Letters to the Editor
Q: Miftah al-Ma’ani is the welcome realisation of an aspiration felt years ago when the author’s little booklet ‘Hadith of the Night Vision’ was released. May it elucidate the Hadith and enlighten its readers just as Ishraq Al Ma’ani threw light on the Quran, bringing it closer to today’s English speaking Muslims. The book version is keenly awaited and, inshaAllah, Miftah al-Ma’ani should prove to be a worthy companion to Ishraq al-Ma’ani. May He, the Most Appreciative and the Most Forbearing, accept the services of the author and bless the readers with the understanding of His religion.
More than four decades ago, this magazine had expressed the endeavor that it must be devoted to the service of Qur’an and Sunnah and adopt the intellectual pathway. Although the endeavor remains alive, we feel that we haven’t done enough. We hope to be true to our original vision. Mere expressions of some catechism like: ‘Pray for us,’ or, ‘May Allah help,’ or yet, ‘We are trying our best,’ etc. are not enough. The Prophet (saws) has reportedly said in a hadith of Hasan status: “Shrewd is he who held himself to account and worked for what comes after death; and an inept is he who follows his carnal desires while fastening good hope on Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic.”
Q: In response to a question related to Qur’anic commentaries, you said that the abridged Tafsir ibn Kathir should be avoided, as we do not know who abridged it. The abridgement was carried out by a group of scholars under the supervision of Sheikh Safiur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri. You can find the relevant information here: http://www.darussalam.in/Tafseers/Tafsir-ibn-Kathir—Abridged-in-10-Vols–id-1411564.html
If you are satisfied with the information, kindly publish a correction.
It appears you have not referred to our writing, and have used your own words to express what we could have written. Normally, we do not write in such manner, therefore, you could be interpreting our words, guided by some anger. Muslims cannot tolerate any criticism and any evaluation is, to them criticism, and any criticism is condemnation.
At all events, we would never say that Ibn Kathir should be “avoided.”
Our position is that of the hundreds of titles published by Darussalam, the abridged work of Tafsir Ibn Kathir occupies the top-most position. It does not matter who did the translation (we learn there were several, but absence of their names is odd), as we are also aware of the director of abridgment, but the work is well done. The translation is simple. We also do not judge by which Sheikh did the selection, although, we have a lot of respect for those who take up such projects.
Our critique has been that great works cannot, and should not, be abridged. Ibn Kathir was one of the finest scholars of Islam, with a tremendous standing in the Hadith Discipline. As a man of monumental learning, he has had no one to compete with him in the discipline of Tafseer, after him. The Shuyukh who earned their titles, in part they became Shuyukh, after study of his Tafseer.
We are aware of the objections raised against the work. But those who have objected do not know the consensus of the Hadith scholars about certain class of Hadith reports, nor do they know the Prophet’s instruction about how to treat ancient reports. So they think they are serving Islam by suggesting to Ibn Kathir – so to say – as to how to write a Tafsir.
Our recommendation is that those who know Arabic language should not read any of the shortened versions of modern times. They must study the complete compilation.
Similarly, those who know Urdu, may not read any abridged work of Ibn Kathir, but read the complete translations in Urdu.
Of the two translations available, the Pakistani version appears better.
Q. My question is this: I have heard rumours that a branded chocolate company contains pig fat. Is it true? (Please don’t reveal the name).
We have no idea, and will not publish unless the package itself mentions it, either directly, or concealing it in the code figures. You may better check what are those code figures that relate to pork, or pig, fats.
But a general observation is that most Western (and now even some Eastern) food products use by-product of pigs. Their hunger for money dictates all business principles – if there are any principles, to start with. The dollar is the chief god, and its worshippers will sell you any consumable, so long as they are not discovered. Sometime back, they discovered in EU, a company, or maybe several, who were supplying donkey meat to food stores spread over several countries. Horse meat is still in supply.
Veggies might jump in joy and say, we are the wisest of people on earth to avoid all meat. They might know that fruits and vegetables have not escaped human corruption.
Q: I have the two copies of An Introduction to the Arabic Language through Islamic Texts. Is there any solution, or key, for these books?
Muhammad Shariful Islam,
We do not know whatever you mean.
But of course, key to any book, especially that which teaches Arabic, is consistency.
Q: I am Syed Basharat Hussain Shah, PhD research scholar at Hazara University Mansehra, Pakistan. My research topic is ‘Modern Scientific Interpretations in English Commentaries.’ Kindly tell me whether the Ishraq al-Ma’ani includes some scientific interpretations of Qur’anic verses?
The work, Ishraq al-Ma`ani, does contain scientific explanations spread over its fourteen volumes. In addition, the same author has penned a new book called The Inimitable and Physical Sciences. It was published in India and Saudi Arabia; the latter by Darussalam. It should be found in their stores in Pakistan, USA, UK, Malaysia and many other countries, including the Gulf.
Less than a century earlier, `Allamah Tantawi Jawhari had produced a Tafseer with lots of emphasis on scientific explanations; particularly on information of biological nature. Sayyid Qutub’s commentary also has references to scientific information, written out quite in detail.
But we think remaining within Tafseer works places limitations on sources. You could change your thesis and include all that is there of scientific nature related to the Qur’an, but not necessarily in Tafsir works.
Q. First of all, I like to thank the team of Young Muslim Digest for opening a session on doubts and clarifications. It is coming out very helpful and easy to follow on the columns. So, I would like to know: Is there any necessity or specific ruling on change of name of the bride after marriage. (For example: Husband Name: Syed Imran. Wife Name: Nazia Fatima Syed)..?
Islamically, it is wrong for a woman to adopt her husband’s name after marriage. This practice has come from Jews and Christians, who, as in many other things, are misguided. They have been having problems in identifying a woman as who could be? For example, Kitty Thomas, or Kitty Francis, or Kitty Laughfington. Are they one person, two or three? Actually, it is the same Kitty married at one time to Thomas, another time to Francis, and a third time to Laughfington, Court officials go nuts trying to determine whether it is the same Kitty, or several.
Islamically, when a boy or girl is born, he or she has a single name to which the father’s name is attached. In Zaynab Kareem, Zaynab is the girl’s name, and Kareem her father’s name. But since the Jews and Christians can make a motor car or build an Eiffel Tower, this Ummah was so impressed by their cleverness, and so deeply thankful to them for their McDonalds, that it decided to adopt the misguided ones.
Q. Or, please explain: Is the bride under any obligation to change her last name after Husband’s name?
Yes, she is obliged by those who sold their religion for a paltry price. But she need not pay the price. She remains Zaynab Abdul Kareem, etc.
Q. What is the ruling on the wedding day i.e., Shaadi day? Is it a must for the bride side to conduct it, or can we only do Valima which is supposed to be conducted by Groom’s side?
When Islam declared war on extra-marital sex, it made marriage easy – easier than in any other system or religion. All that is needed now is for a man or woman to choose a future spouse, get the girl’s father to agree, get two males to witness the bride and groom declare their willingness to be each other’s spouses, on a certain bride-gift called Mahr offered by the groom – and the event is over.
No ceremony may be conducted, no registration required, no Qadi/ Maulwi is to be hired, no place is mandatory, no witness be paid, and no meal may be offered by either of the two parties. The groom may carry his bride home immediately after.
All else that happens before or after the marriage is either Sunnah, Bid`ah, Haram or stupidity.
Forcing the bride’s party to offer meals, either independently, or jointly, is blackmail.
Q. When someone is afflicted with evil eye and when the cause is undetermined. I have learnt to collect some water and after dipping both hands one must recite:
- Durud Shareef (7 times)
- Surah Fatiha (7 times)
- Ayatul Qursi (7 times)
- Four ‘Qul’s (7 times) and again Durud Shareef (7 times).
Please let me know what the authentic and correct method of doing this is.
The authenticity of the treatment for evil-eye as given by you is as much in doubt as the suspicion itself that somebody is suffering from the effects of evil-eye.
Evil-eye used to be cast by spiritually powerful men and women. Such of them have disappeared from all societies, Muslim and non-Muslim. They have been replaced by sickly souls, sickly minds, and sickly bodies. Psychiatrists and other of the related fields are discovering an inordinate increase in people suffering from psychological problems, even in children.
As the last word about authenticity of your find, we believe if you ever met Shaytan and asked him the same question, he might shrug his shoulders and say, “Never heard of it.”
Q. This case goes back to about ten years when my mother expired (may Allah give her a place in Jannah – Aameen). At that time, both my grandparents were alive. They said – and even now say – that there is a hadith which says that if a child dies when their parents were alive, there is no share in property for the children or husband. So we are not entitled to any share from our grandparents’ side. But they will give us some amount out of compassion (which they did give twice).
Now both my grandparents have expired (may Allah give them a place in Jannah – Aameen) and they say the same. And now asking for my mother’s death certificate. So I want to ask:
* Whether what they say is right?
* Is there really a hadith?
* What does the Shariah say in this case?
They are Ahl-e-hadith. We are five siblings: two brothers and three sisters.
Please guide. Searching for the truth.
We are glad to hear that you are searching for truth, and not for the money.
Nonetheless, your question is not easy to be deciphered. We suggest that you go to a large Madrasah, which has a Fataawa section. Sit down before the Mufti, and explain to him the situation.
After some more information has been supplied to him, you may alter your questions in accordance with the Mufti’s dictates, and then get a written Fataawa.
Q: Do you publish Islamic Poetry as well?
We welcome not only Islamic, but all classes of poetry, even romantic, so long as they are free of vulgarity and eroticism.
We expect the poet to have taken the approval of someone who has some command over English literature, and would judge the lines as poetic.
Q: Kindly request you to please suggest me any authentic Muslim matrimony website for sisters in Islam to apply.
From times immemorial, matrimony – in every society, especially Christian – has been no more than a trap-house for gullible women. It’s been a rich pastureland for dupes to make money out of. How many foolish women who thought they were smart, but who were trapped and remained after marriage biting their nails for the rest of life.
A father has two qualifications: one, he loves his daughter and so will not destroy her life, and, two, he is a male who knows how females are trapped and exploited through their lives.
In Islam, she has some protection from the alligators. A girl cannot marry a man of her choice, at first marriage, without the father’s approval.
You better seek your father’s help, but, do conduct your own enquiries before saying yes to his proposal, for, today, young men have become experts at concealing their true personality, sometimes even from their own parents, let alone from those outside the family. Do not even be impressed by the religious practices of today’s families. Many of them have two identities: the overt and the covert. It is only upon entering a family that you see them unveiled.
Straiten up your own life, removing all hypocrisy, repent for your own waywardness, and commit yourself fully to Islam, to qualify for Allah’s own help, which you may sincerely seek. The world has never been as evil as it is now. It is His help alone that can drive away all evil from home. No; mere Istikharah – without the process we have suggested – might not help.