Letters to the Editor

Q: Can I know the significance of the number 786 in Islam? I have seen that many people stick a sticker saying 786 on their vehicles, what is your opinion about these?


There is strong disapproval that any part of the Qur’an be desecrated. Bismillah is a whole ayah of the Qur’an. In addition, it has Allah’s Name and attributes within it.

Now, Muslims are encouraged to start a work, a talk, or a piece of writing with the basmalah.

However, it is often seen that written material starting with a basmalah (the bismillah formula is called basmalah), are found in litter or simply discarded here and there to be swept around by the winds, with passers-by trampling them without knowledge. Therefore, employing the old Arabic alphabetical numbering system (in English, the Gematria system), which gave a number to every letter, they preferred to use 786 as replacement to basmalah. If the values of the 19 letters used in the basmalah (baa, alif, seen, meem etc.) are added together, it works out to the figure 786. So, instead of writing the whole of the basmalah, they used to place 786 as the substitute.

In our times, the tendency is to rebel against the past, hence the use is strongly objected to by some adventurous people, and the littering of pieces of papers with the bismillah written in full, goes on unabated.

That said, sticking 786 on to vehicles defies reason and religion. To say the basmalah at the start of anything one does is the Sunnah. Writing 786 or whole of the basmalah on vehicles could invite questioning in the Hereafter. It is only at the start of a piece of writing that the substitute could be adopted.

When Allah ordered Nuh (asws) to build a boat, He ordered him to alight in His Name (11: 41). He did not ask him to write either basmalah or its Gematria equivalent.

Q. I also seek your opinion on people sticking stickers saying HKGN (Hazrat Khwaja Garib Nawaz) on their shops and on their vehicles in India.

Arshad M,
On Email


Khawja Ghareeb Nawaz refers to Muʿīn al-Dīn Ḥasan Chishti, originally of Sistan, (now in eastern Iran-Baluchistan). Born in 1142 CE, he moved to Delhi, and then from there to Ajmer (Rajasthan) and died there in 1236 CE. He was highly influential as a Sufi, heading an order called the Chishtiyyah. It is alleged that he incorporated the ‘use of music’ in hymns and liturgies to attract Indians to Islam.

Without knowing the intention, we cannot judge the rightness or wrongness of the practice you mention. If some sort of help is sought, it would amount to shirk, as also if barakah is the objective. Islam disapproves of all superstitions. Says a Qur’anic verse: “That was a nation that has passed. They shall have what they earned, and you will have what you earn.” (2: 135)

To hang decoratively written Allah’s Name on the walls of a house or office for barakah, has not won approval of the scholars. In some cases it can amount to desecration of Allah’s Name.

Barakah comes from one’s own good deeds consistently performed. The common people seek to get what they have not earned, through these devious ways. They are likely to earn Allah’s anger for ignoring Him, and invoking other than Him.

Had you gone about in Madinah during the time of the Prophet (saws), you wouldn’t have found Yaa Ghouse inscribed on any door. You would not have found written even Yaa Allah.

Q: Thank you Young Muslim Digest for opening a column for clarifying readers’ doubts in the magazine. What is the ruling on the subject of a Muslim Woman already married to a non-Muslim man with a child? Since this is an invalid marriage, what needs to be done for this?

Azher Syed,
On Email


The lady may warn her husband, that she cannot live with him anymore. Without official separation, she may start living apart from him. Any sexual contact would be considered Zina. She may allow him few months to consider whether he will embrace Islam, or would decide to separate.

During this interim period, she may offer him a simple book on Islam. It may not be a comparative-religion book. It should state simply what Islam stands for. For example: 1. Islam the Religion You Can no Longer Ignore, by Syed Iqbal Zaheer, 2. Islam, by John Alden Williams (a non-Muslim), 3. Towards Understanding Islam by Mawlana Maududi, 4.What Islam Is, or 5. Islamic Faith and Practice, by Mawlana Manzoor No`mani.

Basically, polemical books may be avoided.

If he has doubts, ‘an Islam-knowing person’ may be brought in to clear them.

If all methods fail, then, he is perhaps an obstinate person. He is not even a Hindu, because Hinduism does not prohibit change of religion. Hinduism accepts even atheism under its umbrella. He may be given notice of separation if he will not change his religion. If he keeps refusing, then, he does not love his wife either. At all events the lady may separate out.

The child is hers.

Q. I had a question regarding organ donation. I just know that, after death, we aren’t supposed to donate our organs or our entire body for any purpose.


How can you donate after you are dead?

Your body belongs to Allah (swt). It is He who created it. Now, when you have no power over your body, how can you donate it? Is it because you wish to earn either a reward from Allah (swt), or praise from the people, without paying any cost for it?

Q. But what about donating while I am alive? Please help me in both the cases (dead and alive)?


You can donate such parts of your body which do not cause you any permanent harm, such as, for instance, one of your kidney.

However, if doctor’s advice is against it, you cannot.

Q. What about blood donation? Is it legal?


It is legal.

Q. I mean to say: in my surroundings, many people sell their blood. In the sense they donate and accept money in return. But my intention is to donate it free of cost. Please do clarify me.

Nida Peerzade,
On Email


Take not your religion from your surroundings. Instead of donating blood, you should better donate money for the slum-dwellers. If you have no money, create some by doing some part-time work. If that is impossible (which itself is impossible), you may donate blood, charge for it, and then, donate the sum to the slum-dwellers.

Q. Why cannot Muslims of India establish Islamic rules in India? Like at the time of Prophet Muhammad (saws)?


Theoretically, you could. You will have to be ‘the Government’ (not in the Government) and you will have to have a Muslim population which demands it – one and all, then you could.

Q. Why scholars of Islam (of any sect) come together in one platform to make India as an Islamic country?

Muzaffar Sharief, 
On Email


Give them a population, Muslim and non-Muslim, one and all, who, are not simply willing, but demanding an Islamic state, and they will do it.

Although your question and ideas sound a bit childish, but it is not as phantasmagoria as it appears at first sight. This is because, surprisingly, the Islamic State does not demand a nation’s population to be Muslim. The system is above religious denominations. It can be brought to use in a non-Muslim environment. In plain words, a people who do not believe in Islam, can also live by Islamic laws and draw its benefits.

The only fearful element about it is punishments for crimes. But, hasn’t 4000 years of life and history have convinced us that no system of law has succeeded the way Islamic system has. Crimes of rape, murder, lynching, paedophilic activity, and so on, have been so well-eradicated and such peace is enjoyed by the populations (though not all Muslims) of Yemen, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, is an envy of many, many, nations – even if they are too proud to admit. Non-Muslim women returning home from these countries, ever remember fondly the peace and safety they enjoyed in these lands.

The economic advantage to the masses is countless. Taxes on the population is not allowed by Islamic law. Instead, people pay 2.5% of their savings reaching a certain limit of wealth saved – and paid voluntarily. According to a study conducted in the USA, this amount is enough to remove the poverty from the encumbered millions in the slums. If implemented, gone is abject, humility and comes in toilets and running water.

You may take any aspect, and you will discover that an Islamic State can be established in any country, and to its advantage, whether the population is Muslim or not.

So, learn a bit about what the Islamic State is, and discuss with your non-Muslim friends. But it is advisable that you apply the laws to yourself and your family before you take the issue out.

Q: Is Music allowed in Islam?

Sayed abdul Wahab,
On Email


Those that are played with instruments, such as guitar, sitar, violin, flutes, etc. are disallowed. Simple duff, tabla etc. are allowed. Their noise does not attract Shaytan.

Q: Some years ago, there was an article on your web site, entitled, ‘The E-codes on ingredients,’ by Dr. M. Amjad Khan.

I wonder if there has been an update on the subject since that time.

Jamal R,
On Email


Regretfully, there has been none.

Q: This is Mahetab Bhurani from Gujarat, India. I want admission in your Hauza. What is process for admission form?

I really need the admission because there is no any type of Islamic Studies going in our town. I am from small village and really need Islamic Studies. I want to be a teacher for our small kids which are our future. Please, for God’s sake.

Mahetab Bhurani,
On Email


We do not understand what you mean by Hauza. Accordingly, we are forwarding your mail to our ‘Manpower Development’ department. You should be hearing from them soon.

Q: Hi! I’m a 33-years-female who married a non-Muslim through court marriage… and regretted within two months. It’s Zina what I did. After divorce, I perform my Salah five times, repent to Allah (swt) and ask Taubah each and every day. Now I’m getting alliance in halal way and should go ahead with it. I have told the new person who has now proposed, the whole truth, as I didn’t want to begin the new life with lies about the past.

Is it okay that I should marry? Is there anything I can do that pleases Allah, forgives me and leads me in right path? I have started to do isthikara too.

Please don’t mention my name anywhere.

On Email


Since you are regretful of the past, and wish no more to repeat, yourTawbah (repentance) meets the requirement of acceptance. Although it is good to be seeking forgiveness, you may relax on this score.

That you have divulged the information of the past to the new person, is a matter of courage and honesty. It places you and your character on a higher pedestal.

Nevertheless, you may not further discuss the past with the new person. If he is curious, you may tell him that, “that was in the past. Allah has forgiven me.”

To strengthen your repentance, you may spend in charity some money on a poor, especially, a woman.

Q: In its general meeting, Gauhati University Masjid Committee has lately adopted a resolution that the President of the same Masjid committee shall be elected or selected only from among the Muslim Professors of Gauhati University, especially those regularly attending Jum’uah prayer in the Masjid on Friday.  

Does Islam permit it? Please answer it in the light of Islamic law.

M. A. Samad,


The said management committee is to be commended for such a decision. Ideally, apart from being a professor, and regular attendee of the Friday’s Prayers, they might look for someone who is religiously educated also.

The damage that is done to the mosque and Muslims is because the Management Committee is headed by an ignorant person, both in the secular sense as well as religious. He heads committee members who can be similarly qualified.

To cite an example of bad management, Muslim stalls around a mosque used to set-up food stalls, especially in Ramadan, selling tasty fast foods and fried stuff of all sorts. Apart from Muslims, it would attract crowds of people of other faiths and the Muslim traders (who specialize in such food) were doing good business, earning, perhaps, enough to meet with their month’s expenses.

Now, where there is crowd, there is noise. Attendees of the mosque began to complain to the Management Committee that they were unable to concentrate because of the noise. Another grievance was that the crowds of other faiths were observed buying food from these stalls, carrying them to their vehicles, where they were partaking them with wine as accompaniment.

So the Committee decided that the space around the mosque will not be henceforth let out for the food vendors. It did not occur to them that beaten from every side, denied jobs in many places, this opportunity to earn some living, out of a business in which Muslims do well, would be to deny them halal earning. As for the noise, if that truly was the cause of concentration in Prayers, the windows could be closed, and a few Air Conditioners installed. As regards wine consumption, what business Muslims have to prevent its consumption, when allowed by the law of the country?

A professor heading the Management Committee would – expectedly – handle such affairs with greater wisdom, and control the committee members who, otherwise too, do little more than quarrel among themselves, over minor issues.

Take care, however, to win the approval of the present Committee members, some of whom are not as pious as a suspecting person would assume. There have been murders.

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