|I have been
continuously receiving emails and queries about basics of
Islam from my esteemed visitors to my site ever since I
have been on line for last few months. May i say how
delighted I am at your evident eagerness and interest in
Islam. Me at Abdul Mateen Khan's Islamic Web Directory endeavor to answer queries about the
basics of Islam and I be only too pleased to try and assist
you in any way possible at all. A very respectable and
knowledgeable Muslim lady, Um-e-Khadija, has been kind enough
to do her best in responding and answering to the queries and
will continue to do so in future as well. May Allah reward her
for this selfless service.
|I will post some
selected questions and answers on this page for the general
benefit of my visitors. Please send your question to
shall try to do my best to be of some help.
|One of my
Christian friends wants to convert to Islam. I told her that
she has to see the Molvi Saab. But I said before she thinks
any further, she should know the basic facts of Islam. You see
the thing is I don’t know whether she just sees this as a
‘trend’ she wants to follow. I said to her, I will provide her
with some Islamic information and we’ll decide where to go
after that. Could you please advise me on how to go about
|You are correct
in your approach towards your friend. Islam is not just a
religion but a complete code for life. One needs to have firm
and absolute belief in the Unity of Allah and Muhammad (peace
and blessings be on him) as his Servant and Messenger before
one can begin to think about becoming a Muslim. The feeling
has to come from within. Indeed it happens when Allah puts the
truth in one’s heart. We sincerely hope your friend has had a
genuine spiritual experience.
|I was just
wondering if you could provide me with some Hadith, of the
fact that the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not just
bashr (human) but is also the Nur (light) of Allah?
|The Holy Quran,
while mentioning the Holy prophet (peace and blessings on him)
says in Surah Al-Ahzab, " O Prophet, truly We have sent thee
as a Witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a Warner, And
as a Summoner unto Allah by His command, and as a radiant
Lamp." The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him) was the
Nur of Allah as Surah Al-Shams describes; in that like the
moon draws its light from the sun, the Holy Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allah be on him) drew his light from Allah and
transmitted it to the spiritually dark world. The Holy Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allah on him) spent each moment of his
life in the remembrance of Allah and with the Will of Allah.
Indeed in that sense he most certainly was light of Allah.
However, the Holy Quran tells us, he was only a human being,
the most perfect and excellent human being.
me whether it is allowed in Islam for a female to visit her
loved ones at the grave site at the cemetery, keeping in mind
that she is pure and clean. And if not, why?
|I do not have any
knowledge of a directive in the Holy Quran or the ahadith
where the prohibition you mention has been laid down. It is
however, understood that Islam prohibits an open display of
distress at the grave side. Women are traditionally not very
good at controlling their grief, hence the general concept
that they should not visit cemeteries. If a woman has the
resolve to be steadfast and keep her painful Emotions under
control, I do not see why she cannot visit the grave side of
her loved ones at an appropriate time.
|My question is
what is wrong with males wearing silk?
|The answer to
your question is quite simple. The Holy Prophet Muhammad
(peace and blessings on him) forbade wearing of silk for the
males among his Followers. He often said that one who wore
silk in this life shall not wear it in the hereafter. Wearing
of silk (and gold) is effeminate. It inculcates notions of
being delicate and fragile, where as it is natural for men to
be manly, strong, stout-hearted and robust.
|What are the
Five Pillars of Islam?
|Following is a
brief description of the Five Pillars of Islam as requested:
Shahadah: The English translation of the Shahadah is
as follows: "I bear witness that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, the One, without any partner. And I bear
witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger."
Islam’s fundamental belief is the Unity of God. All other
beliefs hang on this belief. Therefore the acknowledgement and
‘bearing witness’ of this is the key to the Muslim faith.
Unless this is observed one cannot be a Muslim.
Salat: Islam lays the greatest of emphasis on salat,
prayers and remembrance of Allah for spiritual reformation.
Prior to salat one makes one’s ablutions, have clean clothes
on and in keeping with the sanctity of the worship present
oneself on time and with full respect. The first part of this
preparation is the apparent cleanliness. One should try and
have clean clothes on. The ablutions before prayer need to be
made to make the salat valid. One cleans one’s hands, rinses
the mouth, cleans the nostrils, washes the face, hands and
fore-arms. All this is repeated three times. Wet hands are
passed over the head and the ears are cleaned with the tips of
the forefinger. Lastly the feet are washed, again three times.
Along with the obvious cleanliness through ablution, it also
signifies a purification of one’s inner self. When a
worshipper washes during ablution with the intention of
praying, he/she also reflects on his/her inner purification
and cleanses his/her mind from worldly thoughts, and draws the
attention of his/her soul to be in attendance of God. The
significance of all the different postures of salat is there
is a deep connection between what is on the outside and the
inner self of a human being. The physical postures of salat
are in keeping with the mental attitude of humility with which
one worships God. These postures affect the heart and indeed
the heart’s humility affects the physical postures. The prayer
starts with a standing position called ‘Qiyam’. Then there is
a bowing position called ‘Tasbih’. Two prostration’s are
followed, they are called ‘Sajdah’. In the end there’s a
sitting position and that is known as ‘Q’adah.
Zakat: Zakat is a part of devotion enjoined upon
Muslims by the Holy Quran. It is a means where the well-off
pay a set amount of their wealth. Zakat means to purify
oneself. It is obligatory on Muslims to pay a little
percentage of their accumulated wealth towards Zakat, which is
used for the benefit of the needy and the poor. Zakat is not
levied on one’s property that is in personal use, rather on
the assets which have a means of increasing and which are
surplus to one’s needs. It is a means of social justice and
order. It teaches sympathy of the highest order.
Fasting: Along with salat, another important form of
worship is fasting. It is obligatory for each Muslim, apart
from some exemptions, to fast in the month of Ramadhan. During
the hours of fasting, food and drink and conjugal relations
between husband and wife are forbidden. It is enjoined that
during fasting one should pay attention to remembrance of God
and study the Holy Quran in abundance. One should try to
curtail one’s worldly pastimes as much as possible during
Ramadhan, and to be particularly inclined towards charity and
alms giving. Human life is dependent on food and drink and the
continuation of the human race depends on the marital
relationship. While fasting one refrains from them both, as if
bearing witness to God that for His pleasure man gives up the
factors (temporarily) upon which his very existence depends.
The various other benefits of fasting are that man gets to
exercise sacrificing physical comfort and to endure hunger and
thirst. Fasting creates a sense of equality between the rich
and the poor. By developing an appreciation of hunger and
thirst, it makes the well-off think of the needs of the poor
and impresses a feeling of compassion in their hearts. It
makes them appreciate, through the practicality of it, the
state a human being endures when hungry and thirsty. Ramadhan
is a most effective and excellent means of spiritual
development for mankind.
Hajj: Hajj is another form of worship. It is
obligatory for each adult Muslim who can afford it. Apart from
the financial aspect, the ability to afford the pilgrimage
also means that one is able to travel and perform the Hajj in
peace. During Hajj, the person who intends to perform it is
required to travel to Mecca during the prescribed days and
observe all the rites and ceremonies. During Hajj Muslims from
all corners of the world gather in Mecca and perform the rites
of Hajj and thus strengthen the bond of Muslim unity. During
Hajj each place brings to mind some event of the blessed life
of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him). It refreshes
the memory of the supreme sacrifices made by the Holy Prophet
(peace and blessings on him) for the sake of Islam.
explicitly state in the Quran that a woman MUST cover her hair
or is this optional?
|Indeed, the Holy
Quran specifically mentions that women should "draw their
head-coverings over their bosoms".
|What is the
Muslim festival of Eid ul Fitr?
festival of Eid ul Fitr is celebrated at the end of the month
of Ramadhan, when fasting is obligatory, fasting in Ramadhan
is one of the five Pillars of Islam. It is considered an act
of devotion. Eid is an Arabic word, which means a day, which
often returns. There are two Eid festivals in a year. At the
end of the month of Ramadhan, upon the sighting of the new
moon, Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated the next day. All the
necessary preparations are made at night. The shops open till
late for people to finish their shopping. On the day itself,
after a bath, everyone puts on his/her best clothes. Children
especially have new clothes for the occasion. It is
traditional to wear perfume for men and women. Breakfast is
usually special, according to the custom of the country one
comes from. After breakfast everyone proceeds to the Eidgah, a
place reserved for the Eid prayer service. It could be a large
Mosque, hall or an open space, depending very much on
availability. Owning to a large number of Muslims involved it
has to take place in a large area.
A separate area is provided for women to offer their
service. Islam does not permit free intermingling of men and
women. It was the practice of the Holy Prophet (peace and
blessings on him) of Islam to go to Eidgah by one route and
return by another. Where possible this tradition is upheld.
The Eid prayer is fairly short. After the prayer, the Imam
delivers a sermon. It generally includes the historical
background and the spiritual significance of the festival. Any
other important matters concerning the world of Islam can also
be dealt with. After the sermon, the worshippers greet each
other by embracing and saying, "Eid Mubarak" to each other.
The spirit of Eid is that of peace, forgiveness and
Brotherhood. When people return home they have special meals.
Gifts and greetings are exchanged. Feeding the poor and
looking after the needy are considered estimable on Eid. While
Eid is a joyous occasion, frivolity and over- eating etc. are
not recommended. The main purpose is to seek the pleasure of
God by glorifying Him and doing good for humanity.
|I am a muslim
girl now. I have just found that islam is true religion and
there is no god but God and he is alone. He is most Gracious
and Merciful. I have found a lot of good things about Islam
but I still have some questions. I mean about a Muslim woman.
What is all this about covering our body and not going front
of a men you don’t know? I really want my questions answered.
THANKYOU very much.
|Welcome to the
world of Islam. You ask about the issue of 'covering up'. The
Hijab, as it is commonly known, most important of all, is a
state of mind. The urge to observe it has to come from within.
One has to train one's thought-processes in light of what the
Holy Quran tells us and then it is the easiest and most
natural thing to do. If you wish to have a bit of doctrinal
knowledge then Surah Al-Nur in the Holy Quran is a wonderful
elucidation of Hijab. In it, Allah the Almighty says:
"And say to the believing women that they restrain their
eyes and guard their private parts, and that they disclose not
their natural and artificial beauty except that which is
apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over
their bosoms, and that they disclose not their beauty save to
........." The verse goes on to enlist near blood-relations
etc., from whom Hijab is not necessary.
In Islam the emphasis is on modesty. Men and women both are
enjoined to guard their modesty. Figure hugging, revealing
clothes are considered most undesirable. As a general rule,
the idea is to cover one's beauty. It is a fact that nature
has made the female beauty most alluring. The concept of Hijab
is to protect that beauty and to cherish it. So, a dress that
covers one's extremities is suitable. It can be trousers with
a long and loose top, or a long dress. It indeed depends on
the culture one comes from. If one is appropriately covered,
then one can go in front of men. Indeed, Muslim women go out
to work in all walks of life suitably attired.
The Muslim woman's attire varies according to the customs,
habits, social status etc. Indeed in certain societies women
have to work in the fields - in such circumstances they have
to do away with the 'formality' of the outer-coverings etc. A
modest out fit and a 'restraint' in their eyes will suffice.
If this has not satisfied you and you have more points to
clarify, please do write in, and we shall try our best to
alaikum, I am not a Muslim but I am someone who is very much
interested in religion. I have no problems with Islam except
that I don’t understand some things. I have tried clearing it
with all my Muslim friends but they don’t seem to know. I
would like to know why you consider the dog unclean as
compared to any other animal which may be worse than the dog
and even more unclean? I would be very grateful if you could
answer this query for me?
|Dog is indeed
considered unclean in Islam. However, it is not the only
animal considered thus. The faithfulness of the dog is never
questioned and guard dogs are kept by Muslims as pets. The
Pig, a most filthy creature, is considered foul in Islam. If
you have information on an animal which you think is not clean
and is considered clean in Islam, please let us know and we
will endeavour to answer your query.
|Are Muslim men
are allowed to marry outside Islam?
scriptures allow Muslim men to marry women of the older
scriptures (Torah, Gospel). The off springs have to follow the
father’s faith. The explanation is rather straight forward -
to ensure a continuity of Islam. Christian women marrying
Muslim men do not have to wear special clothes if they do not
chose to change their faith. However, modest attire is
certainly appreciated. Islam does not have a one distinct
outfit as such, it is a universal religion and Muslim women
the world over wear their traditional clothes, whichever part
of the world they come from. However, they are required to
wear an outer covering and a head covering when going out and
when facing males outside of their near relatives. As said
above, Muslim men are allowed to marry outside Islam. Indeed
it is desirable to marry within Islam and the reason, once
again is quite straight forward - for safeguarding the Muslim
faith for the next generation.
The very first step to become a Muslim is to believe in the
Unity of God. To firmly and most sincerely believe that there
is One God who has no partner and that Muhammad (may peace and
blessings be on him) was God’s Messenger. Indeed, the
‘apparent’ way to prove one’s faith is to worship God and to
do good. Proofs are, however, needed for this world only. God
knows what is in the heart of a person and who has true faith.
Indeed, He knows best.
|What type of
questions will you be answering on this site?
|You can ask any
sort of question regarding Islamic teachings and we shall
endeavor to reply. Please do not feel embarrassed in any way
at all. Learning is a life-long process and it goes on till
the end of this earthly life for all alike. If it is any help
at all chances are a woman will answer your question.
biased against women?
highlights a most common misconception about Islam. Islam is a
complete code of conduct and should be viewed as such. It is
not correct to isolate any one aspect of its teachings and
base one’s judgment on it. The media only picks up on what
appears sensational and that becomes ‘common knowledge’. A
study of Islam tells us that Islam was the first religion to
grant women a status hitherto unknown. The Holy Quran contains
hundreds of teachings which apply to both men and women. If
and when men are granted a little ‘independence’, it is always
‘accompanied’ with a series of responsibilities. Indeed, it is
a man-made ‘ill’ when human beings pick and chose from any
teaching to suit their own ends. There is infinite wisdom in
the teachings of Islam. The issue of polygamy is a much
misunderstood and maligned one. In its proper context, it is
designed to foster high moral values in society and safeguard
chastity. It is an option to be observed only the right
circumstances and when done so is more of an obligation,
rather than an indulgence. When man chooses to leave ways
appointed by God and adopts his own self-made methods, that is
when injustice takes place.
|I got married
to my wife in 1994 under the supervision of qazi and ulema.
But the girl’s parents were not ready and so we had to marry
without their consent and without their knowledge. Now after 6
years I have four kids and the parents of my wife got a fatwa
from the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia that the marriage is not
valid and its against the Islam they says that without the
will and the wish of their parents and without their consent
this marriage cannot be proceeded more and they call it HARAM,
my wife age was 19 when I got married and according to the LAW
AND ORDER AND ISLAM the girl was completely matured and she
can do the thing of her wish and will, but they want me to
give her divorce(TALLAQ)
Islamic marriage does lay the stipulation of the consent of
the girl’s father or her Wali, usually a Wali is the father
and in his absence a responsible person has to be properly
appointed Wali of the girl - The age of the girl is no
consideration in observing this fundamental requirement. The
consent of both the girl AND her Wali are essential. Without
the consent of the Wali, the Nikah is invalid. All schools of
Islamic Law agree on this point. If you conducted a "civil
marriage" in a non-Islamic country, then you can live as a
"wedded" couple according to the law of the land, and the law
of the Land will protect you if someone wants to take your
wife or children away. However, if you want to have an Islamic
opinion, then, I am afraid your marriage was not according to
the Shariyah. A Muslim Qadhi will not be able to help. The
only way it could be rectified in Islamic Shariyah is by
obtaining the consent of the Wali of your wife. This opinion
is all based on the assumption that it was your wife’s first
marriage. A divorcee or a widow does not need to have a Wali
according to the Islamic Law. We regret that we can only give
you our opinion and are certainly in no position to solve the
problem. May Allah enable you to overcome this most
|Why are non
Muslims prohibited from into entering Mecca?
|We believe it is
to protect the sanctity of the holiest of the holy places. A
non-believer would not have the same regard for the most
sacred Muslim Landmarks, hence the rule. Indeed, one who
believes in the Unity of Allah should qualify for entrance to
the Holy Land and the House of God.
interested in converting to Holy Islam.
|The basic Islamic
belief is in the absolute Unity of God. All other beliefs hang
from this belief. If you sincerely believe that there is but
One God who is all Good and all Powerful then you can make a
start. If you have any specific questions which you believe
will help in your conversion, then please do not hesitate to
|Do you people
actually know that you don’t give your children the chance to
choose their own partner? I think this is a form of abuse and
in that way, I lost my respect for all of you. I am about to
loose someone special to me because the person will be given
away to someone that person doesn’t even know. Wake up, these
are the 90’s; not the medieval age. This is my opinion about
it. It’s the only bad part about your religion I can think of,
if I get it all wrong, please reply here because I want to
|We regret that
you have had a negative experience of Islam. Let us make it
absolutely clear that Islam does not approve of ‘forced’
marriage. Indeed we are aware that it exists and is practiced,
however the factors behind it are cultural and Islam does not
advocate it. The laws of Islam were introduced 1,400 years ago
and they are not dependent on time and era. You mention these
are the 90’s - indeed, we are past that stage and are now in
the 21st century. If Islam is followed as it was taught by the
Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) it’s
laws will be applicable till the end of time. The Islamic law
is a complete code of life and perhaps it is not fair to
examine it’s one single aspect in isolation.
If a marriage takes place fulfilling all Islamic criteria,
Islam completely permits one to marry someone of one’s own
choice. Blessing and consent of the parents are indeed
desirable necessary in case of girls. Islam lays great
emphasis on the honour and dignity of women and this is a
safeguard against any potential ‘abuse’ of a young woman.
Islam also lays great emphasis on respect of the parents.
Similarly parents need to have the happiness and well being of
their children in mind and must not use force and deceit to
marry their offspring. As parents guide their offspring
through life over all matters, when it comes to choosing a
life partner, it is quite natural for them to look out for
someone suitable and make suggestions. They cannot force a
‘match’ on their offspring. Muslim males have the freedom to
marry within followers of Divine Books. However, Muslim
females are restricted to marry within their own faith. The
reason is quite clear. Children universally follow the faith
of the father. Hence the rule; to ensure that the offspring of
a Muslim is brought up in the Muslim faith.
|First: What is
the Fatha? Is there anyway I could get a copy of it in Arabic
and in English? I would like to understand it on a word by
word translated basis please. Second: What are you saying
while you pray? In Arabic and in English on a word by word
basis too please. Why do you move your fingers and what are
the beads for? What are the actions of prayer and why are you
doing them? This is an honest inquiry of curiosity please do
not take any offense to my questions and I would greatly
appreciate your help.
|Thank you for
your message. It is a pleasure to be able to assist with any
inquiry about Islam and we certainly feel your questions are
We assume you refer to Surah Al-Fatiha as
‘fatha’, which is the opening chapter of the Holy Quran. It is
said to be an embodiment of the entire Quran. While we are
unable to provide the Arabic script of it, we can most
certainly provide you with a transliteration and a translation
in English. It comprises of seven verses:
In the name of Allah, most Gracious, ever Merciful
Al hamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘alameen
All Praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds
Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
Master of the Day of Judgement
Iyyaka n’abudu wa iyyaka nasta’een
You alone do we worship and You alone do we implore for
Guide us on the right path
Siratallathina an’amta ‘alaihim ghairul maghdhibi
‘alaihim wa ladhdh alleen.
The path of those on whom you have bestowed Your
blessings, those who have not incurred Your displeasure and
who have not gone astray.
Your next question is about Salat, the Muslim obligatory
prayer. If by ‘moving finger’ you refer to the raising of the
forefinger of the right hand during salat - it is done in
following traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings
be on him) of Islam. It is done at a stage when a prayer is
said about bearing witness that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah and bearing witness that Muhammad is His
servant and Messenger. The ‘beads’ are used as a ‘count’ to
repeat short prayers. During the salat, through different
postures we first glorify God. We then go on to pray for His
Guidance and Mercy and towards the end we say a few prayers
for ourselves. If you wish to have a transliteration and
translation of the entire salat, please let us know.
|Could you tell
me where did Muhammad (peace be upon him) stay when he
migrated to Medina?
|When the Holy
Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him) arrived
in Medina the entire town was eager to have the honour of
being his host. However, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings
on him) who was mounted on a camel at that time, said he would
wait for the camel to stop wherever God commanded it to. The
camel stopped at a site belonging to the orphans of Banu
Najjar. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him)settled
on a price there and then, for the site, to build a mosque and
some houses. He then inquired who lived nearest to the site.
It was Abu Ayub Ansari who lived closest to the orphans’ site
and thus had the honour of being the Holy Prophet’s (peace and
blessings be on him) first host in Medina. On great demand the
Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him) later went on to
stay with a few other people before moving into his own house