Letters to the Editor

Q: Someone gifted me the magazine Young Muslim Digest. I read it and, Alhamdulillah, it was very good. But, there was an objectionable thing in the magazine. On the back cover paper, there was an advertisement of Bearys Institute of Technology with a photograph in which boys and girls were sitting and standing together in attractive styles. The questions that arise in my mind are: 

1. Are such photographs permissible in Islam?
2. Is co-education lawful in Islam as the photograph indicates that you support this idea?
3. Is it suitable to carry such advertisement for an Islamic Digest?

Muhammad A.,
Haveri, Karnataka 

YMD

Why is it that Muslims of today care only a little for Islam’s higher goals but when they find some Islamic work being done, they must raise objections of some sort or the other? In our analysis, it is the same case as has been happening throughout Islamic times.

The year Imam Hassain was martyred, an Iraqi asked Ibn `Umar during Hajj, whether a mosquito’s blood rendered clothes unclean. He remarked: “Look at this man! They killed the Prophet’s grandson, and are now asking about a mosquito’s blood.”

Our answers to other questions are as follows:

  1. Such photographs may be highly objectionable to a Waliyullah. But, should those who watch skits, news, and ads on their smartphones, a couple of hours every day – be raising objections, or raising funds for those working on Islamic causes?
  1. Regarding co-education, one may ask: is it impermissible in Islam, or is it allowed with conditions? Today, it is not the question of the method of running educational institutions; it is the question of how to educate the 1,000 against 1 who are out of educational institutes.
  1. The magazine publishers consider such advertisements repugnant. But when they ask for solutions to their problems, the critics avoid looking into the eye.

Q: What should we do about the interest we get from the money in our bank account?

Faiz Khalid,
On Email

YMD

  1. Don’t take it.
  2. If you took, give it to the poorest of the poor, expecting no reward, but fearing questioning on the Day of Judgment.

Q: Qur’an and Hadith mentioned the responsibilities of parents towards their children and children’s responsibilities towards their parents. I shall be glad to know whether anywhere they mention the responsibilities of father in-laws towards their son-in-laws and daughter in-laws and vice versa. 

M.A.Rahiman,
Anantapur, A.P. 

YMD

Except for brotherly rights of a poor and destitute person, there are no rights and duties of a father-in-law towards his son or daughter-in-law and vice versa.

Q: I have a couple of questions if you kindly clarify for me. Is it allowed to work in US – Mortgage Company. Kindly advise me in this regard.

YMD

Whether the company is based in USA or elsewhere, we require to know very many details before we can express any opinion.

Q: In this age, how does one accept or reject (if at all there is scope or validity for a commoner), a legal opinion (Fatwa)? Is there any ground work that one has to do for better understanding, and acting upon it?

Syed Omer,
On Email

YMD

The situation is serious beyond any imagination; and it is getting more serious by the day.

To take the right view, new Fataawaa are not required in our times. What has been worked out by the Muslim legal experts, so far, meets with all kinds of needs. The answers you get in our times from a Mufti proper, or a recognized Madrasa, which people refer to as Fatwaas, are taken out from standard Fatwaa books (such as listed below).

Your concern is real. But the problem for the common people is not of ‘availability’ but of ‘accessibility.’ To explain: almost 95% of Muslims in India are illiterate. Of the 5% left, 95% have lost their contact with true and traditional Islam. Those who have, have little regard for their mother tongue, Urdu. So, tens of thousands of Fataawaa are lying un-referred to in voluminous books, not simply because Muslims have decided to ignore Urdu but also because, for want of sale, the books of Fataawaa are not available in bookstores.

Fataawaa Deobandiyya, Fataawaa Imdaadiyyah, Fataawaa Rahimiyyah, Fataawaa of Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Fataawaa of Mufti Shafi`, Fataawaa of Taqiuddin `Uthmani, in hundreds of volumes put together, contain answers to almost every question. But they are as good for Muslims as Sanskrit books. This is a major tragedy. Let alone the common people, even the Mawlawi class does not possess any of these books. Their situation therefore, when asked something concerning matters of Fiqh, can be described as the Prophet (saws) described his situation about the Hour, saying, “He who is questioned does not know any better than he who is questioning,” except that the Mawlawi class does not admit, but puts forward a guess-answer.

This is the reason why a man goes from pillar to post, but cannot get a satisfactory answer to a problem. And this applies to the non-Arabic internet sites as well. Answers there are either inadequate, inaccurate, or, in many case, altogether wrong.

To return to the main point, there is no need for new legal opinions. They are oversupplied. But the problem for you, and for the non-Arab Ummah in general, is that of accessibility; to which we have no answer.

Would the new generation of ambitious young men, consider their back-packs containing laptops, as “yahmiluasfaaraa,” or set up academies to translate a few of the above books into English?

The Arabs have done it. A single site called ‘Shamela’ offers free downloading of 30,000 books, some of which are in 20-30 volumes. They are not known as computer wizard. Non-Arab Muslims assume that for themselves. Will they say, “Let’s get active?”

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).

YMD

If the work lacks insights into Hadith literature, how does it become robust?

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? 

YMD

Although the whole book has not appeared, the listed contents of what’s to come in future, is weird. Such as:

The Second Coming of Jesus is a ‘Hadith Zone’ Fabrication.”

This is weirdness bordering madness.

When reporting predictions made by the Prophet (saws), there is no room for ‘interpretations,’ but rather exact words ought to be quoted. (There is small room for minor interpretations if it is from the Salaf– actually, by way of explanation of difficult terms). Therefore, interpretations by Imran Faruqui, or any other (in this case, referring to Gog and Magog), has question marks running to the end of the page, and, therefore, it may better be ignored.

Commenting on the works of another Imran (Hussein) [and not Imran Faruqui], we wrote the following in the March 2008 issue of this magazine:

Whatever the philosophical implications of reports about Ya’juj and Ma’juj, we should not forget that the Qur’an and Hadith give us to understand that they are humans who will appear as massive hordes of marauders after `Isa (asws) has killed Dajjal. According to the ahadith, Jesus Christ will be unable to face their assault and will retreat to the mountains. They will be destroyed – probably – by a viral disease. Says a report in the collection of Muslim:

” … ‘Isa b. Maryam will be told by Allah, ‘I am releasing a creation that no one can withstand. So take My slaves to Mount Tur.’ Then Allah will release Ya’juj and Ma’juj who will descend from every height. The first of them will pass by Lake Tabariyyah (or Tiberius in Palestine, now known as Sea of Galilee) and will drink off its water. When the last of them arrives, one of them will say, ‘Once there used to be water here.’ `Isa (asws) will be besieged until a bull’s head will be worth a hundred Dinar.

(According to another version: Ya’juj and Ma’juj will shoot arrows toward the sky. They will fall back laced with blood. They will say, ‘We have subdued those on the earth and those in the heaven.’)

Then `Isa and his Companions will pray to Allah. He will send an insect (bacteria or virus) into their necks, which will kill them all. They will lie motionless in the fields.

`Isa and his Companions will come down and will not find a hand-span of space but filled with their corpses. `Isa and his Companions will pray to Allah and He will send huge birds whose necks will be similar to camel’s neck. They will pick up the corpses and dump them away. Then Allah will send heavy rains that will not spare any house in the cities or deserts. It will render the earth clean. Allah will then command the earth to throw out its products. It will, and in those times a single pomegranate will be enough for a group of people…”

Thus, although there is room for saying that today’s World Order is a forerunner of the World Order that will be created by Ya’ju and Ma’juj (that of political anarchy), Ya’juj and Ma’juj themselves have not yet appeared. They will, after `Isa b. Maryam would have slaughtered the false Messiah (Anti-Christ). As for the expected future war over water resources, it cannot be connected to events related with Ya’juj and Ma’juj. Their drinking off of Lake Tabariyyah, is to indicate their numbers, although a probable water crisis at that time is implied in the hadith of TameemDaari, who was informed by the chained Dajjal, that its water will be depleted – almost to dryness – at the time he is released. But, even if the Lake’s water is completely dried at the time Dajjal is released, there is no reason to believe that from the time he is released, until he is killed by `Isa (asws), the Lake should not be refilled. After all, dried lakes can be filled to their full capacity by a single year’s rain.

The text above made by us, should be simple to follow.

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. 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! 

Syed Mustafa Hashmi,
On Email

YMD

Such distinction, between the Last Hour and the Last Day, has already been made by the reports about them. But the opinion that ‘we are already in the Day of Resurrection’ is a monumental error. At best, a few signs have appeared, though not at the global level.

Q: Can we take scholarship amount from government even though our annual income is above the condition laid down by lowering our annual income (as there is condition that our annual income should be below 2.5 lakhs)?

Tamheed Ameen,
On Email

YMD

No, you cannot.

Q: Are tattoos allowed in Islam?

Shaqiri,
On Email

YMD

Tattoo is a sickness that first appeared in the West, first among males, and now among females. Some people tattoo their entire body, offering you a ghoulish look. Those who do not suffer from the same malady do not approve of the ghoulish buddies.

Islam is an ennobling religion. It disapproves of mutilation of one’s own bodies, or of others. It does not approve of mutilation of the dead bodies even of their enemies. But rather, Islam approves of a Muslim beautifying his self.

Listen to the Qur’an (if you wish):

“Children of Adam! Take your adornment at every Prayer; and eat and drink, but do not commit excesses. Surely, He does not approve of those who commit excesses. Say, ‘Who has forbidden the ornaments of Allah’s creation that He brought out for His slaves, and the good things of provision?’ Say, ‘They are for the believers during the tenure of this world, (but) exclusively for them on the Day of Judgment.’ Thus, We expound Our revelations for a people who know. Say, ‘Verily, my Lord has only forbidden indecencies – be they open or concealed – sin, high‑handedness without justice, that you should associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down an authority, and that you should fasten upon Allah what you have no knowledge of.” (7: 31-33)

[We have added above in parenthesis (if you wish), because to hear and to refuse to take it serious, or ignore it altogether, has become a habit of the Ummah. Some, who, although claim to be Muslim, have no faith in the Qur’an].

And the Prophet (saws) said, “Surely, Allah is Himself Beautiful, and approves of beauty.”He also instructed, “If one of you grows his hair, let him oil it, and comb it.”

Tattoo is a perversion.

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Sharique,
Grocery Whizz Team, Bangalore
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