Letters to the Editor
Q. I really like your magazine, and pray to Allah that He gives you, and your team, the best of this world and the next. I am in a great problematic situation and need immediate advice, and I can look up to no one to give me a sincere one. I value your opinion highly; so, please, please, I beg you, that you don’t decline me. After marriage through my husband, I got into contact with a group that is supposedly working for the Khilafah. Though I did not really took to liking them immediately, but after repeated contacts I, too, got involved and became their member. Their belief in certain issues were causing me minor discomfort, but I did not give up. Then came the bigger issue – of it being a Fard to work for Khilafah. Though I did not believe in this as well, I, nevertheless, joined, thinking, as time goes by, I will understand better.
What they believe is that, to live under a Khilafah is Fard upon every Muslim, and for that to exist, a group calling people to good and forbidding evil, is a Fard al Kifayah. And it is this group’s responsibility to re-appoint a Khalifa in the absence of one. And since, in the present world, this hasn’t happened, (they say the time limit for that FardKifayah has passed which is three days and two nights – taken from the delay in burial of Rasoolallah– saws) – and that Khilafah was destroyed in 1924; so, the sin of the unfulfilled FardKifayah is on the whole Ummah.Hence, everyone is supposed to work in order to get himself rid of that sin.
They make this connection with the fact that as it is Fard for everyone to live under Khilafah, (mentioned above); so, in the absence of it, everyone should join the group, obey the Amir of the group, and work for it, saying that, according to the principle of Wajib/Fard, what it takes to fulfill a Fard is also a Fard… Now,I did not quite agree with all of it. I believed that a Fard can come only through Allah’s order.
You are right about the principle dictating an obligatory act in Islam: Allah and His Messenger are the only authorities who make any such declaration; except that you have mentioned only Fard, but which should include Wajib also.
To clarify, Fard al-Kifayah is one of those obligatories which is not Fard on every individual of the Ummah, but rather on a group. For example, Salah al-Jinazah (prayer for a dead person before burial) is obligatory on a group of Muslims, in this case on the family of the dead. If they cannot do it for any reason, the obligatory nature shifts to the neighborhood. If they cannot for some reason, then it shifts to the Muslims, in general, so that if they find a dead body floating in a river, which cannot be identified, then, the Muslims of the area are obliged to pray for it and bury it. If none does it, despite knowledge and ability, everyone is sinning.
Establishing the Khilafah is another of the Fard al-Kifayahacts, it is not Wajib on every Muslim individual, but rather on a group, in this case, those who are required to choose a Khalifah out of several available candidates. In Islamic terminology, this group is known as Ahl al-`Aqdwa al Hull (meaning, the binding and releasing [authorities]). This is because a nation needs a government to organize its affairs, to defend it against its enemies, and promote piety and virtue within it. Such a government will have to have a leader; call him Prime Minister, President, King, Ameer, Khalifah, or whatever. His is not a holy office, but a secular one, except that Islam imposes another responsibility, viz, enforcement of the Shari`ah (the Islamic Law).
Expectedly, since the office promises material benefits, contenders to Khilafahwould be many, there has to be an authoritative body to choose him and the team he would need to fulfill the duties.If the general public is given that authority, invariably they choose skillful pretenders, inept in matters involving national benefits, but crafty at stealing the wealth of those who brought them to power. Therefore,the need for this group called Ahl al-`Aqdwa al-Hull. They bind the people to a Khalifah and release them from that binding.
Who does exactly belong to this group? Most importantly, they are not chosen. That is, it is not an elected body. If it were, it would mean shifting the evil and spreading it over a group. But rather, it is a group of achievers: those who became prominent through achievements they scored. To name a few: scholars, specialists, experts in different fields (technocrats) successful businessmen, military commanders, etc. These are men and women of abilities, whose achievements speak of their talent (and not the glibly talking politician in a democracy who understands the psychology of the masses and hoodwinks them). This group of the Ahl al-`Aqdwa al Hull is not elected because they already exist in a society or nation. As a group, they understand their nation better than any other. And, they are a talented people, otherwise they would not gain prominence. Furthermore, because they are self-achievers, they are less expected to be parasitic.
It is this Ahl al-`Aqdwa al-Hull on whom it is Fard al-Kifayah to appoint a Khalifah, and thus to establish Khilafah. If they fail, every one of them is sinning. If they fail, the religious nature of the commandment does not shift to the common people, for, the Shari`ah does not enforce what the contingent cannot bear. Ordinarily, the common people cannot establish Khilafah, or appoint a Khalifah except through a violent revolution – abhorrent to Islam. Primarily, they are not qualified; so, if they attempted, they are more likely to appoint the wrong man than the right man or body.
There is more to say, but for the moment this should do, because this is not an article on Khilafah.
Q. Then I read your article (‘Workingfor Khilafah’)and it made so much sense. I tried speaking with one of my senior friends and she went on arguing, that this was the Ijtihad of their Amir and it cannot be wrong. I am on the brink of getting out of this group; infact, I am almost out, but my husband doesn’t want to.
An Amir is not necessarily a Mujtahid, and an Ijtihaad can be wrong also.
As for your husband’s involvement, we do not see anything wrong in it, because, in view of the above, the association acquires a social nature and not religious, yet all discussions involving the issue would be considered religious and hence rewardable.
Q. I need your help in the following issues:Is their reasoning right? Is every member of the Ummah sinful?
The reasoning does not seem to be right. As for sinning, it may be as remotely so, as, to show by example, a Japanese Muslim is sinful if Muslims did not do Salatu al-Jinazah for a dead in India. But the primary sin remains on the Ahl al-Hull wa al-`Aqd, whether such a body exists or not. If Khilafah is not established, every one of them is sinful, whether he is placed in a body or not.
Q.Is the time limit they take to appoint a Khalifahlegitimate?
If it’s the time limit they set for doing something that they are not obliged to, they can always persist, and extend the time limit, can they not?
Q.To counter my argument that a Fard can come from the Qur’an and Sunnah alone, my friend argues that to obey your husband is Fard too.
Obeying the husband is not Wajibin the absolute sense. It is a conditional Wajib,i.e., it should be within what is known as ‘Ma`roof;’ which waters down to only two things: (1) when he calls, you respond, (2) not allow anyone he doesn’t approve of (primarily, a male of loose character) to enter the house in his absence.
Point no. 1 above is the beginning of the story and no. 2 its end; except that there are a few loose pieces in between. To give an example: Not to be out of home at every odd hour, when the husband is in, and objects to the sojourns.
Q. (My friend also argues that) if, for example, your husband demands that he be given food at 2 o’ clock, then it is a Fard upon me and I will be sinful otherwise, and to fulfill this Fard, it is also a Fard upon me to start my day accordingly, so that I give him food at 2 o’ clock. So her argument is this: are these Fard found in the Qur’an and Sunnah also? She uses the above mentioned principle here.
The application of Fiqh rule she cites is not appropriate in this case.
At all events, unless your husband is three years old, which can happen in certain non-Muslim tribes in India, it is not Fard for you to feed your husband at whatever time. He can feed himself. It is not Fard or Wajib to feed him, or lay the food for him, or cook for him, or, even cook the food for yourself. Much of what is mentioned here,will depend on the kind of life you lived with your parents before your marriage.
A wife’s duties do not include serving the husband, in whatever way, except for one, responseto the irresistible call that he suffers, arising from within him. If she did serve him in other ways, on the command of her husband, or his persistence, the husband is liable to be questioned on the Day of Judgment for the number of hours she spent serving him; unless she forgave him on the Day of Judgment, which is not very likely to happen.
A wife is not a husband’s property in Islam, but rather, a responsibility.
Cooking, or not cooking, for a Muslim woman is part of a compromise deal, sort of ‘give-and-take’deal. Ifa woman spends all her life pleasing her husband, she might seek her reward from her husband on the Day of Judgment, not from her Lord. If she is forced by her husband to do nothing but please him in her life, she is likely to be compensated with good deedstaken from him on a “Day when a man will flee from his brother, mother, father, wife and children.” (80: 34-36)
Q. If I am right in withdrawing myself, then should I try and convince my husband too, or leave him to his own?
The advisability of your withdrawal, or not, will depend on what would you be doing after withdrawal. Supposing the hours you have after withdrawal are spent in non-virtuous affairs, then, it would be advisable to remain with them. It might not be a religious duty to associate with them, but at least, in that event, you are associating with those to whom Islam is so dear that they are trying to do for it more than they are obliged to do. The same applies to your husband. At best, you might try to explain him the exact religious “nature” of the association. You may also consider, for instance, will he, after he exits the group, spend his time in more virtuous activities, or while away his time in questionable activities, such as, watching the TV?
Q. Please answer me, I am spending sleepless nights and need some peace. I tried doing Istikhara, but I could not understand if I did get an answer.
Spiritual consonance with Him on High is likely to help understand answers that come after attempts at Istikhara.
Maybe not you, but many who have no idea of the steps in spiritual development, seek to understand at a lower stage, what could only be understood at an upper stage.
Q. I am a regular reader of YMD for the last 16 years, alhamdulillah. I always find your journal educative and reformative. The ‘Letters’ column is my favourite, as it discusses issues confronting all of us in a lighter way. The journal remained unavailable for several months this year in Kashmir. Reason?
This is a four-decade complaint and the reason we suspect is that our magazine is pretty popular. It travels thousands of kilometers to reach our subscribers, passing through several hands, both friendly as well as unfriendly, with the latter outnumbering the former. Is it possible that their love prevents its travel to the final destination?
Q. Kindly answer my following questions:can you please prescribe a full course for learning Arabic language and other Islamic sciences (Quran, Hadith, Fiqh) the way you have learnt. You have not made the methodological differences of separate schools of thought into sources of conflict, but you celebrate them as a source of diversity. Second, you do not follow one school of thought in a literal manner, obscuring the dynamism within. I like it and I want to follow the same methodology. It may provoke others also to learn this course.
But we do follow one school in Fiqh matters, humbly surrendering ourselves to the giants who have already codified it; otherwise, in all other matters, when authoritative opinions do not prevail, we give our investigative disposition a free reign, and adopt only that which cannot be questioned by any as opposed to reason and logic.
Adult education is a complex affair. Add to it non-availability of teachers and guides, and it raises the demand on determination, consistency, and the ability to successfully battle against the obstacles of a world sinisterlyantagonist towards anything not Satanic.
Given the nature and abilities of a man, the varying circumstances of life, and the factors mentioned above, one’s course of study and the methodology adopted can never be the same for another.
Consistency is the key. If the door is knocked consistently, it has to open. The Lord of the house waits to discover whether the knocker is a mere passer-by or, a determined seeker of the path. It should not happen that the door is opened but the impatient knocker has moved on to ‘other than He.’ Nor should it happen that when the door is opened, the knocker is disappointed that the world visible inside is not what his self-adulating inner-self had imagined and wished to find. As he stands there, affixed in hesitation, the door keeper offers him some material gift and he turns back, happy that his efforts paid him off, while the door keeper happy that an unworthy turned away.
Thus cautioned, please look into the previous issue (Letters to the Editor,Oct. 2015) which offers some basic guidelines about how to start. For an intelligent Muslim, we would call it the first level course.
It is a hard road meant for the gritty.
Q. What’s your take on payment of tax and recompensing it by way of accepting interest on GP fund and bank savings?
The two are different issues.
A massive effort is in the offing, conducted by a shadow government, to disconnect a huge number of people from the national march and reduce them to a shadow existence. Economic deprivation is one of the instruments.
Accruing sense of deprivation leads the victims to invent alternative strategies; and, given human inventiveness, they always find ways. Muslims should give their minds a free reign instead of binding it to one particular, and the easiest way. If their minds work on legally acceptable ways, several avenues open up. History bears testimony to their inventiveness which never relied on the strategies suggested by the Jews.
As regards GP funds and savings in banks, they are of laughable value. Muslims in India enjoy a full share of around 0.01% of the deposits in banks. While the funds are in thousands of crores, their share is in lakhs. Muslims must learn to think big.
Q. In a strongly recommended analysis regarding a recent riot that took place just 50 KMs from the nation’s capital, there is the following observation that the author makes (referring to the devastating riot at a village called Atali, right before the eyes of the law-enforcing authorities):
“…we do need to examine the implications of a possible ‘Atali model’ of sustainable Hindutva. Such a model would forego the politically expensive indulgence in extremes like the murder, rape or forcible eviction of Muslims. Instead, it would seek to cultivate a far more durable system of normalised oppression where Muslims are compelled to become permanent participants in their own subordination. The key element here would be the imposition of conditionalities limiting the extent and quality of their citizenship. Once the basic principle of subordinate citizenship is legitimised, all the old clichés extolling happy coexistence, syncretic culture, the inherent tolerance of Hinduism, etc., could be brazenly repeated — garv se.” (Satish Deshpande, The Hindu, June 20, 2015)
(My question is) What would be your solution to the problem?
Solutions to problems faced by the Ummah should be worked out by theUmmah, and never by individuals. Their opinions must be polled.
On our part, we suggest the following, although we do not believe the educated class among the Muslims has any desire to do its part. They love money too much and are too selfish. These methods have provenquite effective in other parts of the world, but which require a good amount of funds.
1. Set up a body of Muslims and non-Muslims of which each member is handsomely paid (unfortunately so), to investigate all such incidents (which are promising to rise in occurrence), as well as to monitor random arrests of young men, and report to:
2. A team of well-funded lawyers, to take each case to the courts and fight to the end.
At present there are one or two small bodies working on these lines, but we need much larger ones, and in dozens. At stake is the body of values and principles which Islam has bestowed. If lost, it would be a loss for India – if only people will realize. Let them look around – keenly. Islam is the last hope.