Letters to the Editor

Q: The first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saws) was ‘Iqra’ which means ‘Read,’ whereas we, being the nation of reading, are today suffering from lack of reading.

According to the ‘Human Development Report’ for 2003 published by UNESCO, a Muslim citizen reads much less than one book a year, while an average European citizen reads 35 books a year and Israeli citizens read around 40 books per year. Similarly, the ‘Cultural Development Report’ for 2011 which was published by ‘Arab Thought Foundation,’ says:

“The Arabs and Muslims, as a whole, read at a rate of six minutes per year, while the European has an average of 200 hours reading per year.”

As many organizations stated the growing illiteracy and lack of reading culture in third world countries have been mainly caused by the abject poverty that needs to be eliminated to promote the reading culture in Muslim societies.

In addition, there is a link between the interest in reading and the nature of the political system in a country: when freedom flourishes, reading rates go up. 

It is high time now to address the root cause and encourage the citizens to cultivate reading habits. 

Sumaya Adam Ahmed,
Student at Riphah International University,
CNIC P00110895, Somalia

YMD

A sad story, which promises to be sadder, ending with a whimper at the slum gates.

Q: I have a number of Qur’an copies at my house – mostly given as gifts. My question to you is: Can I donate one copy of Qur’an (it’s in good condition and in six volumes published by Iqra Welfare Trust, Bangalore), back to the Iqra Welfare Trust or any other Trust which takes the old copies of Qur’an for distribution.

Nilofer Ahmed, 
On Email

YMD

Yours seems to be another thread in the drama that promises to end at the slums.

Q: Pepsi and Coke are banned in the parliament canteen as it is poisonous and is used in Western countries as toilet cleaners. But the funny and the pathetic part of it is that the Coke and Pepsi are not banned in our country. And the poor masses are using it without any restriction.

The pizza is having a flavour E-631 which is made of pork and pigs and our children eat pizza. The media has been keeping us all in the dark about these things.

Abdul Salam,
19 M A Road, Phoenix Bay, Port Blair,

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

YMD

The media is not under our employment.

They work for those who pay them.

Q: I have the following question in my mind from the past one year, but didn’t get clarified since then. It is about greeting a non-Muslim in the Islamic way. Most of my friends say that we shall not convey Salam to non-Muslims (by saying Assalam-u-alaikum) and also shall not reply to them fully if they greet us saying Assalam-u-alaikum.

Could you please throw light on this? As per my understanding of Islam, we can greet them and also answer them in the Islamic way.

Yousuf Roushan,
On Email

YMD

Your last sentence announces that you already have an answer.

At all events, an Islamic answer is long and tedious, so, you can deal with the issue in a manner you do not send, by implication, any undeserving to Paradise, and not consign anyone to Hellfire, both of which are solely owned by the Al-Salam.

Q: Please answer my question with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No,’ and I request you to forward my question all over the world.

YMD

Regretfully, we do not feel that the question may be brought to the notice of people all over the world, if there was any who has access so wide.

Q. My question is didn’t Allah (swt) say us to avoid wastage and over-spending of money without proper reason?  Did Allah (swt), my God, ask you to offer Him money, gold, diamonds, platinum etc.? Did my God (Allah) ask you to decorate Him and His place of worship with wealth and worldly pleasures?

YMD

Is it your belief that the covering is an offering?

Q. He, instead, asked you to help the needy, the poor who are really poor, as said by Allah (swt) in the Qur’an. He, instead, asked you to spend your money in the cause of God and in the cause of serving humans.

YMD

Until modern history, the Ka`ba-walls used to be raised with mud and unchiselled rocks of all shapes and sizes. Obviously, when finished, it did not offer a pleasing sight. So, the practice was to cover it with cloth, which has been, through history, green, red, or white in color. The historical practice continues, with a new cover every year, while the old one is cut to pieces and distributed among dignitaries and religious people, who are proud to own their piece as an emblem of honor.

Q. People spend thousands of millions for the cloth used to cover Ka’aba; and that, too, when it’s changed once a year.

YMD

Hopefully, you know what a million is, what a thousand million, and thousands of millions. The covering costs $ 6 million.

Q. This thing comes under waste of money and Allah (swt) asks you when you return to Him to show up every account of the money you had spent.

YMD

Perhaps, from fear of Allah (swt), and following your own advice, when you build a house for yourself, you will make it of mud and unchiselled rocks of all shapes and sizes.

Q. If you really want to serve God, then afford all the water and food services for hajis for free of cost all over the Saudi who come to worship my God. If still you have plenty of money to spend, then build the hospitals, marriage halls, service centres, educational institutions and universities for poor and have a hand over all these on your own so that someone else may not cheat you by saying that we serve poor for free with the money afford by you, whereas they won’t.

YMD

So you acknowledge that those who serve the Ka`ba are swindled in the name of service and that they are your countrymen. You would know some personally. How about turning your admonition towards them?

  Ahmed Hussain Alishare, 
On Email

Q: What is the ruling for some liquid oozing out without eja… Is Ghusl Wajib?

Shaik Shadab,
On Email

YMD

It is not Wajib.

Q: I was reading one of your editorials titled ‘Virtues of Ramadan and the Qur’an’ published in June 2015. It says: “Ibrahim’s Scriptures were sent down by the first of Ramadan, the Torah was sent on the sixth of Ramadan, the Gospels were sent down on the 13th of Ramadan, Zabur had been sent down on the 18th of Ramadan while the Qur’an was sent down on the 24th of Ramadan.”

My question is with regards to the precise date of Qur’an’s revelation, i.e., 24th Ramadan, as per your article. If so, then isn’t Laylat-ul-Qadr either on the 23rd or 25th of Ramadan? That means we’ve decoded the night of Power?

A. Gafoor,
On Email

YMD

The statements in the sad article were from the sources listed within it. They were:

  1. Mawsu`tu Khutab al-Shamela
  2. Nida’u al-Rayyan fi Fiqhi al-Sawm ..
  3. Ihya’ Ulum al-Deen

The statements regarding dates of earlier or latest revelation were not based on Hadith.

Regarding Laylatu al-Qadr, there is no consensus of opinion as to when does it take place. So, we have not tried to fix it.

Q: Please inform why no female Sahabiat name is not in Asharat-ul-Mubashirah.

YMD

Your study-method appears to be following Satanic guidelines. It promises to take you off the track. We are required to study, absorb, practice, and supplicate for acceptance – and not ask back questions. The Qur’an said: “Do you want to make demands on your Messenger the way demands were made on Musa aforetime? He who exchanges belief for unbelief has, indeed, lost the right path.” (2: 108)

It also said: “Believers! Question not concerning things which, if disclosed to you, would vex you.” (5: 101)

If Shaytan brings to forefront such questions, you should seek forgiveness and attend to cleaning of your dark soul.

Muslim women themselves did not ask such a question.

As for answer to the question, you take the path of knowledge instead of trying to learn vicariously. Read detailed lives of the Companions to know who else apart from the `Asharah were given the glad tidings of Paradise, and what sort of tidings were given to the women Companions of the Prophet.

We could do some research and present you a ten-page report, but those who are filled with doubts are in great need of doing the research for themselves.

Q: Whether Prophet Muhammad (saws) had paid Zakah in his lifetime.

Syed Abdul Jabbar,
Hyderabad

YMD

We do not know whether to believe our eyes. Have you not read a single life of the Prophet in your life so far?

Q: Can you please tell me and your millions of readers whether Sajda (Prostration) can be done to others in addition to Allah (swt). Kindly answer in the light of Holy Qur’an and authentic Hadith Sharif.

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haque, 
On Email

YMD

Prostration for other than Allah (swt), living or dead, is strictly prohibited in Islam.

When one of the Companions, fresh from a journey to Persian lands, prostrated himself before the Prophet, he prohibited him.

Some false Peers have tried to bring prostrations for other than Allah (swt) into the religion of Islam, in the name of Sajdah Ta`zeemi (the prostration of reverence). But their arguments are false.

Q: I am from India. Please let me know if I can read Tafheem-ul-Qur’an by Moulana Maududi. I don’t know to understand Arabic. Hence, I need to depend on English or Urdu Tafsir. When I checked online about Tahfeem-ul-Qur’an by Maududi, there is so much confusion about opinion on his work. Many have even said it’s dangerous to read Tafheem as it has related to Aqeedah. But my father recommends me to read Tafheem-ul-Qur’an.

After reading those critics, I am very much confused. Please let me know if it’s really dangerous to read Tahfeem-ul-Qur’an. And why do people have issues with Maududi’s work?

I am not that capable to understand the mistakes in his work just by reading it, because I am still learning. I thought of reading Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Tafheem-ul-Qur’an both. But now I am stuck due to this confusion.

Maryam Ajmal,
On Email

YMD

There isn’t a book of some thought-content but which is dangerous for the uninitiated. Scholars have always recommended that reading should be undertaken under guidance. If a PhD candidate has to attempt his research under a guide/ supervisor, in matters profane, how much not more in matters sacred?

The Qur’an and Hadith are miraculously above the need for caution. They communicate divinely matters from divinely sources that promise to lead. The two are endowed with a Divine light which shines enough for a seeker to find his way in proportion to his or her intellectual capacity following the rule, to use a common cliché, ‘to each according to his reach.’ A person of very little intellectual reach, doing exactly that possibility which the divine light opens up for him, what was within his reach, will ever be guided. Arabic language is a physical condition along with sincerity as the spiritual condition.

So, if some responsible people told you about anything that ‘this is dangerous,’ then, prejudice is ruled out for such class of people, and, therefore, it would be an expression of truth.

Both Tafsir works, of your mention, are not the best for starters. You may first do a good translation of the Qur’an, say Yusuf `Ali’s (without notes) three times. This will give you an idea of what is of prime importance in it, and hence in your life, and, will educate you on some basic concepts. With three translations read, you will not miss these two elements. In less than three readings, whatever obtained might leave out soon. Embedded knowledge requires multiple reading of the texts.

In Hadith, you may start with Adab al-Mufrad of Imam Bukhari and graduate to Ma`arif al-Hadith of Manzoor No`mani.

In biography, you may begin with “Muhammad, the Unlettered Prophet who changed the world in 23 years,” by Syed Iqbal Zaheer, and then take up “Seeratun Nabiyy” by Shibli No`mani (first two volumes) or Life of Muhammad by Haykal, or Raheeq al-Makhtum by Mubarakpuri.

And in Hikmah, you could read “Arkaan al-Arba`ah” by Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi.

When you are through with this basic course, you might be ready to take up Tafsir of Ibn Kathir.

The whole could be finished in, say, a year. You would have then arrived at the shore of knowledge. So far it was collection of information and gaining of some concepts. From here onward, you might begin to obtain knowledge per se (gnosis) – provided you had treated Arabic language as your main thrust.

In a year’s time on the prescribed course, and you would have intellectually grown by three years.

If, at any time, you feel this is too much of a trouble, and a burden, then, you might face many roadblocks.

Q: You are doing a great job since the last four decades.  I have been reading YMD since 1993.  May Allah (swt) bless you all!

Khalid Hameed Khan,
Srinagar, Kashmir

YMD

May Allah (swt) accept.