Letters to the Editor
Q: I was asked, isn’t Hijab a disturbance for woman? “The Hijab is like a cell for women, I used to go to Iran and other Islamic countries and meet the native women, they did say they were insisted and attacked for not wearing Hijab, then what is the relevancy in ‘الدين يسر‘ ?” said the questioner.
It is obvious that the question is from a non-practising Muslim or from a non-Muslim.
Islam is a revealed religion: revealed by the Lord of the world. It is not a product of human thought. It is also a religion beyond times and climes. It is for those who agree to submit to the Lord of the worlds. It is also a complete religion, in the sense that does not borrow anything from any other religion and does not allow its parts to be dropped out: “take it in full, or drop it in full.” No adulteration.
It is for the entire mankind, not for any kind or class of people, of a certain period in their history.
It is also a religion of choice. That is, one has the right to accept it or reject it. It does not promise immediate material rewards to those who accept it, nor does a stone fall on the head of one who refuses to adopt it. It is sent by a Lord who is primarily kind towards its acceptors and its rejecters alike, but is not affected by their acceptance or rejection. He is in no need of their submission. They may or may not organise their lives following the demands of His religion. If they think they are burdened by its demands, then, let that be so. His religion is beyond their likes and dislikes. If they accept, let them know this prior to their acceptance. If they reject, it is up to them. They can always walk to the other side: to the comfort zone of their own design – although the Lord ‘advises’ against it and informs them that no comfort zone exists. It is a mirage at best.
So, if someone thinks that commandments of hijab, or wife’s subordination to her husband, or disapproval of usury dealings, or month-long fasts, or five daily prayers in congregation, or a compulsory 2.5% of payment from savings as charity, or prohibition of prostitution, or gambling, or wine … and hundreds of other things, then, he can cross to the other side. But a foot here and a foot there is not allowable: either here or there, make up your mind.
Turning to the philosophical objection as to what is the meaning of الدين يسر (The religion is easy), in this scenario, our first answer is, how can a people living the modern life raise such an objection when life-system as designed by them, demands women to leave their homes, children, and the comforts of homes and go out to toil the whole day and the family live on, what they themselves call us “junk food?”
Also, the objection and the question are not genuine, for, they never raise them in open press against millions of orthodox Jews living in New York itself, with their women practising strict hijab as demanded by the Talmud Laws, which demand that their women do not reveal more than one eye in public. Neither do a million Jewish women raise any objection, nor women of the free world do it. So, it is apparent that concerns are not genuine and objections are raised to deflect Muslim women and they are from those who target Islam itself in answer to a growing kufr in their hearts.
A second answer is that the statement is not about a specific element of the religion of Islam. It is about religion as a whole. You are trying to apply the statement to a specific part. For example, you might have heard a scientist saying, “Science is common sense.” But for a layman, understanding ‘Black Holes” is far from easy.
At all events, for a normal people, it is easy to live following its instructions and obtain satisfaction. But, for a people who do not live a normal life, (e.g. they believe that they are a superior race above all others, or assume that they are preferred Children of God, etc.) then the religion of Islam may not be easy for them. For, at every step it refuses to give them a special status, making religion difficult for them.
Further, observation tells us that in comparison to other religions Islam is easy. An explanation and expansion will require a comparative study of various religious systems will invite troubles which we wish to avoid. You may take up a study.
Q: I am from South Africa. An Aalim is taking Masjid to court for reasons known to him claiming R 100,000. Is it advisable for him to pursue the matter? If the courts rule in his favour, will the money be halaal for him?
Muslims have generally established Shari`ah courts in every country to meet their legal needs. Where such a court does not exist, they may apply to the judgment offered by a body of prominent religious Muslims of their town. If such facilities do not exist in one’s town, one may appeal to a Muslim court in another town, or to a body of religious scholars.
Q: I work as Program Coordinator for Muslim Life at Columbia University’s Office of Religious Life. I am a student of Quran tafsir and Purification of the Heart, and my intention is to spread knowledge of Qur’an and Hadith (traditional interpretations) in order to help young Muslims feel confidence and peace in a rapidly changing world.
Recently, the Coronavirus epidemic broke out. As a consequence, I have observed that students in my community and online are struck by panic and fear. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:لَا طِيَرَةَ وَخَيْرُهَا الْفَأْلُ (“There are no omens, but the best of it is optimism”)
I’d like to argue that the consequences of fear will not be good for our Ummah, and offer a different perspective grounded in deen. I believe it is important to balance the negative media propaganda with positive reminders. The title is Three Reasons Not to Fear Coronavirus. Would you be interested in publishing an op-ed of 763 words on this topic? I have attached the sample below.
Nahla Hussein Ogeil,
We were unable to open the attached article. Please resend it in MS Word format.
Q: How can we perform Friday Namaz at home? I want to know the tariqah.
Mohamed Omer Ahmed,
Friday Prayers have not been instituted to be offered in homes. They are Wajib (Wujub al-Kifayah) on the community, to be offered in a mosque which offers facility for five congregational Prayers which are currently being practised, that is, it is not an abandoned mosque. Where no such facility is available, the community may work on creating it.
Until then Zuhr Prayers may be offered in lieu of the Friday Prayers.
Q: Why do we celebrate the Sha’b-e-Bara’at?
Those who celebrate the night, have no reason to do it. They celebrate it because it is part of their culture such as Birthday, Marriage, Death, etc.
Q: What is the significance of it?
The Shari`ah has not committed them to celebrate and therefore, it has no religious significance.
Q: Is there any support for this in Qur’an and Hadith? Please let me know about it.
There is none.
Q: Whether Arabs celebrate it?
The closer they are with the Qur’an and Sunnah, the more distant they are from such practises, such as the Saudis, the Gulf people, Oman and Yemen. The more others are – even Arabs – away from the Qur’an and Sunnah, the more they are likely to fall into such practises.