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Islamic Voice Logo
MONTHLY    *    Vol 12-07 No:139     *   JULY 1998/ RABBI-UL-AWWAL 1419H

email: editor@islamicvoice.com

OUR DIALOGUE


Importance of No 19
Theory of Evolution
Women head of State
Contact with dead person
Organ transplantation - Fatwas


Importance of No 19

S. Abdullah Tariq

Q.1. I read the article about ‘The Ultimate Revelations’ in Islamic Voice. I found it very interesting and revealing. I have some doubts on that subject. My doubt is, why is the number 19 given so much important in the Qur’an? Does the number 19 refer to the 20th Century which may bring Qayamat at its close?

Saif Ahmed; Madras

Ans. 1. No extraordinary importance has been given to number 19 in Qur’an, as far as the Message of Qur’an and the guidance therein is concerned. What you read in the said review of ‘The Ultimate Revelation’ was actually about a miraculous ‘19-based’ mathematical arrangement through which the letters, words, verses and the Surahs of holy Qur’an are related together. Why do not you go through the book for a full perception of the above?

Why number nineteen? Why is the mathematical system not based on any other number? Well, in that case you could have questioned the wisdom of using that number. Describing the attitude of an unbeliever, the Almighty says: Then said he, this (Qur’an) is nothing but magic derived from of old. This is nothing but the word of a mortal. Soon will I cast him into Hell-Fire. Would that you knew what Hell-Fire is like! Naught does it permit to endure and naught does it leave alone. Darkening and changing the colour of man! Over it are nineteen (keepers). We have appointed none but angels to guard the fire and fixed their number only as a trial for unbelievers so that those to whom the scriptures were given may be convinced and the true believers strengthened in their faith; that those to whom the scriptures were given and the true believers, may have no doubts; and that those in whose hearts there is disease, together with the disbelievers, may say; ‘What could Allah mean by this’? Thus Allah leaves in error whom He will and guides whom He pleases. (Qur'an 74:24-31)

But being a stout believer, your intention of asking the wisdom behind 19-based mathematical miracle, I am sure, is to increase your faith like Prophet Abraham, when he said: ‘My Lord, show me how you raise the dead.’ The Lord said, ‘Have you no faith?’ ‘Yes’, said Ibrahim, ‘But I wish to reassure my heart.’

The exact significance of the same is known by Allah only. However following is what I could think of.

It had to be a prime number (one that is not divisible by any number other than 1 and itself). The miracle comprises of large numbers arrived at by different relations between letters, words and Surah of Qur’an. All these numbers are multiple of number 19, Nineteen is a prime number (which means it is divisible by only two numbers viz., 1 and 19). Had it not been a prime number, say, were it 18 (divisible by 2,3,6 and 9 besides 1 and 18), then the miracle would not have been based on 18 only but upon its smaller factors also. Any figure, which is divisible by 18, is also a multiple of 2,3,6 and 9. So it had to be a prime number. There are other prime numbers, you may question, like 7,11, 13, 17,23,29 and so on. What is the speciality of 19 as a prime number? I think the number had to belong to the family of basic number ‘1’ to retain its unique individuality. 19 reduces to the basic number ‘1’ as it comprises of digits 1 and 9, 1+9=10 and again in 10, 1+0=1, 19 is the smallest prime number belonging to the family of basic number ‘1’. Those who are familiar with a little of numerology can fully appreciate the importance of belonging to the family of 1, of a number which is used in the mathematical miracle of Qur’an.

There may also be other wisdom behind the use of number 19 as the base of miracle, but as hinted earlier, the main importance is of the miracle and not that of the number on which it is based.

The life on earth being extremely short in relation to the infinite life Hereafter, Qiyamah has always been close. There is nothing to corroborate the special proximity of Qiyamah in the 20th century. Moreover, the solar calendar cannot form the basis of any Qur’anic prediction.

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Theory of Evolution

1) Is the Qur'an against the 'Theory of Evolution'?

Saif Ahmed; Madras

Ans. 1) Some of the renowned Islamic scholars and philosophers have tried to interpret a number of verses in Qur'an to show that Qur'an verifies the (still unproved) theory of evolution, while others who are in majority reject their contentions vehemently. Most of the former based their argument on such verses like following: '....We made from water every living thing..' (21:30) 'He created you in diverse stages.' (71:14) 'Allah has brought you forth from the earth, growing.' (71:17)

'Has there not been over man a long period of time when he was nothing the mattered?' (76:1)

When it comes to the mention of Adam, some of them opine that Adam in Qur'an is not the name of the first man who came into existence all of a sudden but the word denotes the whole of mankind. Some say that the man evolved gradually from earlier species and Adam was 'the first man that mattered', created out of a race of 'unmanly men who did not matter'. The interpretation of this group of philosophers of the tale of events of Adam in Qur'an is so wild and abstract, making every related event a far fetched allegory that Qur'an no more remains a 'Word' revealed in 'Plain Arabic.' Moreover there are so many contradictions, loose ends and gaping breaks in their interpretation as there are in Darwinian Theory of Evolution. For example, Mr. Ghulam Ahmad Parvez claimed that Adam was not an individual. The tale of Adam is the story of man described in allegorical language. But there are numerous verses in Qur'an stating categorically than Adam was a Prophet of God like other Prophets in the mankind, e.g. the following verse. 'Allah chose Adam and Nuh, Ibrahim's descendants and the descendants of Imran above all His creatures.....' (3:33)

Unable to explain Adam in the like of above verses as an allegory for the whole of mankind, Mr. Parvez had to opine that Adam in the above verse seems to be an individual and a Prophet, but insisted that he is different from Adam elsewhere in Qur'an who is not a person but an allegory for the mankind.

On the other hand, those who outrightly reject evolution and survival of the fittest in life have certainly denied an undeniable fact. Qur'an does speak in allegories at times where the words of human language are insufficient to describe a theme and sometimes when a reality is incomprehensible to a generation, if stated in plain words but would be comprehended by a future generation. The subject is very vast but a few important pointers are worth mentioning in brief.

It can not be proved logically that man evolved from the present or extinguished species of animals. If the present breed of animals are more proficient and advanced than the extinguished variety, then as per Natural Selection, man should have evolved from the present animals species. On the other hand, if the extinguished species were more advanced than the present animal species, then the survival of the fittest calls for the presence of the extinguished races even today. Natural selection, survival of the fittest and evolution, as understood today, cannot guide to unravel Qur'an but they must be re-interpreted in the light of Qur'anic principles, otherwise the contradiction will remain in human understanding of phenomenon of life. Is it not a fact that Amoeba the earliest species of life still exists while the declared animal ancestors of man, who were much more advanced, perished with time?

Those species claimed to be the components of the human evolutionary chain formed a very heterogenous and broken chain with a lot of missing links and yet instead of gaps being filled, the existing links are being evaporated. Neatherthal Man, till recently believed to be a vital link of the chain of human evolution, has proved to be a different species. The DNA test performed in March this year over a Neatherthal Man's fossil preserved in France since 19th century has conclusively proved that he is not one of man's ancestors. He was a different race, which ceased to exist like Dinosaurs did, nearly 20000 years ago.

Allah's benevolence in creation demands that only those of his creatures survive, who show benevolence to other creatures. It means that the fittest to survive in his eyes are those creatures who along with their evolution are cooperative in or at least do not hinder in the evolutionary process of other creatures. To harm and destroy a being for one's own survival ultimately results in the destruction of the destroyer. We can observe this Qur'anic principle in the history of mankind. Those who destroyed others for heir own selfish motives, perished themselves. For example, referring to the empty archival remains of Thamud, the people of Prophet Saleh, Qur’an reminds; ‘How many a nation have we destroyed that once flourished in wanton ease! Its dwellings are but rarely inhabited. We are its only heir.’ (28:58). God has created two aspects of each creation. Protons and electrons positive and negative, light and darkness, dynamics and statics, action and reaction, male and female, soul and body etc. He declared. ‘And all things we made in pairs, so that you may give thought.’ (51:49). In pairs though the two components are opposite, the cooperation between the two is essential. Deceived by the apparent difference in polarity, the philosophers have called them ‘Opposites’, while the Qur’an calls it ‘Pairs’. After accepting conflicts as principle behind development, the unnatural human conflicts are called natural for development and are used for the destruction of mankind. The success of human race depends upon denouncing the Darwinian ‘conflict for existence’ and accept the Qur’anic ‘cooperation existence’. This is the Qur’anic interpretation of ‘struggle for existence’, ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘evolution’.

In Rububtat (The Lord’s attribute of being Rabb) or the Qur’anic evolution, creation and evolution are simultaneous. It means that the existence of the present is not merely based on evolution but creation and evolution both are responsible. In important changes of species, the process of creation while for inter species changes, evolution has been in action. In Darwinian evolution there is no place for creation but today the scientists and philosophers are modifying to ‘creative evolution’ and even ‘emergent evolution’. The first man according to Qur’an was created (out of earth’s elements) in another world and then the first pair of man and woman was transported or rather transmitted to earth. While evolutionary process inside a particular species is a reality, the existence of the first man was the result of creation and not the evolution. Mankind has since been through a continuous evolutionary process.

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Women head of State

Q.2. I have heard that it is not allowed for women to run any govt. or to do administration in any country. She should not be allowed to rule any country. If this is true then why it is so? If this is not true, then tell me whether she is capable of ruling a govt.?

Mohd. Manzoor Khan; Raipur

Ans. That a woman is capable of ruling a country has been proved in practice. The queen of Sheba ruled a country capably till Prophet Sulaiman knew of her idolatry and decided to intervene. In past and in recent times there are examples of women capably ruling vast countries. Whether a country should be ruled by a woman or not, is another proposition. We find the following Hadith in Bukhari; Narrated Abubakr that when the news of the people of Faaras (Iran) appointing the daughter of Kisra over them (as their ruler) reached the Prophet (Pbuh), he said: That nation shall never achieve success who has appointed a woman their ruler, (Bukhari)

Again, the Hadith does not mean that a woman is incapable of managing the affairs of a country. It means that a nation cannot be a successful nation in which, with the men's approval, the fairer sex has a tendency to assume the responsibilities of domain, which is outside her home.

Let me explain briefly the Islamic concept of responsibilities of men and women and the destruction of womanhood and the society due to the deceptive slogans of woman's lib and equality.

Men and women are not created equal. Man in general, is physically and psychologically stronger than and different from woman. This fact is bare in our daily life. The sports events for men and women are organised separately. Women do not demand to compete men in this field. Women bear the burden of pregnancy and bearing of children. Men do not. No woman can demand to share this burden of dual responsibilities over her weak shoulders. Consequently she can rarely reach and achieve the executive jobs even in the so-called most liberated western countries although the number of educated men and women in those countries are equal. In addition to not reaching the highest posts insecure outside her home every where in the world.

As Allah has created men and women, he knows best what responsibilities and rights should be given to each of them. To man has been assigned the responsibility of financially supporting and providing security to the woman while she has been entrusted to raise and build the future builders of the society. Men are not capable of doing women's job. They can neither raise children nor can they provide the most necessary love and care to them. With responsibilities come the rights. Man has been preferred for areas outside the house in addition to being overall head of the family in lieu of supporting it financially and providing security to it. The woman for his motherly sacrifices has been preferred over men where the emotional aspects of children are concerned. After the creator, one's mother is most entitled to be obeyed, respected and cared, thrice as much as compared to the father. Paradise is declared to be under the fact of mother and not the father. In case of separation she gets preference over men in getting the custody of children.

When the woman comes out of the house to compete with men in their domain while she still has to look after the home, the casualty is herself and the children. She can rarely reach the heights of the executive posts, suffering all the while emotionally and psychologically in an insecure atmosphere. Children are invariably neglected and affected. They grow in an atmosphere where they do not get much needed love, care and affection of their mothers. A society in which the children are brought up without the necessary care of mothers can never be a successful society in the long run.

It may be remembered that the age of a race of a nation is different from the age of individuals. Those who are sensitive could feel the destructive trends but the nations take a few generations to become successful or unsuccessful.

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Contact with dead person

Q.3. (i) Is it possible to get in contact with a dead person?
(ii) Is there any Surah by reciting it, someone can see a dead person in his dream’?

Rafiq Ahmed; Bangalore

Ans. You can not contact dead person upon your wish but if Allah so wills, he can enable a soul to come into contact with a living person. On the basis of experience, the pious men have suggested successful ways of doing so. While contacting and conversing with a soul, when a person in awake, is also possible, it needs so much of Riadh (hard work and sacrifices) that it is not possible for ordinary people. However, you can meet your departed kin or dear ones in your dream by the following procedure.

1. On a night after Thursday, plan to sleep early.

2. Immediately after the Isha Salat, perform Eisaal-e-Sawab (in the Mosque itself) for the Prophet (Pbuh) and Ahl-e-Bait in the following manner:
(i) Offer Durood seven times
(ii) Recite Surah Fateh seven times.
(iii) Recite Surah Ikhlas three times.
(iv) Offer Durood once.
(v) Pray to Allah that the Sawab of the above Durood and recitation be transferred to the holy Prophet (Pbuh) and his beloved Ahl-e-Bait.

3. Go immediately to bed after returning from the Mosque and perform Eisaal-e-Sawab before sleeping, while lying on your bed, for the departed person you wish to meet in your dream.

The procedure is following :

  • (i) Offer Durood seven times.
    (ii) Recite Surah Fateha seven times. (Surah:1)
    (iii) Recited Surah As-Sharh once. (Surah:94)
    (iv) Recite Surah Al-Takathur once. (Surah:102)
    (v) Recite Surah Ikhlas three times. (Surah:112)
    (vi) Offer Durood once.
    (vii) Pray to Allah that the Sawab of the above be transferred to the departed and he be allowed to meet you in your dream.

    Repeat this procedure on successive Thursday nights if nothing happens on the first such night. Inshallah you will see and talk to the required person in your dream latest by third such night. Care must be taken to sleep on a clean bed and sleep in the state of wudu. All the above Surahs are to be recited with Bismillah each time before them.
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    Organ transplantation - Fatwas

    Muslim surgeons have long practised autograft transplantation which they learned from other nations, especially Indians. They practised tooth and bone grafting from both animal and human sources (i.e. xenograft, and homografts), after obtaining the consent of the jurists. In the twentieth century, the Muslim jurists sanctioned blood transfusion, though blood is considered as najas ie unclean. The fatwa of the Grand Mufti of Egypt (No. 1065, June 9th, 1959) is an example of Islamic jurists’ attitude to new modalities of treatment (Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyya, 1982, vol 7, p.2495).

    The majority of Muslim scholars and jurists belonging-to various schools of Islamic law invoked the principle- precedence of saving human life over any other argument. Sheikh Hassan Ma’mun (The Grand Mufti of Egypt) also sanctioned corneal transplants from cadavers of unidentified persons and from those who agree to donate after their death (No. 1087, April 14th, 1959; ibid., p.2552). His successor, Sheikh Huraidi extended the fatwa to other organs in 1966 (No. 993; ibid., vol 6, pp.2278 82).

    Sheikh Khatir, then Grand Mufti of Egypt, issued a fatwa allowing harvesting of skin from unidentified corpses in 1973 (ibid., vol. 7, 2505 7).

    Grand Mufti Jad al-Haq sanctioned donation of organs from the living provided no harm is done and provided the gift is made freely in good faith, for the sake of God and care of mankind. He also sanctioned taking organs from cadavers provided there is a legal testament or consent of the relatives. In case of unidentified corpses, an order from the Magistrate should be obtained prior to harvesting organs (No. 1323, December 5, 1979; ibid., vol.10, pp. 3702 15).

    The Saudi Grand Ulema Fatwa No. 99, 1982 addressed the subject of autografts which were unanimously sanctioned. It also sanctioned, by majority, donation of organs both by the living and by the dead by legal testament or consent of relatives (Majallat al-Majma’, 1987, vol.1, p.37).

    In Kuwait, Law No. 7(1983) re-iterated the previous fatwas and pointed out that the living donor should be over 18 in order for his informed consent to be legally acceptable.

    The subject of brain death was not addressed in any of these fatwas but discussed for the first time in the Second International Conference Of Islamic Jurists held in Jeddah, in 1985. No decree was passed then, until further studies and consultations had been done. In the Third International Conference of Islamic Jurists held in Amman in 1986, the historical Resolution No.5 was passed by majority, which equated brain death to cardiac and respiratory death (Jeddah Fiqh Academy, 11988, p.34).

    In strict Islamic teachings, death is the departure of the soul, but since this cannot be identified the signs of it are accepted. This 1986 decree paved the way for extension of organ transplant projects previously limited to living donors. Campaigns for organ donations from brain dead persons were launched both in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. We note, sadly, that the high incidence of motor vehicle accidents in the Gulf area provides many case of brain death.

    While this tragedy should be averted by issuing and enforcing stricter traffic laws and by other means, it is also quite proper that organs from suitable cadavers should be used for the living.

    The Islamic League conference of Jurists, (Makkah, December 1987) decree No.2, 10th Session, did not equate cardiac death with brain death. In fact it did not recognise brain death as death. However, it sanctioned all the previous fatwas on organ transplantation. This decree has received little attention in the media, and the authorities in Saudi Arabia seem to ignore it. Cardiac and kidney transplants from brain dead individuals continue without any hindrance from the jurists.

    The most detailed fatwa on organ transplantation was that of the Fourth International Conference of Islamic jurists held in Jeddah, February 1988 (Resolution No.1). It endorsed all previous fatwas on organ transplantation, clearly rejecting any trading or trafficking in organs and stressed the principle of altruism.ibid.,pp.558).

    Jurists have begun to discuss new subjects related to organ transplantation, namely: Transplantation of nervous tissues as a mode of treating Parkinsonism or other ailments;

    Transplantation of tissues from encephalics,

    Transplantation of tissues from embryos aborted spontaneously, medically or electively; and Pre-embryos remaining from IVF projects Fiqh Academy, Kuwait, 1989

    The Sixth International Conference of Islamic Jurists addressed these issues in March 114-20, 1990. In sum, while the frontiers in medical technology continue to be pushed back, Islamic jurists are keeping abreast of the changes and applying established Islamic principles to guide Muslims in new circumstances as good illustration as any of the continued health and vitality of Islam as a code for the whole of humanity.

    (Courtesy of The Fountain)

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