Friday, February 18, 2011

Is it necessary to rely on causes?

Question: The following is written in the book Endless Bliss, “If a person thinks that someone other than Allahu ta’âlâ affects actions and deeds, his tawhîd will be defective. If he says there is no need for any causes, he will have deviated from Sharî’at [Islam]. If he says that it is unnecessary to put the causes in between, he will have been unreasonable. If he says that they are necessary, he will have put his tawakkul (trust) in the one who has prepared the causes, a case which shows a defect in tawhîd.” I cannot understand this passage. Whether we place our trust in causes or not, both cases are blameworthy. Then what form should our tawakkul take?

ANSWERYes, the subject tawakkul is difficult to understand. Let us explain the passage above in three principles:
1. We have to believe in the fact that everything, good or evil, advantage or harm, is created by Allahu ta’âlâ. Our belief will not be correct if we say that some things affect some things, for it is Allahu ta’âlâ who creates all things. The purport of an âyah (verse) is as follows:
(It is Allah who creates you and your deeds.) [Sûrat-us-Saffât, 96]

2. If we say that there is no need for any causes in order for deeds to be done, then we will have denied the causes set by Allahu ta’âlâ. For example, it would be very wrong to say, “I will have a child even if I do not marry.” Such causes as a father and a mother are necessary for having a child.

3. If we say that causes are necessary and indispensable, we will have relied on causes, a case which again shows a defect in tawhîd. In other words, just as it is wrong to say a person can have a child without there being a man and a wife, so it is very wrong to consider a man and a wife absolutely necessary for a child’s coming into the world and to say that Allahu ta’âlâ does not have a role in a child’s being created. There may be parents, but they may not have a child. In the same way, Allahu ta’âlâ can create a child without there being parents at all. As a matter of fact, He created Hadrat Âdam and Hadrat Hawwa without parents and Hadrat ‘Îsâ without a father. We must not repose our reliance in causes and means. We must know that it is Allahu ta’âlâ, too, who creates the causes and means.

We live in the world of causes. The Divine Habit of Allahu ta’âlâ is to create something through causes. If something is created without a cause, then it is mu’jiza or karamah. The Creator of magic is Allahu ta’âlâ. He is the Creator of everything.

Let us summarize these three principles:
If we want to do a deed, we will hold fast to its causes, but at the same time, we will not say that causes certainly will do this deed. For instance, we should marry in order to have a child, but we must not say that we will definitely have a child because we have married. If we are ill, we should go to doctors, take medicine, or undergo an operation. But we must not say that these causes have made us healthy. Maybe we will exhale our last breath on the operation table. We must not rely on causes and agencies. We must know that the One who creates the causes and who gives them effectivity is Allahu ta’âlâ.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Can a Muslim marry a Black, a German, a Japanese, a Gypsy, a Sunnite, an Alewite, a Christian, a Buddhist, or an atheist?

Question: Is there racial discrimination in Islam? Is there anything wrong with marrying a Black, a German, a Japanese, a Gypsy, a Sunnite, an Alewite, a Christian, a Buddhist, or an atheist?

ANSWERYou have not mentioned whether you are a male or a female because the answer to it differs according to sex. In Islam, it is permissible, though being makruh tahrimi, for Muslim males to marry the females from among the People of the Book [Christian and Jewish women]. However, it is not permissible for a Muslim female to marry a male from among the People of the Book. She goes out of the fold of Islam at the moment she intends to marry him. Both a Muslim male and a Muslim female cannot marry a Buddhist or an atheist. If they marry, this act takes them out of the fold of Islam.

There is by no means racial discrimination in our religion. There is religious discrimination. Being a Gypsy or a Black is a racial issue. There is no religious obstacle to marrying him/her if he/she is a pious Muslim.

A Muslim woman can marry a Muslim German or a Muslim Japanese. What matters is that he must be pious. He must perform five daily salats and abstain from forbidden things.

The most important qualities that a man must look for in a woman he will marry are that she must perform five daily salats and comply with the Islamic code of dress for women. If a woman who claims to be a Muslim does not perform five daily salats and does not observe the Islamic code of dress, it is a sin to marry her. Similarly, if a man who claims to be a Muslim does not perform five daily salats and does not abstain from forbidden actions, such as drinking, committing fornication, and stealing things, it is a sin to marry him. As a matter of fact, it is declared in the hadith-i sharifs written in the book Shir'at-ul Islam:

(Whoever marries his daughter to a fasiq, his supplications and acts of worship will not be accepted.)

(Whoever consents to marry a fasiq man, the statement "She despaired of Allah's mercy" will be written on her forehead when she rises up from her grave.)

(Whoever wants to get my shafa'ah
[intercession], let him not marry his daughter to a fasiq.)
[The word fasiq is used for a person who commits sins flagrantly. For example, a person who does not perform salats or who does not observe the Islamic code of dress is a fasiq. It is not right to marry a fasiq, that is, someone who sins openly. Marrying someone with a corrupt faith in particular is in no way right.]

A Muslim male should marry a female who has manners, modesty, and good moral conduct, sufficient Islamic knowledge, is committed to Islam, and covers herself compatibly with Islam when she goes out. He should look for a girl who has chastity and who cares for her religion. Wealth and beauty should not be his priorities. He should not opt for wealth, beauty, race, or color at the sacrifice of chastity and piety. It is stated in hadith-i sharifs:

(One marries a woman either for her wealth or for her beauty or for her piety. Choose the one who is religious. A person who marries a woman because of her wealth will not be able to possess her wealth. A person who marries a woman only for her beauty will be deprived of her beauty.) [Muslim]

(He who marries a woman for her beauty and wealth will be deprived of both. However, both wealth and beauty will be given to him who marries a woman for her piety.) [Tabarani]

The person one will marry, whether a male or a female, must avoid forbidden actions, perform acts of worship, and have good moral qualities. One who values only physical appearance and who does not listen to the advice of experienced elders will suffer the bad consequences of it both in this world and in the world to come.

When one chooses a spouse, the criterion to be used is that the spouse should be a pious Muslim. His or her race and color is not important.

Interfaith marriages - Can a muslim woman marry a non muslim man?

Question: At the present time, is it permissible to marry a Jew or a Christian?

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a man who is not Muslim. She becomes a renegade at the moment she makes up her mind to marry a non-Muslim man. (Endless Bliss)
Because there are no dhimmis (non-Muslims living in a Muslim country and under Islamic laws) today in the world, it is makruh tahrimi--that is, close to haram--for a Muslim male to marry a Christian or a Jewish female. It is not permissible and is a sin.

Marrying a non-Muslim woman involves disadvantages in terms of the children they will have in the future. In the past, children were able to safeguard their religion under the influence of their environment in Islamic states. However, it is very difficult, maybe impossible, today for a Muslim man who gets married in a Christian country to protect his children from the influence of their environment. Even if he lives in a country inhabited by Muslims, it is next to impossible at such a time as this to bring a child with a non-Muslim mother up under an Islamic education. There is no sin graver than bringing one's children up as disbelievers. He, together with them, will go to Hell. It is declared in hadith-i sharifs:

(All of you are like shepherds of flocks. As a shepherd protects his flock, so you should protect your households and those under your command from Hell. You must teach them Islam. If you do not, you will be held responsible.) [Muslim]

(Many Muslim children will go to the Hell named Wayl because of their fathers, for their fathers, being seized by the ambition of earning money and making merry and running after worldly affairs only, did not teach their children Islam and the Qur'an al-karim. I am far removed from such fathers. And they are away from me. Those who do not teach their children their religion will go to Hell.) [Endless Bliss]
How difficult it is to teach Islam to a child whose mother is a Christian. It is stated in the hadith-i sharif above that if a father does not teach Islam to his child for any reason whatsoever, he, together with his child, will go to Hell.

Monday, February 07, 2011

How to Perform Salah (For Women)


It is written in Ni’mat-i Islam: 

“When beginning to perform salat, a woman raises both hands up to the level of her shoulders. 
While standing she puts her right hand on the left hand. But she does not grasp her left wrist with the fingers of her right hand. She puts her hands on her breast. 

While making ruku [1], her hands are placed on the knees, but she does not grasp them. She keeps her fingers closed together. She does not keep her legs straight, nor her back level.

While making sajda (prostration), she lowers herself, bringing her arms to her sides while she keeps her abdomen placed over her thighs. She sits on the buttocks, her legs inclined towards right. 

A woman cannot be an imam for men. It is makruh [2] for a woman to be an imam for other women. If they follow a man as imam, they should be in the last line of the jama’at (congregation).

If a woman is kissed (while performing salat), her salat will be nullified.

While performing salat in jama’at, if a woman stands beside or in front of a man, the man’s salat will be fasid (nullified). The man should signal to the woman to move behind. If she does not do as she is beckoned, in that case, only the woman’s salat will become fasid (invalid).

In case of a baby crying or of food boiling over the fire, leaving the salat is permissible for a woman.

A woman does not strecth her hands forward while making dua (suplication), but she keeps them inclined towards her face.

[1] ruku: bowing during the prayer of namaz.
[2] makruh: (act, thing) improper, disliked and abstained by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam); makruh tahrima: prohibited with much stress.
 Maybe these posts would interest you …

- How should women dress when performing namâz at home?
- What are the differences between the namâzes of men and those of women?