20
Nov
2012

Freemixing and Interaction on Islamic forums & Majlis Fatwa

20th November 2012
Asslamo Allaikum,

Someone brought this Fatwa against Sunniforum to my attention yesterday and I believe that this issue is of critical importance for Muslims living in the west hence I would like to offer my worthless opinion on the matter.

Since this is just my opinion others obviously have the right to disagree and comment what they believe to be right and in accordance with Islamic Shariah.

The question and ensuing Fatwa is as follows:

Assalamualaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuh,

Respected Mufti Sahib,


I will first start by introducing about a forum on the internet, called "sunni forum," the website is : www.sunniforum.com.


The forum is run by a Shura, consisting of 'Deobandi' muftis, 'alims, 'alimahs, and non 'alims. The forum has allowed discussion between men and women on topics ranging from Shari'a to politics and global situation. Personal matters like asking for advice are also discussed. Personalities like Junaid Jamshed are also discussed. The nature of these discussions is such that the users do not know each other, the do not see each other, cannot contact each other and cannot send private messages.


But still discussions between the opposite gender takes place which is most of the time unnecessary. Sometimes Light jokes are shared and taken place.


Also, Sometimes, the discussion goes out of fold of Islamic discussion, leading to unnecessary communication being made, where non-mehram users on the forum show emotion to others publicly. for example an old male member announced leaving the forum and sisters expressed their grief that we are sad you are leaving. Your posts are very beneficial. Sisters give duas personally like brother fulan, may Allah bless you in dunia and akhirat.


And out of all this happening, the shura of the forum agrees this is permitted in their view. They say that general online Islamic discussions are allowed between non mehrams. They use sahabiyyat as daleel that sahaba used to learn Islam from Sahabiyaat.


We always heard from our akabireen that uneccessary talks between non-mehram is not permissible, and this is the first time we are seeing that on the internet, a shura on the forum claims that online Islamic discussion between non-merahm is allowed in shariat…


My questions are ...

1 – Is this type of forum allowed in shariat?

2 – Are the shura correct in allowing this to happen? Is this claim right that general online discussion between non-mehram is allowed in shariat?

3 – What is the definition of need in shariat to allow the non-mehram to contact others and to what limts?

4 - What advice and caution will you give about the sunni forum?

Jazakallah,


Assalamualaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu

ASSALAMU ALAIKUM

5 Muharram 1434 (19 November 2012)

Respected Muhtaram,

Your e-mail dated 18 November 2012 refers.

(1) The ‘Sunni Forum’ is a forum of the juhala who are entrapped in the snare of shaitaan. The activities of this stupid forum are haraam. It is not permissible to have such a lewd forum, especially when it is billed as an ‘Islamic’ forum.

(2) The shura of this forum is securely in the tentacles of shaitaan. Shaitaan has opened up a novel way of zina for the morons operating this forum and for those participating in the deception.

(3) Dhururat (Dire Need) which permits talk between ghair mahrams is a need without which life becomes extremely difficult. Examples of such need are doctor and patient when there is no doctor of the same sex available; Qaadhi listening to evidence or testimony of a woman; a woman has no mahram male to do her essential shopping, and any other real/dire need such as an emergency.

When the Fuqaha have prohibited even offering Salaam to a woman or vice versa, then one can easily understand the shaitaaniyat of this drivel forum presented with an ‘islamic’ façade.

(4) Our advice is that no one should participate in this haraam forum which is a stepping stone for zina. The Qur’aan states: “And do not come near to zina.” This forum is an introductory step for zina

Was-salaam

A.S. Desai

For

Mujlisul Ulama of S.A.


I deeply love and admire Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA) who is one of our most Senior Deobandi Ulamah in the west and often correspond with Hazrat and seek his guidance on the matter. However, being one of the most banned member (still banned :-) ) of Sunniforum I have a lot of experience as to what goes on (apparently and behind the scene) and I must say that Sunniforum is not perfect in a lot of their processes but with regards to prevention of free mixing and prohibitive gender interaction they do have adequate safeguards in place and do actively discourage this matter, therefore Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA)’s words which are based on the situation described by the questionnaire are a bit harsh and unjustified.

And to the best of my knowledge and experience Sunniforum is one of best larger Internet forums in this regard.

Now to the issue itself.

If there are occasions where brothers and sisters are crossing the line and interacting in a Non-Shariah compliant manner then the matter should be brought to the attention of Moderators to take action but these anomalies shouldn’t be taken as a norm to engage in a Fatwa war.

I humbly disagree with the opinion of Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA) about gender interaction and Hazrat’s definition of Dhururah (dire need) and would like to summarise the following:

1. There are plenty of incidents from the lives of Sahaba (RA), Taba’een (RA) & Taba Taba’een (RA) were women spoke on matters which are clearly outside of the narrow confines which are postulated by Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA)

2. Shaykh (Dr) Awadullah Yosef (HA) told me that historically there have been women Qarees who have taught men (from behind the curtain) and there was no face to face interaction but teaching and learning of the Qur’aan was (and still) is facilitated in this manner in Egypt. This isn’t Dhururah (dire need) at all to learn from women Qarees as defined by Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA).

3. In many chains of Hadeeth there are two women Scholars of Hadeeth particularly right above Al-Hafidh Ibn Haj’r Al-Asqalani (RA) and learning and teaching Hadeeth falls outside of Dhururah (dire need) as defined by Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA).

4. In many women Darul-ulooms around the world, Ulamah (men) teach from behind the curtain and answer questions and this falls outside of of Dhururah (dire need) as defined by Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA).

5. There are talks around the world where men teach women and answer questions and Hadeeth falls outside of Dhururah (dire need) as defined by Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA).

Interaction between Non-Mahram Muslims should be kept to a minimum, absolutely.

Where the interaction occurs privacy should be avoided, absolutely.

Where the interaction occurs publicly banter, humour should be avoided, absolutely.

Safeguards should be put in place and continuously tested and evaluated to address the gravity of this issue, absolutely.


However, in my humble view unless Hazrat (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA) or others of similar opinion can offer evidence of blanket prohibition in this regards the case is wide open to disagree.

Finally, Sunniforum is a forum predominated used by Deobandees and although I have witnessed its decline from a once powerful intellectual tool where opinions were exchanged, knowledge gained to a mere tooting horn for a certain segment of Deobandi fraternity nevertheless many of our sincere brothers and sisters do frequent it and any harm to the forum will affect them (indirectly). Personally (and other may disagree) we should go out of our away to assist our brothers and sisters in their quest for excellence and not hinder their good work. Muftisays and everyone associated with them is also doing excellent work to propagate the teachings of Deobandi Ulamah & Mashaykh and they have similar policies, rules and regulations in place to prevent unnecessary interaction between members of the opposite gender and to be honest we can't issue a blanket Fatwa of these interactions being Haram and if someone has evidence to the contrary it should be made public.


No need for knee jerk reactions, maintain Course & Speed!


Jazakullah Khairun

Shaykh Mufti A. H. Elias on Sunniforum



Question: Assalamualaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuh, Respected Mufti Sahib, I will first start by introducing about a forum on the internet, called "sunni forum," the website is : www.sunniforum.com. The forum is run by a Shura, consisting of 'Deobandi' muftis, 'alims, 'alimahs, and non 'alims. The forum has allowed discussion between men and women on topics ranging from Shari'a to politics and global situation. Personal matters like asking for advice are also discussed. Personalities like Junaid Jamshed are also discussed. The nature of these discussions is such that the users do not know each other, the do not see each other, cannot contact each other and cannot send private messages. But still discussions between the opposite gender takes place which is most of the time unnecessary. Sometimes Light jokes are shared and taken place. Also, Sometimes, the discussion goes out of fold of Islamic discussion, leading to unnecessary communication being made, where non-mehram users on the forum show emotion to others publicly. for example an old male member announced leaving the forum and sisters expressed their grief that we are sad you are leaving. Your posts are very beneficial. Sisters give duas personally like brother fulan, may Allah bless you in dunia and akhirat. If you could also please go on this link to see all the rules of the Sunni Forum : http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/misc.php?do=showrules Out of all this, including the rules that have been shown. The questions are : 1 – Is this type of forum allowed in shariat? 2 – Are the shura correct in allowing this to happen? Is this claim right that general online discussion between non-mehram is allowed in shariat? 3 – What is the definition of need in shariat to allow the non-mehram to contact others and to what limts? 4 - What advice and caution will you give about the sunni forum? Jazakallah,

Answer

1) Allowed with strict regulations and proper checks and balances. 2) It is permissible to the extent of need to the extend of necessity . 3) The need as per the need to the level of necessity 4) Stricter rules. Controlled discussions. Proper supervision. No informal, personal, useless, vain, futile and non-beneficial discussions.
And Allah Knows Best

Mufti Elias (May Allah Protect him)
Tags: internet
posted by Muadh_Khan on 20th November 2012 - 7 comments

7 Comments

Ibrahim Patel wrote on 21 Nov 2012
Assalamu Alaikum

Respected Colonel Hardstone

May I humbly ask you to put forward your humble objections to Hazrat Maulana?

From my experience with Hazrat Maulana he normally gives a fatwa in protecting the general body of Muslims from falling into sin and he does not go into the Fiqhi Technicalities in his general Fatwas (i.e. muhaddithaat, learning qur'aan from a woman etc...)

He will also be able to provide you with more detail regarding the dhuroorah aspect that you have mentioned and also more detail with regards to his reasoning.

May Allah Ta'ala reward you for your sincere intention. Ameen.
Blogger's Reply:
W-Salam Dear Brother,

I have already raised my concerns about lack of Daleel with some of the people involved in trying to obtain this Fatwa.

Please understand that undue chit-chatting, banter, jokes, exchanges between members of the opposite sex should be AVOIDED and there is no doubt about it. However, if there is any proof that all exchanges (when they are serious, civilised and public) between members of opposite sex are Haram in Islam it should be made public.

There is no such Dhahiir Riwayah in the Hanafi Madhab which is the basis for giving Fatwa, I am sure random quotations or Malfuzaat from Akaabir do exist (somewhere) and I am not encouraging idle discussions between people of opposite sex so I shouldnt be labelled flag-bearer of Shaytaan or denizen of evil or whatever.

All discussions on Sunniforum occur in public and people should be serious and civilised and thats about it.

If Hazrat (Mufti) Saheb or anybody else disagrees then let them prove their point with daleel and not label people agents of Shaytaan etc randomly.
I have a lot of respect with Hazrat (Mufti) Saheb (HA) but disagree with his Fatwa just like I (humbly) disagree with Hazrat (Mufti) Abdur-Raheem Limbada Saheb (HA) on declaring the voice of women Awrah as it is NOT the Hanafi Madhab.

www.tafseer-raheemi.com/q554-listening-to-quran-in-a-females-voice/

We love and respect our Ulama-e-Kiraam but when other Ulamah disagree with their Fatawa we also have the right to disagree.

On the issue of Sunniforum, I am permanently thrown out (banned) and they hate me so there is no reason for me to defend them and I am only doing it because they do a fantastic job on this issue and to get Fatwaas issued against them is distasteful and I have to speak the truth.

Jazakullah Khairun
 
Ibrahim Patel wrote on 21 Nov 2012
Assalamu Alaikum

Respected Colonel Hardstone

Jazaakallahu khair for your reply. Throughout all the posts that I have read of yours on Sunniforum and on here I can only say that May Allah Ta'ala reward you for your sincere concern and increase you in guidance.

Just a few short points with regards to your reply:

1)The way the scenario was put forward to Hazrat was biased hence he can only reply on what the questioner has stated to be the fact.

2) Hazrat's language correlates to the gravity of the sin committed. He has obviously thought that normal, absolute free mixing is occurring with the active connivance of the Ulama who are administering the forum. Therefore, Hazrat's language as it always is in these cases multiplies manifold. I doubt that in your personal correspondence with Hazrat you have ever found him to use such language. After staying with Hazrat on repeated occasions I can insha'Allah speak with some confidence that the issue that causes him the greatest hurt and raises his anger is when he sees the Ulama condoning fisq. You are also aware of the taqwaa level that he operates under (May Allah Ta'ala continue to increase him in taqwaa).

3) Hazrat has also explained in his booklets that a females voice is awrah with regards to general talks between female and male. He has made it very clear that a the issue of the lady's voice being awrah is complex as the fiqhi classifications can become confusing. He states in his latest booklet, The Sunnah Beard,

""It is haraam for a woman to raise her voice with the Athaan if there is an ajnabi (ghair mahram male) listening. However, her singing and listening to it by an ajnabi male are not haraam where there is no Fitnah."(Tuhfatul Muhtaaj fi Sharhil Minhaaj of Ibn Hajar Haitami with annotations by Imaam Abdul Humaidish Shirwaani and Imaam Ahmad Bin Qaasim Al-Abbaadi).
This is not the appropriate occasion for a refutation of this baseless ruling. The purpose of mentioning these few examples is
merely to illustrate the confusion (Idhtiraab) which reigns in the ranks of the Shaafi' Fuqaha in the spheres of Usool, Juzwi masaa-il
and technical classification of the Ahkaam. And, this incontrovertible fact is acknowledge by the Shaafi' Fuqaha themselves."

I acknowledge this in connection with the Shaafi Madhab but Hadhrat has also in detail explained that the issue of the lady's voice being awrah is in connection with Salah and not with regards to the general braodcasting of the female voice. With regards to this she is to limit her speaking to non-mahrams to the bare minimum.

Anyway I have digressed and I am in no position to 'argue' with you as your level of ilm and experience with regards to mine is as different as the night and day. I would however ask you to send your objections to Hazrat and I am sure that he will oblige you in explaining the position in more detail than his stock answer to the loaded question that was laid in front of him.

May Allah Ta'ala assist you in all your Deeni work and keep you in His Aafiyah. Ameen.
Blogger's Reply:
W-Salam my Brother,

I request your duas and well wishes and also agree that Hazrat has issued a Fatwa based on what has been given to him and his tone merely reflects the gravity of the sin (which has been painted by the one who is asking the question).

The issue of women tapping hands when the Imam makes a mistake has no connection with her voice being Awrah (in the Hanafi Madhab), furthermore Shaykh (Allamah) Ibn Hajr Haytami (RA)s opinion is not binding in the Shafae Madhab (let alone Hanafi Madhab) so quotations can be provided on an issue but the Mutamid Fatwa in the Hanafi Madhab is the normal voice of woman is not Awrah.
Again, this doesnt mean license for Sisters to start idle chit-chat with Ghair-Mehram men however the position of the Madhab should be accurately stated.

I am a worthless person and not capable of engaging in Shariah conversations but rest assured that I have made my views clear to some of those who posed this question to Hazrat and asked them for their daleel and they have in turn sent my objections to Hazrat so in time you will see Hazrat's response to me.

It wont be nice and I deserve it, nevertheless a daleel for both of these issues (for the Hanafi Madhab) is required.

Jazakullah Khairun
 
Ibrahim Patel wrote on 21 Nov 2012
Assalamu Alaikum

Respected Colonel Hardstone

Jazaakallaahu khair. That is all I wanted that your poignant queries are put forward to Hazrat. I agree that you may receive a grilling but InshaAllah I feel you will be able to take it!! I myself have experience of knowing the types of grilling that one can receive from Hazrat.

If you can please post Hazrat's reply on this blog. If you are unable to post it on this blog please forward it to my e-mail. Jazaakallahu khair.

Was Salaam

Ibrahim
Blogger's Reply:
W-Salam,

Hazrat has responded and although I have seen his response but I am not at liberty to disclose it unless those are involved want to make it public.

The summary is that Hazrat believes that Sunniforum is Fitnah and Hazrat (HA) believes that he has presented the Haqq and warned of the matter.

Jazakullah Khairun
 
Ibrahim Patel wrote on 22 Nov 2012
Assalamu Alaikum

Respected Colonel Hardstone

Jazaakallahu khair for oyu rreply. I fully understand if you are not at a liberty to disclose the contents of the e-mail. Hadhrat has his stance and once hsi stance is made it is very difficult to change him.

Were you able to receive an asnwer regarding your other questions mainly the question of dhuroorah, Hafidh Ibn Hajr Asqalani and the muhaddithaat and the lady's voice? I would be very interested to see Hadhrat's reasoning and dalaail. If you are unable to post the actual e-mail maybe a summary in your own words? If not then it is no problem.

May Allah Ta'ala keep you well and family in His constant Protection. Ameen.

Was Salaam

Ibrahim Patel
Blogger's Reply:
Asslamo Allaikum,

I didn't send Hazrat (HA) the query and this blog was copy/pasted to Hazrat (HA) so the question wasn't asked. Hazrat (Mufti) Abdur-Raheem Limbada Saheb (HA) on UK is of the same opinion and the details of discussions with him are in the link.

Hazrat (Mufti) Abdur-Raheem Limbada Saheb (HA) acknowledges that due to Fitnah this is the opinion he has chosen so I am sure Hazrat Desai (HA) is of the same opinion.

Jazakullah Khairun
 
Qwerty wrote on 22 Nov 2012
Mufti Sahabs fatwa was given based on the information provided which was exaggerated and partly false. The management of SF do not condone useless banter between genders. If Mufti Sahab is against ALL gender interaction on online forums then that's another matter and that would include the interaction that occurs on Muftisays forums too.
Blogger's Reply:
Asslamo Allaikum,

If you carefully read the blog you will notice that I have pretty much the same thing and defended Sunniforum and I absolutely agree that Ulamah & Moderators on Sunniforum (in my experience) don't condone this at all and in my opinion since there are so many South African Ulamah and members on Sunniforum they should approach Hazrat (HA) and clear the matter instead of simply closing threads. If Hazrat (HA) was in UK I would visit him and explain forums as I have done with another very senior Deobandi Shaykh in UK about Sunniforum but I am not in South Africa and I am not part of Sunniforum so its upto them. Jazakullah Khairun
 
Maaz wrote on 22 Nov 2012
Dear Colonel Sahab,

Assalamo Alaikum, this is not directly related to your blog, but is your ban on Sunniforum, self imposed, or you really got banned by the moderators because of something you did.

Also JazakAllah Khayrun for your articles and blogs, they are always insightful and interesting. Wasalam.

Your brother in Islam,
Maaz
Blogger's Reply:
W-Salam,

It says banned under my name so it isn't self-imposed : - ) and I (along with many others) have no idea why and don't really care to be honest as there must be a reason for it according to somebody somewhere. If you know me then you would know that I try to be direct and truthful and doesn't matter if I am banned or not Sunniforum Moderators/Administrators are not guilty of the crime which they are being accused of in this Fatwa so I was in South Africa I would visit Hazrat and discuss the matter and try to clarify because it does stand as a serious accusation which I believe is based on misunderstanding.


Jazakullah Khairun

 
Qwerty wrote on 23 Nov 2012
Can you please calrify what you mean by Maulana Abdurrahim Limbada being of the same opinion? Do you mean to say that he also agrees SF is fitna? Has he mentioned this somewhere? If so, please can you link to it. Jazakallah.
Blogger's Reply:
Asslamo Allaikum,

No, the one making a comment was discussing a completely different matter.

Hazrat Maulana Abdurrahim Limbada (HA) is of the opinion that the voice of woman is Awrah and please click on the link to see my discussion with him.


www.tafseer-raheemi.com/q554-listening-to-quran-in-a-females-voice/

Jazakullah Khairun

 
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