Letters to the Editor
Muslim Political Leaders
I would like to brief you why we the Muslims in India are not in a position to launch a single Television Channel. The less populated Christians in India have many channels in several languages. They get every kind of support from Educational institutions. On the other hand, we Muslims in India do not get any kind of support even for education or for job opportunities. Muslim educational institutions never support poor Muslims. They die for selfish activities. Muslim leaders have all kinds of lusts. It is high time to change ourselves.
Parveen Sultana, A.P.
While we do not support TV channels, your complaint that our educational institutes do not offer any support to the community, or that our politicians do not service the Muslims, has all to be seen in the light of the fact that when you say Muslims, you must keep in mind the fact that the great majority of Muslims today are in the slums who can just manage to eke out living. They can support no cause. And, without the community’s support of the Institutions, the Institutions cannot in return support the poor of the community. The poverty of Muslim Institutes reflects in general the poverty of the Muslim masses.
As for Muslim politicians, we may not forget that they win on the strength of their parties. Consequently, they have to serve the party first. Muslims cannot make special demands on them because they do not win on Muslim vote alone, rather, on party vote; it is another thing that they are nominal Muslims, with little commitment to their religion or their community.
Muslims must learn to have a strong Muslim political party, whose members receive Muslim votes on the basis of their commitment to Islam and Muslims, and not on the basis of their commitment to other political parties.
Who are the Taliban?
Mohammed Abdullah, via email
I have a question which is a bit political and controversial: who are Taliban? Is what they’re doing right or wrong?
We hope to answer somewhat in detail through an article in one of the forthcoming issues, Allah willing.
Please put some light on having friends of the opposite gender and dating please, as it is now an accepted way of life.
Anonymous, (question asked at a youth camp)
It is quite disconcerting to learn that dating is now becoming the accepted way of life. But, factually, this represents the notion and practice among the Westernized Muslim sections of megacity-societies. It is certainly not the accepted way of life among Muslims in smaller cities, towns, or countryside.
Therefore, it is not only disconcerting, but alarming also in view of one of the Sunan of Allah stated in the Qur’an (17: 16): “When We wish to destroy a town, We command the affluent thereof to work corruption in it. Thus the word comes true against it and then We destroy it in utter destruction.”
Sex and female companionship are the legitimate needs and thus natural rights of every person. But how should a Muslim go about meeting with it and gaining his right? Dating is certainly not the right way. Islam prohibits even looking at a non-Mahram woman. Dating is absolutely out of question. It is Haram. And, never will any good come out of Haram.
And never has any good come out of this Haram act, even in non-Muslim societies. In the West, and now in the East, dating led to opening the flood gates of obscenity and immorality. Societies that allowed it to become an accepted practice, have suffered complete breakdown, and such distancing from sane behavior at the family level, that any recovery is now out of the question. Hundreds of millions of men and women have been exposed to unhappy family-life, and driven to illicit sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, wine, drugs, homicide, and suicide. The Western society is in a catastrophic mess from which it will perhaps never recover.
Any society that accepts this pathway has to end up falling into the same destructive ditches. The need of the hour is for young Muslim men and women who have been dating to repent and give it a complete stop. We warn them in no ambiguous terms that if they persist and do not repent, they will pay a heavy price. What exactly we cannot say. But, just as smoking can lead to cancer, or drinking wine to impotency, dating will necessarily lead to ill consequences. Laws of Nature are unbreakable. If you jump from the balcony, you can only go down. No power will shoot you up or send you into levitation. Similarly, the Laws working against dating are unbreakable. You better not challenge Allah.
This refers to the report ‘Christian Converts’ on 3rd April by the Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi who rightly sought the ‘personal intervention’ of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure the inclusion of only convert Christians in the list of scheduled castes, by laying down in the Indian constitution that no person who professes a religion different from Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of a SC. But by the Constitutional amendments later, it includes Sikhism and Buddhism in the SC list. In my opinion since beginning (1950), this clause is undemocratic and biased, because if a person is a scheduled caste by birth, he/she will not become a Mishra, Sherma, Dubey, Khan or Shaikh only because of his/her change of religion. Therefore the scheduled caste status of the person should be retained as it is, whether he/ she converts to Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity or even Islam.
Atiq Khan, via email
We do not know and wish to say nothing about the advantages or disadvantages of registering as a member of the Scheduled Caste, but we do believe that no Muslim should register himself as a Scheduled Caste.
A Muslim’s only identity is that he is a Muslim. And it is a matter of great honor that he is a Muslim. He is Allah’s own servant and under His mercy and protection. He works hard, earns a lot, takes enough out of his earning to lead a simple honorable life, hands over the rest to those needier than him, and begs no one, neither the State nor the Community, for his sustenance.
His Prophet told him, “Seek providence in a dignified manner because each is driven in ease to what is written for him.”
He said, “Seek providence in a dignified manner. Let not its late coming lead you to seeking it in Allah’s disobedience. For, what is with Allah, will not be obtained but through obedience of Him.”
The Prophet also said, “The upper hand is better than the lower.” Therefore, a Muslim would rather contribute to the State treasury, through hard work and honesty, rather than draw from the State on one pretext or the other, under one policy or another.
Pig-blood in Cigarettes
Please find the below mentioned article and help us to know the truth what exactly behind this, so that we can come to conclusion
Cigarettes may contain traces of pig blood which, if confirmed, can lead to protests against tobacco companies that refuse to disclose the ingredients used in making the product, an Australian expert was quoted by Pakistan’s Online news agency as saying. A study conducted in the Netherlands has identified 185 different industrial uses of the pig, including the use of its haemoglobin in cigarette filters, which religious groups could find to be “very offensive”, Simon Chapman, professor of public health at the University of Sydney, said in Islamabad Wednesday. The research offered an insight into the “otherwise secretive world” of cigarette manufacture and was likely to raise concerns for devout Muslims and Jews, Chapman said. Religious texts at the core of both of these faiths specifically ban the consumption of pork, he said. [http://www.deccanchronicle.com/health/cigarettes-may-contain-pig-blood-635]
Najeeb-ul-haq Ustad, Bangalore
If the report is true, filtered cigarettes should be avoided by Muslim smokers. But, should Muslims smoke at all?
Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan’s stage-sharing with the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, at the convocation programme of a law college was not so pleasant. The programme was organized exactly a day after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) grilled Modi in connection with the killing of then Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery along with 68 others in Gulberg Society during 2002 Gujarat riots. Honourable Chief justice should have avoided attending the programme because it was a matter of grave concern, even when the children of riots victims along with a number of justice-loving people had appealed to him not to share the dais with Modi. The country cannot have two measurements one for the poor and the other for the heavy weights.
Shafaque Alam, New Delhi
We agree with you that a Chief Justice, any Chief Justice, should not sit together in a public function next to someone alleged to have a hand in a criminal case, even if the allegations are yet to be proved.
The Books of Sunan
Having read the Saheehs of Bukhari and Muslim, I am looking to purchase a couple of the four Sunan (Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah) inshaAllah. In what order would you recommend studying these four books of Hadith i.e., is there a hierarchy among these four books of hadith in a manner similar to the statements of scholars that Bukhari and Muslim are the most authentic books of hadith?
Abdullah Tawwaab, via email
It must be fascinating to study the six hadith works. You must be congratulated for having finished Bukhari and Muslim.
From the point of view expressed by you, there is no specific order. In fact, scholars would not suggest that one should study Bukhari first simply because it is the most trustworthy after Allah’s Book. In many schools where Hadith is a subject, Bukhari is almost taken up last.
Perhaps Ibn Majah is best for a start where self-study is involved. Bukhari is quite tough. Someone not familiar with the Hadith discipline might not profit much from the first reading of Bukhari.
Many students are misled by the age-old remark, “the most trustworthy book after the Book of Allah.” And, in our own times, this has been turned into a slogan and has been taken off its true meaning by ignorant people who have done disservice to the Hadith discipline without realizing it. Their usage of the above evaluative remark in a sinister sense has diminished the importance of not only the rest of the six, but also of many other Hadith works apart from the six.
You must understand that the remark, “the most trustworthy ..” has ‘narrator value’ alone. It does not reflect the ‘meaning value.’ A student will need ahadith from several other Hadith collections to fix the meaning of narratives in Bukhari, or, for that matter of any Collection. This of course is a technical discussion and hard upon many readers. One may study the methodology that the Muhaddithin have adopted in their Commentaries to fix the meaning of narrations. In the forefront is, of course, Ibn Hajr. His Fath al-Bari is a good example of how to go about fixing the meanings of the ahadith. Just because it is in Bukhari, does not mean that derivation of right meaning is also guaranteed. In fact, it is commonly acknowledged that the relationship of the Chapter Headings with the ahadith below them has been quite challenging to discover.
We recommend therefore that you study Ibn Majah first, then Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Abu Da’ud, Sahih Muslim, and then Bukhari.
If you do not know Arabic, but know Urdu, we recommend you study some of the Hadith Commentaries such as Tafheem al-Bukhari/Tafheem Muslim/Taqrir Tirmidhi, or, a simpler one: Tarjuman al-Sunnah, or, yet simpler, Ma`arif al-Hadith, or perhaps the simplest, Kalam al-Nubuwwah.