Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

March 2008
Cover Story Muslim Economy Minarets The Muslim World Islamic Economy Campus Round-Up Editorial Bouquets and Brickbats Community Round-Up Western Viewpoint Social Networking Survey Muslim Perspective Interview Quran Speaks to you Hadith Our Dialogue Fiqh Soul Talk Islamic Voice Debate Women in Islam Low Self Esteem Opinion Children's Corner From Darkness to Light Book Review Miscellany Society Matrimonial "Discover Yourself"
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Bouquets and Brickbats

Tennis Dress
M. Z. Chida

I fully agree with contents of letter by Shafi Aga (Islamic Voice, January ’08) Praying five times a day does not mean other restrictions are removed. In Melbourne, after winning the semi final, Mirza,  with gay abandon, embraced her male partner and the photo was splashed in all leading newspapers in India. Does offering five time prayer permit this also? I have not seen a Western woman player do this?

I beg to differ with Mohammad Shafi Aga on Dr. Zakir Naik’s opinion on women’s tennis dress. If we go through the statements made in the media, it is not just Dr Naik who has spoken on this issue. Other prominent religious scholars like those from the AIMP Board, Islamic centre New Delhi, are reportedly not opposed to on the court dress of the tennis player. Scholars’ opinions may widely vary depending on how they recommend an injunction to be practiced, to the letter or in its spirit.
The Prophet, peace be upon him. permitted Abubakar to let his robe trail since he was not doing it out of pride. He made this comment when he saw Abubakar constantly pulling his robe and tucking it in to prevent it from trailing. Abubakr was trying to follow the commandment on trailing clothes to the letter whereas the Prophet’s remark amounts to advising him to follow it in its spirit. There were several other occasions when the Prophet wanted the companions to follow his commands in spirit, rather than in letter.
Against this background, it is not quite correct to liken a girl playing tennis, moving over the court and stamping her foot to return a shot with a woman displaying her charm and stamping her feet, perhaps with anklets, to attract men. Furthermore, it is a misplaced concern that a high profile tennis player will set a bad precedent for our girls since, majority of our girls do not even have a remote chance to indulge in such an exclusive sport. Decades ago a girl from an elite Muslim family of a civil servant became a first class Bharathnatyam dancer at the age of ten. She went on to become rich and famous. But what did not happen was, taking this artist as icon; girls from Muslim mohallas did not end up as classical dancers. Being a sports person or an artist requires inborn talent and aptitude and one cannot achieve this stature just by copying another.
If our religious leaders truly care for the Muslim girl child, they would rather work to solve the present problems of our girls. Today young adolescent Muslim girls from poor families are being married off in large numbers to very old men from abroad leaving them with an uncertain and bleak future. Instead, the girls’ parents get a tacit support from certain qazis, who, with their narrow interpretation of the shariah benevolently permit such marriages. It is here, that the spirit of the law assumes even greater importance. I agree with Mr. Shafi that, no one else is answerable to Allah in the case of the tennis player, but in the case of the young girls, whose lives are ruined by these unworthy marriages, surely Allah will bring to books all those who are a party to their misery. Anyone who wants to show genuine concern for our women folk should first develop the sense of priority.

Dr A. Ahmed

Reservation for Dalit Muslims
M. Naushad Ansari

This is reference to the Supreme Court’s poser if there are any castes among Muslims. Though Qur’an prohibits practice of any forms of caste system, Indian Muslims follow some sort of stratification which runs along socio-economic cum ethno-territorial lines.  The Islamic jurists, following Hanafi doctrine of kufu, legitimized caste system and categorized Muslims in three broader groups namely Ashraf, Ajlaf and Arzal.  The population of OBC Muslims is as much as 75 per cent of the total Muslims’ population.  As such, principle of justice and equality demands that the benefit of reservation should be extended to dalit Muslims also.

Blunt Criticism

I was rather taken aback by the tone and content of the review for the book Al Jumuah in your magazine.  

While the immediate and comparative relevance of the topic discussed in the book might be lost on some readers, neither the contents of the book nor the good intentions and efforts of the compiler / author merits the rather unkind criticism that appeared in the said review in Islamic Voice. Moreover, the author, as a Muslim woman who is also a professional in her own field, should have been commended for her effort in the field of Islamic propagation. As a person meaning well for ‘Islamic Voice,’ it is my humble suggestion that such blunt criticism of young aspirants should be avoided in future issues.  

A reader & well-wisher

First look

I began reading Islamic Voice from January 2008. I found a refreshingly new perspective for seeing things. The magazine has both positive articles and critical review of Muslim issues and situation. Keep it up!

Sahir P.
Pookkipparamba, Kerala

Mysteries of Soul

Adil Salahi’s answer to the queries in “Death and the spirit” was informative, (Islamic Voice, January 2008).The spirit alias soul is quite a baffling thing indeed embodying plenty of secrets unknown to humankind. Those who wish to  know more about soul, can read the book titled , Mysteries of the sould by Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi, Al-Hidaayah Publishing & Distribution, P.O.Box 3332, Birmingham B10 0UH UK. Tel: 0121753 1889, Fax 01217532422 Web:


Emu Farming

Kudos for the interesting article on emu farming by a farmer in Belgaum. Following this, I contacted the Hessarghatta farm in Bangalore for guidance. It would be desirable if you could publish the address of emu farmer Ayub Khan.
Dr. Usman Kohir

Barve Marg, Kurla, Mumbai
Ayub Khan’s Cell No.: 09844063355