customs, practices

on marrying a convert lady


What is the opinion of jurists2 in the following matter: A Sharīf3 converted a non-muslim cobbler-woman to Islam, married her and brought her home.  When his kin came to know about this [and deeming that the] Sharīf has tarnished the name of a family of Qadiri4 Sayyids and keeps a cobbler-woman covered (in ĥijāb)5 at home, [they were enraged].  This woman has been a widow for the past two years.  Muslims in the neighborhood along with Hindus [who joined them] uncovered the woman, dragged her out on the street, humiliated and dishonored this woman. Unrelated6 men even beat her and locked her up in the police station. 

My questions:

a) Do Allāh ázza wa jall and His Rasūl şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam permit such a treatment of this newly convert woman?

b) Are those who treated this woman in such a manner sinful, or is the Sharīf who converted her and married her?

c) Is it permitted by the shariáh to boycott this Sharīf and expel him from the community?

d) Is there any way that the woman can become an equal?7

To convert someone to Islam is an act of great virtue and that which deserves a great reward.  It is also a good deed to marry her and to keep her veiled in the house. To expel (such a man who does so) from the community or to boycott him is extreme oppression and cruelty.

Those who have treated the Muslim lady (as described above) have committed a grave sin.  These acts are outright ĥarām8 oppression and cruelty.  All those involved have transgressed human rights.9  Allāh jalla wa álā10 and His Rasūl şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam will be unhappy with such people.  There is no condition that the woman should be an equal for a pubert man.11

Allāh táālā knows best.


1. Query sent by: Sayyid Ábd al-Karīm Qādiri Rizwi, Masjid Gharib Shah, Pahār Ganj, Delhi. Signed, Shawwāl the 9th 1339AH.

2. Fuqahā, sing. faqīh: jurist.

3. Sayyid or sharīf: descendants of the Prophet şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam through his grandsons Al-Ĥasan and Al-Ĥusayn.

4. Qādiri: a follower of Shaykh Ábd al-Qādir al-Jilānī; an initiate in the Qadiri path.

5. ĥijāb: the Islamic veil

6. nā-maĥram: total strangers or those relatives whom one can marry.

7. maĥram: unmarriageable kin: those relatives whom one cannot marry.

8. kufw: the condition of equal status in marriage stipulated by some jurists.

9. ĥarām: forbidden by Islamic law.

10. ĥaqq al-íbād

11. Glory to Him and Exalted is He

12. That is, being of equal stature is not a necessary condition for a pubert man; in other words, a pubert man can marry any woman permitted by the Sharīáh.

Fatāwā ar-Riđawiyyah, Kitab an-Nikāĥ; Vol.11/Pg.253, Lahore edition

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earning by recitation – 2

Speech makers who sermonize in a Masjid or outside of it are given offerings in cash or kind by the listeners; some of them merely recite poems and odes [naat]

– Is it permissible to give such offerings in a mosque or out of the mosque?

– Is such an income permissible for the speaker?

– Are they included in the description of the verse: ‘These are a people who have bought this worldly life in lieu of the hereafter.’ [2:86]

There are three possibilities in this case:

1. If one’s objective of making a speech, sermonizing or reciting odes [hamd, naat] is just to make money out of it, verily they are included in the verse: ‘Sell not ye, my verses for a small price.’ [2:41].  This income is besmirched for them and particularly for those people who are not needy; that is as needy that makes it permissible for them to beg. In this case, they beg without a justified need making it a second forbidden act; because, it is a form of unlawful expropriation as mentioned in Fatāwā Al-Hindiyyah [Ālamgīrī]: “The amount collected by assiduous begging is unclean.”

2. If one’s sole objective by making a speech or reciting an ode or a poem is to please Allah [a remembrance of the Lord] and then, Muslims give such a speaker/reciter something of their own volition, then it is permissible for the person to take it.

3. If one’s objective by making a speech or reciting an ode is mainly the remembrance of Allah taala, but such a person is needy and knows that people usually give something; therefore, this greed is also conjoined and together with the noble intention. It is not as ugly as the first one; yet, it is not as praiseworthy as the second either.

In Durr al-Mukhtār: ‘It is among the waywardness of Jews and Christians to make [religious] speeches in order to gain wealth.’ [al-waážu li jamýi’l māli min đalālati’l yahūdi wa’n naşārā]

This third possibility is closer to the first than the second similar to a person who goes to Hajj but takes something along to do business; and ‘There is no blame on you if you seek the provision and favor of your Lord.’ [2:198]. Therefore the ruling in the third case is that of permissibility. Just as Faqīh Abu’l Layth as-Samarqandi permitted in his fatwā as mentioned in Fatāwā Qāđī Khān and Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah; and this third possibility is actually a reconciliation between the first two.

Only Allah ta’ala gives success and Allah ta’ala knows best.

*This is a clipped and relevant part of a compound question.
[Fatāwā ar-Riđāwiyyah, vol.23, page 380-381; Fatwā No.133]

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earning by recitation – 1

Concerning the following:

-In certain parts of Bengal, certain literate people* are invited to gatherings to recite the Qur’ān or recitation of litanies and donate the reward to the dead. These people are then paid for this service after visiting the graves.

-Even though an amount is not agreed upon beforehand, it is a tacit agreement that something has to be paid for this service and that such a payment is necessary.

-These literate folk accept such invitations and attend the gatherings in the greed of getting something.

-The method of knowing [whether an offering is expected] is that these reciters will not go to a house/place once again, if they are not paid anything the first time.

a) Is it permissible to give and accept such offerings as described above?

b) In such a case, will the reward of such recitations benefit the dead?

We request you to issue a legal ruling; may Allāh have mercy upon you and reward you.


If it is a tacit agreement to give and take [payment] as described above and is a common practice, then such a recitation is counted as ‘recitation for payment.’ Because, that which is common practice is counted as an expressed agreement [fa inna’l márūfa úrfan ka’l mashrūti lafžan].

And it is expressly forbidden [ĥarām] to give and receive payment for reciting the Qur’ān and litanies. Both the one who pays and the payee are sinful for such an act as described in Radd al-Muĥtār, Shifā al-Álīl and other books.  When such an act is a sin itself, then what hope is there for a reward that is expected to benefit the dead? It is an additional sin to expect reward from an act of sinning as described in Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, Al-Bazzāziyyah and scholars have harshly reprimanded such practices.

However, if at all one wants the reward to be donated [in such circumstances where the reciters do not come except for a price], there is a workaround. Those who want to conduct the gathering hires the person for an hour or two during a pre-defined period and give him a salary for this period. For instance, the conductor of such ceremony says to the reciter: ‘I have appointed you in my employ for these two hours for a salary of x monies. And you shall do whatever I ask you to do.’

The reciter accepts these terms of employment.  After this, the conductor tells his employee: ‘Recite salawāt or kalimah or Qur’ān for such and such deceased’ [as a part of the employment].  This is a workaround to permit such payment; may Allāh táālā give good sense to Muslims.

And only Allāh táālā knows best and His Knowledge is complete.

*miyānjī aur munshī: in days when literacy was abysmal, those who were literate and literally conducted the affairs of the people – teachers, schoolmasters and scribes were referred as miyāNjī and munshījī with reverence; it was a term of respect though the word munshī has since ceased to mean anything but a clerk.

Fatāwā ar-Riđāwiyyah, vol.23, page 537
Fatwā No.211 [Question sent by Abdu’r Rahman from Bari Sal District in Bengal]

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