Letters to the Editor

Q: I am your regular reader. I am living in Kashmir. I want to know about taking usury or not. Is it permissible for us to take usury or not? Moreover, what is the Sharia saying about this?

Syed Mustafa Ahmad,
On Email


It is common knowledge that bank interests or usury are strictly disallowed in Islam. Allah (swt) declares war on him who enters into usurious transactions.

Islam, however, is not an utopian religion. It is a practical and workable system in which there is no harm to one at the cost of another. It has solutions for its adherents if they live the Shari`ah life. The Islamic legal experts have allowed that in all such lands whose inhabitants are at war with Islam and Muslims (Dar al-Harb), Riba dealings are legal for Muslims of that land. Beyond this, it is not for you to seek further details from us, but rather you, and the scholars of ‘your’ land to consider the situation from all aspects, and make decisions.

But, as a precautionary matter, it is strongly discouraged for Muslims to indulge in such dealings. This is said not on religious or moral grounds, but, on economic grounds. Whoever indulges in ribawi dealings will fall into the trap of an entangling from which he might never dis-entangle himself. Banks are set up to rob the people. Western ideologues are shouting loud about it. Don’t look at the initial amount you can get, and the financial problem it will solve. The initial amount is the bait. Thereafter you will neither be able to swallow it, nor spit it out. Communist countries, who endeavour to liberate their masses of the capitalists and the corporate class, do not allow banks to operate among their masses.

Q: The Holy Qur’an states that man is created by Allah (swt) from clay. But some Ulema say that Prophet Muhammad (saws) is created from the Light (Nur) of Allah (swt). How far is it true? Please explain it in the light of Shari`ah.

M.A. Samad,
On Email


First and foremost, you must learn to differentiate between `Ulama, and mawlawis or mawlanas. In our times, hardly any `Alim is left amongst us. They are now in books.

Further, you should not believe that the class you are quoting cares much for the Qur’an. To any verse you quote to them from the Qur’an, they will say, “That’s correct, you are right ..but” and will go on to quote one of their Peers. For them everything of the Qur’an is true, but, always, there is a “but” after that.

Nonetheless, we do not think that even a mawlana would say that the Prophet (saws) was created from Allah’s Light. To say that, is blasphemy. Perhaps they say that the Prophet was created from Nur (and not Allah’s Nur which is Kufr). Imam Tahawiyy, the Hanafiyy, stated in his book on `Aqaa’id:

“Neither can conjectures reach Allah, nor can intellects grasp Him. Mankind do not resemble Him.”

There is nothing unequivocally stated in the Hadith literature that the Prophet was made from Nur. Amazingly, not a single hadith is found on this topic – except perhaps the forged ones, or forged interpretations of the weakest possible a hadith. Prominent Sufis of the past are not on record having said any such thing.

The belief that the Prophet was created of light, is based on far-fetched meanings of certain a hadith, and on spuriously constructed conjectures. No Mujtahid of the past has ever said any such thing.

The Qur’an said: “And most of them believe not in Allah but associate (with Him).” (12: 106). This is a statement of universal application. Every nation started with belief in One God, and He alone. But the people are worked upon by Satan to include other than God in their belief systems. He does not suggest to them to fall prostrate before idols. Rather, he leads them on in small steps to first plant polytheism at their subconscious level.

The Prophet (saws) is dear to Muslims. So, picking up the most ignorant and gullible of the people, he leads them to believe that the Prophet, who holds highest of status with his Lord, should be placed above all humans, and in fact, looked upon as having some share in Divinity. Thus he makes them introduce the veiled concept of part-Lordship. He fabricates hadith and other evidences to suit several situations.

However, if these Mawlawis have ever read any modern physics, they would know that in the final analysis and following the famous equation: E=m.c2, there is room to credit all of ‘us human beings’ with the honor of creation out of “E”.

Q: I just want to know about duration of ghunnah i.e., nasalisation sound in Arabic language. I tried at so many sources, but people of different region use different ways like some says to take two vowel duration, some says two second and some say to take duration as same as a folded finger take to get stretched. I was so confused, so I stopped reading Qur’an till I find the correct way to measure the ghunnah duration.

Muhammed Minaam,
On Email


You, and those you have been seeking guidance from, should know that following the Tajweed rules during recitation of the Qur’an is not Wajib.

Tajweed beautifies the Qur’an, and one should attempt to learn it, but is not a condition for reciting the Qur’an. The devil found a holy reason to keep you away from the Qur’an.

Q: My question is: Are there any Nafl prayers which can be performed apart from the obligatory prayers at the times of distress? If yes, then please share how to perform such prayers and the time during which it can be performed. Please do not share my identity.

N. M.,
On Email


May Allah ease your situation.

In our knowledge, Nafl Prayers (Salah) have not been prescribed for times of distress. However, Tirmidhi has a hadith under the chapter Salatu al-Haajah. It reports the Prophet (saws) as saying that, “Whoever has a need to address to Allah (swt)… may do two rak`ah of Prayers and then supplicate saying, ‘There is no deity save Allah (swt)… (and continue)… O Lord! I seek what accompanies Your Mercy…’ (ending with)… let him ask for anything of this world or the next he wishes to…”

The hadith is quite commonly quoted by reformers, speakers and those who admonish, but Tirmidhi himself declared it weak and marked one of the narrators as questionable. And, he does not bring another hadith (as is his habit) in support of this one.

However, there is a Sahih hadith in Ibn Majah which says, “Be cognizant of Allah (swt) in your days of ease, and He (swt) will be cognizant of you in your hardships. And know that patience in the face of what you dislike carries a lot of good, and that help comes with patience, and that relief comes after pain, and that ease follows hardships.”

In this hadith, the keywords are: “Be cognizant of Allah (swt) in your days of ease, and He (swt) will be cognizant of you in your hardships.”

We need to be cautious as not to treat our Lord as a kind of a fund-manager, to whom we appeal for funds whenever we run short of them. Rather we serve Him (swt) in all circumstances to be rewarded in the Hereafter.

Q: Ref: issue 8, vol. 40; September 2018. As regards the question put forth by Mr. Tawseef Ahmed about the origin of semen, I would like to convey that the Qur’anic verse (86:5-7) is not contradictory to the scientific knowledge.

Embryologically, in the initial stages of development of testes, the testes are located high up in the abdomen, near the vertebral column on one side, and lower ribs on the other side. Later on, they start descending until they reach the final place called the scrotum. So the seminal passage depicted is a fact considering the origin of the testes which is a factory for producing sperms.

Secondly, I would beg to differ that other than seminal fluid, no other fluid fits here, since it is clearly mentioned that man has been CREATED from the liquid.

As per other liquids, they are nutrients for the already created unformed body.

Dr. Adil Chilwan,
On Email


The above refers to verses 6-7 of Surah 86 which say: “He (man) is created of a gushing liquid, that issues forth from between the loins and the breast-bones.”

We beg to differ to state that the Qur’an is not referring to the initial stages of embryology concerning the position of testes, nor is it referring to they descending to occupy the present location.

To explain the words “gushing liquid,” as to where it originates from, is not an explanation of the liquid itself. The verses are not saying anything about its origin. They are speaking of the “nature of the flow” and “the pathway it takes” –that is, of the liquid as it gushes forth millions of times, among humans and animals, every day. What this newly identified origin of the liquid has to do with the mysterious “sulb” or the “taraa’ib?”

The origin of the testicles is explained by today’s science as a result of Evolutionary process. To quote:

“Descending testicles were likely present in the earliest mammals, then subsequently disappeared in elephants, manatees and their relatives, according to a new study..elephants have their testicles nestled deep within their bodies, all the way up near their kidneys. That’s unusual: In most other mammals, testicles form during embryonic development near the kidneys and then descend, either to the lower abdomen or an external scrotum, by the time of a male’s birth.. Based on the fact that genes start to rack up mutations once they lose their function, the researchers worked backward and estimated that testicondy(descending of the testicles) independently arose at least four times, ranging from about 25 million years ago in cape golden moles to about 80 million years ago in cape elephant shrews.

We do not, however, believe in this scientific statement, taking our imagination to 80 million years, far from trying to understand Qur’anic verses with such statements.

While thanking you for you pointing out that sperms alone are meant by the words “gushing liquid,” we may explain (not to you but to our non-medical readers) that in general terms it is alright to understand it as “seminal liquid,” but we may keep the following in mind:

“During the process of ejaculation, sperm passes through the ejaculatory ducts and mixes with fluids from the seminal vesicles, the prostate, and the bulbourethral glands to form the semen. The seminal vesicles produce a yellowish viscous fluid rich in fructose and other substances that makes up about 70% of human semen. The prostatic secretion, influenced by dihydrotestosterone, is a whitish (sometimes clear), thin fluid containing proteolytic enzymes, citric acid, acid phosphatase, and lipids. The bulbourethral glands secrete a clear secretion into the lumen of the urethra to lubricate it.”(Wikipedia, art.Semen).

We may also point out that the above is not all about the semen, nor the final word, but, like every scientific detail, concerning everything of the world, modern science is telling us that realities are exponentially complicated: the more you know, the more you don’t know.

We should not, therefore, depend inordinately on science to understand the Qur’an.

Since on the topic, the general understanding of the Qur’anic exegetes may be beneficial to know what they said:

The words in the original are sulb and tara’ib. Sulb is almost unanimously understood to mean the back – here of the male. As for tara’ib, there are wide speculations, but most of them come very near to each other, such as, the bones of the chest including the collar bones, the lower ribs, the area between the two shoulders just above the breast, the area between the breasts and just above them, or where the necklace-end rests, and the two hands, legs and the two eyes of a woman (Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah etc.).

Finally, the literal meaning of the word need not be taken as some commentators have hinted.