Answered by: Maulana Nabil Khan
Assalamu alaikum Mufti Sahab,
I am writing this email in a helpless and hopeless state. In this condition where although I am deeply in love with Islam, I have started questioning Islam and all its Fiqh. I am 30 and a Hanafi. I strongly believed until now that following one fiqh is for ease and to safeguard one’s iman.
In my youth, I learned about the masala of hurmat-e-musaharah that if I touch someone without any cloth in between with lust (should have some erection), hurmat-e-musaharah is established. I am sexually very active. You can say hypersexual. If a person of another gender is even in my proximity, I will have negative feelings and thoughts going on in my mind. It is due to that hypersexuality that I am suffering from premature ejaculation too because my sexual urge and desire is just hyper.
During my teenage years, I would shake the hand of my uncle’s wife (shaking hands, of course, last for just a second). And I don’t know but for some reason, I started believing that I had lust too while shaking her hand. I don’t know and I don’t remember why I got this feeling and shak (doubt) that I might have done it with lust as I am too hyper-sexual.
My father and all the family continuously push me to marry her daughter. And I keep refusing thinking that I have somehow touched her mother with lust (which I don’t exactly remember how and when, but it is in my mind that I did while just shaking hand for a second and thinking negative).
You can see my condition. It’s like I feel I did but I don’t remember anything about what I did and how I did it. To clear this confusion and to be sure, I even tried to purposely touch her with lust so that I can be sure that I touched her. But still I never touched her, every time it’s only a handshake. I remember nothing. I don’t know how to write it or put it in words. I never kissed her or hugged her or had any contact with her. It’s just when I shake hands, which is for maybe less than a second, I might get negative feelings, as I said I even tried just to make sure that it happened.
However, the confusion remained and as time passed, my family pressure kept mounting and I discussed this with my friend who told me it is weham, shak or waswasa. Just do istikhara and Allah will make your heart content on what to do.
That night I cried and did istikhara. And my heart was content that it was shak or waswasa and hurmat had never been established. So after that, I told my parents, ‘ok, I will marry her daughter’ thinking that Istikhara was my only option as I am not sure myself and don’t remember anything, so Allah will guide me to my best. Now I am engaged to her and will soon marry her. Then shaitan again started telling me that istikhara is not enough. It is a shari’ masala and you need to ask the ulama.
Now, I am asking who has put me in such a situation? Allah (whom I asked by istikhara and he made my heart ok)? Or is it Imam Abu Hanifa (r.a) who I am following blindly? Because there is a clear hadith of Amma Aisha (r.a) stating hurmat is only established by nikah. Or does the responsibility lie on the Ulama who know that Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik, both of whom are the giants of this ummah, do not agree with Imam Abu Hanifa (r.a) and their position is matching the clear hadith of Prophet (saw)?
I am crying every day because I am stuck in a state of confusion that if I follow the Hanafi ruling I will be committing Zina all my life (while keeping in my mind that I never kissed or did intercourse, just a handshake maybe with lustful feelings where maybe I got something like erection or maybe not because of that handshake). I can’t say no to this now as it will separate our entire families, and my own family will leave me as neither will they understand my feelings nor the mas’alah. Instead, they will label me and my aunt with adultery which has never happened.
Please guide me. I am losing all hope. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat properly all day. I think about one thing and that is, should I change my madhhab? Should I become a Salafi to stop this confusion? Should I become a shafii? Why did the istikhara come as okay? Was God not aware of what happened? What will I do now if it had happened?
I travelled the world and refrained from Zina all these thirty years, now will I do adultery for the rest of my life just because I just touched my future mother-in-law lustfully while shaking hands? Is this where my fate has taken me to? I am super confused, please answer me if you can.
Even while writing this I am emotionally unstable now. I think maybe in near future I might end up with a brain haemorrhage or something, as not a second passes by without me thinking of my situation and without thinking of what will happen to me according to Hanafi fiqh. Why is it so confusing? Why is there no green and red lights to show it has happened or not? Why does istikhara not work? Why do I have to follow the Hanafi opinion while my heart and mind is satisfied with the hadeeth of Amma Aisha (r.a) and the opinion of Imam Shafii? Please answer as soon as possible. Please understand the pain I am in. May Allah SWT reward you and save my Iman.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Hurmat Al-Musaharah is the concept in Islam that when a man and women engage in intercourse, certain relatives will become impermissible to marry to the person and they can never marry such relatives.
Hurmat Al-Musarah is established by 2 methods; First being the permissible way which is through marriage. Second, being through intercourse out of wedlock. In both cases, the ruling will be such that relatives, such that the mahrams, will become haram to marry in the future. This rule has the condition of penetration i.e. complete intercourse according to the Hanafi school of thought.
Therefore in the case mentioned above, hurmat al-musaharah will not be established and those people who would become mahrams in hurmat al-musaharah will not become mahrams in such a case.
As for doubt in Allah, and questioning one’s faith in this situation, well, this is occurring for a few reasons.
Firstly, it is building anxiety due to a guilty conscience from lack of control of one’s lust in such a case. This should be removed by doing tawbah, istighfar, and then leaving it in the hands of Allah without dwelling over the past.
Secondly, the doubt in one’s faiths is because till now you have relied on your own information without seeking proper guidance in this issue from scholars. There would be no doubt in the first place if this issue came to scholars at the beginning, since the ruling is not as simple as you, unfortunately, understood originally.
Finally, the doubt in such cases sprouts from a lack of spiritual counsel, since this is such a case where you have not been able to understand the current test of faith you are in. With religious counsel this moment can turn into a moment of honour and closeness to Allah provided it is understood correctly.
Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyya Volume 1 pg 305
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Nabil Khan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham