Most people who have accepted Islam in America are Afro Americans. I myself am one. The majority of us are marginal people, i e., we are employees who live from pay-cheque to pay cheques, earning barely enough to care for our needs We are mechanics, firemen, window-glazers, and other such professions. We would like to advance ourselves to make a better income. We also know that money to be made is in business and in such professions as medicine, law and engineering. But all these occupations require capital, either to buy goods to sell or to acquire the necessary training What do we ob in a situation like this? Can we borrow the money from some banks, when we know that they would demand and take interest on that loan?
A The money given by the Muslim banks comes under the item "Mal Majhul-ulMalik" - a thing whose exact owner is not known. In Shia Shari'at, such things belong to the Imam. And in these days when our Imam is in occulation, the Mujtahid has the authority about them. The Mujtahids have allowed the Shi’a Ithna-‘asharis to take possession of such money from the banks – with the intention that one is rescuing the money of Imam (a.s.) from such banks If you take money with this intention it will be Halal (lawful) to you. So far as the banks belonging to non-Muslims are concerned (whether private or of the Govt.) there is no obstacle in receiving money from them without need of permission of the Mujtahid. You may take it with the intention of tstungadh (rescuing the money) but not with the intention of borrowing.But the banks whether Muslim or non-Muslim, will demand the money back together with interest, and they have legal protection for its recovery. You should pay them what they demand if and when you have no alternative.
Q 101 : UNFORGIVABLE SIN
Is there any sin which God never forgives? If so, what is it? A. Yes, first that of ascribing any partner or colleague to Allah. Allah says:
"Verily Allah forgives not that anything be associated with Him." (Qur'an 4:48)
Also, He will never forgive a sin, however small or minor, when the sinner does not leave that sin and goes on committing it. Allah says:
"And repentance is not profitable for those who do evil until death comes to one of them, then he says 'Now surely I repent." (Qur'an, 4:18)
Q 102 : DESIRABILITY OF AN ARABIC MUSLIM NAME
is it necessary and/or desirable to take on and use an Arabic Muslim name?
A. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) used to change the names of newly-converted Muslims if their previous names were not good. He guided the Muslims thus: "Select good names for yourself, because you will be called by those names on the Day of Resurrection - Get up O So and so son of so and so." And in other traditions it is explained that good names are those of prophets and Imams and those names which indicate that one is a servant of Allah. For example, 'Abdullah (Slave of Allah.) This much about desirability of changing the previous names. Coming to the practical side, many names used by the Europeans and Americans are not good at all. People use those names without knowing their meaning. Take, for example, your own previous name "Everett". Look for its meaning in a dictionary of names and you will find that it means 'strong as a wild boar'. Such a name will not be liked in a Muslim society.
Q 103. READING NOVEL S
What does our Sheriat say concerning reading of novels?
They may be either fictitious or true. But 90% of today's novels have vulgar language or wicked paragraphs. This goes especially with the fictitious novels What does our Sheriah say on reading these books?
A Reading story-books (novels included) is allowed, if it teaches some moral lessons. But if it excites sexual or unethical feelings, then it is not allowed.
Q 104 : REFERENCES OF A QADIANI BELIEF
In "Muhammad (s. a. w) is The Last Prophet" you have Quoted Dr.Iqbal who says that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani had claimed that the spirituality of the Holy Prophet of Islam must be regarded as imperfect if it is not creative of another Prophet. I would like you to give me the reference of the book in which Mirza Qadiani has written this claim.
A. It is the confirmed belief of all the Qadianis. Not only Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani but even his successors have repeatedly asserted this claim. First, read the following account given by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani:
"(It is the meaning of that only) that prophet hood will carry on which will have his (Muhammad's) stamp on it. If we think that the door of prophethood is completely closed, then, God forbid, it means that the bounty (of Allah) has been cut off; and it is but a curse; and it is degrading the Prophet. It means that when Allah told his Ummat (you are best ummat) it was a lie. God for bid, if we interpret it that in future the door of prophethood is closed in every way, then this Ummat would be the worst ummat, instead of being the best ummat. It would mean that, God forbid. the Holy Prophet's (Muhammad's) spiritual power was nothing, and that he was below Hadrat Musa in his grade, because after him (Musa), hundreds of prophets came in his Ummat. But God so hates his (Muhammad’s) Umnat that He talked with not a single person." (Wordings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, in reply to a question published in Akhbar Al-Hakam, Qadian, 17/4/1903; as copied in the booklet “Khatm-e-Nubuwwat” (p.6) by Fakhruddin Multani Qadiani).
Again he writes:
How vain and wrong is this belief that after the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.) the door of divine revelation was closed for ever; and there is no hope of revelation in future up to Qiyamat.
I swear by God that nobody, in this time, would be hating such religion more than me. I name such religion the religion of Shaitan' not the religion of Rahman'!!. (Zamima of Barahin-e-Ahmadiya, Volume 5, p. 183, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani).
Again, commenting on the belief of the Muslims that the Prophet of Islam is the Last Prophet, he says: "In this situation not only that the Ummat of Muhammad would remain incomplete and imperfect, but also there would be another defect that the power of bounty of the Prophet of Islam would be marred and his spiritual power would be imperfect (defective)".
(Al-Wasiyyat, p.9, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani)
Their 2nd Khalifa writes about the Muslims' belief of "Khatme-Nubuwwat":
"It means that his (i.e., Muhammad's) bounty is defective and his teaching weak, so that by following it man cannot attain the maximum of highest rewards ... The belief that no prophet would be sent after the Prophet of Islam .(s.a. w.) means that the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w,) prevented the world from a blessing of prophethood; and that after his coming, Allah closed this reward. Now tell me, does this belief prove that the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.) was (Mercy for all the worlds) or opposite to
it (God forbid)? If this belief is accepted then it means that he (i.e. Muhammad (s.a.w.) came (God forbid) like a punishment for the world. And the man who thinks like it is accursed. (Haqiqatun Nubbuwat, P. 186, by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, son and 2nd Khalifa of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani). There are other similar references but I think this much will be enough for the present.
Q 105 : WHY DO MUSLIMS OBSERVE FRIDAY AS A REST DAY ?
Why do we Muslims keep Friday as a Rest Day and not Saturday or Sunday?
It has come to my notice that Muslims do not keep Friday as a strict rest-Day despite Sura 62:9, only a verse which stipulates that Friday not in original Arabic, but D’jumah which literally means the Day of Congregation. So it appears that Prophet Muhammad did not introduce a new day (other than Saturday); but probably his followers brought the change; so this text only mentioned that Prayers should be done on the sixth day (thus Friday). Moreover, Surah 62:10 (AI-Jum'ah) admonishes we (Muslims) to work hard on six days (It is understandable in all and all that the 1st day of the week is Sunday.) Surah 7:54 wants us to rest on the seventh day, Above all. Surah 16:124 and 4:154 (An-Nisa) supports Sabbath i e. Saturday as a rest day for the Muslims Surah 39:68 confirms that Jesus will come to raise the dead and Prophet Muhammad will confess to him. I also find that /slam, unlike Christianity, does not guarantee automatic salvation,
A. The questions in your letter are based on some assumptions which have no connection with Islam; and you have drawn such conclusions from the ayats of the Holy Qur'an which give the impression that you have not studied those ayats Before going in details, it will save much time if I give here the facts about Friday prayer and sura Juma
(1) Jum'ah prayer was established in the first week of the arrival of the Holy Prophet at Madina. Sura Jum'ah was revealed not to establish that prayer but to tell the people to stop trading on hearing the Adhan of Jum'ah prayer and hurryingly go to participate in it; and, when the prayer is finished, to continue their affairs. but remembering God in every condition and every time.
(2) There is no such thing as "Rest Day" or "Sabbath Day" in Islam. The idea behind the Muslim "Day of Assembly" is diametrically different from that behind the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) or Christian Sunday. I will give the details afterwards; but here I should mention the main differences:
(a) The Jewish Sabbath is primarily a commemoration of God's ending his work and resting on the seventh day But the Muslims are taught that God needs no rest, nor does he feel fatigue (Qur'an, 2:255 and 50:38)
(b) The Jewish command forbids work on that day, but says nothing about worship or prayer. (Exodus. 20:10) Muslims are not forbidden to work on Fridays; and our ordinance lays chief stress on remembrance of God
(c) Jewish formalism went so far as to kill the spirit of the Sabbath and called forth the protest from Jesus, "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Mark, 2:27)
Christian church has inherited the same spirit, except in so far as it has been secularized. But our teachings are: When the time for Jum'ah prayer comes, close your business and answer the summons earnestly, pray and learn by social contact and religious sermon; when the meeting is over, scatter and go about your.
(d) Christians' Sabbath, i e. Sunday was not ordained by God. The Christians changed from Saturday to Sunday to appease pagan tendencies, as I will explain later Jum'ah is not a concession to any group or tendency. It was established, first and last, to assemble, pray and seek the grace of Allah; remembering Him at all times.
(3) The Sura of Jum'ah rendered a death blow to claims on which Jewish pride was based:
(a) They claimed to be the children or chosen people of God. God told them to desire death if they were sincere in their belief; and then declared that "never will they desire for it" because of their bad deeds, for which they are afraid to receive punishment from God.
(b) They claimed to be the possessors of Torah (Law). But as they did not act upon it they have been compared to a donkey holding a load of books on its back.
(c) They said they had a day of sabbath (Saturday) for them God showed that the days in themselves have no significance If God could ordain Saturday a sacred day for a nation, He easily could and did change it to Jum'ah for the whole mankind
(4) The sanctity of Friday for the Muslims was established long before the Sura of Jum'ah was revealed. The Holy Prophet in innumerable traditions declared that Friday was the weekly "Id" as "Idul-Fitr" and "Idul-Adha" were annual "Ids" Friday is foremost of days of the week just as Mecca is superior to all regions of the world and Ramadhan is superior to all the months of the year The
names given to Friday by the Holy Prophet are: "Day of Grace."
"Day of Blessings," "Day of Mercy" "Day of Acceptance of Prayers," "Day of "Id", "Day of Piety," "Day of Honour," "Day of Abundance"
I think this much will be enough to remove your misunderstandings But it is necessary to point out where you have erred in your letter and to give some details of the points mentioned above.
(5) I have already mentioned that there is no such thing as "Rest Day" in Islam as it is understood by the Jews. The Jews believe that God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh day: "And on seventh day God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it because on it he had rested from all his work which he created and made " (Genesis, 2:2,3).
This belief is absolutely wrong, because. first of all, the "six day-creation" theory is now discarded even by the Jews and the Christians themselves, as it has been proved to be wrong by all branches of science
(6) Apart from that, there is no sense at all in saying that God did rest The need of rest presupposes tiredness and fatigue. And tiredness and fatigue presupposes a body. There can be no fatigue without a body But God is not a body. How could He feel fatigue? By the way, I am sending you a booklet "God Of Islam" which I request you to study carefully. I am sure that its study will remove many of your misunderstandings. The Holy Qur'an clearly refutes this belief in Sura 50, ayat 38: "And we created the skies and earth in six periods (or stages) and touched us not any fatigue."
(7) Also the Jews think that God did no work on the seventh day But the Qur'an says: "Every day He is in a (new) splendorous
manifestation " (Sara 55, Ayat 29) Think for a moment. If the universe can go on working without God's guidance for one day, then why can't it go on working without God for seven days? What is the need of believing in a god at all?
And if the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth and the whole Universe can go on functioning for billions of years without any rest, is it not ridiculous to believe that their Creator became tired and felt the need of rest afer six days work?
(8) There are seven ayats in the Holy Qur'an in which skies and earth and what is between them have been declared to be created in six periods or stages The word used in them is "Ayyam" Ayyam in Arabic means 'days'' and 'periods.' Now how to know what the Qur'an says on this subject? The Holy Prophet had said: "I am leaving behind two precious things, the Book of God and My family members who are my descendants; and so long as you will hold fast unto them you will not go astray; and they will not separate from each other till they reach to me on the Haud (of Kauthar) in Qiyamah." Thus. the Holy Prophet declared that the true meaning of the Holy Qur'an could be ascertained from the family members of the Prophet only.
Imam Muhammad Baqir, the grand-son of Imam Husain bin 'Ali (the grand-son of the Holy Prophet) said that "Ayyam" means 'periods', not days. This interpretation is found in all the books of Tafsir written by those who follow the true successors of the Holy Prophet in matters of religion.
(9) Unfortunately, the majority of the Muslims ignored this directive. They begged at every door for the meaning of Qur'an, except the door of the family-members of the Prophet. As a result many baseless ideas became the integral part of the Sunni belief. One of their spiritual guides was Ka'b-ul-Ahbar, a former Jew who was converted to Islam who used to interpret every 'ayat of the Qur'an from the background of his previous learning. Thus he imported every Jewish trash into Islam. It was his teaching, based upon Jewish legend (found in Old Testament) which led the Sunnis to believe that the Hamites, i.e. black people are a cursed nation (See Genesis 9:25) and that they are doomed to perpetual servitude of other nations. It is because of this myth that the white minority of Southern Africa claims divine right to keep the Africans in a condition which is far worse than the old days' slavery. And it is because of such writings of scriptures that the Dutch Reformed Church openly supports the policy of apartheid, much to the embarrasment of other churches which (not because of any religious conviction, but purely on political ground) mean to appease black Africans by condemning apartheid
(10) Anyhow, it was that same Ka'b-ul-Ahbar who taught the Sunnis that "Ayyam" in those ayats meant 'days'; and that the universe was created in six days. Such baseless theories have become the integral part of the Sunni faith, because they have been taught the garbled Tafsir of the Qur'ani. But neither Islam nor the Qur'an is responsible for such worthless stuff which was imported from sources alien to Islam.
(11) Now I must point out some of your mistakes. I wonder whether you have really read correctly the verses of the Qur'an which you have quoted in your letter You have drawn such conclusions from those ayats which can never he thought of even in a dream. For example.:-
Where does the ayat 10 of Sura Jum'ah admonishes the Muslims 'to work hard on six days'? The ayat simply says that at the call of Jum'ah prayer the Muslims must leave off all trading activities and after the prayer they are to disperse and seek the grace of God, remembering Him always and everywhere Where is the question of working 'six days' or the 'rest' on 'seventh day'? This ayat says, if anything, that the Muslims have to work hard for seven days except for about one hour for Jum'ah prayer. Likewise, you say that Sura 7 ayat 54 wants us 'to rest on the seventh day ' I am amazed to hear it; because this ayat tells no one (not even the Jews) to rest on any day. It simply says that 'God created skies and earth in six "periods." There is-nothing to link it with a 'rest day.'
(13) Then you go on saying that "Sura 4:154 support that Saturday was a rest day for the Muslims." Here also you are in gross error.
Ayat 154 of Sura 4 is a continuous narration of the transgression of the Jews. It says, inter alia, “And we lifted up the mountains over them and said we unto them exceed not (our limits) in the sabbath day; ." It enumerates the rebellious nature of the Jews that whatever they were told they violated it. It does not mean that Saturday was to be a day of Rest for the Muslims! All it says is that Saturday was sacred for the Jews and they violated its sanctity.
(14) Also you quote Sura 16 ayat 124 as the proof that Muslims were to rest on Saturday But ayat 123, 124 of Sura 16 clearly say that whatever sanctity was given to the Saturday was only for the Jews and it had no permanent value.
Prophet Musa was sent at least 1300 years after Prophet Ibrahim As Bani Israel were very. hard-hearted, God ordained them a shari'ah which was very tough. The ordination of Sabbath was one of those rules. It was a part of the shari'ah of Prophet Musa and it was not for the whole mankind for all the time. When the Holy Prophet of Islam was sent by God he claimed that he was reviving the fundamental religion brought before by the Prophet Ibrahim, free from all additions which had outlived their usefulness. The Jews asked why didn't he observe the Sabbath. It was in reply to this objection that the ayat 123 and 124 and connected ayats were revealed.
"So we revealed unto thee (O Apostle Muhammad) that thou followeth the (pure) religion of Ibrahim, the upright one, and he was not of the polytheists
"Verily the Sabbath was ordained only for those who differed about it, and verily thy Lord will judge between them... ..."
This ayat shows that (a) Sabbath was not in the days of Ibrahim; (b) it was not for the whole mankind. (c) it was ordained as punishment to the Jews who were always quarrelling and (d) even the believers in the Sabbath differ among themselves some keep it on Saturdays, others have switched to Sundays. while a group among the latter still clings to Saturdays.
(15) When St. Paul turned Christianity into Paulinity, and 300 years after Christ, Emperor Constantine formerly a follower of Mithraism) was converted to this Paulinity (erronously called Christianity), the Christian priests changed almost all tenets of Christianity to suit the new converts. Mithraism held Sunday as a sacred day because it was the day of Sun (Sunday) which was worshipped in Mithraism. Therefore Christians changed Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Also it should be said that Prophet 'Isa is known to have been born in summer (perhaps April), but as the followers of Mithraism held festival of Sun on 25th December, the Christians invented the myth that Christmas was the birthday of Christ.
(16) Now, I think you can easily understand that we Muslims do not keep any day as a rest day, be it Friday or Sunday or Saturday. And also you will know why the Muslims do not keep Friday as a strict day of rest.
(17) Prayer is to be performed on Fridays. It does not matter whether it is the sixth day or the seventh day or the first day.
(I8) D' Jumat is not English rendering of It is written so in continental languages like Italian and French. Perhaps you have seen it written like this in the writings of Christian missionaries of non-English origin.
(19) Ayat 68 of Surah 39 has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. From where have you imported the idea of "Jesus coming and raising dead" in this ayat. As a matter of fact there is no mention of Jesus in that whole Sura.
(20) You are absolutely wrong in thinking that the Holy Prophet was to confess. All Prophets were sinless (Ma'sum), free from all errors, mistakes and faults. (For details see our book "Prophethood)."
(21) Christianity teaches that Jesus was crucified to atone the sins of those who believe him to be the Son of God; and if anybody believes in this myth, he ensures his salvation automatically. That belief ingrained in Christians' minds has left the Christians free to do whatever they like in this world. They may drop Atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they may bum and massacre innocent women and children to bring civilization to Vietnam; they may keep "uncivilized" Africans and Asians in virtual servitude, they may legalise homosexualty, they may perform marriages between two males in a church, their woman may go naked in pleasure-shops, they may swap wives; they may do any thing they like because they have ensured their salvation by believing in Jesus Christ. If by automatic salvation you mean something like this, then, I am sorry., we have no such thing to offer.
The Qur'an repeatedly emphasizes on True Belief ('Iman) and good Deeds ('Amal-e-saleh) for salvation. Also, the Holy Prophet has said: There is no intercessor more successful then Tawbah (Repentance.)"
There is, also Mercy of God, and intercession of Holy Prophet and the Imams on behalf of the sinners, but this also is not “automatic”.