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PRAYING BEHIND BEARDLESS IMAM

Q1. My son is working in Japan. He attends the Tarawih prayer at a mosque, where two
imams lead the Tarawih prayer on alternate days. One is an Egyptian and another one is
from some Arab country. This Imam is not professional imam. He is a wealthy person in
the city where my son resides. The Imam has not sported the beard. Some Pakistanis do
not pray behind him when he leads the Tarawih prayer, objecting that it is not right for a
person to pray behind an imam, who does not sport a beard. But my son prays behind that
imam and he is very much puzzled over this matter whether to pray or not to pray behind
the imam who does not sport a beard. My son has sent this query over the phone seeking
clarification.

G. A. Basheer, Bangalore

A1. Shaving beard is Fisq and the one who does that is Fasiq. It is preferable to have an Imam
having a beard. However, if such an Imam is not available, then it is allowed to offer Salah behind
a beardless Imam. It is agreed upon by the Ahle-Sunnah-Wal- Jam'ah that offering Salah behind
every righteous or Fasiq Muslim is allowed and his Salah is valid so that there is unity amongst
the Muslims, in order to avoid any conflict. Therefore your son is correct in offering Salah behind
the imam. Infact, those who do not offer Salah behind him should also start doing so, in order to
avoid any conflict. However, as soon as an Imam with beard is available, you may start offering
Salah behind him, and Allah knows the best.

Q2. In Japan, only eight rakat Tarawih is followed. Can my son pray individually the
remaining 12 rakat at the mosque or home or is it also right to perform 8 rakat only.

G.A. Basheer, Bangalore

A2. Regarding the Salah, offered after the Isha Salah (i.e. Tarawih), in Ramadan, the right
opinion is that one can offer as many number of rakat as one wishes because there is no fixed
limit on it.

Narrated Nafi

Ibn 'Umar said, "While the prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night
prayers. He replied, ' Pray two Rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you
are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rakat and that will
be the witr for all the Rakat which you have offered." Ibn 'Umar Said, "The last Rakat of the night
prayer should be odd, for the prophet ordered it to be so. ( Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 461).

Narrated Amr ibn Anbasah as-Sulami

I asked: "Apostle of Allah, in which part of the night the supplication is more likely to be accepted?
He Replied: In the last part: Pray as much as you like, for the prayer is attended by the angels
and it is recorded till you offer the dawn prayer. (Abu Dawood, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 1272).

We also find that some of the Taba'een used to pray 20 and some used to pray 36 Rakats in
Tarawih. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba, Vol.2, Pages 165 & 166).

However, it is preferable to offer it the way prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) did. He used to offer 11 or
13 Rakats, as mentioned in the following Hadith.
Narrated Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman

I asked Aisha, "How is the prayer of Allah's Apostle during the month of Ramadan." She said,
"Allah's Apostle never exceeded eleven Rakats in Ramadan or in other months; he used to offer
four Rakats do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rakats, do not ask me about
their beauty and length, and then three Rakat." Aisha further said, " I said, ' O Allah's Apostle! Do
you sleep before offering the Witr prayer?' He replied, 'O 'Aisha! My eyes sleep, but my heart
remains awake!' (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1147). From all the above mentioned Hadith, it
is clear that there is no fixed limit for the Tarawih Prayer; therefore, one should refrain from
getting into any controversy in this regard. However, in mosques, where eight congregational
Rakats are offered, it is advisable not to offer further 12 Rakats in congregation, thus avoiding any
unwanted disputes amongst the Muslims. For those who wish to offer more Rakats can very well
do so at their homes. Similarly, in mosques, where 20 congregational Rakats are offered, it is
advisable not to offer 8 Rakats in different congregation so that there is no conflict among the
Muslims.

Q3. Is it allowed for an ulcer patient to leave the Fast ?

Abdulrehman Bello Krzysiek, celnik@ecnx.net

A3. It is not obligatory upon a person suffering from Ulcer to fast during the month of Ramadan
if fasting is likely to cause increase in his disease, however he has to complete his fasts after
recovering. Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Baqarah, 2:185: "But if any one is ill or on a journey
the prescribed period should be made up by days later. Allah intends every facility for you, He
does not want to put you to difficulties." And Allah knows the best.

Isaal-e-Sawab through Recitation of the Quran

Q4. I would like to know that if we read Quran and ask Allah to send sawab to all Muslims
and my relatives including my parents who are no more, will the sawab only go to my
parents or to all the rest too ?

Abdulla Aminuddin, aminuddin@sancharnet.in

A4. It is Bid'ah (innovation) to recite the Qur'an for Isaal-e-Sawab of those who have passed
away, regardless whether the deceased is your parent or relative. There is no evidence
supporting this practice in the authentic sources of Islam, in the Seerah of the Prophet (Pbuh) or
the life of his Companions. Didn't deaths occur during the time of the companions ? Why then, we
do not find any such evidence from their lives ? All those things that benefit the living and the
dead have already been shown by the Prophet (Pbuh), as Deen has been completed. Therefore,
it is inappropriate to innovate anything in the religion.

Narrated Aisha (R.A.): Allah's Messenger (Pbuh) said, "If somebody innovates something which is
not present in our religion, then that thing will be rejected."(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 2697
& Sahih Muslim, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 4266).

However it is allowed to pray for the deceased and give charity for him, as there is no difference
of opinion in this regard.

Does a wife have the right to refuse sex with her husband ?

Q5. If at a particular time, a lady has no desire for sex with her husband, but he insists for
it, what is her right of refusal in this context ?
Abdul Wahab

A5. If a husband expresses his desire for sexual intercourse with his wife, and asks her to fulfill
his need, then she should fulfill her husband's desire, and she has no right to refuse him or
deprive him of his need (unless of course if she is undergoing her monthly menstruation period or
is down with illness.

Islam encourages and insists on chastity and fidelity. Islam prohibits and condemn illicit sexual
relations, extra-maritial affairs, pre-marriage sex, fornication, adultery, prostitution, pornography
and promiscuity. It is for this reason that a wife is bound to fulfill her husband's sexual desires so
as to prevent him form straying.

Narrarted Abu Huraira

Allah's Apostle (Pbuh) said, " If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relations)
and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." (Sahih
Al-Bukhari Vol. 4 Hadith No. 460 & Sahih Muslim Vol. 2 Hadith No. 3368)

Narrated Abu Huraira

The Messenger of Allah (swt) said: By him in whose hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to
his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in the heaven is displeased with her untill he
(her husband) is pleased with her. (Sahih Muslim Vol. 2 Hadith No. 3367)

Narrated Taiq ibn Ali

Allah's Messenger (Pbuh) said, " When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to
him even if she is occupied at the oven." (Al Tirmidhi Hadith No. 1160 & Ibn Ma'jah Hadith No.
4165)

From all the above mentioned Ahadith, it is Wajib upon the wife to fulfill the desire of her husband
whenever he wishes. If the relationship between the husband and the wife is truly based on
Islamic principles, in which both of them treat each other with love, affection, kindness, fulfilling all
Islamic desires and settling all matters with mutual agreement and understanding, the question of
the wife refusing the sexual desire of the husband does not arise. Nor does the question arise of
the husband being insistent or getting perturbed at her not wanting to have sex.

Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an in Surah Rum, Chapter 30, verse no. 21:

" And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may
dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that
are Signs for those who reflect."

If on certain rare occasions, the husband shows a desire for sexual intercourse with his wife, and
for some genuine reason the wife shows a hesitation (not refusal), then it is possible, the husband
can be understanding and voluntarily and happily give indication for postponement!

Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an, in Surah Baqara, chapter 2, verse no. 187:

"They (your wives) are your garments. And you are their garments."
Here, because of the strong bond between the husband and the wife, if the husband is not
displeased or angry, the angels will not curse his wife and neither will she displease the Almighty.
And Allah knows the best.

Visiting graveyards on 15th Sha'ban

Q6. In the light of the teaching of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, is it a correct Islamic
practice to visit graveyards on the night of Shab-e-baraat? please narrate the Hadith
related to this night.

M. A. Khan, Bhopal

A6. Giving significance to the night of 15th Sha'ban, visiting graveyards, doing extra Ibaadah
(worship) and offering extra Nawaafil Salaah with the intention of specifically doing so on the
occasion of 15th Sha'ban, having illuminations, considering it to be the Eid of the dead and
keeping awake for the whole night of 15th Sha'ban and encouraging others to do the same -- all
these are Bid'ah (innovation) . The prophet and the Sahaabah never did so nor commanded the
muslims to do so.

We don't find any evidence of such things in the entire authentic Seerah of the Prophet and his
companions. According to Allamah Ibn Rajab Abu Bakr Turtoshi, Ibn Wazzah Qurtubi, Suyuti,
Shokani etc. all the Ahadith pertaining to the subject are weak and unacceptable.

The Hadith that is generally quoted to support the practices done on the night of 15th Sha'ban is
Zaif (weak) according to Muhaddiseen (the scholars of Ahadith) and is not to be put into practice.

Narrated Aisha (R.A.),

I missed Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) during the night and found him in al-Baqi'. He
said: Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you? I said: Allah's
Messenger , I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives. He (the prophet) said:
Verily Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, comes down to the heaven of the world in the middle night
of Sha'ban and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb. (Tirmidhi,
Hadith No. 739; Sunan Ibn-I-Majah, Hadith No. 1389; Ahmad Vol. 6, 238)

According to Imam Bukhari and Tirmidhi, the above mentioned Hadith has a broken chain of
narrators in two places, and therefore it is weak. Allamah Ibnul Arabi (543H), in his commentary of
Sunan -At-Tirmidhi, titled 'Arizatul-Ahwazi', Vol 3, Pg No. 216 adds: '....further, in it Hajjaj Ibn
Artaat is not reliable.'

However, it is established that the Prophet (pbuh) did visit the Baqi graveyard once, as Allah had
commanded him and he prayed for Ahle-Baqi (the people of Baqi), but the exact night of this
event is not known, as there is no clear proof in this regard. The prophet had done this by the
commandment of Allah (swt), therefore the Prophet was an exception to this act.

Aisha (R.A.) says that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Gabriel came to me and said; Your Rabb
commands you to go to the graveyard of Baqi and seek forgiveness for them". (Sahih Muslim,
Hadith No. 2256)
It is permissible for men to visit graveyard whenever they wish and pray for the dead, however it
is not permissible to fix a specific day or night for the purpose and consider it to be of a special
virtue unless we find any proof for doing so from the Qur'an or the authentic Ahadith.

Allamah Ibnul Arabi writes: "There is no reliable Hadith regarding the 15th of Sha'ban. Although
certain commentators insist that the verse from Surah Dukhan, chapter 44, verse 4: 'In that (night)
is made distinct every affair of wisdom', refer to 15th of Sha'ban, but this is not true, as Allah did
not reveal the Qur'an in Sha'ban. The Qur'an was revealed in Ramadan, as mentioned in Surah
Baqarah, chapter 2, verse 185, and this can only be statement of a person who transgresses the
book of Allah (swt) and is careless of his word". (Arizatul Ahwazi, Vol. 3, Page No. 217)

According to Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1885: ".. Most evil affairs are their
innovations, and every innovation is an error..."

So Muslims should beware of and steer clear of all innovation and bid'ah.

Wet-Dreams
Q7. A muslim youth has a wet dream. What should he do?
(a) If it occurs before sahar in the holy month of Ramadan?
(b) If it happens after Sahar? What about fajr prayers?
(c) What is the method of taking bath for purification?
(d) Is it sinful if wet dream occurs?

D. Ahmed.

A7. (a) If a person gets a wet dream before sahar in the month of Ramadan and has time to take
Ghusle Janaba (bath for purification), then he should do it, and then eat his sahar. However, if he
does not have the time for Ghusl, he should take Ghusl before the Fajr Prayer.

(b) If a person gets a wet dream after taking sahar in the state of Saum, he should take Ghusl as
soon as he wakes up. One's fast does not break by wet dreams. Even if he happens to be in the
state of Janaba for some time, there is nothing wrong in it. He should take a Ghusl before offering
any Salaah/Prayer.

Narrated Abu Bakr bin Abdur Rahman.

My father and I went to Aisha (R.A.) and she said , " I testify that Allah's Messenger at times used
to get up in the morning in a state of Janaba from sexual intercourse, not from a wet dream, and
then he would fast that day." (Shaih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, Hadith No. 1931)

(c) The right way of performing a bath for purification i.e. Ghusle Janaba is given in the following
Hadith:

Narrated Maimuna, the wife of the Prophet (Phuh):

Allah's Messenger (pbuh) performed ablution like that for the Salat (prayer) but did not wash his
feet. He washed off the discharged from his private parts and then poured water over his body.
He withdrew his feet from that place (the place where he took the bath) and then washed them.
And that was his way of taking the bath of Janaba. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 249)
(d) There is nothing wrong in getting wet dreams nor is it a sin, as mentioned in the following
Hadith:

Narrated Ali Ibn Abu Talib

There are three whose actions are not recorded: a lunatic whose mind is deranged till he is
restored to consciousness, a sleeper till he awakes, and a boy till he reaches puberty. (Sunan
Abu Dawood Vol. 3, Hadith No. 4389)

Social Service in Islam
Q8. What is the concept of social service in Islam? Do we have to work for the Muslim
community only or for the whole of humankind as was done by Prophet Muhammad
(Pbuh) ? Please clarify.

Sabith Khan (sabithisthebest@rediffmail.com)

A8. In Islam, social service is of immense significance. Whatever services a person renders for
the welfare of humankind, and through these deeds, hopes for the blessings of Allah will be
regarded as righteous deeds. These deeds if done solely for seeking the pleasure of Allah (and
not for recognition or show) will be considered Karze Hasana and will surely be rewarded by
Allah.

Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an :

" Whoever comes (at Judgement) with a good deed will have better than it, and they, from the
terror of that day, will be safe." (Surah An-Naml, 27:89)

"He that does good shall have ten times as much to his credit " (Surah Al An'am, 6:160)

"Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good see it!" (Surah Al-Zilzal, 99:7)

Allah repeatedly instructs as in the Glorious Qur'an to behave kindly, to give charity, to serve the
poor, the orphans, and the needy. While the qur'an condemns hoarders and misers, it also
prohibits ill-treating and threatening the poor and the needy.

In all these verses of the Qur'an, Allah has not instructed the Muslims to work only for the welfare
of the Muslims. There is no such restraints. All these instructions are general in their scope and
hence include both, the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) too has made it
clear that striving of a Muslim for the welfare of any of the human beings or living creatures is an
act of charity.

Narrated Anas bin Malik (RA) :

Allah's Messenger said : "There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds,
and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him."
(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 513)

In Islam, removing a harmful thing from way is also Sadaqa (charity). (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4,
Hadith No. 232)
Narrated Abu Huraira (RA):

Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was on the way, he found a thorny branch of a tree on the way
and removed it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith
No. 652)

Islam ordains us to treat all the living creatures well and with kindness.

Social service that is done by a Muslim for any human being, irrespective whether the beneficiary
is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, and which gets this beneficiary closer to his Creator Allah and
makes him/her understand Islam better, then the reward for the performer of such service will be
further multiplied. First, for the social service and second, for getting the other person closer to his
Creator. These acts of social service include Islaah if the recipient is a Muslim and Daw'ah if the
recipient is a non-Muslim.

Narrated Urwa bin Az-Zubair (RA):

Hakim bin Hizam said, "O Allah's Apostle! I used to do good deeds in the pre-Islamic period of
ignorance, e.g., keeping good relations with my kith and kin, manumitting slaves (releasing and
freeing slaves after paying for them) and giving alms. Shall I receive a reward for all that?" Allah's
Apostle replied, "You embraced Islam with all the good deeds which you did in the past." (Sahih
Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 423 & Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 223)

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA):

Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank
water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive
thirst. The man said, 'This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine. So he (went
down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and
watered the dog. Allah thanked him for his (good) deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O
Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?" He replied, "Yes, there is a
reward for serving any animate." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 551)

Thus, social service in Islam carries great significance and it is to be done to all in general,
regardless of the religion. And Allah knows best.

The system of Zakaat in Islam, however is a religious duty and obligation upon the Muslims and
the beneficiaries of Zakaat are only Muslims.

The Qur'an provides details about needy Muslims that are entitled to Zakaat :

"Zakaat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect
(Zakaah) and for bringing hearts together (for Islam) and for freeing captives (or slaves) and for
those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the (stranded) traveller - an obligation (imposed)
by Allah. And Allah is knowing and wise." (Surah Tauba, 9:60).

Are Menstruating Women Permitted to Recite or Touch the
Qur'an ?
Q9. Are menstruating women permitted to recite Surah Fatiha, Ikhlaas, Falak, Nas and
Ayatul Kursi at night before going to sleep ? Can menstruating women touch and read the
Qur'an ? Does this word in the Qur'an 'Mutahhareen' (none can touch except those who
are clean) relate to the Qur'an or to the Tablet Preserved (Lauh-a-Mehfuz) ? Is one allowed
to touch Qur'an without wudhu ? Please explain with reference to Hadith.

Nishat Bare <nishat_bare@rediffmail.com>

A9. The Glorious Qur'an says : "That this is indeed a Qur'an most honorable in a book well
guarded which none shall touch but those who are clean : A Revelation from the Lord of the
Worlds." (Surah Al-Waqi'a, 56:77-80)

The Kitabim Maknoon mentioned in the above mentioned verse does not refer to the holy Qur'an
in the book form, which we have, and the word Mutahhareen does not merely refer to cleanliness
of the body.

Kitabim Maknoon means a book well guarded or a protected book. This word refers to Lauh-e-
Mahfooz in heaven, which is also mentioned in the following verse "Nay this is a Glorious Qur'an
(Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!" (Surah Al-Buruj, 85:21 & 22)

Mutahhareen does not refer to mere body cleanliness but also refers to those who do not have
any uncleanliness or impurity like sin and evil, thus referring to the angels. According to the
commentary of Tabari, Mutahhareen means the angels.

According to Ibne Hazam, who has discussed the subject in detail, there are no pre-requisites or
conditions for touching the Qur'an. Although all the scholars, of all different schools of thought,
agree upon it without any difference of opinion that it is preferable to be in wudhu before touching
the Qur'an, however, according to Ibne Hazam there is not a single verse of the Qur'an or the
authentic hadith saying that being in wudhu is compulsory.

Ibne Abbas, Sho'bi, Zahhaq, Zaid bin Ali, Muayyid Billaah, Dawood, Ibne Hazam and Hammad
bin Sulaiman are of the opinion that Qur'an can be touched without performing wudhu.

(Fiqh-us-Sunnah, As Saiyid Saabiq, 1.52)

Regarding the hadith of Muwatta Malik which is often quoted by certain scholars to back up their
claims that one should be in wudhu before touching the Qur'an, this hadith narration besides
being Mursal, has the Arabic word Taahirun in it, which according to Ibne Katheer, Zamakhshari &
others, does not necessarily mean being with wudhu but simply means 'pure', that is, one should
not be in ceremonial impurity or menstruation.

Scholars of different schools of thought differ on the issue of whether one should compulsorily be
in a state of wudhu while touching the Qur'an. According to Hanafi school of thought, one cannot
touch the Qur'an without wudhu, but if one uses a piece of cloth or sheet then he can touch it.
Some Hanafi Scholars insist that the cover of the Qur'an itself serves as a covering sheet or cloth,
while the others believe that one can touch the Qur'an but not the Arabic text within the Qur'an.
Amongst the Shafia scholars, some say that one cannot touch the Qur'an without wudhu, despite
using covering sheet. Malikis too believe in some what the same. However, they allow touching
the Qur'an without wudhu for students and teachers of the Qur'an.

It is permissible for a menstruating womam to recite the Qur'an without touching it. Similarly, she
can very well recite the portions of the Qur'an, which she does regularly, or even the Ahadith of
the prophet (pbuh) . However she shouldn't touch the Qur'an with her hands.
Ibne Majah narrates a hadith from Abdullah Ibne Umar (R.A.) that a man in a state of ceremonial
impurity, and a menstruating lady should not recite anything from the Qur'an, but this hadith is
weak.

Allama Ibne Hajr and Allama Ibnul Mulaqqin have rated the hadith as weak in their books At-
Talkheesal Habeer, Vol. 1, pg. no. 138, hadith no. 183 & Khulasatul Badrul Muneer, vol. 1, pg. no.
60, hadith no. 170, respectively.

However, if a menstruating woman, or a woman with postpartum impurity, wishes to read the
Qur'an, then she may use some sheet or cloth while touching the Qur'an so that her hands do not
have direct contact with the Qur'an.

According to Maliki school of thought, while doing hifz of the Qur'an, a man in spite of being in
ceremonial impurity or a woman in her menstruation, can touch the Qur'an so that they do not
forget the portions of the Qur'an memorised by them. And Allah knows best.

Is Allah Masculine In Gender
Q10. Why do we quote Allah (swt) as - Him/His ?

Jameela Arif, jameela99@rediffmail.com>

A10. a) The Arabic word 'Allah' has no gender. The Arabic grammar has only two genders, male
and female and male gender is of two types:

1. Masculine Haqeeqi i.e. Real, which is used to denote the masculine gender in humans,
animals.

2. Masculine Majazi i.e. Unreal, wherein it is used as Masculine but in reality it is not so e.g.
(Angels) Malak, Layl (Night), Bab (door). The word Allah (swt), too falls in the second category i.e.
Masculine Majazi.

The English language has got three genders; male, female and neutral. So if we translate the
Arabic word 'huwa' into English, it can be translated as 'he' or 'it'. And the Arabic word 'hiya' can
be translated as 'she' or 'it'.

Allah (swt) is unique and cannot be referred as 'it' in English, since Allah (swt) has no gender,
neither male nor female or neutral.

Some people may argue that the Arabic word 'huwa' and 'hiya' both can be used for 'it' or neutral
gender, then why Allah has used 'huwa' and not 'hiya' ?

In Arabic grammar there are certain rules and criteria for feminine gender. First, if it is female by
nature, like the word mother (ummum), it becomes feminine in gender. Allah is not a female.
Second, if it ends with the third Arabic letter 'ta' like 'mirwahtun' (fan), it becomes feminine. The
Arabic word 'Allah' doesn't end with 'ta' so it cannot be feminine. Third, if the word ends with 'Alif
Mamduda' (big Alif), it becomes feminine. But the Arabic word 'Allah' doesn't end with 'Alif
Mamduda' so, it cannot be feminine. And lastly, if the object occurs in pairs, like pairs of the body,
e.g. 'Ainun' (eyes), 'yadun' (hands), they are considered feminine. But Allah (swt) says in the
Glorious Qur'an in Surah Ikhlas, chapter 112, verse 1"

"Say: He is Allah the ONE and Only;"
So Allah (swt) is one and not a pair. Therefore, by default since it cannot be used as 'Hiya' i.e. she
or it, Allah (swt) uses huwa i.e. He. And Allah (swt) knows the best.

b) Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion and Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) was the founder of Islam. However, Islam has been in existence since time immemorial.
Islam was present when the first human Adam (pbuh) first set foot on the earth. Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) is not the founder of Islam but the last and final messenger of Allah.

It is mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an :

"And there never was a people without a warner having lived among them (in the past)." (Surah
Fatir, 35:24)

Narrated Umama that Abu Dhar said :

I asked , "O Messenger of Allah, altogether how many messengers were sent?" The Prophet
(pbuh) said: One Hundred and Twenty Four Thousand." (Mishkat-Ul-Masabih, authenticated by
Shaikh Nasiruddin Albani, Vol. 3, Pg. No. 1599, Hadith No. 5737)

The Religion of all the Prophets was 'total submission to God's will' and one word for that in the
Arabic language is 'Islam'.

It is mentioned in the Qur'an that Abraham (pbuh) was a Muslim.

"Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian but he was true in faith and bowed his will to Allah's
(which is Islam) and he joined not gods with Allah." (Surah Al Imran, 3:67)

It is mentioned in Surah Al Imran Chapter 3 Verse 52 that Jesus (pbuh) was a Muslim.

" When Jesus (pbuh) found unbelief on their part he said: " Who will be my helpers to (the work
of) Allah?" said the Disciples: "We are Allah's helpers we believe in Allah and do thou bear
witness that we are Muslims" (Surah Al Imran, 3:52)

Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur'an in Surah Al Imran, Chapter 3 Verse 19:

"The Religion before Allah is Islam (Submission to His will)"

And further Allah (swt) mentions in Surah Al Imran Chapter 3, Verse 85:

"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah) never will it be accepted of
him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)"

Thus, Islam is the first religion and hence the oldest of all the religions. It is the only true religion.
All the other religions came later.

The Glorious Qur'an is the last and final revelation of Allah (swt) which was revealed to the last
and final messenger prophet Muhammad (pbuh). After him no messenger will come to guide
humankind. As Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur'an in Surah Al Ahzab, chapter 33 verse 40:

"Muhammad (pbuh) is not the father of any of your men but (he is) the Apostle of Allah and the
Seal of the Prophets: And Allah (swt) has full knowledge of all things."
Q13. There are four schools of thoughts and we can follow any one of them. Is it
permissible to follow two schools of thought to suit the situation ? For example,
the Shafi school of thought considers 2.25 pm as the time for Asr prayers in our
town while the Hanafi school of thought has fixed time at 3.08. So can we follow
any of these two timings to suit our necessity ?

M. A.
Hazarika, Seujpur, Dibrugarh

1. Muslims should be united

Muslims today, are divided amongst themselves. Such divisions are not
endorsed by Islam. Islam believes in fostering unity amongst its followers.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“And hold fast, altogether, by the rope Which Allah (stretches out for you), and be
not divided among yourselves.” [Al-Qur’an 3:103]

Which is the rope of Allah that is being referred to in this verse? It is the Glorious
Qur’an. The Glorious Qur’an is the rope of Allah which all Muslims should hold
fast together. There is double emphasis in this verse. Beside saying ‘hold fast all
together’ it also says, ‘be not divided’.

The Qur’an further says,

“Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger” [Al-Qur’an 4:59]

All the Muslims should follow the Qur’an and authentic Ahadith and ensure that
they are not divided among themselves.

2. It is prohibited to make divisions in Islam.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“As for those who divide Their religion and break up Into sects, you have no part
in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth
of all that they did.” [Al-Qur’an 6:159]

In this verse Allah (swt) says that one should disassociate oneself from those
who divide their religion and break it up into sects.

But when one asks a Muslim, “who are you?” the common answer is either ‘I am
a Hanafi or Shafi or Maliki or Hanbali. Some call themselves ‘Ahle-Hadith’.
3. Four Schools of Thoughts

The Islamic world has produced several learned Islamic scholars (Imams), but
out of these, four became more famous and their teachings spread in different
parts of the world.

It is a misconception that a Muslim should follow any one of these four schools of
thoughts i.e. Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali or Maliki. There is no proof whatsoever in the
Qur’an or any authentic Hadith that a Muslim should only follow one of these four
Imams.

4. Respect all the Great Scholars of Islam.

We must respect all the great scholars of Islam, including the four Imaams,
Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi, Imam Hanbal and Imam Malik (may Allah be
pleased with them all). They were great scholars and may Allah reward them for
their research and hard work. One can have no objection if someone agrees with
the view and research of any one or more from these four great scholars of
Islam.

5. All Four Imam said follow the Qur’an and Sunnah.

All the four great Imams said that if any of their Fatwas or teachings contradict
Allah’s word, i.e. the Qur’an, or the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) i.e. authentic
Hadith, then that particulars Fatwa of theirs should be rejected, and the Sunnah
of the Prophet should be followed.

Refer:

a. Eeqaadh al-Himam, Al Fulaanee (Imam Abu Hanifa)

b. Al-Majmoo’ of an-Nawawee (1/63) (Imam Shafi)

c. Jaami ‘Bayan al-Ilm, Ibn Abdul-Barr (Imam Malik)

d. Eeqaadh al-Himam (Imam Hanbal)

To give you an example in this context – Imam shafi said that when a women
touches a man who is in a state of wudhu, the wudhu of the man breaks.
However, this ruling of Imam Shafi contradicts the authentic saying of the
Prophet.
Narrated Aisha
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) kissed one of his wives and went out for
saying prayer. He did not perform ablution. (Sunan Abu Dawood Vol. 1 Chapter
No. 70 Hadith No. 179)

Thus this particular teaching of Imam Shafi contradicts the authentic saying of
the Prophet. So I reject this specific ruling of Imam Shafi who himself said , “ If I
say something, then compare it to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His
messenger and if it agrees to them, then accept it and that which goes against
them, then reject it and throw my saying against the wall” – This is a saying of
ash-Shafi’ee-rahimaullah. See Al-Majmoo’ of an-Nawawee (1/63).

Thus by rejecting this particular teaching of Imam Shafi which contradicts the
authentic Hadith, I am practically a better follower of Imam Shafi than those who
call themselves ‘Shafi’.

Similarly in practice, I claim to be a better follower of Imam Abu Hanifa than
those who call themselves ‘Hanafi’. I claim to be a better follower of Imam Hanbal
than those who call themselves ‘Hanbali’. I claim to be a better follower of Imam
Malik than those who call themselves ‘Maliki”. If being a ‘Ahle-Hadith’ means
following Qur’an and authentic Hadith then I claim to be a better follower of the
Qur’an and authentic Hadith than those who call themselves ‘ Ahle-Hadith’. All
these are mere labels (Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki, Ahle-Hadith) that are not
endorsed by the Qur’an or the Sahih Ahadith.

The only label or title given by the Qur’an and the Sahih Ahadith is MUSLIM.

6. All the Groups have sub divisions

I personally have no objection if someone calls himself Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali,
Maliki or Ahle Hadith. People give different labels to themselves to identify which
set of teachings they prefer to follow and to disassociate themselves from those
people who follow wrong practices. From history we come to know that all the
labels given to different groups, at a later stage the people from that group
themselves did not follow their teachings and made new sub-groups. Therefore
in all the groups you find a sub-division.

But as far as giving a label to identify what a person practices in Islam is
concerned, there can not be better label than what Allah (swt) has given i.e. a
Muslim.

7. Our Prophet was a Muslim

“Who was our beloved Prophet (pbuh)? Was he a Hanafi or a Shafi, or a Hanbali
or a Maliki ?” No! He was a Muslim, like all the other Prophets and Messengers
of Allah before him.
It is mentioned in chapter 3 verse 52 of Al-Qur’an that Jesus (pbuh) was a
Muslim.

Further , in chapter 3 verse 67, Al-Qur’an says that Ibrahim (pbuh) was not a Jew
or a Christian but was a Muslim.

8. Qur’an says call yourselves Muslims

There is no Qur’anic verse or any authentic Hadith that says you should call
yourselves Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki or Ahle Hadith.

If anyone poses a Muslim the question who are you, he should say “I am a
Muslim, not a Hanafi or a Shafi or a Ahle-Hadith”.

In Surah Fussilat chapter 41 verse 33 Allah (swt) says: “Who is better in speech
than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, ‘I am of those
Who bow in Islam (Muslim)?’ “[Al-Qur’an 41:33]

The Qur’an instructs, “Say: I am of those who bow in Islam”. In other words, say,
“I am a Muslim”.

The Prophet (pbuh) dictated letters to non-Muslim kings and rulers inviting them
to accept Islam. In these letters he mentioned the verse of the Qur’an from Surah
Al Imran chapter 3 verse 64:

Say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (submitting to Allah’s
Will).”[Al-Qur’an 3:64]

9. Lip Service Muslims

Allah knew that even in the Muslim Ummah there will be many people who claim
to be Muslims (i.e. claim to submit their will to Allah) but practically will not follow
Allah’s commands.

Allah refers to such people in the Qur’an as lip service Believers (Al Qur’an 5:41).
Thus we can conclude that those who claim to be Muslims but do not follow
Qur’an and Sunnah are Lip-Service Muslims. Those who follow the Qur’an and
authentic Hadith should not change their label, and stick to the best label given
by Allah (swt) i.e. Muslim and which the Prophet also called himself.

10. The Prophet had said that there would be 73 sects.

Some may argue by quoting the Hadith of our beloved Prophet, from Sunan Abu
Dawood Hadith No. 4579. In this Hadith the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have
said, “My community will split up into seventy-three sects.”
This hadith reports that the prophet predicted the emergence of seventy-three
sects. He did not say that Muslims should be active in dividing themselves into
sects. The Glorious Qur’an commands us not to create sects. Those who follow
the teachings of the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith, and do not create sects are the
people who are on the true path.

According to Tirmidhi Hadith No. 171, the prophet (pbuh) is reported to have
said, “My Ummah will be fragmented into seventy three sects, and all of them will
be in Hell fire except one sect.” The companions asked Allah’s messenger which
group that would be. Where upon he replied, “It is the one to which I and my
companions belong”.

The Glorious Qur’an mentions in several verses, “Obey Allah and obey His
Messenger”. A true Muslim should only follow the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih
Hadith. He can agree with the views of any scholar as long as they conform to
the teachings of the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith. If such views go against the Word
of Allah, or the Sunnah of His Prophet, then they carry no weight, regardless of
how learned the scholar might be. A true Muslim will not follow any ruling or
teaching of any great scholar of Islam if that particular ruling or teaching
contradicts the Qur’an and Saheeh Hadith.

Thus, the only school of thought that a Muslim should follow, is that of Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh). The only Madhab that a Muslim should follow, is the Madhab
of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And Allah knows the Best.

11. Time for Asr Salah

As far as your specific query regarding the timing of Asr Salah is concerned, it is
mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawood Vol. 1 Chapter No. 147 Hadith No. 393,

Narrrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said : Gabriel (pbuh) …. prayed the Asr Salah
with me when shadow of everything was as long as itself….. On the following day
he prayed the Asr Prayer with me when his shadow was twice as long as
himself….. Then turning to me he said : Muhammad, this is the time observed by
the prophets before you, and the time is anywhere between these two times.

It is mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawood Volume No. 1 Chapter No. 158 Hadith No.
426,

Umm Farwah said :

The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) was asked : Which of the actions is best ? He replied:
Observing prayer early in its period.
Therefore it is preferable to pray early (i.e. at the beginning of the prescribed
period for Salaah).

For all the Salaah except Isha, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said it is
preferable to pray early.

Narrated Saiyar bin Salama :

The Prophet loved to delay the Isha… and he disliked sleeping before it and
speaking after it.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol. 1 Hadith No. 522)

However, if a person is unable to pray at the early hour, it is permitted to pray at
any time within the prescribed period for Salaah.

Only If all the Muslims read the Qur’an with understanding and adhere to Sahih
Hadith, Insha-Allah most of these differences would be solved and we could be
one united Muslim Ummah.

And Allah Knows the Best.

Q15. Why Islam proposes a discriminatory share of Inheritance by giving women only half of what
men receive?

Muhammad Muinul Islam
mmislam92@hotmail.com

The Glorious Qur’an contains specific and detailed guidance regarding the division of the
inherited wealth, among the rightful beneficiaries. The Qur’anic verses that contain guidance
regarding inheritance are: Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 180, Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse
240, Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 7-9, Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 19, Surah Nisa, chapter 4
verse 33 and Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 106-108.

There are three verses in the Qur’an that broadly describe the share of close relatives i.e. Surah
Nisa chapter 4 verses 11, 12 and 176. The translation of these verses is as follows: “Allah (thus)
directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two
females, if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; If only one,
her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left
children; If no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the
deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after
the payment of legacies and debts. You know not whether your parents or your children are
nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing,
All-Wise.

In what your wives leave, your share is half, If they leave no child, but if they leave a child, you
get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what you leave; their share is a fourth, if you
leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eight; after payment of legacies and debts. If
the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants,
but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share
in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus it is
ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing Most Forbearing” [Al-Qur’an 4:11-12]

“They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs (thus) about those who leave no
descendants or ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister but no child, she shall
have half the inheritance. If (such a deceased was) a woman who left no child, her brother takes
her inheritance: If there are two sisters, they shall have two thirds of the inheritance (between
them). If there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the
female. Thus doth Allah (swt) make clear to you (His law), lest you err. And Allah has knowledge
of all things. [Al-Qur’an 4:176]

In most of the cases, a woman inherits half of what her male counterpart inherits. However, this is
not always the case. In case the deceased has left no ascendant or descendent but has left the
uterine brother and sister, each of the two inherit one sixth. If the deceased has left children, both
the parents that is mother and father get an equal share and inherit one sixth each. In certain
cases, a woman can also inherit a share that is double that of the male. If the deceased is a
woman who has left no children, brothers or sisters and is survived only by her husband, mother
and father, the husband inherits half the property while the mother inherits one third and the
father the remaining one sixth. In this particular case, the mother inherits a share that is double
that of the father. It is true that as a general rule, in most cases, the female inherits a share that is
half that of the male. For instance in the following cases:
1. Daughter inherits half of what the son inherits,
2. Wife inherits 1/8th and husband 1/4th if the deceased has no children.
3. Wife inherits 1/4th and husband 1/2 if the deceased has children
4. If the deceased has no ascendant or descendent, the sister inherits a share that is half that of
the brother.

In Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies on the
shoulders of the man. Before a woman is married it is the duty of the father or brother to look after
the lodging, boarding, clothing and other financial requirements of the woman. After she is
married it is the duty of the husband or the son. Islam holds the man financially responsible for
fulfilling the needs of his family. In order to do be able to fulfill the responsibility the men get
double the share of the inheritance. For example, if a man dies and after giving the shares of
other relatives, if the children (i.e one son and one daughter) inherit Rs. One Hundred and Fifty
Thousand, the son will inherit One Hundred Thousand rupees and the daughter only Fifty
Thousand rupees. Out of the one hundred thousand which the son inherits, as his duty towards
his family, he may have to spend on them almost the entire amount or say about eighty thousand
and thus he has a small percentage of inheritance, say about twenty thousand, left for himself.
On the other hand, the daughter, who inherits fifty thousand, is not bound to spend a single penny
on anybody. She can keep the entire amount for herself. Would you prefer inheriting one hundred
thousand rupees and spending eighty thousand from it, or inheriting fifty thousand rupees and
having the entire amount to yourself?

Does Islam make the Face Veil
Obligatory for Muslim Women?
Muslim scholars differ amongst themselves on the issue of the obligatory duty (or
otherwise) of veiling of the face by Muslim women. In Islam, rules and regulations
and the do's and don'ts are derived from the word of Allah, i.e. the Glorious Qur'an
and the teachings of the Messenger of Allah, i.e. the authentic Ahadith.

Haroon Abdullah
New Delhi

The Qur'an says:

"O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with
authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His
Messenger if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for
final determination."

(Al-Qur'an 4:59)

As mentioned in the verse quoted above, when people in authority, the rulers, leaders,
imams and scholars differ amongst themselves, our Creator instructs us to look into the
Qur'an and the authentic Ahadith for guidance. The legitimacy, relevance and accuracy of
the reasons and evidence provided by these people should be evaluated in the light of the
Qur'an and the Sunnah. However, it should be borne in mind that infallibility belongs to
Allah alone and a scholar, being a human, can make an error of judgement.

There is no clear-cut authentic hadith to the effect of making the face veil obligatory.
Those scholars, who insist that covering the face is obligatory for Muslim women,
interpret 'al-idnaa' in the verse of the jilbaab (Al-Qur'an: 33:59) to mean, "covering the
face". This interpretation is erroneous because the basic meaning of the word in Arabic is
"to come close", as the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee mentions in his
authoritative dictionary 'al-Mufradaat'. Some people claim that jilbaab is "a garment
which covers the face". This too is a misinterpretation as it is contrary to the
interpretation of the leading scholars of past and present as well, who define jilbaab as a
garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar).

Some people claim that the khimaar (headscarf) in Al-Qur'an 24:31 covers the head and
the face, whereas linguistically the word only means a head covering. The Prophet (pbuh)
is reported to have said "Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached
puberty unless she wears a khimaar".

(Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 1, hadith No. 641)

However, no scholar insists on covering the face in Salaah for women based on the hadith
quoted above, which further substantiates that khimaar does not mean covering the face.
Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee, one of the foremost scholars of recent times has
clarified in detail, the errors made by these scholars who insist on the obligatory nature of
the face veil in his books ar-Radd al-Mufhim & Jilbaab al-Mar'ah al-Muslimah (3rd
edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah). Likewise, other scholars like Ibn Muflih al-
Hambalee, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee 'Iyaad are too of the opinion that covering the face is
not obligatory.

As stated earlier, that there is not a single authentic hadith that makes covering the face
obligatory. On the other hand, we find several ahadith which prove that covering the face
is not compulsory in Islam. For instance, once while the prophet was admonishing and
preaching to a group of women after having admonished the men on the Id day, "...a
woman having a dark spot on her cheek stood up..." seeking clarification on the subject
the prophet was discussing. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1926)

It is understood from the above-mentioned hadith that the woman having interaction with
the prophet was not covering her face nor did the prophet command her to do so. It is
incumbent upon every Muslim to enjoin right and forbid wrong, as Allah instructed us in
the Glorious Qur'an. Thus we cannot expect the prophet, on whom the Qur'an was
revealed, to let the woman keep her face uncovered after having known the obligation of
covering the face.

Narrated Ata bin Abi Rabah (R.A.)

Ibn 'Abbas said to me, "Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?" I said,
"Yes." He said, "This black lady came to the Prophet and said..."

(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 555 - Dar Al Arabia- Beirut- Lebanon & Sahih
Muslim Hadith No. 6571-Darusslam- Arabic)

The hadith quoted above proves that the 'woman of the people of the paradise' was not
covering her face when she had visited the prophet nor was she covering it when Ibn
'Abbas was discussing about her later. Some may argue by saying she could be
recognized owing to the dark complexion of her hand and not due to the exposure of her
face. However, this argument would carry no weight since she was not the only black
woman at the time of the prophet. Moreover, to identify a person, the aspect of exposure
of the face is of immense significance.

The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, "...The Muhrima (a woman in the state of
Ihram) should not cover her face, or wear gloves."

(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 1838)

With regards to the hadith quoted above, some people say that the commandment of the
prophet (pbuh) not to cover the face is specifically for the women in the state of Ihram,
thus it cannot be used as an evidence because in Ihram certain rules and regulations
change. However, the point to be noted here is that the things that are Mustahab
(recommended) can be made Haraam (forbidden), like the cutting of nails, even the
things that are Mubah (permissible) or Mustahab (recommended) can be made Fard
(obligatory), e.g. wearing two pieces of white unsewn cloth is made Fard for a man,
while normally it is Mubah (permissible). But anything that is Haraam in the normal
course of life can never be made Fard. Hence, if exposing the face is Haraam for women,
then how can it be made Fard in Ihraam?

During the day of Nahr (10th Dhul-Hijja), when Al-Fadl bin 'Abbas was riding behind the
prophet on his she -camel, "...a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath'am came, asking
the verdict of Allah's Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him.
The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his
hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in
order that he should not gaze at her..."

(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6228)

In the above-mentioned hadith we find Al-Fadl looking at the lady because her beauty
attracted him. Here too, it is understood that the face of the lady was exposed as the
hadith says that the woman was beautiful. Obviously, it is the face that plays the most
significant role in making a person being perceived as ugly or beautiful. In spite of this,
the prophet didn't instruct the lady to cover her face but instead turned the face of Al-Fadl
in order to prevent him from staring at her, further substantiating the verse of the Qur'an
from Surah An-Noor, 24:30, which says:

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that
will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do."

The Qur'an further says in the next verse:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their
modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must
ordinarily) appear thereof...

(Al-Qur'an 24:31)
When Ibne Abbaas (RA), the leading commentator of the
Qur'an was asked about the verse mentioned above as to what it
meant, he replied, "it refers to the face and hands".

(Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf, Vol. 3, p. 540
& 541, hadith no. 16997 & 17012 and al-Bayhaqi in Sunan al-
Kubraa. Al-Albaanee ruled in Jilbaab al-Mar'ah al-Muslimah,
pp 59-60, that the isnaad of this statement is saheeh.)

Some scholars argue that all the ahadith, which speak of women's faces being seen, are of
the time earlier than the revelation of the verses of Al-Qur'an 33:59 & 24:31, which make
covering the face compulsory. Firstly, as discussed earlier, these Qur'anic verses do not
make covering the face compulsory for women. Secondly, to prove that these verses
make the covering of women's face compulsory, they have to quote an authentic hadith
for it, which they don't. Thirdly most of the ahadith quoted above, are of the time after
these Qur'anic verses were revealed.

Thus, it can be concluded that covering the face is not obligatory for women. However,
covering the face was obligatory for the Ummul Mu'mineen, the wives of the Prophet
(pbuh) as was Tahajjud obligatory for the Prophet (pbuh). Although Muslims are
exempted from its obligation, it is still a highly recommended Sunnah for the Muslims.
The scholars unanimously agree that it is preferable for Muslim women to cover their
faces. Thus it is not compulsory for Muslim Women to cover their faces but those women
who cover their faces may continue to do so if they wish. And Allah knows the best.

Quoting the Bible for Dawah Purposes

Q. I heard a Maulana saying that it is Biddat to quote the Bible to do Daw’ah to the
Ahle-Kitab (People of the Book; i.e. the Jews and the Christians). I would like to get
the answer from Dr. Zakir Naik whether it is allowed as he very often quotes the
Bible.

Basheer A. Hamid: basheer_siddiqui@yahoo.co.uk

A. Although majority of the Muslim Scholars find nothing wrong in the act of quoting
the scriptures of Ahle-Kitaab (People of the Book; i.e. the Jews and the Christians) for the
purpose of Daw’ah, there are some Muslims who harbour a misconception that it is
wrong to do so. Some of the Scholars among them state that ‘those Muslims who quote
the Bible are doing Bid’ah’. It will be pertinent to know the relevance of the evidence
provided by these people to substantiate their claim. The only Hadith that is very often
quoted by them is as follows:
“Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah :

Umar ibn al-Khattab brought to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) a copy of the
Torah and said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, this is a copy of the Torah’. He (Allah’s Messenger)
kept quiet and he (Umar) began to read it. The colour of the face of Allah’s Messenger
(peace be upon him) underwent a change, whereupon Abu Bakr said: “Would that your
mother mourn you, don’t you see the face of Allah’s Messenger?’ Umar saw the face of
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and said: ‘I seek refuge with Allah from the wrath of Allah and
the wrath of His Messenger. We are well pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as
religion, and with Muhammad as Prophet’. Whereupon Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said :
‘By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, even if Moses were to appear before
you and you were to follow him, leaving me aside, you would certainly stray into error;
for if (Moses) were alive (now), and he found my prophetical ministry, he would have
definitely followed me’.

(Sunan Ad-Darimi, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 435)

Based on the Hadith quoted above, some scholars insist that it is forbidden for the
Muslims to quote the Bible, regardless of the purpose behind quoting it since the Prophet
(pbuh) expressed his displeasure when Umar (R.A.) read the Torah. However, here the
objection of the prophet (pbuh) was mainly on reading the Torah for guidance, as can be
understood by Umar’s prompt reafiirmation and satisfaction with Allah as lord, with
Islam as religion and with Muhammad (pbuh) as messenger. The Prophet’s (pbuh) remark
further clarifies that even if Moses was alive, he would have definitely followed him,
meaning Moses (pbuh) too would have followed the Qur’an and the teachings of
Muhammad (pbuh). Thus those Muslim Da’ees who quote the Old Testament or the New
Testament of the Bible for the purpose of Daw’ah do not quote it with the intention of
following them or seeking guidance from them, because the ultimate and the best of the
guidance is found in the last and the final testament, the Glorious Qur’an and the
authentic Ahadith. Says Allah in the Qur’an:

“This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favour upon you and have
chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Al-Qur’an 5:3)
With regards to quoting the Bible for the purpose of Daw’ah, the authentic sources of
knowledge of Islam indicate beyond any doubt that it is permissible for the Muslims to
do so.

Let us first analyse the following verse of the Qur’an :

Say : “O people of the book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we
worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not from
among ourselves Lords and patrons other than Allah.” If then they turn back say: “Bear
witness that we (atleast) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s will).”

In the verse quoted above, Allah instructs Muslims to invite the Ahle-Kitab to common
terms, with the first term being the oneness of Allah. How will a Muslim get to common
terms without knowing the terms of the faith of Ahle-Kitab? It is either through studying
their scriptures, or is it to be presumed that all Muslims are well versed with their term ?
If a person tries to know the common terms just by looking at the followers of
Christianity, he will be in a dilemma as to what the common terms are, because majority
of the Christians believe in many diverse concepts, several of which are contrary to the
teaching of the Bible.

Let us analyse some more verses of the Qur’an :

“ All food was lawful to the children of Israel except what Israel made unlawful for itself
before the Law of Moses was revealed. Say: “Bring you the Law (Torah) and study it if
you be men of truth.” (Al Qur’an 3:93)

Allah also says : And they (the jews and the Christians) say: “None shall enter paradise
unless he be a Jew or a Christian”. Those are their (vain) desires. Say :” Produce your
proof if you are truthful.” (Al-Qur’an 2:111)

In the verse Quoted above Allah (swt) commands us to demand for proof for the claims
of the Jews and the Christians. And they have produced the only proof they have – i.e. the
Bible, in over two thousand different languages of the world. Are we going to swallow
their ‘proof’ hook, line and sinker? It is presupposed that when Allah commands us to
demand for proof, that we would analyse the proof, once it is produced. Otherwise it
makes no sense to demand proof.

The following Hadith from Sahih Al Bukhari further substantiates that it is permissible to
quote the scriptures of the Ahle-Kitab:

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr

The Prophet said, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence,
and tell others the stories of Bani Israel, for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a
lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.”

(Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith no. 3461)

There are some scholars who interprets this Hadith by saying that the permission to quote
the stories of Bani Israel and that this Hadith refers to the stories mentioned in the
Qur’an, and not in the Scriptures of Ahle-Kitab. However, we should understand the
Hadith according to the understanding of the narrator of the Hadith, Abdullah bin Amr
(R.A.), the companion of the Prophet (pbuh), because the narrator’s understanding would
be far more accurate than the different understanding of all the modern interpreters put
together.

Ibn Kathir comments on this Hadith as follows: “This Hadith from ‘Abdullah bin Amr
was collected by Al-Bukhari (Fath Al Bari 6:572). This is why when ‘Abdullah bin Amr’
had possession of two books from the people of the scriptures on the day (battle) of
Yarmuk , he used to narrate what was in them, because of what he understood of the
hadith that allowed this practice.”

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Vol. 1, page no. 31)

The Hadith quoted above should be proof enough even for the most skeptics among those
who object to quoting the Bible for the purpose of Daw’ah.
Following is the translation of the words of Shaykhul-Islam Ibn-Taymiyyah taken from
‘Majmu’atul-Fatawa’, Vol. 7, Part no. 13, paged 196-197, as well as Tafsir Ibn Kathir,
abridged, Vol. 1, page no. 31: “Yet, the Israelite accounts and stories should only be used
as supporting evidence, not as evidence themselves. There are three types of these
accounts and tales; a kind that we are sure is authentic because we have in our religion
something that testifies to its truth. The second type is what we know to be false based on
what we have. The third is of neither type. Hence we neither affirm nor deny this type,
and we allowed to narrate it because of the Hadith that we mentioned…..”

Let us analyse the following Hadith :

Narrated Ibn Umar

A Jew and a Jewess were brought to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) on a charge of committing
an illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet (pbuh) asked them. “What is the legal
punishment (for this sin) in your book (Torah)?” They replied, “Our priests have
innovated the punishment of blackening the faces with charcoal and Tajbiya.” Abdullah
bin Salam said, “O Allah’s Messenger, tell them to bring the Torah.” The Torah was
brought, and then one of the jews put his hand over the Divine Verse of the Rajam
(stoning to death) and started reading what preceded and what followed it. On that, Ibn
Salam said to the jew, “Lift your hand.” Behold ! The Divine Verse of the Rajam was
under his hand. So Allah’s Messenger ordered that the two (sinners) be stoned to death,
and they were stoned. Ibn ‘Umar added: so both of them were stoned at the Balat and I
saw the jew sheltering the Jewess.

(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6819)

From the Hadith quoted above, we realize that the Prophet (pbuh) punished the jew and
the jewess according to the law of Torah since the law was going in accordance with the
law of the Qur’an. Here the intention of the Prophet (pbuh) was not to follow the Torah
but to implement from it what was conciliating with the Qur’an, i.e. the punishment for
adultery. Similarly the easiest way to prove a point to a person who believes in the Bible
is to make reference to the Bible. For example, the Bible says in the Gospel of Mark
12:29 “Hear, O Israel; The Lord of our God is one Lord”. By making a Christian believe
in one God through this verse, we also make him believe in the first verse of Surah Al-
Ikhlas, chapter 112 of the Qur’an says: “He is Allah the One and Only”. This would help
negate the concept of Trinity from his mind. Thus we follow the instructions of Allah as
mentioned in the verse quoted above from Al-Qur’an 3:64, which says: ‘Say ” O people
of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but
Allah….”

Thus it can be concluded that it is permissible for the Muslims to quote Bible for the
purpose of Daw’ah and all those who object to it should ponder over the evidence
provided by us. And Allah Knows the Best.

Q21. A lady I know converted to Islam, but her Christian parents want her to visit the
church with them. If she denies, then they have family problems. Can the lady go to
church, just to have normal relationship with the parents?

mrsakhan@rediffmail.com

Ans. Islam instructs Muslims to be extremely respectful towards their parents, regardless of their
religion. Goodness towards one's parents is one of the most essential commandments of Islam.
Many verses of the Qur’an stress the importance of being kind towards one’s parents. The
Glorious Qur'an says:

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents.
Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life say not to them a word of contempt
nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness lower to them
the wing of humility and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy even as they
cherished me in childhood." (Al-Qur'an 17:23-24)

A similar message is repeated in the following verse:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his
mother bear him and in years twain was his weaning: (Hear the command) "Show gratitude
to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.” (Al-Qur'an 31:14)

However, Allah continues in the next verse:

“But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no
knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and
consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love)…” (Al-Qur'an 31:15)

The rights of Allah take precedence over everyone else's. Therefore it is prohibited in the Qur’an
for a Muslim to visit a place of polytheistic worship (or to visit a place where any besides Allah are
worshipped) in order to please one’s parents or out of fear that not doing so would lead to strain
in family or social relationships.

Allah repeats in the Qur'an:

“We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force)
you to join with Me (in worship) anything of which you have no knowledge, obey them not.
You have (all) to return to Me and I will tell you (the truth) of all that you did.” (Al-Qur'an
29:8)
In the verses quoted above, the Muslims are commanded to show respect and gratitude to their
parents, irrespective of whether their parents are Muslims or non-Muslims. They are also
instructed to obey their parents unless they ask one to violate the commandments of Allah and
His Messenger. For example a Muslim should not obey his / her non-Muslim parents when the
parents want their Muslim children to worship anybody or anything besides Allah, the Creator of
all. Indeed what can be a greater sin than associating partners with Allah? Thus it is prohibited in
Islam to accompany one’s parents in the matters of Shirk (polytheism), including visiting a place
of polytheistic worship (or visiting a place where any besides Allah are worshipped).

It should however be borne in mind that a neo-Muslim should strive to invite one’s parents to the
truth which is Al-Islam. Even if one finds one’s parents reluctant and unwilling to accept Islam,
one should not get frustrated as they may take some time to understand your ‘new’ religion, nor
should you cut off relationships with them because the verse of the Qur'an does not ask you to
ignore or neglect them but rather commands you to refrain from obeying them in matters of Shirk
(polytheism, including trinity or the concept that God begot a son).

In order to avoid family problems, the revert (neo-Muslim) should be dutiful and kind towards
them in other aspects of day-to-day life, which may not cause him/her to compromise with his/her
religious beliefs or practices, as the verse of the Qur’an quoted earlier states, “Yet bear them
company in this life with justice (and consideration)”. One should not be arrogant or insolent but
rather be kind, considerate and courteous towards them. This display of kindness towards one’s
parents not only fulfills our obligation towards our Lord and the Creator but also becomes the
means through which the parents may accept Islam and achieve salvation. Indeed, such
beneficent teachings are not to be found in any other religion.

Why Aren't Islamic Missionaries as
Active as Christian Missionaries ?
Q22. I am a revert to Islam from a very orthodox Christian family. However my hunger to
delve deep into Islam and other religions never ceased. The sad part of the story is that I
never found anyone able to give at least most of the answers for the questions I ask. But
your newsletter seems to be doing a good job. Here are a few questions I wish you could
answer.

a. Why aren’t Islamic missionaries active the way Christian missionaries are? Won’t Islam
grow much faster and misunderstandings removed if there are good scholars to preach
the faith? Why is there such a slack among Muslims?

b. Is it permissible in Islam to sponsor an orphan? Not adoption. Something like
sponsoring his education, etc.?

c. Are the views of the so-called ‘terrorists’ like bin Laden really wrong or justifiable? I
mean should a Muslim support his activities? Can children and innocent people be killed
in wars when the prophet had declared not to do so?
Joshua Koshy [joshuakoshy123@rediffmail.com] Qatar

Ans: a. It’s true that Muslims today are not as active as Christians in propagating their religion,
though the Muslims are expected by Islam to be the best of missionaries. Islam is a religion that
should have the maximum number of missionaries because Da'wah (propagation of one’s faith) is
obligatory / compulsory in Islam. The Glorious Qur'an says:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in
ways that are best and most gracious.”
(Al-Qur'an 16:125)

But unfortunately we Muslims are not doing our job. Moreover, there is virulent propaganda about
Islam and Muslims by the international media. Today the number of misconceptions about Islam
has reached an endemic and epidemic level. It is the duty of Muslims to clarify these
misconceptions and to present the pure Islamic teachings, based on the Qur'an and the authentic
traditions of the prophet (pbuh).

But irrespective whether the Muslims do the job or not, Allah has promised to make his Deen (Al-
Islam) prevail over all other ways of life and all other ‘isms’. Allah says in the Qur'an:

“It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth to proclaim it over
all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.”
(Al-Qur'an 48:28)

A similar message is mentioned in Al-Qur'an 9:33 & 61:9.

It should be borne in mind that Allah is not in need of us Muslims in order to make his Deen
prevail. He, however, has given us an opportunity to do a prophet’s job and to earn a prophet’s
reward.

The slack among the Muslims is due to their inability to perceive the benefits of reading the
Qur'an with understanding. It is through reading the Qur'an with understanding and meaning will
we know what our Lord and Creator expects from us in order that we prosper in this life as well as
in the Hereafter. Allah says in the Qur'an:

‘Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness and says, "I am
of those who bow in Islam"?’

b. With regards to sponsoring an orphan, Islam encourages such acts of charity as is mentioned
in various places in the Qur'an. The Qur'an says:

“Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred and orphans and those in
need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity.” (Al-Qur'an
2:83)

The Prophet (pbuh) is also reported to have said: "I, and the one who looks after an orphan, will
be like this in Paradise," showing his middle and index fingers and separating them. (Sahih
Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 224)

Thus the act of sponsoring an orphan is highly recommended in Islam and Allah will surely reward
you for that.

c. Regarding your question on terrorists, I say every Muslim should be a ‘terrorist for the anti-
social elements of society’. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a
policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should
be a terrorist for the anti-social elements of society, be they thieves, pick-pockets, black-
marketers or rapists. Whenever an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is
true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among innocent
people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to anti-social elements and not to innocent
people. Infact a Muslim should be a source of peace and solace for innocent and righteous
people.

Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not
subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the British government. These very
individuals have been lauded by us Indians for the same activities and hailed as ‘patriots’. Thus
two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One called
them terrorists while the other called them patriots. Those who believed that Britain had a right to
rule over India called these freedom fighters terrorists, while those who were of the view that
Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters.

It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing. Both sides of
the argument should be heard, the situation should be objectively and fairly analyzed and the
reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can be
judged accordingly. While there can be no justifiable reason for killing innocents, it is also patently
unfair to accuse any of killing innocents without a fair trial and process of justice.

Regarding Osama bin Laden, one does not know whether he is good or bad. I have not met him
personally nor do I know him. I cannot give my opinion based on the reports of BBC or the CNN.
Most of the news on the international media is tailor-made to suit ulterior motives and suited to
project the image what they want.

The Qur'an says:

“O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news ascertain the truth lest you
harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.” (Al-
Qur'an 49:6)

With regards to the last part of your question, Islam forbids killing of innocent people. The Qur'an
says:

“ … If anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would
be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life
of the whole humanity.” (Al-Qur'an 5:32)

Killing any innocent human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim is not allowed in Islam. Even in
the circumstances of war, this aspect is not to be ignored. The first caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr As-
Siddique (R) is reported to have commanded Usama ibne Zaid (R):

“I command you to do ten things: you must not kill a woman or a child, or an elderly person; do
not cut down trees, or vandalize homes, or wound a sheep or camel except if you must eat it; do
not drown a palm tree, or burn it, do not be treacherous; do not be cowardly; and you will pass by
people who have devoted themselves to monastery life: leave them alone with their devotions.”
(Tarikh At-Tabari, V.3, p.210)

Thus killing children or innocent people are not allowed in Islam. And Allah knows the best.

Do the Muslims Believe in Jesus (pbuh)
and his Second Coming?

Q23. (a) Is belief in the existence of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) cardinal to Islamic faith?
(b) Will he appear again at the end, and if so, what will be his purpose? Is there any other
Prophet still alive?
Abdulla Kunhi, Kasargod district, Kerala.

Ans. (a) Yes, Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in
Jesus Christ (pbuh). No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh). We
believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt). We believe that he was the
Messiah, translated ‘Christ’. We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male
intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe. We believe that he gave life to
the dead with God’s permission. We believe that he healed those born blind and the lepers with
God’s permission.

Allah says in the Qur'an regarding Jesus Christ (pbuh):

And remember Jesus the son of Mary said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah
(sent) to you…” (Surah Saff 61:6)

Infact Islam makes it an article of faith to believe not only in Jesus Christ (pbuh) but all the
Messengers that preceded and followed him. By name only twenty-five Messengers are
mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah instructs us in the Qur'an:

“O you who believe! believe in Allah and his Messenger and the scripture which He has sent to
His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). And who denies Allah, His
angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Day of Judgment have gone far far astray.” (Al-
Qur'an 4:136)

Thus belief in the Messengers, including Jesus (pbuh) is an important belief of Islam. Though
Jesus (pbuh) is mentioned by name twenty-five times in the Qur'an, he is also referred with other
respectable terms such as ‘Ibne Maryam’ - son of Mary; as ‘Masih’ – translated Christ, as
‘Rasulullah’ - Messenger of Allah, as ‘Abdullah’ – servant of Allah, as ‘a word of Allah’, as ‘a spirit
proceeding from Allah’, as ‘a sign of Allah’ and numerous other epithets spread over fifteen
different chapters of the Qur'an.

(b) It is also true that the Muslims, on the authority of the Qur'an and the sayings of Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh). He was the only Prophet
of Allah who was raised up alive. Allah says:

‘…They said (in boast) "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the Messenger of Allah";
but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them; and
those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge but only
conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay Allah raised him up unto
Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.’(Al-Qur'an 4:157-158)

Allah mentions the second coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the following verse of the Qur'an:

“And indeed, he (i.e. Jesus) will be (a sign for) knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and
follow Me. This is a straight path.” (Al-Qur'an 43:61)

The reason why Jesus (pbuh) is the only Prophet of Allah who was raised up alive by Allah is
because he was the only Prophet whose “followers” mistook him as God. They wrongly say that
he claimed divinity. Thus he will come back again to this world to clarify all such misconceptions.
Says Allah in the Qur'an:

‘And behold! Allah will say "O Jesus the son of Mary! did you say unto men worship me and my
mother as gods in derogation of Allah"? He will say: "Glory to You! never could I say what I had
no right (to say). Had I said such a thing you would indeed have known it. You know what is in my
heart though I know not what is in yours. For You know in full all that is hidden.’ (Al-Qur'an 5:116)

There are no less than seventy Ahadith that speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh).
In one of the Ahadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:

"By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you
people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a
tax taken from the non-Muslims who are in the protection of the Muslim government). Then there
will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3.
Hadith no. 425)

It should also be borne in mind that Jesus Christ (pbuh), in his second coming will not be coming
with any new message or revelation. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:

"How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge
people by the Law of the Qur'an and not by the law of the Gospel”. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4. Hadith
No. 658)

Let’s now analyse the following words attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the Bible:

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy
name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess
unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [The Bible, Mathew 7:22-24]

In the verses quoted above, Jesus (pbuh) said that in his second coming, he would ask the
people to depart from him, to get away from him because he wouldn’t know them. Who are these
people? The Muslims or the Hindus? The answer is neither Hindus nor Muslims but the
Christians, because Muslims or Hindus do not claim to do “Miracles” in the name of Jesus Christ
(pbuh) nor do they cast out devils in his name.

Thus Muslims believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh) to be one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah and
also believe in his second coming.

Is it Compulsory to Wear the Trousers Above the
Ankles?

Q24. There is so much confusion on a simple thing as the trousers or pant covering the
ankle. While different Alims explain this based on their own school of thought, what is the
authentic ruling on this as guided by the prophet (pbuh)?
Abdul Khaliq, Bangalore.

Ans. There is no difference of opinion amongst the scholars with regards to covering/non-
covering of the ankles. All the scholars, regardless of their different schools of thought and
differences in many issues, have no difference of opinion in this regard. They all unanimously
agree that the length of the lower garment, i.e. the trousers/pants/izars etc. should be above the
ankles for men. Thus it is forbidden for men to cover their ankles with their lower garments i.e.
trousers/pants/izars etc. There are several authentic Ahadith to substantiate this ruling.

Narrated Abu Huraira
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at a person who
drags his Izar (behind him) out of pride and arrogance." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith no. 5788)

There may be few Muslims who tend to differ on the subject due to ignorance. They argue by
saying ‘the Hadith says that anyone who drags the Izar out of pride and arrogance will be
punished in the hereafter. Therefore we don’t drag the pants out of pride and arrogance’.

However, there are many Ahadith in which the Prophet has instructed in unambiguous words to
wear the Izar above the ankles without mentioning the aspect of pride or arrogance. One of the
Ahadith is as follows:

Narrated Abu Huraira
The Prophet said, "The part of an Izar which hangs below the ankles is in the Fire." (Sahih
Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith no. 678)

In the Hadith quoted above, there is a general instruction to keep the trouser above the ankle,
irrespective whether it is out of pride & arrogance or without pride & arrogance.

Moreover, can any human being claim to be as humble as the Prophet (pbuh)? Alhumdulillah, we
Muslims believe that the Prophet (pbuh) was far more humble than anyone of us can ever be and
he could never be as arrogant & proud as we can be at any given time. He was sent as a mercy
(Al-Qur'an 21: 107) for all the creatures, yet he wore his lower garments above the ankles.
Therefore we should obey the commandment of the Prophet (pbuh) in order to prosper in the
hereafter. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said:

"All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse." They said, "O Allah's Messenger!
Who will refuse?" He said, "Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is
the one who refuses (to enter it)." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, Hadith no. 384)

Thus, it is incumbent upon the Muslim men to wear the pants/trousers/izars above the ankles.
And Allah knows the best.

How Shameful, We Don't Have a Media of Our Own!
Dr. Zakir Naik, eminent scholar of Islam and comparative religion spoke to Shiraz
Khaki, during his recent visit to the Kashmir Valley, on subjects like religion,
politics, economy and media.

If anything pertaining to faith cannot stand to logic, does that mean it does not
stand at all?

First you have to analyze what is the source of the faith that you are talking about. If the
source of the faith is Qur'an then, there is no question at all. Whatever the Qur'an says, we
believe. Yes, sometimes the translation is wrong. So if you don’t know Arabic you cannot
check out whether the answer is right or wrong. The thing is that if you cannot prove
something logically, there may be someone else who will prove it. After Qur'an there
comes Hadith and then comes logic. You can’t put logic first.
What are your views about the Islamic revivalist movements initiated by Iqbal and
Maulana Moududi in the sub-continent and Sayyid Qutb and Hasanul Banah in
Egypt. What can be the possible reasons for their apparent failure?

They were great people. They had their own views to revive the whole Muslim Ummah.
They launched a movement for that. But then every movement has its pros and cons., so
let’s take it that way.

How can the oppression of global powers be combated?

The best way to reply is to have media of our own. Because the media is in the hands of
non- Muslims, they can propagate within minutes ,as they have powerful channels like
CNN and BBC. There are many papers in Mumbai and even in Kashmir, but such papers
are read by Muslims only. What is needed is an international media. For any international
news we turn to their channels. Do we have any international newspaper, international
magazine, international television channel. No. Christians have hundreds of television
channels. Hindus have, Jains have, even Qadianis have. Allah has given us money. It is a
shame for us that we cannot even set up an international channel.

Does Islam permit birth control and family planning?

Birth Control is different from family planning. Birth Control by definition means a law
to control birth laid down by the government. So Birth Control under all conditions is
Haram in Islam. Family Planning is different. About family planning all the Ulema are
unanimous that abortion is Haram. Islamic Sharia says that the life of the mother is all
important. So if the abortion is to save mother’s life, then it’s Halal. .

How long can a wife wait in case a husband disappears and does not return?

In a normal situation we can wait for as many years as we want. But sometimes, we do
not know the whereabouts of the person, whether he has died or got lost. Then there are
different views of different scholars. It depends on the situation. Suppose a person goes
for war and does not come back, he may be captured by the enemy or he may have died.
So it depends on the situation and the time period. But the Ulema say that we can wait for
few years till you get the news. But if you don’t get the news, then the person can re-
marry.

Why does not a grandchild inherit from his grandfather in case his father dies while
the grandfather still alive?

As far as the grandchildren are concerned, there is no direction mentioned in Quran or
Hadith. But if you realize, Shariah gives permission for one third of the share to be
willed. But this one third should not fall in those categories which Allah has established
in Quran. For example I cannot say that I like the elder son more than the younger one.
Suppose I have a friend who has helped me a lot. The maximum I’m allowed to will is
one third of that. Since these grandchildren don’t come directly under the inheritance, the
grandfather can will for a maximum of one third or less than that. So there is a scope
given in the Shariah for that.

Should women work?

In Islam, it’s the duty of men to look after women. Before a woman is married, it’s the
duty of the father and the brother. After she gets married the duty shifts to husband. But
voluntarily if she wants to work, she can work as long as the work is within the purview
of Islamic Shariah. For example, we require our women to be teachers. We want them to
be doctors to look after women patients. But certain jobs are not allowed. Where women
have to expose their bodies like modelling etc. Certain jobs are Haram for both men and
women.. Working in a casino or a bar is Haram for both men and women.

Even if she works, still it’s the duty of her husband to look after her and there is no
compulsion on her to give the money to the family. This is the right Islam has given to a
woman. But normally she should not work. Because her role as a mother is more
important. It’s the duty of the man to go out and work.

With the fast devaluation of currency and ever changing economic pattern, can the
concept of interest be altered within the framework of Islam?

Allah mentions Ribah at eight places in the Quran. There is a strict prohibition of the
same everywhere that if you take Ribah, a war is declared against you from Allah and his
Rasool (SAW). Some scholars say that Ribah does not mean interest. That’s totally
wrong. There is no doubt about it. Ribah means interest and usury. It’ll take time to prove
logically why Ribah is Haram.

How can we explain the philosophy behind the Quranic verse where Allah says that
he has sent the Prophet (Pbuh) to make Islam conquer all other religions of the
world?

At two places, Allah mentions it. Yes, Allah says that he has sent his messenger with
wisdom and Deen-e-Haq so that it should prevail over all other religions, overcome all
religions whether it’s Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Secularism or Modernism
.Allah says in SuraH Al Imran that the only religion that acceptable to Allah is Islam. At
another place Allah says that if anyone desires any religion except Islam it will not be
acceptable and in the hereafter he will be among the losers. Quran is the only book which
emphatically says that all the other religions are wrong.

If every religion claims the same power and authority, will it not give birth to a great
anomaly where one faith will be pitted against the other?

I am a student of comparative religion. So religious book says that. So where is the
question of anomaly. The question is when people say that Islam is intolerant,. I say yes,
Islam is intolerant towards bribery, towards corruption, towards injustice. People say
Muslims are extremists. We say Muslims are extremely merciful, extremely honest and
extremely kind. Turn the tables and then they will come on defence.

A word about Muslims the world over?

Al Hamdullillah, Today Islam is the fastest growing religion of the world. I have the
latest data and it’s a mathematical reality that Islam figures first followed by Christianity.
In America and Europe, it’s Islam that attracts people far and wide.

Are you happy with the way Indian Muslims behave in India?

Unfortunately, to tell you frankly, I am not happy with the Muslims in India. Islam will
remain with or without us. But it’s a great blessing if Allah has given you a prophetic job
of disseminating Islam among non- Muslims. But in India unfortunately, there are hardly
any organisations who are working among non- Muslims. Believe me, India is a virgin
land. We can work here and I have experienced that non- Muslims respect me in Mumbai.
In Mumbai, the situation is very fragile as far as Dawah is concerned. We have the Deen-
e-Haq with us, the problem is we not sure of our Deen.

Does Islam permit organ transplant?

Three conditions arise. One, it should not be damaging for the donor. If a donor dies just
by donating his organ, in that case it’s Haram. Second condition is different. A person can
live on one kidney. If I donate one kidney and the other person survives, both of us are
saved. Then the third point is that you cannot donate your organs for the cause of money.
If these conditions are fulfilled, then organ transplant can be done.

Who has inspired you the most?

My source of inspiration is Ahmed Deedat. I met him in 1987. After that I, like many
thousands of his fans, got greatly inspired by him.

Your memory is absolutely incredible? Do you strive for that or you just read and it
gets engraved on your mind?

It’s just the help of Allah. I am nothing. Allah says in Quran, Sura Ankabut (Ch 29, Vs
69) that strive in the way of Allah and Allah will look after you. So anyone who does
Jihad in the way of Allah, Allah opens his way for him. In my childhood I used to
stammer. If someone would ask me my name. I would say. My name is Za... Za... Zaaa
Zakir. I could have dreamt of becoming the best surgeon in the world. But I could not
have dreamt of speaking in front of the people, because I used to stammer. But Al-Hamdu
Lillah, Allah opens up its ways. When I started speaking to the non- Muslims I started
realising that my stammering was not there. And now whenever I come on the stage, I
never stammer.
How do you maintain a balance between Dr. Naik as a medico and Dr. Naik as a
scholar?

Point one. I am not a scholar, I am just a student of comparative religion. Point two. I
opted for medical profession as I thought it’s the best profession. It was the desire of my
mother to become a surgeon like Christ Burnard, the first man to do a heart transplant in
South Africa. I asked my mother, would you like me to become Sheikh Deedat or Chris
Burnard. She said, ‘both’. But now when I repeat the same question to my mother, she
replies, ‘I can sacrifice thousands of Christ Burnard on one Sheikh Deedat. I have left the
medical profession as I have taken Dawah and I am fully involved in Dawah.

Q27. I am a dentist by profession, my questions are:

If a husband and wife have a mutual divorce,

a. Is there an ‘Iddah period to be observed by the divorced wife?
b. Should the divorced husband give the maintenance money for her?
c. Can the divorced husband have sex with the divorced wife?
d. Can the two talk on the phone to each other after the divorce?
Syeda Tabassum moredent3@yahoo.co.in

Ans.
(a) If the husband and wife have mutual divorce, then the divorced woman needs to observe
an ‘Iddah (period) of three menstrual cycles if she gets menses on regular basis, OR an
‘Iddah (period) of three months in case she gets menses on irregular basis or has passed her
Menopause. Allah says in the Qur'an:

“Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods nor is it lawful
for them to hide what Allah hath created in their wombs if they have faith in Allah and the Last
Day…”
(Al-Qur'an, 2:228)

In the verse quoted above Allah also says that if the woman is pregnant, she should not hide
but rather disclose her pregnancy. Moreover, if she is pregnant, the ‘Iddah extends till the
child is born, as stated by Allah in the following verse.

“…For those who carry (life within their wombs) their period is until they deliver their burdens:
and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.” (Al-Qur'an 65:4)

However, in case the divorce is revocable, the husband and wife may undergo reconciliation
during the period of ‘Iddah thus making the divorce null and void with mutual consensus.

(b) With regards to the maintenance money, in case of revocable divorce, where the husband
and wife are likely to get reconciled during the ‘Iddah period, the husband will have to provide
lodging and maintenance to the wife during that period. If the woman is pregnant, the
husband will have to provide maintenance till the child is born as the ‘Iddah extends till its
birth. Moreover, the obligation of providing the maintenance will continue till the wife breast-
feeds the child for two years, the period of suckling, as appointed by Allah. Nevertheless the
couple has the right to determine the period of suckling by mutual consent and consideration
(Al-Qur'an 2:233). Says Allah in the Qur'an:

“Let the women live (in 'Iddah) in the same style as you live according to your means: annoy
them not so as to restrict them. And if they carry (life in their wombs) then spend (your
substance) on them until they deliver their burden: and if they suckle your (offspring) give
them their recompense: and take mutual counsel together according to what is just and
reasonable. And if ye find yourselves in difficulties let another woman suckle (the child) on the
(father's) behalf.” (Al-Qur'an 65:6)

However, in case of irrevocable divorce, there is difference of opinion amongst the scholars
with regards to the provision of lodging and maintenance. However the view that is held by
majority of the scholars is that there shall be no lodging or maintenance for the woman during
her ‘Iddah unless she is breast-feeding a child or is discovered to be pregnant.

Fatima bint Qais (Allah be pleased with her) reported from Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) that
there is no lodging and maintenance allowance for a woman who has been given irrevocable
divorce.
(Sahih Muslim vol. 2, hadith no. 3522)

(c) If the divorce is revocable and the husband and wife, with mutual consensus agree to
have sex before the ‘Iddah is complete, then that would become means through which the
divorce becomes null and void. Then they again continue to live as husband and wife and
thus they can also have sex as before.

If the divorce is revocable (1st or 2nd) and the ‘Iddah period has been completed, then after
this period of ‘Iddah they cannot have sex unless they have a new nikaah with new ‘Meher’.
After ‘Iddah has been completed, or after irrevocable divorce, the ex-husband & wife become
Na-Mahrams and if they have sex without a fresh nikaah then their act of having sex will be
considered adultery.

(d) Talking on the phone with the opposite sex, who is a Na-Mahram is not encouraged in
Islam. In certain cases when unavoidable and if both maintain their modesty, it may be
permissible. Thus till such time as the husband and wife reconcile during ‘Iddah, and at any
time after divorce, they should avoid talking. In unavoidable circumstances if they do, they
should maintain their modesty without which it will be prohibited. And Allah knows the best.

Q28. Is a Muslim woman permitted to go out for a job (organization belongs to Muslims
with all women staff) even if her husband can support the family well? What does
Islam say about it? In this case the main reason why this woman wants to join this
organization is to keep her busy and to mould herself completely in an Islamic
environment.

Ans. In Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies on
the shoulders of the man. Before a woman is married it is the duty of the father or brother to
look after the lodging, boarding, clothing and other financial requirements of the woman. After
she is married it is the duty of the husband or the son. Islam holds the man financially
responsible for fulfilling the needs of his family.

In this case, the husband is financially capable enough to support the family. Nevertheless
the woman wants to work voluntarily, not primarily for money, but to mould herself in an
Islamic environment by joining a Muslim organization (which presumably follows the tenets of
Islam) that has all women staff. It is advisable for her to seek her husband’s permission
before taking the job. The husband may as well see to it that he understands the intention,
objective and purpose of his wife behind taking this job. However, in case the husband does
not permit her, then she may very well try to establish an Islamic environment at her
husband’s place itself by cultivating friendships with good Muslim women in her
neighbourhood and surrounding, learning and educating the morals and virtues of Islam.
And Allah knows the best.

Q29. (a) Can a rich Muslim wife give portion of her Zakat to her poor husband?

(b) Can a Muslim husband compel his wife (working in a public sector undertaking) to
spend all her earnings on family needs and invest his earnings and his wife’s savings
on assets solely in his name and not even in her name?

(c) What portion, if at all, of a Muslim wife’s salary a Muslim husband can claim for
needs of the family although it is the onus on him to provide for the family?

Ans.
(a) Yes, a Muslim woman is allowed to give portion of her Zakat to her poor husband if she is
capable of doing so and if the poor husband is poor enough to be entitled for Zakat. Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have granted the permission to a Muslim lady who wished
to spend part of the Zakat on her husband.

Zainab, the wife of Abdullah (ra) had asked Bilal (ra) to seek for the prophet’s permission for
spending part of her Zakat on her husband and the orphans under her protection, thus said
the Prophet (pbuh): "Yes, and she will receive a double rewards (for that): One for helping
relatives, and the other for giving Zakat." (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, hadith no. 545)

(b) Whatever amount is spent by the wife, will be voluntarily, out of her own free will. The
husband has no authority whatsoever to compel his wife to spend on him from her
earnings/savings nor is he authorized to invest her earnings/savings on assets solely in his
name, unless the wife permits, nor can he compel her to do so. As stated in the earlier
answer, in Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies
on the shoulders of the man. Thus it is the responsibly of the husband to provide for the
family. Nonetheless if he wants his wife to spend on him or his family, he can request her and
she may spend if she wishes.

(c) With regards to what portion of a women’s salary her husband can claim, the question of
portion or percentage does not arise since the husband has no right to claim for his wife’s
salary, regardless of the portion. Thus it will depend on the wife’s pleasure and wish whether
she spends part of the salary, complete salary or nothing at all. And Allah knows the best.

Q30. Is it allowed for a wife to address her husband by his name, as our previous
generation didn’t do so?
Fairoze Pasha syedfairozetarouqui@siasat.com

Ans. Everything that the previous generations (our ancestors) have done may not necessarily
be right, likewise everything they have done may not necessarily be wrong. Therefore
whatever they did would not be exemplary for us unless and until verified with due analysis in
the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

With regards to calling one’s husband by his name, the act of doing so is a sheer cultural act.
Any cultural act is permissible as long as it is in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah and
doesn’t break any of its rules. On the other hand, if any cultural act conflicts with the Islamic
Shari’ah or breaks any of its rules, it is prohibited. Another aspect that also needs to be taken
into consideration is that many a times certain acts are considered to be appropriate in one
culture while similar acts are considered to be inappropriate in another culture.

If we browse through the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh), we come across instances such as
the following:
Narrated 'Aisha (ra)
That Allah's Messenger said to her, "I know when you are pleased with me or angry with me."
I said, "When do you know that?" He said, "When you are pleased with me, you say, 'No, by
the Lord of Muhammad,' but when you are angry with me, then you say, 'No, by the Lord of
Abraham.' "Thereupon I said, "Yes (you are right), but by Allah, O Allah's Messenger, I leave
nothing but your name." (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 7, hadith no. 155)

In the hadith quoted above, we realize that Aisha (ra), the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) used to
take the name of the Prophet (pbuh) in his presence, which further substantiates that it is not
un-Islamic to take the husband’s name in his presence.

Another practice that was and still is prevalent amongst the Arabs is to call the husband by
adding father to the name of their child, i.e. ‘Abu followed by their child’s name’. Several
evidences can be given from the Seerah of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). For
instance, Umm Sulaima used to address her husband as ‘Abu Talha’ (Sahih Muslim, vol. 4,
hadith no. 6013).

Although the act of calling the husband by his name does not break any of the rules of Islamic
Shari'ah yet if the intention of the wife behind doing so is to belittle her husband, then it is
advisable for her not to do so. But if the husband permits her to call him by his name and the
intention of the wife too is not to belittle the husband then there is no harm in doing so.
However, if the act displeases the husband, regardless of the intention of the wife, then it
would be advisable for her not to address him by his name, not because it is prohibited in
Islam but because it displeases the husband and the wife should avoid displeasing the
husband as far as possible. (The husband too should avoid displeasing his wife). And Allah
knows the best.

Q31. I am an engineering student, a regular reader of Islamic Voice. Is contraception (that
is, preventing one’s wife from becoming pregnant) prohibited in Islam? What is the
authentic Islamic ruling about it?
Shah Amjad Moinuddin, samoinuddin@rediffmail.com

Ans. There are fundamentally two methods of Contraception or family planning.

(1) Permanent methods.

(2) Temporary methods

(1) Permanent Methods: Permanent methods include, Vasectomy in males and Tubecotomy in
females. All the scholars unanimously agree that permanent methods of family planning are
prohibited since they involve changing human physiology.

Says Allah in the Qur’an: “So set you your face steadily and truly to the Faith: (Establish) Allah’s
handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made humankind: no change (let there be) in
the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand
not.” (Al-Qur’an 30:30)

The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: “Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will be
proud of your great numbers before the nations [i.e., on the Day of Resurrection].” (Abu Dawood
Hadith no. 2050, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1805)

(2) Temporary Methods: Following are various different temporary methods.
a) M.T.P. (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) or Abortion: All scholars unanimously agree that
M.T.P. or abortion is prohibited.

Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an “...kill not your children on a plea of want; We provide
sustenance for you and for them;” (Al-Qur’an 6:151)

“Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you:
verily the killing of them is a great sin.” (Al-Qur’an 17:31)

However, scholars unanimously agree that any permanent method of family planning, or even
abortion, can be done if the life of the mother is in danger. For e.g. if the woman is suffering from
certain diseases like heart disease or has under gone multiple caesarean operations and in her
case the continuation of pregnancy or another pregnancy may be detrimental to her life, then the
woman can be aborted or a permanent method of family planning can be adopted to save the life
of the woman.

b) Taking birth control pills: Almost all the scholars including Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Council of the
Senior Scholars [of Saudi Arabia] agree that it is not allowed to take birth control pills (Fataawa al-
Marah) because of its side effects and changes in the normal physiology.

c) Copper-T: A very common temporary method of family planning or contraception is Copper-T.
Though it is known as ‘contraception’ but technically it is contra-implantation. The sperm fertilizes
the ovum but the zygote formed is destroyed by the Copper-T and is prevented from being
implanted on the uterine wall (mother’s womb). Thus it is a very early abortion, which is prohibited
in Islam.

Some “scholars” out of ignorance permit this temporary method of family planning without
knowing its detail.

d) Coitus Interruptus (‘Azl): Coitus Interruptus is permissible as long as it is performed with
mutual consent of both the husband and wife since both of them have equal right to have
children.

This is based on the Hadith of Jabir (RA) who said: “We used to practice (‘Azl) coitus interruptus
during the days when the Qur’an was being revealed”.

Jabir added: “We used to practice coitus interruptus during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger
while the Qur’an was being revealed.” (Sahih Bukhari vol. 7, Hadith no. 136)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
“With regard to ‘azl, some of the scholars regarded it as haraam, but the view of the four imams is
that it is permissible with the wife’s permission. And Allah nows best.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa,
32/110)

e) As regarding other temporary ethods of family planning like condom etc., the scholars are
divided whether their use is permitted or not. Allah (swt) has provided a natural method of
planning the family, which is medically known as lactation amenorrhea. After the women gives
birth to a child, till she breast feeds she does not have her menstrual cycle, thus the chances of
pregnancy in this period of lactation is minimal.

Allah says in the Qur’an “The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years...” (Al-
Qur’an 2:233)
Reasons for Family Planning: All the various reasons for family planning can be divided into
two categories:

1. Either for poverty or

2. Giving special attention to children by having fewer children.

As for those who are poor and fear that they will not be able to meet the economic expenses of
the additional child, Allah (swt) has prescribed the system of zakaat. Every rich person who has
the savings of more than the nisab level i.e. 85 gms of gold, should give 2.5% of his excess
wealth every lunar year in charity. Those who are poor have the right to take the zakaat money.

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an “...Kill not your children on a plea of want; We provide sustenance
for you and for them;” (Al-Qur’an 6:151)

Allah (swt) also mentions in the Qur’an “Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide
sustenance for them as well as for you: verily the killing of them is a great sin.” (Al-Qur’an 17:31)

Both these verses seems to convey the same message but on scrutiny we realize that the first
verse is meant for poor parents, who fear that if one more child is born in the family neither they
will be able to survive nor the child, thus Allah (swt) says we provide sustenance for you and for
them. In the other verse Allah (swt) says We shall provide sustenance for them and as well as for
you, referring to rich parents who feel that if they have less children they can concentrate on them
better and give them better education and quality life. Here Allah (swt) reverses the order and
mentions first the children and then the parents.

I am the fifth child of my parents. If my parents would have done family planning, then I would not
have been born. Alhumdulillah, I have qualified as a medical doctor, which is supposed to be one
of the best professions in society. However I have given it up for a better profession and become
a daee’. Am I a boon or a bane to the society?

It is a misconception that if there are fewer children you can provide better education and quality
life to your child.

However, its worth notable that one never knows which child could be a blessing from the Creator
for the family. It is quite possible that the child, which the parents anticipate to be a bane, may
turn out to be a boon for the family and the society. History bears witness to the fact that many of
the great scientists, thinkers, and revolutionaries were not from only amongst the first two children
of their parents.

Thus the child whom the parents consider unwanted may be a blessing to the family religiously
and economically.

With regards to the claim of the people who say that the growth in population increases poverty,
this was mainly based on Malthusian’s theory. This theory states that, to maintain prosperity and
welfare of human race, its increase should be checked to correspond with the production of
foodstuff.

But now we have realized that Malthusian’s theory has been proved wrong and there is no
shortage of food grains. Moreover, in spite of the amount of land India uses in agriculture, there is
still much more land in India, which can, with little more efforts in fertilizing it through the proper
means be utilized in agriculture thus producing more food grains. It would be interesting to note
that population density of Holland and Denmark is about four to five times more than that of India.
Nevertheless the living conditions of the people there is far better off (economically) than the
Indians.

Besides, even if one faces difficulties in upbringing of children, one should always remember that
in these hardships could be a test from Allah as this life is a test for the hereafter. Allah says in the
Qur’an: “He Who created Death and Life that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is
the Exalted in Might Oft-Forgiving” [Al Qur’an 67: 2]

Allah also says: “Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger some loss in goods
or lives or the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” [Al Qur’an
2 :155]

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an “And they plotted and planned and Allah too planned and the best
of planners is Allah (swt)” (Al-Qur’an 3:54).

If you feel you can plan the family better, the choice is yours or else leave it to Allah (swt) to do
the best planning for your family.

Allah knows the best.

Q32. We are doing part time Da'wah in villages near our city in Tamil Nadu. But we are
not sparing anytime for Islaah. I would like to know which of the two is more important,
Da'wah or Islaah? A friend of mine said that it is Da'wah that is more important and not
Islaah.

H. Mohamed Riaz, Tirunelveli Islamic Voluntary Association, (TIVA), Tamil Nadu.
riaz@vsnl.net

Ans. At the outset let us first understand the meaning of the words ‘Da’wah’ and ‘Islaah’.
Da’wah means a ‘call’ or ‘invitation’; which means to invite non-Muslims to Islam as well as
the Muslims to the true understanding and practice of Islam, but many a times, in context, it
refers to the invitation of Islam extended to those who are yet to believe in or accept Islam.

‘Islaah’ literally means ‘to repair’ or ‘to improve’. In an Islamic context, it refers to efforts to
improve Muslims or to correct them. It also refers to their moral rectification. Allah says :

“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue
with them in ways that are best and most gracious !”
(Al Qur’an 16:125)

With regards to your question, which is more important, the simple answer is
that both Da’wah and Islaah are equally important. One should not concentrate
only on one and ignore the other. Therefore, to say that those who do Da’wah
should not do Islaah or those who do Islaah shouldn’t do Da’wah is wrong.

However, by looking at the scenario of the Muslims today, we realize that there
are many Muslims who are doing Islaah and have completely ignored Da’wah.
Thus the people dedicated to do Da’wah are very few as compared to those doing
Islaah. Therefore it is more of our responsibility to concentrate on Da’wah in
order to fill this vacuum, but while doing so, Islaah should not be ignored. And
Allah knows the best.

WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE

EMBRACE ISLAM

IN TODAY’S TIMES?

Q33. Is Islam a cult? I don't understand how this religion can be embraced by so many. It's
inconceivable that such hatred has ever been collected in a single population such as that
which calls itself Muslim. Mohammad, and indeed, his followers, are way off the path. Stop
your attacks on non-Muslims.
John Guerra

Ans. The two meanings of the word ‘cult’ according to the Oxford dictionary are as follows:
1) “A way of life, an attitude, an idea etc. that has become very popular”.
2) “A small group of people who have extreme religious beliefs and who are not part of any
established religion”.

By referring to Islam as a cult, if you intend to imply the first meaning, then yes Islam is a way of
life – in fact it is ‘THE way of life’ prescribed for humankind by the Creator. I am aware that most
widely, the second meaning of the word cult is implied. In that context, Islam is not a cult.

Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
was the founder of Islam. However, let me clarify that Islam is not the name of some unique
religion presented for the first time by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who should, on that account be
called the founder of Islam.

The Qur’an states that Islam – the complete submission of man before his one and only Unique
Creator – is the one and only faith and way of life consistently revealed by God to humankind
from the very beginning. Noah, Solomon, David, Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jesus (pbut) –
prophets who appeared at different times and places – all propagated the same faith and
conveyed the same message of Tawheed (Oneness of God), Risaalat (Prophethood) and
Aakhirah (the Hereafter). These prophets of God were not founders of different religions to be
named after them. They were each reiterating the message and faith of their predecessors.

However, Muhammad (pbuh) was the last Prophet of God. God revived through him the same
genuine faith which had been conveyed by all His Prophets. This original message was earlier
corrupted and split into various religions by people of different ages, who indulged in
interpolations and admixture. These alien elements were eliminated by God, and Islam – in its
pure and original form – was transmitted to humankind through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Since there was to be no messenger after Muhammad (pbuh), the Book revealed to him (i.e. the
Glorious Qur’an) was preserved word for word so that it should be a source of guidance for all
times.

Thus the religion of all the prophets was ‘total submission to God’s will’ and one word for that in
the Arabic language is ‘Islam’. Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them) too were Muslims, as
Allah testifies in Al-Qur'an 3:67 and 3:52 respectively.

Islam is embraced by so many humans in all centuries because it is the Truth and it provides
practical and comprehensive solutions to problems of humankind. Islam not only teaches good
things but also shows practical ways of achieving that state of goodness.

Your surprise regarding many people embracing Islam is justified. Today, though Islam happens
to be the fastest growing religion in the world, it also happens to be the religion about which
people have maximum number of misconceptions. This is largely because of the virulent
propaganda by the media about Islam.

A Christian surveyor, Professor Edward reported in the Time Magazine of April 16, 1979 that in a
span of 150 years, from 1800 CE to 1950 CE “over 60,000 books have been written against Islam
by the Christian West.” Now, it is questionable, who has initiated, nurtured and collected the
hatred which you have referred to, the Muslims or the Christian West?

Many are surprised that despite such propaganda being made against Islam, it still happens to be
the fastest growing religion in today’s times. It is so, on the merits of its superior and noble
teachings. Says Allah swt in the Glorious Qur'an:

“They (the non-Muslim enemies and critics of Islam) plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the
best of planners is Allah”.
(Al-Qur'an 8:30)

You have advised the Muslims not to attack non-Muslims; I request you to direct your advice to
those authorities, who only claim to be ‘peaceful, peace-loving people’ and ‘peace-keepers of the
world’, but ironically have attacked thousands of innocent Muslims under the theme ‘War on
terror’. The noted writer Arundhati Roy states: "So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys.
War is Peace."

The terrorist acts attributed to Muslim suspects, should not be attributed to Islam or the Muslims
in general but to individual human weaknesses. Such human failings occur among all religious
and ethnic groups. Recorded history has not witnessed an incident similar to the ‘Holocaust’.
However, one is not expected to and should not attribute the holocaust to Christianity or to
Christians in general.

A number of skeptics have made comments about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Skeptics allege
that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was “a violent man, a man of war”. Some further state that
"Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses … Muhammad set an opposite example”
(remember Jerry Falwell?). These skeptics somehow fail to realize that far from being a man of
war, “…he (Muhammad) must be called the saviour of humanity”, as described thus by George
Bernard Shaw.

Though the portrayal of Moses and Jesus (pbut) of being peace-loving people is fully in
accordance with the teachings of the Qur’an, the Biblical testimony is contrary to it. Many
quotations from these Biblical testimonies can be given to substantiate this claim, but considering
the length of the answer, I will simply furnish ONE incident that will prove my point, because in
this ONE incident, no less than three thousand people were killed by the sword at the command
of Biblical Moses. We read:
“(Moses said): ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one
end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour’. The Levites did as Moses
commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.” (Exodus 32:27-28, NIV)

It is also a well-known fact that the total number of deaths that took place in ALL the wars fought
during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was 1018. The biblical quotation given above and
many such quotations appear to escape the grasp of those who allege against Muhammad
(pbuh), further ignoring the words of Jesus:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
(Matthew 7:1-2 KJV)

WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE

EMBRACE ISLAM

IN TODAY’S TIMES?

Q34. Religion, if it is true, should be able to stand scientific scrutiny. Is there
an Islamic arena where this kind of discussion is possible?
Eugene Faulstich chri@ruthventel.com

Ans. It is true, that if a religion is true, it should be able to stand scientific scrutiny.

The Glorious Qur’an is the last and final revelation of God. For any book to claim to
be the Word of God, it should stand the test of time. Previously, it was the age of
miracles. The Qur'an is the miracle of miracles. Later on, came the age of literature
and poetry. Muslims as well as non-Muslims agree that Al-Qur’an is Arabic literature
par excellence - that it is the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth. However,
today, it’s the age of science and technology, and the Qur'an passes this test as well.

According to the famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein, "Science
without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

It should however, be borne in mind that the Qur'an is not a book of ‘Science’ but
rather a book of ‘Signs’ i.e. Ayaat. There are more than 6,000 signs (Ayaat) in the
Qur'an out of which more than a thousand speak of Science. The Qur'anic data on
science does not conflict with any of the established scientific fact. It may go against
certain scientific hypothesis or theories, which are not grounded in facts as many a
times science takes U-turns. A number of verses of the Qur'an speak on various
different subjects of science, such as Astronomy, Physics, Geography, Geology,
Oceanology, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Medicine, Physiology, Embryology as well as
General Science.
There have been several arenas where people have discussed a number of issues
related to comparative religion. Islam encourages reasoning, discussions and
dialogues. Allah says:

“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue
with them in ways that are best and most gracious”. (Al-Qur'an 16:125)

With regards to discussions on the theme of your question, I had a public dialogue in
April 2000, in Chicago USA, on the subject ‘The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of
Science’ with a Christian, Dr. William Campbell from the USA.

Dr. William Campbell had written a book trying to point out scientific errors in the
Qur'an. In the dialogue, I refuted all the allegations that he made against the Qur'an
while he could not refute any of the 38 scientific errors in the Bible pointed out by
me. You may refer to the video of that debate which is available for sale world-wide.
For more information please visit www.irf.net. You can also refer to my book, ‘Qur'an
and Modern Science: Compatible or Incompatible’ as well as my video on the topic,
‘Qur'an and modern Science: Conflict or Conciliation.’

Q35. Hinduism is the oldest of all the religions and thus the most pure, authentic and best of all
the religions of the world, and not Islam!

Kaushik Patel kaushik_patel22@rediffmail.com

Answer 35.

1. Islam is the oldest religion.

Hinduism is not the oldest of all the religions. It is Islam which is the first and the oldest of all
religions. People have a misconception that Islam is 1400 years old and that Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) is the founder of this religion. Islam existed since time immemorial, ever since man first set
foot on this earth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was not the founder of Islam. He was the last and
final Messenger of Almighty God.

2. The oldest religion need not be the purest and the most authentic religion.

A religion cannot be claimed to be most pure and authentic, only on the criterion that it is the

oldest. It is similar to a person saying that the water he has kept in an open glass, in his

house, outside the refrigerator, for three months is purer than the water which has just been

collected in a clean glass, immediately after it has been purified.

3. The latest religion need not be the purest and the most authentic religion.

On the other hand a religion cannot be claimed to be the purest or authentic, only on the

criterion that the religion is new or the latest. A bottle of distilled water which is sealed, packed
and kept in the refrigerator for three months is much purer than a bottle of water freshly

collected from the sea.

4. For religion to be pure and authentic, it should not have interpolations, changes

and revisions in its scriptures revealed from God.

For any religion to be pure and authentic, its scriptures should not contain any interpolation,

addition, deletion or revision. Moreover the religion’s source of inspiration and direction

should be Almighty God. The Qur’an is the only religious scripture on the face of the earth

which has been maintained in its original form. All the other religious scriptures, of all the

other religions have interpolations, additions, deletions or revisions. The Qur’an has been in

the memory of a multitude of people, intact in its original form ever since its revelation, and

now there are hundreds of thousands of people who have preserved it in their memory.

Moreover, if you compare the copies made by Caliph Uthman (r.a) from the original Qur’an

which is yet present in the museum in Tashkent and in Koptaki museum in Turkey, they are

the same as the ones we possess today.

Allah (swt) promises in the Qur’an, in Surah Al Hijr, chapter 15 verse 9

“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from
corruption).”

5. The oldest religion need not be best religion.

A religion cannot be claimed to be the best religion only on the criterion that it is the oldest. It is
similar to a person saying, that my 19th century car is better than a Toyota car manufactured in
1998, because it is older. He would be considered to be a fool to say that his 19th century car
which required a rod to be turned in circles to start it, is better than a key-start 1998 Toyota car,
just because it is older.

6. The latest religion need not be the best religion.

On the other hand a religion cannot be called as the best religion only on the criterion that the
religion is new or that it came later. It is similar to a person who says that my 800 cc Suzuki car
manufactured in 1999 is better than a 5000 cc Mercedes 500 SEL manufactured in 1997. To
judge which car is better, a person should compare the specifications of the car e.g. the power of
the car, safety measures, the capacity of the cylinders, the pickup, the speed, the comfort, etc.
5000 cc Mercedes, 500 SEL car manufactured in 1997, is far superior and better than a 800 cc
Suzuki (Maruti Suzuki 800) manufactured in 1999.
7. A religion is best, if it has the solutions to the problems of mankind.

For a religion to be considered the best, it should have the solution to all the problems of
mankind. It should be the religion of truth, and should be applicable to all ages. Islam is the only
religion which has the solution to all the problems of mankind. e.g. the problem of alcoholism,
surplus women, rape and molestation, robbery, racism, casteism, etc.

Islam is the religion of truth, and its laws and solutions are applicable to all the ages. The
Qur’an is the only religious book on the face of the earth, which has maintained its purity and
authenticity proving itself to be the word of God in all the ages. i.e. previously, when it was the
age of miracles, literature and poetry and in present times when it is the age of science and
technology. Moreover, Islam is not a man-made religion, but a religion revealed and inspired
by Almighty God. It is the only religion acceptable in His Sight

WHY DON’T MUSLIMS IN INDIA
FOLLOW THE ISLAMIC CRIMINAL LAW?

Question 36 : When Muslims in India insist on having a separate Muslim Personal Law for
themselves, why don’t they also insist on implementing the Islamic Criminal Law for the
Muslims; for example implementing the rule that the robber’s hands should be chopped
off if a Muslim robs? Srinivasaniyer29@rediffmailcom

Answer 36 :

1. Muslim Personal Law

Personal Law is a law concerning an individual person and the persons closely related to him,
e.g. laws relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc. It includes laws which are mutually
agreed upon by a group of people. This law does not include any crime or an act that will harm
the society directly.

2. India is Secular And Democratic

In any country, the Personal Law may differ for different groups of people and for different
communities. Since India is a secular and democratic country it allows different groups of people
to follow their own personal law if they wish.

3. Islamic Personal Law is the Best

Muslims believe that compared to all the different types of personal laws available in the world,
the best and the most result oriented is the Islamic Personal Law. Muslims of India prefer
following the Muslim personal law also because of their own belief in Islam.

4. Criminal Law

Criminal law is that law which is associated with a crime or an act, which directly affects the
society e.g. robbing, raping, murdering, etc.
5. The Criminal Law should be the same for all people

In any country, the criminal law unlike the Personal Law cannot be different for different groups of
people. It has to be same for all people of different groups and different religions e.g. In Islam if a
person robs, his hands are chopped off. This punishment is not prescribed in Hinduism. If a Hindu
robs a Muslim, what would be the robber’s punishment? The Muslim would want the hands of the
robber to be chopped, while the Hindu Law would not agree.

6. The Muslims in India alone cannot separately follow the Islamic Criminal Law
without involving the Non-Muslims

Even if a Muslim agrees, that as far as he commits a crime he should be given the punishment
according to Islamic Criminal Law, it would not be practical. In case an allegation is made against
a Muslim for robbery and if the witnesses are Non-Muslims, and if each one follows his own
Criminal Law, the punishment in Islam for bearing false witness is 80 lashes, whereas in the
Indian Criminal Law, a person giving false witness can easily escape. Thus, for a Non-Muslim to
falsely accuse a Muslim of any crime is very easy, if both follow their own criminal law. However, if
both follow the Indian Law where the punishment is lenient for false witnesses and robbers, it will
encourage both the robber to rob as well as encourage the witnesses to give false witness for
their own benefit.

7. The Muslims in India would prefer the Islamic Criminal Law to be implemented on all
Indians

We Muslims would prefer that in India the Islamic Criminal Law be implemented on all the
Indians, since, chopping the hands of a thief will surely reduce the rate of robbery in India.
Similarly, 80 lashes for giving false testimony will prevent a person from giving false witness.

8. Islamic Criminal Law is Most Practical

Islam besides pointing out a crime, it also gives you a solution showing how to prevent the crime
e.g. chopping the hands of a robber, death penalty for the rapist. The punishment is so severe
that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime. He will think a hundred times before
committing a crime.

Thus if crime has to be reduced or stopped in India the best solution is to implement ‘The
Common Islamic Criminal Law’.

BURYING BETTER THAN CREMATING DEAD
BODIES

Question:

Why do Muslims bury dead bodies instead of cremating them, i.e. burning them?
Vivekmodi59@rediffmail.com

Answer:
1. Components of human body present in the soil

Elements that are present in the human body are present in lesser or greater quantity in the soil.
Hence it is more scientific to bury a dead body, as it easily gets decomposed and mixed in the
soil.

2. No Pollution

Cremating (burning) the dead body leads to pollution of the atmosphere, which is detrimental to
health and harmful for the environment. There is no such pollution caused by burying a dead
body.

3. Surrounding land becomes fertile

To cremate a dead body several trees have to be chopped, which reduces the greenery and
harms the environment and the ecology. When dead bodies are buried, besides the trees being
saved, the surrounding land becomes fertile and it improves the environment.

4. Economical

It is expensive to cremate a dead body when tons of woods have to be burned. Annually there is
a loss of crores of rupees, only because dead bodies are cremated in India. Burying dead bodies
is very cheap. It hardly costs any money.

5. Same land can be utilised for burying another body

The wood used for cremating a dead body cannot be reutilised for cremating another dead body
since it gets converted to ashes. The land used for burying a dead body can be reutilised for
burying another body after a few years since the human body gets decomposed and mixed in the
soil.

ISLAM’S VIEWPOINT ON WILLS,

BEQUESTS AND INHERITANCE

Question: Is there no such thing as a 'Will' in Islam? In Islam, can a person 'Will' his
assets or property as per his wishes, after his death, to people other than those prescribed
in the methods of the Shari’ah? Is this 'Will' legally valid in India?
Answer: A ‘will’ is a legal document through which a person declares his/her wishes and
instructions on how his/her property and possessions should be disposed of, distributed or
given away after his/her death.

Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an:

“Prescribed for you when death approaches (any) of you if he leaves wealth (is that he
should make) a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable
– a duty upon the righteous.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:180]

Based on this verse from the Qur’an, it was earlier obligatory upon the Muslims to make a will
before death. But after the revelation of the verses on inheritance (i.e. Surah Nisa 4:11-12),
wherein Allah swt legislated fixed shares of inheritance for deserving heirs, it is now not
compulsory in Islam for a person to write a will in his lifetime, because his estate is divided as
prescribed in Shari’ah among his living heirs.

So after the revelation of Surah Nisa 4:11-12, in an Islamic country where Islamic Shari’ah is
followed, it is not required to make a will.

In a non-Muslim country like India that has a separate Muslim Personal Law, to make a will is
optional. If a Muslim fears that the non-Muslim country where Muslim Personal Law is followed
has chances of deviating from the Shari'ah in this respect, it is preferable to make a will as per
Qur’anic guidelines – otherwise it is not required. Such a will is legally valid in India.

However, in a non-Muslim country like U.S.A. that does not have a separate Muslim Personal
Law, according to me it is compulsory for a Muslim to make a will as per the guidelines laid by
Allah (swt) in Surah Nisa 4:11-12, so that it forces the law to execute Islamic Shari'ah as per your
will.

It is the right of every citizen of a non-Muslim country, to will his property as per his desire,
because in the absence of will each country has its own method of distributing the wealth.

It may be obligatory as well on a person to make a will, with regard to the dues of others where
there is no proof, lest they be lost or neglected, because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “It is not
permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last
will and testament written and kept ready with him."” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, al-Wasaayaa 2533].

One should also ‘will’ if he fears some kind of corruption or dispute among the heirs, especially in
a non-Muslim country.

However, one does not have the right to make a will for the legal heirs as per his own inclinations
(or wishes), because Allah (swt) has defined the share of each heir, and He has explained who
inherits and who does not inherit. So it is not permitted for any person to transgress the limits set
by Allah (swt).

“And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits – He will put him
into the fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment” [Surah Nisa
4:14]
Allah (swt) has permitted us to make a will to whomsoever we wish other than the legal inheritors
for a maximum of one-third of our wealth,

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah was being generous to you when He allowed you to give one-
third of your wealth (in charity) when you die, to increase your good deeds.” [Ibn Maajah, Kitaab
al-Wasaayaa, Hadith No. 2709]

Therefore one can will upto one-third of his wealth to be used for charitable purposes or else one
can also give it to the people apart from the legal heirs, because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “There
is no will for the heirs. [Tirmidhi, Kitaab al-Wasaayaa, Hadith No.2120]

And Allah knows the best.

WIFE’S CONSENT PRIOR

TO A SUBSEQUENT NIKAAH

Question: Does a Muslim man require explicit consent from his first wife, to marry a second
woman?

Answer: In Islam, marriage is a solemn contract for which the Islamic Shari’ah has laid down
rules and measures to guarantee its stability. Though Islam permits a man to have more than one
wife, it stipulates that certain conditions are to be met in this regard, for Islam’s main focus is on
building a stable marital life.

If a man is able to take a second wife, and can treat both wives in a just manner, and he wants to,
then he is allowed to do so as Allah says,

“… marry women of your choice two or three or four; but if you fear that you will not be just, then
(marry only) one …”

There is no evidence in the Qur’an and the authentic traditions of the prophet (pbuh), which
states that it is obligatory for the husband to have the explicit consent of his first wife, if he wants
to take a second wife.

However, he should inform his first wife about his intention. It is preferable to convince her about
his decision but it is not compulsory to take her consent.

But if the wife has stipulated a condition in the marriage contract, that her husband is not allowed
to take another wife as long as she is married to him, then the husband should adhere to the
condition and is obliged to take her permission before taking another wife.

The conditions of marriage are the most binding of conditions and are the most important before
Allah, because through them intimacy becomes permissible.
Narrated ‘Uqba: The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said: “The conditions most entitled to be
abided are those of (wedding contract) with which intimacy becomes permissible to you.” [Sahih
Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5151]

Therefore in the light of the above, it’s clear that the first wife’s consent is not a prerequisite for a
man to take another wife unless she specifies the above condition in her marriage contract.

And Allah knows the best.

Raising one’s Hands during Salaah

Question: A few people in our locality raise their hands before and after doing
‘Rukoo’. Is it a correct act while praying?
zachariah ataun <zachariahataun@yahoo.co.in>

Answer:
In addition to raising one’s hands in prayer when pronouncing Takbir al-Ihraam (the
first Takbir), it is Mustahab (i.e. a recommended act) to raise one’s hands at three
other times during Salaah (the Muslim prayer): (i) just before bowing in Rukoo’, (ii)
when rising from Rukoo’ and (iii) when standing up after the first Tashahhud. The
reports of raising of the hands are ‘mutawaatir’, which means they are reported by
so many narrators to so many that it is inconceivable that they could all have agreed
on a lie.

Narrations:
Whenever Ibn 'Umar started the prayer with Takbir, he used to raise his hands:
whenever he bowed, he used to raise his hands (before bowing) and he also used to
raise his hands on saying, "Sami a-l-lahu Liman hamida", and he used to do the
same on rising from the second Rak'a (for the 3rd Rak'a). Ibn 'Umar said: "The
Prophet used to do the same." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.739]

Imam al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote a separate book on this
issue, which he called ‘Juz’ fi Raf’ al-Yadayn’ (Section on Raising the Hands), in which
he proved that the hands should be raised at these points in the prayer.

Raising the hands in prayer was a well-known practice amongst the companions of
the Prophet (pbuh). Imam al-Bukhari said: “Al-Hasan and Humayd ibn Hilaal said:
‘The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) all used to raise their hands,
without exception.” [Juz’ raf’ al-yadayn, page 26].

There are no less than four Ahadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari and six in Sahih Muslim with
respect to raising the hands before and after Rukoo’ (bowing), besides several other
authentic traditions in other Ahadith compilations.

The traditions of not raising hands at these instances are classified as da’eef (weak)
by the scholars of Hadith. It is important for us to remind ourselves that once the
Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) becomes clear to a person, it is not permissible for
him/her to ignore it in favour of the opinion of anyone, since we all are Ummatis and
followers of the Prophet (pbuh).

Hence, a Muslim should not fail to raise his hands at the points in prayer described in
the Sunnah. Every Muslim should strive to make his prayer like the prayer of the
Prophet (pbuh) who said, “Pray as you have seen me praying.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari
Vol.1 Hadith No.631]. And Allah knows the best.

FORBIDDEN TIMES FOR SALAAH
Question: I am told by many people that it is not permissible to read the Qur’an or do Sajdah after
Asr prayers and that we cannot pray, be it reading Qur’an or Namaz at 12.00 clock. Kindly reply!

Answer:
Regarding the time of recitation, it is permissible for a Muslim to recite the Qur’an at any time of
the day or night as he/she wishes. Rather it is mustahab i.e. recommended to remember Allah
(dhikr) after Fajr, which certainly includes reading the Qur’an, as it is one of the best forms of
dhikr.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits and remembers Allah
until the sun comes up, then prays two rak’ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah.”
[Tirmidhi al-Jumu’ah Hadith No.585]

There are certain times at which the Prophet (pbuh) has disallowed prayer. These are: (i) While
the sun is rising (i.e. during the time of sunrise), (ii) when the sun has reached its highest point
i.e. at noon and (iii) while sun is setting (i.e. during the time of sunset).

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: “There were the times at which the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh)
forbade us to pray or to bury our dead: when the sun has clearly started to rise until it is
fully risen, when it is directly overhead at midday until it has passed its zenith, and when
the sun starts to set until it has fully set.” [Sahih Muslim Vol.2 Chapter 292 Hadith
No.1811]

Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri: I heard Allah's Messenger (pbuh) saying, "There is no prayer after
fajr prayer till the sun rises, and there is no prayer after the Asr prayer till the sun sets." [Sahih Al-
Bukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.586]

Contrary to this, the Prophet (pbuh) used to pray two raka’ahs after asr prayer as related in many
of the authentic traditions. However, it is important for us to note that whenever we perceive a
difference between Qaul (command) and Amal (action) of the Prophet (pbuh), then according to
the rule of fiqh, command takes precedence over the action.

Thus under normal circumstances, a Muslim should not offer Salaah after the Fajr prayer until the
sun rises or after the asr prayer until the sun sets, unless there is a valid reason and requirement.
For example, if after having offered his asr salaah a person enters a mosque before sunset, he
can offer two raka’ahs Tahiyyat al-masjid (prayer after entering mosque) before sitting which is a
recommended Sunnah.

Similarly, if a person does Tawaaf of the Ka’bah after offering Fajr salaah and before sunrise, he
can offer two raka’ahs Salaat al-Tawaaf (prayer done after circumambulating the Ka’bah).

And Allah knows the best.

MARRYING WOMEN FROM THE PEOPLE OF THE
BOOK
Question: Can a Muslim man marry a Christian or a Jew? Please explain.
Sheikh Tahir
tahir103@rediffmail.com

It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a woman from the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews
and the Christians), only if they fulfill certain criteria. Allah (swt) says:
“And (Lawful in marriage are) chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from
among those who were given the Scripture before you…”
[Surah Al-Maidah 5:5]

Based on the above verse, most of the scholars say that a Muslim man can marry any woman
who is a Jew or a Christian. On the other hand, if we read the Qur’an as a whole, Allah (swt) also
says that Muslims are not allowed to marry Mushriks i.e. people who associate partners with Allah
(swt).
“And do not marry Mushrik (polytheistic) women until they believe. And a believing slave woman
is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:221]

Moreover, we find that the Jews and the Christians too associate partners with Allah (swt). Says
Allah (swt) in the Glorious Qur’an:
“They (Jews and the Christians) have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and
(also) the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God;
there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” [Surah At-
Tawbah 9:31]

The Christians, who claim that Jesus (pbuh) is God as well as the Son of God, insist on the
supposed divinity of Jesus (pbuh) and worship him as such.
“They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the
Messiah has said, “O children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed he who
associates other with Allah – Allah has forbidden him paradise and his refuge is the fire. And
there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:72]

From the above-mentioned verses and many such verses of the Qur'an, it is very clear that
almost all the present day Jews and the Christians are committing shirk by joining partners with
Allah (swt).

Apparently, it appears to be a “contradiction” in the Qur’an, since at one place Allah (swt) forbids
Muslims from marrying Mushriks, whereas at another place He allows Muslim men to marry
women from the Jews and the Christians, most of who as per the Qur'anic narrations are
Mushriks too i.e. those who associate partners with Allah (swt).
In another verse of the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) conciliates all the above verses by informing
us that among the Jews and the Christians there are also people who are true believers i.e. they
believe in only one God and do not associate partners with Allah (swt). It says,
“Among them (Jews and the Christians) are believers but most of them are defiantly
disobedient.” [Surah Ali Imran 3:110]

Therefore, according to me, Muslim men are permitted to marry only those women from the
People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who are chaste as well as who do not
commit shirk i.e. those who do not believe in trinity and Jesus’ (pbuh) divinity. And Allah Knows
the Best.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
MARY AND MIRIAM
Question

It is mentioned in your Qur’an that Mary was the sister of Aaron (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) did not know the difference between Miriam the sister of Aaron (pbuh) and Mary the
Mother of Jesus (pbuh), as the time span between both of them was about a thousand years.
Jesus_christ35@yahoo.com

1. IN THE SEMITIC LANGUAGES SISTER ALSO MEANS DESCENDANT

The Qur’an mentions in Surah Maryam, Chapter 19 verses 27-28
‘Then she brought him (child) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! You
have certainly done a thing unprecedented. "O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a man of evil
nor was your mother unchaste!"” [Surah Maryam 19:27-28]

Christian missionaries say that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not know the difference between
Mary the mother of Jesus (pbuh) and Miriam the sister of Aaron (pbuh). The time span between
both was more than a thousand years.

In the Arabic construction of the sentence, sister is also considered as a descendant. Thus, when
the people said to Mary, Ya Ukhta Haroon i.e. ‘O sister of Aaron’ it actually means descendant of
Aaron (pbuh).

2. SON ALSO MEANS DESCENDANT

It is mentioned in the Gospel of Mathew, Chapter 1 verse 1
"Jesus Christ, the son of David,..".
[Mathew 1:1]

It is also mentioned in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 3, verse 23
"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of
Joseph,..."
[Luke 3:23]

3. DID JESUS (PBUH) HAVE TWO FATHERS?

The explanation of the phrase that Jesus (pbuh) was the son of David (pbuh), is that Jesus
(pbuh) was a descendant of David (pbuh). So, ‘Son’ here too means a descendant.
PROHIBITION OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Question: I have a doubt about playing of musical instruments. Is this an act of
Satan?
Faiz-ullah-Khan, Jammu and Kashmir.

A. Prohibition of music is recorded in many authentic Ahadith.

Narrated Abu Malik Al-Ashari:
"The Messenger (pbuh) of Allah (SWT) said, "Some people of my Ummah will drink
wine, calling it by other than its real name, merriment will be made for them through the
playing of musical instruments and the singing of lady singers. Allah will cleave the earth
under them and turn others into monkeys and swines.
[Ibn Ma'jah Vol.5 Hadith No.4020]

Narrated Abu Amir or Abu Malik Al Ashari that he heard the Prophet saying, "From
among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual
intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical
instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a
mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask
them for something, but they will say to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy
them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the
rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection."
[Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5590]

However, there are some Ahadith which indicate that it is permissible to beat the ‘daff’
i.e. the tambourine (which is open on one side and covered on the other).

Narrated Urwa on the authority of Aisha
“On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) Abu Bakr came to her while
two young girls were beating the tambourine (daff) and the Prophet was lying covered
with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them. The Prophet uncovered his face and said to
Abu Bakr, "Leave them, for these days are the days of 'Id and the days of Mina."
[Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.2 Hadith No.987]

Narrated Ar Rabi (the daughter of Muawwidh bin Afra):
“After the consummation of my marriage, the Prophet came and sat on my bed as far
from me as you are sitting now, and our little girls started beating the tambourines (daff)
and reciting elegiac verses mourning my father, who had been killed in the battle of Badr.
One of them said, ‘Among us is a Prophet who knows what will happen tomorrow.’ On
that the Prophet said, ‘Leave this (saying) and keep on saying the verses which you had
been saying before.’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5147]
Therefore from the above evidence it is concluded that the use of musical instruments in
general is forbidden in Islam, with the exception of the 'Daff'.

Music usually intoxicates a person and takes one away from the path of Allah (swt).
Music engages a person’s mind and takes him/her away from the remembrance of
his/her Creator and from realizing and focusing his/her attention on the purpose of
his/her creation. In musical songs, most of the times the listeners even appreciate
illogical, incorrect and blasphemous matter and content. A person will realize this when
he starts pondering over the meaning of many Hindi and English songs, lyrics and
ghazals. Here we find that it is because of music that the person’s mind is intoxicated
and the person deviates from the straight path. And Allah Knows the Best.

IS MAN CREATED FROM SPERM OR DUST?

Question: At one place the Qur’an mentions that man is created from sperm and
in another place it mentions that man is created from dust. Are these two verses
not contradicting? Hello_brother41@yahoo.com

Answer:

1. Man created from sperm and dust

The Qur’an refers to the lowly beginnings of a human being from a drop of sperm, in
several verses including the following verse from Surah Al-Qiyamah:

"Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)"?
[Al-Qur’an 75:37]

The Qur’an also mentions in several places that human beings were created from dust.
The following verse makes a reference to the origin of human beings:

"(Consider) that We created you out of dust".
[Al-Qur’an 22:5]

We now know that all the elements present in the human body (i.e. the constituent
elements of the human body) are all present in the earth in small or great quantities. This
is the scientific explanation for the Qur’anic verse that says that man was created from
dust.

In certain verses, the Qur’an says that man was created from sperm, while in certain
other verses it says that man was created from dust. However this is not a contradiction.
Contradiction means statements, which are opposite or conflicting and both cannot be
true simultaneously.

2. Man created from water
In certain places the Qur’an also says that man was created from water. For instance in
Surah Al-Furqan it says:

"It is He Who has created man from water".
[Al-Qur’an 25:54]

Science has proved all the three statements to be correct. Man has been created from
sperm, dust as well as water.

3. It is not a Contradiction but a Contradistinction

Suppose I say that in order to make a cup of tea one needs water. One also needs
tealeaves or tea powder. The two statements are not contradictory since both water and
tealeaves are required in order to make a cup of tea. Furthermore if I want sweet tea I
can even add sugar.

Thus there is no contradiction in the Qur’an when it says that man is created from
sperm, dust and water. It is not a contradiction but a contradistinction. Contradistinction
means speaking about two different concepts on the same subject without conflict. For
instance if I say that the man is always truthful and a habitual liar, it is a contradiction,
but if I say that a man is always honest, kind and loving, then it is a contradistinction.

DYEING ONE’S HAIR
Ques. I am Bilal. I’d like to know about hair coloring according to Qur’an and Hadith. I
came to know that it is permissible. Is it right? Please explain providing evidence from
authentic sources of Islam.
Bilal Ahmed ----- bilalgi@islamicvoice.com

Ans.: It is permissible to change the colour of one’s greying hair, to a colour besides black, as
long as the material used for coloring hair is pure and permissible.

Narrated Abu Dharr

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The best things with which grey hair are changed are henna
and katam (a plant from Yemen which produces

a reddish-black dye)”. [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3 Chapter 1567 Hadith No.4193]

During the days of the Prophet (pbuh), the Jews and the Christians used to refrain from dyeing
greying hair because they considered such adornment as contrary to piety and devotion, and not
befitting rabbis, priests and ascetics. The Prophet (pbuh) forbade Muslims from imitating them
(the Jews and the Christians), in order that Muslims might develop their own distinctive and
independent characteristics.

Narrated Abu Huraira
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "The Jews and the Christians do not dye (their
grey hair), so you shall do the opposite of what they do (i.e. dye your grey hair
and beards)." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.4 Hadith No.3462 & Sahih Muslim Vol.3
Chapter 831 Hadith No.5245]

However, it is not permitted for a Muslim man or a woman to dye his/her hair black because of the
reports in which the Prophet (pbuh) instructed the Muslims to abstain from it.

Jabir bin Abdullah reported that Abu Quhaafah was led (to the audience of the Holy Prophet) on
the day of the conquest of Makkah and his head and beard were white like thughamah (hyssop),
whereupon Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: “Change it with something but avoid black”. [Sahih
Muslim Vol.3 Chapter 831 Hadith No.5244]

Ibn ‘Abbaas reported the Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying: At the end of time there will be
people who will use this black dye like the crops of birds; they will not experience the fragrance of
Paradise.” [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3 Chapter 1569 Hadith No.4200]

Nevertheless, the use of black dye is specifically permitted during time of war, with the possibility
of demoralizing the enemy when they see all Muslim soldiers looking ‘young’.

Moreover, dyeing the hair when there is no grey hair, though not forbidden, is not regarded as
following the Prophet’s example, since it does not serve the same shar’i interests as achieved
by dyeing grey hair.

One must make sure that hair colouring should not be done as an imitation of immodest or
immoral people, whom some people may mistakenly regard as examples to follow. This is
prohibited because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever imitates any people is one of them.”
[Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3 Chapter 1506 Hadith No.4020].

And Allah Knows the Best.

IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO OFFER
NAFIL SALAH AFTER WITR SALAAH?
Ques. Is it true that my last prayer should be witr or is this merely recommended as a
prudent course of action by the Prophet (saw). Once I pray witr after Isha and later I want
to pray Nafil, can I do so?
Shaikh Imran--- Imran_shaikh94@hotmail.com

Ans.: It is Mustahab (i.e. highly recommended) for a Muslim to make witr as his/her last prayer at
night since the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) exhort the Muslims to do so.

Narrated Nafi

Ibn 'Umar said, "While the Prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night
prayers. He replied, 'Pray two Rak’ahs at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you
are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rak’ah and that will
be the witr for all the Rak’ahs at which you have offered’." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.472]
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Make Witr as your last prayer at night." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.2 Hadith
No.998]

However, this command of the Prophet (pbuh) is in the sense of it being preferable, and not
obligatory, because it is proven in the Ahadith that the Prophet (pbuh) sometimes prayed two
rak’ahs (units) after Witr whilst sitting down.

Abu Salamah asked ‘Aisha about the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). She said: “He
observed thirteen rak’ahs (in the night prayer). He observed eight rak’ahs and would then
observe witr and then observe two rak’ahs sitting, and when he wanted to bow He stood up and
then bowed down, and then observed two rak’ahs in between the Adhan and Iqamah of the
dawn prayer”. [Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Chapter 261 Hadith No.1608]

The Prophet (pbuh) prayed two rak’ahs after witr in order to demonstrate that it is permissible to
pray nafil after witr. He did not always pray nafil after witr, rather he did that only a few times.

If one prays Witr in the beginning of the night, after that Allah (swt) enables him/her to pray
qiyaam, then one can pray two by two but he/she does not have to repeat Witr, because the
Prophet (pbuh) said, “There cannot be two Witrs in one night.” [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.1 Chapter
495 Hadith No.1434].

And Allah Knows the Best.

Islamic Research Foundation Replies...
By Tanvir Shaikh

It is with great trepidation and alarm and not a little grief that I read the article that you
published in your magazine written by Dr. Zakir Naik declaring that Allah Subhanahu wa
ta’ala may be called by any name that a person finds to his liking.

Mirza Yawar Baig, leadtrain@yahoo.com

Dr. Zakir Naik has never claimed in any of his articles or talks that it is permissible for people to
call Allah (swt) by any name of their choice or liking. Neither has he ever passed a blanket rule to
invent or import names for Allah (swt). In his talks, he quotes the verse of the Glorious Qur’an
from Surah Al-Isra 17:110, which says:
Say: “Call upon Allah, or Call upon Rahman; By whatever name ye call Upon Him, (it is well): For
to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names”. [Al Qur’an 17:110]

Dr. Zakir simply explains the verse that Allah (swt)'s name should be beautiful and it should not
conjure up a mental picture. He has never stated that a person can call Allah (swt) with any name
he or she desires. It is understood that Allah (swt) should be only referred to according to the
manner in which He and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have described Him.

One cannot deduce a ruling just on the basis of one or two verses of the Glorious Qur’an unless
one has analyzed the Qur’an as a whole. For example, it will be erroneous for someone to say
that Muslims are allowed to gamble and drink wine because in them there is some profit for men,
simply because Allah (swt) has mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an:

“They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin and some profit for men;
but the sin is greater than the profit." [Al-Qur’an 2:219]
However, if one studies the Qur’an completely then he will conclude that intoxicants and gambling
are prohibited in the Qur’an beyond any doubt. Says Allah (swt) in the Glorious Qur’an:

“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows are
an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination) that ye may prosper.” [Al-
Qur’an 5:90]

Similarly, if we read the complete article/book of Dr. Zakir Naik, where he explains the definition
and different categories of Tawheed, he makes it very clear that one cannot call Allah (swt) with
any new names or attributes which neither Allah (swt) nor His Messenger have used.

Moreover, the verse that illustrates the complete prohibition of intoxicants and gambling, does not
contradict the verse of Surah Al-Baqarah 2:219, but rather gives more specific information on the
subject. Likewise, the explanation of the verse of Surah Al-Isra 17:110 by Dr. Zakir Naik does not
conflict with the elucidation of the second category of Tawheed by him, but throws additional light
on the matter.

Following is the part of the article in which Dr. Zakir Naik expounded the second category of
Tawheed i.e. Tawheed Al-Asma Was-Sifaat.

QUOTE:
Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes):

The second category is Tawheed al Asmaa was Sifaat which means maintaining the unity of
Allah’s name and attributes. This category is divided into five aspects:

(i) Allah should be referred to as described by Him and His Prophet:

Allah must be referred to according to the manner in which He and His prophet have described
Him without explaining His names and attributes by giving them meanings other than their
obvious meanings.

(ii) Allah must be referred to as He has referred to Himself:

Allah must be referred to without giving Him any new names or attributes. For example Allah may
not be given the name Al-Ghaadib (the Angry One), despite the fact that He has said that He gets
angry, because neither Allah nor His messenger have used this name.

(iii) Allah is referred to without giving Him the attributes of His creation:

In a reference to God, we should strictly abstain from giving Him the attributes of those whom He
has created. For instance in the Bible, God is portrayed as repenting for His bad thoughts in the
same way as humans do when they realise their errors. This is completely against the principle of
Tawheed. God does not commit any mistakes or errors and therefore never needs to repent. The
key principle when dealing with Allah's attributes is given in the Qur'an in Surah Ash-Shura:

"There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One That hears and sees (all things)."
[Al-Qur'an 42:11]

Hearing and seeing are human faculties. However, when attributed to the Divine Being they are
without comparison, in their perfection, unlike when associated with humans who require ears,
eyes, etc. and who are limited in their sight and hearing in terms of space, time, capacity, etc.
(iv) God’s creation should not be given any of His attributes:

To refer to a human with the attribute of God is also against the principle of Tawheed. For
example, referring to a person as one who has no beginning or end (eternal).

(v) Allah’s name cannot be given to His creatures:

Some Divine names in the indefinite form, like Raoof or Raheem are permissible names for men
as Allah has used them for Prophets; but Ar-Raoof (the Most Pious) and Ar-Raheem (the most
Merciful) can only be used if prefixed by Abd meaning slave of or servant of i.e. Abdur-Raoof or
Abdur-Raheem. Similarly Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) or Abdun-Nabee (slave of the
Prophet) are forbidden.

UNQUOTE:
Mr. Mirza Yawar Ali Baig mentions in his article against Dr. Zakir Naik that Dr. Zakir Naik claims:

QUOTE:
“By whatever name you call upon Him (it is well)” is not a blanket permission to invent or import
names to call Allah by. It means, whichever of the names that He or His Prophet have permitted
may be used to call upon Him and this is acceptable. Nothing else.”

“In his speech on Thursday, April 15, 2004 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dr. Zakir Naik said, “If
someone calls Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala the Creator in English, or Khaliq in Arabic or Brahma in
Sanskrit we have no objection. But if they say Brahma and mean the image sitting on the lotus
and so on, we have a serious objection. Similarly if someone calls Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala the
Sustainer in English or Rabb in Arabic or Vishnu in Sanskrit we have no objection. But when they
say Vishnu, if they mean the image with the many hands and the Chakra in one hand, traveling
on the Garuda and so on, we have a serious problem.”

UNQUOTE:
I assume that either Mr. Baig may have either attended the talk or heard the video-cassette and
has alleged this statement for Dr. Zakir Naik based on his memory. I am reproducing a portion of
Dr. Zakir Naik’s book which he (Dr. Zakir Naik) also repeats in his lectures.

QUOTE:
To Allah belong the most beautiful names:

The Qur’an says:

"Say: Call upon Allah, or Call upon Rahman: By whatever name you call Upon Him, (it
is well): For to Him belong The Most Beautiful Names." [Al-Qur’an 17:110]

A similar message regarding the beautiful names of Allah (swt) is repeated in the Qur’an
in Surah Al-Araf (7:180), in Surah Taha (20:8) and in Surah Al-Hashr (59:24).

The Qur’an gives no less than ninety-nine different attributes to Almighty Allah. The
Qur’an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and
Al-Hakeem (All Wise) among many other names. You can call Allah by any name but that
name should be beautiful and should not conjure up a mental picture.

Rigveda

i) The oldest of all the vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the
Hindus. The Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46:

Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names. [Rigveda 1:164:46]

ii) The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned
in Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1.

Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda
Book II hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means The Creator. Translated into Arabic it means
Khaliq. Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaliq or Creator or
Brahma. However if it is said that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head
having a crown, Muslims take strong exception to it.

Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of
Yajurveda:

Na tasya Pratima asti
There is no image of Him. [Yajurveda 32:3]

Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu.
Vishnu means The Sustainer. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, Muslims can have no
objection if Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or 'Sustainer' or Vishnu. But the popular image of
Vishnu among Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding
the Chakra, i.e. a discus and one of the left arms holding a conch shell, or riding a bird or
reclining on a snake couch. Muslims can never accept any image of God. As mentioned earlier
this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19.

Na tasya pratima asti
‘There is no likeness of Him’

UNQUOTE:
Brahma in Sanskrit has got several meanings. One of the many meanings is Creator. Similarly,
for the English word ‘Creator’, many Sanskrit words can be used like ‘Janak’, ‘Utpadak’, ‘Dhata’
‘Vidhata’ ‘Vishwvidhayee’ ‘Jagat Srishta’ and ‘Shrishti Karta’ as well as ‘Brahma’. If Mr. Yawar
Baig knows only one meaning of Brahma, it is his lack of knowledge. Similarly, there are various
meanings of the Sanskrit word ‘Vishnu’, one of which is Sustainer or Cherisher. Likewise,
Sustainer can be translated into different Sanskrit words including ‘Stithi Karta’ as well as
‘Vishnu’.

If you read the complete context of Dr. Zakir Naik’s book, he is actually not permitting people to
call Allah as Brahma or Vishnu, even though it means Creator and Sustainer, but objects to it
since it goes against the criteria of Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, because they are giving
qualities of His creation to Allah (i.e. qualities of human beings i.e. human hands, human body
etc.).
In the same article Mr. Yawar Baig writes that you can call Allah by the name God or Khuda. He
says:

QUOTE:
“Referring to Allah by generic terms like god, khuda (Urdu & Farsi), and avane (Tamil) and so on
is different as there is no personality concept attached to that. Words like khuda are used
exclusively for Allah in the Urdu and Farsi languages. However even in this case it is far better to
say Allah rather than khuda.”

UNQUOTE:
Even though I personally do not mind Mr. Baig’s statement but if critically analyzed, it is seriously
objectionable as compared to Dr. Zakir Naik’s statement where he objects, calling Allah as
Brahma having four heads and arms.

Khuda may be exclusively used for Allah by some Muslims only, but there are many Hindus who
use the word Khuda for Ram, Krishna, Brahma, Vishnu etc. Similarly Parsis use the word ‘Khuda’
to refer to their god ‘Ahura Mazda’. Mr. Baig also gives permission to call Allah as ‘god’. Calling
Allah by ‘god’ with a small ‘g’ is 100% wrong. Even if capital ‘G’ is used for God, some Muslims
may use God exclusively for Allah, but most of the Christians when they use the word God with a
capital ‘G’, they are referring to Jesus (peace be upon him).

God according to the Oxford dictionary means

(a) “A super human being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature.

(b) An image, idol, animal or other objects symbolizing a God. An adored, admired or influential
person”.

I would like to ask Mr. Baig, which of the attributes of Allah mentioned in the Qur’an matches with
the meaning of the English word God.

Infact, Dr. Zakir Naik writes in his book:

QUOTE:
By what name do we call God?

The Muslims prefer calling the Supreme Creator, Allah, instead of by the English word God. The
Arabic word, Allah, is pure and unique, unlike the English word God, which can be played around
with.

If you add s to the word God, it becomes Gods, that is the plural of God. Allah is one and singular,
there is no plural of Allah. If you add 'dess' to the word God, it becomes Goddess that is a female
God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add the word
father to God it becomes God-father. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no
word like Allah-Abba or Allah-father. If you add the word mother to God, it becomes God-mother.
There is nothing like Allah-Ammi, or Allah-mother in Islam. Allah is a unique word. If you prefix tin
before the word God, it becomes tin-God i.e., fake God. Allah is a unique word, which does not
conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Therefore the Muslims prefer
using the Arabic word Allah for the Almighty. Sometimes, however, while speaking to the non-
Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word God, for Allah.

UNQUOTE:
I as a da’ee understand both Mr. Baig and Dr. Naik, but if you critically analyze all of the above,
Mr. Baig gives permission to call Allah as god (God) or Khuda, even though he says Allah is
better. Dr. Zakir Naik says only for Da’wah if some Muslims use the word God for Allah while
speaking to Non-Muslims who do not understand the meaning of Allah he will not object. But yet
he says that God is not the appropriate word for Allah. He is clear that in normal circumstances
Allah cannot be translated as God.

Mr. Baig has said that Dr. Zakir Naik’s articles should be checked by Aalims who have passed
from Islamic Universities. Unfortunately, Mr. Mirza Baig does not know that there are several
Aalims in Dr. Zakir Naik’s organization the Islamic Research Foundation, many of whom are
graduates from the Islamic University of Madeenah, which is one of the most reputed Islamic
Universities of the world. Almost all the talks, articles and books by Dr. Zakir Naik are checked
and verified by these scholars. It is Mr. Mirza Baig who should verify and check up his Islamic
knowledge.

Now let us see what Mr. Baig himself does when it comes to his own articles. In his article
“Leadership, A Journey of Self Discovery” that appeared in an issue “Here & Now”, the quarterly
newsletter of ISABS he gives parables and tales of Hindu gods from Hindu mythology to prove
his contentions. Et tu Brutus, Mr. Baig?

WOMEN IN THE MOSQUE
Question:

Why are women not allowed in the mosque?

Answer:

1. There is not a single verse in the Qur’an, which prohibits ladies
from entering mosques. There is not a single authentic Hadith which I
am aware of which states that the Prophet (pbuh) prevented or
forbade women from going to mosques.

There is only one Hadith, which perhaps could have been
misunderstood to mean that women should not go to the mosque.
That Hadith is as follows:

Abdullah Bin Mas’ud reported the Prophet (pbuh) as saying: It is more
excellent for a woman to pray in her house than in her courtyard, and
more excellent for her to pray in her private chamber than in her
house. [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.1 Chapter 204 Hadith No.570]

If you base your conclusion only on this single Hadith, then you may
wrongly conclude that it is not advisable or preferable for women to go
to the mosque. However, your conclusion cannot be based only on one
Hadith neglecting or ignoring all the other Ahadith. The context of the
Hadith is also very important.

The Prophet (pbuh) said that if a person prays in the mosque he gets
27 times more blessings (Sawab). Some women argued that they had
infants at home and other household work and therefore could not go
to the mosque. Thus, the men would have a greater advantage than
women for receiving such blessings. It is then that the Prophet (pbuh)
said the above Hadith.

Hence, the conclusion is that in situations where women have infants
and household work, which too is an important duty that cannot be
neglected, women would not be deprived of the sawaab (blessings) if
they pray in their own homes.

2. There are several Ahadith which prove that both men and women
used to go to the mosques during the life of the prophet (pbuh):

(i) The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Do not prevent the female
servants of Allah from going to the mosque of Allah.’ [Sahih Muslim
Vol.1 Chapter 177 Hadith No.886]

(ii) And husbands were specifically told by him, “If the wife of
any one of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid
her.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book of Salaah, Chapter 80, Hadith No.
832)

(iii) From the time the Prophet (pbuh) entered Madinah, after
Hijra, till his demise, he never prevented women from entering the
mosque.

(iv) During the time of the Prophet (pbuh), women not only
went to the mosques for prayer but also for religious education and
literary discussions as the mosque was the centre of community.
Several Ahadith tell us that the Prophet (pbuh) addressed people in
the mosque, and the audience consisted of both Muslim men and
women. Women many a times asked questions to the Prophet (pbuh)
in the mosque.

(v) During the Prophet’s (pbuh) time, mosques had separate
entrances for ladies. Women filled the mosques from behind while men
had separate entrances and filled the mosques from the front. In
between the two sections were children.
(vi) It is reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones are the
last. The best rows for women are the last ones, and the worst ones
for them are the first.” [Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Chapter 175 Hadith
No.881)

3. Islam permits women to pray in mosques. Ladies should have
separate and equal facilities. Islam does not permit the intermingling
of sexes. Otherwise, there will be a similar scene in mosques like other
places of worship where some people even come for ‘bird-watching’
and eve teasing.

4. In recent times, women are not allowed in mosques in a few
countries especially in India and its neighbouring countries. Otherwise,
in most of the other countries, women are allowed in mosques.
Women are allowed in mosques in Saudi Arabia, in U.A.E; in Egypt, in
U.S.A; in the U.K and in Singapore. Women are also allowed in the
sacred mosques, Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah and in Masjid-e-Nabawi in
Madinah.

Allahamdulillah, the trend is now changing in India. We have several
mosques in India and a few in Mumbai in which women come to pray
in mosques (masaajid).

WHY DO MUSLIMS FOLLOW THE LUNAR
CALENDAR
Question:

Why do Muslims follow the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar?

Answer:

1. As per the Solar calendar, every year the months fall in the same
respective seasons of that location. For example, the months of March, April
and May in India will always have summer, while July, August, September will
always have monsoons i.e. rains in western India. November, December and
January will always have winter.

2. In the lunar calendar in different years the months fall in a
different season.
The lunar calendar has about 11 days less than the solar calendar. Thus,
every year, the month of the lunar calendar occurs 11 days prior to what it
had occurred in the previous solar year. Thus, in a span of about 33 lunar
years a human being will experience all the different seasons for one
particular month of the lunar calendar. This is very important because the
yearly activities of a Muslim are based on the lunar calendar. Certain months
like Ramadhan and Hajj are very important to the Muslims. During
Ramadhan a Muslim has to fast which includes abstaining from food and
drink from sunrise to sunset. If the Islamic months were based on the solar
calendar where the seasons were fixed, then people living in certain parts of
the world would have Ramadhan in summer while in other parts of the world
it would be winter. Some Muslims would have to fast for a longer period of
time where the days are long while other Muslims would have to fast for
shorter period of time where the days are short. If the seasons did not
change, then Muslims living in some parts of the world may feel that they are
at a disadvantage throughout their lives.
By following the lunar calendar, every Muslim has a taste of fasting in
different seasons and for a different time period, in a span of about 33 years
of his life.

Why are all prayers and supplications
not answered or fulfilled by Allah (SWT)?

A. 1. You may dislike a thing which is good for you (2:216)

The reply to this question is given in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Baqarah
chapter 2 verse 216:

“But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a
thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.”

2. Praying for a motor cycle.

There may be a very pious person who prays to Allah (SWT) for a motor cycle
but the prayer is not answered. Allah knows very well that if the person acquires
a motor cycle he will have an accident and get crippled. The Qur’an rightly says
you may love a thing which is bad for you but Allah knows and you know not.

3. Businessman misses flight due to traffic jam.

Suppose a rich businessman is supposed to catch a flight in order to click a deal
which would fetch him billions of rupees. While going to the airport to catch the
flight, there was an unusual traffic jam on the road, which prevented him from
reaching the airport on time. The businessman misses the very flight and
sorrowfully says “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life.”

While returning back home he hears on the radio that the very flight that he was
supposed to catch has crashed and all the passengers have died. The
businessman happily says: this is the best thing that has ever happened to me in
my life.

Allah knew best that the life of the businessman was much more precious than
the billions of rupees that he had lost. You may dislike a thing which is good for
you, but Allah knows and you know not.

4. Surah Shura-chapter 42 verse 27.

The Qur’an mentions in Surah Shura chapter 42 verse 27

“If Allah were to enlarge the provision for His Servants, they would indeed
transgress beyond all bounds through the earth; but He sends (it) down in due
measure as He pleases. For He is with His servants well-acquainted, watchful.”

5. Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verse 186.

It is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verse 186

“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen
to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me:”

6. Surah Ghafir chapter 40 verse 60.

It is mentioned in Surah Ghafir chapter 40 verse 60

“And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are
too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!

7. Allah answers your prayer by not answering.

Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an that “you call on Me and I will answer the prayer”.
These verses of the Qur’an are not falsified when your prayers are not answered.
In fact Allah (SWT) in His Divine Wisdom answers your prayers by not granting
you what you with your limited and finite knowledge had asked for.

8. Unbelievers and impious people have luxury.

Some people wonder how is it that several unbelievers and impious people lead
a luxurious life. They worship false gods and pray to them for wealth. Since these
people worship false gods yet, Allah (SWT) answers their prayers and gives them
wealth which further leads them away from Allah (SWT) and thus in the long run
it is harmful for them.

9. Believers remember Allah whether rich or poor.
A true believer is a person who, irrespective of whether he is rich or poor,
remembers Allah (SWT).
Allah (SWT) has described such people in Surah Al Noor chapter 24 verse 37

“By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the remembrance
of Allah nor from regular prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: their
(only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world
wholly new)-“

10. A True believer always says Alhamdullillah.

A true believer is a person who irrespective of what ever happens says,
‘Alhamdulillah’. Praise be to Allah. Even when he goes in loss he says
Alhamdullillah, because he has faith in Allah that if Allah permitted the loss to be
incurred it has to be beneficial in the long run. In short he has faith in Allah, that
whatever happens, happens for the good.

And Allah Knows Best.

Why Building of Temples and Churches, and
Propagating Other Religions, is Prohibited in Saudi
Arabia?

Q. Why is building of temples and churches and the propagation of any religion
other than Islam not allowed in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia?

A. 1. Example of selecting a Maths teacher:

Suppose you are a principal of a school and you have to select a Mathematics
teacher. It is obvious that you will interview the candidates. If one teacher says
that 2 + 2 = 3, the other says 2 + 2 = 4 and the third says 2 + 2 = 5 whom will you
select? Since you know mathematics is logical, you will never select or allow a
person to teach mathematics who doesn’t even know the basics of arithmetic that
2 + 2 = 4.

2. Where religion is concerned Muslims are experts:

Similarly in the field of religion, Muslims are the best and Qur’an clearly mentions
in Surah Ale Imran, Chapter 3, verse 19 (3:19):

“The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will)”. [Al-Qur’an 3:19]
It is further mentioned In Surah Ale Imran Chapter 3, verse 85 (3:85)

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it
be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who
have lost (All spiritual good).” [Al-Qur’an 3:85]

3. No other religious scripture claims that its religion alone is true.

There is no other religious scripture on the face of the earth besides the Qur’an
which says that only its religion is true, correct and acceptable to Almighty God,
and that all the other religions are false and hence not acceptable to Almighty
God.

If you are a school principal who knows Maths, you will never allow a person to
teach Maths in your school who does not know Maths. Similarly Muslims, who
are experts in the field of religion and know that Islam is the only true religion, will
not allow anyone in the country of Saudi Arabia to preach any other religion
besides Islam. Muslims also know that what the true concept of Almighty God i.e.
Allah (SWT) is, and thus we will not permit anyone to build, in the country of
Saudi Arabia, a place of worship where they worship anyone besides Allah (swt).

And Allah Knows Best.