Letters to the Editor
Q. I have been subscribing to your magazine for about two years and very much appreciate the services you are doing to humanity particularly the Muslims. I have a question that troubles me and I wish to have a clear answer based on Islamic teachings and which is logically explained.
It is common observation that non-Muslims indulge in all sorts of perversity to achieve material pleasure by exercising their base passions, yet do not ignore their worldly responsibilities and are successful in worldly affairs. They are punctual in performing their duties. The Western developed and developing nations are significant examples. On the other hand Muslims fall headlong into the mire of evil. They become lazy and oblivious of their defense and of every thing needed for a respectable life. The result is that they have to pander to the wishes of their Western masters and keep facing humiliation which is the curse of life. Muslims behave this way despite their firm faith in accountability and retribution for their deeds on the Day of Judgment. The Arab world can particularly be cited as an example. Islamic teachings are flawlessly perfect. Then what material, spiritual or conceptual reasons are to be attributed to this difference of behaviour of Muslims and non-Muslims. Is it due to misinterpretation of Islamic teachings which are often not appropriately explained?”
Syed Tahir Hasan,
Moradabad – 244 001
A variety of factors are involved. But the key is: non-Muslims do not believe in life after death and hence are dead serious about this life, while Muslims are half so both about this world as well as the next.
Q. It is regretful to say that many Muslims generally work in ‘reactive mode’ instead of working in ‘pro-active mode’. ‘Pro-active mode’ teaches us to be well-prepared to face situations, and thus makes it easy to handle repeatedly occurring situations and occurrences. Working in ‘Reactive mode’ is reacting only after some happening or occurrence without any pre-planning. One glaring example of Muslims’ ‘reactive-mode’ approach is the way they protested against Jerry Falwell’s statements which was aired on October 6, 2002 on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in which he called Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) a “terrorist”. This was not for the first time in the history of the world when someone had made insulting and irresponsible statements against Islam and Prophet Mohammad (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam). Again and again, since the very beginning of Islam, people have made insulting statements. Most of the times when such statements have been made, some of the Muslim scholars have taken pains to explain how the ‘insulting statements’ were wrong. This seems to have become an endless loop. Someone might argue that Muslims’ protests were quite effective, and that is why Jerry Falwell apologized within a week. But wasn’t an apology by Jerry Falwell very much logical and expected as he is famous for making insulting and irresponsible statements and issuing apologies later on?
In today’s world of easy communication through Internet and internet-phone it is quite easy for these Muslim scholars to interact, and share views and opinions, chalk out plan of action to face such situations. In fact, they can form an organisation representing Muslims from all over the world at the pattern of ‘Muslim Council of Britain’, ‘Islamic Society of North America’ etc.
Such organizations already exist, but they are ineffective because of the pressure on them from their rulers who give them to understand that they – their rulers – could get into ‘pro-active mode,’ if they did not remain strictly within the prescribed ‘reactive mode.’
Q. I read in your magazine that it is allowed for a woman to cut her hair. I want reference for this. Please reply as soon as possible.
Muhammad Shihabuddin Qasmi,
There is nothing in the Qur’an and hadith prohibiting Muslim women shortening their hair, except on the occasion of Hajj and `Umrah. What is not prohibited through a Nass (text) nor by Qiyas (analogy) in such matters is permissible.
Q. I’m 23-year-old doing B. Tech (final year). Early in youth, I fell in love with a girl and since then have never turn my face towards any other girl. I find now after eight years that she is not a decent girl. She never used to come to college in complete hijab. She is quite modern. She has spurned me. I’m frustrated and due to tension, I got very bad marks in my exams. Another reason for my depression is that I see lots of non-practicing Muslims – both male and female – who don’t care for Islam.
As we see, there is nothing to be done except spurning someone who has been kind enough to spurn you and concentrate on your studies.
Q. Is it allowed to give the imam rewards or gifts after the completion of the Taraweeh?
Mohammed Meher Rizwan,
There is nothing wrong in offering the Qari who conducts Taraweeh Prayers anything as gift. But the timing is incorrect. He maybe offered gifts anytime and not necessarily at the end of Ramadan. To give it at the end – although not unlawful – is like a “wage that was understood to be given.”
As for the Imam, it is unlawful for him to expect to be gifted something for his Qur’anic recitation.
Q. I want to know whether girls have to do Jumu`ah prayers and can we make a gathering among ladies at home and offer our Jumu`ah prayers.
Neither do women have to offer the Jumu`ah Prayers, nor should they do it on their own. If they begin doing it, (within a group of women), they’d be committing a great sin, and opening a gate to fitnah.
Q. Is it alright that I should offer Zuhr Prayer? Am I required to listen to the Khutbah and Prayers from my house? Or, can I sleep off?
No, women are not required to listen to the Jumu`ah Khutbah and Prayers, nor should they sleep off at a time when they should be doing productive work.
Q. It is also said that we should pray `Asr on time as angels change their shifts in duty and return to Allah telling Him what they saw us doing when they left. But some pray `Asr after taking the noon nap at an hour before magrib. Is it alright?
Yes it is alright. Except that males should do their Prayers in congregation.
Q. I pray zuhr half an hour before `Asr so that I can pray both with the same wudhu. Can I sleep off during the Zuhr time?
No, that is not alright. Every Prayer should be offered on its time.
Q. Can we sleep when `Isha adhan is said? I offer `Isha late at night as it is said that it is better to pray `Isha as late at night but not after midnight?
Name and address withheld
Do as you like.
Q. Who are the Ahmadiyyas?
Please see YMD issue dated Aug. 2002, under the same column.
Q. By whom and why have they been declared as Non-Muslims?
Scholars of the Ummah have, by consensus, obtained throughout the ages, agreed upon who can be treated as Muslims and who not. Thereafter, no one need to depend on the fatwas of this or that scholar. The conditions stated by them are available in several books. One might apply those conditions to anyone and make his own decision. You might refer to such books as Al-Fiqh al-Akbar of Imam Abu Haneefah, or `Aqeedah Tahawiyyah of Imam Tahawi, both ancient and acceptable works, and both of which have been accepted by consensus and reflect the opinion of the great majority of the Salaf and Khalaf.
Q. They (Ahmadiyyas) claim that they are the only real Muslims. What is the position of Islam on this?
The position of Islam is that whoever believed in Allah as His sole Lord, Muhammad as His final Prophet and Messenger, the Qur’an as the infallible word of God, is a Muslim, provided he did not do anything to contradict his faith, nor deny any of the well-known principles and injunctions of Islam such as, to name a few: Five prayers a day, forbiddance of usury, swine flesh, belief in Resurrection, accounting, Heaven and Hell, etc. That is, all such things of Islam as are so well-known as its essential parts that no one can, unless a new Muslim, claim to be ignorant of.
Q. They are vigorously propagating their concepts and asking people to enter into Ahmadiyyaism. Is it allowed to take an oath of Ahmadiyyaism?
No, it is not allowed. But rather, you need to give yourself a pledge that hereonward you will study the Qur’an and Hadith for coming few years so that when invited by this or that sect, you will know which way to go.
Q. They (Ahmadiyyas) say that the issue of declaring them as Non-Muslims in Pakistan is politically motivated. Is this true?
It is not. Muslims have no political fears of Ahmedis or Ahmediyyaism, in Pakistan or elsewhere. In fact, Ahmedis are not active in politics. They do not have a political agenda, nor a political party. The verdict against them is purely religious.
Q. How far is it true that all anti-Muslim Governments and organisations in the world are sponsoring them (e.g., Israel, Zionists, RSS, Shiv Sena, etc.)?
Although we wouldn’t be surprised if it is true, we have no proofs of this.
Q. Does Islam allow social relations with Ahmadiyyas? To what extent is such socialization allowed? How about marriages between Sunnis and Ahmadiyyas (both male and female)?
A Sunni Muslim,
Rules and principles of socialization with anyone against whom edicts of non-conformation have been pronounced by the scholars of Islam, should be applied to everyone who chooses to be in that category.
Nevertheless, it is advisable not to judge individuals on the basis of groups they belong to, but rather on personal merits. For rules on marriage, please refer to the citation above.
Q. I just learned about your web-site and appreciate your efforts. I am living in the United States and I am trying to find some information regarding marriage laws in India. I believe according to Indian laws the minimum age requirement for marriage is 18 years for girls and 21 for boys but does this law applies to Muslims? Do we have any provision under Muslim personal law that allows Muslims to get married under 18 years legally? I highly appreciate any response in this regard as soon as possible or if you can direct me to appropriate authorities or organisations it will be very helpful to me.
Asim Syed Mohammed,
Although the law, which is equally applicable to Muslims, says that the minimum age of a girl at the time of marriage has to be eighteen, it is almost for registration purposes. That is, if marriage is not registered, which is the case in great majority of cases amongst all Indian communities, the law might not be applicable.
Q. The partisan behaviour presented in the article related to Mahdavis is condemnable. I have gone through the reply of Mr Roshan Yadullahi to the derogatory article against Prophet Mohammed Mustafa (SAS) and Mahdavis.
Which Mohammed Mustafa do you mean? The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, the grandson of Abdul Muttalib of the 6th century AC, or some other?
Q. It is requested that you sincerely apologize and publish the article written and sent by Mr Roshan Yadullahi.
We do not remember having received any article by the said person.
Q. I’m 18 and full up with all sorts of character failures resulting in under-developed personality and darkening of color. I wish to change myself but am not able to. Can you suggest a way out?
Name and address undisclosed
We have shortened your letter which led us to believe that you should first of all change your company, and, in the meanwhile read Sheikh Munajjid’s “I Would Like to Repent, But…”.
Q. Attention is drawn to your statement in column II, page-13 of the November issue, to reflect whether any bounds have been transgressed in suggesting that,
“They have no power to enforce rules, nor does the Islamic system allow for enforcement, even if ulema were in power.”
“From the philosophical angle we can say that the prime cause of social inequality is that Islam firmly believes in religious freedom. It does not enforce its beliefs on any people, nor does it enforce upon Muslims the kind of life it suggests,”
“It is up to the Muslims to accept or reject.”
“Thus freedom to man is the root cause of social inequality of men in Islam”.
Aliuddin Hyder, Humera Hyder
Theoretically, the statement in the last para of your letter sounds correct. But, in practice, it does not work. The Ulama or Khalifah have very limited power over their subjects. Any enforcement is anathema to Islam since it goes against its first principle, “there is no compulsion in religion.” The ruling authorities cannot compel the people to live by the Islamic guidance, if they are not willing.
To take the point you have raised, social inequality, usury is one of the root causes of social inequality, apart from non-payment of Zakah. But no punishment has been prescribed for taking usury. Further, there is no way usury laden transactions can be stopped because they can always be carried on in private. And the ruling authorities are not supposed to probe into private affairs. Therefore, they are, in a way, rendered powerless. If they use force, it will render the society hypocritical, which has been experienced in some places.
Please also see the editorial of this month.
Q. As a Muslim, a Mehdavi, and the President of Mahdavia Islamic Center of California I find it my duty to write to you to condemn your articles that have caused an uproar in Mahdavia communities throughout the world.
We wonder why it should have caused uproar. The non-Muslims deny our Prophet’s Messengership whenever they can find the opportunity to speak out. But their angry and bitter outpourings cause no uproar amongst us Muslims.
We are confident in our belief since it stands the test of reason and logic.
Q. … and I am sure, the clear minded Non-Mehdavis also must have been angered by it, ..
You are so sure! But we doubt anyone of the Muslims was disturbed in the least.
Q. … and also by the disrespect you have demonstrated against the great Prophet of Allah (swt).
We do not understand what “great Prophet” you are talking about. Are you referring to “the greatest” of Michael Hart who put our Prophet, Muhammad, on top of the list of the 100 great that appeared, explaining in his book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influencial Persons in History: “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.”
Are you speaking of the “Muhammad” of Hart’s book, who placed `Umar as the 51st great, but lists no Prophet after Muhammad?
Are you, by your words “the great Prophet,” referring to the one that Thomas Carlyle placed at the top of the list of six great men, i.e., Muhammad, when he delivered a series of lectures in England?
Are you referring to the same Prophet about whom Lamartine wrote: “If the greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not the armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls …
“Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?” (Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, vol.II, pp. 276-77).
Are you referring to “the Prophet” immediately identified by the non-Muslims all over the world as Muhammad the Makkan of the 6th century AC., whenever the words “the Prophet” is pronounced? They know of no other as worthy of reference as “the Prophet.”
Are you referring to the Prophet who appeared 1538 years ago? Who said:
“There will be no Prophet after me.” (Hakim)
Or who said,
“I am the seal of the Prophets.” (Daarami)
Or, who predicted,
“My followers will have twenty-seven liars and Dajjals – of them four women. But I am the seal of Prophets. There will be no Prophet after me. (Ahmad, Tabrani, Bazzar).
Or who said,
“I am Allah’s slave and last of the Prophets while Adam was still lying in his dust.” (i.e., it was pre-determined that he will be the last of the Prophets even before creation began. The hadith is in Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, Hakim, and others).
Or, do you mean the Prophet who said,
“My example and that of the Prophets before me is like a man who built a building. He made it nice and beautiful – except for a place for a brick at one of its corners. The people began to go around it, amazed, and saying, ‘Why this brick was not placed here?’ The Prophet said, ‘I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets.’” (Muslim).
Or, are you talking of the same “great Prophet” whose prediction is written in Jewish and Christian Scriptures, about which the Qur’an said,
“Those, who follow the unlettered Messenger – Prophet about whom they find written with them in the Tawrah and Injil. He commands them the good (and the honorable) things, forbids them the repugnant, declares lawful the clean things, prohibits them the unclean and removes from them their burdens and the fetters that were upon them.
Therefore, those who believed in him, strengthened him, helped him and followed the Light that was sent down with him, they – such indeed – are the prosperers.” (A`raf, 157)
Or, are you referring to the Prophet who brought a Revelation called the Qur’an which said,
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your males but Allah’s Messenger and the seal of the Prophets. And Allah has knowledge of all things.” (The Qur’an, 33: 40)
Are you referring to a Prophet of the above description, or some other? If it is “some other,” then, we Muslims cannot consider the case of “any other,” without first denouncing “the earlier” as a liar, and without denouncing the Qur’an as fallible. But if we did that, we would have become non-Muslims.
Please note our words: “If we consider the case of any other .. we would have become non-Muslims.” We do not mean to say that “if we denounced “the earlier one” and “the Qur’an,” we would have become believers in the “latter claimant.” For, judging the “latter claimant” as a true Prophet or a liar, is a later exercise. It will be an exercise conducted with reason and logic as our tools. But, this second step is not what we are discussing. We are saying, mark our words once again, “If we consider the case of any other .. we would have become non-Muslims.” That is because, the case of the first one is so strong, and the Qur’an proved infallible, time and again, that anyone considering a change in opinion, after he has known well Muhammad and the Qur’an that he brought, can only be short of reason and logic. For, it is possible to prove that the day is night and the night, day. But to prove that Muhammad was untrue in his claim, or that the Qur’an is a human product is impossible, so long as you work with only reason and logic.
So, what Prophet are you referring to?
Q. Anything that is “Islamic” is, and must be for all Muslims, regardless of their individual sects who follow different schools of thought.
You are right. Our magazine is for the Ahmedis, the Qadiyanis, the Bohras, the Mahdavis, the `Alawis, the Isma`ilis, and all the rest. Why, it is even for Jews, Christians and the rest. Our magazine tries to reflect the Light of the Qur’an and Prophetic statements. Allah has said (Al-Baqarah, 257):
“Allah is the protector of those who have believed. He removes them from darknesses to Light. As for those who have disbelieved therein their protectors are the rebellious. They bring them out of Light into darknesses. They are companions of the Fire; abiding therein forever.” (Al-Baqarah, 257)
This magazine is for Jews and Christians also. They will find God’s light, if they apply themselves to the Qur’an. It said,
“O People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you revealing to you much of what you were concealing of the Book – although He overlooks much (of what you conceal). There have come to you now a Light and a Book manifest from Allah. Whereby Allah guides him who searches for His Approval to paths of peace; and brings them forth from the darknesses into Light by His leave and guides them unto a Straight Path.” (Al-Maa’idah, 16-17)
Thus, our magazine is for everyone to profit from, although, Muslims will profit most, since it is oriented towards them, and the non-Muslims lesser, since the magazine is not entirely addressed to them.
Q. An Islamic Digest must be an unbiased forum for all Muslims to participate, teach, learn, and to be abreast of the social, political and economic conditions of all Muslims throughout the world. But unfortunately, you have misused the office and the forum for a personal agenda against the Mahdavia community. You dropped the ball, and the damage was made. The least you can do now is to publish the responses from Mahdavi brothers, Mr. Inayath Ullah Khan and Syed Yakoob Roshan Yadullahi, complete and unedited. The readers must get a fair stake.
We haven’t received anything of the sort you mention. However, we are ready to receive anything you or anyone wishes to send. We will comment on what we receive.
Q. You must make a statement of apology to the Mahdavis and all those who have been affected by your misguided articles. This is our demand and we pray that may Allah give you the wisdom to realize what wrong you have done, and the courage to do what is rightfully demanded of you. And of course, for your personal salvation, sincere Taubah is the only way.
We have made statements – both now as well as in earlier issues that are historically correct. We owe no apology to anyone, unless we have put anything harshly, to hurt someone’s feelings. That is something disallowed in Islam. But statements of facts are not.
Q. I have some questions which please answer: How can a Muslim mend him his doing?
Perhaps you mean how can a Muslim amend himself. If that is the question, then, there is a short answer and a long answer. A long answer can be given by a scholar who knows your situation and can help you change your lifestyle. The short answer is, start studying Islam through Qur’an and Sunnah. If you discover that you are not the reading type, then, go out with say Jamaat Tableegh. They might imbibe in you, apart from other things, some reading habit.
Q. Can Islam be propagated through chatting?
Of course, yes.
Q. How can we pray during Laylah al-Qadr?
One of the best things would be to go to bed immediately after the Taraweeh Prayers and then get up about half an hour before the time for Suhur starts, and engage oneself in Salah offering two raka`a at a time until Suhur time.
Q. I am 22 years old, have completed my Diploma and am working in a factory. I feel very sad looking at the condition of Muslms in Gujarat. I want to do something for them but I don’t know what could I do. So please help me.
One of the easiest ways would be to mark a sum for Gujarat out of your earning and, after it achieves a sizable value, send it to a charity organization/worker there. But the best would be to visit the riot affected areas, identify an orphaned family, and then adopt it, meeting its minimum expenses. If the amount sounds big, then take charge of one or more children and educate them until graduation.
Q. I’m 23, completed my BE. Like to study MBA but my family condition is not good. Kindly tell me whether I can get a scholarship at minimum interest rate from any source.
Identity withheld on request
We regret we are no position to help anyone. However, you could apply to organizations in Aligarh, the Middle-east, IDB and Al-Rajhi.