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FEBRUARY 2001

MONTHLY    *    Vol 15-02 No:170    *   FEBRUARY 2001 / ZIL-HIJJA 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

OUR DIALOGUE

By S. Abdullah Tariq


Why Kiss the Black Stone?
Can one Deceive the Employer to Offer Juma Prayer?
Power of Jinns
Tax and Interest
Where is the mind in the Heart or Brain?
Ush'r on Cash Crop
Ghusl - Bath
Listening to Quran in Period
Kaun Banega Crorepati ?

Why Kiss the Black Stone?

Q. Recently I debated with my friend Edwin Khandare (he is a Yehova Witnesses- sect of Christian). He posed a question : Why do Muslims kiss to Hijre Aswad (black stone affixed in a corner of Kabah)? He says it's like worshipping a stone. I tried to convince him that it is just the stone of paradise and our Prophet (Pbuh) had himself kissed the stone, but he was not satisfied. Alhamdulillah we know that our Deen is based on truth and I know that there will be some answer to that.

Sher Ali Khan : sheralibhai@yahoo.com

A. Most non-Muslims do not understand the concept Ibadah (worship) in Islam. Some times they worship Jesus or gods and still claim they worship One God and at times they are unable to differentiate between kissing, revering and worshipping. Ibadah is from the word Abd in Arabic. Abd means bondsman. So Ibadah is bondage. We bow in worship, ask guidance from, pray to Him alone whose we are bondsmen. No Muslim in the world asks guidance from or prays to Hajar-e-Aswad (the Black Stone in Kaabah). We do not ascribe any power of giving life, death or sustenance to Hajar-e-Aswad. It can neither directly nor indirectly help or harm us in any way. Sahaba (the Companions) used to revere and kiss the hands (even back and feet) of the holy Prophet (Pbuh) but they did not worship him. We hold the Quran with revere and kiss it but we do not worship it. Many non-Muslims insist on calling it worship of the stone to justify their idol worship or worship of other creations of God. Some of them insist that Muslims worship Kaabah as they prostrate in that direction and yes, some even declare that Muslims worship the mosques! You can’t help it if even after explaining that Kaabah has no power to help or harm us, they ascribe Kaabah worship to you. Muslims do not worship Hajar-e-Aswad, it is plain enough. But why do they kiss it? Why did the Prophet (Pbuh) kiss it? That is a different question.

Hajar-e-Aswad is not an ordinary stone. It was brought from heavens by the Archangel Jibriel to be affixed in a corner of the wall of Kaabah. The traditions say that it was like a shining gem when it was brought but the sins of the children of Adam caused it to blacken. There are inferences from some traditions and some of the words of the prayers said at Kaabah that it has the records of all the human beings affirmation of Allah’s Lordship in the nether world before the man was sent to earth. When a person kisses it or raises a hand to it in affirmation, his actual deeds are tallied with his original covenant recorded in it and his sins and deviations from his covenant are imprinted on it in the form of blackness. How? We do not know. May be after some time when the science is more advanced, we will be able to understand the record of all the human beings as we understand huge records in a small zip drive today.

To those who may call it a myth or fairy tail, Hazrat Umar, the second Caliph had provided a simple answer. He once said before the Hajar-e-Aswad: Thou hast no power. Thou art a stone, a creation. I kiss thou only because the Prophet (Pbuh) had kissed you.

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Can one Deceive the Employer to Offer Juma Prayer?

Q. A person is working in a private firm and not having permission to leave workplace for Juma prayers. What is he supposed to do? Offer Zohar salat when he is able to or just find an excuse and join Juma prayer? Please reply in detail.

A. T. Hafiz : athafiz@usa.net

A. The Salat of Juma is Fardh (compulsory). All the Fiqh scholars and schools of thought are unanimous on it. The Quran has ordered the Muslims to hasten to the Salat of Juma after the Adhan: O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly) hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah and leave off business: that is best for you if ye but knew! (62:9)

The order of leaving Ba’i (business) applies to all kind of purchase-sale, business transactions, accounts, managements etc. It also applies to employees earning their livelihood through services.

But it is the well known rule that but if one is compelled by agonizing circumstances without willfull disobedience nor transgressing due limits then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. (2:173)

And the holy Prophet (Pbuh) granted leave to one under fear: Narrated Ibne Abbas that the Prophet (Pbuh) said: Whoever did not turn up in the mosque after hearing the Adhan of Jum’a, he has no Salat (i.e. Zohar will not compensate it) except when he has excuse.

The companions asked: What is the (valid) excuse O Prophet of Allah? He answered: Illness or fear. (Abu Dawood)

The restriction imposed by his employer is the compulsion by agonizing circumstances and the fear of losing the job is a genuine fear. Such a person therefore is permitted to skip Juma and offer Zohor instead. It is a leave sanctioned by the fear of an unbearable (for most persons) loss but for those who have the courage to face the circumstances, the way to Azeemat (glorious heights) is to make it clear to the employer that being a Muslim he will not leave the Juma even if he is fired.

One thing however must be clear. In no case it is permissible to go for the Friday prayer by deceiving the employer. There are many sins which are very grave but dishonesty and falsehood is much more serious than most of them. Truth is the sign of Imaan and the falsehood is the sign of Munaafiqat (hypocrisy) The Prophet (Pbuh) declared: There are three signs of a Munaafiq (hypocrite) even if one offers Salat, keeps fasts and proclaims himself a Muslim. (They are) When he speaks, speaks a lie. When he makes a promise, he breaks it. When he is entrusted with Amaanat, he misappropriates. (Muslim)

Therefore when there is permission of leaving Juma in unbearable circumstances, Islam cannot permit lies to offer Juma.

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Power of Jinns

Q. Is the Jinns interacting with men a myth or is it real, and is there a technique that Muslims can use to possess them?

It has been mentioned over the years that Muslem Jinns had studied with Islamic scholars. Where do these Jinns live, and why is it that their existence is so secretive? It was mentioned once that if a person walks with one shoe, it is the work of a Jinn, and finally Jinns possess him. Is this actually true?

Alongir Ali : 99948656@mmu.ac.uk

A. Jinns in some cases may and do interact with men but it is extremely uncommon. Not every Jinn can make himself visible to men and not every human being can make a Jinn visible to him. However interaction with Jinns without their being visible is possible with the help of some Amals and/or procedures without much strenuous practice or difficulty but it is not ordinarily advisable as it is very seldom useful and quite often harmful. People with the help of certain strenuous Riyadh (practices) whether they be Muslims or non-Muslims may be able to see some Jinns. Possession or enslaving a Jinn is possible with the help of extremely strenuous Amaliyaat (chantings and procedures) but it is a very dangerous act and most of the people trying such Amaliyaat end up becoming mentally unbalanced or totally mad. No one likes to be enslaved by anyone and the Jinn being enslaved resists. As their bodies are made up of energy (instead of matter) their attack is through mind of a person. Apart from being dangerous, enslaving Jinns is unlawful as they are free creature endowed with a free will. Jinns can reside anywhere but they usually reside in abandoned places.

Those among them who are fond of learning may reside in religious schools of learning temporarily without disturbing or interacting with students from men. Stories of their interaction with religious teachers are mostly a myth but it is not impossible in certain very rare cases where either of the two has attained powers through years of Riyadh.

Jinn, literally means hidden. They are invisible because their bodies are not formed of matter. They are not secretive but contrary to the fables, they ordinarily have no powers to interact with human beings. Like in very rare case of a human being possessing a Jinn, Jinns can also possess human beings. The instances of human beings under influence of a Jinn are more than vice versa because when a person through his mind or thought process bows or surrenders (mentally) to a Jinn he becomes susceptible. The possessed human being shows symptoms of schizophrenia, as is called in medical terminology. He can be cured through medicines as well as through Amaliyaat. Proper medicines and proper Amaliyaat, both affect the mind in such a way that the Jinn has to leave. There is no relation between a human’s walking with one shoe and a Jinns power of possessing him.

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Tax and Interest

Q. I have recently got a job in Delhi. Now I am facing a problem. The problem basically is tax and interest. Please send me the details about tax and interest. I am not able to differentiate between the two. Tell me if we do saving and we get interest, whether we can take it or not?

Mukhtar Ali , New Delhi

A. The tax (deducted at source by your employer, if any) is deducted from your salary. Then you are required to pay income tax to the Govt. if your income falls in that category. There are other taxes you pay to the Govt., some directly and some indirectly. Water tax, electricity charges, driving license fees etc. are all taxes paid to the Govt. When you purchase goods from the market, the shopkeeper adds sales tax to your bill for some commodities. In short, tax is what you pay to the Govt. at the specified rates in lieu of services rendered to the citizen of the state or the country. Interest is charged or given on the capital you loan to or borrow from some one. If you loan to the Govt.. say by way of a fixed deposit in a bank, the bank gives you interest. If you borrow money from bank or a private commercial source, the moneylender charges interest from you. Paying taxes is your duty as a citizen of India while giving or taking interest is unlawful in Islam.

When a bank pays you interest on your deposits, the Islamic scholars suggest, you take it from bank but do not use it for yourself. You should spend the amount received as interest in some good cause without the intention of getting Sawab (reward) for it. I may add to it that when you deposit money in a bank as saving you may calculate the quantity of its gold equivalent (i.e. how much gms. or mgms gold that amount could buy) and keep a record of it with you. When you withdraw from the bank, you are entitled to an amount equal to the cost of gold deposited. Keep a record of this also. (While depositing money, calculate the gold at market rate of that time and when withdrawing, the rate of gold at the time of withdrawal should be taken into account). The excess amount (if any) received is interest which you must accept to spend in a good cause without the intention of Sawab. You cannot spend the interest amount towards the payment of your taxes but if you had to pay unwillingly some interest to the Govt. in circumstances beyond your control, then you can deduct that much amount from the interest received for your personal use.

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Where is the mind in the Heart or Brain?

Q. I have one doubt. Mind is in the heart or in the brain? According to science it is in the brain. What Quran says about human mind? According to Quranic concept it is in the heart or Brain ? Kindly explain me.

Mohamed A . Thasthahir : thasthahir@usa.net

A. The language of Quran is an unparallel marvel. It uses all kinds of idioms, similes, parables and allegories. Moreover Quran was revealed in Arabi-e-Mubeen i.e. clear cut perspicuous language.

Verily this is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds: With it came down the Spirit of Faith and Truth. To thy heart and mind that thou mayest admonish. In the perspicuous Arabic tongue. (26:192-95)

Quranic language used the phrases used by the Arabs. Now what do you understand by the following verse: Have We not expanded for you your breast? (94:1) Would you call it unscientific or a literary phrase? The breast does not dilate. If at all, it will be a disease.

Digressing from the literal translation I will say the above in English as: Have We not opened your heart for your understanding? How can heart be opened? It is not Zoological direction but a beautiful way of expression. Heart, in the literature of almost all languages is mentioned when referring to understanding, pardon, bravery, kindness, passion and many other attributes. There is no doubt about memory being related to brain but don’t you ever speak the phrase learning or memorizing by heart. We do not measure the magnificence of a language by the yardstick of mathematical formulae. Strictly in medical terms, enlargement of heart is a fatal disease but large heartedness is a very desirable attribute.

As a user of excellent Arabic, Quran has made use of heart in many a context, for example: “They have hearts wherewith they understand not” (7:179) Do not evaluate this in terms of medical science until the medical science acknowledges the association of heart with functions other than pumping of blood. It is not impossible. The science is continuously unfolding the secrets unknown to man earlier.

You must have passed through such state of mind when your mind’s wisdom accepted and decided the essentiality of certain act but your heart was not willing. In Hindustani, we say: Dil Nahin Chhah Raha Hai. Wait till the science explains it accurately.

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Ush'r on Cash Crop

Q. We have a coffee plantation. Coffee is a cash crop and the whole business of cultivating coffee is treated as an industry or business rather than farming. Suppose we raise 100 tons of coffee every year, are we supposed to take out 10 tons of the crop (or its value) towards Ush'r (tithe). It is a naturally irrigated farm. But due to sudden drop in world prices, the coffee is yielding only what we are investing in the crop i.e, manure, farm labour, insecticides, pesticides, implements, etc. Nothing comes by way of profits.

My question is: Are we supposed to take out 10 per cent of the produce for Ush'r even if the crop does not yield anything over the investment. Or should we treat this as a business and since we are not getting anything in excess of our investment, avoid paying Ush'r.

Md. Zulfiquar, Hassan

Shariah has ordained you to take out Ush’r (one-tenth) as Zakat when you cut the crop. Sugar cane is called a cash crop in western U.P. and so are many other crops in other parts of the country. They are all crops and they cannot be called industry but the Shariah is not partial in favour of an industry against farming. If the crop is irrigated by water other than only rainwater, then the Zakat due is 5%. But before taking out 5% you are permitted to deduct the equivalent of seeds, manure, insecticides, pesticides, the hire charges of implements and other such expenses (but not labour charges). If your expenses amount to the costs of yield, there will be no Zakat on it.

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Ghusl - Bath

Q. I am an Engineering student and I face a problem. What is the dead line for taking ghusal if a person becomes unclean at night. I have heard that it is before subah-us-sadiq i.e. before dawn, a person has to take ghusal to purify himself. I suffer from sinusitis and if I bathe before the dawn I am sure to catch cold. So what shall I do?

Salman Mohiuddin : salman@genieknows.com

A. In a state of uncleanness you have to take bath latest at such a time that you can offer the Fajr prayer before the Sun-rise (not Subah Saadiq). Surely you can heat up some water on a heater or a stove to mix it with the cold water to avoid harm to you. However if the circumstances are such that you cannot get warm water and a bath is against medical advice then you are permitted to perform Tayammum to offer the Fajr Salat and take bath later when it does not harm you.

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Listening to Quran in Period

Q. I read in 'Our Dialogue' that ladies during their periods should not touch or recite Quran. What if the lady is a Hafiz? How can she prevent from reciting it when she hears it in the TV/radio? Also, there are cassettes and CDs those have Quran in them. Can we not touch them?

Fathima Zahra : fathimazahra@hotmail.com

A. Even if she is not a Haafiza, some part of Quran is remembered by every Muslim woman. No disregard is considered to it unless she recites it by tongue. She is even permitted to recall or revise it in her memory without reciting it by tongue. Similarly there is difference in hearing and reciting. A lady is permitted to hear Quran while in her periods. In fact it is good to hear it from someone or by playing a cassette. There is no harm for her in handling cassettes of Quran as the sound (of the words) is recorded in them and not the (written) words. Written words become physical and the words in formation with her tongue are considered a physical for her (not for the listener).

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Kaun Banega Crorepati ?

Q. Please tell me whether the amount which is given by popular serial Kaun Banega Crorepati is halal in the eye of Islam?

Adil Nomani : adil_nomani@yahoo.com

A. Taking part in any contest or competition of lawful nature is permitted, where the winner is chosen on the basis of his superior skill or knowledge and no monetary contribution is demanded from the losers. Such contests are also permissible whose entry fee is spent in the expenses of organizing the contest and no part of such fee, forms part of prizes to the winners.

In gambling the losers contribute to the winner even if the winning is not merely by chance but is based on the winner’s skill. Contests where the prize money of the winner comes from voluntary organizations or the advertisers, cannot be declared gambling.

However taking part in any such event where one has to compete in unlawful acts, will be unlawful even if there are no prizes for the winners.

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