Letters to the Editor

Whom to Marry

M. T., via email

I am an engineering student and a regular reader of YMD. I have a few questions for which I request your short answers. I would be very happy if you are able to answer my question through e-mail as I think I don’t have that much amount of time to wait till the next month’s issue is out in the stores.

YMD

Regretfully, we do not answer on the mail. Consider. If you didn’t pick up a copy of our magazine from the stores, who will? Religious literature is not a can of popular Pepsi.

We two did all sort of things except intercourse. Now does it become necessary for us to marry each other? Has it become haraam for us to marry someone else?

YMD

Allah has said (24: 24), “Evil women are for evil men, and evil men are for evil women; and pure women are for pure men and pure men are for pure women.”

In the light of the above, you should first put yourself on a course of reform and development. Give yourself say a year during which you study Islam, make new friends who are committed to Islam, change your habits about how you spend your leisure hours, attend lectures or halaqas, listen to tapes, etc.

At the end of the year you may re-evaluate yourself. If you have spent the year well, you will feel that you have improved in several ways: intellectually, morally and even spiritually. You may then choose a mate in the light of your changed perspectives. If, at that time you feel your old friend is still the right person to get married to, then, go ahead and marry her. (Maybe, she would have also changed towards the better during this period). But, after you have improved yourself, you find yourself disinclined to marry her because of lack of certain qualities, then, do not.

You are not bound to the consequences or concomitant circumstances involving delinquencies of the past.

Another problem is that her parents do not agree to her marriage with me. So my next question is: should we tell the truth to our parents so that they consider our awkward condition and get us married at the appropriate time?

YMD

Have you not thought that informing your respective parents of your past relationship with each other would be sin upon sin, and a kind of blackmail?

As for awkwardness, we do not see any. You both need not marry each other simply because you have sinned with each other.

Hair Dyes and Deodorants

Naznin Ibrahim, via email

Can hair colors/dye be used by Muslims?

YMD

Dying of the hair is not merely permitted in Islam, but encouraged by the Prophet; except that it should be for ornamental purposes, and not to cheat, say at the time of engagement; i.e., an old man pretending to be younger in order to win the hand of a woman.

There are conflicting opinions of the scholars with reference to the color of dyes. Ahadith recommend hair-dying; but a few prohibit black color dying. However, some reports allow for a particular hair-dyer (called “al-katam” – a Yemeni herb), which actually results in hair acquiring black color. Further, some senior Companions (such as, Sa`d b. abi-Waqqas, Hasan, Husain, etc.) are reported to have used black color for dying their beards.

Of course, there is no difference in opinion over other colors such as red, pink, yellow, etc.

Can we use Deodorants? Is Namaz possible if we have used deodorants?

YMD

Yes, deodorants can be used before Prayers.

Kindly suggest some good Islamic books for reference for us teens.

YMD

For starters, “Islam the Religion You can no Longer Ignore” by Syed Iqbal Zaheer is good enough. Mawlana Mawdudi’s “Towards Understanding Islam” has proved quite successful in the past. But the minds of our generation does not seem to grant it a whole-hearted approval. We would still suggest its reading, since it presents the fundamentals in simple, logical manner. “Islam in Focus” is another good book.

For ahadith, we recommend you memorize the Arabic text of Forty Hadith of Nawawi and their meaning. If you can lay your hand on a translation of Tirmidhi, read its “Kitab al-Adab.” The “Kitab al-Fitan” of Ibn Majah is strongly recommended. Otherwise, or following them, you could read “Riyadh al-Saleheen” of Nawawi.

In Seerah, you could start with the shorter work “Muhammad the Unlettered Prophet who changed the world in 23 years” by Syed Iqbal Zaheer, following up with the larger “Raheeq al-Makhtum” of Mubarakpuri, or “Life of the Prophet” by Mahdi Rizq Allah.

Falling in Love

Nezamuddin, via email

I have a few doubts: Is it compulsory for men to keep their trousers above the ankle and wear a cap?

YMD

It is not at all compulsory to keep the trousers above ankles, but it is prohibited to lower them or raise them out of pride. So, the main point is pride. During the time of the Prophet the Arabs used to drag their lower garments to show off their wealth and express pride. In fact, one could recognize one of their nobility by the length of his lower garment. But since anyone with a grain of pride will not enter Paradise, the Prophet prohibited the practice. How many persons are not there among us today, who raise their lower garment to half their calf level, but behave arrogantly?

The prohibition of lower-than-ankle level trousers also applies to a variety of clothes, such as, for example, those that carry an insignia, symbol or emblem of a manufacturer on a shirt or pantaloon, to distinguish the wearer as standing out among the crowd, a sign of pride.

Among the Arabs the Ghutrah or Shammagh with `Iqaal, and Beesha serve the same functions.

Falling in love: is it a sin?

YMD

Falling in love or not is beyond one’s control. One just falls in love. And it is forever. Therefore, it is rare. Maybe true love between humans happens once in a century. Another emotion is infatuation. This too is not too common but not as rare as above, and lasts for a while. Then there is that “rogue love.” This is no more than hunger for sex. This is the commonest of all types. It happens all the time; and doesn’t last. Any marriage under the influence of this type of love bodes ill. Separation is pretty common.

Now, we do not know which love you have in mind. All the same, we can add that falling in love is not prohibited. It cannot be prohibited, even if it happens once in a hundred years. But the process of falling in love is prohibited. That is, first spotting someone, following her, gaining acquaintance, spending some time together, and finally, deciding to fall in love, ending with marriage. This process is prohibited. A believer is too busy, too realistic, and too duty conscious to attempt any such thing.

'Iddah

I want to know what is really meant by Iddat? For how many days should Iddat continue? What is forbidden in the days of Iddat? Can a widow go out of her house for some purpose? Pl. write in detail.

Sumerah Farooqui, via email

YMD

`Iddah, translated as “waiting period” is prescribed for women in order to ascertain that one of them is not pregnant from the deceased husband. The prescribed length is four (Islamic) months and ten days. If it is established that the woman is pregnant, then her `iddah is childbirth. That is, with childbirth she is eligible for marriage.

Apart from establishing and securing the child’s legitimacy, the `iddah has several advantages such as, e.g., she has food and shelter in the husband’s house for the length of the period; she gets a quiet time to recollect herself from the pain and shock and get normal. Thus, it is a period of transition and time to prepare for a new phase in life.

A woman in her `iddah may eat normal food, wash herself, wear normal clothes (of any color), keep herself clean and neat, comb her hair, and engage herself in every other normal activity. But she may not wear perfume, make-up, ornaments or unusually bright clothes. These are not “mourning” measures, but rather, in respect of the deceased husband, and means designed to avoid amorous attention.

Unless there be pressing need, she may not go out, participate in glamorous functions outside her home, festival gatherings, or gala ceremonies. But of course she can participate in religious halaqas, listen to speeches of visiting scholars, engage in da`wah works, or offer services to the poor and the needy. So also, if there is pressing need, she can go to the market to buy her foodstuff, etc.

Remarriage of Divorcees

I have read about the conditions of re-marriage after a talaq has been pronounced by the husband to the wife. I would like to know what the conditions are for a re-marriage between man and woman if the initial separation between the two was made on Mubarat. Your assistance will be most helpful. Kindly indicate any Islamic references if available.

M. K., via email

YMD

We do not understand in what sense you use the word “mubarat.” Nevertheless, a man and woman remarrying after, let us assume, one or two talaq(s), is quite permissible. But of course, on condition that the previous divorce was first, or second. If the divorce was third, then they cannot reunite without the woman marrying another person, and the next husband divorcing her entirely on his own, exercising his free will and not by design. In other words, it should not be an arranged marriage.

It may also be noted that if a man and woman decide to re-unite, after an earlier divorce, the new marriage has to be under new contractual obligations such as, e.g., new “mahr“.

Dome of the Rock

I have seen in papers/magazines that incorrectly publish “Dome of Rock” as “Al-Aqsa Mosque.” It is a conspiracy. The readers may please see this link: www.aprilyasin.org/holylandhistory.htm.

Hussain, via email

YMD

We do not see any conspiracy. Many Muslims are neither aware of the difference, nor interested in distinguishing, far from wishing to liberate it; unless somebody will do it for them.

Returning Bank Loan

I had taken educational bank loan in extremely needy condition knowing it should be avoided. It is not the case that I had not applied for scholarship but I did not qualify. On asking personally an Imam replied with the verses 278 and 279 of Surah al-Baqarah but said that in my case I should ask for forgiveness in prayers and repay amount as soon as possible.

I am ready to repent but how? I am paying interest to bank monthly. When I asked my family members they replied it is exceptional case. But I knew very well it is not so. What should I do?

I was asked by Dr. Khalid Muqeem to ask about this matter. I learned many things from him.. May ALLAH (swt) reward him both here and in hereafter.

S. A. A., via email

YMD

The obvious answers and solutions have not satisfied you. We suppose one way that you could adopt, to get rid of the loans and the interest, is to go around, man to man, seeking small or big loans, and thus return the bank the balance amount in a single installment. Our society still has individuals who will help out a sincere believer in trouble.

Not in their Heads

What are signs? The Qurán tells us to look for signs in many things in nature. The Qurán says that in these are signs for those who understand. Does that mean that we should not try to understand and leave it for those who understand? I do not understand.

Sadiq, via email

YMD

You are right. Either a person is able to recognize signs of Allah’s existence, His oneness, His Qualities and Attributes as spread and reflected in the physical world around him, or he is not able to. If he is not able to, then he should leave them to those who recognize and understand them, and lay faith in their understanding.

For instance, if they say, “Have faith in One God because there are signs of Him and His Oneness in the laws of nature,” then, he should simply believe in them and have faith in Allah and His oneness as having been proven by His signs in His creation; of course, as witnessed by other, better knowing people.

Obviously, one must choose the right kind of persons to seek understanding through. The Qur’an has said, “Ask the people of dhikr if you do not know.” He should not choose someone who says, for instance, that no God has been found so far, or there are four gods, etc., because, we have been asked to look for signs in the physical, material world, and not in the heads of the people. You have to make this clear to your guides: they should look into God’s world around them, (and not in their heads). They should say whether there is Unity of Command in the universe or not? Whether there is any design in it or not? Whether it follows the rules of logic or not? Whether there is any beauty in it or not? If you are told that these elements are found, then, you can work out the Signature of God’s existence in them. For example, if there is Unity of Command, then, they must inform you that they have notice Unity of Command. Then you can ask yourself, who could be issuing the Command?

You could move on, on those tracks, and build evidences. Ultimately they will lead you to conviction.

Internet

It’s a great pleasure being a subscriber to your magazine. I get to know a lot many things which I really can’t ask anyone around. I am a housewife from a middle class family and married since three years. I have a baby girl. My husband was with me till six months after marriage and then left for Australia for a job. He loves me a lot and I too love him and respect him. Everything went on smoothly until last few months when I was unaware of one devil called “INTERNET”. I was once invited by my husband to chat with him online. On my exploration I found many things that triggered my senses. I was completely out of my control and started practicing wrong things to please myself. I know it is not good but now I am kind of addicted to it. I am unable to give this up. How can I prevent myself from this? Please suggest. My husband can’t return till next two years unless his contract ends……

S. B., via email

YMD

You have a simple solution. Get the internet disconnected by removing the modem from your cpu. For all of your other purposes, you may go to an Internet Parlor. There, as a woman, you will not be able to browse through unethical sites.

Hajj on Bank-loan

I wanted to ask you the following question and request you to reply me via e-mail. I have read in the Islamic site “IslamOnline.net” that one can take a loan to perform Hajj but it should be without interest. As you know in today’s times it is not possible to get a loan without interest. What does one do in such a situation? Can I take a loan on my name and use that money to send my parents to Hajj, as in that case they would not be paying any interest?

Arsheya Khanam, via email

YMD

There are more than one issues involved. If you are sending your parents for Hajj, but if Hajj is not wajib on them, then, why should you be sending them across, especially when you cannot afford it?

But if you wish to send them on behalf of you, but Hajj is not wajib on you, then, once again, you are not required to do so.

Yet again, if Hajj is not wajib on you, since you do not have the means, then, why should you be borrowing money to offer a nafil Hajj?

Once again, why should you be borrowing from a bank and pay back interests when you are aware of its unlawfulness?

In short, from every angle, it is quite inadvisable that you should be borrowing money on interest for the sake of yours or your parents’ Hajj.