Letters to the Editor
Q: I am a reader of Young Muslim Digest, I like the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section of the magazine, and today, since I, too, have some doubts, I look forward to YMD for helping me sort out my problems in the righteous way. I am a student, 20 years of age. I used to have a friend (male) but, recently, I stopped being in touch with him. We have been very good friends from past two years, we used to share all kinds of problems from college to family. But lately, he started taking this friendship the other way. He says he likes me a lot and wants to get married to me. I, too, like him, but I never tried to make our relationship in such way as it is haraam in Islam and also I personally feel that my parents will never agree to this. I belong to a well-educated and economically better family than his. My parents have always thought of marrying me to a doctor, engineer, etc., a well-settled person from an educated family. He, on the other hand, has studied only till 10th grade (although he belongs to a religious background and is himself quite pious).
Keeping this in mind, I stopped replying to him, but he says that he can’t imagine life without me and he is asking me to be with him. His cousin told me that he is very hurt since I left him and it is affecting his health and habits too. I feel bad as I, too, cannot see him in this state, but I even cannot go against my parents and also do things which are prohibited in Islam. I cannot speak with my parents about this as they will get very angry saying why did I speak with him as a friend in the first place.
I am very upset about the decision I took as it is hurting both of us but somewhere I feel that I did the right thing. Please help me out of my confusion and please let me know what I should do hereafter. Eagerly waiting for your reply.
You have taken the right decision about abandoning the man and your friendship with him. You need to choose a mate, with approval of your parents and other dear ones, and not enter into an accidental marriage.
An accidental marriage is one in which a person falls in love with someone – whom he, or she, met by accident – and marries him or her. A marriage of choice is one in which one has several propositions, and, after careful considerations and consultations, chooses one or the other. This is what parents normally do. They do not fall in love with a boy and say, “This one or none.” Those who fall in love, know only one and choose from one. Actually, they do not use the option of choice.
As for the foolhardy young man, you need not worry on his account. You had never asked him to fall in love with you. You had only ‘allowed’ him to fall in love by making friends with him. You did not actually ‘ask’ him to do so; so, no responsibility is on you. To be sure, had you fallen in love with him, even then, refusal to marry him would not have been betrayal. That is because, had you fallen in love with him, you would have gone against your Lord, and against your parents; and anything done against the Lord’s will is illegal, null and void.
So, you have done the right thing by rejecting the man’s advances.
We have called him foolhardy because he chose the wrong person to fall in love with. Having failed to finish school, he should have gone to a slum and chosen a primary-school-passed girl and fallen in love with her. If he was not foolhardy, then, he was a cunning Osmond of the ‘Portrait of a Lady.’ Were you to marry him, your chapter 42 would have taken place in the first chapter alone, that is, during the first month of marriage.
You say he is pious. This class of pious humbugs grow more in the fields today than carrots.
As regards your parents looking for a doctor or engineer to marry you off, those are not the first qualifications to look for. They might first look for a religious, knowledgeable person, and then place ‘kufu’ as the second qualification – apart from a few others.
Q. Sir, I am a subscriber to YMD. This is my second year of subscription and I have a complaint and a suggestion. The complaint is that the YMD issues are not delivered on time. And the suggestion is that, why can’t we have soft copies of YMD? These soft copies in PDF or other formats can be mailed to the subscribers just like we get our mobile bills to our email IDs. Because this is the age of large screen mobile phones and tablets which everyone possesses these days and it becomes handy to read the magazine on these devices and delay in postages will also be solved. Hope you will consider the suggestion.
Our objective has been to produce an educational and informative magazine. We introduce little stuff that is of the pastime class. A magazine of this class should be read from a printed version and then left on the table for anyone of the family to pick up, even if for pastime, flip pages, and read out an article of personal interest. The month over, the magazine is stacked in the library shelf for reference at any time in future. We have found people reading our ten-year-old magazines.
The benefits of a stocked magazine last a long time. Newer generations read with amazement and interest what their fathers and forefathers read – and generally benefit.
Therefore, we are not very excited by an electronic version, for any class of gadget. However, with credit to, and by the insistence of, some of our colleagues, this magazine is already on the Net. However, it is a financial burden.
But if there are readers who would like to subscribe to an electronic version, e-mailed to them, at cost, such a service could be provided. Those interested to avail the service may please write to us.
The Qur’an for Young Hearts
Q. Alhamdulillah! The Children’s Qur’an column is very interesting. Do you have the complete Tafseer? I would like to order it. Please guide.
The Children’s Qur’anic Tafsir is being written out month after month. Efforts will be made to hasten the pace in order to complete until those parts that are fit for children. If that happens, it will be brought out in a book form, Allah willing.
If you wish to have the incomplete version, please write back.
Q. Please answer the following questions at the earliest: What is the importance of Hajr-e-Aswad?
The importance of al-Hajr al-Aswad is that it marks the starting point for Tawaf. So, one starts from the Hajr, goes around the Ka`bah in anti-clockwise direction, comes back to it and has thus made one round. A hadith – of Sahih Ibn Hibban – says that “the Black Stone will have a tongue and lips testifying on the Day of Judgment in favor of those who touched it by right (that is, as a Muslim).”
Q. From where has this stone come?
It is generally stated in history and Seerah books that the stone was sent down at the time Ibrahim and Isma`il (asws) were building the Ka`bah. A hadith to this effect is found in Hakim.
Q. Who placed Hajr-e-Aswad in its present location?
It was brought down by Jibril and either he placed it at the present position, or Ibrahim (asws) did it.
Q. What’s the purpose of performing Hajj (apart from being Fard)?
Apart from the fact that Hajj is performed because it is Fard, another reason is that a pilgrim is relieved of all his minor sins, if he performed it rightly. That is something very relieving to Muslims. As for this-worldly benefits, they are not of much importance.
Q. Why do we perform Tawaf around Ka’bah and that, too, in seven rounds?
That is how we have been ordered. If Allah had ordered us to pray inside it, we would have prayed inside it as people do when its door is opened. If we were ordered to pray on its roof, we would have done it. We do just as we are ordered.
Like the doctor decides how many pills you will take for curing your bodily disease, it is Allah who decides how many times you will do what to cure your sickly souls.
Q. What is the importance of Station of Ibrahim (Makham-e-Ibrahim)?
The Maqamu Ibrahim is the stone over which Ibrahim stood to raise the walls of the Ka`bah. Allah approved Ibrahim’s complete submission, as he also approved of the submission of His servants Hajirah and Isma`il (asws). In appreciation, Allah ordered the inheritors of Ibrahim’s spiritual order to perform certain rituals just as they performed and placed His approval in performing them. Since the following generations cannot build the Ka`bah, He ordered them to recognize their spiritual greatness, one of which is to offer some prayers near the Maqam.
As your questions smack of guilt at the rites of Hajj, perhaps because you have too many Shayateen around you, provoking you, shaming you, let us add the following: If Allah had not taught believers in Him the rites of Hajj, surely, Muslims would have slaughtered human beings at the Holy House, offered milk to snakes, danced around the Ka`bah naked to the tunes of bag-pipes and thumping of drums, drunk plenty of wine invoking Muhammad’s name, hung their heads in complete love and devotion to the sermons of homosexual priests during the day, and slept with the prostitutes of the Holy House in the evenings.
So, let us thank Allah for having guided us by His command.
An Indifferent Husband
Q. I am a 26-year-old female. I married a 33-year-old businessman in 2006 with the best wishes of near and dear. I am blessed with two children (a boy and a girl). The problem is that since the time of my marriage, I have never been happy with the attitude of my husband. He is very egoistic and never cares about me. We do not share any emotional attachment towards each other. I love him a lot and sincerely hoped all these years that he would change. But he did not.
He is a businessman; so he is busy most of the time and when he is not working, he is either watching movies or he is with his friends. He does not spend time with me or the children. He shows a lot of affection towards his family, but not to me. He also had an extra marital affair after three years of our marriage. I don’t know if it was physical or not, but he would speak daily to her on phone. I forgave him that time because he said he will not repeat it.
I feel that he has no sense of responsibility and he doesn’t love me. I am feeling very depressed all the time. I am stuck. Please help me. I am thinking of a divorce. Please guide me.
Your problem is that of many women. They care a lot for love and care; even if it is outwardly expressed (while men are very miserly about any such expression). Women like to be flirted, doted and pampered. They want warmth in relationship with their husbands, and intimacy. They want their husbands to shed a tear on their shoulders when they are in a troublesome situation. They are always thinking: “Do I look good? Am I smart enough? Am I loved?” They want to hear appreciation. They are such as this. But, if they disapprove of a person, then all the emotions are turned 180 degrees. They are emotional.
And this is natural. That is, they are so constructed in their nature. They cannot be blamed for what they are, nor praised for what they are. They must be accepted just as they are.
Males are very different, almost opposite. Their interests are entirely different. When loved, they are indifferent to it. We need not describe them in detail here. They, too, must be accepted as they are, and lived with as they are; except that a condition is attached for peaceful living. Both must observe the Islamic fault lines. That is, they must accept Islam as the cultivator and civilizer. It molds and prunes personalities to turn a jungle tree into a garden plant. It suppresses weaknesses and cultures good traits. Man and wife, both submitted to its influences have less and less to complain about each other, although a complete satisfaction with each other is a phenomenon that shies away stealthily, unceremoniously, steadily. Perfection is for our Lord alone. It is hopeless to search for the perfect in His creation. It is useless to search for a perfect life. All that you can do is to observe patience and expect to earn the reward of ultimate satisfaction to be bestowed in the Hereafter.
Admittedly, your dissatisfaction has a valid reason. But to seek a solution through separation would be an insider’s job of firing a bullet through a proxy in the heart of peace; and, in particular, destruction of the happiness of your dear children, for the rest of their lives.
You will have to learn to live with your husband. The consequence of rejection would mean you lie down at night with a dissatisfied soul, and rise up in the morning with a bitter mouth.
Submission to your Lord is the key. He is the Turner who turns the hearts of the people. Seek fulfilment of your yearning for love by serving your Lord’s creation. Send your love in the direction of the poor, the widows, the orphans, those in dust, and get it back from them, with a hefty bonus added to it by your Lord – if you had been sincere to Him.
Q: Can you explain Shirk with Allah, and its punishment?
Shirk is to suggest equals or partners to Allah in His Being or His Attributes.
Of Shirk there are many kinds: To believe that there are more than one God, each independent of the other; to believe that Allah is composed of several gods; to believe that someone possesses the same Attributes as Allah does; to believe that someone is able to do good or evil independent of Allah; to believe that addressing prayers to someone would take one nearer to Allah; to believe that things can have their effects without the Will of Allah, or to believe that any other than Allah has the right to dictate rules, regulations or laws of life, as opposed to what Allah has ordered, etc.
Of Shirk, there are two major kinds: Shirk Jalee and Shirk Khafee.
Shirk Jalee is to believe that there are several gods; or to worship other than Allah; such as to prostrate oneself before another, living or dead, animate or inanimate, in humility seeking reward; or to supplicate to other than Allah, such as to say “Yaa `Ali” or to say, “Yaa Ghouth;” with the belief that they can intercede, or to make an offering to other than Allah, either for a deity’s own sake, or for the sake of seeking closeness to Allah; or to believe that other than Allah can intercede and free one from the consequences of deeds in the Hereafter, such as to usher into Paradise a sinner, without the Will of Allah.
Shirk Khafee is to assume that other than Allah can benefit or harm without His will, or to work seeking rewards from other than Allah.
Shirk will never be forgiven. A Mushrik’s entry into Paradise is completely and unconditionally prohibited.
The subject is vast. We have stated a few prominent points. You may read a few books, such, for example, Taqwiyatu al-Iman by Shah Isma`il Shaheed.