Letters to the Editor

Q: Is piercing a body allowed in Islam?

Muhammad Azhan,
On Email

YMD

We do not know what it is that you are referring to. If you mean piercing the noses and ears, then the answer is: yes, it is allowed for female Muslims, if they wish to wear jewellery.

As for males, it wouldn’t be allowable for them to pierce their noses or ears in order to wear jewellery. Their act of appearing like females, is disapproved.

However, if they grow full-length and full-fledged beards, they could perhaps wear jewellery in their noses and ears, since then they would not be resembling females.

Therefore, their children may not be forced to undergo such piercing, until they have reached the age of puberty, and, in addition, grown full-length and full-fledged beards.

Piercing of the body, however, as they do in medical practice of the whole body with irradiated needles, as treatment for diseases,is allowable.

So also, the Chinese method of piercing a body at particle places with a needle, known as acupuncture, is also allowable.

Nevertheless, piercing the body to fill in with some material for reasons of decoration would not be allowable. The Prophet has specifically disallowed it.

In the Western world, wearing of jewelleries by males is becoming common for two reasons:

  1. The masculinity of their males is declining, and
  2. By disfiguring themselves, they seek proximity to Lucifer.

Q: I shall be glad if you will kindly clarify whether the terms we are now regularly using ‘Allah Hafeez’ and ‘Khuda Hafeez’ were also used during the time of our Prophet (saws).

M.A. Rahiman,
On Email

YMD

The majority of the Salaf (the Companions and their two generation followers), would say, ‘Al-Salamu `Alaykum’ when they met and when they departed. Some would say, ‘Al-salamu `alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuhu’ when they met and when they departed.

The characteristic of present-day Ummah is that they will kill each other for a small pretext by the thousands, but insist on their self-defined correctness on issues that are no issues. They can see a needle in another’s eye but not a log of their own eyes; so they cast a critical eye on a practice, and declare it a deviation, where no deviation occurs.

Q: What are the options of wealth investment for Muslims who do not want to engage in Riba’ like FD, Mutual fund etc.?

Syed Farhan,
On Email

YMD

Far from profitable investments, the feedback we are getting from the markets is that no investment is safe in India, not even savings in banks. This partly explains the flight of capital, in tens of thousands of crores that has been siphoned out of India last year by the investors.

Thugs have infiltrated into business transaction institutions, where it’s Ponzi schemes galore. Or, perhaps, the heads and operators have become eagles that can sight loose money and funds, down the range– as eagles can sight lizards from the sky – and then manipulate the funds. If they succeed in creating profits, good. If they fail, then also good. Money has come any way.

May be these are exaggerated observations, but if they are half-true, they are scary.

So, you may ask: what’s the solution? Well, several:

  1. Exit from the greedy world’s company expecting to slug in on an arm-chair while others slog and sweat for them to produce profits out of their funds.
  2. Preach and practice honesty among Muslims. Their Lord disapproves of dishonesty and the dishonest.
  3. Promote charity.
  4. Learn hard work.
  5. Join together and start your own business, and
  6. Reap the benefits of your ventures: in this world, and the Next.

Q: I want to ask a question: Are tattoos haram in Islam? 

Shaik Farhan,
On Email

YMD

Tattoos are neither Halal nor Haram in Islam.

Those that depict humans, animals, or demons, would be Haram.

Those that depict religious figures or symbols would be Haram too.

Those that will cover the whole body would also be Haram or highly questionable.

Also, such of them that are so horribly ugly and fearful that they’d attract Devil’s attention would be disallowed. They are also disagreeable to majority of women.

Q: There are many isolated tribes in the world. According to the anthropologists, some of these tribes like Sentelese in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have resisted contact with the outside world for thousands of years till this time. I have following two questions regarding these people:1. Will the un-contacted/isolated tribes be held accountable on the Day of Judgment?

YMD

If these tribes knew that there is someone, from the seven billion humanity, who is concerned about them, surely they would declare a day a national holiday for celebration.

That said, the tribes being cut off from the rest of humanity, is no proof that there never appeared in their history warners rising from among themselves. Allah (swt) has said in the Qur’an (35: 24) that every Ummah has had its own warner.

Further, you may lower your concern and, perhaps, grief,to recall that Allah (swt) will do no injustice to any, by the littlest.

Nonetheless, there are a variety of opinions, perhaps reflecting variety of those who – presumably –did not receive any message. Of several, one opinion is that they will be resurrected, subjected to a test, and their fate decided.

Q: Has there been any prophet sent to them since there has been no contact with the outside world?

Gulzar Bhat,
On Email

YMD

The answer to the assumption is: How do you know?

Q: How can one believe in the evil-eye, and its consequences, but not engender mistrust towards his/her relations?

Syed Taha Hashmi,
On Email

YMD

In our times, evil-eye is a truth and a bluff.

It is a truth that evil-eye is dead.

When a Bedouin traveled on his camel, wildly swaying left and right, forward and backward, shaking his bones, sinews and tendon, stiffened to steel-strength on a journey 60 km. long … under 55oC, braving poisoning winds, blowing hard in the face, draining out every drop of body liquid, sucking and drinking from a wound in his camel’s thighs to quench his thirst, resting in the evening on a rocky, stony land, shivering the night at desert temperatures below the freezing point, braving ice-cold winds: then emerged a person, a brute left with no flesh, all muscles and bone, who, if he cast an eye on someone intensely, the victim fell fevered. That was the true evil-eye.

Modern men and women, fed on artificially produced white flesh and equally artificial fodder, which they call vegetables, responding to a blast of cold wind with wet noses and a dozen sneezes, unable to walk through a comfortable three kilometer journey across a park, old and cold at 40, building a personality that can cast an evil-eye, intently and intensely, but a bluff in quality, on a victim who cannot differentiate between common cold and evil-eye, do create a bluff evil-eye. The victims of such an evil-eye, need to line up at the local clinic.

Q: Appreciate if you let me know what all tax savings investment options can Muslims take, to minimise the tax impact.

Syed Irfan Ali,
On Email

YMD

Sorry, we are more involved in a System of State Administration, that declares taxing, of any kind, as illegal, a system of law and practice laid down by the final Prophet (peace on him) who declared, “He (of the rulers) who taxed (his subjects) will not enter Paradise” … We are more involved in this system than the modern Jahiliyy systems, to be able to show ways of escape from their angelic grip.

You may rather, consult lawyers who specialize in these affairs, who, we are told, will charge you a paltry sum amounting to around 50% (only) of the savings, if achieved, with a premium in advance.

Q: Earnestly answer my questions:Recently one of my cousins died of Leukaemia. Suddenly, my mind turned towards the apparent injustice prevalent in nature. It reminded me of a quote of Richard Dawkins that “distress is a part of evolution” (during a debate he was having).

YMD

Dawkins plays by the rule: “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

When someone dies of a disease, he would ask, “Isn’t your God supposed to be merciful?”

But when asked, “Isn’t the genes heartless and senseless to bring in such a disease as Leukaemia (since after all, according to Dawkins, genes are responsible for every action in the body)? He will answer, “Distress is a part of evolution.”

At all events, how come you have time for Dawkins, but no time for Imam Ghazali?

Q: Now my question is: Is it really that GOD who puts a person through such a hardship,isn’t it against His claims of love and mercy?

YMD

Could a virus address you to ask, “Why is it that you are trying to go to the moon?”

No. It will not be allowed to ask such a question, if given a tongue. You will rub it out of existence, if it did.

Your Lord, if you knew Him, is above any questioning. If you gathered together all the humans, Jinn, animals, and angels, in a single place, they are no more than a virus in Allah’s sight. He is the Lord of the Universe whose length and breadth you cannot measure, whose stars and planets you cannot count, whose light at one end will never reach you, no matter how many billions of years you waited, whose quantum particles cannot be predicted for their behaviour, whose substance and nature, whether waves or particles, you cannot determine; yet, He uses them in 100 trillion cells to work through metabolism, according to His command, His plan, His design. He reminds us:

“And your Lord creates what He will, and chooses. Not for them was the choice. Glory to Allah, high above that they associate (with Him).” (28:68)

Q: This episode has opened a Pandora’s box for me. It shattered my faith from roots.

YMD

If true then, perhaps, and to begin with,you never had any ‘faith’ to be shattered. True faith can never be shattered.

You need to enter a mosque at a quiet time, sit down, and enter into Islam. Note the word: “enter” and not “re-enter” because, perhaps, you had never entered at all.

This is based on an ayah or two, apart from many, which says (2: 26),

Surely, Allah is not ashamed of striking the similitude of a gnat or what is above it. As for the believers, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. But, as for the unbelievers, they object:  ‘What did God mean by (striking) such a similitude?’ Allah leads astray many thereby and guides many thereby. And He does not lead astray any thereby but the transgressors.”

And,

“And when the believers saw the confederates (coming to destroy them), they said, ‘This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us; and Allah and His Messenger had spoken the truth.’ It increased them not but in faith and surrender.” (33: 22)

After you have entered into Islam, spend a goodly amount in charity, to offer it as a proof of your sincerity and as expiation.

Q: Isn’t it against the principle of natural justice of all having a levelling playing field and being judged from that?

YMD

Life is not a football game. Life is, what it is, minus your or anyone else’s philosophy. As to why we are here, answers will depend on the level of spiritual development of a man. For the common people, the following should do:

“Blessed is He in whose hand is the dominion, and He has power over all things. He, who created death and life so that He might test you as to which of you is best in deed; and He is the All-mighty, the All-forgiving.” (67: 1-2)

So, as common men (duffers), let us submit and come up with the qualifying deeds, plenty of them, worry not how the Creator runs His world, and be done with it. Let us fear the day when, for all our rebellion, four angels may lift us by our four limbs, give us a swing and dump us in the Fire: gone, finished, and forgotten.

Q: If predestination is really at work…whether at individual level or collective level, as you put it… (I really didn’t understand that dichotomy), “Isn’t it like the BIG BANG origin of universe paradox” of science? Could you dwell a bit more on it?

XXX,
On Email

YMD

The Bing Bang Theory, after invading every home, is now losing ground and not scientific theories. Scientifically, the Big Bang Theory doesn’t work. It is Qur’an and authentic Sunan that are on firm grounds (if understood properly). Scientific theories of this nature are, at best, a good guess.

Further, we do not understand what you mean by ‘paradox.’