Questions and answers from Madani Muzakarah
1. Instead of calling someone by their real name, what is the ruling on calling them by a different name out of love?
Question: Out of love, people refer to me with names other than my actual name. Is there any prohibition in this?
Answer: If the people lovingly mention a name which is not impermissible in Shari'ah, then there is no harm in this. For example, my name is Ilyas, and I am the youngest son of my parents, but many Islamic brothers refer to me as ‘Bapa’. Similarly, during childhood, my family would lovingly refer to me with a name that is permissible in Shari'ah. Parents refer to their children with many different names, out of love. There are many such names used in society which are permissible. However, any names that are impermissible to use will remain impermissible.
2. Is it necessary (wajib) to reply to the salaam of a parrot?
Question: A parrot has been taught to give salaam, and now says it repeatedly. Is it also necessary (wajib) to reply to the parrot’s salaam?
Answer: It is not necessary to reply to the salaam of a parrot.
3. If someone does not remember how many times the verses of prostration (aayaat al-sajdah) have been recited, what should be done?
Question: What is the ruling for a person who does not know how many times he recited the verses of prostration (aayaat al-sajdah)?
Answer: Such a person should ponder over how many times the verses of prostration may have been recited, i.e. was it 10 times, 25 times, etc. In short, the number of prostrations estimated based on prevailing assumption (zann ghaalib) should be performed. If someone’s prevailing assumption is that the verses of prostration were recited 25 times, then 25 prostrations should be performed.
4. Ruling on marrying one’s niece
Question: Is it permissible for one to marry his niece?
Answer: It is not permissible to marry one’s niece.
5. How is it to burn frankincense in the masjid?
Question: A masjid should be kept free of odours. If frankincense is lit inside a masjid, it will cause a smell and smoke to spread. Is it permissible to do this?
Answer: If the smoke is fragrant, then there is no harm in lighting it, as is the case with incense sticks and agarwood. During the circumambulation (tawaaf) of the Kaaba, agarwood is lit. Some sheikhs light very expensive agarwood and are seen to be walking around al-Masjid al-Haram. Nonetheless, if the smoke is fragrant, then there is no prohibition so long as there is no other issue. For example, if lighting an incense stick causes someone to cough and he requests for it to be put out, you will have to put it out to prevent a Muslim facing harm. If there is something that causes a bad odour—whether it gives off smoke or not—it is a sin to take it to the masjid.
6. What is the ruling regarding someone who does not wish to marry?
Question: What is the ruling regarding someone who does not wish to marry?
Answer: It is not compulsory (fard) or necessary (wajib) upon every individual to get married. In fact, it is necessary upon some individuals to not get married, because they would be sinful if they did so. This is because, their circumstances may render them incapable of marrying, for certain reasons. However, we should not ask people why they are not getting married, as this can reveal their hidden defects. Also, it is possible that someone is refusing to get married because he will not be able to fulÀl its due rights, and can live unwed without sinning.
One should not ask such questions to find out the personal circumstances of an individual, but this Quranic verse:
وَّ لَا تَجَسَّسُوْا
‘And do not search for (hidden) faults’
will not be recited here, for this verse prohibits us from trying to discover a sin, whereas a person being incapable of marrying is not a sin. In any case, if a person refuses to marry, he will not be regarded sinful.
7. How is it to step on rose petals?
Question: People tend to avoid walking on rose petals and think that we should not step on them. What do you say regarding this?
Answer: There are some narrations which mention that a drop of the Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم blessed perspiration fell to the ground and the rose Áower being created from it. Most of the Hadith scholars (muhadditheen) did not accept these narrations, and even declared them to be fabricated (mawdoo). As there is mention in these narrations of the rose flower being created from the blessed perspiration of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, people do not like to step on them due to this reason.
Nevertheless, if rose petals come under a person’s feet or someone steps on them, there is no harm in this. If someone does not step on them, there is no harm in this either. There is a tradition of throwing rose petals on people; they are also showered upon scholars کَثَّرہُمُ الـلّٰـه السَّلامtoo. It is obvious that these petals will fall to the ground when they are thrown, and when they do, people will step on them too. Hence, there is no harm in stepping on them.
 Madani Muzakarah, 6 Jumad al-Oola 1440 AH
 Madani Muzakarah, 4 Safar 1440 AH
 Madani Muzakarah, 23 Rabi al-Awwal 1440 AH
 al-Tirmizi, vol. 2, p. 367, Hadith 1,129, Madani Muzakarah, 16, Rabi al-Awwal 1440 AH
 Madani Muzakarah, 6 Jumadal Oola 1440 AH
 [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Qur’an)] (Part 26, Surah al-Hujuraat, verse 12
 Madani Muzakarah, 16 Rabi al-Awwal 1440 AH
 Madani Muzakarah, 23 Rajab 1440 AH