Is it OK for an Imam to have a salary?

Is it OK for an Imam to have a salary?

One of the more contentious issues to discuss these days is religious figures receiving any form of remuneration for their services, services that are focused on what are considered “religious services.” Religious services may be very broadly thought of as anything from teaching religion, issuing religious rulings (fatwa), leading prayers, conducting marriages, counseling, and other services. A common retort to any form of remuneration is that there is no precedent for paying for anything “religious” usually coupled with a quote from the hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi that the Prophet said “Do not take a Mu’adhdhin who takes a reward for his adhan.”

This post will not delve into the contextualizing the above hadith and other related texts. Instead it will remedy the first claim, and that is “there is no precedent for remunerating religious employment.” To do this, I quote several authoritative works in each of the four schools, Read more

Solace – How To Offer Condolences

Another post resurrected from Islamic Law, Etc. with some added subtitles and editing.

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Solace

Every phonecall cuts like a knife.

When you’ve lost a loved one, the last thing you want to do is answer the phone or be around someone, but then again the one thing you want most is some normality, so you pick up the phone and open the door. Clarity of mind is something sought after, not something to be expected at this time. Some people call you not knowing, and wonder why or how you can be so despondent or stand-offish to them. Others would call and say with the sensitivity of a schizophrenic “Sorry for your loss, but hey you know what can I say…” Silence from some may be safe, but not sound in the hurting heart. There are though those that actually console, ask real questions, make dua, and most importantly let you know they are there for you. Not that they are in fact physically there, but the sentiment and the short visits are what counts.

Pain subsides in the cool words of condolences, Read more

Ten Tips for Muslims with Student Debt

mo_HGuest Post: Sh. Mohamed Hussein
Sh. Mohamed Hussein is a community leader in the greater DC metro area. 
A Hafiz of the Quran, he is also a graduate of the Islamic University of Medina in Hadith, George Mason University in Biology, and is a classically trained student of the Shafi’ school of Islamic law. Actively involved in youth outreach and community education, he currently serves as the youth director at Dar al Noor (MAV) in Manassas, Virginia. This article and the advice here hold a lot of weight due to Sh. Mohamed having both dealt with this issue personally and advised many of his siblings and peers on the subject matter.

 

Ten Tips for Muslims with Student Debt

As freshman commence their journeys, sophomores return for another year, juniors pray they can make it to senior year and seniors struggle with senioritis, it’s time for all of us to take a step back and learn so that gaining education doesn’t cost us the rest of our lives.

We must ask ourselves a few questions:

  • How do I avoid debt in general?
  • As a Muslim, how do you avoid incurring student loan debts?
  • Isn’t it too late? Shouldn’t I have been saving for the past 20 years?

These are all legitimate questions that we should genuinely be asking ourselves. For decades, Muslim students have been graduating and earning degrees from institutions of higher education and during this time they have witnessed the cost of education increase exponentially. Just speak to your parents. When they hear how much school is going to cost this upcoming year, they are baffled.

Read more

Congratulating each other at the commencement of Ramadan

Resurrected from the now defunct “Islamic Law, Etc.” blog, here is a post I made a long time ago about the permissibility of saying “Ramadan Mubarak.”

I felt there may be some benefit in it given Suhaib Webb’s recent article “Can We say Jumu’ah Mubarak” and some of the discussions surrounding it.

Enjoy.

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In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

“Ramadan Mubaarak”

Every year Muslims all over the world wait in eagerness for the coming of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan, the month in which every night Allah has designated people to be freed from the hellfire, the month in which there is a night better than one thousand months, whoever fasts it with faith and reflection then all of his past sins will be forgiven.

Because of the status of this month and its importance, many of us greet each other in excitement with phrases such as “Ramadan Mubaarak” , “Ramadan Kareem”, “Kullu ‘aam wa antum bi khair” anticipating the great blessings of this month and wishing them for others.

Yet these phrases and greetings, even though we use them frequently, do they have a basis in our religion? Meaning: is there a precedent which has been set for such greetings? Read more

Fareed Zakaria Asks The Wrong Question

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Fareed Zakaria World Economic Forum 2013

In a recent op-ed by Fareed Zakaria titled “Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now” he discusses the very public, very crude simplifications of Bill Maher that “Islam” is inherently bad, violent, or both as well as Maher’s guest Sam Harris who says that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas.” If liberal secular values are what Maher and Harris claim to support, they’ve certainly gone against them in this instance by essentially making statements by a segment of Muslims included in a Pew study into a thought crime. The position that some percentage of Muslims, when asked, believe that apostasy should be punishable, is for them beyond the pale. Freedom of speech and thought be damned, if those engaging in it are Muslims.

While Harris and Maher attempt to paint 1.6 billion people with broad strokes based on a poll of 15 Muslim majority countries, they fail to admit to or acknowledge that even if 20% expressed that when polled, the other 80% of that population is still over 1 billion people. Zakaria rightfully brings up large swaths of Muslims that don’t fit the convenient caricatures that Maher and Harris would like us to believe, namely Indonesia and India. To support his point, Zakaria quotes Read more

An Open Letter to Atheist Muslims – or – Is The Quran A Violent Text Or Is Your Reading A Tad Off?

Dear Self Described Atheist Muslims,

Let’s start with what I am not going to do.

I am not going to accuse you of never knowing anything about Islam. Most of you have grown up in Muslim families, attended Muslim Sunday school, gone to Muslim summer camp, etc. You know the drill and the day to day of what many Muslims experience, especially in a communal sense. Also, I will not accuse you of being sympathetic to the bigotry and hatred projected towards Muslims. Despite your self-declared apostasy and atheism, I am sure that when you are in line in the airport, pulled over for a minor traffic violation, or opening an account at a bank, you are wholly identified as an “other” and your “Muslimy” name doesn’t help you in the least. I get it. You are still, like it or not, culturally tied to the community that you have identified with much of your life, Read more