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There are two types of adoption:
1) To claim a child as your own and register him/her legally in your name. This is considered forgery and it is prohibited in Islam.
2) To take full care of a child (sponsorship) by raising them and providing for them, and even though the child is treated as your own and registered legally as such, making sure to inform them through suitable means that they are not your biological child, and preserving and upholding non-mahram rules when the child reaches bulugh (religious puberty/maturity). This type is permissible, rather it is highly rewarded by God.
Yes, it is permissible to expose the feet to a mahram as long as it is not with the intention of seducing and it does not lead to haram. As far as exposure to non-mahram is concerned, the entire foot must be covered.
- non mahram
My physician has prescribed me omega-3 fish oil to control my blood triglyceride levels, which is higher than the normal range. However, as far as I know the packaging doesn't indicate what type of fish is being used for the supplement. Can I consume these pills?
It is not permissible to consume fish oil unless you know that the oil was extracted from lawful fish, and only scaled fish are lawful (halal).
- halal food
Could you please explain the rule of mutanajjis? If my left hand has urine on it and I touch a door handle, is the door handle the first mutanajjis or second? Then if my right hand touches the door handle, is my right hand the third mutanajjis or first?
What comes into direct contact with a najasah is called a mutanajjis, and it is the first mutannajis. Therefore, if the urine itself is transferred to the door handle from your hand the door handle is still a first mutanajjis.
If your left hand is wet with water and the wetness of that hand mixes with the urine and then you touch the door handle [with that wetness], the door handle is deemed as second the mutanajjis. If your right hand then touches the door handle and there is enough moisture on your [right] hand or the handle then your right hand becomes the third mutanajjis.
NOTE: if the najasah itself transfers to an object, that object is considered the first mutanajjis, which means there can be multiple first mutanajjis); if the first mutanajjis comes into contact with a pure object, that object is considered the second mutanajjis. Similarly, the second mutanajjis will make a pure object impure if it comes into contact with it, this is the third mutanajjis. However, the third mutanajjis can no longer make other items impure, irrespective of whether it is wet or dry.
If there are foods without ingredients noted on their label, is it permissible to eat them if you don't know whether or not they have a by-product of meat (such as gelatin, L-Cysteine, etc)?
Yes, it is permissible to eat those foods since you do not know the ingredients (as long as you know the food is not meat itself).
- halal food
- haram food
The only way I can fully explain my personal growth and interest in religion to people is by first saying that I did not grow up with much religious knowledge and admitting to the shortcomings of my mother. My mother is okay with me telling people that, so is it still considered backbiting my mother by revealing a fault of hers even though she is fine with me doing so?
If saying such things entails that your parents are not religious while they appear religious, then it is considered backbiting regardless of whether your parents are okay with saying that or not. The criteria for backbiting is revealing hidden faults of a believer in their absence whether they are okay with it or not. It is better to avoid those details about growing up in a non-religious environment. Instead, you can say that after growing up you started to have more interest in religious education.
- religious education
I have a question regarding slaughtering the animal during Eid al-Adha in the U.S. How should I divide or distribute the meat equally if I do not know any poor/needy families around us in the U.S. Also, do we need to slaughter two animal for each individual or one with niyyah for both (i.e. my wife and I)?
Adha qurban or animal sacrifice is not wajib on non-pilgrims and you can share one with your wife and distribute it as you like.
When we join prayers (like dhuhr and asr) is it obligatory to say adhan and iqamah before the second prayer? Can we join prayers without reading adhan and iqamah?
Iqamah is mustahab (recommended). Adhan is also mustahab, however only once if you are joining two prayers (e.g. only before dhuhr if joining dhuhr and asr).