Prohibitions in Islam - Page 9

sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does a deed for someone else’s sake as well as mine will have that deed renounced by me to him who he associated with me.” (Reported by Muslim, No. 2985).

It may happen that a person starts to do a deed for the sake of Allah, and then the urge to show off comes over him. If he resists that impulse his deed will still be acceptable, but if he submits willingly to it, then in the opinion of most of the scholars his deed will be unacceptable.

Superstitious belief in omens

This is a form of pessimism, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “But whenever good came to them, they said, ‘Ours is this.’ And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those with him” [Al-A’raaf 7:131]

Before Islam, if one of the Arabs wanted to do something like travelling, he would take hold of a bird and release it: if it flew to the right, he would take this as a good omen and proceed with his plans, but if it flew to the left, he would take it as a bad omen and cancel his plans. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave his verdict on this practice when he said: “Al-Tiyarah (observing birds for omens) is shirk.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 1/389; see also Sahih Al-Jami’, 3955).

This kind of haram belief that goes against Tawheed also includes the practice of regarding certain times etc., as inauspicious, such as not holding a wedding in Safar, or regarding the last Wednesday of every month as a day of evil omen and ongoing calamity, or believing that numbers such as 13, or certain names, are “unlucky.” It is also haram to believe that handicapped people are bad omens, such as going to open one’s store but turning back upon seeing a one-eyed man. All of this is haram and is part of the shirk for which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) disowned people. ‘Imran Ibn Husain reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who observes birds for omens or has someone else do this for him, or who predicts the future or asks someone else to do it for him, (and I think he said) or who practices magic or asks someone else to do it for him.” (Reported by Al-Tabarani in Al-Kabeer, 18/162; see also Sahih Al-Jami’ 5435).

The expiation required from the person who commits any of these sins is reported in the hadith reported by Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘whoever was turned away from doing something because of a bad omen is guilty of shirk.’ The people asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what expiation is there for doing that?’ He said, ‘that he should say: “O Allah, there is no goodness except Your goodness and no omen except your omen and there is no god but You.”’” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 2/220; Al-Silsilah Al-Sahihah, 1065).

Pessimism is a part of everyone’s nature, to a greater or lesser extent; the best cure for it is reliance upon Allah (tawakkul), as Ibn Mas’ood said: “There is no one among us (who will not feel pessimistic sometimes), but when we rely on Allah, He makes that feeling go away.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 3910; see also Al-Silsilah Al-Sahihah, 430).

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