Letters to the Editor
Md. Abdullah, Chennai
Can you please answer these questions in your monthly?
Is surrogacy allowed in Islam?
No, surrogacy is disallowed in Islam. This is primarily to save the child from becoming a split personality who does not know where his first loyalty belongs. Our reference is to a case involving the sperm of a man and the egg of his wife and where the fertilized in-vitro egg is planted into a surrogated womb. All other cases, are obviously, all the more disallowed.
Why do Shi`as differ from mainstream Sunni Muslims?
We are sure you realize that there is no answering to many why’s in simple terms. We as serious Muslim ought to know our history, which we should learn from our historical works.
All the same, we have written several times over in these pages, that political differences during the time of `Ali – and after him – gave rise to political groups. Some of those groups did not survive but rather died out following political changes, while some survived on the strength of fresh recruits to their causes. The surviving groups became stronger, especially if they were extremists, and, gradually began to break apart from the main body of Muslim. As they got stronger and they felt that they could survive as a distinct group, they developed their own laws and thus became sects. If one of them was able to get hold of political power, it confined itself into a region preferred by it, sank its roots and hardened its attitudes. This is how Shi`aism came to be.
How did the battle of camel and Siffin occur between the Companions?
So far as the Jamal battle is concerned, it was not a battle between Companions and Companions; but rather between non-Companions in which the Companions got involved.
As regards the Siffin battle, it is not right to ask why it was fought because those who fought were regretful that they took part in the battle. Once they regretted, sought their Lord’s forgiveness, no objections can be raised against them. It is similar to a child committing a mistake and saying sorry. But you keep asking, “Why did you do such a nasty thing?” He keeps saying sorry, and you keep asking why. It will reflect ill-will on your part.
The history of what led to the two events is a long one. You might have to look into historical works for details. The life of `Ali as produced by the Dar al-Musannifeen, Azamgarh, has dealt with this issue in a thoroughgoing manner. In English “An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam” is also a good source.
Who perpetrated attacks on last three rightly guided caliphs?
Criminally-minded fanatics, who had not been, (like today’s Muslims), educated in Islam because they were new in this religion.
What is the relevance of Abu Dharr Ghifari’s (ra) life to contemporary materialism?
It is quite relevant, although his example may not be acceptable to Muslims of today who should rather make it a point to pay their zakah, and those who do not fall in that category, expend generously in charity. That will suffice to release the slum dwellers from grinding poverty.
What is Qunoot Naazila? When and how prophet prayed?
There have remained differences in opinion between the scholars over the Qunut in the Prayers (which the Prophet sometimes offered at Fajr or Maghrib times), whether those Qunut prayers were by Allah’s command (naazilah), or by the choice of the Prophet as his supererogatory acts (raatibah).
We hope this clarifies the word-meaning.
I’m an engineering student and during the first year of college I fell in love with a non-Muslim girl… We became very close emotionally… I always used to talk to her about conversion and she had agreed.
But as we reached third year of college there were many misunderstandings between us, and she told me one day that she wouldn’t convert as she doesn’t want to hurt her parents. So I broke up with her… But we do talk to each other as friends… I lost a year in college too as my concentration in studies dwindled… But thanks to Allah as I get more time on my hands now, I read Namaz five times a day, I’m able to serve my parents better, and feel much better being more religious and restraining myself from many sins…
What reply should I give to her when she tells me if I do not force her to convert she would marry me?
A.S., via email
You have been extremely lucky that you escaped with a year’s loss. In majority of cases it is a life’s loss.
Because of the personal freedom that young men and women achieve as they enter colleges, because of the demand of the freshly blossomed youth, and the permissiveness of the society, many young men and women are sexually attracted to each other. With the passage of time it develops into passionate relationship, which is primarily sexual, but which they, in their inexperience, assume to be love of a higher order, sort of semi-spiritual. If the association is long, deeper emotional relationships occur, but still, it is not love.
The fact that it is not love is realized much later. Marriage and close physical contact is necessary to open the eyes to facts of life; one of which is that true love is something quite rare, if not – especially in our times – in a state of non-existence. Disappointment then is the price.
However, as a result of the presumption that the emotional relationship is love, both boy and girl offer sacrifices in order to stay together if they discover that their parents are opposed to their relationship. In great many cases this materializes into neglect of studies, leading ultimately to cessation of studies. In the confidence of youth it is thought that this is small price and that with hard work they can get over any social or economic problem of the future life.
In most cases the parents on both sides are quite against the datings, and say no to the proposals of marriage because, apart from other factors, they can easily see the incompatibility. Also, experienced as they are, they realize that their son’s or daughter’s relationship is a passing emotional phase. Like every emotion, this has to cool down and the new relationship might be very different from what it is now after the cooling. Failure in studies is, they know, will mean great strain within months of marriage. It will prove to be what the scientists call the dark cosmic force which will tear them apart. They also realize that misery will not remain confined to the two so-called lovers, but will invade their lives at a time in their own lives when they want to be left in peace.
If the two refuse to be guided by the experiences of the elders, and get married,all that was feared comes true: as true as the appearance of the night after the day, and the all-conquering misunderstood love of today turns into all-pervading distress of tomorrow.
So, you are lucky you escaped lightly; wasting 365 days of your life!
As regards her insistence on remaining on her religion, if she ever married you, your answer has to obviously remain: no compromise. Compromising the truth is to challenge the forces of the world to come on against oneself. They reduce mountains to dust.
Seeing that the Prophet has prohibited that Muslims look at each other’s private parts or sleep together – whether men or women – under the same blanket, pl. inform us about the rules covering the `arwah between man and wife.
Ghulam Nabi Teli, via email
Between man and wife there is no `arwah. However, it is undesirable (makruh) that they look at each other’s opening at the lower end of the alimentary canal.
Please explain to me in detail about iddat in the following circumstances:
1) A young girl who has lost her husband and who is working to support her family.
2) An old lady who is menopausal, and is working to support the family.
3) A young lady who has lost her husband in a foreign country.
Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui, via email
The rules pertaining to `Iddah (confinement of the bereaved or divorced) are quite simple. The objective is to safeguard the interests of the woman, her former husband, the family and society. Primarily, she is required to restrain herself from another marriage for a period which depends on whether she has been separated from her husband because of divorce or because of his death.
During the period of the `Iddah, a woman is not required to put on make-up, wear bright, attractive dresses, and not venture out to participate in social gatherings. The prime purpose is that she should not be presentable to the society as someone available for marriage; and, obviously, with the loss of the husband, which is followed by feelings of loneliness, she may not be lured by immoral elements of the society.
However, if she is the only earning member of the family, and cannot obtain leave, then, she might go out and attend to her job, but in simple dress, without jewelry or beautification of the face or body. But this is for the day time. She must spend her nights at home only.
Nonetheless, she might spend a part of the early hours of the night, outside her home, if there is need, but the greater part of the night should be spent at home.
The Prophet had allowed a woman in `Iddah to look after the palm trees she owned in an orchard.
Obviously, a woman in `Iddah should restrain herself during the period, and when, where, and to what extent of day or night she could spend outside her home, are things about which she herself is the best judge, because it is she who is answerable to Allah.
Lies and Lies and Lies
Are Taliban the real terrorists who commit suicide bombing, or are they the true Jihadis because they want to implement the Shariah law? I know that it is a political question but everywhere the information is corrupted, and I trust your answer.
Mohammed Abdullah, via email
We hope to write a somewhat detailed answer in this magazine, somewhere in near future, Allah willing. In the meantime, you must understand that the West is seriously concerned about the revival of Islam and Muslims. Having lost its confidence in its own superiority, its political, economic and social set up, and extremely fearful of the rise of China and replacing USA as the superpower number 1, it has begun to take precautionary steps.
They had known of their decline since the 80s of the last century (if not earlier), and have taken several steps to thwart the challenges. One of them is to destroy any Muslim nation that rises as a power to reckon with. So they went into Iraq to destroy its economy, and broke it down to the last brick. They went into Afghanistan in order to break the Jihadi spirit of the Afghans so that no Islamic forces should rise from there, if they attack any other Muslim country. Obviously, these invasions have other purposes besides what we have pointed out.
However, since they live in a civilized world, they need to justify their military actions, and so they offer various excuses. First, they carefully but most efficiently built the bogey of Al-Qaedah. They overdid it. So that, it seems Al-Qaedah is far more powerful than the CIA, FBI, Mossad, and several European Intelligence Agencies, all put together. It seems Al-Qaedah beats them all in executing what it wills. This is of course an absurd idea, but their masses are that stupid.
As excuse for attacking Iraq, they dug up the story of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Saddam’s link with Al-Qaedah. The excuse for Afghanistan is that there are at least 8-100 Al-Qaedah members there. So, they need some 500,000 regular, irregular, governmental and private armed forces. That means around 5000 invaders for every Al-Qaedah man to be annihilated.
This of course is an absurd idea. But their public is that stupid.
The political leaders of the West are the worst of ruling classes that the world has so far seen in its history. They don’t care for their own masses (ref. one in every seven Americans is below poverty line), and they don’t care for how many people of other nations they have to kill to achieve their nefarious objectives. If they cannot maintain their Superpower status, they will rather destroy the earth – all nations put together. And, they have no self-respect. They don’t care at all whether they are respected or thrown shoes at. They are a violent, fanatical class that the world should find a way to bring to control, before they start off World War III, just as they fought World War II, for both of which they did not have even a false pretext.
One of their weapons is the world’s media. Never believe a word of the media, whether aired in India, Britain, America, or Europe. Most of the time, the opposite of what they state is true.
When they say Taliban, they mean those Afghans who are loyal to their country and ready to lay their lives for it. When they say terrorists, they mean those who are likely to resist the occupation of their countries. So, they get them imprisoned on small pretext through their puppet rulers; so that, any time they decide to invade, there should never be any resistance.
Read for instance, the following which came as comments on an article that discussed terrorism on one of the Internet sites:
Commentator 1. Tirdworlder
“And so the killings, pollution, environmental degradation goes on ad nauseum
Y’all need to be paying attention to ants and roaches and such…
Humans are ignorant, half evolved apes and we think we matter… esp. the so called elites
News FLASH…none of us is getting out of this shithole alive…we all get to checkout sometime..others sooner than later.
But the ones living in the fools paradise over there in ME need to turn themselves in at the morgue early. Y’all think you will be in charge? of what?…tell that to the roaches..your time’s up!! The roaches are the next top dogs…u get?
Ha…ha those smart cockroaches, sigh.. to think that they’ve channeling world domination thru those Robeyes and all this thousands of years!!!”
Commentator 2. Peter Hindrup
“It is interesting. To strap an explosive to your body and detonate it, takes guts. Yes, it is probable that a dose of fanaticism helps or hatred helps, but it still takes guts.
To drop a bomb, particularly against those who have no air defence whatever, or to ‘pilot’ a drone, cowards of no morality, no guts and no humanity.
Those who kill to oppose the invaders hell bent on their destruction are labelled terrorists. Those who dare to inflict indignity of proclaiming that their way of life is the right way, who demand that others join their obviously flawed system are somehow the good guys.
Are people really that stupid? Do people really not care how many are killed just so long as their standard of living is preserved? The West really has to take a head look at themselves before it is too late, if it is not too late already!”
The above two comments – specifically written in a style which heightens the sarcastic feeling, tell us that some educated Americans are aware of realities, but are deprived of any power to do anything about the absurdities that they see and the lies they hear.