Letters to the Editor
Q: I hope you will place these comment as they portray the feelings of multitudes of Muslims living in Pakistan. Although we are termed synonymous with terrorists and hooligans, yet it is the talent of this very nation that is sought after by Americans, British and the Middle Eastern countries. The moment a student gets straight A’s in their A levels, an offer letter arrives from several top-notch institutes. Every time an incredible software is made by a novice living in a small city in this country, American companies are the buyers for it. Then why is Pakistan being portrayed as an evil presence in the world? Why are we attacked and threatened by America?
Unless there is unity within the Muslim world, nothing is going to change. A united Muslim Ummah is the need of the time to liberate people in Pakistan and people of many suppressed states. A true Khilafah government that was demonstrated by the Prophet’s (pbuh) companions – and later abolished to break the strength of the Muslims – is the need of the hour. We need to work for the Khilafah. We have tried democracy and dictatorship. Now let’s try a system that has been proven to be the glory of Muslims!
The West is facing a worrisome economic situation. Apart from several others, manpower shortage is one of the formidable ones. It needs millions of young, educated, skilled, and cheap manpower to keep with the demands of new economy. Its own institutions are not able to produce the diverse skills required; and those few that they produce come at high cost. Immigration therefore, is the only solution. The immigrant has to be skilled and must come in cheap. The third-world countries meet with this need. Therefore, their embassies (in African, Arab, and Asian countries) do long hours in their offices to identify skilled manpower and lure it into their own countries. Pakistan is no exception; and no specialty. Its talented manpower is as much wanted by Western top-notch institutions and industries as any other. That’s the demand of the economic peril that many Western nations are facing and a reality to be dealt with by them.
The demands of political realities on the other hand, are different. Pakistan is being targeted for different reasons. It is being demonized in preparation of destabilization in order for the final assault to break up the country. The idea going around in the Western capitals is that the Middle-East, which includes Pakistan, must be broken into two dozen tiny states. That is not going to happen peacefully.
In the wake of the above policy, every Middle-East country will have to prepare a strategy of survival until the West itself breaks up under internal pressures. Iraq failed in working out and implementing a strategy. It paid the price. The leaders of your country have worked out a strategy of their own, and, have been, more or less, successful in keeping the wolves on the other side of the river howling at the moon. Despite many losses and several setbacks, the country has so far survived the worst ever peace-time onslaught.
That the West could implode has not been a far-fetched idea. The proposed partial withdrawal from Afghanistan, which will mean reducing the pressure-lid from Pakistan, of course, also partially, seem to lend support to the prediction about its impeding gradual peace-time implosion.
When you wake up from sleep tomorrow morning, the collapse would not have taken place. But it will. Leave the politicians do their job. The question you may ask is: is the general public of your country keenly aware of the true situation? Or, would they like the politicians to act out their role, but themselves remain engaged in revelries and rivalries? Are they ready to modify their lives Islamically? Are those who understand, doing something about raising the awareness of a nation’s destiny?
Khilafah will be a product the human factory will have to manufacture. If the factory is set up right for that, with all the machinery working right, the product would automatically emerge at the end of the operation line. Just talking about it or wishing it happen, may not serve any function if not followed by some sound action.
Q: We are into construction, interior decoration, and furniture businesses. Sometimes the quoted price of a piece of property could include all the three elements. At times, my main partner uses the ignorance of a client to sell him the package and yet charge extra for one or two items, claiming it was not included, while it actually was included. Since I am a minor partner, and counted, more or less, as an employee, my voice has no weight. Am I sinning when such practices are conducted?
These are sharp practices in business that Islam does not approve of.
If it was written in the contract that the additional charges are part of the original deal, then the additional charges are haram.
If it was not written, but understood by the client that it was included, and that your firm is acting too smart, then, this is breach of trust and the income is haram too.
If the client did not know, and still thinks the additional work was not included in the contract, but your firm knew that, in fact, it was included, then too the income is haram.
None the less, if the quotation that was made before the client decided to buy, did not specifically mention items, but, because of a legitimate reason, or sure loss, if additional items are overpriced, and the client now accepts because he is far too advanced in the deal, then, perhaps, there could be some justification. This, of course, should be in the face of sure loss, and not to be resorted to for hiking profits.
In all cases, as a minor partner with no authority, you earn no blame. But keep admonishing them and, if you find that they will not desist, withdraw from partnership by withdrawing your little investment, but can continue to work with the firm as an employee.
Q: What is the best way to success in this world and hereafter?
There are three keys to success:
- Hard work,
- Hard work,
- Hard work.
Q: Is it true that if a Muslim does not perform Salah but accepts the fact that it is Fard then he is not committing a real Shirk. But there is a hadith which says: “Hurry up with your Salah… for to discard Salah is to become a Kafir.”
Did the Hanafi, Shafai and Maliki scholars take into consideration the above before giving their final take on Salah? If you are not willing to give an opinion, or cannot, could you at least suggest someone else?
It is hard to guess in certain terms what exactly you mean, and what the nature of jibe against the Fiqh schools is. But, guessing from the tone of your lines – much of which we have deleted – perhaps, you are trying to say that although there is a clear hadith available, the Fiqh schools have maintained that a man who does not pray is not a Kafir. But, according to the hadith of your quote, he is indeed a Kafir. The conclusion that you seem to be deriving is that the Fiqh schools did not know even such a well-known hadith, and, therefore, the four schools of Fiqh must be abolished.
To believe that the Fuqaha’ did not know Hadith, or not knew not enough, is a preposterous idea. It is a denial of our own history. But in truth, as we all know, it is the ignorance of our history. The new generation in the Islamic countries is fast severing its ties with its past. Loss upon loss, the new generation has now begun to fulfill the Prophetic prediction that it will disparage its past generations. A step beyond that, now the new generation is on the verge of disowning its renowned scholars. This is not merely disgusting, but also alarming.
It is a matter of common sense that before one condemns someone, an inquiry is conducted. In this case, an inquiry would be in order to check whether the Fuqaha’ were ignorant of even famous ahadith. On the other hand, if someone finds himself incapable of making such an inquiry, then he remains with the majority opinion. And if the majority opinion is also the opinion of the majority of scholars, then, what grounds can be suggested for someone who believes in anything said about the very first few generation of Muslims?
Q: I am 24 years old. I have done engineering. I have always obeyed my parents and took decisions which will make them happy. I like to help people around me. My dad always told me that money is not important in life. We should always give importance to humanity.
During first year of my engineering, I came across a guy. I did not do anything wrong with him. He is very understanding, and cares for my parents. He is similar to the person about whom my dad used to talk. Yet my dad does not like this guy, because he has done only B.Com and is not very rich. This guy has opened his own firm. It takes time to establish any company. In the past, we had many problems at home. This guy indirectly helped my parents and supported me. But my dad would not agree to the marriage.
I do not know what to do. I do not want to elope or do anything like that. If my dad does not agree then I am ready to stay alone without marriage. But marrying someone else and changing my whole mentality will take me to a very new world. This scares me a lot. I have crossed into that age where I can see the world in a different light. What I should l do?
A common notion among the youth of the new generation is that they understand the modern world, the modern life and modern social setup better than the older generation and, therefore, should be able to make better decisions than they, i.e. their parents and others.
Another notion that has commonly spread is that when marrying, the choice of mate should be entirely theirs, and that marriages in which parents have any say in the choice of the partners end up in failure.
A third notion is that of men and women falling in love, while, love is something almost sacred and develops only after decades. If it does not develop, then, at least, over several decades the pair learns to live with each other – whatever the failures on both sides.
All these notions are wrong; and the self-confidence is wrongly placed. The reverse is, in fact, true. Wide-spread failure of marriages, for example, is a modern phenomenon and a problem created by the new generation – primarily because they fall in love (or so they think), or make judgmental mistakes in choosing a partner.
We do not wish to discuss these issues in any detail at this point. So far as your case is concerned, you have not given any good reason why you love the man, nor why is your dad opposed to the marriage. Isn’t your happiness the goal of his life at this age? So, why is he opposed to your happiness? Is it possible that with the advantage of age and experience he sees more than you can see?
You say that you fell in love in the first year of college. This means you were then nineteen. But fallacies galore in this period of life. A veil falls and men and women go blind. It is after marriage that the eyes open. But the parents do not have any such veil on their eyes. So, what is it they see? That must be seriously considered now. They wouldn’t like you returning home after a couple of years. That’s happening so often.
You need to discuss the issue with someone else of the family, who discusses, in turn, with your father.
For the moment, your decision to stay single is welcome. Let the man also face the test. May be one of you three will change mind over time.
Q: This is with reference to an article by Khalid Baig on televangelism published in YMD some time back. He is truly a very gifted and wonderful critic of modern age in print media and I honestly appreciate the effort and research he took to produce this article. But, I found him largely accusing the channels of following or adopting such basic means and strategy of marketing that are essential to attract, retain and ensure continuity and stable viewership (for basically they are channels and have to face all the challenges faced by any channel for its functioning). It is, moreover, a very good way to fight the temptation of non-Islamic channels.
If such strategies like shifting of frames, colorful sets, etc., attract people and hold them from shifting back to music and entertainment channels, what’s wrong? Baig even alleged such channels of making the Islamic message secondary. I disagree. They are merely adding a note of beautiful presentation to the discourses so as to cater to different mindsets and rule out the lacking found in sermons which even Baig himself acknowledged. The main elements of such programs are the discourses and I do not find the effect lost. Serious discussions too have taken place on topics such as divorce, interest, Kufr, etc. that a common man’s life is exposed to.
I do not speak for the Egyptian or other such channels as I have not watched them but Q TV has catered to and succeeded to large extent in bringing Islamic education to our homes and solving such problems and doubts we face in our daily lives.
I think it is also a good trend if people are shifting their idealism from actors and dancers to Aalims and Islamic show hosts. If Amr Khaled and those Baig mentioned are truly what he told to be, then people have to wake up and check their choice but in the society I move in Muftis, Na’atkhwans and hosts like Tasleem Sabri and Mohammed Junaid Iqbal are looked up on, and it’s a good thing.
He even hinted at the program Fikar-e-Nau hosted by Syed Danish on Q TV. I don’t understand what problem did Baig find in youths coming together to discuss a problem they face in modern day society or solve their confusion regarding conflicting mindsets. It’s not Fatwas that they seek but a guideline and a light to find their way.
Also consider the boon such channels are for less-literate or illiterate people living in small towns and villages who do not have the access or ability to read books and derive knowledge from non-electronic media.
These channels do not require people to read and write to understand the Shariah. I have seen people only read the Qur’an earlier without even attempting to understand its translation and interpretation, and now seeking to understand the holy book and benefit from it’s Hidayah through the guidance of Muftis and Islamic scholars on Q TV.
The solution Baig gave of Khutbahs is relevant for men but what about women esp. in small town and villages where such congregations are not arranged for womenfolk? As for the real problems like intervention of music and irrelevant ads, I feel a more concentrated effort should be made to remove such vices through Islamic authorities and making available such support that will rule them out. We do not discard the whole ration of Daal because they are a few grains of tiny stones in it.
Lastly, I second his suggestion of practicing a TV-free home (entertainment and music) in the holy-month of Ramadhan, as has been the practice in my home too from the beginning.
The last paragraph of your letter contradicts the arguments that you have built in the earlier paragraphs. If there is no harm in the evangelical TV, accompanied by music and presented by females, then, why switch it off in Ramadan? If it is not evil, then it has to be a virtue, and, all virtues are measured as ten times greater in Ramadan.
A thing is judged by its benefits and harms only if it is not prohibited in Islam. If it is prohibited in Islam, then its benefits and harms are not evaluated. It is evil, even if human mind can point to several benefits. Allah said about wine and gambling that there are benefits in them, yet He prohibited them and the Prophet said about wine that it is the mother of evil.
Photography, music and women’s unveiling of faces is prohibited in Islam. Now, no matter how many benefits are pointed out, the prohibition remains. And, if you place together the three prohibitions, then the harm of violation would be three-fold.
The benefits you see, have observed, and have pointed out, are unreal. The on-screen presentation has taken off the barakah of Allah’s Messages, has sequestered barakah of the mosques where halaqas were once held, has cut the common man from influences obtained from personal contacts with the scholars, and has given them a sound reason to become illiterate.
Allah said, “This Book, there is no doubt about it…” and emphasized on the nature of the book as the medium several times over. But the Ummah says, “This film, there is no doubt about it…” So, the consequence is that while “This Book, there is no doubt about it, is a source of guidance,” stands true, “This film, there is no doubt about it, is a source of misguidance,” also stands true.
The steep decline in learning that is being witnessed among the Muslims since a couple of decades, could produce millions upon millions in towns and countryside, who could, if the trend is not changed, follow Anti-Christ like bees flying behind their queen – if he appeared.
This is our opinion. If Khalid Baig has his different opinion or added reasons, he is welcome to present them in this column any time.
Q: I am a lecturer. I got married against the choice of my parents as I had promised to marry the woman I married. After marriage, my parents ejected me from their home saying that I had hidden money from them and put it into my wife’s account. I tried to convince them that I haven’t done so but they wouldn’t accept my words. Moreover, they made me write on paper that I wouldn’t seek anything from my parents’ property. This writing was made in presence of three witnesses. Now I am living away from my parents’ home as well as from the home of my wife’s parents. Please tell me what I should do now with my parents?
It is hard to believe that parents eject their son for a minor reason, or that the wife’s parents should expect their daughter and son-in-law to stay away from them. Much more must have happened behind the scene opened to us for such serious reactions.
By default, our sympathy is with your parents. You have hurt them badly by ignoring them and marrying a woman of your choice. You would say you love her. Fine. But how come you love her more than your parents?
If your parents are angry with you, Allah is angry with you. You need to win their forgiveness. The ‘how’ of it is for you to work out, but seek forgiveness you must.
As regards the paper that they made you write, about you foregoing inheritance, although it speaks of extreme frustration on the part of your parents, the statement is invalid. Although you have earned Allah’s anger by giving pain to your parents, you have been given your right by Allah, and no one can take it away from you. So, after their death, you can claim your rightful share and must be allotted by other inheritors.
However, money and property are inconsequential things. You show your love and respect to your parents, admitting your misbehavior, demonstrating your true repentance, and seeking their forgiveness, consistently, over years, and they are bound to soften. Sincerity on your part is the key. Your wife might attempt the same with her parents.
Yet, of course, not to forget, you have to set your relationship right with your Lord, before you attempt reconciliation with your parents.
Q: Please offer us an article on ‘Gold Dinar, Islam and the future of the Money.’ There is a one hour lecture on this topic by Imran Hosein which deals with the ‘Monetary system in Qur’an and Sunnah.’ It seems many of our scholars have failed to throw light on this topic. You can find the lecture at the link below: http://www.imranhosein.org/video/
We have, in an earlier issue, discussed this issue.
It is being believed by a section of the educated and Islamically-conscious Muslims that, in view of the prediction of the dollar’s crash … which will lead to global financial crash … which will be followed by search for a new currency … which will ultimately lead to gold Dinar as the currency, resulting in corrections in the economic imbalances in the Muslim world … in view of all this … the Muslims should take the lead in adopting the gold Dinar as the currency right now.
Apart from the too many “ifs” involved, and the uncertainty of the predictable time, there is no halo of holiness around gold Dinar. It is not an Islamic currency. Islamic currency is “a sense of economic justice,” both on the part of the donor as well as the receiver. If this sense, and this currency prevail, any physical currency can be adopted as the Islamic currency and it will fight out the dollar. In the absence of it, heaps of gold, yellow or black, solid or liquid, will not be enough to deliver economic justice to all.
As for escape from the chaos brought by the dollar, this requires re-shaping of the local and global economic parameters, and not resorting to using this or that currency. While the Muslims await heavenly help, some economies are already working on finding ways to defeat the dollar-gangsterism.
We might also point out that the change to gold Dinar as the currency might as well be opposed by Muslims at this point of time. This is because it is the present-day powerful economies which have been buying huge amounts of gold in the open markets and hoarding them in preparation of the day when shares, ventures, properties, etc. lose their value, gold could be used as an alternative, not as a currency, but to sell it off in open market to buy whatever currency then prevails. But, ignorant and inactive as the Muslim countries, their politicians and populations are, they have little or no gold in stocks. So, unless they prepare for that event from now, which will take a few decades, it will be a day of further weakening of their economies if gold is adopted as an international currency, or other assets lose their values against gold.