Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Praying Silently?

March 31, 2018

 

 It is very important for Muslims to know the difference between praying-silently and praying-in-the-head.

Reciting silently; means one’s lips must move, the tongue must move and the breath must be exhaled with subdued voice (like whispering). What is being recited silently must be audible to the reciter.

Zuhar and Asar Prayers *1 are a good example when both, the Imam and those praying behind him, are reciting silently for it is the peak-time of the day when minds are usually pre-occupied with a host of things/thoughts and a loud recitation even by Imam may not suit the bustling mood of the day and may distract those reciting silently behind him.

In other three prayers, the serene ambiance under the cloak of darkness seems suitable for louder recitation.

*1–Zuhar and Asar Prayers are called “sirri” (silent/subdued) while other 3 prayers are called “Jahri” (loud or audible).

Reciting in the head (without the movement of the above-mentioned facial-parts is not a “recitation” but “imagination”.

It does not constitute a valid recitation in the prayer.

In Islamic Fiqh, the terms “jahr” and “khaft” are used when describing the way one should recite. Linguistically “jahr” means “to be loud, clearly audible” and “khaft” means “to become inaudible, low, and soft”.

Muslim Scholars, however, have resorted to the technical meanings of these terms; based on the linguistic definition, by adding limits to them.

Technically, as explained by the scholars, “jahr” means to recite out loud; the minimal whereof being the recitation in a way that the next person in line can hear. “Khaft” means to recite quietly, the minimal whereof being that the person reciting hears himself. What constitutes “Recitation” is the movement of the tongue, breathing in and out to produce sound. Just “thinking” it in one’s mind does not constitute recitation.

There is a strong position taken in all the schools-of-thoughts (Madahabs) that in a minimal “khaft” (silent) recitation correct pronunciations of the Arabic words of the verse being recited, must be murmured, without exuding sound.

 

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Why Muslim should not eat the meat prepared* by the People of Book (POB)? *

March 5, 2018

 

Image result for still pic of beautiful bull from Pakistan

*(Word “prepared” has been used instead of “slaughtered” to avoid any misunderstanding which might be created)

Sounds Strange? Yes, it does, until one reads it all before making up his mind.

First of all, let us understand what is“Halal” and what is “Dabiha”?

Halal:- is a generic term for permissible animals/things, which may be slaughtered/consumed by Muslims.

Dabiha:- on the other hand, is the meat of a permissible (halal) animal slaughtered by meeting 4 conditions, namely:- Severance (by a sharp object) of Jugular veins, Cutting of Esophagus, while invoking the name (chanting-takbeer) of Allah (SWT) and then letting the blood be drained.

Now, according to the (Q, 5:5) “Today, all the good things of life have been made lawful to you. And the food of those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime is lawful to you, 14  and your food is lawful to them. And [lawful to you are], in wedlock, women from among those who believe [in this divine writ], and, in wedlock, women from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time – provided that you give them their dowers, taking them in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions. 15  But as for him who rejects belief [in God] – in vain will be all his works: for in the life to come he shall be among the lost. 16 

Here I would like to draw attention to a very subtle hint. Muslims, in this verse, have been allowed to marry the chaste women* of the People of Book (POB) by paying them dower.(ensuring the legitimate relationship) On the other hand, POB has not been allowed to marry Muslim women, regardless. Food of each other, on the contrary, however, has been allowed to be consumed (Unconditionally). It is an excellent display of Divine wisdom; by granting a concession at this juncture; because the women who have been made lawful for Muslims (despite being Chaste) grew up on the food; which might not have been prepared as per Islamic rules; and the same would most likely be offered to Muslim-Husbands, refusing to eat whereof would sound offensive and insulting. (Muslim may take their women but refuse to eat their food!). {Explanations # 14 & 15 by Asad, in his translation of 5:5, alluding to this subtlety}

*(Can one, in the given circumstances, find a chaste woman easily amongst the POB? Hence, one ought to see the overall-condition of POB also in the same-vein; necessitating the application of conditional clauses 1 &2, mentioned below)

Here is, however, what has been categorically ordained before/after the concession allowed by Allah (SWT) in (Q, 5:3 & 6:118)

The conditional clause # 1 of “إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ (unless you have properly slaughtered)” should be closely observed as it is used in the Qura’an as a distinguishing factor for the permissibility of meat. Linguistically Dhakah means to complete or perfect something.

Legality operates until proved Otherwise.

A ruling deduced from (Q,10:30) has been specified by Al Jassas in his “Ahkam Al Qura’an” that all edibles are permissible and Halal(lawful) unless the unlawfulness or prohibition of something particular stands proved through an evidence of shria’a. (Consider the current religious practices of the people of the book in the light of clause #1 &2).  A pertinent Hadith reported by Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, where Prophet (PBUH) said “By the one in whose hands rests my life, any Jew or Christian (POB) who hears my call and still does not believe in the teachings I have brought, then he/she will be of the people of Hell (Jahannam)” (the language employed in this Hadith expresses the continuity of its application until the end of the time).

Accentuation of the point of eating properly slaughtered meat.

Eat of that (meat) over which the name of Allah (SWT) has been pronounced—The conditional clause #2 (while slaughtering that animal/bird) if you are believers in His revelations (6:118)

And why should you not eat of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of slaughter), while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under extreme necessity? And, surely many do lead (mankind) astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly, your Lord knows best the Transgressor (6:119)

Eat not (O believers) of that meat on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of slaughtering) for sure it is disobedience of Allah (a sinful conduct). And certainly, the Shayaatin (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind) to dispute with you, and if you obey them [making al-Maytatah legal to eat (Maytatah – a dead animal or animal/bird slaughtered without taking the name of Allah during slaughter)], then you would indeed be a polytheists (i.e. doing shirk, ascribing partners to Allah) (6:121)

And such animals (cattle) upon which they mention not the Name of Allah (during slaughter) only to fabricate a lie against Him (6:138)

So eat of the lawful (Dabiha) and good food (Pure wholesome, Halal cattle slaughtered according to Islamic method) which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allah, if it is He Whom you worship (16:114)

And say not concerning that which your tongue says falsely: “This is Halal and this is Haram,” so as to invent lies against Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper…A passing brief enjoyment (will be theirs), but they will have a painful torment (16:116-117)

For every nation, We have appointed religious ceremonies so that they may mention the Name of Allah (SWT) upon the animals that He has given them for food (22:34)

So mention the Name of Allah (SWT) upon them (sheep, goat, cows, oxen, camels etc) as they line up (for sacrifice) (22:36)

Relevant Ahadith

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (R.A) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “A time will come upon the people wherein a man will not bother what he intakes; whether from a Halal source or Haram.”  (Bukhari 2059)

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Avoid whatever you have doubts about in favor of what is not (doubtful).” (Tirmidhi)

 

Hanbalite, Shafai’ite, Malikite and Hanafite school, all adhere to the above position.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE

One should not pick and choose a verse to present his/her own (favorite) point of view. Instead, a collective outcome, of all the verses on the topic, should be the one guiding and binding. (Q, 2: 85 & 4: 150)

 

Opposite Points of views

Despite all the above quotes and the position emphasized upon in this treatise several Imams, such as Imam Ibn Katheer (RA) writes in famous commentary, “Ibn Abbas and Abu Umaamah and Mujaahid and Sa‘eed ibn Jubair and ‘Ikrimah and ‘Ataa’ and al-Hasan and Makhool and al-Suddi and Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan said that it (the food of the people of the book) means “what they slaughter”; in fact this is a matter on which there is agreement among the scholars that is what they [the People of the Book] slaughter is lawful for the Muslims because they believe that it is unlawful to slaughter to other than Allah and they mention nothing other than the name of Allah over what they slaughter even though they believe things about Him, exalted is He, that he transcends.”

 

The Validity of opposing views

 

These Imams; based on their ijtihad (juridical-contemplative-deduction); uphold the injunctions given in (Q, 5:5) as self-contained/ freestanding. In Islamic parlance; where a difference of opinion like this ensues; neither of the points of views is considered invalid or wrong.

 

(H) “Difference of opinion of Muhammad (PBUH)’s companions is a mercy for Allah’s slaves” Every difference of opinion, in juridical (Fiqhi) issues, is based on a sincerely deduced unique perspective hence become a basis/source of mercy.

 

 The Basis of a difference of opinion

 

A difference of opinion among the Imams normally stems from the state/understanding of the Evidence such as-(text or hadith);

Un-availability, abrogation, considered weak, forgetfulness of it, the unreliability of its narrator, misconstruing its meaning or thinking that the one in hand is stronger than the new one.

 

Here is how one may decide which “way” to follow:-

 

Those who know of the evidence should follow it (Qura’anic text or hadith Sahih) even if it goes against some of the Imams (but not against the consensus–Ijma’a–of the ummah). Shaykh Uthaymeen (R.A)

 

Those who are not well versed in such a knowledge should resort to a reputed scholar, for Allah (SWT) says:- “So ask those who know the scripture, if you know not”(Q,16:43)

 (I seek refuge in Allah (SWT) for my shortcomings. May Allah (SWT) guide us all on the right path).

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Scientific rationalism, reason vs. Religious Faith

January 6, 2018

Related image

These are two different fields of knowledge and inquiry. It would be naïve to compare them on any logical basis, for they are not compatible and human logic and reasons, including scientific knowledge; restricted to tangibility, empiricism, and repeatability, cannot transcend into the realm of spirituality.

Such questions are generally raised by those who are staunch believers in material/tangible world only. They fail to even imagine or entertain the idea that; there could exist another realm beyond their area of comprehension; despite the fact that they invariably acknowledge the limitation and fallibility of human knowledge, reason, and logic, including taken for guaranteed scientific knowledge. They also talk about many dimensions of the Universe but exclude the spiritual one due to ingrained anti-faith arrogance and rigidity.

Most often a misunderstanding of the earlier religious figures or even nonreligious figures; who laid some kind of claims in the name of religion; which turned out to be false are being exploited to justify the incorrigibility of reason, logic and scientific knowledge, which in itself is deceit and treachery. There are, on the other hand, numerous claims made by scientist community; being transient and tentative — as per the Pierce Doctrine of “Fallibilism”–turned out to be false, should they not then be used similarly to validate the religion/faith?

The good news, however, is that there is a growing breed of people; who have the capacity and will to traverse both the realms with equal ease and certainty. This approach is the only approach which will augment and extend, the understanding and the ensuing benefits of both the realms, to the human race.

Needless to stress the reality, that the Creator of the science is also the Creator of all the universe (s) dimensions including spiritual one. We cannot go too far by just acknowledging and depending only on one of the dimensions of—materiality, tangibility, empiricism and repeatability. We ought to learn to transcend and traverse both (and all) the realms to better understand and benefit fully.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/epistemological-theology/

For further reading:- May GOD be dispensed with?

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Reality

January 6, 2018

 

Image result for pictures of nebula

Reality is subjective and perceptive in a spatial-temporal world. It has as many shades as seekers. it entails priori (analytical) and posteriori (synthetic) justification resting on innate ideas. It transforms into a new dimension when experienced through spiritual wisdom–beyond the realm of space-time. It remains available to the one witnessing it from priori and posteriori justification standpoint and also to believer, follower, adherent out of sheer devotion and reverence through posteriori knowledge only. The first one could be Gnostic, saint, Sufi, Mystic and the later one, a follower, devotee, faithful. believer, or a seeker of reality and truth. It is not however yet a destination but a state/stage/rank in the Quest for Ultimate reality!

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Do animals also feel pain?

December 24, 2017

Most animals, as well as plants, do.

In my opinion, anything which can be perceived to have been endowed with any level of consciousness (Humanly cognizable or not) does have the sense of joy and gloom, which would be a consequence of obedience or disobedience to its Creator.

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Is Allah’s wrath; like Anger, a human weakness?

December 24, 2017

“Anger” is not a proper translation of the word “Ghazab” however, the closest proper English equivalent would be “wrath”. Allah’s wrath is one of His characteristics. It, however, is not a characteristic passed onto human beings as such—but a much milder version of it “anger”. Logically and rationally human beings are incapable of handling the intensity and wholesomeness of any of His Characteristics. Justice is also one of His characteristics and passed onto human beings in the similar fashion. “Unjustness” or “In-justice” however, is not one of His characteristics but human beings practice it due to their innate unsavory impulses. When human beings; despite His countless blessings; transgress; doing an injustice to His right(s); it results in His “wrath”, which is quite logical and rational consequence.

Unlike Human being, Allah (SWT) is all knowing and is beyond “injustice”, therefore, His wrath would be perfectly justifiable. It is only the human being who could be wrong in his expression of anger. Whereas, getting angry impulsively would be a weakness associable with him But not with Allah (SWT).

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Tazkiyyah-a-Nafs, (Self-Control).

December 24, 2017

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect” (Q,18:28)

Improvisation

Keep your-self (Nafs) restrained/subdued by being in the company of those, who keep busy remembering their Lord, day and night (morn, eve) seeking His pleasure/approval/mercy. Do not let your-self (Nafs) evade their company by being attracted to the adornments of fleeting life (temporary worldly life). Do not be in the company of someone whose heart, We have rendered, barren of Our remembrance. The one who is the slave of his desires and, his disposition is utter neglect. 

 

(This may have also provided a justification (deduced) for   “Majalis” & “Halaqa”— group chanting, Mahafil—e–Sama’a etc—for ordinary people and the people of Sufi orders)

Needless (Poor) king of the Kings!

December 24, 2017

The one who is, selfless and sincere to the purpose of life; goodness towards others and, obedience to the Creator. He would never have to question anyone’s intention or motive for he is free of the expectations and needs. Sin (covetousness) is the destruction of the station of the needless. Needless (Poor) is the king of the Kings; for the covetousness and expectations are his slaves, and the Kings are slaves of their covetousness and expectations.

He (PBUH) said, “Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; have no desire for what people possess, people will love you.” [Ibn Majah]

In the world of selfishness and materialism virtue becomes too feeble to even register.

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Demonizing, Repressing a Religious Minority!

December 19, 2017

 

 

 

DEMONIZING AND REPRESSING A RELIGIOUS MINORITY BECAUSE IT HAS DIFFERENT MORAL VALUES THAN THE MAJORITY CAN HAVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.
A classically American approach that protects the many religious streams running together to form the American cultural heritage rather than damming one in favor of another. As historian Denise Spellberg observes of Thomas Jefferson’s view of Islam, “In the formation of the American ideal and principles of what we consider to be exceptional American values, Muslims were, at the beginning, the litmus test for whether the reach of American constitutional principles would include every believer, every kind, or not.” Jefferson didn’t care for Islam (or any organized religion, for that matter). But he understood that America would be stronger if citizens favoring one stream of its heritage vigorously argued its merits without seeking to place legal limits on those arguing for the merits of a different stream.
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Denise A. Spellberg (born c. 1958) is an American scholar of Islamic history. She is an associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Spellberg holds a BA from Smith College (1980) and a Ph.D. (1989) from Columbia University.

Books

Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of ‘A’isha Bint Abi Bakr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders, New York: Knopf, October 1, 2013; ISBN 978-0307268228

Theological Epistemology

December 17, 2017

Is there such a thing as historical-epistemological theology? It investigates the theory of theological knowledge, belief as it matures and evolves throughout the ages?

Epistemology came into use in the second half of the 18 century whereas the Divine religions go back to the beginning of the Creation and Islam goes back to 6th Century. Therefore Divine religions predate the latent philosophical concepts and terminology. On the other hand, however, there is sure a mode of progression in the monotheism—-Sabianism, Judaism, Christianity and finally Islam. (The theme of monotheism remained focal and constant)

Its critical analysis, however, was not left to the human contemplation or logical reasoning alone but was answered, affirmed through the scriptures and the Prophetical delineations.

Repeated interpolation of the previous scriptures is a vivid example of the defective, maneuvered and contrived application of human reasoning and logic.

It, for the most part, therefore was put to an end by the Divine Himself by declaring in Holy Qura’an that your religion “Islam” has been perfected.

Contemplation, on ancillary matters, however, would continue until the end of the time; through Ijtihad; by the competent scholars and consensus thereupon, being essentials for the correct conclusions/solutions.

This process, nevertheless, is above and beyond the scope of mundane philosophical constructs and terminologies.

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