Bowing Head to Honor Anthem
Fatwa No: 82477

Question

1. Is it allowed in Islam to bow one’s head to honor the national anthem of any country including Islamic country? If it is allowed, what's the logic behind it?
2. What are the important things to do in Ramadan and what are the prohibited ones? Who is eligible to pay Zakat?
3. One of my friend lends money on interest, how should I act toward him so that I might not be questioned by Allah on the Day of Judgement?
4. Is it true that if a person dies without any one witnessing that he prayed Salah in his life time, he will be dragged 40 feet or yards before his burial?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

1. Dear brother, it is forbidden to bow one’s head to honor any anthem, whether for a Muslim country or a non-Muslim one. Bowing the head in this case, is similar to performing Rukoo’, which is especially for Allah and must not be performed to anything else. This is why Islam forbade bowing the head in greetings.

Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that a man said to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “O! Prophet of Allah one of us encounters his brother or friend, does he bow for him? He said: ‘No.’ The man said: 'Does he honor him by kissing him?' The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘No’. Then the man asked: ‘So, does he take his hand and shake hands with him? Thereupon, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘Yes’.” [At-Tirmithi Ibn Maajah, and Ahmad]

2. The Muslim should stick to performing righteous deeds and avoiding evil and bad deeds in Ramadan and during his entire life. Doing this is more desirable in Ramadan because of its sacredness. The Muslim in this month does as many good deeds as he can. He performs all obligatory prayers in the mosque, prays many voluntary prayers, reads the Quran, gives alms, spends many nights awake worshipping Allah and observes I’tikaf (staying in the mosque for the purpose of worship) in the last ten days of Ramadan if he can.

The Muslim should avoid all forbidden matters: (backbiting, tale-bearing, listening to music, looking at forbidden mattes in Ramadan and in his entire life).

Drinking, eating, having sexual intercourse and all other matters that annul the fasting are forbidden during daytime in Ramadan for the fasting person.

3. As for your third question please refer to Fataawa 81355 and 81443.

4. If any of your friends deals in Riba (interest and/or usury), you should advise him, remind him of the dangers of Riba and its bad consequences. Try to convince him to repent to Allah and to only take the capital money and return all the Riba (interest).

Remind your friend of the reward that one gets from giving good loans (free of interest). In fact, their reward is half that of giving alms. Ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )   said: “No Muslim gives two loans to another Muslim but gets the reward of giving one loan as alms once.” [Ibn Maajah]

In addition giving loans to needy people is part of making life easier for them and whoever makes something easy for a needy person, Allah make things easier for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. Indeed Allah helps the servant as long as the servant helps his brother.

5. Abandoning the prayer is a major sin. It is even a form of disbelief that takes the person out of the fold of Islam. This is the opinion of the majority of the Companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the Taabi’is (the generations that followed that of the Companions.)

It is narrated in a Hadeeth that the person who gives up praying will be resurrected on The Day of Judgement with Qaroun, Pharaoh , Haman  and Ubay Ibn Khalaf. [Ahmad]

As for his being dragged 40 feet in earth before being buried, we do not have any evidence for that.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa