Letters to the Editor

Q: How much of my day belongs to my father, who is psychologically weak, against my personal endeavours?

XXX,
On Email

YMD

All the time that you can spare, after attending to your necessary affairs, such as the time for your profession, or studies demand, may be given to the parental care.

Q: My father doesn’t understand others but cares only for his personal pleasures, watches TV for hours and weeps, eats without restraint although supposed to be on diet. Even then he feels that the family causes trouble to him and he is the victim. My entire day is going in to take care of him, without even getting a word of appreciation from him; it’s hard to resist it and continue being good to him in view of these difficulties. 

YMD

It appears that your father is more a victim of senility than psychological disorder. His situation can only get worse. Far from appreciating your services, he might be angry with you and everybody else of the family, not on account of poor service to him, but because of his declining mental and physical powers. He might consume a plate of sweets greedily, but throw the plate in your face – not because of dissatisfaction, but because of his mental state.

So, you will have to treat him as you treat a sick person. A truly sick person might look into the face of a doctor and remark: “What kind of a barber have you brought to me.” The doctor smiles and examines him patiently. That is how you will have to treat your father.

His rights on you are great.

For details, please read this month’s editorial.

Q: Can we use human images or videos for marketing? What about viewing human images? Does animation and sketching also falls into this? What about the scholarly opinion which states, in pre-Islamic times it was used to create deities to compete with Allah so was haram, which is not the case in today’s professional use of it? Please clear these long held questions.

Anonymous,
On Email

YMD

Whatever the purpose, using animations is allowable so long as they are not exact replica of human beings or animals. For example, the kinds below:

In the above examples, there is no great similarity between a real human and the caricatures. The boy, or his horse, have no similarity with the real ones. No horse looks like the horse depicted. So, such animations are allowable.

Nonetheless, it is advisable to avoid its application to any literature for adults. It is keeping in view of the love of cartoons that animation is tolerable in literature meant for children.

As for your claim, in your words: “the scholarly opinion which states, in pre-Islamic times it was used to create deities to compete with Allah (swt), and so, was haraam,” well, we do not know who these scholars are, and where is it that their opinion has been recorded. Hadith literature has not given any such exception.

Perhaps, a narrative has been twisted to arrive at the above illegal opinion. That narrative says that when Umm Habibah and Umm Salamah described to the Prophet that they saw images in a Church in Abyssinia, he remarked: “When a godly man died among them, they raised a Prayer-hall on their graves and decorated the walls with images. They will be the most evil of mankind in Allah’s sight on the Day of Judgment.” (Muslim)

A hadith clear of meaning and message says, “The most severely punished on the Day of Judgment will be the image-makers.” (Bukhari)

In view of certain ahadith, the scholars have said that if pictures are cut into two, then it should be allowable because no soul-bearing being is created in two pieces and so, the similarity is defied.

Q: For some time, there has been a lot of discussion regarding Zaira Wasim’s disassociation with Bollywood. In this regard, I have written an article for possible publication in Young Muslim Digest.

 YMD

We are unable to publish your article in our magazine. If not from an Assistant Professor, qualified as a PhD, discussing such issues, even the letter would have been difficult to accept except for criticism on its face value.

Q: The following statements have been issued by her: As expressed in her Facebook post, Zaira Wasim, an actress in Bollywood from Kashmir has quit her cine career for the sake of her Iman and Islam. She had an accomplished career – something which most people only dream of – but she is young and fresh in her thinking and that has proved vital for her decision to sacrifice attractive deception and embrace Islam.

YMD

We do not know who this lady is, nor have, given the background by you, any desire to investigate. But to evince appreciation for “success” in sinful activities is un-Islamic. To say that “she had an accomplished career” is to grant legitimacy to the career.

Further, to consider her abandonment of sin as a ‘sacrifice’ speaks of misplacement of Islamic values.

Q: She has juggled between her showbiz career and inherent Iman like everyone, but she had courage to take the stand. Her sacrifice for Allah’s sake and departure from Bollywood has left many in cinema industry, TV industry, media, journalism, and so called civil society shocked and have put them in soul-searching, introspective, mode.

YMD

Exiting the showbiz carrier was no sacrifice, but a step to escape punishments in the After life.

Q: While most of them had remained silent, few of whom Satan has touched expressed their decision as regressive, unnecessary and backward. Some of them have even gone to complain that why she had made this as an issue, she could have left silently; we understand the wisdom that, by doing so, she has decimated options for Satan whispering and has given Da’wah to billions, practically showing what actually value of Iman and Islam is. In her message, she has expressed some amazing life-lessons and advises that Ummah must listen. 

Dr. Abrar Ahmad,
Asst. Prof., Dept. of Electrical Engg.,
Asst. Proctor, Nodal Officer IQAC, F/O Engineering & Technology, Jamia Millia Islamia

YMD

She did what she did. But where are those who learnt a lesson? Is it possible that the praise and effects of her message, as expressed above, are only hyperbolic?

In Islam, it is not the act of repentance that is given special attention. It is what they do after repentance which is counted as worthy of notice. For example, if a lifelong drunkard repents, then his repentance is appreciated if he revolutionizes his life. If, for instance, he distributes all his wealth among the poor, and starts off in Jihad, achieves martyrdom, then it is that his repentance is considered worthy of note.

`Umar b. al-Khattab repented his heated one or two sentences when talking to the Prophet, he expiated by observing fasts all his life. That is, not his repentance, but his expiation that has been noted. It is expiation that impresses us.

When `Umar bin `Abdul `Aziz was nominated Khalifah, he returned all his wealth and property given to him by his own relatives in governmental posts, to the central funds and, thereafter, lived the life of a common man.

When Farazdaq, a famous poet, who received tens of thousands from previous rulers as gifs, appealed to the new ruler, `Umar II gave him 4 Dinars, because all that he could afford was that amount from his personal earnings. Farazdaq remarked, in effect, “These 4 Dirhams are dearer to me than those tens of thousands (given by previous rulers).” The repentance of `Umar II then, has been placed in historical records because it was followed by atonement.

Further, the lady cannot be given special attention simply because there was a time when she was glamorous.

Q: How do we define a career path for ourselves?

ZZ,
Bangalore

YMD

Islamically, careers and professions have not been given a special place in a man’s life, far from treating them as sacrosanct or even inviolable. Overemphasis by the humans –initially non-Muslims but now even Muslims – has given career an importance worthy of deference and preference over all other activities of life, to the point that now devotion to it is treated as a virtue. For many, it has become a religion, and to the majority, a deity, so that, in order to serve this new deity, humans stay away, by the millions, from their loved ones, including wife and children for decades, visiting them for a short while every one or two years. Children grow, marry, and produce offspring of their own, while the man out remains out, returning home perhaps at the end of his life. Out there, he lived a life of hard work and low depression.

Others, the more devoted ones to this deity, leave their parents for good, and take their wife and children alone, following the incessant demands of their careers. Their parents live in loneliness, and die in loneliness, unattended, unloved, and to their last moments longing to see their offspring whose deity and other conditions, does not spare them leave to go and live with those who gave everything and every moment of love and care to their – now absconding – children when they were little. They received love and care at a time when,if neglected, they would have grown as under-developed children, but ignore them when the same parents need them the most. Such is the devotion to the new deity called career.

Islam does not approve of this new deity which tortures its devotees and their loved ones. Islam and Iman, when adhered to, give peace, no matter what a man’s means of earning. This is because Islam’s Lord is Himself qualified as “Peace” (Al-Salaam).

There is another aspect. Islam has no use for career in its social system. It does not divide the people by their careers. A doctor and a barber are one to it. If there is any gradation, it is on the basis of piety. A barber can be closer to Allah (swt), than a doctor – which, in fact, happens to be the case in many instances – at least to our defective and short-sighted eyes. Allah (swt) knows best.

From a material point of view, Islam is not concerned with the kind of profession, but rather by the quality of profession. The more efficiently a work is done, the more likely to win Allah’s approval. The Prophet advised, “When you do a thing, do it well.”

Quality includes the profession’s beneficial value. What benefits the mankind most, pleases Allah (swt) most.

Further to it, a Muslim’s own strength in whatever he indulges in is not to be neglected. The Prophet said, “A (physically, educationally, economically), strong believer is better, and more approved by Allah, than a weak believer – although there is goodness in everyone (strong or weak).”

So a Muslim keeps his eye on his strength as he works in a profession. Off and on he examines the results of his efforts: is he growing in strength or not? Is he is economically growing or not so as to support widows, orphans and others of the depressed class? Some of the Companions of the Prophet, the trend-setters, worked at night – for example watering plants in an orchard on wages – in order to be able to spend in charity. In modern scenario, a Muslim works diligently and efficiently in order to rise higher in rank in the eyes of his employer and earn promotions, resulting in higher wages, in order to pull up the downtrodden to the level of others to lead a respectable life.

And because he is not a slave of a career, he will have no difficulty in abandoning a profession and adopting another, if he is sure that he will better succeed in the other, so that, once again, play greater part in social upliftment of his brethren. For example, if he is educated to work in an office, he will have no hesitation to start a business in eggs, if he is sure of success. However, such change should not be for uplifting himself to be able to lead a higher quality life, although all his needs were neatly fulfilled in the previous profession. The key then, is service to others, and gaining approval of his Lord. He will do anything for it.

Q: What is a career path in today’s day and time where we don’t have to associate ourselves with Capitalism?

YMD

What do you mean by saying, “today’s … Capitalism? The world has always been Capitalistic. Some reformers tried to set up a non-Capitalistic, socialist economy. But the Capitalists of rest of the world, went after them like hungry dogs, and finally, tore them to pieces.

However, is it interest-based economy that you are alluding to? If so, then, to a large extent you can disassociate yourself from such a system, by doing your own business. Despite the fact that the interest-based economy has overwhelmed the world economy, and enjoys a vice-like grip on it, leaving fewer than few options for any venture to get out of the system, gaps and cracks still exist wherewith one can stay away from the larger devilish economy and do clean business.