Letters to the Editor
Q: I am a regular reader of your magazine since two years and find it interesting. I know that you will give right answer to my questions. And the question is: why only ISLAM is right and correct compared to other religions? I am in search of an answer since 2-3 years. Shaytan was weakening my Imaan by giving me wrong ideas about Islam. After I began to read the Qur’an and Sunnah, I began to get some ideas about why only Islam is correct. But when I compare Islam with other religions which have had their own prophets and teachers, who guided their nation, then I don’t find a difference. Further, other religions also have ancient books like Gita in Hindus and other books in Buddhism, Christianity, Parsism, Judaism, etc. So, what’s the difference?
No doubt, a study of the Qur’an and Sunnah leads to increase in faith of a Muslim. But, to know why Islam is the only true religion, one need not necessarily read the Qur’an and Sunnah. He need not even be a Muslim to find out why other religions are not trustworthy.
Anyone, even a non-Muslim, can discover, with some inquiry, why Islam is, in contrast to every other religion, a trustworthy religion. This is something which a person cannot do by finding what the Qur’an and Sunnah are about, what their teachings are, etc. Yes, that is one route to the truth. But it is a difficult route, and requires lots of knowledge and understanding. It requires that one judge God’s words and commandments against those of the humans.
But rather, to find out why Islam is the true religion, one can take an easier path. It can be done by finding out where the Qur’an and Sunnah (Prophetic words) came from. What is their origin? Anyone who conducts the inquiry, is sincere, and honest to himself, will find out why Islam is the religion that can be trusted as a revealed religion and that no other religion meets with the conditions that can be set for a religion to be true.
Q: Other religionists ask me how one God controls and drives the universe? It is impossible, according to them.
As to how a single God can control the universe, all alone, the doubt is so silly that no intelligent man will accept to discuss it any further. All the same, we might say a few sentences.
Firstly, if you use your common sense, you can see examples in everyday life. A single headmaster controls thousands of students. A single Managing Director of a multinational organization controls tens of thousands of men and their day-to-day activities. How do they do it? By making laws and forcing everyone to follow the laws. The Lord, true One God of the universe has similarly created laws, known as laws of nature, that everyone is forced to follow. That is how He controls everyone and everything.
Secondly, if one knows a little bit of science (say of the primary school level) he will realize that there are examples in everyday science. E.g., a single law controls the placement and movement of the entire universe with its hundreds of billions of moving massive bodies. It is the law of Gravity. It is this law which is responsible for keeping everything where it is. It controls every little imaginable thing: from the atom to planets, to stars, to galaxies to the whole universe. In fact, it is such an all-powerful, all-pervasive law that had the pagans of old known about it, they would have declared it the Supreme Deity. Why can’t a single God do it, especially, when He is All-capable?
Again, everything in the universe points to unity of laws. The scientists have discovered that the same set of laws operate everywhere in the universe: from those on this planet, to the solar system, to distant nebulas to black holes. It is the unified action of the laws that cause things to happen the way they happen and to be moving in the manner they are moving. It is their combined action that makes a tree grow and bring flowers and fruits in its season. It is the combined working of laws that keep the atom stable, otherwise its components (protons, electrons, neutrons, etc.) would break apart. And what is true at the micro-level, is true at the macro-level also. It is the combined action of the laws that keeps the Solar system in place.
If a single law were to be made inoperative, or not acting in conjunction with others, the Solar system would break apart and its components would fly away. No matter how distant you look into the universe and consider its functioning, you discover that it is the same set of laws that operate it. This unity of laws points to the unity of the Creator, Sustainer and Controller.
In contrast, there would be total chaos if there were several god-lings controlling parts of universe. A school, a hospital, an industry, or a nation, are all examples of how a single person can alone run them in an organized fashion.
Imagine what would happen to a school with two headmasters, each giving contradictory instructions, or each trying to assert himself, or each trying to act smarter than the other? If you had ten independent headmasters, the school will have to be shut down or one of them will have to be placed over the rest, and given the authority and power to overrule all others for a smooth functioning.
Q: I would like to suggest for your serious consideration the aspect of increasing trend of casteism in the Muslim society very much like the non-Muslim set up. This causes a great set-back on social, economical and political front including educational. Islam forbids division of human society on false ground like casteism, rather preaches brotherhood, co-operation and accepting bride/groom liberally among Muslim society.
Although it is true that there are now social differences among the Muslims, we do not think this is equivalent of the Caste system prevalent among the Hindus. This is an internal social grouping such as Sheikh, Siddique, Khan, Mayman, and so on. These are merely social groups based on lineage. They seem to have different cultures and, therefore, prefer to marry within their cultures.
Apart from preferences at marriage, there seems to be nothing to distinguish one from the other. They do not follow professions specific to them. In contrast, Casteism is based on race, profession etc. Further, there is a vertical division, the lower being inferior to the upper to the extent that even a physical touch defiles the upper. No such thing exists among the Muslims who pray together side by side in the mosques and eat together from the same plate.
Q: I have been reading your magazine for two years and I find it very informative and effective. I have a doubt regarding the money earned from an Internet centre. I own the centre and different customers come to it. Some of them do productive work but others browse pornographic sites. I have tried to restrict access to such sites but there are a number of sites which I cannot restrict access to. My doubt is: is the money earned from this business halal? What should I do to stop these activities? Please suggest a way out.
So long as your intentions are right, and the business is not predominantly pornographic, there is no blame on you for what the customers do, and your income is Islamically lawful. In contrast, if someone intended to facilitate entry into pornographic sites, then his earning could become unlawful. He would be sinning even if his customers did not enter into such sites.
As we see, your business is not predominantly pornographic. While mostly it is a useful service and for constructive purposes, a few customers are using the facility for wrongful purposes. The income, therefore, remains lawful.
However, if it should so happen that the useful and productive work becomes negligible, while most of the time nothing happens but visits to pornographic sites, then you might have to do something about it. Perhaps, initially, you may warn your customers through a note hung on the wall that visit to such sites is Islamically unlawful. If the customers do not pay heed, then you might have to look for an alternative business.
In the meanwhile, your income will remain lawful so long as you are searching for an alternative, viable business. You may close down the business only if you can afford to do so. That is, if you feel assured that in the event of closing it down, you will not be deprived of the power to purchase your basic needs. But, if you think the step will ruin you economically, then don’t close down the business until you have found a satisfactory alternative.
Q: I face a problem every year during my exams. I take a book and study for around fifteen minutes but begin to think of something else. When the exam comes, I sit before my books and start crying. Please suggest an Islamic method that can help me concentrate on studies.
One of my lecturers suggested that if I want to remember for long period what I have studied, I should recite Durood-e-Ibrahimi, recite “sanuqriukafalatansaillamashallahuinnahuya`lamu al-jahrawa ma yakhfa,” eleven times after every obligatory Prayers. Then, placing my right hand on my forehead recite“Yaa Qawiyyu,”eleven times. Please suggest similar type of Islamic Du`a(supplication) for improving my memory.
The method suggested for increasing memory power does not have a Hadith for its backing. So, we cannot say anything about it. Maybe someone tried it and it worked. But that it should work with everyone cannot be guaranteed. In fact, it is quite likely that it will not work. That is because laws of nature cannot be got over so easily. They are the Sunnah of Allah (swt) that cannot be broken at will. If ever they are broken, it will be by Allah’s will. And Allah (swt) allows breaking of His Sunan, for very special persons, and for very special occasions. When that happens, we call the event a miracle.
We also do not know of any words of supplication that can help increase memory. Yes, regular recitation of the Qur’an and understanding of its message does increase intelligence. This has been widely noticed. That means it would lead to increase in memory power also. But, as to some words of supplication, well, we do not know of any.
Nevertheless, the problem you have stated is quite common among girls of age eighteen and above. They show extraordinary ability to learn up to that age, learning more than boys of the same age. In fact, in certain mental aspects, they can match boys four or five years older than them.
But, after eighteen, a decline in their capacity to learn is noticeable. They are prone to falling into deep, pointless thought, and cannot concentrate on anything that requires acute mental presence. This is because, by nature, they have not been created for roles that today’s societies force on them.
As to their true role, we cannot discuss at this point. Suffice it to say that all the efforts to push them to new roles have either failed or ended in distorting their personalities.
Yet, we cannot say for certainty that this is the reason behind your lack of concentration. Maybe this is a temporary phase and will go away. Maybe you need to change your subjects of study that may not be of interest to you. Or, maybe, you have too many things to think about and so when you sit down for studies, your mind is already tired. Or, there could be extra release of hormones because of some other factors. You see, there can be so many reasons.
However, if you have checked on all the above possible reasons, and taken suitable actions, if you found one or more true, but still face the difficulty, then, the best we can say is you break up your studies into several sessions, each not lasting more than an hour.
In other words, try to study in full concentration for a full hour and then take your mind off for something else. Again, allot the hours when you are fresh to difficult subjects. Also try drinking tea in small quantities as you study. In free hours, avoid watching the TV. It has a devastating effect on the mind. An hour’s watching can destroy many other things sitting safely in the mind. Rather than the TV, engage yourself in a conversation, or read some light material, such as short stories, or comic books, before taking up the studies again.
Finally, pray to Allah (swt) that He award you what is best for you.