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SEPTEMBER 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-09 No:165    *   SEPTEMBER 2000 / JAMADI-UL-THANI 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

OUR DIALOGUE

By S. Abdullah Tariq


Offering Friday Prayers in Prison
Spiritual Healing
Reading Earlier Scriptures
Visit of Departed Soul
Shares and Zakat on Investment

Offering Friday Prayers in Prison

  1. Q. I am in Mysore Central Prison. Many people offer salat here every day. In prison we cannot offer Juma prayer on Fridays as no Maulvi comes and delivers Khutba. We are confused but we are doing four rakat namaz of Zohar. We want to know if it is correct?

  2. Many people in prison say that performing Namaz behind a murderer is not valid. In prison many kind of people are for one offence or other. Performing Namaz behind a murderer is valid or not? Should we perform independently?

(Basheer V. K., Mysore Prison)

A. (1) In Hanafi Fiq’h, one of the conditions for the salat of Jum’a is that there must be no restriction on anyone joining the congregation. The salat of Jum’a is not valid inside a prison as outsiders are not permitted to come in the prison mosque. Following are some translated extracts from Fataawa-e-Aalamgiri a famous work on Hanafi Fiq’h.

“And among the conditions of Jum’a, one is ‘general permission’. The meaning of general permission is that the doors of the mosque should be open and all should be permitted to enter. If some people close the door after entering the mosque and offer Jum’a then it (salat of Jum’a) is unlawful. If the king offers salat in his house (with the insiders) and does not open the gates for outsiders by placing guards on the gates then Jum’a will not be valid. (Muheet).”

Fiq’h schools other than Hanafi permit the salat of Jum’a inside a prison, if an Imam capable of giving sermon is available. Maulana Urooj Qadri, in his book ‘Ahkaam-o-Masaa’il’, writes,

“According to Hanafi Fiq’h, it is not correct to offer the salat of Jum’a in prison. In Hanafi Fiq’h, one of the conditions for the salat of Jum’a is that it should be offered at such a place where every Muslim who is willing is permitted to join the salat. There must be no prohibition for any one. As this condition is not fulfilled inside a prison, the prisoners should offer the salat of Zohar instead of Jum’a. The obligation of offering Jum’a is not upon them. There is no condition of general permission according to other Imams. If there are sufficient number of Muslims to offer salat and there is a person capable of giving sermon, then salat of Jum’a may be offered. Since there is no mention of the condition of general permission in Hadiths, the opinion of those Imams seems to be correct who do not consider the general permission necessary.” (p. 173)

In my opinion, the judgment of Hanafi scholars is correct in this matter. The salat of Jum’a is different from other prayers. Islam is a religion of congregation. Muslims were called to gather in a mosque to offer prayers, five times a day. Then once every week, the people of many localities were required to gather in bigger mosques. Every year, a still bigger gathering comprising of all citizens of the city and its villages was brought at one place on Idul-Fitr and Idul-Adh’ha. Finally once in a lifetime a Muslim is required to join the congregation at the Navel of the earth where people gather, coming from all over the globe. In his footnote number 5461 under Surah Jum’a, Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes, “Friday, is primarily the Day of Assembly, the weekly meeting of the Congregation, when we show our unity by sharing in common public worship, preceded by a Khutba, in which the Imam (or Leader) reviews the week’s life of the Community and offers advice and exhortation on good living. Notice the gradations of social contact for Muslims if they followed the wise ordinances of their Faith.

  1. Each individual remembers Allah for himself or herself five or more times every day in the home or place of business, or local mosque, or open air, as the case may be.

  2. On Friday in every week there is a local meeting in the central mosque of each local centre …” If the Salat of Jum’a could not be comprised of devotees from more localities than in everyday prayer, then the spirit and purpose of Jum’a (the word itself means gathering) would not be fulfilled and there would be no difference between a Jum’a and Zohar except for the procedure. I think the Hanafi scholars have understood this spirit and their applying the condition of general permission is judicious.

Imams of other schools only permit the Friday Prayer in a prison. They do not declare it binding while Hanafi scholars declare the Friday Prayer inside a prison, invalid

When there exists a dispute among the Fiqh scholars (Ulul-Amr), in some matter, the Qur’an asks us to leave the Ulul-Am’r and seek guidance from Qur’an and Sunnah alone. I did not find a solution in Hadiths but when I referred the problem to the Qur’an I found a hint there. See the translation of the following two verses of Surah Al-Jum’a given below:

“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 THE TRADING (and traffic): that is best for you if ye but knew! And when the Prayer is finished then DISPERSE THROUGH THE LAND and seek of the Bounty of Allah: and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper.” (62:9-10)

Ponder over the words in block letters in the above. Believers are required to leave off trading upon hearing the azaan of Friday prayer. They are then told to disperse through the land to seek bounty of Allah after the prayers. An inference may be drawn from this that the Friday prayer is not for the prisoners who can neither indulge in trading nor can disperse through the land.

Finally, Imams of other schools only permit the Friday Prayer in a prison. They do not declare it binding while Hanafi scholars declare the Friday Prayer inside a prison, invalid. Even without going through any argument it may be mentioned that offering Zohar instead of Jum’a is the safer bet.

So my advice to you is to offer four Rakaats of Zohar as you are doing even if an Imam capable of giving sermons can be arranged.

(2) Salat behind every Muslim is permitted even if he is a grave sinner or even a killer. There are preferences for an Imam but since you are inside a prison and all the inmates are charged with something or the other, the order of preference would not be much practical. Besides, the preferences mentioned for an Imam are recommendatory, not obligatory.

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Spiritual Healing

Q. Is wearing of Taveez valid in Islam? Is there any reference made in Qur’an and Hadith in its support? Many people wear Taveez having some Qur’anic verses or some alphabetical or numerical tables, thinking that it will save them from trouble. Is it correct?

(Irfan Ahmed. A. Mullah, Bijapur)

A. There are a few Hadiths in which the Prophet (Pbuh) has prohibited spiritual healing (healing based on chanting and charms etc.) and there are a number of Hadiths in which he has permitted it. Such cases where we find both prohibition and permission of an act in Hadiths, pertain to where the prohibition was imposed in early stages due to certain reasons but later when the companions became mature in knowledge of Deen, the restrictions were lifted leaving it to their judgment when and when not to restrict themselves in respective matters. For example, pictures (of living things) were totally prohibited in the beginning but later it was left to companions to decide which pictures are Haram and which are not. Similarly the Prophet (Pbuh) permitted the use of those chanting for healing in whose words there was no Shirk. Taveez was neither specifically prohibited nor permitted but it is naturally covered under the same category as chanting of mantras or drinking water in which the written mantras were dipped or avoiding certain days for treatment etc.

Following are a few Hadiths expressing permission.

“Reported Shifa bint Abdullah that once she was sitting beside Hazrat Hafsa (the Prophet’s wife) when the Prophet (Pbuh) came and said to me: Why don’t you teach her the charm of namla (a kind of allergy) as you have taught her writing”? (Abu Dawood)

“Reported Auf bin Malik Ashja’ee: We used to chant mantras in the days of ignorance. Then (after Islam) we asked the Prophet (Pbuh) what he thought of them? He replied, “Recite the mantras before me. I do not see any harm in them unless there is Shirk in them”. (Muslim)

There are Hadiths in which the Prophet (Pbuh) is reported to have said that the treatment by Singis (taking out foul blood from a vein) on 17th, 19th, and 21st of a (lunar) month is very good for all disease and there are Hadiths, which warn against treatment by Singis on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Sa’d Haleebi, in his footnotes of Tafseer Baidhawi has reported that the famous saint Abul Qasim Qushairi’s son was very sick. The Prophet (Pbuh) told him in his dream about Ayaat-e-Shifa (six verses of Qur’an in which the word ‘Shifa’ occurred). In the morning he wrote the verses and washed them with water. The son became well by drinking that water.

The effectiveness of Taveez is proved by centuries of experience and a large number of pious men including Imam Shah Waliullah and Ashraf Ali Thanvi used to treat people with Taveezes. The only thing to remember while using a Taveez is that it is only a means. Health and sickness, good or bad is in the hands of Allah.

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Reading Earlier Scriptures

Q. In the May issue of Islamic Voice ‘Understanding Quran” the commentary by Sayyed Qutub and translated by S.A. Shamsi, it is written that Hazrat Umar came to the Prophet and sought his permission to read the basic teachings of Torah written by a Jew. At this, the Prophet’s face changed colour. From this should one derive that reading and having knowledge about other revelations is not correct?

(Sohaib Alam, Allahabad)

A. You have to ponder over the exact words of the whole narration and its background before coming to a conclusion. The event occurred in 1 AH. Hazrat Umar then used to visit a school of Jews out of curiosity. The name of the school was Baitul-Madrasas. Till then, only the teachings of basic Faith and orders such as caring for orphans and poor were revealed in Makkah. The Shariah part of Deen was only just starting in the revelations. Remember this background and see the exact words of the narration, especially the bolder one below.

“Reported Jaabir that (once) Umar brought to the Prophet (Pbuh) some pages from the Torah and said, “O Prophet, this is a part from the Torah”. The Prophet (Pbuh) kept quiet. Then Umar started reading (it). The colour of the Prophet was changing with anger. (Noticing this) Abu Bakar said, “Umar! ... Don’t you look at the face of the Prophet”? Umar looked up and said, “I seek refuge from the wrath of Allah and the anger of the Prophet. We are content with Allah as Lord, Islam Deen and Muhammad as Prophet”. The Prophet (Pbuh) then said: “By Him in whose control is my life, had Musa appeared amongst you and you obeyed him, leaving me, you would surely have gone astray. Had Musa been alive and found my era, he too would certainly have followed me.” (Darami quoted in Mishkat, Babul-E’tiisaam)

We know that all the prophets of Allah preached the same Deen Islam, though their Shariahs differed. The last Shariah repealed the Shariah of Hazrat Musa though he preached the same Tawheed, Aakhirah and Risaalah as the Last Prophet (Pbuh) preached. It is apparent that the part of Torah, Hazrat Umar brought and appreciated related to the Shariah part of Hazrat Musa. The words, ‘leaving me’ are very important. How can one leave Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) by following Hazrat Musa, if they came with the same Deen? Naturally, if one followed the Shariah part of Hazrat Musa it would amount to leaving the last and final Shariah. Also, in what would Musa (Pbuh) have followed Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), had he been alive then? Again it would be the Shariah part of the Deen because the Shariat-e-Muhammadi was about to abrogate the Shariat-e-Musavi.

Studying the Shariah part of Torah, when the Shariat-e-Muhammadi was just started revealing was not desirable and the Prophet (Pbuh) made his dislike apparent. Later after the completion of the revelation of Shariat-e-Muhammadi, when the Companions were mature enough in knowledge, the restriction was removed. The Prophet (Pbuh) then declared”

“You can (now) quote (Torah and their traditions) from Bani Israel. There is no harm in it.” (Bukhari, Kitaab-ul-il’m)

We know that our esteemed scholars have been studying and quoting from earlier scriptures for comparison to the benefit of Deen. There are extensive quotes from the Bible in Tadabbur-e-Quran, an excellent commentary of Quran by Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi and Tafseer-e-Maajidi, the commentary of Quran by Maulana Abdul Maajid Daryabadi.

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Visit of Departed Soul

  1. Q. Does the dead person’s soul ever return to a house?

  2. What happens to young children when they die? Do they remain as babies or do they grow in heaven? Do babies have a wet-nurse in heaven?

  3. Can Jinns communicate with human beings and can they foretell the future and the unknown?

(Fawaz Faidh Mahmood, Kilakarai)

A. Without going into the discussion of a different subject or controversy, let me modify your question. Does the being of a dead person ever return to a house? The experience tells us that it sometimes does and there is nothing against this experience in Qur’an or Hadith. The life of a being in between his death (its separation from the body) and the Doom’s Day is in Barzakh or beyond a veil. If we exactly know the nature and place of life beyond a veil, it will no more remain a veil or Barzakh. The Hadiths in connection with Barzakh are all allegorical. Barzakh may well include this world also where the beings could visit by Allah’s leave. As we do not know much about life in Barzakh except whatever is told to us in allegorical language, the answer to your question is based more on experience of a large number of people than what is stated in Qur’an and Hadith. A large number of people meet and converse with the departed ones in their sleep and there are instances of encounters of living people with the diseased. Following are a few excerpts from Kitab-ur-Rooh, a famous work of the renowned scholar Ibne Qayyim.

“Imam Malik says that I have learned that souls are free. They come and go wherever they wish” (Ibne Qayyim; Kitab-ur-Rooh; Ch. 15)

“Do the souls of the departed meet the living? Its evidences are innumerable and the intuition and events are the greatest proofs…And it is also a proof of the meeting of souls of the living and dead that the living see the diseased in dreams. They ask them of things and the diseased inform them of those things, which exactly happen in future, and sometimes happened in past. Sometimes the diseased tell about his buried wealth, which nobody knew except him. Sometimes he informs about his debts. At times he tells about such acts that were known to none except him. Occasionally he tells him that he (the living) would come to him at such and such time and the news comes true…Anyhow only he who is ignorant about conditions and rules of the souls, can deny it”. (ibid; Ch. 3)

2.The material bodies in this world grow, not the actual being inside it. In paradise , all will be young and will remain young as they will be provided with young non-material and spiritual bodies. Once in good humour the Prophet (Pbuh) told an old lady that old would not enter into paradise. She started weeping. Then he explained that all those sent to paradise would become young before entering there.

3.The Jinns can communicate with men and they sometimes do. No one knows the exact future except Allah and those to whom He gives knowledge of it as much as He Wills. The Jinns being non-material, are sometimes able to muster some information from the angels who are non-material too. By mixing conjectures with it, they inform the people with whom they communicate.

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Shares and Zakat on Investment

  1. I would like to do buying and selling of shares as full time job. Please advise me if it is Halal?

  2. I had bought sites and apartment as investment to sell in future about 10 years ago. Please advise me, should I pay Zakat for this? Some authority said I should pay Zakat only when I sell the same. Please clarify.

(Yunus, Bangalore)

A. 1. Buying and selling shares are Halal, provided you stay away from the shares of those companies whose main business is Haram like liquor manufacturers, gambling dens, night clubs etc.

2. Since you are using the land as a trading commodity, Zakat will be charged on it every year. Had you kept the cash in its place, you would not have asked the question. The land or apartment in this case is in lieu of money.

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News from Islamic World | Community Roundup | Editorial | Reader's Comments | Community Initiative | Features | Book Review | Special Report | Investigation | Children's Corner | Understanding Quran | Hadith | Quran and Science | Muslim Women in Action | Our Dialogue | Religion | Why I Embraced Islam | Matrimonial | Search new | Subscription | Guest Room | Previous Issue | HOME | Islamic Links | Al-Nasr Exports | Preserve Flowers

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