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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why Muslims should not celebrate birthdays?

ANSWER: Let us look at how birthdays started and where did this practice orginate? I took the following quotes from one website, but there are still many more which explain more or less the same theme. Please read and note the words we've highlighted in bold:

The German periodical "Schwäbische Zeitung" (magazine supplement Zeit und Welt) of April 3/4, 1981 on page 4 stated: "The various customs with which people today celebrate their birthdays have a long history. Their origins lie in the realm of magic and religion. The customs of offering congratulations, presenting gifts and celebrating - complete with lighted candles - in ancient times were meant to protect the birthday celebrant from the demons and to ensure his security for the coming year. . . . Down to the fourth century Christianity rejected the birthday celebration as a pagan custom."

The book The Lore of Birthdays (New York, 1952) by Ralph and Adelin Linton, on pages 8, 18-20 had this to say: "The Greeks believed that everyone had a protective spirit or demon who attended his birth and watched over him in life. This spirit had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born.

The Romans also subscribed to this idea. . . . This notion was carried down in human belief and is reflected in the guardian angel, the fairy godmother and the patron saint. . . . The custom of lighted candles on the cakes started with the Greeks. . . . Honey cakes round as the moon and lit with tapers were placed on the temple altars of [Artemis]. . . . Birthday candles, in folk belief, are endowed with special magic for granting wishes. . . . Lighted tapers and sacrificial fires have had a special mystic significance ever since man first set up altars to his gods. The birthday candles are thus an honor and tribute to the birthday child and bring good fortune"

This same book, on page 20, also had this to say about the traditional greeting of 'Happy Birthday': "Birthday greetings and wishes for happiness are an intrinsic part of this holiday. . . . originally the idea was rooted in magic. The working of spells for good and evil is the chief usage of witchcraft. One is especially susceptible to such spells on his birthday, as one's personal spirits are about at the time. . . . Birthday greetings have power for good or ill because one is closer to the spirit world on this day."

And Horst Fuhrmann, professor of medieval history at the University of Regensburg, made this comment about birthdays: "The birthday celebration was in honor of one's guardian angel or god, whose altar was decorated with flowers and wreaths; sacrifices were offered to the god of festival, friends offered congratulations and brought gifts." Furthermore, he stated in the German newspaper "Süddeutschen Zeitung": "Great prominence was given to birthday parties held for the emperor, replete with parades, public banquets, circus plays, and the hunting of animals: spectacles disgusting to the [early] Christians."

Then where did birthday celebrations come from? The astonishing answer is from the pagan practice of astrology! Thousands of years ago, when men looked up into the night sky and charted the stars, they invented calendars and calculated the birth dates, to the very hour, of kings, rulers and their successors. These ancient pagan astrologers meticulously examined horoscopes and birthday omens because they believed that the fate of the rich and powerful might affect an entire society. Even to this day, men have been putting their trust in horoscopes instead of God.

In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs ordered businesses to close on their birthdays and gave enormous feasts for hundreds of servants. In ancient Greece, wealthy males joined birthday clubs composed exclusively of men who shared their birth date. Once a month, the club celebrated with a feast. When a member died, he left money to help pay for future parties. In Persia, noblemen observed their birthdays by barbecuing an ox, a camel and a donkey and serving hundreds of small cakes to the celebrants.

In ancient Rome, the emperor gave huge parties in honor of his own birthday, which included parades, circuses, and gladiatorial combat. The celebration of days was so important to the average Roman citizen that the Roman calendar designated a majority of days for some form of celebration—including many birthdays of gods and famous men.

The Roman calendar, with its emphasis on continual celebration, has had great influence on modern society. Consider the following quote about the origin of the Roman calendar:

“Our [Roman] calendar is not Christian in origin. It descends directly from the Egyptians, who originated the 12 month year, 365 day system. A pagan Egyptian scientist, Sosigenes, suggested this plan to the pagan Emperor Julius Caesar, who directed that it go into effect throughout the Roman Empire in 45 B.C. As adopted it indicated its pagan origin by the names of the months—called after Janus, Maia, Juno, etc. The days were not named but numbered on a complicated system involving Ides, Nones, and Calends. It was not until 321 A.D. that the seven-day week feature was added, when the Emperor Constantine (supposedly) adopted Christianity. Oddly enough for his weekdays he chose pagan names which are still used.” (Journal of Calendar Reform, Sept. 1953, p. 128.)

Modern birthday parties and celebrations by children take their form mainly from Germany, where the birthday child received gifts, chose a menu and received a candle-ringed butter or jam cake. The lighted candles for the cake may have originated from the birthday of the Greek moon goddess Artemis. Pagan worshippers honored her every month with moon-shaped honey cakes. Because the moon glows with light, the cakes were decorated with lighted candles.

Saying “happy birthday” to friends and loved ones was society’s superstitious way of protecting them from evil spirits. Birthday thumps, bumps, pinches, etc., were said to bring luck and send away evil spirits. Party snappers, horns and other noisemakers were also intended to scare off bad-luck spirits.

It should now be clear that birthdays are not only unbiblical, they are pagan!

The above proves that birthday parties represent a custom that came from the pagans of former times. It involves belief in demons, evil spirits, magical spells and so forth Therefore, it is not permissible for a Muslim to indulge in such celebrations. The Holy Quran states: "What, do you seek the practice of the Days of Ignorance? Who can be better as regards religious law than Allah, for people who have faith?" (Surah Maa-idah)


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Martyred for Her Hijaab

The brutal murder of 32-year old Marwa EL-Sherbini in a German court, by a German savage seems to have slipped by mainstream media without even raising an eyebrow. Yet this was a typical case of religious terrorism that the West and its propagandist media so ardently condemn. Of course, by the rules of Western hypocrisy, the definition of terrorism depends entirely on who the victims are.

For years now we have reminded readers of how cheap Muslim blood is in the eyes of the West. The barbaric slaying of this young mother is another ominous reminder of this harsh and evil reality. Had the roles been reversed, with the victim being a white western female and the killer a Muslim, the incident would have grabbed world headlines like never before. It would have been the sensationalism that newshounds thrive on. Be that as it may, the tragic murder of 3-month pregnant Marwa remains a reality that cannot be reversed. We take solace in the fact that she died a Shaheed.

Inna Lillahi wa Inna ilayhi Raji’oon.

Report One:

Marwa El-Sherbini (pronounced Ash-Sharbeeni) moved to Germany four years ago when her husband, Elwi Ali Okaz, an employee at the Institute of Genetic Engineering at Egypt’s Menoufia University, was granted a fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institut in Dresden. On August 21, 2008, El-Sherbini was spending the day with her then two-year old son at a playground in the Dresden suburb of Johannstadt. An argument ensued between El-Sherbini, whose head was fully covered with a scarf, and a man passing by who had insulted her - calling El-Sherbini an “Islamist”, a "terrorist” and “slut."

Angered by the incident, El-Sherbini filed an official complaint against the 28-year old man, referred to in public records as “Axel W”. The man, reportedly a Russian of German decent who immigrated to Germany in 2003, was fined 780 Euros ($1,100) by a local court for calling El-Sherbini a “terrorist." Records indicate he had expressed his dislike of Muslims at his original trial.

Axel W, however, appealed the fine, and a state court agreed to hear the case in Dresden in early July. Minutes before El-Sherbini was to testify at the hearing last Wednesday, “Axel W” attacked her inside the court room and stabbed her 18 times with a knife in front of her three-year old son.

El-Sherbini died of her injuries on the court room floor.

German prosecutors said that as El-Sherbini's husband came to her aid, he was also stabbed by the attacker and then shot in the leg by a policeman who initially mistook him for the attacker.
He is now in critical condition in a German hospital, according to El-Sherbini's brother. Tarek El-Sherbini told an Egyptian television station, “They thought that as long as he wasn't blond, he must be the attacker so they shot him.”

Prosecutors in Dresden have said El-Sherbini’s killing was a racial hate crime. According to an Associated Press report, Dresden prosecutor Christian Avenarius said that El-Sherbini’s assailer “was driven by a deep hate of foreigners” and that he “harboured a deep hatred of Muslims."

Report Two:

The appeal hearing started in the late morning of July 1, 2009. Eight persons were present in the courtroom: a panel of one professional and two lay judges, the prosecutor, Alex W. as the defendant, his defence counsel, El-Sherbini as witness for the prosecution, and her husband and son as members of the public. No security personnel was present and the pockets of persons entering the court building were not searched, as is usual in cases where no security problems are anticipated and no person under arrest is present After El-Sherbini testified, 28-year-old Alex W. leapt across the courtroom and attacked her in front of her husband and son. Alex W. stabbed El-Sherbini 18 times, killing her. Some witnesses allege that he shouted “You don't deserve to live” as he attacked her. A policeman who was in the court building testifying in an unrelated case was called to the scene and mistakenly wounded El-Sherbini's husband by a shot in the leg while the latter was attempting to protect his wife. He had already been critically wounded in the attack by stabs to the lung and hip and was in a coma for two days Emergency services were called at 10:26 and four ambulances were dispatched, but the victim died on the scene Alex W. was arrested on the scene and is being held on remand and investigated on a charge of murder. His trial is expected to be in late 2009 or early 2010. As of 11 July 2009 he had made no statement to investigators

Where, one wonders, are the fighters for justice, who could summarily mete out just deserts to this perpetrator of terror? This act of terrorism by the Russian-born German moron comes hot on the heels of another incident of religious bigotry in Europe, though not as disastrous in its consequences: the French President’s attack on hijaab.

In a display of uninhibited and intense hatred towards Islam, the French president Sarkozy brazenly and unashamedly attacked Islamic hijaab in public, making ill-conceived remarks that one can only expect from a man as immoral as this Sarkozy drunk.

Hatred has spewed from their mouths, and what the heart conceals is far worse.( Al-Quran)

We will, insha Allah, refute the false notions of these ignoramuses, who vilify and reject the wonderful teaching of Hijaab. In a separate publication we shall prove conclusively that hijaab is the gateway towards restoring female honour. For the time being, Muslims must realize that the only way to combat our antagonists is to produce abundant a’maal. Practicing on our beautiful Deen is the most potent way of silencing our critics. The more they attack the Divine Teachings of Islam, the more we shall strive to revive those teachings on a universal scale. Our noble deeds will shout out louder than the ill-conceived remarks and ridicule they heap on Islam.

It, thus, follows, that when hijaab is being made the target of attack, our sisters should begin donning the hijaab in their thousands. Let our actions speak louder than protests. In fact, protests are useless if not backed by action. A Muslim can wage endless protest action, but in the eyes of Allah such action is futile when the Muslim himself or herself is guilty of neglecting the injunctions of Allah.

Almighty Allah states in Surah Aala Imraan, verse 186: “You shall indeed be tested with regards to your wealth and your (own) selves; and you shall certainly hear a lot of hate speech from those who were given the book before you (Jews and Christians), and from the idol-worshippers. But if you adopt patience (by ignoring the hurt) and taqwa (by practicing on your Religion) then surely this ranks among the great deeds.”


Aafiya's Pain is Our Shame

By Yvonne Ridley

Dr Aafiya Siddiqui cut a lone figure as she slowly turned her head around to survey the packed courtroom in New York a few days ago.

With her sad brown eyes, she peered beyond her off-white veil and olive green jilbaab which covered her frail body.

May be she was looking for a friendly face, but with the exception of one kind individual, she was to find herself completely alone - and not for the first time.

The brutal truth is we Muslims - and I include myself in this - have once again abandoned her in her hour of need.

With the exception of her closest family, Aafiya was almost completely forgotten as the years rolled by following her kidnap and disappearance from Karachi in Pakistan in March 2003.

Her cries for help from the dungeons of Bagram, home to some of the most unimaginable cruelty, were ignored by her American tormentors.

But the harrowing images and piercing screams of Aafiya, were eventually recounted by those who survived the Bagram experience.

Aafiya was brought back into our conscious by ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg. Through his book Enemy Combatant and from the graphic accounts of other Bagram survivors who also heard her screams and by the few who saw her there we now know the mother-of-three was brutalised and tortured in Bagram.

One account comes from ex-Guantanamo and Bagram detainee Binyam Mohammed who has given me an irrefutable eye witness statement confirming Aafiya was held in Bagram.

We now know thanks to Binyam and other once lost souls, that Dr Aafiya Siddiqui is Prisoner 650, The Grey Lady of Bagram.

And as we edged closer to the truth about her detention Aafiya suddenly reappeared in Afghanistan where she was shot by US soldiers. The FBI concocted a story which fools no one but the US judiciary.

Despite the platforms we have shouted from, the letters we have written and the petitions we have signed, she is still in the hands of her tormentors.

And those Americans who are clearly responsible for her kidnap, torture, detention and shooting are hoping that we Muslims will eventually run out of energy and lose interest in the plight of Aafiya once more. And shamefully, they’ve just about got their wish.

As Aafiya interrupted court proceedings to firmly reject government allegations that she tried to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan, very few listened.

“I did not shoot anybody, and I did not fire at any body,” Dr Siddiqui, 37, told the District Court, which was holding the hearing to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.

Government psychiatrists claim she is faking symptoms of mental illness in the hope of avoiding a criminal trial set for in October.

But for this one account below, Aafiya’s court appearance would have gone unrecorded.

I want you to read his words, and be thankful there is still someone around who will stand up and defend his sister.

“Today, when Sister Aafiya came and sat covered in her off-white veil and a olive green jilbaab that covered her whole body except for her eyes, she turned back to see a court room filled with non-Muslims and only one Muslim. She glanced once past me and returned for a second look. Perhaps I was the only face she felt was not in there to harm her. That is how she feels towards everyone else including her own defense attorneys.

“As the proceedings went on, she broke her silence as well as the court rules and spoke in her own defense saying she never shot anybody, nor is she against America. America has been framed in a war because of a misunderstanding. She has knowledge of those who caused it and this knowledge she has is the reason that all this has happened to her, because they don't want anyone to believe what she has to say about them."

“She also complained about physical harm as recent as THIS MORNING in the form of ‘forced gynecological exams ordered by the court’ that left her ‘aching all over.

“Today's hearing was in order to determine whether she is fit to stand trial or not. While both sides argued back and forth, Dr. Aafiya broke in from time to time to correct misleading statements from the witnesses saying ‘I want the world to know this’ after she corrected the false information.

“One such outburst from her resulted in the judge being forced to break for 5 minutes so the defense is able to calm her down. When she came back, she said ‘this court is the worst court ever’. At one time she told the judge that she wanted to relieve her attorneys but the judge didn't take her seriously and asked the attorney speaking at the time to continue speaking.

“It's funny that the hearing is to determine whether Dr. Aafiya Siddiqui truly understands and comprehends what she says, but when she said I want to relieve my attorney now, the judge reacted as if she doesn't understand what she is saying and is psychotic. If that is the case then why not approve the defense's motion that she is in fact psychotic and as a result the case should be dismissed and she should be given medical help?

“We have 56 or so Muslim countries in the world but one Aafiya Siddiqui who has 5 years of her life declared "missing" sat in her chair surrounded by non-Muslims, sympathetic and non sympathetic HELPLESS.

“No one from the Muslim leaders is able to pick up the phone and give a stern notice along the lines of ‘hands-off Afia Siddiqui’. Perhaps this is because many of them are oppressors and crooks themselves, and if they say something, Americans will put them in their lowly place by reminding them of what the leaders themselves have done.

“It truly saddens my heart to see the helplessness of the Muslims that such an egregious thing is happening but no one who has power can take a stand against it.

(Muslims in America pave the power to do something about this; the only question is, will we? Time will tell. - MS).”

I really don’t know who is MS, but I am eternally grateful to the brother for being there for Aafiya, for standing by her while we have failed her so badly.

It is vitally important our dear sister knows that there are Muslims out there who do care for her and I would urge each and every one of you to write to her.

Avoid sending anything too detailed or political, just a little note or card to let her know we are standing by her.

And to those Muslim brothers and sisters in New York, I beg you please do all that you can for Aafiya.

New York is home to 1 million Muslims and more than 100 masjids. This is the city where Tableeghi Jamaat has strong footings, where Salafis and Sufis are active. This is the city where Shias have their huge centers and where Pakistani Americans have a population of more than 300,000.

Despite this only one brother showed up in court. Indeed the shame is on all of us. But it is not too late. Please, if you do nothing else today, do this ... send the sister a note, a card a letter and tell her she is not alone, that we will not abandon her, and that you love her for the sake of Allah Ta’ala for she is our sister in Islam.

Send your mail to:
P.O. BOX 329002

For the full story of Dr Aafiya Siddiqui


Fitnah of Abrahamic Creed

Another sign of decadence in Muslims belief is the new nonsense that some people have latched onto, the heretic idea of following “The Creed of Abraham” at the cost of dispensing with Shariah. Some Muslims are saying they follow the creed of Hazrat Ebrahim (alayhis-salaam) not the Shariah of Hazrat Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Let it be emphatically stated that such a belief renders one outside the fold of Islam.

This is akin to saying that one follows the Shariah of Eesa (alayhis-salaam) or Moosa (alayhis-salaam) and not the Shariah of Muhammad (alayhi-salaam). Is their any doubt in the kufr of such a person? A Muslim who professes belief in any creed or faith other than that of Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam has without doubt, become a murtadd and is absolutely out of the fold of Islam. This new-found ideology is a direct result of people attempting to interpret The Holy Quran according to their own whimsical understanding. In the last issue of Al-Farouq we highlighted the dangers of self-interpretation of Quran, and the fitnah that arises from drawing uneducated and ill-conceived inferences from the verses of Allah Ta’ala without professional guidance.

The concotors of this false belief fell into manifest error when they misinterpreted the term Millat that appears several times in The Quran and Hadith. For example, Allah Ta’ala says: “And follow the Millat of Ebraheem, pure in Tauheed.”
According to all the commentators of The Holy Quran, the millat of Ebraheem (Alayhis-salaam) refers to the Pure Tauheed that he practiced; a tauheed that eschewed all forms of idolatry and polytheism; a conviction in Allah’s Oneness that was unprecedented. Our Rasool sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was commanded to follow this Tauheed, and so was his Ummat. However, as far as Shariah is concerned, Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was blessed with the final and supreme Shariah that is enshrined in The Book of Allah and Sunnah of His Rasool. Hence Almighty Allah states in Surah Jaathiya, verse 18: “Then We established you on a Shariah in religious matters, so follow it and do not follow the desires of those who are ignorant.”

This Shariah comprises laws, rules, and regulations, that govern every facet of our lives as Muslims and followers of Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Our tauheed is rooted in the Oneness practiced by Ebraheem (alayhis-salaam); this tauheed remained unadulterated over the centuries. But the Shariah by which we are bound is that of Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Our Rasool sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: “I swear by The Being who controls my life, If Moosa (alayhis-salaam) was alive, he would have no choice but to follow me.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Bayhaqi)


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tafseer of Surah Shams Part Two

11. The Thamud (TRIBE) rejected (their Prophet) through their rebellion.
12. When the most wicked among them went forth;
13. But the apostle of Allah said to them: "It is a She‑camel of Allah! and (bar her not from) her drink!"
14. Then they rejected him (as a false prophet) and they slayed her. So their Lord annihilated them on account of their crime and made the punishment equal to all.
15. And He (Allah) does not fear its consequences.

Almighty Allah speaks of how the nation, Thamud rejected their Messenger (salutations be upon him) because of the rebellious and transgressing ways they had adopted. He subsequently afflicted their hearts with rejection of that guidance and faith which their Messenger had brought from Him.

“When the most wicked among them went forth” - The most wicked of this tribe was Qudaar bin Saalif the slayer of the camel. It is him to whom Allah refers in the verse: “So they called their friend, who then attacked (the camel) and butchered it.” This particular person was a man of noble descent, well respected and obeyed, and a leader among his people. Imam Ahmad reports that once the Messenger of Allah (salutations upon him) delivered a sermon and discussed the camel of (The Prophet Saalih), and its slayer. He then said: “When the most wicked among them went forth” A man who was of repute, influential and accepted by his tribe, set forth to kill the camel, a man of the calibre of Abu Zumu’ah.”

Ibni Abi Haatim narrates from Ammar bin Yaasir that the Messenger of Allah (salutations be upon him) said to Ali: “Shall I not inform you of the most wicked of people?” He said: “Please do!” He went on: “Two men: one is the blood-letter of the Thamud, the one who slayed the camel. The other is the man who shall strike you here (i.e. on the head) until this (i.e. the beard) is wet with your blood!”

“The Apostle of Allah” in the above verse is Saalih (upon whom be peace).

“It is the she-camel of Allah” - This means, be careful not to harm this camel.

“And her drink” - meaning: do not trangress with regard to the times of drinking, for she has an appointed day to drink, whilst you too have an appointed day to draw water.

“Then they rejected him and slayed her” - They rejected the message brought by him, thus precipitating the slaying of the camel. Allah had brought out this camel from solid rock as a sign of prophethood and proof against their rejection.

“So their Lord annihilated them on account of their crime” - In other words, their Lord descended His Wrath upon them, resulting in their total destruction.

“And made the punishment equal to all” - The chastisement was made to descend upon everyone equally. Qatadah says: When the slayer of the camel wrought his crime, the whole tribe, big and small, male and female, everyone supported him. So when they all participated in the killing of the camel, Allah brought upon them his destruction and made it common to all.

“And he does not fear its consequences” - Ibni Abbas t says: “Allah never fears any reprisal from anyone.” Dhahhak and Suddi say: “The man who killed the camel never feared the consequences of his action.” However, the first view is preferred because the context of the sentence attests to it.

And Allah knows best.

Part One


Interpreting the Holy Quraan: A Serious Anamoly

In recent times we’ve witnessed a steady increase in the number of modern organisations that encourage and promote self-interpretation of Quran and Hadith. This alarming trend is rooted in the concept of liberalism. People are exhorted to approach the Quran and Hadith with on open mind and free-thinking attitude. In an effort to propagate this ideology seminars and conferences are held throughout the world in which the main thrust is on a free-handed understanding of Quran and Hadith.

These seminars and work-shops are conducted by very eloquent speakers who appear to have attained the gift of the gab. They are fluent and flowing in expression, their fresh ideas appeal to the unwary audience. Furthermore, these proponents of modernity do not bind their attendees to the strict laws of Hijaab; hence we find men and women sitting in the same room albeit in different isles. Amidst all this we also have the factor of impressive degrees and high-sounding institutes. The shallow intellect of a layman is easily swayed under conditions such as these, especially when much leeway is allowed in Islamic practice.

Concepts such as the abandonment of Islamic headgear, trivialising of the so-called smaller sunnats of Islam, minimising the need for full hijaab, are easily embraced by Muslims in today’s society. Perceptions such as these form the ideal breeding ground for a quasi-reformation of Islamic belief and practice, ideals on which such organisations pride themselves. However, the point sorely missed by such thinkers and their followers is that revolution and reformation of Deen is neither possible nor acceptable when it comes at the expense of dispensation of the Pristine Teachings of Quran and Sunnah.

Islamic knowledge is the product of Divine revelation, and the correlation between knowledge and practice in Islam is entrenched. How then can Islamic teaching be imparted in an environment where the very tenets of Shariah are flouted? The purpose of true Islamic knowledge is to equip the learner with taqwa and adherence to the Sunnah. But this brand of teaching seems to create an acute aversion towards the Sunnah. Surely, something is wrong somewhere. An Islamic program of study is supposed to turn out true Muslims imbued with the spirit of Ieman. Again the paradox is too conspicuous to ignore.

In the process of so-called enlightened interpretation of Quran and Hadith, there are numerous dangers that threaten the very roots of this Ummah. One of them is freedom from being bound to a math-hab. When Muslims break out from the confines of a math-hab, they have paved the way for wholesale neglect of Deeni actions.

Another danger is that a free-style understanding of Quran and Hadith gives the laymen a false sense of competence that makes him or her feel independent of ‘ulema. This is a serious predicament that bodes disaster. The Ulema are the guides of this Ummat. It is the height of foolishness to dissociate from one’s guide. Either by design or accident, the consequence of such modernity in Islam is the alienation of the masses from the Ulema. This motive was first mooted by the British when they ruled vast tracts of Muslim land. Later on the Jews contrived to install a wedge between the Ulema and the Ummat. The enemies of Islam realised a long way back that the most effective method of stifling religious and spiritual progress among Muslims is to cut them off from their main source of knowledge, and that is the ‘ulema. Today, sadly, it appears we Muslims are our own worse enemies. We are doing the job for our antagonists. It is from within our own ranks where opposition to orthodox ‘ulema is being fermented.

But back to self-interpretation of The Quran. It has become almost fashionable among people of all walks of life to deduce and infer meanings from Quran and Hadith. The abundant availability of many Hadith works in English, as well as Quranic translations, appears to have suddenly given people a carte blanche to decipher the intricacies of the Holy Quran. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warned: “He who interprets The Quran without knowledge let him prepare his place in Hell-fire.” (Tirmizhi) Another hadith qualifies the term “without knowledge”. Also narrated by Imam Tirmizhi, it states: “He who interprets The Quran with his own opinion and is correct, has indeed erred.” This hadith makes two telling points: one, that personal or self-opinionated interpretation of Quran is regarded as interpretation without knowledge. The subtle but indisputable implication here is that knowledge means knowledge acquired through Divine revelation. For without such knowledge, it is impossible to fully understand and decipher the Purport of Allah conveyed through His Divine Speech. If we believe that The Holy Quran is the Eternal, Immortal, and Impeachable Speech of Allah, then by necessity we have to acknowledge that such Speech can only be defined and interpreted through Revelation. That Revelation is the Hadith of Allah’s Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), referred to by Scholars as revelation not recited (in contrast to Quran which is recited revelation).
The second important point conveyed in the above hadith is that regardless of how accurate one’s conjecture and opinion may be, one has still committed a grave error in rendering an interpretation based on personal opinion. Being wrong in spite of being right is only due to the false methodology employed with regards to interpretation and explanation of Quranic meanings.

In addition to the above, the hadith also sounds a sever warning. A reprimand of this nature is construed by Scholars as a prohibition of the haraam category. It can, therefore, be safely concluded that to attribute a meaning to any verse of the Quran or Hadith that stems from opinion and conjecture is a major sin and is tantamount to adulteration of The Holy Quran. Anyone who ventures to interpret Quran without support from authentic commentators and ‘ulema, is treading on extremely dangerous grounds.

The followers of Christendom committed the same blunder, but in far greater magnitude. They relied on translations of their holy scriptures, versions that underwent change after change according to the personal conclusions and opinions of Christian Scholars and Bible interpreters. Christianity lacked a codified system of exegesis that would provide for authentic interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. The result, as is clear to all, is the total distortion of Scripture and at times mutilation beyond recognition. Should this trend become vogue among the Muslim Ummah, then Allah forbid, our very Quran is in danger of adulteration and interpolation. It is precisely for this reason that Allah Ta’ala has established a Divine and perpetual arrangement for the preservation of Quranic Text and interpretation. This Divine Scheme is the continuous production of Ulema whose duty it is to safeguard Quran and Sunnah.

Muslim must understand that we are not ill-disposed to educating the masses about Islam and its complex system of rules and regulations. What we urge is that such teaching must be conducted within structures that maintain the orthodox values and ideals of Islam, the result of which learners of this system are driven towards practicing on The Quran and Sunnah.

In the final analysis, learning is just not for the purpose of learning; Islamic education is not imparted so that people can be capped with degrees, titles, and certificates. Ibni Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “Seek knowledge, seek knowledge. And when you’ve learnt, then practice.” (Musannaf of Ibni Abi Shayba) The ultimate aim of learning is to observe deeds that will draw one closer to Allah and His Messenger. If this objective is not realized through one’s learning, then know that somewhere something is drastically wrong.

We urge Muslims, in light of the hadith cited earlier, to refrain from attempting Quranic interpretation based on opinion, personal viewpoint, and conjecture. The ideal approach should be to understand the Holy Quran in the light of tafseer as rendered by the ‘ulema in this field, throughout the corridor of Islamic history. Furthermore, verses in The Holy Quran and Hadith that pertain to matters of Fiqh, should be practiced on as interpreted by the Scholars of one’s math-hab. Avoid fusion of conflicting thoughts and opinions, for this is the product of one’s personal and base desires, Allama Ibni Hajar Makki says: “Amalgamating the views of two math-habs results in following base desires (hawaa), and this, according to the Quran, is haraam.” (Rasmul-Mufti on Ibni Aabideen).

A hadith in Mishkatul-Masaabeeh states: “What you (reliably) know of the Quran, say it. And what you know not, leave that to the Aalim of the Quran”.

May Almighty Allah grant us true guidance and knowledge of Islam, aameen.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Important Rules on Talaaq (Divorce)

This article contains some important information regarding talaaq or divorce. There is much ignorance nowadays among both men and women regarding the Shar’ee Laws on divorce. It is, therefore, imperative that we take note of and understand the laws mentioned herein. All husbands should acquaint themselves with these rules, so as to avoid unnecessary strife and embarrassment among spouses.

Talaaq uttered in anger is valid. Our husbands and wives wrongly believe that if the husband issues talaaq in anger then it does not fall. This is totally wrong.
Some husbands believe that if the wife angers them, they can issue a talaaq to ‘frighten’ or ‘scare’ her. This belief too, is wholly incorrect. Such a talaaq is valid.

Three talaaq issued in one sentence is valid and breaks the nikah irrevocably. Here we encounter serious problems in our marriages. Husbands, out of anger or spite, or both blurt out three talaaq at one time. This is called a mugallazha talaaq and breaks the nikah in such a manner that the spouses cannot marry each other again. We urgently appeal to all husbands to exercise extreme caution.

It must be remembered that to utter three talaaq in one sentence is sinful and contrary to sunnah, but the nikah will definitely break. The Scholars of all four math-habs are unanimous on this. There is no difference of opinion on this matter. Some husbands utter three talaaq in one go, without thinking, then run to the Ulema for help. By then it’s too late. Then crying over spilt milk will be of no avail. The damage is done and the wife is forever haraam upon the husband. After having committed this colossal blunder, the foolish husband goes from the frying pan into the fire: he goes back to the wife and resumes living with her as if nothing has happened. Sometimes he might contrive to obtain a ruling from some obscure Moulana or Imam saying that only one talaaq has fallen and not three. The implications of this are very serious. On the basis of this obscure fatwa the man begins to live in zina, and children born from such a relationship are illegitimate.

Another bad scenario is the contriving of halaala by couples who are divorced in the above manner, where the wife is married off to another man, who sleeps with her, then divorces her (with prior arrangement) and after her iddat she comes back to her previous husband. Remember that such a halaala is sinful and haraam. If halaala goes through a natural process there is no sin. However in which ever way halaala took place, the husband will be allowed to re-marry the woman he had divorced thrice.
Talaaq via mobile text messages is becoming common. The law on this is that if a wife receives an sms of talaaq from her husband, she has to verify from him that a) did he type the message himself or did he dictate it to someone, and b) did he have an intention to divorce. If the answer to both these questions is ‘yes’ then indeed the talaaq is valid and binding. If the husband had written three talaaq then three talaaq will fall. So again, husbands should not wildly send off emails of talaaq to scare the wife. The talaaq will be effective.

Today many of our sisters are divorced but they do not sit out the iddat. Some of them are working so they continue going to work in spite of it being haraam for them to leave home during the iddat. Working is no excuse. In the first instance a woman should not even be at work. Secondly, the husband has to provide all her expenses during the iddat, so there should be no reason for her to work.

SOME AHADEETH OF RASOOLULLAH (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) ON TALAAQ “The most detested of halaal things by Allah is divorce.” (Hakim, Abu Dawood)
“Marry, but do not divorce (without a real need), for Allah does not love such men and women who taste a lot (i.e. they marry and divorce often).” (Tibraani)
“Women should not be divorced except for lewdness.” (Tibraani)
“Marry, but do not divorce, for the Throne of Allah shudders over talaaq.” (Ibni Adee)
“Those women who contrive to get talaaq, or force their husbands (by disobedience) to divorce them, are hypocrites (munafiqs).” (Nasaa-ee)
“If a woman seeks talaaq from her husband without a pressing need then the fragrance of Jannat becomes haraam upon her. (Ahmad, Haakim)
Another hadith has it that the most beloved to Iblees from among his army of devils are those who create enmity and division between husband and wife. (Muslim, Ahmad)

Divorce in the Shariah is only there to fulfill a need, and that need is to terminate the nikah when it (the marriage) has irretrievably broken down and there is no means of conciliation, and this after all efforts to bring the parties together again have failed.

The husband has been made the owner of three talaaq. But this does not mean that he must issue three and only then will the nikah end. Only one talaaq is enough to do the job. Since the purpose of talaaq is to fulfill a need as a last resort, the husband only has to pronounce talaaq once, and the nikah will be over. It is a totally false belief that only when three talaaq are issued does the nikah break.
If the husband has issued one or two talaaq, he has the right to take the wife back without making a new nikah while she is still in the iddat, irrespective of whether she wants to come back or not. In this particular case the wife has no say at all.
For a divorce to be effective it is not necessary that it must be in writing. A verbal talaaq, be it one, two, or three is effective and enough to sever the bond of nikah. It is wrong to believe that only a written talaaq is valid.

Similarly, the husband does not need to have the Imam who made his nikah in his presence when divorcing his wife.

There is no need for witnesses when issuing talaaq. When the husband utters a divorce, even if no witnesses are present, such a divorce is valid and effective according to Shariah.

If man lives away from his wife for a number of years, this does not automatically bring about talaaq. Talaaq only occurs when the husband issues it. Regardless of how long the husband stays away from the wife, no talaaq will fall. However, it is a major sin for a man to leave his wife and stay out of the home for long periods without supporting her or releasing her from nikah.

The husband may take her back in the iddat by saying verbally: “I have taken my wife back” or by a sexual advance such as kissing or sexual intercourse, etc. It is preferable, not compulsory to say he is taking her back in front of two witnesses. But after the expiry of the iddat, (when 1 or 2 talaaq were given) the husband and wife can only get back together again by making a new nikah with a new dowry. And this is if the wife agrees to come back. If the woman does not agree to come back after the iddat, no one can force her.

NOTE: In the Shaafi math-hab raj’at or revoking the talaaq only takes place verbally, not through sexual intercourse.

Fasakh means annulment. This can only be done on the basis of valid Shar’ee grounds. Our sisters must note that a wife cannot apply for an annulment just because she is unhappy with the husband or because she is tired of staying in the marriage. The grounds for seeking an annulment or fasakh are: Refusal by the husband to support the wife when he is by the means; continuous physical abuse; continuous mental and verbal abuse that has placed unbearable strain on the nikah; desertion by the husband who is then not traceable or refuses to respond to communication.
There is a lengthy process for fasakh, so wives should not think they can obtain a fasakh overnight. Organisations who grant fasakh at the drop of a hat are doing our couples a great disservice.


Tafseer of Surah Shams Part One

This is a Makki Surah and it has 15 verses

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
1. By the Sun and its (glorious) splendour.
2. By the Moon when she follows it.
3. By the Day when it displays the Sun’s brightness.
4. By the Night when it blankets the Sun.
5. By the Firmament and its (wonderful) construction.
6. By the Earth and how It has been stretched out.
7. By the Soul and That which proportioned it.
8. And inspired it with its good and bad.
9. successful indeed is he who purifies it.
10. And he has indeed failed who corrupts it.

“By the Sun and its (glorious) splendor” - Mujahid says: This means its light. And Qatadah says: Its “light” or “brightness” means the day itself. Ibni Jareer says: The correct interpretation is that Allah took an oath by the sun and its daylight, because the manifestation of the Sun’s rays is actually daylight.

“By the moon when she follows it” - Mujahid said: It follows the sun. And Ibni Abbas said: It (the moon) follows daylight. And Qatadah states: When the moon follows the sun during the beginning of the lunar month, because when the sun sets the crescent can then be sighted. And Ibni Zaid says: The moon follows the sun during the first half of the lunar month. Thereafter, the sun follows the moon for the second half of the month, while the latter remains in front of the former.

“By the day when it displays the sun’s brightness” - Mujahid says: It projects the Sun’s light. And Qatadah says: (This is found) when the daylight spreads around the Sun.

Some have interpreted this to mean: “By the day when it dispels darkness”, since the wordings indicate such a meaning. I (i.e. the author, Ibni Katheer): say: It would be preferable for the subscriber to this view to interpret the verse to mean: “By the day when it lights up the earth”. Then his interpretation in the following verse: “By the night when it blankets the sun” (meaning the night that envelopes the earth) would be correct and far more sound. Allah knows best. For this reason Mujahid stated: The statement of Almighty Allah “By the day when it lights up…” is exactly like the other statement of Allah “By the day when it shines” (Surah Al-Layl, verse 2) Ibni Jareer though has opted to refer the pronoun in all these verses to the sun, since its mention is continuous throughout.

“And he has indeed failed who corrupts it” - This corruption means spoiling the soul so that it becomes addicted to sin and abandons the obedience of Allah. Another possible meaning is: “Successful indeed is he whom Allah has purified.” “And he has indeed failed whom Allah has corrupted”; such is the view of Ibni Abbas.

Ibni Abi Haatim narrates from Abu Huraira, who says: “I heard the Messenger of Allah recite the verse: “And he inspired it with its good and bad”. Then he said: “O Allah! Grant my soul its piety, and purify it, for You are the Best to purify it. You are its Guardian and Master.” In another narration from Ayesha, it is reported that one night she woke to find the Messenger of Allah not in his bed. She groped around for him in the dark until her hand touched him while he was in prostration. He was saying: “O My Lord! Grant my soul its piety and purify it, for You are the best to purify it, You are its Guardian and Master.”

Another tradition: Imam Ahmad narrates from Zad bin Arqam who says: “The Messenger of Allah used to say: ‘O Allah! I seek protection in you from weakness, indolence, senility, cowardice, niggardliness, and from the punishment of the grave. O Allah! Grant my soul its piety, and purify it, for You are the Best to purify it. You are its Guardian and Master. O Allah! I seek your protection from a heart that has no fear, from a soul that gets no satisfaction, from knowledge that does not benefit, and from prayers that go unanswered.’ Zaid says: “The Messenger of Allah would teach us this prayer, and we are now teaching it to you.”


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Holy Name Muhammad

The Blessed name Muhammad appeared in the heavens and earth long before Nabi Aadam (alayhis-salaam) was created. Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Hazrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) saw the name of Our Master on every tree in Jannah, as well as on the tree of Sidratul Muntahaa. He also saw it written on the Arsh of Allah, as part of the kalimah Laa Ilaaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasoolullah.

When Nabi Aadam came down to earth, he felt uncomfortable and distraught in his new environment. Allah Ta’ala sent Jibreel to recite the Azhaan in his presence as a means of solace. In the Azhaan, the name Muhammad was mentioned twice. He asked Jibreel who ‘Muhammad’ was, and the latter replied: “This is the last Messenger in your progeny.”

An army of Muslims travelled to India for Jihad. They passed through a forest and came across a unique tree that had a red leaf. On this leaf, in white writing, was the kalimah LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH.

Another group of Mujaahideen passed through a village of idol-worshippers. They came across a strange rose tree that bore black roses of unique fragrance. On these roses, in white script, the following was written: LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH. ABUBAKR AS-SIDDEEQ. UMAR AL-FAROUQ. The narrator says that he though this was man-made, so he opened a rose that had not yet blossomed. To his amazement, the exact same words were inscribed inside this rose, as well as on several others.

Ibni Marzooq writes in his commentary on Al-Burdah that, ‘once we were caught up in a severe storm off the coast of India. After some turbulence and turmoil, our battered vessel ended up on an island. Exploring this island we came across a beautiful smelling red rose, and these words were inscribed on it in yellow writing:
The Key to entry into Eternal Paradise, from The Rahman and Raheem, is: LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH.’

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that one day, whilst the Sahaaba were sitting around the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi was sallam, a bird flew past and dropped an almond inside a shell. The Messenger of Allah picked it up and broke open the shell. He showed the Sahaaba the whole kalimah written unmistakeably on the almond inside.

All the above reports, and many more similar to these appear in Seeratul-Halbiyyah, volume 1.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Marital Oppression Under the Guise of Islam

The integration of contemporary society has brought in its wake an increase in inter-racial and inter-religious marriages. It is now quite common to find mixed marriages across the racial barrier involving men and women from different religions. The Islamic and Shar’ee implications that stem from this phenomenon are far-reaching and extremely important. We propose to discuss all this and more on mixed marriages later on in a separate publication, insha Allah. Right now, though, this article is intended to focus on one of the consequences arising out of a mixed union, and that is the gross contravention of the wife’s rights by husbands who pose as up-keepers of Shariah.

This scenario eventuates when a Muslim man marries a female who reverted to Islam. The newly converted Muslim has yet to acquire the elementary and very basic teachings of Islam, let alone understand the technicalities of an Islamic marriage and its consequences. Exploiting this ignorance of the new Muslim, some husbands commit clear-cut violation of her rights while all the while creating the impression that they are acting within the ambit of Shariah. They break all the rules in the book, and make it appear to the reverted Muslim wife that their actions are sanctioned by Islam. Who, one wonders, do they think they are fooling? It is the height of villainy to pass off one’s zhulm or oppression as a teaching of Islam. What message does this send out to new Muslims, or to non Muslims? A Muslims is supposed to be one who invites people to Islam through his actions. This is the hallmark of a real daa’ee. Instead, the actions of these hypocritical husbands only serve to create further confusion about our Deen, and make people more disillusioned. The noble institution of nikah has been reduced to a mockery by husbands out to simply satisfy their base desires.

Some of them will convert young Christian girls to Islam in order to marry them, and then, after having used and abused these naïve females, they abandon them, sometimes without even issuing talaaq. So the poor woman is then totally out on a limb: she has no husband, nor is she able to remarry. Eventually some of these females go back to their former religions and abandon the Deen of Islam. The husband who instigated this whole sorry mess must share the blame for this irtidaad or apostasy. Is this how Muslim men view the sacred union of nikah? What a shame that nikah has become a vehicle for men to satiate their lowly desires, by using innocent and gullible non-Muslim females who come into the Deen and into marriage with high hopes and aspirations. In some cases, reverted females were lured into marriage by incentives of money and good living, only to discover that the man does not even provide basic necessities. These new-Muslims have to actually go out and work to support themselves, thus bringing in its wake another type of corruption. Since they are new to Islam, these women are not grounded in the Islamic concepts of morality and modesty. Just as they had met their Muslim husbands on the streets and in workplaces, what prevents them from striking up another illicit relation in these places? This is the ideal recipe for marital disaster. Cases of this nature have occurred in the past, with devastating results.

When this happens, the husband then punishes her by withholding expenses, abusing her verbally or physically, or both, or by sheer blackmail because of her dubious past. The verbal abuse and insult goes to an extent where even the poor woman’s affiliation to Deen is questioned. She is made out to be the worst of creatures, and such is the incessant swearing and ridicule that the poor creature eventually starts believing that she is as bad or even worse than the husband says. Such mental abuse ranks among the worst forms of zhulm in Islam. If people like this die before taubah, they will have to pay dearly for such wholesale zhulm. Allah Ta’ala may forgive sins that remain between Him and man but will not grant forgiveness for sins involving the rights of His servants unless pardon is sought from the victims.

Foreign nationals are among the biggest culprits of such marital felony. Some of them marry and then disappear overseas leaving the revert wife totally deserted and lost. There is no contact for months, until suddenly one day the husband appears from nowhere. And that too, if the woman is lucky. Some of these callous and cruel husbands will not re-appear ever again, leaving the poor wife in limbo. She then has to solicit the help of ‘Ulema to annul the marriage so that she may marry again. In some cases these absconding husbands were contacted telephonically and asked about their intentions. They then arrogantly tell the wife: “do what you must do”, or. “you can go and get your fasakh”. These impertinent husbands have failed to fully grasp the sanctity of Islamic nikah, hence they pass such stupid and ill-conceived remarks. Again, what example are they setting to new Muslims? Convenience marriages are also casualties in this sordid affair.

Alhamdu-lillah, some of these female reverts become so staunch in Islam that they proudly claim, in spite of their husband’s recalcitrance, that they shall never leave Islam, and that the oppression of the husband will never cause them to sway from Deen. However, there are those who are not as firmly committed to Islam, and these poor women eventually drift back to kufr. The sin of them becoming murtadd lies squarely on the shoulders of the husband who had left them in a lurch.

The Holy Quran declares: “And treat wives with kindness and justice” (Surah Nisaa).