The Beloved Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, taught us a method of consulting Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala in order to make major decisions. This is called Istikharah. The du’a of Istikharah can be found in many books of the du’as of Rasulullaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. However before doing Istikharah one should be firm that he/she will strive to act according to the indications received.

The method that we have been taught is that before going to sleep, one should perform two Rak’aat Nafl and then say the du’a. When one reaches the statements “Oh Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me…” and “Oh Allah if You know that this matter is evil for me…” you should think of the “matter”.

You should then go to sleep without talking to anyone. When you wake up, before doing anything, consider your inclination to this matter. Do this for a minimum of 3 consecutive nights, up to a maximum of 7 consecutive nights.

If you find that your inclination towards that matter increased over the days, you take this to mean that this is good for you. But if you find that your inclination decreased, then this is an indication that the matter is not good for you. Then you need to strive according to the indication you received from “consulting” Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best!

The modern secular State (such as Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.) is built on the foundations of Shirk and functions in a strategic role in Dajjal’s pursuit of universal rule over the whole world.

Your nationality is that of Dar al-Islam which is about to be re-established. Your struggle should be for restoring Dar al-Islam.

“Aginomoto” or “Ajinomoto” is actually the brand name of a Japanese company that primarily produces monosodium glutamate (MSG).

In summary, Ajinomoto, in 2001, had a legal ban in Indonesia because it was found that the Indonesian plant was using a porcine-based (pork-based) extract to culture enzymes used to produce its MSG. To my understanding and research, the situation only affected Indonesia, given the plant was not for export purposes. As such, all other internationally available Ajinomoto MSG is definitely plant-based, and would be permissible. Please do note that Ajinomoto MSG is not only used in Chinese food, but also in Indian, Mexican, Japanese and may other cuisines.

The legal issue that arose in Indonesia is because Aginomoto used pork-based extracts to create its enzyme culture, as opposed to its usual process of using plant-based extracts.

An important distinction needs to be made, at least for the purposes of technical clarity (although ethically and practically, this is not necessarily the most palatable possibility for most Muslims…). The process that Ajinomoto uses to manufacture MSG is technically Halal and acceptable within Islam. The process of creating enzymes leads to the original extracts (almost always plant-based) to be completely altered in its molecular form, and based on the principle of Istis-haab, because the final product is also non-reversible to the original extracts and that there is no trace of the original extract, then the final product is definitely Halal. As a quick example of its Halal status, Malaysia’s Board for Halal Certification accepts the MSG as Halal.

A more important issue surrounding MSG is its health consequences, and a more important Islamic concern. MSG is known to cause brain as well as digestive problems, although the political nature of such matters have led the issue to be non-conclusive. Having said that, plenty of information and data exists that confirm its harmful effects. Most countries require that MSG be listed (E620-E625).

Finally, I suggest that you contact your local Halal certifier as well as Aginomoto distributor and find out what the local ingredients may be in its production if it is produced locally. If it is produced off-shore, find out which country it is manufactured in and follow up on their process.

Whilst there is a difference of opinion on the matter of photography, the dominant opinion of the modern Scholars of High Knowledge is that photography is permissible as long as they are of benefit and not for any harmful or prohibited purposes, and that photographs of humans and animals not be displayed. As such, photographs kept in an album, drawer, computer or disk would be considered acceptable. However, photographs of humans and animals should not be displayed on walls and the like. In other words, simply stated, they are not to be left open for display. It can be viewed but not left for display on frames on desks and walls, for example.

The Scholars have also mentioned caution on the matter that photography should never be frivolous and indulgent, but for genuinely good reasons. Celebration of a wedding is well known as an Islamic Tradition, and so taking videos and photography would be permissible. Indulgence and frivolous photography/videoing includes the modern trends of the youth to take photos of each other in poses, etc, where there is no real essence other than social posing, and the like.

The additional issue arising is that of indulgence in costs for photography in weddings. That being a separate issues, and problem, does lead to many Scholars frowning upon the indulgence in photography where costs are exuberant. Exuberance is usually defined as what exceeds the norms of a society under normal circumstances.

Finally, the matter is a simple one with complicated issues attached to it. As practical advice, avoid photography and videoing unless there are good reasons for it in terms of promoting good, Islamic events, awareness and the like and either minimise or eliminate it for portraiture and posing.

As is the clear principle in Islamic Juridical Science, all valid differences of opinion on a matter amongst qualified body of Scholars should be respected and what one person therefore follows should do so with his or her own conscience, but never criticising others if they take a different valid opinion.

Insha Allah that is of help.

The first thing to understand is that every action under Shari’ah is categorised under what is generally termed The Five Rulings, which are:

– Obligatory
– Recommended
– Merely Permissible
– Disliked
– Prohibited

These five categories also establish principles of priority for our actions, and are based on the classifications derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

The specific kinds of things you have mentioned in your email below largely fall under the Recommended or Permissible categories. For example, sleeping on the floor is clearly merely a permissible act, and wearing specific clothing is also merely permissible. However with clothing, wearing a turban, for example is considered to be a recommended act.

The obeying of parents on matters of good, benefit and obligations are always a priority over other matters which do not lead to sin against Allah (and such matters are either obligatory or prohibited, and so breaking these two are sins against Allah and no human has priority over them). Further, given obeying parents is an obligation, and the items listed are either merely permissible or possibly in some cases recommended, then following the advice of the parents will without a doubt hold a higher priority and should be adhered to.

In addition, in such matters which are not obligations, it is best to defer its practice for more rewards when one is independent of others and can make decisions on their own. This will be practical, effective as well as more fulfilling without impinging on anyone’s rights.

Insha Allah this is of assistance.

Allah knows that everyone will not be able to speak Arabic. As a matter of fact He sent Messengers to teach the people in their language, so that they will be asked the questions in their language. Similarly, with all others, they will be asked and will answer in the language they know.

The question of music is a complex one and there are valid differences of opinion surrounding it. As a quick introductory statement, we as Muslims must realise that understand the Fiqh (Legal Ruling) of any matter is not as simple as quoting a Qur’anic verse or pointing to a Hadeeth. In fact, the Companions, and definitely the two generations following them (Tabi’een and Tabi’ Tabi’een) refrained from quoting from the Sunnah or the Qur’an without proper analysis of many many issues, e.g., linguistic proofs, context of revelation as well as a narration of the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah), absolute and qualified narrations, universality and particularity of verses and narrations, etc. These are deeply developed sciences. The points below are the summaries of rulings based on such a thorough understanding of the Shari’ah, rather than those who simply claim to quote a verse or a Hadith as proof.

Further, it is also important to note that music and singing are essentially two different things, not mutually exlusive but certainly not dependent of each other. In other words, one does not have to have music to sing, but at the same time they are both musical matters.

In regards to the question itself, the matter can be broken down into the following categories of assessment, each holding its own ruling and differences of opinion.

We will start from those matters unanimously agreed upon to be prohibited.

1. The kinds of singing which are unequivocally prohibited are those which contain the celebration of the material world and includes sexual connotation and that which is also inappropriate in speaking, e.g., swearing, sexually expletive language, and the like. In Fiqh this is usually referred to as Tarab. Almost all Hollywood (and Bollywood…) songs will fit in here.

2. The kinds of singing which are also unequivocally prohibited, are those that remove a person away from the worship and appropriate presence with Allah, e.g., leading a person to be involved with cross-gender mixing, lazing around (rather than taking a short break to relax from exhaustion. In such cases, as we will see below, there is permission to listen to musical matters that glorify Allah and praise the Prophet), ignoring one’s rights and responsibilities, and the like.

3. Those kinds of singing which are unequivocally permitted are those which glorify Allah and praise the Prophet. Much can be said about this, but it will be a whole book! So in summary, this is usually taken to be permissible as a respite rather than the norm of “iPod in the ear 24/7”. It is also permissible to have such appropriate singing of happiness (rather than directly about Allah and His Messenger) that soothe the heart in a Halal manner for festivals and weddings. These kinds of singing are usually referred to as inshad and sama’.

4. Those kinds of singing which are general, and are neither prohibited nor specifically about goodness and happiness (but may be e.g., about politics or environment, etc), the majority of Scholars hold that it is permissible only in its context rather than a habit to listen and enjoy. If it is habituated and leads an individual to ignore their rights and responsibilities, then it is not permitted. Almost all Hollywood and Bollywood songs fit in here.

Now to music:

1. The kind of music referred to as malahi are abhorred and prohibited. This kind of music is simply for entertainment for dance, frivolous enjoyment and the like.

2. Those kinds of music from the duff and similar drums (under the category of ma’azif) are unequivocally permissible. Of course, the songs attached to it must be permissible as outlined above. Further the use of the drums are unequivocally permissible for festivals and weddings and joyous times.

3. The critical difference of opinion is regarding different kinds of musical instruments; it is incorrect to suggest that all musical instruments are held to be prohibited in Islam. The fact is that the major prohibition of music is because at the time of the Prophet, they very often were used in the context of malahi – (1) above, hence easily claimed that it is prohibited in all circumstances. But this is not the case. As such (and the same for singing with or without music):

i) If the music is part of glorifying Allah and His Messenger, this is held to be permissible by the majority of Scholars;

ii) If the music is for entertainment and pastime, it is prohibited;

iii) If the music is for soothing and serenity of the mind which helps one to remember Allah, as long as it does not remove one from obeying Allah or one’s rights and responsibilities, there is a significant difference of opinion, and is best to minimise such involvement if not avoided. If you saw someone listening to such a musical matter, do not place judgment on them nor force your opinion on others regarding this category.

In conclusion, avoid all singing, music, gatherings of entertainment, except for gatherings of melodious remembrance of Allah and His Messenger. And, be cautious if singing and music which are of spiritually happiness (not material) and also leads one to remember Allah and only listen sparingly if one could not avoid it at all.

Insha Allah that gives you a practical set of guidelines and the scope of permissibility as well as definite prohibitions and as such help you to live your life better in the presence of Allah Ta’ala.

I would like to direct attention to Ahadīth which inform us that very few in the End Times would be rightly-guided: e.g., one sect in 73 would enter into heaven; 1 in 1000 would enter into heaven while all of the rest would enter into the hell-fire.

We need to find the measuring rod (Furqān) with which to be able to measure faith in the End Times in order to distinguish (to the extent that we have the capacity to do so) the Ahl al-Jannah from the rest. That measuring rod must perforce be located in a context that belongs to the Signs of the Last Day.
Among the most momentous of Signs of the Last Day are those which relate to Dajjāl the false Messiah, Gog and Magog and the return of Jesus (‘alaihi al-Salām). The very heart of these Signs is located in the Holy Land. (See my book entitled Jerusalem in the Qur’an).

The Holy Land (in particular) would witness in the End Times such oppression that a man would pass by a grave and roll on the grave and say “I wish I were in the grave rather than the dead man!” That oppression has already arrived in the Holy Land. The End Times are already here.

To locate the rightly-guide Jama’ah (Sufi or otherwise) and the rightly guided Shaikh/Ameer/Imām, we must use the measuring rod which measures the response to that oppression.

  • Those who respond with their hands to put an end to that oppression, would belong to the first and best category.
  • Those who respond with their tongues (pen etc) would belong to the second-best category. [It is impossible for anyone belonging to the first or second category to reside in the lands of the oppressors and to survive. See my essay entitled Obama’s Afghan Surge Pakistan’s Moment of Truth and Death of the US Dollar].
  • Those who respond with their hearts alone would be the people with the weakest faith of all.
  • Those who are blind to events unfolding in the Holy Land and do not respond in any way at all, are a people with a status equivalent to cattle (even if one million of them were to assemble in downtown Chicago to hold an Ijtima’ah).
  • Those individuals or client States who support the oppressors (i.e., the Anglo-American-Indo-Israeli alliance that is now ruling the world and waging war on Islam and Muslims) by waging war on their behalf in Somalia, Yemen, North West Pakistan etc., or who send their sons to fight with the oppressors in Iraq and Afghanistan, would be a people who would have essentially left Islam and who now belong to the Jama’ah of the oppressors.