Published From Srinagar.
Editor, Printer & Publisher: Mawlana Hamidullah Lone.
May 2006. VOL.7, No: 5.
Marriage and its Connection with Fornication and Homosexuality
One of the most underestimated sins is fornication. Nowadays this is considered to be something which one should feel proud of with a ‘the more the better’ motto it seems which is an incredibly sad thing to say. Fornication is a despicable act in the eyes of Islamic Jurisprudence due to its ill effects on society. Many youngsters and even teenagers get dragged into this act and then suffer the consequences when they (in most cases the female) are left to look after the child and struggle greatly due to financial difficulties. Many also end up leaving the child in an orphanage; circumstances in society can create an unfortunate and challenging upbringing. Hence, fornication plays an extremely significant part in the fall of society. What makes it worse is that today’s society has considered it to be a small matter and it is not paid any attention to it (or not as much as it needs). In fact in modern society fornication is not even considered wrong (i.e. it is not even considered immoral).
Marriage also reduces the possibility of one indulging in the forbidden act of homosexuality. This is such a despicable and cursed act that the proven partakers of this act would attract capital punishment under Islamic Law with a heavy burden on proof (please note that the current law of the land should be abided by individuals and upheld by authorities). Homosexuality is not only against nature but it also seriously endangers one’s health. Homosexuals or bisexuals are much more likely to contract diseases such as AIDS and HIV from their sexual relationships than a man is who conducts sexual relationships with women. This is due to the fact that in heterosexual intercourse (i.e. man + woman) there is normally only one way that this disease can be passed on from one individual to the other and that is through the transfusion of the fluids excreted during sexual intercourse. Whereas during a homosexual relationship, during anal intercourse (also prohibited in Islam) there are two ways in which the disease can be contracted. The first way is through the mixing of the fluids and the second way is through the mixing of the blood, which is emitted from the body during anal intercourse. The risk of perpetrating homosexual behaviour increases when a man fails to marry a woman. On the other hand, if a man marries a woman then the risk of him ever committing homosexual behaviour is almost invariably mitigated.
Islam has tried to prevent those factors that cause immorality, promiscuity and ultimately the downfall of society such as fornication and homosexuality. Islam understands the harms of such things and has therefore laid down severe punishments for those who decide to commit these crimes. In this way one will attempt to stay away from these crimes in any possible way. I am sure that there will be some people who will find the use of the word crime to describe the acts of fornication and homosexuality somewhat peculiar but as they are root causes of harm for the whole of society that is how they are classified in Islam.. For example: Many cases of domestic violence, rape/indecent assault and disfunctional families are caused/inflicted by people who turn around and try to excuse their behaviour by saying they did not think they were committing an illegal act. The cries and complaints of the victims are dismissed as normality in 'this day and age'. For example: a child is left with a single parent due to non-marriage relationships easily breaking down. A rape victim is unjustly and quickly accused of 'consenting' as casual sex/extra marital sex is not illegal. A person is infected with a transmitted disease through extra-marital/casual sex of their 'partner'. (A child is born with HIV due to the mother being infected by the disease through extra-marital/casual sex by herself/partner). A child is left with a single parent due to one of the parents being in a homosexual relationship. Fewer children have a brother/sister from the same parent due to homosexual relationship of parent. A baby from casual/extra marrital intercourse is killed (aborted). A decline in population due to abortions from temporary relationships. A drop in births due to same sex relationships. A decline in births causes a decrease in the number of people who look after others in old age. The nature of temporary relationships leads to a climate of doubt and questionable parentage. Paternity tests may not be error free, conclusive or affordable and legal declarations of paternity and custody can take a long time even when all parties wish it to be expedient. Children in almost all cases would prefer knowing who their biological parents are and prefer being brought up by them however temporary relationships can be very complicated and children end up being the silent victims of social crimes.
Unfortunately today, the state and most societies fail to acknowledge fornication and homosexuality as a great factor in the slowing down of the progress of a society as a whole. Many couples acknowledge bringing up children, particularly teenagers is not easy. To do so when one is single is definitely harder. The very nature of relationships out of marriage leads to temporal behaviour devoid of commitment. Even long standing relationships are tested against time only to breakdown due to the absence of commitment in the form of a marriage contract. Children need to be nurtured, be motivated and be re-assured. They need role models and people who they can talk/confide in. Where families are broken and reflect the state of society young people do not receive the support they need. 'Time and Money' being the commodities that are best shared in family environments are split or consumed by 'individual space/pursuits'. Children are left vulnerable to society's ills and juvenile crime; leading to a life devoid of social responsibility and this degenerating cycle repeats. People attempting to attract potential sexual participants often resort to displaying themselves with the latest trend in clothes, gadgets, cars/possessions. Some waste a lot of money ensuring they replace yesterdays gear with today's. Money is commonly channelled away from necessities and sometimes substantial debt is incurred. These expenses may be paid by hard-earned cash however ill gotten means (fraud/theft) fuelling such showful habits are familiar and increasing as 'must have' mentalities prevail. Indecent/sexual assault, rape etc are crimes that are committed where defence excuses touted include 'honourable attention', wrong signals' 'reasonable belief of consent', etc. If sexual intercourse was legal only under marriage then some of these crimes can be prevented as there will be no excuses. There would also be a decrease in crimes centred around attention completion as again the objective would be only legal within marriage and so opportunists would find it difficult. Crime rates in Islamic/moral societies is considerably lower than where fornication and homosexuality is not abated.
Is it kufr to commit a sin openly and discuss about sinful activities such as movies, songs etc? Does this rule apply to both major as well as minor sins? Please pay attention to this question, as a number of our brothers and sisters who have newly inclined towards Islam are facing this problem.
Praise be to Allaah.
One of the things concerning which there can be no doubt is the fact that committing acts of disobedience and major sins openly is sin upon sin which may lead a person to kufr at the time of committing that sin openly, because he takes the prohibition on that lightly and is proud of what he is doing. There is no difference between major and minor sins with regard to this ruling.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “All of my ummah may be forgiven except those who commit sin openly. It is a kind of committing sin openly if a man does something at night, then morning comes and Allaah has concealed his sin, but he says, ‘O So and so, I did such and such last night,’ when his Lord has concealed him (his action) all night but in the morning he reveals that which Allaah had concealed for him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5721; Muslim, 2990
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: There is a third type of immoral, prmiscuous evildoer, who speaks of zina with pride (Allaah forbid), and speaks of how he traveled to such and such a land, and committed immoral actions and adultery with a number of women, and so on, and he boasts about that.
This person should be asked to repent; if he repents all well and good, otherwise he should be executed, because if a person boasts about committing zina, this implies that he regards zina as being permissible (Allaah forbid), and whoever regards zina as permissible is a kaafir. Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 1/116
Undoubtedly there are varying degrees of disobedience, and the level of sin varies according to the person’s state of mind whilst committing the sin and afterwards. The one who conceals his sin is not like one who commits sin openly. The one who regrets it afterwards is not like one who boasts about it.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: In conclusion, evil actions vary according to their consequences. Those who have boyfriends or girlfriends commit a less serious sin than those who commit immoral actions with anyone; the one who commits sin in secret is doing something less serious than one who commits sin openly and broadcasts it. The one who keeps quiet about it commits a less serious sin than one who tells people about it. Such a one is far removed from the forgiveness of Allaah, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “All of my ummah may be forgiven except those who commit sin openly…” Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 2/147
The basic principle is that the Muslim should follow his sin with repentance and seeking forgiveness; he should regret what he has done and resolve never to go back to it. He should not follow it with boasting and speaking openly about it.
Ahmad (8792) and al-Tirmidhi (3334) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, gives it up and seeks forgiveness, his heart is cleansed, but if he does more then (that spot) increases until it covers his heart. That is the raan (covering of sin) which Allaah mentioned in the Qur’aan: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn” [al-Mutaffifeen 83:14]
There remains one issue that was mentioned in the question, which is the committing of sin openly by those who are new in Islam. Those people are still unaware of the rulings of Islam, so they are excused if they do not know the shar’i rulings, but they should be taught. So strive to teach them, and show them this answer.
May Allaah help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
And Allaah knows best.
Question: What is the difference between Mu`jizah and Karamat?
Answer: Supernatural feats are either carried out by nabi or a non-nabi. If it occurs at the hand of a nabi the it could either be before his claiming nubuwwat or after. If is before then this is called irhaas.
For example, before Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam was granted nubuwwat the clouds used to shade him when on a journey. When Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam sat beneath a tree, the branches would incline towards him to shade him. Salam to Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam would be heard from trees and stones. These occurrences are known as Irhaasaat.
If the supernatural feat occurred at the hands of a nabi after nubuwwat as proof for the people, then it is called mu`jizah.
For example, by the gesture of his finger Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam split the moon into two. Stones made tasbeeh in his blessed hands.
Once Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam called a tree and it came forth and bowed. Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam once went to relieve himself at some place. The trees split open and allowed him to enter and thereafter closed after him (in order to grant him privacy.)
If a supernatural event occurs at the hands of a non-nabi then it could either be at the hands of a wali (saint) or a non-wali. If it at the hands of a wali then it is called karamat.
If it occurs at the hands of a non-wali then it could either be a righteous person or not. If the person is righteous then this occurrence is called ma`oonat otherwise it is istidraaj
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O children of Isra’il (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)
The Surah al-Baqarah begins by speaking of the Holy Qur’an itself, and tells us that although it provides guidance to all men, yet only true Muslims will derive a full benefit from it. The Surah proceeds to warn the disbelievers against the grievous punishment which awaits them in the other world, and also to delineate the misdeeds of the two kinds of disbelievers—those who deny openly, and the hypocrites. Then, addressing all the three groups, it urges upon them to worship Allah alone, and, presenting the Holy Qur’an as a miracle which cannot be imitated by man, invites them to have faith in it. Next, the Surah recounts how Adam (u) was created to be the viceregent of Allah, and thus shows the omnipotence and wisdom of Allah so that men may realise why they must obey and worship Him and never be disobedient to Him.
Now, in the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) there were two kinds of people among the disbelievers and they hypocrites. On the one hand were mushrikin, idolaters and associators who did not possess any religious knowledge, were even otherwise mostly illiterate, and followed the customs of their forefathers—for example, the inhabitants of Makkah in general whom the Holy Prophet calls the Ummiyyun (illiterate). On the other hand were those who believed in the earlier prophets, had a knowledge of the earlier Divine Books like the Torah and Evangile, and were known as being well-educated. Some of them were the followers of Sayyidna Musa (AS), but did not accept Sayyidna Isa (AS) as a prophet—these were the Yahud or the Jews. Others were the followers of Sayyidna Isa (AS). But did not believe that Sayyidna Musa (AS) was, being a prophet, divinely protected against all sin—these were the Nasara or the Christians. On account of their belief either in the Troah or the Evangile or in both, the Holy Qur’an calls these two groups Ahl al-Kitab (the people of the Book). Being well-educated, they were respected and trusted by the people around them, and their opinion had a great deal of weight. If they came to the straight path, others too could be expected to follow their example.
The Jews predominated in Madinah and its environs. The surah al-Baqarah is also Madinite. So, after dealing with the idolaters and associators, it addresses the people of the Book in a special manner, from verse 40 to verse 123. Adopting a persuasive and friendly tone, the Surah refers to the noble family to which they belong and the honour which they receive from the people on account of such an affiliation; then, recounting the blessings which Allah has been showering on them, it asks them to be aware of their many misdeeds and their sins, and invites them to come to the Straight Path. All this has been said, to begin with, in a very brief manner—four verses inviting them to Islam, and three to good deeds. Then comes a long and detailed address to them, at the beginning of which, as also just before the end, occur the words, ya Bani Isra’I; (O children of Israel) - the repetition is, of course, the usual rhetorical device for making the speech persuasive.
Isra’il is a Hebrew word, signifying ‘the servant of Allah’; it is also the second name of Sayyidna Yaqub (Jacob) (AS). Certain scholars have remarked that among the prophets it is the Holy Prophet (AS) alone who has several names, except for Sayyidna Yaqub (AS) who has two names, Yaqub and Isra’il. The Holy Qur’an addresses the Jews here, not as the ‘Children of Yaqub’, but as the ‘Children of Isra’il’, so that the little may remind them that they are the children of the ‘the servant of Allah’, and hence they should follow the example of their father in worshipping Allah alone and in obeying Him.
In verse 40, Allah asks the Israelites to fulfill His covenant—that is to say, the one they made with Allah. According to Qatadah and Muhahid, the following verse of the Holy Qur’an refers to this covenant which had been mentioned in Torah as well.
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Allah made a covenant with the children of Isra’il, and We raised up from among them twelve chieftains. And Allah said, ‘I am with you. Surely, if you perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and believe in My messengers and help them, and lend to Allah a good loan, I will forgive your evil deeds, and I will admit you to gardens underneath which rivers flow’. (5:12)
The covenant mentions acts like prayers and alms, but the most important clause is having faith in all the messengers of Allah including the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Hence, according to the blessed companion Ibn Abbas, the covenant here signifies having faith in and obeying the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). (see Ibn Jarir)
As for Allah fulfilling their covenant, the verse we have just quoted (5:12) makes the meaning clear—Allah will forgive the sins of those who fulfill the terms of the covenant, and will admit them to Paradise. Verse 41 makes it quite explicit that according to the covenant it is obligatory for th Israelites to have faith in the Holy Qur’an, for, after all, it has been sent down to confirm the essential teachings of the Torah. Now, the Israelite scholars were afraid that if they told the truth in this matter, they would be going against the public sentiments, and thus lose their adherents and income both. So, these three verses exhort them to speak the truth without fear, for Allah alone in worthy of being feared.
Injunctions and related considerations
1. Al-Qurtubi remarks in his commentary that Allah, in asking the Israelites to worship and obey Him, reminds them of the bounties and blessings He has showered on them, but in the case of the followers of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), He asks them to do so without mentioning His bounties: ÝÇÐßÑæäí ÃÐäÑßã “Remember Me, I will remember you,” (2:152).
This is a subtle suggestion which brings out the superiority of this Ummah over the others—the Islamic Ummah has a direct relationship with Allah, for it begins by recognizing the Benefactor, and through this knowledge recognizes His bounties; other peoples, on the contrary, begin by recognizes His bounties, and proceed through this medium to a knowledge of the Benefactor.
2. Verse 40 shows that it is obligatory to fulfill the agreement one has entered into, and it is forbidden to break one’s promise. The injunction has been stated explicitly in another verse: ÃæÝæÇ ÈÇáÚÞæÏ “Fulfill your agreements.” (5:1)
According to a hadith reported by Muslim, those who break their promises would, before being finally punished in the other world, be humiliated before the whole human race when it assembles together on the Day of Judgement, for a flag would be placed as a stigma beside everyone who committed this sin, and the bigger the crime, the higher would the flag be.
3. Verse 41 asks the Israelites not to be the first to deny the Holy Qur’an although being a disbeliever is in itself the ultimate sin, whether one be the first or the last. The verse, in fact, suggests that the man who is the first to deny and disbelieve will not only incur the sin of his own denial but also bear the additional burden of the sin of misleading all those who follow his example; and will thus have to undergo a multiple punishment.
It follows from here that the man who is in any way responsible for others falling into any kind of sin will have to bear the burden of this sin along with the sinners; similarly, the man who in some way helps others to do a good deed will receive a reward for it along with them. Several verses of the Holy Qur’an and the ahadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) repectedly stress this point.
5. As far the question of taking a wage for teaching the verses of the Holy Qur’an of for reporting them correctly, verse 41 is not concerned with the matter. But it is an important question in itself whether it is permissible to accept wages for teaching the Holy Qur’an. There is a divergence of views among the Fuqaha (jurists) in this matter. Imam Malik, Imam al-Shafi and Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal, consider such wages to be permissible, while the great Imam Abu Hanifah and some other jurists hold them to be impermissible, for the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has forbidden the use of the Holy Qur’an as a means of livelihood. But there has been a radical change in the circumstances since then. Formerly, those who taught the Holy Qur’an used to receive a subsistence allowance from the Baytul-Mal, or the public exchequer of the Islamic state. But since Islamic society fell into a disorder, they lost their financial support. The teaching of the Holy Qur’an to children being a full-time job, the teachers could not turn to difficult professions without interrupting this essential chain of transmitting the Word of Allah from generation to generation. In view of this situation, the jurists of the Hanafi school declared it permissible to accept wages for teaching the Holy Qur’an. According to Hidayah, the famous book of Hanafi code, this should be the rule (fatwa) these days. Later jurists have extended the permission to similar duties like leading Salah (Imamah), calling for prayers (Adhan), teaching the Hadith and Fiqh, etc., for they are related to the teaching of the Holy Qur’an and the survival of Islam equally depends on the. (see al-Durr al-Mukhtar, al-Shami)
6. The famous Hanafi scholar Shami has, in his commentary on “al-Durr al-Mukhtar and in his own book “Shifal-Alil”, explained in great detail and with convincing arguments that the later jurists have allowed the acceptance of wages for the teaching of the Holy Qur’an etc., only in view of an essential needs. It logically follows from this principle that paying or receiving wages for the recitation of the Holy Qur’an for transmitting the reward to the dead or in the interest of some wordly purpose is forbidden, for it fulfills no essential religious need. Thus, the man who recites the Holy Qur’an for wages in this manner and the man who pays him for it both commit a sin. When there is no merit earned in such a recitation, how can it be transferred to the dead? Al-Shami refers to many authoritative works like “Taj al-Shariah”, Ayni’s commentary on Hidayah, the marginal notes by Khayr al-Din al-Ramali on “al-Bahr al-Ra’iq”, etc., and specially cites al-Ramali to the effect that practices like paying for the recitation of the Holy Qur’an beside the grave of a dead man or elsewhere in order to transmit the reward to him, have never been reported from the blessed companions or their immediate successors or from other great scholars of the early centuries of Islam, and are hence an innovation (Bid’ah) in religion.
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Narrated by Aisha (RA)
Once the Prophet came while a woman was sitting with me. He said, "Who is she?" I replied, "She is so and so," and told him about her (excessive) praying. He said disapprovingly, "Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity (without being overtaxed) as Allah does not get tired (of giving rewards) but (surely) you will get tired and the best deed (act of Worship) in the sight of Allah is that which is done with consistency."
One day a lady namely Hawla bint Tuweet was sitting with Hadhrat Aisha (RA) and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) passed by from there. Hadhrat Aisha (RA) started praising the Salah of that lady. It is said that she was famous for her lengthy Salah and also for her night Salah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) forbade Hadhrat Aisha (RA) from saying so. He told her," Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity (without being overtaxed) as Allah does not get tired (of giving rewards) but (surely) you will get tired and the best deed (act of Worship) in the sight of Allah is that which is done with consistency."
From this Hadith we learn that one should try to do good deeds with consistency which are within one's capacity even if these are less in number. This is all about the optional Ibadaat (nawafil) and not about obligatory Ibadaat (Faraidh) as the latter are always in man's capacity because in Shari’ah, Allah has not put any burden on man which he cannot bear.
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Chapter 34: Faith increases and decreases and the saying of Allah," We increased them in guidance", "And that believers may increase in faith" , and Allah said , “This day I have perfected your religion for you".
So, A person will suffers loss if he leaves anything of perfection.
Purpose of Tarjamatul Baab
Previous chapter was about the consistency in deeds and this chapter says that faith can increase and decrease as one may either be consistent or inconsistent. Secondly, in this chapter the verse of the Qur'an about the perfection of Deen is quoted which also implies that anything that is perfect can increase or decrease in perfection. Ulema have given different explanations as to why Imam Bukhari has repeated this Baab.
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Narrated by Anas
The Prophet said, "Whoever said "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell."
This Hadith also shows that Iman has different grades, which has been compared to things like barley grain, wheat grain and an atom.
What is a zarra (Atom)?
There are various opinions about it ,viz;
1. It means a single dust particle among those which are seen floating in air in sun light that passes through window or some opening.
2. It means the smallest scalar quantity which can be weighed.
3. Ibne Abbas says that it means a single dust particle among those which fall down when you strike hands together in order to clean them from dust.
4. Four (04) zarras (atoms) make one Khardhal.
Ibne Hajar says that Risalat (faith in Prophethood of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is included and understood in áÇ Åáå ÅáÇ Çááå so one should not be think that faith in Prophethood of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is not part of Iman.
Significance of Iman
This Hadith also shows the significance of faith that even a small part of it equal to an atom is enough to get one ultimately out of Hell.
ÍÏøËäÇ ( ÇáúÍóÓóäõ Èúäõ ÇáÕøóÈøóÇÍ ) ö ÓóãöÚó ( ÌóÚúÝóÑó Èúäó Úóæúä ) ò ÍÏøËäÇ ( ÃÈõæ ÇáúÚõãóíúÓ ) ö ÃÎúÈóÑóäóÇ ( ÞóíúÓõ Èäõ ãõÓúáöã ) ò Úóäú ( ØóÇÑöÞö Èúäö ÔöåóÇÈ ) ò Úóäú ( ÚõãóÑó Èúäó ÇáúÎóØøóÇÈ ) ö Ãäø ÑóÌõáÇð ãöäó ÇáíóåõæÏö ÞÇáó áóåõ íÇ ÃãöíÑó ÇáãõÄúãöäöíäó ÂíóÉñ Ýí ßöÊóÇÈößõãú ÊóÞúÑóÄæäóåóÇ áóæú ÚóáóíúäóÇ ãóÚúÔóÑó ÇáíóåõæÏö äóÒóáóÊú áÇóÊøóÎóÐúäóÇ Ðóáßó Çáíóæúãó ÚíÏÇ ÞÇáó Ãíøõ ÂíóÉð ÞÇáó Çáíóæúãó ÃßúãóáúÊõ áóßõãú Ïöíäßõãú æÃÊúãóãúÊõ Úóáóíßõãú äöÚúãóÊöí æóÑóÖíÊõ áóßõãõ ÇáÅÓúáÇóãó ÏöíäÇ ÞÇáó ÚõãóÑõ ÞÏú ÚóÑóÝúäóÇ Ðöáóßó Çáíóæúãó æÇáãóßÇäó ÇáøóÐöí äóÒóáóÊú Ýöíåö Úóáóì ÇáäøóÈí æåæ ÞóÇÆöãñ ÈöÚóÑóÝóÉ íóæúãó ÌõãõÚóÉò
Narrated by Umar (RA) bin Al Khattab
Once a Jew said to me, "O the chief of believers! There is a verse in your Holy Book Which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed as a day of celebration." 'Umar (RA) bin Al-Khattab asked, "Which is that verse?" The Jew replied, "This day I have perfected your religion For you, completed My favor upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (5.3) 'Umar (RA) replied, "No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet. It was Friday and the Prophet was standing at 'Arafat (i.e. the Day of Hajj)"
A Jew wanted to convey that it is really a matter of great honour and pride for Muslims that Allah has chosen Islam as His religion and has completed His favour for Muslims. Allah says,
Çáúíóæúãó ÃóßúãóáúÊõ áóßõãú Ïöíäóßõãú æóÃóÊúãóãúÊõ Úóáóíúßõãú äöÚúãóÊöí æóÑóÖöíÊõ áóßõãõ ÇáúÅöÓúáóÇãó ÏöíäðÇ
"This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."(5:3)
By this answer Hadhrat Umar (RA) meant that these two days i.e., Friday and the day of Arfa (day preceding Eid uz Zuha) are already days of celebration for us and that Muslims are fully aware of the significance of these verses of the Qur'an.
ÈÇÈ ÇáÒøóßÇÉõ ãöäó ÇáÅÓúáÇóãö æÞóæúáõå æãóÇ ÃõãöÑõæÇ ÅáÇøó áöíóÚúÈõÏõæÇ Çááøóåó ãõÎúáöÕöíäó áóåõ ÇáÏøöíäó ÍõäóÝóÇÁó æíõÞöíãõæÇ ÇáÕøóáÇóÉó æíõÄúÊõæÇ ÇáÒøóßÇÉó æÐóáößó Ïöíäõ ÇáÞíãÉö
Chapter 35:To pay Zakat is part of Islam, and the saying of Allah, "And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah offering Him sincere devotion being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practice regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight". (98:5)
Purpose of Tarjamatul Baab
Earlier on Imam Bukhari mentioned about things like Salah and Jihad and now he mentions about Zakat.
Narrated by Talha bin Ubaidullah
A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah's Apostle said, "You have to offer prayers exactly five times in a day and night (i.e., 24 hours)." The man asked, "Is there any more (praying)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil prayers (you can)." Allah's Apostle further said to him: "You have to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." The man asked, "Is there any more fasting?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but if you want to observe the Nawafil fasts (you can.)" Then Allah's Apostle further said to him, "You have to pay the Zakat (obligatory charity)." The man asked, "Is there any thing other than the Zakat for me to pay?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, unless you want to give alms of your own." And then that man retreated saying, "By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this." Allah's Apostle said, "If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise)."
Since other things mentioned in this Hadith like Salah etc. have already been mentioned, Imam Bukhari has highlighted only Zakat in this Hadith.
Hadhrat Sheikh-ut-Tafseer Mawlana Idris Kandhlawi (RA)
THE PROOFS FOR RESURRECTION AFTER DEATH
The Qur'aan Majeed is full of proofs regarding the resurrection. In the Qur'aan it is stated:
1. "Do they not see that Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yes, He surely is able to do all things."
2. "He (kaafir) says: Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and become dust?" Say (O Muhammad-Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)! 'He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation."
3. "O People! Are you in doubt regarding the Resurrection? Indeed, We have created you (the first time) from sand and then from a clot."
4. In one place in the Qur'aan it is mentioned regarding Hadhrat Ebrahim (alaihi salaam), when he asked Allaah Ta'ala "My Rabb, show me how You bring the dead to life". Allaah Ta 'ala told him to take four birds and mince them up, then he was to place their mixed pieces above four mountains and call them. The four birds came back to him as they were before. In the same way on the Day of Qiyaamah, all the different mixed portions of bodies will be brought back in one piece before Allaah Ta'ala.
5. In another place in the Qur'aan Kareem there is the incident of Hadhrat Uzair (alaihi salaam) or some other Nabi. He also had this desire to see how Allaah Ta'ala will raise the dead. Allaah Ta'ala made him die for a period of 100 years, and kept his body intact. With the Power of Allaah Ta' ala there was no change in his body. However, his mount (a donkey) disintegrated and rotted away. Allaah Ta'ala thereafter brought his donkey back to life before his (this Nabi's) very eyes. This was a real-life example given by Allaah Ta' ala to show the creation that He has the full control and Power over life and death.
6. In the same way is the example of the people of the Bani Israeel who fled their city for fear of their lives. They were brought to life through the du'aa of Hadhrat Hazqeel (alaihi salaam).
7. In the same way is the example of the 'People of the Cave', who were made to sleep in the cave for a period of over 300 years. Allaah Ta'ala proved that His Promise to resurrect the dead is a True One, and that the Promise of Qiyaamah is certain. "And in this way We resurrected them, so that the people may know that the Promise of Allaah is True and that The (Final) Hour is coming. There is no doubt in it."
era there was a difference of opinion between the people regarding resurrection.
Some accepted it and others rejected it. Allaah Ta'ala used the example of these
youth to prove that if He has the Power to raise the youth after more than 300
years, then indeed He has the Power to raise the dead after many centuries. In
order to prove the resurrection to the rejecters thereof, Allaah Ta'ala has
extolled many examples and proofs in the Qur'aan for them.
REFUTATION OF THE BELIEF OF REINCARNATION
Just like the Philosophers and the atheists, the Brahmans and Hindu also refute the concept of resurrection. However, the Brahmans and Hindus have another strange belief. They say that there is no such thing as Qiyaamah, but they aver that after death the souls change into different forms. They say that the souls of good people are transformed into good bodies and the souls of evil characters are transformed into bad bodies, like dogs, cats, scorpions, etc., etc. This changing of bodies by the souls is known as reincarnation.
Ahle-Islaam say that this belief of reincarnation is spurious and illogical. The reason being that it is necessary for reward or punishment that the soul be made aware of the transgression that it had committed. When a soul knows the transgression it had made then it can in future abstain therefrom or at least others will be forewarned thereof. By reincarnation, the soul is none the wiser regarding its sin. It is common knowledge that if a person lived in a certain village for many years, then after moving to another village, he will have memories of his previous village, in that he will relate to others regarding it. So now the Pundit (Hindu priest), who according to his own philosophy has lived a previous (good!) life is now in the form of his present body, but he cannot relate any part of his past life He says nothing, nor does his queen. It is very possible that in the previous life his present wife was his mother, sister or even daughter! Or maybe Mahatma or Pundit saheb was in the previous life the father of this girl (present wife) and now he comes as the husband! A person does not even forget a dream as much as the Pundit saheb forgot of his 70 odd years of (previous) life. It is obvious that he was not here in a previous life. This sojourn of his life is the first on earth and after death he will be buried (or cremated) only to be brought in to the second stage of existence (Barzakh), and then before Allaah Ta'ala.
philosophers regard the concept of reincarnation as being stupid and illogical.
THE CONDITION OF RAISING AFTER DEATH
There is a difference of opinion amongst the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat regarding the condition of the rising after death, and to the meaning of the Shariah's concept of 'Hashr Nashr'. According to some the meaning of 'I'aada' and 'Ba'ath' is for the universe to be brought into existence after it has been rendered utterly destroyed and nonexistent. To re-create after total destruction is within the Power of Allaah Ta'ala. As Allaah Ta'ala says: "He (kaafír) says; Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and become dust?" Say (O Muhammad-sallAllaahu alaíhí wasallam)! 'He will give life to them Who created them for the first time!" This Aayat proves that the second creation will be like the first.
Allaah Ta'ala says: "Like We initiated the first creation, We will repeat it." The first creation was created from non-existence by the word "BE!" and in this way the second time also.
Some Ulama say that after death, the parts of the bodies will be scattered and separated, but they will not be totally destroyed. On the Day of Qíyaamah, Allaah Ta'ala will bring together all the parts and organs of the bodies and bring them all to life. This phenomenon was demonstrated in the stories of Hadhrat Uzair and Ebrahím (alaihima salaam) in the Qur' aan Majeed. - When Hadhrat Ebrahim (afaihi salaam) asked Allaah Ta 'ala "My Rabb, show me how You bring the dead to life". Allaah Ta'ala told him to take four birds and mince them up, then he was to place their mixed pieces above four mountains and call them. The four birds came back to him as they were before. In the same way on the Day of Qiyaamah, all the different mixed portions of bodies will be brought back in one piece before Allaah Ta'ala. The incident of Hadhrat Uzair (alaìhì salaam) or some other Nabi states that he also had this desire to see how Allaah Ta'ala will raise the dead. Allaah Ta' ala made him die for a period of 100 years, and kept his body intact. With the Power of Allaah Ta'ala there was no change in his body. However, his mount (a donkey) disintegrated and rotted away. Allaah Ta'ala thereafter brought his donkey back to life before his (this Nabi's) very eyes. This was a real life example given by Allaah Ta'ala to show the creation that He has the full control and Power over life and death. In these two incidences Allaah Ta'ala made these Nabis witness the process of re-creation.
The Muhaqqiqeen's mazhab is that the concept of 'Hashr Nashr' is certain and decisive. It is waajib to believe in it. The Shariah has not specified any specific way of this concept. The specification of this process is based on conjecture.
AN OBJECTION OF THE REJECTERS OF HASHR AND THE ANSWER
The objectors to the concept of Hashr (resurrection) say that when two bodies become one, where the one becomes the food and sustenance of the other (probably where one eats the other). Then, how will it be possible for two souls to come together into one body when the resurrection occurs?
Allaah Ta'ala has given us the information regarding "Hashr Nashr", but He has not informed us regarding its condition (how it will occur), hence we will leave to Him the full details thereof. For the understanding and appeasement of our own minds we will suffice on this that the human body has two parts to it. The first being the original parts that exists from the time of birth until the end of his life. The second being those parts which keep on growing and getting bigger. The first mentioned parts that remain the same is called the original parts and the second mentioned parts that keep on growing is referred to as the secondary (extra) parts. At the time of death all the parts of the human body disintegrates and separates, but none ever disappears from the Knowledge of Allaah Ta' ala. Regardless of how far separated the body becomes, it never leaves the Knowledge of Allaah Ta 'ala, which is All-Encompassing.
The original human with his original parts from birth until death, in which Allaah Ta'ala placed the soul, is the same one in which Allaah Ta'ala has the Power to return the soul on Qiyaamah. Whatever extra parts that increased thereupon, Allaah Ta'ala has the Power to put that also back and the body will receive whatever reward or punishment is due to it.
Zaid, who at the time of birth was called Zaid is still Zaíd at the age of 70 years, yet his body has undergone a multitude of changes and alterations.
we see that even if one body becomes into another, then on the Day of Qiyaamah,
Allaah Ta'ala will return the soul into the original body, since every body
started at an original stage. No one body was the same as the other at the stage
THE ERA OF "ALASTOO"
In the Qur'aan Majeed mention is made of the era of "Alastoo". "And (remember) when your Rabb brought forth from the children of Aadam, from their loins, their seed, and made them testify as to themselves (saying): 'Am I not your Rabb?" They said: 'Yes! We testify"'
The Mufassireen have stated that Alaah Ta'ala took out all the children of Hadhrat Aadam (alaihi salaam) until the Day of Qiyaamah from his spine, as small atoms (i.e. they were all small in size). These atoms were the original human beings form. Notwithstanding their small sizes Allaah Ta'ala gave them the power of life, intelligence and testimony, so that they may answer the question of Allaah Ta'ala. It appears that these `atoms` were in the form of humans, hence Allaah Ta'ala uses the term 'Zurrìyaat' (children). Allaah Ta'ala took from them the oath of His being their Rabb. Then He returned them into the back of Hadhrat Aadam (afaihi salaam), indeed He has the Power to do anything. Since the time of this oath, the human soul has undergone a multitude of changes and a very large space of time had passed, hence at the stage of life (after 9 months in the mother's womb, birth, etc.), naturally he has forgotten this era of "Alastoo". The Nabis were assigned the task of reminding mankind about this oath of theirs. "And remind (one another)! As indeed, a reminder is beneficial for the believer."
It occurred to many believing women in the era of Prophecy, that the mention of men is largely made within the Holy Qur’an in contrast to that of women. This thought was brought forward to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, saying, "We see within the verses of the Holy Qur’an that Allah Ta’ala mentions men, He addresses them, this means we women are deprived of goodness, We fear our worship may not even be accepted."
Qur’anic Awardment :
"For Muslim men and woman, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s remembrance. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward."(surah Ahzaab : 35)
Hadhrat Umme Salamaa (R.A) once questioned the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, "We (women) receive only half of what men receive (within inheritance), and there are other issues where we have been positioned differently."
"And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excelothers. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned and ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is ever All-knower of every thing." (Surah Nisaa: 32)
Amongst the Jews it was wrongly believed that a menstruating female was an object of impurity. Thus she was made to live separately and would not be allowed to join other family members for meals etc. In contrast, the Christian ways were such that they would go to the extent of having intercourse with a menstruating female.
"They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses.) Therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manner as long as it is in their vagina.) Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves them who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts and bodies for their prayers.) (Al-Baqarah: 222)
To wed any from a deceased father’s wives was considered normality. The person who he had titled as "mother" all his life, would suddenly upon his will, become his wife the instant his father was deceased.
"And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed: indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way. Prohibited to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters; your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters; your foster mother who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters; your wives, mothers; your step daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in, but there is no sin on you if ye have not gone in them (to marry their daughters), the wives of your sons who (spring from your own loins, and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already past; verily Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. Also (forbidden are) women already married, except (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek (them in marriage) with meher (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) from your property, desiring chastity, committing illegal sexual intercourse, so with those of whom you have enjoyed sexual relations, give them their meher as prescribed; but if after a meher is prescribed you agree mutually (to give more), there is no sin on you. Surely Allah is ever All Knowing, and All Wise." (Surah Nisaa: 22-24)
The bestowal of dowry was made a deprivation, as the husband would not allow his wife any share. Many husbands would force their wives to overlook the matter. If dowry was given it would be with much discourtesy and grudge.
Qur’anic Awardment :
"And give the women (on marriage) their dower with good heart; but if they of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you take it and enjoy it with right good cheer." (Surah Nisaa: 4)
It was firmly believed amongst the Arabs that the only persons worthy of inheritance were those who were able to mount horses, and fight the enemies; leaving no room for women or the young.
"Allah thus directs you as regard your children’s (inheritance) to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs the mother has a third. If the deceased left brothers or (sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he ma have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah: and Allah is all Knowing, all wise." (Surah Nisaa: 11)
Orphans and women were the prey to inhuman violence and oppression. Firstly, no such rights were reserved for them and secondly, if they were deservent of any such rights the men from their own clan made this virtually impossible.
" There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large- a legal share. And when the relatives and the orphans and Al-Masaakeen (the poor) are present at the time of division, give them out of the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So let them fear Allah and speak right words, Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing fire!" (Surah Nisaa: 7-10)
Justice Mawlan Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB)
Some Issues Involved in Murabahah
So far the basic concept of Murabahah has been explained. Now, it is proposed to discuss some relevant issues with reference to the underlying Islamic principles and their practical applicability in murabahah transaction, because without correct understanding of these issues, the concept may remain ambiguous and its practical application may be susceptible to errors and misconceptions.
1. Different pricing for cash credit sales
The first and foremost question about murabahah is that, when used as a mode of financing. It is always effected on the basis of deferred payment. The financier purchases the commodity on cash payment and sells it to the client on credit. While selling the commodity on credit, he takes into account the period in which the price is to be paid by the client and increases the price accordingly. The longer the maturity of the murabahah payment, the higher the price. Therefore the price in a murabahah transaction, as practiced by the Islamic banks, is always higher than the market price. If the client is able to purchase the same commodity from the market on cash payment, he will have to pay much less than he has to pay in a murabahah transaction on deferred payment basis. The question arises as to whether the price of a commodity in a credit sale may be increased from the price of a cash sale. Some people argue that the increase of price in a credit sale, being in consideration of the time given to the purchaser, should be treated analogous to the interest charged on a loan, because in both cases an additional amount is charged for the deferment of payment. On this basis they argue that the murabahah transactions, as practiced in the Islamic banks, are different in essence from the Interest based loans advanced by the conventional banks.
This argument, which seems to be logical in appearance, is based on a misunderstanding about the principles of Shariah regarding the prohibition of riba. For the correct comprehension of the concept the following point must be kept in view:
The modern capitalist theory does not differentiate between money and commodity in so far as commercial transactions are concerned. In the matter of exchange, money and commodity both are treated at par. Both can be traded in. both can be sold at whatever price the parties agree upon. One can sell one dollar for two dollars on spot as well as on credit, just as he can sell a commodity valuing one dollar for two dollars. The only condition is that it should be with mutual consent.
The Islamic principles, however, do not subscribe to this theory. According to Islamic principles, money and commodity have different characteristics and therefore, they are treated differently. The basic points of difference between money and commodity are the following:
A. Money has no intrinsic utility. It cannot be utilized for fulfilling human needs directly. It can only be used for acquiring some goods and services. The commodities, on the other hand, have intrinsic utility. They can be utilized directly without exchanging them for some other thing.
B. The commodities can be of different qualities, while money has no quality except that it is a measure of value or a medium of exchange. Therefore, all the units of money, of same denomination, are 100% equal to each other. And old and dirty note of Rs. 1000/- has the same value as a brand new note of Rs. 1000/-, unlike the commodities which may have different qualities, and obviously an old and used can may be much less in value than a brand new car.
C. In commodities the transaction of sale and purchase is effected on a particular individual commodity or, at least, on the commodities having particular specifications. If A has purchased a particular car by pinpointing it and seller has agreed, he deserves to receive the same car. The seller cannot compel him to take the delivery of another car, though of the same type or quality. This can only be done if the purchaser agrees to it which implies that the earlier transaction is cancelled and a new transaction on the new car is effected by mutual consent.
Money, on the contrary, cannot be pin-pointed in a transaction of exchange. If A has purchased a commodity from B by showing him a particular note of Rs. 1000/- he can still pay him another note of the same denomination, while B cannot insist that he will take the same note as was shown to him.
Keeping these differences in view, Islam has treated money and commodities differently. Since money has no intrinsic utility, but is only a medium of exchange which has no different qualities, the exchange of a unit of money for another unit of the same denomination cannot be effected except at par value. If a currency note of Rs. 1000/- is exchanged for another note, it must be of the value of Rs. 1000/-. The price of the former note can neither be increased nor decreased from Rs. 1000/- even in a spot transaction, because the currency note has no intrinsic utility nor a different quality (recognized legally), therefore any excess on either side is without consideration, hence not allowed in Shariah. As this is true in a spot exchange transaction, it is also true in a credit card transaction where there is money on both sides, because if some excess is claimed in a credit transaction (where money is exchanged for money) it will be against nothing but time.
The case of the normal commodities is different. Since they have intrinsic utility and have different qualities, the owner is at liberty to sell them at whatever price he wants, subject to the forces of supply and demand. If the seller does not commit a fraud or misrepresentation, he can sell a commodity at a price higher than the market rate with the consent of the purchaser. If the purchaser accepts to buy it at that increased price, the excess charged from him is quite permissible for the seller. When he can sell his commodity at a higher price in a cash transaction, he can also charge a higher price in credit sale, subject only to the condition that he neither deceives the purchaser, nor compels him to purchase, and the buyer agrees to pay the price with his free will.
It is sometimes argued that the increase of price in a cash transaction is not based on the deferred payment, therefore it is permissible while in a sale based on deferred payment, the increase is purely against time which makes it analogous to interest. This argument is again based on the misconception that whenever price is increased taking the time of payment into consideration, the transaction comes within the ambit of interest. This presumption is not correct. Any excess amount charged against late payment is riba only where the subject matter is money on both sides. But if a commodity is sold in exchange of money, the seller, when fixing the price, may take into consideration different factors, including the time of payment. A seller, being the owner of a commodity which has intrinsic utility may charge a higher price and the purchaser may agree to pay if due to various reasons, for example:
A. his shop is nearer to the buyer who does not want to go to the market which is not so near.
B. The seller is more trust-worthy for the purchaser than others, and the purchaser has more confidence in him that he will give him the required thing without any defect.
C. The seller gives him priority in selling commodities having more demand.
D. The atmosphere of the shop of the seller is cleaner and more comfortable than other shops.
E. The seller is more courteous in his dealings than others.
These and similar other considerations play their role in charging a higher price from the customer. In the say way, if a seller increases the price because he allows credit to his client, it is not prohibited by Shariah if there is no cheating and the purchaser accepts it with open eyes, because whatever the reason of increase, the whole price is against a commodity and not against money. It is true that, while increasing the price of the commodity, the seller has kept in view the time of its payment, but once the price is fixed, it relates to the commodity, and not to the time. That is why if the purchaser fails to pay at the stipulated time, the price will remain the same and can never be increased by the seller. Had it been against time, it might have been increased, if the seller allows him more time after the maturity.
To put it another way, since money can only be traded in at par value, as explained earlier, any excess claimed in a credit transaction (of money in exchange of money) is against nothing but time. That is why if the debtor is allowed more time at maturity, some more money is claimed from him. Conversely, in a credit sale of a commodity, time is not the exclusive consideration while fixing the price. The price is fixed for commodity, not for time. However, time may act as an ancillary factor to determine the price of the commodity, like any other factor from those mentioned above, but once this factor has played its role, every part of the price is attributed to the commodity.
The upshot of this discussion is that when money is exchanged for money, nor excess is allowed, neither in cash transaction, nor in credit, but where a commodity is sold for money, the price agreed upon by the parties may be higher than the market price, both in cash and credit transactions. Time of payment may act as an ancillary factor to determine the price of a commodity, but it cannot act as an exclusive basis for and the sole consideration of an excess claimed in exchange of money for money.
This position is accepted unanimously by all the four schools of Islamic law and the majority of the Muslim jurists. They say that if a seller determines two different prices for cash and credit sales, the price of the credit sale being higher than the cash price, it is allowed in Shariah. The only condition is that at the time of actual sale, one of the two options must be determined, leaving no ambiguity in the nature of the transaction. For example, it is allowed for the seller, at the time of bargaining, to say to purchaser, “If you purchase the commodity on cash payment, the price would be Rs. 100/- and if you purchase it on a credit of six months, the price would be 110/-. But the purchaser shall have to select either of two options. He should say that he would purchase it on credit for Rs. 110/-. Thus, at the time of actual sale, the price will be known to both parties.
However, if either of the two options is not determined in specific terms, the sale will not be valid. This may happen in those installment sales in which different prices are claimed for different maturities. In this case the seller draws a schedule of prices according to schedule of payment. For example, Rs. 1000/- are charged for the credit of 3 months Rs. 1100/- for the credit of 6 months, Rs. 1200/- for 9 months and so on. The purchaser takes the commodity without specifying the option he will exercise, on the assumption that he will pay the price in future according to his convenience. This transaction is not valid, because the time of payment, as well as the price, is not determined. But if he chooses on e of this option specifically and says, for example that he purchases the commodity on 6 months credit with a price of 1100/- the sale will be valid.
Another point must be noted here. What has been allowed above is that the price of the commodity in a credit sale is fixed at more than the cash price. But if the sale has taken place at cash price, and the seller has imposed a condition that in case of late payment, he will charge 10% per annum as a penalty or as interest, this is totally prohibited; because what is being charged is not a part of the price; it is an interest charged on a debt.
The practical difference between the two situations is that where the additional amount is a part of the price, it may be charged on a one time basis only. If the purchaser fails to pay it on time, the seller cannot charge another additional amount. The price will remain the same without any addition. Conversely, where the additional amount is not a part of the price it will keep increasing with the period of time of default.
Parables are indeed excellent. They enable one to reflect on issues in a manner that bring the reality home very easily and clearly. The Qur'an-al-Kareem and Ahadith are also replete with examples and parables.
Hence, let us also consider the following parable: A son most eloquently expresses his love and affection for his learned and wise father. "My most beloved father," he says. "There is nobody dearer to me on the face of this earth than you. I love you more than myself. I will do anything for you. I will even give my life for you. To make you happy is my greatest joy. When I see you in pain, it is as though I have been struck by a thousand arrows!!!"
I LOVE YOU, BUT...
When the son is finally hoarse from singing the praises of his father, the father affectionately addresses him and says: "My dear child, I love you millions of times more than you can even imagine. I always wish the very best for you. Therefore my greatest grief is when I see you doing something that will harm you." The father then explains in detail to his son what will benefit him and what he should refrain from because it will harm him. The son replies: "My dear father, I love you, but what you have asked me to do is a little difficult for me. I also cannot give up the habits you have asked me to leave out. Just be content that I love you." The son then blatantly does all the things his father has prohibited him from. He totally disregards his father's instructions. But he does not stop singing his father's praises.
In the above example, nobody can ever claim that the son's claims of loving his father are entirely false. He is sure to have some love for his father. However, his claims do sound hollow. His actions prove that he has very little love. His love is not yet deep enough to make him truly feel as if "a thousand arrows have pierced him" when he sees his father in pain and grief. Had he possessed the reality of love, he would not have caused pain and grief to his father by means of his actions.
Keeping the above parable in mind, let us consider our own condition. We profess to have the greatest love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) . We claim that we would do anything for him. We also claim that to see him pained or grieved would be as if a billion arrows have struck us.
These are our claims of love. While the reality will only be known on the day of Qiyamah (Judgement), our actions will nevertheless give some indication of the truth of what we claim. However the love that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has for us is a million times more than we can ever imagine. Allah Ta'ala himself testifies to the love that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has for his ummah in the words "…..it grieves him that you (the believers) suffer, he is very anxious over you (for your welfare and good) (Sura Tauba: 128)."
Rasulullah's (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) compassion for his Ummah knew no bounds. Once he raised his hands in dua for his Ummah and while weeping he pleaded: "O my Lord, my ummah, my ummah (what will become of them? Forgive them!) . " The heavens were moved and Allah Ta'ala sent Hazrat Jibraeel (A.S.) to enquire from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as to what made him weep? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied that his weeping was due to concern for his Ummah. Allah Ta'ala then consoled him that 'We will please you with regard to your Ummah.' (Sahih Muslim)." Here is the beloved Rasul of Allah Ta'ala weeping due to love for us. What have we done to please the one who loves us so deeply and whom we also claim to love dearly? We take great pains to please those whom we love in this world. What about pleasing Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)?
Our most compassionate Rasulllah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was shown what bounties await the true Believers in Jannah and what torments are in Jahannum for the disobedient. Hence he pleaded to us to do those actions that lead to Jannah and to refrain from those that lead to the fire of hell. How have we responded to his pleas???
Take the aspect of salaah, for example. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is in the last moments of life in this world. He has a bandage tied tightly around his head to ease the severe headache he is experiencing. In this pitiful condition the greatest of Allah Ta'ala's creation pleads to us: "Be careful about (the punctual performance of) your salaah and the treatment of your slaves (servants)!" What a passionate plea in the last moments of life! Have we responded positively? Are we punctual with our five daily salaah? Or by our actions have we said: "I love you, but salaah is difficult for me!" Also, do we treat our servants correctly?
In another Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) describes his pain over those (adult men) who perform their salaah at home without a valid excuse and do not attend the musjid. "Had it not been for the women and children in the homes, I would have set fire to their houses," he exclaims. How much has his deep pain moved us to action? Are we concerned about performing salaah with jama'ah (the congregation).
There are numerous other aspects which displease Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and bring grief to his blessed heart. For instance he stressed the fundamental importance of hayaa (modesty) and warned against shamelessness. Have we obeyed? Is our dressing, for example, pleasing his heart or is it causing him immense grief due to it becoming more shameless by the day?
Some sins are so severe that with regard to its perpetrators Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) declared: "They are not of me." Others have been cursed by him. It thus follows that the perpetrators of these sins cause him severe grief. Some of these sins are:
· To cheat, deceive or breach trust (amaanat)
· To imitate the Yahood (Jews) and Nasara (Christians)
· Men imitating women and women imitating men (in their dressing, ways, etc.)
· Not having mercy on the young and not respecting the elders
· Not enjoining the right and forbidding the evil
· To harbour jealousy or carry tales
· To take or pay interest
· To cast lustful glances
· To disobey one's parents in permissible things, etc., etc.
Are we prepared to give up these sins in order to save Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from the pain and grief?
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: "Your actions will be presented to me (Majmauz Zawaaid, vol.9;pg.24)." This means that the actions of the Ummah, our actions, are presented by the angels to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in his Rawdah Mubarak. Our good actions would surely please him. The sins of the Ummah , our sins, are sure to grieve and hurt him. The choice is now ours. Do we obey him and bring great joy to his heart, or do we disobey him and cause him pain and grief???
May Allah Tal'ala guide us to those actions that will earn us His love and the love of His beloved Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) . Aameen.
On Connections (Awsil)
Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA)
Become connected [ittasil], then become disconnected [infasil], then make connections [awsil]. "Complete your studies, then retire [tafaqqah thumma ' 'tazil]." If someone tries to worship Allah in a state of ignorance, he will do more harm than good. You must take along with you the lantern of your Lord's sacred law [shar']. By the light of the law [hukm], you will enter into the domain of knowledge ['ilm].
Stop depending on material means [asbab]. Part company with brethren and neighbors. As for the shares allotted by destiny [aqsam], it serves no purpose to abstain from them. Present your back to your wife. Present the allotted shares with your back. Act like an ascetic [tazahhad], then practice abstinence [zuhd] in earnest. Practice renunciation [i'rad] in earnest. Give up your greedy appetite. Refine your behavior. You must be detached from everything apart from Him, dissociated from other creatures and from material means, always afraid that your lamp may go out and leave you permanently in the dark. While one is in this state, lo and behold, along comes the Lord of Truth with the oil of His providence to fuel your lamp. Your light is within your knowledge. [To quote two sayings of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace):]
If someone puts into practice the knowledge he has already acquired, Allah will endow him with knowledge of what he does not know.
If someone devotes himself sincerely [akhlas] to Allah for forty mornings, the fountains of wisdom [hikma] will gush forth from his heart onto his tongue.
While he is in this state, he will suddenly see the fire of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). Just like Moses (peace be upon him) at the moment when he saw a fire, he will say to his household: Stay here awhile. I notice a fire. (28:29)
The Lord of Truth will summon him by means of His fire. He will cause the fire to represent His nearness, and He will cause his vision of it to be his guide. When he sees a fire burning in the bush of his heart, he will say [to his household]: "Stay here awhile, right where you are now. I notice a fire." The innermost being [sirr] will call out to the heart: I am indeed your Lord. (20:12). I am Allah..., so worship Me. (20:14). [In other words:] "Do not submit yourself to anyone but Me. Acknowledge Me and ignore all others. Become connected to Me and disconnected from everything apart from Me. Seek Me and turn away from all others, toward My knowledge ['ilm], toward My nearness, toward My kingdom, toward My dominion."
When you experience this completely, the meeting will finally take place. Whatever is meant to happen will happen. And He revealed to His servant that which He revealed. (53:10). The veils will be removed. Trouble and confusion will disappear. The lower self [nafs] will become calm. Peace [sukun] will arrive. The gifts of grace [altaf] will arrive. Go to Pharaoh! (20:24). "O heart, you must go back to the devil [shaitan], the lower self [nafs] and the passions [hawa]. Set them on the path to Me. Guide them to Me. Say to them: O my people! Follow me. I will guide you to the way of right conduct. (40:38)
Become connected, then become disconnected, then become connected, then make connections [ittasil thumma 'nqati' thumma 'ttasil thumma awsil].
As for you, O miserable wretch, your strength and energy will soon run out and leave you in the lurch. Your bosom friends will have nothing more to do with you. You will experience the combination of poverty in this world and punishment in the hereafter. The grave will come and squeeze you so tight that one set of ribs is crushed against the other, rendering you incapable of responding to the questions posed by [the two interrogating angels] Munkar and Nakir. You will suffer agony in your grave, then a doorway to the Fire [of Hell] will be opened up for you, to let you be exposed to its torment and its toxic fumes.
O people of ours! Conduct yourselves properly in this abode [of the present life], so that your religion [din], your outer [zahir] and your inner [batin] may be kept safe and sound until you are made to stand before Him at the Resurrection. When that moment comes, the veil will be removed from your eyes, from your mouth and from your ears, and He will feed you and make you grow from strength to strength, from insight to insight, from life to life, from perpetuity to perpetuity, from blessing to blessing. He will commend your hard work and praise your good conduct. He will call you grateful [shakir] after He has called you patient [sabir], sensible ['aqil] and devout [dayyin]. He will cause you to experience further transformation. Allah does not change what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves. (13:11)
Bad character is something they must change by following the sacred law [shar'], then knowledge ['ilm], then the decree of destiny [qadar].
It is as if they had been anesthetized [bunniju] in readiness for the amputation of their hands and feet, for the amputation of their rotten, gangrenous limbs. There is no movement, no asking about the whys and wherefores. All consciousness, all human consciousness is lost, until the days of anesthesia [tabannuj] are over and consciousness returns to them. Then come the gracious favors of their Lord, to bring about transformation and further transformation. There is food to eat after hunger, something to drink after thirst, clothing to wear after nakedness.
As long as you are still following the path, He will command you to make do with very little, so that your carnal appetite [shahwa] may lose its intensity. You must give this ruling [hukm] its due, as you must be careful to observe all the commandments and prohibitions of the sacred law [shar'].
These days will come to an end, and your steps will draw near to the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) with the passing of the night and the coming of the day. They [meaning people who follow the spiritual path] are grouped in various categories: There are some for whom the entire journey takes only a day, while for others it may take a month or even several years. Instead of wasting your time on the whys and the wherefores and on speculating about the future, you should pull yourself together, get moving and get down to work.
If you labor in His palace, perhaps He will take you on as a permanent member of the staff. Maybe one of His slave girls will fall in love with you and you will marry her. Your outward appearance will be transformed. [Those laborer's tools of yours,] your basket made of palm leaves and your hoe can be sold off. You will be installed as a manager, a royal deputy and minister [wazir]. When someone really knows ['arafa] Allah, he does not regard such things as being too much to ask of Him. Once you have attained to Him, He will whet your appetite. Abstinence and renunciation are appropriate before direct experience [ma'rifa], before you attain to the King, before you know who you really are [qabla an ta'rifa man anta], what your title [laqab] is and what your name [ism] is.
The servant says goodbye to his worldly goods, to his clothes, his furniture, his home, his family, his children, his neighbors, his wife and his closest friends. He puts one foot forward and drags the other. With two steps, fear and hope, he moves away from the past. Nothing is familiar to him, for he is leaving everything behind, not knowing what he can expect or what may be expected of him. Then, once he has left everything behind, he arrives at the door of the King. There he stands in the company of His attendants, along with His riding animals, feeling both fear and hope, not knowing what may be in store for him. Meanwhile the King, who is watching him and has been informed about him, says to the attendants: "Give him special treatment, ahead of all the rest!" Then he gets to be employed in one post after another, until he is installed as a chamberlain [hajib] in His presence, as a special confidant who is privy to His secrets, invested with a robe of honor, with neckband, waistband and crown. Now he can write to tell his family: Come to me with all your folk. (12:93)
After the King has called Himself as witness to His promise: "I shall not change toward you," he has a guarantee of constant companionship and friendship [wilaya], since abstinence [zuhd] cannot coexist with intimate knowledge [ma'rifa].
A case like this is one in a million. This is something that comes about as a result of divine destiny [qadar], preordainment [sabiqa] and foreknowledge ['ilm]. Do not be one of those concerning whom Allah has said: No, I swear by the censorious self [bi'n-nafsi'l-lawwama]. (75:2)
The believer [mu'min] must ask, as a way of calling himself to account and improving his behavior: "What did I intend by saying what I said? What did I intend by taking the step I took? What did I intend by eating what I ate? Why did I act as I did? Why did I do it? Is this in accordance with the Book and the Sunna?"
You must acquire certitude [yaqin] after self-examination [muhasaba], for it is the kernel [lubb] of faith [iman]. Only with certitude can the obligatory religious duties [fara'id] be properly discharged. Only with certitude can one put this world in its proper place.
When you receive a response to your supplication [du'a'], calm and composure, but if your prayer [da'wa] is not answered, you get upset! One of the distinguishing features of the champions of truth [siddiqun] is that they resort to Allah in every case. When they wish to conceal their spiritual states [ahwal], they may resort to the give and take of dealing with creatures, but their hearts remain with Him while their bodies are in the company of His creatures. The human being [ibn Adam] needs to work in this world, in order to transform his natural tendencies [tab']. He must struggle against his lower self [nafs], his devil [shaitan] and his passions [hawa], in order to move beyond the attributes of the animals [sifat al-baha'im] and acquire human characteristics [akhlaq insaniyya].
Do you disbelieve [kafarta] in this Lord, Who created you from dust, then from a sperm, then shaped you as a man? (18:37)
Does He deserve as His recompense that you should deny Him and repudiate Him, that you should feel embarrassed to be seen by the eyes of other people, yet feel no sense of shame before Him, although He can always see you?
O you who make no secret of your claim to saintship [wilaya], while committing blatant sins of disobedience against the Lord of Truth! Do you feel no sense of shame before Him, when He is well aware of your innermost being [sirr] and your conscience [sarira] ? And you there, you who make a display of poverty while concealing your wealth, are you not ashamed to be trading your religion [din] for your worldly interests? Whatever blessing you enjoy, it is from Allah. (16:53)
Where is your gratitude? O young man! Do not accuse anyone on behalf of your Creator. You are just as likely to be mistaken as you are to be correct [in what you suspect about another person]. Do not present other people in a bad light, in order to have Him approve of your own conduct. It is up to the sacred law [shar'], not our own minds, to determine whether a favorable or an unfavorable view should be taken. This is in relation to the outer [zahir]. You must also be careful to recognize cases where it is up to the inner [batin] to determine whether something merits disapproval or approval. The verdict [fatwa] of the heart can overrule the verdict of the jurist [faqih], because the jurist arrives at his verdict through some exercise of his ijtihad, whereas the heart always bases its judgment on what is strictly correct ['azima], on that which is pleasing to the Lord of Truth and in compliance with His wishes. This is the judgment [qada'] of knowledge ['ilm] over the legal ruling [hukm].
You must be servants of the law [hukm], then servants of knowledge ['ilm] while remaining in servitude to the law, in the sense that you must conform to it in humble compliance. You must enter along with knowledge into the company of the law. Any "matter of fact" [haqiqa] that is not acknowledged by the sacred law [shari'a] is an atheistic heresy [zandaqa].
When you enter into the company of the people of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), you will experience what they experience and share the food they eat.
You must express your gratitude to Allah (Exalted is He) in secret and in private.
O people of this city, everything you are involved in is repugnant in my sight, just as everything I am involved in is repugnant in your eyes. We are opposites that cannot be reconciled. We manage to live amongst you thanks to the power of the Owner of the heavens, but there is no no permanent residence here for the joy of our hearts.
Your youth has been spent in ways displeasing to the Creator (Almighty and Glorious is He). You are eager to please your wife, your children, your neighbor and your worldly ruler [sultan], yet you earn the displeasure of the angels [mala'ika] and the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), although: ...unto Him is the homeward journey [ilaihi'l-masir]. (5:18)
You are bound to answer the call of death. You will meet up with your fathers and mothers, brethren, friends and rulers. Let none of you ask: "When will the Resurrection take place?" For when you die you will experience your own Resurrection [qiyama].
The saints [awliya'] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) are already there in the nearness of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). They have lived their lives in a close relationship with the Lord of Truth. They have died many deaths: first of all to that which is unlawful [haram], secondly to that which is dubious [shubha], thirdly to that which is indifferently permissible [mubah], fourthly to that which is unambiguously lawful [halal tilq], and fifthly to everything apart from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). They are dead to all these things; they neither seek them nor come anywhere near them. They appear to have undergone a transmutation, turning them into inner contents [ma'ani] with no outer forms [suwar]. Then Allah (Exalted is He) revives them. In the Name of Allah shall be its course and its mooring. (11:41)
When hearts are following a course that takes them across the oceans of destiny [qadar], their mooring is at the door of His knowledge ['ilm] and His nearness.
Wakefulness is a form of service, while sleep is a means of connection [wusla]. When the servant falls asleep during a ritual prayer [salat], Allah displays him proudly to His angels. The physical body is a cage and the spirit [ruh] is a bird.
In the eyes of the people of real experience [ma'rifa], creatures are like flies and hornets, or like silkworms. Their spiritual states [ahwal] have no relevance for you.
Be sensible! No one but a stupid fool would bring destruction upon himself to spite Allah; no one would do such a thing unless he was doomed to destruction anyway.
If someone tells you to be generous in spending and giving, that person is your friend. If someone gets rich on what belongs to the poor, he will be reduced to poverty because of it.
More is required of you than merely professing Islam. When will you put the truth into practice? When will you act on the truth?
When my limbs move, you should realize that my heart is aflame.
O world here below [ya dunya], taste bitter to My saints [awliya'] at the outset, so that they will not love you, but serve them later on, so that they will not be preoccupied with you.
When the Hour [of Resurrection] was mentioned in the hearing of Mary's son Jesus (peace be upon him), he would wail like a woman bereaved of her child, saying: "It is not fitting for the son of Adam to stay calm when the Hour [as-sa'a] is mentioned in his hearing." You are a nonentity. You have no feeling in you. You have never loved or been loved. He grieved over the length of his sojourn in this world, because it made him afraid of the fickleness of human beings, dependence on creatures, and separation from the All-Merciful [ar-Rahman] because of the dominating influence of the passions [hawa], the lower self [nafs], the natural impulses [tab'] and the devil [shaitan]. Anyone who feels secure in this world must be mightily ignorant indeed.
O young man! I am reassured, whatever may happen. I am made to feel afraid, whatever may happen. By my life, He draws you near and brings you close, He speaks to you, He feeds you and nourishes you, He watches over you, He opens doors for you, He seats you at the table of His gracious favor and His nearness, He puts you at your ease, but He still requires you to experience grief.
10. Islam and concept and equality
Dr. Mustafa Saba'i
And this is America
When we take stock of the American blacks we come upon pathetic conditions of tyranny and oppression and for once the observer is terrified. America is a new continent and claims to be civilized. Everyone on landing at the New York port of America, comes in view of the statue of liberty that greets every visitor to this Land of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Below the statue the visitor finds engraved the following words:
“Hand over your helpless, afflicted and enslaved people to us so that they may be able to live a life of freedom. Send to me the flotsam and jetsam of your densely populated coast—those who have neither an abode nor a homeland of their own. See here I am at your service, standing with this torch near the Golden Gate.”
Yet in this country with high sounding claims to liberty, in the biggest town and port of which stands this statue of liberty, the blacks are being tyrannized. This is the worst crime of the history of mankind. We would not like to say anything ourselves in this behalf. This country itself confesses that it is doing all this. And the fact of the matter is also that. And whatever is being done is deliberate and America is unabashed. A member of the Senate, Mr. James Bazanz, says: “no black person has the right to even bring to mind the idea of political equality, as is happening in the Southern States. This country belongs to the whites and shall remain in that position.”
The whole body is covered with blotches and sores
The oppressions and tyrannies to which the Negroes are subjected are of different kinds and the crimes perpetrated in different fields. To examine the field of culture and civilization only, we find that in about twenty states of USA, the black population is barred from receiving instruction with the whites in the same school or college. In the article 257 of the constitution of Mississippi it has been clearly stated that: “In this field—that of education and training—it will be kept in view that the children of the white men and those of black ones should be separate. So there will be two different types of schools for the two of them.”
The state of Florida deemed it necessary to discriminate even in the matter of the syllabi, and the books taught to the whites and the blacks are quite different. In all the states of America, no white man can marry a black woman nor the other way round. In the state of Mississippi such a marriage is constitutionally void. Rather, there a white person cannot marry another with even one eighth of his or her blood out of the black stock.
The discrimination in the field of the work of labour is so much that far from a black person sitting on the same table with a white person, the former cannot enter even through the gates reserved for the white men.
Socially, the racial discrimination is that in fourteen states of USA, in a railway train the black persons have to sit segregated from the white men. There are separate arrangements for the Negroes in railway trains, buses, telephone booths. In the hospitals too there are separate rooms for the Negroes, so much so that even in mental hospitals white mad men are kept segregated from the black mad persons, and the former enjoy special privileges even here. And still more amazing is that proclamation made by the officer in charge of the Burial ground of dogs in Washington. He said in it that he wound not allow the dogs of black men to be buried in the graveyard of white men’s dogs. The owner of that graveyard admits that the dead dogs have no “objection” to the burial of their own brethren , however belonging to black men, even if they were to be buried in the same pit. But how can their masters tolerate that their honourable dogs be buried beside one belonging to some black person. How could they be guilty of the “heinous sin” of equality even at this lower level?
Mere obstinacy and shamelessness
Sometimes the American politicians explain this shameful state of affairs by asserting that racial discrimination exists only in the Southern states, and they are not so civilized even now as those in the northern states. But apart from the fact that this is a case of adding injury to insult, the facts also give a lie to such assertions, and the true situation of the country in this respect falsifies all claims of things being any better in the northern states. In all the northern towns of America, the Negro population lives in such filthy areas in houses built with reeds and planks, abounding in filth, stinking, swarming with flies and mosquito-infested. The wooden shacks often catch fire and are completely gutted. In Harlem, the Negro locality in New York, about nineteen person live in one room. One of their papers writes: “If we were to settle the Americans at the rate of the density of population of Harlem, the entire population of America could be accommodated in half the existing New York city.” Just opposite to the White House in Washington and under the famous beautiful statue of Abraham Lincoln, is situated the Negro quarters holding a quarter billion men, about one fourth of the total population of the capital. And they do existence at the animal level—like cattle in their enclosures. And in this capital they are not allowed to enter those schools, hospitals, recreation grounds, hotels and restaurants reserved for white men, so much so that they cannot enter the churches for the white men only. Once a Negro from the republic of Panama entered a Catholic Church in Washington and just as he was praying with due concentration, some one from the churchmen handed over to him a slip giving the address of a Catholic Church reserved for the black men. And when that priest was asked the reason for that uncivil act, he said in reply that there were Churches in that town for the Negro Catholics and this black man could worship his God there. This is the attitude and behaviour of those who give humanity the glad tidings that Christ is the saviour of mankind as a whole.
In such a disdainful atmosphere afflicted with poverty and wretchedness and prey to various maladies, about fifteen million Negroes are doing bitter existence in the United States of America, about one tenth of the total population of that country. But in spite of all that America asserts in the UNO that it is the standard-bearer of liberty and freedom and well-being and freedom of all nations.
Evidence of a witness of her own people
Here we are going to give extracts from “The freedom of the Negroes’ a book by an American:
“Undoubtedly, nowhere except South Africa, no people has been so much abased as slaves, as the Negroes in our country. Although slavery in its popular sense has been abolished and people do not own other men and women like they own chattel. And today slavery has taken a shape in which there are all sorts of provisions for a happy and prosperous life for the white people and the populations of black people may be kept under conditions of extreme lowness and humility. And for strengthening this policy various means are adopted. So this policy is something enforced in the form of orders for murder and destruction, issued by the world armed with power and authority or in the form of tyrannical and unjust legal orders, and at yet other times in the form of such usages for which God has revealed no authority.”
And more of it
The famous American economist, Mr. Factor Barlow says: “There is no doubt, about the fact that the industrialists of the northern states, who had, during the American civil war, taken possession of the Federal government, had in reality no intention of emancipating the Negroes. Rather, they wanted that the southern states that were in possession of the black slaves whom they were exploiting to their utmost advantage, should not be allowed to do so all by themselves, but they should share this cheap labour with them. The fact is that the democratic party and the army resorted to the stratagem in the southern states that in league with former masters of slaves, the Negroes should be enslaved anew.”
And this too
The same author says: “The venom of the racial discrimination has spread in the length and the breadth of the country, and has seeped into the American life to such an extent that the common people have now become used to it that no opportunity should be lost of debasing and humiliating the Negroes and other minorities. And they design new interpretations and suggestions for such humiliation and vilification.”
Two More evidences
Jack Leet and Lee Mortimer say: “America is renowned among the nations of the world in this respect that its distinctive mark is the “Statue of Liberty” which signifies that ‘we welcome every visitor to our country and anyone seeking asylum irrespective of whether he has run away from the hardships of oppression and tyranny or wants to get out of the reach of the oppression and afflictions.’ But it is a great pity that since this statue of liberty has been erected, the words liberty and equality have lost their meaning in America.
And lastly this incident which is so disgusting in its nature. In Columbia city in 1946, a Negro and his mother went to a repair shop to get their radio set repaired. The mother of the Negro said to the shopkeeper that he had charged them thirteen dollars and the radio set was dumb as before. This ‘audacity’ infuriated the shopkeeper and he ordered his assistant to bundle her out of the shop. The assistant kicked the poor woman out and she fell on her face. This enraged her son who beat the servant and floored him. That raised the alarm and the white men around raised a hue and cry that the miscreant must be put to death. A crowd soon gathered that was insistent on revenge. It must be borne in mind that American’s revenge against the Negro signifies nothing short of beheading him without trial. Anyway, the poor Negroes were rescued from the crazy mob and were entrusted to the police lock-up. But the fury of the mob did not abate. They fell on a Negro locality so that they might avenge themselves on so Negro woman and her son. And the police cordoned off this quarter of the town and did not let the Negroes run to safety, with the result the enraged mob fell on them with the ravage, destruction and loot arson. The houses were set on fire and the inmates shot at, leaving many dead and wounded. And all this oppression and tyranny and the crimes of loot, arson and murder were perpetrated because of the very much justified complaint of the Negroes that repair charges were realized without repairing her defective radio set. This is the golden example presented by the enlightened western civilization of the twentieth century.
And as against this let us relate an incident of 100 AH thirteen hundred years from now. A black girl, Fartoonah, wrote a letter to the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz (RA) that the boundary wall of her house was very low and the poachers scaling that wall stole her hens. Umar bin Abdul Aziz (RA) wrote back to her that the governor of Egypt had been ordered to have the boundary wall of her house raised and to undertake other necessary repairs to the house also. He wrote to the governor of Egypt that immediately on receipt of the letter he must have the needful done under his personal supervision. Ayub bin Shurahbil was the governor of Egypt at that time and the text of the letter read: “Fartoonah, the freed slave girl of Dhi Asbah, has written to me that the boundary wall of her house is so low that thieves enter any night and steal her hens. She wants it to be raised and reinforced. On receipt of this letter go to her house and in your own presence have the wall raised and properly strengthened.”
On receipt of that letter from the Caliph, he set out in search of the house of Fartoonah and found that she was a poor black woman (a Negress). The governor compiled with the orders of the Amir of the believers and had it done under his personal supervision.
This is just one instance of the treatment meted out to the Negroes by us thirteen hundred years earlier, and speaks volumes of the glorious traditions of our civilizations.
(Things have entirely changed long since this was written)
S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (RA)
Al-Ghazali and dialectics (cont’d)
Al-Ghazali writes in a booklet Faisal al-Tafarraqa Bain al-Islam wal-Zadaqa. He writes in it:
“Dear brother, a group of people of me is busy in censuring my writings, for, in their opinion I have expounded views contrary to those held by the teachers of the old, or the founders of the scholastic school. They think that even the slightest deviation from the orthodox Ash’arite tenets is blasphemous. I know that you are unhappy over it, but, my dear friend, you ought to observe patience in this matter. How can I claim immunity from the jealousy of these people when even the Prophet of Islam was not spared by these elements. He is simply a blind follower of illiberal formalism who holds that any disagreement with the Ash’arite, Mu’atzilite, Hanbalite, or, for that matter, with any other sect is heretical. It is no use tryingto waste your time in satisfying them. In fact, their own pleas against one another are sufficient to confute them. There are numerous differences in the various scholastic schools and many of these differ from the Ash’arites. Therefore, if anybody claims that it is incumbent to follow the Ash’arite tenets to the last detail, or that even the slightest deviation form its doctrines is unsanctified, he ought to be asked how he deems the Ash’arite to be the sole repository of truth? If it is so, would he be willing to declare Baqillani an apostate? Baqillani differed from al-Ash’ari on the question of eternal attributes of Divinity for he denied the existence of any such attribute apart from the Being of God. But the question is: Why should Baqillani at all be condemned as an apostate for opposing al-Ash’ari; why should not the same charge be leveled against al-Ash’ari; and, why should truth be considered to be the monopoly of any particular individual? If their reply be that al-Ash’ari preceded Baqillani, then did not Mu’tazilites precede al-Ash’ari and, therefore, should they not be deemed to be on the right path? If it is claimed that righteousness depends on profound knowledge and piety, then what would be the criteria to judge the comparative merits of the expounders of different schools? If Baqillani was allowed to differ from al-Ash’ari, why should those after him be debarred from this right and why should any particular person be accorded a special treatment in this matter?”
Personal experience and a comprehensive insight into the speculative as well as religious sciences led al-Ghazali to the conclusion that scholasticism has only a limited utility which may sometimes be even harmful in particular cases. He ultimately came to regard dialectics as a medicine which should not be administered to the healthy people who needed only adequate nourishment through their food. And, this could be provided amply by the Qur’an. He maintained that the Qur’an contained a superior logic as its arguments are quite satisfying to the people possessing common-sense. In his last book entitled Iljam ul-Awam an-Ilm il-kalam (The restraining of he commonalty from the science of dialectics) al-Ghazali observes:
“The Qur’anic arguments are like food which provide nourishment to everyone while the logical system built up by the dialecticians is similar to a medicine which can be administered profitably to a few only, and may even have harmful effects for other not requiring it. Or, else, the Qur’anic reasoning resembles water which can be taken both by a weak child and a robust youth while dialectical argumentation is like a rich food which provides nourishment to the latter but is indigestible and even harmful for children.”
Continuing further on the evil effects of dialectics, he writes:
“The indiscriminate practice of dialectics by its votaries provides an irrefutable argument against that science. Since the time it was popularised, it was given rise to many evils which were not to be found during the times of the Prophet’s companions.”
Al-Ghazali’s refusal to return to Baghdad
Al-Ghazali was prevailed upon by Fakhr ul-Mulk, the son of Nizam ul-Mulk, who had become a Vazier of the Saljuq Prince Sanjar, to return to Nishapur in the month of Zul-Qadah, 499 AH., and resume the chief professorship at the Nizamiah University. Fakhr ul-Mulk was assassinated in the beginning of 500 AH by a Batinite emissary and al-Ghazali abandoned the profession of teaching shortly thereafter. He arrived to his native town Tus, and founded a small institution for the teaching of his local disciples and the cultivation of a religious life.
The then Saljuq Sultan appointed Ahmad, the elder son of Nizam ul-Mulk as his Vazier in 500 AH, who again made a request to al-Ghazali to resume his post at the Nizamiah University, Baghdad, which had only been provisionally filled in. As a matter of fact, there was nobody in the entire would of Islam who could replace al-Ghazali. The Nizamiah University at Baghdad was the premier institution of those days and occupied a pride of place in the educational and religious academics of the ‘Abbasids. Everyone felt the loss suffered by the Nizamiah on account of al-Ghazali’s retirement and was anxious for his return to teaching in Baghdad. Qwam ud-din Nizam ul-Mulk, who was the Grand Vazier of the Saljuq King wrote a personal letter to al-Ghazali expressing the desire of the then ‘Abbasid Caliph that he should return to Baghdad. In this letter he wrote:
“I solicited the orders of the Caliph in this matter but these were not granted until Sadr ud din took it upon himself that the wishes of the Caliph shall be communicated by him personally to Khwaja-I Ajal, Zain ud din, Hujjat ul Islam, Farid uz zaman, Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, who is peerless and upto whom everyone looks for guidance.
In order to impress that all the courtiers and the chiefs of the Caliphate were anxiously waiting the return of al-Ghazali, all the high officials of the Caliph’s court signed the letter. In yet another letter Ahmad wrote to al-Ghazali: “Although scholars would go to the place whereupon you happen to be present for acquiring knowledge from you, it appears reasonable that you should choose for your residence a place which is not only the metropolis of the Islamic world but is also easily accessible from all parts of the empire. And such a place is obviously Baghdad.”
In reply to the royal edicts and the letters from his well-wishers al-Ghazali sent a lengthy reply giving the reasons for not returning to his teaching profession in Baghdad. He pleaded that one and a half hundred students who were receiving education under him in Tus, would find it extremely difficult to go all the way to Baghdad with him. His family which was not with him earlier in Baghdad would have to face unnecessary hardship if he again migrated from Tus. He also said that in Baghdad it would not be possible for him to remain unconcerned with the polemics and debates which had become the prevailing taste of the court life, while he had taken a vow at the Muqam-i-Ibrahim that he would never enter into such futile controversies. Other reasons given by al-Ghazali were that he did not like to visit the Caliph nor accept any remuneration from the Caliphate, but it would be difficult for him to do without either of these in Baghdad as he did not possess any landed property in the capital which could support his family. The Abbasid Caliph as well as the Saljuq Kind tried their best to persuade al-Ghazali to return to Baghdad but he refused to comply with their requests.
Death of al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali spent the rest of his life in further studies like a student. He had not been able to pay as much attention to the Traditions as he had to the religious and secular sciences. He, therefore tried to make up the leeway by studying the Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim under a reputed traditionist of the time, Hafiz Amr ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Rawasi. He even obtained the diploma of having studied the two books under al-Rawasi. As the annalists report, he spent most of his time during this period in the study of the Traditions. One of his biographers, Ibn Asakir records:
“During the last days of his life, al-Ghazali addressed himself whole-heartedly to the study of the Traditions. During this period he preferred the company of religious scholars, and studied the Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim, which are deemed to be the most authentic collections of the Sunnah.”
Al-Ghazali wrote another book on legal theory, known as al-Mustafa, just a year or so before his death. This work of al-Ghazali is still considered as one of the three outstanding contributions on the subject; the other two being al-Mu’tamad of Abul Husain al-Basri and al-Burhan of Imam al-Haramayn.
Al-Ghazali died at Tabran on the 14th of Jamadi al-Ukrah, 505 AH at the age of 55 years. Ibn al-Jawzi has given a graphic disceiption of al-Ghazali’s death, as told by Ahmad al-Ghazali who was an eye-witness of his brother’s remarkable death:
“It was Monday. He got up in the morning, made his ablutions and performed the dawn prayers; he then asked to bring his shroud; taking it he kissed and laid it on his eyes with the words, “I submit to the command of my Master; then he stretched out his feet, facing the Qibla (the direction of Kabah). When people saw him he had already passed away.”
Two outstanding qualities of al-Ghazali (RA)
Immaculate sincerity and indomitable courage are the two most impressive qualities of al-Ghazali which have been acknowledged by all—friends as well as his foes. His writings breathe an almost tragic urgency of his message. Ibn Taymiyah differs from al-Ghazali on many times but he has no doubt about the sincerity of al-Ghazali’s purpose. The reason behind effectiveness as well as immense popularity gained by al-Ghazali’s works was his earnestness and selfless devotion for the Truth which made him abandon the most coveted post at Nizamiah University, led him to spend a decade in seclusion and contemplation and finally gave him the courage to turn down the invitations of emperors and resist the temptations of riches, honour and glory. He has written that the evil which gets out last from the heart of a righteous man is the love of honour. Al-Ghazali’a life before his demise bears testimony to the fact that he had attained this stage of self-purification and moral rectitude.
Al-Ghazali was fired with an adventurous spirit and a lofty idealism which enabled him to set his heart upon a ever higher objective. His work on jurisprudence and theory o flow was a beacon of light for the scholar-jurists for many centuries to come. Contrary to the pattern of education followed in al-Ghazali’s time, he studied secular sciences after acquiring mastery over religious learning. He engaged himself in the intensive study of philosophy and other speculative sciences of the times and soon acquired such a proficiency in these subjects that he was able to challenge the competence of reason which could not be adequately met by the philosophers for one hundred years.
In making a personal search for the truth his efforts were in no way meaner than his accomplishments in the field of intellect. He turned to the path of mysticism for purification of self and gaining spiritual strength under a reputed spiritual mentor of the time, sheikh Abu Ali al-Farmadei (d. 477 AH). He abandoned everything he had, spent a decade in solitude and contemplation and was favoured with illumination and beatific visions.
Al-Ghazali’s endeavours for the revival and revivification of Islam were not limited to the reformation of the Muslim society alone. Shibli Na’omani has given an account of the efforts made by him to establish a truly Islamic state in Spain. He says:
“Al-Ghazali was not satisfied with the then existing Muslim states which had degenerated into secular governments. He held the view that unless a new State was established in accordance with the Islamic principles of polity, the Muslim society could not be Islamised. He could not, however, spare time for this stupendous task from his pre-occupations of contemplation and penance, purification of self and rectitude of morals. However, after the Ihya Ulum id Din was brought to light and its copies were taken to Spain in 501 AH the then king, Ali ibn Yousuf ibn Tashfin, ordered to burn them. Al-Ghazali sadly learnt of the incident but shortly thereafter a young man, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Tumart by name, arrived from Spain to study under him. Muhammad came of a distinguished family, reputed for its long record of eminent warriors. While he was studying under al-Ghazali he had made up his mind, either of his own account, most probably, under the influence exerted by al-Ghazali, to overthrow Ali ibn Yusuf in order to set up a truly Islamic State in Spain. Although al-Ghazali agreed with him, he asked Muhammad about the means as well as the help he hoped to muster in his venture. Having satisfied himself about the project, al-Ghazali allowed Muhammad to proceed with his undertaking. In regard to al-Ghazali’s blessings for the enterprise of Muhammad, Ibn Khaldun says: “As people are generally aware, he (Muhammad) met al-Ghazali and consulted him about his venture. Al-Ghazali approved of his suggestion since Islam had grown weak in the whole world and there was no king who could unite the entire Ummah for upholding the cause of Islam. However, al-Ghazali first enquired Muhammad about the means he had for organizing the uprising and bringing it to a successful end.”
The kingdom established by Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Tumart known as al-Muwahidin, lasted for a pretty long time. The reign of Ali ibn Yusuf Tashfin, which was notorious for its widespread tyranny, had given encouragement to the laxity of morals among all the classes of society. Abduction and rape of women belonging to respectable families by the king’s legionaries had become a common feature of the day. The royal family, descending from a recently converted Berber tribe called Mulassamin, followed a curious custom. Their men always wore a veil while their women moved about unrestricted and unveiled. Muhammad ibn Tumart, after achieving power, did not himself ascend the throne but chose a capable and learned young man by the name of Abdul Momin who succeeded the last. Mulassamin king Tashfin, son of Ali ibn Tashfin in 540 AH.
Abdul Momin and his descendants ruled over the empire of Morroco strictly in accordance with the wishes of Muhammad ibn Tumart and al-Ghazali. Ibn khaldun has given an account of the rule by al-Muwahidin in these words: “During their rule Ulema were held in high esteem and all the affairs of the State were decided in consultation with them. Justice was made available to the weak and the poor; tyrannical officials were severely punished; ruffians were held in leash; mosques were constructed in royal places; the frontier posts were fortified and strengthened and fresh conquests were made.
Impact of al-Ghazali
In intellectual and spiritual attainments, brilliance of his mind and the totality of knowledge he had mastered, there have been only a few personalities comparable to al-Ghazali. His epoch-making writings were the harbinger of a vigorous intellectual movement and a source of inspiration to the subsequent Islamic thought has always been acknowledged both by his admirers and critics. His writings are still held in high esteem and profitably studied by those who yearn for purification of the self and mystic communion with God.
Reformers after al-Ghazali
Despite al-Ghazali’s successful encounter with the skepticism of philosophers which had threatened an spiritual chaos in Islam, the moral and spiritual disintegration of the masses by the end of the fifth century had become so widespread that it required a popular movement for the regeneration of the simplicity and directness of the faith. What the Millat needed was an illuminated and inspired mentor who wielded influence among the populace; one who could hold spell-bound and fill them with faith and enthusiasm, zeal and self-confidence. The autocratic governments of the past four hundred years had definitely a dissolving influence on the spiritual and moral life of the community. These had produced a class which, although claiming to profess Islam, had the aggrandizement of the self, acquisition of material success and pursuit of wealth, power and honour as its ultimate end. Iranian and Hellenistic cultural influences had, on the one had, made inroads into the Muslim society while, on the other, paganism of the pre-Islamic Jahiliyah, was again reasserting itself. The ostentatious, conceited and dissolute manners of the elite, grandees and retinues of the emperors had became a model for the commonalty. Unmindful of the humble and poor who led a discontented and frustrated life, those who had the money to squander were busy in their own pursuits of pleasure. The affluent were gradually losing all the good qualities like humanity, generosity and benevolence while the poorer classes were incurring the loss of qualities like patience and contentment, confidence and self-respect. Torn between a moral crisis, on the one hand, and social injustice, on the other, the Muslim society was threatened with disintegration. What this critical situation demanded was an invigorating call inviting the people back to the faith, cutting asunder the pulls of worldly temptations and benefits, rekindling the desire for salvation and blessedness, achievement of the true knowledge of God and inculcating an ardent desire to submit oneself to His command. It was necessary for it that the true meaning of Tawhid, the Unity of God Almighty, along with an awareness of the fleeting nature of the earthly pleasures and the inefficacy of the power and riches were driven home to the people.
The fifth century after Hijrah, on the other hand, also saw a diffusion of arts and sciences in the world of Islam. We find during this period some of the greatest intellectual leaders brought forth by Islam—Abu Ishaq Shirazi (d. 476 AH) and al-Ghazali (d. 505 AH) in the field of religious sciences, Abul Wafa ibn Aqeel (d. 513 AH) and Abdul Qahir al-Jurjani (d. 471 AH) in jurisprudence and literature, Abu Zakaraya Tebrezi (d. 502 AH) in grammer and lexicography and Abul Qasim al-Hariri (d. 516 AH) in literature. Each one of these was a pioneer in his own field and every one of them remained unrivalled for centuries to come. During such a period of intellectual awakening no religious mentor could have hoped to achieve any success unless he was himself well-versed in all the prevalent sciences. It was essential that the person should be as much acclaimed for his literary distinction and brilliance of mind as for his moral and spiritual excellence. This was, indeed, necessary if he was not to be brushed aside contemptuously by the learned and elites as an illiterate fanatic. Thus, these were the qualities demanded of a man who could fill the hearts of the people with faith and knowledge, cure them of their skepticism, provide solace to the spiritually distressed and fire them with a burning for moral and spiritual uplift.
The two saints of Baghdad
God Almighty brought forth two outstanding personages during this period who devoted their life for the religious and spiritual revivification of the Muslims. These were Abdul Qadir Jilani and Abdur Rehman ibn al-Jawzi. The fields of their activities were different but both of them deeply impressed the life of the Muslims in their times. It was also a blessing from God that both of them had Baghdad, the metropolis of the then Islamic world, as their centre, and were endowed with a long life to accomplish the task to which they had addressed themselves.
And, it is also a matter of pride for the Hanbalite school of jurisprudence that both of these belonged to that very school.
German Muslims Suffer Religious Discrimination: Minister
BERLIN – The Muslim minority in Germany is suffering from a growing religious discrimination with many Germans wrongly associating Islam with terrorism, a federal minister admitted on Sunday, May 7.
"Muslims are lately being confronted with mounting rejection which feeds from fear," Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries told the weekly Welt am Sonntag.
She said many Germans were not able to properly distinguish between Islam and terrorism.
"As a consequence many Muslims are faced with discrimination because of their faith as some people link the Muslim faith automatically with Al-Qaeda and terrorism," added Zypries.
The Interior Ministry is sponsoring a mobile exhibition touring the country to draw the line between Islam as a faith and the practices of some Muslims.
It aims to distinguish between Islam as a religion that preaches peace and tolerance and parties condoning violence in the name of Islam, said the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the sponsor.
The exhibition would visit universities, schools, parliaments, municipalities and cultural centers in the different states.
European officials said recently that the bloc is set to remove derogatory terminology about Islam like "Islamic terrorism" and "fundamentalists" in its new lexicon of public communication.
The minister proposed the introduction of school uniforms to avoid sparking furor over Muslim students wearing hijab.
"All school pupils should wear the same school uniform," she said.
The minister believes such uniforms would also help prevent religious and social discrimination in Germany.
The constitutional court, Germany's highest tribunal, ruled in July 2003, against a decision by the Baden-Wuerttemberg state to forbid a Muslim teacher from wearing hijab in the classroom.
But it said Germany's 16 regional states could issue new legislations to ban hijab if they believe it would influence children.
A number of states, including Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, still allow hijab at schools.
Others, including Baden-Wurttemberg, Saarland and Lower Saxony, ban teaching stuff in state schools from wearing symbols that express religious, political, or ideological affiliation, including hijab.
The German justice minister also called for enacting a law banning discrimination against minorities in the country.
Zypries asserted that recent statistics indicate a rise in crimes committed on racial grounds.
She noted that racist practices and discrimination were usually committed for religious considerations.
After months of debate, the German government agreed early in May on an anti-discrimination law.
The text, which has been approved in principle by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and by the Social Democrats in her ruling grand coalition, will be debated next week in the lower house of the parliament, the Bundestag, where the coalition has a comfortable majority.
One of the major aspects of the law would protect against discrimination in hiring based on sex, age, religion or disability.
Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.
There are some 3.4 million Muslims in Germany, two thirds of whom are of Turkish origin.
UK Muslims Taking Brunt of New Inheritance Tax: Paper
CAIRO, – New changes to the British Inheritance Tax (IHT) law will badly affect many Muslim families who could end up selling their homes to pay the new levy, a leading British newspaper reported.
"Well over a million wills will need review, including those of thousands of Muslim families," David Harvey, chief executive of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, told The Guardian.
IHT is essentially a form of death duties. It taxes at 40% the value of all the assets one leaves behind on death.
It affects estates which are valued at more than £285,000, including the value of one's house.
In practical terms, it has to be paid by someone's executors before they are able to manage their assets and potentially hand them on to the beneficiaries.
The most important exemption is property left to a UK-domiciled spouse.
In English law, a widow or widower can inherit in full without paying inheritance tax.
OIC chief receives Danish delegation
The OIC chief appreciated the Danish efforts to heal the wound following a cartoon row which hurt Muslims' religious feelings worldwide. He also stressed that past experiences of dialogue among civilizations or inter-faith dialogue have proven to be ineffective because they were void of specific target and political agenda. "What is needed now is guarantees that incidents like publishing of blasphemous cartoons will not occur again in the future," he said while voicing his deep concern over increasing phenomenon of Islamophobia, and the lack of the political will in the West to effectively deal with this phenomenon and to disseminate the notion of cultural pluralism. Prof. Ihsanoglu emphasized that a political dialogue can go forward only if genuine political will exist and if specific targets are set with appropriate measures taken to effectively deal with this crisis.
International seminar on Prophet Mohammad held in Denmark
Prophet Mohammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is a role model for Christians, said a British religious scholar. "Many aspects of Mohammad's life can be example to others, especially Christians," said Chris Hewer of St. Ethelburga's Center for Reconciliation and Peace, based in Britain. He made these remarks in his speech at an international seminar on the personality of Prophet Mohammad, here today. The one-day event was hosted jointly by the Copenhagen-based Imam Ali Islamic Center and the Iranian Embassy, reported IRNA. Hewer pointed to the Prophet Muhammad's characteristics like "kindness, generosity, simplicity and mercy" as reasons to use the prophet as an exemplary example.
Justice Mawlana Taqi Usmani
There are two things that are rooted in the thinking of preset modernists. On the one hand they pre-supposed that the thirteen hundred years old laws of Islam have now become worn out and on outdated, and it is not possible to implement and comply with them unless some fundamental changes are made in them (they call these changes as ‘New Interpretations’). And on the other hand it has rooted deep into their minds that ideological and practical expositions of Western civilization are all blessings and benedictions, and unless Muslims accept them in toto their survival in the present time is impossible.
The entire intellectual structure of Modernism has been constructed on the above two hypotheses As a result. the style of their working had been that an ideology or style of working from the West is first taken as granted to be cent per cent right and there is no way out for us in the present time than to accept it and adopt it. Their 'Research' is then wholly directed towards proving it to be in conformity with Islam, by reshaping and distorting Islamic teachings and even by changing the established commandments of Islam. They do not hesitate in denying the prophetic traditions, or write down a new dictionary to give new meanings to the verses of the Qur'an.
This is the very style for which the word "Distortion” should be used in place of "Research ". Our submission is that, if you believe that Islam is the natural religion, if you have faith that its principles and injunctions are not the product of any human brain but that of the All-knower Allah who is fully aware of all the needs of mankind for all times to come, if you are confident that the Islam proclaimed by Muhammad (PBUH) contains satisfactory solutions to all the problems and difficulties that may arise till the Last Day, then you must admit that the solution to the problems of twentieth century also lies in the same principles which were brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 1400 years ago. This is, however, subject to the condition that you sincerely try to get rid of the inferiority complex which has made West as the standard of righteousness in your eyes. Once you get the courage to lift up the veil of deception of the West from your mind you will have the chance to understand the problems with full confidence. It is then that you will discover new ways of survival in the present time fulfilling all the needs and demands of time on the one hand and save you from the unholy ways of the West. If you follow this course you will be able to acquire the wealth of peace and tranquility that has never been imagined by the West.
We may be excused if you find our tone unmannerly but if you have any claim to realism, be realistic in analysing your approach. While seeking the solution to your problems you have the fear of being called conservative or superstitious or uncivilized by the West. This complex does not allow you to give a serious thought to the true Islamic virtues. You are always anxious to give Islamic sanction to all those things that have a label of liberalism on them. May be that this line of action brings you some good name in the Western circles, but this is never going to solve your problems norwil1 it give you the status of a living and free nation. It is not sensible.
We may seem to exaggerate about your mode of action but an honest and realistic self-analysis will testify to the truth of our claim.
You have observed that the West has based its entire banking system on "Interest". This is the system which is regarded as one of the prominent virtues of modem civilization. So, you started investing all your energy to make the interest permissible in trading system. You never bothered to ask yourself if the interest was really inevitable for the Banking system and why cannot this be run on the Principles of 'Mudaribah' provided by Islam and why the Islamic Principle of 'Mudaribah' cannot be adopted in Banking? At the cost of the opposition of the Muslim Ummah you have compound interests but you never cared to find out the principles of interest-free banking which assures us more equitable distribution of wealth.
The "Insurance" is regarded as a symbol of civilization in the West. You accepted it as it was and tried to give it Islamic sanction by making fabricated interpretations in the Qur'an and Sunnah. But you never knew that there was an easier and fairer way of making some minor changes in the prevailing insurance system and thus bring them in conformity with the established principles of Islam, making it more useful institution'
The Western countries launched great campaigns to preach "Family Planning". You also followed them in propagating it. For this purpose you consumed your energies to misinterpret the laws of Islam in favour of family planning. But you never thought how China is surviving with its huge population? According to Chu-en-lai every new child brings a message of prosperity. In the hue and cry of the Western world you looked at one mouth of a newly born child and felt uneasy to think from where to feed it? But you did not see the two hands of the child to work. The small country like Israel realised the importance of population and has been using all the means of increasing its population. The Westerner had said that population rise is dangerous for developing countries. You accepted this "sincere advice" and imposed birth control as a law, but you failed to see how Vietnam had humbled the big power like America and why the Western countries are scared of China? Americans had declared that in the East they would give financial aid only to those countries who would adopt the birth control. You took it as a sympathetic gesture from them but you did not try to argue why Israel gets the lion's share in aid inspite of being against the birth control?
You heard that polygamy is considered to be a crime in Western countries. In order to free yourself from this blame you made tile excuse that Islam had allowed it only in some emergency conditions and now it is no more permissible. For this purpose you left no stone unturned in pulling and dragging the meanings of the verses of Holy Qur'an. But did you ever try to investigate why the Westerners never feel the need of more than one wife? Thanks to Modern Civilization and the open practice of un-registered polygamy in every hotel, every nigh club and every park, there is no need of getting oneself involved in regular family life. The Westerners had publicised that polygamists are cruel to their wives. You started pleading that the fundamental conception of Islam is to stop such a tyranny and hence polygamy is forbidden in Islam. But you shut your eyes from the naked reality that there are innumerable people who are extremely cruel to their single wife. In fact the number of such people is greater. Hence this argument requires that single marriage also should be banned.
You observed that the Westerners consider Hijab (woman's veil) as a vice so you started fabricating the established injunctions of Islam. But you never cared to think that by unveiling their women what disaster the West has brought to their homes? Did you ever care to know what is the cause of unabated grief of the serious thinkers of the West on this issue?
You came to know that co-education is practised in Western countries. You started advocating for it as an insignia of civilization, but never bothered to think of the reasons behind the dreadful scene of American culture presented by Kinsey Reports before the world? Did you ever think who is responsible for ever increasing unlawful sexual relations in the young generation. What is the cause of ever decreasing standard of education?
You have read that many of the Westerners deny miracles and hold them as superstition. Very obediently you also followed the example and tried to reject the miracles described by the Qur'an in detail. As a result of this you converted the entire Qur'an into a poetic and metaphorical book. But you never thought that those who had initially denied the miracles had also called the existence of God as the worst form of superstition. They had even mocked at prophethood and divine revelations. Further, you never paid any attention to the fact how rapidly the most recent researches of scientific knowledge are making miracles more acceptable to human intellect.
Keeping all these facts in view, for God's sake, please tell us if there is any exaggeration in our assessment that you pay no heed to finding an Islamic and intellectual solution to these problems. On the contrary you are always looking for the Western ideologies. Whatever you receive from them as permissible you spend all your energy to prove it in conformity with Islam, with no concern to what damage you are causing to the Qur'an and Sunnah. When you notice any signs of dislike for something on the faces of Westerners you exhaust an your powers to declare it unlawful and and prohibited in Islam even at the cost of giving away explicit injunctions of the Qur'an and Sunnah
Further, it is noteworthy that so far you have taken into consideration only those problems which have been raised by the Westerners. You paid no heed to the multitude of genuine problems of our own society, and no attempt was made to solve these problems. A clear example of this is: You promptly noticed the injustice which the polygamist do to their wives even though such incidences are rare in our society, while the brutalities done by the monogamists are so common that hardly any family is devoid of it. You will find innumerable women who have not co-wives yet they are leading a miserable life due to inequity of their husbands. The plight of such women does not stir your heart; you feel no sympathy for their helplessness and make no attempt to free them from the cruel grip of their cruel husbands?
Your pen did not move for a single word against the evil customs of our society with reference to marriages, dowry, Mehr, living allowances, housing and inter family re1ations. You made no move against the defective. Time consuming and out-dated judiciary system, which has deprived society of justice. In matrimonial matters you could see only one thing, that is, polygamy which is practised hardly by 10% of people, and you consumed your efforts in proving it as unlawful. The reason of your serious concern against polygamy is that it was initiated from the West and hence it sounded most important to you, while other problems being local, could not achieve your serious consideration.
Moreover, the problems that ever came to your attention. You tried to solve them by strange method. Inspite of investigation into the real causes of the problems you just took the easy way of finding temporary and easy going solutions.
Due to ignorance from the teachings of Islam the common people have developed a practice of throwing three divorces to their wives on trivial matters. This practice is absolutely wrong and impermissible which is usually the cause of social disorder. It was essential that a wide publicity was made to educate people necessary to decide if any legal punishment for such a sin can be imposed or not? Surprisingly, you brought out the solution to this problem that makes a mockery of the entire judicial system of Islam. Your solution was that ‘three’ should be counted as one, thus giving free license to men to give as many divorces as they could without being acknowledged as three. Is it not like a person being beaten by another, when the oppressed man call you for help you tell him ‘keep taking the punishment; we shall never accept that you had been beaten’. Is this the way of freeing the oppressed from oppression?
You observed that sometimes an orphan grandson is left unprotected after the death of his paternal grandfather. You solution to the problem is to cut a portion of legacy of his paternal uncles and give it to him. But you failed to conceive that if be set into practice how would you solve the problem of orphan nephews? Why should they de deprived of a share in the heritage of their uncles? You also ignored the basic moral obligation that you cannot remove the distress of one person in the Robin Hood fashion. For removing the distress of such helpless persons Islamic Law provides adequate relief. These methods are explained in "'Kitab-ull-Nafqat", "Kitab-ul-Wasiyyah" and “Kitab-uz-Zakah ". If the rules laid down in them are implemented properly they would be of great help to the distressed
The above observations if given due consideration, with no prejudices in mind, provide with the only conclusion that the modernists and its co-workers are basically wrong in their very mode of thinking. As a result of it they have not only been unable to do any service to the Muslim nation but in fact created disruption, uneasiness, confusion and anxiety throughout.
DARUL ULOOM ILAHIYAH
INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC RESEARCH
ILAHI BAGH, BUCHPORA, SRINAGAR, 190011, KASHMIR, INDIA