Excerpts from my life

Qur’an is a Mercy for Mankind…

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I feel sorry to see the hate that has engulfed my country. There has recently been riots in Pune and it is disheartening. Something as simple as a YouTube channel voicing his opinion on democracy, politics or communities is followed by such derogatory shame messages that it stirs the soul. I wonder how easy could it be to type filthy words for a fellow human. Or even worse, how easy is it to consider that an entire community should be wiped off just because of some personal grudge one has for no apparent reason.

 

Where does all of it stem from? And no, it is not only agaist Muslims. I remain aghast when I see people having muslim names retaliating with equal filth. What are we moving towards? In a world of progressiveness and modernity we are developing a gutt full of disgust. Just because we have the access to voice our opinion, we use this opportunity to only waste humanity.

 

Surprisingly, even the educated and urban Indian thrive on this. What we do not realise that a basic civilian would rather live in peace. Irrespective of his religion, he would choose to have a good rapport with his neighbour or none at all. But certainly, one would not by thirsty for his neighbors blood. One would actually wonder, how the seeds of this hatred was planted in the hearts of people. What did I, as a Muslim, do anything that the other questions my very existence on earth? But is it about just you and me in the first place? If I look immediately around me, everything seems great. Somehow, the India of the media and the India around me do not tally. It confuses me about what undercurrent is being built.

 

Just yesterday I was reading the History of Islam by Najeebabadi. I am perhaps halfway through the first volume. The struggle that Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) went through to bring the message of Islam is overwhelming. It is so tough to even imagine the being of Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasallam). His wisdom, taqwa (god consciousness), tawakkul (faith of God) and sabr (patience) makes my heart clench. Every chapter of the book has choked me and made me realise how I have failed to be a good Muslim in the first place.

 

Definitely, I chose my religion based upon everything it stands for but did I stand up to what it expects of me.

 

So, this brings me to the most important question to us. We can sit and lament over the crisis Muslims face on earth today. We can frown and debate on how Muslims are oppressed. But, are we good Muslims in the first place?

 

I feel sorry for those who type with such hatred against Islam. So much hate against Allah, The Qur’an and our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam). Those poor fellows have lost the opportunity to know the God who created him. The God who gave him the very fingers with which he types filth. The God who gave him the mind which he uses to plot against His religion. That man, who points at the character of Muhammad (), he never got a chance to read these books to know him. Because if he did, it would shake him.

 

It is hard for someone who reads the Qur’an to not accept Islam as the true religion. It is absolutely mind boggling and soul stirring. The verses scream that they are divine. And honestly, the phase when you realise that you are on the wrong side of the stream, it is disturbing. It crumples your heart. Perhaps it is the realisation to let go all the wordly falsehood that we have been holding on to. When your soul realises that there is more reward in inert goodness.

 

I am often asked why I shifted my faith. Most of those who ask never really want to understand. Not their fault. We rarely want to understand things from someone else’s vision. We want him to explain it from the way we see ‘how life should be lived’. Though now India is coming into terms with people choosing their own spouse, own clothes and parents not having to make these choices for them, yet the same line of thought is missing when it comes to faith. Wherein, it is as much of a choice like everything else.

 

The desire to want to adhere to a religion that speaks of pure monotheism is frowned upon. As if this desire is not a desire like any other. Its the heart and it may want anything. Immediately, I am asked why I could not find monotheism in my birth religion, or some other religion. Many try to show the monotheistic aspect of their faith. Or even better, why could I not just worship without any religion and choose to be a good human.

 

Firstly, these questions never crossed my mind when Islam was impressing me with no other. I could not find a religious text as simple as the Qur’an and I could not find a description of God as perfect as Qur’an explains it. Here is just one of the many descriptions in the Qur’an:

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. (Qur’an 2:255)

 

How perfect is this? A flawless God is what I would like to believe there is. How can God be someone who is weak with human flaws? The Creator, Owner and Controller of everything that He has created. Islam places The Creator distinct from His creation. He does not reside in His creation, He does not contain His creation, nor is present amidst His creation, nor is He anything like His creation. He is above His creation. Omnipresent by virtue of His knowledge. He is THE ONE under whom everyone is.

 

Allah actually translates to The God in English. Unlike the misconception that He is the God of Muslims, the Qur’an actually clarifies that Allah is The God of Mankind. He did not just create the Muslims but even every other human and non-human.( Qur’an 2:21)  In fact, the Qur’an tells us that it is for all of mankind. Not just for Muslims.(Qur’an 31:3) Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasallam) was sent as a mercy for mankind.( Qur’an, 21: 107)  Imagine those who allegate him of being murderous without having read a page of his biography.  Islam gave me the easy way to connect to God. And this path, was my choice to connect with Allah. It gave me the smallest ways I could please Allah and how easy was it to know that He is pleased with you.

 

The sad thing is today is that Muslims themselves do not read it. Copies of Quran lie in their shelves in the arabic language. Most never bothered to open and read the translations to understand what message lies in it. Why are they Muslims in the first place? As usual, they did not make the choice to be a Muslim. They’re just there because their forefathers were there too. A small consequence of this ignorance we see in the triple talaq chaos in the nation! Some Muslim women here are unhappy with the triple talaq bill! How ignorant can we be? All those who unhappy with it are perhaps those whose wives and daughter-in-laws will benefit from this bill.

 

And then the self-acclaimed guardians of Allah’s deen on social media who protect Islam by replying back with equal filth to the attackers of Islam. I am sure those few are not even here to read my page. Nevertheless, Allah’s religion does not need any explanation or soliders to defend it. The words in the Quran are self explanatory of its perfection and goodness. The slanderers of Islam will pick and choose verses out of context to defame it but the wise holders of modern outlook should show wisdom in reading the religion before holding grudge against it.

 

And you, O Muslim, read the religion and allow it to shape you. Know what your Maker expects of you. It’ll change you as a person. Those who know me might frown with hundreds of my flaws flashing before their eyes claiming that they do not see any change in me. Well, to that,

“Every son of Adam sins. But the best of them is he who repents” (at-Tirmidhi)

 

A Muslim’s perfection does not lie in not making mistakes ever. The perfection lies in reflecting upon your flaws, holding a conscience that nags you at every wrong you do, fearing Allah that He knows what you did and making sincere repentance to avoid accountability for it and lastly, trying to make up for every wrong that you do. If we nurture our sins and egos despite knowing them, it reflects lack of taqwa. Worse, is if we do not realise our sins in the first place. That reflects lack of knowledge (ilm).

 

So, let’s work on our souls. For those who hate Islam, harboring hatred will do no good. Any form of violence (verbal or physical) never hurts one party solely. It will cause an equal to the hater and the hated. It is really not feasible that an entire community is filthy, aggressive, inhuman, blood drinkers and murderous. They were born human with the same basic instincts as you after all! The One who created you also created them. If there were different Gods, the design would definitely vary! For Muslims, let us work on spreading awareness about Islam. And the first sample that the people around you see is You! Very few will actually want to see the book of the Allah unless you tell them what you have imbibed from it. It is huge responsibility on our shoulders. Why? Because everyone deserves to receive guidance and mercy that I did from the Qur’an.

 

May you O Reader feel the Mercy of Allah in your heart. He is the Source of Love and He is The Source of Peace.

 

“Indeed this Qur’an guides to the path which is clearer and straighter than any other” (Qur’an 17:9)

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Excerpts from my life, IOU Assignments- informations., Islam

The Divorce- Part 2

…Continued from Part 1:

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The Period of Iddat:
Now that the divorce has been uttered, what should the next step be?

“Ofcourse, ask her to pack her bags and leave!!”, would be an answer that most ignorant people would give. Especially in Indo-Pak where the popular trend (to imitate the kuffar) is that the man and woman separate. Sometimes, the divorce is uttered in utmost anger and the woman is humiliatingly dragged out of the house.

Allah says, “… And have taqwa of your Lord. And turn them not out of their homes nor shall they leave, except in case they are guilt of illicit sexual intercourse. And those are the set limits of Allah…” (Surah AT-Talaq, 1)

Allah warns muslims here to have fear of Him with regards to the rights of divorced wives (As-Sa’di). It the right of a muslimah to live in her matrimonial home and be provided for until she is in her iddah. The husband cannot throw her out and she cannot abandon the house as well unless the divorce was caused due to her committing adultery. (Ibn Katheer)

Allah further says, “…and whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself” (65:1). Therefore, whoever breaches these commands of Allah, reduces his profit and wasted their share of reward (As-Sa’di).

THE Wisdom of ‘Iddah at the Husband’s House
“..You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass”, (65:1)

😀 What does this verse say? Allah commanded the divorced wife to remain in her husband’s house during ‘Iddah, so that the husband might regret his action and Allah may renew mercy and compassion in his heart who may want to resume his marriage with his wife. Or, perhaps the wife may realise her mistake which lead to the divorce, regret it and make amends.  An ideal iddah makes it easy for reunion of husband and wife. Perhaps the reason for which the divorce occurred ceases to exist after sometime. The Iddah serves as a period of reconsideration.

One of the many wisdoms behind Iddah is to determine whether she is pregnant with his child.

Kindness:
When the period of iddat ends, the husband may

  • either take her back to live honorably with her and in good companionship, not to cause harm or intending evil by holding them against their will, because this is prohibited. or,
  • part with them in a good manner through a divorce that is free from prohibited behavior, without cursing or disputing, and without forcing her to give up some of her money (in return for being released from the marriage). ___[As-Sa’di]

Kindness to the wife is paramount irrespective of whether the husband takes her back or parts. Allah commands believers to keep two trustworthy muslim men as witnesses to ensure a healthy divorce.

The rulings and set limits of Allah mentioned here will serve as an admonition for a Believer whereas those whose hearts are devoid of faith will care less of the evil they commit.

Divorce indeed brings hardship, depression and anxiety. Allah says, those who have Taqwa (fear of and obedience to Allah), He will make a way for him to get our and provide from sources that one cannot contemplate.

Wife cannot be taken back after third divorce:
The third divorce is irrevocable. Allah said :” And if he has divorced her the third time then she is not lawful for him thereafter until she has married another husband” (Surah Baqarah, verse 230).

Wait right there before you gawk. Allow me to explain.

Men are not allowed to repeatedly divorce her and take her back. If he divorces her the third time, she is free to marry again after her iddat period. She does not owe any duty, responsibility or liability towards the man. Nor is it permissible for him to take her as a wife again by way of Nikah. So what is the solution?

I wonder why any woman would ever want to marry a man who considers her to be so trivial that he could divorce not once, twice but thrice. Why would she want a life of perpetual anxiety of whether he may drop the divorce bomb anytime without knowing whether he will take her back or leave her. Is this love at all?

Allah sets her free. Free to marry someone who would give her the love and respect that a wife deserves. She becomes impermissible to him. If she wants to live the life of a married woman, she may marry another man. Marry a momin. Run away from the man who gave you so much agony. There is no solution by which they can marry again

Is Halala a part of Islam?

“…until she marries again.” , meaning until she has legally married another man. The reason for the woman (who was divorced thrice) to marry another man must be that the man desires her and has the intention of having an extended married life with her. These are the legal goals and aims behind marriage. If the reason behind the second marriage was to make the woman eligible for her ex-husband again then this is Tahlil (Halala) that hadiths have cursed and criticised. Additionally, when the reason behind this marriage (if it was halala) is announced in the contract, it would make the contract invalid. (Ibn Katheer, commentary on 2:230)

  • It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said:
    “The Messenger of Allah cursed the Muhallil and the Muhallal lahu.”
    [Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1934, Grade: Sahih]
  • It was narrated that ‘Abdullah said:
    “The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who tattoos and the one tattooed, the woman who fixed hair extensions and the one who had her hair get extended, the consumer of Riba and the one who pays it, and Al-Muhallil and Al-Muhallal Lahu.”
    [Sunan an-Nasa’i 3416, Grade: Sahih  &  Graded Hasan by Tirmidhi]

# The Muhallil is the one who marries a woman and divorces her so that she can return to her first husband, and the muhallal lahu is the first husband

# Halala/ Tahleel is marrying a woman for a specific length of time with the intention of divorcing her after that so as to make her permissible to her ex-husband who has divorced her thrice.

Tirmidhi reported, “This is what acted upon among the Companions, among whom are Umar, Uthmaan and Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhum). It was also saying of scholars of fiqh amongst the Tabi’in (second generation of Islam). Umar said, “If the participants to halala are brought to me, I will have them stoned”. Ibn Umar has been reported to equate it to adultery. [Ibn Kathir, ibid].

The system of halala has no existence in Islam or in Islamic history. The very purpose of why Allah made a woman impermissible after three divorces has been defeated and mocked.

Muta Marriages & Halala:

Allow me please to introduce a new term to you- “Muta Marriage”.

#Mut’ah or temporary marriage refers to when a man marries a woman for a specific length of time in return for a particular amount of money.

It was narrated from ‘Ali that he heard Ibn ‘Abbaas permitting mut’ah marriage, and he said, “Wait a minute, O Ibn ‘Abbaas, for the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade it on the day of Khaybar and (he also forbade) the meat of tame donkeys.” [Narrated by Muslim, 1407.] 

The basic principle of marriage is that it must be ongoing and permanent. Allah has made marriage one of His signs which calls us to think and ponder. He has created love and compassion between the spouses, and has made the wife a source of tranquility for the husband.

A man is entitled to take his wife back twice after two respective Talaqs but after that the separation is irrevocable. She is then free to be married to any other person of her choice. Therefore, if a thrice divorced wife marries another man, the intention of the man must be to keep her as his wife, give her due rights and live with love and compassion. If then in the normal course of life a dispute between them develops leading to first Talaq by the second husband, she is again free to be married to any person of her choice including the second husband (by whom she has got the first divorce) and also including the first husband as well.

The relevant point here is that a Halala cannot be planned in advance, as a Nikah between her and the second husband with an understanding of a divorce afterwards will not be valid. If she does so, it will be an illegitimate relationship with the second husband and with the first husband also with whom she comes to live after a pre-planned Halala. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) has cursed both such men who perform Halala and for whom Halala is performed.

Conclusion:
How horrible have we reduced the status of our women to? What kind of patriarchy is this to introduce into Islam things that were never practised during the time of Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallan) or his companions? Things that enraged them, displayed disgust and earned curses from them.

We today fail to observe the sunnahs of kindness towards wives and giving them their rights. Rather we work very hard to reduce the shariah in abusing women. We divorce them without any contemplation, do not bear our wives with patience, forgiveness is a forgotten trait, we threaten our wives with divorcee, the divorces are unruly involving harassment one cannot fathom, wives are thrown out after divorce and taken back at whims only for further abuse, we do not pay their mehr , we pronounce three divorce at once and then force her into adultery by way of halala thereby earning Allah’s wrath.

What has the ummah reduced to? Do we know more about religion of Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasallam) than his companions? Leave aside what I say or what anyone else says for a while if you are unsure of what is right and wrong- open the books of Hadiths, open the Qur’an brothers and read what Allah asks you to do. Read what Allah wants you to be.

Read. Read my dear sisters if you do not wish to be reduced to a piece of meat.

“Iqra bismi rabbikallazi khalaq- Read in the name of your Lord who created” [Al-Alaq, verse 1]

May Allah reward you


Bibliography:

  1. Tafseer Ibn Katheer
  2. Tafseer As-Sa’di
  3. Sunnah.com for hadiths
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IOU Assignments- informations., Islam

The Divorce: Part 1

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Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.

I remember watching a teleshow long back where a muslim man uttered “talaq” thrice and his wife became the damsel in distress. The child in me was abhorred. My heart went out for all muslim women and I felt proud to be born in a hindu household. At least my dad will never do that to my mum.

That is how media is teaching us about Islam today. The sad part is that not only non-Muslims, even Muslims today are resorting to media to learn about Islam. The result? We see a widespread debate over triple talaq today. What surprises me, is the Indian courts and non-muslim public says that triple talaq is cruel, whereas many promiment people from amongst the muslim are striving to upkeep this practise.

Why? why are we in such a miserable situation? Why are we taking religion from any other source other than Qur’an and hadith? Why amidst all the chaos, the one place you forgot to check about the Islamic laws was the Qur’an? May Allah ease the affairs of the ummah.

Subhanallah, our local masjid here has been delivering khutba every jumu’ah on women’s rights in Islam. They have beautifully covered how women open doors to Paradise for her parents, husband and children. Previous jumu’ah the topic was the very controversial issues of talaq, iddat and halala.

Pre-Islamic times witnessed divorce being used as a tool for harassing women. The men would divorce women and then would take them back soon after. Neither did they allow the women to live peacefully post divorce, nor did they look after them after taking them back.

It was under these circumstances that Allah revealed the divine laws of divorce. Women were given the right of khula and men received the right of talaq. Allah says in the Qur’an:

الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ ۖ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ

Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment. [Surah Baqarah, 229]

Thus, the matter of divorce was made more grave and recurrence of it to trouble women was stopped.

Two Roads to Choose:
Allah then commands the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) and through him the entire ummah, that when they divorce their wives, they must not rush by not adhering to the commandments of Allah (Surah At-Talaq, 1).

Allah says, when the iddat is coming to an end, a man may take two ways-

  • He may either leave her so that she is free to live her life and marry someone else if she so wishes or,
  • He may choose to get back with her and amend the marital ties.

Thus, if he decides to take her back he must do with due respect and dignity. A person who takes her back to oppress her is indeed a zaalim and will receive great humiliation from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Similarly, if he decides to leave her, he has been commanded to leave her with due kindness without causing any humiliation or abuse. To maintain clarity in the matter of divorce or reconciliation, Allah has advised to take two men of repute as witnesses (Surah At-Talaq, 2). .

To Joke about divorce:
It has been recorded in At-Tirmidhi [1] that the messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said that there are three things which when joked about become binding on the speaker

  • To joke about nikah
  • To joke about divorce
  • To joke about taking back ones wife.

Some narrations from sahabis including Umar and Ali (radiallahu anhum) say the three things are nikah, divorce and manumission.

Allah prohibits us from joking about the verses of Qur’an (Surah at-Tawbah, 65-66) and to denounce a gathering where it is done (Surah an-Nisa, 140). Therefore nobody can perform a nikah, consummate the marriage and declare the next day that he was joking. The woman he married, will nevertheless will be called his wife. Similarly, one cannot pronounce divorce and say that he was joking. Divorce is a matter that must be taken seriously keeping the consequences in mind.

The Procedure of Talaq aka a bit about Triple Talaq

Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) reported that pronouncements of three divorce during the lifetime of Allah’s messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم)  and of Abu Bakr and two years of the caliphate of Umar (radiallahu anhum) was treated as one. However, after that people started giving talaq frivolously. Thus, to curb this trend, Umar imposed upon them to treat three talaq in one breath as an irrevocable divorce  (Sahih Muslim). Additionally, it is interesting to note that Abdullah Ibn Masud and Zubayr (radiallahu anhum) advised Umar bin Khattab against this.

Similar narrations by Abu Sahba (radiallahu anhu) has been recorded in Muslim. The irony of the day is that Muslims choose to ignore the trend during the time of Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) . Do you and I know better about those times than Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu)? The ruling of triple talaq at one go was merely imposed for exceptional circumstancial necessity of that age.

It has been recorded in Musnad Ahmed, that Rukana once came distressed to the Prophet stating that he had divorced his wife but regretted it. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) asked him how he had divorced her. He said he by pronouncing three divorces in one setting. Thereby, the Prophet told him that he may take his wife back as this will amount to just one utterance of divorce and Rukana did so [3].

Another narration by Mahmud bin Labid states that a man uttered divorce thrice to his wife in one sitting. When the messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) heard this, he angrily stood up saying, “the Book of Allah is being made the subject of jest while I am still amongst you”. A man immediately stood up seeking permission whether he should kill that man. [4]

Hence, the triple talaq in one sitting is called talaq-ul-bidaat — an innovation that is against the procedure prescribed by Allah. Therefore, between every talaq there must be a waqf (i.e a period of iddah). Any number of pronouncements at one time would sum up to one pronouncement.

Women must be divorced during the prescribed period. Muslim recorded that Ibn-Umar (radiallahu anhu) reported that he divorced is wife while she was menstruating. Umar bin Khattab asked the Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم) about it and this angered the Prophet. He commanded ibn-Umar to take her back and divorce her when she is clean from it. When she again enters menstruation and is clean from it again, he may divorce her again.  However, the condition is that he must not have had intercourse with her during that period. After this he may keep her or divorce her for the final time. [5]

There is also a similar narration on the same lines in Sahih Muslim where Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) continues to say that if he pronounced three talaq at one and the same time, he has disobeyed the command of Allah with regards to the procedure of divorce. But, she would be ultimately separated from him.

Another narration from Daraqutni states that Ibn-Umar asked the messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم)whether it would be permissible for him to take his wife back if he had pronounced three divorces. The Prophet responded that the talaq would be complete and irrevocable but ibn-Umar would have earned the sin for pronouncing divorce in the wrong manner [6].

To be continued…

In the next part we will learn what Qur’an says about the period of iddat, kindness prescribed for divorced women and the process of halala In sha Allah. Click here to read Part 2.



Reference

[1] At-Tirmidhi, 1184. Graded hasan by shaikh Albani

[2] Saheeh Muslim, Book 9 hadith number 3491 (Book on Talaq, Chapter 2: Prouncement of three divorces)

[3] ‘Usmani, Umar Ahmad, (1999),  Women’s Rights in the Qur’an, Women and Modern Society, Indian: Select Books

[4] An-Nasa’i, taken from Commentary to Surah Baqara verse 229 from Tafseer Ibn Katheer

[5] Saheeh Muslim, Book 9 hadith no. 3473 (Book on Talaq, Chapter 1: Prohibition of divorcing wife during her menses)

[6] Taken from commentary on Saheeh Muslim, Book 9 hadith number 3491

Bibliography
1.
Tafseer ibn Katheer
2. As-Sa’di, Abdur-Rahmaan , (2014), Methodical Interpretation of the Noble Qur’an: Tafseer as-Sa’di, vol 10., Riyadh: Darussalam
3. Muslim, (2005), Sahih Muslim, Translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, Vol. 2, India: Islamic Book Service

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