Guidance regarding basic Islamic issues – which Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa has given at various occasions in his written correspondence and during MTA programmes – is being officially published below for everyone’s benefit.
Zaheer Ahmad Khan, Head of Records Department, Private Secretariat, London
Plucking, threading, tattoos, artificial diastema and hair
In response to a question about ladies plucking or threading their facial hair and having tattoos, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, in a letter dated 2 February 2019, wrote:
“There are various reasons why believing women have been forbidden in ahadith from getting tattoos, plucking facial hair, creating artificial gaps between the front teeth to look more beautiful and youthful, wearing artificial hair and altering Allah’s creation etc.
“If these things cause such an artificial change to the natural physical appearance of someone that the distinction between man and woman, which God has placed in human beings, disappears or if there is a danger of inclining towards shirk [association of any partner with Allah] – which is the gravest sin – due to such things, then it is forbidden to do so.
“Moreover, in the ahadith, where these things have been forbidden, the Holy Prophetsa also warned that the Children of Israel perished when their women started doing such things. So, it could be argued that since adultery had spread and brothels had been established among the Jews, women who were involved in such business may have employed such tactics [as outlined in the beginning] to seduce men. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa may have forbidden the believing women from doing such things by highlighting their nefarious aspect.
“Moreover, it is also possible that this instruction of the Holy Prophetsa was temporary, given the circumstances of that time, just as the Holy Prophetsa prohibited the converts to Islam in a region from the general use of utensils that were also used to produce alcohol. However, once the Islamic teaching was well established among those people, the Holy Prophetsa allowed them to use those utensils.
“Islam declares that actions depend on motives. Therefore, even in this age, if, as a result of these actions, there arises a tendency towards evil or they lead one to disobedience to any clear command of Islam, then they would fall under the actions against which the Holy Prophetsa has warned. An example of this would be women not taking full care of their purdah or exposing their private parts in front of other women while having their waxing or other treatments etc. done. That is indecency, which is not allowed and perhaps the actions of such women would fall under the same actions against which we have been warned.
“However, there is nothing wrong with a woman taking advantage of these things while observing the Islamic commandment of purdah.”
[Please note that a more comprehensive answer with regard to hair removal and tattooing will be given in the near future – Editor]
Performing multiple Umrahs during a single journey
Huzooraa was asked whether it was better to perform multipleUmrahs during one journey or to perform only one Umrah and spend the rest of the time in other acts of worship.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 2 February 2019, gave the following reply:
“It is proven from the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa that he only performed one Umrah during one journey. However, the Holy Prophetsa also did not forbid anywhere from performing more than one Umrahs during a single journey. Therefore, according to the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa, if a person performs only one Umrah on a journey and spends the rest of their time in other acts of worship, then that would be fine. And if they wish to perform multiple Umrahs, then that would be fine too since Umrah is nothing but [acts of worship like] the tawaf of the House of Allah, the running between Safa and Marwa, various kinds of zikr and nawafil. So, there is nothing wrong with that either.”
Socialising during the iddah period
Someone enquired about widows attending Lajna Imaillah events, going to the mosque for congregational prayers and visiting the homes of relatives during the iddah period. The person also suggested that there should be no iddah-related restriction for older women.
In a letter dated 2 February 2019, Huzooraa provided the following guidance on these matters:
“The argument for marrying the same husband after divorce, which you have presented in your letter as a premise in favour of changing the rules around widows’ iddah, is unfounded.”
(The argument of the lady is as follows: According to the Holy Quran, after the completion of the iddah period upon divorce, a woman can only marry the same man if she first marries another man and he divorces her too. However, nowadays, one is allowed to remarry the first husband after divorce even without first marrying another man. Thus, just like this commandment has been changed, there should also be a review of the rulings around the iddah period of widows while taking their age into consideration.)
“There was no such ruling before and there has been no change in the actual commandment. You have confused two separate rulings on divorce due to your lack of knowledge.
“Similarly, you are not fully aware of the Islamic teachings regarding the iddah of a widow. Islam commands a woman to mourn the death of her husband for four months and 10 days and does not make any exception to this, nor does it grant any age-related exemption. Therefore, it is incumbent upon a widow to spend this period of iddah in her home as much as possible. She is not allowed to adorn herself, participate in social events or leave the house unnecessarily during that period.
“During the iddah period, a widow may go to her husband’s grave to pray, provided that the grave is in the town where the widow resides. Moreover, if she has to go to the doctor, she would be exempt due to compulsion. Similarly, if a widow’s family’s livelihood depends on her job or she has no other arrangements for taking the children to school and bringing them back or doing the shopping, then all these circumstances would grant her an exemption due to being compelled.
“In such a case, it would be incumbent upon her to go straight to work and return home after completing the work. That is the maximum extent of the permission to leave the house under compulsion and necessity. She is not allowed to participate in any kind of social gatherings or programmes. Therefore, no one is allowed to introduce new things in the Shariah or to create innovations.”
Is one permitted to tell a lie under certain circumstances?
Huzooraa was requested for guidance regarding the ahadith, which seem to allow lying during wars or in order to reconcile quarrelling spouses or other people.
In a letter dated 28 January 2019, Huzooraa gave the following guidance:
“In the Holy Quran and authentic ahadith, lying has been called أكْبَرُ الْكَبَائِرِ, that is ‘one of the greatest among the grievous of sins’ and the Holy Prophetsa has repeatedly admonished us to stay away from it.
“As far as the narration mentioned in your letter is concerned, one such narration has been recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and it is narrated by Hazrat Umm Kulthumra bint Aqaba. The words of that narration are cautious and in need of interpretation. The words of the narration are as follows:
لَيْسَ الْكَذَّابُ الَّذِي يُصْلِحُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَيَقُولُ خَيْرًا وَيَنْمِي خَيْرًا
“One who says and promotes a good word for the sake of reconciliation between people is not a liar.
“An example of this is when a conciliator conveys to one party the good things that have been said by the other party about them and remains silent about what has been said against that party. Such a conciliator cannot be called a liar.
“Sunan al-Tirmidhi has recorded this narration as narrated by Hazrat Asmara bint Yazid in the following words:
لَا يَحِلُّ الْكَذِبُ إِلَّا فِي ثَلَاثٍ يُحَدِّثُ الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ لِيُرْضِيَهَا وَالْكَذِبُ فِي الْحَرْبِ وَالْكَذِبُ لِيُصْلِحَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ
‘It is not lawful to lie except in three cases; something the husband tells his wife to please her, to lie during war and to lie in order to bring peace between people.’
“Firstly, this narration of Sunan al-Tirmidhi is not acceptable because it contradicts a clear commandment of the Holy Quran and other narrations from among the authentic [sahih] ahadith. Secondly, Islam has never justified lying on any occasion. On the contrary, it teaches not to abandon the truth even at the expense of one’s life.
“The Promised Messiahas has also guided us in this regard. Hence, while responding to the same allegation raised by a Christian, Huzooras writes in his book, Nur-ul-Quran No. 2:
‘The Holy Quran considers uttering falsehood akin to idolatry, as Allah the Exalted states:
فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ
‘[“Shun therefore the abomination of idols and shun all words of untruth.”] … The fact of the matter is that no hadith permits lying at all; rather, the following words are found in a hadith:
ان قتلت وأحرقت
‘[“(Tell the truth) even if you are killed and set alight.”] … Moreover, supposing there was a hadith that contradicted the Holy Quran and the authentic ahadith, it would not be deemed worthy of attention because we accept only those ahadith that are not contrary to the authentic ahadith and the Holy Quran.
‘Indeed, in some ahadith, an indication towards the permission of tauriyah can be found. In order to instil hate for this practice, it has been called kizb [falsehood]. When an ignorant and foolish person comes across such a word [i.e. kizb] in a hadith, which has merely been used in order to convey the meaning in a simplified manner, he may take the term kizb in its literal sense. That is because he is unaware of the unequivocal commandment in Islam that falsehood is considered to be an impurity, unlawful and akin to shirk. However, tauriyah, which is not kizb [falsehood] per se but resembles kizb, has been allowed for the common people upon their being compelled. However, despite this, it is stated that those who even abstain from the use of tauriyah possess greater moral excellence … Nonetheless, despite this, there are many other ahadith from which it becomes evident that tauriyah stands in contrast to a high standard of righteousness and that the clear truth is better, even if one be slain or set alight as a result.’ (Nur-ul-Quran No. 2, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 9, pp. 403-405)
“Hence, it is in no way acceptable to believe that lying is allowed in any hadith. Therefore, if there is any way of reconciling these ahadith to bring them in accordance with the Quran and the sunnah, then we will accept these ahadithupon such reconciliation. Otherwise, we will not deem these ahadith worthy of acceptance because they would be against the clear teachings of the Holy Quran and the Messengersa of Allah.”
Visiting mosques and reciting the Holy Quran during menstruation
Regarding a lady’s question about menstruating women coming to sit in the mosque or reciting the Holy Quran during menstruation, Huzooraa, in his letter dated 13 March 2019, gave the following instructions:
“There has been a difference of opinion regarding these two issues among fuqaha [jurists] and other scholars. Esteemed elders of the faith have also given various responses to this matter based on their understanding of the Quran and the ahadith. Likewise, in terms of Jamaat literature, there are different answers from Khulafa-e-Ahmadiyyat and [therefore] from scholars of the Community.
“In light of the Holy Quran, the ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa and the instructions of the Promised Messiahas, my position regarding the recitation of the Holy Quran by menstruating women is that a woman can repeat the previously memorised portions of the Holy Quran by way of zikr [i.e. remembrance and reflection] in her heart during menstruation. Moreover, she can, if necessary, also hold the Holy Quran using a clean piece of cloth and can read out a portion of it in order to provide someone with a reference or to teach it to children. However, she cannot recite it as is done in the regular manner.
“Likewise, a woman is not allowed to recite the Holy Quran in the regular manner during menstruation using computers etc. even though she would not be physically holding the Holy Quran. However, she can read the Holy Quran on computers etc., for instance, to search for a reference or to provide someone with a reference. There is no issue with that.
“During menstruation, a woman can go to the mosque to fetch something or to put something there, but she cannot go and sit there. Had this been permissible, why would the Holy Prophetsa instruct menstruating women who used to participate in Eid [sermon and dua] to stay away from the prayer area? Thus, women are not allowed to sit in the mosque in that condition.
“If a woman comes to the mosque in this state, or a girl comes to the mosque with her mother in such a state, or if someone suddenly starts menstruating, then in all these cases, such women and girls are not allowed to sit in the prayer areas of the mosque. Instead, arrangements should be made for them to sit in a place where no prayers are offered.”
Duties of Ahmadi mothers and the administration of Lajna Imaillah
During a virtual mulaqat of Lajna Imaillah Canada’s national amila with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, held on 16 August 2020, Huzooraa drew the attention of amila members to various aspects of tarbiyat and gave them the following instructions:
“Educate mothers to have friendly relationships with their daughters that study here. If mothers are not fully aware of their exposure outside in universities and colleges, then they should be helped by you [the administration of Lajna Imaillah]. However, despite that, they should also continue to have a connection with their daughters.
“On the other hand, educate the girls, that regardless of the education they attain, their pledge of always giving precedence to their faith over worldly matters should be kept in mind. And what is that? It is that they should not just become completely immersed in worldly matters. They should also be made to realise that upon coming here, Allah the Exalted blessed them in worldly terms and the right way to be truly grateful to Him for those blessings is to become attached to faith as much as possible.
“This issue is mostly also related to boys. Thus, there is a need for tarbiyat by mothers because boys also remain under their mothers’ influence up until the age of 15 or at least up until they are 13 to 14. Then again, there is further need for tarbiyat by mothers because the fathers’ responsibility of doing tarbiyat will also have to be borne by them. This is so because there is a lack of tarbiyat amongst the men.
“I do not say that they have free reign to do as they please and that only women are to carry out all the responsibilities. Men also bear responsibility. However, you will also have to take up this challenge in terms of tarbiyat so that you may train the boys who are of a younger age, the age of Atfal, in such a manner that when they become Khuddam, they are attached to the Jamaat. Similarly, when girls come into Lajna from Nasirat, they should be attached to the Jamaat.
“In view of the influence of the environment of this society, where certain matters are taught explicitly and certain questions are raised explicitly, you need to answer their questions openly. The way to do it is this; make a survey and create a questionnaire and send it to every majlis [local chapter]. Tell the girls that they do not have to put their names on it. They should just express whatever questions they may have on their minds regarding religion or the world, or about the difference between the two, or any doubts they may have. Then, try to answer them at the Lajna level in different forums. And send them here to me. We can also produce programmes on them here and can answer them on MTA as well. Then, an MTA studio has also been established there now. You can produce a programme there by coordinating with MTA. The Lajna can make a programme and give answers to those questions without mentioning any names. [You can say] such and such issues are raised in the world nowadays. These are the questions that arise and due to this, the minds of some of our girls are also being polluted, and you can discuss how we can purify them. There are some matters which you can openly discuss on MTA and some which you cannot, which will have to be answered at a personal level. Then, the anonymous questions that you receive can be posted on the Internet by making such a forum where such questions can be answered for tarbiyat. So nowadays, there are very big challenges that the media and other people have thrown down at us in this era in order to create doubts.
“Then, in the name of so-called education, some girls who think that they are highly educated, believe that perhaps Islam’s teachings are very backwards, even though today, there is no other religious teaching compared to the teaching of Islam which is modern and can adjust to the age.”