Letters to the Editor
Sahih and Non-Sahih
Anonymous, via email
There are so many ahadiths, of which some are sahih. Does it mean there are non-Sahih ahadith also? Please clarify.
Yes, there are inauthentic traditions of the Prophet but they have been separated out and are not contained in the Sihah Sittah (the six canonical collections). There are other smaller compilations that carry only the trustworthy reports. Inauthentic ahadith are normally found in magazines, newspapers, speeches, or oral transmissions. You should therefore, never accept any hadith coming from these sources. When you find them written, do not read. Just wave them away when they happen to come to notice. Take the hadith either from the Sihah works, or from books that are written by well-known scholars. Seek a proper scholar’s help in choosing a book.
Is there anyone who can be online in order to help me out of some religious dilemmas?
Sorry, we lack the means to offer such services.
Anonymous, via email
During my childhood I stole some things. I have decided to spend a certain amount of money as charity in the names of the persons I stole from, so that I am not questioned on the final day. I also wish to avoid confessing before them. Is this enough?
If it had happened when you were really a child, then there is nothing for you to do, unless the goods were very expensive and the owners have suffered on that account. If such is the case you might try to recompense them – preferably in cash – giving it over as gift. You are not bound to do this, and hence, if you did, itt will be treated as charity from you.
But, if you did it after you became conscious of right and wrong, although not yet of age, then also you try to compensate the owners, unless those were petty insubstantial things. However, this is not absolutely binding on you either. That is, if you are able, you will do, and if not, then Allah might forgive it if you are repentant.
But if you were fully mature, and well aware of the nature of the acts, then you are required to restore people’s properties whenever you can. Once again, the restoration can be in cash and given as gift.
In no case is your expenditure on others, on behalf of those you wronged, is justified.
I keep a beard. I miss (only) my Fajr prayers but regularly listen to film songs. People around me say I am a hypocrite. They say I should remove my beard and cap. How am I to react (to these people)?
The people’s suspicion about hypocrisy might have some, but not strong, grounds. On the other hand, the suggestion they offer has no ground whatsoever.
Anonymous, via email
What is the concept of nazar?
There is no concept involved in nazr (vow) except that it has been an ancient habit of the people that in times of distress they turn to God and seek relief promising to offer an oblation in His cause if granted. Islam does not encourage it, but, if someone makes a vow in the name of Allah, then he is bound to fulfill it, so great is Allah’s name.
What is the importance of the number 786?
None if it is replaced with the “Bislmillah..” whose numerical representative it is.
It is said that “Food for one (person) suffices two, and food for two (persons) suffices four and food for four persons suffices eight.” What does it mean? Does it mean that one person eats food for two people or do we eat too much?
It means food that is ordinarily thought to be enough for a single individual will suffice for two if they shared it and ate jointly.
Malik Imtiyaz, via email
According to science there are 90 vestigial organs in our body e.g., external pinna, ver. appendix, coccygial bones etc., but we are told in Al-Qur’an that Allah has created nothing useless. Please justify.
According to science, humans themselves are vestigial: their opinion is that they are beings who have no function; their being in the universe or not being, is just the same. This explains why they make ever more destructive bombs, and their leaders threaten that they will nuke this people or that people: at the moment the Iraqis if they will fight them – and that courageously, almost unarmed by any military standards – instead of getting civilized, and allow them peacefully siphon out oil equivalent to the cost of the war, plus some profit. No scientist protests the use of terrible destruction against hapless men, women and children of Iraq.
It is important to keep this in background. We have to know what to expect from a quarter which is morally bankrupt.
As for theory concerning 90 vestigial organs, it is little more than scientific humbug. It is not worth taken serious. Nevertheless, since some sort of answer is expected from the Islamists, let us, in the same spirit, that is, taking it lightly, tell the scientists that this is only a theory, and so, of no importance. After all, science and scientists have been carrying several theories in their bags – just as the magician’s bag – since past few decades without any progress. So, we pay no undue attention to a theory, except that when we do, we ask the scientist to convert it into a fact, or see his way out, along with his bag, which has begun to stink.
But one of them might protest and say, “If it was a mere theory without good amount of data in its support, we wouldn’t be discussing it.” So, let us assume the vestigial theory is very close to a fact, or almost a fact, as the Evolutionary Theory they claim is.
If this is the situation, we suggest the following as treatment for this madness. Get a volunteer scientist. (Scientists are known for heroically experimenting first on themselves). Having found one, let us remove all his 90 vestigial organs.
The volunteer might say, “OK. Here I am. Do the experiments on me. To start with, remove my appendix.”
We say no to this method, out of mercy to him, because, following the method he suggests, (we are sure he is guileless), he will have to undergo 90 operations. Opening up his body 90 times will surely kill him. So, let him get rid of 90 vestigial organs in one shot. What will remain of him will help us distinguish between theories and facts.
Now, let us team up and look for a volunteer. Next time somebody talks about vestigial theory, tell him we are looking for a volunteer.
Is the reading of daily newspapers, most of which have obscene pictures, allowed for a Muslim, keeping in view the competitive educational needs of students?
You could not have put the need for Muslim press on Islamic rules more eloquently.
As for competitive educational needs, could those Muslims who fail their tests so often, and in such large numbers, be sharing this idea? Competitiveness comes from study of hard core text books. Where one is prescribed, you study two others. That is how non-Muslims come on top against Indian Muslims.
Munaf Abdul, via email
I am very depressed in my life because of my father who sells liquor and indulges in other unethical practices. My mother is quite pious. Please tell me what should I do?
You should speak to some of the Da`wah workers in your neighborhood to try and change your father.
We have removed much of your letter detailing the problems; in view of which we might remind you that your responsibility concerning yourself is greater. Are you developing your own self? This should worry you more than your father, who is, after all, answerable for himself. Your present worries should not detract you from improving your own personality all around. Your father – undeniably an important figure for you at this age – is, after all not your life-partner. It is your inner self, the person within.
Salma, via email
I am an ardent and regular reader of your magazine. Let me compliment you on the excellent work that you all are doing.
I am 29-yr-old girl who is also a software programmer. My mother is a converted Muslim lady who follows Islam as if she was born into it. Due to my mother’s background, my parents faced a lot of problems when it came to my marriage. But Allah was merciful. A net friend of mine proposed marriage to his younger brother. The only problem was he was in Sydney but his basic roots were from Pakistan.
At that time, the situation b/w our countries were not so good as it is now. So both the families agreed to nikah over phone. But due to various reasons, it’s two years now but we have not seen each other. We are constantly in touch over the phone and letters. Some relatives said that such a marriage is not valid. Some others say that if the marriage is not consummated during the first 40 days of nikah, then our marriage is invalidated.
Please let me know what is the right thing to do. For me and my husband, it doesn’t make any difference because we have come to love each other dearly over this period of 2 years.
Except that you two are the best to decide about when to get together, there is nothing that we can suggest, nor do we see anything wrong – although something curious – in your electronic relationship.
As for the 40-day limit for consummation, the thing is, Muslims have somehow become fond of the number forty, and pick up stories – or concoct them if necessary – fitting the number in it.
That apart, ignorance of Islam seems to have reached its peak in India. It seems there are thousands in every neighborhood, including the so-called practicing Muslims, who are not familiar with, not to speak of the Qur’an and hadith, but even the simplest possible biography of the Prophet in whom they say they believe.
Anyone who has read the shortest life of the Prophet knows that he married `A’isha at Makkah, and took her into his household only at Madinah some three years later. Umm Habibah’s is another case in point. You are a new Muslim and so excusable – to a degree. But, is there not a single individual among a thousand around you to prevent the circulation of this kind of “marriage rules?” Obviously, there is none, otherwise such dictums will not circulate in the society for long.
Those who work for Islam need to look hard into the system they propagate: it seems to be one which does not address basic issues. Despite hundreds of thousands brought together under one tent for religious instruction and subsequent training, if the society is still infested with such superstitions, then, we can conclude that there is need to look where we are going. As a whole the Muslim society in India is incomparably poor when measured against the Arab world.
A Psychic Patient
Ahmed, via email
I got married but within six months we two are unable to cope with each other, with my wife having spent nearly 4 months out of 6 in her mom’s house. The reason being that I have been suffering from some sort of depression since 1995. Under these circumstances, the only way out is divorce. Kindly tell me what the best way out for me.
It is obvious that you need to cure yourself of whatever you suffer, before taking any action related to far reaching consequences.
I visited a website namely www.submission.org as I know only a very little about Islam. So I didn’t read that website. I request you to study it carefully because it is about Islam. Please send me a reply mail after coming to a conclusion.
Muhammad Salauddin, via email
We wish we had time and energy, and the resources, to act according to your wishes, busy as we are. At all events, Internet is for information, and not for education. Reading, for instance, Mawlana Mawdudi’s book “Towards Understanding Islam,” or “The Sealed Nectar” by Mubarkpuri, will do to you what hours spent on Internet cannot. This is only an example. The rest you can guess.
I used to live in Jeddah. My husband left me in India 2 years back and took away my kid also. He has married another woman and does not fulfill his responsibilities towards me. I have asked him to give me a divorce or a khul`. But he does not agree to either, because I think he wants to torture me.
I want to know what does the shariah say about such a situation? I want to get married to another person as I am fed up. Going to courts does not help because the issue gets delayed for several years.
So please suggest some way that I can be declared a free woman.
Tanveer Jahan, via email
It is not proper on our part to interfere in the affairs of a pair. It is the core members of the family who know and understand the situation; after all, it is they who would have fixed up your marriage. They must come to your aid now and do what is needful.
We cannot agree with you that you have been left hung because your husband wishes to torture you: unless he has suffered at your hands and is now taking revenge. Otherwise, and normally, people wish to get rid of a troublesome affair to give themselves peace of mind. It is possible that your husband is having trouble with the second wife too and is weighing between you two: which one should he spend the rest of his life with? There could be other reasons. This is what your family members must explore. If the seniors come to a conclusion, they will know how to go about joining you or releasing you.
You are right about the courts. They will not help. They have failed – all over the world. Islamic system of reconciliation or separation yields the best possible results in most adverse conditions.
Obviously, once the family members take up the issue, they will apply several kinds of pressures on your in-laws, who in turn will pressurize your husband to end the issue one way or another.
We advise you at this juncture to make best use of your time. While the process of re-joining, or separation goes on, apply yourself to Islamic literature, learn a few secular arts, educate yourself, offer services to the poor and the needy, and thus give depth to your personality. Come alive. This is golden time. Once the issue is settled, and either you go back to the present husband, or find a new one, the humdrum of life will not allow you the leisure of study, service and development. Otherwise too, life has to go on, into the meadows and fields, mountains and seas, family and society, with or without a husband. Alone we come, and alone we go.
I am addicted to porn on Internet which leads me to unnatural acts. Is there any law in Islam against ..bation?
Anonymous, via email
Life and society are not built on laws. They are built on realism, rationalism and hard work guided by moral principles. For example, if one is realistic, he sets achievable goals for himself, uses reason to decide what he should be doing at any hour of the day and what not, and then, goes about working hard to achieve the objectives, instead of wasting his hours over obscenities. (Why should I be a gazer and not an actor? he asks himself). Such a man achieves, if not the over-ambitious goals, but, at least, and for sure, something proportionate to his efforts. That puts him in a position from where he can enjoy this life in the true sense, which in your case, and to deal with only one aspect, can be through marriage.
Your problem is the problem of a large number of Muslim youths – universally, who ruined their lives by preferring to opt for the immediate, rather than the future. The bitter truth they could not confront, but, instead, persisted on their own rules of the game, was that, either you run the race along with the multitude, or you will be trampled over. A time comes when even staring at porn becomes a luxury, beyond reach, for want of pocket strength. Life is too real, and spares none. If these lines do not make much sense to someone, then, little there is that Islamic laws will help.
A Tall Order
I want to know the details of mahar and the dealings of properties. Please mail me back with full details and touch all aspects of the above said topics and from all angles.
Muhammad Salauddin, via email
This is a tall order. Why should you not obtain a book say, “The Family Structure of Islam” by `Abdullah `Ati, or “The Islamic Shari`ah”.