Contemporary Issues Part 2: Genetically Modified Organisms / GM foods

December 15, 2013 by . 1 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

We live in a period of time where GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) / GM food is a widespread thing in this world. We won’t even know whether food we ate for lunch contained a GMO or not. When it comes to Islamic ruling on these GMOs there are different point of view between ulamas, thus it falls in our hands to chose the best to our knowledge, may Allah guide us.

Most people don’t understand what GMOs are, according to Wikipedia

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’ defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”).

It is assumed that almost 70% of the food that are consumed in US alone contain GMOs or  simply speaking, made by some scientists inside a lab. At the same time science says GMO Foods are one of the best the solutions to end the World Hunger by pointing out, You can

  1. Create food that last longer than it does in its normal way.
  2. Add extra nutrition that are a must needed to people, like you can add more vitamins to a regular food.
  3. Grow crops in an environment where it wont grow normally, so this would help increase the harvesting amount.

What does Islam says about GM foods?

Well, initially there were and are voices against GMOs pointing the some ayahs from Al-Quran such as,

الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا ” He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and who has not taken a son and has not had a partner in dominion and has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination. ” (Holy Qur’an, 25:2)


إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ “Indeed, all things We created with predestination.”  (Holy Qur’an, 54:49)


الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ ۖ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الْإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ “Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay.”  (Holy Qur’an, 32:7)  

However, at a seminar happened in Kuwait in October 1998 on Genetics and Genetic Engineering” a group of Muslim intellectuals concluded that,

Although there are fears about the possibility of the harmful effects of GM food technology and GM food products on human beings and the environment, there are no laws within Islam which stop the genetic modification of food crops and animals.

Ibrahim Syed, an Islamic cleric and the President of the Islamic Research Foundation International has written that,

The Quranic verse forbidding man from defacing God’s creation “cannot be invoked as a total and radical ban on genetic engineering. If carried too far, it would conflict with many forms of curative surgery that also entail some change in God’s creation”

Likewise there are much more supportive arguments have been put on the table by ulamas.

It is true that there are some side effects or bad reactions on GMOs, which pushes us to do a much wider watch on the GM foods we consume. As per the news around us, we better have a little knowledge to be aware of the bad GM foods.

But yet since Islam did not say anything directly or indirectly not to consume or make a GMO, it is okay to have them as far as they are healthy and do not contain prohibited foods by Islam such as Pork .


If you have any questions in regards to this subject, please ask them here.

سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

Contemporary Issues Part 1: Vaccination

November 15, 2013 by . 0 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

The purpose of vaccines  is to help improve immunity towards an illness/disease, vaccination introduces a weakened pathogen so that when the immune system encounters the disease that was vaccinated from, it would recognize it  and destroy the microorganisms.  Basically, vaccines are intended to protect from an illness/disease, and that alone is ok.  An example would be what was narrated by Bukari, that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:

مَنِ اصْطَبَحَ بِسَبْعِ تَمَرَاتٍ عَجْوَةٍ لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ سَمٌّ وَلاَ سِحْرٌ

Whoever eats seven ‘Ajwa dates in the morning will not be effected by magic or poison on that day

But Issues may come because of the chemicals and byproducts (Substances)  in a vaccine.   So the ruling of a vaccine depends on (the ruling of) the substance used in the vaccine.  They are of different types (The following is derived from question no.159845 from IslamQA) :

  1. Substances which are halal to use, and have beneficial effects.  Such vaccines are halal to be used.
  2. Substances which are halal to be used, but cause more harm then good to the body.  Such vaccines are haram.
  3. Substances which were originally haram but through Istihalah became halal, such vaccinations are permissible because the transformation that changed the substance also changed the ruling in regards to it.
  4. The fourth category includes all substances which are harmful or haram , or there is uncertainty in regards to the effects, or there is difference of opinion among doctors and specialist in regards to its benefit.  Such vaccines are haram.


There is no problem with being vaccinated if an epidemic is feared.  The necessity or requirement of being vaccinated is secondary (In Ruling) after seeking treatment  (التداوي).


If you have any questions in regards to this subject, then I invite you to ask them here.

سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين


The Time of Sacrifice

October 14, 2013 by . 1 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

Eidul Adha (عيد الأضحى) is the second celebration after Eid Al Fitr (عيد الفطر).  It starts on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Hijri calendar.  The best act of this Eid, is the sacrifice.  The time of Udheyyah (الأضحية) is from after the Eid salat until the end of the days of Tashreeq (أيام التشريق).

Anyone who is able to sacrifice should.  The sacrifice is done on four legged animals:  camels, cows, sheep, or goat.  It would not be valid if one sacrifices a chicken or a duck.  Allah says (Surat Al Hajj Ayah 28):

لِّيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيرَ

That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.

Some of the meat that comes from the sacrifice should go to the poor, while one gives some to family and friends, while one keeps some for himself and his family.  It is prohibited to fast on the days of Eid, for the days of Eid is for eating, drinking, and the remembrance of Allah.  The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

أَيَّامُ اَلتَّشْرِيقِ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ, وَذِكْرٍ لِلَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

The days of Tashriq are days of eating, drinking and remembering (dhikr) of Allah, the Most Great and Glorious (Saheeh Muslim)

Eid Al Adha (عيد الأضحى) is one of two celebrations in Islam, there are no other celebrations in Islam except for these two Eids.

If you have any questions in regards to this subject, then I invite you to ask them here.

سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

The need for experts

September 30, 2013 by . 4 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In The Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

I joined Stack Overflow a bit over two years ago when I had some questions about some code that I was writing for the internship that I was involved in at the time.  This was my very first introduction to StackExchange.  At the time (and really, even now), I was certainly no expert in programming.  I had just finished the second year of my undergraduate education and I was working with some technology that I had never used before.  I had heard of Stack Overflow before, and even used it on occasion when Google brought me to a useful question/answer, but it was my first time participating.

The first time I ever asked an answerable question (my first question was actually being complicated by something that I did not realize at the time and did not include in the question), I got a great answer… and fast.  How fast?  The timestamp on the question says 16:08 and the timestamp on the answer says 16:12.  So it took four minutes for someone to read and process my problem, figure out the solution, and type up an answer.  Granted, this was not a particularly complicated problem, but it also was not completely trivial.  And the answer consisted of two short but complete paragraphs: one with a diagnosis of the problem and one with a solution.

Why does Stack Overflow work so efficiently?  It’s because the site is full of people who know all about programming.  Sure the site has lots of casual programmers and computer science students, but it also as a very strong core of outright computer programming geniuses.  They don’t make up the majority of the Stack Overflow users – or even 10% – but you only need a few of these people.  Check out some of the answers from the people with 100k+ rep.  There is no problem too difficult for them to tackle.  The top 15-20 users with the most rep on Stack Overflow provide some huge percentage of the answers to the most difficult questions.  Many of them hardly ever ask a question themselves, but when they do, it is always the type of question that cannot be answered by any ordinary programmer with a cursory Google search.

The people that I am talking about are the programming experts.  The only reason Stack Overflow is able to survive and thrive is because of people like Jon Skeet and others who know programming like nobody else.  They aren’t just the best programmers on Stack Overflow, they are among the best programmers in the world.

I hope by now you can see what I am getting at with respect to our Islam Stack Exchange site.  We need a few Jon Skeets.  We need people who can answer the difficult questions.  Currently, 14% of questions on I.SE do not have an answer.  This is not terrible, but it’s also not wonderful.  And the problem is that often, the questions that do not get answered are the best questions.  Lots of people can answer your basic halal/haram question, but you need a real expert to answer the actual difficult questions.

One problem that we have with recruiting experts is that we do not have the type of content that will attract them.  If we want Islamic scholars to participate in our site, we need to challenge them.  Give them difficult questions to answer.  These are the types of questions that are asked by what I call second-tier participants.  Second-tier participants haven’t published books about Islam.  They may or may not be Imams or Sheikhs.  What separates them from regular users is that they have undergone a rigorous Islamic education.  Second-tier users might not be able to answer every question that comes their way, but they can answer a lot of them.  And when they ask a question, it is a very good question.

When I look at the list of unanswered questions, I do not see any second-tier level questions.  Two questions that I have asked appear among the top 20 unanswered questions and my Islamic education basically started 4 months ago when I joined this site.  I should not be able to crack the top 20.  I don’t know enough to ask a good enough question.

Once we have the users we need, good content will come in a self-perpetuating cycle.  Good users produce good content, which attracts good users.  In the mean time, we need to do something to start the cycle.  We need more high quality posts.  We need to stop asking halal/haram questions and start asking analysis questions.  A website full of yes/no questions and answers is boring.  If we are boring, then the people who can make it interesting won’t come.  A really good site is full of “why” questions.  These are the questions that invite an answer-er to go into detail.  These are the questions that encourage answers that people will enjoy reading.  And these are the questions that can pull I.SE up by the bootstraps to start a site full of good content.

Filed under Islam.SE

Help Build Islam.SE

September 17, 2013 by . 6 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In The Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

Islam Stackexchange is a site, where it’s community members contribute to build it.  And there are a number of ways that people can help building Islam Stackexchange, and that is by:

  1. Asking great questions and giving great high quality answers
  2. Up-voting the good quality questions and answers, and down-voting the bad
  3. Promoting the site
  4. Contributing on the meta site

The most important way mentioned above, and the most important step one can make to help build Islam.SE, is by contributing and getting active on the meta.   Currently our meta site is not that active, which is not so good.  The meta site is a place connected to the main site where a user can ask questions about the site (Islam.SE).

Meta isn’t a random discussion area, it is for improving our community and site together.

Meta is the place where you can get what you think should change about the site out. The Meta site is the place where the rules and guidelines on how to use the main site (Islam.SE) are created. It is the place to ask questions like:

  • Is this question on topic?
  • Why was my question closed?
  • Should this question be reopened?

The more active the meta site is, the faster and better our community and site is built.  To access the meta site a user simply needs 5 reputation.  Look around on meta and see if your question or request hasn’t been posted before.  If you want to help build this site, then Meta is the first place to start.

Filed under Islam.SE

Da’wah: Conveying or Conversion?

August 15, 2013 by . 2 comments

بسم اله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

Da’wah, is short for الدعوة إلى الله   or “Inviting to the Way of Allah”.  Da’wah is    Fardh Ayn “فرض عين”   meaning it is obligatory on all Muslims, male or female, according to the knowledge they possess. So if a Muslim only knows suratul Ikhlas for example, then he/she should give Da’wah with that.  It is very important to give Da’wah according to the knowledge one possesses, hence it is equally important to increase the knowledge one possesses about ones own religion/Way of Life.

Da’wah is sometimes mistaken by non-Muslims as proselytizing, while that is not the case.  The objective of Da’wah is to convey the message as clear as possible, and not to convert people.  This is a point that some Muslims may not know or understand, and so they think Da’wah is to try to convert people, and because of this mentality the person who is trying to give Da’wah may actually drive away the one Da’wah is being given to, as well as cause the one giving Da’wah to go into stress, as well as cause him to create rivers of sweat.

So, the main point of Da’wah is that it is not about converting people at all for it is Allah who guides people, rather it is all about conveying, and how you convey the message determines the effectiveness of your Da’wah.  To whom you start to convey the message to is also important, if your family or some members of your family is not Muslim, don’t go to another country to give Da’wah, one should start with ones family, and then ones neighbours, if one lives by non-Muslim neighbours for years and not even mention Islam once to them, then that is like concealing knowledge, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ عَلِمَهُ ثُمَّ كَتَمَهُ أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَارٍ

Whoever is asked about some knowledge that he knows, then he conceals it, he will be bridled with bridle of fire

Sunan Atirmidhi

So give Da’wah, according to the knowledge one has, no matter how little it is.  For those whom Allah guides through our Da’wah, we get reward for them doing good, while there is no decrease in reward for them.  Furthermore it is very rare that a person comes to Islam because of the Da’wah of one person, rather it is the work of many, one may come and plant the seed, while the other comes to water it, until it grows into a tree, and the person is guided by Allah’s will.

Above I mentioned that the effectiveness of our Da’wah depends on how we convey the message.  How we convey the message is very important, and the most fundamental and most valuable rules on this in my opinion, is mentioned in one Ayah:

ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن إن ربك هو أعلم بمن ضل عن سبيله وهو أعلم بالمهتدين

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.

Surat Annahl Ayah 125

It is important to have both knowledge and wisdom, for knowledge without wisdom is like a person building a building starting from the foundation up, but puts no cement to hold the bricks in place.  Just like that a person with knowledge who gives Da’wah to another but has no wisdom may not know when to stop and when to listen, and what to look for to see how what is being conveyed affects them.  It is also part of wisdom to argue in the best way, now arguing does not necessarily mean debate here.

An example of “Arguing in the best way” is that of Ibraheem (peace be upon him) and the king, when Ibraheem said to the king that it is Allah that gives life and takes it, so the king said that I  give life and take it, from there Ibraheem (peace be upon him) said to the king that Allah brings the sun up from the east so can you bring it up from the west? And the king was dumbfounded.

This story is an example of both arguing in the best way, as well of wisdom.  For Ibraheem could have stopped and explained to the king that the way he gives and takes life is totally different from how Allah gives and takes it, rather he simply went on to the next argument which dumfounded the king.  This simply is one example of argumentation, and how one argues differs as each person you give Da’wah to differ.

Each person is at a different level, some people may be uninterested in what you have to say, while others maybe hostile, while others maybe interested, and while others may actually be supportive and agree to what you say.  For those uninterested or hostile, you would have to know how to deal them, and how to for example wisely bring someone uninterested to a state where that person is actually interested in what you have to convey.

It is very important to listen to the person whom you are giving Da’wah to, if you do then you can tailor your Da’wah to suit that person.  Each person is different, hence Da’wah can’t be given the same way to each person.  Many times Da’wah is about clearing misconceptions people have, so it is important that one listens to the person, and to the misconception, no matter how funny or offensive it may be, and then clear that misconception for the person.

Knowledge is also an important part here, you must have knowledge of these misconceptions as well as the understanding of where they come from, misconceptions are different in each place around the world.  There are many ways to make Da’wah, for example one can do Da’wah during a discussion, or through ones actions/manners.  Simply, one has to think about how one can do Da’wah when one is in a particular situation or state.

Lastly I would like to end, by mentioning again that Da’wah is not about trying to convert people, rather it is all about trying to clearly convey the message to them.


If you have any questions that came to mind while reading this blog-post, then I invite you to ask them here.

سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

Filed under Da'wah

How to Make the Most out of Ramadan

July 16, 2013 by . 4 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

It is asked by some people when Ramadan comes, how to make the most out of it.  Each person who asks this question may be expecting different answers.  I would simply start by defining, in the simplest terms, what Ramadan is.  It is basically, a celebration of our status as a nation.

Numerous times, when Ramadan begins, there are some who try to become righteous like, they do all of the daily Prayers, they do Taraweeh, stop smoking and other things.  And when it ends they simply return to how they were before Ramadan started, for it would seem they benefited not from the month.

Among the evidence that one has gotten the most out of Ramadan, is that there is a change in the person.  We can look at Ramadan as a time or opportunity in which one can exercise one’s self, and increase/enhance/gain Taqwa, without interference or distraction from the Shayateen.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:


‏إذا جاء رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة، وغلقت أبواب النار، وصفدت الشياطين

When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained

Narrated by both Bukari and Muslim


Since Taqwa (Fear of God or God Consciousness)  was mentioned, I will mention, that to gain it is among the reasons or points of why we fast.  Allah Says:


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become/develop  Taqwa/righteous(ness)

Suratul Baqarah Ayah 183


Going forward,  Ramadan is a good opportunity to try to improve one’s character or behavior. For instance, one shouldn’t argue or fight, act foolish, or lose one’s patience.  The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:


الصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ فَإِذَا كَانَ أَحَدُكُمْ صَائِمًا فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَجْهَلْ فَإِنِ امْرُؤٌ قَاتَلَهُ أَوْ شَاتَمَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ

Fasting is a protection for you, so when you are fasting, do not behave obscenely or foolishly, and if any one argues with you or abuses you/calls you names, say, ‘I am fasting. I am fasting.’

Muwwatta’ Malik, a hadith similar in wording but longer can be found in Bukari. 


Another way to come at working on bettering one’s character, is to try to better one’s salat, enhance one’s Khushu’ in it, and check one’s sincerity, for Allah says:


اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

Recite, what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.

Suratul Ankaboot Ayah 45


In the month of Ramadan, one should try to recite the Quran more, for it is the month in which it was revealed.  One should read it at least once.  Sadly many times, people wait until Ramadan comes to pick up the Quran and read it, while not doing so the rest of the year.  If one can take time during Ramadan to read the Quran, then one can also take time out side of it to do so.  When one comes to read it, one should come as if it is the first time reading it, one should seek to understand it, and know that it is talking directly to oneself.  One should get to such a state in regards to the Quran, that when one starts to read it, or simply hears it, tears fall from one’s eyes.  I would like to point out that the translations, are not the Quran, rather it is the Arabic which is God’s word.


During Ramadan, one should also increase one’s remembrance of Allah, as one should also do during the rest of the year, for it is great, and brings calmness to the heart of the believer.  There are many other things which could be done in Ramadan.  But what one has to remember is, that what you do in Ramadan also should be done during the rest of the year.

The evidence that one has made the most out of Ramadan, would show after it has ended, and that is it would show a change, and one would not simply go back to how one was before.


Lastly I would like to end by mentioning what has been narrated, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

من صام رمضان إيمانًا واحتسابًا، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven


Also the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:


‏من قام رمضان إيمانًا واحتسابًا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه


He who observes optional prayer (Tarawih prayers) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning reward will have his past sins pardoned

Both Ahadeeth is narrated by both Bukari and Muslim

May Allah help us get the most out of Ramadan, and may He reward us for our efforts and deeds.  If you have any questions that that came to mind while reading this post, then we invite you to ask it here.

سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

Filed under Ramadan


July 9, 2013 by . 0 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

االسلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Alhamdulillah, we have gotten our blog set up.  Once a month, a post will be published on this blog, each post may vary on subject.  This blog deals with a wide range of  topics, some posts may be on the site itself, while others may be on Da’wah and Islamic history, and other topics.  If by reading a post from this blog, a question comes to mind, then we invite you to ask it here.

Any member of the community can contribute. If you have a suggestion for a post here, comment on the meta site.

We ask that you share the good/beneficial posts of our blog on with others, and not share that which is not so.  For the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:

من دل على خير فله مثل أجر فاعله‏

Whoever guides someone to good/virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action

Narrated by Muslim and in another narration the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:

من دعا إلى ضلالة كان عليه من الإثم مثل آثام من تبعه

Whoever invites others to follow error, the sin, will be equivalent to that of the people who follow

Lastly, we thank those who set up for us this blog.   We pray that this blog becomes a source of benefit and guidance, and not deviation and misguidance.


سبحان ربك رب العزة عما يصفون وسلام على المرسلين والحمد لله رب العالمين

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