Q&A with Imam Elahi



Q: I am a convert, divorced with children from my ex-husband before I became a Muslim. There is a Muslim man who him and I have been talking about getting married and I think that our marriage will work for we are physically, spiritually competent, but his family will discontinue any relations with him if he marries me, because they want him to marry an Arabic woman who doesn't have children and haven't been married before. From my knowledge of Islam and the prophet's life, there is no bases for there thinking. Also in Islam a man has the right to choose his wife, isn't that right? Does he have to go by what his family says? Please how should I deal with this situation?
A: The man under discussion does not have to ask his parents about this, though it is recommended that both parties consult their families in this matter. In the end, though, the matter is up to both of you to make the final decision based upon what is wise and practical. While ethnicity is not religious requirement for a marriage, nonetheless the practicalities of this particular marriage are something that should be carefully considered.

Q: I have been married to my husband for many years, and all my life I have been patient, understanding, and very obedient. He has always promised me a better life, I've worked hard to give him everything he wants, financially, emotionally, and physically. In the past few years my husband and I live in the same house, but we do not talk to each other, nor does he have any respect for me, and he ignores me. All he wants is to sell the house go back to the old country. He wants to leave me with the child, and he says if I want I can follow him, but he is not leaving me without any income. He treats me bad, and if I go back home with him, he will not give me a better life, then here. We have slept separate in different rooms for the past couple of years, he wants me to ask for a divorce because our religion will then give him rights to take what he wants to give me a divorce. Also, he is a Muslim, but he does not practice his religion, or believe, and I am a very religious Muslim. He makes fun of our religion, and he is a discouragement to my children whom I have taught to follow our religion. Please help me, the problems he is causing for me are hurting me, and my kids. I need to know what my rights are religiously, if I ask for a divorce. 
 To be in fair in answering the question, one would need to hear his side as well. It is possible that if you moved abroad with him the situation would be better, or it might not be. But in any case, you most certainly have the right to ask for a divorce. If he doesn't agree to that, you can apply for what is known as a khula divorce through an Islamic authority. The Prophet said: The most hated halal in the eyes of God is the divorce.

Q: I am a convert to Islam and I am divorced with a child. I have met a good Muslim man who would like to marry me. We are well suited for each other, with the same goals in life and same love of Islam. He is Arabic. I am not. He knows in Islam there is nothing to prevent our marriage; however, his family believes that because he has never been permanently married before, he cannot marry a divorced woman, especially one with a child and from another culture. How could you recommend I handle this situation? I know that it is a cultural problem and that their ideas are outside of Islam, but how can one deal with this, especially as a convert? Thank you very much. Fiaman Allah.
 If you can establish some communications to solve this issue then go ahead with the marriage, otherwise the future of your relationship might be in serious danger. You can't marry based on emotions only.

Q: I have a question regarding Mut'a. I wrote a paper talking about the advantages of Mut'a over girlfriend-boyfriend relationships. Is the waiting period, 2or 3 months after Mut'a is ended? Thanks.
A: If they had no physical contact, she doesn't have to wait, otherwise she should experience two monthly periods before marring with another man. If she doesn't experience monthly periods, she should wait 45 days before another marriage. If she is pregnant, she should wait until her baby is born.

Q: I am 20 years old and I have an older sister who is 23. She has a lot of freedom (works full time, goes to movies, goes out to eat with her friends, but I hope nothing haram). She has been getting into arguments with my mother for months now over marriage. At least 6 or 7 practicing educated, shia men have come to the house to meet her and she turns all of them down. Every time my mother talks about marriage, my sister gets a bad attitude. My sister told my uncle that she was recently dating a non Muslim man and they broke up and are trying to work things out. When my uncle told me this, I was very mad. I caught my sister talking on the phone with this man and I picked up the phone and stopped him from talking to my sister. I don't know if that was haram but I was not thinking clearly. Now I don't trust my sister and she denies dating anyone. She knows it is haram in Islam to do this but doesn't care. My father is not living to correct her so my mother and I are trying to deal with this. Am I allowed to spy on her to see where she is going and what she is doing? If I ever caught them together somewhere, what are my rights in Islam? Honestly Mawlana, I think I would beat this man if I saw him. Is this haram?
 I don't think the solution would be spying on her, being hard to her or beating that man. You don't want to drive your sister away from Islam or make her run away. By the way, do you know the man? What if he is a good man and ready to accept Islam as the final message of God? If he has the characteristics of a good husband, then get involved and discuss the question of marriage with him. That would solve several problems at the same time. The question is if your family is Islamic enough to put love and faith above cultural chauvinism.

Q: One brother is having an "Islamic" wedding in May. The only music will be classical and Islamic Nasheed. There will be no women dancing. His new wife wants to have a slow dance to an American slow song, only two of them. He wanted to know if it would be haram or not, taking into consideration they are married. 
 On one hand, it's not Islamic to have couples dancing in front of each other. If there is only one couple dancing that would probably make everyone feel even more uncomfortable. But weddings are a time to be a little loose and enjoy life. I would suggest during the marriage and the dinner there should be no couples dancing. But afterwards, the family and close relatives (maharem) could have a private celebration for everyone who likes the traditional American wedding dances.

Q: I am 17 years old. By the grace of Allah, I had found this wonderful person as a friend, someone I plan to spend my life with, as husband and wife. I trust him and he trusts me. Our relationship is trust, faith, hope, and respectful affection. I was made to take an oath on the Quran, under forceful conditions, to swear that I will not communicate with him. God knows that if I wouldn't have taken it, it would've meant death not only for me, but also for my friend-without exaggeration. I'm begging you, please free me from this pain, and free me from these chains. It is affecting my entire life, my health my being. I have begged God with the deepest of repentance for making my mistake- I am truly repentant. Please, please tell me that there is a way out of this oath. Allah is all Understanding, all Forgiving, and all Merciful. Please help me, please.
A: Oath under force is not valid and there is no penalty and punishment for breaking it. However you should consider the possibility that your family is trying to protect you because they love you. At 17 you are old enough to get married but this may not be true for your friend, if he is your age. Not only would he have to be ready for an emotional commitment but he needs to be financially stable. It sounds like you'd have to move out of state with no forwarding address. It is indeed painful to give up a friend you love, but at same time it is a big loss to give up the respect and protection of your family. You need to communicate with this friend just enough to determine if he is in a position to take care of you right now as your Muslim husband, and if his family will accept you. If he is not able to offer this to you at this time, it is better for you to break up until he is ready for marriage. At that point, if you are still interested, he can ask you. It is a bad idea to continue to see him if you already know he cannot marry you. Better a painful end than never ending pain.

Q: I really feel regret and frustration about the fact in life that I have married girl whose looks are less than average. I always wanted somebody more beautiful and close to my ideal (good-looking, educated, and smart). When I went to look for that girl I was not mentally settled and disturbed about many aspects (personal, professional), and I still am sort of, due to various reasons or maybe it's my personality. I was also suffering from low self esteem and bad moods. I really didn't like the girl fully as she was not close to my ideal, but I was so under-confident about myself, and had a very low opinion about myself that no girl is going to love\like me that I went ahead with the philosophy that something is better than nothing. Also I got rejected by the girls I liked. I told my mother 2 or 3 times that I don't feel attracted towards that girl but she didn't take it seriously. Therefore I went ahead half-heartedly. Now sometimes when I look at my wife I get angry and frustrated, but I understand she's not to blame. In a nutshell circumstances or my own shortcomings have put me with a girl whom I don't like 100%. Our marriage is 4 years old now and we have a 3 year old son also whom I like and I love very much. My question is that what is the Islamic way to solve this ordeal. How do I convince myself or is divorce a solution to this?
A: If you are close by, come to see me so we can talk and improve the situation. Your wife may have what you are looking for, but you need to just realize it! It was Allah who put you with this girl. It was Allah who gave you this trust. You said you don't love your wife but I can tell you love her! She gave you what no other woman gave you. She gave you her life, her body, a son. If you truly love your son then you owe it to him to learn to love his mother for who she is. Your son needs you to love his mother. He is of her. She is the mother of your favorite person in the world. Is that enough to deserve your loving gratitude and respect? It is easy to love a pretty woman but it takes a real man to love an ugly woman. If you are not ready for this job, then it would be abusive for you to keep her in a loveless marriage. If you cannot keep her in kindness, then you should let her go in kindness, it is not acceptable for you to destroy the self-esteem of your wife and son.

Q: I am a Muslim woman who wants to marry a Christian man. We have agreed that the children we have (inshallah) will be raised Muslim and respect Christianity. Would you perform the Islamic marriage with my parents consent?
 The only way you can marry him is if he were to declare his faith in Islam, the true religion of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. I would then be able and very happy to perform it. But if he does not accept Islam, even if I perform the marriage, it wouldn't be valid Islamically. You need to spend sometime reciting to him the Quranic verses God directed towards Christians. If the man is a true follower of Jesus and his heart is open, he will understand the message of Islam.

Q: Please tell me what the minimum requirements of muta (temporary marriage) are.
 It's nicer to have it on paper but a spoken agreement is enough. If they know how to perform the marriage and pronounce the words then no need for a religious authority. Witnesses are recommended but not required. Muta is only permissible with a virgin if she and her father both agree. A non-virgin woman (balegha) can make a contract on her own behalf.

Q: What does Islam say about oral sex?
 Sex is a natural gift from God and marriage is an essential part of life. It is OK for husband and wife to have all kinds of pleasures. Oral sex is permissible as foreplay but it is makruh for the husband to ejaculate in the mouth of his wife.

Q: I am a Muslim sister whose husband just married a second wife three moths ago. I am having a hard time accepting it. When I talk with other sisters who have been in this situation before and tell them how I feel about it, they make it seem like I am wrong for being hurt and for upset about the situation. Everyone tells me that I don't have any say and that I just have to accept it because I do not have any rights when it comes to this matter. Please reply soon because I need answers! Thank you.
A: The question of polygamy is meant to be a blessing for women, more than it can be for men. If your husband chose to have another wife then he has to be ready for the challenges that accompany this choice. Legally, I do not know how he wants to deal with this, since polygamy is illegal in the States. Islamically a man who practices polygamy must practice the highest level of equality and fairness in the treatment of his wives. This applies to housing, clothing, furniture, time spent with each wife and other details. These laws and regulations that govern equality in polygamous relationships are impossible to follow in most circumstances. If your husband is such a strong man who is able to manage two wives with absolute equal support and attention for them, you should trust him and be patient with him.

Q: I am a 24 year old American Muslim who is married with three children. I have been backsliding but never lost my faith about doing things that a Muslim should not do. My wife is a Christian and takes my children to church with her, which I see no problem with my children learning both faiths that are in our household. It does trouble me however, that we can not pray together as a family and we have arguments over religion right now. My wife and I are having serious marital problems because my wife has started lying to me and deceiving me. My job is very stressful, not physically but mentally. I work 7 days a week from 10 pm until 7am. The lying and deception is only part of the problem. Financial problems are also a cause of the stress and arguments. I love my wife with all my heart, but it is hard to deal with all this and I know if I had chosen a Muslim wife that we would be able to relate better to everyday matters and pray to Allah together for help and guidance. I don't know exactly what I am looking for from you but anything would be helpful as the stress is growing every minute of everyday. I don't want this to start affecting my children whom I hold very dear to my heart, but Insha'Allah, we will work things out as we get older and more mature. Please give me some guidance and advice Imam. 
 The biggest problem is that you don't spend enough time with your family. It is and Islamic obligation for you to educate your wife and children about Islam, that is the way to save you family. You need to have a clear schedule for your time and make sure that you create an Islamic atmosphere for your family. If you need some counseling please make an appointment to see me or another Imam in your area.

Q: I would be grateful if you could tell me what option are available to me with regards to khul. I understand that women have a right to ask for divorce but what if her husband refuses to give her a divorce. What are the steps she should take? My husband used me as a means to obtain a British passport. His family members have told my father that he can leave me hanging, that is, he will not agree to give me a divorce so to prevent me from remarrying. He is doing this out of spite in order to pressure me into signing the papers to help him gain a British passport. Do I have to go to an Islamic court or is there any other way I can free myself from this man, as I know that these people are cruel and will try to make my difficult, so that I will give into them. My husband lies and will continue to lie about me in order to get me to sign the papers. I don't know if this is relevant, but as a husband, he has not given and financial support to me at all. I read in an article that a husband should provide for his wife even during the 3-month separation period. Also, I was wondering if the fact that I haven't consummated the marriage would allow me to annul the marriage. I view marriage as gift for both, husband and wife and understand that marriage is recommended in order to complete your deen; however, I cannot live with a man who does not value marriage and as seen from his actions, has no fear of Allah (SWT).
 Although originally the husband has control over divorce, but the wife can ask for a divorce right at the beginning of the marriage. Also, she has the right to apply for divorce if he doesn't practice his obligations as a husband. For example if he does not support her financially, emotionally or he treats her brutally. In such cases she can go to the Islamic judge or Imam and ask for divorce. If you are under the same category, then certainly you have the right to refer to an Imam and apply for divorce and he would go through the Islamic procedures and decide based on justice and fairness. The fact that your marriage is not consummated yet, is not an excuse to escape the procedures. Regarding the financial support of the wife for the 3-months waiting period is about revocable divorces, when the husband initiates the divorce.

Q: I have a question regarding Marriage\Nikkah. My sister lives here in the U.S., and her fiancé lives in Doha, Qatar, but he is an American-Muslim. Is it permissible for them to make Nikkah via the telephone, by proxy? We have heard too many different rulings on the subject! 
 Technically speaking it is possible and permissible, yet the question is, do they know each other? If they have never met, and have no knowledge about on another then how can they go through married life, which must be based on clear information and understanding?

Q: Me and my fiancé have been engaged for 2 years. I recently came to America to be with him and we were to get married when I got here. Once I was here my fiancé's friends and family began to say things to him about how he did not own anything or have money or even his own apartment! So we decided that I should go back where I came from for a year, at the most, and he will save money and build our foundation. When I got here, this was the first time we had met. We know that if we get married and I leave for that long that we will be automatically divorced. But we have already made love before we knew we could not get married and we both feel awful and disappointed that we did this and we cannot get married now. We both have given each other a promise that we will marry each other and wait for each other. Is there anything we can do? Anyway, can we get married and not be divorced when I leave?
 I am not sure if I understood your question! If you are married, then how come your departure for a year will annul your marriage? I believe that you can get married and if necessary, you can leave the country for a year and your marriage will still be valid.

Q: I am a 20-year old Muslim girl and have had a very bad past with a non-Muslim boy for 2 years. While I had this relationship I felt very guilty, but I still maintained it. At the time, I believed it was somehow justified because this non-Muslim boy told me he was seeking the true religion, and I truly believed that one day we'd become sincere and dedicated Muslims together and get married one day. But, blindly becoming weaker in faith and confused with his time to decide on Islam, I instead did haram things with him. We came very close to intercourse, but Alhamdulilah, we didn't continue. Finally, he told me he rejected Islam. Devastated, I turned to Allah and cut off all ties with him. My parents are now beginning to search for a husband for me. But I am too disgusted with myself to have done such bad things and to have this secret past. I pray for Allah's forgiveness, but how can I forgive myself? All my life I was saving these intimacies for my husband and now I feel everything is ruined. If, however, Allah blesses me with a good Muslim person to marry I will marry about my past, and how many details about that relationship should I give? I would feel extremely guilty keeping my past from him, but at the same time, I don't want him to be disgusted with me as I am with myself. I am afraid that no good Muslim boy (the kind I'm interested to marry) will accept my past if I tell him, since I probably would not want to marry someone with a past like mine if I was an obedient Muslim all my life like I should have been. Please advise me on what to say, and please do pray for me.
 I am glad you have come to this realization. Your spirit of guilt and repentance is the beginning of the purification process. Keep going with this spirit. Open new chapters in your life and put an end to the past and focus on the future. As you are working constantly to build a pure future and showing devotion and dedication to Allah (SWT) and your faith, then you won't have time to think or talk about your past to yourself or your future husband.

Q: I hope this email will find you in the best of your health. I talked to you on the phone last night. I am a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. I want to ask you a question. A girl and I want to marry each other. I belong to the Sunni sect and she belongs to Syed Shiite sect. Now her mother is saying (her father is no more in this world, may Allah bless him ) that the girl can marry only a Syed Shiite and she cannot marry outside her family. And what she defined Syed is that they belong to Prophet's (PBUH) Blood. It means that according to her point of view, if the girl/WOMAN IS Syed Shiite, she must marry to a Syed Shiite boy/man. Please reply early, as time is a crucial component in this matter. I would really appreciate it. Regards. 
 There is no objection for a Muslim male and a female to get married, no matter from which Islamic school of thought any of them belong to. Her being a Syeda does not stop her from being able to marry a Muslim man from another school of thought, if they are right for each other, personality and ethically speaking. Yet, coming from a different traditional background may face them with serious challenges that may become an obstacle in their marriage life. This is why; they should discuss all the customs and enter into the relationship with a clear understanding and agreement over certain traditional differences.

Q: I come to you asking for advice in a personal matter. I have been involved with a Muslim man for three years and have not been married. I know this is haram; however, he tells me that he is not ready for a second wife, but wants to continue to see me. I love him very much, and at this time, he is in his country under the pretense that his mother was very ill. This has caused me to be very concerned about my future. I am trying very hard to obtain from sin and have been reading the Qur'an and the Hadiths. I have been saying my salat faithfully asking Allah to guide me. I am not familiar with all the customs of the Middle East and how a family reacts when someone dies. Please if you can help me in my decision making I would sincerely appreciate it. Thank you.
 If your unmarried relationship with this man is haram, which it certainly is, then first you must stop this right away. Secondly, he already made it clear that he was not ready for a second wife, then what are you hoping for? Forget about him and ask Allah (SWT) to replace him with a suitable person relationship for you.

I have a friend that is in love with a recently widowed woman.
 Can she have a "muta'a" marriage and if so, when? 
 He told me they have been kissing each it zena
 A woman had to wait for four months and ten days after the death of her husband before any new marriage, whether temporary or permanent. If she is pregnant, she has to wait until after the delivery. 
 Kissing is not zena, but it is haram before their religious marriage.

Q: Is it haram to look at pictures of nude women?
 It is very discouraged thing to do and if it ends doing something haram, then it is certainly haram. Some scholars have an opinion that for a husband, if, in order to have a good physical relationship with his wife, he needs to look at these types of pictures, then it is ok for him!

Q: Is masturbation during my wife's sickness halal or haram? 
 It is Haram.

Q: Is it possible for black magic to break up a relationship between a couple who wanted to marry? What has happened is that the guy no longer wants to know the girl. We (friends) assume that black magic has been done to him or to break the relationship. It has now been over 6 months and no one knows a reason for is change. Please can you tell us about what we can do or who we can contact to talk about this matter in detail and explain the situation? Please help us, our sister is in so much pain and stress over losing him. We will wait for a reply. Thank you so much for your time. Khudahafiz.
 To use magic to destroy people's lives is a very haram thing to do. But you don't have to be afraid of evil magic, it is a very weak thing and with prayer, like recitation of the last two chapters of the Holy Quran any evil whisper can be canceled and removed.

Q: Sir, I am a Muslim man. I want to ask about anal sex between husband and wife, is it halal or haram? Thank you. 
 This is makrooh, means something very discouraged, and if it hurts her, then it would be haram.

Q: Is it possible for a believer (mumin) to conclude a temporary muta'a marriage with a prostitute, who works at a night bar?
 Only if she stops prostitution and repents, can he marry her, whether temporarily or permanently.

Q: If a Muslim was not practicing Islam and met a woman who was not happy in her marriage to another man and slept with her, she is Muslim now, how can they ask Allah to forgive them for their sins? 
 This is a very complicated situation because the act of betrayal has happened. The scholars have different opinions on this, many of them believe that the second marriage is not valid. Based on this opinion if a man did adultery with a married woman, he can't marry with her even after her divorce form her first husband. There is an opinion that considers this marriage valid, based on this opinion they should just ask Allah for forgiveness and promise not to repeat such a sin again. Allah knows the best.

Q: I am wondering if marriage contracts can be oral, or do they have to be written down to be valid? I was married by an Imam, had 2 witnesses, and my husband there, but the contract was verbal. I did my part over the phone. So there is no written proof of my marriage. The only people who know are the witnesses, the Imam, and my husband s first wife. Am I married?
 It is OK to form an oral marriage contract, but generally the Holly Quran encourages us to put contracts in writing. Look at Chapter 2, Verse 282.

Q: If a man becomes paralyzed and has become impotent and unable to perform sex then in that case how does the wife satisfy her instinct of sex? She loves her husband very much and knows that no one else can provide the constant medical attention that her husband needs. Divorcing the husband would mean a death sentence to him. What does the Sharia say in a case like this? 
 As far as I know, morally she doesn't have too many options. It is wrong for her to get divorce for this reason. She must sacrifice and be patient. But keep in mind, a man can make love to his wife using any part of his body, so if possible, he should do his best to give her relief in this difficult situation.

Q: How can Muslim law permit multiple wives? How can a human being treat two or more wives equally? Please explain.
A: Islam strives to protect the women in society by forcing men to take responsibility. Before Islam there was no limit on the number of wives a man could marry. Islam came and limited the men's choices and commanded men to give each of the wives equal rights. In fact the multiple marriages can be a blessing for women before being blessing for men. Justice in treatment is a must condition in the case of multiple marriage just as it is with a monogamous marriage. Some people find the idea of a man with more than one legal wife to be emotionally disturbing, but some women need a man to support them financially more than they need an exclusive romance. Islamic marriage laws enable men to be financially responsible and honest about their needs, which actually minimizes the likelihood of men sneaking around.

Q: Please tell me about the concept of temporary marriage and any support for it in our books or in the Quran and examples of it in our history. Thank you.
 Chapter 4, Verse 24 talks about temporary marriage was allowed practiced at the time of the Prophet (pbuh). This continued even during the administration of Abu-Bakr. It was the second caliph Omar who banned this marriage relationship. The purpose of this type of marriage is to keep the society clean from the corruption of adultery and make the man/women relationship legal and responsible.