Letters to the Editor
Q: I hope this message reaches you all in the best of health and Islamic spirit, Ameen. Editor, I am highly appreciative of the information about the great Shaykh. He is a great scholar and personality and his family. I would like to have more information about the Shaykh’s life history and his works. I am from South Africa.
Since so such ‘great Shaykh’ exists in our humble team, we wonder whom is it you are referring to. No details, therefore, of his life and works can be offered.
Q: Most common people take the – Riba’ and bank interest – as equivalent. The common argument is in whatever form interest appears, it is haram. But some argue as the earlier standard was gold, and later shifted to currency. Therefore, the situation changes as the rise and fall of currency is based like, at present on the rise and fall of the dollar.
But gold value also fluctuates. A serious problem that the economy would face is high fluctuation of gold price. It can rise or fall by a 50%. So, how will a common man buy his daily onion if the value of gold shoots up by 50%?
Q: In this process, we Muslims stick to the principle and some of them give away the interest to the poor or a request to the bank not to credit the interest. This interest amount piles up and the same is used against the Muslims. That is why I feel people in Palestine, now Syria, may be Egypt tomorrow and in short all Muslims world over!
Your fears are not based on economic data. Muslims have very little money saved in banks. This is not simply because they are economically side-lined in India, but also because they do not have saving habits. They actually have over-spending habits. It is said by the banks in Hyderabad, for instance, that crores that arrive from the expatriates in the Middle-East and other places, are withdrawn within a day or two by the families.
By the evening you will find them in cafeterias, in Jewellery shops, cloth shops, electronic gadget and toy shops, etc. Within two weeks, they would have finished off the amounts that came in, and would be asking the expatriates to “Next time, please send extra money. Don’t forget that in the next month falls your son’s birthday,” or other such occasions and events. They don’t even buy permanent household furniture and other such items. The expatriate buys them when he comes home and is saddened to see the house in shambles, while, although their population is 20%, the Fashion Market is jammed by 50% Muslims.
Over decades the family does not save any money, and thus, the question of what is to be done with bank-interests is largely hypothetical, because Indian Muslims, first spend and then earn – spending more than what they hope to earn.
This situation will not change until the last of them has no money at all, in slums.
Q: In India, that is why so many Muslims are considered the Most Backward Class and many living below the poverty line! I am not saying you should take interest but there must be a more comprehensive view when the Prophet (saws) said trading is allowed and interest prohibited! The answer to this question could lead us to ‘Is working in banks allowed?’ I feel if Muslims have a stable financial position then they would be in a better position to fight the infidels.
You expressed concern, but, as is the case usually, you want to pass the buck, duck the responsibility. Muslims in India will never have a stable financial position, unless they change their beliefs: For example, “the Next life is rather doubtful, therefore, enjoy this life as much as you can.”
Instead of passing the buck, you must rather, at your own level, in your own time, within your own little means, take up the cause (not of the Ummah), but the cause of, perhaps, a single child in the slums, and develop him or her through education paid for by you, and under your supervision.
The so-called challenge of the infidels is airy. This is a world of competition. Muslims refuse to come into the battle-field. They accept defeat even before the battles begin.
Q: How could we come out of this and help our brethren, is my question.
With 70-80 per cent either in the slums, or at its edge with the mentality of slum-dwellers, addicted to lazy life, filling the hours – day after day – with TV or on Social Media, they offer you little hope or consolation.
Instead of chasing shadow, engage yourself in some concrete work, at the ground level.
Q: Syed Iqbal Zaheer sahib has quoted Muhammad Asad many times in Ishraq al-Ma’ani. Muhammad Asad, the late Jewish ‘convert’ to Islam authored ‘The Road to Mecca’ & translated the Qur’an.
To refer to a Muslim’s previous religion in a derogatory manner is a sin – given that we are not sure of your intention. It is also – on a part of this Ummah – a sign of duplicity and ungratefulness. When he entered Islam, it was said that he was a gift from the West – which he was, and still remains. He lived for years after the publication of his works.
From no quarter did he get a Fatwaa during his life-time so that he could defend himself, or perhaps change his opinions.
Q: His translation is called ‘The Message of The Qur’an.’
You are not accurate. The book is not merely a translation of the Qur’an. It is a commentary. In modern times, it is a successful “intellectual exposition of the Qur’an.” On certain issues, he adopted the approach of Zamakhshari and Imam Razi toeing their lines of thought in many instances, though not always.
As for errors, such as some mis-reading or incorrect interpretation of some of Imam Razi’s texts, they seem to be everyman’s share in his deeds, words and writings. The author of Ishraq al-Ma`ani has ignored them. He has in fact, ignored many other harmless text too.
Q: Grand Mufti Sheikh Bin Baz (rahimahullah) warned against the Kufriyat contained in Asad’s translation.
The “Fataawaa” of Sheikh b. Baaz have been published. The Fatwaa in question is not to be found in it. Please send us an original, Arabic copy of the question raised before him and the Fatwa he issued.
Q: The fatwa is at the following Net-site:
Translation of the Fatwa: “The translation referred to contains fatal errors and flagrant false beliefs. As a result, the Constitutional Council of the Muslim World League in Makkah Al-Mukarramah issued a decree banning the print and publication of this translation.”
This “Fatwa” is only available in above text on the Net. But, we do not know whether it is “Fake” or true. This is because, the questionnaire sent to the Body of `Ulama is completely missing – not only from this site, but also from anywhere else in the Net. So, we do not know the basis, and cannot accept a Fatwaa which is feared to have been introduced by fanatics.
Q: Many prominent Muslims, including senior Ulama, have been unknowingly duped by Muhammad Asad.
If they can be duped in religious matters, they are not Ulama. Ulama cannot be duped. Therefore, you need to name the Ulama, and quote from their writings, giving the texts in full.
Q: Please ask Syed sahib to seriously consider removing ALL references to Muhammad Asad from his book.
We shall not ask anyone to act upon allegations founded on gossip or based on superficial knowledge and understanding of this widely-accommodative religion.
The editor’s waste basket needs emptying every day, so much is the stuff he receives from people who write without realizing the seriousness of what they are talking about.
Q: We do not use references from Qadiani heretics in our books; similarly we should not be quoting Asad.
Equating Muhammad Asad with Qadiyanis is a sin of the heart and pen.
Q: Otherwise readers could be led towards Asad’s mistaken beliefs.
Please quote from Asad’s (rahimahuAllah) published works, in his own words, to substantiate your allegation.
Q: Syed Sahib obviously wants to promote true Islam through his books and magazines. He will not want to accidentally endanger the Iman of readers.
Syed Sahib is not qualified “to promote true Islam through his books & magazines.” These are big words. He merely wishes his readers to take a U-turn toward the first sources of Islam.
Q: I can forward details of Asad’s Kufriat from his translation if you wish.
You may. But first, get to the bottom of truth, compare his statements with those of the Salaf, so that you do not contradict them, and enter into greater dangerous arena. When you attempt – in the manner we suggest – you might discover (with reference to the main point of contention) and as an example, that Ibn Wahb’s opinion, as quoted by Ibn Kathir, about “Mutawffeeka” (3: 55) was: “Allah made him (`Isa ibn Maryam) die for three days, then brought him to life, and then raised him up.”
Q: I wanted to know the Fiqh related to sea food. Can we eat meat of shark, whale, crab etc.?
Arsalan Manzoor Zargar,
Except for those sea animals, which resemble those land animals that are prohibited, sea-food is lawful. However, there are differences in opinion. Some scholars would say that such animals as which resemble those on land prohibited, are merely Makruh.
Over shrimps there are two opinions in two geographical areas: in the Indian sub-continent they are considered lawful, whereas in Turkey, they are not lawful.
Q: I have a question which I hope you will be able to address in your esteemed magazine. If a person is wronged by others, and he alternates in his heart between desiring to seek retribution from them on the Day of Judgment and forgiving them during moments of spiritual highs, then what is the status of his ‘forgiveness’ of them. Would he be regarded as having forgiven them or would the matter depend on his state/ attitude towards those who have wronged him, at the moment of his death? I would greatly appreciate any insight you can provide on this matter.
The judgment will depend on his final intention which stayed firm in the heart, on which he died.
Q: I am on and off confronted by a very sensitive question pertaining to establishment of Islamic governance. How can a society under subjugation make it to unshackle, when Muslims are devoid of everything. Should we leave it to Allah (swt) or strive with extremist approach?
Allah (swt) does not impose on the people a burden that they cannot bear.
Please see the editorial of this issue.
Q: I came across this interesting take on the topic of Gog and Magog in the light of the Qur’an by M. Imran Faruqui here http://quransmessage.com/files/Gog%20&%20Magog%20-%20M.%20Imran%20Faruqui.pdf
Only the first chapter is released so far, and I’m not sure if the complete book is available. Leaving aside the rather glaring chapter-names in the Contents page, this interpretation of Yajuj and Majuj appears to look robust (except for the noticeable absence of insights gained from the Hadith literature).
Unless something very special, we do not refer to the Net. The stuff there can be there today and disappear tomorrow. If it stays, some ‘Yes’es become ‘No’s and vice versa. The Net is like a huge coffee shop where the tired souls gather in the evening, to remove their fatigue through gossip on topics forgotten the next day.
Your observation that mention of Hadith is absent increases the fear of sting on these sites. With the credibility as low as Zero per cent, the desire to investigate goes under a sheet of ice.
Q: In one of your earlier editorials, there was a passing mention that Gog and Magog will appear in Upper Syria (http://www.youngmuslimdigest.com/editorial/03/2008/signs-of-the-hour-2/) and a few other details. Considering this set of facts, is the interpretation presented in the above booklet fanciful and can be considered implausible?
We cannot say anything since we have lost the appetite for electronic literature which might disappear like the several trillions of digital money that disappeared during the period 2007-2008 leaving behind no trace.
Q: An additional distinction the author makes is between The Last Day and The Final Hour, commenting that the Day of Resurrection is itself a long period of time, maybe spanning generations, and is called ‘Day’ in the divine timescale.
It is not the Day of Resurrection which will be of a long period, but it is the Last Day, spanning generations. In contrast, the Day of Resurrection (or the Day of Reckoning) will be 50,000 years of Allah’s reckoning.
Q: The Final Hour, on the other hand, is a subset of the Day of Resurrection wherein mankind will be caught by surprise with the accelerated events that unfold beyond which repentance is not acceptable, culminating in the blowing of the trumpet. Does such a distinction hold up to scholarly scrutiny? Because if it is so, then we probably are already ‘in’ the Day of Resurrection as the author contends!
No, it does not hold to scholarly scrutiny.
The non-acceptance of repentance will happen much earlier than the Last Hour, or the Last Day. This event (of non-acceptance of repentance) could be called as happening in the pre-Last Hour.
Again, we are not already in the Day of Resurrection. Roughly, the Last Hour (when the Trumpet is blown) will be preceded by signs that can be divided into two: Minor Signs and Major Signs. Minor Signs are several. These appear to have begun to appear. They are not yet complete. But the first of the Major Signs (which are ten) is yet to appear.
Allah (swt) knows best.