Letters to the Editor
Q. My sister was told by some of her friends that Abu Hanifah did not know Hadith enough and therefore, his contribution is doubtful. What have you to say about it?
We assume that your sister is educated, which implies that she has a certain level of intelligence.
Now, if a chatterer says to her that she doesn’t think that the French poets of the Renaissance period made any literary contribution, then, your sister will immediately ask, “Do you know French?” If she replies that she doesn’t, then what will be her response except to say, “Stupid. Let’s change the topic.”
Similarly, if she told her that Abu Haneefa’s contribution is doubtful because he did not know the Hadith, then, she has to ask, “Have you read the multiple-volume Hidayah,” and if replied, “But we do not know Arabic,” then, her response should be, “Stupid. Let’s change the topic.”
Would that be a reasonable response from an intelligent person?
Q. So what should she do now?
Well, firstly, she should seek Allah’s forgiveness for being in the company of such a stupid lot, for believing in gossipers, and for insulting a thousand renowned scholars who jointly created over the years, the finest system of Law ever produced in the history of mankind. The modern Western and Eastern laws cannot match the niceties of the Law as produced by the four schools of Law; which is what upsets us. We say to ourselves, “What kind of stupid community ours has become, so ignorant, and so ungrateful, that those who cannot spell the word, ‘Law,’ condemn what they should be proud of!”
As for what your sister could do with them, well, she might chat with them, cut jokes with them, discuss what kind of handbags are the best for carrying powder and lipstick, and so on. But, if they talk religious matters, or about French poets of the Renaissance period, she should tell them, “Stupid pals. Let’s change the topic.”
And, she should seek Allah’s refuge from the devils who keep her away from an intelligent person’s Islam. She should read the Qur’an through several times with translation, read a couple of lives of the Prophet, study the Hadith, (in the intelligent manner in which Abu Haneefah and his students did), and, in love of the Prophet, memorize a hundred ahadith – if she has any regard for the Prophet, if not love.
But, if she wishes to take an easier path towards understanding Islam, let her learn the Arabic language. Yes, this is the easier way to understand Islam. 500 books in English and Urdu will not teach a person what Qur’an will – if read in Arabic. (Taken for granted that those 500 books are by the scholars, writers and thinkers of the modern times, including those who established this or that global Jama`ah, and exercised huge influence over the continents. Yes, 500 books by such authors will not do what the Qur’an can do in Arabic).
Additionally, and, more importantly, she should try to take on the company of the intelligent, and, not like those she befriends now – to be forthright, the stupid and ignorant chatterers; stupid because of their ability to make such stupid statements, and ignorant because they do not know that when Abu Haneefah sat in the evenings with 40-60 specialist scholars of the time, to extract the Islamic Law from the Qur’an and Sunnah, he was the most learned of them.
Q. My mother is about 78 years of age, and she is suffering from acute diabetes, high BP and acute urinary infection. Because of these illnesses she is almost bed-ridden and cannot walk even a little. I work in Saudi Arabia and I wanted to perform Umrah on her behalf – which I did. But when I was in a vacation at Bangalore, I consulted a scholar. I was told that what I did was alright. But a lot of people are of the opinion that I did a mistake. They say that this kind of Umrah can be done only in the name of those people who are not alive; in fact, I had a heated argument with a group (Indians in Saudi Arabia), who believe that Moulvis, Ulemas, Muftis etc of India do not possess sufficient or right knowledge so as to guide the people in a right way. So, I request you to kindly guide me in this situation, and with references to ahadeeth (with volume number and other details etc. if available). It will be highly appreciated.
I am a reader of YMD since a long time, I like its editorials very much and I am also aware of the fact that generally you do not reply through email. If you could just inform me that my question is answered in such and such edition, it will help me a lot, as I do not have access to the hard-copy here.
We feel quite concerned over the rise of a new class of the so-called educated people, who have no or little knowledge of the noble religion of Islam. All of their knowledge is from gossip, or books that contain half-cooked information. Their leaders are as ignorant as their followers. A great majority of them do not know any language well enough. They cannot write a paragraph in any language without committing an error in every line, and cannot speak out well enough in any language – including their mother tongue. They do not seem to be sure of any specific part of Islam. If they are asked a question concerning any issue in Islam, they look back with a blank face or murmur out a few incoherent words. They are in a pathetic situation. They are fodder for every wrong movement, and riders of a boat that sails from a shore, to another part of the same shore, and then back, round and round, without taking them anywhere in the path to God.
We are also aware of a campaign by this untaught and unschooled class of people to discredit Indian scholars. They do not realize that their efforts to cut their relationship with the scholars, without knowing who is who, is playing right in the hands of Shaytan. But, they are too ignorant to realize any danger in their doings and loose talking.
Like a non-Engineer does not know the difference between classes of bolts and nuts, this class does not know the difference between a simple Moulawi who teaches Qur’an to their children, and a more knowledgeable person who delivers Friday sermons, another who delivers lectures before a religiously educated audience, yet another who has done an Ifta course, yet another who is schooled in various disciplines, or yet another who is an authority in a discipline or yet someone else who specializes in several disciplines.
This ignorant class is like a villager. The rustic comes to town and has absolutely no idea that everyone who can speak a little English is not a Professor, that there are school dropouts, high-school finishers, certificate holders, graduates (passed and failed), master degree holders, PhDs and so on, many, many classes. To him, everyone he comes across who can blabber a few words in English, is an intellectual bombast.
Similarly, to the newly cropped class of people we are discussing about, every pyjama-wearing, cap-donning, beard-sporting man is a top-grade scholar of Islam. They ask them stupid questions and receive stupid answers, and they part, both as confused at the end, as they were at the start. They end up expressing their dissatisfaction, and condemning the entire scholarly class, as unworthy of the name.
They cast allegation against scholars. But do they know any? None. Actually, they are scared of scholars; afraid that he will expose their ignorance. They are also afraid that they will come to know true Islam from them, which they have no desire to accept because it is so inconvenient to practice. So they keep a safe distance from the scholars who hold senior positions in the fields of knowledge, like in Deoband, Nadwah, Saharanpur, Banaras, Umarabad, Sabeel-ur-Rashad, etc. Some of them do not intermix with any scholar, top class, or bottom class (if they can distinguish between the two). They stay away from all because they need a distance to shoot arrows at them and conceal their own identity. They are a mischievous class, and they are a dangerous class. The first victims of their mischief and danger are their own children. They will give them a messy religion and put them on a boat which has lost its anchors. All that matters to them with regard to their children, is a degree in science from a Western university. Theirs is a pitiable situation, and their children will be in a more pitiable situation. Like father, like son.
Coming to the allegation of these various classes, that your `Umrah for your mother was invalid, (while it was perfectly valid) herewith a few lines from the massive and authentic Encyclopedia of Fiqh that was prepared in Kuwait, which explains the issue:
أَدَاءُ الْعُمْرَةِ عَنِ الْغَيْرِ :
ذَهَبَ الْفُقَهَاءُ فِي الْجُمْلَةِ إِلَى أَنَّهُ يَجُوزُ أَدَاءُ الْعُمْرَةِ عَنِ الْغَيْرِ ؛ لأِنَّ الْعُمْرَةَ كَالْحَجِّ تَجُوزُ النِّيَابَةُ فِيهَا ؛ لأِنَّ كُلًّا مِنَ الْحَجِّ وَالْعُمْرَةِ عِبَادَةٌ بَدَنِيَّةٌ مَالِيَّةٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي ذَلِكَ تَفْصِيلٌ :
ذَهَبَ الْحَنَفِيَّةُ إِلَى أَنَّهُ يَجُوزُ أَدَاءُ الْعُمْرَةِ عَنِ الْغَيْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ ؛ لأِنَّ جَوَازَهَا بِطَرِيقِ النِّيَابَةِ ، وَالنِّيَابَةُ لاَ تَثْبُتُ إِلاَّ بِالأْمْرِ ، فَلَوْ أَمَرَهُ أَنْ يَعْتَمِرَ فَأَحْرَمَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ وَاعْتَمَرَ جَازَ ؛ لأِنَّهُ فَعَل مَا أُمِرَ بِهِ .
وَذَهَبَ الْمَالِكِيَّةُ إِلَى أَنَّهُ تُكْرَهُ الاِسْتِنَابَةُ فِي الْعُمْرَةِ وَإِنْ وَقَعَتْ صَحَّتْ .
وَقَال الشَّافِعِيَّةُ : تَجُوزُ النِّيَابَةُ فِي أَدَاءِ الْعُمْرَةِ عَنِ الْغَيْرِ إِذَا كَانَ مَيِّتًا أَوْ عَاجِزًا عَنْ أَدَائِهَا بِنَفْسِهِ ، فَمَنْ مَاتَ وَفِي ذِمَّتِهِ عُمْرَةٌ وَاجِبَةٌ مُسْتَقِرَّةٌ بِأَنْ تَمَكَّنَ بَعْدَ اسْتِطَاعَتِهِ مِنْ فِعْلِهَا وَلَمْ يُؤَدِّهَا حَتَّى مَاتَ ‘ وَجَبَ أَنْ تُؤَدَّى الْعُمْرَةُ عَنْهُ مِنْ تَرِكَتِهِ ، وَلَوْ أَدَّاهَا عَنْهُ أَجْنَبِيٌّ جَازَ وَلَوْ بِلاَ إِذْنٍ كَمَا أَنَّ لَهُ أَنْ يَقْضِيَ دَيْنَهُ بِلاَ إِذْنٍ .
(وَتَجُوزُ النِّيَابَةُ فِي أَدَاءِ عُمْرَةِ التَّطَوُّعِ إِذَا كَانَ عَاجِزًا عَنْ أَدَائِهَا بِنَفْسِهِ ، كَمَا فِي النِّيَابَةِ عَنِ الْمَيِّتِ-الموسوعة الفقهية الكويتية (30/ 328
We shall not even translate the Fatwa. You may show these lines to those who have argued with you and watch their faces change hues. Hopefully they will realize that they cannot take their religion from gossip, that every discipline has its experts, and that every rule is traceable to a source. And hopefully one of them might be guided by Allah to take the above lines to someone who knows Arabic.
Will they who condemned your `Umrah, change their opinion about the Indian scholars, and get closer to the true ones among them holding important positions in religious institutions? Most of them will not. That is because they are not serious about their religion. And this is the disease of our time, which provokes us to comment in detail on them and their attitudes towards this noble religion and its noble scholars.
Q: I read your monthly magazine with rapt attention and always find it informative with regard to efface our religion misconceptions. I wish you all success in your noble endeavours. The question is: Is dissection on cadavers allowed in Islam? If not, then what a Muslim medico needs to do in this regard, if no other alternative is available for him in the medical college he is studying at?
Wani G U Islam,
Islam is a religion of honor and decency. Man has been honored in Islam, like no other religious system has.
The general opinion among the scholars has been that dissection on cadavers is disallowed in Islam. An ennobling hadith says that breaking the bone of a dead person is like breaking the bone of a living. According to our scholars, the prohibition applies to non-Muslims also. That is, their cadavers cannot be used for any purpose. The Fatwa had remained that dissection of human corpses is disallowed.
Even now, some of the Ahnaf maintain the same status quo. However, with the development of Medicine at the hands of non-Muslims, dissection of cadavers became a common practice. Had the discipline developed on different lines, the same developments in the science of medicine – and not necessarily Allopathic medicine – could have been achieved by other means. But, as it is, Allopathic system dominates, and which heavily depends on dissections. At present times, education in medicine cannot be obtained anywhere without acceptance of the practice.
Therefore, the opinion of the scholars has split. A majority of the contemporary scholars says that dissection should be allowable; while a minority – especially of the Indian scholars – remains holding the opinion that it is disallowed.
You may therefore, carry on with your course, but at every cadaver dissection that you are required to personally perform, seek Allah’s forgiveness, and pay out something as Kaffarah (expiation).
If the dissection is done by others, there is no blame on you so long as you do not approve of it, even if you find that you have benefited from observation of the dissection.
Sinners are those who believe that knowledge comes only via human methods and resources, and that without dissection medicinal discipline would not have developed. They deny Allah’s Rububiyyah and Qudrah.
Q: We have a hostel in Gujarat accommodating 55 students of which 90% are from very poor financial background. Remaining 10 % students pay only food bill and get free accommodation. Huge amounts are required for hostel maintenance,foot the food bill and other related costs. Due to heavy demand for accommodation we need to expand the hostel by purchasing adjacent land and building additional accommodation facility. Public contribution – and mainly Zakat- is the only source to meet obligations mentioned. Can we use Zakat for the purposes mentioned above (i.e., for regular expenses and for expanding accommodation facility)?
According to the Ahnaf, Zakah funds cannot be utilized for building hostels, or expanding them. Zakah funds must first be placed ‘in the hand of’ someone who deserves it. If that person donates a part, or whole of it, to another cause, of his or her free will, then, that is his, or her, choice. Zakah is the right of the poor, and those others mentioned in the Ayah 60 of Surah Tawbah. They should not be denied their share.
For you to say that Zakah is the only source is incorrect. Quoting an Ayah, Sha`bi said, “There are (other) rights in your wealth, apart from Zakah.” Muslims ought to donate to such causes from their Sadaqat allocations.
But, perhaps, what you mean by saying as the “only source” is that Muslims offer their Zakahalone to the religious institutions as their contribution. They do not make any Sadaqat donations. So, what’s the solution?
The hesitant answer from the scholars has been that there are two angles: one, if the donor believes that Zakah funds can be given to religious institutions, then, he is acting on his responsibility. The recipient is freed of any responsibility. But if the recipient is given the choice and responsibility, then he (or the Madrasah) should accept the Zakah funds for feeding the poor students. Teacher’s fees could also be given from the funds, following another category of recipients categorized in the ayah cited above.
As for building construction, most Madrasas attempt to build from non-Zakah donations. When they run completely out of funds, and the pressure to take greater number of students rises to unbearable levels, then they perforce use the funds to complete incomplete constructions.
The above is advisable in your case too. You might also consult Madrasah Deoband for any other methods that they suggest.
Q: First, I will congratulate you for doing such a good work. Myself, I’m doctor Suhail from Mumbai. I was a regular reader of your YMD and few years back, you have beautifully answered a question titled, ‘In love with a Hindu boy.’ Actually, the thing is that one of my close relatives is in the same situation. She is 23 years old and she fell in love with a Hindu who is very smart and intelligent. I tried my level best to convince her that she is on the wrong path, but there is no effect, and actually she is daughter of a Muslim scholar who is doing da’wah work in Saudi Arabia and she, too, is having lot of knowledge about Islam. She has done Hajj also. I remembered that in one of your YMD issues (don’t know which year exactly), you have beautifully answered such a question. So can you send me that answer so that I can forward her or you can send me link (URL) for that material, so that I can forward it to her?
Regretfully, we are not able to guess as to which answer you are referring to. With Islam receding from the hearts of the majority of educated youth, the cases of falling in love with non-Muslims is growing, and so we receive letters about the problem at quite a regular pace, making it difficult to remember whom we answered how.
You say the man is smart and intelligent. Today’s Western world is guided by the smartest and the most intelligent of its men and women; yet see the mess they are in. It promises their extinction. Islam has given us a different definition of these words.
Coming to the main topic, falling in love before marriage, whether it is Muslims or non-Muslims, is, in majority of cases, a psychological aberration, pushed by sexual desire. That happening to Muslims, as a result of interactions between the two, is a sin.
A Muslim falling in love with a non-Muslim is Kufr of some degree. It is creeping paganism. It comes in degrees. First it is the stage of hypocrisy accompanied by some hesitation and qualms, and then, in the same, or, in the following generation, it is unbelief. Shaytan triumphs. Shaytan’s guiles are deep. Only the pious can escape.
So, a Muslim girl to fall in love with a non-Muslim is a disease of the mind and heart combined together. You have been, in your effort to dissuade her, addressing her mind. But the disease is not in the mind alone. It is in the heart too. The disease is of the same kind as the Qur’an identified when it said (2: 10): “In their hearts is a disease.”
You have been appealing to her in the name of Islam. But he, or she, who falls in love with a pagan, has a new deity.Once their hearts had Allah’s Noor residing in them. They removed it, to make room for the new deity. Allah’s Noor cannot co-exist with the pagan’s Zulumaat (darknesses) within the same heart:
“Allah is the Waliyy of those who have believed. He drives them from darknesses to Noor. As for those who have disbelieved, their awliya’ (true friends) are the rebellious ones (of men and devils). They drive them out of Noor into the darknesses. They, indeed, are the companions of the Fire, residing there forever.” (9: 267).
Allah’s Quality of Ghina is more dangerous for His slaves than that of His Ghazab. One is contingent, another is eternal.
You say she is Islamically well-read. That makes little difference after the choice between Allah and His enemies is made. Islam being such a force, today most non-Muslims are well-read about it. But that does not lead them to believe in it. Did Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl, Walid b. Mughira, and the rest of the 70 who flung their heads all around in the fields of Badr, willingly, and heroically, have no knowledge of Islam? They knew Islam better than your acquaintance’s daughter. She might have read the Qur’an A-Z several times over, in wudu, with hair covered, sitting in a humble posture. But where was that “key” to understanding the Qur’an? Wasn’t she told, right with the first verse, “This is a Book, there is no doubt about it, a guidance for the God-fearing.” Where was the key, the “fear of God?” Her heart was not locked with her beloved, Allah, but with one who hates Allah. She first made a choice and then interpreted what she read of the Qur’an to evict Allah and opened her arms for the beloved. That is why Allah said, and right at the start (2: 6), “Surely, those who have disbelieved, equal unto them is whether you warn them or do not warn them. They will not believe.” They will not believe after reading the Qur’an. Why? Because they have made the choice even before they would start reading the Qur’an. Such is the case of the person you have written about.
Nor was her Hajj of much worth. Rituals will not take one to Paradise, if they are done by those who lack inner conviction.
There is a good chance that if she is told these things, she will act smart. She will tell her beloved, “Hey, man. Why don’t you become a Muslim? My people are making such a fuss of this all. So, believe in God as one. After all, you Hindus also believe that in the ultimate, God is one.” He will say, “I have no problem?” And the two palogans will secretly applaud themselves, “Ya buddy. See how neatly we deceived God.” Allah said about them, “They deceive Allah and the believers, but they deceive not any except themselves, realizing not.” (2: 9).
For you to say, for instance, that a Muslimah has fallen in love with a non-Muslim, is self-contradictory. If she loves a non-Muslim and is ready to marry him, she is not a Muslimah; and if she is a Muslimah, she cannot fall in love with a non-Muslim and be ready to marry him.
You see, there is no hanky-panky with Allah. Either you are with Him, or with His enemies. Consider purely from the point of view of this world. If a man says to his wife, “I am your true husband and truly in love with you. I can swear on that. But, there is a little snag here. I just wish to spend a couple of years with the prostitutes. True as I am to you, ultimately I am bound to return to you. Believe me, my love for you remains deep down at the bottom of my heart.”
The woman of your reference thinks that, “If at all it is a sin, surely, God is Great. He is Forgiving. I shall beg His forgiveness at the end.” She should know that she is not going to make rules for Allah, and expect Him to follow them. He has already laid the rules, which are same for Abu Jahl, and for Muslims of the 21st century, and other peoples of all times. Let us see what He had to say about the crimes of the Jews (5: 78-81):
“Cursed were the unbelievers of the Children of Israel by the tongue of Da’ud and `Isa ibn Maryam: that because they disobeyed and were ceaselessly crossing the bounds. They forbid not one another the vile things they committed. Surely, evil were the things they were doing. You will see many of them befriending those who have disbelieved. Surely, evil is that which their souls have forwarded for themselves that Allah is angry with them. And in chastisement shall they abide forever. Had they believed in Allah and the Prophet (Moses), and in that which was sent down to him, they would not have befriended them; but many of them are ungodly.”
‘Cursed’ is a strong word. And cursed they were by two of their own Prophets. So, those crimes are detailed that earned them the curse: First, they crossed the bounds, second, they forbid not each other vile things, and third, they befriended the unbelievers.
In the case we are talking about, the woman has committed two of the three crimes. Is she likely to earn a curse, or a blessing?
So, let the woman stop playing the fool. She will do harm to none but herself – in this world, and the Next.