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West’s moral dilemma!

October 30, 2016

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Morality, in general, is a contentious subject but ironically, it becomes even more so in the Western setting for it is thought that i) they are the most righteous. ii) It is their right to set moral standard. iii) Elevated morality by divesting it from its bedrock– Religion. iv) Their standards should be emulated by all others.

Recently I was faced with two such issues and explaining them from an Islamic perspective, proved to be like fixing a square peg into the round hole of western morality. One was about the polygamy sanctioned in Islam and the other about the permissibility, of having intimate relations with the believing women, of the vanquished enemy, taken in as captives/enslaved —“What your right-hand posses”—Qura’an.

Polygamy, in western discourse, is an oft-recurring issue. This time, it cropped up as a fall-out of an Egyptian female professor Suad Saleh of Al-Azhar University’s interview aired on Egyptian T.V Al-Hayat. It was picked up and reproduced, with distorted English translation, by INQUISITR on 16th of January 2016. Offensive words were used to exploit and rile up public sentiments which; especially in the heavily charged atmosphere due to TRUMP factor, engendered the highest level of ISLAMOPHOBIA in the history of the USA.

My immediate response to the post was as under. (Edited for grammatical accuracy)

“Surprisingly Dr. Andrew Holt (An English-speaking Anti-Islam commentator exploiting and misleading the people) did not get appalled at the rampant fornication, infidelity and out of wedlock births in the western society but got appalled and concerned about the treatment of female POWs  in a very limited context of war. This clearly exposes the height of his hypocrisy. There has been hardly any war, in the human history, in which women have not been the worst victim of sexual abuse, including the most recent ones of Vietnam and Mid East; especially Iraq) If we do it with en-masse impunity across the board it is OK but if it is done in war situations on a minuscule level is too bad! Professor is simply playing insane to exploit the situation for his advantage. The situation explained by the lady professor is taken out of context for designed exploitation. Otherwise, in earlier scriptures, women have also been treated as the property of the man. In Islam, however, this treatment extended only to those who are taken as captives/slaves. It sure sounds heinous until thought through objectively; which is not as bad as sex slavery forced upon millions around the world for profiteering. It is actually a matter of perspective. It is objective for some and exploitative for the others. It’s positive implications, in  a particular, set of circumstances, however, cannot be overemphasized”

The theme of the interview was “expunging” the extramarital sex and Modern-day slavery; in the light of Islamic “Fiqh” (jurisprudence). For Muslim men are engaging in sexual slavery by buying slave women from poor countries,

Elaboration

The logic and rationale behind the permissibility of sexual relationship with captured women in war   are multifarious. The fact is that excesses are always committed in wars. Islamic laws, therefore, ensured the elimination of inevitably unbounded mistreatment through sanctification and accordance of rights; which were not even conceivable before Islam, as women were treated like a herd of animals. Slavery under Islam is distinguishable from usual slavery in the sense that it makes it incumbent upon the master to be fully responsible for all their worldly needs, under the concept called—“kafala” The master is permitted to have sexual relations with her but if she is not willing or comfortable then he is ordered either to marry her with another slave of her choice or sell her off. A slave woman cannot be forced to have sexual relations with the master. She also cannot be forced to have sexual relations with more than one man at a time. If a woman is captured along with her husband then that marriage remains intact and no one else can have sexual relation with her. Women other than people of the book are absolutely forbidden for such intimacy before their conversion, for which she cannot be forced. Raping a slave woman is a punishable crime like raping a free woman. ( Muwatta, Book 36,Chapter 16,Narration 14).  A child born to a slave woman (in whatever state, live, still, dead, premature) grants a special status of “UMM AL WALAD” (mother of a child) hence, she cannot be sold. She gets automatically emancipated at the death of her master even if he does not manumit her in his lifetime “… the very purpose of marriage is (to make) intercourse (permissible) but the purpose of possession (of slave-women) is not intercourse.” (Al-Muntaqa Sharah al-Muwatta, Darul Kitab al-Islami, Cairo, 1332 A.H. vol.4 p.82)

 

The concept of slavery sounds gruesome but justifies the end and purport; induces them to accept Islamic faith, which would necessitate either a formal marriage followed by complete integration into the family unit and society or freedom. A pertinent anecdote of the Prophet (PBUH) himself, who married slave or captured-in-war women, named “Juwairiyah”, “Qibtiyya” & “Safiyya” would invite a-man-of-intellect to reflect on this issue objectively. As a consequence, out of respect for “Juwariyah” becoming the mother of the faithful, more than 100 women of her tribe were also emancipated. Her father, who was the leader of his tribe, also became Muslim.

 

An important fact to be kept in mind is that in Islam there is no concept of “Rape” in a husband-wife relationship. A woman has to satisfy the sexual needs of the husband unless there is a permissible reason such as menstruation or some sickness etc. A slave woman, on the other hand, seems to have been given more latitude than a free woman. Needless to say, that master/husband has to be kind and compassionate (romantic, amorous) as is established by the Prophet (PBUH)’s Sunnah. Similar kindness has to be accorded to the Captured woman. It should also be borne in mind that Islam is a religion attuned to human nature. Human nature; tendencies and inclinations along with preemptive, preventive measures are, very much at the root of its injunctions. Excesses are committed in wars and would continue to be committed, despite UN Human rights and Geneva Convention declarations. Islam, therefore, has enforced a pre-emptive system, in the face of human frailties way before these declarations and laws were even conceived.

 

POLYGAMY

Polygamy had been rampant since pre-Islamic era. Prophet Solomon (R.A) reportedly had 300+ wives. Having a large harem of women/wives had been a norm. Polygamy, before 20th Century, had been in practice among Eskimos in Northern fringes of North America and Greenland when anyone hardly even knew about them. It is still practiced in North America and elsewhere in Americas; by Mormon and some other tribal communities. In the Middle East and Africa, it is a commonplace. It’s logical reason seems to be unbridled avarice and machismo. Then Arab and African tribal societies afforded it a political flavor; marriages began being solemnized for buying the loyalties of other tribes.  At the advent of Islam however; a limit of maximum four, at any given time, was set, thereby dispensing with the custom of numerous wives and countless children simultaneously.

Non-Muslims wonder and also object, that why it was not restricted to just one wife? Divine wisdom; in some matters challenges the objectivity of our ingrained ordinary beliefs; possibly for two reasons, either to leave us at the threshold of despair, rejection, and unbelief or, to transcend to a higher level of contemplation to appreciate the efficacy of Divine wisdom. Qura’an in Surah Nisa-4, V-129 clearly states that “you do not have the capacity to be judicious among your wives regardless of how sincerely you intend to. Therefore, do not lean towards one and neglect the other, leaving her hanging. And if you do the best you can God is forgiving and merciful”. It is also said in another verse # 3 of the same Surah that “if you fear that you won’t be able to do justice Just take only ONE

Great pioneering sociologist William Graham Summer in1906 explains the customs and traditions like this— “The right way is the way which the ancestors used and which has been handed down. The tradition is its own warrant. It is not held subject to verification by experience. The notion of right is in the folkways. It is not outside of them, of independent origin, and brought to test them. In the folkways whatever is, is right. This is because they are traditional, and, therefore, contain in themselves the authority of ancestral ghost. When we come to the folkways we are at the end of the analysis”

Herodotus—Greek author of First great narrative history wrote, which is also a recurring theme in the literature of social sciences— “Different cultures have different moral codes. What is thought right within one group may be utterly abhorrent to the people of another group, and vice versa” judging one right and other wrong means we have an independent standard. Whereas there is no such independent standard in reality; every standard is culture-bound.

These point of views (Divine wisdom expressed through human intellect) should be convincing enough to set aside the –vehement objection– as to why the polygamy, slavery, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) have not been outlawed in Islam in one strike. Slavery and FGM are not approved in Islam. Islamic injunctions on these issues are annihilative in essence.

In the case of polygamy, however; there are several logical arguments which could be offered in its favor; but most intuitive would be that, since man belongs to the larger group of social animals hence his natural tendencies “ought” to be in line with that of the group—multiple mates. This is probably why there have always been more women than men to meet this threshold. Man, from the known history of mankind, has been endowed with the head of the family and beholder of rationality status. He has also been enjoying the companionship of numerous women to satisfy his natural propensities. The limitation of one wife seems to be unnatural, counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

Deviation from this natural order is vividly evident in the moral decay of the western, artificially constrained one-for-one, societies. The number of wives in Islam however, was restricted to rational maximum “four” commensurate with the level of social developments and level of responsibilities at the same time. (Pattern of Prophet Mohammad {PBUH}’s marriages with, more than one widow, one older than him and a business woman, divorcees, pubescent girl etc, on the one hand, sets the standard for a successful marital relationship while, on the other, proves the efficacy of more than one wife).

 

 

Historical perspective of polygamy

 Antique Egypt Law: A man could marry more than one woman under some circumstances.

Babel Law: according to Hammurabi laws if a woman could not bear a child or had a serious disease the husband could have a concubine.

Chinese Law: If the wealth of the husband were sufficient, he could marry secondary wives. Antique Brahmans: According to the book Vishnu, men could marry one, two, three or more women in accordance with their classes. In the laws of Manu, the husband had to choose his first wife from the same social class; he could marry a woman of lower classes as his second wife. Ancient Iran: Polygamy was legal.

Under Roman Law: It was permissible to have a concubine, without a legal wedding.
In The Bible (Old Testament) It is stated that Prophet Dawood (David) married several women. In Old, Testament polygamy is also mentioned in several other places. Polygamy existed in Judaism.

 

 

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Psychological dimension of Qura’an

October 3, 2016

 

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Qura’an’s main emphasis is on the guidance of human behavior/actions. Guidance is dispensed, mostly through general, and a few specifically, absolute, injunctions. Specifically, absolutes injunctions are called “limits” (Hudood)–which are just five. In explanation of the verses a fair use of analogy/allegory has been employed to accommodate common man’s logic and reasoning—elaborated through Ahadith and Sunnah; (words and deeds of the Prophet Mohammad-PBUH). Qura’anic verses, Ahadith and Sunnah are further interpreted and explained, by the exegetes, with reference to their contextual background presenting a coherent and cosmic perspective. (Literal translation whereof otherwise, may be misleading).

 

The importance of guidance can be gauged from the very fact that God, in the very first Surah “Al-Fath” (The-Victory), Himself taught the man how to pray and ask for guidance—for it is an embodiment of all material and spiritual benefits here and hereafter.

 

In Islamic parlance, the process of guidance is three tiered.                                                                          The first degree of guidance is given to every created thing. Qura’an (20:50) “Our Lord is He who gave unto everything its nature, then guided it aright”. Qura’an (17:44) “And there is not a thing except that it exalts God by His praise, but you do not understand their way of exalting”

The second degree of guidance is given to rational beings only through the Scriptures and Prophets explaining it. It may be accepted by some and rejected by others-hence being believers or non-believers. The tertiary degree of guidance is limited only to the Prophets and Men of God. It is of the highest degree and unlimited. It is called “Tawfeeq” which cannot be refuted or repelled by any rational being. Although the first and third degree of guidance are direct; without the medium of scripture or the prophets, yet in a matter of gradual progression from second to the third level, a rigor of the second degree (following the scripture and Prophet) would be inevitable. (The best example of “Tawfeeq” would be the endowment of Prophet-hood to Mohammad—PBUH—as he was un-lettered therefore, taught everything as a “Tawfeeq” by God).

 

 

RIGHTS fall in two domains as bifurcated below.

 

 

  • Rights of God (Allah) &   2) Rights of fellow human beings.     

                                 

Rights of God (Hudood) are absolute. There is no choice endowed to any human being regardless of his status or station; for any addition, deletion, modification or mollification. For details access the link below.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/disjunctive-sequel-2/

 

Rights of fellow Human beings, on the contrary, are open to interpretations within the strictures of Qura’an, Hadith & Sunnah; available as a consensus of OPINIONS of the (competent) religious scholars. There is an avenue of “Ijtihad” (by the competent religious scholars of the highest eminence) also available to address new issues/situations, which have either, not been addressed sufficiently, or at all, in either of the sources mentioned above. The institution of Ijtihad and the presence of various School-of-thoughts, provide a scope for adaptability as well, where “Taqleed” is not adhered to. (By the way, Imam Hanbal and Imam Ibn Tamayya and many others are against “Taqleed”).

 

Although in Qura’an, there is a panoply of topics on which injunctions have been issued, this treatise, however, would be restricted to tangibility and vassal; which are least discussed and explained with specific reference to human psychology.

 

 

 

Human Psychology

Human behavior, as mentioned earlier, is the main locus of Divine guidance, which can also be divided into two areas. (Philosophical terms have also been inducted at relevant places to broaden the scope of comprehension).

  1. Instinctive or innate behavior(Phil: Idealism, Priori knowledge).

Most prominent is the conception of the Creator–the Supreme Being, followed by empathy, compassion, rage fear, gratitude, possessiveness, self-protection, suckling etc. Qura’an stresses the cleansing of the inner-self through meditation, compassion and tranquility of justice enhancing the awareness and benefits conferred by these traits. In Sufic terminology, it would be a deliberate process of subduing the lower-soul, or lower-self (Nafs). These traits, contrary to general belief, do not annihilate, for they are an integral part of the human genre, but get channeled, through the bottleneck of struggle (mujahida), into higher soul/higher-self for higher purposes.

 

  1. Learned or acquired behavior— (Phil; Empiricism, Posteriori knowledge). A litany of the behavioral attitudes fall in this category, to name a few—-Defrauding, avariciousness, vanity, tangibility, and Vassal etc. The last two traits are often faced, but least understood and discussed. Qura’an in such matters, for the most part, orders prudence, care in association and equity of behavior by enshrining the element of “awe” (generally translated as (Fear)* backed up by a retributive system. The system of retribution is mostly reserved for the hereafter (with the exception of “injustice”, which is often swiftly dealt with here as well). Justice, of the last resort, however, will be done in the hereafter without the slightest discrepancy whatsoever.(Qura’an) A very important issue, which Qura’an mentions, is that the good done by the non-believers would fetch no reward in the hereafter. It would instead be rewarded right here in this world.

 

 

Tangibility & Vassal Qura’an has not expounded on these topics exclusively as a subject matter but rather alluded to them as causative-weaknesses of human behavior.

 

Tangibility

Acquired traits of human beings are of immense consequence. Most of the aberrations in human behavior stem from these, as a consequence of upbringing, culture, education, and training etc. We, in general, become so accustomed to tangibility that often, substitutes even God (Allah SWT) with someone or something conspicuous. For example instead of relying on God and asking Him to fulfill our needs we resort to some acquaintance. We always, as an impulse, think of rich and powerful to help us rather than the one who made them rich and powerful. This behavioral aberration emanates from “cognitive easement” which triggers the instant sense of association culminating in instant reposal of trust in thus cognized entity. (This cognitive easement, however, is normally one-sided and may or may not be fortuitous). On the contrary, cognitive journey, towards an unseen or invisible entity, would require deliberated efforts and conviction to be completed and fruitful. This behavioral pattern vividly explains the difference in the approach and mindset of an unbeliever* from that of a believer. This aspect of human tangibility and vassal has been aptly articulated in Surah Zuukhruf 43, V 31 & 32.                                                      *(A professed believer could also act as an unbeliever).

 

Vassal

Pagans of Arabia often raised the objection that why Prophet Mohammad (PBUH); being of an ordinary background, has been accorded the prestige of Prophet-hood instead of some rich and powerful person of the town; who could have helped them with some mercy (compassion/favor) and put them to work. Ironically we, in our own time, often witness people coagulating around rich and powerful due to habituation with vassal and tangibility. Prophet Noah, (A.S) also complained of such an attitude of his people in Surah Nuh 71, V-21. Exegesis of Surah Tur 52, V-37 predicates the issue of similar attitude as well.

 

A couple of anecdotes, which would help bring the point home, are quoted here.

1) When Prophet Moses (A.S) journeyed to Mount Sinai (Zion) for 40 days his people, in his absence, started worshiping a “CALF” instead of God (Because it was visibly and tangibly right there).

2) When Prophet Moses (A.S) crossed river Nile and reached the other side, the first thing his people saw was; a tribe worshiping an idol, therefore, due to sudden tangibility impulse, they demanded that Prophet Moses (A.S) should make them a statue of God, like theirs. This probably was the worst example of habituation with tangibility. Prophet Moses (A.S) who just saved Israelites from the clutches of Pharaoh-god’s (tangibility/vassal): who they were forced to worship, wanted to worship an “idol” instead of God!

 

Translation (Surah Zukhruf 43, v 31, 32)

“They say! Why Qura’an is not revealed on any one of the great men of the two big cities?” “Is it they who distribute mercy of your Lord? We distributed among them their livelihood in this world and raised some of them in ranks over the others so that some of them may put some others to work. And Mercy of your Lord is much better than what they (the rich and powerful) may have accumulated” (wealth and resources etc)

 

Explanation (Exegesis)

“Mercy” here represents the Prophet (PBUH); which they objected to for being of humble background, and asked why not one of the rich men from big cities like Mecca or Taif has been chosen for this august office? God answered by admonishing them, that you can’t even handle the small economies of your cities, division of labor, distribution of resources etc, how dare you suggest, who should be chosen as a Prophet? God then declared that some of you have been accorded a higher rank; to act (like) as an Economic Manager, and that they have also been assigned resources (economy). Then He cautioned, that despite their higher ranks, do not seek favors from them (vassal) as My mercy is far better than their hoardings (wealth and resources—attractive to most human beings)” Human beings thus have been given a befitting answer with a warning about their weakness (I seek Allah’s refuge for any inadvertent misinterpretation or mistake)

 

1* – Fear (of not being able to do justice to the great task of worshiping God and recognizing His greatness). (Khashiyyah)  is the real term used, instead of fear, for its use is limited with reference to God only.  Khashiyyah} can loosely be translated as “Awe”.   “Fear” {Khawf}  ordinarily, is from  the other sentient beings.

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Masturbation (“ASTAMNA’A” in Arabic) from Islamic perspective.

September 7, 2016

It’s a pandemic of our times. Easy accessibility to explicit, stimulating material is the main cause for indulging in this practice.

Muslim scholars have pondered upon this issue from various logical and practical angles. There are several reasons why a person, male or female, may resort to this mode of satisfaction. I used this sentence deliberately because God has put in place an auto-piloted system of satisfaction—through wet-dreams—without the burden of sin or sense of guilt. One more thing which is worth remembering here is that; sin itself is not as grave as the contemplation thereof; for sin lasts a few minutes, whereas the contemplation thereof could last as long as the contemplator wants his fantasy to continue. It is the contemplation of the sin which leads to its execution, whereupon one is rendered blameworthy.

In Islam, there is a tested and trusted way to ward off the lecherous thoughts. That is through piety, frequently worshipping and fasting. This way is often prescribed by the devout to the novice. One who cultivates his body by means of gluttony serves his lust because when a man’s belly is filled with food he desires foolishness and his lust waxes great and his lower soul rises to seek her pleasure. (Sahl  b. Abdallah Tustari).

Prophet (PBUH) and Qura’an both have instructed one to get married to stave off any sex-related offense or crime. God promised financial well-being to those who would get married, despite their poor financial standing, to avoid indulgence in a sex related sin. (Surah Munafiqun # 64, V-9) Now it remains simply a matter of one’s determination and taqwa (piety).

After presenting the remedial suggestion here is what most Muslim scholars resorted to, declaring masturbation absolutely forbidden. Surah Al Ma’arij #70, V 27-30-31. Which reads: “Indeed the torment of their Lord is not something to be fearless from. And those who guard their private parts except, from their wives and slave girls, owned by their right hand, are not blameworthy. But the ones who seek sexual gratification beyond that are the transgressors” In verse # 32 & 33 it also says “and those who are careful about their trust and covenants & those who are upright in their testimonies” are not blameworthy.

What Scholars deduced here, is the applicability of general meanings of the verses to the particularity of masturbation; in the sense of abusing the private parts (self-indulgence for the sake of sexual pleasure).; It tantamounts to a breach of trust, which God placed in man by endowing him with these parts for good purposes.

On the judgment day, when sinners would be denying their sins, God will make them shut up and make their body parts testify against them. These parts would thus be confirming the breach of trust committed by the sinners. (Surah Yasin 36, v-65)(Surah Al Noor 24, V-24)

                     A worth reading dialogue regarding the parts testifying

“I was amazed at how a servant will dispute with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, “My Lord, did You not promise me that you would not treat me unjustly” Allah will say, “Yes.” The man will say, “I will not accept any witness against me except, from myself.” Allah will say, “Is it not sufficient that I and the angels, the noble scribes, are witnesses” These words will be repeated several times, then a seal will be placed over his mouth and his organs (or limbs) will speak about what he used to do. Then he will say, “Away with you! It was only for your sake that I was arguing!”)” It was recorded by him and Ibn Abi Hatim. It was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa’i. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Burdah said that Abu Musa said, “The disbeliever or the hypocrite will be called to account and his Lord will show him his deeds, but he will deny them and say, `O Lord, by Your glory, this angel has written about me something that I did not do.’ The angel will say to him, `Did you not do such and such on such and such a day in such and such a place’ He will say, `No, by Your glory O Lord, I did not do it.’ When he does that, a seal will be placed over his mouth.” Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I think that the first part of his body to speak will be his right thigh.”

 

Here is an interesting anecdote, specific to masturbation. A young man asked Ibn Abbas, a religious figure of a high station. “I am an unmarried young man and at times I fear hardship upon me, therefore, I masturbate” Ibn Abbas turned his face from him and said “Alas! It would be better to even marry a slave girl, and yet it is better than adultery” It suggests three options. (1) Marrying a slave girl and bringing a child into slavery, (2)masturbating,  (3) and the worst, committing the adultery, so the masturbating ranks the least evil of the three options; when resorted to prevent the worst; which is adultery, yet it does not render it permissible.(From Ahya Ulum-Ad-Din—-Revival of religious sciences).

 

This is how it is interpreted in Islamic fiqha Jurisprudence by various learned scholars/Imams.

Maliki, Shafaii and Zaidites-Absolutely forbid it. (In the light of Surah # 23, V-1 to 7) This opinion is shared by most of the “jurists” scholars.

Hanafites-–Forbid in cases like sexual gratification—but—-declare it obligatory when fornication is feared (ijtihad based conclusion). Hanbalites concur with Hanafites.

Sayyidna Ata (R.A) declared is (makroh) reprehensible.

 

The notion that the hand of the masturbator, will emerge pregnant in the hereafter, andSayyidna Sa’id Ibn jubair (R.A)’s narration that a nation; who used to fondle their private parts, was destroyed and also a Hadith saying that “Cursed is he who married his hand” are  all weak, uncorroborated and lacking chain of narrators.

(I seek God Almighty’s refuge, should there be any inadvertent misinterpretation or misrepresentation in this treatise).

 

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End of the rope

August 24, 2016

It seems that Pakistan has reached its logical end for an imminent change. Turn of events is drastic and infuriating the army. The enemies within and without have come out charging. What is left is the move to nab those within Pakistan, hold summary trials and put them to gallows, for they have clearly committed the act of treason. Nawaz and his cohorts have premeditated this scenario as the last hope, for they see no way out of their predicaments otherwise. It should be assured that their nefarious designs do not succeed. Army should take the Judiciary into confidence and activate the Military courts for speedy prosecution of financial criminals and terrorist. The army should not try to Govern Pakistan, as usual, and install a technocrats-lead-government instead, for a longer period pending thorough clean-up.

Transgendered & Eunuch in Islam

August 6, 2016

 

This issue nowadays, especially in the west, is commonly debated, in the context of gender equality. Unfortunately, this topic is mixed with homosexuality and then, contemptuously, hurled at Muslims, due to a clear cut position in Islamic jurisprudence against homosexuality.

I would, therefore, try to express Islamic point of view mainly on the transgendered, since the issue of homosexuals is clearly settled, in Islam as well as in other Divine religions. First and foremost, the question of their impermissibility in Islam does not  arise since their existence is an undeniable reality. They are created by the same Creator who created cis-gendered.

 

There are several categories of them which need to be understood.

Trans-sexual:-  Those who want to be opposite of what they are or look like.

Transvestite:- Those who are apparently male but act like a woman (effeminate).

Trans-queer:- Those who have both the male and female organs/tendencies.

Mukhannas (Arabic for Eunuch):- who is either due to castration or naturally has not sexual desires.

Mukhannathan (Arabic for Trans-queer or double-gendered):- who generally hides his masculinity to mix with women.

(One may find these classifications overlapping and confusing at times)

Qura’an as a matter of principle deals with the issues of main concerns. Since laws are made for common occurrences and not exceptions. Despite the fact that nowadays we witness relatively somewhat higher proportion of transgendered people, or we may say, have wider awareness and discussion on the topic, they still constitute a fairly small part of the overall population. Qura’an does not specifically or categorically deals with the topic of transgendered as a subject matter except that in one of the Surah Nur # 24, V-31 it says, inter alia, male attendants who lack vigor” and then in Surah Waqiah # 56, V-61 it says “…We may transform you and make you (afresh) as you know not” Then in the successive verse it also alludes to the previous creations (per exegetic interpretation:-  referring to the transformation of human into the apes, monkeys and swine etc).  Then in verse 63 man is questioned as to “What do you cultivate” If this Surah, in its broadest possible scope, anyway refers to transgendered people then they are presented rather as an anomaly, for common people, to ward off heedlessness. Then in another surah 82:8, It is said “He created you in whatever form He willed” That is probably the reason that least has been said about them in Qura’an or Hadith!

This interpretation seems to be corroborated by two instances with reference to the Prophet (PBUH) Sunnah. In one he ordered a transgender to be expelled from the city and did not approve of killing him. (For, he was a praying person). In the second instance, a transgender (most likely Eunuch) was allowed to help his wives. (Although caution of Hijab was ordered subsequently)

Here is a different, though somewhat confusing, point of view.

“According to some “authors” (I guess it means writers/scholars) the Qur’an explicitly recognizes that there are some people who are neither male nor female. Verses 42:49-42:50 are translated by these authors as: “To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. It creates what it wills. It prepares for whom it wills females, and it prepares for whom it wills males. Or it marries together the males and the females, and it makes those whom it wills to be ineffectual (barren)”. According to these authors the usual English translation of these verses which mention God ‘giving daughters or sons to whom it wills and gives some people both sons and daughters’, is problematic. They argue that the verses, in fact, describe varieties of sexual orientation and gender(http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/Qurannotes.htm). One scholar has noted that commentaries on Surah13.3 which refers to ‘every kind of fruit being made in pairs’ also recognized that there is a third sex in plants. This scholar believes that it is possible to conclude that as there is a third sex in plants there may also be a third sex ‘unisex’ in animals and humans (unpublished paper)”

(I, the writer of this article, do not vouch for this interpretation as the verses quoted are not explicit about the issue as claimed).

Now here are some ancillary issues which may be of interest to believers and non-believers alike.

Transgendered people, who have a sexual urge, one way or the other, and the means to afford a marriage, are allowed to marry, by several scholars. (needless to say, with opposite of their own urges and genitals).

They are also allowed, by some scholars, the reassignment of gender-operations performed if they wish to do so.

Their gender will be determined by the genital used for urination until adolescence, thereafter by the nature of wet dreams, whether of a male or female?  If this person developed breast and also acts accordingly will be considered a female and treated accordingly.

There might be a situation where it may be difficult to distinguish domineering tendency. In such a situation this person would be classed as—Trans-queer (difficult-gender).

Under Islamic jurisprudence, such person would not be allowed to marry. He would also not be given the funeral bath at his demise, but rather “Tayammum” Dry-bath, or Dust-bath. Mehram (blood-relative) should perform it. In the absence of a Mehram, another person should wear some sort of gloves.

Difficult-gender (having both the genital organs) cannot wear silk and jewelry due to the possibility of him being more of a male than the female.

Such person should go out with some Mehram only, should he be more of a female than the male.

Such people should be accorded same respect and dignity as any normal person. They should not be forced into prostitution or some other lowly, demeaning situations at any cost…Doing so is a grave sin. Given the situation they are in, which is not of their own making but beyond their control, Qura’an in Surah Baqarah # 2, V-233 and in several other verses instructs to treat others (including anomalous and incapacitated people) with justice and fairness.

 

Needless to say that “eunuch”, who are bereft of sexual urges; could reach the highest echelon of spiritual excellence, should they devote themselves to the Creator in the right ways. It would also be worth mentioning that “Eunuchs” have played very important roles in various settings and have been even the rulers in the past.

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Divine Wisdom

May 10, 2016

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

(In the name of God The most gracious and the most merciful)

عَلَّمَالْقُرْآنَ

Allamal Qura’an (Surah Ar-Rahman 55 V 2)

Ar Rahman (The Gracious) has taught the Qura’an.

Just one word of Qura’an would show the veracity of Divine wisdom (Qura’an) for the people of intellect and understanding.

The word “Allama” (to teach) a verb, according to Arabic grammar, requires two object. One is direct and other indirect.

1) The one of which knowledge has to be imparted (taught).

2) The one to whom the knowledge has to be imparted (taught).

(1-is the source and 2-is the recipient)

Here the first object is Qura’an while the other one is not specified.

Some scholars/exegetes opine that it is Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who was taught the Qura’an directly by God (through the medium of Jibrail (Gabriel- A.S) for onward dissemination to the entire creation. (Not only Muslims)

Let us look at it from another, rather a subtle, point of view.

The purpose of the Qura’an is to give guidance, about good morals and righteous deeds, to the entire creation; therefore, the 2nd object is left deliberately unspecified to ensure the dissemination.

عَلَّمَهُا لْبَيَانَ (4)خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ  (3)

Next verses # 3 & 4 say:- He created man. He taught him how to express himself.

Man’s creation ranks first and foremost in the natural order of things so much so that even the imparting of knowledge proceeded after his creation.

This also determines the sole purpose of the creation of human and gene (Jin), stated in (51:56) We created man and Gene (Jin) for nothing but worship. Worship without guidance is impossible.(Nevertheless, the mention of Qura’an precedes the creation of man in surah Ar-Rahman—but imparting of the knowledge became possible only after man’s creation. Hence, man acquires first and foremost position in the natural/rational order of things).

 

 

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Vitriolic White Man      

April 26, 2016

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                                                Current Presidential election campaign has exposed several fault lines of American society. Economic stagnation has veritably changed the mass-psychology, way of rationalization, level of tolerance and religiosity. Economic slumber of decades; engendered an undercurrent in the societal conduct; in the form of a vitriolic white man’s rebellion against immigrants and religions; which in its aftermath, must have landed sociologist, behaviorist and anthropologist alike on a unique learning curve.

 

Despite a recent uptick in economic activity; due to sustained steering coupled with huge capital injections, has not resulted in the alleviation of the average Joe. Although jobs are being generated and added to the workforce but mostly of part-time and temporary nature; which due to the global-parity-compulsions offer lower pay with least or no benefits. The result is that families are faced with a permanent state of uncertainty and fear. Due to shrinking or stagnant income in the face of rising costs; everyone has to pitch in to maintain their abode intact; which in turn has destroyed the fundamental structure of a family; more so of a white family, who used to be a conspicuous representation of a thriving, prosperous, well-knit American society. Father, who used to hold an esteemed status in familial-hierarchy, has either gone missing or become irrelevant. His role has been relegated to one of the breadwinners of a group. He now has to compete with younger people, of different tastes, odd work schedules, with a different set of issues, and somewhat better informed; pretending to be a family-head in control. In extreme cases, he has to even swap the role with his spouse. There is hardly an occasion for dinner table exchange of banalities. This has destroyed the inner core of the society transforming it into a bitter and intolerant one.

 

On the outer spectrum as well there is a huge shift due to the variegated flow of immigrants. They come with their own ingrained set of values; which are often at odd with American values; more so with inconceivably perverted values, which misleadingly are being boasted about and chaperoned as freedom of choice and expression.

 

In nut-shell white man is under a constant onslaught from every direction. First, he ceded to irreligiosity in the cloak of utilitarianism, then to the Abolition of slavery, then to the justification-of-equity in the shape of affirmative action, then to Mexicans and Latino workers. The recent spate of variegated immigrants, however, is the harshest, since it is at a (financially) hard time. There are not many jobs, not enough income, fractured family structure, degradation of moral values and society, as a whole, up in arms. It has pushed a sizeable segment of society in belligerent mode. A recent survey showing 24% increase in suicide rate (especially women) is an alarming vindication of societal frustration. They are vehemently against the influx of immigrant (mostly Muslim immigrants/refugees—given the sustained, premeditated demonization of Islam and Muslims). An unscrupulous, demagogue, presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, seized on these sentiments and started targeting Muslim and Mexican to win the election.

 

These immigrants come with their own set of values, work hard, get a good education and often land good jobs or establish successful businesses. They often stay and operate within their own groups except when they have to otherwise. They adopt American values but strictly based on necessity or compulsion. (Second generation, however, acts and behaves on more American less immigrant level). In fact, they traverse in parallel value-systems with ease; one from back home and the other need-based American. Their work ethics, moral standards, religious ethos and ratiocination; which are time-tested, put the white man under immense pressure despite their minimal proportion. White man seems to have been pushed to the wall for enumerated reasons. Ironically they feel under threat of being wiped out, as a majority, within their own country, which is ironically claimed and owned by all equally! They, as early settlers of several generations ago, think have an emphatically exclusive, claim and rights to America, unlike a newly sworn citizen. (Needless to say, it is the most cherished part of being an American for which some pay very heavy price).

 

This hurt is more pronounced in the middle-class and most in the lower middle class; who, more often, lay down an exclusive claim of being true American. These folks are so frustrated that they are ready to take on anything and everything. They think it is the matter of their survival. I am all sympathetic to their “Nationalistic” plight, but now this is other’s adopted/chosen home too; who after few generations would be standing with them, in the same shoes! The jingoistic course of action, chosen by them, therefore, is misleading and futile. They should rather, gain awareness, Learn, how to re-invent themselves, retrain, get educated, stay away from drugs, alcohol, pre-marital sex/pregnancies, hate, anger and frustration. Stop hating religions and God; because it simply deprives one of the privilege and faculty of contemplation, entailing humbleness and sense of gratitude. A recent jump in suicide rate could very well be related to this deprivation. Start having normal families and achievable goals. It won’t be long that you will become relevant and important as anyone else Stasis is unsustainable. Harboring negative feelings is an anecdote of self-immolation. Trump phenomenon, as people call it, is not really a solution to the ills of an American man. It is but an opportunistic cashing of the situation by a tabloid-famed, self-indulgent, demagogue. In the end, he probably would be flying high but you sure would be the in worst of a situation. The truth is that none of the politicians is interested in your or my welfare but his/her own. It is time for sagacity and wisdom to prevail. The choice is yours!

 

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Ugly Face of Western Darling India!

April 2, 2016

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Ugly Face of Western Darling India!

According to recent reports; India is wooing IS (Islamic State) by supplying arms and tactical support for a stronghold in south Asia; especially to destabilize Pakistan; in the wake of Gwadar Port being developed with the help of China, which would greatly benefit both the countries economically. Organizations such as Hizbut-Tahrir and disgruntled Taliban off-shoots; both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are being recruited and supported by India to join IS. India, as a counter to Gwadar port, has been developing Iranian port Chah-Bahar. India had also been buying Iranian oil during the sanction period with complete impunity. The Economic Times reported — “Under pressure from the US and other western powers, India had relegated its second biggest oil suppliers by cutting down purchases from 21.2 million tons in 2009-10 to 11 million tons in 2013-14. Imports have been of that order in last three years”

It is an open secret that India for decades has been involved in terrorism in several countries including Pakistan. Indian PM Modi,(Gujrat famed–Burning of 10k Muslims) during his recent Bangladesh tour, has brazenly admitted the break-up of Pakistan in 1973.  During the investigations of recent “Lahore attack”, a top ranking Indian active duty naval officer has been caught operating in Pakistan. He has admitted the involvement in terrorism and also that his main purpose was to frustrate the Gwadar project.  Here is a report to substantiate it.  “Commander Kul Bushan Yadav is not the first Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operative caught snooping in Pakistan though he is certainly the most high-profile spy of all seized till date, an exclusive research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” reveals”

Reportedly Modi has called Pakistani PM pleading not to raise the issue in international forums.

More disturbing than this is the fact that in recent years there has been growing concern about India’s security capabilities with regards to its nuclear stockpile and enriched Chemicals. According to reports about 20 tons of such chemicals is missing. Several nuclear watch organizations and. Governments are worried that it may have been supplied to most dangerous of all “ISIS”, who can easily use it for dirty bombs and wreck havoc.

“October last year, it was learnt that a 20-ton consignment of Beryl was smuggled from Kandla Port in Gujrat to Hong Kong. It is estimated that Rajasthan is accountable for 10% of Indian nuclear smuggling” (Center for Public Integrity)

“India’s nukes are at risk – The agency tasked with guarding India’s nuclear weapons and materials “is short-staffed, ill-equipped, and inadequately trained”, write Adrian Levy and R. Jeffrey Smith in a new in-depth report for the Center for Public Integrity. Reporters uncovered the evidence that “weapons and technical equipment lagged well behind comparable security forces elsewhere in the world. An estimated 90 to 110 Indian nuclear bombs are stored in six or so government-run sites,” which are guarded by the paramilitary Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). However, the report shows that U.S. government officials and experts alike believe that the agency is inadequately equipped, and that “India’s nuclear explosive materials are vulnerable to theft.” December 22, 2015

 

“Recently, 31 tons of nuclear material was recovered from the accused who was arrested in Rajasthan, India. Indian media recently reported theft and smuggling of nuclear material from India to an unknown network of global buyers, however, no concern was raised over the issue. World powers are disturbingly quite on Indian nuclear smuggling case, something that is no less than a global threat. The anonymity of the alleged global network is of greater concern. There are no reports where the stolen/smuggled nuclear material ends up and how it is used, and what channels are employed to get said material out of India”

“The nuclear material in question is Beryl, an atomic mineral ore of Beryllium. China, along with the United States, Russia, Canada and Brazil is few of those countries that use Beryl in atomic power plants, space-technology and scanning equipment”

After all, this there is no justification for the world community to let their guards down; especially so for the west who is already under attack by ISIS. Lest it is that the material support is coming from their esteemed strategic and trading partner INDIA—Biggest Democracy in the world—where burning Muslims and killing Christians has been a norm. It sure would not matter if they are killed elsewhere even in greater number!

Would it, therefore, not be justified if President Obama, in the same vein and proximity as with Killer PM Modi, sits with Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi negotiating the sessions of hostilities and killings all around the world?

 

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Islamophobia—Through YouGove Poll & Pew Research Center Study.

December 30, 2015

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Hostility toward Muslims in America exists due to a lack of familiarity with Muslims (and ISLAM).

55% of surveyed Americans had an “unfavorable” opinion of Islam.

 

Islamophobic sentiments are more common among Americans who are 45 and older, those who are Republican and those who are white.

 

2015 data shows that 3% of Americans identify as atheist (as well as 4% who say they’re agnostic and 16% who say they’re nothing in particular). By contrast, less than 1% of Americans identify themselves as Muslim.

 

29% of Americans (and 43% of Republicans) still believe that Obama is a Muslim, according to a poll by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation. (Often white, often Republican)

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCES

You Gove Poll asked.

(1) Do you personally happen to work with a Muslim? –– 74% said no.

(2) The survey also asked whether respondents “happen to have any friends who are Muslim” – 68% said no.

(3) Another 87% said they had never been inside a mosque.

 

Indeed, a YouGov survey conducted in the days after Trump’s comments found that 40% of Americans supported a national registry of Muslims. Yet again, those views were more commonly held mostly by— older respondents and those who were Republican.

 

 

MUSLIM EXPERIENCES

Pew conducted a survey that sought out only Muslim respondents, in 2011, they found that negative experiences were commonplace: 28% said that in the past year, people had acted suspiciously of them, 22% said they had been called offensive names and 21% said they had been singled out by airport security.

 

Reflect Being an American honestly! Does this unjust Islamophobia based on sheer ignorance and prejudice represents true AMERICA?

Hipocrisy

April 29, 2015

Hypocrisy

One of the early wars fought by Muslims is “Al-Ahzab” which has several distinctive features but it became famous due to a new war-strategy of trench–“Al-Khandaq”— which was the brain-child of Salman Farsi (R.A). Salman Farsi, a Persian by descent, freed himself from an artificially imposed slavery of a Jew and devoted his life to Islam. He observed this strategy being practiced by Persians. When he broached this idea to the Prophet (PBUH) he accepted it since it would protect Muslims from out of Madina massive attack. Trench dug at the entrance to Madina at the time of Al-Ahab war was about three and a half miles long, about 6 ft deep and 6 feet wide and completed in just six days. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) practically participated in digging this trench. This war was fought in lashing winter and financially straitened conditions. Most of the Sahabah including Prophet went hungry for days. Total number of fighters was three thousands with only thirty six horses. Opposing army was a coalition of several Jewish, Meccan, Quresh, tribes some of which are Aslam, Ashja, Banu Murrah, Banu Kinanah, Fazarah and Ghittan consisting of 12000 to 15000 well equipped men, more than 300 horses and 1000 camels. One of the tribes of Madina, Bani Quraizah, who had a peace treaty with the Muslims also broke off and joined the enemy forces. This multiplied the danger from within and without Madina. The coalition was formed in the hope of eliminating the new religion once for all.

In the course of digging the trench, a huge glossy rock impeded the process and the matter was referred to Prophet. Prophet came to the site and took the matter in his own hands and struck the rock reciting a short verse of Qura’an (Surah Al Anam 6, V-115) meaning—“And the word of your Lord is perfect in truth and justice—none is there to change His words”. Prophet struck the rock three times and each time 1/3rd of it broke off. Some of the Sahaba, (Companions) (R.A) observed a gleaming light emerging from it at all three occasions. Upon inquiring Prophet explained that in the First light I was shown the cities of Yaman and those of Cyrus and in the Second I was shown the red palaces of Byzantine thereupon Arch Angel Jibril (R.A) gave me the good news that your ummah (Nation/Community) will conquer them. Hearing this Muslims felt at peace and assured of their successes in the times to come.      (Muslims may recited this Surah while undertaking some difficult task)

Upon hearing this prediction, hypocrites, who were with Muslims just to keep their cover and half heartedly involved in digging the trench, started taunting Muslims, by asking, do you really believe what Prophet has said? Look at you! Who are digging this trench and so overwhelmed that can’t even take care of personal needs. Do you really believe you will be the conqueror of the kingdoms of Byzantine and Persia as promised? This is what is expressed in Surah Al Ahzab, 33 V- 12 “And those having malady in their hearts were saying “Allah and His Prophet did not promise us but deceitfully”

The time was so critical for Muslims that the whole faith was at stake. Strenuous and strained circumstances, fear of enemy massive attack from within and without. On top of it all hypocrites were trying to plant the doubts in their minds. Had it worked! Would have been immensely devastating and most probably changed the course of Muslim History. By the grace of Allah however, it was braved by righteous Muslims with absolute belief in Allah and His Prophet. Exemplary immutability of true believers was displayed.  Trench proved to be very effective in holding back the enemy fighters for significant period of time. In this period some tactical and diplomatic initiatives were undertaken and desired results achieved. This war was won with flying colors by the will and grace of Allah. Eventually the prediction also came true and Sahabah (R.A) witnessed the Conquests of Byzantine and Persia   first hand. Hypocrisy of the hypocrites stood exposed.


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