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.
Zaheer Ahmad Khan, Head of Records Department, Private Secretariat, London
The Battle of the Camel and false allegations against Hazrat Umarra
Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa was asked about the causes and the truth behind the Battle of the Camel, as some people allege that Hazrat Umarra had mercilessly beaten Hazrat Fatimara, due to which Hazrat Fatimara lost her pregnancy.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, in a letter dated 21 November 2019, gave the following reply:
“The allegation against Hazrat Umarra regarding Hazrat Fatimara is utterly absurd, unfair and contrary to actual events and facts. Hazrat Fatimara was only alive for a few months after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. She spent most of that time in illness.
“Moreover, Hazrat Fatimara was the daughter of the Holy Prophetsa. How could Hazrat Umarra ever treat her in such a cruel manner? Hazrat Umarra would show immense love to even those people who were merely associated with the Holy Prophetsa even if they were not his physical progeny.
“Hence, on one occasion, Hazrat Umar’sra son, Hazrat Abdullahra, asked him as to why he had allocated less allowance for him than Usamara ibn Zaid. Hazrat Umarra replied, ‘Usama was more beloved to the Holy Prophetsa than you and his father (Hazrat Zaidra ibn Harithah) was dearer to him than your father (i.e. Hazrat Umarra). That is why I have given more allowance to him.’
“Thus, to allege that the person who preferred the son of the Holy Prophet’ssa servant over his own son so much and had maltreated the physical progeny of the Holy Prophetsa, cannot be correct by any measure. This is a completely false allegation against Hazrat Umarra by his enemies.
“As far as the reality of the Battle of the Camel is concerned, there is no doubt that this war was fought between two groups of Muslims; they were the armies of Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Aishara. No other battle that Muslims fought was as bloody as this one. Many Muslims, including great generals and men of great valour, were killed. However, the culprits behind this entire episode were the same seditious insurrectionists who had occupied Medina after killing Hazrat Uthmanra. This war was also provoked by those miscreants by creating a misunderstanding between the two Muslim groups and by instigating many mischievous acts themselves.
“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has discussed this subject at great length in Waqiat-e-Khilafat-e-Alawi. Read that too.”
An edict regarding children calling the azan in mosques
Someone obtained a fatwa from the Jamaat’s Chief Mufti (legal expert) regarding children calling the azan in mosques but held a different view than that of the edict. He then wrote his opinion on the matter to Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa stating that small children should not be allowed to call the azan.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 25 December 2019, gave the following reply:
“The answer of Mufti-e-Silsila [the Jamaat’s Mufti] on this issue is absolutely correct and I concur with it. Had there been any conditions for a muazzin [the one who calls the azan], the Holy Prophetsa would have definitely drawn our attention to them in the way that he set out several conditions for leading the Salat. However, regarding azan, the Holy Prophetsa has only said that when it is time for prayers, one of you should call the azan. He did not outline any conditions for the muazzin. Thus, although calling the azan is a virtuous act, it is not such a responsibility that requires extraordinary conditions. On the contrary, every person who has a good voice and knows how to call the azan, can perform this duty.
“Giving children the opportunity to call the azan encourages them and instils in them a passion for serving the faith, which is an excellent thing. I myself task different children with calling the azan at Masjid Mubarak.”
(Compiler’s note: The legal opinion of the Mufti-e-Silsila, which was endorsed by Huzooraa in this letter, is also being produced below for the benefit of the readers:)
Questioner: What is the minimum age for calling the azan? Can a child call the azan?
Mufti-e-Silsila: We could not find any age limit for a muazzin in the Shariah. Therefore, if a child is able to call the azan in the correct manner, then he is allowed to do so.
Ladies donating hair to non-Muslim cancer patients
Huzooraa was asked if ladies could have their hair cut to donate them to non-Muslim cancer patients?
In a letter dated 25 December 2019, Huzooraa gave the following reply:
“There is nothing wrong with ladies having their hair cut if there is a need to do so. Hence, upon completing Hajj and Umrah, women open their ihram only after having their hair cut.
“It is narrated in ahadith that the female Companionsra used to have their hair cut whenever the need arose to do so. However, women are not allowed to shave their heads. Similarly, the Holy Prophetsa forbade men from imitating women and women from imitating men. Thus, women should not have male hairstyles. However, there is no harm in having one’s hair cut to a reasonable extent for the sake of adornment in a way that does not resemble men.
“Donating one’s hair to a patient is a virtuous act. There is nothing wrong with that. If one can donate their blood and other organs to another person for treatment purposes, why could they not donate hair?”
Punishment for those who blaspheme against the Holy Prophetsa, memorising the Holy Quran and ahadith, reciting durood and other kinds of zikr and counting zikr
Huzooraa was asked regarding:
1. The punishment for those who blaspheme against the Holy Prophetsa
2. Memorising the Holy Quran and ahadith
3. Reciting durood and other kinds of zikr
4. Counting various supplications and surahs of the Holy Quran while reciting them.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 25 December 2019, gave the following answers:
“1. Neither the Quran, nor the ahadith allow any human being to punish a blasphemer against the Holy Prophetsa in this world. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, himself did not punish any such blasphemer. Once Hazrat Umarra, a great admirer of the Holy Prophetsa, requested permission to punish one such wretched individual who had been guilty of blasphemy, but the Holy Prophetsa did not grant permission. Following in the footsteps of his Holy Master and Leader, the Promised Messiahas has also given the same teaching.
“At the same time, Islam has guided people of religious and secular authority not to speak of anyone’s religion or their respected personalities in such a manner as may cause hurt to the adherents of that faith.
“Thus, on the one hand, Islam does not allow any human being to punish a blasphemer against the Prophetsa, and on the other hand, it also teaches that nobody should use inappropriate words for another religion or its leaders.
“2. The best way to memorise the Holy Quran and ahadith is to recite them attentively and frequently. It is mentioned in ahadith that when Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Abu Hurairahra complained about a similar issue, the Holy Prophetsa instructed them to pay attention to these matters and to recite continuously and frequently.
“3. This is also the way to infuse passion in our recitation of durood, namely to recite it abundantly with love and devotion. Just as we take an interest in the rest of our affairs and pay attention to them, if we create the same love and interest in these good deeds, then our objectives will certainly be achieved, insha-Allah.
“The frequent recitation of durood is certainly a very blessed deed. As it is stated in ahadith, the supplication of a person can only reach Allah the Exalted by invoking blessings upon the Holy Prophetsa. However, if reciting the durood alone had been enough for everyone and could absolve one of the rest of the supplications, then why would the Holy Prophetsa himself recite supplications other than the durood on different occasions? And why would he teach various kinds of supplications to the Companionsra?
“Hence, there are many such supplications mentioned in the ahadith, which the Holy Prophetsa used to recite and also taught them to the Companionsra. This is also the practice that we observe in the blessed life of his ardent devotee, the Promised Messiahas.
“Nevertheless, in light of the saying of the Holy Prophetsa that إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ [actions depend on motives], if someone was to make durood the total sum of all of their supplications and confine them to that alone, with the intention and the optimistic outlook that the durood would become a means of receiving the blessings of Allah the Exalted, then Allah will also treat such a person according to that intention and optimistic outlook, as Allah the Exalted has stated in a hadith-e-qudsi that أَنَا عِنْدَظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي [I treat My servant according to his perception and expectation of Me.].
“Various duroods have been mentioned in the ahadith. Scholars of the ummah have also used various kinds of durood and given them different names. Some of those duroods are lengthy, while others are shorter. The durood that brings more blessings and is more blessed is surely that which was uttered by the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophetsa and one that he taught to his Companions.
“The essence of these matters is a person’s intention, love and attention to how he wishes to absorb the love of Allah the Exalted. Therefore, depending on the intention, love and devotion with which he will carry out these things, his intention and sincerity will surely reach Allah the Exalted.
“4. It is evident from the ahadith that the Holy Prophetsa would give certain instructions in light of the questioner’s psyche. Therefore, he would sometimes give different answers when asked the same question. He guided people according to their personal shortcomings. Therefore, the counting of some kinds of zikr and supplications is also one such instruction that is mentioned in ahadith. One point of wisdom behind it is that one should offer those supplications and recite that zikr at least to that extent and in that number.
“Moreover, it should be remembered that just as the Promised Messiahas has clearly explained, there is no benefit in reciting supplications and zikr like a parrot. Rather, to gain the love of Allah the Exalted, it is necessary to adapt one’s life according to the Islamic teachings stated in those supplications and zikr, and to act according to them and to perform other good deeds as well.
“A person who recites Surah al-Fatihah frequently, but does not try to dye himself with the hue of the divine attributes mentioned in that Surah, and does not wear the mantle of the Quranic injunction of صِبۡغَةَ اللّٰهِ ۚ وَ مَنۡ اَحۡسَنُ مِنَ اللّٰهِ صِبۡغَةً [(We will adopt) the religion of Allah; and who is better than Allah in (teaching) religion] and the mantle of the saying of the Holy Prophetsa that تَخَلَّقُوْا بِاَخْلَاقِ اللّٰه [Mirror the attributes of Allah], cannot benefit from just verbally repeating the various kinds of zikr.
“This is also the means of acquiring spiritual knowledge because in this way one can absorb the bounties of Allah the Exalted and His love.”
Purdah – a categorical Quranic commandment
A virtual mulaqat of Lajna members of the Netherlands with Huzooraa was held on 22 August 2020. While replying to their question regarding purdah, Huzooraa said:
“The injunction of purdah is not exclusive to the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Nasirat and Lajna members should be educated that the injunction of purdah has been given by the Holy Quran. It is a commandment of Allah and His Messengersa. Therefore, the Jamaat is to act upon the commandments of Allah and his Messengersa. These are injunctions that are clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran. There are various important, clear and unambiguous injunctions and commandments mentioned in the Holy Quran and purdah is one of them. That is why we emphasise it. Had this injunction been inferred from some other text or had it been understood to mean something by interpreting a certain text, then there may have been some room for girls or women to think that purdah should be observed in certain situations and not in others. However, since a categorical injunction has been given, we are bound to act upon it and instil it in others as well. You should explain these things to the girls in a clear manner. This way, they will be inclined towards purdah.
“In actual fact, the main thing is that you should instil within them the idea that modesty is part of faith as is mentioned in a hadith. When modesty will be adopted, then girls will automatically be inclined to observing purdah. Then, whether they are university students [or others], they will remain within their limits of modesty and will always be mindful of their attire. They will also remain mindful of their purdah.”
Members of Lajna writing to or getting published in newspapers
During the same mulaqat, Huzooraa was asked as to what steps Lajna could take to be able to write to or get published in newspapers. Huzooraa said:
“Whatever contemporary issues arise or whatever articles are written in newspapers or the issues that you feel are being discussed on social media or other platforms, can be addressed on social media or on your Lajna website so that there may be awareness about it and so that everyone learns that this is the correct answer to such and such matter.
“Similarly, those people who wish to write articles in newspapers about various issues in defence of Islam should, for instance, write that ‘you say that Islam teaches such and such when in actual fact, this is the true teaching of Islam.’ So, you should encourage those who are capable of writing such articles. The various topics that come up on social media are the ones that should be addressed so that readers are attracted and turn towards what you have to say.
“In the Western world, the issue that arises with regard to [Muslim] women is that it is alleged that they do not have freedom; the restriction of purdah applies to them; such and such restrictions are made against women and such and such injustices are committed upon them. Women should write about these issues and explain that ‘you say such and such [about us]; I am a woman and this is my response to your assertion.’
“There are Lajna members who write articles like this in the UK and it has a positive impact. Instead of men responding to such issues, women should respond to them as that has a better impact on people.
“Therefore, you should form a team for this. Then, you should also have knowledge of these issues. You should possess knowledge of the teachings of Islam and when you begin to write anything, you should be well-prepared and should write in light of facts and figures so that others are impressed [with what you have written].”
Lack of talent in doing tabligh and its solution
During the same mulaqat, Huzooraa was informed that there were very few Lajna members who could write independently. Huzooraa was asked what they should do in this regard. Huzooraa said:
“Even if such members are few, you should guide them and they will get better. Once a team of two, four, six, eight or however many Lajna members there are, is trained, then others will also be inspired by them and will follow suit. It is not the question of whether there are a few members or many. Even if there is one hard-working person, she can bring about a revolution. So, when you begin to give answers, people will automatically come to you for answers, which will allow you to provide more answers and insight. This will also serve as an encouragement to others to be a part of this and to be able to provide answers.
“There is always an incentive behind the desire to achieve something or to persuade someone to do something. When the names of a few Lajna members come up in newspapers, then others will be also encouraged to have their names in newspapers and to try to write something. Then the number of Lajna members will gradually increase.”
The appropriate use of sattari and qaul-e-sadeed in matrimonial affairs
During the same mulaqat of 22 August 2020, Huzooraa was asked, “Allah is Al-Sattar i.e. the Concealer of weaknesses. In light of this attribute, would it be right to investigate or ask around about a particular boy, a girl or their family when arranging marriages?” Huzoor aa said:
“Allah the Exalted is Sattar and He loves sattari [concealing people’s faults]. Thus, if one comes to know about another person’s faults, they should not disclose them to others. It means that one should cover the flaws of another. However, with regard to matrimonial affairs, a commandment of the Holy Quran is that both parties should ‘say the right word’ [qaulan sadeedan].
“If there are any faults in either the boy or the girl when a marriage proposal is made, they should be made clear to one another and both parties should be truthful about it. There should be no twisting of facts, so that later on, it does not cause any rifts in the relationship. That is why everything should be openly conveyed to one another. Matrimonial affairs are a very sensitive matter. Later on, people quarrel and say, ‘We were not told about such and such things.’ Therefore, whilst agreeing to a marriage proposal, it is best to openly convey everything and in the verses of the Holy Quran which are read out at the nikah ceremony, great emphasis has been laid upon ‘saying the right word’ for this very reason.
“So, the instruction to conceal one’s faults [sattari] has a different significance and that is that you should not disclose one’s flaws or blemishes. If you are proposing a suitable match, you can explain that this is the marriage proposal, and even if you are aware of some of the weaknesses of either party whilst suggesting a suitable match, you should make it clear that this is only a proposal; both parties should get together, meet each other, pray and then make a decision. This is how you should act upon sattari.
“It should not be the case that before suggesting a match, you say to either party that this person has such and such weaknesses and as a result of which that person does not get married. You should simply say, ‘Here is a match and it is merely a proposal. Whatever positive things and potentially negative things there may be about each other is something that you should determine on your own after having met the other party. And if you like the proposal, then you may accept it; you should pray and then make a decision.’
“In actual fact, Allah the Exalted is the Knower of the unseen and only He possesses knowledge of the unseen. He knows as to which marriage proposal is best for a particular person and that is why one should always pray before making a decision and that is why Allah the Exalted has said that one should offer the istikhara prayer. Istikhara means to seek goodness. One should seek goodness from Allah the Exalted and pray, ‘If there is goodness in this marriage proposal, then may Allah ordain it for me and open up the ways for me with ease. If, however, there is no goodness in this marriage proposal, then Allah may cause a hindrance in the finalisation of this proposal.’
“Sattari does not mean that both parties should not present the true facts before one another during a marriage proposal. If both parties meet each other and sit down with one another, then it is best to “say the right word” and mention the positive and the negative things about oneself so that they are known to both parties. No one is perfect. There is goodness in everyone and there are bad habits in people as well. This does not mean that one should announce all of his or her bad qualities, but if there is something that can potentially cause issues later on in the relationship or break the relationship, then it is best for that weakness to be made clear to the other party beforehand. Whether there is a weakness or an illness; if a girl is unable to bear children or if there is some deficiency within a man, then that should be made clear to one another beforehand so that it does not cause issues later on.”
(Translated into English by Al Hakam from the original Urdu)