Letters to the Editor
Q: I am a doctor. I got married a month back after lot of difficulties to a person whom I liked after parents approval as they refused initially because he was not doctor and was Kashmiri. So for marriage to happen I prayed to Allah that if we get married we will not have physical relation until we both finish three month fasting, four Qur’an recitations, three days of I`tikaaf, if possible go in Jamaat, and make our child Hafiz-e-Qur’an. So still we didn’t have any relation and am feeling bad and scared as I am not fulfilling my husband’s duties by doing this. In fact, he has understood and agreed for this. Please I want to know if there is any alternative solution to this. We can read Qur’an and other things, but is there any solution to do something instead of fasting.
Dr H. A.
You have not stated whether this was a proper vow (nadhr) or simply promises to yourselves. If it were promises to yourselves, then, try as best as you can to fulfill and, in the meanwhile, get going with the husband-wife relationship. If it is not a proper nadhr, you or your husband are not obliged to fulfill.
A nadhr is proper nadhr when you speak it out. If it remains in the heart, it is an intention, and no expiation is required for not doing as one intended.
If it was a nadhr, then, was it a single vow that mentioned all of the above details, or were they different vows?
If it was a single proper nadhr, then, feed as expiation (kaffaarah) ten poor individuals with food that you normally eat; or offer the ten a simple pair of clothes each, and go ahead with marital relationship.
If they were different vows, then for each vow the expiation is as above.
If, by any chance, you have already entered into the marital relationship, then, too offer the expiation as above.
Q: Alhamdulillah, it is truly an honour for Muslims here as YMD is based at Bangalore. My supplications are always there for the YMD team. You guys are doing an amazing work, an untiring effort in guiding the Ummah in the right direction. Here are my questions:
1. What are your views about Zakir Naik?
2. Can we watch Peace TV (Islamic Channel by Zakir Naik)?
We do not like to judge people. That is for Allah to do. However, we do express our opinion concerning what a person said or did, if we are specifically asked about it.
We could have answered you in detail, if you had asked about something of the above nature. Thank you for sparing us.
As for the second question, TV watching is, at best, not recommended, if it is not allowable altogether, whether it is Islamic or not.
Further, perforce the TV programs show women on the screen, some in scarves, others not. But their appearance on the screen, unveiled, is haram.
That said, as we hear from people, Peace TV is mostly speeches by a variety of scholars. If that is so, why not listen to their audio-recorded speeches?
Reading a book is definitely a much more beneficial enterprise.
It is sometimes argued that not everyone can read. This is a false pretext for attempting something wrong and a Satanic suggestion to keep people uneducated. True, everybody cannot become a scholar. But everybody can, and in fact, do learn how to read and write. In Kerala as in the West, literacy is almost 100%. So, why impose illiteracy on the people by offering alternatives that are Islamically questionable? Further, if the people are not ‘made’ to read, something or the other, at some time or another, we end up with millions who do not know how to read the Qur’an too. Can the screen dependent media teach them how to read the Qur’an?
Q: Your magazine has been quite useful in clearing doubts and spreading the true message of Islam. I have a few questions that would require your help. These days a lot of Islamic messages are being sent containing the names of Allah, Qur’anic texts and Hadith material through SMS using phones or emails. After reading them, they are usually deleted. Is sending & deleting of such Islamic messages allowed?
We do not see any objection to it.
Q. Is offering Prayers allowed while wearing a watch, ring or spectacles (in gold)?
There are two issues involved: wearing golden articles and Prayers with them on. The former is disallowed, but the latter is allowed. A person sins by wearing golden articles, but Prayers remain valid.
Q. Can platinum rings be worn by men?
Q. Some people wear rings and watches that look like gold but are not really gold or can be artificial gold. Are such gold looking stuff allowed for men?
It is only gold and silver which are disallowed to men, but not everything that shines. Is Islam there to remove the shine of this life?
Q. During marriages, functions like haldi, shukrana, mehndi, and a lot of other rituals are carried out; are they Islamic or newly-invented practices, as I have not read anything about them anywhere in Islamic texts?
These are not rituals, but customs and social practices. They keep women, and women-like men, busy and away from many evils of modern life, even if for a short while. But the money spent is as objectionable as participation by men and women who have a goal in their lives.
Q. Are photography, singing and dancing etc. which are widely done, especially during marriages, functions etc., allowed?
Photography is not allowed. Singing without musical instruments is allowed; and if dancing of men is in the assembly of men, and of women in the assembly of women, and not to any music, it is allowed.
Q. Is wishing and celebrating of birthdays, anniversaries, house warming etc. allowed in Islam?
Wishing somebody for having lost a precious year of his or her life is not such an intelligent thing to do. It is all the more true in case of children. They lose a whole year of innocence, pure joy and happiness, and get closer to maturity which will take away all the pleasures, and impose seriousness, hardships and fears, but, ironically, they are congratulated.
Birthday is not an occasion of celebration, but a moment of sobriety for children, and thoughts of accountability for the matured.
Anniversaries, like, for example, marriage anniversary, deserves that the pair offer special prayers of thanks that they did not separate after one more year of ‘love-and-hate relationship,’ and feed the poor for escaping the disaster.
As regards ‘House-warming,’ it is fully allowed in winter, but not recommended in summer. At other times, de-warming is recommended through opening of the windows.
Q. Is watching TV serials, cartoons for children, comic serials, National Geographic channel about wildlife, world news and Islamic channels like Peace TV etc. allowed?
All that you have lumped together will follow a single rule: picture making is unlawful in Islam. Any product related to it is unlawful.
Scientific films could be allowed since they do not center-in on humans. Children’s programs, if they use mascots or cartoons could also be allowed because the icons and characters shown are not humans. Wildlife films, if they have educational features, should be allowable, but we await a proper fatwa from a body of Fuqaha’ to have a final opinion.
You might note, however, that television is traced as one of the causes of wide spread psychological disorders related to depression.
Q. Once I was in a restaurant, but while having lunch I saw that liquor was being served at another table. Is it allowed to dine in such restaurants?
So long as you are not served liquor in any form, cooked or uncooked, eating in such a restaurant is allowable in situations when wine-free eating houses cannot be found. If available, the choice of wine-infested restaurant is undesirable. With time, as it has happened with the Muslims in the West that, because of their daily dining in restaurants serving wine, their dislike for drinks and drunkards, gradually became numb, and, after a while, they took it to heart as something, being unavoidable, tolerable. It is feared that they would be counted as of same crime, for being associated with it. According to rules, a man found sitting with wine-drinking hubbies, though not drinking himself, would be subjected to the same whipping as the drunkards.
Q. Schools, colleges and offices conduct certain functions where singing and dancing programs are organized. Should we attend such functions?
Preferably not, but if it is school functions where singing and dancing is staged and parents’ presence is necessary, they may go but protest with the school authorities that such programs should not be organized as they have negative impact on the children’s morals. If sufficient number of parents protest, school authorities will be forced to re-think their policies.
But why place your children in such schools? Why not in Muslim schools?
And what, if such a school is not available? Well, open one.
Q. In my college bus, they collect money every year for bus pooja and conduct the ritual with us. I’ve never given them any money nor have I stood with them in their ritual since two years due to which all the people in my bus give me a very stern and a bad look and would not even talk to me. What should I do in such a case?
`Umar b. `Abdul `Aziz, the fifth rightly guided caliph, wrote a letter to his governors regarding certain Islamic ordinances. He ended his letter with the words, “If I am alive, I’ll further explain this issue, but if dead, then I don’t think I am in any great need of your company.”
Stay high in your spirits, keep high your head and translate `Umar II’s words in all your attitudes. The more you show courage, the more your peers will secretly respect you. The more you evince weakness, the less worthy you are in the sight of your Lord and in the sight of His creations. For every stern look, you stare back with a sterner look, and see how they shift their eyes, left, right, back to you, and then, left right again, wishing they had a newspaper to read.
Of course, you should explain your position in a patient and polite manner, play an active and productive part in other constructive activities, and they will gradually change their attitudes towards you. It is he who knows how to take but not how to give back, who is targeted, by Allah’s command.
Q. Can we download Surahs and other Qur’an recitations in a mobile phone and listen to them while we keep our phone in our pockets while travelling?
Yes, that is allowed.
Q. Should we take any precautions while carrying mobiles loaded with the Qur’an?
The Qur’an on electrical gadgets is in digital form, therefore, no special precaution need be observed.
Q. Is it allowed to keep the Qur’an in our baggage?
So long as the baggage is handled respectfully, yes. But if it is thrown around, then better carry it in hand bag.
Q. Is making and distribution of invitation cards during marriages, functions etc. allowed?
The cost of printing cards of invitation should be balanced against the cost of invitation by phone or other means. The method that costs less should be adopted. The methods that cost more are termed as Israf, questionable in the Hereafter. The extravagant are brothers unto the Devils. If pride is involved, then, they are the Devils themselves.
Q. Certain Ayaat and names of ALLAH are found written on invitation cards, brochures and pamphlets which are then thrown into the dustbin or are found lying on the road. What should be done about it?
To print Allah’s Name on an invitation card which smacks of Israf, is a sin upon sin. Mentioning Allah’s Name, at the start of a sin, does not decrease the gravity of a sin, but increases it, doubling the liability to questioning.
Those who throw such materials as which carry Allah’s Name, bear the first responsibility for the desecration. Those who get Allah’s Name printed on such materials as are likely to be thrown around, hold the responsibility too. He who finds them thrown around should pick them up and dispose them properly.
Q. Is wearing of suits, t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, shorts, tie, bow etc. allowed while in offices, marriages, functions, etc. and during prayers?
Wearing of such dresses, especially during social functions, is a sure sign of cultural decay and mental slavery of a people. Their identity as Muslim awaits a signal from Time, to depart.
We have seen what happened in the M.E., especially northern Arabian and African countries. Culturally distancing itself away from Islam, the general population suffered irrecoverable blows on its creative faculty.