​MARRIAGE IS NOT AN ACHIEVEMENT?


I think marriage is an achievement and I’ll explain why. When Adam was created, he had everything. (Now, how do I explain this to an atheist who thinks he evolved from a chimp?!) He lived in a beautiful garden with all his desires fulfilled on demand. But something was obviously missing. He was a full-grown man with testosterone flowing through his veins. He needed companionship. He needed a wife and Allaah granted him a perfect match – Eve. It was the same for Eve.  She was happy. She was loved. She had everything, too. 
Marriage is based on love, compassion and mercy. Allaah said in Qur’an chapter 30 verse 21,

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.”
It’s fine if you choose to live a celibate life, but don’t impose it on our girls. If you prefer to service your honeypot with sextoys and bring forth children through unknown sperm donors, again, it’s your choice. Just don’t corrupt our girls. Let them feel free to love and be loved. We’re here to guide and bless them – so help us God. I can’t help you if Allaah has removed compassion and affection from your heart. It’s like the feeling of analgesia after a jab of morphine; I pray you recover soon! 
My Prophet taught me that marriage is half of faith. He encouraged us to hasten towards completion of this “half”. He said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty” (Bukhaari). This is because we have no other option of satisfying our desires. This is because sexual pervasiveness is not part of Islam. 
Keep your messy feminism to yourself and stop brainwashing our girls. And yes, we do pay attention to their education and empowerment. We do honour our wives and obey our mothers. Marriage is not the only achievement we prepare our girls for, but when a girl gets happily married, we celebrate her as much as we celebrate any of her other achievements. 

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​ORAL SEX : A MEDICO-ISLAMIC ANALYSIS

 
Disclaimer! Adults only. Reader’s discretion is advised. 
There is no clear-cut medical verdict on oral sex. There are benefits and there are risks. Studies have shown that oral sex enhances the overall sexual health in some couples. Sexual therapists do recommend it when managing cases of desire and arousal dysfunctions. Unfortunately, the risk of transmission of STDs is enough to scare anyone. Genital and oral herpes, syphilis, HIV and HPV are among the most notable. 
People who engage in oral sex have been shown to be at higher risk of developing oropharyngeal cancer (secondary to HPV infection). The risk is higher for those who have multiple sexual partners, and in the presence of a breach in the genital (or oral) skin and mucosa (bruises, cuts, etc) 
The vagina contains a cocktail of several bacteria. A high level of personal hygiene is required of a woman who wishes to enjoy cunnilingus. It is more advisable to use a ‘female condom’ or ‘vulval diaphragm’ to shield that area and prevent the husband from picking up infections from down there. 
The husband could also use a condom. This will rule out the chances of the woman swallowing semen and transferring pathogens between the phallus and the mouth. 
In Islam, the basic principle in issues of daily life is that everything is permissible unless there is an explicit ruling that forbids it. On this basis, some schools of thought opine that oral sex is permissible because there is no evidence to rule that it is haraam. 
Allaah says:
“Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth when or how you will, and send before you for your ownselves. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him, and give good tidings to the believers.” (Qur’an chapter 2 verse 223)
In explaining this ayah, scholars of tafseer say that couples can enjoy sexual pleasure with each other using any style. The only exception to this permissiveness is ANAL SEX which is explicitly prohibited in the shari’ah as seen in several authentic ahadeeth. 
 It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said: “The one who has intercourse with his wife in her back passage has disavowed himself of that which was revealed to Muhammad (SAW).” Narrated by Abu Dawood (3904); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 
However, another school of thought believes that oral sex should be discouraged as it resembles what obtains among lower animals (especially dogs), and it is inappropriate for humans to imitate animals. They argue that the same tongue that would be used to glorify Allaah should not be seen around filthiness; such as the pre-ejaculatory fluid in men (al-madhiyy) and the vaginal discharge in women. 
Overall, we have no evidence to say that oral sex is haraam. Considering the fact that some couples have trouble achieving sexual satisfaction via penetrative intercourse alone, should they be denied the opportunity to explore other options? Should we categorize this under the “umuurun mushtabihaat” (doubtful affairs) and steer clear so as to be on the safer side? Well, there are more questions than answers on this topic…
My submission: 

Couples who decide to explore other methods of satisfying each other may, by mutual agreement, include oral sex. They should maintain a high standard of genital and oral health, and try not to ingest the genital fluids. 
WAllaahu Ta’aala A’alam.

​WHAT PEOPLE DO FOR LOVE… 


Shirk (associating partners with Allaah) comes in different shades and forms. I’m not here to go into the academic discussion of its divisions, but I’ll like to call our attention to the things people do all in the name of love and sex, thereby falling into one category of shirk or the other. 
In those days, our scholars travelled from  East to west in search of a single hadith. Despite the overwhelming amount of knowledge and information available to us today for free, it’s quite appalling that we still wallow in abject ignorance, and do things without searching for the authenticity and acceptability. 
When you fall in love with a woman, do istikhaara and walk up to her or her waliyy. The worst answer you can get is a “no”. They can’t kill you for pursuing your desire. They can’t crucify you for trying to satisfy your natural instinct in a halaal way. Rejection of a proposal is not the end of the world. When you go overboard and make use of amulets and talisman, it means:

1. You have committed shirk

2. You have refused to accept fate and predestination as a major article of faith 

3. You have failed to put your trust in Allaah
 It was narrated from Zaynab the wife of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood from ‘Abd-Allaah who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (saw) say, ‘Indeed, spells (ruqah), amulets and love-charms are shirk…” (Aboo Dawood, Ibn Maajah, Classed saheeh by Albaanee). 
In trying to achieve contraception without the knowledge of their husbands, some women use rings, wrist bands and waist beads on which magical spells have been cast. These magicians, alfas or pastors employ the services of jinns, but they lie to them that they’ve only recited some verses of the Qur’an. How about convincing your husband to accompany you to the family planning clinic, get counselling and opt for an appropriate method that can suit your needs? 
I heard that some cultures prepare certain love potions for new brides on their wedding nights. They want them to look beautiful and irresistible. They want to be the favourite among the wives in polygamous marriages. They want to satisfy their husbands in bed forever and make their private parts as good as new. Why? When did marriage become a competition? When did sex become oxygen that you can’t live without? When did few minutes of pleasure become more important than your faith and hereafter? 
The worst set of people are those who break marital bonds in order to step in and hijack the wife from her husband or vice versa. They have morbid greed for other people’s spouses. It’s a craving they can’t help until they capture their preys. In Qur’an chapter 2 verse 102, Allaah mentioned that one of the main purposes for which magic was used in the time of Prophet Sulaiman (AS) was  to cause discord between couples. 
Don’t be surprised that some conscious muslims have been victims as well as culprits in this matter. The good news is that Allaah is oft-forgiving, All-Merciful. You can still repent today. Shirk is a grave sin. You can’t afford to die in that state. 
No man or woman is indispensable. Don’t lose your sanity in the quest for love. Don’t trade your faith for a transient feeling of ecstasy. Don’t trade the eternity of paradise for a few years of spellbound union. Fear Allaah! 
“… and the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.” (Qur’an chapter 57 verse 20)

WOMEN AND JEALOUSY! 

There are two types of jealousy – protective jealousy and destructive jealousy. Protective jealousy is good. It’s a kind of territorialism which is part of our natural instincts as humans. It’s the kind of jealousy that makes a woman cringe at the mere flirtatious gesture towards her husband, and vice versa. It’s natural. It’s healthy. It’s understandable. 
Destructive jealousy is just what it is – destructive. It’s unnecessary. It’s unhealthy. It’s unacceptable. It’s the kind of jealousy that culminates in evil eyeing, violence and lethal assaults. This is the kind of jealousy that the Prophet (saw) warned us against. He (ﷺ) said, “Do not desert one another, do not nurse hatred towards one another, do not be jealous of one another, and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to stop talking to his brother for more than three days.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Allaah enjoined the Prophet himself to pray against jealousy, as He wasn’t free from its harmful effects (Qur’an chapter 113). Whoever finds herself in this form of jealousy should fear Allaah and increase in dhikr and patience. 
Jealousy is not exclusive to the womenfolk but theirs can be really funny. She’s jealous even before there’s anything to be jealous of! She has preconceived jealousy for the second wife her husband is yet to meet, and for the imaginary concubine her husband is not even planning to have! As if that isn’t enough, she’s already jealous of the houris in Jannah! 
Let me just zoom in on this last point… You have no business feeling jealous here because of the houris your husband will be marrying in Jannah. Guess what? There’s no such thing as jealousy in Jannah. The goodies in Jannah described in the Qur’an and Hadiths are just tips of the iceberg. The enjoyment is much more than what any word can describe or what any mind can fathom out. 
You will be too engrossed (in this enjoyment) to even notice the houris around your husband. The kind of pleasure you’ll be feeling on a continuous basis will be much more intense and awesome than orgasms. Your beauty and elegance will be much more than that of the houris. 
So, why don’t you just focus on the entry ticket to Jannah and stop worrying about earthly or heavenly houris? Why don’t you work towards that rare privilege to behold the Face of Allaah and dine in the company of the Prophets, instead of corrupting your “file” with destructive jealousy? 
May Allaah reunite us in Jannah. Aameen. 

WHEN ABU IS HOME ALONE… 


In most “long-distance” marriages, husbands are usually the ones travelling upandan (for school, business, etc.). However, there are other tangible reasons why your wife might need to be away for a while – confinement pre- or post-delivery; to attend to her elderly parents if she’s the only one they’ve got; she has a rare talent or skill and her service is needed far away from home, etc. And hey! These things could happen at the nascent phase of your marriage when you’re not ready for a second wife… 
So how do you keep yourself busy while Habeebty is away?
*Do more acts of worship. If you have been missing tahajjud and fajr due to marathon “tahaajudi”, this is the time to readjust and get back on track. If you have jettisoned the sunnatic fasts due to ummu’s sumptuous, mellifluous and superfluous delicacies, this is the time to resume fasting! Sorry ehn? 
*Take care of the children. If you have kids, it would be really nice to spend quality father-to-child time with them now. Don’t give them cornflakes everyday – enter the kitchen and make amala! Don’t push them to watch cartoons all day – give them attention, read a book to them, play hide-and-seek, etc. Don’t just dump them with grandma and leave. Stop complaining about babysitting. Parents don’t babysit their own children; it’s called “parenting”!
*Take care of the house, afterall, it’s your house, too. Don’t pile up the dirty laundry or dishes until she comes back – wash them! Share the chores among the children or get help from family/friends if possible. 
What if Habeebty is gonna be away for a longer time? Then, up your game plan… 
*Restore your hibernating routines. Since you got married, you’ve stopped going to the gym and your six-pack has reduced to one-pack. This is the time to start doing regular exercises like you used to do. Fast walking 30minutes everyday will do the trick as well. Try other sports and hobbies like tennis, horseriding, archery, etc. 
*Volunteer. Join a worthy cause or set up one. Do something to empower women and children in your locality. Participate actively and physically in a local project such as mosque building. Gather children and teach them the Qur’an or any other school subject.
*Keep in touch. I need not tell you that she’s missing you as much as you’re missing her. Let there be no communication gaps. Don’t let the sun set without calling, texting, chatting or video chatting (PS: I don’t support sexting and uttering dirty words over the phone, for security reasons…)
*Lower your gaze. This is the crux of the matter. Whether ummu is always with you 24/7, or one of you is a traveller, you still have to lower your gaze to avoid falling into zinaa. Not all those chicks want to marry you legally; some just want to use their bodies to get something from you. Even after you complete the 4 slots, shayton will not stop trying to whisper to you. (Remember Qur’an chapter 17 verse 32) So, if you know you ain’t ready for polygyny, keep yourself chaste for your wife just as she’s keeping herself for you. 

SKIN BLEACHING – MEDICO-ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES

 
Among people of colour, there is a widespread desire for a toned, lighter skin – especially ladies. Higher levels of melanin (a dark pigment produced by the skin cells) makes it easy for us to develop uneven tone and exaggerated darkening, especially after inflammation. 
Skin whitening/toning is not wrong in itself. The question is: what is your goal? An evenly toned or a permanently bleached skin? It’s not uncommon for dermatologists to prescribe skin whitening/toning creams to patients who are battling with skin diseases which have resulted in unsightly darkening. 
The commonest active agent in these creams is Hydroquinone. There’s usually no more than 2% concentration and it’s used for a short duration. There are concerns about increased risk of skin cancer with prolonged use. However, people have abused this substance in the name of maintaining the whiteness and even tone. 
Most bleaching creams contain steroids, such as hydrocortisone and clobetasol. These are powerful substances that, (when abused) not only affect the skin, but can be absorbed into the bloodstream, disrupting the normal homeostasis of the body. 
Overly bleached skin can look unnaturally white with a grayish tint, resembling the skin of a cadaver! When Hydroquinone is used in concentrations higher than 2%, it begins to give paradoxical results. There have been reports of the development of exogenous ochronosis, the darkening of the skin which is permanent and very resistant to any treatment. Though there is a possibility that this skin reaction can develop with lower doses, the risks are increased when the dose is higher.
Overuse of skin whiteners causes pigmentation to build up in your extremities (fingers, toes, ears etc), causing them to look darker and mismatched. This can culminate in what is called “the bleach panda effect”, where the skin on the face becomes thinned around the eyes and have increased pigmentation. Cute on a panda, not so nice on humans! Thinning of the skin results in increased susceptibility to injuries, infections and delayed wound healing. 
Can you whiten (or tone) your skin without the need for toxic chemicals? Yes. Opt for mild exfoliation with natural things like honey, lemon, yogurt, potato peel, etc. Packaged herbal remedies and nontoxic exfoliating creams are also widely available. These are much milder and gentler on your skin. Eat fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Reduce your exposure to sunlight and maintain an excellent personal hygiene. More importantly, love yourself. Embrace your dark skin and be grateful to your Lord. 

As Muslims, we must understand that we are accountable to Allah for all our actions, be they right or wrong. Hence, we must strive to always please Allah with our deeds by adhering strictly to His commands and refraining from all forbidden acts. In Q. 95:4, Allah declared that He has created man in the best form.
This declaration, however, does not mean that man cannot seek improvement in his shape or look. For instance, a deformed person can seek medical care to correct his deformity. Likewise, a person with tumor in his brain or cataract in his eyes can approach the appropriate professional to remove it. None of these conflicts with the verse above.
What the Shari’ah frowns at is any action that leads to altering or changing (completely) the creation of Allah for no just cause (such as medical reasons). For example, the Prophet (saw) forbade tattooing of the body and plucking of the eyebrows, but permitted plaiting/shaving of the hair as well as other forms of beautification.
On the issue of skin bleaching, the Ulamaa have declared it to be totally haraam if the purpose is for beautification and it is permanent. This, according to them is based on the express provision of Q. 4:119 wherein Shaytaan said: “And most certainly, I will lead them astray and excite them in vain desires, and bid them so that they can slit the ears of the cattle, and most certainly, I will bid them so that they shall ALTER ALLAH’S CREATION…”
The implication of the verse above is that such frivolous alteration in Allah’s creation as seen in bleaching of the skin for no reason other than to appear brighter than one’s natural look and deception of others is clearly in following of the footsteps of Shaytaan, which Allah has warned us against (Qur’an 2:168, 208, 6:142 & 24:21)
Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymeen was asked about the ruling of using whitening creams and he replied: “Yes, it is haraam if it changed the colour of the skin permanently. In that case, it is like tattooing, and the Prophet (upon him be peace) cursed the woman who does tattoo and the one on whom it is done. But if it is done to remove a defect, such as if there is a dark, disfiguring mole on the skin and the individual uses something to remove it, then, there is nothing wrong with that.
WAllaahu Ta’aala A’alam.

*Special thanks to Sirnucy Lafiagi for his contributions*

​ETIQUETTES OF COUGHING, SNEEZING AND YAWNING

Coughing and sneezing are survival mechanisms which Allaah (swt) has put in place to help us ward off undesirable elements from our respiratory systems. They are signs of irritation by germs, allergens or foreign bodies in the respiratory tract while sneezing especially is an allergic reaction to dust, fumes, etc. 

A “productive” cough expels sputum which may carry millions of pathogenic droplets (such as microbes causing the flu, pertussis, Tuberculosis, etc). Sneezing helps to protect/free the airway, resulting in relief from mucus congestion. Persistent cough and sneezing (+/- other symptoms) require medical attention. 

So, you see, coughs and sneezes are meant to bring you comfort. Therefore, you shouldn’t use your comfort to inconvenience other people. You shouldn’t release germs to infect others. Cover your mouth and nose with your upper sleeve (the inner part of your flexed elbow), a handkerchief or a piece of tissue paper. Dispose of the handkerchief or tissue properly and immediately, wash your hands with soap and water. 

Even a seemingly harmless cough could be harmful to your neighbours because your respiratory tract contains millions of commensal bacteria which are “customised” for you alone! Don’t share that cocktail with us please! 

On the other hand, yawning is a sign or stress, hunger, sleepiness or laziness. You release a deep breath with a huge amount of air which could also contain droplets of germs. So you need to cover your mouth as well. Some people are fond of talking or making an exaggerated sound while yawning. This is plain uncouth and satanic! 

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “Allaah likes sneezing and dislikes yawning. When any one of you sneezes and says ‘AlhamduliLlaah (praise be to Allaah)’, it becomes obligatory upon every Muslim who hears him to respond with ‘Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you)’. Yawning is from the devil. When one of you feels like yawning, he should restrain it as much as possible, for the devil laughs when one of you yawns.” [Al-Bukhari]. 

PS: If someone coughs, sneezes or yawns beside you and he’s not courteous enough to close his mouth, please don’t hesitate to cover your own mouth, look away or take a few steps away from him!