Volume 15-06 No:174
Salat Timings in Antartica
Is Hateem a part of Kabah ?
Author of Kalki Avtar
A. 1. In extraordinary circumstances like when one is on board a plane, he has to face the direction of Ka’bah as far as possible at the time of starting the Namaz. Though Ka’bah is thousands of feet below when you are flying, you do not have to lie face down, to face the Ka’bah. Similarly while on moon, you can face towards the earth without facing upwards. The above answer holds good for people present on one hemisphere i.e. one half of the surface of the moon as there is always one face of the moon that faces the earth. It is because both the rotation of the moon and its revolution around the earth take equal time. For the other half, which never faces the earth, Shariah has always emergency solutions for the extraordinary circumstances. For example: “When faced with fear, pray on foot or while riding (in whatever postures possible) and when you are restored to safety, remember Allah as He has taught you what you did not know (i.e. pray again in the normal mode of Salat)” (2:238). Similarly, when it is not possible to turn towards Ka’bah while riding (a vehicle), the Fiqh rule is to offer Salat facing any direction; for the Qur’an had made it clear: “To Allah belongs the east and the west. Whichever way you turn, there is the face of Allah. He is Omnipresent and All-knowing”. (2:115)
A conclusion may therefore be drawn that on the other face of the moon that never faces the earth, one may turn to any direction to offer Salat. Let us pray and hope and make efforts that these hypothetical situations might become real and Muslims by coming to the forefront of scientific fields really need such extraordinary solutions.
2. Antarctica does not have 24-hour periods broken into days and nights. At the South Pole, the sun rises on about September 21 and moves in a circular path upward until December 21, when it reaches about 23.5 above the horizon. Then it circles downward until it sets on about March 22. This “day,” or summer, is six months long. From March 22 until September 21, the South Pole is dark, and Antarctica has its long “night,” or winter. This is a general fact about Antarctica, but it happens only at the exact and extreme South Pole (a very small part of Antarctica) that there is 24 hours light for six months and 24 hours darkness during the Antarctic winter. Antarctica is a huge continent, its area being more than India and China combined. In most parts of Antarctica, this phenomenon (24 hours light or 24 hours darkness) occurs only for a few days around December 21 and July 22 respectively. For example in November, there is 20-21 hours day and 3-4 hours night in most part of Antarctica. We also must know a few more facts before considering the actual occurrence of the hypothetical situation in question.
98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which in some places is as much as 3 miles thick. South Pole mean annual temperature is -58 F. The world’s coldest naturally-occurring temperature (-1290F) was recorded at Vostok, Antarctica. Antarctic winds (called katabatic) have been recorded at speeds in excess of 200 mph - the strongest on Earth. Because of these extreme conditions, it has no indigenous human inhabitants. There is no record of primitive humans or a native group. Approximately 2,000 people live in Antarctica in the summer (about 800 of them stay the year-round). These 2000 people do not live at exact South Pole, but at places where there is some hour’s darkness in 24 hours in summer. Till now the people who have reached there do not care to offer Salat.
But our inquirer is very imaginative and he rightly presumes that Insha’llah the people living there in the near future shall be Muslims. Even if they do live at some distance from the exact south pole, they will at least have to encounter some days around 21st December when there will be no darkness and some days around 22nd July when there will be total darkness. Of course, our Namazi brothers shall also visit the exact South Pole and stay there for a while for scientific experiments. There is another problem also. Shall they offer five prayers (Fajr to Isha in a span of 3-4 hours light in 24 hours in winters? Will their fasting be of 3-4 hours duration in winters and of 20-21 hours in summers? What will our Muslim brethren do for their prayers and fasting in Antarctica? The Shariah has a ready solution for them and the Prophet (Pbuh) had given us a solution for such extraordinary circumstances more than 1400 years ago.
Remember, there are extraordinary solutions for extraordinary situations in Shariah. The Prophet (Pbuh) gave us a solution for prayers and fasts in Antarctica when he answered to a query of the Companions who were worried about prayers in the Days of Dajjal, the Anti-Christ.
The Prophet (Pbuh) was telling about Dajjal when the Companions asked: “O Prophet, how long will he stay on earth”? He replied, “Forty days; and one of those days will be equal to a year, another day will be equivalent to a month, yet another day will be of a week’s length, while the rest of those 40 days shall be like your ordinary days”. The Companions asked, “O Prophet, Will our one day’s Salat suffice on the day that will be equivalent to an year”? “No”, the Prophet (Pbuh) answered, “It (the Salat times) will be estimated according to the estimate (of the present day at Madinah)”. (Muslim, Tirmizi)
It may be deduced on the basis of the above Hadith that in the regions where there are days of extraordinary length, the day shall have to be estimated as per days of the permanent homeland of the Namazis or the days of Madinah for the purpose of ascertainment of prayers.
3. Unlike South Pole, there is no land at North Pole. South pole is a huge island surrounded by sea while the North Pole is sea, surrounded by land. So in the extreme Northern sphere, the human habitation is at a distance from actual North Pole.
The world’s most northern city with a population over 1 million is St Petersburg located at 59 degrees 57' North (roughly on the same latitude as Oslo, Norway, the southern tip of Greenland and Seward, Alaska). Due to such high latitude, the sun does not go under the horizon deep enough for the sky to get dark. The dusk meets the dawn and it is so bright that in summer they do not turn street lighting on. If the weather is cloudy, you might not see any White Night, though on a clear day you can get a feel for a White Night even in mid-July. From late May to early July, nights are bright in St Petersburg, but the real White Nights normally last from June 11 to July 2. The days and nights there are of 3 months duration approximately, but the 3-months day does not mean that there is no darkness during those three months. Even during the White Nights period, the night can be separated from the day in each 24-hour period. The Fiq’h scholars of such areas may estimate the day according to the solution given in the above answer if Ramadhan falls during mid-summer or mid-winter when the days are very long or very short.
A. There are many Hadiths about Hateem. One of them is following: “Narrated Ayesha that the Prophet (Pbuh) said to her: Had not your tribe been close to the era of ignorance, I would have ordered to demolish the present building of Ka’bah and (would have rebuilt it) by including the part they had left (i.e. Hateem), and brought down its door to the ground level. I would have built two gates of the House of God, one on the east and one on the west and by doing that would have re-established it on the true Ibrahimic foundation”. (Bukhari)
The above Hadith indicates that Hateem was originally included in the Ka’bah structure when Hazrat Ibrahim built it. The Prophet did not demolish Ka’bah to rebuild it in the greater interest of Deen as he sensed that the new Muslims would not tolerate any amendment in the then present structure of Ka’bah. Later, on the basis of the Prophet’s testament, Hateem was included twice in the Ka’bah building and each time it was restored to the present state by the then ignorant rulers. It was then advised by the scholars that it should be left as it was for fear of becoming a game of demolition and construction by people of different faiths based on their knowledge. The Prophet (Pbuh) let Hateem out of Ka’bah for fear of people’s sentiment. Had Allah willed so, he would not have cared for people and rebuilt Ka’bah. Twice it was rebuilt on true Ibrahimic foundation and each time restored to the present state. Again, the scholars of Ummah decided to leave it as it was though they knew that the Prophet (Pbuh) wanted it on the Ibrahimic foundation. And finally even after unanimity among scholars of the present day that Hateem is a part of Ka’bah, there is no talk of remoulding it on the original Ibrahimic foundation! Don’t you see Allah’s wisdom and kindness to us in this sequence of events? I do. Had Hateem been included in the Ka’bah structure bounded by wall, I would probably not have been allowed to enter inside the Ka’bah. As it is, when I went for Hajj, I unobtrusively entered inside the Ka’bah (i.e.) Hateem many times and offered prayers. Billions of common Muslims have entered into the Ka’bah over the centuries. They would not have been allowed to do this, for safety considerations of the structure, had Hateem been part of the Ka’bah structure. It is Allah’s Benevolence for His bondsmen.
“Narrated Ayesha that she told the Prophet (Pbuh) that she wanted to enter into the Ka’bah. The Prophet (Pbuh) took her to ‘Muqaam-e-Hij’r’ (Hateem) by holding her hand and said: When you intend to enter into the Ka’bah, (then remember that) this too is part of Ka’bah”. (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, Ahmad, Nisai)
A. Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay has written four books on the topic including the one you have referred to. The original books are in Hindi. When they were first published from Allahabad U.P., the names of the printers and publishers were fictitious so that the writer could not be traced. For almost a decade, the subsequent editions were not printed but then some Muslims reprinted it without the permission of the author. Later some Muslim publishers published them with the permission of the author. Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay is presently the head of the Sanskrit department in Punjab University, Chandigarh. The four books are still in Hindi. A translation of one of his books Narashansa and Antim Rishi (giving proofs from the Vedas that Narashansa of the Vedas is the Last Prophet Muhammad) was made in Urdu without the author’s permission with substantial changes from the original and published under the title Narashansa and Akhiri Rasool. No other translation of any of his book in any language has been published to my knowledge. I personally know that some translations in Urdu and English have been made with the intention of publishing them in the form of books but none has come out yet. It will be better to seek permission of the author (who may readily give it) and publish his works in many languages, for all the four books, coming from a Hindu scholar are invaluable from the Dawah point of view.
A. A draw becomes gambling when the participants’ money is used to give prizes to a few. When the organizers of an event or an institution give away prizes to a few whether on the basis of skill or simply a draw out of the participants’ earnings or profits, it is not gambling and is permitted. When the depositors are permitted to withdraw their capital at will, without any deduction, any draw held by the bank in question is permitted.