Assalaamu Alaikum! Numerous times daily we greet one another with this wonderful greeting. Unlike the hollow or even meaningless greetings of “Hi,” “Hello,” etc., Assalaamu Alaikum is a profound dua of peace and safety for the person being greeted. When one exclaims “Assalaamu Alaikum” to someone, it is as if one has assured him thus: “You are in peace and safety from me in every way whatsoever — word, deed or even thought.” Hence we spread the message of peace numerous times daily to everyone we meet.
Peace is something that is certainly cherished by every sane person. No sane person desires to have enemies, or loves harbouring ill-feelings or being involved disputes. However often disputes do occur due to various reasons. At times the disputes are severe, resulting in much bitterness and ill-feelings. This further leads to malice and hatred and a host of other evils. The greatly cherished peace is completely shattered.
The disputes referred to here are those of a personal nature, whether pertaining to money, status, position, dignity, etc. Such disputes occur due to many reasons. It is either merely a misunderstanding that has developed into a severe dispute, or it could be a deliberate wrongful action of one party. It could also be a careless utterance which, though not said seriously, was nevertheless hurtful. Many other such aspects could lead to disputes.
We are thus faced with a dilemma. Everyone cherishes peace. Yet disputes which occur so often destroy the peace. How does one avoid the dispute, or if it does occur, resolve it amicably before the peace can be shattered?
Our Deen has given us guidance in all aspects. It also has given us guidance for the different situations that we could find ourselves in. Firstly, we have been taught not to be the oppressor. Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “A Muslim (in reality) is one who other Muslims are safe from (the mischief and harm of) his tongue and hand” (Sahih Bukhari).
Thus we should be careful not to cause any difficulty to the next person by word or deed. In fact, not even by thought — i.e. by not wishing ill for the next person or harbouring malice for him, etc. Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said to Hazrath Anas (R.A.): “O my beloved son! If you could pass the morning and evening free of malice for anybody, then certainly do so.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then exclaimed: “O my beloved son! Verily that (keeping the heart free of malice) is from my Sunnah. The one who loves my Sunnah has loved me. The one who loves me will be with me in Jannah”(Mishkaat).
Among the various aspects that lead one towards becoming the cause of disputes is jumping to conclusions without having verified the facts. This must be totally avoided. For instance, Zaid telephoned his friend Yusuf. Yusuf could not take the call. Zaid tried again and got the same response. Hence he now jumps to the conclusion that Yusuf is avoiding him. As a result Zaid severs ties with Yusuf. Yet there could have been a genuine reason why Yusuf could not take the call at that time. Had Zaid adoptedhusn-uz-zann (having good thoughts about the next person and not entertaining suspicion without a firm basis) the dispute would not have occurred. This is a simple example that could be extended to many other similar situations.
LOVE FOR EGO
Another core aspect that we must cleanse ourselves of in order to avoid becoming the cause for disputes is the maladies of hubbe jah (love for the ego) and hubbe maal (love for wealth). Love for the ego will make one feel aggrieved upon anything that one deems to be against one’s status or honour. Perhaps one was not invited to a family function, or not given the V.I.P. reception that others were given at a social gathering, or not respected according to one’s special standing, etc. If the love of the ego is not removed, such trivial aspects can lead one to serious disputes. Similarly, love of wealth will lead one to usurp inheritance, cheat customers, defraud people and various other crimes. All this could cause severe problems.
Apart from the above, there are many other aspects that we must refrain from. However all these aspects have been summarised in the aforementioned Hadith:“A Muslim is one who other Muslims are safe from (the harm of) his tongue and hand.”
While we must do our utmost to avoid any dispute arising, humans are nevertheless created weak. We do err and commit some excesses. As soon as we realise our fault, we should humbly seek forgiveness and make amends. Humility for the sake of Allah Ta’ala elevates one in this world and the Hereafter.
Secondly one could be oppressed and aggrieved. Indeed, people will sometimes ignore all the abovementioned teachings of Deen. Hence they will
cause one financial harm, physical injury or mental anguish and torment. This will generally result in a dispute. When one has been subjected to any injustice, one has a right to seek compensation or retribution. Yet the first encouragement of the Qur’an and Sunnah even in this situation is to forgive and overlook those who harm us. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) declared: “Join ties of kinship with those who sever ties with you, forgive those who oppress you and show kindness to those who have harmed you.”Thus to whatever extent possible, forgive and overlook.
REWARDS OF SABR
Some disputes pertain to dignity and status only. There is nothing one can really claim in this world (where Islamic Law is not enforced) from the wrongful party apart from making him admit his wrong and making him tender an apology. Perhaps it may be a harsh or insulting word uttered by somebody, or one could have been subjected to backbiting, slander or even physical harm, or one was treated in an inappropriate manner — in all such situations one should readily and whole-heartedly reap the rewards ofsabr (patience) and forgiveness.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “He who abandons a dispute despite having a valid claim, a home will be built for him in the middle of Jannah” (Mishkaat). One should also take guidance from the exemplary life of Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is reported that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) never took revenge for himself (Shamaa’il).
BOUNDS OF SHARIAH
In disputes where large sums of money are at stake or any other tangible benefits could be accrued in this world by demanding one’s right, if one is in the position to forgive, forgiveness is still the first choice. The benefits of forgiving in this world and the rewards in the Hereafter are unimaginable. However, if one rightfully claims what is due to one, this is perfectly in order. However, it is necessary that the correct procedure be adopted and that one remains fully within the bounds of Shariah in making one’s claim. All irrelevant personal issues should be ignored. Advice must also be sought from an experienced Aalim as to what is the Shar’i ruling regarding the validity of one’s claim. Then pursue the claim with dignity. Insha-Allah an amicable solution will be reached.
The aspect to always keep in mind is moderation in all affairs. Sometimes a dispute occurs in some matter. Eventually it is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. However during the period of the dispute, both parties stooped to personal insults, vulgar language, etc. Hence, though the dispute has been amicably resolved, the personal insults and vulgar language remain a thorn in the relationship for a long time.
DUA FOR OPPOSITION
There are many things that can be done in order to amicably resolve a dispute. This short article cannot even cursorily discuss all. One essential aspect isDUA — dua for oneself and for one’s opposition. Sincerely beseech Allah Ta’ala to guide both parties towards the truth. Also make dua that Allah Ta’ala grants both parties complete guidance and the best of both worlds. If one’s ego is not the issue, or there is no evil intent, one will find no difficulty in making thisdua. Resorting to dua in the above manner will also help to restrict the dispute.
Often when a dispute occurs, some people associated to either party, fan the flames of conflict rather then encourage an amicable solution. This is indeed regrettable. Striving to create peace between people is a tremendously great act. Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once asked: “Should I not inform you of an act that is more virtuous than (optional) fasting, charity and salaah?”(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Making peace between people. As for quarrels and disputes, it shaves off (destroys Deen)” (Mishkaat, Pg. 428). The Sahaaba (R.A.) replied: “Certainly tell us.” Rasulullah
Undoubtedly many disputes are extremely complicated and there is no quick-fix solution. However, perhaps the majority of disputes could be amicably resolved if we adopt the above guidelines. May Allah Ta’ala bless us all with peace —Assalaamu Alaikum.
Profit or Interest
The Quran-al-Kareem clearly declares: “And Allah Ta’ala has made trade lawful and has forbidden interest.” The prohibition of interest is so severe that all the parties connected to the transaction are sinful. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “Allah Ta’ala has cursed the one who takes interest, the one who gives it, the witness to the transaction and the scribe (who recorded it). All are equal in the sin (Mishkaat). It is thus clear that one must totally shun interest in every form.
Nevertheless, at times either due to lack of knowledge or lack of concern such “investments” are made which apparently are lawful and earn legitimate “profits.” Yet in reality these “profits” are nothing but interest. Consuming such “profits” which are in reality interest, draw the punishments that have been mentioned in the Hadith for consuming interest.
Among the common unlawful investments is the investment in a running business for a fixed return. For example, Zaid has a thriving business. His friend, Ahmad, wishes to invest R10 000,00 in Zaid’s business. The agreement is that Zaid will pay Ahmad 20% on the R10 000,00 which amounts to R2 000,00 annually. While they agree to share the profits in the above manner, they also agree to share the losses. For instance if the business was destroyed, Ahmad would lose his investment and he will have no claim over Zaid. In many cases it is also agreed that if the partnership is dissolved, Ahmad will take back his investment of R10 000.00 and Zaid will retain the business.
This agreement is not valid. The amount of R2 000.00 which Ahmad is paid is simply interest, and thus Haraam.
The basic principle in an investment of this nature is that one shares a percentage of actual profits or losses. When Ahmad invests the R10 000.00 he will become a shareholder in Zaid’s entire business to the proportion of his investment. Hence if the business was worth R90 000.00 before Ahmad joined, Ahmad will become a 10% shareholder after his investment. The partners may mutually decide what Ahmad’s share of the actual profits will be. If it was agreed that Ahmad will share 20% of the profits, and the total net profit for that year was only R1 000.00, Ahmad will receive R200.00 only as his share of the profit. If the partnership is dissolved, each partner will receive his share of his actual worth in the business. In the above example Ahmad was a 10% shareholder and Zaid owned 90%. Upon dissolution of the partnership, the net value of the business will be ascertained. This will then be proportionately distributed. For instance if the net value of the above business at the time of dissolution was R300 000.00, Ahmad will take 10% which amounts to R30 000.00.
The above is just one example. There are many other investments which could be unlawful. In order to ensure that one has not contravened the dictates of Shariah in one’s investment, always first check with an experienced Aalim.
Q&A: Imam Mahdi in 2004
Many people are eagerly awaiting the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.). It is well known that when he appears, tyranny and oppression will be wiped out from the face of this earth and the Muslims will gain domination. Due to the current situation of the Muslim Ummah, the yearning for the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) has greatly increased. Some people have identified 2004 as the year of his appearance. Is this correct?
The appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) prior to the day of Qiyamah is an authentically established fact. Numerous Ahadith explain the personal details of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.), the battles he will wage against the forces of baatil, the peace and tranquillity that will prevail in his time, the duration of his life, etc. In fact, Imaam Mahdi (R.A.)’s appearance will be the first major sign of Qiyamah.
While there are many indications mentioned in the Ahadith pertaining to the conditions that will prevail at the time of the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.), there is no specification of time. As for the prediction that Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) will appear in 2004, it is based on two ‘proofs.’ However, a cursory investigation of these ‘proofs’ will make it evidently clear that they cannot in any way conclusively establish 2004 as the year for the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.).
The first ‘proof’ is a narration of Muhammad bin Ali who says: “Verily for (the appearance of) our Mahdi are two signs which never occurred ever since the creation of the skies and the earth. The moon will eclipse on the first of Ramadhaan and the sun will eclipse in the fifteenth of Ramadhaan. These signs never occurred ever since Allah Ta’ala created the skies and the earth” (Dar Qutni – Vol. 2, Pg. 45). This narration cannot be used as proof due to the following reasons:
- This is not a Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Rather, it is the statement of “Muhammad bin Ali.”
- There are numerous narrators by the name of Muhammad bin Ali. Hence it cannot be established with certainty who this particular narrator is. Thus the narrator is unknown.
- The person narrating from Muhammad bin Ali is Jaabir. The identity of this Jaabir is also not known.
- The person narrating from Jaabir is Amr bin Shimr who has been severely criticised by the scholars of Hadith. He is accused of fabricating Hadith and was declared a liar. He was a well-known Rafidhi Shia (those who reject the first three Khulafa) and subscribe to many other heretical beliefs).
The above makes it abundantly clear that the alleged narration cannot be used as ‘proof’ to establish anything.
Furthermore, it is recorded that the lunar and solar eclipse has occurred in the month of Ramadhaan. From 1801 to 1900 this occurred at least five times. This has been conclusively established with extensive statistical records by Moulana Sayed Muhammad Ali Mongeri (R.A.) in his book “Doosri Shahadate Aasmani” (Pg. 26)
The aforementioned narration claims that the lunar eclipse will occur on the first of Ramadhaan and the solar eclipse on the fifteenth of Ramadhaan. According to the astronomers, the lunar and solar eclipse will occur this year on the 9th and 23rd of November 2003 which does not correspond with the first and fifteenth of Ramadhaan.
The second ‘proof’ is the prediction of various great Ulama of the recent past. Firstly, non of them specified any date. Secondly, even if any specific time had been mentioned, such inspired predictions are not a Shar’i basis to prove anything. Many senior Ulama of the past, such as Allama Suyuti (R.A.), Moulana Ya’koob Nanotwi (R.A.) and many others also made similar predictions which proved to be incorrect.*
The crux of the matter is that there is no basis to specify 2004 for the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.). Allah Ta’ala has withheld this knowledge from the creation. The principle to adhere to in this instance is: “Abhimu ma Abhamallah” (i.e. do not delve in things that Allah Ta’ala has not revealed). In fact, according to a narration of Ibne Majah and Musnad Ahmad, it appears that the person who will be the Mahdi himself will not know that this responsibility will be placed upon him until just before he is appointed the Madhi. Hazrath Ali (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The Mahdi will be from our household (progeny). Allah Ta’ala will endow him with the qualities of the Mahdi in one night.”
The appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) will occur at its appointed time, whether that time is imminent or centuries away. It will occur without any effort of anyone. Hence to spend valuable time trying to determine when it will occur is futile. Our energies should rather be channelled towards uplifting ourselves and the Ummah at large.
(Adapted from an article by Moulana Umar Farooq Lohari of London — Al-Balaagh, April 2003)
Faqihul Ummah: Lustful Inclinations
Summary of Letter:
Respected Mufti Saheb
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
I am afflicted with this condition that at times I am overcome with a desire to gaze at ghair mahramzina (fornication). Often I am inclined to gaze at handsome youth or to even have impermissible contact with them. Indeed I am in a desperate situation. Kindly help me. women (women who one is permitted to marry). At other times I am strongly inclined to commit zina (fornication). Often I am inclined to gaze at handsome youth or to even have impermissible contact with them. Indeed I am in a desperate situation. Kindly help me.
Summary of Reply:
Respected Brother / Sister
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
At your age (youth) it is common for people to be troubled by such carnal desires. By restraining yourself from acting upon these urges, you are accumulating a great treasure of rewards in the Hereafter. When you are engulfed by the urges to look atghair mahram women or to commit zina but nevertheless restrain your gaze and other limbs, it is akin to waging jihaad. Thus you are receiving this great virtue so easily.
When making zikr of la-ilaaha illallah, (when saying la-ilaaha)imagine that you have taken the love of all besides Allah Ta’ala and thrown it behind your back and (when saying illallah imagine that) you have established the love of Allah Ta’ala in your heart. When making the zikr of ‘Allah,’ imagine that a light has been switched on in your heart which is getting brighter all the time. Also visualize that this light is emanating from your mouth with your breath as you are makingzikr and it is engulfing your entire body and even the entire Musjid. May Allah Ta’ala help you.