Beginning of the Ashur-ul-Hajj
Shawwal is the first of the three months named as “Ashhur al-Hajj” (i.e. the months of Hajj). Although the major acts of Hajj are normally performed in the first ten days of Zulhijjah, yet the whole period starting from the first of Shawwal up to the 10th of Zulhijjah is held to be the period of Hajj because some acts of Hajj can be performed any time during this period. For example, the Tawaf-ul-qudum, followed by the Sai’ of Hajj cannot be performed before Shawwal, while it can be performed any day after the beginning of Shawwal. Similarly, an ‘Umrah performed before Shawwal cannot be treated as the ‘Umrah of Tamattu: while the ‘Umrah performed in Shawwal can be affiliated to the Hajj, making it a Hajj of Tamattu: Moreover, ihram of Hajj should not be started before Shawwal, because it makruh. For these reasons these three months have been named as the ‘months of Hajj’ and the month of Shawwal has the distinction of being the first of these. Read more... (1989 words, estimated 7:57 mins reading time)
Q. “There are some people who say that Taqleed, following the madhhab of one imam is haram (prohibited) in shariah. They insist that only the Qur’an and sunnah should be followed by a true Muslim, and it is tantamount to the shirk that some human being is followed in the matters of Shari‘ah. They also claim that all the madhahib formed as Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools are created two hundred years after the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) and they are bidah (an invention not warranted by the Qur’an and Sunnah). They also maintain that a Muslim should seek guidance directly from the Qur’an and sunnah, and no intervention of any Imam is needed for the knowledge of Shari‘ah. Please explain how far this view is correct. Read more... (2322 words, 2 images, estimated 9:17 mins reading time)
Q.“How far the ladies are allowed to offer their prayers in congregation (jama’ah)? What is the most preferable and superior position in this respect, as per Shari‘ah?
A. The ladies are always required to offer their prayers individually. it is not advisable for them to offer prayers in congregation. Rather, it is held to be a makrooh (disliked) practice. Unlike of men, the individual prayer of ladies carries more thawab. However, if some ladies insist on the disliked practice of offering their prayers in congregation, the woman who leads the prayer should not stand in front like a male Imam of salah. Instead she should stand in the middle of the women who perform salah in her leadership. But it is emphasized once again that the congregation of ladies for prayers should always be discouraged.
Q. “It is a common observation in correspondence and documents that people write “Mohd” instead of writing the full name “Muhammad” (Sallallho Alaihi Wasallam). Ironically, this maltreatment is only with this name. I have never seen any person writing any other name in a short form. Please comment on this habit in the light of Shari‘ah.
(Muhammad Yousuf Ghani, Karachi).
A. It is absolutely a wrong practice. No such abbreviation should be allowed to the blessed name of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam). Likewise, it is also noticed that some people abbreviate the words of salah and instead of writing they write ’‰ŸÂ or in an abbreviated form. This is also an erroneous practice. The words of salah should be written in full.
(1) Is it permissible to accept donations from non Muslim individuals or organizations, for an Islamic cause like building a mosque, madrassah or similar other projects? We have been offered handsome donations for a proposed mosque cum Islamic center in our vicinity, by the non-Muslims of our area. The point of cover is that the source of income of the proposed non Muslim donors could not be vouched for its being in accordance with the tenets of Islam. Please advise us in the light of Shari‘ah. Read more... (325 words, estimated 1:18 mins reading time)
Q. “It is generally believed by the Sunni Muslims that each one of the Madhahib of Hanafi, Shafi‘i, Maliki and Hanbali, being one of the possible interpretations of Shari‘ah, is right and none of them can be held as something against the Shari‘ah. But on the same time we see that the followers of Hanafi school never depart from the Hanafi view and never adopt the Shafi’i or Maliki view in any juristic matter. Rather, they deem it impermissible to follow another jurist’s view in a particular issue. How can this behavior be reconciled with the belief that all the four madhahib are right? If all of them are right, there should be no harm if the Hanafi Muslims follow Shafi’i or Maliki or Hanbali views in some particular matter. Read more... (1959 words, estimated 7:50 mins reading time)
Q. I. I would like to learn about the traditional system of Muslims as it began, and as it exists today, in our subcontinent as well as other areas of the world.
(i). What levels of education are denoted by words like maktab, madrassa, jamiah, dar-ul-uloom etc.?
(ii). What language (s) is / are used as medium of instruction.
(iii). What syllabi are being used? Is there a standard syllabus or a standard set of subjects used all over the Muslim world.
(iv). Are students exposed to subjects like history, geography, mathematics, literature, economics, etc. at any stage?
(v). What degrees are conferred on students who complete various levels of education?
(vi). What is the significance and meaning of the following words: Farigh ul-tehseel, aalim, mufti, maulana, maulvi, Sheikh ul-hadith. (Irfan Ali Hyder, Karachi).
(i) The word ‘Maktab’ is generally used for a small institute of religious education in which the children learn the recitation of the Holy Qur’an (which is called the nazirah education, or they memorize the text of the Holy Qur’an by heart. At the same time, some elementary Islamic principles are also taught in such institutes. Read more... (826 words, estimated 3:18 mins reading time)
Q. The Five times salah (namaz) is obligatory on the muslims was it also obligatory on other ummahs?
A It is evident from the study of the Holy Quran and Sunnah that the salah was also obligatory on all the previous prophets and their followers, but there is not authentic record available to show exact form of prayer enjoined upon different prophets. Similarly it cannot be said with certainty as to how many times in day they were ordered to perform prayers. there are some reports giving some details in this respect, but they are too weak to be relied upon.
Q. “I am told that ‘al-Masjid-al-Aqsa mentioned in Surah Bani Isra’il of the Holy Qur’an refers to a plot of land only, and there was no built mosque on that plot in the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam). Is this correct? Is the present Masjid built on the same plot? And who had built it first?
(A.S. Naviwala Karachi)
A. This is not correct. What we call it al-Masjid al-Aqsa today was originally built by Sayyidna Dawood by Sayyidna Sulaiman . It was in the form of a mosque even in the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam). Imam Baghawri reports that when the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) informed the infidels of Makkah that he has been taken by Allah to al-Masjid-al-Aqsa, they did not believe it and started asking him about the details of the building of the mosque, and the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) gave then full account of the building. They asked him about the minute details of the structure of the mosque and the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam)gave all their answers correctly. (See al-Tafsir al-Mazhari v.5 p.402) Read more... (268 words, estimated 1:04 mins reading time)
Q. “I would like to learn the meaning of the words Mujaddid and Tajdeed.
i) How have these words been used in Hadith?
ii) Is it true that one Mujaddid will appear at the beginning of every century after Hijrah?
iii) Can there be more than one Mujaddid in a century? If yes, then, is there a pattern of geographical dispersion of Mujaddids, or time dispersion?
iv) Can Mujaddid be identified by common Muslim? By scholars? If yes how?
(Irfan Ali Hyder, Karachi) Read more... (1063 words, estimated 4:15 mins reading time)