THE FIFTH TOPIC
The First Issue: The Ruling for Marrying a non-Muslim Woman in a non-Muslim Country
Allah Almighty has allowed Muslims to marry chaste women of the people of the Book, whether they were in a Muslim or non-Muslim country.
Ibn Al-Mundhir said, “ It has not been authentically reported that any scholar has prohibited that.” Yet, it has been reported the ‘Umar said, “A Muslim can marry a Christian woman, but a Christian man cannot marry a Muslim woman.” This report is more authentic than that which reports that he forbade marrying Christian women.
The Verse that allows Muslim men to marry chaste non-Muslim women of the people of the Book is: “Today the good things are made lawful for you, and the food of the ones to whom the Book was brought is lawful to you, and your food is made lawful to them. And (so) are believing women in wedlock and in wedlock women of (the ones) to whom the Book was brought even before you.” (Al-Mâ’idah: 5)
At-Tabarî said, “The most appropriate opinion regarding what is meant by “women” in the Verse is “free women”, i.e. not slave women. So, it is allowed to Muslims to marry free non-Muslim women, whether they had committed sins or not.
However, another group maintained that the Verse means “chaste women”. I agree with this opinion for several reasons:
First: Allah has permitted those who are unable to find ample means for marriage to marry slave, chaste women. As He said, “And whosoever of you is unable to (provide) ample (means) for marrying believing women, then (let them take) from the believing handmaids that your right hands possess.” Then Allah Almighty has confined those believing women by saying, “ as (women) in wedlock, other than in fornication or taking mates to themselves.” (An-Nisâ': 25)
So, the Verse means chaste women, not whores.
Second: Allah Almighty rebuked those who marry adulteresses by saying: “And the adulteress none shall marry her except an adulterer or an associator, and that is prohibited for the believers.” (An-Nûr: 3)
Moreover, a group of scholars maintain that it is prohibited to marry an adulteress, even if she were a Muslim, before she declares repentance, so what if she were non-Muslim?
Third: It has been authentically reported that Hudhayfah married a Jewish woman, so ‘Umar wrote to him to divorce her. He replied, “If it is prohibited to me to marry her, I will divorce her.” ‘Umar wrote back to him “I do not claim that it is prohibited, but I fear that you may marry the whores of them.”
Fourth: Allah Almighty has stated good food and women in the aforementioned Verse, and the adulteress is wicked according to the Qur’ânic words.
So, we can say that although scholars are unanimous on the permissibility of marrying non-Muslim women of the people of the Book, they are also unanimous on that marrying a Muslim woman is much more preferable to marrying a non-Muslim woman, for the sake of attaining full harmony, as they have the same religion, thought, and way of life in common. Thus, she helps him to obey his Lord, reminds him of his religious duties in case he forgets, encourages him when he falls behind, urges him to fear Allah when he is about to commit a sin, and be his best companion in bringing up a new generation. So, she completes and embellishes what he starts, and makes him feel reposed as to his house and family whenever he is away from home.
As to the preferability of marrying Muslim women, Allah says, “And indeed, a believing maid is more charitable than a female associator, though you may admire her.” (Al-Baqarah: 221) He also says, “And the men believers and the women believers are patrons one of the other.” (At-Tawbah:71) And the Prophet (p.b.u.h) says, “You should marry a religious woman; otherwise, you will be a loser.”
It is hardly possible to find a committed non-Muslim woman who can deeply feel the meaning of the Prophet's saying, “ A woman is the guardian of her husband's home and of his children and is responsible for them.”
A “guardian” means a righteous person who is committed to keeping safe whatever he was entrusted with. So, can a non-Muslim woman, even if she were honest, achieve what she is supposed to do in the light of the Islamic Sharî'ah?
Therefore, many scholars admonished not to marry non-Muslim women in order that men may not turn their back to Muslim women or for other reasons.
This opinion is based on difference of religion, for what it leads to of thwarting the children's religion and manners, performing her religious rites in front of her children, drinking wine, and eating swine, then feeding her children of her milk, let alone the resulting unfair situation of the Muslim women in non-Muslim countries.
So, if marrying a non-Muslim woman in our countries cannot be clear of harm, it is certainly more harmful in non-Muslim countries.
What aggravates the situation in non-Muslim countries is that the father is busy working all day, and leaves his children alone with the non-Muslim mother, who educates and looks after them. So, what should we expect of such offspring?
The Second Issue: The Rules for Intending an Interim Marriage without Stating it Explicitly
The situation is that a man who stays temporarily in an alien country wants to keep himself away from sexual temptation, so, he married a woman, intending to live with her for a certain stretch of time without telling her explicitly. What is the ruling for such marriage?
In his Explanation of Al-Muwatta’, Az-Zurqânî said, “The scholars are unanimous that he who marries a woman in absolute terms, though he intends to live with her only for a certain period, his marriage is legal and not considered a temporary marriage.” However, Al-`Awzâ´î said, “It is temporary marriage, and there is no good in it.” ‘Iyad is also of the same opinion.
It is also mentioned in Al-Mughnî , :In case he unconditionally marries her, but he intends to divorce her after a month, or after finishing his mission in that country, his marriage is legal pursuing the opinion of the majority of scholars, regardless of his intention.”
On the other hand, the Mâlikites and the Shâfi'ites dislike it. Mâlik said, “There is neither honor nor good manners in it.” I say: This reprehensibility is ascertained by the consequences of the contract, i.e., cheating the woman who trusted the man, and deceiving her, whereas our Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “He who cheats us does not belong to us.” Sufyân Ibn ‘Uyaynah disliked interpreting this Hadîth, and used to say, “I refrain from interpreting it so that it may be more effective and more restraining.”
The Second Point: The Ruling concerning Greeting Non-Muslims and Returning their Greeting:
First: The Ruling For Greeting
A group of past scholars were of the opinion that it is permissible to great non-Muslims, including people of the Book and those who associate others with Allah. Ibn Mas'ûd practiced it and said that it was the right of companionship. But 'Umâmah never passed by a Muslim or non-Muslim without greeting him. He was queried about that, and he said, "We were ordered to propagate greeting".' Abu Ad-Dardâ' used to do the same.
Ibn 'Abbâs sent a message to a man of the people of the Book, which he started with "Peace be upon you."
This is what a group of 'imâms understood. Al-‘Awzâ`î was queried about a Muslim who passed by a non-Muslim and greeted him. He said: If you greeted, the righteous did the same; and if you did not they also did likewise.
All the preceding differences in opinion apply only when our greeting to them is "as-salâmu 'alaykum." If it is in another form such as "good morning", "good evening", "hello", and the like, I hold that the prevention does not apply. This was also the opinion of As-Suddi, Muqâtil, 'Ahmad, and others.
Second: The Ruling concerning Returning Greeting
Scholars are agreed that returning the greeting of people of Scripture should be with, "and on you" in view of the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), "If the people of the Scripture greet you, then you should say (in reply), 'wa 'alaykum' (i.e. and on you)."
But may more be said in reply?
As for rising for the non-Muslim because of his religion and disbelief, it is unanimously prohibited. In case it is the custom and mutual treatment, there is no harm in this. The matter is up to the Muslim living in non-Muslim countries since he is more knowledgeable of the customs of those communities.
The Fourth Point: The Ruling concerning Shaking Hands with Them and Embracing them:
A Group of 'imâms maintained that it is reprehensible to shake hands with non-Muslims. These 'imâms include An-Nakhi'î, Ahmad, and 'Abû Yusuf.
An-Nakh'î said, "They disliked to shake hands with the Jews", meaning our righteous ancestors.
Others, foremost among whom are Ath-Thawrî, 'Abdur-Râziq, and As-San'ânî, maintained that there was nothing wrong with a Muslim shaking hand with a Jew or a Christian.
This is the more weighty opinion, which is ascertained by the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of the religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable towards them; surely Allah loves the equitable ones ." (Al-Mumtahanah:8)
As for embracing them, I am not aware of anyone who permitted or forbade it. However, I am inclined to say that it is reprehended since it is an expression of utter satisfaction, and excessive love, which are feelings that should not be shown to a non-Muslim, unless he is a father, a son, a grandfather, or the like, in which case there is no harm, provided that this is done only on occasions.
As regards kissing them, the Hanbalites held it to be reprehensible, an opinion which I subscribe to, because of the same reason for reprehending embracing them. However, in case kissing takes place, this will not be sinful due to the non-existence of a text preventing it, provided that it does not lead to amity and satisfaction, which may lead to preventing loyalty.
The Fifth Point: The Ruling concerning Congratulating them
Regarding congratulations are on common matters such as marriage, a newborn baby, home-coming, or healing, I am not aware of anyone who was explicit as regards forbidding it except a quote from 'Ahmad. However, since visiting them in sickness is permissible (which will be dealt with later), it is permissible to congratulate them. Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "But he should be wary of using words which denote satisfaction with his religion, such as may Allah honor you' or the like. However, if the congratulation pertains to the rites of disbelief peculiar to him, it is unanimously prohibited, as when he congratulates them on their feasts and fasting by saying, 'blessed feast'".
The Sixth Point: The Ruling concerning Attending their Feasts and Participating with them in these Feasts
A Muslim is not permitted to partake with non-Muslims in their feasts, helping them as regards these feasts, or attending with them. This is unanimously agreed on by scholars since non-Muslims are people of maleficence, and in case the people of beneficence mingle with people of maleficence without showing them they are doing maleficence, they will appear as if they were satisfied with it and having preference of it, and as a result the wrath of Allah may be feared to befall their group and consequently may befall everyone.
Al-Bayhaqî authentically quoted 'Umar (m.A.b.s.w.h) as saying, "Do not enter upon those who associate partners with Allah in their churches on the day of their feast, since curse befalls them."
Al-Bukhârî quoted him as saying: "Avoid the enemies of Allah on the day of their feast."
Al-Bayhaqî aquoted 'Abdullâhi Ibn 'Amr as saying: "Whoever in the lands of non-Arabs celebrates their nayrouz feast and their festival, and imitates them until he died like this, he will be resurrected with them."
Hence scholars have unanimously agreed that it is unlawful to sell them anything pertaining to their religion, or to give them gifts on the days of their feasts.
It is my opinion that if a Muslim fears that not congratulating them may result in unbearable harm, he is permitted to apparently compliment them while disapproving of it by his heart.
The Seventh Point: The Ruling concerning Visiting their Patients:
The principle in this is Al-Bukhârî and others reporting that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) had a Jewish boy who served him, and when the boy fell sick the Prophet went to visit him. (Cf. the Hadith in the Book of Patients.)
Ibn Hajar said, "The Hadîth indicates the permissibility of visiting a non-Muslim when he falls sick."
Al-Mawârdî said, "Visiting a patient of the people of the Scripture is permissible. Closeness is determined by the kind of relationship associated with it such as being neighbors or relatives." To this I add being friends.
The Prophet (p.b.u.h) visited his uncle 'Abu Tâlib in his death bangs, and made to him an offer of embracing Islam. All this shows the permissibility of calling on non-Muslim patients, because it is a kind of benign it, and a good feature of Islam that does not cause any harm.
Al-`Imâm 'Ahmad was once queried about visiting non-Muslim patients, so he said, "Did the Prophet (p.b.u.h) not call on a Jew and invite him to Islam?"
A group of scholars are of the opinion that visiting non-Muslim patients is permissible provided that they will be invited to Islam; otherwise it is not permissible.
Ibn Bitâl said, "Visiting him is lawful if he is likely to respond to embracing Islam; otherwise it is not lawful."
It seems to me that the situation may differ according to intentions; visiting him may result in another benefit.
The Eighth Point: The Ruling concerning Following their Funerals and Condoling them
First: The Ruling concerning Following their Funerals:
This has already been discussed under funerals, and you are kindly referred to it.
Second: The Ruling concerning Condoling them
The mainstream of scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible for a Muslim to condole a non-Muslim. Ath-Thawrî used to say: A Muslim may condole a non-Muslim by saying to him, "To Allah is Power and Greatness". Al-Hasan used to say: If you condole a non-Muslim then say: "May nothing befall you except what is good". Abû 'Abdil-Lâhi Ibn Bitâl used to say: In condoling a non-Muslim it is said: May Allah reward you for your affliction with the best of what He gave to the followers of your religion."
The right thing for me is that the Muslim chooses from among invocations that which he considers proper and which does not include supplication for the deceased or power for the living.
There is a saying of Shafi'ites and a report by 'Ahmad to the effect of forbidding consoling the non-Muslim unless it is hoped that he embraces Islam.
I find no evidence for this prevention. If visiting their patients is permissible and is considered benign it and a merit of Islam, consoling them is given precedence, whether we intend by that the people or some of them become Muslim or not. Allah, Exalted be He says, "Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of the religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable ones." (Al-Mumtahanah:8)
The Ninth Point: The Ruling concerning Visiting Them as a Matter of Courtesy
Visits between Muslim and non-Muslim families are often a matter of courtesy, for a benefit, or returning a visit. All this is not prevented, especially if it is a visit in appearance, but a call to Islam in essence. Here its permissibility is ascertained, and deepening the relation is required in order to achieve this noble aim if they have honorable aims.
However, if visits are merely a matter of courtesy, I hold that they are not reprehensible unless they exceed their natural bounds, and went beyond reasonable limits. This is because there must be psychological and sentimental barriers in the soul of a believer towards those who are different from him, and hence does not interrelate with them in a way that leads to amity, love, and satisfaction, which are prevented.
The evidence for the permissibility of visiting non-Muslims is the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of the religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable ones." (Al-Mumtahanah:8)
The Tenth Point: The Ruling concerning Nicknaming them
The principle in this is what Al-Bukhârî reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) mentioned 'Abdullâh Ibn 'Abî Salûl, the chief of hypocrites with his nickname, namely 'Abu Hubâb.
Al-'Aynî said: This usage by the Prophet (p.b.u.h) was not intended for honoring, but may be because he was famous for this name.
Ath-Thawrî reported that 'Umar nicknamed Al-Farafisah, who was a Christian, as Abû Hassan. And 'Ahmad addressed a Christian physician as 'Abû 'Ishâq.
All this is evidence that it is permissible to nickname a non-Muslim with no more that his nickname such as giving him a nickname that makes him feel powerful, which is reprehensible.
About the Badr captives the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Had Al-Mut'am Ibn 'Adiyy been alive and pleaded for those rotten people I would have left them for him." It was said as a reward for his effort in ending the boycott against Muslims, and it was also said for protecting the Prophet (p.b.u.h) on the day of his return from At-Tâ'if.
From this we come to the conclusion that it is permissible to accept gifts from non-Muslims and reward for them, as the Prophet (p.b.u.h) did, and that there is nothing wrong with accepting gifts from them on the day of their feast, and that what is unanimously prevented is to offer them gifts on that day as we have already stated.
As for accepting a gift from someone whose money is predominately unlawfully earned, this was permitted by Az-Zahrî and Makhûl because the Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to deal with people of the Scripture and accept their gifts although he was aware that they did not avoid unlawful earnings. However, a group of scholars absolutely reprehend acceptance.
In case the person receiving the gift knows for sure that the gift is from unlawful money, it is unanimously agreed that it is prohibited to accept it.
The Twelfth Point: A Muslim Woman's Nakedness in the Presence of a non-Muslim Woman
The principle governing this is the saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "(...) and not displaying their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their brethren, or their brethren's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women (...)" (An-Nûr: 31)
The mainstream of scholars is of the opinion that what is meant by the saying of Allah, Exalted be He, "or their women" is believing women who are entrusted with companionship and service, as if He said: or their kind (of women).
It follows from this that a woman believer cannot show some of her adornment in the presence of a non-Muslim woman so that she may describe her to her husband since nothing stops a non-Muslim woman from such description, unlike a Muslim woman. They said that a non-Muslim woman is not one of our women and is alien to us in religion. This is the opinion of 'Umar, Ibn 'Abbâs, Mujâhid, Makhûl, Ibn Jurayh, and others.
What the Shafi'ites endorse is that a Muslim woman can show in the presence of a non-Muslim only that which is usually shown such as the head, neck, hands to the wrists, and legs to the knees. This is also the opinion of the Hanbalites.
They took the following as evidence:
1- It was proven that non-Muslim women used to enter on the Mothers of Believers. They did not veil themselves on those occasions nor were they ordered to do so.
2- What 'Atâ' reported about the Companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) when they arrived in Baytul-Maqdis. The midwives for their wives were Jewish and Christian women.
3- That veiling is incumbent only by means of a text or analogy, neither of which exists.
Al-'Alûsî said, "This saying is more appropriate to people today since it is hardly possible for Muslim women to keep themselves away from non-Muslim women.
As for the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He, "or their women", it is likely that it means all women, and hence the saying of our predecessors is taken as a matter of preference. This is the more weighty opinion, Allah willing, because of the authenticity and weight of the evidence.
The Thirteenth Point: The Nakedness of a Muslim Woman in the Presence of her Non-Muslim Relatives
A non-Muslim male relative may be a relative whom it is unlawful to marry or a relative whom it is lawful to marry. If he belongs to the first group such as her brother, father, grandfather, uncle, or the like, she can show her adornment in his presence despite their being non-Muslims, in view of the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "(...) and not displaying their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their brethren, or their brethren's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women (...)" (An-Nûr: 31). This applies only if they are not debauch people, who do not distinguish between someone who is lawful to them and another who is not.
Likewise a Muslim man may look at the adornment of non-Muslim women who are considered unlawful to him to marry by sanguinity, in view of the generality of the verse mentioned above, and of the sameness of feelings of men towards their prohibited women regardless of their being Muslims or non-Muslims.
However, if the relative is an alien man, it is prohibited for her to show any of her adornment in front of him, in view of the generality of the evidence.
The Fourteenth Point: The Ruling concerning Possessing Dogs
It is quite evident for anyone who visited non-Muslim countries, especially western countries that dogs abound there, in all shapes, colors, and kinds. Because of their excessive fondness of this kind of animals they established societies, that take care of them, defend their rights, and secure complete care for them. You can hardly find a house where no dog or cat lives.
What then is the ruling concerning possessing a dog?
The principle governing this is what Al-Bukhârî and others reported the Prophet (p.b.u.h) as saying: "Whoever gets hold of a dog, his deeds are reduced by one qîrât everyday, [a qîrât being a quantity known to Allah], except a dog (guarding) sheep, for plowing, or for hunting." According to Muslim: " his deeds are reduced by two qîrâts". The Hadith denotes the impermissibility of possessing dogs for purposes other than guarding cattle, planting, or hunting, unless it bites or causes rabies, since scholars are unanimously agreed on killing these two kinds of dogs, and also on the opinion that possessing a dog out of admiration of its shape or for showing off, this is prohibited without any difference in opinion.
Ibn 'Abd Al-Barr maintained that the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h): "his deeds are reduced" means the reward for his deeds, which denotes that possessing it is not prohibited, since what it is prohibited to possess is absolutely prohibited, whether the reward is reduced or not. This indicates that possessing it is reprehensible, not forbidden.
It is my opinion that this opinion is unanimously refuted.
Ibn Hajar said, "What Ibn 'Abd Al-Barr claimed about the non-prohibition is not necessarily the case, but it is possible that the punishment results from misguidance in deeds with the amount of a qîrât, compared with what he would do of good deeds without possessing the dog, and hence is likely to be prohibited.
What is meant by reduction, or the sin resulting from possessing a dog, equivalent to a qîrât or two qîrâts of his reward is that the reward for a deed of a possessor of a dog is reduced proportionate to the sin for possessing it, i.e. a qîrât or two qîrâts.
It is my opinion that this explanation indicates the prohibition of possessing a dog for reasons other than those mentioned by the Hadîth, and does not indicate that it is only reprehensible.
As for the reason for reducing the reward, it was said that it is because angels abstain from entering his house, or because of the harm inflicted on passers-by, or because of possessing that which he was prevented from possessing, or because they often eat impure things, or because some of them are devils, or because they eat from food containers when its master is unaware, and consequently may cause impurity to pure food, which may be used on the assumption that it is pure while it is not, or because of their bad smell.
It is my opinion that the closest interpretation of the Hadîth is that the reduction of reward is a penalty for not complying with the prevention. As for the reasons for the prevention, they are all that had been mentioned, to which may be added that possessing them may lead to dangerous diseases.
About the existence of the aforementioned harms in the possession of which is permitted, Siddîq Khân says, "in this there is giving more weight to the benefit over the harm, due to the exception of that which is useful from that which is prohibited to possess."
As regards keeping dogs for guarding houses and roads, by analogy to the three aforementioned needs, and in view of the justification understood from the Hadîths, namely need, this was endorsed by the Shafi'ites.
Ibn 'Abd Al-Barr, a Malikite, says, "...unless it is included in the domain of hunting and other things that have been mentioned as bringing benefits and driving harms away by analogy."
From this we come to the conclusion that it is prohibited to keep dogs if there is no necessity, and that the permissibility of keeping them is for the three needs mentioned in the Hadîth. Keeping them for needs other than those was also permitted, by way of analogy.
Moreover, raising dogs as a hobby is a bad custom, in addition to its being prohibited, since this entails extravagance in spending money on them and treating them, side by side with the dangerous diseases from which doctors have warned us.