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Questions from the Sisters of Yemen

al-ʿAllāmah Muqbil ibn Hādī al-Wādiʿī

An interesting Sisters’ Q&A session with Shaykh Muqbil ibn Hādī al-Wādʿī from the 90s. The audio is restored and preserved digitally from cassettes.

Have you ever felt the pressure of people forcing you to do things due to ignorance, or felt that people give out rulings without any evidence and wisdom, or when a person doesn’t realise the ḥikmah behind women managing a home and studying and the importance of good manners in calling to Allāh, the way of selecting a spouse, what to watch out for and what to look for?

Well, don’t worry because you are not alone. In this two-part series, our beloved Shaykh Muqbil ibn Hādī al-Wādī’ī explains it all, not only that our beloved Shaykh gives such an amazing advice (at the bottom), where you will be asking yourselves: “Have I ever received an advice like this?” (the advice applies to both women and men)! The audio makes it much easier (in selecting a partner) and makes one become more understanding towards your potential future spouse! Contemplate his advice!

Part One

Question 1:
We are young religiously committed ladies and al-hamdulillāh we are trying to propagate the Daʿwah al-Salafīyyah between our sisters, this daʿwah that has become strange in regards to those sisters to the point that when we mention one of the names of our teachers and scholars, they wonder with amazement from where are these scholars and they put upon us the name “Wahhābīyyāt” and say we are overly strict and in Allāh’s helps sought. And they say to us “you sisters stay in your houses and then come out to give us naṣīḥah (advice) what you should do is be quiet and don’t talk about anything”, and they find fault with the fact that we cover our faces because they were hijāb without that and they say ‘why don’t you go out to parties and wedding banquets?’ That aren’t Islamic ‘so that you can give daʿwah’ and there has been a lot of talk against us that we drive the other sisters away and other than that to the point that if they found with us a book or tape of Shaykh Muqbil or a book talking about ʿAqīdah they become harsh and stern with us to the point where our sisters say; are we upon the truth or are aren’t we? So we want O our Shaykh some advice and guidance for us and may Allāh reward you because we want to be upon a clear light and make clear to us, how should daʿwah to Allāh be made even though we haven’t used any type of harshness.

Beautiful answer by our Shaykh.

Answer at 15:00

Question 2:
What is the ruling on attending an Islamic parties and wedding banquets (un-Islamic parties) and wedding banquets for the reason of giving daʿwah if the one who attends it is able to change the evil?

Excellent advice with additional information.

Answer at 32:45

Question 3:
How do we refute the following argument: When we say we don’t want to study in the university because of free mixing between men and women, some of the female and male teachers say to us; “then who will take up the responsibility of teaching the girls, do you want female teachers and doctors to come down from the sky?”

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. (33)

[Sūrah Ahzāb verse 33]

A common question with an irrefutable answer that’ll keep you nodding!

Answer at 33:50

Question 4:
Some young people come to you and their families are not pleased with that so is this in keeping with the religion or not?

An excellent answer, the Shaykh highlights the importance of serving your parents when they are in (dire) need of you and also the importance of seeking knowledge – both sides explained.

Answer at 47:55

Question 5:
O Noble Shaykh, our brothers if they want beneficial knowledge they go to you and learn and we the women have a lot of ignorance in the affairs of our religion and especially in those subjects that need a teacher like tajwīd and we are not able to learn together, so how can we seek beneficial knowledge?

Excellent answer in regards to studying books at home (he mentions the books one should study, memorise and learn) and how one can benefit immensely like this, and to marry righteous practicing brothers who will benefit you and what brothers to watch out for, you must listen to his full answer.

Answer at 49:05

Question 6:
O Noble Shaykh, when we go to school we wear (black) ḥijāb however as requested from us (we are told) to wear white socks with the knowledge that white with black attract attention. What is the ruling on that? [1]

The Shaykh mentions how much one can benefit at home listening to the tapes of the ‘Ulama and the ruling on wearing white socks.

Answer at 58: 25

Question 7:
O noble Shaykh, there is present in the place we study in a morning broadcast and it is very beneficial however the voice is heard, so we say to the female teachers that this is not proper then they say leave off being extreme, this is daʿwah, and we are not able to teach the women except by this, and if men heard then this is good and has blessings in it and you don’t sing rather you read Qurʾān and Ḥadīth or Islamic anashīd.

An excellent answer the Shaykh also mentions another point.

Answer at 1:04:25

Question 8:
Some female graduates from the Islamic Universities, give lectures and they are not able to refute them, so what do we do, if the lectures are for women? (They listen with men).

The shaykh relays the importance of preserving your voice (see Sūrah Ahzāb verse 32) he also mentions a Ḥadīth that is moving which will make you contemplate.

Answer at 1:11:05

Question 9:
There used to be that it was not requested of us pictures or diplomas, and it was sufficient just to have the name written, but now they have requested from us pictures and don’t allow us to enter the exams without it, so what do we do? And if we left school early our families won’t accept that, and they will get angry, so what should we do?

‘There is no obedience to the creation if it involves disobedience to the Creator.’
(Musnād Aḥmad, vol. 1 pg. 131) (also mentioned by Bukhārī and Muslim with similar wordings upon the authority of ‘Alī – Saḥīḥ Bukhārī, Ḥadīth: 7257, Saḥīḥ Muslim, Ḥadīth: 1840)

Answer at 1:18:00

Question 10:
So many committed female teachers and sisters take pictures of ‘Mujāhidīn’ and they put them in their notebooks and they say this is permissible for the mere sake of remembrance, so what is the ruling on pictures and the looking at ‘Mujāhidīn’ and the ‘Ulamā’?

Our Shaykh warns against picture making with dalīl.

Answer at 1:21:40

Question 11:
What is the ruling on permissible Islamic anāshīd, poetry – meaning they have no bad words or ideas, especially if it has just drums and it is in the realm of the women?

A concise response by our Shaykh.

Answer at 1:25.45

Question 12:
We find that some Salafīs are harsh in their speech and in their daʿwah and with their families and they see that someone is not from them they (unclear) in his face as opposed to the Ikhwān al Muslimīn – the thing we like is good Akhlāq (manners) so we want from you advice for them, may Allāh bless you.

Beautiful answer by our Shaykh.

Answer at 1:29:50

Part 2 

Question 1:
Some salafī brothers don’t listen to lectures and don’t preserve the state of seeking knowledge and they suffice themselves with what knowledge they already have there might even be a lecture in the central Masjid where a shaykh (ikhwāni) and his lecture might be relevant so they – these brothers leave the masjid and don’t listen to him and if he is rebuked then he says the shaykh is Islāhī (Ikhwān  al-Muslimīn) and it is not permissible to show friendliness to him and this lecture is detested and we have heard this and if they attend the lecture they take the mistakes and publicise them in gatherings and among the general public. So what is the ruling on this?

Beautiful response by our Shaykh

Answer at 3:00

Question 2:
Some women if they go out to a far place gather and arrive in a car and they are more than two or three so what is the ruling on this?

Brief reply by our Shaykh

Answer at 8:00

Question 3:
If there is not to be found a female doctor to give treatment then is it correct for a woman to go to the doctor for treatment or not?

Brief beneficial reply by our Shaykh

Answer at 8:50

Question 4:
What is the ruling of woman learning to drive if the woman is fully covered, there’s absolutely nothing being seen from her?

General beneficial answer by our Shaykh

Answer at: 9:58

Question 5:
O Noble Shaykh we know that smoking is harām then what is the ruling if he helps his father in getting the pipe or chalice ready and she is not able to refuse because of fear of what might happen in the way of problems from the refusal.

General beneficial response by our Shaykh

Answer at 14:20

Question 6:
O virtuous Shaykh we are religiously committed sisters al-ḥamdulillāh however my mother practices magic and asks with shirk and we try to prevent her in many different ways and we prohibited women from going to her, however, she still gains money from that. Various things come to her and we do not know if they are from vows or just gifts, so is it permissible for us to take anything from them? And also my mother supports the house along with my father, or would we be sinning in that and what should we do, and what is our role if a gift comes to us from a person that does ḥarām. So should we accept or return it? What should we do?

Our Shaykh gives a beautiful reminder of sincere advice and additional advice.

Answer at 15:40

Question 7:
O noble Shaykh, during the modeling of An-Nabawī or any other religious occasion there takes place in the place we study in parties and some women take part in skits and they play the parts of men in looking like and dressing like them, and if we give advice they say – this is daʿwah and the people like skits and they gather together upon that and the Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb Al-Dayʿalámī gave rulings in favour of that and took as dalīl that Jibrīl used to act for the Prophet ﷺ in the form of sahābah to educate him so how is the refutation on this argument and Jazāk Allāhu khayran (may Allāh reward you with good).

Amazing answer by our Shaykh, he also recommends a book to read in regards to this, he says; “A book that I have not seen the likes of it and he (Bakr ibn ʿAbdillāh Abū Zayd) refuted this argument…”

Answer at 22:20

The Shaykh continues with more information and clarification

Question 8:
O Shaykh after the transition period there will take place elections and participation is not permissible, so then what will our role be in combating corruption without entering the elections?

Answer at 30:05

Question 9:
O noble Shaykh it has become popular these days amongst the women when they leave their homes they have handbags and sometimes there is nothing in it and she doesn’t need it, so what is the ruling of this norm and are they considered to be imitating the Kāfir women or not?

Answer at 36:35

Question 10:
O Noble Shaykh, benefit us with regards to the circumstance of Ṣaddām Hussein and what is his goal from the time of the desert storm up until now, especially since a lot of people think that he is the one that will take on America and other than it from the Kāfir countries?

Beautiful, serious yet humorous answer by our Shaykh [note: please see the speech of Shaykh Ahmād al-Najmī regarding Ṣaddam Hussein which occurred on 6th January 2006, many years after this recording]

Answer at 37:45

Question 11:
What is the true affair of the agreement between Hizb a-Ba’th and Hizb al-Islāh? What is its aim and what is the ruling on that? (mutual agreement)

Answer at 39:50

Question 12:
What is the ruling of a woman giving Islamic cassettes to her non-maḥram relatives with the aim of giving daʿwah?

Answer at 41:25

Question 13:
If there is a device for music in the house whether it be from cassette players or televisions, what is the ruling on listening to it, considering we have made effort to forbid the evil but we’re not able?

Answer at 41:50

Question 14:
Is sleeping on beds and sitting on beautiful chairs from arrogance and imitation of the kuffār, and is it considered sunnah to sit on the floor and sleep on the floor or not?

Answer at 44:35

Question 15:
A woman whose family wants her to marry a man who works is harām, he listens to music and watches television, however, he prays, and he will pay for dowry from harām sources and he works in a kāfir country selling wine and swine, cigarettes and other prohibited things. So will the woman be committing a sin if she agrees? Mmaybe she might rectify him even though advice does not (seem to) benefit him, what is the ruling of her marrying him if she is compelled (by her father etc.) to do that?

Beautiful answer by our Shaykh on what words to choose when put in this position and what happens generally!

Answer at 45:15

Question 16:
Is it permissible for a religiously committed woman to refuse a man that proposed to her because she is more knowledgeable than him (in Islām)? If she agrees to marry him then he won’t accept her advice because men are the caretakers of women and she wants a man to teach her more from the affairs of her dīn?

Beautiful Answer at 49:05

Question 17:
My brother works in America in something unlawful: he sells wine, swine, and cigarettes and my father works in what is permissible and my brother sends to my father harām earnings and my father doesn’t care whether he gets it from lawful or unlawful means and all of whom who’s in the house except us and we are two women wa lā hawla wa lā quwattah illāh billāh (there is strength nor might except with Allāh) so what should we do? Seeing that the lawful money of my father has been mixed with the unlawful money of my brother and should we eat and drink from it or not?

Answer at 50:20

Question 18:
There are to be found numerous Yemeni villages in the countryside and other than that and in it are many areas where the people live in ignorance and acts of Shirk are widespread among them and corruption is enormous in likes of drinking and intoxicants on the open roads and fornication in the open exposure of some women and leaving the Salah and other than it, so if you would send callers of the students of knowledge for the spreading of Daʿwah to those places may Allāh reward you.

Answer at 54:30

Question 19:
Sometimes we feel a break or letting up of daʿwah because we don’t find who will answer to us because they say we are too extreme because of the abundance of Ikhwān al-Muslimīn sisters however they will water down the dīn and religious commitment to the point where we are not able to tell the difference between the religious committed one and other than her from them. So we hope for some direction, bārak Allāhu fīk.

Answer at 1:00:50

Question 20:
O noble Shaykh there has occurred these days types of overcoats called al-baltu with strange designs and exposing and open from the back and tight and most of the girls wear this and when we go to advise them they argue with us by saying that teachers so and so wear this and they teach Islamic studies. (It is like a ‘abaya or thawb).

Answer at 1:06:30

Question 21:
O Noble Shaykh there has come to us a book called Khutbas on the Minbar by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hamīd (he is an Ikhwāni ‘shaykh’ in Egypt), however, the I see the picture of the shaykh is in the beginning of the book, so what should we do?

Answer at 1:09:15

A BEAUTIFUL ADVICE AT THE END OF THE QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION FOR SISTERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO GET MARRIED (referring back to some of the sisters in the question and answer session): [2]

Bismillāh, I have two addresses to make one of them is about whose father forces a woman to marry whom she does not desire and in that case the wedding will be false except if she gives permission because of what has come in Sahīh al-Bukhārī that a woman was married off by her father whilst she disliked that she complained about that to the Prophet ﷺ so he nullified her Nikkah and it is affirmed from the Prophet ﷺ that he said; “The non-virgin unmarried woman’s counsel is sought and the virgins permission is sought.” So they said “O Messenger of Allāh verily she is (the virgin) is most often shy”, so the Prophet ﷺ said: “Her permission is if she keeps quiet.” So she has to be pleased (with the marriage), if she is younger, then it is for her father has to marry her to someone compatible for her in every way because Abū Bakr – may Allāh be pleased with him – married the Prophet ﷺ to ‘Ā’ishah – may Allāh be pleased with her – and he did not seek her permission.

The point is that she has to be pleased then if not, then the wedding is false except if she gives permission. The second re-address is that she – the sister who wants to marry who is more knowledgeable than her so he can teach her this is a matter which there is no harm in, however, it is not a must as has preceded because Allāh `azza wa jal says: “The most honourable of you in the sight of Allāh is the one that has more Taqwa.” [3]  And He did not say’The ones that are more honourable in the sight of Allāh are the ones that have more knowledge.’ And then there must be in regards to marriage the woman must not attach herself to something that is rare and is particular place and time, why? There has to be deficiency, there is no one except that has some deficiencies as the poet said;

“And I am not the first one that you did not blame for unkemptness and which man is well we find.” And also another poem he says; “And which person has everything like about him, is he enough for nobleness to be able to count a person defects?” So if a righteous equal comes if he has some deficiency then I advise her to accept because maybe a person might come to her, maybe someone that has no good in him! As for her marrying someone that is under her in knowledge then, so Fātimah b. Al Mundhir – the wife of Hishām b. al ‘Urwa she was a Shaykhah! His teacher! Because in a lot of aḥadīth Hishām b. al ‘Urwa says “Fātimah b. Al Mundhir told me…” So there is nothing that prevents a woman from being a wife and from being a teacher of her husband if he accepts good and loves good, this is what I wanted to say, walhamdulillāhī rabbil ‘alamīn!

(1) The sound was unclear so the answer was edited, (for the sake of understanding).
(3) Transcribed by Umm Safura b. As-Sa’adiyyah
(3) sūrat al-ḥujurāt verse 13

Published: December 4, 2014
Edited: March 12, 2023

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