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
Effects of lunar eclipse on pregnancy
A lady sent a quote about the effects of a lunar eclipse on pregnant women from the commentary of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa. She wrote, “Some people also say that during a lunar eclipse a pregnant woman should not sleep nor use a knife etc. What is the truth behind this?”
In a letter dated 10 March 2021, Huzooraa provided the following reply to this question:
“Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Quran that He has subjected the moon, the sun, and other stars and planets to humankind by His command. Hence, the rays and particles emanating from these celestial bodies affect the earth and the objects on the earth in many different ways. [For example,] looking at the sun under normal circumstances will not always have an immediate adverse effect on our eyesight, but looking directly at the sun in some cases such as during an eclipse can lead to a loss of vision.
“Similarly, we observe that sunlight is effective in treating a variety of earthly ailments and that it affects fruits, flowers, vegetables and crops in different ways. Likewise, moonlight also affects a variety of vegetables and fruits and the development of their sweetness.
“Although current scientific research denies that lunar eclipses affect women during pregnancy, scientists certainly do acknowledge that moonlight affects human sleep [for example] and also that trillions of a special kind of particles called neutrinos, emanating from the sun, enter the human body and that when [some of them] are absorbed by the atoms in the body, those atoms are transmuted into new forms but also that this transmutation has no adverse effect on the human body or the foetus in a pregnant woman. [“Eclipse Misconceptions” (NASA), accessed 25 April 2022, https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-misconceptions]
“Human knowledge and scientific research are of very little significance when compared to the infinite knowledge of Allah the Exalted. We know that scientific [theories] have changed over time and they continue to do so.
“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“‘Although day and night are expressions of celestial bodies, there are also other effects of the moon, the sun and other stars. They also have effects on the world such as electric and magnetic effects that manifest themselves on human beings by means other than [for example] rays that are visible to eyes. Moreover, there are many other effects that science is discovering on a daily basis and many that it may never discover at all.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 138)
“In his various writings, the Promised Messiahas has also covered in great detail the topic of the influence of the moon, the sun and other stars and planets on the earth and its inhabitants in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran. In his book Tohfah-e-Golarwiyyah, Huzooras writes:
“‘These stars are not only for adornment as people generally assume, but they have certain effects as is evident from the word حِفۡظًا [hifzan] mentioned in the verse:
وَ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنۡيَا بِمَصَابِيۡحَ وَ حِفۡظًا
“‘[“And We adorned the lowest heaven with lamps (for light) and for protection.” (Surah Ha Mim al-Sajdah, Ch.41: V.13)]. It means that these stars play a role in the protection and the preservation of the order of the universe, the same kind of role that medicine and food play in human health. [However, their role] has no share in the divine omnipotence; rather, all these things are as if dead before the Supreme Power of God. These things can do nothing except by the command of Allah. Their effects are in the Hands of God Almighty. Therefore, the actual truth is that stars have effects that manifest themselves on earth. Thus, no one in the world is more ignorant than someone who acknowledges the effects of violets and lilies and turbith and scammonies and
cassia fistula, but denies the effects of the stars which are the foremost place of the manifestation of the splendour and the wonders of the Hand of Nature and about which God Himself has used the word حِفۡظًا.
“‘These people who are totally immersed in ignorance consider this intellectual dispensation as shirk. They do not know that the Law of God Almighty in the world is that He did not create anything in vain, useless or ineffective. Since He has declared that everything has been created for mankind, please elaborate, what is the use for mankind of the lowest heaven being filled with millions of stars? Hence, God’s saying that all these things have been created for mankind, certainly draws our attention to the fact that these objects have particular effects that manifest themselves on human life and civilisation such as what the classical thinkers have written that the earth was very uneven in the beginning and God levelled it with the influence of the stars.’ (Tohfah-e-Golarviyyah, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 17, footnote, pp. 282-283)
“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, while explaining this issue, writes:
“‘It should be noted that scientific research has so far discovered through the [spectroscope], a device which is used to separate the rays of light [into a spectrum], that there are certain types of elements on certain stars and certain other types exist on others. This shows that not only light but also the effects of various elements continue to descend on the world along with light and they continue to have different effects on the minds and faculties of earth’s inhabitants. The effects of the moon’s rays continue to manifest themselves on the earth in different ways. There is a widespread belief in our country that a total lunar eclipse affects pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant women do not go out of the room at such times. Although it is generally considered a superstition, I have given special consideration to this issue and I have discovered that after a total lunar eclipse, the labour of many women is very painful and many deaths occur among them after it. I cannot say that women who suffer are the ones who see the moon at the time [of the eclipse] or whether it affects them even without seeing it. I have, nonetheless, observed this many times and have told it to others who have corroborated it with what they have experienced.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, pp. 138-139).
“Thus, the effects of the moon, the sun and other stars and planets on the earth and its inhabitants are well-established, but they have nothing to do with the use of a pregnant woman’s knife etc. during an eclipse or whether she sleeps at that time or not. These are mere superstitions.”
Quran recitation during salat
Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa was 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.
In a letter dated 10 March 2021, Huzooraa 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‘at 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.”
Someone sent an interpretation of the Holy Prophet’ssa saying, “I was Khatam al-Nabiyyin even when Adamas was still in the very early stages of his creation,” to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa. He then sought guidance on this issue and also requested Huzooraa for references to two ahadith relating to this topic.
In a letter dated 10 March 2021, Huzooraa replied as follows:
“You have inferred a point from the following two sayings of the Holy Prophetsa regarding his extraordinary and exalted status as Khatam al-Nabiyyin:
إِنِّيْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ مَكْتُوْبٌ خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّينَ وَإِنَّ آدَمَ لَمُنْجَدِلٌ فِي طِينَتِهِ
“‘Verily, I was [already] ordained as Khatam al-Nabiyyin in the sight of Allah when Adam[as] was still kneaded in his clay.’ (Mishkat al-Masabih, Kitab al-Fadail, Bab Fadail Sayyidi l-Mursalin)
لَوْ لَاكَ لَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْاَفْلَاكَ
“This one is a qudsi hadith and it translates as follows: ‘Were it not for thee (O Muhammadsa), I would not have created the heavens.’ (Ruh-ul-Ma‘ani, by ‘Allamah Alusi, Part I, Tafsir of Surah al-Fatihah, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut, 1999, p. 70)
“You are right in deducing from these ahadith that 124,000 messengers came after the Holy Prophetsa had been exalted to the station of Khatam al-Nabiyyin and it was after this that Allah the Exalted created the heavens and the earth. This has been mentioned by scholars of the classical period and is also documented in the Community’s literature.
“Hazrat Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, the founder of Deoband, wrote:
“‘Firstly, one should know the meaning of Khatam al-Nabiyyin so that there is no difficulty in understanding the answer. Hence, according to lay people, the Holy Prophet’ssa being khatam means that his era came after the era of the past prophets and that he is the last prophet. However, it is apparent to those endowed with insight that coming in a particular chronological order holds no honour in itself. How then can the verse:
وَلٰكِنْ رَسُوْلَ اللّٰهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ
[Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33:V.41] be interpreted to convey a compliment to the Holy Prophetsa? If one does not consider Khatam al-Nabiyyin to be a praiseworthy trait or a rank of honour, only then can khatamiyyat be interpreted as ‘the last’ in terms of chronological order. However, I know that this would be intolerable to every Muslim […] Even if a prophet was born after the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, it would not affect the Holy Prophet’ssa khatamiyyat.’ [Tahzir-un-Nas Min Inkari Athari Ibn ‘Abbasra, Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Karachi: Dar-ul-Isha‘at, pp. 3, 25]
“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh further explained the matter with reference to the above-mentioned excerpt and said:
“‘That is our belief too. The Holy Prophetsa was khatam even when only a blueprint of man existed. Man was still in the formative stages of his creation. Creation was coming into existence. The Holy Prophetsa says ‘I was Khatam al-Nabiyyin while Adam[as] was still kneaded in the clay with which he was formed.’ What a magnificent concept! Khatamiyyat is beyond any specific period of time; it is not subject to it. It is impossible for any prophet before him or after him to match the prophethood of the one who is khatam. Moreover, a prerequisite of [a prophet] who comes after him is that he shall either be obedient to him or else not appear at all. His devotee can come but one who is not subservient to him cannot come. Moreover, all of the preceding prophets are such that they have his stamp of attestation. People do not try to understand this issue. It is an immensely significant topic. Muslims consider the Holy Prophetsa to be khatam. They say that this is a great and unique status that no other prophet has attained. [This is indeed the case but] when they are asked what the evidence for this claim is [they have none.] Even if you ask the scholars, they would not have any evidence in their hands. How do we know this and how can one prove it to the world? Here in the Western world, people ask me in meetings, ‘What evidence do you have?’ I answer by saying, ‘Let me show you the evidence but first resolve the following issue for me: Of all the prophets who have come in the world, not a single one has attested to the truth of other prophets of the world besides those of his own dispensation. Take a torch and go and find one, then, show him to me! You will absolutely not find a single one. ‘I believe in Allah, His books and His messengers.’ In this phrase, believing in all the prophets and messengers has been declared obligatory. There is only one, that is, our Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the Chosen One [who proclaimed this]. Thus, who is the bearer of the seal of attestation? Show us if there is any such prophet except the Holy Prophetsa! This is khatamiyyat. Without even coming close to the high and lofty subject of this khatamiyyat, you are focusing solely on [the Holy Prophet’ssa] being last in chronological order and you do not know what you are talking about. Being last in chronological order is not a praiseworthy trait. However, the khatam that the Holy Quran is describing denotes such praise that no example of it can be found in the world. You can give it a try. I am telling the whole world. Go on and challenge the religions of the world that if your prophet or any prophet was the bearer of the khatam [seal], then show us how he attested to the truth of other prophets! There is no one other than Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah, who is Khatam al-Nabiyyin and who attested to the truthfulness of all the prophets. Thus, even if someone was to come in the future, he cannot come without his attestation. That is why the truth is that when we say ‘ummati prophet’ we mean that Imam Mahdi and the Promised Messiahas about whom there was a prophecy. That is all what we mean: He has the approval from that stamp of attestation. When have we ever referred to anyone other than the Imam Mahdi as an [ummati] prophet? Thus, he is the Imam Mahdi and it is him that we refer to as an ummati prophet.’ (In the programme Mulaqat, 31 January 1994)
“As far as the references to the narrations are concerned, that you have asked for, the hadith recorded in Mishakat and its reference is as follows:
عَنِ الْعِرْبَاضِ بْنِ سَارِيَةَ عَنْ رَسُوْلِ اللّٰهِ صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أنَّهُ قَالَ إِنِّيْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ مَكْتُوْبٌ خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّيْنَ وَإِنَّ آدَمَ لَمُنْجَدِلٌ فِي طِيْنَتِهِ وسَاُخْبِرُكُمْ بِأَوَّلِ أَمْرِيْ دَعْوَةُ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ وَبِشَارَةُ عِيْسَى وَرُؤْيَا أُمِّيْ الَّتِيْ رَأَتْ حِيْنَ وَضَعَتْنِيْ وَقَدْ خَرَجَ لَهَا نُورٌ أَضَاءَ لَهَا مِنْهُ قُصُوْرُ الشَّامِ”
“‘It is narrated by Hazrat al-Irbad Ibn Sariyahra that Allah’s Messengersa said: “Verily, I was [already] ordained as Khatam al-Nabiyyin in the sight of Allah when Adam[as] was still kneaded in his clay. Moreover, I wish to inform you that my matter (i.e. the inception of the matter of my birth) is the [result of the] prayer of Abrahamas, the glad tiding of Jesusas and the dream of my mother which she saw at the time of my birth that light appeared in front of her which illuminated for her the palaces of the Levent.’ (Mishkat al-Masabih, Kitab al-Fadail, Bab Fadail Sayyidi l-Musralin)
“The qudsi hadith:
لَوْ لَاكَ لَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْاَفْلَاكَ
has been quoted by Allama Alusi and Allama Ismail Haqqi in their commentaries, whereas Allah the Exalted revealed it to the Promised Messiahas in the following words:
اِنِّيْ مَعَ الْاِكْرَامِ۔ لَوْ لَاكَ لَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْاَفْلَاكَ
[‘Verily I am with the noble ones. Were it not for you, I would not have created the heavens.’ (Tadhkirah [English], p. 1906)]. Huzooraa has also mentioned it in his writings. The references to those writings and to the books of tafsir are as follows:
1. “Ruh-ul-Ma‘ani, by Allama Alusi, Part 29, Tafsir of verse 38 of Surah an-Naba, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1999, p. 306
2. Ruh-ul-Bayan, by Allama Haqqi Bursevi, Volume VI, tafsir of verse 36 of Surah an-Nur, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004, p. 24
3. Tadhkirah, Fourth edition, […], p. 225
4. Haqiqatul-Wahi [Urdu], Ruhani Khazain Vol. 22, p. 102”
Pig-to-human organ transplant
Someone wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa that American doctors had transplanted a pig’s heart into a sick person’s body to save his life. He asked if it was permissible to do so.
In a letter dated 2 February 2022, Huzooraa gave the following answer to this question:
“I have already said on some occasion that when it comes to saving human life, there is nothing wrong with this type of treatment. Alcohol is also forbidden in Islam, but its use in medicines, that result in preserving human life, is permissible. This is so because all of these conditions fall under the category of iztirar – being driven by absolute and extreme necessity. Where Allah the Exalted has stated the prohibition of the flesh of swine in the Holy Quran, there He has also given permission for its use in cases of iztirar.
“Therefore, it is permissible to perform pig-to-human heart transplantation as a treatment, as is it done on grounds of iztirar, and there is no prohibition of this.
“Some of the classical jurists and other scholars are of the opinion that it is forbidden to eat pork but pig’s hair and hide etc. are allowed to be utilised. Some of them have ventured so far as to say that it was permissible to eat its fat. However, in our view, under normal circumstances, it is not permissible to use any pork product in a way that could be regarded as consumption. Hence, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra wrote in his commentary on Surah al-Baqarah, verse 174:
“‘There is a difference of opinion among the jurists as to whether the phrase lahm al-khinzir [flesh of swine], used in the verse under discussion, also connotes fat or not. As far as language is concerned, shahm i.e. fat is considered to be different from lahm but the commentators assert that the term lahm also encompasses shahm. Although the argument of the commentators is based on their personal interpretation and the words of the lexicographers on this matter are more reliable, even so, I am of the view that pig shahm i.e. fat is not permissible. The proof I have for this is that the Holy Prophetsa said that the fat of a dead animal was unlawful [haram]. The prohibition of pig[’s flesh] and the prohibition of the dead are mentioned in the same verse and in the same words. Thus, one kind of ruling will apply to both. However, it is permissible to use pig hide as its usage does not equate its consumption.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, tafsir Surah al-Nahl, p. 260)’
“Similarly, in response to the question on what he thought about toothbrushes ‘they were often made from pig’s hair’, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:
“‘Our investigation, however, shows that not all brushes are made from pig’s hair. As for the use of pig’s hair, it is permissible according to the Shariah because it is pig’s flesh that is forbidden from being consumed and no one eats hair. An eminent classical scholar has ventured so far as to say that pig fat was also lawful because pig’s lahm [flesh] had been forbidden and not its fat. Other jurists have said that although the eminence of the person issuing this fatwa cannot be disputed, his argumentation is flawed and that he is mistaken in terms of language because fat is included in the term lahm but he has understood it to be a separate word. (Al Fazl, Qadian, No. 5, Vol. 16, 16-17 July 1928, p. 7)
“Even in Judaism, pig farming and its consumption are forbidden, but since saving human life is of paramount importance, according to modern Jewish scholars, obtaining [and utilising] a heart from a pig [for this purpose] does not in any way violate Jewish dietary norms.
“Similarly, some contemporary Muslim scholars have issued a fatwa stating that if there is a fear of death of a patient, failure of any of his organs, the spread of a disease or its worsening, or severe damage to the body, then a pig’s heart valves can be transplanted into a human.”
(Compiled by Zaheer Ahmad Khan, Head of Records Department, Private Secretariat, London. Translated by Al Hakam)