Letters to the Editor
In love with an old man (Issue: YMD Jan 2005)
Abdul Aziz, Riyadh
Ref. YMD, Feb.05 issue, p.5, “In Love with an Old Man.” Your answer is more than excellent, but you did not mention the prohibition in Islam for a woman to marry to a non-muslim. I wish to know whether there is any particular reason?
Instead of abc, we thought we will start with “def”.
On p.7 you have mentioned “In a similar manner you can keep loving him until you die – without ever visiting him.”
Is such a love permitted to a Muslimah?
Permission! Who is looking for permission? In any case, the Qur’an said, “And marry not idolateresses until they believe. Surely, a believing slave‑girl is better than a (free) idolateress, even if she is alluring to you. And give not in marriage (your women) to idolaters until they believe. Surely, a believing slave is better than a (free) idolater even if he is alluring to you. These beckon you to the Fire while Allah beckons you to paradise and pardon by His leave. And He makes clear His commandments to the people; haply so they may remember.”
Note the words “even if she/he is alluring to you.”
With ref. to your words, “There is another suggestion. Since your love is not influenced by lust, as you claim, he will be as good after five years as he is now, or maybe more attractive. So, marry him after five years;”I do understand what you tried to teach her here, no old man will become more attractive after 5 years.
If wrinkles are the line of attraction, increase in love with increase in wrinkles is the likely outcome.
I don’t understand your comment “so, marry him after five years!” Ins’t he after all a non-muslim?
In five years time she is very likely to become a Muslim.
Italian & USA Muslims
I would like to know more about Italian and U.S.A. Muslims, the type of life they lead, and so on. Can you help?
email@example.com (via email)
We regret we cannot provide you any help. You might get some help from Internet sites.
Shanu Malik (via email)
You said in answering a question that Sufism varies in definition and practices. Though there may be several definitions and several types of practices but the essence of all practices is to show a great love towards almighty Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) within the fold of Islamic Shariah.
It does not seem to have occurred to you that you have spoken in contradictory terms. You admit that they vary in definitions and practices, but in the same breath you add that the essence is same. This sort of thing, that is different contents but same essence, is possible in physical and material world, though, as your mind will add, to a limit. Adulterated milk is essentially milk, but to an extent. When water becomes the dominant ingredient then the liquid is essentially water. However, such isn’t the principle in Islamic affairs. Islamic acts are not “adulterations.” They are either “good acts” or “evil acts.” Good acts do not accept any adulteration. For example, Tawheed. It does not accept any adulteration. As soon as what is other than Tawheed is added to it – no matter how little – the adulterating stuff destroys the essence of Tawheed. It is not accepted by Allah. A famous hadith says that when a person associates another besides Allah in an act, not making it purely for Allah, then Allah abandons His share also in favor of the one associated. This is also applicable to Shari`ah affairs. The Prophet has stated that whoever brought a thing that is not part of this religion, stands rejected. How can we then give blank approval to a system, (in this case Sufism), which is – today – a hotchpotch of various systems. Sufism has at one end the strict variety, colored in “sibghatuAllah” where no non-Islam has any place; but as we scan we find that it gets transformed into several kinds on the way, acquiring colors that depend on what is borrowed and adulterated with, ending at a point, at the other extreme, where “anaa-al-Haq” is the slogan. If we are lucky today that this extreme variety does not exist, then, it is also a moment of sadness that the “sibghatuAllah” variety is not visible either. Most of what we see is either pantheism promoted by the Orientalists who offer it tirelessly in the name of Islam, (through dozens of books produced every year), or the Eastern variety whose objective is not Allah, but the tomb, not a living Prophet, (which our Prophet is: living through his Sunnah), but a dead Prophet who is in the `aalam al-ghayb; not the lives, examples and wisdom of the Companions, but those of the unknown and unknowable figures around whom fictitious life and achievements have been woven – in such spirit as which complements Awatars of Hinduism.
There may be variations but there is no difference between orders or sub orders.
Indeed there are variations. And they are of serious nature. But perhaps you mean theoretically, for, in theory, the orders and sub-orders do not differ vastly. In practice though, Sufism of today has little to do with the structural design of the past. Today, it is in the hands of those who are as ignorant of the order and sub-order requirements as they are of the Shari`ah requirement. Today, Sufism resembles closely with various Churches flourishing in the USA. Every Church in every neighborhood has its own minister, and offers a variety of Christianity that takes one or two ideas from the larger sects, (Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, etc.) but ignores them over almost every major issue. This is how Sufism of today relates itself to traditional Islam.
Sufis or Waliullahs are God fearing persons.
Sufis are not “WaliyuAllahs.” One here, another there, could be so counted but not every Sufi deserves the term. If there is one around, he might not even belong to an order. Indeed, he might not like to be associated with any of them. If they fear God, it would be good for them. We do not see signs of it though.
They are Ashiq-e-Rasool in the true sense.
Why this class alone? Why not those who went into battle-fields and gave their lives or suffered imprisonment in love of the Prophet, the religion he brought, and the Lord who raised him? They stood the test of love better than those who only push rosary beads couched in soft couches. We may recall the lines `Abdullah ibn Mubarak sent to the well‑known ascetic Fudayl bin `Ayaad: O thou given to devotions at the Holy Harams, had you seen us, You’d have considered your devotions mere amusement. He who dyes his cheeks with tears that roll down, (Does he know that) with blood we dye our necks? He who exhausts his horse in playful repast, (May know that) our horses exhaust themselves on the day of spoils. For you be the best of perfumes, but for us, Sweeter the (aroma of the) rising dust from the earth. It appears from above that Abdullah ibn Mubarak, himself an ascetic, did not have great respect for the inactive Sufis. In a lesser degree, why are those not entitled to the title who have spent their lives spreading the word of Islam, doing nothing else in their lives, seeking nothing but Allah’s approval and pleasure? On what grounds are they shown the exit door out of the elitist orders?
Islam has reached us by their efforts. Millions of people of all religions accepted Islam through their nature and works. To show love and respect to them is our duty.
Your statement that in the past Islam spread through the Sufis is one of the most devastating, although indirect, criticism of the Sufis of today. If the Sufis of the past brought millions to the fold of Islam, then the Sufis of today are no Sufis since they fail to bring anyone into its fold. By your own criteria, they fail a major test. The fact is, in the past the Sufis played their part in conversion, as much as others played their parts. No one, no group, nor any single factor can claim the entire credit. We respect all those who played their respective roles well in the past, not particularly the Sufis, nor excluding them altogether. Our contention is: “That was a nation that has passed away. For them will be what they earned and for you what you earn. And you will not be questioned about what they used to do.” (The Qur’an, 2: 134). The implication of “you will not be questioned about what they used to do,” is, “you will be questioned for what you used to do.” The Sufis of today need to demonstrate their contribution at the Ummah level, and not seek relationship with those of the past.
Sarah Aminuddin (via email)
I am a bit confused by your answers, which were given against two different questions in the January 2004 issue, regarding Infatuation and Pre-marriage relationship. Answering the first of the two questions you said: “Love is not forbidden in Islam and if you love a woman, you go and get married to her, but one should get settled first and make himself worthy of that.” About the second question, i.e. about Pre-marriage relationship you said: “It is Satan who misleads the young people .. who enter into pre-marriage love relationship.” I am a bit confused about these answers.
In view of what follows, there need be no worry on your part.
About my problem: I am in love with a girl. She is my paternal aunt’s daughter, and am planning to get married. We are honest to each other and serious about the matter. I am well-settled and ready to start a life after marriage .. What will you call this… Infatuation or Pre-marriage relationship?
To cut a long story short, we say “mabrook” in advance. May you two lead a happy religious life.
Would you please kindly tell me whether there are any Sharia approved housing finance options available in India?
Amathur Rasheed (via email)
In terms of a financing body, our answer is in the negative. However, a truly Shari`ah approved house-financing scheme is one which requires a man to be a man, depend on none but himself other than Allah, and finance the construction of his own house through his own earning.
Power to choose
Shaheen Khan (via email)
Whenever I read such type of magazines as yours and even when I read the translation of the Qur’an just for a very short duration, I feel that I am getting knowledge, that I am coming into light, and that I am getting peace of mind etc., but immediately after a few hours, I again become the same person who is in darkness with all the negative thoughts about myself and my Creator.
Thoughts about Allah, and other than Allah, cannot reside together in the heart at any given moment of time. Increase the time duration you devote to Him, to the knowledge of His Attributes and to His revelations, and you will lengthen the time when you have peace of heart and mind.
According to an authentic hadith, an angel writes a human being’s age, actions and happiness when that human being is still an embryo in the womb and since what is written is final, why does God punish those who do wrong deeds when they cannot avert them?
If you as a university teacher inform a student that he will not be able to complete his course, (judging him by his past performance and present predilections), then, when the student drifts away, can he claim that he failed because you had so predicted? Reports about our responsibility to choose the right course of action are as authentic as the one you have quoted, and more numerous. Why should you not consider them?
We keep faith in Allah although we cannot see Him because the Qur’an gives us His Attributes (rahman, rahim, adl, mujib etc.). But I do not feel any of these Attributes as real. When I argue over it, all the knowledgeable persons simply say that you should believe in Him with all these Attributes, otherwise you will never find Him.
How do you make a friend? Because of his attributes. What do you look for in a future wife? Her attributes. What makes you buy a car? Its attributes. To know Allah through His Attributes is the most sensible thing to do. It is also one of the surest of ways to doing it since it involves True Atrributes, while, in reference to others, the attributes you imagine (in a friend, future wife, a car), may or may not be there in reality.
Is Allah only a matter of faith or is He a matter of fact also?
He is neither a matter of faith, nor a matter of fact. He is “The Fact.”
Is it we who are fooling ourselves by creating our own creator?
Yes, anyone who does not know the True God, is fooling himself by creating his own creator. Prophet `Isa, for example, will be presented on the Day of Judgment and his followers asked, “Is this the Lord you worshipped?” They will cry out gleefully, “Yes, this is our Lord.” They will be told to follow him. He will lead them away into the Fire. That would only be an image of `Isa (asws). The process will go on. Images after images will appear, to be followed by their worshippers, until the last one who devoted himself to images is in Hellfire. So, do not believe in an image of your own creation.
Not Our Mission
Your answer “It was politics which led to conflicts, not the madh-habs” is a bold one. Corrupted minds blame the madh-habs and wonder why there are four of them. I make du`a for the continuation of your mission.
Ahamed Sharif (via email)
It is not our mission per se, but rather, part of our efforts toward correction of deviant opinions.
Reverts and Marriage
Qayoom ul Hassan, Srinagar, Kashmir
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Hundreds of non Muslims are reverting to Islam. As we know, western society is full of vices like drinking, adultery, gambling etc. Most of these reverts would have indulged in these satanic acts before embracing Islam. My question is, will all their sins be forgiven on embracing Islam?
Yes, if they do not indulge in them anymore. If they do, they will be questioned for the indulgence before and after embracing Islam.
If a born Muslim marries a revert Muslim (who has committed these sins) will he incur the blessing or wrath of Allah?
Neither, unless the intention behind the marriage is charity.
The prayer of Ayyub (A.S) which you have mentioned in the article on Shaikh Abu Zahra, January 2004 edition, is from Surah 21 and not from Surah 30 as you have written.
You are right.
Falak H. Naaz (via email)
I have shown myself to doctors and am told that mentally and physically I am sound. Yet, I feel restless and uneasy all the time. Physiological changes take place in my body, my face becomes red hot, I start feeling uneasy and restless all of a sudden. I feel like running away somewhere. All this is going on since I shifted to my new flat.
Your shifting to new flat has nothing to do with your illness, if we call it illness. Since the doctors say you are normal, you are normal. But, deep in your psyche, you could have a psychological problem, which is causing the physical effects that you feel. Or, maybe there are plants around to whose smell or pollen you are allergic. The paint in the rooms could be another cause of allergy. If you feel your face is red hot, look into a mirror. You will see your normal face staring back at you – a bit in puzzle. As a cure to the feeling, splash some cold water on your face for five minutes.
I’m 100% sure that I’m possessed.
We are 100% sure you are not possessed.
The mawlanas are money hungry and are of no help.
They are no mawlanas, but pretentious charmers. They are professional money-makers who will tell their clients they are sick, when they are as healthy as a mountain goat.
I have done everything from the book “Prophetic medical sciences” and recite sura al-Baqarah every night, yet I am not getting well.
But you are already well.
I can’t study and my life has become a nightmare ever since I came to my new flat. I have read various exorcism duas also but they have been of no help.
They cannot do anything to a healthy person.
Bilal Rashid, Bangalore
Can you please let me know whether we could listen to the Qur’an through the audio cassettes or CDs.
Yes, you could, so long as you pay attention. The moment you are not paying attention, switch it off.
If a person is late and manages to join the farz jamat, can he offer the sunnat immediately after the jamat is finished?
There is a hadith in Bukhari which has the Prophet forbid any Salah after “Subh” which term Ibn Hajr explains as “Salat al-Subh”, i.e. there should be no Prayer after the Fajr Prayer, until the sun begins to shine brilliantly, (about 20 after the sunrise). Those who are used to offering the Sunnah before the Fajr Prayer, may offer it, if they will, any time from after the sun has risen well above the horizon, until Zuha, that is, before noon. Similar statement is found in Fataawaa Deobandiyyah.
Is it required to make wudu after we take a bath or do we skip?
A bath is major ablution whereas wudu is minor ablution. The major ablution does away with the requirement of the minor.
Can you recommend me some good book for a beginner to learn Arabic?
The Institute of Higher Learning offers a complete postal course. Pls. write to them on: c/o Abdul Basit, 43 Dickenson Road, Bangalore 560 042.
I will be pleased to know about the board of scholars who are responsible for replying to the mails and queries online, and where your center is.
Regret we do not have any online services. As for the center, we are sort of homeless, since quite a few of us are volunteers.