Friday, May 19, 2017

Wishing Non-Muslims on their festivals - allowed?

Answer:  As per my best understanding there is nothing wrong in greeting non muslim brethren on their festivals. In fact sometimes it may be recommended to do so because it can bring them closer to you. Some muslims will argue with you that by greeting them u r trying to please them rather than Allah. This argument is based on emotion.

1. There is nothing in deen that prohibits us from greeting them.Some people get confused with narration in hadees book wherein the Prophet forbade MUSLIMS from CELEBRATING pre-islamic festivals. There is lot of difference between CELEBRATING a festival (apart from Eid ul fitr and EId ul azha) and Wishing your non muslim friend on occasion of their festival.

2. There was a post floating on facebook last year wherein it was said that if a Muslim says "Merry Christmas" then it means he agrees that Jesus was born on 25th dec and it means that he agrees that Jesus is the son of God--thus such Muslims are guilty of SHIRK!!!!!Now this absurd logic is similar to saying that if you say that today is 13 December 2014 then you agree that this year is 2014, and since years in AD are calculated since birth of Jesus (Christians era) so u agree that Jesus was born 2014 years back hence u agree that Jesus was the son of God; hence u r doing shirk!!!!

3. When any muslim says "merry Christmas" or "Happy Diwali" then does he ever think in his mind that Jesus was son of God or Shri Ram was incarnation of God??? NOO.. No muslim of the world thinks so. It is wrong assumption on the part of those muslims who think that wishing on others festivals is wrong.If you say Happy Janmashtmi then does it mean that you believe that Shri krishna was Almighty GOD??? Of course - NOT!!!!When u wish them you will have cordial relationship with them and you will have better chances of dawah. If someone wants to avoid greeting; then he/she is free to do so. No issue.

4. To say that wishing is haraam is another example of extremism. Let's put things in balance otherwise we will be moving towards extremism.

Most important: It is only Allah who can make anything Haraam. Allah has not given this right to any person of the world. Those people should be very careful who declare wishing on non-muslim festival as haraam act.

I will recommend this video for those who are sincerely interested in this topic:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Kun Fayakun - what does it mean?


*******  By: Khurshid Imam *******  
At eight places in Quran, Allah says = kun fa yakoonu” = “(Allah says) Be! And it is (it happens).”

This phrase is generally misunderstood by the Muslims. They think that it means whenever Allah decides something to happen, He orders “Be!” and then it happens instantaneously, without any process and time duration in between.

Wherever in the Quran, this phrase is used, indication is towards a process. For example:

بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is. Quran: 2:117

A. Kun fayakoonu and creation of heavens and the earth: 
This aayat talks about the creation of heavens and earth. Obviously the heavens and earth did not come into existence instantaneously. The process took several billion years. Moreover Quran itself says that the heavens and the earth took six ‘ayyaam (plural of yaum)’ to come into existence. Quran 10:3, 25:59; 57:4; 

So when it is said about the creation of the universe “kun fa yakoonu”, then this phrase means that the universe formed according to the laws set BY Allah and its formation process took its due time (six long time intervals).
Everywhere in the Quran this phrase indicates a process.

B. Kun fayakoonu and birth of Prophet Jesus:
Consider one more example – the birth of Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Regarding this, Allah says that the birth of a child without a father is not anything impossible for Allah. He has to only order it “Be!” and it would take place. This is what happened in the case of Prophet Jesus. Does it mean that Prophet Jesus took birth instantaneously, without any fetal development period? The simple answer is no. The process took the normal time. So, again this clarifies that “kun fa yakoonu” does not mean TO happen instantaneously.

So, “kun fa yakoonu” simply means that whenever Allah orders something to happen, it happens, but it takes its own due time as regulated by the laws set by Allah. 

C. The word(s) "kun fayakoonu" appears 8 times in Quran.

1. To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decrees a matter, He says to it: "Be," and it is. Quran 2:117
بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
2. She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is. Quran 3:47

قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ قَالَ كَذَلِكِ اللَّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
3. Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was. Quran 3:59

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ آَدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
4. And it is He who created the heavens and earth in truth. And the day He says, "Be," and it is...... Quran 6:73

وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ وَيَوْمَ يَقُولُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
5. Indeed, Our word to a thing when We intend it is but that We say to it, "Be," and it is. Quran 16:40

إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَنْ نَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
6. It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, "Be," and it is. Quran 19:35

مَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ مِنْ وَلَدٍ سُبْحَانَهُ إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
7. Quran 36:77-81 talks about creation of human being from sperm, life to bones, resurrection in the life hereafter, production of fire, creation of heavens and the earth etc. and then Quran says:
36: 82. Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is,"be", and it is!

إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
8. Quran 40: 67 says “It is He Who has created you from dust then from a sperm-drop, then from a leech-like clot; then does he get you out (into the light) as a child: then lets you (grow and) reach your age of full strength; then lets you become old,- though of you there are some who die before;- and lets you reach a Term appointed; in order that ye may learn wisdom.”

40: 68. It is He Who gives Life and Death; and when He decides upon an affair, He says to it, "Be", and it is. 

هُوَ الَّذِي يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ فَإِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
D. Conclusion: Everywhere Quran talks about kun fayakoonu in the sense of formation of something by following the due process, by going through laws of Allah. Nothing unnatural happens in the house of islam. Everything is natural and as per laws of God.

 ***** Author: *****

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Urinating position: standing or sitting?

Question: Is it permissible to urinate while standing or is it mandatory to be in a sitting position?

Answer: Instead of specifying the minute details, Islam (Qur’an) generally gives principles /'usool'. We have to implement those principles in the situations that we face. The principle remains the same; however, the exact implementation details/procedures might change with time and situation.

As for urinating, the principle is to maintain cleanliness. The urine drops should not touch our body or clothes. Rulings regarding urinating are not a matter of position, rather they are related to cleanliness.

From the history, there are narrations supporting both positions [sitting and standing] adopted by Prophet Muhammad.
The choice whether to sit or stand depends upon specific conditions with regards to our dress, the place, the urinal design etc. The main thing is to ensure cleanliness.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Can we understand everything with aql?

It is not possible that a person will understand everything using aql / intellect / wisdom. What is important to note is that:

1. Time and again Quran exhorts people to use their aql.

2. Quran condemns those people who do not use aql.

3. Quran condemns those who adopt blind faith.

4. When we start using aql then we move from less knowledge area to more knowledge area. Knowledge is like an ocean. If someone has blind faith then he will understand zero. If someone uses aql then he will understand far more than those who do not use aql.

5. With the passage of time, with more pondering over Quran and with more knowledge we gain from things around us - we gain more knowledge and we leave behind less ignorance.

6. At any time - there will be things that we can understand by aql and there will be things that we will not be able to understand even using aql. But, in future we might understand later portions also.

7. For ex: earlier we did not know details of Quran in context with biology, oceanology, physics, Geography, geology etc. In past century - with more pondering, with more discoveries - we understand meaning of those Quranic ayah better.

8. Best part is : Those who understand something using aql - they are in position of making thousands other understand that subject. Those who chose blind faith - can not make other understand.

9. There is difference between something being against aql and something being beyond our knowledge.
For ex: Quran talks about 7 heavens. This information is beyond our scientific knowledge. Science has neither confirmed it nor denied it. So this fact of Quran is neither against aql nor against knowledge.
Similarly - Quran talks about jinn. Science has neither confirmed - nor denied. So this is neither against knowledge nor against aql.

10. If we present something in the name of islam - that goes against all norm of common sense and aql then we need to review and introspect our understanding of that topic.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

If someone already knows my decision then how my decision is independent?

Question: If someone already knows my decision and I have to make this decision as per his knowledge then how my decision is independent?
Answer:  God / Allah made the universe and made universal laws. Quran proclaims time and again that laws of Allah never change. Results occur in the world as per laws of Allah. Some of laws we have discovered and some we are yet to.

2. Nothing "magical" as such happens in islam.

3. People have attributed very less knowledge to Allah. What usually we think as "knowledge of Allah" is far less than he actual possess. People just think that Allah already knows what a person will do. This is narrowing down of God's knowledge. Let us understand this from an example:
At any particular instance / time - a person can do N number of different things. For ex: at a moment you can stand / sit / lie down / speak / close your eye / sing / run ..... say 100 different things you can do. But actually you will do only 1 out of 100 things. Similarly in next moment you can do 100 different things but again you will actually do only 1 particular thing. Similarly in your whole life there can be trillions of permutations and combinations of events that can take place but actually only some of events [say 1 million] will actually take place.

## What people usually understand: Allah has knowledge of those millions of things that you did.
## Actually: Allah knew all trillions of events that COULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE in your life.

So Allah knows all possibilities.


4. Allah has NOT fixed YOUR choice. "knowing" is different from "fixing". If Allah has "fixed" your actions then it means you were "programmed" / "fixed" to do that thing and you did not have a choice. This goes against numerous ayah of Quran. But unfortunately muslims as a whole believe in this theory.

5. God is beyond time and space so past / present / future does not make any relevance for him.
Human being is bound in time so he has past, present and future. What we do not know is simply future tense for us. This is very important point. You dont know what you will do tomorrow - but God knows, so for you - its simply future tense.

6. Some ayah of Quran are usually mistranslated which leads to false understanding of taqdeer as pre-destination. taqdeer refers to laws of God and associated results.

Hope it clears the topic. Let us know if we can assist you further.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Punishment for one who disrespects Allah, Prophet, Quran and islam

Punishment for one who disrespects Allah, Prophet, Quran and islam

By: Khurshid Imam

There are two constraints that need to be taken care of. A. Islam gives freedom of faith and freedom of thought. In general, there is no punishment in Islam for disrespecting or mocking of Islam or the Prophet or the Quran. What we need to understand is that this life is a test and test comes with free will and free will comes with choice. B. Islam tends to establish peace. If this peace is disturbed then accordingly actions are to be taken to preserve peace in society. The Quran perfectly makes balance between these two scenarios. A. Prophet Muhammad was labelled and ridiculed by his opponents as: 1. “a madman” Quran 15:7 2. “there is madness in him” Quran 23:71 3. “a victim of deception” Quran 17:48 4. “poet” and “a fabricator” by the disbelievers Quran 16:02 Yet, not for once the Quran commanded that such blasphemous person should be killed. People attacked the Prophet, they attacked the Quran, calling it a book of 'confused dreams'. Indeed, the Holy Qur’an itself points to the fact that they saw its instructions as “mere stories of the ancients” Quran 16:25 Quran says that the biggest abuse against God is to claim that God has begotten a son. Quran 19:88-92 Yet, Quran did not say to kill such people. Quran teaches us utmost high morals. Emphasis of Quran is not on punishment, anarchy or fear but on explanation, reconciliation and deterrence. So much care does Quran take in dealing with other faiths that it teaches not to speak bad words even for the false gods. Quran 6:108 B. On the other hand islam tends to establish peace in the society and peace in the life of an individual. If something is resulting in disturbance of the peace of the land then ISLAM will not allow it.
If blaspheme - results in fasad fil ardh [to disturb the peace of the land] then death penalty will apply - otherwise not. And that too - judgement will be given by the state and not by mob or astray groups.

It is up to the Govt / scholars / experts to decide whether the particular instance of blaspheme is coming under the category of fasad fil ardh. Blaspheme - per se is not punishable, but if it qualifies to be fasad fil ard then it is.

People take islamic history without looking at the principles of Quran and that results in confusion. The case of Kaab bin Ashraf is the best example to illustrate this point.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

‘Radi Allahu Ta’ala’, ‘Alaihissalam’ and ‘Rahmatullah Alaih’

Radi Allahu Ta’ala’, ‘Alaihissalam’ and ‘Rahmatullah Alaih’ are duas and can be used for any person interchangeably. They are not reserved for any particular personalities.
A. Radi Allahu Ta’ala anhu [May Allah be pleased with him]

General understanding: It should be used “only” with sahaba ekram [Companions of The Prophet].
Fact: Quran does not put such restriction. Quran uses it for:
1. Some of companions and those who followed them - Quran 9:100.
2. Those companions who took pledge with Prophet - Quran 48:18
3. Common believers - Quran 98:7-8; 58:22; 5:119;

Just like you can do dua for someone to get paradise, to be saleh/muttaqi/successful; similarly you can do dua for someone with whom Allah is pleased.

Over past 14 century – scholars have used Radi Allahu Ta’ala for people – other than sahaba, tabeyeen and tabe tabeyeen. There is a very long list of books referring the same.

B. Alaihissalam [Peace be upon him]
General understanding: It should be used only with Prophets other than Prophet Muhammad, angels, Hazrat Maryam etc.
Fact: Hadees books like Sahih bukhari, Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Abu Dawood, Musnad Ahmed Bin Hambal have quoted extensively use of Alaihissalam with names of hazrat Ali, Hazrat fatima, Hazrat Hussain etc.
When you greet someone and say “Assalam u alaikum”, it means “Peace be upon you”. You do this for any person.

C. Rahmatullah Alaih [May Allah’s mercy/blessing be upon him]
General understanding: It should be used “only” with very pious people or great scholars.
Fact: It is a dua for getting rahmat or blessing of Allah so it can be used as dua for any person.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Maintenance for divorcee and Islam

Maintenance or alimony for divorcee and Quran
By: Khurshid Imam
A. General understanding is that:

1. If marriage was not consummated and talaq took place then husband has to give alimony or maintenance. Quran 2:236

'There is no sin for you if you divorce women before consummation or the fixation of their dower; but bestow on them (A suitable gift). the wealthy according to his means. and the poor according to his means; A gift of a reasonable amount is due from those who wish to do the right thing.'

لَّا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ مَا لَمْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ أَوْ تَفْرِضُوا لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً ۚ وَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ عَلَى الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَعَلَى الْمُقْتِرِ قَدَرُهُ مَتَاعًا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ

2. If marriage was consummated and talaq took place then alimony [mataa] will be only for the duration of Iddah period. Quran 2:241

For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous [haqqan alaa al muttaqeena]

وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ مَتَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

Now, focus of this article is on the following points:
General understanding of MUSLIMS is that alimony is only for the period of iddah. After Iddah, alimony is optional.
What does Quran actually say about this topic?

B. Giving alimony is obligatory

Quran commands that for both scenarios - alimony or maintenance is to be given. Majority of scholars take this command as optional because of the words, "haqqan ala al muttaqeen". They say that it is better to give alimony but not mandatory because Quran is saying that giving alimony is obligatory on those who are muttaqi - “haqqan alal muttaqeen”.

Let us understand this riddle from Quran itself.

1. Issue of muttaqqeen
Quran says in 2:2 that "there is guidance in Quran for muttaqeen" [هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ]. Does this mean that Quran is guidance “only” for muttaqeen and not for other people? Answer is: No.
Quran itself says that it is a book of guidance for the whole mankind. Quran 2:185

Reading both ayah we understand that Quran is guidance for the whole mankind, those who love God [those who are muttaqi or pious] will be guided more and better through the Quran. This is a way of conveying more meaning in lesser words.

Similarly, when Quran says that giving alimony is obligatory on muttaqeen then it means that alimony obligation is for every momin and this act leads to more taqwa, this act makes a momin more muttaqi.

On Similar pattern, there are many Aayah in Quran where a command is given to those who "believe in Allah and the last day". Obviously, all such commands are for every momin.

2. Is giving alimony optional?
Quran uses word "haqq" as obligation in context with a command. So, haqq makes things mandatory and not optional. You can look at all such Aayah of Quran where Allah associates any action with "haqq".

For example, ponder over this ayah:

It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the Allah-fearing [haqqan aala almuttaqeena]. 2:180

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

The Aayah starts by saying that it is "mandatory" to make a bequest. So, Quran is clearly making it 'fard' that one has to make a bequest. At the end of the Aayah, Quran uses exactly same phrase that is used in 2:241 i.e.

'haqqan aaala almuttaqeena'. So, how will we understand the last part? Is it addressed to every believer or only those who are pious?

First part: It is obligatory to bequest.

Last part:- "haqqan aaala almuttaqeena". What does it mean?

If you say that 'haqqan aaala almuttaqeena' means that only muttaqi people should make a bequest then there are serious problems with this understanding:

a. It contradicts with the first part of Aayah:- "Kuteba Alaikum" - It is obligatory on you.

b. How will any person know that he is muttaqi and hence he should bequest? To which MUSLIM you will say that he is muttaqi and hence he should bequest?

So, clearly the better understanding of "haqqan aala almuttaqeena" will be that it is 'haqq' / 'fard' / obligatory for a believer and it leads to increased taqwa.

C. How much should be the maintenance?

Quran makes it obligatory to provide maintenance to divorced women in the prevalent manner of the time. It can be as one time settlement, in installments, share in business or through any other means. Unfortunately, many Muslim women are unaware of their right to maintenance.
In context with divorce and subsequent expenses, Quran instructs IN 65:7
'Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.'

لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ ۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّهُ ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا ۚ سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا

Similarly, 2:236 and 2:241 that talk about maintenance money / alimony clearly say:

-the wealthy according to his means. and the poor according to his means; A gift of a reasonable amount..

-Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale).

THE Arabic word "bil maroof" used in 2:241 conveys the meaning of - 'the manner / way that is just, good and appealing'. So, Quran has not fixed any particular amount or any particular methodology for giving alimony. It should be through any means that is just and well appreciated. It can be as per the prevalent means.

For example, alimony can be in the form of one time money, on monthly basis, in the form of property etc.

Moreover, Quran has stopped the exploitation of men by women in context with alimony using the word - 'bil maroof'.
If a lady is exploiting, which is very common today, the man for alimony by demanding unreasonable amount, then that should be stopped. The alimony amount should be such that it serves justice to both man and woman. Rights of no one should be violated.

Conclusion: Maintenance for divorcee women is obligatory for men. The amount - will be decided judiciously as per the prevalent norm and keeping into account different aspects of both husband and wife.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Takfeer and exploitation of Qaul of Hazrat Umar [Rz.]

Question: Sectarian Muslims quote Hazrat Umar's saying, "We used to judge other by their outer behavior and used to leave what was hidden". Based on this they say that we too will declare Muslims as kafir, mushrik, munafiq, jahannami etc based on what is apparent in a person".

How should we respond?

Answer: What Hazrat Umar said was in the matter of judgement in worldly affairs. Similarly, even today, a qazi will judge based on external identity. If someone says that he is a Muslim then ruling, judgement, administration will be done based on that. For example, in your passport if you have mentioned your religion as Islam then you will be treated as Muslim for all administrative purposes. So rulings on worldly affairs will be based on what you claim. This is the context of saying of Hazrat Umar.

However, in the sight and records of Allah who is a Muslim, who deserves paradise, who deserves hell, who is munafiq - it is known only to Allah. And that is why there is a judgement day. If human beings start becoming 'malik e yaum i ddeen' then what is the need of God to do absolute judgement in akhirah?

This attitude of Muslims that we will give fatwa of kufr and shirk has lead to the cancerous problem of takfeer wherein every Muslim group declares other group's Muslims as deviated and jahannami. Quran is free from such erroneous approach.

"By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me". Prophet Muhammad. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266

Following two events from the life of Hazrat Umar - further attests to our point:

A. One day while he was holding the office, caliph, Umar knocked at the door of Huzaifa, a
confidant of the Prophet. In a weary and gloomy mood he said to Huzaifa, “Swear in the name of Allah that you will speak the truth”. Huzaifa implored, “what are you going to ask, O Emir of Muslims”. Umar said, “No, swear first that you will give me a truthful account.” Then in a state of extreme commotion he said, “The Holy Prophet has told you the names of all the hypocrites of Madina. Speak honestly if my name figures in the list.”

This event clearly differentiates between "how people understand you" and "what is your exact status in the sight of God".

B. Hazrat Umar used to say: "Belief is the name of the intermediary state between hope and fear. If I come to know that every person except one will go to paradise I will have the fear of being that person; and if (I come to know that) every person except one will go to Hell, I will have the hope in Allah’s benediction of being that one lone person”.

Above words of Hazrat Umar - clarifies everything. The ultimate judgement is with Allah regarding who is momin, who is kafir and who is munafiq. We can just quote those qualities that are mentioned in Quran.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bhakti, Gyan, Karm - Yog and Sanatan Dharam

Bhakti-Gyan-Karm Yog and Islam

By: Khurshid Imam
As per Hindu traditions, there are three paths to reach God. Bhagwad Geeta explains these paths for connecting with God.

A. Bhakti Yog: Emphasis is on devotion and love of God. The devotee immerses himself in the remembrance of God.

B. Gyan Yog: Emphasis is on the knowledge. The devotee strives to find the guidance and true path of knowledge.

C. Karm Yog: Emphasis is on actions. Deed should be as per dharma.

Different groups in Hinduism give different priorities to the above three paths.

Note that "Yog" refers to connecting with God.
One of the names of Islam is Deen-al-Qayeem [Quran 98:5] which is exact translation of Sanatan Dharma.

No wonder, Islam or Deen-e-Qayeem or Sanatan Dharma is based on three core principles that are similar to the three paths prescribed in Hindu Traditions.

Ask a Muslim and he will tell you that Tauheed, Akhirah and Risalat are core of Islam. In fact, a major portion of Quran is devoted to detailed explanation of various aspects of these three principles.

A. Tauheed => is based on oneness of Almighty God. God is one without any partner. A believer is supposed to submit his desire to God. Love of God is the core of belief in God.

"..But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.." Quran 2:165

Tauheed <=> Bhakti

B. Risalat => Message of God reaches to mankind through a messenger or Prophet. Messenger is the source of all divine knowledge. Only a human being, and not God, can be an ideal for human being. Messenger of God brings knowledge, provides guidance and teaches wisdom to the mankind.

"A similar (favour you received) in that We have sent among you an Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge." Quran 2:151

Risalat <=> Gyan

C. Akhirat => Human beings are accountable for their deeds. Good and bad deeds will be counted and the final recompense will be in the akhirah or the life hereafter. Our deeds should be correct and as per the guidance of God.

"On that Day will people proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it." Quran 99:6,7,8

Akhirat <=> Karm

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Does Quran 2:253 say that some prophets are greater than others?

Does Quran tell us to differentiate between prophets and revelations?
** By: Khurshid Imam **
Some muslims deduce from Quran 2:253 that some Prophets are greater than other Prophets. What is the Quranic position regarding this conclusion?
A. Can we differentiate between prophets?

God has clearly commanded the believers to not make any distinction among prophets and his revelations.

"Not we make distinction between any of them (prophets)". Quran - 2:136
"We make no difference between any of His messengers" Quran - 2:285
"Not we make distinction between any of them (prophets)". Quran - 3:84
“And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and not they differentiate between any one of them, those - soon He will give them their reward. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Quran - 4:152
"Do not make the prophets better than one another". Sahih Bukhari 2281
"Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted the son of Mary. I am but a servant, so call me the servant of Allah and His messenger." - Sahih Bukhari 3261

B. Can we say that some of Prophets are better than others?

1. Nowhere Quran gives KULLI FAZEELAT [preference in totality in all aspects] to any prophet above others OR to any person above others. The ayah Quoted 2:253 itself gives the complete meaning if read carefully. 

2. Allah has preferred some prophets above other in SOME aspects only. Let us read the complete Ayah: “We preferred some of them (Prophets) to others, to some of them Allah spoke, others he raised to degrees and to Isa, the son of Maryam, we gave clear proofs and evidences and supported him with Ruh – Quddus” - Quran 2:253

3. Proof of this principle is already mentioned in this ayah 2:253 where Allah gives examples of preferences: 
A. that Allah spoke [directly] to MOSES. This preference was NOT given to other Prophets.
B. Same Ayah says that Prophet Jesus was supported by Ruh-ul-Quddus [The Holy Spirit]. Was this PREFERENCE given to rest all Prophets?

Note: It is a popular misunderstanding to consider Ruh-ul-Quddus [The Holy Spirit] and angel Jibrael as the same personality. Read this for details: Shab-e-meraj and the mysterious personality

4. Prophet Jesus could give life to dead, cure those suffering from leprosy. In this aspect Jesus was preferred over other Prophets. 

5. Solomon had authority over jinn, animal etc. In this aspect Prophet Solomon was preferred over other prophets.

6. “We have preferred some of the prophets above others and to David we gave Zabur”. Quran 17:55
Here Quran talks about a particular aspect of the revelation which was given to hazrat Daud but NOT to other Prophets.

7. Prophet Jesus was PREFERRED over rest of Prophets in a particular aspect - his miraculous birth. This PREFERENCE was NOT given to any other Prophet.

8. Similarly Quran 3:42 talks about Preference given to MARYAM with respect to being Pure and about the good news of giving birth to a prophet [Jesus] - This preference were not given to any other lady of the world.

Similarly if we read all such ayah that talks about GIVING PREFERENCE to someone over other then we realize that it is ALWAYS in some particular aspect and NOT kulli fazeelat.

9. "Allah has preferred Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above all the worlds." Quran 3:33-34 10.

“And Allah has preferred some of you above others in wealth and properties…”. Quran 16:71

Last but not least - Allah clearly tells believers to say that they do NOT differentiate between Prophets and REVELATIONS. Quran can NOT contain contradictory AYAH.
Important: It is important to note that in the sight of Allah - there will be variation in status of masses and Prophets. We do not know exact details. What we are commanded is that we should NOT differentiate between Prophets and messengers. This approach will foster universal brotherhood and love between different communities.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Who is ALIM in ISLAM

Who is ALIM in ISLAM?

By: Khurshid Imam

A. Introduction

Round the globe, Muslims believe that ALIM means a Religious Scholar. A person is considered an ‘Alim’ if he has studied at a ‘Madarsa’ and completed the course of ALIM. Common masses have been made to believe that they can’t go against an ‘Alim’. People surrender their thought process and reasoning power in front of statements coming from an ‘Alim’.

However, Quran uses this word in a different sense. ‘Alim’ as defined in Quran is different from ‘Alim’ of Muslim's present day perception.

B. How Quran has used the word ULEMA

Word ULEMA is plural for word ALIM. Root word: ayn lām mīm (ع ل م) occurs 854 times in Quran. It is used in the general sense of KNOWLEDGE. Nowhere Quran has confined this word for ‘theological knowledge’ alone. Knowledge in any field is referred as ILM.

For example, Quran uses the word ALEEM [derived from root word ILM] for magicians who were expert in the field of magic.

قَالَ لِلْمَلَإِ حَوْلَهُ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
[Pharaoh] “said to the eminent ones around him, "Indeed, this is a learned [word ALEEM is used here] magician”. Quran 26:34

Gaining knowledge is highly encouraged in the Quran and this is one of the parameter for better understanding of God and His majesty.

Quran has used the word "ULEMA" [Plural of ALIM] only two times.

First use of ULEMA in Quran:
 “Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby fruits of varying colors? And in the mountains are tracts, white and red of varying shades and [some] extremely black. 

And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, who have knowledge [ULEMA]. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving". Quran 35:27-28

In above two ayah, Allah has encouraged people to observe/ponder upon:
a. The process of rain formation and coming down to Earth [Its study is called meteorology or hydrology]
b. Production and growth of fruits of various colours. [It is about agriculture, farming, zoology, botany]
c. Mountains having different colors and presence of paths in the mountains. [It is Geology, Geography]
d. Different colors of human beings round the globe. [The branch of study of this field is called Phylogenetics]
e. Different colors of creatures spread across the earth. [Scientists, Ecologist]

The ayah continues and tells that THOSE who have DEEP KNOWLEDGE [ULEMA word is used] of above phenomenon will be able to appreciate and grasp the majesty of Allah.

In other words we can say that those who possess knowledge of meteorology, hydrology, agriculture, farming, zoology, botany, geology, phylogenetics, ecology and science are referred as ULEMA in this ayah.

Second use of ULEMA in Quran:
"And has it not been a sign to them that it is recognized by the scholars of the Children of Israel?" Quran 26:197

Second time – the word ULEMA is used for knowledgeable people among bani Israel.

C. Who are AHBAAR?

A very surprising fact is that Quran has used a different word for what people consider as ULEMA. Quran has used the word ‘AHBAAR’ to refer to people who are doctors of law [expert in interpreting religion] or theological scholars.

1. Quran 5:63 – So-called-scholars” [Ahbaar] were responsible for not preventing people from uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden.

لَوْلَا يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الْإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

“Why do not the rabbis and the doctors of Law forbid them from their (habit of) uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works.” Quran 5:63

 2. Quran 9:31 - People took these "so-called-scholars" as their lord in place of Allah.

اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا ۖ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” Quran 9:31

3. Quran 9:34There are many so-called-scholars who unlawfully grab money, wealth from the people. Also these “theological scholars” prevent people from giving money in the way of Allah [by manipulating laws of scriptures]. There is severe punishment promised for these fake-ulemas.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

There are indeed many among the priests and theological-scholars, who in falsehood devour [eat] the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty.” Quran 9:34

D. Conclusion

·       Traditionally there has been veto power with theological class for interpreting, understanding, preaching, explaining and drawing conclusions on Deen of Allah.
·      Only those who have studied at a Madarsa are considered to be scholars or ‘ulema’.
·      Quran has used the word ‘ulema’ for those who are expert in any field.
·      Those who can interpret laws of religion are referred as ‘ahbaar’ in Quran.
·      Time and again Allah has warned reader of Quran to be careful of wrong doings done by so-called-scholars or ‘ahbaar’.

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