Dangers in the Home
Book by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Praise be to Allaah. We
praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from
the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides
cannot be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray cannot be guided. I
bear witness that there is no god but Allaah Alone, with no partner or
associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Putting things right
in the home is a great trust and huge responsibility which every Muslim man and
woman should undertake as Allaah commands; they should run the affairs of their
homes in accordance with the rules set out by Allaah. One of the ways of
achieving this is by ridding the home of evil things. The following aims to
highlight some evil things that actually happen in some homes and that have
become tools of destruction for the nests in which the future generations of the
Muslim ummah are being raised.
This brief paper highlights
some of these evil things, explaining about some haraam things in order to warn
about them. It is a gift to every seeker of truth who is looking for methods of
change, so that he or she can implement the command of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“Whoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking
action], and if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out], and if he
cannot, then with his heart [by feeling that it is wrong] – and that is the
weakest of faith.” (Reported by Muslim in his
This discussion expands upon
some forbidden or evil matters that have already been mentioned in brief in my
Muslim Home – 40 Recommendations.
I ask Allaah, the Most
Generous, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to benefit my Muslim brothers through this
book and the previous book. Allaah is the Guide to the Straight Path.
Evil things in the Home
Beware of allowing
non-mahram relatives to enter upon the wife in the home when the husband is
absent. Some homes are not free of the presence of relatives of the husband who
are not mahram for the wife, who may be living in his home with him because of
some social circumstances, such as his brothers who may be students or single.
These relatives enter the home without anyone raising an eyebrow, because they
are known in the neighbourhood as being relatives of the head of the household,
his brothers or nephews or uncles. This relaxed attitude could generate a lot of
evil which will earn the wrath of Allaah if it is not controlled and brought
within the limits set by Allaah. The basic principle in this matter is the
hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him), “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the
Ansaar said, “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about the
brother-in-law?” He said, “The brother-in-law is death!” (Reported by
al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari,
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said: “What is referred to in this hadeeth is the husband’s
relatives apart from his father and his sons, because those are mahrams for his
wife and can be alone with her, so they are not described as death. What is
referred to here is his brother, nephew, uncle and cousin, and others who she
would be permitted to marry if she were not already married. Usually people take
the matter lightly with regard to these relatives, so a brother may be alone
with his brother’s wife. Thus he is likened to death, when he should be
prevented from being alone with her more than a stranger should.” (Fath al-Baari, 9/331).
The phrase “the brother-in-law is death” has a number of meanings, such as:
That being alone with the
brother-in-law may lead to spiritual destruction if she commits sin;
Or it may lead to death if
she commits the immoral act (zina or adultery) and the punishment of stoning is
carried out on her;
Or it may lead to the woman
being destroyed if her husband leaves her because his jealousy leads him to
Or it may mean, beware of
being alone with a non-mahram woman just as you would beware of death;
Or it may mean that being
alone with a non-mahram woman is as bad as death.
It was said that it
means, let the brother-in-law die rather than be alone with a non-mahram
All of this stems from
the concern of Islam to preserve families and households, and to prevent the
tools of destruction reaching them in the first place. Having learned what the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said, what do you think now of those husbands who tell their wives,
“If my brother comes and I am not here, let him into the sitting room”, or a
wife who tells a guest, “Go into the sitting room” when there is no one else
present in the house?
To those who raise the
issue of trust as an excuse, saying “I trust my wife, and I trust my brother, or
my cousin”, we say: your trust is all well and good, and you should not be
suspicious when you have no cause to do so, but you should know that the hadeeth
of the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him), “No man is alone with a non-mahram woman, but the Shaytaan
is the third one present with them” (reported by al-Tirmidhi,
1171) includes the most pious of
people as well as the most corrupt. Islam does not exempt anyone from such
Whilst writing these few lines, we heard about a problematic situation in which, to cut a long story short, a man married a woman and brought her to live in his family home, where she lived happily with him. Then his younger brother began to enter upon her when her husband was absent, and talk to her in a romantic manner, which resulted in two things: firstly, she began to dislike her husband intensely, and secondly, she fell in love with his brother. But she was not able to divorce her husband, nor was she able to do what she wanted with the other man. This is the grievous penalty. This story illustrates one level of corruption, beyond which there are many more which culminate in the immoral action (zinaa/adultery) and the birth of illegitimate children.
Segregating men and women in
Man is naturally gregarious
and sociable; he needs friends and friendships entail visiting one another.
When there are visits
between families, we should block the path of evil by not mixing. One of the
indications that mixing is haraam is the aayah (interpretation of the
“… And when you ask his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts…” [al-Ahzaab 33:53]
If we were to look for
the evil results of mixing during family visits, we would find many
objectionable things, such as:
In most cases the hijab of
women in these mixed gatherings is non-existent or is not proper, so a woman may
display her beauty before someone in front of whom it is not permissible for her
to uncover herself. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And tell the believing women… not to reveal their
adornment…” [al-Noor 24:31]. It may happen that a woman adorns
herself for strangers in a mixed gathering in a way that she never does for her
When men see women in one
gathering, this is a cause of corruption in the religion and morals, and
provokes desires in a forbidden manner.
The spouses may argue and
ignore one another in an alarming fashion, when one looks at or winks at another
man's wife, or laughs and jokes with her, and she with him. After a couple
returns home, the settling of scores begins:
Man: Why did you laugh at
what so and so said, when he did not say anything funny?
Woman: And why did you wink
at so and so?
Man: When he spoke, you
understood him quickly, but you do not understand what I say at all!
Thus they trade accusations
and the matter ends in enmity and even divorce.
Some men and woman may
regret their luck in marriage, when a man compares his wife to his friend’s
wife, or a woman compares her husband to her friend’s husband. A man may say to
himself: “So and so talks and answers questions… she is well-educated and my
wife is ignorant, she has no education…” and a woman may say to herself, “So and
so is so lucky! Her husband is smart and eloquent, and my husband is so boring
and speaks without thinking.” This spoils the marital relationship or leads to
Some people may show off to
one another by pretending to have things that they don’t really have. So a man
may issue instructions to his wife in front of other men and pretend that he has
a strong personality, but when he is alone with her at home he is like a tame
pussycat. A woman may borrow gold and wear it so that the other people may see
that she has such and such. But the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “The one who shows off with something that does not belong to him is like
one who wears a garment of falsehood.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
These late-night mixed
gatherings result in wasted time, sins of the tongue, and leaving small children
home alone (so that they do not disturb the evening with their cries!)
These late-night mixed
gatherings may even develop to the extent of involving many kinds of major sins,
such as drinking wine and gambling, especially among the so-called “upper
classes”. One of the major sins that occur during these gatherings is following
the kuffaar and imitating them in fashions and various customs. The Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Reported by
Imaam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 2/50;
Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2828,
Beware of the dangers of
having (male) drivers and (female) servants in the home.
Striving to ward off evil is
a religious duty, and closing the doors of evil and fitnah (temptation) is one
of the priorities of sharee’ah. A lot of fitnah and sin has come to us through
servants and drivers, but many people do not pay attention to this, and if they
do notice it, they do not take it seriously. A person may be stung repeatedly
from the same place, but he does not feel the pain, or he may hear of a disaster
that happened near his own home, but he does not learn from it. This stems from
weak faith and the failure to feel that Allaah is near, failings that affect the
hearts of many people in the modern age. We will briefly explain the bad effects
of having servants and drivers in the home, so that it will be a reminder to the
one who has the eyes to see or who wants to follow the right path in his own
Having female servants
in the home presents men, especially young ones, with fitnah and temptation,
through their adornment and being alone with them. We hear so many stories, one
after another, of some youth being led astray, and the reason for this is that
the servant entered upon a young man, or a young man took advantage of the fact
that no one else was home and entered upon the servant. Some young men have told
their families frankly about what happened, and the families did not respond; in
other cases the family may have discovered something, but their response was
bereft of any sense of honour or jealousy. “O Yoosuf! Turn away from this! (O woman!) Ask
forgiveness for your sin. Verily, you were of the sinful.” [Yoosuf 12:29 –
interpretation of the meaning]. So the fire remains close to the
fuel, and the situation is left as it is, with no changes being made. It has
also happened that servants have taught misbehaviour to the daughters of the
The lady of the house
neglects her duties and forgets her responsibilities, and becomes accustomed to
being lazy, then when the servants travels things are very hard indeed for
The children receive a bad
upbringing, represented by the following examples:
The children learn the
beliefs of kufr from kaafir servants, Christians and Buddhists. There have been
children who make the sign of the cross on their heads and two sides of their
chests, as they have seen a Christian woman doing when she prays, and she tells
them, “This is something sweet from Christ.” Or a child may see a servant
praying to a statue of Buddha, or another celebrating her people’s festivals and
conveying to our children her feelings of joy, so they get used to taking part
in festivals of kufr.
The children are
deprived of their mother’s love and care, which is an essential part of their
upbringing and psychological stability. A servant cannot make up this lack for a
child who is not hers.
The child’s Arabic
will be corrupted because it is mixed with foreign words, so he grows up lacking
something, which will have an adverse effect on his education in school.
Some heads of
households feel the financial strain of paying salaries for drivers and
servants. Then there are the family disputes that arise over who should pay
these salaries, especially in cases where the wife is employed. If the wife
would stay at home instead of working outside the home, she would spare herself
a lot of trouble. The fact of the matter is that in many cases we create trouble
for ourselves, then we demand a solution, and often the solution we come up with
is far from decisive.
Getting used to having
servants has created dependency and negative character traits.
Some women may include
having a servant as a condition in their marriage contract; others may plan on
bringing their family’s servant with them when they get married. Thus our
daughters have lost the ability to deal independently with anything in the home,
no matter how small it is.
When women brought servants
into their homes, they started to have a lot of free time and did not know what
to do with it. So some women began to sleep a lot, and some are never home
because they are always going to gatherings where they gossip and backbite and
waste their time. The result will be regret on the Day of
Harm comes to the members of
the family in different ways, for example:
Witchcraft and magic, which
can cause the separation of husband and wife, or cause physical harm.
Harm to the possessions of
family members because of theft.
Damage to the family’s
reputation. How many decent homes have been turned into dens of immorality and
corruption in the absence of their owners. You must surely have heard of female
servants who receive men when the homeowners are absent.
The freedom of men (those
who fear Allaah) within their own homes is restricted, as is also the case for
those who try to call their families to put things in order.
Women end up being alone
with drivers who are strangers (non-mahrams) to them, in the house or car, and
women do not refrain from going out wearing adornments and perfume in front of
the drivers. They act as if he is one of their mahrams or even closer, and
because they go out with them so often and talk to them so much, the
psychological barrier is broken down and so forbidden things are done. The
frequency of such incidents in our society demonstrates to those who have the
eyes to see just how serious the matter is.
Bringing servants and
drivers from all sorts of kaafir nations clearly goes against the Prophet’s
specific orders that kaafirs should not be allowed into the Arabian Peninsula.
There is absolutely no need to do this, as it is possible to bring Muslims in if
there is a need for workers. Added to this is the fact that employing kaafirs
strengthens the economies of kaafir nations, as the employees transfer their
salaries to their homelands, even though Muslims should have priority in this
matter. By mixing so much with these kaafirs, Muslims can no longer see the
difference, which gradually destroys the concept of al-walaa wa’l-baraa’
(loyalty and allegiance vs. enmity and disavowal) in their minds. Added to this
is the ugly role played by some agency owners who have no fear of Allaah, who
will tell you that there are no Muslim employees. Or they may engage in deceit
and trickery, so that after a driver or servant who is described as a Muslim in
official papers has arrived, the head of the household discovers that this is a
lie, or the new employee may be playing a role that started in his country of
origin, where the agency taught him a few Islamic words so that he can pose as a
Muslim in front of the family that employs him.
Family breakup resulting
from the householder’s affair with a female servant. Look at what really happens
and think how many divorces have happened because of servants, and how many
servants have become pregnant with illegitimate children.
Then ask the people working
in hospital maternity departments, or find out about police reports detailing
the problems caused by illegitimate children born as a result of the temptation
posed by female servants. Then try to understand the extent of the spread of
venereal diseases which have been brought into our society because of that. Now
you will understand the vicious circle we are in because of bringing female
servants into our homes.
Think about the
misconceptions that these servants and drivers have about the Islamic religion
when they see the behaviour of those who claim to be Muslim. Ask yourself, what
kind of obstacles are we placing in front of them? How are we preventing them
from discovering the way of Allaah by what we do to them? How could they
possibly enter a religion when this is the state of those who claim to belong to
Because of these matters and
others, some scholars think that it is not permissible to bring female servants
into the home in the manner in which this is done nowadays, and that it is
obligatory to put a stop to fitnah and close the door to evil. (See the fatwa of Shaykh
Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen on this issue).
In order to
comply with the command of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning), “… and when you give your word, say the truth…”
[al-An’aam 6:152], we should point out the following:
Firstly: we do not deny the
fact that some servants and drivers are sincere Muslims, possibly more sincere
than the members of the household. We have heard of a servant who keeps a
Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’aan) on the shelf in the kitchen so that she can read
it whenever she finishes her work, and a driver who prays Fajr in the mosque
before his employer does.
Secondly: we are not
ignoring the real needs that people sometimes have for essential reasons, such
as needing the help of servants in a large house, or when a family has a lot of
children, or when someone is chronically ill or has disabilities, or when there
is hard work that the wife cannot do on her own. But what we Muslims should ask
is: who is applying Islamic conditions and taking care of religious precautions
when bringing servants and drivers into the home? How many of those who bring
drivers into the home (let’s get real!) can guarantee that the driver will not
be alone with one of his womenfolk, or that the man will not be alone with a
female servant? He should also tell the female servant to observe hijaab, and he
should not deliberately look at her adornment. If he comes home and no one is
there but the servant, he should not enter. He should not accept any servants
except those who are sincerely Muslim… and so on.
For this reason, everyone
who has one of these servants or drivers in his home should make sure that this
person is there for a legitimate need and that the Islamic conditions are being
properly fulfilled. The story of Yoosuf (upon whom be peace) contains a lesson
for us with regard to this matter. It clearly indicates the fitnah that exists
when there are servants and drivers in the house, and that evil may be initiated
by members of the household even though the servants are people who fear Allaah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And she, in whose house he
was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said:
‘Come on, O you.’ He said, ‘I seek refue in Allaah (or Allaah forbid)!’…”
We suggest to those who
complain that things are too difficult in their homes without servants that they
could do the following:
Buy ready-made food from the
market; use paper plates; use laundry services; have the house cleaned by
workers who are supervised by the man; ask relatives to help care for the
children when necessary, such as when the wife is recovering from
If that is not enough, they
could seek the help of a temporary servant, under proper Islamic conditions, and
when there is no longer any need she may be dismissed. There are, however, risks
attached to this solution.
It is better if the servant
is paid hourly, so that she can do her job then leave the house. Whatever the
case, things should be done only as they are needed.
We have discussed this
matter at length because the problem is so widespread in our society. It may be
different in other countries. Before closing this discussion we should mention
some matters that have to do with taqwa or fear of Allaah:
Everyone who has sources of
fitnah in his home, whether from servants or from anything else, should fear
Allaah and remove them from his home.
Everyone who thinks that he
is going to impose Islamic conditions when bringing a servant to his home should
fear Allaah and realize that many of these conditions will become less stringent
as time goes by.
Everyone who has a kaafir
servant in the Arabian Peninsula should present Islam to him or her in the best
possible way. If he or she becomes Muslim, all well and good, otherwise the
servant should be sent back to wherever he or she came from.
Finally, we will end this
discussion on servants and drivers with a story that contains an important
lesson about the dangers of having servants in the home, and about referring to
the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and rejecting every ruling that contradicts the
sharee’ah, and consulting people of knowledge, and purifying the Islamic society
through application of the punishments prescribed by Allaah.
Abu Hurayrah and Zayd ibn
Khaalid (may Allaah be pleased with them) said: “We were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
when a man stood up and said, ‘I urge you by Allaah to judge between us
according to the Book of Allaah.’ His opposite number, who was more
knowledgeable, stood up and said, ‘Judge between us according to the Book of
Allaah and give me permission to speak.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said, ‘Speak.’ He said, ‘This son of mine was employed as a servant by this man,
and committed zina (adultery) with his wife. I gave him one hundred sheep and a
servant in compensation [for the damage to his honour], then I consulted some of
those who have knowledge, and they told me that my son should be flogged one
hundred times and exiled for a year [because he was unmarried], and that the
woman should be stoned [because she was married and she consented to the act].’
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: ‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I will judge between
you according to the Book of Allaah. Take back the hundred sheep and the
servant. Your son is to be flogged one hundred times and exiled for one year. O
Unays, go to this man's wife tomorrow and if she confesses, then stone her.’
[Unays] went to her the next day and she confessed, so he stoned her.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
Note: one of the things that
upsets every Muslim who cares about the rulings of Islam is what happens in some
homes, where cleaners and maintenance workers enter upon women when they are
wearing nightdresses and house-dresses. Does these women think that these people
are not men in front of whom Allaah has commanded them to observe
Another evil thing that
happens in some homes is where non-mahram men teach adolescent girls, or some
women teach adolescent boys without wearing hijaab.
Expelling effeminate men
from our homes.
Al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported,
in his chapter on expelling men who imitate women from our homes, the hadeeth of
Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: “The Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed men who imitate women and women who
imitate men, and said, ‘Expel them from your homes.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
expelled so and so [a man]. And ‘Umar expelled so and so [a woman].” (Reported by al-Bukhaari in
Kitaab al-Libaas, chapter 62,
Then al-Bukhaari quoted the hadeeth of Umm Salamah, which he reported under the title “What is forbidden of men who imitate women entering upon women”:
“From Umm Salamah, who said
that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) was in her house, where there was also an effeminate man who
told her brother ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Umayyah: ‘If Allaah wills that you conquer
al-Taa’if tomorrow, I will show you the daughter of Ghaylaan; she has four folds
of fat in front and eight behind.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said, ‘This person should not enter upon you.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
chapter 113, al-Fath,
The definition of
“effeminate man” (mukhannath): this is a man who may resemble women physically,
or by imitating their movements and speech, and so on. If it is physical, i.e.,
this is the way that he is made, then there is no blame on him, but he must try
as much as he can to change this resemblance. If he is imitating women
deliberately, then he is described as mukhannath (effeminate) whether he commits
the evil deed (is a homosexual) or not.
The effeminate man referred
to here – who was like a servant – used to enter the houses of the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) because he was considered to be “an old male servant who lacked
vigour” [cf. al-Noor 24:31].
When the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
realized that this person could describe women very precisely and that he was
describing a woman as having four folds of fat in front and eight behind (four
on each side), he ordered that he should be thrown out and not allowed to enter
his wives’ apartments, because of the mischief that he could cause, such as
possibly describing the women he saw to strangers, or having a bad influence on
the members of the household, such as leading women to imitate men, or men to
imitate women by walking in a coquettish manner or speaking softly, or worse
mischief than that.
So how about the situation
nowadays, when we see many of these servants imitating the opposite sex,
especially the kaafirs who are living in Muslim homes and who we know for sure
are having a bad influence on Muslim boys and girls. There is even a group known
as “the third sex”, who wear make up and dress in women’s clothes. What a
disaster for the nation which is supposed to be the ummah of jihaad!
If you want to know more
about how the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) opposed this “third sex” and how his Companions fought
with their sense of honour against such things, think about this hadeeth:
Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be
pleased with him) reported that an effeminate man who had dyed his hands with
henna (as women do) was brought to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
and it was said, “O Messenger of Allaah! This man is imitating women.” So he
banished him to al-Baqee’ (as a punishment, sending him to an isolated place,
and to protect others). It was said, “Why do you not kill him?” He said, “I have
been forbidden to kill those who pray.” (Reported by Abu Dawood,
4928, and others. See Saheeh
Advice: Beware of the
dangers of the small screen.
Hardly any home nowadays is
free of some device that includes a screen [TV and computers], and very few of
these machines are used for wholesome or beneficial purposes. Mostly they are
used for harmful and destructive things, especially VCRs used for watching
movies. With the arrival of satellite dishes which bring shows directly into
Muslim homes and the widespread sale and exchange of movies, the matter of
controlling these devices has become nearly impossible.
There follows a list of some
of the harmful and corrupting effects that result from watching TV etc. After
thinking about them, let everyone who wants to earn the pleasure of Allaah and
avoid His wrath do what he can to change the situation:
Impact on our faith
Showing the symbols of the
kuffaar and their false religious signs, such as the cross, Buddha, their
temples, gods and goddesses of love, good, evil, light, distress and rain. There
are also missionary movies that call on people to venerate the religion of
Christianity and become Christians.
Giving the impression that
some created beings could compete with Allaah in creating and giving life and
death, such as some scenes which show people bringing the dead back to life by
using a cross or magic wand.
Spreading lies, myths,
legends, witchcraft, fortune-telling and soothsaying, all of which contradict
Giving the impression that
we should show respect to the representatives of false religions, such as the
pope, bishops and nuns who treat the sick and do good!
In many dramas, characters
swear by things other than Allaah, or play with the names of Allaah, such as
when one character called another ‘Abd al-Qeesaah. [This implies
disrespect towards Allaah by toying with names that mean “slave of [Allaah]” –
which are among the best names that a person can have. For example, ‘Abd
al-Rahmaan means “slave of the Most Merciful”, ‘Abd al-Hakeem means “slave of
the Most Wise” and so on, but ‘Abd al-Qeesaah means nothing and makes a mockery
of such names. – Translator]
Causing doubts about
Allaah’s power, or His ability to create; or portraying life as a conflict
between Allaah and man.
Those who watch such things
lose the concept of disavowing oneself and distancing oneself from the enemies
of Allaah, because these shows and movies portray things that make them admire
the characters of the kuffaar and their societies, and break down the
psychological barriers between Muslims and kuffaar. Once the idea of hatred for
the sake of Allaah is removed, they begin to imitate these kuffaar and take new
ideas from them.
Admiration of kaafir
characters when they are shown as heroes in these films.
Propagation of crime,
through showing scenes of violence, murders, kidnap and rape.
Forming gangs as is shown in
films, to commit acts of aggression and crimes. Youth detention centres and
jails bear witness to the impact of the movies in this regard.
Learning the arts of
cheating, fraud and forgery, taking bribes, and other kinds of major sins.
· Calling for women to imitate men and vice versa, which clearly goes against the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in which he cursed those who do such things. So we may see a man imitating the way a woman walks and talks, wearing a wig and jewellery, using dyes and make-up. Or we may see a woman wearing a false beard or moustache, and making her voice deep. This is one of the causes of promiscuity in society and the emergence of the “third sex”.
Instead of taking the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him), Sahaabah, scholars and mujaahideen as examples, people follow actors,
singers, dancers and sports players.
Men no longer feel any sense
of responsibility towards their families, so important needs are ignored and
sick children are neglected, because the head of the family is glued to the TV
and may even hit a child harshly if he dares to interrupt his viewing of a
Rebellion of children
against their parents, as is propagated on TV and in the movies. If a child insists on taking money from
his father, and his father reminds him of the rights he has, the child in a TV
drama may say, “Just because you are my father does it mean that you can rip me
off?!” But the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) said, “You and your wealth belong to your father.” (Reported by Abu Dawood,
Breakdown of family ties,
because people are too busy watching movies to visit one another. When they do
visit, they do not have any kind of useful conversation or discuss solutions to
family problems because they are gathered around the screen, silently
People are distracted from
taking care of their guests properly.
Spread of laziness and
idleness and reduction in productivity, because the TV takes up the Muslim’s
Marital discord and mutual
hatred; outbreaks of reprehensible jealousy, as when a man praises the beauty of
a woman on TV in front of his wife, and she responds by mentioning a handsome
actor or newscaster.
Absence of the proper kind
of jealousy (gheerah), because people get used to watching scenes of mixing,
wives being uncovered in front of non-mahram men and unveiling of daughters and
sisters, and they are influenced by calls for women’s
Provoking desires by showing
pictures of women to men, and images of handsome men to women.
Calling society to show that
which should be hidden by promoting revealing clothes and getting people used to
Calling for relationships
between the sexes and teaching people how to get to know the opposite sex, what
sort of words should be exchanged in the beginning, means of developing the
forbidden relationship, telling stories of love and passion and holding hands…
· Falling into immorality and zinaa because of films which portray such things. Some people even reenact what they see in the movies with some of their mahram relatives, may Allaah protect us, or do bad things whilst watching these films.
Teaching women different
kinds of dances which reveal their ‘awraat and are tempting to men. This is a
kind of promiscuity and deviation.
Developing a joking
personality and no longer taking anything seriously, in addition to the fact
that too much laughter corrupts the heart, because of comedy films.
Spread of foul language
which is used in many movies and TV shows.
Making people miss Fajr
prayers because they stay up late at night to watch what is being shown on the
Causing people to pray late,
not to mention causing men to miss the prayers in the mosque, because their
hearts are too attached to some soap opera, movie or sports match.
Causing people to hate some
acts of worship, as sometimes happens when an exciting match is interrupted so
that people can go and pray.
Reducing the reward of some
of those who fast, or causing their reward to be lost altogether, because of the
sin of watching these haraam things.
Criticism of some of the
rulings brought by sharee’ah, such as hijaab and polygyny.
Distorting Islamic history
and covering up the facts; failing to mention the achievements of Muslims in
movies that speak about human history.
Distorting proven historical
facts, by showing oppressors as if they are oppressed, such as claiming that the
Jews have a just cause.
Belittling the heroes of
Islam in the eyes of viewers, as in some dramas or movies where actors play the
roles of Sahaabah, leaders of Islamic conquests or scholars and portray these
personalities in an improper manner, mixing the story with love scenes, where
the actors are immoral and corrupt in the first place.
Subjecting the Muslims to
psychological defeat and spreading fear among them by showing different kinds of
advanced weaponry in the hands of the kaafirs and making the Muslims feel that
it is not possible to defeat them.
Acquiring aggressive and
violent attitudes from watching wrestling and violent action films with scenes
of bloodshed, bullets and sharp weapons.
Instilling fear in the
hearts of those who watch horror movies, so that a person may wake up screaming
because of the dreams he has seen as a result of some scene that has stuck in
Distortion of children’s and
adults’ sense of reality by watching unreal scenes, because Allaah has dictated
that there should be cause and effect. An example of this is some of the unreal
scenes shown in cartoons, which have an effect on children’s behaviour in real
Impact on health
Harm caused to eyesight,
which is a blessing about which each person will be questioned.
Increasing the rate of
heartbeat, raising blood pressure and heightening nervous tension and so on,
when watching horror movies and scenes of bloodshed.
· Late nights cause harm to the body, and each person will be asked on the Day of Resurrection how he used his body.
Physical harm caused to
children when they imitate Superman and the Man of Iron and others; harm caused
to adults when they imitate boxers and wrestlers.
Spending money on buying TVs
and films, paying for repairs and improvements and receiving equipment [dishes,
descrambling devices, etc.]. A person will be asked about this money on the Day
of Resurrection: what did he spend it on?
Many people rush to buy
extras that they do not need, or they compete in buying clothes because of the
advertisements etc. that they see on the screen.
Beware of the evils of the
The telephone is a useful
invention, and is one of the essentials of modern life; it saves time, spans
distances and keeps you in touch with everybody. It can be used for good
purposes, such as waking people up for Fajr prayers, asking about shar’i matters
and seeking fatwas, making appointments with good people, upholding the ties of
kinship and advising the Muslims.
But at the same time the
telephone may also be a means of doing many evil things. How often has the phone
been the cause of complete wrecking of a home, the source of misery and
suffering for family members and the impetus for men and women to do evil and
cause mischief! The danger lies in the ease of use, for it is a direct route
from the outside into the heart of the home.
Among the evil uses to which
the telephone may be put are:
Women getting to know
strange (non-mahram) men, and the development of such relationships. A young man
whom Allaah had guided to the path of repentance told me that when a young man
gets to know a young woman by phone, she usually ends up going out with him, and
whatever immorality follows on from that, only Allaah knows.
Wives may be turned against
husbands and vice versa, or parents may be turned against their sons and
daughters, and vice versa, because of telephone calls from trouble makers,
resulting from hasad (destructive envy) and the love of evil and causing
division among people.
Wasting time in idle
conversations that harden the heart and turn people away from remembering
Allaah. This is a problem especially among women, as they find it a way to get
things off their chests.
Solutions to the phone
problem include the following:
Watching out for misuse of
the phone inside and outside the home.
Using wisdom when answering
3- When we hear news from someone we do not know, we should deal with it according to the Book of Allaah and obey His command (interpretation of the meaning): “… verify it…” [al-Hujuraat 49:6].
A sound Islamic education
will guarantee proper use of the telephone when the person who is in charge is
absent. [i.e., if children and youth are taught properly, they will not misuse
the telephone when their parents and elders are not around].
The last resort is to
disconnect the phone if the evils it causes are greater than the benefits it
We have to remove from our
homes all symbols of false kaafir religions and images of their gods and
‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be
pleased with her) reported that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
would never leave anything in his house that had crosses on it except he would
destroy it. (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
Fath al-Baari, 10/385, Baab Naqd al-Suwar).
Nowadays we are suffering
from having manufactured goods which we bring from the kaafir countries, which
include images and engravings, and drawings of their gods and idols. This
includes various kinds of crosses, pictures of Jesus and Mary, pictures of
churches, statues of Buddha, Greek gods like the goddesses of love and good and
evil, and so on.
It is not right for the home
of the monotheistic Muslim to have in it the symbols of shirk that contradict
Tawheed and destroy its foundations. Thus the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
used to destroy crosses if he saw them in his house, by blotting them out if
they drawn or engraved, or by scratching them out or covering them in some other
way, or getting rid of them altogether.
This is not religious
extremism, because the one who forbade people to go to extremes – the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
– did this himself. Hence when family members want to buy vessels or mattresses,
etc., they should beware of these symbols of false religions that contradict
Tawheed. At the same time we must point out the importance of being moderate in
this matter; if the form is not obviously a cross, for example, it does not have
to be changed.
Removing pictures of animate
Many people decorate their
homes by deliberately hanging pictures on their walls and putting statues on
shelves in some corners of the house. Many of these images, whether they are
three-dimensional or otherwise, include animate beings such as people, birds,
animals and so on.
The statements of scholars
who are well-versed in the matter clearly state that static images of animate
beings are haraam, whether they are engraved or drawn or produced by machines –
unlike images reflected by mirrors or in water. The hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
which curses image makers and threatens them with being asked to do something
that is beyond them, namely breathing life into their images, on the Day of
Resurrection, includes everyone who works in the field of photography, except in
cases where images are necessary, such as ID photos and photos used in the hunt
for criminals, and so on.
Hanging up pictures of
animate beings also comprises another sin which could lead to the person
venerating the picture and falling into the sin of shirk, as happened to the
people of Nooh. The least harm that
hanging up pictures may do is to renew people’s grief or lead them to boast and
feel too proud of their fathers and grandfathers. No one should say “We are not
prostrating to the picture!”
Whoever wants to deprive
himself of the great blessing of having the angels enter his home, let him put
pictures up. The Messenger of Allaah (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The house in which there are images,
the angels will not enter it.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
There are many ahaadeeth
which forbid making images, such as:
“The people who will be most
severely punished by Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be the makers of
images.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar
reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who make these images will be
punished on the Day of Resurrection. It will said to them, ‘Bring to life that
which you have created!’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
Abu Hurayrah entered a house
in Madeenah and saw something hanging on the wall which was engraved with
forbidden images. He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
say, ‘[Allaah says:] Who is more wrong than the one who tries to create
something like My creation? Let them create a grain or an ant!’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
Abu Juhayfah reported that
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) cursed the maker of images. (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
If you want more information
on this issue, you may consult the books of the scholars.
In the commentary on the
hadeeth which says that the angels will not enter a house where there are
images, it says: “What is meant by ‘house’ is the place where a person stays,
whether it is a building, a tent or anything else.” (Fath al-Baari, 1/393).
The images which prevent the
angels entering a house are images of animate beings that do not have the heads
removed or are not subjected to disrespectful usage (usage such as being stepped
on, etc., that makes it clear this image is not being venerated in any way). (al-Fath, 1/382). Making images of animate beings is a new
thing innovated by those who worship images, which includes what the people of
Nooh did. ‘Aa’ishah narrated a
hadeeth in which she told the story of the church in Abyssinia (Ethiopia), and
the images inside it; she said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “When a righteous man among them died, they used to build a place of
worship over his grave and put these images inside it; those are the most evil
of people in the sight of Allaah.” (al-Fath, 1/382).
Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have
mercy on him) added:
“Al-Nawawi said: the ‘ulama’
said: making images of animate beings is extremely haraam, and is one of the
major sins, because the one who does it is issued with a stern threat, whether
the image is something that is treated with disrespect or not. It is haraam to
make images whatever the case, whether the image is on a garment, a rug, any
kind of coin, a vessel, a wall, or anywhere else. As for any picture that does
not contain images of animate creatures, this is not haraam.”
The general statement
regarding images applies to both those that have shadows (three-dimensional
images) and those that do not have shadows (two-dimensional images). This is
proven by the hadeeth reported by Ahmad from ‘Ali, who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “Which of you will go to Madeenah and not leave any idol without breaking
it or any picture without blotting it out?” (Fath al-Baari, 1/348).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
was always keen to cleanse his house of forbidden pictures, as the following
Under the heading “Man lam yadkhulu baytan fihi surah (The
one who does not enter a house in which there is an image)”, al-Bukhaari – may
Allaah have mercy on him – narrated the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be
pleased with her), in which she said that she bought a pillow which had pictures
on it. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it, he stood at the door and did not
enter, and she could see from his face that he was upset. She said, “O Messenger
of Allaah! I repent to Allaah and His Messenger. What have I done wrong?” He
said, ‘What is this pillow?” She said, “I bought it so that you could sit on it
and recline on it.” The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “The makers of these images will be punished on the Day of Resurrection,
and they will be told, ‘Bring to life that which you have created!’” And he
said: “The house in which there are images, the angels do not enter it.” (Fath al-Baari, 1/392).
Some people may say, why
have you spoken at such length about this topic? We say: we have entered homes
and rooms where we have seen pictures of singers and other people, some of them
appearing naked or almost naked, hanging on walls and mirrors and wardrobes, and
placed on tables, so that the owners look at them every morning and evening.
Some of them even kiss the pictures and have evil thoughts when looking at them!
Thus the picture becomes one of the greatest causes of deviation. Anyone who has
the eyes to see will understand at least some of the wisdom behind the Islamic
prohibition of making images of animate beings.
We must conclude this
discussion by pointing out the following:
Some people say: “Pictures
are everywhere nowadays, even on tins of food, and in books and magazines and
pamphlets. If we want to blot out every picture we will waste all out time doing
that. What should we do?
We say: try to buy things
that have no images in them – if possible. As for the rest, blot out those that
are obvious – like pictures on the covers of books, and the rest of the book can
be left and used. If it is something that is no longer useful, like a newspaper
and the like, remove it from the home. In the case of pictures that it is
difficult to erase – like pictures on cans of food, for example – in sha Allaah
it is not a sin to leave them as they are, as the scholars have said, because
they are things that are difficult to avoid, and the problem is becoming
If you have to hang up
something to decorate your walls, let it be some scenes of natural views or
mosques or things that will not provoke feelings that are haraam.
The one who hangs up verses
of the Qur’aan and so on should pay attention to the fact that the Qur’aan was
not revealed to decorate walls, and that it is a kind of disrespect to write
verses of the Qur’aan in the shape of a man prostrating or a bird and the like.
He should also be careful that people sitting in a gathering do not do things
that go against the words of the aayah hanging above their heads.
Do not allow smoking in your
There is enough evidence
(for those who are wise) that smoking is haraam in the words of Allaah
(interpretation of the meaning): “… [Allaah]
allows them as lawful al-tayyibaat [(i.e., all good and lawful) as regards
things, deeds, beliefs, persons, food, etc.] and prohibits them as unlawful
al-khabaa’ith (i.e., all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs,
persons, food, etc.)…” [al-A’raaf 7:157].
Allaah has divided food and
drink into two categories, not three. There are things that are good and
permissible , and there are things that are evil and forbidden. Who could dare
to say nowadays that smoking is good, when we know how it stinks and we know how
much money is wasted on it and how much physical damage is caused as a result of
The righteous home should
have no lighters or ashtrays, not even those that are given away free as
promotional gifts, let alone narghiles (“hubble-bubbles”) and the
If you are afraid that
people may smoke in your home, put up stickers to hint to people that you do not
want them to smoke. If you realize that someone wants to commit this sin in
front of you, you have to stop him in whatever way is appropriate.
Beware of keeping dogs in
One of the habits that have
come to us from the kuffaar is the custom of keeping pet dogs in the home. Many
of the people in our society who are following the ways of the kuffaar bring a
dog into their home. They spend money to buy the dog, although the price of a
dog is haraam (according to the hadeeth
narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 1/356; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’,
3071). Then they spend money on
feeding it and keeping it clean, money which they will be asked about on the Day
of Resurrection. Having a dog at home has become a status symbol among many rich
people and high-level employees. The dog’s saliva is naajis (unclean, impure),
and the dog licks the members of the household and their vessels. If a dog licks
a vessel it must be washed seven times, one of which must be with earth. How
about if you realize how much reward is lost by those who keep dogs? The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “There is no member of a household where a dog is kept, but their good
deeds will be reduced by one qeeraat (according to a report narrated by Muslim,
by two qeeraats) every day, except in the case of a dog kept for hunting,
agriculture or herding sheep.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi,
1489; Saheeh al-Jaami’,
5321). The ban on keeping dogs
does not apply to working dogs kept for agriculture, hunting or guarding homes,
buildings, livestock, etc. This also includes dogs kept for necessary purposes
such as pursuing criminals, sniffing out drugs, and so on, as some scholars have
explained. (Al-Ta’leeq ‘ala Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Shaakir
Jibreel (peace be upon him)
explained to our Prophet Muhammad (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) the reason why he could not enter his house at
a time they had both agreed upon. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “Jibreel came to me and said: 'I was going to come to you tonight, and
nothing stopped me from entering the house you were in except the fact that
there was a statue of a man in the house, and a curtain on which there were
images, and there was a dog in the house. Tell someone to cut the head off the
statue, so it will look like a tree; tell someone to cut up the curtain and make
it into two pillows; tell someone to get the dog out of the house.’” So the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) did that.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad;
Saheeh al-Jaami’, no.
In many people's houses
nowadays there are all kinds of ornaments and decorations, because of their
indulging in leisure and being too attached to this world, and their desire to
boast and show off.
When you enter some homes,
you are reminded of the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas: “In Paradise there is nothing of
the things of this world except the names.” We have no room in this brief
discussion to go into detail about all the weird and wonderful antiques,
decorations, ornaments and engravings with which some homes and palaces are
adorned, but we will mention the following:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
were it not that all mankind would have become one community (all disbelievers,
desiring worldly life only), We would have provided for those who disbelieve in
the Most Beneficent (Allaah), silver roofs for their houses, and elevators (and
stairways, etc. of silver), whereby they ascend.
their houses, doors (of silver), and thrones (of silver) on which they could
ornaments of gold…”
i.e., were it not for the
fact that many ignorant people would think that being given wealth was a sign of
being loved by Allaah, which would lead to all of them becoming kaafirs for the
sake of wealth, Allaah could have given them roofs and staircases and locks of
silver and gold from the pleasures of this world, then when they died they would
have no hasanah (good deeds) to their credit, because they had already taken
their share of pleasure in this world. (Ibn Katheer, Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem,
Imaam Muslim (may Allaah
have mercy on him) reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) went out on a military campaign, and she took a velvet
rug and covered the doorway with it. When he came back and saw the rug, she
could see from his face that he was upset. He ripped it down and said, “Allaah
has not commanded us to cover stones and clay with cloth!” (Saheeh Muslim, 3/1666)
Imaam Ahmad reported the
story of Faatimah, when they had made some food and she said to ‘Ali (may Allaah
be pleased with him), “Why don’t we invite the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
to join us?” So he came, and put his hands on the sides of the door, and saw a
qaraam (a garment made of soft wool, with colourful designs), so he went away.
Faatimah said to ‘Ali, “Go and catch up with him, and ask him, ‘Why did you go
away, O Messenger of Allaah?’” [The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)]
said, “It is not right for me (according to another report: it is not right for
a Prophet) to enter a decorated house.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad,
5/221; Saheeh al-Jaami’,
It was also reported by Abu
Dawood under the heading: Rajul yud’aa fa
yaraa makroohan (when a man is invited and sees something disliked). (Sunan Abi Dawood,
Under the heading, Hal yurja’ idhaa ra’a munkaran
fi’l-da’wah? (should he go back if he sees something objectionable in
the invitation?), al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported that Ibn
‘Umar invited Abu Ayyoob, and he saw a wall-hanging in the house. Ibn ‘Umar
said, “The women are having their way.” Abu Ayyoob said, “There are people I was
worried about, but you were not one of them! By Allaah, I will never touch your
food.” Then he went away. (Fath al-Baari, 9/249).
Imaam Ahmad reported the
same story from Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar, who said: “I got married
during my father’s lifetime, and my father announced it to the people, and Abu
Ayyoob was one of the invited guests. They had covered my house with a striped
green cloth, and Abu Ayyoob came and looked at it, then he said, “Are you
covering the walls?” My father felt embarrassed, and said, ‘Women are having
their way, O Abu Ayyoob.’ He said, ‘Of all the people I feared would be taken
over by the women…’” (Fath al-Baari).
Al-Tabaraani reported from
Abu Juhayfah that the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “You will have a lot of worldly riches, so much so that you will cover
your homes with cloth as the Ka’bah is covered. You are better today than you
will be on that day.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’,
In brief, what the scholars say about ornamentation and decoration of houses is that it is either makrooh or haraam. (al-Aadaab al-Shar’iyyah by Ibn Muflih, 3/421)