Common Questions Current Issues Q and A

Understanding “Kill Them Wherever You Find Them” — Text

* Article taken from, here.


Answered by Sidi Faraz Khan

Question: Could you please explain the verse of the Qur’an, “slay the polytheists wherever you find them” [9:5]  What are the implications of this verse and why/when was it revealed?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

InshaAllah  you are well.

The key to understanding the verse in question is to understand its context and the circumstances in which it was revealed.

What the Scholars of Qur’anic Exegesis Said

As mentioned by scholars of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), these verses were revealed specifically with regards to particular groups of polytheists that breached their peace treaties with the Muslim polity. This is clear in the very first verse, as it mentions that the proclamation is given out specifically to “those polytheists with whom you had made covenants.”

Imam Razi, Imam Jamal, and others clarify in their tafsirs that this proclamation of fighting the polytheists “applies only to those that broke their covenants.” This is also why an exception to the proclamation is made in verse 4 which, as Imam Razi and others clarify, refers to “those who did not break their covenants,” i.e., they were not to be fought.

Hence, the oft-misunderstood fifth verse of “killing the polytheists wherever you find them” refers only to those that previously broke their covenants and, moreover, after they had four months to reflect on the situation and decide if they wanted to continue with their violation or not. If they decided to continue with their violation, then they would effectively be re-declaring war on the Muslim polity, in which case the verse ordered the polity to defend itself against the transgression. Even in that case, the next verse (verse 6) ordered the Muslims to provide safe passage and protection to any opposing soldier that sought asylum during combat.

Perhaps the following verse (verse 7) best summarizes the context of this discussion, as it states (with commentary from Tafsir al-Razi and Tafsir al-Jalalayn in brackets):

“How can polytheists [that were treacherous and violated their treaties] have a covenant with Allah and His Messenger? Except for those with whom you entered covenants [i.e., the polytheists who did not break them and hence were not treacherous] in the Sacred Mosque. So as long as they are true to you [with their covenants and do not breach them] then be true to them [by also fulfilling your covenants]; verily, Allah loves those who fear Him [i.e., He loves those who fulfill covenants, since whoever fears Allah will fulfill his covenants, and the Prophet kept his word and upheld his side of the treaty until his enemies broke theirs].”

[Razi, Tafsir; Jamal, Hashiyat `ala Jalalayn]

Summarizing the Issue

So to summarize, these verses have a clear historical context and cannot be used to justify acts of violence or terrorism committed against innocent civilians.

Furthermore, by Islamic law, a Muslim government must uphold its treaties and covenants with other nations, regardless of the faith of those nations. It is unlawful to break a peace treaty with any other nation. This also applies to any Non-Muslim that is a citizen of a Muslim nation or that peacefully enters one. This is because citizenship and visitor’s visas are legally considered covenants that cannot be violated. They ensure security and protection for the citizen/visitor, and require that the citizen/visitor not break any of the nation’s laws.

The same, of course, applies to a Muslim citizen of a Non-Muslim nation or a Muslim that enters a Non-Muslim nation with a visitor’s visa or the like, which again serve as covenants of mutual peace and protection. It would be unlawful for a Muslim to break such a covenant. This is also in accordance with contemporary international law and is absolutely binding. And Allah knows best. [Marghinani, al-Hidaya; Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia]

Faraz Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Family Fiqh Q and A

Women Traveling Without a Mahram

* Article translation taken from, here.


Answered by Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi | Translated by Sister Marwa

The original rule stipulated in shari’a that a woman is not to travel alone.  Rather, she has to be accompanied by her husband or any other mahram of hers.  This rule is supported by narrations of Bukhari and others that Ibn-Abbas (ra) said, that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “A woman should not travel except with a mahram, and no man should visit her except in the presence of a mahram.”

Abu-Hurairah related the following on behalf of the Prophet (pbuh), “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for one day and night except with a mahram.”

Abu-Sa’id reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “A woman should not travel for two days except she is accompanied by her husband or a mahram.”

Ibn-’Umar reported, “She should not travel for three nights except with a mahram.”

Apparently, different narrations are due to the context of the questioner.  So, answers were given according to each  question.  Abu-Hanifa, however, considered the narrations of Ibn-Omar as more probable.  His believes that a mahram is considered a necessity only within the distance of qasr (shortening of prayers).  This is according to the narration of Ahmad.

These ahadith are about all kinds of travel, whither an obligatory travel such as for a visit or trade or seeking knowledge or else.

This ruling is not because shari’a mistrusts woman as some people may fancy.  To the contrary, this is a precaution for the sake of her reputation and dignity.  Shari’a seeks to protect her in case the sick at heart should seek to harm her.  It is to protect her from transgressors, brigands, especially in an environment in which a traveler crossed deadly deserts in a time that security and civilization were yet to prevail.

But what is the shari`ah ruling if a woman did not find a mahram to accompany her in a legitimate travel, whether obligatory, preferable, or allowed travel and she had some trusted men or women or the way was safe?

Scholars investigated this issue when they came across two problems: the obligation of women to perform hajj vs. the Prophet’s (pbuh) prohibition of a woman’s travel without a mahram.
Some of them adhered to the superficial meaning of the reported ahadith.  Thus, they prohibited woman from travelling without a mahram, even for fulfilling the obligation of performing hajj.Some of them like Abul-Walid al-Yajy, a maliky judge, excluded elderly women from this prohibition.  “This is a specialization of the general when looking to the meaning,” said Ibn-Daqiq al-Eid.Some of them excluded a woman accompanied by trusted group of women.  Some said it suffices to have a company of a Muslim, and trusted woman.Some said it suffices to make sure that the road is safe.  This is what the great scholar Ibn-Taymeya preferred.  Ibn-Muflih said in al-Furu’, “A woman could perform hajj without a mahram as long as she is safe.”  “This applies to all kinds of travel (for good cause).” he added.  This is also what Al-Karabesi cited from ash-Shafi’i in the section of “Voluntary hajj”.  Some of his followers said that it also applies to all kinds of non-obligatory travel, like visiting somebody or for trade.  Al-Athram reported that Imam Ahmad said, “Having a mahram is not a prerequisite for obligatory hajj,” he added, “this is because a woman can go to hajj with women (in general) and also with anyone she feels safe with.”Ibn-Sirin said, “She should go with good Muslims.”

Al-Awza’y said, “She should go only with persons of good reputation.”

Malik said, “She should go with a group of women.”

Ash-Shafi’i said, “She should go with a free, Muslim, and trusted woman.”  Some of his followers said, “She could go alone in case she is secured.”

Al-Hafidh Ibn-Hajar said, ” In the Shafi’i madhhab it is known to put the presence of the husband, mahram, or trusted women as a prerequisite for a women to perform hajj.” Some others say, “Only one trusted woman is enough.”

“She can travel alone if the road is safe.” This is another opinion cited by al-Karabesi.  He corrected it in al-Muhathab.

If this applies to hajj and umra, then it should apply to all kinds of travel as it has been reported by some scholars, because the main aim is to protect women and secure them.  Therefore, as long as the road is safe, and there are trusted women or men, she can go without mahram.

There are two evidences that a woman can travel without a mahram as long as she is safe and accompanied by trusted people:

First, it has been reported by al-Bukari in his Sahih, that Omar (ra) gave permission to the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) to perform hajj.  He sent Othman Ibn-Affan and Abdul-Rahaman to accompany them.  Omar, Othman, Abudl-Rahman along with the Prophet’s wives, all approved it.  Nobody of the companions denied what they did.  This is considered unanimous resolution.Second: what has been reported by Bukhary and Muslim regarding the hadith of Adyy Ibn-Hatim, to whom the Prophet (pbuh) talked about the future of Islam and how it will spread throughout the world.  Among of what he said was, ” … you will certainly see that a lady in a Howdah traveling from al-Hira, heading for Makkah, without her husband, fearing none but Allah…”This hadith implies not only that what the Prophet (pbuh) said would happen, but also that is it permissible.  It was mentioned within the context of praising the widespread of Islam and the security it would provide.Here, we want to add two important rules:

First, rulings regarding human interactions are meant to take into consideration the meanings and aims behind them.  Unlike the rulings of worship, whose origin is to worship and submit to Allah, without thinking about their implications.  This was clarified  and assured by al-Shatiby.
Second, whatever has been prohibited for itself could be permissible only if there is a necessity.  Whatever has been prohibited for the sake of preventing evasive legal device (sad al-zara’i), could be permissible only if there is a need for it.  Surely, women’s travelling alone was prohibited for the sake of preventing evasive legal device.

Moreover, travel in our time is different from what it used to be in the past.  For then, travel was full of danger.  People had to cross deadly deserts, sometimes encounter robbers or brigands and the like.  Nowadays, however, we travel by ships, airplanes.  Usually, these vehicles take large numbers of people. This is what eliminates the fear for a woman travelling alone, because she will not be alone in any particular place.

Therefore, there is no harm in a woman performing hajj (without mahram), as long as the circumstances are settled and safe.

May Allah grant us success.

Originally published by Al-Qaradawi

Fiqh Purification Q and A

Women Staying in the Prayer Hall When Menstruating

* Answer taken, here.


Please, can you advise us about menstruating women entering the mosques and remaining within them? Are there differences of opinion among the scholars on this matter? The reason that I am asking this question is because there is a Qur’ân memorization class which I know of that is held in the upstairs women’s prayer area of the mosque. The sheikh giving the class says that women can still attend when they are menstruating. Is this correct?

Answered by

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
There are two opinions on this issue of a menstruating woman staying within the mosque.

The first is the one adopted by the four Imams who ruled it as impermissible. They argued that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered women in menses to stand apart at the prayer area during the `Id prayer. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (351) and Sahîh Muslim (890)]

The answer to this argument is that the order is meant for them to stand apart from the prayer itself as is clearly stated in in the narration in Sahîh Muslim “Let them stand away from the prayer.”

As for the hadîth related by Abû Dâwûd (232): “I do not permit a woman in her menses or a person in a state of major ritual impurity into the mosque” It is a weak hadîth. Its line of transmission contains a narrator who is unknown.

They also cite as evidence the ruling that a women is prohibited from tawâf around the Ka`bah. It is mentioned in the hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him) addressed `Aishah by saying: “Do as the pilgrims do but do not perform tawâf around the House until you become pure.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (305) and Sahîh Muslim (1211)]

However, it appears that this is a prohibition from tawâf itself and is not referring to entering the mosque. Indeed, it could well be argued that this hadîth provides us with good evidence that it is permitted for a menstruating woman to enter the mosque, because it does not say that she could not enter it.

The second saying is that it is permissible for the woman to stay in the mosque while she is in her menses. This is according to the school of thought of al-Zâhiriyyah as well as the opinion of the Shâfi`î jurist al-Muzanî. This view was also adopted by some later researchers and scholars.

They argue that since the basic ruling is that it is permissible for women to enter the mosque, therefore any claim that they are prevented from doing so needs to be substantiated by evidence.

They also argue that when Abû Hurayrah avoided the Prophet’s company because he was in a state of major ritual impurity, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him: “Glory to Allah, the Believer would not become impure” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (283) and Sahîh Muslim (371)]

They also argue that it is allowed for unbelievers to enter the mosque and stay in it.

This is clear from the story of Thumâmah b. Athâl when he was tied to a column in the mosque. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (469)]

Therefore, if it is argued that the menstruating woman is prohibited from entering the mosque because of abstract impurity, then it is countered by the fact that an unbeliever is permitted to enter the mosque.

If, on the other hand, it is argued that the prohibition of a menstruating woman from staying within the mosque is because of the problem of physical impurity, then this is countered by the fact that it is permissible for a woman who is suffering from continuous vaginal bleeding to enter the mosque.

This is according to the hadîth of `Aishah where she said: “One of the Prophets’s wives joined him in i`tikâf and she used to see blood and yellow spots. She had a bowl under here and would pray.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (310)]

Children were also allowed to enter the mosque, as is established in many authentic hadîth, while they do not care much to avoid physical impurities.

It is also authentically established that dogs used to walk through the mosque and urinate in it at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and they never used to splash any water over that. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (174)]

These are strong, mutually supporting points of evidence that strengthen the basic ruling of the permissibility of a menstruating woman staying in the mosque, and it can be adopted when necessary.

And Allah knows best.

Fiqh Prayer Q and A

How Long and When to Make Takbeerat After Prayers During Eid

The takbeerat of the days of Eid are said after prayers during the days of Eid. There are a number of differences of opinion here:


The Form:

Some schools held that they should be to say “Allahu Akbar” three times and then “La ilaha illa Allah” followed by “Allahu Akbar” twice and then “wa lillahi al-hamd.” Others held that the first set of “Allahu Akbar” should be two and not three. This whole set should be repeated three times after the prayer.



The majority held that this set of takbeerat should be said after the obligatory prayers which are held in congregation. Some held that they can be said after optional prayers as well and others held that they can be said when prayers are made individually as well as in congregation.


For How Long:

Most scholars said that these takbeerat should start from after fajr on the Day of ‘Arafah. Some held that they should continue until Zuhr of the Day of Eid and others held that they should continue until ‘Asr on the third of the days of Tashreeq. In this latter opinion it would mean that the takbeerat are made for five days (Day of ‘Arafah, First Day of Eid, Three Days of Tashreeq after the First Day of Eid).


What to Do:

When praying in congregation one should follow whatever the Imam of that congregation is teaching and leading his followers in. This is because the unity of the congregation is more important than an individual opinion. However, if on one’s own I would advise making the takbeerat for all five days and after obligatory prayers whether in congregation or individually. We are greatly in need of the remembrance of Allah in our lives.


*This is summarized from the Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia.

وَصِيغَتُهُ: اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ (1) .
وَخَالَفَتِ الشَّافِعِيَّةُ وَالْمَالِكِيَّةُ، فَذَهَبُوا إِلَى جَعْل التَّكْبِيرَاتِ الأُْولَى فِي الصِّيغَةِ ثَلاَثًا بَدَل ثِنْتَيْنِ.
ثُمَّ إِنَّ هَذَا التَّكْبِيرَ يُعْتَبَرُ شِعَارًا لِكُلٍّ مِنْ عِيدَيِ الْفِطْرِ وَالأَْضْحَى، أَمَّا مَكَانُ التَّكْبِيرِ وَحُكْمُهُ وَكَيْفِيَّتُهُ فِي عِيدِ الْفِطْرِ فَقَدْ مَرَّ الْحَدِيثُ عَنْهُ ف / 12.
وَأَمَّا حُكْمُهُ وَمَكَانُهُ فِي عِيدِ الأَْضْحَى، فَيَجِبُ التَّكْبِيرُ مُرَّةً عَقِبَ كُل فَرْضٍ أُدِّيَ جَمَاعَةً، أَوْ قُضِيَ فِي أَيَّامِ الْعِيدِ، وَلَكِنَّهُ كَانَ مَتْرُوكًا فِيهَا، مِنْ بَعْدِ فَجْرِ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ إِلَى مَا بَعْدِ عَصْرِ يَوْمٍ الْعِيدِ.
وَذَهَبَ أَبُو يُوسُفَ وَمُحَمَّدٌ (وَهُوَ الْمُعْتَمَدُ فِي الْمَذْهَبِ) إِلَى أَنَّهُ يَجِبُ بَعْدَ كُل فَرْضٍ مُطْلَقًا،
وَلَوْ كَانَ الْمُصَلِّي مُنْفَرِدًا أَوْ مُسَافِرًا أَوِ امْرَأَةً، مِنْ فَجْرِ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ إِلَى مَا بَعْدَ عَصْرِ الْيَوْمِ الثَّالِثِ مِنْ أَيَّامِ التَّشْرِيقِ (1) .
أَمَّا مَا يَتَعَلَّقُ بِحُكْمِ التَّكْبِيرِ: فَسَائِرُ الْمَذَاهِبِ عَلَى أَنَّ التَّكْبِيرَ سُنَّةٌ أَوْ سُنَّةٌ مُؤَكَّدَةٌ وَلَيْسَ بِوَاجِبٍ.
وَالْمَالِكِيَّةُ يُشْرَعُ التَّكْبِيرُ عِنْدَهُمْ إِثْرَ خَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ صَلاَةً تَبْدَأُ مِنْ ظُهْرِ يَوْمِ النَّحْرِ (2) .
وَأَمَّا مَا يَتَعَلَّقُ بِنَوْعِ الصَّلاَةِ الَّتِي يُشْرَعُ بَعْدَهَا التَّكْبِيرُ: فَقَدِ اخْتَلَفَتْ فِي ذَلِكَ الْمَذَاهِبُ:
فَالشَّافِعِيَّةُ عَلَى أَنَّهُ يُشْرَعُ التَّكْبِيرُ عَقِبَ كُل الصَّلَوَاتِ فَرْضًا كَانَتْ أَمْ نَافِلَةً عَلَى اخْتِلاَفِهَا لأَِنَّ التَّكْبِيرَ شِعَارُ الْوَقْتِ فَلاَ يَخْتَصُّ بِنَوْعٍ مِنَ الصَّلاَةِ دُونَ آخَرَ (3) .
وَالْحَنَابِلَةُ عَلَى أَنَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِالْفُرُوضِ الْمُؤَدَّاةِ جَمَاعَةً مِنْ صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ يَوْمَ عَرَفَةَ إِلَى صَلاَةِ الْعَصْرِ مِنْ آخِرِ أَيَّامِ التَّشْرِيقِ، فَلاَ يُشْرَعُ عَقِبَ مَا أُدِّيَ فُرَادَى مِنَ الصَّلَوَاتِ (4) .
وَالْمَالِكِيَّةُ عَلَى أَنَّهُ يُشْرَعُ عَقِبَالْفَرَائِضِ الَّتِي تُصَلَّى أَدَاءً، فَلاَ يُشْرَعُ عَقِبَ مَا صُلِّيَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ قَضَاءً مُطْلَقًا أَيْ سَوَاءٌ كَانَ مَتْرُوكَاتِ الْعِيدِ أَمْ لاَ

Common Questions Current Issues Q and A

Understanding “Kill Them Wherever you Find Them…”

One of the verses in the Quran that is very often taken out of context and misapplied and misunderstood is the verse that says “Kill them wherever you find them.”

In this video Nauman Ali Khan gives a good, short commentary on how to understand it.

Fiqh Q and A

Slaughtering an Animal on Eid al-Adha


Is it required to slaughter an animal for Eid al-Adha or is it recommended?



The majority of scholars held that it is a highly recommended act to sacrifice an animal for Eid al-Adha. This means that they did not consider it to be required but rather high recommended. Imam Abu Hanifa was of the opinion that sacrificing on Eid al-Adha is required for those who are capable of doing so.

The majority based their opinion on a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) wherein he said, “If the ten days of Dhul Hijjah begin and one of you wishes to sacrifice then they should not cut their hair or nails.” The wording of this hadith indicates that the person has a choice as to whether or not they want to sacrifice. It is also narrated that Abu Bakr and Umar (ra) would not sacrifice in some years so that people would know that it is not required.

As to how many animals should be slaughtered then a sheep is enough for one person and a camel or cow is enough for seven people. The Shafi’is and Hanbalis held that one sacrifice is enough for an entire family. So if a family with a father, mother, and several dependent children was to slaughter one sheep then that would be enough for the whole family.

It is important to remember that the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is a great tradition and an important act of worship in Islam. Therefore, the one is able to sacrifice should sacrifice even if they believe that it is recommended and not required.

Fiqh Q and A

The Maliki View on Pictures of Humans and Animals

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour



Assalaamu alaikum,

I hope this reaches everybody in a state of spiritual wellness.

I read some of the previous post on SeekersGuidance and noticed that children should be discouraged from drawing humans and animals. I have read in other sources that Imam Malik interpreted the commonly cited hadiths to be in relations to carving statues as they were still so close to the polytheistic culture and the worship of man-made idols.

Would you clarify this matter please?



According to the Maliki madhab, 3-dimensional complete figure of creatures possessing souls are prohibited. If the figure is not complete (like missing arms), or it is not 3-dimensional, then it would be disliked (makruh). Thus, drawings of animals and humans would not be prohibited.

The Maliki scholars mention that if the drawing is going to be in a place where it is degraded, then it goes from being disliked (makruh) to being permissible (mubah) but not the best thing to do (khilaf al awlaa). An example of when this would occur is if the drawing of an animal is on a plate that will be eaten from or a rug or pillow that will be used. [Dardir, Al-Sharh al-kabir]


Rami Nsour


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