Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mauritius: Politics and the Muslim


Political theory privileges democratic form of governance. A democracy works on the edifice of rule of law coupled with constitutional checks and balances and effectively functioning public institutions, manned by people who do their duties without fear or favour. Periodic elections ensure people's participation in the governance process in a democracy, nudging the rulers to listen to the aspirations and will of the people; formulate accomodative and  inclusive policies that adjust or settle diverging interests and specific claims of several communities and social groups inhabiting the land. In a progressive democracy, the interests and rights of all peoples/ social communities- including ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic minorities- find political accommodation and social recognition within the framework of national law and policy. 


It is against this ideal of a multicultural and multi-ethnic society reflecting the diversity of its peoples and respecting the equal rights of all communities that we can examine the lived reality of our nation-States. In his Friday Sermon of 25 October 2019~ 26 Safar 1441 AH, Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) takes a closer look at the state of national politics in his home country, Mauritius, at a time when the Island-nation is gearing up for the general elections in the coming week. As responsible citizens, it is the duty of everyone to participate in the electoral process to ensure that good and just representatives are elected to  serve the larger cause of the nation and the people, reminds Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba)

The forthcoming elections are also a time for  soul- searching for the Muslim community of Mauritius. Representation in all levels of government, including the civil services, is critical for ensuring that the legitimate interests and rights of the community are not overlooked. However, in the absence of prudential interventions to protect its identity, the minority community continues to see erosion of its political space and identity-related group rights, including the right to exercise its religious freedoms under the Shariah. 

Setting the agenda for discussion, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) highlights a number of social justice issues that need urgent political attention at this point of time. In a cultural environment where every community's sacred festivals are acknowledged and celebrated, it is scandalous that the country does not observe Eid-ul-Adha Holiday, the biggest festival day of the Muslims. One can only agree that the situation does indicate an appalling neglect and cultural insensitivity towards a minority community. Likewise, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) also calls attention to the anomalous situation created by the virtual abandonment of Muslim Personal Law in the country, especially for the Mauritian women- those of them who are in religious marriages are deprived of the legal sanctity of a civil marriage. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Conjugal Relations in Islam


Marital (In)stability: Role of Attitude

Imam Bukhari mentions a Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), reported by Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra) which is as follows: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.”

There are many women who, as a result of a dispute between themselves and their husbands, think that they are punishing them (i.e. their husbands) by not allowing them to satisfy their carnal desires. However, this attitude can lead to serious problems that can lead the husband to commit a prohibited act or things can turn against her (i.e. the wife) and he will think about getting married to a second woman. The wife must therefore satisfy his desire by putting into practice a recommendation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):  If the man calls his wife for sexual intercourse, she must answer spontaneously even if she is on the saddle of a camel!” 

All the same, the husband must also take into account the condition of his wife, who may be sick, pregnant or have trouble, all this to reach an agreement (with her, mutual agreement) without difficulty.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Beliefs and Practices in Shi‘a Islam


The Shi'a belief on 'Imamat'

The Shiites believe that after the death of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and this till the end of the world, Allah has nominated twelve Imams. According to them, those twelve Imams had been nominated by Allah through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The first Imam according to them is Ali (ra), the second one, his son, Imam Hassan, the third one Imam Hussein and the rest of the nine Imams being found in their bloodline.

From the first Imam (i.e. Ali) till the eleventh Imam (Hassan Askari), all died a natural death like the rest of mankind. As for the twelfth Imam, the son of Hassan Askari, he mysteriously disappeared in this youth and went into hiding in a cave. Now till the end of the world, according to the Shiites, he alone has the exclusive right to reign upon the world. The belief in Imamat is obligatory (Farz) for a Shiite and the one who does not believe in it shall see himself being rewarded hell as resting place. In one of their books, Al-Kafila there is the mention that if the earth (i.e. the world) remain without an Imam, it shall sink. Still according to this book, the (Shiites) Imams are selected by Allah just like Allah chose the prophets.

The Origin of the Sect

Shia in itself is not a religion; it is a sect in Islam. After the martyrdom of Hazrat Umar (ra) and during the caliphate of Hazrat Uthman (ra), Islam propagated in several countries outside Arabia, such as Persia, etc. Many people accepted Islam at that time. Many entered the fold of Islam sincerely while many others entered therein hypocritically.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Qur'an: On Relations with War Captives


Retrieving the humane and egalitarian voice of the Qur’an is an important task of our times, especially in contexts where politico-militant groups seek to co-opt certain interpretations of the Islamic Shari’ah to promote their dubious projects that subjugate women’s dignity, rights and moral agency. 

Consider the treatment of captured women in war/ “female slaves” by the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’ (ISIS) under ‘Caliph’ Abu Baker Al Baghdadi. During 2014-’17, when the ISIS under the Caliph ruled over an ‘Islamic State’ after his band of fighters and followers held control over parts of Iraq and Syria; it captured hundreds of females belonging to the minority Yazidi community as prisoners of war. Claiming that Islamic theology permits both the enslavement and the establishment of sexual relations with women captives, the ISIS established “slave markets” in the areas under its control to “trade” in the ‘female slaves’ so as to distribute them among the fighters of the Islamic State. When some of those young women and teenage girls escaped from the clutches of these marauders operating in the name of 'Islam', their harrowing experiences sent shock-waves across the global community. 

The beliefs and actions of the Islamic State and its Maulawis who issued the edicts in favour of establishing slave markets to trade in war captives scandalize the fair name of Islam- the pristine faith of  devout Muslims around the world. The Promised Massih Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian spoke presciently on this dire state of affairs in the previous era, when he wrote: 

"Islam today is in a very precarious state, and its light has been almost completely eclipsed. The Muslims have erred not only in their beliefs but also in their practices. They have fabricated some Traditions which have not only adversely affected their character, but are also contrary to the Divine law of nature. For example, Divine law has established three basic human rights: One must not kill an innocent person, one must not injure someone’s honour, and one must not unjustly appropriate another person’s property. And yet there are Muslims who break all three of these commandments. They murder innocent people and do not fear God, and their foolish Maulawis have even issued edicts declaring it lawful to lure away or capture women of other religions—whom they consider infidels—and to take them as wives. Similarly, they consider it lawful to usurp the property of any disbeliever through embezzlement or theft. Just consider the perilous state of the religion whose Maulawis issue such edicts! All this is the work of egotistic people who falsely attribute such teachings to God and His Messenger." (How to be Free from Sin, pp-15-16, UK: 2008 edn).

Oppressive interpretations of the Divine Speech is often a legacy of flawed Scriptural exegesis and cannot stand the critical scrutiny of Qur’an’s liberatory hermaneutics. Since the ‘Islamic State’ sought to justify the enslavement and sexual assault on female captives in terms of the Shariah, it is important to debunk these fraudulent claims by placing before the world the proper context and interpretation of the verses of the Holy Qur’an pertaining to the subject. In his Friday Sermon of 13 July 2018 (28 Shawwal 1439 AH), Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius makes an important intervention on this larger debate. 

Explaining the Qur’anic expression “Maa Malakat ‘Aymaanuhum” (What your Right Hands Possess”, Hadhrat Saheb (atba) draws attention to the need for engaging with the overall framework of the Qur’an in teasing out the meaning of the Divine Discourse. There is no verse in the Qur’an that sanctions concubines and the Holy Book affirms that married women are not lawful for other men before the dissolution of the previous marriage. To protect the dignity of unclaimed female war captives- separated from their relatives socially and morally- who would not be in a position to dissolve any previous marriage; the Qur’an, however, makes an exception in the case of such female prisoners of war and permits that relations with such women (“What your Right Hands Possess”) can be established through wedlock even if the former marriage is not formally dissolved. Any assumption that (sexual) relations with female captives is permitted without marriage is rejected by the Qur’an (24:33, 4:4, 26), points out Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba).  

Read the Friday Sermon Below: 

The Expression: What your Right Hands Possess”


And those who guard their chastity; Except from their wives or what their right hands possess, for then surely they are not to be blamed.” (Al-Mu'minun, 23: 6-7).

Much misunderstanding prevails as to what the expression “their right hands possess” means, and what are the rights and status of the persons to whom it applies.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Virtuous Progeny: A Divine Blessing

The Holy Qur’an is an ocean without shore. (18: 110; 31:28) For, the Book of Infinite and Eternal Wisdom in the Arabic language, encompasses within its wide-ranging verses, a world of profound explanations on several matters. Further, the Sublime Book with its inimitable literary style and reasoned argumentation, offers a fascinating glimpse of the ways of the Divine: a human mind can only marvel at the depth and reach of the Divine Book. The Qur’an remains a stunning testimonial to a Living God in complete control of the Universe around us and its clear guidance offers the extraordinary possibility of acceding to the exalted Divine presence for all hearts.  Those who plunge into the sacred text with a purified spiritual perception, shall find pearls of wisdom, illuminating insights and clear guidance on the ultimate questions of our existential, spiritual and ethical universe

Consider the diversity of human experiences in the world. How do we comprehend/understand the Divine Will at work in the world around us? How do we explain the contrasting fortunes of fathers and sons who follow different trajectories in exercise of their God-given Free Will? What role does soulful prayers play in the shaping of the destinies of individuals and spiritual communities? How to look at the (non-)linear linkages between spiritual legacy and physical progeny? 


Marriage and Family: A Divine Favour


Several verses of the Qur’an allude to the many phenomenon of nature and the creation of the human beings in a variety of settings: races, languages, religions, cultures and nations. Indeed the Qur’an cites the creation of the humans, from the humble ‘dust’ and the modest ‘clay’, as a fascinating sign of the complete Power and Lordship of Allah (swt) over all things in all the worlds. The plurality of the humans is described as a Divine Sign: 'One of His signs is that He created you from dust and- lo and behold! -you became human and scattered far and wide'. (30: 22). 

Across cultures and peoples, the institution of family is a foundational element of the social order. The relations of family and affinity between men and women through marriage and children are a blessing of this world. The Qur’an says“And it is Allah who has given you spouses from amongst yourselves, and through them He has given you children and grandchildren and provided you with good things”(16:73)  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

'Talaq': Use and Abuse of Divine Law

“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.” 

                 ----(An-Nisa 4: 36).

My Friday Sermon (Jumuah Khutba) today is on the subject of divorce (Al-Talaq).

Islam places great emphasis on marriage in the sense that it is a sacred contract that cannot be broken for vain and trivial reasons.

Although Talaq (divorce/ repudiation) is allowed, it must be considered that from among everything which is allowed, Talaq (divorce) is the most hated thing, the most abhorred by Allah and it is permitted insofar that it does no unjust damage. 

It should in no way be used as part of some ruse which acts as a pretext for divorce. It can happen that the husband does not like a particular behaviour of his wife and that he has had enough of her. This is not sufficient to justify his request for divorce (Talaq). He must not consider only the negative side of his wife but on the contrary he must assess her good qualities that may well be greater than the defects. A separation may as well have a detrimental effect on the behaviour of the couple’s children (if any) who may become easy prey for Satan.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spirituality in Spouse Relations

Spirituality is not a set of vague feelings experienced by the Muslim but a daily practice for success in this world and the hereafter.

Cohabitation (Married life) is not easy because our desire to be free and not be constrained by the other is greater than our desire to build a family. But for the Muslim, family is sacred. As stated in the Quran, we must reflect on the place of every word, of every verse.

“Among His signs is that He created from yourselves wives so that you find tranquillity with them and He has set between you bonds of love and mercy.” (Ar-Rum 30: 22).

The survival of humanity passes through the family. Currently, we are witnessing the decline of marriage. On the other hand, concubinage is becoming more frequent as well as conflicts which arise because of it. The consequence of concubinage worldwide is that over 20% of children are born outside marriage.

No law in the Civil Code or other speaks of the duty to love. But in Islam, marriage will live by love or last by mercy. And this love is a blessing which Allah deposits in the heart of whomever He wills. 

“Those who say: O our Lord! Grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes and make us guides to those who are pious (God-fearing).’ Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with salutations and peace.” (Al-Furqan, 25: 75-76).

Before announcing the reward, there is beforehand the verse where we understand that love is a gift from God. Among His servants, there are those who say: “Lord, let the sight of our wives and our children fill us with joy.” This love will be directly related to paradise and guidance.

Take the example of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) in the way he treated his wives, and he vowed exceptional love for his two principal wives: Khadija (ra) and Aisha (ra). He always spoke good of his late wife Hazrat Khadija (ra). Hazrat Aisha (ra) was jealous of Hazrat Khadija (ra) despite the fact that she had ever seen her. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to reminiscence her (Khadija) very often. And it was always in a good way. He had good relations with the relatives of Khadija (ra) even after the death of the latter. He used to send meat to her friends and stood up to receive them as soon as he saw them. That is why, Aisha (ra) was very jealous of her.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Husband and Wife: Rights and Limits

Men are guardians over women by (right of) what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend from their wealth. (An-Nisa, 4: 35)

In the same verse Allah (swt) continues to say that righteous women should be devoutly obedient, guarding in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard, even if nobody is watching them.

Therefore, based on this Qur'anic verse, the husband’s responsibility to fulfill his duties towards his wives is as important as those of the wives (or wife, should he have only one) towards their husband. And the Qur'an makes us understand that a husband has a little more authority upon his wife/wives than the latter upon him.

This verse of the Qur'an also shows that both man and wife enjoy each, rights (which have been bestowed to them by Allah) and which they have the right to demand from each other. And Allah (swt) has also showed the relation and responsibility which must exist between husband and wife whereby each one knows his/her rights.
 
Allah says in the Holy Quran: They are an apparel (garment) for you and you are an apparel for them. (2: 188)

By revealing this verse, Allah (swt) wanted to make us understand that the rights of both the husband and wife are equal. You all know that garments are meant to cover our body, especially its defects. Moreover, garments are means to embellish ourselves, man and woman and to protect us from heat and cold.

By likening the husband and wife as garments, Islam wants to show that a good wife is one who protects the honour and dignity of her husband, and she does not go outside and relate to creatures the defects/weaknesses of her husband, and similarly a good husband is one who does not humiliate, blame or relate the defects/weaknesses of his wife with others. This is the beauty of Islam, whereas the garment mentioned means Purdah (covering). The beauty therein is the way in which the woman must neither uncover her beauty nor her clothing before other men. She is to reserve that right to her husband. As for the husband, he is to remain loyal to his life (he must not lead a bad life). It is then that there shall be peace, tranquillity and blessings in their household.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Parental Responsibilities

Nowadays parents are teaching their children a lot on only the material aspect of education. They make all necessary preparations in this field ever since the birth of their children. Here, in Mauritius, we see children being admitted to pre-primary schools at around 3 years old, and when they reach their 5 years old, they go to primary school, then secondary, and finally to university, be it locally or they are sent abroad (to pursue their studies). Parents are ready to make debts so that their offspring study to obtain a degree or diploma. They readily invest a lot of money to secure his (material) future. They are even ready to mortgage their houses, lands to make their children succeed in their advanced studies and become doctors, engineers or lawyers etc., and they do it all with much pride.

All these endeavours are very good, I am not condemning this, but you (parents) should not look at only the material aspect of your children’s education. When you do so, you let this world attract you more so that you may get acclamations in society as the parent/s of such doctor, lawyer etc; and, this despite being overloaded with debts which you contracted to make him/her reach this level of mundane success. And, this despite the fact that there is no guarantee that he/she is grateful to you for the sacrifices done to make him/her get his/her diploma; he may as well neglect you and cast you aside. Or, despite the efforts made, even if your child succeed in becoming a doctor, engineer, lawyer etc., but at the end of the day he is null in Deen (religious) matters. All in all, it is a serious matter for you as parents if all this does not affect you the least.

The neglect of Deen

If your child turned out to be ungrateful and/or disconnected with religion after having obtained his degree as a doctor, or lawyer, and he does not pray Salat/Namaz, neglect the reading of the Holy Qur'an and is not at all attached to the religion of Islam, does this not bring a regret in your heart? Does this not affect you if he is Muslim only in name? Then, who is responsible for this state of affairs? This makes you go back in time to see whether you have given him some teachings of the religion of Islam (and how much of it). If ever you actually gave him some training in Deen (religious) matters, then bear in mind that this is not restricted to only a little practice of Namaz (obligatory prayers) – even then, even if prayer is not done in time – or a little reading of the Holy Quran – whenever he gets the time to do so! Despite a little practice of Namaz (Salat) and Qur'an reading, bear in mind that your child has not obtained all Islamic teachings!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Prophet Muhammad (sa) and His Marriages

Both anti-Islam elements and mindlessly ignorant critics have long called attention to the multiple marriages of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa), in an effort to tarnish the sublime spiritual life of the father of Muslims and to decry that Islam has no space for women’s dignity and rights. Nothing can be further from the truth. For history and traditions of the Muslims testify that the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) elevated the status of women in society through his precepts and practices. If one cares to examine the historical record in its entirety and the material circumstances of the events of the Prophet’s marriages and the times in which such marriages happened, one could come to an intelligent conclusion-that Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa) upheld the dignity and rights and status of women in society. 

In his Friday Sermon of 25 January 2013, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius continued his exposition on some important aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa), a theme he began in the previous week. The Sermon especially provides profound insights on the attitude of the Holy Prophet (sa) towards women and the circumstances of his many marriages. In a fractured and divided tribal society, where women’s lives were considered cheap and disposable, the Prophet’s marriages brought dignity to vulnerable, widowed women and protection to their young children, mend the faultiness of tribal discord, raised the status of slave women, provided unique opportunities for the training of the Ummah on religious values and norms, points out the Messenger of Allah of our times.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

Islam has over the centuries been both commended and criticised concerning the rights of women in society. The modern westerners flaunt the so-called liberty of their women folk before the world, and in their ignorance falsely allege that Islam reserves an inferior place to woman and that she is more of a slave than a person of equal status to man. Whilst the world before Islam casted women as a lowly thing, with the advent of Islam the woman regain her true identity as excellent servant of God, and man’s great treasure, help and equal. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Islamic Family Values


In his special sermon of October 05, 2012 on the occasion of the Annual Conference [“JALSA SALANA”] of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam International, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius reflected on the fundamental values and structural norms on which the edifice of human society is constituted. The speech explains, in simple and eloquent manner, the Islamic family values which are designed to address all the vagaries of human nature and the complex contingencies of   man-woman relationships in society.

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:

Another infrastructural unit for human society is the family. To constitute a family, the most important part is the relationship between man and woman. Just as Islam has laid down certain rules for the honour and responsibility of man, it has placed woman also on the same footing with respect to man. The Holy Quran says: “They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them.” (2: 188)

Besides, the Quran has placed both man and woman on the same status of equality so far as their rights are concerned by declaring: “O you who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit a woman against their will; nor should you detain them wrongfully that you may take away part of that which you have given them, except they be guilty of a flagrant evil; and consort with them in kindness, and if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing wherein Allah has placed much good.” (4: 20)

Moreover, the following verse of the Holy Quran shows the basis of the relationship between men and women: And one of His signs is this, that He has created wives for you from among yourselves that you may find peace of mind in them, and He has put love and tenderness between you. In that surely are signs for a people who reflect.” (30: 22)

The only means of creating a relationship between man and woman is marriage. In today’s world the choice of a partner is made on the following consideration: beauty, wealth and social standing. That’s the reason why difficulties arise and multiply, in social life. Our Holy Prophet (saw) has said: “The first thing to consider when a partner is sought for is virtue and moral standing.”

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Islam and Polygamy


Polygamy as an institution has been discredited the world over in our times. Unlike in the medieval times, the patriarchal practice is now seen as an affront/insult to the dignity of women. In an age of increasing consciousness about human dignity and the basic rights of women, polygamy has gone against the grain of societal acceptance as an indulgence by men and worse. Critics of Islam always frown upon Islam for the perceived/alleged legitimacy it extends to men through the institution of polygamy. They argue that it militates against the notions of equality and women’s rights.

The Mujaddid of the Fourteenth Century, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian engaged with the arguments of the critics of Islam in several of his writings and even defended the practice from the point of view of individual liberty and human rights. While Islam recognizes the practice of polygamy and allows men to take more than one wife at a time, as the Promised Massih (as) points out, Islam has not made it a compulsory institution or an obligatory practice on the men.

Marriage is a bilateral agreement/contract under the Law of Islam. Hence, the parties are perfectly entitled to design the conditions of agreement/rules of engagement as well. Muslim women can, if they so wish, certainly determine the conditions of their marriage and not powerless, as is generally being thought of. In the search within the Islamic tradition for the empowerment of Muslim women against the abuse of religious doctrines by the men, the viewpoint of the Promised Massih (as) has been found to be singularly useful. It is pertinent to note that in the century that followed since these observations were made by the Promised Massih (as), the family law reforms in most Islamic countries have moved in this direction as well.