Letters to the Editor

Mainstream Indians

Mohammed Sadiq Janvekar, via email

There are two issues:

There have been many instances of corrupt officials docked via lokayukta, CBI or anti-corruption departments. I felt ashamed that two Muslim brothers holding responsible positions of public trust have been in the lokayukta net. This is happening for the simple reason of rat race.


The demand on Muslims is to be in the mainstream. And, this is what it means to be in the mainstream. Why identify them as Muslims? Why not as mainstream Indians?

The Hindu, 27th May 2009 carries the news/advertisement that a whole family has converted to Hinduism. Herewith the names of the husband, wife and children.

Since YMD is based in Bangalore, could you please check the above via local mosque/leaders what made them change from true worship to false gods?


Given its weak financial resources, it is hard for YMD to conduct investigations of the sort you have asked. We suggest you set up a small panel of volunteers – headed by yourself – who follow newspaper reports of this sort and send the reports to Muslim media – such as we – for publication.

Kaniz and Laundi

Md. Zia-ul Haque, via email

By the grace of Allah (swt), I am the one and only person in the world who is a qualified Alim (passed Alim examination from Govt. recognized institution) with degrees in Science and Law.


There are a billion Muslims in the world.

Yet, I have no hesitation to admit the fact that being a regular reader of your esteemed magazine Young Muslim Digest, I have increased my Islamic knowledge quite a lot and, as such, my heart-felt thanks to you and all your other team members.


Yet the kind of institutions that gave you a degree, are still to recognize us, and give us our degrees – a practice prevalent in the Bilaad al-Kufr. Praise to Allah, anyway.

May I request you to let me know what do the terms ‘Kaniz‘ and  ‘Laundi‘ mean? Also, be kind enough to appraise me, and your readers, as to how, and from where, these terms originated.


One is of Persian origin while the other came into Urdu from one of the Indian languages. Both are obsolete terms, since the institution is obsolete.

Also, under what circumstances a woman can be kept without marriage?


Under no circumstance can a woman be kept without marriage.

Nikah on Phone

Syed Ilyas and Syeda Farheen, Hyderabad

I and a girl are in sincere love with each other.1 Declaring Allah and His Messenger as present,2 I offered to marry her, she accepted my proposal, I named the amount of mahr, and we got married on the phone.3 Is our marriage Islamically legal?4


1. Allah approves that people love each other. Life would be worthless if there was no love. Indeed, life would be impossible without love. If the mother did not love her child, there would be no children alive.

Just like two concepts: excitement and happiness are confused one for the other, although they are widely different, sex and love are also confused with one for the other. People who are in love with each other without having lived as husband and wife for a prolonged period, giving each other their rights, are in love for sex. They are confused between the call of sex, and love. Love takes a long time to take root. Blinded by sexual urge, each sees in the other what she or he does not have. With sexual urge subsiding, truer pictures emerge which may or may not lead to love.

What are the chances that true love will emerge? The answer is in a survey of previous cases. Over ninety percent are not in love after marriage. After some living together, they do not begin to hate each other; they are not indifferent to each other; but they are not in love. It is not necessary that they should separate out. They have decided that whether the choice was right or wrong, the best course is to carry on, especially in view of the children. Separation is no solution, because the chances of the next relationship ending in love are as slim.

But those who are not sensible enough, or assume themselves several times larger than what they are (e.g., despite being a college drop out, the man imagines that he knows better, and is better than his wife), usually separate out. In some cases, he proves such an animal that although he claimed once that he was in love with his would be life’s mate, in real life he proves that he loves nobody, including his children, and for his little happiness, abandons them and breaks away.

From real life experience, the great majority of the slogan of love is merely call for sex. Therefore, we do not accept your premise of love, giving it a one percent chance of having occurred.

2. The Prophet cannot be made to present himself in any way, neither by invoking his presence, nor by imagining his presence; neither for a social function, nor for spiritual or religious reason. He is in barzakh endowed with a special kind of life, and except that we can say Salam to him, which he hears if we are at his grave, or the angels take to him if we are away, he is beyond our reach.

As for Allah, any thought of registering His name as a witness in a human deal is blasphemy.

3. It was quite a drama, straight from the films, wasn’t it?

4. Your marriage was illegal in the eye of secular law, and a joke.

From Islamic point of view, it was a sin requiring repentance.

When you were dating, it was Islamically illegal.

When your lover decided to marry you abandoning those who gave her blood and love, she was sinning.

As a male, your sin is greater.

Another question: if our relatives do not approval of our marriage, can we use the Qur’an to influence the hearts of the people to our favor to make them agree to our marriage?


Please do not attempt any such thing. When Allah’s punishment descends, it affects all.

Mercy Killing

Irfan Ameen, via email

Is mercy killing allowed in Islam?


No, mercy killing is not allowed in Islam. It will be murder.

When a man could not bear his wounds committed suicide, the Prophet said that he was of the Fire.

A believer has an immense amount of bearing power. He never experiences a pain which would be so unbearable that he would commit suicide.

When Mawlana Shafi` Deobandi was in the hospital, he suffered great pain but was not moaning and groaning, while in the same ward other patients were yelling from pain.

Pain will be there. Even our Prophet underwent pain during his last days. But the pain is always bearable.

My cousin is around 20 years old but mentally retarded. If this could have been detected during pregnancy, would it have been allowable in Islam to terminate that pregnancy?


Why not go back a little more and ask, “Had mental retardation been discovered at the time of pregnancy, would it have been allowable in Islam to ask the parents to terminate the present pregnancy, and thereafter, not to co-habit anymore?”

This is a world meant for testing man. He gets everything that he needs and desires after, except for a little this, or little that inconvenience. And it is little this, or little that convinience, in which the test lies.

You would have seen husbands shouting at their wives, or wives nagging their husbands. What is it over? It is little this, or little that; some insubstantial things. Yet they will consider the conditions of living together as perfect. Little this or little that is not counted. Retarded children are little tests for the parents. Usually they double up their love and care.

But of course, you are merely one of the kin, and so, already tired of your cousin. Parents are not.

Book Review

Recently I bought a book series ‘Things Every Kid Should Know’ on smoking, alcohol and drugs by Alya Nuri. It was amazing to know that Alya is a nine year old Muslim girl. She has superbly discussed these three bad habits in three small books quite easy for every kid to understand. I believe a newspaper or magazine should offer book review of her works.

Maha, via email


Kindly send us two copies of the books that you wish to be reviewed.

Non-muslim Friends

I was led to a site (www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/060.asp) whose first page has the following verse of the Qur’an:

“O ye who believe! Take not My enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.”

The person who led me to the site meant that I should not be friends with non-Muslims. Is this true? This has put me in a really big dilemma, for most of my friends are non-Muslims but good in character.

Unaiza Faiz, via email


There seems to have been a good reason why someone guided you to the web-site.

While saying that they are good of character, you have used your own parameters, ignoring the parameters set by your Lord.

In the verses above, you have Allah’s words before you. There are a few more statements of the same nature in the Qur’an that you would do well to collect together and follow the understanding that they yield.

The verse quoted above is pretty clear in its intent. You may expend greater attention on the words such as:

O you who believe.” (Have you believed?)

My (i.e., Allah’s) enemies.” (Are those who hate Allah, your friends?)

Offering them love.” (Do you offer love to Allah’s enemies?)

They have rejected the truth.” (Do you approve of those who reject the truth?)

Driven you out.” (Into refugee camps, or slums).

You may ponder over the implications of the words of Allah we have highlighted. We have offered a single clue against each of them in between the brackets which you can use for pondering further.

You may next identify those who fit into the description, which will put you in a better position to decide your own terms of relationship.

The translated word “friend” as in the verse above, is quite misleading. The Qur’anic word is “walaayah” which stands for someone who offers support, is pleased when you are pleased, and is so close that one shares all individual and community secrets of such importance as which determine the life and death of a community or nation.

Islam is a well organized religion. It offers guidance for every variety of relationship that existd between human beings. The instructions are entirely faith-based and the spirit is of welfare to everyone involved, and, therefore, governed by “rahmah” (kindness) for all and sundry. It offers such guidelines as which leave everyone satisfied, Muslim or non-Muslim.

The terming of lowest to the highest in the wrung of Islamic concepts governing human inter-relationships, both at interpersonal as well as inter-community levels, are as follows:

Muhaarabah – Mu`aadaah – Baraa`ah – Musalahah – Musaahabah – Muwaasaah – Mudaaraah – Sadaaqah – Khullah –Mu`aakhaah –  Muwaalaah.

(محاربة – معاداة – برآءة – مصالحة – مؤاساة – مصاحبة – مداراة – صداقة – خلة – مؤاخاة – موالاة)

We have not stated their English equivalents, because, since the concepts are missing in systems other than Islam, equivalent terms do not exist. Between being: at war, enmity, quit-state, alliance, honoring human relationship, companionship, good treatment, friendship, friendship of purity, brotherhood, and absorption of one into will of another, are all concepts that need thorough research, discovery and practice.

Complete absence of Tawheed leads an individual or community to be at permanent war with the Truth (Muhaarabah), while the presence of Tawheed in its complete and pure form leads to the state of conceptual unity with the Ultimate Truth (Muwaalaah).

As to which applies where, when, and for how long, will require a thorough understanding of Islamic guidance concerning social relationships in the light of pure faith, guided by love, sincerity and purity of Tawheed where the last mentioned plays the key role. Once the concepts are understood, one needs to add the information regarding the rights of others upon oneself: parents, wife/husband, children, kin, neighbor, travelers, poor, who come in all varieties and shapes of character, the most despicable to the most lovable with all those who go in between – to determine how to behave with each variety.

Tawheed not only plays the key-role, but its presence throws defining light on the above concepts, without much instructions and guidance from outside, but determined entirely by esoteric guidance of, and faith residing in the heart:

وَمَنْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ [التغابن : 11]

And whoever believes in Allah (He) guides his heart.

Chats before Marriage

Can a bride and bridegroom talk to each other over phone or chat via internet after their engagement and before their marriage?

Mohammed Faisal, via email


Getting engaged does not make you bride and bridegroom. You become bride and bridegroom on the day of marriage.

For those who have not been exposed to the opposite sex, chatting with the opposite sex is pretty exciting, especially if you are not well educated. Well-educated people have little to chat, because for them there is little to chat. They know the opinions that the opposite sex person holds from the quality of education they have had; and, not expecting any worthy point to appear, leave the chatting to a more leisurely hour after marriage. Sometimes they postpone it to their retirement days.

It is the not-so-well-educated who talk and talk, with no sense and no direction, with plenty of time on hand, most of the time repeating on and on, what had been said and heard. They chat so much that they have no time left for work.

But since most human relationships are determined by what the tongue says, chats can lead to unhappy consequences. First, having talked too much, there is left little to talk after marriage. So, they may soon go as quiet as an engine that has run out of fuel. Honeymoon ends sooner – if it started at all.

Secondly, those that are not well educated, spurt out what the tongue should not spurt out. The other party is alarmed, and if, instead of letting the word go to the wind (which is what it deserves), hang by it and pursue it, it may lead to some unpleasant feelings. If the conversation turns into an argument, it could lead to a break of the relationship itself.

Thirdly, since both try to prove that they are larger than they are in reality, and speak of themselves in exaggerated terms, the little guys that they really are is revealed faster than usual, reducing them to balloons that have been punctured: the personalities shrink and the make-believe doesn’t work.

Observe a couple married since about six months. Their conversation is merely exchange of information: “Where is my key?” (Rarely, “Where is my key, dear”). Or, “You forgot to bring onions, did you?” Or, “The postman delivered a wrong letter to us.” Or, “Today, they fired off one of my colleagues, for no fault of his except that he was paid well,” Or, “The plaster has fallen in the toilet” (if they have one which they can call their own, seeing that in India more people have mobiles than toilets).

They hardly chat. Six months is too long for termination of all chat programs.

Meaning of Dream

I have moved to Australia to pursue my education. My problem is that after moving to Australia, I am dreaming the same dream again and again, almost once every month.

In my dream I go to Masjid, but I can’t pray, I want to pray but due to some circumstances I can’t; something or the other prevents me. Sometimes I go to Masjid not to pray but to attend some function and I realize in my dream that this is a Masjid and this thing should not happen here. Can you explain this dream?

In my other dreams I see my father alive (he expired 6 years back). I always used to see him in good health and happy but nowadays I dream him as dead.

Omar bin Khalid, via email


Dreams are intimately related to the person who experiences them. Their interpretation, therefore, requires detailed knowledge of the person. In your case we know nothing. It would make it somewhat easier if we knew whether you Pray, if so, whether five times, were you Praying before leaving for Australia, have you gone to the mosque to attend a social function (which is common in many Western countries), do you have the desire to be more punctual and lengthier in your Prayers, whether you are otherwise a righteous person, etc.

We recommend therefore that you go to a knowledgeable and righteous person and seek his help. He will have many questions to ask before he will offer any interpretation.

As regards seeing your father as alive and active, or seeing him dead in the coffin, are more or less the same thing. Depending on how attached you were to him, emotionally, or psychologically, you might remain dreaming of him for quite a while, on variety of occasions.

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