Category: Misc. Fiqh
Fatwa#: 40997
Asked Country: United Kingdom

Answered Date: Sep 18,2018

Title: Why does AskImam have a standard response when answering social issues?

Question

Many people ask questions relating to their personal life, perhaps they are living with unsupportive parents or spouses and they are looking for solutions for coommon problems.

 

I would like to know why your standard response is always to advise the questioner to speak to an elder or influential person. Please can I point out that most of us are not living in close communal communities in India or Pakistan, nor do we necessarily have closely-knit families where we can call upon our Taaya or Chaacha for help. There are many Muslim Converts who have already been shunned by their families and are viewed upon with suspicion and distrust by their local Indian/Pakistani communities. Who do they turn to? Even when we have elders and family members around, in the majority of cases they have backward cultural views and will not be supportive.

 

Equally I do not believe it is sufficient for you simply to advise people to make dua and perform Salaatul Haajah. This is something people are already doing and they want practical answers. I am not sure how you are giving people who are despairing hope when all you can advise is for them to have sabr and make dua. A woman who has abusive husband and in-laws will surely be disappointed waiting eagerly for a response only for it to be the standard reply of "speak to an elder and make dua".

 

I appreciate the effort and time you spend in answering fatawa however I feel you are sheltering yourself from the real world and incorrectly assuming that we are all living in villages with Jirgas and elders who are neutral and willing to help. Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way.

 

Wassalam

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

Brother in Islam

We take note of the contents of your email and appreciate your constructive criticism in good spirit. We value your observations and we are not offended in the least. Our focus is to offer practical advice to people in challenging situations. However, in order to so, the questioner needs to explain every possible angle of his challenge for us to have proper insight on his issue and advise accordingly.

You may have observed only few of our answers and arrived at your own conclusion based on your assumption. There are many instances wherein we issued detailed and practical advises to overcome challenges. At times, a questioner does not explain his situation in detail and we are unaware of the questioners’ background as well as the detailed context of the situation, we are not in a position to offer comprehensive advice. Experience has proven that majority of the time there is an untold dimension surrounding the questioners’ circumstances, which would demand advice contrary to what would have been offered.

In this era of modern technology, it is irrelevant whether one lives in a “close knit community” or not. The questioner can contact any of his bosom friends or access a scholar from another continent on the click of a button.

When a person comes to us with a problem, we advise him to seek the counsel of such personnel who are better acquainted with the questioner’s background and current situation. That person would be in a perfect position to view all angles and factors thereby gaining insight into the situation. This results in a suitable decision being reached. That is part of the underlying wisdom behind advising our questioners to someone’s counsel. You would be surprised at the number of cases where the questioner hasn’t even considered Mashwarah.

Consider the verse of Quran where Allah Ta’ala says:

وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ

“And consult them in the matter, and once you have taken a decision place your trust in Allah”

[Verse 3:159]

In another verse, Allah Ta’ala mentions regarding those who have faith:

وَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَجابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَ أَقامُوا الصَّلاةَ وَ أَمْرُهُمْ شُورى بَيْنَهُمْ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقْناهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ 

“And those who respond to their Lord, keep up prayer, who consult among themselves, and who give out (to the poor) part of what we have given them”

                                                                                                                        [Verse 42:38]

The reason we advise people to resort to dua and zikr is following the guidelines of Allah. Almighty Allah is well aware of people’s challenges. He even knows that people are making dua, zikr and beseeching his help. Yet Allah encourages them to make dua and zikr. Furthermore, when people face challenging situations, their minds are consumed with worry and anxiety. They adopt worldly means to address their issues and do not resort to dua and zikr. The advice to do so is to remind them and invoke Allah’s mercy. Allah says:

وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers                            [51:55]

We reiterate our appreciation to you. You are in our duas.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Aboobakr Siddeeq bin Mufti Amjad Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa

Azaadville, JHB, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

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