Da’wah is a duty
The Arabic word ‘Da’wah’ means a ‘call’ or an ‘invitation’. In Islamic context, it means inviting the Non-Muslims to Islam or propagation of Islam.
Islam is a universal religion, meant for all mankind. Allah (swt) is the Lord of the entire Universe, and Muslims have been entrusted with the duty of
conveying His message to all mankind.
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious…”
Strategies of Da’wah
There are various methodologies of giving Da’wah to Non-Muslims. Even if a Muslim speaks a thousand good points about Islam, yet most non-Muslims will not get convinced about the truth of Islam because there are a few questions about Islam at the back of their minds that remain unanswered.
They may agree with the positive nature of Islam. But, in the same breath,
they will say - “Ah! But you are the same Muslims who are fundamentalists, who are terrorists. You are the same Muslims who marry more than one woman. You are the same people who subjugate women by keeping them behind the veil, etc.”
I personally prefer asking the non-Muslim upfront, what he feels is wrong in Islam. With their limited knowledge, whether right or wrong, from whichever source it may be, I prefer asking directly, what they feel is wrong in Islam. I encourage them to be very frank and open and convince them that I can take criticism about Islam.
Twenty Most Common Questions
In the past few years of my Da’wah experience, I have realized that there are hardly Twenty Most Common Questions that a common non-Muslim has regarding Islam. Whenever you ask a non-Muslim, “what do you feel is
wrong in Islam?,” he poses five or six questions, and these questions
invariably fall among the Twenty Most Common Questions.
Logical replies can convince the majority
The Twenty Most Common Questions about Islam can be answered with
reason and logic. A majority of non-Muslims can be convinced with these
answers. If a Muslim memorizes or simply remembers these answers, In sha Allah he will be successful, if not in convincing non-Muslims about the
complete truth of Islam, then at least in removing misconceptions about
Islam and neutralizing the negative thinking about Islam and Muslims that
the non-Muslims have. A very few non-Muslims may have counter arguments to these replies, for which further information may be required.
Misconceptions changed in different periods
The most common questions against Islam change in different periods and
eras. These Twenty Most Common Questions compiled are based on present times. Decades earlier, the questions were different and decades later also these questions may change depending upon how Islam is projected by the media.
Same misconceptions throughout the world
I have travelled to several countries and have interacted with people in
different parts of the world. These Twenty Most Common Questions about
Islam asked by common non-Muslims throughout the world are the same.
Additional questions may arise depending upon the locality
There may be a couple of additional questions depending upon the locality,
for example in USA, the additional question was; why does Islam prohibit
taking and giving of interest?
Certain common questions amongst Indian non-Muslims are
I have included amongst these Twenty Most Common Questions certain
questions more common amongst the Indian non-Muslims like, why do
Muslims have non-veg? The reason being that the people of Indian origin
constitute about 20% i.e. 1/5th of the world population and people of Indian origin have spread throughout the world, thus making even these questions common amongst the non-Muslims throughout the world.
Misconceptions due to media
The common misconceptions about Islam arise in the minds of a majority of non-Muslims, because they are constantly being bombarded with
misinformation about Islam by the media. International media is mainly
controlled by the western world, whether it is international satellite channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines or books. Recently the Internet has become a powerful medium of information. Though it is not controlled by anybody, one finds a large amount of virulent propaganda about Islam on the Internet. Of course, Muslims too are utilizing this tool to portray the right image of Islam and Muslims, but they are far behind as compared to the propaganda against Islam. I hope the efforts by the Muslims will increase and continue to be pursued.
Why does Islam allow the Muslims to kill others in the name of ‘Jihaad’?
1. Most misunderstood word – ‘Jihaad’
The first, number one misconception regarding Islam, the top of the charts is
regarding Jihaad. Today Jihaad is the most misunderstood word regarding
Islam. It is not only misunderstood by the Non-Muslims, it is even
misunderstood by many of us Muslims. Non-Muslims and many Muslims think
that Jihaad means any war fought by any Muslim for any reason, whether it
be for power, whether it be for wealth, whether it be for land, whether it be
for language, etc. Any war fought by any Muslim for any reason, is called as
Jihaad. Jihaad does not mean any war fought by any Muslim for any reason,
whether it be for money, whether it be for power, whether it be for land,
whether it be for language, etc.
2. Meaning of Jihaad
‘Jihaad’ is an Arabic word which comes from the word ‘Jahada’ which means to
strive, which means to struggle. So Jihaad basically means to strive and
struggle. In the Islamic context,Jihaad means to strive and struggle against one’s own evil inclinations.
Jihaad also means to strive and struggle to make the society better.
Jihaad also means to fight against oppression.
Jihaad also means to fight in self defense in the battlefield.
So Jihaad basically means to strive and struggle. For example if a student is
striving and struggling to pass in the examination, in Arabic we say the
student is doing Jihaad. He’s striving and struggling.
3. Jihaad can also be done by Non-Muslims
Many people have a misconception and they think that Jihaad can only be
done by a Muslim. There are no less than two verses in the Qur’an, which say
that even Non-Muslims do Jihaad.
4. Qur’anic Quotations
Qur’an says in,
4(a) Surah Luqmaan, Chapter No. 31, Verse No. 14,
“We have enjoined on the human beings to be kind to their parents, in
travail upon travail the mother bore them and in pain did she give them
birth” Immediately after praising the parents, specially the mother, the verse
4(b) Surah Luqmaan, Chapter No. 31, Verse No. 15, says that
“But if your parents (do Jihaad), strive and struggle to make you worship
somebody else besides Allah (swt) of whom you have no knowledge then
don’t obey them but yet live with them with love and compassion”
Here the Qur’an is talking about Non-Muslim parents, doing Jihaad, striving
and struggling to make their children do Shirk, worship somebody else besides
4(c) A similar message is given in Surah Al Ankaboot, Chapter No.
29, Verse No. 8, that
“We have enjoined on human beings to be kind to the parents but if the
parents (do Jihaad), strive and struggle to make them worship somebody else
besides Allah (swt) don’t obey them. You all have to return to Me, and I will
tell you (the truth) of all that you did.”
So here the Qur’an is talking about Non-Muslim parents doing Jihaad.
5. Jihaad Fi Sabilish Shaitaan and Jihaad Fi Sabilillah
Such examples of Qur’an mentioning Non-Muslims doing Jihaad is ‘Jihaad Fi
Sabilish Shaitaan,’ Jihaad in the way of Satan. What we Muslims should do is
‘Jihaad Fi Sabilillah,’ Jihaad in the way of Allah. And whenever the word
‘Jihaad’ is mentioned individually, in the Islamic context, it is understood to be
‘Jihaad Fi Sabilillah’.
6. Jihaad is not Holy War
Most of the Non-Muslims including many so called ‘Muslim Scholars’, they
translate Jihaad as ‘Holy War’. If you translate ‘Holy War’ into Arabic it means
‘Harbum Muqaddasah’. If you read the Qur’an or the Hadith, there is neither a
single Qur’anic verse nor a Hadith, which uses the word ‘Harbum
Muqaddasah’. The word ‘Holy War’ neither exists in the Qur’an nor in the
Jihaad as I mentioned basically means to strive and struggle. One type of
Jihaad is also fighting in the way of Allah (swt), that is Qitaal in the way of
Allah (swt). But Jihaad doesn’t basically mean a War. There are various types
of Jihaad like Jihaad bin Nafs – striving and struggling against our own evil
inclinations, also one type of Jihaad is fighting in self defense in the way of
8. The word ‘Jihaad’ revealed multiple times in Makkah, but no war
If we see the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the first thirteen years of his
Prophethood that he lived in Makkah, there were many Qur’anic verses that
were revealed in Makkah and many a time in these verses the word ‘Jihaad’
was used and never did the Muslims ever physically fight. Only when they
migrated to Madinah did the War take place. But yet you find the word ‘Jihaad’
in several verses of the Qur’an, which were revealed in Makkah.
9. Qur’anic Quotations
For example the Qur’an says,
9(a) Surah Al Ankaboot, Chapter No. 29, verse No. 69, that
“..those who strive In Our (cause), - We will certainly guide them to Our
paths, for Verily Allah is with those who do right.”
When this verse was revealed there was no war at that time.
9(b) Qur’an says in Surah Al Furqaan, Chapter No. 25, verse No. 52,
“Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the
utmost strenuousness with the (Qur’an).”
That means you do Jihaad with the Qur’an. Jihaad with the Qur’an means to
strive to convey the message of Allah (swt). Do you think you are going to
fight with the Qur’an?
10. Killing any innocent human being is prohibited in Islam
One verse of the Qur’an is sufficient to prove that killing any innocent human
being is strictly prohibited in Islam. It’s mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an,
Surah Al Maa’idah, Chapter 5 Verse 32, Allah says,
“…If any one killed a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief
in the land - it would be as if he killed the whole of humanity: and if any one
saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of humanity…”
If you read the scriptures of the other religions, you will not find any verse
similar or close to the above verse of the Qur’an, which says, “If you kill one
innocent human being it is as if you have killed the whole of humanity and if
you save one human being it is as if you have saved the whole of humanity.”
11. For more details refer to the book or lecture of Dr Zakir Naik on
the topic, ‘Terrorism and Jihaad: An Islamic Perspective’.
12. Media maligns, brainwashes and dictates minds of people
The misconception regarding this word ‘Jihaad’ is created by the Media. This
word ‘Jihaad’ wasn’t a problem a couple of decades earlier. After 9/11 it came
on top of the charts, Number one. Previously it wasn’t there. So depending
upon how the Media portrays Islam, these misconceptions arise in the minds
of the Non-Muslims.
2. MUSLIMS ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS
Why are most of the Muslims Fundamentalists?
This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during
any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated
in every form of the media accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam
and Muslims. Infact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to
discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-
Muslim campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast,
where the press was quick to declare a ‘Middle Eastern conspiracy’ behind the
attack. The culprit was later identified as a soldier from the American Armed
Let us analyze this allegation of ‘fundamentalism’:
1. Definition of the word ‘fundamentalist’
A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the fundamentals of
the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person to be a good doctor, he
should know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of medicine. In other
words, he should be a fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a person to
be a good mathematician, he should know, follow and practise the
fundamentals of mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of
mathematics. For a person to be a good scientist, he should know, follow and
practise the fundamentals of science. He should be a fundamentalist in the
field of science.
2. Not all ‘fundamentalists’ are the same
One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot
categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a categorization of
any fundamentalist will depend upon the field or activity in which he is a
fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or thief is a bad person since he
causes harm to the society. A fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand, is a
good person as he benefits the society.
3. I am proud to be a Muslim fundamentalist
I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows, follows and
strives to practise the fundamentals of Islam. A true Muslim does not shy
away from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim
because, I know that the fundamentals of Islam are beneficial to humanity
and the whole world. There is not a single fundamental of Islam that causes
harm or is against the interests of the human race as a whole. Many people
have misconceptions about Islam and consider several teachings of Islam to
be unfair or improper. This is due to misinformation and incorrect knowledge
of Islam. Moreover, many observe the teachings of Islam only superficially or
out of context. If one critically analyzes the teachings of Islam with an
unbiased and open mind, one has to agree that Islam is the best way of life.
4. Dictionary meaning of the word ‘fundamentalism’
According to Webster’s dictionary ‘fundamentalism’ was a movement in
American Protestanism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th century. It
was a reaction to modernism, and stressed the infallibility of the Bible, not
only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record. It
stressed on belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus fundamentalism
was a word initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible
was the verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes.
5. Definition of ‘fundamentalist’ according to Oxford Dictionary
When we read the Oxford dictionary, the Oxford dictionary says that,
“‘fundamentalist’ is a person who strictly adheres to the ancient or
fundamental doctrine of any religion.” But when we read the revised edition of
the Oxford Dictionary, there’s a slight change, it says, “‘fundamentalist’ is a
person who strictly adheres to the ancient scriptures or fundamentals of any
religion, especially Islam” “Especially Islam” has been added in the revised
edition of Oxford Dictionary. The moment you hear the word fundamentalist,
immediately you start thinking of a Muslim.
6. Every Muslim should be an Extremist
Media says, “Muslims are Fundamentalists, Muslims are Extremists.” And we
Muslims are becoming apologetic. No..no..no.. I’m not a fundamentalist.
No..no..no.. I’m not an extremist. I say, I’m an extremist. I’m extremely
honest, I’m extremely just, I’m extremely kind, I’m extremely merciful, I’m
extremely loving. Can anyone tell me why being extremely just, extremely
honest, extremely loving, extremely merciful, extremely kind is bad? What’s
wrong in being an extremist?
7. The Qur’an says ‘Be an Extremist’
The Qur’an says you have to be extremely honest. You can’t be partly honest.
When it benefits you, you’re honest, when it doesn’t benefit you, you’re
dishonest. The Qur’an says you have to be extremely honest, extremely just.
If you are a practicing Muslim you have to be extremely kind, extremely
honest, extremely just. We have to be extremist in the correct direction. We
should not be extremist in the wrong direction. But a Muslim should be
extremist in following the Qur’an. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Baqarah,
Chapter No. 2, Verse No. 208,
“O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the
footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.”
So why are the Muslims becoming apologetic? The Media is attacking Islam
and unfortunately we Muslims are afraid. We have the best Deen, but why are
we afraid? Why are we apologetic? It’s time that we turn the tables over.
3. MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS
Why are most of the Muslims Terrorists?
The third most common misconception is ‘Muslims are Terrorists.’ And after
9/11, you had the 7th July or 7/7, that’s the London Bombing and there was a
common statement, which said, “All Muslims are not Terrorists but All
Terrorists are Muslims”.
1. Meaning of the word ‘Terrorist’
What is the meaning of the word ‘Terrorist’? ‘Terrorist’ by definition means a
person who causes terror. For example if a criminal sees a policeman, he is
terrified. So for the criminal, the policeman is a terrorist. I’m aware that
‘Terrorist’ more commonly means a person who terrorizes innocent human
2. Two different labels given to the same individual for the same action
We know from the Media that many a time two different labels are given to
the same individual for his same activity. For example, more than 60 years
back there were many Indians who were fighting for the freedom of the
country. These people by the British Government were called as ‘Terrorists’.
But we common Indians, we call these people as ‘Freedom Fighters’, as
‘Patriots’; same people, same activity, but two different labels. If you agree
with the view of the British Government that they had a right to rule over
India, then you have to call these people as ‘Terrorists’. But if you agree with
the view of the common Indians that the Britishers came to India to do
business, they had no right to rule over us then you have to call these people
as Patriots or Freedom Fighters. Same people, same activity, but two different
3. Check before you pass the information
The Qur’an says in Surah Al Hujuraat, Chapter No. 49, Verse No. 6
“O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news,
ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards
become full of repentance for what ye have done.”
4. George Washington
When the Britishers were ruling America, during the American Revolution in
1775, George Washington was called as the ‘Terrorist No. 1’ by the British
Government. Later on when America gets its freedom, George Washington is
made the President of USA. Imagine ‘Terrorist No. 1’ becomes the President of
5. Nelson Mandela
We have the example of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela several decades
earlier when the White Apartheid Government ruled South Africa, was arrested
and imprisoned in Robin Islands for more than 25 years. The White Apartheid
Government called Nelson Mandela as ‘Terrorist No. 1’. Later on when South
Africa gets its freedom and the White Apartheid Government is removed,
Nelson Mandela is given freedom and he gets the ‘Noble Prize for Peace’.
Imagine ‘Terrorist No. 1’ of the world gets the ‘Noble Prize for Peace’! Not that
he was bad and then he became good, but for the same activity for which he
was called a Terrorist, 30 years later he gets the ‘Noble Prize for Peace’!
6. Powerful Media dictates Idea
We realize whoever is in power, whatever the label that person gives, it gets
stuck on to that person. This is Media. Media is very powerful. According to
me it is the most important weapon today. It can convert black into white, day
into night, hero into a villain, villain into a hero, this is Media. Unfortunately
we Muslims are very backward as far as Media is concerned. Whatever
technology is Halaal, what is permitted in Qur’an and Sunnah we have to use
it. Televison per se is not Haraam. We have to convert it to Halaal.
In future do not believe blindly whatever the Media says. Please check it,
confirm it and only after verification believe in it. Hence, it is very important
that before one gives any label to any person, one should critically analyse the
situation, the reason for the activity and the intention of the person.
7. For more details watch Dr. Zakir Naik’s lectures on “Terrorism and
Jihaad – An Islamic Perspective” and “Is Terrorism A Muslim
4. WAS ISLAM SPREAD BY THE SWORD?
How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the
It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not
have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the
use of force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread
by the sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was
responsible for the rapid spread of Islam.
1. Islam means peace
Islam comes from the root word ‘salm’ or ‘salaam’, which means peace. It also
derived from the root word ‘silm’, which means submitting one’s will to Allah
(swt). Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting one’s
will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).
2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace
Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining
peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own
vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is
precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against
criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam
promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts its followers to fight where
there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times, require the
use of force. In Islam, force can only be used to promote peace and justice.
3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O’Leary
The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is
given by the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book “Islam at the
Crossroads” (Page 8):
“History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping
through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered
races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever
4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years
Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the
sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to
Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who
could openly give the adhaan that is the call for prayers.
5. 9 million Arabs are Coptic Christians
Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British
ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia
for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 9 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians
i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword there
would not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.
6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India
The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had
the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today
more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-
Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the
7. Indonesia and Malaysia
Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world.
The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, “Which Muslim
army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”
8. East Coast of Africa
Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again
ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, “Which Muslim army went to the East
Coast of Africa?”
9. Thomas Carlyle
The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book “Heroes and Hero worship”,
refers to this misconception about Islam being spread by the sword: “The
sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its
starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man’s head alone. There it
dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man
against all men. That he takes a sword and tries to propagate with that, will
do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will
propagate itself as it can.”
10. No compulsion in religion
With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not
use it to spread Islam because the Qur’an says in the following verse:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error:
whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy
hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”
11. Sword of the Intellect
It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of
people. The Qur’an says in Surah Al Nahl, Chapter 16 Verse 125:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and
argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious...”
12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984
An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, yearbook 1984, gave the statistics of
the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century
from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At
the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased
only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in the 20th century which
converted millions of people to Islam?
13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.
Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing
religion in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to
accept Islam in such large numbers? Today the Media is attacking Islam
saying that it subjugates the women. Do you know, out of those accepting
Islam in America and Europe, 2/3rd of them are women. If Islam subjugates
the women, why are the American women, why are the European women
accepting Islam? Who is forcing them?
14. Dr Joseph Adam Pearson.
Dr Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, “People who worry that nuclear
weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the
Islamic bomb (the bomb of Peace) has been dropped already, it fell the day
MUHAMMAD (pbuh) was born.”
Why is a man allowed to have more than one wife in Islam? i.e. why is
polygamy allowed in Islam?
1. Definition of Polygamy
Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby a person has more than one
spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is polygyny where a man marries
more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries
more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted; whereas
polyandry is completely prohibited.
Now coming to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than
2. The Qur’an is the only religious scripture in the world that says,
‘Marry Only One.’
The Qur’an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains
the phrase ‘Marry Only One’. There is no other religious book that instructs
men to have only one wife. In none of the other religious scriptures, whether
it be the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Geeta, the Talmud or
the Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to
these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that
the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to
Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had multiple
wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one wife. Krishna had
16,108 wives. Some Hindus may argue that Krishna did not marry these
women for sex but to give them protection. After the battle thousands of
women became widows and Krishna, in order to give them protection married
them. Then, how come Krishna had 160,000 children from them.
In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished,
since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a few
centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to the Talmudic law, Abraham
had three wives, and Solomon had seven hundred wives. The practice of
polygyny continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah (960 CE to 1030 CE)
issued an edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim
countries continued the practice till as late as 1950, until an Act of the Chief
Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife.
3. Hindus are more polygynous than Muslims
The report of the ‘Committee of The Status of Women in Islam’, published in
1975 mentions on page numbers 66 and 67 that the percentage of
polygamous marriages between the years 1951 and 1961 was 5.06% among
the Hindus and only 4.31% among the Muslims. According to Indian law only
Muslim men are permitted to have more than one wife. It is illegal for any
non-Muslim in India to have more than one wife. Despite it being illegal,
Hindus have more multiple wives as compared to Muslims. Earlier, there was
no restriction even on Hindu men with respect to the number of wives
allowed. It was only in 1954, when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed that it
became illegal for a Hindu to have more than one wife. At present it is the
Indian Law that restricts a Hindu man from having more than one wife and
not the Hindu scriptures.
Let us now analyse why Islam allows a man to have more than one wife.
4. Qur’an permits limited polygyny
As I mentioned earlier, Qur’an is the only religious book on the face of the
earth that says ‘Marry Only One’. The context of this phrase is the following
verse from Surah Al Nisaa’ of the Glorious Qur’an:
“Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye
shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…”
Before the Qur’an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and
many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper
limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four
women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them.
In the same chapter i.e. Surah Al Nisaa’ verse 129 says:
“Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your
ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave
her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding,
and practise self-restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the
misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than one
Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and Don’ts:
(i) ‘Fard’ i.e. compulsory or obligatory
(ii) ‘Mustahab’ i.e. recommended or encouraged
(iii) ‘Mubah’ i.e. permissible or allowed
(iv) ‘Makruh’ i.e. not recommended or discouraged
(v) ‘Haraam’ i.e. prohibited or forbidden
Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot
be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as
compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.
5. Average life span of females is more than that of males
By nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. A
female child has more immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the
germs and diseases better than the male child. For this reason, during the
paediatric age itself there are more deaths among males as compared to the
During wars, there are more men killed as compared to women. More men die
due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of females
is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more widows in
the world than widowers.
6. India has more male population than female due to female foeticide
India is one of the few countries, along with the other neighbouring countries,
in which the female population is less than the male population. The reason
lies in the high rate of female foeticide and female infanticide in India. “Daily
around 7000 girls are killed in the womb or immediately after birth in India” –
UN Report, Quoted in Al Jazeera, 6th July 2015. If you multiply this figure by
365, the number of days in a year you will get more than 2.5 million females
being aborted or killed immediately after birth every year in India.
If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have more females as
compared to males.
According to CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) The World Factbook, in July
2015, in the USA, women outnumbered men by 4.8 million. New York alone
has 0.5 million more females as compared to the number of males. Germany
has more than 1.2 million more females as compared to males. Bangladesh
has more than 4.2 million females as compared to males. Russia has more
than 10 million females as compared to males. The European Union, which
constitutes 28 Countries of Europe, has more than 10.2 million females as
compared to males.
8. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not practical
Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still be more than
4.8 million females in USA who would not be able to get husbands. There
would be more than 1.2 million females in Germany, more than 4.2 million
females in Bangladesh, more than 10 million females in Russia, more than
10.2 million females in the European Union alone, who would not be able to
find a husband.
Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in USA,
or suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in USA.
The only two options remaining for her are that she either marries a man who
already has a wife or becomes a public property. There is no other option. All
those who are modest will opt for the first.
In Western society, it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple
extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a disgraceful,
unprotected life. The same society, however, cannot accept a man having
more than one wife, in which women retain their honourable, dignified
position in society and lead a protected life.
Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to
marry a married man or to become public property. Islam prefers giving
women the honourable position by permitting the first option and disallowing
9. Other Reasons for Polygyny being permitted
Excess of women is not the only reason why a man is allowed to marry more
than one woman. There are several other reasons besides this.
1. WIFE IS STERILE: COUPLE HAS NO CHILDREN
Suppose the wife is sterile or barren and the couple is unable to have children
for several years. Islam does not permit legal adoption (for which there are
several reasons). But may be the husband and wife both desire children and
the wife does not mind sharing her husband. So what’s the harm in a man
having two wives as long as he deals with them justly. Even if the wife may
not desire to have a child and the husband wishes to continue his progeny,
then the only option remaining for him is to either divorce his first wife and
take another wife or keep the first wife and marry a second and treat both the
wives with justice and equality.
2. WIFE MAY MEET WITH AN ACCIDENT AND BECOME HANDICAP
Suppose a young girl within a few months of her marriage meets with an
accident and gets handicapped, after which she is unable to perform her duty
as a wife. The only option for the young husband is that he either divorces his
first wife and takes another wife or keeps the first wife and marries another
woman and treats both the wives with justice and equality.
3. WIFE SUFFERING FROM SEVERE ILLNESS OR DISEASE
Suppose a wife suffers from a severe illness or disease, and is unable to look
after her young children and satisfy her husband. The first option you can find
here is that the husband keeps the first wife and takes the second wife. This
wife will act as a help and support to the first wife and her children. Many may
argue that you can always keep a full-time nurse or a maid-servant for this
purpose. I do agree that this full-time nurse or maid-servant will surely
support the wife and the children, but very soon will also start “supporting”
the young husband. Therefore the only modest option is to keep the first wife
and take the second wife and treat them equally with justice.
There are several other reasons, why Islam has permitted limited polygyny,
but it is mainly to protect the modesty of women.
If a man is allowed to have more than one wife, then why does Islam prohibit
a woman from having more than one husband?
A lot of people, including some Muslims, question the logic of allowing Muslim
men to have more than one spouse while denying the same ‘right’ to women.
Let me first state emphatically, that the foundation of an Islamic society is
justice and equity. Allah has created men and women as equal, but with
different capabilities and different responsibilities. Men and women are
different, physiologically and psychologically. Their roles and responsibilities
are different. Men and women are equal in Islam, but not identical.
Surah Al Nisaa’ Chapter 4 verses 22 to 24 gives the list of women with whom
you can not marry and it is further mentioned in Surah Al Nisaa’ Chapter 4
“Also (prohibited are) women already married”
The following points enumerate the reasons why polyandry is prohibited in
1. If a man has more than one wife, the parents of the children born of such
marriages can easily be identified. The father as well as the mother can
easily be identified. In case of a woman marrying more than one husband,
only the mother of the children born of such marriages will be identified
and not the father. Islam gives tremendous importance to the
identification of both parents, mother and father. Psychologists tell us that
children who do not know their parents, especially their father undergo
severe mental trauma and disturbances. Often they have an unhappy
childhood. It is for this reason that the children of prostitutes do not have
a healthy childhood. If a child born of such wedlock is admitted in school,
and when the mother is asked the name of the father, she would have to
give two or more names! I am aware that recent advances in science have
made it possible for both the mother and father to be identified with the
help of genetic testing. Even if we agree that the test is 100% accurate,
this test was discovered recently and this is not the only reason for not
2. Man is more polygamous by nature as compared to a woman.
3. Biologically, it is easier for a man to perform his duties as a husband
despite having several wives. A woman, in a similar position, having
several husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties as a wife.
A woman undergoes several psychological and behavioural changes due to
different phases of the menstrual cycle and also due to the release of sex
hormones, oestrogen. The mental state of a woman is not as stable as
compared to normal times. According to a report, most crimes committed
by women in USA, are done during their menstrual periods.
A woman has more chances of having a quarrel or disagreement with the
husband during these periods. Therefore, Islam prohibits a man to give
divorce to his wife while she undergoes her menstrual cycle. Thus, in
polyandrous marriages, for a woman to have good relations with more
than one husband at the same time will be too much of a mental trauma.
4. A woman who has more than one husband will have several sexual
partners at the same time and has a high chance of acquiring venereal or
sexually transmitted diseases, which can also be transmitted back to her
husband even if all of them have no extra-marital sex. This is not the case
in a man having more than one wife, and none of them having extramarital
The above reasons are those that one can easily identify. There are probably
many more reasons why Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, has prohibited
7. HIJAAB FOR WOMEN
Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil?
The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular
media. The ‘hijaab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the
‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning
behind the religiously mandated ‘hijaab’, let us first study the status of women
in societies before the advent of Islam.
1. In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust
The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the
status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that
they were denied basic human dignity:
a) Babylonian Civilization:
The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the
Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being
punished, his wife was put to death.
b) Greek Civilization:
Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient
civilizations. Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of
all rights and were looked down upon. In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary
woman’ called ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings.
The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men.
Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high
esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual
perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of
c) Roman Civilization:
When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had
the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common
amongst the Romans.
d) Egyptian Civilization:
The Egyptians considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.
e) Pre-Islamic Arabia:
Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and
very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.
2. Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects them
to maintain their status
Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights
1400 years ago. Islam expects women to maintain their status.
Hijaab for men
People usually only discuss ‘hijaab’ in the context of women. However, in
the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijaab’ for the men before
‘hijaab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Al Noor:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard
their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is
well acquainted with all that they do.”
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed
thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
Hijaab for women
The next verse of Surah Al Noor, says:
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and
guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and
ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they
should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except
to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons...”
3. Six criteria for Hijaab
According to Qur’an and Sahih Hadith there are basically six criteria for
The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is
different for men and women. The extent of Hijaab for the male is to
cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the
complete body should be covered except the face and the hands upto the
wrists. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body.
Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are also part of
the obligatory extent of ‘hijaab’.
All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.
ii. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.
iii. The clothes worn should not be transparent or translucent such that one
can see through them.
iv. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite
v. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
vi. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they
should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the
4. Hijaab includes conduct and behaviour among other things
Complete ‘hijaab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the
moral conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A
person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijaab’ of the clothes is observing
‘hijaab’ in a limited sense. ‘Hijaab’ of the clothes should be accompanied
by ‘hijaab’ of the eyes, ‘hijaab’ of the heart, ‘hijaab’ of thought and
‘hijaab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a
person talks, the way a person behaves, etc.
5. Hijaab prevents molestation
The reason why Hijaab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the
Qur’an in the following Verse of Surah Al-Ahzaab:
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that
they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad);
that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not
molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
The Qur’an says that Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that
they are recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them
from being molested.
6. Example of twin sisters
Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk
down the street. One of them is wearing the Islamic Hijaab i.e. the
complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the
wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a mini-skirt or shorts
with a low neckline. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian
who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl
wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini with a
low neckline? Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini
with a low neckline. Such dresses which expose more than what they
cover are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and
molestation. The Qur’an rightly says that Hijaab prevents women from
7. Capital punishment for the rapists
Under the Islamic Shari’ah, a man convicted of having raped a woman, is
given capital punishment. Many are astonished at this ‘harsh’ sentence.
Some non-Muslims may say that ‘Capital punishment in this age of
science and technology! Islam is a ruthless, barbaric religion!’ I have
asked a simple question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose, God
forbid, someone rapes your wife, your mother or your sister. You are
made the judge and the rapist is brought in front of you. What
punishment would you give him? All of them said they would put him to
death. Some went to the extent of saying they would torture him to
death. To them I ask, if someone rapes your wife or your mother you
want to put him to death. But if the same crime is committed on
somebody else’s wife or daughter, you say capital punishment is barbaric.
Why should there be double standards?
8. Western society falsely claims to have uplifted women
Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of
exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her
honour. Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary
it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and
society butterflies who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers
and sex marketeers, hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and
9. USA has one of the highest rates of rape
United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced
countries of the world. It also has one of the highest rates of rape in any
country in the world. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in the
year 2005, every day on an average 1997 cases of rape were committed
in USA alone. A decade later according to the U.S. Department of Justice,
in the year 2014 on an average everyday 2318 cases of rape were
committed in USA. May be the Americans got ‘bolder’ in a decade. Every
37 seconds one rape is being committed in USA.
Consider a scenario where the Islamic Shari’ah is implemented in
America. Whenever a man looks at a woman and any brazen or
unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman
wears the Islamic Hijaab that is the complete body is covered except the
face and the hands upto the wrists. After this if any man commits rape he
is given capital punishment. I ask you, in such a scenario, will the rate of
rape in America increase, will it remain the same, or will it decrease?
10. Implementation of Islamic Shar’iah will reduce the rate of rapes
Naturally as soon as Islamic Shar’iah is implemented positive results will
be inevitable. If Islamic Shar’iah is implemented in any part of the world,
whether it is America, Europe or India, society will breathe easier. Hijaab
does not degrade a woman but uplifts a woman and protects her
modesty and chastity.
8. MUSLIMS WORSHIP THE KA’BAH
When Islam is against idol worship, why do the Muslims worship, and bow
down to the Ka’bah in their prayer?
Ka’bah is the Qiblah i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is
important to note that though Muslims face the Ka’bah during prayers, they do
not worship the Ka’bah. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.
It is mentioned in Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 144:
“We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We
turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction
of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction...”
1. Islam believes in unity
For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible that some
may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south. In order to unite
Muslims in their worship of the One True God, Muslims, wherever they may
be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Ka’bah. If some
Muslims live towards the west of the Ka’bah they face the east and if they live
towards the east of the Ka’bah they face the west. Similarly if some Muslims
live towards the north of the Ka’bah they face the south and if they live
towards the south of the Ka’bah they face the north.
2. Ka’bah is at the Centre of the World Map
The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew
the map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The Ka’bah was
at the centre. Later, western cartographers drew the map upside down with
the north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet, Alhamdullilah the Ka’bah
is at the centre of the world map.
3. Tawaaf around the Ka’bah is for indicating one God
When the Muslims go to Masjid Al Haram in Makkah, they perform the tawaaf
or circumambulation round the Ka’bah. This act symbolizes the belief and
worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is
only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.
4. Hadith of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)
Regarding the black stone, hajr al aswad, there is a hadith, attributed to the
illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be
pleased with him).
According to Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 2, Book of Hajj, Chapter 50, Hadith No.
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “No doubt I know that you are a
stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh)
touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.”
5. People stood on the Ka’bah and gave the adhaan
At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Ka’bah and gave the
‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that Muslims
worship the Ka’bah, which idol worshipper stands on the idol he worships?
9. NON-MUSLIMS NOT ALLOWED IN MAKKAH
Why are non-Muslims not allowed in the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah?
It is true that non-Muslims are not allowed in the holy cities of Makkah and
Madinah, by law. The following points will serve to elucidate the possible
reasoning behind such a restriction.
1. All citizens are not permitted in the cantonment area
I am a citizen of India. Yet, I am not permitted to enter certain restricted
areas like the cantonment. In every country there are certain areas where a
common citizen of that country cannot enter. Only a citizen who is enrolled in
the military or those who are connected with the defence of the country are
allowed in the cantonment area. Similarly Islam is a Universal Religion for the
entire world and for all human beings. The cantonment areas of Islam are the
two holy cites of Makkah and Madinah. Here, only those who believe in Islam
and are involved in the defence of Islam i.e. the Muslims are allowed.
It would be illogical for a common citizen who is not involved in defending the
country, to object against the restriction on entering a cantonment area.
Similarly it is not appropriate for non-Muslims to object against the restriction
on non-Muslims entering Makkah and Madinah which are the cantonment
areas of Islam.
2. Visa to enter Makkah and Madinah
a. Whenever a person travels to a foreign country he has to first apply for a
visa i.e. the permission to enter that country. Every country has its own
rules, regulations and requirements for issuing a visa. Unless their critera
are satisfied they will not issue a visa.
b. One of the countries which is very strict in issuing a visa is the United
States of America, especially when issuing visas to citizens of the third
world countries. They have several conditions and requirements to be
fulfilled before they issue a visa.
c. When I visited Singapore, it was mentioned on their immigration form -
death to drug traffickers. If I want to visit Singapore I have to abide by
the rules. I cannot say that death penalty is a barbaric punishment. Only
if I agree with their requirements and conditions will I be permitted to
enter the country.
d. The Visa – The primary condition required for any human being to enter
Makkah or Madinah is to say with his or her lips, Laa ilaaha ill-Allah
Muhammadur Rasoolullah meaning that ‘there is no God but Allah and
Muhammad (pbuh) is His Messenger.’
10. EATING NON-VEGETARIAN FOOD
Killing an animal is a ruthless act. Why then do Muslims consume nonvegetarian
1. A Muslim can be a pure vegetarian
A Muslim can be a very good Muslim despite being a pure vegetarian. It is not
compulsory for a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food.
2. Qur’an permits Muslims to have non-vegetarian food
The Qur’an, however permits a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food. The
following Qur’anic verses are proof of this fact:
“O ye who believe! Fulfill (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all
four-footed animals with the exceptions named…”
“And cattle He has created for you (men): from them ye derive warmth, and
numerous benefits, and of their (meat) ye eat.”
“And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: From within their bodies
We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are, in them, (besides), numerous
(other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat.”
3. Meat is nutritious and rich in complete protein
Non-vegetarian food is a good source of excellent protein. It contains
biologically complete protein i.e. all the 8 essential amino acids that are not
synthesized by the body and should be supplied in the diet. Meat also contains
iron, vitamin B1 and niacin.
4. Humans have Omnivorous set of teeth
If you observe the teeth of herbivorous animals like the cow, goat and sheep,
you will find something strikingly similar in all of them. All these animals have
a set of flat teeth i.e. suited for herbivorous diet. If you observe the set of
teeth of the carnivorous animals like the lion, tiger, or leopard, they all have a
set of pointed teeth i.e. suited for a carnivorous diet. If you analyze the set of
teeth of humans, you find that they have flat teeth as well as pointed teeth.
Thus they have teeth suited for both herbivorous as well as carnivorous food
i.e. they are omnivorous. One may ask, if Almighty God wanted humans to
have only vegetables, why did He provide us also with pointed teeth? It is
logical that He expected us to need and to have both vegetarian as well as
5. Human beings can digest both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food
The digestive system of herbivorous animals can digest only vegetables. The
digestive system of carnivorous animals can digest only non-vegetarian food.
But the digestive system of humans can digest both vegetarian and nonvegetarian
food. If Almighty God wanted us to have only vegetables then why
did He give us a digestive system that can digest both vegetarian as well as
6. Hindu scriptures give permission to have non-vegetarian food
a. There are many Hindus who are strictly vegetarian. They think it is
against their religion to consume non-vegetarian food. As a matter of fact
the Hindu scriptures permit a person to have non-vegetarian food. The
scriptures mention Hindu sages and saints consuming non-vegetarian
b. It is mentioned in Manusmriti, the Law Book of Hindus, in Chapter 5
“The eater who eats the flesh of those to be eaten does nothing bad,
even if he does it day after day, for God himself created some to be
eaten and some to be eater.”
c. Again next verse of Manusmriti, that is, Chapter 5 Verse 31 says
“Eating meat is right for the sacrifice, this is traditionally known as a rule
of the gods.”
d. Further in Manusmriti Chapter 5 Verse 39 and 40 says
“God himself created sacrificial animals for sacrifice, ..., therefore killing
in a sacrifice is not killing.”
e. Mahabharata Anushashan Parva Chapter 88 narrates the discussion
between Dharmaraj Yudhishthira and Bhishma Pitamah about what food
one should offer to Pitris (ancestors) during the Shraddha (ceremony of
dead) to keep them satisfied. Paragraph reads as follows:
“Yudhishthira said, “O thou of great puissance, tell me what that object is
which, if dedicated to the Pitris (dead ancestors), become inexhaustible!
What Havi, again, (if offered) lasts for all time? What, indeed, is that
which (if presented) becomes eternal?”
“Bhishma said, “Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, what those Havis are which
persons conversant with the rituals of the Shraddha (the ceremony of
dead) regard as suitable in view of Shraddha and what the fruits are that
attach to each. With sesame seeds and rice and barley and Masha and
water and roots and fruits, if given at Shraddhas, the pitris, O king,
remain gratified for the period of a month. With fishes offered at
Shraddhas, the pitris remain gratified for a period of two months. With
the mutton they remain gratified for three months and with the hare for
four months, with the flesh of the goat for five months, with the bacon
(meat of pig) for six months, and with the flesh of birds for seven. With
venison obtained from those deer that are called Prishata, they remain
gratified for eight months, and with that obtained from the Ruru for nine
months, and with the meat of Gavaya for ten months, With the meat of
the bufffalo their gratification lasts for eleven months. With beef
presented at the Shraddha, their gratification, it is said, lasts for a full
year. Payasa mixed with ghee is as much acceptable to the pitris as beef.
With the meat of Vadhrinasa (a large bull) the gratification of pitris lasts
for twelve years. The flesh of rhinoceros, offered to the pitris on
anniversaries of the lunar days on which they died, becomes
inexhaustible. The potherb called Kalaska, the petals of kanchana flower,
and meat of (red) goat also, thus offered, prove inexhaustible.”
So but natural if you want to keep your ancestors satisfied forever, you
should serve them the meat of red goat.
f. It’s mentioned in Ayodhya Khanda, Book 2, Chapter 20, Verse 29 when
Rama was sent to exile to a forest for 14 years, Kaushalya, his mother
asked him to take food. So he said to his mother:
“I shall live in a solitary forest like a sage for fourteen years leaving off
meat and living with roots, fruits and honey”.
It means that Rama had meat. If Rama can have meat then why can’t
the Hindus have meat?
7. Hinduism was influenced by other religions
Though Hindu Scriptures permit its followers to have non-vegetarian food,
many Hindus adopted the vegetarian system because they were influenced by
other religions like Jainism etc.
8. Even plants have life
Certain religions have adopted pure vegetarianism as a dietary law because
they are totally against the killing of living creatures. If a person can survive
without killing any living creature, I would be the first person to adopt such a
way of life. In the past people thought plants were lifeless. Today it is a
universal fact that even plants have life. Thus their logic of not killing living
creatures is not fulfilled even by being a pure vegetarian.
9. Even plants can feel pain
They further argue that plants cannot feel pain, therefore killing a plant is a
lesser crime as compared to killing an animal. Today science tells us that even
plants can feel pain. But the cry of the plant cannot be heard by the human
being. This is due to the inability of the human ear to only hear sounds that
are not in the audible range i.e. 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. Anything below and
above this range cannot be heard by a human being. A dog can hear up to
40,000 Hertz. Thus there are silent dog whistles that have a frequency of
more than 20,000 Hertz and less than 40,000 Hertz. These whistles are only
heard by dogs and not by human beings. The dog recognizes the master’s
whistle and comes to the master. There was a research done by a farmer in
USA who invented an instrument which converted the cry of the plant so that
it could be heard by human beings. He was able to realize immediately when
the plant itself cried for water. Latest researches show that the plants can
even feel happy and sad. It can also cry!
10. Killing a living creature with two senses less is not a lesser crime
Once a vegetarian argued his case by saying that plants only have two or
three senses while the animals have five senses. Therefore killing a plant is a
lesser crime than killing an animal. Suppose your brother is born deaf and
mute and has two senses less as compared to other human beings. He
becomes mature and someone murders him. Would you ask the judge to give
the murderer a lesser punishment because your brother had two senses less?
Infact you would say that he has killed a masoom, an innocent person, and
the judge should give the murderer a greater punishment.
The Qur’an says in Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 168:
“O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good…”
11. Over population of cattle
If every human being was a vegetarian, it would lead to overpopulation of
cattle in the world, since their reproduction and multiplication is very swift.
Allah (swt) in His Divine Wisdom knows how to maintain the balance of His
creation appropriately. No wonder He has permitted us to have the meat of
12. Cost of meat is reasonable since all aren’t non-vegetarians
I do not mind if some people are pure vegetarians. However they should not
condemn non-vegetarians as ruthless. Infact if all Indians become nonvegetarians
then the present non-vegetarians would be losers since the prices
of meat would rise.
11. ISLAMIC METHOD OF SLAUGHTERING ANIMALS
Why do Muslims slaughter the animal in a ruthless manner by torturing it and
slowly and painfully killing it?
The Islamic method of slaughtering animals, known as Zabiha has been the
object of much criticism from a large number of people.
Before I reply to the question, let me relate an incidence about a discussion
between a Sikh and a Muslim regarding animal slaughter.
Once a Sikh asked a Muslim, “Why do you slaughter the animal painfully by
cutting the throat instead of the way we do with one stroke i.e. jhatka?” The
Muslim replied “We are brave and courageous and attack from the front. We
are mard ka baccha (macho men), you are cowards and attack from behind.”
Jokes apart, one may consider the following points, which prove that the
Zabiha method is not only humane but also scientifically the best:
1. Islamic method of slaughtering animal
Zakkaytum is a verb derived from the root word Zakaah (to purify). Its
infinitive is Tazkiyah, which means purification. The Islamic mode of
slaughtering an animal requires the following conditions to be met:
a. Animal should be slaughtered with sharp object (knife):
The animal has to be slaughtered with a sharp object (knife) and in a fast way
so that the pain of slaughter is minimised.
b. Cut windpipe, throat and vessels of neck:
Zabiha is an Arabic word which means ‘slaughtered.’ The ‘slaughtering’ is to be
done by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck causing
the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord.
c. Blood should be drained:
The blood has to be drained completely before the head is removed. The
purpose is to drain out most of the blood which would serve as a good culture
medium for micro-organisms. The spinal cord must not be cut because the
nerve fibres to the heart could be damaged during the process causing cardiac
arrest, stagnating the blood in the blood vessels.
2. Blood is a good medium for germs and bacteria
Blood is a good media of germs, bacteria, toxins, etc. Therefore the Muslim
way of slaughtering is more hygienic as most of the blood containing germs,
bacteria, toxins, etc. that are the cause of several diseases are eliminated.
3. Meat remains fresh for a longer time
Meat slaughtered by the Islamic way remains fresh for a longer time due to
deficiency of blood in the meat as compared to other methods of slaughtering.
4. Animal does not feel pain
The swift cutting of vessels of the neck disconnects the flow of blood to the
nerve of the brain responsible for pain. Thus the animal does not feel pain.
While dying, the animal struggles, writhes, shakes and kicks, not due to pain,
but due to the contraction and relaxation of the muscles deficient in blood and
due to the flow of blood out of the body.
12. NON-VEGETARIAN FOOD MAKES MUSLIMS VIOLENT
Science tells us that whatever one eats, it has an effect on one’s behaviour.
Why then, does Islam allow Muslims to eat non-vegetarian food, since eating
of animals could make a person violent and ferocious?
1. Only eating of herbivorous animals is allowed
Some non-Muslims may argue that if a person eats non-vegetarian food, he
becomes ferocious and violent like the animals. I agree that, what a person
eats has an effect on his behaviour. This is one of the reasons why Islam
prohibits the eating of carnivorous animals like lion, tiger, leopard, etc. who
are violent and ferocious. The consumption of the meat of such animals would
probably make a person violent and ferocious. Islam only allows the eating of
herbivorous animals like cow, goat, sheep, etc. that are peaceful and docile.
We Muslims eat peaceful and docile animals because we are peace loving and
2. The Qur’an says that the Prophet prohibits what is bad
The Qur’an says:
“The Prophet commands them what is just and prohibits what is evil.” “He
allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them what is bad
“…So take what the Messenger assigns to you and deny yourselves that which
he withholds from you…”
For a Muslim, the Prophet’s statement is sufficient to convince him that Allah
does not wish humans to eat some kinds of meat while allowing some other
3. Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prohibiting the eating of
According to various authentic Ahadith narrated in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih
Muslim including hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas (r.a.) in Sahih Muslim, Vol. 5,
The Book of Hunting and Slaughter, Chapter No. 3, Hadith No. 4994 and
Sunan Ibn-e-Majah, Vol. 3, The Book of Hunting, Chapter No. 19, Hadith No.
3248 to 3250, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) prohibited the eating of:
(i) Wild animals with canine teeth, i.e. meat eating carnivorous animals.
These are animals belonging to the cat families such as lion, tiger,
cats, dogs, wolves, etc.
(ii) Certain rodents like mice, rats, rabbits with claws, etc.
(iii) Certain reptiles like snakes, alligators, etc.
(iv) Birds of prey with talons or claws, like vultures, eagles, crows, owls,
13. PORK FORBIDDEN
Why is the eating of pork forbidden in Islam?
The fact that consumption of pork is prohibited in Islam is well known. The
following points explain various aspects of this prohibition:
- Pork prohibited in the Qur’an
The Qur’an prohibits the consumption of pork in no less than 4 different
places. It is prohibited in Surah Al Baqarah 2:173, Surah Al Maa’idah 5:3,
Surah Al An’aam 6:145 and Surah Al Nahl 16:115:
“Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and
that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah…”
The above verses of the Glorious Qur’an are sufficient to satisfy a Muslim as to
why pork is forbidden.
2. Pork prohibited in the Bible
The Christian is likely to be convinced by his religious scriptures. The Bible
prohibits the consumption of pork, in the Book of Leviticus:
“And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he
cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.”
“Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are
unclean to you.”
Pork is also prohibited in the Bible in the Book of Deuteronomy:
“And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is
unclean unto you. Ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.”
A similar prohibition is repeated in the Bible in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 65
3. Consumption of pork causes several diseases
The other non-Muslims and atheists will agree only if convinced through
reason, logic and science. Eating of pork can cause no less than seventy
different types of diseases. A person can have various helminths like
roundworm, pinworm, hookworm, etc. One of the most dangerous is Taenia
Solium, which is in layman’s terminology called tapeworm. It harbours in the
intestine and is very long. It’s ova i.e. eggs, enter the blood stream and can
reach almost all the organs of the body. If it enters the brain it can cause
memory loss. If it enters the heart it can cause heart attack, if it enters the
eye it can cause blindness, if it enters the liver it can cause liver damage. It
can damage almost all the organs of the body.
Another dangerous helminths is Trichura Tichurasis. A common misconception
about pork is that if it is cooked well, these ova die. In a research project
undertaken in America, it was found that out of twenty-four people suffering
from Trichura Tichurasis, twenty-two had cooked the pork very well. This
indicates that the ovas present in the pork do not die under normal cooking
4. Pork has fat building material
Pork has very little muscle building material and contains excess of fat. This
fat gets deposited in the vessels and can cause hypertension and heart attack.
It is not surprising that over 50% of Americans suffer from hypertension.
5. Pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth
The pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth. It lives and thrives on muck,
faeces and dirt. It is the best scavenger that I know that God has produced.
In the villages they don’t have modern toilets and the villagers excrete in the
open air. Very often excreta is cleared by the pigs.
Some may argue that in advanced countries like Australia, pigs are bred in
very clean and hygienic conditions. Even in these hygienic conditions the pigs
are kept together in sties. No matter how hard you try to keep them clean
they are filthy by nature. They eat and enjoy their own as well as their
Some may argue that even the chickens eat the excreta. The chicken does
many a time peck the excreta and dirt but does not survive on it. The chicken
has a second stomach i.e. the gizzard. Whenever the chicken consumes faeces
and other dirt, it enters the gizzard and is directly excreted. On the other
hand, the pig has only one stomach and everything passes through the normal
digestive system. Therefore, the pork also contains this dirt, which is indirectly
consumed while eating pork.
6. Pig is the most shameless animal
The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only
animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. In America, most
people consume pork. Many times after dance parties, they have swapping of
wives i.e. many say “you sleep with my wife and I will sleep with your wife”. If
you eat pigs then you behave like pigs. We Indians look upon America to be
very advanced and sophisticated. Whatever they do, we follow after a few
years. According to an article in Island magazine, this practice of swapping
wives has become common in the affluent circles of Mumbai.
14. PROHIBITION OF ALCOHOL
Why is the consumption of alcohol prohibited in Islam?
1. Prohibition of alcohol in the Qur’an
The Glorious Qur’an prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the following
“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and Gambling, (Dedication of) stones, and
(divination by) arrows, are an abomination – of Satan’s handiwork; eschew
such (abomination), that ye may prosper.”
2. Prohibition of alcohol in the Bible
The Bible prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the following verses:
a. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived
thereby is not wise.”
[Book of Proverbs 20:1]
b. “And be not drunk with wine…”
[Book of Ephesians 5:18]
3. Alcohol inhibits the inhibitory centre
The human beings possess an inhibitory centre in their brains. This inhibitory
centre prevents the person from doing things that he considers wrong. For
instance, a person does not normally use abusive language while addressing
his parents or elders. If he has to answer the call of nature, his inhibitory
centre will prevent him from doing so in public. Therefore he uses the toilet.
When a person consumes alcohol, the inhibitory centre itself is inhibited. That
is precisely the reason that an intoxicated person is found to use abusive and
foul language and does not realize his mistake even if he is addressing his
parents. Neither do they talk nor walk properly. They misbehave and many
even urinate in their clothes.
4. Cases of adultery, rape, incest and AIDS are found more among
According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice (U.S.
Department of Justice) in the year 2014 alone everyday on an average 2,318
rapes took place. The statistics tell us that the majority of the rapists, were
intoxicated while committing the crime. The same is true in cases of
According to statistics, 8% of Americans commit incest i.e. one in every twelve
to thirteen persons in America is involved in incest. Almost all the cases of
incest are due to intoxication of one or both the persons involved.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Alcohol is the mother of all evils, the greatest of Major Sins. Whoever drinks it
may end up committing incest with his mother, his maternal aunt and his
[Al Silisilah al-Saheehah, Hadith No. 1853]
One of the major factors associated with the spread of AIDS, the most
dreaded disease, is alcoholism.
5. Every alcoholic was initially a social drinker
Many may argue in favour of alcohol by calling themselves ‘social drinkers’.
They claim that they only have one or two pegs and they have self-control and
never get intoxicated. Investigations reveal that every alcoholic starts as a
social drinker. Not a single alcoholic or drunkard initially starts drinking with
the intention of becoming an alcoholic or a drunkard. No social drinker can say
that I have been having alcohol for several years and that I have so much
self-control that I have never been intoxicated even a single time.
6. If a person is intoxicated just once and commits something
shameful, it will remain with him for a lifetime
Suppose a ‘social drinker’ loses his self-control just once and in a state of
intoxication he commits rape or incest, then any good and modest human
being will never forgive himself throughout his life. The damage caused, both
to the rapist and the victim is irreparable and irreversible.
7. Alcohol is prohibited in the Hadith
The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
a. In Sunan Ibn Maajah, Volume 4, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 1 Hadith
“Do not drink wine, for it is the key to all evils.”
b. In Sunan Ibn Maajah, Volume 4, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 10 Hadith
“…Anything which intoxicates in a large quantity is prohibited even in a
Thus there is no excuse for a nip or a tot.
c. Not only those who drink alcohol are cursed but also those who deal with
it directly or indirectly are cursed by Allah.
According to Sunan Ibn Maajah, Volume 4, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter
6 Hadith No. 3381.
It was reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), that Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“God’s curse falls on ten groups of people who deal with alcohol. The one
who distills it, the one for whom it has been distilled, the one who drinks
it, the one who transports it, the one to who it has been brought, the one
whom serves it, the one who sells it, the one who utilizes money from it,
the one who buys it and the one who buys it for someone else.”
8. Diseases associated with alcoholism
There are several scientific reasons for the prohibition of consumption of
intoxicants i.e. alcohol. The maximum number of deaths in the world related
to any one particular cause is due to the consumption of alcohol. Millions of
people die every year only because of intake of alcohol. I need not go into the
details of all the ill effects of alcohol since most of them are commonly known.
Below is a simple list of few of the alcohol related illnesses:
1. Cirrhosis of Liver is the most well known alcohol associated disease.
2. Others are Cancer of Oesophagus, Cancer of Head and Neck, Cancer of
Liver (Hepatoma), Cancer of Bowel, etc.
3. Oesophagitis, Gastritis, Pancreatitis and Hepatitis are linked with alcohol
4. Cardiomyopathy, Hypertension, Coronary Atherosclerosis, Angina and
Heart Attacks are linked with heavy alcohol intakes.
5. Strokes, Apoplexy, Fits and different types of Paralysis are linked with
6. Peripheral Neuropathy, Cortical Atrophy, Cerebellar Atrophy are wellknown
syndromes caused by alcohol consumption.
7. Wernicke – Korsakoff syndrome with amnesia of recent events,
confabulations and retainment of memory to old events with different
types of paralysis are mainly due to thiamine deficiency due to excessive
8. Beriberi and other deficiencies are not uncommon among alcoholics. Even
Pellagra occurs in alcoholics.
9. Delerium Tremens is a serious complication that may occur during
recurrent infection of alcoholics or post operatively. It also occurs during
abstention as a sign of withdrawal effect. It is quite serious and may
cause death even if treated in well-equipped centres.
10. Numerous Endocrine Disorders have been associated with alcoholism
ranging from Myxoedema to Hyperthyroidism and Florid Cushing’s
11. Haematological ill effects are long and variable. Folic acid deficiency,
however, is the most common manifestation of alcoholic abuse resulting
in Macrocytic Anaemia. Zeive’s syndrome is a triad of Haemolytic
Anaemia, Jaundice and Hyperlipidemia that follows alcoholic binges.
12. Thrombocytopenia and other platelet abnormalities are not rare in
13. The commonly used tablet metronidazole (flagyl) interacts badly with
14. Recurrent infection is very common among chronic alcoholics. The
resistance to disease and the immunological defense system are
compromised by alcohol intake.
15. Chest infections are notorious in alcoholics. Pneumonia, Lung Abcess,
Emphysema and Pulmonary Tuberculosis are all common in alcoholics.
16. During acute alcoholic intoxication, the drunken person usually vomits,
the cough reflexes which are protective are paralysed. The vomitus thus
easily passes to the lung causing Pneumonia or Lung Abscess.
Occasionally it may even cause suffocation and death.
17. The ill effects of alcohol consumption on women deserve special mention.
Females are more vulnerable to alcohol-related Cirrhosis than men.
During pregnancy alcohol consumption has a severe detrimental effect on
the foetus. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is being recognised more and more
in the medical profession.
18. Skin diseases are also related to alcohol indulgence.
19. Eczema, Alopecia, Nail Dystrophy, Paronychia (infection around the nails)
and Angular Stomatitis (inflammation of the angle of the mouth) are
common diseases among alcoholics.
9. Alcoholism is a ‘disease’
Medical doctors have now turned sympathetic towards alcoholics and call
alcoholism a disease rather than an addiction.
The Islamic Research Foundation has published a pamphlet that says:
If alcohol is a disease, it is the only disease that:
- Is sold in bottles
- Is advertised in newspapers, magazines, on the Internet, radio and television
- Has licensed outlets to spread it
- Produces revenue for the government
- Brings violent deaths on the highways
- Destroys family life and increases crime
- Has no germs or viral cause
15. EQUALITY OF WITNESSES
Why are two witnesses who are women, equivalent to only one witness who is
1. Two female witnesses are equal to one male witness only in financial
It is not true that two female witnesses are always considered as equal to only
one male witness. It is true only in certain cases. There are no less than eight
verses in the Qur’an that mention witnesses, without specifying male or
female. There is only one verse in the Qur’an that says two female witnesses
are equal to one male witness. This verse is in Surah Al Baqarah, Chapter 2
Verse 282. This is the longest verse in the Qur’an and deals with financial
transactions. It says:
“O’ ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving
future obligation in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing… and get
two witnesses out of your own men and if there are not two men, then a man
and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs,
the other can remind her…”
This verse of the Qur’an deals only with financial transactions. In such cases,
it is advised to make an agreement in writing between the parties and take
two witnesses, preferably both of which should be men only. In case you
cannot find two men, then one man and two women would suffice.
For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particular
ailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from two
qualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second
option would be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain
Similarly in financial transactions, two men are preferred. Since financial
responsibility is shouldered by men, they are expected to be well versed in
financial transactions as compared to women. As a second option, the witness
can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other
can remind her. The Arabic word used in the Qur’an is ‘Tazil’ which means
‘confused’ or ‘to err’. Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’.
Thus financial transaction is the only case in the Qur’an in which two female
witnesses are equal to one male witness.
2. Two female witnesses equal to one male witness even in the case of
However, some scholars are of the opinion that the feminine attitude can also
have an effect on the witness in a murder case. In such circumstances a
woman is more terrified as compared to a man. Due to her emotional
condition she can get confused. Therefore, according to some jurists, even in
cases of murder, two female witnesses are equivalent to one male witness. In
all other cases, one female witness is equivalent to one male witness.
3. Two female witnesses not always considered equal to one male
There are no less than eight verses in the Qur’an, which speak about
witnesses without specifying man or woman.
a) While making a will of inheritance, two just persons are required as witnesses.
In Surah Al Maa’idah Chapter 5 Verse 106, the Glorious Qur’an says:
“O’ you who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take) witnesses
among yourself when making bequests, two just persons of your own
(brotherhood) or other from outside if you are journeying through the earth
and the chance of death befalls you...”
b) Two persons endued with justice in case of Talaaq (Divorce).
“And take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and
establish the evidence (As) before Allah”
c) Four witnesses are required in case of charge against chaste women
“And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four
witnesses (To support their allegations), flog them with eighty stripes; and
reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors.”
d) It is also mentioned in Surah Al Nisaa’ Chapter No. 4, Verse No. 6, Surah Al
Nisaa’ Chapter No. 4, Verse No. 15, Surah Al Noor, Chapter No. 24, Verse No.
8, as well as Surah Al Noor, Chapter No. 24, Verse No. 13, which all speak
about witnesses without specifying man or woman.
4. Qur’an clearly specifies that one female witness is equal to one male
There are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two female
witnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. This
cannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from Surah
Al Noor Chapter 24, Verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one male
“And those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support)
no evidence but their own - their solitary evidence can be received.”
5. Solitary witness of Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) is
sufficient for hadith to be accepted
Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) the wife of the beloved Prophet
(pbuh) has narrated no less than 2220 Ahadith, which are considered
authentic only on her solitary evidence. This is a sufficient proof that one
witness of a woman can also be accepted.
Many jurists agree that even one witness of a woman is sufficient for the
sighting of the crescent of the moon. Imagine one woman witness is sufficient
for one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. fasting and the whole Muslim community
agree and accept her witness! Some jurists say that one witness is required at
the beginning of Ramadhaan and two witnesses at the end of Ramadhaan. It
makes no difference whether the witnesses are men or women.
6. Female witnesses are preferred in some cases
Some incidents require only female witness and that of a male cannot be
accepted. For instance, in dealing with the problems of women, while giving
the burial bath to a woman, the witness has to be a woman.
Under Islamic law, why does a woman inherit only half the wealth as
compared to the man?
1. Inheritance in the Qur’an
The Qur’anic verses that contain guidance regarding inheritance are:
* Surah Al Baqarah, Chapter 2 Verse 180
* Surah Al Baqarah, Chapter 2 Verse 240
* Surah Al Nisaa’, Chapter 4 Verses 7-9
* Surah Al Nisaa’, Chapter 4 Verse 19
* Surah Al Nisaa’, Chapter 4 Verse 33 and
* Surah Al Maa’idah, Chapter 5 Verses 106-108
2. Specific shares of inheritance for the relatives
There are three verses in the Qur’an that broadly describe the share of close
relatives i.e. Surah Al Nisaa’, Chapter 4, Verses 11, 12 and 176. The verses
are as follows:
“Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male,
a portion equal to that of two females, if only daughters, two or more, their
share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half.
For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left
children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a
third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The
distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know
not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These
are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
“In what your wives leave, your share is half if they leave no child; but if they
leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye
leave, their share is a fourth if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they
get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman
whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants,
but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more
than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that
no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus it is ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-
Knowing Most Forbearing.”
“They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs (them) about those who
leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a
sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance. If (such a deceased
was) a woman who left no child, her brother takes her inheritance. If there
are two sisters, they shall have two thirds of the inheritance (between them).
If there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share
of the female. Thus doth Allah makes clear to you (His law), lest ye err. And
Allah hath knowledge of all things.”
3. Female sometimes inherits same or more than the male counterpart
In most of the cases, a woman inherits half of what her male counterpart
inherits. However, this is not always the case. In case the deceased has left
no ascendant or descendent but has left the uterine brother and sister, each
of the two inherits one sixth. If the deceased has left children, both the
parents that is the mother and the father get an equal share and inherit one
sixth each. In certain cases, a woman can also inherit a share that is double
that of the male. If the deceased is a woman who has left no children,
brothers or sisters and is survived only by her husband, mother and father,
the husband inherits half the property while the mother inherits one third and
the father the remaining one sixth. In this particular case, the mother inherits
a share that is double that of the father.
4. Female usually inherits half the share of that of the male counterpart
It is true that as a general rule, in most cases, the female inherits a share that
is half that of the male. For instance in the following cases:
1. Daughter inherits half of what the son inherits.
2. Wife inherits 1/4th and husband 1/2 if the deceased has no children.
3. Wife inherits 1/8th and husband 1/4th if the deceased has children.
4. If the deceased has no ascendant or descendent, the sister inherits a
share that is half that of the brother.
5. Male inherits double than the female because he financially supports
In Islam, a woman has no financial obligation and the economical
responsibility lies on the shoulders of the man. Before a woman is married it is
the duty of the father or brother to look after the lodging, boarding, clothing
and other financial requirements of the woman. After she is married it is the
duty of the husband or the son. Since the financial burden to look after the
family is put on the men, in order to do justice to this responsibility they get
double the share of inheritance.
For example, if a man dies leaving about One Hundred and Fifty Thousand
Dollars for the children (i.e one son and one daughter), the son inherits One
Hundred Thousand Dollars and the daughter only Fifty Thousand Dollars. Out
of the One Hundred Thousand Dollars which the son inherits, as his duty
towards his family, he may have to spend on them almost the entire amount
or say about Eighty Thousand Dollars and thus he has a small percentage of
inheritance, say about Twenty Thousand Dollars, left for himself. On the other
hand, the daughter, who inherits Fifty Thousand Dollars, is not bound to
spend a single penny on anybody. She can keep the entire amount for herself.
Would you prefer inheriting One Hundred Thousand Dollars and spending
Eighty Thousand Dollars from it, or inheriting Fifty Thousand Dollars and
having the entire amount for yourself?
17. HEREAFTER - LIFE AFTER DEATH
How can you prove the existence of the Hereafter i.e. life after death?
1. Is believing in the Hereafter a blind belief?
Many people wonder as to how a person who believes in science and logic
believes in the existence of life after death. People assume that anyone
believing in the Hereafter is doing so on the basis of blind belief.
My belief in the Hereafter is also based on a logical argument.
2. Believing in Hereafter is a logical belief
There are more than a thousand verses in the Glorious Qur’an, containing
scientific facts (refer to my book, “The Qur’an and Modern Science -
Compatible or Incompatible?”). Many facts mentioned in the Qur’an have been
discovered in the last few centuries. But science has not advanced to a level
where it can confirm every statement of the Qur’an.
Suppose 80% of all that is mentioned in the Qur’an has been proved to be
100% correct. About the remaining 20%, science makes no categorical
statement, since it has not advanced to a level, where it can either prove or
disprove these statements. With the limited knowledge that we have, we
cannot say for sure whether even a single percentage or a single verse of the
Qur’an from this 20% ambiguous portion is wrong. Thus when 80% of the
Qur’an is 100% correct and the remaining 20% is not disproved, my logic says
that even the 20% ambiguous portion is correct. The existence of the
Hereafter, which is mentioned in the Qur’an, falls in the 20% ambiguous
portion, which my logic says is correct.
3. Concept of peace and human values is useless without the concept
Is robbing good or bad? Any normal human being would say it is bad. How
would a person who does not believe in the Hereafter convince a powerful and
influential criminal that robbing is bad?
Suppose I am the most powerful and influential criminal in the world. At the
same time I am an intelligent and a logical person. I say that robbing is good
because it helps me to lead a luxurious life. Thus robbing is good for me.
If any person can give me a single logical reason or argument as to why it is
bad for me, I will stop immediately. People usually put forward the following
a. The person who is robbed will face difficulties
Some may say that the person who is robbed will face difficulties. I do
agree that it is bad for the person who is robbed. But it is good for me.
If I rob a thousand dollars, I can enjoy a good meal at a 5-star
b. Someone may rob you
Some people argue that someday I may be robbed. No one can rob me
because I am a very powerful criminal and I have hundreds of
bodyguards. I can rob anyone but no one can rob me. Robbing may be
bad for a common man but not for an influential person like me.
c. The police may arrest you
Some may say, if you rob, you can be arrested by the police. The police
cannot arrest me because I have the police in my pocket. I have the
ministers on my payroll. I agree that if a common man robs, he will be
arrested and it will be bad for him, but I am an extraordinarily influential
and powerful criminal.
Give me one logical reason why it is bad for me and I will stop robbing.
d. It’s easy money
Some may say it’s easy money and not hard-earned money. I totally
agree that it is easy money, and that is one of the main reasons why I
rob. If a person has the option of earning money the easy way or the
hard way, any logical person would choose the easy way.
e. It is against humanity
Some may say it is against humanity and that a person should care for
other human beings. I counter argue by asking as to who wrote this law
called ‘humanity’ and why should I follow it?
This law may be good for the emotional and sentimental people but I am
a logical person and I see no benefit in caring for other human beings.
f. It is a selfish act
Some may say that robbing is being selfish. I agree that robbing is a
selfish act; but then why should I not be selfish? It helps me enjoy life.
4. No logical reason as to why robbing is bad
Hence all arguments put forth to prove that robbing is bad are illogical. It may
satisfy a common man but not a powerful and influential criminal like me.
Similarly raping, cheating etc. can be justified as good for a person like me
and there is no logical argument that can convince me that these things are
5. A Muslim can convince a powerful and influential criminal
Now let us switch sides. Suppose you are the most powerful and influential
criminal in the world, who has the police and the ministers in his pocket. You
have hundreds of bodyguards to protect you. I am a Muslim who will convince
you that robbing, raping, cheating, etc. are bad.
Even if I put forth the same arguments to prove that robbing is bad, the
criminal will respond the same way as he did earlier.
I agree that the criminal is being logical and all his arguments are only true
when he is the most powerful and influential criminal.
6. Every human being wants justice
Each and every human being wants justice. Even if he does not want justice
for others, he wants justice for at least himself. Some people who are
powerful and influential would not mind doing injustice to others. However,
the same people would surely object if some injustice were done to them. The
reason such people do not mind doing injustice to others is because they think
their power and influence besides helping them in doing injustice to others,
will also prevent others from doing injustice to them.
7. God is Most Powerful and Just
As a Muslim I would convince the criminal about the existence of Almighty
God (refer to my answer on proving the existence of God). This God is more
powerful than you and at the same time is also just. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Allah is never unjust in the least degree”
8. Why does God not punish me?
The criminal, being a logical and scientific person, agrees that God exists,
after being presented with scientific facts from the Qur’an but he may argue
as to why God, if He is Powerful and Just, does not punish him.
9. The people who do injustice should be punished
Every person who has suffered injustice, irrespective whether he is rich or
poor, influential or not, would surely want the perpetrator of injustice to be
punished. Every normal person would like the robber or the rapist to be
punished. Though a large number of criminals are punished, many even go
scot-free. They lead a pleasant, luxurious life, and even live peacefully. If
injustice were done to a powerful and influential person, by someone more
powerful and more influential than he, even such a person would want that
person to be punished.
10. This life is a test for the Hereafter
This life is a test for the Hereafter. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“He who created Death and Life that He may try which of you is best in deed;
and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.”
11. Final justice is on the Day of Judgement
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Every soul shall have a taste of death: and only on the Day of Judgement
shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire
and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of life): For the life
of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.”
Final justice will be done on the Day of Judgement. After a person dies, he will
be resurrected on the Day of Judgement. It is possible that a person receives
part of his punishment in this world. The final reward and punishment will only
be in the Hereafter. God Almighty may not punish a robber or a rapist in this
world but he will surely be held accountable on the Day of Judgement and will
be punished in the Hereafter i.e. life after death.
12. What punishment can the human law give to Hitler?
Hitler incinerated six million Jews. Even if the police had arrested him, what
punishment can the human law give Hitler for justice to prevail? The most
they can do is to incinerate Hitler. But that will only compensate for the killing
of one Jew. What about the remaining five million, nine hundred and ninetynine
thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine Jews?
13. Allah can burn Hitler more than six million times in the Hellfire
Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an:
“Those who reject Our signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire; as often as their
skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they
may taste the penalty: for Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
If Allah wishes He can incinerate Hitler six million times in the Hereafter in the
14. No concept of human values or good and bad without the concept of
It is clear that without convincing a person about the Hereafter, i.e. life after
death, it is impossible to prove the concept of human values or the good and
bad to any person who is doing injustice especially when he is influential and
18. WHY ARE MUSLIMS DIVIDED INTO SECTS / DIFFERENT
SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT?
When all the Muslims follow one and the same Qur’an, then why are there so
many sects and different schools of thought among Muslims?
1. Muslims should be United
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you),
and be not divided among yourselves;”
Which is the rope of Allah that is being referred to in this verse? It is the
Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith. The Glorious Qur’an and the authentic
Hadith are the rope of Allah, which all Muslims should hold fast together.
There is double emphasis in this verse. Besides saying ‘hold fast all together’ it
also says, ‘be not divided’.
The Glorious Qur’an further says,
“Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger…”
All the Muslims should follow the Qur’an and authentic Ahadith and be not
divided among themselves.
2. It is Prohibited to make sects and divisions in Islam
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no
part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them
the truth of all that they did.”
But when one asks a Muslim, “who are you?”, the common answer is either ‘I
am a Sunni, or ‘I am Shia’. Some call themselves Hanafi, or Shafa’ee or Maaliki
or Hambali. Some say ‘I am a Deobandi’, while some others say ‘I am a
3. Our Prophet (pbuh) was a Muslim
One may ask such Muslims, “What was our beloved Prophet (pbuh)? Was he a
Hanafi or a Shafa’ee, or a Hambali or a Maaliki?” No! He was a Muslim, like all
the other prophets and messengers of Allah before him.
It is mentioned in Surah Aali Imraan Chapter 3 Verse 52 of the Glorious Qur’an
that Jesus (pbuh) was a Muslim.
Further, in Surah Aali Imraan Chapter 3 Verse 67, the Glorious Qur’an says
that Ibraheem (pbuh) was not a Jew or a Christian but was a Muslim.
4. The Qur’an says to call yourselves a Muslim
a. If anyone poses a Muslim the question who are you, he should say, “I am
a MUSLIM”, not a Hanafi or a Shafa’ee. Nowhere does the Qur’an say
that you should call yourself a Hanafi or a Shafe’ee. Surah Fussilat
Chapter 41 Verse 33 says:
“Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works
righteousness, and says, ‘I am of those who bow in Islam (Muslim)?”
The Qur’an says, “Say: I am of those who bow in Islam.” In other words,
say, “I am a Muslim”.
b. The Prophet (pbuh) dictated letters to non-Muslim kings and rulers
inviting them to accept Islam. In these letters he mentioned the verse of
the Qur’an from Surah Aali Imraan Chapter 3 Verse 64:
Say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s
5. Respect all the Great Scholars of Islam
We must respect all the great scholars of Islam, including the four
Imaams, Imaam Abu Haneefah, Imaam Shafa’ee, Imaam Hambal and
Imaam Maalik (may Allah have mercy on all of them). They were great
scholars and may Allah reward them for their research and hard work.
One can have no objection if someone agrees with the views and
research of Imaam Abu Haneefah or Imam Shafa’ee, etc. But when
posed a question, ‘who are you?’, the reply should only be ‘I am a
Some may argue by quoting the hadith of our beloved Prophet (pbuh)
from Sunan Abu Dawood Vol. 5, The Book of Sunnah, Chapter No. 1,
Hadith No. 4596. In this hadith the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have
said, “My Ummah (community) will be split up into seventy-three sects.”
This hadith reports that the Prophet (pbuh) predicted the emergence of
seventy-three sects. He did not say that Muslims should be active in
dividing themselves into sects. The Glorious Qur’an commands us not to
make sects. Those who follow the teachings of the Qur’an and Sahih
Hadith and do not make sects are the people who are on the true path.
According to Sunan Al Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, Hadith No. 2641, the Prophet
(pbuh) is reported to have said, “…My Ummah will split into seventythree
sects. All of them will be in Hellfire except one sect.” The
companions asked Allah’s messenger, which group that would be? Where
upon he (pbuh) replied, “It is the one to which I and my companions
The Glorious Qur’an mentions in several verses, “Obey Allah and obey His
Messenger.” A true Muslim should only follow the Glorious Qur’an and the
Sahih Hadith. He can agree with the views of any scholar as long as they
conform to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith. If such views
go against the Word of Allah, or the Sunnah of His Prophet, then they
carry no weight, regardless of how learned the scholar might be.
If only all Muslims read the Qur’an with understanding and adhere to
Sahih Hadith, In sha Allah most of these differences would be solved and
we could be one united Muslim Ummah.
19. ALL RELIGIONS TEACH ITS FOLLOWERS TO DO GOOD
DEEDS, THEN WHY FOLLOW ONLY ISLAM?
All religions basically teach followers to do good deeds. Why should a person
only follow Islam? Can he not follow any of the religions?
1. Major difference between Islam and other religions
All religions basically teach its followers to do good deeds, but the difference
between Islam and other religions is that Islam shows us the way how to
achieve that state of goodness.
2. Example - Islam does not only prohibit robbery but also prescribes
methods of eliminating robbery
a. Islam prescribes a method of eliminating robbery
All major religions teach that robbing is an evil act. Islam teaches the
same. So what is the difference between Islam and the other religions?
The difference lies in the fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is
evil, shows a practical way on how to achieve that state in which people
will not rob.
b. Islam prescribes Zakaah
Islam prescribes a system of Zakaah (obligatory annual charity). Islamic
law prescribes that every rich person who has a saving of more than the
nisaab level i.e. more than 85 grams of gold, should give 2.5% of that
saving every lunar year in charity. If every rich person in the world gives
Zakaah sincerely, poverty will be eradicated from this world. Not a single
human being would die of hunger.
c. Chopping off the hands as punishment for robbery
Islam prescribes chopping off the hands for the robber. The Glorious
Qur’an says in Surah Al Maa’idah:
“As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment
by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in
power, full of wisdom.”
The non-Muslim may say, “Chopping off the hands in this 21st century.
Islam is a barbaric and ruthless religion!”
d. Results achieved when Islamic Shar’iah is Implemented
America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries in the
world. Unfortunately it also has one of the highest rates of crime, theft,
According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice
Statistics (US Dept. of Justice), in the year 2014 alone 664,210 cases of
robbery took place in America. Everyday 1,820 cases of Robbery. Every
Second 1.26 cases of robbery took place in America in the year 2014.
According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice
Statistics (US Dept. of Justice), in 2013 alone 6,126,420 Violent Crimes
took place in America. Everyday 16,785 cases of Violent Crime. Every
second about 12 Violent Crimes were committed in America in the year
Suppose the Islamic Shar’iah is implemented in America i.e. every rich
person gives Zakaat (i.e. 2.5% of his savings in charity above 85 grams
of gold every lunar year), and every convicted robber has his or her
hands chopped off as a punishment. Will the rate of theft and robbery in
America increase, remain same or decrease? Naturally it will decrease.
It’s a practical law. The moment the Shar’iah is implemented, it gets results.
I agree that the amount of theft that takes place in the world today is so
tremendous that if you chop off the hands of all the thieves, there will be
tens of thousands of people whose hands will be chopped off. The point
here is that the moment you implement this law, the rate of theft will
decline immediately. The robber will think 10 times before robbing. The
mere thought of the punishment itself will discourage majority of the
robbers. There will barely be a few who would rob. Hence only a few
person’s hands would be chopped off but millions would live peacefully
without fear of being robbed.
Islamic Shar’iah is therefore practical, and achieves results.
3. Example - Islam prohibits the molestation and rape of women. It
enjoins Hijaab and prescribes capital punishment for a rapist
a. Islam prescribes methods of eliminating molestation and rape
All the major religions teach its followers not to molest or rape women.
Islam teaches the same. What then is the difference between Islam
and the other religions? The difference lies in the fact that Islam does
not merely prohibit but also shows a way about how to achieve a state
in which people will not molest or rape women.
b. Hijaab for men
Islam has a system of Hijaab. The Glorious Qur’an first mentions Hijaab
for the men and then for the women. Hijaab for the men is mentioned
in the following verse:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard
their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is
well acquainted with all that they do.”
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed
thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
c. Hijaab for women
Hijaab for women is mentioned in the following verse:
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and
guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and
ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they
should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty
except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their
The extent of Hijaab for a woman is that her complete body should be
covered. The only part that can be seen, are the face and the hands
up to the wrists. If they wish to cover, they can even cover these parts
of the body. However some Islamic scholars insist that even the face
should be covered.
d. Hijaab prevents molestation
The reason why Allah has prescribed Hijaab for the women is given in
the Qur’an in the following verse of Surah Al-Ahzaab:
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women,
that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when
abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such)
and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
The Qur’an says that Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that
they are recognized as modest women, and this would prevent them
from being molested.
e. Example of twin sisters
Suppose two sisters who are twins and who are equally beautiful, walk
down a street. One of them is wearing the Islamic Hijaab i.e. the
complete body is covered except for the face and the hands up to the
wrists, and the other twin is wearing a mini skirt or shorts with a deep
neck. Around the corner there is a hooligan who is waiting for an
opportunity to tease a girl. Who will he tease? The girl wearing the
Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the mini skirt or shorts with a deep
neck? Dresses that expose more than they conceal, are an indirect
invitation to the opposite sex for teasing, molestation and rape. The
Qur’an rightly says that the Hijaab prevents women from being
f. Capital punishment for rapist
The Islamic Shar’iah prescribes capital punishment for a rapist. The
non-Muslim may say, “Capital punishment in the age of science and
technology! Islam is a ruthless and barbaric religion.” Many accuse
Islam of being ruthless and barbaric. I have asked a common question
to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose God-forbid, some one rapes
your wife, your mother or your sister and you are made the judge. The
rapist is brought in front of you. What punishment would you give
him? All of them said, “we would put him to death”. Some went to the
extent of saying, “we would torture him to death”. If your wife or your