Letters to the Editor
Muhammad Imran, via email
Allah (SWT) states: “But whosoever turns away from My message, verily for him is a life (of hardship) narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment” (Qur’an: 20:124).
Now, why Allah (SWT) used ‘We’ instead of ‘I’? Please explain in detail.
Not much detail is required for the explanation. The practice of using “we” in place of “I” is common in many languages and is employed to express respect and acknowledgement of authority. This “we” is known as the “majestic we.” It is not the “plural we.”
The practice is common to this day, especially among those who have been influenced by the archaic literature of the past or have been witness to the aristocratic culture of the near-past.
In the recently article published in Deccan Chronicle I have read that Mr. Tony Blair said: “Mr. Jack Straw had been ‘perfectly sensible’ in addressing the topic (Topic: Line on Veil), while Salman Rushdie is forced into hiding because of Muslim outrage at his 1988 Book ‘The Satanic Verses’ which used more forth-right language.” [NOTE: The topic is about Veil: that women should take off there veil in the Constitution].
My questions are: who is Salman Rushdie? Why he is in international news? Is he alive or dead? Is the book (Satanic Verses) written by Mr. Salman Rushdie Islamic or Unislamic?
After having reduced Iraq to stone age through 13 years of bombing, and then murdering hundreds of thousands of Muslims there, in an evil alliance with, (as a Nobel Prize winner put it), a rogue country, does someone who goes about now talking on issues such as, the rights of individuals to free expression, or other such related, but sickening, issues, deserve any hearing except in a genocide court? Why should Muslims ever pay any attention to someone who has been termed, by his own countrymen as, a poodle of a rogue king? He is speaking for money. If he got no money out of the topics he chooses, he will speak on race-horses, or casinos, if that will bring him the talk-fee. Apart from barking for the bone, there are other similarities: they bark at every issue they don’t understand.
It is no matter of surprise that a pervert called Salman Rushdie should be dear to the Devil. This man writes a novel of his taste, wherein he insults the most virtuous ladies of the Prophet’s time, not sparing his wives. The only truth that the novel consists is in its title: “Satanic Verses.”
Dead or alive, (unless guided by Allah) the author is equally worthy in both the states of existence and non-existence.
Muslim Indian Guy, via email
I am a seventeen year old Indian Muslim. I wanted to know whether earning on net by publishing the ads on the site (like I have on my site www.myejobs.tk) is Halal or Haram since I read a hadith where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The best of earnings is a man’s work with his hands.”
Most earnings come from work performed by the hands. But when the Prophet spoke of “work done by the hand,” he meant such works as smithy, carpentry, farm work, and so on, as against, for instance, trading. Yours is sort of a brain work.
I am asking this question particularly because sometimes I myself increase the earning and don’t obey their terms and conditions.
How we wish we knew what you are talking about.
An Academic Exercise
Tahir Ashraf Dar, via email
I am a regular reader of your magazine and I have a few questions: Is Jihad Fard-i-Ain or Fard-i-Kifayah?
We have pointed out in the previous issue that in the modern context, any discussion on Jihad is no more than an academic exercise. The great majority of the Ummah has abolished or annulled many Islamic commandments in this modern times. Jihad is one of them. All references to it have been removed from school syllabuses of many Muslim countries. Even when one of the Islamic countries is invaded, any Jihad is crushed not so much by the invader as by the authorities it plants, in connivance with the rest of the Islamic countries. Thus, after the “apex” of Islam was abolished, it became easier for the un-Islamic forces to move forward. In the next move, zakah has been abolished in many Islamic countries – not officially, but to all intents and purposes, on the pretext that the funds go to terrorists.
In this context, it is pointless to discuss Jihad. You may refer to the Qur’anic verses that define and declare the conditions for any armed struggle to become Jihad, for, not every armed struggle qualifies itself as Jihad.
Pl. see the reply on pages 10-11 of the Feb. 08 issue of this magazine.
What is Greater Jihad and Lesser Jihad? Speak of Jihad in the context of Palestine, Kashmir and Afghanistan.
The categorization of Jihad into Jihad-e-Asghar and Jihad-e-Akbar, was the first step that has led to the ultimate abolition of Jiahd in our times. A hadith documented by Bayhaqi reports the Prophet as having said, “We are returning from Jihad Asghar (minor Jihad) to Jihad Akbar (major Jihad).” The message that this hadith contains is that it is minor Jihad to fight in Allah’s cause, but major jihad to fight against one’s own carnal desires, or, simply stay in town and struggle against the Devil and the society to remain a true Muslim. In other words, engagement in zuhd-activities (salah, zikr, etc.) is preferable to dying in the battle-field for Islam. However, the collector himself (Bayhaqi) remarked that this is a weak report. Other Hadith experts have said that it is not weak but unknown as a hadith. None of the dozen or so major collectors recorded this hadith.
But the fabricated hadith suites many a pigeon.
On the contrary, the Prophet has said something else. A Sahih hadith of Tirmidhi reports that the Prophet was asked, “Messenger of Allah, what is equal to Jihad?” He answered, “You do not have the ability for it.” They asked him two or three times, every time he told them that “you do not have the ability.” At the third time he said, “The example of a Mujahid in the way of Allah is like someone in Prayers and fasts, who continues to Pray and fast until the Mujahid returns from Allah’s path.”
If one can look straight into his eyes in the mirror and promise himself that he will be honest, he cannot but ask himself, “How can zuhd-activities be ever superior to Jiahd in the way of Allah, when all that a man does to reform himself, by way of giving up good food, night’s sleep, or, on the positive front: Pray, fast, and perform zikr, are not only possible for a mujahid, but, much of which he is forced to do anyway?” That is, if someone practicing his Jihad Akbar is avoiding good food, praying and fasting much within the town, then someone in Jihad Asghar does these things all the time because of the circumstances in the battle-field. In addition, he allows his blood flow on his shoulders and breast, in comparison to the passive exertions of a zuhd-activist, whose exercises are no more than a piece of cake in comparison to the efforts of a mujahid, nor are the efforts to lead an Islamic life within the peaceful conditions of a town comparable to the option between life and death that a mujahid faces.
Length of a Beard
Zulfikar Ali, via email
I have two questions that have been puzzling me. The first one is – can a traveler offer qasr and jam` prayers together i.e. for instance, when there is no time to offer Zuhr can one offer it during `Asr, shortening both the Prayers?
Yes, it is allowed for travelers to do jam` and qasr of Zuhr and `Asr Prayers, or Maghrib and `Isha Prayers.
The Hanafiyyah explain that the two Prayers may be offered at the borderline of the allowed times between the two. Let us say one is intending Zuhr and `Asr together. He must offer the `Zuhr Prayer at the time when Zuhr-time is coming to an end and then immediately offer `Asr Prayer, as the `Asr time just starts. This is the preferable way. But if it doesn’t suit certain conditions of travel, then one might do what suits taqwa-requirement best.
Another one is about growing a beard. I have seen many Muslims – Tableeghi people, Salafis, even Dr. Zakir Naik who once used to trim – now grow a long beard trimming only the uneven parts. On the contrary, there are many others – Jamat-e-Islami people, scholars like Hasan al-Banna, Qaradawi, and many – who always trim it and have it short. Both give valid reasons quoting from the hadith. Under such circumstances what should be the decision of a Muslim youth who has to face severe criticism from both sides, and, in addition from his parents and relatives. The non-Muslims also do not like a long beard?
While millions in Palestine face starvation, invaders in Iraq and Afghanistan keep relentlessly bombing civilians for resisting their occupation, and while the Arab and Ajam look the other way, to be discussing the length of beard borders crime.
The Prophet recommended lengthening of the beards to oppose the pagans. But he did not issue a threat for not doing as he suggested. Those pagans are not there anymore. What is the permanent rule? There is no agreement and can never be arrived at because there is no hadith which says that if the beard is not this much long, a Muslim will enter Hellfire.
The middle path is always the best path. Ibn `Umar is reported to have held his beard in his hand-grip and got the rest clipped.
If someone clipped it to invisibility, he may not be criticized. If some others took it to the navel, they may not be criticized.
After a mark of identification, one’s appearance is important in reference to the beard and the clothes one puts on. One should not look like a yogi – for the length of the beard, nor should he acquire a scary figure with whom a non-Muslim would not like to appear together. But, one need not be unduly moved by their criticism either. If they do not approve of any beard, long or short, then, they may know that we follow neither beardless Pope for whom Jesus Christ is no model, nor Jews who care for the most minor details of the Law of Torah, but can cold-bloodedly murder thousands in Palestine. We present ourselves as no fanatics, but, as examples of good behavior and care of the weak. That is our true identity, not the length of the beard.
Mohsin Akhtar, via email
I am doing an MBA in the field of Finance. After that, I will try to find a job in the bank sector. Is it the right place for Muslims?
No, it is the wrong sector to work for.
Q.2 I have an interest in the share market. Is share market better for us or not? Could I purchase share (investment in share market).
You could enter into share market business. But it is pretty risky. At one point you lose all and end up bankrupt. Accountancy is far better.
My son an eighteen-year-old who is a western music fanatic and has taken a part time job as a DJ and enjoys every bit. No amount of persuasion and reasoning seems to have had any effect. Though I know it is a passing fancy and an adolescent fad, I am unable to handle it… He listens to everything and attends to his studies and prayers, but refuses to give up this job. His playing music at different joints offends me a lot, but he says it is a hobby. I have tried to instill moral and religious fear into him, but nothing works. Do you think playing music in these joints is acceptable?
A Harried Mother, via email
Your son playing music around is definitely not acceptable. Nor it is a passing fad. If it was mere listening, it could be treated as a passing fad. But a player rarely comes out of it. Playing music leads to dance and drugs. Let alone Islamically, otherwise too this is a field filled with risks of various sort, affecting not only the health of the soul, but that of the body and mind.
What’s the way out? You will have to place social pressure on him. Get together his close kin to the agreement that so long as he plays music, he need not enter any of their homes, at any time, including at functions. This boycott will have good effect, although it will be some time before he feels the pinch.
Next, collect together a few men and women and visit the joint in which he plays music. Tell them that they do not depend on him for the success of their business. But the success of the family depends on him. Therefore, he may not please be hired. If he changes to other joints, follow him up there.
Mohammad Imran, via email
I memorize the short ahadith published by you. Being a secondary school teacher and pursuing Degree, I used to write short ahadith from your magazine on board in my class to teach my students. Can I continue?
And please specially pray for my success for here and hereafter, because my father is no more and I am the only one who works for my family.
May Allah grant you success. The short ahadith published by us are meant for the purposes of memorization. Your effort at getting them memorized is dissemination of knowledge. You have glad tiding from the Prophet in your favor. It says, “May Allah keep shiny and bright the face of a person who received a statement from us and then passed it on to others exactly as he heard.”
I am a Government employee. We pay insurance amount every month. It will be returned to us after ten to twenty years. My question is: How to pay Zakat on this amount? Whether every year on the amount accumulated or on receiving on maturity? Is the amount paid in addition to our premium by the LIC (paid as bonus) is permitted in Islam to take?
Abdul Majid, via email
Mufti Shafi` Deobandi (may Allah rest him in peace) had issued the ruling in this connection that since the Provident Fund scheme is run by the Government, which feels its obligation to look after its employees after they retire and get old, it is legal to contribute to the Fund, and receive whatever the government returns, even if it is more than one’s contribution because the government utilizes the funds and creates income from them. Whatever bonus is added to it is also legal. It becomes unlawful only if interest is paid on the amount.
The Qur'an & Arabs
I would like to know whether the Qur’an recited in Taraweeh are understood by Arabs like we understand any thing in English or Hindi. During the Taraweeh I am unable to understand anything being recited. Will I get any reward even if I simply listen?
M. Zahid, via email
It is an interesting question. Why did it occur to you that the Arabs do not understand the Qur’an? Do you imply that, could those who understood the Qur’an be in the state they are? Or, did you mean that just as Shakespeare is no more understood by the British, do the Arabs also fail to understand the Qur’an because it is in archaic language? The latter is probably the likelier question. And the answer is, yes, most Arabs understand most of what they hear of the Qur’an – including even the illiterate Arabs. This is because the Qur’an has such influence on the Arabic language, that it has rendered it incapable of development on such lines as where Qur’anic vocabulary and literary style will become unfamiliar. In other words, Qur’anic diction, phraseology, sentence structure and grammar influence the Arabic language so much, that such changes as will make the modern language a different dialect is implausible.
The classical Persian is no more understood in Iran, the classical Greek is no more understood in Greece, the classical Hebrew is no more understood in Israel, although these languages are their respective national languages, but the classical Arabic is not only understood today, but the best writing is still in the classical Arabic. Why? It is because of the Qur’an.
Since Allah (swt) has promised that He will preserve the Qur’an, the plain implication is that the Arabic of the Qur’an will also be preserved.
As for rewards, there are two kinds of rewards in reciting or listening to the Qur’an. One: the basic reward for lending the ear, giving the time, entering into a phase of worship that prevents harm to others, staying away from sins, and so on. This reward is everyone’s share who enters into one of the devotional acts, e.g., doing taraweeh Prayers. Two: the reward of understanding what one is listening to. If someone knows the language of the Qur’an, then the understanding of what is being recited, goes deep down into the mind and soul, stays there for short or long time, and has its influence on the behavior of a person. This indeed is the higher and truer level in addition to the basic, level-1 reward. To give an example, a man who is in the taraweeh Prayers for say an hour, cannot be lying during that particular hour. But, having not understood what of the Qur’an he is listening, he may speak out his first lie at the doorsteps of the mosque as he converses while leaving. On the other hand, an Arabic knowing person listens to the Qur’an in taraweeh Prayers, maybe for a much shorter while, but he hears how Allah disapproves of liars. He finds a strong voice within which prevents him from speaking out untruth. Maybe once in a while he loses control and speaks out a lie, but quite a few times the message planted in his heart by the Qur’an prevents him from lying. Thus, knowing the Arabic language helps a listener of the Qur’an in taraweeh Prayers, to achive a higher reward. Not only he is not lying during the Prayers, but also after the Prayers.
I work in Dubai for a cigarette company. Is it allowed in Islam?
Abdul Salam, via email
The Hanafiyy position is that smoking is “makruh” (undesirable). Therefore, working in a cigarette factory should be lawful.
A Psychic Brother
I am very much worried about my brother’s behavior! He is a person who has good character, good academic and Islamic knowledge, even his intentions with every person are good as his appearance is also good. But his behavior changes towards me, my sister and my mother! I am seventeen and my young sister is fourteen. When I was fourteen, his attitude was the rudest one and same is going on with my younger sister. He speaks very rudely with my mother though she loves him and cared for him more than us. He speaks rubbish words to my mother and my sister! We are very much worried about him and about the way his behavior changes towards us.
Can you help me by publishing an article about values concerning a mother and sisters? I’ll be thankful to you! He is a regular reader of the Young Muslim Digest and advises others to read it!
Fatima, via email
Rights of the kin and especially the mother are so well known that we doubt your brother is unaware of them. There could be several reasons for his present behavior:
(i) Maybe he is a spoilt child who thinks that the family exists for him or that the family is nothing without him. Extra care of children, especially doting by mothers, leads some children to this kind of behavior towards those who have gone out of their way to please them, throughout their life. This will need counseling and can be brought to normalcy.
(ii) Maybe he is not able to control himself because of the flux of hormones that are produced in undue quantities during teenage. If this is the case, it will go away by itself.
(iii) May be he has fallen into the company of rebellious class of young men, who rebel against everything. Change of company promises the cure, otherwise it may last a while, but not more than perhaps five years.
(iv) Perhaps he is a victim of a psychiatric disorder, such as, for example, bi-polarism. Only a psychiatrist can confirm this.
To find that out, and if you know a Muslim psychiatrist, or, if unavailable, a Muslim psychologist, then, invite him to your house for a cup of tea, during and after which, let him probe into the young man.
The above are all probabilities. For greater certainty we need to know a lot more about him as well as the family background. Maybe, there is exacerbation of the problem from others of the family. A face to face conversation is required to determine this.
A similar question had been asked earlier. You may please look into the answer given there.