Letters to the Editor
Q. Jazakallah for the clear answers. I loved the answer to the question about Rada`a (‘Letters,’ May 2011). Too many instant Muftis in the world today, all Mureeds of Shaikh Google. We need to get serious about our religion. It is not a game for people to play any way they like.
Mirza Yawar Baig (On Email)
Thank you for your appreciation and apology for late response to it.
Q. Is working in a bank illegitimate for a Muslim?
It is unlawful to work in a bank which deals with interest-bearing transactions. As regards someone who is already employed in a bank, who has no one to support him, has no savings, no property of any sort, cannot find another job immediately, nor can he borrow money and start some business, who will consequently starve if he resigned, may continue until the situation changes. Once he has a workable alternative, even if it means lower income, the prohibition will apply in full force.
Q. Can a Muslim open a bank account for his personal saving and business purposes?
Mohammed Siddique (On Email)
Yes, a Muslim can open a bank account for savings or business purposes. But he may not accept the interest offered; instead, take the money out and give away to any charity organizations, such as those engaged in feeding poor Muslims. However, he must keep in mind all the while that interest-bearing transactions are unlawful in Islam, and, therefore, he cannot expect to be rewarded. On the contrary, he could be questioned, but, hopefully, and especially in a country where his life, property and honor are never too safe, he may be pardoned for the act of drawing the interest money from the bank.
Further, as he cannot draw interest returns on his savings in the bank, he must not pay out interest amounts to the bank either. But he can pay the fees that they charge for certain kinds of transactions.
K.F, On Email
Q. You have been doing a great job, but (in an earlier issue) you said that the objective of females wearing silk and gold is to attract males.
As you have not given the issue number, and your mail had gone unnoticed for quite a while, (for which we are so sorry), we are not sure to what of our answers you are referring. So too, we cannot recall our exact words.
However, biological books are not without references to the desire on the part of the fair sex to look attractive. It appears this comes to them through the annals of nature.
From ordinary women to the Prime Ministers, if women were to decide not to carry a little (make-up?) bag with them, wherever they went, we will have ten percent more space in our congested markets.
Also, if women decided to cut down time spent before the mirrors to match with the time so spent by the males, they could perhaps have more time to do many things they don’t do now, for example, read books, and of course, including biological books.
Nevertheless, it is good that they try to look attractive because markets move on products manufactured for women. If women began to cut out fashionable goods, the city markets and commercial areas will be reduced to quarter their size, and, in consequence, fewer banks would make life less miserable.
On a more serious note, we may point out that the tendency of the female sex to look beautiful and attractive, is not always meant to attract males. They like to appear good-looking even when among their own kind, with no male presence. They tell each other, “Wow, you look pretty,” and everyone starts smiling.
Q. Do you think we females have no other job but to get dressed and display ourselves and take a count on how many males are attracted towards us? You have been inhuman in saying so.
No, we do not think women have no other job. We think women have many jobs to do, especially in our times, when they decided to be equal to the males: they have to run to the office, run the office, run back home, run the home, etc. What with so much running, many women have no time to answer biological demands, and have found, especially in Western culture, a shorter way to meet such demands, allowing themselves economy of time through economy of dress. Whether that is other way of meeting the biological demand, is for everyone to guess.
It appears that the functions and purposes have remained; only the mode has changed.
Q. It must be that you know females who do this, but you can’t take all for a toss.
Of course, nature makes exceptions. It is possible that our critical eyes spot a certain type of women dominating the streets, while your appreciative eyes identify more of the Islamically trained class of females, who do not seem to be so fond of mirrors.
Q. You must be suffering from this problem from your wife.
Suffering? What suffering? Women who wear Niqab normally cause less suffering to their husbands who have to sweat less at work places.
Your strong reaction, and the obnoxious character of your letter, which we have much softened by removing offensive words and personal attacks, reminds us of an incident that took place in USA. Somebody misbehaved with a scantily dressed woman. She complained to the police. We do not know what action the police took, but one of them did chide the woman saying, “If you wear like a slut, you shouldn’t be surprised if people treat you like one” – or something to that effect.
The word “slut” was immediately picked up by the Twitters, Facebookers and others. Women from all over the world, including those who didn’t know where USA is, began writing e-mails of protest over the use of the word.
Unity is much more easily established over an evil, but so hard to win for a good cause – you will agree.
Q. I am a regular reader of YMD and I want to know the similarities between the Hinduism and Islam.
Faisal Nazir (On Email)
It is a well-known characteristic of Hinduism that it cannot be defined. Perhaps, the closest definition is that if one is born of Hindu parents, he or she is a Hindu. No other qualification seems to be essential to be a Hindu. So that, while he who believes in multiple gods is a Hindu, he who believes in no god, but is born of Hindu parents, is still a Hindu. While he who worships a certain deity is a Hindu, another who worships another deity (sometimes disdainful towards the other) is also a Hindu.
This is because there is no universally recognized single religious authority in Hinduism; and this, in turn, because there is no single, universally recognized, authentic religious literature in it to say what Hinduism is, and what its minimum demands are for a man to be referred to as a Hindu. Consequently, there is no single body of religious men who can say with authority what a Hindu must do to remain a Hindu, and what he cannot do, on the pain of being declared a non-Hindu, barring him from the Hindu society.
On the other hand, Islam is a well-defined religion. It has a Revealed Literature which is the central authority. There are bodies of Muslim Jurists who can, on the basis of beliefs held by a man, declare him a Muslim or non-Muslim. Being born through Muslim parents does not make a man Muslim if he disbelieves in anything explicitly stated in the Qur’an.
Belief in one God with no partner, for instance, is the basic tenet. If a Muslim declares that he believes in multiple gods, he will be declared a non-Muslim and boycotted by the society of Muslims. His wife will seek separation from him if he does not repent.
If you look at the two religions, and go into greater depth on the above lines, it will become apparent to you that the two religions have nothing in common.
Of course, there are several moral values which Islam and Hinduism share. But these are shared by every religion. There is no religion which teaches lying, deceit, cleanliness, etc. etc. So also, there are beautiful things written in every literature holy to a people. But, it is not what is written in the Holy books that makes the difference between Islam and others. It is not even the emphasis on those beautiful things. It is the insistence in Islam, that “either you live it, or leave it” that makes the difference. For example, if a Muslim brings home an idol, his parents, wife, children, and even Muslim servants will tell him in one voice, “Either you remove it, or remove yourself. Go away with your idol anywhere you wish.”
That there is a Revealed Book, which has the central authority, makes all the difference, and, therefore, to say that Islam and Hinduism have many things in common, as some people do, is out of ignorance.
Some people vie to show that the concept of one God is there in the Vedas or other literatures holy to the Hindus. But, Islam does not teach the concept of one God. It insists on the concept of “No god, but One.” Will Hinduism accept this concept because, as it is claimed, the concept of one God is found in their holy books too? Of course they will not. In fact, Hinduism’s popularity is because of the concept of “many God.” The idea of abandoning all gods, but one, is totally abhorrent to the Hindus. So, the search for similarity ends there.
What is confusing to many a people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, is the belief that religious differences necessarily lead to other differences. That is not correct. Islam is uncompromising in its tenets and practices; but it also demands – and quite strongly – on the Muslims to create unity among various communities on the basis of virtue and piety. The conflict comes when non-Muslims demand unity on the basis of nation, region, language, culture, etc. They accuse the Muslim of being unpatriotic when his response is cold.
Raziuddin (On Email)
Q. Our molvi sab said that ‘Pardah is not necessary for girls, if their thinking and thoughts are good.’ Is it right? Please answer briefly.
You have named the scholar. By now he is dead. We knew him very well. He would never say any such thing. At all events, the veil and the Niqab are Islamic requirements that cannot be discarded in lieu of good thoughts.
Q. He said that it does not affect our prayers if our nails are big. Is it right?
Q.Can we keep photos during prayer, e.g. passport, etc.?
Q.Men will get Hoors in Paradise, what about women? Please answer briefly.
The dominant opinion is that those in Paradise will be converted to Hooris.
All World (On Email)
Q. The well which we use for ablution has became dirty due to drainage water. Earlier it was smelling little so we did not came to know that dirty water is mixing in it. Now it smells a lot and colour has also changed. Now I want to know: Do we have to repeat the namazes we did by using that water, if yes then how will we calculate since it is not clear when water became dirty.
Yes, you have to repeat your namazes(!) of the days following the day you became sure that the water was impure, but persisted in using it for ablution.
Q. How can the water be cleaned to use the well again?
First, of course, you have to plug the polluting source, then empty the well of all its water. The water that arises thereafter can be used for ablution.
Q. I have one more question. This is regarding the rule that if your income is not lawful (halal) yourNamaz, Zakat, Sadaqah, etc. are not accepted. What should a person do who works in banks, or any other firm where money does not come from lawful ways.
If he is working in a bank, he should change his job. See some details in answer to the letter of Br. Mohammed Siddique above.
As for working in an organization where money does not come from lawful ways, we cannot offer any answer without knowing the nature of business, and what exactly is meant by the words, “money does not come from lawful ways.”
Q. Hope my queries will be replied soon.
We deeply regret the late reply. It was mistakenly assumed about some 20 letters that they were answered. The file was recently discovered and we are now answering them one after another.
Q. I want to know what Islam says about wearing pants and shirts? Is it allowed or not, if not why?
Muzaffar Sharief (On Email)
Islam says that wearing pants and shirts is allowed.
Q. I would like to know whether inter-day trading of shares is allowed in Islam. For instance, can I buy shares in the morning and sell in the evening, as today we have on-line trading by ICICI Bank.
Syed Nisar (On Email)
If you get a good price, why wait for the evening? The condition that Islam places is that before you sell a commodity, you should have paid for it in full. And, share is a commodity. To explain, if you purchase shares at say 10 in the morning, and have fully paid for then, you can sell it to someone else at one minute past ten.In other words, short-selling is disallowed in Islam.
Q. I’m 16-year-old boy living in Mumbai. I want to discuss some problems with u. This is the world of fashions. Everyone is keeping long hairs like heroes. They are wearing rings in their ears, bracelets in their hands, and shorts instead of pants. Is it right to do so? Please give me a reply and solve my problem, because I’m keen to do so also.
Shaikh Aadil (On Email)
Niradh C. Chaudhry, the author of “The Continent of Circi” had discussed the issue of feminism in males and masculinity in females in one of his books. He speculated then that changes could be taking place at the genetic level.
But genetic science is not so advanced until now, to detect any changes at the DNA level. (In fact, latest efforts by 500 scientists is leading to discoveries that is overturning the tables on them. They are learning that so far they really knew nothing about the genes).
At all events, lengthening of hair, wearing ear-rings, etc., are signs of feminism among the males. Things have gotten worse. Many in the West are unable to produce progeny. Their s…-count has come down drastically; and many are turning gay. It seems nature has decided to consign them to oblivion-boxes, and replace them with men who will maintain their masculinity.
You mention that with long hair young men look like heroes. No. They look like heroines, walk like heroines, behave like heroines, and, in marriage, live like heroines.
At 16, peer pressure will be great on you. The heroines around you will only approve of you if you conform to their ways. But you must disdainfully resist.
At 16 you have lot of courage. Do not imitate them. Make fun of them. (But don’t beat them like the other day a few Marines in the USA beat a Marine who was not straight). There are reasons that are discussed, and reasons that are not discussed, for the failure of the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.
You distance yourself from these young (wo)men, and get closer to some sort of Da`wah work. That will bestow masculinity on you. Masculinity comes from Islamic practices. Who does not know that fasts give you greater ‘Power,’ while bestowing better controlling ability also? There are other reasons why a practicing Muslim is more masculine.
At 16 you have a long innings to go. Be ready to play big games. It is the electrically charged who are going to be the creators of a new civilization. Get charged at the workshop of Islam.
Q. What is the best way to pray i.e., ask for wishes to be fulfilled very quickly?
Arifuddin (On Email)
Look around you, does any growth take place quickly? A businessman starts by collecting silver coins and selling the silver contained in them. It takes several decades before he can own jets. Gradualness is a firm law of nature. A tree matures in 20 years. Grass that grows in days is trampled by the feet. You should aim to be a firm, unshakable tree, and not feeble grass to be stamped by your enemies.
Mohd Imran Ahmed (On Email)
Q. Is it compulsory to keep a fistful length of beard on our face?
That is the only place you can keep your beards we guess. At all events, this is the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars. According to them it is Wajib to grown a beard and Fisq not to do it.
This is based on several ahadith recommending growth of beard and shortening of the moustache; although none of the ahadith carry a threat for him who does not comply with either the beard or the length. This has led some scholars to uncertainty over the issue. Without a threat for not complying, they do not see how beard can be declared wajib, to which others reply that the Prophet’s extreme dislike of the Persian delegation to him (who were beardless) and his repeated emphasis on growing the beard makes it wajib. And there the matter remains, with no unanimity.
Fistful length is indirectly implied from a few ahadith; and from the practice of Ibn `Umar who would remove the rest of the beard over and above a fistful, after Hajj or `Umrah.
Q. Growing beard more than a fist length is also against Sunnah (Fatawa-e-Raheemiya Vol. 3, p.215). Why it is against Sunnah?
According to the several Muftis involved in the preparation of Fatawa Raheemiyyah, the beard adds gorgeousness to men. On the other hand its extended length is disapproved firstly because `Ali ibn abi Talib, Ibn `Umar, Abu Hurayrah, Malik, Hasan al-Basri and many others used to clip off more than fist-length, and secondly, it is unseemly, if not fearsome to some.
Q. Is the money earned by shaving beard of Muslims or non-Muslims halal or haraam.
Shams Ahmed (On Email)
Some Muftis have thought that a Muslim barber’s act of shaving off another man’s beard is Makruh Tahrimi. But there is no consensus over the opinion.
It should be obvious that, firstly, there should be no sin if it is non-Muslim’s chin, and, secondly, if it is by the consent of the person being shaved, the sin, if any, should be on the owner of the chin. In either case, the earnings should be lawful.
It could be said that the barber should warn the Muslim customer of the sin involved. To that it could be replied that there is little wisdom in warning a Muslim about issues of beard when the issues of greater importance are in neglect, such as, e.g. five daily Prayers; Zakah, unlawfulness of watching films, etc.