Questions & Answers

 -Answers by Allama

HALALA and MUTA (contract marriage) in ISLAM


  1. I came to know if someone has divorced his wife and wants to remarry her again, he cannot remarry her till she marries someone else and gets divorced by the second husband to remarry her first husband. This is called ‘Halala’. Is Halala really Halal? Is it quoted some where in Qur’an? In Indian sub continent the concept of Halala exists but not in the Middle East.
  2. In Iran there is a concept of Muta (contract marriage). Was this acceptable at the time of the Prophet (Pbuh)? Since when is it not accepted in Sunnis? In Shias, it is accepted at present also? In both the conditions i.e.Halal or Muta, the intention of the marrying man is to give divorce to the woman. Is this acceptable in Islam? If this problem is mentioned in Qur’an, please give reference.

Dr.Riazul Abidin, New Delhi.


 As you have pointed out, the intention of giving a divorce after some time, is common to both the distorted version of halala and Muta (the short term marriage). A Nikah with a prior intention of Talaq is not permitted and hence both the above are unlawful.

A Nikah in Islam is an Ibadat and is a contract of permanent nature till it is impossible for them to adjust later on for reasons unforeseen at the time of marriage. Describing the nature of permanency in a contract of Nikah, the Qur’an says: “They (the wives) have taken from you a solemn covenant.” (4:21)

This solemn covenant is not merely to satiate the sexual desire but its purpose is to achieve mental peace in life.

“And amongst 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 among you..” (30:21)

The husband and wife are like garments for each other. The garments act as adornment and provide protection, likewise the spouse are each other’s adornment and provide protection to each other.

“They are your garments and you are their garments..” (2:187)

“Nobody sows seeds in his land to abandon it afterwards. Wives are like tilth for men whom they care for and maintain. Your wives are your tilth..” (2:223)

The Prophet (Pbuh) pronounced a good wife a most prized possession and for Talaq he said it is most abhorrent of permitted acts in the eyes of Allah. Qur’an advised men to adjust with their wives even if they came to dislike them (4:19) and the Prophet (Pbuh) advised men not to divorce their wives for reasons other than their licentiousness. (Tabrani)

The above scenario has no relation with the concept of distorted Halala and Muta. Both these concepts are being discussed below separately.


The Holy Qur’an expounds: “So if a husband divorces his wife (for a third time), he cannot, after that remarry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her. In that case, there is no blame on either of them if they re-unite, provided they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. Such are the limits ordained by Allah which He makes plain to those who know”. (2:230).

A man is entitled to take his wife back twice after two respective Talaqs and for a third time also before the expiry of her Iddat after he gives her a Talaq for the third time. But after that the separation is irrevocable. She is then free to be married to any other person of her choice. If then in the normal course of life a dispute between them develops leading to first Talaq by the second husband, she is again free to be married to any person of her choice including the second husband (by whom she has got the first divorce) and also including the first husband as well. The relevant point here is that a Halala cannot be planned in advance, as a Nikah between her and the second husband with an understanding of a divorce afterwards will not be valid. If she does so, it will be an illegitimate relationship with the second husband and with the first husband also with whom she comes to live after a pre-planned Halala. The Prophet (Pbuh) has cursed both such men who perform Halala and for whom Halala is performed. The second Caliph Hazrat Umar ruled during his reign that he will punish with stoning to death, those who perform a pre-planned Halala. Imam Sufian Sauri says: “ If someone marries a woman to make her Halal (for her ex-husband) and then wants to keep her as wife, he is not permitted to do so unless he solemnises a Nikah afresh, as the previous Nikah was unlawful.” (Trimizi)

Muta Limited term marriage contract

The following comparison between a universally accepted Nikah and a Muta will be sufficient for even a layman to pronounce through common sense that muta is illegitimate sex.

* Two witnesses are a must (according to all Shia Scholars) for a normal Nikah to be solemnised. No witness is required for the contract of Muta.

* The husband is responsible for the maintenance of wife including her clothes and lodging.

* In a Muta, the man has no such responsibility.

* In special circumstances, and subject to some stiff conditions, a man can have more than one wife, but not exceeding four wives.

* In case of Muta, a man can keep as many women as he likes without any condition of equality between them.

* A wife has a share in her husband’s property after his death. The women of the Muta contract has no share in the man’s property in case of his death.

* According, to Shia scholars, the consent of the girl’s father is essential in a marriage if the girl is a virgin. The consent of the girl’s father is not necessary in Muta even if the girl is a virgin.

* The term of the normal Nikah is till the death of the spouse. The term of a Muta contract may be fixed at 15 minutes or 50 years as per agreement between them.

* Shia scholars decree that two just witnesses are necessary for a Talaq to be valid. No witness is required to terminate the contract of Muta.

* The Iddat or waiting period of the divorced woman is 3 months and 10 days. The waiting period of the divorced woman of a Muta is half of the above.

* Talaq of a normal marriage cannot be pronounced during the menstrual period of the wife. There is no such condition for terminating Muta contract.

* The wife is entitled to her maintenance during the Iddat of Talaq in a normal marriage. She has no right of maintenance during the Iddat of a Muta.

Shia scholars try to legitimise Muta by quoting the following Qur’anic verse: “Except for those (women described earlier) all other are lawful provided you seek them in marriage with gifts from your property desiring chastity, not fornication. Give them their Mehar for the “Istamta benefit you have of them as a duty..” (4:24).

From the Arabic word ‘Istamta’, the Shias of Imamia sect derive that the verse is about ‘Muta’ as both the words have the same root. But reading it with the specific instruction of the same verse, “desiring chastity, not fornication” makes it amply clear that the verse concerns a legitimate permanent Nikah instead of a short term ‘Muta’ which is nothing but fornication as is evident from the comparison given earlier. Fixed term marriage, that is the Nikah with prior intention of termination, is a sexual independence limited by only one condition that the woman in contract should not be a legitimate wife of someone at the time of contract. If this condition is met anyone can enter into Muta contract with her consent without having a witness at the time of contract, without taking her father’s consent even if she is a virgin and minor. There is no responsibility of the man to provide her maintenance and he is free to keep hundreds of such women together under one roof. If this is not fornication then what is it?

Allah Almighty declared in Qur’an: “We exalted the sons of Adam..” (17:70).

The Prophet(Pbuh) said: I have been raised for the completion of moral values.

How can there be a place for Muta in Islam whose scripture declares that successful are those believers “..who guard their modesty except with those joined to them in the marriage bond or (the captives) in your possession (whom you can marry). For (in the above two cases) they are free from blame. But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors.” (23:5.7)

Muta, in fact was a custom of the Arabs of the days of ignorance which remained in practice during the earlier days of the Prophet’s (Pbuh) era till on the day of Khaibar of the last Hajj, the Prophet (Pbuh) pronounced its total prohibition, in the same manner as wines were declared unlawful in a phased manner.

Those Shia scholars who claim that Muta was first banned by Hazrat Umar (pbuh) during his reign forget that Imam Ali (pbuh) maintained the prohibition of Muta during his rule of Caliph Dom and the actions of Imam Ali should be binding on all Shia Muslims.

Hazrat Ayesha was 17 at Nikah, Not 7

Q: I am a devout Muslim but I get deeply disturbed at the thought of 53 year old prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) marrying Hazrat Ayesha who was just nine years old. We are unable to explain this in the present society. Surely the reason for this marriage cannot be blatant sensuality. But please tell me how can we explain this to non-Muslims? The age difference defies all logic. It involves questions of pre-puberty alliance, question of psychological incompatibility.

Answered by Allama Syed Abdullah Tariq: It is widely believed that Hazrat Ayesha’s age was seven years when she was married to the Prophet (Pbuh) and she was 9 when she came to live with him but this is wrong. The fact is that she was 17 when married and 19 at the time of her rukhsati (departure from her home to the husband’s house). There are too many indisputable evidences in favour of this. A few of those are listed below:

  1. Imam Waliuddin Muhammad Abdullah Al-Khateeb, the author of famous work on Hadith, namely Mishkaat was also an acknowledged expert of Asma-ur-Rijal (the unique art of research on people). He registered the following about Hazrat Asma at the end of Mishkaat.

“She is Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq…She is the mother of Abdullah Bin Zubair…

She was 10 years older than her sister Ayesha..

.She died at the age of 100 in Makkah in 73AH…”(Mishkaat, Asma-ur-Rijal)

There is unanimity among all the scholars of Asma-ur-Rijal and historians on the above-mentioned facts.

It can be easily computed from above that being 100 years old in 73 AH, Hazrat Asma, daughter of Hazrat Abu Bak’r was at least 27 (100-73) years old at the time of Hijrah of the Prophet (Pbuh). If she died in the beginning of 73 AH, then her age was (100-72) 28 years at Hijrah. It is stated above that she was 10 years older than Hazrat Ayesha. It means Hazrat Ayesha was 18 years old at Hijrah. She came into the Nikah of the Prophet (Pbuh) one year before Hijrah and she shifted to the Prophet’s house two years later. Clearly, she was 17 at the time of nikah and 19 at her rukhsati.

  1. The historians have placed Hazrat Ayesha between No. 17 and 20 in the list of those who were earliest to embrace Islam. Ibne Ishaq, the earliest authentic Islamic historian has placed her at No. 18. We also know that Hazrat Umar was the 40th person to embrace Islam and he entered into the faith in the first year of prophet hood. It means Hazrat Ayesha was among those few who embraced Islam almost immediately after the declaration of prophet hood. She must have been at least 5 years old to be categorized in the list of those who embraced Islam. Therefore her age was 18 when Hijrah came about 13 years later.

Examination of Hazrat Ayesha’s biography through accounts of Asma-ur-Rijal reveals that she was 17 when married to the Prophet and 19 when she came to live with him

Now imagine this. The saying goes that she was 7 at her nikah i.e. 8 at Hijrah that occurred 13 years after the declaration of prophethood. If it were true the declaration of prophethood occurred 5 years before her birth. Did she embrace Islam 5 years prior to her birth?

  1. There are indications that she was among those who went to war of Badr’ but her presence in the battleground of Uhad is beyond doubt. It is in many authentic books of Hadiths and history that she was among those women in Uhad who were carrying water to the injured Sahaba. Now remember the incident of two young boys Rafe and Samra who were 13 and the Prophet (Pbuh) was not permitting them to join forces for their age but later agreed to their pleading as they were very enthusiastic. If Hazrat Ayesha was 10 when Uhad came about in 2 AH, was it possible that a new bride of 10 would have been permitted while the young boys of 13 were refused permission to go to battle ground of Uhad? On the contrary if she was 18 at Hijrah her age was 20 and fit to take care of the injured in the battlefield when Uhad took place.

There are quite a number of other irrefutable evidences of her age being 19 when she entered into the Prophet’s home 2 years after her Nikah to him.

The wrong notion of her being 7 at marriage is widely accepted (and many Fiqh deductions are erroneously made on its basis) as there is a false report narrated by Hashsham bin Urwah in all the six most authentic collections of Hadith i.e. Sihah-e-Sittah.

 Hashsham bin Urwah was a very reliable narrator according to all scholars but this fact skipped the scrutiny of the famous Muhaddiseen of Sihah-e-Sittah that Hashsham became forgetful and unbalanced at his old age when he shifted to Iraq. The said report was narrated by him while he was in Iraq.

 Hashsham was the teacher of Imam Malik and he has accepted a number of Hadiths narrated by him in his collection of Hadith, Muatta. It was none other than Imam Malik, Hahsham’s disciple who declared after Hashsham shifted to Iraq that none of his former teachers’ statements were reliable anymore because of his mental condition. The compilers of Sihah-e-Sittah, all being non-Arabs were not aware of it.

Now you know that when Hazrat Ayesha came to the Prophet’s house she was a major. The age difference is still considerable but no law of any land objects to the union of mutual willful consent of two majors. Remember also that the Prophet (pbuh) possessed exceptional health at 53 with all his hair black and he being stronger than most youngsters. Besides he was an ideal husband and the history testifies to his ideal care of his young wife with all the psychological considerations. 

How Shaitan Misleads man?

Q: Shaitaan (Iblis) was thrown out by Almighty Allah on not obeying the orders. Thus Shaitaan is one entity, how can he be present at so many places at one given time to distort Muslims believers from doing their duties.

(Zakir Patel; Baroda)

Answer by Allama Syed Abdullah Tariq:

Adam was alone in the beginning and God created for him, his wife so that the human race could start and spread. Iblis is one person but being from Jinns, he may have his progeny. At which stage, Allah created his pair, is not known to us, as most other things about them are also unknown. We know that Iblis was the most learned and respectable of all Jinns before being expelled from the proximity of Allah. It does not necessarily mean that he was the lone person of his race when his expulsion came about. In one of the ayat, where his non-compliance is described, it is at the same time stated that he was from among (the race of Jinn), which indicates that there may have been others of his race at that time also, though not necessarily in high heavens. The relevant ayat is: “…they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns and he broke the Command of his Lord.” (18:50)

Shaitan has not to be physically present near a man to allure him. Being a person whose basic constituent of the body is heat energy instead of matter, he can penetrate and infiltrate from a distance in different directions. 

The Qur’an tells us that he misleads by sending thought waves (Waswasa).

Qur’an has used, the words ‘tribe of Shaitan, hosts of Shaitans, brothers of Shaitans and it informs us that the Shaitans are from both Jinns and humankind. See the ayat 7:27, 26:95, 17:27, and 6:112 etc. So there are and have been innumerable number of devils from among Jinns and human beings from day one.

Besides the above, it is possible for a Shaitan from Jinns to tempt and mislead more than one person from human beings even if they are at different places. Shaitan has not to be physically present near a man to allure him. Being a person whose basic constituent of the body is heat energy instead of matter, he can penetrate and infiltrate from a distance in different directions. The Qur’an tells us that he misleads by sending thought waves (Waswasa). He did not allure Adam by physically sneaking into the heaven from where he had been expelled. There was no question of his approaching near a place where from none other than Allah had debarred him. He allured Adam and Hawwa by sending thought waves. “Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said “Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever.” (7:20). We have been warned thus:

“O ye children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you in the same manner as he got your parents out of the garden stripping them of their raiment to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the devil the protecting friends of those without faith.” (7:27) 

Inter Caste Marriages

Q.1. I am a Hindu. Recently near our colony a Hindu boy married a Muslim girl. Later I am told that before the marriage, the Hindu boy was being asked to change his religion from Hinduism to Islam. In this case, why cannot the girl change her religion to marry the boy.

Ravi, Behrampur

2. A Hindu woman married a Muslim man and is following Hinduism. She did not undergo Nikah. They kept Hindu names of their children and did not perform their circumcision. All of them including the husband talk Kannada in their home. This man neither married nor is having any relationship with any other women. What is the Islamic law in this case?

(XXX. Bijapur)

3. A Muslim married a Hindu. Both of them remained in their respective religions and it was known to all the relatives, friends and accquaintance that the Muslim spouse continue his/her/Muslim identity. Will his/her Namaz-e-Janaza be offered by the Muslims and will he/she be allowed to be buried in the Muslim burial ground?

Under orders from a local Moulvi, the residents of the locality did not offer Namaz-e-Janaza in such a case and did not allow the burial in the Muslim burial ground. Is it right?

If the children of the above couple and free to choose the faith of their liking from any of the two religions, what will happen if they die before maturity?

C.M. Jadwet, Calcutta

A.1. Islam does not approve of idolatry and assigning attributes of one God, to any other person or entity. The above sin will not be forgiven on the Day of Judgement. Although in recommends good peaceful relations with the peace loving non-Muslims, a compromise on faith is not permitted. As there shall be no re-birth in this world and a soul has its eternal abode in either the paradise or hell, how can Islam allow a Muslim to prefer burring in hell-fire by getting out of Islam for marriage? Qur’an has warned the Muslims thus. “Believers, fear Allah as your rightly should and do not die except as Muslim” (Surah Al-Imran 3:102)

A.2. There is no harm if they speak Kannada. A language has not bearing on religion. Even keeping the local names of the children, provided the meaning of the name is not Mushrikana or Unislamic and not getting them circumcised could be ignored, but the very fact that he is living with a Hindu woman, makes him a perpetual and consistent sinner. As for his punishment in Islamic law, it is irrelevant because if cannot be implemented.

A.3.Living constantly under sin does not make a person murtad (a renegade). Those wishing to offer his/her funeral prayer should not be barred from even motivated against it. There also is not justification in not letting the body be buried in the Muslim burial ground.

The children who do not attain the age of accountability, do not suffer for the misdeeds of their parents. They shall enter paradise.

Is it permitted for a Muslim to sing ‘Jan Gan Man’?

Q: Asalamualikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

What is the Meaning of National Anthem of India?

Jana gaṇa mana adhināyaka jaya he

Bhārata bhāgya vidhātā

Pañjāba Sindhu Gujarāṭa Marāṭhā

Drāviḍa Utkala Vaṅga

Vindhya Himāchala Yamunā Gaṅgā

Ucchala jaladhi taraṅga

Tav śubha nāme jāge

Tav śubha āśiṣa māge

Gāhe taba jaya gāthā

Jana gaṇa maṅgala dāyaka jaya he

Bhārata bhāgya vidhāta

Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he

Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

&  is it permitted to sing for muslim children or not? 

kindly clarify..


Muhammad Irfan Naik


Islami Jamiat e Talab J&K

District Doda


Wa Alaikum-as-Salaam WRWB

Following is almost the literal translation:

Applause to You, O Ruler of the minds of all people,

Dispenser of the Destiny of India.

Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maharashtra

Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Bengal

Central India, Himachal, Yamuna and Ganga

and the swinging waves of the sea

They arouse Your Holy Name

They seek your Holy Blessings

They sing the song of Your applause

Applause to you, O giver of happiness to all people

Dispenser of India’s destiny.

Applause to you, applause to you, applause to you.

A longer poem was written by Rabindra Nath Tagore, out of which these stanzas were picked for National Anthem. Tagore declared that he wrote it in God’s praise which means it is a Ham’d (song written in praise of Allah).

 No National anthem of any other country is sung in the praise of God. Even Iqbal’s Sare Jahan Se Achchha was in praise of the country and not for the Destiny maker of the country. The supporters of Vande Mataram claimed that he wrote it in praise of King George V and the Queen of England. They want it to be replaced by Vande Mataram.

Whatever the truth, if we sing it with the intention of praising Allah SWT, it is a very good Ham’d.

Salam to all

Syed Abdullah Tariq

Azaan on Moon

‘Azaan on Moon’ 

Q: In my school days I heard a rumour that the astronaut Neil Armstrong heard Azan when he first stepped on the moon? If this is true, then surely it was the Almighty’s proclamation that even if humans have reached the moon, Allah is the greatest. Later on other expeditions to moon, it was found that once our Prophet (Pbuh) split the moon in two equal halves by pointing his finger at it.

Are these rumours true and did Neil Armstrong embrace Islam?

Syed Muzaffar Jamil, Earbil.

Answer: Neil Armstrong never embraced Islam and it is wrong that he heard Azaan when he stepped over the moon. Armstrong himself refuted the rumour when it was widespread among Muslims throughout the world. The Prophet’s (Pbuh) miracle apart, the man has not yet found any visible sign on the moon of its cracking into two halves.

Please understand that Allah’s greatness is proved by the startling organisation in this amazingly huge universe rather than the chaos and the un-natural phenomenon’s. Likewise, the supremacy of Islam lies in the continuous pouring of proofs from the universe in support of its principles and declarations which by the passing of each day prove that it is religion of nature, other than the breaker of the nature’s principles. Before the age of science, the Prophets were given such miracles that astonished people, but even then, nobody accepted the Prophets because of their miracles except a very minuscule minority. Though Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was also given a large number of such miracles but the Almighty Allah, instead of calling them ‘Signs’ named more than 600 ayahs of the holy Qur’an his ‘Signs’ given to the Prophet (Pbuh). The miracles loose their existence with the person to whom they were assigned but the greatest Signs ever given by the Lord to any Human being ever, the Qur’an will exist till the last day. Hazrat Musa’s (A.S) and Hazrat Eisa’s born-alive are no more, the Thorat and Injeel do not exist in original, but the Sign given to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is a living sign. The holy Prophet (Pbuh) himself declared that the miracles of Qur’an will never cease to go on unraveling until the last day.

Concentrate upon his great Sign of Allah to amaze people and make them accept the Lord’s greatness and Islam’s truth. You will never be disappointed like you might have felt disappointment over the fallacy of miraculous rumours of discovery of lack in the moon and the echo of Azaan in the outer space. Please also remember that the disbelievers can always come up with false claims of greater miracles than the actual miracles of the Prophet of Allah but they can never come up and compete with anything more starting than Qur’an.

Answered by Syed Abdullah Tariq in ‘Islamic Voice’


Q.(i) Is the meal or feast on which Fateha (Al-Fateha) is recited is forbidden or not? After death of a person, on the second day, ‘Fateha’ is recited on gram or seeds of the fruits for the benefit of deceased. Please do write about it.

(ii) One of my cousin has forcibly forbidden the members of his family (parents too) for not to eat the meals on which Fateha is recited and warned them,if they take the same, they will eat the flesh of pork.

Mohd. Sadique; Jodhpur

2. I have a doubt concerning “Death Feast”. When my father died my brothers and sisters arranged on the third day of his death, a feast for the inhabitants of our village. The feast, which is known by the term “Chavadiyandhiram” (death feast) generally and “Duarirakkal” (making Dua) by its supporters has become an inevitable procedure here and in almost all the districts in Kerala. If anyone avoids the feast, he is branded as “irreligious”. They say the reward for the feast reaches to the soul of the deceased. Feasts are also arranged on the 40th day of death and on the day of completion of one year of death. The former is called “Nalpath” (forty) and the latter is known by the term “Ant” means “Year”. I would like to know if it is Wajib or Sunnah, or at lest Mubah to arrange such a feast.

Abdul Salam; Calicut

Answer: The custom of reciting Surah Fateha and other Surahs and then donating the Sawab to the deceased is commonly known as ‘Fateha’. There is no sense in reciting Qur’an on eatables for this purpose. The distribution of meals, and other raw or cooked eatables, among the poor, is also an act of Sawab and Eisaal-e-Sawab may be done by providing for the needy and hungry. Donating the Sawab of any pious deed to the deceased, is Eisaal-e-Sawab. It is also common sense that Sawab will be due after the distribution of eatables, and hence, Fateha or Eisaal-e-Sawab before the distribution, is meaningless. You cannot donate to others what you have not yourself received. It must be understood that recitation of Qur’an and feeding the hungry are two different acts of Sawab Neither there is any Sawab on reciting the Surahs on the eatables nor praying the Almighty for the donation of Sawab has any sense before the needy are fed. In other words, there is no Fateha before the poor and hungry have been provided.

Arranging the feasts and eating the sweats or meals by the family members of the deceased or his well-to-do relatives or friends, is not an act of Sawab. The deceased will not be benefited by such practices. Also, fixation of days (2nd, 3rd, 10th or 40th) for Esaal-e-Sawab has no basis in Islam. This and converting it into a sort of feast, seems to be the cultural influence of Hindus. Such practices of ignorance must be avoided and opposed. Nevertheless, calling it Haram or even a Bid’at is exaggeration. If a group of people think that such feasts are of any use to the deceased, they are mistaken and must be educated and reasoned with. However, it does not become a Bid’at unless they think that those who do not follow them, are doing something against religion.

Is there any particular virtue if ‘Arafah falls on a Friday?

Q: Is there any particular virtue if ‘Arafah falls on a Friday?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.


We do not know of any hadeeth which says that if ‘Arafah falls on a Friday then Hajj in that year is equivalent to seven Hajjs, rather what is narrated is “seventy Hajjs” or “seventy-two Hajjs”, but neither of them is saheeh anyway. 

The former was narrated in a hadeeth, but it is false and is not saheeh. As for the latter, we could not find any isnaad or matn (text) for it, so it has no basis. 

The text of the hadeeth that has been narrated is:  

“The best of days is the day of ‘Arafah, if it falls on a Friday, and it is better than seventy Hajjs on a day other than Friday.” 

The imams judged this hadeeth to be false and not saheeh: 

  1. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

As for that which is commonly spoken of among the common folk, that it is equivalent to seventy-two Hajjs, this is false and there is no basis for it (in any report) from the Messenger of Allaah or from any of the Sahaabah or Taabi’een, and Allaah knows best. 

Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/65). 

  1. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (207) – after ruling that the hadeeth is false and has no basis- : 

As for the view of al-Zayla’i – according to what it says in Haashiyat Ibn ‘Aabideen (2/348): It was narrated by Razeen ibn Mu’aawiyah in Tajreed al-Sihaah – it should be noted that this book of Razeen’s is a compilation of the six books of Sunnah – al-Saheehayn, the Muwatta’ of Maalik, Sunan Abi Dawood, al-Nasaa’i and al-Tirmidhi – similar to the book of Ibn al-Atheer entitled Jaami’ al-Usool min Ahaadeeth al-Rasool, but in al-Tajreed there are many ahaadeeth for which there is no basis in any of these sources. That is also known from what the scholars have narrated from him, such as al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, and this hadeeth is of that type; there is no basis for it in these books, or in any other well known book of hadeeth. In fact, the great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim stated in al-Zaad (1/17) that it is false.   After discussing the merit of ‘Arafah coinciding with Friday in ten ways that he mentioned, he said: As for that which is commonly spoken of among the common folk, that it is equivalent to seventy-two Hajjs, this is false and there is no basis for it (in any report) from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from any of the Sahaabah or Taabi’een.  

This was supported by al-Manaawi in Fayd al-Qadeer (2/28), then by Ibn ‘Aabideen in al-Haashiyah. End quote. 

In al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (1193) it says: 

Al-Sakhaawi said in al-Fataawa al-Haeethiyyah (2/105): 

This was mentioned by Razeen in his Jaami’ and attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but he did not mention the Sahaabi who narrated it or anyone who transmitted it. End quote. 

In al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (3144) it says: 

Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (8/204), after quoting it from Razeen in al-Jaami’ and noting that he attributed it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): I do not know whether it is valid or not, because he did not mention the Sahaabi who narrated it or anyone who transmitted it. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Naasir al-Deen al-Dimashqi said in Fadl Yawm ‘Arafah

The hadeeth “If the day of ‘Arafah falls on a Friday, it is equivalent to seventy-two Hajjs” is a false hadeeth and is not saheeh. Similarly the report narrated from Zurr ibn Hubaysh, that it is better than seventy Hajjs on a day other than Friday” is not proven. End quote. 

  1. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is there anything narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about the virtue of Hajj being on a Friday? 

He replied: 

There is nothing narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about there being any special virtue in the Day of ‘Arafah falling on a Friday, but the scholars said that if it happens to fall on a Friday, that is a good thing. 

Firstly – because it means that the Hajj is like the Hajj of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as the Prophet’s standing in ‘Arafah happened to be on a Friday. 

Secondly – because on Friday there is a hour when no Muslim slave stands to pray and asks his Lord for something but He will grant it to him, so that is more likely to be answered. 

Thirdly – The Day of ‘Arafah is an Eid and Friday is an Eid, so if the two Eids come together, that is a good thing. 

As for the commonly-held view that Hajj on a Friday is equivalent to seventy Hajjs, that is not correct. 

Al-Liqa’ al-Shahriyyah, 34/question no. 18. 

  1. The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: 

Some people say that if the Day of ‘Arafah happens to fall on a Friday, as it does this year, it will be like doing seven Hajjs. Is there any evidence from the Sunnah for that? 

They replied: 

There is no saheeh evidence for that. Some people claim that it is equivalent to seventy Hajjs, or seventy-two, but that is not correct either.  

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (11/210, 211). 

See also: Fath al-Baari (8/271); Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (4/27) 


Perhaps the reason why this view is so widely held among people is because it is mentioned in the books of the Hanafis and Shaafa’is. 

The Hanafis said:

If ‘Arafah falls on a Friday it has the virtue of seventy Hajjs and all the people will be forgiven with no intermediary. 

And they said: 

The best of days is the day of ‘Arafah, if it falls on a Friday, and it is better than seventy Hajjs on a day other than Friday. 

Radd al-Muhtaar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtaar, 2/621 

And the Shaafa’is said: 

It was said that if the Day of ‘Arafah falls on a Friday, Allaah will forgive all the people in the place of standing, with no intermediary, and on a day other than Friday they will be forgiven with an intermediary i.e., it will be granted to the sinners because of the doers of good.

Mughni al-Muhtaaj (1/497). 


The fact that this hadeeth is false does not mean that there is no special merit in the Day of ‘Arafah falling on a Friday, rather Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned ten special merits thereof, which we will quote here because they are of great benefit. 

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

The correct view is that Friday is the best day of the week and the day of ‘Arafah and the day of Sacrifice are the best days of the year, as are Laylat al-Qadr and the night before Friday. Hence if the day of ‘Arafah falls on a Friday, it is superior to all the other days in several ways: 

1- Coincidence of two days that are the best of days.

2- It is a day in which there is an hour when prayers are answered. Most (scholars) are of the view that it is the last hour after ‘Asr, and the people in the place of standing are all there to offer du’aa’ and beseech Allaah.

3- It falls on the same day that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did Hajj.

4- People all over the world gather there to listen to the khutbah and pray Jumu’ah, and that coincides with the gathering of the people of ‘Arafah on the day of ‘Arafah in ‘Arafah, So the Muslims’ gathering in their mosques and their standing to offer du’aa’ and beseech Allaah coincide in a way that does not happen on any other day.

5- Friday is an Eid, and the day of ‘Arafah is an Eid for the people in ‘Arafah, hence it is makrooh for those who are in ‘Arafah to fast on this day.

Our Shaykh – i.e., Ibn Taymiyah – said: The day of ‘Arafah is only an Eid for those who are in ‘Arafah because they are gathered there, unlike the people in other regions, who only gather on the Day of Sacrifice. So it is an Eid for them. What is meant is that if the day of ‘Arafah falls on a Friday, it is two Eids in one.

6- It coincides with the day when Allaah perfected His religion for His believing slaves and completed His favour upon them, as it is proven in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that Taariq ibn Shihaab said: A Jew came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and said: O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is averse which you read in your Book; if it had been revealed to us Jews and we knew the day on which it was revealed, we would have taken it as a festival. He said: Which verse is that? He said: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” [al-Maa’idah 5:3]. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: I know the day which it was revealed, and the place in which it was revealed. It was revealed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ‘Arafah, on a Friday, when we were standing with him in ‘Arafah.

7- It coincides with the day of the greatest gathering and the great standing of the Day of Resurrection, for the Day of Resurrection will take place on a Friday as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he was admitted to Paradise, on it he was expelled therefrom, and on it the Hour will begin. On that day there is an hour when no Muslim slave asks Allaah for something good but He will grant it to him.”

8- An act of worship or obedience done by the Muslims on Friday or the night before Friday are more than those done on other days, because even evildoers respect Friday and the night before it, and they think that if a person dares to commit sin at that time, Allaah will hasten his punishment and will not give him respite. This is something that is well established in their minds and they know it by experience, because of the great honour that this day has before Allaah, and because He chose it out of all other days, and undoubtedly standing in ‘Arafah on this day is better than on any other day.

9- It coincides with the day when Allaah gives people more in Paradise, which is a Friday. So if ‘Arafah falls on that day, it is extra special and enjoys a virtue that is not shared by any other day.

10-    The Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, draws close to the people in the place of standing in the afternoon of the day of ‘Arafah, then He boasts of them before the angels.  

For these reasons and others, Friday is superior to other days. 

But as for that which is commonly spoken of among the common folk, that it is equivalent to seventy-two Hajjs, this is false and there is no basis for it (in any report) from the Messenger of Allaah or from any of the Sahaabah or Taabi’een. And Allaah knows best. 

by Zaad al-Ma’aad | 21st September 2014


Islamic Flag

Q: This is with reference to Islamic flag under the heading our dialogue dated April 1996 issue. You have mentioned that the biggest flag held by general in command was white in colour and other small flags of black colour were held by all the battalion commanders. The flag was plain with no inscription on it.

But for many years I have seen that on almost all occasions people use green colour flag showing moon and written in Urdu or Arabic, ‘Nara-e-Takbeer Allah-u-Akbar’. Even our Mosques, in all over India are painted green. Recently one of my non-Muslim friends had read this issue and asked me, ‘Why are you using green flag? Are you a pro-Pakistani? But actually we should follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Then how did the green colour come?

Fatima Abdul Rehman, Bombay

Answer: Deen would become very difficult if we were forbidden to act anything, which was not acted upon by the Prophet (Pbuh). The accepted principle in this regard is that anything promoted by the Qur’an or Prophet (Pbuh) is forbidden. There is no harm in using any colour for any flag on any occasion even if it is an army flag. If Pakistan and all the Muslim majority countries used the plain white or black colour flags and Indian Muslims also used the same colour on any occasion in the footsteps of the Prophet (Pbuh) would not the same charge of being pro-Pakistani be labelled? The colour or inscription does not make any flag a pro-Pakistani flag unless it is exactly like a Pakistani flag. Many countries in their flags use the three colours used in our National flag. It does not make our flag pro-any country. To associate, imagined motives behind non-existent trifles is due to distance and mistrust between the two communities created by the interested hate mongers.

Green and white colours were the Prophet’s (pbuh) favourite colours and hence the Muslims, the world over often use these two colours for the things of religious significance. Mosques all over India are not painted green but if some Mosques bear green paint, it is to resemble the green dome of the Prophet’s (pbuh) Mosque in Madina.


Hijab or Job

Q: I have a problem which I would like to tell you. I am a graduate in the field of commerce. I wear hijab and due to which I am finding it very difficult to get jobs. As a result I idle away time which is leading to frustration. Sometimes I feel it is not fair for the companies to reject us outright because they should judge us on our performance rather than our appearance.

Answer: If your circumstances force you to do a job in an office or institution of mixed gender, you must be clear about the minimum requirement of your attire. Following are the three relevant orders.

 “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and not to display of their adornment except that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.” (Qur’an 24:31)


A brief explanation of the underlined phrases in the above verse is as follows:

Lower their gaze: Lowering the gaze does not mean to look towards the earth, especially while conversation with men is necessary. In most cases, the communication between the two will be greatly hampered when both of them are looking downwards. (Remember the men are also asked to lower their gaze in verse 24:30). The Arabic word ‘Ghadh’ means to check and lessen the intensity. The same word has also been used in Qur’an in relation to voice:

“And be moderate in thy pace and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.” (31:19)

The instruction in the relevant verse is not to stare in a frank, provoking and bold way at men. The gaze should be modest if you have to look at them.

Except that which is apparent: There has been much debate over the explanation of this phrase among scholars. Following is one of the most reasonable explanations from the pen of Maulana Maudoodi, a staunch advocate of Purdah.

“Every one (among the religious scholars) has tried to understand as per his insight and the need of women that to what extent, the necessity calls for exposing which part (of the body). What is exposed inevitably and what is exposed as a habit. We say that you should not bind (the phrase in the verse) ‘except which is apparent’, with any of these. A believing woman who wants to remain obedient by heart to Allah and the Prophet (Pbuh) and who is not ready to be down with temptation, can herself make a decision, depending upon her circumstances and needs whether she should expose her face and hands or not, when and when not to expose, how much to expose and how much to conceal. Neither the Shariah’ (Allah and the Prophet) has decreed the absolute verdict in this respect, nor seeing the variance in circumstances and needs, it is the want of wisdom to frame the absolute orders”. (P. 237-38, Maulana Maudoodi, Purdah, 11th ed., Markazi Maktaba Islami Delhi)

  1. Hazrat Asma once came to the house of the Prophet (Pbuh), who was his brother in law (non-Mahram) also, in such clothes through which her body was apparent. The Prophet (Pbuh) turned his face away and said:

“Asma! After a woman reaches adulthood, it is not lawful to see any part of her body except this and this”. Saying this, the Prophet (Pbuh) indicated towards his face and palms”.

The Hadith tells us that the Sat’r (concealable parts of body) of a woman for a non-Mahram man excludes the face and palms.

  1. “O prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons: that is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Q. 33:59)

An outer garment or larger chaddar than the Dupattas (veils over bosoms) is necessary while passing through the streets out of home. It is clear from the verse itself that the order does not concern an indoor home or office where she is already known. In an office, the male colleagues would know a modest woman of chaste character and would not tease or molest her, so there is no compulsion in Deen for wearing the outer garments or Burqah or a chaadar inside the office or place of work. The job in such a place of work is not desirable, where a woman is harassed even after being known of possessing a chaste character.

Know that all orders of Qur’an and Hadith regarding covering up of face are exclusive in relation to Ummahat-ul-Momineen (the Prophet’s wives).

It is not clear what you exactly mean by Hijab in your query. You see that you are not necessarily required to wear a burqah or a chaadar, while entering an office for doing a job there. Of course you have to cover your head and hair as it is included in the Sat’r of a woman. If that is your Hijab and you are not getting a job for covering your head by your dupatta, then you are better off without a job in such an institution. Try in a girls’ or women’s institution.

The life in this world is a life of trial followed by the eternal life hereafter. The nature of trial for each and every individual is different. If you face hardships due to not getting a job for following your Deen, then it is your trial. Face the test with courage and boldness.


Picture of Ka'abah in Mosque

Q: A joint picture of holy Ka’abah, holy Tomb of our beloved Prophet (Pbuh) and one open book say of holy Qur’an is fixed infront of Mahrab where our Pesh Imam leads us for Namaz in the mosque of our area. Is this picture permissible before the Pesh Imam in Ruku and Sajda in Namaz? Is it Bidat?

Answer: First you must be clear about what Bid’at is. The tendency of calling every act Bid’at must be checked as a Muslim takes it more unkindly to be accused of Bid’at than of sin. Different groups call those acts of others Bid’at which they do not agree with. It is creating great divisions. Besides, the Ad’l (justice) of Islam demands that we call a spade a spade, no more no less.

When objected, it was replied that in Haj and Umrah we bow before Ka’abah. In Namaz Niyat, we say. “Facing before Ka’abah”. In some Janimaz (prayer mat), while in some, holy tomb is printed and we bow down in Ruku and Sajda on these. So why object when it is placed in front in the mosque. Please clarify.


The literal meaning of Bid’at is new act or tradition. It is generally believed that all new traditions or acts that were not in the days of the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Companions, are Bid’at but it is not true. Bid’at is such new act or tradition, which becomes an essential part of Deen in the eyes of a group of people. Sometimes a pious act could become Bid’at. Imam Malik never wore shoes in Madinah. He said he could not bear putting on shoes where the feet of the Prophet (Pbuh) might have touched the ground. It was the manifestation of his immense love for the Prophet (Pbuh), an act of piety. However if a group of people start following him in this, considering it a part of Deen to walk barefoot on the streets of Madinah, it will become a Bid’at, a sin. Kissing the finger tips and touching with them the eyes every time, the Prophet’s name is spelled, is an expression of love for the Prophet. But when a group of people start believing it to be necessary obligation of Deen, it becomes Bid’at. So if a group of Namazis in your mosque believe that it is necessary to hang a picture of Ka’abah there, it will become Bid’at. Till they do not consider it a part of Deen it is not a Bid’at.

Another important explanation is also essential before passing a judgment on your query. Life would become very hard if we believe we should not start anything new that was not said or done by the Prophet (Pbuh). The rule is that we should not start or do anything, which the Qur’an and the Prophet (Pbuh) forbade.

Life would become very hard if we believe we should not start anything new that was not said or done by the Prophet (Pbuh). The rule is that we should not start or do anything, which the Qur’an and the Prophet (Pbuh) forbade.

Hanging a drawing of Ka’abah or the Mosque of Prophet (Pbuh) in front of the Imam in a mosque is neither Bid’at nor a sin but it must be discouraged and desisted from. It has the potential of becoming a Bid’at.

Besides there is another grave risk in it. The logic of your Imam is based on ignorance and if it goes a little more wayward it may become very serious. If the picture of Ka’abah in front of your Imam is considered to represent Ka’abah, then your Imam must know that a Muslim does not bow before Ka’abah. We bow not before Ka’abah but only in the direction of Ka’abah (and certainly not in the direction of the Prophet’s Tomb or Mosque). A Muslim bows before none but Allah. When in the mosque of Haram, we face Ka’abah but we do not meditate or concentrate upon it in our prayers. We are required to meditate on the presence of Allah in Namaz whether we are in Haram or somewhere else. If one thinks for a moment that he is bowing before Ka’abah he will be in danger of being very near to Shirk. Many of average Muslims in a mosque do not possess adequate knowledge of Deen. If they start believing that bowing before the picture of Ka’abah is akin to bowing before Ka’abah their Namaz will not remain pure for Allah because as I explained earlier that bowing before anything or anyone except Allah is Shirk.

Bid’at is such new act or tradition, which becomes an essential part of Deen in the eyes of a group of people. Sometimes a pious act could become Bid’at.


Explain this finer point to your Imam very modestly and humbly when he is alone. Admonishing him in the presence of others may hurt his ego and he may not listen to reason. However if the picture has been placed there only for being centrally located and the Namazis do not philosophise or link it with any belief, there is no need to create a controversy. There is no harm in its being there.

Zakat for Medical Treatment

Q: My younger brother-in-law died by liver cancer on January 2, 2000. His son, that means my nephew is suffering from kidney (both) failure. Doctor suggested to transplant his kidney within one year. But they have no source of income and savings. We want to transplant his kidney and it will be needed seven lakh Bangladeshi taka. They will receive only three and half lakh taka after selling their whole properties. Rest of the money is depending on donation/help if Allah may allow to manage by any source. In this situation, will it be allowable for my nephew to receive Zakat?

Answer: He may be helped from Zakat money. When his genuine needs surpass his known sources, he is a poor man. He can certainly receive Zakat under two of the eight prescribed heads ‘Fuqara and Masakeen’, even if he owns property worth 3.5 lakh takas. He also might come under a 3rd prescribed head ‘Fir-Riqaab’ i.e. in freeing the tied necks. I wish him recovery and hope that the affluent would help him from Zakat or by donations.


Q i). When a living creature dies, does it re-appear in any other shape?

Amanullah, Nimbahera, Rajasthan

Q.ii). I have come across many magazines (e.g. Sarita) in which, cases of rebirth have been published. I remember having read that a department was set up by the government a few years back to verify the cases of rebirth and the department concluded after studying about 700 cases that rebirth did exist. I keep coming across people who affirm re-birth (in this world). Kindly clarify.

Ahmed S., Belgaum.

Answer.1. We do not have any scientific means yet, to know of what happens to the soul (the living part of a creature) after death. Death is the name of separation of the soul from the material and lifeless body. After the soul is departed, the constituents of the body which are different elementary, mixture and compound forms. They may be utilised in shaping other bodies of different present or future living beings but there is no scientific proof of any soul which was once united with a body, coming back to exist in another body in this material world. The only source of information, we have is the Word of the Creator Himself who created and controls all souls. The latest and the safe and unaltered word of God, the holy Qur’an declares: “Every living being has to taste death. And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial and (then) to US you shall be recalled”. (21:35) In the gospel, the Christ Isa (A.S.) is reported to have announced of the eternal life of bliss or punishment of the souls: “And these (evil ones) shall go away into everlasting punishment but the righteous into life eternal.” (Mat. 25:46) Vedas are proclaimed as Word of God by Hindus. The Vedic Rishis knew of the only one eternal life of reward or punishment and they taught to pray for the life of bliss: “Make me immortal in that realm where happiness, transports, joys, felicities combine and longing wishes are fulfilled.” (R.V. 9:113:11)

There is no truth in a government agency been set up which verified the rebirth. Such tales are spread to authenticate the myth of ‘Avagaman’. Although a large number of reported incidents of rebirth are definitely cheating business, the occurrence cannot be altogether denied in the absence of a genuine and authentic study of such reported cases by scientific people. It is a fact that the theory of rebirth in this world (metempsychosis) does not stand before reason.

 In the ancient most holy books of Hindus, the Vedas, there is no trace of the theory and it is deduced by the researchers that the Pundits invented it to justify their exploitation of masses by telling that they (the Pundits) were prosperous because of good deeds of earlier lives and the deprived need not complain as their suffering was due to their own bad deeds in previous lives

Still the incidence of some children describing their earlier births with the mention of places, people and events unknown to them, is not impossible.

 To explain the mystery behind this phenomenon, let me analyse the prominent features common to all such cases.

(i) The frequency of such reported occurrences is less than 1-in-10 million births throughout the world. The percentage of genuine cases, if any, amongst these is anybody’s guess. So let us assume that genuine cases of birth of such children who describe their past lives with verifiable places and events, are one in a billion.

(ii) Over 90% of this minuscule occurrence is reported from India.

(iii) All such children who narrate the events of their previous lives, forget those events before they reach adolescence. It is as if they were seeing a film which suddenly vanished from their memory screen before they entered into puberty.

Pondering over the above three features gives rise to the following questions:-

(i) A soul is an intelligent entity. After passing one life in this world, when it starts another stint in another body, why does it forget the previous happenings? After all it is the material body of a new born child which is shaped for the first time but the soul was not destroyed and recreated or reborn as a baby. Instead it has the experience of the years of the previous lives (according to the proclaimers of Avagaman) when it enters into a baby’s body.

(ii) Why it is that only 1-in-billion children remember their past lives while all the others forget? Even those who remember claim to recall a very few events of only the immediately preceding life and not all the past lives they lived.

(iii) Those very few who do claim to recall a few events, forget them after a few years. In other words, only a few immature children before the attainment of adolescence can describe these events. Why do they forget it when they grow? The defenders of the theory say that we all forget most of the events of our childhood. But this logic is not sustainable. Sure, we forget most of the events of our childhood but we all remember with photogenic details all the special and very important events of our childhood. Even the very old men who forget the things they heard or saw a few moments back, recall with minutes details, some important events of their past. When a child starts telling about his previous life, he becomes a celebrity overnight. Thousands of people flock around him and he has to repeat his story an innumerable times. It is an event of his life which he can never forget. He actually does not forget but the visions which he saw in his childhood stop coming to his mind anymore as he grows.

(iv) It is also strange that less than 10% of such cases are reported from the rest of the world other than India, the land of the believers of the transmigration of souls (Avagaman). I have been able to analyse the above phenomenon by comparing it with ‘Haaziraat’. Very few people still possess the mystic knowledge of Haaziraat today although until 60s, there were plenty. Through Haaziraat, by looking into a small round shaped black box or over the flame of a ‘Deepak’ or sometimes on thumbnail tainted black by a Haaziraat expert, a small child of below 7 could tell and disclose many hidden and concealed things. I have myself witnessed Haaziraat performed on many children. My cousin, a couple of years younger to me used to relate unseen events by looking into the black box. For example he once told us the exact location of our expected guests who were delayed. Then he went on describing their features, their attires and their moment by moment location until he declared that they had reached our doorsteps and are about to knock. Exactly at that moment the knocking came and our guests were there wearing the same clothes which my 6 years old cousin had described and my cousin had never before seen our guests.


It seems a fairy tale today but a number of people from older generation have witnessed ‘Haaziraat’. The main feature of Haaziraat was that it could be performed through a child only. The Haaziraat experts could communicate with unseen creatures through the medium of a child. Suffice it to conclude that the devilish powers can sometimes make a willing child their subject and make him see in a vision what is ordinarily hidden from normal eyes. Such devilish powers can, with the help of a Haaziraat expert, disclose to a child’s mind the people, their homes and certain events associated with them which the child had no means to know otherwise. As the child grows, they can no more use him as his subject or medium.

Haaziraat experts still exist though a very few can be traced today. Infact I intend to demonstrate, with the help of one Haaziraat expert, in a few public functions the art and its use to unfold the mystery behind the children claiming to describe their past lives.

The near extinction of the possessors of Haaziraat, also explains the diminishing number of children narrating rebirth. It also explains why most of such cases had been appearing in India only.


Note: This answer was given by Tariq sahab in the magazine


Man or God: Who founded Religion?

Q: Should the founder of religion teach based on their own knowledge or based on the guidance of Almighty which they received?

A: According to Islam, man cannot be the founder of religion (Deen). Man can propagate a philosophy based on his knowledge, experience and perception. Even the most intelligent and genius person of his time cannot evolve a fool proof system for all mankind of his era, what to say of a system for all times to come. Only God, the Creator and Sustainer whose knowledge encompasses all past, present and future is entitled to guide the mankind to a path that will always be beneficial to it. It will remain beneficial till man does not corrupt and distort its basic features and principles.

There are only three possible ways of God contacting the mankind for guidance.

  1. God reveals the Divine Guidance to every human being individually: Neither has this option ever been claimed nor it is logical.
  2. From time to time, God descends to the earth personally in the garb of a human being to guide the mankind: There can be two possible ways of the implementation of this supposition and both are flawed.
  • God descends in the garb of a man leaving all His infinite attribute and actually limiting His capabilities to the level of a human being. He may become a pious person but He will then never be able to manage the whole universe as He will not even see or know anything beyond a material wall.
  • God descends and disguises Himself in a human mould keeping all His Divine powers with Him. Had this been the case, He would never become a role model of His teaching for the human beings. We could then argue that His going through trials and sacrifices in the path of Truth was possible only because he had capabilities beyond human. “We could not go through those trials in life as we had limited capabilities”, we could have contended.
  1. God reveals the guidance to the most pious and capable man of an era and He guides the mankind. That is the most logical way of delivering guidance to the mankind and that is what He did. We call those persons, ‘The Prophets’ or ‘Messengers of God’ in Islam.

Religion (Deen) is not a man-made philosophy but a way of leading the individual and collective life according to the Will of God. So the true Prophets never claimed God-hood nor did they tell the mankind that they were the founder of a new religion. They told the people that whatever they were preaching, it was not from them but it was the Will of God. They told the people to obey them as they were guiding them to the path revealed by God. That is what Moses, Jesus and Muhammad explained to the people:

When some people could not keep the Passover due to their defilement, they asked Moses what to do. Moses did not reply to them as per his personal judgment. He said to them:

“And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.” (Num 9:8)

The same was with Jesus:

“And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” (Jn. 7:15-16)

Muhammad too obeyed what he asked the followers to obey:

“The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord and (so do) the faithful. Everyone (the Messenger himself and the believers) believes in God, His angels, (all) His Books and (all) His Messengers. (And the faithful declare,) ‘We make no distinction (in believing) between any of His Messengers.” ( Qur’an 2:285)


Examples of Religious discrimination

What are the examples of religious discrimination (From Islam and other religions)?

India is a secular democracy and its constitution clearly safeguards the rights to practice and promote their religion to all communities without discrimination but the ground reality is just the opposite. In its report of 2015, for countries with most religious unrest, The Pew Research Center has reported that India is the fourth worst country in a list of 198 countries. Its record is worse than that of Israel, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other more than 190 countries. Religious violence is all around us in the public and religious intolerance and discrimination is at all levels and institutions including law enforcing authorities and the Govt. officials and elected representatives right up to the top. There is no need of a research for quoting the examples as then it will become a voluminous directory. The incidence of religious intolerance and violence have increased more than ever since the beginning of present millennium and the last three years have been the worst of them. Below are a few stances.

Since burning alive of Graham Staines, a Christian Missionary and his two sons in 1999, there have been more than a thousand incidents of abuse, attacks on and torching the Churches, burning alive and rape of nuns. According to Evangelical Fellowship of India, in 2016 alone there were 300 cases of abuse against Christians.

The situation of violence against Muslims is more serious as small and large scale communal riots erupt from time to time causing heavy loss of lives of mainly Muslims. Human rights activists allege that the administration, para military forces and the police side by the aggressors in these riots. In 2002, the communal riots in Gujarat State, more than 2000 Muslims are claimed to be burnt alive or killed according to human rights organizations while the official figures are a few more than 400. Thousands of women were alleged to be raped. Property worth billions was looted or burnt.

Muslims do not dare to carry cooked meat in journeys as they are attacked on the suspicion of carrying beef with them, which is worshipped by a large number of Hindus in India.

There are anti-conversion laws in 7 states of India.

A new terminology ‘Love Jihad’ has been coined for those Muslims who marry Hindu girls. Such Muslim boys are subjected to mass violence who dare to marry Hindu girls. The converts specially female are endangered with torture, coercion and sometimes even death. What happened to a poor girl in Korea is a common occurrence in India. The male converts to Islam usually have to flee their houses leaving their properties behind which are usurped. The case of female converts is more serious. When they flee after embracing Islam and marry the Muslim husband of their choice, their family members file abduction report with the police against the husband and both are arrested even when they are major and give statement to the police about consented conversion and marriage. While both of them go through a long and harassing legal process, the life and property of the kin of the husband are at the risk of mob attack. This scenario is a routine occurrence. You may find the data on any web site of amnesty or other organization of human rights or on the Indian news web sites.

The media has been gagged in India and those who do not toe the official line are subjected to Income Tax raids, corruption cases and all sorts of legal cases.

Human rights Activists also face the above hazards.

There also are instances of Muslims practicing discrimination against others in some Muslim majority countries. Muslim scholars of jurisprudence have concocted such unjustifiable beliefs that one who leaves Islam after being born in it or after embracing it, is liable to be killed. This is rubbish and against Islam and Qur’an. When you expect others to listen to you and to embrace Islam, any one from Muslims must be free to leave it too. Every human being must be free from coercion of others from mankind in selecting and practicing his/her faith. He/she will be accountable to God for his/her beliefs. The Qur’an says:

Let there be no compulsion in Deen.” (2:256)

“Proclaim: “This is the Truth from your Lord,” then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve.” (18:29)


Discrimination due to the differences of religion

Q: What are the causes of religious discrimination?

Answer: Everyone loves his/her community and the religious ego does not let the majority accept that the truth may lie somewhere else too while they themselves may be at fault on some counts. This is running away from truth. This is called communalism. The first ever recorded definition of communalism in the history of mankind is found in Prophet Muhammad’s words. When asked whether it was communalism to love one’s own community, he replied,

“No, the communalism is when one supports one’s own community in injustice and sin.”

Describing the condition of those discriminating on the basis of religion, the Qur’an says:

“…This is due to jealousy on their part, after the truth has become evident to them…” (2:109)

There is another reason too. Those religious leaders who want to exploit or loot the ignorant masses do not want people to leave their flock. Most of the religious leaders become corrupt. Jesus Christ called them snakes and the Qur’an warns the masses thus:

“O believers! Indeed, the majority of the priests and monks devour the wealth of people through unfair (means) and hinder from the path of God.” (9:34)


Ways to resolve discrimination

Q: Are there alternative ways or resolutions in the Quran to the discrimination caused by the religion?

A: Discrimination is never caused by religion. It is caused by distortion of true religion.

Those who are in a position to cause harm to others by practicing religious discrimination are powerful people. There are two important points in this regard that Qur’an tells us.

  • They know the truth but their worldly gains and lust for power does not let them mend their ways.
  • There is a nexus between the political power, the religious hierarchy and the wealthy capitalists. They need each other and support each other. Corrupt religious leaders will be helpless without the support of the other two.

Then the Qur’an tells us that there are no short cuts to the solution. In the first phase, you have to bear with injustice while avoiding confrontation. Go on tirelessly preaching the truth to the masses who have made these monsters out of ignorance. The Truth will ultimately prevail and the empires of the unjust exploiters will crumble before the uprising of the masses.

“Many of the people of the Scripture would love to turn you back after your having believed, into disbelievers. This is due to jealousy on their part, after the truth has become evident to them. So keep forbearing and overlooking till God sends His command. Indeed Allah is Possessor of every power to do all He will.” (2:109)

The Truth is bound to prevail when you keep on performing your duty and then when the time comes, you will say:

“Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away.’ Falsehood is indeed ever destined to vanish.” (17:81)

“Therefore, (Prophet!) have patience and perseverance. Surely, the promise of Allah (about your victory and the defeat of the disbelievers) is true; so let not those who are not convinced of the truth hold you in light estimation (so as to move you from your stand).” (30:60)


Who will fulfil the word of GOD?

Q: When the time has come to fulfill what has been written in the scripture, should the scripture have written explanation of the promised one who would fulfill the word of God?

A: The history has been full of persons claiming to be last Messiah coming in the last days to lead people to Truth. They have been exploiting and taking advantage of non-revealed traditions which were falsely called scriptures and also misinterpreting main revealed scriptures. Different Hindu sects, the Buddhists, Jews, Christian denominations and Shia and Sunni Muslim sects have fallen prey to such false expectations. I shall not, at this juncture, produce my arguments and evidences of Prophet Muhammad being the last prophet of God but only say that the world has gone astray because of turning away from teaching of true scriptures. They will learn from errors and disasters to come back to believe in the true scriptures again and then the mission of the prophets will emerge triumphant.

Jesus Christ had clearly negated the advent of an apparent promised one when the Kingdom of God comes:

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luk 17:20-21)

He had also warned:

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mat 24:24)

The Satyuga or the Age of Truth will definitely be initiated and led by human leader or leaders of great moral virtues and leadership qualities. That is common sense. We may allegorically call such person or persons as ‘God’s deputed ones’. As the Ayahs (37:171-173) above of Qur’an explained and as Jesus Christ said, all prophets are still at work with their spiritual bodies and their mission will be victorious with their spiritual help and by the efforts of true religious leader/leaders to whom the world will listen after passing through upheavals, disasters and catastrophes .


Law of Land vs Law of Religion

Q: The age is changing. There is an inherent central value in the law of the world, such as the Constitution. What is the way to stick to the unique values of religion in this situation?

A: Islam suggests 4-fold course of action in a situation where the law of the land is so much in contrast with the Divine Law that it does not permit to abide by it.

  • Migration to some other place [1–2].
  • If the first option is not available, preaching of religion or mobilization of the opinion of masses with patience by peaceful means[3-5].
  • Till the vast majority of people embrace the Truth, resorting to compromise at minimal essential level with the situation. No sin will incur in that situation when one is forced to act against the Divine Law [6].
  • In no case, revolt against the system is permitted in such a way that there is unrest and riot [7-8].


[1] Surely, the angels will ask those whom they cause to die while they were acting unjustly towards themselves, ‘What circumstances were you in?’ They will reply, ‘We were treated as weak in the country.’ They will say, ‘Was not Allah’s earth spacious enough for you to have emigrated therein?’ It is these whose abode shall be hell and an evil destination it is! (4:97)

[2] And whoso emigrates in the cause of Allah will find in the earth an abundant place of refuge and plenty of resources. And whoso sets forth from his home, emigrating in the cause of Allah and His Messenger, then death overtakes him, he shall have his reward with Allah for sure. Allah is Great Protector, Ever Merciful. (4:100)

[3] Patiently persevere then as did all the Messengers, possessed of high-resolve did, and do not seek to hasten on for them… (46:35)

[4] Therefore abide perseveringly by the commandments of your Lord (and wait for the fulfillment of the prophecies) and yield to none of the sinful and ungrateful (disbelievers). (76:24)

[5] Call the people to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly and kind exhortation, and argue with them in the most pleasant and best manner. Surely, your Lord knows very well who has gone astray from His path, and He knows very well the guided ones to the right path. (16:128)

[6]…Yet he who is constrained (and forced by the circumstances), having no desire (for that) and having no intention to exceed the limit, (will find that) surely your Lord is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

[7] Many followers of the scripture would rather see you revert to disbelief, now that you have believed. This is due to jealousy on their part, after the truth has become evident to them. You shall pardon them, and leave them alone, until GOD issues His judgment. GOD is Omnipotent. (2:109)

[8] And seek the home of the Hereafter with what (capability) Allah has given you, and (also) do not forget your share of the world. And do (such) good (to the people) as Allah has done good to you. But do not look for (ways to spread) evil and terror in the land (through oppression, accumulation of wealth and exploitation). Surely, Allah does not like those who violate peace. (28:77)


Difference between the Law of Land vs Law of Religion

Q: What is the difference between the law of the world and the law of religion (heaven), and what is the consequence when you do not keep them?

A: Laws in the world are framed by human beings in different eras for different nationalities and regions. They keep on being scrapped, re-framed, modified and amended to suit the whims or needs of dictators, religious or ethnic majorities, political or social philosophies of different era and regions. We, human beings can never frame a uniform law for all humanity. The Divine Law is different. God created human beings and it is He who created different surroundings for the human beings. God alone knows best what is best for human beings. The Divine Law is not only one for the whole humanity but it remains unchanged with time. The Quran says:

…You will not find any change in the Law of Allah and you will not find any deviation in the Law of Allah. (35:43)

It is the miracle of the Divine (Heavenly) Law that it is best for all people of all times.

The Divine Law is based on unalterable principles. People can make their own sub-laws to suit their specific needs according to their times. When we do not recognize God’s right to frame the main guiding Law, humanity is not only divided and there are discrimination and oppression but the man-made laws also cause disharmony in the lives of those very people who frame them for their benefit.


Law of Religion

Q: Explain about the law of religion (Islam) in detail. When and why it was recorded? What is the content of it and to whom is it meant for?

A: Here are some of the details of the Law of religion (Islam)-

Time of record: Since the beginning of humanity [1]. Retold or reminded in early 7th AD through Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Reason for the existence of the law:

  • To unite mankind under one Law [1],
  • To guide them to be free from Fear and Grief [2] and…
  • To guide them to attain Peace, Harmony [3] and Success in this world and Hereafter[4].

Contents: There are many laws in Islam to follow, all of which cannot be mentioned here. Some essentials are as follows:

  • One God: There is only One God and there is no other God besides Him[5]. Not only He is the Supreme God in Heaven but also on earth[6]. None can ever be in His similitude or His equal[7–8]. He alone is the True Law-Maker and He has not given the authority to frame parallel laws to anyone besides Himself[9]. He alone is the One to be worshipped[10].
  • Essential Beliefs: God sent His Messengers to all nations with one religion in their respective languages[11–12]. The angels used to reveal God’s messages to the prophets and messengers. For mankind’s unity, it is required that people must believe in One God, all his angels’ truthfulness and faithfulness to God and all His messengers along with all the Divine Books revealed from time to time[13].
  • Messenger’s obedience is God’s obedience: God ordained that His Messengers must be obeyed[14]. To obey and follow His Messengers would be deemed as His obeyance[15–16].
  • Man’s nature in harmony with the nature in universe: God made the nature of man in harmony with the Laws of nature created by Him[17]. It is an important standard given to mankind lest they go astray by following false leaders or err in their own wisdom and judgment. Man must keep checking his religion or the application of laws so that his own original nature does not change to become disharmonious with the nature in the universe.

Subjects: The subjects of the Creator is the whole creation[18]; those who are forced to follow the laws laid down for them as well as those who have been given the discretion. The mankind is subjected to the Laws recorded in the scriptures[19].

Lawgiver: God is the ultimate Law Maker. He revealed it to the prophets who delivered it to humanity in different eras[1].

Judge: God is the ultimate Judge. To him will all return on the Day of Judgment[20].


[1] He has ordained for you the same course of faith as He enjoined on Noah (to adopt), and which We have revealed to you, and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it… (42:13)

[2] We said (to Adam and Eve and their progeny through them): Go forth from this state (in Paradise) all. Surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no Fear shall come upon them, nor shall they Grieve. (2:38)

[3] His Law has reconciled the hearts (of the believers). Had you spent all the riches on earth, you could not reconcile their hearts. But (the Law of) GOD did reconcile them. He is Almighty, Most Wise. (8:63)

[4]…So keep away from the disobedience of the Law of Allah O’ men of wisdom so that you may achieve success. (5:100)

[5] And your God is One God. There is no God but He, the Most Kind, the Ever-Merciful. (2:163)

[6] And He is the One Who is God in the heaven and God in the earth (as well) and He is Most Wise, All-Knowing.

[7] And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him (112:4).

[8] Do they then seek a creed other than Allah’s while all those that are in the heavens and on the earth submit to Him willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they shall be made to return (to be judged)? (3:83)

[9] …He lets none associate with Him and share His right to frame Law. (18:26)

[10] Your Lord has enjoined you to worship and be bondsmen to none but Him… (17:23)

[11] And for every nation there has been a messenger… (10:47)

[12] And We have not sent any Messenger but with the language of his people so that he may make (the message of the truth) more and more clear to them.

[13]…Everyone (of the believers) believes in Allah, His angels, (all) His Books and (all) His Messengers. (And the faithful declare,) ‘We make no distinction (in believing) between any of His Messengers’… (2:285)

[14] We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed in accordance with GOD’s will… (4:64)

[15] Whoever obeys the messenger, obeys GOD indeed. (4:80)

[16] Say O Prophet, ‘Follow me if you love Allah’… (3:31)

[17] …The nature (created) by God is on which He created the nature of mankind. There will be no change in (the nature of) God’s creation (the universe). That is the Straight and Eternal religion (Deen), yet most people do not know (it). (30:30)

[18] To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth… (2:284)

[19] …the Quran (the Book of religion), a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)… (2:185)

[20] Then they shall all be made to return to Allah, their Master the only True One. Surely, His is the judgment; He is the Swiftest of the reckoners. (6:62)


Is the law of religion (Islam) effective in every kind of era?

Q: Is the law of religion (Islam) effective in every kind of era even though the time of recording the law and the present time are different?

A: Yes. The Divine Law is effective for all people of all times. The Quran says:

You will not find any change in the Law of Allah and you will not find any deviation in the Law of Allah. (35:43)

Those laws are about human evolution. Those who do not believe that God exists and also those who are not serious about religion, usually claim that the greatest religion is humanity. But what is humanity? The humanity is the name of basic traits and attributes with which a human being is born. It is the Creator who assigned those characteristics to the human being. It is cynical to recognize a creation without recognizing its creator. God not only created human being, he knows exactly what course is necessary for him for his evolution and success. He gave the humanity those formulae whose application will assure its success. Those formulae are His Laws. For example, to be always Truthful, is one formula. It will hold good in all eras. To be beneficial to humanity is also a Divine formula for the human being’s success. Its applicability is also not limited to any one age or time. The Laws given by the One who never changes, will also never change.


Purpose of religion according to Islam

Q: What is the purpose of religion according to Islam and what is the role of a religious leader in this?

A: In Islam, we have, ‘Deen’, not religion. The Sanskrit equivalent of ‘Deen’ is ‘Dharma’, but unfortunately there is no equivalent word for this in English. Sometimes the word is used for a limited sense of religion too. Religion pertains to mostly rituals and some rules or laws.

  • Deen is an all-encompassing way of life carried out under the auspices of God’s divine purpose.
  • Deen is not man-made but revealed by God to mankind from time to time through His messengers/prophets since the beginning of mankind.
  • The purpose of Deen is the ‘Falaah’ (success) of mankind in this worldly life of assessment and the eternal life ahead of this life.

The prophets delivered to mankind, the ‘Word of God’ and acted themselves according to the ‘Word’ as a role model to lead the life of submission to God to attain ‘Falaah’ (success). The righteous companions of the prophets were committed to memory the ‘Word of God’ for the next generations. When mankind evolved the art of script or writing, the ‘Word of God’ was written and was called a Book or ‘scripture’. In earlier Era, the scripture came into existence centuries after the passing away of respective prophets, and in Prophet Muhammad’s time, it was written simultaneously with its revelation.

The success formula for passing the assessment or test in worldly life can be summarised in one sentence-‘Submit to God what is rightfully His and give mankind their dues and rights.’ Instead of rituals of religion, there are the ‘pillars of Deen’ to teach the above. For example, in Islam, Salah (Namaz or 5-times prayer), Zakat (poor’s due), Saum (fasting) and Hajj (congregation in Makkah) were not mere rituals, but Muslims have made them so, and they are no longer serving their purpose. These were for the realisation of God, through meditation in Salah, and to create a love for fellow human beings.

Most religious leaders have become corrupt. They have rendered the effective tools of Deen as meaningless and time-wasting rituals. Instead of guiding mankind to the way of success, they vie with each other for the control over masses for the purpose of accumulating power and wealth. For that, they drive people away from true scriptures, claiming to be mediators between God and humans. They quote to them small sentences from the scriptures and use them out of context to create discord among people. Because of such so-called religious leaders, an overwhelming majority of people adhere to meaningless religious rituals, believing that it will lead them to salvation. Moreover, this creed of the clergy is behind hatred between the followers of different religions and their sub-sects.

A true religious leader should be the one who teaches the people ways to communicate with God so that they may develop a true love for Him and submit to Him. Love for God and submission to Him will develop in them the love and a sense of responsibility for His creation too. A true religious leader will encourage people to bind themselves to True Scriptures instead of developing in them false allegiance for the swindlers -that most so-called religious leaders are.


Should the purposes of existence be recorded in the scriptures

Q: Should the purposes of existence for all things and human beings be recorded in the scriptures?

Answer: Yes, it is necessary as it is always the goal that defines the path. A certain path leads to a certain goal. Keeping away from speculations and getting lost, it is necessary to know the purpose from the Creator directly and the only source of direct knowledge from the Creator is a Reliable Scripture. For example, some sects of some religions revere and worship some planetary bodies like the sun and animals and plants. If the main scriptures say that all other creation was created by God for the benefit of mankind, it would be futile to worship the creation and it will lead them away from their purpose of creation.


Is it possible to find the purpose of the existence of all things and mankind through religion?

Q: Is it possible to find the purpose of the existence of all things and mankind through religion?

A: Yes, the purpose of the existence of all things and mankind can be found through religion.

To find out the purpose of creation is the most essential thing for the creation (mankind). Using guess-work or conjectures to find the purpose behind any doer or initiator of an act will, in most cases, lead to wrong conclusions. The most reliable way of finding the purpose behind anything, a process or an act, is to ask the originator of that thing, process or act.

In this world, God has communicated with mankind through His Scriptures revealed through His Prophets. Instead of resorting to trial and error or conjectures, we can find out the purpose of creation from these Reliable Scriptures.

The Qur’an says of such people who do not believe in the next life-the hereafter:

“And they say: ‘There is nothing (else) except our worldly life. We die and live here (only). And nothing kills us except (circumstances and occurrences of) time (i.e., they deny Allah and the Hereafter absolutely). And they simply do not have any knowledge of this (reality). They follow only their speculation and assumption.” (45:24)

“The (prophetic) word of your Lord is bound to be fulfilled in truth and justice. There is no one who can change His words. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. Should you obey the majority of those on earth, they would lead you astray from Allah’s way. They follow nothing but mere speculations and they do nothing but make conjectures.” (6:115-16)

The Qur’an has repeated the following principle in many Ayahs:

“… Surely, conjecture cannot in the least substitute for the truth…” (10:36)

Thus, humans can find out the purpose of their existence, and to do so they must resort to the authentic religious scriptures leaving all the speculations and conjectures aside.


Purpose of Existence

Q: What is the purpose of existence for all things and mankind presented by Islam?


In this whole creation, everything else is for the benefit and survival of mankind so that every individual human being could survive till his/her appointed time. If it were not that the rest of the things on earth and atmosphere were created and a certain gravitational and ecological balance established before man came upon earth, he could not have survived here. For the earth to exist, it was necessary to create our solar system. For our solar system to exist, it was expedient that our galaxy with about 400 billion other solar systems be created with their present system of revolution and rotations. For our galaxy to be stable, it was necessary to balance it with more than 10 billion other galaxies.

Similarly, everything on earth was made for us (the mankind) so that we could survive here till our appointed time. Not only the earth but all that is in the solar system including the sun and the moon were created for our benefit and survival.

It is He, Who made the sun burning brilliant light and the moon (reflect) a lustre and fixed for it (each one of them) stages according to an estimated measure that you might know the counting (and number) of the years and the reckoning (of time). Allah created all this only to suit the requirements of truth and wisdom. He explains in detail these signs for people who would know. Certainly, in the alternation of night and day and in all that Allah has created in the heavens and the earth there are sure signs for a people who guard against evil. ” (The Qur’an 10:5-6)

Not only the sun and moon were essential for our energy and counting of time, but in this modern era, the ships are dependent upon the locations of different stars to know their location and sense of direction amid the sea.

“It is He Who has made the stars for you that you may follow the right course with their help in the darkness of the land and the sea. We have certainly explained (Our) commandments in detail for a people who would know.” (The Qur’an 6:97)

The atmosphere and the water cycle were created for us to survive.

“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation and the sequence of the night and the day and in the ships that sail in the ocean carrying the things which are useful to the people and in the water which Allah sends down from the clouds with which He brings the dead earth into life and (in) all sorts of crawling animals which He has spread all over it and (in) the turning about of the winds and (in) the clouds subjected to (His) law between the heavens and the earth, there are, indeed, signs for a people who use their understanding.” (The Qur’an 2:164)

The oceans had to be cup-like hollow shaped to store water in them and to balance those cavities, God elevated mountains so that the earth did not become unstable in its path.

“He has created the heavens without any such pillars as you can see. And He has placed firm mountains in the earth that it may not quake with you and to provide you food. And He has scattered in it all kinds of creatures and has rained water from the clouds and caused to grow in it (animals and vegetation) of different fine species.” (The Qur’an 31:10)

“He also created the man’s diet in the seas. And He it is Who has made subservient (to you) the sea that you may eat of its fresh flesh (of sea-food), and may bring forth out of it (precious and beautiful things of) ornaments for your wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it. (This is because mankind discovered laws regarding how the heavy ships would float on water) and that you may seek of His bounty (in other ways) and that you may render thanks (to Him).” (The Qur’an 16:14)

The means of sustenance are in the atmosphere too.

“And in the atmosphere is your provision and that which you are promised.” (The Qur’an 51:22)

In the olden days, men only feared the lightning in the clouds. When Qur’an was revealed 1400 years ago, we did not know that the lightning spark mixes nitrogen in rainwater, without which the earth will not yield crops. The lightning was the man’s need, and it was to be longed and hoped, which earlier people were not aware of.

“And (one) of His signs is that He shows you (the flash of) lightning that creates fear and hope, and sends down water from the clouds and revives therewith the earth after its death (like barrenness). Behold there are (many) signs in this for the people who make use of their understanding.” (The Qur’an 30:24)

The Qur’an has described in more than 100 Ayahs that different things here were made for mankind. It summarized it in one sentence also and further said that six more such systems of creation (of which we only know of one till today- which we call the universe) were brought in to existence to balance and sustain our universe.

“It is He Who created for your benefit all that is in the earth. Moreover, He turned Himself towards the space and fashioned seven heavens perfect. He has full knowledge of all things.” (The Qur’an 2:29)

So, the conclusion is that- the purpose of all creation, the earth, the universe and beyond, which the astronomers do not yet comprehend, is the benefit and survival of mankind till the appointed time of every person in it.

Now, let’s discuss the purpose of mankind’s existence for whom all things are created.


God declared in Qur’an:

“And we did not create the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them just as a play or amusement. We created them not except with Truth. Surely, the Day of Judgment is the promised time appointed for all of them.” (The Qur’an 44:38-40)

All the creation except mankind has no will of its own. It is following the laws laid down by God. Even the living beings (except mankind) are just following their instincts like a pre-programmed chip in them.

“All that is in the heavens and on the earth of the crawling and moving creatures and the angels (too), have surrendered to Allah and they do not disdain.” (The Qur’an 16:49)

Apart from Jinn, human being is the only creature with a free will to obey or disobey the Creator. All other creatures were programmed with their knowledge of what to do and what not to do while a human being is created with zero knowledge at birth. He/she acquires knowledge from the surroundings while the guidance or the laws for his/her life are delivered from outside through prophets. He/she has also been forewarned of the consequences leading to success or self-destruction because of the path he/she chooses.

“And Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers, while you were void of all knowledge, He gave you hearing, sights and wisdom. so that you might render (Him) thanks.” (The Qur’an 16:78)

“Indeed, We have shown him (the man) the path clearly (it is up to him) whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” (The Qur’an 76:3)

And say, ‘It is the truth from your Lord, therefore let him/her who wishes, believe (in it) and let him/her who wishes (otherwise) disbelieve (in it).’ (But let everyone remember,) We have prepared for the unjust a fire whose (flaming) enclosure will surround (and fumes envelope) them. (The Qur’an 18:29)

Now, there are two aspects of the purpose of the creation of mankind:

1.What is God’s purpose of creating us?

2.What is our purpose as a creation?

The Qur’an explains in great detail the answer to the aspect no. 2 in a large no. of Ayahs as that is the part necessary and actually relevant to the creation. It leaves the answer to aspect no.1 to our deduction and intelligence. The present system of creation of seven heavens spread over billions (or trillions?) of years has a beginning and an end. Only God is infinite. When the present system of which we are the main objective, ends, we shall be no more and the Eternal Creator will create another system with some other objective known only to Him.

“If (and when) He wills, He will remove you and bring a new creation.” (The Qur’an 35:17)

As quoted above, We should be with Truth and try to establish Truth as all other creation is following nothing but Truth (i.e. His Laws decreed for it).

“Allah has created the heavens and the earth with Truth. Surely, there is in this fact a sign for those who believe.” (The Qur’an 29:44)

In our individual capacity we have been told to lead a personal life of surrender to His Will or instructions:

“And I created some invisible beings and human beings solely to adopt My servitude.” (The Qur’an 51:56)

Those who believe were instructed as a group to think of others’ welfare and success in the worldly life and the Hereafter.

“You are the noblest people raised up for the good of mankind (until) You enjoin equity and forbid evil, believe in Allah…” (The Qur’an 3:110)

Our goal is to lead life peacefully here and in the hereafter, to be at peace with others and to be at peace with God’s Laws.

A four-fold training programme is made mandatory for believers to establish peace in their lives and in the world. It was:

  • To meditate upon God five times a day.
  • Fasting for a whole month every year to train oneself for self-restraint and to feel and observe the hunger and thirst of the poor.
  • To compulsorily deliver the poor’s due as a duty which God has sent to them- to deliver so that they may rise above poverty.
  • Join the Peace-Congregation at the World Centre at least once in a life-time to enhance spirituality and to think and resolve mutually the collective problems of people residing in different nations.

Besides giving moral instructions, which every religion preaches, the believers in Qur’an were instructed to cultivate patience (2:153), respond to the evil with a good and a balanced behaviour (41:34), be beneficial to others (13:17).

Cessation of war was made a priority. When a war would be imposed upon the believers, they were instructed to accept the offer of peace and cease-fire, when the attacker offered it even if there was apprehension that the offer was with the intention of deception:

“And if they (the attackers) incline towards peace, you should also incline towards it and put your trust in Allah. Surely, it is He Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. But if they intend to deceive you, (remember that) Allah surely suffices you. It is He Who has strengthened you with His help and with the believers.” (The Qur’an 8:61-62)

To be at peace with the universe, it was instructed to maintain the ecological balance (55:7-9) and conserve water (67:30).

The warning was issued that it would be the human race itself who would destroy itself if it did not pay heed to the Laws laid down by God.

“Corruption and disorder have spread over land and sea on account of that which people have earned with their hands so that He may make them taste the fruit of some of their doings, so that they may turn back from evil.” (The Qur’an 30:41)

It was made clear again and again that the wrongdoers will not live forever on earth and every human being will be accountable for his/her deed as everyone has to return to Him and face his Judgment.

“Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us, you will be returned.” (The Qur’an 21:35)

“And indeed, We have made whatever is on earth a means of its beauty (and adornment) so that We test (the human inhabitants of the earth) as to who is better in deeds.” (The Qur’an 18:7)

“He Who has created death and life (so that) He may test you as to which of you excels in doing good deeds. He is the All-Mighty, the Great Protector.” (The Qur’an 67:2)

“They know only the apparent side of the present life, and they are completely unmindful of the next. Have they not meditated within themselves that Allah has not created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between the two except with Truth and for a fixed term? And surely, most of the people do not believe in the meeting with their Lord.” (The Qur’an 30:7-8)

“Allah has created the heavens and the earth with Truth to ensure that every self be recompensed according to his deeds and no one be done injustice to.” (The Qur’an 45:22)

So, the summary of the above is that God wanted to create a species of living beings who would be given a choice of acting according to or against the Laws laid down by Him. The earthly life was designed to test that human race.

The guidance to succeed would be delivered to the human through the prophets of God. It was made clear that the human-beings would be at peace only by following God’s Laws and they would lead themselves to destruction if they go against those Laws.

The objective of mankind must be to submit to the will of the Creator to achieve personal peace of mind, collective peace with the other human beings, peace with the atmosphere and non-living things on the earth and peace in the next life hereafter. In one word it was named ‘SUCCESS’ by the Qur’an.

Let’s also discuss the philosophical side of the God’s purpose of creation, not clearly mentioned but deduced from the Ayahs of the Qur’an.

God is infinite while the human being, his knowledge, intelligence, intellect and wisdom would always be finite. It means that the human-beings will never be able to comprehend God’s attributes at least in this worldly life where an overwhelming majority of them are unable to comprehend their own non-perishable real selves beyond the apparent perishable physical bodies. It is only through similitudes that man can understand what he has not observed but nothing is similar to God.

“…There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him…” (The Qur’an 42:11)

Then, how can someone realize God? God wanted to select those from among His creation who, without seeing or comprehending Him, controlled their desires and became obedient to Him, after observing His signs in His creation. Their test was conducted in their worldly lives where material obstructions did not let them see or observe the dimensions of spiritual or non-material plains. Those who pass the test in their short material life would proceed to their evolved lives with purified and evolved (spiritual) bodies and will be able to communicate with God directly.

“Certainly, those who sell the promise of Allah and their own oaths for a small price, it is they who will not have any share in the Hereafter. And on the Day of Resurrection Allah will neither speak to nor look at them, nor will He purify them, and for them will be a painful torment.” (3:77)

“…but Allah purifies him who wishes (to be purified). And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (24:21)

With purified non-material spiritual bodies, those who could pass the test would be able to converse with God directly. They will be the ones who would be able to comprehend God’s attributes and thus, realize Him. So it is inferred that God created an intelligent being, gave him choice, arranged a test for him and those who pass the test will not only live with Bliss in their evolved lives but will be able to comprehend His attribute or His Real Self. And that was what God’s real purpose of creation was. To create and select those from His creation who could comprehend Him and His attributes and could realize Him.


Why do people SIN?

Q: What is the fundamental reason for sinning?

A: First we have to understand what is sin or bad karma according to Islam. Islam literally means total surrender to the Will of God, so a believer is required to subjugate his own will before the Will of God.

“O you who believe! enter into complete submission (to Allah) all of you, and do not follow the footsteps of Devil. He is certainly your declared enemy.” (2:208)

When some one disobeys or follows his own will against the Will of God, it is a bad karma or a sin.

None in the universe (except human being) created by God has a mechanism to disobey His Will. So they all work or act according to His plan or Will, not disobeying the least. Therefore, none of them is a sinner. The animals act according to their inherent instincts.

“Do you not realize that everyone in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah, even the birds as they fly in a column? Each knows its prayer and its glorification (according to his or its own faculties). Allah is fully aware of everything they do.” (24:41)

But the case of a human being (and some invisible beings called Jinns or genies) is different. God bestowed them with a free will to obey or disobey while giving them guidance for the right Path through the prophets sent by Him. That is why they are the only ones among creation who will be judged. As per God’s plan, they were created with inherent good and bad faculties which they were free to choose from.

“And I created the jinn/genies and human beings with their express duty that they should adopt My servitude.” (51:56)

“He infused in him (the human self) his vice and virtue. He indeed attains his goal who evolves his self and he indeed is ruined who corrupts it.” (91:8-10)

“Verily, We have shown him the path clearly (giving him the full choice) whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” (76:3)

The Devil was the first to disobey and was barred from God’s grace. He sought leave from God that he would influence mankind to disobey as the first human being was the cause of His being disgraced. God’s gave him leave to do so. (Q. 7:11-18)

Since then, mankind has been sinning, disobeying the guidance, slipping under the temptation of the followers of the devil while forgetting its disastrous consequences.


How to Resolve Sin?

Q: What is the resolution to Sin/Bad Karma according to the Quran?

A: One way to resolve the sin has been mentioned in the previous answer (Link👉: WORK’s answer to According to the Quran, what is the status of liberation from Sin/Bad Karma? in Answers by Allama Syed Abdullah Tariq), that is to balance and eliminate the consequences of bad deeds by doing good deeds.

Another way to resolve the sin is to repent by asking forgiveness of God and to turn his/her back to the bad deeds he/she had been doing and make efforts not to repeat the same errors again. God is empowered to forgive or to cover the sins so that its consequences are annulled.

“It is He Who accepts penitence of His servants and pardons (them their) evil deeds, and He knows all that you do.” (42:25)

“And whoever commits evil and does injustice to his/her self and then asks forgiveness of Allah, will find Allah, the provider of shield (from the consequences of sin) and Ever Merciful..” (4:110)

“Repentance with Allah is only for those who do evil in ignorance, then turn (to Allah) soon, so these it is to whom Allah turns (mercifully). And Allah is ever Knowing, Wise. But repentance is of no avail to those who go on doing evil deeds until, when death visits one of them, he says, `I do repent now,’ nor it is of any use to those who die whilst they are disbelievers. It is for such people that We have prepared a woeful punishment.” (9:17-18)


Does the Quran record any examples of someone who has completely resolved "Sin"?

Q: Does the Quran record any examples of someone who has completely resolved “Sin/Bad Karma”? If so, what is the evidence?

A: The Qur’an explicitly tells about Prophet Muhammad that he was totally absolved of his sins.

“The result of this is that Allah will protect you from (the ill consequences of) the fault attributed to you in the past and those to follow, and that He will make His favour perfect upon you and will lead you to the goal of the straight and right path” (48:2)

Prophet Muhammad was the last of all prophets but we believe by inference that all prophets were absolved of the consequences of their faults because they were sent to the mankind as guides and role models. After making mention of a number of prophets, the Qur’an says:

“It is these people on whom Allah did bestow His blessings. They were all Prophets…” (19:58)

Is it not enough evidence that they guided the mankind to the right path? A sinner can not be a guide to righteousness.


Impact of Sin

Q: What is the impact of Sin/Bad Karma on humanity? If they have a negative effect, why does the Creator not remove Sin/Bad Karma from us?

A: A sinner not only ruins his/her spiritual evolution (91:10) and is recompensed in the form of fear and grief in his life (2:112), he also affects the society. A drunkard, a thief, a dacoit or a rapist causes harm to others. Those enjoying power exploit others. Then why does God not intervene and not make us all virtuous? Because He had created mankind to test it by granting them choice. He provided the guidance but if He Himself turn them pious, the trial will remain no more.

“Verily, We have made all that is on the earth as an embellishment for it, that We may try them as to which of them is the most excellent in (respect of) performing the noblest deeds.” (18:7)

“…And if Allah had so willed He might have made you all one community (by force), but He wishes to test you in (the capacities and capabilities) that He has endowed you with.” (5:48)

Through the prophets He has guided us about how to compensate for our sins. We have to do it ourselves.


How to liberate ourselves from sin?

Q: According to the Quran, what is the status of liberation from Sin/Bad Karma?

A: The consequences of good and bad deeds neutralize each other. The deeds are not counted but assessed or weighed according to their consequences. One whose good deeds outweigh the bad ones is absolved of his sins.

“So he whose scales of deeds in the balance will be heavy, He shall have a pleasant life.” (101:6-7)

“Surely, the good deeds wipe out the evil ones. That is a reminder for those who would remember.” (11:114)


Factors of so-called Religions

Q: What are the factors of so-called religion written in the Quran? Please present it with the reference?

A: To begin with, I would like to mention that Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), Buddhism, Jainism, some Christian denominations and Islam too among others, emphasize that theirs is not a religion. The Dhamma in Buddhism, Dharma in Hinduism and Deen in Islam are claimed to be different from a religion. However when we come to dialogue, a common terminology is needed and we go along with the word ‘Religion’ though it may differ with the perceptions of our respective faiths.

According to Islam, Deen should be and had been one since the beginning of mankind(1), as God is one and Deen is given by God, not man-made. God sent His prophets and messengers to all nations in different eras(2) and revealed to them His Word in the language and traditions of their people(3). The main and basic message in its essence for the humanity never changed from One and Only God(4). After the prophets and messengers departed, the clergy and priests, for their own selfish ends(5), concealed some part of the Message and introduced their own philosophies and also the books into it (6). At times they distorted the Truth by distorting the actual meaning(7) or misquoting the contents taking it out of context(8). Because of these factors, a large number of contradictions crept in to the scriptures or the teachings of so-called religions. The Qur’an declares that unadulterated God’s Word cannot contain contradictions(9). [That is exactly what Paul has been quoted as saying in the Bible(10).] That is how the sects and denominations and ‘Mazhabs’ were formed. During the course of time other leaders came forward, some of them very sincere and others who were crooks, to announce reforms and propagated their ideologies. The crooked ones also wrote their guide books and proclaimed them to be religious books(11). These two, the ‘Mazhabs’ (distortions within the Divine Guidance) and man-made ideologies are religions in the eyes of Islam. The Qur’an mentions both. In fact we do not have to prefix the word so-called before the word religion. According to Islam, all religions (including sects formed by so-called Muslims) are so-called religions.

Besides what I quoted above, there are a large number of Ayahs in Qur’an mentioning numerous other factors, signs and tenets of the so-called religions. I will not quote them all for the sake of brevity and again, as I mentioned earlier, those signs and factors encompass the sectarian and denominational philosophies of the so-called Muslims too who base their ideologies on a large number of (insecure and sometimes clearly false) sayings even if it contradicted the main revealed scripture, the Qur’an whose text is secure to every word. Qur’an also talks of the earlier true scriptures whose text underwent adulteration or alteration or some of whose teachings were lost during the course of time.

Having explained about Islam’s concept of so-called religions, I present here the reply to your question, taking the word ‘religion’ in its prevalent sense. This part of my reply excludes the distorted versions of the bearers of scriptures from God.

Following are the factors, according to Islam, that are associated with the so-called religions.

  • Worshipping and submitting to the creation instead of Creator:

To these, the Qur’an presents the challenge to ponder over the question whether they exist without any first cause(12)? Are the laws of the universe, which they benefit from, exist by themselves or are they themselves able to create anything in their laboratories? They and to whom they submit and worship, are unable to create even a fly(13).

The Qur’an says that those to whom they are submitting or worshipping, are themselves the creation(14).

  • Differentiating between God’s Will and His prophets’ ordained mission and also discriminating between the prophets :

The Qur’an asks the followers to believe in all the messengers of God without differentiating between any one of them(15). It also declares that all the messengers of God were His honest and truthful representatives selected to fulfill the Will of God on earth(16). They did not mix their own ambition with God’s Will and none demanded the people to worship them instead of God(17). It means that whoever commits contrary to the above is not a believer. He believes in a so-called religion.

They also believe in a so-called religion who are asked to differentiate between the prophets declaring any one of them or his teaching superior to the others(18).

  • The claim of prophet-hood after prophet Muhammad:

The term ‘prophet’ carries somewhat different sense in Islam from the meaning of this word in some other religions. Unless I explain the difference, the point of view of Islam will be misunderstood by the followers of those religions.

Unlike in Judaism and Christianity, a prophet is a person to whom God revealed his scriptures. It is only God who chooses the prophets from among human beings. Even a prophet of God is not directly authorized to choose his own prophets as it is only God who reveals the scriptures to whoever He selects. All prophets were perfectly pious persons. No intentional sin can be associated with any of His prophets as they were His chosen ones and God never makes mistake or errs. (references from Qur’an about this explanation are being omitted because of brevity).

Prophet Muhammad was the last of all prophets of God towards the humanity. The institution of prophet-hood was sealed with the advent of the last prophet of God, Muhammad as he was deputed to deliver the same essential message to all humanity that was brought by the chain of earlier prophets from time to time(19). There will now be rightly guided reformers but not the prophets bearing a new scripture. (Again, I am skipping the reason of the Finality of the prophet-hood for the sake of brevity).

Any religion thus, claiming to have a prophet after the advent of Prophet Muhammad or a new scripture from God, is a so-called religion, according to Islam.


Except for No. (10), which is from the Bible, all the references below are from the Qur’an.

  1. (Initially) the people used to be one congregation, later they disputed… (10:19)
  2. And for every nation (large community of people) there was a messenger (of God)… (10:47)
  3. And We sent no messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly… (14:4)
  4. He has ordained for you the same Deen (course of Faith or religion) as He enjoined on Noah, and which We have revealed to you, and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it… (42:13)
  5. Mankind were a single community (but they disputed), so Allah raised (His) Prophets as Bearers of good tidings and as Warners, and with them He revealed the Scriptures containing the Truth, that it might judge between people concerning that in which they differed. Then, only those very people whom the Scriptures were given differed about it, despite the fact that the clear signs and proofs had come to them. (And they differed) because of mere jealousy and malice amongst themselves… (2:213)
  6. O people of the Scripture! Why do you confound the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth and that (too) deliberately?
  7. …some of them used to hear the word of GOD, then distort it, with full understanding thereof, and deliberately.
  8. …they took the words out of context, and disregarded some of the commandments given to them… (5:13)
  9. Why do they not ponder over Quran? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions (confusions, inconsistencies). (4:82)
  10. For God is not the author of confusion (contradiction, inconsistencies)… (1-Corinthians 14:33)
  11. …they write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from God’… (2:79)
  12. Were they created from nothing or are they their own creators? (52:35)
  13. O mankind! An example is given, so listen to it. Those whom you call upon apart from God cannot create even a fly, though they may all join hands for it. And if the fly should snatch away something from them, they cannot recover it from it. Feeble indeed is the seeker (- the submitters) and (feeble) the sought after (false masters).
  14. And those whom they call upon apart from God, can create nothing. Rather they are themselves created. They are dead, not alive. And they do not perceive when they shall be raised (to life again). (16:19-20)
  15. …All believers believes in Allah, His angels, (all) His Books and (all) His Messengers. (And the faithful declare,) ‘We make no distinction (in believing) between any of His Messengers.…’ (2:285)
  16. …(The people rewarded for their right beliefs and deeds will say) The Messengers of Our Lord did come (to us) with the Truth…’ (7:43)
  17. Never would a human being whom GOD blessed with the scripture and prophethood say to the people, “Idolize me instead of GOD.” (He would rather say), “Devote yourselves absolutely to your Lord alone according to the scripture you preach and the teachings you learn.”
  18. Those who disbelieve in GOD and His messengers, and seek to make distinction among GOD and His messengers, and say, “We believe in some and reject some,” and wish to follow a path in between; these are the real disbelievers… (4:150-51)
  19. …but (he is rather) the Messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets. Indeed Allah has full knowledge of all things.


What happens when people believe in so-called religions?

Q: What happens when people believe in so-called religions?

A: The life of a human being does not end here after his death. His self is disassociated from the material body to proceed to the next eternal phase of life. But before his ultimate rout or destination is fixed by God, he is judged for his belief and deeds in this world. Unless one is rightly guided here in this world, he/she will go astray and proceed to the path of destruction.

Religion is the total guidance given by God to the mankind. Only one religion since the beginning of creation of mankind was taught by all the prophets of God and the so-called religion, howsoever well intentioned, not being from God, will never fulfill the Will of God. The people following such religions will end up in hell-fire.


Why people believe in so-called religions?

Q: What are the factors that make people believe in so-called religions even though it doesn’t make sense at all in true religion?

A: Following are the factors that make people believe in the so-called religious:

① Truth

② It is said that it is True God’s teaching (revelation)

③ Confirmed faith (Confirmation bias)

④ Persuasive proof based on philosophy or science.

⑤ Spiritual gifts, miracles

⑥ The new Morality (situation ethics)

⑦ Everything in religion may not be explainable rationally (Blind faith in mysteries)

Now, I shall discuss all of the above factors one by one:-

There is partial truth in so called religion and the false-hood is concealed by the layers of truth(1).

Unless it is claimed to be from God, how would people believe in it? There are two situations when a person promulgates a religion. (i) The claimed revelation is reduced in to writing in the form of a scripture. (ii) No scripture ever exists. The followers, later on, author books about the teaching of the god-man inserting their own interpretation and philosophies into it. We have already discussed earlier answers that a written record (scripture) is essential for an authentic religion. I shall, therefore, discuss only the first condition.

An important test of authenticity of a true revelation is that there should be no contradiction in God’s Word(2). Most often you will find inconsistencies and contradictions in a so-called scripture.

Another important condition for an scripture to be True is that it should recognize the existence of earlier scriptures sent by God to the humanity. No religion can be from God if it claims to be started in the middle of the history of mankind. The next necessary requirement is that the teaching of the scripture must be practical and practicable. The goal specified by the scripture for the mankind must not be so hard to achieve that most people are unable to get there.

Qur’an has mentioned the tendency of confirmation bias in Qur’an(3). It is evident that the confirmation bias always leads to erroneousness and untruth. Unless the believer of a faith shed their bias, they have no right to claim that the religion they follow is from God.

Different philosophies have always been propounded to prove the authenticity of so-called religions. The true religion also presents its philosophy but it is always backed by the proven principles of science. Sometimes the so-called religions also seems to present scientific evidence in its support but if you investigate, it will almost always turn out to be either a false claim or the science referred to will turn out to be a hypothesis. I used the word ‘almost’ because a so-called religion always has partial elements of truth and those parts can be proven by science but the other segments of such religion will be against the established laws of nature.

History of religion is full of these things and most people immediately shed rationale over things they cannot understand when they seem to them happening against the laws of nature. The Al-Mighty creator of nature can do anything against the known laws of nature. I do not doubt it. But to make His only creation blessed with rationale, always use his rationality, God has already made it plain that He has ordained unchangeable laws in nature and even He will never change them.

The pre historic miracles of a prophet, human-god or a revered leader of a religion will always be unacceptable to the followers of other religions. They will be considered as myths by them. Only those miracles recorded in a scripture whose fulfillment can be observed in the present times can be acceptable to all. A so-called religion, not being from God can never contain such miracles.

As for some religious heads showing or exhibiting miracles in present days, we must learn from the fate of a large number of such Gurus and religious heads who turned out to be fake imposters, who tuned out to be tricksters and swindlers later. There are some others who have attained some powers with long time practices which the innocent people consider miracles. Those powers can be achieved by others too through consistent practice.

So, to perform a seemingly impossible task, may not be miracle at all. It may only be a deception(5).

The new morality or situation ethics of a so-called religion can mislead its followers to consider it a religion from God only in one situation. (i) When the followers of a genuine religion do not understand that in most of the cases, the religion gives us basic principles whose application may change with time, while the principle will remain unalterable. When the insensible religious leaders make the application of those principles stagnant, it becomes counter-productive. Let me make it clear by an example. Prophet Muhammad used to rinse his mouth and brush his teeth many times a day, while fasting in Ramadhan, though anything bearing taste is not permitted to be chewed or put in to the mouth (even if one does not swallow it). In those days, people used to brush their teeth by ‘Miswak’ (a small and thin piece of a branch plucked from a plant). A large number of Muslims around the world still believe that you can brush your teeth by ‘Miswak’ but cannot use the tooth paste during fasting. This is nonsense. The main principle was to emphasize that while mouth hygiene and dental care is does not affect fasting, unnecessary eatables cannot be put in to the mouth. ‘Miswak’ was only an application of the principle of mouth hygiene. That application has now changed. Making the application stagnant will make the religious practices ridiculous.

If the religion is not applied or practiced erroneously, situation ethics will not become a tool in the hands of the promoters of so-called religion to prove their authenticity.

A religion revealed by God never asks its followers to believe in mysterious philosophies or interpretations that cannot be explained by common sense and rational and scientific arguments. Qur’an asks its followers not to bow to its commands like dumb and blind(6). The Blind Faith in unsolvable mysteries may seem to be a virtue to the followers of a so-called religion but it is not in fact required by God from His only creation bestowed with rationality.


Except for No. (5), which is from the Bible, all references are from Qur’an.

  1. Do not confound the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth knowingly. (2:42)
  2. Why do they not ponder over Quran? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions (confusions, inconsistencies). (4:82)
  3. …(When they are presented the truth) they say (among themselves), ‘If you are given this (sort of commandment) accept it and if you are not given this, then be careful’… (5:41)
  4. And you will find no change in the law of Allah, nor will you ever find the law of Allah shifting from its course. (35:43)
  5. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. (Mat. 24:24)
  6. (The true servants of the Most Gracious are those) who do not bow their heads before the Ayahs of Allah when they are reminded to them. (They try to understand and ponder over them)


The image and condition of the soul

Q: The image and condition of the soul and flesh of the current person, is it same with how it was originally created in the beginning or has it become different? If it has been changed, then what is the reason for that change, and how it has been changed? What the Quran has to say on this?

A: The condition of all is not the same. Some have corrupted themselves but they can repent and turn back to the way of success. On the other hand, some have evolved themselves but they have to be alert till their last breath in this world lest they go astray to the path of destruction.

According to Islam, man did not come to this world as an accursed being. He was destined to come to earth from the very beginning. He has been given choice to act good or bad, obey or reject the guidance. This world is a testing ground for him, an examination through which, he himself is to choose his fate in future.

Mankind was created different from other beings in that they were created with free will to act. They had the capability to evolve to the highest of zeniths and they also had in them the tendency to fall to the lowest of lowly. The following Ayahs describe it.

“We have surely created the human being in the finest make (with enormous capabilities for an all round advancement through the process of evolution). Then We returned him to the lowest state of the low” (95:4-5)

“Indeed, We have shown him the path clearly (giving him the full choice) whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” (76:3)

“Verily, We have made all that is on the earth as an embellishment for it, that We may try them as to which of them is the most excellent in (respect of) performing the noblest deeds.” (18:7)

“And say, ‘It is the truth from your Lord, therefore let him who wishes (it) believe (in it) and let him who wishes (otherwise) disbelieve (in it). (But let everyone remember,) We have prepared for the unjust a fire whose (flaming) enclosure will surround (and fumes envelope) them…Indeed, those who believe and do pious deeds, We certainly do not waste the reward of the one who does pious deeds.” (18:29-30)


Soul, Self and Body

Q: According to the Quran, what is the difference between spirit and flesh?

A: According to the Qur’an, there are three entities associated with a human being. It is the soul (Rooh), the self (Naf’s) and the body. Spirit is an English word. Had there been only two entities associated with flesh I would have equated the Spirit with that but now it will have to be decided what the Spirit corresponds to in Islam; the soul (Rooh) or the self (Naf’s)? This discussion is important because in Urdu or Hindi Bible, the word Spirit has sometimes been translated as ‘Atma or Rooh’ i.e. soul according to the Qur’an, while in some versions, it is ‘Pran’ in Hindi and ‘Jaan’ in Urdu i.e. the ‘Self’ (Naf’s) in Qur’an. I assume that the question regarding the spirit corresponds to the ‘Self’ (Naf’s) and not the soul (Rooh).

Let me first clarify the difference between the soul and the self by an example.

The male sperm is a living thing and female egg is also a living thing. Millions of sperms have their own consciousness and choice when they compete with each other to fertilize an egg. They combine to produce a zygote which again is a living thing but it is not a human being. Even when it develops in to a fetus, it is not a baby, though its chromosomes or DNAs have all its future characteristics or attributes of the person to be borne in advance. So the under-formed baby has a self of its own and a body too, but when the soul is associated with it, it becomes a human being.

The Qur’an says that the body of the human being was created from the elements of the earth (non-living things)[1].Then, He produced life in the cells and gave them capacity and tendency to breed its progeny [2]. Each of the living cells or the sperms has its own Naf’s or self. The process of formation of baby in the womb is described in detail in Ayahs 22:5 and 23:12-14. At some stage when the brain, heart, eyes and ears have been completed inside the womb, the soul is associated with it and it becomes a human being [3].

The spirit (Naf’s or self) is a living entity. It has consciousness, it takes all the decisions, good or bad and when it is associated with a lifeless body, the body has life and the parts of the body act according to wishes of the spirit (Naf’s or self). The body is merely a medium or a machine but the body, being material, can see and observe it, while the spirit is spiritual or non-material and can not be comprehended. That is why the Qur’an says that it is Naf’s that will be accountable in the next life for its good and bad deeds in this world [4], [5], [6].


  1. He is the One who perfected everything He created, and started the creation of the human from clay. (32:7)
  2. Then He reared his lineage from the extract of a worthless fluid. (32:8)
  3. Then He perfected (organs and limbs in) him and breathed into him of His Rooh (soul) and made for you ears and (then) eyes and heart and brain. You give thanks but little. (32:9)
  4. …on the Day of Resurrection when every soul shall be paid in full for what it has accomplished, and they shall not be done any injustice. (3:161)
  5. …Had We (enforced) Our will We would have (already) given every Naf’s its (appropriate) guidance (by force)…
  6. …whoever slays a Naf’s – unless it be for (slaying) a person or for (reforming) disorder in the land, it is as if he has killed entire human race. And whoso saves it, it is as if he has saved the entire mankind…(5:32)


Can a Nafs/Self experience change?

Q: According to the Quran, can a Nafs/Self experience change? If so, What is/are the condition(s) that can lead to a positive change in the Nafs/Self?

A: Yes, it is the Naf’s, self of a person that has been given a choice to act or not according to divine guidance [1].The Qur’an says that God created the Naf’s so that He gave it both good and bad attributes to choose from. The good and bad tendencies are both inherent in the Naf’s. It is for the Naf’s to evolve itself by choosing the good and suppressing the bad.

Whose Naf’s avoids the disobedience of God, it leads to its evolution and ultimate success and a pleasant future here and the life hereafter. But whose Naf’s suppresses its good qualities, it leads to his failure in future life here and hereafter [2].

When all the spirits (Naf’ses) of a group of a people or a nation change collectively, only then the change is brought about in the fate of that group or nation [3].

So, the Naf’s being a conscious and intelligent entity, capable of acting or rejecting the divine guidance, can change itself for good or for bad. The positive change occurs when it follows the divine guidance [4].


  1. Enlightments have come to you from your Lord, so whosoever sees, will do so for (the good of) his Naf’s (ownself), and whosoever blinds himself, will do so to his own detriment, and (say to the disbelivers that) I am not a watcher over you. (6:104)
  2. The spirit (Naf’s, self) (of a human) and Who fashioned its perfection (both) witness that He (the Lord) imbued it with its (attribute) of disintegration and its protection by following God’s Laws. Successful indeed is the one who evolved or purified it (the spirit, Naf’s) and doomed is the one who buries or corrupts it. (91:7-10)
  3. … God does not change the condition of a people unless they change what is in their (spirits, selves)…(13:11)
  4. Say, “O’ People, the Truth has come to you from your Lord. Whoever chooses to follow the path of guidance follows it for the good of his own spirit (Naf’s, self) and whoever chooses to go astray does so to his own loss. I am not responsible for your conduct. (10:108)


Why should we study other religious scriptures?

Q: Why should we study (research) other religious scriptures, and what kind of attitude should we have while doing so?

A: Deen (Dharma or True religion) is not man-made but Given by God since the inception of mankind. From time to time, God delivered its Message to the prophets. Deen has always been One as God’s Will for mankind cannot alter in different eras. Only the language and genre or style of language changed and some rules and laws changed according to the civilisations. The basic set of belief and faith and also the values remained the same. The reason why so many religions seem so different from one another is that-while many of them are man-made philosophies, the rest have deviated from the original teachings of the True Scriptures. Some True Scriptures have gone through interpolations too, so now they contain the revealed as well as the interpolated Knowledge.

We must invite people to the teachings of True Scriptures and the True teachings that are still present in the interpolated scriptures, and for that, we have to understand that all True Prophets delivered True scriptures bearing the same message from God. True Scriptures and True teachings of interpolated scriptures corroborate, verify and support each other. That is the reason why we must study all true scriptures to lead mankind to God and to develop unity and love among people. There are many people and organisations who are doing this job of researching through the heap of scriptures to find out the True Scriptures among them that were revealed to mankind by One God. We must realise that they are not ‘other scriptures’ but our own. All True Scriptures revealed to mankind belong to all.

We must be honest and rational in our search for True Scriptures and to start with or at least in the beginning, we must pay equal respect to all.


According to Islam, can scriptures also be subjected to verification?

Q: Science is recognized as a fact and a law when the hypothesis that is “presumed to be correct” is proven by a verification process. Before being proven, it’s just a theory. According to Islam, can scriptures also be subjected to verification?

A: Before answering to the specific question about my scripture, I would like to contest the myth about the present day science that has been stated before the question.

It is widely claimed that to declare a hypothesis as truth, it is essential that all the stages of the phenomenon must be observable and replicable for the subsequent observers of the process.

Strangely, the scientists miserably failed to go through this verification process while declaring the theories of beginning of the universe or the beginning of life.

Their creation theory originates form a infinitely dense mass of a presumed particle of infinitely small volume, they named as ‘Singularity’. The Sigulararity expanded into the huge universe of today. What was that which triggered this Singularity to start expanding with a Big Bang? Again they presume some hypothetical ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘Dark Energy’ caused it. They never observed either Singularity or Dark Matter and ‘Dark Energy. They tried to create the atmosphere of the beginning of the universe in an experiment called ‘Hadron Collider’ in a laboratory in the hope of observing the creation of a new particle. But the all-time most expensive underground laboratory in Geneva, designed by more than 10,000 scientists, 1000 universities and institutions of more than 100 countries failed miserably to achieve their main objective.

Life, they presumed, originated in certain conditions of temperature and chemical reactions to form protein molecules etc. Despite consistent efforts and thousands of experiments with innumerable combinations, they could not create life by these molecules.

To this day, they do not know for sure the cause of creation of the universe or life in it. They presume and presume and presume without any verification process but they refuse to acknowledge, without a verification process, the claim of all Religions that the originator of the universe and life is a ‘Super Intelligent Being’!

The hypothesis of the scientists are based on logical reverse deductions of the existence they observe today but they adamently reject the existence of God by logic without observing or feeling Him. WHY are they so illogical in this regards? Precisely because they do not delve on the question ‘WHY’. They only think of ‘How’ about a process neglicting the ‘WHY’ or the Purpose. The religion gives utmost importance to ‘WHY’ and the devotees of all Religions not only find God but they can actually feel Him.

The Qur’an says that if those having wisdom, ponder over the creation of the universe and day and night system on the earth, they must surely come to the conclusion that all this creation has a purpose behind it.

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night there are signs for those who are endowed with insight. They are those who remember God standing, and sitting and (lying) on their sides and reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth (they come to the conclusion and say,) ‘Our Lord! You have not created (all) this aimlessly…” (3.190-91)

Coming to the main question, yes, the Qur’an insists on using brains, rationale, logic, wisdom and verification of everything including the Qur’an itself. It has the distinction of being the only scripture which asks its followers not to belive in it blindly. It says:

“(The real submitters to the Most Compassionate) are those who, when reminded of their Lord’s revelations, do not bow their heads to it (as) deaf and blind. ” (25:73)

It says that the blind and the seer can never be alike, therefore one should apply mind.

“The example of these two parties (the believers and the unbelievers) is that of the blind and the deaf, compared to those who see and hear. Can the two be equal? Will you not then be mindful?” (11:24)

On at least 3 places, the Qur’an reiterates the principle that conjectures (hypothesis) can never be equated with Truth (the facts).

“They have no (sure) knowledge of this. They follow nothing but assumptions. And surely assumptions can in no way replace the truth.” (53:28)

Qur’an insists upon the pragmatic test of all its orders to its followers. It fortells the outcome of all its commandments here in this world so that the believers could test whether they are following the orders correctly or not. For example it says that the fasting must develop ‘Taqwah’ (a guarding capacity against evil deeds).

When the disbelievers try to forcibly stop a preacher to act according to his faith, it directs him to challenge them to let both the parties act accrding to their beliefs and examine the outcome of both in future, i.e. to go through a pragmatic test.

“Say: O my people, persist with what you are doing, and let me do mine, and in time you will come to know to whom the future belongs. Surely the unjust will never prosper.” (6:135)

It says that those human beings who do not use brains are the worst of all creatures.

“Indeed the worst of all creatures in God’s sight are those deaf and dumb ones who do not use brains.” (8:22)

More than 25% of the Ayahs in Qur’an invite the reader to ponder over Earth, Planets, Moon, Sun, sunrise and sunset twilights, dawn, the day and night sky, stars and navigation, zodiacs, the lunar calendar, the relation between solar and lunar calendars, the age of cosmos, the expanding universe, the big bang, the big crush, the protective layers covering the earth, the mountains, different animals, air, theseas, surface tension, the clouds-formation, the water cycle, different vegetaion, fruits, man’s own body organs, the development of fetus and the stages of the new born in the womb etc.

In more than 100 Ayah’s it asks men to usee, wisdom and brains.

Throughout its text, the Qur’an produces logical arguments and evidences from the comprehensible universe to prove its truthfulness and wherever the people of earlier versions of Word of God stray from the true teachings in their books, it asks the believers to challenge them to show their contensions in their scriptures.

“…Say: Come forward, then, with the Torah and recite it, if what you say is true!” (3:93)

The Qur’an warns against following the conjectures and assumptions even if such assumptions are believed by a large majority.

“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from God’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie.” (6:116)

Above is a very concise description of the Qur’an being a great proponent of rationality and logic and it strongly warns against the blind following. True to its teaching, the Muslims must always be prepared to present it to any scanner of logic. The Qur’an claims that it will never be altered or interpolated by the conspirators. (15:9 and 41:42 etc.) Such a confidant claim surely includes the readiness to be put to any authentic and reliable scruitiny.

And finally, in that light, every scripture that claims to be unadultrated should be subjected to the scrutiny and verification. If some one resists or hesitates to accept the verification process, he/she either does not possess knowledge of his/her scripture or his/her claim for the purity of the scripture is not authentic.


How could religious scriptures be verified?

Q: If scriptures are subject to verification, what type of content can be provided as an evidence for verifying that your religious scriptures are divine teachings or are the truth?

A: Before the verification process of the scriptures we have to understand that they are from One God, therefore, the basic principles of all the scriptures must not differ. Hence, all those principles and teachings which are common in all the scriptures are surely divine. Man can not design and plan the common teaching of the scriptures separated from each other by thousands of years. What we should be concerned about, are the main differences with each other, as the unchanged Eternal God can not alter His basic purpose, principles and requirements for His creation. Therefore, any verification process should be limited to those teachings of different scriptures which are are different or contradictory with each other.

The scriptures we have are in the form of written books. Though the words of the scriptures are divine, but they are reduced in to writing by human beings, not God. We cannot censure God. We have to obey Him but before committing to accept all that God’s commands, we have to be absolutely sure that evey word we receive in His name, is from Him only. We have to make sure that is not adultrated or interpolated and the human thoughts have not been inserted in to them intentionally or unintentially. To verify the authenticity of the scripture we have to look for both the external and internal evidences.

God can convey His Message to humanity by two processes. By descending personally in a human mould or by selecting a truthful pious human being and revealing to him His message for the humanity. Whatever be the claim of a particular religion from the above two, we have to examine, how secure is the process of preservation of the scripture from the FIRST PERSON (whether God in human mould or a human Messenger) to this day. For that, we have to know the following:

External aspect of the ‘Verification Process’:

  • Was it reduced in to writing by people then and there when it was revealed?
  • If yes, does the original master copy of the scripture still exists?
  • If the original copy does not exist, what is the time-lag between the FIRST PERSON and the oldest availabe manuscripts of that scripture?
  • Was there any security system available which guarateed the safety of the text during that time-lag between the FIRST PERSON and the oldest availabe manuscripts of that scripture?
  • Do different ancient available manuscripts of the scripture tally with each other or they differ with each other?
  • Whether we find only one version of the scripture throughout the world or there are different texts differing with each other?

Internal aspect of the ‘Verification Process’:

  • Does the scripture not contain any text within it that unambiguously proves that some text is added at a later time?
  • Are there no contradictions within the scripture, i.e. whether no part or portion of the scripture contradicts some other part or portion of the scripture?
  • Is there no prediction or foretelling in the scripture which did not materialize?
  • Does the scripture not contradict with proved scientific phenomena?
  • Is there nothing in the scripture that contradicts the ‘Principles of Natural Justice’?
  • Is there an internal security mechanism within the scripture that guards against an interpolation or change in the scripture?

The security of the Qur’anic text:

Coming to the Qur’an, it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in small segments, over a period of 23 years. Whenever a segment comprising of some Ayahs was revealed, it was immediately reduced into writing on leather parchments by the scribes summoned by the Prophet. The scribes used to read that paticular segment to the Prophet (who could not read or write) and after he had verified it, they filed it between two hard covers called ‘The Book’. The Book in this way was reduced in to writing before the eyes of Prophet Muhammad. His wife Hafsa was made the custodian of this master copy. It remained with her till after about 15 years of the Prophet’s demise, the 3rd Caliph Hazrat Usman requested her to loan to him the Master Copy to make six other standardised hand-written copies of The Book i.e. Qur’an. Those copies were made on paper which was invented in China in the Prophet’s life-time but was available in Arabia by the time of the 3rd Caliph.

Meanwhile, with every new revelation, to the Prophet, a large no. of his companions used to memorize it. When the Prophet departed there were hundreds of people who had memorized the full Qur’an. To this day, the custom was never broken. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are called ‘Huffaaz’ (the plural of Haafiz, one who secures or guards) in the world today. In fact, there is no place on earth where there are Muslims and Huffaaz are not there.

In addition to these Huffaaz, every Muslim is required to recite some part of the Qur’an in the obligatory prayers 5 times a day. So practically evey Muslim has to memorize some small or a large part of the Qur’an.

A security system for the scripture was devised during the reign of the 2nd Caliph Hazrat Umar (after nearly 5 years of the demise of the Prophet). Muslims were encouraged to offer a special Salah Prayer, called ‘Taraveeh’ in congregation during the month of Ramadhan. This is offerred at night in almost all the mosques of the world till this day. The practice was never broken in between. During this Taravih Salah, the whole Qur’an is recited loudly by a Haafiz and the Huffaaz are present there to promptly correct him if the Imam or leader Haafiz forgets or mis-recites even a word.

A large number of Huffaaz keep strengthening the Qur’an in their memory and in this way the written and published copies of the Qur’an are exactly according to the memorized Qur’an.

This is how the Qur’an came to this day with a practical and pragmatic guarantee that every word in the present Qur’an is the same as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Its text is completely secured and all the sects or sub-sects of Muslims in the world swear to the same text of the Qur’an.

The internal evidence:

The Qur’an itself claims that you will not find any contradictions within a secure word of God.

Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Had it been from anyone other than God, they would have certainly found in it many inconsistencies.” (4:82)

There is no prediction in Qur’an about future times that could be proven false.

Not a single Ayah of the holy Qur’an contradicts with any proven scientific phenomenon.

No teaching of the Qur’an contradict the ‘Principles of Natural Justice’.

There are two internal mathematical security codes in the Qur’an that assure that evey single word in the script is sacred. Demonstration or understanding of these codes is not possible within this article and hence, I am forced to skip it.


Fasting in Islam

Q: Is there a record in Quran regarding fasting? What is the purpose of fasting and are there any teachings with regards to fasting?

A: Fasting for a month every year is of the basic pillars of Islam. It is obligatory for every Muslim who is not sick and who is not travelling. The purpose of fasting described by Qur’an is to create ‘Taqwah’ in the person fasting.

Taqwah is staying away from disobedience of God because of love and devotion to Him.

Staying away from all kind of food, drinks and even water from dawn to sunset for a month without break is a very strenuous exercise that needs a lot of will power and endurance. No one keeps a watch over them but they do not even drink a drop of water even in their seclusion. They do it for the love of God as He has ordered it to them. This practice for the whole month is bound to increase in them the devotion for Him.

“O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for the people before you so that you may become the men with Taqwah.” (2:183)

The true love of God is bound to create love for His creation. When some one experiences hunger and thirst for whole days for over a month every year, he should realize the pain of hunger and thirst in the needy persons. If he does not, he has all along been starving instead of fasting.


Food In Quran

Q: Does the Quran make any mention of food? If it does, what is the meaning of food according to it?

A: Human beings like all living things need to take food. Biologically, the food of a human being is a substance acquired from the living things to gain energy, to grow and to keep healthy.

There are two words in Qur’an which denote the English word ‘Food’. One is ‘Ta’am’ which is the normal biological food described above.

“And they (the believers) give food, out of love for Him (God), to the poor and the orphan and the captive.” (76:8)

The other word is ‘Riz’q’ which may broadly be translated as sustenance. This word encompasses two kinds of provisions. One is the material food and needs, the other kind is spiritual food or needs.

“Ask them: Who provides you sustenance from the heavens and the earth?…” (34:24) [Physical provisions]

“It is He (God) Who shows you His signs and sends down for you provision from above (for your spiritual well-being), yet none heed (His revelations) except one who turns (to Him) again and again.” (40:13) [Spiritual provisions]


Food allowed in Islam

Q: Does the Quran explain what kinds of food one should eat and what kinds of food one should not eat?

A: Broadly, there are two types of instructions regarding which food should be eaten and which is either prohibited or undesirable.

(1) The following are the four eatables that have been declared unlawful by Qur’an:

“Say: ‘I do not find in that Revelation which has been sent to me anything forbidden to anyone who eats (such things) as he takes in food except carrion (which dies of itself), or flowing blood, or the flesh of swine, for it is unclean, or the sinfully slaughtered animal on which some name other than Allah’s Name has been invoked at the time of slaughter. But he who becomes helpless (due to hunger), and is neither disobeying nor transgressing, then surely your Lord is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.” (6:145)

Even in case of lawful animal foods, there is an obligation of invoking God’s name at the time of slaughter, without which it becomes unlawful.

“And do not eat of that on which Allah’s name has not been pronounced, for it is the sure (product of) disobedience…” (6:121)

The condition of not being carrion and pronouncing Allah’s Name does not apply to animals who breath inside water like fishes, lobsters, oysters etc. They are unconditionally lawful.

“The hunting from the sea and the eating thereof is made lawful for you…” (5:96)

All intoxicants whether they be eatables, drinks, inhalable or injectable substances have been prohibited by Qur’an.

“O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.” (5:90)

Please note that the reply is pertaining to prohibited food only and not the unlawful earnings. Any perfectly lawful food becomes unlawful when purchased from unlawful earning. There are some other circumstances when a lawful food becomes unlawful. For example the Prophet (pbuh) declared that one would not be a believer if he eats wholesomely while any of his neighbor (40 households around him) starves. His food then become unlawful.

(2) Apart from unlawful foods (and drinks or intakes), there is large category of unclean, extremely unhealthy or undesirable foods. The Qur’an ordained:

“And eat of the clean and lawful things Allah has provided for you and always stay away from disobedience Allah in Whom you believe.” (5:88)

Of not unlawful but unclean or undesirable things, there are all those that are gravely harmful to health. Regarding the unclean or undesirable animal food, we drive the following principles from a large number of Hadiths.

  • The meat of all quadrupeds having canine teeth, is unclean and undesirable.
  • The meat of all violent wild animals.
  • The meat of all birds with curved beaks except parrot.
  • The meat of crow.


Is there any special food given to humanity?

Q: An Eastern philosopher (Namsago) wrote a prophecy that says: “The food from the chosen person, the three types of grains (fire, rain, dew), eat them to have eternal life.” It mentions a special kind of food to be given to all of humanity. Is there mention of any special food to be given to humanity in the quran?

A: The Qur’an does not recognize all the physically living men and women as really alive. The purpose of food is the sustenance and the growth and evolution of a living being. If his growth and evolution is stopped, he is dead rather than alive. The special food for spiritual growth and eternal life is distributed by the Prophet. Those who do not receive it are considered still in their graves. It is up to men who wish to remain in their graves and who want to become alive.

“The (spiritually) living and the (spiritually) dead are not alike. Allah causes to hear whom He will. But you cannot make those hear who are (lying buried) in the graves (of ignorance and prejudice).” (35:22)

“O you who believe! respond to Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life…” (8:24)


If Hindua and Muslims have common ancestry, why do their followers fight over later deviance from this hoary legacy?

Q: If Hindu scriptures have foretold the advent of Islam’s Prophet, does it not show that both Hindu and Muslim religions have a common ancestry? Then why do their followers fight over later deviance from this hoary legacy?

            (C.O.Sadasivan ; Trivandrum)

Answer: Dharma or Deen (the eternal religion) has always been one as God is One and Dharma is the way of life, which God has revealed, to the humanity through His messengers. No person is permitted to make amends in or deviate from it. Whoever has deviated, be he a Hindu or a Muslim must return to the Straight Path (Supatha of Vedas or Siraat-e-Mustaqeem of Qur’an). In this lies his success of the Next and Final Life. Diversity in cultures of mankind is like beautiful flowerbeds of a garden but there should be unity of faith. While detailing the Oneness of God, the concept of eternal Life Hereafter and the principle of prophet-hood, the Rigveda had concluded by giving a call of unity of faith in its last Sukta (chapter):

“Their Mantra (of One God) be common, common the assembly (of mankind), uniform the mind and be their thoughts united. A uniform purpose do I lay before you, and worship with your general oblation.” (R.V. 10:191:3)

The same principles were revealed by the subsequent prophets of God in newer folds (Shariats) to suit the changing needs of humankind. Vedas had also given a call to adopt the new folds of the same Dharma:

“Make the path ready for a hymn newer and newer evermore. Make the lights shine as erst they shone.” (R.V. 9:9:8)

The last Prophet of the same Dharma, whose advent you have referred to, revealed the last and final path. Rigveda has described the woe of those straying from that path in the following verse:

“I ask the last of sacrifice (Yagya). THAT PROPHET shall reveal it forth. Where has the ancient divine law gone? Who is its new diffuser now? Mark this my woe, ye Earth and Heaven.” (R.V. 1:105:4)

The need for unity of faith notwithstanding, the fighting over it is not permitted. Qur’an advised:

“Call men to the path of your Lord with wisdom and mild exhortation. Reason with them in the most courteous manner.” (16:125)



What is the concept of monotheism in Islam?

Q: What is the concept of monotheism in Islam? Does not monotheism immediately raise the question —— God from whose point of view? For example monkey’s idea of God will be quite different from that of a cattle’s idea … and so on, not to speak of the variety of viewpoints that exist among human beings.

I believe that the aforementioned question is quite relevant. For example the god of goats, sheep etc. that are done to death in the name of sacrifice (on Idd etc.) would condemn all human beings to hell!!

(Amit Agarwal ; [email protected])


If there are gods from the point of view of animals, they will also condemn human beings to hell for enslaving the animals for their use. In the eyes of those gods it would not be justifiable to tie a cow to a nail for using her milk. They will not tolerate the use of oxen, donkeys, horses, camels and other animals for the benefit of mankind.

In your examples, you did not mention the gods of hills, rivers and other non-living things. Probably in your intellectual sub-conscious, you think that only living beings need God. In other words, God or gods are for those who have wisdom and intellect. On the basis of arguments of your sub-conscious, it may be argued that if there were separate gods of all living beings, the God of humans, would have been greatest of them, being God to the most wise creatures. Alternately, the God of human being would alone have right to be called THE ALMIGHTY. Ultimately, The Almighty among all beings will be One and no other god would have power to condemn the Almighty’s subjects to hell for whatever reason.

Your line of thinking is not unique. Our God tells us that people in other ages have also been expressing surprise over oneness of God:

“Has he (the prophet) made the gods (all) into One God? Verily this is a curious thing”! (38:5)  

But the Qur’an especially invites intellectuals among men to use their wisdom:

“This (Qur’an) is a Message for mankind in order that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is the only one God and that men of wisdom may take heed.” (14:52)

According to Islamic monotheism, God is He who has created not only human beings and animals but all universe. He alone, without a partner in His God-ship, is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of all His creation. Those who can think of gods from different points of view of different creation, actually do not believe in God at all. It is only their intellectual way of saying that instead of One God being the Creator, human beings have created a God for themselves.

The naturists claim that every phenomenon in this universe can be ascribed to nature and its laws. A believer goes a step further. What is nature and who ordained its laws? The creator of nature and ordainer of its laws is our God. Besides nature comprises of matter and energy but there is something beyond nature and energy in life. The creation of bodies is attributed to nature but who created life and consciousness in bodies? Nature cannot explain life. Qur’an asks the disbelievers to reflect upon the phenomenon of life and death:

“How can you disbelieve in Allah? Don’t you realize that you were dead and He gave you life? Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of resurrection) and then unto Him you will return”. (2:27)

There is a stage between the process of creation of man when a metaphysical thing or soul or consciousness is associated with the matter and energy of his body. When it is taken away he dies. Death is an undeniable phenomenon of life. Everyone who lives, dies. What is death? Is it merely a failure of machinery run by nature? Suppose a young and healthy man meets with an accident and encounters a head injury causing his death. The doctors diagnose the clotting of blood as the cause of death. They say if the operation was performed a little earlier, the man could have been saved. What is the problem now? The machinery is new and healthy. Remove that clot now and replace all that which has been deteriorated and start his heart beat by a pacifier. But it is beyond dispute that once dead, he can not be brought back to life in this world. The creator of this life which no one else can create, is God.

When you look into a mirror you see only the body of Amit Agarwal. You have never seen the real Amit Agarwal who feels, enjoys and grieves through the medium of that body. The God of this universe who created Amit Agarwal shall one day take him away. God can not be seen through this material body. He can only be realized by a redeemed soul. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told us: “One who realized his own self shall ultimately realize his Lord”.

Realization of one’s own self can only be achieved through proper recognition of one’s relationship with his Lord, the relationship of a bondsman or woman who loves and submits with all his self to his or her Lord who created him/her with a purpose. Unless you know the purpose of your existence and your proper relationship with other creation, you can not really understand the right of a human being over other creation. But before that I must discuss the subject of One God or many gods.

We, as well as other beings are all a part of this universe. As there can not be two presidents or Prime ministers of a country, two M.Ds or managers of a company or organization, there can not be more than one God of this universe. The God of men can not be different from the God of other creation of this universe. He condemns us to hell in this world if we ignore the laws laid down by him in the universe. The human habitats come to disasters when they disturb the ecological balance for their greed. Our God has instructed us:

“And the firmament, He raised high and He has set up the balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient. And the earth, He laid down for the creatures”. (55:7-10)

Were there different gods for different creatures, they could never have maintained the due balance in the universe that is necessary for its existence. God of all universe declared:

“… There is no god along with Him. Had there been many gods, each would have govern his creation and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified is Allah above all that they attribute to him”. (23:91)

You have also mentioned the differences about one God among different groups of mankind. God says that all nations were guided and told of truth but people have distorted truth. Had not the creation of mankind been for a specific purpose, which demands the liberty of human’s actions, the differing groups would have been set right by force.

“Mankind were but one community. Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, it would have been settled between them regarding what they differed”. (! 0:19)

“Have they chosen earthly deities? And (can) these deities restore the dead to life? Had there been other gods in heaven and earth beside Allah, there would have been ruin in both. Glorified is Allah, the Lord of the Throne, above those (falsehood) they ascribe to him. None shall question Him about His works but they shall be questioned. Have they chosen other gods beside Him? Say: ‘Bring your proof.’ Here is the Reminder (the Qur’an) for those with me and the reminder for those before me. But most of them know not the truth, so they are averse”. (21:21-24)

All the earlier scriptures, even in their interpolated form testify to one God, as the Qur’an has claimed but man made works have invented other gods and partners beside Him.

I now come back to the purpose of creation. God of the universe is greatest. But greatness is a relative word. Unless there are others who are lesser, there can not be a greatest. Moreover, greatness would merely be a word if it is not recognized or better still realized in its possessor. For the realization of greatness of the Greatest, it was essential that there were others capable of realizing Him. So He created and the main target of His creation were beings of such intellect and wisdom that would be capable of realizing Him. Again, the recognition and realization would have no meaning unless those beings were granted the liberty of choice between the submission to and rejection of the truth. This leads us to the logical conclusion that the creation of human being was the ultimate purpose of all creation. After the human being would be granted the liberty of choice, it would also essential that those fulfilling their purpose of creation should be tested from those who fail. The earthly life is the testing ground before placing the worthy and unworthy in their respective abodes in the real and eternal life. The other beings in this world are to make possible the existence of human. God created other living and non-living things so that each human being could survive for an appointed time till his transfer to the other world. So brother, our God is the same God who created animals and others for our benefit. He established and maintained a balance between all his creation. The balance is based on His divine laws, which are not to be transgressed. Man may tame and use the animals for his benefit as he may tame other forces of nature. Man’s diet has been destined as only the living beings but distinction has been made by the creator Himself between different living-beings according to their grades and class. The animals are superior to plants and can be sacrificed for them while plants and animals both can be sacrificed for man. Not all but only the prescribed and permitted animals can be sacrificed for man in a prescribed manner which includes thanking God for His permission.

The above was an intellectual discussion as you demanded. This is notwithstanding your onus to prove your conjecture that there are gods from animals’ point of view. But God who created man did not leave him alone to come out of darkness through mere intellectual conjectures and discussions. He sent exact guidance to mankind in all ages and places in their respective languages through His chosen ones, the prophets. Although the previous scriptures even in their present form, verify what I have described earlier, His last and unadulterated Word informed us:

“It was not in sport that We created the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them. Had it been Our will to find a pastime We could have found one near at hand if We were to do it”. (21:16-17)

“Do you not see how Allah has subjected to you all that the heavens and the earth contain and lavished on you both His visible and unseen favours? Yet some would argue about Allah without knowledge or guidance or illuminating scriptures”. (31:20)

“He has made the night and the day and the sun and the moon, subservient to you: the stars also serve you by His leave. Surely in this there are signs for men of understanding. And what He created for you in the earth, is of various hues: surely in this there is a sign for people who remember. It is He who has subjected to you the ocean, so that you may eat of its fish and bring up from it the ornaments with which to adorn your persons. And you see the ships ploughing their course through it. (All this He has created) that you may seek His bounty and render thanks to Him”. (16:12-14)

“It is Allah who provided you with cattle, that you may ride on some and eat of the flesh of others — many benefits you have from them — and that you may satisfy through them a desire) in your hearts (of transporting goods to places. On them and on ships you are carried. And He reveals to you His signs (and proof of His oneness in all the above things). Which then of the signs (and proofs) of Allah do you deny”? (40:79-81)

Does destiny affect a person’s free choice to do good or bad?

Q. Destiny (Taqdeer) is predetermined. Although Taqdeer Muallaq can be changed by supplication and prayers but certain things are categorized under Taqdeer Mubram, which is not to be changed like the birth or death of a person, the time, the place and cause of occurrence. But suicide is Haraam in Islam and the person committing the suicide is said to have committed a grievous sin. Since the cause of one’s death has already been determined, the suicidal deaths can also not be prevented, because a person’s death is predetermined and if one is destined to die as such, he will commit suicide.

(Farzana Feza ; Allahabad)


I do not remember any Hadith mentioning that the manner of death of a person is destined to remain unchanged. Even the time of death is extended through supplication and prayer. Anyway, whether the cause of death of a person is predetermined or subject to change according to Allah’s will, it does not alter the nature of sin of a person if he attempts suicide.

One thing is quite clear from Qur’an. A man is free to choose between the good or bad path for himself. Allah (swt) says: “We showed him the right path, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” (76:3)

Although a human is free in opting for either way, he has no control over the actual happenings in this world. The occurrence after his attempt to act good or bad is in Allah’s control. He may shoot at an attacking beast in trying to save the life of a person but may in fact end up in killing the man instead. This happening is from Allah and while the dead was destined to die from his bullet, his act will be recorded as saving a man’s life. Similarly one may poison a person with the intention of killing him but if it so happens that the inadequate quantity of that particular poison cures him of a serious killer disease, the man who poisoned him shall get no reward for saving his life. His deed will be recorded as equivalent to murder.

Consider the following probabilities in context of a person attempting suicide.

  1. He shoots himself and dies instantaneously.
  2. After shooting himself, he goes into a coma and dies after a long time without ever recovering.
  3. He shootshimself but before he could die of his own injury, he is bitten by a deadly snake and dies of its poison.
  4. He shoots by placing the pistol over his temple but the only bullet misfires and he lives after that.
  5. He attempts to shoot himself but another person intervenes and in the ensuing struggle, the one who wanted to save him gets killed by mistake.

In case 3 above, he was destined to die of snakebite at the same time and place he attempted to kill himself. It does not in any way wash him off his sin, which is same as in the earlier two cases. In cases 4 and 5, though the results are different, his sin remains the same. Whether he dies of his bullet immediately or later, or dies of some other cause at the same instant, or survives the attempt or kills someone else by mistake, the nature of his sin does not change. The results in all the five cases were in Allah’s control. He will be adjudged on the basis of his attempt to commit suicide, an act which he performed up to its end as far as he was concerned. Suicide was his act in all the above cases while the nature of his death, or his survival or some other person’s death in his place was the destiny ordained by God. It must be clear from the above that destiny does not affect a person’s free choice to do good or bad.

How to repent if we have consumed Haram meat?

Q: Once when I visited one of my non-Muslim friend’s house, I was served chicken and beef. Although I was reluctant to eat the food as I was not sure if it was Halal. I was in such a situation that I could not refuse to eat. As I have read in the Qur’an that a person who eats Haram food is a disbeliever, I was filled with remorse and deep anguish. Is it enough if I sincerely repent to Allah or should I perform some compensatory act?

(XXX ; Tamil Nadu)


However grave the sin, Allah is most likely to forgive if you repent sincerely, provided that:

  • It is not Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah)
  • It is not an offence committed against another human being.
  • You strengthen your repentance through your deeds and strongly resolve not to commit that sin again.

The Lord has repeatedly reassured His servants through the like of following verses of His Word:

“He that repents and makes amends by good deeds, truly returns to Allah.” (25:71)

Eating Haram food does not amount to disbelief. Verse 5:3 names the offence as ‘Fisq’ i.e. impiety or disobedience. However in your particular case it may also amount to concealment of truth vide the following verse.

“He has forbidden you carrion, blood and the flesh of swine … Those that suppress any part of the Book Allah has revealed…” (2:173-74)

The expiation thereof is to make known the truth along with the repentance you have already felt.

“Those that hide the clear proofs and the guidance We have revealed after We have proclaimed them in the Book, shall be cursed by Allah and shall be cursed by the cursors; except those that repent and mend their ways and make known the truth. Towards them I shall relent. I am the relenting one, the Merciful.” (2:159-60)

Your responsibility now is to go to your friend’s house where you had eaten Haram meat and tell him in a decent manner that Islam forbids that meat which has not been properly slaughtered and that over which the name of One God has not been pronounced. Believe me they will appreciate you when you will tell them that Haram meat contains blood that nobody wants to eat even in cooked form. It is harmful and less tasty compared to the Halal meat. To reassure you, I might tell you that a number of my non-Muslim friends have made it a point to always purchase from a Halal meat shop after knowing its advantages over Haram meat.

Why is there dispute regarding the date of birth of the Prophet (PBUH)?

Q. In Lucknow, the Sunnis celebrated the birthday of Prophet Muhammad on 12th. Of Rabi-ul-Awwal while the Shias did so on 17th. The Prophet is a historical figure and not a mythical entity. How can there be a dispute about this vital event of his life? It is also said that the Prophet’s date of birth and death is same. This would mean that the Shias are disputing the date of the latter event also.

(V.N. Jindal ; Lucknow)

Answer.     The people started revering the Prophet (pbuh) after the revelations started when he was 40. His followers started recording the minutest things associated with him. Though the Arabs of his time remembered and recorded years of important events and sometimes remembered the day of the week and the month of the event but the tradition of recording dates started with the advent of his prophethood. No one knew or remembered the actual date of his birth though the month and year of his birth were known. It was also known that he was born on Monday. It was Monday, the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal when he breathed his last. The Companions and historians solemnly recorded it. As the weekday and the month of his demise coincided with those of his birth it was probably presumed by some devotees that his date of birth should also be the same i.e. 12th. There is no authentic tradition or narration to verify that he was born on 12th. Some renowned scholars including Maulana Azad tried to calculate the date on the basis of difference in number of days in a lunar and solar year. They came to the conclusion that 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal in the year of Prophet’s birth was not a Monday. Most researchers therefore are of the opinion that his date of birth should be 9th which according to their calculation falls on a Monday. This of course is contrary to the popular Sunni belief. A majority of them do not want to investigate probably because the same day of the week and the same day of the same month for his birth and demise project a sort of miraculous look to the event.

            Shias claim to follow the tradition of the Prophet’s family members. Though the authentication of Shia traditions is based in general on a lesser and inadequate standards of scrutiny and research, they may be nearer to truth in this particular instance. If 9th of Rabi-ul-Awwal was a Monday, then the next Monday fell on 16th. As the lunar months start with the occurrence of moon and there may be the difference of one day in the starting of a particular month even in nearby areas, the calculation of the researchers, howsoever careful, carries a potential of error by at least a day. It may be that on Monday, in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal in the year of Prophet’s birth, the date was 10th instead of 9th. If so, and it is not impossible, then 17th also fell on a Monday. Shia’s contention in this regard is thus more likely to be judicious.

            As for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he himself disclosed that he was born on a Monday and he used to keep fast on that day every week. He never celebrated or reportedly honoured any date as his annual date of birth.


Where is Eden Garden today?

Q: Where is Eden Garden today? Can it be seen by man as we see prophet Ibrahim’s Kaba? (Christy ; Kuwait)


Man will probably never be able to see The Garden of Eden in this life. The Garden, according to Bible, is the place where Adam and Eve were kept after their creation before being driven out to lead a normal life on earth.

           The Bible as we find it today is not the original Word of God. It has gone through large-scale manipulation and interpolation. Though most of the principles and events have retained traces of the original Message and happenings, much of it has changed. Qur’an is the only secure Word of God. Whenever it mentions the teachings or events, which are also mentioned in the Bible, the Qur’an corrects the same. Therefore, if you want the correct answer to your questions you will have to consult and rely upon Qur’an.

           The word ‘Aden (Eden)’ in Arabic means ‘to abide or stay in a place. In Hebrew, it meant ‘delight, pleasure’. The word and its derivatives are also found in Greek, Syriac, Aramese, and Babylonian with nearly the similar meaning. Geiger, the famous authority on Semitic languages says that it is only in later Rabbinic writings that the word was used for a heavenly abode. ‘Jannaat-e-Adn’ in Qur’an can be translated as heavenly abode. ‘Adn’ in Syriac means paradise.

           Although one of the nine verses in which this word occurred in the Qur’an may indicate that ‘Adn’ (Greek and English = Eden) is the name of a particular heaven, it is clear that it is not on earth. Though the description of Eden in the Bible relates to the place on earth, there also is a verse that hints at its being a different place from the earth. The verse reads: “ Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken”. (Gen. 3:23)

           ‘From whence he was taken’ refers to Gen. 2:7 which says: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul”. The verse describes in allegorical language that the body of man consisted of the elements of earth (Iron, copper, phosphorus, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen etc.). Then the Bible 2:15 says that the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden …. This shows that man whose body constituents were the elements of earth, was put into and later driven out from the garden of Eden to the same place from whence his body constituents were taken i.e. earth. It concludes from the above that the Garden of Eden is a different place from the earth where the elements are different from those of earth.

           It is remarkable that while Qur’an has mentioned the Garden of Eden (in heaven) in nine places, it has not referred to the place as Eden, where Adam was kept before being sent to earth. It is the Qur’anic way of correcting distorted events of the past. Rabbis and earlier people were familiar with the name of Eden, the paradise but confused it with the paradise in which Adam was kept.

           After committing the mistake in heaven, Adam and Eve were told “… descend you all from here …”. (Qur’an 2:38). It proves that the paradise of Adam was not on this earth. So the chances of seeing that paradise in this life are very remote in the near future. 

The dates of origin of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam

Q: When did the following religions came into existence and which year?

(i) Islam (ii) Christianity (iii) Hinduism

(Christy ; Kuwait)


Hinduism is not the name of any one religion. It is a league of hundreds of religions. The word Hindu has not occurred even once in any book revered by those who call themselves Hindus. The name of the faith of ancient Indian believers, who believed Vedas to be their Word of God, was Sanatan Dharma. There are reasons to believe that Adam, the first man on earth stepped on Indian soil when he was descended from heaven. Among all the available Books in the world that are proclaimed to be the Word of God, Vedas are the most ancient. How ancient? Nobody can answer that question with any degree of accuracy. The tales and conjectures of the writers put them from anywhere between 2000 BC to several hundred thousand years back. Sanatan Dharmis had no sense of history, so their mythologies can not be bound by fixed times.

           Christianity, as we know it today, originated from St. Paul (real name Saul). The followers of Jesus Christ did not call themselves Christians in his lifetime or until sometime after his departure. Christ is not a Hebrew word. The Hebrew for the Christ is Messiah. The name of his native village was Nazareth (Nasereh in Hebrew and Naserah in Arabic). His followers were thus called Nazarene (Nasarene or Nasrani in Hebrew and Arabic). The Talmudic name of the Christians was Naserene. So there were no Christians at the time of Christ either by that name or professing the present belief. Saul a staunch enemy of Jesus in his earthly life came to his disciples after Jesus’ heavenly departure and proclaimed that Jesus himself had appeared to him in a vision and made him his disciple. While Jesus had declared that he had not come to repeal but to fulfill the Law (the Torah) [Mat. 5:17] but Saul announced the law abrogated. The original disciples of Jesus initially opposed him but had to toe his line as his will prevailed. Christianity went a further overhaul in 325 AD when Constantine reigned. He started 25th December as the birthday of Jesus: 

“The World Book of Encyclopedia 1966 says: In AD 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on Dec. 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the Sun”. 

         (P. 41, Nazerenism by Madoc Noble, 1988)

Another of numerous proofs is given below:

           “Most of the Christian customs now prevailing are not genuine Christian Customs but heathen customs which have been absorbed or tolerated by the Church. The Saturnalia of Rome provided the model for most of the merry customs of the Christian time”.

 (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics by James Hastings quoted by above)

The research scholars differ in their opinion about Jesus’ actual date of birth. Many of them estimate it around October 1, 2 B.C.

           Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born on a Monday falling between the 9th and 17th of Rabi-ul-Awwal 13BH (Before Hijrah) or 570 CE. The revelations started coming to him at the age of 40. But to think that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the founder of Islam is against his teaching and the declaration of the holy Qur’an. He was the last Prophet of Islam, Adam being the first. The Prophets came to all races and all nations and brought The Books of God in the respective languages of the people to whom they were sent. The attributive name of the Straight Path taught by all of them was in different languages based on the language of the people of the region. In Arabic it was Islam. It may have been Sanatan Dharma in Sanskrit (which means the Eternal Religion).

The prophets taught the same basic beliefs about God, The Last Day, and the prophethood. According to the needs of the time, there were minor changes in the Law or Shariah with the advent of each Law-bearing prophet. As the means of transportation, communication, and safe-recording of Messages were very limited, the prophets came with Laws that suited their particular time and people. Just prior to the scientific explosion, when the world became practically one place and the reliable means of safekeeping the Book were discovered, came the Last Prophet of Allah with the Qur’an which would never change and which suits the need of modern times. According to Islam, the prophets who visited India, Moses, and all the prophets sent to Bani Israel, including Jesus Christ were all very esteemed prophets of Allah. Peace be upon them all. The Qur’an announced to us:

“Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between;

Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom.

But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful” (4:150-52)



The first Azan

Question: Who gave the first Azan?

(Christy ; Kuwait)


When the Prophet (pbuh) got the first mosque of his era built in Madina, he initiated consultation about the mode of calling people to prayer. He did not like the suggestions of hoisting a flag over the mosque at the time of prayer or blowing horns or beating hooters to gather the people to the mosque. The matter was under consideration when Abdullah Bin Zaid, a Companion came up with the idea of Azan which he told, was revealed to him in a vision. The Prophet was already thinking on that line and he immediately approved of it. He asked Bilal to repeat the words told by Zaid. It was the first Azan and Bilal was the first Mu’azzin.

Maryam (Mary) in Bible and Qur’an

Q:What is the status of Mary (a.s.)-mother of Jesus (a.s.)- in the Quran and the Bible?

Answer: I had related an event in one of my Qur’an expositions about my conversation with a Christian pastor. The rev. pastor was pleasantly surprised to know that the status of Mary described in the Qur’an has been in much more dignified words than in the Bible. A Christian brother’s response has been conveyed to me who disagreed with the above, quoting Luke 1:42 and 1:28. With love and regards, my rejoinder is as under:

Let me discuss the first of the above mentioned two verses: 

In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”  (Luke 1:42)

Kindly read the full context of the above verse which is as follows.

Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth:

In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed! (Luke 1:39-42)

This certificate of exaltation in Bible comes from Elizabeth and not from God while in Qur’an, Mary has been declared the Chosen One among women of all the worlds by God Himself. There is as much difference between the two descriptions as there is difference between Elizabeth and God.


And now the second verse.

In Luke 1:28

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Please compare the above with Qur’an.

In Qur’an 3:42

And when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary), surely Allah has chosen you and has blessed you with purity and has exalted you over all the women of all the worlds.’   

Don’t you notice the difference? Please consider the following example:

An education director compliments different students as:

  1. Good
  2. Very good

iii. Highly appraisable

  1. Best in your class
  2. Best among all the students of your school and…
  3. Best of all the students of the country.

Is there no difference between these? The last one is probably the best possible thing that may be said to a student.

But it is still a microscopically insignificant phrase compared to the following:

vii. The best among all the students of (not one world, but) all the worlds!

The difference between Biblical and Qur’anic praise is like the difference between (iii) and (vii) above.

But that is not all! Please compare the Jesus’ sentiments to her mother described in the Bible and the Qur’an.

In Bible:

Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “WHO IS MY MOTHER, and who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers.” (Mat. 12:47-49)

And Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” Jesus said to her, “WOMAN! WHAT DOES YOUR CONCERN HAVE TO DO WITH ME? My hour has not yet come.” (Jn 2:2-4)

In Qur’an:


I have read all the philosophical explanations of the above noted two verses of the Bible and (please excuse me) I think that only a committed blind follower can justify the behaviour of Jesus towards her mother as reported in the gospel. But we are not discussing Jesus here. We are comparing the dignified status and exaltedness with which Mary has been mentioned in the Bible and Qur’an. Please give these instances of the Bible and Qur’an to an unbiased, neutral person and ask him, “Which of the two eulogizes Mary with more glory and respect?”

And finally, I had told in that lecture that the Qur’an has titled one of its Surahs as ‘Maryam’. The Bible has the books of Job (Ayyub), Jonas (Yunus), Zechariah (Zakariah) and many other pious ones in O.T. and the books of James, Peter, John and Jude in N.T. but has no Book of Mary.

Is it not enough proof of Qur’an lauding Mary more than Bible does?

Please understand that in the above reply I am not comparing the Bible with Qur’an. I have only discussed the status of Mary in both the scriptures.

Revelation of Quran to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

Q: Our society group would be grateful to know:

i) Why was this Holy Qur’an not revealed to the Prophets before Holy Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh)?

ii) Did Holy Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh) perform miracles during his lifetime?

(J.H. Thacker; Ahmedabad)

Answer: All the earlier Prophets came when in the world there were great barriers of distance and communication between different lands. The activities of earlier Prophets, therefore were limited to the area of their possible reach. In other words, we can say that they were sent to reform their respective races. Although the basic message, the tenets of the belief and the human values preached by all of them was the same but the ‘Shariah’ (the rites and the civil & criminal law) part carried by each Prophet took into consideration, the particular habits culture and capabilities of their areas of operation. Hence although the religion of all the profits was essentially the same (submission before God), the modes of rites and the legal part differed as per the needs of the respective area. The messages (the Word of God) delivered by those Prophets also underwent human interference some time after each Prophet had departed as the human society, although progressing gradually had no fool proof and reliable recording means which could not be tampered with. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) came in an era which was just before the explosion of scientific progress. The world was to become one place after a while, with the progress in communication and transport. The reliable means of recording were also to be developed, so that there was no danger of change in the message at last Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was the first Prophet through which the Word of God was to reach in every nook and corner of the world with such a degree of safety that not even a single letter of the message would be altered. He was therefore made the Last Prophet (Pbuh) as well, as the message would now remain safe forever and would reach to every part of the world. For this reason, Qur’anic Shariah had to be complete in every respect to suit all people for all times. The Qur’an testified to it that the shariah part for each past nation was different: “For each (people) we ordained a Divine Law and a traced out way” (5:48). But it also made clear that the essentials of the religion remained unaltered. “ He has ordained for you the faith which He enjoined on Nuh and which we have revealed to you and which we enjoined on Abraham, Musa and Isa, (saying): observe this faith and be not divided therein” (42:13).

As the basic message remained the same, the Qur’an has on one occasion named the earlier Divine Books also as Qur’an: “And say I am indeed he that warns openly and without ambiguity, as We sent down on those who made division. Who made Qur’an into shreds.” (15:89-91)


Ans. ii) Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) performed such a large number of miracles that it will take a moderate sized book to compile them all. On several occasions, he fed a large number of people on the diet of one person, quenched the thirst of thousands of companions with one small potful of water. He talked to the animals, trees and Jennies, foretold a large number of events, travelled to Jerusalem and heavens within a few moments time, divided and reunited the moon by pointing a finger and performed a lot of other miracles. Even when he was a child, a Christian saint recognized him as a future Prophet. The saint witnessed the trees bowing before him and a patch of cloud moving over his head as he walked.

I have not described in detail, anyone of the above as the Qur’an does not lay emphasis on such miracles of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), Although these are part of history and although the Qur’an describes the miracles of the earlier Prophets, it calls only one of his miracles as ‘The Miracle’ which overshadowed all these described above.

Before coming to that one Miracle, let me quote Jesus Christ from the Bible, who explained to his followers that they should not be misled by everyone who performs amazing things, as extraordinary powers could be developed by anyone by intense practice. He said: “For there shall arise false Christs and false Prophets (Pbuh) and shall shew great signs and wonders in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”. (Mat. 24:24)

The whole of the Christ’s life was full of miracles right from his miraculous birth upto the amazing ascension. He cured the incurable and raised to life, the dead by God’s permission. But that did not satisfy the disbelievers and they still demanded signs. Although, he had already shown so many sings, he answered: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of the Prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mat.12:39,40)

Jesus did not remind them of all those previous miracles, Instead, he said that only one sign would be given to them. It would be such a great sign as to eclipse all the previous ones. Similarly the Qur’an talks of only one sign of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) compared to which all the other miracles are not worth calling the miracles. The Qur’an quoted the disbelievers at many places asking for signs. Although he had already performed so many miracles, the Lord told the Prophet(Pbuh) to answer them that no sign would be given to them except one, for which they had to wait, to become manifest.

Following are few of the answers in reply to the disbelievers demand that “Why is not a sign sent down to Him from His Lord?

“Have they not been given sufficient proofs (of your Prophet hood) in the previous Books” (20:133)

“Your mission is (not showing them the miracles) but only to give warning (of the Hereafter)” (13:7)

“Say, Allah is well able to send down a sign but most of them do not know (what that sign would be)”.(6:37)

“Say, Allah alone has knowledge of what is hidden wait if you will: I too am one of those who wait”. (10:20)

Why is not Qur’an referring to the miracles, the Prophet (Pbuh) often performed in reply to the demand? Because, the Last Prophet (Pbuh) was not to be a guide for a certain period and certain people. The later men of the scientific age would believe in a living proof only. They would call fairy tales, the stories of the Prophet (Pbuh) conversing with trees and animals, if recorded in Qur’an. Besides, those who did not want to believe, always scoffed at the earlier Prophets (pbuh) when confronted with the signs, calling if sorcery, magic or trickstery. The Qur’an says: “If thou camest unto them with a miracle, those who disbelieve would verily exclaim: Ye are but tricksters”. (30:58)

“And if they behold a portent they turn away and say: Prolonged illusion! (54:2)

That is why the Almighty gave him a living sign, a final argument for the men of all ages to come. The sign is the ‘safe and Final Word of God’, The Quran.

Is it not a miracle that despite the descriptions of a large number of ayaat describing universe and its phenomenon, not a single ayat, sent down 1400 years ago can be contradicted by modern science? Is it not a miracle that the stages of creation of man, detailed by Qur’an cannot be challenged by medical science after 1400 years?

Is it not a miracle that a civilization, not mentioned in any earlier scripture or historical record, was excavated in the desert of Oman after 5000 years in 1992 and the Qur’an had described its details at more than a dozen places!

The Qur’an had claimed 1400 years ago that its authenticity will increase with the passage of the universe.

“But it is plain miracles (hidden for the time) inside the hearts of those endowed with (scientific) knowledge. Only the wrong doers deny our signs. And (yet) they say, why are not portents sent down upon him from his Lord? say: Portents are with Allah (to be made manifest in time) and my mission is only to give plain warning”. (29:49,50)

“We shall show them our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it (The Qur’an) is the Truth” (41:53)

What if you are not a Muslim? Does it mean you will go to hell?

Q: What if you are not a Muslim? Does it mean you will go to hell? 

by S. John


It will not be hard for yourself to work out the answer if you knew what Islam is and who is a Muslim. Islam means total submission to the only God of the universe. A Muslim is that who tries to lead the life according to His will after he has taken vow of submission. You would surely want to know what are the requirements of submission but let me first answer your direct question i.e. what happens to those who do not submit.

Assume there is a person of exemplary good conduct and behaviour in your locality. All neighbours can swear to his kind heartedness and humane disposition. Then suddenly one day the police raid his house and it is found that he was the spy of an enemy nation. Can any of all his good works rescue him from being put behind bars forever or till his deportation? No, the faithfulness with the realm you live in is the first condition to let you live freely and happily in the state. All the good works come afterwards. On the other hand a criminal when caught is released after receiving the respective punishment. Loyalty towards the Sole Sovereign of the whole creation is the first condition for the right to live freely and happily forever. This loyalty is called Faith or ‘Imaan’ in Islamic terminology. There is no question of deportation even as there is no other God or Sovereign of any other universe. The sentence for rebels is hell. 

There are three main requirements of Faith.

(1) Belief in Oneness of God. He is the sole Creator and Sustainer. He was neither born nor will end. He has no parallel, no equal and no family. He is neither begotten nor begets. He alone is Supreme and eternal. All else is creation. He alone is worthy of worship. Worshipping others besides Him is against loyalty and is considered unpardonable rebellion.

(2) Belief in the truthfulness of all His prophets. For the guidance of the mankind in this short worldly life of probation, he chose from amongst the mankind His prophets and revealed to them His guidance. Till the communication and means of travel were in primitive stage and the mankind had not become one place, He kept sending His revelation through prophets from time to time who were chosen form all nations and people. Whenever people lost the real message of the Lord after the departure of a prophet, he sent another prophet in some other people with the renewal of His guidance. When in the process of brain evolution of man, the world came at the verge of entering the scientific explosion, came the Last Prophet Muhammad (e) with the Final Message Qur’an. The world was about to become one place and with the development of means of safeguarding the records, the Last Message was not to be destroyed, distorted or interpolated for all times to come. The Last Prophet with the Last Word of God verified the truthfulness of all the earlier prophets and told that though all the previous Books of God were true but they could not remain safe from human interpolation. The expiation and redemption is now in believing in all the prophets and Books of God but it is only the Final and only safe Word of God, Qur’an, which is to be followed.

(3) Belief in the Life Hereafter, which is the eternal and real life after the test life of this world. All our actions are being recorded and a Day of Judgment will come when according to their loyalty (Faith/Imaan) and deeds all from the mankind will be judged and rewarded or punished.

These in short are the basic features of Faith and belief without which there is no submission. After the proclamation of Faith the next part (in priority) of submission is deeds according to the Will of God. Again as the events and teachings of the earlier prophets could not remain free from distortion and human interpolation, it is essential that the path of the Last Prophet be followed.

Last but not the least a Muslim is one who submits before the Sole God with Faith and in deeds with conscious mind. Only because someone is born in a Muslim family and says and does what his ancestors had been saying and doing, he is not a Muslim though he may be counted a Muslim in the government census.


What is the difference between a Sunni Jamaat and a Tablighi Jamaat?

Q.I. What is the difference between a Sunni Jamaat and a Tablighi Jamaat?

(Syed Haroon Rasheed, Bangalore)

II. I have some doubts, which I would like to clarify. I belong to a Sunni family. At my home, all my relatives offer Namaz regularly and so do I, But one thing I will want to know is, what is the actual difference between Sunni Jamaat and the Tabligi Jamaat. All my friends are from Tablig Jamaat. They do not offer “Fatiha”, while I do. They say it is not necessary or not needed. Please clear this concept. Regarding Muhammad (Pbuh), they consider him as an ordinary man like us, which I do not like. Even they say that one should not go to graveyards or to ‘Mazars’ of other ‘Ambias”. They don’t offer Salaam after “Juma” Namaz. I would like to know, is it necessary, if not why? One more thing I would like to know is that, whenever we hear or say name of “Muhammad” (Pbuh), We kiss our thumbs and place them over our eyes. Why do we do so? I want the answer in detail please.

(Syed Mustafa Hussain; Pusad, Dist. Yavatmal)

Answer. Sunni Jamaat is not the name of any one Jama’at. A majority of Muslims all over the world are called Sunnis. For some years, the people of Bareilavi sect have started laying more emphasis on the word Sunni, implying thereby, their claim that only they are the true Sunnis. Consequently, in some parts of the country, Bareilavis are being called as Sunni Jama’at. Bareilavis owe their allegiance to Maulana Ahamad Raza Khan of Bareilly. Since his demise Bareilly (in state Uttar Pradesh) has been a nerve centre of propagation of the late Maulana’s thoughts. His grandson, Maulana Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari is his present successor.

Tablighi Jama’at is a group of people engaged in the reform of the Muslim community through a six-point formula introduced by Maulana Mohammad Ilyas. They recruit voluntary preachers from among Muslims by inspiring them to devote a specified number of days in the cause of Tabligh (among Muslims). The Jama’ats centre is a Mosque in Nizamuddin (N.Dlehi), from where jama’ats of volunteers are delegated to different parts of the country and abroad. These Jama’ats operate from Mosques of their influence.

Although almost all the Muslim Jama’ats throughout the world have some minor or serious differences (often at loggerheads), with each other, the conflicts among the followers of these two groups are more pronounced than among other groups. There are probably two main reasons for this. (i) Both of them wield a vast influence in this country besides many other countries and (ii) Commanding sway over masses, most of the followers of these two groups are uneducated.

Fatiha is the name commonly ascribed to Eissal-e-Sawaab. IT is neither Far’z nor Wajib. Eisal-e-Sawaab (donating its Sawaab to a deceased after doing a good deed like reciting Qur’an and Darood or feeding the hungry) is only Mustahab ( a good deed which is not obligatory), according to all scholars of repute. Those who insist upon others joining in Eisaal-e-Sawaab, convert a good deed into Bid’at (making those things obligatory in Deen which were not made compulsory by Shariah). Bid’at is a grave sin. Even an extremely virtuous act can become a Bid’at by transgression. Imam Malik never put on shoes in Madina, and he always used to go out of Madina to relieve himself. It was his gesture of respect for the land, where the holy Prophet (Pbuh) once lived. This great act of devotion and love for the Prophet (Pbuh) would become a Bid’at and a sin if a group of people start insisting that walking barefoot in Madina is a necessary sign of love for the Prophet (Pbuh). On the other hand, those who oppose Eisaal-e–Sawaab also commit transgression as a number of Sahih (authentic) Hadiths explicate its importance for the benefit of the deceased at the stage of Barzakh (the transitionary stage of the deceased before the Last Day).

How can a Muslim say that the Prophet (Pbuh) was an ordinary man like us? There seems to be a communication gap between you and your friends. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was a human being, as were all the other Prophets. Only a human being can become a model for the other human beings. The Qur’an expounded. “Say: If there dwelt on earth, the angels, walking about in peace and quiet, We would have sent forth to them an angel from heaven as an apostle.” (17:95)

The Prophets felt pain and hunger like other human beings. They felt tiredness after hard work. They needed sleep like others. They required consolation after the disappointments and rejections. Unless informed by Allah on special occasions, they did not know about the plots and conspiracies of their tormentors. Had angels or Gods or some other creatures come as Prophets in the garb of human beings, the people could have argued that as they were other beings in the bodies of men, they could sustain the tests and hardships of life, while it was impossible for the ordinary human beings to be righteous in the wake of such trials. In all these respects and the like, the Prophet (Pbuh) was like all the other human beings. However, he was no ordinary man. He received the Almighty’s revelation. He was a model for all others in morals and righteousness. He was bestowed with extraordinary signs from the Lord so that the disbelievers could be warned. He was called to heavens to observe the realities of the transworld, which are Ghaib (concealed) to us. He could see and talk to the spiritual creatures that we cannot. He was given knowledge of a number of things that are Ghaib (hidden) for ordinary human beings. How can the tutor and educator to the humankind from the Lord Almighty be equated to ordinary men?

Your friends probably are referring to the following Qur’anic verse, when they say that he was a human being like us.

“Say I am but a ‘Bahsar’ (a mortal human) like yourselves (with a difference that) the inspiration has come to me.. “ (18:10)

Your friends may be referring to his likeness to us in aforesaid human needs. Nevertheless, the choice of words to describe this requires caution so as not to commit disregard to the status of Prophet-hood.

Visiting the graveyards, is a Sunnah and the Prophet (Pbuh) recommended it to us for our remembrance of the mortality of this world and for asking forgiveness for the dead. The graves of the all the earlier Prophets are unknown to us but visiting Prophet Muhammad’s grave and offering Darood and Salaam over there, has been strongly recommended to us in Hadiths. Similarly, visiting the Mazars of other saints is very beneficial for one’s own remembrance. You must definitely visit their graves as often as you can to offer supplication for them and to get the inspiration from their pious lives they led while they were living. What your friends must be opposing might probably be the Bid’ats committed by the ignorant on the Mazars. Circumambulation of their graves akin to Ka’abah, bowing heads in reverence to the graves or asking them to help the callers is Shirk, an unforgivable sin. Mufti Maulvi Amjad Ali Bareilavi, a famous Mufti of the Bareilavi sect, in one of his Fatwa writes. “Women are strictly forbidden to visit the graves of saints or even ordinary graves. Kissing a grave is forbidden. Circumambulation of any place except Ka’abah is not permitted in any circumstances. Prostration before a grave with the intention of paying reverence is Haram. If prostration is for worship, then the person who bows before the grave becomes ‘Kaafir’ (P.99, Vol.16, Bahaar-e-Shariat)

Maulana Ahamd Raza Khan, in his renowned work, ‘Fatawa-e-Rizvia’, has repeatedly passed the same Fatwas.

Salaam to the Prophet (Pbuh) is offered in the sermon of the Friday prayer, during the Friday prayer itself and in Dua’ after the prayer. There is no precedent of offering Salaam in congregation after the Sunnat and Nafil prayers, during the Sahaba or Taabi’een era. The Sunnah which most Sahaba followed, is to go home after the Far’z Namaz of Friday and offer Sunnat and Nafil Namaz at home. Salaam or Durood at any time is good but insisting upon others doing what the Prophet did not order or the Sahaba did not practise, amounts to a Bid’at. Please look at what Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan Bareilavi himself decreed in this regard; “After the Sunnat and Nafil prayers, on Fridays, the recitation of Fatiha or offering supplication by the Imam in congregation has not been reported anywhere. Hence this practice is avoidable.” (Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan, in “An-Nafaaesul-Maghoobah, P.46)

Kissing thumbs and taking them to the eyes, after the name of the Prophet (Pbuh) is spoken, is a gesture of love and respect of the highest order. But, once again, if a group of people adopts this practice, believing that it is binding on them, it becomes Bid’at, as it is not a part of Deen propagated by the Prophet (Pbuh) and practised by Sahaba. 


Which religion is true?

Q: I am very scared and confused. I was brought up Christian believing Jesus is the saviour and we will all go to hell if we do not believe in Jesus. I personally do not know what to believe. Muslims on the other hand believe that Jesus is not the saviour and you should read the Quran and follow it and if you don’t, you won’t be saved. Both religions say they are the correct and true religion. I have prayed and prayed. I would hope that both are wrong and God will have mercy on all of us and save us all. What am I to believe??? About a year and 1/2 ago I began to be drawn to Islam and have done some research and the Bible is put down a lot. I do not know if it is right for Muslims to put down Christians and for Christians to put Muslims down. I am lost. Sometimes I begin to think that someone just made up the Bible and another made up the Quran. Can you offer any kind of suggestions or help on this? My friends and family say that the only reason that I was drawn to Islam was because I was abused as a child and Islamic women are abused. What in the world am I suppose to do or believe in????

Crystal L. Parks

Answer: You have said so many things and expressed so many doubts that it will be better to split your different confusions and give reply for each part separately instead of one long answer that may lose the threads.

True Saviour

  1. The confusion: I am very scared and confused. I was brought up Christian believing Jesus is the saviour and we will all go to hell if we do not believe in Jesus. I personally do not know what to believe. Muslims on the other hand believe that Jesus is not the Saviour and you should read the Quran and follow it and if you don’t, you wont be saved.

The solution: Jesus surely was a saviour when he was on earth. The Quran relates: “When Isa (Jesus) peace be upon him, came with clear signs, he stated: I have brought you wisdom, and to clarify some of those things about which you have disputes: so fear Allah and obey me. Surely it is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is the Right Way.”(43:63,64). It is not different from what Jesus reported to have said in the Bible. He said: “…Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mat. 10: 28),

“…Get thee hence Satan for it is written, Thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thy serve”. (Mat. 4:10) “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love even as I have kept my father’s commandments and abide in His love”. (Jn. 15:10).

As you have rationally thought over and studied religion you must be aware that Father-son relationship of Jesus with God was not a physical relationship. It was an allegory as he made clear on numerous occasions. When he was being ascended unto God, he declared: “…go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father and to my God and to your God”. (Jn. 20:17).

So, Jesus was a Saviour. There is no dispute in this. There also is no dispute amongst a large majority of both Muslims and the Christians about his being a saviour on his second coming. He will be a savior and will lead people to the right path and salvation. Whoever will not follow him will go astray.

We may also say that he is a savior. Though he is not among us to lead us, his teachings are with us and we shall succeed by following them. Now what are his teachings for the present time?

Remember what he said before his ascension. He declared: “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter (Saviour), that he may abide with you forever”. (Jn. 14:15,16). That is, Jesus declared that another Savior who will come to the world, his teachings will remain relevant and applicable till the Last Day. He said: These things have I spoken unto you being yet present with you. But the Comforter who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name (i.e. to fulfill the same mission), he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your rememberance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. (Jn 14:25,26). “And now I have told you before it has come to pass that when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the Prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me”.(Jn 14:29,30). “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. And ye also shall bear witness because ye have been with me from the beginning”. (Jn. 15:26,27)

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you”. (Jn. 16:7). These announcements of Jesus clearly imply that another comforter or Saviour was to come after his departure. His arrival was important, so Jesus had to depart. The new Saviour was to be the Prince of the World and the Spirit of Truth, proceeding from God to fulfill the same mission of which Jesus was a part. He was to testify of and verify that Jesus and his teachings will remain valid till the end of the world and thus he will be the last of the great Saviours who proceeded from God in the sense that no new Saviour will come after him. The followers of Jesus were required to believe in him.

The next and the Last Saviour came, testified of Jesus, asked his followers to believe in Jesus and gave guiding instructions to be followed till the end of the world. Jesus will come in his second coming and implement the teachings of the Last Saviour as they will be the teachings from the same God who sent Jesus and him. He will be the Prince of the world (Rahmatul-Lil-Aalameen i.e. Mercy unto all the worlds) and The Spirit of Truth (As-Saadiq, The Truthful). His name was Muhammad (Pbuh). Bear in mind that no other man in history claimed to be the same Saviour whom Jesus had foretold about and both, ‘The Message’ he brought from God and his own life stand witness to his being from God. So Jesus is a present Saviour also in the sense that the salvation is in obeying his order to obey the next and the Last Saviour.

The present day Christianity may require you to believe in Jesus only but Quran asks all its followers to believe in both Jesus and Muhammad and all the earlier prophets (peace be upon them), being the Saviours of mankind. It proclaimed: “Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and (all) His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom”. (4:150,151)

Indeed there is difference between Islam and the present Christianity in the nature of belief on Jesus. The present Christianity says that Jesus was a Son of God and His equal while Islam teaches that God has no (actual or physical) son. He is One without equal or parallel. One must bow to Him only and Muhammad and Jesus like all His earlier messengers (peace be upon them all) were His bondsmen and apostles to carry His message to the humanity. A messenger does not come on his own. He is sent by God. That who sends is greater than those who are sent. A messenger does not teach by his own will. He teaches what God has willed him to teach. He does not have power to show miracles. He shows miracles by the Will and help of God. He asks people to obey him, but not worship him. He himself obeys the commandments of God and prays to Him. Jesus declared and did exactly the same. “…The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord”. (Mk. 12:29). “Thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thy serve”. (Mat. 4:10).

“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good save one, that is, God”. (Lk. 18:19). In his own context Jesus declared, “But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house”. (Mk. 6:4). Praying to God, Jesus said, “And this is life eternal that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent”. (Jn. 17:3). “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send me”. (Jn. 17:8). “Verily verily I say unto you, the servant (the slave in R.S.V. footnote) is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him”. (Jn 13:16). Jesus loudly prayed God while bringing Lazarus to life so that people could listen and have correct belief that Jesus had no power of his own to bring dead to life. “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me. And I knew that Thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me”.

Correct Religion

  1. The confusion: Both religions say they are the correct and true religion. I have prayed and prayed. I would hope that both are wrong and God will have mercy on all of us and save us all. What am I to believe???

The solution: Islam says that the Straight Path, the True Religion has always been one. When God is one, the Religion would be one and all the prophets of Allah preached the same religion. In Arabic it is called Islam, meaning submission before God. The Quran proclaimed: “He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. … And they (the people) were not divided until after the knowledge came unto them, through rivalry among themselves; and had it not been for a Word that had already gone forth from thy Lord for an appointed term, it surely had been judged between them. And those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them (the prophets) are verily in hopeless doubt concerning it”. (42:13,14). The religion preached by all the prophets was the same i.e. Islam or submission to God’s Will. Believe in Jesus and what he preached and foretold.

There is one good tiding for you in spite of your confusions. When you have prayed and prayed sincerely and surely you have strived hard to find out the Truth instead of just praying, you will without doubt be guided towards the Right Path by God. He Himself has assured of this in His Last Word: “As for those who strive in Our cause, We will surely guide them to Our ways; rest assured that Allah is with the righteous”. If you have strived hard besides praying, God will surely have Mercy on you about those should not expect of His Mercy who have made no sincere effort to find the Truth.

Judge each Religion Judiciously

  1. The confusion: About a year and 1/2 ago I began to be drawn to Islam and have done some research and the Bible is put down a lot. I do not know if it is right for Muslims to put down Christians and for Christians to put Muslims down. I am lost. Sometimes I begin to think that someone just made up the Bible and another made up the Quran. Can you offer any kind of suggestions or help on this?

The solution: Quran asks its believers to believe in all the scriptures of God. One cannot remain a Muslim unless he believes in Injeel (the gospel) preached by Jesus. Quran poses a question to the earlier people who received the scriptures: “Ask them: O people of the Book! What makes you against us other than that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before (i.e. Injeel, Torah etc.)? The fact is that most of you are rebellious transgressors.” (5:59). We contest the Christian brethren because they believe in different gospels written at least 250 years after Jesus’ departure by different writers who were not even impartial narrators. Even Christian pastors accept this. In quest of truth you might have come across many a criticism by Christian researchers. Following are just a few brief references by a Bangalore (a south Indian city) based professor of scriptures: “For the N.T. we have some 5000 manuscripts some of them going back to the 2nd. Century. The first complete edition of the New Testament is only (!) 250 or 300 years later than the originals”. (Fr. Zacharias Mattam S.D.B., Opening the Bible, K.J.C. Publication, Bangalore, India, p.128). “Biblical authors are not detached observers whose aim is to present the facts exactly as they happened. They are ardent believers and when they write they give also the significance of events with the purpose of leading the reader to faith.”

The same holds good for the Gospels in the New Testament. The evangelists of course do not, invent anything, but they felt free to make modifications based on doctrinal, apologetical and liturgical considerations”. (ibid 91). “Clearly the Gospels are not some sort of photographic presentation of the life of Jesus Christ. The evangelists rearrange the Gospel material according to their plan and in presenting them freely make changes and adaptations”. (ibid 74). I must not forget to mention that the author of the above book, Fr. Zacharias, besides teaching in the seminary, is actively involved in pastoral ministry and in Biblical Apostolate.

Above is the condition of most recent books of the Bible. The condition of O.T. is worse. How can Muslims accept it as an unadulterated Word of God? In comparison, Quran is the Word of God in the purest form. Adulteration can only be sorted out with the help of unadulterated word of God. Only the Quran can become the touchstone while sorting the truth from the interpolation. It is not putting down the Christians. It is putting the cards face up. As for true teaching of Injeel, they are still there but mixed with human interpolations. The Quran asks the Christians to believe in those parts of the Gospels which it verifies, being the touchstone. It says: “Then in the footsteps of those Prophets, We sent Isa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary) (peace be upon them) confirming whatever remained (intact) from the Taurat in his time, and gave him the Injeel (Gospel) wherein was guidance and light, corroborating what was revealed in the Taurat; a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Therefore, let the people who follow the Injeel (Gospel) judge by the Law which Allah has revealed therein; those who do not judge by the Law which Allah has revealed, they are the transgressors. To you, We have revealed this Book with the truth. It confirms whatever has remained (intact) in the scriptures which came before it and also to safeguard it. Therefore, judge between people according to Allah’s revelations and do not yield to their vain desires diverging from the truth which has come to you…” (5:46-48)

If two ideologies are contesting each other it does not mean that both are necessarily false. Judge each of them judiciously. One of them may be true.

Status of Muslim Women

  1. The confusion: My friends and family say that the only reason that I was drawn to Islam was because I was abused as a child and Muslim Women are abused. What in the world am I suppose to do or believe in????

The solution: Islam stands against all sort of abuse and exploitation. There is abuse of women in some Muslims as there is in every community. Islam is not to be blamed if some so-called Muslims do not adhere to it. Islam grants to her protection and her rightful and respectable place. It does not approve of her exploitation in the name of liberation. You have to meet Muslim women and see for yourself the contentment and sense of security they have in contrast with the harassment of women in other societies. The Prophet (Pbuh) instructed to protect and take special care of fairer sex from her birth. Following are a few of his saying (Hadith): “Whoever faces hardship for their daughters while treating them nice, they will be barrier for them from the Fire (of hell).” (Bukhari, Muslim); “Whoever takes good care of two female children till they attain the age of taking their own care, he will be close to me on the Day of Resurrection like this. (He showed his two adjacent fingers). (Muslim). “On one occasion he declared: Whoever takes good care of three female children or three of his sisters who are (dependant for any reason) like them and train them in good manners and be compassionate with them, Allah will consider him worthy for paradise. A companion enquired about two girls or sisters. The Prophet (Pbuh) replied that the same (reward) is for two. The narrator (Ibne Abbas) observes that (it seemed) if anyone had asked about one, the Prophet (Pbuh) would have replied the same.”(Sharah-us-Sunnah)

Following is his famous Hadith about the status of mother: “A person asked, ‘O Prophet of God, who merits most of my good behavior’? He replied: ‘Your mother’. He asked, ‘Who comes next’? The Prophet (Pbuh) said, ‘Your mother’? ‘Who is next?’ He asked (for the third time)? ‘Your mother’, he answered. The man persisted, ‘Who is next’? The Prophet (Pbuh) then said, ‘Your father”.

In the 19th century none had heard of woman’s right of inheritance except in Islam which had conferred her this right in 7th century. The Prophet (Pbuh) gave specific instruction to husbands against beating them 14 centuries ago.

There is propaganda of abuse of Muslim women and few cases of bad Muslims are blown out of proportion. I advise you of a comprehensive study of rights of women in Islam.

This answer was original published at the Website of Islamic Voice


Why is Tawaf done ANTI CLOCKWISE

Q: Please elaborate why Tawaf is done ANTI CLOCKWISE?

Question by: M. F. Hussaini


We obey the Prophet S.A.W. and do as he performed different acts of reverence to Allah S.W.T. But every act, he performed has lots of wisdom and reasoning behind it. He did not elaborate the wisdom as people of his era would not comprehend most of it. We keep on discovering it as we go on gaining the knowledge of the universe which contains Ayahs of Allah in it.

As per my understanding, The anti-clock wise circumbulation of Kabah is in harmony with nature. The earth, seen from above (north pole) rotates or spins on its axis in anti-clockwise direction. The earth revolves around the sun in anti-clockwise direction. All the planets of our solar system (except Venus and Uranus) rotate around the sun (as seen from the North pole of the sun) in counter-clockwise direction. The space scientists theorize that they too initially rotated like-wise but a collusion with a asteroid caused to reverse their direction. The Sun spins in a counter-clockwise direction. The Tawaf of Kabah when seen from above is anti-clockwise but if you could go inside the earth and could see the Tawaf from there, it will be clockwise.

So Kabah’s Tawaf is not in the direction of the man-made clock-hands. The Clock was invented only 363 years ago. The Tawaf is continuing since the beginning. It is nature-wise, not clock-wise.


Why Should Anyone turn to Islam that Hates Life?

Q: Why do Muslims blame the West (primarily the United States) for the problems concerning modernity within its own religion? I am a Junior at San Diego State University. I am a Baptist Christian who after the horrible acts of terrorism on September 11th, 2001, decided to take a course on Islam to learn more about what makes the fundamentalists go satanically insane.

I have had Muslim friends, in fact my best friend was a Muslim. I am currently writing a paper for school on Islamic Weddings, and read an article by a man named Reeaz H Paruk. It is available for viewing at: I must say that after reading the document I am insulted, disgusted, and filled with hatred and rage. Does this document reflect the popular belief of Muslims? I hope not. The document was both childish and hypocritical. We are all put here on earth with temptations. It is up to each and every one of us to resist temptation as much as possible. But who is he to say that the United States is to blame for many weak-willed individuals who cannot resist temptation? Or how about “Western-Cosmetics”? Does the barbarian blame us for makeup too? I think I learned in the second grade that Egyptians invented makeup almost 10,000 years ago. That is before Islam even began!!! Or what about his idea that “social dancing is fundamentally sinful and evil.” What is there left to enjoy in life with what this creation lays out. Life is a gift from God and should of course be exploited within the depths of righteousness. In this semester so far, I have learned to dislike and have even less respect for Islam than I had initially. Why would anyone turn to a religion that hates life?

Please prove me wrong. I surely hope my “Fellow-American” Muslims do not share the same belief as this man.

Brandon Jones

Answer: The Un-Islamic terrorist act of September 11, 2001, which has widely been condemned by Muslims all over the world, has made you biased in your study and views on Islam.

Since the Second World War, the United States dropped bombs on 23 countries. These include: China 1945-46, Korea 1950-53, China 1950-53, Guatemala 1954, Indonesia 1958, Cuba 1959-60, Guatemala 1960, Congo 1964, Peru 1965, Laos 1964-73, Vietnam 1961-73, Cambodia 1969-70, Guatemala 1967-69, Grenada 1983, Lebanon 1984, Libya 1986, El Salvador 1980s, Nicaragua 1980s, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991-1999, Sudan 1998, Yugoslavia 1999 and Afghanistan 1998 and 2001.

The death, burnings and sufferings of millions of people by napalm bombs and nuclear weapons did not compel you to study Christianity to learn more about what makes the champion of democracy go satanically insane!

You were disgusted to read Reeaz H Paruk’s suggestion to Muslims to stay away from such cultural influence that is sounding the death knell for the American society. Are you unaware that more and more Europeans and even American Christians are pronouncing the same verdict?

Following are some excerpts from “Egoism and the Crisis in Western Values” authored by Elton O’Keeffe, an Englishman who has worked as a professor at some of America’s best known Universities for over 20 years.

“….. In the course of the decades I spent in America, I watched the social environment disintegrate almost beyond recognition…

… But things have gone badly wrong. …. In place of the ‘family’, you find solitary sexual adventurism…In place of ‘health and sanity’, you find an addictive society which has become ever more dependent upon the psychiatrist. In place of ‘law and order’, you find a widespread criminality which is by no means confined to the so-called ‘criminal class’…

… Whether you are talking about the rape, child abuse, AIDS, divorce and the break-down of the family, drugs, abuses in the church or the many faces of crime, over and over again, California, Florida and New York are to be found leading the way. The richest, the most ‘progressive’, the most future-oriented States are the ones which have contributed most to the present crisis in American values…”

Don’t you find the comments of a Christian English Professor harsher than Reeaz H Paruk’s? See some more.

Following is an extract from an article recently appearing in the Wilson Quarterly.

“All of the industrialised countries out side Asia experienced a massive increase in social disorder between the 1960s and ’90s – a phenomenon that I have called the Great Disruption of Western social values. Indeed, by the 1990s Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand all had higher rates of property crime than the United States. More than half of all Scandinavian children are born to unmarried mothers, compared with one-third of American children. In Sweden, so few people bother to get married that the institution itself probably is in long-term decline”.

(SOCIETY: Is There a Way Out of the West’s Cultural Crisis? by Francis Fukuyama Printed in Issue: 2 December, 2000 of Wilson Quarterly)

And this is what an American Researcher wrote:

“Decades after liberal ideology declared marriage obsolete and liberal welfare policy discouraged it, America has reaped a bitter harvest: Millions of children growing up without dads, and moms struggling through life without much hope for the future…We are becoming a nation of fatherless children. And fatherless children grow up to commit more violent crime, take more illegal drugs and become statistics in more social pathologies than any other group…Today, nearly 30 percent of all births in America — regardless of color — are to unmarried mothers…”

(Whistling in the dark September 28, 1995 by Edwin J. Feulner, PhD, president of The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy research institute.)

Do you know that according to the calculation based on the 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey by Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. In 2000, there were 261,000 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [2000 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics.]. Of these 261,000, 114,000 were victims of sexual assault, 55,000 were victims of attempted rape, and 92,000 were victims of completed rape. [2000 NCVS.].

You suggest that weak-willed individuals who cannot resist temptation should not warn their co-religionists against the degenerating social values in U.S. whose evil influence has not left even the bishops and priests of the churches, what to say of commoners. April 1991 issue of “Free Thought Today” reported that one clergyman or church leader every three days in U.S. was charged last year with criminal sexual abuse of children or young teenagers. Most of the men received light sentences enabling them to return to the pulpit—and continued sexual abuse of children—quickly. Churches are not only failing to check ministers’ records, but in some instances are knowingly hiring convicted child molesters. The journal clarified that it was not a complete survey of clergy sexual abuse cases from 1990—merely a study of 106 criminal cases coming to the attention of Free Thought Today from reports in the daily press.

Islam asks its followers not to wear provocative dresses. It does not prohibit make-up but its purpose should not be to entice the opposite sex indiscriminately. You dislike Islam for not permitting men and women holding each other tightly and dancing in social gatherings. You may dislike it even more after knowing that Islam advises its followers that no two Non-Mahrams (persons who are lawfully permitted to marry each other) of the opposite sex should meet in privacy except in dire necessity. Yes, you like it or not Islam does not approve of your idea of enjoying and exploiting life within the depths of righteousness that has caused the following in the U.S.

“Approximately 62% of female rape victims in U.S. knew their assailant. [2000 NCVS.] Approximately 43% of victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance; 34% by a stranger; 17% by an intimate; and 2% by another relative. [2000 NCVS.]”.

The tree is known by its fruit. (Matt. 12:33). If the U.S. has the highest rate of divorces, there is something very wrong with U.S. weddings. Try writing a paper on U.S. weddings and consider also that while Islam permits the dissolution of wedding contract, the divorce percentage is negligible among U.S. Muslims compared to Christians there. This is despite the Great Christ (May peace and blessings be upon him) ordained:

“And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity and marries another commits adultery. And he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matt. 19:9)

I admire the great people of United States of America for many of their qualities. America is an experimental society. It always has been and it probably always will be. It started out as an attempt to begin again, free of the political, social and religious restrictions of the motherland. Decade after decade, new generations of immigrants have poured into the land bringing with them new ideas, other traditions, coupled with a determination to make their way in the New World. It is a true international society. Americans are more rational than others. They respect human lives and democratic values though for their own people only. They will truly be great if they prefer for others also what they like for themselves and if they do not let their ego come in the way of their rationality. It will be a great loss if this experimental society continues with what is happening to its family life and relations even after witnessing what I have described above.

Brother, you hate the Islamic values about modesty and chastity (though Reeaz H Paruk may have exaggerated in his interpretations). However Islamic values of chastity are essentially no different from those declared by Jesus (peace be upon him). We Muslims believe in Jesus (pbuh) to be an Esteemed prophet of God. The exalted Christ said:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell”. (Mat. 5:27-30).

The data proves that it is not possible for even bishops of the church to resist temptation when provocative attire and makeup is worn by the ladies. Every bishop may not commit abuse but how many of them can check the adultery of their mind described by the Christ and how many of them cast their eyes off? So the Qur’an ordains:

“Say to the believing men that they should check their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should check their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands their fathers their husbands’ fathers their sons their husbands’ sons their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons or their women or the captives whom their right hands possess or male servants free of physical needs or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah that ye may attain Bliss”. (24:30-31)

Surely such order prevents one from your idea of enjoying life but if you are truly a Christian you must know that there is a life after this worldly life that will never end and you will enjoy life there forever if you obey the Christ (pbuh) here who said:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consumes and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven….Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on….But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well”. (Mat. 6:19, 20, 25, 33)

“And he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it”. (Mat. 10:38-39)

Will you despise Christ (may peace and blessings be upon him) for saying that?

Women Head of State

Q: Does Islam debar a woman from occupying the highest political seat? Please answer me with reference to Islamic history.

Answer: Islam does not specifically prohibit a woman from a post of political leadership but it does not certainly approve of it. Following is a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in this regard.

“Narrated Abu Bakrah that when the Prophet (Pbuh) heard that the people of Persia had appointed the daughter of Kisra their ruler, he said: “That nation cannot accomplish fulfilment, which made a woman, the head of their affairs”. (Bukhari) 

The above Hadith is a statement of fact rather than a verdict of unlawfulness of a woman ruler. A woman head of state would normally signify that women of that society are generally abdicating their natural and true responsibilities of good upbringing and taking due care of moral training of children. The social fabric of such a society is bound to disintegrate sooner or later. There is an event of Queen Sheba’s subjugation to Hazrat Sulaiman in Qur’an. We note that Hazrat Sulaiman did not admonish her over being a head of state. He only preached to her to give up idolatry and accept Islam, which she did. There is no mention therein that she was removed from her executive position after she accepted Islam. 

To my knowledge, Islamic history of distant past has no such precedent when an occasion necessitating the debate would have surfaced. We however observe that late Maulana Maudoodi had announced support for Ms. Fatima Jinah for the presidential candidature of Pakistan against Mohammad Ayyub Khan in early 60s of the last century. It shows that in the eyes of an Islamic scholar of the stature of Maulana Maudoodi, a woman head of state could be preferred over a man in extraordinary circumstances in the interest of Deen.


What is JIzyah?

Q: What is the issue of Jizyah? How is it rationalized? Is it still valid and will an Islamic state impose it?



A widely believed notion about Jizyah, among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, is that it is a tax that a Muslim government/state takes from its non-Muslim citizens. This commonly believed concept of Jizyah is absolutely wrong.

Yes, it is true that many so-called Muslim rulers, in the pretext of Islam, including Tughlaq, in India, practised this system wrongly and humiliated their non-Muslim subjects by taking the Jizyah tax. Their rationale was that since the affluent among Muslims were paying a 2.5% levy as Zakat, so they should impose a nominal tax (less than 2%) on some sections of Non-Muslims in the name of Jizyah to increase their exchequer. Those Brahmins who managed religious affairs and the poor were exempted from this tax. For these rulers, it was just another way of collecting more and more revenue. It had nothing to do with Islam though they termed it as Jizyah. Although Muslims had to pay Zakat yet it was their religious obligation, and a tax exclusively for Non-Muslims in the name of Jizyah was definitely humiliating for them that they rightly resent to this day. The folly of Muslims is that their religious heads do not condemn it even today, strengthening the impression that it is the teaching of the Qur’an and Islam. In fact, it is akin to the misinterpreted Jihad of Islam.


Jizyah literally means ‘the compensation’. It was never meant for the Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state. It is for the people who are at war with the Muslim state [or have behaved in a way that fulfilled the conditions (of war) to compel Muslims to wage war on them] or their allies.

In Islam, there are three conditions when Muslims are allowed to fight or wage war. These are:

  • In defence, when the enemy attacks them.
  • In offence, against those who oppress a large section of people in their domain.
  • When a state/tribe violates the treaty with a Muslim state.

Now, when such a situation arises that a Muslim state has to fight or wage war on someone, then, they can offer the non-Muslim state/tribe to agree to one of the two following conditions to avoid war i.e. to embrace Islam or pay Jizyah by accepting the supremacy of the Muslim state. It means by agreeing so the non-Muslim state would function as a subordinate state to the Muslims. By the conduct and actions of the Prophet (s.a.w.), we also know that the Muslim state also assured such a submissive state, the security of the state and its citizen from their enemies.

Thus, the Jizyah is a kind of tax to be paid by a state to another state.

So, by the above discussion, it is clear that Jizyah is not an internal tax imposition but an offer made to some nation/tribe that has been in a condition of war with the Muslim state. It is their choice to either fight or to pay Jizyah.


It must be kept in mind that the state paying Jizyah has been a defaulter which had either (i) attacked Muslims, or (ii) oppressed a large section of their own people through their corruption and cruelty or (iii) violated the treaty with the Muslim state. Thus, it is more like a punishment or penalty over them that ensures that they might not cross limits in future and stay in control of their mischief. In return to this Jizyah tax, a Muslim state promises or rather it becomes a duty of a Muslim state to protect and provide security to its subordinate state and its citizen (who is paying Jizyah) from its enemies.


Most of the wars fought during Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) lifetime were imposed on Muslims. Such an opportunity to make any offer to ask for Jizyah rarely arose. Following are the instances when a few tribes agreed to pay Jizyah to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in 9 A.H., i.e., one year prior to his demise.

The Tabuk expedition:

The Muslims had information that the Byzantine empire was planning to attack them. To prevent them from choosing their own convenient time to attack, the Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to pre-empt and ordered the Muslims to march towards them. They travelled 600 km on foot through the burning desert in summers and camped at the borders, but the Byzantines developed cold feet and did not come out to fight. After encamping for twenty days at Tabuk and making peace treaties with many tribes, the Muslim army returned to Madina with a huge moral victory and increased influence.

The Jizyah:

During the last leg of the Muslim army’s encamping at Tabuk, many tribal allies of the Roman empire like Aylah, Jarba’, Adhri’a etc. approached the Prophet (s.a.w.) of their own accord and tried to come under the protection of the Muslim state by paying Jizyah in lieu of protection. The Muslims neither attacked nor threatened them. They voluntarily approached Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and made agreements to pay Jizyah. Aylah is a coastal city situated on the coast of the Red Sea and is at some distance from Syria. Its ruler named Yuhanna (John) son of Rowbah came from his capital to Tabuk and the Prophet (s.a.w.) gave him the following written undertaking in lieu of his readiness to pay 3000 dinars per year as Jizyah:

This is a non-aggression pact from the side of Allah and His Prophet, Muhammad for Yuhanna and the residents of Aylah. According to this pact all their means of transport whether by sea or by land and all the persons belonging to Syria, Yemen and the islands, who may be with them, shall be under the protection of Allah and His Prophet. However, if any one of them violates the rule, his wealth shall not save him from punishment. All sea routes and land routes are open for them and they are entitled to frequent them” (Ibn Hisham, vol. II, page 526)

It is notable that Yuhanna (John) presented a white mule to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he also gave him some presents in return. So we see that there was an element of equality and respect shown to the subjugating people instead of demeaning or dishonouring them.

Similar pacts were signed with the chiefs of Jabra’ and Adhri’a tribes.

There was one more tribe that was an ally of the Byzantines. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) asked Khalid bin Waleed to go and capture its head ‘Ukaidir’. The leader of the tribe offered to pay Jizyah and then he was set free. (Ar Raheeq Al-Makhtum’ -‘the sealed nectar’ by Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri).

The Jizyah during the Caliphate of Hazrat Umar (r.a.)

It is often alleged that Hazrat Umar (RA), the second Caliph levied Jizyah upon the non-Muslims. Yes, it is true, but he did not charge Jizyah from the non-Muslim citizen of his own state. He enforced it upon the people of the far off tribes to subdue them, and he also provided them security from their enemies. It was because his empire was powerful and mighty and had all those resources to provide protection which these tribes didn’t have.

The remarkable event of the Muslims’ honesty of the assurance of providing security to their Jizyah payers can be gauged from the following event during the reign of Hazrat Umar.

Muslims used to take Jizyah from some tribes of Syria and assured them protection against the attack from Romans and other enemies and also the safe movement of their travels through the Muslims’ area of influence. During the Battle of Yarmook, where Muslims were fighting the Byzantine forces, at one point in the battle, they realized that they were getting outnumbered by the enemy forces, and could not fight them anymore. Thus, they decided to retreat. With the realization that they might not be able to protect the people (from whom they were charging Jizyah), they decided to return the Jizyah tax already received for that year. This act of the Muslims impressed those non-Muslim tribes so much that they prayed for Muslims to regain control over the area in future.


In Surah Tawbah, Ayah 29, Allah instructed Muslims to ask Jizyah from the enemies. This Ayah about Jizyah, should not be studied alone rather it must be analysed in the context of the previous Ayahs of the same chapter that deal with war with the people who have breached the agreements with Muslims. Islam has recommended four months of ceasefire with the nations at war (unless they attack in these months and the war is necessary for defence). In this Surah, from the very beginning, Muslims are directed to honour the ceasefire months while fighting against the enemies. They are instructed to start the war after the expiry of the ceasefire with strict instruction to spare those who had honoured the treaties with them. The war is to be fought till they embrace Islam or agree to pay Jizyah.

Even today, if a similar situation arises, a Muslim state can offer someone to pay Jizyah to them as an alternative to war. Thus, Jizyah is a law set by Allah and shall be valid in every age under the conditions already discussed.


In Short, Jizyah is not a tax levied by a Muslim ruler or state upon its non-Muslim citizens/subjects. It is a tax paid by a subordinate non-Muslim state (who had earlier created mischief and was in a condition of war) to the Muslim state to ensure their submission and acceptance of the Muslim state supremacy and in return, the Muslim state assures the protection and safety of that subordinate state and its citizen.


Hardliner vs Moderate Interpretation of the Quran

Q: Quran portrays only One Deen, then why do Muslims follow hundreds of versions (like various hardliner and moderate interpretations) of Islam?


The faults:

  • Different sects believe in separate sets of contradictory Hadiths, interpreting Qur’an differently through their respective recognised Hadiths.
  • They declare those Ayahs abrogated (void) that do not conform to their acknowledged Hadiths.


i.e. interpret Qur’anic Ayahs by:

  • Other Ayahs of Qur’an
  • Allah’s Ayahs in the universe
  • Such Hadiths that do not contradict Qur’an.


Set your priorities to the default approved by Allah (s.t.) i.e.

  1. Qur’an 2. Hadith. 3. Fiq’h

The Qur’an may repeal or reject the other two and not vice versa.



Riba vs Interest

Q: Is financial interest totally forbidden in Islam?

Answer: Islam completely forbids RIBA as it involves unjust exploitation of people. However, today RIBA is often confused with the term INTEREST.

Here, we will try to explain it to you the difference between RIBA and Interest and what are the conditions that makes any transaction classified as RIBA.


O, you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of RIBA, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger.” (2:278-279)

In this Ayah and several others (e.g.3:130-132) of the Quran, Allah warns the believers against indulgence in RIBA.


However, there has been ambiguity in the definition of RIBA since the Prophet’s (PBUH) time. Even second Caliph Umar (RA), regretted about inadequate guidance in this matter from the Prophet (PBUH). [Sunan Ibn Majah, Book of Inheritance, Vol. 4, #2727]. Even today, all the jurists have disputes about its definition.

While explaining the principles pertaining to different constiuents that make it RIBA, it seems that the comprehensive term RIBA itself has been left undefined purposely. It is to be consistent with ever-changing worldly systems and their economic policies. With time the methodologies and principle of business would also change and so does the implementations of the principles derived from the Quran regarding RIBA.



In the Quran 30:39, RIBA is compared to the system of Zakat and in 2:276 it is brought against Sadaqaat (Charities), it says:

And whatever you lay out as RIBA, so that it may increase in the property of men, it increases not with Allah and whatever you give in Zakat, desiring Allah’s attention – these will get manifold.” (30:39)

“Allah will blot out Riba, and He causes charity to prosper…”(2:276)

RIBA and Zakat both are derived from the root words that mean to flourish, evolve or increase. The difference between the two is that the increase of former is based on utter selfishness and involves oppression and exploitation without any relaxation, whereas, the increase of the latter constitutes empathy and compassion and involves giving the poor their due rights. Both Zakat and Sadaqat are about only giving to the poor without claiming back anything, even the Principal while in RIBA, a lender lends to the poor debtor, forcing him to pay back an unjustifiable larger amount. While Zakat ensures the horizontal growth of the community as a whole while RIBA lets the rich exploit the poor to cause the vertical growth of a few on the expense of needy.


RIBA is also used in the Quran (2:275) in comparison to Business.

“…That is because they say, trading is only like RIBA, while Allah has allowed trading and forbidden RIBA…”

The Quran makes a clear distinction between a permissible Trade/Business contract and RIBA, allowing one and forbidding the other. Because of the above Ayah, some people deduced that as there are profit and loss sharing in business, therefore RIBA will occur in any dealing that does not involve such profit and loss sharing between the two parties although no such thing is mentioned in the Ayah. In business, both parties willingly agree to a contract without any compulsion hoping to gain from their respective investment in the form of capital, skills or labour. In RIBA, it remains clear from the beginning that one of the party is compelled by the circumstances and will bear the loss.


According to the Qur’an, there are two segments which decide if the financial dealings or the transactions will involve RIBA. All the elements of the First Segment together with at least one element of the Second Segment make a transaction RIBA as under:

ALL THE ELEMENTS OF THE FIRST SEGMENT + (together with)ANY ONE OF THE SECOND SEGMENT(Are necessary to declare a Financial Transaction as)= RIBA

  • 1. ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS (First Segment)

All the elements of this first set of conditions must be present to declare a RIBA based financial transaction though they require the presence of at least one operative element from the second set of conditions to make RIBA effective.

These essential elements include:

  1. Transaction is a loan/credit

The Quran 2: 278- 279 says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٧٨﴾

۔۔۔وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ۔۔۔ ﴿٢٧٩﴾

“O believers! Fear Allah, and give up outstanding interest if you are ˹true˺ believers…And if you repent, then you shall have your Principal…”

Thus, according to the above Ayah, RIBA is applicable to only a loan/credit transaction. If two persons exchange two commodities in an on the spot deal or it is a cash transaction then there will be no RIBA.

  1. The rate of interest is exorbitant or the interest is compounded

The Quran 3:130 says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَأْكُلُوا۟ ٱلرِّبَوٰٓا۟ أَضْعَـٰفًۭا مُّضَـٰعَفَةًۭ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“O, you who believe, devour not ‘RIBA’, which is doubling and re-doubling…”

أَضْعَـٰفًۭا مُّضَـٰعَفَةًۭ ۖ

means doubling and re-doubling or an increase over increase. It applies to both the high rate of interest and compound interest. Thus, if the rate of interest is very high or if it is the compound interest, it may come in the category of RIBA based transaction subject to the fulfilment of other conditions.

Note: The extent of exorbitant rate of interest has not been fixed. The unjustifiable limit will be ascertained by the norms of the prevalent systems and economies of the time.

  1. The borrower is below the poverty line.

The Qur’an has explained RIBA in contrast with the system of Zakat. Zakat is the right of a person below poverty line out of the income or property of an affluent person. Thus, RIBA occurs in lending to a person below poverty line on such terms as to exploit him/her. Therefore, RIBA is applicable only on the borrowing of a poor from a rich person. The credit transaction of any nature between two rich persons will not involve RIBA and also if a rich borrows from a poor on any terms, it will not come under the purview of RIBA.

Note: The poor in the above descriptions is a person below poverty line. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (vide different Hadiths) had explained the poverty line as a possession equivalent to 7.5 Tolas (87.48 g) of gold after the owner’s minimum needs of food clothing and shelter have been met.


Following are the second set of elements. The presence of any of them along with all the essential elements will eventually make any transaction based on RIBA.

  1. Debtor is compelled to borrow for essential needs

If someone is forced to take a loan out of compulsion because he is unable to meet the basic requirements of his life (e.g. Fooding, clothing, lodging, education, medical treatment etc.) then only, this transaction may involve RIBA.

The Quran 2:279 says:

…لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ(2:279)

…You shall neither deal unjustly nor be dealt with unjustly

Those borrowing for more than essential needs, wasteful expenditure, overindulgence or a lavish life style are doing unjust to themselves. The exploitation by the lender in this case will be oppression but the RIBA will not be incurred.

  1. Harsh terms of repayments

In the Quran 2:280, Allah says:

“And if (the Debtor) is in the difficult circumstances, then defer repayment till he is in ease. And if you waive it as an act of charity, it is better for you, if you only knew”

It is clear that in Allah’s prescribed system of justice, it is advisable to give certain postponement to the borrower for the re-payment of the loan if he is in any hardship. The system of RIBA should be opposite to this system. If the conditions of repayment of the loan are harsh then such transaction may come under RIBA.

  1. The lender’s intention of exploitation or usurping debtor’s wealth

The Quran 4:161 says:

“And for their taking RIBA — though indeed they were forbidden it- and their devouring the properties of people falsely. And we have prepared for the disbelievers from among them a painful chastisement”

Thus, according to this Ayah, one of the characteristics of RIBA, is that the lender intends to unjustly grab the property and assets of the debtor by lending to him. In such a case, a transaction may be eligible to involve RIBA from the side of the moneylender.

Thus, Based on the Quranic guidelines, the occurrence of RIBA will be decided by the set of essential elements and the operative/activating elements. Among them, the presence of all the essential elements with any one of the operative elements will be necessary for RIBA to be involved in a transaction. All these conditions of RIBA can be summarised as follows.

If any person or institution lends a loan to a person below the poverty line at a very high-interest rate, then, if any of the following conditions is found, the excess repayment in any form whether money or services, over the Principal is RIBA. These conditions are:

(1) Debtor is compelled to borrow for essential needs,

(2) Harsh terms of repayments,

(3) Lender having the intention of exploiting or usurping.

So, the above conditions make a transaction RIBA. Islam only forbids RIBA.


Recitation of the Quran

Q. 1: I am a 22 years old Keralite Muslim woman brought up and living in Rajkot. My parents want me to get married but before that I want to learn Arabic language in depth so as to understand Qur’an. I merely recite it without understanding its meaning which I feel is a foolish act. I have command over reading and writing English, Hindi and Gujarati. I can speak Malayalam but can not read it and I can read Arabic without understanding it.

Answer 1: Your desire to learn good Arabic for the purpose of understanding Qur’an is commendable but it is not wise to delay your marriage for that. You can always put the condition before your suitors that your would be husband should not come in the way of your learning Arabic. If it is your parents’ wish and a proper suit is found, there is no need to postpone the marriage for this reason alone.

Q. 2: I have a Qur’anic translation but it is too hard to understand. My biggest problem is the Qur’an I recite is of Malayalam accent and writing so I find difficulty in reciting original Arabic writing. What should I do?

Answer: The query about your Qur’an translation is not very clear. Is your copy of the Qur’an in Malayalam transliteration without original Arabic text? Most translations or transliterations contain Arabic text as well. You say that you can recite Arabic, then why do you face difficulty in reciting the text of Qur’an? If your copy is in Malayalam transliteration without Arabic text, then the simple thing to do is buy another copy from the market. It would be better for you to purchase a translation in English, Hindi or Gujarati, which you are fluent in. That way you will be able to understand the meaning of Qur’an from the translation till you learn Arabic yourself. The translations in all these languages are easily available. If you do not find it in Rajkot, ask a book-seller to make one available for you on order.

If your problem is that being a Keralite, your accent has a Malayalam touch, then there is a good news for you. When you face difficulty in proper recitation, you get double Sawaab for reciting it provided you make an effort to rectify the deficiency. The Prophet (Pbuh) said that one who falters in the recitation of Qur’an (because of deficiency but keeps on trying), gets double Sawaab. Try to improve it seeking the help of some Muslim lady who can recite it well.

Interfaith Marriage (1)

Q: I am a Jewish woman who has been dating a Muslim man for 2 years. We are discussing marriage. What advice can you offer and how will his religion accept me and our marriage? We love and respect one another with everything we are made of. The Muslim faith is one that I am not too familiar with and I am willing to learn what I can and accept as much as possible.

Answer:  There is no hindrance in your marriage as far as Islam is concerned. Islam considers you as one of the ‘People of The Book’ and asks a Muslim to respect and believe in all the scriptures and prophets you believe in.

Though it is not a pre-condition for marriage, Islam asks you for your own good, not to refuse and disbelieve in any one of the prophets Allah sent after Moses (peace be upon him). Jesus (Pbuh) verified and testified to the Law instead of repealing it. He had come to fulfil the Law and the Torah (The Bible, Mat. 5:17). It was the people after him who disregarded the Law.

The Christ only wanted the Rabbis of his time to act what they preached as they had become sycophants and had converted the Religion of God into their profit earning ventures. It is blasphemous to say that he claimed to be the Son of God. He was a very esteemed prophet of God who had come to re-infuse the spirit of the Law into actions of the Children of Israel.

I am sure your love and respect for your husband will enable you to study the Seerah (life and character) of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) with open mind. Your husband shall not only be respecting but believing in all the prophets of God, the Jews believe in him. The inadequacy, if any in the reciprocation will be from your side if you do not accept the Prophet (Pbuh), whom I am sure, your would-be husband loves.

Working in Banks

Q: Allah has cursed the one who takes interest, the one who pays it, the one who writes the contract, and the one who witnesses the contract.” (Sahih al Ahmad, Abu Daoud, Al-Nasai, Ibn-Majah, Al-Tirmidhi.) I am a software programmer about to be placed with a reputed firm whose major clients are different banks world over. At times I would be directly involved with the clients who would pay me for maintaining the softwares that my firm has developed for them. Would it be permissible for me to work for this firm? I am utterly confused, Please clarify my doubts.

Answer: You would be working on behalf of your company even when receiving payments directly from the banks. In that case, the issue becomes one of choosing between Rukhsat (permission) or Azeemat (steadfastness for high standards) provided that it is established beyond doubt that the direct employment of a Bank is Haram. Some latter scholars, after studying the present system of economy and banking are in favour of revising the prohibition of employment of financial institutions.


Should religion give complete truth about the existence of the universal Creator?

Q: Should religion give complete truth about the existence of the universal Creator and its existence? Please support the idea with verses from the scripture.

Answer: Yes, of course. The half-truth is often more disastrous than falsehood. It is not God who has revealed the half-truth, it is the dishonest religious leaders who conceal a part of Truth to exploit people. They defy the Covenant of God taken from them through respective prophets sent to them.

The Quran says:

“And when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture that, ‘You must explain (the teachings of) this (Scripture) to the people and not conceal it.’ But they threw it away behind their backs and accepted a paltry price for it. How evil is that which they have chosen!” (3:187)

Concealing a part of the Truth is akin to Mixing falsehood with the Truth. As per the Qur’an:

“And do not mix up the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth deliberately.” (2:42)


Can the Qur'an answer the question whether the Universal Creator God exists or not?

Q: Can the Qur’an answer the question whether the Universal Creator God exists or not?

Answer: We will first mention what according to us, can be called a religion.

A religion is about how mankind leads its life in this world. It includes the right belief and moral codes. A religion has a scripture or scriptures adherence to which binds the followers to each other into a community. For example, the atheists, agnostics and people having no religion are said to be the 3rd largest group among the people categorized on the basis of their faiths but, theirs is not a religion because they are not a community whose members are linked with each other through a code or scripture that guides to the way of living. A large number of mythical faiths having no scriptures, though believing in different gods and goddesses, must be categorized as ethnic cultures as almost all of them are local cultures instead of religions.

As per the above classification, out of all existing religions, only Buddhism among five major religions, Taoism in moderate figure group and Confucianism and Jainism among minor religions, disregard the existence of God, the Creator. (Shintoism has no scripture)

Barring the above few, all the religions recognize, believe in and talk about the All-Important Being, the Creator God.

The Qur’an lays much emphasis on rationality. It has not made any single significant claim without giving its evidence, be it the existence of God or the Life Hereafter. The reason, why a religious scripture (like the Qur’an) should be able to prove the existence (or non-existence) of God is that if it cannot and does not do it, it is asking the most intelligent and rationale-loving creature to follow a faith blindly.

Quran says:

“Surely, the worst of the living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb who (neither listen to nor speak the truth and) also do not use the intelligence.” (8:22)

The people may not be unmindful of their purpose of existence.

The Qur’an says:

“…He clarifies His revelations for the people, that they may take heed… “(2:221)

“And We have set forth for the people all sorts of similitudes and useful proofs in this Qur’an that they may take heed.” (39:27)



Q. What is the reason that description of Universal God is different in each religion? How should humanity understand about different description of Universal God in each religion?


I do not think that there are differences on many counts, among most of the religious people who believe in the Universal Creator God.

There are twelve classical world religions that are most often included in the history of world religion surveys and studied in world religions classes. These are- Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baha’i, Confucianism, Jainism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism. For the purpose of replying to the question, we’ll exclude Shintoism for having no scripture. I would add to the list Vietnamese Cao Dai having an estimated 7 million followers. I would have added Korean Shamanism or Muism to it with an estimated more than 10 million followers, but they also have no scripture. As the agnostics, atheists and people professing no religion are beyond the purview of the question, I have not considered them.

While the world population of people having no religion is 1.2 billion, around 6.4 billion followers adhere to the above-mentioned 12 religions. The rest of the religions (said to be over 4000) have not more than 20 million followers, which is a negligible number (0.3% of all religions or 0.26% of the world population) for any study. Most of them, having no scriptures may be categorized as ethnic cultures. Buddhists, Taoists, Confucians and Jains who do not believe in any Creator comprise only 9.8% of the total 6.4 bn religious people. Rest 91.2% of the religious people are from eight religions. These are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baha’i, Cao Dai and Zoroastrianism. As I said earlier, they do not differ on many counts from one another. All eight of them proclaim to believe in One Universal Creator God.

There are misunderstandings about Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. Hinduism has become famous for 33 crores (330 million) gods and goddesses, while it is generally believed that the religion of Zoroaster believes in dual gods of good and evil. I would like to shed some light on the reality of the above two.

While the whole world, including India, where more than 90% of Hindus reside, recognizes Hinduism as a religion, the reality is different. The word Hindu or Hinduism has not occurred anywhere in hundreds of books they consider holy. Arabs called this country ‘Hind’. When Muslims entered India in the mid 7th century CE as businessmen, Indians had a large number of ethnic cultures besides Buddhism, Jainism and an ancient religion Sanatan Dharma. Those Arabs were unaware of any religion except Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. They categorized Indians as ‘Hindi Mushriks’ (idolators of Hind). Over time the word Hindi (Indian) acquired religious connotations, and when Muslims from Afghanistan established dynastic rule in India, all people except Muslims, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians were called Hindus. Their rule continued for 800 years, and when the British made India their colony after them, they let the definition of ‘Hindu’ continue. Buddhists, Jains and later, the Sikhs were all counted as Hindus. To this day, the Indian constitution declares them Hindus though they are opposed to it. Like Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs, there are numerous other religions in India that are counted among Hinduism. They are Brahma Kumari, Nirankari, Pranami, Lingayat and many others. They have different philosophies and their own scriptures different from Sanatan Dharma. Nevertheless, Sanatan Dharma remains the largest of them all. I shall now talk about the concept of God in Sanatan Dharma instead of Hinduism-which, in fact, is a league of religions rather than one religion in itself.

The main scripture in Sanatan Dharma believed to be the Word of God is Veda. It is divided into four Vedas. The unanimous belief of all Sanatan Dharmis is that the Vedas are the Final Authority and touchstone for the authenticity of other large numbers of holy books which were composed by saints instead of being direct revelation from God. All of them agree (in principle only, not in practice) that whatever contradicts Vedas in their other books is liable to be rejected.

Now, the Vedas preach the existence of One Formless Creator God, the Al-mighty, Omni-Present (through His Knowledge), Al-knowing, All-encompassing (through His Power), Sustainer, Controller and Destroyer of all creation. The Vedas consider all those to be attributive names of One God, which in later times became different gods and goddesses of independent existence. Vedas are not averse to calling the Creator God by any Name. Is it any different from other monotheist religion? It will be in the fitness of things to mention here that many other religions thought to be part of today’s Hinduism like Nirankari, Pranami and Lingayat also present the same concept of God. (Only the Brahma Kumaris are different).

The Gathas in Avesta preached by Zarathustra (Zoroaster) declared that there is only one Universal, Transcendent, Al-mighty, Supreme God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe. God was called Ahura Mazda (The Lord Creator, Supremely Wise). The Satanic force ‘Spenta Menue’ which deceived human beings was not a person, never considered god or deity. Later, in the post-Zoroaster era, Ahriman, a devil was personified in place of the Satanic force ‘Spenta Menue’. Later scholars who introduced their concepts in Zoroastrianism made it look like a polytheistic religion. There is nothing drastically different in original Zoroastrianism, if derived from Avesta, from the concept of God in other theistic religions.

There are differences with Jews and Muslims in the concept of One three-fold God of Christianity, but by strictly adhering to the sayings of Jesus Christ in the Bible, these differences can be removed.

The concept of One Creator God in Sikhism, the Baha’i religion, and Cao Dai is no different. There are significant differences among many of these religions about other features of the religion and life Hereafter but, no major variance exists in their concept of God.

It is important to mention that though these religions have an almost similar concept of One God, a large number of their followers actually differ with each other, sometimes drastically in the concept and service of God. Citing the reason, the Qur’an says that mankind had one religion in the beginning. The prophets from God came to them for guidance (with essentially the same Message) but after the departure of every prophet, the religious leader used to interpolate the original teachings or misinterpreted them for their own selfish motives.[1]

The differences can be minimized if all of them sincerely follow their original, main and basic scripture without mixing them with later unrevealed books.[2]

It is the later (unrevealed) books, considered holy and later interpretations, that have not only caused the interfaith but intra-faith divisions among religions of a different era. [3]

The interfaith dialogue among these eight religions must be focused on finding the common grounds about the Creator among them strictly on the basis of their original scriptures.[4] And together, they must have a dialogue with Buddhists, Taoists and Confucians (excluding Jainism) to remind them that the founders of their religions had not denied the existence of God. It might have been counter-productive to talk about God in those days of the inception of their religions, but today, it is a very essential and valid topic to ponder upon to remove the differences between the followers of major religions.

With Jainism, the problem is that it is probably the only religion that does not have a scripture consisting of purely the founder’s (Mahavir’s) teaching that is recognized as a final authority by all Jain sects. Every Jain sect has its own set of scriptures composed by later saints. But all Jains believe in a very positive and creative principle. It is called ‘Syadvad’ or ‘Anekantvad’ (a multi-faceted aspect of reality). According to the principle, you can never call anyone absolutely wrong as there is no absolute Truth. Two diametrically opposite views may be correct if seen from different angles and considered from a different perspective, making allowance of conditions, circumstances, or senses expressed by the words. This principle does not allow them to oppose the existence of God. As there are a large number of proves of the existence of the Creator God, we can have meaningful parleys with them.

[Reference from Scripture]

All references below are from the Qur’an.

  1. Mankind were one single community but they differed, so Allah raised (His) Prophets as Bearers of good tidings and as Warners, and with them He revealed the Scriptures containing the truth, that He might judge between various people concerning all their mutual differences. But none differed therein except the very (astray) whom it (- the Scripture) had been given, and (they differed only) after clear proofs had come to them, out of spite against one another. Now Allah guided those who believed, by His leave, to the truth concerning which they (- the disbelievers) had differed. And Allah guides whosoever wishes (to be guided) to the right and straight path. (2:213)
  2. Say, “O people of the scripture, you have no basis until you uphold the Torah, and the Gospel, and what is sent down to you (in other scriptures) from your Lord… (5:68)”
  3. Woe, therefore, to those who write the Scripture with their own hands and then say, `This is from Allah.’ They do so that they may thereby acquire some paltry gains… (2:79)
  4. Say, ‘O people of the Scripture! let us agree on what is common between us and between you that we shall surrender to none but One God and that we shall associate no partner with Him and that some of us shall not hold others as sustainer besides God…’ (3:96)


How to establish connection with God?

Q: God (the Creator) is invisible. What does Islam say regarding the way of having a connection with God? Also, on what basis can a religious person be sure that they are connected with Him?

Answer: According to Islam, God created mankind with a purpose. He did not leave the human in darkness after creating him. He listens, sees, He is aware of all they do and He arranged guidance for them to the way of success (Qur’an 17:96, 5:76, 87:3). His guidance came in the form of scriptures through His prophets (Q. 2:213).

Now, a human being is endowed with three entities in his person: The material body, his Self (Naf’s) and the Universal Soul (Ar-Rooh) (91:7, 32:9). He can normally perceive and is aware of only his material body, not consciously knowing about the other two. The scripture has informed him about the Self and the Soul. His own real person or the Self does all the things, good or bad, receives guidance, feels happiness or grief through his material body which is a medium. The purpose of the Universal Soul is the activation of the attributes and capabilities of the Self.

It is like a mobile phone in which it is the sim that has the inherent intelligence but it has to use a phone body. However, both are useless unless the sim is activated through its central agency. Disassociation of any one of these three will make the phone dead. Actually, it is the sim that is capable of making a connection with the help of the phone body after being activated. Understanding the programming of the sim is not everyone’s cup of tea and even for those who are capable, they have to take the sim out of the phone to handle it rendering the sim incapable of making a connection without the body of the cell. There is another limitation of the sim. If it is inserted into a basic phone, it cannot operate to its optimal capability. Insert it in an advanced phone and it gives a world of features.

Let me cite another example to understand the functioning of a Self. A fish in a sea hasn’t seen the whole expanse of the sea though she might consider the range covered by her as the whole. To actually observe the whole sea, she would have to come out and rise much above the sea. But as soon as she comes out of the ocean, she is no more a fish. The difference between a fish and a human being is that with proper effort and practice, he can come out of his body without dying.

The people are required to resort to the scripture for the guidance. But there also is a higher level of understanding of the scripture and the guidance; that is by making a connection to the Creator who revealed the scripture. That connection of ‘the self’ with God directly is possible only by leaving the body. But how can the ‘Self’ dissociate from the body without a person being dead? The key is the mental dissociation from everything to associate with a required target. If you have a keen desire for something, then it is possible by going into a self-induced trance to concentrate upon that thing. In one word, this process is called meditation. Everyone goes into a meditative state occasionally. When you are absorbed in an interesting novel or a favourite TV serial, you often attain a meditative state. In that state, you are lost to the world and if anyone speaks, you do not hear it and also if someone passes in front of you, you do not recall seeing him. You, at that moment, are cut off from the senses of hearing and seeing. Remember, you can only meditate upon something when you have an intense desire for it. The final stage of meditating upon God is to see the Formless with the eyes of the mind. It is not possible for an amateur or a beginner. So, the first stage of the meditation suggested by the Prophet of Islam was to concentrate upon the presence of the All-Seer God and not upon actually seeing Him. After the practice, this stage gets perfected, one can meditate upon seeing the Formless.

The actual words of the Prophet are said to be as under:

“That you offer subservience to God as if you are seeing Him and if you are unable to see Him, (then ponder that) He, indeed is seeing you. (Hadith, Bukhari, Muslim)

Thus, to make a connection with God, the following condition and steps are required:

I- You are a true believer and you love Him more than anything else. The Qur’an says:

“…The (true) believers, love God more than anything…” (Q. 2:165)

II- You have to be cut off from the presence of everything else. This stage is called being in a trance. God does not like being associated or being made equal with anyone or anything.

“…Exalted is He in His glory, and far higher above all they associate with Him.” (Q. 10:18)

III- (Along with step II above) concentrate upon His presence with you.

“…those who strive hard in Us, We shall certainly guide them unto Our paths…” (Q. 29:69)

Being the ‘Self’ of a person with God is a stage of Bliss. The regular practice of meditating upon God makes His presence permanent with the devotee in his/her subconscious mind and upon reaching that stage, he/she is filled with real Peace and is ridden from all fears and grief.

Above is the way to connect with God as per Islam, but He communicates with people through His already revealed WORD, about which he has declared:

“…We have neglected nothing in the Scripture…” (6:38)

A regularly practicing meditator, in whose subconscious mind, the presence of God is stored, gets his/her reply to his/her call or guidance to his/her problem immediately through the scripture.

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, surely I am nigh. I answer the call of the caller when he/she calls on Me…” (2:186)

But to solve his/her problems he/she must respond to the received reply and act accordingly with a firm belief in order to be guided.

“…so they should respond to Me (too) and believe in Me in order to be guided”. (2:186)

The ultimately complete way of meditating upon God is to auto-suggest oneself while meditating, the absolutely True principles of nature created by God that are mentioned by Him in His Scripture. In that way, those principles also are stored in the subconscious mind and one has no difficulty in acting upon them whenever the need arises.

For this whole process to go smoothly, the Qur’an recommended the Salah (Prayer):

“…Establish Salah for My remembrance” (20:14)

And Prophet Muhammad informed:

“Verily, the believer in Salah (prayer) is in a private conversation with his Lord.” (Hadith Bukhari, Muslim)

Sadly most Muslims offer the Salah as a ritual without meditating in it and consequently, they don’t connect with God in their prayer.

How to be sure that one has established a connection with the Unseen?

When you have been detached from everything else to concentrate upon something or someone you know it. If other things and persons interfere in your senses of hearing or seeing, you have not reached a meditative state.

But the more important question is that how can one be sure that he/she is connected to God and not someone else?

The scripture has described His attributes in detail. If in your meditative state, you are connected to a figure or form that you can draw or mould in worldly form when your ‘Self’ is associated with the body, then you are with an imaginary entity rather than with the Unseen Creator. The scripture clearly says:

“No human vision perceives Him, whereas He perceives all they see. He is the All-Subtle, the All-Aware.” (6:103)


Consequences of having a proper connection between mankind and God

Q: What are the consequences of having a proper connection between mankind and God? Also, what are the consequences of having a false connection with Him?

Answer: When you detach yourself from everything or achieve a trance i.e. you have reached a stage of complete blankness with no thoughts. After a trance even for a short while, when you come back, you experience tremendous relief and energy because in a state of normal sleep, when many organs of the body are rested, the mind is at work though at a lesser pace.

Instead of being blank, when you are meditating upon God or even a false god or goddess, your fears, grief, anxieties, stress, depression, uncertainties and negativities are gone, enhancing your self-confidence, creativity, concentration and peace of mind. It is because you have auto-suggested yourself to be with the All-knowing, the All-seeing, the All-hearing, the All-powerful and the Almighty and that practice is stored in your subconscious mind.

Why do the false gods give solace?

Imagine passing through a dense forest alone. It may be an adventure for some and a fearful experience for others.

But…! When the day gives to the darkness … and more darkness, then it is very hard for anyone to pretend bravery. Even a child’s presence in this atmosphere is consoling. The company of even a weak person helps restore courage in a deserted atmosphere or seclusion. So, if you assure yourself to be in the company of Almighty, the fear and apprehensions are replaced by confidence.

In the same analogy as above, if you are assured of the accompanying guards covering you from behind the bushes, you will have no fear even if no guard was deputed. On the contrary, if the guards were there for your security but you were unaware of them, then you will have fear. So, it is not the deployment of actual security but your knowledge and belief in the security arrangement are that matters.

The advantages and disadvantages of the connection with True God or false gods appear with time and with acting upon scriptures associated with the True or false god. True God will refer to the true scriptures and false gods will refer to the distorted or deceptive scriptures.

If the scripture is truly from God, the following ADVANTAGES will accrue after a reasonable time:

  • The long term success will be visible in the life of the person meditating on True God as he will be acting according to the true scriptures. For example, the Qur’an says:

“…what is beneficial to the mankind, sustains in the earth…” (Q. 13:17)

The Qur’an also asks the True believer to confront the disbeliever to say to him:

“Say, O my (disbelieving) people! Persist in your ways, for I (too) will persist in mine. You will soon know who will fare best in the end. Indeed, the wrongdoers will never succeed.” (Q. 6:135)

  • The teachings of the person in contact with True God will always be in conformity with nature and rationality as God is the Creator of nature too. He has bestowed the human being with wisdom and directed him to use his wisdom.

“…He has created mankind in conformity with the nature (which is the creation) of Allah…” (Q. 30:30)

“Verily, the vilest of all creatures in the sight of God are those deaf, those dumb ones who do not use their reason.” (Q. 8:22)

Acting in conformity with nature and using wisdom against blind faith assures harmony in life and long term success, in the end, is rewarded.

  • His future predictions will come true as He will be guided by True God.

Following BAD CONSEQUENCES will ensue by the connection with the false god:

  • The gains of the meditation described earlier will be short-lived as his/her self-confidence in wrong principles will lead to failures and ultimately his confidence will be shaken leading to stress and anxieties.
  • The teaching of the person in the company of a false god will not conform to the nature and be based on a lot of irrational blind faith eventually misguiding the people.
  • He will either not be able to foresee the important future events or many of his predictions will go in vain, creating confusion and panic in his followers.


Concept of Creation: Religion and Science

Q: What is the difference in the concept of “Creation” as explained by science and religions?

Answer: Science has not yet found the process of creation (from nothingness) in the universe, though a large number of scientists in every age have been believers in God and consequently in His ability to create. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Faraday, Marconi and Einstein are among famous scientists who believed in God and creation.

The concept of creation in Science and religion is discussed below:

Science uses words like procreation, reproduction or evolution for the creation. It does not believe in God (though, justifiably, it cannot deny it too) and the creation originating from God in the beginning because they have not found the beginning yet. There are confusions and differences of opinion regarding the beginning of creation. In general, scientists have not been able to go beyond or earlier than the Big Bang in the process of creation.

Where did the initial sub-atomic particle or which they call ‘Singularity’ come from? How did it start expanding? How did the hypothetical dark matter and dark energy (which they have not yet found in the universe) exist at the beginning (of the Big Bang)? These are the questions to which the scientists do not have the answers.

The biggest and most recent scientific experiment to date to explore the creation of the first particle took place in Geneva, in a 27 km large underground laboratory of the Hadron Collider, built by more than 10,000 scientists and engineers of more than 100 countries. This experiment was a grand failure in its main purpose. Probably because of this, a few days before Stephen Hawking breathed his last, he even claimed that Big Bang was just the beginning without any cause. There was nothing beyond that, neither any cause nor anything that produced it.

Some Non-believers have been talking of an Intelligent Designer who had no further role after designing and starting the universe. So, all the present hypothesis and theories are based on unproven assumptions as far as the beginning of creation is concerned. Moreover, their general theory that life just evolved by chance from non-living things in suitable circumstances, is a blind theory that could never be reproduced in a laboratory.

Again the science generally claims that life, once generated by chance, evolved into different living things and beings including humans. The theory of evolution or natural selection for the existence of mankind on earth presented by Charles Darwin and modified many times over is still a hypothesis that has not been proven.

Religions (Except Jainism and Buddhism) in general, believe in God as the originator of Creation. So, religions believe in both creation and evolution. But then, there is a difference of opinion among religions about how God created the universe and mankind.

Some Hindu sects (Arya Samaj and some others) believe that God, souls and matter are all eternal and unborn. They believe in God being only the manager of the other two. Universe has neither a beginning nor an end like God Himself, according to them. Most religions believe that God created the universe from nothing by His Will, but there are some (like some Hindu sects) who claim that the universe originated from God’s own person and will be dissolved in His Self again at the end. Some others even claim that all existence is a mirage. Only God exists and all others are just a deception of sight.

All the above theories and still some more are claimed by different religions on the authority of either the words of their claimed scriptures or the interpretations thereof. Some of the above religious theories including those not mentioned here, are not even based on any scripture but have been propagated by their Gurus, preachers or founders who claimed to have risen above conscious level to witness, observe and experience the Truth.

Thus, you can see that there are as many confusions and differences among non-religious (scientific) theories as there are among different religions.

In our opinion, there are only the following two specifiable and distinguishable differences between science and religions:

  • The Religions believe in the existence of God-originating, evolving and developing the creation, while science does not believe so. Only the Buddhists and Jains among religions, do not believe in God. With apologies to the concerned, I believe that these two must not be categorized as religions at all. Where there is no (One) God, it is a philosophy and not a religion.
  • The scientific studies only deal with the question of ‘how’ when discussing the creation. They are not concerned with ‘why’ or the purpose of creation. So, Science has no purpose insight for all the existence, while the religions ascribe a purpose to God for the creation, especially the creation of mankind.


Why should we eat according to divine guidelines?

Q: Why should one eat food according to the guidelines given by God in Quran? What is the consequence of eating it this way? On the contrary, why one should not eat a certain food, and what are the consequences of eating that forbidden food?


God has created us and created all the other things. He knows more than we shall ever know about us, our anatomy and what is good and what is bad for us to consume or eat.

“…Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know.”

In general, we have been prohibited from eating food that is harmful for our physical or spiritual health. The harms of eating the prohibited or unclean or undesirable food have not been described in detail on all occasions but with the passage of time, as the humanity evolves, we go on finding the wisdom behind the orders of God.

“And you shall, surely, know the truth of it after a while” (38:88)

As far as four unlawful foods (discussed in a previous answer👉WORK’s answer to Does the Quran explain what kinds of food one should eat and what kinds of food one should not eat? in Answers by Allama Syed Abdullah Tariq ) are concerned, the physical harms of consuming three of them are well established.

The harmful effects of swine flesh, blood and intoxicants are well known. The decay starts in the flesh of an animal as soon as it dies. The blood is overly toxic. It also has pathogens (blood-borne diseases). When the meat of a carrion is consumed, it contains large amount of coagulated blood in it. The meat of a carrion rots or decomposes much faster than the meat of a slaughtered animal.

The fourth of the unlawful category, that is those animals which were slaughtered in the Name of deities other than One God has spiritual ramifications based on Islamic faith of Unitarianism.

While describing the spiritual consequences of eating unlawful (though it is in context of unlawful earning), the Qur’an says:

“Verily, those who consume the property of the orphans unjustly, as a matter of fact, feed their bellies with fire; and they shall certainly burn in a blazing fire.” (4:10)

That is where the scientific reasoning ends. It is generally claimed (without any scientific backing so far) in religious circles that the behavior and personality of a human being is affected by his diet. The Prophet (phuh) declared unclean or undesirable the meat of all those animals that are either violent, pray on other animals, or cunning or eat dirty things like excretions etc.

Finally a Hadith states as follows:

“…How would the prayer of a person would be answered who raises his hands towards heavens and cries ‘O Lord, O Lord’ but his food, drinks and attire are (purchased from) unlawful (income).” (Muslim, Ahmad)

“He is more suited for fire whose body is built up by unlawful diet” (Ahmad, Baihiqi)

Should the teachings of religion include the word of God that would be fulfilled in the future?

Q: Should the teachings of religion include the word of God that would be fulfilled in the future?

Answer: Yes, and it has been included. The followers of Sanatan Dharma (Hindus) believe that ‘Satyuga’ (The Age of Truth) will arrive at the end of ‘Kaliyuga’ (The Dark Age through which we are passing these days).

Jesus also foretold about ‘The Kingdom of God’ coming to earth.

Qur’an declared that a time would come when the mission of all the prophets of God would be fulfilled:

“And We have already given Our word (of promise) to Our servants, the Apostles. That verily they! they shall be made triumphant. And (that) it is Our hosts that shall surely gain clear supremacy.” (37:171-173)

“…Falsehood is indeed ever bound to vanish away…” (17:81)


Why are the prophecies written in religious scriptures?

Q: Why are the prophecies written in religious scriptures?

Answer: Religious scriptures have such prophecies in them in order to strengthen the faith of the believers in them. Moreover, the prophecies invite the non-believers to believe in them after they assess the fulfillment of the prophecies.

There are three types of prophecies in the scriptures.

(1) Some prophecies of the scriptures foretell the future events and happenings in this world.

(2) Some relate to future knowledge (discoveries) during the life span of the human being in this world. These are the astronomical or scientific truths the world would know later.

(3) Some other prophecies relate to the life after death.

If there are no prophecies related to the future events of the world or type (1), there is not much harm. There would be other internal evidences to judge the authenticity and divinity of the Word. On the other hand if there are no references about the future knowledge, the man would gain, i.e. type (2), the authenticity of the scripture might be in question. The Creator knows the future and the principles of nature described by Him must be there and must come true.

Lastly, if there is no guidance in a work about the life to come after death, it certainly is not a revealed scripture.


Significance of the written prophecy in the scriptures

Q: What is the significance of the written prophecy in the scriptures to a believer?

Answer: The prophecies about the future events and happenings reassure a believer about future and after they are fulfilled, their faith in them is strengthened.

The prophesies relating to scientific knowledge and discoveries teach us to live in resonance with nature to avoid calamities and destruction.

For example the Qur’an said:

“Say, ‘Have you considered if your (underground) water were to sink deep on one morning, who then, will bring you pure flowing water?” (Qur’an 67:30)

Those who believed could have conserved water even when no one cared about it. But now when the depletion of underground water level has become a reality, the people must believe in other prophecies and live their life according to the teaching of the scripture.

Another example:

“And He raised the heaven high and set up the (law of) harmony and balance in order that you may not transgress (due) balance. Hold balance (of the nature and in your lives too) with justice. Do not disturb the (law of) harmony in the least.” (Q. 55:7-9)

The mankind should have listened to the scripture to avoid the natural calamities by not disturbing the ecological balance and it must listen to it and establish social justice among people.


Should scriptures have prophecies?

Q: What is the significance of fulfillment according to the prophecies in religion? Should scriptures have prophecies and fulfillment in order to be trustworthy?

Answer: The answer to the first question is given by Qur’an in the following Ayah:

We shall soon show these (disbelievers for their guidance) Our signs even in the remotest regions (of the earth and space) and in their own selves (too) until it becomes quite manifest to them that this (Qur’an) is the lasting truth in fact. Is your Lord not sufficient as a witness of all things?” (41:53)

Now let’s answer the second question i.e. “Should scriptures have prophecies and fulfillment in order to be trustworthy?”

So the answer to this is: Not necessarily as far as the prophecies about the future in this world are concerned. A revealed scripture is full of other internal evidences of its truthfulness and authenticity. But the prophecies about the events of the life after death are a must for a scripture.


Predictions vs Prophecies

Q: What is the difference between the scholars of the world’s predictions (like the weather forecasts, incidences of disease rates, increase in economic trend rate etc.) and the prophecy discussed in the scriptures?

Answer: The prophecies given in the scriptures would always come True. If it doesn’t, the so-called scripture is not a revealed Word of God. It does not necessarily mean that every prediction that comes true is a prophecy.

We receive knowledge through two sources.

  • From our surroundings and
  • From the Creator through His prophets.

There are unchangeable laws in the universe created by God. With the increase in our knowledge of the universe, we discover more and more laws and our scientific predictions are becoming more accurate with each passing day. The process will go on till the Last Day. But the knowledge revealed by God is an absolute Truth. It is always true and valid for all times to come.


Prophecies in the Quran

Q: What are some of the examples of the prophecies told in the Quran?

Answer: Originally Answered: Give some examples of the prophecies told in the Quran?Remove Banner

Following are a few of a large no. of prophecies in Qur’an

A different transport system in future: (fulfilled)

“And He has created horses and mules and asses that you may ride them, and as a source of beauty. And He will create what you do not yet know.” (Q. 16:8)

Propagation of scriptures by publishing and broadcasting : (fulfilled)

“And when the scriptures are published/broadcast”. (81:10)

Space exploration and Air Traffic: (Fulfilled)

“And when the space is unveiled”. (81:11)

“And by the heavens full of tracks.” (51:7)

Discovery and interaction with Extra-Terrestrial Life: (To be fulfilled but almost a certainty)

“And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures He has spread forth in both (in heavens and earth). And He has the power to gather them together whenever He wills.” (42:29)

Justice in the next Life: (Prophecy about the life after death)

“And when the female-infant buried alive (includes female feticide) is questioned about – For what crime was she killed.” (81:8-9)


Fulfilled prophecies in the Quran

Q: Is there an example in the Quran where a prophecy is fulfilled?

Answer: There are many fulfilled prophecies in the Quran, I shall cite and explain only one of many occurrences of fulfilled prophecies in Qur’an.

The Romans have been defeated (by the Persians) In the land nearby (the junction of present day Israel, West Bank and Jordan); and they after their defeat shall overpower (the Persians) within a few years; for with Allah is the Command in the Past and in the Future…” (Qur’an 30:2-4)

The Romans and the Persians were the two super powers of the world at the time of revelation of the above Ayahs and the Romans were just crushed by the Persians in the battle of Antioch in 613 C.E. near Dead Sea. There was no chance of their being able to regain the lost territories within a few years. But this happened as prophesied by the Qur’an.

There is another miraculous part of the above prophecy. This particular prophecy is two prophecies-in-one. The Arabic words for ‘in the nearby land’ are ‘Fee Adnal-Ardh’. It has two literal meaning. The words can also be translated as ‘in the lowest part of earth’. No one in the world knew in the 7th century AD that the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, 420 meters below sea level!


Could a prophecy in the scriptures not have fulfillment?

Q. Could a prophecy in the scriptures not have fulfillment? (What should a believer do if one was hoping and longing for the prophecy to be fulfilled?)

Answer: If the prophecy is about the events of this world and it is not fulfilled within the justifiable time span, the work containing it, is not a revealed scripture.

I must mention here the criteria of such prediction about a future event to be called a prophecy:

The prophecy must be clear, and it must contain sufficient detail to make its fulfillment by a wide variety of possible events unlikely.

  • The event that can fulfill the prophecy must be unusual or unique.
  • The prophecy must be known to have been made before the event that is supposed to be its fulfillment.
  • The event foretold must not be of the sort that could be the result of an educated guess.
  • The event that fulfills the prophecy cannot be staged, or the relevant circumstances manipulated, by those aware of the prophecy in such a way as to intentionally cause the prophecy to be fulfilled.

If a supposed scripture makes a prophecy that is not fulfilled according to the above criteria, the believer in such a work should be rational and look for the Truth elsewhere.


Who was the First Man?

Q: According to Quran, what is the first man’s name? Also, how and when was he created?

Answer: The name of the first man was Adam, as told by the Qur’an.

“And your Lord said to the angels: “I am going to place a superseder (of other beings) on the earth… and (after creating him), He taught Adam all the names (and the properties of everything)” (4:30-31)

How was he created?

The body of the first man was created from the elements of earth. It was moulded in to shape and then God blew in to him from His soul.

And when your Nourisher and Evolver said to the angels, ‘I am, indeed, going to create (the body of) a human being from a combination of earthly elements and water. So when I have fashioned him in perfection and breathed into him of My soul, fall down making obeisance to him.” (15:28-29)

When was he created?

As already answered in reply to the previous Question, Adam was created after all the other creation. The heavens, the earth, the angels and the devil in heavens and the animals, the vegetation & the non-living things on earth. As far as the record of exact number of years prior to a later reference point in history, given in some scriptures, the modern researches have conclusively proved that those figures are wrong by gigantic and astronomical proportions.


What does the Quran say about the First Man?

Q: What is the definition of the first man according to the Quran? Is the first man the same with the ancestor of mankind according to science?

Answer:  God directly created the first man, the ancestor of a separate group of creation after the angels and Jinns and plants and animals and non-living things had been created. This definition is derived from different Ayahs of Qur’an, describing man.

Before the creation of first man, God informed the angels that the next in the series of creation was about to come.

“And when your evolver and nourisher said to the angels: “I am going to place a superseder (of other beings) on the earth.” (2:30)

The above Ayah shows that when man was created, angels already existed.

Then, God ordered angels (with all natural forces in the universe under their command) and the devil to bow to the man. The angels complied while the devil refused. So, the devil was also there before man was created.

“And when We commanded the angels: ‘Make obeisance to Adam.’ So they obeyed except Iblis (the devil), he refused stubbornly and waxed proud, and he was already one of the disbelievers.” (2:34)

When Adam (the first man) was created he was taught the names of all things of the earth and heaven. It implies that all those things were created before him.

“He taught Adam all the names (and the properties of everything)…” (4:31)

The following Ayah also indicates that the mountains, the rivers, the trees were there in the Garden, where the first man and his wife were commanded to stay in the beginning.

“And We said, ‘O Adam! dwell you and your wife in this garden and eat freely and plentifully from it as you will…” (2:35)

In short, all other creation was there for the benefit of mankind, when he was created.

“It is He Who created for your benefit all that is in the earth…” (2:29)

The first human being was not evolved from other beings but was a direct creation of God.

“…the man whom I have created with My both hands (i.e. with My own special powers…” (38:75)

The modern science has not yet been able to ascertain the beginning or the origin of creation of man. There are theories and hypotheses for a long time but nothing has been conclusively proved till date. There is no justification in comparing the points of view of science and religion in this regards until the science has come to a definite conclusion about the origin of man.


Commandment from the Creator to the first man

Q: What was the commandment from the Creator to the first man? Did he keep the command?

Answer: The main Commandment, while sending the first man (Adam) and his mate to the Garden (the paradise) for a training period, was to remain alert and not be deceived by the devil’s lures.

“Then We said: ‘O Adam, verily, this (the devil) is an enemy to you and your wife. So let him not get you both ousted from Paradise lest you fall into trouble.” (20:17)

God also instructed them to stay away from a (allegorical) Tree that was forbidden to them but they succumbed to the devil’s temptations.

“But the Devil made them slip from it (the bliss), and caused them to depart from the place (the paradise) they were in. And We said: Go forth, some of you are the enemies of others and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.” (2:36)

The above experience was part of the training of Adam (and his wife). It was to warn them before sending them to the world (for which they were originally created) that they could fall prey to devil’s design despite prior warning. Then, they were descended to earth with the following instruction:

“He (God) said, “Go down (you devil and man) as enemies of one another. On earth shall be your habitation and provision for awhile.” (7:24)

We said, “Go down therefrom, all of you and when there comes to you a guidance from Me, then, those who follow My guidance shall have nothing to fear and nothing to grieve at. And those who disbelieve and belie Our Messages, shall be the inmates of the Fire. There they shall abide for long.” (2:38-39)


Love according to Islam

Q: What is Islam’s take on the word “Love”?

Answer: The Love that Islam explains, surrounds every aspect of an individual’s life whether it is spiritual, personal or social.

The holy Qur’an has 3 different words for love.

  • The first is ‘Hubb’. It is the pure love of the highest order, wishing nothing in return. This kind of love (Hubb) is required to be developed for God. When one is in love with God, he/she cares for nothing except His Will. His/her love for God supersedes love for all other things. Whoever is in this kind of love with God is the true believer.

The Qur’an says:

“There are some who take to themselves compeers as opposed to Allah. They love them as they should love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more than anything else…” (2:165)

The above-mentioned form of love is purely spiritual. Those who are in love with God, love all His creation without expecting anything in return from anyone.

  • The second word used for love is ‘Wadda’ in Arabic. There is craving, desire, longing and physical attraction in it. This love also wants reciprocation like the love between the opposite sex.

“And (it is one) of His signs that He has created mates for you from your own species that you may find comfort in them. And He has induced mutual affection and tenderness between you…” (30:21)

  • The third word is ‘Rahmah’ i.e. a combination of compassion, beneficence, tenderness, affection and mercy. In its highest form, it is God’s attribute and it is required that all beings develop this divine attribute in them.

The Qur’an told the believers that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)- the role model for all the Muslims- was a combination of all these attributes for all the existing beings. (21:107)

A mother has ‘Rahmah’ for her children and the Qur’an asks the children to show ‘Rahmah’ for their parents. (17:24)

Every believer is told by Qur’an to cultivate ‘Rahmah’ in themselves.

“Then he should be one of those who believe and exhort one another to be patiently persevering and exhort one another to possess ‘Rahmah’ (i.e. compassion, beneficence, tenderness affection and mercy towards God’s creation)…” (90:17)

Thus, love is an integral part of the teachings of Islam.


Way of practicing love according to Islam

Q: The common message of religions is Love, but unfortunately, we can easily find cases that this teaching is not kept in the current religious world. What is the way of practicing love according to Islam? Has any Muslim ever practiced love in religion?

Answer: Love benefits others and takes care of them. It fulfils the material or spiritual shortcoming of others according to their need and requirement. Guiding others to the right path in religion is also love as it tries to fulfil their spiritual needs. In the Quran, the word ‘Rahmah’, the love for all, is mentioned as God’s attribute. It is associated with justice. Care must be taken that the love for something or someone does not turn into selfishness or communalism.

Prophet Muhammad said: “He is not from one of us who resorts to communalism.”

People asked, “Is it communalism to love those near to us?”

“No”, he replied, “communalism is to side with your own people in wrongdoing and transgression.”

We, being Muslims, as per the teachings of Islam, practice being alone with God every day and teach it to others too. Being alone with Him and living those moments in pure love and devotion is a state of bliss. Those who do not practice it, can’t understand how it is possible. Do not all of us get cut off from all surrounding while reading a very interesting novel or looking at an absorbing serial? In those moments of absorption, we do not see or hear if someone approaches us or speaks to us. When we meditate upon being in God’s presence, we are cut off from all others. It is possible only if one loves God and it induces in a devotee, the love for His creatures.

To practice that love that Islam teaches us, we participate in peace-promoting meetings and other interfaith programmes. We try to narrow down the differences between the followers of different religions. It is for maintaining peace and it is also a religious form of love for mankind.

Our organization has always been at the forefront of fulfilling the requirements of the needy irrespective of the aggrieved persons’ caste, creed or religion. When there are earthquake, floods, communal clashes in an area within reach of our volunteers, we dedicate ourselves to the affected people’s need. Even during the Covid-19 lockdown, when there was a large scale humanitarian problem in India and the poor were facing starvation due to a lengthy lockdown, our volunteers were relentlessly busy reaching out to them with the ration and other necessities. We have so far delivered help to thousands of people and we are continuing even when there is a risk of infection of the deadly disease.

There are innumerable examples that are beyond comprehension where Muslims like us have practiced love that Islam has taught through their acts of compassion and love. Some are vocal about their acts and some do it privately out of the Love of God. To see them manifesting around us, all we need is to open our eyes beyond prejudices.


Does the Quran have a record about the “End of the World”?

Q: Does the Quran have a record about the “End of the World”? If so, explain what “the End of the world” is and what does it mean?

Answer: According to Islam, the graph of time is a straight line. There is a starting point of this world and there is a beginning point of life on this earth, so it is imperative that there shall come a point when all life will come to an end and at some point of time, there will be an end of this earth too. It is a part of the basic beliefs in Islam that there will be the Last Day (Yaum-ul-Aakhir in Arabic) of life on this earth. The end of life and the end of the world are two different things. Life started here much after the world came into existence. Life started when the ecology of the earth became suitable for life to exist here. When the ecological balance will be disturbed to such an extent that life becomes impossible, it will be no more. The world will remain for a long time even after this life gets finished here, and ultimately there will come an end to the non-living creation too because it had a beginning. Whatever began, has to have an end.

“All that is on it (- the earth) is subject to decay and doomed to pass away. Only the presence of your Lord lasts. Possessor of Majesty and Honor.” (55:27-28)

The Qur’an has used the word ‘The Last Day’ at 26 places and in a large number of other Ayahs, its details are described, calling it by many names including ‘The Day of Judgment, The Qiyamah’ etc. After a long Day of Judgment, human beings will be transferred to their eternal life of bliss or torment depending upon their faith and deeds of the worldly life.

According to Islam, human beings are created for ‘God Realization’ and therefore, they are provided with the choice of accepting or rejecting His commands; they are also provided with intellect and intelligence above all living beings. Their presence in this world is for the express purpose of testing them here. They had to lead the life of submission according to the guidance sent through the prophets. All people who lived on earth shall be gathered on The Day of Judgment. The record of their lives will be played back before them, and those succeeding will pass on to such destinations where they will serve the purpose of their creation and live there in bliss while the destination of others who chose to lead their lives according to their selfish selves, will be the places of torment and fire.


End of the World; As mentioned in the Quran

Q: What are the details of the end of the world that are recorded in the Quran? What, when, and where does it happen? Who are the people that are related to the event of the End of the World?

Answer: There will be a gigantic explosion and all life will come to an end. The explosion will be of such a magnitude and the earth will be shaken so violently that the mountains will be reduced to dust. To maintain the balance of the earth, the base of the oceans will come up and all water will be evaporated as the protecting layers over the earth will be disturbed and the water cycle or returning the water to the earth will come to an end. All plants will die of the temperature and the whole surface of the earth will become a huge plain with neither mountains nor oceans.

After a long-long time (Only God knows when) all the scattered elements of the human race will be gathered, the bodies will be recreated as they were before and they shall be raised to life again. That will be the Last Day of human beings on the surface of the earth, the Day of Judgment. Qur’an presents arguments in a large number of Ayahs that raising them to life from the dead and scattered remains is possible for God and it is destined in His scheme of things.

The beginning of the end will start with such a huge explosion (that may be a handiwork of the human race) which not only will finish all life here, but the geography and ecology of the earth and its spheres will change forever.

To those who enquire about the time of the end, though the Qur’an says to reply that- Allah knows it. It did not specifically declare that mankind will never come to know of the exact time of the end. I am quoting below, the two relevant passages in Qur’an:

“They ask you about the Hour when it will come to pass. Say, ‘Surely, the knowledge thereof is with my Lord. None but He will bring it about at its time. It shall be heavy on the heavens and on the earth. It shall not come upon you but all of a sudden.’ They ask you (about it) as if you were curiously solicitous about it. Say, ‘The knowledge of it is with Allah, but most people do not know.” (7:187)

“They ask you concerning the Hour (saying), ‘When shall it come to pass?’ Why? It is you who are its reminder. To your Lord is the ultimate end of it. You are only a warner to him who fears it. On the day when they see it, it will be as if they had but tarried for an evening or morning.” (79:42-46)

If and till the time mankind knows the exact hour of the end, there are a number of signs to appear before the end. One of the signs of last time is the second coming of the Christ. The Christ did not die on the cross. The Qur’an says that they could not crucify or kill him. He was saved but the situation around that time confused the people. He was raised alive.

“And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him, but he was made to them to resemble (one crucified to death). Verily, those who differ therein are certainly in (a state of) confusion about it. They have no definite knowledge of the matter but are only following a conjecture. For certain, they never killed him. Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.” (4:157-158)

According to Qur’an, every being has to meet his death, the death of Christ is yet to happen and for that, he will again descend to earth. He will judge the people on the earth and only those who believed in his true teachings will survive. Then, after the time of the Christ’s death, people will go astray again and the final doom will happen when there will not remain a single true believer on earth.

As we interpret that event, the Christ will descend in those days when transmitting people from one place to another will no more be a thing of science fiction but would have become a scientific reality. The scientific progress will make it possible for the conversion of material bodies into energy and its reconversion into the matter at some other place. When Christ comes back, it will not be an unbelievable thing for the people that his body was converted into energy when he ascended and he will regain the material body again while descending on earth. So, the end is not so near to our times as some people predict from time to time and their predicted time proves to be a false alarm.


The purpose of describing the end of the World in the Quran

Q: What are the reasons and the purposes for recording details about the End of World in the Qur’an?

A: The purpose of describing the events after the end is to fore-warn people that there will be a final Day of Judgment and they will not get another opportunity to mend their ways by taking rebirth in this world. As an evidence for those events, God will show to the people that as the days progress and mankind attains some control over nature, they will witness the events of the end on a small scale in their world. They will see that their own explosives convert the hills to dust. They will witness that the imbalance in ecology results in destruction and so on.

The Qur’an says:

“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?” (41:53)


Guidelines in the Quran for the people to deal with at the End of World

Q: Are there guidelines that are recorded in the Quran for the people to deal with at the End of World?

Answer: The scriptures are for all people of all times. Their teachings are not exclusive for those people who will be there when life is finally finished on the earth with a bang. It is noteworthy that the end of the world for every person is his/her own death. There is an end of the world for every person born on this earth. The scriptures guide us to lead such a life that guarantees success to human beings in their real life after this worldly test.

Qur’an asks people not to disturb the working balance in the atmosphere, among the society and in their own selves, in their deeds and behaviours. The transgression and creating imbalance invites destruction. About the atmosphere it declared:

“And He raised the sky (the firmament of the first system) high and set up the (law of) harmony and balance. (He explains this to you) that you should not violate the (law of) harmony and balance. Hold balance with justice. Do not disturb the (law of) harmony in the least.” (55:7-9)

About the society, it instructed:

“O’ you who believe! be steadfast, upholders of the right for the cause of Allah, bearers of true witness in equity, and do not let the enmity of a people move you at all to act otherwise than equitably. Be equitable (always); that is nearer to being secure against evil, and take Allah as a shield. Surely, Allah is Well-Aware of what you do. (5:8)

About one’s own self the Qur’an said:

“And kill not yourselves (your personalities). Undoubtedly, Allah is Merciful to you.” (4:29)

The imbalance, inequity or corruption invites the destruction:

“Disasters have spread throughout the land and sea, because of what the people have committed. He thus lets them taste the consequences of some of their works, that they may return (to the right works).” (30:41)

Nothing whatsoever can make a man immortal in this world. Similarly, no amount of planning can withhold the appointed end of the world. Everyone has to prepare him/herself for the life after his/her own end of the world.

There are scores of such Ayahs in the Qur’an asking the believers to lead the lives of submission according to the guidance revealed through the Prophet and scriptures.


Does your Islam consider ‘birth, aging, sickness and death’ as a solvable problem?

Q: Does your Islam consider ‘birth, aging, sickness and death’ as a solvable problem? If so, how is it solvable? If not, why did an immortal God create mankind as mortal?

Answer: How does a student solve the problem of facing an examination? He makes necessary preparations and instead of being afraid of it, he faces it confidently and passes through it with honours on way to a successful career. Only those who lose the precious time in impermanent pleasures, consider it an uphill problem and try to run away from it but instead of avoiding it they fail in their career. The Qur’an says:

Say, ‘The death from which you flee is sure to overtake you. Then you will be brought before the Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will inform you of the truth about all that you had been doing.” (62:8)

How does Qur’an solve the problem of birth, aging, sickness and death and the suffering associated with these? I shall describe some points first in details and then summarize in the end.

In most religions, the goal is the restoration to the previous state of life that was prior to being sent to the world which is a place full of suffering and grief. Not so in Islam. A true Muslim, like a good student does not consider this life of examination, full of grief and sorrow and his goal is not the restoration of any previous state but to grow and evolve in this life and the life hereafter forever and ever. It is called success or attaining the goal by the Qur’an.

“You will certainly ascend to one state after another.” (84:19)

Indeed, only he/she attained his goal who purified and evolved himself/herself by keeping the remembrance of the Name and the Attributes of his/her Lord and then meditating (upon Him).” (87:14-15)

“Successful indeed is one who purified and evolved his/her self and he indeed was ruined who corrupted it.” (91:9-10)

The following prayer of Muslims reflects this belief:

“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” (2:201)

Islam also does not conform to the philosophies that the world is full of sorrows. It is full of trials. There are joys and pleasures too but they too are part of trial.

“Indeed with hardship (here), there is ease (too). When you are free (having finished one task) strive hard to do (the next) and make your Lord your exclusive object.” (94:6-8)

No one can escape the trial till his/her last breath here. The nature of trial for each individual is different. The problem is that when we look at others and do not find him suffering from the same problems we face, we are depressed and think that their lives are free from trial. One may not be aware what the other is facing and this becomes a cause of grief.

Another cause of grief here is that we set a number of goals for ourselves within this life and are unable to achieve all. They are often in different directions. When we proceed towards one, the distance from the other is increased. Had we thought that our presence in this world itself is the objective of someone else and keep our desires within the boundaries of His will, there will be no sorrow.

“Diverse indeed are the ends you strive to achieve. So he who gives to charity and maintains righteousness and testifies (to the Truth) with magnificence, then soon We shall facilitate for him (the way to) ease. But he who is miser and indifferent and belies that which is splendid, then We shall soon facilitate his landing into misery and his wealth will not avail him when he perishes.” (92:4-11)

So let neither their riches nor their children amaze you. God only intends to punish them therewith in the present life and (that) their lives may end while they are disbelievers.” (9:55)

The difference between these two phases of lives is that the span of worldly life is almost negligible in comparison to the eternal life after death. It is not advisable to stay away from good and attractive things in this life but it is unwise to be lost in the allurements in this life at the cost of the long and real life.

“…The abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who lead a righteous life. Would you then not use wisdom?” (12:109)

“Say, ‘Who has made unlawful God’s beautiful things of adornment and elegance which He has produced for His servants and the delicious and pure things of (His) providing’ Say, ‘They are (also) meant for the believers (and for the disbelievers too) in this present life (but) exclusively for (the believers) on the Day of Resurrection.’ In this way do We explain the Ayahs for a people who have knowledge.” (7:32)

“Whoever longs for the present (transitory) life (only) We shall hasten an immediate reward for him here (granting whatever We like to whomever We please. Thereafter, We have set up Hell for him, in which he will enter condemned and rejected. And whoever strives for the Hereafter with a striving that is its due, and he is a believer (as well), it is they whose struggle shall find favour (with their Lord). We extend help to all: those (ambitious of this world) as well as those (aspiring to the Hereafter (and this is) out of the bounty of your Lord; the bounty of your Lord is not confined (to any one section of the people). Behold! how We have exalted some of them over others (in the present life), yet the Hereafter holds out greater degrees of rank and (confers) greater merits and excellence.” (17:18-21)

“(The Law of God guides) those who believe and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of God. Look! it is in the remembrance of God alone that the hearts really find peace.” (13:28)

Passing on to the next phase of life after the death in this world will be like a re-birth but then there will be no aging, trials, sufferings, sickness and death for those who act wisely, keeping their goal of success in site. There are hardships in this world which aggrieve the people who do not have their goal in sight. A student who keeps his goal in site is not depressed by his hard work in studies. Later in this life a businessman willingly goes through hard phases of skipping his meals and sleep for a better future without complaining.

So, to summarize, we find that following are the guidelines given by the scripture to surmount the sufferings of life, aging, sickness and death.

  • The life of this world is of a zero span compared to the everlasting life Hereafter as every digit howsoever long is reduced to zero when compared to infinite. Whomsoever keeps his/her sight on the life hereafter, the span of this life and hence the suffering here are reduced to zero.
  • By keeping the multidirectional desires within the limits fixed by God’s Will, the suffering fade away.
  • One should not be distracted and feel disadvantaged by the good things of others. They have their own share of hardships which you do not face.
  • Feeling others’ grief and helping them lets one forget his/her own hardship.
  • Remember, there are comforts also in this world along with hardship.
  • The remembrance of God lets you keep His company and in His company there is only peace of mind without fear or grief.

“…Look! it is in the remembrance of God that the hearts really find peace” (13:28)

“Listen! Verily, the friends of God will not have any fear, nor will they grieve.” (10:62)


Can science, which is a study of the world, give answers for ‘birth, aging, sickness and death? Does the Quran have an answer to this question?

Q: Can science, which is a study of the world, give answers for ‘birth, aging, sickness and death? Does the Quran have an answer to this question?

Answer: The science does not deal with all aspects of birth, aging, sickness and death.

The science (at least till today) does not even pretend to answer the question of ‘Why’ about creation or the existence. It answers or hypothesizes about ‘What’ and ‘How’, about these things. For example it does not care to think about ‘why’ (or for what purpose) does the universe or mankind exist. It tries to answer only what a universe or a human being is and how the universe was formed or how the man came into existence. The scriptures basically deal with the question of the purpose and its fulfillment. They surely deal with the questions of ‘What’ and ‘How’ but in a different perspective with that of science. While the science replies to ‘What’ and ‘How’ about a human being in terms of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics etc. which are bereft of feelings, the scriptural replies to these questions invoke the feelings and sense of responsibility, a human being should observe about ‘Why’ he is here.

Answers of the Science about birth, aging, sickness and death:

The birth of a person is the result of conception from fertilization of ovum with a sperm to form a zygote which grows into an embryo and a fetus and going through different processes, a baby is delivered. The genes of a baby are programmed so as to reproduce cells in early life resulting in growth. Cells keep on dying and new cells are generated. With time, the dying cells outnumber the new generated cells and the body starts aging. One or more system starts to fail and drag the rest down with it. When heart stops beating, the blood and oxygen supply to the brain also stops. The permanent cessation of all biological functions is called death.

Sickness, according to science is of three types. One, through infection, which comes from outside. Sometimes it is avoidable and sometimes unavoidable. The second type of sickness is genetic. It is unavoidable though it could be controlled. The third type is probably what is meant in the question. With the degeneration and mutation of cells, the old age sickness in inevitable.

Answer of the Scripture and its comparison with that of Science:

In fact the Qur’an told more than 1400 years ago that the question of life and death with aging would be discussed.

“They said, “We only live this life; we live and die and only (aging with) time causes our death!” They have no sure knowledge about this; they only conjecture.” (45:24)

“Yet, they set up beside Him (the True Creator), others who should be obeyed, who do not create anything – they (those scientists) themselves are created – and who possess no power to even harm or benefit themselves, nor do they possess any power to control life, or death, or resurrection.” (25:3)

The Qur’an verifies the sequence of the stages of life that would be discovered by the scientists but adds that it must induce them to use their brain to think that there is an originator of these causes of life and the life goes ahead beyond this worldly life.

“He is the One who created you from (the elements of) earth, and subsequently from a destined pearl (nucleus containing DNA), then from a hanging embryo, then He brings you out as a child, then He lets you reach maturity, then you become old – some of you die earlier. You attain a predetermined age, that you may use your intellect.” (40:67)

The scientific method requires making observations, recording data, and analyzing data in a form that can be duplicated by other scientists. The subject of a scientific experiment has to be observable and reproducible. On the other hand they theorize about the beginning of the universe without any observation or any reproducible results. The hypothesis thus far is that it started from a sub-atomic singularity, dark matter and dark energy. Yet, they have neither ever observed any of the above three anywhere in the universe. They are also unable to observe the emergence of life by itself in a protein molecule, so they still do not know how life really originated but the science is not ready to accept even as a hypothesis that an All Powerful entity God did it all because God is not observable!

Answering to the question ‘Why’ which the science never even considered, the Qur’an says:

“Every living self has to taste death, and We make you undergo foul and fair for trial, and towards Us will you be returned.” (21:35)

“He Who has created death and life (so that) He may test you as to which of you is best in conduct. And He is Almighty, Most Forgiving” (67:2)


The Qur’an says about the sickness due to infection from outside, that when you catch such illness, you can get well but only if God so wills.

“And when I fall ill, He is the One Who cures me.” (26:80)

The sickness of old age and the last time is unavoidable.

“And the stupor of death has truly to come. This is the thing which you were trying to avoid.” (50:19)

The agony of the last moments will not be faced by the pious.

“Those, whose lives are taken out by angles while they are pure, saying, ‘Peace be upon you…” (16:32)

It is important to mention what Prophet Muhammad said about sickness and old age.

“God has not made any ailment whose treatment He has not created except for one disease. When the companions asked what that disease was, he replied, “It is agedness”. (Hadith compiled by Tirmizi)

Spiritual birth and death:

Apart from material aspect of these, the scriptures talks about the spiritual life and death. “Those who do not lead their lives according to the scripture and are unmindful of their purpose or goal are not alive”, it says. Like a blind person cannot see, and a deaf cannot hear, those who are not prepared to see and listen to the guidance are like dead in their graves. Following are some of the Ayahs from Qur’an to explain this:

“Can he, who was lifeless (dead earlier) and to whom We gave life (birth) and We provided for him a light (of the scripture) whereby he moves about among the people, be like the person whose condition is (as one) consigned to thick darkness from whence he cannot emerge?” (6:122)

“And you cannot make the dead hear, nor can you make the deaf hear the call when they retreat turning their backs (on you)” (30:52)

“The (spiritually) living and the (spiritually) dead are not alike. God causes to hear who wishes (to listen). But you cannot make those hear who are (lying buried) in the graves (of ignorance and prejudice).” (35:22)

Spiritual aging and sickness:

The spiritual sickness has been mentioned as ‘The Disease in Hearts’ by the Qur’an in many Ayahs and aging is symbolized by ‘increase in that disease).

“That (the Law of) God may make these (false doubts) which Satan puts (into their minds) a trial for those people whose hearts are diseased (of hypocrisy) and whose hearts are hardened (owing to disbelief). And surely, the wrongdoers have gone far in disdain” (22:53)

“In their hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy), and (the Law of) God has increased their disease (due their stubborn disobedience). A woeful punishment awaits them because of their persistent lies.” (2:10)

The Treatment of the Spiritual Disease or Death:

There are some who are incurable because of their persistent intentional arrogance:

“(They are) deaf, dumb, (and) blind, so they will not return (to be healed).” (2:18)

But those who believe and had been sick to their death due to their carelessness have a chance to come back for treatment.

“O you who believe! Respond to God and the Messenger when he calls you to that (the teaching of the Scripture) which will give you life (after you had been dead) and know that God (then) intervenes between a person and his heart and that it is He to Whom you shall all be gathered.” (8:24)

“O mankind! there has come to you an exhortation (to do away with your weaknesses) from your Lord and a cure for whatever (disease) is in your hearts, and excellent guidance and a mercy, to those who believe” (10:57)


Are the four phases of life ‘birth, aging, sickness and death’ an order of nature or God’s will?

Q. Are the four phases of life ‘birth, aging, sickness and death’ an order of nature or God’s will? Or, is there something that caused these phases to happen?

Answer: All of the above is true regarding phases of life. God is the Creator of nature. The human creation is according to the laws laid down by God in nature, though a large number of laws of nature have not yet been discovered. Some other hither to incomprehensible (and therefore unrecognized by science) creatures of God also take part in human birth and death.

Let me first explain that proved science can never be at loggerheads with True Scriptures. Scripture is the word revealed by God while Science is the study of laws of nature created by God. It is only the hypotheses and unproved theories that are often in contradiction with the declarations of the scripture. There are subjects which science has not yet dealt with. If the scripture says something about the things or phenomenon that is outside the domain of science, it is most unscientific to call them unscientific. For example, consider the following:

  • You answer a phone call and the person speaking is the same about whom you were just thinking. You had a dream about something which actually happened in real life. The science knows only about five senses having no clue about these extra sensory perceptions.
  • There are a few persons in the world surviving the heart transplant surgery. In this age of internet communication, they discovered each other and found out that the inherent nature and basic traits of each one of them had changed. It does not happen after the transplant of the eyes or kidneys or some other organ. They probably acquired the traits from the donor whose heart was procured after his death. Have you ever told someone about some act that your wisdom or brain advises you to do it but the heart is not inclined? The doctors say that a heart is merely an organ for pumping the blood but the scripture says otherwise. The medical science may at a later stage discover that heart has some memory cells too and the transplanted heart not only retains that memory of the dead donor but passes it on to the brain of the acceptor and there probably is a two way communication between heart and brain through the flow of neurons.
  • A boy of 17 in his prime youth and ideal health falls and gets a head injury which seems so insignificant that there is not even a visible abrasion. Only a mild bump. On being brought to the hospital, the doctors declare him dead due to the formation of a blood clot in some area of the brain. He could have been saved, had he been brought a half an hour earlier so that they could have time to remove the clot through an emergency operation. Why can they not remove the clot now and revive him to life? If he was merely a body like a machine that stopped, the machine was still brand new with a minor obstruction that was diagnosed. The operation should have been performed to remove the clot, his heart could be revived with the help of artificial pacifiers and he could be alive again. That is what you can do to the machines. But the boy was not merely a body. There was some other entity associated with the body which had left him and would never come back. But the science does not know anything about the living self and the soul. The scripture does.

So, the soul is also blown in to the body of a child at some stage while he is still in his mother’s womb and with it comes his consciousness. At every stage from the sperm and ovum to zygote to fetus, it was a living organism. The body was being formed but it was a growth like vegetables. Only after the association with the soul, the child became a human being. The scripture talks of that but it is beyond the domain of science.

Thus, the scripture recognizes the process of formation of the body according to laws of nature discovered by science but the science is still unaware of the soul and the Creator of both the soul and nature because they are unobservable by their apparatus.

After this long but essential discussion, the statements of the Quran describing the birth, aging, sickness and death are presented below:

“He it is Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides a thing to be, He says to it only, ‘Be’ and it comes to be (in due course).” (40:68)

“…The nature (created) by God is according to which He has created mankind.” (30:30)

“…We created you from the (elements of) earth, and subsequently from a destined pearl (nucleus containing DNA), which turns into a hanging (embryo), and then from a lump of flesh looking chewed (partly) formed and (partly) unformed. We thus clarify things for you…” (22:5)

“He is the One who made perfectly well everything He created, and started the creation of the human from the elements of earth. Then He reared his lineage from the extract of a worthless fluid (a sperm drop). He perfectly shaped him and blew into him from His spirit (the soul). And He gave you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brains, yet rarely are you thankful.” (32:7-9)

“…So We cause whom We please to stay in the wombs till an appointed time. We then bring you out as infants, then (nourish you) so that you may reach your youth. And of you are (also) some who die (early), and some are brought to the (old) age of senility so that having learnt so much knowledge, now he knows (just) nothing (sickness in the last part of the age)…” (22:5)

“(It is) God alone Who creates you in (a state of) weakness, He then replaces your weakness with strength (of youth) and again (replaces your) strength with weakness and gray hair (of old age). He creates what He will. He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.” (30:54)

“And the stupor of death has truly to come. This is the thing which you were trying to avoid.” (50:19)

“Every living self has to taste death, and We make you undergo foul and fair for trial, and towards Us will you be returned.” (21:35)”

The Qur’an also talks in detail about spiritual life, death and sickness but the spiritual sickness, death and life is not probably the topic here.


According to the Islam, which time era are we living in?

Q: According to the Islam, which time era are we living in? Also, what is the standard that distinguishes the era from the previous one, and what are the characteristics of this era that cannot be found in others?

Answer: Unlike in some religions, the path of time, according to Islam, is not a closed circle. In a closed circular path having no ends, all segments of the circle occur repeatedly, while in motion. All the segments bounded by such a path can be named conveniently.

The path of time, according to Islam, within the present dimension of creation is a linear one with a beginning and hence also an end.

In a linear path of time, the present era can only be measured (or named) with reference to the beginning or end or the measurable known events in between, like the advent of Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, the beginning of the League of Nations or the liberation of Korea etc.

The Qur’an does not specifically mention the exact beginning or the exact end. It emphasizes on following the guidance about one’s belief and deeds. In whichever era you live, your time comes to an end with your death and you will be judged in the next life accordingly. The scriptures, however, have been foretelling of some major signs ahead of their time including the dawn of some future prophets so that when it comes to pass, people may strengthen their belief in the scriptures.

People, since centuries have particularly been inquisitive about the time of the end. They also have been interested in knowing about the end times because they have been pinning their hopes on the coming of a Final Messiah predicted in a large no. of religious traditions. The Messiah, be he in the form of the Kalki Avtar or a Maitreya or the Second Resurrection of Christ or Mahdi will eradicate all evils from the face of the earth. The Messiah, whenever he appears will do his duty but the Qur’an says that none will share your burden of duty and you will not get any reward in future unless you make efforts your self for the future. Following are some Ayahs of the Qur’an in this regard:

They will ask you about the Hour as to when will it come to pass? Say: The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. None but He will manifest it at its time…”[1]

“…For all that you know, the Hour (Day of Judgment) may be very close.”[2]

“Whoever adopts the path of guidance follows it to his own benefit, and whoever goes astray, then the evil consequences of his error also fall back on him alone. And no bearer of burden will bear the burden (of the sins) of any other…” [3]

And that a human being will get only what he strives for.” [4]

Nevertheless, a large no. of Muslims believe that we are living in an era that is very near to the end times. We find in Hadith literature more than 70 general or minor signs and about a dozen major signs to appear before the end times.

Some of the minor signs are following:

Time will pass rapidly. [5]

Good deeds will decrease. [6]

People will become miserly. [7]

There will be much killing and murder. [8]

Power and authority will be given to the wrong people. [9]

Honesty will be lost. [10]

Earthquakes will increase. [11]

People will begin to compete with others in the construction of taller buildings. [12]

The consumption of intoxicants will be widespread. [13]

Adultery and fornication will be prevalent. [14]

Only the rich receive a share of any gains, and the poor do not. [15]

People will treat a man with respect out of fear for some evil he might do. [16]

A great plague will spread over the land. [17]

Family ties will be cut. [18]


[1] Qur’an 7:187

[2] “ 42:17

[3] “ 17:15

[4] “ 53:39

[5] Bukhari, Muslim, & Ahmad

[6] Bukhari

[7] Bukhari

[8] Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, & Ahmad

[9] Bukhari

[10] Bukhari

[11] Bukhari & Muslim

[12] Bukhari

[13] Bukhari & Muslim

[14] Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah

[15] Tirmidhi

[16] Tirmidhi

[17] Bukhari

[18] Ahmad


Should the scriptures have the way of finding the one who has received the word of God?

Q: Should the scriptures have written records of the way of finding the figure who has received the word of God?

Answer: Yes, the Word of God (essentially the same in different eras, different languages and styles on different parts of the globe) was revealed whenever the erstwhile Word sent by a prophet was corrupted and interpolated. The Word of God revealed by a prophet in every age, not only testified to the person’s truthfulness but produced ample evidence to the effect that the prophet bearing it was a true Messenger of God. Sometimes the produced evidence was in the form of prior life and events of the prophet and on occasions, the scripture foretold such events that occurred later in the life time of the prophet bearing that scripture.

The Sanatan Dharmi (Hindu) scriptures testify that God had foretold Manu of the great Deluge (Noah) that all sinners would be drowned in the Flood to come. Manu (Noah) was told to build a vessel by which the believers would be saved when the Deluge came. The event of the great Floods occurred as the people were warned by Noah. The Bible and Qur’an also testify to the above event.

It is described in detail in the Pentateuch (Torah) that it was given to Moses on the Mount Sinai. Moses led Beni Israel through the sea while the Pharaoh and his army drowned. The event is recorded in Torah and it was proof enough that he was an esteemed prophet of God. Much later when they disobeyed him Torah reminded them of the past miracles given to Moses (Deu 4:34-38) and then it records:

“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, forever.” (Deu 4:39-40)

Jesus had foretold a great event of his life in advance that came true. He had said:

“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mat 12:39-40) That event occurred as Jesus had foretold in the very life of the disbelieving people of his era.

The Qur’an declares at a no. of places that Muhammad is a Prophet of God.

“Say (to them), ‘O mankind! I am a Messenger to you all from Allah…” (7:158)

Qur’an refers to many proofs from his past life to prove the truthfulness of the prophet. Among them is the reminder that even the disbelievers themselves had given him the titles of ‘As-Saadiq’ (The Truthful) and ‘Al-Ameen’ (The Honest).

“(Tell them) I had indeed lived among you a (whole) lifetime before this (claim to Prophethood. Was not my truthfulness undisputed?). (10:16)

The Qur’an foretold the victory of the Romans (Byzantine)over Persian (Sasanian) empire within a few years after they had been defeated. At that time it was unthinkable but it happened before the eyes of the people of the Prophet’s era.


'Basic' or 'Fundamental' differences amongst the various Fiqh Imaams

Q: Regarding the article in Our Dialogue referring to ‘Basic’ or ‘Fundamental’  differences amongst the various Fiqh Imaams, could Br. Tariq be kind enough to highlight some of those differences and present the stand of Quran and Sunnah on those issues?

(Hanif Guliwala ; [email protected])


Let me first reproduce the relevant part of what was originally written. It was as follows:

While following an Ulul-Am’r of Fiq’h we must be careful of the Qur’anic instructions that in case of (basic) differences (of right and wrong and not merely of preferences) among them, we have been ordained to leave all Ulul-Am’rs to the extant of disputed matter and search the solution in Qur’an and Sunnah alone:

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those charged with authority among you.  If ye differ in anything among yourselves (due to the differences among authorities), refer it to Allah and His Apostle if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for final determination”. (4:59)

Following is one example (more examples cannot be cited for the sake of brevity) of basic differences among the Fiq’h scholars. It is regarding the recital of Surah Fateha behind an Imam.

There is fundamental difference of right and wrong (not of preference) between Imams on this vital issue. Hanafi Fiq’h decries that it is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi (extremely abhorrent) to recite Al-Fateha behind an Imam in all prayers. Their main basis of argument is the Hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whosoever has an Imam, the recitation of Imam is his recitation”. (Musnad-e-Imam Abu Hanifa, Dar-e-Qutni) Imam Shafai says that his Salat will not be valid who does not recite Surah Fateha in every Rak’at behind an Imam in all the prayers. The core of his contention is the Hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Who did not recite Surah Fateha in Salat, his Salat was not complete”. (Bukhari, Muslim). Hanafis say that reading the two Hadiths together, a Muqtadi’s Al-Fateha is deemed to be recited behind an Imam. The later Hadith is valid for individual prayers (without Jama’at). They also quote the Qur’anic verse: “And when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it intently and pay heed, so that you may obtain mercy”. (7:204). They say that the Qur’an does not permit recitation of a Muqtadi’s (follower’s) recital behind an Imam.

Shafais do not leave to correlate the second Hadith quoted above with the above verse. They remain silent behind an Imam in Jehri (loud i.e. Faj’r, and first 2 Rak’ats of Maghrib and Isha) Salat but the Imam keeps standing without reciting anything for a while after Al-Fateha to enable followers to recite it. There are other Hadiths also which form the basis of arguments of the two groups and there are discussions regarding Mansookh (repealed) or weakness of narrators of Hadiths. I am leaving those discussions in this short answer.

The Malikis decree that a follower should not recite Fateha in Jehri recitals by an Imam but he should recite it in Sirri (silent) Rak’ats. Hambali scholars agree with this with a minor modification. They say, when a Muqtadi is so far behind an Imam that he is unable to hear him reciting in Jehri Rak’ats, he should recite Fateha in that Jehri Rak’at too.

Now this is an example of basic or essential differences between the Fiq’h Imams on an issue of daily occurring. According to Hanafis, Salat is extremely abhorrent when a Muqtadi recites Surah Fateha behind an Imam in all the prayers and the Shafais decree that Salat is incomplete without reciting Surah Fateha in every Rak’at of every prayer. We have to resort to Qur’an and Sunnah, (in that order) in this matter.

The Qur’an says: “And when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it intently and pay heed, so thatyou may obtain mercy”. (7:204). Listening is possible only when it is loudly recited. It is not possible to listen or pay heed when imam is reciting silently. It is clear that the order is applicable to Jehri Rak’ats only. In those Rak’ats, Imam’s recital will be deemed to be Muqtadis’ recital.

When we do not find a clear direction in Qur’an, the rule is then to resort to Sunnah. The Hadith of obligation of reciting Surah Fateha guides us. Muqtadi should recite Surah Fateha in Sirri Rak’ats. As a Hadith cannot repeal a Qur’anic order, the Hadith is applicable to Sirri Rak’ats only. These are very Unambiguous deductions from the Qur’an and Sunnah in that order) without the need of going into more complexities.

The above leads us to decide that Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal’s decree on this issue is most judicious. Incidentally, Imam Shah Waliullah followed this ruling while he was a Shafai in most matters and Hanafi in some besides those subjects, which he decided by his own Ijtehad.




Punishment Of Rape in Qur'an

Q: In The Indian Express daily, on Oct. 16, 1998 an essay of Sultan Shahin (Shariat’s law, not Prophet’s) was published. In that he argued: “The rape finds no mention at all in the holy Qur’an. The concept of child rape is totally alien to both Qur’an and the Sunnah”. Is this correct? 

(Abdul Rasheed. K. ; Pattuvam, Kannur)

Answer: The casual readers or those who are not well familiar with the style of Qur’an do not find the punishment of most of the heinous crimes in Qur’an, while they can see the penalty of lesser offences. The penalty of (planned) theft is cutting off hand but to them, it seems that the punishment of dacoity, a bigger crime is missing. Those who level charges of adultery against chaste women are required to produce four eyewitnesses supporting their charge and in case of their inability of doing so are to be chastised with 80 lashes. This is clear in Qur’an but it seems that the habitual trouble shooters, blackmailers, regular scandal-mongers, professional desecrators of women’s honour are not mentioned. Adultery and fornication are to be punished with 100 lashes, but Qur’an does not seem to differentiate between a first time sinner and a perpetual or professional sex operator. Illicit sexual relation with mutual consent is penalised but the sentence of rape is not found in Qur’an by them. This is neither logical nor true. Qur’an places all such offences which are more severe than theft, illicit sexual contact and defamation of modest women, in the category of sedition, spreading disorder and anarchism in the land, strife with might for mischief through the land and waging war with Allah and the Apostle. The punishment for such offences is:

“Truly if the Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and those who stir up sedition in the City desist not We shall certainly stir thee up against them: then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time: Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter. (Such was) the practice (approved) of Allah among those who lived aforetime: no change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah”. (33:60-62)

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution or crucifixion or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.” (5:33)

Above is a list of punishment in Qur’an, for all such offenders who have become a nuisance for the peaceful society. Out of these, the exact punishment of such a criminal is to be decided by the Qazi or the judge according to the nature or the circumstances of the offence. Hadith or the Sunnah, being the exposition of Qur’anic principles, make plain the exact penalty for the rapist. Following is one such example of a rape incident and its penalty in Hadith:

“Alqama Bin Vaail narrates, referring his father that a woman came out of her house for Namaz (in the mosque). In the way a man intercepted and overpowered her completely. He fulfilled his lust with her and escaped. When another man passed her by, she told him that a man was there a short while back and such and such happened. The man ran behind the first man. Then some other persons also ran and they (in confusion) caught the chasing man who had run behind the culprit dishonouring the woman. The accused was produced before the Prophet (pbuh) and the woman too mistakenly verified him as the culprit. The Prophet (pbuh) ordered that the man be stoned to death…”

(Musnad Ahmad)

The answer will not be complete without mentioning the other side of the Islamic view of dealing with crimes against the society. Verse 5:33 reading: “The punishment of those … theirs in the Hereafter”, is followed by:

“Except for those who repent before you overpower them. For, know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”      (5:34)

Following the same spirit of forgiveness and mercy, the Prophet (pbuh) acquitted those whose true repentance was evident before they were caught. The next part of the above described event of the wrong man accused of rape is as follows:

“When the Prophet (pbuh) ordered to stone him (the wrong accused) to death, the man who had actually committed the rape came out of the crowd and confessed: ‘O Prophet (pbuh)! I am the real culprit’. The Prophet (pbuh) said to him: ‘you may go. Allah has forgiven you’. Moreover, the Prophet (pbuh) praised that man. The people asked: ‘O Prophet (pbuh)! Will you not send him to stoning?’ He answered, ‘He has made an atonement that if all the (sinning) people of the city make, it will be accepted from them”.

(Musnad Ahmad)

Thorns are to protect the flowers. The spirit of Islamic penal system is to protect the sanctity of the society. It does not want to punish a person who does not deserve it. When it imposes a stringent punishment over a hardened criminal, it is when the society as a whole is wearied of him and everyone prays for redemption from his misdeeds otherwise in normal circumstances, Islam teaches of restraint and forgiveness to its last limit.

Punishment Of Adultery in Islam

Q: Suppose a married man who has no physical relation with his wife for more than six months because of refusal of his wife due to disobedience or quarreling commits intercourse with other woman illegally, then is the punishment stoning to death for the man?

 (Zubayer Ahammed ; Calcutta)


The repenters are not punished:

No! Under Islamic law, the punishment for adultery is 100 lashes (of moderate intensity). If the wife was denying him his right of matrimonial relations and there was no possibility of mending ways, he was free to divorce her. He had no right of committing adultery because of being so aggrieved and he will be subjected to punishment according to Islamic code in an Islamic society. This punishment will be applicable only in that estate where Islamic laws are recognised. No individual is authorised to execute the penalty. In addition, the punishment is executed only in case of accused being caught by the law. Even in that case, if it is proved beyond doubt that the accused had truly repented over his sin before being caught, the punishment is to be condoned.

“Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy; for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil until death faces one of them and he says ‘Now have I repented indeed’; nor of those who die rejecting faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous”. (4:17-18)

It was asked of Imam Ibne Timiyah that if a man was entitled to the punishment of unlawful sex and he atoned for the sin before the imposition of punishment, would the punishment be condoned by his atonement. He replied:

“If one resolves to leave unlawful sex, theft or drinking before the case is produced before the Imam, then it is proper that the punishment will be condoned like it is condoned for the Maharibeen (the wagers of war against Allah and the Apostle and the seditionist) if they repent before coming under the grip of law”.                        (Majmoo’-ul-Fatawa Sheikh-ul-Islam)

Says Ibne Qayyim:“If this is true that Allah does not punish anyone who repents, then it is also true that no punishment should be implemented on a repentant. Allah has made clear that even the Maharibeen are forgiven if they repent before coming under grip. It is despite of the fact that their crime is extremely atrocious. Obviously the lesser offenses will in the first place be pardoned if there is true repentance already”.

(A’alaam-ul-Muqi’een quoted in Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m P.217)

The sinner, if repentant, is not required to voluntary report his sin to the law. Instead, he should ask forgiveness of Allah and resolve to stay away from the sin in future.

“The Prophet of Allah said: Stay away from those loathsome evils, which Allah has forbidden you from. If someone through a slip indulges in any such act then he should remain concealed behind the veil of Allah and ask forgiveness of Him. But if someone will produce his neck before us (i.e. stick to the sinful activities unashamedly and boldly) then we shall enforce the code over him”.

(Bulughul Maraam: Kitabul Hudood; Ibne Haj’r Asqalani)

“Said Anas Bin Malik, ‘I was present beside the Prophet (pbuh) when a man came and said: ‘O Prophet of Allah I have committed a punishable sin, so enact the punishment’. The Prophet (pbuh) did not ask him any question till it was time for Namaz. After he had offered the prayer with the Prophet (pbuh), he again approached him and said, ‘O Prophet of Allah I have committed a punishable sin, so judge me by the Book of Allah’. The Prophet (pbuh) asked him, ‘Have you not offered prayer with me’? He replied, ‘Yes’. Then the Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Allah has pardoned your sin and your punishment’.”   (Bukhari)

The Prophet (pbuh) did not even ask him what crime or sin he had committed. This is because the purpose of punishment in Islamic system is to punish the consistent and habitual criminal so that others should learn from his severe punishment and do not dare to follow into his footsteps.

The Punishment of adultery is 100 lashes:

The Penalty of adultery is not stoning to death unless he is a hardened and habitual sinner who is a perpetual disturber of peace of the society. Qur’an clearly spells out the related law:

“The woman and the man guilty of unlawful sex (adultery or fornication) flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case in a matter prescribed by Allah if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment”.      (24:2)

Few Islamic laws have been so misunderstood as the penalty of illicit sexual intercourse. It is generally believed by a majority including some renowned scholars that the above punishment is only for the unmarried offenders. It is therefore expedient that this issue be discussed in detail.

There is nothing to prove the contention of stoning to death being the punishment of adultery in The Book of God. On the contrary there are clear indications in Qur’an that punishment of 100 lashes is for all adult and sane persons making illicit sexual intercourse, be they married or unmarried, men or women.

Verse 24:8 should not be cut from the context:

When we read ahead of the above verse (24:2), it becomes more manifest, if only the context of consecutive verses is not overlooked. Following is the translation of first eight verses of the Surah:

A Surah which We have sent down and which We have ordained: in it have We sent down Clear Signs in order that ye may receive admonition. The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case in a matter prescribed by Allah if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty or an Unbeliever nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.

And those who launch a charge against chaste women and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegation) flog them with eighty stripes: and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors

Save those who afterward repent and make amends. (For such) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth;

And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie.

But it would avert the punishment from the wife if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that (her husband) is telling a lie;

And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth.(24:1-9)

Now which punishment is being referred to in the verse No.8 above? Reading from the first verse onwards makes it obvious that it is the same, which has been described in verse No. 2, i.e. a hundred lashes. Many Fiq’h scholars assume that the punishment mentioned in verse 8 is the woman’s confinement or stoning to death. From the context, it is apparent that there is no room for any assumption at all. The renowned scholar Ibne Qayyim, in his famous work ‘Zaadul Ma’ad has stressed upon this. He writes: ‘The punishment condoned for that woman through Li’aan (The procedure of oath described in the verses 24:6-9 above), is the same which is mentioned in this order of Allah — and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment (i.e. flogging)’. Note that the woman in verse 8 is a married woman accused of adultery by her husband. It further proves that Qur’an prescribes a punishment of flogging for both, adulterer and fornicator irrespective of their marriage status.

Flogging replaced the confinement till death:

Let us now come to Surah ‘Nisa’ (Ch.4) of Qur’an, which also discusses the punishment of lewdness. Verse 15 of this Surah reads:

As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation).      (4:15)

A majority of commentators agree that earlier, when a married woman was guilty of illicit sex, she was to be permanently confined to her house till the revelation of new ordinance. The new ordinance came vide 24:2. Upto this point there is near unanimity. The confusion arises when the new legislation vide 24:2 recommends flogging but they insist that this will apply only to unmarried. Strangely enough, the order was awaited in respect of married women.

There are indications in the above verse (4:15) itself that the ordeal of the erring married women shall be eased in the new law. There are three subtle points in the above verse that should not be missed.

The Arabic text for ‘or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation)’ in this verse is au yaj’alalla_hu lahunna sabila. In normally spoken Arabic, this phrase will be taken as a consolation and a future promise for easing their ordeal. Elsewhere also, at a number of places, the word ‘sabil’ (Literal meaning: a way) is used in the sense of ‘a way out’ For example the following verse:

“And no protectors have they to help them other than Allah: and for any whom Allah leaves to stray there is no WAY (OUT)”. (42:46)

It is evident that stoning to death is no way out of confinement in home.

The Arabic equivalent of ‘your women’ in the text of this verse is Nisa’ikumwhich is normally used in Arabic as well as in Qur’an to mean ‘Your wives’. In fact in all the verses in Qur’an where the words Nisa’ukum/Nisa’ikumand Nisa’ihim (Literal meaning: your women and their women) have occurred, they mean ‘your wives’ and ‘their wives’. For example:

“Permitted to you on the night of the fasts is the approach to YOUR WOMEN”. (2:187)

It is obvious that by women, here means wives. Similarly in the verse 4:15 above, the style of Qur’anic language indicates that wives or married women are being discussed and a way out was promised for them to end their predicament of confinement. Therefore the promised way out, vide 24:2 (100 lashes) is primarily for married women and hence the punishment of adultery is not stoning to death. Maulana Sagheer Ahsan, the Sheikhul Hadith of Jameatul Falah Bilaria Ganj Azamgarh, quoting his mentor Maulana Akhtar Ahsan Islahi, a great scholar, writes:

“After a particular order for wives, the Qur’an had said, ‘or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation)’. It means a new legislation was promised. In the light of this (assurance), the verse of lashes was revealed. How is it possible that the main promise was for married women and the legislation should come for the unmarried, with no mention altogether of married women”!?

(P. 229; Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m by Mohd. Inayatullah Asad Subhani) .

Reflect again on the following words of the relevant verse: “confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation)”. (4:15)

The new legislation would be meaningless if it comes in the form of death sentence. She was already confined to house till death.

The death sentence cannot be halved:

Yet another clear cut proof of the punishment of unlawful sex being 100 lashes irrespective of marital status of the sinner, comes from verse 4:25, which reads:

“If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: and Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: wed them with the leave of their owners and give them their dowers according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste not lustful nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock if they fall into shame their punishment is half that for free women…”      (4:25)

There is no half punishment of stoning to death. It is clear in the above verse that the punishment of free believing women for adultery or fornication is that which could be halved in case of same sin committed by the war captives after their marriage. Allama Rasheed Raza in his famous Qur’an commentary ‘Almanar’, writes:

“As for free woman, the apparent words of the verse manifest that she will be inflicted with a hundred lashes, be she married or unmarried. The words of the verse are general. Were there no traditions, one would have a right to say about the verse that by free sinning women here means free married women. It is because in this verse married maid captives are compared with married free women.  

(P. 49; Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m) 

Married cannot be excluded from verse 4:25

It may be mentioned that the Arabic word ‘Muhsanaat’, used in the verse can represent either only married women or all free believing women irrespective of marital status. Unless it is apparent or specifically mentioned the word can not exclusively refer to the unmarried women. Maulana Inayatullah Subhani, in his book Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m, has quoted in detail the scholars of language and dictionary to prove this.

Bukhari did not record the cases of stoning under ‘Hudood’:

It is well known by scholars that the headings of the sections in Sahih Bukhari is a reliable way of knowing Imam Bukhari’s Fiq’h opinion about the traditions under those heads. Now we observe that no tradition citing stoning to death is put by the Imam under the section ‘Kitabul-Hudood’ (the book of penal code), in his Sahih Bukhari. He has put the incidents of stoning to death under another section ‘Kitabul Maharibeen Min Ahlil Kufri war-raddah’ which means the book about those who wage a war against Allah and the Prophet (pbuh).

Let me now quote from a few of the famous incidents in which the criminals were stoned to death and analyse the nature and their crimes.

Stoning to death for unmarried:

One of the most famous case was that of Maa’iz Aslami. After he was stoned to death, the Prophet (pbuh) declared:

“Whenever we go out of the city to fight in the cause of Allah, one of you stays behind. He bleats (in lust) like a goat and gives (his) milk to one of women. If anyone of them is handed over to me by Allah, I shall give him a horrifying punishment”.

The narrator says when he related the event to Saeed Bin Jubair, he said the Prophet (pbuh) had turned him back (from punishment) four times.

 (Muslim; Kitabul Hudood)

“Reported Naeem Bin Huzal: Maa’iz Bin Maalik was an orphan under the guardianship of my father. He had made sex with a maid of our neighbourhood”     (Abu Dawood)

“Maa’iz told Huzal: I had relations with a woman named Muhairah. I was after her till today I made with her which I intended”.  (Tabqat Ibne Saad)

“Reported Naeem Bin Huzal: Huzal had employed Maa’iz Bin Maalik. There was a maid in their house whose name was Fatima and who was a divorcee and she used to feed his sheep. Maa’iz had made sex with her”.

(Musnad Ahmad)

Two facts filter out of the above citations. One, Maa’iz was not a casual sinner but a habitual offender. Two, he was not a married man but a bachelor. The word orphan, in Arabic, is applicable to a person till he or she is married.

Following is another famous incident in which a bachelor was stoned to death.

“Imam Sha’bi has recorded that a woman of hamdan tribe was brought before Hazrat Ali. She was pregnant. Her name was Sharaha and she had committed ‘Zina’. Hazrat Ali enquired her, ‘Maybe the man had raped you’. She said, no. Ali asked, ‘Possibly, you were fast asleep and the man rode over you in your sleep’. She replied, ‘No’. Ali interrogated, ‘Maybe you have a husband who is an accomplice of our enemies and you are hiding him’. She replied in the negative. Hazrat Ali sent her to the prison and after the baby was born she was stoned to death’.

(Musnaf Abdur Razzaq quoted in Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m P.191-92)

It is clear from the woman’s answers that she was unmarried. We also know that she would not have been subjected to such a punishment even if she were married, had she been a chance sinner.

Stoning to death for other crimes:

There also are incidents when the criminals were stoned to death for some other heinous crimes.

“Narrated Anas that a Jew murdered a virgin of Ansaar tribe. After stripping her of her jewelry, he threw the body into a well. He had also smashed her head. The man was caught and produced before the Prophet (pbuh). He ordered that the criminal be stoned to death”. (Muslim)

Following is a typical case to prove that that habitual thieves were also eliminated to cleanse the society.

“Reported Jabir Bin Aabdullah that a thief was produced before the Prophet (pbuh). He decreed a death sentence. The companions said, ‘O Prophet (pbuh), he has only committed theft’. He said, ‘All right, cut his hand off’. The narrator says that his right hand was chopped off. Then (after some time) he was brought again. Again when the Prophet (pbuh) ordered to execute him the companions pointed out that he had only committed theft. He said, ‘then cut (his foot)’. His left foot was cut off. When He was again brought to him and the Prophet again ordered to execute and the companions again told that he had committed only theft, the Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘OK, then cut (his other hand). His left hand was also cut off. He was produced for the fourth time and again the order of execution was modified to cutting his other foot. (Somehow he again stole and was caught). When he was brought for the fifth time, he ordered to kill him. Says Jabir, ‘then we carried him and killed him and threw him into a well and threw stones from above’. (Abu Dawood) 

In Nisai, in the same event, it is also mentioned that the man was killed by stoning.

“… We killed him by stoning. Then we threw him into a well. Then we threw stones over him”

      (Sunan Nisai)

Apparently, the Prophet (pbuh) knew the very first time he was caught that the man is a habitual and copulsive thief. That is why he ordered his execution. On each consecutive turn he ordered the execution but the companions could not understand and knowing well that he will ultimately be executed, the Prophet (pbuh) changed the ruling for the satisfaction of the companions. Finally, the he was given the same punishment, which the Prophet (pbuh) had pronounced the first time. What is worth mentioning here, is that a criminal, apparently only a thief and caught for the first time was also condemned to death.

Married sexual offenders sent to flogging:

We know that not only sexual savages but unreformable thieves and dacoits were also stoned to death. On the other hand, there are many incidents when married sexual offenders were punished with flogging.

“Hashsham bin Urvah, quoting his father reports: A woman from Yemen came to Madina with the Hajj pilgrims. The caravan stayed in Harrah. When they departed they left the woman behind and a man came to Hazrat Umar and informed him that the woman had committed adultery. Umar called her. (Telling her background) she said that she became orphan in the childhood. She was destitute and had nothing. Nobody cared for her.

Urvah also said that the woman was married. Umar sent a man to call back the caravan. The people verified the statement of the woman. Umar ordered to inflict her with 100 lashes. He then gave her clothes and conveyance and asked the people of caravan to take her with them.

(Musnaf Abdur Razzaq quoted in Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m P.107)

Speech of Ma’az Bin Jabal before the Roman Army:

I may also quote here from a speech of a Companion Hazrat Ma’az Bin Jabal delivered before the Roman army:

“If your king is Hercules, our King is Allah who has created us. Our Emir is from among us. Till such time he will follow the Book of our religion and the Sunnah of our Prophet (pbuh), we will honour him. And if at any time he acted otherwise, we shall dislodge him. If he steals we shall chop his hand and if he commits adultery, we shall flog him…”  (P. 106; Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m)

 The Emir referred to in the above speech was the second caliph Hazrat Umar, a married man and the companion of Prophet (pbuh), Ma’az mentioned only flogging in respect of punishment of adultery.           


The above discussion is probably sufficient to prove that:

  • The punishment for adultery or fornication in Islam is whipping with 100 lashes.
  • Stoning to death is announced only in case of proclaimed offenders or those beyond reform, upon whose extinction the society takes a sigh of relief.
  • Other situations may also be quoted from the traditions where an offender does not seem to be a habitual criminal but it is better to assume in those cases that full facts may not have reached us.

Opinion of some renowned scholars:

It should also be kept in mind that contrary to general view, there have always been a large number of great scholars supporting this view. Quoting from Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m, written by Maulana Inayatullah Subhani, a Ph.D. in Qur’an studies from Riyadh, following are a few instances:

  • “Because the dictum of Allah that the woman and the man guilty of Zina (adultery or fornication) flog each of them with a hundred stripes, includes all types of Zaanis (adulterers and fornicators)”. (Imam Qartabi; Al-Jaame’ Li-Ahkaamil Qur’an)
  • “The founder of Ikhwan-ul-Muslimun, Imam Hasan Al-Banna had attracted the attention of the ruler of Egypt towards some reforms to fashion the Egyptian society into Islamic mould. Among other very important things, which he mentioned, was: The open and veiled prostitution should be eradicated. Illicit sex must be reckoned an extremely abhorrent crime, whatever the circumstances and whoever commits it should be flogged” (P.194; Majmu’a Rasaail-ul-Imam Al-Shaheed Hasan Al-Banna)
  • “The diction of Allah about the woman or man who makes illicit sex that flog each of them with a hundred stripes, implies with quite clarity that the punishment of unlawful sex is 100 lashes, no less no more”. (P.35; Ilm-e-Usool-ul-Fiqh; Sheikh Abdul Wahab Khalaaf)
  • “Late Imam Zahra had sent a delegation to Libyan president Col. Gaddafi with this message: ‘… if you are sincere in your intention of implementing Islamic Shariah in your country, then our blessings and good wishes are with you. However, remember that the punishment of unlawful sex in Islam is not stoning to death but 100 lashes. Do not implement any such thing in your enthusiasm that the world gets an opportunity to laugh on Islam”. (P.286; Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m) 

Wrong order of priorities:

The widespread misunderstanding even among scholars is due to misinterpretation of some traditions and the wrong order of our priorities. Our priorities were clearly spelled out by the Qur’an and the Prophet (pbuh). They are that we should be guided by only Qur’an in the first place (Not even Qur’an and Sunnah if the unambiguous order of Qur’an is present in any case). If the order of Qur’an is not very clear, we should refer to the Sunnah for the exposition. Lastly, if doubts persist, the Tafaqquh or Fiqh should be resorted to. Reversal of this order of priorities has caused the misunderstandings and the differences in a number of problems. It is not that the Sunnah in any case can be contradictory to Qur’an but the possibility of error in reaching the Sunnah to us through the traditions can not be ruled out while the Qur’an is safe to every letter. In case of present problem, there are a number of contradictory traditions. When we try to interpret Qur’an in their light we are bound to be stuck with something that does not appeals to the common sense and is a source of laughter for Non Muslims. Conversely, we have in this case explicit directions of Qur’an, which should be used to verify the authenticity of the traditions.

There is no option:

There are two options before us.

  • The obvious and unambiguous order of Qur’an is available to us in this case but we must interpret it to accommodate mutually contradictory traditions.
  • We should interpret the contradictory traditions in the light of clear order of Qur’an and leave those traditions which do not conform to it.

Given only these two options, I think there is no option at all. We have to accept the latter.

Is food slaughtered by a non-Muslim allowed?

Q: If a non-Muslim (may be an idol worshipper) slaughters one animal according to Islamic rules and regulations and offers the meat to a Muslim friend to eat. Can a Muslim eat that meat?

(Loque Khan ; Balasore)

Answer: Lawfulness and unlawfulness of meat is not related to who slaughters the animal but the kind of animal and the procedure of its slaughter.

Not only there is nothing in Qur’an and Sunnah against eating meat of a Halal animal slaughtered by a Mushrik (say a Hindu) who slaughters it following the Islamic conditions and procedure, there are traditions which indicate that it is permitted.

It is a well known principle of Islamic jurisprudence that all things are basically Mubah (permitted) except those which have been pronounced Haram in clear words by Qur’an or Sahih Hadith. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qardhavi, in his famous work, ‘Al-Halal Wal-Haram Fil-Islam’, writes, “Therefore if Nasse-Sahih (the explicit Qur’anic injunction or correct Hadith) declaring something Haram, is not there or does not conclusively leads to its being Haram, even if a Za’eef (weak) narration is present, the basic Ibaahat (permission) will stand”. Sheikh has also quoted the following narrations in this regard.

“Whichever Allah in His Book has permitted are Halal, whichever He forbade are Haram and towards whichever He kept silence, are forgiven. So accept this Benevolence of His, as Allah does never forget by mistake. Then the Prophet (pbuh) recited (the verse 64 of Surah Maryam): Your Lord does not forget”. (Al-Haakim Wal-bizar)
“Says Salman Farsi when the Prophet (pbuh) was asked about ghee and cheese, he (instead of saying they were Halal, explained the principle and) said: Halal is that which Allah has permitted in His Book and Haram is that which Allah has forbidden in His Book. And those about which He kept silence are forgiven to you.” (Tirmizi ; Ibne Maja)
“The Prophet (pbuh) said: Allah has ordained the Fara’idh (obligatory) so do not loose them. And He has fixed the Hudood (limits) so do not transgress them. He has declared some things as Haram so do not desecrate them. And there are things regarding which He intentionally remained silent. This is a Mercy unto you, so do not argue about them.” (Dare-Qutni)

So we observe that there is not much scope in Islamic Shariah for conjectures and deductions as far as Halal and Haram eatables are concerned. Qur’an has laid down the following general rule:

“O mankind, eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth and do not walk in the Satan’s footsteps, for he is your sworn enemy”. (2:168)

This general permission of clean and wholesome things being lawful deduces that the meat of all those animals are unlawful which are harmful for physical or spiritual well being of mankind. It includes the meat of those animals that have unclean, unhealthy, cunning, loathsome, brutal or beastly habits. Poisonous animals and insects also fall in the category of unclean and harmful.

Qur’an has also conferred the right of declaring Halal and Haram to the Prophet (pbuh) by Allah’s leave:

“He will make good things lawful to them and prohibit all that is foul”. (7:157)

Accordingly the following were declared unlawful:

“The Prophet (pbuh) has forbidden the Beasts having canines and the birds that eat with the help of their paws.”(Bukhari, Muslim)

All Fishes and Seafood is Halal and there is no need to slaughter them.

“Lawful to you is the game of sea (or pond or river) and its food, a good food for you and for the travelers”. (5:96)

By seafood is meant all those animals that breathe inside water and can not survive outside water. 

The range of Haram is very limited while all that is not Haram and is not unclean is for mankind to savour. What is unlawful was described in the following verse:

 “Say, I find nothing in what has been revealed to me that forbids men to eat of any food except carrion, running blood, and the flesh of swine — for these are unclean — and what has been profanely slaughtered to gods other than Allah. But whoever is constrained to eat of any of these, not intending to sin and transgress, then your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful”. (6:145)

Four categories have been listed in the above verses:

  1. The carrion (meat of dead animal)
  2. Running blood. The traces of blood, which have remained in the vessels of slaughtered animals, do not make it unlawful.
  3. The flesh of swine.
  4. The meat of animal on which the name of gods and goddesses or any one other than Allah has been invoked.

The above four general categories were detailed into ten sub categories vide following order:

“ You are forbidden (to eat) that which dies of itself, blood and the flesh of swine; also any flesh dedicated to any other than Allah. You are forbidden the flesh of strangled (animals) and of those beaten or gored to death; of those killed by a fall or mangled by beasts of prey, unless you find it still alive and slaughter it; also of animals sacrificed on altars (of idols). (You are forbidden to seek division by the arrows (i.e. procured through gambling). That is a vicious practice…”. (5:3)

The meat of all those animals, which do not fall into the banned categories detailed above, is Halal provided that they are properly slaughtered. An important condition of proper slaughtering is that Allah’s Name has been pronounced over it. The Qur’an ordained:

“Do not eat of any flesh that has not been consecrated in the Name of Allah, for that is sin.” (6:121)

The Prophet (pbuh) expounded:

“Eat of that animal whose blood has been shed and the Name of Allah has been pronounced over it”. (Bukhari)

There is absolutely no binding that the person slaughtering should be a Muslim. Misunderstandings arise in some quarters that a Mushrik’s slaughter is Haram, as the Qur’an has specifically mentioned the only the People of The Book among non-Muslims whose food is permitted:

“…The food of those to whom the Book was given is lawful to you…”. (5:5)

It does not mean that the food of non-Muslims other than People of The Book is unlawful. It only means that like in case of a Muslim, unless it is specifically known that the food offered by The People of The Book is Haram, there is no need of investigation before eating.

“Zuhri says that there is no harm in eating of the animal slaughtered by the Christians of Arabia. Do not eat if you are told that they devoted it to someone other than Allah at the time of slaughter. And if you do not hear any such thing then Allah has made it Halal, inspite of their disbelief being known. Same (injunction) is ascribed to (Hazrat) Ali. Hassan Basri and Ibrahim opine that there is no harm in slaughtering by a uncircumcised”. (Bukahri)  

Some scholars have even gone to the length of declaring on account of the above verse that even if the animal was killed instead of being slaughtered by a person from The People of The Book, it is permitted. The majority of course does not conform to their view.

We find in Hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) declared only that meat of the animals sacrificed by the Mushriks, on which the names of their gods were invoked.

“Narrated Abu Hurairah that Prophet (pbuh) said there is nothing (to make lawful) in Fara’ and Ateerah. The narrator says Fara’ was that first-born of the camel which was sacrificed at the altar of gods and Ateerah was a sacrifice offered in the month of Rajab (to gods)”. (Bukhari)

It implies that those animals were declared unlawful only because the names of gods were invoked over them, otherwise there would have been no harm in them.

            There is also an indication that Mushriks used to send meat to Muslims and the Prophet (pbuh) permitted it.

“Said Ayesha that some people came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: We are people to whom meat is sent and we are not aware that Name of Allah was pronounced over it. The Prophet (pbuh) advised: Eat it after reciting Bismillah… over it. (Hazrat) Ayesha told that this happened a little after the days of Kuf’r”. (Bukhari)

Finally there is the general permission granted by the Word of God:

“Eat then of such as has been consecrated in the Name of Allah, if you truly believe in His revelations. And why should you not eat out of that on which the Name of Allah is mentioned when He has already made plain to you what is forbidden, except when you are constrained”. (6:118-19)


Origin of Shias and Sunnis


1. Please shed light on Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Some Maulana even declared that Shias are non-Muslims. Is it right?

2. Who are Dawoodi Vohras? What are their beliefs and customs?

(Ekramul Haque ; Midnapore)

3. Can we consider the Shia sect as Muslims and can we perform Namaz behind a Shia?

(Wasim Ahmed ; Sullia)


Shias and Sunnis

After the departure of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), a dispute arose for the Caliphate. After some discussion, a large majority accepted Hazrat Abu Bakar as the first Caliph but Hazrat Ali differed. He thought that the Prophet (pbuh) had given sufficient indication in his lifetime that he should be appointed the Caliph after him. We know from a narration of Hazrat Ayesha that he undertook the Bai’at (Pledge of allegiance) of Hazrat Abu Bakar after the demise of Hazrat Fatima, i.e. more than six months after he was chosen and accepted as 1st Caliph by the majority. There was another reason for such a delay. He and his wife Hazrat Fatima were not happy over the Caliph’s decision not to hand them over the property of Fidak owned by the Prophet as he remembered to have heard the Prophet (pbuh) say that there is no inheritance from the prophets’ property for their progeny. Apparently, Ali and Fatima thought that he must have erred in hearing this from the Prophet (pbuh) because had it been so, the Prophet’s descendants would have been the first to be informed of this by him. Hazrat Ali did not even inform Hazrat Abu Bakar of Hazrat Fatima’s death and he could not attend her funeral. However, after his Bai’at, he remained a sincere and loyal advisor to the Caliph.


Shi’ate in the beginning:

The first Caliph at the time of his death nominated Hazrat Umar for the Caliphate and again the majority accepted it. When Hazrat Umar expired the candidature of Hazrat Ali was again rejected after hectic parleys and finally, Hazrat Ali became the fourth Caliph after Hazrat Usman. Apparently, Hazrat Ali and his minority followers remained all along firm in their opinion that he should have been made Caliph in the first place. Those who favoured Hazrat Ali were called the Shias of Ali. The word Shia means party. The concept of Shi’ate in the earlier days after the Prophet (pbuh) was not much more than that the Caliphate was Ali’s right and of Ahle Bait. Hazrat Ali remained loyal to all three earlier Caliphs.

The stand of Shias was based on the conduct and sayings of Hazrat Ali himself.

According to Nahajul Balaghah (the most authentic and revered book after the Qur’an, in the eyes of Shias), when the leader of Bani Umaiyya, Hazrat Abu Sufian made an offer of his support to Hazrat Ali for the Caliphate, he answered, “You had always been the enemy of Islam and Muslims but this could not harm Islam and the Muslims. We consider Abu Baker, worthy of Caliphate. You only want to create sedition”. (P.30, Nahajul Balaghah Vol. 3, quoted in Ashshi’atu Wattashih by Dr. Musa Musavi)

On Hazrat Umar’s demise, he expressed his praise in these words:

“He straightened the disorders, treated the disease, left behind the sedition, established the Sunnah, passed away from the world with unblemished clothing and less evil, caught hold of virtues (of the world), and surpassed its evil. He abided by Allah and feared Him too…” (Nahajul Balaghah ; Sermon No. 225, pub. Tublighate Imani Hind, Bombay)

About the Caliphate, Bai’at, and the opinion of the majority of Ansaar and Muhajirin, his stand was: “Shura (membership of the advisory council) is the right of Ansaar and Muhajirin. If they agree over a person and name him Imam, therein lies the Will of Allah. If now a person withdraws from it (allegiance to Imam named by Ansaar and Muhajirin) for a blame or Bid’at, he will be brought back to its fold. If he refuses to join back then there war shall be declared against him for going against the way of Muslims”. (Nahajul Balaghah, Vol.3, letter no. 6 written to Ameer Mu’awia Bin Abu Sufian.)

It is clear from the above sayings of Hazrat Ali that he did not consider Imamat, a direct divine appointment as present-day Shias believe. On his personal relations with Hazrat Abu Bakar and Umar and Usman, it is sufficient to mention that he gave one of his daughters Umme Kulsoom in marriage to Hazrat Umar and named three of his sons, Abu Bakar, Umar, and Usman.      




Shi’ate of the present day basically means the belief in the divinity of the seat of Imamate. It means that like prophethood, Imamate is also fixed by divine decree. After the last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), Allah appointed Hazrat Ali as Imam to lead people on the path of the Prophet. Imamate continued is still continuing in the progeny of Hazrat Ali, again by divine decree. Owing to the divine appointment, an Imam is Ma’soom (faultless) like a prophet. Some exaggerating Shia sects even declare that the purpose of prophethood was to establish Imamate.


Division of Shias:


There have been hundreds of big and small sects in Shias but I will describe here only a few of those that still exist in a big way. All Shias are unanimous in the Imamate of their first Imam Hazrat Ali. After the martyrdom of Ali, all Shias except Agha Khani accept Imam Hassan as 2nd Imam of the series but Agha Khanis say that since Hazrat Hassan abdicated his temporal seat to Mu’awia after being a Caliph for less than a year, the Imamate was transferred to Ali’s second son from Hazrat Fatima, Hussain and then to his descendants. Hazrat Ali Zain-ul-A’bideen s/o Hussain became the next Imam. He was the 3rd. of the series of Imams according to Agha Khanis and 4th according to all other Shia sects.

A notable division occurred after the death of Imam Zain-ul-A’bideen. A group of Shias expressed allegiance to his son Zaid and his descendants. Those were called Zaidi Shias are a bulk of them live in Yemen today.

Others swear to Imam Zainul-Abideen’s other son Muhammad Al-Baqar and then his son Imam Ja’afar Sadiq and his descendants. Thus Imam Ja’far Sadiq was the 5th Imam of Agha Khanis and 6th of all the other Shias except Zaidi Shias.

A major division occurred after Imam Ja’far Sadiq. A large number of Shias accepted the Imamate of his elder son Imam Ismael. Those who followed him and the descendants of his son Mohammad bin Ismael as Imams were called Ismaelis or Fatimis or Batinis. Ismaelis were later divided into many sub-sects. 

The first noteworthy division occurred after the death of Imam Al-Hakim Bi-Amrallah. A group of Ismailis claimed that he did not die and that one day he will reappear to terminate the world and bring Divine justice back. This group is called Druzes and it lives in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine.

But the majority of Ismailis followed the son of Imam Al-Hakem, Al-Zaher, and his descendants up to Imam Mustanser Billah, Here a Major division took place in Ismailism. After the death of Mustanser, his son Nizar was imprisoned but he escaped with the help of his followers in Cairo, especially Hassan Bin Sabbah, his Da’i in Iran, and went to Syria and then to Iran. Those who followed Imam Nizar up to the present Imam, H. R. H. Karim Agha Khan, were known as Ismaili Nizari or Ismailis or Agahakhanis (Khoja).

When Nizar was placed in prison, the commander of the Army declared his brother Al-Musta’li was the succeeding Imam. Those Ismailis who followed al-musta’li became known first as Musta’lians, and nowadays as Bohra, and are mainly living in Yemen, India, and East Africa. 

              Going back to Imam Ja’far Sadiq a majority of Shias believed that his second son Musa-Al-Kazim succeeded him to Imamate instead of his first son Ismael. These Shias forming the majority followed up to the 12th Imam Mohammad Bin Hasan Askari who according to them went into concealment to come back to earth one day as Imam Mehdi. Born in 260 AH, he is still alive according to them. He was 5 years old when Imamate was transferred to him after his father Imam Hasan Askari’s demise by divine decree. He went into hiding due to danger to his life from enemies immediately after assuming Imamate. Till 329 AH, he discharged the duties of Imamate from the hiding through his Naibeen and then he went into a long concealment. The year 329 AH is called the year of Ghuyubat-t-Kubra by the Shias of this sect. These Shias forming the biggest of all Shia sects are called ‘Isna Asharia’. Those usually simply referred to as Shias in India are in fact ‘Isna Asharia Shias’. 

Shi’ite of Isna A’sharia in the first three centuries AH:


After the tragic martyrdom of Hazrat Hussain, the gulf between Ahle Bait and the rulers widened. The Caliphs of Bani Umaiyya initiated ‘Tabarra’ (Character assassination) of Hazrat Ali, Hussain, and other Ahle Bait from the Mimbar of the mosque and it continued for about 50 years till Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz stopped it. By the beginning of the 2nd century, Hijrah Shi’ate became a Fiq’h school with some political connotations. Ahle Bait rallied around Imam Ja’far Sadiq, undisputedly a great authority on Fiq’h while non-Shias followed Imam Abu Hanifa, Shafa’i, Malik, and Ibne Hambal for religious guidance. This was the time when the name Sunni crept up for the non-Shia majority. Sunni became an abbreviation for Ahle Sunnah wal Jama’at. In their campaign against the misrule of the rulers, the sympathies of the masses should have been with Ahle Bait but what made the majority distant from Shias was the difference of opinion over the issue of the Caliphate of Hazrat Ali, which sharpened by each day. Apart from this difference of opinion, the Imams from Ahle Bait yielded respect in the masses. 

In Abbasai rule, the respect for Imams became more distinct and vocal so much so that Mamun Rashid nominated Imam Ali Raza his successor for Caliphate. Imam passed away before Mamun and Mamun’s son succeeded him. Upto 3rd century Hijarah, the Shi’ate was limited to 

  1. The belief that Hazrat Ali had first right to Caliphate over others but since he himself, though with difference of opinion, pledged allegiance to the first three Caliphs, therefore it is not a matter of accusation.
  2. Hazrat Ameer Mu’awia should not have revolted against Hazrat Ali and the Caliphate should have gone to Ahle Bait.
  3. The spiritual leadership of Ahle Bait and adherence in Fiq’h to the Ja’fari school of thought.
  4. Condemnation of rulers of Bani Umaiyya.

Up to this period, there was no trace of belief in Shi’ate that people had no right to choose a Caliph and that it was through a divine decree. Imam Abu Hanifa himself took lessons of Fiq’h from Imam Ja’far Sadiq and Imam Ja’far Sadiq took pride in declaring that he was a descendant of Hazrat Abu Bakar from his mother’s side.


Shi’ate after the 3rd. century Hijrah


It is after Ghuyubat-e-Kubra (going into hiding of the 12th Imam) that new beliefs were entered into Shi’ate of Isna A’sharia Shias. The intense love for Ahle Bait and the consistent indifference to the recognition of Ahle Bait due place by the masses led Shias to introduce such things in Maslak and Mazhab, which were not hitherto its part. The belief was now spread that Imamat is a divine decree and the public or Shura had no right to choose a Caliph. It was expedient to declare that Hazrat Ali’s Bai’at of three earlier Caliphs was only a deception on his part necessitated by the compulsion of the circumstances. The concept of Taqiyyah was thus introduced. The words were added to Adhan: “I bear witness that Ali is Waliullah (the friend of Allah)”. The 12th Imam had been declared to go into hiding and it was necessary that the powers be delegated to some other who could contact the public as the representative of the Imam. The concept of Baab (the gate) was introduced. These and other innovations were further strengthened after 907 AH when Shah Ismael Safawi became the king of Iran and he declared it a Shia state.


Why do Muslims bless Prophet by saying Peace Be Upon Him?

Q. It is customary to write after the name of Prophet Muhammad, the words ‘peace be upon him’ within parenthesis to praise or glorify the exalted one is understandable but to bestow blessings on him is singularly incongruous. I would even say it is presumptuous. It is the prerogative of the Guru to bless the Shishya. Under the Hindu tradition when one offers obeisance to his spiritual Guru, the latter raises his right hand, the palm facing outwards and says ‘OM Shanti’. It is the same as uttering ‘peace be upon you’.

When a younger says ‘Adaab’ to his elder in salutation, the latter blesses him with the words ‘Jeete Raho’ (May you live long) or ‘Khush Raho’ (May you remain happy). However when a subordinate says ‘Adaab’ to his superior, the latter may just say ‘Tasleem’ in acknowledgement of the salutation.

Christians pronounce the name of their preceptor without using any honorific or other eulogistic terms. However, sometimes they prefix the word Lord and say ‘Lord Jesus’. Likewise the Hindus when using English prefix the word Lord to the names of their preceptors and refer to them as Lord Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira etc.

We ordinary human beings who suffer from all kinds of disabilities stand in need of God’s blessings and His mercy and pray to Him for the same but Prophet Muhammad being the most pious and the most perfect requires no one’s good wishes or blessings for the simple reason that he has no shortcomings, no disabilities, no wants and his soul must be sojourning in the highest of heavens. Wouldn’t it therefore, be more appropriate to refer to him as Muhammad, the venerable or Muhammad the beneficent?

(V.N. Jindal ; Lucknow)

Answer: Islamic perceptions and etiquette are different from those in other faiths. That is why you encountered the problem of misperception. Muhammad (pbuh) was a Prophet of God. The followers of Sri Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Jesus have drawn a ring of godhead around these personages. In Indian traditions, Guru also displays a sort of holiness, befitting the Almighty alone, according to Islam. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stopped his followers from displaying all such forms of reverence that had a potential of associating even a semblance of godhead to him. Thus he closed all future doors to a slip, the followers of other saints had been making. “Qais Bin Sa’d narrated that he met the Prophet (pbuh) and said, ‘In Iraq I saw the people prostrating before their chief. I think you are worthier than any one in that people should bow before you’. The Prophet (pbuh) asked, ‘Will you bow before my grave after me’? I replied, ‘No’. He said, ‘then do not do it now also’. (Abu Dawood)

The Prophet (pbuh) neither permitted bowing before his grave (after him) nor before him in person during his life time even if the bowing was for respect instead of worship. He knew that the devotees transgress in obeisance with the passage of time. The people of other faiths, not only bow and prostrate before (the images of) their religious heads for respect sake but they have started worshipping them. You might be knowing how sensitive the Muslims are about making images of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) while there are idols of other religious personalities. The Prophet wanted his followers never to forget that none in the creation, including him, had any part in God-hood.

            The Gurus while blessing their Shishyas exhibit a form of authority over matters concerning the disciples, while the Qur’an made it plain: “Say (O Prophet),       ‘I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah wills. If I had knowledge of the unseen I should have multiplied all good and no harm should have touched me. I am only a warner and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith”. (7:188)

            In Indian tradition, the younger salutes the elders but Islam while placing much emphasis on due respect to elders, teaches that every one, be he young or old, should wish each other in the same spirit and words. It is because the ways of wishing each other in Islam are prayers to Allah for the well being of other. No one except Allah can bestow peace on a person. Whether one is young or old, Guru or Shishya, saint or commoner, prophet or ordinary person, every body needs peace. Prophets and saints are at peace with themselves because of Allah’s bestowment. So Islam teaches an elder not to expect from his younger that he should say Salam to him first. Salam in Islam is a prayer, not a salutation. When one says, ‘Assalam-u-Alaikum’ it means he is praying to Allah that the other person be in peace. The Prophet (pbuh) himself used to offer Salam first to the children when he met them.

‘Peace be upon him’ in English is written for ‘Sall-allahu alaihi wasallam’ which means Allah’s Rahmat (Bliss) be showered upon him and peace (be upon him from Allah). It is not a direct blessing but a short form of a Durood (prayer) to Allah to shower His Rahmat and Salaamti over the Prophet. The Prophet (pbuh) himself taught us so. It is the Islamic way of paying obeisance to the one who is most reverent to us. Your main doubt is that wishing peace for him is meaningless as he is already in peace. There is no doubt that he is in the high of heavens but no high is highest except Allah. As Allah has no bounds, there shall always be room for man for achieving still higher status of peace and bliss. As explained earlier, the Prophet (pbuh) was a man. The holy Qur’an and he himself has repeatedly made it explicit in unambiguous words. So as a mark of our love and respect for him and as he taught us himself we pray for him to achieve still higher state of Rahmat (bliss) from Allah whose limits of Bliss can never be limited.

            It must be clear by now that the actual perception of sending blessings to someone in other faiths is different from that in Islam. While in Indian tradition, when one blesses the other, he supposedly possesses some kind of authority himself to improve things for the blessed one. In Islam, all authority lies with Allah and sending blessing means a prayer to Allah to shower His blessings upon the one to whom the blessings are sent. We do not bless the Prophet but send the blessings to him, which in turn means that we pray to Allah to bless him. Allah has ordered us in Qur’an to send blessings to His Prophet: Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O believers, you (too) send blessings and peace on him with respect”. (33:56). The actual way of sending blessings by the Muslims as taught to us by the Prophet (pbuh) is, “Allah-umma Salle Ala Muhammadin …” It translates as: O Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad ….”. “Sall-allahu …” (which has come to be expressed as ‘Peace be upon him’ in English), is the shorter version of the above prayer to Allah. As Allah loves the Prophet (pbuh) and He has taught us this Islamic way of paying obeisance to the Prophet, it is for our own benefit that we send blessings to him. By doing so, We please Allah, and He creates the love of the Prophet (pbuh) in our hearts. Arguably, no community loves its mentor more than the Muslims love the Prophet (pbuh).     



Difference of faith about God between a Jew and a Muslim

Q: What is the main reason due to which there is difference of opinion on God between a Jew and a Muslim?

(Christy ; Kuwait)


There should not be a difference in faith over God between a Jew and a Muslim. God and His attributes described in Psalms and at most of the other places in the Old Testament are no different from Islamic belief. It is only those allegorical or interpolated descriptions of God, where He roams about in the Garden of Eden, loses in wrestling with prophet Yaqoob (Jacob), declares himself as the God of Beni Israel, Islam differs and corrects the belief. God is Formless, Greatest, Almighty, All-knowing, and God of the whole universe.
As I understand, there is no difference about faith in God between all right-thinking Jews and Muslims. The difference in their faith lies basically in their belief over the prophets. A majority of Jews refused to believe in Jesus Christ (A.S.) and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and consequently the Word of God brought by them. Injeel (the Gospel) brought by Hazrat Eisa (Jesus) confirmed the Message of the Torah while correcting the discrepancies that crept in the Torah with the passage of time. Qur’an, the last Word of God, verified all the authentic remnants of both Torah and Gospel while denouncing and correcting the interpolations undergone in the Books of God. No race is dear to Allah on the basis of their ancestry as all mankind is born of Adam. True belief in God also demands belief in all His Prophets and Books and to act accordingly. Those who modify their belief according to Allah’s will and do good deeds shall be rewarded by Him irrespective of the race or creed they belong to.uture.

Starting of Hijri Calendar

Q: What was the reason for establishing Islamic calendar? Is it the day one of this calendar that Islam started?

(Christy ; Kuwait)


The Islamic Hijri Calendar, as the name signifies, starts with the forced Migration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Mecca, his native town, to Madina. As already specified, the day one of Islam was the day the first man Adam stepped over the earth. In the Prophet’s time, no permanent lunar system of the yearly calendar was prevalent. Different people related their time to different famous events of the nearby past. For example, many people counted years since the destruction of Abraha’s army who came to demolish Ka’aba. This event occurred approximately 50 days prior to the Prophet’s birth.
The CE calendar was also known in some parts but the Islamic Calendar is a lunar one so that the supplications like fasting and festivals rotate for all people of the world in different seasons. For example, if the fasting month always fell in the summer in Arabia, there will always be a winter season in that month in Australia. It would not be judicious. It may be mentioned that Hindus and Jews also follow the lunar system of time count and interestingly, the dates of births of Catholic saints are celebrated on the basis of the lunar system.
The second Caliph Umar felt the need for a permanent lunar calendar and he on the advice of Hazrat Ali, announced Hijrah of the Prophet (pbuh) as the milestone from where the counting was to be made. Hijrah is the beginning of Islamic resurgence in modern times.

Why has Islam taken so long to take off?

Q: Why has Islam taken so long to take off? Why are the Muslims considered to be the second largest in the population religion-wise in the whole world?

(Christy ; Kuwait)



Your astonishment is justified. Islam should have been the religion of all mankind by now. Muslims themselves are the biggest hurdle in the way of propagation and progress of Islam. The detail of the above statement is a lengthy and sad commentary, which is not being recounted here for want of space as one of many other reasons.

In spite of the injustice done to Islam by its own followers, it has been growing through its own inherent force. Against all odds, Islam today is the fastest growing religion in the world. Yes, its followers numbering about 1.2 billion form the second largest religious community in the world after Christians who are losing the race despite odds in their favour.  

Self-Hypnotism and Pre-assumptions

Q. Recently a hypnotism expert came to our college and demonstrated various items that were remarkable. During his speech, he said that a person who learns self-hypnotism and undergoes the same process then he can know in which form he was in his last birth. As we Muslims know there is no rebirth, what should we think of the hypnotist and his statement?

(Irfan Ahmed. A. Mulla; Bijapur)

Answer.    Muslims have been taught self-hypnosis and they are required to practice it five times a day. Nearly all religious meditations are self-hypnosis in which the meditator hypnotises himself into believing something through a process called autosuggestions. 

The most conspicuous example of self-hypnosis in religious meditations can be observed in the Rajyoga of the Brahma Kumari sect. To beginners, they start teaching meditation in the congregation. There is a discourse before the meditation describing the theory of Brahma Kumari’s mission. After that, all participants are required to concentrate on a red bulb which glows over a Shiva sign (an elliptical shape). In the background is a picture of the founder of the sect who is referred to by them as Brahma Baba. As the devotees concentrate, some soft music with songs in praise of Baba is played. After a while, the songs and music stop and the tutor starts speaking in an impressive echo-like sound, what he/she wants the devotees to believe. With eyes fixed on the bulb, they listen intently to the suggestions of the tutor whose voice goes on slowing and slowing and finally it stops. By now the devotees are in a kind of trance and the message conveyed by the tutor reverberates in their minds. After a suitable interval of time, the dim lights of the hall are replaced by full illumination and the end of the meditation is declared so that the meditators can come out of their trance. They feel an immense amount of peace and are very much impressed. After a few such practice sessions where the suggestion comes from outside i.e. the tutor, the devotees are taught to practice Rajyoga (the above meditation) on their own at their houses. They are given a set of suggestions that they go on repeating in their minds while they concentrate on some object (preferably a small bulb over the picture of the Shiva Sign). Members of the mission are required to attend morning or evening sessions of about one hour of collective meditation in the nearby Brahma Kumari Ashram and practice in addition to it at least once in their seclusion. Soon they firmly start believing in whatever is being suggested to them by the tutor (Didi of the Ashram) and their own auto suggestions. The belief through this process is so rigidly engraved in their minds that even scientists among them do not question such ridiculous things as the birth of a peacock without mating of its parents and the whole life cycle on earth consisting of 5000 years.

Namaz in Islam is the same process. A person in Namaz is required to meditate in his mind that he is in the presence of God and then the voice of the Imam in an impressive Qir’at (recitation) reverberates in his mind. If he has really started the prayer with the required meditation of God’s presence, the Namazi is in a trance, listening to the message of the Qur’an and absorbing it. He goes from one posture to other mechanically with each sound of Allah-u-Akbar and he is trained to come out of a trance with the pronouncement of Salam by the Imam. The tragedy is that Muslims do not know Arabic so they could be completely benefited from Namaz. However, even if they do not know Arabic, they can still learn the meaning of Allah-u-Akbar (Allah is Great), Sami-Allah-u-Liman-Hamidah (God heard him who praised Him) Subhaan-a-Rabbi Al-Azeem and Subhaan-a-Rabbi Al-Aala (Holy is my Lord the Great and Exalted). They can also learn the meaning of Attahiyaat, Durood and other prayers, which they daily recite in every Namaz. If they know the meaning then these will be engraved in their mind provided they are in a trance. The state of being in a trance can not be achieved unless the Namaz was started with the pre-requisite of meditating on the presence of Allah. Again, unfortunately, a large number of Muslims are not told of and do not practice this meditation and hence they do not achieve all the objectives of Namaz. After the collective prayer, they have to offer their individual Sunnah and Nafil prayers which they practice the same on their own. It was preferred by the Prophet (pbuh) that people should offer these individual prayers in the solitude of their houses, as then they would be able to concentrate more.

It must be mentioned that unlike in Brahma Kumari, the Muslims are advised to ponder over the Qur’an. The holy Qur’an itself told them that the preferred slaves of Allah are: “those who, when they are reminded of the Signs of their Lord, droop not down over them as deaf and blind (i.e. they believe with full cognizance and understanding instead of a blind faith)”. (25:73). When such a person listens to the Qur’an in prayer, he already has a perception of what he is being led to believe during the trance of the meditation.

So now you must be reassured that a Muslim who is a regular Namazi will never encounter the assumed scenes of a previous birth as he is already accustomed to the process of self-hypnosis where his mind has already been trained not to believe in previous births. Those who already believe in the process of re-birth in this world without pondering over it and against all scientific reasoning can witness the presumed scenes of re-birth. But to be a witness to this phenomenon, they will have to repeat and remind continuously to themselves during meditation that they had a re-birth. At first, with the help of an outsider’s suggestions, during the trance and then by auto suggestions one can start seeing things for which his mind is being programmed. Even then all can not achieve that state of self-programming. Staunch belief, weaker will powers and the levels of intelligence, all play their parts during the process and the results of all are not the same. Usually, the ladies and persons of lesser willpower and also those who have lesser intelligence are more susceptible to witnessing such visions. I personally know such persons who are extremely religious with an unshakable belief in rebirth and though they teach others to meditate, they have not been able to witness their presumed previous births despite years of meditational efforts.

This process of self-hypnosis bears more success in terms of witnessing previous births if, during auto suggestions, the invocation of some invisible beings is also resorted to. Those beings (Jinns in the Qur’anic terminology), who normally can not dominate or possess a human mind get empowered when a human being invokes them and as a result, accepts their superiority over themselves. Qur’an hints at their capability of possessing the human mind when they are invoked: “True there are persons among mankind who took shelter with persons among the Jinns, but they increased them into further error and they (came to) think as you thought that Allah would not raise up any one (to Judgement)”. (72:6-7).  They can then guide them as they like and make the person see things and scenes which sometimes exist and most of the time is non-existent. By mixing verifiable truth with falsehood, they mislead the human race.

There is an occult science called Haaziraat in which, the Aamil (the person invoking the Jinns) can make a child up to 10 years of age and sometimes a woman or a mentally slow person his subject, capable of seeing Jinns who show and inform them of unseen things. Many of the witnessed things come true while on a large number of occasions, the scenes witnessed by the Mamool (Whom Aamil uses as his subject) are totally false. Haaziraat is becoming extinct today but most of the older people of our generation know of it and have seen it happen. If during the self-hypnosis process, invisible powers are also invoked, by adopting a certain procedure, a kind of Haaziraat comes into effect and the person in trance is possessed by Jinns who can show them places which sometimes really exist. The meditator, in the course of self-hypnotism, becomes more than assured that he is seeing the places and people concerning his earlier births.

To avoid confusion and to know the truth with certainty, we must analyse the belief of the transmigration of souls scientifically instead of resorting to self-hypnosis, which in fact is a process of affirmation of the presumed thoughts rather than a correct procedure of comprehension of truth.

The moral of the above exposition is that we must reflect upon and ponder over our presumptions before going into meditations with them.              

Islam on Exogamy

Q. I have come to learn that Moplah Muslims of North Malabar live in matrilineage units and among them the matrilineage is an exogamous unit. This is almost exactly as practiced by the Khasis (including Jaintias) and Garos of Meghalaya. The growing “Khasi Muslim” community here is also resorting (according to traditional law) to the traditional family system of matriliny and perhaps exogamy, whereby marriage within the same clan (maternal) is prohibited. How far are these practices in conformity with Shariah (Qur’an and Hadith) and science?

(M. Ali Haider ; Shillong)


Both types of genes producing good qualities as well as bad multiply and occur frequently in the progeny. Marriage in close blood is against the advice of today’s medical science if there is a known genetic disorder in the family. There are some distinct advantages of marrying within the clan. The character and background of the proposed spouse are better known and predictable besides better chances of mutual adjustment due to similar cultural traditions. Its disadvantages are also known today. The chance of the occurrence of genes producing bad effects can be further minimized by marrying into a totally different caste instead of mere avoidance of the sub-caste. Should we then say that matchmaking be considered only where DNA tests show different lineages? That would be very impractical. Besides, there is a chance of inheriting bad genes of other clans or castes by marrying distant. It should be a matter of individual choice by weighing the social and medical pros and cons of both, taking into consideration, the known history of both families. If we look far ahead, all human beings are related to each other by blood. A barrier had to be defined by religion between the permissible and prohibitory limits of relations for the purpose of marriage. The closest relation beyond which the marriage is forbidden has been specified by the Creator Himself who has created and hence knows the qualities and deficiencies as well as what is good and bad for all. It must however be understood that those limits are the minimum limits and have been fixed for all races and at all times. Sticking to the borderline of the prohibition against a piece of medical advice is neither the intention of Qur’anic injunction nor personal wisdom. The wisdom lies in keeping to a safe margin from the line of prohibition especially when the medical guidelines demand so at certain times. The law, the Qur’an lays down states:

“Henceforth you shall not marry the women who were married to your fathers. That was an evil practice, indecent and abominable. Forbidden to you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your paternal and maternal aunts, the daughters of your brothers and sisters, your foster-mothers, your foster-sisters, the mothers of your wives, your stepdaughters who are in your charge, born of the wives with whom you have lain; but it is no offence for you (to marry them) if you have not consummated your marriage with their mothers. (Forbidden to you also) are the wives of your own begotten sons and to take in marriage two sisters at one and the same time unless this had happened in the past. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”. (4:22,23)

It may be pointed out here that traditionally the Companions did not usually marry their first cousins. There is less than one per cent of known cases of marriages as close as in first cousins. It is also stated that the Prophet (pbuh), generally, advised against marrying very close. Imam Ghazali has quoted a Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) saying: “Do not marry in close relatives as the offspring may be inflicted with deficiency” (Note: I could not find this Hadith anywhere in any book of Hadith I possess.)

There is no harm in sticking to its family traditions as far as the members of a group understand that Islam did not forbid them from marrying within the maternal or paternal clan. There is no person who does not follow the local or family traditions at least to some extent. The Prophet expressed appreciation for the Pajama of Majoos (Zoroastrians — Iranians) but never wore it himself although it was more Satar-concealing than a Lungee.

Essentials of Islamic belief system

Q. I am a Hindu woman. I believe in only one God. Does it mean that I believe in Islam? Does Islam itself mean to be a Muslim? I do not believe in casteism strictly. Is Islam known to be a caste or only identified for Muslims? Some points in Islam explained to me are scientifically proved does it mean that Islam is based on science or is it that science is based on Islam? I agree on most of the points explained to me by a follower of Islam, I do not think him to be a Muslim but only a follower of Islam. Please throw some light.

(A Non-Muslim ; [email protected])


Belief in One God with no partners in His Godhead is one of the foremost but not the only principle of Islam. In short there are two more main beliefs besides the above, which are essentially the parts of Islamic Monotheism.

(i) Belief in the Life Hereafter: That all human beings shall be raised to their Lord on an appointed day to give account of their life in this world. They shall be rewarded or punished in their eternal life thereafter. No living is born again in this world as here is their first and last chance to prove that they are fit for the purpose of their creation.

(ii) Belief in the prophets of God: That God revealed to the mankind His word through His chosen ones from among human being from time to time. The prophets came to all nations and all races to guide the human kind to lead life according to their Lord’s Will. All the prophets of God preached essentially the same religion which is called Islam in Arabic. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last Prophet of God through whom His Word, the Qur’an was revealed. Our salvation in the next life Hereafter which is eternal, lies now in following Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Qur’an. Though all the scriptures are God were true but Qur’an is the only Word of God, which remained safe from human interpolation and shall remain unaltered till the last day on earth.

In brief, the belief in above principles of faiths along with the deeds according to the Qur’an and the Last Prophet (pbuh) is the total requirement of being a Muslim. Islam is the name of religion and way of life taught by the Prophet (pbuh) and one who accepts it in principle and practice is a Muslim. Islam is not a caste and one cannot be a born Muslim. It does not matter in which family one is born, whoever accepts Islam is a Muslim. God who knows all that is in our hearts and all that we do, shall alone decide on the Day of Judgment  who among those are Muslims who claim to be Muslims in this world. The holy Qur’an declared: “Verily those who (claim to) believe (in Islam) and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians (include those professing non-semetic religions), whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall thaey grieve.” (2:62)

Neither science is based on Islam nor vice versa. The source of both is one. Science is the knowledge of the universe, we discover. The universe is created by God. If Qur’an is the Word of God and universe, the Work of God, there can never be any contradiction between the two. This can be one of the biggest basis of judging the claim of Qur’an to be the Word of God. There are many good books on the subject, if you are really interested in truth. I recommend that you go through ‘The Bible, Qur’an and Science’ written by a French convert, Dr. Maurice  Bucaille, available on all leading book stores of Islamic literature.

Does Reading the Quran Fulfils the Wishes?

Q. It is said that by reading the holy Qur’an by running the forefinger of the right hand on each line of the Qur’an and reciting Bismillah, whatever (lawful) is asked for, is granted by Allah. I want to know more about it.

(F.R. ; Bangalore)


 There is no basis for this belief in Shariah or known science. In Prophet’s time and up to well after the reign of Hazrat Usman, who issued six standard canonic copies of the Qur’an to different regions, the Companions usually did not possess written manuscripts of the Book. They recited from their memory and hence there was no question of running a forefinger along the text. However, there are personal experiences of pious people that defy known logic. I cannot comment on the one you have mentioned, as I have never heard of it.

           Some people may argue that whatever the Prophet (pbuh) did not do, is not correct. It is their exaggeration. The rule is that whatever the Prophet (pbuh) did not forbid, is permitted. 

However, though the Qur’anic verses may be of help in genuine needs, the real purpose of the Qur’an should not be forgotten. It is a guidance for mankind to pass the test of life successfully for the next and eternal life. It will be a trade of heavy deficit if such an invaluable gain is forgotten and only minor worldly gains are sought after. What you might gain from running a forefinger over the verses is like a drop of water in an ocean compared to what you will surely gain by trying to understand the meaning of those verses.  

Interfaith Marriage (2)

Q. Can a Muslim boy marry a Christian girl without the girl converting to Islam? If the girl converts for the sake of marrying the Muslim boy, then is it permitted in Islam? Can they marry without the consent of their parents? Is it compulsory for the girl after marriage to change her Christian name e.g. (Ophilia)? Please clarify in the light of holy Qur’an.

(Khan Rizwan ; Bangalore)


Qur’an has permitted Muslims to wed Christian girls. It says: “(All) good things have this day been made lawful to you. The food of those to whom the Book was given is lawful to you, and yours to them. Lawful to you are the free believing women and the free women from among those who were given the Book before you, provided that you give them their dowries (Mehar) and live in honour with them, neither committing fornication nor taking them as mistresses…” (5:5)

Please note that the above permission is not absolute. Food and women of the people, who were given the Book, have been described to be lawful in the same verse. It implies one of the following. (i) Either both of them are unconditional, irrespective of other laws regarding food or women (ii) or other laws, stated in connection with either of the two will apply to the respective category. 

Some scholars believe that the food permission of the people of the Book is subjected to the conditions laid down in other verses describing food (Zabeeha) laws. They however insist that the permission of marrying their women is absolute and unconditional. This is obviously illogical and against common sense. Compared to them, the opinion of those Ulema is more logical who say that both the food and women of people of the book are permitted unconditionally. Obviously, this is also not judicious. It would mean that the food of the people of the Book will be permitted even if they do not pronounce the name of One God over it or even if they slaughter the animals in the name of gods other than Allah. If they slaughter with an incorrect procedure or abruptly (with Jhatka), even then it would be permitted. Qur’an has clearly prohibited the meat of that animal on which the name other than Allah is pronounced and that meat is also forbidden over which the name of Allah is not pronounced. This condition will surely apply to the above verse. Similarly, the clearly defined principles of marriage will also apply to the above verse. For example, marriage in relations specified in verses 4: 22-23 is unlawful.

“Henceforth you shall not marry the women who were married to your fathers. That was an evil practice, indecent and abominable. Forbidden to you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your paternal and maternal aunts, the daughters of your brothers and sisters, your foster-mothers, your foster-sisters, the mothers of your wives, your stepdaughters who are in your charge, born of the wives with whom you have lain; but it is no offence for you (to marry them) if you have not consummated your marriage with their mothers. (Forbidden to you also) are the wives of your own begotten sons and to take in marriage two sisters at one and the same time unless this had happened in the past. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”. (4:22,23)”

Thus, marrying a real niece is not permitted irrespective of whether she is a Muslim or Christian. One is not permitted to marry his niece if she is a Christian, claiming that Qur’an has permitted marrying the women of those who were given The Book. The permission is subjected to some clearly defined principles in Qur’an. Similarly, Qur’an says: “You shall not wed Mushrik women (idolatresses or those ascribing partners to Allah) till they believe (in One God alone)…”  (2:221) This condition will also apply in the case of marriage with a Christian woman. That is, marriage with a Christian girl is permitted only if she believes and proclaims that Jesus Christ was not the Son of Allah but His bondsman and a prophet.

The primary aim of any girl to embrace Islam may have been the love of a man, there is no harm in it, but the conversion should be sincere and not a farce, otherwise, there is no need for conversion. An adult man and woman, whose marriage is otherwise lawful, can marry without the permission of the parents but it is not advisable. Adults should behave and think like mature adults. You must be aware of Christians marrying into other religions for missionary purposes. Thousands of unaware Muslims are being lured by Christian suitors in this manner. They even feign to become Muslims for such marriages and in a short time convince their partners to leave Islam. A sincere Muslim who has the sense of enquiring about Islamic views cannot take such risks which may endanger his eternal life.

If the girl remains a Christian, the change of name is unnecessary. If she embraces Islam sincerely, though Islam does not bind her to change the name (if the meaning of the name is not Un-Islamic), she should not be averse to the suggestion. However, if she is not deceiving or falsely posing to embrace Islam and she wants to keep her old name, there is no compulsion over her.     

Sufism vs Tasawwuf

Q. What is the concept of Sufism? Why are many Muslims including many Ulema getting Mureed from Sheikh or spiritual mentor? Is Sufism based on Qur’an and Prophetic teaching?

(B.A. Shahul Hameed ; Pondicherry)


The word Sufism today is used in a very broader perspective, encompassing a large number of variants. Not all things analogous with it can be verified in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah as some groups claiming to be associated with it, clearly disregard the Shariah, without which there is no conception of Complete Deen. Frankly speaking, Sufism has become an ambiguous term. Replace it with Tasawwuf, Sulook or Tareeqat in your question and your question can be answered more precisely.

To oppose or to approve —— which Tasawwuf?

It would be appropriate if I start the answer to your query from an extract of the preface of ‘Islami Tasawwuf’, a very good work of a renowned Jama’at Islami Aalim, Maulana (late) Syed Urooj Ahmad Qadri. He starts with:

“The row over Tasawwuf, its approval and disapproval, debate and incognizance, objections and rejoinders is going on for centuries. When someone refutes it, then those who favour it do not consider, what sort of Tasawwuf is being opposed. When approved, the opponents do not see which Tasawwuf is being approved. The supporters get rebuked among the blamers and the critics get reproached by the defenders. There are few to adopt the middle path, which gets lost between the two extremes. Some even start quarrelling over the word and terminology itself which however is not a sensible thing. Similarly, some people insist more on the acceptance of terminology than its essence. This too is not wise. 

Tasawwuf is nothing separate from Islamic Shariah though we do not find its name and terminologies in the earlier Islamic era. The example of nomenclature is such that you find Muslims today claiming that they follow Hanafi or Shafa’i or other Maslaks today though there were no permanent names for differences of opinions in earlier times. Later Sufi scholars put an overemphasis on the submission of a Mureed to his Sheikh belonging to a particular school of Tasawwuf in the same manner as later Fiq’h scholars overemphasised the need to stick to one particular Maslak. Commenting on the transgression of different Fiq’h Maslaks, Maulana Maudoodi has quoted Imam Shah Waliullah in one of his write-ups: 

“Shah Sahib says in Izaalatul Khafa: Upto the end of the Syrian Empire (The rule of Umavi rulers) no one called himself a Hanafi or Shafa’i. Instead, they only used to deduce from Shariah logic following the techniques of their own teachers and Imams. During Iraqi Empire (Abbasi rule), each one of them adopted a particular name of their own (group). This state assumed such a dimension that unless one found testimony from the bigwigs of their own group, he did not adopt the evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Thus the differences of opinion emanating from the interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah found a rigid basis. Later when the Arab Empire came to an end (in Turkish rule) and people scattered in different countries, they embraced as absolute original whatever every one of them had memorised from their Fiq’h school. What was originally based on inference, became a persistent practice.” 

(Maulana Maudoodi in Shah Waliullah Dehalvi Number of Al-Furqan, Bareilly, P.86.)

Tasawwuf is a part of Shariah

Fiq’h and Tasawwuf are like the body and soul in Shariah. A body is a mere corpse without a soul. Similarly, Salat or Namaz is not merely a set of recitations and postures. Fiq’h deals with the rules of recitals and postures while Tasawwuf emphasizes upon the soul of Namaz, i.e. the mental state of being in the presence of Allah. Probably a few explanations from the reputed Islamic scholars might be more acceptable to those in doubt:

“Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehalvi, in Izalatul Khafa, writes: The subjects of ‘Ihsaan’ and ‘Yaqeen’ have come to be known as Tasawwuf these days… The name of the reality of Tasawwuf in Shariah terminology is ‘Insane’.

           This tells us that Tasawwuf is not a Shariah nomenclature. The Shariah term is ‘Ihsaan’. Some Sufi scholars have called Tasawwuf a mode of ‘Taqwah’ and the term ‘Tazkiya-e-Naf’s’ (the purification of inner self), for Tasawwuf is so well known as the term Tasawwuf itself.” Anyway, ‘Ihsaan’, ‘Yaqeen’ mode of Taqwah’ or Tazkiya-e-Naf’s are all expressions of that Tasawwuf whose foundation is based on Qur’an and Sunnah and which we can call Islamic Tasawwuf. The basis of calling Tasawwuf as ‘Ihsaan” is that Hadith in which Jibriel had asked the Prophet (pbuh) some questions in the midst of the Companions about Deen and the Prophet (pbuh) had replied: Ihsaan is that you submit before Allah in such a way as if you are seeing Him. And if you are not (able to meditate upon) seeing Him then (meditate upon that) indeed He is seeing you. (Muslim)

           No doubt that this Hadith is an important basis of Tasawwuf and all important works on Tasawwuf have referred to this Hadith. Tasawwuf, today is the name of a distinct field of knowledge and it has been defined as: ‘Tasawwuf is a science through which cleansing of inner selves, the purification of character, and beautification of apparent and inherent are known. Its purpose is the achievement of eternal decency.’ (Zakaria Ansari in Sharah Ar-Rasalah Qushairiya, Vol. I, P. 69)” 

(Syed Ahmad Urooj Qadri, Islami Tasawwuf, Markazi Maktaba Islami, P.24)

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi writes:

“Men of knowledge do not consider that something else is also required other than ritualistic standing and sitting and it is essential too. For example, apparently stood and sat and Namaz was completed while in Qur’an wherein is stated that Successful indeed are the believers who are in their prayers…’, there also is the word ‘…humble’. When by the phrase, ‘from their prayers’, Namaz is taken obligatory then why not from ‘humble’, the humbleness is considered obligatory? Both the commands are binding.”

(Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Shariat Aur Tareeqat, P. 31)

Tasawwuf’s separation from Shariah and ignorant Sufis

In the Prophet’s (pbuh) time and after him, the seat of ruling and Imamat were combined in one. After the days of Khilafat-e-Rashidah (the just vicegerency), the rulers were no more considered worthy of leading in the matters of Deen and people started looking towards pious men for guidance in spiritual matters. Thus seats of Hukoomat (the sovereignty) and Imamat (the guidance in spiritual matters) were separated. Again after some more time, the essence of Ibadat (subservience to God) started paling and they became more and more ritual-like. The Ulema merely started preaching the apparent form of supplications while its soul, the pursuit and feel of the presence of the Lord started obscuring. People in quest of the soul of Ibadats started leaning towards those saints where they found this quality. Those were the people who kept themselves away from worldly comforts and wore the attire of ‘Soof’ (the crude woollen attire). The word Sufi, it is believed by many, was derived from Soof. It was again a tragic time when the seat of learning of Tareeqat or the soul of Shariah separated from the Shariah, leaving the later to be a synonym of Fiq’h only. See the above explanation in the words of some authentic and renowned Ulema:

“Shariah is the name of those commandments with which strive is associated. These include acts apparent and inherent both. In the terminology of earlier scholars, the word Fiq’h is considered a synonym of Shariah. Imam Abu Haneefa defined Fiq’h as the realisation of things of benefit and loss of the inner self. Then, in the terminology of later people Fiq’h became the name of the manifest part of the acts of Shariah and the other part pertaining to intrinsic acts was called Tasawwuf. The procedures of these intrinsic acts are called Tareeqat. Then, with the restitution of these intrinsic acts the inner self is purified and the bondsman experiences some observations. These observations are called Haqeeqat and the process is called Ma’arifat. The observing person is called Aarif. All these things are related to Shariah. All the right principles of Tasawwuf are found in Qur’an and Hadith. Those who think that Tasawwuf is not in Qur’an and Hadith, are wrong. And the transgressing Sufis also imagine the same. ….They, the transgressing Sufis say that in Qur’an there are only manifest commandments while Tasawwuf is Ilm-e-Baatin (the knowledge of concealed). To them, there is, God forbid, no need for the Qur’an and Hadith. Both these groups imagine Tasawwuf to be void of the Qur’an and Hadith. Then, according to their own understanding, one of them left the Tasawwuf and the other left Qur’an and Hadith.”

(Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Shariat and Tareeqat, P. 25)

“The renowned saint Sheikh Ali Hajveri (Daata Ganj Bakhsh) of 6th century AH writes in his famous work, Kashaful Mahjoob, the first in Persian on Tasawwuf:

“Abul Hasan Bushanjah says: In the present day, Tasawwuf is merely a name with no reality while in earlier times it was a reality with no name.”

           It means that in the era of Sahaba (the holy Companions) and later pious predecessors, the word Sufi was indeed not there but its real qualities were there in each one of them. Today this name is there but its sense is not present.

(Ali Hajveri, Urdu translation of Kashaful Mahjoob by Prof. M. Abdul Majeed, Sabri Book Depot Deoband, P.73)

Tasawwuf is obligatory

Hazrat Shah Waliullah says:

“Average Sufis declared that in man’s body, manifest and unmanifest powers are independent of each other. They had to divide the teaching of Islam also in two parts. To them, Shariah has a definite course and Tasawwuf is different. With this, they had to accept that Tasawwuf and Tareeqat were not there during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). They give the reason thereof that in that period there was no need of Tasawwuf for the purification of Baatin (inner self). We see in the viewpoint of these average Sufis a great discrepancy. If we accept their statement then it would mean that Islamic Shariah and Fiq’h are one thing and Tasawwuf is different from them. Islam is complete by acting upon Shariah (minus Tasawwuf). Now, whoever wishes, may learn Tasawwuf and whoever does not wills can have no concern with it. In other words, it means that Tasawwuf is unessential. …this is our own observation and experience that the absolute conviction (Yaqeen) of the other life after death is accomplished only in the company of revered Sufis”.

(Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Shah Waliullah Aur Un Ka Falsafa, Sindh Sagar Academy Lahore, 1944, P. 199)

Hazrat Shah Sahib further declares:

“He does not belong to us who did not ponder over the Book of Allah and did not accomplish cognition and insight in the Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh). He is not from among us who has left the companionship of such Ulema who are Sufis and also have the aptitude for Qur’an and Sunnah. He is not from among us who has restrained himself from such people of knowledge who are apt in Tasawwuf and does not sit in the company of such Hadith scholars who are Fiq’h scholars as well. He is not from among us who has left the company of such Fiq’h scholars who possess the knowledge of Hadith too. As for unenlightened Sufis and unlearned Ulema who refute the Tasawwuf, both of them are thieves and bandits. We must keep away from them”.

(Ibid, P.210)

No blind following 

Different orders of Tasawwuf can be compared with different schools of Fiq’h. Although there is no system of Bai’at (pledge) in Fiq’h groups it is usually specifically decreed by the Ulema that no one owing allegiance to one school is permitted to act according to the other. Tasawwuf is more on the spiritual side than physical and therefore a disciple, in addition to obeying the commands of the mentor is required to develop a relationship of reverence, adoration and affection for him. It is understandable and not against Deen. Our greatest mentor the holy Prophet (pbuh) told us that their Imaan could not be completed unless one loved him more than his own life and belonging. There is a substance in the creation of an emotional bond with one’s spiritual guide. The only difference one should keep in mind and here is where the Mureeds transgress (on the instructions of the Sheikhs) that No one, I repeat absolutely no other human being other than the holy prophets, peace be upon them, can be without fault. Whether in matters of Fiq’h or spiritual training, one should never keep his eyes shut from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Within the limitations of his own knowledge and capability, one must always be ready to discard the dictates of his teacher or mentor if proven by clear logic that the commands contradict the Book and Sunnah. If you find a Sheikh who has good knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah and is a good Sufi, it is always good for your own sake to become his Mureed as a Sheikh considers it his moral duty to guide his Mureed in the matters of Deen. In some circles, undue exaggeration is expressed about the need of declaring allegiance to one of the prevalent chains of Tasawwuf to the extent that it is considered obligatory but no authentic Sufi having the knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah ever proclaimed that. Owing allegiance to one of the chains is not obligatory while practising Tasawwuf is indeed obligatory. They however argue with good logic behind it that a Sheikh is like a family doctor for his Mureed and he, more than any other mentor knows the weaknesses and capabilities and the right treatment for his Mureed.

The characteristics of Tasawwuf

The great Sufi Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi said, “Tasawwuf has eight characteristics. Generosity, submission, endurance, lack of speech, strangeness, woollen (simple and thick) attire, excursion and indigence”. Similarly, different chains of Tasawwuf lay emphasis on creating and developing such faculties as correct intention (Niyat), the purity of purpose (Ikhlas), Expiation (Tauba), Endurance (Sab’r), gratefulness (Shuk’r), Contentment (Tawakkul), morality (Khulq), love of God and His creation (Muhabbat), fear of God’s disobedience (Khashiyyat), hope (Rija), Indigence (Faq’r), Indifference towards the worldly comforts (Zoh’d), deliberation (Tafakkur), meditation (Muraqiba), self-introspection (Muhaasiba), Strife (Mujaahida), steadfastness (Istiqamat), prayer (Du’a) etc. No one can dispute the necessity of any one of the above and it is also beyond doubt that the above qualities can not be created through books but by embracing the company of those who possess them.


There have been and are the so-called Sufis who did not possess the above qualities. There were and there are people who claimed to be Sufis but disregarded Shariah. Whoever despised the material comforts and took to seclusion, whoever became famous for treating all humanity as one howsoever he disregarded God’s other commandments and even those who disdained everyone including God and humanity alike, were given the title of Sufi and saints by those who were ignorant of Tasawwuf. The word, Sufism, ironically represents today the philosophies of all such people as above who can be anything but Sufis.



Severing ties with brother

Q. My brother borrowed a huge sum of money for carrying out a business and after the business started to flourish he became greedy. He started stating false allegations and backbiting about me and insulted me in public with false claims. When I offered to withdraw from all business relations with him due to the above reason, he refused to return the money and continued to abuse me. Now I have decided to sever all ties with him but not to take any revenge. Is my stand correct?

(Ismail Yousuf  ; Bangalore)


In the situation you have described, your stand can not be called unjustified. Islam permits you four recourses.

(i) To take the matter to a court of law or Shariat court or to personal mediators: You would have been fully justified in opting for any one of these.

(ii) To take revenge: You would be permitted to take revenge not exceeding the excesses committed against you.  

(iii) Forgive him: This would have been the best course. The Holy Qur’an recommends:

“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto. But he that forgives and seeks reconcilement shall be rewarded by Allah. He does not love the wrongdoers. Those who avenge themselves when wronged incur no guilt. But great is the guilt of those who oppress their fellowmen and conduct themselves with wickedness and injustice. These shall be sternly punished. to endure with fortitude and to forgive is an act of great resolution. (42:40-43)

(iv) Lastly, you are recommended to keep clear of him. “So keep clear of them and put your trust in Allah. Allah is enough as a disposer of affairs”. (4:81) Keeping clear (I’raaz) is not exactly severing all relations altogether. It includes a will and effort, if possible, to reform him who has resorted to ignorance. “Hold to forgiveness, enjoin justice and avoid the ignorant”. (7:199)



Is nuclear Research allowed in Islam?

Q. Is Nuclear research and testing allowed in Islam?

Yes, if the intention is to use it for the benefit of mankind and in the service of Allah, it is not only allowed
but essential.

Who will enter Paradise?
Q. Will only Muslims go to Heaven? Who are the people who will enter Heaven?
Muslim means one who has submitted to the Will of God. How can he who has not submitted to His Will expect to earn a reward from him? However, a Muslim is not by birth nor is everyone who is registered as a Muslim in a Government census. Whoever has Iman (Belief in the Oneness of Allah, the Last Day and accountability and all His Prophets) and does good work can expect his reward.
A spy of the enemy nation, if caught, can not expect pardon on the basis of his good social behaviour. Loyalty to the Government is a pre-requisite for good works to be recognized. Iman is being loyal to the Lone Sovereign of the universe. Good deeds and works are the manifestation and proof of loyalty. Qur’an is very explicit about it that both are necessary.
An essential clarification is also required here. Iman or the Faith can not be ascertained by declaration alone. It is inside the hearts and Allah knows all. Only he is a person of Faith whose faith is accepted by Allah as genuine. It has been made clear in Qur’an that all those who declare themselves to be Muslims are not necessarily faithful. See the following verse.
“Those who are distant from the centre of knowledge claim that they believe. Tell them: ‘You do not believe; rather you can say that you profess Islam’. Iman has not yet found its way into your hearts” (49:14)
On the other hand, Allah can accept the Faith of those who had Iman in their hearts but could not openly declare for circumstances known to themselves and Allah knew the genuineness of their concealment. Examples of such people are mentioned in Qur’an 40:28-45 and 48:25.
There is no claim on Allah of anyone on the basis of their birth in a particular family. Paradise is for those who truly believe in the eyes of Allah and do good works also. Qur’an has repeatedly warned those who call themselves Muslims that paradise is not their birthright. These sorts of claims, Qur’an clarifies, were made by those who were the corrupted believers. Those who are called Jews once believed in Moses (pbuh) and followed his teaching but later when their faith and deeds were corrupted they started claiming that they will enter paradise on the basis of their faith and if the punishment for some deeds had to be inflicted upon them it will be temporary after which they will be entered into the eternal paradise. Qur’an warns Muslims not to be in the footsteps of Jews who make such claims:
“And they say: “The fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days”; Say: “Have ye taken a promise from Allah for He never breaks His promise?  Or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?
“Nay those who seek gain in Evil and are girt round by their sins they are Companions of the Fire therein shall they abide. But those who have faith and work righteousness they are Companions of the Garden therein shall they abide.” (2:80-82)
Is polygamy Sunnah?

Q. To do what Prophet did is Sunnah. Is having more than one wife Sunnah?


Some orders and permissions were exclusively for the Prophet and his Ahl-e-Bait (his wives, daughter, son-
in-law and their progeny. For example accepting Zakat is prohibited for his progeny. The prophet’s wives were not

to marry others after his demise. The Salat of Thajjud was obligatory for the Prophet (pbuh). The above do not
apply to all Muslims. All such exclusive orders and permissions have been clearly mentioned either in Qur’an or in
the Prophet’s sayings.
The Prophet (pbuh) had exclusive instructions and permission for his marriages. Those do not apply to
other Muslims. The conditions in which, a Muslim is required or permitted to marry more than one wife, are known
from the Qur’an and the practice of the Prophet’s close companions.

Why does Allah answer the prayers of the unbeliever?

 Q. If the worship of idols is wrong and useless, why are the prayers of those who pray to them get answered?


Because Allah is not the Creator and Sustainer of Muslims only. He is ‘Rabbul-Aalameen (the Lord of all the creations of all the worlds). He caters to the wishes and needs of those also who deny His existence altogether.
He has neither promised the believers to fulfil all their wishes in this world nor had He declared that he will not fulfil the worldly needs of men and women who call and invoke others beside Him. What He has made clear is that mankind is required to bow to Him alone for worship and pray to Him alone for help. Those who do not submit to His commands shall be accountable for their beliefs and deeds on the Day of Judgment.

Prophet (pbuh) in dream

Q. Can Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) appear in a dream in the present generation? Because many people claim to have seen him in dreams and are adding new concepts to Islam, this also is misleading to the understanding of Islam among Muslims.


Yes, the people have been seeing the Prophet (pbuh) in their dreams. It is not unbelievable. When people
see other deceased in their dreams why can’t they see the Prophet in dreams? Besides the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned
this in his lifetime:
“Narrated Anas that the Prophet (pbuh) said: Whoever saw me in his dream, actually saw me as Shaitan
can not come in my form and the dream of a believer is a forty-sixth part of prophethood.” (Bukhari)
Although some people might misuse, misreport or misinterpret such dreams is no grounds to deny a fact that Hadith and the actual experiences of countless people verify. Those who report falsely about the Prophet (pbuh) have been
admonished in the following Hadith.
“Whoever ascribed a false report towards me has ascertained his habitat in Hell.” (Bukhari)
People who are guided by Qur’an and Sunnah can not be misled by any reported dream or its interpretation.
Dreams are subject to interpretation and anyone’s dream is not a conclusive argument in Shariah for others.

Punishment of distraction in Salah

Q. Will Allah punish us if we are disturbed by various thoughts during Namaz?


No, if the effort of proper concentration had been made and even then some outside thoughts crept in, it
is no sin. However if your Salat becomes a habitual ritual with no personal effort of concentration, it is up to Allah
to accept it or not.

Co-ed without Purdah in Medical Field

Q. Does Islam allow us co-ed without Purdah in the medical field (dissection of a naked dead body)?


It would have been better if Muslims had established medical colleges for girls. Till such time, the co-
education in medical sciences is unavoidable. It is a religious need of Muslims that there should be Muslim lady doctors. Learning dissection and handling dead bodies is a medical necessity. It is permitted for medical students,
boys as well as girls like it is permitted for a doctor to unclothe a patient if it is a medical necessity.

Boys and girls talking after engagement

Q. Can a boy and a girl speak to one another after engagement?


Till they marry it is not permitted that they meet in seclusion where others can not see them. Otherwise
if they are not alone they are permitted to talk to each other even before the engagement.

Recitation of Quran without proper pronunciation

Q. Is plain recitation of Qur’an right without proper pronunciation (sound) of words?


By sound, if you mean the tone of Qir’at, it is not necessary but as far as possible the pronunciation of
the words should be correct. For those who are unable to pronounce certain Arabic letters, the reading with not so
accurate Arabic words is also permitted.

Mutual Condemnation of Islamic Scholars

Q. Was there any kind of condemnation between the great historical scholars of Islam as alleged by some
Christian writers? For instance, they say that Imam Shafai has said “There never was born a more damned
person in Islam than Abu Hanifa.” Another scholar, Abu Hamid Ghazali in his book Manqul fi -Ilmi-Usul
says: “In fact, Abu Hanifa distorted the religious code, made its way doubtful, changed its arrangement and
intermingled the laws in such a way that the code prescribed by the Holy Prophet was totally disfigured.”
This scholar goes on to say that Abu Hanifa was an infidel Many others also condemn Abu Hanifa this way
like in Ghazali’s Mutahawwal, Zamakhshari’s Rabiu’l-Abrar etc. Differences of opinion are said
to be accepted in Islam, but if differences led to condemning a great Imam as Abu Hanifa as an infidel, how can we
say that they accepted and loved each other? Why so great a difference in interpreting laws?


Imam Shafa’i never called Imam Abu Hanifa an infidel. It is a shameful lie to accuse him of such a thing but
unfortunately, telling lies, deception, treachery and trickery is widely used by Christian missionaries for the
propagation of their religion. How much Imam Shafa’i respected Imam Abu Hanifa can be gauged from the

Once Imam Shafai visited the mosque in which Imam Abu Hanifa led in prayers during his lifetime. As a
mark of respect to the late Imam, he offered all his prayers as per Hanafi Fiq’h in that mosque. Can such a person
call him an infidel?
Regarding Imam Ghazali, there were two distinct phases in his career as a scholar. During the first phase, he used
harsh words for other scholars with whom he differed but with time as he gained more knowledge and insight, he
matured and it is his contribution in the second phase that made him Imam in the eyes of people. But the fact
remains that even in his first phase of knowledge, though he criticized Imam Abu Hanifa yet never called him an
infidel. This again is a lie. I could not lay my hands on Rabi-ul-Abrar of Zamakhshari. It is most likely that the
charge on him of calling Abu Hanifa an infidel is also concocted.
Why are there differences among scholars in the interpretation of Shariah? The answer to this question is
complex if we go through arguments and counter-arguments of different scholars but it becomes very simple when
we use common sense. The basic principles guiding the laws of Shariah can never change and will never change
but the implementation of those principles may change with the evolution of human knowledge. The Holy Book
laid down the principles that are eternal. The wisdom of application of the principles is to be learnt from the
Sunnah of the Prophet. The differences among scholars are regarding the understanding of Sunnah and also
sometimes in the implementation of the principles. Let me elaborate.
There were mainly four types of orders and practices of the Prophet (pbuh).
1. Those orders or practices that were binding for all people at all times.

2. Some orders and practices were pertaining to certain circumstances. Whenever those circumstances and
conditions would arise, those orders would be applicable.
3. Some specific instructions were for certain specific persons. And lastly,
4. Some of his practices and orders were meant for the era of the Prophet alone.
The differentiation between the above four for understanding of Sunnah was not an easy job and hence there
were differences of opinion among scholars.
I now present an example of a difference in the implementation of the principle.
The Prophet (pbuh) practised and recommended Qas’r (2 Rak’ats instead of 4) in Salat in journeys. He
never fixed the limit of the distance of the journey for that purpose. Later with the increase in population, the townships
grew closer and the Fiq’h scholars thought of defining the limit of the journey for the purpose. Obviously, the essence
behind the Shortening of Salat was the extra hardship of the journey and the emergencies and other troubles therein.
For the masses, in general, it was expedient to convert the hardship of the journey in terms of distance. Scholars of
different times and places arrived at different decisions in fixing the limit of distance considering the means of
transport, and the weather conditions of the geographical area. In today’s world, the application of the principle
should need revision. There are numerous means of transport ranging from a bullock cart to a plane. Suppose a
labourer in the hottest of seasons goes to the next town on a bicycle and the journey totally exhausts him. According
to the Hanafi Fiq’h, he will have to offer full Rak’ats of normal prayer if he has gone to a distance lesser than 90
km. Another person takes a flight from N. Delhi to Bombay in 1 1⁄2 hours without shedding a drop of sweat but he
will perform Qas’r as he has travelled a longer distance. Is it justified by common sense? Obviously, the
application of the principle in present times needs revision by capable scholars.
The differences in interpretation for the purpose of codification of different laws were natural and
inevitable. While most of them remained confined to expressing their differences, some were more
temperamental and used harsh language too. There is no cause for alarm in this for us. Except for the prophets, no
person could be without fault. Islam does not recognize any such seat as Church or Pope as representatives of God.
Christians may face embarrassment in explaining the conduct of the Church if and when it errs as they consider it a
manifestation of the Holy Spirit but we need not be unduly disturbed over the fault of any non-prophet. We can
simply accept that a particular scholar erred in such and such respect while acknowledging his due contribution. It
is not as frequent as the Christian missionaries have projected before you but a few of thousands of scholars did
brand others infidel. They should not have done so and they did wrong in this respect. It is as simple as that.
Lastly, it is amazing that Christian missionaries are taking such pains to collect the quotations
(mostly distorted) of Muslim scholars branding each other infidels. The whole of their religious history right
from the days of Disciples is full of such accusations for one another. You must read the statements of
Martin Luther King, the pioneer of the Protestant movement about the Catholic Pope and vice versa to
confront them if they come to you with such confusions (full of distortions of course) which, however,
should not unduly alarm us.

Rejection of Hazrat Abudhar Ghifari!

Q. Some Christians allege that If ‘all companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) are like stars why don’t we accept Abu Dharr? Please clarify.


It is mischievous to say that any group of Muslims does not accept Hazrat Abu Dhar Ghifari. We regard him in very high esteem. What is not accepted practically by any sect of Muslims is his interpretation of
the needs of a person and the maximum limit of one’s possession. Were his opinion in this respect to be followed, not a single person in the Ummah would have been capable of becoming a Zakat payer. Islam
does not forbid earning good money and acquiring things of comfort as long as one fulfils his due obligations towards society. As I mentioned earlier, we do not agree with his interpretation of the
permissible limit of possessions but it does not mean that we do not accept or respect or revere him.

Nikah and Muta’ ; Did Hazrat Umar abrogat Muta’?

Q. Regarding a practice known as Muta Nikah, the Christian missionaries quote ample pieces of evidence that Muta
was practised during the lifetime of the Prophet, and was banned a number of times but the ban was annulled
again and again. They quote from Sahih Bukhari and the Musnad of Ahmed Ibn Hanbal part 1, p.25, Abu
Raja reported on the authority of Imran Ibn Hasis that Muta was revealed in the Quran. [Surah 4:24]. No
verse was revealed to rescind the practice. Caliph Umar himself has attested to the practice of Muta in the
following words “In the time of the Prophet two muta’s were permitted. I make both of them unlawful, and
if any does it, I will punish him.”There are many such reports that say that Muta was practised till Umar
forbade it. Jarullah Zamakhshari in his Tafsir-e-Kashshaf regarding Abdullah Ibn Abbass’s statement that
the verse of Muta was one clear ordinance of the Holy Quran says that this verse was not repealed. Imam
Malik also was of the same opinion. Mulla Sa’idu’d-din Taftazani in his Sharh-e-Maqasid, Burhanu’d-Din
Hanafi in his Hidaya, Ibn Hajar in his Fathu’l Bari and others have reported this verdict of Imam Malik.
How far are these things true and what about the validity of these verdicts that prove what the Shias are
saying relating to the matter is true? Can the command of Allah and his Prophet be abrogated by a Caliph?
How can such great scholars of the ‘Ahul-l-Sunnah wal Jamaah’ err regarding the fact and such an episode
in history? Please verify the sources also.
JAZAK-Allah Wasalaam Koshy


History tells us that the Prophet (pbuh) permitted Muta’ on a few occasions of long collective journeys but finally forbade it forever in 10 AH after the last Hajj in his lifetime.

The Nikah of Muta’ (Contract of
marriage for a limited period) was an ancient practice among Arabs. Arabs were sunk in fornication and adultery while Islam did not permit sexual relations outside the genuine wedlock. The binding was so harsh on them that sensing their weakness, the Prophet (pbuh) permitted them on four occasions of long journeys, the Muta’ which had a social sanction in their eyes. He had sensed that all of them could not bear to keep away from women for months so the temporary permission of Nikah of Muta’ was granted as it was better than indiscriminate and totally irresponsible sex. It may be noted that the permission of Muta’ was on all four occasions granted on long journeys. There is not one occasion when the Prophet announced permission while in town. It is a matter of interpretation whether the permission remained in force after those journeys or not. Those who believe in Muta’s prohibition should also learn
from the Prophet (pbuh) the wisdom of gradually implementing the laws that are hard to practice for beginners.
Muta’ possessed some psychological, social and moral respectability over unattached sex.

Firstly, the psychological word of Nikah was attached to it. Secondly, there was the provision of Mehar for the woman in Muta’. Thirdly, the woman was required to pass the waiting period (Iddat) after the expiry of the temporary marriage so that the parentage of the child (if the woman became pregnant) could be known.
The child born out of Muta’ was considered legitimate and was accepted as the legal heir of his father.
The gradual implementation of the prohibition of sex outside (permanent) marriage can be compared with the gradual implementation of the prohibition of intoxicants. Though the wines were never permitted in any Shariah of any prophet, the total prohibition was imposed in three stages. The difference between the
prohibition of intoxicants and the prohibition of illegal sex is that while the former was implemented in stages by the Qur’an, the Prophet (naturally with the consent of Allah) was also instrumental in its phased implementation in the case of the latter. So on a few occasions, he temporarily relaxed the law for those who could not bear.
It is misleading to blame Caliph Hazrat Umar for repealing or changing a law of Shariah on his own. He only announced the strict implementation of the prohibition declared by the Prophet (pbuh) after
Hajj-atul-wida’ (the last Hajj in his lifetime). The charge of Shias on Hazrat Umar stands annulled on two counts.
1. If Muta’ was permitted in Shariah and the second Caliph repealed it on his whims, the fourth Caliph Hazrat Ali whose actions are binding on Shias could again have announced its permission. The prohibition of Muta’ remained enforced during the reign of Hazrat Ali. Had Hazrat Ali announced the permission of Muta’, there would have been another co-accused with
Umar in Shia traditions who banned it after its permission.

2. No Shia cleric would ever grant her daughter to enter into Muta’ contract with anyone. The authentic permanent marriages are announced with pride and the world knows of it but we have
never come across even a small list of clerics’ daughters who were given into Muta’ proudly. It shows that the practice is at least practically disgraceful in their own eyes.

Following are some features of Muta’ which are not permitted in a valid and normal Nikah.

1. There is no need for the presence of a witness at the time of Nikah of Muta’
2. The man is not responsible for the food, clothes, lodging and maintenance of the woman during the period of their relationship.
3. The man is free to keep as many women as he likes at a time in his Muta’.
4. The woman does not get any share in the man’s succession.
5. If the girl is willing, the permission of her father or guardian is not required even if she is a virgin or minor.
6. The duration of Muta’ may be as short as a few minutes and may be as long as any number of years.
7. The waiting period in case of separation is half of that in case of a normal marriage.
8. Man is not responsible for the woman’s maintenance during her Iddat.

Now I present below the verse of the Qur’an which in some companions’ opinion and in the opinion of Shias,
legitimize the Muta’.
“…All women other than these (described in 5:22,23) are lawful to you, provided you seek them with your wealth (Mehar) in modest conduct, not in fornication. Give them their Mehar as a duty for the
‘ISTAMTA’ (benefit) you have had with of them.”(5:24)
The relevant Arabic word in the above verse is ‘Famastamta’tum’ which means, ‘when you have had benefited with them’.

Those favouring the Muta’ translate it as ‘when you had made Muta’ with them’.
There is one clear proof in Qur’an that they are mistaken. This particular word has been used as it is in two other verses of the Qur’an viz 9:69 and 46:20. I am presenting the translation of one of these. You can
check the other verse yourself. First, see the translation of the verse preceding 9:69 so that the context could be known that the description is of hypocrites.
“Allah has promised the hypocrites, both men and women and the unbelievers, the fire of Hell. They shall abide in it. It is sufficient for them; theirs shall be a lasting torment”. (9:68)
And now, the next verse with the actual translation of the relevant word in question:
“As in the case of those before you, they were mightier than you and had greater riches and more children. They had BENEFITED from their portion and you have BENEFITED from yours as did those before you. You indulge in idle talk as they did. They! Their works are fruitless in this world and in the Hereafter, and they are the losers”. (9:69)
I am again reproducing the same verse below but this time I am putting the word Muta’ in the translation
of the word FAMASTAMTA’TUM, which Shias claim to mean Muta’, the same word, which occurred in (5:24)
“As in the case of those before you, they were mightier than you and had greater riches and more children. They had their portion of Muta’ and you have had your portion of Muta’ as did those before
you. You indulge in idle talk as they did. They! Their works are fruitless in this world and in the Hereafter, and they are the losers”. (9:69)
I wonder whether after reading the word Muta’ for FAMASTAMTA’TUM in the above verse, anyone will still insist that it means Muta’!
Again I have no hesitation in saying that those companions who are against the opinion of other companions thought that the verse (5:24) of the Qur’an authenticated Muta’, erred in its interpretation.

Ghulam vs Abd

Q. What is the difference between Ghulam and Abd?


Abd means ‘Banda‘. There is a difference between Banda and a slave or Ghulam.

The slave is enslaved. It means he is forced to be a slave against his will. No one likes to be a slave to anyone.

Banda is person who submits to his lord with his own free will. He keeps his master’s will over and above his own will and desires at all times in all matters. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was an ideal ‘Banda’ of Allah.

Relevance of scientific calculations for sighting Ramadhan or Eid crescent

Q. There is so widespread dispute in the sighting of the moon for Ramadhan and Eid. Why can’t we rely on scientific calculations for these purposes as we do for times of Namaz (prayers)?

-(M. Shamshad ; Deoband)


We can and will probably start doing it by the next decade, but it is not practically possible. Ramadhan and Eid are Islamic rites of congregational nature. You have to go by the representatives of a collective decision. The trend is that our Ulemas move very cautiously in accepting the present-day realities. Not long ago, the use of pictures for creative purposes was unacceptable to a majority of Ulema in the sub-continent.
Today a large number of Islamic organs run by Islamic organizations accept its validity. The use of loudspeakers for large congregations of Jum’a and Eid was not acceptable to Ulema in the beginning of 2nd half of the 20th century. Blood donation was not permitted. All of these are acceptable today by a majority of them. Today a Qadhi accepts telephones and TVs as reliable sources of information for the new moon at other places.
We move very slowly and cautiously where the scientific use of understanding modern-day problems is involved. Some of the
reasons for it are the following:
1. Most of the institutions of Islamic learning are teaching their students that Ijtihad (use of research for the solution of new problems and revision or reinterpretation of old codes fixed by renowned scholars) is not permitted today even by most learned scholars.
2. Those passing from institutions of Islamic learning do not have any knowledge of modern sciences and people educated in modern education do not have proper knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah. There also is a lack of coordination between these two groups.
3. Genuine (and justifiable to some extent) fear of leading people to the prohibited course in the absence of a lack of understanding of the modern phenomenon.
Many Hadiths are instructing us to start and end the month of Ramadhan after witnessing the moon. For example, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Start the fasting after sighting the moon and end the fasting after sighting the moon. If it is masked from you then complete 30 days of Sha’ban.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

But he also made it clear that the reason behind the instruction of not relying upon (astronomical) calculations was the illiteracy of his people and their ignorance of mathematical and astronomical calculations.

Narrated Ibn-e-Umar: “The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘We are an unlettered nation. Neither do we (know how to) write nor calculate. A month is such and such and such.’ (Saying that thrice he showed all his fingers of both hands twice while) on the third time, he closed his thumb (showing only nine fingers. The total thus indicated 29 days in a month). Then he said: ‘A month is such and such and such. (This time he showed thirty and did not close one finger the third time). It means the complete 30 days. It means that sometimes a month is 29 and sometimes 30 days”. (Bukhari, Muslim)
It is evident that the Prophet (pbuh) explained to his people that since they were unlettered and did not know a system of accurately calculating the occurrence of a new moon, the surest way for them was to rely on the physical sighting. A general rule of the Qur’an is ‘The conjecture avails nothing against truth’ (53:28). They were instructed to desist from conjectures and the most reliable way of knowing about the truth (the occurrence of moon) was to actually witness it. The Prophet (pbuh) did not claim that all future Muslims would be unlettered. There had to be pioneers of mathematics and astronomy among the Muslims. The above Hadith indicates that if there is a more reliable method of knowing the occurrence of the moon, based on calculations, it should be followed. The real emphasis is on not starting the month earlier than its actual beginning rather than on the actual sighting of the moon.
The Qur’an told us: “(He has created) the sun and moon for the reckoning (of time). Such is the ordinance of the Exalted in power, the Omniscient” (6:96). It also told us that the orbits and course of sun and moon are fixed. “The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed (55:5) It may be deduced from these two verses that the results of computing days and time can not have any amount of error if the exact course of the sun and moon are known and there is no mistake in calculations.
Following this order we rely upon the predetermined timings of Salat and Saum, based on astronomical calculations, all over the world. Nobody insists on actually seeing the sunrise and sunset for starting and breaking the fast. But when it comes to relying upon calculation for the occurrence of the new moon, those Hadiths are quoted
which emphasise upon actual sighting of the moon. I have already explained above that those orders were limited to that time when there were no absolute means of calculations available. The prediction of the occurrence of the moon when there were clouds on the horizon in those days would have amounted to following the conjecture. The truth was to actually witness it. Today the truth is evident and can be known with the help of accurate astronomical calculations.
It is not that we mistrust astronomical calculations today. We believe the predictions about solar or lunar eclipses. The experience proves that those predictions are true to the precision of a millionth part of a second.
It is also not true that our Ulemas totally disregard the astronomical phenomenon in respect of the new moon. Today it is being accepted that the announcement of a new moon can be made if it was witnessed in nearby towns. It is also being realized today that the report of the occurrence of the moon at a place shall amount to its occurrence in all the towns westwards situated on the same longitude. What is surprising is that even those scholars who have knowledge of the orbits of the sun and moon are apprehensive about relying upon the calculations for the appearance of the new moon. Their apprehension is mainly based upon the fact that the geographical or astronomical new moon is not sightable and it is different from the Arabic word ‘Hilal’ used in Shariah. The Qur’an said: “They ask you concerning Hilals (new moons). Say, they are but signs to mark fixed periods of time for men…”
Explaining the dilemma Maulana Shams Pirzada wrote: “In Arabic, Hilal is that initial stage of the moon which is visible on the horizon. An astronomical moon that is not visible is not called Hilal. Its technical name is ‘New Moon’. The Qur’an has made Hilal, which is visible, and not the astronomical or computable moon, the basis of determining the date. (P9, Ruyat-e-Hilal Ka Mas’ala Aur Us Ka Hal)
Hilal is that state of the new moon which can be sighted by the average naked eye. But that too should not be a problem in our adaptation of a system that is foolproof and flawless. To understand this let me first explain briefly the phenomenon of the occurrence of a new moon.
The moon completes its orbit around the Earth in 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes 3 seconds. In every cycle, it passes through a spot between the sun and the Earth. On this occasion, the light of the sun falling on the moon is not visible from any part of the earth as it is on the face towards the sun and away from the earth. This presence of the
sun and moon in the same line as the earth is called a “conjunction”. As soon as the moon leaves the conjunction, it can technically be seen from the Earth. The state of the moon at that moment is called New Moon. But practically the moon is not visible without the aid of the latest gadgets till 8-10 hours after the occurrence of the astronomical new moon because the light of the sun is too bright for the moon to be visible when it is in the vicinity of the line of conjunction.
The moon can be sighted after 8-10 hours of the occurrence of a new moon from those parts of the earth where the sun has set. There also, it remains visible for a few minutes before itself being set. The moon moves one degree away from the line of the sun in two hours. It moves 4 degrees away in 8 hours. Astronomical experts are
unanimous that it cannot be visible till it is at least 4 degrees away from the line of the sun. If there is will, the experts in consultation with Fiq’h scholars can fix the time duration after the new moon when it would be visible to the average naked eye. At that moment in all those places on Earth where the sun has set, there would start a new lunar date.
For the purpose of computation of the occurrence of Hilal at a particular place, the longitude, latitude, and also altitude (from sea level) of that place will have to be considered. Other considerable factors, if Fiq’h scholars deemed fit, would be the duration of its visibility before being set after the sunset. For example the Fiq’h
scholars may arrive at a decision that the moon should remain visible for at least 5 minutes before being set after sunset.
Based on these calculations, the tables for the occurrence of Hilal for all the towns can be made and printed for circulation in advance just as we have the timetable of fasting times and Salat times for all the towns of the world. After that exact knowledge, it would become a conjecture if the Ramadhan or Eid were announced at a place on the basis of news from an adjacent town to its west.
On our past experience and the continuously changing tones, each year over the application of scientific means, I am sure that Ramadhan and Eid would be held on the basis of exact advanced information in not too distant future. However till a collective decision is made in this regard, the individuals must follow the prevalent system, as these occasions are congregatory in nature and spirit.

Issue of toilets in the mosque premises

Q. Please clarify if the mosque toilets can be placed on the other side of the mosque wall. Also please clarify if we can pray on the mosque’s first floor if the toilets are situated on the ground floor. Please note that no ventilators or windows are provided for the toilets on the mosque wall or on the first-floor roof slab.
-Sulaiman A Karim 


Only that area is a mosque, which is reserved and fixed for prayers. Other amenities like the retiring rooms of Imam and Muezzin, place of ablution or toilets etc are not included in the mosque though they may be owned by the mosque management and situated within the mosque compound. Toilets are a necessity. They can be built
anywhere within the mosque complex or outside. Precaution however must be taken that the foul smell should not reach the mosque area reserved for the prayers. If the site is such that the foul smell of the toilets cannot be avoided from reaching the mosque area, then the toilets should not be built. The Prophet (pbuh) avoided the use of even the permitted eatables like onions to keep the unpleasant smell away during the prayers.
There is no harm in reserving the 1st
floor for prayers if the toilets are built on the ground floor provided the smell does not reach the 1st floor. In that case, only the first floor of the complex shall be considered as the mosque area.

Significance of the night of 15th Sha'baan/Shab-e-Bar'aat

Q. I have received conflicting opinions by mail on the importance of the 15th night of Sha’aban. Some recommend prayers on the night and fasting on the day, while others oppose it on the ground that all the Hadiths describing the significance of the night are weak. Can somebody through some light on the truth?
[email protected]


It is an accepted principle that no Dha’eef (weak) Hadiths can be discarded or disregarded if it is not contradicted by Nas-se-Sahih (a clear Qur’anic injunction or a Sahih Hadith). Ibaadat or worshipping on the 15th night of Sha’ban is not obligatory but they transgress those who oppose it. Please understand that the narrations called Hadith are factually of only two kinds, true or false. Either the Prophet (pbuh) acted or advised likewise or he did not. Only in ascertaining whether a Hadith is true or false, we consider a third option that may be called as ‘NOT SURE’. The scholars and researchers of Hadith have divided this NOT SURE category into Hasan, Dha’eef, Ghareeb, Shaaz, Mahfooz, Munkar etc. according to the grades of the probability of surety. When we say that a Hadith is Dha’eef, it means that it cannot be absolutely guaranteed that the Hadith is true but it cannot be termed as false either. In other words, it means that there is a probability of its being true. No one has a right to advise against it
unless the theme of the narration is against a Nas-se-Sahih, a Qur’anic verse, a Sahih Hadith or an accepted principle of Shariah.
In light of the above discussion, the following may be the position of different groups in the said matter.
Those who pray and ask forgiveness on the 15th night of Sha’ban and fast on the day:
They commit no wrong if the weak narrations regarding the night were infact false. They will surely be rewarded if not especially rewarded. On the other hand, if the narrations were actually true, they shall be significantly rewarded as promised.
Those who do not pray on the night and fast on the day:
They commit no wrong but they should expect no reward for sleeping in the night.
Those who stop others from (especially) praying at night:
They may be guilty of grave transgression if the Dha’eef Hadiths 

Q. Please explain in detail the authenticity of Shabe Barat in the light of Quran, Hadees and Seerah.
-A. Rehman Siddiqui


In Arabic, Bara’at means forgiveness and pardon. The night of the 15th of Sha’ban (the night between the 14th and 15th) has come to be known as Shab-e-Bara’at, the night of pardon from sins, probably because of a Hadith recorded by Imam Tirmizi.
There is nothing about this night in Qur’an. Imam Tirmizi has recorded the following Hadith:
“Narrated Hazrat Ayesha that one night (she awoke and) she did not find Prophet (pbuh) (in his bed). She went out (to search for him) and found him in Baqi’ (the graveyard in Madina)… The Prophet (pbuh)
said: On the night of the 15th of Sha’ban, Allah descends to the lowest of skies and grants pardon to the people more than the number of hair of the goats of Kal’b tribe.” (Tirmizi)
After recording the above Hadith Imam Tirmizi wrote the following note underneath:
“Hazrat Abu Bakar has also reported to have narrated such Hadith… I have heard Imam Bukhari saying that this Hadith is Za’eef as Hajjaj, one in the chain of its narrators is Za’eef (less reliable).
(Tirmizi; Abwab-us-Saum).
However, since according to the findings of the scholars, the above Hadith is only Za’eef (not fully reliable) and not Maudhoo’ (False), there is a chance of its being reliable. The principle laid down by the Fiq’h scholars is that a Za’eef Hadith is to be followed if nothing contradictory is found in Qur’an or any other Sahih (absolutely reliable)
Hadith. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the night should be spent asking forgiveness especially when other Hadiths are verifying it. There is a Hadith recorded by Ibne Maja that Hazrat Ali narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Offer Salat on the night of 15th Sha’ban and keep fast in the day. Allah descends to the sky of the earth after sunset on this night and says: Beware! Is there someone who asks forgiveness so that I forgive him? Beware! Is there any seeking the countenance so that I bestow on him? Beware! Is there any in trouble so that I rid him of it? Beware! Is there such and such etc? It goes on till there is Faj’r.” (Ibne Maja)
Following is another Hadith from Ibn-e-Maja:
“Narrated Abu Musa Ash’ari that the Prophet (pbuh) said: Allah pays (special) attention to the people of the world on the night of 15th of Sha’ban and grants pardon to all (seeking His pardon) except those who ascribe partners to Him and those who keep grudge against others in their heart.” (Ibne Maja)
Some traditions stating that the fate of individuals, groups and nations is decided and sealed on this night, can be ignored as they contradict Qur’an. Qur’an has described the allocation of fate in Shab-e-Qad’r (97:1-4 & 44:3-4), which falls in the last one-third of Ramadhan.

Symbolic importance of the crescent moon in Islam

Q. I am a Geography teacher in Texas and I have a question. We are studying parts of the former USSR and several nations are primarily Islamic in faith. We notice that the crescent moon is on many of the flags and figured that it is some type of symbol for your faith, similar to the cross in Christianity. So my question is, what is the symbolic importance of the crescent moon?

-Jonathan Davis ; Texas 


There is no symbolic significance of the Crescent in Islam. No special event in Islamic history or faith is associated with it. People of Arabia had associated many superstitions concerning different forms of the crescent. The answer of the Qur’an to them as well as to your question is the same: “They ask you concerning crescent. Say, they are but signs to mark fixed periods of time for men…” (2:189). 

With crescent, starts a new month of the Islamic calendar and it is religiously important for Muslims to keep track of moon cycles as fixed dates of the year are set for rituals like fasting and Hajj. Qur’an has recognized the importance of both solar and lunar systems of reckoning of time. “The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed (55:5) and  “(God has created) the sun and moon for the reckoning (of time). Such is the ordinance of the Exalted in power, the Omniscient” (6:96). The length of a day is to be counted on the basis of the earth’s revolution around its axis. Each new date starts with the sunset. The months are to be reckoned on the basis of the cycles of the moon, so the Islamic rituals gradually rotate in all the seasons of the year for the people of the northern and southern hemispheres. A lunar year as you know is about 10 days shorter than the solar year. The length of the fasting time (from dawn to sunset) in a day in the fasting month of Ramadhan when drinking water is also prohibited during fasting, also gradually varies, with each year, for all the people of the earth. If the fasting was observed in a solar month, say January, then the length of fasting time in a day for the people of the northern hemisphere would always be shorter than for the people of the other half. The thirst for water will be no problem for northern people while their counterparts will always observe fasts on longer days of fierce summers.

Keeping track of a crescent is more important for Muslims than any other religious community that follows the lunar calendar for their religious occasions. Fasting for consecutive 29 or 30 days is compulsory for all Muslims in the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar. The first date of the month starts with the sunset and Taraveeh (Additional long prayers in the 9th month named Ramadhan) have to be started a short while after the start of the date, the start of the month must be known precisely. The crescent is visible only for a short duration after sunset on the first date of the new lunar month. On its first date, the moon sets only a little after sunset. Sometimes because of its faint light and sometimes because of clouds or dust, it cannot be seen. The occurrence of a crescent may not necessarily be announced on the basis of news from other places, as for people on eastern longitudes it might not have occurred before the moonset time while those in the west had witnessed it. By traditions, the Muslims have been relying on actual sightings of the moon for starting their month of Ramadhan. Similarly, the first date of the 10th month is their festival of ‘Eid’. It is obligatory that nobody keep fast on the day of Eid. Muslims all over the world anxiously try to see the moon on the evening of the 29th day of fasting in Ramadhan. Where it is not visible, the month of Ramadhan is taken as 30 days for that place.

I have explained above, the significance of tracking the crescent for observing the religious rituals and feasts in Islam. It does not assume any symbolic significance of any kind whatsoever. There are no such symbols representing Islam like in almost all other religions. When the seat of power of the Islamic world shifted to Turks from Arabs, and Muslim dynasties spread in Central Asia and other parts of the world, many people under the cultural influence of other religions, felt the need for a distinct symbol. They started using crescent as their distinct mark. The use of the crescent as a mark by some people is a gradual innovation instead of being associated with any tenet or historical event of Islam.      

Issue of sex during Ramadhan

Q. Can we have sex with our wives in Ramadhan?  If yes then when should we have the bath? What about the Sehri and Fajr prayers?

-M. Aamir ; Delhi ; [email protected]


Be it Ramadhan or any other month, sex during the fasting hours when one is on fast, is prohibited. There is no bar on sex from sunset to dawn in Ramadhan. If one had sex during the permitted Ramadhan hours, the fast is not affected even if he does not take a bath before the close of Sehri time. However, the Salat of Faj’r has to be offered and the Salat is not permitted in the state of needing a bath. Therefore, when the bath becomes obligatory, one should fulfil it before the time of the next Salat has expired, irrespective of any month.

Where to spend interest money?

Q. As we are in business it is really impossible to keep out of interest though I must mention that we do not take interest at all but have to give interest.  I must also say that we have invested in various govt. bonds for legal purposes and the interest money from that is kept separate from our household and personal expenses.  So where all can we give the interest money? Can we give bribes etc. and also airport taxes, visa exp., to Madrasas (no money to Masjids), Zakat (additional apart from the normal one which is due from us)? I hope the rest you will advice.

-M. Aamir ; Delhi ; [email protected]


Such interest money may be used to ward off unjust and illegal harassment against you. It should not be used as bribes in promoting those of your interests, which are unjust, for then it will be at least a threefold offence: The unjust cause, the bribe and the voluntary use of the interest money. Its use in paying your legal taxes and dues is not permitted. Once you have paid Zakat, all kinds of other alms do not fall in the category of Zakat. Most Ulema recommend that money obtained as involuntary interest should be spent on any good cause without the Niyat (intention) of earning Sawab. It may be donated to the poor or Madrasas without any Niyat of Sawab

Are Allama's Answers based on Ahl-e-hadith maslak?

Q. I have sometimes noticed that the answers you give are quite similar to that of the people who are called the Ahle-Hadis. Please tell me who are these people or sect.

(M. Aamir ; Delhi ; [email protected])


We do not stick to any particular Fiq’h school while answering the question. We consider and prefer the opinions of different Imams in different matters. In this regard, we are guided by Qur’an, Sunnah, common sense and logic. We also consider the relevancy of one application of the principles of Shariah against another in today’s circumstances. Naturally, sometimes our opinions also tally with those of the Ahl-e-Hadith group.

Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafai, Imam Maalik and Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal are the four great Fiq’h scholars whom a majority of Sunni Muslims follow in Fiq’h matters. Using their wisdom, these four scholars codified the Law in the light of the Qur’an, Sunnah, the practice of Sahaba (the Companions) and common sense. At times, they tried to find out the actual intention and spirit behind an action or order of the Prophet (pbuh) and applied the principle to arrive at a decision concerning a problem. Another major school of thought besides the above four among Sunnis is the Ahl-e-Hadith group which claims to follow the dictates of the literal words of Hadith. They usually disregard the logic and practice of Sahaba if they find a Hadith in some matter.

Both these groups produce genuine arguments for their line of thinking but the strictness of their attitude against each other in general, needs to be corrected. I relate here an event in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) that approves of the coexistence of both viewpoints. Immediately after the war of Ahzaab, the Prophet (pbuh), under instruction delivered by Hazrat Jibriel, decided to deal with Banu Quraidha, a Jewish tribe who had ditched him amid Ahzaab by breaking their contract of support for Muslims. While he moved towards Banu Quraidha with his troops, he sent a small unit of Sahaba ahead of the army to secretly watch the activities of the tribe. He

instructed them to move fast and told them that they should perform the Salat of As’r at a particular place near the settlement of Banu Quraidha. They rushed but before they could reach the specified spot, the time of As’r was running out. There arose a difference of opinion between the two about performing the Salat on time. Some of them

said that the Prophet (pbuh) actually meant that they should move so fast as to reach there before sunset. When he instructed them to offer Salat of As’r at the destination he did not mean that they should not offer Salat on time if they could not reach there on appointed time despite their best efforts. Others said that they would follow the words of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) alone knew of his intent and it was not for them to interpret the spirit behind the order. They would perform the Salat at the appointed place even if the time of As’r expired. So some of them stopped and performed the prayer while the others deferred the prayer till they reached the destination. When the incident was reported to the Prophet (pbuh) he kept silent without commenting. The scholars interpret his silence as the approval of both i.e. those who follow the letter and those who try to find out and follow the spirit.

Repetition of Surah during taraweeh by Women

Q. Women who do not go to the mosque offer Tarawih Namaz at home. The 2 Rakat at a time, 20 Rakat in total. The last 10 Sura of the Quran is recited twice, once in the first 10 Rakat and then again in the last 10 Rakat. But I do not find any such method in Sahih-al-Bukhari. Please enlighten our knowledge in the light of Quran & Hadis.


Though the Prophet (pbuh) himself used to complete the Qur’an once in Taraveeh, which he offered alone at his home and Hazrat Umar during his reign established the system of finishing the Qur’an in Taraveeh, there is no instruction from the Prophet (pbuh) to this effect in particular.

The Salat of Taraveeh is a Sunnah in Ramadhan. Finishing the Qur’an in Ramadhan at least once is also a Sunnah. Therefore it is preferred, thus Hazrat Umar established this practice that the Qur’an should be completed at least once in Taraveeh. Not most of the Muslims are Hafiz. Their Qur’an is completed by listening to it behind the Imam of Taraveeh. In most mosques, when the Qur’an is finished in Taraveeh before the end of Ramadhan, the Hafiz specially appointed for the purpose takes leave and a non-Hafiz leads the people in Taraveeh. Since the last 10 Surahs are remembered by most people, the system described by you has been devised for Taraveeh for the rest of the Ramadhan days in those mosques where the Qur’an has been completed once. There is nothing wrong with it. Did you find in Sahih-Al-Bukhari, any particular system of recital of the Qur’an in Taraveeh?

Women’s Salat at their home is preferred. As it is seldom that a woman is a Hafiz, she cannot complete the Qur’an in Taraveeh. She may complete it by reading from the printed Qur’an in other hours to fulfil the Sunnah.

She may also follow the system devised for men in mosques where the Qur’an has once been completed in Taraveeh.

Use of the telescope or helicopter for sighting the new moon.

Q. 1 Kindly elaborate on your views on the use of the telescope for sighting the new moon.

(A. Basheer Ahmed; Bangalore)


1. Hilal, in Arabic, is not the astronomical new moon but the crescent that can be sighted by the average naked eye. The actual astronomical new moon cannot even be seen with the help of ordinary binoculars. If the use of binoculars is permitted the question will arise- how powerful that binocular should be. With the most advanced scientific binoculars of the astronomical observatories, it can be seen even a few minutes after its actual occurrence, which in any case is not Hilal. So the intent of Shariah is the occurrence of that moon which can be visible with the help of the normal eyesight of a human being. When such a state is reached for a particular place, whether it is necessary to actually witness it or other means of information including computation can be used is another issue which has been discussed elsewhere.

Q.2 Some people advocate the use of helicopters for sighting of new moon of Ramdhan. Is it permitted?
(M. Tauseef ; Durg)


2. No. A specific opinion about the use of scientific means should not be made by those who do not understand the implications of the phenomenon involved. The geographical and astronomical calculations change with the change in altitude of a place. The moon can be sighted from higher places while it actually would not have occurred for lower plains. If we go still higher in space, moving away from the line of the earth and sun, the moon can be sighted even when it is in conjunction with the sun, i.e. when it cannot be seen from anywhere on earth. Both lunar and solar time and date calculations change with the altitude. It is normal and practical to go up to rooftops whose change of altitude is negligible in such calculations but the use of a helicopter will change all parameters and it should not be permitted.