Islam and Adoption

By Dr. Hatem al-Haj

Muslims in Muslim-majority countries should enhance the kafâlah system (care for orphans) to attain all of the benefits of legal adoption, while complying with the spirit and letter of the Sharia in this regard. Wherever a kafâlah system is not available, Muslims may legally adopt children, to fulfill the obvious necessity, with the following guidelines:

-Maintaining transparency and affording the children the right to know their lineage, ethnic and national origins. This can be done with open adoption.

-Keeping the family names of the children whenever legally possible. When not, the children may be given the last name of the adoptive family.

-Maintaining all of the shar‘i (Islamically legal) constraints, such as the rules of mingling and inheritance, to the best of the involved parties’ capacity, while showing flexibility in relieving these constraints whenever possible with concessions and valid legal devices that are not in conflict with the objectives of al-Shâriʽa.

One of the ways those constraints may be relieved is by breastfeeding those orphans. If an infant lost his mother, another woman could nurse him, and he will be a member of her family forever. According to a study published by The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, breastfeeding the adopted child is recommended and possible for women who did not give birth. Also, note that, according to the majority of scholars, the legally prohibitive breastfeeding is whatever milk enters the throat, whether by suckling or through drenching (pouring milk into the throat), and whether it was pure or mixed, as long as it is not completely absorbed into the other substance.

Breastfeeding an infant under the age of two will result in him being part of the ‘milk-family’ by consensus. However, some of the orphans who need homes and families may be past the age cutoff, which is two years according to the vast majority, with some slight variations (Abu Ḥaneefah: 30 months; Mâlik: 26 months). To the vast majority, those orphans may not be breastfed to establish maḥramiyyah (legal prohibition). There is, however, an authentic hadith reported by Muslim that the Prophet (pbuh) said to the wife of Abu Ḥudhayfah concerning Sâlim, the freed slave of Abu Ḥudhayfah: “Breastfeed him, then you will become his maḥram.”[1] This happened after the prohibition of adoption. Sâlim was their adoptee, and had nowhere else to go, and he was a young adult, so the Prophet (pbuh) allowed her to do that for this special condition.

Some of the scholars considered the breastfeeding of one older than two prohibitive, and that is the position of Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, ‘Urwah, Muhammad ibn al-Qâsim, ‘Aṭâ’, and was most defended by Imam Ibn Ḥâzm. Before that, it was adopted by ‘Â’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her. However, Umm Salamah and all other wives of the Prophet (pbuh) (except Ḥafsah, as reported by aṭ-Ṭabari) refused that position and told ‘Â’ishah, “By Allah, we do not know whether that was a special concession granted by the Prophet (pbuh) to Sâlim, exclusive (to him) of the people” (Abu Dawud). The majority followed the reasoning of Umm Salamah and the other wives of the Prophet (pbuh) and considered this ruling to be exclusive for Sâlim or abrogated by the specification of the two year term.

Imams Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim took a middle position. They considered it prohibitive only when there is a need similar to that of Abu Hudhayfah’s family. Although this position is a minority one, it has some validity, and it may also ease the suffering of many Muslim children by facilitating their foster caring by surrogate Muslim families. This is not regarded as a trick or pretense, rather it is a legitimate shar‘i concession. And while it is commendable for Muslims to be wary of positions that are in conflict with the agreement of the four imams, this aversion should not completely rule out the possibility that the truth may be outside of their agreement, but merely serve as a warning for mujtahideen (Muslim jurists) to proceed with caution and for non-mujtahideen to stop. Even if we consider an opinion weak, it may sometimes be adopted by the verifying scholars to relieve some hardship, given that it meets some conditions as described by the author of Marâqi as-Su‘ood in the following verses:

وكَوْنِهِ يُلْــجى إليهِ الضَّرَرُ — إنْ كانَ لَمْ يَشْتَــدّ فِيهِ الخَوَرُ
وثَبَتَ العَــزْوُ وقَـدْ تَحَقَّقَا — ضُرّاً مَن الضُّرُّ بِهِ تَعَلَّــــقَا

Finally, because the pressing need or necessity may compel people to act upon such [weak positions] if they are not too weak, and their attribution [to a mujtahid] was established, and the one under duress is certain of their necessity.

Source: Dr. Hatem’s Facebook Post

[1] It is not clear from the hadith how Salim was given the milk. Imam Nawawi said, “Al-Qadhi said, ‘Perhaps she squeezed the milk out [into a cup] and then he drank it without touching her breasts nor her skin.’ This statement of Al-Qadhi is good.” More info

Legal Maxims of Islamic Law: A Brief Introduction


Fiqh or legal maxims of Islamic law (Al-Qawaa’id Al-Fiqhiyyah) is a genre of Islamic sciences that focuses on general rules of fiqh which can be applied to a wide variety of particular situations. In fact, in Muslim countries a student cannot obtain a degree in Islamic sciences from an Islamic university without first having completed a course on this subject (Mohammed, 2005, p. 191). These maxims have been used by Muslim jurists for centuries to give verdicts. They assist in the matter of ijtihad because they organize the branches of fiqh and categorize cases and it is a must for every Muslim jurist to have knowledge of it (Elgariani, 2012, p. 380). This is why some scholars accurately depicted that “were it not for the law maxims, the fiqh rulings would have remained as scattered cases, outwardly discrete without any ideational connection between them” (Mohammed, 2005, p. 191).

There are a number of definitions given for this genre but perhaps the most inclusive one states that it “is an all-inclusive rule based on legal evidence written accurately in comprehensive words, and it includes all or most particles, juz’iyat (cases pertaining to fiqh) which come under it” (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 3). They are often written in short but expressive statements. They tend to express at times the goals and objectives of the Shari’ah and this is why some scholars treat this subject under the category of maqasid (rules and objectives of Shari’ah) (Kamali, Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law, p. 1). For example, one of the maxims states “hardship begets ease”. What it means is that in order for Shari’ah to guarantee itself relevance for all times and places, it never puts individuals in situations where the obligation becomes unbearable for them or makes their life difficult (Elgariani, 2012, pp. 238-239). This is why in Islamic law it is allowed for those traveling to shorten and combine their prayers, break their fast in Ramadan, and wipe over their socks for three days and nights. All of this is permitted to fulfill one of the objectives of Shari’ah to bring ease to the person because travel brings hardship, stress, and difficulty.

Some have suggested that the goals of these maxims are the following (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 31):

1. Simplify and assemble the branches of Islamic law
2. Extract and organize various branches of rulings under one subject to avoid conflicts
3. Assist scholars in deducing replies to contemporary issues
4. Allow scholars to do a comparison between various schools of thought
5. Prove that Islamic law can be incorporated to any place at any time

Kamali expressed it perfectly when he said that these maxims “represent…the apex of cumulative progress” (Kamali, Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law, p. 1) while others said that they “embrace secrets and the wisdom of the Shari’ah” (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 43) and assist in an appropriate understanding of the goals of the Shari’ah (Mohammed, 2005, p. 191).

These maxims are usually extracted from the sources of Shari’ah, both primary (Qur’an, Sunnah, ijmaa, qiyaas) and secondary ones (methods of ijtihad: istislaah, istishaab, etc.) (Elgariani, 2012, p. 379). As for their wordings, they can be excerpts from the Qur’an or hadiths but in most cases “reflect the phraseology of leading jurists and have been refined with the passing of time” (Mohammed, 2005, pp. 193-194). Due to this modification over time, the final wordings of each individual maxim are difficult to trace back to the first individual who uttered it (Elgariani, 2012, p. 60). For example, the maxim “actions are judged by intention” is deduced from the famous hadith about intention in which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Actions are judged by their intentions”, which means that actions in Shari’ah are to be judged by the intentions of the doer behind the acts (Mohammed, 2005, pp. 199-200). So if a person commits murder, then his punishment in Shari’ah is decided based on the intention of the killer. If his intention was to kill the victim, then his punishment is different as opposed to the one who accidentally kills a person or did it in self-defense.

The maxims are purposefully put in precise words in order to make them easy to remember and derive rulings without having to delve deeply into the texts. They are a sort of shortcut to same rulings that can be given and applied in many situations. For example, the maxim mentioned above about actions being judged by intentions can be applied to many circumstances related to worship, business transactions, and criminal law. Similarly, the maxim related to worldly things which states that “in general all things are permissible” can be applied to almost all situations of life. The scholars did an outstanding job of forming these maxims by doing a ”detailed study of several related rulings in order to extrapolate common factors that could be applied to similar matters” (Mohammed, 2005, p. 192). This is why some describe a maxim as “a general rule which applies to all of its related particulars…reflective of a consolidated reading of the fiqh” (Kamali, Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law, p. 1).

The maxims can be used as proof for a judgement in the following four cases (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 33):

1. If the maxim is an exact statement from the Qur’an or Sunnah
2. If the maxim is derived from those proofs which are fully agreed upon (Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus)
3. If the maxim is derived from those proofs that are not fully agreed upon (qiyaas, istishaab, maslahah, ‘urf,), then it can be used as a secondary proof
4. If the maxim was derived from ijtihad, it can also be used as proof

There are also cases when some of the fiqh maxims are not applied:

1. There is a category of fiqh maxims known as dawabit (controllers), which are restricted to a particular chapter or theme of fiqh and are not applied outside of it (Kamali, Legal Maxims and Other Genres of Literature in Islamic Jurisprudence, 2006, p. 82). For example, the fiqh maxim “when the water reaches two qullahs, it does not carry dirt” is restricted to the chapter of cleanliness and is not applied outside of it. Similarly, the maxim “all the dead animals are impure except fish and locusts” is applied only in issues related to eating and drinking and not outside of it.

2. There are maxims on which there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. These differences are of two types: maxims upon which scholars of a particular school are in agreement while not other schools and maxims upon which the scholars of even a particular school are not in agreement (Elahi, 2013). There are also differences among scholars on the application of some of the maxims (Elgariani, 2012, p. 147). Therefore, in such instances a follower of a particular school or scholar may not apply a certain maxim while another will do so. However, there are five maxims which all schools of thought agree on. Some even have suggested that most of the fiqh maxims are just sub-maxims under these major five (Mohammed, 2005, p. 192). These five are as follows:

1. Matters are to be considered in light of their objectives/intentions
2. That which is established with certainty is not removed by doubt
3. The presence of difficulty requires that allowances be made to effect ease
4. Harm shall be removed
5. Cultural usage shall have the weight of law

The maxims allow exceptions and particularizations and at times this is stated vividly within the maxim itself (Mohammed, 2005, p. 193). For example, the maxim mentioned earlier above that “in general all things are permissible”, the exception to this is “unless there is evidence to the contrary”.



Elahi, M. M. (Writer). (2013). Islamic Legal Maxims: Module 1 Video Part b [Motion Picture]. Islamic Online University. Retrieved December 16, 2016, from

Elgariani, F. S. (2012). Al- Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah (Islamic Legal Maxims): Concept, Functions, History, Classifications and Application to Contemporary Medical Issues. Exeter: University of Exeter. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Kamali, M. H. (2006). Legal Maxims and Other Genres of Literature in Islamic Jurisprudence. Arab Law Quarterly, 20(1), 77-101. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from

Kamali, M. H. (n.d.). Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law. The Association of Muslim Lawyers. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Mishkah University. (2013). Al-Qawa’id Al-Fiqhiyyah (Legal Maxims of Islamic Jurisprudence) A Translated Compilation. Mishkah University. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Mohammed, K. (2005). The Islamic Law Maxims. Islamic Studies, 44(2), 191-207. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Notes: Buying a Home Seminar w/ Sh. Joe Bradford


I took the online seminar with Sh. Joe Bradford a few months ago. I really enjoyed it and took down notes. I am providing them below. He doesn’t cover just the Islamic aspect of it but also budgeting and being responsible with money. Please note that I did not write down every single thing or detail that he said. I just noted down what I personally found interesting or beneficial. You can also download the notes below in a pdf format here for easy printing and reading.

As an added bonus, you can also download my notes from Khan Academy’s videos on the home buying process. It will give you a better idea of how the process to buy a home works in the United States.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, make sure that you know the 9 hidden costs of buying a home.


  1. rentorbuyBudgeting
    1. We need to know how to save
    2. Your income should be more than your expenses
      1. Track it every month
      2. If expenses are more, than you need to cut them down
    3. Buying a home is a major debt
    4. Get rid of subconscious purchases
  2. Consumer debt (credit card, car payments, etc.)
    1. Get rid of it if you are in it before applying for a home
    2. Pay down the ones with the highest interest rates first
    3. Accessible savings (IRAs, etc.)
      1. Pay off the debts with it
  3. Set a goal
    1. Where do you want to live?
    2. What do you want for your family?
    3. Pin point the areas where you want to live
  4. Overestimate the price for the home
    1. So you can be prepared
  5. Put together a list of your holdings
    1. Assets that can be liquidated and can be used to pay down payment and closing costs
      1. Also repairs after you by the home
    2. Ex: 401k
    3. Do it early because it takes time
  6. Talk to your insurance agent beforehand
    1. Find out if there are bundled deals
      1. Car + home
  7. Just because you pre-qualify for a large amount does not mean you can afford it or that you should use it all
  8. All monthly payments for the house should not be more than 28% of your gross income monthly
    1. Mortgage, insurance, property taxes, PMI insurance if low down payment
    2. Try to stay within less than what you can afford when you purchase a home because all of your expenses in life add up
  9. Closing costs
    1. Origination, escrow fees, prepaid home insurance, legal fees, inspection fees
    2. 2-5% of your purchase price of the home
  10. Work with a competent realtor
    1. Ask for a track record
    2. They need to be able to negotiate for you
      1. And advocate for you
    3. Down payment
      1. Safest: 20% or more
  11. Seller financing
    1. You do finance directly with the seller and don’t go through the lender company
    2. Very rare
  12. Lower the purchase price of the home, the lower the down payment you have to make
  13. Buying is not for everyone
    1. Do research on renting vs. buying calculator and see if it’s better to rent in your area or not
    2. Not everyone can afford it
  14. Steps to purchase a home
    1. Have to apply
    2. Need to put down earnest money
      1. Money put down to show that you earnestly want to purchase the property
        1. And that you are serious
      2. Usually $1-2k
      3. Will be used as part of the closing cost
    3. Provide personal documentation
      1. Bank statements, pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, other income info
    4. Appraisal and inspection
      1. Either you or the seller pays for it
    5. Insurance
    6. Submit all of your documentation
    7. Wait for the under writer who decides whether your purchase will be funded or not
      1. They may give you conditions to close
        1. Ask for more things to verify your income
    8. Documents
      1. Official documents to buy a home are issued
    9.  Signing
      1. By going to a title company
    10. Funding and recording
      1. Money you put down and the lender will be given to the owner and the latter will give the title
      2. Title is going to be recorded in the buyer’s or the lender’s name
        1. Some states or lien while others title
          1. Lien – the title is in the buyer’s name and the lender company has a lien on the house until the mortgage is paid off
          2. Title – the title is under the lender’s name and is transferred to the buyer after the house is paid off
    11. Funding mortgages (three methods)
      1. Seller/owner financing
        1. Also called co-ops
          1. Ameen Housing does this
        2. We’re not borrowing funds but paying for the home directly to the seller
        3. Another form of it is: a group of friends put in money in a pool together and purchase a home and then one pays it off and then the second one does same and the cycle continues until everyone has a house
        4. Seller financing is completely halal
      2. Conventional financing
        1. You asked to pay a fixed or adjustable rate
          1. Never do adjustable rates because this was part of what led to the market crash
        2. You put down your down payment and for the rest you go to an escrow
          1. Escrow is an independent third party
            1. Also called a title company
            2. They will verify all of the documentation
            3. They will verify all of the funds
            4. They will keep above in safe keeping
              1. Your down payment and the lender’s lent money
              2. They will hold it in trust until all of the conditions are met and they’ve verified and reviewed everything
                1. Then the money goes from the escrow to the seller and the title is transferred to the buyer/lender from the seller
                  1. Then the buyer pays back the person he/she borrowed the funds from (mortgage lender)
            5. They are there to preserve the rights of all the parties involved and force them to take responsibility
        3. Islamic financing
          1. They were created because
            1. Some scholars said the conventional process is not permissible and had problems with it, such as:
              1. The escrow
                1. This is an entity that is selling something that it does not own and never takes liability or assumes risk
              2. Riba
            2. The scholars went into Islamic law to find a contract which is permissible. They came up with three types which currently exist in the United States
    12. Murabaha
        1. Cost plus sale contract
        2. Islamic finance company buys the property and resells it to the buyer with profit
          1. They buy the property under their name and assume risk and then resell it to the buyer
          2. To diminish the risk of the buyer backing out, they do one of two things. One is permissible, the other is not
            1. Permissible: they write an option to the seller of the original property that they have the right to return the property within certain amount of time with no questions asked
            2. Not permissible: they make the buyer sign an affidavit (document) which is legally binding promising that the buyer will purchase the home
              1. So they’ve written a contract to sell you before they’ve sold you the property
                1. It is just as problematic as the issue of conventional mortgage
          3. The actual time that the Islamic company is assuming risk is about 30 seconds or so, which is usually at the time of signing
              1. Some scholars have issue with this while others find it fine
    13. Ijarah
      1. Leasing
      2. Rent to own
      3. Open lease
        1. You lease and at the very end the home has to be transferred to you
          1. You either pay for the depreciated value or you pay a lump sum or just transferred to you at that time
        2. In the United States, they do it differently and there are extra financial structures in place. This is why this could be more expensive
          1. They purchase the home through borrowing funds from a trust that they create and then lease it to you
        3. Best to stay away from these in the United States
    14. Musharakah
      1. Diminishing partnership
      2. Two partners buy something and one has 20% while the other has 80% of the payment
        1. 20% usually the down payment
      3. Then they create a trust/partnership/corporation which purchases the home for both
        1. Then the buyer slowly buys the Islamic finance company out
      4. But classic Islamic law dictates that the partners share equally in the appreciation, the profit, and expenses
        1. It’s not permissible for one to throw all of the load and fees onto the other partner because then he is unjustly taking more than his due
      5. So ask the Islamic finance company selling this type if they are going to share in the costs, expenses, insurance, etc.
        1. If not, then they are doing something not Islamic because this is not a partnership
  15. Sh. Joe says that the Murabaha is probably the safest
    1. But it’s restricted and not available everywhere
    2. Could also be more expensive
  16. All of the companies, Islamic or conventional, do something at the end which diminishes the whole aspect of partnership
    1. They sell the mortgage to Fanne Mae or Freddy Mac
      1. Secondary market
      2. You sign a document for it
      3. Government organizations that function as corporations but get money from the government
        1. They have an implicit guarantee from the government that if they fail, the government will help them out
      4. These companies give funding to the lender, who in turn gives funding to the buyer, then the lender sells that mortgage back to the secondary market so that they [Fanne Mae/Freddy Mac] can continue the lending process
    2. All finance companies do this
    3. So when you go to an Islamic finance company ask them who they are going to sell the mortgage to
      1. If it is a wholly owned subsidiary of their own company that services all of their mortgages, then this is much better because if they sell it someone with a bad record, then you could get stuck with lots of extra fees and charges
  17. Portfolio loan
    1. Locally available in areas
    2. They invest in the individual
    3. A form of conventional loan but they don’t sell it to secondary market
    4. Try this first if you must go conventional due to dire need or do not qualify for Islamic finance
  18. Final advice
    1. Make istikharah
    2. Make shura with people whom you trust and used products you want to use
    3. Ask yourself three questions
      1. Does this make financial sense for me?
      2. Is it going to provide stability for my family?
      3. Am I willing to stand before Allah on the day of judgement for buying this home?

Islam is not the Cause of Honor Killings. It’s Part of the Solution


By Dr. Jonathan Brown

This part of the history of honor killings you’re unlikely to read or hear about. In 1947 in the British colony of Nigeria, English judges had to overturn what they viewed as the backwards ruling of a local Shariah court. A man had been sentenced to death for murder, but the British superior court pointed out that it had been a crime of passion. The man had killed his wife’s lover. The Shariah court had been unimpressed by this excuse, but the British court decided that the murderer did not deserve to die. Yes, you read that correctly. A Shariah court, applying Shariah law, did not buy the ‘crime of passion’ argument that has long served as a justification for honor killings. The British court did.

Honor killings are never far from the headlines. The Islamophobic Clarion Fund even released a documentary called Honor Diaries, which repeats the accusation that Islam supports honor killings and that these acts of violence are endemic to Muslim societies.

But the truth of the matter is that honor killings are not caused or encouraged by Islam. Honor killing, despite the popular rhetoric around it, is not even a problem specific to Muslims. Its most concentrated and serious occurrences don’t involve Muslims at all. This ignorance about Islam’s teachings and the realities of violence against women has serious costs. First, blaming honor crimes on Islam antagonizes Muslims unnecessarily. It feeds the narrative, prevalent in many Muslim countries, that dismisses human rights as a proxy for Westernization and cultural imperialism. Second, sensationalism over Islam deflects from a reality that many men are loath to admit: that violence against women is a global problem with roots much deeper than the doctrines of one religion or the features of one culture. It needs to be addressed as such. Finally, obsessing over Islam’s alleged acceptance of honor crimes blinds Muslims and non-Muslims to the condemnation of these crimes in Muhammad’s teachings and the Shariah.

The tragedy of violence directed at women because they are women is far too widespread and long-lived to be the product of any one religion or even one culture. Though it takes different shapes and appears with varied frequency from region to region, it afflicts all societies. Patriarchal societies (i.e., all societies to one degree or another) sometimes ‘justify’ some of this violence as the consequence of rage triggered in ‘crimes of passion.’ Other forms of violence against women, such as honor killings, can involve premeditation and even the coordination of several people, including women related to the victim. In those parts of the world plagued worst by violence against women, legal systems tend to offer official or unofficial leniency for the men who commit it.

Honor crimes are only part of the larger phenomenon of femicide, or the murder of a woman for some reason associated with her gender. The women and girls who are the victims of such violence are attacked because they are perceived to have violated some profound expectation of how women are supposed to act in their society. In the Mediterranean region, especially the Middle East and North Africa, as well as South Asia, affronts are to the ‘honor’ of the woman or her family. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has conservatively estimated that at least 5,000 women a year globally are victims of honor killings. In India and Pakistan, this often entails a daughter or sister being killed for falling in love with a man without parental approval and occurs amongst Hindu and Muslim populations alike. Femicide takes other forms elsewhere. A 2012 UN report details how in parts of southern Africa, South and Southeast Asia hundreds of women are killed each year after being accused of witchcraft. Their killers receive lighter sentences with alarming regularity.

Despite the media attention they receive, honor killings are not the most prevalent type of femicide. The number of honor killings, whether in Muslim countries or elsewhere, pales in comparison with the most serious form of violence against women, namely dowry killings among India’s Hindu population. Dowry killings, the murder of a wife by her husband or his family, often by burning, for her failure to provide a large enough dowry payment to her husband’s family, ceasing dowry gifts or merely for falling short of expectations in her wifely duties, have occurred in shocking numbers. A 2012 UN report observed that 8,383 known dowry murders occurred in India in 2009, up from 4,836 in 1990. Though the Indian government outlawed dowry giving decades ago and identified dowry murders as a criminal problem, dowry giving remains an important custom and the suspicious death of wives is rarely investigated. The police often dismiss these deaths as kitchen accidents.

Islamophobic organizations point out that Islam and the laws of Muslim countries excuse honor killings or treat them lightly. On the second point they are correct. Such laws are a problem, and one that seems to have proliferated in the Middle East. In Egyptian law, a man who kills his wife and/or her lover after catching them ‘in the act’ (in flagrante delicto) is only punished with prison as opposed to the death penalty. Morocco, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Oman, the UAE, and Jordan’s laws extend drastically reduced penalties for the murder of any female relative (and their lover) that a man finds in such a situation (though the UAE and a 2001 update to Jordan’s laws allows the same excuse for a woman who finds her husband in bed with another woman).

But none of these laws has any basis in the Shariah or Islamic teachings. In fact, they were originally imported from the West. Criminal law in the Middle East today was shaped by the Ottoman Criminal Code of 1858, which was issued as part of the failing Ottoman Empire’s efforts to imitate its European rivals. The Code was little more than a translation of the French Criminal Code of 1832, copying word for word its lax punishment for honor crimes. This is still evident today in the laws of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and to a lesser extent Morocco (never part of the Ottoman Empire), which read like literal translations from the French. The French and Ottoman law codes also served as the major inspiration for Egypt’s law as well.

Read the rest of the article from Yaqeen Institute

Was ‘Tahneek’ Specific to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?


Source: هل تحنيك الصبي خاص بالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم؟

[Translator’s NoteTahneek is the practice of rubbing a piece of softened date on the roof of the mouth of a newborn. It is a noble practice from Islam with which the newborn is greeted upon entering into the first moments of this life, before any other type of food enters his/her stomach.]

Aisha reported that newborn infants used to be brought to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh). He would bless them and rub their palates with dates [tahneek] (Bukhari and Muslim).

In general, the people of knowledge recommend doing tahneek after a child is given birth. Imam Nawawi even narrated a consensus over it. However, some of the people of knowledge viewed the practice as something specific to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Shaykh Al-Uthyameen said in Fatawa Noor ‘alaa Al-Darb (6/228):

“Tahneek is the first thing that a child tastes after birth but is the practice legislated for anyone other than the Prophet (pbuh)? There is a difference of opinion over it.

There are those scholars who say that tahneek was something specific to the Messenger (pbuh) due to the blessing in his saliva and to make it the first thing that enters into the child’s stomach mixed with a date, therefore, this is not legislated for anyone other than him.

There are also those scholars who say that it is allowed for anyone and not just the Prophet (pbuh) because the purpose is to have the child’s first taste be that of dates. In other words, whoever does tahneek after a child’s birth, then there is no harm and whoever didn’t do it, then that is ok as well.”

This practice not being specific to the Prophet (pbuh) is what is generally followed by the scholars. The practice is reported from among the salaf [early generations]. There is evidence to show that the practice was well known among the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Imam Ahmad reported in his Musnad from Anas (11617):

“Umm Sulaim gave birth a to a boy one night. She disliked to do tahneek on him until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had done so. So I carried him early morning with ajwah dates [to the Prophet (pbuh)] and found the Prophet (pbuh) rubbing tar on his camels or marking them. So I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, Umm Sulaim gave birth last night and she dislikes to do tahneek until you have done so.’ So he replied, ‘Do you have something with you?’ I said, ‘I have ajwah dates.’ So he took some of them and chewed them and then he gathered his saliva and poured it in the child’s mouth. Then the child began to lick it. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Love of the Ansar is dates.”

Anas’s statement in the hadith, ” She disliked to do tahneek on him until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had done so”, shows that the practice of tahneek was well known to them.

Ibn Kathir said in Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah (9/303):

“Al-Hasan Al-Basri was born during the caliphate of Umar bin Al-Khattab. He was brought to Umar and he supplicated for him and did tahneek on him.”

It states in Tuhfah Al-Mawdud (p. 33):

“Muhammad bin Ali narrates from the mother of Ahmad bin Hanbal’s child, ‘When I gave birth, Ahmad said, ‘Bring me those dates.’ Then I said to Ali’s mother, chew these dates and do tahneek on him. So she did so.'”

People of Knowledge recommend that if someone cannot find dried dates, then he should use ripe dates, otherwise, anything that is sweet.

Imam Nawawi said in Sharh Sahih Muslim (14/122-123):

“The scholars have agreed on the recommendation of doing tahneek on a newborn with dates. If this is not possible, then whatever is closest to it in sweetness and meaning. The one who does the tahneek chews the dates until they become liquid [enough] to be swallowed [by the child]. Then he opens the child’s mouth and places the liquid in it so that it enters into the child’s abdomen.”