Q- Is it lawful to give Zakat to a disbeliever?
A- It is prohibited to give Zakat to a disbeliever, a dhimmi (a non-Muslim living under the protection of an Islamic government), or an atheist, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that Zakat “is to be taken from the rich amongst them and be given to the poor amongst them” meaning that Zakat is to be taken from the rich amongst the Muslims and be paid back to the poor also amongst them and thus non-Muslims are not to be given anything from it.
Ibnul-Mundhir says, “All the scholars (religious scholars and those of Fiqh) we have learned from unanimously agree that no dhimmi is to be given anything from the Zakat funds.”
Q- What is the Shariah ruling concerning muwalah or continuation when performing ablution (Wudu)?
A- Muwalah is to ‘continue’ or perform in sequence the act of washing the specified organs of ablution one after another immediately, or in other words to wash the following organ before the previous one dries.
Scholars have differed concerning this matter, as some of them consider it to be an obligation while some others regard it as an act of Sunnah.
Q- What is the Shariah ruling concerning any object that prevents water from reaching any specified organ for ablution?
A- One of the conditions that must be fulfilled for the validity of the ablution (wudu) is that none of the organs which water must reach is to be covered with anything that prevents water from reaching it, such as wax, blacktop, dough, as well as the substances that many women put on their nails in what is known as ‘manicure’ and ‘pedicure.’
Moreover and important still, as long as ablution is not valid because of such things, the prayer is also not valid if performed with an ablution done while the organs specified in it are covered with any of such things.
Q- What is the Shariah ruling concerning a person who breaks fast by mistake?
A- A fasting person may break his fast mistakenly, as, for example, when he has iftar thinking that the sun has set without making sure of that – then realizes later that he was mistaken. Such a person must make up for the fast in question. Bukhari narrated that Asmaa’ Bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “We broke our fast during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), on a cloudy day and then the sun appeared.” Hisham, the sub-narrator, was asked “Were they ordered to make up for the day?” He replied, “It had to be made up for.”
The same ruling applies if the people of some place do not see the crescent of Ramadan because of the fog or clouds and do no observe fasting the next day which they came to know later was the first day of Ramadan. They must make up for this day as unanimously agreed upon by scholars.Q- What is the Shariah ruling concerning tattooing, shortening the teeth, and undergoing surgery for beautification?
A- The Messenger of Allah, (peace be upon him) cursed the person who tattoos and the person who is tattooed, the person who shortens teeth and the one whose teeth are shortened.
As for cutting or shortening the teeth, the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed both men and women who do it and the women who ask for it. Similarly, the Prophet (peace be upon him), prohibited widening the spaces between the teeth. It has been narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed “… women who widen the gaps between their own or others’ teeth for the sake of beauty, changing what Allah has created.”
As far cosmetic surgery (known as plastic surgery) is concerned, some scholars are of the opinion that it may happen that a person has an unusual physical defect which attracts the attention of others to the extent of inflicting physical and psychological pain on him whenever he meets people.
In this case, he may get the defect fixed and thus alleviate the embarrassment which might have made his life miserable. Allah the Most Merciful has imposed no hardship on us in religion. Thus, it is not permissible to undergo any surgery for the sake of beautification unless it is needed to eliminate pain or distress of the kind explained above. And Allah knows best.
– Extracted from 500 Questions and Answers on Islamic Jurisprudence, compiled and translated by Muhammad Abdul-Fattah