Letters to the Editor


Q. In the July’99 issue of the YMD you have answered in one of the questions that prostrating before graves is outright Shirk. I have certain questions on this subject as well as certain other subjects. The Muslims bow before the Kaaba and also lay Chadars over it. Why is that not considered wrong? Is it just because (God forgive) we have to blindly follow the Prophet (saws) without any recourse to logic or is there some sound reason behind it?


You seem to have exactly the same kind of belief about certain Islamic practices as those that the Hindus think of us. They say we are also stone-worshippers like they are. When asked how, they say, “Don’t you bow down before the Ka`ba?”

We were not aware that among the Muslims there are people who can read and write the English language (apart from their mother tongue), but who still believe, in this age of wide-spread knowledge, that we Muslims worship the Ka`bah.

Well, the answer to you is the same as we give to the Hindus. We do not worship the Ka`bah when we go to Makkah and bow down before it. We worship One God and He is not sitting in the Ka`bah. We bow down in all our Prayers, be they performed before the Ka`abah, in ordinary mosques, or at home. To bow down in Prayers is part of the ritual of Prayers. It has nothing to do with the Ka`bah. The Ka`bah is no more than a building. It has been erected for orientation purposes and not for worship.

Can we worship without the Ka`bah? Of course, we do that all the time, all over the day, in millions of mosques spread over the globe. Now just as we do not worship the front wall in the mosques when we offer Prayers facing it, we also do not worship the Ka`bah when we face it when Praying in front of it.

As for the cloth covering of the Ka`bah, it is not for worship and is not equivalent to the cloth laid over the graves. The covering around the Ka`bah is for its protection. The building is made of stones and mud: as it was made centuries ago. If you didn’t cover it then two factors will wear off the mud. First, the weather, rain and winds, and second, the touch of the pilgrims. Although not compulsorily required to touch the Ka`bah, or move their hands over its walls lovingly, the sentimental ones among the Muslims do it. In fact, the Prophet himself used to sit with his back resting on the Ka`bah, and so did many others after him. The Ka`bah is made of stones and mud; a symbol; and no more. However, since violence is not allowed at the Ka`bah, the people who touch it with their hands or body cannot be prevented. That causes dirtying and some wear and tear. And, since there are about 150,000 touches a day, the problem of wear and tear has to be attended to. The answer is, cover it.

Now, since the covering is made of cloth, and the weather in Makkah is very destructive, it gets completely worn out in a year’s time. (Once, a carpet left in the sun for about four months was recovered in shreds, pieces and dust). So the Ka`bah covering is also replaced every year. But, that does not lend the covering cloth any sanctity. It is similar to the window drapes of a mosque. Those window drapes do not acquire any sanctity because they are hung on a mosque window.

As for the covering cloth on the graves, what is their function? Are they meant to preserve the grave from pilgrim’s touch and spoilage? If that is so, then it is all the more necessary to remove them because any touch of the graves out of reverence – as in the case of the Ka`bah – is disallowed. In fact raising of the grave above the ground level is disallowed in Islam. The Chaader cost is more deserving of the school-drop out who cannot pay his fees.

Q. I have learnt that the punishment of a Muslim who renounces Islam is death. Is it true? But Allah says in Qur’an that there is no compulsion in faith. Now if a person is born in a Muslim family & on attaining adulthood wants to abandon Islam, why do we call him a murtad and punish him?


The topic has been discussed earlier. Since a detailed answer will require much space, it might be pointed out that any state will tolerate anything from its citizens except disloyalty. Once disloyalty is proved, a man is hanged without mercy. No one, not even those opposed to death penalty, criticise the punishment. Now, humans build states on nationalism, regionalism, culture, language or other factors as their motto. An Islamic state is a Godly state. It is built on the testimony, “There is no God save Allah.” If somebody denies that, after having been its citizen by default, then that is the extreme kind of disloyalty in an Islamic state punishable by death.

Q. It is necessary for a Muslim to obey the commands of prophet (saws). But is it also necessary to agree to whatever opinion on any subject expressed by the Prophet (saw)? To what extent is it allowable to differ in opinion with him?

Aslam Ahmed,
KDH – Delhi.


Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of Prophetic statements: one pertaining to religion, the other to worldly affairs. Now when it comes to the former – religious matters – there can be no two opinion about it. His opinion is final. But, as regards the second kind, his followers are free to take or leave. For instance, he recommended that we drink cow’s milk because he noticed that it eats from every kind of grass and green leaves. He concluded, perhaps, although he didn’t say so, that an animal that ate from a variety of pasture, would yield a richer milk than another that didn’t. Now, his followers are free to drink cow’s milk or any other of their choice. There is no sin upon them if they chose not to drink cow’s milk – especially today when it is fed only one kind of feed. If they drank, then there are two situations: either they drank it simply because he recommended, or because of other reasons. If they drink simply for the reason that he has recommended, they would be rewarded for the intention but not for the act. That is because, drinking cow milk is not a virtuous act. If they drank for other reasons, then neither they will be rewarded nor punished.

Of course, there are several acts that seem to fall in between: the religious and the worldly. Sometimes a part of an act is religious, while a part is not. In such cases the person involved should himself assess to the religiosity or otherwise of the deed.

Now, taking up the religious part of the Prophetic statements or his examples in deeds, we have said above that there can be no two opinion over them. He is always right, without the least possibility of another opinion opposed to it being correct. Whoever held an opinion other than the Prophet’s in religious matters is wrong, and, if he expressed it, will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgement. One might, however, note carefully that it is the opinion that we are talking about.

As regards actions in accordance with the Prophetic statements of the religious kind or deeds (the Sunnah) in accordance with his, the following is a further explanation. Religious acts are divided into several kinds. A rough division would render them as: the obligatory and the non-obligatory ones. The Sunnah also gets divided into these two kinds: those that necessarily, obligatorily demand action, and those that don’t. If one acts according to the latter kind, he gets rewarded, if he doesn’t, he will not be questioned about them.

In the name of the Salaf

Q. In an answer to a question by Ehtesham Khalid from Dammam in your August 1999 issue, you had said that one may follow anyone of the four schools of thought and had also asked him to follow the ways of the Salaf because they never used to argue over such issues. But you cannot say that reading Sura Fatiha behind an Imam is a small issue.


Once having decided to follow the Salaf, did you go back to check if they argued over recitation of the Sura al-Fateha in the Prayers, or not?

Q. This is not a small issue. According to majority of Sahih ahadith, Surah Al-Fatiah is a factor which can make our Salah invalid if not read behind an Imam.


You have used the words, “according to a majority of Sahih ahadith.” But what do the minority of Sahih ahadith say? And if something different, how do you reconcile them?

Q. Nowadays many Muslim Brothers from Hanafi School of thought say it is prohibited to read Surah al-Fatiha behind an Imam…


Probably, not being a Hanafi, you do not know the Hanafi rulings. They don’t say it is “prohibited.” They say it is not necessary.

Q. And are even ready to cross over Sahih Ahadith such as Sahih al-Bukhari which is considered to be the most authentic Books after the Holy Qur’an by overwhelming majority of Ulama.


Sahih Bukhari is one of the many Sahih collections. There are a few besides it. Further, it does not override the Qur’an.

Q. They are ready to catch hold of Mouzu Ahadis to prove right whatever they practice. Such as you who gave dalil of a hadis which says that 80 Sahabas including Hazrat Ali R.A. say that it is prohibited to recite sura Fatiha behind an Imam. This hadith is Mouzu and the narrator is not reliable and according to Hanafi Maslak itself a Mouzu Hadis cannot be a source to prove a sunnah.


You did not give reasons for declaring it mawdu’. However, if the case rests on one hadith, you can go by the authority you choose, but what will you say about a dozen of them. Also, you might note that the term used by the Fiqh books is “man’” which perforce we translate as prohibition, though it is the undesirable that could be meant.

Q. In your July 1999 issue, you after endorsing the fact that there in many Sahih Ahadis that a Salah is not valid without Sura Fatiah and you said that majority of Ulama believe the same.


We have said no such thing in the July 1999 issue.

Q. You have also quoted other Hadith in which our Prophet S.W.S. taught a man to pray but never specifically mentioned Sura Al-Fatiah but in the same hadith our Prophet S.A.W. never mentioned about folding of hands after Takbir-e-Tehrima etc. Can we say now that the hands should not be folded?


In that hadith the Prophet (saws) has spoken of those things alone that are to be recited in the Prayers. He did not speak of any of the actions involved as to how they should be done.

Q. That is because there are other Sahih Ahadith which makes this particular hadith complete, this hadith is dependent on other Sahi Ahadith, we cannot close our eyes to other Sahih Ahadith which are crystal clear.


Why should you not collect all the ahadith on the topic before talking of them?

Q. Some people even say that it is prohibited in Quran to recite anything while Quran is being recited. “When the Quran is being recited, give ear to it and pay heed that you may obtain mercy.” Quran Ch.7 Ver.204: Our brothers hold this Sura totally out of context because this sura was revealed in Mecca and Salah by Jamaat came in Medina much after that Sura. In Hanafi Maslak book itself (Ain Alhidaya-Jald Awwal 43): It is written that Kafir used to make lots of noises to avoid hearing Quran so this Sura was revealed to Muslims to keep quiet and listen carefully and obtain mercy. This Sura should not be taken as a source to prove that Surah al-Fatiha is not permitted to be read behind an Imam because on whom the Sura was revealed he himself told us that a salah is not valid without sura al-Fatiha whether behind an Imam or not.


So, after being a muhaddith, now you have assumed the role of a mufassir and a faqih. Hopefully your Arabic is a little better than as revealed from the way you have named the Arabic works. Deriving working rules from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and then applying them to get the right meaning out (one which cuts down most arguments over it) is not as easy as you have assumed. You need to specialise in it.

Q. This can be found in many sahih ahadis specially one narrated by Abu Hurairah (ra) in Sahih Muslim in which he says our prophet (saws) forbade us to recite anything except sura al-Fatiha and said without Surah Fatiha there is no namaz, there is no namaz, there is no namaz. That’s it. Who are you and me now to decide what Allah wants from us?

Azhar Ali Khan,


You have the right to doubt your own credentials. And, going by the way you have argued above, it looks like you have good grounds for it. But that might not be the case with the Jurists whose credentials cannot be so easily dismissed.

What is Riba?

Q. I have completely read the book “What is Riba” by Allama  Iqbal Ahmed Khan Suhail. I find the author of this book has completely demolished  the theory of Interest (Riba) as understood by me and as explained  by Ulema. Therefore it is very necessary that Ulema  should give comment on this book. I am also surprised why this  book was dormant for the last 63 years and now it has been published in Arabic, English also.

I will appreciate a reply on this because I am very disturbed after reading this book. 

On Email


We regret we could not find the book. Could you send us the details of the publisher?

X for..?

Q. I am trying to write an English alphabet book on Islamic lines: A for Allah, B for Bismillah etc. Can you please let me know what suitable Islamic word would start with “X”?

Abdul Halemm,


You can use X for Xinjiang which is an autonamous region in NW China, populated mostly by Muslims.

The Mahdi

Q. Please give  us a detailed information  about the Mahdi Ma`ood?



The Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama`ah are unanimous over the appearance of the Mahdi. However, there is no consensus of opinion over his identification. The Prophet (saws) has spoken about the Mahdi in several narrations coming down from him. One of them says that he will be of his family, bearing the same name as his, that is, Muhammad. Another report has it that he will be running away along with a few others, chased by forces sent from Syria. He will seek refuge in Makkah, and the forces chasing him will be sunk into the earth. Thereafter, he will be pressed into accepting the allegiance of the believers, i.e., accept their Imamate.

Yet another hadith says he will appear between Rukn and Muqam (of Ibrahim) where people will offer him their allegiance.

As regards when he will appear, there is no clear report about that, although it looks like it will be close to the second appearance of Jesus (asws). Some believe he will be leading the Prayers in Syria when Jesus (asws) will descend. So also, there is no definite report about where the Mahdi will be originally from.

Women into Mosques

Q. This is in reference to Dec ’98 issue. In a reply regarding purdah, you have stated that the Prophet said: “For women the best place of worship is the inner most chamber of the house”. But the Prophet also said “do not prevent them from entering the mosques.” The question was, are women permitted entrance into the mosques and the answer is, yes. Why do you choose to mystify that which is obvious? Further in support of not allowing women inside mosques, you state that Aisha (ra) said “Had the Prophet seen these women of today, he would have banned their entry into the mosques.”


The question has now assumed political dimensions in India. Otherwise, everyone knows the ruling(s).

Q. In reply to a previous question of mine (re: whether chess is haram or not) a long time ago you had stated that the Prophet possessed knowledge about the past and the future with regard to the rulings he had made.


Over the years, the question of chess has been dealt with several times in these columns. Since you have not given the issue number, it wasn’t possible for us to locate the previous discussion.

However, we could not have said that the Prophet (asws) possessed the knowledge of the past and the future. We might have said that the Prophet (saws) would have known what evils the Ummah might fall into in the future – the information given to him, of course, by Allah (swt).

Q. You had said that the fact that chess did not exist during his time does not overrule the possibility of the existence of hadith banning chess, because he(saws) knew the future to come with reference to the ruling he made. And now you say, “Had the Prophet seen.”

Thus you are contradicting yourself.


It is not we who said “had the Prophet known…” It was `A’isha (ra), which also proves that the Prophet did not have the knowledge of the future.

Q. It’s not possible that the Prophet could have foreseen the coming of chess years after him, but could not see the morality of women a couple of years after his demise.


We are not sure what you are referring to. At best it is possible that we made a kind of “guess statement” concerning the Prophet (asws) that he could have foreseen the future. We couldn’t have stated it as a statement of fact. The Prophet (saws) in fact foresaw the future but in  a different sense. For instance, he foretold that the Ummah will get worse in faith and practice as time passes by. That prediction has come true. Women are, obviously included in the Ummah, and are getting worse and worse with the passage of time.

Q. In the same issue, at the same time you say that women should attend the congregational Eid prayer.


When we said that we were not stating our opinion. We reproduced a statement of the Prophet.

Q. Today, for women its not a choice whether to go out or not, they have to come out of their houses at least to purchase household necessities and the absence of prayer houses for them forces them to say qada’ prayers. Who will take the responsibility for those missed prayers when mosques are there, but worshippers aren’t allowed inside?


Those women who go out at hours they shouldn’t be going out are themselves responsible for their missed Prayers. Nor it is true that it is no more a matter of choice whether women should go out or not. It surely is a matter of choice even now. Wherever Muslims are conscious of Islamic rules and laws and observe them, they organise their own and the lives of the family in such a way that women don’t have to rush out five times a day to attend to the needs of the family.

It is the desire for being out as often as the males of the house do, that has led to the women’s need to be out, and for entry into mosques. It is this desire that needs to be curbed: first and foremost.

Those who Pray five times a day, come out in full hijab, when absolutely necessary, are not the ones who make the hue and cry today about women’s entry into mosques. Rather, the demand for women’s entry into mosques comes from “Women Rightists,” “Women’s Liberation Front,” the “Progressive Movement,” and their tail-end followers many of whom are non-Muslims. Those women who are loafing about in the streets at every odd hour, without Hijab, in complete make-up, and those who are in the forefront of these organisations are the ones that are making the demand of “equality.” They are not the ones who deserve to be let into mosques: “Surely, those alone visit the mosques who believe in Allah, the Last Day, gave the Zakah, and feared not anyone but Allah. It is they indeed who are on true guidance.” (9: 18)

Q. A hadith in Sahih-Bukhari vol.6 #139 speaks about the Prophet permitting muta’h marriages. What is the status of this hadith and what is the ruling regarding muta’h marriages.


The hadith stands mansukh (abrogated). Muta`ah marriage is unlawful by the ijmah` (consensus) of the four Sunni schools of fiqh.

Q. Previously I had asked about the status of  the book Bahishti Zewar and you had given it the stamp of  approval, but now in the issue of May ’99 you are diplomatically brushing aside the book as not appropriate for religious instruction. Why this change of heart after a long gap?


You are courageous enough to misquote to us our own writings. Read the following taken from May ’99 issue:

“Bahishti Zewar has two kinds of writings. One pertaining to the Shari`ah and another, general rules, manners, guidelines on etiquettes, setting up a home, simple medicinal tips, crude manufacturing formulas, etc. It reflects the culture of the early 20th century prevalent in India. The whole book then cannot be said to contain religious instructions. The reader is free to accept or reject any part of it except that which is specifically stated as a Shari`ah rule. Therefore, you will have to write to us a specific part – if ambiguous – for us to say about the nature of the rules or guideline stated there.” (YMD, May ’99)

Q. Give me references regarding shiaiism dealt in YMD and the issue dates and also some good books on this topic which can be referred.


Mawlana Manzoor No`mani’s book on this topic is a good one.

Q. Is the book ‘The mirage in Iran’ (Suraab fil Iran) by Dr. Ahmad  Al-Afghaanee (translated by Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips) an authentic source of information on this topic?


We do not know what exactly you mean. Statements of political nature cannot be declared authentic or unauthentic. As for hadith quotations, their references are quoted and may be treated as authentic or unauthentic depending on their sources.

Q. Please give reference to the hadith and ayah you quote to avoid confusion, give me the reference to the statement published in response to a letter in the issue of Dec. ’98: “Therefore ask the people of admonition (and learning) if you do not know.”


The verse is from the 16th chapter of the Qur’an, An-Namal, no. 43.

Q. I am unable to access your web-site, the message I get is that the server is denied access and this site doesn’t have a directory listing (http:www.youngmuslimdigest.com). What is the problem? Is there any other address or link to your site?

Z. F.,


We regret the site is not yet ready for visits.


Q. I have some doubts regarding the iddat. One of my cousins has become a widow and  has completed the period of 4 months and 10 days. It is said that she should be at home all the time and even need not to go in her backyard to feel the drizzle or a change, live alone, not go to the park or market for a change. It appears illogical & suppressive. I may be wrong but I and my cousin need guidance. Why should it be for 130 days if it is rule out pregnancy from previous marriage? If this is the sole reason then can we not bypass the iddat with pregnancy tests? There must be more to iddat than only repressive isolation & long wait especially for young & dynamic.

Naushaduddin Mohammed,
On Email


In short, it appears that you suggest an abrogation of the `iddah rules. The addition of the words “young and dynamic” is to add force to your argument. The insinuation is that Islam is not the religion of the young and the dynamic and the suggestion that whatever comes as a hindarance in the way of the “young” and the “dynamic,” active in constructive persuits, should be done away with. Ignoring these innuendoes for the moment, let us look into the need for the waiting period or, what is Islamically known as the `iddah. That is, the period a Muslim woman is required to spend at home and not get married if the husband has died (or divorced her).

Firstly, since the religion of Islam is meant to last until the end of the world, its laws, injunctions and precepts have been formulated for universal application, for all times, ancient, modern, and the future (which can be a revival of bullock-cart age), for all peoples’ and for all civilisations: pastoral, agricultural, or industrial. Secondly, Islam endeavours to build a family. And to build a family, every individual’s identity is of great importance. Therefore it is necessary that a woman’s state of pregnancy be well determined so as to give the child, if it comes, the right identity. Hence also the lengthy waiting period (`iddah) in both events. In case of divorce it is three months, while in case of the husband’s death it is four months and ten days. The additional forty days in case of the husband’s death are for a variety of reasons. If there is any pregnancy, it is bound to physically show up within that period.

Even if there were the possibilities of determining pregnancy of women at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an, by means other than physical, Islam did not rely on those tests. Not because those tests could have been crude, but because of the uncertainty of the test results. Over the time, the uncertainty has not improved. Modern tests, therefore, are no efficient replacement for the injunctions about the period of waiting (`iddah). One cannot trust the results one hundred percent. There is another factor. Mixup of samples. This happens quite often in the hospitals. One patient’s samples are marked as another patient’s samples; reports are mixed up; names are muddled; and various other funny things happen. In fact, even amputations have been carried out on wrong limbs because of identification errors.

In contrast, the period of waiting (`iddah) is a fool-proof method. Neither is there an uncertainty factor in it, nor the possibility of a mix up of samples, names, x-ray or CT scan reports. After the period of waiting has expired, a woman can be dead sure that pregnancy by the previous man is completely ruled out. Also, those who are living far away from modern medical facilities are at no disadvantage. Finally, the woman involved, and already under economic pressure due to the husband’s death, need not shell down a fat sum for tests in expensive medical centres, and, in case of uncertainties, go for a second test shelling out equal amounts. They can simply wait and see what happens.

As against the above, you might perhaps suggest that the process be shortened. So that, medical tests to determine pregnancy be carried out by the afternoon of the morning the husband died, in order that the “young and dynamic” woman can go and play tennis by the evening. Apart from the inhumaneness, and the expression of extreme self-centredness of the modern progressive world, we are afraid that those who show such emotional attachment to their life-partners might not find another partner for the rest of their lives except for those of their own kind who change partners as often as their tennis-court partners.

Islamic Education

Q. The service you are providing through your magazine cannot be put in words. Jazak-Allah. May Allah bestow Paradise to all those who are directly or indirectly involved in this noble mission, Amin. I am  a computer Engineer and have studied in the Indian Embassy School up to the XII standard at Jeddah. My father Abdul Latif Khan, principal of the above school, memorised the Holy Qur’an at the age of around 50 years. I want to serve for the cause of preaching and practicing Islam. Maybe in the future I will be able to open schools which provide modern education along with Islamic education, very similar to that of Sir Syed.

Ahmed Khan


If your reference is to the Aligarh Muslim University, you might know that this university does not offer Islamic education along with modern education, one and at the same time. Yes, there is an Islamic department which offers some Islamic courses, but, students of other faculties are not taught any religion.

Q. I want to know the addresses of schools/madarsas with phone numbers that provide Islamic education along with modern education in INDIA and particularly in south India.


The best known perhaps is the Crescent School in Madras. Another is the one run by Jamat-e-Islami in the Huda Valley off Hyderabad. A third is in Mansoorah (Hassan – Karnataka) also run by the Jamat-e-Islami. However, we do not have their addresses.

Q. Also, please let me know all the website addresses of Islamic studies and publications. I am in touch with many Christians who want literatures on Islam.

Abdul Khadir Khan,
Gulbarga, Karnataka


There are many sites on the internet that provide various services. You could enter into any one of them and get the addresses of the others. One of them is Islamicity.com.

A sin or not?

Q. I am a regular reader of the ymd, and hope to remain so forever. I have a few doubts to be cleared. Is masturbation a major or minor sin?


This question has been dealt with often in this paper. Kindly refer to the January 2000 issue of this magazine. To put it briefly here, there are two opinions. One says that if it is resorted to when someone feels that if he didn’t, he will commit the sin of fornication, then there is no sin upon him. Another opinion is that it is a sin in every situation. If someone is afraid he will fall into fornication, let him get married. To such, who declare it forbidden, the sin would be major, in view of a hadith. But to the former, it will not be even a minor sin.

Q. Is it permitted in Islam for a male and a female to get married when they are fed and brought up by the milk of same mother?


What would be your opinion if you had to pass the rule?

Islamic Institutions

Q. I am a reader of your wonderful magazine. I am relatively new in Bangalore and there is some information which I would like to have from you. I want to know the Names and addresses, phone numbers, and, if possible, e-mail ID’s of those schools in and around Bangalore which have Qur’an as a subject and medium of instruction English, with hostel facilities, for boys.

Mrs. Shaheen Aquil


Please see the answer above.

E-mail address

Q. Reference to the article in Young Muslim Digest (May-2000) “Muslim World News”- page no.43, you are requested to send us the e-mail no. or the website no. of the Filipino Islamic Chamber, which is surprisingly missing from the article.

Mohammed Irfan, 
On Email


We regret that we do not have their address.

Internet as a tool

Q. First, I thank you for your endeavour to guide the Muslims Ummah as well as non-Muslims. And I pray that your job will be continued with the same spirit and efficiency. I feel that one thing which the Muslims did not utilise is the Internet for propagation purposes while others are actively engaged in exploiting it to their benefit. For instance, I was astonished to see a site ‘Answering Islam’ which is especially designed to teach the Christians and others how to give illogical answers which would render a Muslim who has no knowledge silent. But I felt relieved when I saw an Islamic site which offers dawah training program. I request you to kindly print the following site addresses: islam.kohinoor.net and alislam.indianet.org

Majid Ishaq,
On Email

Funny Blokes' Site

Q. So, among Muslims and Gujaratis, you can marry even your brothers! If you do not believe, visit the site www.zawaj.com and click on the question ‘Can I reject a person because of physical appearance?’

On Email

Unattractive Propositions

Q. I need your advice. I am a 26-year-old woman, and live in the Middle East. I have had many marriage proposals but refused all of them because I wanted someone religious, as well as someone I can feel in synch., with me. Then I was introduced to a religious person who lives overseas too. I corresponded with him and got along well. Then after a couple of months when I actually got to meet him face to face and I felt completely repelled towards him. My parents however think that he is the best match but I can’t get myself to accept this man. I am only human and I have feelings too. My parents say that looks won’t matter after marriage, but I don’t think that is the case for me. I am really not looking for someone who’s exceptionally good looking, just a person I feel comfortable around. I am very confused. I don’t know if it is a mistake to refuse him and lose this religious person because of this reason (along with minor reasons relating to his personality). But I can’t get myself to accept this idea emotionally. Everytime I try to force myself to accept I feel as though I am sentencing my feelings to death. I will be waiting for your response.


You have committed the mistake of meeting the person face to face, instead of merely allowing him to look at you – if he wished that. This could have led to the present situation. You admit that he is not ugly, that he is religiously acceptable, that you couldn’t find a fault with him, but still feel a revulsion for him. Why? Yes, there could be unexplained reasons, reasons that you know but cannot describe in words. But an outside chance exists that Satan came in between you and have him for having broken an Islamic practice. Therefore, either you have to work out the causes of rejection, or reconsider your opinion.

Also, your criteria seem to be a confused one. Maybe, your true criteria are different from those you think you believe in. This happens quite often. People talk, hear and discuss about something as good and virtuous, and believe that they too believe in it. But, truly they don’t. Tests reveal the truth in the hearts. Hence also, you need to search for some good reasons for rejecting the man.

We are not however suggesting that you accept or reject the man. You shouldn’t accept someone you dislike from the start. If your criteria are not religious, rather of a different kind, best known to yourself, then, you must either change the criteria, or, accept only a man who meets with your “other” set of criteria. This might be a risky step, but at least it would be your own decision and so you are likley to stand by it without blaming anyone else if the choice doesn’t lead to the spring season.

Another proposal would be to live with the dislike. That is, you know you dislike the man but still get married to him hoping that he will after all win your heart, or, if that doesn’t happen, you continuing to live with him all the same; attempting to your personal objectives of life, regardless of your feelings for the husband. After all, a husband is not the object of life. Whoever thought a spouse is the object of life, that will pay a price for it. This kind of thing is happening all the time. What is ignored is that there is hardly a pair in the world, which looks at the life and its affairs with one eye. When it comes to individuals, there are things you like, while there are things that you don’t like. Indeed, it turns out that the most likable person becomes not so likable after the passage of some time and vice versa. That is because, human beings are changeable entities: either of the two, or both change over a period to the better or worse.

In the final analysis, selection of a “likable” spouse turns out to be a tricky issue, the likableness or unlikableness following a “rise and fall” curve over the years. Perhaps the older method worked best where family connections, trust in Allah, patience in adversities, muffling the voice of hope, acceptance of one’s destiny, the desire for religious offspring, and strong feeling of other-worldliness, all worked their way into the psyche of every new married pair. What the Prophet (saws) has said about women, applies to men in a greater degree. The modern woman needs to consider the statement seriously. He has told men: “Every woman has what another woman has.” In matrimonial affairs, it is enough if there are rough agreements between the pair. Agreements over finer points is as difficult as converting a male to a female or a female to a male.

A wrong approach

Q. I had written an answer to you regarding the words “salawatu was salamu alaika yaa rasulalah” about which you had written that it was a bid`ah.


To add those words would not be such a sin as to insist on them.

Q. I had also written some excerpts taken from the books of the founders of tableeghi jamaath which are un-Islamic.


The Tablighee Jama`at founder – Mawlana Ilyas, may Allah bestow peace on him – wrote no book.

Q. I also wanted to know what do you think of those people who have written such things in their books as: 1) “It is worse to concentrate on the person of the Prophet (asws) in one’s Prayers than to think of a bull or a donkey.” (Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, page 18, Maulvi Ismail Dehlavi).


The context under discussion from which the above sentence has been picked up is, “Could one concentrate on the person of our Prophet (saws) instead of Allah (swt)?” And the answer by Ismail Shaheed of Delhi is as stated by you.

He explains further in his book that if someone thought of say donkeys and bulls during his Prayers then, what is most likely to happen is that his nature will act with revulsion against the thought and reject it. But, if someone thought of the Prophet (saws) – instead of remembering Allah – then, it is likely that (because of his love and regard for the Prophet), his inner self will not revolt against such a thought and he will continue to think of him. But Prayers have not been designed for the remembrance of the Prophet. They have been designed for the remembrance of Allah (swt). Allah said, “And establish the Prayers for My remembrance.” Hence, thinking of donkeys and bulls in the Prayers is better, because their thought is revulsive and so not likely to remain in the mind for long, rather than the thoughts of the Prophet, love for whom would allow the thought to linger, damaging the purpose of Prayers.

Q. “Or, the Prophet was also a human being and had been created by Allah he was our elder brother.” (Taqwiatul Iman, page 48, Maulvi Ismail Dehlvi)


There isn’t a second opinion over the Prophet being a human being. The Qur’an told the Prophet to announce: “Say, ‘I am but a human being.‘ (18: 110 and 41: 6)

What Ismail Shaheed of Delhi meant is that being a son of Adam (asws), the Prophet (saws) was our brother in humanity. He did not say that the Prophet may be referred to as one, although the Prophet (saws) himself addressed some of his followers as “Ya Akhiyy” meaning, “O my brother.” He also referred to his followers of the coming generations as “Ikwanuna,” i.e., “Our brothers.”

Q. “If the prophets hold supremacy or distinction over their followers it is because of their knowledge. So far as deeds are concerned, sometimes the followers apparently become equal to them or even surpass them.” (Tahzeerunnas, page 5 by Maulavi Qasim Nanotavi)


First of all, you must not miss to notice the words “perhaps” in the latter part of the above quote. Secondly, the statement appears to be correct. There are men who Pray much more than the Prophets did, or fast more than even our own Prophet (saws) did: fasting almost the whole of their lives. But, Mawlana Nanotavi explains, the apparent surpassing in the quantity of deeds does not give ordinary men superiority over Prophets whose superiority consists in knowledge, which is something that their followers can never obtain.

Q. “The Prophet’s knowledge similar to the knowledge of children, insane people and animals (from Hifzul Iman, page6, by Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanwi.)


Your Urdu seems to be pretty weak. You should not be reading these books by yourself, rather, take lessons in them from a scholar.

Mawlana Thanwi discusses the issue of knowledge of the Unseen and Unknown (‘Ilam al-Ghayb) that the ignorant presume the Prophet (saws) possessed. He demonstrates that the knowledge of the Unseen and Unknown is Allah’s prerogative alone. No one has the knowledge of the Unseen and the Unknown apart from Him. He further explains that yes, the Prophet could have known some of what we refer to as belonging to the Ghayb, (such as, to add our example, the knowledge that trees will blossom in the spring, or, the coming summer will be hot, etc.). But this is no speciality of the Prophet. Children, the insane, and even animals possess this kind of knowledge of the Unseen and the Unknown.

Q. “After the death of huzoor (saw) he has been mixed with sand from Taqwiatul Iman, page 42 by Rashid Ahmed Gangohi).


We could not lay our hands on the said book by Mawlana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi, and, therefore, cannot comment.

Q. “To make speeches on the martyrdom of Imam Husain, to offer sharbat to the people, to subscribe for the sharbat or to offer milk on that occasion, are all forbidden. But, on the contrary, eating of Puri on the occasion of the Hindu Festival, Diwali is permitted.”(Fataawa-e-Rashidiyya, page 114, Maulvi Rashid Ahmed Gangohi)


Although we could not locate the above quoted words, only something similar to them could be found in the said book. The statement itself is defendable. To explain, to deliver speeches on the life of Imam Hussain, or to offer Sherbet to the people are not forbidden acts. But when a day – that of martyrdom – is appointed for the speeches and the offering of the Sherbet, then, surely, that is unlawful.

As regards eating Puri cooked by the Hindus on the occasion of their festival called Diwali (or Deepavali), there is no harm in it (so long as the particular food items had not been offered to the deities or idols). That is because one knows for sure that the Diwali is a Hindu festival. Knowing that, a Muslim does not participate in the festival, nor considers the day of Diwali as a day different from any other. He doesn’t think that it is a holy day. In contrast, participating in festivals or festivities or mourning on the day of martyrdom of Hussain b. ‘Ali, is always bound to lead to reverence and consecration of that day, while in truth, that is not a consecrated or a holy day.

Q. Do you have any answers for these? I think you have no answers for these writings. That is why you have not written to me.


We have answered to all of them. As for replying to you by post, if that is what you mean, then, firstly, we do not send personal answers unless the need is pressing; secondly, you have withheld your address.

Q. There is still time for you to start afresh on the path of our master Sayyedina Mowlana Muhammad Mustafa (saws) and his companions.

A Muslim,
Address withheld


The path of our Prophet (saws) goes through the Qur’an. The hadith throws further light on it. Then come other literatures: be they of the earlier scholars or latter scholars. If you have not read the Qur’an and go straight to other books, such as the ones you have quoted, and, especially, seeking to find fault in them, then you will end up hopelessly misguided. You better change your route.

About YMD

Past Issues