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Queries On Islam




Queries on Islam By Dr. Zakir Naik Praying behind Beardless Imam Question: My son is working in Japan. He attends the Tarawih prayer at a mosque, where two imams lead the Tarawih prayer on alternate days. One is an Egyptian and another one is from some Arab country. This Imam is not professional imam. He is a wealthy person in the city where my son resides. The Imam has not sported the beard. Some Pakistanis do not pray behind him when he leads the Tarawih prayer, objecting that it is not right for a person to pray behind an imam, who does not sport a beard. But my son prays behind that imam and he is very much puzzled over this matter whether to pray or not to pray behind the imam who does not sport a beard. My son has sent this query over the phone seeking clarification. -G. A. Basheer, Bangalore  Answer: Shaving beard is Fisq and the one who does that is Fasiq. It is preferable to have an Imam having a beard. However, if such an Imam is not available, then it is allowed to offer Salah behind a beardless Imam. It is agreed upon by the Ahle-Sunnah-Wal- Jam'ah that offering Salah behind every righteous or Fasiq Muslim is allowed and his Salah is valid so that there is unity amongst the Muslims, in order to avoid any conflict. Therefore your son is correct in offering Salah behind the imam. Infact, those who do not offer Salah behind him should also start doing so, in order to avoid any conflict. However, as soon as an Imam with beard is available, you may start offering Salah behind him, and Allah knows the best. In Japan, only eight rakat Tarawih is followed. Question: In Japan, only eight rakat Tarawih is followed. Can my son pray individually the remaining 12 rakat at the mosque or home or is it also right to perform 8 rakat only. - G.A. Basheer, Bangalore  Answer: Regarding the Salah, offered after the Isha Salah (i.e. Tarawih), in Ramadan, the right opinion is that one can offer as many number of rakat as one wishes because there is no fixed limit on it. Narrated Nafi Ibn 'Umar said, "While the prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ' Pray two Rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rakat and that will be the witr for all the Rakat which you have offered." Ibn 'Umar Said, "The last Rakat of the night prayer should be odd, for for the prophet ordered it to be so. ( Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 461). Narrated Amr ibn Anbasah as-Sulami I asked: "Apostle of Allah, in which part of the night the supplication is more likely to be accepted? He Replied: In the last part: Pray as much as you like, for the prayer is attended by the angels and it is recorded till you offer the dawn prayer. pra yer. (Abu Dawood, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 1272). We also find that some of the Taba'een used to pray 20 and some used to pray 36 Rakats in Tarawih. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba, Vol.2, Pages 165 & 166). However, it is preferable to offer it the way prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) did. He used to offer 11 or 13 Rakats, as mentioned in the following Hadith. Narrated Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman I asked Aisha, "How is the prayer of Allah's Apostle during the month of Ramadan." She said, "Allah's Apostle never exceeded eleven Rakats in Ramadan or in other months; he used to offer four Rakats do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rakats, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rakat." Aisha further said, " I said, ' O Allah's Apostle! Do you sleep before offering the Witr prayer?' He replied, 'O 'Aisha! My eyes sleep, but my heart remains awake!' (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1147). From all the above mentioned Hadith, it is clear that there is no fixed limit for the Tarawih Prayer; therefore, one should refrain from getting into any controversy in this regard. However, in mosques, where eight congregational Rakats are offered, it is advisable not to offer further 12 Rakats in congregation, thus avoiding any unwanted disputes amongst the Muslims. For those who wish to offer more Rakats can very well do so at their homes. Similarly, in mosques, where 20 congregational Rakats are offered, it is advisable not to offer 8 Rakats in different congregation so that there is no conflict among the Muslims. Is it allowed for an ulcer patient to leave the Fast ? Question: Is it allowed for an ulcer patient to leave the Fast ? - Abdulrehman Bello  Krzysiek  Answer: It is not obligatory upon a person suffering from Ulcer to fast during the month of Ramadan if fasting is likely to cause increase in his disease, however he has to complete his fasts after recovering. Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Baqarah, 2:185: "But if any one is ill or on a journey the prescribed period should be made up by days later. Allah intends every facility for you, He does not want to put you to difficulties." And Allah knows the best. Isaal-e-Sawab through recitation of the Qur'an Question: I would like to know that if we read Quran and ask Allah to send sawab to all Muslims and my relatives including my parents who are no more, will the sawab only go to my parents or to all the rest too ? -Abdulla Aminuddin  Answer: It is Bid'ah (innovation) to recite the Qur'an for Isaal-e-Sawab of those who have passed away, regardless whether the deceased is your parent or relative. There is no evidence supporting this practice in the authentic sources of Islam, in the Seerah of the Prophet (Pbuh) or the life of his Companions. Didn't deaths occur during the time of the companions ? Why then, we do not find any such evidence from their lives ? All those things that benefit the living and the dead have already been shown by the Prophet (Pbuh), as Deen has been completed. Therefore, it is inappropriate to innovate anything in the religion. Narrated Aisha (R.A.): Allah's Messenger (Pbuh) said, "If somebody innovates something which is not present in our religion, then that thing will be rejected."(Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 2697 & Sahih Muslim, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 4266). However it is allowed to pray for the deceased and give charity for him, as there is no difference of opinion in this regard. Does a Wife have the right to refuse sex with her Husband? Question: If at a particular time, a lady has h as no desire for sex with her husband, but he insists for it, what is her right of refusal in this context? - Abdul Wahab  Answer: If a husband expresses his desire for sexual intercourse with his wife, and asks her to fulfill h is need, then she should fulfill her husband's desire, and she has no right to refuse him or deprive him of his need (unless of course if she is undergoing her monthly menstruation period or is down with illness. Islam encourages and insists on chastity and fidelity. Islam prohibits and condemn illicit sexual relations, extra-maritial affairs, pre-marriage sex, fornication, adultery, prostitution, pornography and promiscuity. It is for this reason that a wife is bound to fulfill her husband's sexual desires so as to prevent him form straying. Narrarted Abu Huraira Allah's Apostle (Pbuh) said, " If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relations) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol. 4 Hadith No. 460 & Sahih Muslim Vol. 2 Hadith No. 3368) Narrated Abu Huraira The Messenger of Allah (swt) said: By him in whose hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in the heaven is displeased with her untill he (her husband) is pleased with her. (Sahih Muslim Vol. 2 Hadith No. 3367) Narrated Taiq ibn Ali Allah's Messenger (Pbuh) said, " When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire she must go to him even if she is occupied at the oven." (Al Tirmidhi Hadith No. 1160 & Ibn Ma'jah Hadith No. 4165) From all the above mentioned Ahadith, it is Wajib upon the wife to fulfill the desire of her husband whenever he wishes. If the relationship between the husband and the wife is truly based on Islamic principles, in which both of them treat each other with love, affection, kindness, fulfilling all Islamic desires and settling all matters with mutual agreement and understanding, the question of the wife refusing the sexual desire of the husband does not arise. Nor does the question arise of the husband being insistent or getting perturbed at her not wanting to have h ave sex. Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an in Surah Rum, Chapter 30, verse no. 21: " And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." If on certain rare occasions, the husband shows a desire for sexual intercourse with his wife, and for some genuine reason the wife shows a hesitation (not refusal), then it is possible, the husband can be understanding and voluntarily and happily give gi ve indication for postponement! Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an, in Surah Baqara, chapter 2, verse no. 187: "They (your wives) are your garments. And you are their garments." Here, because of the strong bond between the husband and the wife, if the husband is not displeased or angry, the angels will not curse his wife and neither will she displease the Almighty. And Allah knows the best. Visiting Graveyards on 15th Sha'ban Question: In the light of the teaching of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, is it a correct Islamic practice to visit graveyards on the night of Shab-e-baraat? please narrate the Hadith related to this night. - M. A. Khan, Bhopal  Answer: Giving significance to the night of 15th Sha'ban, visiting graveyards, doing extra Ibaadah (worship) and offering extra Nawaafil Salaah with the intention of specifically doing so on the occasion of 15th Sha'ban, having illuminations, considering it to be the Eid of the dead and keeping awake for the whole night of 15th Sha'ban and encouraging others to do the same -- all these are Bid'ah (innovation) . The prophet and the Sahaabah never did so nor commanded the muslims to do so. We don't find any evidence of such things in the entire authentic Seerah of the Prophet and his companions. According to Allamah Ibn Rajab Abu Bakr Turtoshi, Ibn Wazzah Qurtubi, Suyuti, Shokani etc. all the Ahadith pertaining to the subject are weak and unacceptable. The Hadith that is generally quoted to support the practices done on the night of 15th Sha'ban is Zaif (weak) according to Muhaddiseen (the scholars of Ahadith) and is not to be put into practice. Narrated Aisha (R.A.), I missed Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) during the night and found him in al-Baqi'. He said: Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you? I said: Allah's Messenger , I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives. He (the prophet) said: Verily Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, comes down to the heaven of the world in the middle night of Sha'ban and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb. (Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 739; Sunan Ibn-I-Majah, Hadith No. 1389; Ahmad Vol. 6, 238) 2 38) According to Imam Bukhari and Tirmidhi, the above mentioned Hadith has a broken chain of narrators in two places, and therefore it is weak. Allamah Ibnul Arabi (543H), in his commentary of Sunan -AtTirmidhi, titled 'Arizatul-Ahwazi', Vol 3, Pg No. 216 adds: '....further, in it Hajjaj Ibn Artaat is not reliable.' However, it is established that the Prophet (pbuh) did visit the Baqi graveyard once, as Allah had commanded him and he prayed for Ahle-Baqi (the people of Baqi), but the exact night of this event is not known, as there is no clear proof in this regard. The prophet had done this by the commandment of Allah (swt), therefore the Prophet was an exception to this act. Aisha (R.A.) says that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Gabriel came to me and said; Your Rabb commands you to go to the graveyard of Baqi and seek forgiveness for them". (Sahih Muslim, Mus lim, Hadith No. 2256) It is permissible for men to visit graveyard whenever they wish and pray for the dead, however it is not permissible to fix a specific day or night for the purpose and consider it to be of a special virtue unless we find any proof for doing so from the Qur'an or the authentic Ahadith. Allamah Ibnul Arabi writes: "There is no reliable Hadith regarding the 15th of Sha'ban. Although certain commentators insist that the verse from Surah Dukhan, chapter 44, verse 4: 'In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom', refer to 15th of Sha'ban, but this is not true, as Allah did not reveal the Qur'an in Sha'ban. The Qur'an was revealed in Ramadan, as mentioned in Surah Baqarah, chapter 2, verse 185, and this can only be statement of a person who transgresses the book of Allah (swt) and is careless of his word". (Arizatul Ahwazi, Vol. 3, Page No. 217) According to Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1885: ".. Most evil affairs are their innovations, and every innovation is an error..." So Muslims should beware of and steer clear of all innovation and bid'ah. Wet-Dreams Question: A muslim youth has a wet dream. What should he do? (a) If it occurs before sahar in the holy month of Ramadan? (b) If it happens after Sahar? What W hat about fajr prayers? (c) What is the method of taking bath for purification? (d) Is it sinful if wet dream occurs? -D. Ahmed. Answer: (a) If a person gets a wet dream before sahar in the month of Ramadan and has time to take Ghusle Janaba (bath for purification), then he should do it, and then eat his sahar. However, if he does not have the time for Ghusl, he should take Ghusl before the Fajr Prayer. (b) If a person gets a wet dream after taking sahar in the state of Saum, he should take Ghusl as soon as he wakes up. One's fast does not break by wet dreams. Even if he happens to be in the state of Janaba for some time, there is nothing wrong in it. He should take tak e a Ghusl before offering any Salaah/Prayer. Narrated Abu Bakr bin Abdur Rahman. My father and I went to Aisha (R.A.) and she said , " I testify that Allah's Messenger at times used to get up in the morning in a state of Janaba from sexual intercourse, not from a wet dream, and then he would fast that day." (Shaih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, Hadith No. 1931) (c) The right way of performing a bath for purification i.e. Ghusle Janaba is given in the following Hadith: Narrated Maimuna, the wife of the Prophet (Phuh): Allah's Messenger (pbuh) performed ablution like that for the Salat (prayer) but did not wash his feet. He washed off the discharged from his private parts and then poured water over his body. He withdrew his feet from that place (the place where he took the bath) and then washed them. And that was his way of taking the bath of Janaba. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 249) (d) There is nothing wrong in getting wet dreams nor is it a sin, as mentioned in the following Hadith: Narrated Ali Ibn Abu Talib There are three whose actions are not recorded: a lunatic whose mind is deranged till he is restored to consciousness, a sleeper till he awakes, and a boy till he reaches puberty. (Sunan Abu Dawood Vol. 3, Hadith No. 4389) Social Services in Islam Question: What is the concept of social service in Islam? Do we have to work for the Muslim community only or for the whole of humankind as was done by Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) ? Please clarify. Sabith  Khan  Answer: In Islam, social service is of immense significance. Whatever services a person renders for the welfare of humankind, and through these deeds, hopes for the blessings of Allah will be regarded as righteous deeds. These deeds if done solely for seeking the pleasure of Allah (and not for recognition or show) will be considered Karze Hasana and will surely be rewarded by Allah. Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an : " Whoever comes (at Judgement) with a good deed will have better than it, and they, from the terror of that day, will be safe." (Surah An-Naml, 27:89) "He that does good shall have ten times as much to his credit " (Surah Al An'am, 6:160) "Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good see it!" (Surah Al-Zilzal, 99:7) Allah repeatedly instructs as in the Glorious Qur'an to behave kindly, to give charity, to serve the poor, the orphans, and the needy. While the qur'an condemns hoarders and misers, it also prohibits ill-treating and threatening the poor and the needy. In all these verses of the Qur'an, Allah has not instructed the Muslims to work only for the welfare of the Muslims. There is no such restraints. All these instructions are general in their scope and hence include both, the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) too has made it clear that striving of a Muslim for the welfare of any of the human beings or living creatures is an act of charity. Narrated Anas bin Malik (RA) : Allah's Messenger said : "There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 513) In Islam, removing a harmful thing from way is also Sadaqa (charity). (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith No. 232) Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was on the way, he found a thorny branch of a tree on the way and removed it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 652) Islam ordains us to treat all the living creatures well and with kindness. Social service that is done by a Muslim for any human being, irrespective whether the beneficiary is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, and which gets this beneficiary closer to his Creator Allah and makes him/her understand Islam better, then the reward for the performer of such service will be further multiplied. First, for the social service and second, for getting the other person closer to his Creator. These acts of social service include Islaah if the recipient is a Muslim and Daw'ah if the recipient is a non-Muslim. Narrated Urwa bin Az-Zubair (RA): Hakim bin Hizam said, "O Allah's Apostle! I used to do good deeds in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance, e.g., keeping good relations with my kith and kin, manumitting slaves (releasing and freeing slaves after paying for them) and giving alms. Shall I receive a reward for all that?" Allah's Apostle replied, "You embraced Islam with all the good deeds which you did in the past." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 423 & Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 223) Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst. thirst. The man said, 'This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine. So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for his (good) deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?" He replied, "Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 551) Thus, social service in Islam carries great significance and it is to be done to all in general, regardless of the religion. And Allah knows best. The system of Zakaat in Islam, however is a religious duty and obligation upon the Muslims and the beneficiaries of Zakaat are only Muslims. The Qur'an provides details about needy Muslims that are entitled to Zakaat : "Zakaat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect (Zakaah) and for bringing hearts together (for Islam) and for freeing captives (or slaves) and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the (stranded) traveller - an obligation (imposed) by Allah. And Allah is knowing and wise." (Surah Tauba, T auba, 9:60). Are Menstruating Women Permitted to Recite or Touch the Qur'an? Question: Are menstruating women permitted to recite Surah Fatiha, Ikhlaas, Falak, Nas and Ayatul Kursi at night before going to sleep? Can menstruating women touch and read the Qur'an? Does this word in the Qur'an 'Mutahhareen' (none can touch except those who are clean) relate to the Qur'an or to the Tablet Preserved (Lauh-a-Mehfuz) ? Is one allowed to touch Qur'an without wudhu ? Please explain with reference to Hadith. - Nishat Bare  Answer: The Glorious Qur'an says : "That this is indeed a Qur'an most honorable in a book well guarded which none shall touch but those who are clean : A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds." (Surah Al-Waqi'a, 56:77-80) The Kitabim Maknoon mentioned in the above mentioned verse does not refer to the holy Qur'an in the book form, which we have, and the word Mutahhareen does not merely refer to cleanliness of the body. Kitabim Maknoon means a book well guarded or a protected book. This word refers to Lauh-e-Mahfooz in heaven, which is also mentioned in the following verse "Nay this is a Glorious Qur'an (Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!" (Surah Al-Buruj, 85:21 & 22) Mutahhareen does not refer to mere body cleanliness but also refers to those who do not have any uncleanliness or impurity like sin and evil, thus referring to the angels. According to the commentary of Tabari, Mutahhareen means the angels. According to Ibne Hazam, who has discussed the subject in detail, there are no pre-requisites or conditions for touching the Qur'an. Although all the scholars, of all different schools of thought, agree upon it without any difference of opinion that it is preferable to be in wudhu before touching the Qur'an, however, according to Ibne Hazam there is not a single verse of the Qur'an or the authentic hadith saying that being in wudhu is compulsory. Ibne Abbas, Sho'bi, Zahhaq, Zaid bin Ali, Muayyid Billaah, Dawood, Ibne Hazam and Hammad bin Sulaiman are of the opinion that Qur'an can be touched without performing wudhu. (Fiqh-us-Sunnah, As Saiyid Saabiq, 1.52) Regarding the hadith of Muwatta Malik which is often quoted by certain scholars to back up their claims that one should be in wudhu before touching the Qur'an, this hadith narration besides being Mursal, has the Arabic word Taahirun in it, which according to Ibne Katheer, Zamakhshari & others, does not necessarily mean being with wudhu but simply means 'pure', that is, one should not be in ceremonial impurity or menstruation. Scholars of different schools of thought differ on the issue of whether one should compulsorily be in a state of wudhu while touching the Qur'an. According to Hanafi school of thought, one cannot touch the Qur'an without wudhu, but if one uses a piece of cloth or sheet then he can touch it. Some Hanafi Scholars insist that the cover of the Qur'an itself serves as a covering sheet or cloth, while the others believe that one can touch the Qur'an but not the Arabic text within the Qur'an. Amongst the Shafia scholars, some say that one cannot touch the Qur'an without wudhu, despite using covering sheet. Malikis too believe in some what the same. However, they allow touching the Qur'an without wudhu for students and teachers of the Qur'an. It is permissible for a menstruating womam to recite the Qur'an without touching it. Similarly, she can very well recite the portions of the Qur'an, which she does regularly, or even the Ahadith of the prophet (pbuh) . However she shouldn't touch the Qur'an with her hands. Ibne Majah narrates a hadith from Abdullah Ibne Umar (R.A.) that a man in a state of ceremonial impurity, and a menstruating lady should not recite anything from the Qur'an, but this hadith is weak. Allama Ibne Hajr and Allama Ibnul Mulaqqin have rated the hadith as weak in their books At-Talkheesal Habeer, Vol. 1, pg. no. 138, hadith no. 183 & Khulasatul Badrul Muneer, vol. 1, pg. no. 60, hadith no. 170, respectively. However, if a menstruating woman, or a woman with postpartum impurity, wishes to read the Qur'an, then she may use some sheet or cloth while touching the Qur'an so that her hands do not have direct contact with the Qur'an. According to Maliki school of thought, while doing hifz of the Qur'an, a man m an in spite of being in ceremonial impurity or a woman in her menstruation, can touch the Qur'an so that they do not forget the portions of the Qur'an memorised by them. And Allah knows k nows best. Is Allah Masculine in Gender Question: Why do we quote Allah (swt) as - Him/His ? - Jameela Arif  Answer: a) The Arabic word 'Allah' has no gender. The Arabic grammar has only two genders, male and female and male gender is of two types: 1. Masculine Haqeeqi i.e. Real, which is used to denote the masculine gender in humans, animals. 2. Masculine Majazi i.e. Unreal, wherein it is used as Masculine but in reality it is not so e.g. (Angels) Malak, Layl (Night), Bab (door). The word Allah (swt), too falls in the second category i.e. Masculine Majazi. The English language has got three genders; male, female and neutral. So if we translate the Arabic word 'huwa' into English, it can be translated as 'he' or 'it'. And the Arabic word 'hiya' can be translated as 'she' or 'it'. Allah (swt) is unique and cannot be referred as 'it' in English, since Allah (swt) has no gender, neither male nor female or neutral. Some people may argue that the Arabic word 'huwa' and 'hiya' both can be used for 'it' or neutral gender, then why Allah has used 'huwa' and not 'hiya' ? In Arabic grammar there are certain rules and criteria for feminine gender. First, if it is female by nature, like the word mother (ummum), it becomes feminine in gender. Allah is not a female. Second, if it ends with the third Arabic letter 'ta' like 'mirwahtun' (fan), it becomes feminine. The Arabic word 'Allah' doesn't end with 'ta' so it cannot be feminine. Third, if the word ends with 'Alif Mamduda' (big Alif), it becomes feminine. But the Arabic word 'Allah' doesn't end with 'Alif Mamduda' so, it cannot be feminine. And lastly, if the object occurs in pairs, like pairs of the body, e.g. 'Ainun' (eyes), 'yadun' (hands), they are considered feminine. But Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur'an in Surah Ikhlas, chapter 112, verse 1" "Say: He is Allah the ONE and Only;" So Allah (swt) is one and not a pair. Therefore, by default since it cannot be used as 'Hiya' i.e. she or it, Allah (swt) uses huwa i.e. He. And Allah (swt) knows the best. b) Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the founder of Islam. However, Islam has been in existence since time immemorial. Islam was present when the first human Adam (pbuh) first set foot on the earth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is not the founder of Islam but the last and final messenger of Allah. It is mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an : "And there never was a people without a warner having lived among them (in the past)." (Surah Fatir, 35:24) Narrated Umama that Abu Dhar said : I asked , "O Messenger of Allah, altogether how many messengers were sent?" The Prophet (pbuh) said: One Hundred and Twenty Four Thousand." (Mishkat-Ul-Masabih, authenticated by Shaikh Nasiruddin Albani, Vol. 3, Pg. No. 1599, Hadith No. 5737) The Religion of all the Prophets was 'total submission to God's will' and one word for that in the Arabic language is 'Islam'. It is mentioned in the Qur'an that Abraham (pbuh) was a Muslim. "Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian but he was true in faith and bowed his will to Allah's (which is Islam) and he joined not gods with with Allah." (Surah Al Imran, 3:67) It is mentioned in Surah Al Imran Chapter 3 Verse 52 that Jesus (pbuh) was a Muslim. " When Jesus (pbuh) found unbelief on their part he said: " Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?" said the Disciples: "We are Allah's helpers we believe in Allah and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims" (Surah Al Imran, 3:52) Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur'an in Surah Al Imran, Chapter 3 Verse 19: "The Religion before Allah is Islam (Submission to His will)" And further Allah (swt) mentions in Surah Al Imran Chapter 3, Verse 85: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam Is lam (submission to Allah) never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)" Thus, Islam is the first religion and hence the oldest of all the religions. It is the only true religion. All the other religions came later. The Glorious Qur'an is the last and final revelation of Allah (swt) which was revealed to the last and final messenger prophet Muhammad (pbuh). After him no messenger will come to guide humankind. As Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur'an in Surah Al Ahzab, chapter 33 verse 40: "Muhammad (pbuh) is not the father of any of your men but (he is) the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets: And Allah (swt) has full knowledge of all things. Does Islam Make The Face Veil Obligatory For Muslim Women? Muslim scholars differ amongst themselves on the issue of the obligatory duty (or otherwise) of veiling of the face by Muslim women. In Islam, rules and regulations and the do's and don'ts are derived from the word of Allah, i.e. the Glorious Qur'an and the teachings of the Messenger of Allah, i.e. the authentic Ahadith. - Haroon Haroon Abdullah - New Delhi  The Qur'an says: "O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for final determination." (Al-Qur'an 4:59 As mentioned in the verse quoted above, when people in authority, the rulers, leaders, imams and scholars differ amongst themselves, our Creator instructs us to look into the Qur'an and the authentic Ahadith for guidance. The legitimacy, relevance and accuracy of the reasons and evidence provided by these people should be evaluated in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. However, it should be borne in mind that infallibility belongs to Allah alone and a scholar, being a human, can make an error of  judgement. There is no clear-cut authentic hadith to the effect of making the face veil obligatory. Those scholars, who insist that covering the face is obligatory for Muslim women, interpret 'al-idnaa' in the verse of the jilbaab (Al-Qur'an: 33:59) to mean, "covering the face". This interpretation is erroneous because the basic meaning of the word in Arabic is "to come close", as the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee mentions in his authoritative dictionary 'al-Mufradaat'. Some people claim that jilbaab is "a garment which covers the face". This too is a misinterpretation as it is contrary to the interpretation of the leading scholars of past and present as well, who define jilbaab as a garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar). Some people claim that the khimaar (headscarf) in Al-Qur'an 24:31 covers the head and the face, whereas linguistically the word only means a head covering. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said "Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar". khim aar". (Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 1, hadith No. 641) However, no scholar insists on covering the face in Salaah for women based on the hadith quoted above, which further substantiates that khimaar does not mean covering the face. Shaykh Naasiruddeen alAlbaanee, one of the foremost scholars of recent times has clarified in detail, the errors made by these scholars who insist on the obligatory nature of the face veil in his books ar-Radd al-Mufhim & Jilbaab alMar'ah al-Muslimah (3rd edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah). Likewise, other scholars like Ibn Muflih al-Hambalee, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee 'Iyaad are too of the opinion that covering the face is not obligatory. As stated earlier, that there is not a single authentic hadith that makes covering the face obligatory. On the other hand, we find several ahadith which prove that covering the face is not compulsory in Islam. For instance, once while the prophet was admonishing and preaching to a group of women after having admonished the men on the Id day, "...a woman having a dark spot on her cheek stood up..." seeking clarification on the subject the prophet was discussing. d iscussing. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1926) It is understood from the above-mentioned hadith that the woman having interaction with the prophet was not covering her face nor did the prophet command her to do so. It is incumbent upon every Muslim to enjoin right and forbid wrong, as Allah instructed us in the Glorious Qur'an. Thus we cannot expect the prophet, on whom the Qur'an was revealed, to let the woman keep her face uncovered after having known the obligation of covering the face. Narrated Ata bin Abi Rabah (R.A.) Ibn 'Abbas said to me, "Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?" I said, "Yes." He said, "This black lady came to the Prophet and said..." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 555 - Dar Al Arabia- Beirut- Lebanon & Sahih Muslim Hadith No. 6571Darusslam- Arabic) The hadith quoted above proves that the 'woman of the people of the paradise' was not covering her face when she had visited the prophet nor was she covering it when Ibn 'Abbas was discussing about her later. Some may argue by saying she could be recognized owing to the dark complexion of her hand and not due to the exposure of her face. However, this argument would carry no weight since she was not the only black woman at the time tim e of the prophet. Moreover, to identify a person, the aspect of exposure of the face is of immense significance. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, "...The Muhrima (a woman in the state of Ihram) should not cover her face, or wear gloves." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 1838) With regards to the hadith quoted above, some people say that the commandment of the prophet (pbuh) not to cover the face is specifically for the women in the state of Ihram, thus it cannot be used as an evidence because in Ihram certain rules and regulations change. However, the point to be noted here is that the things that are Mustahab (recommended) can be made Haraam (forbidden), like the cutting of nails, even the things that are Mubah (permissible) or Mustahab (recommended) can be made Fard (obligatory), e.g. wearing two pieces of white unsewn cloth is made Fard for a man, while normally it is Mubah (permissible). But anything that is Haraam in the normal course of life can never be made Fard. Hence, if exposing the face is Haraam for women, then how can it be made Fard in Ihraam? During the day of Nahr (10th Dhul-Hijja), when Al-Fadl bin 'Abbas was riding behind the prophet on his she -camel, "...a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath'am came, asking the verdict of Allah's Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in order that he should not gaze at her..." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6228) In the above-mentioned hadith we find Al-Fadl Al -Fadl looking at the lady lad y because her beauty attracted him. Here too, it is understood that the face of the lady was exposed as the hadith says that the woman was beautiful. Obviously, it is the face that plays the most significant role in making a person being perceived as ugly or beautiful. In spite of this, the prophet didn't instruct the lady to cover her face but instead turned the face of Al-Fadl in order to prevent him from staring at her, further substantiating the verse of the Qur'an from Surah An-Noor, 24:30, which says: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they the y do." The Qur'an further says in the next verse: And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof... (Al-Qur'an 24:31) When Ibne Abbaas (RA), the leading commentator of the Qur'an was asked about the verse mentioned above as to what it meant, he replied, "it refers to the face and hands". (Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf, Vol. 3, p. 540 & 541, hadith no. 16997 & 17012 and alBayhaqi in Sunan al- Kubraa. Al-Albaanee ruled in Jilbaab al-Mar'ah al-Muslimah, pp 59-60, that the isnaad of this statement is saheeh.) Some scholars argue that all the ahadith, which speak of women's faces being seen, are of the time earlier than the revelation of the verses of Al-Qur'an 33:59 & 24:31, which make covering the face compulsory. Firstly, as discussed earlier, these Qur'anic verses do not make covering the face compulsory for women. Secondly, to prove that these verses make the covering of women's face compulsory, they have to quote an authentic hadith for it, which they don't. Thirdly most of the ahadith quoted above, are of the time after these Qur'anic verses were revealed. Thus, it can be concluded that covering the face is not obligatory for women. However, covering the face was obligatory for the Ummul Mu'mineen, the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) as was Tahajjud obligatory for the Prophet (pbuh). Although Muslims are exempted from its obligation, it is still a highly recommended Sunnah for the Muslims. The scholars unanimously agree that it is preferable for Muslim women to cover their faces. Thus it is not compulsory for Muslim Women to cover their faces but those women who cover their faces may continue to do so if they wish. And Allah knows the best. Inheritance Question: Why Islam proposes a discriminatory share of Inheritance by giving women only half of what men receive? - Muhammad Muinul Islam  Answer: The Glorious Qur‟an contains specific and detailed guidance regarding the division of the inherited wealth, among the rightful beneficiaries. The Qur‟an ic verses that contain guidance regarding inheritance are: Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 180, Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 240, Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 7-9, Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 19, Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 33 and Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 106-108. There are three verses in the Qur‟an that broadly describe the share of close relatives i.e. Surah Nisa chapter 4 verses 11, 12 and 176. The translation of these verses is as follows: “Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children‟s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females, if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; If only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; If no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. You know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is AllKnowing, All-Wise. In what your wives leave, your share is half, If they leave no child, but if they leave a child, you get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what you leave; their share is a fourth, if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eight; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share sh are in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus it is ordained by Allah; and Allah is AllKnowing Most Forbearing” [Al -Qur‟an 4:11-12] “They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs (thus) about those who leave no descendants or  ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance. If (such a deceased was) a woman wom an who left no child, her brother takes her inheritance: If there are two sisters, they shall have two thirds of the inheritance (between them). If there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the female. Thus doth Allah Alla h (swt) make clear to you (His law), lest you err. And Allah has knowledge of all things. [Al- Qur‟an 4:176] In most of the cases, a woman inherits half of what her male counterpart inherits. However, this is not always the case. In case the deceased has left no ascendant or descendent but has h as left the uterine brother and sister, each of the two inherit i nherit one sixth. If the deceased has left children, both the parents that is mother and father get an equal share and inherit one sixth each. In certain cases, a woman can also inherit a share that is double that of the male. If the deceased is a woman who has left no children, brothers or sisters and is survived only onl y by her husband, mother and father, the husband inherits inherit s half the property while the mother inherits one third and the father the remaining one sixth. In this particular case, the mother inherits a share that is double that of the father. It is true that as a general rule, in most cases, the female inherits a share that is half that of the male. For instance in the following cases: 1. Daughter inherits half of what the son inherits, 2. Wife inherits 1/8th and husband 1/4th if the deceased has no children. 3. Wife inherits 1/4th and husband 1/2 if the deceased has children 4. If the deceased has no ascendant or descendent, the sister inherits a share that is half that of the brother. In Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies on the shoulders of the man. Before a woman is married it is the duty of the father or brother to look after the lodging, boarding, clothing and other financial requirements of the woman. After she is married it is the duty of the husband or the son. Islam holds the man financially responsible for fulfilling the needs of his family. In order to do be able to fulfill the responsibility the men get double the share of the inheritance. For example, if a man dies and after giving the shares of other relatives, if the children (i.e one son and one daughter) inherit Rs. One Hundred and Fifty Thousand, the son will inherit One Hundred Thousand rupees and the daughter only Fifty Thousand rupees. Out of the one hundred thousand which the son inherits, as his duty towards his family, he may have to spend on them almost the entire amount or say about eighty thousand and thus he has a small percentage of inheritance, say about twenty thousand, left for himself. On the other hand, the daughter, who inherits fifty thousand, is not bound to spend a single penny on anybody. She can keep the entire amount for herself. Would you prefer inheriting one hundred thousand rupees and spending eighty thousand from it, or inheriting fifty thousand rupees and having the entire amount to yourself? Which school of thought should a Muslim follow? There are four schools of thoughts and we can follow any one of them. Is it permissible to follow two schools of thought to suit the situation ? For example, the Shafi school of thought considers 2.25 pm as the time for Asr prayers in our town while the Hanafi school of thought has fixed time at 3.08. So can we follow any of these two timings to suit our necessity? -M. A. Hazarika, Seujpur, Dibrugarh  1. Muslims should be united Muslims today, are divided amongst themselves. Such divisions are not endorsed by Islam. Islam believes in fostering unity amongst its followers. The Glorious Qur’an says: “And hold fast, altogether, by the rope Which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves.' [Al-Qur'an 3:103] Which is the rope of Allah that is being referred to in this verse? It is the Glorious Qur'an. The Glorious Qur‟an is the rope of Allah which all Muslims should hold fast together. There is double emphasis in this verse. Beside saying „hold fast all together‟ it also says, „be not divided‟. The Qur’an further says, “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger” [Al -Qur‟an 4:59] All the Muslims should follow the Qur‟an and authentic Ahadith and ensure that they are not divided among themselves. 2. It is prohibited to make divisions in Islam. The Glorious Qur‟an says: “As for those who divide Their religion and break up Into sects, you have no part in them in the the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.” [Al-Qur‟an 6:159] In this verse Allah (swt) says that one should disassociate oneself from those who divide their religion and break it up into sects. But when one asks a Muslim, “who are you?” the common answer is either „I am a Hanafi or Shafi or  Maliki or Hanbali. Some call themselves „Ahle-Hadith‟. 3. Four Schools of Thoughts The Islamic world has produced several learned Islamic scholars (Imams), but out of these, four became more famous and their teachings spread in different parts of the world. It is a misconception that a Muslim should follow any one of these four schools of thoughts i.e. Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali or Maliki. There is no proof whatsoever in the Qur‟an or any authentic Hadith that a Muslim should only follow one of these four Imams. 4. Respect all the Great Scholars of Islam. We must respect all the great scholars of Islam, including the four Imaams, Im aams, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi, Imam Hanbal and Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with them all). They were great scholars and may Allah reward them for their research and hard work. One can have no objection if someone agrees with the view and research of any one or more from these four great scholars of Islam. 5. All Four Imam said follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. All the four great Imams said that if any of their Fatwas or teachings contradict Allah‟s word, i.e. the Qur‟an, or the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) i.e. authentic Hadith, then that particulars Fatwa Fatwa of theirs should be rejected, and the Sunnah of the Prophet should be followed. Refer: a. b. c. d. Eeqaadh al-Himam, Al Fulaanee (Imam Abu Hanifa) Ha nifa) Al-Majmoo‟ of an-Nawawee (1/63) (Imam Shafi) Jaami „Bayan al-Ilm, Ibn Abdul-Barr (Imam Malik) Eeqaadh al-Himam (Imam Hanbal) To give you an example in this context  – Imam shafi said that when a women touches a man who is in a state of wudhu, the wudhu of the man breaks. However, this ruling of Imam Shafi contradicts the authentic saying of the Prophet. Narrated Aisha The Prophet (may peace be upon him) kissed one of his wives and went out for saying prayer. He did not perform ablution. (Sunan Abu Dawood) Vol. 1 Chapter No. 70 Hadith No. 179) Thus this particular teaching of Imam Shafi contradicts the authentic saying of the Prophet. So I reject this specific ruling of Imam Shafi who himself said , “ If I say something, then compare it to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His messenger and if it agrees to them, then accept it and that which goes against a gainst them, then reject it and throw my saying against the wall” – This is a saying of ash- Shafi‟ee-rahimaullah. See Al-Majmoo‟ of an-Nawawee (1/63). Thus by rejecting this particular teaching of Imam Shafi which contradicts the authentic Hadith, I am practically a better follower of Imam Shafi than those who call themselves „Shafi‟. Similarly in practice, I claim to be a better follower of Imam Abu Hanifa than those who call themselves „Hanafi‟. I claim to be a better follower of Imam Hanbal than those who call themselves „Hanbali‟. I claim to be a better follower of Imam Malik than those who call themselves „Maliki”. If being a „Ahle-Hadith‟ means following Qur‟an and authentic Hadith then I claim to be a better follower of the Qur‟an and authentic Hadith than those who call themselves „ Ahle-Hadith‟. All these are mere labels (Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki, Ahle- Hadith) that are not endorsed by the Qur‟an or the Sahih Ahadith. The only label or title given by the Qur‟an and the Sahih Ahadith is MUSLIM. 6. All the Groups have sub divisions I personally have no objection if someone calls himself Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki or Ahle Hadith. People give different labels to themselves to identify which set of teachings they prefer to follow and to disassociate themselves from those people who follow wrong practices. From history we come to know that all the labels given to different groups, at a later stage the people from that group themselves did not follow their teachings and made new sub-groups. Therefore in all the groups you find a sub-division. But as far as giving a label to identify what a person practices in Islam is concerned, there can not be better label than what Allah (swt) has given i.e. a Muslim. 7. Our Prophet was a Muslim “Who was our beloved Prophet (pbuh)? Was he a Hanafi or a Shafi, or a Hanbali or a Maliki ?” No! He was a Muslim, like all the other Prophets and Messengers of Allah before him. It is mentioned in chapter 3 verse 52 of Al- Qur‟an that Jesus (pbuh) was a Muslim. Further , in chapter 3 verse 67, Al- Qur‟an says that Ibrahim (pbuh) was not a Jew or a Christian but was a Muslim. 8. Qur’an says call yourselves Muslims cal l yourselves Hanafi, Shafi, There is no Qur‟anic verse or any a uthentic Hadith that says you should call Hanbali, Maliki or Ahle Hadith. If anyone poses a Muslim the question who are you, he should say “I am a Muslim, not a Hanafi or a Shafi or a Ahle- Hadith”. Quoting the Bible for Daw'ah Purposes I heard a Maulana saying that it is Biddat to quote the Bible to do Daw‟ah to the Ahle -Kitab (People of the Book; i.e. the Jews and the Christians). I would like to get the answer from Dr. Zakir Naik whether it is allowed as he very often quotes the Bible. - Basheer A. Hamid  A. Although majority of the Muslim Scholars find nothing wrong in the act of quoting the scriptures of Ahle-Kitaab (People of the Book; i.e. the Jews and the Christians) for the purpose of Daw‟ah, there are some Muslims who harbour a misconception that it is wrong to do so. Some of the Scholars among them state that „those Muslims who quote the Bible are doing Bid‟ah‟. It will be pertinent to know the relevance of the evidence provided by these people to substantiate their claim. The only Hadith that is very often quoted by them is as follows: “Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah : Umar ibn al-Khatt ab brought to Allah‟s Messenger (peace be upon him) a copy of the Torah and said: „Allah‟s Messenger, this is a copy of the Torah‟. He (Allah‟s Messenger) kept quiet and he (Umar) began to read it. The colour of the face of Allah‟s Messenger (peace be upon him) underwent a change, whereupon Abu Bakr said: “Would that your mother mourn you, don‟t you see the face of Allah‟s Messenger?‟ Umar saw the face of Allah‟s Messenger (pbuh) and said: „I seek refuge with Allah from the wrath of Allah and the wrath of His Messenger. We are well pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as religion, and with Muhammad as Prophet‟. Whereupon Allah‟s Messenger (pbuh) said : „By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, even if Moses were to appear before you and you were to follow him, leaving me aside, you would certainly stray into error; for if (Moses) were alive (now), and he found my prophetical ministry, he would have definitely followed me‟. (Sunan Ad-Darimi, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 435) Based on the Hadith quoted above, some scholars insist that it is forbidden for the Muslims to quote the Bible, regardless of the purpose behind quoting it since the Prophet (pbuh) expressed his displeasure when Umar (R.A.) read the Torah. However, here the objection of the prophet (pbuh) was mainly on reading the Torah for guidance, as can be understood by Umar‟s prompt reafiirmation and satisfaction with Allah as lord, with Islam as religion and with Muhammad (pbuh) as messenger. The Prophet‟s (pbuh) remark further clarifies that even if Moses was alive, he would have definitely followed him, meaning Moses (pbuh) too would have followed the Qur‟an and the teachings of Muhammad (pbuh). Thus those Muslim Da‟ees who quote the Old Testament or the New Testament of the Bible for the purpose of  Daw‟ah do not quote it with the intention of following them or seeking guidance from them, because the ultimate and the best of the guidance is found in the last and the final testament, the Glorious Qur‟an and the authentic Ahadith. Says Allah in the Qur‟an: “This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Al-Qur‟an 5:3) With regards to quoting the Bible for the purpose of Daw‟ah, the authentic sources of knowledge of Islam indicate beyond any doubt that it is permissible for the Muslims to do so. Let us first analyse the following verse of the Qur’an : Say : “O people of the book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not from among ourselves Lords and patrons other than Allah.” If then they turn back say: “Bear witness that we (atleast) are Muslims (bowing to Allah‟s will).” In the verse quoted above, Allah instructs Muslims to invite the Ahle-Kitab to common terms, with the first term being the oneness of Allah. How will a Muslim get to common terms without knowing the terms of the faith of Ahle-Kitab? It is either through studying their scriptures, or is it to be presumed that all Muslims are well versed with their term ? If a person tries to know the common terms just by looking at the followers of Christianity, he will be in a dilemma as to what the common terms are, because majority of the Christians believe in many diverse concepts, several of which are contrary to the teaching of the Bible. Let us analyse some more verses of the Qur’an : “ All food was lawful to the children of Israel except what Israel made unlawful for itself before the Law of  Moses was revealed. Say: “Bring you the Law (Torah) and study it if you be men of truth.” (Al Qur‟an 3:93) Allah also says : And they (the jews and the Christians) say: “None shall enter paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian”. Those are their (vain) desires. Say :” Produce your proof if you are truthful.” (Al Qur‟an 2:111) In the verse Quoted above Allah (swt) commands us to demand for proof for the claims of the Jews and the Christians. And they have produced the only proof they have  – i.e. the Bible, in over two thousand different languages o f the world. Are we going to swallow their „proof‟ hook, line and sinker? It is presupposed that when Allah commands us to demand for proof, that we would analyse a nalyse the proof, once it is produced. Otherwise it makes no sense to demand proof. The following Hadith from Sahih Al Bukhari further substantiates that it is permissible to quote the scriptures of the Ahle-Kitab: Narrated Abdullah bin Amr The Prophet said, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of Bani Israel, for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.” (Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith no. 3461) There are some scholars who interprets this Hadith by saying that the permission to quote the stories of Bani Israel and that this Hadith refers to the stories mentioned in the Qur‟an, and not in the Scriptures of  Ahle-Kitab. However, we should understand the Hadith according to the understanding of the narrator of the Hadith, Abdullah bin Amr (R.A.), the companion of the Prophet (pbuh), because the narrator‟s understanding would be far more accurate than the different understanding of all the modern interpreters put together. Ibn Kathir comments on this Hadith as follows: “This Hadith from „Abdullah bin Amr was collected by Al Bukhari (Fath Al Bari 6:572). This is why when „Abdullah bin Amr‟ had possession of two books from the people of the scriptures on the day (battle) of Yarmuk , he used to narrate what was in them, because of what he understood of the hadith that allowed this practice.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Vol. 1, page no. 31) The Hadith quoted above should be proof enough even for the most skeptics among those who object to quoting the Bible for the purpose of Daw‟ah. Following is the translation of the words of Shaykhul-Islam Ibn- Taymiyyah taken from „Majmu‟atul Fatawa‟, Vol. 7, Part no. 13, paged 196 -197, as well as Tafsir Ibn Kathir, abridged, Vol. 1, page no. 31: “Yet, the Israelite accounts and stories sho uld only be used as supporting evidence, not as evidence themselves. There are three types of these accounts and tales; a kind that we are sure is authentic because we have in our religion something that testifies to its truth. The second type is what we know to be false based on what we have. The third is of neither type. Hence we neither affirm nor deny this type, and we allowed to narrate it because of the Hadith that we mentioned…..” Let us analyse the following Hadith : Narrated Ibn Umar A Jew and a J ewess were brought to Allah‟s Messenger (pbuh) on a charge of committing an illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet (pbuh) asked them. “What is the legal punishment (for this sin) in your  book (Torah)?” They replied, “Our priests have innovated the punishm ent of blackening the faces with charcoal and Tajbiya.” Abdullah bin Salam said, “O Allah‟s Messenger, tell them to bring the Torah.” The Torah was brought, and then one of the jews put his hand over the Divine Verse of the Rajam (stoning to death) and sta rted reading what preceded and what followed it. On that, Ibn Salam said to the jew, “Lift your hand.” Behold ! The Divine Verse of the Rajam was under his hand. So Allah‟s Messenger ordered that the two (sinners) be stoned to death, and they were stoned. Ibn „Umar added: so both of them were stoned at the Balat and I saw the jew sheltering the Jewess. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6819) From the Hadith quoted above, we realize that the Prophet (pbuh) punished the jew and the jewess according to the la w of Torah since the law was going in accordance with the law of the Qur‟an. Here the intention of the Prophet (pbuh) was not to follow the Torah but to implement from it what was conciliating with the Qur‟an, i.e. the punishment for adultery. Similarly the easiest way to prove a point to a person who believes in the Bible is to make reference to the Bible. For example, the Bible says in the Gospel of Mark 12:29 “Hear, O Israel; The Lord of our God is one Lord”. By making a Christian believe in one God through this verse, we also make him believe in the first verse of Surah Al-Ikhlas, chapter 112 of the Qur‟an says: “He is Allah the One and Only”. This would help negate the concept of Trinity from his mind. Thus we follow the instructions of Allah as mentioned in the verse quoted above from Al- Qur‟an 3:64, which says: „Say ” O people of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah….” Thus it can be concluded that it is permissible for the Muslims to quote Bible for the purpose of Daw‟ah and all those who object to it should ponder over the evidence provided by us. And Allah Knows the Best. Relationship with the Parents Question: A lady I know converted to Islam, but her Christian parents want her to visit the church with them. If she denies, then they have family problems. Can the lady go to church, just to have h ave normal relationship with the parents? - S.A Khan  Answer: Islam instructs Muslims to be extremely respectful towards their parents, regardless of their religion. Goodness towards one's parents is one of the most essential commandments of Islam. Many verses of the Qur‟an stress the importance of being kind towards one‟s parents. The Glorious Qur'an says: “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or  both of them attain old age in your life say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness lower to them the wing of humility and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy even as they cherished c herished me in childhood." (Al-Qur'an (Al -Qur'an 17:23-24) A similar message is repeated in the following verse: “And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in years twain was his weaning: (Hear the command) "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy f inal) Goal.” (Al-Qur'an 31:14) However, Allah continues in the next verse: “But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and f ollow the way of those who turn to Me (in love)…” (Al-Qur'an 31:15) The rights of Allah take precedence over everyone else's. Therefore it is prohibited in the Qur‟an for a Muslim to visit a place of polytheistic worship (or to visit a place where any besides Allah are worshipped) in order to please one‟s parents or out of fear that not doing so would lead to strain in family or social relationships. Allah repeats in the Qur'an: “We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) you to join with Me (in worship) anything of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. You have (all) to return to Me and I will tell you (the truth) of all that you did.” (Al-Qur'an 29:8) In the verses quoted above, the Muslims are commanded to show respect and gratitude to their parents, irrespective of whether their parents are Muslims or non-Muslims. They are also instructed to obey their parents unless they ask one to violate the commandments of Allah and His Messenger. For example a Muslim should not obey his / her non-Muslim parents when the parents want their Muslim children to worship anybody or anything besides Allah, the Creator of all. Indeed what can be a greater sin than associating partners with Allah? Thus it is prohibited in I slam to accompany one‟s parents in the matters of Shirk (polytheism), including visiting a place of polytheistic worship (or visiting a place where any besides Allah are worshipped). It should however be borne in mind that a neo-Muslim should strive to inv ite one‟s parents to the truth which is Al-Islam. Even if one finds one‟s parents reluctant and unwilling to accept Islam, one should not get frustrated as they may take some time to understand your „new‟ religion, nor should you cut off  relationships with them because the verse of the Qur'an does not ask you to ignore or neglect them but rather commands you to refrain from obeying them in matters of Shirk (polytheism, including trinity or the concept that God begot a son). In order to avoid family problems, the revert (neo-Muslim) should be dutiful and kind towards them in other aspects of day-to-day life, which may not cause him/her to compromise with his/her religious beliefs or practices, as the verse of the Qur‟an quoted earlier states, “Yet bear them c ompany in this life with   justice (and consideration)”. One should not be arrogant or insolent but rather be kind, considerate and courteous towards them. This display of kindness towards one‟s parents not only fulfills our obligation towards our Lord and the Creator but also becomes the means through which the parents may accept Islam and achieve salvation. Indeed, such beneficent teachings teachings are not to be found in any other religion. Why aren't Islamic Missionaries as active as a s Christian Missionaries? Question: I am a revert to Islam from a very orthodox Christian family. However my hunger to delve deep into Islam and other religions never ceased. The sad part of the story is that I never found anyone able to give at least most of the answers for the questions I ask. But your newsletter seems to be doing a good job. Here are a few questions I wish you could answer. a. Why aren‟t Islamic missionaries active the way Christian missionaries are? Won‟t Islam grow much faster and misunderstandings removed if there are good scholars to preach the faith? W hy is there such a slack among Muslims? b. Is it permissible in Islam to sponsor an orphan? Not adoption. Something like sponsoring his education, etc.? c. Are the views of the so- called „terrorists‟ like bin Laden really wrong or justifiable? I mean should a Muslim support his activities? Can children and innocent people be killed in wars when the prophet had declared not to do so? - Joshua Koshy (Qatar ) Answer: a. It‟s true that Muslims today are not as active as Christians in propagating their religion, though the Muslims are expected by Islam to be the best of missionaries. Islam is a religion that should have the maximum number of missionaries because Da'wah (propagation of one‟s faith) is obligatory / compulsory in Islam. The Glorious Qur'an says: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue w ith them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (Al-Qur'an 16:125) But unfortunately we Muslims are not doing our job. Moreover, there is virulent propaganda about Islam and Muslims by the international media. Today the number of misconceptions about Islam has reached an endemic and epidemic level. It is the duty of Muslims to clarify these misconceptions and to present the pure Islamic teachings, based on the Qur'an and the authentic traditions of the prophet (pbuh). But irrespective whether the Muslims do the job or not, Allah has promised to make his Deen (Al-Islam) prevail over all other ways of life and all other „isms‟. Allah says in the Qur'an: “It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.” (Al-Qur'an 48:28) A similar message is mentioned in Al-Qur'an 9:33 & 61:9. It should be borne in mind that Allah is not in need of us Muslims in order to make his Deen prevail. He, however, has given us an o pportunity to do a prophet‟s job and to earn a prophet‟s reward. The slack among the Muslims is due to their inability to perceive the benefits of reading the Qur'an with understanding. It is through reading the Qur'an with understanding and meaning will we know what our Lord and Creator expects from us in order that we prosper in this life as well as in the Hereafter. Allah says in the Qur'an: „Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness and says, "I am of those who bow in Islam"?‟ b. With regards to sponsoring an orphan, Islam encourages such acts of charity as is mentioned in various places in the Qur'an. The Qur'an says: “Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity.” (Al -Qur'an 2:83) The Prophet (pbuh) is also reported to have said: "I, and the one who looks after an orphan, will be like this in Paradise," showing his middle and index fingers and separating them. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 224) Thus the act of sponsoring an orphan is highly recommended in Islam and Allah will surely reward you for that. c. Regarding your question on terrorists, I say every Muslim should be a „terrorist for the anti-social elements of society‟. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the anti-social elements of society, be they thieves, pick-pockets, black-marketers or rapists. Whenever an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word „terrorist‟ is generally used for a person who causes terror among innocent people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to anti-social elements and not to innocent people. Infact a Muslim should be a source of peace and solace for innocent and righteous people. Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the British government. These very individuals have been lauded by us Indians for the same activities and hailed as „patriots‟. Thus two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One called them terrorists while the other called them patriots. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India called these freedom fighters terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters. It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be objectively and fairly analyzed and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can be judged accordingly. While there can be no justifiable reason for killing innocents, it is also patently unfair to accuse any of killing innocents without a fair trial and process of justice. Regarding Osama bin Laden, one does not know whether he is good or bad. I have not met him personally nor do I know him. I cannot give my opinion based on the reports of BBC or the CNN. Most of the news on the international media is tailor-made to suit ulterior motives and suited to project the image what they want. The Qur'an says: “O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news ascertain the truth lest you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.” (Al-Qur'an 49:6) With regards to the last part of your question, Islam forbids killing of innocent people. The Qur'an says: “ … If anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for sprea ding mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole humanity.” (Al-Qur'an 5:32) Killing any innocent human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim is not allowed in Islam. Even in the circumstances of war, this aspect is not to be ignored. The first caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr As-Siddique (R) is reported to have commanded Usama ibne Zaid (R): “I command you to do ten things: you must not kill a woman or a child, or  an elderly person; do not cut down trees, or vandalize homes, or wound a sheep or camel except if you must eat it; do not drown a palm tree, or burn it, do not be treacherous; do not be cowardly; and you will pass by people who have devoted themselves to m onastery life: leave them alone with their devotions.” (Tarikh At -Tabari, V.3, p.210) Thus killing children And Allah knows the best. or innocent people are not allowed Do the Muslims Believe in Jesus (pbuh) and his Second Coming? Question: (a) Is belief in the existence of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) cardinal to Islamic faith? in Islam. (b) Will he appear again at the end, and if so, what will be his purpose? Is there any other Prophet still alive? -Abdulla Kunhi, Kasargod district, Kerala. Answer: (a) Yes, Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh). No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh). We believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt). We believe that he was the Messiah, translated „Christ‟. We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe . We believe that he gave life to the dead with God‟s permission. We believe that he healed those born blind and the lepers with God‟s permission. Allah says in the Qur'an regarding Jesus Christ (pbuh): And remember Jesus the son of Mary said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah (sent) to you…” (Surah Saff 61:6) Infact Islam makes it an article of faith to believe not only in Jesus Christ (pbuh) but all the Messengers that preceded and followed him. By name only twenty-five Messengers are mentioned in the Qur'an. Al lah instructs us in the Qur'an: “O you who believe! believe in Allah and his Messenger and the scripture which He has sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). And who denies Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Day of Judgment have gone far far astray.” (Al-Qur'an 4:136) Thus belief in the Messengers, including Jesus (pbuh) is an important belief of Islam. Though Jesus (pbuh) is mentioned by name twenty-five times in the Qur'an, he is also referred with other respectable terms such as „Ibne Maryam‟ - son of Mary; as „Masih‟ – translated Christ, as „Rasulullah‟ - Messenger of Allah, as „Abdullah‟ – servant of Allah, as „a word of Allah‟, as „a spirit proceeding from Allah‟, as „a sign of Allah‟ and numerous other epithets spread over fifteen different chapters of the Qur'an. (b) It is also true that the Muslims, on the authority of the Qur'an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh). He was the only Prophet of Allah who was raised up alive. Allah says: „…They said (in boast) "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the Messenger of Allah"; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them; and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.‟(Al-Qur'an 4:157-158) Allah mentions the second coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the following verse of the Qur'an: “And indeed, he (i.e. Jesus) will be (a sign for) knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.” (Al-Qur'an 43:61) The reason why Jesus (pbuh) is the only Prophet of Allah who was raised up alive by Allah is because he was the only Prophet whose “followers” mistook him as God. They wrongly say that he claimed divinity. Thus he will come back again to this world to clarify all such misconceptions. Says Allah in the Qur'an: „And behold! Allah will say "O Jesus the son of Mary! did you say unto men worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah"? He will say: "Glory to You! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing you would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart though I know not what is in yours. For You know in full all that is hidden.‟ (Al-Qur'an 5:116) There are no less than seventy Ahadith that speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh). In on e of the Ahadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said: "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims who are in the protection of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3. Hadith no. 425) It should also be borne in mind that Jesus Christ (pbuh), in his second coming will not be coming with any new message or revelation. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said: "How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Qur'an an d not by the law of the Gospel”. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4. Hadith No. 658) Let‟s now analyse the following words attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the Bible: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [The Bible, Mathew 7:22-24] In the verses quoted above, Jesus (pbuh) said that in his second coming, he would ask the people to depart from him, to get away from him because he wouldn‟t know them. Who are these people? The Muslims or the Hindus? The answer is neither Hindus nor Muslims but the Christians, because Muslims or Hindus do not claim to do “Miracles” in the name of Jesus Christ (pbuh) nor do they cast out devils in his name. Thus Muslims believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh) to be one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah and also believe in his second coming. Is it Compulsory to Wear the Trousers Above the Ankles? Question: There is so much confusion on a simple thing as the trousers or pant covering the ankle. While different Alims explain this based on their own school of thought, what is the authentic ruling on this as guided by the prophet (pbuh)? - Abdul Khaliq, Bangalore. Answer: There is no difference of opinion amongst the scholars with regards to covering/non-covering of the ankles. All the scholars, regardless of their different schools of thought and differences in many issues, have no difference of opinion in this regard. They all unanimously agree that the length of the lower garment, i.e. the trousers/pants/izars etc. should be above the ankles for men. Thus it is forbidden for men to cover their ankles with their lower garments i.e. trousers/pants/izars etc. There are several authentic Ahadith to substantiate this ruling. Narrated Abu Huraira Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at a person who drags his Izar (behind him) out of pride and arrogance." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith Ha dith no. 5788) There may be few Muslims who tend to differ on the subject due to ignorance. They argu e by saying „the Hadith says that anyone who drags the Izar out of pride and arrogance will be punished in the hereafter. Therefore we don‟t drag the pants out of pride and arrogance‟. However, there are many Ahadith in which the Prophet has instructed in unambiguous words to wear the Izar above the ankles without mentioning the aspect of pride or arrogance. One of the Ahadith is as follows: Narrated Abu Huraira The Prophet said, "The part of an Izar which hangs below the ankles is in the Fire." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith no. 678) In the Hadith quoted above, there is a general instruction to keep the trouser above the ankle, irrespective whether it is out of pride & arrogance or without pride & arrogance. Moreover, can any human being claim to be as humble as the Prophet (pbuh)? Alhumdulillah, we Muslims believe that the Prophet (pbuh) was far more humble than anyone of us can ever be and he could never be as arrogant & proud as we can be at any given time. He was sent as a mercy (Al-Qur'an 21: 107) for all the creatures, yet he wore his lower garments above the ankles. Therefore we should obey the commandment of the Prophet (pbuh) in order to prosper in the hereafter. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: "All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse." They said, "O Allah's Messenger! Who will refuse?" He said, "Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it)." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, Hadith no. 384) Thus, it is incumbent upon the Muslim men to wear the pants/trousers/izars above the ankles. And Allah knows the best. How Shameful, We Don't Have a Media of Our Own! Dr. Zakir Naik, eminent scholar of Islam and comparative religion spoke to Shiraz Khaki, d uring his recent visit to the Kashmir Valley, on subjects like religion, politics, economy and m edia. If anything pertaining to faith cannot stand to logic, does that mean it does not stand at all? First you have to analyze what is the source of the faith that you are talking about. If the source of the faith is Qur'an then, there is no question at all. Whatever the Qur'an says, we believe. Yes, sometimes the translation is wrong. So if you don‟t know Arabic you cannot check out whether the answer is right or  wrong. The thing is that if you cannot prove something logically, there may be someone else who will prove it. After Qur'an there comes Hadith and then comes logic. You can‟t put logic first. What are your views about the Islamic revivalist movements initiated by Iqbal and Maulana Moududi in the sub-continent and Sayyid Qutb and Hasanul Banah in Egypt. What can be the possible reasons for their apparent failure? They were great people. They had their own views to revive the whole Muslim Ummah. They launched a movement for that. But then every movement has its pros and cons., so let‟s take it that way. How can the oppression of global powers be combated? The best way to reply is to have media of our own. Because the media is in the hands of non- Muslims, they can propagate within minutes ,as they have powerful channels like CNN and BBC. There are many papers in Mumbai and even in Kashmir, but such papers are read by Muslims only. What is needed is an international media. For any international news we turn to their channels. Do we have any international newspaper, international magazine, international television channel. No. Christians have hundreds of television channels. Hindus have, Jains have, even Qadianis have. Allah has given us money. It is a shame for us that we cannot even set up an international channel. Does Islam permit birth control and family planning? Birth Control is different from family planning. Birth Control by definition means a law to control birth laid down by the government. So Birth Control under all conditions is Haram in Islam. Family Planning is different. About family planning all the Ulema are unanimous that abortion is Haram. Islamic Sharia says that the life of the mother is all important. So if the abortion is to save mother‟s life, then it‟s Halal. . How long can a wife wait in case a husband disappears and does not return? In a normal situation we can wait for as many years as we want. But sometimes, we do not know the whereabouts of the person, whether he has died or got lost. Then there are different views of different scholars. It depends on the situation. Suppose a person goes for war and does not come back, he may be captured by the enemy or he may have died. So it depends on the situation and the time period. But the Ulema say that we can wait for f ew years till you get the news. But if you don‟t get the news, then the person can re-marry. Why does not a grandchild inherit from his grandfather in case his father dies while the grandfather still alive? As far as the grandchildren are concerned, there is no direction mentioned in Quran or Hadith. But if you realize, Shariah gives permission for one third of the share to be willed. But this one third should not fall in those categories which Allah has established in Quran. For example I cannot say that I like the elder son more than the younger one. Suppose I have a friend who has helped me a lot. The maximum I‟m allowed to will is one third of that. Since these grandchildren don‟t come directly under the inheritance, the grandfather can will for a maximum of one third or less than that. So there is a scope given in the Shariah for that. Should women work? In Islam, it‟s the duty of men to look after women. Before a woman is married, it‟s the duty of the father  and the brother. After she gets married the duty shifts to husband. But voluntarily if she wants to work, she can work as long as the work is within the purview of Islamic Shariah. For example, we require our women to be teachers. We want them to be doctors to look after women patients. But certain jobs are not allowed. Where women have to expose their bodies like modelling etc. Certain jobs are Haram for both men and women.. Working in a casino or a bar is Haram for both men and women. Even if she works, still it‟s the duty of her husband to look aft er her and there is no compulsion on her to give the money to the family. This is the right Islam has given to a woman. But normally she should not work. Because her role as a mother is more important. It‟s the duty of the man to go out and work. With the fast devaluation of currency and ever changing economic pattern, can the concept of interest be altered within the framework of Islam? Allah mentions Ribah at eight places in the Quran. There is a strict prohibition of the same everywhere that if you take Ribah, a war is declared against you from Allah and his Rasool (SAW). Some scholars say that Ribah does not mean interest. That‟s totally wrong. There is no doubt about it. Ribah means interest and usury. It‟ll take time to prove logically why Ribah is Har am. am. How can we explain the philosophy behind the Quranic verse where Allah says that he has sent the Prophet (Pbuh) to make Islam conquer all other religions of the world? At two places, Allah mentions it. Yes, Allah says that he has sent his messenger with wisdom and Deene-Haq so that it should prevail over all other religions, overcome all religions whether it‟s Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Secularism or Modernism .Allah says in SuraH Al Imran that the only religion that acceptable to Allah is Islam. At another place Allah says that if anyone desires any religion except Islam it will not be acceptable and in the hereafter he will be among the losers. Quran is the only book which emphatically says that all the other religions are wrong. If every religion claims the same power and authority, will it not give birth to a great anomaly where one faith will be pitted against the other? I am a student of comparative religion. So religious book says that. So where is the question of anomaly. The question is when people say that Islam is intolerant,. I say yes, Islam is intolerant towards bribery, towards corruption, towards injustice. People say Muslims are extremists. We say Muslims are extremely merciful, extremely honest and extremely kind. Turn the tables and then they will come on defence. A word about Muslims the world over? Al Hamdullillah, Today Islam is the fastest growing religion of the world. I have the latest data and it‟s a mathematical reality that Islam figures first followed by Christianity. I n America and Europe, it‟s Islam that attracts people far and wide. Are you happy with the way Indian Muslims behave in India? Unfortunately, to tell you frankly, I am not happy with the Muslims in India. Islam will remain with or without us. But it‟s a gr eat eat blessing if Allah has given you a prophetic job of disseminating Islam among non- Muslims. But in India unfortunately, there are hardly any organisations who are working among nonMuslims. Believe me, India is a virgin land. We can work here and I have experienced that non- Muslims respect me in Mumbai. In Mumbai, the situation is very fragile as far as Dawah is concerned. We have the Deen-e-Haq with us, the problem is we not sure of our Deen. Does Islam permit organ transplant? Three conditions arise. One, it should not be damaging for the donor. If a donor dies just by donating his organ, in that case it‟s Haram. Second condition is different. A person can live on one kidney. If I donate one kidney and the other person survives, both of us are saved. Then the third point is that you cannot donate your organs for the cause of money. If these conditions are fulfilled, then organ transplant can be done. Who has inspired you the most? My source of inspiration is Ahmed Deedat. I met him in 1987. After that I, lik e many thousands of his fans, got greatly inspired by him. Your memory is absolutely incredible? Do you strive for that or you just read and it gets engraved on your mind? It‟s just the help of Allah. I am nothing. Allah says in Quran, Sura Ankabut ( Ch 29, Vs 69) that strive in the way of Allah and Allah will look after you. So anyone who does Jihad in the way of Allah, Allah opens his way for him. In my childhood I used to stammer. If someone would ask me my name. I would say. My name is Za... Za... Zaaa Zakir. I could have dreamt of becoming the best surgeon in the world. But I could not have dreamt of speaking in front of the people, because I used to stammer. But Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allah opens up its ways. When I started speaking to the non- Muslims I started realising that my stammering was not there. And now whenever I come on the stage, I never stammer. How do you maintain a balance between Dr. Naik as a medico and Dr. Naik as a scholar? Point one. I am not a scholar, I am just a student of comparative religion. Point two. I opted for medical profession as I thought it‟s the best profession. It was the desire of my mother to become a surgeon like Christ Burnard, the first man to do a heart transplant in South Africa. I asked my mother, would you like me to become Sheikh Deedat or Chris Burnard. She said, „both‟. But now when I repeat the same question to my mother, she replies, „I can sacrifice thousands of Christ Burnard on one Sheikh Deedat. I have left the medical profession as I have taken Dawah and I am fully involved in Dawah. If a husband and wife have a mutual divorce Question: I am a dentist by profession, my questions are: If a husband and wife have a mutual divorce, a. Is there an „Iddah period to be observed by the divorced wife? b. Should the divorced husband give the maintenance money for her? c. Can the divorced husband have sex with the divorced wife? d. Can the two talk on the phone to each other after the divorce? -Syeda Tabassum  Answer: (a) If the husband and wife have mutual divorce, then the divorced woman needs to observe an „Iddah (period) of three menstrual cycles if she gets menses on regular ba sis, OR an „Iddah (period) of three months in case she gets menses on irregular basis or has passed her Menopause. Allah says in the Qur'an: “Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah hath created in their wombs if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day…” (Al-Qur'an, 2:228) In the verse quoted above Allah also says that if the woman is pregnant, she should not hide but rather disclose her pregnancy. Moreover, if she is pregnant, the „Iddah extends till the child is born, as stated by Allah in the following verse. “…For those who carry (life within their wombs) their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for  those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.” (Al-Qur'an 65:4) However, in case the divorce is revocable, the husband and wife may undergo reconciliation during the period of „Iddah thus making the divorce null and void with mutual consensus. (b) With regards to the maintenance money, in case of revocable divorce, where the husband and wife are likely to get reconciled during the „Iddah period, the husband will have to provide lodging and maintenance to the wife during that period. If the woman is pregnant, the husband will have to provide maintenance till the c hild is born as the „Iddah extends till its birth. Moreover, the obligation of providing the maintenance will continue till the wife breast-feeds the child for two years, the period of suckling, as appointed by Allah. Nevertheless the couple has the right to determine the period of suckling by mutual consent and consideration (Al-Qur'an 2:233). Says Allah in the Qur'an: “Let the women live (in 'Iddah) in the same style as you live according to your means: annoy them not so as to restrict them. And if they carry (life in their wombs) then spend (your substance) on them until they deliver their burden: and if they suckle your (offspring) give them their recompense: and take mutual counsel together according to what is just and reasonable. And if ye find yourselves in difficulties let another woman suckle (the child) on the (father's) behalf.” (Al-Qur'an 65:6) However, in case of irrevocable divorce, there is difference of opinion amongst the scholars with regards to the provision of lodging and maintenance. However the view that is held by majority of the scholars is that there shall be no lodging or maintenance for the woman during her „Iddah unless she is breast feeding a child or is discovered to be pregnant. Fatima bint Qais (Allah be pleased with her) repor ted from Allah‟s Messenger (pbuh) that there is no lodging and maintenance allowance for a woman who has been given irrevocable divorce. (Sahih Muslim vol. 2, hadith no. 3522) 35 22) (c) If the divorce is revocable and the husband and wife, with mutual consensus agree to have sex before the „Iddah is complete, then that would become means through which the divorce becomes null and void. Then they again continue to live as husband and wife and thus they can also have sex as before. If the divorce is revocable (1st or 2nd) and the „Iddah period has been completed, then after this period of  „Iddah they cannot have sex unless they have a new nikaah with new „Meher‟. After „Iddah has been completed, or after irrevocable divorce, the ex-husband & wife become Na-Mahrams and if they have sex without a fresh nikaah then their act of having sex will be b e considered adultery. (d) Talking on the phone with the opposite sex, who is a Na-Mahram is not encouraged in Islam. In certain cases when unavoidable and if both maintain their modesty, it may be permissible. Thus till such time as the husband and wife reconcile during „Iddah, and at any time after divorce, they should avoid talking. In unavoidable circumstances if they do, they should maintain their modesty without which it will be prohibited. And Allah knows the best. Is a Muslim woman permitted to go out for a job... Question: Is a Muslim woman permitted to go out for a job (organization belongs to Muslims with all women staff) even if her husband can support the family well? What does Islam say about it? In this case the main reason why this woman wants to join this organization is to keep her busy and to mould herself completely in an Islamic environment. Answer: In Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies on the shoulders of the man. Before a woman is married it is the duty of the father or brother to look after the lodging, boarding, clothing and other financial requirements of the woman. After she is married it is the duty of the husband or the son. Islam holds the man m an financially responsible for fulfilling the needs of his family. In this case, the husband is financially capable enough to support the family. Nevertheless the woman wants to work voluntarily, not primarily for money, but to mould herself in an Islamic environment by  joining a Muslim organization (which presumably follows the tenets of Islam) that has all women staff. It is advisable for her to seek her husband‟s permission before taking the job. The husband may as we ll see to it that he understands the intention, objective and purpose of his wife behind taking this job. However, in case the husband does not permit her, then she may very well try to establish an Islamic environment at her husband‟s place itself by cult ivating friendships with good Muslim women in her neighbourhood and surrounding, learning and educating the morals and virtues of Islam. And Allah knows the best. Can a rich Muslim wife give portion of her Zakat to her poor husband? Question: (a) Can a rich Muslim wife give portion of her Zakat to her poor husband? (b) Can a Muslim husband compel his wife (working in a public sector undertaking) to spend all her earnings on family needs and invest his earnings and his wife‟s savings on assets solely in his name and not even in her name? (c) What portion, if at all, of a Muslim wife‟s salary a Muslim husband can claim for needs of the family although it is the onus on him to provide for the family? Answer: (a) Yes, a Muslim woman is allowed to give portion of her Zakat to her poor husband if she is capable of doing so and if the poor husband is poor enough to be entitled for Zakat. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have granted the permission to a Muslim lady who wished to spend part of the Zakat on her husband. Zainab, the wife of Abdullah (ra) had asked Bilal (ra) to seek for the prophet‟s permission for spending part of her Zakat on her husband and the orphans under her protection, thus said the Prophet (pbuh): "Yes, and she will receive a double rewards (for that): One for helping relatives, and the other for giving Zakat." (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, hadith no. 545) (b) Whatever amount is spent by the wife, will be voluntarily, out of her own free will. The husband has no authority whatsoever to compel his wife to spend on him from her earnings/savings nor is he authorized to invest her earnings/savings on assets solely in his name, unless the wife permits, nor can he compel her to do so. As stated in the earlier answer, in Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies on the shoulders of the man. Thus it is the responsibly of the husband to provide for the family. Nonetheless if he wants his wife to spend on him or his family, he can request her and she may spend if she wishes. (c) With regards to what portion of a women‟s salary her husband can claim, the question of portion or  percentage does not arise since the husband has no right to claim for his wife‟s salary, regardless of the portion. Thus it will depen d on the wife‟s pleasure and wish whether she spends part of the salary, complete salary or nothing at all. And Allah knows the best. Is it allowed for a wife w ife to address her husband by b y his name, as our previous generation didn’t do so? Question: Is it allowed for a wife to address her husband by his name, as our previous generation didn‟t do so? - Fairoze Pasha  Answer: Everything that the previous generations (our ancestors) have done may not necessarily be right, likewise everything they have done may not necessarily be wrong. Therefore whatever they did would not be exemplary for us unless and until verified with due analysis in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. With regards to calling one‟s husband by his name, the act of doing so is a sheer cultural act. Any cultural act is permissible as long as it is in accordance with the Islamic Shari‟ah and doesn‟t break any of its rules. On the other hand, if any cultural act conflicts with the Islamic Shari‟ah or breaks any of its rules, it is prohibited. Another aspect that also needs to be taken into consideration is that many a times certain acts are considered to be appropriate in one culture while similar acts are considered to be inappropriate in another culture. If we browse through the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh), we come across instances such as the following: Narrated 'Aisha (ra) That Allah's Messenger said to her, "I know when you are pleased with me or angry with me." I said, "When do you know that?" He said, "When you are pleased with me, you say, 'No, by the Lord of Muhammad,' but when you are angry with me, then you say, 'No, by the Lord of Abraham.' "Thereupon I said, "Yes (you are right), but by Allah, O Allah's Messenger, Messenger, I leave nothing but your name." (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 7, hadith no. 155) In the hadith quoted above, we realize that Aisha (ra), the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) used to take the name of the Prophet (pbuh) in his presence, which further substantiates that it is not un-Islamic to take the husband‟s name in his presence. Another practice that was and still is prevalent amongst the Arabs is to call the husband by adding father to the name o f their child, i.e. „Abu followed by their child‟s name‟. Several evidences can be given from the Seerah of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). For instance, Umm Sulaima used to address her husband as „Abu Talha‟ (Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, hadith no. 6013). Although the act of calling the husband by his name does not break any of the rules of Islamic Shari'ah yet if the intention of the wife behind doing so is to belittle her husband, then it is advisable for her not to do so. But if the husband permits her to call him by his name and the intention of the wife too is not to belittle the husband then there is no harm in doing so. However, if the act displeases the husband, regardless of the intention of the wife, then it would be advisable for her not to address him by his name, not because it is prohibited in Islam but because it displeases the husband and the wife should avoid displeasing the husband as far as possible. (The husband too should avoid displeasing his wife). And Allah knows the best. What is the authentic Islamic ruling about it? Question: I am an engineering student, a regular reader of Islamic Voice. Is contraception (that is, preventing one‟s wife from becoming pregnant) prohibited in Islam? What is the authentic Islamic ruling about it? - Shah Amjad Moinuddin  Answer: There are fundamentally two methods of Contraception or family planning. (1) Permanent methods. (2) Temporary methods (1) Permanent Methods:Permanent Methods:Permanent methods include, Vasectomy in males and Tubecotomy in females. All the scholars unanimously agree that permanent methods of family planning are prohibited since they involve changing human physiology. Says Allah in the Qur‟an: “So set you your face steadily and truly to the Faith: (Establish) Allah‟s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made humankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but m ost among mankind understand not.” (Al Qur‟an 30:30) The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: “Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud of  your great numbers before the nations [i.e., on the Day of Resurrection].” (Abu Dawood Hadit h no. 2050, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1805) 2) Temporary Methods:Following Methods:Following are various different temporary methods. a) M.T.P. (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) or Abortion: All scholars unanimously agree that M.T.P. or abortion is prohibited. Allah says in the Glorious Qur‟an “...kill not your children on a plea of want; We provide sustenance for  you and for them;” (Al-Qur‟an 6:151) “Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for y ou: verily the killing of them is a great sin.” (Al-Qur‟an 17:31) However, scholars unanimously agree that any permanent method of family planning, or even abortion, can be done if the life of the mother is in danger. For e.g. if the woman is suffering from certain diseases like heart disease or has under gone multiple caesarean operations and in her case the continuation of pregnancy or another pregnancy may be detrimental to her life, then the woman can be aborted or a permanent method of family planning can be adopted to save the life of the woman. b) Taking birth control pills: Almost all the scholars including Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Council of the Senior Scholars [of Saudi Arabia] agree that it is not allowed to take birth control pills (Fataawa al-Marah) because of its side effects and changes in the normal physiology. c) Copper-T: A very common temporary method of family planning or contraception is Copper-T. Though it is known as „contraception‟ but technically it is contra -implantation. The sperm fertilizes the ovum but the zygote formed is destroyed by the Copper-T and is prevented from being implanted on the uterine wall (mother‟s womb). Thus it is a very early abortion, which is prohibited in Islam. Some “scholars” out of ignorance permit this temporary method of family planning without knowing its detail. d) Coitus Interruptus (‘Azl): Coitus Interruptus is permissible as long as it is performed with mutual consent of both the husband and wife since both of them have equal right to have children. This is based on the Hadith of Jabir (RA) who said: “We used to practice („Azl) coitus interruptus during the days when the Qur‟an was being revealed”. Jabir added: “We used to practice coitus interruptus during the lifetime of Allah‟s Messenger while the Qur‟an was being revealed.” (Sahih Bukhari vol. 7, Hadith no. 136) Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “With regard to „azl, some of the scholars regarded it as haraam, but the view of the four imams is that it is permissible with the wife‟s permission. And Allah nows best.” (Majmoo‟ al-Fataawa, 32/110) e) As regarding other temporary ethods of family planning like condom etc., the scholars are divided whether their use is permitted or not. Allah (swt) has provided a natural method of planning the family, which is medically known as lactation amenorrhea. After the women gives birth to a child, till she breast feeds she does not have her menstrual cycle, thus the chances of pregnancy in this period of lactation is minimal. Allah says in the Qur‟an “The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years...” (Al-Qur‟an 2:233) Reasons for Family Planning: All the various reasons for family planning can be divided into two categories: 1. Either for poverty or 2. Giving special attention to children by having fewer children. As for those who are poor and fear that they will not be able to meet the economic expenses of the additional child, Allah (swt) has prescribed the system of zakaat. Every rich person who has the savings of more than the nisab level i.e. 85 gms g ms of gold, should give 2.5% of his excess wealth every lunar year in charity. Those who are poor have the right to take the zakaat money. Allah (swt) says in the Qur‟an “...Kill not your children on a plea of want; We provide sustenance for you and for th em;” (Al-Qur‟an 6:151) Allah (swt) also mentions in the Qur‟an “Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you: verily the killing of them is a great sin.” (Al-Qur‟an 17:31) Both these verses seems to convey the same message but on scrutiny we realize that the first verse is meant for poor parents, who fear that if one more child is born in the family neither they will be able to survive nor the child, thus Allah (swt) says we provide sustenance for you and for them. In the other verse Allah (swt) says We shall provide sustenance for them and as well as for you, referring to rich parents who feel that if they have less children they can concentrate on them better and give them better education and quality life. Here Allah (swt) reverses the order and mentions first the children and then the parents. I am the fifth child of my parents. If my parents would have done family planning, then I would not have been born. Alhumdulillah, I have qualified as a medical doctor, which is supposed to be one of the best professions in society. However I have given it up for a better profession and become a daee‟. Am I a boon or a bane to the society? It is a misconception that if there are fewer children you can provide better education and quality life to your child. However, its worth notable that one never knows which child could be a blessing from the Creator for the family. It is quite possible that the child, which the parents anticipate to be a bane, may turn out to be a boon for the family and the society. History bears witness to the fact that many of the great scientists, thinkers, and revolutionaries were not from only amongst the first two children of their parents. Thus the child whom the parents consider unwanted may be a blessing to the family religiously and economically. With regards to the claim of the people who say that the growth in population increases poverty, this was mainly based on Malthusian‟s theory. This theory states that, to maintain prosperity and welfare of human race, its increase should be checked to correspond with the production of foodstuff. But now we have realized that Malthusian‟s theory has been proved wrong and there is no shortage of  food grains. Moreover, in spite of the amount of land India uses in agriculture, there is still much more land in India, which can, with little more efforts in fertilizing it through the proper means be utilized in agriculture thus producing more food grains. It would be interesting to note that population density of Holland and Denmark is about four to five times more than that of India. Nevertheless the living conditions of the people there is far better off (economically) than the Indians. Besides, even if one faces difficulties in upbringing of children, one should always remember that in these hardships could be a test from Allah as this life is a test for the hereafter. Allah says in the Qur‟an: “He Who created Death and Life that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might Oft-Forgiving” [Al Qur‟an 67: 2] Allah also says: “Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” [Al Qur‟an 2 :155] Allah (swt) says in the Qur‟an “And they plotted and planned and Allah too planned and the best of  planners is Allah (swt)” (Al-Qur‟an 3:54). If you feel you can plan the family better, the choice is yours or else leave it to Allah (swt) to do the best planning for your family. Allah knows the best. Da'wah or Islaah? Question: We are doing part time Da'wah in villages near our city in Tamil Nadu. But we are not sparing anytime for Islaah. I would like to know which of the two is more important, Da'wah or Islaah? A friend of mine said that it is Da'wah that is more important and not Islaah. -H. Mohamed Riaz, Tirunelveli Islamic Voluntary Association, (TIVA), Tamil  Nadu. [email protected] Answer: At the outset let us first understand the meaning of the words „Da‟wah‟ and „Islaah‟. Da‟wah means a „call‟ or „invitation‟; which means to invite non-Muslims to Islam as well as the Muslims to the true understanding and practice of Islam, but many a times, in context, it refers to the invitation of Islam extended to those who are yet to believe bel ieve in or accept Islam. „Islaah‟ literally means „to repair‟ or „to improve‟. In an Islamic context, it refers to efforts to improve Muslims or to correct them. It also refers to their moral rectification. Allah says : “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious !” (Al Qur’an 16:125) Why do so many People Embrace Islam in today's time? Question: Is Islam a cult? I don't understand how this religion can be embraced by so many. It's inconceivable that such hatred has ever been collected in a single population such as that which calls itself Muslim. Mohammad, and indeed, his followers, are way off the path. Stop your attacks on non-Muslims. - JohnGuerra  Answer: The two meanings of the word „cult‟ according to the Oxford dictionary are as f ollows: 1) “A way of life, an attitude, an idea etc. that has become very popular”. 2) “A small group of people who have extreme religious beliefs and who are not part of any established religion”. By referring to Islam as a cult, if you intend to imply the first meaning, then yes Islam is a way of life  – in fact it is „THE way of life‟ prescribed for humankind by the Creator. I am aware that most widely, the second meaning of the word cult is implied. In that context, Islam is not a cult. Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the founder of Islam. However, let me clarify that Islam is not the name of some unique religion presented for the first time by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who should, on that account be called the founder of Islam. The Qur‟an states that Islam – the complete submission of man before his one and only Unique Creator  – is the one and only faith and way of life consistently revealed by God to humankind from the very beginning. Noah, Solomon, David, Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jesus (pbut)  – prophets who appeared at different times and places  – all propagated the same faith and conveyed the same message of Tawheed (Oneness of God), Risaalat (Prophethood) and Aakhirah (the Hereafter). These p rophets of God were not founders of different religions to be named after them. They were each reiterating the message and faith of their predecessors. However, Muhammad (pbuh) was the last Prophet of God. God revived through him the same genuine faith which had been conveyed by all His Prophets. This original message was earlier corrupted and split into various religions by people of different ages, who indulged in interpolations and admixture. These alien elements were eliminated by God, and Islam  – in its pure and original form  – was transmitted to humankind through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Since there was to be no messenger after Muhammad (pbuh), the Book revealed to him (i.e. the Glorious Qur‟an) was preserved word for word so that it should be a source of guidance for all times. Thus the religion of all the prophets was „total submission to God‟s will‟ and one word for that in the Arabic language is „Islam‟. Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them) too were Muslims, as Allah testifies in Al-Qur'an 3:67 and 3:52 respectively. Islam is embraced by so many humans in all centuries because it is the Truth and it provides practical and comprehensive solutions to problems of humankind. Islam not only teaches good things but also shows practical ways of achieving that state of goodness. Your surprise regarding many people embracing Islam is j ustified. Today, though Islam happens to be the fastest growing religion in the world, it also happens to be the religion about which people have maximum number of misconceptions. This is largely because of the virulent propaganda by the media m edia about Islam. A Christian surveyor, Professor Edward reported in the Time Magazine of April 16, 1979 that in a span of 150 years, from 1800 CE to 1950 CE “over 60,000 books have been writte n against Islam by the Christian West.” Now, it is questionable, who has initiated, nurtured and collected the hatred which you have referred to, the Muslims or the Christian West? W est? Many are surprised that despite such propaganda being made against Islam, it still happens to be the fastest growing religion in today‟s times. It is so, on the merits of its superior and noble teachings. Says Allah swt in the Glorious Qur'an: “They (the non-Muslim enemies and critics of Islam) plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah”. (Al-Qur'an 8:30) You have advised the Muslims not to attack non-Muslims; I request you to direct your advice to those authorities, who only claim to be „peaceful, peace-loving people‟ and „peace -keepers of the world‟, but ironically have attacked thousands of innocent Muslims under the theme „War on terror‟. The noted writer  Arundhati Roy states: "So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace."  The terrorist acts attributed to Muslim suspects, should not be attributed to Islam or the Muslims in general but to individual human weaknesses. Such human failings occur among all religious and ethnic groups. Recorded history has not witnessed an incident similar to the „Holocaust‟. However, one is not expected to and should not attribute the holocaust to Christianity or to Christians in general. A number of skeptics have made comments about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Skeptics allege that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was “a violent man, a man of war”. Some further state that "Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses … Muhammad set an opposite example” (remember Jerry Falwell?). These skeptics somehow fail to realize that far from being a man of war, “…he (Muhammad) must be called the saviour of humanity”, as described thus by George Bernard Shaw. Though the portrayal of Moses and Jesus (pbut) of being peace-loving people is fully in accordance with the teachings of the Qur‟an, the Biblical testimony is contrary to it. Many quotations from these Biblical testimonies can be given to substantiate this claim, but considering the length of the answer, I will simply furnish ONE incident that will prove my point, because in this ONE incident, no less than three thousand people were killed by the sword at the command of Biblical Moses. We read: “(Moses said): „Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour‟. The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.” (Exodus 32:27-28, NIV) It is also a well-known fact that the total number of deaths that took place in ALL the wars fought during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was 1018. The biblical quotation given above and many such quotations appear to escape the grasp of those who allege against Muhammad (pbuh), further ignoring the words of Jesus: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2 KJV) Why do so many People Embrace Islam in today's time? Question: Religion, if it is true, should be able to stand scientific scrutiny. scrutiny. Is there an Islamic arena arena where this kind of discussion is possible? - Eugene Faulstich  Answer: It is true, that if a religion is true, it should be able to stand scientific scrutiny. The Glorious Qur‟an is the last and final revelation of God. For any book to claim to be the Word of God, it should stand the test of time. Previously, it was the age of miracles. The Qur'an is the miracle of miracles. Later on, came the age of literature and poetry. Muslims as well as non-Muslims agree that Al- Qur‟an is Arabic literature par excellence - that it is the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth. However, today, it‟s the age of science and technology, and the Qur'an passes this test as well. According to the famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein, "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." It should however, be borne in mind that the Qur'an is not a book of „Science‟ but rather a book of „Signs‟ i.e. Ayaat. There are more than 6,000 signs (Ayaat) in the Qur'an out of which more than a thousand speak of Science. The Qur'anic data on science does not conflict with any of the established scientific fact. It may go against certain scientific hypothesis or theories, which are not g rounded in facts as many a times science takes U-turns. A number of verses of the Qur'an speak on various different subjects of science, such as Astronomy, Physics, Geography, Geology, Oceanology, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Medicine, Physiology, Embryology as well as General Science. There have been several arenas where people have discussed a number of issues related to comparative religion. Islam encourages reasoning, discussions and dialogues. Al lah says: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom a nd beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious”. (Al-Qur'an 16:125) With regards to discussions on the theme of your question, I had a public dialogue in April 2000, in Chicago USA, on the subject „The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of Science‟ with a Christian, Dr. William Campbell from the USA. Dr. William Campbell had written a book trying to point out scientific errors in the Qur'an. In the dialogue, I refuted all the allegations that he made against the Qur'an while he could not refute any of the 38 scientific errors in the Bible pointed out by me. You may refer to the video of that debate which is available for sale world-wide. For more information please visi t You can also refer to my book, „Qur'an and Modern Science: Compatible or Incompatible‟ as well as my video on the topic, „Qur'an and modern Science: Conflict or Conciliation. Is Hinduism the oldest and therefore the t he best Religion? Question: Hinduism is the oldest of all the religions and thus the most pure, authentic and best of all the religions of the world, and not Islam! - Kaushik Patel  Answer: 1. Islam is the oldest religion.Hinduism religion.Hinduism is not the oldest of all the religions. It is Islam which is the first and the oldest of all religions. People have a misconception that Islam is 1400 years old and that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the founder of this religion. Islam existed since time immemorial, ever since man first set foot on this earth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was not the founder of Islam. He was the last and final Messenger of Almighty God. 2. The oldest religion need not be the purest purest and the most authentic religion.A religion.A religion cannot be claimed to be most pure and authentic, only on the criterion that it is the oldest. It is similar to a person saying that the water he has kept in an open glass, in his house, ou tside the refrigerator, for three months is purer than the water which has just been collected in a clean glass, immediately after it has been purified. 3. The latest religion need not be the purest purest and the most authentic religion.On religion.On the other hand a religion cannot be claimed to be the purest or authentic, only on the criterion that the religion is new or the latest. A bottle of distilled water which is sealed, packed and kept in the refrigerator for three months is much purer than a bottle of water freshly freshl y collected from the sea. 4. For religion to be pure and and authentic, it should not have interpolations, changes and revisions in its scriptures revealed from God.For God.For any religion to be pure and authentic, its scriptures should not contain any interpol ation, addition, deletion or revision. Moreover the religion‟s source of inspiration and direction should be Almighty God. The Qur‟an is the only religious scripture on the face of the earth which has been maintained in its original form. All the other religious scriptures, of all the other religions have interpolations, additions, deletions or revisions. The Qur‟an has been in the memory of a multitude of  people, intact in its original form ever since its revelation, and now there are hundreds of thousands of people who have preserved it in their memory. Moreover, if you compare the copies made by Caliph Uthman (r.a) from the original Qur‟an which is yet present in the museum in Tashkent and in Koptaki museum in Turkey, they are the same as the ones we possess today. Allah (swt) promises in the Qur‟an, in Surah Al Hijr, chapter 15 verse 9 “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).” 5. The oldest religion need not be best religion.A religion.A religion cannot be claimed to be the best religion only on the criterion that it is the oldest. It is similar to a person saying, that my 19th century car is better than a Toyota car manufactured in 1998, because it is older. He would be considered to be a fool to say that his 19th century car which required a rod to be turned in circles to start it, is better than a key-start 1998 Toyota car, just because it is older. 6. The latest religion need not be the best religion.On religion.On the other hand a religion cannot be called as the best religion only on the criterion that the religion is new or that it came later. It is similar to a person who says that my 800 cc Suzuki Suzuki car manufactured in 1999 is better than than a 5000 cc Mercedes Mercedes 500 SEL manufactured in 1997. To judge which car is better, a person should compare the specifications of the car e.g. the power of the car, safety measures, the capacity of the cylinders, the pickup, the speed, the comfort, etc. 5000 cc Mercedes, 500 SEL car manufactured in 1997, is far superior and better than a 800 cc Suzuki (Maruti Suzuki 800) manufactured in 1999. 7. A religion is best, if it has the solutions to the problems of mankind.For mankind.For a religion to be considered the best, it should have the solution to all the problems of mankind. It should be the religion of truth, and should be applicable to all ages. Islam is the only religion which has the solution to all the problems of mankind. e.g. the problem of alcoholism, surplus women, rape and molestation, robbery, racism, casteism, etc. Islam is the religion of truth, and its laws and solutions are applicable to all the ages. The Qur‟an is the only religious book on the face of the earth, which has maintained its purity and authenticity proving itself to be the word of God in all the ages. i.e. previously, when it was the age of miracles, literature and poetry and in present times when it is the age of science and technology. Moreover, Islam is not a man-made religion, but a religion revealed and inspired by Almighty God. It is the only religion acceptable in His Sight. Why don't muslims in india follow the islamic criminal law? Question: When Muslims in India insist on having a separate Muslim Personal Law for themselves, why don‟t they also insist on implementing the Islamic Islam ic Criminal Law for the Muslims; for example implementing the rule that the robber‟s hands should be chopped off if a Muslim robs? - Srinivasan Iyer  Answer 36: 1. Muslim Personal Law Personal Law is a law concerning an individual person and the persons closely related to him, e.g. laws relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc. It includes laws which are mutually agreed upon by a group of people. This law does not include any crime or an act that will harm the society directly. 2. India is Secular And Democratic In any country, the Personal Law may differ for different groups of people and for different communities. Since India is a secular and democratic country it allows different groups of people to follow their own personal law if they wish. 3. Islamic Personal Law is the Best Muslims believe that compared to all the different types of personal laws available in the world, the best and the most result oriented is the Islamic Personal Law. Muslims of India prefer following the Muslim personal law also because of their own belief in Islam. 4. Criminal Law Criminal law is that law which is associated with a crime or an act, which directly affects the society e.g. robbing, raping, murdering, etc. 5. The Criminal Law should be the same for all people In any country, the criminal law unlike the Personal Law cannot be different for different groups of people. It has to be same for all people of different groups and different religions e.g. In Islam if a person robs, his hands are chopped off. This punishment is not prescribed in Hinduism. If a Hindu robs a Muslim, what would be the robber‟s punishment? The Muslim would want the hands of the robber to be chopped, while the Hindu Law would not agree. 6. The Muslims in India alone cannot separately follow the Islamic Criminal Law without involving the Non-Muslims Even if a Muslim agrees, that as far as he commits a crime he should be given the punishment according to Islamic Criminal Law, it would not be practical. In case an allegation is made against a Muslim for robbery and if the witnesses are Non-Muslims, and if each one follows his own Criminal Law, the punishment in Islam for bearing false witness is 80 lashes, whereas in the Indian Criminal Law, a person giving false witness can easily escape. Thus, for a Non-Muslim to falsely accuse a Muslim of any crime is very easy, if both follow their own criminal law. However, if both follow the Indian Law where the punishment is lenient for false witnesses and robbers, it will encourage both the robber to rob as well as encourage the witnesses to give false witness for their own benefit. 7. The Muslims in India would prefer the Islamic Criminal Law to be implemented on all Indians We Muslims would prefer that in India the Islamic Criminal Law be implemented on all the Indians, since, chopping the hands of a thief will surely reduce the rate of robbery in India. Similarly, 80 lashes for giving false testimony will prevent a person from giving false witness. 8. Islamic Criminal Law is Most Practical Islam besides pointing out a crime, it also gives you a solution showing how to prevent the crime e.g. chopping the hands of a robber, death penalty for the rapist. The punishment is so severe that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime. He will think a hundred times before committing a crime. Thus if crime has to be reduced or stopped in India the best solution is to implement „The Common Islamic Criminal Law‟. Burying Better than Cremating Dead Bodies Question:  Why do Muslims bury dead bodies instead of cremating them, i.e. burning them?  - Vivek Modi Answer: 1. Components of human body present in the soil Elements that are present in the human body are present in lesser or greater quantity in the soil. Hence it is more scientific to bury a dead body, as it easily gets decomposed and mixed in the soil. 2. No Pollution Cremating (burning) the dead body leads to pollution of the atmosphere, which is detrimental to health and harmful for the environment. There is no such pollution caused by burying a dead body. 3. Surrounding land becomes fertile fertile To cremate a dead body several trees have to be chopped, which reduces the greenery and harms the environment and the ecology. When dead bodies are buried, besides the trees being saved, the surrounding sur rounding land becomes fertile and it improves the environment. 4. Economical It is expensive to cremate a dead body when tons of woods have to be burned. Annually there is a loss of crores of rupees, only because dead bodies are cremated in India. Burying dead bodies is very cheap. It hardly costs any money. m oney. 5. Same land can be utilised for burying burying another body The wood used for cremating a dead body cannot be reutilised for cremating another dead body since it gets converted to ashes. The land used for burying a dead body can be reutilised for burying another body after a few years since the human body gets decomposed and mixed in the soil. Slam's Viewpoint on Wills, Bequests and Inheritance Question: Is there no such thing as a 'Will' in Islam? In Islam, can a person 'Will' his assets or property as per his wishes, after his death, to people other than those prescribed in the methods of the Shari‟ah? Is this 'Will' legally valid in India? Answer: A „will‟ is a legal document through which a person de clares his/her wishes and instructions on how his/her property and possessions should be disposed of, distributed or given away after his/her death. Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur‟an:“Prescribed for you when death approaches (any) of you if he leaves wealth (is that he should make) a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:180] Based on this verse from the Qur‟an, it was earlier obligatory upon the Muslims to make a will before death. But after the revelation of the verses on inheritance (i.e. Surah Nisa 4:11-12), wherein Allah swt legislated fixed shares of inheritance for deserving heirs, it is now not compulsory in Islam for a person to write a will in his lifetime, because his estate is divided as prescribed in Shari’ah among his living heirs. So after the revelation of Surah Nisa 4:11- 12, in an Islamic country where Islamic Shari‟ah is followed, it is not required to make a will. In a non-Muslim country like India that has a separate Muslim Personal Law, to make a will is optional. If a Muslim fears that the non-Muslim country where Muslim Personal Law is followed has chances of deviating from the Shari'ah in this respect, it is preferable to make a will as per Qur ‟anic guidelines – otherwise it is not required. Such a will is legally valid in India. However, in a non-Muslim country like U.S.A. that does not have a separate Muslim Personal Law, according to me it is compulsory for a Muslim to make a will as per the guidelines laid by Allah (swt) in Surah Nisa 4:11-12, so that it forces the law to execute Islamic Shari'ah as per your will. It is the right of every citizen of a non-Muslim country, to will his property as per his desire, because in the absence of will each country has its own method of distributing the wealth. It may be obligatory as well on a person to make a will, with regard to the dues of others where there is no proof, lest they be lost or neglected, because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “It is not permi ssible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him."” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, al-Wasaayaa 2533]. 2533]. One should also „will‟ if he fears some kind of corruption or di spute among the heirs, especially in a nonMuslim country. However, one does not have the right to make a will for the legal heirs as per his own inclinations (or wishes), because Allah (swt) has defined the share of each heir, and He has explained who inherits and who does not inherit. So it is not permitted for any person to transgress the limits set by Allah (swt). “And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits – He will put him into the fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment” [Surah Nisa 4:14] Allah (swt) has permitted us to make a will to whomsoever we wish other than the legal inheritors for a maximum of one-third of our wealth, The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah was being generous to you when He allowed you to give one-third of your wealth (in charity) when you die, to increase your good deeds.” [Ibn Maajah, Kitaab al-Wasaayaa  Kitaab al-Wasaayaa , Hadith No. 2709] Therefore one can will upto one-third of his wealth to be used for charitable purposes or else one can also give it to the people apart from the legal heirs, because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “There is no will for the heirs. [Tirmidhi, Kitaab al-Wasaayaa , Hadith No.2120] And Allah knows the best. Wife's consent prior to a subsequent Nikaah Question: Does a Muslim man require explicit consent from his first wife, to marry a second woman? Answer: In Islam, marriage is a solemn contract for which the Islamic Shari‟ah has laid down rules and measures to guarantee its stability. Though Islam permits a man to have more than one wife, it stipulates that certain conditions are to be met in this regard, for Islam‟s main focus is on building a stable marital life. If a man is able to take a second wife, and can treat both wives in a just manner, and he wants to, then he is allowed to do so as Allah says, “… marry women of your choice two or three or four; but if you fear that you will not be just, then (marry only) one …” There is no evidence in the Qur‟an and the authentic traditions of the prophet (pbuh), which s tates that it is obligatory for the husband to have the explicit consent of his first wife, if he wants to take a second wife. However, he should inform his first wife about his intention. It is preferable to convince her about his decision but it is not compulsory c ompulsory to take her consent. But if the wife has stipulated a condition in the marriage contract, that her husband is not allowed to take another wife as long as she is married to him, then the husband should adhere to the condition and is obliged to take her permission before taking another wife. The conditions of marriage are the most binding of conditions and are the most important before Allah, because through them intimacy becomes permissible. Narrated „Uqba: The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said: “Th e conditions most entitled to be abided are those of (wedding contract) with which intimacy becomes permissible to you.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5151] Therefore in the light of the above, it‟s clear that the first wife‟s consent is not a prerequi site for a man to take another wife unless she specifies the above condition in her marriage contract. And Allah knows the best. Raising one's hands during salaah Question: A few people in our locality raise their hands before and after doing „ Rukoo ‟. ‟. Is it a correct act while praying? - zachariah ataun  Answer: In addition to raising one‟s hands in prayer when pronouncing Takbir al-Ihraam (the al-Ihraam (the first Takbir ), ), it is Mustahab (i.e. a recommended act) to raise one‟s hands at three other times during Salaah (the Muslim prayer): (i) just before bowing in Rukoo ‟, ‟, (ii) when rising from Rukoo ‟ and (iii) when standing up after the first Tashahhud . The reports of raising of the hands are „mutawaatir’, „mutawaatir’, which means they are reported by so many narrators to so many that it is inconceivable that they could all have agreed on a lie. Narrations: Whenever Ibn 'Umar started the prayer with Takbir , he used to raise his hands: whenever he bowed, he used to raise his hands (before bowing) and he also used to raise his hands on saying, " Sami a-l-lahu  Liman hamida ", ", and he used to do the same on rising from the second Rak'a (for Rak'a  (for the 3rd Rak'a ). ). Ibn 'Umar said: "The Prophet used to do the same." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.739] Imam al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote a separate book on this issue, which he called „Juz’ fi Raf’ al -  - Yadayn’  Yadayn’ (Section (Section on Raising the Hands), in which he proved that the hands should be raised at these points in the prayer. Raising the hands in prayer was a well-known practice amongst the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). Imam al-Bukhari said: “Al-Hasan and Humayd ibn Hilaal said: „The Companions of the Messenger of  Allah (pbuh) all used to raise their hands, without exception.” [Juz‟ raf‟ al-yadayn, page 26]. There are no less than four Ahadith in Ahadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari and six in Sahih Muslim with respect to raising the hands before and after Rukoo’ (bowing), besides several other authentic traditions in other Ahadith compilations. Ahadith compilations. The traditions of not raising hands at these instances are classified as da’eef (weak) by the scholars of Hadith. It is important for us to remind ourselves that once the Sunnah of Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) becomes clear to a person, it is not permissible for him/her to ignore it in favour of the opinion of anyone, since we all are Ummatis and Ummatis and followers of the Prophet (pbuh). Hence, a Muslim should not fail to raise his hands at the points in prayer described in the Sunnah . Every Muslim should strive to make his prayer like the prayer of the Prophet (pbuh) who said, “Pray as you have seen me praying.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.631]. And Allah knows the best. Forbidden times for salaah Question: I am told by many people that it is not permissible to read the Qur‟an or do Sajdah  Sajdah after after Asr  Asr prayers prayers and that we cannot pray, be it reading Qur‟an or  Namaz  Namaz at at 12.00 clock. Kindly reply! Answer: Regarding the time of recitation, it is permissible for a Muslim to recite the Qur‟an at any time of the day or  night as he/she wishes. Rather it is mustahab  mustahab i.e. i.e. recommended to remember Allah ( dhikr ) after Fajr , which certainly includes reading the Qur‟an, as it is one of the best forms of dhikr . The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever prays Fajr  Fajr in in congregation, then sits and remembers Allah until the sun comes up, then prays two rak’ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and „Umrah .” .” [Tirmidhi al-  Jumu’ah Hadith No.585] There are certain times at which the Prophet (pbuh) has disallowed prayer. These are: (i) While the sun is rising (i.e. during the time of sunrise), (ii) when the sun has reached its highest point i.e. at noon and (iii) while sun is setting (i.e. during the time of sunset). „Uqbah ibn „Aamir said: “There were the times at which the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) forbade us to pray or to bury our dead: when the sun has clearly started to rise until it is fully risen, when it is directly overhead at midday until it has passed its zenith, and when the sun starts to set until it has fully set.” [Sahih Muslim Vol.2 Chapter 292 Hadith No.1811] Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri: I heard Allah's Messenger (pbuh) saying, "There is no prayer after fajr  fajr prayer prayer till the sun rises, and there is no prayer after the Asr  Asr prayer prayer till the sun sets." [Sahih AlBukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.586] Contrary to this, the Prophet (pbuh) used to pray two raka’ahs after asr  asr prayer prayer as related in many of the authentic traditions. However, it is important for us to note that whenever we perceive a difference between Qaul  Qaul (command) (command) and Amal  Amal (action) (action) of the Prophet (pbuh), then according to the rule of fiqh , command takes precedence over the action. Thus under normal circumstances, a Muslim should not offer Salaah  Salaah after after the Fajr  Fajr prayer prayer until the sun rises or after the asr prayer prayer until the sun sets, unless there is a valid reason and requirement. For example, if after having offered his asr salaah a salaah a person enters a mosque before sunset, he can offer two raka’ahs Tahiyyat al-masjid (prayer al-masjid (prayer after entering mosque) before sitting which is a recommended Sunnah . Similarly, if a person does Tawaaf  Tawaaf of of the Ka’bah after offering Fajr salaah and salaah and before sunrise, he can offer two raka’ahs Salaatal-Tawaaf  Salaatal-Tawaaf (prayer (prayer done after circumambulating the Ka‟bah). And Allah knows the best. Marrying women from the people of the book Question: Can a Muslim man marry a Christian or a Jew? Please explain. Sheikh Tahir  -  Answer: It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a woman from the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians), only if they fulfill certain criteria. Alla h (swt) says: “And (Lawful in marriage are) chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you…” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:5] Based on the above verse, most of the scholars say that a Muslim man can marry any woman who is a Jew or a Christian. On the other hand, if we read the Qur‟an as a whole, Allah (swt) also says that Muslims are not allowed to marry Mushriks i.e. i.e. people who associate partners with Allah (swt). “And do not marry Mushrik (polytheistic) Mushrik (polytheistic) women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:221] Moreover, we find that the Jews and the Christians too associate partners with Allah (swt). Says Allah (swt) in the Glorious Qur‟an: “They (Jews and the Christians) have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” [Surah At-Tawbah 9:31] The Christians, who claim that Jesus (pbuh) is God as well as the Son of God, insist on the supposed divinity of Jesus (pbuh) and worship him as such. “They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed he who associates other with Allah  – Allah has forbidden him paradise and his refuge is the fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:72] From the above-mentioned verses and many such verses of the Qur'an, it is very clear that almost all the present day Jews and the Christians are committing shirk by shirk by joining partners with Allah (swt). Apparently, it appears to be a “contradiction” in the Qur‟an, since at one place Allah (swt) forbids Muslims from marryingMushriks  marrying Mushriks , whereas at another place He allows Muslim men to marry women from the Jews and the Christians, most of who as per the Qur'anic narrations are Mushriks too Mushriks too i.e. those who associate partners with Allah (swt). In another verse of the Glorious Qur‟an, Allah (swt) conciliates all the above verses by informing us that among the Jews and the Christians there are also people who are true believers i.e. they believe in only one God and do not n ot associate partners with Allah (swt). It says, “Among them (Jews and the Christians) are believers but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” [Surah Ali Imran 3:110] Therefore, according to me, Muslim men are permitted to marry only those women from the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who are chaste as well as who do not commit shirk i.e. shirk i.e. those who do not believe in trinity and Jesus‟ (pbuh) divinity. And Allah Knows the Best. Difference between Mary and Miriam Question: Question: It is mentioned in your Qur‟an that Mary was the sister of Aaron (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not know the difference between Miriam the sister of Aaron (pbuh) and Mary the Mother of Jesus (pbuh), as the time span between both of them was about a thousand years. -  [email protected]  1. IN THE SEMITIC LANGUAGES SISTER ALSO MEANS DESCENDANT The Qur‟an mentions in Surah Maryam, Chapter 19 verses 27-28 „Then she brought him (child) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! You have certainly done a thing unprecedented. "O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a man of evil nor was your mother unchaste!"” [Surah Maryam 19:27-28] Christian missionaries say that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not know the difference between Mary the mother of Jesus (pbuh) and Miriam the sister of Aaron (pbuh). The time span between both was more than a thousand years. In the Arabic construction of the sentence, sister is also als o considered as a descendant. Thus, when the people said to Mary,Ya Mary, Ya Ukhta Haroon i.e. „O sister of Aaron‟ it actually means descendant of Aaron (pbuh). 2. SON ALSO MEANS DESCENDANT It is mentioned in the Gospel of Mathew, Chapter 1 verse 1 "Jesus Christ, the son of David,..". [Mathew 1:1] It is also mentioned in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 3, verse 23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph,..." [Luke 3:23] 3. DID JESUS (PBUH) HAVE TWO FATHERS? FATHERS? The explanation of the phrase that Jesus (pbuh) was the son of David (pbuh), is that Jesus (pbuh) was a descendant of David (pbuh). So, „Son‟ here too means a descendant. Prohibition of musical instruments Question: I have a doubt about playing pla ying of musical instruments. Is this an act of Satan? - Faiz-ullah-Khan, Jammu and Kashmir. Answer: Prohibition of music is recorded in many authentic Ahadith. Narrated Abu Malik Al-Ashari: "The Messenger (pbuh) of Allah (SWT) said, "Some people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name, merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of lady singers. Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into monkeys and swines. [Ibn Ma'jah Vol.5 Hadith No.4020] Narrated Abu Amir or Abu Malik Al Ashari that he heard the Prophet saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain m ountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say sa y to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5590] However, there are some Ahadith which indicate that it is permissible to beat the „daff‟ i.e. the tambourine (which is open on one side and covered on the other). Narrated Urwa on the authority of Aisha “On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul -Hijjah) Abu Bakr came to her while two young girls were beating the tambourine (daff) and the Prophet was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them. The Prophet uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, "Leave them, for these days are the days of 'Id and the days of Mina." Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.2 Hadith No.987] Narrated Ar Rabi (the daughter of Muawwidh bin Afra): “After the consummation of my marriage, the Prophet came and sat on my bed as far from me as you are sitting now, and our little girls started beating the tambourines (daff) and reciting elegiac verses mourning my father, who had been killed in the battle of Badr. One of them said, „Among us is a Prophet who knows what will happen t omorrow.‟ On that the Prophet said, „Leave this (saying) and keep on saying the verses which you had been saying before.‟ [Sahih Al -Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5147] Therefore from the above evidence it is concluded that the use of musical instruments in general is forbidden in Islam, with the exception of the 'Daff'. Music usually intoxicates a person and takes tak es one away from the path of Allah (swt). Music engages a person‟s mind and takes him/her away from the remembrance of his/her Creator and from realizing and focusing his/her attention on the purpose of his/her creation. In musical songs, most of the times the listeners even appreciate illogical, incorrect and blasph emous matter and content. A person will realize this when he starts pondering over the meaning of many Hindi and English songs, lyrics and ghazals. Here we find that it is because of music that the person‟s mind is intoxicated and the person deviates from the straight path. And Allah Knows the Best. Is man created from Sperm od Dust? Question: At one place the Qur‟an mentions that man is created from sperm and in another place it mentions that man is created from dust. Are these two verses not Hello_br  contradicting? [email protected]  Answer: 1. Man created from sperm and dust The Qur‟an refers to the lowly beginnings of a human being from a drop of sperm, in several verses including the following verse from Surah Al-Qiyamah: "Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)"? [Al-Qur‟an 75:37] The Qur‟an also mentions in several places that human beings w ere created from dust. The following verse makes a reference to the origin of human beings: "(Consider) that We created you out of dust". [Al-Qur‟an 22:5] We now know that all the elements present in the human body (i.e. the constituent elements of the human body) are all present in the earth in small or great quantities. This is the scientific explanation for the Qur‟anic verse that says that man was created from dust. In certain verses, the Qur‟an says that man was created from sperm, while in certain oth er verses it says that man was created from dust. However this is not a contradiction. Contradiction means statements, which are opposite or conflicting and both cannot be true simultaneously. 2. Man created from water In certain places the Qur‟an also say s that man was created from water. For instance in Surah Al-Furqan it says: "It is [Al-Qur‟an 25:54] He Who has created man from water". Science has proved all the three statements to be correct. Man has been created from sperm, dust as well as water. 3. It is not a Contradiction but a Contradistinction Suppose I say that in order to make a cup of tea one needs water. One also needs tealeaves or tea powder. The two statements are not contradictory since both water and tealeaves are required in order to make a cup of tea. Furthermore if I want sweet tea I can even add sugar. Thus there is no contradiction in the Qur‟an when it says that man is created from sperm, dust and water. It is not a contradiction but a contradistinction. Contradistinction means speaking about two different concepts on the same subject without conflict. For instance if I say that the man is always truthful and a habitual liar, it is a contradiction, but if I say that a man is always honest, kind and loving, then it is a contradistinction. Dyeing one's hair Question: I am Bilal. I‟d like to know about hair coloring according to Qur‟an and Hadith. I came to know that it is permissible. Is it right? Please explain providing evidence from authentic sources of slam. - Bilal Ahmed  Answer: It is permissible to change the colour of one‟s greying hair, to a colour besides black, as long as the material used for coloring hair is pure p ure and permissible. Narrated Abu Dharr Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The best things with which grey hair are changed changed are henna and katam (a plant from Yemen which produces reddish- black reddish- black dye)”. [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3 Chapter 1567 Hadith No.4193] During the days of the Prophet (pbuh), the Jews Je ws and the Christians used to refrain from dyeing greying hair because they considered such adornment as contrary to piety pi ety and devotion, and not befitting rabbis, priests and ascetics. The Prophet (pbuh) forbade Muslims from imitating them (the Jews and the Christians), in order that Muslims might develop their own distinctive and independent characteristics. Narrated Abu HurairaAllah's HurairaAllah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "The Jews and the Christians do not dye (their grey hair), so you shall do the opposite of what they do (i.e. dye your grey hair and beards)." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.4 Hadith No.3462 & Sahih Muslim Vol.3 Chapter 831 Hadith No.5245] However, it is not permitted for a Muslim man or a woman to dye his/her hair black because of the reports in which the Prophet (pbuh) instructed the Muslims to abstain from it. Jabir bin Abdullah reported that Abu Quhaafah was led (to the audience of the Holy Prophet) on the day of the conquest of Makkah and his head and beard were white like thughamah (hyssop), whereupon Allah‟s Messenger (pbuh) said: “Change it with something but avoid black”. [ Sahih Muslim Vol.3 Chapter 831 Hadith No.5244] Ibn „Abbaas reported the Allah‟s Messenger (pbuh) as saying: At the end of time there will be people who will use this black dye like the crops of birds; they will not experience the fragrance of Paradise.” [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3 Chapter 1569 Hadith No.4200] Nevertheless, the use of black dye is specifically permitted during time of war, with the possibility of demoralizing the enemy when they see all Muslim soldiers looking „young‟. Moreover, dyeing the hair when there is no grey hair, though not forbidden, is not regarded as following the Prophet‟s example, since it does not serve the same shar‟i interests as achieved by dyeing grey hair. One must make sure that hair colouring should not be done as an imitation of immodest or immoral people, whom some people may mistakenly regard as examples to follow. This is prohibited because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever imitates any people is one of them.” [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.3 Chapter  1506 Hadith No.4020]. And Allah Knows the Best. Is it permissible to offer Nafil Salaah after Witr Salaah? Question. Is it true that my last prayer should be witr or is this merely m erely recommended as a prudent course of action by the Prophet (saw). Once I pray witr after Isha and later I want to pray Nafil, Nafi l, can I do so? - Shaikh Imran  Answer. It is Mustahab (i.e. highly recommended) for a Muslim to make witr as his/her last prayer at night n ight since the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) exhort the Muslims to do so. Narrated NafiIbn 'Umar said, "While the Prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, 'Pray two Rak’ahs at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of  the Fajr prayer) pray one Rak’ah and that will be the witr for all the Rak’ahs at which you have offered’." [Sahih Al-Bukhari Al-Bukhari Vol.1 Hadith No.472] Narrated Abdullah bin UmarThe Prophet (pbuh) said, "Make Witr as your last prayer at night." [Sahih Al- Bukhari Vol.2 Hadith No.998] However, this command of the Prophet (pbuh) is in the sense of it being preferable, and not obligatory, because it is proven in the Ahadith that the Prophet (pbuh) sometimes prayed two rak‟ahs (units) after  Witr whilst sitting down. Abu Salamah asked „Aisha about the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). She said: “He observed thirteen rak‟ahs (in the night prayer). He observed eight rak‟ahs and would then observe witr and then observe two rak‟ahs sitting, and when he wanted to bow He stood up and then bowed down, and then observed two rak‟ahs in between the Adhan and Iqamah of the dawn prayer”. [Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Chapter 261 Hadith No.1608] The Prophet (pbuh) prayed two rak‟ahs after witr in order to demonstrate that it is per missible to pray nafil after witr. He did not always pray nafil after witr, rather he did that only a few times. If one prays Witr in the beginning of the night, after that Allah (swt) enables him/her to pray qiyaam, then one can pray two by two but he/she does not have to repeat Witr, because the Prophet (pbuh) said, “There cannot be two Witrs in one night.” [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.1 Chapter 495 Hadith No.1434]. And Allah Knows the Best. Islamic Research Foundation replies... By Tanvir Shaikh It is with great trepidation and alarm and not a little grief that I read the article that you published in your magazine written by Dr. Zakir Naik declaring that Allah Subhanahu wa ta‟ala may be called by any name that a person finds to his liking. - Mirza Yawar Baig  Dr. Zakir Naik has never claimed in any of his articles or talks that it is permissible for people to call Allah (swt) by any name of their choice or liking. Neither has he ever passed a blanket rule to invent or import names for Allah (swt). In his talks, he quotes the verse of the Glorious Qur‟an from Surah Al -Isra 17:110, which says: Say: “Call upon Allah, or Call upon Rahman; By whatever name ye call Upon Him, (it is well): For to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names”. [Al Qur‟an 17:110] Dr. Zakir simply explains the verse that Allah (swt)'s name should be beautiful and it should not conjure up a mental picture. He has never stated that a person can call Allah (swt) with any name he or she desires. It is understood that Allah (swt) should be only referred to according to the manner in which He and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have described Him. One cannot deduce a ruling just on the basis of one or two verses of the Glorious Qur‟an unless one has analyzed the Qur‟an as a whole. For example, it will be erroneou s for someone to say that Muslims are allowed to gamble and drink wine because in them there is some profit for men, simply because Allah (swt) has mentioned in the Glorious Qur‟an: “They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin an d some profit for men; but the sin is greater than the profit." [Al- Qur‟an 2:219] However, if one studies the Qur‟an completely then he will conclude that intoxicants and gambling are prohibited in the Qur‟an beyond any doubt. Says Allah (swt) in the Glorious Qur‟an: “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination) that ye may prosper.” [Al -Qur‟an 5:90] Similarly, if we read the complete article/book of Dr. Zakir Naik, where he explains the definition and different categories of Tawheed, he makes it very clear that one cannot call Allah (swt) with any new names or attributes which neither Allah (swt) nor His Messenger have used. Moreover, the verse that illustrates the complete prohibition of intoxicants and gambling, does not contradict the verse of Surah Al-Baqarah 2:219, but rather gives more specific information on the subject. Likewise, the explanation of the verse of Surah Al-Isra 17:110 by Dr. Zakir Naik does not conflict with the elucidation of the second category of Tawheed by him, but throws additional light on the matter. Following is the part of the article in which Dr. Zakir Naik expounded the second category of Tawheed i.e. Tawheed Al-Asma Was-Sifaat. QUOTE: Tawheed al-Asmaa was- Sifaat Sifaat (maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes): The second category is Tawheed al Asmaa was Sifaat which means maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes. This category is divided into five aspects:  (i) Allah should be referred to as described by Him and His Prophet:  Allah must be referred to according to the manner in which He and His prophet have described Him  without explaining His names and attributes by giving them meanings other than their obvious meanings. (ii) Allah must be referred to as He has referred to Himself:  Allah must be referred to without giving Him any new names or attributes. For example Allah may not be  given the name Al-Ghaadib (the Angry One), despite the fact that He has said that He gets angry, because neither Allah nor His messenger have used this name. (iii) Allah is referred to without giving Him the attributes of His creation:  In a reference to God, we should strictly abstain from giving Him the attributes of those whom He has  created. For instance in the Bible, God is portrayed as repenting for His bad thoughts in the same way as  humans do when they realise their errors. This is completely against the principle of Tawheed. God does  not commit any mistakes or errors and therefore never needs to repent. The key principle when dealing  with Allah's attributes is given in the Qur'an in Surah Ash-Shura:  "There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One That hears and sees (all things)." [Al-Qur'an  42:11]  Hearing and seeing are human faculties. However, when attributed to the Divine Being they are without  comparison, in their perfection, unlike when associated with humans who require ears, eyes, etc. and  who are limited in their sight and hearing in terms of space, time, capacity, etc. (iv) God’s creation should not be given any of His attr ibutes:  ibutes:  To refer to a human with the attribute of God is also against the principle of Tawheed. For example, referring to a person as one who has no beginning or end (eternal). (v)  Allah’s  Allah’s name cannot be given to His creatures: Some Divine names in the indefinite form, like Raoof or Raheem are permissible names for men as Allah  has used them for Prophets; but Ar-Raoof (the Most Pious) and Ar-Raheem (the most Merciful) can only  be used if prefixed by Abd meaning slave of or servant of i.e. Abdur-Raoof or Abdur-Raheem. Similarly  Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) or Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet) are forbidden. UNQUOTE: Mr. Mirza Yawar Ali Baig mentions in his article against Dr. Zakir Naik that Dr. Zakir Naik claims: QUOTE: “By whatever name you call upon Him (it is well)” is not a blanket permission to invent or import names to call Allah by. It means, whichever of the names that He or His Prophet have permitted may be used to  call upon Him and this is acceptable. Nothing el se.”  se.”  “In his speech on Thursday, April 15, 2004 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dr. Zakir Naik said, “If someone calls Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala the Creator in English, or Khaliq in Arabic or Brahma in Sanskrit we have no  objection. But if they say Brahma and mean the image sitting on the lotus and so on, we have a serious  objection. Similarly if someone calls Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala the Sustainer in English or Rabb in Arabic  or Vishnu in Sanskrit we have no objection. But when they say Vishnu, if they mean the image with the  many hands and the Chakra in one hand, traveling on the Garuda and so on, we have a serious   problem.”  UNQUOTE: I assume that either Mr. Baig may have either attended the talk or heard the video-cassette and has alleged this statement for Dr. Zakir Naik based on his memory. I am reproducing a portion of Dr. Zakir Naik‟s book which he (Dr. Zakir Naik) also repeats in his lectures. QUOTE: To Allah belong the most beautiful names:  The Qur’an says: "Say: Call upon Allah, or Call upon Rahman: By whatever name you call Upon Him, (it is well): For to Him  belong The Most Beautiful Names." [Al- Qur’an Qur’an 17:110]   A similar message regarding the beautiful names of Allah (swt) is repeated in the Qur’an in Surah Al -Araf  -Araf  (7:180), in Surah Taha (20:8) and in Surah Al-Hashr (59:24). The Qur’an gives no less than ninety -nine -nine different attributes to Almighty Allah. The Qur ’an ’an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and Al-Hakeem (All Wise) among many other  names. You can call Allah by any name but that name should be beautiful and should not conjure up a  mental picture. Rigveda  i)  The oldest of all the vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the Hindus. The  Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46:  Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names. [Rigveda 1:164:46]  ii)  The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned in  Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1. Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda Book II  hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means The Creator. Translated into Arabic it means Khaliq. Muslims  can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaliq or Creator or Brahma. However if it is said  that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head having a crown, Muslims take strong  exception to it. Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of Yajurveda:  Na tasya Pratima asti  There is no image of Him. [Yajurveda 32:3]  Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu. Vishnu  means The Sustainer. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, Muslims can have no objection if  Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or 'Sustainer' or Vishnu. But the popular image of Vishnu among  Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding the Chakra, i.e. a discus  and one of the left arms holding a conch shell, or riding a bird or reclining on a snake couch. Muslims can  never accept any image of God. As mentioned earlier this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad  Chapter 4 verse 19. Na tasya pratima asti  „There is no likeness of Him‟ UNQUOTE: Brahma in Sanskrit has got several meanings. One of the many meanings is Creator. Similarly, for the English word „Creator‟, many Sanskrit words can be used like „Janak‟, „Utpadak‟, „Dhata‟ „Vidhata‟ „Vishwvidhayee‟ „Jagat Srishta‟ and „Shrishti Karta‟ as well as „Brahma‟. If Mr. Yawar Baig knows only one meaning of Brahma, it is his lack of knowledge. Similarly, there are various meanings of the Sanskrit word „Vishnu‟, one of which is Sustainer or Cherisher. Likewise, Sustainer can be translated into different Sanskrit words including „Stithi Karta‟ as well as „Vishnu‟. If you read the complete context of Dr. Zakir Naik‟s book, he is actually not permitting people to call Allah as Brahma or Vishnu, even though it means Creator and Sustainer, but objects to it since it goes against the criteria of Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, because they are giving qualities of His creation to Allah (i.e. qualities of human beings i.e. human hands, human body etc.). In the same article Mr. Yawar Baig writes that you can call Allah by the name God or Khuda. He says: QUOTE: “Referring to Allah by generic terms like god, khuda (Urdu & Farsi), and avane (Tamil) and so on is different as there is no personality concept attached to that. Words like khuda are used exclusively for  Allah in the Urdu and Farsi languages. However even in this case it is far better to say Allah rather than  khuda.”  UNQUOTE: Even though I personally do not mind Mr. Baig‟s statement but if critically analyzed, it is seriously objectionable as compared to Dr. Zakir Naik‟s statement where he objects, calling Allah as Brahma having four heads and arms. Khuda may be exclusively used for Allah by some Muslims only, but there are many Hindus who use the word Khuda for Ram, Krishna, Brahma, Vishnu etc. Similarly Parsis use the word „Khuda‟ to refer to their  god „Ahura Mazda‟. Mr. Baig also gives permission to call Allah as „god‟. Calling Allah by „god‟ with a small „g‟ is 100% wrong. Even if capital „G‟ is used for God, some Muslims may use God exclusively for  Allah, but most of the Christians when they use the word God with a capital „G‟, they are referring to Jesus (peace be upon him). God according to the Oxford dictionary means (a) “A super human being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature. (b) An image, idol, animal or other objects symbolizing a God. An adored, admired or influential person”. I would like to ask Mr. Baig, which of the attributes of Allah mentioned in the Qur‟an matches with the meaning of the English word God. Infact, Dr. Zakir Naik writes in his book: QUOTE: By what name do we call God?  The Muslims prefer calling the Supreme Creator, Allah, instead of by the English word God. The Arabic  word, Allah, is pure and unique, unlike the English word God, which can be played around with. If you add s to the word God, it becomes Gods, that is the plural of God. Allah is one and singular, there is no plural of Allah. If you add 'dess' to the word God, it becomes Goddess that is a female God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. A llah has no gender. If you add the word father to God it becomes God-father. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no word like Allah-Abba or Allahfather. If you add the word mother to God, it becomes God-mother. There is nothing like Allah-Ammi, or Allah-mother in Islam. Allah is a unique word. If you prefix tin before the word God, it becomes tin-God i.e., fake God. Allah is a unique word, which does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Therefore the Muslims prefer using the Arabic word Allah for the Almighty. Sometimes, however, while speaking to the non-Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word God, for Allah. UNQUOTE: I as a da‟ee understand both Mr. Baig and Dr. Naik, but if you critically analyze all of the above, Mr. Baig gives permission to call Allah as god (God) or Khuda, even though he says Allah is better. Dr. Zakir Naik says only for Da‟wah if some Muslims use the word God for Allah while speaking to Non -Muslims who do not understand the meaning of Allah he will not object. But yet he says that God is not the appropriate word for Allah. He is clear that in normal circumstances Allah cannot be translated as God. Mr. Baig has said that Dr. Zakir Naik‟s articles should be checked by Aalims who have passed from Islamic Universities. Unfortunately, Mr. Mirza Baig does not know that there are several Aalims in Dr. Zakir Naik‟s organization the Islamic Research Foundation, many of whom are graduates from the Islamic University of Madeenah, which is one of the most reputed Islamic Universities of the world. Almost all the talks, articles and books by Dr. Zakir Naik are checked and verified by these scholars. It is Mr. Mirza Baig who should verify and check up his Islamic knowledge. Now let us see what Mr. Baig himself does when it comes to his own ar ticles. In his article “Leadership, A Journey of Self Discovery” that appeared in an issue “Here & Now”, the quarterly newsletter of ISABS he gives parables and tales of Hindu gods from Hindu mythology to prove his contentions. Et tu Brutus, Mr. Baig?  Women in the Mosque Question: Why are women not allowed in the mosque? Answer: 1. There is not a single verse in the Qur‟an, which prohibits ladies from entering mosques. There is not a single authentic Hadith which I am aware of which states that the Prophet (pbuh) prevented or forbade women from going to mosques. There is only one Hadith, which perhaps could have been misunderstood to mean that women should not go to the mosque. That Hadith is as follows: Abdullah Bin Mas‟ud reported the Prophet (pbuh) as saying: It is more excellent for a woman to pray in her house than in her courtyard, and more excellent for her to pray in her private chamber than in her house. [Sunan Abu Dawood Vol.1 Chapter 204 Hadith No.570] If you base your conclusion only on this single Hadith, then you may wrongly conclude that it is not advisable or preferable for women to go to the mosque. However, your conclusion cannot be based only on one Hadith neglecting or ignoring all the other Ahadith. The context of the Hadith is also very important. The Prophet (pbuh) said that if a person prays in the mosque he gets 27 times more blessings (Sawab). Some women argued that they had infants at home and other household work and therefore could not go to the mosque. Thus, the men would have a greater advantage than women for receiving such blessings. It is then that the Prophet (pbuh) said the above Hadith. Hence, the conclusion is that in situations where women have infants and household work, which too is an important duty that cannot be neglected, women would not be deprived of the sawaab (blessings) if they pray in their own homes. 2. There are several Ahadith which prove that both men and women used to go to the mosques during the life of the prophet (pbuh): (i) The Prophet (pbuh) said, „Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from going to the mosque of  Allah.‟ [Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Chapter 177 Hadith No.886] (ii) And husbands were specifically told by him, “If the wife of any one of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book of Salaah, Chapter 80, Hadith No. 832) (iii) From the time the Prophet (pbuh) entered Madinah, after Hijra, till his demise, he never prevented women from entering the mosque. (iv) During the time of the Prophet (pbuh), women not only went to the mosques for prayer but also for religious education and literary discussions as the mosque was the centre of community. Several Ahadith tell us that the Prophet (pbuh) addressed people in the mosque, and the audience consisted of both Muslim men and women. Women many a times asked ask ed questions to the Prophet (pbuh) in the mosque. (v) During the Prophet‟s (pbuh) time, mosques had separate entrances for ladies. Women filled the mosques from behind while men had separate entrances and filled the mosques from the front. In between the two sections were children. (vi) It is reported by Abu Hurairah that the Proph et (Pbuh) said: “The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones are the last. The best rows for women are the last ones, and the worst ones for them are the first.” [Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Chapter 175 Hadith No.881) 3. Islam permits women to pray in mosques. Ladies should have separate and equal facilities. Islam does not permit the intermingling of sexes. Otherwise, there will be a similar scene in mosques like other places of worship where some people even come for „bird -watching‟ and eve teasing. 4. In recent times, women are not allowed in mosques in a few countries especially in India and its neighbouring countries. Otherwise, in most of the other countries, women are allowed in mosques. Women are allowed in mosques in Saudi Arabia, in U.A.E; in Egypt, in U.S.A; in the U.K and in Singapore. Women are also allowed in the sacred mosques, Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah and in Masjid-eNabawi in Madinah. Allahamdulillah, the trend is now changing in India. We have several mosques in India and a few in Mumbai in which women come to pray in mosques (masaajid). Why do Muslims follow the lunar calender Question: Why do Muslims follow the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar? Answer: 1. As per the Solar calendar, every year the months fall in the same respective seasons of that location. For example, the months of March, April and May in India will always have summer, while July, August, September will always have monsoons i.e. rains in western India. November, December and January will always have winter. 2. In the lunar calendar in different years the months fall in a different season. The lunar calendar has about 11 days less than the solar calendar. Thus, every year, the month of the lunar calendar occurs 11 days prior to what it had occurred in the previous solar year. Thus, in a span of about 33 lunar years a human being will experience all the different seasons for one particular month of the lunar calendar. This is very important because the yearly activities of a Muslim are based on the lunar calendar. Certain months like Ramadhan and Hajj are very important to the Muslims. During Ramadhan a Muslim has to fast which includes abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. If the Islamic months were based on the solar calendar where the seasons were fixed, then people living in certain parts of the world would have Ramadhan in summer while in other parts of the world it would be winter. Some Muslims would have to fast for f or a longer period of time where the days are long while other Muslims would have to fast for shorter period of time where the days are short. If the seasons did n ot change, then Muslims living in some parts of the world may feel that they are at a disadvantage throughout their lives. li ves. By following the lunar calendar, every Muslim has a taste of fasting in different seasons and for a different time period, in a span of about 33 years of his life. Why are all prayers and supplications not answered or fulfilled by Allah (SWT)? Question Why are all prayers and supplications not answered or fulfilled by Allah (SWT)? Answer 1. You may dislike a thing which is good for you (2:216) The reply to this question is given in the Glorious Qur‟an in Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verse 216: “But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for  you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” 2. Praying for a motor cycle. There may be a very pious person who prays to Allah (SWT) ( SWT) for a motor cycle but the prayer is not answered. Allah knows very well that if the person acquires a motor cycle he will have an accident and get crippled. The Qur‟an rightly says you may love a thing which is bad for you but Allah knows and you know not. 3. Businessman misses flight due to traffic jam. Suppose a rich businessman is supposed to catch a flight in order to click a deal which would fetch him billions of rupees. While going to the airport to catch the flight, there was an unusual traffic jam on the road, which prevented him from reaching the airport on time. The businessman misses the very flight and sorrowfully says “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life.” While returning back home he hears on the radio that the very flight that he was supposed to catch has crashed and all the passengers have died. d ied. The businessman happily says: this is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. Allah knew best that the life of the businessman was much more m ore precious than the billions of rupees that he had lost. You may dislike a thing which is good for you, but Allah knows and you know not. 4. Surah Shura-chapter 42 verse 27. The Qur‟an mentions in Surah Shura chapter 42 verse 27 “If Allah were to enlarge the provision for His Servants, they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds through the earth; but He sends (it) down in due measure as He pleases. For He is with His servants wellacquainted, watchful.” 5. Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verse 186. It is mentioned in the Qur‟an in Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verse 186 “When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me:” 6. Surah Ghafir chapter 40 verse 60. It is mentioned in Surah Ghafir Gh afir chapter 40 verse 60 “And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell  – in humiliation! 7. Allah answers your prayer by not answering. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur‟an that “you call on Me and I will answer the prayer”. These verses of the Qur‟an are not falsified when your prayers are not answered. In fact Allah (SWT) in His Divine Wisdom answers your prayers by not granting you what you with your limited and finite fin ite knowledge had asked for. 8. Unbelievers and impious people have luxury. Some people wonder how is it that several unbelievers and impious people lead a luxurious life. They worship false gods and pray to them for wealth. Since these people worship false gods yet, Allah (SWT) answers their prayers and gives them wealth which further leads them away from Allah (SWT) (SW T) and thus in the long run it is harmful for them. 9. Believers remember Allah whether rich or poor. A true believer is a person who, irrespective of whether he is rich or poor, remembers Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) has described such people in Surah Al Noor chapter 24 verse 37 “By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert fr om om the remembrance of Allah nor from regular prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes e yes will be transformed (in a world wholly new)- “ 10. A True believer always says Alhamdullillah. A true believ er is a person who irrespective of what ever happens says, „Alhamdulillah‟. Praise be to Allah. Even when he goes in loss he says Alhamdullillah, because he has faith in Allah that if Allah permitted the loss to be incurred it has to be beneficial in the long run. In short he has faith in Allah, that whatever happens, happens for the good. And Allah Knows Best. Why building of Temples and Churches, and propagating other religions, is prohibited in Saudi Arabia? Question.. Question Why is building of temples and churches and the propagation of any religion other than Islam not allowed in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia? Answer. 1. Example of selecting a Maths teacher: Suppose you are a principal pr incipal of a school and you have to select a Mathematics teacher. It is obvious that you will interview the candidates. If one teacher says that 2 + 2 = 3, the other says 2 + 2 = 4 and the third says s ays 2 + 2 = 5 whom will you select? Since you know mathematics is logical, you will never select o r allow a person to teach mathematics who doesn‟t even know the basics of arithmetic that 2 + 2 = 4. 2. Where religion is concerned Muslims are experts: Similarly in the field of religion, Muslims a re the best and Qur‟an clearly mentions in Surah Ale Imran, Chapter 3, verse 19 (3:19): “The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will)”. [Al -Qur‟an 3:19] It is further mentioned In Surah Ale Imran Chapter 3, verse 85 (3:85) “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).” [Al -Qur‟an 3:85] 3. No other religious scripture claims that its religion alone is true. There is no other religious scripture on the face of the earth besides the Qur‟an which says that only its religion is true, correct and acceptable to Almighty God, and that all the other religions are false and hence not acceptable to Almighty God. If you are a school principal who knows Maths, you will never allow a person to teach Maths in your sc hool who does not know Maths. Similarly Muslims, who are experts in the field of religion and know that Islam is the only true religion, will not allow anyone in the country of Saudi Arabia to preach any other religion besides Islam. Muslims also know that what the true concept of Almighty God i.e. Allah (SWT) is, and thus we will not permit anyone to build, in the country of Saudi Arabia, a place of worship where they worship a nyone besides Allah (swt). And Allah Knows Best.