Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

Hindu godhead Brahma is supreme force that manifested through the whole universe by the sound ‘AUM’. Muslim God Allah is also a supreme force who created the universe by ordering ‘BE’. And it is. Are, therefore, Brahma and Allah the same?

May 24, 2020
Yaa ALLAH!

Hinduism perceives the whole creation and its cosmic activity as the work of three fundamental forces symbolized by three gods, which constitutes the Hindu Trinity or ‘Trimurti’: Brahma — the creator, Vishnu — the sustainer, and Shiva — the destroyer. According to Vedas Brahma is regarded as a supreme being.

According to the Puranas, Brahma is the son of God, and often referred to as Prajapati. The ​Shatapatha Brahman says that Brahma was born of the Supreme Being Brahman and the female energy known as Maya.

One can clearly see the contradiction in the above assertions.

Brahma can be perceived  a supreme-being  only by characterizing it to be manifested through the entire Universe , because it is a mythical-construct inert of revealing/producing anything. This is pantheism, which Islam does not subscribe to at all.

Allah, in Islam, is the only Supreme being of indivisible Unicity. (Oneness) and  distinct from His creation.

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing” [Q, 42:11]

The point, therefore, is that there is not even a remotest semblance between  the Hindu  godhead Brahma , a mythical-construct,  and the real living God, Allah Ta’ala [Nauzu-Billah].

Moreover, Hinduism, which according to Puranas and Vedas most likely started as a monotheistic religion, has lost its real character reducing to a mythical construct, so its gods and goddesses.are nothing more than a stretch of imagination. Islam, contrary to Hinduism, is a revealed practicable religion revealed by ever-living, hearing, and the only Supreme-being Allah (SWT).

“He begets not, nor is He begotten” [Q, 112:3]

Read: Proof of the Originator/God.

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Disavowing or Disowning a Wrong!

May 1, 2020

 

Conceptual And Expressionism Art Examples - Lessons - Tes Teach

In an individual’s life come several occasions where one hears or sees something untrue, repugnant or altogether false. Most often, a person despite cognitive consonance may get perturbed for his inability to correct, address, refute such a situation due to some, religious, social, familial or political correctness constraints. Such a situation was faced by Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim A.S) when he saw his father, relatives and people of his tribe worshipping false gods. He, despite having explained to them; that they are worshiping wrong god, did not feel satisfied therefore, vehemently and openly declared in their presence that “I free myself (absolve) from what you are worshipping” (Surah Zukhruf 43 V26).

 

The lesson to be learnt here is; that when someone is living in the company of disbelievers, or those who are habituated of doing wrongful acts, or those who out of sheer ignorance, misconstrue the religious injunctions, or altogether distort to justify their own lapses or that of someone else’s  should not be allowed to get a free-pass. In such a situation any person not raising the voice of concern may inevitably become part of that distortion and resultant sinfulness. In the light of this Qura’anic verse; uttered by Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim A.S) it could be inferred that keeping quiet, ignoring such an injustice/distortion or just being concerned with one’s own good deeds only is not enough.

 

It is not enough, that one should keep his own deeds and faith on the right track but also declare his disapproval, disavowal in suitable yet distinctly categorical terms.

 

This view could be corroborated by the Hadith whereby prophet (pbuh) instructed to “stop the one doing wrong with HANDS, TONGUE or the least, THINK of his act as bad act (this being the weakest degree of faith)”  Disapproval, disavowal of bad deeds categorically (even if verbally) would have twofold effect. 1) He would not become part of the sin simply by association or acquiescence. 2) Wrongdoer might heed and change his way—-which would entail immense blessings. This Qura’anic Ayah also corroborates the contemporary saying—–Be part of the solution and not of the problem”

 

NOTE–(Disapproval, disavowal does not mean, in any form or shape, to resorting to violence or Foisting of one’s opinion on others)

 

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Deserted Mecca!

March 23, 2020

Kaaba after

Recently Saudi Government; to stem the spread of the coronavirus, stopped the incessantly ongoing activities, of congregational prayers and circumambulation of mecca. It was an unprecedented decision; tough to be rationalized and accepted by ordinary Muslims. The scenario was a painful thing to endure for the Muslims-across the board. The solace and comfort were sought by watching and circulating a video of pigeons circumambulating the mecca overhead instead of human beings on the ground!

A sighful voice gushed from the inner recesses of my heart; “Allah will punish those who forced this desertion and abandonment of House of Allah! InshaAllah”. 

I do not know, how hard or easy this decision was for the Saudi government but sure seems to have been taken in haste without envisaging the ramifications. The Saudi government, with all the resources available, could have found a way without forcing desertion and abandonment of mecca, as well as causing physical and spiritual pain to millions of Muslims there and billions globally.

 Allaah said:

“whosoever enters it, he attains security”       [Q, 3:97]

“And We made the House for people to return to, and  [a place of] security” [Q, 2: 125]

 

Now, the result is that many countries, following the Saudi suit, are deserting and abandoning their local mosques. The worshippers are left hanging high and dry; especially those, for whom the mosque is the only place of comfort and solace to resort to.

On top of it all, it exposed the secular and casual attitude of; always wearing gallantry and self-praise on their sleeves, Muslims towards their religion. I was aghast to see that the Muslims; who are never tired of boasting to sacrifice their lives for the religion of Allah, simply abandoned His house, for fear of being infected with a virus whereby the death possibility is minimal. 

What happened to Momin’s farsightednesstaqwa and tawakkul?

It is sure an occasion; for those who always wanted to see Muslims defeated in Jihad-e-Asghar, to celebrate; for Muslims succumbed to the fear-mongering and defeated themselves in Jihad-e-Akbar, instead.

So-called religious scholars [who are in reality religious-seculars] are busy on national t.v. channels of various countries distorting different Ahadith to justify the abandonment and desertion of the mosques and congregational prayers.

A famous religious-secular (Dr. Professor) on a Pakistani t.v channel e.g narrated that Prophet (PBUH) once commented on how to use grafting to increase the dates production, which was misunderstood. Prophet thereupon had to clarify and said, ”You are better aware of worldly matters than me, I am here to teach the religious matters only” This hadith was used to justify the abandonment of congregational prayers due to coronavirus. Increased production of dates, in this case, has no religious dimension to it whereas the abandoning of the congregational prayer does. Anyhow the hadith was abused/distorted in the presence of, supposedly an educated/informed, big-wig anchor and two so-called religious scholars.

Another hadith being touted is that Prophet (PBUH) said, “do not come to the mosque in heavy rain”. Historically pertinent circumstances of this hadith are being utterly ignored in the zeal of justifying the point raised. Back then, people would either walk or ride an animal to the mosque. Now, those impediments are not commonplace, hence the application, by far, would change. Unfortunately, this hadith is being importunately quoted to justify the abandonment of mosques and congregational prayers. Alas! May Allah have mercy on Muslims, and enable them to resort to precautions, wisdom, taqwa and twakkul instead of succumbing to fear-mongering. InshaAllah!

By the way, in no way or sense, I am suggesting that the worshippers should let themselves be infected with coronavirus and die maintaining the sanctity of the mosques and prominence of the congregational prayers. Sanity. coupled with precautions, should have prevailed.

 

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Riba (usury), prohibition vs dubious easements! 

March 13, 2020

“Those who devour riba will stand, on judgment day, like those driven to madness by a touch of the evil. That is because they say “trade is just like usury”. But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury. Whosoever, after receiving a warning from their lord, refrains may keep their previous gains, and their case is left to Allah. As for those who persist [in devouring riba], their abode will be hellfire. They will remain there forever. (Q, 2:275)

 

PREFACE.

In my view, in the above verse and other verses on the topic, there is no ambiguity; which may lead one to any confusion, that business transactions within the parameters delineated by the Prophet, are unequivocally permissible (except recent innovative/circumventive dubious transactions). Riba/usury, however, in whatever type or form (discussed in detail in the proceeding paras) is unequivocally forbidden. I strongly disagree with the currently in vogue innovative-easements; justifying the riba/interest drenched transactions, under the guise of “lease-purchase and loaning/financing in the name of murabaha”. 

I also disagree with the blatantly adduced assumption that “taking interest is forbidden but not giving” It contravenes an implied Qura’anic injunction; of not giving an increased amount on loaned money (Q, 30:39). This assumption is not only illogical but also negates the “duality of creation” (rule), affirmed in the Holy Qura’an.

DUALITY OCREATION

[and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. Q,13: 3]

[…and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. Q,13: 3]

[And a sign for them is the night. We remove from it [the light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. Q,36:37] 

 

These innovatively crafted-distortions do not fit the doctrine of Maslahah” as well. Terms of the loans under Islamic financing OUGHT TO BE DICTATED by the “creditor”, not the “debtor” [Q, 2:282]

“And of everything We have created pairs: That ye may receive instruction” (Q, 51:49) {Pair may be ln a tangible form, in an intangible or conceptual form; such as—man/woman, day/night, taking/giving or good/bad, etc.}

“He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: no son has He begotten, nor has a partner in His Kingdom. He created everything and ordered them in due proportions” (Q, 25:2)

{Singularity (Monotheism) is exclusively Allah’s attribute; nothing else, could/would exist in singularity} Nauzubillah! 

 

Notes: appearing at the end of certain points, in the proceeding paragraphs, is the point of view of the author.

 

Riba was prohibited gradually in four stages via                                                                Q, 30:39, 4:161, 130:132 & 2:282.

Kinds of riba

Islamic discourse identifies three different types of riba: 1) riba al-Fadl (primarily related to sales transactions), 2) riba al-Nasiya (sales or debt involving deferment) and a variation of the previous two, 3) riba al-Jahliyyah.

Riba Al-Fadl is the excess over and above the loan paid in kind.  It lies in the payment of an addition by the debtor to the creditor in exchange for commodities of the same kind. The Shari’ah wishes to eliminate not merely the exploitation that is intrinsic in the institution of interest, but also that which is inherent in all forms of unjust exchange in business transactions.

Riba Al-Nasi’ah refers to the interest on loans; its prohibition essentially implies that the fixing in advance of a positive return on a loan as a reward for waiting is not permitted in Islam.

Riba Al-Jahiliyyah when a buyer/borrower did not pay his due after the stipulated time, the seller/lender would increase the price, and thus a higher principal amount, sometimes doubled (or more), would be imposed.

According to Ibn Abbas, one of the major companions of the Prophet and earliest of the Islamic jurists, and few other companions (Usama ibn Zayd, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’udUrwa ibn Zubayr, Zayd ibn Arqam) “considered that the only unlawful riba is riba al-jahiliyyah.” (No textual/hadithic authority/basis cited)

 

Muhammad Nezatullah Siddiqi. In his book Riba, Bank Interest, and The Rationale of Its Prohibition [p. 41], offers a thorough work explicating the rationales of the prohibition of bank interests, and lists the following reasons justifying its prohibition: 1. Riba corrupts society. 2. Riba implies the improper appropriation of other people’s property. 3. Riba’s ultimate effect is negative growth. 4. Riba demeans and diminishes human personality. 5. Riba is unjust.

{These arguments are objectively scrutinized hereunder}.

 1) Riba corrupts society! 

Corruption studies or corruption-related literature does not identify interest anywhere as one of the determinants of corruption. Indeed, most of the Muslim-majority countries rank high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).11 

Siddiqi’s flawed logic can be identified by simply examining his first point – that riba corrupts society. While riba-based transactions are unjust and thus may have corrupting influence on society, but the corruption studies or corruption-related literature does not identify interest anywhere as one of the determinants of corruption. Indeed, most of the Muslim-majority countries rank high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).11 But corruption-related studies relating to these countries done by either non-Muslims or Muslims have never identified interest as one such determinant of corruption.

As we will see, Siddiqi’s enumeration is generally not much different from the earlier ones by Abul Ala’ Mawdudi and Dr. Yousuf Ali-Qaradawi (using Al-Razi’s arguments ad verbatim) and is as polemical as well as empirically unsubstantiated and untestable as ever. Only one rationale is identifiable from the Qur’an: exploitation/injustice (zulm): “If you do it not, Take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger: But if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [la tazlimoona wa la tuzlamoon; [Q, 2:279] Hadith: – (Prophetic narrations) also does not provide in this context any specific rationale other than what is identified in the Qur’an.

Note: – 1) It does not, by any mean, means that CPI index or corruption-related studies absolve “riba” of its implications or represents an Islamic perspective in any contextual sense. Riba simply was not taken into account as a consideration. 

2) Injunctive (hukmi) verses, at times, may not necessitate any explanations, for these are/maybe above and beyond the scope of human reasoning and logic.

 

[In terms of the use of riba, Sudan is the strictest and Malaysia the most liberal state]

 

2) Improper appropriation of other people’s property.

Charging/taking an interest, here, implies appropriating another person’s property without giving him anything in exchange because one who lends one dollar for two dollars gets the extra dollar for nothing. Now, a man’s property is for (the purpose of) fulfilling his needs and it has great sanctity. According to the hadith, ‘A man’s property is as sacred as his blood.’ This means that taking it from him without giving him something in exchange is haram. [p. 265]

One can argue that, in trade, taking something from someone without giving something in exchange is haram (prohibited). However, the argument is misleading and erroneous. When a non-charitable transaction is involved, both the parties know what the lending and borrowing entail. The borrower is borrowing for some commercial or personal benefit and the lender is lending for-profit motive. In such a non-charitable context, the lender is giving up or foregoing the purchasing power for a specific period. In other words, the lender is “renting out” the purchasing power of his/her capital for a specific period at a cost; interest here constitutes “rent” that is paid by the borrower. The lender is getting paid (interest) for foregoing something; it is not something for nothing but quid pro quo!

Note: {Islam, in the first place, does not espouse the concept of non-charitable-loaning but charitable one—Qarzhasanathat may be administered by the state from the “Sadaqat” collected. Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will grant increase, for Sadaqat..}     (Q, 2:276)

 

Time-value of money in Islam!

Islamic economics/finance literature generally denies that Islam recognizes the time value of money. [El-Gamal 2000, quoting Mawdudi and Al-Sadr]. “[I] in Shari’ah, there is no concept of the time value of money.” [Usmani, p. xvi] Some authors think that the time value of money as relating to sales (deferred sales, to be specific) is allowed in Islam, but that it is not the same kind of time value of money as in case of loans. [Saadallah; M. Akram Khan cited in Vogel and Hayes, p. 202] Others even suggest that there should not be any profit-motive on the part of Muslims, seeking service from Islamic Banks. Although, its equivalent is found in Murabaha, cost-plus financing in purchase and resale. It has been conveniently ignored that accepting the time value of money logically leads to the acceptance of interest. [Saeed, p. 95]

Note; 1) -It may be due to the reason that; the time is created and determined (finite); relevant only to the temporal realm, whereas the recompense for use/misuse of money is indeterminable (at, this stage; i.e. temporal level) and relevant to the non-local domain only.  The time-value of money, in the charitable transactions, therefore, would render utterly irrelevant!

2) – The question of the distinction between the nominal-value and the real value of money, due to inflation, has also not been addressed in Islamic economic literature. At present, there is no economy “without-inflation” {Inflation, in my view, is a derivative of the flawed global economic system; whereby mostly the investors and/or the manufacturers benefit; reflected in different countries at different levels, representing overall state of economy} 

 

3 & 4) Riba’s ultimate effect is negative growth. & Riba demeans human personality.

Supporting arguments.

Dependence on interest prevents people from working to earn money, since the person with dollars can earn extra dollars through interest, either in advance or at a later date, without working for it. The value of work will consequently be reduced in his estimation, and he will not bother to take the trouble of running a business or risking his money in trade or industry. This will lead to depriving people of benefits, and the business of the world cannot go on without industries, trade and commerce, building and construction, all of which need capital at risk. (This, from an economic point of view, is unquestionably a weighty argument.) [p. 265]

Counter arguments.

In modern times, commercial lending and borrowing usually do not take place involving an individual lender at a personal level. Rather, there are lending institutions that mobilize savings from individual and institutional savers/depositors and channel such savings to the borrowers. The lending institutions have to work hard to solicit and pool the savings. They also employ people for the purpose.

The primary source of banks’ lending is savings and demand deposits of the depositors. Demand deposits come from people of all sorts, irrespective of their financial status. A good part of the savers; who use a bank as a source of quick and safe-return instead of risky and arduous stocks and bonds markets are usually risk-averse, older and/or retired people. They want quick access to their savings with a guaranteed return on it. This class of savers consists of people of all ages and financial backgrounds – wealthy and not-so-wealthy, young and older/retired. Indeed, these people can’t be expected/forced to engage in risky investments or laborious-works to seek “earned” income!

 

5) Riba is Unjust.

Supporting Arguments: –

Permitting the taking of interest discourages people from doing good to one another, as is required by Islam. If interest is prohibited in a society, people will lend to each other with goodwill, expecting back no more than what they have loaned, while if interest is made permissible the needy person will be required to pay back more on loans (than he has borrowed), weakening his feelings of goodwill and friendliness toward the lender. (This is the moral aspect of the prohibition of interest.). [p. 266] 

Counter-arguments: –

This whole argument is contrary to the profit-motive, recognized in Islam. Unless we are talking about charities, these arguments would be misplaced and erroneous. This would also imply that people in interest-based societies have lesser goodwill toward others and may not be engaged in enough charitable acts. Is there any empirical corroboration behind such comparative observation?

Note; – [ In my view both, the pro and against, arguments are flimsy at the best. Profit motive sanctioned in Islam is through business dealings not through money-lending for a pre-determined period and profit. Islam, as mentioned earlier, does not espouse non-charitable lending]

 

Some [al-maslaha-al-mursala based] opinions/fatawa; issued by earlier religious figures are being vehemently propagated by some present religious figures with unabashed assertiveness. 

 

The point, a bone of contention; that has divided Muslim scholars is, whether riba (usury) and bank interest are to be considered the same/equivalent or distinct?

 

Equivalence Proponents.

One body of scholarly opinion defines riba to include not only interest but also transactions involving speculation, capital gains, monopoly, hoarding, and absentee rents, in other words, any appropriation of value for which an acceptable counter value is not forthcoming. The reader can easily read through and conceptualize the implications of using more and more restrictive definitions, in the limit (to borrow a mathematic term) equating riba simply with interest.

 

“All the schools of thoughts of Muslim jurisprudence hold the unanimous view that riba, usury and interest are strictly prohibited.” [Siddiqui, p. 15] Also see, Mabid Ali Al-Jarhi and Munawar Iqbal. “Islamic Banking: Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions,” Islamic Development Bank, Occasional Paper No. 4, 2001. http://irtipms.iskandertech.com/OpenSave.asp?pub=92.pdf; Tariq Talib al-Anjari. “Islamic Economics and Banking,” http://islamic-world.net/economics/economic_banking_01.htm;

“The renowned Islamic scholar Dr. Yusuf Ali Qaradawi holds that the question of prohibition of interest is a settled issue and that ‘there is no provision left in it for any reformist to re-interpret and provide an excuse for stating anything otherwise’. He states that it is ‘an issue which has withstood the test of consensus (Ijmah) of ummah of the present day as well as of the past’.” [ Syed Thanvir Ahmed. “Attempt to Justify Interest an Exercise in futility,” http://www.islamicvoice.com/april.99/economy.htm.]

Abul Ala’ Mauwdudi defines riba as the amount that a lender receives from the borrower at a fixed rate of interest. {for a fixed time and transaction contingent on the excess on the principal}. The transaction would be usurious whether it is for productive-investment or private needs.[Mawdudi, 1997;164] The most explicit report of the Council of Islamic ideology (CII) says: “There is complete unanimity in all schools of thoughts in Islam that the term “riba” stands for interest in all its types and forms”

 

Non-Equivalence Proponents

Those who have argued against this equation, the Non-Equivalence School [Ahmed, p. 28], have not made their arguments in clear and convincing terms so that the common Muslims can decide for themselves. Thus, this discourse needs to continue more vigorously and engagingly.

Note: In my view, as also enunciated in the preface, verse 30:39 categorically settles the issue of non-equivalence of usury, riba or interest by stating “whatever you give in addition to loan amount”, is riba. Supported by a hadith narrated by Jabir, mentioned in Muslim and Tirmazi“Prophet cursed the receiver and payer of the riba, recorder and witnesses to the transaction. And said they are all alike” (in sinfulness)

 

Interest-free economies

Since there has not been any true interest-free, modern Islamic economy and a few places where it is being attempted, the Islamic financial institutions (IFI hereafter), are moving rather closer to the conventional banking practices.

Note: – Use of Interest regime (to control the demand and supply of the funds/liquidity levels; which in turn determines the cost of borrowing; seldom yields the desired results, due to several other factors at play) is the chief catalyst in the volatility of the world’s, almost all, interest-based economies! [Although the man-made  economic management system has gained a high level of sophistication, yet lacks the precision]

 

The primary source of an Islamic Economic system is the Holy Qura’an and Sunnah. Secondary sources include the followings: –

Ijtihad: – True Ijtihad is both the source and the legal instrument that allows a dynamism to be set in motion at the heart of Islamic law and jurisprudence—closely linked with Qura’an and Sunnah.

Ijmaa (Consensus): In its technical dimension, Ijmaa means the agreement of all competent jurists in any particular generation, acting as representatives of the community on a point of law. In practice, the Ijmaa acts as proof if there is no element of the Qur’an or the Sunna that makes it possible to decide on a case, and could in principle elevate a ruling based on probable evidence to absolute certainty.

Qiyas (Analogical reasoning): this technique consists of assigning, based on a common underlying characteristic, the legal ruling of an existing case found in the texts of the Qur’an, Sunnah and/or Ijmaa, to a new case whose legal ruling could not be deduced directly from the scripture and/or Sunnah. This ruling nevertheless ought to remain within the confines and spirit of the primary sources of Islamic law.

 

Misuse of the concept “IJMA’A”

It has been a common practice among Muslim scholars and jurisprudents to claim consensus (ijma) about almost anything they have given their juristic opinion on. The very use of the word ijma inspires awe among faithful Muslims. However, the existence of multiple schools of jurisprudence (fiqh) is not evidence of consensus, but the lack of it.

The reality is that there is not even a consensus on the definition of ijma.  Indeed, it is reported that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, founder of one of the four orthodox schools (madhab) made a general assertion: “Whoever claims consensus is a liar.

Note; – The concepts, of hire-purchase and lending under Murabaha, seem to fall in the same category; for there are many scholars and Islamic Financial institutions, voicing against these financing modes.

 

Foundational work; a springboard for the current deviant practices, under the guise of Islamic Financing!

 

In the 1930s, Syrian scholar Marouf al-Daoualibi suggested that the Qur’an bans interest only on consumption loans, not investment loans, and in the 1940s Egyptian jurist, Al-Sanhuri argued that the Qur’an sought chiefly to ban interest on interest. A more extreme and recent example is the opinion of the mufti of Egypt, Shaykh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who in 1989 declared that interest on certain interest-based government investments was not forbidden riba (because the gain is little different from the sharing of the government’s profits from use of the funds or because the bank deposit contract is novel), thus joining the thin ranks of prominent religious figures who have issued fatawa declaring clear interest practices permissible. This fatwa aroused a storm of controversy, with opposition from nearly all traditional religious scholars and warm praise from secular modernizers. Later he went even further, saying that interest-bearing bank deposits are perfectly Islamic, and more so than ‘Islamic’ accounts that impose disadvantageous terms on the customer. Laws should change the legal terminology used for bank interest and bank accounts to clarify their freedom from the stigma of riba. [Vogel and Hayes, p. 46]

 

Fatwa for sale

Owen Matthews, “How the West Came to Run Islamic Banks”, Newsweek [October 31, 2005] While the evolved orthodox position about riba was not necessarily tainted by worldly considerations, the contemporary IBF discourse does note “the debate on ‘fatwas for sale” … fatwa wars”, etc. [Warde, p. 227] It is important to note that the classical orthodox position revolved around riba and the modern, contemporary discourse revolves around not merely riba, but a riba-interest equation. The contemporary Shari’ah experts serving the IBF industry hardly have anything to say about the political tyranny, or concentration of wealth, involving the patrons of the IBF movement. [IBF—Islamic Banking and Finance].

 

Islamic Financial Instruments include: MusharkahMudarabahMurabahaMusawamah, Salam,Istisna’aTawarruqIjarah and Qard Hasana.    [Only the relevant financial instruments are discussed in detail]

 

Arguments against lease-purchase/lending.

According to Yousef, “the predominance of the murabaha represents a challenge to the very notion that Islamic finance would provide an alternative to interest-based conventional financial systems.” [p. 64] Siddiqi went much further to warn the Islamic finance industry: … we cannot claim, for an interest-free alternative not based on sharing, the superiority which could be claimed based on profit-sharing. What is worse, if the alternative in practice is built around predetermined rates of return to investible funds, it would be exposed to the same criticism which was directed at interest as a fixed charge on capital. 

 

It so happens that the returns on finance provided in the modes of finance based on murabaha, bay’ salamleasing and lending with a service charge, are all predetermined as in the case of interest. Some of these modes of finance are said to contain some elements of risk, but all these risks are insurable and are insured against. The uncertainty or risk to which the business being so financed is exposed is fully passed over to the other party. A financial system built solely around these modes of financing can hardly claim superiority over an interest-based system on grounds of equity, efficiency, stability and growth. [Siddiqi, 1983, p. 52]

 

It is noteworthy that, contrary to the popular perception of the believing Muslims, Murabaha, (leasing and lending), may not be, as generally claimed, quite Shari’ah-compliant. It is heavily criticized or repudiated by many Islamic scholars and by some Islamic financial institutions.

 

Why Western Institutions are swarming Islamic Banking?

Western interest in “interest-free” banking, is not because the West is convinced about the claimed superiority of Islamic finance/banking in general, and Islamic financial products in particular; but because they don’t find any substantive difference between conventional banking and the current practices of Islamic banking, which have shifted away from profit-loss sharing (PLS)/Risk-sharing-based transactions to Murabaha. It is a vast untapped lucrative market for them, with a clear edge in terms of credibility, experience and capitalization. These banks have found Mudaraba and Musharaka to be inoperable in the modern context. [Saeed, chapter “Murabaha Financing Mechanism,” pp. 76-95; Aggarwal and Yousef, p. 106; Vogel and Hayes, p. 7] Thus, they quietly disengaged themselves from risk-sharing, Musharaka and Mudaraba modes and engaged in Murabaha, instead.

 

Application of the Doctrine of Maslaha.

Maslaha is a very specific concept—in its definition, its levels, its types, and its conditions require that the ulama (religious scholars) constantly refer back to the revealed sources to be able to formulate judgments in conformity with the Qura’an and Sunnah, even when there is no specifically relevant text available. They must try—by carrying out a thorough and detailed study–to provide Muslims with (common good) new banking and financial instruments, guided by Islamic principles and in conformity with Sharia’a.

Presently, this concept is being used and also abused to justify all sorts of new fatawaeven some manifestly in contradiction with obvious proofs from the Qura’an and the Sunna, as in the case of rules concerning interest (riba), inheritance and lending under Murabaha.

Note: [A glaring example of “Tufian” approach, appearing below]

Imam Malik referred to the notion of istislah, which meant “to seek the good.” In his legal research, he, therefore, used the example of the companions—who formulated numerous legal decisions in the light of the common good while respecting the corpus of the sources—to justify the fact that “to seek the good” (istislah) is one of the fundamentals of the Sharia and so is part of it.

It is, however, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali who, with his strict codification, provided the clearest framework for tackling this question from his time to the present. In his Al-mustasfa min ilm al-usul, he states very precisely: “In its essential meaning, al-maslaha is a term which means to seek something beneficial [manfaa] or avoid something harmful [madarra].

What we mean by maslaha is the preservation of the objective [maqasid] of the Law [shar], which consists of five things: the protection of religion, life, intellect, lineage, and property. Whatever ensures the protection of these five principles [usul] is maslahawhatever goes against their protection is mafsada, and to avoid it is maslaha”.

Al-Ghazali, still referring to the broad meaning of maslaha, mentions three different types: al-daruriyyat (the imperative), a category which has to do with the five elements of maqasid al-sharia (here in the sense of the objectives of the Law) listed earlier; al-hajiyyat (the necessary, the complimentary), which has to do with the prevention of anything that could be a source of difficulty in the life of the community, without leading to death or destruction; and finally al-tahsiniyyat and al-kamaliyyat (the enhancing and the perfecting)*1, which concern anything that may bring about an improvement in religious practice. These three levels cover all that can be considered as the masali (common good) of the human being considered as a person and as a worshipper of God, and this categorization was hardly ever questioned in debate and polemic.

*1 {The only point which could be cited, while ignoring all other parameters, vaguely favoring financing under murabaha}

Ulama established a typology based on the degree of proximity of al-maslaha to the sources. If al-maslaha is based on textual evidence (i.e., a quotation from the Qur’an or the Sunna), it is called maslaha mutabara (accredited), and it must necessarily be taken into account. If, on the other hand, the maslaha invoked is contradictory to an undisputed text (nass qati), it is called mulgha (discredited) and cannot be taken into account. The third type occurs when there is no text: the Qura’an and the Sunna do neither confirm nor reject a maslaha that became apparent after the age of Revelation. A maslaha of this type is call mursala (undetermined), for it allows the “Ulama” to use their judgment and personal reasoning to formulate a legal decision in the light of the historical and geographical context; using their best efforts to remain faithful to the commandments and to the “ letter and spirit” of the law.

 

It is this last type that has given rise to much debate and polemic (the analysis is beyond the scope of this study). Suffice it to say here that the main cause of disagreement was the fear, on the part of those opposed to the very concept of al-maslaha al-mursala, that such a notion, with such broad scope, might then allow the ulama to formulate regulations without reference to the Qur’an and the Sunna based on exclusively rational and completely free reasoning, all in the name of a remote hardship or “an anticipated difficulty  Most ZahiriteShafaiite and Malikite ulema did not recognize al-maslaha-al-mursala, for it does not refer back to the sources—as a legal proof; they saw it as a specious (Wahmiyya) proof.

 

This was the very same instinctive fear in an approach that is although purely rational but disconnected with the Law; that pushed Al-Ghazali to restrict work on al-maslaha to the area of the application of qiyas (analogy), which, of its nature, requires a close link with the text for the deduction of the cause (illa) on which analogical reasoning rests.

Note: – Hire-purchase and lending under Murabaha, therefore, contravenes the second rule of maslaha as well as the third rule, by not fulfilling the “referring back to the source” requisite. Hence being spurious (whamiyya) in nature, becomes clearly impermissible!

 

Famous fourteenth-century Hanbali jurist–Najm al-Din al-Tufi– ended up giving al-maslaha priority over texts from the Qur’an and the Sunna; which, according to him, should be applied, according to Mahmasani, only–“to the extent that the common good does not require anything else” 

 

Currently, we see very strange “modern Islamic legal decisions” based on “modern maslaha-al-mursala” that are manifestly contradictory to the sources. The misuse of al-maslaha al-mursala thus sometimes seems to justify the strangest behavior, as well as the most obscure commercial dealings, financial commitments, and banking investments, under the pretext that they protect, or could or should protect, “the common good.”

 

Common good 

Famous 14th Century renowned scholar of Grenada, Al-Shitabi, first of the proponents of the doctrine of al-maslaha-al-mursal who stipulated the precise conditions for “common good” –to be considered as a reliable judicial source, restricting its application `preventing ulema from resorting to maslaha without justification. There is a general agreement of the scholars (both, for and against al-maslaha-al-mursala) on the precise definitions stipulated by Al-Shitabi for “common good”

Without going into too much detail, we may summarize the three generally recognized main conditions for situations when it is sure that no text has been enunciated:

  • The analysis and identification must be made with serious attention so that we may be sure that we have before us an authentic (haqiqiyya) and not an apparent or spurious (wahmiyya) The scholar must reach a high degree of certainty that the formulation of an injunction will avoid difficulty and not do the opposite and increase problems in the context of the Islamic legal structure.
  • The maslaha must be general (kulliyya) and be beneficial to the population and society as a whole, and not only to one group or class or individual.
  • The maslaha must not be in contradiction to or conflict with an authentic text from the Qur’an or the Sunna. If it were, it would no longer be a maslaha mursala but would be a maslaha mulgha.

 

What is clear from the above three conditions that it is the supremacy of the Qur’an and the Sunna over all other references and legal instruments. 

 

Dr. Yusuf Ali Qaradawi rightly recalls, taking up the ideas of al-GhazaliIbn al-Qayyim, and al-Shitabi, that everything found in the Qur’an and the Sunna is, in itself, in harmony with “the good of humankind” in general, for the Creator knows and wants what is best for human beings, and He shows them what they must do to achieve it. We find in the Qur’an, referring to the revealed message: “[the Prophet] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right and forbid them the doing of what is wrong, and make lawful for them the good things and forbid the bad things of life, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them [aforetime]”

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus, Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought”. [Q, 2:219]

 

If the conditions stipulated for common good are, manifestly proclaimed (qati al-thubut wa-qati al-dalala) in the Qur’an and/or the Sunna, they must be respected and applied in the light of an understanding of the whole body of the objectives of Islamic teaching, maqasid al-Sharia.

 

“And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise”. [Q, 22:52]

 

 

The author earnestly hopes and prays, that this piece will provide clarity to the people, on the issue of “RIBA” {as promised by Allah}, and help them choose the right path. InshaAllah.

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What is a “Halala/Tahleel-marriage” in Islam?  

January 25, 2020

Image result for pic of a Muslim divorced couple?

Answered a question on Halala (briefly) on 01/15/2020 at Quora.com

Halala Also known as Tahleel Marriage” loosely means to “legitimize” something.

Most often, the concept of Halala” is misunderstood and misquoted by ignorant Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.

Halala is neither a convenience nor a short-cut to undo an irrevocable divorce; but a sort of punishment for the man, who has committed an abominable act without due diligence and deliberation. 

A woman will not become lawful for the first husband to marry again, had the second husband divorced her without consummating the marriage, even at his own free will.  Bukhaari (2639) and Muslim (1433) Narrated by Ayesha (r.a.a)

This matter ought to be looked at; bearing in mind; that the act of “Divorcing” though permissible, is considered the most despised act, by the Almighty!

Hadith. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Among lawful things, divorce is most hated by Allah.” (Abu Dawud).

 These are the three most important verses in the Holy Qura’an; setting the principles and modalities of “Divorce” Tahleel-Marriage” and “Post-Tahleel-Behavior”, to be followed.

“And when you divorce women and they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or release them according to acceptable terms, and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress [against them]. And whoever does that has certainly wronged himself. And do not take the verses of Allah in jest. And remember the favor of Allah upon you and what has been revealed to you of the Book and wisdom by which He instructs you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Knowing of all things” [Q, 2:231]

“And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah (SWT). These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to a people who know” [Q, 2:230]

“And when you divorce women and they have fulfilled their term, do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis. That is instructed to whoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is better for you and purer, and Allah knows and you know not” [Q, 2:232]

It has been emphatically advised that the utterances of “Divorce” [talaq] should not be carried out in one go but in three stages, spanning through the duration of married life, known as (Talaq al-bayyina al-sughra) [agreed upon by the majority of scholars and schools]. Affording the couple at least two opportunities in their married life to reconsider their decision and re-unite (Raja’a), before it is too late, and the irrevocable divorce becomes established. (Talaq al-bayyina al-kubra)

Hadith. [Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported that the (pronouncement) of three divorces during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and that of Abu Bakr and two years of the caliphate of Umar (R.A. A) was treated as one. But Umar bin. Khattab (R.A.A) said: Verily the people have begun to hasten in the matter in which they are required to observe respite. So, if we had imposed this upon them, and he imposed it upon them]. Book 9, Number 3491.

NOTE: – Here, if a couple, after the first divorce, hasn’t re-united within the idda period, an irrevocable divorce would become established. They may, nevertheless, re-marry, with a fresh nikah. So, would they be entitled to, after the second divorce as well—either to re-unite before the expiration of the idda period or re-marry afresh after the lapse of idda-period. {re-union without nikah is available before the expiration of the idda period after all three divorces. The convenience of re-marrying after the lapse of third idda-period, however, would come to an END, and the compulsion of Tahleel-marriage would kick in. 

 

Divorce is of four kinds:  Ahsan, most laudableHasan, laudable, In-correct/irregular Bida’a and under duress Mukrah.

Talaq Ahsan–most laudable divorce–is where the husband repudiates his wife by making one pronouncement within the period of Tahr (purity–when the woman is neither menstruating nor having post-natal bleeding) and husband has not had sexual intercourse, and (after the utterance of “Talaq”) she is left to observe her ‘Idda waiting-period:-

Iddah. “Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. (Q, 2:228).  And as for pregnant women, their term shall end with delivery. (65:4).   And those among you who die and leave behind wives, (these wives) should keep themselves waiting for four months and ten days” (Q, 2:234).

Talaq Hasan–laudable divorce–is where a husband repudiates an enjoyed-wife (having had intercourse with) by three sentences of divorce, in three Tuhrs

Talaq Bida’a—irregular or In-correct divorce–is where a husband repudiates his wife by three utterances of “Divorce” (talaq) in one go. According to the majority of the jurists, the Divorce, though valid, is against the spirit of the Shari’ah, therefore, the man following this course would be a deviator in the eyes of Allah (SWT).

Talaq Mukrah–under duress.

“There are three things in which, not only the serious worlds but nonserious words would also count serious. 1) Nikah 2) Divorce 3) Emancipation of a slave. 4) Re-uniting (raja’a), by revoking the divorce. [Narrated by Abu Dawood and Tirmazi—category—good]

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, Nakhai, Qatadah,  Zuhri, and Al Sha’bi, the application of this hadith is restricted to the divorce under duress/compulsion. [discounting the consideration of the will and the intention]

Imam Shafai’i, Imam Ali Ibn Talib and Ibn Abbas, however, contended otherwise by citing another hadith;

“Removed are, from my Ummah, the consequences of acts done by mistake, in forgetfulness and under duress” [ Narrated by Tabarani and Thawhan—category—authentic]

Imam Abu Hanifa is of the view that the “exculpation” as per this hadith pertains to the hereafter, not this world.

Should this premise be admitted, then in my humble view, the consideration of the will and the intention will inevitably become pertinent and integral! Moreover, the intent/purport of the earlier narration seems to have a deterring-undertone (against a casual attitude in serious matters) rather than injunctive, which will satisfy the conciliatory-requisite for the accommodation of both the narrations.  Famous Hadith: “Actions are judged by the intentions” clearly support the argument. (Allah knows the best).

 Divorce initiated by a Woman. (khula)

The right of a woman in demanding the dissolution of marriage is known as “Khula (meaning, the putting off or taking off of a thing). It is a kind of facility/right provided to the wife in securing “Divorce” Talaq from her husband by returning a part or full amount of the bridal gift.

Hadith. ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was commanded to give option to his wives, he started it from me saying: I am going to mention to you a matter which you should not (decide) in haste until you have consulted your parents. She said that he already knew that my parents would never allow me to seek separation from him She said: Then he said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: Prophet, say to thy wives: If you desire this world’s life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing; and if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward She is reported to have said: About what should I consult my parents, for I desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter? She (‘A’isha) said: Then all the wives of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) did as I had done. [Book 9, Number 3498]

 

A desire to re-uniteONLYafter the third and final Divorce (irrevocable—talaq bayyina al-kubra), would necessitate the process of “Halala” or “Tahleel-marriage”

 

One may contend why the woman has to suffer for the fault of the man?

The logical answer is that; a man being the head of the family, custodian of the honor and the dignity, of the family, clan, tribe, etc. would psychologically suffer the most. The woman on the other hand (depending on the ex-husband’s overall behavior/treatment), may or may not like the apparently grotesque process of reunification with her first-husband. However, in all fairness, the woman not only gets re-instated in her status, but she also gets an opportunity extended, to prudently compare and evaluate the present and the past situations. If she feels comfortable and content with the present situation, she may avail of this opportunity and stay put, for she, having been repudiated, was disrespected, dishonored and belittled by her former husband!

Had the man been subjected to go through the process instead, it would have been rather a boon to him; as he is already allowed to marry up to four women. Instead of deterring it would have, most likely, incentivized him for his callous behavior to repeat!

Allah (SWT), is best of the psychologists, therefore, He has ordained the redress jolting the psychological reflexes of the man to the core.

 

Moreover, the woman here neither has the control (over the divorce), nor the obligation to go back to her former husband!

The second husband is also under no moral or legal obligation to divorce. Anyone who does so deliberately; to facilitate the return of the woman to her first husband, has been “cursed” by the Prophet (PBUH)} [Tahleel-marriage in such a situation would become “haram” Invalid]

Women having been endowed with unique temperamental flexibility in terms of the marital relationship by Allah (SWT), therefore, may not take long to adjust in a new situation,

“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find tranquility in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect” [Q,30:21]

 

Divine injunctions, when analyzed from a secular or western frame of mind; often lacking the faith in the Divine will and wisdom, would neither make sense nor would lead to the right conclusion.

 

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Is Wife a Sex- Slave?

August 29, 2019

Image result for pic of a worried Muslim woman

“A Muslim wife must not refuse to satisfy the sexual urges of her husband as and when demanded”

There seems to be some misunderstanding here; in justification whereof; often quoted verses, in addition to some ahadith, are; –

1 “Man is a degree above them (women) [in authority and responsibility] …women be devoutly obedient” (Q, 4:34)

2 “Your women are a tillage for you; so, come unto your tillage as you wish”.    (Q, 2:223)

This dissertation may be better understood by trifurcating into; Psychophysical, behavioral and spiritual segments, successively.

Authentic ahadith, in essence, make a woman obligated to fulfill her husband’s sexual desires as and when demanded and should not refuse. (unnecessarily)

Here are two things to be borne in mind that; keeping husband satisfied would endure and perpetuate the marital and family life. It is also in consonance with a woman’s exhortative libidinal wanderlust. It is hard to imagine that a woman; who is lured into sexual overture by a legitimate partner; would not be thrilled to jump on it unless inhibited by some stone-cold reason?

Women, especially of the feminist mindset, interpret these verses/ahadith; suggestive of women’s “obligation”, as if these have enforced some kind of bondage or sex slavery.

A general tendency, often exhibited, is that we take a verse/hadith in Isolation and interpret it in black and white!

Islam (through Qura’anAhadith and Sunnah) molds human behavior to employ rationality, reason, logic and somewhat common sense (to harness one’s understanding and interpretation) to achieve the ultimate goal; through habituated behavior of obedience/compliance, a successful end of the sojourn. {coerced compliance would make the whole edifice come to naught}

“Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. So can you [Prophet] compel people to believe?”(Q,10:99)

There are many traditions emphasizing upon the importance of legitimate sexual satisfaction, of both the partners equally (including for pleasure). Legitimate sexual-activity attains the station of worship, sadaqah and sunnah.

I wonder if there is any hadith/sunnah whereby Prophet is known to have ever forced any of his wives for sex?

CARDINAL RULE

One ought to; take the cumulative-contextual-sense of all the verses on the topic/issue; take the common(contextual) theme of the authentic ahadith  {which must be in conformity with the Qura’anic dictum}; then get to the gist/essence of the injunction, reposing one’s trust in Allah (SWT) to guide him on the right course. (Q, 2: 85 & 4: 150) [Ijtihad/Personal Ijtihad–by employing the Uslub Tafsir Maudhu’i]

Note: – Every hadith; like Qura’anic verse; is necessitated by a context; which must be correctly established, for its correct understanding and application. 

In regard to the wife’s “obligation” to husband’s sexual satisfaction; one should keep the following things in mind; 

A wife’s sexual-satisfaction is similarly obligatory on the husband.

Compassionate, good treatment of women is commonplace in the Qura’anAhadith and Sunnah.

Moderation in behavior is the hallmark of Islamic teachings.

Ultimate pleasure sought/desired, through various acts/abstinences, is of Allah (SWT).

Therefore, the sexual satisfaction of the husband by his wife does not become mandatory/compulsory in all the circumstances but congruous, cogent and permissible ones, garnering the ultimate pleasure/blessings of Allah. Hence the verse is suggestive/advisory of the obligation; without making it mandatory in disregard of the behavioral or circumstantial swings; discounting the botched concept of bondage/slavery of a devoutly obedient wife. {Vindicated by the proscription of the sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman}It is a state of impurity; so, keep away from the women in the state of menstruation, and do not approach them until they are cleansed (Q, 2:222)

Marital rape/forced-sex

Women having been granted the highest status; such as; the mother of the Prophets; the mother of the faithful; cannot be imagined, to having been made slavishly subservient to the indecorous sexual urges of the husband.

Some scholars try to justify the sexual-satisfaction-right of the husband; even when secured through coercion, by using an apparently formidable but in reality, an untenable argument.  The justification generally presented; in denial/suppression of woman’s feelings, dignity and free-will; is the pleasure of Allah (SWT); which no Muslim would normally dare, differ with or challenge!

In my humble opinion; sexual satisfaction obtained by coercing one’s wife, as if she is a lump of dead meat; in the face of the man having multiple options/rights of divorcing, having more than one wife and marrying another woman, cannot be justified. On the other hand; the woman who is not inclined/agreeable to having sex with the husband must be having a sound reason(s) (psychological or physical incongruity) for it. Therefore, forcing her would not make her either in obedience/compliance of the desires of the husband or of the will of Allah (SWT). Neither will there be a sense of satisfaction/fulfillment on the part of the husband (normally derived from the mutuality/consensual participation of the two); but mere ejaculation, coupled, most likely, with remorse and guilt.

{The emphasis placed; on the compassion; hygienics; good smell and foreplay, therefore, tacitly predicates for a consensual/participatory sex} 

 

Further reading on the topic of women;

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/a-womans-place-in-islam/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/muslim-women-marrying-non-muslim-men/

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If everything is determined in our fate, why did Allah send us down to earth for testing? {Predestination VS Free-Will}

June 19, 2019
The question is very logical but unfortunately based on the misconception. It is a commonplace misconception that everything is pre-determined. Had that been the case there would have been no need for creation’s subjection to retribution. God sure does know everything but has not pre-destined as perceived. There is a difference in His knowing everything and having pre-determined everything. He, being the Creator does know how a person would lead his life, what choices would he make, etc. He, nevertheless, has endowed man with free-will to exercise his right of choice from the options available. {an elbow room} It, therefore, can not be imagined/construed that He (God forbid) is going against his own words/promise. 

The man operates under two different kinds of creational realms. 1) Takweeni—-where there is no choice. which applies to things such as death, age, etc. 2) Tashri’i—- One would be a believer or nonbeliever, would be selfless or selfish, etc. In-animated bodies such as trees, mountains, celestial objects, etc normally operate under the first rule of creation.

Similarly, there are two kinds of order/decree issued by God. 1) final decree—which does not admit of any change. Like death, height, color, race, place of birth, etc. 2) decree—which may or do admit of a change—such as an affliction may be changed to health due to the prayers, or the intervention of the angels; appointed for the protection of human beings.

This is confirmed in Qura’an in Surah Al Nahal 16, V 36. “And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed” & also V 37 “[Even] if you should strive for their guidance, [O Muhammad], indeed, Allah does not guide those He sends astray, and they will have no helpers” 

Hopefully, this explanation would suffice for the correct understanding of the topic of Free-will vs Predestination. 

Also read: https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/the-anthropocentric-character-of-the-universe-special-status-of-man-and-yet-his-denial-of-god/

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Are Qiyam-ul-Lail and Taraweeh the same? Is it allowed to pray both Taraweeh with Vitr and Qiyam-ul-Lail at the last ten days of Ramadan? 

June 1, 2019

Image result for pic of Qiyam-ul-Layl congregation?

Originally Answered on Quora.com on Jun 10th, 2018 

Qayam-ul-Lail—-could be established any night. Not only in the month of Ramadan. Qiyam-ul-Lail, in the mosques, normally starts around 2.30 A.M or so. [For, Allah (SWT) advised in Qura’an for the latter part of the night] (One may, however, continue praying/worshiping/doing Zikr, etc, after the Taraweeh to get the reward of both). 

SUNNAH: Aisha (R.A) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, The Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (for the night prayers) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family members also awake busy praying. [BUKHARI]

Tahjjud: [Another name for Qayam-ul-Lail] may also be offered following the same “Vitar” rule mentioned hereinbelow.

Vitr however, either should not be offered after Taraweeh and offered at the end of the Qayam-ul-Lail. If offered after Taraweeh then should not be repeated after the Qayam-ul-Lail. {Vitr, per hadith, ought not to be repeated but offered only once in a night}.

AHADITH “Make the last of your prayer at night Vitr.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 998; Muslim, 749. “There should not be two Vitr in one night.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 470; al-Nasaa’i, 1679; Abu Dawood, 1439. Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7567.

Taraweeh is a recommended congregational Prayer specific to the month of Ramadan only. 

Read:-Taraweeh 

What is I’tikaf in Islam? What does one have to do during an I’tikaf? 

What is I’tikaf in Islam? What does one have to do during an I’tikaf?

May 27, 2019
It is the name of “spiritual retreat”. Seclusion for a certain number of days in the mosque, giving up/curtailing worldly affairs while keeping busy in the worship of Allah (SWT).

“Shara’i I’tikaf must be in the mosques because Allah says:: “… while you are in I’tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [al-Baqarah 2:187]. “Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen in Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb (8/176)”

“Undoubtedly I’tikaf in the mosque is an act of worship, and (observing it) in Ramadan is better than at other times. It is prescribed in Ramadan and at other times. [Fiqh al-I’tikaf by Dr. Khaalid al-Mushayqih, p. 41 – Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/437)]

One may get out of A’atikaf only for necessities/emergencies. Both men and women may perform I’tikaf in the mosques. It is not limited to the month of Ramadan only. It is sunnah. Its duration may be from the shortest to the longest time. Normally, however, it is for the last 10 nights of the Ramadan.

Al-Shaafa’i and his companions said: Whoever would like to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in observing I’tikaf during the last ten nights of Ramadan should enter the mosque before the sun sets on the night of the twenty-first, so that he will not miss any of it, and he should come out after the sun sets on the night of Eid, whether the month is twenty-nine days or thirty.

Reed: https://shakir2.wordpress.com/tag/taraweeeh/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2019/06/01/are-qiyam-ul-lail-and-taraweeh-the-same-is-it-allowed-to-pray-both-taraweeh-with-vitr-and-qiyam-ul-lail-at-the-last-ten-days-of-ramadan/

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Valiant, Assertive Women Flocking to Islam!

May 6, 2019

 

Claire Evans

{female converts finding true feminism in Islam}

The utilitarian but sacralized character of woman, defined in Islam!

Pondering upon the creational imperatives of a woman with an open mind would inevitably make her (Divine-rule/command) utilitarian role stand out. From the Judaic and biblical accounts; carried over Into Islamic literature: Adam knew the names of everything (Adam having been taught the names of all the things, is Confirmed in Q, 2:31). Adam, at times, used to engage in conversation with angels, but they were often busy worshipping God, so Adam felt lonely. Ibn Abbas and a group of companions of the Prophet (PBUH) narrated that when Iblis (Satan) was expelled out of Paradise and Adam was accommodated therein, Adam was lonely as he did not have a partner from whom he could get tranquility. He slept for some time and when he woke up, he saw a woman, whom Allah had created from his ribs. So, he asked her, “Who are you? She replied, “A woman,” He asked: “Why have you been created?” She said; “So that you could find tranquility in me” The angels, trying to find out the extent of his knowledge, asked him: “What is her name O Adam?” He replied, “Eve,” They asked, “Why was she so named?” He replied, “Because she was created; out of me, something living” (Q, 2; 33 & Hadith—present similar narrative).

Reportedly Eve was created from the rib-cage of Adam. She was not created as a separate entity at par with Adam. Qura’an confirms that; human [Adam] was created from one soul; then-out of him–was created his mate; therefrom multiplied them, into the human race.

“It is He who created you from one soul and created from it its mate that he might dwell in security with her. And when he covers her, she carries a light burden and continues therein. And when it becomes heavy, they both invoke Allah, their Lord, “If You should give us a good [child], we will surely be among the grateful.” (Q, 7:189)

Her utilitarian character is accentuated in Surah Ar-Rahman # 8 verses: 54, 56, 58, 60, 70, 72, 74 and 76. Here; what is noteworthy is that; she is presented as a reward for the good conduct of man; praised by Allah, as the rubies and coral; untouched by a man or a gene (emphasizing her purity/chastity)fair ones reserved for him (man) in pavilions, reclining on green cushions and beautiful carpets.

In surah An-naba # 78, verses, 33-34 her contour {appealing to man’s psychological passion} is highlighted as an inducement for man to do good and be rewarded with; {and a full-breasted—and (size of) a full cup–a woman of equal age}. {As a reward from your Lord, a generous gift [made due by] account (of good deeds)}

 

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them” (Q, 30:21) 

Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so, approach your tilth when or how ye will” (Q, 2: 223) {Categorical imperatives}

 

Historically, a woman was considered a chattel, of an unspecified multitude. Islam, however, limited that to only four at any given time. (still preserving her utilitarian character—granting numerical excess over men—to accommodate polygamy).

“Marry women of your choice two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them) then only one” (Q, 4:3) {prima-facie choice/duty vs actual choice/duty}

 

Here is how this role has been sacralized by Almighty Allah (SWT); by granting her the status of the mother of the Prophets, mothers of the faithful; underneath whose feet lies the paradise. Maryam (Virgin-Mary), the only woman mentioned in the Holy Qura’an, by name with an appellation of “the truthful” [siddiqa]. (Q, 5:75)

The major part of Surah An-Noor is dedicated to the protection and security of the chastity and continence of women. Utmost importance has been attached to the honor and chastity of a believing woman in Islam.

“Those who slander chaste women indiscreet (naive) but believing are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter. For them, there is a grievous Penalty” (Q, 24:23)

The second most venerated woman is Aisha—the youngest wife of the Prophet. She was slandered falsely by a hypocrite but exonerated by Allah (SWT) by revealing 10 verses. (Q, 24: 11-21)

Here is a brief of the heartwrenching story about her grief and exoneration by Allah (SWT). 

Quote: “WAllah, now I do not see an example on the issue between you (prophet) and me, except the one father of Yousuf (Joseph) Yaqoob (Jacob), said after hearing the wrong statement by his sons. “So, Patience is best, and It is Allah whose help is sought against what you describe”

Prophet who was sitting there received the revelation about her exoneration and gave her the good news.

Grief-stricken Aisha, urged by her parents to go to the Prophet, responded: “I do not feel obligated to anyone in this case, except Allah, nor would I get up. I am thankful to my Lord who has exonerated me”

The woman has been elevated in-status by asking her to cover herself and adorn herself only to please her husband. {to save her from the lustful staring, gazing or glancing by the strangers}. Islam is the religion that granted her the right to inheritance and the right to be consulted in daily life matters. Vehemently protecting her from false accusation of adultery/fornication. Portraying as a poetic creature, repeatedly advised men to treat her with compassion and tenderness.

O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit clear immorality (adultery). And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good. But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it committing injustice and manifest sin?” (Q, 4:19, 20)

So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, {When a husband is done with his wife; having no feeling for her, he may divorce her amicably} We married her to you [Prophet] in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them {having become disinterested, without feelings/emotions in their relationship}. (Q, 33:37) 

This injunction; granting a concession primarily to man, is an example of purely Divine rule/command utilitarianism. {secondarily, however, a woman may also exercise her right to seek a divorce in similar situation}

“So, with those of whom, you have enjoyed sexual relations, give them their due compensation as an obligation” Q, 4:24)*

 

Note: *From this very verse, Shia’a school derives the validity of the terminal marriage (muta’a), which Sunni schools abhor as forbidden. 

                                                                      

{Shia’a school, seems to be making use of the “Hedonistic utilitarianism”; where the rule-utilitarianism—Sunni school– is collapsing into act-utilitarianism!}

 

Sura An-Nisa’a, contrary to the usual misinterpretation/misunderstanding, secures women’s place; rights to have autonomy and independence, within the family structure. 

 

“O Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you, the raiment to cover your shame as well as to adorn you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.” (Quran 7:26)

“And say (O Prophet) to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:31).

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad{outside}). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)

West has exploited her act-utilitarian character [defying Divine-rule/command] by objectivizing and universalizing it so that she may be trampled and abused with impunity. West also, exploited her overly compassionate and impressionable nature towards her physique. Thus, a naivete-prone, (act-utilitarian), woman worthy of being revered, respected and protected; is misguided/indoctrinated—in the name of gender equality and woman’s emancipation—to commoditize herself to be desecrated willingly.

Valiant, thoughtful and assertive women, therefore, are rebelling against this exploitative indoctrination and flocking to Islam to fit in the natural pecking order. {النظام الطبيعي- alnizam altabiei}; which is reason-basedDivine-rule/command utilitarianism.

[I seek refuge and forgiveness of Allah, for any inadvertent wrongful assertion].

For further reading on the topics about women: https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/a-womans-place-in-islam/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/muslim-women-marrying-non-muslim-men/

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