Letters to the Editor
Q. Two main points from the YMD letters are here:First, about touching the feet (irrespective of kiss or touch, you are bowing to do so, right):It is narrated by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (p.144) that Sayyidina ‘Ali, used to kiss the hands and feet of Sayyidina al-Abbas, radiAllahu `anhu[maa].You had read about this authentic/ verified Muslim practice (responded to me not so long ago, on touching the feet). But in the [subsequent] YMD Letters-to-the-Editor, you forgot this citation, telling the poor [readers]: touching feet is Hindu-India practice and add your own Fatwa: Muslims who practice it are closer to Shirk. Allah alone knows why that happens to you.Your short-term memory is like a computer’s RAM (Random-Access-Memory).WallahuA`lam.
First, a correction of the report with you as the narrator: Imam Bukhari reports a man that “he saw `Ali kissing the hands and feet of `Abbas.” Your narration says `Ali “used to kiss.”
`Abbas (ra) was an uncle of `Ali, and most dear. If, at any time, he was overwhelmed by his love for him and fell to kissing his hands and feet, it shouldn’t be a matter of surprise. After all, we know how intensive Arabs are in their love of their beloved.
In recent times, it so happened that a Saudi teenager driving rashly hit another car. An elderly woman was injured and taken to hospital, with minor injuries. After some time, the young man came into the hospital, entered the room and started kissing a young girl sitting near the old woman’s bed, kissing her hands and forehead, all the time muttering, in full remorse, how sorry he was, how regretful, and so on – and the girl laughing and pushing him away, all the time saying, “Stupid, I’m not the one.” When the young man realized he was kissing the wrong person, he turned to the other woman and once again began to kiss her forehead, hands and feet, seeking pardon, promising her she would be rewarded with Paradise for the injury she had received, and so on.
When the Arabs get emotional, they lose their heads.
So, we do not know what prompted `Ali to that state of heightened emotion that prompted him to kiss `Abbas’ hands and legs. Had he said something harsh to him and so was seeking to be pardoned? Was `Abbas angry with him over something else? Did `Abbas lay in the bed, sick? We do not have these details. And Imam Bukhari’s report seems to be more to demonstrate a nephew’s love of his uncle, rather than the lawfulness or otherwise of the act.
But for a man to be kissing the feet of his Peer, Sheikh or Murshid, is something else. A Peer, Sheikh or Murshid who allows his Mureed or those who revere him, to be kissed that way is either ignorant (jahil) or a propagator of Shirk, or both – as we have stated in our earlier publications.
Finally, the report about `Ali is not a hadith. It is somebody’s narrative. “Somebody’s”because the narrator is unknown. This is one of the reasons why initiates should learn the Qur’an and Hadith from scholars.
Q. Second, about Taraweeh: In your narration, you take all pains to educate about Bid`ah, even using the English word,‘innovation’ (as if it means something else). You have simply confused the [readers] about meanings/shades of the same term – without fixing the Taraweeh problem, in a direct manner. One should have been clearer in describing what is being said, in a mass publication (not in private discourse), given the fact that there are those who don’t consider such casual announcements as valid for Ijma` (you quote an ayah that explicitly is NOT about IJMA`,and yet say: Ijma` cannot be ignored)… (Froma letter received last year: Ed.).
Dr. Mohammad Tahir,
Sorry, but we had to severely cut the long discussion you took up in the later part of your letter. In sum, in doesn’t say anything of scholarly standards. You quote Kamali, but he, despite his substantial writings, fails the scholarly test.
Remember a simple rule: Your evidences and arguments should come from scholars of the distant past, say 1000 years back and beyond from now, and not from a few Kamalis, and plenty of non-Kamalis of the contemporary times. If, for instance, the Shi`a were to adopt this rule, they would learn that until about 1000 years ago, i.e., until 400 years after the Prophet, all Shi`as were Sunnis. But the Kamalis of later centuries nudged them – just a little –off the line, and the non-Kamalisdid the rest of the work to deviate them away altogether.
The more backward you go in time, and see, not through the lenses given by the Kamalis and non-Kamalis who dominate the later centuries, but through the Noor of the ancients, the better picture of Islam you obtain.
Regarding Taraweeh, yes, the 20-Rak`ahversion has the consensus of the Companions.
[Of Ijama` there are two kinds: Qawli, andSukuti; that is, verbal ortacit (or silent) approval].
You say `Umar (ra) never sought the opinion of others to obtain an Ijma`. Well, this is expected of a common man unaware of the legal terms, their value and validation in Law.
`Umar had this in his mind for some time. On the occasion of one of the Ramadan months, he passed by the Prophet’s mosque where people were in Prayers, separately, each in his own choice of place. He remarked to his companions, “How good if they could be brought under one Imam!” It was obvious he was floating the idea for the Companions to think. Nobody objected. It probably happened twice. Finally, `Umar appointed an Imam over them, asking him to do 20-Rak`ah, and the Taraweeh started. None of the Companions objected to it, although none of them was afraid of `Umar in religious matters, nor anyone was of the kind and class which would remain silent to a wrong practice. The Ijma` was obtained. It was Ijma` Sukuti, that is passive approval.
Those who swear by the Salaf, and proudly claim themselves as the staunch follower of the Salaf, have decided to differ with `Umar and rest of the Companions, the best of this Ummah after Abu Bakr, and, instead, become Muqallidin of 20th century scholars. This they do in several instances.
Humans are strange combination of contradictions.
Q: How many Rakats did Prophet Muhammad(saws) offer in Taraweeh during Ramadan?
The Prophet did not offer Taraweeh prayers even once – in the manner in which `Umar (ra) got started. He did his Qiyam-ul-Layl in the mosque, and his Companions began to gather behind him. When the crowds enlarged, he stopped in fear that his practice would make it Fard.
Those who are trying to divide the Ummah spread the idea that the Prophet offered eightRak`ah of Taraweeh. Wrong. He offered Qiyam-ul-Layl. It was `Umar who institutedTaraweeh, made it 20 Rak`ah,which won the consensus of the Salaf and so has remained until now.
Of course, the young generation has heard a name called `Umar, but hardly know who he was. Nor can we describe him in less than 300 pages. At any event, the Prophet said about him that if there was a Prophet after him, it could be `Umar.
But, sadly, the new sect-like group that is now raising its head, does not regard `Umar as they regard scholars of the last century.
Q. Because there are many Ahadith which says that Prophet (saws) offered only eightRakats in Taraweeh.
It is a big statement, and needs us to ask ourselves, “How many Ahadiththere are that we must read before we make such a statement?”
It is unfortunate that non-scholars, and alphabetically non-Arabics should begin to quote Ahadith. We do not know how to classify those groups of plebeians and street boys who teach the unsuspecting that they can form their own opinions from what Ahadith they narrate to them. If you are trying to become Islamically knowledgeable, your compass is wrong by 180 degrees. You should rather obtain a trustworthy book in your language, on the topic of concern, written by a prominent scholar of your school of thought (for example, the Shafe`i School), and follow the instructions therein. Or, reach out a scholar proper of the Shafe`i system and then keep yourself within the rules and instructions that he says are applicable. If you seek guidance through what the loquacious street boys, who have made a joke of this religion, are saying, then, you are already misguided.
Q. But I have not gone through any hadees which supports 20 rakats of taraweeh as being offered by the Imams in the Holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah during Ramadan…
When somebody does not know the Arabic language, then, it can be concluded that he or she has not read Hadith extensively. How then, can anyone make a claim about having not read ahadith on specific topics? Maybe, the information will strike you that all classes of Ahadithincluded, there are tens of thousands of them. How many should one study before saying one has found or not found a hadith?
We must understand that religion deals with matters that decide our fate toheaven orhell. Can we be – while answering – anything less than forthright? Can we be – as questioners – anything less than extremely concerned?
You are questioning practices of the scholars. How sad! When you question a scientist’s opinion, it will be asked, are you qualified to question him? If an unschooled person asked a psychiatrist, “On what basis did you prescribe sex hormones to a psychotic,” then, he has to look at him with suspicion about the state of his mind. On what basis then can we question scholars?
Think about it: Can scholars question the practices of scholars? Of course not. One is not a scholar who does not know the basis of other scholars’ opinions and practices. One is not a doctor who questions the medical recommendations of a doctor. When a doctor hears the recommendations of a team of doctors, he already knows the basis on which they have prescribed the medicines.
Similarly, you should not be asking the basis of the practices of the Imams of the Haram. If you did, it would be a sign of an abnormal mind.
Remember that in legal and ritual matters, you simply do as you are told by scholars of your school, except that you have to know the difference between a quack and a doctor proper, between a bearded, long-shirted, or jeans-suited, and a scholar proper.
Q. Can you please reply to this query with authentic hadis…
Supposing we quoted an authentic hadith, how would you know that there are several Ahadith of different contents, on the same subject, that must be considered in tandem to arrive at the right meaning?
For non-scholars to ask scholars to quote ahadith in reference to religious rulings is considered by some as a sign of the approaching Hour. You should rather ask for references to the books of Law. The Shari`ah is not in books of Hadith. It is in the Qur’an, Hadith, Ijma’ and Qiyas combined. They are most accurately stated in Fiqh books, such as those which are used in Shari`ah Courts.
So, you should be asking for references of Fiqh books. If Deoband, for instance, issues a Fatwa, it quotes the sources of that Fatwa. These books were not prepared by street-boys. They were produced over centuries, by the finest scholars any community has produced, who were the most fearful of Allah, and whose opinions were accepted by the rest of the Ummah as the outcome of the best possible kind of research that could be conducted. You need to know what, say dozens of highly capable scholars believed in, and not what a recent convert to extremist Islam believes in, who issues fatwas not because he loves Islam so much, but because he wants to stand out and be known. Do you wish to reject dozens of prominent scholars, and follow a street-sheikh who befools the unsuspecting with slogans, who cannot produce a five-page article, which, if he did, would be thrown into dustbin, and who, therefore, targets the ignorant to recruit them as his followers? The irony is that this Sheikh will disappear in a decade, unable to fool the people any more.
At any event, you may rest assured that we take great care to admit only authentic Ahadith in this magazine. You may also rest assured that what you hear from propagandists and website stalwarts is, most of the time, what can be classed as “kalimat-ul-haqqiuridabihi al-batil” – a true word intended to give the wrong meaning.
Thirdly, what you hear as the “true Islam,” the “authentic opinion,” the “true Sunnah of the Prophet,” the “practice of the Salaf,” and so forth, are, either slogans, or, personal opinions of contemporary scholars, much of which have been criticized by distinguished scholars of the Islamic world, whose criticism could not be answered by these so-called Mujtahids (legal experts). If a lawyer’s skill is questioned by legal experts, you better don’t hire him.
On our part, we adopt the methodology of presenting opinions that have, more or less, consensus of the scholars of past. If it is Fara’id,Wajibaat, Sunan or Mustahabbat, we present opinions of the Hanafiyy School. In matters of Law and rituals, we have no personal opinions of our own.
If you are a Hanafiyy, there is no need for you to question opinions of the Madh-hub.. Simply follow the Hanafiyyrules. But, in parallel, getting over Jahl is an essential task that must be undertaken. Take steps towards that and drive away the ignorant propagandists from around you; such as those who pump in doubts in your heart. Their company is poison. They are the new class of Ahl al-Bid`ah. Their effort is to cut you away from the well-established religion, usher you into a world of doubts and skepticism, and, ultimately, deprive you of your interests in religion. There are many cases of these uneducated young Shuyukh, who ultimately cooled down, and then, little by little, turned felons.
Q. Please give us some information on FazilatofRamzan and Roza.
Kindly look into the inside pages of this issue.
Q. Can women do I’tikaf inMasjid? Please explain.
We do not understand what women you are speaking of? That is, for whose benefit has the question been raised? We say that because, despite our well-spread knowledge of Indian society, we do not know of women who attempt I`tikaf at home. We see women in drovesduring Ramadan nights in the streets and bazars until midnight. Then, as they enter into the last ten days of Ramadan, the droves turn into multitudes, filling the streets and shops, right up to Suhur time. This is how they spend the “`ashara al-akheerah.” So, for whose benefit is the question?
At any event, to answer your hypothetical question, “No.Women cannot do I`tikaf in the mosques. They should mark out a corner in a room of their house, and remain there engaged in prayers, dhikr, recitation of the Qur’an, supplications, learning Arabic, or reading Islamic books approved by scholars. They should not enter into any worldly conversation.”According to the Ahnaf, that corner is their masjid, and they should spend their days and nights in that corner.
Some of the earlier Ahnaf have stated that it is lawful for Muslim women to attemptI`tikaf in a mosque. But, they explain the “mosque” as the “mosque of the Jama`ah,” i.e., the mosque within the enclosure of a compound within which a whole family, or clan lives. However, despite the condition of the “family mosque,” they add that such an I`tikaf is still “Makruh.”
To argue by what some of the Ummahaat-ul-Mu’mineendid – as some geniuses of modern times would argue (especially the break-aways)–is to display a superb level of knowledge, which ignores that the Prophet was in the mosque in I`tikaf, and his wives in its courtyard. Further, that happened only once, with his indirect disapproval, and hence none of them attempted it after his death.As a matter of fact, A’isha disfavored women even attending Prayers in the Prophet’s mosque. Would she, who had attempted I`tikaf during the Prophet’s time, when he was right before her in the mosque, allow women spend ten days and nights in a mosque at times which had not the barakah and presence of the Prophet?
Q: I would like to know whether we can donate Zakat in part by part basis (installment like). If yes, then how many parts can it be divided and what is the duration.
Your Zakah is due with the year end. Any delay in payment is not desirable. You should try and pay off as soon as possible. Now, if your financial circumstances are quite peculiar, in the sense that you have Zakah-levy amount, but no money to pay the levy, then, you are the best judge. We have not found any Faqih discussing payment of Zakah in installments. Yes, some have stated that a part of, or full Zakah could be paid earlier than the due time, but not delays after it is due.
It is advised,therefore,that you meet a Mufti proper and discuss your issue.
Q: I need some clarification on the amount which is earned by interest. I know giving and taking of interest is Haram in Islam, but I have bank accounts and the bank deposits interest annually into my account. I remove that interest amount and distribute it to Non-Muslims with no intention of goodness from them. But from some sources, I heard that we can use the amount earned from interest in constructing toilets, roads, planting trees and all the things which are used by common people and which is not a personal belongings. Is this true, and if not, then where can I utilize that interest amount which I get unwillingly.
Q: How can 786 be associated with actor? I know using this is not allowed. But I want an exact hadith (authentic) to know why, because there’s been a small debate among my friends. I have a faint memory of reading it somewhere that we are not supposed to go with numerology or something like that.
We could not figure out what you meant by the first part of your question. At all events, replacing Bismillah with 786 is not disallowed. It is an effort to save Allah’s Name from desecration, if Bismillah is written in full. In countries where respect for Allah’s Name and precautions to be taken against desecration is not taught, you will find torn school text books containing the Qur’an being trampled by feet.
Use of 786 is not numerology. Numerology consists in predicting events with the help of numbers.
Q: I study in the tenth standard. I had attended your lecture on Crime and Punishment in Islam. Alhamdullilah, it was a really great speech.
This morning, one of my Hindu friends asked me why people are simply being killed in Saudi Arabia, even teenagers. I recalled your speech and told him about Islamic law and told him that capital punishment was for only four things. Icould clear almost all his doubts. But then, he sent me an article on a person who did sorcery in Lebanon and had come to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.There, the police caught him and set to execute him for sorcery. My friend is asking now whether Islam tells us to chop magicians also?The link below has the story:
We are not interested in the internet. It is the Devil’s Paradise. But consider the following:
A family of four. Husband and wife married for ten years. Two children, one aged six, another aged three. Husband and wife love each other and bestow extreme care upon their children. They lead a peaceful, satisfactory life together.
A magician spots the wife. He is enchanted by the simple, pious, charming woman. He waits until he can cast magic. He gets the chance, puts her in spell, leads her to a room, and has sex with her. Under the spell, the woman imagines the magician is an angel, and her husband the very Devil.
The husband comes to know of her visits to the magician. The magician disappears. The husband is heart-broken. He divorces his wife. The children are neglected.The father doesn’t know whose children they are and the mother is in spell.
How do you want to punish the magician?
Consult your Hindu friend also.