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Organ of the World Federation of 
Islamic Missions 
An International Monthly 
Devoted to Islamic Progress 

VOL. 47 
NO. 1 

JANUARY, 2010 

^The Month of M una rram 
^The Qur'an and the west 
^ Veil of a time 



M.H. Habib Butt 


Umer Qassim Mithani 

Dr. Farogh Naseem 

Mustafa Fazil Ansari 

Mahmood Shaikh 

Begum Rashida Ikram Siddiqi 


Ashfaq Husain 

Azhar Hasan Siddiqi 


Muhammed Ahmed • Jan Muhammed 
Azhar Hasan Siddiqi • Umer Shakoor • Muhammed Ajaz Saya 

Wajih-ul-Hasan Ansari »Tahir Umer •Mahmood Shaikh 

Amin Ghazi • Noor Ahmed khan • Syed Muhammed Ali Nasir 

Aboo Baker Cassim »Abdus Sattar Usman •Prof. Abdul 

Waheed Qureshi • Mr. Yonus Hashim Bangali 
Abu Fahim Anwarullah Khan «Grp Cap (R) Faheem Baig 




An International Monthly Devoted to Islamic Progress 

Organ of 


-^^^^ o 

Published in Memory of 
Maulana Shah Muhammad Abdul Aleem Siddiqui Al-Qaderi (R.A.) 

Maulana Dr. Muhammad Fazl-ur-Rahman Al-Ansari Al-Qaderi (R.A.) 




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Editorial Board 

M.A. Khan 

Maulana Allah Yar Qaderi 

Chief Editor: 

Mustafa Fazil Ansari 


Fazal Khan 

Ahmed B. Keeno 

Advisory Board: 

Guyana (South America) 

Abdul Rashid Ismail 

M. Abu Fahim Anwarullah 

Siddiq Ahmed Nasir 


Maulana Muhammad Aamir Baig 


Dr. Alonto 


Farid Uddin Ahmad 
Editorial Asst.: 

Abdul Aleem Joemman 



Haji Abdul Had! 

Hafiz Munir Ahmed 

Abu Bakr Maidin 

M. Asif Zaheer 


Sri Lanka 

A.R. Siddiqi 

Shahidullah Kausar 

Special Correspondents: 


Suriname (South America) 


Shaikh AN Mustafa 

Muhammad Alamgir 


Trinidad and Tobago 


Dr. Waffie Muhammed 

Muhammed Musaddaq 

Shaheen Z. Ansari 

Khalil Hussain 

Cape Town 


Venezuela (South America) 

Rizwan Mathew 
v J 

Abdullah Ahmed 
^ J 

H.R. Azizuddin 


I.From The Editor's Desk 3 

2. Call From The Minaret 5 

3. The Month of Muharram 9 

4. The Qur'an and the West 14 

5. Sermons of Imam Hussain (RDA)... 

6. Veil of a Time 

7. The Holy Qur'an and the Facts of Science. .25 

8. &l*i<£JlkQjm&Jl)^ 32 

"The MINARET may not necessarily agree with the opinions of the writers 

Approved for Schools, Colleges and Educational Institutions vide Circular No. (DE / F. 
Pub/ 11- A) (3082-3390) 72, Directorate of Education, Karachi Region, dated 8-5-1972 

Published by the World Federation of Islamic Missions, Abdul Aleem Siddiqui and Islamic Centre Roads, 

Islamic Centre, B-Block, North Nazimabad, Karachi-74700 Pakistan. Phones: 6677943, 6644156 

Fax: (0092-21) 6627021 E-mail: pk 



Printed at M/s. Abrar Sons, Hydri Manzil, Bohra Pir, Karachi. 


Pakistan was born free, sovereign 
and independent. Today it appears to be 
in chains and in deep trouble. The country, 
it seems to be sleepwalking towards a 
uncertain destination. Is it near to anarchy? 
In a rudderless confusion it could end up 
sliding into darkness. A civil war like 
situation is looming over the country. 
Suicide bombers are blowing themselves 
up with impunity and choice causing havoc 
and disastrous consequences for the 
country and its inhabitants. There is a 
rising specter of a fragile Pakistan 
confronted by hostile forces reviving up 
their efforts to dismember the country. 
Every ordinary folk is trembling with fear 
and anxiety for the blessed land. 

The situation that Pakistan finds itself 
today is perhaps the most precarious and 
pernicious that it had experienced since 
its auspicious inception. Many years ago 
the traumatic events of 1971 had left it as 
a devastated nation reduced to ashes 
almost literally. The political gurus see the 
present and foreseable future even 

Our national security is under threat 
from our internal disharmony which is not 
only encouraging the centrifugal forces 
but also diminishing our dignity in the 
comity of nations. 

The modern day methodology of 
destroying a state is to target it from within 
through insurgencies and political 
uncertainties and by providing money and 
weapons to indigenous dissidents. The 
economy automatically collapses and so 
do all other state structures. This is what 


appears, is being done with Pakistan by 
nations hostile to Pakistan while the whole 
nation watches with a disgusting 
indifference. There seems to be an overall 
plan to keep all parts of the country ignited 
so that the instability paradigm allow our 
foreign detractors to plug it. 

Presently we appears to be a nation 
that has its eyes and ears open but it 
neither sees nor hears anything to an 
extent that we remain indifferent despite 
actually knowing what is happening to the 

According to the defence analysts, 
the state of Pakistan is confronted with 
three enemies that are closely intertwined. 
Firstly there is Al-Qaeda which comprises 
Arabs, Uzbeks and a select group of 
Pakistanis also. Then there is Taliban who 
consists of different branches including 
Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan. The later 
are ideologically connected to the group 
known as Pakistani Talibans who are 
engaged in fighting a battle inside Pakistan 
to achieve their devious designs. Then 
there are Punjab based Salafi-Jihadis 
group wrongly termed as Punjabi Taliban. 
Actually, Taliban is a term that has 
historical context and can only be used 
in case of Afghan Talibans. Nevertheless 
the Punjabi Jihadis are ideologically driven 
and keen to play their hideous part in 
destabilising the state. 

Pakistanis today are desperate and 
vulnerable. There is a real war going on 
in the country. The Pakistan army has 
been propelled into a high intensity military 
operation is Swat, Malakand and now the 

January 2010 

latest in South Waziristan. The army is 
doing extremely well under the 
circumstances but how successful the 
operation in South Waziristan may be, 
and no matter how hard and well the army 
fights, the outcome is going to depend on 
political reforms and the implementation 
of a string of promises and understandings 
long made and shortly neglected and 
forgotten. The military may be able to 
break the militants hold over the areas 
but in the long run it is the civil administra- 
tion that requires urgent reforms if the 
whole process does not heave to be 
redone at some other date in future. The 
violence of the militants and the army 
action against them has undermined the 
efforts aimed at economic developments 
in the region which was already a 
development desert before the current 
operation. A black economy in goods, 
drugs and weapon has flourished in the 
absence of inward investment that would 
have provided an alternate livelihood to 

smuggling. There are no jobs that could 
attract a largely uneducated population 
and it is a little surprise that the militants 
find it easy to recruit and retain young 
men who see no future outside the 
possible short but possibly the profitable 
life of Jihad. 

Every nation has to take some bold 
decisions at such junctures of their national 
life but the decisions require examples to 
be set by the leadership. If Pakistan is to 
survive the present onslaught, its 
leadership, of all hue, must unite against 
a common enemy. The army needs to 
resolve to fight and destroy the monster. 
When confronted with an existential threat, 
survival depends on unity of purpose. The 
battle of minds need to be won before the 
monster of extremism can be defeated. It 
can only be won when all and one realise 

that their real enemy resides within 





The worst people are those who are double- 
faced; and when they talk to another person they 
say what he likes; and when they talk to another 
person they talk what this fellow likes. On the Day of 
Resurrection such person will have two reins of 
Fire in their mouths and their tongues will be of such 
length that they would drage them and trample them 
under their feet. 



January 2010 


His Eminence Maulana Muhammad Abdul 
Aleem Siddqui Al-Qadri. 


The Islamic religion which comprehends in itself that Islamic law is solely based, 
from beginning to end on the foundations of Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. The Holy Qur'an in 
itself is the store-house of knowledge, all that we need. Yet the Sunnah of the Prophet (#) 
is also treasure of guidance and second basic source of law. 

The Holy Qur'an was not delivered to the Prophet as one complete book but was 
revealed to him bit by bit and piece by piece. The revealed verses of Qur'an were fixed up 
in chapters by the Prophet himself under the Divine guidance. He also fixed up the serial 
arrangement of the Chapters, and all that under the Divine instructions, thus leaving no one 
to dissent. 

The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (#) which formed the second primary source of 
Islamic law (numbering hundreds and thousands) were preserved in the hearts of the 
Companions (some also in the written form) were needed to be classified in the form of law 
and by laws, topics and problems and then codified in the book form after passing away of 
the Holy Prophet (#). The object was to enable every Muslim to know the law in the easiest 
way. This was an enourmous task but carried out with utmost care by an advisary council 
composed of such experts of Islamic learning who were firmly grounded in the knowledge. 

His Eminence Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqui Al-Qadri (RA) (1 892-1 954) was one 
of the most gifted intellectuals of his time. His rational approach to present day problems 
displayed his depth of knowledge. We bring his book "Codification of Islamic Law" for our 
readers in serialised form. The readers shall find his lucid narration that describes historically 
the magnitude and sensitivity of the problem to attract the present day society that is shoring 
away from the Islamic norms and values Editor 

SOME BASIC OBSERVATIONS rational arguments that the universe 
decidedly owes its existence to Creator, 

In my class-lectures and public for Whom every particle of the Creation 

speeches, I have already explained the is a witness. I also made it clear that, just 

obvious truth that only the inventor and as there are natural laws which govern 

manufacturer of a machine knows best the working of the universe (and they are 

how to use it and he alone can properly called God's Way in the Holy Quran), 

teach its use to others. I have also similarly there are laws, ordained by God, 

explained that every maker holds his relating to the individual and social life of 

creation dear and does not like it to be human beings, and that it is God's Way 

spoiled in any way, and that, consequently, to teach them to mankind, for which the 

he teaches its method of use himself. divinely-appointed law of delivering Divine 

I have also explained and proved by Guidance in the form of Wahy (i.e. 

MINARET 5 January 2010 

Revelation) through the Prophets and 
Messengers endowed with special 
capacities by God to perform the task, 
has been coming into play since the 
creation of humanity. 

I have further explained that humanity 
and its culture and civilisation have grown 
gradually, that for a very long period the 
races and nations of the world remained 
divided and segregated from each other 
and that, during that period of immature 
humanity, separate Prophets and 
Messengers of God continued to come to 
the separate human communities, so 
much so, that on certain occasions, more 
than one Prophet was working at the same 
time among different groups. However, 
when the time came for humanity to come 
together, when the age of the printing 
press and the wireless and the aeroplane 
dawned, when mankind arrived at the 
stage of its history where it could function 
as one body, when the human ingenuity 
was on the verge of developing those 
means whereby it could preserve the 
Divine Message for all time, God Almighty 
sent such a perfect guide, such a World 
Prophet and Messenger, who came with 
the title not of the Mercy for the Arabs 
but as the Mercy unto all the worlds, 
and God's Word was announced. 

"Verily, We have sent thee not but as the 
Bringer of Glad Tidings and the Warner 
for the whole of humanity. (34 : 28) 

That great Prophet came transcending 
the limitations of country and clime. He 
came as the Divine Mercy Personified. 
He came with the Divine Message of 
Mercy, the Revealed Guidance, the 
Divinely-appointed Law, the Religion of 


Mercy. His glorious name is MUHAMMAD, 
i.e., the Praised One, (God's Blessings 
and Peace be upon him!). He was 
declared to be the Last Prophet. 
Prophethood found its consummation in 
his august person. Religion was perfected 
in all its aspects and one for all. The Divine 
proclamation was made: 

"This day have I perfected your 
religion for you, completed My favour upon 
you, and Have chosen for you Islam as 
your religion'. (V : 4.). 

That great Prophet announced in 
unambiguous terms: "I am the last Prophet 
and there is no prophet after me". 

Humanity had received the Perfect 
Religion. Consequently the door of Divine 
Revelation was closed and sealed, and 
God's last Prophet announced: "Nothing 
remains from the prophethood except true 
dreams". This was a statement meaning 
the Divine Revelation, which has been 
named in the Holy Quran as Wahy and 
which means positive and certain 
knowledge communicated by God, came 
to an end with the Last Prophet (#). 

In that literal and certain Revelation 
(Wahy Matlu) which was granted to that 
great Prophet, the Divine promise of 
preserving it was affirmed. The Word of 
God proclaimed:- 

"We have, without doubt, sent down 
the Messsage; and We will assuredly 
guard it (from corruption)". (XV : 9). 

And, again:- 

"And indeed it is a Book of exalted 

• January 2010 

powder. No falsehood can approach from 
before or behind it: It is sent down by One, 
full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise." 
(XLI :41,42). 

For the preservation of the Message, 
God Almighty advised His Holy Prophet 
(#) the following words: 

"Move not thy tongue concerning (the 
Quran) to make haste therewith. It is for 
Us to collect it and to promulgate (or recite) 
it. So when We have promulgated (or 
recited) it, follow thou its recital" 
(LXXV: 16-18). 

That was about the text of the Holy 
Quran which is preserved today not only 
in Book form but also in million of human 

As for the preservation of the 
meanings of the Quranic text, God 
Almighty made it clear that: 

"Nay more, it is for Us to explain it 
(and make it clear)". LXXV : 19). 

Thus, it was not only the preservation 
of the text of the Holy Quran but also its 
meanings, which God Almighty took upon 
Himself. Hence the Holy Prophet (#) said: 
"I have been given the Quran and the like 
of it along with it". 

This means that the Holy Prophet 
(#) was not given only the Quranic text, 
but was also taught its meaning by God 

The Holy Prophet (#), in his turn, 
transmitted the text as well as the meaning 
to his Companions. Every student of the 


Hadith knows that the Companions would 
come to him, take lessons from him in 
portions of the text along with their 
meanings and explanations, and, in their 
turn, teach the same to others. 

Thus, on the one hand, the Holy 
Prophet (#) transmitted the actual 
meanings and true explanation of the Holy 
Quran to his Companions and through 
them to the later generations, while on 
the other, he pronounced a definite 
warning to all those who might wish to 
change the meanings and the 
explanations. He said: 

"Whosoever explains the Holy Quran 
according to his personal opinion, let him 
make his abode in hell" 

He further warned those who might 
attribute false explanations or forged 
Hadith to his name, saying: 

"Whosoever intentionally attributes a 
false thing to me, let him make his abode 
in hell". 

Then, after he had taken all the steps 
for preserving the teachings of Islam, the 
Holy Prophet (#) informed the world that:- 

"One party of my followers will always 
remain above others with clear truth. 
Whosoever opposes them will not be able 
to harm them (i.e. overpower them in 
argument), until the Last Day". 

In the light of the preliminaries 
outlined, I am sure you have understood 
fully that the Islamic religion, which 
comprehends in itself that Islamic Law 
(i.e., the Shariah), is based, from the 

January 2010 

beginning to the end, on Divine 
Revelations, which will remain in its original 
purity (Insha-Allah) to the Last Day. Every 
word of the Holy Quran is from God, and 
for the explanation of every word the 
Personal Guidance (or Sunnah) of the 
Holy Prophet (#) is present. 

Thus, when Hazrat Aysha, the truthful, 
(God be pleased with her!) was asked 
about the morals and manners of the Holy 
Prophet (#), she replied: "His morals are 
the Quran", which means that the Holy 
Prophet's (#) actions and sayings were 
the practical commentary of the Holy 
Quran, or, in other words, the Holy Prophet 
(#) was the embodiment of action based 
upon the Holy Quran. (May his memory 
be evergreen!). 

It is because of this that God ordered 
us in the Holy Qur'an: 

"So take what the Apostle assigns to 
you and deny yourselves that which he 
withholds from you". (LIX : 7). 

And, again: 

"Verily, in the Apostle of God there is 
for you the best model". (XXXIII: 21) 

We are further told with great 
emphasis that every actin and saying of 
the Holy Prophet (#) is thoroughly based 
on revelation from God. Thus, the Holy 
Quran says: 

"Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) 
desire. It is no less than revelation sent 
down to him". (LIN : 3-4). 

Still more emphatic is the following 


Quranic verse : 

"Verily, those who give their pledge 
to thee (O Prophet!) do nothing less than 
give their pledge to God: The Hand of 
God is over their hands". (XLVIII : 10). 

Further, the Holy Quran describes the 
act of the Holy Prophet (#) as the act of 
God. It says, while referring to the Holy 
Prophet;s (#) act of throwing dust towards 
the enemy during the battle of Badr:- 

"When thou threwest (a handful of 
dust), it was not thy act, but God's 
(VIII : 17). 

Thus, at another place, the Holy 
Quran says: 

"He who obeys the Apostle, obeys 
God." (IV : 80). 

Hence, the basis of the Islamic religion 
and law is first the divinely revealed 
Guidance existing in the form of the Holy 
Quran and second the Sunnah (Personal 
Guidance) of the Holy Prophet (#) which 
is nothing else than a practical and 
magnified reflection of the Holy Quran. 

It was this fundamental importance 
of the Holy Prophet's (#) Sunnah which 
compelled the early Muslims to observe 
extreme caution in receiving and 
transmitting the Prophetic Traditions 
(Ahadith). THe Companions valued every 
saying of the Holy Prophet (#) as the 
greatest treasure, strived their utmost to 
preserve it, and understood every teaching 
of the Holy Qur'an in the light of those 

i January 2010 

T he M onth of M uharram 

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani 

Muharram is the month with which 
the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah 
calendar. It is one of the four sanctified 
months about which the Holy Qur'an 

"The number of the months according 
to Allah is twelve months (mentioned) in 
the Book of Allah on the day in which He 
created heavens and the earth. Among 
these (twelve months) THERE are four 
sanctified". (9:36) 

These four months, according to the 
authentic traditions are the months of 
Zulqa'dah, Zulhijjah, Muharram and Rajab. 
All the commentators of the Holy Qur'an 
are unanimous on this point, because the 
Holy Prophet (#) in his sermon on the 
occasion of his last Hajj, has declared: 

"One year consists of twelve months, 
of which four are sanctified months, three 
of them are in sequence; Zulqa'dah, 
Zulhijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is 

The specific mention of these four 
months does not mean that any other 
month has no sanctity, because the month 
of Ramadhan is admittedly the most 
sanctified month in the year. But these 
four months were specifically termed as 
sanctified months for the simple reason 
that their sanctity was accepted even by 
the pagans of Makkah. 

In fact, every month, out of the twelve, 
is originally equal to the other, and there 

is no inherent sanctity which may be 
attributed to one of them in comparison 
to other months. When Allah Almighty 
chooses a particular time for His special 
blessings, then it acquires sanctity out of 
His grace. 

Thus, the sanctity of these four months 
was recognized right from the days of 
Sayyidina Ibrahim (AS). Since the Pagans 
of Makkah attributed themselves to 
Sayyidina Ibrahim (AS) they observed the 
sanctity of these four months and despite 
their frequent tribal battles, they held it 
unlawful to fight in these months. 

The month of Muharram has certain 
other characteristics peculiar to it which 
are specified below. 

1. Fasting During the Month 

The Holy Prophet (#) has said: 

"The best fasts after the fasts of 
Ramadhan are those of the month of 

Although the fasts of the month of 
Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one 
who fasts in these days out of his own will 
and choice is entitled to a great reward 
by Allah Almighty. 

2. The Day of Ashurah 

Although the month of Muharram is 
a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 
10th day of Muharram is the most sacred 

1 January 2010 

among all its c 

. The day is named 

According to the Holy companion Ibn 
Abbas (RDA). The Holy Prophet (#), when 
migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews 
of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day 
of Muharram. They said that it was the 
day on which the Holy Prophet Musa 
(Moses) (AS) and his followers crossed 
the Red Sea miraculously and the 
Pharaoh was drowned in its water. On 
hearing from the Jews, the Holy Prophet 
(#) said, "We are more closely related to 
Musa than you" and directed the Muslims 
to fast on the day of Ashurah. (Abu 

It is established through a number of 

authentic Ahadith that fasting on that day 
of Ashurah is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet 
(#) and makes one entitled to a great 

According to another hadith, it is more 
advisable that the fast of Ashurah should 
either be prefixed or suffixed by another 
fast. It means that one should fast two 
days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or 
the 10th and 11th of it. The reason of this 
additional fast as mentioned by the Holy 
Prophet (#) is that the Jews used to fast 
on the day of Ashura alone, and the Holy 
Prophet (#) wanted to distingushed the 
Islamic-way of fasting from that of Jews. 
Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add 
another fast to that of Ashura. 
(Courtesy: Islamic Voice) 


Mr. Abdullah YousufAli 

The mission of Imam Husain was to keep 
alight the beacon of truth in a world enveloped 
in darkness — when political power was 
associated with arrogance, selfishness, luxury, 
idleness and want of faith, he showed by his 
life that poverty and humility were consistent 
with the highest spiritual teaching, and by his 
death that unselfishness and trust in God were 
more powerful weapons for the higher life 
than worldly triumphs. Owing to the 
corruptions in the UMMAIYED court much 
dissatisfaction, division and doubt had spread 

over the Islamic world. The martyrdom of the 
Prophet's grandson did much to reunite many 
factions, and to redirect their attention to the 
Prophet's message of brotherhood and 
righteousness. The moving story of Husain's 
sufferings and the patience and firmness with 
which he endured them has appealed to 
Muslims of all sects and schools of thought, 
and to non-Muslims also. The domestic details 
of the tragedy furnish some of the grandest 
episodes in the inner history of mankind. 


January 2010 

What Islam says about 
Marital-violence Issue? 

Waseema Hameed Qureshi 

Men and women have been endowed 
differently. Male and female gender 
qualities don't match. Although a woman 
can function as the breadwinner, while 
being both the bearer as well as caretaker 
of the family offspring, a man is constituted 
only to meet the requirments of the tough 
outdoor life. For the special responsibility 
a physically enabled female shares with 
nature in the grand task of procreation, a 
male has to, as Allah's vicegerent, carry 
out this delegated responsibility of 
providing, protecting and comforting his 
marital partner to the best of his ability. 

Let there be no mistake in understand- 
ing that Islam has not in any case allowed 
violence against the weak and least of all 
against women. Allah has indeed, been 
highly Gracious and Merciful in issuing 
mankind the Book which instructs us 
through our difficulties in life. 

Every word of His Message means 
to direct us towards righteousness in the 
present life and better rewards for the 
Hereafter. Indeed, mistaken are those 
who misinterpret Qur'anic verses as word 
of permission to execute violence against 
women such as when it quotes: 

Men are the protectors and 
maintainers of women because Allah has 
made one of them excel over the other, 
and because they spend out of their 
possessions. Thus, righteous women are 
obedient and guard the rights of men in 


their absence under Allah's protection. As 
for women of whom you fear rebellion, 
admonish them, and remain apart from 
them in beds, and beat them. Then if they 
obey you, do not seek ways to harm them. 
Allah is Exalted, Great' (IV: 34). 

All human societies set up courts in 
one form or the other which are allowed 
to function by social consensus, to warn 
punish with hard labour or imprison social 
offenders. Even doting mothers often use 
corporal punishment to admonish children 
who refuse to obey rules of discipline. 

When warnings and reasoning cannot 
pump sense into an adult, other options 
have to be tried to help secure the survival 
of family life. Methods may vary according 
to needs. But the core purpose is to firmly 
safeguard the interests of all concerned 

It doesn't matter if some degree of 
harshness is used to restore marital unity 
and harmony, but it definitely is devastating 
when acts of defiance should fall on deaf 
ears and be allowed to disrupt family life, 
render the system nonfunctioning and in 
turn, rob the self-esteem and confidence 
of those young ones who, God has trusted 
us with to nurture and protect. 

Marital disputes, no doubt, are best 
resolved within the privacy of home, 
particularly when the repute of modesty 
(a woman) is at stake. It is all the more 

January 2010 

preferable if one of the two partners-in- 
relationship is to act as a mediator, for 
they are better known to each other than 

grievous Chastisement on the day when 
their tongues, their hands and their feet 
will bear witness against them as to their 

In this respect, the husband, as 
provider has been chosen for the task of 
straightening up of household matters 
whenever things start getting out of hands. 

In fact, this is a tough to put into 
practice, for in case of misuse of his 
position Allah has warned of grievous 
punishment for injustice. The Almighty 
surely did not intend to encourage marital 
violence, as some people do misinterpret, 
because He has categorically declared: 
'Those who annoy believing men and 
women undeservedly, bear (on 
themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin' 
(XXXIII:58) So, the above decree was 
issued undoubtedly, with the high purpose 
of protecting the sanctity of home-life. 

Here we also find, how the above 
verse distinctly restricts the degree of 
authority Allah, the most Merciful, places 
in a man to act as a reformer in marital 
matters. A reformer cannot reform others 
before placing himself into the frame of 
reform first. 

Any true believer, who imagines living 
in the omnipotent presence of the Lord, 
cannot possibly dare take advantage of 
his position to make another person's 
existence subject to difficulty. If a man 
resorts to violence using lame excuses, 
he should know that: 

Those who slander chaste, indiscreet 
and believing women are cursed in life 
and in the Hereafter: For them is a 

Before claiming to act as Allah's 
vicegerent to reform women-folk, 
therefore, a man must give himself a 
thorough check up. He has to see that 
the rebellious attitude of his wife is not a 
result of and hence a silent protest against 
his own waywardness. 

Allah doesn't intend women into 
slavery of men by disallowing them an 
equally active part in the outdoor side of 
this material life. Allah, nowhere in His 
Book excludes females from the right to 
use own discretion and free will. His Limits 
are for the best interest of mankind and 
both men as well as women have to 
comply with those limits, not under social 
pressure but through a wholehearted 
acceptance of Allah's commands. 

Things, we know, don't work with half- 
hearted commitments. In case of defiant 
behaviour, a man can use a cane for his 
wife, yes, but Allah, the oft-forgiving, the 
most Merciful, hasn't left women 
unshielded against injustice. He quotes: 
'And those who launch a charge against 
chaste women, and produce not four 
witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes 
and reject their evidence ever after: For 
such men are wicked transgressors' 

This is a serious notice to the people 
who choose to abuse women emotionally 
and physically without adequate and 
ample evidence to support their views. 
Allah has indeed proposed very terse 

January 2010 

physical sentence and public humiliation 
as a reward for the perpetrators of violence 
in the present life and an everlasting 
grievous punishment for the Hereafter. 

It is for this very reason that despite 
the decree, nowhere in the Sunnah of our 
Prophet Muhammad (#) or his followers 
in Islam, one finds a single example of 
wife-beating or marital violence in general. 
Discussion, reasonig and intervention by 
family members were always the preferred 
methods used to put family matters in 

Islam believes in free expression of 
opinion. An Islamic ruler serves the 
subjects with true spirited fear of God. 
The burden of sovereignty humbles him 
down to being self-critical about personal 
character and possessions. 

The caliphs of Islam took public 
criticism with exemplary humility and 
apology, where necessary. They were 
wise and self-conscious about human 
erring. They faced the world with fortitude 
to self-correct. Their deeds outline the 
unique character, a role model would need 
to adapt as Allah's servant, begging for 
His forgiveness every step of the way, as 
they did. 

The code of practice attached with a 
decree of this nature is so frighteningly 
strict and burdening that there is, of course, 
no room for some fool to gratify himself 
by readily offering to hold the reigns of 

His jurisdiction only to serve personal 

The domestic unit, therefore, could 
not be exempted from a universally 
accepted necessity, which demands 
someone at the top management seat to 
run the household affairs under one 

There has to be a captain for each 
individual vessel just as there has to be 
a leader to direct a unit of soldiers towards 
a goal. This being an acknowledged fact 
that two managers cannot be appointed 
in the same rank, only one could be 
chosen to become the head. 

Allah as Creator has the best 
knowledge of His creations and hence if 
He decreed a male to be the captain of 
the domestic ship, his marital partner 
should have no qualms in accepting His 
command wholeheartedly. We must 
realise that this is to ensure the social and 
moral welfare and security of human race, 
within the means of how we have been 

We must appreciate the knowledge 
that a place of leadership means meeting 
a challenge to reform self first of all. The 
fear of the Almighty should thus, change 
the ferocity of a man's temperament into 
humbleness, his egoism into servitude 
and his heedlessness into concern. 
(Courtesy: The News) 

January 2010 

The Qur'an and the West 

Dr Muzaffar Iqbal 

After a century of concerted efforts to 
discredit hadith literature as a veritable 
source of Islam, the western academia 
has now diverted its full attention to the 
Noble Qur'an. There are, literally, 
thousands of new graduate students 
working on various aspects of the Qur'an 
at different western universities. Numerous 
books are being published on the Qur'an 
and there is an increasing number of 
graduate and undergraduate courses in 
the department of religious studies 
specifically devoted to the Book held 
sacred by one-fourth of humanity. This 
new attention to the Qur'an is neither 
accidental nor incidental; it is also not a 
well-planned conspiracy; it is simply the 
most logical outcome of western attitudes 
towards Islam and its source material. 

This new attention to the Qur'an is 
not without affinities to certain recent global 
events which have strained the relationship 
between Muslims and the West in general. 
Like the Crusades and the Turkish Wars 
of the previous centuries, which produced 
an enormous interest in the Qur'an in 
western Christendom, current global 
tensions have generated a new round of 
scrutiny of the Qur'an by western thinkers, 
clergy and academia. These new tensions 
have also created a certain degree of 
urgency (and funding) to study the Qur'an, 
which is now being seen as the very root 
of the "Muslim problem," not only by certain 
European and American politicians but 
also by some scholars and religious 

This perceived problem comes, more 


specifically from the Qur'anic verses on 
Jihad, which has attracted the attention 
of many influential politicians and various 
think-tanks. As a result of fear, 
misunderstanding, and sheer ignorance, 
terrorism is also being linked to the Qur'an. 
Certain Muslim governments have been 
forced to "expunge" many verses dealing 
with Jihad from the educational curricula. 
The vigorous military, political, economic 
and cultural campaign now underway has, 
however, not remained in the domain of 
politics; it has its academic counterpart, 
just as the Orientalism of yesteryears was 
not merely an academic exercise. 

The Qur'an and the West", one of the 
first books on the Qur'an published in the 
West after the events of September 11 , 
2001, is a case in point. The author, 
Kenneth Cragg, who "for six decades has 
been recognised and praised as one of 
the West's most gifted interpreters of 
Islam," is pre-occupied with the relevance 
of the Qur'an to the events of that day, 
which he takes for granted as being the 
work of Muslims who are "inspired by the 
Qur'an." While both these premises are 
doubtful, what is relevant here is the sheer 
force of these events, leading western 
scholars and religious leaders like Cragg 
to look into the Qur'an to discover the root 
of the "inner crisis in the liability of Islam." 

In his book Cragg oscillates between 
condemning the "harsh belligerence in 
the Qur'an, a strong pugnacity on behalf 
of faith," and what he calls its "gentler 
side." Despite his counsel to westerners 

I- January 2010 

to respect the Qur'an and Muslims, 
Cragg's own highly charged book is filled 
with overt and covert insults and 
disparaging remarks. His book is primarily 
an attemt to sift and separate apart from 
the Book of Allah portions that he calls 
the "acceptable Qur'an - the one that has 
no political content, no theme under the 
title of Jihad save the Jihad bi'l-nafs, a 
Qur'an with no role in the shaping of 
society, for "the political power-exercise 
only came at all for the briefer Medinan 
period and had been firmly excluded 
throughout the defining Meccan years 
when only the ever prior preaching task 
was given (to the Prophet). He dose this 
by making a sharp distinction between 
the Makkan and Medinan period of the 
Prophet's life as well Makkan and Medinan 
surahs - this time in a much harsher 
manner than he had done in his 1971 
work, The Event of the Qur'an: Islam and 
Its Scripture. This is by no means, an 
isolated example of the western academic 
attitude towards the Qur'an. 

Historically, the current western 
academic attitudes can be traced back to 
the work of the ninteenth century 
Orientalists and, through them, to the five 
centuries of discourse on the Qur'an by 
Christian polemists-cum-philogists who 
appeared on the western academic scene 
in the fourteenth century, when the Church 
Council of Vienna, held in 1312, 
announced the establishment of chairs in 
Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac at 
Paris, Oxford, Bologna, Avignon, and 
Salmanca. It is the vast store of 

Orientalism from which most of the current 
western discourse on the Qur'an derives 
its kinetic pressure and material resources, 
although "today an Orientalist is less likely 
to call himself an Orientalist than he was 
almost any time up to World War II," as 
Edward Said has noted in 1978. 

The contemporary academic 
discourse on the Qur'an has re-cloaked 
itself in new garb in order to distinguish 
itself from Orientalism proper, but it is 
unreasonable to assume that any scholarly 
tradition can dissociated itself from the 
core values, assumptions and premises 
of its mother tradition. Thus, while the 
current academic writings on Islam are 
no more the sole cominion of the erstwhile 
Orientalist, the study of Islam as a subject 
alongside other religions in the relatively 
new departments of religious studies, as 
well as in the older and well established 
area study departments and departments 
of languages and literature at numerous 
British, European and North American 
universities, has umbilical links with the 
Orientalism of yesteryears. 

A general survey of the contemporary 
western academic study of the Qur'an 
makes it abundantly clear that it cannot 
rid itself of the very foundation on which 
it stands, because, as Edward said noted, 
"despite its failures, its lamentable jargon, 
its scarcely concealed racism, its paper 
thin intellectual apparatus, Orientalism 
(continues to) flourish." (Courtesy: The 
News International) 

January 2010 


Farhat Hussain 

With the birth of Imam Hussain (RDA), 
the news was also spread that he would 
be martyred. Hadhrat Umm-e -Fazal the 
mother of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Abbas, 
who had fostered Imam Hussain (RDA) 
says, "One day, I took Imam Hussain 
(RDA) to the Holy Prophet (#) who kissed 
and dandled the child. In the next mo- 
ment, the Holy Prophet (#) burst into tears. 
I was very embarrassed to see the situ- 
ation, but asked the Holy Prophet (4Se) 
the reason behind his weeping. The Holy 
Prophet (4;) said that the angel of Allah, 
Hadhrat Jibraeel (Alaihis salaam), had 
come to him (The Holy Prophet) and had 
given the dreadful news that his grand- 
son would be killed by his Ummah when 
he would bejust 57.1 surprisingly asked, 
"Whether your this son"? The Holy 
Prophet (4&) replied positively and 
said that Hadhrat Jibraeel (AS) had also 
brought me the soil of the place where 
this son of mine would be martyred." 

The golden era of Khilafat-e-Rasheda 
ended and Amir Muawiya made his son, 
Yezid, the ruler. But it was an un-Is- 
lamic government which was absolutely 
based on tyranny and dictatorship. It 
was purely an aristocratic form of gov- 
ernment which demanded Imam 
Hussain (RDA) to accept it by giving his 
oath of allegiance, but the Imam turned 
down this demand. 

On the invitation of Kufans and the 
message received from Hadhrat Muslim 
Bin Aqueel, the Imam (RDA) decided to 
move towards Kufa, the city which was 
made the capital of the country by Imam's 
father, Hadhrat Ali (RDA) during his ca- 
liphate. The governor of Kufa, Ibne Ziad 
received the news of Imam's departure 
for Kufa, who sent his troops to stop the 
Imam from moving forward. Ibne Ziad's 
forces compelled Imam's caravan to stay 
at Karbala, the place where the famous 
tragedy of Islamic history took place on 
10th Muharram, 61 Hijra. 

Imam Hussain (RDA) is not only the 
grandson of the Holy Prophet {%), son of 
Hadhrat Ali (RDA) and Bibi Fatima (RDA), 
brother of Imam Hassan (RDA) and Bibi 
Zainab andSayyid-ush-Shuhada (leader 
of martyrs), but also a great orator who 
delivered different sermons to his fellow 
people and also to the forces of Yezid on 
various occasions. 

On the occasion when the governor 
of Madinah, Walid Bin Utteba, called 
Imam Hussain and asked for the oath of 
allegiance in favour of Yezid, the Imam 

"Oath of allegiance is not a secret 
act. When you call all other people, also 
call me then." 

January 2010 

Listening to this, closely sitting to 
Walid, Marwan Bin Hakam advised Walid 
to kill Imam Hussain (RDA) as it was the 
most suitable time as if he (Imam) left, 
they would not be able to get such a 
golden opportunity. Marwan main- 
tained, either administer the oath of 
allegiance from Imam in favour of Yezid 
or kill him now." On this, the Imam said: 

"We are Ahl-e-Bait-e-Nubuwwat 
(Members of the Holy Prophet's family), 
quarry of Risalah (Prophethood) and 
birth-place of angels. Yezid is sinful and 
debauched person. He is a drinker and a 
killer, so a man like me cannot give the 
oath of allegiance to him." After deliver- 
ing the sermon, the Imam came out of 
Darul Amarah. If analysed, Imam's one 
sentence is a guidance for forthcoming 
generations that, "A man like me cannot 
give the oath of allegiance to a man like 
you." It means no Hussaini can accept a 
Yezidi as a ruler. 

tyrdom is auspicious. I want to be 
martyred, as living with under such 
cruel conditions is itself a heinous crime. 
See the Kufans who resorted to perfidy 
and disowned us. They killed our Naib 
and messenger. They are'the same people 
who administered the oath of my alle- 
giance and also vowed to support Haq 
(the right). But now all have deviated, so 
I mention clearly that we have no sup- 
porter or helper in Kufa and the situa- 
tion has completely changed and dete- 
riorated. In such an unfavourable situa- 
tion, I allow you to go back without any 
hesitation and we will not be incensed 
with it, and neither shall we level any 

The caravan of Imam had just crossed 
Qadsiya that Hur Bin Yezid Tamami 
appeared commanding a force of one 
thousand soldiers. The Imam (RDA) de- 
livered a speech to Hur and his col- 

While travelling from Makkah to 
Kufa, the Imam received the news of 
Hadhrat Muslim Bin Aqueel's martyr- 
dom at a place called Sa'albia. On the 
occasion, the Imam delivered a sermon: 

"O people! the circumstances have 
turned into a critical position and what 
you are also witnessing. The world has 
changed its attitude and all its virtues, 
excellence and kindness have ended. 
Alas! today no one follows the right nei- 
ther tries to prevent from wrong. Now, 
the time has come when a Momin (be- 
liever) should believe that death of mar- 

"O people! be afraid of Allah and 
know the right of deservings. If you do 
so, it will be in your favour and salva- 
tion. I had not decided to come to Kufa 
until hundreds of your letters and scores 
of your representatives had reached me, 
inviting me to come to Kufa as they had 
no true Imam and did not want to accept 
the un-Islamic and unlawful govern- 
ment of Yezid. Your messengers had 
further told me that you deemed Ahl-e- 
Bait the worthy of Khilafah (caliphate) 
as perhaps Allah gathered you on the 
centre of Haq and Hidayat (right and 
guidance) through me. So I have not 

January 2010 

come here myself, but have brought here 
by your requests. If you fulfill your prom- 
ise and satisfy me in extending your 
cooperation in establishing.Deett-e-Haq', 
I am ready to enter your city and if you 
have changed your opinion and consider 
our arrival unpleasant, we are ready to 
go back willingly." 

No one answered the sermon. In the 
meantime, Adhaan of Asr was called 
and all offered their prayers in the 
Imamah (leadership) of Imam Hussain 
(RDA). After the prayers, the Imam (RDA) 
again delivered a sermon: 

"O people! if you resort to 
abstemiousness and recognise the right 
of deserving, it will be the pleasure of 
Allah. We, the Ahl-e-Bait-e-Rasul, are 
more deserving for caliphate than these 
claimants. They have no right to rule as 
they are tyrannising. But if you do not 
like us, do not recognise our right and 
you have changed your opinion which 
you had showed in your letters or through 
your messengers, I am ready to willingly 
go back." (Tibri- Vol VII). 

In the sermon, which Imam Hussain 
(RDA) delivered at a place Baiza, the 
Imam (RDA) clearly declared that he and 
his colleagues did not accept the 
monarchic and patrimonial government 
of Yezid which was founded unlawfully. 
In his historic sermon, the Imam (RDA) 

"Listen to me . No doubt, these Yezidis 
have accepted the devotion of Satan and 

have abandoned the obedience of Allah. 
They have spread a revolt and commo- 
tion in the country. These rulers have 
suspended the Islamic Jurisprudence 
and divided the wealth of the nation in 
an un-Islamic way. They term the legiti- 
mate forbidden and term forbidden 
lagitimate. So I have the right to object 
on their activities. I received your let- 
ters and met your messengers who told 
me that you had accepted my allegiance 
and that you would never leave me alone 
and helpless. If you keep your promise, 
you will reach the right path. I am 
Hussain, the son of Ali and Fatima Binte 
Rasul. My personality is a model for you. 
If you violate your vow and withdraw 
from my allegiance, it would not be a 
strange thing as you have done so before 
me with my father, my brother and my 
cousins (i.e. Hadhrat Ali, Hadhrat Imam 
Hussan and Hadhrat Muslim Bin Aqueel 
respectively). One who is defrauded by 
you, is swindled completely. You have 
set a very bad example with your act. 
One who violates a vow, destroys" him- 
self with his own hands. (Ibne Aseer Vol. 
IV and Tareekh-ul-Umamul Malook Vol 

In the same sermon, the Imam (RDA) 
said: "If you are frightening me of my 
death, I will give the same reply which 
was given by a companion of Holy 
Prophet (gfc) to his cousin who wanted 
the companion to be away from the sup- 
port of Holy Prophet (4£). Thecousin had 
said that if the companion fought in 
favour of Holy Prophet (&), he would be 
killed. The companion had replied, 'I 

January 2010 

will soon set out and when the intention 
of a man is virtuous and he fights like a 
Muslim and sheds his blood on virtuous 
people and be away from the culprits, he 
does not hesitate in sacrificing his life. If 
I survive, I will not be ashamed, and if 
killed, will not be reproached. But living 
in misery, is very shameful'." 

Yet on another occasion, the Imam 
(RDA) delivered a sermon addressing the 
enemy forces: 

"O people! remember my family back- 
ground and consider who I am. Then do 
a little heart-searching and bring your 
conscience for accountability and delib- 
erate thoroughly, is it better for you to 
kill me? Am I not the beloved son of your 
Holy Prophet's daughter and his cousin 
Ali, who embraced Islam when he was 
very young? Is Hadhrat Hamza not my 
father's uncle and is Hadhrat Jaffer-e- 
Tayyar not my uncle? Have you not 
listened to Holy Prophet's (#) quotation 
which he had said in favour of me and 
my brother Imam Hasan (RDA) that, 
Hasan and Hussain are the chiefs of 
youths of heaven? If this statement is 
true and definitely true as Allah knows 
well that I have not told a lie throughout 
my life, then tell me whether you should 
give me a reception with drawn swords? 
If you do not have confidence in me, you 
can verify the statement from those who 
are still present among you or ask the 
companions of Holy Prophet (%) like 
Jabir Bin Abdullah Ansari, Abu Saeed 
Hazri, Sahal Bin Sa'ad Sa'idi, Zaid Bin 
Arqam or Unas Bin Ma'alik. They will 

all tell you whether they have or have 
not listened to the Holy Prophet (4&) 
saying that I and my brother Hasan are 
the leaders of heaven's youths. Can this 
statement of Holy Prophet (4&) not stop 
you from shedding my blood? I swear by 
Allah that no other grandson of any 
Prophet besides me is present in this 
world. I am the only grandson of your 
Prophet. Do you want to kill me because 
I have killed someone, have shed 
someone's blood, have usurped someone's 
property? Tell me what is the matter? 
What is the crime I have committed?" 

In the night of Ashurah (night be- 
tween 9th and 10th Muharram), the 
Imam (RDA) gathered all his fellows and 
addressed them. He said: 

"O my colleagues and friends! I do 
not know whether there are more faith- 
ful companions than my friends in any 
corner of this world or does someone else 
have such sympathetic Ahl-e-Bait. as do 
I. O brave colleagues! May Allah bless 
you. The promised time has reached. I 
think, a decision will be reached be- 
tween me and them tomorrow. After 
deliberation, it is my opinion that you go 
back to your towns and villages with 
your souls and bodies un-hurt and do not 
put yourselves in this fire of extermina- 
tion. The enemies have conflict only with 
me and not with you. I willingly liberate 
you from my relation of allegiance and 
obedience and allow you with my free 
consent and pleasure to leave me. You 
are free to go any where and take advan- 
tage of night's darkness." 

January 2010 

Imam Hussain's companions listened 
to his sermon but decided to have the 
honour of being martyred the following 
day with Imam Hussain (RDA). The day of 
Ashurah appeared and after offering 
Fajr prayers, the Imam (RDA) addressed 
the Syrian armies as a fulfilment of a 
condition. On this occasion, the Imam 

"O people I do not be hasty First let 
me say something, then you shall have 
the option; If you accept whatever I say 
and deem it true, and do justice, then 
you will be lucky and there would be no 
way out for me to oppose you, but if you 
do not accept whatever I say and do not 
do justice, and you all agree on a point 
what you have to do and then do what- 
ever you want to do with me, and do not 
give me respite. Allah is my helper who 
revealed the Book (Holy Qur'an) and 
who is the Guardian of pious people. You 
we can see how the situation has shaped 
up. The world has been devoid of virtues 
and only little life is left. Alas! you do not 
see that Haq (the right) has been pushed 
back and wrong is being openly followed. 

There is no one to stop wrong-doings. I 
want the death of only martyrdom." 

Till Asr, all the male companions of 
Imam Hussain (RDA) had been martyred. 
Now, the Imam (RDA) himself went into 
the battlefield and started the war. While 
combating, the Imam (RDA) was also de- 
livering a sermon to the enemies. He 
was saying: 

"Today you people have gathered 
here to kill me. I swear by Allah that 
after me you will not kill such a man 
whose murder will make Allah more 
displeased than my murder. Allah, by 
disgracing you, will honour me and hence 
will take revenge from you." 

Imam Hussain (RDA) , who was trained 
and graduated from the school of Prophet 
(4g:), raised the voice against the atroci- 
ties and cruelties of yazid. He was not 
only against Yazid but against a system 
of vice. He adhered to his stand till to the 
end, and was martyred for the same 

{Courtesy: The News International) 


"And certainly we shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of 
wealth, lives and fruits but give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when 
afflicted with calamity say "Truly! To Allah we belong and truly to Him 
we shall return". They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e., Message, 
etc.), (i.e., who are blessed and will be forgiven from their Lord and 
(they are those who) receive His Mercy and it is they who are 
the guided ones". (Holy Qur'an 2: 155-157) 

January 2010 

Veil of a time 

Miriam Zamani 

It would appear that the West has a 
particular aversion to veiled women. In 
fact it seems downright afraid of them for 
one unfathomable reason or another. The 
'veil' in question includes everything from 
yashmak and hijab through the 'covering' 
spectrum to the typically Afghan burqa. 

Current western views on the touchy 
subject of veiling, namely that veils should 
be removed, forcibly if necessary, are 
complete and utter paradoxes when 
examined in the clear light of day. 

Numerous western politicians imply 
that the veil is a serious form of female 
subjugation and that in order to 'free' 
predominantly Muslim women from 
intolerable 'repression', thus equalising 
them with their already free counterparts 
elsewhere, that veils must be cast aside 
once and for all and Women's Rights 
organisations in such countries naively 

What seems to have been completely 
overlooked in this scenario is that, to many, 
the veil is a symbol of respect, the 
mysteries it hides being something private 
in nature or, at the very least, something 
to be struggled for and attained rather 
than simply being given away at random. 

People of a number of religious 
persuasions, not necessarily Christian, 
rever the Virgin Mary who is always 
depicted veiled, as are many other biblical 
personages including Jesus Christ himself 
on some occasions. The tabernacle in 


churches and synagogues is veiled from 
general view as is, of course, the precious 
Ka'aba in Makkah. 

Such veiling of religious 'icons' is not 
questioned and nor is the historical veiling 
of ancient Greek, Roman, British, Egyptian 
priestesses and high ranking women of 
countries around the globe. In the modern 
era too, western forms of veiling are far 
from isolated occurrences. Victorian ladies 
often veiled themselves, particularly during 
mourning which lasted for a two year 
period: Roman gypsies, still scattered 
throughout Europe and Central Asia, 
traditionally cover their hairs with knotted 
headscarves as do country women in 
Turkey, Greece, Italy, Romania, 
Czechoslovakia, Russia and Poland etc. 

Indeed, as recently as the 1960s, 
British house-wives of certain classes 
wouldn't dream of leaving their home 
without their ubiquitous headscarf firmly 
in place and this tradition has not yet 
totally faded away. The hijab is a 
headscarf, simply fastened with a pin 
underneath the chin rather than being tied 
in a knot, so why on earth should it need 
removing in order to liberate the wearer? 

Then of course there is the traditional 
western wedding veil, now in vogue in 
countries as diverse as saudi Arabia, 
Afghanistan and China. This symbol of 
subjugated purity is not questioned either. 
A little girl's first communion veil, Spanish 
mantillas, the veiling of some order of 
Christian and Buddhist nuns, that of some 

January 2010 

monks and priests with their somber or 
stately robes depending on the event, of 
the Patriarchs of Russian and Greek 
orthodoxy, of Tuareg and some Arab 
males et al. No one demands us such 
veiling practices be stopped or claim them 
as derisory to the people underneath their 
folds, quite the contrary really. 

Then there is the veil as a fashion 
item of the type flaunted at places such 
as Royal Ascot when the ladies hats often 
offer more competition that the that horses 
being raced, and surely no one objected 
to the many veiled and half veiled hats of 
cinema icon Bette Davis in her hey-day. 

Forced veiling, as under the Taliban 
and in Saudi Arabia is not to be condoned 
of course but veiling per se is quite a 
different matter. 

Another aspect of veiling which the 
West fails to accept is that under certain 
climatic conditions it makes plain common 
sense to cover up. In freezing cold 
countries people wrap themselves in 
layers of woollies and waterproofs, in hot 
ones lighter, loose clothings is necessary 
to guard against the blazing heat of the 
sun or throat clogging clouds of dust. Male 
and females, particularly those working 
outdoors would be crazy not to cover 
themselves, especially their heads, under 
either of the above mentioned adverse 
weather conditions. 

So why the 'unholy' concern with 
female Muslim veiling practices under 

which the woman is judged for what is 
inside her head rather that what is on it? 

The so-called liberated females of the 
West are in the habit of using their outer 
appearances to get what and where they 
want to be in life; intelligence has largely 
become secondary to revealing clothes 
and torturously coiffed hair. Respect for 
others is something they buried with their 
great-grandmothers and respect for 
themselves a feeling they have never 
known and fail to understand when and 
if they venture across it in others. 

Admittedly these un-veiled, uncovered 
women feel free enough to believe that 
equal pay means equal status, the latter 
two something everyone would like, yet 
they still don't have this in most spheres 
of their lives. They are more victims of 
their 'liberation' than victors but lack in 
understanding, education or perhaps 
'exposure' in a wider sense of the word, 
they still view a Muslim head covering 
with an unwarranted degree of antipathy 
which was exacerbated by the shocking 
events of 9/1 1 . 

However, the forced unveiling of 
Muslim women in order to feel safe 
enough to even converse with them is 
certainly not progress, in fact it would be 
a retrograde step as they would lose the 
traditional respect and standing which 
allows them far more individual security 
and freedom than their counterparts in 
the West have today. 
(Courtesy: DAWN) 

January 2010 

Taliban and theSharia 

Dr. AsgharAli Engineer 

The Pakistani government had agreed 
to allow the Swat authorities to enforce 
Sharia law in the valley and the Malakand 
district. This despite the fact that everyone 
knows how the Sharia law is understood 
by the Taliban. 

Earlier, the Taliban had burnt down 
about 200 girl's schools, saying it was not 
permissable for girls to go to school. Then, 
following the agreement with the 
government they suddenly agreed to 
restart the schools if the girls wore the 
hijab. Now, if the girls could have gone to 
school wearing the hijab why did they 
burn down the schools? Has their Sharia 
law changed, following their 
accommodation by the government? 

It is quite strange that anyone should 
try to stop girls from getting education in 
the name of Sharia. Islam is the first 
religion which made it obligatory for both 
men and women to acquire education. 
According to a well-known hadith, 
acquiring knowledge is obligatory for all 
men and women. Also the Qur'an use the 
word "ilm" and its derivatives hundreds of 
times but has not said anywhere that 
women cannot obtain education. 

The first revelation began with the 
word "iqra" (recite), and many women 
accepted Islam much before their menfolk 
did, and recited the Holy Book. Women 
used to go to the Prophet (#) regularly 
with their problems and even insisted that 
he fix one day especially for them; they 


flocked to him with several questions. 

In many cases they were more eager 
to know the injunctions of Islam than the 
men. Several women are counted among 
the "Sahabiyat" (companions) of the 
Prophet. Whenever the Quran uses the 
word "alim" or "ulema" it includes both 
men and women, never men alone. Other 
religions may or may not have put curbs 
on women and prevented them from 
acquiring knowledge but not Islam. So if 
the Taliban burnt down schools to protest 
against the government would it not imply 
that they politicised the Sharia? Can the 
politicisation of the Sharia be allowed? 

It is wrong to think that Islamic law is 
static and that only the medieval ulema 
had the right or knowledge to determine 
the law, and that no changes can be made 
in keeping with new problems and 
challenges. It is a mistaken belief that the 
Sharia takes a static view of the world. 
No student of Islam can deny that ijtihad 
(implying utmost intellectual effort to 
understand emerging problems and 
challenges) is an integral part of Islamic 
jurisprudence. The poet-philosopher Iqbal 
calls it the dynamic principle of Islam. 

Sharia is based on certain core value 
of the Qur'an which can never be ignored 
in any formulation of law, Justice (Adl) is 
one of them, and the most fundamental 
of Qur'anic values. Being 'Just' is among 
Allah's names. No law can ever violate 
this fundamental value and it is for this 

3 January 2010 

reason that even in two verses on 
polygamy (4:3 and 4:129), justice is the 
most important condition. The Qur'an 
clearly says if you fear that justice cannot 
be done among your wives, then marry 
only one. 

Let us remember that the law is an 
instrument of justice, not an end in itself. 
However, our traditional ulema consider 
Sharia law as an end in itself. Justice is 
the end, not Sharia per se. A law may 
appear just in given circumstances but 
may not be so with the passage of time. 
Also, new challenges may appear for 
which rethinking may become necessary. 
In no civilisation is the law static. Even 
prominent jurists of the past differed 
amongst themselves over the cultural 
context of a given law and its interpretation. 

For the Taliban, who are basically 
tribal first and then Muslim, the law has 
got stuck in their past traditions. It does 
not change as their society does not 
change. Hence they are incapable of 
understanding the dynamics of the 
changing world. Moreover, it is not Allah's 
Will to keep the world, He created, static. 

We find in Surah Al-Rahman, verse 29: 
"Every day He manifests Himself in yet 
another (wondrous) way". 

Thus Allah manifests HIMSELF every 
day in new ways; his law too cannot 
remain static. The Sharia also has to 
respond to the new challenges (only 
values and norms remain constant). 
Pakistan has modernised itself, but its 
tribal areas have lagged behind and 
remain ferociously patriarchal. Hence the 
Taliban want to supress women's right 
and apply the same medieval patriarchal 
values; there is hardly anything Quranic 
about their values because these are not 
equally fair to both genders. 

Gender is after all not only a biological 
reality but also a social construct. If society 
remain static gender roles also remain 
frozen. It is for the Government of Pakistan 
to do justice to all its citizens and make 
the people of the Swat valley and 
Malakand also partners in the progress 
of the country. The Taliban or any other 
agency should not be allowed to enforce 
a medieval understanding of Islamic laws. 

January 2010 




If all the human beings in the world were to attempt to describe the greatness 
of the glorious Qur'an for all their lives, they would still be unable to do so. It is the 
embodiment of a living truth in a single word. All the verses of the Qur'an are 
enwrapped in the mystery of "the Living". They are always vital; they live. Beings 
are enabled to live through this mystery of God. Unless this wisdom is appreciated 
through the verses of Qur'an dealing with the physics of cosmos, it is not possible 
to understand the Holy Qur'an. 



It is God Who created the seven heavens, and 

of the earth a similar number. (65: 12) 

The Sevenfold Heavens a) The Kingdom, 67:3. 

In many of its verses, our Glorious "It is He Who created the seven 
Book speaks of seven heavens in the heavens, one above another (tabaqan).' 
universe. Science has been dealing with 

the cosmos for more than 200 years, yet D ) The Cow, 2:29. 
t has been unable to obtain any 

nformation on this subject. Only in the He med Himself to heaven, and 
ast 25 years have extremely interesting levelled them seven heavens with order 
discoveries been made in astrophysics and perfection; and He has perfec 

an i the , rT !i^ Cle ° f th l K0 ! an bee !! knowledge of all things." 
vindicated. What science has discovered 

s, of course as yet only a drop in the Jhe Journe y; 17:44 
ocean; but atleast it is beginning to realize ' M ' 

ts mistakes of the last two centuries. „_. , _, ^ ^ 

The seven heavens and the earth, 

Let us first take a collective look at a " d a ". bein 9 there J n d f clare His 3'ory. 
the verses in the Koran concerned with There ls nothin 9 that does not proclaim 
the seven heavens and then review both Hls P raise and thank Him ' y et y° u d ° noi 
their scientific explanation and the understand how they declare His glory. 
synthesis they afford. He is All-Clement, All-Forgiving. 

MINARET 25 January 2010 

d) Noah, 71:15. 

"Have you not regarded how God 
created the seven heavens, one above 
another (in harmony)?" 

e) The Great News, 78:12. 

"We have built above you seven firm 
heavens (firmaments)." 

f) The Believers, 23:17. 

"We have created above you seven 
paths, and We are not heedless of 
creation. " 

The cosmos represents diversified 
concentric magnetic layers. The central 
band consists of galaxies and clusters of 
galaxies composed of vast numbers of 
stars. Outside this, there is a second field 
with different magnetic properties 
containing quasars (the 'hatcheries' of star 
'seeds'), and surrounding this, a third 
magnetic band encompassing the 
farthermost regions of the universe. 

The innermost circle, and particularly 
our own solar system with its family of 
planets, is the easiest region to observe. 
The inner structure of such a system 
consists of three separate magnetic fields. 

Hence, when you look at the sky or 
into space from the earth or any other 
planet, you are surrounded by seven 
magnetic fields receding into the infinity 
of space. Looking at the cosmos from the 
earth, these are : 

In order to reach a better 
understanding of the concept of seven 
heavens, I would like to summarize some 
further information related to astrophysics. 


The layers of heavens listed above 
involve unimaginable distances. The first 
heavenly layer is approximately 6.5 trillion 
kilometers in thickness. The second layer, 
or the diameter of our galaxy, is 130 
thousand light years. The third heaven, or 
that of our Local Cluster, spans 2 millions 
light years. The fourth heaven, which is 
the collective field of the clusters of galaxies 
forming the central core of the universe, 
is 100 million light years in diameter. The 
fifth heaven is at a distance of 1 billion 
light years and the sixth, at 20 billion light 
years or about 193x10 21 km. Physical 
transport from one heaven to another is 
impossible, both because of the speeds 
involved and because the magnetic 
potentials cannot be transcended. In order 
to pass into these heavens, it is necessary 
to exceed the speed of light; that is to say, 
to pass beyond the world of matter. 

The Glorious Koran has revealed this 
subtle secret of distances as well. 
According to some scientists, black holes 
at the centers of galaxies (families or 
collections of stars) facilitate 'jumps' from 
one galaxy to another. A black hole is 
thought to exist in the galaxy M 87. This 
insight, too, has been mentioned in the 
Event chapter in the Koran. The Koran, 
therefore, in describing the seven heavens, 
has also presented all the facts related to 

Atoms, as everyone knows, are the 
basic building blocks of the world. To 
summarize the structure of atoms briefly, 
they consist of a nucleus surrounded by 
a cloud of electrons in motion. The electron 
cloud represents the energetic nature of 
a specific electron. The structure of the 
atom used to be compared to that of the 
solar system, but it was later discovered 
that this analogy is rather misleading, for 

3 January 2010 

this system resembles the system of seven 
heavens rather than the solar system. The 
reason for this is that the electrons cannot 
select an orbital shell at random, but have 
to conform to the precisely defined energy 
levels surrounding the nucleus. 

There are seven orbital shells 
surrounding the atomic nucleus. These 
are called 'orbitals' (shells) with reference 
to electrons. An electron can move in one 
of these orbits, and can exist in one of 
them only if it has the proper energy. But 
in that case, this verse is a scientific miracle 
in its own right, for it informs us that the 
seven magnetic field values of the 
macrocosmos are reflected also in the 


These layers or miniature shells are 
exceedingly important in the tiny electronic 
world of the atom. Transfer from one orbital 
to another involves tremendous amounts 
of energy. Not every nucleus can bind 
electrons in all seven of these shells. It 
can maintain electrons in these levels only 
to the extent allowed by its electromagnetic 
structure, i.e. its number of protons. The 
upshot is that had we been condemned 
to live on an atomic nucleus, we would 
still have seen seven heavens when we 
raised our heads to the sky, and observed 
electrons as if they were planets. 







1st Floor, Ocean Centre, 40-Talpur Road, P.O. Box No. 4411, Karachi-74000. 

Phone : 2414778 - 2414779 - 2413271 - 2414087. Grams : AM IN FAB 

Fax: (92-21) 2411686, E-Mail : aminfb@khi. pk 

January 2010 


SI. Price Price 

No. NAME OF BOOK AUTHOR Pak Rupees US$-Cent 

1 . Al-Fath Al-Rabbani Shaikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani (R.A.) 

(Unveiling the Divine Values) Translated by: S.A.H. Bukhari 200.00 4.00 

2. Why Religion? S.Z. Hassan 12.00 0.25 

3. Principles of Islam M.A.A. Siddiqui 12.00 0.25 

4. Quest for true happiness M.A.A. Siddiqui 1 2.00 0.25 

5. The Forgotten - Path of Knowledge M.A.A. Siddiqui 12.00 0.25 

6. Cultivation of Science by the Muslims M.A.A. Siddiqui 1 2.00 0.25 

7. Shavian and a Theologian 

An Illuminating discussion on Islam 

Between G.B. Shaw and M.A.A. Siddiqui M.A.A. Siddiqui 1 2.00 0.25 

8. Pilgrimage to Mecca M.A.A. Siddiqui 1 2.00 0.25 

9. Women and their status in Islam M.A.A. Siddiqui 24.00 0.50 

10. Islam Versus Marxism F.R. Ansari 12.00 0.25 

1 1 . What is Islam? F.R. Ansari 1 2.00 0.25 

12. Islam and Christianity in the Modem World.... F.R. Ansari 45.00 1.00 

1 3. Through Science & Philosophy to Religion F.R. Ansari 1 2.00 0.25 

14. Foundations of Faith F.R. Ansari 36.00 0.80 

1 5. Which Religion? F.R. Ansari 1 2.00 0.25 

1 6. Islam and Western Civilization F.R. Ansari 1 2.00 0.25 

1 7. Beyond Death F.R. Ansari 1 2.00 0.25 

18. Philosophy of Worship in Islam F.R. Ansari 12.00 0.25 

1 9. The Qur'anic Foundations and 

Structure of Muslim Society (Two volumes) ... F.R. Ansari 600.00 20.00 

20. Islamic System of Education Dr. H.H. Bilgrami 28.00 0.60 

21. What is Christianity? Y.S. Chishti 40.00 1.50 

22. Integration of Science & Religion Dr. M.H. Shah 12.00 0.25 

23. Science & God S. Shamim Ahmed 1 2.00 0.25 

24. The Myth of The Crucified Saviour W.J. Sheard 12.00 0.25 

25. Who Founded Christianity Jesus or Jewry? ..W.J. Sheard 1 2.00 0.25 

26. The Way of Islam Muhammed H.I. Dobinson 40.00 1 .00 

27. Islam & Contemporary Science S.S.N. Naqvi 40.00 1 .00 

28. Scientific Religion or Reverent Science Maria Leyvinskaya Antonoff 1 2.00 0.25 

29. Islam & Buddhism in the Modern World Imran N. Hosein 36.00 0.80 

Delivery: Ex-Stock, Karachi and subject to prior sale. 

Publications available from: 



Phone: 36644156 Fax: 36627021 E-mail : pk Web site : IJ 



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MINARET 31 January 2010 

v» ^m _• 7 

January 2010