The Issue of Female Rulership – Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ ‘Uthmānī

What is Islām’s stance on a woman being made the sovereign ruler of a country? When Pakistan elected its first female prime-minister in December of 1988, many concerned individuals were asking whether this is permissible in Islām. Hence, Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ ‘Uthmānī (b. 1936) wrote a detailed write-up on the issue of female rulership in Islām.*

Along with demonstrating that the Qur’ān, Sunnah and consensus of the scholars establish it to be impermissible, Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ addresses some common talking points of those who try to argue against this established ruling, namely:

  • The alleged stance of Imām Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī
  • The Qur’ānic account of Queen Bilqīs, queen of Sheba
  • ‘Ā’ishah’s [raḍiyAllāhu ‘anhā] participation in the Battle of Jamal
  • Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī’s discussion on the ḥadīth warning against female political sovereignty being inapplicable to a democratic government

Muftī Muḥammad Rafī‘ also demonstrates the unanimous verdict of the scholars of Pakistan is of impermissibility.

The write-up, authored in December of 1988, was endorsed and signed by major muftīs and scholars of Pakistan, namely Muftī Rashīd Aḥmad Ludhyānwī, Muftī Walī Ḥasan Tonkī, Mawlānā Salīmullāh Khān and Mawlānā Yūsuf Ludhyānwī.

Aḥsan al-Fatāwā, 6:149-182; Nawādir al-Fiqh, 2:151-94

Delivering a Khuṭbah in Non-Arabic & Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s Understanding of the Nature of the Qur’ān

The following is a translation of Mufti Taqi Usmani’s Urdu article (from his Fiqhī Maqālāt) on the ruling of delivering the Khuṭbah of Jumu‘ah in a language besides Arabic. The article looks at:

  1. The position of the four Madhhabs on this issue.
  2. The issue of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s retraction. Imām Abū Ḥanīfah held (a) that the obligation of Qirā’ah in Ṣalāh can be fulfilled by reciting a Farsi translation, and (b) that the obligation of the adhkār of Ṣalāh (like the Takbīr al-Taḥrīmah & Tashahhud) and the Khuṭbah of Jumu‘ah can be discharged by reciting them in another language. Imām Abū Ḥanīfah took back his earlier stance on the first issue but not the second. Some scholars conflated the two issues, hence a detailed study is undertaken on this matter.
  3. The misunderstanding that Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s position entails that reciting the Khuṭbah of Jumu‘ah and the adhkār of Ṣalāh in non-Arabic is “permissible”. While Imām Abū Ḥanīfah believed that the obligation is discharged by reciting them in non-Arabic, he did not believe it to be permissible to do so. In fact, he regarded it to be Makrūh Taḥrīmī and sinful.

An addendum has been added to explain the theological implications of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s earlier stance, on a translation of Qur’ān sufficing as recitation in Ṣalāh. It addresses the important question: “Does this mean Imām Abū Ḥanīfah considers a translation of the Qur’ān to be ‘Qur’ān’?”

Note: The Urdu article is different to, and more detailed than, Mufti Taqi Usmani’s English article on the same topic.

Find the original Urdu article here.

Women Attending the Masjid – A Clarification

According to the clear statements of the Ḥanafī Fuqahā’ and their understanding of the Dalā’il of Sharī‘ah, women should neither attend congregational ṣalāhs at the masjid nor attend the Eid Ṣalāh. Many people have raised objections against this position. Some of these objections reflect common misunderstandings. We therefore felt it would be appropriate to write a comprehensive clarification, addressing the following issues:

  • Approach to Dīn and its Aḥkām (commands)
  • Rulings may change based on circumstances
  • Opinions of the Fuqahā’ and their explanations of the Dalā’il
  • It is more rewarding for women to pray at home
  • A woman’s emergence from the home should be restricted

In the course of the clarification, we hope to address most of the substantive objections raised against the Ḥanafī stance, in particular the claim that it opposes the clear guidance of the Sunnah on women being allowed to attend congregational ṣalāhs at the masjid and being encouraged to attend Eid Ṣalāh.

A Reply to the Essay, “Perspective on Trimming/Shaving beard”

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm

In the following, we will address a 9-page essay authored by Sheikh Hategekimana Hassan of Botswana called, “Perspective on Trimming/Shaving beard.”[1] Sheikh Hategekimana attempts to show that growing the beard is not a precept of religion or Sharī‘ah, but merely a recommended cultural practice inherited from Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). He further argues that there is no sin in shaving the beard, and the widely-held notion that a person who shaves his beard should not be appointed an imam is an innovation in Islamic thought with no basis in earlier jurisprudential writings. Continue Reading