Letters to the Editor

Add questioner/reader name and (source) here.

Inheriting Grandparents

I am a regular reader of YMD. I want to know: in 1996 my mother expired in front of my maternal grandparents. Later, in 1997, my grand father expired and in 2007 my grand mother expired leaving six daughters, but no sons. I want to know whether we three sister and one brother are eligible to my maternal grand parents’ property which they have left.

A., via email

YMD

Primarily, you may understand that grandchildren through a man’s daughters have no share in the wealth left by a grandfather, except if the grandfather left no children but only a grand-daughter, then the grand-daughter gets one-half, or grandfather left a single female child (and no male issue) in which case, and after distribution among others, the female grandchildren may share one-sixth of the property or wealth. Further, if the grand-father left more than one daughter, then his grand-daughters will get nothing in inheritance from him. Nor do granddaughters have any share in the wealth left by their grandmother.

Now, it is obvious that with the expiry of your grandfather, his inheritance would have been divided among his wife (your grandmother) and their six daughters. Now, your own mother happens to be one of those six daughters. She must have received her share, and you all (three sisters and one brother) have a share in her property and wealth.

However, these cases of inheritance are pretty complicated. Any detail, thought minor by the questioner, may alter the ruling. We suggest you therefore, that you take the case to a Mufti proper, especially him who specializes in inheritance laws, and who will inquire about several details before he offers a judgment.

Error in Count

One day I was offering `Asr, when in the third rak’at I fell in doubt as to the number of rak’ats I had thus far offered. On such occasions, what am I to do? Please elaborate the answer.

Shabbir Shah, via email

YMD

A single Fiqh principle solves several riddle, in several issue. Derived from a hadith, it says, “Certainty is not removed by doubt.” To cite an example, if someone is sure to be in a state of Wudu, but has doubts about it; then he is in Wudu. Alternatively, he is sure to have annulled his Wudu, but is not sure whether he made another ablution or not; then, he is in a state of non-wudu. Thus, certainty, on either side is not annulled by doubt.

To apply the above principle to the specific case of doubts in Prayers pertaining to the number of rak`a done, one should go by the certainty, so that, if he feels pretty certain that he did 3 rak`ah but doubts that he could have actually done 4 rak`ah, then, in such a situation he should go by the certainty; i.e., he has done 3 rak`ah. He should do his fourth rak`ah and then offer the Sajdatu al-Sahw. On the other hand he is sure that he did 4 rak`ah but is in doubt that perhaps he did only 3, then, he may not offer another rak`ah; and then offer Sajdatu al-Sahw.

In both cases, Sajdah al-Sahw is to cover any error that his judgment might have made.

Islam and Terrorism

This is in reference to the article by Harun Yahya. I am here to comment his statement that Islam is the only solution to terrorism, even though the content and head line didn’t match each other. I don’t believe what he said is true but the chance is more to opposite. In every nation we can see Muslims on fire, killing anyone blindly. I don’t know what he means by quoting Qur’anic verse showing killing innocents is like killing all. Qurán Surahs must be understand in their context. There are many verses which Muslims use to support their claim that Islam is the religion of peace but when Muhammad came to power he himself stood against his own verses. Do you think Muhammad never killed innocent? There are many Qur’anic verses which supports the killing of Jews, Christians and kafirs not because they came against Muhammad but because they are not Muslims. Harun Yahya is a moderate Muslim who understood the need of presenting Islam with a good face, but in my opinion he is a moderate Muslim which means not true one. If he is true what we must call Osama bin Laden? Even many Muslims don’t think Harun Yahya to be true Muslim.

George John, via email

YMD

A full answer will consume pages. In brief: Harun Yahya’s statements are not important; nor is Muslim behavior of any significance when it comes to judging Islam.

You say in every country Muslims are committing killings. Here is a list of nations of the world. Would you like to highlight those countries where there is Muslim violence, and countries where there is non-Muslim violence; and then compare the two. You may also mark those countries where the Muslims are invaders, and where Muslims are undergoing invasion:

Afghanistan – Albania – Algeria – Andorra – Angola – Antigua and Barbuda – Argentina – Armenia – Australia – Austria – Azerbaijan – The Bahamas – Bahrain – Bangladesh – Barbados – Belarus Belgium – Belize – Benin Bhutan – Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina – Botswana Brazil – Brunei – Burkina Faso – Burma – Burundi – Cambodia – Cameroon – Cape Verde – Central African Republic – Chad – Chile – China – Republic of Taiwan – Colombia – Comoros – Congo – Costa Rica – Ivory Coast – Croatia – Cuba – Cyprus – Czech Republic – Denmark – Djibouti – Dominica – East Timor – Ecuador – Egypt – El Salvador – Equatorial Guinea – Eritrea – Estonia – Ethiopia – Fiji – Finland – France – Gabon – The Gambia – Georgia – Germany – Ghana – Greece – Grenada – Guatemala – Guinea – Guinea-Bissau – Guyana – Haiti – Honduras – Hungary – Iceland – India – Indonesia – Iran – Iraq – Ireland – Israel – Italy – Ivory Coast –  Jamaica – Japan – Jordan – Kazakhstan – Kenya – Kiribati – Korea, North – Korea, South – Kosovo – Kuwait – Kyrgyzstan – Laos – Latvia – Lebanon – Lesotho – Liberia – Libya – Liechtenstein – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Macedonia –  Madagascar – Malawi – Malaysia – Maldives – Mali – Malta – Marshall Islands – Mauritania – Mauritius – Mexico – Micronesia – Moldova – Monaco – Mongolia – Montenegro – Morocco – Mozambique – Myanmar Burma – Nagorno Karabakh – Namibia – Nauru – Nepal – The Netherlands – New Zealand – Nicaragua – Niger – Nigeria – Northern Cyprus – Norway – Oman – Pakistan – Palau – The Palestinian territories – Panama – Papua New Guinea – Paraguay – Peru – Philippines – Poland – Portugal – Pridnestrovie – Qatar – Romania – Russia – Rwanda – Saint Kitts and Nevis – Saint Lucia – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Samoa – San Marino – Saudi Arabia – Senegal – Serbia – Seychelles – Sierra Leone – Singapore – Slovakia – Slovenia – Solomon Islands – Somalia – South Africa – South Ossetia – Spain – Sri Lanka – Sudan – Suriname – Swaziland – Sweden – Switzerland – Syria – Taiwan – Tajikistan – Tanzania – Thailand – Timor – Togo – Tonga – Transnistria – Trinidad and Tobago – Tunisia – Turkey – Turkmenistan – Tuvalu – Uganda – Ukraine – United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom – United States of America – Uruguay – Uzbekistan – Vanuatu – Vatican City – Venezuela – Vietnam – Western Sahara – Yemen – Zambia – Zimbabwe.

We could have given you the data, but marking them in color will help remove prejudice.

As for plain violence, would you like to (especially since our young men are too lazy to do any such work), make a list of violence against Muslims since Indian independence? Be careful to start with a 1000 page note book since there have been above tens of thousands of cases of violence, pogrom, terror strikes, and riots against Muslims involving the death of hundreds of thousands and billions of Rupees of losses, that primarily resulted in majority of Muslims ending up in slums and ghettos all over India.

What were men of your kind doing, through these decades? Where were your protests?

Again, make a balance sheet of the number of people killed in the supposed Muslim terror attacks, all over the world, the property losses, and compare with the human and material losses in 13 years of bombing of Iraq, 6 years of occupation of Iraq, and as many years of deaths and destruction in Afghanistan by the Western nations: all for no reason whatsoever. Compare the two figures to discover whether the ratio is 1:10, or 1:100 between the supposed Muslim terror operations, and confirmed Christian terror operations organized at the state level.

You could expand your research a little bit to include the terror at the hands of the Zionist and Western Christian volunteers in Iraq who have been killing civilians at will, especially targeting the intellectuals, academicians, doctors, engineers, scientists and other renowned figures, in thousands.

When do you propose to protest over these atrocities?

Obtaining Justice

I am from Kashmir. A girl was raped at a lonely place and now she wants the punishment of the rapist but according to Islamic law, she requires witnesses for her claim. Now in the absence of witnesses, how can she get her demand? Please reply.

Umar Vaid, via email

YMD

Islamic capital punishments have been designed as preventive, protective and deterrent measures rather than means to chop off heads or hands. Human life and body are too sacrosanct to be subjected to dismemberment at the smallest of evidence or testimony, or every allegation of crime.

Also, they are meant for, and applicable to, Muslim society alone where even criminals, who act under momentary impulse alone, are honest and admit to their crimes before a complaint or investigation is launched. The individuals of such society wish to be cleansed of their sins now and here, before they face a more severe judgment in the Hereafter.

Again, since personal honor and chastity is too dear to the Muslims, a Muslim woman keeps herself or is kept by others, far from such places as where she can face attack on her honor. She goes out fully covered, stays home most of the time, never leaving her home after dark. If she flouts such rules and directives, then she may not blame any but herself for whatever barbarous act is committed against her.

It may also be remembered that the case you have stated is hypothetical, unreal and conjectural. There is no place in the world where a single woman is found, and a single male happens to be around and so he can rape her without fear of being apprehended. People always stay where there are other people, and a shout easily draws attention. This also applies to where rapists break into homes to overpower a single woman in the premises. On the other hand, this style of living is not approved by Islam. It does not approve of women living alone in any kind of premises.

Finally, despite the above, if a woman is subject to rape, then she may not forget that seeking the help of four witnesses is not the only recourse to seeking justice. There are several ways by which the police – if a complaint is lodged – can investigate and apprehend the criminal. After all, non-Muslim courts neither demand the presence of four witnesses, nor trusts them if they are produced.

Repentance

I am a student… and a few months back went off track… Feeling sorry for a friend, I said ‘yes’ to his proposal. I even had a slight physical relationship with him. This was more than once. I don’t know what made me do it. I don’t love him. I truly regret this. I really do. I’m very sorry. What should I do to seek Allah’s forgiveness? Also please advise me on what duas to read, so that this phase of my life does not turn ugly.

XYZ, via email

YMD

Repentance, its method, its requirements, etc., are well-known.

To save oneself from similar errors, one has to change company, take up Islamic rituals more seriously, and devote time studying texts that lead to correction of opinions and intentions right at the sub-conscious level, which, in turn, guard against any repetition.

Women's Prayers

I am an engineering student and am always bewildered of what exactly are the differences between the prayer of men and women… can you please give hadith references if any…. and a detailed explanation of even the minute details of prayer formats of men and women.

Mir Abrar Ali, via email

YMD

So far as the content goes, there is no difference between the Prayers of males and females in Islam. It is in the posture and body positions that are different for women. For instance, she is directed to draw her elbows inwards in her ruku` and sujud. She should rest her stomach on her thighs during sujud. She should spread her two feet towards the right, with the left leg under the right leg, and sit on the floor as against men who sit on their feet. When among men, she should not recite the Qur’an loudly. If the Imam commits an error, she should clap her hand as a warning to him.

A Poisonous Tree

Shafkat Hossain Khan, via email

In the May 2007 issue of your magazine, on page six, there is a question titled “Two Talaq(s)”. You began your answer by saying, and I quote “Divorce is a heinous social crime.” A crime by nature, either social or otherwise, is unlawful directly or indirectly. Where in the Qurán or Hadith (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi) is it stated that divorce is a “heinous social crime.” Ironically, to the left column in yellow background it is stated “the worst will be people who will use analogy (Qiyas) based on their personal opinion to declare the unlawful, lawful and the lawful unlawful”.

YMD

But we did not declare the lawful as unlawful. You have drawn the implication. Our own statement of divorce being a “heinous social crime” is derived from ahadithaathaar and other sources.

Says a hadith of Ahmad declared Sahih by Shu`ab Arna’ut: “Any woman who seeks a divorce without any good reason, will have forbidden to her the fragrance of Paradise.”

When something happened between them and so Abu Talha wished to divorce his wife Umm Sulaym, the Prophet remarked, “Clearly, divorcing Umm Sulaym will be a great sin.” According to Haythami, except that one of the narrators has both the credits of acceptance as well as not acceptance, the rest of the narrators are reliable.

When Abu Ayyub al-Ansari wished to divorce his wife and consulted the Prophet, he said, “O Abu Ayyub, divorcing Umm Ayyub would be a major sin.” The hadith is not so strong, but several versions have been reported by Bazzar, Hakim, Bayhaqi and Qur’anic commentators like Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi.

When the Prophet divorced Hafsa bint `Umar, no less a person than Jibril himself came down to ask him to take her back. Haythami said about this report of Tabarani that all its narrators are trustworthy.

When Iblis sets his throne on water, he evaluates the achievements of the devils, giving full approval to one who plants mischief between man and wife. The report is in Muslim.

When the Qur’an mentioned (2: 102) the ill effects of learning magic, it stated separation of man and wife as the worst example of what the Israelites did after they learnt magic.

We are not, at this moment, going into what the psychologists have to say about extremely negative effects of man and woman separation on their offspring, nor the finding of sociologists concerning the rise in crime, drug use, and other sociological disturbances resulting from separation of man and wife.

As for the “social stigma”, society doesn’t wake up one morning with such stigmas hanging on their heads, it is the continuous bombarding of misleading statements made by well educated, knowledgeable people who essentially claim to be the intelligentsia of the community.

YMD

The class that you have mentioned has various failings, but we do not believe that the knowledgeable people have any say in the development of social stigmas. In fact, it is they in the forefront of efforts to remove such stigmatic patterns of thought from the society and individuals.

As for the rest of the answer, it may be perfectly right, but due to your first sentence, all they become, as they say “fruits of a poisonous tree.”

YMD

However you may now – after our answer – alter your perception vis-à-vis “fruits of a poisonous tree,” it will remain bound to the length of list of your reference works. The list tabled by you is a bit short. With the addition of every new Qur’anic and hadith work to your list, the “poisonous” element will tend to get more and more diluted.

Book on Kashmir

I’d like to know if Humera Qureshi‘s book “Kashmir: The Untold Story” (Penguin publishers) is a good book to know about the Kashmir situation. If not then please name some books which give a genuine picture of Kashmir. Waiting for your reply.

Zubeida Ali, via email

YMD

We are yet to look into the book. Kindly allow us some time before we can express our opinion.

Pork Content

I am a student. I have heard that appy fizz contains fat of pork (pig) that is it contains E211 and E224. I also heard that all the things that contain code ‘E’ are not to be consumed. Then it means that the things which we have been consuming till now like Parle-G biscuit, etc. too are not to be consumed. It’s really shocking. Will you please describe to us about this and also tell the names of products that are not to be consumed. I will be very much thankful to you all.

Sarshia, via email

YMD

You should realize that on these matters we stand on the same grounds as you. You have heard (we have not). We have no means to check on the information mentioned by you. The products have to be subjected to lab. Tests, which the individuals will have to take up since Muslim organizations do not have the time, energy and the money for this kind of task. They are already overloaded with work.

Silly Issues

I used to buy your Young Muslim Digest magazine from al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. But in October issue your reply to using number 786 instead of bismillah is terrible! I forward the same question on Huda TV channel on their “Ask Huda Questions and Answers” service. It was informed to me over the TV program that number 786 must not be used instead of bismillah. Bismillah contains 19 letters and the reward is for 19 letters if you read it. Should be in Arabic as it is born not fabricated to a number!! Why should write on unnecessary piece of papers bismillah? Therefore, kindly correct your answer in the same section and ask Allah for forgiveness immediately and in the magazine too without fail.

Mohammed Ramzeen Marzook, via email

YMD

Since you have not given the issue details, we are not in a position to check the context of our reply, in fact, our exact reply.

The basmalah as such has Allah’s Name, and should be taken special care of. We find papers carrying the basmalah in dust-bins. In fact, we stopped presenting Qur’anic texts in YMD after we discovered that shop keepers were using it for wrapping grocery material.

There is no need to be so touchy about these silly issues.

Witr and Tahajjud

I would like to know if it is permissible to pray the Witr Namaz before the tahajjud Namaz. Because it is often written and said that Witr Namaz is the last prayer. Because some people say that tahajjud Namaz cannot be performed after praying the Witr Namaz.

Mohammed Nauman, via email

YMD

There are two situations. Somebody does his Tahajjud regularly. He should offer his Witr after the Tahajjud Prayers. But if someone is not able to offer the Tahajjud Prayers regularly, to miss out sometimes and do them sometimes, then, he should do his Witr before sleeping. If he happens to wake up for Tahajjud, he may offer the Tahajjud Prayers, but not repeat his Witr.