What does Islam say about Visiting Graves? What are the appropriate manners for Visiting Graves in Islam?
Generally, visiting graves is mustahab (recommended) for men and permissible for women. Visiting the graves of saintly people, parents and close relatives is considered mandoob (desirable). It is permissible and possible for women to visit graves as long as they do not cry out, wail, behave hysterically and respect graves too much, which can cause mischief. This is because the Prophet advised a woman who was wailing at her child’s grave to endure; yet he did not forbid her to visit the grave. (Bukhari, Janaiz, 2, Ahkam II; Muslim, Janaiz, 15). In addition, it is narrated that Hazrat Aisha visited her brother’s, Abdurrahman b. Abi Bakr, grave. (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 61).
The Prophet prohibited visiting graves during a period of time when belief in fate was not yet settled and traditions of the era of ignorance were still being practiced. However, later he permitted it. The following is stated in a hadith:
“I had prohibited visiting graves for you. From now on you can visit graves”. (Muslim, Janaiz, 106; Adahi, 37; Abu Dawud janaiz, 77; Ashriba, 7; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 7; Nasai, Janaiz, 100; Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 47; Ahmad b. Hanbal, I, 147, 452, III, 38, 63, 237, 250, V, 35, 355, 357). Hadiths that state that the Prophet cursed on women who visited graves too often (Tirmidhi, Salat, 21; Janaiz, 61; Nasai, Janaiz, 104; Ibn Maja, Janaiz, 49) belong to the period of time when visiting graves were prohibited. Tirmidhi stated it clearly (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 60). Hazrat Aisha and Ibn Abdilberr agreed on it.
According to the sound view of Hanafis, it is permissible for women to visit graves as long as they do not display extreme behaviors such as wailing and behaving hysterically. This is because the permission mentioned in hadiths applies to women too. (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 60, 61; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Mukhtar, Istanbul, 1984, II, 242).
It has been observed in the stream of history that graves were also visited to ask for help from the dead and even to worship them.
This is the reason why visiting the Prophet’s grave was prohibited in the early years of Islam. Jews and Christians made the graves of people, whom they considered saints, place of worship for themselves. In the Era of Ignorance, people used to prostrate before graves and worship idols. Idolatry started with respect and revering to eminent people’s graves and eventually, that respect turned into worshipping idols. The aim of Islam was to place the principle of tawhid (accepting Allah as the unique Creator and worshipping to Him only) in people’s hearts. Previously, Prophet Muhammad had prohibited visiting graves because he found it risky for this reason. However, when the creed of tawhid was settled in people’s hearts and well comprehended by Muslims, he permitted people to visit graves.
As a matter of fact, there are benefits in visiting graves both for the living and the dead. When the Messenger of Allah was on the expedition to Makkah, he visited his mother Amina’s grave and cried, and made the people around him cry too, and he permitted Muslims to visit graves. (Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 48; Nasai, Janaiz, 101; Muslim, Janaiz, 36; Abu Dawud, Janaiz, 77). That permission and also encouragement of visiting graves are available in well-known hadiths. (Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 47; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 60).
Benefits of Visiting Graves
a) It reminds one of death and afterlife, and makes him draw a lesson from it for his afterlife. (Muslim, Janaiz, 108; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 59; Ibn Majah, Janaiz 47-48; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, I, 145).
b) It directs one to asceticism and taqwa (God-Consciousness). It prevents over-ambitiousness for worldly life and committing harams. It directs one to commit good deeds. (Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 47).
c) Visiting graves of saintly people - especially that of our Prophet’s - refreshes one’s soul and helps to evoke supreme feelings in them. It is mandoob to travel to the graves of our Prophet and Allah’s saintly slaves in order to visit them. The Prophet states in a hadith: “Whoever visits me after I die, it is as if he visited me when I was alive.” (Mansur Ali Nasif, at-Taj, al-Jamiu’l Usul, II, 190).
d) Visiting graves helps the strengthening of one’s relations with his past, religious culture and history.
Benefits of Visiting Graves for the Dead
a) Graves of parents, other relatives and friends are visited especially in order to pray for the peace of their souls and for their salvation. The fact that thawabs gained from good deeds that are performed on behalf of the dead will reach to them is stated in hadiths and determined by the consensus of Islamic scholars. When visiting the dead, one prays for the peace of their souls, reads the Quran and thawabs gained from those good deeds are donated to them. It is thawab to plant a tree at one’s grave. There are hadiths stating that a tree planted at a grave will be a reason to ease the dead person’s agony. It is makrooh (abominable) to put a wreath on graves as Christians do.
This Quranic verse indicates the fact that prayers and supplication made for the sake of the dead people’s souls will be beneficial for them: “Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith, and leave not, in our hearts, rancor (or sense of injury) against those who have believed.” (al-Hashr, 59:10). There are many hadiths on the issue (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, II, 509; VI, 252; Ibn Majah, Adab).
b) The dead hear the living ones: It is stated in the hadiths that those in graves hear the ones who speak while visiting them and respond to their salutations. As narrated by Abdullah b. Umar, the Prophet addressed the corpses of Quraish people lying on the ground after the battle of Badr: “Have you comprehended that the punishment the Lord promised to you was true?” Upon this, Hazrat Umar said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, are you addressing those emotionless corpses?” And the Messenger of Allah said: “You do not hear more than those do. But they cannot answer.” (Ahmad b. Hanbal, II, 121). On the issue, Hazrat Aisha narrated the following hadith: “Now that they have died, they will comprehend the reality better. As a matter of fact, Allah said: O by beloved prophet, you cannot make yourself heard by the dead”. However, the majority of the Islamic scholars opposed Hazrat Aisha on the issue and based their views on the narration by Abdullah b. Umar written above because it was in line with other narrations. (see: az-Zabidi, Tajrid-i Sarih, translation, Kamil Miras, Ankara, 1985, IV, 580).
Appropriate Manners for Visiting Graves
When a visitor arrives in a graveyard, he turns his face towards graves and, as our Prophet said, he salutes them: “O inhabitants of the land of believers and Muslims! May peace be upon you. Insha’allah we are going to join you. I ask Allah for the salvation of both you and us.” (Muslim, Janaiz, 104; Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 36).
Although the meaning of the narration by Hazrat Aisha is the same, its expression is a little bit different. According to the narrations by Tirmidhi and Ibn Abbas, the Messenger of Allah visited Madinah graveyard once and turning to graves, he said:
“O the inhabitants of the graveyard, peace be upon you! May Allah forgive us and you. You went before us and we are going to come after you.” (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 58, 59). If one salutes a dead person he knows while passing by his grave, the dead person responds to his salutation and recognizes him. If one salutes a dead person he does not know while passing by his grave, the dead person responds to his salutation. (Gazali, Ihyau Ulumi’d-din, IV, Ziyaratu’l Qubur).
During visit to graves, one cannot perform prayers (salat). Graveyards can never be used as masjids. It is makrooh to perform prayers facing a grave. It is not permissible to put candles and light them up on graves. (Muslim, Janaiz, 98; Abu Dawud, Salat, 24; Tirmidhi, Salat, 236).
The Prophet prohibited lighting candles on graves because money is wasted for them and they are lit on graves for revering. It is makrooh to sit on and step on graves. (Muslim, Janaiz, 33; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 56).
One must avoid uttering nasty and nonsense words which are unrelated to grave visits, walking in an arrogant manner and one must be in a modest state. (Nasai, Janaiz, 100; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 46). One must avoid relieving nature in graveyards. (Nasai, Janaiz, 100; Ibn Maja, Janaiz, 46). It is makrooh to cut down trees and plants in graveyards. It is makrooh to make sacrifice near a grave, even though it is performed for the sake of Allah. And it is definitely haram to make sacrifice in order to make the dead content and get help from them. There are some who said it is shirk (attributing partners to Allah); because, making sacrifice is a kind of worship and only Allah can be worshipped. One cannot perform tawaf around graves like around the Kaaba. Asking for help from the dead and tying pieces of cloths or handkerchiefs on gravestones for this reason will not work. Believing that some graves and tombs heal diseases and considering their stones, soil and trees holy do not comply with Islam’s creed of tawhid.
It is called “tawassul” to make live or dead saintly people mediators for asking something from Allah. One in grave is incapable of being useful or harmful to someone else. According to Ibn Taymiyya and his followers, it is haram and even shirk to make saintly people, including prophets, mediators for asking something from Allah. And according to the majority of Islamic scholars, it is permissible to make saintly people mediators to ask something from Allah and to visit their graves for this reason. For instance, it may be a reason for the acceptance of prayers to say “Accept my supplication for the sake of Hazrat Muhammad, O my Lord, I am supplicating to you through him.” According to Hanafis and Malikis, it is more virtuous to visit graves on Fridays, on the days before and after Fridays, that is, Thursdays and Saturdays. According to Shafiis, it is more appropriate to visit graves from the afternoon on Thursdays until the morning on Saturdays. According to Hanbalis, it is not right to determine a specific day for visiting graves. In conclusion, although it is more virtuous to visit graves on Fridays, it is possible and permissible to visit graves on other days as well. (Abdurrahman al-Jaziri, al-Fiqh ala’l-Madhahibi’l Arbaa, I, 540).
A tomb is a grave that is visited. It is a building with domes, built over the graves of eminent scholars, saintly people, dervishes, rulers, wives and children of rulers, emirs, viziers and commanders in Islam. The buildings built over non-Muslims’ graves are also called tombs. Graves of eminent Islamic scholars, over which a building is not built, are also called tombs as a respect for them. While visiting her father’s grave, Hazrat Fatima said:
“What happens to a person who smells the soil of Ahmad Alayhissalatu wassalam’s grave? S/he needs to smell nice scents such as musk all his/her life. I am covered with such calamities that if they were to cover the days, days would turn into nights.” (Qastalani, Mawahibu’l Ladunniyya, Egypt, 1281, II, 501).
She preferred to call the Honored Grave “Grave of Ahmad” in her speech. As a matter of fact, as an indication of respect to the Prophet, the Grave of Bliss (the Prophet’s grave) is not called “tomb” but “Rawda al-Mutahhara” and “Qubbatu’l-Khadra”.
The Prophet, in some of his hadiths, prohibited building buildings and masjids over graves. (see: Bukhari, Janaiz, 69; Muslim, Janaiz, 31-32, Masajid 63; Abu Dawud, 76; Nasai, Janaiz, 295, 339, 299). The majority of Islamic scholars said: Building houses, tombs, domes, madrasas or masjids or arbors is makrooh, though it is not haram, on condition that they are not built to show arrogance or wealth. If they are built to show arrogance and wealth, it is haram. It is unlawful to build a tomb in a public graveyard. If the grave belonged to the property of the dead person, it is makrooh to build tomb over it (see: Abdurrahman al-Jaziri, al-Fiqh ala’l Madhahibi’l Arbaa, Cairo, I, 536). Nevertheless, some Islamic scholars said it was permissible to build tombs over the graves of sheikhs, scholars, rulers and wives and children of rulers. There have been scholars who found it permissible to build tombs and domes if there are many buildings and domes like that in places where tombs are built and if those tombs and domes will not result in any kind of prestige such as respect and revering to them, apart from making the dead people recognized and their names known. (Hassan al-Idwi, Mashariqu’l-Anwar, Egypt, 1316/26).
It has been agreed by all except Wahhabis that it is necessary to put a gravestone so that the dead person’s name and where he lies will be known.
Except for gravestones which are necessary not to forget the dead person’s name and where he lied, unnecessary ornamentations and constructions must be avoided. The living people need the money spent on graves more than the dead. None of them will be of use to the dead except planting trees.
What is Fornication (ZINA)?
To fornicate means to have sexual intercourse with a woman that one is not married to. The Arabic root of the word fornication (zina) is zana. The lexical meaning and term meaning of the word zina are the same. It means the sexual intercourse of a man and woman who are not married to each other from the front part of their bodies. The man who fornicates is called “zani” and the woman is called “zaniyah”.
Hanafis describe zina as a fiqh term as follows: the sexual intercourse of a man who is mukallaf (responsible) with religious decrees with a woman who is mature enough to be desired for sexual intercourse and who is not his wife or female slave in an Islamic country from the front part of their bodies.
It is necessary for the glans of the penis to enter the vagina for the punishment of hadd to be carried out. The intercourse less than it, for instance, kissing, hugging, rubbing the penis between the thighs, etc do not necessitate the punishment of hadd (punishment fixed by the Quran) although they are haram. Since small children and insane people are not mukallaf, their fornication does not necessitate the punishment of hadd. On the other hand, according to Abu Hanifa, anal intercourse with a man or woman (liwata) is not decreed as zina because it cannot be defined as zina. Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Shafii, Hanbalis and Malikis hold the opposite view. Intercourse with a dead woman and an animal is not decreed as zina, either, because that kind of intercourse is not regarded as normal by healthy people. In addition, it is necessary that the man or the woman be not forced to commit fornication. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "My umma (community) will not be accounted for the things that they do by mistake, forgetting and being forced." (Bukhari, Hudud, 22; Talaq, II; Abu Dawud, Hudud, 17; Tirmidhi, Hudud, 1; Ibn Majah, Talaq, 15).
Islamic scholars agree unanimously that the punishment of hadd is not needed for a woman who is forced to fornicate. As for the man who is forced, according to the preferred view of Shafiis and Malikis, it is not necessary to carry out the punishment of hadd or tazir (any punishment other than hadd) for such a man. Their evidence is the hadith above and the excuse of being forced. According to the first view of Abu Hanifa, if the enforcement is from the head of the state, the punishment of hadd is not necessary. If somebody other than the head of the state has forced a man to fornicate, the punishment of hadd is carried out in accordance with istihsan (deciding in favor of the public interest in a matter that is not otherwise prohibited) because only the head of the state can force someone to do it. The view of Abu Hanifa that settled is that the punishment of hadd is not carried out for someone who is forced because sometimes, a man can commit involuntary sexual intercourse. According to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, the punishment of hadd for the forced man is not carried out in either case. Imam Zufar holds the opposite view (al-Qasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi', 2nd impression, Beirut 1394/1974, VII, 34,180; ash-Shirazi, al-Muhadhdhab, Egypt n.d., II, 267; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, II, 267; Ibn Rushd, Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, II, 431; Ibn Qudama al-Mughni, 3rd impression, Cairo,1970, VIII,187, 205; Wahba az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhu'l-Islami wa Adillatuh, 2nd impression, Damascus 1405/1985, VI, 27 et al; Ömer Nasuhi Bilmen, Hukuk-ı İslâmiyye ve İstilâhat-ı Fıkhıyye Kamusu, İstanbul 1968, III,197 et al).
Zina is regarded as a haram and ugly act in both Islam and the previous heavenly religions. It is one of the greatest sins. Its punishment is the most severe hadd punishment because it is a crime against honor and generations.
The following is stated in the Quran:
"Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)." (al-Isra, 17/32). "Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, not commit fornication― and any that does this (not only) meets punishment (But) the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy " (al Furqan, 25/68).
The punishment of the fornication of a single man and a single woman is one hundred stripes; the punishment of the fornication of a married man is rajm (stoning to death). Allah, the Exalted, states the following: "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication― flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment " (an-Nur, 34/2). The Arabic word “jaldah” (stripe) means hitting on the skin without penetrating the flesh. While flogging, thick clothes like the coat, jacket, etc of the person is taken off; the other clothes are not taken off.
The application of rajm for married, chaste man or woman is definite by the sunnah because the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) applied the punishment of rajm for Maiz and a woman from Bani Ghamid. The companions agree unanimously that rajm is legitimate.
The hadd for zina is a right of Allah. It is regarded as one of the rights of the society because it is a crime committed against the family, generation and the order of the community.
The madhhab imams agree unanimously that the hadd for zina is not necessary for children and insane people. The following is stated in the hadith: "Three people are not accounted for: a child until he becomes mature, a sleeping person until he gets up, insane person until he recovers.” (Abu Dawud Hudûd, 17).
Conditions of applying the hadd for zina
First of all, it is necessary to state the following: the fact that there are some conditions for the situations like fornication and slandering someone that he/she has fornicated dos not mean that no punishment is applied if those conditions are not present. It means the punishment of hadd determined by our religion is not applied. However, there are punishments that the head of the state or the judges that he has appointed will give. They are named the punishment of tazir; punishments like imprisonment, beating and killing can be given based on the type of the crime. As a matter of fact, according to Hanafis and Malikis, the Islamic state can decide for capital punishment for the repetition of the crime, committing crimes as a habit and homosexual intercourse. It is called “al qatl siyasatan” ('killing as an act of punishment for the sake of upholding public order). (Ibn Abidin, Raddu'l-Mukhtar, III, 196; az-Zuhayli, ibid, VI, 200).
There are some conditions for the punishment of fornication to be applied to the man or woman:
1- The adulterer must be over the age of puberty. A child who has not reached the age of puberty cannot be given the punishment of hadd. If a man fornicates with a small girl, the punishment of hadd is not necessary for the girl but it is necessary for the man. The girl is not mukallaf but the man is and he is responsible for what he does. (Bilmen, Ömer Nasuhi, Hukuku İslamiye, 3/203, Zina Bölümü)
2- They must be sane. An insane person cannot be given the punishment of hadd. If a sane man fornicates with an insane woman or if a sane woman fornicates with an insane man, the sane one is given the punishment of hadd.
3- According to most of the scholars, the punishment of hadd is given to both a Muslim and an unbeliever. However, according to Hanafis, a married unbeliever man is not stoned to death, he is flogged with stripes. According to Malikis, if an unbelieving man fornicates with an unbeliever woman, they are not given the hadd punishment. However, if they reveal it, they are given a different punishment. If an unbeliever man forces a Muslim woman for fornication, he is killed. According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, non-Muslims with passports of another country cannot be punished for fornication or drinking alcohol. They are the rights that interest Allah and the foreigners are not responsible for them.
4- Fornication must be carried out willfully. According to the majority of scholars, a person who is forced to fornicate cannot be given the punishment of hadd. Hanbalis hold the opposite view.
5- Fornication must take place between human beings. According to the three madhhabas and the sound view among Shafiis, a person who fornicates with an animal is not given the punishment of hadd; he is given the punishment of tazir. The animal is not killed. According to the view of the majority of the scholars, there is no drawback to eating the meat of that animal. According to Hanbalis, the animal is killed with the witnessing of two men; the meat of that animal becomes haram and the price of the animal is paid to its owner.
6- Fornication must not be based on a suspicion. According to the majority of the scholars, if someone fornicates with a woman who is a stranger thinking that she is his wife or slave, the punishment of hadd is not necessary. According to Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf, the punishment of hadd is necessary. Here, there is suspicion about the doer. There is a unanimous agreement that the punishment of hadd is not necessary for a sexual intercourse after an invalid marriage, which is controversial in terms of madhhabs. The same thing is valid for the marriage of a girl without the permission of her parents or relatives or a marriage without witnesses. If the marriage is regarded invalid unanimously, then the punishment of hadd is carried out. Being married with two sisters at the same time, marrying a fifth woman while one is married with four women, marrying someone that is haram to marry in terms of relation or breastfeeding, marrying a woman who is waiting for iddah (the period of waiting by a woman who is divorced or whose husband has died) and marrying a woman that one has divorced three times before that woman marries someone else are invalid marriages, and the punishment of hadd are carried out for them after sexual intercourse. However, if the person claims that he did not know that it was haram, then sexual intercourse for the cases mentioned above does not necessitate the punishment of hadd.
7- The fornication must be in dar al-Islam (in an Islamic country). The head of the Islamic state have no authority or power over dar al-harb (a country of non-Muslims) or dar al-baghi (a country that has rebelled). That is, he cannot apply the punishment of hadd there.
8- The woman must be alive. According to the majority of the scholars, a person who has sexual intercourse with a dead woman is not given the punishment of hadd. In Malikis, the common view is just the opposite.
9- The sexual intercourse must be through the vagina and the glans of the penis must enter the vagina. Sexual intercourse through anus, according to Abu Hanifa, necessitates the punishment of tazir only. According to Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and other three madhhabs, sexual intercourse through anus necessitates the punishment of hadd. Sexual contact with the thigh, abdomen, etc of the woman other than her sexual organ necessitates the punishment of tazir because it is a haram act for which a punishment has not been stated definitely by Shariah...
Punishment for fornication
The punishment for fornication varies based on the marital status of the man and woman: whether they are married or single. Among the punishments are flogging with stripes, stoning to death, banishment and a punishment of tazir defined by the Islamic state.
1- Punishment of a hundred stripes
The punishment of hadd for a single man or woman is one hundred stripes, which is defined in the Quran.
"Flog each of them with a hundred stripes" (an-Nur, 24/2).
The criminal of fornication to whom the punishment of one hundred stripes was applied used to be banished from the place where the crime was committed in the first years of Islam. Hazrat Prophet said the following: "The punishment for the fornication of a single man and woman is one hundred stripes and a banishment of a year." (Ibn Majah, Hudud, 7). However, that application was before the Chapter of an-Nur was sent down. When that chapter was sent down the punishment of stripes for the single criminals and the punishment of stoning to death for the married criminals were determined. (as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, 3. impression, Beirut 1398/1978, IX, 36 et al).
According to Hanafis, the punishment of banishment is not added to the punishment of stripes because the verse states the whole punishment. However, the punishment of banishment is not a punishment of hadd; it is included in the punishment of tazir, which is left to the view of the head of the Islamic state. If he thinks that banishment will be useful, he will apply it. As a matter of fact, the imprisonment of the adulterer until he/she repents is like that.
According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, the punishment of stripes and banishment of a year are applied together. The place of banishment must be further than the distance of being a musafir (about 80 or 90 kilometers). The evidence that they base their view on is the banishment hadith mentioned above. However, a woman is sent to banishment together with her husband or a relative because Hazrat Prophet said, "A woman cannot go on a journey without her husband or a mahram person." (Bukhari, Taqsir, 4, Masjidu Makkah, 6, Sayd, 26, Sawm, 67; Abu Dawud, Manasik, 3; Muslim, Hajj, 413-434; Tirmidhi, Rada', 15).
According to Malikis, only the man is banished, that is, he is imprisoned in a place away from where he lives. The woman is not banished so that she will not commit fornication in the place where she is sent to.
On the other hand, the application of the punishment of stripes together with stoning to death stated for the widow at the end of the hadith of banishment is a principle that is not carried out according to four madhhabs because the hadiths that state only the punishment of stoning to death for the married adulterer are sounder than that hadith. As a matter of fact, the narration reported by a group of people from Abu Hurayra and Zayd bin Hillit states it. In the case of the fornication between a married woman and her worker, Hazrat Prophet decreed the punishment of a hundred stripes and a banishment of a year for the single worker and stoning to death for the woman. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, IX, 37; az-Zuhayli, ibid, VI, 39). According to Zahiris, the punishment of stripes and stoning to death are carried out together. They base their views on the apparent meaning at the end of the banishment hadith: "...a hundred stripes and stoning to death as a punishment for the fornication of a married man and married woman."
2- Punishment of stoning to death:
Islamic scholars agree unanimously on the punishment of stoning to death for the fornication of a married man and married woman. The evidence comes from the sunnah and ijma (consensus).
The fact that Hazrat Prophet applied the punishment of stoning to death to married people who fornicated is definite by the hadiths that were reported by a large number of people.
The following is stated in a hadith: "The blood of a Muslim (killing a Muslim) becomes halal in three situations. Killing a married person who fornicated, killing a person in return for a person he killed and killing a person who apostatized from Islam" (Bukhari, Diyat, 6; Muslim, Qasama, 25, 26; Abu Dawud Hudud, 1; Tirmidhi, Hudud, 15, Diyat, 10; Nasai, Tahrim, 5, Qasama, 6; Ibn Majah, Hudud, Darimi, Hudud 2, Siyar, II).
The incidences when Hazrat Prophet applied the punishment of stoning to death.
a- He applied the punishment of a hundred stripes and a banishment of a year for a single man who fornicated with a married woman. The Messenger of Allah sent one of his companions to the woman and said to him: "Go to that woman; if she confesses that she has fornicated, stone her to death." (Bukhari, Hudud, 3, 38, 46, Wakalah,13; Tirmidhi, Hudud, 5, 8).
b- The incidence of Maiz, which was definite from various aspects. Maiz confessed that he had fornicated and the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) ordered him to be stoned to death. (ash-Shawkani, Naylu'l-Awtar, VII, 95, 109; Zaylai, Nasbu'r-Raya, III, 314 et al).
c- The woman from Ghamidiya confessed that she had fornicated and she was stoned to death after she gave birth to her child. (Ibn Majah, Diyat, 36; Malik, Muwatta ; Hudud II; ash-Shawkani, Naylu'l-Awtar, VII, 109).
The umma of Islam agreed unanimously that stoning to death is legitimate. However, the school of Kharijites denied stoning to death because they do not accept the reports that do not reach the level of tawatur (report by a large group of people) (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, IX, 36).
The term Ihsan and and its coverage
As an Islamic legal term, ihsan means the qualities that need to be present in a man or woman for the punishment of hadd to be applied to them. A man having those qualities is called “muhsan” and a woman “muhsanah”. The plural form is “muhsanat”.
Ihsan is divided into two as slander of fornication (qazf) and ihsan of rajm (stoning to death).
To be regarded as muhsan, a person who is slandered that he has fornicated must be sane, baligh (of age; mature), free, Muslim and not to have committed fornication before. If he/she has those qualities, the following punishment is applied for the slanderer: And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegation)― flog them with eighty stripes: and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors " (an-Nur, 24/4).
However, if the woman confesses the fornication or if the slanderer proves the fornication through four witnesses, the punishment of hadd is annulled (see item "Qazf")
In order to be regarded as muhsan for stoning to death, a woman or man needs to have seven qualifications. Those qualifications are as follows: To be sane, to be baligh, to be free and a Muslim, to be married with a valid marriage, to have had a sexual intercourse that necessitates ghusl even if no sperm comes with his wife after the contract of marriage. If one of those conditions is not present, the punishment is transformed to a hundred stripes. Therefore, being muhsan is not in question for an insane person, a slave, an unbeliever, a person married with an invalid contract of marriage, and a person who is married but has not had a sexual intercourse with his/her spouse. On the other hand, if the man has the qualifications of being muhsan but if his wife is not muhsan due to a reason like being too young, insane or a female slave, the husband will not be regarded muhsan after those reasons are eliminated unless they do not have a sexual intercourse under equal conditions. Those seven qualifications need to be present in both spouses at the same time.
According to Abu Yusuf, a Muslim man becomes muhsan when he has a sexual intercourse with his non-Muslim wife, to whom he is married with a valid contract of marriage. Shafiis hold that opinion too. (ash-Shirazi, al-Muhazzab, II, 268). Accordingly, if one of the spouses is too young and the other is of age, if one of them is asleep and the other is awake or if one of them is sane and the other is insane and if they have a sexual intercourse, the one who is qualified is regarded muhsan; if that one fornicates later, only he/she is given the punishment of hadd.
The continuation of marriage is not necessary for the state of being muhsan to continue. Therefore, a person who has married only once and has had a sexual intercourse with his/her spouse and then has become a widow/widower can be muhsan. (Bilmen, ibid, III, 201).
What are the details for performing "Akika and Qurban" (sacrifice)? for whom Akika and Qurban (sacrifice) fard?
The sacrifice of aqiqa is not fard. It is sunnah. A person can perform it if he wants or vice versa. A person who does not slaughter a sacrifice is not regarded to have committed a sin. A person who slaughters one will get its reward. The sacrifice slaughtered in eid al-adha is wajib according to Hanafi madhhab. There are some conditions for the wujub of sacrifice. It is wajib for someone who meets those conditions to slaughter an animal. For whom is Qurban (Sacrifice) wajib? The following conditions are necessary for a person in order to slaughter an animal:
1 – To be a Muslim. 2 – To be free 3 – To be a resident, not a traveler. 4 – To have enough money that necessitates sadaqah fitrah..
5 – To become sane and mature. The fifth condition is controversial. According to some scholars, it is not necessary to become sane and baligh (mature, developed) for sacrifice to become wajib. It is necessary for a rich child and insane person to sacrifice an animal. Their parents should slaughter a sacrifice for them. The amount of nisab (minimum amount) for zakat and sadaqah fitra is 80 grams of gold or 561 grams of silver.
What is the difference between Fard and Wajib ?
What is Fard?
Author: Mehmet Dikmen,
Fards are religious tasks and duties that are ordered to be fulfilled by definite and clear commands like making wudu, performing prayers, performing fasting and paying alms... Fard deeds are divide into two:
Fard al-Ayn: They are fards that are obligatory for each Muslim to fulfill. When one Muslim fulfills them, the other Muslims do not become exempt from them; for instance, performing prayers and fasting... Both performing prayers and fasting are religious obligations that every Muslim, without any exception, has to fulfill.
Fard al-Kifaya: They are fards that are not obligatory for each Muslim; when some Muslims fulfill them, the other Muslims become exempt from them. If nobody fulfills them, the whole community becomes responsible and sinful for them. If some Muslims perform the janazah prayer when a Muslim dies, the other Muslims become exempt from it. However, if nobody performs it, all Muslims become responsible for it. The reward of fard al-kifaya belongs to the Muslims who fulfill it. If it is not fulfilled by anybody, the sin belongs to all Muslims.
What is Wajib?
Author: Mehmet Dikmen,
They are religious tasks and duties that are not demanded as clearly as fards but are certain with strong evidence; for instance, sacrificing an animal, performing witr and eid prayers.
Does evil-eye kill a person? What kind of precautions can be taken against evil-eye? What are the reasons of evil-eye? Is it permissible to wear an evil-eye bead?
There are some cases which affect people and make them ill, and which medical science has not been able to make an exact diagnosis. And it has not been able to give any information about its real cause. One of them is the effects of “evil-eye”. It is a known and accepted reality that evil-eye is real and it can cause a person to become sick and even to die.
Stating that evil-eye is real and it is closely related to one’s fate, Our Prophet, said:
“Evil-eye is true. If evil- eye raced with fate, it would beat fate (it would change fate)” (Muslim, Salaam: 42; Ibni Majah, Tib: 3).
Although evil-eye is related to fate, it is still Allah who creates its effects. Otherwise, it is not the person who has got an evil eye that creates its effects. When a person, whose eyes have got evil effects, looks at something, Allah creates the harm to cause on it because the creator of both good and evil is Allah. Nothing happens out of Allah’s will.
We learn the killing, devastating aspects of evil-eye from the Prophet. The following is stated in the hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah:
“Evil-eye is true. It puts a camel in a cooking pot and a man in grave.” (Kashfu’l-Khafa, 2: 76, narrated Abu Naim).
Thus, just as a camel affected by evil-eye may die and its meat can be put in the cooking pot, so too may a man affected by evil-eye die and be put in grave. It is understood from the hadith that the effects of evil-eye affect not only human beings but also all living beings and even anything that attracts one to look at.
It is possible to deduce detailed information from an event about evil-eye, which took place in the era of bliss, on how a believer should behave when he sees something he likes, what he should say in this situation, that causing evil-eye effects on someone is considered equal to killing him and what a person affected by evil-eye and a person causing evil-eye effects should do.
A Companion named Amr bin Rabia sees Sahl bin Hunaif having a bath and looks at him. Sahl falls down on ground as if he has been struck. They take him to the Prophet. Having learnt the situation, the Prophet,, asks “Whom do you suspect?” The Companions name Amr bin Rabia. Upon this, the Prophet scolds Amr bin Rabia and says “Why is one of you killing his brother? When one of you sees something he likes in his brother, pray for him to be blessed (with words such as MaashAllah, BarakAllah).”
Then, the Prophet asks for some water and orders Amr who caused the evil-eye to make wudu. (Ibni Majah, Tib: 32, Musnad, 3:44).
Islamic jurisprudents describe this application which is a kind of wudu as follows: Water is poured into a pot/container. Person who caused evil-eye takes a handful of water, gargles and then spit it back into the pot. Then he takes water again from the pot and washes his face. After that, he washes his right hand with his left hand and then his left hand with his right hand, together with his wrists. Then he washes his right and left elbows. Then he washes between his elbows and shoulders. After that, he washes his feet and right and left knees. While washing hands and feet, he does not wash his arms and below his knees. Later, he washes his right side of the belly downwards. After washing all these organs, water is saved in the same pot. The person who caused the evil-eye takes the pot, stands behind the affected person and pours it down on his head. (Nawawi, Sharh-u Sahih-i Muslim, 14: 172-173). This used water is not considered dirty. We understand it from the application of the Prophet himself.
That washing, which was described shortly by the Prophet and explained in detail by scholars, has got, doubtlessly, many unknown wisdom and reasons behind it. At least, it is necessary to practice this sunnah in order to eliminate the suspicion of evil-eye. This application of washing and pouring was practiced by the Companions from time to time.
After this application is completed, it is stated that if the person who caused evil-eye utters the supplication of abundance “MaashAllah, La quwwata illa billah” Allah will eliminate the harm that can be caused by evil-eye. As a matter of fact, this application of washing is a sort of practical supplication. Its effect and cure must be expected from Allah.
One should seek refuge with Allah from evil-eye and its effects. As we learn from Hazrat Aisha, the Prophet told her to pray against evil-eye. (Ibni Majah, Tib: 34).
In another hadith “Seek refuge with Allah from evil-eye” (ibid, Tib: 32), we are advised to expect cure from Allah.
Abu Said al-Hudri narrates what kind of supplications and what kind of things the Prophet made in order to be protected from evil-eye effects as follows:
“The Messenger of Allah sought refuge with Allah from the evil-eye of the jinn and human beings with supplications such as ‘I seek refuge with Allah from the evil-eye of the Jinn and human beings’ firstly. And then, he supplicated with surahs of al-Falaq and an-Nas after they were sent down. He quit other supplications.” (ibid, Tib: 34).
Then, it is not only human beings which cause and which are affected by evil-eye. The Jinn can also harm people with evil-eye. Some scholars who say “Evil-eye of the Jinn affect faster than the speed of an arrow” think that evil-eye means the effects caused by the Jinn on a person.
It is not appropriate for a believer to resort to other ways of cure than the cures the Prophet practiced and advised. Arabs used to wear some items and beads on their necks and arms in order to be protected from some illnesses in the era of ignorance. And they used to expect they would protect and cure them. Prohibiting strongly the practices which do not comply with belief and which bear signs of idolatry, the Prophet, said: “Whoever wears something, all his works are entrusted to that thing” (Tirmidhi, Tib: 24).
Thus, it is understood that the thing that is worn will not help at all and it can harm one’s belief as he expects everything from it.
Using or writing some amulet the meanings of which are not known and wearing “evil-eye beads” are superstitious beliefs which do not comply with Islamic belief. Wearing such things are not permissible for human beings; it is also not permissible to use them for animals or any belongings. Wearing evil-eye beads is included in the things which our Prophet listed as haram. (Nasai, Zinat: 17).
Similarly, meaningless practices which are used amongst ordinary people, such as melting a candle, melting lead or burning a weed and turn it around over the head of the ill person must not be applied because while Allah created all kinds of troubles and illnesses, he also created lawful cures for them. A true believer must follow the sunnah as criteria and must try not to leave it. Righteousness is possible only this way.
Answer 2: Precautions to be protected from evil-eye
The following precautions must be taken in order to be protected from the effects of evil-eye before we are affected:
1) FIRST PRECAUTION: One should make protective supplications and invocations in the morning and in the evening.
Allah protects the ones who make these supplications and invocations. There are many surahs and supplications that can be read.
Some of them are as follows: al-Fatiha, Ayat al-Kursi, al-Falaq and an-Nas.
There are specific supplications made by the Prophet. The following supplication must be made in order to be protected from evil-eye:
“I seek refuge with Allah’s words, which are complete, from the mischief and evil of the things He created.” (Abu Dawud, Tib. 19; Darimi, Isti’zan, 48; Muwatta, Isti’zan, 34; Ahmad bin Hanbal, 4/430).
The following supplication should also be made:
“I seek refuge with Allah’s words, which are complete, from all demons, dangerous animals and evil-eyes. I seek refuge with Allah’s words, which are exact, from all evil and mischief which no any good and bad can make but which Allah creates and gives shape, from those who come down from the skies and those who go up to the skies, from what is grown on the ground and what comes out of the earth, from evil and mischief of night and day, and from the evil and mischief of those who knock at the door during the day and at night, except for those who knock at the door for a good reason. O Allah who is merciful” (Bukhari, The Book of Prophets (al-Anbiya), 10; Muslim, The Book of Invocation (adh-Dhikr), 54-55).
Moreover, the following Quranic verse should also be cited:
“And the Unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: ‘Surely he is possessed!’ But it is nothing less than a Message to all the worlds.” (al-Qalam, 68: 51-52).
When we look at people, we can see that they do not care about the matter of evil-eye. However, especially babies and little children must be protected from evil-eye effects with the help of supplications in compliance with shariah.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) protected Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Hussain with the following supplications:
“I entrust you to Allah’s words, which are complete, from all demons, dangerous animals and evil-eyes.” (Bukhari narrated from Abdullah bin Abbas.)
Addressing his grandsons Hazrat Hassan and Hazrat Hussain, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
“Doubtlessly, your ancestor (Prophet Abraham) protected Ismael and Isaac with them.” (Bukhari narrated from Ibn-i Abbas).
2) SECOND PRECAUTION: One of the ways to be protected from evil-eye effects is not displaying one’s beauties when one is near people s/he is afraid of or suspects.
According to the work of Hafiz al-Baghawi called “Sharhu’s-Sunnah”, Hazrat Uthman bin Affan saw a very beautiful child. Upon this, in order to protect the child from evil-eye effects, he said to the child’s parent: “Hide this child’s beauty by putting black paint on his chin.”
3) THIRD PRECAUTION: Another way to be protected from evil-eye effects is that when a person who sees something or someone he likes, he should pray for what he sees to be blessed.
If a person is afraid of that his eye will cause evil effects on someone, he should say this when he looks at him/her:
“May Allah make it blessed for you.” (with similar statements: see Abu Dawud. Nikah, 36; Tirmidhi, Nikah, 7; Ibn-i Maja, Adhan, 2; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 3/281).
Or he should say:
“O My Lord! Make it blessed for her/him.” (with similar statements, see: Muslim, Zuhd, 74; Abu Dawud, Witr, 31; Nasai, Zakat, 12; Ibn-i Maja, Zuhd, 8; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 3/108, 188, 5/77).
Or he should say: “Maashallah! (How beautifully created Allah!) There is nobody else but Allah who has got the power.” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 101).
Or supplications similar to those can be made. Then, the harm will be eliminated with the permission of Allah.
If a person suspects and is worried that he caused evil-eye effects on someone should be afraid of Allah and should refrain from the things which can cause evil-eye effects. For this, he should continue to invocate Allah. When he sees something he likes in someone, he should ask Allah to bless it for him/her.
One should not be jealous about any boons which Allah has endowed on people at all because if he is jealous about them, he is considered to have objected to his Lord.
Answer 3: After being affected by evil-eye
Precautions which should be taken against evil-eye effects and ways of protection have been explained above. There are cures in accordance with shariah to be applied after being affected by evil-eye effects too.. There are proofs in the Quran and hadiths which indicate the issue.
The following surahs and verses can be recited for protection:
b) Ayat-al Kursi
e) In addition, the following supplication which Gabriel taught to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) can also be cited:
“I pray for you with Allah’s name. May Allah recover you from evil of everything that causes you trouble, from the effects of evil-eyes of all and of enviers. I pray for you with the name of Allah.” (Bukhari, The Book of Tib, 38; Muslim, The Book of Wellness, 40; Abu Dawud, The Book of Medicine, 19; Tirmidhi, The Book of Funeral, 4; Ibn-i Maja, The Book of Medicine, 36-37; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musned, 6/332.)
When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was ill, Gabriel would come and make the following supplication for him: “I pray for you with the name of Allah. May Allah remove all the illnesses from you. May He protect you from the evil-eye of a parson when s/he is jealous.” (Muslim narrated from Hazrat Aisha.)
As it is narrated from some Islamic scholars, the way of being protected from evil-eye is to hide one’s niceness, beauties and jewelry. It is not appropriate for one to beautify his/her spouse and children and show them to people. Allama Ibnu’l-Qayyim says: “whoever reads these supplications will understand how beneficial they are and how much he needs them. These supplications prevent the effect of evil-eye. They eliminate the effects of evil-eye on a person who reads them, to the degree of his faith. As a matter of fact, those supplications are weapons. And a weapon’s efficiency depends on the person who uses it.”
Abdullah as-Saji said that he had a very beautiful camel. One day, he went on trip on his camel’s back, with his travel-mates. There was a traveler amongst them whose eye had the evil-eye effect. People who knew it warned Abdullah. They told him to take care of his camel against that man. Abdullah said that man could not cause any harm to his camel and did not care what they said. They also told the man what Abdullah said and how he reacted. The man started to wait for an opportunity to prove himself for Abdullah. During a break, when Abdullah was not there, the man came and stared at the camel. After a while, the camel became sick and fell down. At that time, Abdullah returned. When he saw his camel on the ground, he asked them what had happened. They said to him:
“When you were away, that man came and looked at your camel. And when he looked at the animal, this happened.”
Hearing this, Abdullah said: “Show that man to me”. The showed the man. Abdullah went up to that man and stood before him. Then he cited the following supplication:
“I seek refuge with Allah from the one who captivates with Allah’s name, from the harms of stones and burning flames. Let the effect of evil-eye turn back to the one who caused the evil-eye and harm the one whom he loves the best.
He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (God) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw? Again turn thy vision a second time: (thy) vision will come back to thee dull and discomfited, in a state worn out.” (This last part of the supplication is the 3rd and 4th verses of chapter al-Mulk. See al-Mulk, 67: 3-4)
When Abdullah as-Saji cited this supplication, the effect of evil-eye was gone and the camel got over with the permission of Allah.
Answer 4: Warnings
1) FIRST WARNING: Evil-eye effect is sometimes caused by human beings and sometimes by the jinn.
According to the narration by the mother of the believers, Ummu Salama, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw a girl in his house. He realized a change on the girl’s face and said: “Do faith healing for her (pray for her); because she is affected by evil-eye.” (Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ummu Salama.)
Hafiz al-Baghawi says: While indicating evil-eye, he Messenger of Allah meant that the Jinn can cause evil-effect.”
It is said: “The effect of evil-eye of the Jinn is more effective than the tip of a spear.” Doubtlessly, when one takes off his dirty clothes to change, or when he uncovers his private parts in order to relieve nature or for any other reason, he must supplicate in order to be protected from the evil-eye of the jinn. It is made by mentioning Allah’s name.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “When one enters the restroom (in another narration, when one takes off his clothes), saying bismillah will be a curtain between his private parts and the eyes of the jinn.” (narrated in Tirmidhi, Sunan and Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad.)
2) SECOND WARNING: One who is prone to evil-eye because of the health, beauty, blessings, boons and the likes which Allah bestowed on him must always be cautious and must not display himself.
Especially women must not display their own beauties and especially their daughters’ beauties excessively because many sad events are witnessed as a result of this.
The Messenger of Allah addressed Asma binti Umays as follows:
“Why do I see the sons of my brothers so weak? They seem they are in need of help.” (Muslim narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah). They were the sons of Hazrat Jafar and Abu Talib. And Asma said: “They are not sick. But they have been affected by evil-eye.”
Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Then do faith healing (pray) for them.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 3/333).
3) THIRD WARNING: When people ask someone to do faith healing for them, they do not search to find out if that person has got strong faith, what his aim is and if his knowledge is enough. For this reason, they go to deceivers, sorcerers and ill-willed people. Those people are even more devastating. And there are amongst them some who even tell people to do things which are forbidden or bid’ah, or which are considered idolatry. We hope Allah the Glorious protects us from the mischief of such people.
One who asks for faith healing must be very careful and do it properly. That is to say; he should either do the faith healing (by reading supplications) himself or find believing and righteous people who are experienced in it. They should keep in mind that faith healing is not permissible if they do not do it in accordance with conditions approved by the shariah.
We must contemplate the meaning of the following verse which narrates the story of Prophet Joseph:
“Further he said: "O my sons! Enter not all by one gate: enter you by different gates. Not that I can profit you aught against God (with my advice): None can command except God: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust on Him.” (Yusuf, 12: 67).
It should be kept in mind that protection from evil-eye and its cure is only possible by believing in the truth of things coming from Allah and His Messenger. If they are doubtful or hesitant about it, the effectiveness of the cure will decrease.
Wearing an evil-eye bead is absolutely forbidden. It is a meaningless tradition practiced in the era of ignorance. Our Prophet (pbuh) says: “May Allah not complete the works of those who wear evil-eye beads”. (1)
1-Hakim and Ahmad narrated.
Halil Günenç, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar II. 259
Is it permissible to drink alcoholic drinks such as (araq and beer) excluding the wine, to the limit that will not get a person drunk?
In our religion any drink, little or much, that gets a person drunk are all rendered as haram (illicit). Islam has rendered all sorts of drinks that gets one drunk haram (illicit) and prohibited believers to drink any of them. A true Muslim should stay away from alcohol and drugs. In the Noble Qur'an, the following is stated “O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and to turn you from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. Will ye then have done ?” (Al-Maidah, 5/90-91) That verse clearly expresses the profound reasons for the alcohol prohibition.
In the Hadiths, using/drinking every sort of substances that intoxicate people is strongly prohibited. As a matter of fact, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Every drink that makes you drunk is haram (illicit).” (Bukhari, Wudu, 71; Adab, 80; Muslim, Ashriba, 7); “If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is also prohibited .” (Abu Dawud, Ashriba, 5: Tirmidhi, Ashriba, 3).
As it can be understood from the hadiths above, drinking alcohol, whether a little or too much, is haram (illicit). If a person does something that is illicit it means that person has committed haram and committed sins. That person who has committed sins should abandon that misdeed and should repent as soon as possible. May Allah forgive the sins of those who repent. Today, there is a consensus among all the medicine scientists about the harms of alcohol on human health. The statistics and the attempts of prohibition by some states are the most revealing proofs of the economical, social and moral harms of alcoholic drinks.
In order to make the issue to be more thoroughly understood within the basic Islamic perspective, we deem it suitable to present some rules and explanations listed as below:
1. The fatwas (religious advisories) about the matter given by mujtahids of Islamic law such as Imam Azam does not mean that some of the alcoholic beverages are not illicit. The fatwas of those scholars of Islamic law, is either misunderstood or their fatwas are for those drinks which do not include alcohol. To interpret those fatwas as alcoholic drinks are halal to drink is against the standpoint of the community, against the spirit of Islam and against the Shari'a. If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is also prohibited. Those who say you may drink are mistaken. 2. Every drink that gives you drunkenness is illicit. However, there is a difference between wine which the Qur'an says haram and the other alcoholic drinks. Wine itself alone has been considered unclean. If wine was spilled on a dress, it would make that dress dirty and leave stain and it should be cleaned. The other alcoholic drinks apart from being illicit are not unclean as wine. For instance, drinking cologne is haram; however when using it for cleaning ourselves there is nothing wrong with it.
3. Alcoholic drinks such as beer and raki are illicit according to Imam Abu Hanifa, too. What Abu Hanifa says not illicit are the unfermented juices made of fruits and grains such as barley, wheat and honey. They do not have any intoxicating effect. However, since the intoxicating effect of beer and raki is obviously known, it is undoubtedly illicit according to Abu Hanifa. It would not be permissible to rename drinks as beer and raki and declare them halal while they are illicit to drink. Furthermore Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) foretold that his community would drink alcoholic drinks called with different names and warned them to avoid doing so.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: Verily and undoubtedly, there will appear people among my followers who will drink alcohol and call it by another name and women will sing and play stringed instruments above their heads. May Allah sink them under earth! And turn them into pigs and monkeys. (Nasai, Ashriba 41; Ibn Majah, Fitan, 22) In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: “From among my followers, there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments as lawful. And (from them), there will be some who will stay near the side of a mountain, and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and Allah will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection” (Bukhari, Ashriba, 6; Abu Dawud, Libas, 6)
Those hadiths deliver a clear and certain judgment that is rendered for those who stick to those names and shapes of what Allah has prohibited and accepting as halal by twisting the meaning without observing the truth and the real purpose behind it. In addition, those hadiths blame those who turn to cheating by having illegal sexual intercourse (committing adultery) under the name of marriage, drinking alcoholic drinks by calling them nabiz, etc., wearing silk under the name of garment. If changing the names and shapes would provide the change of rules and truths, the faith would be deteriorated, the Shari'a would be altered and Islam would collapse. Hadith is the proof against those things which are inexorably rendered haram; they will remain so even though their names are changed. It is because the judgments depend on the meaning and to the purpose of the proceedings not on the external appearance of them. Those hadiths indicate us that those who turn to cheating in order to render what Allah ordered Haram (illicit) as Halal (lawful) will be subjected to a great deal of harsh torment. And that the judgments depend on the causes, that the cause of alcohol that makes it haram is the intoxicating effect and that when that effect is eminent, changing the name of it will not keep it out of the judgment and that it will be considered an alcoholic drink and will be rendered haram (illicit). (Ibn Hajar, Fathu’l –Bari, Beirut, 2000, X, 56)
4. According to the Islamic belief and the belief of Ahl Sunnah, nobody is innocent but the Prophets. Even the greatest companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the greatest mujtahids of Islamic law might make mistakes in their jurisprudence. In Islam, the principle: “There are two rewards for a mujtahid whose jurisprudence is correct;, and there is one reward for a mujtahid whose jurisprudence is wrong. ” shows that mujtahids might make mistakes too. About a subject with different jurisprudence, the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars' community will be accepted as principal, and the fatwa is released according to that opinion.
The path where the ummah (faithful community) should walk is the path of the majority of Islamic scholars’ community, which is the largest path of Islam.
Those who leave the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars' community aside and try to manipulate people through marginal fatwas by knowingly or unknowingly are conducting people away from Allah's consent.
As a matter of fact, according to what is reported from Abdullah B. Umar, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “My ummah (faithful community) will never come together and agree on depravity. Never depart from the community because Allah's protecting hand is on the community.” Haythami emphasized that that hadith reported by Tabarani was sound. (Majmau’z-Zawaid, 5/218)
As it can be seen, that hadith clearly tells people to follow the path of majority of the Islamic scholars' community because when it says the ummah and community it means the majority of the Islamic scholars' community (Multitude of Ulama). Those who are not Ulama do not have the competence and authorization to say wrong or right about a subject. It indicates that accepting the jurisprudence which is against the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars' community, even if they belong to Imam Azam or Imam Nahai or Imam Shafii, is against the order of that hadith. Besides, the fatwas of those Islamic scholars do not indicate that alcohol is halal (lawful). There is a case which originates from the misunderstanding and the misinterpreting of those fatwas. We have already explained what Imam Azam's fatwa means before.
Abdullah B. Umar narrates: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Every drink that gives drunkenness is wine, and every drink that gives drunkenness is illicit (haram).” (Muslim, Ashriba,73,74; Abu Dawud, Ashriba,5; Tirmidhi, Ashriba,1; Ibn Majah, Ashriba,9; Ahmad b. Hanbal, 2/16,29)
According to another narration: “Every drink that gives you drunkenness is wine, and every wine is illicit. (Haram)” (Muslim, Ashriba, 75)
It is a mutawatir hadith reported by the twenty six companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is also the opinion of the canonical community. (W. Zuhayli, Takhriju Ahadithi Tuhfati’l-fuqaha, 3/449) Wine (Hamr) is not only the name of what is made of grapes but it is the name of every alcoholic drink that gives drunkenness. It is because the word Hamr (wine) means the one that covers the mind (consciousness) and it has all the content that makes one drunk.
According to what Bukhari reports from Aisha, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:”Any drink that gives drunkenness (has the properties of giving) is illicit (Haram).”(Bukhari, Wudu,71; Ashriba,4)
According to a narration reported from Jabir, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:” If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is also prohibited”(Abu Dawud, Ashriba,5; Tirmidhi, Ashriba,3; Nasai, Ashriba,35; Ibn Majah, Ashriba, 10; Darimi, Ashriba, 8; Ahmad b. Hanbal, 3/91). Ibn Hajar emphasied that the hadith was sound. (at-Talhisu’l-Khabir, 359-360) About the matter, the following hadith is also significant: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “if a faraq of anything causes intoxication, a handful of it is also forbidden. (Tirmidhi, Ashriba, 3; Abu Dawud, 5; Musnad, 6/71, 72, 13) “Faraq” is an old measurement unit which is a container that is equal to approximately 43,5 kg. As Ibn Munzir states whether it is hamr/wine or not , If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is also haram. (Awnu’l-Mabud, 8/181-Shamila)
According to hadith scholars (Avnu’l-Mabud ibid), the soundest hadith regarding the issue is the one reported by Nasai, from Sad b. Abi Wakqqas: ”the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), forbad the small amount of a substance that intoxicated when taken in large amounts.” (Nasai, Ashriba, 35)
As it is seen, the soundest hadith also emphasized the same truth about the matter.
5. Every interpreter of Islamic law took the hadith as it would mean in his own time and place where he lived. However, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), used it in another meaning. He would stick to the general meaning of the matter more than the lexical meaning of the word thinking that it was a rule to take the lexical meaning.
As a matter of fact, when some scholars heard the narrations that permitted drinking nabiz (wine), they thought it meant an intoxicating drink that they knew in their time and place. However, in many hadiths, the meaning of that word is explained clearly. According to them “nabiz” meant fruit juice in which dates, dried raisins, etc are added in order to sweeten and that is drunk before it forms foams and becomes intoxicant.
Similarly, some scholars took meaning of the word hamr as it was present in their dictionary; they thought it was “grape juice that became intoxicant by forming foams”. However, in many sound hadith, it is explained that meaning of the word hamr includes every drink that intoxicates. (Dört Risâle, Trnsl. Hayreddin Karaman, İz Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2000) 6. Even though there is a misunderstanding that some scholars like Abu Hanifa did not lay it as a condition for alcoholic drinks other than wine to be intoxicating to be haram, the community of scholars rejected that judgment.
On the other hand, there is a big possibility that those scholars were not aware of those hadiths which had not been compiled yet at those times.
Hanafi sect's famous hadith scholar Imam Tahawi stated that the hadiths about the matter were sound but they were interpreted in a different way. (Ibn Hajar, Fathu’l-Bari, the explanation of the hadith in question) In addition, we should not forget the fact that the Imams of Four sects also said:“If you see a hadith which contradicts a judgment that I gave, smash my words on the wall and act in accordance with the hadith.”
Since we have all those true hadiths in our hands now and it is obvious that the common opinion of the majority of the Hanafi scholars and especially Imam Muhammad (pbuh) about this matter, of course, a god-fearing person would not follow any path but the common path of the community of the scholars and hadiths and would never suggest anyone anything against that opinion.
Is it true that Our Prophet offered divorce to his wife Hazrath Sawda?
Question: My question is about Prophet Muhammad's (peace and blessings be upon him) proposing a divorce to Sawda (one of his wives) because of her slowness and laziness in relation to his young wives. However, Sawda (may Allah be pleased with her) does not accept it and wants to remain as his wife. How should we understand Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) seeing his wife lazy? Answer: There is some information about Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) wanting to divorce Sawda. However, the reason for this is not that she was old or behaved slowly.
Sawda is the daughter of Zem'a who belongs to Amir b. Luay, a branch of the tribe of Quraysh. Sawda was married to Sakran, the brother of Suhayl b. Amr. She accepted Islam before her husband and played an important role in her husband's choosing Islam. At the time when Muslims were severely tortured in Mecca, Sakran and his wife emigrated to Abyssinia but he died there some time later.
Sawda returned to Mecca after her husband's death. At this time, Khadija, the first wife of the Prophet, had just died. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had children who needed care. The Prophet, who named the year of Khadija's death as 'the year of sadness' was having a troubled time. He was left alone. This situation of the Prophet was felt by everybody. Hawla, the daughter of Hakim and the wife of Uthman b. Maz'un, saw the sadness of the Prophet and proposed to find a partner for him, and he assented. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was very much affected by the loyalty to faith Sawda had shown and as a result of the respect and high value that he attached to her, he proposed to marry her. Sawda was at the age of fifty when she married the Prophet. The marriage took place three years before the Hijra (migration from Mecca to Madinah). For the marriage, the Prophet went to the home of Sawda and her father performed the marriage ceremony. The mihr (money given to the wife before marriage by the husband) given by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to his wife was worth four hundred dirhams. Sawda had a brother who was initially a polytheist but afterwards chose the rightful religion.
After the marriage, Sawda looked after the children of the Prophet and brought them up with mother's mercy.
Sawda, who earned the honor of being the second wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), died in 640 AD (19, of the Hegira) at the time of the Caliph Umar, according to the soundest narration.
As is seen, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took this righteous old lady under his care, who had separated from her relatives and joined the group of believers and who did not ever want to return back to polytheism in which her relatives believed; and the Prophet did this only because she was loyal to Allah and His religion, and he thus gave her the honor of being the mother of believers.
Sawda was tall and heavy in body and in her actions. As she could not move fast, she asked for permission to set out from Muzdalifa before anyone else in the Final Pilgrimage of the Prophet. On the other hand, one of the most important assets of Sawda was her generosity. In this matter, she was the first among the Prophet's wives after Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). One day, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) sent a bag to Sawda. Sawda asked what was in the bag. When she learnt that it was money, she commanded it to be distributed to the poor.
One of the points which distinguished her from the other wives of the Prophet was her ultimate obedience. Moreover, Sawda is among those who narrated hadiths from the Prophet. However, the hadiths narrated by her are not more than five. Bukhari took one of these hadiths in his book. Abdullah b. Abbas, Yahya b. Adurrahman and As'ad b. Zurara narrated hadiths from Sawda.
Before her death, Sawda bequeathed her room to her friend Aisha, who lived in the next room to hers. By this way, Aisha had the chance to widen her place, which was quite limited as the Prophet was buried on one side of her room.
In As-Siratu'n-Nabawiya by Ibn Hisham, one of the most important sources of the history of Islam, there are some narrations apart from those above. According to this book, some time after the marriage, Sawda caused some delay in the Prophet's relations with his daughters. Again in the same source, the event in which the Prophet decides to divorce Sawda is also mentioned. It is narrated that when Sawda sees Suhayl b. Amr, the brother of her deceased husband, among the prisoners of Badr War with his hands tied, she said: “O Aba Yazid! How did you surrender? Could you not die with your honor?” When the Prophet heard this, he said: “Sawda! Do you oppose Allah and His Messenger?” Sawda replied: “O Messenger of Allah! I swear to Allah Who has sent you as the rightful Prophet that I could not help saying this when I saw Abu Yazid like that.” Thereupon, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) intended to divorce Sawda, but she pleaded: “O Prophet, do not divorce me! Keep me in your wedlock; show me mercy! Do not let me drift into oblivion!” Then the Prophet accepted her wish. Islamic sources are of the same opinion that after this event, their marriage continued without any problem.
In short, Sawda is a lady who alleviated the sadness of the Prophet upon Khadija's death, who did the housework, who fulfilled the duty of motherhood for six children and most importantly who earned the title 'the mother of the believers'.
(Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqatul-Kubra, Beirut, t.y., VIII, 52-58; Ibnul-Athir, al-Kamil fi't-Tarih, trans. M. Beşir Eryarsoy, Istanbul 1985, II, 138 and others; Muhammad Hamidullah, The Prophet of Islam, trans. Salih Tuğ, Istanbul 1980, II, 730-731; Mevlana Shibli, Asr Saadah, trans. Ö. Rıza Doğrul, Istanbul 1981, II, 138-140).
Is there any evidence for the existence of "Shab-e-barat" (Night of Barat)" ? Or is it only a misconception?
The month of Sha'ban is the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The fifteenth night of this month is known as Laylatul Bara'ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha'ban in the Arab world. In the India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., it is known as Shab-e-barat.
Some Islamic scholars believe that in Surah al-Dukhan (44:3-4) there is a reference to this night as Allah says, "We sent it (the Qur'an) down during a blessed night. We are truly warners. In that night is made distinct every affair of wisdom "
Some scholars also say that in the 2nd year of Hijrah, the direction of Qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to Ka'bah (Makkah) on the 15th day of Sha'ban.
According to some of the other scholars of Tafsir, the Qur'an has not mentioned anything about this night. There are some Ahadith that speak about the Middle of Sha'ban and its night.
Imam al-Mundhiri (died in 656 A. H.) in his famous book Al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib (vol. 2, pp. 116-120) has reported fourteen Ahadith on the subject of this night. The following points can be summarized from those Ahadith:
1. The month of Sha'ban is a great month.
2. In this month Allah takes the account of His creation.
3. Because this month occurs between two other important months, viz. Rajab and Ramadan, many people do not pay enough attention to it.
4. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) loved to fast during this month. He used to fast most of the month of Sha'ban.
5. After sunset during this night (Laylatul Bara'ah), Allah in His great mercy and kindness turns towards His creation and asks, "Is there anyone who would seek My forgiveness and I forgive him/her? Is there anyone who is in need to ask Me and I provide for his/her needs. Is there anyone who in pain and seek My help and I help him/her. Is there Is there until the time of Fajr."
6. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is said to have recommended prayers during this night and fasting during the following day.
7. It reported that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to visit the Muslim cemetery on this evening and he used to pray for the deceased Muslims.
These are the things that learn from some Ahadith about the significance of this night. However, there are many practices and customs common in some Muslim countries, such as making a sweet dish (Halwa), doing fireworks (atish baazi) , etc., have no meaning and no reference in Ahadith. There are also some superstitious beliefs about this night. For example, some people believe that the spirits (arwah) of the deceased visit their relatives during this night. There is a special Tree in the heaven upon whose leaves are the names of all human beings, and whatever leaves drop during this night, those people are destined to die in this year. All these beliefs and superstitions do not belong to the authentic teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah.
We must try to follow the Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah of the blessed Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). It is our duty as Muslims to take advantage of all good occasions to revive our faith, to purify our souls and to increase our love and devotion to Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala, but we must follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). We must not do anything in our celebrations that is against his teachings.
Is it permissible to marry a girl who is older than you?
A woman can marry a man younger or older than her. There is no drawback to it. Our Prophet (pbuh) married Hazrat Khadijah, who was older than him.
It is very important for the peace of the home to be established and the training and education of the children to be born that the man choose the girl to marry carefully and the parents of the girl choose the son-in-law carefully. Our Prophet, who advised us to be careful in choosing the son-in-law and daughter-in-law, wanted us to be cautious by saying, "People are like mines in terms of good deeds and bad deeds."(1) Hazrat Umar tells the following three things to his son who asks him about the rights of a child regarding his father: 'Choose a mother with high ethics and good manners, give him/her a nice name, and teach him/her the Quran." (2)
First of all, the main purpose of a marriage is to bring up good children; it is also important because marriage prevents the person to be married from committing some sins and ensures him/her to have a regular life. Otherwise, it is certain that an attempt originating only from the desires of the soul and based on only satisfying some temporary pleasures will cause constant problems in the future.
When Imam Ghazali lists the principles of our religion regarding the issue, he mentions the following two qualities in the first two places:
(2) high ethics.(3)
A similar or equal level between the couples is very important so that the marriage will not break in the future. It is certain that a religious girl and a frivolous man will not make a good couple. Such a marriage will probably break down because it usually becomes impossible to live in harmony for spouses with different lifestyles. Similarly, the marriage of a religious man with a woman who does not act in accordance with the divine commands and who is not religious will cause a lot of problems and will be difficult to continue. Thus, Islam prevents possible incidents beforehand by taking necessary measures. So, it ensures the continuation of the system in the community on sound principles.
Our Prophet (pbuh), who attracts attention to the issue, gives believers the following advice:
"Women are preferred for four qualities in marriage: for her property, nobility, beauty and religion. Prefer the religious one, you will be happy."(4)
It is the advice of the Prophet to give importance to the religiousness of the woman apart from the other qualities. Therefore, it is the most important point to be taken into consideration by Muslims.
When Hazrat Umar asked the Prophet, "What kind of goods should we obtain to meet our needs?", he answered: "The best goods are a tongue that mentions the names of Allah (dhikr), a heart that thanks Allah and a believing woman who helps her husband in Islamic activities regarding the hereafter."(5)
Our Prophet regards the woman who helps her husband in Islamic activities as one of the most important wealth.
Our Prophet, who often warns us regarding the issue, wants us to be more careful with his following advice: "Do not marry women only for their beauty because their beauty may put them in danger. Do not marry them only for their property because their property may deprave them. Marry the religious one. Doubtlessly, a black female slave with a cut nose, and pierced ear is better that a woman who is not religious."
A man should look for a religious woman to marry; similarly, it is the duty of the parents of the girl to give importance to the religiousness of the man to marry their daughter. The parents who give importance only to beauty, wealth and social status but not to religiousness may cause disturbance and mischief.
A man whose daughter’s hand is asked for marriage goes to Hasan al-Basri and asks him; “To what kind of a person shall I give my daughter?" Hasan al-Basri says, "Give her to a man who fears Allah. If he loves your daughter, he will treat her well; if he hates your daughter, he will not oppress her."(6)
Badiuzzaman says; " According to the Shari’a, the husband should be a good match for the wife. That is, they should be suitable to one another. The most important aspect of this being suitable is from the point of view of religion. Happy is the husband who sees the wife’s firm religion and follows her, and himself becomes pious in order not to lose his companion of eternal life. Happy is the wife who sees her husband’s firmness in religion and becomes pious so as not to lose her eternal friend."(7)
When both parties take the aspect of religiousness into consideration, they will naturally give importance to other aspects. Another quality to be sought in the woman is being good-tempered and having high ethics. After all, most of the women who are careful in their religious life will try to act in accordance with the Islamic ethics.
The opinion and preference of the woman about the man should not be forgotten and neglected because marriage is a lifelong togetherness that will go in the eternal life too.
Another point to be taken into consideration is that the mahr of the woman should not be much. That is, it should not cost a lot for the man. Today, in some regions, bride price, which is a custom of ignorance, still leads to the prevention of marriage.
Islamic scholars state that the poverty of a good and virtuous candidate will not be a barrier for equality between the husband and wife and for the marriage. Then, if the spouses agree to marry, an inequality in terms of richness and poverty will not be a serious drawback to marriage.
In addition, if the religiousness and ethics of a woman has the desired quality, the fact that she is from a rich family and that she has her own property can be an additional reason for preference. That quality is mentioned as a different reason in the hadith.
It was answered. we are sorry to have kept you waiting.
No, it is not an obligatory (fard) to take wudu (ablution) before dhikrullah. But being ritually clean (performing wudu) is preferable.
What does Islam say about "luck"?
Among the people, the expressions such as “I had good luck”, “My luck was with me”, “My luck helped me”, “I was born as lucky” are used with a positive meaning by the persons whose things are going well and who do not meet any misfortunes; and the expressions such as “I have no luck”, “I am an unlucky person”, “If I had luck, I would not be in such a bad condition” are often used with a negative meaning by the persons who experience misfortunes and who think their lives rely on chance. In the community, the word “chance” is mainly repeated by the people regarding gambling, lottery and pools. “Take your chance”, “good luck” are repeated for that.
Although “luck” is used for positive, it is used for “negative” mostly. The thought and psychology of a person who relies on and sets his hopes on “luck” is sufficient to tell the essence of the luck concept. A person who acts according to “luck” feels himself in a hole; he believes in chances, and all the time he gets his heart, spirit and even his life in stress, agitation and turmoil. If what he has wanted does not happen and the result he has desired does not take place, he becomes anxious and distressed; he becomes disappointed and cannot keep himself from the frustration of that situation. Why does a person in such a situation give himself over to “luck”? The reason is quite clear. Just as a baby deprived of suck takes up artificial dummy immediately so too does that person rely on a hypothetical, ambiguous, vain thing such as “luck” since he does not know the real points of support such as “divine determining, reliance on Allah, and consent to his/her fortune.”
However, Islam has never let people be in a hole. It has not allowed them be drifted by worthless things and thoughts whose essences are not known. There is no place for the words such as “luck and chance” in Islam. In our religion, there are “destiny and reliance on Allah and consenting to what comes from Allah.” And the source of them is faith. The believing person has faith in Allah; he surrenders to fate and he is saved from getting confused before the events and he overcomes anything he meets by the force and light of the faith. As it will be comprehended from the expression “Belief necessitates affirmation of Divine unity, affirmation of Divine unity necessitates submission to Allah, submission to Allah necessitates reliance on Allah, and reliance on Allah necessarily leads to happiness in this world and the next”, a person who has faith in Allah recognizes Allah as “the only one” as the possessor of power and strength. He submits to Him. He puts his trust in Him, reclines upon His power; and as a result he attains happiness both in this world and the hereafter.
A person who has faith is strong; he has a courage that can “challenge the whole universe”. He believes that he has a Lord who has created him out of nothing; who has prepared the world and has bestowed him bounties such as life, health and peace which cannot be evaluated materially; and who keeps the control of not only the earth but also the sun and the billions of stars and the universe. Besides knowing that his Creator has not created him in vain, he also knows that He has not left him in a hole as a plaything of “chance.” He has the belief that his life, minutes and seconds passing from the time he comes to the world to the time of his death have been known, programmed and determined by Allah. Therefore, he does not believe in chance and rely on it and give place to it in his world.
He perceives that good things or bad things happening to him are under the knowledge of Allah. He always endeavors, he has recourse to all means and causes and then he puts his trust in his Creator who knows and thinks him better than himself in the end and expects the result from Him. He consents to the happening of whatever exists in the Divine program (fate).
However, how about the person who does not put his trust in Allah and fluctuates in “chance” and “luck”? He does not go broke and endeavor or even if he does them, he does not rely on a Power; and what happens in the end? He cannot be delivered from “begging before all of the universe”, namely, begging before everything he sees and feeling weak before the things he regards as difficult; from “trembling before every event”; from “pride”, namely, supposing that he is the owner of beings; from “making a fool of himself”; from “misery in the hereafter”, namely, losing the eternal life, and from “the prison of the pressures of this world”.1
And so, the persons, whose senses of reliance on Allah and consenting to what comes from Him are weak, rely on inessential, pointless and vain things such as luck, stars, horoscopes and chance and are obsessed by superstitions such as “his star is low”, “his star is high”.
1- Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Words, TwentyThird Word, p. 292-2.
Mehmed Paksu Helal – Haram
Gender Of a child
With the intention of treatment, if a woman undergoes an ultrasound treatment and as a result learns the gender of baby, only with this purpose it is permissible. However, if there is no health problem and the intention is only to find out the gender of baby, it is not permissible. Since finding out the gender of the child is not included in health problem and treatment. In addition, -unless there is a health problem or treatment-, even a woman is not allowed to look at another woman’s private parts. It is not permissible.
Why is being janabah haram forbidden? Why are men regarded dirty? Is it haram for a junub person to eat and drink?
A person who needs ghusl (full ablution) can do the cleaning, wash the dishes, and eat. However, it is makrooh (abominable) for a junub person to eat without washing his mouth and hands; it is not haram. Needing ghusl is not a drawback to doing those kinds of things.
However, our scholars warn us that we must not delay making ghusl so much as to expire the time of a daily prayer. Not to make ghusl although the time for a prayer expires means to miss a prayer. It is not permissible to miss a prayer without an excuse.
Therefore, a person who needs to make ghusl can do the necessary things before making ghusl, can do the cleaning and even cook but he/she needs to make ghusl as soon as possible; one must not delay making ghusl so much as to expire the time of a daily prayer.
The religious duties that are haram for junub men and women, and women in menstruation or post-natal period are as follows:
The kinds of worship that are haram for a junub person:
1. Performing prayers,
2. Circumambulating the Kaaba,
3. Touching the Quran and carrying it. Therefore, it is not permissible to touch and carry coins and banknotes on which verses from the Quran are written without wudu (ablution) or ghusl. (Majma'ul-Anhur, 1/26 )
A junub person can do other things except those three things mentioned above; a woman can do the cleaning and other tasks at home. Whatever she does is clean.
Some things that junub people do are permissible for themselves. However, it would be a nice act to make ghusl as soon as possible. It is fard to make ghusl before the time of a prayer expires. However, it is not haram to eat, drink or sleep when one is junub. The issue is as we have mentioned above in terms of halal and haram.
Waking of a junub person:
Ghudayf ibnu'l- Harith narrates: "I asked Hazrat Aisha, ‘Did the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) make ghusl after being junub at the beginning or at the end of the night?’ Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) answered: ‘Sometimes at the beginning and sometimes at the end of the night’. I said: ‘Allahuakbar! (Allah is the greatest) Praise be to Allah, Who made things easy for us‘."(1)
A narration of Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) is as follows: "Sometimes, the Messenger of Allah slept while he was junub and did not touch water.”(2)
Hazrat Umar asked, “I became junub at night. What should I do?” the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: make wudu, wash your sexual organ and sleep.(3)
According to the evidence above, it is better for a junub person to make wudu before he sleeps. By the way, we should state the following:
The permission of sleeping is limited with the expiration of the time of a prayer.
Eating and drinking while being junub:
Let us learn how junub people will eat and drink from the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) wanted to eat and drink when he was junub, he washed his hands and then ate.(4) " When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) wanted to eat or sleep when he was junub, he made wudu."(5)
It is enough for a junub person to wash his hands in order to eat or drink but it is better to make wudu.
Sitting together with a junub person:
A junub person can sit together with other people. However, what is appropriate is to make ghusl at once in terms of our religion. According to what Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) met him in Madinah streets. Abu Hurayra was junub so he made off and returned after making ghusl. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw that Abu Hurayra returned, he asked: "O Abu Hurayra , where were you?” He said: “I was junub; I did not want to sit with you while I was dirty.” Then, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "Subhanallah! A Muslim is not dirty."(6)
Touching a junub person:
There is no drawback to touching a junub person. We can present the following hadith as evidence: once, Huzayfa bin al- Yaman met the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The Prophet stretched out his hand to shake hands with him. Huzayfa said he was junub. Then, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the following: “A Muslim is not dirty."(7)
There is no drawback to junub people doing the things mentioned above within certain criteria. That is, it is mubah (permissible) for a junub person to eat, drink, sleep and be in the community. However, Muslims should be clean both materially and spiritually.
It is necessary for a junub person to get rid of the burden on him. Therefore, it is better to make ghusl as soon as possible. It is possible to make tayammum when there is no water and to get rid of that burden. It is enough to have a look at catechisms in order to find out information about tayammum.
In conclusion, the best thing to do for a man or woman who has to make ghusl is to do it as soon as possible. It will be useful to present children with books and resources giving information about how to make ghusl and what necessitates making ghusl in terms of their education.
What does Islam say about Horoscopes? Is it true to believe in their effects? Why were they prohibited?
Horoscopes were prohibited because people believed in their effects and eventually this it harmed their belief in fate. However, it is unobjectionable to say “I am this sign or that sign”, just as stating a date of birth. Nevertheless, it is wrong to believe in their effects.
It is all in vain to search for another means of effect on our lives other than the Lord. Just as no one else can know what is unseen ghaib but Allah, so too is it is wrong to attribute His slaves’ characteristics and other features, which He gave during creating them, to the beams of light coming down from the stars. There are not even two people who are the same on the earth. Even identical twins, who are born at on the same day, same hour, same place and from the same mother, have got very different personalities. Is spite of theose thousands of reasons including genetic structure, let alone being siblings, which link them to each other, why do thoese differences occur? If our personalities and fates were dominated by stars, the all of the features of identical twins - at least - would be supposed to be the same. Moreover, it is one’s soul what gives one his real personality and emotional characteristics. And Besides, our souls were created before stars.
The gorgeous system that we see in the sky may indicate to some events indeed, besides reflecting its Creator. However, this it is not the source of our physical and spiritual traits, but it can only be an indicator of them.
What is inside the Kaaba?
There were 360 idols in the Kaabah before Islam. However, after Islam, nothing was put in it.
Currently, there is a staircase and three wooden columns to reach the roof in it.The iInner walls and the floor is covered with marble. There are golden and silver candles suspended from the ceiling. Somewhere near the door, the holy stone “Hajar al Aswad (The Black Stone)” was placed and it is encircled by a silver circle.
The Kaabah is not merely the stone building there. It is like a luminous column extending from under the ground to the heavens. The Kaabah or its stones are not meant to be adored. The intention of the idolators is mere adoration. The people who head towards the Kaabah during worship do not mean to adore it, but just obey Allah’s command and head towards to the enjoined direction. The Kaabah is the first place of worship on earth.
How does Islam view committing suicide? Does a Muslim become an infidel by committing suicide?
A person’s killing himself, that’s, committing suicide for this or that reason is neither accepted lawful reasonably nor religiously, and it is not permissible. This is because a person, who attempts to do such thing, indeed violates the boon of life entrusted to him by Allah and takes on the consequences of such a great sin. Moreover, such person is not considered decent by Muslims, and people do not have a high opinion of him anymore. And as he committed such an important sin, he deserves the punishment of Hell in the hereafter. (Muslim, Faith: 175).
The Prophet (pbuh) stated in many of his hadiths that one who committed suicide is considered to have committed a major sin and will be subject to the punishment of Hell. As a matter of fact, people who do such things are the ones who are weak in religious and unworldly matters as far as we see in the society.
Even though committing suicide is a major sin, one who has committed suicide does not become an infidel; because it is only the denial of one of the essentials of faith which makes a person infidel. For this reason, his/her funeral prayer is performed like any other Muslim. The majority of Islamic scholars, including Imam Azam and Imam Muhammad, have adopted this view. Regardless of the reason why he committed suicide, whether accidentally or deliberately, his funeral prayer is performed.
On the other hand, Imam Abu Yusuf says: “Funeral prayer of someone who has committed suicide cannot be performed, unless he did so accidentally or because of a severe agony.” However, the consensus of the majority of the scholars is that the funeral prayer of someone who has committed suicide can be performed. (al-Fatawa’l-Hindiyya, 1:163; Mehmed Paksu, Aileye Özel Fetvalar).
According to the fatwa of Imam Yusuf, if people suffering from depression commit suicide, this disease can be considered extenuation. We cannot know for sure whether their mental balance was right or not at the moment of suicide. Only Allah can know this. It is stated that people whose mental balance is not right will not be held responsible for their sins according to our religion. One can be held responsible for his sins on condition that his mental balance is right. However, if the reason why one succumbed to depression is nothing permissible religiously, he is held responsible. This is like a drunken person’s killing someone. However, if he succumbed to depression not because of a sin, he can be excused.
What matters here primarily is whether one has lost his mental balance or not. If those whose mental balance is right commit suicide, they are considered to have committed a major sin.
Rather than a patriarchal or a matriarchal family structure, Islam demands a family structure which is based on Divine commands and prohibitions. There is no place in this family for an understanding which permits male domination and tyranny as we know it.
As men are the protectors and maintainers of women (the Qur’an, an-Nisa; 4:34), women are “each God’s trust whose rights must be complied with, whose personality must be respected” and they are men’s friends in both worlds.
Men are women’s protectors and the maintainers of the house. However, this maintaining and protecting do not correspond to patriarchy but it represents serving for the family and the house. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a hadith (saying of the Prophet): “The leader of a community is its servant.” (Ajluni, Kashfu'l-Khafa, 1/463)
This mutual and shared life is emphasized in this verse: “According to customary good and religiously approvable practice, women have rights similar to those against them (that men have)” (the Qur’an, al-Baqarah; 2:228).
It should be known well that man and woman are two components completing each other. The distinguishing characteristics of each of them are arranged in such a way as to complement the deficiencies of the other one.
The family of humanity can only be maintained through mutual respect and love between man and woman.
After nikah, because of being wife-husband (couple) it is Halal to be alone with your husband.
What is Murted? Who is called an apostate; ex-Muslim? Can a Muslim be addressed as kafir (unbeliever)?
Murtad is the noun form of the verb irtidad, which means to return, to ask the return of and to go back to the previous state. As a religious term, the word murtad is used to describe a person who converted to another religion or to atheism after being a Muslim. Deserting the religion is defined as “riddah” (conversion).
A Muslim cannot be addressed as kafir (unbeliever). The Messenger of Allah said; "If a man says to his brother, O kafir (unbeliever)!' Then surely one of them is such (i.e., a kafir).” (Bukhari, Adab, 73; Muslim, Eeman, 111). "Allah has made hellfire haram for a person who witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger” (Bukhari, Ilm, 49).
The apostasy of an insane person and a child do not necessitate the punishment of murtad: "There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, an idiot till he is restored to reason, and a boy till he reaches puberty; those three groups are not responsible for what they have done " (Abu Dawud, Hudud, 17; Tirmidhi, Hudud,1; Nasai, Talaq, 21; Ibn Majah, Talaq, 15).
Apart from those mentioned above, a person who utters a word necessitating unbelief unintentionally is not regarded a murtad:
"Allah does not hold my umma (community) responsible for the things that they do by mistake, by forgetting and under compulsion." (Ibn Majah, Talaq, 16).
Riddah is not in question for a person whose heart is full of belief but says that he has deserted his religion under compulsion: "Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief― except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith― but such as open their breast to unbelief― on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty." (an-Nahl,16/106). There is a criterion of compulsion. It is not regarded as compulsion to be forced to drink alcohol, to eat the meat of a dead person or to be threatened by being beaten or imprisoned; it necessitates hadd (punishment for serious crimes) punishment. Only being threatened by death can be regarded as an excuse if the threatening person has the power to do so. If the person shows patience, does not desert his religion and is killed, he will receive great rewards in return. (al-Ikhtiyar, II, 106).
Before the hadd punishment is executed, the murtad is asked to repent and to return to Islam. However, there is disagreement among scholars as to how to do it. According to most of the scholars, if he does not repent, he is killed after he is asked to repent three times. Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) says that the murtad is imprisoned for three days and is asked to repent and that he should be given bread as food during that period. The hadd punishment is definitely the duty of the state. Nobody else can give that punishment.
Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) carried out that period as a month. An-Nahai claims that there should not be a time limit and that he should be asked to return to Islam until he repents.
When the murtad deserts Islam, all of his good deeds are wiped off and he stays in Hell everlastingly: "If any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be Companions of the Fire and will abide therein." (al-Baqara, 2/217).
It is valid if the murtad does not repent. Islamic scholars have different views whether the deeds of the murtad before his ridddah are wiped off if he repents and returns to Islam. According to Imam Shafii, no good deed of the murtad including hajj is wiped off if he returns to Islam. According to Imam Malik, all of his deeds are wiped off as soon as he deserts Islam. (al-Qurtubi, al-Jami'li Ahkami'l-Qur'an, Beirut 1965, III, 48).
The marriage becomes invalid with riddah. However, if the murtad returns to Islam and if both parties want to continue their marriage, a new marriage ceremony and mahr are not in question. Hanafis regard divorce due to riddah as talaq bain (irrevocable divorce). The murtad cannot be an heir to his Muslim relatives; when he dies, his Muslim relatives cannot be heirs to him either: "A Muslim cannot be the heir of an unbeliever, nor can an unbeliever be the heir of a Muslim" (Bukhari, Faraid, 26; Muslim, Faraid, 1).
A committee of scholars should question the murtad in order to decide that a Muslim has deserted Islam. It is by no means correct to say that someone has become an unbeliever without such a questioning.
The following sentence is present in some creed books; “If someone has 99 signs of unbelief and one sign of belief, it is necessary for the mufti to decide that he is a believer.” What is meant by that sentence?
We are living in the last period of the mischief of the end of time starting to disappear, God willing. Some people regard avoiding sins as something blameworthy. The concepts of honor, chastity and modesty run away speedily from the crowded streets to narrow streets, back streets and quiet houses. They enter a house. Just as they try to have some peace, an unbelievable machine starts to show visions from the furthest points of the world and loose off bullets with rays. They do not know what to do and only say, “end of time”.
On the other hand, the miracle of Hazrat Abraham (pbuh) is seen in many houses. Gardens, vineyards, nightingales, roses… in the middle of that fire. People wonder about the result of that fighting: will the fire swallow the water, or will the water extinguish the fire? If you have managed to produce even one single date in a place in the coldest period of the year, it means dates can be produced there... It depends on our efforts. It will not solve the problem to organize meetings against the cold, to shout, yell and to fight the cold. It is necessary to search ways to increase that one single date to one thousand, millions…
The mischief of today that is always before our eyes cause some Muslims to act but it drives others to desperation. Since they cannot canalize the enthusiasm in them, they console themselves by cursing the sinners, attacking rebels and accusing them of unbelief. The devil drives those kinds of Muslims to the brink of a great danger and of a terrifying precipice.
Let us listen to our Prophet (pbuh): “If a man calls his brother an unbeliever, either of them definitely becomes an unbeliever.” It is the most painful state of the case of out of the frying pan into the fire... The soul always forces a person; the devil constantly encourages him to curse that person, to beat this one and to call another one a hypocrite (munafiq)! It is a great problem of ours. It will be appropriate to deal with as much as we can.
Suppose that we see someone who is committing a sin; we do not know him. A fight starts in our inner world. We remain in between thinking good things or bad things about that person. The soul says if that man were not an unbeliever, he would not commit that great sin... the heart and the conscience say, “committing a great sin does not make a person an unbeliever; maybe he is committing that sin because he cannot control his soul or because he is ignorant not because he is an unbeliever; he is a sinner but it is necessary not to claim that he is an unbeliever at once” and prefer to be cautious.
The discussion whether “a person who commits a great sin an unbeliever or not” lasted for centuries between the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah and Kharijites and Mutazila. While Kharijites claimed that every sinner would become an unbeliever, go to Hell and stay there forever whether it was a great sin or a small sin, Mutazila defended the view that a person who commits great sins would be neither an unbeliever nor a Muslim but remain in-between. Thus, both groups moved away from the truth and went astray.
The winner of that fight turned out to be Ahl as-Sunnah. The flags of that victory are numerous. We will report only two of them: Yahya bin Muadh says: “a belief of one moment eliminates a belief of seventy years. Then, how can a belief of seventy years be destroyed by a sin of one moment?”
As opposed to Kharijites, who misinterpret the verse “If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers” (al-Maeda, 44) and say, “Everybody who disobeys Allah and commits sins is an unbeliever”, Fahruddin Razi, who analyzes the views of Ahl as-Sunnah scholars like a chemist says the most sagacious view regarding the issue belongs to Hazrat Ikrima (may Allah be pleased with him).
Let us read together the words of Ikrima that are like our victory flag: “The words of God Almighty ‘If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed...’ include those who deny both in their hearts and through their tongues. As for the person who knows in his heart that it is the judgment of Allah and then accepts through his tongue that it is the judgment of Allah but acts contrarily, he is regarded to have judged by the light of Allah but not to have done it actually. Therefore, it is not necessary for such a person to be included in the decree of that verse...” (Tafsir Kabir-9/86)
We lived in a period of interregnum in our recent history. Superstitions rose again; corrupt ideas revived… takfir (saying that someone is unbeliever) was in vogue again. However, this time it was not by Kharijites. What was strange those who did it did not know what Kharijites and Mutazila were; they did not even know what the words of unbelief (alfaz kufr) were. They had seals of some slogans that they memorized and sealed anybody that they met with them. They did not know about the hadith of the Prophet about takfir…
Let us start the issue of takfir with the definition of kufr (unbelief): What is kufr? In the dictionary, kufr means ingratitude to the bounties, concealing the bounties, denying the bounties. As a religious term, kufr means, “to deny and refute the truths of belief on his own will without any force, or not to approve them, to despise the holy things that need to be believed, to make fun of them , and to accept haram as halal and halal as haram”.
Belief becomes fixed through belief with the heart and confession with the tongue; kufr becomes fixed in the same way. Here, we are faced with the issue of words of unbelief, that is, the words that make a person an unbeliever when uttered.
When we hear someone say those words, can we call him an unbeliever at once? At that point, our scholars ask us this question: do you have any knowledge about his heart? Has he uttered that word because of his ignorance or due to his hostility against holy things or in order to make fun of holy things? That point is very important. And that sensitivity is valid for deeds too...
The late Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır (a scholar) attracts our attention to that point by saying, “there is a big difference between denying a deed and not committing a deed.” Denying a deed means denying an action or a duty and saying, “there is nothing like that”. Not committing a deed means not carrying out that deed despite accepting that it exists. Denying daily prayers is something and not performing them is something else. The former is denying and the latter is not committing.
Accordingly, if a person denies the Quranic command of daily prayers, he becomes an unbeliever; however, if he does not perform prayers though he accepts that command, he does not become an unbeliever. The same thing is valid for committing harams. If a person accepts that the Quran has prohibited interest and it is a divine prohibition to give and take interest but he commits that haram as a result of not being able to control his soul, it is clear that he will not be an unbeliever.
Now let us listen to another scholar, Ahmet Ziyaeddin Gümüşhanevî: “If a word uttered by someone necessitates unbelief in many aspects but belief in one aspect, the mufti should prefer the latter. It is essential to have a good opinion about Muslims.” We see two of our illnesses in those sentences that emit information and knowledge. One of them is having bad opinions, that is, interpreting things in the bad way. The other is the duty of the mufti is undertaken by everybody. Fatwa is in the hands of ignorant people...
Gümüşhanevî continues as follows: “There is an important point here. If the intention of that man is not unbelief, he is a Muslim; however, if his intention is unbelief, the fatwa of the mufti will do him no good.” (Ehl-i Sünnet İtikadı, p.68)
The following concise, satisfying and wonderful sentences about takfir present in “Sünuhat”, one of the books of Risale-i Nur Collection, should be memorized by the people of this age and they should be practiced word by word. Otherwise, a person may commit sins and may drive the person he deals with away from Islam... “For instance, someone says that thing is kufr. That is, that attribute has not originated from belief; that attribute is kufr. It can be said that that person committed kufr with that word. However, since the thing that has been qualified by it is innocent and it has originated from belief and it has some other attributes that has the qualities of belief, it cannot be said that that person is an unbeliever unless it is definitely known that that attribute originates from unbelief... It may originate due to some other reasons too. There exists doubt in the indication of the attribute. There is definite knowledge about the existence of belief. Doubt cannot eliminate the decree about definite knowledge. Those who dare to say that someone is an unbeliever so quickly should think twice!...” (Sünuhat, 20)
That is, there may be some attributes originating from ignorance, debauchery or some other source not from belief in a believer. Those attributes are defined as unbeliever. That believer has many other innocent attributes originating from his belief. Those attributes prevent us from saying that he is an unbeliever. Therefore, if that believer has uttered a word of unbelief or if he has committed some deeds that only unbelievers do, we cannot say that he is an unbeliever unless we definitely know that they originate from unbelief, that is he says or commits them with the intention of unbelief, denying Islam. The sentence, “there exists doubt in the indication of the attribute” prevents us from giving a judgment. That is, it is doubtful that the thing he has done, the word he has uttered, the attribute he has are indications that he is an unbeliever. We do not know definitely that he does them with the intention of unbelief but we know that he is a believer. If we ask him, he will say that he is a believer, a Muslim. Therefore, there is certainty and definite information about his belief. However, there is doubt, assumption and prediction in the existence of unbelief. We cannot eliminate certainty with doubt and we cannot call him an unbeliever.
The following answer of Al-Azhari to the question “Can a person who says the Quran was created be called an unbeliever?” is wonderful:
– What he says is unbelief!..
He is asked the same question three times repeatedly. He gives the same answer and says:
– Sometimes a Muslim can utter words of unbelief.
Let us have a look at Risale-i Nur Collection again – this time at “Münazarat” –, which diagnoses and cures one of our illnesses.
There may be disagreement about foreign policy among Muslims. It is quite natural. It should be deemed within the scope of freedom of thought. However, sometimes, people pass the limit in those discussions. When someone feels that his idea is defeated, he dares to say that the person against him is an unbeliever. He sometimes says, “You have supported Christians with that idea of yours and have become an unbeliever”. When you try to correct that mistake of his, he raises his voice and says confidently, “does the Quran not say ‘take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors’?” and he shouts at you. The cure for that great mistake, that terrifying illness and that big accusation with great responsibility are in the following sentences: “That prohibition of friendship with Christians and Jews is due to their being mirrors of Christianity and Judaism. A person is not loved because of his individuality; he may be loved because of his attributes and art.”
That is, the verse prohibits loving Judaism and Christianity. For instance, loving a Christian country because of its Christianity is included in the prohibition of the verse; loving and appreciating the art and technology of that country are not.
The sentences we have quoted above end as follows: “If you have a wife from the People of the Book (Christians and Jews), you should definitely love her.” That is, if a Muslim has a wife from the People of the Book, for instance a Christian, he should love her because she is her wife but he should not love her Christianity. Being deprived of that fine criterion costs us a lot...
By the way, I want to mention a hadith that is misinterpreted. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) lists the signs of a munafiq in a hadith as follows: “When he speaks, he lies. When he makes a promise, he does not keep it. When he is entrusted something, he betrays.”
A great method of pedagogy is hidden in that hadith. Every Muslim, including those that misinterpret that hadith, knows very well that “telling lies”, “breaking promises” and betraying trusts” do not make a person an unbeliever. We all know that a munafiq is worse than an unbeliever because a munafiq is someone who is an unbeliever actually but conceals it and acts as if he is a Muslim. That man is the secret enemy of Islam and he is more dangerous than an open enemy. It is not certain when and how he will shoot you.
Then, is it possible to say that a Muslim who tells lies is worse than such a traitor, an unbeliever? Of course not. Then, we should understand the fine point in the hadith as follows. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) warns Muslims with his words: “Never approach those sins! They are the attributes of a munafiq, who is worse than an unbeliever.” It is an extraordinary effective warning and a method of keeping people away from something. It is a big murder like takfir, a great sin, great ignorance and a terrifying bad thought to accuse a believer of being a munafiq who commits those sins…
There is a joke that we listened to a lot when we were children. It expresses the psychology of the people who look forward to saying that some believers are unbelievers: A man was given the nickname ‘duck’. People used to call him by his nickname not by his name. Once, somebody says, “the weather is cloudy today” while talking. That man starts to shout and insult at him saying, “Why did you call me a duck? Why did you say so?” The man is surprised and asks kindly, “Brother! When did I call you a duck?” He answered: “When the weather is cloudy, it rains; when it rains, ponds and pools form; Ducks swim in the ponds and pools.”
Unfortunately, today, we see many people who interpret each word and action of believers as kufr through various excuses. Did our scholars, saints, leaders act like that?... Here are two statements that are similar to each other: it is certain that they drank water from the same fountain and they received the same education:
“Those who know ‘Said’ know that he avoids takfir as much as possible. Even if he sees an obvious kufr in a man, he tries to interpret it. He does not say he is an unbeliever.” Badiuzzaman
“It is necessary to interpret the word of a Muslim in a good way even if it is a weak narration.” Gümüşhanevî
Today, all of the Islamic world is in need of industrious Muslims who are knowledgeable, virtuous, and modest, who try to solve the problems of others, who feel sorry for sinners like a compassionate father...
People who are ignorant, who shout at people, do not know what correction is, think that cursing the patient is a method of treatment, who are inconsiderate, without affection, ill-tempered, who are ready to commit cruelty in the name of the truth if they have the opportunity cannot represent Islam...
Our duty is to try to put our souls into the first group, to try to make others like that and to pray for our brothers who were drifted into the other group unintentionally.
At this point, the following hadith is a great guidance for all believers:!.. Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates. Somebody said to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) , – O Messenger of Allah! Curse the polytheists, damn them! He answered: I was sent as a mercy not as a curser!..
Prof. Dr. Alaaddin Başar
If it's forbidden to kill Non-Muslims, then why do people like Al-Qaeda kill Non-Muslims?
The harms caused by the non-Islamic actions of those who act for the sake of Islam on Islam and Muslims, are more dangerous and greater in extent than the harms which have been caused or will be caused by non-Muslims. In a Muslim country, any follower of any religion can live. Nobody can violate this right given by Allah. Muslims should not fall into such tricks. In addition, if there are people who commit crimes, it is the duty of the State and the authorities to punish them. A person cannot decide on his own and cannot harm anybody even if a non-Muslim. If he harms, then he is also punished.
Could you please give information about the Istikhara?
If a person who attempts to do something like business, marriage, travel, etc and hesitates whether that attempt will be good for him or not, he tries to find solutions to eliminate his doubt and hesitation. The first thing to do about it is to search whether that attempt is legitimate and halal or not, whether it is in compliance with religious principles or not.
If a person cannot decide on his own, the best thing to do is to ask a person who is qualified in that topic, find out about his opinion and if necessary to discuss it with him in detail, that is to consult someone. The person to be consulted should be experienced, knowledgeable and reliable.
The Quran, which regards mutual consultation and talking as one of the characteristics of the believers, says, “they conduct their affairs by mutual consultation”1 warning that the people to be consulted should be qualified and they should not be outsiders in terms of ideas and beliefs:
“O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks; they will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths; what their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom.”2
As it is seen, a believer with foresight should not talk about his private issues to everybody or whoever he meets because he should estimate that while looking for someone to help him, he may make mistakes by making a wrong decision as a result of his talk to that person. Some decisions that a person makes may bind him to things and affect him lifelong. For instance, education, business, marriage… A person who sets up a business without calculating well may see one day that his business is going downwards and understands that he is going bankrupt; he may lose his capital, too. That state affects both his material and spiritual life greatly. A person who marries without searching well can suffer due to his haste and imprudence lifelong and it can transform his world to Hell. Therefore, we must always practice consultation; we must not do even the simplest thing without asking experienced and qualified people.
Our Prophet, who is an example for his umma in all phases of his life, consulted his relatives and companions about every issue, found out about their opinions and then decided. As a matter of fact, he received revelation; he was more intelligent, clever, sophisticated and considerate than everybody else. He asked his companions about almost everything that was not determined by revelation. He warned his umma not to do anything without consulting and said that he who consulted would never regret:
“He who makes istikhara will not be harmed; he who consults will not regret; he who acts in accordance with economy will not suffer financial difficulties in his family.”3
As it is seen, the hadith bases the social life of a Muslim on acting in accordance with three things: consultation, istikhara and economy.
Istikhara, which is recommended in the hadith, is a sunnah that a person who cannot feel comfortable in his heart and who is not satisfied emotionally though he has consulted can practice.
Istikhara means, in the dictionary, asking good things from Allah. That is, to ask Allah whether something one wants to do is good or bad, whether to do it at once or later will be better and ask Allah to make his heart satisfied about it.
Istikhara is a sunnah of our Prophet. It is a form of praying and worshipping he advised his umma. Our Prophet (pbuh) taught how to make istikhara and what prayer to read in person. Jabir bin Abdullah says the following regarding the importance of istikhara:
“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) taught us to make istikhara for our tasks, business, etc whether small or big as if he taught us the Quran and said:
‘When one of you decides to do something in his heart, he should perform a prayer of two rakats.”4
Istikhara prayer has two rakats. Imam Ghazali recommends reading chapter al-Kafirun after al-Fatiha in the first rakat and chapter al-Ikhlas in the second rakat.5
After performing the prayer, the following prayer reported from our Prophet (pbuh) is recited:
“Oh Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things Oh Allah! If in Your knowledge, this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it. ”6
While reciting the prayer, the thing to be meant is used instead of the words “this matter”. Thus, the Turkish (English) translation of the prayer can be recited but it is more virtuous to recite the Arabic original. The original of the prayer is present in the resources we give and in books of ilm-al-hal.
After the person makes istkhara, he should do what his heart tends towards and he should leave his prejudice and conviction before the istikhara and act accordingly. If he does not feel content and satisfied despite the istikhara, he can make istikhara again. It is sunnah. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says the following in a hadith reported by Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him):
“O Anas, when you intend to do something important, then seek the good (istikhara) from your Lord seven times and then do that to which your heart (or mind) goes, because the good is in it.”7
If the matter is urgent and it is not possible to make istikhara again, the following prayer is recited:
“Oh Allah! Give me what is good for me. Do not leave me on my own.”
Ibn Abidin writes the following regarding the sign whether the desire of the person who makes the istikhara is appropriate or not:
“Before going to bed, the person makes wudu, recites the prayer and lies down turning towards qiblah. If he sees white or green in his dream, it indicates that it is good for him; if he sees black or red, it indicates that it is bad for him. It is necessary to avoid bad things.”8
However, istikhara is spiritual strength for believers who are in trouble. A believer who is hesitant about something performs two rakats of prayer and turns towards God Almighty. He asks Allah to create contentment in his heart towards the business he will attempt, the spouse he will choose, etc if it is good for his religion, world and the hereafter and to create strength in his body to do it; he asks God Almighty to eliminate the inclination in his heart towards it if it is not good for his religion, world and the hereafter. He feels relief in his heart. He becomes sure in his heart that the thing he made istikhara for will be good for him. He becomes content with the result.
Can you give information about Awliya (saints) in Islam? Is it permissbile for Muslims to distribute food to their shrine?
Saints in their graves see those who come to visit them. However, it is forbidden for people to exhibit superstitions in grave visits. It is bid'at (innovation; something which is entered into religion afterwards) to put one's head on the grave so that light be rained on it or to leave food there.
Awliya (saints) are the loyal friends of Allah and followers of Allah's Shari'a (Islamic Law). Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, described saints this way: “When they are seen, one is reminded of Allah Most High. Their faces are radiant. Those with them do not become complainer.”
Prophets, the loyal, the learned, the righteous, and those worthy in Allah's sight can, with Allah's leave, intercede for their relatives, friends and those they are close to. (see Gazali, Ihya, IV/509).
Bediuzzaman also gives important good news as follows: “The result of love for the prophets and saints is as the Qur'an explains. That is, it will be both to benefit in the intermediate world and at the resurrection from the intercession of the prophets and saints, and also to profit abundantly, through that love, from the station and blessings that befit them.” (Risale-i Nur Collection, Words; 32nd Word: Sixth Indication).
The souls of believers in the intermediate realm are free. They see both believers in graves and those who come to visit them and hear them. Souls in the intermediate realm are of two kinds: Those in blessings and those in agony. According to the explanation of Ibnu'l-Kayyim, the souls in agony do not find the opportunity to visit one another. They are like captives. But the souls that are not captive but free and in other words in blessings meet and visit one another. They exchange their views about the things that happened and that will happen in the world. Each soul is together with his/her friends who are at a similar degree and rank with him/her as regards good deeds. And the soul of The Prophet (PBUH) is at Rafiku'l-A'la (the highest rank).
In the Qur'an it is stated: “Whoever obeys God and the Messenger (as they must be obeyed), then those are (and in the Hereafter will be, in Paradise) in the company of those whom God has favored (with the perfect guidance) – the Prophets, and the truthful ones (loyal to God's cause and truthful in whatever they do and say), and the witnesses (those who see the hidden Divine truths and testify thereto with their lives), and the righteous ones (in all their deeds and sayings, and dedicated to setting everything right). How excellent they are for companions!” (The Qur'an, An-Nisa, 4:69) and this company continues in three places: in the world, in the intermediate realm and in the hereafter. In all these three realms one is with the ones whom one loves. (Suyuti, Bushra'l-Kaib, 147
However, it has been attained only by those whom Allah favored that other persons than prophets meet, while alive and awake, those in the intermediate realm; and similarly, many events are narrated about Allah's saintly slaves' meeting The Prophet (PBUH) and certain great personalities. (see Abdullah Sirajuddin, al-Iman Bi’Awalimil-Ahirati wa Mawafikiha p. 110-113)
That in grave visits, the visitor is called 'zair' and the visited 'mazur' is also a proof of the fact that the visited one hears and knows his/her visitor during visits. For if the visited does not know about his/her visitor, then it would not be called 'mazur' (the one visited). Furthermore, while teaching the manners about grave visits, The Prophet (PBUH) taught saluting the dead upon approaching the graveyard, which is among the manners that he followed in his relations with the living. (Wujudi, Muhammad b. Abdulaziz, Ahval-i Alam-i Barzah, V. 9 a)
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We know that interest was forbidden by stages just like alcohol. Could you explain those stages?
Interest was very wide-spread in the Arab community before the emergence of Islam. There were brokers in Makkah, Taif and Madinah who made money without working, by utilizing interest and living at the expenses of people. They used to loan needy people money on condition that they would take back more than the capital they loaned. If an indebted person could not pay back in time, they would extend the due date, increasing the amount of interest in return. Therefore, the indebted person would have to pay much more than he borrowed generally. This application was so settled and rooted that people used to say, as stated in Quran as well, “… trade is also like usury…” (al-Baqara, 275) and consider usury lawful like trade.
Interest was gradually forbidden because of the fact that it grew wide-spread to the utmost in the society.
The first judgment on the issue is the 39th verse of the chapter ar-Rum. It was sent down in the period of Makkah.
“That which you lay out for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with God: but that which you lay out for charity, seeking the Countenance of God, (will increase): it is these who will get a recompense multiplied.”
In that verse, interest was not forbidden, but it was just declared that there would not be abundance in the interest profit.
The 160th and 161st verses of the chapter an-Nisa which was sent down in the period of Medina, the following is stated:
“For the iniquity of the Jews We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been lawful for them;- in that they hindered many from God's Way that they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully;- we have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.”
Although there was not an obvious judgment in those verses that interest was forbidden for Muslims, it was also stated that Jews utilized interest although it was forbidden for them and thus, they deserved Allah’s punishment. This statement indicates that loaning is malicious to the utmost degree and it must be refrained from.
Interest was forbidden, i.e. made haram for Muslims with the 130th verse of Aal-e-Imran for the first time:
“O you who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear God; that you may (really) prosper.”
With this verse, compound interest which was applied the most in that period of time and which oppressed the poor the most was forbidden. There was not yet a certain judgment which forbade ordinary interest. This resembles the stage in which drinking alcoholic beverages was not yet forbidden, but it was forbidden to perform prayers while drunk. Islam, first of all, forbade the kind of interest which wore out the poor to the utmost degree.
All kinds of interest were forbidden for sure with the 275th-281st verses of the chapter al-Baqara which was sent down later. The translations of those verses which forbade interest definitely are as follows:
“Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the Evil One by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for God (to judge); but those who repeat (the offence) are Companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (forever).”
“God will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked.”
“Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” “O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers.”
“If ye do it not, Take notice of war from God and His Apostle: But if ye turn back, ye shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly.”
“If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew.”
“And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.” They are the last verses about interest to have been sent down and all kinds of interest were definitely made haram with them.
Our Prophet explained the pitiful state of usurers in the Hereafter with the following words: “I came across a crowd of people at the night of Ascension. Their stomachs were like houses which could be seen through and full of snakes. I asked ‘Who are they?’ Gabriel answered me ‘They are usurers’.”
Again in hadiths, it is stated that “our Prophet curses those who give or take loans, who make interest bonds and the both parties”. (Abu Dawud, Buyu 4, (3333); Tirmidhi, Buyu 2, (1206); Ibn Majah, Trade 58, (2277).Muslim, Musaqat 25, (1579)
This prohibition is also related to the verse “Muslims are but only brothers” and the hadith “One who is full though his neighbor is hungry is not one of us”. (The expression “… is not one of us” in the hadith means “he has not yet comprehended the delight in mature belief”.)
Since the Quran made Muslims brothers and made it obligatory for the rich to give alms and encouraged charity, a rich Muslim will gain a great profit for his afterlife if he meets his/her needs when a Muslim brother/sister asks him to lend him some money. Instead of performing the worshipping called “Qard-al hasan” which earns one a lot of thawabs, saying “I will lend you money but I will take more than I give” does not comply with Islamic brotherhood.
What does Islam say about humor and joking? Could you please give examples from the jokes of the Prophet of mercy and his smiling face?
Islam welcomes humor and joking as long as they are balanced. Jokes and humor, which are in line with Islamic criteria, are relaxing and means of increasing fellowship and love between people. Although being humorless is accepted as seriousness, too much of anything is excessiveness and not welcomed. That is to say, grumpy people are not loved. The word “fukaha” which is mentioned in several verses of the Quran and which stems from the word “fakiha” which means fruit means joking, entertainment, and conversation and chat of fellowship. In the 55th verse of the chapter Ya Seen, it is stated in a tempting way that inhabitants of Heaven talk and joke with each other, being content with their state. It can be deduced from that verse that appropriate entertainments and jokes which are done in a way that will strengthen friendship and relax one’s soul are approved. Joke in Arabic language is “Fukaha” and “Mizah”. The important role of jokes and humor, which have got its limits and criteria, in attracting attention, preventing people around from getting bored and strengthening love cannot be denied. Jokes and a smiling face which will serve to strengthen factors such as brotherhood and love among Muslims, conveying the message of Islam to people, warming hearts, fellowship, tolerance and forgiving are of great importance.
In our time, they are important kinds of worshipping for Muslims and sunnahs which are (made) forgotten. Humankind, stuck between the two extreme ends of the issue like in any other issue, is in the search of the best balance. On the one hand, there are a few famous comedians whose only business is fun, who can laugh disgustingly, who are free-and-easy, humiliating, who do not hesitate to lie and who are well-known for their nasty jokes or their imitation and simple adaptation of foreign comedians; and on the other hand there are people with scowled faces and personalities which reflect their impaired souls on their faces and words… Words of criticism and complaint, pessimistic, repulsive and boring manners, stiff relationships, hackneyed speeches, insincere attitudes so mannered and fake… We scream out “help!” drowning in the sea of instability and the waves of discomfort; and on the other hand is the sunnah of the Messenger, which is waiting for us, as our life buoy.
In all of hadith books (book or chapter, that is as an independent section or as a subheading), joke and humor take place. This is because there was always joke in the Messenger of Allah’s life. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was the leading in joking with children.” There are many examples of jokes he made with the ones whom he had contact with, women, men, children, aged ones. Our Leader always had a smile on his face, as described in all books about his appearance. Smiling, grinning and laughter are different things. He did not have a scowled face; there was always a smile on his face in spite of all the torment, starvation, Jews’ perfidiousness, sinners’ mischievousness and all burdens which mountains cannot bear. Amongst plants, rose symbolizes the Messenger of Allah. And in our language, “rose” is not only the name of a flower but also an order of a verb (rose is “gül” in Turkish and “gül” also means “smile”). What a nice coincidence for the Prophet who always smiles. Scowled faced, pessimistic and grumbling people, who see thorns before the rose, must start to tidy themselves in the mirror of The Messenger of Allah, from this point. We must manage to approach the enemy with “rose” and smiling, before we attack, despite those who try to give us hard times.
The Prophet and his Companions were seen to joke with their friends many times. The Companions said to the Messenger of Allah: “O the Messenger of Allah, you are kidding us!” And the Messenger of Allah said: “I only tell the truth even jokingly; I tell nothing but truth.” (Tirmidhi, Birr 57, hadith no: 1991). He was a very joyful, cheerful and nice person. Although his duty was very serious and difficult, his company was neither boring, nor gloomy and monotonous, unlike leaders which are accustomed to see. Contrarily, he was sweet, cheerful and full of joy. Sometimes, he smiled a lot at the jokes which the Companions made with one another, and sometimes he made jokes with them too. Abdullah bin Haris said that he had not seen anyone else who smiled more beautifully that the Messenger of Allah. Jabir bin Samura narrated that he had not ever seen him without a smile on his face since he had converted to Islam and he, the Prophet, always had treated him well. Anas, who had been with our Prophet since his childhood and rendered service to him, said: “The Messenger of Allah was the nicest and the most humorous of people when he was with his wives.” According to the Hazrat Aisha’s narration, the Prophet raced with her and in on of those races Aisha won and in the other the Prophet won. He approved and encouraged joking and having fun with one’s spouse for it will increase love between them. (Abu Dawud, Adab 84, 85, 149; Ibni Majah, Jihad 40; Ahmad bin Hanbal, II/352, 364, III/67, V/32).
One day, while Aisha and Sawda were eating a kind of dish with the Prophet in the house of bliss, Sawda said: “I do not like this dish”. Aisha said: “If you do not eat it, I will spread it on your face” and she spread some of it with her finger on Sawda’s face jokingly and Sawda did the same on Aisha’s face. And the Prophet watched them smiling. The Messenger of Allah used to like smiling a lot and to joke kindly. According to the narration by Abu Hurayra, the Prophet was like one of them when he was amongst his Companions, with his sincere and humorous words and attitudes. He made kind jokes and there was not falsehood or lies in his jokes.
Anas (r.a.) narrates: “A man came to the Prophet and said: O the Messenger of Allah. Mount me on a camel! The Messenger of Allah said to him: “I will mount you on a baby camel”. The man said: What can I do with a baby camel? (One cannot ride it). Upon it, the Prophet said: “So does another creature other than camel give birth to a camel? (Is each camel not the child of another camel?)” (Tirmidhi, Birr 57; Abu Dawud, Adab 84, 92). With these words, the Prophet both made a joke with him and also indicated that one must not hurry to oppose without comprehending a word’s deepness and essence when he hears it.
Anas (r.a.) said that the Prophet called out to him “O two-eared!” and with this word, he meant to joke. (Tirmidhi, Birr 57; Abu Dawud, Adab 92). Again, Anas (r.a.) said: “When we were children, the Messenger of Allah came and join us. I had a brother called Abu Umair and he had a bird he loved very much and with which he often played. The Prophet asked him: O Abu Umair, what happened to the birdie?” (Bukhari, Adab 81, 112; Muslim, Adab 30; Tirmidhi, Birr 57; Abu Dawud, Adab 69; Ibn Majah, Adab 24). According to a narration by Anas, once an old woman came to the Prophet and asked him to pray for her to enter Heaven. The Messenger of Allah said to her: “No old women will enter Heaven!” Hearing this, the old woman started to cry. Upon this, he said: “But that day you will not be old. Allah says ‘We have created (their Companions) of special creation. And made them virgin - pure (and undefiled)’ (al-Waqiah, 56: 35-36).” (Tirmidhi, Shamail)
Hazrat Suhaib narrates: I was eating dates and there was a pain in my eye. Seeing it, he Prophet, said to me jokingly: Are you eating dates though your eye is aching? And I said: “O the Messenger of Allah, I am eating with the one which does not ache.” With this answer, the Prophet smiled till his molar teeth appeared. A woman called Ummu Ayman came to the Prophet and said: My husband invites you to our house. The Prophet said: Who is your husband? He is the man in whose eye there is white, isn’t he? The woman said: I swear there is no white in his eye!” Upon this, the Prophet said: There is white in everybody’s eye. The Prophet meant the white part around the iris of the eye by saying “white in the eye”. However, that expression was also used to mean that one was blind and for this reason the woman misunderstood it. The Prophet also made wordplay with it.
There were some people who were well-known for their humor amongst the Companions, such as Nuayman, Abu Huraira, Abdullah Ibn Huzafa, Zaid Ibn Thabit and Buraydatu’l-Aslami. Even Hazrat Umar, who is known for his strict and serious personality, made jokes. They can be explained by the Messenger of Allah’s tolerance and his example in joking. Indeed, the Prophet did not forbid humor, which is an inborn tendency; he just set some limits to it. Nuayman, whose humor was the best-known, made jokes with the Prophet a lot of times. According to his narration, he used to buy a nice food on credit from Madinah bazaar and bring it to the Prophet as a “gift”. Later, when the time came to pay for it, he used to go to the Prophet and ask for the gift’s fee. When the Messenger of Allah said ‘You gave it to me as a gift, what happened now?’, he answered: ‘I thought you were worthy of that nice food, but as I did not have money, I did it so’ The Prophet used to react by smiling all the time and never got angry with Nuayman. And sometimes he could not help himself smiling when he met Nuayman. Another well-known joke of Nuayman was that he sold his friend Suwaybit as a slave. Upon that incident, the Messenger of Allah and his Companions laughed at it for a year.
There was a humorous person amongst Ansar (people of Madinah). One day, while he was making people around him laugh with his jokes, the Messenger poked him on his side with his staff jokingly. The man said: O the Messenger of Allah, you hurt me. Let me retaliate. And the Messenger said: Go ahead. The man said: But you have got a shirt on. I did not have it on. (you must take it off for retaliation to be exact). Upon the demand of the man, the Prophet folded up his shirt and uncovered his side. The Man embraced the Messenger and started to kiss his side reverently. And he said: I indeed wished to do it O the Messenger of Allah!” (Abu Dawud, Adab 160, hadith no: 5224).
Someone called Zahir bin Harun used to come to the Prophet from desert with gifts. And when the time came for him to return, the Prophet used to meet Zahir’s needs. The Messenger of Allah used to say: “Zahir symbolizes our people living in desert; and we symbolize him in town.” He used to love him though he was a tough and unhandsome person. One day while Zahir was selling his products in the bazaar, the Prophet caught him and held her from behind. Zahir could not turn back and see who he was. He said: let me go, who are you? But, when he turned back, he saw the Messenger of Allah, he leant his back against the Messenger’s chest and the Prophet said: Who wants to purchase a slave? Zahir said: O the Messenger of Allah, this is a valueless good! Upon this the Messenger said: No, in the eyes of Allah, your value is so high.”
Those jokes that the Prophet and the Companions made were not offensive and false. Such jokes increase love and fellowship between people. The Prophet made warnings about the appropriate manners for making jokes. For instance, there must not be lies in jokes. “Woe to those who tell lies to make people laugh!” (Abu Dawud, Adab 88; Tirmidhi, Zuhd 8). “…I promise a mansion to those who quit lying, even though it is a joke.” (Abu Dawud, Adab 8). One must not humiliate someone by joking (Tirmidhi, Birr 58). One must not make jokes by frightening someone with fire and guns. Jokes must not be excessive, even it permitted limits, and especially making people laugh must not be one’s occupation. There are some permissible things which may turn into sins when made too often. Jokes which cause torment, hardship and disturbance are also forbidden. Practical jokes and jokes made with mortal or scathing devices are forbidden, for they can be dangerous.
However, the Supreme Prophet disliked laughing too much, especially laughing loudly, as he did not like anything excessive. Sometimes he shed tears, like pearls, so much that his prayer rug got wet during the hours he spared for tahajjud prayers at nights. When he was asked the reason of it, he answered: “Shall I not be a grateful slave?” (Bukhari, Tahajjud 6, Riqaq 19; Muslim, Sifatu’l-Munafiqin 18). While he showed his gratitude to Allah by praying at nights, he proved it to people with his smiles, tolerance, optimism and friendliness. As a matter of fact, one could not be a grateful slave by complaining and scowling his face. Tears flowing down from the eyes of the Prophet were the pearls of the night ornamented with prayer rugs when he was alone with his Lord, not when with people. That eminent person’s – who said “If you knew what I know, you would laugh a little and cry a lot” - smile which spread peace and bliss around was the reflection of his gratitude. A true believer, who should follow his example, should have a sorrowful heart as a result of awe and problems of Islam and status of Muslims and pondering over them. Nevertheless, he should light up the darkness caused by unfair people, with his smiling face which shows that he is grateful. Even though his soul cries, his face should smile. He should know that scowling face towards a Muslim is insult and violation of personal rights, and his mercy for his Muslim brothers should be seen on his face.
One should show his gratitude both with his manners and attitudes and also with words, that is, verbally. Characterless attitudes, levity, sassy laughter, free-and-easy manners, and a depressed face which shows pessimism, hopelessness must equally be away from a true believer. Islam gives one peace. The era of the Prophet’s order which abolished the order of Ignorance is called the era of bliss. Muslims are amongst good deeds in the world too. They are not blind to the beauties around them. They love what is created, because of the Creator. They see the full side of the glass, the half of which is filled with water. However, if they can, they try to fill the empty half themselves first.
Let us bear in mind that the Prophet faced more troubles and hardships than us. He faced more starvation than any of us. He had more burdens and duties than the most responsible one of us. He was struggling to solve a large and difficult problem, which can never be compared to ours. Nevertheless, unlike us, he never complained and his face was not scowled; he was not, stressed, tired, troublesome or pessimistic… He had to set an example for us on the issue as well, like in everything else (al-Azhab, 33: 21). We should refresh our lives by following his sunnah properly, relocating his era of bliss to our day. One who is not smiling, peaceful and confident amongst people cannot shed tears of pearls on his praying rug at tahajjud at nights.
Let us gain thawab (reward) of martyrs by following a forgotten sunnah of the Prophet at this time, when mischief is at its zenith. Let us be cheerful and humorous towards all Muslims around us. Let our smile, our smiling face be the reflection of the fact that we have found the source of peace and that we relocated the era of bliss to today. A complaining and scowled face is rather an indicator of unbelief or ungratitude; and stress and psychological problems such as depression are indicators of the disease of mischievousness in one’s heart; a smiling face is the indicator of gratitude. Let us convey the message which we cannot put into words, at least, with out face. Let our faces be inviters to peace and Heaven. When someone looks at our face, he should adore us and try to resemble us, to be like us. Firstly our faces, then words should be harbingers of goodness, not disgust.
Hurry up, what are you waiting for, change your complaining, ungrateful personality. Though your soul may cry, let your face smile. Make us happy, cheer us up. Hurry up, what are you waiting for, caress your child’s or brother’s/sister’s hair. Make kind jokes with your spouse, show your love 61 times as a ransom for a religious brother/sister of yours whose heart you broke. Show with your face that looking at a Muslim’s face is equal to looking at Heaven. Embrace your brothers/sisters and friends around you. Salute all Muslims you know and you do not know, send your smiles to each other as gifts… Why are you still waiting? Before the day of resurrection arrives, offer people your smiles, which are the reflection of the revolution inside you, as an essential facility for that day, and as a inheritance and symbol of the Era of Rose… And copy the expressions of “Al-hamdu lillah!” and “O Lord, praises be to you!” to your head from the Book and write it on your face… Spread smiles and roses like the Rose-Prophet! Like the Rose-Prophet… Like the Prophet who made our souls smile… Like the Prophet whose both words and face bloomed like a rose… (Şamil İslam Ansiklopedisi, 6/326-328).
Can we see Allah before the jugement day?
According to Ahlus Sunnah belief, it is impossible to see Him before the Day of Judgment. Only our Prophet saw Him during the Night of Ascension (Miraj).
What is the importance of self- sacrifice in our religion? What is the place of self- sacrificing for someone else?
Self- sacrifice is sacrificing willingly the things one owns and gives importance to and preserving for the sake of his cause by withstanding every kind of difficulties. It is abnegating from his benefits for the merits he believes in and for humanity in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah.
Human soul is selfish. He cares his own desires and benefits first. Making sacrifices in order to achieve Allah’s pleasure by quitting the egoism of the soul is one of the greatest characters among the values of the humanity.
In Islamic history, the hijrah (migration) of the Muslims in Makkah by leaving their possessions and properties for the sake of their beliefs after the unbearable torments and oppressions they faced in Makkah; and on the other side Ansar in Madinah (the people of Madinah who responded to the Prophet´s call to Islam and offered Islam a city-state power) helping the Muhajirs (Muslims who emigrated from Makkah to Madinah during the time of the great repression) are good examples of self-sacrifice.
The Muhajirs were able to take a few portable things that they could carry with them and they had to leave their houses, herds and most of their properties. They did not know when they would return there, and even if they returned, they could not know what would have happened to their houses and properties. Therefore, the Muhajirs had a lot of financial losses in that journey. Among them, there were some people like Suhayb b. Sinan who was not able to collect his money owed by other persons and who had to migrate with nothing since all his properties had been extorted. On the other side, Muslims of Madinah’s sharing their properties and earnings with their brothers coming from Makkah is another aspect of self- sacrifice.
In the Noble Qur’an, the following verses are stated about the ones making self- sacrifice:
Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good, (Qur’an, The Family Of Imran (Aal-i-Imran); 134 (3: 134)
Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, for them their reward is with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Qur’an, The Cow (Al-Baqara); 262 (2: 262)
Self- sacrifice is a merit. And since man is the most perfect one of the created things, self- sacrifice befits him first and being a human necessitates it.
In this century, struggling against unbelief and dissipation on behalf of self- sacrifice is the greatest principle and merit.
However, the dimensions and coordinates of self-sacrifice are very wide because self- sacrifice can be made regarding everything. By looking at the situation of the self-sacrificing people, one who cannot make self-sacrifice should not abandon himself to despair. For, although not every person can make every kind of self-sacrifice, everybody can make a kind of it.
For instance, someone can make sacrifice of his life, another one of his opportunities, his knowledge, his grade and rank, another one of his time, his love and compassion and another one of his worship and prayers.
A university student can make a kind of sacrifice mentioned above in point of conveying his cause to his friends, younger students and his masters under the circumstances he is in.
If he cannot do anything, being a successful, hardworking and an exemplary student is an important self-sacrifice, too.
Treating people very hospitably and lovely, complimenting them, being easy-going and agreeable, living ethically and virtuously, quitting conceit and egoism, being respectful to other people are the examples of self-sacrifice almost most of us can make.
Besides, efforts and self-sacrifices related with conveying the message are the features achieved by education and experience in time.
If a Muslim converts to another religion and goes away from Islam, What are the consequences for this person?
Murtad is the noun form of the verb irtidad, which means to return, to ask the return of and to go back to the previous state. As a religious term, the word murtad is used to describe a person who converted to another religion or to atheism after being a Muslim. Deserting the religion is defined as “riddah”(conversion).
Riddah is not in question for a person whose heart is full of belief but says that he has deserted his religion under compulsion: "Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief― except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith― but such as open their breast to unbelief― on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty." (an-Nahl,16/106). There is a criterion of compulsion. It is not regarded as compulsion to be forced to drink alcohol, to eat the meat of a dead person or to be threatened by being beaten or imprisoned; it necessitates hadd (punishment for serious crimes) punishment. Only being threatened by death can be regarded as an excuse if the threatening person has the power to do so. If the person shows patience, does not desert his religion and is killed, he will receive great rewards in return. (al-Ikhtiyar, II, 106). Before the hadd punishment is executed, the murtad is asked to repent and to return to Islam. However, there is disagreement among scholars as to how to do it. According to most of the scholars, if he does not repent, he is killed after he is asked to repent three times. Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) says that the murtad is imprisoned for three days and is asked to repent and that he should be given bread as food during that period. The hadd punishment is definitely the duty of the state. Nobody else can give that punishment.
Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) carried out that period as a month. An-Nahai claims that there should not be a time limit and that he should be asked to return to Islam until he repents. When the murtad deserts Islam, all of his good deeds are wiped off and he stays in Hell everlastingly: "If any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be Companions of the Fire and will abide therein." (al-Baqara, 2/217).
It is valid if the murtad does not repent. Islamic scholars have different views whether the deeds of the murtad before his ridddah are wiped off if he repents and returns to Islam. According to Imam Shafii, no good deed of the murtad including hajj is wiped off if he returns to Islam. According to Imam Malik, all of his deeds are wiped off as soon as he deserts Islam. (al-Qurtubi, al-Jami'li Ahkami'l-Qur'an, Beirut 1965, III, 48). The marriage becomes invalid with riddah. However, if the murtad returns to Islam and if both parties want to continue their marriage, a new marriage ceremony and mahr are not in question. Hanafis regard divorce due to riddah as talaq bain (irrevocable divorce). The murtad cannot be an heir to his Muslim relatives; when he dies, his Muslim relatives cannot be heirs to him either: "A Muslim cannot be the heir of an unbeliever, nor can an unbeliever be the heir of a Muslim" (Bukhari, Faraid, 26; Muslim, Faraid, 1).
A committee of scholars should question the murtad in order to decide that a Muslim has deserted Islam. It is by no means correct to say that someone has become an unbeliever without such a questioning.
Is there any hadith of Our Prophet (pbuh) stating that mosques should not be decorated and it should be simple?
In Islam, it is not approved to give more importance than necessary to a building, to build high-rise buildings; it is not approved to show off in dressing and in constructing buildings, either. And it is regarded as contrary to the faith of being mortal in this world. Besides many Hadiths, there are some verses regarding the issue. For instance, the 128th and 129th verses of the Surah of Ash-Shuaraa (the Qur’an, 26), address the people in the past who had denied the prophets, and their attitudes are blamed:
"Do you build a landmark on every high place to amuse yourselves?”
"And do you get for yourselves fine buildings in the hope of living therein (for ever)?”.
The mosque of Hazrat Muhammad was plain; so were almost all of the mosques of the Islamic world until the end of Seljuki period.. The type of the “Exalted Mosque” of Seljuks proves it. However, afterwards, when art became a dizzying means of propaganda in the West, Muslims came across with the prohibition of picture and sculpture. So, in order to respond with the same weapon against that idea which was tried to overcome Muslims in both aesthetic pleasure and art, Muslims turned towards architecture, especially towards mosque architecture. Actually, that way Muslims responded them best. However, such a respond may be discussed too and it may be said that because actual dynamics which show the superiority of Islam were lost, there was a need for architecture. However, it may be said that, “to build high-rise and ornamented buildings” itself is not condemned but what it causes is. Therefore, if it serves as a response to the cultures trying to dominate Muslims, it is regarded something unpleasant.
In fact, when it is looked carefully, it will be seen that, it is not the interior parts of the mosques that are more magnificent, but generally their external appearance, and that needs to be discussed whether it is extravagance or not. Besides, decorating mosques excessively may be contrary to the feeling of mortality and modesty, and another reason of it may be because it attracts the attention and affects the awe of the worshippers. The issue is dealt with from this aspect in Fiqh (Islamic law) books.
In the Qur’an, only the reconstruction (the Qur’an, Al-Tauba, 9/18) and foundation (the Qur’an, Al-Tauba, 9/108)of the mosques is mentioned.
Some Hadiths give more detailed information about decoration: “It is not convenient for me to enter a home which is decorated excessively.” ."(Abu Dawud, At`ima 8; Ibn Majah, At`ima 56; Musnad, V/221, 222) (Abu Dawud, Salat, 12).
When explaining that hadith, Munawi said the following: “It is People of the Book who decorate their place of worship. Jews and Christians started to decorate their chapels after distorting their books. So Muslims should have a moderate attitude about the issue.
Hazrath Umar did not change the mosque despite having an economically strong government. In Islam, the first person who decorated mosques is Walid b. Abdulmalik (Munawi, Fayzul-qadir, V/426).
According to the narration of Ebu Davud, Ibn Abbas said that:
“However, you are going to decorate your mosques like Jews and Christians. That is to say, you are going to give up sincerity, imitate them and boast about the mosques.” (Abu Dawud, Salat, 12). Abu Dawud’s following hadith confirms it: “Unless people become proud of themselves about mosques, the End of Time will not occur.” (ibid.)
Another hadith that shows that decorating mosques is the result of failing to practise the necessities of the religion, is as follows: “Whichever nation fell down, they started to decorate their mosques.” (Ibn Majah, Masajid 2). It is certain that, the interpreters of Islamic law investigate the subject from different aspects, both from the point of view of the community and the position. Ibn Abidin said : “There is no harm to adorn the mosque, except the wall of mihrab (niche of a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca). That is to say, it is better not to decorate. Adorning the wall of the mihrab is strictly abominable (tahriman makrooh) because it affects the concentration of those who perform prayers. Painting detailed and elaborated embroideries on the decorated parts is also strictly abominable (tahriman makrooh) (Ibn Abidin.I/442 (Amira)).
Although it is not makrooh (abominable) to calcimine or adorn with water gilding the parts that are permissible to decorate, it cannot be done with the money dedicated to that mosque.. If someone wants to do it, he/she may do it and pay for the expenses (Hindiya, I/09). The reason why religious officials do not object to is that those who waste their time and money in order to decorate (one should not confuse it with “cleaning” and “making it beautiful”, because they are different) the mosque may cause those people to like and attend mosques more. (Munawi explains it in the hadith we last mentioned accordingly. See Fayzu 1-Qadir, V/449; see also M. C. al-Qasimi, Islahu l-Masajid, (Jazair, 1989) p. 96 )
To sum up:
1. It is a sign of slackness not to give importance to educate jamaah (congregation), but to decorate the mosques.
2. It is makrooh to decorate, gild and hang different pictures to the parts that are visible by the performers of prayer.
3. It is better to clean and keep beautiful the other parts instead of decorating them.
4. The money collected in order to build a mosque cannot be spent on decoration. The money for decorations which are permissible can only be paid by those who want to pay for them from their own money, or when the money is collected, one who collects the money must inform the donor that the money will be spent on decoration.
5. It is better to spend the money collected for the mosque on teaching the congregation and children about truths instead of decoration.
What is the place of live bombs in Islam?
A person, who hurts himself and others where it is not a battleground and there are innocent people, is blameworthy. Because he is wasting his body in a way that he assumes to be right but Islam doesn’t approve. This action causes many losses of lives unjustifiably. They will account for what they did because they caused Islam to be misunderstood and killed many innocent ones.
Is it Halal to be with my fiance near my family or brothers
1- Engagement is not Nikah, so it is not Halal for those who engage to be alone in a closed place, to look their Haram areas and to tauch each other.
2- It is Halal to have something with your fiance near your family or brothers.
name as- samad
Both Samad and Abdussamad (not Abdul Samad) are recommendable names. You can choose one of them. But the name as-Samad is not a convenient name, because it describes Allah Almighty.
It is said that Islam is a religion of logic. Is it true?
This expression may have been used for two meanings.
The First: The rules and doctrines of Islam are suitable for the nature of man and his/her reason. This evaluation is correct. Except for a small proportion of principles that are “ta'abbudi” (requiring obedience without needing to know its reason), all rules in Islam are understandable in terms of reason and logic.
The fact that the orders and prohibitions of Islam are valid for people who have reached the age of puberty and who are sane and do not hold responsible people who are not sane shows that Islam gives importance to reason and addresses reason and it also indicates that Islam is “a religion of logic”.
For example, the institution of alms in Islam is an establishment that helps the poor by the rich and balances the social order, prevents the conflicts between the poor and the rich and turns those conflicts into reconciliation, love-respect and eliminates the injustices that foments the hatred and abhorrence between classes and layers of the society. This function of alms can easily be understood and is very reasonable.
In addition, one of the first conditions of embracing Islam is having faith in Allah and His apostle. The place of belief is the heart. The heart is large enough to hold divine feelings, inspirations, hadiths and for the mind (reason). It is a clear indication of this truth that a person who is not sane is not responsible for having a faith. The style of the Qur’an is full of rational and logical proofs that are required for the approval of man’s reasoning. There are always rational and logical examples when about the fact that the Qur’an is a word of Allah, and the existence of resurrection after death are explained.
Actually, if any order or punishment by Allah does not satisfy man’s reasoning then it cannot be said that a fair test exists here. If someone makes a primary education student responsible for the questions that belong to the sciences which are valid in the works of university or doctorate degree, then that person can be considered to have tortured. That is why, in the Qur’an, there is always an emphasis on human’s reasoning. There are also phrases such as; “Will you not then understand? Will you not then meditate?”
The second: the phrase “Islam is a religion of logic”; emphasizes the philosophy of based on a person’s own reason and logic. It is wrong. According to it, a person who has this kind of philosophy may say that “Great minds think alike”, so the things that he/she cannot understand are wrong. Therefore, what Islam has and what opposes to his/her view is wrong. In addition to this, such a person may also think that as Islam is a religion of logic; then, what reason cannot grasp has no place in religion.
Such people who have this kind of philosophy are unable to understand the concept of “reason” because reason cannot grasp everything on itself without external factors; on the contrary, it tries to grasp in the direction of knowledge and ideas that were given to him beforehand. It is the best proof of this truth that a person with no matter how high a reason but who is not necessarily educated cannot understand and do the things of an engineer or a doctor who are not as clever as him.
The most important point to be mentioned here is this: It is not appropriate for some people who cannot comprehend an issue to say “unreasonable” for that issue. Most of us do not know about physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, etc and do not comprehend them but nobody says they are unreasonable because some people do not understand them. The mind cannot discover everything on its own. If it were possible, there would be no need for prophets. Each issue has a field that can be understood by specialists only. Those specialists can easily understand the issue that some people cannot comprehend. Similarly, the fact that some people cannot understand the truths of the Quran does not mean that those truths are unreasonable and illogical.
Another important point is this: The existence of some issues that are called ta’abbudi and that cannot be understood by reason are related to the testing of man. The principles of belief are scientific and based on reason. A few principles of Islam are present in order to test man’s belief and surrender not to satisfy the mind. There need to be some issues that the mind cannot comprehend easily so that it will be clear whether man believes in his mind only or believes in and surrenders to Islam.
To sum up, a person who says, “Since the Quran is the word of Allah, everything in it is correct – even if my mind cannot comprehend – “ passes the test. A person who hesitates saying, “Such and such issue in the Quran is unreasonable; my mind cannot comprehend it” fails the test because he is either not sincere or is very ignorant. For instance, the fact that the morning prayer has two rakats but the noon prayer has four rakats has nothing to do with the mind. However, issues like the prohibition of pork and alcohol can be explained by science and reasoning. The issues based on reason are more than ta’abbudi issues.
Married women responsibility toward her parents.
A married woman have to take care of her parents, if they are in need of nursing. She should visit them. She must fulfill their's needs if can afford.
While doing these she should gain her husband's consent as far as possible. If her husband doesn't come to an agreement and her parents are in need of nursing she can help them without the permission of her husband. But she should be careful of not to destroy the peace of the family. (Bezzâziyye; Feteva-ı Hindiyye-Beyrut: 1400 C: 1 p: 341 vd)
What does it mean to be between fear (Khawf) and hope (Raja)?
Khawf means “fear, to frighten” and raja means “wish, hope, to beg and to wish”. A calm sea cannot be as beautiful as a wavy sea. Branches waving forth and back with the blowing wind displays a more pleasant scene than still trees. We cannot see the wind; if we could, we could watch it like a wavy sea too.
Harmonic swinging of trees is result of the blowing wind. Human soul resembles that wavy sea and that swinging tree. Angels resemble that calm water and still plants. Human soul is exposed to the wind of testing. And his heart is ruled by inconsistency and changeability.
That consistent change, those unceasing waves in human soul gives it a different beauty. That state elevates humans to a position higher than angels. In the human heart, only one fabric is woven from diverse colors. The manifestations of Allah’s grace and wrath together lead that heart to maturity. Grief and kindness come together in that heart in the form of consent.
These two diverse phenomena result in two diverse feelings in heart: Khawf and raja.
Khawf is a sweet fearing of Allah’s wrath, greatness and magnificence… And raja is an everlasting and joyful hope for His kindness, goodness and generosity…
People who pass the earthly testing successfully are the ones who believe in all of Allah’s attributions, acts and names together. Wrathful names of His evoke fear and awe in their hearts, while graceful names of His fill their hearts with hope, bliss and delight.
They are given a couple of tests called orders and prohibitions. They encounter halals (permissible things) and harams (forbidden things) and most of the time they are stuck between what is wrong and what is right. Doing the right things is called good deeds and avoiding wrong things is called taqwa (God-Consciousness). When one does good deeds, the door of Hope opens and when one advances in taqwa the door of Fear opens. Both doors lead to the same destination: Heaven.
A true believer must both fear and hope, because Allah is both Ghaffar (forgiver) and Qahhar (punisher). He can both forgive and punish or destroy.
Here is a scene of creation which teaches us a lesson of fear and hope:
Magma burns consistently like an oven in the core of the Earth. The Sun above throws its flames kilometers away. Eventually, human beings, animals, seas and forests continue to live between these two fires.
Human’s spiritual development continues between two fires too: Desire and Satan. Seeing such a scene, one must think in this way: As my body continues to live between the Sun and Magma, my soul is still a true believer in spite of my excessive desires and Satan. In this sense, there is no reason to be hopeless of Allah’s mercy. And as I cannot get away from these two fires even for a single moment, it is also impossible for me to be sure that punishment will not come to me…
Fear and hope are the attributions of a true believer. For this reason, whichever of them leaves the soul, the danger of infidelity emerges. A person who does not fear follows the way of disobedience, which may lead to infidelity. Decrease of hope may lead to hopelessness, which may also lead to infidelity.
While some verses in the Quran give the good news of Heaven to true believers, some verses threaten rebels with Hell. They make a pleasant harmony in human soul giving it both hope and fear, like our hearts beating, stopping and beating again continuously.
The chapter al-Fatiha is like the table of contents and summary of the Quran. Fear and hope are taught together in it.
“Hamd” means praise and glory.
“Maliki yawmiddin (the owner of punishment day)” teaches fear.
“Ibadah” points out to hope and “istiane” points out to fear.
“Sirat-al Mustaqim” is a wish and hope for the right way.
Being one of “Maghdub” and “dallin” is fear.
The soul of a true believer who recites al-Fatiha travels between the waves of fear and hope, even though he/she may not feel.
Alaaddin Başar (Ph.D)
What does Islam say about living in Seclusion (Uzlah)?
Uzlah (seclusion) is a Sufi term that means to avoid being with other people and to live on one’s own in hermitage. It is used in the same meaning with words “wahdah (oneness), khalwah (privacy) and inziwa (reclusion) though there are some slight differences among them. The words “ikhtilah (social intercourse)” and “khiltah (to live with a society) are the opposites of uzlah (Süleyman Uludağ, Kuşeyri Risalesi, 240)
The reason for a person to live in seclusion is to refrain from sins and things which can lead to sins. However, Sufis say “What a man in seclusion should mean by living in seclusion is not living away from people in order to be safe from their evil, but preventing them from his own evil”.
A person who is in seclusion in order to be safe from Satan’s misgiving should have the necessary knowledge of faith and should know what is necessary to perform fards so that his prayers can be accepted.
Islamic scholars have put forward different views on whether seclusion is superior to social intercourse or vice versa. Imam Shafii and Ahmad b. Hanbal are two of the ones who said social intercourse is preferred.
What is in the essence of Islam is not isolating oneself from people but mingling with them. In fact, the Prophet said the following in one of his hadiths:
“A believer who suffers people’s torment and puts up with their torment and oppression is more virtuous than a believer who lives away from people and does not put up with their oppression.” (Suyuti, al-Jamiu’s Saghir, II, 282). In fact, the seclusion favored by Sufis is not living away from people permanently, but turning back to society after having disciplined one’s lower-self.
It is stated in Kuşeyri Risalesi (Booklet of Qushayri) that the real seclusion is not staying away from people but staying away from sins: “Seclusion means to leave bad habits indeed. The benefit of seclusion must be sought in leaving bad characteristics, not in leaving one’s land. For this reason, when they were asked ‘Who is a wise man?’, they replied ‘He is the one who is both together and alone’; which means he is the one who is physically together with society yet spiritually away from them. (Süleyman Uludağ, ibid, 240).
What is Good Deed (amal salih)?
Good deed means “good, beautiful and beneficial act,” and “to act in accordance with Allah’s content and pleasure.”
“By the Time. Verily Man is in loss. Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual enjoining of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.” (The Surah Time Through Ages (Al-Àsr), 1-3)
There are a lot of verses in which good deeds are mentioned immediately after faith, in the Holy Qur’an. This is guidance and drawing attention. It is a divine warning to men, who believe in Allah, to support his belief with consciousness of adoration and acts of worship.
Another verse mentioning faith and good deed together:
”But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow.” (The Heifer (Al-Baqara), 25)
It is very important that the deed should be good. The most important condition for the deed to be good is sincerity, that is to say, to expect only Allah’s pleasure as a result of that act, prayer or favor, and not to look after another benefit.
The author of Nur (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi) compares the acts without sincerity to soulless beings, to statues by saying, “sincerity is the spirit of good deeds”. Even if we gather hundreds of human statues in a place, they will not be equal to one living individual because they do not have life and spirit. All of the prayers performed for hypocrisy, material benefits or gaining appreciation are included in this group.
However, the body also has an importance apart from the spirit. The form acts as the body in a sincere prayer.
The Maghrib (evening) prayer is three rak’ats and if this prayer is performed as four rak’ats, this act becomes invalid in terms of form. Assume that that four-rak’at prayer becomes embodied, nobody would say it is Maghrib prayer. Similarly the formal condition of the fasting of Ramadan starts before the sun rise and ends after sunset. It cannot be called fasting if it starts after sunrise and ends after nightfall. In terms of form, that fasting is something different. Therefore, the format condition of prayers must be taken into consideration and prayers must be performed in the style which Allah is pleased with.
An individual could be absolved from responsibility when he fulfills the format conditions of prayers. However, prosperity and spiritual perfection gained from that prayer is compared to the sincerity, which is the spirit of prayers.
An important definition of good deed included in the Nur Collection is as follows:
“Good deed is second the most important and necessary deed after the knowledge of faith. As for good deed, it is carrying out Allah’s rights without infringing on material and immaterial rights of people. (Mesnevî-i Nuriye)
Not to infringe on material and immaterial rights of people is included in the definition of “good deed”. At first sight, this definition may be assumed to mean taqwâ but when it is considered that there is a strong relation between taqwâ and good deeds, it is understood that this definition is also valid for good deed. A life, which is spent without infringing on both material and immaterial rights of people, is a good life.
Avoiding is taqwâ; telling the truth is good deed. Regarding the absence of worshipping as wrong is taqwâ; worshipping is good deed.
People are the slaves of Allah. It is obvious that God is not pleased with infringing on people’s rights. Our Lord does not approve of tyrannizing unbelievers, either. Then, avoiding from hurting God’s slaves, slandering, smearing, begrudging and killing them are included in the definition of good deed.
When the term ‘Allah’s rights’ is used, mostly individual’s faith and prayer life is understood. A person who has a wrong creed infringes on God’s rights ; similarly a person who does not live in accordance with his belief and does not obey God’s commands infringes on God’s rights too.
It is both disobedience to God’s rights and infringement on people’s rights to set a bad example with one’s wrong deeds
What does Mithaq, that is the ‘covenant’ in qalu bala, mean? Why do we not remember the promise we made in the realm of the souls? Will it make us free of responsibility not to remember that promise?
Most of the tafseer scholars state, based on verse 172 of Chapter al-Araf, that the mithaq started in the uterus ant that the question and the answer took place during the phase when the body was given the soul.
It will be easy to understand it when we take into consideration that Allah is free from time. Although people who were created in different times came to his world before and after others, they were all ready in the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah and they were asked that question all together at the same time.
With the question “Am I not your Lord?” in the Mithaq, people’s attention were drawn to the divine education given to them and they were taught that they should believe in Allah and worship Him as lucky slaves who were educated as human beings in return for this endowment of Allah. It will not be right to forget this message by discussing about the Mithaq.
Mithaq, in Arabic, means “strengthening, covenant, oath”. And the “Primeval Mithaq” took place when the souls answered the question “Am I not your Lord?” of God Almighty as “Yes, for certain, you are our Lord.”
Our tafseer scholars unanimously agree that the address to the souls was not verbal, that is, it does not have the quality of addressing as in the Quran or other heavenly books. Elmalılı Hamdi underlines that it is like the orders given to the angels and it is not verbal. He says: “It is not necessary to think that it is asking and answering by calling to witness as we understand it, and to think it as a covenant in literal sense.”
Accordingly, the question that the souls were asked was a nonverbal address like an inspiration.
God Almighty swears by some creatures beginning from the sun in Chapter ash-Shams. One of those creatures is the ‘soul’. The following is stated in the verse:
“By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it”
In the verse, it is stated that the human conscience was given the ability to discriminate between the good and the bad and the fact that the ability was given was expressed as inspiration. And the question, “Am I not your Lord?” occurred as inspiration.
The conversation is not a conversation having voices, letters and syllables. Since the body had not been formed yet at that time, we should understand that conversation as the speech of the soul.
We cannot know the true nature of that address and the answer, and we are not responsible for it. However, we should state this: In a true dream, a lofty meaning is flown into the heart of a believer. When he wakes up in the morning, he understands that his Lord spoke to him through inspiration and starts to act in accordance with the inspiration. The conversation of his Lord with him in his dream, and his decision to act accordingly do not resemble to the conversations and decisions when he is awake at all.
We are addressed two questions about the Mithaq. The first one is: “Why do we not remember the Mithaq?” The second is “Will it make us free of responsibility not to remember it?”
At first, let us have a look at the first question: When a human being is in the uterus for four months, his body is given the soul. The soul has no information about the body it will stay as a guest for five months. In addition, it is not aware that it is a soul that it is equipped with many feelings like sight and hearing, spiritual capitals like mind, memory and imagination. When he comes to the world, he does not know the world, either. He passes the period of childhood; he becomes a youth. He becomes an exceptional being that uses his mind and evaluates himself and the world he lives in and that produces some questions in his inner world and seeks answers to them. Even in that state, he does not remember his infantry and the phases in the uterus. Then he asks, “Why do I not remember the Mithaq?”
It is necessary to approach the question from two aspects. The first one is: Our Lord limited us with many things in this world and we benefit from it. For instance, He limited our sight therefore we do not see everything. If we saw the dazzling actions of the atoms when we looked at the things, we would lose our balance; maybe it would be impossible for us to live in this world. If we saw all of the bacteria on the ground that we step, we would not be able to walk easily.
Our Lord, who imposed those limitations, limited our memory too. We do not remember our infantry period, what happened during that period and before it, that is, the phases in the uterus. One of the things that took place during the period we were in the uterus is the question of the Mithaq. If we could remember the Mithaq, everybody in this world would believe in Allah and the testing and trial in this world would be meaningless.
Another aspect of the question is as follows: We read a lot about it in the miracles of the Prophet. A tree talks miraculously and approves the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Then, it returns to its normal state and continues its life unaware of anything.
If God Almighty gave consciousness to the apple tree for a moment and asked it “Am I not the one that trained you so that you would yield apples?” or asked the bee, “Am I not the one that trained you so that you would produce honey?”, the answer to those questions and similar ones would be “Yes, you trained us.”
The human soul could be asked the same question: “Am I not the one that trained you as the human soul and that made you talented for many sciences and skills by equipping you with material and spiritual capitals?”
The human soul would answer that question as “Yes, it is you who trained me like that.”
As a matter of fact, the souls were asked that question and they answered that divine address as, “Yes, you are our Lord.”
As for the question “Will it make us free of responsibility not to remember the Mithaq?”, İsmail Hakkı Bursevi answers that question as follows:
“When Allah sent the prophets, He informed them about that covenant. Even if the humans do not remember it, the word of the prophets will be regarded as evidence against them. When a person does not perform one rakat of a prayer and forgets about it and when trustworthy people remind him about it, their word is regarded as evidence against him.”
When a believer “praises Allah, the Lord of the worlds,” in each rakat of the prayers, he kind of renews his mithaq. He thanks his Lord by thinking that all of the beings that surround him and help him underwent a divine education. Then, he looks at his own being, which is a tiny example of this universe. He sees that all of the actions of education in him are carried out in the most appropriate way to help him.
To think about those actions of education that surround man from inside and outside leads man to worship Allah. By saying “Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek” and continuing to read the chapter during the prayer, he renews his mithaq. He says “You are our Lord; we worship you and we ask help only from you not from anybody else.”
It means to cover, to cover the bounties due to not thanking for it, to show ingratitude. Therefore, in Arabic, the night is called kafir (coverer; covering) because it covers everything with darkness. As a term, kufr is the opposite of belief; that is, it is unbelief. In other words, it means to deny the existence and oneness of Allah, prophethood and the things that are definite to have been brought by Hazrat Muhammad from Allah. In Islam, a person who does not believe in what is necessary to be believed is called a kafir since he covers the truth. It is not necessary no to believe in all of the things that are necessary to be believed to become a kafir. It is kufr not to believe even in one or some of them.
Kufr can be through the heart, words or acts. A person who utters something that can make him a kafir without any force, or a person who despises and makes fun of the things that are necessary to be believed or a person who commits things that do not comply with belief becomes a kafir. However, if a person utters a word of kufr although his heart is full of belief due to a death threat in order to save his life, he is not regarded to have exited Islam. (Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur`an Dili, Istanbul 1960, v.1, p. 207-208; Asım Efendi Kamus Tercümesi, v.2, p. 662).
Author: İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi,
The root of the verb "Sha-ri-ka" means to share, to become a partner. As a religious term, shirk means associating partners with Allah.
Who should be the leader of Muslim Ummah Today?
Islam does not impose a certain form of administration. There are some main rules set about the issue such as justice, equality, freedom without wrongdoings. Therefore, our religion does not object to electing a leader to rule the country and the nation while it orders to choose a leader, even when people set out on a journey.
On the other hand, the first caliphs had all come to power through elections.
Why is Islam the true religion?
“The religion before Allah is Islam (submission to his will): nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But whoever disbelieves the Signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account.” the Qur’an, The Family of Imran (Aal-i Imran); 19 (3: 19)
Religion means “the return in the form of a reward or a punishment” and it expresses the relation between the obedient and the leader who possesses power. As a term, several definitions of religion has been made. There are some basic differences between the definitions of the Western (European) scientists and Muslim scholars. Still, there are serious differences between the opinions of both regions about the source of the religion and its primary way of occurrence.
According to the Islamic opinion, religion means the whole of the rules that guides man so that he will live in accordance with the purpose he was created for and so that he will realize that purpose in a certain discipline. Religion is a foundation regulating the relationship based on the holy commandment and domination of one side and the obedience and adherence of the other side, but it is comprehended from that verse that according to the Qur’an, the value of religion and devoutness is conditioned to be based on a voluntary submission. In other words, according to the Islamic comprehension, religion is a foundation that directs the men of understanding to good (deeds) and happiness with their own desire and will, and a Divine law regulating the acts of men based on their own choice.
That verse is the first place the word Islam was mentioned in the Noble Qur’an. The dictionary meaning of Islam is “to be devoted to, to obey, to submit and to be in soundness and peace”. As a term, Islam means “accepting with all one’s existence all of the things Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) declares in behalf of the religion and being in a submission manifesting it”. The name of the true religion the Prophet set forth is Islam. Still, in Arabic, Islam is an infinitive that expresses submission to that religion. A person attached to the religion of Islam is expressed as Muslim in Arabic and as musalman in Persian language. In Turkish, the words Islamiyet and Muslumanlik are used for that religion and the word musluman is used for the person attached to that religion.
There is a strong relation between the dictionary meaning and term meaning of the word Islam. According to the Islamic comprehension, religion is a law supplying agreement by preventing disagreements and contentions among the creatures possessing will and intelligence. Religion expresses the agreement not only among the people but also between the people and Allah. In this way, conformity between the will of the Creator and the wills of the creatures is supplied.
Since all heavenly religions are based on the oneness of Allah, the religion of Islam that the Prophet Muhammad notifies and the other religions declared by other prophets are basically the same. Nevertheless, according to some Muslim scholars, the expressions such as the religion of Islam and Islamic community can only be used for the religion the Prophet Muhammad set forth and for its members. Even though Islam agrees with the previous true religions fundamentally, that religion has some specific attributes and some specific decrees peculiar to the community attached to it. According to another group of scholars, it is also possible for the previous heavenly religions to be called as Islam. According to them, in the Noble Qur’an there are several verses supporting that opinion: the declaration of the answer of the apostles of Jesus as “Testify that we are Muslims”, the statement about Abraham as “He was a hanif Muslim” and again giving place to a general qualification such as “He dubbed you the name ‘Muslims’ before and also now” are the examples of that. According to the persons having opposing opinions, those kinds of descriptions are related to the prophets.
In our opinion, in the heavenly books except the Noble Qur’an, a religion name was not mentioned for the followers of those books and if we consider that the names such as Judaism and Christianity arose later and they were the names assigned to their followers afterwards, the meaning of the expression “Verily, the religion before Allah is Islam” can be understood easily. Although the religion declared by Prophet Muhammad has specific rules, insistently mentioning of the Qur’an’s feature of approval of the declaration of the previous prophets shows that what they proclaim is fundamentally within the sphere of Islam; however, in accordance with the Divine wisdom, the most perfect way of those doctrines can only be reached through the sending of Prophet Muhammad.
In that case, the only way to achieve the consent of Almighty Allah is to believe in all things He proclaims. According to that, starting out from the facts, although other religion names can be mentioned in order to express the certain parties, the truth seekers’ agreement within the limits Almighty Allah approves is the ultimate aim and it is unavoidable for the period desired for the Divine declarations to reflect to the mind and the conscience of humanity. The Islamic scholars expressed that comprehension as “the complying community” and “the invited community”; the first one expresses the people who present the will of submission to what Prophet Muhammad declared actually and clearly; and the second expresses the potential group who are not at that level but in the reflection period mentioned above. Therefore, by comparing with the names such as “Jewishness” and “Christianity”, some Western authors’ calling Islam with a restricting name as “Muhammadism” is not appropriate because it is far away from reflecting the fact and it also has a feature of preventing the communication and the coalescing mentioned above.
Comprehending the verse in that way in point of the ultimate aim does not conflict with the idea that everyone who has lived in any time or place and has been able to keep himself away from attributing partners to Allah and has been able to direct his attributes in accordance with that belief can be named as a “Muslim” according to the Qur’an’s comprehension. Indeed, in several verses, it can be seen that that criteria has been taken basically in point of the salvation of people in the hereafter.
With a broad meaning, Islam (being a Muslim) expresses submission with heart, tongue and behaviors. The most important and the most valuable submission among those is the one made with heart. In the Qur’an, it is seen that the word Islam is also used for the submission which has not reached the level of belief.
The expression “The ones who were given books” has been generally comprehended with respect to the content of the expression “People of the Book”. The word knowledge is explained as “revelation and explicit proofs”. In the verse, declaration of the People of the Book’s falling into dissent just after the knowledge had come is for indicating that they were informed of the Divine declaration enough and although they have no excuse from that point, they fell into disagreement and quarreled with each other just because of their own faults and for thinking their benefits and mortal passions. Starting from the reason “Because of injustice among them”, some explanations were made that the persons implied here were the Jewish people or the Christians or the both. In the light of the historical knowledge, here, it can be said that instead of progressing in the way of peace and civilization by using the enlightenment the revelation has provided, the communities, who were addressed by the Divine revelation, excluding the common sense because of their personal desires and especially separating into religious groups based on their complicating of interests were criticized. Despite that warning, repeating the same mistake by the ones believing in the Qur’an has caused an important obstacle in fulfilling the mission of communicating the Divine message to humanity in the most favorable way and taking the place they deserve in the competition of civilization.
How should we convey Islam through ways like the Internet, television and radio? What are the features that need to be present in conveying the message of Islam and the person who conveys it?
One of the main responsibilities of Muslims is conveying the message of Islam to people. While fulfilling this duty, it is necessary to be equipped with the teachings of the Quran and take the Messenger of Allah as a model.
A Muslim individual should be aware of his responsibility to try hard to correct people and to make oneness and justice dominate the world; he should show in the best way that this responsibility necessitates explaining the people what is good and making them avoid what is bad. A Muslim must explain the people what is good and make them avoid what is bad as a necessity of his belief. This responsibility is valid for every individual of the ummah – based on the situation, knowledge and qualities of every individual.
The activities of conveying, proclaiming and correcting were carried out by prophets from the first man/prophet to the last prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). After Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet, this responsibility was transferred to Muslims, who followed his way. The individuals and communities of Muslims who do not fulfill their duties of conveying the message of Islam are regarded to have lost the reason of their existence and no to have fulfilled their mission.
Explaining the people what is good and making them avoid what is bad is the main aim and an indispensable element in the process of building the Islamic community. Every individual who has the responsibility of conveying the message must be very careful regarding every issue, must not be neglectful and must show patience and persistence.
The rude and wrong acts and attitudes of a Muslim individual, especially a young Muslim who is honored by Islam and crowned with belief, against his family and the community become manifest in the form of an illness.
At this point, it is necessary to have a look at how the Quran, which encompasses every moment of the life of a Muslim, determines the form of conveying the message of Islam:
“It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about thee.” (Aal-i Imran, 159)
“Speak fair to the people.” (al-Baqara, 83)
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (an-Nahl, 125)
As it can be understood from the verses, no matter what the thought, creed, characteristics and rank of the individual to whom the message is conveyed are, it is necessary to tell that person about the beauties of Islam in a kind and gentle style if that person has not declared war against Islam. We should not side against the people who act in a non-Islamic way due to their ignorance; we should warn them in the best way. Islam aims the revival and guidance of people. A Muslim who conveys the message of Islam should regard himself as an inviter not as a judge.
We should express this clearly: The person who will convey the beauties of Islam should have a scholarly and scientific background, should know the rules of good manners very well, should have the ability to explain the truths in a nice way and should fulfill this duty under the light of the revelation and the leadership of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
Therefore, the following points should be taken into consideration in conveying the message of Islam and in jihad no matter what way or method is used:
1. It is stated that the most consistent and effective way of conveying the message of Islam and jihad is to approach people with wisdom and beautiful preaching. (see an-Nahl, 125)
2. Speaking mildly. To approach people without hurting and offending them and by showing respect to the personality of people. There are many lessons to be taken from the following verses: “"Go both of you to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah)."” (Taha, 20:43-44. Even if the person to address is a person who has transgressed all bounds like the Pharaoh, it is necessary to speak mildly while conveying the truth.
3. “Speak to people in accordance with the degree of their minds” (see Suyuti, ad-Durar, p 12) is an order of the Prophet. It is emphasized by the order that it is necessary to speak to people by taking into consideration their age, understanding, degree of comprehension and cultural level. When the characters of the people of this age are taken into consideration, it is necessary to satisfy the minds of people first. Therefore, the method of conveying the message of Islam makes it necessary to address people using science, ideas, evidence and proof.
4. The vital point of the call to Islam is to show the beauty of Islam in one’s life, to show the beauty of Islam through the tongue of disposition, to practice it and to share this beauty with the people one loves and other people along with the profound knowledge and ideas.
5. Conveying the message of Islam is an activity toward both Muslims and non-Muslims; it means to teach the truths of the Quran to Muslims and to preach to them; to convey the message of Islam to non-Muslims means to inform them about the religion of Islam and the divine message and to show them the true way.
6. While conveying the message of Islam, Hazrat Prophet worked very hard and he almost fretted himself to death so that people would turn toward the true religion and believe in Allah. His sincerity is stated as follows in the Quran: “It may be thou frettest thy soul with grief, that they do not become believers” (ash-Shuara, 3), “Thou wouldst only perchance, fret thyself to death, following after them, in grief, if they believe not in this Message.” (al-Kahf, 6) We should convey the message with the same sincerity and sensibility.
7. When we examine the verses that explain the subtleties regarding the call by the Prophet, we see the following essential messages: The prophet does not use force against people (see al-Ghashiya, 22; Qaf, 45); the duty of Hazrat Muhammad is to convey the message of Islam to people. (see Aal-i-Imran, 20; al-Maida, 92; ash-Shura, 48) We should fulfill our duty to convey the message of Islam without forcing, scaring and making people hate and by endearing, giving good news and addressing the spirits and hearts of people.
8. When the practices of Hazrat Prophet regarding the issue are examined, it is seen that his method of calling to Islam is very reasonable, realistic, coherent, consistent, systematic, appropriate to the development of the events and in compliance with the nature of man.
It is not at all coincidental that Hazrat Prophet became so successful in a short time, in 23 years.
The following truths underlie his work and efforts:
- Hazrat Prophet is sincere in the religion that he conveys because he himself obeyed the rules that he conveyed more than anybody else and he himself practiced Islam without any exceptions.
- And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character (al-Qalam, 4).
- Hazrat Prophet was trustable; nobody heard him tell any lies or practice a deceit. Even his most ferocious enemies confirm his loyalty and honesty.
- Hazrat Prophet showed value and respect to all people, whether black or white, he embraced people with sincerity without discriminating between tribes and clans and showed respect to the dignity of man.
- Hazrat Prophet preferred pardoning, tolerance, lenience, compassion and mercy to hatred, fury, tyranny and enmity and never treated people rudely or harshly. (Aal-i- Imran, 159)
- He never led the people around him to despair and pessimism; (see al-Fath, 1; an-Nasr, 1-2) he carried out his work and efforts with determination, patience and resolution.
- Hazrat Prophet did not think of getting any material or personal interest from people while fulfilling the activities of conveying the message of Islam and did not ask any reward or money from people. (see Saba, 47 ;Yunus, 72)
- He did not break off his social relationship with people and he continued to take care of his relatives whether they were Muslim or not. (ad-Duha, 9-10; ash-Shuara, 214)
- He continued his activities of conveying the message with wisdom and patience in places where people came together (at home, in the markets, bazaars and fairs) (al-Maida, 67). He sent the message of call to Islam to the heads of the neighboring countries and called them to Islam and peace.
Therefore, we must carry out the duty of conveying the message of Islam using all of the legitimate ways. From this point of view, a person who is conveying the message of Islam:
- must know the true Islam and the truth in compliance with Islam and preach it to people.
- Knowledge-deed and conveying the message are three faces of the same truth. It is impossible to separate them. Knowledge is essential in conveying the message; Deeds are the life of conveying the message of Islam.
- He must know the Islamic truths and the age he lives in very well. A person who does not know the age he lives in is regarded as if he is living in a labyrinth.
- His heart must be set based on the Quran and the Sunnah. It is very difficult even impossible for a person whose heart is not set like that to speak on behalf of Islam and to inform people about the Islamic truths.
- He must make sure that all of the ways he uses while conveying the message of Islam are legitimate. One cannot reach the truth through illegitimate ways and methods. A Muslim is not a militant that regards every way that can take him to his target as legitimate; he is a conveyor with a spirit like the Companions of the Prophet that scrutinizes the way he uses very carefully to make sure that it is legitimate and then applies it.
- He must do as he says. If he does something contrary, it is regarded as a sign of being a hypocrite; a Muslim must be very careful about it. The words of the people who do not practice what they say are not effective, they are like a flash in the pan; they sparkle quickly but then they die quickly. They do not have any ability to heat others.
- He must always maintain the state of humbleness and modesty. It is a deed that is peculiar to noble people. Belief itself is nobility. Then, a conveyor should act nobly like every Muslim.
- He must be persistent in conveying the message. This persistence is an expression of his respect toward his own cause.
- He must not be in conflict with the laws of nature. He must always be prudent when conveying the message. It is never appropriate to overlook some weaknesses and desires that are present in man. What is necessary to do is to channel those weaknesses and desires into what is good.
- He is a hero of compassion. He must never resort to using force in order to make people accept the truth.
- One the most important feature of his is altruism.
- He is a man that becomes integrated with supplication. Supplication is the essence of sincerity.
- He is a man of reason and reality. He becomes successful to the extent that he acts in accordance with reason and is accepted by the community he lives in.
- He fulfills the duty of conveying the message with love and enthusiasm.
- Inner profundity must be his indispensable feature.
- He must have a pure spirit and clean heart when he conveys his cause. He must lead a life as clear as his cause in order to be able to find Allah and His messenger as his supporters. Such a life can only be realized by a pure and clean heart.
Engagement is not Nikah, so it is not Halal for those who engage to be alone in a closed place, to look their Haram areas and to tauch each other.
Misleading and brainwashing questions need to be answered
There are so many such kind websites. And we have no time to be occupied with all of them. If we try to be occupied with them, we will not be able to do our job. However, if you have time to answer their questions, you can do. If there is a question that you fasten upon, you can ask us. We will try to answer as soon as it is possible.
Can Islam and disbelievers exist (live) together? I am a disbeliever and your answer to this question will determine whether I will trust Muslims or not.
The religion of Islam gives man great importance and value. Islam has opened its bosom of compassion to everybody and it states that all of the people whether believers or unbelievers are precious, that they are vicegerents on the earth, that all of them descend from Hazrat Adam and Eve and that Allah created them in different groups so that they would meet and strengthen the bonds among them. Islam encourages people to do favors to everybody whether Muslim or not, even to every creature. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:
"There is reward for the favors to every creature." The following is stated in the Quran:
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.."
The Prophet (pbuh) says there are three kinds of neighbors: A neighbor who has one right (the one with the least rights), one who has two rights and one who has three rights over you. The neighbor with one right is the one who is a non-Muslim. The one with two rights is the one who is a Muslim. One right is for Islam and one right is for being neighbors. The one with three rights is one who is a neighbor, Muslim and a relative. One right is for Islam, one for being neighbors and one for being relatives. (From Bazzar and Abu Naim).
As it is seen, a person is respected even if he is not a Muslim. Let alone violating his rights, it is necessary to help him, to treat him well and to avoid any words or acts that will hurt his feelings.
The religion of Islam gives great rights and freedom to non-Muslims living under its rule.
l- They are free in their beliefs and worshipping. They can worship as they wish. Their crosses and worshipping places cannot be touched. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “leave them alone with their worshipping.” If the wife of a Muslim is non-Muslim, she can go to church or synagogue. Her husband cannot prevent her. He can accompany her to the church to protect her if necessary.
2- If what is forbidden in our religion like pigs is not forbidden for them, it is not permissible for Muslims to touch them.
3- They are free in their personal affairs like marriage, divorce, alimony, etc.
4- The religion of Islam gives them the right to debate within the framework of the mind and logic. It is necessary to avoid any words or acts that will hurt their feelings during the debate. Allah states the following: “And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation) “(1).
5- Islam regards it permissible to eat the meals prepared by Christians and Jews and to marry Christian and Jewish women. Allah states the following regarding the issue:
“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time― when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues. If anyone rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). " (2)
6- It is permissible to visit non-Muslims and ask about the health or condition of them.
7- Doing business with (buying and selling) non-Muslims is permissible just as it is permissible with Muslims.
8- It is sunnah to give food, etc to neighbors; therefore, if a Muslim sacrifices an animal, he can give some of its meat to his non-Muslim neighbors.
9- It is permissible to give presents to or to receive presents from non-Muslims. Before Makkah was conquered, there was a great famine there. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) sent 500 gold coins to be given away to the poor people of Makkah. (3)
How is it possible to make agreements with Jews and Christians despite the verse: “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors”?
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following in his answer to some people who oppose the military alliances and trade agreements with Christians by misinterpreting the verse: “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors”:
“...being friends with them is to obtain the good parts of their civilization and developments, and to maintain public order and security, which is the most important principle of the happiness in the world. That kind of friendship is not included in the Quranic prohibition.” Münazarat
In the explanation above, it is stated that the happiness in the world depends on public order and security. It is understood better today, when anarchy and wars oppress and terrorize the world, how appropriate that explanation is.
In the Nur Collection, “generosity towards friends and forbearance towards enemies “ is advised. The reason why many people in Europe and America today embrace Islam and obtain the bounty of guidance is peace not war.
Our religion regards it permissible to marry a Jewish or Christian woman. It is permissible to make friends with them. Hereby, we introduce our religion to them.
3-Ibn Abidin v. 2. p. 67
What is the Islamic judgment about euthanasia or killing a hopeless patient? If a person suffering from an illness wants to die, does it affect his/her faith? Or is it regarded as committing suicide?
Just as killing oneself (suicide) is forbidden according to Islam, so too is it forbidden to end a person’s life, who has got no hope of recovery or suffers severely, which means euthanasia, even though the person demands it himself.
However, it is stated that there are two conditions under which it will be permissible for a person who lives dependant on critical care devices such as a respirator to be saved from them. These conditions are as follows:
A- When the person’s heart and respiration system have totally stopped and specialized doctors have decided that it is impossible to recover any more.
B- When all functions of the person’s brain have stopped and specialized doctors have decided that it is impossible to recover and the brain has already started to die.
When those conditions listed above are realized, the patient’s critical care devices can be turned off.
Is music allowed in Islam?
Almost everybody agrees that human has two basic components: Soul and self. First, we need to distinguish between soul and self and point out how they two appear, and then answer the question.
Science cannot carry out experiments about soul and self. On the other hand, it can get some results indirectly, through examining the effects that these two leave on human. What psychology and parapsychology do today is this anyway. For instance, drawing conclusions about dreams on body examinations, which take place while sleeping can be considered among this type of indirect examinations.
Human soul constantly longs for his homeland, the hereafter and yearn for it. Yet for a certain time he cannot do it since he is confined to his bodily-cage. On the other hand, the self continuously seeks comfort and welfare and instills them into man’s will. As a result, man is under the influence of these two elements. Whichever appears dominant, s/he is forced to that way.
As for music whatever music addresses man’s agreeable feelings, brings about decrease in his worldly lusts, and an increase in seeking the hereafter further, we can say that that kind of music is beneficial. It is not haram. However, whatever music addresses man’s carnal desires and keeps him/her away from his/her lofty feelings, it is clear that this kind of music is not any nourishment to his/her soul, but poison. That is to say, it is haram.
Is there a rule meaning, "There is no questioning in religion" in Islam?
The Shari’ah has two kinds of decrees.
1. The rules that are based completely on the decrees and prohibitions from Allah; we call them “taabbudi”, that is to say, their reasons (wisdoms) are not known.
2. The part whose reasons lay on the divine decrees and prohibitions that may be searched about; we call them “maqulul mana”.
Let us look at your question from a different point of view. Why is the morning prayer 4 rakats but not 10 or 20 rakats? The answer is because Allah commanded us to do so. The noon prayer was determined by Allah as 10 rakats. To search the wisdom (reason) of it shall turn out to be unsuccessful. The real answer to the question is because Allah commanded so. However, some Shariah rules may be explained with wisdom, but they are not the real reasons. The actual reason is Allah’s command and prohibition.
For example, why did Allah command the salah (prayer)? One can list the wisdoms and purposes of it in volumes of books. One can answer why we fast by searching its wisdom and reasons. However, reasons (wisdoms) and benefits cannot replace Allah’s decrees. For example, one of the reasons of fasting is to empathize with people who suffer hunger and approach them with compassion.
So, a person can say “I will experience more hunger so that my feeling of compassion can be increased and I can help the poor much more.” Although the time of imsak (the time to begin fasting) is at 4.00 a.m., if one intends to start fasting at 11 o’clock at night, but if that person breaks his fast 5 minutes before iftar (the time for breaking fast at sunset), can his/her fast be acceptable? Certainly not. There is a determined time to break the fast, and although that person stays hungry longer, his/her fast is not accepted. That is to say, the wisdom required for fasting is applied (by staying hungry), but because of breaking the fast at a time that Allah does not permit, his/her fast is invalidated.
Thus, we should look at the all of the decrees and prohibitions in this way. That is to say, we act like that because Allah ordered us to do so or prohibited us from doing so. Certainly, there may be reasons of it, too. And these reasons can be searched. It is also knowledge and worship. However, wisdoms and benefits are definitely not the actual reasons, but details.
Is it permissible for a Muslim to decorate his/her room with a Christmas tree?
Before answering this question let us give a brief information about that tradition
The pine tree which Christians cut down and ornament for Christmas attracted attention firstly in Germany in 1605. Later in the mid of 19th century, it was brought to France by Helene de Mecklembung. God of the New Year in Armenian mythology is called “Amanor”. In the era of Paganism, animals were hunted and hung on pine trees in honor of Amanor. The ceremony carried out by hanging various things on pine trees entered Christianity from that Pagan tradition.Today, tree festivals are a tradition coming from the primitive people’s worshipping trees. People used to glorify trees for their longevity.
So the consensus of Islamic sources agrees that it is not permissible to celebrate all special days and festivals emerged outside Islamic rules with an aim to be like them. It is wrong of a Muslim to celebrate Christmas, New Year’s Day, or other days established by specific people or institutions.
How should our style (method) be in (conveying the message of Islam, propagation of Islam)? How should I convey the message of Islam to people who despise Islam?
Apparent Properties in the tabligh of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh)
Since the Messenger of Allah is ‘a beautiful pattern (of conduct)’ for believers, with the expression of God Almighty, his methods and forms of tabligh is the only reference for us, the believers. The Messenger of Allah acted in accordance with the general principles that happened in the general course of the universe, called the laws of creation and he set an example for his umma (community) for all kinds of situations. If he had wanted, he would have begged his Lord and could have obtained all kinds of worldly belongings; if he had wanted and if it had been appropriate for the divine wisdom, all of the polytheists would have been destroyed or they would have adopted Islam. However, since they would have happened as miracles, he would not have been a model to be followed.
Since the Messenger of Allah was an example in every issue, soldiers of heart who were determined to exceed seas of blood for the cause that they believed in and who were so mature and respectful towards the Exalted Creator as to attribute everything to Him when they attained their destination emerged.
When we examine the mission of calling people to Islam of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), we see that the following principles, among many other characteristics, are essential:
2. Treating people softly and Tolerance,
4. Attributing the results to Allah,
5. Inner depth,
The prophets were always subject to the greatest troubles and misfortunes. However, they showed the greatest patience against troubles and misfortunes. Almost all believers know what Hazrat Nooh (Noah), Hazrat Lut (Lot), Hazrat Musa (Moses) and Hazrat Eesa (Jesus) were subject to. However, all those troubles and misfortunes did not prevent them from propagating their causes; on the contrary, they continued to convey the message of Allah and His orders to people with patience and perseverance.
That general aim and duty of the prophets are expressed as follows in the Quran: "(It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah: and enough is Allah to call (men) to account." (al-Ahzab, 33/39)
God Almighty says the following to our Prophet regarding tabligh:
"O Messenger! proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission: and Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith." (al-Maeda, 5/67)"
The Messenger of Allah spent all his life proclaiming Islam after undertaking that lofty duty. He visited one house after another and looked for people whom he could convey the message of Islam to.
The reaction of the opposite front was in the form of indifference and boycotting at first. Then, it continued with mockery and ridiculing. In the last phase, it continued with all kinds of torture. They placed thorns on the ways he was going to pass; they placed tripe over his head while he was praying and they insulted him. However, the Messenger of Allah did not give up his struggle despite all of those difficulties. It was the reason why he came to this world. He visited everybody including his most severe enemies repeatedly and conveyed them the divine message. He went to the enemies of Islam like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab so many times; he told them about the religion and the truth..! He went to the fairs. He went from one tent to another in order to be able to guide even one person; they closed the doors on his face; however, he went to the same door again and told them the same things.
When the people of Makkah gave him no more hope, he went to Taif. Taif is a place suitable for an outing. Taif people, whom slackness spoiled, outdid Makkans. All of the flotsam and jetsam of Taif people came together and threw stones at the Messenger of Allah, who was the sun of the suns that even the angels could not look at so as not harm him, and chased him away. Zayd bin Haritha, whom the Messenger of Allah accepted as his son and loved, was together with him. Zayd used his body as a shield to protect our Prophet but some stones hit the body of the Prophet and caused a lot of bleeding on his body.
When they managed to run away from that intolerant atmosphere and took refuge under a tree, Jibril (Gabriel) appeared suddenly. He said that he could pull down the mountain over those people if the Prophet wanted. The Messenger of Allah said no to that offer even at a time when he was suffering. He said no to that offer because he hoped that even in the future some people from their descendants would believe in Allah…
Then, he opened his hands and begged his Lord:
O Allah! I complain to you about my weakness and being despised by people. Oh the most Merciful of the Merciful ones! You are the Lord of the despised and the helpless. You are my Lord. To whom are you leaving me? To the people of bad words and bad faces or to the enemy that interferes in my duty? If you have no wrath against me, I will not care the difficulties and troubles I suffer. However, your welfare is vaster and better. O my God! I take refuge in your luminous face that brightens the darkness and that is the means of salvation from being caught by wrath or from your displeasure. O my Lord! I expect your forgiveness until you are pleased with me. Oh my Lord! All power and strength is in your hand.
While he was praying like that, somebody approached him silently; he gave a bunch of grapes in a plate to the Messenger of Allah and said, “Please help yourself.” When the Messenger of Allah reached out his hand to the plate, he said “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah). It was an unexpected happening for the slave named Addas, who treated him the grapes. He asked astonishingly: “Who are you?” The Messenger of Allah answered: "I am the last prophet and messenger!" Then, Addas leaned over him and started to kiss him. He found what he had been looking for for years suddenly and he believed in Islam. (Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 2:60-63; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, 3:166; repr: S. Nur 1997, 1: 70-73). Our first shelter to take against the difficulties that we will face while conveying the message of Islam today must be patience.
Patience is mentioned in more than eighty places in the Quran and believers are ordered to follow patience. The verse: "O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere." (al-Baqara, 2/153) is only one of them. As believers, we can apply patience in three categories in our life: Patience against troubles and misfortunes. It puts man among those who show patience and tawakkul (trust in Allah. b) Patience for avoiding sins. It makes man attain taqwa (fearing Allah) and become a muttaqi. c) Patience in worshipping and obeying Allah. That patience makes man enter among the people that Allah loves. (Badiuzzaman, Sözler (Words), 353)
a) To show patience against troubles and misfortunes means to abandon fury and not to complain when one faces unwanted and painful situations.
b) Patience for avoiding sins can be achieved by abandoning bad things, avoiding disobedience and persevering. It necessitates a permanent belief and a strong determination because sins weaken and blur belief and eliminate its light and brightness.
c) Patience in worshipping and obeying Allah means to continue worshipping, to be sincere and to act in accordance with Islamic criteria. (A. Zeydan, İslâm Davetçisinin Esasları, 2:69).
The scholar, Abdullah Qadir, adds this to the kinds of patience: Patience for keeping to the Quranic line without changing ways and directions when faced by the attractive beauties of the world.
Patience against the frenzy of the time in the tasks that need time.
Patience for the desire to meet Allah until the command of “return” comes from Allah by realizing the fineness in obedience to orders.
A Muslim shows patience in order to attain the pleasure of Allah by obeying Him. That kind of patience is a means for the love and pleasure of Allah. Sincerity is essential in such patience. Sincerity means to do everything only for the sake or pleasure of Allah. (Badiuzzaman, Lem'alar (Flashes), 21.Lem'a).
Man should show the same patience against haram too. When man is exposed to haram first, the resistance shown against it will eliminate the bad sparks coming from it and thus will overcome it. Therefore, our Prophet said the Hazrat Ali "The first glance is for you but the rest are against you." That is, harams can catch a man’s eyes. However, if he closes his eyes and turns his face away, it will not be recorded as a sin for him. Even a reward can be recorded for him because he has not looked at haram. Similarly, man is always face to face with committing sins. As he shows resistance against committing sins, he will reach taqwa (fearing of Allah) and higher ranks in taqwa.
Testing is the sunnah of Allah for his slaves in their lives. Allah tests His slaves in order to disclose their talents and abilities. With such a testing, it becomes clear how a person uses the ability of will and choice that has been granted to him. Allah tests any one of His slaves that he wishes at any time and however He wills. A person can be tested through his closest relatives. Therefore, man should think that he can be tested both through his enemies and friends; he should do favors to his friends, whom can be used as a means of testing against him by God Almighty.
2. Treating People Nicely and Tolerance
Tolerance and gentleness are the most important cornerstones in the tabligh of Islam by our Prophet. God Almighty says the following to the Prophet, who approaches people with gentleness, by congratulating him on the honesty and perfection of his acts: "It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about thee; so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). " (Aal-e-Imran, 3/159)
Gentleness is like a different golden key given to the Messenger of Allah. He opened many hearts with that key and affected their hearts. But for his gentleness, many intolerant hearts would have faced some harsh acts and some would have opposed to Islam unlike now, and some would have moved away from him. Only thanks to the gentleness of the Messenger of Allah were they prevented and many people embraced Islam in groups.
As it is understood from the verse, gentleness originates from mercy. If the Messenger of Allah had become rude and harsh, everybody around him would have abandoned him. The vast mercy of God Almighty made him gentle. That is, God made his nature so perfect and gentle that the hands that touched him were never injured, and they found a rose when they expected thorns. (Abdullah 1997, 1:398).
I find it useful to mention some hadiths related to mercy here. The Messenger of Allah says:
Allah will not show mercy to someone who does not show mercy to people. (Bukhari, "Tawhid", 2; Muslim, "Fadail," 66)
Show mercy to those on the earth, those in the sky will show mercy to you. (Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 4:277)
He who does not show mercy to people will not be shown mercy. (Bukhari, "Adab," 18; Muslim, "Fadail, 65) Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) acted tolerantly towards even those who broke his teeth and injured his head. After the conquest of Makkah, he said to the Makkans, who were wondering what would happen to them, “You may go; all of you are free” although they had expelled him from his hometown when he was sorry and in tears. He forgave Abu Sufyan and softened his heart so that he would embrace Islam. He also forgave Wahshi, who had killed his beloved uncle, and Ikrima, the son of Abu Jahl. He forgave many others like them and did not call them to account for what they had done.
He did not reproach people; he did not blame them in front of others due to their mistakes; instead of despising them, he acted nicely and honestly by setting an example to them.
Sometimes, there were some people who came to him, acted rudely and even insulted him. If he had raised a finger, a hundred swords would have cut off his head. However, he reacted gently towards those rude and harsh behaviors. (Abdullah, 1997, 1:403).
Bukhari and Muslim narrate from Abu Said al-Khudri: A man called Dhu'l-Huwaysira came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Meanwhile, the Messenger of Allah were dividing the war booty. He addressed our Prophet insolently: "O Muhammad, be just!" (If that word were said to one of us, we would have a shock. As a matter of fact, we can be unfair. However, the person to whom that sentence was said was a prophet who was appointed to bring justice to the world.)
Hazrat Umar, who was there at that time, roared when he heard that disrespectful remark and said, “Let me cut off that munafiq’s head, O Messenger of Allah!”
After soothing Hazrat Umar and those who thought like him, the Messenger of Allah turned to that man said to him only the following: "Woe on you! If I am not just, who else can be just? (Bukhari, "Adab", 95; Muslim, "Zakat", 142) In other narrations, the reply of our Prophet is in a different form that can mean as follows: "Woe on me if I am not just; it means I am destroyed. Woe on you because of my injustice because you follow me as a prophet!" (Abdullah, 1997, 1:405-406)
The following are guiding principles related to tolerance:
Open your heart to everybody, let it be like oceans! Be filled with belief and feel love for people; let there be no dejected heart that you have not been interested in and you have not helped..! Appraise the good people due to their good deeds; be generous towards believing hearts; approach the faithless people softly so that their animosity and hatred will melt away; be like Messiah with your breaths...! Drive away the bad deeds with good deeds; do not heed rude attitudes! Everybody reflects his own character through their behavior. Prefer the way of tolerance and be noble-hearted towards those who do not have good manners..! It is the most distinguished quality of a heart that is full of love to love the love and to turn against hostility. To hate everybody is either an indication of having been directed by the devil or a sign of insanity. Love human beings; admire humanity..! (Abdullah, S. Nur, p. 101)
When we look at the events happening in the universe, we see a gradualism. That gradualism is one of the most important points in conveying the message of Islam.
We know that our Prophet (pbuh) conveyed the message of Islam gradually and step by step, and the Quran was sent down in 23 years. The 23-year period was divided into two; the first period is called the Period of Makkah, and the second period as the Period of Madinah.
Although it is possible to mention several periods in the Period of Makkah, it is possible to deal with it as two periods: one when the message of Islam was conveyed secretly, the other when it was conveyed openly. The following verse is quite meaningful about the call in Makkah: " Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth, best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." (Nahl, 16/125)
The verses that were sent down during the Period of Makkah generally contained the fundamentals of belief, ethical principles, behavioral criteria and advice.
The Period of Madinah was a period when, on the on hand, Islamic legal system was enacted and settled and on the other hand, the barriers between the slave and Allah were tried to be eliminated. (Buti, S. Ramazan, Fiqhu's-Sira p. 95).
The Master of the universe (pbuh) conveyed the message of Islam in accordance with the conditions of each period; he did not burden a load of 40 kg on someone who had the capacity of 10 kg, thus, he did not cause that person to be injured. He treated people in accordance with their states and paved the way for people to warm to Islam and have belief in their hearts.
That principle of the Messenger of Allah is a main principle that will serve as an example till Doomsday. Abdurrashid Ibrahim, the famous traveler who visited Japan in the 1900’s, narrates the following: "I told a Japanese person, who became a Muslim as a result of my tabligh, only about the fard prayers. He started to pray as I taught him. Once, he saw me performing sunnah prayer and asked me what it was. I said it was the sunnah of the Prophet. He asked me, “Why did you not tell me about it before?” I said, “If I had told you about it when you first became a Muslim, it could have been difficult for your soul.” He said, “You are right”, and started to perform sunnah prayers from then on (Abdurrashid Ibrahim, Japonya'da İslâmiyet, 1:156).
4. Attributing the Results to Allah
Our Prophet (pbuh) did whatever necessary for something and left the rest to Allah. He never boasted about the success and achievement that Allah granted, on the contrary, he often said that all good results came from Allah and that nothing would have happened but for His help.
The faithful people loving the Prophet (pbuh) and following his path always attributed the achievements to Him, and they did not have euphoria of victory. A believer should fulfill his duty and should not interfere with the duty of Allah. A very outstanding example regarding the issue is as follows:
It is very well known that Jalaluddin Harzamshah, a hero of Islam who defeated the army of Jenghiz Khan several times, was addressed by his viziers and commanders as follows while he was setting out for a battle: "You shall be victorious, God Almighty will make you the winner."
He answered them as follows:
"My duty is to fight in the way of Allah. I cannot interfere in his duty. To make someone victorious or a loser is his duty. (Nursî, Lem’alar (Flashes), 17. Lema)
Naturally, when one has such mentality, he will not be conceited and will not boast about anything; he will not show egocentrism, either.
5. Inner depth
Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) has been on the summit in terms of inner depth. He was the best devotee among the devotees and the best worshipper among the worshippers. He feared Allah so much that his heart almost stopped. He was so sensitive that there were very few times when he did not have tears or he did not shiver; when he was active, he was like a sea; when he was not active, he was like an ocean.
Inner depth takes place through devotion and worshipping. The one who practiced them best was our Prophet (pbuh). The state of devotion means not to be delighted even if the whole world is given to you and not to feel sorry even if you lose the whole world. That state was at the highest point with the Messenger of Allah. He would not be delighted even as much as someone who found a grain of barley if he were given the whole world. He would not feel sorry even as much as someone who lost a grain of barley if he lost the whole world. He abandoned the world and the worldly things in his heart. However, that abandoning does not mean to abandon the world really because he showed us the most logical and best ways of making a profit.
Our Prophet did not give any importance to the world. Once Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the presence of the Messenger of Allah. Our Prophet was on the mat that he had slept, and there was the impression of the math on his face. There was a piece of processed leather in one part of the room and a small bag with a few handfuls of barley in another part. They were all the things that were available in his room. Hazrat Umar was moved by what he saw and started to weep. When the Messenger of Allah asked him why he was crying, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "O Messenger of Allah! While the rulers and kings lie in their beds of feather, you (for whom the universe was created) are lying on a dry mat and the mat makes an impression on your face. What I have seen has made me cry.” Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said to Umar: "O Umar! Do you not want it that the world will belong to them but the hereafter will belong to us?" (Bukhari, "Tafsir", 21) In another narration, our Prophet says: "What relation have I got with the world? I am like a traveler, a traveler who sits in the shade of a tree for a while and then goes on his journey." (Tirmidhi, "Zuhd", 44; İbn Majah, "Zuhd", 3)
He came to this world with a duty. He brought breaths of revival to people in terms of feelings and thoughts. When his duty ended, he left the world. It is impossible to think that a person who was so disinterested in the world would tend to have some things in the world. He never showed a tendency towards the world and he never deviated from his path.... (Abdullah 1997, 2:473-474)
First, he practiced the things himself that he was going to tell his umma to do and served as an example to his umma in all of his attitudes. As a matter of fact, nobody could lead a life like he did. He was so disciplined and serious in his individual worship. His whole life seemed to be programmed based on worshipping. We should not think of worshipping as only prayers, fasting, etc. He fulfilled everything that he did with a consciousness of worshipping. (ibid, 2:478)
The world wanted to push itself through his heart many times but he always rejected the world. (Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 2:231) The servants of our century should take the Prophet as an example and reach inner depth, without forgetting the outer conquest along with the inner conquest.
If the soul and the desires of man are left uncontrolled, his tendency to and interest in the world will increase. The world even becomes his ultimate aim and the purpose of his life. However, the following is stated in the Quran: "Short is the enjoyment of this world: the Hereafter is the best for those who do right: never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least!" (Nisa, 4/77) Then, a believer should try to reach inner depth and he should not ignore preparing for the hereafter. The happy people who are at spirit’s service will always head towards the pleasure of the Creator, humanity and virtue.
The modesty and humility of the Messenger of Allah shine like a star as a different dimension of his fatanah (wisdom) on the one hand and tabligh on the other hand. His modesty increased as he was known and accepted by everybody. It seemed as if modesty and humility were born again together with him. They continued by developing till he died. Once, the angel came and asked him: "Would you like to be a slave prophet or a king prophet?" Jibril (Gabriel) whispered to him: "Be humble towards your Lord!" The Messenger of Allah answered: "I would like to be a slave prophet who goes to bed hungry one day and begs his Lords and who goes to bed full another day and thanks his Lord..." (Haythami, Majmau'z-Zawaid, 9:19-20.) He always regarded himself as person like other people; he never made a distinction between himself and others. Once, he looked at the man who was shivering before him and said to him: "Brother! Do not shiver! I am the son of a woman who ate onions like you..." (Ibn Majah, "At'ima", 30)
As Muslims, we should take our Prophet as an example. Worldly ranks and positions, goods and properties should not spoil man and should not make him forget himself. The quality of a responsibility given to a person does not transform him into another being. Therefore, man should always regard himself as a person like the other people.
The modesty and humility of the Master of the Universe continued both when he entered Makkah as a victorious commander and when he was forced to leave Makkah. He bowed his head so much that the head that touched the sky was bowed as low as to touch the saddle...
A hadith reported by our mother, Hazrat Aisha, tells us the following: "The Messenger of Allah acted like an ordinary person at home. He mended his own clothes, repaired his own shoes and helped her wives in their housework." (Tirmidhi, "Shamail", 78) When he did those things, his name was mentioned in many places in the world; everybody talked about him and the religion he brought. He used time so efficiently that he could find time for chores despite his important responsibilities. He had the best form of all of the nice characters.
Humility is not humiliation, and conceit is not dignity. The Master of the Universe (pbuh) states the following about humility and conceit: "Allah elevates the person who acts modestly for him one degree. Allah takes that person to the highest place of Firdaws Paradise. Allah lowers a person who shows conceit one degree. Allah lowers that person to the lowest degree of Hell." (Mundhiri, at-Targhib, 4:339)
The highest person among those who always lead their lives in a constant feeling of reckoning and responsibility is the Master of the Universe. He knew what a heavy burden was slavery and with that consciousness, he always tried to make himself ready for the day of reckoning. He called his umma’s attention to the issue as follows: "Bring yourself to account before you are taken to account." The great reckoning will definitely be very tough. We must prepare for that day. I want to present you a talk between our Prophet and Hazrat Aisha regarding the issue.
Once, the Master of the Universe (pbuh) went to Hazrat Aisha and saw her weeping; he asked her, “What makes you weep, O Aisha?” Hazrat Aisha says: "O Messenger of Allah! I thought about the Day of Judgment and the fear of that day made me weep. Will you remember your family on that day? The Messenger of Allah answered: "Oh Aisha! There are three places where nobody can remember others. They are when the Books of Deeds are delivered, when the deeds are weighed and when passing the Sirat Bridge." Then, everybody will wonder whether their books of deeds will be given from their right, left or back. When the deeds are weighed, they will wonder if their rewards or sins will outweigh and whether they will be able to pass the Sirat and attain Paradise and Jamalullah (the face of Allah); they will wonder if their feet will slip and they will fall down to the depths of Hell.
Our Prophet (pbuh) calls the attention of his umma by addressing his own relatives about preparing for that fearful day as follows:
O sons of Abdimanaf! Try to save your souls that are in the hand of Allah because I cannot do anything for you.
The Messenger of Allah narrows the circle and continues to address his own tribe as follows:
O sons of Hashim! Try to save your souls that are in the hand of Allah because I cannot do anything for you, either.
The Messenger of Allah narrows the circle some more and says the same things for his uncle Abbas, aunt Safiyya and daughter Fatima.
We understand from those remarks that it is necessary to prepare for the hereafter before going there. Paradise and Jamalullah are gained in the world not in the hereafter. The following is a hadith of our Prophet "The world is the field of the hereafter." (Aliyyulkari, al-Masnu' 1:135; al-Ajluni, Kashful-khafa 1:1320) We will reap in the harvest of the hereafter whatever we sow in this world. The Master of the two worlds, who had great difficulty under the burden of slavery said: "The Chapters Hud, al-Waqia and al-Mursalat made me old. He was ordered: " Therefore, stand firm (in the straight path) as thou art commanded." (Hud, 11/112). That firmness in the straight path was what God Almighty had prescribed for His messenger. He was asked to maintain that straight path...
In the chapter al-Mursalat, it is stated that people are divided into groups for Paradise and Hell and that they bent double due to fear. ln chapter al-Waqia, those groups were displayed. What was narrated in those chapters terrified the Messenger of Allah and made him old... (Abdullah 1997, 2:475)
The companions of the prophet, who had so much difficulty due to the feelings of responsibility and reckoning, led a very meticulous life and serve as examples to us. Hazrat Abu Bakr continued to milk the sheep of his neighbor to earn his living even after he was elected as caliph. However, as a result of the insistence of Hazrat Umar and other companions, he decided to give up milking the sheep in order not to delay the work of the state and agreed to get a small salary. He left a small earthenware jar and a letter to be given to the caliph after his death. When they opened the jar, they found small coins and a note. The note read as follows: "The money you allocated for me remained on some days. I felt ashamed of Allah to spend it because it was the money of the people.” Hazrat Umar started to weep when he saw it and said, "You left us a life which is impossible to lead."
Hazrat Umar led a life to be taken as an example too. His life was accepted as a model even by non-Muslims. Mahatma Gandhi, the founder of India who lived centuries after him, addressed his nations as follows: "O my people. I promise you a just administration like the administration of Umar of Muslims." (Sırma, İ. Süreyya, İslâm Tarihi Ders Notları)
They led their lives with that consciousness and comprehension, enlightening our way. What we need to do is to follow that enlightened path as Muslims and to take over their inheritance.
The verses that prohibit interest (usury) are given below;
The Heifer (Al-Baqarah) (2nd sura of the Quran) 2/275. Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Satan by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge); but those who repeat (the offense) are companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (for ever). 2/276. Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not any ungrateful and wicked. 2/278. O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers. The Family Of Ìmrán (Al-Ìmrán) (3rd sura of the Quran)
130. O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah. that ye may (really) prosper. Women (An-Nisáa) (4th sura of the Quran)
160. For the iniquity of the Jews We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been lawful for them;- in that they hindered many from Allah's Way;- 161. That they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully;- We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment. The Romans (Ar-Rüm) (30th sura of the Quran)
39. That which you give in usury for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allah: but that which you give for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allah, (will increase): it is these who will get a recompense multiplied.
Could you please give information about Kalima Ash-Shahadah?
The sentence which is essential for entering Islam. This Arabic sentence is as follows: "Ashadu an la ilaha illallah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh.” (I witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger) Kalima ash-shahadah consists of two parts that express oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). It is witnessed that there is no god but Allah in the first part and that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) is Allah’s slave and messenger in the second part. The witnessing means definite knowledge and the utterance of the belief through the tongue.
Islam consists of accepting the oneness of Allah and what the Messenger brought from Allah. All of the other fundamentals of belief, and the commands and prohibitions that arrange life of man and the community are included in the belief in Allah and what His messenger brought. Therefore, kalima ash-shahadah is the most concise sentence expressing Islam; its utterance means the acceptance of Islam wholly. When a person says that there is no god but Allah, it means he believes in the existence of Allah with all of the names and attributes that are defined in the Quran; when he says Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave and messenger, it means he believes all of the commands, prohibitions and news he brought from Allah and he accepts that he has to obey them. That Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) is defined as the slave of Allah in the same sentence means the messenger must not be elevated and deified as Christians and others did.
When a person utters kalima ash-shahadah, he becomes a Muslim and a member of the Islamic community. He owns all the rights that Islamic law gives Muslims. If he is a member of a community that is in a state of war against Muslims, he will have immunity. He cannot be killed, held captive, and his property cannot be confiscated. Nobody can be forced to utter kalima ash-shahadah; the kalima ash-shahadah of a person who is forced to utter it is not valid. However, a person who utters kalima ash-shahadah of his own free will is expected to learn and act in accordance with the rules and obligations of Islam, which he declared to be a member of.
(see also: Kelime-i Tevhid, Muhammed (pbuh), İman, İslâm, Nebi, Rasul, Peygamber items).
Author: İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi,
If Islam is the right religion, why do some people find peace in other religions?
Human is an entity exposed to test. In order for the test to be just and objective, the truth should be clarified to the reason, but it should not be forced into one single route. It is because of this wisdom of the test that different mechanisms, feelings and intuitions are created in humans. The bases of these mechanisms are intelligence, anger and appetite. These drives have different reflections. Some of these reflections, which appear on social, cultural, environmental, and psychological grounds, address the sublime pleasures of the spirit, while some address the abased pleasures of the soul.
Parallel to the dominance of these feelings, while some people are disturbed by hurting an ant, some take pleasure from killing people. While some people feel great pangs of conscience from harming others' property, life, and integrity in the least, some enjoy trespassing on others' integrity, property, and life.
The habits humans acquire with their own free will have a great role in these different inclinations. The hadith: “Human is created in a creation (fitrah) suitable to accept Islam. However, his/her parents make him/her Jewish, Christian or Zoroastrian.” points to the role of the habits acquired from the vicinity in time.
As is understood from these explanations we have briefly stated,just as everything that we take pleasure from is not necessarily a truth, so too everything that we don't take pleasure from is not necessarily a falsehood. There are thousands of people who take pleasure from smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, smoking, murder, human trade and from adultery. Does it show the truth of what they do that they take pleasure from them?
It is known that the idolaters of Mecca fought wars and died for the sake of their religion of paganism. Can this attachment of to paganism be a proof of the truthfulness of this religion of paganism, to which they were attached in time through habits and traditions-though it was unreasonable?
If we reverse the same question; “if Christianity or Judaism is the right religion, why then billions of people find peace in the religion of Islam?”
In history, hundreds of thousands of people from other religions have entered Islam by using their intelligence and knowledge, but there isn’t any single person who entered another religion from Islam by using his/her intelligence and knowledge. Some ignorant people are excepted. Today also many priests, philosophers, and scientists continue to enter Islam. However, we don't witness any scientist, imam, or scholar who is knowledgeable about Islam leave Islam and enter another religion.
In addition to this, there are hundreds of reasonable, scientific and objective proofs which show that the Qur'an is Allah's speech, that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is Allah's Messenger, and that Islam is the right religion.
A general rule of the Islamic Shari'ah is that it is haram for the Muslim to eat or drink anything, which may cause his death, either quickly or gradually, such as poisons, or substances, which are injurious to health or harmful to his body. It is also haram to eat or drink large quantities of a substance if large quantities of it cause illness. For the Muslim is not entirely his own master; he is also an asset to his religion and his ummah (the Muslim nation), and his life, health, wealth, and all that Allah has bestowed upon him are a trust with him, which he is not permitted to diminish. Says Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala: And do not kill yourselves; indeed, Allah is ever Merciful to you. (4:29)
He also says: And do not be cast into ruin by your own hands.... (2:195)
And His Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Do not harm yourself or others.'' (Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah.)
As an application of this principle, we may say that if it is proved that the use of tobacco is injurious to health, it is haram, especially for a person whose physician has advised him to stop smoking. Even if it is not injurious to health, it is still a waste of money, spent neither for religious nor for secular benefit, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade wasting of property. (Reported by al-Bukhari.) This becomes the more serious when the money is otherwise needed for the sustenance of oneself or one's family (www.islamonline.net).
What branches of science (ilm) are fard to learn? Only religious sciences?
The greatest science (knowledge) is to know the existence and oneness of Allah. It is necessary to study the sciences that will increase our belief. Besides, it is fard to learn enough science (ilm) to fulfill the fard worshipping.
It is fard al-kifayah* to study the sciences regarding the occupations that are useful for the humanity. Therefore, it is necessary for a person to learn the sciences regarding his job.
Fard al-kifayah: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "It is fard for every believer, whether man or woman, to seek ilm (knowledge) "(1).
Seeking knowledge is a definite order of Allah. Then, it is fard to acquire knowledge.
The obligation to seek knowledge is divided into two as fard al-ayn and fard al-kifayah.
The knowledge or science that is fard al-ayn has to be learnt by every Muslim. A person has to learn the knowledge and information necessary to fulfill his duties regarding creed, worshipping and ethics. It is fard al-ayn for everybody to learn the information about catechism: ilm al-hal.
When the knowledge or science that is fard al-kifayah is learnt by some of the members of the community in accordance with the necessity of the community, the other members of the community are not regarded responsible.
Sciences that are useful for the humanity like mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, etc are regarded as fard al-kifayah. Since they are sciences that are useful for the community, a sufficient amount of the members of the community has to learn them. For instance, if there are not any doctors to treat the sick people in a city, some of the members of that community have to study medicine. Otherwise, everybody that is capable of studying medicine will be responsible.
What branches of science (ilm) are fard to learn? Only religious sciences?
First of all, we should make it clear that when the phrase “religious sciences” is mentioned, it is wrong to think of fiqh, tafsir and hadith only. The sciences like mathematics, physics, chemistry that are studied in order to serve the humanity in accordance with the wish and consent of Allah and His Messenger are also regarded as religious sciences.
Our religion encourages people to study those sciences. For instance;
* Islam correlates many fards in the field of worshipping with the concept ‘time’ (fasting, hajj, paying zakah once a year, imsak, iftar, eid, Friday, morning, noon, afternoon, evening, night times). To know the times of performing fard duties can only be achieved by obtaining information about the number, movement and properties of planets; that is, by studying mathematics and astronomy and by obtaining knowledge from the people who are specialized in those branches. Thus, astronomers are really necessary in Islam.
*The Quran states that the earth was made manageable for the human beings and orders, "... traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes..."(al-Mulk 15). It can only be achieved by specializing in branches like agriculture, etc. Then, it is regarded a religious science to study agriculture.
*God Almighty orders us to make ready our strength to the utmost of our power to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies. (al-Anfal, 60) To make that strength ready can only be achieved by knowing the branches of science like economics, physics, mathematics and chemistry very well.
According to what can be understood from the examples above, our religion encouraged and made it a fard to study all of the branches of science that are useful for the humanity.
Is it true to insult a non-muslim?
Islam is against all kinds of evil deeds and hurting, because Islam tries to honor man. It helps him find his real values. For this reason, Islam gives orders which make man reach every kind of beauty and maturity and prohibits every kind of bad and ugly deeds.
We can say based on those two basic rules that every kind of deed called insult and curse, which makes people hurt and offend is prohibited and sin because it is prohibited to hurt Muslims and it makes people sinful. If a non-believer is innocent, it is forbidden to disturb him or her in Islam because our Prophet (pbuh) said that “Whoever hurts a dhimmi should know that I am her or his enemy.” (Abu Yusuf, Hara, Matbaatu's Salafiya, 1397 h. Cairo, p.135) Whatever the condition is, it is not allowed to insult or curse. It is not proper for a Muslim to insult a person no matter if he is an unbeliever or a tyrant them. It does not befit a Muslim.
What is the place of democracy in the religion of Islam? What is democracy? How does Islam view democracy?
It is observed that the topic of Islam and democracy has become a prominent one amongst today’s matters of debate at various platforms. To put it clearly, it is quite difficult to say that the comparison of Islam and democracy is made accurately.
It is necessary to emphasize, at the very beginning of such a subject, that Islam is a divine religion which aims at the happiness of humankind both in this world and in the hereafter, and that democracy is a regime that people invented based on their own intellect, will and knowledge.
The main reason of this emphasis is to state that it is incorrect to present these two notions as if they are opposite to each other or they are alternative to each other or as two notions that entirely square with each other.
Therefore, it is essential to evaluate Islam as a religion within its own category and democracy as a regime in its own category. It is an obligation to compare the contents of these notions through an objective point of view, without dwelling merely on the notions.
At this point, the most important issue agreed upon by the majority of Islamic theologians is this: There is not a regime that is clearly named and that people are ordered to follow in the Quran. However, there are universal principles that teach responsibilities of those who govern and those who are governed, in both the Quran and the Prophet’s applications.
It is possible to develop a model of regime in accordance with needs of the time, cultural structure of people, political conditions, possibilities and hardships brought by time and geographical features in any part of the world.
An indispensable and determining element of democracy is the fact that people participate in governing and elect their governors with their own free will. When examined carefully, it is seen that the Prophet – with the title of best executive of Islam – employed the institution of “BAY’AH” (allegiance) which literally means “to accept, to assent to”. Bay’ah can be defined as “people’s voting in order to state their commitment to the governor”, which is the equivalent of voting in elections today. Bay’ah is also defined as “the contract that men and women sign in order to accept their duty and responsibility for their administrator.” (1)
The application of Bay’ah that was started by the Prophet continued by undergoing some structural differences until the era of the Ottomans.
When taken from this point of view, it is understood that Islamic teachings are a lot parallel with today’s democratic election system in the issue of determining administrators. This similarity also exists in the issue of every individual’s voting with their own free will.
It is because bay’ah taken with any kind of force is invalid. Hazrat Umar said: “If anyone attempts to be the president or to make anyone else the president without conferring with Muslims, kill him unless he gives up.” (2)
Eliminating any kind of attempts which aim at disturbing social peace and which originate from tyranny and injustice is just one of the responsibilities that Islam assigns to everyone.
The most important virtues that Islam deems necessary for administrators to have are providing equality, justice and individual legal privacy for everyone. If democracy is not a system that manipulates people but a regime that guarantees people’s basic rights and freedoms and promises to meet people’s demands, it is meaningless to mention any problem between Islam and democracy in this sense.
It is because there is not a disagreement between the two in terms of protecting these rights. Furthermore, while ordering that individual rights be protected on the one hand, Islam refers to social sensitivity and wants social spirit to be kept alive on the other hand. Therefore, each responsibility assigned to individuals has an aspect which is related to social life.
Parliament that is elected by people and works as a decision-making mechanism which decides in the name of people is one of the most important facilities which should be emphasised. The very equivalent of this institution in Islamic literature is the institution of “SHURA” which can be translated as advisory committee.
The Quran explains that things planned to be done must be determined at the end of negotiations in these two different verses:
“...so pass over (Their faults), and ask for (God's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment).” (3)
“Those ... who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance.” (4)
The principle of pluralism, which is mentioned among the qualities of democracy has been formulated with these verses in the Quran, because negotiation between individuals is one of the most important indications of pluralism. The phrase “consult them in affairs” has been understood as not a suggestion but a command that has to be followed by Islamic scholars.(5)
Governing structure adopted by Islam, as it is based on consultation-negotiation, differs from “autocracy”, which is based on the dictatorship of one person, from “theocracy”, which is based on the governing of a person who claims to have a divine attribute, from “oligarchy”, which is based on domination of a superior minority, and from “demagogy” in which persons govern according to their own wills. (6)
Islamic consultation-negotiation system necessitates that everyone’s opinion be asked – regardless of their being minority or majority – ; however, it also requires that the opinion which is worth adopting be chosen not as a result of how many people side with it, but as a result of deep and objective intellectual analysis. (7)
Especially the Prophet and the caliphs who governed after him deemed consultation very important, and were the prominent executives of the Quranic command “consult them with their affairs.” Therefore, Ibn Taymiyya says: “Administrators cannot be exempt from consultation, because Allah commanded His Prophet to do it.” (8)
One conspicious feature of the Prophet’s consultation with his Companions is that he was asked if his decision was a Quranic command or his own opinion when a decision was made. If it was a Quranic command, it would be followed, for it is bounding – and if it was the Prophet’s own opinion, the Companions would tell the Prophet about their own ideas. The most attention-grabbing examples of the Prophet’s idea of consultation are issues such as on what conditions captives of the Battle of Badr would be freed, how the call to the prayer (adhan) would be practiced and how Madina should be defended during the Battle of the Trench (Handaq).
The most important point that should be taken into consideration while consulting is with whom to consult. What Abbasi governor Ma’mun advised his son about consultation and negotiation sheds light on this issue. He says: “Regarding affairs about which you have got doubts, consult the experienced, sedulous and merciful old men’s opinions; because they have experienced a lot and witnessed all ups and downs and lucky and unlucky events of time. Even though their words might be bitter, accept and tolerate them. Do not include cowardly, greedy, supercilious, dishonest and stubborn people in the consultation committee.” (9)
It is obvious that Islamic world failed to agree on many institutions that were developed based on the West. And democracy is one of them. While some claim that democracy and Islam totally disagree without basing their ideas on any scientific and intellectual reason, others try to explain that there is a total agreement between the two.
The most reasonable thing for everyone who wishes to and aims at contributing to the happiness of the individuals and communities is seeking ways of benefiting from Islam’s universal values as a religion and democracy’s basic rights and freedoms as a governing mechanism, without being influenced by concepts.
Whatever they might be called, Islam has no objection to the efforts for people’s peace and happiness.
“Adopting democracy can be considered not as “legalizing” the West, but as a real re-discovery. Although Western democracy and Islam have some differences in practice, they can benefit from each other taking the similarities in their aims into consideration. Of course, this benefit is possible, as Hassan Turabi puts it, “if Westerners (can) allow democracy to give birth to a Muslim child”, because the notion of “Islamic democracy” is still a cursed one for many people in the West.” (10)
In conclusion, it cannot be claimed that Islamic principles entirely agree with democracy’s principles. However, if we think independently from the religion, democracy is still the one, amongst other regimes, which can be adapted to Islam’s general rules most easily.
By the way, it is true that Islamic scholars are in search of a solution to this issue. Actually, democracy is a system that Muslims are inevitably in and are influenced by. Muslims, who have to question their lives’ appropriateness to Islam all the time, have felt the obligation to search for a solution about democracy by which they are inevitably influenced.
Debates carried out in accordance with the Quran’s information are seen not as an objection to democracy but an advocacy of democracy which is redefined.
There are many different definitions and practices of democracy in the world. At this point, Islamic world has to understand and interpret Islam correctly on the one hand and has to define democracy within this interpretation on the other hand. This can contribute to forming a mid-point where Islam and democracy meet.
(1) Yusuf Kerimoğlu, İslam Ansiklopedisi, Şamil Yayınevi, bey’at item
(2) Muhammed Rawwas Qa'l-aji, Mawsuat al-Fiqh Umar b. al-Hattab, 1401/1981, 103.
(6) Izzuddin at-Tamimi, ash-Shura bayna'l-Asalah wa'l-Muasira, Amman 1405/1985, p. 27-28.
(7) Ma'ruf ad-Dawalibi, İslâm'da Devlet ve İktidar (trns. Mehmed S. Hatipoğlu), İstanbul 1985, p. 55.
(8) Ibn Taymiyya, as-Siyasatu'sh Shar'iyya (in Majmu al-Fatawa), Riyad 1381-86, XXVIIl, 386, 387
(9) Mefail Hızlı, İslam Ansiklopedisi, Şamil Yayınları, istişare md.
(10) see Mevlüt UYANIK, İslam ve Demokrasi, -Muhammed Abid el-Cabiri Örneği-.
Does Allah like aggressive people?
In sura Fatiha which is the first chapter of Quran, we are ordered to pray “Show us the straight way”. The destination is described with words that are different but close to each other in meaning; such as “moderate way”, “straight way”, “smooth way” and “justice”. Quran describes this way as “the way of Allah, to whom whatever in the skies and on earth belong.” And the way leads to Heaven.
True believers cite Fatiha in every part of prayers (salah) and ask to be directed to the straight way by Allah. Those who complete this way arrive in Heaven that is the land of unique bliss. Below this way is Hell. To whichever side one strays from the way, he falls down into the land of that terrible punishment.
By asking Allah to direct us to the straight way, we also ask Him to let us live our worldly lives on the straight way; that’s to say, we ask Him to let us cross al-Sirat (the bridge over Hell stretching to Heaven), which is sharper than a sword finer than hair, while on earth. Indeed, it is very difficult for us to keep our all works, deeds and words on the straight way. However, it is also impossible for us to cross this bridge in the hereafter unless we complete this sharp and fine way without straying too far.
Al-Sirat is built over Hell. And just like this, in front of our all deeds is Heaven and below them is Hell. Whatever we do straying from the way of Allah, we become sinner and rebellious. And this state in worldly life is the portent of Hell.
The straight way leads one to the land of content, the eternal land of true delights and bliss.
The straight way is the moderate way, free from all extremes. Is this not also the way which leads to happiness on earth? Is it possible for us to find happiness unless our body together with its all organs and our heart together with its all feelings are on the straight way?
Neither should our eyes be shortsighted nor should they be farsighted. Neither should our tension be high, nor should it be low… The electrical current of the mechanism which runs our brain should neither be low nor high. Our heart beats should be within definite limits. So is our body temperature…
All of the activities occurring in seventy trillion cells of ours should be on the straight way so that we can be occupied with other things, rather than occupying ourselves with the problems of our body. Otherwise, we will have to spend our life in clinics.
We are face to face with a trick, a deceiving game. There is an enemy hidden inside us. Although we feel right away what harms our body and hurry to find its cure, we cannot be as attentive towards moral diseases, which injure our hearts, stray our feelings from the straight way, and direct our mind to dangerous fields, as we are to bodily diseases. Even worse, we like them. This hidden enemy of us, which makes us mistake bad for good and drink poison in joy, is our lower-self. When this enemy inside us cooperates with devils from humankind and devils from the jinn, our soul weakens and strays from the straight way. As a matter of fact, the real danger for us is not the disturbance of our worldly peace, but loss of our happiness in the afterlife. Nevertheless, the lower-self manages to put it in the background and take the other to the foreground.
We are supplicating to our Lord to guide us to and keep us in the straight way, in spite of our enemies which never seem to tire. And we know that this can be realized only by “praying to and worshipping Him and asking for His help”.
I think that I never manage to forgive a friend of mine, who made a mistake against me. I feel like teaching him a precise lesson and take revenge on him. This thought leads me to this reality:
“While I cannot silence a single feeling of mine, how can I arrange my whole world of soul? This can be realized only by my Lord’s blessing, kindness and guidance. It is impossible for my soul, together with its all feelings and emotions, to stay on the straight way without His help.”
Faith is the greatest guidance for one’s heart… A heart which has got faith is on the straight way. A true believer’s heart is directed to the Lord, who is everywhere. Wherever he looks, he sees a manifestation of His names. He puts himself next to that work imaginarily, and says: “Praise be to Allah, who disciplines both of us nicely.” Then, a third one, fourth one, a thousandth one and a hundred thousandths are added to these two. And the heart turns to the Lord of the Universe with praises. A heart that has reached to this point, whatever it may like, is on the straight way. However, a heart that is unaware of Allah adds another curtain of unawareness and grows further away from the Lord, with the every creature it likes.
It is a great deal not to lose the straight away in spite of these innumerable creatures and events. Moreover, this difficult test can only be passed with the guidance of Allah. Otherwise, one drowns in material world, gets lost in causes and becomes destroyed.
A heart that is saved from the danger of disbelief and idolatry and believes in Allah is on the straight way. And also there is a straight way for faith in heart. This is possible through following the way of ahl-i sunnah. An example for this is as follows:
Fate is a part of faith. Both the sect of Jabriyyah which denies that human beings have got the control of their acts to some extent and the sect of Mutazilah which considers human beings the creators of their own acts are astray from the straight way. The moderate way of this is believing that demand is from human beings and creation is from Allah. This is the straight way.
In The Signs of Miraculousness from the Nur Collection it is stated that “the straight way” refers to “accuracy and justice which is consisted of the combination of courage, chastity and wisdom” and it is explained as in the following:
“The lowest degree of power of lust is calmness, in which one is neither inclined to halal nor to haram. Its highest degree is sinfulness, in which one is tends to destroy honor and chastity. Its average degree is chaste, in which one inclined to what is halal and not to what is haram.
And the lowest degree of the power of aggression is cowardice, in which one is afraid of even the least and non-frightening things. Its highest degree is rage, in which one is neither afraid of worldly nor unworldly things. Its average degree is courage, in which one can sacrifice his life for the sake of lawfulness both in terms of religion and worldly life, and does not get involved in unlawful things.
And the lowest degree of power of mind is dullness, in which one is aware of nothing. Its highest degree is demagogy, in which one has got such intelligence with which he deceives people by presenting what is wrong as right and what is right as wrong. Its average degree is wisdom, in which one accepts what is right as right and behaves accordingly, and accepts what is wrong as wrong and avoids it.”
One can become a true believer on the straight way by eliminating these lowest and highest degrees of all powers, emotions and feelings in his soul.
When heart finds the straight way and faith, it is time for good deeds. One, in order to find the straight way, should keep his deeds and acts fair. His gaze will be straight, and he will not look at what is haram. His speech will be straight and he will tell everything as it is. He will neither flatter too much nor will he vilify. His trade will be straight, free from deceiving, usury and profiteering. All these are what one’s lower-self dislikes. As a matter of fact, the straight way is the reverse direction of what our lower-self shows us.
And another definition of the straight way is choosing the middle way, which is away from extremes in terms of all moral qualities.
Generosity is a high moral quality. A person who is neither extravagant nor mean is generous. And being just is another high moral quality. A just person will neither be unfair to anyone else, nor will he be incapable of defending his own rights, and thus he will not cause his addressee to be unfair. And also there is the fact that one can be unfair to himself. One who misuses the divine blessings given to him becomes unfair to himself by entering Hell. And another primary high quality of moral is submission to Allah. One who attempts to alter the causes and yet is content with the outcomes means to have comprehended the secret of submission and is on the straight way.
A true believer, by praying “show us the straight way”, demand from Allah to let him walk on the straight way with all of its qualities. And he includes all believers in this prayer.
Just as all faces turn to Qaba in prayers, all souls must turn to Quran, so that social life will be on the straight way.
Our Lord, who teaches us to pray “show us the straight way” in Quran, draws our attention to the fact that happiness in worldly life can be reached via this straight way, just as happiness in the afterlife. Those who stray from this way are “maghdup” and “dallin” as Allah informs us. Maghdub are those who have been subject to Allah’s wrath and “dallin” are poor people who have been the captives of false beliefs. The end for both of them is severe punishment.
Why are there restrictions for personal freedom in Islam? Why are humans not given the right of living as they wish?
Nowadays, in no country of the world do people have endless freedom because, endless freedom is animalism. There are many prohibitions in all constitutions and laws of the world.
We should not forget that the freedom of people who have to live socially is surrounded by restrictions that prevent harming others because other people also have freedom of not being harmed. If you give limitless freedom to the people that you imagine in your mind, not only will you limit the freedom of others but also harm them. The aim of the prohibitive points in laws is to prevent this harm.
Is there anyone who knows the condition of people better than glorious Allah (SWT)? Is there anyone who knows better than the sole creator of man, who knows with what kind of feelings, biological, psychological equipments He created the man, what the side effects of those equipments are and what kind of precautions should be taken in order to keep within bounds? The rules of Allah (SWT) are principles full of wisdoms. There are many lesson to be taken from these verses “..Should He not know― He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them).” (Surah Al-Mulk, 67/13-14)
However, Allah (SWT), who is the creator of all people, created human beings with limitless freedom unlike animals and did not put a limit to the feelings of human beings in order to give them a test which is just and free so that everybody can decide about his/her lifestyle, either bad or good wit his/her free will and deserve Paradise or Hell with his/her own free will.. He sent prophets and books to inform man about how to use the endless freedom that He gave to him when He created him and which way is good or bad. What can be better than His guidance in order to let them be successful in this test and live happily in both this world and the hereafter?
How should we understand the command of Islam Kill the one who deserts Islam?
Man of tabligh (conveying the message of Islam) is anguished; he becomes very sorrowful when people go astray and disobey Allah by transgressing His commands. Conversion from Islam distresses him terribly; when he becomes desperate in the name of tabligh, he becomes infuriated and suffers palpitations. When, in the Quran, our Prophet is addressed as: "It may be thou frettest thy soul with grief, that they do not become Believers"(ash-Shuara, 26/3), the anguish of the Messenger of Allah and his mood originating from that anguish is described. As a matter of fact, that mood is and should be present in each man of tabligh. Conversion (irtidad) means deserting the religion. The murtad is the person who denies all of the holy things that he had believed before. That person is regarded to have betrayed Islam, in a sense. A person who betrays once can always betray. Therefore, according to some scholars the murtad has no right to live. However, according to the form our fiqh scholars systematized, first, the murtad is informed about the issue that caused his conversion in detail. He is followed and observed for a while and he is tried to be persuaded about the issues that he feels doubtful. If none of those efforts turn out to be fruitless and it becomes clear that that person is a malignant tumor, a source of trouble, his punishment is executed. [1> However, no believer can be indifferent to the conversion of someone from Islam. The concept of humanism of Islam is contrary to it. Every believer who hears about the case feels sorry and anguished about the conversion. However, the anguish of man of tabligh is deeper than that of everybody else because the guidance of people is the aim of his existence.
Here is the mood of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) when he hears about what Kalid b. Walid (may Allah be pleased with him) has done. Hazrat Khalid carries out an execution by hurrying about the principles of the religion regarding conversion. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) hears it, he becomes very sorry; he prays to God Almighty by raising his hands and says: "O Allah! I take refuge in you from what Khalid has done.[2>
That sensitivity of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is seen in the same form in the people around him. For instance, Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asks someone coming from Yamama whether there was anything serious there or not. The man says there is nothing serious or important except someone who has converted from Islam. Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) stands up excitedly and asks, “What did you do to him?” When the man says,”we killed him”, Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) sighs just as the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did and says to the man, "Should you have not imprisoned him and waited for a while? Then, he raises his hands and prays to Allah as follows: "O Allah! I swear that I was not there when those people did it. I also swear that I did not like what they did when I heard about it."[3>
[1> Bukhari, Diyat, 6; Muslim, Qasama, 25; Sarahsi, Mabsut, 10/98; Kasani, Badiu's-Sanai, 7/134.
[2> Bukhari, Maghazi, 58; Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 4/72.
[3> Muwatta, Aqdiya, 58.
What does it mean that every human being is created in the natural state (fitrah) of Islam?
Akhlaq is the plural form of the word 'khulq' and means morals, disposition, character, temperament, etc. It has a strong relation to fitrah and creation of the human being.
In the Qur'an, Rum Surah, it is stated: “So set your whole being upon the Religion (of Islam) as one of pure faith (free from unbelief, polytheism, and hypocrisy). This is the original pattern belonging to God on which He has originated humankind.” (The Qur'an, Ar-Rum Surah, 30:30)
In Shams Surah, too, certain creatures are sworn upon, one of which is the soul. In the seventh and eighth verses, “the human selfhood and that (All-Knowing, All-Powerful, and All-Wise One) Who has formed it to perfection; And Who has inspired it with the conscience of what is wrong and bad for it, and what is right and good for it...” are sworn upon. If this verse is juxtaposed to the saying of The Prophet that “Every child is born in a natural state (fitrah) of Islam.” such a truth springs forth: Then, if the human nature is closely contemplated, the source of good morals will be found.
Just as the human body is a divine art, his/her abilities and nature are also through Allah's ordering and ordaining, which is divine.
Accordingly, moving from the dictionary meaning, good morals remind us of properly utilizing those abilities existent in the creation of the human being. What is in question for those with bad morals is the misuse of that capital and potential.
The capacity to believe is embedded in the human creation. For man is capable of knowing that even a simple table cannot be made and built on its own. Even idolaters have known that they are created by one, but could not know Him correctly and wrongly tried to satisfy their innate need to worship by worshiping inanimate objects.
That nobody likes to be backbitten means that the creation of humans rejects backbiting.
That lying is difficult and that telling the truth is easy, is the testimony of human disposition that lying is forbidden and that truth is approved.
That the feeling of jealousy is put into the creation of the human being shows us that the notion of integrity is necessitated by human nature.
That we are offended by our friend from whom we request a loan and who wants his money back with extra addition is the testimony of human nature that interest is forbidden.
Examples can be continued.
So, the human being is created upon good morals. However, the human needs to find the sources of all those qualities which are put into his/her creation and needs to improve them. The essentials of this improvement are included in the heavenly scriptures and are communicated to the humanity by Prophets, peace be upon them all. One of the meanings of the hadith “I am sent only to complement the good morals.” should be that.
Did the great personalities that advanced in spirituality reach those high ranks by worshipping day and night? Or were they (saints and prophets) given those ranks by birth?
The great personalities that advanced in spirituality did not do so because they had holy souls. They also had the same souls that desire bad things. As a matter of fact, their souls are more disobedient, rebellious and ferocious than the souls of the other people. However, they always struggled against their souls and managed to be the leaders of spirituality as a result of their struggle.
As there is a price for everything, there is a price for becoming a leader of spirituality. The people who are at the zenith in the fields of sports and art have reached the zenith as a result of their hard work. It is not possible to reach the zenith without a certain program, intensive work and permanent discipline.
When we have a look at the Quran, we see that the prophets also underwent tough tests and trials. For instance, look at this verse:
“And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled; He said: "I will make thee an Imam to the nations.". (al-Baqara, 124)
As it is seen, Hazrat Hz. Ibrahim (Abraham) became a leader to people after passing the hard tests. In fact, prophethood is not something that can be achieved through hard work; it is completely a divine grace. However, this grace corresponds with the hard work and worthiness of the prophets. “Allah knoweth best where (and how) to carry out His mission.” (al-An’am, 124)
Doubtlessly, the difficulty of climbing a mountain of one thousand-meter high is not the same as climbing Mount Everest. It is necessary to undergo professional training and have certain abilities in order to climb to the peak of Everest. Besides, it is a well-known reality that not everyone that tries to climb Everest can reach the peak. So many people who started to climb Everest abandoned climbing half-way and so many people died while climbing.
The qualification of prophethood is not something that can be achieved; it is a divine grace; the qualification of ismah (innocence) is a special gift of Allah and an indispensable criterion of the prophethood.
As human beings, we have no right to share the qualification of the prophethood of the prophets; we do not have the right to demand to have innocence and other special qualifications that are necessities of their special position, either.
Not everyone is a prophet; not everyone can be innocent. Besides, Allah does not want innocent people because the existence of angels, who are innocent, does not leave place for the innocence of human beings. The reason why human beings have been created is to know Allah, to worship Him and to repent when committing a sin. If everybody were innocent, how would the manifestations of the names of Allah like al-Afuww (the Pardoner), al-Ghafur (the Forgiver), at-Tawwab (the Acceptor to Repentance) that show the pardoning, forgiving and accepting to repentance be known? We get to know His name, ash-Shafi (the Healer) through illnesses; similarly, we get to know His names denoting forgiveness through our sins.
However, it is a reality that prophets underwent more troubles, problems, misfortunes than anybody else and they endured them through their free will and welcomed those trials of Allah with consent. The trials of great people are great.
Prophets are not angels; they are human beings. Like other human beings, they also have souls and satans They always struggled against them. For instance, they got angry and annoyed due to the disrespect of people but they managed to overcome their anger. Our Prophet said the following in a hadith: “I had a satan, too, but he surrendered willy-nilly.” (Tirmidhi, Rada 17; Musnad, III. 309).
It is a wrong judgment to attribute the excuse of our sins to not being an innocent being; if we were innocent, we would not be tested, just like the angels.
“That Day will man be told (all) that he put forward, and all that he put back. Nay, man will be evidence against himself.” (al-Qiyama, 75/13-14).
Allah gives the duty of prophethood to whomever he wishes. However, He gave the duty to those who had the qualifications bear it. If somebody else had had been appropriate to bear it, He would have given the duty to him. That is, those who were not given prophethood did not have those qualifications.
The load that everyone can carry is certain. Why should a man who can carry 50 kilos be given 500 kilos to carry? Why should the burden of a plane tree be given to a young shoot? Allah gives that duty whomever He wishes. However, it is the necessity of His wisdom to give it to those who can do it.
The duty of prophethood is a grace of Allah but the prophets accepted it with their own will. They were not given it by force.
What sort of a religion is Islam?
Islam is a heavenly and the most perfect religion which Allah (SWT), the owner and creator of all beings, has sent as a mercy for all beings, conveyed it to Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) through revelation, and sent down the Holy Qur’an along with it. For the Holy Qur’an is the last of Holy Books and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the Seal of Prophets.
Islam is a universal religion. It calls the whole humanity for worshipping Allah Who is One and Only. He (SWT) never begets nor begotten. He (SWT) has no partner, match, and peer. He (SWT) is the possesser of all things. He (SWT) is free from defect. It is He (SWT) Who gives His servants welfare, Who keep them safe and watch them over. It is He Who creates, brings into existence, and gives shape. He (SWT) has got most beautiful names. Those on earth and in heaven are His possession and His creatures. He (SWT) is Most Powerful, and Perfectly Wise, All-Merciful and All-Compassionate. Everything and every creature is constantly in need of Him. Earth and heaven, and all well-arranged and wise beings come into the field of existence with His creation and will. All created beings show His knowledge, power and will.
Islam is a religion of peace and security. It takes its root in the tranquility of the social life. It embraces human beings with love and compassion, watchs over the oppressed, protects the poor, the impoverished, the needy, the ownerless, it enjoines justice. It approaches men with compassion and mercy. It respects human life at utmost degree. According to Islam, human life, property and chastity are sacred and untouchable. It does not meddle with individuals’ private lives. The secrecy and immunity of freedom of housing, correspondance, and speech is substantial. (An-Nur, 24/ 27-28) Muslim is a trustworthy person from whose hands, tongue and other parts nobody is hurt.
Islam is a light and mercy for all mankind. “Even disbelievers have made use of its mercy. Because of the promptings of Islam, the absolute unbelief and denial have been transformed into doubt and hesitation. On account of the reflection and influence that those promptings make on disbelievers, disbelievers are hopeful about the eternal life. Therefore their worldly pleasures and happiness would not be completely ruined, those pleasures would not be transformed into pains.” (Bediuzzaman, Masnawi, 80)
In the Qur’anic sense and Islamic tradition, words “Islam” and “Unity” suggest the same meaning. Hence, Islam is not only the religion of Muhammad (PBUH), but also is a heavenly religion which became the cause of all prophets. In just the same way, the Qur’an announces this truth as follows: “The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him).Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have surrendered.” (Al-Baqara, 132,133)
The Holy Qur’an attaches a special importance to men of science; “Are those who know equal with those who know not?” (Az-Zumer, 9), “The erudite among His bondmen fear Allah alone.” (Al-Fatır, 28), “Allah (Himself) is witness that there is no God save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness).” (Al-i’Imran, 18), “But those of them who are firm in knowledge and the believers believe in that which is revealed unto thee, and that which was revealed before thee, especially the diligent in prayer and those who pay the poor-due, the believers in Allah and the Last Day. Upon these We shall bestow immense reward.” (An-Nisaa, 162), “Say: Believe therein or believe not, lo! those who were given knowledge before it, when it is read unto them, fall down prostrate on their faces, adoring.” (Isra, 107), “And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it is the truth from thy Lord, so that they may believe therein and their hearts may submit humbly unto Him. Lo! Allah verily is guiding those who believe unto a right path.” (Al-Hacc, 54), “As for these similitudes, We coin them for mankind, but none will grasp their meaning save the wise.” (Al-Ankabut, 43), “O ye who believe! When it is said: Make room in assemblies, then make room; Allah will make way for you (hereafter) and when it is said: Come up higher, go up higher; Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks. Allah is Informed of what ye do.” (Al-Mucadele, 11)
Contrary to some religions and sects which put reasoning aside and silence people of contemplation, the Holy Qur’an gives men of knowledge and wisdom high ranks in the name of the religion and does not wish a blind imitation, instead encourages man into reflective thought.
Şener Dilek (Prof. Dr.)
What is the "Security of my Salvation" in Islam?
The most important one is the faith. Then, salat (prayer) and other worships come. Besides, refraining from the sins is necessary.
What should a servant do so that Allah would bestow him guidance?
Guidance is a light which Allah puts into that servant’s heart after that servant’s using his/her own free will.
Since the goods and the evils are from Allah, only Allah can guide (bestow faith) or make people stray from the right path. People can only be a cause for each other’s guidance and misguidance. Some persons, who misunderstand Almighty Allah’s creating guidance and misguidance, say “Guidance is from Allah, so man can not enter the right path if He does not bestow it” and they block the way of warning and guiding the others and they also want to show themselves excusable for their faults.
Let us first mention that it is acceptable that Almighty Allah bestows guidance to whom He desires. He is the only One who bestows happiness or gives misery to people. However, Almighty Allah’s creating misguidance at one of His servants (abd) is because of that servant’s misusing his own power of choice. Otherwise, if a servant does not direct his ability to the way of misguidance, Almighty Allah does not drive him to that way. The situation is the same for guidance, too. Since the Sustainer is only Allah, man expects the result from Allah after he makes all attempts and has recourse to the causes which are necessary for the sustenance. He can not regard his obtaining sustenance as certain just by having recourse to the causes in a perfect way. In the same way, a person who notifies Allah’s commands and prohibits in the most favorable way can not regard the result as certain. For, He is the only one who bestows the guidance. Allah bestows guidance to the person whom He desires mean; He bestows guidance to the person who complies with the conditions of the guidance if He wishes. Otherwise, it does not mean that “There is no need to comply with any of the causes that are necessary for the guidance”. That kind of opinion is compared to expecting to achieve product from the arable field without seeding the field.
A matter at that point should be explained. It is certain that a person who does not seed his arable field can not get any products and a person who complies with every cause, properly achieves the product with a possibility of ninety nine percent. There may be a calamity such as hail, torrent or drought with a possibility of one percent. Thus, the existence of a small possibility of not achieving any results is for the wisdom of man’s having recourse to the Divine Court and supplicating Him. The fact we have explained with this example is also valid for the guidance subject.
What is the state of the non-Muslims who are not informed about the religion of Islam?
Every human being is born with the fitrat (innate potential from creation) of Islam; there is faith in the human nature. For human has the capacity to know that not even a simple table can be made and built by itself. Even idolaters have known that a being created them, but they have not been able to know this being correctly and they have wrongfully tried to satisfy the need for worship in their nature through lifeless objects.
Just like it is not guaranteed that each human being born in a Muslim environment or in a Muslim family will definitely be Muslim, it, too, is not certain that everybody born in a non-Muslim vicinity or a family will be a disbeliever.
In addition, although He has given each human the reason to comprehend the truth, Allah states that He will not punish the people whom Islam did not reach. (The Qur'an, Al-Isra', 17:15)
Human has responsibility in accordance with being informed about Islam or not. In other words, this does not mean that everybody who is not Muslim will definitely go to Hell. So, then, what is it to be informed about Islam?
Fatrat (interregnum) means pause and interval. As a religious term, it refers to the time between two prophets.
In a hadith mentioned in Bukhari, fatrat refers to the time between Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon them). (1)
It is understood in some verses that the Arabs before Islam knew quite a little about the prophets that were sent to peoples. In the Qur’an, it is mentioned that the Arab idolaters said: “… Had it been the will of our Lord (to send us Messengers to warn us), He would certainly have sent down angels.” (2), and thus it is expressed how little they knew about messengership and therefore about the rightful religions.
Although the Arabs knew Prophet Abraham as prophet, they accepted that his prophethood was limited to his own time. Due to the three thousand years of time span between Prophet Abraham and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon them), there were not many who knew the decrees of the religion of Hanif conveyed by Prophet Abraham.
The scholars of Islam study the ahl-al fatrat (those who belong to the interval time) in three categories:
1. Those who contemplate and accept the existence and oneness of Allah with the help of his/her reason and intellect: Qus bin Saida and Zayd bin Amr, the father of Said bin Zayd who was given the good tidings of going to the Paradise, etc.
2. Those who tamper with and change the belief in one God and accept idolatry and those who invent religion at their own will and gather people around them: Amr bin Luhay who initiated idolatry among Arabs and other idolaters, etc.
3. Those who do not belong to either a positive or superstitious belief, neither believer nor idolater, and who passed their lives in ignorance, and who did not think about these matters. In the Age of Jahiliyya (the time of ignorance before the Prophet) there were such people, too.
Among these three categories, the second will go to Hell because they were idolaters. Those who fall into the third group will not be people of the Hell as they are truly the people of fatrat. This is because a prophet who would convey the right and the truth to them did not come to them and they did not show signs of unbelief; so they are among those saved. All the Ahl-u Sunnah (the mainstream Islamic belief) agreed on it. (3)
Qus bin Saida and Zayd bin Amr mentioned in the first category will, on the other hand, be resurrected in the Hereafter individually as separate ummah (community) by Allah, as they were believers in Allah’s existence and oneness among thousands of people, as they were not the community of any prophet because then no prophet was sent, and as they could not reach the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They are the people of salvation and they saved their eternal lives because of their faith. When resurrected, they will be present in the place of gathering on the Day of Judgment as “community of only one person”. These are ‘exceptional’ people and will be bestowed with Allah’s favors and benevolence.
It is obvious that the people of fatrat are not responsible for worship and religious decrees. However, there is a disagreement between the two sects of belief of Ahl-u Sunnah, Maturidi and Ash’ari, about whether they are responsible for believing or not. According to the belief system of Maturidi, those people must make use of the reason and intellect given to them by Allah and thus understand the existence of Allah by contemplating the heavens and the earth and what is between them. According to Ash’ari, on the other hand, the people of fatrat are not obliged to believe in Allah. This is because they were not sent a prophet. Allah says in the Qur’an: “We would never punish (a person or community for the wrong they have done) until we have sent a messenger.” (4). Therefore, they do not deserve punishment because they were not sent a prophet.
Bediuzzaman, an Islamic scholar who lived and published works in the 20th century, brings the mentioned verse as evidence and says:
“The people who lived in the time between prophets are among those saved. It has been stated unanimously that they are not punished for their mistakes in secondary matters. According to Imam Shafi'i and Imam Ash'ari, even if they are deniers and do not believe in the fundamentals of faith, they still are among those saved. For responsibility before God occurs through the sending of prophets, and when prophets are sent, responsibility is established through knowledge of their mission. Since heedlesness and the passage of time obscured the religions of the former prophets, they could not provide the proof for the people of that time. If they obey the former religion, they receive reward; if they do not, they are not punished. For since it was hidden, it cannot he a proof." (5)
Imam Gazali, an important Islamic scholar, studies the people after the messengership of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in three categories:
1. Those who did not hear about the message of the Prophet and were not informed about him, too. Those who fall into this group are definitely the people of salvation and will go to Paradise.
2. Those who heard about the message of the Prophet, the miracles he worked and his high ethics, but did not believe. This group of people will definitely be exposed to torment.
3. Those who heard the Prophet’s name, but did not hear about anything except for the negative propaganda, and nobody told them the truth and thus encourage them into belief; for these reasons, they stayed indifferent. I hope that they will also be among the people of salvation and thus go to Paradise.
Badiuzzaman, who states that at the end of time, a kind of fatrat is being experienced, points out that such kinds of innocent people who die in the world wars will also be among the people of salvation. Beadiuzzaman says:
“As at the end of time (akhir zaman), there came over the religion and the religion of Muhammad (PBUH) a veil of indifference to the degree of fatrat, and as at the end of time the real religion of Prophet Jesus will reign and will become shoulder to shoulder with Islam. For all these reasons, of course the calamities suffered by the Christians who follow Prophet Jesus are a kind of martyrdom for them.” (6)
1. Bukhari, Manaqibu'l-Ansar: 53.
2. The Qur’an, Fussilat , 14.
3. Tajrid-i Sarih trns, 4:544.
4. The Qur’an, Isra, 15.
5. Letters (Mektubat), 360-361.
6. Kastamonu Lahikası, p. 77.
Could you give information about being in a state between fear and hope?
The Quran has verses both giving good news to believers and to the ones who commit good deeds and verses frightening infidels and the ones who lead a life full of sins so that people will do good deeds and avoid harams (forbidden acts).
A person must be in a state between fear and hope. One must not be hopeless because of his/her sins and must not think that he/she will go to Heaven relying on his/her good deeds. He/she must continue to be a believer and obedient to Allah until the end of his/her life.
It is an indication of maturity for a person to continuously think of hell and control his/her acts and manners accordingly. However, hell must be remembered on condition that one will not turn his/her life into a hell on the earth and will not become hopeless of Allah. Therefore, it will enable people to judge themselves, thinking in every step they take “is this step getting me closer to Hell?”
Allah did not create some people for Hell. Contrarily, He created Hell for some people. For instance, a state builds a prison, but it does not build it so as to put certain people into it. It builds the prison so that whoever deserves will be put into. Similarly, Allah created Hell for people who deserve it. Otherwise, it would not be consistent with Allah’s justice and wisdom to say, “I prepared Hell for certain people”. This is because it would give those people the right of objection if they do not deserve Hell.
The name of Hell frightens many people and it must. However, we must always be alert as we do not know who will go into Hell.
Being between hope and fear is a balanced state in which every person should be. In fact, even if we are Muslims, it is still possible for us to die as infidels and go into Hell. It is also possible that Allah will let us repent no matter how sinful we are throughout our life and we can die as believers and go into Heaven. It is narrated that Abu Bakr stated: “If I hear a voice calling from the sky ‘All people will go into Heaven except one, who will go into Hell’, I fear that person can be me. Still, if I hear a voice calling ‘All people will go into Hell, except one, who will go into Heaven.’ I hope that person can be me.” A Muslim’s belief must be between hope and fear. Nobody can be sure of whether Allah’s punishment will come to them or not. One can only hope for His Heaven, seeking refuge in His mercy from His wrath and taking refuge in His forgiveness from His punishment. We should keep this balance too. We should hope that Allah will list us amongst the ones who will go into Heaven, worshipping Him properly and fairly.
Man is created in a nature that can do both good and evil deeds. For this reason, one can commit sins sometimes willingly, sometimes unwillingly. Allah indicates that He can forgive any sin, with this statement: “God forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases” (an-Nisa, 48,116).
It is stated in our books that a heartily repentance submitted to Allah will be accepted. In fact, Allah the Glorious states: “O ye who believe! Turn to God with sincere repentance: In the hope that your Lord will remove from you your sins and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow” (at-Tahrim, 8) declaring that He will accept repentances. The sincere repentance mentioned in the verse is described as follows:
1. Being aware of the fact that one committed sins against Allah, being regretful of them and seeking refuge in Allah.
2. Being sad for committing the sin, being consciously uncomfortable because of having committed such sins against Allah.
3. Being determined not to commit such sins again.
4. Asking for forgiveness from the person, if the sin is related to depriving him/her of his/her personal rights
Our Prophet states in a hadith about sincere repentance as follows:
- Regret for sins
- Performing fard (obligatory) prayers.
- Avoiding to behave cruelly and hatefully.
- Making peace with people whom we are crossed with or we have offended .
- Deciding not to commit that sin again.
We can be hopeful of Allah to accept our repentances if we act in compliance with those conditions, Allah willing. However, one always must be in a state of both fear and hope. We can neither rely on nor boast about our prayers, nor can we be hopeless of our sins. Just like it is so wrong to say “I am so good, I finished this job”, it is also wrong to say “I am done, Allah will not accept me”. Moreover, it is a great worship to understand one’s guilt, to repent and to seek refuge in Allah’s mercy.
By indicating verses from the Qur’an, can you prove that Islam is not a religion of terror; on the contrary, it condemns terror, anarchy, and mischief making?
The Qur’an has strictly condemned terror and has denominated anarchy and mischief as most horrible things. Islam prohibits any kind of terror, oppression, and treachery and opposes any kind of anarchy and ill conduct. Islam does not requite evil with evil. The religion of Islam has been sent by Allah Almighty in order to set up justice, to break the despotism and arbitrary oppression of fierce evil selves, to make human conscience temperate. Therefore, Islam is very sensitive about it. The Qur’an regards the murder of an innocent person as the most horrible murder committed against the whole of the humanity.
Allah Almighty announces, “He who kills a soul unless it be (in legal punishment) for murder or for causing disorder and corruption on the earth will be as if he had killed all humankind; and he who saves a life will be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind. (Al-Maidah Surah, 5:32) The Qur’an also curses any kind of mischief. The Qur’an draws our attention to the incitements and mischief-making of those who start discord, cause discord in the life of society, and sow discord while in power, and also clearly reveals the horror of mischief-making, and seriousness of discord: “When he leaves (you) or attains authority, he rushes about the land to foment disorder and corruption therein and to ruin the sources of life and human generations. Surely God does not love disorder and corruption.” (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:205)
The Qur’an has prohibited mischief. In Al-Baqarah, 217, Allah Almighty announces, “Mischief, tumult, and oppression are worse than slaughter.” (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:217)
In a Muslim’s soul, who makes use of these Qur’anic verses to full extent, there are no enmity, hatred and brutality. There is some kind of brotherhood even between his most fierce foe. A Muslim accepts the truth, which is, “we tolerate the creature just because of the Creator.” A Muslim is a defender of love. He has no time for hostility. In Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty draws the attention of believers to the prevention of damages to the worship places, by indicating that worship places are protected against some people as a result of the intervention by some other people: “Were it not for God’s repelling some people by means of others, monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques, where God is regularly worshipped and His Name is much mentioned, would surely have been pulled down (with the result that God is no longer worshipped and the earth becomes uninhabitable).”(Al-Hajj Surah, 22:40)
The Prophet Muhammad is a prophet of mercy and compassion. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty declares, “We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as an unequalled mercy for all the worlds.” (Al-Anbiya Surah, 21:107) The Prophet (PBUH) revealed all manners of good morality in the best way in his life and advised his community to be far from mischief. He ordered to be away from mischief in a remarkable seriousness and sensitivity:
“Beware of mischief! For at that moment, tongue is like the sword blow.” (Ibn-i Mace, Fiten, 24)
“Here is certain that there will appear mischief, diversity, and controversy. When this situation takes place, go to Uhud with your sword. Hit it on the rock until it breaks into pieces. Then remain in your home. (Never leave your home) till there is a sinful hand on you or death visits your house.” (Ibn-i Mace, Fiten, 24) Just before the Doomsday, there is mischief like the pieces of dark nights. During that mischief, a person reaches morning as a believer, but ends up in disbelief at night; he reaches night as a believer but ends up in disbelief in the morning. During that mischief, the one sitting is better than the one standing up. So break your bows, smash your arrows, and hit your swords on the rock. If they get into the house of one of you, be the better one of the two sons of Adam (be the killed one not the killer). (Abu Davud, Fiten 2, Tirmidhi, Fiten 33)
Why does the religion of Islam regard simple things like ghusl, pork and removing the hairs on the body as conditions of entering Paradise?
Islam is a religion that embraces the whole life and that takes every issue into consideration. The most important point that always needs to be remembered is the purpose of the creation of man. Man is a being that was created so that he would know the loftiness of Allah and would do all of his deeds in order to serve and worship Allah. Then, he should eat, wear clothes, lie down, stand up and have sexual intercourse with the consciousness of worshipping. If he intends to take the Prophet as an example in all of his deeds and practices what the Prophet did in daily life, his daily chores and deeds will be regarded as worshipping.
It is very good advice for man that the religion of Islam made ghusl, which cleans the body, fard and made eating the flesh of pig (pork), which is a dirty animal, haram.
The prerequisite of entering Paradise is to believe. Therefore, the issues mentioned in the question are not the basic conditions of entering Paradise. If a person has believed, he will enter Paradise after being purified of his sins in Hell even if he has committed major sins. Those who will stay in Hell forever are unbelievers.
Some of the decrees of Islam are regarded as fard and haram. A person who acts against them is regarded to have committed sins. Some of the decrees are regarded as adab (manners). A person who acts against them are not regarded to have committed sins and he is not tortured because of them; for instance, manners regarding eating-drinking, bodily cleaning, and starting doing something with the right hand. A person is not regarded to have committed sins when he abandons them.
The verse, “ …do good; for Allah loveth those who do good” (al-Baqara, 2/195) explains why Muslims pay/should pay attention to doing everything good and are advised to do so.
Are sayyids sinless? Does it provide them an advantage to have come from the descent of the Prophet?
The criterion for superiority is taqwa. The more a person makes progress in worshipping, the higher his rank gets. Therefore, a person gains value based on his taqwa even if he comesfrom the descent of the Prophet (pbuh).
All of the people except prophets commit sins and they might go to Hell. Therefore, it is wrong to regard sayyids as sinless and to see all of them as people of Paradise. If a person does not follow the way of Allah, he is a person of Hell even if he is a sayyid.
However, most of the sayyids served the religion of Islam very much throughout history. This caused them to be loved by both Allah and people.
Is it haram to receive and give interest in dar al-harb? Is interest permissible in non-Muslim countries?
According to Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad, it is not permissible for a Muslim to steal or grab the goods of other Muslims by deceiving them in a non-Muslim country; similarly, it is not permissible for a Muslim to steal or grab the goods of non-Muslims, either. Islam is a religion of tolerance and virtue; therefore, it prohibits treason, deceiving, immoral and bad things everywhere.
However, it is permissible for a Muslim living in the land of non-Muslims to receive interest from non-Muslims because receiving interest is not regarded as treason by them; it is normal. (al-Fiqhu alal-Madhahibil Arba'a, I/340. Fathu'l-Wahhab II/355)
According to the other madhhabs and Abu Yusuf, interest is forbidden everywhere. It is not permissible to receive it in dar al-Islam or dar al-harb. It is necessary for a Muslim to treat non-Muslims in the same way as he treats Muslims. (al-Fatawal-Kubra, II/238, Badayi as-Sanayi', IX/4378)
If somebody goes to a foreign land, for instance, to Europe, and finds something belonging to the state or to a person, he has to give it to its owner. (Hidaya, II/66)
The statement of Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad "It is permissible to receive interest from non-Muslims in dar al-harb"is more preferable. When a Muslims deposits his money, say, in a German bank (which is not appropriate), they will use his money earn money from it and if the depositor does not get the interest, he will not receive anything and what is more, he will be mocked by non-Muslims. (Halil Günenç, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar, 1/243-244)
Note :The view of Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad that itis permissible for a Muslim living in dar al-harb to receive interest from non-Muslims is based on the following hadith:
“There is no interest between a Muslim and a non-Muslim in dar al-harb." (Zaylai, Nasb ar-Raya, IV/44; Ibn Humam, VII/39)
Our citizens living abroad act upon this hadith and the view of Hanafi madhhab; therefore, what they do is permissible.
Turkey is dar al-Islam; it is not permissible to receive and give interest here.
Dar al-harb: country of war, country of unbelief, area of war; regions that are outside the political authority of Islam and whose administration regime and current laws are not Islamic. In Islamic law, the term dar al-harb is generally used to describe the land that is under the sovereignty of the administrators that are unbelievers and enemies of Islam. This term is not mentioned in the Quran but it is mentioned in hadiths. It is stated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Hadd penalties are not applied in dar al-harb." This statement is not present in Bukhari, Muslim and Sunan books. Hanafis accept this hadith as evidence but the other madhhabs do not. Az-Zaylai, who is a leading Hanafi fiqh scholar, says it is a gharib hadith. (Nasb ar-Raya, III, 343).
Islamic fiqh scholars classified countries based on the issue whether Islamic decrees are applied or not. Those who live in dar al-harb are generally called harbi. If harbis do not make an agreement with the administration of dar al-Islam, their blood and wealth are regarded as permissible. It is necessary for an unbeliever to become a Muslim or to make an agreement with the Islamic state if he wants his life and wealth to be protected. When a harbi enters dar al-Islam secretly and without asking for security, his blood and wealth are regarded as permissible if he is caught. When the region where a person who became a Muslim in dar al-harb used to live before he migrated is conquered, his possessions belong to him but his real estate is regarded as booty. (Mawardi, al-Ahkamu's-Sultaniyya, Translated by: Ali Şafak, İstanbul 1976, 57 ff; W.W.Hunder, İA, Dârü'l-Harb item.).
The Muslims who lived in dar al-harb and did not come to the Islamic land were regarded as individuals living in the Islamic land. When he wanted to migrate to dar al-Islam, he would not be protected. According to Abu Hanifa, he was not regarded as protected only by becoming a Muslim; he would put his life and wealth under security when he entered under the authority of the Islamic state. A Muslim is not punished due to a crime he committed in dar al-harb. For, the authority of the Islamic state is not valid there. He is not given hadd punishment in the world but the punishment of those crimes is up to Allah. (Abdulqadir Udah, İslam Ceza Hukuku ve Beşeri Hukuk, Translated by A. Nuri, İstanbul 1976, I, 520) However, there are various ijtihads regarding the issue. For instance, According to Imam Shafii, "What is halal in dar al-Islam is halal in dar al-harb, too. What is haram in dar al-Islam is haram in dar al-harb, too. If a crime is committed in dar al-harb, its penalty is not annulled." (as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, IX, 100; Imam Shafii, al-Umm, VII, 322).
Abu Hanifa acted upon the hadith "Hadd penalties are not applied in dar al-harb." According to Abu Hanifa, if a soldier commits a crime that necessitates hadd punishment in dar al-harb, the commander does not have the authority to apply hadd punishment there but when they return to dar al-Islam, the decree to be given by the ruler of the country or the judge is valid. According to Imam Malik and Imam Shafii, hadd penalties can be applied there. (Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, IV, 46).
If a Muslim finds a treasure in dar al-harb, it belongs to him. However, if a delegation or military unit that enters dar al-harb on behalf of the Islamic state finds a treasure, one-fifth of it belongs to Bayt al-Mal (the Treasury). (Ömer Nasuhi Bilmen, Hukuk-ı İslâmiyye Kamusu, IV, 103)
If Islamic decrees are fixed by definite nass (verses or hadiths), there is no disagreement about them. According to the majority of the fiqh scholars, it is haram for Muslims to buy and sell things on interest with harbis or other Muslims in dar al-harb. Interest was rendered haram by definite nass. Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad differ from the majority and regard interest transactions between Muslims and harbis permissible. According to them, Muslims can receive interest but it is haram to give interest to harbis. (Ibn Abidin, Bulaq 1272, IV, 188) Despite this ijtihad, it is better for Muslims to act in accordance with taqwa and avoid interest. The majority does not accept the hadith "There is no interest between a Muslim and harbi in dar al-harb" as evidence. They say it is not possible to act based on a hadith that is at the level of mursal* and gharib*. The wealth of harbi becomes halal through getting it as booty not through business. (Ibn Qudama, IV, 46).
Allah states the following:
"O ye who believe! When there come to you believing women refugees, examine (and test) them: Allah knows best as to their Faith: if ye ascertain that they are Believers, then send them not back to the Unbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them..." (al-Mumtahina, 60/10). It is understood from the verse that the reason why the marriage is invalid is not difference of the country but the difference of the religion. According to Hanafis, if one of the spouses migrates from dar al-harb to dar al-Islam as a Muslim or dhimmi, their marriage becomes invalid.
Regarding the Friday prayer, which is an indispensible principle of Islam, Hanafi fiqh scholars say, "The Friday prayer is based on the permission of ulul-amr (authority). If there is no ulul-amr, the Friday prayer is not fard. The view of the other madhhabs is, "The Friday prayer cannot be abandoned by any means." For, it is fixed by Quranic nass. On the other hand, Hanafis say Muslims can appoint a person among themselves and perform the Friday prayer if there is no ulul-amr. (Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, VII, 4983 ff)
Allah states the following: "When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (from evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell―what an evil refuge!―. " (an-Nisa, 4/97) According to what is understood from the verse, the real place of the Muslim is dar al-Islam, where Islam is practiced and Allah's decrees are dominant. It is fard for a Muslim to migrate from dar al-harb if he leads a troubled life under the oppression and tortures of unbelief, he cannot fulfill the orders of his religion, he or his descendants are forced to become unbelievers and he fears that he or his descendants will be forced to become unbelievers: According to this general decree, Hanafis hold the view that it is fard for a Muslim to migrate to dar al-Islam from dar al-harb in any case; Shafiis state that a Muslim needs to stay in dar al-harb if he can practice his religion openly and convey the message of Islam. (Said Havva, İslâm, I, 309)
However, if there is no dar al-Islam on earth that Muslims living in the countries of unbelief can migrate to or even if there is but the caliph does not regard it necessary for them to migrate and wants them to stay there, it will be their duty to try to do their best in order to practice Islam where they live. The order of the Prophet was decisive in the migration to Abyssinia, the country of the Negus, or Madinah. This is an instructive sunnah regarding migration of the Muslims from a dar al-harb to another dar al-harb where they can practice Islam more easily than the place where they live. We can show how a country is dar al-harb by determining some decisive qualities from the verses of the Quran. If the cruel administrators of the country pressurize and oppress the downtrodden people, if the non-Muslims crush the Muslims whenever they can, if the Muslims are expelled due to their faith and if they cannot live securely in any place except dar al-Islam, they have to migrate. (an-Nisa, 4/75, 91, 92)
That is, as Islamic fiqh scholars state, it is necessary for the Muslims living in dar al-harb to stay there and to try to make that land dar al-Islam. However, in that case, the unbelieving administrators will torture and oppress the Muslims and martyr them, inflicting upon them more oppression; therefore, migration is regarded more appropriate. This is understood from verses, hadiths and historical incidents.
The term dar al-harb is used for a country that is in a state of war against Muslims; the countries of war are given this name because they are dependent on an authority other than Allah and obey this wrong authority and because they are always in a state of war against Muslims. Contrary to the wrong opinion that Islam is always based on war, if they want peace, they can make an agreement with them based on certain conditions. Then, such countries are called dar al-ahd (agreement)*; they become subject to a different law from dar al-harb countries. There is no compulsion in Islam but there is jihad until the religion belongs only to Allah. If the unbelievers ask for security, their land is included in dar al-Islam in return for jizyah and they are given their rights and freedoms. The Islamic state makes jihad its basic policy in order to eliminate mischief from the earth but it does not harm those who want peace as long as they obey the terms of peace.
Imam Qasani states the following: "What is meant by dar used together with Islam and unbelief is not the nature of Islam and unbelief. What is meant is security and fear. If security belongs definitely to the believers and fear to the unbelievers, that land is dar al-Islam. If fear definitely belongs to the believers, that land is dar al-kufr. The decree is related to security and fear." (Imam Qasani, al-Badaius-Sanayi, Beirut 1974, VII. 131).
The issue of the transformation of dar al-Islam into dar al-harb was first discussed theoretically by mujtahids but when the Crusaders invaded Palestine and when Moguls invaded other Islamic countries, Islamic fiqh scholars dealt with the issue in detail. Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad said if non-Islamic decrees and rules became dominant in an Islamic country, it would be dar al-harb. Abu Hanifa said three conditions were necessary for an Islamic land to be transformed into dar al-harb. They are as follows: 1) The implementation of non-Islamic laws openly in the country. 2) The country becoming adjacent to dar al-harb without any Islamic country between them. 3) The Muslim and dhimmis lacking security of life.
When the Islamic countries were demolished by the barbarous attacks from the East, the imams stated the following: "All of the countries grabbed by the unbelievers today are Islamic countries. Even if the administrators are unbelievers, it is permissible to perform Friday and eid prayers there. As long as some part of the reason is present, the decree dependent on it remains. Everyone is performing prayers openly; fatwas are being issued. There is no basis/reason for calling these countries dar al-harb or dar al-kufr. As long as worshipping like calling adhan and performing prayers in congregation continues, such a country is dar al-Islam..." Acting upon analogy, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad say "If dar al-harb becomes an Islamic country with the implementation of Islamic laws, an Islamic country needs to become dar al-harb with the domination of unbelief and laws of unbelief." The mujtahids who support Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad say even if the Muslims are safe, this does not prevent that country from being dar al-harb and that between sovereignty and security, the priority needs to be given to sovereignty.
Abu Hanifa wanted to say that when a decree was based on a reason, the decree would exist as long as some part of the reason existed. The fiqh scholars who adopted his view used the hadith "Islam is superior; nothing is superior to it," (Bukhari, Janaiz 79) as evidence and interpreted sovereignty in a relative way. According to them, there may be some Muslims and dhimmis who have the security of wealth and life in an invaded dar al-Islam and in that case, that land does not become dar al-harb.
Can you Prove through Evidence from the Quran that Islam is not a Religion of Terror and Anarchy?
The Qur’an has strictly condemned terror and has described anarchy and mischief-making as most horrible things. Islam prohibits every kind of terror, oppression, and treachery and opposes every kind of anarchy and ill-conduct. Islam does not respond evil with evil. The religion of Islam has been sent by Allah Almighty in order to set up justice, to break despotism and arbitrary oppression of fierce evil selves and to make human conscience temperate. So, Islam is very sensitive about it. The Qur’an regards the murder of an innocent person as the most horrible murder committed against the whole of the humanity.
Allah Almighty announces: “…if anyone slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – IT WOULD BE AS IF HE SLEW THE WHOLE PEOPLE: and if any one saved a life, IT WOULD BE AS IF HE SAVED THE LIFE OF THE WHOLE PEOPLE… (al-Maidah, 32) The Qur’an also curses every kind of mischief. The Qur’an draws our attention to the incitements and mischief-making of those who start discord, cause discord in the life of society, and sow discord while in power, and also clearly reveals the horror of mischief-making, and seriousness of discord: “When he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But Allah loveth not mischief.” (al-Baqarah, 205)
The Qur’an has prohibited mischief. In al-Baqarah, 217, Allah Almighty announces: “Mischief, tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.” (Al-Baqarah, 217)
In a Muslim’s soul, who makes use of these Qur’anic verses to full extent, there are no enmity, hatred and brutality. There is some kind of brotherhood even between his most fierce foe. A Muslim accepts the truth, which is, “we tolerate the creature just because of the Creator.” A Muslim is a defender of love. He has no time for hostility. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty draws the attention of believers to the prevention of damages to the worship places, by indicating that worship places are protected against some people as a result of the intervention by some other people: “…For had it not been for Allah's repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down.” (al-Hajj, 40)
The Prophet Muhammad is a prophet of mercy and compassion. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty declares: “We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples” (al-Anbiya, 107) The Prophet (PBUH) revealed all manners of good morality in the best way in his life and advised his community to be far from mischief. He ordered them to be away from mischief in a remarkable seriousness and sensitivity:
Beware of mischief ! For, at that moment, the tongue is like the sword blow. (Ibn Majah, Fitan, 24)
“Here is certain that there will appear mischief, diversity and controversy. When this situation takes place, go to Uhud with your sword. Hit it on the rock till it breaks into pieces. Then remain in your home. (Never leave your home) till there is a sinful hand on you or death visits your house.” (Ibn Majah, Fitan, 24) Just before the Doomsday, there is mischief like the pieces of dark nights. During that mischief, a person reaches morning as a believer, but ends up in disbelief at night; he reaches the night as a believer but ends up in disbelief in the morning. During that mischief, the one sitting is better than the one standing up. So break your bows, smash your arrows and hit your swords on the rock. If they get into the house of one of you, be the better one of the two sons of Adam (be the killed one not the killer). (Abu Dawud, Fitan 2, Tirmidhi, Fitan 33)
Is it a sin to tell people wrong things without knowing about them?
This issue has two aspects:
1. If a person who is an expert in religion tells people something wrong by mistake, he is not held responsible.
2. If a person who is not an expert in religion tells people something wrong by mistake, he is held responsible because it is not appropriate for a person to talk about something that he does not know.
For instance, if an electrician makes a mistake while repairing an electrical device, he will not be held responsible. For, he has done his job. He has not made that mistake deliberately. However, a person who is not an electrician makes that mistake, he will be held responsible because has done it though he is not good at it.
Similarly, a person who is not an expert in religious issues may make a mistake when he speaks about religion; since he speaks though he is not very good at religious issues, he will be held responsible.
Is it appropriate to use the phrase Political Islam?
The phrase "Political Islam" is wrong; it is wrong in terms of concept, not grammar; it has no equivalent; for, there is only one Islam; its Book, Prophet and members are certain.
The basic resources of knowledge and decrees of Islam have been interpreted by scholars for centuries and the members of Islam act based on one or some of them and try to live like Muslims.
That there is one Islam does not make it necessary for the interpretations and practices to be of only one kind. There are madhhabs that are based on different interpretations in terms of both faith and deeds (acts that are in compliance with Islam’s rules of worshipping and life system). There are differences among the members of the same madhhab in terms of full or partial practice; however, these differences were not given names as “different Islams”; for instance, phrases like Maturidi’s Islam, Ash'ari’s Islam, Shafii’s Islam, righteous people’s Islam and sinners’ Islam were not used.
Islam does not describe only worshipping and afterlife; it also imposes some rules that believers have to obey in this worldly life and gives orders.
Acting upon this, nobody says “worshipping’s Islam” and “law’s Islam” by meaning the field of law.
Islam has orders and prohibitions related to politics too; it is not possible to separate Islam from politics as theory and belief. Some Muslims want political life to be arranged and applied according to Islam; and if they organize and work for it, it is not appropriate to call them "political Muslims" and their religion "political Islam".
There is only one Islam; some Muslims want to or can apply all of it while others can apply some of it. If it is necessary to give a name, it is not done by dividing Islam, or by diversifying it; it is done based on whether the application is complete or incomplete and whether it is based on this or that interpretation.
Those who make up the term “political Islam” use it to for different Muslim groups at different times, their organizations and activities. In recent past, they used political Islam for Hizbullah, Hizbuttahrir and Muslim Brotherhood. Now, they use it for al-Qaeda.If their religion is political Islam, what is the name of the religion of other Muslims? Is it non-political Islam? If it is so, what does it mean? Does it mean an Islam that includes no rule, order and decree about politics? Is there such an Islam? If the answer is “moderate, laic, secular Islam”, is it not “a political interpretation”? That is, there are two interpretations about the political aspect of Islam:
1. Islamic system (political system peculiar to Islam)
2. Contemporary political system "approved to Islam" emerging as a result of reconciliation of Islam with contemporary political systems.
Note that both are political and are based on the interpretation of Islam.
There are some people who scream, "Political Islam is dead! Long live moderate Islam!" and there are some people who write articles and books in order to base these screams but this statement expresses what is demanded not what has happened in my opinion. Roy, who wrote the book “Failure of Political Islam” acted upon the example of Iran and tried to prove that this ideology died; however, the thing that failedwas Roy's prophecy, not Islam, which was practiced in Iran also with its political aspect - according to them.
There is nothing like "Political Islam", which they wrongly call; how will it fail? What exists is Islam, which also includes a political dimension.
We can express it more clearly as follows:
Muslims cannot bargain with religion and say, "this part belongs to you and that part belongs to me". A Muslim is a person "who surrenders".
He surrenders to what?
He surrenders to Allah's order, will and consent. Allah orders us to perform prayers and fasting but He also prohibits interest, fornication, obscenity, bribery, oppression and tyranny.
A person who surrenders to Allah as a Muslim surrenders to Him without bargaining with his whole life, without dividing the rules of the religion, as much as he can. It is not possible to be a Muslim at home and a non-Muslim in the public realm. A Muslim’s main duty is to prevent the formation of a situation that is contrary to Islam (we can also say contrary to human rights and ethics) in the public realm; if he is not strong enough to do it, he lives as a Muslim in his private and public life without touching others; and if he cannot do so, he practices as much of it as he can; and he will be forgiven for what he cannot do - because it is beyond his power. Since this is Islam, to mention a different Islam by saying "political, moderate, laic, etc." means to try to cover the sun with something and it is not possible.
Hayrettin Karaman (Prof. Dr.)
What should the role of administrators in terms of realizing the unity of ummah (Muslim community)?
There are important duties for every believer in order to realize the unity of ummah; and in this task sharing, a considerable amount of responsibility belongs to the governors. However, the relationship between task groups is a chain cause-effect relationship; if there is a disconnection, no result can be achieved.
Scholars and opinion leaders should tell the importance of “crucial importance of the unity of ummah” to the people they can influence and thereby make the consciousness and ambition of the unity to settle. Now that it is people and their real representatives who elect the governors, they will not elect racists, separatists, ignorant and unwary people who are collaborators of unity enemies for important positions, especially for presidency. Even if they do so by mistake, they will change them without delay.
Thus, the administrators who want to keep their post will have to act in accordance with the belief and the demand of the public, without forgetting them even for a moment.
Scholars and opinion leaders will be alert on the actions that will harm the unity of ummah, give the warning in time and they will wake the ones who do not obey up using the moral authority they have and will take the legitimate precautions in order to correct the ones who go astray.
To sum up, this cause-effect chain must work uninterruptedly and without a problem in order to get a result.
Now that the topic is administrators, let us take notes of what comes to mind about the things they can do;
Right-minded, competent administrators who are supporters of the unity of ummah must be strongly knowledgeable about the reasons, solutions and obstacles of unity and benefit from the experts and intelligence as much as possible.
Senior administrators should know Arabic and English to be able to talk directly to their counterparts in the Islamic world and get in touch with them. Interpreters can be used when needed, but this cannot replace direct speech and negotiation.
In the first step, political union should not be the first target; the whole Islamic world’s being one homeland and one state should not be the first target. There are hundreds of steps to be taken for the union without a change in the political status of existing national states:
1. Contacts, exchange of ideas and negotiations should be had as frequently as possible.
2. Intelligence sharing should be done.
3. Defense cooperation agreements should be made.
4. Economic and trade relations should be maximized.
5. In the first step, a hard currency to be used among Islamic countries should be invented.
6. Science and technologysharing must be done.
7. An arbitration committee among Islamic countries should be constituted in order to solve the natural or planned baits, conflicts and prevent relations from being damaged.
8. “Islamic peace force” should be formed to bring the ones who go astray to reason and to defend and protect the ones who are attacked.
9. A joint military power ready to help one another should be formed in order to stop the imperialists who kill the administrators working for the union, set Islamic countries against one another through intelligence services, apply double standard in international relations and law, use power to discipline the Islamic countries that get out of their supervision and administration, and rely on their military force primarily nuclear power; this joint military power should be at least equal to and ideally superior to them.
10. No conflict and rivalry should be allowed in any issue especially primarily about leadership. On the contrary, competing in order to do good deeds, considering the most benevolent and the most beneficial thing as the most valuable thing should be adopted as a principle.
Will you give information about major and minor sins?
Islamic scholars express different opinions on whether there is a definite number of major sins. The majority says the numbers mentioned in hadiths do not indicate a limitation. When we look at hadiths, we see that the Messenger of Allah limits major sins as 3, 5, 7 at various times and places.
The word kabira (plural form is kabair) means major sin. Major sin is a sin that is described as a major sin by Nass (the Quran, the Sunnah or consensus of fiqh scholars) and that is punished with hadd punishment in this world or punished in the hereafter. The sins that are rendered definitely haram in the Quran and Sunnah, about which hadd punishment are determined or the sins that are regarded as reasons for punishment in the hereafter, are major sins; the others are minor sins. "Isyan (rebellion/disobedience)" and "ma'siyah (committing sins)" which are the opposite of ta'ah (obedience) and worshipping and "lamam (small faults)" used in the sense of minor sins are also used in the sense of kabira.
There is no disagreement among fiqh scholars that major sins were rendered haram.
“But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment.” (an-Nisa, 4/14)
The verse above and the hadith “avoid seven destructing sins” are clear evidence of it. The majority of the scholars divide sins into two as major and minor sins.
“If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you and admit you to a Gate of great honor.” (an-Nisa, 4/31) ,
“Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry even then forgive.”(ash-Shura, 42/37)
“Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, Only (falling into) small faults--verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness.” (an-Najm, 53/32)
The verses above are verses that show the differentiation between minor-major sins.
“Shall I inform you about the biggest sin?”
The hadith above is evidence of it from the Sunnah. There are also some scholars who say that all sins are sins, that there is no discrimination like minor-major sins and that the bigness or smallness of sins is relative. We should mention here that the sorting of the major sins among themselves are made based on the individual and social harms of the sins acting upon the statements in the Quran and hadiths.
Islamic scholars express different opinions on whether there is a definite number of major sins. The majority says the numbers mentioned in hadiths do not indicate a limitation. When we look at hadiths, we see that the Prophet (pbuh) limits major sins as 3, 5, 7 at various times and places. Acting upon the definition of major sin at the beginning, Imam Dhahabi determined all of the sins about which punishment is in question and which we are asked to avoid in verses and hadiths and found the number of the major sins as 76.
Some scholars limited major sins by using certain numbers. Acting upon the Quran, Ibn Masud says there are four major sins: Hopelessness, abandoning hope of Allah's mercy, feeling sure of the result of divine test and associating partners with Allah.
The famous major sins mentioned in other hadith books are as follows: disobedience to one's parents (not visiting them), bearing false witness, oppression in the region of Haram.
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami states that there are four major sins that the Quran forbids and that they are: unclean meat, pork, devouring the wealth of orphans and escaping from battle. According to the hadith mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim, the seven major sins are as follows:associating partners with Allah, sorcery, murder, devouring the wealth of orphans, devouring interest, escaping from battle and slandering a chaste woman.
It is understood from verse 48 of the chapter of an-Nisa that associating partners with Allah is the biggest sin: “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with him; but He forgiveth anything, else to whom He pleaseth.” In the hadith above, the first major sin is mentioned as associating partners with Allah. After that, disobedience to one's parents and bearing false witness are mentioned.
The End of Committing Major Sins
When a believer commits a major sin, he does not exit the circle of belief. If he dies before repenting, his state is up to Allah; if He wishes, He punishes him or forgives him.
The quality of justice/reliability of a person who commits major sins becomes invalid and his witnessing is not accepted.Qasani states the following: “If the sin of a sinner is big, his quality of justice becomes invalid until he repents.” Those who commit major sins are called fasiq since what they do necessitates fisq. Qarafi says those who commit minor sins will not lose their quality of justice unless they insist on committing sins and they cannot be called fasiq. In this context, the following statement of salaf is famous: “When a minor sin is committed insistently, it is not a minor sin; when a person repents from a major sin and asks for forgiveness, it is not a major sin.” Zarkashi lists minor sins that are committed continuously among major sins.
Pardoning of Major Sins
Pardoning of major sins varies depending on involving violation of individual rights and Allah's rights. For instance, the situation varies when drinking alcohol, which involves violation of Allah's rights, and slandering and theft, which involve both violation of Allah's rights and individual rights, are committed. Regarding major sins that involve violation of Allah's rights, it is up to Allah if the person does not repent. However, if both Allah's rights and individual rights are violated, the person needs to repent and the guard of the murdered person is given the choice of retaliation, receiving blood money or pardoning. Regarding crimes like theft, waylaying, etc, the general decrees about them are applied.
According to the majority of scholars, hadd punishment applied on a person who commits a major sin is not regarded as atonement; he definitely has to repent, too.
“If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you and admit you to a Gate of great honor.” (an-Nisa, 4/31)
Acting upon the verse above, the majority of scholars says when major sins are avoided, minor sins will be forgiven. The following is stated in a hadith:
“Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to the next Friday prayer is an expiation of the sins committed in between their intervals if major sins are not committed.” (Muslim, Taharah 16)
Ash'ari says Muslims agree unanimously that the Prophet (pbuh) will intercede for the committers of major sins in the hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following in a hadith reported by Anas included in Tirmidhi: “My intercession (shafa'ah) is for the committers of major sins of my ummah.”
We will end this writing by listing the major sins compiled from Dhahabi's book called al-Kabair, which includes the neatest information about major sins and which is accepted by the ummah. These major sins, determined by Dhahabi, are deeds that are prohibited by verses and hadiths. They include violation of rights; violation of either individual rights or Allah's rights. The forms of these violations change based on time and place. Therefore, we want to remind you that it is a grave major sin to siphon the public wealth, to violate the rights of people, to backbite, to slander, etc through mass communication media like televisions, newspapers, etc that address hundreds of thousands of people today.
Certain Major Sins:
To associate partners with Allah, to kill a person, to commit sorcery, to abandon performing prayers, not to pay zakah, to revolt against one's parents, To receive and give interest, to devour the wealth of orphans, to attribute lies to the Prophet (pbuh) (to fabricate hadiths), to break fasting in Ramadan without an excuse, to escape from battle, to commit fornication, to oppress and bully people (for administrators), to drink alcohol, tobe conceited (to regard oneself very important), to get above oneself, to boast, to bear false witness, to commit homosexuality, to slander chaste women, to steal from zakah money and public wealth, to grab people's money through illegitimate means, to steal, to waylay, to commit perjury, to tell lies, to commit suicide, to deliver an unjust judgment (for a judge), to resemble men (for women), to resemble women (for men), to commit hulla marriage (false, temporary marriage) and to get somebody else to commit it, to eat carrion, blood and pork, to racketeer, to act hypocritically, to betray Allah and His Messenger, to hide one's knowledge and to learn knowledge only for the world, to keep reminding others of one’s favors for them, to deny qadar (destiny), to eavesdrop on others, to curse, to oppose the state, to approve soothsayers, sorcerers and fortunetellers, to disobey one's husband and to act moodily toward him (for a woman),to break off relationship with relatives, to commit talebearing, to cry and beat oneself after a dead person, to swear at people, to go beyond the limits, to violate others' rights, to rebel using arms, not to accept major sins, to tyrannize and swear at Muslims, to tyrannize saints of Allah and to treat them as enemy, to show off with one's clothes due to his conceitedness, to wear gold and silk clothes (for men), to sacrifice an animal for anyone accept Allah, to change and remove the waymarks showing people the way, to swear at the notable Companions, to swear at anybody from Ansar, to call people to heresy or to start a bad custom, to frighten one's brother by pointing a knife etc at him, to call somebody else father deliberately, to believe in inauspiciousness, to drink from a silver or golden cup, to quarrel by deviating from the truth, to dispute, to wrong one's servants and to oppress them, to wrong people while weighing and measuring things, to feel secure from Allah’s punishment, togive up the hope of Allah’s mercy, to show ingratitude to someone who has done him a favor, to store extra water and not to give water to anybody, to cauterize the face of an animal, to gamble, to oppress people in the region of Haram (Makkah), to abandon Friday prayer and to pray alone, to peep Muslims secretly and to reveal their private issues.
Committing a major sin can sometimes be less evil than underestimating minor sins. For instance, committing adultery is an expression of being crushed by one's soul. On the other hand, looking at haram things all the time can be equal to fornication if it is underestimated. Similarly, a person can be as sinful as a man who wears women's dresses and dances in front of the people when he backbites others. A real human being needs to feel sorry for the sin of both looking at haram and backbiting throughout his life.
There is a sin bigger than all major sins: Not to be aware of what one loses. There are so many people who cannot improve spiritually probably because of underestimating minor sins.
Who abuses religion? What does to abuse religion mean? Which Islam exists in our life and to what extent?
We should often ask this question in terms reckoning our soul.
The question "Which Islam?" is important because of the movements, suggestions and comments that distort Islam under various foreign influences. A believer should check himself as often as it is necessary so as not to be alienated from the true Islam intentionally or unintentionally. Scholars and experts can learn and discuss the theological issues and the disagreements among madhhabs. For an ordinary believer, the criterion should be "Ahl as-Sunnah Islam"; and it is not difficult to learn it, to keep resources written according to all levels readily available and to ask the scholars if necessary.
Another question as important as this one is "how much of Islam exists in our lives".
The issue of how much of our lives Islam covers has been debated since we started to regard Islam as responsible for our own mistakes.
Islam encompasses every point of our lives; we cannot determine the scope of permissibility (free, not a sin or thawab, worldly affairs); Islam determines it. For this reason, the area of permissibility is also included in Islam; it is subject to the control and determination of Islam.
In that case, a believer has to know whether every step he will take is in compliance with his religion or not and has to act accordingly. It is called "istidlal" to refer to the resources and to try to understand it. When istidlal is completed, the stage of explanation and action starts; that is, the decree of religion is explained, and the decree that is known and explained is applied. A believer does it in everything; when it is necessary, he explains what he does and why. You cannot say, "You are abusing the religion" to a person who acts like that. On the contrary, it is necessary to say, "You are fulfilling your religious duty and worshipping."
What is abusing?
It is called "religious abuse" to use religion in order to deceive religious people, to be able to get easily what one wants from religious people and direct their love and hatred by a person who has some faults in belief and deeds and who does not normally act in accordance with religious rules.
Every believer, whatever his profession, position, rank is, acts in accordance with his belief without aiming to show off, to be noticed or to be praised under all circumstances; therefore, it will be a slander to say to him, "You are abusing religion."
The people who use religious rhetoric and actions in order to attain a certain purpose though their belief and normal life are away from religion are abusers of religion.
Hayrettin Karaman (Prof. Dr.)
Can a person who commits a lot of sins be called an unbeliever? When the word “deniers” is used, I generally understand those who deny the existence of Allah. Can it be understood in another sense, for instance, as a sinner?
Those who commit sins but who believe in Allah and His true religion are different from deniers, unbelievers, hypocrites and polytheists. They are not included in these groups even if they commit sins. They can only be called fasiqs. Even if they burn in Hell, they will not stay there forever. A person who has committed a lot of sins cannot be called an unbeliever. However, there is a way that goes to unbelief in each sin.
The statement "there is a way that goes to unbelief in each sin," expresses an important reality. A person who keeps committing sins gets used to that sin and cannot give it up. This habit leads him to bigger spiritual dangers day by day. He starts to believe that this sin will not have an otherworldly penalty and he even goes too far as to believe that Hell should not exist. That is, that seed of sin that settles in the heart can turn to a tree of oleander – God forbid. (see Badiuzzaman, Lem'alar, p. 7; Mesnevî-i Nuriye, p. 115)
It is necessary for a person to abandon this sin that necessitates repentance and to pull himself together so as not to be exposed to such a danger and not to be deceived by the hatred of Satan.
Will you explain the basic values that Islam orders to be protected?
There are many rights that Islam gives to people. The ones that are regarded as basic rights can be listed as follows: Life, religion, mind, property and lineage.
1. Right to Live:
The religion of Islam regards man as the best creature and includes protection of human life among basic principles. It is stated in the Quran that killing a person unjustly is a severe crime as if killing all people and that saving a person’s life is a lofty and valuable act like saving all people.
The Prophet (pbuh) addressed all Muslims as follows: in the Farewell Hajj:
"Just as this day, this month and this city is sacred, so too are your lives, property and honor sacred."(Bukhari, Ilm, 37, Hajj, 132; Muslim, Hajj, 147)
Thus, he stated that man’s right to live was untouchable. He stated the following in another hadith:
"Avoid seven destructive things. One of them is to kill a person that Allah renders haram except for justified cases." (Bukhari, Wasaya, 23; Tibb, 48; Hudud, 44; Muslim, Iman, 144; Abu Dawud, Wasaya, 10)
Even during the state of war, the killing of those who do not actually participate in the war like women, children, clerics and elderly men is forbidden.It is forbidden for a person both to kill another person and to commit suicide; they are regarded among major sins.
2. Right of Religion:
Everybody has the right to prefer a religion.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (al-Baqara, 2/256),
“To you be your Way, and to me mine...” (al-Kafirun, 109/6)
This issue is emphasized in the verses above. Non-Muslims are given the right to practice their religion under the domination of the Islamic state.
Mind is the most superior property of man. For, the things entrusted by Allah are accepted thanks to the mind and man can attain Allah's consent thanks to it. The source and root of knowledge (ilm) is mind. Knowledge is to the mind like fruit is to the tree, light is to the sun and sight is to the eye. What distinguishes man from the other living and non-living beings in the universe and what makes him superior is the mind.
The warnings that lead people to reason and to think in the Quran like “Think!”, “Do you ever not think?”, “Do they ever not think?”, “Look!”, “Do they not look?”, “O those who are sane! Take lessons!” show the importance given to mind.
Badiuzzaman said Nursi defines mind as the summary of consciousness distilled from consciousness and feelings, the most valuable possession of man, a luminous essence, a key that explains the secrets of the universe, a tool that examines Allah’s names and attributes that are manifest on the realm, a discoverer that decodes the secrets in nature, a divine guide that prepares man for the happiness in the eternal life, a wise gift to man that proceeds based on evidence and that shows man lofty purposes and eternal fruits, that is isolated from matter in terms of its essence but related to matter in terms of its deeds.
In order to protect such an important essence, the religion of Islam renders intoxicating alcoholic drinks haram and imposes penalties for those who do not act in accordance with this prohibition. In Islamic law, along with alcoholic drinks, all of the other substances that numb man and eliminate his ability to think and reason are regarded as haram and are strictly forbidden.
4. Property (Wealth):
The religion of Islam guarantees the right to own things.Islam wants man, who is the vicegerent on earth, to lead a life that fits the honor of humanity. Islam is not against being rich. It does not want wealth to be something that is circulated among the members of a certain group; it wants wealth to circulate among all people.
Our religion regards killing people a major sin; similarly, it regards grabbing and stealing things as a major sin; furthermore, it imposes a severe sanction on the crime of theft like amputating the hand.
The institution of marriage is necessary for the continuationand development of lineage. The continuation of human species and the preservation of lineage can be possible only through the establishment of the family institution, which is the building block of the community, with marriage. The institution of marriage based on a contract forms the essence of the Islamic community.
Our religion, which gives importance to a strong Islamic community, adopts having children and increasing the lineage and encourages it. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) said,
"Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will feel proud of your large numbers before the other prophets on the Day of Resurrection." (Ahmed b. Hanbal, I/412).
Hz. Zakariyya prayed to Allah for the continuation of his lineage as follows:
"Now I fear (what) my relatives (and colleagues) (will do) after me: but my wife is barren: so give me an heir as from Thyself - (One that) will (truly) represent me, and represent the posterity of Jacob; and make him, O my Lord, one with whom Thou art well-pleased!" (Maryam, 19/5-6)
In Islam, having children and ensuring the continuation of lineage is regarded as worshipping.Due to this importance, harming man in any way, through deliberate miscarriage, abortion, etc. is regarded as killing a living child. It is haram to kill a baby whose organs have formed in the uterus. For, when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) accepted the allegiance of women, he laid it as a condition "not to kill their children in any way". This condition is very important. The child is under the protection of the mother before he is born. However, after he is born, the father becomes responsible. In that case, the condition "not to kill their children in any way" is the condition of not killing the children (fetuses) in the uterus.
"O Prophet! When believing women come to thee to take the oath of fealty to thee, that they will not associate in worship any other thing whatever with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery (or fornication), that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood, and that they will not disobey thee in any just matter,- then do thou receive their fealty, and pray to Allah for the forgiveness (of their sins)..." (al-Mumtahina, 60/12)
Some circles claim that today’s wretched state of the Muslim World has been occasioned by the religion of Islam and therefore they stand against the religion. How should we respond to them?
There is a disease-like perception, which once used to be brought into the agenda so often and now recurring many times: To suppose that the religion is an impediment to the advancement and to look for the causes of Islamic countries being behind Christian countries in the religion of Islam.
I would like to point out some issues before responding to this claim, through which we could get to the first answer of the question.
At the times when the religion of Islam emerged, Muslims were subject to the oppressions and tyranny of polytheists, and afterwards set up a state and kept progressing up to the last century. The Era of Bliss being an era of faith, morality, justice, and welfare is the first evidence to that. Umayyad of Andalusia being a pioneer to Europe in science, and the wonders that the Seljuks and the Ottomans achieved in both knowledge and art are not to be overlooked.
Here we need to distinguish between the words Islam and Muslim. Those who progress or drop behind are Muslims, not Islam. Islam is what it is.
"This day I have perfected for you your Religion (with all its rules, commandments and universality), completed My favor upon you, and have been pleased to assign for you Islam as religion." (al-Maidah, 5:3)
Then we need to seek the answer to this question:
- Were we loyal to Islam more when we established empires or when we were behind?
Those who put forward Islam as a reason for Muslims’ staying behind need to speak about Islam itself rather than Muslims, and to set out by saying “these decrees of the Quran and these and those hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are hindrances for advancement” and to produce their evidences.
For example, they need to prove that prohibition of telling lies, tyranny, adultery, stockpiling, interest, backbiting, racism, in short, any sort of ill doing is a hindrance to advancement.
Those who blame Islam for Christians being more advanced than Muslims need to do one more thing, which is to search the Bible in order to find out the bases of today’s technology and material welfare and to say that "Muslims are backward since they have been deprived of those." This is something impossible. For, there is no single verse in the Bible with regard to neither the economic life nor the state management.
Having indicated one more point lastly, we shall move on to the answer of the question:
Those who put forward this claim need to prove that it is Islam which stipulates a kind of system of education which transform the hard-working, active, zealous, upright, patriotic people of previous times into the reckless, fraud supporting, lustful, selfish people of today.
Now let us try to give an answer to the question by basing it upon the views of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, the author of the Risale-i Nur:
In the work called Lemeat (Gleams) in the Risale-i Nur Collection, Badiuzzaman poses this question:
“Somebody once asked: Since ‘truth will prevail’ is the truth, why has the infidel prevailed over the Muslim, and force over right?”
The answer to this question is given from four different aspects but satisfactorily.
He first dwells on causes and draws our attention to the fact that causes and reasons coincide with each other in this world of wisdom. Be it Muslim or disbeliever, whoever meets the preliminary conditions of the achievement they expect and observe their causes and reasons will have the success. It is clear how to benefit from a tool under what conditions, with what techniques, and with what kind of planning. Whoever observes these rules and carry out causes will have the success.
The word force in the question above is mentioned as follows,
“Force possesses a truth; there is an underlying meaning in its creation.”
If you want to be successful and to get the better of your adversaries, you need to try to be powerful. For power also possesses a right. Those who take hold of the power are most likely to come out as winners. If you make wood and steel collide, it is obvious that wood will smash.
Secondly, he handles the question with regard to the qualities in man. All beautiful qualities have been mentioned in the Quran, and have been put into practice most perfectly by the Messenger of Allah. However, a Muslim may not be able to demonstrate them in his/her practices considering the factors of evil-self, Satan, the corrupted state of the society and so on. Again, a non-Muslim may have some fine manners because of the education s/he has received and of social structure. These are his/her Muslim qualities. What clashes with each other are not the beliefs in hearts but these qualities.
Let us give an example from the life of commerce: The qualities such as knowledge, uprightness, the order of working, having principles have direct impacts on the outcome of commerce. If a non-Muslim possesses these qualities and again if a Muslim lacks these qualities, it is most probable that a non-Muslim be wealthier than a Muslim is. Here, a non-Muslim does not get the better of a Muslim, but Muslim qualities get the better of non-Muslim qualities. However, finally, the truth prevails in the realm of attributes. He proceeds to make another comment, which broadens our horizons:
“Furthermore, in this world the right of life is general and all-embracing. It is a universal mercy that has a meaningful manifestation, a wise inner purpose, which unbelief does not impede.”
The right of life is general and all embracing. That is, in this respect, there is no difference between a believer and an unbeliever, a human and an animal. Whoever has been given life is also given sustenance. Sustenance is given not to belief or worship but to life. The right of belief and worship is the eternal bliss in the Hereafter.
Setting out from here, we can continue as follows:
There are different mirrors and different places for each name of Allah Almighty. Most of them are not related to the faith of an individual. For example, if a farmer who wants to get more shares from the manifestation of name the Sustainer (ar-Razzaq) meets the necessary conditions, he will enjoy more crops in his field. Here the faith of the person does not matter at all. Again, a person who wants to enjoy the manifestation of the name the Healer (ash-Shafi) on himself/herself takes the useful medication for his/her illness. His/her faith is not to be taken into consideration either. Because this person has known how to require the manifestation of this name and in return healing has been bestowed upon him/her. Someone who does not take this procedure might not heal even if s/he is a perfect believer.
Thus, if a Muslim wishes to make use of the manifestations of divine names, s/he must be a mirror worthy of those manifestations. If s/he does not do that, s/he gets nothing. However, the same believer becomes a candidate for the Divine bounties in the realm of the Hereafter by engaging in worship, good deeds, and sincerity.
A person who does not fulfill these conditions cannot get his/her share from Paradise no matter how much successful s/he may be.
In the same place, he calls on our attention to the third point of the issue:
He says that Allah has two separate systems of laws. One of them is the decrees of the Quran, which puts man’s actions into order pertaining to will. The other one is the laws that arrange the order of the universe and the objects in it. The first is Sharia. The second is called code of laws pertaining to the worldly life, which is the second type of Sharia. The laws of nature are from this second type of Sharia.
It is stated that those who obey or oppose the decrees of the Quran will get their reward or punishment mostly in the Hereafter, and those who conform or not with the code of laws pertaining to the worldly life will be rewarded or punished in this world. Thus, those who do not act in accordance with the code of laws pertaining to the worldly life suffer from poverty, wretchedness, and misery. As for a non-Muslim who conforms with these rules in accordance with the Divine will even unknowingly, s/he receives his/her reward in this world.
These three issues are basic factors for success or failure. And most of the events are explained with one or a few of them. Nevertheless, sometimes we may fail to achieve our goals although we have done everything necessary. Here we are obliged to seek a hidden aspect of mercy of divine ordaining. Now in the fourth part of the answer, he points to this issue and draws our attention to the divine determining and will.
In the fourth point, he suggests that unbelief gets the better of the truth, assists and strengthens the flourishing of the truth.
This point is important in this respect:
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says in a hadith, “Most of the troubles come to prophets and to the other beloved servants of Allah (SWT) in accordance with their degrees.” That most of the prophets were insulted, driven away from their homes and inflicted torture upon comes true with a Divine wisdom. The hardship they face, as Badiuzzaman puts it, is like worship. The worship which is based on the principle of patience, trust in Allah (SWT) and is quite hard to endure deserves an enormous reward. With these hardships, the prophets and the beloved servants of Allah Almighty progress spiritually and, besides their Divine causes, gain the heart of people even if late. While those who oppressed them are tortured in their graves, their communities live and let, live the truth on earth.
Just as day and night are of use differently in the growing of a plant, so too are effects of the manifestations of Glory and Beauty of Allah in the growing up of human spirit.
This is a Divine wisdom. Hardships and calamities that hit the friends of Truth have nothing to do with the first three points.