arab friend who wants to live in England. He has no other alternative to get permission to remain in England but to marry an English woman. The husband suggested that his wife would marry his friend in the registrar office. This has been done and witnessed. Is this marriage Islamically valid? Does it affect her first husband? Please answer this question as this case occurs frequently in this country.
The marriage contract entered into in the registrar office is void. Consequently none of the rights of marriage can be based thereon. All the results thereof are null and these who entered into this marriage are delinquent and they have committed a sin. Whoever participated in facilitating or accomplishing this contract, while knowing that this lady is married, has taken part in this sin and violated the laws Allah has set. Allah stated among the prohibited marriages: “Also (forbidden are) women already married.”(Trans. 4:24) Allah prohibits marrying a married woman. Some people, due to their misunderstanding that a marriage contract entered into in the registrar office is not valid, are negligent regarding this contract. They think that the marriage is only valid if entered into in a mosque or an Islamic centre. This is wrong. Apart from the place, the marriage contract is valid provided the pillars and conditions are fulfilled. Had this woman not been married, that marriage contract entered into in the registrar office would have been valid.
Since this contract is void, it should be cancelled as soon as possible. Again it should be cancelled as since it is legitimate according to the civil laws it may result in prohibited issues according to Islam. According to the civil laws this marriage is binding.
Being in need of permission to stay in a country cannot be used as an excuse to commit what is prohibited and violate the Shari’a and the rights. Muslims are obliged to shun such issues based on deception and lies.
I entered into a civil marriage in return for a payment and to help a Muslim to attain permission to stay in this country. Since then I have not seen him and I know nothing about him. Then I met a Muslim young man whom I married in the Islamic way in one of the Islamic centers. Is what I did permissible in Islam?
No, this is not permissible and you and your first husband have committed a sin, even though the marriage could be valid. As for the marriage held at the Islamic centre, it is null even though it might be called Islamic. It is not an Islamic marriage. Permissible relations based on this marriage should be ceased until the marriage registered in the registrar office is terminated by divorce that should be officially registered. Then you are entitled to marry the person you love since the marriage held at the Islamic center is not valid as you were the wife of another person even though you have no relations with this person except the marriage certificate. Allah said: “Also (forbidden are) women already married.”(Trans. 4:24)
The officials of the center should observe their duty towards Allah and do not make a marriage contract until they make sure that the woman is not married in the registrar office or else where.
I’m a young Muslim and I have a child who lives with his Muslim mother, my, in the ex-wife, same city where I live. I used to see my child once a week. Then my ex-wife remarried and took my child and moved to another city. So I demanded the right of child custody as she got married and moved to another city and I’m not married. (As far as I know, in this case the child custody becomes the father’s right.) My ex-wife and her husband think that I have no right to take the child. So they demanded a fatwa from an authorized Islamic authority that confirms my right in the child custody and that it is prohibited to separate me from my son and that it is not permissible for them to do this unless I relinquish the right of the child custody. Please, answer in detail as I have not seen my child for a long time.
According to Islam the father cannot be prevented from seeing his child without reason. Primarily you have the right to see your child and be informed of his affairs and cover his financial needs. The mother has no right to deny you access to your child unless she has an Islamically recognized reason. This is the case if she is not married. If she gets married she will no longer have the right of the child custody according to the hadith reported by Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas that a woman said: “For this child of mine my womb was a vessel, my breast was a liquid carrier and my lap was a container. His father divorced me and wanted to take him from me.” The prophet –peace be upon him- said: “You are more worthy of having him as long as you do not marry.” Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dauud and Al-Hakim categorized it as authentic hadith. This hadith gives the right of custody to the father unless he agrees with the mother on what is better for their child. The Muslim scholars have different views regarding the child custody. Nonetheless, they all observe the child’s interest. So they give the right of child custody to his nearest maternal kin e.g. maternal grandmother and maternal aunt as she is in the degree of his mother. This takes into consideration the sense of motherhood. However, this is not the Islamic order. The father has the right to take his child and look after him. The step father has no right to interfere in this issue as this is none of his business.
I got married to a man who is more than twenty years older than I. Nevertheless, I would have never seen the difference in age as a barrier that separates me from him or turn me away from him, had he shown me a cheerful face and a good tongue and love. Alas, he has deprived me of the cheerful face, sweet word and the active emotion that makes woman feel her femininity and her place in the heart of her husband.
He is not mean when it comes to my clothing and expenditure, nor does he hurt me. But this is not everything a woman needs from her husband. I do not think I mean anything to him other than as a chef or a unit of pleasure whenever he wills. This makes me feel bored and hate my life especially when I see my friends and peeresses whose husbands are filling their lives with love and euphoria.
Once I complained to him against this treatment and he said: Do you think I do not fulfill my duties towards you? Am I mean regarding your expenditure and clothing?
For husbands and wives to know I raise the following question: Are the financial needs in terms of food, clothing and accommodation the only Islamic duties that the husband owes his wife? Is the psychological aspect valueless in the Islamic view? According to my limited knowledge and by nature I do not think so. Please elaborate on this issue since it dramatically affects the continuity and happiness of the Muslim family.
This sister with her sound nature and limited knowledge realized the correct opinion that Islam states.
According to the Islamic Shari’a, the husband is obliged to provide his wife with her financial needs e.g. expenditure, clothing, accommodation, medication etc in a way suitable to his circumstances and hers or as the Qura’n states “In a reasonable way”.
The Shari’a does not neglect the psychological aspects that man cannot do without. Moreover the Qur’an describes marriage as one of Allah’s signs and one of His graces on people. Allah said: “And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily, in that are signs for those who reflect.”(Trans. 30:21) This verse specifies the aims of marital life or its components as tranquility, love and mercy between the wife and the husband and these are psychological, and not material, components. Hence, marital life is meaningless in the case of the absence of these meanings when it turns into bodily closure and emotional separation.
On this basis, many good husbands are wrong when they think that the duties they owe their wives are naught but expenditure, clothing and accommodation neglecting that as the woman needs food, clothing and other material needs, she needs, and needs more, the good word, the wide smile, the tender touch, the entertaining kiss, loving treatment and dalliance that remove life burdens and achieve happiness.
Prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him- set the highest example in this regard. In spite of his huge burdens of Da’wah, establishing the rules of Islam, educating the Muslims, establishing the Muslim state intrinsically and protecting it against the extrinsic enemy, in addition to his love to his Lord and eagerness to perform continuous worship e.g. fasting, reciting the Qur’an, night prayer until his feet swelled and cry until his beard was wet. He –peace be upon him- never neglected his wives’ rights. His spiritual aspects never drove him to the negligence of their human aspects in terms of quenching the thirst of their feelings that could not be satisfied with food and clothing.
Imam Ibn Al-Qayim described his attitude towards his wives saying: “Prophet Muhammad’s life with his wives was founded on good company and good ethics. He-peace be upon him- used to send girls from Ansar to play with his wife ‘Aish. Whenever she asked for something permissible he agreed. When she drank from a cup he would take it and put his lips on the same place she put her lips and drink and when she ate meat he would take the bones and put his mouth on the place of hers and eat. He-peace be upon him- used to put his head on her lap and recite Qur’an when she might be in her monthly period. When she was in her monthly period he used tell her to wear Izar (so that intimacy can be practiced indirectly) and then he would have intercourse with her. He –peace be upon him- used to kiss her while he was fasting. Out of his morals he would enable her to play and carry her over his shoulder to show her the Abyssinians when playing in his mosque. He –peace be upon him- raced her twice. He used to say: “The best among you is the best to his wife and I’m the best to my wife.” When he prayed ‘Asr he used to pass by his wives and get informed of their affairs and when night came he would go to the one according to the turn. ‘Aisha said: “He never stayed with any of us more than the others and it rarely happened the he did not visit all of us and come closer to each of us without touching until he reached the one who had the turn so he would overnight with her.“
When we consider this piece of the prophet’s biography regarding the way he treated his wives, we can see clearly that he looked after them all, visited them all and drew nigh to them all. But he used to pay more attention to ‘Aisha and that was not for nothing or bias but rather due to her young age and virginity. He-peace be upon him- married her when she was a virgin and he was her first and last husband. Such a girl would need more from her husband than an old woman. Her need is not the mere need for expenditure and clothing or even sexual intercourse, but rather the psychological aspects of the feelings which are deeper and of greater importance. It is not strange to see prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him – having great interest in the psychological aspects even though he was overwhelmed with a wide range of burdens in terms of Da’wah and establishing the Muslim nation and state. Allah said: “Indeed, in the messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow.”(Trans. 33:21)
I’m a teacher residing in Britain for a period of study. I have signed a contract with an educational organization according to which I should supervise examinations of scientific courses in my specialization and that I will be called when needed. It happened that they called me to supervise a course during the time of Friday prayer. I had no other alternative but not attending the Friday prayer. Please note that this sometimes happens. To be honest I need this work, but I’m not in a dire need.
As long as this happens every now and then and it is not made deliberately to miss the Friday prayer and you primarily exert efforts to offer the prayer, there is no harm in missing the Friday prayer for this reason. It is reported that prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him- said: “Whoever neglects the Friday prayer three times, Allah will set a seal on his heart.” Al-Termizi categorized this hadith as a sound good hadith. Since your case is different and you need this work, then there is no harm.
The Islamic centre is hosted in a five-story old building that does not reflect any aspect of the Islamic architecture. The administration of the center intends to knock down the building and erect a new building in an Islamic excellent style. The estimated cost is five million Dollars, which is very expensive. Upon exerting huge efforts we managed to collect one fourth of this amount from the Muslim community. Since we cannot collect this amount from any international Muslim organization, we want to take a mortgage that involves paying interest to the bank. The ECFR issued a Fatwa on the permissibility of taking a mortgage from the traditional banks to purchase a house when necessary. In the light of this are we allowed to take a mortgage because of necessity taking into consideration that we have other reasons:
- The centre lies in an excellent location accessible to public transportation and if it is rebuilt in an Islamic style it will attract people’s attention and serve as a means of Da’wah. Nonetheless, it is the oldest centre in the city.
- There are other mosques erected after this centre in inhabited areas. The buildings of these mosques were financed by money earned through usury. The people in these mosques practice Bid’a and they have no Da’wah programmes. But these mosques attract the attention of non-Muslims when they want to visit a mosque.
- If we do not start building on the spot the planning permission will be withdrawn and it will be very difficult to get it again. In addition, the building costs increase on a daily basis.
It is recommended to have an Islamic centre in an excellent Islamic style in the West so that it will attract people’s attention, so they will look forward to learning about Islam and through this way some may become Muslims. However, this aim should be achieved through legal methods. Mosques are built to celebrate the Names of Allah and worship Him. Mosques should be described as good from the first step of their establishment as Allah is good and accepts only what is good. We do not categorize your case as a necessity for the following reasons:
- In spite of the fact that the current building is old, it still satisfies people’s needs. It can accommodate prayers, gatherings on religious occasions and teaching children.
- To have such a centre in Oslo is essential. Nonetheless, it does not justify spending this huge amount of money to compete with other mosques financed by money earned through usury.
- Allah does not overburden a person. This rule, as it applies to individual Muslims, applies to the Muslim nation since it is required to establish the Islamic rites within the limits of its capacity.
We advise the officials of the centre of the issue to search for alternative legal methods such as limiting the project to their capacity, restoring the current building so that it appears in the Islamic style or exerting more efforts to collect donations from other places to complete the fund for the project.
The ECFR concluded the fifteenth session confirming the usual recommendations the ECFR issues as follows:
- Observe all rights and reflect a good image and a benevolent example through their words and deeds.
- Be creative and inventive and encourage that on all levels.
- Do their best to bring up the new Muslim generation – boys and girls- in a contemporary Muslim way via opening schools and educational and recreational centers to protect them against deviation.
- Work hard to establish firms and financial institutions that do not get involved in illegal transactions.
- Work hard to form legal (Shari’a) committees to regulate their family affairs according to the shari’a and in conformity with the laws of the country where they live.
- Work hard to attain the recognition of the state where they live of Islam as a religion and of Muslims as a religious minority like other minorities in respect to enjoying their complete rights and organizing their personal affairs, such as marriage and divorce according to the tenets of their religion.
- Commit themselves to what is stated in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah and what Muslim Fuqaha’ (jurists) have unanimously agreed upon regarding the obligation of keeping the requirements of the pledge of security and the terms of citizenship and residence in the countries where they live.
- The Council also recommends that Muslims in general and those dwelling in the West in particular adhere to Allah’s religion and brotherhood, tolerance, moderation, cooperation in matters of benevolence and righteousness, and adopt quiet dialogue and sound methods to solve controversial problems away from the programmes of strictness and paths of extremism that would distort the image of Islam and badly harm Muslims in general and Muslim minorities in particular. The enemies of Islam and those ignorant of it would defame it and warn others of it and its followers and instigate other nations against it. Allah Almighty says: “Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (An-Nahl 125)
Before concluding the proceedings of the Session a date has been made for the next session as follows:
The sixteenth Session will be held from Monday 7th -13th Jumada Al-Akhira 1427 corresponding to 03rd – 9th of July 2006.
The Council concluded the proceedings of the15th Session by addressing sincere thanks and appreciation for al-Maktoum Charity Committee for their continuous support and sponsorship of the Council. The Council also extends sincere thanks to the Turiksh Government and Istanbul municipality and Al-Hikma Association for their efforts to facilitate this session.
Our last prayer is praise be to Allah
 Divorce in return for a compensation paid by the wife to the husband
 To marry a woman after being divorced three times by her husband so that he can remarry her
 Divorce made by husband in death bed to deprive his wife from inheritance
Divorce in return for a compensation paid by the wife to the husband
 Prophet Muhammad’s traditions
 A period during which a divorcee is not allowed to remarry.
 Christian and Jewish ladies
 Interpretation of the Qur’an
 Muslims of Medina at early time of Islam
 A sheet of cloth wrapped upon the low part of the body
 Zad-Ul-Ma’d Vol. 1 page 78-79
 Religious innovation