The Rulings Pertaining to Looking at a Woman for a Marriage Proposal

In the Name of Allāh, all praise is due to Allāh and may the praise and security be upon the Messenger of Allāh.

To proceed:

This is a translation of a booklet entitled al-Aḥkām al-Maṭlūbah fī Ru’yat al-Makhṭūbah  by Shaykh Samīr b. Amīn al-Zuhayrī. I came across the title of this work whilst reading the Shaykh’s annotated verification of Ibn Ḥajr’s Bulūgh al-Marām and managed to find it on the web. The topic is obviously a crucial one for those seeking to tread the path of marriage and want to know the relevant rulings associated with different aspects of the whole process. This booklet answers the most critical questions in relation to the actual viewing of the prospective bride and the manner in which the Salaf applied the Sunnic advice in this regard. The author dispels some misconceptions surrounding the topic as well. Critical notes have been added here and there to further supplement the value of the booklet and one hopes the readers will benefit from it as much as I have.

Happy reading:

Looking at a Woman for a Marriage Proposal pdf version

The Virtues of Fasting and Ramadan

In the Name of Allāh, all praise is due to Allāh and may the peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allāh.

To proceed:

What follows is a collection of virtues connected with fasting as reported in numerous authentic aḥādīth from disparate sources contained within the book Ṣaḥīḥ al-Targhīb wa al-Tarhīb by Sh. Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī (may Allāh have mercy upon him)[1]. With the month of Ramaḍān rapidly approaching our doorstep, I thought it would be appropriate to bring to the attention of those who intend to fast during the blessed month the tremendous virtues of fasting. The aim, if Allāh wills, is to increase one’s love of the act of fasting, to make one aware of the delights that await the sincere faster which should in turn strengthen our resolve and encourage us to make the best of the aforementioned month. I will add more aḥādīth pertaining to the virtues and rewards of fasting to this post inshā’Allāh over the coming days – I’ve got other projects to attend to before then!

FASTING IS FOR ALLĀḤ AND HE REWARDS IT HIMSELF

The first batch of aḥādīth mentions a number of different virtues of fasting, which seek to stir the soul of the believer with high expectations of immense reward from his Lord. Not only has Allāh, as we shall see from the narrations below, singled out fasting as an act of worship that is done for Him in contrast to other conspicuous acts of worship but also the odour of the fasting person’s mouth is more pleasant to Allāh than even the smell of perfume. Additionally, Allāh does not limit the reward of fasting to the usual multiples between 10 and 700, instead He will reward it as He sees fit. Finally, the fasting person will find that his fast is a shield from the Fire and that he will experience two moments of utter joy; the moment he breaks his fast and the moment he meets his Lord.

Now let us take a look at these wonderful aḥādīth:

[978]    Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh grant him peace and security) said:

“Allāh the Mighty and Exalted said: Every action of the Son of Ādam is for him, except fasting for it is for Me and I will reward it. Fasting is a shield so when one of you is fasting let him not behave obscenely nor clamor. If someone insults or fights him, let him say: I am fasting, I am fasting. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muḥammad, the smell of the mouth of the faster is more pleasant with Allāh than the smell of musk. The faster has two moments of joy; when he breaks his fast he is happy and when he meets his Lord He is happy with his fast.”

Scholia:

One might ask the question – is not every act of worship performed by a person for him? Why did Allāh specify fasting? The response is that it means the reward for every other act of worship performed by a person is restricted between 10 and 700 multiples. However, the reward for fasting is unrestricted by normal parameters as Allāh will decide the amount by which the faster should be rewarded as we shall come to see, if Allāh wills.

In a narration of Bukhārī:

“He forsakes his food, drink and desires because of Me, fasting is for Me and I will reward it and every good act is ten times its like”.

In a narration of Muslim:

“Every deed of the Son of Ādam is multiplied; good acts are 10 times its like up to 700 times. Allāh the Most High stated: Except for fasting for it is for Me and I will reward it. He leaves his desire and food because of Me. The faster has two moments of joy: a moment of joy when breaking his fast and a moment of joy when meeting his Lord and the smell of the mouth of the faster is more pleasant with Allāh than the scent of musk”.

In another one of his narrations as well as Ibn Khuzaymah:

                “And when he meets Allāh the Mighty and Exalted, He rewards him thus he becomes happy”.

Tirmidhī reports in one narration:

“Indeed your Lord says: Every good deed is ten times its like up to 700, fasting is for me and I will reward it. Fasting is a shield from the Fire and the smell of the fasting person’s mouth is more pleasant to Allāh than the smell of musk. If a person acts ignorantly towards one of you while he is fasting, let him say: I am fasting, I am fasting”.

In one of Ibn Khuzaymah’s narration:

“He said: Every act of the Son of Ādam is for him; a good deed is ten times its like up to seven hundred times. Allāh said: Except for fasting, it is for Me, I will reward it, he leaves his food because of Me, he leaves his drink because of Me, he leaves his pleasure because of Me and he leaves his wife because of Me. The smell of the faster’s mouth is better to Allāh than the scent of musk. The faster has two moments of joy: a moment of joy when breaking the fast and a moment of joy when meeting his Lord”.

THE GATE OF AL-RAYYĀN

The Gate of al-Rayyān is a gate in Paradise which, according to the narrations to be mentioned below, can only be entered by those who performed the act of fasting in this life. Once it is closed none else may enter it. Furthermore, those who enter it will drink and will never become thirsty thereafter:

[979]    Sahl b. Sa῾d (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported from the Prophet (may Allāh grant him peace and security) who said:

“Indeed in Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyān. Those who fasted will enter it on the Day of Resurrection, none other than them will enter it, when they have entered it will be closed and none will enter it [thereafter]”.

In an addition by Bukhārī, Muslim, al-Nasā’ī and al-Tirmidhī:

                “And whoever enters it will never experience thirst”.

Ibn Khuzaymah reports:

“When the last of them have entered it will be closed, whoever enters it will drink and whoever drinks will never experience thirst”

A SHIELD

Fasting as an act of worship is an effective shield from the Fire. How? There are a number of explanations for this. Firstly, we have been informed from other authentic sources that the Fire is surrounded by desires and temptations. Fasting weakens the desire thus allowing one to protect oneself from falling into the traps of temptation which would have been kindled by one’s desire. Secondly, fasting is a shield in the sense that Allāh will remove a person far from the Fire by a great distance for every fast that a person undertakes sincerely.

[980]    Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported from the Prophet (may Allāh grant him peace and security) who said:

                “Fasting is a shield, an impregnable fortress from the fire”.

[981]    Jābir (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported from the Prophet (may Allāh grant him peace and security) that he said:

                “Fasting is a shield with which the slave conceals himself from the Fire”.

[982]    ῾Uthmān b. Abī al-῾Āṣ (may Allāh be pleased with him) said he heard the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh grant him peace and security) say:

“Fasting is a shield from the Fire, just like one of your shield in battle and fasting is good three days of every month”.

FASTING INTERCEDES FOR A PERSON ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

On the Day of Judgement every single soul will face an account of his deeds which will play a part in determining one’s final abode as either in eternal bliss in Paradise or eternal damnation in the Fire. One of the ways in which a person will be able to attain either salvation from the Fire on the Day or an increase in his station in Paradise is through the intercession of various agents such as the Prophets, Angels, martyrs etc. What we learn from the ḥadīth below is that fasting will also intercede to Allāh for the one who used to engage in it.

[984]    From ῾Abd Allāh b. ῾Amr (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh grant him peace and security) said:

“Fasting and the Qur’ān intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: “O my Lord! I prevented him from food and desires so allow me to intercede for him”. The Qur’ān will say: “I prevented him from sleeping at night so allow me to intercede for him”. Both will then be allowed to intercede””.


[1] It is based on al-Targhīb wa al-Tarhīb [Encouragement [to perform good deeds] and Discouragement [from perpetrating evil deeds]] of al-Ḥāfiẓ Zakī al-Dīn ῾Abd al-῾Aẓīm b. ῾Abd al-Qawī al-Munẓirī, which according to al-Albānī, is the most comprehensive and beneficial composition on the topic. See al-Albānī, Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn (1421/200) Ṣaḥīḥ al-Targhīb wa al-Tarhīb. Riyāḍ: Maktabat al-Ma῾ārif, vol. 1, pp. 35-36. Forthcoming translations on the virtues of fasting are found in vol.1, p. 574ff.

Optional Prayer After Eid Prayer

“A RARE SUNNAH…”

The Text of the Ḥadīth

Abū Sa῾īd al-Khudrī (may Allāḥ be pleased with him)[1] stated:

“The Messenger of Allāh (ṢallAllāhu ῾alayhi wa sallam) did not used to pray anything before the ῾Īd, when he would return to his home he would pray two units”.

Narrated by Ibn Mājah (no. 1293).

Grading of the Ḥadīth

The ḥadīth according to a number of leading muḥaddithūn is considered to be ḥasan (fair). Al-Ḥāfidh b. Ḥajar for instance, explicitly stated in Bulūgh al-Marām that the isnād (chain) is ḥasan[2]. Al-Ḥākim went one step further and graded the isnād of the ḥadīth as ṣaḥīḥ[3] (sound), something to which al-Dhahabī agreed[4]. However, al-Albānī responds that it is only ḥasan because a narrator by the name of Ibn ῾Aqīl has been spoken about due to his memorisation[5]. This is why, al-Ḥāfidh, as mentioned above, and al-Būṣayrī in al-Zawā’id (mss 2/80) both stated that the isnād is ḥasan[6].

Fiqh of the Ḥadīth

The ḥadīth indicates that there is no established prayer before the ῾Id prayer, although upon returning home one can pray two units of prayer[7] if one wishes to do so as the Prophet did so. After narrating his version of the ḥādīth al-Ḥākim states that ‘this is a rare Sunnah…’[8] accordingly it would be in our best interest to revive it as a service to the Sunnah.

Al-῾Allāmah Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-῾Uthaymīn states in his lecture series in explanation of the above mentioned ḥadīth that if the ḥadīth is authentic, what is apparent from it is that the two units of prayer the Prophet prayed  are either connected to the ῾Īd prayer or it was for al-Ḍuḥā.[9] It appears to me that the two units of prayer were not for Ṣalāt al-Ḍuḥā because the least number of units that the Prophet is reported to have prayed himself is four units whilst the most he prayed was twelve units although he allowed two units to be performed. Evidence that he recommended others to perform at least two units of the prayer includes for instance what Abū Hurayrah reported:

“My intimate friend advised me with three: …two units of al-Ḍuḥā”[10]

Evidence that appears to show the least he prayed was four is found in the report of Umm al-Mu’minīn, ῾Ā’ishah who stated:

“The Messenger of Allāh used to pray four units of al-Ḍuḥā and increase whatever Allāh willed[11]

On the day of the Conquest of Makkah he entered the home of Umm Hānī’ and prayed eight units of al-Ḍuḥā[12], considering the enormity of the day and the fact that he still prayed eight units it seems highly unlikely the Prophet would have prayed as little as two units of Ṣalāt al-Ḍuḥā on the day of ῾Īd. This is further substantiated by the fact that the Prophet would always exert himself in acts of worship and perform more than the lowest degree of a righteous act.

Based on the above it appears the two units of prayer are not connected to al-Ḍuḥā but have a connection with the ῾Īd.

Reconciliation of Conflicting Reports

One may raise the doubt: does this ḥadīth not contradict the ḥadīth of Ibn ῾Abbās reported in al-Bukhārī and others[13] in which he stated that the Prophet did not pray anything before the ῾Īd ṣalāh nor after it?

Imām al-Albānī states that the reconciliation between this particular ḥadīth and the ḥadīth mentioned by Ibn ῾Abbās which negates praying anything after the ῾Īd lies in the fact that the intent of the negation is in regards to prayer in the muṣallā (field of prayer) as indicated by al-Ḥāfidh in al-Talkhīṣ (p. 144)[14]. This particular form of reconciliation has also been mentioned by al-Ṣan῾ānī in Subul al-Salām[15], and al-Albānī’s student, Samīr b. Amīr al-Zuhayrī in his editing of Bulūgh al-Marām[16]. Al-Zuhayrī states:

“One should not think that there is a contradiction between this ḥadīth and the previous ḥadīth of Ibn ῾Abbās (no. 489) since the ḥadīth of Ibn ῾Abbās is specific to praying at the muṣallā and others have also stated this as reconciliation”

This is also what is apparent from al-Bassām who states in his explanation of Bulūgh al-Marām that there is no harm in praying in one’s house upon returning to it from the muṣallā[17].

Conclusion

In conclusion the ḥadīth mentioned in Ibn Mājah is authentic and has been graded at the level of ḥasan by the likes of al-Ḥāfidh. Al-Būṣayrī and more recently; al-Albānī among others. Al-Ḥākim’s claim that it reaches the level of ṣaḥīḥ to which al-Dhahabī agreed is untenable due to the question mark over the memorisation of Ibn ῾Aqīl. Since the ḥadīth is authentic and carries probative force the fiqh deduced from it indicates to us there is no established prayer before the ῾Id prayer. However, upon returning home one may pray two units as the Prophet did. There is some ambiguity over the precise nature of the prayer raised by ibn al-῾Uthaymīn – whether it is connected to the ῾Īd prayer or al-Ḍuḥā. I have argued that it appears unlikely that the two units were for al-Ḍuḥā due to the existence of reports which appear to indicate that although he advised his Companions and the Ummah to pray at least two units of al-Ḍuḥā; he himself is not reported to have prayed less than four as per ῾Ā’ishah’s report in Muslim.

Whatever the case may be it is necessary to implement this Sunnah at least once in our lifetime and spread the knowledge of it, especially if we consider ourselves Ahl al-Ḥadīth wa al-Āthār. For indeed, al-Ḥākim was correct when he stated at the end of the ḥadīth; ‘…it is a rare Sunnah’.

I ask Allāh to make this article an attempt to spread this particular Sunnah.

Whatever mistakes are found within this brief piece of research is from my imperfect self and the accursed shayṭān and whatever is correct is from Allāh the Most Mighty and Exalted.

Written by the slave of Allāh: Abū Ḥayyān Ṣalāl Aḥmed Ḥaque al-Salafī

On the Day of ῾Arafah, 1431 corresponding to Monday, 15th November 2010.


[1] The standard supplications for the eminent names mentioned within this article should be automatically assumed even though I may not have included them within the text.

[2] Al-῾Asqalānī, Aḥmad b. Ḥajar (1424/2003) Bulūgh al-Marām min Adillat al-Aḥkām, ed. Samīr b. Amīn al-Zuhayri, 7th edition. Al-Riyāḍ: Dār al-Falaq, p. 142, ḥadīth no. 491

[3] Al-Naysābūrī, Abū ῾Abd Allāh al-Ḥākim (1997) Al-Mustadrak alā al-aḥīḥayn, ed. Muqbil b. Hādī. Cairo: Dār al-Ḥaramayn, vol. 1, p. 328, no. 1103

[4] Al-Albānī, Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn (1405/1985) Irwā’ al-Ghalīl fī Takhrīj Aḥādīth Manār al-Sabīl, 2nd edition. Beirut/Damascus: al-Maktab al-Islāmī, vol. 3, p. 100

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Al-Ṣan῾ānī, Muḥammad b. Ismā῾īl al-Amīr (1425) Subul al-Salām al-Muṣilah Ilā Bulūgh al-Marām, ed. Muḥammad Ṣubḥī Ḥasan Ḥallāq, 5th edition. Al-Dammām: Dār Ibn al-Jawzī, vol. 2, part. 3, p. 187

[8] Supra, no. 2

[9] Ibn al-῾Uthaymīn, Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ, Sharḥ Bulūgh al-Marām, Kitāb al-Ṣalāh, Lecture 25a, 00:24:00. Available at: http://www.ibnothaimeen.com/publish/cat_index_126.shtml Last accessed: 15.11.10 NOTE: It appears the discussion has been truncated; this might explain why the Shaykh only spends less than a minute explaining the ḥadīth.

[10] Al-Bukhārī no. 1981 and Muslim no. 721

[11] Muslim no. 719

[12] Al-Bukhārī no. 1176 and Muslim no. 336

[13] Al-Bukhārī no. 964, Muslim no. 884, Abū Dāwud no. 1159, al-Nasā’ī no. 1587, al-Tirmidhī no. 537, Ibn Mājah no. 1291 and Aḥmad no. 3153

[14] Supra, no. 3

[15] Supra, no. 6

[16] Supra, no. 1

[17] Al- Bassām, ῾Abd Allāh b. ῾Abd al-Raḥmān (1423/2003) Tawḍīḥ al-Aḥkām min Bulūgh al-Marām, 5th edition. Makkah: Maktabah al-Asadī, vol. 3, p. 40