Category Archives: Current Events

BEWARE OF THE BOGUS ‘QUR’BAANI’ OPERATORS

[Majlisul Ulama]

The time of Qur’baani is a time of windfall for some unscrupulous BOGUS ‘qur’baani’ operators. These scoundrels net large sums of haraam boodle from stupid members of the community who entrust their Qur’baani  obligations to these villains solely on the basis of the expensive, glossy posters and pamphlets in which they proffer deceptive scenarios pertaining to their bogus ‘qur’baani’ rackets.

It is indeed the height of irresponsibility to entrust your Qur’baani obligation to someone merely on the basis of an advert. If you are not personally aware of the vendor nor is there independent confirmation from a responsible entity as to the bona fides of the persons appealing for Qur’baani orders, do not be so stupid as to entrust your money and obligation to the scoundrels.

Most people who entrust their Qur’baani money to strangers and to faceless collectors whose whereabouts are in some murky limbo, do so because of the cheap price quoted by these dishonest bogus characters. There is no transparency in their ‘qur’baani’ projects. They refuse to answer straightforward questions, and they are extremely averse to others joining them. 

They have too much rot to conceal, hence the secrecy underlying their bogus ‘qur’baani’ operations.

POLITICAL FREEDOM AND CULTURAL SERFDOM

By Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (rahimahullah)

I am constrained to refer to the fact — a fact, both regrettable and unpalatable — that none of our eastern countries including India and Pakistan and even those Arab countries which have yet to achieve complete freedom from foreign domination, has as yet realised what it really means to be independent and free. They have not yet enjoyed the fruits of real freedom. From the day they became free they have yielded themselves to be bound by fetters of intellectual, cultural and economic bondage.

They have become so dependent on the West that the liberation of these countries has meant only a change in the personnel administering these countries without any change in the springhead supplying the vital impulse to run their administration. Liberation of these countries has not meant a whit more than this superficial changeover. We have been drawing upon the West not only in education but also imitating their system of education; we are following the West in our manners and modes of living; and what is more, we often depend for our moral and religious precepts too on the researches made by the Western scholars.

Even the Islamic sciences are judged from the standpoint evolved by the western educational institutions. Orientalists are held in high esteem not only in West but in the East also and it has been accepted on all hands that whatever they say is the last word requiring no further quest and scrutiny. This is the present state of affairs in every Islamic country with the result that none of them has had an opportunity to enjoy the benefits conferred by their political freedom. All of them are so overburdened with the western ideals and view of life that they are seething with discontent beneath the insufferable weight of alien crazy concepts.

Some of these countries are, fortunately, wholly populated by the Muslims but they have failed to pattern their policy on the demand of its faith and conscience. They are, in consequence, caught in the cobweb of mental discon­tent and vexation of spirit which is bound to result into a crisis of confidence and disintegrating conflict.  An unrelenting struggle in these countries is caused by those who wield the reins of Government in these countries, those who have pinned their faith in the western ideals and con­cepts. They are Muslims, no doubt, and they also come from respectable Muslim families. Nor have they forsaken Islam, but in their mental make up and intellectual outlook they have been cast in the mould of western way of looking at things.

It is their misfortune that the nations committed to their care are Muslims out and out; they have faith in God and His Apostle; they believe in the life after death where there is a heaven and hell and where they shall have to render account for whatever they do in this world; they acknowledge the fact that the, life of the world and its pleasures and sorrows are transitory; they are convinced that the ultimate end they have in view is preferable to the purely material objectives; they know that the aim of life is not to eat, drink and be merry and to have the fat of the land but it consists in being more humane, inculcating the awe of God, betaking the path of virtue and avoiding the ways of sin, leading a life pure and virtuous in the footsteps of the last Prophet of God, acting on the injunctions and precepts of the Law revealed by the Lord, serving the humanity and disseminating the message of peace and virtuous living to the wayward humanity in order to help it to chart its course out of the predicament of doom and despair it is finding itself enwrapped at present.

But those who have gained a hold over administration in these Countries have an entirely different view of life and the world. They harbour doubts about many a truth enunciated by Islam. They are skeptical if there is any Power behind what their senses reveal to them, a Power unseen and imperceptible behind the manifest, palpable beings and objects — or that there is a life after death. They find it hard to believe that man can derive satisfaction and happiness from any thing other than material assets and holdings. An unprecedented but unfruitful unrest has thus cropped up in our eastern countries which is wasting their energy for nothing. Only yesterday I told some of my Arab friends that if our eastern countries could get a leadership which was aware of the inherent qualities and strength, the indomitable courage and enthusiasm the spirit of zeal and sacrifice, the mood and temper and the glorious past and present potentialities of our people, it could again brace up their strength which no power on earth would be able to subdue.

Whatever vigour and energy the East possesses, it lies in the power of its Faith. It is the faith that moves mountains. For the people in the East, the faith still has the power to awaken the spirit to sacrifice their lives, their pleasures, their hearts and homes for it. Fighting for the honour of God, for Islam, for the Prophet and for the faith still stimulates that frenzied fervour in them which can neither be enkindled by a call for any other cause nor be subdued by anyone. But it is simply tragic that our people passing out of the portals of western universities have all their wits about them except that they remain completely oblivious’ of the latent strength and vigour of their own people.

If you do not mind my plain speaking, I would say that perhaps the Poet of the East had addressed  these every persons in this couplet:

Get within thy self and discover the life’s secret;

If thou does not want to be mine, true to thyself be at least.

All those who go back from the universities here know all about history and geography, individual and mass psychology, but if they remain blind to anything, it is the temperament and disposition of their own people — the people amongst whom they have to go back and live and work, the people who are their own limbs and hands. They do not know them, nor the reservoir of strength concealed in them which had once shaken up the world.

It is the power that can never be defeated even by the combined strength of all the nations of the world. And, our people in the East have that power of faith even today but either our leaders know not what it is or they are strangers to the parlance of faith. They perhaps only know the language which reaches the ears of their people but fails to touch their hearts. They cannot speak in the tongue that can enrapture and enravish their hearts — a language that touches the cords of one’s heart and casts a magic spell on the listener. This is the language of the faith and the Qur’an; the language spoken by the companions of the Prophet which made men die in the last ditch. How can a man speak to others unless he knows their language? How can I convey my thoughts to the people of this land unless I can speak in English?

This will lead to nothing but to the confusion of tongues. These leaders speak to their own people in the same parlance in which they converse with the West. They should have at least been alive to the fact that the people whom they seek to address are the followers of the Prophet of Islam, the language which they understand, which touches their heart and stirs their blood is the language of faith— the language that they speak in their homes and lanes, mosques and marts. It is the language of those transcendental realities which they have cherished for fourteen hundred years. Therefore, if you want to tug their heartstring you shall have to speak to them in that very language.

“Vande Mataram” and the Muslims

[By A. Faizur Rahman]

It becomes imperative to analyse the objections raised by the Muslim community against the recital of the Vande Mataram.

The controversy over the singing of Vande Mataram has once again threatened to divide the country on communal lines. The refusal of the Muslims to sing this song seems to have angered the Hindutva ideologues, who, without giving them an opportunity to explain their position, have accused them of being anti-national. Hence, it becomes imperative to analyse the objections raised by the Muslim community against the recital of the Vande Mataram.

Islam, being a monotheist religion, forbids the apotheosis of any deity, animate or inanimate, except God, the Supreme Creator. In fact, ascribing divinity or any attribute of divinity to even Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is considered an act of blasphemy negating the very purpose of Islam, that is, to promote the concept of unity of mankind through the worship of a common Creator. 

In this context, those opposed to the Muslim point of view should know that, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Vande Mataram contains verses which are in direct conflict with the beliefs of Islam. For instance, the fourth stanza of the song addresses motherland India as, “Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, with her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned……..”

When a Muslim sings these words he is forced to equate his country with the Hindu goddesses Durga and Lakshmi, thereby deifying the physical land of India and beseeching it to “arise and save.” This militates against the concept of Tawheed (oneness of God) according to which a Muslim cannot supplicate to anyone except God. Therefore, just as one cannot force non-Muslims to recite the Qur’an in their gatherings, it would be most unfair to force the Muslims to violate their Scriptural injunctions by questioning their patriotism.

The religious predicament of the Muslims was understood in the right spirit decades ago by Jawaharlal Nehru. In October 1937, when the Congress Working Committee met in Calcutta under the Presidentship of Nehru, it adopted a resolution which said, “The Committee recognizes the validity of the objection raised by Muslim friends to certain parts of the song. While the Committee has taken note of such objection insofar as it has intrinsic value, the Committee wishes to point out that the modern evolution of the use of the song as part of National life is of infinitely greater importance than its setting in a historical novel before the national movement had taken shape. Taking all things into consideration, therefore, the Committee recommend that, wherever Bande Mataram is sung at national gatherings, only the first two stanzas should be sung, with perfect freedom to the organisers to sing any other song of an unobjectionable character, in addition to, or in the place of, the Bande Mataram song.” [Quoted by A.G. Noorani in the Frontline, Jan 2-15, 1999)].

Based on the above resolution, the Hindutva brigade wants the Muslims to sing the first two stanzas arguing that there is nothing wrong in bowing to the motherland. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the minority community, because, many Hindus elevate “Bharat Mata” or Mother India, to the status of a goddess as clearly seen in the traditional depiction of India as a lady dressed in a saree holding a red flag. In fact, in 1936, a Bharat Mata temple was built in Benaras by Shiv Prashad Gupt and was inaugurated by none less than Mahatma Gandhi. Then in May 1983, Swami Satyamitranand Giri founded a Bharat Mata temple in Haridwar which has a statue of Bharat Mata holding a milk urn in one hand and sheaves of grains in the other. According to the temple guide book, “the temple serves to promote the devotional attitude towards Bharat Mata, something that historians and mythological story-teller may have missed.” (Mc Kean, Lise. “Bharat Mata: Mother India and Her Militant Matriots”, in Devi : Goddesses of India, edited by John S.Hawley and Donna M.Wulff, Motilal Banarasidass Publishers, Delhi, 1998). 

Moreover, not many know that Bharat Mata poojas are regularly performed all over India. The Hindu, on Jan 3, 2005 reported one such pooja by the BJP activists in a temple in Mahabubnagar, Andhra Pradesh, during which there was a clash between the BJP and CPI (M) workers. The Chandigarh Tribune reported on April 13, 2002 that the employees of the Govt. Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh performed the pooja of Bharat Mata “as per the Indian culture.” Also, the largest Hindu website dedicated to the freedom movement, http://www.freeindia.org, has posted an ancient Sanskrit Hindu verse glorifying Mother India as a goddess. It reads, “Ratnakaradhautapadam Himalyakirtitinim (I) Brahmara-jarsiratnamdhyam vande Bharatamataram (II)”. When translated it means, “I pay my obeisance to mother Bharata, whose feet are being washed by the ocean, who wears the mighty Himalaya as her crown, and who is exuberantly adorned with the gems of traditions set by Brahmarsis and Rajarsis.”

The aforementioned facts prove deification of India by the Hindus, which means that the Muslims, by singing the first two stanzas of the Vande Mataram, would be violating the basic tenet of Islam, that is Tawheed. It cannot be argued that saluting the motherland is harmless because the fourth stanza clearly identifies the land of India mentioned in the first stanza with goddess Durga and Lakshmi, and therefore, any salutation to motherland tantamounts to bowing before Hindu goddesses – an act unthinkable for a Muslim. The Muslims respect the right of the Hindus to worship any deity, but they cannot be forced to commit un-Islamic acts.

Another reason for the Muslims’ reluctance to sing the Vande Mataram is the fact that the novel Anandamath by Bankimchandra Chatterjee, in which it was first published, glorified the ethnic cleansing of the Muslims. As an example the following passage may be quoted. “The rural people ran out to kill the Muslims while coming across them. In the night, some were organised in groups and going to the Muslim locality, they torched their houses and looted their everything. Many Muslims were killed; many of them shaved their beards, smeared their bodies with soil and started singing the name of Hari. When asked, they said, we were Hindus. The frightened Muslims rushed towards the town in group after group. (pages 161-162 of Abbey of Delight, the English translation of Anandamath, by Arabinda Das).

In any case, the Vande Mataram is a national song and not the national anthem of India, hence refusal to sing it cannot be construed as showing disrespect to the country. Given the fact that the Muslims have been singing the Jana Gana Mana ever since India attained independence, and the fact that they have laid down their lives for the country during and after the freedom struggle, their spirit cannot be doubted even for a minute. It must be understood that India being a secular democracy, every community has the right to profess and practice its faith so long as it does not challenge the unity and integrity of the nation, and therefore, the coercive imposition of the beliefs of one religion over another would only result in communal disharmony.

(The writer is a Peace Activist & Executive Committee Member, Harmony India) 

Courtesy: IslamicVoice

AMMAN MESSAGE – A KUFR SCRAP PAPER BY A MOTLEY OF BOOTLICKERS

By Majlisul Ulama

A moron deviate, totally ignorant of the demands of the Shariah, states:

“There are many Muslim South Africans that are unaware of the Amman Message and its unifying impact on the Muslim world. Furthermore they are unaware that it was  signed by a South African and a past president of UUCSA.

If more South Africans read up about the Amman Message and understand its message this country would not be suffering the sectarianism that is slowly creeping in the community………….

Based on the fatwas provided by these great scholars in July 2005m H.M. King Abdullah 11 convened  an international Islamic conference of 200  of the world’s leading Islamic  scholars ‘Ulama from 50 countries. In Amman the scholars unanimously issued a ruling on three fundamental issues which became known  as  the Three Points of the Amman Message.

They recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shia and Ibadhi Islam, of traditional Islam.  ………Declaring (any one of the adherents of these schools) an apostate is impossible and impermissible. …….

These Three Points were then unanimously adopted by the Islamic World’s political and temporal leaderships at the Organization of Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005……” (End of extracts from the comments of a moron deviate).

Firstly, King Abdullah himself is a deviate, American bootlicker. He enjoyed absolutely no standing in the Shariah. His position as king of Jordan did not confer on him a Shar’i status of leadership.  How is it possible for a U.S. surrogate puppet king to have  any pedestal in the hierarchy of the Ulama-e-Haqq who are the  true Heirs of the Ambiya (Alayhimus salaam)? The Jordan or Saudi kings are in an unholy embrace with America and Israel. 

The conference convened in Amman by America’s puppet king has no validity in the Shariah. The scholars present and who signed the stupid scrap paper known as the amman message, are primarily scholars for dollars.  They have been classified as  “inmates of Jahannam” by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Those scholars who run after rulers, especially corrupt rulers such as the kings and presidents of today’s Muslim countries, are the tinders of Hell-Fire. Regarding them, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Seek the protection of Allah from Jubbul Huzn (The Pit of Grief).” The Sahaabah asked: ‘O Rasulullah! What is Jubbul Huzn?’ Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “It is a Valley in Jahannam. Daily Jahannam itself seeks Allah’s protection (from the intensity of its heat) four hundred times.”  They asked: ‘O Rasulullah! Who will enter it?  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“It (i.e. The Pit of Grief) has been prepared for  the qurraa (qaaris, molvis and sheikhs) who  display their (deeni) deeds. Verily the most hated of the qurraa by Allah are those who  frequent  the rulers.”

The motley of scholars for dollars come within the purview of this Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). All of them, without exception, are bootlickers, hence they  fell over themselves to appease the  Bootlicker-in-Chief, viz., the American surrogate, puppet king.

What extracts great mirth from  the Men of Intelligence and Ilm is that an organization consisting of genuine morons, namely, the so-called  Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)  ‘unanimously adopted’ the scrap paper prepared by the scholars for dollars in Amman. This is indeed laughable and downright stupid. The OIC is a notorious conglomeration of fussaaq and fujjaar . They have absolutely no Islamic qualifications which could permit them to speak on issues of Shar’i import. Furthermore, today there is not a SINGLE Islamic country on the face of the earth. Whilst all Muslim countries  are Muslim, all governments at the helm of these Muslim countries are kuffaar without exception. Every government, king, despot, tyrant and jaahil who is at the helm of  governmental affairs in the Muslim lands is a confirmed KAAFIR. Branding them all kaafiroon, the Qur’aan Majeed states unequivocally:

“Those who do not  govern/decide/adjudicate  according to that (Shariah) which Allah has revealed, verily they are the KAAFIROON”

(Al-Maaidah, Aayat 44)

“Those who do not govern/decide/adjudicate  according to that (Shariah) which Allah has revealed, verily they are the ZAALIMOON”

(Al-Maaidah, Aayat 45)

“Those who do not  govern/decide/adjudicate  according to that (Shariah) which Allah has revealed, verily they are the FAASIQOON”

(Al-Maaidah, Aayat 44)

We are undoubtedly living in the era in close proximity to Qiyaamah, hence Kaafiroon, Zaalimoon and Faasiqoon are posing as scholars of Islam when in reality they are the slaves of  the dunya pursuing wealth and worldly fame and glory with their jahl.  The scholars for dollars who had participated in the mock ‘islamic’ conference in Amman are  similar to the scholars of Bani Israaeel about who the Qur’aan states:

“Why do their  Rabbaaniyyoon (scholars, molvis and sheikhs) and their Ahbaar (buzrugs, saints and sufis) not prevent them (the masses) from their  sinful proclamations and their consumption of haraam? Indeed, evil is it that they were perpetrating.”  (Al-Maaidah, Aayat 62)

Instead of  engaging in their primary obligation of Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahyi Anil Munkar, and the Islaah of the masses, these scholars for dollars scurry in haste to bootlick the Bootlicking king. The zulmat (spiritual darkness) corroding and clouding their hearts has rendered them blind, deaf and dumb to the  conflagration of fisq, fujoor, bid’ah and kufr which is raging in every Muslim country. While the Ummah is reeling in suffering, misery,  stark ignorance, squalor, poverty and on the verge of kufr, these scholars for dollars with obese stomachs, bask in leisure and pleasure at the boots of the Boot-licking king fabricating stupid fatwas and forging  opinions which are in  contravention of the Shariah.

The stupid ‘accord’ of the invalid amman conference has no Shar’i validity. The position of the Shariah glitters with clarity:

1) In this era ONLY the Four recognized Math-habs of the Ummah, namely, Hanafi Shaafi’, Maaliki and Hambali, constitute the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

2) All schools of thought beyond the pale of these Four Math-habs are baatil – false and  evil. All of them belong to the deviated sects destined for Jahannam.

3) ALL Shiah sects are kuffaar. All Shiahs subscribe to such kufr beliefs which are  repugnant in the extreme.

4) There are no 8 valid Math-habs as the Amman scrap of paper  declares. There are only Four valid Math-habs of the Shariah extant today.

5) Contrary to the bunkum ‘fatwa’ of the scholars for dollars,  it is the Waajib obligation of the Ulama-e-Haqq to save the masses from the deception of the Shiahs by proclaiming them to be kaafir.  By accepting the kuffaar Shiahs  As part of Islam, the bootlickers of the amman conference are  confusing the Haqq with baatil and are concealing the Truth of Islam. Warning such miserable scholars for dollars, the Qur’aan states:

“Do not trade MY aayaat (Laws and Shariah) for a miserable price, and fear Me only. And, do not  cloak the Haqq with baatil (nor) conceal the Haqq whilst you are aware.”   (Al-Baqarah, Verses 21 and 22)

The Qur’aan Majeed asks these scholars who have betrayed Islam to appease the kuffaar and their bootlickers whom they have installed as the rulers  of Muslim countries:

“What! Do you search for the law of Jaahiliyyah? Whose Law besides the Law of Allah is best for a people having  firm belief?” (Al-Maaidah, Aayat 50)

There is no ambiguity in the  doctrines of islam, and there is no ambiguity in the  corrupt beliefs of kufr of the Shiah religion. The cardinal article of their faith is vilification and takfeer of the Sahaabah. How is it then possible for Muslims to abstain from takfeer of the Shiahs?  Of all the deviated sects, the Shiahs are the only villains whose disparagement of the Sahaabah is extreme. They hurl vituperation upon vituperation at the Sahaabah.

While morons may believe that the ‘scholars’ who signed the amman message are ‘great scholars’, they are, in reality, juhala who fail to distinguish  between Haqq and baatil. Either they are ignorant of the kufr doctrines of the Shiahs, or they have deliberately sold their Imaan for a pittance for the attainment of worldly and nafsaani  objectives, hence they are in cahoots with the bootlicking  rulers in Muslim countries.

Let it be known to the Ummah that the Amman Message is a scrap of paper. It has no Shar’i validity. The conference was a gathering of bootlicking scholars for dollars, licking the boots of the Jordan king who in turn licks the boots of  the U.S.A. on whom  Jordan and Saudi Arabia relies for protection.

The OIC is a paper organization consisting of  fussaaq and juhala. This body has no Shar’i standing. Its adoption of the Amman scrap of paper adds stupidity to stupidity.

The ‘uucsa’ which had participated in the bogus conference is BOGUS ‘uucsa’ which  is begging the kuffaar court to bestow recognition to it. This BOGUS entity does not represent  the Muslim community nor the Ulama of South Africa.

Our criterion is always the Shariah which comprises of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. NO conference and no accord can ever override the Divine Shariah about which the Qur’aan declares:

“Then We have  established you on a Shariah regarding  (your affairs). Therefore follow it, and do not  follow the desires of those who know not (such as the scholars for dollars of the Amman conference).”

The votaries of the Amman scrap of paper are abortively labouring to enlist Mufti Taqi as one of their supporters. Despite Mufti Taqi being a liberal inclining to modernism, he has not endorsed the Amman scrap of paper. He was not present at the bogus conference nor does he accord with them. The stench of baatil  of the baatil conference was so overwhelming that even a liberal such as Mufti Taqi maintained a  distance from the conglomerate of scholars for dollars.

One of the greatest farces usually proffered by the ulama-e-soo’ (scholars for dollars) is their assumed majority. Even if we  have to assume that these vile specimens of dhalaal (deviation) are in the majority, it should be understood that the Shariah is the Law of Allah Azza Wa Jal, and this Divine Law is not reliant on the majority. Furthermore, as we  journey closer to Qiyaamah and drift further from the glorious era of Nubuwwat, there will most certainly be the preponderance  of  fussaaq,  fujjaar and mudhilleen masquerading as ‘ulama’ in fulfilment of Rasulullah’s prediction. Testifying to the prevalence of  the miscreant  majority, the Qur’aan Majeed  warns us of  these  agents of Shaitaan, and  commands us to follow the glittering Shariah which is encapsulated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Thus, the Qur’aan Majeed states:

“What! Should I search for an arbiter besides Allah whilst He has revealed to you the detailed Kitaab? And, those  to whom We have  given the Kitaab know (very well) that, verily, it is the Revelation from your Rabb with the Haqq. Therefore, never ever be among the doubters. And, the Law of Allah has been completed in truth and with justice. There is no change for His Word (His Shariah). He is The One Who hears and Who is aware.

AND, IF YOU FOLLOW THE MAJORITY ON EARTH, THEY WILL  DEVIATE YOU (MISLEAD YOU) FROM Allah’s Path (from His Shariah). THEY FOLLOW NOTHING BUT CONJECTURE, AND THEY (SAY NOTHING) BUT  LIES.”  (Al-An’aam, Aayats 114 and 115)

Do not be duped by  the ‘majority’ of scholars for dollars whom the Bootlickers of the amman message have fielded to awe the unwary laymen.

In their ‘fatwa’ which is devoid of Shar’i substance, they have not presented a single daleel from the Shariah for their baseless stance on Shiahs and other deviates. Besides blatantly baseless opinion, they have proffered no valid Shar’i arguments to sustain their stance. Presenting a Hadith torn out of its context, which is totally unrelated to the issue of takfeer of kuffaar, does not bolster their stupid ‘fatwa’ of  personal opinion – an opinion which  is in accord with their bootlicking attitude.

Takfeer is a valid Shar’i command. When the dalaa-il for Takfeer are overwhelming, it devolves on the Ulama as a Waajib obligation to pronounce  the excommunication of the adherents of naked kufr. We advise doubters in the Ulama ranks to study Allaamah Kashmiri’s Ikfaarul Mulhideen.  Insha-Allah, this Kitaab will  dispel the doubts and clear the haze of jahaalat obfuscating the proclamation of the Haqq by the silent Ulama.

Salaam on those who follow the Guidance of Allah.

Islamic Refutation of Communism (Marxism)

Compiled By Suranimala

(Source: Dr. Abdallah Omar Naseef; Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud)

Islam does not instinctively respond to Communism (Marxism) nor accept its ideology. Communism does not have a place in the lives of Muslims. Islam is, basically, in such a headlong collision with Communism that the two ideologies never meet. The most significant reason for Muslims’ rejection of Communism is that all Muslims believe in Almighty God, the Angels, the divinely revealed Books, God’s apostles and the Day of Judgment. Such a strong belief is neither marginal nor accidental. It is true and deep-rooted, unique, genuine and distinctive, a belief which constitutes the dynamic and propelling force of a Muslim’s life and projects itself in all matters of life and living, significant and insignificant alike.

The second reason for our rejection of Communism lies in the fact that Islam is a comprehensive religion in the sense that it is not only concerned with life after death, the spiritual or the metaphysics. Islam embraces life in the Here and the Hereafter, the body and the soul, the natural and the supernatural.

The third reason why Muslims reject Communism is that Islam provides far better solutions for all problems and ambiguities of life and living, be they political, social, economic, ideological etc than all other solutions artificially worked out by Communism or any other doctrine.

Communism is in the sense a product of European intellectual reaction to the rigidly narrow interpretation of life and nature that the Christian Church in the Middle Ages had imposed on people. In the midst of acute and irreconcilable conflicts in medieval Europe, things were not harmonized and balanced, and naturally they did not lead to stable results. Europe was in a state of reaction to an existing aberration, and consequently was carried to the opposite extreme. The Church imposed so many restrictions on the mind and all intellectual freedom. The result was an insatiable desire to exercise man’s intellectual power paying no heed to the benefit of mankind. The Church waged a severe war against science with the inevitable result that there grew among the people an insatiable hunger for acquisition of knowledge and the accumulation of scientific information so much so that science far exceeded its limited scope and significance and was turned into a man-made god worshiped by many scientists and knowledge seekers. The Church condemned all worldly pleasures and instigated people to live only for the life to come. In response to the Church’s overdose of spirituality there was a great thirst for the physical pleasures of life on earth and an obvious neglect and indifference to the Hereafter. The Church belittled and denied the physical aspect of life for the sake of spiritual purification. The inevitable result was an ardent adoration of the matter and a derogatory deprecation of the spirit. Thus Europe began to take long but gradual strides towards overall materialism which was later maximized in communist dialectic materialism.

The Buddhist society is no different from the extremist experience undergone by the European. Present day Buddhism teaches that to attain eternal redemption (Nirwana) it is imperative to give up ALL desires. One may well question the logic in this as we are taught by Buddhism to give up ALL desires to fulfill the desire to attain Nibbana. As a result desire is not annihilated and the desire to attain Nibbana yet remains.

All Buddhists would agree that Buddha’s development from infancy through childhood and adolescence to adulthood to the age of 29 to be precise was abnormal. In fact, he is the only person, perhaps in the whole history of mankind, who was deliberately kept away from the fact of suffering until he was 29 years of age. He was kept away from the view of old age, sickness, death and asceticism. And, to make matters worse, this abnormality was supplemented with another abnormality. He was fed up to his throat, so to say, with joys of this world-dancing and singing girls, good food and drink, luxurious clothes, joyful sports, and as pleasant and beautiful an abode and environment as the royal purse could afford. He was, in fact, confined in a cage of happiness! According to the Anguttara Nikaya, a canonical text from the sutta pitaka, Buddha himself is reported to have said later about his upbringing.

“Bhikkus (monks), I was delicately nurtured, exceedingly delicately nurtured, delicately nurtured beyond measure. In my father’s residence lotus ponds were made; one of blue lotuses, one of red and another of white lotuses, just for my sake…. Of kasi cloth was my turban made; of Kasi my jacket, my tunic and my cloak… I had three palaces; one for winter, one for summer and one for the rainy season. Bhikkus, in the rainy season palace, during the four months of the rains, entertained only by female musicians, I did not come down from the palace”.

At the age of 29 he came in contact with the real world-with the fact of suffering which he never knew before, and, what is just as important, with the temporary nature of the joys and happiness which he, up till then, believed to be real and permanent. It was only natural that this should give rise to an abnormal impact of the reality of suffering and the unreality of happiness on the mind of the disillusioned young man. I believe this to be the fundamental psychological explanation for the over emphasis on suffering on which Buddha founded his religion! Buddhism teaches that ‘all is suffering’ and to be redeemed one has to give up all desires as enumerated above. We would like you to visualize the scenario of whole of or a major portion of mankind choosing to attain salvation (Nibbana) through this method. If the whole of mankind choose this method, the life will come to a stand still and the human race will be wiped off from the face of the earth completely within about 100 years, as no human reproduction will take place from the time of choosing this path, due to annihilation of desire. From these extremist teachings we are observing a very sensuous, atheistic society emerging, having very scant respect for moral values and rejecting all such unnatural and abnormal precepts. Concepts similar to Marxism could easily breed under these circumstances.

In theory and practice, Communism is based on a cluster of hypotheses which are not truly scientifically proven though Communism assumes that it is the first doctrine based on scientific data. The first hypothesis in the Communist theory is that matter is everlasting and imperishable. Communism assumes that matter preceded thought and that thought is but a product of matter. Matter, Communism alleges, is the maker which made everything including man, and that the laws of matter apply to human life. Secondly, there is a certain determinism which Communists believe governs human life: materialistic, economic and historical determinism which is epitomized in dialectic and materialistic interpretation of history. Thirdly, there is the Communist assumption that individual ownership is inconsistent with basic distinctive human nature and that it is, basically and solely, the cause of all conflicts in human life. In order that human life be stabilized and human conflicts be wiped out from the earth, individual ownership should be abolished. Fourthly, Communism predicts that a day will come when people will do without the state and live like angels on the earth only when they fully apply the principle of “From everyone according to his ability, to everyone according to his need”.

Let us now discuss briefly each and every hypothesis upon which Communism (Marxism) is based in order to find out how it can fit in genuine scientific thinking.

Communists assume that matter had always been in existence and that it is imperishable. Therefore, they attribute everything to matter on the assumption that the laws of matter are unalterably permanent, stable and inevitable.

From the purely scientific point of view, geologists and physicists are unanimously in agreement that the physical universe has a specific and a definite date of birth. They may disagree on the accurate and precise date on which the universe, in its physical sense, was created. But they unanimously agree that the universe did really exist at a certain time and did not exist before. Geologists and physicists, out of sheer courtesy to the data of science itself, cannot precisely predict anything about the future-and cannot say definitely the matter is imperishable. If this hypothesis disintegrates and collapses, all dependent hypotheses, theories and applications will inevitably collapse.

Dialectical materialism and materialistic interpretation of history are both based on the concept of determinism which combines materialistic, economic and historical determinism. In the light of and in consistency with this concept, human history falls into five inevitable stages: 1. Early tribal partnership, 2. Slavery, 3. Feudalism, 4. Capitalism and, 5. Communism. Each one of these five stages is inspired by specific material causes. It has its unique economic and social aspects, its own institutions which convey and reflect its basic concepts and ideologies. For Communists, no idea or convictions can be built on non-materialistic, non-economic basis. Ideas and convictions are inextricably linked to the materialistic and economic environment of which they are but faithful reflections. The prevailing ideas and beliefs are always those of the economically dominating social class. These are always sectarian in nature confined to the specific class which has inspired them. The ideas and beliefs will never change unless some material or economic changes take place. To round off these three-dimensioned concept of determinism and Communist philosophy asserts that the world will for ever live in class conflicts until Communism comes along and rids it of inter-class conflicts by the extermination of all classes with the exception of one class only, the proletariat.

We would take up much time and space if we discussed in greater detail these entire concepts one after the other. Let us deal with one case which will, I am sure, blow up at once this collective mass of Communist ideas. The emergence of Islam and its dissemination across vast territorial stretches in the course of centuries will undoubtedly refute all allegations provided by the Communist philosophy with regard to man and matter. We shall then pose the following questions and queries to be answered by the Communist ideology.

Communism asserts that historical changes are determined solely by material and economical factors. Dialectical materialism and the materialistic interpretation of history spring mainly from the materialistic concept of man. But the emergence of Islam was not conditioned by certain traceable economic or material changes in the Arabian Peninsula. Islam carried with it a group of beliefs, ideas, principles and economic, social, political and moral disciplines completely inconsistent with those prevailing in pre-Islamic Arabia and in the whole world at that time. Islam is still distinguished from most of the currently existing disciplines in the world.

What was the material or economic changes that led mankind to the belief in the existence of One God, the Maker and Sustainer of all creation? Islam emerged and flourished in Arabia which was distressingly torn between heathenism, atheism, agnosticism. Even Christianity and Judaism which are still incapable of working out a decisive, unambiguous and clearly intelligible concept of monotheism similar to what Islam presents.

What were the material and economic changes which led to the emergence of a religion that divested the rulers from their long sustained holiness and re-established them as servants of the One and Indivisible God whom people should all worship irrespective of class, colour or race? The religion of Islam ordained that the assumed holiness with which rulers had been invested should no longer exist on both the secular and religious planes. Rulers should not be authorized to fundamentally legislate for their subjects. In fact all mankind are, from the Islamic point of view, unauthorized to devise their legislations. Allah alone, the Lord of the Worlds, is the divine legislator and Law-giver for all mankind and all people are equal before His Law. Allah organizes their rights and duties and enjoins on everyone to abide by them. Islamic law does not permit social distinctions. The entire mankind is a composite body of individuals. Each individual is independent, unique and self-responsible. But all individuals combine into one self-contained, self-sustained, harmonious, loving and compassionate community.

No material or economic change could lead to the emergence of a religion which called for the freeing of slaves either by manumission or ‘Mukatabat’. Islam allows a contract to be signed by the slave and his master according to which a certain sum of money is paid by the former to the latter within a limited period of time. When such a contract is signed the slave is allowed full freedom to do business with whomsoever he likes. If at the expiration of the assigned period the slave could pay the amount of money to his master as agreed upon in the contract signed by them, he should gain his freedom. This procedure is what is called ‘Makatabat’ in Islam. Islam abolished all sources of slavery that existed on earth with its divine teachings. Slavery by birth, slavery by race, slavery by colour, slavery by poverty……etc.

No material or economic changes could ostensibly or logically lead to the emergence of a religion which called for the immediate emancipation of women in Arabia where they were looked down upon and maltreated in pre-Islam times. Islam equalized the relations between man and woman in human rights and allowed woman the right to learn, own and sell her property. Islam gave woman the right to approve or disapprove of her marriage and claim divorce if she is not justly, decently and humanely treated by her husband. Islam gave woman other rights which non-Muslim women did not possess except only during the last two centuries after a series of feminist movements and rebellions in which women as well as morals were victimized.

More than one thousand years before the emergence of capitalism, no natural or economic changes could bring fourth a religion forbidding usury and monopoly which were the instruments of enforcing social injustice, human bondage and deprivation. No material or economic change could inspire a religion which bases all human relations: social, political and economic, on moral principles to which the poor and the rich, men and women are equally committed. Muslims, in their relations with their brother Muslims, are fully committed to these moral principles. Also in their relations with non-Muslims, Muslims abide by these moral principles in war and peace. Islam was not revealed for a particular class of people. Islamic concepts, beliefs and morals were not confined to one specific people or class. Islam was revealed to all mankind.

Therefore, we defy all Communist thoughts implied in the second hypothesis to interpret the emergence of Islam in terms of dialectical materialism. Communist determinism, material, economic and historical will inevitably fail to provide a sufficiently convincing and logical interpretation for the emergence of Islam with all its beliefs, concepts, values, principles and social, economic and moral disciplines. Islam thus emerges triumphant over all the determinism of dialectical materialism because it is a God-given religion.

They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allah’s Light (with which Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has been sent-Islamic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kafirun (disbelievers) hate it.

It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammed sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) with guidance and the religion of truth, to make it superior over all religions even though the Musrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it). (Quran 9: 32, 33)

“Invite (all) to the Way of your Rabb (Only God, Cherisher and Sustainer) with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Rabb knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance” (Qur’an 16:125)

“You are the best of people chosen for mankind because you command righteousness, forbid evil and believe in Allah” Qur’an 3: 110.

Communists (Marxists) assume that individual ownership is not a natural instinct but an accidental novelty in human life attributed solely to material and economic complexities in contemporary life. Early humanity, Communists allege, lived happily in a state of collective ownership and hence suffered no conflicts. When individual ownership appeared inter-personal and inter-class conflicts prevailed in the form of slavery, feudalism and capitalism. The Communism is only a return to the healthy and early life where collective ownership replaces individual ownership. All conflicts based on individual ownership are eliminated in an attempt to achieve the promised (or lost) paradise on earth. Neither science nor experiment can prove the validity or durability of this hypothesis.

In this context I would like to discuss four main points:

· a). There is no evidence that these primitive tribes did not suffer from any conflict, personal or tribal, and that sexual freedom was prevalent among all males and females. It has been proved that conflicts arose sometimes among the young men of the same tribe for the possession of a certain woman who was more beautiful, attractive and sexually appealing to some of them. Conflicts occasionally arose for the leadership of the tribe.

· b). These tribes were in a constant state of war amongst themselves. Tribal wars and invasions were launched for the usurpation of land, arms, women or all. If we contend that individual ownership did not exist among the members of these tribes, inter-tribal wars arose for the possession of land, property, arms, women…..etc. Instead of the individual or the class in recent history, the tribe constituted the unit which owned and fought for sovereignty.

· c). The existence of collective ownership within the tribe is not sufficient proof that the spirit of individual ownership did not exist among the members of the tribe. The apparent non-existence of individual ownership may be ascribed to the absence of anything to owned or destined to be owned by the individual. But with the emergence of something that can be owned by the individual, individual ownership arose. Communists admit that individual ownership arose with the discovery of agriculture. Individual ownership had been latent in the tribal community. It appeared when circumstances became favourable for its emergence.

· d). Practical experiment proved that collective ownership failed to replace individual ownership as incentive to work. The continuous decrease in the production of wheat in the old Soviet Union is an example in point. Russia, prior to Bolshevik revolution, which used to export wheat, began to import from USA, despite the fact that the richest wheat fields in the world are found in the Ukraine in USSR. Wheat production has always been decreasing. This has led Russia to change its agricultural policy and allow a reasonable portion of individual ownership as an incentive to encourage more production of wheat.

With the abolition of individual ownership which Communists believe is the principal and only cause of all conflicts, the Communist block is continually exposed to ideological and political conflicts. Between Trotsky and Lenin, Stalin and Beria, Khrushchev and the members of the Central Committee and the Political Bureau, there were eternal conflicts. Even after the establishment of collective leadership there arose a conflict in which one of their leaders was ousted. Afterwards, emerged a serious conflict between Russia and China for the ideological leadership of the Communist world. Communism thrives on conflicts and is a root cause of all conflicts.

After Gorbachev, emerged a new economic order in Russia and we are witnessing a rapid growth and prosperity due to the open economic policy implemented successfully. China gradually stepped in to the open economic policy of private ownership and has proved to be a tremendous success after years of setbacks. Communism is part of history and does not appear to be a valid currency in any social setup.

Marx gave a public statement about religion when he said that, “Religion is the opium of peoples”, Marx may have referred to a particular reality which Europe has witnessed when feudal lords and capitalists used to provoke in the minds and hearts of the working masses a long-desired dream for eternal bliss in the Hereafter to make up for the humiliation and repression inflicted upon them in this world.

Marx made a public statement about religion in general and in all circumstances. We need not discuss Marxian concept of religion but we only mention this fact, that Communism, which considers religion as an intoxicant and opium to all people, is now using more serious intoxicants to divert the minds of the working class into acceptance of hardship, humiliation, suppression and dehumanization.

Now Communists promise unrealizable dreams. They create a dream land to divert the masses from expressing their dissatisfaction with the bitter living conditions they face. From the very outset, Communists used to attract the masses by stimulating and provoking class conflicts among them. They hate religion because it endeavours to eliminate hatred, envy and anger among all people. Communists used to promise the downtrodden working masses that once Communism became a reality, workers will own their factories and farmers will take possession of their land and capitalism and feudalism will be completely wiped out.

Collective ownership proved to be a big fallacy. No one owns anything in fact, nor does anyone feel this ownership. All are but humiliated slaves. The state is the only master. The state authorities particularly the party leaders, political bureau, central committee, have all the power in their hands. They live in villas, palaces and own luxurious and expensive cars, whereas the proletariats, the working class, in whose name the state authorities rule, have to toil and work. The working masses are mere cogs in the huge state machinery. They live in poor houses, wear uncomfortable clothes and eat indecent food. In such worsened living conditions, Communism had to use intoxicants to extinguish the flames of rebellion among the working masses, to make the masses tolerate and put up with the social and economic afflictions imposed upon them. Communists assume that the working masses suffer hardship because national production is relatively insufficient to meet the local requirements. If production increases the law of “From each according to his ability to each according to his need” will be fully applied. Communists assume that they live under the heavy pressure of the state and in the tight grip of espionage circles because they have to confront their enemies. Once they crush their enemies, Communists will form a unified universal government which will uphold and spread justice among all peoples and put an end to all forms of humiliation and oppression. Not only that, eventually the day will come when government will not have to exercise its functions. People will live as angels with no conflicts, disputes, prisons, police force, or suppression among them. What a ridiculous dream, what a utopian expectation. With such foolish illogical assumptions and fabrications, Communism appeals to young men and women inside and outside the Communist camp to believe in Marxist philosophy. When they are caught into the net of Communism they will not be able to escape. History tells us that the Hungarians and Czechoslovakians were crushed under Communist tanks when they tried to break off the Communist orbit and regain their freedom. Communist Russia gave Hungarians and Czechoslovakians an unforgettable lesson so that they would never claim their freedom.

Communism states unequivocally that one who owns is one who rules. Hence one rules for his own interests and those of the class to which he belongs. Therefore, he devises and originates all the concepts and beliefs which are compatible with his own interests and the interests of his class. This unmistakably applies to the laws and legislations conceived and introduced throughout the ages. In the age of feudalism feudal lords owned large stretches of land and exercised their own power on the land serfs. They ruled against the interests of the “people” who were but the masses of the land serfs. Capitalists did the same thing. They possessed everything and ruled for their own interests and not for the interests of the working class. Communists raise up a big fallacy when they assume that they are an exception to the rule. They say that Communism has been introduced to fight and defeat all forms of oppression, social, economical, or ideological. The proletariat rule and own everything. Its supremacy is mainly directed to safeguard its own interests against “none” for it will have dissolved and liquidated all other social classes. The proletariats do not rule in the true sense of the word. A group of individuals rule in the name of the proletariat. They crush, oppress and subjugate the proletariat in their capacity as individuals or as the “state” which own, rule and suppress all others. As long as the rulers devise and apply their own legislations, oppression on earth will remain and humanity will remain divided into masters and slaves into the powerful and the powerless into the rich and the poor.

In one case only this rule does not apply. Injustice will be uprooted from the face of the earth if people do not devise and implement their own basic legislations. When the Divine Law of God replaces the man-made law all owners and non owners, the rulers and the ruled will be subject to the God given Law and all forms of injustice will be ruled out from the earth. This is ISLAM.

Islam is not merely a set of beliefs rooted in the hearts of Muslims though faith constitutes a basic and an indivisible part of it. Islam is a Divine comprehensive system of life in all its aspects, political, economical, social, ideological and moral. Therefore it is the only religion which actively responds to the requirements of the human body and soul and of life at large. Faith in God is indispensable for man. Man is naturally and instinctively a worshipper. The difference between one man and another does not lie in that this man is a worshipper and that one is not. The difference lies in that one man worships God Almighty and the other worships something else, an idol, a star, a human being, or even nature. Man may worship his own self, the state, the leader, the political party, an ideology, materials of production, the dollar, or even science, or intellect or the base human instincts. All these are stray forms of worship which will lead man into all indecencies and divert him from his honourable decent human nature. The real worth of man is inspired by the god he worships. If he worships the true God, man will be duly honoured and respected. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “We have honoured the sons of Adam, provided them with transport on land and sea, given them for sustenance things good and pure and conferred on them special favours above a great part of Our Creation” )Chapter 17:Verse 70). If man worships another god, he will degenerate himself with his own man-made god and sink into the lowest of the low.

There can be no doubt that Marx founded his theory on the backward industrial situation of the nineteenth century. Workers were in the main manual; they toiled for bread, were greatly exploited and suffered endlessly. Marx could never have anticipated the changes brought about by the scientific and technological revolution of the twentieth century. Workers today enjoy the luxury of sitting at panels with push-button switches, factories are run by computers, and instead of an army of tired workmen, we see comfortable employees protected by many trade unions and social insurance laws (against disability, old age and illness) and having every chance of education and medical treatment. Marx could never have foreseen the flexibility of capitalism and its capacity for developing a new industrial situation in which workers have stakes in the capital, as has happened in many Japanese, Italian, French and British firms. Hence the dissociation of Marxist thought from the reality of our century. Indeed, in the prevailing conditions of today, Marxism may be regarded as reactionary.

All Marx’s predictions, based on his dialectical method have proved to be wrong.

Marx has predicted that the Communist Revolution would break out not in a backward society but in an advanced, capitalist, industrial one, such as the British or the German. He was wrong: Communism struck root in a backward, agricultural society, as happened in Russia and China.

He had predicted that the gap between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in capitalist states would consistently grow and that the situation would deteriorate so much that a revolution would break out to destroy the entire capitalist system. In fact the reverse of this actually occurred in capitalist countries: thanks to a series of reforms and trade unionist activity the gap has narrowed and class differences have diminished, while it is in Communist states that a conflict has broken out and intensified.

Marx had predicted that capitalism would lead to more concentration of money in colossal monopolies, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. What actually happened was that capital has tended to split up through the establishment of joint stock companies and that through inheritance, land ownership also tended to split up naturally.

Marx has predicted that a devastating economic crisis would practically crush the capitalist system following an imbalance between supply and demand, (namely that as a result of extreme poverty the rate of demand and purchasing power of workers would be too low for ever-rising levels of production). However all economic crises in capitalist countries have so far been temporary. Furthermore, according to Marx’s theory of ‘surplus value’ workers’ wages in capitalist countries should merely fulfill their minimum living requirements, but, thanks to new legislation, trade unionist activity and capitalist self-modification, workers’ wages in many European countries rose to remarkable levels of affluence, thus entirely refuting Marx’s theory.

The most serious flaw in Marxism is, perhaps, that it insists on being a comprehensive system of thought which has an answer to every question and a solution to every problem. He who does not accept this comprehensiveness has no claim to Marxism. Indeed, Marxists believe their worst enemies to be the eclectic-those who accept (or reject it) partially. This rigidity is the weakest aspect of Marxism. In contrast, there is an obvious intellectual flexibility in capitalist states, as well as an ability to absorb the ideas of their opponents and benefit by them regardless of ideology. Many capitalist states have adopted nationalization in an attempt to defeat the evils of exploitation and monopoly.

For all its ideological fanaticism, Marxism has not been comprehensively applied anywhere. Whenever it came to actual application, ‘comprehensive’ Marxism has always been rejected, the reason being a basic weakness in Marxism which we may term ‘methodological arbitration’.

Such arbitrariness of method as is found in historical materialism, may be illustrated by its very dialectic, based as it is on the idea of a single factor in operation down human history, namely the economic factor, which Marx regards as the root cause of all historical phenomena. This mode of thought has come to be rejected as unscientific. The accepted view today is that we cannot interpret social phenomena in terms of a sole, independent and externally isolable factor; we cannot even regard one factor as principal and another as secondary or subordinate in as much as the relation between ’cause’ and ‘effect’ is complex and changing. Instead, we may mark out numerous factors which affect one another and observe the changes in this dynamic process, for what may seem principal today may prove to be secondary tomorrow and so on.

The economic factor cannot be regarded as primum mobile, there are national, psychological, racial and ideological factors which may play an even greater part in shaping history than the economic.

Because Marx did not found his theory on the evidence of the entire history of man but on that of a few, carefully selected historical stages, the laws which he deduced cannot be valid for a reading of all history; indeed, they cannot be regarded strictly as laws. His materialistic interpretation of history, namely that it had always been production methods and employer-worker relationships that built up the social superstructure (including art and thought and religion), constituted a naïve simplification of many interconnected and highly complex processes. Any modern theory is ineluctably based on multiple factors and the principle of reciprocal causality, so that a given factor may be seen as both cause and effect at once. Thought and invention are likely to introduce changes in methods of production and worker-employer relations but the latter two can hardly produce any system of thought; religion can change social relations while social relations cannot create a religion, as amply evidenced by the birth of ISLAM itself.

Islam was not the creation of a class-based community. It was neither a reactionary religion designed to protect the property of tyrants and oppressors nor a drug to induce the poor to accept their poverty. It called on people to enjoy life in moderation and to fight all forms of oppression and exploitation. Nor was it the result of a revolution in the methods of production and worker-employer relations in Quraish. It was a super structural phenomenon independent of environmental factors. From the start Islam established the principles of equal opportunities for all, a guaranteed and adequate level of income for each citizen and an economic balance between the individual and society. It also introduced a system of private ownership, public ownership, and a guided but free economy. All this was introduced in the Arabian Peninsula at a time when neither production conditions nor employer-worker relations called for any change. Consequently, Islam cannot be seen to have sprung out of a particular economic situation. Thus the historical logic of Marxism is defeated and the materialistic theory that a revolution in the production system and worker-employer relations is followed by a political revolution is utterly defeated.

One of the worst excesses of Marxism is its bestowal of a mythical aura of purity and virtue on the proletariat (the working class), as though they were the ‘chosen people’ or an alien race of Martians. Today, as a result of a discrepancy in income between skilled and unskilled labour, this class has itself split into two opposed ones. It is not surprising, therefore, that in view of such obvious gaps in the theory and practice of Marxism many writers and politicians who had once adopted it have now turned away from it. Disenchanted with it, many old socialists today criticize and even oppose it. To state in this context that we belong neither to capitalist ‘right’ nor to Marxist ‘left’ is not to imply that ours is an ideological mean between the two extremes. Ours is an independent contribution to political thought – all our own. We have rejected the dictatorship of the proletariat and substituted a method based on the alliance of the working forces of the population, covering all sectors and classes. We do not regard religion as a reactionary force but as a moving force, as a constructive energy and as a progressive thought – more progressive than all available theories.

Refuting the Jewish Claim of Their So-Called ‘Divine Right’ to Palestine

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Fundamentalist Christians and Zionist Jews vociferously proclaim the ‘Divine right’ of the Jews to statehood in Palestine, and are willing to joyously support all manner of Jewish atrocities done in order to kick others out of that land and keep them out. It was the support of western ‘Christian’ nations that originally (following World War 2) ‘granted’ the Jewish people the right to supplant the Palestinian Christians and Muslims who were at that time inhabiting the land. (Christian supporters of Israel conveniently overlook the fact that a large portion of Palestinians are in fact Christians; they’re not all ‘evil’ Muslims, whom some Christians love to hate). Any opposition to any Zionist Jewish acts, no matter how atrocious, is considered opposition to God and His purpose and Word.

So what is the basis of this supposed Divine right of Jews to the land of Canaan? Well, of course it is to be found in the promise of God to Abraham found in Genesis 17:8 – “The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”  This is taken to be a true historical event, and is to be interpreted literally (according to the fundamentalist Christians, and Zionist Jews). And of course it is pointed out that this covenant is ‘everlasting’.

Now first of all, the word ‘everlasting’ means ‘for an age’; that is, for a long time – not ‘forever’ the way the Zionists want us to think of it. And secondly, despite this ‘everlasting’ covenant, the Hebrew Scriptures themselves warn that if the Jewish descendants of Abraham violated the terms of the covenant, God would ‘curse’ them and drive them out of the land (see Deuteronomy 28 and 29 for instance). According to these Scriptures, God even warned that he would violate His own promise due to their disobedience: “The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again”  (Deut. 28:68). The curses and threats in Deuteronomy were fulfilled by the Babylonians and Assyrians; and then finally, after warnings by the Jewish Prophet Jesus and his followers, it was fulfilled by the Romans in 70 C. E. Jesus even said (Matt. 21:43): “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” That word ‘people’ is the Greek word “ethnos” which is frequently rendered as ‘Gentile’ and ‘heathen’; it means a non-Jewish people or nation. From a Muslim viewpoint this means that the kingdom of God is to be found in people of every nation and tongue in whose hearts God reigns supreme, who hear and obey His word. It includes Jews who love and serve the One God, but they are only a part of God’s people, not a ‘chosen nation’ any more (if they ever were such). That of course was in fact part of that original covenant promise to Abraham: that all the nations of the earth would be blessed in him. Who can imagine that God would ‘go back’ to a former predominant concern with the Jewish nation (if He ever had such a predominant concern) now that He is blessing the whole world?

If it be objected that in Deuteronomy 30 God said that He would bring back the Jews to their land, from whatever part of the world in which they had been scattered, it should be noted when such a return would occur: “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, THEN the LORD your God will restore your fortunes…”  (Verses 1-3). Will any thinking person (particularly the fundamentalist Christians) say that such was the case in 1948, or any time since? I don’t think so! A good portion of Jews are atheists today (or even devil worshipping Free Masons); how many of those who are not atheists love God with all their heart and all their soul I wonder? Would it not be fair to say that most non-atheists are still just nominal Jews, fulfilling rituals but not heart-felt lovers of God? Well, who am I to judge, right? There are certainly at least some Jews who are truly devout, anyway. But surely the fundamentalist Christians (and modernist ‘Muslims’ like the Saud’s), who are such avid supporters of Israel, won’t be willing to admit that any but the Muslims would truly fit into the category of those who fulfill those verses quoted above. Therefore, Jews don’t have any claim to the fulfillment of that prophecy yet; and current support for them based on that promise is without foundation.

Having said all of that, though, the real question to be examined is whether or not the events depicted in the ‘historical’ books of the Hebrew Scriptures are indeed genuine history, and to be understood literally. We really need to know who wrote those accounts, and whether or not they can be trusted as having given us accurate historical accounts. It has traditionally been believed by the Jews and Christians that the first 5 books of the Bible (the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) were written by Moses; and the next book – Joshua – was written by Joshua. Conservative Christians still defend this idea, but it won’t hold up to examination. First of all, nowhere in the Pentateuch is it ever claimed that Moses was the author of the books, and Joshua doesn’t make any claim that Joshua was its author. Secondly, the books are all written in the 3rd person about  the characters in those books, just the way one would expect in a ‘history book’. Moses did such and so, and Joshua did this or that; not “I did” or “I said”. Now if the books made claim to being written by Moses or Joshua, one could acknowledge that a person could write about himself in the 3rd person; but absent such a claim to authorship, there is simply no basis to assume this.

There are so many more plain proofs that these books were not written by Moses or Joshua, though – rather they were written by some other unknown person or persons several hundred years later. Would Moses have said about himself: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3)? Such a claim by Moses himself would prove the claim was untrue! How could Moses write about his own death and burial in Deuteronomy 34? Note the account of Moses’ death and burial is written in the 3rd person, past tense (as one would naturally expect). Whoever wrote this lets us know that he is writing a long time after the events, because he said: “to this day no one knows where his grave is” (verse 6); “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses” (verse 10); and “For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (verse 12). These statements, and others like them in the Pentateuch and Joshua, show that the writer lived a long time after the events being described. (In Joshua 24, the death of Joshua is reported, so the same question applies as did to Moses’ death: can we really be expected to believe that Joshua wrote about his own death??!)

In Genesis 14:14 we read: “When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan”. The problem with that statement is that the city named ‘Dan’ did not go by that name in the time of Abraham or Moses. It was not named Dan until after the death of Samson, several hundred years after the time of Moses. Judges 18:27-29 tells us when that town came to be named Dan: “Then they [the Danites] took what Micah had made [idols], and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a peaceful and unsuspecting people. They attacked them with the sword and burned down the city. There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and settled there. They named it Dan after their forefather Dan, who was born to Israel – though the city used to be called Laish”. So whoever wrote Genesis could not possibly have done so before the Danites destroyed Laish and renamed it Dan.

In Genesis 26:31 there is this statement: “These are the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned…”  Of course, the first Israelite king to reign was Saul, so whoever wrote Genesis at the very least had to have written after Saul became king. The city of New York used to be called New Amsterdam; the name was changed in 1644. Anyone who writes about events in New York, calling it by that name, by that very fact indicates that he is writing after 1644 even though the writer does not identify himself or tell us when he was writing. So it is with the writer of Genesis. Even though the writer is anonymous, and does not tell us when he wrote, the fact that he says those Edomite kings lived “before any Israelite king reigned” unquestionably tells us that he was writing after Israelite kings began to reign.

This is only a small portion of the evidence available that Moses and Joshua were not the authors of those books traditionally attributed to them. What’s the point, though? The point is that we have no idea who the author was, so we know nothing about his character and trustworthiness. The events happened many hundreds of years before he wrote, and we don’t know what sources he used for his accounts (and the trustworthiness of those sources). Any claim of the Jewish people to the land of Canaan, based on the Biblical story of Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, is worthless because the validity of those accounts is utterly unprovable! They are stories compiled and edited by scribes relatively late in ‘Old Testament’ Israelite history, and as ‘histories’ they are just examples of prejudiced Jewish propaganda designed to validate themselves as a nation with a country to inhabit.

In fact, I believe many of the stories were deliberately made up so that we would be taken in by the ‘letter’ to fool people into believing the so-called ‘right’ of the Jewish people to the Land of Canaan. Consider the deplorable morality of some of the stories. For instance, consider Deuteronomy 20:16 and 17: “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them…” That is precisely what Joshua did to the city of Jericho, as recorded in Joshua 6:21. What person who has any feelings for the honor of the God of love, mercy, compassion, justice and righteousness would ever be a party to such slanderous lies against God by believing such examples of moral depravity in the name of God? We must either believe they are outright lies, or that the writers (forgers) intended us to know from their loathsomeness that these stories were fabricated in order to suit the Holy Land agenda of the Jews.

An indication of what the higher truth is can be found in the great ‘faith chapter’ of Hebrews 11 in the “New Testament”. In verses 8-10 we read concerning Abraham: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” This city is then further explained in verses 13-16: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – A HEAVENLY ONE. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them”.

The “land of Canaan” is not a material, earthly territory, but is a ‘heavenly one’. The story of Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son (whether it was Isaac, as in the Bible, or Ishmael as in the Qur’an) is an allegory teaching us that we must be willing to let go of even the dearest earthly attachments if they hinder our pursuit of God and His kingdom. In our struggle to inherit the heavenly Canaan, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” –those ‘Old Testament’ accounts of combat are allegories of the heavenly struggle – “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world [age] and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

Those Zionist Jews and fundamentalist Christians who promote Jewish occupation of the earthly Canaan, and building of a material Temple in earthly Jerusalem, have entirely ‘missed the boat’. The true Jerusalem is the one which ‘comes from above’, and the true Temple is the people of God, not a building. The true Canaan is the ‘heavenly country’ which God has prepared for those who love Him. Don’t ‘miss the boat’. And when you see or hear about despicable atrocities being done by anyone ‘in the name of God’, denounce them for the hypocrites and impostors they are, whether they’re Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists or Hindus (or anyone else).

To Whom Was the Earthly Land of Canaan Given?

Gen 17:9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” 15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” 22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. (English Standard Version)

According to the Biblical story, God made a covenant with Abraham – spoken of in several places in Genesis – whereby God would be in a special manner his God, bless him greatly, and give to him and his offspring the land of Canaan. Genesis 15:18 said that this land would extend from the “river of Egypt” to the Euphrates – quite a sizable area. The vexing question, though, is: who are the offspring of Abraham to whom this portion of land was said to be given by God?

The traditional answer given by Jews and Christians is considered to be obvious: it was given to that line of offspring descending from Abraham’s son Isaac, and grandson Jacob. Ishmael and the other children of Abraham are said to be excluded from this promise of land. This is based on verse 21 of Genesis 17 (quoted above): But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year;  and on Genesis 21:12 – But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. This is understood to mean that God’s covenant is only with Isaac (not Ishmael or any other of Abraham’s children), and only the offspring of Isaac would be counted as Abraham’s offspring.

But is that traditional answer true? If you read this 17th chapter of Genesis from the beginning, you’ll see that the promise God was making to Abraham – based on the command to walk before me and be blameless – was that He would confirm the covenant promises to Abraham and greatly increase the number of Abraham’s offspring. Abraham would become the father of many nations, and kings would come from his descendants (the “many nations”). God would establish His covenant with those “many nations” offspring, and give them that land of Canaan.

Now one would assume from this that the covenant – with its promise of the land of Canaan – was intended for all of those “many nations” descendants (so long as they also fulfilled the covenant requirement to walk in blamelessness before God). As a confirmation of the correctness of this assumption, God proceeded to give Abraham a covenant sign – circumcision – which was to be applied to all of his male descendants throughout their generations. In fact, the covenant – with its sign – was not only for those who were physically descended from Abraham, but also with all the servants who were purchased and therefore members of his household. As long as all of these “descendants” (whether direct or purchased slaves) continued to practice that sign of the covenant, they were included in the covenant promise of being God’s people and inheriting the land of Canaan.

As a result, verse 23 says that Abraham proceeded to obey God by circumcising Ishmael, every other male born in his household, and all of those who had been purchased with money. They all received the sign of the covenant, and all – including Ishmael – were included in that covenant.

Note that this was a year before the birth of Isaac. Ishmael was already included in this covenant before Isaac was even conceived. However, while God was making this covenant promise and requirement, He told Abraham that his wife Sarah would give birth to a son – to be named Isaac. Abraham, though, was 99 years old and Sarah was 89; and despite the fact of the greatness of Abraham’s faith and trust in God, this was more than he could believe it would seem. He fell on his face laughing at this idea, and asked God to just let Ishmael “live” before Him.

God patiently responded that Sarah would indeed give birth to a son – to be named Isaac – and God would establish His covenant with that son. Ishmael would be blessed with fruitfulness, and a great nation would spring from him; but I will establish my covenant with Isaac. And it’s with that little word “but” that the problem arises. Despite the very apparent previous inclusion of all of Abraham’s circumcised descendants (including Ishmael) in the covenant of promise, that one little word seems to suddenly place a huge restriction on who would inherit the promise. Doesn’t that seem a good bit strange??

It would indeed be very strange; but that’s not what the Genesis account tells us that God said. Despite the fact that the translators are almost unanimous in putting that word “but” in there, the correct translation is “and” or “also”! Young’s Literal Translation renders it: and My covenant I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah doth bear to thee at this appointed time in the next year.

A web site called  “Ark of Salvation” has an article  explaining and defending this rendering of “and” rather than “but”. In this particular article, he points out that the word “but” in Genesis 17:21 is a single letter – transliterated as ‘V’ in English letters – which is prefixed to the first word of the sentence. As the author says, The Hebrew prefix “V-“ (Vav) is defined by Langenscheidt’s Hebrew Dictionary as a conjunction meaning “and, and therefore, also, then, yet”. He comments that beginning Hebrew students are taught that this prefix “V” means “and”. This would be the clear and obvious meaning in Genesis 17 if Hebrew prejudice and arrogance had not twisted it in order to make themselves “God’s special people”.

When the statement in Genesis 17:21 is read as “and” or “also”, it takes on an entirely different meaning than if it’s read “but”. The meaning in context then comes to this: God told Abraham that He was so pleased with him that it simply wasn’t sufficient that He was going to provide Abraham offspring through Ishmael; he was also going to give him another son whom God would also make to be very fruitful, and with whom He would also establish His covenant. [Compare this to what the LORD said to his servant (the messiah) in Isaiah 49:6 – he (the LORD) says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”  The idea is the same in what God is reported to have said to Abraham.] Ishmael was already obviously included in the covenant, but God was going to add to that blessing by establishing His covenant with another son also. Verses 20 and 21 would then read: As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 And I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.  Or if one insists on keeping the word “but” in the translation, it would read But also I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.

Some people maintain that it was certainly a very great blessing God bestowed on Hagar and Ishmael – making a great nation to come from them – but this was entirely separate from establishing His covenant. The covenant was a far greater blessing than just causing a huge number of descendants to come from them.

My response is that, on the contrary, the promise of fruitfulness and their descendants becoming a great nation (or nations) is precisely what the covenant was all about. Notice that in verses 15 and 16, this is precisely the promise that is made regarding Sarah and Isaac (which verse 21 defines as meaning God would establish His covenant with Isaac): And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” When God says he will make Ishmael fruitful, and cause a great nation to descend from him, that is the definition of establishing His covenant with Ishmael. (And the fact that Ishmael’s offspring would become a great nation necessarily implies that they would have a land to inhabit. And what would that land be other than at least a part of the promised land which would extend from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates – a land promised to the “many nations” offspring of Abraham?)

When verse 19 says: “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son…”, that was not a negation of Abraham’s request that Ishmael would “live” before God (as the context makes very clear); rather if there is any negation involved at all, it is negating Abraham’s denial that he and Sarah could possibly conceive a child at their advanced ages. In fact, the word rendered “nay, but” is probably not a negative at all. The KJV renders it “indeed” (And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed…); and the NIV renders it “yes, but” (Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son…). The Hebrew word appears 7 times in the Bible, and in the KJV is rendered “verily” 3 times; “indeed” twice; and “nevertheless” twice. In response to Abraham’s incredulity, God was telling him that His promise of a son through Sarah would indeed come to pass – without at all denying that Ishmael also would have God’s covenant blessing.

So verse 21 is not saying “but I will exclusively establish my covenant with Isaac”; rather it is saying “in addition, I will also establish my covenant with Isaac”.

This same idea of additional blessing, rather than exclusivity of blessing, can be seen in the passage in Genesis 21:12 and 13: (12) But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. (13) And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” Here’s how Young’s Literal Translation renders these verses: (12) and God saith unto Abraham, `Let it not be wrong in thine eyes because of the youth, and because of thy handmaid: all that Sarah saith unto thee–hearken to her voice, for in Isaac is a seed called to thee. (13) As to the son of the handmaid also, for a nation I set him, because he is thy seed.’ When Sarah jealously insisted that Hagar and Ishmael be “cast out” from the household, Abraham was understandably very distressed. But God is said to have reassured Abraham.   Abraham could safely do what Sarah requested, because God Himself guaranteed that Hagar and Ishmael would be safe, and would in fact thrive. Isaac would indeed bear offspring for Abraham; but Ishmael also was Abraham’s offspring, and God was going to fulfill His previously made promise and see to it that Ishmael survived to have a large family which would eventually become a great nation. Abraham’s offspring would be “called” from both of those sons.

That is the story as it is presented in the Hebrew Scripture. If it is a historically accurate account, then the “Israelites” don’t have a leg to stand on in arrogating to themselves sole “ownership” of the land of Canaan, and sole (or even primary) inheritance of God’s covenant with Abraham. The land belongs to all of Abraham’s descendants (including those from Ishmael) who keep God’s covenant requirements. If the story is not historically accurate, but is instead either false or allegory, then obviously again the “Israelites” don’t have any legitimate right to claim the “Abrahamic covenant” and the land as their own. The covenant is for all who follow in the steps of Abraham’s faith, and the “land” is allegorically interpreted as the “heavenly” inheritance.

It is certainly true that the Hebrew people twisted and distorted this Abrahamic covenant to make it theirs exclusively; and this distorted interpretation was reflected later in the writings of the prophets. But it is high time that this misuse of “sacred Scripture” should be corrected. The Qur’an points out in a number of passages that the Jewish people tended to pull verses out of context and distort their meanings. This is one example of such abuse.  Nevertheless, the interpretation of the particular text was wrong, although the principle he was seeking to establish was correct. This is a proof that God is able to bring forth good out of evil!

Is Israel God’s ‘Chosen Nation’??

“Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” [Acts 10:34, 35].

In this article I want to pursue the related idea of whether Jews (the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) have any special place in the purpose of God. This is obviously the key issue in the controversy over any national right of Israel to a particular land. It is the most basic element in the claims of Zionist Jews and their fundamentalist Christian supporters: the Jewish nation is God’s ‘chosen people’, made by God to be above all of the other nations and peoples of the earth; all nations must serve the Jews, and whoever opposes them opposes God Himself.

That viewpoint is so distorted, though, that one has to cry out in astonishment to Christians or Jews who hold such a view: “for you are still carnal [of the flesh]” [1 Corinthians 3:3]!  The key point of that story, though, is that Abraham and his descendants were being set apart as God’s witnesses to the nations, in order to – by their testimony – bring all the nations into the kingdom of God, and thereby into God’s blessings on an equal basis with themselves. God wasn’t setting up a national hierarchy, with one nation superior to all others. When the physical descendants of Abraham broke God’s covenant through disobedience, and failed to be a testimony to the nations of God’s righteousness and justice, mercy and kindness, then God cut them off from His blessing – as their own prophets testified.

Hosea, in chapter one, gave symbolic names to his children indicating that Israel would be called “not pitied” and “not my people” because of their disobedience. The point here is that it is not one’s genetic lineage that makes him part of the ‘people of God’, but one’s belief in God as manifested by an obedient life. The Hebrew prophets were clear in showing that it was never a violation of God’s covenant with Abraham when He removed unbelieving and disobedient descendants of Abraham (physically speaking) from the covenant blessings. The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 illustrates the point beautifully. Elijah complained to the LORD that he was the only person in Israel still loyal to God, and the Israelites were seeking to kill him. The LORD responded that Elijah was mistaken; there were still 7000 in Israel who refused to worship Baal. These 7000 would be spared by God while the rest (the unbelievers) were cut off from God’s blessing and destroyed – despite their verifiable claim to be genetically pure descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The prophet John (“the Baptist”), when castigating his Jewish hearers for their sinful departures from obedience to God’s covenant and calling on them to repent before God cut them off (he said: “Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” – Matthew 3:10), made this very interesting statement in verse 9: “Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham”! He was using the metaphorical and hyperbolic language of the Hebrew people to refer to the fact that all of creation ‘sings praises’ to God; trees ‘clap their hands’ and mountains ‘skip like lambs’ in joy at God’s presence and blessings. So metaphorically speaking, the very stones believe in and praise God, and are therefore children of Abraham (children of his faith) in contrast to the disobedient physical descendants whom God was about to cut off from His blessings. Here it is made plain that not only must Jews be believers to be the true ‘people of God’, but there can be children of Abraham who have no physical connection to him at all. The only thing that matters is obedient faith, such as Abraham illustrated.

Jesus taught this truth when he said (in Matthew 21:43): “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom”.  The physical Jewish descendants of Abraham were to be disinherited, and another nation (the ‘nation’ of believers from ALL nations – including the remnant of believing Jews) would inherit the promises forfeited by the (national-Zionist) Jews. (This was equivalent to John’s prophecy that the axe was at the root of the Jewish ‘trees’ and was about to cut them down).

The fact of the matter, then, is that God has never blessed a people based on their physical descent, doesn’t now, and never will. That is why Peter’s new understanding of God, quoted at the beginning of this article, is of such importance. Peter had once believed the carnal distortion of many Jews that those who are Jews by physical descent from Jacob were a ‘special’ people to God, separate from the ‘unclean Gentiles’. He told the household of the Roman centurion Cornelius: “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean (Acts 10:28). And so he said (as quoted at the start of this article): “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation ANYONE who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him(Acts 10:34 and 35). The nation of Israel has no special claim on God’s favor, and never will! With the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the dispersal of the Jewish people throughout the nations, in 70 AD, God has torn down the ‘first tabernacle’ with all of its outward trappings (land, Temple, sacrifices, and other regulations of worship) in order to open the way to the ‘holiest of all’ (Hebrews 9). You may be sure that God will never ‘rebuild’ that ‘first tabernacle’ with its outward ordinances and land. Anyone holding to the Zionist illusion should disillusion himself, and set his eyes on that ‘spiritual, heavenly country’ which is the inheritance of those in every nation who fear God and do what is right. This includes Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and anyone else who truly loves and serves God. They show the law of God and of his anointed written on their hearts, even if it is not recognized intellectually. It is they who are the true ‘children of Abraham’ and receive the covenant promises.

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Gen 12:2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Isa 45:22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

John 10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Acts 10:28 [The Christian apostle Peter speaking to the household of the Roman centurion Cornelius – SGP] And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean …
Act 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, Act 10:35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Qur’an 49:13 People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should get to know one another. In God’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him: God is all knowing, all aware.

Qur’an 5:18 The Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the children of God and His beloved ones.’ Say, ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins? You are merely human beings, part of His creation: He forgives whoever He will and punishes whoever He will. Control of the heavens and earth and all that is between them belongs to Him: all journeys lead to Him.’

[Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version; Qur’an quotations are from the Abdel Haleem English Version.]

Those verses, taken from the Hebrew and Christian portions of the Bible, and the Qur’an (Koran), proclaim with utmost clarity a most basic principle of the Religion of God in all its manifestations: God is King of all the earth (indeed of all worlds), all human beings come from Him, and He has no favorites among them – except that He favors all those from every nation and tribe who believe in Him and do righteous deeds.

This is actually something which should be clear to anyone who uses the reason God gave him/her, even without any ‘Divine Revelation’. Yet the darkness of human understanding is sometimes so great that even the most clear and evident truths of “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” are not seen or are ignored.

Some people have imagined that the color of one’s skin makes him/her superior to everyone else: “white supremacy” for instance – whether its manifestation in the Ku Klux Klan in the USA; or the white, blond haired, blue eyed ‘Aryans’ of Nazi infamy; or any other manifestation. And of course there was the reaction of the “Black Muslims” of the “Nation of Islam” who maintained (maintain?) that the true ‘master race’ is the race of black skinned people.

Others imagine that “God’s elect” are those who belong to a particular expression of the Religion of God. Perhaps most obvious would be some from the Christian religion (“evangelicals”, “fundamentalists”, etc.) who think that they alone belong to the family of God – because they have come to believe in the ‘right’ Prophet, and believe the ‘right doctrines’ concerning that Prophet (that he is – supposedly – Pagan doctrines like “God the Son”, the “Second Person of the Trinity”, and that he died as a substitute for all believers to bear the wrath of God against them and so-called ‘save’ them).

Such ‘supremacist’ imaginations are demolished by the above quoted verses.

But there is another group of people who believe they are “the apple of God’s eye” because of a combination of physical genealogical descent from Abraham through his grandson Jacob/Israel, and their religious faith and obedience to the Law of Moses. For many, it is the genealogical descent which at least seems to be the biggest factor. These people, of course, are the Jews – or at least some from among the Jews. I’m not one who believes that they’re all alike.

Nevertheless, even though not all Jewish people are ‘racists’, I imagine it must be with difficulty that they avoid it. It is so ingrained in Jewish thinking based on interpretations of the Bible and the Talmud, that it seems to me that one must either reject a large portion of those books as forgeries and fable, or resort to what appears to many as ‘far fetched interpretations’ of them. Still, there may be some truth to the idea that much of what are known as the ‘historical’ portions of the Hebrew Scriptures was never intended to be understood as ‘true history’, but rather as Zionist propagandism. It is not “the truth” historically, but it contains a truth. And perhaps the stories were written in such a way as to be unbelievable and even atrocious, in order to ‘cue us in’ that they were in fact forgeries rather than true histories.

However, historically the Jewish Scriptures have been understood by much of the Jewish ‘nation’ as very literally teaching that they are “God’s chosen people”, vastly superior to the ‘dogs of the Gentiles’. An illustration of just how ingrained such thinking is in Jewish thought is the story in Acts 10 and 11 of the Christian “New Testament” concerning Peter and the household of Cornelius.

Peter would not even have considered entering the house of Cornelius – a Roman centurion – if he had not been given a vision by God showing him that God doesn’t show favoritism. This despite the fact that Peter had spent so much time in the presence of Jesus Christ; and the fact that Cornelius was considered a ‘righteous’ and ‘God-fearing’ man, even by the Jews – who respected him (Acts 10:1, 2, 22). Despite his righteousness and fear of God, he was still a ‘dog of the Gentiles’. He may have been a ‘good dog’, but he was a ‘dog’ nevertheless. He was not an ‘equal’ of the Jews, and no good Jew would think of entering his house and eating with him.

It took visions given to Peter and Cornelius to convince Peter that this notion of Jewish superiority was invalid. And when he returned to Jerusalem, he had some explaining to do – because the Jewish disciples of Jesus  there were horrified that Peter had done something as unthinkable as entering the house of an uncircumcised Gentile and eating with him (again despite the fact that Cornelius was respected by the Jews as a righteous and God-fearing man) [Acts 11:1 and 2].

This idea of Jewish superiority is easily seen today in what is known as ‘Zionism’ and ‘the Jewish State of Israel’. Most Jewish people seem to accept without hesitation that the land of Palestine belongs to them by so-called ‘Divine Right’. They are “God’s chosen people”, and they just don’t seem to comprehend that there might be some problem with them ‘cleansing’ the land of its non-Jewish inhabitants, demolishing their houses and cities, burning their crops, etc.

They eagerly accept fables about the land of Palestine being uninhabited, barren, and unfruitful – just waiting for “the apple of God’s eye” to come in and make the ‘desert’ blossom like a rose! Their blind prejudice is reflected in the slogan they adopted about the land: “a land without a people for a people without a land”. Despite the fact they had to murder or drive out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the land in order to turn it into a ‘Jewish State’, they still said it was a ‘land without a people’. I guess that’s because of the ‘fact’ that those Palestinian ‘Gentiles’ weren’t really people, but ‘dogs’! (Naudhubillah).

All of those olive and orange groves (as well as other types of agriculture) which the Zionist Jews had to destroy in order to be able to plant their own crops and turn the ‘desert’ into a ‘fruitful field’ were only imaginary, I guess. After all, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote that in his travels in Palestine he found the land uninhabited and barren! (We’re supposed to ignore the fact, I suppose, that Mr. Clemens also said the same thing of Greece – in perhaps even stronger terms. Mark Twain was a great writer of fiction and humor; but it sounds like his “non-fiction” was perhaps not quite so ‘non’ fictional.)

What is truly amazing, though, is that many Christians – and even some (westernized dajjalized) Muslims – buy into the absurd notion of Jewish ‘chosenness’ and their ‘Divine Right’ to the land!

In the past two and a half years that I have been reading the Qur’an, I have seen that the Qur’an does indeed confirm what remains of the truth in the former revelations; and it definitely confirms the truth seen by Peter that God shows no favoritism, but those in every nation who believe in God and do good works are accepted by Him. The quotations from 49:13 and 5:18 given at the beginning of this article are quite explicit. 5:18 in particular says that neither the Christians nor the Jews are God’s special people; they’re just human beings, and God bestows His blessings on whom He will among human beings.

Surah 2:124 says this: When Abraham’s Lord tested him with certain commandments, which he fulfilled, He said, ‘I will make you a leader of people.’ Abraham asked, ‘And will you make leaders of my descendents too?’ God answered, ‘My pledge does not hold for those who do evil.’ This confirms the Biblical assertions that Abraham believed God (and showed it by his works), and this was accounted to him for righteousness; and that it is those who have the same faith as Abraham (shown by righteous works) who are his descendents and heirs. Those who disbelieve and disobey are not Abraham’s heirs.

Sura 17:4-8 says this about the children of Israel: (4) We declared to the Children of Israel in the Scripture, ‘Twice you will spread corruption in the land and become highly arrogant’. (5) When the first of those warnings was fulfilled, We sent against you servants of Ours [Assyrians and Babylonians] with great force, and they ravaged your homes. That warning was fulfilled, (6) but then We allowed you to prevail against your enemy. We increased your wealth and offspring and made you more numerous – (7) whether you do good or evil it is to your own souls – and when the second warning was fulfilled [We sent them] [“servants of Ours” – the Romans this time] to shame your faces and enter the place of worship as they did the first time, and utterly destroy whatever fell into their power. (8) Your Lord may yet have mercy on you, but if you do the same again, so shall We: We have made Hell a prison for those who defy [Our warning].

This again confirms the prophecies of the Hebrew prophets. Isaiah and Jeremiah for instance predicted the Assyrian/Babylonian captivity, while Daniel in particular (though not only Daniel) predicted the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the “last days/end” for the Jewish State. Daniel 9:24-27 predicted that from the time Cyrus the Persian freed the Jews from the Babylonian captivity there would be 490 years (70 “weeks/sevens” of years). Messiah the Prince would appear in the 69th “week/seven”, and be “cut off” in the 70th “week/seven”. After that, and as a result, the “people of the Prince” would come and destroy the city of Jerusalem and its Temple. When the “people of the Prince” is referred to, I believe the Prince is the same “Messiah the Prince” previously referred to who would come and be “cut off”. The Roman legions are seen as being sent at his command, by the will of God, to fulfill God’s purpose. However, others believe that this Prince whose people would destroy the Temple is Titus, the Roman General (son of Emperor Vespasian) who was the actual Roman leader.

In keeping with this prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by the Romans – and its fulfillment – the Qur’an says this in 5:78 and 79: (78) The Children of Israel who defied [God] were rejected through the words of David, and Jesus, son of Mary, because they disobeyed, they persistently overstepped the limits, (79) they did not forbid each other to do wrong. How vile their deeds were!  

I believe this Qur’anic statement about David and Jesus proclaiming God’s rejection of the Jewish people who defied and disobeyed God refers in particular to a parable and statement of Jesus given (with minor variations) in 3 of the 4 “Gospels” (the “Synoptics” – Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Jesus told a parable about the owner of a vineyard leasing it out to some tenants, and then leaving on a trip. From time to time the owner would send servants to collect some of the fruit from the tenants (lease payment); but the tenants beat some and killed others of those servants. Finally, the owner sent his son (servant) (the last Prophet of Bani Israel), figuring that the tenants would at least honor him. Instead they tried to kill him, thinking that with the heir dead they would inherit the vineyard themselves.

According to Matthew’s account, Jesus then asked his hearers:  Mat 21:40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? Their response (verse 41) was: He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.

Then followed this response: Mat 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Mat 21:43  Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. Mat 21:44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

So Jesus confirmed the conclusion of his hearers, and applied it to the Jewish nation by quoting from David (Psalm 118:22 and 23) and making his own declaration of God’s rejection of Israel and replacement of them by another people.

Yes, I without hesitation adhere to what some (even Christians, interestingly) disparagingly label “replacement theology”. God honored the faithful obedience of Abraham by telling him that his descendants would bring the blessing of God to all the nations. The descendants of Abraham’s grandson Jacob were chosen to have the opportunity to fulfill that purpose and be a “light to the nations” (not to be superior to, and slave masters over, the nations). When those descendants of Jacob became arrogant and disobedient, and became a “blight to the nations” rather than a “light to the nations”, God repudiated them and gave that position to the descendants of Abraham’s firstborn son, Ishmael. The Arabic people, beginning with the leadership of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), fulfilled the purpose of being a “light to the nations”. They did not arrogantly imagine that God had made them superior to everyone else as the Jews had done. People from all nations and races have become “Muslims” (submitted and devoted to God), and the Arabs have no superior place among that “Muslim” people. They became the “cornerstone” in the kingdom, but they are not the kingdom itself.

To conclude then: it is simply impossible that God would adopt some particular nation or tribe of people – or followers of one particular Prophet out of the many He sent – to be His “chosen” or “special” people in any sense that makes them superior to everyone else. The Jewish people were chosen to have the opportunity to bring God’s light to other nations; but when they brought instead a “blight” to the nations, God rejected them and replaced them with a people who would not be arrogant and unfaithful. And it remains true of Arab Muslims as well as all other Muslims that if they are unbelieving and disobedient, they too will be rejected by God. God simply doesn’t play favorites!

In the next part we will try to identify the people of “The Stone which the Jewish People Rejected” and “the kingdom of God will be takeb away from you anf giveb to a people producing its fruits.” Insha Allah.

HUSBAND & THE RIGHT OF DIVORCE [Indian Government Interferes in Muslim Personal Law]

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HUSBAND & THE RIGHT OF DIVORCE

                         Foreword
         (Translation of the Foreword)
BY WORLD REKNOWNED MUFTI AND SPIRITUAL GUIDE, THE PRIDE OF INDIA, MUFTI AHMAD KHANPURI SAHEB]

The Constitution of India that was designed after the Independence of India declared India a Secular State. This implies that India does not have a state religion. Rather, the Constitution respects every religion and grants its followers complete Freedom of Religion, it has been clearly stated that the Government shall not pass any law which eliminates or decreases basic Fundamental Rights. If such a law is passed, it will be unconstitutional.

It is within the scope of such fundamental rights that every citizen is guaranteed to preserve his culture and the adherents of all religions in India have complete Freedom of Religion. The Government cannot interfere in such rights and cannot create any law that will affect this Basic Constitutional right.

Despite the guarantee of Freedom of Religion being an entrenched Constitutional Right, there is repeated discussion of changing and Reforming Muslim Personal Law through a Civil Code. Hence, a few days ago the Government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court requesting that there should be restrictions on the Laws of three Talaaqs, halala and polygamy. Presently, there are intense discussions and the media (which is meticulously used to brainwash against Muslim Personal Law) has published some articles, one of which is, “Why a man has the right of talaq?”. These articles are presented in such a way that  creates doubts in the minds of many Muslims.

Moulana Atiq Ahmad Bastawi (Lecturer at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow) has critically analysed and answered the related issues in this treatise in such a way that  it will easily dispel doubts instigated by the misleading campaign of the media and others. Seeing the relevance and the imminent threat to vulnerable Muslims, I deemed it necessary to have this treatise translated into English. To undertakes this important task, I requested the honorable and respected Moulana Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Senior lecturer of Hadith at Masrasah Nu’maniyyah, Durban, and a world renowned Scholar) who immediately fulfilled my request. May Allah bless him in knowledge and practice.

This treatise is therefore being presented to the Muslims in general and specifically for those who have been trapped in the net of doubts to dispel rheir doubts and increase their faith and conviction.

May Allah grant us all strength and consideration for Imaan. Aameen.

(Mufti) Ahmad Khanpuri
17th Muharram, 1438 A.H.
19th October, 2016

                   Translators Note

I have been advised to by my most revered and spiritual guide, Hadhrat Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri Sahib to translate the book  “عائلی تنازعات کا شرعی حل اور شوہر کو حق طلاق کیوں” as a matter of urgency. It is indeed very challenging to translate such intricate academic topics.

We have endevoured to maintain the message of the subject matter rather than a strict literal translation.

We humbly request you to overlook any shortcomings in the translation. Bear in mind, this book has been translated in one way due to the urgency of the matter. We hope to revise the translation in future Insha’ Allah.

                      _[Mufti] Ebrahim Desai

In Islam, Nikah is not a temporary enjoyment. Rather, it is a bond of love between two people which has to be revered and preserved till death. It is due to this that Islam has emphasised to both spouses to go out of their way in fulfilling every right of the other and overlooking each others faults.

Islam has decreed that women be obedient to their husbands  in all permissible acts. In doing so, she has been fiven glad tidings of Paradise. There are many Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam in this regard:

Hadhrat Umme Salamah (RadhiyAllahu Anha) narrates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “If a woman dies in a state wherein her husband was pleased with her, she shall enter Jannah.” (Sunan Tirmidhi Pg 457, Vol 2. Hadith 1161 Daral Gharbi Islamiy, Beirut 1998 edition).

It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Anas (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “A woman shall have the honour of entering Jannah from whichever door of Jannah she pleases if she performs her five times prayers, fasts during the month of Ramadhan, safeguards her chastity and is obedient to her husband.” (Hilyatul Awliya Pg. 308. Vol.6. Darul Fikr. Beirut. fourth impression)

Hadhrat Abu Usama (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) narrates from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam),

“After attaining conciousness of Almighty Allah, the next best thing a person can get is a pious wife with the following characteristics;

she accedes to his directives, she makes him happy when he sees her, if her husband takes an oath keeping her trust in mind, she fulfils the oath and in the absence of the husband she safeguards her chastity and his wealth.” (Sunan ibn Majah Pg. 62. Vol. 3. Daral Risalatal Alamiyyah, first impression 2009).

However, to facilitate harmony in domestic life, Islam’s guidance is not one sided. There is much emphasis on the husband to be extremely kind and considerate to the wife that even if he does not like his wife, he is advised to display good conduct towards her.

The Qur’aan explicitely outlines this in the following verses:

And show good conduct (because) if you dislike them (wives), it is possible that you only dislike something and Allah might have placed a lot of good in it. (Chapter of Women: Verse 19)

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) mentions that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned,

“If a man dislikes a woman, then possibly is just because of one habit wherein she may posses many other qualities.” (Sahih Muslim Pg. 1092 Vol. 2, Dar Ihya Turath Al-Arabiy, first impreasion)

Islam has made a man’s conduct with his spouse a yardstick to define his character.

Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiyAllahu Anha) reports that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned, “The best amongst you is the one who has the best conduct with his wife and I am the best amongst you in terms of good conduct with my family.” (Sunan Tirmidhi Pg. 709 Vol 5 Hadith 1161 Daral Gharbil Islamiy, Beirut 1998 edition)

To make the personal life harmonious and successful is the duty of both, the husband and the wife. However, the husband being the head of the house has a greater responsibility. Whenever there is discord between the spouses, since the husband is in charge in terms of management, he should abandon his firmness and take the first step in resolving the matter.

If the discord is due to his behaviour, then he should correct himself and try to win her over, and if it is because of the incorrect attitude of the wife, then the husband should deal with her with utmost patience, love, care and wisdom. Instead of being harsh and emotional, one should involve in dialogue and try to resolve the problem amicably.

The Qur’aan provides various instructions as remedies to family dissention. If these steps are taken, then the husband and wife will easily resolve their problem.

Men have charge over women (as their overseers, guardians, protectors) because of the virtue (distinction) Allah has (in His infinite wisdom) bestowed some of you over others and because of what men spend (on women) from their wealth. So the righteous women are obedient and in the absence (of their husbands), are protective of their chastity and property of their husband, because of that (those rights of women) which Allah has protected. As for those whose disobedience you fear, advice them; separate your bed from theirs and tap them (gently). If they obey you, then do not look for a way against them (to wrongfully accuse them). Verily, Allah is Most High, the Greatest. And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people, if they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is Ever-Knowing and acquainted (with all things) (chapter of Women: Verses 34,35)
In the above verses of Surah Nisah (Chapter of Women), four stages have been outlined to bring about reconciliation

The beginning of verse 34 says that a man is the leader of the family. The simple logic behind this is that no organisation can function without a leader. And generally men are more capable of carrying out this duty. A man is more capable in bringing about discipline and channel the energies of his household in the right avenues.

This does not necessarily imply that a man possess unrestrained and unlimited mandate. Rather it is his duty to oversee the  smooth running of the house. He is responsible of taking charge and control of the family members. He has to arrange for their well-being and education.

In the above quoted verses, man has been appointed the care-taker and the head of the house-hold due to two reasons:

1. Allah Taala has given man a degree of virtue over women.
This is understood from the following verse:

Women have rights similar to what they owe in recognised manner, though for men there is a step above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Surah Baqarah: Verse: 228)

2. The responsibility of the maintainance and the expenses of the wife and children is on the husband.

For this reason, our jurists explicitly mention that though the wife may be rich and wealthy, her expenditure, maintainance and arrangements for living accomodations are still the responsibility of the husband even if he may be poor. A woman supports herself financially and does not load the responsibility of her maintainance on her husband, rather she bears the finances of the house through her own wealth, this will not affect the status of the husband veing the caretaker.

The appointment of the man as the caretaker is due to man being given a degree of virtue over woman because generally men have been more blessed with those certain capabilities which assist in the heading and taking care of the household. However, women have less of a role of than men in the structure and running of the household. The internal issues of the household and supervision is solely the responsibility of women. Men and women both play a central role in the family system. The only way the household can be successful is through their mutual trust and co-operation.

Two qualities of a righteous women are described in the verse 34 of Surah Nisaa:

1. Righteous women obey her husbands.

2. In the absence of their husbands, they protect his wealth and reputation.

The qualities of righteous wives mentioned in this verse are clarified further in the upcoming Ahadith.

Hafidhatul Ghayb can also mean that righteous wives are the confidants of the husband’s secrets. In a martial relationship, secrecy and concealment (of the wives, i.e. for her to not gossip regarding her husband and vice-versa) is a very important and crucial quality. This vital quality is very eloquently expressed in the Qur’an:

They are apparel for you, and you are apparel for them  (Surah Baqarah- 187)

If any woman is unable to maintain the husband’s secrets, and she divulges those secrets, and she is unable to maintain the reputation and dignity of her husband, and in the absence of her husband, she allows strangers to enter the home, then this woman is a source of destruction to her husband’s morale. Rather than being a source of happiness in the personal family life of the husband, she is a source of bitterness and distaste.

This verse, after mentioning the virtuous qualities of a wife, provides a solution to bring the wife back to the correct path. If the wife does not inculcate these virtuous qualities in her, and she does not fulfil her martial duties, she does obey her husband in lawful matters, she does not maintain and protect the wealth and reputation of her husband, she is ill-natured and mischievous, then a process with three stages and initiatives  is presented to husbands to bring these types of women back to the correct path.

THE FIRST INITIATIVE: ADVICE AND COUNSEL

The concept of advice and counsel is that the husband repeatedly explains with utmost concern and care, leniency and gentleness. He should try to instil the fear of Allah, explain the consequences awaiting in the hereafter. If the wife veers from the correct path, and the husbands counsels her and tries to make her understand with a passion to steer her back on the straight path and rectify her while understanding her nature, then by the will of Allah, he will be successful in his attempt.

Counsel does not mean to admonish her and get angry at her. To admonish her and get angry at her without taking into consideration her emotions and feelings will more often than not lead to her becoming withdrawn and unresponsive. Rather than rectifying her, hostility and animosity is created within her.

SECOND INITIATIVE: SEPARATION IN THE BED

If the disobedience of the woman is not resolved through advice and counsel, then the husband should display inattention and construct an invisible barrier. Some commentators of the Qur’aan explain separation in the bed as abstaining from sleeping with the wife. Others explain it as abstaining from conversing, and others explain it as turning away from the wife in the bed. The sum of the various explanations is that the husband should develop a change in the way he deals with his wife and display his disapproval to her. This stage is very effective in resolving the issue in most women.

THE THIRD INITIATIVE: SLIGHT CHASTISEMENT

If the issue is not resolved with the first two initiatives, then Shariah has allowed to administer a slight rap on her by hitting her lightly if he is confident that such an attitude will jolt and rectify her. However, the following conditions should be borne in mind:

1. Hitting her should not be the outcome of revenge or one’s anger towards her. Rather the sole intention must be to rectify her. If it is done for revenge then the adverse effects will be that the relationship will become even more bitter.

2. If the wife displays open disobedience, the husband can implement the reformation process presented in the Qur’aan. If the first two initiatives fails to produce any results and the husband is confident that slightly hitting her will not resolve the issue, then it will be incorrect to hit her merely to finish the reformation process.

3. In any given situation, the husband is not allowed and does not have the right to beat and assault her severely. Hitting the wife to such an extent that it leaves a mark, breaks a bone or injures her in any way has been prohibited by numerous Ahadith. It is also prohibited to hit her, slightly or harshly, in the sensitive areas of her body.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned in the plains of Arafat during the farewell Hajj: “Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by the words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should mot allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.” (Sahih Muslim V-2/ Pg 891 Dar Ihya Turath Al-Arabi)

4. It is not necessary and not advisable to slightly hit women after the first two initiatives fail to reform her. It is merely allowed in the case of extreme necessity. Islam does not condone the hitting of wives, rather Islam discourages hitting women. Islamic law concedes slight chastisement of women in certain scenarios with certain conditions since maintaining and improving the household can only be achieved through it in certain societies. But to the contrary, Islam encourages such practices through which utmost consideration is given to maintaining the respect of women. Hitting is a distant notion, in fact, wives should not even be spoken to harshly!.

There were some incidents during the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) When the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) brought complaints against their wives in regards to their sharp tongues with the hope of securing concession to hit them. Rather than conceding to hitting  the wives, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised that they should terminate the martial relationship instead.

The famous Tabi’ee, Hadhrat ‘Ata (Rahimahullah) mentions:
“If a wife refuses or opposes the command of her husband, then too the husband will not hit her rather he will be upset.” Qadi Ibnul Arabi (Rahimahullah) has mentioned this statement of Hadhrat ‘Ata (Rahimahullah) to be the culmination of his great intellect, insight and understanding. (Ahkam ul Qur’an li Ibnul Arabi – V 1/ Pg. 536)

The method of hitting wives in Shari’ah is further elucidated in the following Ahadith:

Hadhrat Iyas ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens (wives). After this advice, Hadhrat Umar (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) came to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and said: “Women have become emboldened towards their husbands”. He (the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) gave permission to hit the wives. After this, many women came to the wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) complaining against their husbands. So the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Many women have come to my wives complaining about their husbands hitting them. Those husbands who hit their wives are not good people” [Sunan Abi Dawud Pg. 479, Vol 3 – Dar Ar- Risalah al-Alamiyyah]

From the above narration, it is clearly understood that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) disliked the practice of hitting the wives. However, considering the fact that in various communities/societies there exists some disobedient and transgressive women (as explained by Hadhrat Umar (RadhiyAllahu anhu), the ruling of hitting has not been absolutely prohibited.

If the matter has reached such a stage where the husband and wife cannot mutually resolve their differences, then this conflict and tension will not only affect the couples but shall have a negative impact on both families and the society hence, the matter shall no longer remain their confidential issue but will become a community/public issue. In this regard, the Qur’an has addressed and explained the Muslim welfare societies or judges (who are in charge of the Muslim welfare societies) how to resolve issues between two spouses.

In Surah Nisaa, Aayat 35, Allah Ta’ala says:

“And if you fear dissension between the two send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people of they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is Ever-Knowing and acquainted (with all things)” [Surah Nisa’: Verse 35]

The summary of the discussion is if the relationship has reached such a crucial stage where there is no hope of mutual conciliation, then the Qadhi (Muslim judge) or Muslim judicial committee should appoint two members/parties and conduct an arbitration/adjudication. One member from the husband’s family and other member forms from the wife’s side. The two members should be pious, sincere and knowledgable about the case. They will be responsible to hear the statements and arguments of both, the husband and wife and will try their best to reconcile the two. It is the promise of Almighty Allah that, if both the parties have firm intention of goodness and reconciliation to resolve the matter, Allah Ta’ala will bring harmony between the two. When arbitrators would report to Hadhrat ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that inspite of their efforts, they failed to reconcile the couple, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) would alert them by saying, “You people did not try to your best to resolve your matter. Try again!”

It is the promise of Almighty Allah that if the arbitrators try to sincerely resolve the dispute, Allah will definitely bring harnony and will reconcile the two.

Eventually, if the arbitrators fail to resolve the issue, and according to them   the only way to overcome/ avoid the controversies/ conflicts between the spouses is to annul the Nikah, then in that case, if the husband is ready/ wants to terminate the Nikah, it is simple. But if the husband is not willing to terminate the relationship, do the arbitrators have the right to terminate this relarionship?

The Muslim jurists are of two view on this issue: According to Imam Malik (Rahmatullah Alaih), if the arbitrators confirm that annulment of the Nikah shall be the only solution to this case, then they (the arbitrators) will have the right to terminate the Nikah even if the husband objects. But most of the Muslim jurists are of the view that it will not be permissible for the arbitrators to do so.

In order to remove conflicts between husband and wife, and to create a harmonious martial relationship, Allah Ta’ala has prescribed four measures in Surah Nisaa. If one practices upon these measures, then all domestic issues will be resolved. Then there won’t be the need for Talaq or separation.

DIVORCE IS REGARDED AS AN UNDESIRABLE ACT IN ISLAM

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has expressed great dislike towards divorce in various narrations:

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrated, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, of all the lawful acts, the most detestable to Allah is divorce. [Sunan Abu Dawud: Pg. 305, Vol. 3, Dar Ar-Risalah al-Alamiyyah]

Just as it is undesirable for a husband to initiate/issue talaq without any valid cause, similarly it is disliked by Almighty and His beloved Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for the wife to demand talaq without any valid reason.

Shaytan gets happy when a couple gets separated, this can be  understood from the following narration:

Hadhrat Thawban (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Any women who asks her husband for a divorce when it is not absolutely necessary, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her” [Ibn Maajah: 2055]

Hadhrat Jabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Iblis places his throne on the water and he dispatches his army (to cause mischief). The closest Shaytans to Iblis in rank are those who are most notorious in causing mischief. One of the Shaytan comes to Iblis and reports: ‘I did so and so’ Iblis says: ‘You have done nothing’. Then one amongst them comes and says: “I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between the husband and a wife.” Iblis goes near him and says: “You have done well.” A’mash said: “He then embraces him” [Sahih Muslim, pg. 2167, vol. 4, Dar Ihya al-Turath Al-Arabi]

From the above narrations, we understand that shaytan gets immensely happy upon the separation of the spouses and he congratulates those shaytans who bring about separation between the spouses. The happiness of the Shaytan is due to a home being destroyed, consolidating the enmity between the two families and giving Iblis the opportunity to spread unlimited mischief and deviation.

DIVORCE (TALAQ) IS AN UNAVOIDABLE NECESSITY

Despite the fact that ending a marriage or giving a divorce (talaq) may be an extremely abhorrent act, one cannot deny the reality that at times, this act become an unavoidable necessity. At times, natural harmony is not found between a husband and wife; even though both are pious and noble, they are incompatible to one another due to immense differences between them in their temperments, attitudes and eventual habits.

In such a case, if all attempts to amend the situation by creating harmony lead to a total failure, there is no benefit for any of the parties (the husband, wife or the society) in binding the two spouses to the institution of marriage through legislative force.

The flag of marriage can only be at full mast if the wind of mutual afftection, love, trust and co-operation is blowing. The purpose of a marriage cannot be fulfilled if the environment of evil presumptions, mistrust, hatred and enmity.

It is for this reason that Islam has shown us the method of dissolving a marriage if such a situation were to occur, and despite the notion of divorce being detestable, Islam has not completely prohibited it.

The unavoidable necessities of life cannot be deferred. Thus, a system should be put in place to accommodate these necessities. In even the most affluent and fashionable areas of the cities, sewage pipes are found beneath the ground. If a muncipality were to announce that they no longer require these dirty pipes and decide to close them. What would happen to the city? All the roads and pathways would be impossible to cross due to the filthy water and slime, as well as its horrid stench and smell.

RECOGNISING THE NEED FOR DIVORCE (TALAQ)

Despite the fact that fifty years ago, the Islamic system was criticised for the plethora of disapprobation for its validation of divorce (Talaq), the world now sees that the notion that was once considered a fault in Islam is a same notion that is now considered a merit of Islam. In every political and religious dispensation, the vision of Islam with regards to divorce (talaq) has been adopted in some form.

In the Hindu religion, as mentioned by the representatives of the religion from the latter centuries, divorce (talaq) was not considered permissible. Eventually, however, the Hindu members of the Indian Parliment formed a Hindu Code Bill in which permission for divorce (talaq) was granted.

Even still, the conditions and restrictions added to the Code Bill with regards to the permission for divorce (talaq) are such that it does not fulfill the requirements of the Hindu society with regards to divorce (talaq). For this reason, at times, a Hindu husband has to go to the extreme of converting to a different faith in order to free himself from a disliked wife.

The Christians also did not allow divorce (talaq). However, after constant demand and pressure, all the Christian countries gradually brought in laws to facilitate the right of divorce (talaq). Demand for the right of divorce (talaq) did not only come from men, in fact, women’s rights groups were also persistent and ardent in their demand.

Despite the fact that in the western countries, the right of giving permission for divorce lies in the hands of a court, the incidents of divorce are perpetually on the rise. The institution of marriage and the notion of divorce (talaq) have become sport and play. The tranquility of family life has been destroyed.

WHO SHOULD HAVE THE AUTONOMY OF DIVORCE?

We have agreed that in some instances, divorce (talaq) becomes an unavoidable necessity for a human being. We have also agreed that to keep a husband and wife tied to the institution of marriage even when it has completely broken down is manifest oppression upon the two spouses as well as upon the society. However, the question arises: to whom should the autonomy of divorce (talaq) should be given in order to facilitate minimial aggravation and the deliverance of justice in the entire procedure of divorce (talaq)?

There are four possibilities:

1) The autonomy of divorce (talaq) should be jointly given to both husband and wife; just as the institution of marriage was formed through their consent, it should not be revoked except through a joint consultation and decision by both parties. This  possibility is compatible with the Shari’ah of Islam.

If a man and a woman mutually agree to end their marriage, they have the right to do so. In Islamic jurisprudence, this is referred to as Khula’. The Qur’an itself and the Prophetic teachings mention the permissibility of Khula’.

However, this is not the obly method of ending a marriage in the Islamic Shari’ah. In fact, there are other methods which we shall elaborate upon soon.

2) The autonomy of divorce (talaq) is given to the husband alone.

This option is also compatible with the Shari’ah of Islam. From an outside perspective, this may come across as a strange view that the institution of marriage which only came into existence through the consent of both the man and the woman, may be ended through the decision of one party.

However, due to the various profound reasons supported by wisdom (which shall be elaborated upon soon), Allah The Most High has given the autonomy of divorce (talaq) to the husband alone. Along with this, the husband has been advised not to use his autonomy of divorce (talaq) frivolously. In fact, he has been guided by the Qur’an and Prophetic teachings towards the proper manner of giving a divorce (talaq).

3) The autonomy of divorce is given to wife alone. This option is not compatible with the shari’ah of Islam. In Islamic law, woman alone has not been given the autonomy of divorce (talaq). This ruling is one which serves to the benefit of woman. We shall shed light upon the reasons as to why a woman has not been given the autonomy of divorce in the coming chapters.

Although Islam has not given the sole autonomy of divorce (talaq) to a woman, Islam has emphasised that a women must not be oppressed or hurt in anyway whatsoever. For this reason, if a husband does not fulfill the rights of his wife or oppresses her, the woman shall have the right to presenting her case to a judge with the hope of having her marriage anulled.

4) The autonomy of divorce (talaq) is not given to a husband, nor is it given to the wife. Rather, the issuing of a divorce or autonomy of divorce is left to the discretion of a judge. Whosoever from the husband or wife wishes to end the marriage is required to go to a court, file for a divorce (talaq), and establish the claims and reasons behind such a decision.

The judge shall then summon the other party, and avail him or her the opportunity to respond to the claims. Finally, if the judge feels that the claim for divorce (talaq) is reasonable and understandable, he shall anull the marriage. Otherwise, he shall discard the claim. In the current times, the family laws administered by a country generally grant the autonomy of divorce (talaq) to a court supporting the claim that by taking away the autonomy of divorce (talaq) from the husbands and giving it to the courts, it shall reduce the rate of divorce, bring oppression upon women to a halt and shall also protect their family rights. Islam does not concur with this argument.

We shall soon elaborate that the reports of those countries that have adopted the practic of granting the autonomy of divorce (talaq) to the courts show that instead of decreasing the rate of divorce, this practice has actually increased the rate of divorce and has not decreased the oppression upon women in a significant manner. Through this law, there is less benefit and more harm for women and the society in general.

IS IT APPROPRIATE TO HAND OVER THE RIGHT OF DIVORCE TO THE COURTS?

It is first and foremost important to discuss why Islam has not given the right of divorce at all to the courts, although this appears to be most logical since a husband and wife are two separate persons in this matter. Each one may demand/threaten divorce some time or the other by being overridden with emotions at times.

On the other hand, the judge is an understanding and a neutral personality. He is the only one who can determine whether the demand of divorce is due to an abrupt disapproval of an act or due to interim emotions or the feud between them escalated to such a state that there is no scope of the relationship remaining.

In order to understand this point better, it is vital and necessary to have a clear insight on the correct nature and spirit of the relationship of Nikah.

Nikah is not based on absurd laws. The entire success of Nikah is wholly based on love and affection between husband and wife and having trust on each other. Without love and affection, unity and trust, the relationship of Nikah  cannot be kept by mere absurd laws. Even if this lifeless Nikah is somehow kept, instead of it being a priceless bounty and happiness, both will perceive restraint and unhappiness.

This reality should also be borne in mind that the relationship and bond of marriage is very sensitive and delicate. There are so many means/causes for the husbands’ heart to be wearied from the wife and for the emotions of hatred to be entrenched in his heart, that they cannot be brought to the justice of the court and sometimes the grounds of divorce are of such a nature that there is no benefit to the woman in bringing such cases to the court. In fact, keeping such issues a secret is better for them.

Understand these brief points through few examples:

1. Assume that a Nikah took place between Khalid and Zainab whom are both pious and devout, however, there is world of difference between their habit and nature. Because of their being no compatibility in their nature, there is resentment on petty issues. This daily resentment and disputes have developed into hatred. Now Khalid has no place left in his heart for Zainab. In this situation, Khalid is willing to end his Nikah with Zainab.

Now if he goes to the court and gives true reasoning for a divorce, the court does not give him permission to do so, because according to the court, Zainab has not done such an  act that warrants a dicorce. Now Khalid has only two ways; either he wrongfully accuses her (of fornication, etc) and brings forth false witnesses and releases himself from her.

In this case there will be no doubt that Khalid will be a sinner. Apart from that, Zainab will have her public image tainted and this will make it extremely difficult for her  to get another match.

The second scenario is that after having exhausted all means and instead of him being able to relieve himself from Zainab, he is forced by the rule of law to  keep Zainab in his marriage. It is obvious that when Khalid’s heart is broken/hardened from Zainab and his heart has been entrenched with emotions of hatred, so how then will he fulfil Zainab’s due martial rights? It is possible that perhaps due to having the fear of Allah or fearing the rule of law, he may keep giving Zainab maintenence, however, it is far-fetched that Zainab will be receiving that love, affection and harmony which hold greater importance than maintenence.

2. The husband is extremely possessive over his wife. Let’s assume that he has complaints in regards to his wife being immoral. After having cautioned and reprimanded her several times, he sees no changes in her and she is still involved in those immoral habits. The husband is coerced to terminate this relationship with her. Now if the husband was given the sole right of divorcing his wife, he will do so silently without anyone knowing.

Through this, the husband would be relieved and the shameful act of the wife would also remain concealed. It is possible that she would repent from this evil and get married to another person.

On the other hand, by handing the court the right of divorce, the husband and wife’s paths are blocked. If the husband has to go to the court and give a true account of a event and seek divorce, the wife would be infamous and notorious in the eyes of the community even before the jugde has issued a decree. Her standing and status in society is highly tarnished/stained. (Even if the court clears her of the accusations). She cannot show her face to anyone. Allah Forbid, if this case has to come to the knowledge of journalists!.

It is apparent that if fictious stories are not made and false witnesses are not brought forth, then it is a tough task to prove lewd acts. That’s why, if the husband has only sufficed on truthfulness, then he will not be able to prove his claim and thus he will not be given the right of divorcing his wife by the courts.

In this situation, how will he then be able to bear and fulfil the demands and requisites of a Martial life, even though, according to law and paper, they will be in the bond of Nikah, however, practically they will be living as though they are not married, in fact even worse than that. The wife specially will be placed in uphill calamity.

In these types of situations, many persons of nobility and dignity do not take the matter to the courts due to fear of defaming their families and as such continue living with swallowing their blood (extremely difficult). Instead of the bond of marriage being a bounty and mercy, it turns into psychological, mental and financial burden.

THE COURTS RIGHT OF ISSUING A DIVORCE AND THE EXPLANATION OF DIVORCE

By giving the right of divorce to the courts, the increase and decrease in such cases will be confined to how loose/broad or how constricting the reasoning’s of divorce has been kept. In those countries where the reasoning’s/causes of divorce have been kept broad, especially more in favour and respect of the wife, then in such cases by giving the right of divorce to the courts, the cases of divorces escalate to alarming rates.

The wife becomes extremely unhappy with the husband due to a certain matter, by being overriden with extreme emotional interim moods, she decides that she cannot bear living with her husband, she then applies for the annulment of marriage to the courts

According to the courts, she qualifies to apply for annulment on this basis that the wife is not prepared to live with her husband, the judge then annuls the marriage.  Because in view of the court, the insistence of the wife in annuling the marriage may be due to her suffering grossly at the hands of her husband, even though the wife cannot prove/ justify her claim.

The current concept of her being deemed as a victim of oppression in all situations is a result of the legalising and action of the courts. As a result, many a times, the legitimate/valid interests and welfare of the husband and children are negatively affected. In specific, the husband suffers huge monetary and family loss.

Very often the wife becomes remorseful on her actions, after her anger having cooled off and her coming into her senses after making a rash decision. However, the husband does not risk bringing her back to his Nikah because of his bitter past experience with her.

Due to opening the doors of divorce wide open, marriage and divorce have become a play in western countries. Marriage relations have become unstable. The rates of divorce are increasing at an amazing pace.

The daily marriage and divorce is causing great harm to those boys and girls who came into existence due to the short period enjoyment of their parents. After becoming deprieved of the love and upbringing of the parents, they become a target of different types of sicknesses, bad habits, psychological and mental disorder, even though the government might provide them with medication, upbringing and high level of education standards.

The daily increase of children who are getting deprived of the love of the parents and upbringing of the family culture are becoming a dangerous fear to the community. These children easily get caught by the evil spreading groups. They get involved in bad habits. Instead of using their talents in the development and upbringing of the country. Their talents are used in destroying and bringing the country to a downfall.

After handing over the power of giving divorce in control of the judge, if the limits and conditions of giving divorce are kept strict, then the bad situations are created on the other hand.

If the government gives the power of divorce to the husband only when he can prove the fornication or evil act of his wife through witnesses, then even if the wife did these types of evils and the husband witnessed them and has the knowledge of those evil practices, how is he going to present witnesses for all these evil practices? Most of such evils are done in privacy.

To give lawyers and judges a chance to conduct a deep investigation is not in the interest of a woman. The poor lady won’t be able show her face in the society irrespective of the decision of the court. And if the wife didn’t get involved in fornication or any other evil through which the government gives the right to the husband to divorce his wife, but the husband hates his wife because of her bad habits and not having same temperments, the husband hates his wife with complete soul and mind and the husband’s heart is not inclined towards his wife in any way, then they are only two ways if he decides that he does not want to lie and present a false accusation. It is either he wont go to the court and if he does go to the court he will be unsuccessful.

In this situation, the marriage will remain based on the government rule, but instead of the marriage becoming a means of happiness, comfort and joy, the marriage will become a distressful painful one. The daily inner fights will frustrate the family more.

A husband in whose heart is filled with the hatred might pay expenses of the wife due to government fear, but it won’t be possible for him to give his wife love and comfort. In this situation keeping the marriage is not beneficial, especially when both are young, there is great fear. It is either they will keep fighting or they will look for non-permissible ways to fulfil their passion and end up losing their honour, chastity and dignity. And if the husband decides to get rid of his wife at any cost, then the situation will get worse than before.

Through the advice of the lawyer, the husband ends up putting false accusations on his wife such as fornication and other evils and claims for a divorce through false proofs and documents.

In this era, when religious teachings and good character and conduct are a scarcity and wealth has attained the status of been worshipped and the intelligent lawyers and government workers who are talented are involved in making the truth into lies and lies into truth, to present false proofs and accusations in the court through expert lawyers is not difficult for the husband.

Whatever will be the decision of the court will spoil the future of the wife and she will become suspected in the eyes of the family. What can be a greater harm for a woman than this?

If the husband does not succeed in getting rid of his wife through false accusations, then he will look for other criminal ways of getting rid of his wife.

Only Allah knows how many woman are being killed and burnt in different countries because their husbands hate them and could not divorce them due to government rules. Our media is filled with information about woman being burnt and killed by their husbands.

Is divorcing of hundred women are great concern or killing of fifty women? It is something to ponder upon.

ONE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT AND THE SUBSIDIARY ISSUE OF DIVORCE

Few years ago, the Supreme Court made a big uproar based on the claim of four hindu women whose husbands accepted Islam and remarried. According to the judge, these four men accepted Islam because they wanted to get rid of their wives. If the findings of the judges were true, then a shocking reality is in front of us. The Hindu Code Bill needs to be adjusted as it cannot facilitate the causes of divorce in the Hindu custom. Hence, there is a need to change and expand the Hindu Code Bill.

In our Indian Community, changing religions is not an easy task. After changing religions, one gets cuts-off from his family and community and is faced with many difficulties, especially if he has left Hinduism and become a Muslim. Therefore, a person who has the courage to leave Hinduism and become a Muslim will do so in one of the two situations:

1. His beliefs have actually changed due to research and pondering. He has such firm belief in the truthfulness of Islam that he would rather cut away from his community and face difficulties as he cannot bear to stay on in his old religion which he believes to be false and baseless.

2. His beliefs have not changed, in terms of beliefs, he is still a Hindu. However, he has accepted Islam due to a severe difficulty or torment that he is facing which he cannot be saved from except by changing his religion.

For example, he has formed severe hatred and enmity towards his wife and is not willing to stay with her under any condition. However, according to the Hindu Code, he does not have the right to divorce which is why he would rather change his religion in order to separate from his wife, inspite of knowing the challenges that he will have to face upon changing his religion. However, in comparison to the difficulty of keeping his Hindu wife, he considers the difficulties and dangers of changing his religion to be easier and bearable.

SHORCOMINGS OF THE HINDU CODE BILL

It is clear from the above analysis that the reasons for a divorce in the Hindu Code Bill are very narrow as they do not fulfil the need of divorce within the Hindu community. This is why many educated and wealthy Hindu males even take the step of accepting Islam in order to leave their wives.

The solution for this difficult situation is that some changes be made to the Hindu Code Bill so that the reasons for issuing divorce are expanded or the husband is given the right to divorce. Imposing the Civil Code is not the solution to this difficulty. The negative consequences of imposing the Civil Code is that the husbands who are frustrated with their wives will no longer be able to change their religion in order to gain freedom from their wives.

How will this solve the problems facing married women? A husband who is frustrated with his wife to such an extent that he resents her, does not want to see her face and in order to get freedom from her, does not even mind going to the extremes of changing his religion, shall not be able to stay in the same house as his wife.

This attitude, we fear, will increase the oppression on Hindu women and no court will be able to prevent such oppression.

Recently, some shameful news was published that a Hindu Husband made his brother and nephew rape his wife so that he may be able to leave his wife due to the person not having the right to divorce his wife without her being immoral according to the Civil Code.

It is clear from the above analysis that to hand over the complete right of divorce to the Court is not in the interests of husband and wife, and not in the interest of the community. It does not decrease the rate of divorce and neither does it fulfil the needs of divorce. The only outcome is the personal spousal secrets becomes exposed in the courts and becomes a public talk. This leads to humiliation for both husband and wife.  A better alternative is to quietly and amicably terminate the marriage so that both do not get disgraced and their secrets are not exposed.

DIVORCE THROUGH MUTUAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE HUSBAND AND WIFE:

In the previous lines, we have highlighted the argument that granting the autonomy of divorce solely to the court is not beneficial for the husband, wife or the society in general. The actual objectives of a divorce are not even fulfilled through this method.

Now, we wish to discuss the issue of granting the autonomy of divorce jointly to both the husband and wife i.e. if a legislation were to be made that a divorce cannot be given without  mutual agreement and consensus between the two parties and neither of the two parties would have the sole autonomy of ending a marriage, how would this work out? It cannot be disputed that if the husband and wife were to mutually agree upon ending the marriage, they should have the right to do this. Islam has given the husband and wife this right, it is known as Khula’.

However, to limit the methods of divorce to this one method is not an appropriate measure at all. Many incidents are found in which either one partner, the husband or the wife wishes to end the marriage in all instances whilst the other is not at all prepared in the marriage to end. Hence, in the many hundreds and thousand of situations where this occurs, divorce would not take place even though one of the two partners either the husband or a wife, becomes vexatious and frustrated to such an extent that emotional hatred has reached its summit in his or her heart for the other partner.

The institution marriage can only be successful and prosperous if the hearts of the two partners connect with one another, the hearts of the two partners have love and respect for one another and the two companions have complete trust over one another. Therefore, it is not appropriate in any way whatsoever to create the restriction that a marriage can only be dissolved through mutual agreement between the husband and wife. The result of this shall be that in order to escape from the other partner, the vexed partner shall commit a deeply unlawful and destructive act.

WHY DOES THE HUSBAND HAS THE RIGHT OF DIVORCE?

Shariah grants the unilateral right of divorce only to the husband. If the husband does not fulfil his responsibilities or he is oppressing his wife, the wife could request a judge for the annulment of her marriage. However, she does not have the right of divorce. What is the reason for granting this right only to the husband and what is the rationale behind it? What has shariah considered and the wisdom behind it? This can be understood from the following points.

To answer this question lies in the nature of roles that a husband and wife assume in a married life. In an Islamic society, the husband bears all the financial burden which results from a marriage contract. It is he who has to pay dower to his wife. It is he who has bear the expenses incurred during the wedding in terms of walimah etc. It is he who has to support his family financially and provide a home for his wife and children.

The wife on the other hand, does not have to provide even a small share of the family expenses, although she could take some responsibilities upon herself to save a percentage of her husband’s income.

On the flip side, the wife receives gifts and dowry which boosts her finances tremendously. The husband have to bear the burnt of all expenses after marriage and even after divorce. If the husband has not discharged the dowry due to the wife, then would be asked to settle it immediately. During the iddah period, the husband has to continue to bear financial expenses incurred by the wife. The husband also has to maintain his sons who have not yet attain maturity and he has to maintain his daughters as well. In fact the divorced wife will be remunerated for the time she looks after their sons who have not yet attained puberty.

Moreover, when a man has divorced his wife and he wishes to marry another woman, he has to pay similar expenses which makes the whole idea of divorce a very costly affair. Thus if one acts according to the teachings of Islam through divorce, a woman does not suffer any financial loss and in addition she sometimes acquires added financial benefits. There are so many duties and responsibilities on the husband after marriage and even after divorce that any man would think twice before going through the process of marriage and divorce because he realises that it constitutes a great financial burden on him. Thus, in view of this expected financial loss, a husband thinks very carefully before he decides to terminate his marriage.

A question may arise that why should the husband bear the responsibility of the expenses after marriage and after divorce and why the wife don’t bear some expenses also?

To understand the answer one should first unravel the inherent natures of every male and woman. To fathom this point, a detailed discussion is necessary.

One of the main reasons, for the man holding the right of divorce is he is more capable of controlling his emotions especially in disputed with his wife, whereas women are more emotional and hasty.

If the wife had been given the right of divorce, there is a possibility of abuse whereby the wife could divorce the husband on minor issues due to her being unable to control her emotions, thus leaving the husband  with a substantial financial burden. According to Sheikh Abu Zuhra, those women who secured an undertaking from her potential husband to transfer the autonomy of divorce to her, the rate of giving divorce is higher. We can blow our trumpets to prove the equality between men and women, the reality is that we can never delete the different temperments of both genders.

We cannot deny the fact that some women can control their emotions and temper better than man, however rules are designed according to the general situation and not according to rare situations. Even though the right of divorce is held by the husband, Shariah has also taken into  consideration that the wife is not oppressed and she could ask for the annulment of her marriage through a judge when the husband oppresses her or does not fulfil his duties.

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE BY A JUDGE

There are many options available for a woman to dissolve her marriage, for example:

1. Absent husband: absconding or missing.

2. Failure to provide maintenence: inability or refusal

3. Husband is insane

4. Husband is impotent

5. Severe Abuse: Physical or other

6. Serious health condition or disease: leprosy or any such disease which can endanger the wife.

According to Imam Malik (Rahimahullah), when a judge presides over a martial dispute and the disputing spouses present their witnesses and it has not become clear who is the transgressing party due to the wife not presenting her claim of annulment clearly, the judge can grant the application of the woman if he feels the discord between the spouses is too deep and there is fear of more harm in maintaining the marriage.

Furthermore, if there is insistence on handing over the sword of divorce to the delicate hand of the wife, then there is a leeway for that as well. If at the time of the Nikah or after the Nikah, the husband hands over the anatomy to the wife or a third party, then the wife or third party may exercise that right which cannot be revoked by the husband.

IMPORTANT ADVICES PERTAINING TO DIVORCE

While Islam has given the husband the right to issue divorce, it has also set certain guidlines. If those guidelines are considered, then the use of the right of divorce will be exercised in extreme desperation and as a last resort after all the avenues of resolving the disputes and attempting a reconciliation have failed.

Furthermore, if one considers the procedure of divorce in Islam, the door of a dignified reconciliation remains open. Some of the important and fundamental advices from the Quran and Sunnah pertaining to divorce are;

1) If someone wishes to divorce a woman with whom he was intimate, he should issue one talaq raj’ee (revocable divorce) after her menstrual cycle has ended without engaging in conjugal relations. He should not issue a divorce during her menstrual cycle or in a clean cycle in which they were intimate.

The wisdom behind this is that during her mentrual cycle, the husband may feel disinclined towards her as she is not clean and there are restrictions  to being intimate with her. Similarly, the husband may feel disinclined towards his wife after being intimate with her in a clean cycle. On the contrary, his divorce in a clean cycle where his emotions are still strong indicating his complete detachment from his wife and divorce being his final recourse.

2) Secondly, the husband is advised to suffice on one talaq raj’ee. This is the best form of divorce because if the husband regrets his decision, he still has the opportunity to revoke  his divorce within the ‘iddah period. Revoking the divorce will not necessitate a renewal of the Nikah or dowry and the initial Nikah will remain intact.

If he does not revoke his divorce within the ‘iddah period, the divorce will be finalized with the completion of the ‘Iddah period and their Nikah will terminate. However, if they wish to remarry, they shall have the option to do so.

3) If the husband is adamant on giving three talaqs, Shariah advises him to give one talaq raj’ee in a clean cycle in which he did not have intercourse with his wife. Thereafter, he should give the second talaq raj’ee approximately a month later; after her second menstrual cycle finishes. He should give the third talaq after her third menstrual cycle.

The husband still has the option to revoke the first and second talaq within the ‘iddah period if he wishes to restore the marriage. If he chooses not to give the third talaq and allows her ‘iddah period to finish without revoking the talaq, they can still consensually remarry.

After the third talaq, the husband cannot revoke his talaq nor can the husband and wife remarry regardless of their desires.

4) Shariah advises these methods of divorce so that the husband and wife are availed an opportunity to ponder and reflect over the situation, understand and restore their relationship,  and rectify their flaws.

5) Islam has bestowed a great favor to women by limiting the number of talaqs to three and has prevented the martial life after becoming a mere child’s play. In the pre-Islamic era, the Arabs would not have any limited number of talaqs. After every talaq, the husband had the right of taking back his wife. In this manner, many husbands would revoke these divorces before the completion of the ‘iddah. This system of talaq and revoking continued for many years. Thus, the wife was never able to get deliverance from her oppressive husband nor was she able to conduct herself as a typical wife should.

Islam then abolished this practice and uplifted this oppression; which gave the husband the right to issue unlimited number of talaqs and revoke the talaq thereafter. Islam also put such mechanisms in place which restricts the husband from reconciling with his wife and remarrying her during her ‘Iddah after issuing three talaqs. Consequently, the respect and awe for Nikah was restored.

6) Violations of the Islamic teachings of talaq is a grave sin. For example, to give talaq during  menses, giving three talaqs at once and giving more than one talaq in the state of tuhr (purity). Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) would punish husbands who would give three talaqs at once.

Currently, due to the lack of understanding of Deen and lack of conciousness of the fear of Allah, there has been a rise in the violation of the laws of talaq taught by Islam.

Many arrogant men think that talaq is not even valid unless you give three talaqs, this is why three talaqs are given. Some given talaqs during periods, some give talaq on trivial arguments. In relation to this, two things are very important.

1. In order for this ignorance to be removed, the understanding of the laws of Nikah and talaq should be given importance. It should be advised that to give talaq without any necessity or to give talaq against the teachings of Islam is a grave sin. There will be great accountability for this in the court of Allah.

2. A communal effort should be made to explain to people not to take the matters of Nikah and talaq lightly. The awareness of giving talaq without necessity and to give it in the wrong manner should be made. A penalty should be imposed for those who violate the laws of talaq and if there is a need then a social boycott should be implemented.

The prevention of wrong-doings is not only stopped by the laws. At times, the social boycott is very effective. Many reputable Darul Iftaas  have agreed that an appropriate penalty should be imposed for those who violate the laws of talaq or a social boycott should be implemented.

In relation to this, a question which was posed to Mufti Rasheed Sahib (May Allah have mercy on him) is presented.

TA’ZEER (PENALTY) SHOULD BE WAJIB ON PRESENT (WRONG) WAYS OF TALAQ

Question: In this day and age, the most detestable of lawful actions to Allah (i.e. talaq) has become quite common, due to which trespassing the laws of Allah, corruption of the mind and rebellion are common in the society. Nevertheless, it is undeniably the right of the man to issue talaq in any given circumstance. In most cases of talaq, the man himself is the oppressor and hastens in issuing talaq. Is issuing talaq a punishable offence in this case? The punishment applicable in this situation is would be that his fellow faternity display animosity towards his actions and disassociate themselves from him until his mockery of the commands of Allah come to an end. Is this penalty in the form of disassociation and social boycott permissible or not?

Answer: Nowadays, there are many sins committed in the way divorce is issued. The correct method for issuing talaq is foe the husband to issue one revocable talaq (talaq raj’ee) while the wife is in a state of purity in which conjugal relations did not take place. This should only be done once a sincere effort was made to reconcile and advice was sought from upright and honest people. Hereunder are some of the mistakes committed while giving talaq:

1. Talaq is given without any thought or consideration and without hesitation.

2. A sincere effort to reconcile is not carried out.

3. Upright and honest family-members were not consulted before issuing divorce

4. Istikhara was not made

5. Talaq is given suring the menstrual cycle

6. One thinks that it is necessary to give two or three talaqs at once

7. Many adopt the detested practice of halalah since that is the only method of reconciliation available after issuing three talaqs. Some even avoid halalah and choose insted to involve themselves in Zina for the remainder of their lives.

Based on the above-mentioned points, it is necessary that the government enforces a severe penalty. In the case the government turns a blind eye to these situations, then the penalty of social boycott and disassociation should be enforced. [Ahsanul Fatawa, Pg 194-5, vol. 5]

RECIPE FOR A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE
BY: MUFTI EBRAHIM DESAI

Question: Every human being by nature  has an instinct to dispute. This instinct becomes more manifest between the husband and wife, thus leading to martial disputes. How can this instinct be controlled?

Answer: Consider the following ten points to control the instinct of dispute and maintain a happy marriage.

1. Fear Allah: It was the noble practice of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam to conscentise the spouses about the fear for Allah before performing a Nikah (Nisa v14, Ahzab v69, Aali Imraan v101) from the Quraan. All the verses are common in the message of Taqwa (fear of Allah). The spouses will be first committed to Allah before being committed to their partner. There can be no doubt in the success of a marriage that is governed by the fear of Allah.

2. Never be angry at the same time: Anger is the root cause for all martial disputes. One Sahabi came to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam and sought some advice. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied “Control your anger”. The same advice was rendered three times. [Mishkaat pg. 433]

3. If one has to win an argument, let it be the other: Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Whoever discards an argument despite being correct shall earn a palace in the center of Jannah” [Ibid pg. 412]

4. Never shout at each other unless the house is on fire: Luqman (Alaihissalaam) while offering advice to his son said: ” and lower your voice for verily the most disliked voice is that of a donkey” [Surah Luqman v19]

5. If you have to criticize, do it lovingly: Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, “A Mu’min is a mirror for a Mu’min” (Abu Dawud vol. 2, pg. 325; Imdadiyah). Advise with dignity and silently.

6. Never bring up mistakes of the past: Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Whoever conceals the faults of others, Allah shall conceal his fault on the day of Qiyamah” [Mishkaat pg. 429]

7. Neglect the whole world rather than your marriage partner: Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasallam confirmed the advice of Salman to Abu Darda’ (Radhiyallahu Anhum) for neglecting his wife: “Verily there is a right of your wife over you”. [Nasai Hadith 2391]

8. Never sleep with an argument unsettled: Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) resolved his dispute with his wife over-feeding the guests before going to bed. [Bukhari Hadith 602]

9. At least, once everyday, express your gratitude to your partner: Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “whoever does not show gratitude to the people has not shown gratitude to Allah” [Abu Dawud pg. 662]

10. When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness: Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “All the sons of Aadam commit error, and the best of those who err are those who seek forgiveness”. [Tirmidhi Hadith 2499]