Letters to the Editor

Q: A very well written book review of Haykal’s Muhammad (saws).  May I ask who was it written by?

Zayd

YMD

It was written by Syed Danish of Aurangabad.

While selecting it to appear in the March 2018 issue, the editor was traveling, and failed to notice that his name was not given under the title.

We very much regret it got published without his name.

Q: Tarbarak Allah! What an awesome magazine! Something we have been searching for SubhanAllah! We are a Muslim Homeschooling Co-op in Australia with over 40 homeschooling members. As we adapt our children’s learning experiences at home, we all seek to provide an Islamic enriched program and make Islam our focal point to which everything else stems from. So far it’s a work in progress, as finding suitable supplements somewhat difficult at times. But, Alhumdulilah, with our everyday efforts, du’a and intention we are making some progress, Alhumdulilah.

We would like to request a discounted subscription to your amazing Young Muslim Digest Magazine? The magazine’s content will help immensely on our homeschooling journey, as finding suitable and beneficial reading material for children, quite a challenge. We would like to offer our loyal Homeschooling members only, a discounted subscription for one year. I patiently await your reply.

May Allah (swt) reward all your efforts, and may the rewards weigh heavy on your scales.

Sister Veronica, HESSYD, 
On Email

YMD

We beg your excuse for not having responded to your request earlier. We are sending you a reply to ascertain your address.

While appreciating your home-schooling program, which is a big step towards saving children from the atmosphere of violence, sex, drugs and indiscipline at some schools, we would be glad at sharing the results attained so far.

Q: I have a couple of questions if you kindly clarify for me. (1) Is it allowed to work in US Mortgage Company?

YMD

Without knowing the business policies of the Company, we cannot say yes or no to the question. We need complete modus operande.

Q: Secondly, 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 groundwork that one has to do for better understanding, and acting upon it (I mean its application)?

Syed Omer, 
  On Email

YMD

Whether it is this age, or any other, a Fatwa has to be accepted for implementation. There isn’t any need for further research, as the misguided say. That said, we are talking of a Fatwa proper, and not a personal opinion, or that of a group of people; in fact, not even the opinion of a recognized scholar, or a group of scholars. A Fatwa proper has to come from a major Institution of the traditional kind; i.e. a Madrasah. By ‘major,’ we mean  recognized places such as, e.g. Deoband, Nadwatu al-`Ulama (of India), or of Karachi. It should come as an answer to a query sent to them, written, on their Letter-head, sealed with the institution’s seal, and signed by the Fatwa Department-Head and his assistant. Such is a Fatwa proper.

When such a Fatwa is issued, you are bound to follow it, no questions asked, and no further research required, nor any need for a second opinion.

A Fatwa can also be drawn out from a printed book of Fataawaa (or Masaa’il) issued by the Hanafiyy school, (for the Ahnaaf), such recognized institutions as mentioned above e.g., Fataawaa Deobaniyyah, Ashrafiyyah, Rahimiyyah, `Umdatul Fiqh etc. (Arabic sources of Hanafiyy Fataawaa, are numerous).

The Hanaabilah have similar such compilation of Fatawaa in Arabic, such as, Al-Mughni. The Shafe`iyyah have a book of wide coverage called Reliance of the Traveller. Malikiyyah have their own compilations but we do not know of any in English.

Personal opinions of the Fuqaha’ do not attain the same status as the unanimous opinion of a group of Fuqaha’ of any school, either one of the four, or independent.

Under no condition should one go out of one of these Four Fiqh schools for obtaining authentic Fatwa, nor keep shifting from one school to another, unless the shift is from the easier to the tougher Fiqh opinion. Any who does it will be defeated by the complications of this complex life, and will become like a lost sheep, which has strayed into a forest and is exposed to the hungry wolves – in this case, the Shayaateen – many in human form, of pious appearance.

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

Tamheed Ameen,
On Email

YMD

A flat answer is a NO. A Muslim cannot make a false statement of any sort. The argument that ‘everybody’ does it, that is, makes false statements about income, in order to obtain scholarship, is not valid. A Muslim is not everybody.

However, the earth is not flat. If ‘everybody’ makes false statements about income in order to win scholarships, and the authorities are aware of the practice, while it is happening over the years, yet ignore it, then, a Muslim may also do it. In other words it is an unwritten legal law, which has, although a dark opening, won recognition of the public.

The practice then, of making false statements turns into what is known in Fiqh as: `Urf; that is, recognized and accepted as a legal practise over which there is a consensus of public opinion, and, such a practise does not infringe upon any of the legal rulings of major importance such as a commandment of the Qur’an, Sunnah, and practises of the earliest generation of Muslim, or a prohibition. Such an Urf is Islamically legal.

There is a twist though. If the practice – the unwritten law – takes away the rights of others, in this case, those of the meritorious who rightly deserve the award, then, it is illegal for a Muslim to resort to it. The unwritten law of this kind, even if accepted by the public, is invalid in Islam. It is not `Urf of the Islamic legal system.

So, the answer is not smooth and plain. Here comes the guidance of the Prophet. He said, “Halal is clear. Haram is clear too. In between are things doubtful that most people do not know. So, he who avoided the doubtful, absolved himself of his religion and honor. As for he who fell into the doubtful, is like a shepherd who lets his flock graze at the border of a farmland. It is possible he will trespass. Beware, every king has a borderland. Allah’s borderlands in the earth are His prohibitions. Beware! The body has a piece of flesh. If it is rendered to good health, the whole body is healthy. If it is sickened the whole body is sickened. Lo! It is the heart.”

Q: Are tattoos allowed in Islam? Please justify.

Shaqiri, 
On Email

YMD

Tattoos are the cultural construct of a people who have dedicatedly toiled for 200 years following a 12-hour work regime, to attain a life of opulence, luxury, indulgence, and economic justice for all. Running in an unrelenting, unsparing, unforgiving race, and arriving first at the finishing line, sans grandparents, parents, wife and children, they now seek solace in the images of the weird. Scary is their theme of life, scary are their images.

Their imitation by an indolent mammoth crowed of school dropouts, uncreative except of slums, mental slaves at the finishing line who consigned their 1000 years of calligraphic masterpieces into the dust-bin, is as weird a sight as the tattoos themselves.

tattoos

On the face of it, tattooing cannot be declared unlawful. At worst it is Makruh, for they are devilishly unwelcome to the pure of heavenly origin, while a gleeful sight to those of the Fire-origin whose visit cannot be ruled out. These problems can be easily gotten over by obtaining the approval of a qualified spiritual scholar, himself approved by scholars.

Q: I have a question with reference to certain investment mechanisms that are gaining popularity in the name of being halal investments. So, a few organizations expect an individual to invest a sum of 50,000/100,000 or multiple of the same and seek monthly/ quarterly/ half-yearly/ annual income on a range of percentages (4-6%/ 5-8%) etc. This is very similar to a floating interest or mutual funds where the income is fairly fixed between a range before investments.

Does such investment fall under Riba’/ interest? Should we seek a Fatwa from such organizations before to evaluate whether it’s a halal form of investment?

Mohammed Shadab Faisal,
On Email

YMD

Any returns on investments of which the amount is fixed is Riba’. If the promised promise is in terms of a range, such as 4-6%, then it is legal. However, the investors might be told that this is an estimated and predictable promise. It could be 3%, and, who knows, even a loss. But if the promise is that the profit will remain – come what may – within, say 4-6%, then, it has fallen into the range of Riba’.

Q: I have a question: Why we accept divine principles albeit we have over own concept of individualism?

Mohammad Imran,
On Email

YMD

Sorry, but our English is not powerful enough to decipher what exactly you mean.

Q: Can you help me with any document or any material on Islamization of Cultures. I am writing my MA thesis on the stated topic (The Effect of Islamization on Some Selected Tribes) which has to do with culture?

Ibrahim Maina Ma’aji, 
On Email

YMD

Other than Arabic, we regret we might not be able to help you much, except that a thorough search of the site: www.academia.edu may yield some articles.

Well-stocked libraries (e.g., Muslim University – Aligarh), should be having old copies of a magazine of scholarly level called ‘Islamic Culture.’ A few others of similar nature could also be there.

Q: I had a lower backache and excruciating arthritic pain in my left knee for which I approached a pious person who gave me a Taveez. After using that on my back, my pain was gone. Now I want to ask you whether what I did was right? I did not take pain killer because I have stomach problem. Also the said person’s Aqaaid are Sahih but what he wrote on Taveez was not readable.

Rayees Ahmad,
On Email

YMD

Pain-killers offer no cure. They numb the area in the brain which sends signals of pain, without ever doing anything about the cause of pain.

As regards piousness of the person involved, there is a way to check. Tell him that removal of pain is attributable to his Ta`wiz (amulet). If he agrees, he is not pious.

As regards intelligibleness of the contents of the prescribe Ta`wiz, it is enough if it does not contain anything that smacks of Shirk.

The Ta`wiz and its success could have been as described by you. If we cannot deny its success, we cannot deny its ineffectiveness either.

When all medication for an ailment fail, despite trials of every scientific way resulting in continuation of pain and suffering, then, no ailing person can be blamed for resorting to anything that will relieve him of the prolonged suffering.

Nevertheless, we are not very impressed by the cure you experienced. It could have been accidental: the cure coinciding with the natural healing moment. The cause could have been psychological, which went away because you placed your faith in the Ta`wiz. The Prophet has said: “Whoever depended on a charm, amulet, etc. is entrusted to it.”

As far as the use of charms, amulets, etc., that they are allowed in Islam can have no two opinions. Only those are prohibited in which the help of Jinn or Shayatin has been sought.

A hadith of Muslim says that the Companions asked: “Messenger of Allah, we have a charm whereby we treat those stung by scorpions; but it seems you have prohibited charms.” And they recited (the charm) before him. He said, “I do not see anything wrong (in it); whoever of you knows that he can help his brother with what he has, let him.”

`A’isha (ra) said, “The Prophet asked me – or suggested (in general) – to treat the evil eye with the help of charms.” (Bukhari)

The problem then, is not of lawfulness or unlawfulness. It is that of a people, steeped in ignorance, whose entire dependence is on charms, amulets, talismans etc. which is strongly disagreeable. There are many mortal diseases, in which only medication can help. There have been people who lost a limb because they depended on charms. Their cancer could not be identified by the charmer. Pregnant women have suffered still-birth because they thought an amulet would cure their stomach pain which was actually a pain in the womb. Those who lost their eye-sight and turned blind because of charms, country medicine, witch practices, fetishes, and so on, are no few in numbers.

Q: I want to give Zakaah. So could you tell me how it is done? I am not in Bangalore currently. Please help me out.

Madhiha,
On Email

YMD

Your intention to take out Zakah, is as beautiful as your name is, which should be rightly written in Urdu or Arabic as ‘Madeeha.’

Briefly: According to the Ahnaf, Zakah is applicable on an amount in one’s control, of value reaching up to about 80 grams of gold, or silver of same value, or cash, but not property, which remains saved for one Lunar year. Of this 2.5% is to be spent off one of the eight categories prescribed by the Qur’an.

It is applicable to men and women, the last mentioned should include the value of their jewellery, whether worn or not, but not dresses, household goods, diamonds or vehicles.