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
Reading a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the third and fourth rak‘ah of the sunnah prayers
Someone asked for guidance on reading a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the third and fourth rak‘ah of the sunnah prayers.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, in a letter dated 14 March 2019, gave the following reply:
“We find clear statements in the ahadith in favour of reading a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the first two rak‘ahs of the fardh prayers. However, we find no such statement at all in ahadith, especially in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, which would make it compulsory to read a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in all four rak‘ahs of the sunnah prayers.
“Jurists differ on this issue. Hence, followers of the Maliki and Hanbali schools read a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in all of the rak‘ahs of the sunnah prayers, while those who follow the Hanafi and Shafi‘i orders do not read any portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the third and fourth rak‘ah.
“According to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, as far as this issue is concerned, there is no difference between fardh and sunnah prayers: Just as a portion of the Holy Quran is recited in addition to Surah al-Fatihah only in the first two rak‘ahs of the fardh prayers, so too will a portion of the Holy Quran be recited in addition to Surah al-Fatihah only in the first two rak‘ahs of the sunnah prayers. Surah al-Fatihah alone should suffice in the third and fourth rak‘ah. And that is my position too.”
Application of Islamic punishments in modern times
Someone mentioned a recent enforcement of the punishment by stoning [rajm] in a country and asked Huzooraa whether such a punishment could be meted out even in the current age.
In his letter dated 14 March 2019, Huzooraa gave the following answer to this question:
“The teachings of Islam, including those on punishments, are not specific to any age or country but are universal and permanent. Nevertheless, in regard to Islamic punishments, one should always remember that there are generally two degrees to them; a severe punishment and a relatively moderate punishment.
“The main purpose of these punishments is to prevent evil and to serve as an admonition for others. Therefore, if adultery or fornication is committed by mutual consent and it is proven by the Islamic method of witnessing, then the concerning parties are sentenced to a hundred lashes.
“However, in the case of rape which is of an extremely barbaric nature, or if a rapist has committed this heinous act by abusing young children, then the punishment for such a rapist cannot be merely a hundred floggings. Such a culprit can also be given the extreme punishment such as killing and stoning according to the teachings mentioned in Surah al-Maidah, verse 34 and Surah al-Ahzab, verses 61-63 of the Holy Quran. However, the right to mete out these punishments is given to the ruling government of the time. The teaching has merely given them an option in general.”
The procedure of talaq (divorce)
Huzoor-e-Anwaraa was asked about the “triple talaq” (i.e. the declaration of talaq repeated three times in one sitting), about the validity of a talaq issued while being angry and about the issue of witnesses of a talaq.
In his letter dated 1 June 2019, Huzooraa gave the following answer to these questions:
“If a man divorces his wife whilst being fully conscious, whether verbally or as a written statement, the divorce becomes effective in both the cases. However, a talaq pronounced three times in one sitting is considered as only one divorce.
“There is an incident of Hazrat Rukana bin Abd-i Yazid mentioned in the books of hadith. He issued a talaq to his wife three times in one sitting, which he later regretted. When the matter was put before the Holy Prophetsa, he said that a talaq issued in this manner counts only as one talaq and that he could go back to her if he so desired. So, he withdrew his talaq and later issued a second talaq to that wife during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra and a third one during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra. (Sunan Abi Dawood, Kitab al-Talaq, Baab fil battah)
“The Promised Messiahas says in this regard:
‘Talaq that is pronounced in one sitting cannot be considered final and absolute. It is necessary to issue the talaq over a period of three menstrual cycles.
‘Although jurists have considered the talaq that is issued three times in one sitting as valid, but with the following provision; should the husband want to go back after the completion of the iddah period, then his wife may perform another nikah with him or she is also allowed to marry a different man.’ (Malfuzat [published 2016], Vol. V, p. 17)
“Moreover, when a man divorces his wife, he takes this step out of anger at her behaviour that he considers unbearable and futile. No man would divorce his wife while being happy with her. Therefore, a divorce issued in such a state of indignation will also be effective. However, if the person was raging to such an extent that he was in a state of insanity and he hastily divorced his wife without considering the consequences, but became remorseful once the state of madness subsided and he finally realised his mistake, then for this kind of situation, the Holy Quran has said:
لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللّٰهُ بِاللَّغۡوِ فِيۡۤ اَيۡمَانِكُمۡ وَ لٰكِنۡ يُّؤَاخِذُكُمۡ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ قُلُوۡبُكُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰهُ غَفُوۡرٌ حَلِيۡمٌ
‘Allah will not call you to account for such of your oaths as are vain, but He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Forbearing.’ (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.226)
“As far as the issue of witnesses for divorce is concerned, it is to make it easier to decide in the event of a dispute. However, if both the spouses agree with the divorce going ahead and there is no disagreement between them, then such a divorce will be considered effective even without witnesses. Therefore, having witnesses for the divorce is mustahab i.e. preferable but not compulsory. Where the Holy Quran mentions witnesses in the matter of divorce and remarriage, it has declared it an ‘advice’. The Holy Quran states:
فَاِذَا بَلَغۡنَ اَجَلَهُنَّ فَاَمۡسِكُوۡهُنَّ بِمَعۡرُوۡفٍ اَوۡ فَارِقُوۡهُنَّ بِمَعۡرُوۡفٍ وَّ اَشۡهِدُوۡا ذَوَيۡ عَدۡلٍ مِّنۡكُمۡ وَ اَقِيۡمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلّٰهِ ؕ ذٰلِكُمۡ يُوۡعَظُ بِهٖ مَنۡ كَانَ يُؤۡمِنُ بِاللّٰهِ وَ الۡيَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ۬ؕ وَ مَنۡ يَّتَّقِ اللّٰهَ يَجۡعَلۡ لَّهٗ مَخۡرَجًا
‘Then, when they are about to reach their [prescribed] term, keep them with kindness, or put them away with kindness, and call to witness two just persons from among you; and bear [true]witness for Allah. This is by which is admonished he who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And he who fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.’ (Surah al-Talaq, Ch.65: V.3)
Therefore, the Four Jurists also agree that if a person divorces their spouse or, [if legally permitted], returns to the same spouse without having witnesses, their divorce or coming back together will not be affected by the lack of witnesses.”
Proclaiming the words “Sadaqallah-ul-Azeem” after reciting the Holy Quran
Someone presented his viewpoint on proclaiming the words “Sadaqallah-ul-Azeem” after reciting the Holy Quran and requested Huzooraa for guidance.
In his letter dated 11 June 2019, Huzooraa gave the following reply:
“I had research conducted on this matter. Scholars hold two positions on it. Its proponents have found a way to justify it by arguing from some Quranic verses and ahadith.
“In my view, there is nothing wrong with someone proclaiming these words after reciting the Holy Quran because there is certainly nothing inherently wrong in these words; rather, the truth of the Word of God is being confirmed. However, repeating these words as a ritual without knowing their meaning would be considered a meaningless act.”
Travelling while fasting
Someone presented selected extracts from the sayings of the Promised Messiahas and Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra regarding leave from fasting in Ramadan for travellers and asked Huzooraa for guidance on how the various sayings could be reconciled.
Huzooraa, in his letter dated 11 June 2019, gave the following answer to this question:
“There is no contradiction between the two types of sayings quoted in your letter. In light of the clear command of the Holy Quran, the Promised Messiahas and Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra have said that the traveller and the sick should not fast. And if a person fasts while he is sick or on a journey, he disobeys the clear commandment of God Almighty.
“As far as this saying of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is concerned that, ‘There is travel during fasting. There is no fasting during travel’, if the entire sermon is studied carefully, it becomes obvious that by giving various examples, Huzoorra is, in fact, explaining that fasting is forbidden by the Shariah during a journey that is made with the intention of travelling and for which regular preparations are undertaken by preparing the luggage, even if it is a short journey. However, a journey that is made as part of a trip for enjoyment or excursion will not be considered as “travelling” for the purposes of fasting and one would fast during it.
“Huzoor’sra other statements on the issue of fasting during travel support this understanding of his statement.”
Announcement of nikah and mahr
Huzooraa was asked whether a bride could proclaim her agreement herself on the occasion of her nikah and whether it was necessary to proclaim the amount of mahr on the occasion of the announcement of nikah.
Huzooraa, in his letter dated 22 July 2019, gave the following answer.
“In the Holy Quran, where Allah the Exalted has commanded Muslim men to marry believing women and Muslim women to marry believing men, He has used different words for both men and women. Hence, addressing the men, He states:
وَ لَا تَنۡكِحُوا الۡمُشۡرِكٰتِ
‘And marry not idolatrous women.’ [Surah al-Baqarah, Ch. 2, V. 222]
“And, addressing the women, He states:
وَ لَا تُنۡكِحُوا الۡمُشۡرِكِيۡنَ
‘And give not [believing women] in marriage to idolaters.’ [Ibid]
“In other words, in this verse, Allah the Exalted has placed the responsibility of arranging the nikah of the women on their guardians [wali]. That is why on the occasion of the announcement of nikah, the wali responds on behalf of the girl. The Promised Messiahas draws our attention to this matter and says:
‘A woman is not permitted to annul the nikah directly, just as she is not permitted to arrange the nikah directly. She can have her marriage annulled through the ruler of the time and she can get married through a wali.’ (Arya Dharam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 10, p. 37)
“Thus, a wali would fulfil the responsibility of responding on behalf of the girl on the occasion of the announcement of nikah and that is the tradition of the Jamaat.
“As far as mentioning the amount of mahr on the occasion of the announcement of nikah is concerned, it is not compulsory because according to the injunctions of the Holy Quran, nikah can take place even without first settling the dowry, as it is said:
لَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ اِنۡ طَلَّقۡتُمُ النِّسَآءَ مَا لَمۡ تَمَسُّوۡهُنَّ اَوۡ تَفۡرِضُوۡا لَهُنَّ فَرِيۡضَةً ۚۖ وَّ مَتِّعُوۡهُنَّ ۚ عَلَي الۡمُوۡسِعِ قَدَرُهٗ وَ عَلَي الۡمُقۡتِرِ قَدَرُهٗ ۚ مَتَاعًۢا بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ ۚ حَقًّا عَلَي الۡمُحۡسِنِيۡنَ
‘It shall be no sin for you if you divorce women while you have not touched them, nor settled for them a dowry. But provide for them – the rich man according to his means and the poor man according to his means – a provision in a becoming manner, an obligation upon the virtuous.’” (Surah al-Baqarah: Ch.2, V.237)
Quran burning in Sweden and our responsibilities
The virtual mulaqat of the national amila of Sweden with Huzoor-e-Anwaraa was held on 29 August 2020. While condemning the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran by an anti-Islam group in Sweden, which took place a day before, Huzooraa reflected on the reasons behind it and gave guidance on how an Ahmadi Muslim ought to react to it. Huzooraa said:
“I heard that some riots took place there last night. Did this have any impact on your town or area?”
Upon the reply of Amir Sahib Sweden, that the riots had taken place overnight and that the situation had improved by the grace of Allah the Exalted, Huzooraa said:
“You must remove these misconceptions about Islam. Although, the police did not allow the person, who came forward and declared that he would burn the Quran, to do so, they still gave him the right to appeal against the decision, and some of his followers or members of his group went ahead and burned the Quran in a park last night.
“The reason why this is happening is that they do not know the true teaching of Islam and the Holy Quran. Moreover, due to the actions of some terrorists amongst the Muslims, these people get the impression that this might actually be written in the Quran. They try to grab on to one verse that instructs the believers to do “qitaal” or to fight, whereas they overlook the rest of the verses which explain the circumstances or context enabling this permission.
“So, these people should be made aware of these teachings, and you should make your plans to propagate the true teachings in accordance with this.”
How to do tabligh during the coronavirus pandemic?
During the same mulaqat, on the question of how to do tabligh under the current situation of the world due to the coronavirus, Huzooraa said:
“Many avenues of online tabligh have opened up through WhatsApp and other social media platforms. Try to identify the questions and the issues that are concerning people and are being raised.
“There are various websites which you should use to tell people that they should be more inclined towards God in these circumstances. They should come closer to God and try to recognise Him instead of adopting atheism, forsaking God Almighty and developing the impression that God Almighty did not exist nor answered prayers and everything around us in the material world was the only reality.
“You must be inclined towards God if you wish to save the world because another crisis will arise in the aftermath of the current crises with the gradual shattering of the economy and that is the crisis in which people will try to seize the assets and wealth of other nations, which will lead to wars for which blocs are formed, and have started to form already.
“So, the only way to save yourself from this is to come towards God and to understand your responsibilities. At the end of the day, the world is still communicating through whatever means are available through the media. So, you should also use that same media and the same modes of communication and means applied by the people in this world.
“I have spoken about various important matters and believe that you should look to act upon the things that have been discussed already. The things that I have mentioned to the national amila also apply to the relevant secretaries from the different majalis. They should bear these things in mind and act accordingly. They should devise their policy accordingly and work in line with that.
“If these activities take place at a grassroots level and if all the various departmental secretaries understand their roles and implement their duties, then the work of the national amila will become easier, and you will also start fulfilling the purpose of you being appointed an office-bearer, and this is how you also become a helper to the Khalifa of the time, and you also serve the Jamaat in the correct spirit. And this is how your service is accepted in the eyes of God.
“However, if you only want to clutch on to the title of an office-bearer and not do any work with that title in hand whilst setting a wrong example, not giving importance to prayers and not cooperating with each other and other departments and auxiliaries of the Jamaat, then such positions are useless and such organisation is futile.
“You may deceive me and the system of the Jamaat, but you cannot deceive God Almighty. Therefore always bear in mind throughout all of your actions and discourses that God Almighty is listening and watching over everything we say and do. Therefore, we must do everything for the sake of Allah alone and we should apply all our skills and potential for this cause so that we may become an important pillar of the Jamaat and we can serve the Jamaat in the best way possible. May Allah the Almighty be your Protector and Strength.”
(Translated by Aqeel Ahmed Kang, Al Hakam)