Letters to the Editor
S. Ahmed, via email
I have a few questions regarding the procedure by which a non-Muslim who is interested in embracing Islam can do it. I am surprised that none of your issues have featured this.
Embracing Islam happens to be one of the simplest things possible. One has to admit and acknowledge in his (or her) heart that God is one and Muhammad is His Messenger. The moment one admits and acknowledges this at heart, he is a Muslim, even if he did not pronounce it, did not inform anyone. If he dies, he dies a Muslim. Faith is between him and his Lord, and the Lord knows what is in the hearts.
However, for the Muslim community to identify someone as a Muslim, he has to pronounce the testimony. Mere avowal at heart will save him from the Fire of Hell, but will not save him from being marked as non-Muslim. He must pronounce the words in Arabic:
لا إله إلاالله محمد الرسول الله
(La ilaaha ill’Allah, muhammadur-rasool’Allah].
“There is no God (worthy of worship and obedience) save Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”
The above is with reference to conversion, or reversion as the pedantic prefer to say, but not to staying Muslim. To remain Muslim, Salah and Zakah are absolutely minimum requirement.
Is it mandatory to change the name in all official documents (passport/marks cards/ID cards etc.) after becoming a Muslim or can those be retained for convenience?
It is not mandatory to change the identity cards if there is threat to one’s person, job, or business. However, this should not last long. Sooner or later, one must overcome such difficulties and get his papers changed. He must identify himself as a Muslim, draw the benefits and bear the material disadvantages if there be any.
Is circumcision mandatory?
No, it is not mandatory especially if it is an elderly person. A younger man may consider it got done.
I am a regular reader of YMD. If Hitler killed 6 million, then (what about) Bush?
Aejaz, via email
What about Bush? Since Bush has not completed the numbers, the Western world could appoint him to lead the UN sometime in future, so that he can start off more wars and break the previous record. After all, the Western governments knew very well what was going on in Germany while the Jews were being roasted in ovens, but pretended not to know anything. Was Hitler doing what they thought was a reasonable solution?
I am an engineering student. I have fallen in love with a 18 years old girl while I am 20. I am a Muslim and I have good faith in Allah. But after I have fallen in love, I feel that it is not good for a Muslim. Yet our love is true. I will definitely marry her alone. So please help me. Is love possible in Islam? Am I on a right way?
Mohammed Faisal, via email
If prior to falling in love, you had not met with the girl intimately, but rather, simply came across her accidentally, and immediately fell in love, then Islamically there is nothing wrong in it. But if you spotted the girl somewhere, decided to increase intimacy, and so met her privately, (i.e., without there being a third), and then fell in love, then this is un-Islamic. It promises you troubles in future life.
There is a third possibility: you never fell in love, but rather, you met the girl, liked her, because she sounded OK from various angles, and so decided to marry her. This falling in love is not “falling in love” proper. You are not in love, and the decision to marry her might prove right, might prove wrong. All things unchanged until marriage, it is likely to be a wrong choice. If one or the other of the two repent, turn to Allah, seek his forgiveness, reform himself or herself, then, it may yet prove to be a successful marriage: not only in the sense of you two not running into discord, but in the overall sense of a marriage being successful.
Alhamdulillah, YMD is outstanding. I have been reading it since ’96. Many congratulations to you and your staff. Dr. Iqbal, you have, MaashAllah, written beautifully, honestly and persuasively on almost every topic under the sun. Now I think we need someone of your caliber to comment on the fitnah being spread by Dr. Tahir ul-Quadri of Minhaj Quran Foundation. I am sure you will do yet another commendable editorial on a “scholar” who talks about preserving “milad shareef” and “giyarhween shareef“.
Fatima Ahmed, via email
We regret that YMD is not so well acquainted with the writings of Tahirul Quadri. Can you kindly cite the best of his titles so that a proper refutation could be offered by our editor? If you can send us a few of his outstanding books, it would be all the better.
Presently I am working in Dubai, as an Asst. Accountant in an MNC company. Is working as an Accountant permissible in Islam? Please reply soon as many people from across the world are asking this question. Hope I may receive your mail soon. Pray for me and for my mother for better health.
Ashfaque, via email
Working as an accountant is perfectly alright. But what is an MNC company? And why people from across the world are asking about it?
Please answer my question. Can we invest in shares, as by buying a share in a company, we become a share holder of that company? So please answer in detail. And my other question is: can we take loans?
Samina Firdose, via email
It is absolutely alright to buy shares of companies engaged in Halal business.
As for the second question: Do you mean you can take bank-loan on interest? If that is your question then the answer is no.
Apart from it being Islamically disallowed, are you not aware of the ongoing financial crisis that has resulted in the losses to the tune of trillions? Aren’t the interest-laden transactions and speculative deals the main causes?
Taher Pasha, via email
I want to know whether purchasing of gold or crude oil in commodities by keeping margin amount is a halal in Islam in MCX NCDX market. Whether short selling is allowed in Islam before purchase? What about the future contract in Islam?
By MCX perhaps you mean “Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd,” and by NCDX you mean NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange). Kindly send us their trading rules for us to offer any comment.
As regards short selling, it is not allowable in Islam since, firstly, Islam does not allow the sale of a commodity that one does not own. Secondly, short selling seems to be a transaction of speculative nature.
Your third question is unclear to us.
Please visit the site http://www.faithfreedom.org/gallery.htm. This shows some nonsense and wrong things about ISLAM. All pictures are carefully taken and the comment gives a wrong meaning to those pictures. They also show some pictures and cartoons of Muhammad (SWS). The author promises to remove them if proven wrong. I know they are wrong, but need very strong proofs. My humble request to you is – please provide them the proper proof.
Shazia Tarafdar, via email
Kindly visit the following site for a complete rebuttal:
A man has gone to the Supreme Court in USA for divorce due to the misunderstandings with his wife. Both husband and wife are green card holders. Now I am having my own doubt whether American courts judgement is acceptable in “SHARIYAT” (Islam). Since “talaq” procedure is not followed being a uniform law for all. Please suggest.
S. I., via email
The issues involved are far from simple; and a direct simple answer is out of the question. But it requires attention. To put it as briefly as possible:
There can be two situations which force husband or wife to apply to the secular court: (i) one or both the partners do not agree to an Islamic way of solution because the Shari`ah judgment (whatever it happens to be) is not acceptable; (b) the Shari`ah court, or local `Imarah or Fiqh Council, are unable to understand the modern complications, especially when psychological or psychiatric disorders on the part of one or both sides are involved, and, therefore, are unable to issue a proper judgment, leaving one or both parties dissatisfied and looking for an alternative course of action.
If the refusal for applying to the Shari`ah court is because one or both the parties see some disadvantage in its ruling, then either one or both are fasiq. At the other end, if one or the other thinks that Allah’s laws are inadequate, then he or she is an unbeliever: “And he who does not rule by what Allah has sent down, then .. such .. they are the unbelievers.” (The Qur’an)
Before this or that option, however, the right way of resolving marital discord (if it is a discord proper, and not a case of one or both being mentally abnormal), is to appoint two able persons as mediators: one from each side. They should be honest, men of character, experienced, and conversant with Islamic Family Laws.
But, as we know, to look for such men, in today’s society, is to be looking for herbal plants in the city park: beautiful trees, but unworthy as firewood, and unworthy as medicinal plants. Therefore, the two may seek men outside their families: perhaps a knowledgeable person here, perhaps another there, and appoint them as referees.
If such individuals are not found, which is quite likely, then they may approach the Shari`ah court. But courts are not the best place for solving marital discords. The officials are nonchalant, tired, bored, and overwhelmed with cases. They may first open a file right four weeks after the entry, and then, once every 3-4 months for a hearing that is quickly adjourned. Therefore, the two may lower their expectations for a quick resolve.
But worse. They might discover that the Shari`ah court is unable to fully understand the complexities, especially when one or both of the contending parties suffers from some kind of psychological or psychiatric disorder, which indeed happens to explain the multiplicity of cases in our times. The religious class is almost always quite (if not totally) ignorant of modern psychological sciences.
If such happens to be the case, then the two parties are back to square one. They may now resort to consultations at the societal level, (instead of at the family level) where the problem should be presented to a learned man of the society who understands both the Shari`ah Law, as well as modern mental problems. He should be given every possible detail, while he seeks every bit of information that will help in the understanding of the true social and mental states of the two individuals involved. He should be allowed enough time to brood over, as well as remain constantly in touch with the two warring individuals. He may also consult a psychologist or a Family Consultant, even if they happen to be non-Muslim. Finally, he may pronounce his opinion which may be imposed on the two by the two families.
These steps make it elaborate, but closer to arriving at a just solution. Where none of the alternatives above are available, and the only remaining alternative is the secular courts, then, instead of rushing to them, they should show patience, travel out of the country to another, where a Shari`a court or wise individuals are available, and seek their help.
Finally, if all sources are exhausted, (i.e., neither qualified family members, nor there is access to a Shari`ah court, nor yet to a learned individual, and the only solution is the secular court), then telephonic, postal and e-mailing method should be adopted. That is, without traveling out, the differing parties should get the ruling from learned person(s) abroad.
But what if none of the above works? Can they go to a secular court? This is a difficult question; and saying yes will afford excuse for many to open the doors. Yet, such situations can arise and the best way out would be to first consult senior members of the society. What do they say? Can they resolve the issue, or should they knock at the secular court? Let them advise. This will either drive a sense of responsibility into them or force out the approval from them (otherwise they make noise in private circles), since, after all, there has to be some solution.
Failing all, and the dispute unresolved, if they are forced to knock at the secular courts, then too it should be merely to enforce the Law on one who may have no regard for Law, and should be merely to try and get the best out of the situation by prolonging the conflict. In other words, it should be to lodge the power of the Law by one’s side, rather than the Law itself. Therefore, the secular court’s judgment may not be applied where it runs in conflict with the Shari`ah Law.
I am trying benefit for our Muslim Society. I do not have any strength and machinery to work for Islam. There are many rich and learned Muslim people who are within your reach. On behalf of common and poor Muslim people, I deeply request you to convince some rich people and establish a FM Radio Broadcasting of 24 Hrs Qurán Tilawat All India Wide. (FM is better than AM, Noise Free).
To save the ears of the common Muslims from, disbelievers’ voices, narrow and harmful talks and many unwanted accents, 24 hrs radio broadcasting of Qurán Tilawat is absolutely needed. It will help to uplift and to strengthen Islamic faith, Culture and Muslim Characters. As you know, the Islamic Programs in TV makes the home a happy, peaceful and fills with enriched Islamic culture. But outside home, on travel (Roads, Buses, Trains, etc.) and at various junctures. Only Radio can be of great help. It will also help the poor Muslim homes who can afford to radio only. It will also help Muslims from many multifaced harmfulness of the Society we are living.
Ahad Samad, via email
We do not agree with you that programs on the TV make homes happy, peaceful and enrich them with Islamic culture. No such thing is achieved with the help of the TV. At best it saves people from watching programs that are more harmful. It is the lesser evil, and not a virtue. TV has been proved to be a poor educational tool.
However, we do agree and endorse the idea of a FM radio channel that not only relays the Qur’an, but also its commentary and speeches, or readings from scholarly books or speeches by scholars that have secured the approval of scholars higher than them.
I’m a B.com 2nd year student and a regular reader of YMD. I am facing a dilemma.
To make it short, I fell in love with a girl and we soon started dating. We decided to get married. However my family rejected her on the grounds that she didn’t belong to the right background. A week later I asked her to meet me & that’s when her ex-boyfriend confronted her wanting to know who I was? The scene turned messy & I walked away. My girl friend tried to convince me that the guy was nothing more that a friend. She has even apologized to me but somehow I’m not convinced & have lost faith in her. Please advice.
Muhammad Imran, via email
Your loss of faith combines with our loss of faith. We disapprove of the whole affair.