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
Can one recite the Holy Quran on a mobile device during menstruation?; Why does the Holy Quran refer to some people who are not prophets as “the chosen ones”?
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa was asked:
1. about the issue of ladies reciting the Holy Quran on mobile devices during menstruation
2. why the Holy Quran had used the word اصْطَفَاكِ [He has chosen you] for Hazrat Maryam since she was a woman and not a prophet?
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 14 January 2020, gave the following reply:
1. “A woman may 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 may also read out a portion of it in order to teach it to children. However, she may not recite it in the regular manner.
“Likewise, a woman is not allowed to recite the Holy Quran in the regular manner during menstruation using computers or mobile devices even though she would not be physically holding the Holy Quran. However, she can read the Holy Quran on such devices, for instance, to search for a reference or to provide someone with a reference. There is no issue with that.”
2. “As far as the usage of the word اصْطَفَاكِ [I have chosen you] by the Holy Quran for Hazrat Maryam is concerned, the Holy Quran and the ahadith show that this word has not only been used for prophets but also for other people ‘chosen’ to carry out any extraordinary or important task. Hence, the word is used in the Holy Quran by Hazrat Abrahamas and Hazrat Jacobas to tell their children that Allah the Exalted had ‘chosen’ an extraordinary religion for them. It reads:
يٰبَنِيَّ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ اصۡطَفٰي لَكُمُ الدِّيۡنَ فَلَا تَمُوۡتُنَّ اِلَّا وَ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ
‘O my sons, truly Allah has chosen this religion for you; so let not death overtake you except when you are in a state of submission.’ (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.133)
“Furthermore, the Holy Quran has used this word while describing the superiority of the progeny of Abraham [Aal-e-Ibrahim] and the progeny of Imran [Aal-e-Imran] over the peoples of that era. It states:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ اصۡطَفٰۤي اٰدَمَ وَ نُوۡحًا وَّ اٰلَ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ وَ اٰلَ عِمۡرٰنَ عَلَي الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ
‘Allah did choose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above all peoples.’ (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.34)
“Similarly, it is mentioned in ahadith that the Holy Prophetsa was asked as to which zikr was most liked by Allah the Exalted. He replied:
مَا اصْطَفَاهُ اللهُ لِمَلَائِكَتِهِ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي وَبِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي وَبِحَمْدِهِ
‘The zikr “preferred’ by Allah for his angels is “Subhana Rabbi wa bi-hamdihi, subhana Rabbi wa bi-hamdihi” [Holy is my Lord and to Him belongs all praise. Holy is my Lord and to Him belongs all praise]’ (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Da‘waat)
“Thus, the word اصْطِفَاء means to choose, to prefer and to select. That is to say, to bring someone closer because of their most excellent qualities or to accord them a station in one’s vicinity on account of their good deeds.
“Although Hazrat Maryam was not a prophet of God, Allah the Exalted had endowed her with such excellent qualities that upon seeing these very qualities, Hazrat Zakariaas, a prophet of Allah, wished to have children like her. Thus, thanks to the prayer of Hazrat Zakariaas, Allah the Exalted blessed him with a son in the form of Hazrat Yahyaas who was also a prophet.
“Owing to the Israelites’ constant disobedience to God’s prophets, and their mockery and denial of them, Allah the Exalted granted Hazrat Maryam a son in the personage of Hazrat Jesusas who was a prophet but none of the men from among the Children of Israel had any part in the birth of that son. Following that, the great blessing of prophethood was taken away from the Children of Israel forever.
“Thus, it is due to her extraordinary qualities, that Allah the Exalted used the word اصْطَفَاكِ [He has chosen you] for Hazrat Maryam in the Holy Quran.”
Status of those who died during the Battle of the Camel; A woman’s testimony; The testimony and inheritance of a hermaphrodite
Huzooraa was asked:
1. about the status of those who died during the Battle of the Camel
2. about the status of ahadith reported by Hazrat Aishara, assuming that a woman’s testimony was worth half
3. about the testimony and inheritance of hermaphrodites.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 14 January 2020, gave the following reply:
1. “The truth of the Battle of the Camel is that 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. There are shrouds of centuries obscuring the historical events of that era from our modern-day view. Numerous ambiguous aspects and narrations also pose a barrier. Moreover, many confusions have also been created deliberately.
“However, the eternal truth is that which the Holy Quran has proclaimed. That is that Allah the Exalted used the enviable words of رَّضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُوۡا عَنۡهُ [Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him] for the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa and for ‘those who followed them in the best possible manner’. Those who came after them are described as invoking the following prayer for them:
رَبَّنَا اغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَلِاِخۡوٰنِنَا الَّذِيۡنَ سَبَقُوۡنَا بِالۡاِيۡمٰنِ وَلَا تَجۡعَلۡ فِيۡ قُلُوۡبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا
‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in the faith, and leave not in our hearts any rancour against those who believe.’
“Thus, considering the evidence at hand, we can say with certainty that the victims of the evil and deception of the hypocrites, who were martyred on both sides during this war, were certainly innocent people over whom we have no authority to be the judge or to issue a fatwa on their status.”
2. “The assumption that a woman’s testimony is worth half is incorrect. In the case that it becomes necessary to include a woman’s testimony on matters that women usually do not deal with in their day-to-day lives, the Holy Quran guides that another woman should also be present with the female witness. (Since the matter would not be related to women,) if the female witness forgets anything for some reason, the other woman may remind her. Otherwise, the testimony of only that one woman will be considered complete.
“Moreover, in matters particularly relating to women, the Holy Prophetsa would even decide entire cases based on the testimony of a single woman. Hence, it is narrated in Sahih Bukhari that Hazrat Aqabara bin Harith married a lady. Later on, some woman of ordinary standing came and said that she had breastfed both the spouses. The Holy Prophetsa separated the couple, despite the husband denying being breastfed by that woman.”
3. “As far as the hermaphrodites’ share of inheritance is concerned, they will get a share according to the gender that is more pronounced in them. If masculinity is predominant, then the male share of the inheritance will be given and if femininity is predominant, then they will be assumed female and the share of inheritance will be given accordingly. However, if both genders are manifested equally, then, according to the opinion of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifara, the smaller of the two shares will be given to such a person.”
Significance of the number 40
Huzooraa was asked whether the number 40 had any special significance in the world of religion.
In a letter dated 14 January 2020, Huzooraa gave the following reply:
“The study of the Holy Quran and ahadith reveals that there is a special relationship between the number 40 and physical maturity as well as spiritual perfection. Hence, the Holy Quran, while mentioning human birth states:
اِذَا بَلَغَ اَشُدَّهٗ وَ بَلَغَ اَرۡبَعِيۡنَ سَنَةً
‘When he attains his full maturity and reaches (the age of) forty years[…]’
“The Holy Quran states regarding Hazrat Mosessa:
وَ وٰعَدۡنَا مُوۡسٰي ثَلٰثِيۡنَ لَيۡلَةً وَّ اَتۡمَمۡنٰهَا بِعَشۡرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيۡقَاتُ رَبِّهٖۤ اَرۡبَعِيۡنَ لَيۡلَةً
‘And We made Moses a promise of 30 nights and supplemented them with 10. Thus the period appointed by his Lord was completed – 40 nights.’
“Our Lord and Master, the Holiest of all the Prophets, Muhammad, the Chosen One, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was elevated to the station of prophethood at the age of 40.
“It is narrated in ahadith that the Holy Prophetsa said that a human being stays in his mother’s womb for 40 days in the form of a sperm [nutfah], for 40 days in the form of a clot [alaqah] and for 40 days in the form of a shapeless lump [mudhghah]. Then, Allah the Exalted sends an angel to breathe the soul into him.
“Similarly, the Holy Prophetsa said that a person who prays in congregation for 40 days being present in time for the first takbir-e-tehrimah will be acquitted of the Fire and hypocrisy.
“The Promised Messiahas performed a chilla in Hoshiarpur for 40 days and Allah the Exalted blessed him with the grand prophecy of the Promised Son to manifest the honour of Islam and the truthfulness and greatness of the Holy Prophetsa.
“Similarly, the Promised Messiahas has said that whoever would stay with him for 40 days would surely see some of the signs of Allah the Exalted.
“Then, the age of 40 is called the age of maturity. That is why the men of the Jamaat enter the organisation of Ansarullah at the age of 40.
“Thus, these examples prove that in worldly terms, the number 40 stands for maturity and it is used to indicate perfection in the spiritual world.”
Who are Gog and Magog [Ya‘juj wa Ma‘juj]?; Did the Holy Prophetsa ever see the Promised Messiahas in a dream?
Huzooraa was asked:
1. who Gog and Magog were
2. whether the Holy Prophetsa ever saw the Promised Messiahas in a dream.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 14 January 2020, gave the following reply:
1. “Dajjal [the Antichrist], Gog and Magog are specially mentioned among the afflictions and tribulations that Islam was to endure in the Latter Days. Indeed, all of them are various manifestations of the same trial. Dajjal is the name of the religious aspect of that trial, which means that that group will corrupt the religious beliefs and views of people in the Latter Days.
“The group that would destabilise the state of political affairs and destroy the political peace and order has been referred to as Gog and Magog. What is meant by both of these groups is the worldly power and the religious facet of the Western Christian nations.
“However, Allah the Exalted also informed us through His beloved Prophetsa that when the trials of Dajjal and Gog and Magog would arise and Islam would have weakened, He would appoint the Promised Messiah to safeguard Islam. Muslims would not enjoy material power at that time but the Jamaat of the Promised Messiahas would relentlessly work with prayers and preaching, thanks to which Allah the Exalted Himself will destroy those evils.”
2. “The answer to your second question as to whether the Holy Prophetsa ever saw the Promised Messiahas in a dream is found in ahadith where it is stated that the Holy Prophetsa did indeed see the Promised Messiahas in a dream. Hence, the following hadith is narrated in Sahih Bukhari that the Holy Prophetsa said:
‘Last night, I saw a dream near the Ka‘bah. I saw a man of brownish complexion, better than the best of men you may have seen with a brownish complexion and his straight hair came down up to his shoulders. Water was dripping from his head and he was performing tawaf [circumambulating] around the House of Allah while placing his hands on the shoulders of two men.
‘I asked, “Who is this?” People replied, “This is Jesus, son of Mary.” Behind him, I saw another person who had very curly hair and was blind in the right eye, strongly resembling Ibn Qatan (a disbeliever) in appearance. He was going around the Ka‘bah while placing his hands on the shoulders of a person. I asked, “Who is this?” People replied, “Al-Masih ad-Dajjal” [the Antichrist].’
“Likewise, in another narration of Sahih Bukhari, the Holy Prophetsa said:
‘(During the night of mi‘raj) I saw Jesus, Moses and Abraham (peace be upon them). Jesus (peace be upon him) was of a red complexion and had curly hair and a broad chest. Moses (peace be upon him) was of a brownish complexion and a heavy figure. He had straight hair. He looked as if he was from the tribe of Al-Zutt.’
“Thus, the statements regarding the two different physical appearances of Jesusas mentioned in these two narrations prove that the Holy Prophetsa saw Hazrat Jesussa, the Messiah of the Mosaic Dispensation, who was among the prophets Mosesas and Abrahamas who have passed away.
“They also confirm that he saw his spiritual son and most ardent devotee, the Promised Messiahas, who was to be appointed during the era of the Dajjal to confront him and to defend Islam. He saw him performing a tawaf of the Ka‘bah.”
Preaching to people who are not genuine in their search
A virtual mulaqat of the female students and new-converts of the Netherlands with Huzooraa was held on 23 August 2020. During the mulaqat, a new convert said that they had been doing tabligh in an online Kurdish forum and amongst the participants were also some mullahs who had studied in Pakistan. She asked whether or not they should continue to do tabligh on the forum if the participants were not genuine in their search.
While guiding her on the issue, Huzooraa replied:
“If they simply want to argue for the sake of arguing, then there is no point in wasting your time. It would be better to approach some suitable people who are better than them and to preach to those who actually listen.
“What is the need to waste your time on someone who is obstinate, who only intends to argue and raise objections upon objections and does not have anything sensible to say? If the person has pure intentions, if he wishes to listen and if he speaks within the limits of moral codes, then that is fine and dialogue can continue. However, if he says foul things, then let go of such a person and look for other people who can speak in a dignified manner with reasonable arguments; those who present an argument to convey their view and then listen to your argument and those who analyse the entire discourse in a just manner and then determine as to who is truthful and who is wrong.”
Most helpful advice Huzooraa received from his parents
During the same mulaqat of 23 August 2020, a student asked Huzooraa, “What advice of your parents has proven to be most beneficial to you?”
Huzooraa replied, “Never lie!”
Should we boycott big brands for failing to give fair wages to factory workers in the developing world?
During the same mulaqat of 23 August 2020, a student said, “These days, the news has spread on social media that big clothing brands are not paying their poor labourers in places like Bangladesh and Pakistan their due wages due to the coronavirus. Most people say that we should boycott such brands. What is Huzoor’s guidance on this?”
“The fact is that the big [foreign] companies do pay their workers. However, they do not approach their labourers or workers directly for this. There are people in such [developing] countries who make contracts with them and then outsource the work. So, the big companies give them contracts and then they hire local labourers to carry out the work.
“If they do not pay fair wages to their workers, then they are the ones who are exploiting them. The fault lies with their own countrymen, not so much with the [foreign] companies. It has generally been observed that these companies do pay their workers with the rare exception of some who may not do so. These big businesses are only able to operate because they do fair business and they pay the agreed wages in an honest manner.
“It is a separate issue that the wages they pay are little. It is also a separate issue that they outsource the work to countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, or any other third world countries for that matter, for the sole purpose that they will be able to get more work done for less pay.
“However, whatever wages are agreed upon, they do pay them. The sub-contractors who delegate the contract over to others who then get work done from other labourers, are the ones who are actually cheating the workers.
“So, what benefit would there be of boycotting such businesses? The labourers will lose whatever little incoming they are getting. Whether it is Bangladesh or any other country where such malpractices are going on, they all have their respective justice systems or [labour] laws. They should ensure that their labourers are looked after well and that the contractors are giving the workers what is rightfully due to them.”
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu)