To Ask or Not to Ask?​

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Through the journey of life, one’s path will contain pot holes, bumps, gravel patches and roadblocks, just as it will contain captivating scenery, rest stops and straight, clear sections, free of danger. In many instances, the pot hole or bump will be an entirely new one, never experienced before. On encountering this obstacle, one will wonder, “How do I navigate it successfully?” The simple answer is that one should refer to someone who has knowledge of the path and understands what will be pleasing to Allah Ta‘ala. Through the guidance of such a person, one will be able to overcome the obstacle without suffering a loss.

In life, obstacles come in different forms and guises. Sometimes, we are faced with marital problems, either with our husband himself or our in-laws. At other times, we may be faced with a predicament involving our children, while there may be times when we have a personal problem in our life such as the addiction to a certain destructive sin.

In certain cases, especially when the problem is of a more personal nature, then due to our sense of hayaa (shame and modesty), we find it difficult to explain our problem to the relevant person who is able to guide us.

Similarly, there are many masaa-il (laws and injunctions) of Deen that are specific to women such as the laws of haidh, istihaadhah, nifaas, certain aspects of cleanliness, etc. Naturally, a woman with hayaa will feel difficult to explain her situation in relation to these masaa-il.

In this regard, it is vital to understand that when it comes to matters relating to our Deeni progress, then we cannot allow hayaa to prevent us from enquiring and finding out that which is necessary for us to know. For example, if a woman feels embarrassed to ask a ruling regarding when she should recommence performing salaah, or how she should calculate her missed fasts, then how will she be able to fulfil the command of Allah Ta‘ala?

During the blessed era of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), a certain Sahaabiyyah of the Ansaar asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) some important masaa-il (rulings), pertaining to women, that she needed to know. Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) praised this woman, together with the other women of the Ansaar, mentioning, “What excellent women are the women of the Ansaar! Hayaa would not prevent them from finding out the matters of Deen which they needed to know.” (Saheeh Muslim #750)

However, at the same time, when enquiring, we should do so within the parameters of hayaa. In essence, hayaa should not prevent us from asking what we need to know, but we should not lose our hayaa when doing so. Rather, our enquiry and manner of enquiring must conform to the dictates of hayaa. Insha-Allah, we will further elaborate on this aspect of enquiring while keeping within the framework of hayaa in the article to follow.