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Islam and The modern world om i.c id am rg g h d .o ad wri hm a da l-m ve .a .j a w w ww w w

(a discussion on some important contentious issues)

Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan

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Table on Contents: Title

Page

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Chapter

Foreword 1.

Dialogue with the West

2.

Some Basic Facts about Islam

3.

Islam and Democracy

4.

Islam and Freedom of Opinion

5.

Jihad and Terrorism

6.

The Rights of Non-Muslims

7.

Islam and Women

8.

Islam and Human Rights

9.

Fine Arts, Slavery and Family Planning

10.

Need of a Dialogue

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3 Foreword

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The original manuscript of this book was written in 1995 in Urdu. At that time majority of the people did not feel much importance for a dialogue on ideological and intellectual issues between the West and the Muslim Ummah. In fact, the writer of this book, for the first time in 1991, intensively asserted that there is an urgent need for a comprehensive dialogue between the West and the Muslim Ummah. West is unaware about the ideas and views of the Muslims regarding different issues and conflicts. Similarly, there are widespread misconceptions among the Muslims about the attitude of the West. The situation has been further deteriorated through flashing news and baseless headlines in a sensational media.

There is a drastic change in the world after 9/11. Now reasonable and sensible people feel an urgent need for an in-depth understanding of the issues. Majority of the intellectuals, social and political scientists are striving for a purposeful dialogue in order to sort out unanimity on most of the issues. On some issues, where the differences are more deep, serious efforts must be done to sort out ways and means to maintain a peaceful atmosphere on the principle of coexistence. In this book, an effort has been made to discuss one important aspect of this needed dialogue and that is to remove some misconceptions of the Modern World about Islam. Some of the issues regarding the concept of War in Islam have been discussed in detail in another book of the writer, “Jihad and Qital: some basic issues.”, The English edition of this book will be available very soon. In another book “Islam & Women”, the writer has discussed gender issues in detail. The social and political issues relating to the subject have been discussed in “Ummate Muslima Kamyabi ka Rasta” in two volumes. This book is yet to be translated in English. The concept of a viable Islamic state and its different dimensions have been discussed in “Pakistan our Ikkesswi Saddi”, (Pakistan and 21 st Century) and “Islam Kiaya Hai”. (What is Islam). The English translation of these two books is not available at present. I hope that my humble efforts will prove beneficial for the cause of the Muslim Ummah and the Modern World both. Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan Mardan Pakistan

dmfkhan@gmail.com

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Chapter 1

om i.c id am rg g h d .o ad wri hm a da l-m ve .a .j a w w ww w w

Dialogue with the West

Some Misconceptions about Islam

Today, there are numerous misconceptions, doubts and reservations in the West regarding Islam and Muslims. In many parts of the world, other than the West, these misconceptions are also spreading rapidly. In fact, Media has generally played a negative role in this regard. But it is also an undeniable fact that some objections and reservations need a serious attention on the part of the Muslims and they should be analyzed positively and sincerely. West is almost stable in perspective of its social and political life. Democracy, Nationalism, Secularism and Welfare state are unanimously followed as the basic ideals in the West. As far as the social values are concerned, the Western society is fully intact to honesty, merit, human rights, equality of men and women, equality before law and justice within national boundaries. On the contrary, the situation in Muslim societies is very deplorable. There is no political stability all over the Muslim world. The social values are not regarded, as they are required. Therefore it is very much essential that the true teachings of Islam and the existing state of the Muslim world will have to be taken separately for analysis. The current analysis of the situation of the Muslim world has been discussed in detail in my book, “Jihad and Qital: some basic issues. In this book the misconceptions and misunderstandings about Islam have been discussed briefly. In this regard some misconceptions of the Non-Muslims, Particularly the West is as follows:

 That there is no democracy in Islam. There is no proper system of election and no way to remove a ruler from his office once assumed that charge whether through objectionable means. The real power lies with a faction of “Mullas” strong enough to change anything and

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5 anyone under the pretext of their being against religion. The masses are mere subjects.  That there is no freedom of opinion in Islam. Nobody is allowed to give vent to his conscience in any form. No one is allowed to criticize whatsoever the brand of Islam be practiced at some place. No Islamic state affords real freedom to a newspaper, a journal, or a book. Those expressing the voice of their conscience are frequently penalized. Islam has dual standards in this regard. A non-Muslim is persuaded to embrace Islam but a Muslim desiring to change his religion is sentenced to death.

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 That Islam teaches expansion of its boundaries through war. Muslims think it their religious duty to dominate other nations by force and enforce Islamic law upon them. They call it “Jihad”. They don’t accept other nation’s right of self-determination. They also believe in terrorism for the promotion and fulfillment of their objectives and therefore explode bombs, play havoc with the lives and property of innocent people and create an atmosphere of fear.  That Islam considers women as second rate citizens and puts undue restrictions on them. They are made dependent upon men. A woman has to depend upon her father and brothers before marriage and her husband after marriage. She is not allowed to appear before any male person with her face uncovered except before her very close relatives. She cannot step out of the premises of her house without the prior permission of her male custodian. As such she is deprived of all rights. She lives just for the service of men. Moreover a man is allowed to keep up to four wives at the same time. The witness of a woman is considered to be half as compared to that of a man in the court of law. The ransom paid for a murdered woman is also half to that of a man.  That the non-Muslims are treated as second rate citizens in a Muslim society. Undue taxes are levied on them. They are denied the right of vote. Infact they lead the lives of untouchables.  That Islam, on the whole discourages Fine Arts. Music and Painting are strictly forbidden in Islam. Life in an Islamic society is boring, dull and unlovely, and there in no room for entertainment and amusement in it. Every one is subjected to strict rules and regulations.

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6  That Islamic law is extremely harsh, inflexible and impracticable. The brutal punishments like lashing and amputation of hands are inflicted upon the individuals according to this law.  That Islam fails to offer solutions to the problems of the present era like pollution, crimes against children and inadequacy of health and educational services.

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 That Islam has certain principles contradictory to the modern society. Islam, for example, admits and allows slavery, prohibits drinking, and ordains beard, as if it is the responsibility of the state to force men to keep beards.” The above mentioned are some of the most important reservations of the Western mind about Islam. It is also noteworthy that some modern Western intellectuals do not realize the difference between Islam and the Islamic history and culture. They take it for granted that all that was practiced by the Muslims in the past was in accordance with the teachings of Islam. They also confuse culture with Islamic teachings. They mistake a particular aspect of society for Islam while it might have been a display of culture. The credibility of Islam has been put to doubt for the Western mind due to the baseless and wrong answers to these and several such like other questions. The modern Western intellectual is afraid of the misconstrued response to these questions which relate to the one fifth of the world population. Such questions are the natural outcome of the correlation between diverse nations. This must be kept in mind that many educated people also feel the force and depth of these questions. It is essential that we must look towards the origins of Islam for an appropriate reply to such queries. The misunderstandings must be segregated from the real doctrinal differences. Is it possible to adopt an attitude of tolerance and reaching a compromise through dialogue? This book has an answer to this question. This book does not deal with the typical religious matters like the credibility of Muhammad (sws) as the Prophet of God, the nature of revelation, the respective beliefs of Islam and Christianity about the concept of Doomsday and eternity and the differences between the Quran and the Bible. This book is not meant for these questions. There are a lot of other books that offer sufficient response to suchlike questions. The focal point of this book is the theme whether

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7 there is a possibility of a peaceful co-existence in spite of the differences between Islam and the Western civilization.

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Chapter 2

Some basic Facts about Islam

Before proceeding with the issue discussed in the first chapter of this book, it is necessary to keep some facts about Islam in mind. Every one knows this simple fact that Islam is the religion, which was initially preached by the Holy Prophet (sws) on the soil of Arabia fourteen hundred years ago. But a serious reader does not feel satisfied with this much information. He needs more information to quench his thirst for knowledge.

What does Islam mean? In Arabic, Islam means submission and peace. It has been named so because it teaches submission to God which in turn gives peace of mind to a human being. When we use Islam as a term, we mean the teachings provided by the almighty to Adam, the first human being with intellect and free will, so that he as well as the whole of the mankind should practice them. God kept on sending Prophets to his creation with regular intervals in order to remind it of his message. All those who acknowledged the validity of these Prophets, were Muslims. It can thus be appreciated that all the Jews were to be considered as Muslims up to the Prophethood of Jesus Christ. In the same way all the Christians prior to the beginning of revelation upon Muhammad (sws), the Prophet of God, were also Muslims. With the arrival of Muhammad (sws) the series of Prophets was concluded as he presented before the world the message of God through his teaching in the most accomplished way. Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


8

The meaning of “Deen”.

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Every human being in this world forms a doctrinal approach towards the universe and its relevance to him and leads his life accordingly. This is “Deen”. So we can say that “Deen” is a fine blend of philosophy and practice which teaches him the relationship between God and him, between all the humanity and the awareness of the Doomsday. The same blend has been explained and elaborated by God through his Prophets. And so it becomes “The Deen”. Islam is nothing else but the sense of “The Deen”.

Origins of Islam

Islam is originated from two sources: the Quran and the Sunnah. The Quran is the collection of the revelations dawned upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sws) from time to time throughout the twenty-three years of his Prophethood. After the completion of the process of revelation, the Holy Prophet sequenced the “Surah” (the one hundred and fourteen segments of the Quran) in accordance with the commandment of God so that it should assume the status of a complete set of instructions for the mankind till the doomsday. Sunnah is the practical method introduced among the Muslims by the Prophets of God. This method of “Deen” had been very much there since the time of Ibraham, the Prophet of God. But with the passage of time certain malpractices polluted its purity. Muhammad (sws) took steps to eradicate these malpractices and introduced the real shape of Islam among the Muslims. The sacred companions of the Prophet had a consensus on it and practiced it. The Sunnah of Islam included the practical method prayers for five times a day, the institutions of Zakat, Fasting and Hajj, more practical methods of praying, cleanliness of body, etiquettes of eating, the manners for the social interaction, the customs to be observed at the time of birth, marriage and death.

THREE BASIC CREEDS OF ISLAM Belief in God: The Holy Quran tells us that God is the sole creator and Master of this universe. He rears all its beings and has perfect control over it. He possesses

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9 absolute wisdom and intellect and has the capacity to manage every thing. He is therefore, the only one who deserves our total submissions. Belief in God is the light that enlightens this universe. By means of settling his faith in one God, it becomes easy for a human being to understand true relationship between himself and the universe. It also enables us to determine a definite path of life in terms of thought and practice. This is the light, sans which every thing is mere darkness.

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God is perfect and immortal. He is above all deficiencies. He has dominance over everything, but at the same time, He is just and maintains justice. Nothing is beyond the reach of His knowledge. Every-thing is mapped out, brought into being and given the proper shape by God. He is distinctive but a prop of affection for every one. He is neither a son nor a father of anyone and no one is equal to Him. All characteristics of grandeur and nicety exclusively belong to him only. These include mercy, command and control, kindness, benevolence, knowledge, and awareness in their perfect form. All of His qualities have an equal proportion but His benevolence, merey and love for human beings is like a canopy that showers down all other disciplines. He knows the secrets of our heart. Even a leaf does not move without his will. He is not unaware of our worries. He is the one who listens to what we whisper to Him in the solitude. We can supplicate and pray before Him. Belief in Him brings the wealth of ego and self-respect to us. Reliance upon Him keeps our conscience alive and grants us courage and determination. Our faith in Him fills our hearts with satisfaction and comfort.

Faith in Prophets:

For the guidance of humanity, God has blessed it with two faculties: intellect and conscience. But the facts of this universe and life, which were difficult to be probed into, were unfolded to human-kind through the process of revelation upon some chosen people among human beings. These people are known as the Prophets of God. A Prophet is by nature an example of sublimity in character before and after his Prophethood. He is so extraordinary and distinctive amongst the people around that every one acknowledges his qualities of truth, honesty, nicety of behavior and manners. There is no room for improvement in the knowledge of a Prophet. Unlike a layman he doesn’t learn through a gradual growth of observation and experience. The perfect reality dawns upon him from the very first minute of his Prophethood. Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


10 He need not learn more. He is guided directly by God. His thoughts and ideology never change. He is the final authority on philosophy, law and “Deen”. A Prophet is always a model for the people in terms of character and behavior. There is not even the slightest possibility of any weakness in his character. He is always placed in the highest rank in all walks of life: as a ruler, politician, judge, commander of armed forces, preacher, head of a family and a human being.

Dooms-day:

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Muslims acknowledge all Prophets sacred to Christians and Jews. However, they challenge the credibility of certain immoral references about the Prophets laid down in the Bible. They believe Jesus Christ to be a Prophet of God and not a son of God. Muslims believe that there had been the Prophets throughout the history and in every nation, and Muhammad (sws) was the last Prophet. The process of Prophethood was over after Muhammad (sws), because it had now become easy for the whole of humankind to receive the message of one Prophet on account of the sufficient means of communication and a modernized phase of civilization. It was to be an era where similar principles would be the guideline for the practical life of the whole of the world.

In this universe every thing has been created in couples. Each member of a couple complements the other. The co-mate of this world is the dooms-day. This world is in fact a test arena for humankind. It is to be ascertained whether a person makes the right use of his free will through following the path of his conscience and intellect, and chooses the way of God, which is the only way to peace and success. Each and every action of a person in this world will be accounted for on dooms-day. The successful ones would be blessed with the seat of excellence in the eternal dominion of God, while those who declined to choose the way of righteousness revealed through the Prophets shall be penalized for a sufficiently long time.

Some aspects of Islamic directives Islam has laid down some guiding principles in order to make the individual and collective life of a person beneficial for the whole of humankind and to harmonize it with society. A few of them are as under:

Morality:

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11 Fundamental human morals are a part of the Islamic thought and philosophy. They are in the instinct of a human being. Even then man has constantly been reminded of these moral values so that he may not forget his nature and keep following his conscience. These include Justice, honesty, merit, hard work, education, tolerance, restraint, dialogue, wisdom, doing good with one’s parents, granting the relatives their dues, helping the traveler and the needy, charity, nice conduct, fulfillment of promise, social service and attitude of forgiveness. The Holy Quran accords all the details about the basic human morality.

Prayers:

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The motive behind the prayer is to keep the contact of God and man alive. Such a prayer accords peace and real happiness to man. As per “Deen” the compulsory code of prayers includes five times prayer, fasting during the month the Ramadhan, contributing Zakat and performing “Hajj” (pilgrimage), if the individual has sufficient money to undertake and perform it.

Society:

God, in the holy Quran, has issued instructions regarding human relations. Family is regarded as the base of society. The husband-wife relationship has been given greatest significance by the Holy Quran.

Economy:

Wealth of this world has been bestowed upon man in order to test him. God has declared several principles for the proper chanalization of this wealth. Some of these principles would be discussed in this book at their required place.

Politics: The Holy Quran has laid down principles about establishing a state, rights and duties of the ruler, obligation of a state, rights and liabilities of a citizen etc. These would also be discussed elsewhere in this book when required.

Law and punishment: Free will is an honor for man but its misuse creates fuss and gives birth to crime. Punishments have been determined in the Holy Quran for five major crimes against life, property, and honor, if committed in the extreme form in a true and perfect Islamic society. The state has been given free hand to devise ways and

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12 laws for the rest of crimes according to the circumstances and requirement. There would be a discussion about them later on.

Culture:

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Islam tells us the ways and means to bring harmony between different cultures and societies. For instance, to start eating with the name of God, eating with right hand, expressing good wishes at time of meeting, asking “Assala-uAlaykum” (prayer for peace in this world and the hereafter) and several other things like these.

Four important religious issues

In order to understand the forthcoming discussion in a better way, it is a pre-requisite to keep in mind the four important issues having fundamental nature.

The status of Holy Quran:

The Holy Quran is the equity of Islam. We can judge the truth of every thing in this equity. We know all the difference between right and wrong, logic, practicality, thought and philosophy through this Book, which is the basis of Islam. There is absolutely no possibility of any alteration in the text of the Quran. This has been claimed in the Holy Quran very clearly in Surah Furqan:

“Sacred is the being who revealed this book upon His Prophet for the distinction of right and wrong” (Al-Furqan-25:1) Thus the Holy Quran is the real source of information about Islam. It tells us distinctively what “Deen” is. The matter adjudged right on this equity would be final. Surah Shura says:

“It is God only who revealed this Book with absolute truth and made it a scale”. (Sura 42:17) The Holy Quran has certain other epithets too, e.g.: Custodian of belief and practice.

(Al-Maidah-5:48)

The best speech and message.

(Al-Zumar-39:23)

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13 The stable light and an ever-true logic.

(Al-Nisa-4:174)

The message of God for people.

(Al-Ibrahim-14:52)

The everlasting and subtle words.

(Al-Zumar-43:28, 29)

Final verdict, the origin of law and Jurisprudence.

(Al-Ra’d-13:37)

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Thus it becomes clear that the Holy Quran is the final authority in all matters of Islam.

The status of Sunnah:

Sunnah has been discussed earlier. To cut short Sunnah is the practical method of “Deen” which was adopted by the Holy Prophet and his companions followed it unanimously. There has been a consensus over it among Muslim Ummah for the last fourteen hundreds years.

The status of Hadith:

Several companions of the Holy Prophet remembered all what was said or done by him and at times conveyed it too. Although the Holy Prophet had not issued any such instruction yet his companions did that out of love and respect they had for him. Consequently many books based on these traditions and references were compiled. These traditions are very precious as they not only reflect the Prophet’s way of living but also a record of the history, culture, language and other notable material of those times. The compilers of these books received these traditions through a chain of four or five persons. It means that an individual heard something from the Holy Prophet and conveyed it to another fellow. That fellow conveyed it to the next one and so on until the fourth one or the fifth one narrated it to the compiler. Obviously such a chain had possibility of a weak or unreliable channel somewhere. So the following standards are essential to test and verify the reference:  

The Hadith must have a reliable source. The Hadith must be in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah because these are the only two sources the Holy Prophet instructed to let every Muslim know.

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14 

The Hadith must not be against nature and common sense.

We can conclude that the Hadith is a very valuable source yet it has to be understood in the light of Quran and Sunnah.

Special status of Prophets known as Rasools

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Prophethood means that a chosen man, through revelation is assigned the work of telling the truth to people, informing them of the promise of God about their happy ending in case they remain obedient to God and vice versa. Everyone of them is called “Nabi” A special group among these Prophets is called Rasool. They are the greatest source of guidance. Rasool has got a special status. God accomplishes a special task through Rasool, for which Rasool is used as a tool. A Rasool is in fact a court of God on this earth for his direct addressees i.e. his nation. It means that as far as normal people are concerned, the court of God will be established for them on Doomsday but as far as the direct addressees of the Rasool are concerned, when everybody of them has received the message of Din in the most complete form for a sufficiently long time and even then they refuse to embrace Din because of their prejudices and stubbornness, then the court of God is established for them in this very world and they are punished accordingly. When this court is set to announce its verdict, then the general principles of this world are no more applicable. Instead the rules of the Doomsday come into force. This sentence is given to the wrong doers according to the severity of their crimes. Some of them are totally eliminated from this Earth. This death penalty was inflicted upon the wrongdoers and infidels of the nations of Noah, Looth, Ibrahim, Hud, Salih and so many other Rasools. The Holy Quran has narrated in indetail the stories of these Rasools to explain this point. After this the Rasool and / or his companions become triumphant in this World. In fact this special status is the greatest sign and proof of the Prophethood of a Rasool. Right from the start, he proclaims that he has been appointed as Rasool and after the lapse of a specific period, his enemies would be sentenced by the court of God directly. Prophet Muhammad (sws) was also a Rasool. The special Godly mission on which he was sent, was to accomplish Islam’s predominance over the Arabian

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15 Peninsula, to lay the foundation of Muslim Ummah, to make a perfect Islamic society and to make Kaaba a center for all the Muslims permanently. This special status of the Holy Prophet has been announced many many times by the Quran. During the Mecca period when the number of Muslims was extremely small, Holy Quran claimed again and again that the Rasool will triumph. The following verses are few out of many, revealed during the Mecca period.

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“(Muhammad) say to Those who disbelieve: Do whatever lies in your power, and so shall we. Wait if you will, We too are waiting” (Hud-11:121,122) “Those who disbelieved said to their Rasool: Return to our faith or we will bash you from our land. But Allah revealed to them: “We shall destroy the wrongdoers and let you dwell in the land after them”. (Ibrahim-14:13) “Say O’ Muhammad: Each one is waiting for the result. So wait if you will. Soon you will come to know who has followed the right path and who has been rightly guided”. (Taaha-20:135) “(O Muhammad) Your opponents are like a small faction which will be defeated as many such factions against the previous Rasools were defeated (Swad-38:11) “(O’ Muhammad) whether We shall show you, within your lifetime, part of what We promised your opponents, or take to Ourselves your soul before it is all accomplished, your duty is only to make the message reach them. Then it is our part to call them to account. Why don’t these people see that we are gradually reducing the land (of Arabian Peninsula) in their control from the outlying borders (due to the spreading of Islam). Everything is in the command of God. There is none to put back his command. He is swift in calling to account. (AlRaad-13:40-41) The same prophecy was proclaimed again and again in the Medina period as well.

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16 “Allah has decreed. I will surely triumph Myself and My Rasools” (Al-Mujadilah-58:21) “These opponents seek to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect his light, much as the disbelievers may dislike it. It is He who has sent his Rasool with guidance and the faith of truth, so that He may exalt it above all religions, much as the pagans may dislike it.” (AlSaff-61:9)

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The task for Rasool is much different from a normal person, so many rules and regulation for a Rasool are different than an ordinary person. Some rules are more strict and some are relaxed for him. So many rules for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sws) were also different. Many such examples will be discussed in the following pages. Just for instance.  The Tahajjud (Midnight) prayers were compulsory for the Holy Prophet but they are optional for other Muslims.  The rules and regulations of marriage were also different for the Holy Prophet.

 It was Holy Prophet’s task to make the Land of Arabia a centre of Islam for which a specific war was allowed for him which is not allowed for other Muslims.  After Twenty three years of preaching, death penalty was sentenced for his opponent pagans of Islam. If was proclaimed by the Holy Quran that the sentence from the court of God will be promulgated on the pagans through the hands of the companions of the Holy Prophet. No such penalty can be ordered for the opponents of any other preacher.

 Similarly after this preaching, the sentence announced for “The people of the Book” of the Arabian Peninsula was that they will be subdued and will have no share in the government. No such penalty can be announced for “The people of the Book” outside this area and after that period.

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17  Even some of the rules for the Arabian Peninsula (the Centre of Islam) are permanently different from the rest of the world. Idolatry and paganism are not allowed in the Arabian Peninsula but out side this area; the Muslims are bound to respect the sacred places of every religion including pagans.

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There are many more such examples which will be discussed at the relevant places. It is extremely important that this specific and distinct role of the Holy Prophet is understood. If this specific role of the Rasool is misunderstood, then the verses of Holy Quran seem to be erroneously thought as contradictory to one another. And if this distinct role is understood properly, then we can very properly differentiate between the verses specific to the Holy Prophet and the verses for the general mankind. Here a question may arise: what is its relevance to us now. The answer is: It is the biggest proof and argument in favor of the Prophet hood of Muhammad (sws). This biography tells us how a single human being stood up to raise the message of God and claimed that he is last of the Rasool and he will triumph and then within twenty three years he succeeded on every front. In this way this makes it the greatest proof of his Prophet hood.

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18

Chapter 3

Islam and Democracy

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The Holy Quran guides us in detail in those matters, which hardly alter with the change of time like family affairs. All other matters that change a lot according to the circumstances have been left upon the free will of people to legislate accordingly. For these matters the Quran simply lays down some guiding principles. Politics is also one of such matters. We know that politics and statecraft are subject to change according to the temperament and culture of different societies. The human approach towards these matters also keeps changing with the passage of time. According to the Quran the ruler of a Muslim state has to be elected by the people. It means that a Muslim state should be a perfect democratic state. The Quran says:

“They (the Muslims) decide all their collective issues through mutual consultation.” (Al-Shura-32:38) Any matter that is pertained with the interests of two or more than two persons cannot be decided single-handedly. In order to put this law to practice it is necessary that the people be given absolute freedom to express their opinions. A ruler must be appointed through the free vote of people. The whole system of the state must be formulated through consultation. Every one must be given equal right of vote. A law once formulated through consultation must be withdrawn through consultation. A ruler is also bound to take a decision approved by the majority. There is no room for dictatorship or imperialism in Islam. People have the right to put a ruler into or out of his office. We shall discuss all expected questions one by one arising through the discussion on Islam and democracy. © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


19 The above-mentioned stand is mainly objected on the ground that the majority of the people all over the world are wayward and for the same reason the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sws) was forbidden to follow the opinion of the majority. In a way it is said that the rule of majority is wrong.

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The verse of the Quran dealing with this issue has not been understood properly. This is why the faction among the Muslims against democracy presents this verse as logic in their favour but without its context. It will be tried here that the real motive of the Quran in this verse be presented with its true context. The Quran declares that the affirmation of right or wrong does not depend on majority or minority, rather it is judged on the equity of the individual’s conscience and intellect. Above all, the real test for the adjudgment of true and false is the guidance of God. It is quite possible that the majority might decline something despite it being true and right. This was the philosophy behind God’s advice to the Prophets asking them to continue their rightful struggle and not to submit before adversaries. The above-mentioned advice of God was also given to Prophet Muhammad (sws) during his Makkah era. It is known to us that the Holy Prophet had to face discouraging circumstances when he initiated his preaching in his native city Makkah. There were a few people who embraced Islam. The Muslims of that era were failed to understand why the majority was not ready to agree with them if they were really on the right path. Thus God satisfied them through the Holy Prophet by telling them that the validity of truth doesn’t depend on its acknowledgement by the majority. The majority might turn it down under the influence of their worldly desires. So irrespective of the results; the struggle with all its profundity must be carried on. In the early days of Islam the number of the believers was hardly in hundreds while the non-believers were in millions. Thus God revealed His message upon His Prophet for the morale boosting of His companions several times. The following verse was also a part of that:

“Perfected are the words of your Lord in the truth and justice. None can change them. He is the Hearing, the knowing. If you obeyed the majority of these people, they would lead you away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but falsehood. Allah best knows the people who stray from His path and those that are rightly guided.” (Al-An’am-6:115,116)

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20 The study of above mentioned verses of the Holy Quran make it clear that they do not deal with the formation of any system for the running of collective affairs of a Muslim state. It was merely a message to console the Muslims of that time and it achieved its target. So the Holy Quran is justified in relating the fact that the validity of truth has no relevance with the certification of the majority. Democracy, in fact, simply lays down the principle that the decision of the majority should prevail in case of a dispute. The decision of the majority may be wrong. This is why one political party does not always remain in power. This is the only way to resolve the issues because it carries more advantages and less disadvantages.

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Here we come across an inevitable question: if it is difficult to consult masses in every matter, could there be a possibility in Islam of holding consultation through a parliament of elected representatives of the people. Well, the Quran allows this as per principle but the practical affirmation of this belief can be seen in the adoption of this rule in the lives of the Holy Prophet (sws) and the later Muslim rulers. For instance, on an occasion when the question about the release of some prisoners was under discussion, the Prophet asked the Muslims to communicate their point of view through their representatives. (Bukhari: Kitab alAhkam) Afterwards the pious Caliphs also followed the procedure of holding consultation with the elite of every community. If needed, they used to take the public opinion through referendum. (Kitab-ul-Khiraj) Here arises the question whether Islam accommodates the existence of political parties. In principle, the answer is in affirmative. Since Islam does not ban the political parties, it naturally gives the sense that the establishment of a political party is admirable and it can level the ground to win favor of public. The Muslims can enjoy difference of opinion within their society as well. They are free to convince others in favor of their opinion and can take part in the elections through their political factions. The next question is what sort of culture Islam wants to create through the fair and free elections and a purified democratic mind and atmosphere. The Holy Quran tells that a leader must possess the distinctive qualities of knowledge, intellect, righteousness and strength. Islam rules out any major role of money in the appointment of a ruler. Through al-Baqarah-2:247 the Quran relates an incident from history that when a ruler was chosen in a nation, it was objected by the people that since he Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


21 was inferior to them in worldly assets, he had no right to rule upon them. They were replied that the ruler was, however, superior to them in knowledge, morality and strength. It proves that an Islamic society should form such a model of democracy where there is no manipulation of money in the appointment of a political office bearer. Islam affirms that every office is a sacred duty entrusted upon the office bearer.

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Another issue requires its satisfactory answer: Who would be the arbiter to decide in case of dispute over the interpretation of a point in Islam. The answer is that Islam grants such a right to the majority. If the matter is the concern of the individual, he has every right to interpret according to his will. If the matter deals with collectivity, it is only the prerogative of the elected representatives of the people to implement what they deem fit. The factions in minority have of course a right to maintain the difference of opinion and work for leveling the ground in their favor. As long as they do not get a law amended through the majority, they are bound to observe the legislation passed by the parliament. Islam does not approve of any legal right to any faction of religious scholars for the forcible implementation of their notions based on their understanding of Islam. There is no such concept in Islam. A scholar may convince the masses by dint of his arguments and moral strength but he has absolutely no right to enforce his notions. The Quran, as a principle, stresses upon the consensus on all collective matters. It respects the majority in case of a dispute. So there is no room for theocracy in Islam. Non Muslims too, may dwell in a Muslim state, so it is important to know about system of their participation in political affairs. The Quran had laid down a principle in this regard that the Muslims have to keep up their promises. It proves that the Muslims are bound to respect every pact made with non-Muslims after mutual consultation. It is a must for the state to keep in view the international situation, pacts, and the problems of the Muslim minorities in the non-Muslim countries. It is a must for the Muslims to honor every commitment made with nonMuslims. For instance the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali-Jinnah, the founder leader of Pakistan, gave his word to non-Muslims that they would be granted equal political rights in Pakistan. Therefore, it is obligatory upon the state of Pakistan that the non-Muslims get equal rights with the Muslims in this country. (Quaid’s address on 11 Aug 1947).

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22 The further discussion regarding the rights of non-Muslims would come later in this book. The next discussion deals with the meaning of the Caliphate, as this word comes repeatedly in Islamic literature. The word Khalifah (Caliph) has been used in the Quran meaning a person with power, authority and freewill i.e every human being. A Muslim ruler in the same capacity is called Caliph. It is important to note that the word Caliph is not used as an essential religious term; any other synonym like president, Prime Minister and Chancellor can also be used in its stead.

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It is said that the Holy Prophet had decided in his own life that his successor in the office of the leader of the Muslims would be among the Quraysh, the then biggest tribe of the Arabs. Was it not an undemocratic decision? How the first four Caliphs after the Holy Prophet were appointed? The answer is that the Qurayshites were respected and trusted by the inhabitants of the soil of Arabia. This position of respect was enjoyed by the Qurayshites for hundreds of years. People contacted them for arbitration in disputes and admitted their leadership. In fact they were in majority. The same situation persisted even after they had embraced Islam, because a faction of the Quraysh had accorded the maximum sacrifices for Islam. So in the light of the guidance of the Quran no tribe other than the Quraysh deserved the leadership of the Muslims in the whole of Arabia. The Holy Prophet decided in their favor owing to their being in majority. The Holy Prophet justified his decision as under:

“The general masses are subservient to the Quraysh in the matter of leadership. The believers of Arabia follow the believers of the Quraysh and the non-believers follow the nonbelievers of the Quraysh.” (Muslim: Kitabul-Amarah). Therefore the decision of the Holy Prophet was purely a democratic decision. The first four Caliphs were elected on the basis of the same principle. Abu Bakr was the most prominent man among the Quraysh. When his name was proposed as a Caliph, all had a consensus on it. In the same way Abu Bakr consulted the leading persons about the appointment of the new Caliph before his death. When he became sure that the majority of the Muslim leaders were in favor of Umar, he declared his name as his successor. When Umer reached the dusk of his life, he formed a council comprising of six most prominent leaders. These six leaders were the fittest candidates to become Caliph. After having consulted the general public and through a consensus, this council elected Usman as the next Caliph of Islam.

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23 The election of Ali was in a period of chaos but even then consultation was the main source of his appointment at that time. Implementation of the policy of consultation was one of the two reasons for the conflict between Ali and his opponents. Ali had the stand that since the inhabitants of the Capital had chosen him their leader, he was the Caliph. He expressed that the opinion of the people belonging to the other parts of the state would be taken when the situation is normalized. His opponents, however, believed that he was not a Caliph unless people from all over the state vote in favor of him. This dispute has a positive gesture that indicates how much importance the Muslims of the early period of Islam attached to the democratic values.

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It is a pertinent question here how far these values were practiced in the time of the Holy Prophet. Its principled aspect is that he was the Prophet of God and he received guidance directly from God in every important matter. So apparently he was not dependent upon the consultation of any one else. The Quran Says:

“He does not speak out of his own fancy. This is no other than inspired revelation.” (Al-Najam-53:3-4) “Whatever the Rasool gives you, accept it; and whatever he forbids you, forebear from it.” (Al-Hshr-59:7) Despite this all, the Holy Prophet was advised by God to consult his companions in all affairs of political and administrative nature. So he not only consulted them but also acted upon the advice of the majority. There was only one exception at the time when the pact of Hudaybiyah was made. His companions were not willing to make the agreement but he reached an agreement with his enemies after having direct orders from God, the Quran says:

“It is thanks to Allah’s mercy that you (Muhammad) deal so leniently with them. Had you been cruel and hard-hearted, they would have surely deserted you. Therefore, pardon them and implore Allah to forgive them. Take counsel with them in the conduct of affairs; and when you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. (Al-Imran-3:159) This is how the Prophet of Islam formed a complete democratic society where everyone expressed the voice of his conscience in an atmosphere of perfect freedom and fearlessness. According to a Hadith, Abu Huraira the companion of

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24 the Holy Prophet, says that the Holy Prophet used to consult people more then any body.

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Islam had its entire growth in an absolutely democratic way. The Prophet of Islam (sws) initiated his preaching from his native city, Makkah that was the pivot of the whole of Arabia. Despite his peaceful struggle which spanned over thirteen years, he could not convince the majority of the dwellers of his native city. He did not raise an army at that time for the forcible occupation of that city. One the other side almost the whole of the population of Madina became Muslim and they invited the Prophet to come over there and establish his rule. Therefore, he reached there and established his rule according to the will of the local people in a purely democratic way.

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25

Chapter 4

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Islam and Freedom of Opinion

Islam is an exponent of tolerance and freedom of opinion. Islam is a religion that believes in reason and intellect and invites people to act in accordance to them. The Quran has an appeal for the intuition, conscience, intellect, and understanding to every individual. The Quran has a logical expression in every matter like Oneness of God, Prophet hood and the hereafter. It draws the attention of its addressee towards the facts both within the human being and spread through the whole of the universe. It addresses the human-kind because they are the masters of their own free will. They admit logic and act accordingly. In the Quran the repeated appearance of the words like intellect, thought, farsightedness and wisdom for more than two hundred times prove that it is a book based purely on intellect, farsightedness and logic.

“In the creation of the heavens and the earth; And in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people of sense”. (Al-Imran-3:190) “This is a clear message to mankind. Let them heed thereby, and know that Allah is one God. Let the wise bear this in mind”. (Ibrahim-14:52) “We gave Moses the guidance and the book in inheritance to the children of Israel: guidance and an admonition to men of understanding”. (Al-Mu’min-40:54) “Thus Allah makes known to you His revelations that you may understand”. (Al-Baqarah-2:242)

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26 “(O Prophet,) Give good news to my servants, who listen to My word and follow the best version of it. These are they whom Allah he guided. These are they who are endued with understanding”. (Al-Zumar-39:18) The above quoted verses are given here because the sense conveyed through them is repeated for over two hundred times. A book based on logic has a lot of room to accommodate the difference of opinion. This is why the Quran advised the Holy Prophet and his followers to have an objective discourse with their opponents and avoid conflict however stubborn they be.

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“Repel evil with good. We are fully aware of all (the slanders) they utter”. (Al-Mu’minoon-23:96) “Good and evil deeds are not alike, requite evil with good, and he, between whom and you is enmity, will become your dearest friend. (Ha-Mim al-Sijdah-41:34) “Tell my servants to be courteous in their speech”. (Al-Isra17:53) “Believers, fear Allah and speak the truth”. (Al-Ahzab-33:70) “The true servants of the Merciful are those who walk humbly on the earth, and when the ignorant address them they say: ‘peace’!” (Al-Furqan-25:63) “Call people to the path of your Lord with wisdom and mild exhortation. Reason with them in the most courteous manner”. (Al-Nahl-6:125) There are many such verses in the Quran that convey the similar sense. Owing to this stand, the Holy Quran made it clear to the Prophet of God that his main task was to communicate truth to the people. He had no more responsibility. And the admittance on the part of the people is not a certification of success.

“(O Prophet) therefore give warning. Your duty is only to warn them: You are not their keeper”. (Al-Ghashiyah-88:21, 22) “You shall not use force with them.” (Qaf-50:45) © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


27 There are eighteen verses in the Quran that convey the same sense. The Quran, besides this, makes it clear that every man is free to decide whether he becomes a Muslim or adopts the counter path. It is so because this world is the place where man is put to trial by granting free will to him. The Doomsday is yet to come.

“This is the truth from your Lord. Let him who will, believe in it and him who will, deny it”. (Al-Kahf-18:29)

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“There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance in now distinct from the error.” (Al-Baqarah-2:250) “We have shown the Human being the right path, whether he is grateful or ungrateful”. (Al-Dahr-76:3) The verses giving the sense as above have appeared at more than fifteen places in the Quran. These verses make it clear that man is free to choose the religion of his liking; he cannot be forced in this matter.

Punishment for apostasy?

Here the proclamation of the Holy Quran regarding the grant of freedom of opinion to the individual brings about a confusion in general minds; how did this concept go round that a person once embracing Islam will be inflicted death penalty in case he reverts to his previous religion. And if it be true, is there a duality in the Holy Quran in specific and Islam in general. It gives rise to a contradictory situation when a person finds that Islam invites the people belonging to other religions to embrace it; whereas it declares death punishment for those who want to revert to any other religion. Is it true? Let’s find an answer to this question. In fact this is not true. The above-mentioned confusion is due to the misunderstanding of a specific established practice of God. This practice is, in fact a law that is pertained with Rasools only and has nothing to do with even Prophets who are “Nabi”. This law has already been dealt with briefly. It says that a Rasool is in fact equity of justice, a scale to weigh right and wrong, and a court of God within this world. He communicates the message of God to people through his words and actions in such a vivid manner that only the stubborn ones and those who remain adamant in their vested interests refuse to yield.

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28 When a specific time span is passed after the message has been communicated in the most accomplished manner, it is decided by God that the court to be established on Doomsday should be set in this world as well. Thus those who still show inflexibility in their sinful life are penalized directly or indirectly, by God. Many such measures in past have been related through the Quran and the Bible that approve the above-mentioned fact, for example the disaster faced by the nation of Noah. In the likewise manner when a faction of Israelites fell victims to paganism, they were inflicted death punishment by Moses (Musa). It was so because they had no justification for their misdeeds. This incident has been described in Chapter 32 of the book of “Exodus” of the Bible.

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Muhammad (sws) was also a Rasool of God. After the proclamation of Prophet-Hood he preached the people in a peaceful manner. Not even a single person was converted to Islam forcibly. After the lapse of twenty-two years a great number of the pagans of Arabia embraced Islam through the exercise of their free will. At this juncture the peculiar law of God was enacted. God declared through Surah Al-Tawba that His message had been absolutely communicated to all pagans of Arabia. They were granted a time limit of four months to embrace Islam. They were given an opportunity as well to clarify their ambiguities about Islam if any in the meantime. During that time their safety was the responsibility of the Muslims. Yet it was up to them whether they embrace Islam or not. If they chose not to become Muslims even after four months, they were asked either to get ready for war with the Muslims or to quit the land of Arabia. (Al-Tawbah-9:5) While explaining an aspect of this law, the Holy Prophet said that the same punishment would also be inflicted upon those who would revert to their previous religion once having accepted Islam as their Deen. Thus this punishment was meant for the direct addressees of the Prophet of Islam. Since this law was applicable to the direct addressees of the Rasool, it had lost its chances of enforcement after that period had perished. It must be borne in mind that the above-mentioned law was applied on the pagans only. The Christians and the Jews of Arabia were exempted from it. They were just bound to remain under the control of Muslim rule. They were not allowed to form the government of their own inside Arabian Peninsula. (AlTawbah-9:29) It is historically proved that after the above-mentioned declaration, all the pagans turned Muslims. None of them left the Arabian soil nor there was any war against them. Since with the completion of this stage the task of the Prophet was over, he died just a few months after that.

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29 The above discussion makes it clear that the law of death penalty for those who leave Islam after having once accepted it could only be exercised by the “Rasools” of God in a specific period and up to a time limit. After and before that everyone is free to choose his religion, whatsoever he likes. There would be no accountability in this world; it would be decided on the Doomsday.

Morality of preaching

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The whole mankind has a consensus that a civilized, sophisticated and graceful style is desirable during conversation; no abuses, no allegations. The Quran advises the Muslims to adopt a tender, wise and nice way of preaching:

“Call people to the path of your Lord with wisdom and mild exhortation. Reason with them in the most courteous manner”. (Al-Nahl-16:125) “Good and evil deeds are not alike. Requite evil with good, and he, between whom and you is enmity, will become your dearest friend.” (Fussilat-41:34) It is advisable that a preacher should wind up his preaching for the time being and avoid any conflict when the opponents are bent upon making a mockery of his preaching, raising allegations and launching undue criticism.

“When you see those that scoff at Our revelations, withdraw from them till they engage in some other talk”. (Al-An’am6:68) When the Holy Prophet (sws) started conveying the message of God to Makkans, his opponents raised a lot of allegations against him. These allegations have been related in the Quran in detail. It is obvious that the companions of the Holy Prophet (sws) got enraged over such allegations but any step taken by them in rage would have been tantamount to nullifying the objectives of the preaching. So the Quran relates it as a distinctive quality of good Muslims that they avoid such people, show tolerance and perseverance in the event of adversity, and pray peace and prosperity for even their deadly enemies.

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30 “Allah loves the righteous people who spend alike in prosperity and in adversity, who curb their anger and those who forgive their fellow-men”. (Al-Imran-3:134) “The true servants of the Merciful are those who walk humbly on the earth, and when the ignorant address them they say: Peace!” (Al-Furqan-25:63) An ignorant is the one who abuses, raises allegations and misbehaves while showing his ignorance. The servants of the Merciful stand aside by saying goodbye to them.

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“They pay no heed to vain talk, but say: We have our actions and you have yours, peace be upon you. We do not seek (The company of) ignorant people”. (Al-Qasas-28:55) At one place in the Quran, while replying the charges of the pagans, which they levied against the Prophet, Muhammad (sws) was advised as:

“Bear with them and wish them peace, they shall (before long) know”. (Al-Zukhruf-43:89) At another place the Prophet was advised as below:

“Bear patiently with what they say and leave their company with dignity”. (Al-Muzzammil-73:10) He was further told:

“Show forgiveness, enjoin justice, and avoid the ignorant”. (AlA’raf-7:199) After the establishment of the Muslim rule in Madina, the Jews and hypocrites of Madina started hatching up conspiracies and raising allegations on the character of the Holy Prophet. The Prophet was advised by God to show patience and tolerance to these conspirators

“Pardon them (the Jews) and bear with them, Allah loves those who do good”. (Al-Maidah-5:13)

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31 The hypocrites also lived in Madina. These were the people who pretended to be the Muslims but inwardly remained busy in conspiracies against the Muslims and the Holy Prophet. At times they turned insolent. They labeled the promises of the Holy Prophet as fraud and imposture. Their leader, Ibn-i-Obayy called the Holy Prophet a worthless man and claimed himself to be worthy of respect. The Quran has discussed it in detail. The Prophet was advised about them as under:

“Therefore let them be, and put your trust in Allah.” (Al-Nisa4:81)

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At another place it was advised:

“Do not obey the unbelievers and the hypocrites: disregard their insolence. Put your trust in Allah; Allah is your all-sufficient Guardian”. (Al-Ahzab-33:48) This attitude bore positive results and opponents of Islam could not succeed in their evil designs. Freedom of opinion does not allow an individual to play havoc with the lives of others. Though the Muslims are advised to be tolerant yet a Muslim government has the natural right to penalize such criminals if they play with the sentiments of the Muslims, blame their dearest leaders, turn cruel to them, create a pathetic situation for the whole Muslim community, and conspire with the enemies of Islam to create chaos.

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32

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Chapter 5

Qital, Jihad and Terrorism

There is a lot of confusion about Jihad. One such misunderstanding is that the Muslims consider it their religious duty to bring other nations under their subjugation whenever they get an opportunity. If this happens to be the religious obligation of the Muslims, they are obviously a threat to the world peace. It is, therefore, necessary to analyze the concept of Jihad in the light of the Quran. The real meaning of the word “Jihad” is struggle. In this sense it is a must for every Muslim to contribute and struggle for his “Deen” through the offering of money and time.

“The true believers are those who have faith in Allah and His Prophet and never doubt; and who struggle for His cause with their wealth and persons. Such are the truthful ones”. (AlHujrat-49:15) The actual word used for war in the Holy Quran is “Qital”. This word has been used in Quran at fifty-four places. As far as the word “Jihad” is concerned, it has been used in the Quran at Twenty nine places. Out of these, it is used for a peaceful struggle at twenty one places and at eight places, it also includes war as a part of struggle. Qital is of two kinds. One kind was specific to the Holy Prophet while the other one is forever. The Qital specific to the Holy Prophet was purposed to defeat the unbelievers and affirm the dominance of Islam in the soil of Arabia to make it a centre of Islam. It was a special task from God to be accomplished through the Holy Prophet:

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33 “It is He who sent His prophet with guidance and the Faith of truth, so that He may exalt it above all religions, much as the pagans may dislike it”. (Al-Saff 61:9)

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Therefore, after having completed all the formalities in the communication of the message to the pagans, the Holy Prophet, was granted the right to abolish their power by force, although this right was never exercised. It is important to mention the fact that all the battles fought in the lifespan of the Holy Prophet, were either in defense; or against those who were busy in playing havoc with the belongings and peace of the Muslims; or those who joined hands with the pagan invaders; or who had violated treaty of peace, or those who had evil designs against the Muslim to attack them, but conspiracy was unveiled before time. Thus all these battles were justified and were fought in self-defense:

“(O’ Prophet) make war on them until persecution is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme”. (Al-Anfal-8:38) So far as the conquest of Makkah is concerned it had a logical justification. The immediate reason was the attack of a tribe allied to the Quraysh against one of the tribes allied with the Muslims. The Muslims had entered into an agreement with that tribe binding both the parties to fight against an invader jointly. The Quraysh had helped their allied tribe in terms of armament, violating the agreement. Therefore, the Muslims had a moral justification to punish them. But the other reason was more significant. The Prophet Ibraham as per orders of God built the Ka’bah so that it would be used for the worship of the Almighty only. The city of Makkah was constructed with an objective that its inhabitants would meet the requirements of the pilgrims. But the Quraysh turned a deaf ear to the message of God and transformed Ka’bah into a centre for paganism. It was, therefore, an obligation that the idols must be taken off the Ka’bah and it should be left specifically for the worship of God.

“Follow the faith of Ibraham. He was an upright man, not a polytheist. The first house ever to be built (as sanctuary) for people was that at Makkah, a blessed place, and a beacon for the nations. In it, there are clear signs and the spot where Ibraham stood. Whoever enters it is safe”. (Al-Imran-3:95, 97) “And why should Allah not chastise these pagans, when they have debarred others from the sacred Mosque, although they were not its guardians? Its only guardians are those that fear Allah, though most of them do not know it” (Al-Anfal-8:34)

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34 It should be kept in mind that according to the Quran, the people of Arabia would have embraced Islam on their own will, if there was no fear of persecution from their leaders. This is evident from the Peace Treaty of Hudaibia. With in two years of this treaty, a large majority of the people of Arabia converted to Islam.

War of a normal Muslim State

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As far as the war of a normal Muslim state is concerned, there are three grounds where war is admissible. First: for self defense. The Holy Quran says,

“War is allowed for those on whom war is imposed because it is a tyranny.” (Al Haj 22:39) Second: for the help of the oppressed Muslims in some tyrannical state. The Holy Quran says:

“And why should you not fight for the cause of Allah, for the helpless old men, women, and children who say: Deliver us, Lord, from this city of oppressors; send forth to us a guardian from your presence; send to us one that will help us. (Al-Nisa-4:75) Third: when there is ban on the preaching of Islam in some country. The Holy Quran says:

“Those who reject the Truth knowingly and hinder people from the path of Allah… When you meet them in fight…….. Subdue them thoroughly.” (Muhammad 47: 1-4) The war fought for the above three conditions is called “War in the way of God” (Qital-Fi-Sabeellilah). There are six important conditions laid down in the Holy Quran for a war.

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35 First, a war can be announced only by a state. No militant group has the prerogative to proclaim and wage a war. This point will be dealt with in later paragraphs in detail. Second, honoring an international agreement is most important. No war can be announced in violation of a treaty with another state, even if the other state is brutal towards its Muslim subjects. The Muslim state is prohibited to accord armed help to the tormented Muslims of another state with whom there is a peace treaty. The Holy Quran says: “If

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they (the Muslims out side your state) seek your help in the cause of your religion, it is your duty to aid them, except against a state you have a treaty with” (Al-Anfal-8: 72) Third, a war should only be fought when the Muslim state has got sufficient resources to defeat the enemy. The Holy Quran says:

“Against your enemy, make ready your strength to the utmost of your power” (Al-Anfal-8:60) The Holy Quran further says:

“God has lightened your task, because He knows that there is weakness in you. If there are one hundred patient and persevering among you, they will vanquish two hundred, and if there are one thousand among you, they will vanquish two thousand, with the order of God: for God is with those who patiently persevere”. (Al-Anfal-8:66) It mean that a Muslim state must have at least half the resources of the enemy, before announcing and waging a war. Fourth, if the enemy offers to enter in a peace accord, then it is a must to make a treaty with him. The Holy Quran says:

“If they incline to peace, make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the Hearing, the Knowing. If they

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36 seek to deceive you, then Allah is All-sufficient for you”. (AlAnfal-8: 61,62). The Holy Quran further says:

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“(the peace treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom you have entered in to accords, and who have not subsequently failed in there pledge, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill your agreements with them to the end of their term”. (AlTawbah-9:4) “As long as the idolaters, with whom you have made treaties near the Sacred Mosque, keep the treaty, you should also honor the treaty with them”. (Al-Tawabah-9:7) Fifth, it is prohibited to harm or kill non-combatants. The Holy Quran says:

“Fight in the cause of Allah, only those who fight you. Do not transgress the limits because God does not love the transgressors.” (Al-Baqara-2:190) The Holy Quran further says:

“(Do not fight those) who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from either fighting you or fighting their people….. Therefore if they withdraw from the fight and instead offer for peace, then God has opened no way for you to war against them.” (Al-nisa-4:90) “Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have neither made war on your religion nor driven you from your homes. Allah loves the equitable. But He forbids you to make friends with those who have fought against you on account of your religion and driven you from your homes or abetted others to do so”. (Al-Mumtahinah-60:8,9) © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


37 Sixth, it is prohibited to wage a war in specific four months i.e. Rajab, Zee Qaad, Zil Haj and Muharram. The Holy Quran says:

“They ask you concerning fighting in the Prohibited months. Say: Fighting there in is a grave offence.” (Al-Baqara2: a part of verse 217) Seventh, if there is a transgression from the enemy in the use of force, the Muslim state can also reply in the same coin. The Holy Quran says:

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“There is a law of equality. If anyone transgresses the prohibition against you, your can transgress likewise against your enemy.” (Al-Baqara-2:194) Today, all the Muslim countries have entered into a peace agreement with all nations of the world through U.N.O. From Islamic point of view, it is now obligatory that they don’t have to make aggression against any other country of the world. Now the world’s conscience has reached a stage where they deem it their duty to help the oppressed ones. Same is the message of the Quran. Still there is room for improvement in the attitude of the world. If the whole world adopts the Islamic concept of War, all oppression in the world will be abolished naturally because War, in Islam, means nothing else but answer to aggression and oppression. After having discussed ‘Qital’ it is necessary to find out what the “terrorism” is. It has three components. First an organization or an individual makes an armed struggle without the consent of the state. Secondly there is an intentional adoption of such measures that might claim lives of some innocent people. Thirdly the warfare is not against oppression rather it has different designs. If any one of the above mentioned factors is found in a war, it is not Qital FiSabillilah. It is rather the “terrorism”. If all of the three factors are there, it is an absolute form of “terrorism”. The second and third components of the “terrorism” mentioned above do not need any more explanation. However, the first component needs a bit of more explanation. According to Islam, it is the prerogative of the state only to declare the “Qital”. Even Prophets did not declare war unless they were in power. They did not make an armed struggle before that time. They did not avenge themselves

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38 upon the oppressors. The Holy Prophet did not take a single armed action even in self-defense throughout his Makkah life. In fact it was prohibited by the Holy Quran at that time. Afterwards when the state of Madina got its ground, the Holy Prophet was allowed war for self-defense. The Prophet Moses also declared Qital at the time when he established his government in the desert of Sinai with the assistance of the Israelites. Since the Prophet Jesus Christ did not form a government he was directed to show tolerance to the extent that he was to offer his other cheek to his enemy if he was slapped on the one.

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The Prophet Muhammad (sws) also taught patience to his followers during his Makkah days. When one female follower of the Prophet, Sumayyah, was martyred along with her husband, he, instead of taking their revenge, promised paradise for the martyrs to their relatives. Thus as per Islamic principles, war can only be declared by a Muslim state.

Wars after the Holy Prophet

In this context the next question is, what was the nature of the conquests and the battles fought by the companions of the Holy Prophet after his death. In fact all these wars were fought in self defense. The newly established Muslim state was confronted with many enemies on its borders who were not ready to tolerate this state. The Holy Prophet, four years before his death, invited through letters, all rulers of the nearby countries to embrace Islam. He also dispatched his envoys to them so that they could guide them about Islam in detail. The reason behind writing letters to the monarchs was that it was the time of monarchy all around. The subjects could not even think of accepting a religion, which was not acceptable to their king. Therefore the only way to communicate the message of Islam to the people of that country was to invite first their rulers to embrace Islam. These letters had three direct effects. First, Najashi, the king of Habsha (Ethiopia) embraced Islam. (He embraced Islam but could not proclaim it publicaly). Second, the monarchies of Egypt and Bahrain did not immediately accept Islam but promised to consider the offer lately and treated the ambassadors of Islam with respect and nicety. Third, the ruler of Persia not only looked down upon the message of the Holy Prophet but also treated the envoy in an insulting manner. But the message of Islam kept infiltrating in those countries through the traders of Arabia going there. Since the rulers everywhere were well informed, therefore they came to know about Islam in a detailed manner.

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39

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After the demise of the Holy Prophet the circumstances witnessed some changes of fundamental nature. Firstly, there seemed to be no scope of communicating the message of Islam to the subjects of neighboring countries, and providing opportunities of embracing Islam to the desirous masses. Secondly, some neighboring states had started assembling their armies in order to wipe out the Muslim state from the map of the world. Thirdly, there were certain tribes involved in piracy and lawlessness in the Muslim state. These trouble mongers used to get asylum in the neighboring countries after their unlawful activities. All these circumstances demanded a serious notice of them and some steps to safeguard the newly born state of Islam. Therefore it was decided as a policy that there would be absolute peace with the countries like Habsha, which did not offer a threat to Islamic state. The friendly states like Egypt and Bahrain were picked up to make treaties. The states, which showed open animosity to Islam, were declared the enemies against whom the wars could be fought. In this way, wherever the Muslims set their feet, Islam spread rapidly. It is important to note that the people of those states were not made Muslims forcibly but they witnessed such a distinctive change between the character and mannerism of the old and the new rulers that they embraced Islam willingly and happily. It is a historically proven fact that not even a single person was made Muslim against his will.

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40

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Chapter 6

Relations with Non-Muslims

The rights of non-Muslims in a Muslim state have been discussed partially in this book on the earlier pages, yet it seems more apt to discuss this issue in detail so that the Islamic point of view in this connection becomes clear to the reader. It has been made clear through the previous chapters that Islam is based on democratic principles. It offers its message in a peaceful and binds none to accept it against his will. The obvious result of such an offer is that a group of people may not accept Islam. The rights of this group, in a Muslim state, are to be discussed here. The readers might have observed through the previous discussion that the Quran, in such matters only lays down the principles instead of giving details for the convenient and universal application of its instructions in all circumstances and for all times. Therefore, the Quran issued forth the order based on principle:

“O believers, be true to your treaties”. (Al-Maidah-5:1) It means that the Muslims, as a rule, are bound to honor the agreements, if any, made with the non-Muslims. While explaining this principle, the Holy Prophet said:

“I warn you that whosoever makes aggression against the nonMuslims in agreement, limits their rights, presses them more than their capacity or snatches any of their belongings. I shall sue against such a Muslim on Doomsday”. (Abu-Dawud: Katib al-Jihad) © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


41 The same has been ordered by the Quran as under:

“And keep your promise. Surely it will be inquired into”. (AlIsra-17:34) Particularly about non-Muslims, it was directed by the Quran to deal them with justice:

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“Do not allow your hatred for other nations to turn you away from justice. Deal. Justly; justice is nearer to true piety. Have fear of Allah; He is cognizant of what you do”. (Al-Maidah5:8) Justice means that the non-Muslims must be granted all human and political rights, their lives, property and honor must be safeguarded. Their basic necessities must be met with, their religious and individual matters must not be interfered, their holy places must be protected, they must be allowed to propagate and promote their religion in a civilized manner and they must be allowed to pay a tax equal in ratio to that of Muslims. Rather they must be treated with, even better than, Muslims. Because the Quran says:

“Be extremely kind and beneficial to others; Allah loves the benefactors, the generous”. (Al-Baqarah-2:195) Keeping this Quranic injunction the Holy Prophet entered into several treaties with the non-Muslims during his stay at Madina. (Unfortunately, most of these treaties could not be honored by the non-Muslims). For example, the Holy Prophet made an agreement, commonly known as “The Charter of Al-Madina”, with the neighboring Jews of the state of Madina. The following were the main features of this agreement:  The Jews and the Muslims will be considered as one state despite practicing their respective religions.  Both the parties will fight jointly against an outer force making aggression against either of the two.  The Muslims and the Jews will meet their respective expenses at their own.  The mutual relations of the two parties will be based on good will, nice conduct and justice. © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


42  The oppressed will be helped.  Indiscipline, violence and bloodshed will be forbidden in the state of Madina.  This treaty will not be a source of protection for any oppressor or a criminal.  In case of a dispute, Muhammad (sws) would be the arbiter.

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As a result of this treaty a federal state came into being with Madina as its capital and Muhammad (sws) as its head. If studied minutely, it would become clear that the above-mentioned agreement respected the noblest human values above all. This agreement is still a lighthouse for the whole world. Unfortunately the Jews did not honor this agreement and started violating it very soon.

The concept of “Zimmi” and “Jizyah”.

This subject at this turn requires an answer to the questions regarding the identity of a “Zimmi” and the definition of “Jizyah”. Before answering this question we shall have to keep the special status of the Prophet Hood of Muhammad (sws). In fact after the completion of the process of communication of the message of Islam, the Holy Prophet, just one year before his death, was ordered by God that all Jews and Christians, living on the Arabian soil who have not yet embraced Islam, should be declared “Zimmi”. These Zimmis would be the subjects of the Muslim state if they want to stay here and would be its responsibility; they would pay a tax named as “Jizyah” as the Muslims pay the tax known as Zakat. Thus they were punished in a way that their independent status was terminated and they were included among the subject of the Muslim government of Arabia. The following order was issued forth by God one year before the death of the Holy Prophet:

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43 what Allah and His Prophet have forbidden, and do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are subdued”. (Al-Tawbah-9:29) Certain facts here are noteworthy. First, there was no regular state formulated on the Arabian soil. So when the establishment of a regular state was planned, it was to be perceived what should be the status of the Jews and the Christians reluctant to embrace Islam. Therefore, they were declared Zimis and were levied the tax of Jizyah upon them. It was made clear that they would not render compulsory military service in return to their payment of Jizyah.

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Second, those who did not accept Muhammad (sws) as the Prophet of God faced the penalty inflicted upon them by God. This punishment was not the same for the believers of the Holy Books and the pagans. The pagans were warned to be ready for death or exile in case they failed to accept Islam as their religion whereas the believers of the Holy Books were just declared Zimmis. Thus these instructions were also exclusively related with the direct addressees of the Holy Prophet. Since a Rasool is himself a court of God set in this world, they were penalized by this court. This instruction is no more applicable in later periods. This is why, there is neither any Zimmi today nor does the tax of Jizyah exist. Now, all the non-Muslims ruled by a Muslim government are the party of the treaty made between the two groups by the constitution of that country. And the Muslims are bound to honor this treaty and treat the nonMuslims with justice. These people are called “Maahid” (Non-Muslims with whom an agreement has been accorded). This principled and ideological discussion gives birth to some questions. The first one is about the obligations of the Muslim governments of today towards the non-Muslim minorities according to the Islamic point of view. The answer is that in the present day all the Muslim governments are the members of the United Nations Organization and they are, therefore, bound to observe its charter. They are also bound to honor the treaties with any other nation on reciprocal basis. Their treatment with the minorities has to be just; rather they must treat them even better than their own people. The second question deals with the issue of separate electorate and separate seats for the non-Muslims in the parliament. It is important to know the Islamic point of view in this regard. In fact, it all depends on the mutual settlement between the Muslims and the non-Muslim minority whether they go for separate electorate or joint elections. However, the opinion of the non-Muslims should be given priority as Islam teaches nice conduct with non-Muslims.

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44 The joint elections seem more appropriate if perceived from the Islamic angle. The joint elections promote an environment of cordiality between the two parties. The non-Muslims esteem Islam higher and feel convenient to study the message of Islam. Their problems can be solved in a better way and as such they can be saved from becoming followers of fanatic leadership. On the other side separate electorate might cause an environment of constant hatred between the Muslims and the non-Muslims. The non-Muslims may get away from the Muslims forever. Their problems hardly get solved. Such a situation gives rise to the extremist religious parties and causes the fanaticism among the candidates taking part in the elections. Thus the separate electorate creates such a gap between the Muslims and non-Muslims which gets wider and wider with the passage of time.

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There is a question, in this context; what is Islam’s point of view towards the holy places of the non-Muslims, their customs, and their statues of historical importance. Does it direct to demolish them considering them against the belief of oneness of God or attaches due respect to them? Islam positively instructs its followers to respect the Holy figures of the non-Muslims. It forbids them to abuse any of them because the non-Muslims might do the same to Allah and Islam in reaction. Obviously the respect for the sacred places of the non-Muslims and their statues is enveloped in their respect for the holy figures. The Quran say:

“(Muslims) Do not revile (The idols) which they invoke besides Allah, lest in their ignorance, they should spitefully revile Allah.” (Al-An’am 6:108). The second portion of this instruction is that the Holy Ka’bah and its surrounding areas have special significance. It is so because the Holy Ka’bah was constructed by the Prophet Ibrahim according to the direct commandment of Allah for the worship of the Omnipotent. Therefore, it is the center of the Unitarianism on this earth of God. Hence it is necessary to keep the whole of this area purified from every touch of paganism and attaches special importance to it. The logic behind this is that the pilgrims should find every convenience and get the food in abundance. There should be a state that takes the task of the safeguard and management of the Holy House as its foremost duty. This was an area God managed to be conquered at the hands of the Holy Prophet. It includes most part of the Arabian Peninsula. Since this is the center of Unitarianism, there can’t be any other shrine here. This is why the Prophet purified it completely from every shape of paganism. Different aspects of this direction have been stated in the Quran at different places. The part of the Arabian Peninsula handed over to the Holy Prophet by God, was purified from every shrine, every idol, every picture or image

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45 used for the purpose of worship and every vaulted grave. The authentic Hadiths state it in detail

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The companions of the Prophet were so clear of both the parts of this direction that when they stepped out of the Arabian soil, Abu Bakar, the first of the pious Caliphs issued an order regarding the protection of every shrine, saint and hermit. Therefore history tells us that not even a single temple was damaged during the process of the conquest outside the Arabian soil in the days of the Prophet’s companions. Big idols situated at all important places like Abul Haul and Abu Sunbal were also left as such and were rather safeguarded. It must be kept in mind that these parts of Egypt were conquered during the regime of Umar, the second Caliph of Islam. These statues are still erect. The above discussion makes it clear that it is obligatory upon the Muslims to protect and respect all the holy places of the non-Muslims in the areas under their control.

Special instructions for “People of The Book” The third issue requires the answer whether the Christians and the Jews must be dealt with hatred as the Quran forbids the Muslims to make friends with these two communities. The reply to this question is that the verse 51 of Sura Al-Maida is not, generally translated in its true context which causes confusion. The Quran is an integrated and comprehensive document. It is not a set of separate sayings. So, while inferring from any verse of the Quran, it is necessary to relate it with its proper context. According to the Arabic Linguistics, if a common noun takes “al” in its start, it becomes a proper noun and hence gives a particular sense. The above mentioned part of chapter al-Maidah deals with those Jews and Christians who had received the message of Islam very clearly through the Holy Prophet and his companions. Despite this, they not only refused to accept Islam but rather started hatching up conspiracies against the Muslims regularly. Therefore, the Muslims were forbidden to develop friendly relations with this specific group of Jews and Christians, as they would harm the Muslims in the guise of friends. The Quran says:

“Believers, take neither these Jews nor these Christians for your friends and protectors. They are friends and protectors of one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship and supports

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46 them shall become one of their members. Allah does not guide the wrongdoers”. (Al-Maidah-5:51) This verse is specific to the Jews and Christians of the Prophetic period only. This verse does not, in any case give the general meaning because the Christians and Jews have also been deadly enemies to each other during the different years in past. In the next few verse, after further analysis the Quran points out that the Muslims can find friends among Christians closers than those from other religions. The Quran has generalized this verse by not using the twolettered word “al” with it.

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“You will find the nearest in affection to the pure believers those who say: ‘We are Christians’. That is because there are priests and people devoted to the service of mankind among them; and because they are free from pride”. (Al-Maidah-5:82) If the verse 51 is generalized, the verse 82 becomes meaningless, rather both the verses convey contradictory senses. The truth about it is that the verse 51 deals with those Jews and Christians of the Prophetic period whose enmity with the Holy Prophet and the Muslims was clear and open and who were busy in plotting against them. It has no concern with the Jews and Christians in general. It seems appropriate here that Islam’s attitude towards other religions should be known. The verse 82 of Al-Maidah tells us about the Quran’s perception about Christians. In fact, the Quran stresses a lot on bringing all those religions closers to one another, which have monotheism as the common feature:

“People of the book, let us come to an equitable agreement among us that we will worship none but Allah, that we will associate none with Him, and that we will not set up another lords besides Him”. (Al-Imran-3:64) While making critical analysis of the Jews and Christians, the Quran points out several ideological misconceptions and wrong notions in faith. However, the Muslims are told by the Quran that there are nice people among them too and the Muslims can make friends with them:

“Yet they are not all alike. There are among the people of the Book some upright people who all night long recite the revelations of Allah and pray; who believe in Allah and the last © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


47 day; who enjoy justice and forbid evil and vie with each other in good works. These are righteous people: whatever good they do, shall not be denied them. Allah knows the righteous”. (AlImran-3:115) The verses conveying the above mentioned sense are present in the Quran at seven different places. The Quran deems all such places of worship as holy and sacred where God is worshipped irrespective of any religion they belong to. The Quran declares that it does not allow the wrongdoers to gain absolute strength in this world so that they might not destroy all places of worship.

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“Had Allah not repelled some (bad) people by the might of others, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is frequently remembered, would have been utterly destroyed”. (Al-Hajj-22:40) Once a delegation of the Christians came to Madina to meet the Holy Prophet. When Sunday approached, the Holy Prophet offered them to pray in the Holy Mosque of Madina in Christian style. The members of the delegation did so. (Ibn e Kaseer: Book 1:434) It is also asked in this context why the Prophet sent two Jewish Tribes in exile from the state of Madinah and sentenced one tribe to death during his regime? The answer is that when the Prophet came to the state of Al-Madinah, the Jews accepted him as their head and admitted to accept his decision as final under an agreement. They might have a conception that the Prophet would just emerge as a national leader. But when Islam started spreading very fast and even among the Jews several people started embracing Islam, they became busy in conspiracies against the Prophet. First of all a Jew Tribe, Banu Qaynuqa’a refused to accept any accord. They were, hence, expelled from the state of Al-Madinah. Another Jewish Tribe, Banu Nazeer hatched up a conspiracy for the murder of the Prophet but the plotters were caught before hand. Consequently, this tribe was also sent in exile. The crime of the Third Tribe, Banu Qurayzah was the most horrible one and the gravest nature. During the war of Ahzab, when all forces of Arabia launched a untied attack on Madinah and the Muslims besieged themselves by digging a trench, Banu Qurayzah broke the accord with the Muslims in that crucial time. They assured the enemies of Islam that they would attack the Muslims from inside while there would be a sudden attack from outside. The Prophet came to know about it and countered the action in time. When the enemy retreated, the Prophet

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48 besieged that tribe according to the orders of God. Banu Qurayzah appointed Sa’d Bin Mu’az as their arbitrator owing to his old terms with that tribe. Hence, Sa’d decided after consulting the holy book of Jews that such a tribe must be put to death because of their act of treason. If Banu Qurayzah had left the matter at the mercy of the Prophet, he would certainly have decided exile instead of death for them.

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It should also be kept in mind that according to the Quran, the Jews invited towards Islam directly by the Holy Prophet, were punished by God directly. It is not a general rule. It is that specific rule under which all such people invited towards Islam by the Prophet himself and having received the message of Islam in its accomplished form, still remain adamant due to their carnal desires, stubbornness and pride are punished by God directly. This punishment cannot be imposed after the Prophet’s time. Therefore, any faction, the Muslim or the nonMuslim committing such crime today within a Muslim state would be dealt with in accordance with the general laws of the state.

Islamic punishments for the non-Muslims

The next issue poses the question whether the punishments proposed by Islam are applicable to non-Muslims as well. If so, can it be just? Islam gives due importance to life, honor and property of an individual. In the same way, Islam attaches great respect to the peace and order in a society. Therefore, it determines severest punishment against the five major crimes in relation to an individual, as man has always struck imbalance in the punishment of these crimes. These crimes include murder, theft, adultery, slander and injury. The society is free to determine the punishment for the rest of crimes according to its circumstances. Yet some facts must be kept in mind regarding the punishment to such crimes. They are as under: First, these punishments are for the crimes of extreme nature where the criminal cannot be given any relaxation. Second, if a crime is less in gravity, the state can have legislation in this connection according to its circumstances. Third, these laws are mean for a true welfare Islamic state. Fourth, Islam differentiates between a crime and a sin. It also differentiates among the crimes of religious nature. For example, it is obligatory for a Muslim to fast during the whole moth of Ramzan. It would be a sin if he fails to do so but it is not the duty of the state to punish him. The other example is related to the crime of taking alcoholic drink. Islam forbids doing so. If a Muslim drinks wine, the state has a right to punish him but such a law is not applicable to non-Muslims.

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49 Theft and adultery are the two crimes, which are the main concerns of the non-Muslims. So, they are being discussed further.

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The Quran determines through verses 38-39 of al-Maidah that one hand of the thief is to be severed. It must be clearly understood that imputation of one hand is the punishment of the thief and not against ordinary theft. The literal meaning of the relevant words used in the Quran and interpreted by the Holy Prophet affirms that such punishment is applicable to a habitual thief. Therefore a person committing theft of ordinary nature, taking a thing left uncared for and stealing under forced circumstances is not titled as thief. This is why the Holy Prophet did not inflict this severe punishment on those who deserved relaxation. In the same way the second Muslim ruler (Caliph), and the most reliable companion of the Holy Prophet, Umar, did not impose this punishment during famine, because he argued that state is not fulfilling its responsibility of providing food to everybody. If state or court think it appropriate, keeping in view the circumstances: to give mild punishment to a person committing this crime for the first or second time. In the likewise manner, a habitual thief who does not give up stealing despite repeated warnings, can be given this punishment. The punishment of adultery has been determined in Surah Al-Nur. It say that the man and the woman found guilty of this crime should be given the punishment of a hundred lashes. Unlike this order of Islam, adultery is not at all a crime in the West. In the West, the freedom for the individual is above anything else. For the same reason, the importance of a family is far less than that of the individual in that society. It does not matter in the West if it fails to make a family but there must not be any restriction on the individual’s freedom. Quite unlike this, Islam emphasizes upon the family connection along wit the freedom of individual. It believes that a family is the basic unit of a human society. Therefore, anything that weakens this unit must be banned. Adultery is the crime that badly damages the system of family. It also generates other types of vice, which are harmful for the individual and the family equally. This is why Islam has declared it a major crime and has tried to keep people away from it. However, as Islam does not overlook the forced circumstances in the commission of a crime, it also accords relaxation in the punishment of a criminal who is neither fully educated nor fully given proper awareness. For instance, Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


50 during the Prophetic period, if a slave girl after getting married was found guilty of the crime of adultery, she was granted the punishment of just 50 lashes which was half to that of a free person (Al-Nisa-4:25). It was so because their basic education was not up to the mark though they were provided an opportunity to lead a pious life after entering into the bond of marriage.

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It must be borne in mind that all these punishments find their enforcement when an Islamic sate has been properly established in its true sense. This Islamic state must have educated and inculcated the moral values in its citizens so that they can prevent themselves from committing such crimes. It is wrong to enforce these punishments by developing a conceptual situation based on a wrong hypothesis. It is also important to know what code of law Islam has determined in order to deal with the crimes like assault on chastity, gang rape, group murder, robbery, dacoity, terrorism and prostitution. For an answer to this question we can consult verses 33:34 of Surah AlMaidah, which grant extensive powers to a Muslims government in this regard. They are extensive so that the humankind may be saved from every kind of atrocity and the aggressors must be exterminated. Since the nature and gravity of such matters can be in varied forms, the Quran leaves it to the discretion of the government and the court whether to sentence such criminals to death, punish them physically, put them behind the bars or send then in exile. It is quite possible that the first two punishments seem intensive to the Western mind but two things must be kept in mind in this context. First, Islam considers that the peace and order in the society is very important. Second, these punishments are discretionary and an Islamic government may lessen their intensity. For the non-Muslim the Holy Quran is very explicit that there is no compulsion in religion. The Holy Quran says:

“There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance is now distinct from error.” (Al-Baqarah-2:250) “We have shown the human being the right path, whether he becomes a believer or not”. (Al-Dahr-76:3) So it is evident from the above verses that the Islamic criminal laws are not applicable to non-Muslims. They are allowed to frame their own © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


51 laws for these crimes. Even they can ask for separate courts for the promulgation of their personal laws.

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Chapter 7

Islam and Women

There is a lot of confusion in a common man’s mind about Islam’s point of view on this topic. In fact the Muslim history during the middle ages is responsible for this confusion even more than the West. The society of that period was mistaken as the representative society of Islam. It is, therefore, necessary to highlight the Islamic point of view on this issue.

1: ACKNOWLEDGING WOMAN’S INDIVIDUALITY:

The basic fact in this regard is that Islam considers woman a separate entity and not subservient to man. She has a perfect right to develop her personality. She is equally free to acquire education, get a job, do business or exhibit her creative potential. Her faith is also not subservient to man, rather her entire person shows its existence in this field as well. She can do social work. Hence she is absolutely master of her own. The Quran says:

“The Muslim men and women, for believing men and women; for devout men and women; for men and women who are patient; for men women who humble themselves; for men and women who give charity; for men and women who fast; for men and women who guard their chastity; and for men and women who remember Allah much. For them all has God prepared forgiveness and a great reward”. (Al-Ahzab-33:35)

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52 The Quran further says about woman’s rights to build her person, acquire education and get a job:

“For men are portions of what they earn and for women is a portion of what they earn”. (Al-Nisa-4:32) This is the reason that women during the Prophet’s time looked after their agricultural farms and gardens. They supervised their trade as well. The authentic books of Hadith testify the above fact through many such events.

1.

THE MANNERS OF MAN-WOMAN CONTACT:

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It is crystal clear that Islam attaches basic significance to the unite of a family for the preservation of the society. This was the logic when Islam banned adultery in order to prevent it from becoming a free sex society. Keeping in view this reason Islam has formulated a code of manners for the mutual meeting of men and women aiming at developing them as social values. In the closest circle of a family there is no restriction on mutual contact and meetings. The surah al-Nur describes in detail the manners on meeting outside this circle. The first of these tells that it is obligatory for every man and woman to get him or herself introduced with the inhabitants of a house before entering it, confirm their willingness and pay regards to them. Obviously, this is a universal custom. The Quran says:

“Believers, do not enter the dwellings of other people until you have asked their owners’ permission and wished them peace. (Al-Nur-24:27) Thus after having observed the initial manners of entering a house the visitor may sit down with the dweller. The Quran exempts public places from this restriction. It means that if a person has some business in a school, hospital or an office, he may enter those without observing these manners:

“It shall be no offence for you to seek shelter in uninhabited dwellings which are of use to you.” (Al-Mur-24:29) It is natural that men and women will talk mutually when they will meet at such places. It is, therefore, obligatory for men to wear civilized dress, have modesty in looks and avoid throwing bold and lusty glances towards women:

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53 “Say to the believing men to turn away some of their gazes and preserve chastity”. (Al-Nur-24:30)

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Turning “some of the gazes away” means to have modesty in eyes. The preserving of chastity means that they should avoid vulgarity and should not wear such clothes that have sex appeal. Women on such occasions should observe three manners in particular. The first two are the same as determined for men. Since women beautify themselves and wear ornaments which might attract men, they are directed to hide the ornaments which are easy to hide except the obvious ones like those worn on ears. They should put their shawls on their breasts. If some ornament creates a sound they should take care in not making such sound intentionally. It can be summarized that they should remain in a civilized circle and avoid tempting anyone towards them sexually:

“Say to the believing women to turn away some of their gazes, to preserve their chastity and to cover their adornments except such as are normally displayed and to draw their shawls over their bosom. And let them not stamp their feet in walking so as to reveal their hidden trinkets”. (Al-Nur-24:31) Thus men and women can have mutual contacts on purpose at their residences and public places according to the teachings of Islam. They can talk and exchange views. The two families can have friendly relations in a civilized manner. There should not be sexual excitement and a bold interaction. But there is no restriction upon their civilized social interaction; they may even dine together:

“It shall be equally lawful whether you eat together or apart. When you enter other’s houses, salute one another with salutation from Allah, blessed and kind. (Al-Nur-24:61)” Thus Islam does not discourage the liberty, interests and interaction of the social life. It, however, dislikes vulgarity.

Covering of face by women The above discussion gives rise to certain queries. First, in the light of the instructions given in the Surah Al-Nur, the covering of face by women has nowhere been mentioned. Where else do we find instructions in this regard then? The answer is that it is good for women to cover their body and head with a shawl or overcoat where they feel the danger of being teased, receiving uncivilized © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


54 remarks or while passing though an unsafe area. So far as the covering of face is concerned, it has nowhere been mentioned in the Holy Quran.

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It has a historical reference. During the Prophetic period many Jews and hypocrites lived in Madina. The ill-natured among them used to tease and pass remarks on the Muslim women when they passed from their streets. Later, they used to take the plea that they had been getting frank with them taking them for the women of their community. The Surah al-Ahzab in the Quran has analyzed such conspiracies of the Jews and the hypocrites in detail. Therefore, in this context, the Muslim women were advised to cover their bodies with a shawl or overcoat when they passed through such areas. In this way the Jews and the hypocrites would not be able to find an opportunity of teasing them:

“Prophet, enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the true believers to draw their shawls around them. That is more proper, so that they may be recognized and not molested.” (Al-Ahzab-33:59) Thus the logic behind taking a shawl is to save Muslim women from being molested by getting identified as chaste ladies. It has nothing to do with covering of face. The confusion regarding this must be cleared.

Should women stay at home

Secondly, the Quran through the Sura Al-Ahzab advises the wives of the Prophet to stay at home. Obviously, the same order seems to be for all the Muslim women because the wives of the Prophet are the role model for all the Muslim women. So, is this the instruction for all women? The Quran has related it on several occasions that the rules, rights and duties for the Holy Prophet are different from those of normal men owing to his distinctive responsibilities. In the same way, the wives of the Holy Prophet have distinct responsibilities and thus different obligations and rules from those of other women. Their main duty is to give religious education to other women. For this purpose it is necessary for them to limit their social contact. They should mostly stay at home so that any women seeking guidance in religious matters might not return in disappointment. So, these discussion starts with these words:

“Wives of the Prophet, you are not like other women”. (AlAhzab-33:32)

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55 Then they are reminded of their original responsibility:

“Convey the revelations of Allah and the words of wisdom which are recited in your houses.” (Al-Ahzab-33:33) Therefore, they are advised to stay at home for most of the time in order to work as educational institution for other Muslim women and lead a graceful life:

“Stay in your homes”. (Al-Ahzab-33:33)

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In the wake of this discussion they are warned that the law for their punishment would also be different from the general womenfolk:

“Wives of the Prophet, those of you who commit a proven sin shall be doubly punished.” (Al-Ahzab-33:30) The next point requires explanation of the instruction to the wives of the Prophet when they are directed not to show complaisance while talking to men. In fact at a time the hypocrites of Al-Madinah had becomes so mischievous that they even tried to scandalize the life of the Prophet. While enacting their evil plans, they used to enter the house of the Prophet in his absence and tried to be frank in conversation with the wives of the Prophet. They tried to catch a word form their mouths in order to scandalize it and thus create conflict among the Muslims. Therefore the Quran through these words countered this evil design:

“Wives of the Prophet you are not like other women. If you fear Allah, do not be too complaisant in your speech, lest the lecherous-hearted should be moved with desire. Show discretion in what you say”. (Al-Ahzab-33:32) Hence the Quran advised them to show discretion and talk straight to the hypocrites in order to avert their evil plans. The Muslims were directed in the Quran next in the above discussion to stay behind the curtain of the door while talking or demanding anything from the wives of the Prophet. This point needs explanation too. While performing different roles, the Quran also reformed all cultural malpractices, which were in vogue in that society and thus countered the conspiracies of the hypocrites. For instance, it was a general practice that some people used to create problems for the Prophet by becoming unwanted guests at © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


56 dining time whenever he had some guests. The Quran forbade the Muslims to do so. The Prophet used to meet all guests in the Holy Mosque of Al-Madinah and the same was the practice for meeting other Muslims. The separate houses of all the wives of the Prophet were adjacent to the Mosque. There was just one curtain that worked as partition between the Mosque and the house. Keeping a drawing room or a sitting room was not a practice in those days.

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The hypocrites initiated a bad practice. While sitting with the Prophet in the Mosque, under the pretension of drinking water, they used to enter the house of the Prophet without prior permission and demanded something from the Prophet’s wives. In fact they had the evil intentions of seeing the Holy Women in their casual dresses. Certain simpletons among the Muslims also carried on this practice. Therefore God stopped this practice and told them not to enter the house of the Prophet without permission unless they had a family relation with the Holy Woman. In fact it is an explanation to an aspect of verses 27 of al-Nur. Thus the Quran says:

“Believes, do not enter the houses of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless you are given leave. But if you are invited, enter and disperse. Do not engage in familiar talk, for this would annoy the Prophet and he would be ashamed to bid you go; but of the truth Allah is not ashamed. If you ask his wives for anything, speak them from behind a curtain. This is chaster for your hearts and their hearts. You must not annoy Allah’s Holy Prophet”. (Al-Ahzab-33:53) This Quranic teaching had its special implication for the house of the Prophet in order to end every conspiracy.

Is head cover compulsory Here it seems proper to know whether it is a must for women to cover their heads in front of others. The word used for a shawl in Surah al-Nur, Verse 31 is “Khimar”. It means an additional cloth worn by women upon their dress in order to cover the bosoms. © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


57 During the Prophetic period it was a general practice among women of good Arabian families that they used to cover their heads and bosoms with the shawl. It is, therefore, the general opinion that the Muslim women should also do so. It has become a symbol of the Muslim culture as well. But the covering of head has not been emphasized directly in comparison to the covering of bosom. Thus it can be said that it is a good social custom but not a religions binding.

3

RELATIONSHIP OF LOVE AND TRUST BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE:

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The Quran asserts that the relationship of a husband and a wife is the main unit of a society. Consequently, this relationship develops into a pious society. The Quran gives the logic that this gives satisfaction and contentment to human being who wants love by nature. So it must be a relationship based on confidence. The Quran has related a comprehensive example in this regard. It says that a husband and a wife are dress to each other. They are part and parcel of each other. They accord pleasure, protect from misery and cover the demerits of each other. The Quran says:

“The (women) are apparel to you, as you are apparel to them”. (Al-Baqarah-2:187) “And of His signs is that He gave you spouses from among yourselves, that you might live in tranquility with them, and put love and kindness in your hearts. Surely there are signs in this for thinking people”. (Al-Rum-30:21) “It was He who created you (men and women) from a single being. And similarly He created his mate, so that every one might find comfort in his or her mate.” (Al-A’raf-7:189) EQUAL RIGHTS, DUTIES AND STATUS OF MEN AND WOMEN: According to the Quran both men and women are equal in rights as human beings. If one is given an additional right in some peculiar matter the other is relaxed in some other way. However, the Quran affirms that when a man and woman marry each other and thus form a family, the man would act as the head of

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58 that institution. Consequently, he will be responsible for fulfilling the financial requirements of the family:

“Wives shall with justice have rights similar to those exercised by men, although husbands have a step above them” (AlBaqarah-2:228)

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The Quran has declared that the preference to a man or a woman has been given over the other in different capacities. For instance man is more suitable for the protection of a family while woman can nourish her children in a better way. It also affirms that man is responsible for meeting all financial and security requirements of the wife and the whole family:

“Husbands have the responsibility as “Qawwam” of wives because Allah has made one (some times man and sometimes woman) superior to the other. So (here) the reason is that husbands have spent their wealth on wives”. (Al-Nisa-4:34) The word “Qawwam” here used for man means the person who accords protection, supervision, and fulfills the needs. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a man and he deserves it too. In the context of strengthening the family ties the Quran expects from women to show obedience and keep the secrets of their husbands. (Al-Nisa-4:34) While issuing the above instructions to women, the Quran directs man to meet all due requirements of his wife and not to cause any trouble for her. He is directed to keep his ties with his wife intact in every possible way even if some of her habits annoy him because a human being is born with some shortcomings.

“O Believers, it is unlawful for you to inherit the wives of your deceased kinsmen against their will, or to bar them from remarrying. Do not force your wives to give up a part of what you have given them, unless they be guilty of a proven crime (of adultery). Treat your wives with kindness; for even if you do dislike them, it may well be that you may dislike a thing which Allah has meant for your own good”. (Al-Nisa-4:19) The Quran advises men to treat women with nicety and withdraw from their rights in their favor. After a detailed discussion about the laws of divorce in AlBaqarah, the Quran says:

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59 “It is more pious that you should forgo your rights in favor of women. Do not forget to show kindness to each other. Allah observes your actions”. (Al-Baqara-2:237) It proves that there is no one-way traffic in Islam; every right is equalized with an obligation.

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Here we see a clear and basic difference between the Islamic and the Western values. The West does not accept the status of man as a protector and believes that man and woman are equal in all respects. It does not accept man as the head of this institution, rather does not accept it as an institution at all. It does not put the financial responsibilities on the shoulders of man as well. In fact, this situation generates a large ratio of frequent divorce, a weakening family connection tending to annihilation, an unsustainable love between husband and wife and several other problems of similar nature. In practice all successful couples in the West forgo their rights in each other’s favor and either of the two assumes the status of custodian. Thus withdrawal from some of personal girths is the prerequisite for the success of family life. The West must consider if its concept of personal freedom is better than that of Islam, which draws equilibrium between the individual’s freedom and the assuredly of a successful family life. It is obvious that one has to sacrifice some of one’s personal rights for a strong family unit.

Rights of man as head of family

Here the question arises what the rights of man as the head of a family are? Is he free to dictate his wife according to his own sweet will? The answer is NO. Though the Quran advises her to be obedient to her husband, she is free in her personal life and no one can dictate her (Al-Nisa 4:2). She cannot be stopped from wearing the dress of her choice or cooking her favorite food. Her belongings cannot be taken away by anyone else. She is free to adopt any profession or do social work. In short no man can interfere into her personal matters. The Prophet has also described them all. His sensitivity in this regard can be judged through his last address to the Muslims at the time of Hajj (Pilgrimage). Husband is only a symbolic final authority. That is why Islam has given women the right to disagree with their husbands. Islam desires that man should seek the consent of his wife in all matters. Similarly the woman is expected to

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60 regard her husband’s likes and dislikes in the matters related to her personal life. The Quran and Hadith emphasize it a lot. In fact this teaching is the true explanation of the verse 187 of Al-Baqarah where husband and wife are declared apparel of each other.

Violence against women

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Islam is against every kind of violence against human beings. A person can only be punished through law by a Court. Apart from this nobody else has the prerogative to hurt anybody through any means. As far as physical violence in concerned, the Holy Quran has very clearly forbidden it and has declared that the perpetrator will be punished in proportion to his or her violence. The Holy Quran says: “We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, Tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation By way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if anyone fails to judge by (the light of) what God has revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-dowers.” (Chapter Maida 5:45) This verse does not make any distinction between man and woman. Nobody is allowed to physically abuse any other person. Again the Holy Quran says: “The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person Forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God: for (God) loves not those who do wrong” (Chapter Al-Shura 42:40 ) As far as psychological or verbal violence is concerned, the Holy Quran has also prohibited it very clearly (see chapter Al-Maida 5:2 and chapter Al-Haj 22:77). Especial emphasis has been given to the rights of relatives which include both Genders. (see chapter Al-Nahal 16:9, chapter Al-Baqara 2:83 and 177, chapter Bani-Israel 17:26, chapter Al-Shura 42:23 and many others. All the Human beings have been advised to repel evil with the best attitude. (see-chapter Al-Mominoon 23:96, chapter Al-Sajda 41:34, chapter Al-Haj 22:22 and many others).

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61 The Holy Quran has specifically advised everybody to use soft language and to take care of the self respect of every Human being (see AlBaqara 2:261,262,263,264 and many others). As regards the relation ship between husband and wife is concerned the Holy Quran has described that the base of this relationship is love and tranquility. (see chapter Al-araf 7:189 and chapter Al-rum 30:21). Quran also describes that a husband and wife are like apparel and garment for each other. This phrase shows the extreme intimacy and care which both the partners should have for each other in every sphere of life. (See chapter Albaqara 2:187).

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The Holy Quran also says that a husband is the head of the family and due to this he has got a slight edge over her. But apart from this both have got equal rights over one another. (see chapter Al-Baqara 2:228 and chapter Al-nisa 4: 34). The Quran advises husbands to live a life according to the best human standard with their wives. (See chapter Al-Nisa 4:19). Similarly the Holy Quran also advises husbands to forego their rights with respect to the rights of their wives. (see chapter Al-Baqara 2:237). The Holy Quran also accepts the fact that a wife can have a difference of opinion with her husband and there can be a dispute between both partners. She has the right to oppose her husband. If the matter becomes so serious that there is a danger of separation between the two, then the Holy Quran advises that one arbitrator should be appointed from both sides who should try for reconciliation. (see chapter Al-Nisa 4:35). After this discussion, we are in a position to explain one of the most controversial and ill understood verse of the Holy Quran, i.e. the last part of verse 34 of chapter Al-Nisa 4. the translation of this part is as follows: “As to those wives, on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill conduct, (first) admonish them, (but if they refuse to mend their ways then next) refuse to share their beds, and (if the situation is still grave then) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, then do not seek against them any means of annoyance. Because God is Most High and Great.� Two things are very clear from the above verse; one is that it deals only with those wives who have started interest in other men and are becoming unfaithful to their husbands. This point has been very clearly Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


62 stated by the Holy Prophet in his narrations. It means that it is a remedial measure to save the family from disintegration. This verse does not allow husband to beat his wife in any other circumstances. If the wife comes with a complaint of violence against her by the husband in a court of law, the husband will have to prove the disloyalty of his wife or he will have to face punishment. If he charges his wife with the allegation of disloyalty and he does not have any eye witness, then he will have to face separation from his wife through the process of “Leaan� as explained in chapter Al-Noor 24:6. It means that the husband will have to face very grave consequences in either case.

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The second point is that this verse only permits a light beating, because more than that has been very clearly forbidden by the Holy Quran in chapter Al-Maida 5:45. This has been very clearly stated by the Holy Prophet in many narrations. The Holy Prophet has also forbidden to strike on face or any other delicate part of the body. The above discussion bears testimony to the fact that Islam totally forbids violence against women. The only point which has been mentioned in last part of chapter 4:34 does not relate to violence, rather it relates to a situation where saving a family bond becomes top priority. It can be asked; what will a wife do if she comes to know about the disloyalty of her husband? My answer is; she has got the same right as her husband. At first she will try to persuade her husband not to be disloyal to her. As a second step she can refuse to share bed with him. And as a final step she can also scold and chide him bodily so that he understands the gravity of the situation. My answer is based on an analogy from a similar situation. In chapter Al-Noor 24: verse 6-10, it is stated that if a husband charges his wife of adultery and he has no other witness, then he and she will take oath five times and after that they will be separated. Every body agrees that if in a similar situation, a wife charges her husband with adultery and she has no other witness, then the same procedure will have to be followed. In my view similar is the case with chapter Al-Nisa 4:34. From the above discussion we come to the conclusion that legislation on the issue of violence against women is imperative in Muslim states. This legislation should clearly say that any kind of violence against women is a Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


63 crime. Even in cases of alleged disloyalty, the husband cannot inflict an injury, whether grievous or simple, against his wife. Even in a lighter scolding, if the wife comes with a complaint before a court of law, then the husband will either have to face punishment or prove disloyalty of his wife by way of Leaan. He must keep in mind that in case of Leaan he will lose his wife for ever.

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Disagreement between husband and wife

At times husband and wife disagree on an issue, which cannot be resolved under normal circumstances. What is the guidance of Islam in such matters? Islam has laid down different ways to tackle such matters/situations. Firstly, if there is a sensitive issue, its terms can be mentioned in the agreement of marriage. Marriage is an open agreement between a husband and a wife and any term can be included in it. The Quran calls it a strong agreement.

In case of an unforeseen issue both the parties can resolve it through dialogue. If it still remains unsettled it should be solved through arbitration by the state or society.

“If you fear a breach between a man and his wife, appoint an arbiter from his people and another from hers. If they wish to be reconciled, Allah will bring them together again�. (Al-Nisa4:35)

Why a man is allowed to marry upon four women at a time? In fact as per Quranic teachings it is better for a man to marry just one woman. This is the logic behind equal ratio of men and women in the world. There was only one wife for Adam. It is natural for a man and a woman to build their joint home. However, if women and children become widows and orphans at a Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


64 large scale and lose every prop of affection or a man’s first wife fails to give birth to a child, the man may marry the second woman with two conditions. First, that the man must do justice with his wives. Second, he cannot marry more than four women. In fact, in the second battle of Islam, commonly known as battle of Uhad, many Muslims were martyred leaving behind a large number of widows and orphans. It was felt that the orphans might be stricken by a sense of deprivation without the affection of a father. Therefore, the Quran encouraged this solution as such:

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“If you fear that you cannot treat orphans with fairness, you may marry such women as seen good to you; two, three, or four of them. But if you fear that you cannot do justice, marry one only or those you possess”. (Al-Nisa4:3) Thus, a man is allowed to marry more than one woman conditionally. It is admissible under unavoidable circumstances and maintaining justice is a must. It is worth asking whether the state has a right to intervene if the above permission is being exploited. The answer is that the state may ban this practice if it becomes an unjustified tradition. The man may be asked to seek the prior permission of the state justifying his claim for the new marriage. The state, through the court of law, may make the man bound to maintain justice among his wives and meet all their economic needs. The West and Islam differ on this point as well. Despite the permission, the ratio of a second marriage in the Muslim society is not more than 1%. The second marriage is unlawful in the West but it is important to note that people in the West may have more than one wife out side the bond of marriage. They may have kids from them and it is not a secret. The most pitiable aspect of the whole affair is that such women have no legal rights at all and thus, doing of justice is out of question.

It can be said that Islam has faced the reality and has determined rights of all parties within the law whereas the West has turned its eyes away from the fact and has not done justice to several women by not regarding their rights.

Woman as witness in a court of law

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65 It is said that Islam maintains distinction between the witness of a man and a woman as the witness of two women is considered equal to one man. Further the witness of a woman is not taken as reliable in the cases of Hudood i.e. Grave offences. If it is so, is it not that Islam gives an inferior status to woman? It becomes necessary to know the real instruction of Islam in this regard. These instructions about evidence have come at eight different places in the Quran. At seven places there is no difference between the witness of a man and a woman. In Surah Al-Baqarah only, this difference is maintained in connection with the deal of a debt. The concerned verse says:

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“O believers, when you contract a debt for a fixed period, put it in writing (….) Call in two male witnesses from among you, but if two men cannot be found, then one man and two women whom you judge fit to act as witness; so that if either of them forgets, the other will remind her.” (Al-Baqarah-2:282) There are two different interpretations of the above verse made by two different schools of thought. According to one group, women are born with weak intellect and are habitually forgetful therefore the witness of a woman is half to that of man in petty affairs and witness of a woman cannot be accepted at all in crimes of extremely grave nature like murder etc. On the other side, the second school of thought does not consider the above quoted Quranic verse as against women. It argues that during the Prophetic period the women were generally unaware of the business affairs and it was mostly a man’s field. The education level among the women was also very low. Before the complete Islamic rule it was unsafe for woman to travel long distances in an atmosphere of disorder and chaos. Therefore it was quite natural for them to show forgetfulness in a business deal or a contract of debt. It can be said that the Quran believes in the fact known to us through a proverb which says: “Every person doth his business best.” It means that if a matter is beyond one’s understanding or there is a risk of any complication or forgetfulness, it is better to take the written witness of at least two people. Thus the above-mentioned Quranic verse gives us a principle based on wisdom and does not declare women as an inferior creation at all. Four more aspects must be kept in mind while studying this particular verse of Al-Baqarah. One that it is related with documentary evidence only and does not pertain with any event, accident or sudden occurrence. Documentary evidence is

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66 one’s own business. One can get the signature of one’s choiced persons and can be scribed in a well-planned manner. Quite unlike that, the circumstantial evidence is of immediate, sudden and accidental nature. Every event is unforeseen. Since both kinds of evidence are basically different. One’s rule can’t apply to the other.

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Second important point is that this verse does not give any legal code at all; rather it gives a guideline to all the Muslims so that the disputes may be avoided if any. The Quranic words are. “O believers. When you contract a debt……..” If the instructions would have been for the court of law, the wording would have been like this. “O believers, when a contract of debt is brought to you……..” In fact, a court does not require a document signed by the witness while reaching a decision. It might be helpful but it is the duty of the court to accord justice to the affected party on the basis of other evidence and facts as well when the documentary evidence is non-existent. The third aspect of this matter is why a woman cannot be witness in the court whereas she can be a doctor and an engineer and there is no scientific or logical justification to prove her weak in intellect. If woman can relate the Prophet’s saying (Hadith) why she is no granted the right of witness. It is certified even by the religion that the men and women are equal in faith. The Quran maintains this fact in clear terms as in Surah Al-Ahzab 33:24 The fourth aspect is that it is a historically proven fact that during the Prophetic period and afterwards during the pious Caliphate, the criminals were inflicted heavy and severe punishments on the evidence granted by women only. For instance, a murderer was sentenced to death by the Prophet on the evidence of a girl. Naila, the wife of third Caliph of Islam, Usman was the only witness of her husband’s murder. On the basis of this witness, the blood of the Usman was demanded to be avenged upon.

Blood money of a woman as compared to man It is also said that the amount of penalty charged from a person committing unintentional murder is half for the blood of a women to that of a man. This allegation is baseless. Islam has not determined any fixed ratio of DYAT’ (ransom) at all. Islam has only given a guiding principle that ransom must be paid keeping in view the law and practice of the society. Obviously, every place has different social, economic and culture conditions. If Islam had determined a fixed amount of ransom it would have been inappropriate.

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67 It is important to keep in mind the particular principle of Arabic linguistics. Wherever a Quranic order takes along Arabic word. “Al” it becomes a proper noun and gives the peculiar meanings, which were taught by the Holy Prophet. For example, ‘Al-Salat’ means the particular way of offering the prayer taught by the Holy Prophet, which all the Muslims are bound to follow. On the other side a Quranic order given in the shape of a common noun does not determine a peculiar way of implementation. The word, ‘DIYAT’ (ransom) has been mentioned in the Quran at two places. Firstly, in Al-Baqarah, verse 178-179 and secondly in AlNisa, verse 92. At both the places this word has been used in the sense of common noun.

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Muhammad (sws), the Prophet of God, enforced “DIYAT’ in his own times according to the old traditions of Arabia and did not bring any change at all. ‘DIYAT’ can be fluctuated according to the time, conditions, economy and society of different epochs.

Can a girl marry on her will

It is generally alleged that a Muslim girl is not free to exercise her will in the matter of her marriage. Rather her parents decide her fate according to their sweet will. It is again a baseless thing. It is, of course, desirable in Islam that both man and woman and their respective families should get introduced to each other and shows their consent before marriage. It is so because a marriage is the union of two families as well. However, if this ideal situation is not possible, a man and a woman are free to marry according to their choice. It is clear through the study of the Quran and the events of the Prophetic period that Islam does not deprive a woman of this right of hers. It is rather known to us that the Holy Prophet restored this right of a woman if ever it was snatched from her previously. The Quran has mentioned it with full clarity that women are free to marry the men of their choice and no one is allowed to interfere. This right is meant for all the women, unmarried, divorced and widows. It is feared that the relatives of a widow’s deceased husband might force her not to remarry. The Quran says:

“If a man has divorced his wife and she has reached the end of her waiting period (three menstrual cycles), do not prevent her from remarrying the husband of her choice if they have come to an honorable agreement. This is enjoined on every one of you who believes in Allah and the Last Day; it is more honorable © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


68 for you and the chaster. Allah knows, but you do not.” (AlBaqarah-2:232) “And those of you who die and leave wives behind, such wives should keep in waiting for four months and ten days after their husband’s death. When they have reached the end of their waiting period, it shall be no offence for you to let them do whatever they choose for themselves provided that it is lawful.” (Al-Baqarah-2-234)

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Once a girl complained in front of the Holy Prophet that her father had forced her to marry against her will. The Holy Prophet told her that she was free to accept or reject the decision of her father. (Abu Dawud, Nisai, Ibne Majah, Masnad Imam Ahmad through Ibni Abass.) In another case like this, the Holy Prophet declared the marriage void as it had been against the will of the girl. (Dar Qutni, reference Jabir) On another occasion, a woman complained to the Holy Prophet that her father had married her with her nephew against her will. The Holy Prophet left it upon her whether to accept or reject her father’s decision. In response to that she said:

“I accept whatever my father has decided. I simply wanted to make it clear upon women that their fathers are not masters of their choice in this matter. (Nisai, referred by Ayeshah).

Woman’s right to divorce her husband

There is another misconception that a man can divorce his wife any time whereas a woman has not been granted any such right. In fact, a woman can get the divorce as well. In has been termed as “Khula”. In this case, if the husband insists, the wife will return a part of the wealth given to her by her husband. There is no other condition for ‘Khula’. It is not essential for the woman to charge some allegation against her husband or base any of his weakness in order to get divorce. It is the best way to resolve the matter amicably within the home. If the woman withdraws from her right of MEHR (the amount paid to the wife by the husband at the time of marriage), no other dispute is left behind. However, the court must separate the two parties in case of a dispute. Many events quoted through several ‘Hadiths’ relate that the Holy Prophet , after having made efforts for reconciliation, separated the two parties whenever any such case was brought to him for the decision. The Quran says: © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


69 “(In case of divorce demanded by a woman) It is unlawful for the husbands to take from them (their wives) anything they have given them, unless both fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah; in which case it shall be no offence for either of them if the wife ransom herself. (AlBaqarah-2-229)

Are four witnesses required for proving rape

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It is also objected that if a sexually assaulted women files a petition in a court of law, it is generally dismissed because she is unable to present four eyewitnesses required in such a case. A case is rather instituted against her for raising false allegation. In fact, the Quaranic verse revealed on this topic is not properly interpreted. The Quran rather affirms that at least four eyewitnesses are required to prove the charge of adultery against a woman. It shows that Islam basically wants to protect women against such allegation as long as it is not proved on logical grounds. The Quran says:

“Those that defame innocent women and cannot produce four witnesses shall be given eighty lashes. And do not accept their testimony ever after.” (Al-Nur-24-45) This verse can be concluded as follows:

Firstly, the Quran wants to save women from such allegation because a woman gets irrevocable loss through them. Secondly, if such guilt is committed by a woman, it is better to conceal it unless it is done in a bold and shameless way. Thirdly, this rule is not applicable to prostitutes. In such a case, the charge can be proved after collecting witnesses, getting medical examination reports and making all sorts of investigation because this comes under “Fasaad Fil Arz’ i.e. creating mischief for society. Fourthly, if a man is charged like this and the court concludes that it was a malicious attempt of tarnishing his image, the accusers themselves can be punished.

In most cases of sexual assault and gang rape, there is hardly any witness except the affected women. How the case would be proved in this situation? If it

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70 stands unproven, will the woman be thought guilty of slander? In such situation the court will reach a decision through the evidence like finger prints, medical examination report, the clothes of the accused, the conditions and the possibilities. In fact this case comes under the Quranic term of “spreading mischief in the society (al-Maida 5:32) If the case is not proved due to some reason, the woman would not be declared guilty of slander. The logic behind this is that the repute of the woman is also damaged through such allegations and it is not expected in normal circumstances.

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It is crystal clear through the Quranic words that this law is meant to deal with those trouble mongers who are in a habit of slandering the innocent women. Obviously, it is not for the protection of rapists. However, if it is proved that the woman has a notorious character and that she slandered the man to tarnish his repute, she can also be punished. The situation gets complicated when a woman gets pregnant and she files a petition for the case of sexual assault against some criminal. This issue can, now be resolved through the sophisticated medical tests like D.N.A. Hence it is no more complicated now.

Love in a Muslim society

Is there any provision of love between a man and a woman in an Islamic society? The simple reply is that an Islamic society is in fact a human society. Love is a natural phenomenon. Islam does not aim at crushing nature; rather it canalizes it on the right direction. The Quran affirms:

“And of His signs is that He gave you spouses from among yourselves, that you might live in tranquility with them, and put love and kindness in your hearts.” (Al-Rum 30:21) This instinctive sentiment is displayed in a Muslim society too. In a Muslim society there is no binding upon men and women to meet in places like educational institutions, hospitals, restaurants, offices and homes. It is, therefore, natural that they develop feelings of love and admiration for each other. For the expression and satisfaction of these feelings, Islam allows one shape while forbids the other. Islam allows the civilized way of love through the expression of one’s intentions of marriage with the other. On the other side Islam disallows any sexual relationship outside marriage. It is totally prohibited. Islam

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71 affirms that developing secret relationships, spending time with an unlawful companion in an environment where one might go off the track and secret marriages are fatal for a Muslim society. So for as the first shape is concerned, the Quran tells that those who want to marry the widows, can propose them indirectly even during their waiting period. They may marry them after their waiting period is over as per traditions of their society:

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“It shall be no offence for you to propose indirectly to such woman or cherish them in your hearts. Allah knows that you will remember them. Do not arrange to meet them in secret, if you want to marry them, speak to them honorably.” (AlBaqarah-2:235) “All good things have been made lawful to you now. The food of those to whom the book was given is lawful to you, and yours to them, lawful to you are the believing women and the women from among those who were given the Book before you, provided that you give them their dowries and live in honor with them, neither committing fornication nor taking them as mistresses”. (Al-Maidah 5:5) Hence it is not love, rather it is fornication and secret marriage that is disallowed in a Muslim society. In this context a Hadith is related through different books like Ibni Majah, Hakim, Behaqi and Tibrani. Imam Jalal-ud-Din Sayuti has related its background in his book “The Reasons for the Hadiths.” As per reference a man told the Holy Prophet that he wanted to marry his only daughter with a wealthy man whereas she loved a poor man and wants to marry him. The Holy Prophet said: “The best solution for the problem of the two lovers is marriage”. So it is evident that if a man and a woman fall in love with each other, it is better to arrange their marriage.

However, physical relationships and secret marriage are disallowed. Every marriage is to be announced publicly in Islam.

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72 The answer is in affirmative. These relaxations are remarkable. For example a woman will be given equal reward in the hereafter to that of a man even if she offers her prayers at home. It is really a challenging task for every man to offer all his prayers in a mosque. In the same way the pregnant ones and those giving breast feed to their children are given the choice to fast later instead of fasting during the month of Ramadhan. The women are allowed to leave the laborious tasks during the pilgrimage (Hajj)

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The women are granted several relaxations in social matters. It is the responsibility of the husband to earn and feed his wife. If she is unwilling to participate in the economic struggle, she cannot be forced. In the same way she is exempted from compulsory military service. In court matters, if a woman makes a mistake, no action would be taken against her; rather the court will help her. The Holy Prophet transformed this method into a regular practice so that the comfort of the women should be given priority.

Reasons for several marriages of the Holy Prophet What were the reasons for several marriages made by the Holy Prophet? As in many other fields the rules made by God for the Holy Prophet were different from those for general public: the rules of marriage and divorce were also different for him. Since the Holy Prophet had to formulate the Muslim Ummah during his lifetime, it was all essential. All these rules have been described in detail in Surah Al-Ahzab through verses 6, 28, 40 and 50-52. These verses reveal that the matter of the Holy Prophet’s marriages was managed and controlled by God himself. The Holy Prophet was disallowed to marry out side a limited circle. He was not allowed to divorce any of his wives. His wives were not allowed to remarry after his death. They were given the epithet of “Ummahat-al Mu’mineen” (Mothers of the Believers). They also had to face additional restrictions as compared to other women. The first wife of the Holy Prophet was Khadijah. At the time of marriage the Holy Prophet was twenty-five, while Khadijah was forty years old. Khadijah had been three times widow prior to this marriage. All her previous husbands had died. She had been the only wife of the Holy Prophet during the next twenty-five years. She died at the age of sixty-five while the Holy Prophet was still fifty. Thus he led the prime period of his youth with a middle aged widow. He was in deep love with her, which he expressed on several occasions.

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73 After the death of Khadijah. The Holy Prophet married Sawdah. She was also a widow of fifty years mature age. The Holy Prophet was still at Makkah at that time.

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The Prophet migrated to Al-Madinah at the age of fifty-three and remained there for the next eleven years till his death. This was the period when he had to marry for many times. Some important requirements from the women’s point of view had arisen at that time. Firstly, the Muslim population started growing rapidly. It was important that their women should get excellent training which was possible through the trainer women trained directly by the Holy Prophet. Secondly, some prominent tribes had enmity with Islam. The ideal way to merge these tribes in the Muslim Ummah was to marry their women with the Holy Prophet. It was also a requirement that there must be certain well-trained Muslim women after the death of the Holy Prophet so that they may educate other women on religious matters. It was also necessary to end certain wrong social practices already prevalent in Arabia. For the fulfillment of all such motives, the Holy Prophet married for several times during the last eleven years of his life. It is worth noticing here that the only maiden among his wives was Ayeshah before marriage. All the rest were either widows or divorced. Every marriage helped in the further propagation of Islam. After studying the above circumstances every honest person can understand that there was no sexual motive behind these marriages. All these marriages were made for the formation of the Muslim Ummah as per direct instructions of God. This is the whole background of the Holy Prophet marriages. This is why the Quran lays down clearly that the rules of marriage and divorce for the Holy Prophet are different from those meant for the rest of the people.

HONOR KILLING:

It is generally objected that honor killing is admissible under Islam. It means that Islam does not object if an individual assassinates his relative woman in case he finds her involved in an illegitimate relationship with a man. Generally, the rest of the members of the family pardon his act of murder in these circumstances (seems all conspiring). It is true that such merciless customs are still in vogue in various Muslim societies but it has nothing to do with Islamic teachings. Some facts must be kept in view in this context. Firstly, murder of a human being is the gravest of all crimes on this earth of God. Quran affirms that the murder of a human being amounts to murder of the whole of the humankind and saving a human being’s life is like saving the whole Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


74 of the humankind. (Al-Maidah-5:32). This is why Islam inflicts death punishment on the assassin. The Quran declares this law as savior of the whole society because it relieves men from the brutality and fear of the murders (Al-Baqarah-2:179). Unlike this, the punishment of adultery is just hundred lashes, which is because of the far less gravity of this crime than murder. (Al-Nur-24:2-3)

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Secondly, Islam in no way allows honor killing. Islam disallows honor killing to that extent that even a husband cannot take the law in his hands, in case he finds his own wife indulged in an illegitimate relationship. The husband has to swear in the court of his eyewitness, but if a woman also swears of her innocence, both of them will be separated and their Nikah (Marriage bond) will be declared void by the count of law. The Quran says:

“And those who accuse their wives and have no witness except themselves, let each of them testify by swearing four times by Allah that his charge is true, calling down in the fifth time upon himself the curse of Allah if he is lying. But they shall spare her the punishment if she swears four times by Allah that his charge is false and calls down Allah’s wrath upon herself if it be true” (Al-Nur-24:6-9) It proves that there is no room for honour killing in Islam, rather every such matter will be decided by the court of law. Thirdly, the Quran asserts that every law must be implemented in its true spirit. Everyone knows that some criminal minded people exploit the wording through flexibility in the law or take shelter of the misinterpreted statutes and thus act against the spirit of the law. All such efforts are wrong and must be countered. The Quran asks the Holy Prophet:

“Give good news to My servants, who listen to My word and follow the best interpretation of it. These are they whom Allah has guided. These are they who are endured with understanding” (Al-Zumar-39:18) Fourthly, every Quranic injunction has certain common sense exceptions, which must be taken to account. All the Quranic orders are for ordinary and normal circumstances. New legislation is required for extra-ordinary circumstances. Keeping in view the above facts, now we analyze a particular Quranic instruction. This instruction affirms that the death punishment of a murderer can © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


75 be pardoned if the heirs of the murdered are willing to accept the ransom. The spirit behind this instruction is to maintain peace between two families or two tribes. So far as the justice on the Doomsday is concerned, the murderer will receive his punishment even if he has been pardoned in this world. (Al-Nisa-4:93)

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Now, if a woman is killed in a family, in the name of honour, it would be certainly a platform for the forthcoming chain of slaughters. On the basis of this honour killing, the criminal minded people would start killing women within their families under true and false allegations. The women would feel themselves unprotected and they would rightly understand that the men folk have a license to kill them. Therefore, it cannot be called a simple murder, rather a disorder and mischief on earth (Al-Maida 5: Verce 32-33) for which the criminal must be inflicted upon severe punishment so that peace and order is maintained in the society. There should be no room for apology or compromise in such cases. Since Islam believes that the murder of an individual is tantamount to the murder of the whole of the humankind, the court can have the prerogative to award compulsorily a punishment inferior to the death penalty if any of the heirs of the murdered insists on not pardoning him.

In the likewise manner, the murder of a woman within the family must also be declared an unpardonable crime because in both these cases it is no more a simple murder rather it is a disorder on earth. And there is no room for ransom or apology in this crime.

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76

Chapter 8

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Islam and Human Rights

It is generally assumed that the history of human rights started from the “Magna Carte of England in 1215 A.D and it reached its climax traveling through the work of Tom pan’s “Human Rights”, Rousseau’s “The Social Contract”, “Manifesto of Human Rights” of the French Revolution, and finally U.N’.S “Charter of Human Rights”. Before we make a comparative study of world’s “Charter of Human Rights” and the Islamic teachings, it seems more appropriate that we positively glance at the instructions laid down by the Quran regarding the responsibilities of the state and the rights of the citizens. It is the responsibility of a Muslim state to promote “Maaruf” and to eradicate “Munkar”. “Maroof” means everything and value which is good, right and desirable according to the collective human conscience. Thus it is the duty of every Muslim state to nourish and establish every virtue and good values in the society, for example justice, fairplay, merit and truthfulness etc: “Munkar” means every crime or evil or wrong according to the collective human conscience. Thus it is the duty of a Muslim state to eradicate and discourage every crime from the society, for example murder, dacoity, theft, corruption and oppression etc. “Maroof” and “Munkar” do not mean the specific religions commandments of Islam because according to the Holy Quran, good jews and Christians also nourish “Maroof” and forbid “Munkar”. It is clear that the religions commandments and rituals of all the three religions are different. The Holy Quran says:

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77 “Not all of them are alike. There is a portion among “the people of the Book” who stand for the right. They rehearse the signs of God all night long and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day, the promote “Maaruf” and forbid “Munkar”. They hasten in emulation in all good works. They are in the ranks of the righteous people”. (AlImran 3- 113-115)

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It is also clear from the Holy Prophet and Sunnah that there are only four areas out of the specific religious commandments where a Muslim government can punish the culprits, they are: refusal to pay Zakat (a tax payable by the Muslim citizens having a prescribed financial status), adultery, drinking alcohol and indulgence in usury. Apart from these four areas, the Holy Prophet never used force for promulgating any religious instruction. The Holy Prophet has also not mentioned any penalty for the violation of any other religious commandment. It means that all other religious commandments have to be encouraged through education and persuasion. It is obligatory upon a Muslim sate to accord all human rights to the nonMuslims living in it. The ratio of the tax imposed upon them must not exceed the ratio of Zakat. It is obligatory to adopt an attitude of broad mindedness and nicety with them. The state cannot demand more from its citizens in addition to those mentioned above. For example their wealth, property, and honor must be safeguarded. Their freedom should remain intact. They cannot be forced to adopt a particular opinion. All people are equal in law and society. It is also the state’s responsibility to provide the basic necessities to needy person. Now, all the above points would be explained in the light of the Quran. The Quran has determined the following four responsibilities of the state:

“Allah will assuredly help those who, once made masters in the land, will attend to their prayers and pay the Zakat, enjoin “Maroof” and forbid “Munkar” (Al-Hajj-22:41) It is necessary that the state maintains justice and observes merit in all affairs:

“Allah commands you to hand back your trusts to their rightful owners, and to pass judgment upon human beings with fairness”. (Al-Nisa-4:58) © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


78 A Muslim government cannot impose any other restrictions if a Muslim citizen offers his prayers, pays Zakat and does not commit a crime:

“If they repent and take to prayer and pay the Zakat, let them go their way” (Al-Tawbah-9:5) They will be granted equal rights with the rest of the citizens:

“If they repent and take to prayer and pay the Zakat, they shall become your brothers in the faith (Al-Tawbah-9:11)

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Islam gives three guiding principles to deal with the non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim state. The first is to keep all promises made with them:

“And keep your promise, surely it will be inquired into” (AlIsra-17:34) Second, that justice must always be done to them. Islam insists on maintaining justice with every person, even the enemy.

“Do not allow your hatred for other nations to turn you away from justice, deal justly; justice is nearer to true piety” (AlMaidah-5:8) Third, that they should be granted even more than they deserve and they should be kept satisfied and happy regarding their requirements:

“Deal nicely as Allah loves those who are good in their behavior” (Al-Baqarah-2:159) After the above discussion it would be convenient to clarify the differences and the common factors between the Islamic teachings and the U.N.s “Charter of Human Rights”. If observed minutely, we would find almost the whole of the charter similar to the teachings of Islam except a partial article. According to this article there should be no hurdle of race, complexion, religion, nationality and the like when a man and a woman want to marry each other. Islam allows the marriage of a Muslim man with a Christian or a Jew woman besides a Muslim woman, but he can’t marry a woman outside these religions. A Muslim woman can marry a Muslim man only. Thus Islam attaches fundamental importance to the institution of marriage in religion. Let us reflect why it is so.

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79 In fact the basic reason lies in the difference between Islam and the West regarding the importance of family as a unit. The West does not attach much importance to family or at least regards it not more than the individual. Unlike this, although Islam weighs the individual’s freedom much, yet it can be sacrificed for the greater interest of the family under special circumstances, such as the case of marriage. In case of different religions there would be difference of opinion between the husband and the wife on every matter including culture, point of view, living style, birth of child, the and values of life. It would all reflect on children, which would result in a conflict among the members of the family.

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Islam allows the marriage of a Muslim man with a Christian or a Jew woman because the difference among these religions regarding the basic values can be accommodated. It can be asked why a Muslim woman can’t marry a Christian or a Jew man when men are allowed to do so. It has a sound reason. A Muslim man as a custodian of a family will respect Christianity and Judaism as the Muslims acknowledge Christ and Moses as their sacred Prophets. In case, a non-Muslim man becomes the custodian of a family, there is little likelihood that he would respect Muhammad (the Prophet of Islam sws), as he does not acknowledge him as a Prophet. This situation might hurt the feelings of a Muslim woman. So it can be said that there is no other remarkable difference between the Islamic teachings and the U.N’S “Charter of Human Rights”. The same is the case with all the other rights, which have assumed much importance these days. Since Islam stresses on the promotion of every good and eradication of every evil according to human’s conscience, it always favours the voice of the conscience. For instance, it is against any atrocity upon children including forced labour, it wants every child to acquire education because the future of the humankind depends on these matters. The U.N.s “Charter for the Rights of the Children” is in accordance with the Islamic teachings. Since pollution and narcotics are the social evils and harmful for humanity, Islam makes it obligatory upon every Muslim individual and state to struggle against them. Same is the instruction about other evils. Islam deems it essential for every Muslim individual and state to contribute towards the collective progress of the humankind. Islam recommends reformation and checks disorder. The Quran says:

“Do not corrupt the land after it has been purged of evil. That is best for you, if you are true believers” (Al-A`raf-7:85).

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80 Several other verses with the similar sense have been revealed in different stages of the Quran.

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Another aspect needs our attention. Every sensible person would agree that hunger, fear and ignorance must be uprooted from the world. Every one needs shelter for safety and medicine for protection from disease. However, it is also an undeniable fact that there are innumerable people and nations in the world who are stricken with poverty and ignorance quite unlike the people of the developed world, who own much more than they need. These people lack even the basic necessities of life. The bitterest reality of this story is that the economy of these underdeveloped countries is in the control of the developed countries. The major part of their budget is consumed in the payment of the debt they have already taken from these developed countries in order to meet their basic necessities. Thus these nations are constantly in an intricate circle of poverty, ignorance and sufferings where there is no way out. It is a pity that the U.N.O. has not included putting an end to this sheer injustice and discrimination in the “Charter of Human Rights�. It is an incomplete document in this context. It is the responsibility of the well off nations of the world to take steps for the redressel of the suffering nations and the individuals.

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81

Chapter 9

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Fine Arts, Slavery and Family Planning Islam is religion of nature and so does not deny any natural requirement. Therefore, all fine arts are originally valid according to Islam. All things that give beauty, amusement, and ecstasy to human life are adornments. The Quran says:

“Say: ‘Who has forbidden you to wear the nice clothes or to eat the good things which Allah has bestowed upon his servants?’ Say: these are for the faithful in the life of this world, (though shared by others); but they shall be theirs alone on the Day of Resurrection. Thus We make plain Our revelations to people of understanding.” (Al-A`raf 7:32) There are just two restrictions laid down by Islam on their practice. First, that there should not be violation of any religious order. For instance idolatry and vulgarity must not be reflected through their practice. Second, that every thing must be in the circle of moderation. If a person is so absorbed in some of the fine arts as to forget his profession, family, and even God, it is not approved by Islam.

Images of living things It is generally assumed that the image of any living being is forbidden in Islam. It is a baseless assumption. In fact every picture free from idolatry and obscenity is permissible whether drawn by hand, shot by the camera, or used for cinema or television. The logic here is that the Holy Quran has not forbidden it although pictures were used in the society at the time of the revelation of the Quran.

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82 Since the Quran is the equity for us, and the basis for every thing valid and invalid is laid down here, it would have been clearly mentioned if illustrations would have been disallowed in Islam. When we study the Holy Prophets sayings (Hadith) regarding illustration in the light of the above principle, the fact dawns upon us that paganism was prevalent in that society.

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In addition to the statues of the Quraysh in Mecca, the statues and images of the Holy Christ and the Holy Mary were present in the churches, and the Christians worshipped these images. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sws) explained it very clearly. When two female companions of the Holy Prophet, Umm-i-Habibah and Umm-i-Salmah migrated to Habshah (Ethiopia) because of the atrocities of the Quraysh, they saw the churches there, where different images were present for worship. They related it to the Holy Prophet on return from Habshah. The Holy Prophet told that those people used to construct a place of worship on the grave of pious persons and placed the images of the pious people for the purpose of worship. They would be the worst creation of God on the Doomsday. (Bukhari-kitab-al-Salat, Muslim-kitab-al-Masajid) The paganism was the real crime reflected through these pictures, which is strictly forbidden in Islam. At another time Ayeshah, the Holy Prophet’s wife hung a curtain on the door of house, which had images of pinioned horse. The pinioned horses stood a symbol for the angels used by the pagans for worship. Therefore, the Holy Prophet ordered Ayeshah to replace those imaged curtains. (Bukhari, Muslim-kitab-al-libas). Since those who drew pictures for worship believed that the pious people imaged on their pictures are alive even after their death, recommend their redemption to God, hear them and set their destinies aright. So these artists would be asked on the Day of Resurrection to infuse life into the pictures made by them. It would a punishment for their idolatry at that time. Therefore, the crime in these references is paganism and not illustration. This is why the pictures of the artists have been mentioned in these references as proper nouns. (Bukhari-kitab-uTasveer). Every idol was worshipped in those days and every projected grave and every picture was also considered sanctity. This was the situation when the Holy Prophet directed Ali to wipe out all such marks of paganism and he did so. (Muslim:kitabul- Janaiz). This is the reason that the Holy Prophet allowed the illustration where there was not chance of idolatry. For example, Abu-Talhah Ansari, a companion of the Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


83 Holy Prophet, relates a Prophetic saying that a cloth with an image can be used as a curtain if it is not used for idolatry, (Baukhari: Kitab Al-Libas) In the same way when Ayehah tore that curtain and changed it into a bed sheet (and thus eliminated any expression of paganism), the Holy Prophet did not forbid her to do so. (Muslim: Kitab ul-Libas) Salim bin Abdullah, a Prophet’s companion, relates the Prophet’s saying that only that picture is disallowed, which is used for worship and thus placed prominently; but not that which is on an ordinary place. (Musnad Ahmad)

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It becomes clear through the above discussion that the right context of the Prophet’s saying can be determined if studied in the light of the guidance laid down by the Quran. Their exact justification comes before us and the apparent contradiction in different references also becomes clear to the level of our satisfaction. Picture is a natural thing; those who consider it wrong have to give several exceptions like pictures for identity cards and passports, cartoons, pictures of religious and political gatherings, pictures for educational purposes etc. It is a fact that even those declaring it wrong have made it valid for positive purposes.

Is music disallowed

Next is the issue of Music. In fact there is nothing throughout the Quran to forbid music. Music was played even before the Quran was revealed. Had the music been forbidden in Islam, the Quran would have laid down clear instructions about that, so music is originally valid if not used wrongly. Now, when we study Hadith, we find two kinds of references. One forbidding music and the other allowing it. It is important to note that all references against music are weak and unreliable. For example a Prophet’s saying is quoted in a book titled as “Kanz-ul-Ammal”: “I have been sent to repel music” The author of the book himself acknowledges that it is an unreliable reference. Unlike this, most of the references according validity to music are strong, true, and are quoted in reliable books. For instance, it is related by Ayeshah that on the occasion of the marriage of an Ansari (local resident of Al-Madinah) the Holy Prophet asked if they had no organs of music, as music was favorite to the Ansar. (Bukhari: Kitab ul-Nikah)

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84 In the likewise manner, it is related by Amir bin Sa’d that he witnessed two girls busy in singing in the presence of two companions of the Prophet on an occasion of marriage. Amir asked them if it was all valid when it was done in the presence of those companions of the Prophet who had even participated in the Battle of Badr. They replied that they had been granted this permission on such occasions ad now it was up to Amir to remain there or leave the place. (Nisai: Kitab ul-Nikah)

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Another reference from Bukari (The book of Hadith) relates that two girls sang the songs of the war of Ba’as with music in the house of the Prophet on Eid day. Another reference of Masnad Ahmad and Tirmizi (two books of Hadith) relates that a woman sang a song with a musical organ (Duff) on the return of the Holy Prophet from a war. The brief discussion made above establishes the principle that basically music is allowed. It can only be invalid if used wrongly. The references (though weak) that declare it forbidden had the logic that music was accompanied by idolatry, wine, and vulgarity.

Drinking alcohol

Next is the question of drinking.

It is very clear through the Quranic order in Al-Maidha verse 90 that the wine and all other narcotics are strictly forbidden in Islam. It is also clear that wine has been a forbidden thing in every revealed faith. However, the gradual imposition on wine during the Prophetic period makes us realize how Islam brings a change in an intangible way without disturbing the society. God ordered for a change in the society only when people were prepared to accept this change after a long period of eighteen years.

We know that the Arabs were addict to wine. They used to take it even more than Westerners of today.

A disapproval of wine was expressed like this in Madina period:

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85 “They ask you about drinking and gambling. Say, there is great sin in both, although they have some benefit for people, but their sin is far greater than their benefit”. (AlBaqarah 2:219) When it had settled in the hearts of people that drinking is a bad act, they were directed, as a step further not to offer their prayer in a state of intoxication. Thus the timings for drinking wine were limited to great extent:

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“Believers do not approach your prayers when you are drunk, but wait till you can grasp the meaning of your words” (Al-Nisa 4:43) The Holy Prophet kept educating people after this revelation to leave drinking, as the complete ban on it was expected soon. Therefore, the final revelation in this regard appeared in the third year of his Madina reign:

“Believers, alcohol and games of chance, idols and divine arrows are abominations devised by the devil, Avoid them, so that you may prosper.” (Al-Maidah 5:90) The above discussion proves that Islam is in favour of gradual change and not revolutionary or an abrupt change. Islam wants a behavioral change before every order.

Keeping beard

It solely depends on the conscience of a Muslim whether he keeps a beard or not. Thus the state cannot ask any Muslim to keep beard or punish him for that. Beard is no doubt desirable in Islam. All Prophets kept it as they modeled nature; and beard is of course a natural thing. Generally, the pious people have been avoiding shaving their beards. So it can be said that beard is something good. When we glance at the origins of the faith of Islam, we don’t find it mentioned anywhere in the Quran. Among the Hadith, there is one saying of the Prophet quoted in the Bukhari and the Muslim which is related by Abdullah Bin Umar as under: “Oppose the pagans, let your beards grow and trim your moustaches”. Besides this all other references are unreliable and weak.

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86 We must reflect upon the above quoted Hadith and find out what is the sense in opposing the pagans by growing a beard and trimming moustaches. Obviously, three possible answers dawn upon us:

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Firstly, the Holy Prophet wanted to maintain a distinction between the Muslims and the pagans. This seems to be a weaker possibility as people from both the communities wore and ate alike. The name of a pagan was not changed even when he embraced Islam unless it conveyed the sense of paganism. It is also historically recorded that the pagans too used to keep beards. Secondly, there is the possibility that some unwanted innovation might have been in practice which needed its reformation. The reformation of every such innovation is always a temporary phase and it never assumes the status of a permanent order. For example, it is quoted in Bukhari and related by Abu Hurayrah that the Holy Prophet directed the Muslims to color their hair as it was not done by the Christians and Jews as a rule. It is agreed upon by all the Muslims that it was just a temporary order. Now it is not a binding upon the Muslims to color their hair as this instruction has lost its justification in the present era. This is why some of the Muslims color their hair while some others don’t. Third possibility could be that the style of the pagan’s beard might have been snobbish and queer in appearance. So as the Holy Prophet banished wearing of every vulgar dress in his times, he directed the Muslims to let their beards grow and trim their moustaches so as to avoid the vulgar style adopted by the pagan. It is just as the Holy Prophet asked a Muslim to take care of his hair when he saw his hair disheveled. It means that one who grows his hair must arrange them properly. Thus the important thing is that if kept, the beard and the moustaches must be in a civilized, noble, and proper way. It is clear that no one was punished for not keeping a beard during the Prophetic period. The same had been the practice during the pious Caliphate when there must have been several people without a beard living in the Muslim dominion spread over millions of square miles of land. According to Shafii, one of the most important schools of thought in Islamic jurisprudence, keeping beard is not mandatory, rather it is an optional Sunnah.

Slavery It is generally objected that slavery is established as an institution in Islam. The non-Muslim prisoners of war can even now-a-days be made slaves. This is merely a misunderstanding. Islam believes in equality among all people and declares that man is an independent and free creature. Islam eliminated slavery gradually as Islam believes in a gradual change in every important matter. The Quran affirms that God has bestowed upon man the dignity and honor by blessing him with best characteristics and placed him above many of his creations: Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


87 “We have bestowed blessings and respect on Adam’s children and carried them by land and sea. We have provided them with good things and exalted them above many of our creatures”. (Al-Isra 17:70). God honoured humans to the extent that the angels were asked to bow before him and he was affirmed as an independent and free beings to act as the viceroy of God on Earth.

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“And when we said to the angels: prostrate yourselves before Adam, they all prostrated themselves except Satan, who, in his pride, refused and became an unbeliever”. (Al-Baqarah 2:34) “When your Lord said to the angels: I am placing on the earth one that shall be My deputy, they replied: Will You put there one that will do evil and shed blood, when we have for so long sung your praises and sanctified your name? He said: I know what you do not know,” (Al-Baqarah 2:30) There is no distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim in this matter because God always declared the Holy Prophet of the time a brother of even the non-Muslims:

“And to the tribe of Aad We sent their compatriot Hud”. (AlA’raf 7:65) “And to Thamud We sent their brother Saleh”. (Al-A’raf 7:73) Islam declares all men as equals and believes the division of nations and tribes to be for the mutual identification of one another. The one who obeys God is superior to others:

“Mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might get to know one another. The noblest of you in Allah’s sight is the most righteous of you”. (Al-Hujurat 49:113) Islam esteems man’s life very precious and affirms that the one who saved a man’s life in fact saved the whole humankind:

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88 “Whoever saved a human life should be regarded as though he had saved all mankind”. (Al-Maidah 5:32)

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The above-mentioned Quranic principles and Islamic teachings are sufficient to prove that there is no concept of slavery in Islam. Islam does not acknowledge this rubbish that an individual should make another individual his slave and his life and belongings should be at the mercy of his master. In fact, Islam abolished it forever through its directions and teachings but it was done gradually in order to avoid any conflict and chaos in society. Those days the whole Arab economy was dependent upon the institution of slavery. Every wealthy man had several slaves who were used for the services in the fields like trade and agriculture. In case of the sudden release of all slaves from shackles of slavery it would have been fatal for the economy and most of the slaves also would not have been able to earn for their souls. Therefore, Islam first made the people realize morally and declared the release of slaves as a big virtue. One of the initial Quranic orders issued in this context during the Mecca period was as under:

“Would that you know what the height is! It is the freeing of a bondsman”. (Al-Balad 90:13) As a first order in this regard, the Quran forbade to transform prisoners of wars into slaves. The slavery was uprooted through the law that the Muslims would either just receive ransom (fidya) from the prisoners of war or would free them to please God if ever they overpowered the enemy completely. This verse was revealed even before the first battle was fought at the state of Madina.

“Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have killed many of them, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them until war shall lay down its burdens,” (Muhammad 47:4) This is how Islam abolished slavery and ended its prospects forever. Consequently the Holy Prophet did not declare any prisoner of war as slave during the future battles.

Now it was time to lift the status of the slaves already present in the society and to eventually free them. So at the next stage it was declared as a principle that the human rights of the slaves are equal to those of free men and they should be treated as the relatives and the neighbours are treated: © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


89 “Serve Allah and associate none with Him. Show kindness to your parents and your kindred, to the orphans and to the needy, to your near and distant neighbors, to your fellow travelers, to the wayfarers, and to the slave whom you own. Allah does not love arrogant and boastful men”. (Al-Nisa 4:36)

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After the revelation of this Quranic verse the Holy Prophet forbade everyone to call anyone by the epithet of a slave or a maid rather they should be called by good names like a boy or a girl. It was made a law that a specific amount could be allocated in the government treasury as a payment for the release of slaves:

“Alms shall be for the poor and the needy and the captives”. (Al-Tawbah 9:60) Then it was legislated that the slaves could get freedom by paying a set amount to their masters through an agreement and the masters would accept the agreement by all means:

“As for those of your slaves who wish for a deed of freedom free them if you find in them any promise and (the state should) bestow on them a part of the riches which Allah has given you”. (Al-Nur 24:33) After this revelation only those old men and women did not get freedom that were well set in the houses of their masters and used to live as members of their families. With this the Holy Prophet ordered to abolish the rule that the son or the daughter of a slave would continue to be a slave rather it was decreed that the offspring of a slave would be deemed to be free automatically. This is how Islam abolished slavery and ended its prospects forever.

Family Planning It is also alleged by the modern world that Islam is against the family planning and is thus generating problems of diverse nature. The fact is altogether different. Islam does not oppose family planning at all, rather directs to devise a strategy and planning in this field too like all other fields. It can be described as under: © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


90 God has made a code of conduct for the smooth running of this world. Thus all the works, accordingly get accomplished in two ways. The first way is beyond the capacity of human beings as in the matters of rains, storms, floods, earthquakes, changing of seasons, and the natural calamities etc. the second way has the partial involvement of the human being’s will and action. In all of the matters which a human being considers to be in his capacity, God has directed him to undertake them with knowledge, rational thinking, intellect, wisdom and proper strategy.

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The Quran has placed this direction and the related references at more than a hundred spots. For instance, the following verses are noted:

Say: Lord increases my knowledge.” (TA’HA’-20:114) “Are the wise and the ignorant equal? Truly, none will take heed but people of understanding.” (Al-Zumar 39:9) “And the person that receives the gift of wisdom is rich indeed. Yet none except people of sense bear this in mind.” (AlBaqarah 2:269) “The meanest beasts in Allah’s sight are those that are (by choice) deaf, dumb, and devoid of reason”. (Al-Anfal 8:22) “In the creation of heavens and the earth, in the alternation of night and day, in the ships that sail the ocean with things that are beneficial to people, in the water which Allah sends down from the sky and with which He revives the earth after its death, dispersing over it all manner of beasts; in the movements of the winds, and in the clouds that are driven between earth and sky: surely in these there are signs for people who understand.” (AlBaqarah 2:164) “(O Prophet) Give good news to My servants, who listen to My words and follow the best interpretation of it. These are they whom Allah has guided. These are they who are endured with understanding”. (Al-Zumar 39:118) In all such matters where man has free will whatever the decision he makes and whatever the line of action he opts becomes the decision of God, if it is not © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


91 against the larger interest of the whole of the humankind. Thus man continues proceeding on the highway of knowledge, rational thinking and science through this way. God has declared this principle in clear terms in the Quran that He never let any man’s Action go waste:

“No soul bears another’s burden and that each person shall be judged by his won labors”. (Al-Najam 53:38, 39) “God never mends the plight of a nation, unless it struggle to do so” (Al-Raad 13:11)

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However, if an individual effort proves to be overall against the whole humankind and has a risk of promoting evil so as to curb virtue completely; it is turned down by God:

“Had Allah not repelled some by the might of others, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is frequently remembered would have been utterly destroyed”. (Al-Hajj 22:40) “Had Allah not defeated some by the might of others, the earth would have been utterly corrupted. But Allah is bountiful to His creatures”. (Al-Baqarah 2:251) Childbirth is one of the selective matters where God lets the free will of the human beings exercise. Though a child is born as per the order of God, yet the human beings are the vehicle for that. It is just as a farmer cultivates his land and grows the crop. The Quran affirms it at so many occasions that the cultivation of land and growing of crop by man is certainly done at the will of God. The farmer is no doubt the source. Thus the same intellect employed by man for the cultivation of his land should be applied while cultivating his generation too. Both these matters have been yoked together in Al-Waqia’ah:

“Behold the semen you emit: did you create it, or did We? (….) Consider the seeds you grow. Is it you that give them growth or We?” (Al-Waqi’ah 56: 63-64) Therefore, under present circumstances we must think about certain things before extending the size of our family. The very first and foremost thing in this regard is the health of the mother both physical and psychological. It is a fact that a woman after giving birth to a child becomes weak both psychologically and physically. Secondly it is important to make sure whether the woman has © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


92

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completed the process of the training and education of her first child. The first two years are very important in this. If a child does not find enough attention of the mother through this period, it might affect his life and personality. The third notable thing is the income of the father. It is important to realize whether he is able to meet the requirements of all the kids he wishes to have. These requirements include education, medical assistance, proper lodging and an honorable life and he would be answerable to God in this regard. At the fourth stage a father has to think over how many kids he can pay personal attention to, how much time he can spare and to what extent he can educate and train all of them in the most desirable manner. The fifth considerable matter is the economy of the whole country, the situation of the unemployment and the chances of appropriate planning. Every individual has to think for the collective welfare of the whole of the society. In short, planning is necessary in every field of life including the matters of family and it is very much according to the teachings of Islam. The above point of view can be objected from different angles. It is better to analyze them. The first objection is that the family planning is an expression of the lack of faith in the capacity of God as the Provider of food. Since He is the guarantor of food to people, birth control is unjust. The answer is simple. If family planning is a lack of faith, what is the status of man for employment, trade, cultivation and scientific development? Should man just sit idle and wait for the things to happen? If we acknowledge that it is necessary to struggle for one’s earning, we must try to understand the sense in God’s capacity as the provider of food. It means that God has treasured his bounties in this soil and has granted intellect to man so that he benefits himself from them in a proper way. God will open the mouth of his treasures when he will use his intellect. Thus man has to plan for that, otherwise he would not get it enough. Hence one must plan the size of one’s family, the time for the birth of a child and the proper care of every child. This is what we call family planning.

During the time of the Holy Prophet some of his companions used to adopt certain preventive measures for birth control. The Holy Prophet knew it and allowed to continue with that. Thus it can be concluded that all methods for birth control are valid in Islam. It is also objected that the Quran forbids the killing of children and family planning amounts to the same. The fact is contrary to this comprehension of the Quranic verse. In fact the pagans of Makkah used to kill their daughters in particularly considering them a burden on their economy and due to some other reasons too. Hence the Quran stopped this practice, as it was criminal. It has nothing to do with family planning at all. © "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


93 It is also said that the family planning is a plot hatched up by the Western and the Jewish lobby so as to stop the increase in the number of the Muslims. This objection is due to a misunderstanding. In fact the real plot against the Muslims is to keep them disordered, disorganized, uneducated and ignorant of scientific progress. The unplanned population increase provides the best platform for the enactment of the above-mentioned plot. Unlike this an organized nation can maintains her superiority over the world through her better civilization and practicability. So the Muslim Ummah can open the gateway of Islam for the other nations to enter through reaching the zenith of progress. This is the real way to increase the number of the Muslims.

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It is argued that “women have been declared as the fields of their husbands and they have been allowed to go into their fields as they desire, through the verse 223 of Al-Baqarah in the Quran. Obviously through the fields one gets maximum yields but the family planning is against this teaching. Thus Islam is against it”. The facts are otherwise. In the above quoted verse of the Quran man or a husband has been personified as a responsible farmer who, first of all gives fertilizer and water to his fields, sows the required seed, looks after the fields during the growth period and protects it from every disease and gives proper pauses between the harvest and the new fertilization. Only an irresponsible farmer doesn’t observe these measures. Thus the above-mentioned Quranic verse lays a lot of responsibility on of the shoulders of a husband. He must take proper care of the health of this wife. He must plan for a new child when his wife is able to give birth to a child in all respects. He has to look after her during her pregnancy. He must give proper respite between the births of two children. He can only be called a wise and a responsible husband if he abides by all what has been stated above.

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94

Chapter 10 Need of a Dialogue It has been concluded through the discussion made so far that in spite of the distinctive qualities of Islamic society as compared to other societies in terms of values, aims of life, and practice, it acknowledges the existence of other societies and interacts with them in a useful way. It does not believe in any sort of aggression if other societies keep respecting its entity.

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It is also an established fact now that Islam lays as much stress upon all peaceful and human values as any sane and conscientious philosophy does. These values include democracy, freedom of opinion and peaceful co-existence etc. However, Islam has a different approach about certain matters. For example, Islam emphasizes the unit of family a lot and does not allow a sexual relationship outside marriage including homosexuality. Islam teaches respect and care in the relationship between man and woman to avoid any sexual perversion. Obviously, most of the civilizations of today have a sharp contrast from Islamic civilization in this respect. It has become an issue of great significance today whether Western and Islamic civilizations can co-exist. Though there are basic differences between the two civilizations in terms of values and aims of life, there is a wall of alienation between them based on a mere misunderstanding on certain matters. Realizing the facts can create an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence. At the moment there are three kinds of attitudes about the West among the Muslims. One is the attitude of extremism. The faction with this attitude considers the West as a blend of evils and believes that the whole West is against Islam and thus both the sides have eternal enmity between them. People with this mentality are in minority in the Muslim world but they have strong foundations. This mentality is generally known as fundamentalism. Second is the attitude of inferiority complex. This faction is fully impressed by the West and its values. This mentality is present in the affluent class of the Muslim world. But this group is overall strange to the majority of the Muslim world as it is against their collective conscience. Third is the attitude of moderation. This group believes that the wall of misunderstanding between Islam and the West can be put down despite the basic

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95 difference between both and there is a possibility of mutual co-existence. This group is in majority among the Muslims. On the other side, the West also has three kinds of attitudes about the Muslims and the Muslim world. First is the attitude of hostility. This group believes all the Muslims to be hostile to the West and wants to crush them completely, as to them; it is the only way for their survival. They want to promote a leadership among the Muslims that believes in Western values. They never spare the Muslims and launch a campaign of negative propaganda against them.

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Second group, though not hostile to the Muslims, considers them backward and against democracy, progress, and novelty in thinking. The political sphere of the West is occupied by this kind of mentality, so their priorities and strategy about the Muslims keep changing. They want to keep the Muslim governments under their subjugation so that they might not be a threat to the West. Third faction has a sympathetic attitude towards the Muslims and believes that the Muslims have been misunderstood and misreported by the Western media. This group reminds the West of the contrasts within itself, and dislikes its discriminatory treatment with the Muslim world. It has an optimism that the Muslims would respond positively if the West offers friendship in the real sense. It is, therefore, evident that the mutually based good relations depend on the emergence of moderate, considerate and human friendly groups in both sides. This is difficult but not impossible, it is difficult because most of actions done by the Western governments cause reaction in the Muslim world. In the same way the Muslim extremists generate repulsion among the Westerners, so in such an emotional situation the persons with moderate and sane thinking are labeled, as agents of the opposite group. Reasonable people from both sides should realize their responsibilities. The moderate group among the Muslims should present their interpretation of Islam with a forceful argument so that the majority of the Muslims accept it and work with moderation while analyzing any of the Western action on political grounds. On the other side the Westerners should develop a harmony with the true and moderate interpretation of Islam and try to learn more about the message of Islam. They should devise such political policies so as to inculcate an environment of understanding in the Muslim world and not an atmosphere of reaction against the West. All this would only be possible when there is a flow of dialogue between Islam and the Western brain on levels of serenity, knowledge, ideology, and rational thinking. This would end many misunderstandings and both sides would Š "Copyrights Reserved in favour of the legal heirs of Dr. Farooq Khan and as further granted"


96 tolerate each other, understand each other and come closer to each other. This is in fact the real message of the new millennium.

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97 Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan

Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan is recognized as a writer, political and Islamic academic throughout Pakistan. He is Member of the Board of Directors “Al-Mawrid” Lahore, an Institution of Islamic Sciences founded by the renound International scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi. He, frequently appears in T.V. talk shows. He also gives Dars-eQuran on AVT Khyber in Pashto language.

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He was born at a village in the district of Swabi in 1955. He obtained his elementry education at his home-town. Then he joined the Cadet College Hasan Abdal and later Cadet College Kohat.After having acquired the degree in medicine from Khyber Medical College Peshawer, he decided to specialize in psychiatry. He established his private practice in Mardan. During his student life, he received religious education from different teachers directly .He is a student of renouned scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi. Some of his works include:  Jehad and Qital: Some important issues. (Urdu)  "Islam Kya hai?" (Urdu)  "Islam and Women" (Urdu & English)  "Islam and the Modern World: a discussion on some contentious issues" (Urdu & English)  "Jehad versus Terrorism" (Urdu & English)  "Kashmir Issue" (Urdu & English)  “Pakistan aur Ikkesween Saddi” (Urdu)  “Hudood Ordinence ka Jaiza” (Urdu)  Ummate Muslima Kamyabi ka Raasta. Two volumes (Urdu)  Assan Tareen Tarjuma wa Tafseere Quran (Urdu) His specialty in Islam is its collective aspect in relation to the modern world. He also has his unique view of the world and Muslim Ummah which is based on peace, justice and impartiality. He is an advocate of human friendly and moderate interpretation of Islam. God has bestowed upon him the quality of presenting his propositions in simple language and the clarity of style. ____________

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09 islam and the modern world