Witness Pioneer | Magazine

Index

  Bringing an End to the World of Extremism

  Al-Quran

  Hadith

  Question & Answer

  Glimpse from World Press

  Biography

  Have a Glance

  The Asian Renaissance

  Editorial

Bringing an End to the World of Extremism

Fatima Nasreen Hasan
(Continued from the previous issue)
Defects of Extremism:
é The first defect is that excessiveness is too repulsive for
ordinary human nature to endure or tolerate. One should always
keep in mind that legislation of Allah addresses the whole
humanity not a special group who may have a unique capacity for
endurance. Excessiveness is short lived since man’s capacity for
endurance and perseverance is naturally limited, and since man
can easily become bored, s/he cannot endure any excessive
practice for long. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Do those deeds
which you can endure as Allah will not get tired (of giving
rewards) till you get bored and tired (of performing good deeds)…
and most beloved to Allah is the one which is done regularly even
if it were little”. Excessive practice jeopardizes other rights and
obligations. A sage ones said, “Every extravagance is somehow
bound to be associated with a lost right”. As for example, if a
woman starts offering nafl prayer day and night, she will be
ignoring her children and family. And it is far better for the
mother to give more time to her children (her family) than to offer
those nafl prayers.
é The second defect is that extremism acts as a serious barrier
towards the propagation of Islam. Nowadays we see thousands of
Muslims but we hardly see anyone who offers the five daily
prayers or sawm properly and regularly. We observe Muslims
drinking alcohol, women wearing shorts and so many things,
which are clearly prohibited by Allah. Therefore the world is in
need of proper and true Islamic guidance. We should show the
young Muslims the path of moderation. All this will only be
possible if Islam is propagated all over the world in the right
manner. People should be addressed to Islam in a nice way so that
they feel the need for it. How extremism is related to this issue
then? We have already seen how an extremist calls other people to
Islam. They do it in a harsh and cruel way. They would tell people
to perform the unnecessary (i.e. excessive) ibadah like they do.
Since people know the wrong side of Islam (because of those
extremists) they naturally ignore it and do not find any interest in
Islam. They get the idea that Islam is very complicated and a
prosaic religion, which does not allow one to listen to music, to
watch TV, to go to a party etc. Finally we can see that the world
will never realize the true teachings of the Quran through
extremism. Islam allows everything but it has only placed a limit
to every action we perform so that we do not deviate from the path
of Allah even for a minute.
Remedies:
Since extremism has so many disadvantages, how can we root out
extremism from the society? In other words what are the remedies
for extremism? We must give due weight to the following four
remedies briefly discussed:
é Societies must perform a positive role in the remedy. As an
initial step a Muslim society should acknowledge and confirm its
genuine commitment to Islam through the adherence of the
teachings of Islam.
é Young Muslims must acquire the proper methodology of
comprehending Islam, and of dealing with themselves, people and
life. Emphasis must be given on Usul al fiqh, a discipline that
studies the methodology of deriving laws from the sources of
Islam and of establishing their juristic or constitutional validity.
é Proper knowledge of commandments (e.g. Mustahabb) and
prohibitions along with the true understanding of the religion (din)
would prevent any confusion regarding status, variations or
similarities concerning the juristic value of actions.
é Islam began as a simple din, then gradually the obligatory
duties were introduced, the prohibitions prescribed, the legislative
matters detailed. Similarly in gathering deep knowledge of the
Sunnah of Allah’s creation, one must have patience and study the
matter one by one thoroughly.
In order to establish a balanced Ummah all of us should act in
concert against the extremists. Let us pray to Allah: “Show us the
straight way, the way of those on whom Thou has bestowed Thy
grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who got not astray.”
[Al-Fatihat : 6-7]*
*The above article (Bringing an End to the World of Extremism)
is a brief summery of the book Islamic Awakening Between
Rejection & Extremism by Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an eminent
Egyptian Islamic scholar and now working as Dean of the Faculty
of Shariah, Qatar Islamic University. The English version of the
book has been jointly published by American Trust Publication and
The International Institute of Islamic Thought, USA. The book has
however been translated into Bengali by Muhammad Sanaullah
Akhunji (Islami Punorjagoron : Samasha O Sambhabona . Price
Tk.50) and published by Wadud Publications, 38/B North Brook
Hall Road, Dhaka-1100.

Al-Quran

It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion
of truth. That He makes it prevail over all religion, even though the
pagans may detest (it). O ye who believe! Shall I lend you to a
bargain that will save you from a grievous chastisement? - That ye
believe in Allah and His messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost)
in the case of Allah, with your wealth and your persons: that will be
best for you, if ye but knew. [As-Saff: 9-11]

Hadith

Whosoever of you s ees an evil action, let him change it with his
hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he
is not able to do so, then with his heart -and that is the weakest of
faith. [Forty Hadith by Imam Yahiya An-Nawawi (Hadith No. 34)
related by Muslim]

Question & Answer

Q: How does Islam view suicide? Is euthanasia permitted in
Islam? [Samia Faizun, Sydney]
Ans: Committing suicide is considered a major sin in Islam, and the
punishment for it in the Hereafter is severe. According to one
Hadith of Prophet (SWAS), a person who commits suicide will
appear on the Day of Judgement in a vicious circle where he feels
the need to commit suicide, kills himself, and then is immediately
resurrect ed to feel the same despair which again makes him commit
suicide. There are two reasons why Islam takes such a strong stance
in this matter:
d In Islam, no person owns anything in the absolute sense; even
our own life is not our exclusive property, to dispose of, as we will.
Life is a trust from Allah and the blessing of health, life and
property is not ours to destroy.
d Since life is a trust, which should be used for the benefit of
mankind, it is not permitted for anyone to destroy himself. To do so
is a betrayal of the trust given to mankind by Allah.
According to a saying of Prophet (SWAS), which is noted as being
very sound, the maximum that a Muslim is permitted to do if in
unbearable psychological or physical distress, is to pray in the
following way to Allah:
“Oh Allah! Give me life if life is better for me and give me death if
you think it is better”.
A Muslim should never despair of the mercy of Allah, and should
never take matters into his own hands.
In Islam there is no ‘mercy killing’, therefore the person who tells
someone else to kill him because his pain is unbearable etc. is just
as guilty of sin as the person who commits suicide. The moral
wrong in killing oneself cannot be hidden by telling someone else
to kill you. Though Islam is opposed to the giving of a lethal drug
to a patient, if a person is clinically dead, (no activity in the brain
cells can be detected) and can only be kept alive artificially/
technically with life support machines, then the Muslim position is
that one is not obliged to keep a person alive artificially.
[Source: Islamic Teachings Course, Vol. 1; Dr. Jamal Badawi]

Glimpse from World Press

Azan to be Allowed in Norway
The city authorities of Oslo have taken a step nearer to allowing
Azan to be sounded from the city’s 18 mosques, it has been
reported on the Internet. The head of the Norwegian capital’s
Urban Planning Department, Grete Horntvedt, has ruled that the
five-times-a-day calls to prayer do not contravene noise reduction
regulations. A final decision authorizing the prayer call rests with
councilors within the various city districts, the report said. [IINA
(Oslo)]
Holy Quran in Maldivian Language
The Maldivian Muslim Scholars Committee has translated the
meanings of the Holy Qur’an into the Maldivian language. The
committee was formed at the request of the country’s President
Maamun Abdul Qayyum, and the translated version would soon
be printed and distributed to the Muslims of Maldives. [IINA
(Male)]
US Girl Prevented from Saying ‘Bismillah’
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a
Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, recently called on the
Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to allow
a Muslim student to mention God in the classroom. The student
was prevented from making an Islamic religious reference at the
beginning of one of her class presentations. Before the student
could begin that presentation, the instructor handed her a letter
stating that she could not utter the common Islamic phrase in the
name of Allah, most Merciful, most Gracious, (Bismillah) as she
had on a previous occasion.[IINA (Washington)]
Yusuf-al-Qaradawi’s Book on Prophet’s Intercession
A new book by Muslim intellectual Dr. Yusuf-al-Qaradawi has
been published in Cairo. It deals with the question of the Prophet’s
intercession during the Day of Judgement, and is a rejoinder to
what Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud “maintains that there is no such thing
as intercession by the Prophet (SWAS)”. [IINA (Cairo)]
Islamic Encyclopedia on Compact Disc
An electronic compact disc (CD) dictionary with 55,000 entries on
Islamic culture in seven languages has been published in Libya. It
is the largest dictionary of its kind of CD, and it is expected that
the researchers and others interested in Islam and Islamic culture
would find it very useful. Apart from Islamic terms the dictionary
gives an explanation of each of the important terms, accompanied
by pictures in motion and speeches. The seven languages used in
the dictionary are English, French, Malaysian (Bahasa Melayu),
Turkish, German, Indonesian, in addition to Arabic.[IINA
(Tripoli)]

Biography

Abdullah Faiyaz
Dr. Hammudah Abdalati graduated from Al-Azher University,
Egypt. He received an MA from McGill University and a Ph D in
Sociology from Princeton University. In 1958 he joined the
Department of Islamic Culture, Al-Azhar. He was appointed in
1960 the first full-time director of the Canadian Islamic Center of
Edmonton, Alberta. From 1967 till he passed away in September
1976, Dr. Abdalati was associate professor of Sociology at Utica
College of Syracuse University.
Dr. Abdalati was well known to the Muslims of North America as
well as intellectual groups and audience. For years he lectured on
Islam, attended Islamic conventions, wrote articles in Arabic and
English, and responded to inquiries. He was a source scholar to
whom many students of Islam and Islamic culture turned for help.
He is the author of The Family Structure in Islam published by
American Trust Publication. Besides, Dr. Abdalati authored the
book Islam in Focus. The later book has been translated into
Bengali (Islam Ekmatro Jibon Bidhan. Price Tk.100) by
Muhammad Habibur Rahman and published by Khairun
Prakashani, 20 Paridash Road, Banglabazar, Dhaka.

Have a Glance

Õ Newsletter-Islamic Information & Products provides news,
features, articles, questions & answers, new Quran learning tools,
interview with Islamic scholars, songs, entertainments. Please
contact: www.soundvision.com .
Õ International Movement For A Just World, Malaysia
provides commentaries, articles, features effecting rights of the
citizens of the world. You are welcome to visit www.jaring.my/just .
E-mail: muza@po.jaring.my. (P.O. Box 288, Jalan Sultan, 46730
Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E., Malaysia. Tel: 603-7583 641; Fax:
603-758 3735).

The Asian Renaissance

Anwar Ibrahim
[
“If the term Asian values is not to ring hollow, Asians must be
prepared to champion ideals which are universal. It is altogether
shameful, if ingenious, to cite Asian values as an excuse for
autocratic practices and denial of basic rights and civil liberties .To
say that freedom is Western or unAsian is to offend our own
traditions as well as our forefathers who gave their lives in the
struggle against tyranny and injustice.”
“It has been argued that economic issues must be kept apart from
non-economic ones. Neither politics nor morality must disrupt the
peaceful clamour of the marketplace. This argument is again
another gross misrepresentation of what Asian traditions have
always stood for. The major Asian traditions stand for a holistic
vision of life and society encompassing economic, social and
political dimensions as opposed to partialistic and fragmentary
approaches to development.”
“For Asia to be truly global, its societies must be prepared to
transform themselves and discard the harmful residue from the
past—tribalism, feudalism, narrow-mindedness and fanaticism. It is
not the case that Asia must lose its identity, but it must renew
commitment to core values s uch as justice, virtue and compassion,
that are in themselves universal. Creativity, imagination and
courage is needed to translate these values into reality.”
“The message of the Asian Renaissance should be heeded not just
by the people of this region, but also by our erstwhile colonial
masters. It is not enough that they merely express regret and
remorse over the treatment meted out to those they once lorded
over. Contrition is but the first step towards owning up to past sins.
It lacks conviction when old prejudices persist. When they hector us
on issues such as human rights, patronize us on the matter of
values, impose conditionalities on trade, we cannot but help suspect
a hidden agenda—a new form of domination in the place of the
old.”
The aforementioned quoted paragraphs are from the book The
Asian Renaissance by Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime
Minister of Malaysia who is now languishing in the prison. The
book discusses many vital issues affecting the Third World
countries vis a vis the West. The 159 pages (hard cover) book cost
U.S. $20 and available at Times Book International, Times Centre,1
New Industrial Road, Singapore 536196. Fax: (65) 285 4871. Tel:
(65) 284 8844. e-mail: te@corp.tpl.com.sg The book is also
available at Times Subang, Lot 46, Subang Hi Tech Industrial Park,
Batu 3,40000 Shah Alam, Salangor Darul Ehsan. Tel: (603) 736
3517.

Editorial

People in our society due to ignorance and prejudiced mind take
extreme position, especially in religious matters. It has been
observed, extremism destroys individual life and cohesion in the
social fabric. This is one vital reason for commotion and
unnecessary schism in the society and definitely not a healthy sign.
In this backdrop, we published for the benefit of readers the article
Bringing an End to the World of Extremism by sister Fatima
Nasreen Hasan. Hopefully, the article will help readers to
understand the nature, form, depth and dimension of extremism.
We intend to publish more such articles in future inshaAllah. To
eradicate extremism and superstition and to build up enlighten man
is the objective of The Window .