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.
Virtual congregational prayers
I met with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa on 13 April 2021. During the mulaqat, I asked Huzooraa whether it was permissible to conduct Tarawih prayers virtually.
Huzooraa provided guidance on this matter and said:
“If the mosque and the houses behind it are at the same site — as is the case at the new markaz of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Islamabad, UK, where the workers’ dwellings are located behind the Mubarak Mosque — then one may, only under compelling circumstances such as the current coronavirus pandemic, offer the Tarawih or other congregational prayers using means of communication such as loudspeakers or FM radios etc. where the chances of losing the signal are very low. However, if the mosque and the houses are at separate locations or if the houses are located in front of the mosque, then the occupants of those houses may not offer their prayers by following the [imam, leading] prayers in the mosque; rather, they may offer separate congregational prayers in their own homes.”
Ladies calling the iqamah or prompting the imam
In the same mulaqat, I said to Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa that, under the current circumstances, one was compelled to arrange congregational prayers at homes. So, people were praying at homes with their family members. I asked whether a woman could call the iqamah for congregational prayers and whether she could prompt the imam if he forgets.
On this, Huzooraa said:
“If there are women and only men from her own family, then a woman may prompt the imam. However, if there are men from outside her family present, then, as per the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, she would just clap if [the imam makes] any mistake or forgets. She would not prompt him nor say subhanallah.”
Huzooraa also added:
“A woman must not say the iqamah even if the prayers are being offered at home because the Holy Prophetsa did not allow this and it is also said about the Promised Messiahas that whenever he prayed at home due to some compulsion, he would have Hazrat Amma Janra stand next to him. [Hazrat Amma Janra has mentioned the compelling reasons as to why the Promised Messiahas would have her stand next to him.] However, it has not been mentioned anywhere that he ever instructed Hazrat Amma Janra to call the iqamah. Therefore, the man must call the iqamah himself. Anyhow, regarding the iqamah, it is also mentioned in a hadith that the imam can call it himself when necessary.”
The hadith which Huzooraa referred to in his blessed guidance has been recorded in Sunan al-Tirmidhi. There, it is reported by Amr bin Uthman bin Ya‘la, who narrated it from his father, who narrated it from his [son’s] grandfather [Hazrat Ya‘la Bin Murrahra] that they were with the Holy Prophetsa on a journey when they ended up in a narrow area and Salat became due. Then, it began raining and there was mud beneath them. So, Allah’s Messengersa called the azan while he was on his mount and then the iqamah. Then, he continued moving forward on his mount. He led them in Salat using gestures. He would make his prostrations [sujood] lower than his bowing [ruku‘]. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Salat, Bab Ma Ja‘a fi as-Salati ala ad-Dabbati fi at-Tini wal-Matar)
“Those whom your right hand possesses” [milk al-yamin]; Conditions for the validity of a divorce [talaq]
Someone from an Arab country asked Huzooraa:
1. the meaning of “those whom your right hand possesses” [milk al-yamin]
2. what the correct conditions for the validity of talaq were
3. what the ruling was on talaq that was verbally pronounced once.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 14 January 2020, gave the following reply:
1. “In the early stages of Islam, the enemies of Islam would make Muslims a target of various kinds of atrocities. If they got hold of the wife of a poor and oppressed Muslim, they would include her among their wives as a slave.
“Hence, in accordance with the Quranic injunction of جَزٰٓؤُا سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثۡلُهَا[‘the recompense of an injury is an injury the like thereof’], such women who came along with an assailing army against Islam in order to support them would be taken captives as prisoners of war in accordance with the custom of that era. Then, if such women did not earn their freedom by paying the ransom or through the method of mukatabat [an agreement between a slave and master, where the slave offers to pay their own monetary value in order to be set free] they would be distributed among the army as there were no royal prisons etc. to hold such prisoners of war in those days. In Islamic terminology, such women are called ‘milk al-yamin’.
“Moreover, with regard to milk al-yamin, one should also remember that Islam does not at all permit anyone to capture the women of the assailing enemy and to enslave them just because they are at war against them. The teaching of Islam is that no one can be taken prisoner unless a regular war takes place. Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Quran:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ اَنۡ يَّكُوۡنَ لَهٗۤ اَسۡرٰي حَتّٰي يُثۡخِنَ فِي الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ تُرِيۡدُوۡنَ عَرَضَ الدُّنۡيَا ٭ۖ وَ اللّٰهُ يُرِيۡدُ الۡاٰخِرَةَ ؕ وَ اللّٰهُ عَزِيۡزٌ حَكِيۡمٌ
‘It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. You desire the goods of the world, while Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.’ (Surah al-Anfal, Ch. 8: V. 68)
“Thus, since the condition of a regular war was in place, only those women used to be taken prisoners on the battlefield who were there to fight. Therefore, they were not just general women, but rather those who came there as armed adversaries.
“Hence, Islam is not at all in favour of enslaving people. In the early stages of Islam, temporary permission had to be granted for this under the specific circumstances of that era. However, Islam and the Holy Prophetsa, with great wisdom, encouraged the manumission of even such slaves and emphasised that they should be treated well with kindness until they themselves earned their freedom or were set free.
“As soon as these specific conditions ended and the state laws took on a new form, as is the custom now, so did the justification to enslave people come to an end. Now, according to Islamic law, there is absolutely no justification for keeping a slave. In actual fact, the Hakam and Adl, the Promised Messiahas has declared it as forbidden [haram] under current circumstances.”
2. “The conditions for [the validity of] talaq are that if a man divorces his wife out of his own volition whilst being fully conscious, whether verbally or as a written statement, the divorce becomes effective in both cases.”
3. “Likewise, a talaq pronounced once verbally would be considered effective, but the husband would have the right to reconcile [ruju‘] within the iddah period, provided that it was not the third talaq. After the third talaq, one can neither reconcile during the iddah period, nor perform a new nikah after the iddah period until the condition of حَتّٰي تَنۡكِحَ زَوۡجًا غَيۡرَه is fulfilled, which means that the woman marries another man, establishes conjugal relations with him and later separates from him through talaq or khul‘ without any prior intent to do so or if that husband dies, then she may also remarry the former husband.
“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 counted 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. (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad Bani Hashim, Musnad Abdillah Ibn Abbas, hadith No. 2266)”
Offering the funeral prayer [janazah] of non-Ahmadis; Dealing with banks and other financial institutions
Huzooraa was asked about:
1. offering the janazah prayer of non-Ahmadis
2. various matters related to dealing with banks.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 14 January 2020, gave the following reply to these questions:
1. “The standpoint of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat with regard to offering the funeral prayer of non-Ahmadis is that it can in no way be right to offer the funeral prayer of someone who used to openly brand the Promised Messiahas as a liar or a disbeliever.
“In the case of someone who, although did not deny the claims of the Promised Messiahas but nor confirmed them, if other people [i.e. non-Ahmadis] are available to offer their funeral prayer, then Ahmadis should refrain from it.
“However, if a Muslim passes away somewhere where there is no one present to offer their funeral prayer, then Ahmadis would offer his janazah behind an Ahmadi imam because a person who professes the shahada must not be buried without a janazah.”
2. “If interest is involved in the dealings with banks or financial institutions that are not state-owned, then that would not be lawful. However, if the dealings are based on profit and loss sharing then it would be allowed.
“Similarly, additional profits gained through the money deposited in state-owned banks or financial institutions are also not considered interest because they invest their capital on philanthropic projects, as a result of which various schemes are devised for the benefit of the citizens of the country, the economy grows and employment opportunities are generated for the citizens. Therefore, the profits from such banks and financial institutions can be utilised for personal needs. There is no harm in that.”
Eve misleading Adam
A lady from Germany wrote to Huzooraa stating that Huzooraa had said in one of his Friday Sermons, “A true believer should also pray for his wife and children because the first temptation to Adam was brought by a woman.” However, she said, the Promised Messiahas had written in his books that it was a biblical statement that Eve had led Adam astray.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 4 February 2020, gave the following reply:
“In my sermon that you have quoted, I also read out another excerpt from the Promised Messiahas. In that quote, the Promised Messiahas has also stated that according to the Torah, Balaam, who opposed Prophet Mosesas, lost his faith due to his wife, whom the king lured by showing her some items of jewellery. She then incited Balaam to pray against Prophet Mosesas and for this reason, Balaam lost his faith.
“Moreover, the Promised Messiahas has mentioned in some of his writings, with reference to the Holy Quran, that Allah had stated that Adam did not intentionally break His commandment. He rather thought that Eve’s eating the fruit and sharing it with him was perhaps owing to God permitting her to do so. That is why God did not exonerate Eve in His Book, but only Adam, about whom He said, لَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا [We found in him no determination (to disobey)] and He severely punished Eve.
“Similarly, the Promised Messiahas has mentioned in one place that just as Adam was born in the last part of the ‘sixth day’, so was the Promised Messiah decreed to be born in the last part of the sixth millennium and just as Adam was tried through Nahash, who is called Khannas in Arabic and whose other name is Dajjal, in the same way, Nahash was created to oppose the Latter-Day Adam, so that he may entice the effeminate people with ‘eternal life’, just as the serpent who is called Nahash in the Torah and Khannas in the Quran, enticed Eve.
“Whether it is stated with reference to the Bible or in light of the Quranic injunctions, the fact of the matter is that it points out some natural weaknesses found in both men and women. Hence, where on the one hand, a woman’s natural weakness is mentioned that she tends to be covetous and acquisitive, on the other hand, she also possesses the ability to take men in and to persuade them with her charm and guile. Likewise, where on the one hand, men consider themselves to be very clever and intelligent, on the other hand, they also have this weakness that they are easily fooled by women. It is this reality that the Holy Prophetsa has also mentioned. Hence, it is stated in a hadith that the Holy Prophetsa said:
مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ نَاقِصَاتِ عَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ أَذْهَبَ لِلُبِّ الرَّجُلِ الْحَازِمِ مِنْ إِحْدَاكُنَّ يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ
‘O womenfolk! I have not seen anyone, who is psychologically and religiously deficient, being more skillful in fooling men of sound judgement than you.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari)
“Just as organisations have taken advantage of this innate deficiency and the innate skill of women in the past, in this modern era most intelligence agencies of the large countries continue to benefit from them. Hence, we observe that many women are employed in these agencies just to elicit secrets from men of the hostile organisations or institutions by utilising their charm and guile and they do this successfully.
“These are all matters that are related to the worldly life of men and women. However, at the same time, Islam has also taught that there is no difference between men and women in terms of rights and responsibilities, nor in terms of the reward for doing good deeds. Just as men have some rights and responsibilities according to their capacities and abilities, so also do women have some rights and responsibilities according to their capacities and abilities. There is no difference between them in terms of their rights and responsibilities. Similarly, just as a man is entitled to a reward for performing a good deed, so is also a woman entitled to the same reward for performing a good deed. Moreover, in some cases, a woman is entitled to an equal reward to that of a man for performing a relatively less demanding virtuous deed and in other cases, she is even entitled to a greater reward. This is the beautiful teaching of Islam that no other religion or any other teaching in the world can ever match.”
Tattoos and face painting
During the Gulshan-e-Waqf-e-Nau Class for Nasirat, held in Canada on 11 July 2012, a girl said to Huzooraa that once, at a henna stall at a meena bazaar, she saw signs indicating that they offered tattoos and face painting. She asked whether that was allowed in Islam.
Huzooraa gave the following reply:
“Those who do tattoos or face painting are wrong. There should only be henna at the henna stall. If the president of Lajna had arranged it, then that was completely wrong. [Should one] put henna on the face to appear mad or to become a cartoon? Allah has made them humans and you are making them look like animals? On the henna stall, one can have henna applied only on the hands.”
Then, while pointing to the front and back of his hand up to the wrist, Huzooraa said:
“You can have it applied up to here as women usually do for adornment. That is permissible. However, applying henna to the face or tattooing is forbidden in Islam.”
At this point, Huzooraa asked the president of Lajna as to why it had happened. Upon hearing her reply, Huzooraa further said:
“Why was face painting arranged? That should not happen. Were you trying to make them look like monsters like other people do here?”
The Lajna president said that they had done it for tabligh purposes, to which Huzoor said:
“If this was done for tabligh, then is there only face painting left for tabligh? No one has the right to distort faces. Islam has given a very clear injunction on this.
“Do not introduce new customs. If you, the Lajna, introduce such customs and innovations, then what reformation can you do? This is how innovations creep into religion on the pretence of a good deed. When Hazrat Adamas was misled by Satan, he did not say, ‘If you follow this, you will gain some pleasure from it.’ First, he said, ‘This is a good deed. So, act upon it and you will become pious forever.’ Did Satan not mislead Adam in this manner, promising that he would become righteous forever? However, it was a satanic promise. You people are acting in the same evil manner and introducing these ever-new innovations.
“It is the duty of Lajna and office-bearers that they look towards the countenance of the Khalifa-e-Waqt and see what he is saying. Do not create your own innovations and customs. And you little girls! You should become my ‘spies’ and always tell me the truth. Alright?”
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu)