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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.

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.

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.
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.

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.
Which School of Thought Should A Muslim Follow?

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.

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

"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.

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.

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.
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.
IS HINDUISM THE OLDEST AND
THEREFORE THE BEST RELIGION?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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:


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.


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.

Inheritance

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?