Answers to Everyday Issues – Part 35: Hadith: ‘Love for one’s country is part of faith’, punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah, tattoos


Click here for Part 34

Guidance regarding basic Islamic issues – which Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa has given on various occasions in his written correspondence and during MTA programmes – is being officially published below for everyone’s benefit

Authenticity of a hadith: ‘Love for one’s country is part of faith’

Someone wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa that some non-Ahmadi scholars argued that the phrase:

 حُبُّ‭ ‬الْوَطَنِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الإِيمَانِ 

[“Love for one’s country is part of faith”], which is attributed to the Holy Prophetsa, was in fact not uttered by him and they asked for a reference. They further wrote, “I tried to find a reference but was unable to find any. What should I say to non-Ahmadi scholars?”

In a letter dated 14 April 2021, Huzooraa provided the following reply to the question:

“This hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa has been narrated in various books. For example Allamah Mulla Ali al-Qari has recorded it in his book Al-Mawdu‘aat al-Kabir, Hafiz Shams al-Din Abi al-Khair Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi has mentioned it in his book Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah fi Bayani Kathirin min al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah ala al-Alsinah, and Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti has included it in his book Al-Durar al-Muntathirah fi al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah

“Some of the classical scholars have rejected this hadith of the Holy Prophetsa on futile grounds and through peculiar arguments, instead attributing it to some of the Islamic predecessors [salaf]. However, all of this critique and reasoning by those scholars is invalid in light of the other ahadith and in view of the teachings laid out in the Holy Quran. Therefore, one cannot deny that this hadith is the saying of the Holy Prophetsa merely on the basis of the views of these scholars. 

“They argue that there was no connection between one’s love for their country and one’s love for their faith since disbelievers and hypocrites also loved their country despite not having even an ounce of faith. They ask, how could one’s love for one’s country be a part of faith?

“This argument of the classical scholars is not acceptable because there are several ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa in the authentic books of hadith, the subject matter of which is equally applicable to Muslims as well as disbelievers and hypocrites just like the subject matter of the aforementioned hadith. In Sahih Bukhari, for instance, the following hadith has been recorded: 

“Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said: 

لَا‭ ‬يُؤْمِنُ‭ ‬أَحَدُكُمْ‭ ‬حَتَّى‭ ‬يُحِبَّ‭ ‬لِأَخِيهِ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬يُحِبُّ‭ ‬لِنَفْسِهِ

“‘None of you can be a (true) believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.’ (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Iman)

“Similarly, Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates:

أَنَّ‭ ‬رَسُولَ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬صَلَّى‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬عَلَيْهِ‭ ‬وَسَلَّمَ‭ ‬مَرَّ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬رَجُلٍ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬الْأَنْصَارِ‭ ‬وَهُوَ‭ ‬يَعِظُ‭ ‬أَخَاهُ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الْحَيَاءِ‭ ‬فَقَالَ‭ ‬رَسُوْلُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬صَلَّى‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬عَلَيْهِ‭ ‬وَسَلَّمَ‭ ‬دَعْهُ‭ ‬فَإِنَّ‭ ‬الْحَيَاءَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬الْإِيمَانِ

“‘Once, Allah’s Messengersa passed by an Ansari man who was admonishing his brother [against] modesty [haya]. Upon that, Allah’s Messengersa said, ‘Leave him […] for haya is a part of faith.’’

“Now the question arises whether liking for one’s brother what one likes for himself or adopting the attribute of haya is only for believers and disbelievers or hypocrites cannot acquire these morals? That is, if a disbeliever or a hypocrite likes for his brother what he likes for himself, or if a disbeliever or a hypocrite inculcates haya, can it be said on this basis that because these morals are also adopted by disbelievers and hypocrites, hence these ahadith cannot, God-forbid, be the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa?

“Moreover, in the Holy Quran and the ahadith there is great emphasis on the fulfilment of covenants and it has been considered a good attribute. Now, if a disbeliever or hypocrite fulfils his pledge or covenant, will we be right in saying that the act of fulfilling one’s covenant was not a Quranic command or the saying of the Holy Prophetsa, considering that even disbelievers or hypocrites abide by it?

“Therefore, we shall certainly not accept that this hadith with the most insightful and wise words of:

 حُبُّ‭ ‬الْوَطَنِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الإِيمَانِ 

was not the saying of the Holy Prophetsa merely on this premise of the classical scholars. These are certainly the blessed words uttered by the Holy Prophetsa which are recorded in the abovementioned books. I have listed below the full references from these books for your knowledge: 

1. Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah fi Bayani Kathirin min al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah ‘ala l-Alsinah (Kitab al-Iman) by the critic and historian al-Imam al-Hafiz Shams al-Din Abi al-Khair Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi (d. 902 AH)

2. Al-Durar al-Muntathirah fi al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah (the letter ha, part 1, p. 9) by ‘Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti [d. 911 AH]

3. Al-Mawdu‘aat al-Kabir (Urdu Bazar Karachi: Quran Mahal, pp. 193 to 197) by Mulla Ali al-Qari [d. 1014 AH]” 

Nature of the punishment of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah

Mount Sodom Dead Sea Outlook Israel 18
Mount Sodom, Dead Sea Outlook, Israel

Someone wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa and asked whether Muslims believed that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, the two cities of Lot’s people, were burned down as a punishment for their sins of adultery and homosexuality, etc. He asked whether this was supported by the Holy Quran. 

In his letter, dated 26 April 2021, Huzooraa replied as follows: 

“The Holy Quran does not say anywhere that Hazrat Lot’sas people were burned; rather, this is a biblical statement. Hence, the Bible states:

“‘Then the LORD rained upon Sodome & upon Gomorrah, brimstone and fire, from the LORD out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the plaine, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.’ (Genesis 19:24-27, KJV 1611)

“Similarly, it states:

“‘And that the whole land thereof is brimstone and salt, and burning, that it is not sowen, nor beareth, nor any grasse groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodome, and Gomorah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.’ (Deuteronomy 29:23, KJV 1611)

“Thus, according to the Bible, those people were burned and turned into sulphur and salt. On the other hand, according to the statement of the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted punished them for their transgressions, including harassing prophets in various ways, abusing them verbally, rejecting them, threatening to expel them from their lands, looking at the prophets’ companions with disdain, robbing wayfarers, mistreating neighbours and guests extremely badly, harassing vulnerable people and committing fornication and homosexuality etc. As a punishment for these sins, they were destroyed by an earthquake in such a way that their settlements were turned upside down and gravel rained down upon them. Thus, Allah says in Surah Al-Hijr:

وَجَاءَ‭ ‬أَهْلُ‭ ‬الْمَدِينَةِ‭ ‬يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ۔‭ ‬قَالَ‭ ‬إِنَّ‭ ‬هَؤُلَاءِ‭ ‬ضَيْفِي‭ ‬فَلَا‭ ‬تَفْضَحُونِ۔‭ ‬وَاتَّقُوا‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬تُخْزُونِ۔‭ ‬قَالُوا‭ ‬أَوَلَمْ‭ ‬نَنْهَكَ‭ ‬عَنِ‭ ‬الْعَالَمِينَ۔‭ ‬قَالَ‭ ‬هَؤُلَاءِ‭ ‬بَنَاتِي‭ ‬إِنْ‭ ‬كُنْتُمْ‭ ‬فَاعِلِينَ۔‭ ‬لَعَمْرُكَ‭ ‬إِنَّهُمْ‭ ‬لَفِي‭ ‬سَكْرَتِهِمْ‭ ‬يَعْمَهُونَ۔‭ ‬فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ‭ ‬الصَّيْحَةُ‭ ‬مُشْرِقِينَ۔‭ ‬فَجَعَلْنَا‭ ‬عَالِيَهَا‭ ‬سَافِلَهَا‭ ‬وَأَمْطَرْنَا‭ ‬عَلَيْهِمْ‭ ‬حِجَارَةً‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬سِجِّيلٍ۔

“‘And the people of the city came [to Lot] rejoicing [thinking that they now had a good opportunity to seize him]. [Upon this] he said [to them], ‘These are my guests, so put me not to shame [by threatening them]; ‘And fear Allah and disgrace me not.’ They said, ‘Did we not forbid thee [to entertain] all sorts of people?’ He said, ‘These are my daughters [among you, who are guarantee enough] if you must do [something against me].’ [O Our prophet!] By thy life, these [enemies of yours too] in their [mad] intoxication are wandering in distraction [like them] — Then the [promised] punishment seized them [the people of Lot] at sunrise. We turned [their town] upside down, and We rained upon them stones of clay.’ (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.68-75)

“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra explained the wisdom behind the punishment and elaborated on the rain of pebbles mentioned in this verse as follows:

“‘Because the people of Lotas abandoned high morals and replaced them with lowly morals; in a similar manner, God turned the highest parts of the city into the lowest and [in a manner of speaking] said to them, ‘Go forth thence, live in the lowest part!’ Some people wonder how stones rained upon them. The answer to this is that a severe earthquake may sometimes cause parts of the land to rise and then fall. That is also what happened then. The ground, which was rocky, rose and then dropped down causing them to be crushed under the rocks. It may also mean that the walls of their houses fell down upon them since it is said that they used to build their houses out of stones. Stones that are mixed with mud are also called sijjil. This term accurately describes walls that are made of rocks and mud.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir [Urdu], Vol. IV, p. 99)

“While explaining the rain of stones in another place, Huzoorra says:

“It was actually a shower of rocks, which was the result of a terrible earthquake. That is, the surface of the earth was overturned and the soil went up hundreds of feet and then fell down and it was as if soil and rocks rained down upon them. (Tafsir-e-Kabir [Urdu], Vol. VII, p. 408)

“Then Allah says in Surah Al-Shu‘ara:

كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطٍ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ۔إِذْ قَالَ لَهُمْ أَخُوهُمْ لُوطٌ أَلَا تَتَّقُونَ ۔ إِنِّيْ لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ۔ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَأَطِيْعُونِ۔ وَمَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ۔ أَتَأْتُونَ الذُّكْرَانَ مِنَ الْعَالَمِيْنَ۔ وَتَذَرُوْنَ مَا خَلَقَ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ عَادُونَ۔ قَالُوا لَئِنْ لَمْ تَنْتَهِ يَا لُوطُ لَتَكُوْنَنَّ مِنَ الْمُخْرَجِيْنَ۔ قَالَ إِنِّي لِعَمَلِكُمْ مِنَ الْقَالِيْنَ۔رَبِّ نَجِّنِيْ وَأَهْلِيْ مِمَّا يَعْمَلُوْنَ۔فَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ أَجْمَعِيْنَ۔إِلَّا عَجُوزًا فِي الْغَابِرِيْنَ۔ثُمَّ دَمَّرْنَا الْآَخَرِيْنَ۔ وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا فَسَاءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنْذَرِيْنَ۔

“‘The people of Lot rejected the Messengers. When their brother Lot said to them, ‘Will you not become righteous? ‘Surely, I am unto you a Messenger, faithful to [my] trust. So fear Allah, and obey me. ‘And I ask of you no reward for it. My reward is only with the Lord of the worlds. ‘Do you, of all peoples, approach males, ‘And leave your wives whom your Lord has created for you? Nay, [not only do you commit this act, but the truth is that] you are a people who transgress [against the dictates of human nature in every way].’ They said, ‘If thou desist not, O Lot, thou wilt surely be [one] of the banished ones.’ He said, ‘Certainly I hate your practice. ‘My Lord, save me and my family from what they do.’ So We saved him and his family, all [of them], Save an old woman among those who stayed behind. Then [after having saved Lot] We destroyed the others. And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]; and evil was the rain for those who were warned [by God but did not desist.]’ (Surah al-Shu‘ara, Ch.26: V.161-174)

“Moreover, Surah al-A‘raf, Surah al-Taubah, Surah Hud, Surah al-Naml, Surah al-Ankabut, Surah Qaf and Surah al-Qamar also mention the sins of this nation and the divine punishment that befell them.

“Therefore, a study of all these Quranic verses proves that this nation was destroyed by an earthquake and a storm of mud and stones as a punishment for their sins. They were not burned by fire.”



Someone wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa that water did not reach the skin of the part of the body that had been tattooed. He then asked for guidance regarding the validity of wudu or ghusl of someone who had a tattoo on their body. 

Huzooraa, in his letter dated 16 May 2021, provided the following guidance on this issue: 

“Firstly, it is not permissible to tattoo someone or to get a tattoo anyway. This prohibition has also been mentioned in ahadith, where it states that Allah the Exalted had cursed those women who, for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes, practised tattooing, and those who got themselves tattooed … who altered Allah’s creation. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Libas)

“When the Holy Prophetsa was commissioned as a prophet, on the one hand, the poison of various kinds of polytheism had spread everywhere in the world and especially in the Arabian Peninsula, and on the other hand, different kinds of misguided attitudes had also gripped humanity in their claws. Men and women were involved in various kinds of polytheistic rituals and social evils. They included polytheistic practices such as having the image of a goddess, idol or animal tattooed on the body, face, or arms to seek blessings or it was done for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes to then promote social misconduct and obscenity. 

“It is not forbidden for a person to adopt any legitimate methods for their own beauty while remaining within the permissible limits. The attainment of beauty about which the Holy Prophetsa warned of God’s curse means something else and the wisdom behind the prohibition of some of those means appears to be that there is a fear that this kind of action may lead to an inclination towards shirk, which is the gravest of sins; or if these things are carried out in order to beguile the opposite sex in an impermissible manner, then all those means would also be considered unlawful and actionable. 

“As far as getting a tattoo is concerned, whether it is a man or a woman, the only purpose behind it is to show it off or to beguile the opposite sex in an impermissible manner. That is why people usually get tattoos on body parts that they may then expose and exhibit to the public. However, if a person gets a tattoo on a body part which is commanded to be veiled [satr], then first of all, at the time of having that tattoo, the individual violates the commandment of purdah and commits obscenity which is against the teachings of Islam. Moreover, one idea behind getting tattoos on the veiled parts of the body is that they may be exposed in front of the opposite sex while committing evil deeds. All of these methods are prohibited because they contradict Islamic teachings. 

“Furthermore, tattoos have also been linked to a host of physical and health issues. For instance, the sweat glands under the skin are badly affected in the areas of the body that have tattoos, that is having a tattoo reduces the sweating in the concerned parts of the body, which is harmful to one’s health. Similarly, since tattoos become permanent features on the skin, sometimes as the body grows or shrinks, so does the shape of the tattoo, which makes the tattoo look ugly instead of ‘beautiful’. Then such individuals begin to think of them as a plague that they cannot get rid of. Thus, for these reasons alone, it is futile and absurd to get a tattoo. 

“Therefore, it is not permissible for a believing man or a believing woman to get a tattoo on their body. However, if a person has had a tattoo on their body before becoming an Ahmadi and now Allah the Exalted has given them the ability to accept Ahmadiyyat by showing them the true path of Islam, then this act would fall under the category of إِلَّا‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬قَدْ‭ ‬سَلَفَ i.e ‘except what has already passed’. [Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.23] 

“Moreover, such a tattoo from prior to accepting Islam would not affect the validity of one’s wudu or ghusl. Just as a woman’s applying nail polish does not affect her wudu and her wudu is valid even though she has applied nail polish, in the same manner, such a person’s wudu and ghusl with tattoos would be valid.”

(Compiled by Zaheer Ahmad Khan, Head of Records Department, Private Secretariat, London. Translated by Al Hakam)

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