Q: I have three boys and a girl, and my husband is a drunk, God save me, and had been imprisoned previously. He’s addicted to drinking, and it tortures me and my children. I left him, and my children and I are now staying with my family. He doesn’t pay for a single thing and I have no desire to go back to him, and he’s threatening to take the children away from me. I can’t bear that, as I am a mother before everything else. Please help me.

A: There is no doubt the Islamic courts have jurisdiction over this, and one should not stay with those who are addicted to alcohol, as he harms his wife and children. You should distance yourself from him until God guides him back to the right way. If the court separated [the parents], in most cases it will side with the mother and give her custody, as she is qualified for that and he is not. As long as the problem is alcohol addiction he is not worthy of children because he will ruin them and corrupt them, whereas she is more suited for them than he is, regardless of the children’s gender. This is what the court will rule. This is what is necessary. The kids will be with her because she is better than he is, as he is immoral. If she refuses to return to him she’s better off, because he is a danger to her. If he doesn’t pray, it’s necessary to never go back to him, because whoever leaves prayer has disbelieved, God forbid. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The difference between us and them is prayer, and so whoever leaves it has disbelieved.” So you don’t have to stay with someone who doesn’t pray. “They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them” [al-Mumtahina 60] Until God guides him and he repents, she’ll go to her family or her children and refuse to have anything to do with him, until God forgives him and he returns to what is right. If he prays but drinks alcohol, that is a huge sin and a huge crime, but he’s not an unbeliever, just immoral. She needs to break off contact with him and get away from him. She’s not responsible, and if she’s patient with him and can be patient, that’s ok.

Sheikh Ibn Baz

Taken from Fataawa al-Maraa “Fatwas on Women” by Sheikh Ibn Baz, Sheikh Authimein, and Sheikh Jabreen. Riyadh, Dar al-Watan lil-Nashr, 1993/1414. Translated by Josh Berer



سكير – Drunkard

والعياذ الله – God Forbid!

مدمن – Addict

إدمان – Addiction

رغبة – Desire

هدّد – Threat

ينبغي – One should, it is recommended that, it behooves one to

الصواب – The correct [path]

أهل – To be qualified to

أولى – More suited

فاسق – Immoral, someone with lousy integrity

أبت – To refuse, turn down

ذنب – To be guilty of

معذور –  Excused from



Q: I’d like a solution to my problem, which is that I’ve reached age 24, and have been presented with a young man for engagement. He’s finished his university studies, and is from a religious family. My father agreed, and asked me to come and meet him, so I could see him. I saw him, and he saw me, and I was pleasantly surprised by him, and he by me, knowing that our True Religion stipulates that we may see each other. When my mother found out that he was from a religious family, she went nuts, at him and at my father. She swore not to go through with this, by any means possible. My father tried everything with her, but to no avail.

So may I ask the law to get involved in this subject?

A: If it really is how she put it, her mother may not object in this matter, in fact it is prohibited for her to do so. And you, O engaged one, do not have to obey your mother in this. As the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Obey that which is good.” And it’s not good to refuse a decent suitor, in fact it is said that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “If you are courted by someone of good faith and morals, marry him, for if you don’t it may cause strife and great controversy.” If the need arises to take the matter to court, there’s no prohibition of that.

Sheikh Ibn Baz

Taken from Fataawa al-Maraa “Fatwas on Women” by Sheikh Ibn Baz, Sheikh Authimein, and Sheikh Jabreen. Riyadh, Dar al-Watan lil-Nashr, 1993/1414. Translated by Josh Berer


Q: But is it possible to know the meaning of worship? And does it have a general meaning and a private meaning?

A: Yes.

General Meaning: As I stated above, humility before God, praised and exalted, affection and glorification in doing the things he commanded, and avoiding the things he prohibited in a manner that follows his laws, is the general meaning.

Private Meaning: I’d like to elaborate this. The Sheikh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyya, God’s mercy upon him, said “It [private meaning] is a general name for everything God likes and that pleases him. This includes words and deeds, both internal and external, such as fear [of God], trust [in God], prayer, charity, and other Islamic practices.

So, if you were to try and define general and private meanings by what some of the learned scholars have mentioned on the subject of devotion, both universal and Islamic, in that [devotion] means that a person may be humble before God (SWT) through universal humility and through Islamic humility. Universal humility is general and includes Believers and Non-believers, the pious and the debaucherous. In the words of the Most High: “There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave.” [Maryam 93] So everything in the skies and on land is subservient to God (SWT), [simply through their] existence. It is never possible to contradict God or oppose what His (SWT) cosmic will intends.

Regarding Private Devotion: It is Islamically prescribed devotion and humility before God (SWT). This is special to Believers in God (SWT) and those who follow his commands, and there is a more special devotion than that, and an even more special one still.

The more exclusive private devotion is that of the Prophets, may God’s peace and blessings be upon them. In the words of the Most High, “Blessed is He Who hath revealed unto His slave the Criterion (of right and wrong)” [Al-Furqan 1] and “And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant” [Al-Baqara 23] and “And remember Our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob” [Saad 45] and other descriptions of the devotion of the Prophets, peace and blessing be upon them.

Taken from Fiqh al-Ebadaat “Jurisprudence of Belief” by Sheikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Authaymin, Dar al-Baseera, Alexandria. Translated by Josh Berer


مفهوم – Meaning

آنفاً – Previously, stated above

الباطنة والظاهرة Internal and external, hidden and clear etc

بر – Pious

فاجر – Non-pious, debaucherous

خاضع – Submissive, under the will of

Translation Notes

ثم إن منها ما هو خاص أخص, وخاص فوق ذلك –
“There is a more special devotion than that, and an even more special one still.” This gave me no small amount of problems translating.

الخوف والخشية – Two words for fear, I only translated one to avoid redundancy

A Very Important Announcement

November 11, 2007


Very Important Announcement!

O Good Father, O Loving Mother! May God protect you and look after you and crown you with a safe life.

Be careful of getting separated from your children, especially when you go in any of the markets of our city of security and faith. Be careful, be careful, for this issue is seriously dangerous.

Yesterday shortly after ‘Asr prayers on 23 Shawal 1428 H, I went with my wife and daughter to to Zahrawi Market to do do some shopping. While we were preoccupied our only daughter, a month away from her second birthday, was kidnapped from us. A few minutes later God sent me a child, one of the kids wandering around selling things in the
market, who said to me he saw a girl outside the market screaming in the hands of a woman who wore signs of uneasiness. I ran without feelings of panic outside the market, and there I found my daughter. There I found my soul, and there I returned to life again. My major concern in this unfair world was my daughter. I didn’t bother with the veiled woman, as she escaped and infiltrated a large group of women. I beg all my brother fathers and my sister mothers to not find themselves in that situation, lethal and suffocating for any happy soul, for death is easier than having one’s child taken from your hands. This is what I want to say: the Prophet, (PBUH) said, “None of you believe, until you love your brother as you love yourself.” Praise God who, in his kindness, completes good deeds, and I urge those in authority to be on the lookout for dangerous occurrences such as this. The responsibility of safety is upon the shepherd and the sheep alike.

Finally, watch out for your children, for we live in bad times, but good things come to those with faith, and by God I ask that you be safe from hunger and fear, and all distress and tribulations, and peace be upon you, with the mercy and blessings of God.

By Dirham al-Ahmadi, Translated by Josh Berer

Vocabulary and Translation Notes

الموافق – Falling on [date]

المبايعة – ٍShopping, buying

تجول – Walking around, wandering

صرخ – To scream, shriek

ارتباك – Uneasiness, distress, discomfort

مذعور – Panic

ملثمة – Veiled

مندسّة – Infiltrator

غفير – Large, numerous

خانق – Strangling, suffocating

أهون – Easier, easiest

صالحات – Good deeds, great things

مآسي – Drama, tragedy

محنة / محن – Ordeal, calamity

Translation Notes

تبلغ العمر سنتان إلا شهراً
A month away from her second birthday, Lit: she reached the age of two, except for a month.

من بين كل هذا العالم الظالم – In this unfair/oppressive world, Lit: from between all this oppressive world.

جهات الاختصاص – The government, those with power or authority

عنق الراعي و الراعية – Upon the shepherd and the sheep Lit: The neck of the Shepard and the sheep. I.e. everyone’s responsibility

على حد سواء –Alike, both,

وقت غير الوفق وزمن غير الزمن – Untimely, bad times

عاقبة للمتقين –Good things come to those with faith, Lit: the result for a God-fearer


Q: What Is the Purpose of the Creation of Humanity?

A: Before I answer that question, I’d like to call attention to a general foundation, upon which God, praised and exalted, created [all things] and defined his laws. This foundation is taken from his word, blessed and most high: “For He is wise and all-knowing” [Yusuf, 83] and also, “For Allah was knowledgeable and wise.” [Al-Ahzab 1] and many other significant verses that are proof of the God’s wisdom, praised and exalted, with which he created all things, and defined his laws, namely universal laws, and Islamic laws. There is nothing God, praised and exalted, created without wisdom, whether that is through its presence or its absence, and there is no law God, praised and exalted, defined without wisdom, be it through its obligation, prohibition, or permissibility.

However, this wisdom, which includes both universal and Islamic laws, may be known to us, or it may be unknown. And, it may be known to some but not others, depending on the knowledge and understanding God, praised and exalted, gave them. If this is established, then we can say: For God, praised and exalted, created the Jinn and the human with great wisdom, and praiseworthy intentions. Worshiping Him is blessed and most high, as God, praised and exalted, said: “I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.” [Al-Dhiriyat, 56], and “Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [Al muminun – 115] and “Does man think that he is to be left to wander without an aim?” [Al-Qiyama 36] and other significant verses that [show] God Almighty’s far-reaching wisdom in the creation of Jinns and people, and that is his worship.

Taken from Fiqh al-Ebadaat “Jurisprudence of Belief” by Sheikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Authaymin, Dar al-Baseera, Alexandria. Translated by Josh Berer


غاية – Purpose

شرع – To make lawful, to establish as law

مأخوذ – Taken, obtained

دّالة – Proof, indication

كونية – Universal

إعدام – Lack of, non-existence

تحريم – Prohibition, making something Haram

إباحة – Permission, permissibility

تضمن – To include

بالغة – Far-reaching, substantial, enormous

تذلل – Servility, humility


Worship is servility to God, praised and exalted, and love and veneration in doing his commands, and avoiding that which he has prohibited, and thus following the laws he defined. God, Most High, said: “And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah” [Al-Bayina, 5], and this is the wisdom with which he created the Jinn and the human. Therefore anyone who disobeys his Lord, and considers himself above His worship has parted with this wisdom for which the worshiper was created, and his action testifies to the fact that God Almighty created his creation unknowing and in suda [neglected without being punished or rewarded for the obligatory duties enjoined by God on him]. He may not have stated that [he has disobeyed], but this is a result of his disobedience and arrogance in regard to God’s commandments.

Taken from Fiqh al-Aqeeda “Jurisprudence of Belief” by Sheikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Authaymin, Dar al-Baseera, Alexandria. Translated by Josh Berer


تعظيم – Glorification, exaltation

تمرد – To rebel against, to disobey

استكبر – To be arrogant

نابذ – To part with, to separate from

عبث – Without benefit, without knowing

سدى – A state in which one has neglected the obligatory duties enjoined by God on him but is not punished or rewarded, for he was never told about them.



Ahmed al-Aaraf Efendi was born in the year 1246H, 1830G, in the city of Felba, today located on the Bulgarian border. During his education he was the top student of calligraphy, and learned Naskh and Thuluth from a calligrapher from Felba by the name of Ismail Saabur. He received his Ijaza from him and in the year 1293/1876 Aaraf Efendi left Felba and headed first for the Hijaz lands to fulfill the duty of Hajj, then returned to Istanbul and there he opened a corner grocery to bring in enough of an income to live on. During that time he met Showqi Efendi, and he showed him his calligraphy he had done before that, and [Showqi] encouraged him to continue. Aaraf then started up learning in the unique method of that teacher, and started writing in that method. He then left the grocery business and started teaching students at the School of Ottoman Light and at his home, until hundreds of calligraphers had graduated under his tutelage, most prominent among them Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Aziz Rifa’i.

Al-Hajj Aaraf Efendi was stricken in the last years of his life with paralysis, and died in the year 1327H 1909G, and was buried in the cemetery of Edirne Qabi, next to the famous calligrapher Ismail al-Zahadi.

To al-Hajj Aarif Efendi many works in Naskh and Thuluth are attributed, among them patterns [to be copied], sections [of larger pieces], and ornamentations, [as well as] the Bismillah he wrote in Jali Thuluth in 1314H, 1896G outside the door of the Şehzade mosque in Istanbul, which is worthy of great praise.

He wrote a piece with the characteristics of the Prophet (PBUH) in the Turkish language and in Naskh, and the names of the ten messengers of Paradise in Thuluth, and it was printed in the Ottoman printing houses in Istanbul in the year 1304H.

He also wrote a copy of the five-part Qasida written by Abas Fauzi Ibn Muhammad Efendi Al-Dagestani in the year 1310H. It’s divided into five parts over 14 pages, each page with 12 lines. Its length is 30 centimeters, and its width 20. He wrote this copy in the year 1319H in Naskh, with the exception of the Bismillah which is in Thuluth which he engraved and gilded. This copy is a rare achievement, for the beauty of its calligraphy and the superiority of its gold-work.

He wrote a piece with Surah Ya-Sin on it, with blessings on the the Prophet (PBUH), and his honorable names, and the names of some of the Companions, and many of the supplications of God. He wrote it in 1323H and is engraved, gilded, and illuminated with unprecedented illumination.

Taken from the book “Tarikh al-Khat al-Arabi wa Ialaam al-Khatateen” History of Arabic Calligraphy and Information About Calligraphers, by Ahmed Sabry. Translated by Josh Berer.


أفندي – Efendi, honorific in Ottoman

أثناء – During

الثلث – Thuluth/Sulus, a style of calligraphy, often considered the most elegant

النسخ – Naskh/Nesih, the most basic form of calligraphy

إجازة – Icazet, the degree awarded to aspiring calligraphers

أداء – Performance, execution, completion

مورد – Income

رزق – Ones daily needs, basic requirments

أطلع – Show, present to

شرع + مضارع – Start to, begin to

حرفة – Job, work, business

ابرز – بارز Most prominent, superlative of

أصيب – To be stricken with

شلل – Paralysis

مقبرة – Cemetary

أمشاق – Patterns, forms to be copied

لاقت – To be worthy of

لوحة – Lit. Board, often used for artistic pieces

الآستانة – Constantinople

مبشرين – Bearers of glad tidings

ألف – To write a book

نسخة – A copy, a version

ما عدا – With the exception of

منال – Achievement, accomplishment

منقوشة – Engraving

زخرفة – Embellishment, ornamentation