Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

February 2008
Cover Story Muslim Economy The Muslim World Community Round-Up Editorial Bouquets and Brickbats Update Muslim Perspective Feature Western Viewpoint Travelogue Muslim & Education Interview Profile Inter-Faith Relations Quran Speaks to you Hadith Our Dialogue Fiqh Soul Talk Reflections Women in Islam Islamism vs West Children's Corner Response Feature From Darkness to Light Miscellany Book Review Society Matrimonial Discover Yourself
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Bouquets and Brickbats


I congratulate you on your editorial ‘Sacrifice or gastronomical bonanza’ (Islamic Voice, January 2008.) The letters that appear on the same page are very thought-provoking. When will our community wake up from its slumber?

Nah samjoghe toe mit jaoege aye Muslmanon, Tumhari dastan tak bhi nah hogi dastanon mein-Iqbal.

(O Muslims, you would be erased from the face of the earth if you do not wake up. Even the history would refuse to record your saga.) Are the Muslims listening?


Dr. Naik on Sania's Dress

In a news item, sometime back, Dr Zakir Naik is reported to have said, “Everyone has different levels of modesty. There were tennis players who wore long skirts and performed just as well. But personally, I support Sania Mirza as she prays five times a day, so the skirts she wears can be ignored.”

I admire the Dr. Naik and his speeches. But that should not mean that everything he says is sacrosanct. He is human after all, and prone to errors. Let us therefore examine his reported quote in Qur'anic light and see whether it is in conformity with the divine guidance. For, the Qur’an  calls those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed as suppressors of Truth, oppressors and transgressors [verses 5.44, 5.45 and 5.47].

Allah has indeed given mankind the freedom, in this life, not to go by the way laid down in the Qur'an. By giving the freedom, Allah is only testing mankind. So is Sania being tested. If she fails the test, the responsibility for the consequences is entirely hers. But the matter of punishing her, for any breach of the divinely laid down dress code, lies with Allah. Since she comes from a country, and goes to such countries to play tennis, which have nothing against her dress in their penal codes, Muslims can do nothing legal to prevent her from wearing her short dress.

Nevertheless, since Sania Mirza has gained fame and wealth, she has become an icon, and her actions are liable to be copied by others. Other Muslim girls may think, if Sania can do it, why not they? Muslim scholars are therefore duty-bound to examine her actions, and publicly condemn them if they are against divine stipulations.

Verse 24: 31 clearly lays down that a woman should so cover her body as not to display its charm in public. She is moreover asked, in that verse, not to stamp her feet so as to reveal her hidden charm. As anyone can see, Sania, playing in full public glare with her short body-clinging dress, is clearly contravening those divine stipulations. Muslim scholars are duty-bound to bring this fact to the notice of all Muslims the world over, although they are in no position to prevent her from continuing to play thus.

In the circumstances, it is surprising that an eminent Islamic scholar like Dr Zakir Naik should say the skirts, Sania wears, can be ignored. She may be praying five times a day, but Allah condemns those who obey some divine stipulations, and disobey others [refer verse 2.85].

Mohammad Shafi Aga

Missing PBUH

Thanks to the team of the Islamic Voice, it is improving by every issue. However let me bring to your notice a slip in December 2007 issue (article ‘Mapping up the right way’ by Adil Salahi). Either the author or the proofreader, has missed to insert the words ‘peace be upon him’ for at least 15 times. According to a hadith of Al-Tirmidhi no. 430 narrated by Ali ibn Abu Talib, the Prophet (pbuh) has said: A miser is one who does not involve blessing upon when I am mentioned in his presence.

I would suggest an article should be included on the unprofessional working of Muslim trusts and NGOs. It is my observation that salaries paid to the staff are below subsistence level.

M. A. Shaikh
Laxmi Park, Pingle Wasti, Pune-411036.

Editor replies: Normally, as a standard norm of editing, we attach ‘peace be upon him’ only when the holy Prophet’s name appears for the first time in the article. Repeating the ‘pbuh’ as many times as the Prophet’s name appears would not only requires more space but would also impinge upon the readers’ time. The readers are required to bless the Prophet on subsequent appearance of his name.

Great Crowds, few Hajis

We are back from the Hajj.  The Hajj went of very well, without any mishaps and illnesses. 

It was distressing to see too many people constantly indulging in videography/photography from their mobile phones and other gadgets of themselves and companions.  They did not spare even the small and congested, and most sought after area of Riyazu-ul-Jannah.  Nor did the graves of Jannat-ul-Baquee give them any Ibrat.  The crowds of the Tawaf and pace of Sai did not deter them.  The very precious moments of Arafat too were squandered in videography. The holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah were treated like picnic camps.

Makkah and Madinah are not tobacco-free!  There are smokers in the precincts of the two holy mosques too. The Jamarat had its share of smokers.  One wonders if they were stoning the satan or following it!

There is a hadith which states that “... in later times there will be lot of people at pilgrimage sites but not a single Haji ...”.  May be the above details are an indication of this hadith and coming of the later times.  May Allah Almighty Guide us all. Ameen!

Sameen Khan

Verify Facts

This is with reference to many articles that are published in Islamic Voice. Please take care to give reference to Hadith wherever the Prophet’s traditions are quoted. In the case of the January 2008 issue, you have said “World’s Largest Mosque is in Pakistan” on page 38. This is not so and is not true. In fact the Masjid-e-Nabawi in Madinah can accommodate 3,00,000 people and more. Please verify the facts before publishing anything. In the same issue on page 27, you have a sketch of a man prostrating towards East for Sajdah Sahu, while Makkah for the sub-continent is in the West. Such minute details should be taken care of in an Islamic paper.

M. Ali