Radiant Reality

Back to Radiant-Reality Index

Regd. No.: JKENG/2000/4174
Published From  Srinagar.

Editor, Printer & Publisher: Mawlana Hamidullah Lone.

August 2006.  VOL.7, No: 8.


1. Editorial - Responsibilities of educated youth
2. Questions & Answers

3. Lesson from Al-Qur'an

4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

5. Islamic beliefs

6. Resurrection : Islamic and scientific perspectivey

7. Islamic finance

8. Association with the pious

9. Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

10. Government and politics

11. An in-depth look at Zabihah
12. Saviours of Islamic Spirit


1. EDITORIAL
Responsibilities of educated youth

Muslim young men living or studying any part of the world are a part of the great Islamic Millat. They are the members of the same international family and the inheritors of the same legacy. By 'family' we do not mean what the common people associate with blood ties nor does legacy signify what the Orientalists and other ignorant scholars seek to suggest. they furnish the proof of their lack of knowledge by writing books on what they are so fond of calling 'The Legacy of Islam'. here we mean the brotherhood of the deep-hearted servants of the Lord who may have attained a place of distinction by striving their level best in the path of faith and learning.

Reading Afresh of Islamics Learned Young Man

You should undertake a fresh study of Islam and examine it in the light of its distinguishing features. You should try to understand Islam in a new way and along the modern lines, seriously and sincerely. You ought to study the Quran with the aid of written commentaries but with the depths of your mind and heart. Make use of your simplicity and sound judgement while learning it. You should read it as if it was not an old scripture but the one that has been sent down for the current age or rather that it is being revealed to you directly. You ought to spend your precious time on the study of the life of the Prophet and his Traditions and try to forge a living contact with him. This contact should be based on study, love, devotion and dedication.

Representatives of Islam

Next, it is your duty to function as the true representatives of Islam in the West. You should boldly present the tenets of your faith, show a correct image of it and safeguard its teachings, commands and practices. You are the representatives of a religion which is the best of Religions and ideally suited for the modern times. Your faith needs you.

Set Good Example

You ought to present a good image of Islam before your friends and other young men who feel shy of being known as Muslims. You have to set a good example for the young Muslims of other countries who refrain from giving expression to Islam. For it there is definitely the promise of a permanent reward. You can attract your friends, teachers, and neighbours by leading a truly Islamic life of piety and truthfulness, prayer and remembrance, contentment and serenity and joy and virility. History tells that Islam has drawn to itself countless intellectuals in this way and conquered whole nations an communities without shedding a drop of blood.

May be you are on the rolls of a University or working in a factory or in an office. Your rank may be high or low but your existence by virtue of your creed and message is most exalted. You owe certain duties to your teachers from whom you may have learnt anything and Islam attaches the greatest importance to rendering to everyone what may be his due. They need you in order to understand Islam properly. You hold the position of a guide and mentor with regard to them.

Unique Opportunity

Realise you worth and value in these circumstances, understand your responsibility and fulfill your duty. Once again, your stay in any part of the world is a unique opportunity from which you should derive the fullest advantage. Through it you can pave the way for the resurgence of Islam and welfare of humanity. Your presence in any land will be a source of strength to your faith; it will lead to the placing of trust and reliance on it and new avenues for the progress of Islam will open up as a result of it.

Your presence can be instrumental in filling this awful void.

 

  TOP

 

2. Question and Answer

Interest in Present Times

Q.  Could you please tell me what the punishments are to: 1 having sex before marriage. 2: smoking drugs and 3: drinking alcohol?

A.          1. If an unmarried person indulges in the act of fornication, he/she will be given 100 lashes. This is clearly mentioned in the Quraan, The male and female fornicators, give them 100 lashes. (al-Nur Aayat2). This form of punishment is instituted in an Islamic country. In a non-Islamic country, the person should be informed of the punishment in the hereafter and also reprimanded severely. If a married person commits adultery, he/she will be stoned to death. Nabi [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] mentioned that whilst a person is engaged in this evil act, his Imaan is taken away. If he dies in that state, he will die as a non-believer. If a person deems premarital sex as permissible, he will be taken out of the fold of Islam, thus, becoming Kaafir. Fornication is totally Haraam. There is no scope for it in Islam.

2. Smoking drugs is Haraam. We deduce this from the Hadith of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] that, All intoxicants are prohibited (Haraam).
3. Consuming alcohol in Islam is Haraam. In an Islamic state, the consumer will be punished according to the discretion of the Judge of the Islamic court. However, in a non-Muslim country, such a person should be severely reprimanded and be advised that such an act, just like fornication, cannot be tolerated. He should be informed about the punishments Nabi [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] mentioned in a Hadith, He who consumes alcohol, his Salaat will not be accepted for 40 days. (Tirmidhi).

And Allah Taala Knows Best

 

Q. Is it alright to advice a muslim classmate to dress decently like wearing head scarf. i think that it is not appropriate as it will lead to unseen problems?

A. We commend you for your concern in practicing on Deen and Islam. It is important to understand that Allah has created every human being with taste and temperaments. In order to achieve success, it is essential to consider the feelings of the other person. This will create a harmonious society.

You state you are 17 years old. Firstly, we do not know ifyou are male or female. If you are female and wish to advise your classmates, it is extremely important to first win her confidence. That is by befriending her, honouring her and showing her the highest amount of respect and recognition. Once you win her into your confidence, with compassion and wisdom, encourage her to follow the entire Shariah. Explain to her the greatness of Allah and obeying His commands will earn His pleasure whereby He will shower you with all types of blessings and bounties. In order to achieve your goal, you have to be extremely patient and tolerant. It is possible that she may disagree with you, then too do not give up. Show her more love and affection. Always keep your gaze on Allah to assist you and guide your classmate. Always bear this in mind that if I convince her to wear scarf, I will be immensely rewarded by Allah.

However, if you are male, it is not permissible for you to have contact with her. You may explain your situation to another female relative of your who would use the above guidelines to advise her.
And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.

 

Q. What is your opinion on one who says, I believe in Allaah, and I put my trust in Allaah, and I rely on Allaah, and I seek the protection of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?

A. If someone says, I believe in Allaah, and I put my trust in Allaah, and I rely on Allaah, there is nothing wrong with that. This is the attitude of every believer he puts his trust in Allaah, believes in Him and relies on Him.

But with regard to the phrase, and I seek the protection of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), these are reprehensible words. Seeking the protection of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) after his death is not permissible.

Seeking his protection during his lifetime with regard to matters where he had the ability to do something was permissible. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And if anyone of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) seeks your protection then grant him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allaah (the Quraan)[al-Tawbah 9:6]

But seeking the protection of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) after his death is major shirk. Anyone who hears someone saying such words should advise him, because he may have heard that from some people and not understand its meaning, but if you tell him and explain to him that this is shirk, Allaah may benefit him at your hands. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

 

Q. We often hear this saying: Religion is the opium of the people. What does it mean? Is it correct?.

A. This phrase was coined by the Jew Karl Marx. He said these words, claiming thereby that religion is the drug that numbs the minds of the people.

His words are refuted by irrefutable facts, which is that the true religion, the faith of Ibraaheem which Allaah has enjoined upon His creation, is a religion that revives hearts and minds, and motivates people, pushing its followers to the forefront. It does not accept for its adherents to be humiliated and subjected to oppression, subjugated by their enemies, remaining silent in the face of falsehood and corruption, or adhering blindly to rituals and habits without any authority from Allaah. Rather it obliges them to be active and to prepare all their strength, and to subject all resources on the face of the earth, or beneath it or in its atmosphere, so as not to allow their enemies to beat them in this race. It requires them to devote all their talents and energies for the sake of Allaah, so that His Word may be supreme and suppress the word of those who fabricate lies about Allaah, and to disavow themselves of any who rejects His religion and denies the rule of His Law.

This is the true religion, unlike what was said by this Jew and his followers and students, who were groomed to fight this true religion, the followers of which can never be defeated if they follow it as it was revealed.

With regard to other so-called religions, such as atheism and idolatry, what this Jew said may be applied correctly to them, because their people are restricted by the myths in which they believe, which place obstacles in the path of scientific development and innovation.

 

    TOP

3. Lesson from the Qur'an


Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Shaifi Sahib (RA)

 

() () ()

O children of Israil (the Israelites), remember My blessings that I conferred upon you, and fulfill the covenant with Me, so I fulfill your covenant, and have awe of Me alone. And have faith in what I have revealed, confirming what is already with you, and do not be the first to deny it, nor take a paltry price for My signs. And fear Me alone. And do not confound truth with falsehood, and do not hid the truth when you know. Verses 40-42)

 In short, Salaah is burdensome because the heart enjoys to keep the faculties of thought and imagination in a continuous motion. Motion being the disease, it can only be remedied by its opposite - restfulness. Hence, the Holy Qur'an prescribes Khushu a word which we have rendered into English by the phrase "humbleness in heart", but which actually signifies "the restfulness of the heart".

Now, the question arises as to how one can acquire this "restfulness of the heart." Everyone knows through his own experience that, if one deliberately tries to empty one's heart of all kinds of thoughts and fancies, the effort rarely succeeds. The only way to achieve it is that since the human mind cannot move in two directions simultaneously, one should make it absorb itself in one thought alone so that all other thoughts may disappear by themselves without any effort on one's part. So, having prescribed "the restfulness of the heart", the Holy Qur'an also prescribes a particular thought which will, if one absorbs oneself in it, drive away all other thoughts: once the movement of thought and fancy has been reduced to the restfulness of the heart, the performance of Salaah becomes easy; regularity in offering the ordained prayers gradually cures the disease of pride and ambition, and thus the way to the perfecting of one's faith grows smooth. Such is the well-ordered and beautifully integrated art of spiritual medicine that the Holy Qur'an has given us!

Now, the thought in which one should immerse oneself in order to acquire "the restfulness of the heart" has been explained by the Holy Qur'an in describing "the humble in heart" - they are the people who bear in mind that they are to meet their Lord, when they shall receive the reward for their obedience, and also bear in mind that they are to return to Him, when they shall be required to present an account of their deeds. These twin thoughts produce hope and fear in the heart, and hope and fear are the best agents for inducing a man to devote himself to good deeds.

The prayer which the Holy Qur'an prescribes is not a mere contemplation or meditation. AI-Salaah: in the terminology of Shari'ah, is a definite form of 'lbadah or worship, the mode of which is divinely ordained. As often as the Holy Qur'an insists on the performance of the Salaah, it employs the word Iqaamah, except in one or two instances. Lexically, the word means "making a thing straight, or keeping it firmly in its place." A tree or a wall or anything which is vertical and straight, usually lasts long in its place; so, the word also signifies "establishing a thing or making it perpetual." Thus, the conjunction of the two words, Salaah and Iqaamah, in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith signifies, not merely offering the prayer, but performing the five ordained prayers steadfastly in the prescribed form at the prescribed hours and fulfilling all the necessary conditions. The Holy Qur'an and the Hadith speak of the great rewards and blessings one can hope to receive for offering Sa/ah, and of other benefits which flow from it, but all of them are tied up with Iqaamah in the sense which we have just explained. For example, the Holy Quran says: the Salaah restrains one from indecency and evil." (29:45). The prescribed prayer will bear these fruits only when one has been performing it in the full sense of Iqaamah. It follows from it that if one finds people who are quite regular in offering their prayers indulging in immodest or even evil activities, one should not have misgivings about the veracity of this verse, for these people have, no doubt, been praying, but not been observing the conditions of Iqaamah.

Verse 43 also speaks of paying Zakaah, the prescribed alms. Now, lexically speaking, the Arabic word : Zakaah has two significations: (a) to purify (b) grow. Zakaah is not a tax levied by the State or society, but, in the terminology of the Shari'ah, means that portion of one's belongings which is set apart and spent in total accord with the injunctions of the Shari'ah.

This verse is addressed to the Israelites, and does not by itself show that offering prayers and paying alms was obligatory for them before the days of Islam. But the following verse:

Allah made a covenant with the Israelites and raised among them twelve chieftains. And Allah said, 'I am with you. Surely, if you perform Salaah and pay Zakaah. (5:12)

does show that the two things were obligatory for them, even if the external modes might have been different.

The verse proceeds to say: "Bow down with those who bow (in worship)." Lexically, the Arabic word Ruku' means "to bow down", and may hence be applied even to prostrating oneself (Sajdah), which is the ultimate form of bowing down. But in the terminology of the Shari'ah it pertains to the particular form of bowing down which has been prescribed for Salaah.

One may well ask why this particular gesture has been chosen for a special mention from among the different gestures involved in the Salaah. We would reply that it is a metonymy for Salaah, and a part has been made to stand for the whole -just as in verse 17:78: " the recitation of the Qur'an in the morning" refers to the morning prayers, and on several occasions in some Hadith narrations the use of the word Sajdah covers one set of movements (Rak'ah) in Salaaah or even to the whole of it. Thus, the verse actually means: "Offer Salaah along with those who offer Salaah."

 

Salaah with Jama'ah: (congregation)

Then, there is a more comprehensive explanation for the specific reference to "bowing down" (Ruku'). The form of the ritual prayers ordained for the Israelites and others included prostrating oneself (Sajdah), but not bowing down. This particular way of bowing down called Ruku' is peculiar to the Islamic Salaah alone. Hence, Raakieen or those who bow down (in worship) are, obviously enough, the members of the Islamic Ummah, and the verse, in effect, asks the Israelites to accept Islam, and to offer their prayers along with the Muslims.

The command  Be steadfast in Salaah", shows that Salaah is obligatory. The other command,  Bow down with those who bow (in worship)", establishes that Salaah is to be offered in the company of other Muslims (Jama'ah).

A very important question arises here - what is the degree of the obligation intended in this injunction? There is a difference of views among the Fuqaha' (jurists) on this point. According to a large body of blessed Companions, their successors and of the jurists of the Ummah, it is necessary (waajib) to offer Salaah in a congregation, and it is a sin to give up the Jama'ah, Some of the blessed Companions have gone to the length of holding that it is not permissible to offer Salaah all by oneself without a proper excuse allowed by the Shari'ah. Verse 43, in its literal connotation, provides an argument in favour of this view. Moreover, certain Hadith narrations too seem to suggest that the Jama'ah is necessary (Waajib). For example, a Hadith reported by Abu Dawud says that for a man living near a mosque, Salaah is permissible only in the mosque.

According to another hadith reported from the blessed Companion Abu Hurayrah (RA) by Imam Muslim, a Companion who was blind asked the Holy Prophet for the permission to offer Salaah in his house, for there was no one to take him to the mosque and to bring him back. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) allowed him to do so, but, as he was leaving, asked him if he could hear the call for the prayers in his house. He said that he could. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) remarked: "In that case, you must come to the mosque." Another narration of the same hadith as reported by Abu Dawud adds that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Then, I see no room for making a concession in your case." Similarly, al-Qurtubi cites a Hadith from the blessed Companion Ibn 'Abbas (RA) who reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said: The man who hears the call for the prayers but does not go to the mosque for the Jama'ah, has not offered his prayers at all, except that he should have some valid excuse." On the basis of such ahaadith, Companions like 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (RA) and Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (RA) have ruled that if a man lives close enough to a mosque to hear the call for prayers and yet does not attend the Jama'ah without a valid excuse, his offering of the Salaah at home is not acceptable. (Let us explain that hearing the call refers to the call made by a man possessing an average voice, and not to that made by a man with an extraordinarily loud voice or broadcast by a loudspeaker). Presented this far were arguments advanced by our revered elders who consider that Salaah with Jama'ah is waajib or necessary.

On the other hand, the majority of the blessed Companions, their successors and later jurists hold that the Jama'ah is a Sunnah which has been particularly emphasized (Mu'akkadah), and that among the Sunnah of this kind it is, like the Sunnah offered in Fajr Salaah, the most emphasized so as to come very close to being necessary. On the basis of certain other verses and Hadith narrations, they interpret the imperative in "bow down with those who bow" as intended for emphasis only. As for the ahaadith which appear to be saying that it is just not permissible for those who live near a mosque to offer their Salaah at home, they say that these only mean that this is not the perfect way to offer the prayers. The most comprehensive explanation of the matter has been provided by the blessed Companion 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (RA), as reported by Imam Muslim: "The man who wishes to meet Allah tomorrow (i.e. the Day of Judgment) as a true Muslim, should offer these (five) prayers regularly and steadfastly in a place where the call for the prayers is habitually made (i.e. a mosque), for Allah has laid down for your Prophet certain ways of good guidance (Sunnan al-Hudaa) and offering the five prescribed prayers with the Jama"ah is one of them. If you offer these prayers at home," he added pointing towards a man, ''as he does, keeping away from the Jama'ah, you will have forsaken the Sunnah of your Prophet, and if you forsake the Sunnah of your Prophet, you will go astray. The man who (performs the wudu' or ablution and cleanses himself in the proper manner, and then) goes to a mosque, for every step that he takes, Allah forgives one of his sins, adds one good deed to his account and promotes him one rank higher . Our company was such that there was not a single man, except for people known for their hypocrisy who would offer their prayers at home away from the Jama"ah, so much so that even when a man was ill or unable to walk, he was brought to the mosque with his hands resting on the shoulders of two men, and made to stand in the row of those who were praying." This statement fully brings out the great importance of the Jamaah, but at the same time defines its exact position by including it among the "ways of good guidance" (Sunan al-Huda) which are, in the terminology of the Fuqaha' (jurists), called Al-Sunan al-Mu'akkadah (the Sunnah on which the greatest emphasis has been placed). Thus, if a man does not go to the mosque for Jamaah and offers Salaah at home without having proper excuse like illness, his prayers will be valid, but he will have earned the displeasure of Allah for having given up a Sunnah which comes under the category of Mu'akkadah. If neglecting the Jamaah becomes habitual for him, he will be committing a grave sin. If all the people living in the vicinity of a mosque leave it deserted and offer their prayers at home, they become, in the eyes of the Shariah, liable to punishment. Qadi Iyad says that if persuasion fails to mend such people, they must be challenged by a show of force (Qurtubi).

    TOP

 

4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

 

Hadith 48 Contd

Allah provides sustenance to all with utmost ease.

For Allah is He Who gives (all) sustenance, Lord or Power, Steadfast (forever) (51:58)

 

Allah Destroys Without Fear

              He says:

() ()

Then they rejected him (as a false prophet), and they hamstrung her. So, their Lord crushed them for their sins and leveled them. And for Him is no fear of its consequences. (91:14-15)

When creatures take some decision, they think of consequences that can be against them but Allah being the Creator, can create at will and there can be no question of any such apprehension in His case.

 

Resurrection is Easy for Allah

He says:

()

It is He Who begins the creation; then repeats it; and for Him it is most easy, To Him belongs the loftiest similitude (we can think of) in the heavens and the earth; for He is Exalted in Might, full of Wisdom (30:27)

In the first instance Allah created every creature from nothing, when He can create everything from nothing, then how can it be difficult for Him to give life again to dead ones.

()

The unbelievers think that they will not be Raised up (for Judgement), say: Yes, by my Lord, you shall surely be raised up: then shall you be told (the truth) of all that you did. And that is easy for Allah (64:7)

 

Allah is Qadeem so are His Attributes

Qadeem means without beginning, as His Essence is Qadeem so are His Attributes. His Attributes cannot be separated from His Essence. He was Creator (Khaliq) even before creating anything. Act of creation did not add anything to His Essence or Attributes. He will remain Creator even after the creation is no more there. He did not become Creator after creating the creations. He was Creator before that as well. When He created or creates anything, at that time He is active Creator whereas before creating, He was potential Creator. A writer remains a writer even when he is not writing. When he is not writing, he possesses the potential or ability to write, so does not cease to be a writer. Similar is the case with all other attributes of Allah like seeing (Baseer), Listening (Samee) and Knowing (Aleem) etc. These all Attributes were with Him always even before creating the creation and there will be no loss in them even after the creations will remain no more.

 

Belief in angels

Malaikah or angels are very fine creation of Allah created from Noor (light). They are not visible to ordinarily naked eye and they also have the power to adopt different shapes. They have no evil instincts, hence cannot do any evil. They always obey the Divine Commands. They have no gender, we have to believe in their existence and not attribute any sex to them. They are innumerable and their number is known to Allah only. Names of four senior angels viz; Jibra'eel, Mikaeel, Israfeel and Izraeel (AS) are famous and the rest of the angles are to be believed in general. Angels are honourable creatures who are always busy in carrying out the duties which Allah has decreed upon them. They never disobey Allah.

Hadhrat Jibra'eel (AS) brought the laws of Allah Taala to the Rusul (Messengers) through the medium of Divine Revelation. He was sometimes sent by Allah to assist the Ambiyaa fighting the enemies of Islam. At times he was sent by Allah to execute punishment to those who were disobedient to Allah.

Hadhrat Mika'eel (AS) is the angel appointed in charge of rains, weather and providence. There are many angels under his supervision, some responsible for rain, some for clouds, some for winds and some for sustenance etc. They all act in accordance to Allah Taalas Will and Commandments.

Hadhrat Israfeel (AS) is the angel whose task will be to sound the Soor or trumpet which will then lead to the destruction of the universe and the advent of Qiyaamah (dooms day).

Hadhrat Izra'eel (AS) is the angel of death commonly known as Malakul-Maut.  He is in charge of inflicting death to the various creations of Allah Taala. He also has many angels working under his supervision. Some angels are responsible for taking the souls of pious people while others are responsible for taking the souls of evil and disobedient people.

Amongst them are ( ) Kiraaman Kaatibeen, the two angels who are posted with every human, one on each shoulder, from his birth up to death. The right one writes the good deeds and the left one writes the bad deeds of a person. Another special group of angels are those who hold the Throne. Every Muslim is accompanied by an angel who inspires in him Hidaayat (Guidance to do good). The angels called the Nakeer () and Munker () question a person in grave soon after his death.

 

Belief in His books

It means to believe in all the divine books which were sent down by Allah to different prophets like Al-Quran  was to Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Injeel to Hadhrat Eisa (AS), Zaboor to Hadhrat Dawood (AS) and Torah to Hadhrat Musa (AS). There are many other divine books, also called Suhuf, which were sent down to other Prophets but their exact number is not known. We believe in all of them with whatever their number had been. Belief in these books means that these books existed and were sent down by Allah, hence were divine in nature, The Quran revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the last revealed book of Allah and is the only divine book which is existing today in its original form without any addition or alteration and will remain in its original form up to the day of Judgement as Allah Himself has guaranteed its safety. Allah Taala says:

We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; And We will assuredly guard it (from corruption) (15:9)

The Quran abrogated all earlier divine books, that means today we believe that all earlier books were divine but their commandments stand abrogated by the Quran and now we have to follow the commandments of the Quran only.

No divine book other than the Quran is existing in its original form today as the safety of those books was not guaranteed by Allah.

Some narrations have stated that the number of divine books revealed to different Prophets was one hundred and four, out of them ten Suhuf were sent to Hadhrat Adam (AS), fifty to Hadhrat Sheeth (AS), thirty to Hadhrat Idrees (AS), ten to Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) and four above mentioned books and out of these Quran is the last and the best. (Mirqat)

 

The Quran

It is the Last Revelation sent down by Allah to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is the Word of Allah, hence it is His attribute i.e., it is not created but the attribute of the Creator. Both the words and meaning of the Quran are from Allah. Allah Taala says:

These are the signs of Allah: We rehearse them to thee in truth: verily thou art once of the Messengers (2:252)

But when We have recited it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated)(75:18)

 

Imam Tahawi says:

Thus, the Quran is the spoken word of Allah except that we do not know how He speaks for His speech is not like our speech as His hearing is not like our hearing.

 

Allah Taala says:

It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by sending of a Messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise (42:51)

This Ayat reveals that Allah speaks through Wahy and that Wahy is His speech. Allah Taala says:

The revelation of this Book is from Allah, The Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom. (39:1)

The origin of words of Quran is from the essence of Allah. What an excellent description by Imam Abu Haniefa in Fiqh-Akbar:

The Quran is written in books, safely stored in hearts, recited by tongues, has been revealed on the Prophet, the words with which we recite the Quran are created and the Quran is not created (Makhlooq).

 

Allah Himself named the Quran as the Word of Allah

If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men without knowledge.(9:6)

Imam Tahawi says that one who says that the Quran is the word of a human being and not the word of Allah, is a Kaafir (Infidel) as Allah Himself calls it the Word of Allah in the above mentioned Ayat.

 

Belief in Prophets sent by Allah

It means to believe in all the Prophets which were sent by Allah amongst whom Hadhrat Adam (AS) being the first and Hadhrat Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) being the last prophet. Islam enjoins us to believe that all these prophets existed and preached whatever Allah revealed to them. There have been mentioned the names of only few prophets in Quran and Hadith, Islam enjoins us to believe in them with specificity and in the rest of them in general. The number and the names of all the Ambiyaa is not known. The names of a few famous Ambiyaa are given below:

Hadhrat Adam, Hadhrat Sheeth, Hadhrat Idrees, Hadhrat Nuh, Hadhrat Ibrahim, Hadhrat Ismail, Hadhrat Ishaaq, Hadhrat Yaqoob, Hadhrat Yusuf, Hadhrat Dawood, Hadhrat Suliamaan, Hadhrat Musa, Hadhrat Haroon, Hadhrat Zakaria, Hadhrat Yahya, Hadhrat Ilyaas, Hadhrat Yunus, Hadhrat Loot, Hadhrat Saaleh, Hadhrat Hood, Hadhrat Shuaib, Hadhrat Eisa (AS) and Hadhrat Muhammad Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

All prophets were Masoom (innocent or free from sins), that means a prophet cannot commit a sin because they are divinely protected against committing any sin.

There is consensus amongst the whole Ummah over the innocence of Prophets and this is an important branch of Iman. It is better not to attribute any fixed number to the total number of Prophets sent by Allah. It is for this reason that Ulema say that it is better to say that I believe in all the Prophets sent by Allah, whatever be their number.

Imam Ahmad has quoted on the authority of Abu Ahamah that once Hadhrat Abu Dhar Gifari (RA) asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) about the total number of Prophets, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, One Lakh and twenty-four thousand .

The ranks of some Prophets are higher than that of others and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the noblest and the highest in rank amongst the Prophets of Allah.

()

Those Messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others: to some of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); To Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (signs), and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (signs) had come to them but they (chose) to wrangle some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah does what He wills. (2:253)

()

Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: I give you a Book and Wisdom: then comes to you a Messenger, confirming what is with you; Do ye believe in him and render, him help. Allah said: Do you agree, and take this my covenant as binding on you? They said: We agree. He said: Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witness. (3:81)

()

Ye are the best of people, evolved for mankind. Enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the people of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. (3:110)

()

We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; And We will assuredly guard it (from corruption). (15:9) 

  TOP

 5. Islamic Beliefs

Hadhrat Sheikh-ut-Tafseer Mawlana Idris Kandhlawi (RA)

 

IN RELATION TO THE HEREAFTER

 

AQEEDAH # 5

'Pul Siraat' is a bridge that is erected over Jahannum. It is a fact and Haqq that the believers will pass thereupon successfully and enter into Jannat and the Jahannamis will fall off it and be entered into Jahannum. It is necessary to bring Imaan in this. After the deeds have been weighed, the people will be ordered to cross the Pul Siraat. The people' of Imaan will traverse it quickly. Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) will be the first to pass it with his Ummat. Some believers will pass it at the blink of an eyelid, others like the speed of lightening, others like a fast conveyance, others like a fast horse and others like a camel. The bridge will be covered in darkness, only the people of Imaan will have the Noor of Imaan that will light up for them and guide them through it. This is borne out by the Qur'aanic Aayaat.

NOTE

An example of the Pul Siraat is like walking on a Straight Path. Those who tread the Straight Path in this world, will also transverse the Pul Siraat on the Day of Qiyaamah with ease and quickly. Those whose feet slip in this world (from the Straight Path), so too will their feet slip on that bridge. It is the firm belief of the Ahle Haqq that the Pul Siraat is a true road and path which will be felt as such. Every person will be able to see it with their naked eyes. It is not a figurative or imaginary thing. Every true religion attested to this fact and every Nabi warned his nation regarding it. The Seal of all Nabis (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also warned his Ummat regarding this bridge and warned about it in such clear and explicit terms that none can refute or make any interpretations regarding it. To believe in the Pul Siraat is Fardh for every Muslim.

 

AQEEDAH # 6

It is also a fact and Haqq that on the Day of Qiyaamah, the good people will intercede, by the Permission of Allaah Ta'ala on behalf of the evil ones (destined for Jahannum). Allaah Ta'ala will grant permission to the Ambiyaa, Ulama, Shuhadaa and angels to make representations on behalf of the Muslims (destined for Jahannum). The first permission in this respect will be given to Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), who will be asked to intercede by the entire population of the world. The first person to be asked to intercede for the people by the people will be Hadhrat Aadam (alaihi salaam) and they will end by the final and last and best of all, Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam). On this Day the status and rank of Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) will be recognized by all.


NOTE:

It should be understood that there will be various stages where Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) will be making intercession, the first of these, known as 'Shafaa'at-e-Kubra' will be on the plains of resurrection. This intercession will be so that the intense heat and difficulty of the Day be lessened and that the reckoning begin. The second intercession will be for easiness at the reckoning and questioning. The third intercession will be on behalf of those sinners upon whom the order for punishment had been decreed, so that they be forgiven and not thrown into Jahannum. The fourth intercession will be for those who have already been thrown into Jahannum, and it will be for their removal therefrom. The fifth intercession will be for the raising of the stages of some of the believers. The sinners must always have hope in these intercessions.

The Intercession will be in five stages and they are all verified in the Ahaadith. They are all Haqq. The Mu'tazilas only accept the first and fifth intercession. They reject the others, because they regard a person who commits a major sin to be a kaafir. According to them such a person is no longer a believer and intercession is not for the disbelievers.

 

AQEEDAH # 7

Jannat and Jahannum are true and Haqq. The comforts and rewards of 7annat and the punishments in Jahannum are all Haqq. All types of bodily and spiritual pleasures are for the Jannatis, and all types of bodily and spiritual discomforts and punishments are for the Jahannamis.

 

AQEEDAH # 8

Both, Jannat and Jahannum have already been created and are at present in existence. After the questioning and reckoning, one group will be sent to Jannat and one group will be sent to Jahannum. The Mu'tazilas claim that Jannat and Jahannum will be created on the Day of Qiyaamah. There are numerous Aayaat in the Qur'aan Majeed that dearly express that Jannat has been prepared for the Muttaqis and that Jahannum has been prepared for the kuffaar. The incident of Hadhrat Aadam and Hawa (alaihimus salaam) is sufficient to refute their contention. This dearly proves that Jannat is already in existence. Hadhrat Aadam and Hawa (alaihimus salaam) had already spent a period of time therein. "O Aadam, you and your wife stay in Jannat."

 

AQEEDAH # 9

Jannat and Jahannum are both everlasting and will remain forever and ever. They will never ever be terminated. Allaah Ta'ala has created them to remain forever. Upon this is the consensus of the entire Ummat.

 

AQEEDAH # 10

"A'raaf' is Haqq. Araaf is that place which is between Jannat and Jahannum. It is a place which neither has the pleasures of Jannat nor has it the punishments of Jahannum, but this place is not forever. The people who will be stationed here will be able to see both the Jannatis and the Jahannamis, and they will be able to speak to them. As Allaah Ta'ala says: "And between the two of them (Jannat and Jahannum) is a screen, which is 'A'raaf; on their faces they will be recognised (they will have signs of Jannat or Jahannum)."

On the Day of Qiyaamah, people will be of three types. There will be those whose good deeds will outweigh their evil deeds, and they will go to Jannat. There will be those whose evil deeds outweigh their good deeds, they will go to Jahannum. There will be those whose good and evil deeds will be equal, they will be made to stand on Araaf'. They will remain there until Allaah Ta'ala decides to forgive them and enter them into Jannat, as the Aayat says: "Enter Jannat, there will be no fear for you and you will not grieve."

It is the belief of the majority of the predecessors and later times Ulama that the people of A'raaf will be those whose good and evil deeds are equal. They will be made to stand on this wall and they will recognise the inmates of Jannat by their luminous faces and features, and the inmates of Jahannum by their dark faces and features. When they see the Jannatis, they will have desire to enter therein and when they see the Jahannamis, they will seek pardon from Allaah Ta'ala and seek refuge there from. They will focus their attentions on the Benevolence and Magnanimity of Allaah Ta'ala and have hope that He will pardon them and place them into Jannat. Nevertheless, all the Ahle Haqq are unanimous that A'raaf is not a permanent place and that the people thereupon will be entered into Jannat.

 

AQEEDAH # 11

The punishment of the kuffaar in Jahannum will be forever and ever. They will never be saved from this punishment, nor will this punishment ever be alleviated and eased for them. "The punishment will never be lessened for them and they will never be given respite."

The comforts and pleasures in Jannat for the believers will also be forever, and they will never leave there.

The sinful (faasiq) Muslims will first undergo a certain period of punishment in Jahannum according to their sins and then they will be removed therefrom and placed into Jannat. The Barkat of their Imaan will save their faces from being permanently blackened and they will not be shackled in chains. The permanent punishment in Jahannum is especially for the kuffaar. Whoever has even the slightest spark of Imaan will not remain in Jahannum forever. They will be saved through the Mercy and Grace of Allaah Ta'ala and they will be placed in Jannat.

 

AQEEDAH # 12

It is Haqq that in the Hereafter the believers will see Allaah Ta'ala with no restrictions and limitations. Our belief is on this that we will see Him, then. The believers will be given the ability to be able to see Allaah Ta'ala without any limitations. This is such a thing that, besides the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, all the other sects refute and deny. They believe that it is not possible to see Allaah Ta'ala without any limitations and restrictions. lt is surprising (they believe) that people will be in Jannat and yet still not be able to see Allaah Ta'ala. It is obvious that those who regard the sighting of Allaah Ta'ala as being impossible, will lose hope in ever seeing Him. If the seeing of Allaah Ta'ala was not possible (in the Hereafter), then the lovers of Allaah Ta'ala (those who engage in excessive Ibaadat), will never be able to attain such high levels of pleasure and gratification in their Ibaadat, because there is no joy in working towards a thing that one deems impossible to attain. Everyone is desirous'óf seeing the Beauty of the Noor of the heavens and the earth (i.e. Allaah Rabbul Izzat).

Allaah Ta'ala says:

"On that Day (some) faces will be radiant (in looking) towards their Rabb."

Allaah Ta'ala says:

"Never! Indeed they will be deprived on that Day from (looking at) their Rabb.

Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) made a request to Allaah Ta'ala: "My Rabb, show me that I can look at You."

If seeing Allaah Ta'ala was impossible, then Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) would not have made this request. It is not possible that a Nabi of Allaah Ta'ala does not know what things are possible and what things are impossible. The rejecters aver that this was the request of the people of Moosa (alaihi salaam). This is incorrect, because it is very apparent from the text of the Qur'aan that this was the direct desire and request of Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam). Or if, according to the Mu 'tazilas, Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) knew the seeing of Allaah Ta 'ala as being impossible, then he would surely have told his nation that their request is pointless, and he would have prevented them from making such a request, because the purpose of a Nabi is that he make the people aware of the Qualities and Nature of Allaah Ta'ala.

Allaah Ta'ala replied to Hadhrat Moosa's (alaihi salaam) request by saying: "You will not be able to (bear to) see Me". In the Sight of Allaah Ta'ala this world and the Hereafter are the same and all the creation are His creation, in that He can do whatever He pleases to do in either realm, but He knows that He has placed different abilities in people. Some have the ability to see and withstand the Luminousness of Allaah Ta'ala and others cannot. Just like a reflection of an object can dearly be seen in a mirror, but not in a stone or sand, whereas both are His creations. Allaah Ta'ala has placed the ability to see Him in Jannat and not in this world. For this reason Hadhrat Moosa (alaihi salaam) could not see Allaah Ta'ala in this world. The seeing of Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu alaihi wasalam) of Allaah Ta'ala on the night of Mi'raaj was not done in this world but in the realm of the Hereafter. Therefore, seeing Allaah Ta'ala cannot be done in this world, but in the realm of the Hereafter it will be possible. Besides these Aayaat, there are others that indicate towards the seeing of Allaah Ta' ala in the Hereafter. In this respect there are also so many authentic Ahaadith that testify to this fact. The predecessors of the first era of Islaam are also unanimous on this fact.

No Muslim denies the Sight and Ability of Allaah Ta'ala to see. It is stated in the Qur'aan Shareef:

"What! Do they not know that indeed Allaah Sees."

In another Aayat it is stated:

And Allaah Sees whatever you do. He is The One Who Hears and Sees,"

"Soon Allaah will see your actions."

"The two of you do not fear, Indeed I am with you, I Listen and I See."

Hence if it is possible that Allaah Ta'ala Sees us and He is not limited to space and time, then it is also possible that we will be able to see Him. Although the servants of Allaah Ta'ala are limited to space and time, but Allaah Ta'ala is not limited.

Those who deny the seeing of Jannatis of Allaah Ta'ala cite this Aayat:

"No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision."

Apparently, this Aayat infers that we will not be able to see Allaah Ta'ala. The Ahle Haqq say that this Aayat does not refer to normal seeing, but rather it refers to encompassing, i.e. to be able to incorporate a thing from its inception to its end. Like it is said "Adraka Asabiyy" ("The child has reached maturity"), or "Adraka Thamar" ("The fruit has reached ripeness"). The word "Mudrakoon" is used in the Aayat that means (referring to the people of Moosa - alaihi salaam, when they said):

"The Companions of Moosa said 'Indeed surrounded':

Hence this Aayat refers to the sights of people who will not be able to see Allaah Ta' ala in an all-encompassing way, i.e. from top to bottom.

     TOP

 

 6. Resurrection - Islamic and Scientific Perspective

Ibrahim B Syed
          

            

Of all the Muslim rulers who ruled vast territories of India from 712 to 1857 CE, probably no one has received as much condemnation from Western and Hindu writers as Aurangzeb. He has been castigated as a religious Muslim who was anti-Hindu, who taxed them, who tried to convert them, who discriminated against them in awarding high administrative positions, and who interfered in their religious matters. This view has been heavily promoted in the government approved textbooks in schools and colleges across post-partition India (i.e., after 1947). These are fabrications against one of the best rulers of India who was pious, scholarly, saintly, un-biased, liberal, magnanimous, tolerant, competent, and far-sighted.

Fortunately, in recent years quite a few Hindu historians have come out in the open disputing those allegations. For example, historian Babu Nagendranath Banerjee rejected the accusation of forced conversion of Hindus by Muslim rulers by stating that if that was their intention then in India today there would not be nearly four times as many Hindus compared to Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims had ruled for nearly a thousand years. Banerjee challenged the Hindu hypothesis that Aurangzeb was anti-Hindu by reasoning that if the latter were truly guilty of such bigotry, how could he appoint a Hindu as his military commander-in-chief? Surely, he could have afforded to appoint a competent Muslim general in that position. Banerjee further stated: "No one should accuse Aurangzeb of being communal minded. In his administration, the state policy was formulated by Hindus. Two Hindus held the highest position in the State Treasury. Some prejudiced Muslims even questioned the merit of his decision to appoint non-Muslims to such high offices. The Emperor refuted that by stating that he had been following the dictates of the Shariah (Islamic Law) which demands appointing right persons in right positions." During Aurangzeb's long reign of fifty years, many Hindus, notably Jaswant Singh, Raja Rajrup, Kabir Singh, Arghanath Singh, Prem Dev Singh, Dilip Roy, and Rasik Lal Crory, held very high administrative positions. Two of the highest ranked generals in Aurangzeb's administration, Jaswant Singh and Jaya Singh, were Hindus. Other notable Hindu generals who commanded a garrison of two to five thousand soldiers were Raja Vim Singh of Udaypur, Indra Singh, Achalaji and Arjuji. One wonders if Aurangzeb was hostile to Hindus, why would he position all these Hindus to high positions of authority, especially in the military, who could have mutinied against him and removed him from his throne?

Most Hindus like Akbar over Aurangzeb for his multi-ethnic court where Hindus were favored. Historian Shri Sharma states that while Emperor Akbar had fourteen Hindu Mansabdars (high officials) in his court, Aurangzeb actually had 148 Hindu high officials in his court. (Ref: Mughal Government) But this fact is somewhat less known.

Some of the Hindu historians have accused Aurangzeb of demolishing Hindu Temples. How factual is this accusation against a man, who has been known to be a saintly man, a strict adherent of Islam? The Qur'an prohibits any Muslim to impose his will on a non-Muslim by stating that "There is no compulsion in religion." (surah al-Baqarah 2:256). The surah al-Kafirun clearly states: "To you is your religion and to me is mine." It would be totally unbecoming of a learned scholar of Islam of his caliber, as Aurangzeb was known to be, to do things that are contrary to the dictates of the Qur'an.

Interestingly, the 1946 edition of the history textbook Etihash Parichaya (Introduction to History) used in Bengal for the 5th and 6th graders states: "If Aurangzeb had the intention of demolishing temples to make way for mosques, there would not have been a single temple standing erect in India. On the contrary, Aurangzeb donated huge estates for use as Temple sites and support thereof in Benares, Kashmir and elsewhere. The official documentations for these land grants are still extant."

A stone inscription in the historic Balaji or Vishnu Temple, located north of Chitrakut Balaghat, still shows that it was commissioned by the Emperor himself. The proof of Aurangzeb's land grant for famous Hindu religious sites in Kasi, Varanasi can easily be verified from the deed records extant at those sites. The same textbook reads: "During the fifty year reign of Aurangzeb, not a single Hindu was forced to embrace Islam. He did not interfere with any Hindu religious activities." (p. 138) Alexander Hamilton, a British historian, toured India towards the end of Aurangzeb's fifty year reign and observed that every one was free to serve and worship God in his own way.

Now let us deal with Aurangzeb's imposition ofthe jizya tax which had drawn severe criticism from many Hindu historians. It is true that jizya was lifted during the reign of Akbar and Jahangir and that Aurangzeb later reinstated this. Before I delve into the subject of Aurangzeb's jizya tax, or taxing the non-Muslims, it is worthwhile to point out that jizya is nothing more than a war tax which was collected only from able-bodied young non-Muslim male citizens living in a Muslim country who did not want to volunteer for the defense of the country. That is, no such tax was collected from non-Muslims who volunteered to defend the country. This tax was not collected from women, and neither from immature males nor from disabled or old male citizens. For payment of such taxes, it became incumbent upon the Muslim government to protect the life, property and wealth of its non-Muslim citizens. If for any reason the government failed to protect its citizens, especially during a war, the taxable amount was returned.

It should be pointed out here that zakat (2.5% of savings) and ushr (10% of agricultural products) were collected from all Muslims, who owned some wealth (beyond a certain minimum, called nisab). They also paid sadaqah, fitrah, and khums. None of these were collected from any non-Muslim. As a matter of fact, the per capita collection from Muslims was several fold that of non-Muslims. Further to Auranzeb's credit is his abolition of a lot of taxes, although this fact is not usually mentioned. In his book Mughal Administration, Sir Jadunath Sarkar, foremost historian on the Mughal dynasty, mentions that during Aurangzeb's reign in power, nearly sixty-five types of taxes were abolished, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of fifty million rupees from the state treasury.

While some Hindu historians are retracting the lies, the textbooks and historic accounts in Western countries have yet to admit their error and set the record straight. 

 TOP

7. Islamic Finance

Justice Mawlan Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB)

 

4. Securities Against Murabahah Price

              Another issue regarding murabahah financing is that the murabahah price is payable at a later date. The seller/financier naturally wants to make sure that the price will be paid at the due date. For this purpose, he may ask the client to furnish a security to his satisfaction. The security may be in the form of a mortgage or a hypothecation or some kind of lien or charge. Some basic rules about this security must, therefore, be kept in mind.

1. The security can be claimed rightfully where the transaction has created a liability or a debt. No security can be asked from a person who has not incurred a liability or debt. As explained earlier, the procedure of murabahah financing comprises of different transactions carried out at different stages. In the earlier stages of the procedure, the client does not incur a debt. It is only after the commodity is sold to him by the financier on credit that the relationship of a creditor and debtor comes into existence. Therefore, the proper way in a transaction of murabahah would be that the financier asks for a security after he has actually sold the commodity to the client and the price has become due on him, because at this stage the client incurs a debt. How- ever, it is also permissible that the client furnishes a security at earlier stages, but after the murabahah price is determined. In this case, if the security is possessed by the financier, it will remain at his risk, meaning thereby that if it is destroyed before the actual sale to the client, he will have either to pay the market price of the mortgaged asset, and cancel the agreement of murabahah, or sell the commodity required by the client and deduct the market price of the mortgaged asset from the price of the sold property.

(2) It is also permissible that the sold commodity itself is given to the seller as a security. Some scholars are of the opinion that this can only be done after the purchaser has taken its delivery and not before. It means that the purchaser shall take its delivery, either physical or constructive, from the seller, then give it back to him as mortgage, so that the transaction of mortgage is distinguished from the transaction of sale. However, after studying the relevant material, it can be concluded that the earlier jurists have put this condition in cash sales only and not in credit sales.

Therefore, it is not necessary that the purchaser takes the delivery of the sold property before he surrenders it as mortgage to the seller. The only requirement would be that the point of time whereby the property is held to be mortgaged should necessarily be specified, be- cause from that point of time, the property will be held by the seller in, a different capacity which should be clearly earmarked. For example, A sold a car to B on first of January for a price of Rs. 500,000/- to be paid on 30th June. A asked B to give a security for payment at the due date. B has not yet taken delivery of the car and he offered to A that he should keep the car as a mortgage from 2nd January. If the car is destroyed before 2nd of January the sale will be terminated and nothing will be payable by B. But if the car is destroyed after the second of January, sale is not terminated, but it will be subject to the rules prescribed for the destruction of a mortgage. According to Hanafi jurists, in this case, the seller will have to bear the loss of the car, to the extent of its market price or its agreed sale price, whichever is lesser. Therefore, if the market price of the car was 450,000/- he can claim only the remaining part of the agreed sale price (i.e. Rs. 50,000/- in the above example). If the market price of the car is Rs. 500,000/- or higher, nothing can be claimed from the purchaser .

This is the view of Hanafi School. The Shafi'i and Hanbali jurists hold that if the car is destroyed by the negligence of the mortgagee, he will have to bear the loss, according to its market price, but if the car is destroyed without any fault on his part, he will not be liable to anything, and the purchaser will bear the loss and will have to pay the full price.

It is clear from the above example that the possession of A over the car as a seller carries effects and consequences different from his possession as a mortgagee and therefore it is necessary that the point of time on which the car is held by him as a mortgagee should clearly be defined. Otherwise different, capacities will be mixed up giving rise to dispute and rendering the security invalid.

 

5. Guaranteeing the Murabahah

The seller in a murabahah financing can also ask the purchaser/client to furnish a guarantee from a third party. In case of default in the payment of price at the due date, the seller may have recourse to the guarantor, who will be liable to pay the amount guaranteed by him. The rules of Shari'ah regarding guarantee are fully discussed in the books of Islamic fiqh. However, I would point out to two burning issues in the context of Islamic banking.

1. The guarantor in the contemporary commercial atmosphere does not normally guarantee a payment without a fee charged from the original debtor. The classical Fiqh literature is almost unanimous on the point that the guarantee is a voluntary transaction and no fee can be charged on a guarantee. The most the guarantor can do is to claim his actual secretarial expenses incurred in offering the guarantee, but the guarantee itself should be free of charge. The reason for this prohibition is that the person who advances money to another person as a loan cannot charge a fee for advancing a loan, because it falls under the definition of riba or interest which prohibited. The guarantor should be subject to this prohibition all the more, because he does not advance money. He only undertakes to pay a certain amount on behalf of the original debtor in case he defaults in payment. If the person who actually pays money cannot charge a fee, how can fee be charged by a person who has merely undertaken to pay and did not pay anything in actual terms?

Suppose, A has borrowed 100 US dollars from B who asked him to produce a guarantor. C says to A, "I pay off your debt to B right now, but you will have to pay me 110 dollars at a later date." Obviously 10 dollars charged from A are not allowed, being interest. Then D comes to A and says., "I stand as a guarantor to you, but you will have to pay me 10 dollars for this service." If we allow to charge a fee for guarantee, it will mean that C cannot charge 10 dollars, despite the fact that he has actually paid the amount, and D can charge 10 dollars, despite the fact that he has merely committed himself to pay only when A fails to pay. This being unfair apparently, the classical Muslim jurists have forbidden the charging of a fee for guarantee, so that both C and D, in the above example, may stand on equal footing.

However, some contemporary scholars are considering the problem from a different angle. They feel that guarantee has become a necessity, especially in international trade where the sellers and the buyers do not know each other, and the payment of the price by the purchaser cannot be simultaneous with the supply of the goods. There has to be an intermediary who can guarantee the payment. It is utterly difficult to find the guarantors who can provide this service free of charge in required numbers. Keeping these realities in view, some Shari'ah schools of our time are adopting a different approach. They say that the prohibition of guarantee fee is not based on any specific injunction of the Holy Qur'an or the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It has been deduced from the prohibition of riba as one of its ancillary consequences. Moreover, guarantees in the past were of simple nature. In today's commercial activities, the guarantor sometimes needs a number of studies and a lot of secretarial work. Therefore, they opine, the prohibition of the guarantee fee should be re- viewed in this perspective. The question still needs further research and should be placed before a larger forum of scholars. However, unless a definite ruling is given by such a forum, no guarantee fee should be charged or paid by an Islamic financial institution. Instead, they can charge or pay a fee to cover expenses incurred in the process of issuing a guarantee.

 

6. Penalty of Default

Another problem in murabahah financing is that if the client defaults in payment of the price at the due date, the price cannot be increased. In interest-based loans, the amount of loan keeps on increasing according to the period of default. But in murabahah financing, once the price is fixed, it cannot be increased. This re- striction is sometimes exploited by dishonest client-" who deliberately avoid to pay the price at its due date, because they know that they will not have to pay any additional amount on account of default.

This characteristic of murabahah should not create a big problem in a country where all the banks and financial institutions are run on Islamic principles, because the government or the central bank may develop a system where such defaultors may be penalized by depriving them from obtaining any facility from any financial institution. This system may serve as a deterrent against deliberate defaults. However, in the countries where the Islamic banks and financial institutions are working in isolation from the majority of financial institutions run on the basis of interest, this system can hardly work, be- cause even if the client is deprived to avail of a facility from an Islamic bank, he can approach the conventional institutions.

In order to solve this problem, some contemporary scholars have suggested that the dishonest clients who default in payment deliberately should be made liable to pay compensation to the Islamic bank for the loss it may have suffered on account of default. They suggest that the amount of this compensation may be equal to the profit given by that bank to its depositors during the period of default. For example, the defaulter has paid the price three months after the due date. If the bank has given to its depositors a profit at the rate of 5%, the client has to pay 5% more as compensation for the loss of the bank. However, the scholars who allow this compensation make it subject to the following conditions:

(a) The dafaulter should be given a grace period of at least one month after the maturity date during which he must be given weekly notices warning him that he should pay the price, otherwise he will have to pay compensation.

(b) It is proved beyond doubt that the client is defaulting without valid excuse. If it appears that his de- fault is due to poverty, no compensation can be claimed from him. Indeed, he must be given respite until he is able to pay, because the Holy Qur'an has expressly said,

 

And if he (the debtor) is short of funds, then he must be given respite until he is well off. (2:280)

     TOP

 8. Association with the Pious

   Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA)

    

              Wonderfully efficacious for spiritual progress is to join the company of the pious. One should endeavour to sit in the company of pious people so that talks of wisdom and piety as well as virtuous habits are acquired. The life-stories of the pious should be studied. This too serves the same purpose as association with the pious. Virtuous character is acquired by reading and studying the life-stories of the saintly men of Allah.

Allah Taala has instilled in man the propensity to be influeced by others. Such influence is derived without any concentration and any special endeavour. The life and conditions of others generally influence people greatly. This acceptance of influence applies to both good and bad influence. The company of the pious is therefore extremely beneficial while evil company is extremely harmful. The company of the pious refers to acssociation with such a person who has sufficient knowledge of the necessary laws of the Shariah, and whose beliefs are correct. The one with whom association is struck up should be a person who refrains from bidah (innovation) and evil customs and practices. He should be one who is steadfast in Salaat, Saum and the essential acts of Ibaadat. His relationship and affairs with others should be impeccable. He should be a man of humility, piety and abstemious. He must be one who takes precaution in matters pertaining to halaal and haraam. He must be of uprighteous moral character. He must be man who does not hold the poor and the needy in contempt. Both his external and internal character must be virtuous. The fear and love of Allah should imbue his heart. He must not be a man of worldly greed. For the sake of the Deen he should care for nothing, neither for wealth nor honour. He should be a man who prefers the life Hereafter to the life of this world. He must be a man of sabr and shukr. A man of these capabilities and characteristics is indeed an alchemy for ones spiritual development.

Those who lack the ability to discern or recognize the ability of a man whether he is a man of peity or not should take the advice of the pious people of the time described as pious will be worthy for company. Furthermore, by being in the company of a pious man a few times, one will discern in oneself an aversion for evil and an inclination towards virtue. A man whose company produces this effect on the heart is indeed a pious man.
Abstain as far as is possible from a man in whom evil qualities are discerned. Unless necessity compels one, do not enter into his company. Evil company utterly destroys ones Deen. At times evil persons harm not only ones spiritual life, but ones worldly life as well. Such worldly loss could be sustained in a variety of ways, such as in ones wealth, property, honour and life.

Then there are such people in whom one cannot discern good or bad qualities. Entertain good opinion about such people but do not cultivate their company.

Experience has proven that pious company plays a great and effective role in ones spiritual progress while the company of evil persons weakens the heart and ruins ones spiritual life. Some verses of the Quraan and ahadith pertaining to pious and evil company will now be cited.

1. Allah Taala says: O people of Iman! Fear Allah and join the company of the truthful.

Joining the company of the truthful is to associate with the pious and follow their ways of rectitude.

2. Allah Taala says: When you see those conjecturing (finding fault and jesting) in our Laws then turn away from them until (such time) that they engage in some other talk. And, if shaitaan caused you to forget (and you remained sitting with them), then do not sit after remembering with an unjust people.

The Quraan here very explicitly warns against association with those who jest with the Deen; with those who treat the Deen light-heartedly; with those who show no respect for the Laws of Allah.
3. Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was asked: Among those with whom we associate, who is the best? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: The one who reminds you of Allah when you look at him; his speech improves your Deen and his acts remind you of the Aakhirah. (Abu Yalaa)
Some of the important signs of a pious man, which have been mentioned earlier, are stated in this hadith.
4. Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: Luqman said to his son:" O my son! Associate with the Ulama. Make this an obligation on you. Listen to the talks of the people of wisdom because Allah Taala livens a dead heart with the light of wisdom in the same way as the dead earth is enlivened by abundant rainfull.(Tibraani)

Wisdom refers to the subtle points of the Deen. Such words of wisdom flow from the lips of truthful saints of Allah Taala.

5. Hadhrat Muaaz Ibn Jabal (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: Allah Taala said: My love becomes incumbent for such persons who love one another for My Sake and who associate for My Sake (Maalik and Ibn Habbaan)

The meaning of for Allahs sake is for the sake of the Deen or Deeni motives and not worldly motives.

6. Hadhrat Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: The similitude of a pious companion and an evil companion is as a man standing with musk (this is the similitude of a pious companion), and a man stoking a furnace (this is the similitude of an evil companion). The man with the musk will give you some or (if he does not give) then you will at least gain its fragrance while the stoker of the furnace will burn your clothing (if a spark of fire falls on you) or (if he does not burn you) then at least the smoke of the fire will reach you. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Even if one does not derive the full benefit of the pious company, one will gain to a certain degree, and likewise even if the evil company does not fully harm, one will to a certain extent be affected by the evil.

7. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (radiallahu anhu) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying: Do not associate with anyone except with a person of Imaan. (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, Daarmi)

There are two possible meanings to this hadith, viz.,

a. Do not associate with a kaffir.

b. Associate with only one of perfect Imaan. Do not associate with a man of imperfect Imaan.

In the light of this hadith, only a man of perfect Imaan a man who is fully pious is worthy of association.
8. Hadhrat Aby Razeen (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: Should I not inform you of something which is a (great) pivot of this Deen and by means of which you can acquire the success of this world and the hereafter? Firstly, adhere to the gatherings of the people of Thikr (those who remember Allah much); secondly, when in solitude, keep your tongue moving with Thikrullah as much as is possible; thirdly, love for the sake of only Allah and hate for the sake of only Allah.
(Baihaqi in Shubul Imaan)

Experience too has established that pious company is the root or basis of the Deen. Among the various ways of strengthening ones Deen and experiencing the sweetness of Deen, the most efficacious is the company of the pious.

9. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah narrates that once he was in the company of rasulullah (sallalahu alayhi wasallam) who said:
In Jannat are pillars of Yaqoot (a precious stone of Jannat). On these pillars are erected mansions of zabarjad (a material of Jannat). In these mansions are open doors which glitter like bright stars.
The people asked: Who will occupy these lofty mansions? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: Those who loved one another for the sake of Allah; those who associated with one another for the sake of Allah and those who met one another for the sake of Allah.  (Baihaqi in Shubul Imaan)

10. Hadhrat Samurah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: Do not live with the mushrikeen nor be together with them. Whoever lives with them and associates with them is one of them.
(Tirimizi)

From these aayaat and ahadith it is abundantly clear that association should be with men of piety so that one may gain spiritually and be influenced by the virtue and statements of wisdom and piety of the pious men. The derivation of spiritual benefit from the company of the pious has been amply proven from the aforegoing references. Such aayaat and ahadith will now be cited by which it will be provedn that this same benfit is also attainable by studying the life-conditions of the pious.
11. Allah Taala says: We narrate all these stories of the Ambiyaa (Nooh, Hood, Saalih, Ibraheem, Loot, Shuaib and Musa alayhis salaam) to you so that We strengthen your heart. (Surah Hood)

This then is one benefit of reading and studying the stories of the pious people. The heart is strengthened and imbued with comfort and contentment. The heart becomes fortified against falsehood just as the pious people were strong and steadfast against falsehood. As a result of such steadfastness, Allah Taala bestows His Aid. In another aayaat Allah Taala declares: We aid Our Messengers and the people of Imaan here in this world and We will also aid them on that Day when these (Angels) bearing testimony will stand. (Surah Mumin)

It is evident that the Aid on that Day of Qiyaamah will be only for the obedient ones. They will be the successful ones while the disobedient will be met with failure.

As a result of the stories of the pious people, one gains strength and firmness on the Deen while at the same time it is learnt that these pious ones will attain the loftiest states of the Aakhirah, hence one is encouraged to follow in their footsteps thereby also gaining the lofty ranks in the Hereafter.

12. Ibn Masood (radiallahu ahu) says:
Whoever wishes to adopt the path of piety forever, should adopt the path of those (pious ones) who have passed away.
There is no absolute certainty that a man who is living will remain firm on the path of piety unto the end. The danger always remains of him going astray. Hence, the path of piety of a living man could be adopted only as long as he remains on that path.

The perpetual path of piety is the path of the Sahaban of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is also stated in the hadith that the character and habits of the Sahaabah should be established as a standard as far as is possible. (Jamul Fawaaid) It is quite obvious that the adoption of the character and ways of the Sahaabah can be possible only if one is aware of their life-stories. It is therefore essential to study books on the lives of the illustrious Sahaabah.

13. Like The Quraan Majeed, the Ahadith similarly narrate the stories of the Ambiya, Ulama and Auliya with a view of inducing in people the urge to follow the uprighteous and pious personalities of the past. This purpose is stated in the order:
Therefore, follow their guidance.
The Ahadith are replete with the stories of pious and accepted personalities. These stories are an effective way of exhorting people towards piety and spiritual progress. It is precisely for this reason that we find the Auliya always making it a point to compile such books.

The following are some books in this regard. Do make a special effort to read these books or let someone read and explain the books to you. If the services of an Alim are available for this purpose then it will be most beneficial.

Taarikh Habeebullah

Nashrut Teeb

Maghaazi-e-Rasool

Qasasul Ambiya

Futuhush Shaam wal Misr wal Ajam

Futuhul Iraq

Futuhaat Bhunsa

Firdaus Aasiyah

Hikayatus Saliheen

Tadhkaratul Auliya

Anwarul Muhsineen

Nazhatual Basateen Imdadul Mushtaq

Naik Beebiyan

N.B. Certain things in some of these books will be above the understanding of most people. Such difficult and incomprehensible sections should be omitted.

  

    TOP

9.  Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

Concerning the ritual prayer of the spiritual elite [salat al-khassa]

 Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA)

          

              As for the ritual prayer of the spiritual elite [salat al-khassa], it serves to alert the wakeful, the humbly submissive, the vigilant, the guardians of hearts, the welcome guests of the All-Merciful [ar-Rahman] (may they enjoy the good pleasure of Allah, and may His peace be upon them all). A good description of it is related in the following report:

              Yusuf ibn 'Isam was passing through one of the large congregational mosques [jami' min jawami'] of Khurasan, when he came across an enormous circle [halqa] of people. He stopped to ask someone about it, and he was told: "That is the circle of Hatim. He is speaking on the subjects of abstinence [zuhd] and pious caution [wara'], and about fear and hope." Yusuf then turned to his companions and said: "Come on, let us ask him a question on the subject of the ritual prayer [salat]! Then, if he gives us a satisfying answer, we shall sit with him and join his circle."

He thereupon went up to Hatim, saluted him with the greeting of peace [sallama 'alai-hi], and said:

"May Allah bestow His mercy upon you [rahima-ka 'llah]! I have a question I wish to put to you."

"Go ahead and ask it," said Hatim, and the following conversation then took place between the two of them:

Yusuf said: "I wish to ask you about the ritual prayer [salat]."

Hatim said: "Do you wish to ask me about its significance as a spiritual experience [ma'rifa], or about the discipline [adab] to be observed in its performance? There are two distinct questions here, requiring two separate answers."

Yusuf said: "In that case, let me ask you about the discipline [adab] to be observed in its performance."

Hatim said: "It means that you rise to the occasion, and walk [to the place of worship] with an attitude of total dedication [ihtisab]. It means that you begin the actual prayer with the appropriate intention [niyya], and pronounce the declaration of Allah's Supreme Greatness [by saying 'Allahu Akbar'] in a spirit of glorification [tukabbiru bi't-ta'zim]. It means that you recite [from the Qur'an] with a clear and distinct enunciation [tartil]. It means that you perform the act of bowing with humility [tarka'u bi'l-khushu'], the act of prostration with submissiveness [tasjudu bi't-tawadu'], the testimony with sincerity [tatashahhadu bi'l-ikhlas], and the salutation with a feeling of compassion [tusallimu bi'r-rahma]."

Yusuf's companions then prompted him to ask about its significance as a spiritual experience [ma'rifa], so he went ahead and asked this second question, to which Hatim responded by explaining:

"It means that you set the Garden of Paradise to your right, the Fire of Hell to your left, the Bridge [as-Sirat] beneath your feet, and the Balance [al-Mizan] beneath your eyes, and [that you worship] the Lord as if you could see Him, for, even if you do not see Him, He does see you."

"O young man [ya shabb]," said Yusuf, "how long have you been performing this kind of ritual prayer [salat]?"

"For twenty years," said Hatim.

Yusuf said to his companions: "Come now, let us commit ourselves to peforming such a prayer [salat] for the next fifty years!" Then he turned to Hatim and asked him: "Where did you find out about this?"

Hatim replied: "From those books of yours, which you used to dictate to us!"

The traditional report [hadith] of Abu Hazim al-A'raj ["the Lame"] (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) is highly relevant to this whole topic, so we shall now proceed to recount it. To quote the actual words of Abu Hazim al-A'raj (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him):

"One day, while I was at the seashore, one of the Companions of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) came up to me and said: 'O Abu Hazim, do you know how to perform the ritual prayer [a-tuhsinu an tusalliya]?'

" 'How could I not know how to perform the ritual prayer,' said I, 'since I am thoroughly familiar with its strictly obligatory elements [fara'id], as well as with the customary observances [ma'stanna] established by Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)?'

" 'O Abu Hazim,' he then said to me, 'what is required of you, as an obligatory duty [fard], before you stand ready to perform the ritual prayer [salat]?'

" 'There are six requirements,' I replied.

" 'What are they?' he asked.

"I said: 'They are (1) a state of ritual purity [tahara], (2) covering oneself [to conceal the private parts] [istitar], (3) choosing a suitable spot on which to perform the prayer [ikhtiyar mawdi' as-salat], (4) standing ready to perform the prayer [al-qiyam ila 's-salat], (5) formulating the intention [niyya], and (6) facing toward the Qibla [direction of the Ka'ba in Mecca].'

" 'O Abu Hazim,' he asked me next, 'with what intention [niyya] do you set out from your house toward the mosque [masjid]?'

" I said: 'With the intention to visit [the place of worship] [bi-niyyat az-ziyara].'

"He said: 'With what intention [niyya] do you enter the mosque [masjid]?'

" I said: 'With the intention to perform an act of worship [bi-niyyat al-'ibada].'

" He said: 'With what intention [niyya] do you stand ready to perform the ritual prayer [salat]?'

" I said: 'With the intention of servitude [bi-niyyat al-'ubudiyya], acknowledging the state of servitude to Him.'"

Abu Hazim (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) then continued his account of his conversation with the Companion of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace):

"He came closer to me, and said: 'O Abu Hazim, with what do you confront the Qibla?'

" I said: 'With three obligatory observances [fara'id] and one customary practice [sunna].'

" He said: 'And what are they?'

"I said: 'Facing toward the Qibla is an obligatory observance [fard]. Formulating the intention [niyya] is an obligatory observance [fard]. The initial declaration of Allah's Supreme Greatness [at-takbirat al-ula] is also an obligatory observance [fard]. The act of raising the hands is a customary practice [sunna].'

"He said: 'In how many instances is pronouncing the declaration of Allah's Supreme Greatness [takbir] required of you as an obligatory observance [fard], and how often as a customary practice [sunna]?'

"I said: 'The basic principle of takbir [the affirmation of the Supreme Greatness of Allah] is expressed through ninety-four takbira's [utterances of the declaration: "Allahu Akbar (Allah is Supremely Great!)"]. Five of these are strictly obligatory [fard], while all the rest of them are customary [sunna].'

"He said: 'With what do you mark the opening of the ritual prayer [bi-ma tastaftihu 's-salat]?'

"I said: 'With the affirmation of Allah's Supreme Greatness [bi't-takbir].'

"He said: 'And what [element of the prayer] is its manifest proof [burhan]?'

"I said: 'Its Qur'anic recitation [qira'a].'

"He said: 'And what is its jewel, its very essence [jawhar]?'

"I said: 'Its glorification [of the Lord] [tasbih].'

"He said: 'And what is its animation [ihya']?'

"I said: 'Its humble submission [khushu'].'

"He said: 'And what is its humble submission [khushu']?'

"I said: 'Fixing one's gaze on the spot where the act of prostration [sujud] is to be performed.'

"He said: 'And what is its solemn dignity [waqar]?'

"I said: 'Its state of calm tranquillity [sukun].'

"He said: 'And what is its consecration [tahrim]?'

"I said: 'The [initial] declaration of Allah's Supreme Greatness [takbir].'

"He said: 'And what is its deconsecration [tahlil]?'

"I said: 'The [concluding] salutation [taslim].'

"He said: 'And what is its emblem [shi'ar]?'

"I said: 'The glorification [of the Lord] [tasbih] when its performance has been duly completed.'

"He said: 'And what is the key to all of that, O Abu Hazim?'

"I said: 'The ritual ablution [wudu'].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to the ritual ablution [miftah al-wudu']?'

"I said: 'The invocation of Allah's Name [tasmiya].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to the invocation of Allah's Name [miftah at-tasmiya]?'

"I said: 'The intention [niyya].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to the intention [miftah an-niyya]?'

"I said: 'Certitude [yaqin].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to certitude [miftah al-yaqin]?'

"I said: 'Absolute trust [in the Lord] [tawakkul].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to absolute trust [miftah at-tawakkul]?'

"I said: 'Fear [khawf].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to fear [miftah al-khawf]?'

"I said: 'Hope [raja'].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to hope [miftah ar-raja']?'

"I said: 'Patience [sabr].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to patience [miftah as-sabr]?'

"I said: 'Contentment [rida].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to contentment [miftah ar-rida]?'

"I said: 'Worshipful obedience [ta'a].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to worshipful obedience [miftah at-ta'a]?'

"I said: 'Acknowledgment [of truth and reality] [i'tiraf].'

"He said: 'And what is the key to acknowledgment [of truth and reality] [miftah al-i'tiraf]?'

"I said: 'Acknowledgment of the Divine Oneness and Lordship [al-i'tiraf bi'l-wahdaniyya wa 'r-rububiyya].'

"He said: 'And by what means did you become acquainted with all of that?'

"I said: 'Through knowledge ['ilm].'

"He said: 'And by what means did you acquire knowledge ['ilm]?'

"I said: 'Through the process of learning [ta'allum].' "He said: 'And by what means did you pursue the process of learning [ta'allum]?'

"I said: 'Through intelligence ['aql].'

"He said: 'And by what means did you acquire intelligence ['aql]?'

"I said: 'There are two kinds of intelligence [al-'aql 'aqlan]. For the making of one kind of intelligence, Allah is solely responsible, to the exclusion of His creatures. The other kind of intelligence is one that human beings can develop, through the discipline of training and education. When the two kinds are combined together as a team, each of them assists and supports the other.'

"He said: 'And by what means did you accomplish all of that?'

"I said: 'Through the enabling grace [of Allah] [tawfiq]. May Allah enable us, and you, to succeed in achieving that which is worthy of love and approval.'

"Then he said: 'By Allah, you have already perfected the keys to the Garden of Paradise! So let me hear your answers to the following questions:

(1) What is the obligatory duty [fard] that you must perform?

(2) What is the obligatory duty of the obligatory duty [fard al-fard]?

(3) What is an obligatory duty that leads to an obligatory duty [fard yu'addi ila fard]?

(4) What is the customary practice [sunna] that is included within the obligatory duty [fard]?

(5) What is a customary practice [sunna] by which the obligatory duty [fard] is completed?

"I answered his questions as follows:

'(1) As for the obligatory duty [fard], that is the ritual prayer [salat].

(2) As for the obligatory duty of the obligatory duty [fard al-fard], that is the state of ritual purity [tahara].

(3) As for an obligatory duty that leads to an obligatory duty [fard yu'addi ila fard], that refers to your taking water in your right hand, and using it to wash your left hand.

(4) As for the customary practice [sunna] that is included within the obligatory duty [fard], that refers to your making water flow between your fingers and toes [when performing the ritual ablution].

(5) As for a customary practice [sunna] by which the obligatory duty [fard] is completed, that is circumcision [khitan].'

"He said: 'You have not left yourself vulnerable to any charge that might be brought against you, O Abu Hazim!

 

   TOP

10. Government and Politics

Mawlana Manzoor Noumani Sahib (RA)

            

              Government and politics exercise a profound influence on the life of a people. It could, therefore, not be that God excluded a subject of this magnitude from the range of his guidance and gave men a free hand to conduct themselves as they pleased in the organization and control of their political and administrative needs.
              As Islam has prescribed for our benefit a precise code of behaviour in all other domains of our existence, in the sphere of government and politics, too, it has furnished us with full guidance and enjoined on us to pursue the correct and the godly course in affairs relating to it as well. It is as much our duty to abide by the constructions laid down by God and the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) in respect of political matters as in matters of belief and worship, social intercourse and practical and monetary dealings, and the service and assistance of the Faith.

It was quite natural for communities that did not possess a complete program of individual and social existence like Islam which could show them the way, or, at least, march hand in hand with them in the highly advanced and complicated business of modern politics to draw a distinction between religion and the management of political affairs. They had no other choice open to them. But if the Muslims, too, are getting increasingly inclined towards that mode of thinking, it is not because they have honestly come to the conclusion, after examining the political teachings and principles of Islam in the light of the current needs and conditions, that the processes of government and politics now be ordered according to the guidance of God. The truth is that they could not being themselves to accept the restrictions imposed by Islam in the political field on the selfish pursuit of power and on yielding to the temptations of ease and comfort; they felt that they did not have the moral strength to live up to the Islamic ideals of selfless service and sacrifice; they took refuge behind the slogan that religion and politics were two separate things and divorced Islam from the science and art of the management of the affairs of the state. Otherwise, even today if the rulers of any of the Muslim States can have the spiritual courage to chose for themselves a life of piety and dedication, in the footsteps of Omar bin Abdul Aziz, (and God may also have blessed them with insight into the faith or they may be enjoying the confidence and support of men of religious vision and insight ), they can prove to the world that the political structure inspired and regulated by the ideals of islam is still the best among all the political systems and ideologies and it is through it alone that the different problems plaguing the existing times, both at the national and the international levels, can be happily resolved. The greatest misfortune with Islam in the contemporary world is that its followers, more specially those that make the top layers of the society, are, on the whole, more faithful to their personal ambitions and sensual appetites than to the precepts of their faith.

We will restrict ourselves here, as in the previous chapters, only to an examination of the basic principles. For a wider study of the subject, the reader will have to turn to books written specifically on Islamic theocracy. The cornerstone of the political philosophy of Islam is the principle, or rather, the belief, that sovereignty belongs exclusively to God, the Lord Creator and the Cherisher of the universe, and all men, everywhere, are his subjects.

"To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth." (Quran : Fath',2)

"To him belongs the dominion of the Heavens and the earth." (Quran : Hadid,1)

"For the earth is God's to give as the heritage to such of his servants as he Pleaseth." (Quran : Airaf, 15)

In Islamic Polity, the Head of the State is called the Caliph (meaning, successor, deputy representative), and the Government, the Caliphate and those are no empty terms. They derive their origin from the fact that in Islam that position of the ruler is nothing more than that of a superintendent or an administrator. He cannot rule according to his sweet will, but in compliance with the obligations placed upon him by God. He is compelled to function, as the successor of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) and of his true successors and deputies of the former days, within the limits of the Divine law. He is not above reproach; he is answerable for his actions to fellow-men in this life, and to God in the Hereafter.

Furthermore, these terms help to remind us of the truth that the scope of governmental activity in Islam is not confined only to political and administrative matters. The real duty of an Islamic Government lies, as we have stated a few pages earlier, in the promotion of the work of human reform and guidance that was entrusted by God to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam). The more will a Caliph depart from the way of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam), the more will he be considered to have failed in the discharge of the duties of his office. 

The office of the Caliph is not a hereditary one, going down from father to son. The Caliph is chosen by the people; its procedure may, however, very with the changing pattern of time.

The Caliph does not act independently but through mutual discussion, consultation and advice. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) himself was required to seek the advice of his Companions in matter in respect of which no guidance was available to him in the form of a Divine revelation.

"And consult them in affairs (of moment)" (Quran : Aal-i-Imran, 17)

The Quran indicates as a characteristic feature of Islamic polity and the Muslim method of conducting business that the Muslims are the people.
"Who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation." (Quran : Shura, 4)

(In exceptional circumstances, however, if the Caliph honestly feels that he is in the right he can insist on his own judgement as against the advice by the popular assembly).

Power, in Islam, is desirable solely for the reason that it can be of great help in the establishment of God-worship and righteous living in the world. We have just seen how in sura-i-Haj it was said of the Companions while they were granted the permission to take up aims against the pagan oppressors that:

"(They are) those (of our servants) who, if we establishment them in the land, will establish regular prayer and give regular charity and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. With God rests the end (and decision) of (all affairs). (Quran : Haj, 6)

This verse, as one would say, constitutes the political manifesto of Islam. The Caliphate is expected to make it its foremost duty to take all possible steps for the furtherance of the aims enunciated in it. All its policies and activities should be addressed to these ends. Its educational program must, for instance be pressed in the same direction; it should have a permanent ministry of moral and spiritual guidance and superintendence: If the need arose it should have to hesitation in proclaiming Jihad with in the conditions prescribed for it. As an institution of Divine trusteeship, the Caliphate, further, is responsible for providing all the citizens irrespective of their race or religion with the necessities of life and with peace and security of person, honor and property. It has to assure that no undue burden tax, duty, charge or obligation is imposed on any section of the people. Justice, under it, should be within the reach of everyone. It should be just and impartial and be administered without fear or favour. The Quran says:

God doth command you to be just.
And:
God doth command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due: and when he judge between man and man that yeh judge with justice: verily, how excellent is the teaching which he giveth you. (Quran : Nissa, 8)

In the foregoing verse, a part from the dispensation of justice, fairly and impartially, it is also ordained that the trusts should be rendered back honestly and to whom they rightfully belong. In the Arabic language, specially in the usage of the Quran, the term "Trust" conveys a wide range of meaning. Here, in this verse, the command: "Render back your trusts to whom they are due". also implies that a charge or responsibility should be entrusted only to a person who is most worthy of it. It, thus, becomes a major obligation with an Islamic government that public offices are granted to alone who are deserving of them, also from the point of view of piety and righteousness.
Yet another Quranic proclamation on the subject of justice, fairness and equity reads:

"Oh ye who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witness to fair dealing. and let not the hatred of others you make you swerve to wrong and apart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety : and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all ye do." (Quran : Maida, 2)

It is related by Abu Saeed Khudri (RA) that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) once observed: "On the day of Reckoning, nearer to God and more cordially beloved of him will the just ruler, and, on that day, the most detested and the recipient of the severest chastisement will be the ruler who ruled with oppression and injustice.

Hazrat Omar bin Khattab (RA) has related from the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) that :

"On the LAST Day the most eminent among men will be the just ruler (or officer) who was also kind and compassionate, and the worst among men on that day will be the ruler (or officer) who ruled with tyrany and injustice". It follows, therefore, that justice should also be sympathtically alive to the needs of the people and activity solicitous of their welfare.

Hazrat Anas (RA) reports that when the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) appointed a Companion as a governor and sent him off to the place of this duty, he used to advise him to act as the harbinger of hope and good cheer to the people (arousing in them sentiments of courage and confidence) and refrain from things that may be hateful to them and cause public resentment, and to create comforts and facilities for them and refrain from putting up difficulties and impediments in their path.

It is, thus, a part of duty of the government to the people to see that its officers are not there to boss over them, flaunting masterful and over-gearing airs and making things harder for them. The officer should strive to strengthen the moral of the people and provide opportunities for their betterment and progress. The Purpose of the law is not to be an instrument of harassment of the people. It is instrument for the removal of hindrance to good life and the creation of conditions favorable to the peace and prosperity of the land. Thus, it is said of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) in the Quran that:

"He release them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them." (Quran : Airaf)

The real sources of legislation in Islam are God and the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam), or, in other words, the book and the Sunnah. The laws that have been permanently enumerated in them are absolute and cannot be repealed or amended. But there are various needs and situations arising of life concerning which no clear instructions are found in the Quran and the Sunnah. For these, fresh legislation has to be brought out from time to time, but here, too, the guidance principle will be the path shown by the twin sources of law-making indicated above and the practice of Khulafa-i-Rashideen togather with the considerations of public welfare.

Another prominent feature of Islamic theocracy is that solicitation for an office of the state is a positive disqualification. Abu Moosa Ashari relates that two of his relations had approached the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) for some post in the government upon which the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam) exclaimed, "By God, we do not appoint a person to a public office who makes a request for it, or shows his longing for it in any other way, "

The officers are required to live simply. During the Caliphate of Hazrat Omar (RA), when an officer was appointed he was warned to shun luxury and ostentation or he would be dismissed. The exact words of the warning were: "Do not keep a Tarkish horse or eat fine bread or wear and expensive dress made of delicately woven fabric or shut your doors on the petitioners; should you indulge in any of these, you will have to bear the penalty." Austerity for the government officers was. thus, not a matter of persuasion or moral exhortation in the days of that renowned Caliph but a part of their service regulations.

The cardinal responsibility for putting in the practice the doctrines of Islamic polity rests naturally with Muslims who are in power in countries in which they live. So far a Muslims living in non-Muslim countries are concerned, they can only make a sincere and well-meaning effort, within the limits of practicability, of course, to persuade the ruling community or communities there to incorporate as many teachings of Islam as possible in their political systems.

The first step in the revival of Islamic theocratic structure in the so-called Muslim States will have to be a religious reorientation of the lives of their Muslim inhabitants. By this we mean the Subordination of worldly interests to the interests of the life hereafter in order that it may become easy for them to forego material pleasures for the higher ideal of winning the approbation of God. There can simply be no other way. History underlines this truth and the innate spirit of Islam also demands it. Unless a religious reawakening is worked up among the Muslims the elevation of Muslim countries into genuine Islamic political societies will remain, at leas t in our present age, an empty dream. This is a hard and painstaking process, but there is no help to it. There is no alternative route, no short-cut to an Islamic government. And, even if, by a stroke of good lick. The Islamic system came in to being somewhere, it would be impossible for it to function successfully unless the intellectual and emotional mechanism of the Muslims living under it and their practical behaviour were dominated by considerations of high piety and moral rectitude. It would be torn into shreds by the Muslims themselves.

           TOP

An in-depth look at Zabihah

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

             

There are special requirements for the meat to be halal. Tasmiyah is the most important of them.

Almighty Allah Ta'ala in His infinite Mercy has made certain animals halal (permissible) for this Ummah. We are required to be thankful to Him by following the dictates of the Qur'an and Sunnah by ensuring that His name is taken upon slaughtering of the animal. Allah Ta'ala states in the noble Qur'an:

For every nation We have specified a rite (for slaughtering) so that they may take the name of Allah Ta'ala upon (the slaughter of) the animals granted to them as sustenance. (Al-Hajj 22:34)

And consume not of that whereupon the name of Allah Ta'ala was omitted (at the time of slaughter). Indeed it is a transgression. Verily the Shayateen inspire their friends to cause division with you. If you obey them, you are indeed Mushriks (ascribing partners to Allah). (Al-An'am 6:121)

So take the name of Allah upon them (at the time of slaughter) while they stand in rows. (Al-Hajj 22:36). In reference to Camels which are slaughtered by Nahr (a swift stab of the neck which severs the four arteries) while standing.

and such animals upon which they mention not the name of Allah only to fabricate a lie against him. (Al-An'am 6:138)

Forbidden to you are Maytah (carrion), flowing blood, the flesh of swine and that slaughtered for other than Allah as well as the (animal) expiring by strangulation, illness or pain, falling (from a height), by a wound (sustained through fighting) and by falling to a predator and (about to be consumed), excepting those (animals) upon which you effect Zakah (Shar'ee slaughter). (Al-Maidah 5:3)

From the above verses the following points are understood:

Meat is not in the same category as other food items.

The most important condition is that tasmiyah (pronouncing the name of Allah) be performed at the time of slaughter. The verses clearly explain the impermissibility of the meat of those animals whose slaughter was not preceded by tasmiyah.

The impermissibility of the meat of those animals whose lives were ended by means other than Zabah (Shar'ee slaughter) of which tasmiyah is a condition. All such animals are Maytah (carrion) and are expressly forbidden.

The Zabiha (animal slaughtered) by a Kafir (non-believer) or Mushrik (polytheist) is haram (unlawful). However, those Ahlul Kitaab (People of the Book) who also believed in the requirement of tasmiyah at the time of slaughter have been excluded from the Kuffaar majority.

The verse number 121 of Al-An'am explains consumption of meat not slaughtered with tasmiyah as fisq - transgression and disobedience. The verse then explains that to regard consumption of such meat as halal is nothing but a teaching of Shaytaan to cause division among the Ummah. The verse also warns that obedience of Shaytaan in this matter is akin to Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah).

Imam Bukhari has quoted this same verse in his magnum opus under the chapter, Intentional Omission of the tasmiyah at the Time of Slaughter to the same import as explained by Hafiz ibn Hajar, the renowned commentator of Sahih Bukhari in the following words:

Imam Bukhari (RA) wishes to point out by citing this verse the reproach against using it as proof to legalize omission of tasmiyah by inventing baseless interpretations of the verse and understanding it in a manner contrary to clear import. (Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.778; Qadeemi)

 

Intentional Omission of Tasmiyah

The Jurists (Fuqahaa) have unanimously agreed that consumption of an animal slaughtered by a Muslim with intentional omission of tasmiyah or out of Istikhfaaf (regarding it as insignificant) is unlawful (haram). Imam Shaaf'ee (RA) has also concurred with this view. (Jawaahirul Fiqh vol.2 pg.388; Darul Uloom from Kitaabul Umm and Tafseer Mazhari)

Imam Abu Yusuf states:
The ruling regarding the animal upon which
tasmiyah was omitted (at the time of slaughter) is not subject to Ijtihaad (independent deduction of a ruling from Qur'an and Hadith). If a judge rules the permissibility of its sale, his ruling will not be given effect due to it being contrary to consensus of opinion. (Ibid pg.390; Hidaaya)

It should be noted significantly that the above discussion of impermissibility is with regard to a Muslim slaughterer who intentionally omits pronouncing the name of Allah upon slaughter, not to speak of a non-Muslim.

In the case of a Muslim forgetfully omitting the tasmiyah, the animal will be permissible for consumption as is the ruling of all the four Madhaahib based on the Hadith of Nabi (S) 'People bring to us meat. We know not whether the name of Allah Ta'ala has been taken (upon its slaughter) or not?

Slaughtering by polytheists which is expressly forbidden in the Qur'an:

Forbidden to you is carrion and that slaughtered for other than Allah. (Al-Maidah 5:3)

The actual meaning of this Hadith, as understood by similar narrations is that one should not entertain unfounded doubts about a Muslim that he would neglect to mention the name of Allah upon his slaughter.

This is what is understood by the context of the Hadith since the answer of Nabi (S) that, 'Some Bedouins bring to us meat, cheese and fat. We know not the condition of their Islam, (i.e. they are Muslims but of what caliber, we are unaware).' Nabi (S):

The lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear. Between these lie matters of confusion. Regarding these, many are ignorant. Whomsoever falls into these, falls into the unlawful, like a shepherd grazing (his flock) upon a sanctuary's perimeter very soon falls into trespass. Beware! Every king possesses a sanctuary and the sanctuary of Allah Ta'ala are His prohibitions. Take note! In the body there is a piece of flesh such that when it is good the entire body is good; when it is corrupt the whole body is corrupted. Listen! It is the heart. (Arba'een Nawawiy)

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

    TOP

 

11. Saviours of Islamic Spirit

(Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA))

S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (RA)

 

The times of Abdul Qadir

              Abdul Qadir spent 73 years of his life in Baghdad. When he came to Baghdad, Caliph Mustazhir Billah Abul Abbas (487-512 AH) was the reigning monarch after whom four other Abbasid Caliphs, al-Mustarshid Billah (512-559 AH), al-Rashid Billah (deposed 529 AH), al-Muqtafil Amr Illah (530-555 AH) and al-Mustanjid Billah (555-565 AH) succeeded to the throne one after another.

This was one of the most troublous times of the Abbasid rule when the Caliphs an Saljukid Kings vied with each other for maintaining their supremacy. The former being shorn of their temporal power were prevailed upon, sometimes with their permission but not un-often through coercion, by the Saljukid Kings to accept their domination. This also sometimes engulfed the Islamic world into fratricidal conflicts in which the Muslims shed the blood of one another.

Several such incidents took place during the reign of Caliph al-Mustarshid. He was a brave and wise administrator who won numerous battles but he was finally defeated by the Saljukid King Masud in 529 A. H. Ibn Kathir, giving an account of the Caliph's defeat writes :

"The Sultan (Masud) gained victory and the Caliph (al-Mustarshid) was taken prisoner. Baghdad was ransacked which plunged the city into sorrow. The people dismantled the pulpits of the mosques, gave up attending congregational prayers and women came out lamenting for the Caliph and other captives. The people in other parts of the country followed suit with the result that Malik Sanjar had to ask his nephew to reinstate the Caliph. Masud acted on the advice of his uncle but the Caliph was assassinated by the emissaries of the Batinites while he was on his way back to Baghdad."

These heart-rending incidents were witnessed by Abdul Qadir. He saw the Muslims engaged in internal strife and bloodshed. The ghastliness of these feuds and forays, the cruelty, savagery and treachery of those who engaged in them, and the miseries they inflicted upon their foes for the transitory pleasures of power, position and riches made him extremely sad. It is true that he had nothing to do with these struggles for power; he was, nevertheless, alive to the miseries inflicted on the people and evil effects of the unsettled conditions during his times. Through his sermons, therefore, he endeavoured, with the seriousness of purpose and ardent zeal characteristic of him, to give a call for moral propriety and rectitude of the self: he vividly explained the transitory nature of the world and its fleeting pleasures, the need for coveting the eternal bliss and preparing for the life-to-come, and the importance of evoking faith and correct mental attitude consisting of right conduct in speech, livelihood and ethical behaviour .

 

Sermons of Abdul Qaidir:

The discourses of Abdul Qadir had a magnetic effect which is still discernible in them. Abdul Qadir is at his best in Futuh ul-Ghaib and al-Fatah al-Rabbani. In describing the love and unity of the Divine Being he appears to be inspired by higher sources. The reader can still find the spirit of sincerity and enthusiasm running through these sermons.

Following in the footsteps of the Prophet, his successors and the illuminated saints of the old, Abdul Qadir touched on the current problems of his days, analysed the reasons for the miseries and maladies of the people and provided answers to their doubts and deficiencies. Along with this, the tremendous sincerity and earnest zeal for the welfare of the people fired his haranguing with a frenzy of enthusiasm and magnetic effect capable of pulling the strings of the heart.

 

Unity or the Divine Being:

The forces of worldliness had become so strong during Abdul Qadir's time that the entire social and economic life of the community appeared to be woven into the context of political situation then obtaining; people had developed a tendency of depending upon the kings and nobles for realisation of their worldly ends and had begun to treat them as ultimate dispensers of benefits and harms. In order to counteract this mistaken tendency of the people, he says in one of his sermons :

"This entire creation is like a man who has been imprisoned and chained by a king whose dominions are vast and countenance awesome. The prisoner has been hanged from a pine tree beneath which overflows a river, wide and deep. "The king is seated on an elevated chair having arrows and bows, javelins and spears by his side. He hits the captive with whatever weapon he desires. Now, would it be prudent for anyone witnessing the scene to divert his attention from the king and expect harm or favour from the captive instead of the king? Would not such a man be deemed a fool or even mad? Oh God, I seek thy refuge from blindness after having being given eyes, from being cast off after getting near Thee, from regression after being promoted to Thy favour, from being misled after obtaining Thy guidance and from apostasy after having been granted faith." 

In another sermon he asks to instill the love of God to the exclusion of everything else besides Him.

"Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is looking at you; keep yourself before One who keeps Himself before you; love Him who loves you; hark unto Him who calls you; seek help from Him who can save you, take you out of the darkness of ignorance, cleanse you of the impurity of your soul, and redeem you from the baser-self and misleading temptations, despair and timidity. Your earthly desires are like your foolish friends who keep you off the righteous path and deprive you of the things, pleasing and desirable. How long would you remain slaves of your desires, temptations, greed, pride, in short, this transitory world? How long would you remain forgetful of the Hereafter and of your Creator, the Fashioner of everything, the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden; everything is couched within His grasp from which emanates the love within your heart, the peace and solace, blessings and favours?" Again, he throws light on the same topic in another lecture :

"The entire creation is helpless. Nothing can do good or harm to you. It is only God who lets a thing be done by you, or, in other words, the will of God finds expression through you or somebody else. God has already destined whatever is to happen to you; whether it be beneficial or harmful; and, the destiny cannot be changed. Those who are faithful and virtuous set an example unto other creations. There are a few among these who have so purified their heart that their interior and exterior selves have become one; even if they have riches, their desire never seethe with the worldly attachments. Verily, only those are courageous, valiant and powerful who have purified their hearts and attained this stage of illumination. Unto these alone belongs the kingdom of Heaven and Earth for they have cleansed their heart of everything save God; they are like a soldier who guards the door of his heart, with the sabre of Tawhid (Unity) and the Shariah in his hand, to bar the entry of all creations to a place reserved for the Creator. Since they have attuned their hearts to the ultimate source of power, the Shariah beautifies their exterior while Tawhid and the wisdom of God's knowledge decorate their interior."

Explaining what is meant by the false objects of worship, he says:

"You put your trust in your own self, in others, in your wealth, in your rites and customs, in your trade and business, or in your rulers; but, in whatever object you place your reliance, it becomes, to say the truth, your object of worship. If you fear someone, or expect harm or favour from him or else deem him as an intercessor with God, then he is the object of worship for you."

On another occasion, Abdul Qadir vividly described the jealousy and pride of God and His abhorrence of all associates, as also the wisdom lying behind the loss of the things adored and loved by man.

"You often complain, as you would ever do, that you have to suffer the loss of whatever you set your affections on. The object of your fancy, if it is a human being, either separates or dies. If it is wealth that you care for, you incur losses or are deprived of it. Then, should I tell you, that God is in love with you, and He is jealous too! He has created you for Himself but you want to be enraptured by others! Have you not heard what God has said: He holds them dear who love Him, 'and also, I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. And, are you not aware of what the Prophet once said: When God loves anyone; He places him in trouble but if he puts up with it with endurance and forbearance, God then sets him apart for Himself. Requested to elucidate what he meant by 'setting apart of a man', the Prophet replied: God deprives him of his possessions and progeny. This is so because it is natural for a man to love his off-springs and possessions and thus his love which should have been for God alone is divided between the Creator and the created, between the Eternal and the finite.

"God is, however, extremely Proud and Mighty and therefore He destroys whatever threatens to become an associate in the love for Him. It is only then that the heart of the man whom He loves gets attuned to Him. And, then, this man can claim to enjoy the distinction of what has been described thus by God: He holds them dear who love Him. It is the stage when the heart of the man is cleansed of all idols and associates (of God) such as the off-springs, riches, pleasures and desires. It has now no yearnings, no longings left worldly or otherwise, not even those relating to piety and miraculous powers, stations and states, nearness and remoteness; the heart becomes a bottomless vessel in which nothing can be kept. God Almighty being extremely Proud and Jealous makes the heart of His beloved incapable of nourishing any other desire; He shrouds the heart of His devotee with His awe and a gasp of admiration, and guards it with His Glory and Might so that nothing can get inside this heart; nor can the possessions and riches, family and progeny, friends and relations, piety and miraculous powers do any harm to it. None of these finds a place in the heart of such a man nor, then, God remains, jealous of them. Whatever is granted thereafter to this man is a gift or reward from his God so that he may be of help to those who are around him or visit him.

 

Refuge of the Broken-hearted:

The Muslim society in the time of Abdul Qadir could broadly be divided into two classes. The first of these comprised the men of substance who were deficient in faith arid virtuous behaviour. As against this, there was another class, poverty- stricken and down-trodden, but endowed with faith and a spirit of righteousness, moral strength and uprightness. These people, sometimes, feeling disconcerted and broken-hearted, viewed the affluent with jealousy and mistrust, and regarded themselves as deprived and discarded. Abdul Qadir holds out hope and cheer to these people in one of his sermons. He says:

"O empty-handed beggarly fellows, the world would appear to be at logger-heads with you; you are barefooted, unclothed and unfed, broken-hearted and ill-starred, evicted from every place and deprived of your longings and fancies. But do not say that God has reduced you to poverty, turned the world against you, abandoned, maligned or persecuted you, did not assign the portion of earthly pleasures due to you, or did not bestow honour and fame upon you. Nor is it proper for you to complain that God has granted his favours to others, made them reputed and honoured, although they belong to the same faith as you do and are the progeny of Adam and Eve like you.

"It is really so because you are like a fertile land on which God is sending down the rains consisting of endurance and resignation, conviction and faith, knowledge and grace. The tree of your faith is taking roots, sprouting forth its branches, its shade closing over you, pushing out new shoots and fruits, getting higher and bigger without your providing any fertilizer to it. God Almighty knows what you really need. He has, therefore, assigned a befitting place for you in the Hereafter. He has made you a lord in the life-to-come where His bounties are countless, inconceivable and unheard of. As God has said, nobody knows what delights have been stored for your eyes in the Paradise. This shall be your recompense for the faithful performance of what has been enjoined unto you, and your endurance, resignation and submission to the will of God.

"As for those who have been well-afforded in this world, they have been placed in easy circumstances for they are like a barren land, rocky and sandy, which neither stores nor absorbs the rains, and it is difficult to implant the tree of faith in it. It has, therefore, to be provided with fertilizers so that the weak saplings of their faith may get nourishment and push out the shoots of righteous action. Thus, if the wealth, honour and fame are taken away from them, the tree of their faith shall waste away and its leaves and fruits shall wither although God intends to make it strong. Therefore, my poor brethren, you ought to know that the faith of the wealthy does not have deeper roots, it lacks that strength which has been endowed to you, and it needs the riches and earthly prizes for its nourishment. If these gifts were to be taken away from them, their faith will give place to blasphemy and they shall join the ranks of infidels, apostates and hypocrites, unless, of course, God bestows on them spiritual light and illumination, endurance and resignation to strengthen their faith.

 

Worldly Pleasures:

Abdul Qadir did not preach asceticism nor did he exhort to give up the worldly possessions. What he emphasised upon in his sermons was that these should be made use of by a man to the extent he needs them but he should never allow himself to become a slave of his desires and temptations, nor should he hold the earthly gifts dear to his heart. Explaining the purport of the Tradition which runs: Verily, the world has been created for you, and you have been created for the Hereafter, he says:

"Do not try to obtain your share of the worldly gifts in a way that you have to keep standing before it like a beggar. You ought to be like a sovereign who keeps himself seated while the gifts are presented before him. This world acclaims those who stand and wait at the door of God Almighty but it demeans those who wait upon it. Therefore, get your share of the worldly benefits without demeaning yourself or compromising your dignity, and this is what Allah expects of you.

In another sermon he says: "It is perfectly lawful to lay hands on the world and its gifts, to possess it or even to accumulate it for a commendable purpose, but it is forbidden to set your heart upon it. You may allow it to stand at the door of your heart but it is prohibited to allow it to get inside the door, for it shall not bring any honour to you.

 

   TOP


DARUL ULOOM ILAHIYAH
INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC RESEARCH
ILAHI BAGH, BUCHPORA, SRINAGAR, 190011, KASHMIR, INDIA