Letters to the Editor
Q: What do you do to keep yourself productive and on schedule during quarantine?
A pall of uncertainty hangs like a cloud caused by the pandemic. It hangs around: individual minds, homes, gatherings and societies. People feel as if something is missing. They cannot identify what that ‘something’ is, to be able to fight it out or resist it. But it persists with its presence.
To great many people, this leads to listlessness, procrastinating, postponing and even cancelling their day-to-day affairs. For example, they do not feel like having a hearty dinner. When life’s goal, both short term and long term, is out of sight, then what interest is left for the affairs leading to it?
But, the above is for the common lot. For people who have always had a goal, a target, a mission to their lives, this pandemic, these lock-downs, these vacant days and nights, give them opportunities for attempting what they couldn’t earlier for want of time. They feel that they have more time on hand now than it was the case earlier.
If someone finds oneself less productive and unable to finish the tasks on schedule, then certainly this is a sign of inability to cope with the ennui, with aimlessness and with waywardness: These characteristics were there – all the time – but now they sting like the scorpions after a rainfall.
A believer’s life cannot be imagined to be without a purpose, a goal, and targets that have been set, and there is never a free time to while it away lethargically.
Q. How do you relax yourself when you feel anxious or overwhelmed? We would be very grateful if you answer these questions and contribute towards our blog. Expecting a positive response.
To be anxious means there was something expected to happen, but it did not. Or, the situation does not promise that it is likely to happen. That leads to anxiety. To feel the inability to do is to feel overwhelmed.
The most important correction is to take full charge of oneself. That is, have precise and comprehensive goals – but modest – and accept no failures.
Have a clear-cut plan for executing the goal, and assure yourself that there is no reason not to be achieving it. After all, that goal was set up by yourself, and not achieving it would mean ‘that I am stupid’.
With the accomplishment of one, take up next, and then next. We said that the goals should be – initially – modest. Such as, (tell yourself):
1. Let me take charge of the dishes.
2. Let me give an hour a day to house-keeping.
3. Take charge of the laundry.
4. Get half a dozen of the pot-plants for a little home-garden. Water them, feed them with fertilizers, expose them to sunlight etc. They love those who do, and literally evince their happiness and attachment.
5. Buy a few classical novels, and give each of them at least an hour of reading.
6. Knit a sweater for a poor child in your range.
7. Devote ten minutes to Hadith reading, perhaps Riyad al-Saleheen.
8. Recite at least three verses of the Qur’an every day.
9. If there are children around, form a group and teach them Qur’an and Sunnah for an hour or so.
We cannot make a comprehensive list for you.
There can be many, many, such activities that will keep your mind busy and make you productive.
Q. I have been married since seventeen months now, and there is hardly any month that I don’t regret for marrying. I don’t understand who is at fault – me or my husband. Mine was a love-marriage. My husband is a very good person, but I was never welcomed by my in-laws.
They never showed good gestures or behavior towards me. They always degraded and cursed me even though I try to be good with them. Every time my mother-in-law or sister-in-law visits home, we have a fight. My husband says fight is purely because of me and my mistakes but whenever my in-laws visit my home, they create situations such that I get irritated and furious, eventually disobey my husband and we fight, and it’s not just verbal fight in anger: my husband beats me black and blue. He does not bother who I am or what might be my physical condition at that time.
My in-laws just spark things off and then move aside, and all the blame comes on me. My husband is blindfolded: he doesn’t realise that they provoke me, and he always finds me at fault. The situation now with all this negative environment is that my mind has become so narrow towards them that even if they are talking or referring to someone else, I feel they are saying it to me only. I don’t know if they are actually pointing towards me or taunting me indirectly through others. Because of their behavior I don’t feel that I should be good with them.
When my in-laws are not around, my husband will be too good with me. He says I should just be patient with the behavior of my in-laws. He neither solves things nor he does he want me to do anything about that. I am so mentally pressured that I can’t share this situation of mine with my parents. If they get to know my husband beats me, that my in-laws are never good with me, that they curse me and use foul language – they will get us separated and my husband’s image in front of my parents will get lowered which I don’t want at any cost. I don’t want my husband to have bad relationship with my parents like I have with his parents. And every time we quarrel, my husband says he will divorce me so easily he says Talaq.
I feel so suffocated in this relationship and am unable to conceive due to all these things. Last time when I got pregnant was when it was lockdown and none of my in-laws visited us for two months. Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage then.
All these things are affecting me mentally and physically my husband beating me and saying talaq and talking badly with me is occupying my mind so much that sometimes I feel he just want me for physical pleasure or to get his chores done. He never makes me feel special, he never bought me any gift, he didn’t take me anywhere out. Even when we go out, his family or my family will be along with us.
I feel so hurt and I feel like taking Khula. I don’t know where I am going wrong. No doubt, my husband is a very noble person, but this few bad things suppress his nobility. Please help me fix my married life. If you publish this, please keep my identity hidden.
I forgot to mention that my parent’s house is in Hyderabad and we live in other district. When these things happen with me, nobody from my side will be available for my rescue. Taking this advantage my mother-in-law provokes my husband more; she once said that she will get us separated. I don’t know whether she is really doing that or not, but I always feel that she keeps trying that.
She created negative image of mine in entire family of my in-laws, and they all feel I am wrong. She just tells them about how I react, but never says how she provokes me. Sometimes my husband himself calls my parents to tell about our fight and asks them to come and visit us, but I calm them saying it was just a silly fight. Because I don’t want them to think my husband is bad. I feel my husband thinks there is no one to look after me, and that’s why he treats me like this. But when my parents get involved, it will be the end of the relationship.
Now I somehow manage and things will be normal after few days and again we fight and the cycle has been going on since seventeen months. And due to his aggressive nature, I no longer feel safe with my husband. Please help me fix this. In anticipation of your reply. Jazakallah Khair. Am waiting for your response. As days pass, I’m feeling even more suffocated. For sake of Allah (swt), please help me.
A man who beats his wife, for no moral failure, cannot be a noble man. Far from it. If the Qur’an has allowed husbands to beat their wives, it is those who allow unwelcome males to their houses, and, adding salt to injury, the husband finds one of them sitting on his bed. Any husband would simply want to get rid of the woman immediately, but the Qur’an said, ‘Rather, you beat her up.’
And here is your husband beating you for misbehaving with his parents. Should not the noble family stay out of your life? Let their ‘noble’ son go and live with his parents, every now and then, if he has some nobility in him.
Apart from questions about nobility, your husband is a coward. To beat someone knowing that she can neither defend herself, nor seek anyone’s help or redress, is cowardice. A noble man is defined as someone who comes to the rescue of the weak, rather than exploit the weak.
As your complaint is echoing from many homes, we are publishing the rest of the answer through the editorial of this issue. Kindly refer to it.
Q. Why do we celebrate the Shab-e-Bara’at? What is its significance? Is there any support for this in the Qur’an and Hadith. Please let me know about it. Whether Arabs celebrate this?
There are a number of ahadith on the topic of the Laylatu al-Isra.’ In Urdu, Shab-e-Bara’at. We have several times pointed out in this connection that according to the Doctors of Hadith, none of them turns out to be without blemish, for them to declare any one as pure from defects and so fully trustworthy.
Accordingly, the scholars are divided into two groups. One group, you can say the great majority, says that there are tens of thousands of fully trustworthy ahadith that are beyond our grasp and practice. We cannot, they say, expect the Ummah to look into the questionable ahadith and make it a point to live by them.
The other group – the minor group, though small in number – maintain that since there are multiple, sizable, number of ahadith on the topic, put together there should be some reality behind them even if they are all weak and flimsy.
However, none of the scholars supports all that goes with the occasion in Asian countries, especially in India: Halwa-poori, batasha, visiting the graveyard on the night of 15th, remaining in the mosque the night over, singing out in chorus the salat wa salam to the Prophet [may Allah (swt) forgive them for disturbing his peace – if the information is taken to him by the angels] taking out a procession at night, making the life of the people inconvenient by blocking the roads, and several other practices not sanctioned by Islam to reduce the respect for the Ummah in the eyes of the countrymen, making fools of themselves.
But the clergy persists. They depend on the Jahaalah of the Ummah, and make a living out of them. In the Arab world, it is hard for the clergy to survive, because of prevalence of Arabic, but they survive as trace elements.
Q. This is Amtulsalam, one of your fans of website. I am quite impressed with the content and the amazing efforts from your end which will embrace your lives in both the worlds. It is just an appreciation for you guys.
I am a postgraduate from Hyderabad, just looking out for hadith, encountered with your amazing blogs or site. Thought of sharing Kudos to you. Let me know if I can be of any help in this amazing work. I can write or research, and could do any service and will be grateful if I could contribute any because I can’t be of any financial help to you.
Once again, amazing job, guys! Keep up your good work!
In Arabic/Urdu, it should have been Amatu al-Islam ( اَمَةُ الأِسلام ) meaning a slave-girl of Islam.
As regards your offer to help, you could perhaps, being a post-graduate, send us some literature for the children: interesting, educating and elevating.
If you already have literary interests, you could send us articles, poems, or short-stories.
Q. I am based in a university in Ankara, Turkey. Originally, I am from India. I have an ambitious plan to read the Qur’an afresh and write its messages in psychological manner. I was exploring some platforms for my write-ups to be published regularly.
I checked your website. I saw that you already have Tafsir articles there in your magazine. I am not sure whether you will welcome my offer. If you allow me, I can share with you my first write-up after I get inspiring response from you. Thanks.
Israr Ahmad ,
You are welcome to send us your write-up. However, we believe that you may not wait for our approval. If they are of good quality, someone else will publish them, if we do not.
As for the Tafsir column of the Young Muslim Digest that you refer, are not articles, but Tafsir itself, being presented in installments. The whole Tafsir was first published in 14 volumes, in Bangalore (India), in 1996.