Letters to the Editor

Shaytan is the Third

S. S., via email

I have seen the Young Muslim Digest. I need some consultation from your end. I want to marry a woman. The details about her are:

1. Immediately after birth in a hospital, her (unknown) mother put her into dustbin.

2. She was adopted by a Muslims family.

3. They also had three sons.

4. After schooling, most of the time she was at home doing house hold work (they use to treat her as if she was the maid-servant).

5. When she was 18, they forced her to get married to their eldest son.

6. Now the husband is in Dubai and says he follows the instructions of his parents.

7. After 8 years of marriage she has two daughters. But she disapproves of the marriage itself because she thinks her husband is her brother.

8. Her parents use to tell that she is “our baity bhi aur bahoo bhi (daughter as well as daughter-in-law)” with pride.

9. I met her a year ago and we became good friends

10. Now I have decided to marry her. I am ready to adopt her two children. We are trying to get her divorced.

Is that allowed in Islam?


If you had remembered the Prophet’s hadith that when a (non-mahram) man and woman meet in privacy, their third is Shaytan, you would have never gone this far.

The lady in question must know that she is no sister to her adoptive father’s sons. Her marriage is Islamically legal. In Islam, it is the womb which determines the legality of conjugal relationships.

The adoptive parents have been more than kind with her to pick her up from the dustbin and marry her to their own dear son.

You say she does not approve of the marriage because she thinks her husband is her brother. But this reason is not convincing in view of her being unfair to her adoptive parents who, she claims, treated her as a housemaid. She ignores the fact that they picked her up from the dustbin and married her to their son.

Probably her marriage is undergoing stress, something that normally happens in every marriage. Your interference, apart from being unlawful, will make things worse. Even if she was truly married to a wrong man, you should not have interfered. Her two daughters will undergo life-long suffering if she separates from her present husband.

You will do very well to cut off all communications with her. If you feel you should do good to a woman, you may marry an orphan-girl picked up from an orphanage. That way, you will be demonstrating your good intentions to your Lord, while satisfying your zeal for doing good.

Whose is Palestine?

Tahsin Sayeed, via email

YMD is a periodical which is read by one and all from first page to the last page. In one of the issues there was an article where in it was mentioned why the Jews/Israel do not have claim over Palestine and why Muslims have a rightful claim over it. It traces historical events and proofs to substantiate the same. My request to you is that please let me know as to in which issue of the YMD it appears. I would like to present a copy of it to a Christian acquaintance of my mine who is belligerent in saying that Palestine has ever been the right of the Christians/Jews and is the bone of contention even before the “Crusade War.” By this he wants to prove that Islam preaches violence and that Muslims have ever been warmongers.


Palestine does not belong to the Jews, or Christians. It does not belong to Muslims either. It belongs to those who are sons of the land. It belongs to the Palestinians.

Palestinians are those who were in Palestine before Abraham, peace be upon him (3,800 years ago); who were there when the Jews arrived from Egypt about 3,300 years ago; who were there when the Christian Romans massacred the Jews in tens of thousands, and banned their entry into Palestine, around 1600 years ago; who were there when the same Christian Romans burnt down Jerusalem, destroyed the Jewish Solomon Temple by its foundation, leaving no trace whatsoever of the Holy Temple, to the frustration of modern day Zionists, who are unable to trace its foundations, despite frenzied digging, including under the Mosque of `Umar and Masjid al-Aqsa – to serve the double purpose of destruction and location.

Palestinians are those who were in Palestine when Muslims entered 1400 years ago; Palestinians are those who were there when Muslim allowed the Jews to re-enter into Palestine (after they were kept out by the Christians for several centuries); Palestinians are those who were there when several kingdoms, sultanates, and empires ruled over their land from the first Islamic century until modern times; who were there when the Jews were 2% of the population at the beginning of the 20th century; who were there when the West deceived the Arabs and stole Palestine from them to create the Israeli state in 1948 (after murdering the Jews by the millions in Europe). Palestinians are those who are still there in Palestine, or have been expelled into Diaspora by the murderous Zionists egged on by the “peaceful” Christian world.

Palestine belongs to the people who have been living in Palestine since 5000 years, never leaving the land for a day; unlike the Christians who first appeared 2,000 years ago, and unlike Jews who appeared as Jews 3,300 years ago to be sent out by the Christians 1500 years ago. Palestine belongs to these ancient sons of the land, whether now living in Palestine or in Diaspora, whether they are Jews, Christians, or Muslims.

If all the Palestinians became Buddhist, Palestine will not belong to Buddhists. It will remain belonging to Palestinians. Their religion plays no part in the issue.

Palestine should be returned to the Palestinians. Refusal to do so is the Mother of all Terrorism. The West has ever been terrorist in regard to Islam and Muslims, ever since the Prophet’s time when the Romans intended to raid Madinah, but the Prophet’s own advance to Tabuk discouraged them.

Every Christian who has an opinion on Palestine, understands the Palestinian issue very well. The man who argues with you, saying Palestine belongs to Jews/Christians, is sure to be aware of the details given above. He is a benign terrorist. The likes of him make up a terrorist nation. Their governments do on their behalf what individual terrorists cannot: murder tens of thousands of innocent Muslims every year.

If you are sure he is outright ignorant, you may ask him to enter into any library and pick up a book on the history of Palestine, covering Jews and their treatment at the hands of the Christians, and their treatment at the hands of the Muslims during the last 15 centuries.

But let him not read much on the Jewish treatment of Palestinians. He might become staunch anti-Jewish.

Spending Time Profitably

M. S., via email

I read you September (2006) edition of YMD discussing the Tableeghi Jamaat. I am not here to discuss about the Tableeghi Jamaat. My Question: Is Fazale Amaal of Shaikh Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandalawi authentic? You seem to always uphold Fazale Amaal, and you talk in indirect speech regarding Fazale Amaal by Zakriya Kandlavi. There are many things in that book which comprises of “SHIRK.” The source reference which is in Arabic is not translated fully in the original version (which is in Urdu), nor is it found fully translated into the other languages (English/ Tamil/ Singhalese). The Arabic source which can be seen in the Old Tamil Editions (untranslated) is itself strangely missing in the new editions in all the languages. [Source:http://www.allaahuakbar.in/article_read.asp?id=490]

There are many mistakes in that book and I have marked it all. If you want to check the mistakes reply me back. I will give you all the quotings and extra wrong sayings. Go to the following link for mistakes: [http://www.allaahuakbar.net/tableegi_jamaat/ghuloo_in_fazail-e-aamaal.htm].  In short: my question is: Is Fazale Amaal by Kandalavi authentic? And should it be read by all Muslims? And why is the book banned in Saudi Arabia? It contains grave errors, then why do we only stick to that book?


Let us be frank. You say there are many mistakes in the book. But, are you a scholar? Obviously not. You are then speaking on other people’s behalf. If that is the case, and most probably that is the case, then you should not be saying, “there are many mistakes in the book.” You should be saying, “I learn that there are many mistakes in the book,” or, “I am told that ..”

You also say that the book is banned in Saudi Arabia. But, since you are more bent on denying the book (not sparing the original which has been edited), you did not care to inquire why and since when. We leave this for you to do. Please let us know the results of your research. Following an inquiry, quite a few people could change their opinions.

As regards shirk in Faza’il-e-A`maal, well, whoever said that about the book does not know how to define shirk.

Instead of learning your Islam from sites such as you mention, you would do well to look into the Qur’an and Hadith.

What we mean is, you have spent a lot of time on marking mistakes in Faza’il-e-A`mal. A far better way of educating yourself would be to take up the Qur’an and list down all the verses that speak of shirk. Done with the Qur’an, you could pick up hadith works: there are a dozen of them. Once again list down all the ahadith that talk of shirk. A good study of the listed ahadith should follow. If you did this exercise, you might (only might) be able to say about a statement in the Faza’il-e-A`mal whether it is shirk or not. (Tafaqquh-fid-deen requires a little bit more than the ability to list).

We have never been vague about the Faza’il-e-A`mal. We say without hesitation that as a starter-material the book is good enough (in the non-Arab world) for family-halaqas. Finished with it, and depending upon the interest the book creates, larger and more serious works of hadith should be taken up for study.

But the above of course, where interest is lacking, which happens to be the case in 9,999 homes out of every 10,000. Where interest is not lacking, there is no need to study the Faza’il-e-A`mal.

What does having “interest” imply? You ask any Muslim and he says he is interested in studying the hadith. Our definition of someone interested in hadith is that it is he or she who reads roughly 2000 hadith every a year.

Hadith Scholars might be unhappy with us over this: at this rate, a person may take 15 years to finish Musnad Ahmed alone. But we are only setting a parameter of judgment: who is interested, who is not interested. We are not setting a parameter for scholarship.

Forced Divorce

I am a student and have a query regarding divorce. I have a friend who married a girl without his or her parents consent. Later the girl’s parents and their friends got their divorce through beating and frightening the boy. They remained separated for one year. Later, the girl managed to go back to the boy and they have a son now. What do they have to do now?

Muzammil, via email


Although we sympathize with the parents, we do not see why they should have used violence to separate the two.

If the two have once again united, then, of course, they have the right. However, hopefully, they got married once again, since the first divorce, even though forced upon them, was valid.

Following the first divorce, if the man had not paid the mahr to the woman, he should do it now. And, if they have not performed a second marriage, they must do it now without any delay. Their co-habitation without a second legally performed marriage is adulteration.

Obviously, they may not make a big fuss of it, as with marriages in general. They may quietly get married in the presence of the girl’s Wali (custodian) and two witnesses, on a new mahr. The Wali can himself perform the ceremony, so as to nip gossip.

If the custodian is unwilling, then, since this is second marriage for the girl, the marriage can take place without the consent of the custodian.

Music and Pictures

Irfan-ul-Ashraf, via email

Today there are some audios and videos of Naat containing music. Is it allowed to listen? If not, then why aren’t these stopped? I am a student of 12th. I have a hobby of collecting interesting pictures and pasting them in my album. Is this allowed?


Music is disallowed in Islam. But clapping, simple tabla sounds, and anything of this class is allowed. If the Na`t of your reference use musical instruments such as pipes, guitar, etc., then listening to them is disallowed, unless you find that they are used sparingly, such as, for instance, in some Qawwalis, where it starts with a little music but as it proceeds, the musical part is dropped off.

With regard to your picture collection, we do not see it as unlawful unless the pictures are those of the living beings. Indeed, one day you might be able to sell your collections at good price if they happen to be of good quality.


Nasir Itagi, via email

Is smoking haram?


According to the Hanafiyyah, smoking is not haram but only strongly disapproved. The Prophet has said that the angels hate the smell that humans hate; and smoking makes the mouth stench. This applies to various kinds of smoking such as, pipe, sheesha (long pipes), direct tobacco-leaf smoking, etc.

As far as cigarette smoking is concerned, it is well-established by modern research that it can lead to lung cancer. In the light of this finding, cigarette smoking reaches the status of haram, though not exactly so for the Hanafiyyah, since a clear injunction about its unlawfulness has not been handed down to us through any of the sources.

Language in Paradise

Mohammad Aalam, via email

My question is: what will be the language of paradise?


That Arabic is the language of the inhabitants of Paradise is widely reported as the opinion of the scholars of the Ummah, including such figures as Ibn `Abbas and Muqatil b. Hayyan. A hadith is also quoted to this effect, but is quite untrustworthy. Most Hadith Doctors seem to be quiet about it.

Ghusl or Wudu?

Do I have to take a Ghusl if I happen to see offensive stuff on TV or in the newspaper? Please give me reply via email.

Anonymous, via email


We regret we do not answer by e-mail. Hopefully, somehow you will be able to read this reply.

If you are referring to the oozing out of ordinary liquid (known as “nadi” or “wadi“), then, it does not entail a ghusl, but a washing of the area and ablution for rituals.

Men and Women in Prayers

I have been a regular reader of your Young Muslim Digest. It’s just that an online friend of mine wants some help about the difference in the way of offering Namaz of men and women. And also, I would like to know whether there is any hadith in Bukhari Shariff or Muslim in this regard.

Shaikh Awase, via email


There are no differences between the contents of the Prayer (Salah) offered by men and women. However, since the earliest times women have adopted ways and postures during Prayers, that suits their dignity and enhances their grace. They do it by narrowing down their physical bulk during every Prayer-posture: standing, bowing, or prostrating. They are advised to especially gather together the bulk of their body while in prostration. They are also required to wear an outer garment during Prayers, loosely wound around them (in today’s Turkish and Iranian style – achieved with a graceful chador), in order to conceal the shape and contour of their body.

In addition, if they are behind an Imam, they may not raise their voices in Aameen, and, if he made a mistake, they are not to verbally alert him, but may do so by clapping though not with zappy zeal, and certainly not in a chorus.

You have asked the answer to be supported with ahadith from Bukhari and Muslim. It is a forthrightly valid request. It is also an innocent request. But those who planted the idea behind the request, were not so innocent. Therefore, a few lines to them, rather than to you:

People hear of the need to the return to the Qur’an and Sunnah. In time, the call is cut down to the Sunnah alone. Then, in time, the Sunnah is cut down to Bukhari and Muslim. This is a clever guise to free the people of many obligations of the Shari`ah with the employment of holy terms. If this is allowed to go unchecked, religion will be reduced to all that Bukhari and Muslim have to offer, which of course, is very little. The Qur’an, being an encapsulated text, is easily ignorable in matters of Law, the greater part of the Shari`ah would then be comfortably set aside as a lethal legacy of the past generations.

Our religion is in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Definitely so. The Qur’an is understood through explanations of the most pious and most knowledgeable of the past, as recorded by the Commentators: Kashshaf, Durr Manthur, Tabari, Qurtubi, Baydawi, Nasafi, Ibn Kathir, and many others. The Qur’an has to be taken along with these exegeses.

Sunnah is not confined to Bukhari and Muslim. There are several other Sahih collections, not to ignore the importance of Muwatta’Musnad of Ahmed and others.

But, has the common man the means, the time, the energy, interest, or the intellect to find out what Islam has to say about an issue? Can he work out a religious ruling in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah? Obviously not. So, what’s the solution? The answer is, don’t get panic. The four schools of Fiqh have, over centuries, burnt their night oil doing the fine job of coding the Shari`ah. Look into any of their major works to get your answers.

Yet, the common man’s responsibility is not over. Yes, he may and should look into the Law books for religious rulings. But religious rulings are not all that there is to Islam. Its scope is much wider, much higher, more sublime, touching areas that the common people fail to see how. For realizing this “how,” even a common man must study the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is what is meant when Qur’an and Sunnah are emphasized by the scholars; and not merely reliance on ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim, especially, when the unintended intention is to slash off that part of the Shari`ah that cannot be directly supported by ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim. Already there are some among Muslims who think Bukhari and Muslim must be re-edited and shorter, more trustworthy versions should be brought out. Of course, they mean, as the first step.

We are not in step with them, and hence this short digression.

Why Are We Here?

I feel worried over the question, “why am I here?” Alright, Adam (asws) made a mistake and so was sent out. But, what is the fault of his progeny. Now, if it is said that we are here to worship Allah, then, this is what the angels do; why should we be created for this purpose?

Now, we are told that we are on test here. But, what was the point in creating some people and then sending them to Hell for not worshiping Allah? What does Allah get out of it? Obviously, He is not pleased by the suffering of His slaves.

I am so worried by these questions that I do not perform my Prayers well, and my other good deeds are also affected.

I have tried my best to resolve these questions, but despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to work out an answer.

Anonymous (name withheld on request of questioner)


Supposing you are confined in a prison and not told why: like those in Guantanamo. Will you stop doing any good to fellow prisoners, or the idiots standing on guard, simply because you do not know why you are in prison?

If you haven’t been able to work out the answer, then, do not belittle yourself. Billions of people before you have taken these questions to their graves, and billions will in the future. And (with due respect to your intelligence) many were and will be brainier than you.

Why haven’t these questions been answered? But perhaps we all know why; and we are sure you know why: Is it that we are too tiny in this vast world to be able to understand it? No. That is not the answer, at least not the full answer. The right answer is, “We are too tiny to be asking such big questions.”

For some more light on the topic, you may please refer to this month’s editorial.

To continue with your questions, you say you are worried over them and unable to offer your Prayers well. On our part we fail to understand why. What the answer to these questions has to do with your religion?

You see, we have to be logical. Is your religion Islam? You will say, “Yes.” O.K. Is it true or false? You will of course say, “It is true.” Then, why should your true religion be affected by your failure to get answers to some questions?

Let us put it another way. Question: Is Islam true? Let us now assume that the answer is: “We do not know.” Question: Alright. Is the Qur’an a revelation? Answer: “We do not know.” Question: But why not? The Qur’an is something of a physical, material, touchable, printable object. It is available at every corner shop. Get hold of a copy and find out whether it is a revelation or did someone write it? (“Someone,” because Muhammad’s name does not appear on the first page as its author). And, do you need decades, or a doctorate degree for research? No. A short, simple research tells you that a human could not have written it. So, the Qur’an, after all, is a revelation.

So, now we can go back to the main point. If the Qur’an is a revelation, then, answers to some of our questions should not affect our attitude towards the commandments in the Qur’an. If the Qur’an says, “Pray”, we pray. If it says, “Put your heart and soul into the Prayers,” we put our heart and soul into the Prayers.

Take another example: Supposing we do not know why we came out of our mother’s wombs at the time we came out, since the scientists are unable to say why, then, how does it affect our devotion to our mothers? Can someone tell his mother: “If the scientists cannot tell me why at all I came out of your womb, I do not think you deserve my devotion?” What will be the answer? It will be: devotion to your mother is required of you because she bore you. That is a fact. If you cannot get an answer from the scientists, you cannot deny a fact – which is that a particular woman is your mother and, therefore, deserves your service.

What has our ignorance of so many things in life to do with the facts of life? What has it to do with fact that the Qur’an is a revelation? Obviously, nothing. Facts and realities do not become fiction because some questions cannot be answered.

The conclusion therefore is, if anyone does not feel like performing Prayers, then, it has something to with his conviction concerning his religion. Instead of looking for answers to his questions, he might rather spend some time on ascertaining whether his religion is true.

Another point that you need to understand is that your questions are your questions. The true religion you follow did not raise these questions to test you for supplying right answers. It only asks you to do good deeds. You raised the question yourself. You must answer them. If you cannot, and others of your kind cannot, then don’t create problems for yourself by asking such questions.

You have also raised some side-issues: “Weren’t the angels enough for worship that humans should have been created?” It is obvious that you did not consider the question before raising it. Allah did not say He created the angels to worship Him. But rather He said, “He did not create Men and Jinn but in order that they may worship Him.”

In any case, if you have to ask questions of this kind, you might as well have asked, “Why were the angels created at all?” Alternatively, you could ask, “Why were the ants created?” Ultimately you could ask, “Why at all any creation?” You see, there is no end to questions; and we do not see why anyone should stop asking questions at any point – like the atheists who ask: “If God exists, why does he not interfere to remove injustice?” – and then they proceed to nod a “yes” for the slaughter of Palestinian, Afghan, and Iraqi women and children.

As for the Qur’anic statement, “I have not created the Jinn and Men but to worship Me,” it is not understood well. The statement is another way of saying, “The Jinn and Men have been created so that they may worship – whenever they worship – Allah alone.” It is another thing that (because they have been given the power to choose), they choose not to worship Allah. This ayah is in the same vein as that of Surah al-Nisa’ (verse 64) which says, “And We did not send a Messenger but that he should be obeyed.” Similarly, Allah did not create the Jinn and Men but that they should be worshiping Him.

We hope you realize that the questions are Satanic suggestions. If you answered one, he will come up with another, and then a third, and fourth, and so on. You have to shut him up at the first question. The one who brought the Revelation said, “Satan comes to one of you and says, ‘Who made the world?’ The poor, ambushed man answers, ‘Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic created it.’ Then he asks, ‘Who created the earth?’ He answers, ‘Allah.’ Then he asks, ‘Alright. Who created Allah?’ When that happens, say, ‘I believe in Allah and His Messenger.'”

Note the beauty in the final sentence. When there is a question you cannot answer, re-confirm your faith in Allah and His Messenger. Go back to a palpable miracle: the Qur’an. Look harder, deeper. Burn your midnight oil. Open the inner eyes. Get back your lost faith – by the means suggested by the faith.

Beauty Parlor

Our beauty parlour activities are as follows: Mehandi Designing, Waxing, Facial Bleaching, Hair Cutting, Eyebrows trimming, Hair Dying, Decorating a Bride etc. One of our cousins tells us that to begin with women’s earnings are Haraam in Islam. Further, it is prohibited in Islam to cut the hair of a woman short, as well as trimming the eyebrows, using nail polish which contains Pig’s. Please tell me which activities should I do and which not?

Farahuddin Sultana, via email


It is not right to say that women’s earnings are unlawful. Not only they are lawful, they should be encouraged to do something or the other at home to keep themselves engaged and to lessen the economic burden where the need is.

As regards the activities you have listed, we do not see anything wrong in any one of them except for trimming of the eye-brows, which seems to fall on the border line.

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