Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fatwa | Nude-Body Security Scanners

...there exists no definitive reason as to why these scanners must be used at airports, and beyond being an infringement of our rights, there exists no consistent argument...
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all that is created, and may His peace and blessings be upon Muhammad His final messenger.
We have recently been witness to various governments’ approval for installing Full Body Security Scanners (also known as ‘Nude-body Scanners’) at a number of airports in and around the United States and Europe under the guise of protecting society from the threat of terrorism. This move is a clear demonstration of the depravation of morality, which is more than evident after considering the numerous reports that explain the functionality of these scanners. These reports have also been accompanied by images of actual scans that clearly portray the naked bodies of men and women.

Such measures are unquestionably an outrage, not only for Muslims, but for all those who represent decency and value their right not to be physically exposed to others. To what extent will such governments continue to infringe upon the personal rights of the people in the supposed name of safety and prevention? How can the trivialisation and legalisation of nudity, as well as infringement on the rights of people be justified by the unsubstantiated pretext that we will all be safer?
Islam, in providing perfect examples for morality and social conduct, calls upon human beings to guard their private parts and deal with matters of sexuality in an honourable way, and thus, in setting the precedence for decency, Allah the Most High states:

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts, and not to show off their adornment...” (Surah Noor 24:30-31)

In discussing the affair of those who are successful, Allah the Most High states,

“Successful indeed are the believers...those who guard their private parts.” (Surah Mu’minun 23:1, 23:5)

In addition to this, the Prophet (PBUH) commanded,

“Protect your private parts except from your wives or those whom your right hands possess.”

It is the intrinsic nature, or firah, of human beings to protect themselves from indecent exposure, as indeed it is confirmed that when the private parts of Adam and Eve were exposed (due to their sin), they endeavoured to cover themselves although no other human being was present. Furthermore, it is undoubtedly a fact that all normal, conscientious human beings feel humiliated and embarrassed at being indecently exposed in front of others, and it goes against any semblance of a civilised society to inflict this on others.

Several human rights and religious groups have expressed their disapproval and opposition of such scanners on the grounds of violation of privacy and human dignity. From amongst these groups, The Fiqh Council of North America published the following fatwa:

"The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty.

It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women. Islam highly emphasizes ‘haya’ (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Qur’an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts. Human beings are urged to be modest in their dress. 
[See Holy Quran, 7:26-27; 24:30-31; 33:59.]
Exception to this rule can be made in case of extreme necessity, such as medical treatment, to investigate a crime or in a situation of imminent danger. There must be a compelling case for the necessity and the exemption to this rule must be proportional to the demonstrated need.

FCNA fully supports the necessary measures for the safety and protection of all passengers. It is, however, deeply concerned about the use of nude body scanners for this purpose. FCNA recommends that instead of producing and displaying a picture of the body, software should be designed to produce only the picture of questionable materials on an outline of the body

Further, other technologies could be used that detect the presence of explosives without infringing on modesty as some European leaders have pointed out.

FCNA appreciates the alternate provision of pat-down search (when needed) and therefore recommend to Muslims to avail this option over the nude body scanners.

As for the scanners themselves, such an ‘improvement’ in current security measures is neither required nor warranted. The pretext under which the scanners were introduced, namely the most recently alleged attempt to bring an airliner down over the Atlantic, is by no means a substantiating excuse, given that the Dutch airport (from where the alleged conspirator boarded the plane) failed to implement even the most basic of security measures (such as metal or chemical detectors, or even a passport!), let alone more stringent processes such as those previously found at Heathrow or JFK airport. The fact that there have been no successful attacks by conspirators flying from the UK or the US demonstrates that the existing security measures preceding the scanners were clearly sufficient.

Furthermore, the speed at which the scanners were introduced after the alleged attack implies that there was a plan to implement this scheme before the attack and certain agencies were merely waiting for a pretext by which they could put it into practice. However, whether this was the case or not, there exists no definitive reason as to why these scanners must be used at airports, and beyond being an infringement of our rights, there exists no consistent argument as to why previous security measures may have been insufficient.

It is compulsory for all Muslims to exert every possible effort to prevent the implementation of Body Scanners. At present it is merely in its trial phase whereby airports are attempting to normalize the procedure with a view to normalize the validity of its use in the minds of common individuals. Furthermore, we call upon all human beings to rise against this violation of our rights and exercise all possible means to stop this breach of morality and cause of degradation.

It is also obligatory upon Muslim groups and individuals of the west to exercise whatever power they have and apply pressure on their government to stop the use of such scanners. This includes writing to their MPs, Councilors, influential people and government agencies. It also constitutes marching against this unwarranted imposition; it should be condemned by working with civil liberty groups and lawyers to expose its violation of basic human rights that are also protected by Islam. Muslims living in Muslim countries should also apply pressure on their governments to exercise their influence on western governments to stop the use of these scanners. This includes the refusal to send their students or citizens to such countries in which these scanners are in operation. Muslims elsewhere are commanded to forbid this iniquity as much as they can by boycotting countries and sending letters of condemnation to the embassies of such governments involved.

We must remember that each one of us will be held accountable for the failure to act in forbidding evil and calling for righteousness. Indeed Allah the Most High states,

“And when a community among them said: "Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?" (The preachers) said: ‘In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (God), and perhaps they may fear Allah.’” (Al A’raaf 7:164)

As for those who find that they have no option other than to fly, they should demand that the one operating the scanner is of the same sex and ensure that the picture is deleted directly after the scan.

May Allah guide us all to what is good and righteous, and may He save us from the evil of others and ourselves. May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon His final Messenger, Muhammad, his family, his companions, and all those who follow in righteousness.

Posted by Brother Haitham Al-Haddad

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Epidemic Of Adultery

Why is cheating so alluring? These days you see celebrities left and right cheating on their spouses. Cheating isn’t reserved solely for the celebs though. In fact, this phenomenon is so common that they even have an infidelity home testing kit available now. It is a worldwide epidemic that has been raging since the earliest centuries of mankind.An epidemic that has not left the Muslim world unaffected.

Why would a Muslim want to cheat anyway? For the man he can have up to four wives. By the way contrary to popular belief Islam did not institute the practice of polygamy. Check out the bible:

King Solomon is said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3) Also, king David is said to have had many wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13).
Islam simply limited the number and put a few conditions with it such as fairness, equality, etc. Contradict this to today’s christian sects which abuse polygamy in most cases.

“If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one” (Quran 4:3).

“You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e., neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allaah by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Nisaa’ 4:129]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah: “Whoever has two wives and gives one of them preferential treatment, he will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, 2/601; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6491).

“Live with them (your wives) on a footing of kindness and equity. If you dislike them it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed a great deal of good” (Quran 4:19).

” A believing man must not hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her traits he will be pleased with another” (Muslim).

For the woman if she has a reason to not want to be in the marriage then she can get a divorce. Ok, so now you are probably thinking, “What is this sister promoting divorce?” The answer is, “no, no, no.” All I’m saying is that Islam gives the woman the option to divorce if she has a valid reason. The woman’s divorce must be obtained by going to the Imam and presenting her case before him. The key word is “valid reason.” If you don’t have a valid reason the Prophet(saw) said: Any woman who divorces for no reason will not smell the fragrance of paradise…(Ahmed).

Look at these examples of sahabi(Muslim women living in the time of the Prophet(saw)).

Yahya related. to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman told him from Habiba bint Sahl al-Ansari that she had been the wife of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out for the dawn prayer, and found Habiba bint Sahl at his door in the darkness. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, “Who is this?” She said, “I am Habiba bint Sahl, Messenger of Allah.” He said, “What do you want?” She said, “That Thabit ibn Qays and I separate.” When her husband, Thabit ibn Qays came, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to him, “This is Habiba bint Sahl. She mentioned what Allah willed that she mention.” Habiba said, “Messenger of Allah, all that he has given me is with me!” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to Thabit ibn Qays, “Take it from her,” and he took it from her, and she stayed in the house of her family.

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The wife of Thabit bin Qais came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I do not blame Thabit for defects in his character or his religion, but I, being a Muslim, dislike to behave in un-Islamic manner (if I remain with him).” On that Allah’s Apostle said (to her), “Will you give back the garden which your husband has given you (as Mahr)?” She said, “Yes.” Then the Prophet said to Thabit, “O Thabit! Accept your garden, and divorce her once.” (Bukhari Book #63, Hadith #197)

Other religions however, don’t give the woman the right to divorce. Oh, the secular nations give the woman the right but not their religion.  It is a horrific shame that the Muslim countries are the ones who end up denying the woman her rights that Islam specifically gave her centuries before the western world caught up. But that is another topic for another time.

In Islam the person who cheats (MAN OR WOMAN) in Islamic countries would have a severe punishment. This is the case in every religion. Islam didn’t invent punishment for adultery or fornication.

If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel”(Deut. 22:22).

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death” (Lev. 20:10).

“And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way (that leads to Hell unless Allaah forgives)” [al-Israa’ 17:32]

“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment“
[al-Furqaan 25:68]

Ubadah ibn as-Samith t (Radhiallahu anhu, meaning: May Allah I be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messengerr said: “Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women). When an unmarried male commits adultery with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one youar. And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.” (Muslim, Hadith 4191)

Remember though, to convict a pair of adultery there must be four witnesses.
“And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations), flog them with 80 stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors.” (Qur’an 24:4)

Or if the husband or wife catches the other one cheating and is unable to produce four witnesses then they may do lian(mutual swearing). For more information on this see Maliks Muwatta: Chapter on divorce.

As you can see In Islam there is a clear solution for the problem of infidelity facing the world today. A problem that indeed spreads many diseases and erodes the moral fabrics of society. Diseases such as: HIV/AIDS and venereal disease. Perhaps a far greater side effect of infidelity is the fact that families are ripped apart, trust is lost, and the person’s reputation is ruined. May Allah save all the Muslims from this. ameen.

Prophet Muhammad's Last Sermon

This sermon was delivered on the Ninth day of Dhul al Hijjah 10 A.H. in the 'Uranah valley of Mount Arafat.

After praising, and thanking God, he said:

"O People, listen well to my words, for I do not know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present today.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Treat others justly so that no one would be unjust to you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. God has forbidden you to take usury (riba), therefore all riba obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital , however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity. God has judged that there shall be no riba and that all the riba due to `Abbas ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib shall henceforth be waived.

Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabi’ah ibn al Harith ibn ‘Abd al Mutallib.

O Men, the Unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which God forbade, and to forbid that which God has made permissible. With God the months are twelve in number. Four of them are sacred, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Sha`ban. Beware of the devil, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big
things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights over your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under God's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. It is your right and they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste…

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God (The One Creator of the Universe), perform your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before God (The Creator) and you will answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I am leaving you with the Book of God (the Qur'ân) and my Sunnah (the life style and the behavioral mode of the Prophet), if you follow him you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.