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Answers to Your queries

Kissing one's thumbs during 'azaan'

Q. During azaan (the call to prayers) and iqamat, when the name of Rasoolullah sallallahu "alaihe wasallam is taken, people kiss their thumb-nails. Is there any evidence of this in Shari'ah ?

(Ghulam Akber, Karachi)

A. There is no evidence of this in Sharp ah. It is a 'bid"at', an innovation in deen and as such a heinous sin to think of it as a good practice or a 'thawab'. It is compulsory to avoid it. Had it been a good act, Rasoolullah sallallahu "alaihe wasallam himself or his sahaba would have performed it. They never did so. The riwayat which is quoted in this regard is not correct. In "Tazkirah-tul-Mauzua'at", page 34, and in other books too it has been written that the riwayat about kissing one's thumbs when during azaan or iqamat one hears the name of Rasoolullah sallallahu "alaihe wasallam, is certainly not correct in any way.

Discovery of a grave in a house

Q. We built a house. Later we found out that there is a grave in it. What should we now do ?

(Shahid Iqbal, Lahore)

A. You can level the grave, or you can live in the house without leveling it. There is no harm either way.

Ruling about Qaza (missed) salat and nawafil after 'Asr

Q. One of my friends told me that it is not jaiz (permissible) to offer 'qaza' (missed) salat and nawafil (non-obligatory salat) after "Asr till the time of 'Maghrib1. Is it true ?

(Ashfaque Raheel, Karachi)

A. It is not jaiz to offer nawafil after 'Asr salat. The 'qaza' or missed salat can be offered till the sunlight becomes yellow. But qaza salat must be said in private and not in public.

Elder brother can punish younger ones for not offering salat

Q. If & son misses his salat, his father can punish him but what I would like to ask is, does an elder brother has the right to punish too ?

( "Abdullah, Faisalabad)

A. If the father is alive, it is his responsibility to admonish his children and punish them if the need be. If the father is dead then it is not right for the elder

brother to ignore as heinous a sin as missing salat by his younger brothers and sisters. At the death of a father, the elder brother assumes his place. He must definitely admonish the younger ones, mildly but strictly and if there is no danger that it will cause more harm than good, give physical punishment. But then he must keep in mind that if the objective can be gained with mild punishment, he should be content with that. If all else fails, even then he must avoid giving a severe beating.

A porcupine is haraam

Q. The people of our area go to the mountains to hunt porcupines. They then cook them and eat them and eat them with relish. What I want to know is, is a porcupine halaal or haraam? Some people make a distinction between them saying some are halaal while others are haraam. Is what they say true ?

(Sher Rahman, Nizampura, Nowshehra)

A. All kinds of porcupine are haraam according to Imam Abu Hanifa rahimahullahu ta'ala.

Leasing land

Q. What is the ruling about leasing out a piece of land? For instance, the land is given on lease for ten thousand rupees. It may or may not yield a good harvest, the land-owner charges the full amount ?

('Abdul Aleem, Ahmadpur)

A. To give land on rent and charge the amount agreed upon, is jaiz (permissible).

Keeping pigeon as pets

Q. Is keeping pigeons as pets a sin? Is pigeon-flying a sin ?

(Abdullah)

A. It is jaiz (permissible) to keep pigeons as pets, with the condition that care is taken to feed them properly. But pigeon-flying is not jaiz, for it entails luring pigeons belonging to others and keeping them with oneself; climbing on roof-tops often leads to violating the purdah of neighbours which causes severe distress; a din is created, whistling is heard, all of which is a means of giving pain to others. Furthermore precious time is wasted, and people indulging in this useless pastime often forget to say their prayers even.