.

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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
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"O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful." [Noble Quran 9:119]

"If you obeyed most of those on earth they would mislead you far from Allah's way." [Noble Quran 6:116]

Return to the QURAN only - the complete and final STAND-ALONE Divine Message which also contains the authentic sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

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I bear witness that NONE is worthy of worship except ALLAH, He has NO partner nor partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the slave and Final Messenger of Allah.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zakah or charity

The widespread concept among mainstream Muslims is that the Noble Quran says nothing about zakah except that it must be given. It's also commonly presumed by many that the recipients of zakah are not mentioned in the Quran. Concerning the amount of zakah to be given, our brothers and sisters often insinuate that if the amount of 2.5% wasn't fixed by the Hadith, we would be in a fix because the Quran does not mention it at all. No one has ever reflected why the Quran does not fix the amount of zakah to be paid. There is a very valid reason for it. Allah Almighty NEVER forgets anything.

(Part I)

First let's briefly discuss issues like who deserves zakah, the importance of intent or 'niyyah' involved while giving zakah etc. and then we will take up the matter regarding the amount of zakah to be given with direct evidence from the Noble Quran.

WHOM TO GIVE ZAKAH?

"They ask you, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: That which you spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good you do, lo! Allah is Aware {Al-'Alim} of it " (2:215)

From the above verse it's crystal clear that if parents are in need, definitely we have to start our charity by financially supporting them. Thus, zakah must be given to parents if they are poor. Other categories of needy people who deserve charity include near relatives, orphans, poor persons (who are not necessarily related to us) and the traveller who is in need. All this has been very clearly elucidated by Allah Almighty in the above verse 2:215.

There are other categories as well who deserve charity.

"(Alms are) for the poor who are straitened for the cause of Allah, who cannot travel in the land (for trade). The unthinking man accounts them wealthy because of their restraint. You shall know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatsoever good thing you spend, lo! Allah knows it." (2:273)

"The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise." (9:60)


"those whose hearts are to be reconciled" primarily refers to the new converts to Al-Islam after the conquest of Makkah. Everything else in the above two verses are very simple to understand about the recipients of zakah. I don't think I need to explain.

ZAKAH FOR FARM PRODUCE MUST BE GIVEN ON THE DAY OF THE HARVEST.

"He it is Who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and the date-palm, and crops of divers flavor, and the olive and the pomegranate, like and unlike. Eat you of the fruit thereof when it fruits, and pay the due thereof upon the harvest day, and be not prodigal. Lo! Allah loves not the prodigals." (6:141)

WHILE SPENDING ZAKAH, OUR INTENTIONS (NIYYAH) ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

Apparently, niyyah is more important than the exact amount one spends. Also,
Charity must be given humbly, and not with pride and arrogance.

"Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah and afterward make not reproach and injury to follow that which they have spent; their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve." (2:262)

"O you who believe! Render not vain your alms giving by reproach and injury, like him who spends his wealth only to be seen of men and believes not in Allah and the Last Day." (2:264)


IF A PERSON CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY CHARITY, THEN THEY OUGHT TO EXCUSE THEMSELVES POLITELY. THAT'S BETTER THAN GIVING CHARITY WITH DISRESPECT.

"A kind word with forgiveness is better than almsgiving followed by injury. Allah is Absolute, Clement." (2:263)

By reading the above verses, it is evident that what's much more important than the amount we pay as charity is our intention, feelings and behavour. A person may spend millions on charity. But if he or she spends it only as a ritual or to brag about their wealth or status, their so-called generosity will carry no weight in the Sight of Allah. On the other hand, if a financially straightened person spends a small amount which he can afford but with true devotion for Allah may find much greater acceptance by Him.

ALLAH PREFERS IF CHARITY IS GIVEN SECRETLY.

"If you publish your almsgiving, it is well, but if you hide it and give it to the poor, it will be better for you, and will atone for some of your ill deeds. Allah is Informed of what you do." (2:271)

ALLAH ALSO SAYS THAT CHARITY MUST BE GIVEN IN TIMES OF EASE AS WELL AS HARDSHIP.

"Those who spend (of that which Allah has given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loves the good;" (3:134)

HOW MUCH TO SPEND IN ZAKAH?

"And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: That which is superfluous. Thus Allah makes plain to you (His) revelations, that haply {by chance} you may reflect " (2:219)

"superfluous" means 'additional' or 'excess' or it can even be interpreted as 'additional savings.' Hence, we are to give as charity or zakah whatever money, clothes, food etc. is left over after we have fulfilled our own requirements and the requirements of our close ones. It's a matter of common sense and common knowledge that every household does not have the same financial resources, and therefore the superfluous savings of cash and kind in every home is not the same. For this reason Allah has kept the amount for zakah open so that everyone can give according to their means. Allah is considerate and kind and He never makes His rules hard for humankind to follow. The above verse 2:219 is very comprehensive that carries a very important information making it ample clear that Allah Almighty does not intend to fix the amount for zakah. After all, zakah is a spiritual tax and not a municipal or federal tax.

IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WHATEVER "SUPERFLUOUS" ITEMS WE GIVE AS CHARITY APART FROM MONEY MUST NOT BE OF BAD QUALITY. IT MUST BE PRESENTABLE AND PLEASING, OF THE STANDARD WHICH WE WOULD OURSELVES ACCEPT READILY, IF WE RECEIVED IT AS CHARITY FROM SOMEONE.

"O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which we bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad (with intent) to spend thereof (in charity) when you would not take it for yourselves save with disdain; and know that Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise." (2:267)

Therefore, the Noble Quran has answered every important and significant issue relating to charity or zakah. If anyone still thinks it's not enough, the problem is with those unthinking minds. Allah's Message is complete and perfect and Allah never forgets anything. That is for sure.

(Part II)

The next issue on zakah worth discussing is the lopsided sense of priority of our Hadith adherents. They must refrain from asking why the amount of zakah isn't stated in the Quran. Rather, they need to be told that since the Quran does not state the amount of zakah, no other source is entitled to fix it. That would categorically amount to altering the Quranic law and interfering with its ideology.

INTERFERENCE BY MAN-MADE LAWS BY FIXING THE RATE OF ZAKAH HAS MADE THE SYSTEM UNBALANCED. HOW? LET'S BRIEFLY LOOK INTO IT.

Human interference always makes matters imperfect. Same has happened here in the case of zakah as fixed by our imams. The rate of 2.5% to be paid as zakah as decided by the writings of our ulemas and imams is very inconsiderate and imperfect. This rule of 2.5% can make matters hard for an average man of low income and it could benefit a rich man who may afford to pay much more than 2.5%. Fixing a standard amount for the rich and commoner alike is a big flaw.

For instance: A rich Saudi prince who may have an asset of $18 billion pays 2.5% from his total assets or the income he yields from this asset. On the other hand, a common Muslim man living on social assistance getting $800 a month also pays the 2.5%as his share of zakah. I realize that there's a big difference between the yield of 2 .5% of 18 billion compared to 2.5% of 800. But proportion-wise it is the same. Therefore, either the prince is paying too little or the common man is paying too much. The imams who fixed this amount universally, apparently didn't realize that the tax range must steadily rise in accordance to the income / assets of every individual. However, for zakah, even such a planning would not be right. Numerical amounts can only be fixed for municipal or government taxes. Zakah, as I already mentioned, is not a municipal nor a governmental tax. It's a spiritual tax where Allah Almighty takes into consideration a person's intent in accordance with his or her financial means, not merely a flat rate paid by everyone as a ritual by completely disregarding the individual resources of every person.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dowry - a bounden duty on every Muslim male

In the Noble Quran, the financial issue involving dowry has been established as mandatory upon every Muslim man who decides to marry. Dowry is a collective gift in kind or cash given to the bride by her husband during the event of marriage. There's no fixed amount for dowry. It must be decided in accordance with the man's financial means. But it is obligatory upon him to give whatever he can afford.

Individuals in certain segments of the Muslim community are being very dismissive concerning the Quranic dictate of dowry. A Facebook group claiming the title "Light of Islam" recently rejected this Quranic commandment altogether. It asserted categorically, appealing to it's members to abstain from dowry, using the same tone in which Allah Almighty has prohibited riba in the Noble Quran.

The following is the statement made by "Light of Islam" by which it has tried to insult the Noble Quran.

"By ALLAAH, neither a Muslim can take Dowry nor a person who possesses Humanity. We want all of you to make a promise: 'Promise in the name of your LORD that, you'll neither Take dowry nor will Give it to others.' " 

It's obvious that this group is spreading darkness in the name of Islam.

The extent of its desire to manipulate the Quran is completely outside the bounds of acceptable behavior. The evidences are as follows.

What does the Noble Quran state regarding this oblgatory gift? 

"And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty." (4:24) 

"so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, " (4:25)  

"And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines." (5:5)  

"O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries," (33:50) 

"And it is no sin for you to marry such women when ye have given them their dues. " (60:10) 

From the above verses it's crystal clear that ..

(1) Dowry is a pre-requisite for marriage which cannot be disregarded by believing men.  (2) It was obligatory even for the Prophet (SAAW).

Furthermore, in case of divorce the Quran mentions:

"It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them, nor appointed unto them a portion. Provide for them, the rich according to his means, and the straitened according to his means, a fair provision. (This is) a bounden duty for those who do good." (2:236)

"If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it," (2:237)

For divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who ward off (evil). (2:241)

"Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah." (2:229)

"And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it. Would ye take it by the way of calumny and open wrong ?" (4:20)

In the above verses it is absolutely clear that ..

(1) In case of divorce, dowry is not returnable unless the bride voluntarily decides to return it. 
(2) If divorce takes place before the consummation of marriage by which time the husband has not yet fixed a portion as gift for the bride, then he must appoint a gift and give it to her during the divorce.
(3) Even if divorce takes place before the consummation of marriage, yet the bride is entitled to retain half of the gift or dowry appointed for her.

After reading all of the above verses, there can be no doubt about the importance of dowry in a Muslim marriage to be given by the man. Anyone who rejects it is trying to change the Divine law to safeguard his personal interest. 

In fact, the very important reason why according to the Quranic law of inheritance, sons get twice the share of daughters, is because sons have plenty of financial responsibilities, unlike daughters. These responsibilities include meeting all expenses of their marriage, supporting their wives and children, supporting elderly parents and dependent siblings. Contrary to this, daughters have no such financial burdens according to Quranic laws. Any portion of wealth she inherits or earns is her personal possession with which she's not obligated to support her dependents, unless she volunteers to do so. Hence, those Muslim men who have gotten deviated enough to overrule the Quranic dictate concerning their financial duties, must also voluntarily forgo to claim double the share of inheritance. After all, Allah Almighty has commanded to give males twice the share of females with a specific reason. If some men are not able to handle that specific reason, they cannot simply dismiss their responsibility and move on without any adjustments. That would disrupt the entire balance of the structure of this law established by Allah.

So-called Muslim men of South Asian countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have sunk into the depth of shamelessness by not only waiving dowry for themselves, but dumping this responsibility on the poor bride. They have picked up this kafir culture from the Hindus of India and have been adhering to it for centuries.

For further contents on this topic, check its thread at MV

Monday, July 19, 2010

Is the human conscience enough as a guide?

I had a conversation lately with an acquaintance who rejected the authority of the Glorious Quran as a guide and yet claimed to be a "believer." The person's argument was that "I use my conscience to lead my life, and conscience evolves from the inner self so it can be relied upon."   But, is the "inner self" infallible enough to be trusted at all times? Can the free human conscience universally and at all levels be separated from one's lower, superficial and materialistic desires and senses? To answer "yes" would surely require an enormously conceited mind that sees life through a very narrow prism.

God Almighty repeatedly reminds us in the Noble Quran that good deeds can be rendered futile in the Hereafter if they are not supported with the strength of Faith. A lot of people may disagree and argue against it. But the ultimate truth of the matter remains that Allah Almighty has a very valid reason for establishing this dictate. Briefly put, good and compassionate deeds done without the foundation and supervison of Faith can be no less volatile than the changing directions of sea breeze. Human conscience is largely prone to fluctations and re-adjustments as a response to the countless triggering factors of life. Thus, incidents of the human mind slipping away after being planted are never unusual.

If human conscience is left on its own, that is, conscience without the control of the Divine Guidance, there would likely be little uniformity in that type of 'conscience.' Different persons live their lives involving various blatant violations, yet they claim they are living their lives according to the rules of their "conscience" and are thus at ease with themselves. An adulterer or an adultress who systematically cheats on their spouse, or a professional swindler who steals others' money to make a living, will confidently justify their stance with their own arguments and claim that their "conscence" is intact. Even atheists and agnostics are often convinced of the infallibility of their 'conscience.' All such people will strongly disagree if told they don't have a conscience. Well, maybe they do have a 'conscience' - a conscience that's moribund and a prisoner of its own soul, in need of being revamped. But how is one supposed to revamp one's conscience?  By going back to school and acquiring additional diplomas?  Going to prison? Paying a fine? Obviously not.

It's impossible for the human conscience to blossom with firmness unless it's tightened with the influence of the principles of the Divine Message. Then only can the conscience of humankind conform with the values endorsed by Allah Almighty. Thus, Allah says in His final Message: "Say: Each one doth according to his rule of conduct, and thy Lord is Best Aware of him whose way is right." 17:84. These Words of the Divine Power clearly indicate that not all rules of human conduct go aright .. unless those rules have been made compatible with His commandments.

Don't ask me how or why, but here's the undeniable fact. A genuine and undistracted grasp of the Monothesitic Faith has tremendous and inexplicable Might to shake off the impurities that often plague the human conscience and start life afresh.

To conclude, human conscience is beneficial only if it's firmly yoked with the dictates of Faith .. a conscience that discards mere ritualism, a conscience that's built upon equity and a conscience that accepts only the final Divine Message as its sole Criterion for assessments and modifications of its spritual and ethical values.

For discussion on this thread click here

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The unjust vilification of Prophet Noah in the Bible

This narration of the altered Bible is flabbergasting. It goes to the extent of slandering Prophet Noah as a drunkard.

'An Eye-Opening Biblical Narration'
By Ibn Anwar
Bismika Allahumma

The following is one of the most interesting Biblical stories I have came across. I thought I’d share it with the readers. Many Christians such as Sam Shamoun, Craig Winn and others simply love going around bad-mouthing the Qur’an, saying that it contains “perverted, nonsensical teachings”.

Let us have a glimpse of their “sensical” Bible.

“And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham [is] the father of Canaan. These [are] the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began [to be] an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid [it] upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces [were] backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; the lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.“ Genesis 9:18-25 - New version

Before I proceed further I would like to state for the record that Muslims are utterly shocked and offended that the Bible portrays great messengers of God as low-live drunkards.

Coming back to the story, notice how the story says Ham, THE FATHER of Canaan. This is rather interesting. Seems like it’s trying to prove or lead to something.

In summary, Noah became drunk and dropped naked in his tent. Ham, Noah’s second son found him in that state and told his brothers about it. According to many Biblical experts, Ham didn’t just tell his brothers about it, he also laughed at his father’s state. This is considered as an offense to Noah and is the reason why Noah made the curse. The two other sons Shem and Japheth were ashamed of their father’s nakedness and covered him without looking. When Noah gained consciousness, he knew what Ham did and started cursing, “And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”

Did you catch the joke?

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Ham had four sons: Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan.

When the narration is analysed, a question arises: “Who was responsible for looking at Noah’s nakedness?” The answer is Ham. Christians argue that the action of Ham was a sin, hence the curse. For the sake of argument, we agree. Yet, who was responsible and thereafter cursed? Ham was responsible, but, who was made to pay? Was it Ham? No. Canaan, an innocent little child, was made to pay for the error of Ham. The father who is responsible was reprieved and the son who’s innocent was punished. Furthermore, why was Canaan out of four siblings singled out? Is this justice or madness?

Can you imagine something like that happening today? I love analogies, so let us have one.

James has four children. He committed murder. He is apprehended, brought to court and is found guilty. The judge decided that the punishment is the “injection”, i.e. death. However, the injection is given to his youngest son and he in turn is released without cost.

Once again, is this justice or madness? I leave the verdict to the readers.

In addition, read for yourself how blatantly the above strange tale of Genesis 9:18-25 contradicts the values of a narration of another version of the Bible, which says

“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” Deuteronomy 24:16

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Faith vs. Nationalism

In Islam, unity is based on Faith, not terroritory, blood, language, family or race as in nationalism.

Starting with the concept of nationalism, some may differentiate between nationalism and patriotism. While the former is linked with an 'ideology,' the latter is based upon sentiments. But a careful analysis proves this notion to be quite incorrect. Nationalism is associated with sentiments just as much as patriotism. There's little difference between the two.

Nationalism can be briefly defined as 'group instinct' or the 'love of home'. In human life, the story of nationalism begins from an accident of nature/birth, not from man's conscious will or choice. The modern era of mass emigrations gives 'nationalism' a still more superficial touch, involving little beyond a change of documents.

Most importantly, unity based on race, land, blood etc. is related to man's lower instinct and not his distinctive characteristics which make him the superior species.

The basis of human collective life has been under question since long .. whether it should be founded upon geography, race and language or on the basis of belief and intellect.

Thus, what is the difference between the Ummah (pan-Islamic unity/community as elucidated in the Noble Quran) and nationalism?

To define oneself in terms of ethnic identity of one's geographic or other heritage is not the ideology of the Noble Quran. Ethnic and territorial identities are bound to lead to racism, provincialism, bias and discrimination. That's inevitable. But the ideology of unity based on Faith leaves no room for any such superficial conepts or priorities. The true concept of Faith has a tremendous bonding power by eradicating polarisation and conflicts originating from other issues or sources.

A system must be envisioned as an integral part of the foundation of life as conveyed by the Quran. All Prophets in the past who came with the Divine Message highlighted the importance of unity based on belief and faith, the height of which was attained by Islam in establishing a nation of conviction called the Islamic Ummah.

The other system was that of paganism which based unity upon geographical boundaries, color, language, race, family, tribal and political power. All ancient, pre-Islamic 'civilizations' like that of the Arabian peninsula, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome etc. based their unity on the above factors. Such an ideology is distinctly in line with Satanism. Satan considered himself superior because he was created from fire, which is the equivalent of the human concept of superiortiy based on race and blood.

Humans have two natural tendencies the lower and higher instincts. The lower instinct makes them do things without careful thinking. This, along with various spontaneous desires, also include attachment to land, blood and wealth. Allah Almighty has endowed humans with a higher instinct too. This is the intellectual side which enables them to reflect. As explained by Al-Islam.org, man's intellectual nature includes his "intelligence, self-awareness and belief, faculties which are unique to him and also the desire for perfection, knowledge and the ideal." This higher instinct, if enhanced to its maximum, can control and transform the lower instinct.

The difference between these two inherent human tendencies exposes the flaws of the school of nationalism and the distinct superiority of the school of the Prophets, consisting of the instructions of the Divine Power.

Quoting a fine excerpt from Al-Islam.org, "In the school of the prophets, the determining factor and criterion has nothing to do with territory, blood, food or sex; but it is rather man's belief, ideology and ideals which originate from his awareness, intellect and knowledge, which give him an exalted position among creatures and enable him to dominate the world. So long as he is bonded to such things as land and blood, he remains at the animal level, but once he steps higher towards belief and ideology, he attains the human level. .. That is why we reject nationalism, communism and all other futile 'isms' and turn to the Divine School which is based on belief, a search for perfection and man's unique quality."

Thus, nationalism helps to demote man to the animal level by weakening his faculties and making him shallow. On the other hand, unity based on Faith helps to enhance man's animal instincts into something much higher and more meaningful.

"Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind." - Albert Einstein