RULINGS RELATED TO YOUTHS
Q1: What do you advise the youths of today and the future?
A: Our advice to the youths stems from the reality that they face: The youths are targeted by every call. Every call persuades them and tries to take advantage of their sentiments, minds, vitality and activity to promote his cause through them. The youth are inexperienced; therefore, it is easy to convince them. From this onset, we advise them to act cautiously in their affairs, discerning the consequences of following the calls, their benefits and harms. They must not be rash to follow a caller only because of his glitter and the beauty of the way it appears without deeply considering the consequences. How many rash people have gritted their teeth in regret when it was just too late, when regret was of no avail. We plead to Allah, the most Praised One, the most Exalted, to grant them guidance and success; He suffices us, and a great One He is to rely on.
Q2: Is it permissible to look at a man or a woman who is totally naked if the onlooker does so for a scientific reason, or he looks at them in order to learn, for example?
A: It is not permissible unless the scientific objective is necessary as is the case with an urgent medical treatment. In this case, the same gender is preferred to look at the body when possible. It also becomes permissible if achieving the scientific knowledge in the study of medical science requires such examination of naked bodies and results in meeting a believer's urgent need for religiously-minded physicians.
Q3: Is a man allowed to uncover his chest, thigh or leg before women?
A: Yes, it is permissible, although it is best to avoid it due to the possibility of its causing one to commit prohibited deeds.
Q4: Are Muslim men in the West permitted to look like the unbelievers by wearing shorts and undershirts, and walk like that in public places?
A: We do not advise such conduct which expresses weakness of personality towards the prevalent tradition in some non-Muslim societies that does not correspond with our Islamic traditions and values.
Q5: Is it permissible to wear clothes with advertisement of alcohol on them? Is it permissible to trade in them?
A: Trading in them is prohibited if they promote alcohol. Also, wearing them is in such case also prohibited. But if it does not promote alcohol drinking, wearing them is not prohibited. The same applies to clothes, hidden or not, in the presence of one who is not likely to be encouraged to drink alcohol. Yes, it is better to avoid wearing such clothes in any case, in order to firm a Muslim's religious personality and so one may rise above such lowliness.
Q6: What is the Sharia’s ruling with respect to changing one’s hairstyle and clothing in accordance to the fashion common in non-Muslim countries?
A: The said issue can lead to the loss of the Muslim individual's personality, to the loss of many honorable human qualities which Allah instilled in man when He created him. What is suitable for the believing youths is to avoid all of this and not be impressed by what comes to us from the foreigners so we may mimic them.
Q7: In the West, there is a fashion that prevails in which a man wears earrings in one or both of his ears; is this permissible?
A: If it is a manifestation of homosexuality and looking like women, it is prohibited, although it is best for the believers to avoid all such things in any case. We have already stated in the ninth and tenth chapters of the Introduction what is useful in this regard.
Q8: Is a man permitted to wear a watch decorated with gold? What is the ruling about wearing a ring made of silver and brocaded with gold?
A: It is prohibited to wear them and to use them to embellish oneself.
Q9: Is it permissible to carry a pen if it is decorated with gold?
A: Yes, it is.
Q10: Is it permissible for a man to decorate himself with gold, such as wearing gold medals?
A: Men are prohibited from decorating themselves with gold; such prohibition is not restricted to clothes only.
Q11: Are men permitted to wear rings that are gold-plated?
A: Yes, it is permissible if the plating results only in the change of color to gold without have a considerable layer of gold.
Q12: Are men permitted to look at women who do not observe Hijab?
A: Yes, they are permitted to look at them but without being sexually aroused.
Q13: Is it permissible for men to look at what non-Muslim women are used to keep uncovered?
A: Pleasurable looks are prohibited. Without deriving such pleasure, looking is not prohibited.
Q14: Is it permissible for men to look at photographs of non-Mahram women if they do not know who they are? What if he feels a sexual desire when looking at one but without desire when he looks at another?
A: Based on an obligatory precaution one should not look with a sexual desire, and it is permissible without such a desire. But if looking at her is shameful for her, as she observes the Hijab and is respected in the society and similar reasons, it is prohibited to look at the photograph even without lust.
Q15: Is a man permitted to look at the photograph of a woman who observes the Hijab and who adheres to the laws of the Sharia if she appears in the photograph without Hijab?
A: If the absence of the Hijab in the photograph was in a normal way, for a woman in the presence of other women or Mahram men then it is permissible to look at it. However, if doing so is shameful for her then it is not permissible to look at the photograph based on compulsory precaution.
Q16: Is it permissible for a man to look closely at the body of a woman, other than her private parts, whom he intends to marry?
A: As an obligatory precaution, one must restrict himself to looking at what is conventionally left uncovered when one puts on clothes such as the arms, legs, head and a portion of the chest, but not what is usually covered with clothes. There is no harm with wearing soft clothes which show the body's shape, but looks must be restricted to what needs to be seen in order to come to know about her physical status and nothing more.
Q17: A man wishes to marry a woman. Is he permitted to speak to her in order to convince her of the same although such talk might include expression of desire? What if meeting and talking to a woman is the only way to convince her of marriage?
A: Yes, it is permissible to talk to her to convince her. But one must avoid sexual pleasure during such meeting.
Q18: It is common nowadays to hire female servants who may not adhere to the Hijab required by the Sharia, is this permissible?
A: It is permissible to look at them if they would not observe the Hijab if one advises them to do so. This is true if looking at them was without illicit lust, otherwise it is prohibited to look at them.
Q19: In some societies, a person who enters a place shakes hands with all those who were present there before him, including women, without having illicit pleasure in the latter case. If he refuses to shake hands with women, his conduct will be considered rude, and most often it is regarded as an insult and humiliation for the woman. So, is he permitted to shake hands with them?
A: Shaking hands for this purpose is not permissible. What is mentioned in the question does not justify committing the sin. Rather, adhering to the tradition prevalent among the non-Muslims causes loss in the religious identity. So, what must be done is to safeguard the principles of the Sharia with tact and gentleness. One must explain to them the reason behind the refusal to shake hands with them, and that it is not due to disrespecting the women, but it is in order to follow the religious obligation which is meant to safeguard women's chastity and dignity. In the tenth chapter of the Introduction, we have mentioned what can benefit in this regard.
Q20: If we suppose in the previous question that such refusal to shake hands would lead to expulsion or the like, is permissible in this case?
A: If the handshaking is done in order to avoid being harmed by imprisonment, deportation or the like, there is no objection to it. But if it is done in order to achieve some benefit, it is unlawful and it is like one selling his religion for the sake of worldly gains.
Q21: Some families suffer in adhering to the Sharia in the matter of men shaking hands with non-Mahram women or vice versa. This prompts some non-Mahram relatives, such as cousins, the husband of the aunt, etc., to sever the kinship, because a religious woman refused to shake hands with a non-Mahram man. What is the religious guideline in respect to this very important subject nowadays?
A: Handshaking between man and woman is one of the prohibited traditions brought to our society from some non-Muslim societies. A man must not come in contact with a non-Mahram woman’s body. The believers should abandon such customs and traditions which do not correspond with our religion since habituating oneself to following their customs leads to the loss of our religious identity. The non-Mahram relatives must come to know this, so one’s religious commitment should not become the reason behind severing kinship ties. If he does not recognize this, and he severed his ties on its account, he alone bears the burden of severing the tie of kinship and the sin of rejecting the doing of goodness.
Q22: What is the ruling of shaking hands of elderly women who are not-Mahram?
A: It is prohibited because touching a non-Mahram woman is unlawful under all circumstances.
Q23: Is it permissible to see a couple engaging in intimate acts in public?
A: It is unlawful if it causes sexual excitement and lust.
Q24: One of the most important and serious problems in the student community is young men mixing with young women in classes. As a result of this, students of opposite sex may become emotionally involved with each other. What is the ruling of the Sharia in this regard on one hand? On the other hand, what if such mixing is merely by way of fellowship and friendship?
A: The mixing of both sexes – especially in the said cases which continue and in which both sides are young – is one of the reasons behind the spread of corruption and of unlawful deeds. Therefore, the youths must stay away from anything which leads to what is unlawful and being swept in the torrent of permanent misguidance. So, the mixing between the man and woman is one of the things which the Sharia is very sensitive about.
Dialogue between a male and female is, too, one of the causes of sedition and corruption. Therefore, talk must be restricted to what is necessary and needed. One must have self-control against going too far in his talk and getting into the aspects of emotion and sentiment. All this also especially applies to the woman as her chastity, decency and dignity are her greatest assets during her life. So, she has to protect them and keep herself distant from anything which may tarnish her image. She must be very cautious especially during these times in which few are those who guard principles and values, and trust is scarce. Allah is the One Who keeps us on the right path, the One Who helps us; surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall be our return.
Q25: Is it permissible to be in the company of non-Mahram ladies during a journey, etc., for example, in a university-arranged trip?
A: In itself, it is not prohibited, but if it results in committing a sin then it must be avoided.
Beware of such matters which are of no necessity and are full of religious, ethical and social negativities.
Q26: Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to attend mixed-sex colleges or schools although there is lewdness in the conduct of some male and female students there?
A: Mixing between two sexes by itself is permissible although it is disliked. However, if it causes sedition and corruption it must be avoided in order to avoid committing unlawful acts.
Q27: If mixing between women and men has some benefits although it may result in lawful or unlawful relationships sometimes, is it permissible?
A: Mixing, by itself is disliked. If it results in the doing of something prohibited, this in itself does not make it unlawful. It is like leaving the house or travelling which may result in doing something unlawful. However, if one knows that such mixing will result in committing prohibited acts, one should avoid it in order not to commit it.
Q28: Some youths resort to masturbation because they cannot get married, and they are unable to abandon such a habit. So can they do it once or twice a month to satisfy the desire?
A: They are not permitted to do it: Committing prohibited acts is not permissible, not even once in a lifetime. Allah Almighty has said, "Let those who do not find the means for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah gives them means out of His grace” (Qur'an, 24:33). This is one of the application of the Greater Jihad which is the supreme struggle against the evil in oneself by being patient in not committing unlawful acts. The most Exalted One has also said, "And those who strive in Our (cause)! We will certainly guide them to Our paths, for truly Allah is with those who do right” (Holy Qur'an, 29:69).