Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

SHAWWAL 1424 H
December 2003
Volume 16-12 No : 204
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LIVING ISLAM


Shura in the Family Why We Need It, How To Do It
Taxed by Subsidy Withdrawal

Shura in the Family Why We Need It, How To Do It

Gender relations in Islam are not based on male-female competition as is seen in a number of Western societies today. Rather, this relationship is based on gender cooperation. (Quran: 4:32).

By Abdul Malik Mujahid

The Muslim family, therefore, like all other Muslim institutions, formal or informal, must be run with mutual consultation. One major cause of problems in the Muslim Ummah today is the absence of Shura. The Shura process, if adopted as a personal behaviour and nourished by the family as a way of life, will benefit the Ummah in the long run.

Some Guidelines for Informal Shura
Informal Shura is like talking to each other. It may happen at any place and at any time. Here are some examples of informal Shura and tips you can use: *Listen attentively: no TV shows, games, books or newspaper should be in your way if your spouse or child wants to talk to you. *Shura does not have to be about family affairs: mutual consultation in the family could be about any topic. It was the advice of Umm Salamah, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and may Allah be pleased with her) which the Prophet followed when Muslims were reluctant to obey him at the end of Hudaybiyah. *A serious topic could be brought up in small doses, if Shura is not the norm of the family *Many women are afraid of bothering their husbands with "domestic" stuff. But take some time to think about how you'd like your husband to contribute and then talk with him about it. *Spouses should brief each other about work, neighbourhood, Masjid, and each other's activities. Mutual information is necessary for mutual consultation *A family calendar will help tremendously for family time and Shura. In family meetings, go over next month's dates (teacher conferences, games, next family meetings etc.). A large month-by-month calendar in the kitchen, next to the phone may work well. A family leader must encourage Shura by being positive. If your wife or children are afraid of your reaction, they will not participate in Shura.
Formal Shura
Formal Shura is a process to reach an agreement on an issue of mutual interest. Everyone should participate in Shura with an open mind.
Some pointers on how to do this are:
*Begin the Shura with Allah's Hamd and prayers on the Prophet (Pbuh). *You have to be willing to sacrifice your opinion if it is not accepted even if you are sure of its soundness *Learn the details of the topic under consultation before you speak *Listen attentively to what others are saying *Be respectful in discussing each other's point of view *Remember that the process of Shura involves abiding by what is agreed upon *Involve all children in the formal Shura of the family. They come up with brilliant ideas *Avoid being defensive or sarcastic. Be rational and reasonable *Make Dua (supplication) for Barakah (blessings) in your decisions at the end *Avoid debating the point *Know when to stop. Don't drag out the discussion if it's not going anywhere

(The writer can be reached at info@soundvision.com)

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Taxed by Subsidy Withdrawal

By K. Malikul Azeez

The sudden withdrawal of the subsidy for the Haj pilgrimage for the Income-tax payees has put the intending pilgrims into a great deal of hardship. First of all, many middle-class people pay marginal income-tax and they cannot be categorised as affluents. But even they will be deprived of the subsidy because they are paying tax. Secondly, for instance, the revised Chennai-Jeddah-Chennai fare has been fixed, after the withdrawal of the subsidy, at Rs. 36,000, which is . 3,000 more than the normal scheduled commercial flights of many Airlines. Moreover, even if a whole flight is chartered, which is common in case of bulk number of bookings, the fare would not exceed Rs.22,000. Similarly, the difference of fare will be correspondingly high from other embarking points of the country too. Thirdly, any policy decisions should have been announced at the time of inviting applications and not at a later stage when thousands of people have made their payments for lodging and boarding in Makkah and Madinah, three months ago. And they would suffer a substantial cut, if they opt out of the pilgrimage plan. Surprisingly, even those who have opted to stay at Arcot and Bohra Rubaats at Makkah, have been deprived of the subsidy. Under what scale, they are being categorised as privileged and affluents, has not been explained by the Central government. Any confusion on the eve of the departure for the holy journey is irrelevant and unjustified. The State government is requested to take up the issue with the Central government and set the things right for the benefit of the pilgrims.p>
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