Punishment is the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual, meted out by an authority—in contexts ranging from child discipline to criminal law—as a response and deterrent to a particular action or behaviour that is deemed undesirable or unacceptable. The reasoning may be to condition a child to avoid self-endangerment, to impose social conformity (in particular, in the contexts of compulsory education or military discipline), to defend norms, to protect against future harms (in particular, those from violent crime), and to maintain the law—and respect for rule of law—under which the social group is governed.


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

Ignorance can be unavoidable and can be avoidable. Unavoidable ignorance is of those who have to access to knowledge like those who live and die in far away forests or remote areas with out any access to learning or asking knowledgeable persons. Unavoidable ignorance  is not entitled to punishment because it was imposed on the ignorant and he had no choice.
Avoidable ignorance is a result of laziness or not caring to gain knowledge. Such ignorance is not pardoned. The narration states that sinful person will told on the Day of Judgement : Why did you fail to do good? He replies: I did not know. He will told: Why did you fail to learn? Then he will be punished.

'This means that gaining compulsory knowledge is also compulsory and those who were able to gain it,byte they opt to ignore or don't care for gaining the compulsory knowledge are responsible about their ignorance, unlike those ignorant who had no access at all to knowledge.



It can be very difficult to judge whether something happens due to divine punishment, versus due to natural cause and effect. It is often better to look at the situation in front of you and see what you can do about it.

There are often surprises after marriage, and being picky does not guarantee that one will be happy. People (especially younger people) also often don't know what they want until they find out, through experience, what they don't want. 

Anyway, I agree that it would be good to identify why you are not happy, and see if there is anything you can do about it. 

All you can do is your best, keeping in mind that a marriage has two sides, and if the other person is unable or unwilling to try to improve things, you can't fix it alone.  

With du'as!

Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 2 months ago

Bismihi ta'ala

What you did previously in rejecting marriage proposals of suitors, even though they met all the requirements that a woman should need for marriage was wrong.

Making wrong decisions also tends to affect all of us when we grow up and become more mature. We regret our immaturity and realise how negatively influenced we were by our false ideas or unrealistic expectations. Islam points this out in many hadiths, stressing on what the criteria needs to be for spouse selection, and if one neglects these recommendations, they will face many problems. 

It's very sad how we have distanced ourselves away from the teachings of Islam. 

Allah ta'ala also reminds us every once in a while how we need to mould our lives around our religion, and not turn our backs against Him. If we turn away we become miserable. We start to become negative, and even though we are surrounded with blessings, we do not see any of them. 

That being said, you should not blame your current situation on the past. You have free-will, and you choose your direction in life. You create your own mental state, and with your reliance on God and adherence to religion, you are able to have the best level of mental tranquility.

Do not think about punishment, or this unhappiness you are experiencing being because your past decisions creeping up on you, or karma, etc... This kind of thinking is not going to remove your unhappiness. 

Try to focus on why you are not happy with your husband. Is it solvable. Are there things that you or him or both of you can do to keep the marriage. What are you able to do to make your relationship survive?

Maybe both of you should visit a marriage counsellor who can teach both of you skills to improve your marriage. Maybe you should see a therapist who can give you tips on how to become happy in your life and in marriage. 

In any case, although you might have made wrong decisions in the past, it should not define who you are now, and you should not think of what you go through only as punishment from Allah ta'ala. Take control of your life and do the right thing.

Turn your previous mistakes into something positive and beneficial for others. Try to guide those around you and share your experience by informing others about marriage and spouse selection. All this will not just be forms of mental atonement, but also give you comfort that you are contributing to something good that other people can benefit from. 

With prayers for your success. 


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 4 months ago

It is obligatory on every Muslim to perform every obligatory Salat within its designated time. Salat Al-Fajr (Morning Prayer) is being neglected by many persons now a days because of the timing of the office hours and Business hours which made many people don’t get up for morning prayers. This cannot be an excuse at all because the Fajr prayer is obligatory under every circumstance. The narration from the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him and His Holy Progeny) that the person who sleeps and does not perform morning prayer will be called from the sky “O Looser”.
These are some steps which can help the person who wants to perform morning prayers in time:
1)      To avoid sleeping late and try to sleep early to have enough hours of rest than get up fresh for morning prayer
2)      Avoiding overeating specially before sleeping as overeating can make the person heavy and not able to get up for morning prayer
3)      A firm decision in the heart with string will power to get up for morning prayer. This decision will help the person to get up as the narration from Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (A.S.) said “No body is weak when the will power is Strong”
5)      Avoiding the posh bed which makes you sleep more. Try to sleep on a bed which does not make you sleep more than what you need.
6)      Trying to get the help of your family members or friends to call you or knock on your door or awake you up for the morning prayer.
7)      Using the Alarm in every possible way and now a days you can even use the voice of Adhaan (Azan) that will be in your room which might help you to get up for morning prayer.
8)      Before going to bed, repeat “Astaghferullah Astaghferullah Astaghferullah” that will help in omitting the sins because one of the bad effects of the sinful act is to make the body lazy and away from worshipping Allah. Those who commit sins and don’t seek forgiveness will fell very heavy when the time of Salatul Laly comes or even the time of Salatul Fajr also comes.
9)      Remembering the great reward of Performing the Morning Prayer as the Hadeeth from The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon Him and His Holy Progeny) says that the morning prayer is better than whole world “Rak'ata al-Fajr Khairun minad Duniya wa ma Fiha”

10) Remember that performing Salat al-Fajr increases your income and not performing it decreases the income and can cause poverty or financial hardships.



Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answer updated 7 months ago


Thank you for your question. Allah always puts the believer in the most beneficial position for them. So usually when we face difficulties we take solace in the knowledge that Allah doesn't decree anything bad for His servants and certainly doesn't prevent them from getting closer to Him. Rather, if there is an element of repaying some sins and that is in a certain trial then that is the best way for those misdeeds to be repaid and that is a means of getting closer to Him. But since we do not know for sure it is better to put our hope in Allah for the best outcome as there are many other reasons for why marriage may be delayed in the Wisdom of God, which may not seem obvious to us in the moment. Usually when we want something and we consider someone has the power to give it to us and they don't that they are preventing us for no reason or because they are unhappy with us. But maybe in their prevention there is a wisdom, such as preventing us from mistakes, testing to see what we are made of, or perhaps even just in order to make us value marriage when we do get married.

May you always be successful and may Allah grant you a beautiful happy marriage soon!


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 7 months ago

No, we don't have any evidence suggesting double punishment or double reward just because of the name. We have evidence to treat those who are named Fatima nicely because of the greatness of the name of Fatima.

 In Kitab al-Kafi (6:48) it is narrated that Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS) said: If you name your daughter as Fatima, you should never abuse her.



Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 10 months ago

The situation we are in is not permanent. Every era had its empires and its kings and rulers and they rose and fell. Similarly, today's powerful nations will also fall as this is part of the normal course of history. In fact, in our lifetime, many of us have seen the rise and fall of tyrants. 

The question of why Allah does not intervene to make this happen sooner hinges on the question of the free will of the human being and the balance between Allah's compassion and answering people's prayers, versus the free will that Allah has given to us collectively. On a societal or global scale, divine justice does occur, but it often takes place in the long-term (such as over centuries) rather than in our immediate lives.

From an Islamic perspective, societies are affected by natural/physical laws and higher-level natural laws. For instance, a material or natural law would be that if a government invests in health care, the quality of health in the population will be better. This is true whether people are ethical or unethical, faithful or unfaithful.

In addition to physical natural laws, the Qur'an and hadith speak of higher-level natural laws, which also relate to ethical decisions, for instance, a society that gives up enjoining the good will be afflicted by a tyrant. (Some of these can also be reduced to material/natural laws, e.g. tyranny can be defined in part by clamping down on any sort of opposition or speaking against something and won't emerge in a place where people are constantly enjoining the good.) So we also have the free will to act within those laws but we experience the results collectively.

Basically, the ultimate end of things and seeing divine justice is really just something one needs to be patient for with if one wants to see it dramatically except in some cases where there is some sort of clear divine intervention to answer people's prayers. In the meantime, do what one can do improve the situation we and the world are in, whether it be through actions or even just prayer. 


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

Muslims living or visiting non Muslim countries are required to respect the law of the land as well as follow the day to day Islamic rules. Punishments described in Sharia on certain crimes are not the responsibility of individual Muslims, but it is the responsibility of the Muslim ruler who implements real Islamic teachings and provides justice for all people in the society. After providing justice for all, then the matter of punishment comes, and that is the responsibility  of the government which provides justice for all. 
In today's circumstances where there is no real Islamic justice for all, there is no question of implementing Sharia punishment in non Muslim countries.



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

Repentance needs real feeling of sorrow on committing the sinful act and firm decision not to do it again. If you just fear the punishment but do not sincerely feel sorry for committing the sin or you did not decide to refrain from doing it again, then there is no question of forgiveness.



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

This story which is mentioned in some books including Bukhari, is not authentic at all. It was fabricated to justify similar act done by Abu Bakr who burned Al-Foja'ah.



Hassanain Govani, Hassanain Govani is based in Sweden and has an MA in History of Religion from Uppsala University and an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London, and has also studied Arabic in... Answer updated 1 year ago

Salaamun Alaykum

Watching pornography would go against the clear command of Qur'an to "lower the gaze", Suratul Noor 24:30-31.

What actually entails a major sin, and what the punishments for those are, is a much discussed and debated question.

I understand that it could be interesting to know whether or not watching pornography would fall into such a category.

However, I would like to highlight the issue from another perspective. Generally, when something is haraam in sharia, it is so for good reasons. There is an abundant amount of evidence showing that pornography is harmful for the persons involved in the filming, for the individual watching, and for the society at large. 

Many books have been written on the issue, e.g. Understanding and treating Sex and Pornography Addication by Paula Hall, and Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B Skinner.

I would also recommend the following TEDx talk: The Great Porn Experiment 


To cut it short, pornography is highly addictive. Furthermore, it can cause serious problems in life in different domains, such as marital intimacy, concentration, carrier, and other areas. 

Therefore, I would suggest that one looks beyond the question of major sin or not. The fact is that it is potentially very harmful. These are the dire consequences in this life. I dread to think about the consequences on the soul and the life to come.

May God bless you



Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 year ago


Asalamu Alaykom, 

Such matters should be for a legitimate Islamic government who can implement such hudud, or under an infallible as some scholars would state.  

One cannot take matters into their own hands. Even some ulema who may allude to doing so would forbid it if this caused a Muslim to go into harm or trouble which most likely occur. 

May Allah grant you success