Letters to the Editor
Q: I have noted that you are against Ahl-e-Hadith. I guess you support JIH from behind. Is there any mistake with Ahl-e-Hadith? Even JIH are not strictly followers of Hadith. I am a regular reader of YmD. Please clarify.
Mohammed Saifur Rehman,
We do not support anyone from behind. The Qur’an has prohibited working from behind. We work from the front supporting or criticizing.
We are not against this or that Jama`ah, nor do we belong to this or that Jama`ah. We are actually in favor of every Jama`ah, for the good work they do, of one kind or another. The Jama`at are playing an important role in the organization and reformation of the Ummah. The Ummah will be worse off without them.
That remains our position, so long as any of the groups does not propagate Bid`ah ideas and practices, such ideas and practices as having been criticized by the great majority of scholars – of all times.
A certain Bid`ah-practicing man said to Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani: “Listen to me.” He paid him no attention. The man said, “Just a word.” He replied, “Not even half a word.” Hakim reported the Prophet (saws): “He who paid homage to a man of Bid`ah, helped him in the destruction of Islam.” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi)
Bid`ah then, is something very serious. No compromise can be made.
That apart, we are generally also against anything said or done that goes against Islamic spirit of open-mindedness, all-inclusiveness, and are particularly against those who sow discord.
Ahl al-Hadith is not one of them. But another group which identifies itself with them, although somewhat vaguely, and even incorrectly, does earn, in certain matters, our disapproval.
That said, the situation in our times is that to state the majority opinion makes many Muslims uncomfortable. To them, criticism of any kind is simply beyond their tolerance, while to some, this virtue is a sign of rebellion against God.
Q: What is Jihad?
Abdul Basit Teli,
Jihad, when mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith, and the context shows that it refers to fighting, then it is “armed struggle, through personal involvement, in the battle-field, with the objective to hold aloft Allah’s Word.”
We have used the words, “when it refers to fighting,” because sometimes it has the connotation of mere “struggle.” For example: “But if they strive with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, then obey them not.” (29: 8). In this verse the word used, jaahadaaka, has the sense of contention, striving, a forceful attempt at a change of position, etc.
Q. Amin Ahsan Islahi and Shams Peerzada have heavily criticized this narration… (Regarding) their argument, is there is no match between the Qur’anic language and the verse mentioned in the Ahadith… Kindly throw some light on this narration and the concept of Naskh of the Verse and its recitation, not the Law.
You have not stated what you are referring to. However, the scanned page of Tadabbur-e-Qur’an that you have attached refers to Surah Noor, Ayah 1. Of Shams Peerzada, you have sent nothing.
Under this Ayah, Amin Ahsan Islahi has committed over fifteen pages of discussion. But, the content is tiresome to read, irritating and offensive.
His allegations against the renowned commentators of the Qur’an, and no less renowned Fuqahaa’ are sickening.
Having rejected the great body of Hadith under the guise of rejection of the Aahaad type, and then showing appalling disrespect of the Mufassirin and Fuqahaa,’ declaring them as schemers, the question that arises is, why did he have to quote them at all. Having dismissed a million authoritative Islamic source books, as produced by the naïve at best and dishonest at worst, as he would say, he should have gone on to write and explain his own ‘Islam’ instead of producing nine massive volumes, of so called Tafsir, digestible only to those who approve of him because once he belonged to a certain Jama`ah.
To properly evaluate his Tafsir one would require, without any exaggeration, a volume of the same size as one of his nine volumes. We have to be content with a few quotes from his explanation of Ayah 1 of Surah 24 but restricting ourselves only to first two or three pages of his commentary.
- “As for the apparent meaning of the ayah… our Fuqahaa’ have placed restrictive conditions on the general meaning, some of which are right, but some, according to me, wrong, and others need details.” (v.5, p. 364)
- “The Fuqahaa’ have declared that in an Islamic State, Islamic Laws of Capital Punishment cannot be applied to non-Muslims. This is wrong. The Laws (of stoning to death; cutting off hands, etc) should be applied to non-Muslim citizens also.” (v.5, p. 364)
- “When the commentators of the Qur’an could not find a hadith (concerning abrogation), they used other sources to abrogate. This is an example of the doings of the Fuqahaa’ that has chased away Muslims from their religion.” (v.5, p. 366)
- “I have reported this narrative (concerning what `Umar (ra) said, despite my dislike, in order to remove the cobwebs that the atheists (Zanaadiqah) have spread across, and our commentators and Fuqahaa’ have, in their naivety, introduced them in Tafsir and Fiqh” (v.5, p. 366)
- “The weakness of our Fuqahaa’ has been that when they debate with their opponents, they hit back at their heads with any stone or brick they can lay their hands on, without considering how that will affect the religion.” (v.5, p. 366)
The above is from just two pages of Tadabbur-e-Qur’an.
We have earlier written in these pages of our magazine, in no ambiguous terms, that this Tafsir may not be read by any, except he who can refute every wrong statement in it for the sake of those who failed to achieve that capacity.
Q. What is the wisdom behind such type of abrogation? Please refer to:
Mohammed Ilyas Mir,
We have not referred to the site you have cited.
Revelation and abrogation are both Allah’s acts. And Allah says that none can circumscribe His knowledge. How are we then to explain the Wisdom behind revelation or abrogation?
The Companions of the Prophet, whose submission was of complete and of superlative order, never asked an explanation. It was only hypocrites who raised objections. They were half-blind. On the other hand, the unqualified and unconditional submission of the Companions opened their inner eyes. They saw what the reason was behind the revelations, how it all fits into a web of wisdom-filled commandments, injunctions, and admonitions; and it only increased their faith and commitment. Doubts are the backpack of the hollow-hearted.
Nonetheless, in general, one can say that this particular abrogation, regarding the stoning to death of two adults, married adulterers, is following the demand of Allah’s mercy. In several cases, Allah left the commandments to remain in Prophetic statements but removed them from the Qur’an so that if some crackpots, mud-headed, or skeptics, denied that Islam has ordained death by stoning for adulterers, he would be only denying a hadith and not a commandment of the Qur’an. If it was in the Qur’an, its denial would have meant outright Kufr, altogether denial of any of Allah’s mercy at any time.
Q: My doubt is this: Does the Shariah permit Muslims to salute the national flag on the Republic and Independence Day celebrations?
We do not know which country you are from. But the problem is not specific to any country. The practice in question has been adopted by a few nations – but not in most of the Islamic countries. The idea – they claim – is to instill patriotism.
But Islam does not encourage patriotism. It encourages pietism. Being unpatriotic, if it involves any dishonesty, then, that is a sin of the worst kind in Islam.
If you are patriotic to a country, then, what happens when the country is divided into two or three, and the part you originally belonged to is gone to the split ones with your own family, property, business, and friends spread over three? It is important to give a rational answer because the problem is real. In our own lifetime, some 120 new states have been created since 1945, by dividing the old ones. The trend will continue. Now, which nation owes your patriotism, and why?
In any case, what is meant by patriotism? You will not find an answer agreed upon by all. To some, perhaps it means loyalty to the nation. But, what does loyalty to the nation mean? It is the soldier (one in a hundred thousand of the civilians) who must prove his loyalty by laying down his life, during a war started by the politicians. (An American soldier says, ‘We were used in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the benefit of the Corporate Businesses’).
Perhaps loyalty also means not to sell off the secrets of the nation. But ordinary citizens have no access to the secrets of the nation. Indeed, there are few secrets for, much of it are already stolen by hackers. Even CIA’s secret files are lifted off.
In short, loyalty to the nation carries no meaning and so does patriotism. That is why the politician sometimes interprets it as disrespect to the nation. But he makes policies that suit his party first and the nation next, if at all. Consequently, if you criticize the policies, you are called unpatriotic and disloyal. Perhaps then, this is the purpose of asking the citizens to be loyal.
It also means to some people singing out the greatness of the nation. But – sans the propaganda – the nation ranks below seventy or eighty other nations. Yet, the politician plays on this card. If you criticize his policies, once again you earn negative laurels.
The irony is that a man may be fully patriotic to his country, in the above senses, but might be hiding crores of black money. He might be saluting the flag several times a day, but takes his money out of the country and invests it in foreign countries. Another is a smuggler. A third borrows from banks with the help of false documents. The banks go bust, and the small-timers lose their tiny savings of life. (Hundreds of banks have failed in India, thousands in the USA). The criminals are in millions. They all salute the flag.
It is obvious that saluting the national flag means, to one and all, nothing at all.
Perhaps, this is the reason why there is hardly a nation which asks its civilian citizens to salute the flag. It is left to the military, as a gesture of respect. But, respect to what? Nobody is sure.
So, the answer to the question you have raised cannot be given in terms of Halal and Haram without first defining what it means, and what should the stress be about saluting the flag or be righteous, law-abiding, citizens?
Q: I want to know is doing da’wah compulsory for a Muslim, as we live in India there are 80% non-Muslims here. So it is compulsory for us to do da’wah?
Da`wah hasn’t got anything to do with population proportions. Da`wah is an on-going obligatory process for a Muslim, male or female: the effort that lasts the lifetime.
But, any complex idea that the common man is exposed to, without the explanation of its complexity, without the eagerness to realize the complexity, and the resolve to plunge into it, at the cost of his own money, time, and energy, can only further confuse him about his role… and the scope… of transforming the topic into a gossip that has a fresh start every new day.
The increase in the hatred of Islam and Muslims, the spread of (false) pride and arrogance among the peoples populating the globe, the rise of intolerance, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and several other diseases of mind and soul, add immensely to the challenge and to the qualification required of a Da`ee.
Theoretically, everybody is all praise of Da`wah, but practically, it is so hugely demanding that it is only a penury few who are inspired to deliver it. And, when they do, without the qualifications, the delivery is poor and sometimes harmful. The results might be gratifying to some, but hurtful to many, beneficial to some, harmful to many, many.
What hurts the cause most is the lack of commitment to it, refusal to become serious, and, get about acquiring the qualifications, instead of staying at the inquiry level for decades.
But it so happens that for many, the most disappointing and frustrating part is to be told that a Da`ee is required, to begin with, himself: He is the Da`ee, and he is the Mad`u, the caller and the called. ‘Heal thyself, O Doctor!’ is an old adage, fallen into disuse now.
Consequently, the cart remains lodged into the sludge while practicing Muslims rush by to seminars and conventions. Some have left it to the TV, YouTube, and other electronic devices to take over.
Q: I wish to receive some Islamic Literature and if available copies of the Holy Quran. My address is as follows: Akinwale Lawal, No. 30, Ishola Street, Barika Area, Opposite Second Gate, Oyo State, NIGERIA.
We are sorry to say that we cannot afford to send you any books. We print your request in hope that somebody may attend to the request. If they wish to include any of our publication, they may write to us for the availability and price.