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Informing the wife of one's return

Q: Is it obligatory for the husband to inform his wife before he returns home or can he return unexpectedly, without informing her? Will there be a difference in the ruling in the case where the husband was gone for just a few hours, and the case where he was gone for a prolonged period? Also, is there any Hadith in this regard?

Gender Equality

Q: Muslim women are told that they should not leave their homes in order to work and that they are not allowed to interact freely with the opposite gender. Likewise, they are told that they should be obedient to their husbands. Does Islam not afford men and women equal rights, or are men superior to women in Islam?

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Listening to nasheeds

Q: I want to know whether listening to contemporary nasheeds are ok or are they haraam?

The Shar’ee Ruling Regarding Stem Cells and IVF

Q: My question is regarding stem cells and their usage in treatment. 

Stem cells are ‘blank’ cells that have the potential to become any cell in the body e.g. heart, brain, muscle, etc. 

Primarily, stem cells are taken from two sources:

1. Human embryos that are between 3 to 5 days old. The cells are usually taken from embryos that are fertilized in a lab (not in the womb).

2. Adult tissue. In this case, the stem cells can be taken from bone marrow, fat tissue (e.g. in the buttocks), blood, amniotic fluid (the fluid in the womb around the baby), the umbilical cord and many other parts of the body. 

These stem cells can be harvested from the patient himself or from donors.

After the stem cells are harvested, they are ‘grown’ (cultured) in the laboratory where they multiply into more cells (daughter cells) until the number of cells is sufficient for treatment purposes. They are then used for treatment in some of the following ways:

1. The stem cells are manipulated in the lab to become (for example) heart cells. These heart cells are then injected into a damaged heart where they repair the damage to the heart. In a similar manner, the stem cells can be manipulated into brain cells and injected into the brain, spinal cord tissue and injected into the spinal cord, etc. These stem cells then repair whatever damage is found in the organ into which they are injected.

2. In some cases, if (for example) a patient has a damaged organ, the doctors can use stem cells to grow him a new organ in the laboratory. This has already been achieved in 2011 where a woman with a damaged windpipe had a new windpipe grown with stem cells and transplanted into her body to replace her damaged windpipe.

In which cases will stem cell treatment be permissible in Shari’ah?

Similarly, is IVF permissible in the case where the husband and wife do not have children?

The shar'ee ruling regarding medical aid and hospital plan

Q: I recently read an article which claims that it is permissible for a Muslim to take out a medical aid contract. The article explained that if a stipulated monthly fee is paid to the medical aid company in return for which they assume responsibility for the client’s hospitalization or medical expenses, it will be permissible.

The reason for this medical aid contract being permissible in Shari’ah is that it is regarded as an ijaarah contract (i.e. hiring of services) between the member and the medical aid scheme. The ijaarah works in this manner that the member pays a fixed and mutually agreed amount monthly, and in exchange, the scheme takes responsibility for his treatment and wellbeing.

The article also stated that the medical aid scheme can be compared to hiring the services of a barber and a wet nurse. In many villages of India, it is a common and well-known practice for a family to give the barber a stipulated amount of grain or cash at the time of harvest. In exchange, the barber takes responsibility to cut the hair of the family whenever they wish during the year. In this case, although the number of haircuts that he will give to the family is unknown, this ambiguity is tolerated and overlooked as it does not lead to any dispute.

Stipulating a Different Cash and Credit Price

Q: Is it permissible to have a different cash price and credit price for the same item? For example, if a customer buys an item upfront, he will pay R1500, but if he buys it in instalments, it will cost him R2000. Is this allowed in Islam?

Looking at a girl before marriage

Q: I have read that a man can see the face and hands of a woman he is interested in marrying, if he is permitted by her family.

1. What are the limits of his gaze at her covered parts of body? Can a man gaze at the breasts, hips and buttocks region of her covered body?

2. Is it permissible to look for certain aspects of physical beauty of women one is choosing for nikah?

Which parent has the final decision in the upbringing of the child?

Q: Which parent has Islaam given the right of making the final decision in regards to the tarbiyat of the child? Which parent has the right to decide as to what the child may eat or not?

NB: Everything is within the sharia. There is no divorce.

Replying to someone sneezing in a classroom

Q: If someone sneezes in a dars whilst the speaker is talking and says Alhamdulillah then should one reply? If one didn’t then can one reply later?

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Selling ladies perfume

Q: I'm a perfume trader in which we get orders for men and women perfumes. As women's are prohibited from using perfumes so can we distribute or sell ladies perfumes products.

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