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28 February 2011

Why Interest (Riba) is prohibited in Islam?

It is worth to present an example to start with the subject, a factual example from existing interest based banking methodology that is valid and current, which can be well understood by a common person. One should consider the following facts before going through the example. The facts are:

  • Only Banks create money.
  • The created money is then supplied in to the economy only in the form of loan at some specified interest.
  • There are no other institutions that create money other than banks.

The example - an astonishing fact

As all the banks are creating money and supplying in to the economy on interest and without any doubt all of them are practicing the same technique, so let us consider there is only one bank in our example that creates some money and supply in to the people's economy.

Suppose Bank XYZ creates Dirhams 100,000 and supplies it at an interest rate of 10% per annum to several entrepreneurs and governmental units active in the economy, remember there is no money available in the economy from any other source. The bank has taken substantial collateral or guarantee as security of its money from each borrower. See in the following diagram - the borrowers intake loan and repayment liabilities at the end of the first year:

It is very simple and clear that at the end of the first year, a combined sum of Dirhams 110,000 is due on all borrowers to repay to the loaning bank.

But the money available in the economy is only Dirhams 100,000 as the bank is only supplier of money, so from where the rest 10,000 would come that is the difference in the borrowers intake and total repayment amount...... from NOWHERE. Yes, that is right from nowhere because that money does not exist in the economy.

Look at the scene, the bank is the only supplier of money, it creates and supplies 100,000 in the economy and that is the total money available in the economy, but as per loan agreements - these borrowers collectively have to pay back 110,000. How is that possible? There is no way. Don't you believe, it is 100% like this - no less. This is cheating and criminal foul play.

So what will happen, at least one or more of these borrowers would default on their loan(s) and would loose their personal assets or belonging that they had put as security to the bank for the repayment.

The money creator has designed a mechanism that would force few of the borrowers each year to default so that bank could forfeit the security assets and gain wealth by foul play.

This is an eye opening example for those who previously had no idea about the mechanism of banks as how they operate and cause artificial shortage (scarcity) of the money in the societies. This is happening every where in this world from USA to the smallest country on this beautiful planet. This artificial scarcity of money is the root cause of people's problems from hard struggle for surviving to the loss of happiness from their lives.

In a Riba (interest) based system, people are not aware of this foul play - borrowers think that they will manage to repay the principal plus Riba (interest) as they think it would be coming from some where else, but the fact is - every borrower would be in battle with others where some borrowers have to lose in order for others to win, some would fail to pay their loans in order for others to get the sum they need to pay off the Riba (Interest). When seen in totality, the supply side is always in deficit and the liability is always in excess due to Riba (interest), the total combined supply cannot discharge the liability.

After going through the above real example, I believe, now we are close to find out why Riba was declared Haram in Quran and Sunnah.

Let us begin with the economic reasoning of WHY?:

  1. The availability of each produce is limited, the liability cannot exceed the availability limit.
  2. In any transaction, if a liability of produce "in excess" of "the produce available" is created, that extra liability would be artificial because excess quantity of produce does not exist.

This universal economic code applies to each and every type of produce; to further get in to the explanation of the rule, let us now identify what represents "the produce", "the transaction", and "extra liability":

The Produce
In its general expression "the produce" is any thing available to human beings for their use or consumption, but here specifically those produce that can be involved in a transaction, it is best to take historical standards of transactions which are based on produce like gold, silver, grains, currency etc. because throughout history all transactions are carried out in publicly acceptable produce only. These produce have served the societies as "medium of exchange", so it is more appropriate logically and historically to consider the produce as "the medium of exchange" which is again a general expression and can accommodate any other commodity/produce that may be used in a transaction.

The Transaction
In this universal economic principle, the transaction is based on a single produce and naturally it can only be a transaction of loan or exchange and nothing else. Although donations/grants also involve only one produce but that is not a transaction because a transaction means exchange of good(s) and/or service(s) either on spot or in any specified time frame involving one or more types of produce.

Extra Liability
Riba (interest, usury) is that extra liability created in excess of the produce available and that does not exist. Every liability is a demand in practice, the basic rule of economics known to every one is that to maintain economic equilibrium (stability) in the society, the supply side should be equal to the demand, if the demand is more than the supply - a shortage will occur. Creating an extra liability means creating an extra demand without increasing equal supply, this will start a never ending mechanism of perpetually increasing the shortage of that produce in the society.

Riba was prohibited just to prevent the creation of "extra liability/demand" because that is fake and "does not exist" physically, this artificial "extra liability/demand" creates scarcity of the produce in the society and unjustly accumulation of the produce in few hands. Riba (interest, usury) is a mechanism and dangerous weapon that has a power to get hold of assets/properties of individuals, enterprises, and nations deceitfully. This is unfair and against the nature, so ALLAH (SWT) banned Riba (interest, usury) very strictly to stop this criminal action.

Nature is the Limit in Islam; any thing not natural is prohibited, stopped, and declared illegal. The above economic reasons are the only base for the prohibition of Riba, ALLAH (SWT) has allowed everything that is natural but given its strict judgment to stop any behavior, agreement, and practice that is not natural.

Watch the Lecture by Dr. Zakir Naik on the Topic "Interest Free Economy"

When victims refuse to become victims, they are called Terrorists!

Few years ago the fourth most powerful military in the world escalated its war against a stateless community that has been exiled and crowded into one of the most densely populated 360 square kilometers in the world. According to the Israeli press, this invasion had been planned for over six months.

In 25 days, out of a population of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, Israel massacred 1317, including 419 children & 108 women. It wounded 5340 (6657 were either killed or wounded). This killed the same proportion of Gazan society as would killing 263,400 Americans in the U.S., including 83,800 children and 21,600 women, and injuring more than one million.

The invaders used a wide array of high-tech weapons, including white phosphorous and what appears to be the experimental Dense Inert Metal Explosive, or DIME—a new weapon that penetrates the body with a fine metal dust that amputates limbs, cannot be surgically removed, causesorgan failure and cancer.

This escalation was supported by most governments of the world—most adamantly the United States—and including neighboring Arab states. However, alongside this gruesome assault we saw one of the largest mobilizations of international solidarity the human community has seen in quite a while.

From the beginning of Zionist settlement of Palestine, the settlers have been at war the native inhabitants. Zionist colonization started around the turn of the 20th century. In its first few years Zionists used highly exploited Arab labor to build a Jewish-dominated economy. However, early on Zionists found that Jewish labor could not compete with the local Arab labor and rapidly began excluding Arab labor altogether.

Zionist organizations and investors bought land primarily from the elite Arab absentee landlords and pushed all Arab labor off the purchased land. In buying up so much land the Zionists infused the property market with money. This drove prices up and pushed other small farmers into debt and off their land.

Meanwhile, the Zionists organized campaigns to push Arabs out of the economy. Jews who employed Arab labor were targeted with demonstrations, boycotts, and physical attacks. Here’s an account by a socialist Zionist, David Hacohen, leader of the Zionist workers’ movement in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s: "When I joined the socialist students’ club (in London) there were English, Irish, Jews, Chinese, Indians and Africans—all under English domination.

“Already at that time I had to fight with my close comrades around the issue of Jewish socialism, to justify the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my union, the Histadrut, that we urged Jewish households to not buy anything at Arab stores, that we organized guards around the orchards to keep Arab laborers from working there, that we tossed gasoline on Arab tomatoes and broke Arab eggs in the baskets of women who had bought them.

"The Jewish National Fund sent Yehoshua Hankin to Beirut to buy lands from rich absentee landowners and we then kicked out the farmers. It was all right to buy dozens of hectares from an Arab, but to sell, God forbid, one Jewish hectare to an Arab, was forbidden. It really wasn’t easy to explain!"

Needless to say, the native communities were not in favor of these developments. And so, Zionists came to rely heavily on the British to protect their project. They procured laws and declarations in support of their colonization—most notably the Balfour declaration in 1917—as well as favored banking status and physical protection.

Zionist police forces eventually collaborated with the British in keeping down native uprisings, which were fighting a dual colonization carried out by Britain on the one hand and the Zionists on the other.

By 1936 the Palestinian resistance came to a head with a general strike that held out for six months. By the fifth month Britain cracked down hard on the resistance. They arrested strikers and blew up buildings, terrorizing the population. One incident alone made 6000 people in Jaffa homeless.

Despite the barbaric force employed, the British were losing to the resistance by 1938 and began to join with Zionist forces, who then aided in crushing the rebellion. By 1939, 14,411 Zionist soldiers had joined this effort.

It should be noted that only in Palestine was the Arab rebellion directed at any Jewish institutions, and that even there the rebellion targeted institutions specifically related to Zionist settlement, and avoided the native Jewish inhabitants.

With the Arab uprising of 1936 the Zionists began to rely on a combination of walls and towers in their settlement construction. This design incorporates two features that have proved essential to the Zionist project: The wall to keep the native inhabitants outside the colonial community, and the tower to dominate them.

Getting hold of a local force that was already mobilized against the native population was a godsend to the British colonial forces. It was in this co-operation that many future Israeli military leaders—such as Moshe Dayan—learned how to crush resistance.

This pact with Britain allowed the Zionists to acquire enough land and power under the British mandate to conquer a far larger swath of land. This was no mere happy accident. From very early on Zionist leaders intended their new state’s land to reach deep into modern Arab territory.  This is recorded in the works of modern Zionism’s founder, Theodore Herzl, and right up to the founder of the Israeli state, Ben Gurion.

When Ben Gurion spoke to the World Council of Poale Zion in 1938, he said, "The boundaries of Zionist aspiration include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan, and the Sinai."

In 1947 the United Nations attempted to partition Palestine between Jews and Arabs. The partition was unacceptable to everyone. On the one hand, it would have given far more land to Jews than they were living on. At the time, Jewish land owners held only 6 percent of the land. On the other hand, the Zionist movement sought to claim far more land for itself and would not settle for the partition.

In 1948, war broke out between the Zionist forces and the Arab countries surrounding Palestine. Before the war there were about 950,000 Palestinians in the land that became Israel. The Zionist forces drove out or killed between 700,000 and 800,000 of the 950,000 Palestinians.

In the past, Zionists have hidden the role Zionist forces played in ethnically cleansing the land of its Palestinian inhabitants, but such denial is pretty futile by now. Even right-wing historians like Benny Morris have heavily documented the atrocities committed by Zionist troops and their intent to drive out the native inhabitants. Morris’s only problem with the operations is that they did not do a thorough enough job in expelling the Arabs.

We have, for instance, accounts such as that of Zvi Ankori, commander of the Haganah, who said, "I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomachs. … It was direct murder."

Menachem Begin, a former prime minister of Israel, expressed great pride in the terrifying effects of the Zionist operations. On the massacre of 254 men, women, and children in Deir-Yasin, Begin said, "A legend of terror spread amongst Arabs who were seized with panic at the mention of our Irgun soldiers. It was worth half a dozen battalions to the forces of Israel. Arabs throughout the country … were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede.

"Of the 800,000 Arabs who lived on the present territory of the State of Israel, only some 165,000 are still there. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overstated."

The 700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948 have not been able to return since. They and their children now number 4 or 5 million people. Many of them are huddled in the same refugee camps they entered when they first fled. They are one of the largest and longest running refugee populations in the world.

After these Palestinians were expelled, the new Israeli government systematically destroyed Palestinian homes and possessions. They destroyed nearly 400 whole villages between 1948 and 1949, and even more in the 1950s.

Then the newly formed Israeli state confiscated nearly all of the remaining land. By the time the Jewish state was founded, the Jewish National Fund estimates that it had 90% of the land.

Land held by the Jewish National Fund cannot be leased to a non-Jew, not sub-leased to a non-Jew. It cannot be sold, mortgaged, given, or bequeathed to a non-Jew. Non-Jews cannot be employed on the land, cannot be employed in any connection with cultivation of land. In modern Israel, the Jewish National Fund holds 13% of the land. Arabs living within the bounds of Israel were given citizenship, but were placed under martial law until 1966.

The government continues to use a number of methods to limit the power of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, such as refusing building permits or declaring Arab land a closed military zone.
Furthermore, Israeli law explicitly states that a political party "may not participate in the elections if there is in its goals or actions a denial of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, a denial of the democratic nature of the state, or incitement to racism."

In December 2002, a Palestinian Knesset member Azmi Bishara and his party Balad, which calls for Israel to become "a state of all its citizens," were banned by the Israeli Central Elections Committee since Israel cannot be both a state "of all its citizens" and "a state of the Jewish people." One out of five Israelis are non-Jewish Arabs.

While the Supreme Court overturned the decision in January 2003, the conflict between Israel’s Jewish character and its parliamentary democracy continues to sharpen. During the recent attacks on Gaza the Israeli Elections Committee banned parties representing two-thirds of Israeli Arabs largely in response to the sympathy they showed for Gazans.

Israel has no constitution defending basic minority rights. Because it is a Jewish state with a significant non-Jewish population such guarantees are impossible. The wide disparity between Jewish and Arab ownership of land and wealth, and the solid Jewish control and occupancy of the military, places the material bases of state power solidly in the hands of the Jewish population.

While the majority status of the Jewish population allows the state to afford some parliamentary decorations, the continued growth of the Arab population will increasingly limit the Israeli ruling class’s ability to defend the Jewish character of the state within the framework of majoritarian democracy.

Israel could not have become a Jewish state without forcibly expelling the majority of indigenous population. It cannot remain a Jewish state without forcibly preventing the re-entry of the expelled indigenous population and without forcibly preventing immigration of non-Jews into Israel.

It cannot remain a Jewish state without denying the rights—or even existence—of the remaining indigenous population within Israel.

Israel has an ever-present interest in acquiring control over the natural resources in its region, and over the economy into which it integrates. For its own immediate interests Israel has always been opposed to the strengthening of Arab countries, especially under independent—much less working class—leadership. Because of its inherent isolation from the world around it, and the violence needed to create and maintain its existence, the Jewish state has always required an imperial sponsor—now the United States.

This was never a significant contradiction since, as a colonial project, as a spartan minority in conflict with the majority; the Jewish state has always been formed by the same ideology and has held roughly the same interests as imperial powers in the region. Both imperialists and Zionists need to dominate the Arab majority.

If the Palestinian struggle is to succeed, it must overturn the Jewish supremacy imposed by Zionism and the dominance of U.S. imperialism.

27 February 2011

Picture Perfect :Death will overtake you

Polishing the Hearts

Allah - the Most High - said:

"O you who believe! Remember Allah and remember Him a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:4I]

"Those men and women who remember Allah a lot." [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:35]

"So when you have finished the rights of your Pilgrimage, then remember Allah as you remember your fore-father, or with more intense remembrance." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:200]

These verses contain a command to remember Allah intensely and abundantly, since the worshipper is in dire need of [remembering Allah] and cannot do without it even for a twinkling of an eye. This is because every moment that a person does not spend in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah will not be of any benefit to him. Rather, the harm entailed in being neglectful of the dhikr of Allah is far greater than any benefits that can be gained. One of the 'aarifeen (those who are knowledgeable about Allah) said:"If a person were to spend such and such number of years engaged [in the dhikr of Allah], then he turns away from it for just a moment, what he will lose is far greater than whatever he has already gained."
Al-Bayhaqee relates from 'Aaishah radiallaahu 'anhaa that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "There is no time in which the son of Aadam does not remember AIIaah in it, except that it will be a source of regret for him on the Day of Judgement" 2

Mu'aadh ibn jabal radiallaahu 'anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The people of Paradise will not have any regrets except for those moments in which they were not engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah." 3

Mu'aadh ibn Jabal also relates that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was asked: What action is the most beloved to Allah? So he replied: "That you continue to keep your tongue moist with the dhikr of Allah, until you die." 4


Abu Dardaa radiallaahu 'anhu said:"For everything there is a polish and the polish for the heart is the dhikr of Allah".

Al-Bayhaqee relates from Ibn 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu that AlIaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allah than the dhikr of Allah." It was said: Not even Jihaad in the path of Allah. So he replied: "Not even if you were to continue striking with your sword until it breaks."5

There is no doubt that hearts becomes rusty just as copper and silver coins become rusty. The polish for [this rust] is the dhikr of AIlaah. This is because [dhikr] is like a polish [which polishes the heart] like a shiny mirror. When dhikr is left, the rust returns. But when dhikr resumes, then the heart is [again] polished. And hearts become rusty due to two things:

(i) neglecting remembering Allah, and
(ii) committing sins.
The polish for these two things is:-
(i) seeking Allaah's forgiveness and
(ii) dhikr.


Whoever neglects [remembering Allah] most of the time, then his heart will become rusty in accordance with how neglectful the person is. And when this [filthy] rust accumulates on the heart, then it no longer recognises things as they really are. Thus, it views falsehood as if it is the truth, and truth as if it is falsehood. This is because this rust darkens and confuses the heart's perception, and so it is unable to truly recognise things for what they really are. So as the rust accumulates, the heart gets blackened, and as this happens the heart becomes stained with this filthy rust, and when this occurs it corrupts the heart's perception and recognition of things. The heart [then] does not accept the truth nor does it reject falsehood, and this is the greatest calamity that can strike the heart. Being neglectful [of dhikr] and following of whims and desires is a direct consequence of such a heart, which [further] extinguish the heart's light and blinds its vision. Allah - the Most High - said: 

"And do not obey him whose heart We have made to be neglectful of Our remembrance, one who follows his own whims and desires and whose affairs are furat [have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds have been lost]." [Soorah al-Kahf 18:28]


So when a worshipper desires to follow another person, then let him see: Is this person from the people of dhikr, or from the people who are negligent [about remembering Allah]? Does this person judge in accordance with his whims and desires, or by the Revelation? So, if he judges by whims and desires then he is actually from those people who are negligent; those whose affairs have gone beyond bounds and whose deeds are lost.

The term furat [which occurs in the above verse] has been explained in many ways. It has been explained to mean:- (i) losing the rewards of that type of action which is essential to do, and in which lies success and happiness; (ii) exceeding the limits of something; (iii) being destroyed; and (iv) opposing the truth. Each of these sayings are very close in meaning to each other.
The point is that Allah - the One free from all imperfections, the Most High - has prohibited following all those who possess such attributes. So it is absolutely essential that a person considers whether such attributes are found in his shaykh, or the person who's example he follows, or the person that he obeys. If they are, then he should distance himself from such a person. However, if it is found that the person is, in most cases, pre-occupied with the dhikr of Allah and with following the Sunnah, and his affairs do not exceed the limits, but rather he is judicious and resolute in his affairs, then he should cling to him very firmly.

Indeed, there is no difference between the living and the dead, except with the dhikr of Allah; since [the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: "The example of one who remembers Allah and someone who does not, is like the example between the living and the dead."6

1. AI-Waabilus-Sayyib min Kalimit-Tayyib (pp.78-82).
2. Hasan: Related by Abu Nu'aym in al-Hiliyatul-Awliyaa (51361-362). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami' (no.5720).
3. Saheeh: Related by lbnus-Sunnee in 'Aml al-Yawma wal-Laylah (no.3). Refer to Saheehul-Jaami' (no.5446).
4. Hasan: Related by lbn Hibbaan (no.2318). It was authenticated by Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee in Saheeh al-Waabilus-Sayyib (p.80).
5. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/352), from Mu'aadh ibn Jabal radiallaahu 'anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami' (no.5644).
6. Related by al-Bukhaaree (11/208) and Muslim (1/539).

From al-Istiqaamah magazine

The Marriage Contract: Its Basic Elements

All praise is due to Allah, the Creator of our world and the laws that govern it. And Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His slave and final Messenger Muhammad (saws), the one sent to all of mankind, the one sent to guide people out from the darkness of shirk (polytheism), into the light of Tawheed (montheism).  Know dear reader that Allah (swt) has created things in pairs.  Those pairs must get together in certain ways in order for reproduction to occur.  The way for reproduction to occur amongst humans – males and females, is through marriage, known in Arabic as nikaah. Islam urges Muslims to marry, and prohibits pre-marital relationships.  Allah Most High says in the Qur’an“Marry the unmarried among you…”1 Also, Allah’s Messenger (saws) in the hadith found in Bukhari and Muslim, commanded young people to marry, and advised those of them who could not afford it to fast as a means of controlling their sexual desire.  From an Islamic perspective, marriage is not viewed merely as a means of satisfying natural desires and passions.  Its goals are much deeper than just obtaining legal sex.  Allah (swt) points out one of the main objectives behind marriage by saying: “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you might live with tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts (hearts)…”2
Therefore, the phenomenon of bachelorship or celibacy are UN-Islamic practices that result in devastation, effecting the Muslim community, and posing a threat to the Islamic world.  What devastation? What threat on the Islamic world? The answers to these questions are found in the non-Muslim communities.  Every day we hear and observe with our very eyes the perverted and sinful ways of the Kuffar (disbelievers).  These ways which they find acceptable in their societies have ultimately led to many types of diseases such as A.I.D.S, syphilis and the like, as a result of their choice to follow the unnatural way of abstaining from marriage.

The marriage contract is the formal bond that turns two individuals from strangers to husband and wife.  It is the most important contract that most people execute throughout their lives. Since the marriage contract has such great significance, the deen of Islam imposes a number of guidelines that it must fulfill. Many Muslims who are engaged in pre-marital relationships hold back from having the contract executed due to their ignorance about its elements.  So they continue to live a sinful lifestyle due to cultural influences which lead them thinking the process is too demanding.  Before delving into the basic elements of marriage, it worth mentioning here that marriage is a serious matter and should be dealt with seriously.  It is not allowed for a man to marry and then claim he did not really mean it, or that he was joking. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “There are three matters in which it is not permissible to joke: marriage, divorce, and emancipation (of slaves).”3

The Islamic marriage contract has conditions, requirements, pillars and optional elements.  A contract must fulfill the following conditions and pillars in order to be valid.

Eligibility of Bride and Groom

The first of these conditions is that both the bride and groom must fulfill certain requirements.  The groom must be a chaste Muslim having attained the age of puberty. He must not be related to the bride by any of the permanently prohibiting blood, milk, or marital relationships such as his sisters, paternal and maternal aunts, daughters, grand daughters and others.  He must not be prohibited from marrying the bride for any of the temporary reasons stipulated in the Qur’an and Sunnah.  So if a man has four wives, all other women become temporarily prohibited from him.  Another example of a temporary reason is that as long as a man is married to a particular woman, all of her sisters become temporarily prohibited for him; that is he may not marry any of them unless he divorces their sister.  Others include: women married to other men, simultaneously marrying aunts and their nieces, adulteresses and prostitutes that have not sincerely repented, including others in which the Islamic shari ‘a may have listed.  The requirements a bride must fulfill is that she must be a  chaste Muslim, Christian or Jew.  She must not be married to another man, and must not be related to the groom by any of the permanently prohibiting blood, milk, or marital relationships in addition to not being prohibited from marrying the groom for any of the temporary reasons as stated above.

Bride’s Permission

The next required element of the marriage contract is the bride’s permission.  Without her permission, the contract is either null and void, or may be invalidated by the Islamic authorities at the bride’s request.  The minimum required permission may be done by either voicing her approval or through a passive expression such remaining silent when asked about a potential husband and simply nodding her head, or making any other motion to indicate that she does not object to the marriage. The Prophet (saws) said: “A deflowered unmarried woman (i.e. widow or divorcee) may not be married without her instructions; and a virgin may not be married without her permission, and her silence indicates her consent.”4

The Woman’s Wali

The next requirement of for a valid contract is the approval of the woman’s guardian known as the wali. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A marriage (contract) is not valid without a wali.”5 Normally, a woman’s wali is her father.  If, for any reason, her father is unable to be her wali, her wali would then be her next closest blood relation: the grandfather, uncle, brother, son and so on. It is not permissible for a woman to take another woman as her wali.  The Prophet (saws) said: “A woman may not give another woman in marriage, nor may a woman give herself (independently) in marriage.”6 If the bride does not have a Muslim blood-relative as a wali, the Islamic authority, represented by the ruler or judge, would appoint a wali for her.  In non-Muslim communities the local imam is the one to be appointed as the wali of a woman who has no wali.  The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A marriage (contract) is not valid without a wali.  And the authority is the wali of the one who does not have awali.”7 The presence of the wali or a representative he has appointed is an integral element of the contract or else the contract is deemed invalid.  The Prophet (saws) said: “Whichever woman marries without her wali’s permission, her marriage is void, her marriage is void, her marriage is void.  If he (i.e. the husband) performs intercourse with her, the mahr (dowry) becomes her right because he had access to her private parts.  And if they dispute, the ruler would then be the wali of the one who does not have a wali.”8

The witnesses

Another condition for the validity of a marriage contract is the presence of at least two trustworthy Muslim male witnesses. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A marriage is not valid without a wali and two trustworthy witnesses.”9

The Mahr (Dowry)
The next element of the marriage contract is a mandatory marriage gift given by the husband to his wife.  In Arabic, this gift is called mahr or sadaaq.  Allah Most High said: “And give the women their dowry as a free gift.”10 He also made a commandment regarding by saying: “And give them their compensation as an obligation.”11 The mahr is the sole right of the wife and no one may take any of it without her permission – not even her parents.  The dowry can be in the form of money, jewelry, clothing, or other material things.  It can also be a non-material gift.  The Islamic sharia has not specified any amount, but it should be in accordance with the husband’s financial ability and with what is reasonable for the bride in her social status.  It is normally determined by agreement between the husband and the bride or her wali.  A woman came to the Prophet (saws) and offered herself to him.  He declined, so a man who was present with him said: “O Messenger of Allah! Marry her to me.”  The Prophet asked him: “Do you have anything to give her?”  He said: “No!”  The Prophet (saws) said: “Give her at least an iron ring.” But he still could not afford it. The Prophet (saws) then asked him: “Do you memorise any portion of the Qur’an?” He replied: “I have memorised such and such chapters.”  The Prophet (saws) then said: “…I marry her to you for the portion of the Qur’an that you have memorised.”  This means that he is expected to teach her some of what he has memorised, and treat her kindly based on this memorisation.  All of that would be much more beneficial to the bride than lots of material gift. Know that the best of  dowry is that which is light and easiest upon the husband.  This is actually a sign of blessing for the bride as the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Verily, a sign of blessing for a woman is that her engagement, dowry, and giving birth, are all made easy.”12 Umar ibn al-Khataab (r.a) once gave a sermon in which he said: “Do not be excessive in regard to the women’s dowries.”  It is recommended to give the bride her dowry immediately after executing the marriage contract.  Yet, it is a very common practice to divide themahr into two portions, an advanced and postponed portion.  Postponement of the mahr is, in general, an innovated inconvenience that departs from the normal practice found in the Sunnah.  It defeats the very purpose, which is to be a gift prior to having any intimacy with the bride.


At the time of carrying out the marriage contract, the two parties my wish to set conditions whose violation would invalidate the contract.  This is acceptable as long as the conditions do not violate any Islamic principles.  Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “Every condition not according to the book of Allah is void, even if it be a hundred conditions.”13 An example of a condition may be that a woman stipulates that she remain in a particular homeland during their marriage. The conditions are normally set by the wife’s side, because the husband can terminate the marriage by uttering the divorce.

Carrying out the Contract

It is recommended for the person conducting the marriage ceremony to start with Khutbat-ul Haajah that was reported by Ibn Masoud and Jabir in at-Tabaraani andBukhari in At-Taareekh.  The main and actual pillars of the contract are the offering and acceptance known as Ijaab and qabool.  They signify the mutual agreement and acceptance between the two parties to join in this marriage bond.  The Ijaab and qabool must be stated in clear, well defined words, in one and the same sitting, and in the presence of the witnesses. The person conducting the ceremony may help the two parties say offering and accepting words.  Documenting the marriage contract is not a requirement for the contract’s validty.  However, it is important to document it for future reference and to preserve the rights of the husband and wife. Once the marriage contract is executed, all rights and responsibilities for the two parties become immediately due.

We ask Allah to bless us with beneficial knowledge and cure us from the ailment of ignorance and blind following, and Allah knows best!

1. An-Noor, 24: 32
2. Surat Ar-Room
3. Sunan At-Tirmidhi – its chain is verified to be hasan by al-Albaani
4. Bukhari & Muslim
5. Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and others – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
6. Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi and others – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
7. Ahmad and Abu Dawud – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
8. Ahmad and Abu Dawud – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
9. Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, and others – Authentic according to al-Albaani
10. Surat an-Nisaa, 4:4
11. Surat an-Nisaa4:24
12. Ahmad, al-Haakim, and others –its chain is hasan according to al-Albaani
13. Bukhari & Muslim

By Bilal Abu Aisha

25 February 2011

Spreading Salaams

"And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally."(Qur'an, An-Nisa 4:86)

Human interaction is an important facet of any society. In Islam, proper relationships are stressed at all phases of interaction and the common greeting holds a special place in Islamic manners. Allah says in the Qur'an:

"O you who believe! enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them, that is better for you, in order that you remember." (Qur'an, An-Nur 24:27)
"....But when you enter houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and good...."
(Qur'an, An-Nur 24:61)

Too often, we take greetings for granted and attach minimal importance to them. In these verses, however, Allah reminds the Muslims that offering greetings and the manner of the greeting are of upmost importance. Similarly, in a Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet stressed the importance of greetings when he defined the rights of a Muslim:

"The rights of a Muslim upon another are five: returning greetings, visiting the sick, following the funeral procession, responding to invitations and offering 'Tashmeet' for one who sneezes." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The recommended greeting of a Muslim is to say:

"assalaamu alaykum" (peace be upon you)

According to a Hadith related by Bukhari and Muslim, this form of greeting was ordained by Allah from the time of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him).


Exchanging salaam holds a high position in Islam. Not only is salaam equated with many other important deeds, but it is one of the defining criteria of belief. We observe many Hadiths pertaining to the position of exchanging salaam in Islam.

In one Hadith a man asked the Prophet about which aspect of Islam was best. The Prophet replied:

"Feeding the hungry, and saying salaam to those you know and those you don't know." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet also said:

"You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another: 'spread salaam' (the greeting of peace) among you." (Muslim)

The Prophet Muhammad also explained another virtue of salaam in the following Hadith:

"When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other)." (Abu Dawud)

Finally, reflect on another saying of the Prophet , when he said:

"O people! spread salaam, feed the hungry, be in touch with your kin, and pray while people are asleep (at night) you shall enter paradise peacefully." (Tirmithi)


There are several forms of exchanging salaam. Each has its grade which corresponds to the extent of the phrase.

There is a Hadith where Imran Ibn Hussayn (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that:

"A man came to the Prophet and said, 'assalaamu alaykum!' The Prophet returned his greeting and when the man sat down, the Prophet said: 'Ten.' Another man came and said: 'assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.' to which the Prophet also responded, and when the man sat down, He said 'Twenty.' Another man came and said: 'assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.' The Prophet returned his greeting, and after the man sat down, he said: 'Thirty." (Abu Dawud and Tirmithi)

The Hadith has been interpreted to mean that the minimum form of the Islamic greeting which is acceptable is "assalaamu alaykum" and one is rewarded ten good deeds for saying it. The second grade, adding "wa rahmatullah", raises the reward to twenty good deeds. The best grade of salaam is "assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu", and this is worth thirty good deeds.

The response to the greeting is similar in form and rewards. The least one could say is "Wa alaykum-us-salaam" and the best response is: "Wa alaykum-us-salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatahu".

In the time of the Prophet the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet ) would compete with each other, to see who could give salaams first.

The Prophet said:

"The best of the two persons is the one who begins with salaam." (Related by Nawawi in his book Al-Adkar)

"The Prophet was asked: 'O Messenger of Allah ! When two persons meet with each other, who should take the lead in greeting the other? He answered: 'The one who is closest to Allah." (Tirmithi)

The Prophet said:
"The person closest to Allah is the one who precedes others in greeting." (Abu Dawud)


Initiating salaams is considered 'Sunnah' or optional, returning the salaams after it is offered is considered 'wagib' or obligatory, based on the first Qur'anic ayah mentioned. Islam also encourages people to offer the first greeting as mentioned in the Hadiths mentioned previously.
The Prophet was asked about the most appropriate way to give salaams as shown in the following Hadith:

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says that a man asked the Prophet :

"O Messenger of Allah , when any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend then should he bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)?' He said: 'No.' The man said: 'Should he embrace him?' He said: 'No.' The man then asked: 'Should he clasp his hands?' He said: 'Yes." (Tirmithi)

Unfortunately, now in our community Muslims have adopted other methods of giving salutations, and as we can see in this Hadith, The Prophet was very precise about how salaams were to be given.

We as Muslims, should remember that Prophet Muhammad is the best example for us to follow in all aspects of our life, and we should be careful not to add anything new to the Deen of Islam, for fear of implying that the Prophet Muhammad did not complete his mission.

As Allah (Most Exalted is He) says in the Qur'an:

"You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day."
(Qur'an, Al-Ahzab 33:21)
The Messenger of Allah said:

"I have not left anything which Allah (Most Exalted is He) ordered except that I have ordered you with it, nor anything that Allah forbade you, except that I forbade you from it." (Buhaiqi)


There are certain situations under which it is preferable not to offer salaam. These include; when a person is relieving himself, when one is having marital relationship, when someone is sleeping or when in the bathroom.

Offering salaam when someone is reciting the Qur'an is permissible but discouraged. The same rule applies to someone who is making du'a (supplication) or one who is praying.


The Prophet said:

"Do not greet the Jews and the Christians with salaam." However, if they salaam first, we may reply by saying "wa alaykum" (and upon you)." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Read More on this topic

A non-Muslim says "Assalamu alaykum" What do I say?

Salutation and Meeting Non-Muslims

Amr bin Shu'aib - Tirmithi: The Messenger of Allah said: "He does not belong to us who imitates people other than us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians, for the Jews salutation is to make a gesture with the fingers and the Christians salutation is to make a gesture with the palms of the hands."

Ayesha - Bukhari: When some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "Assaamu 'alaikom" (Death be upon you) and he replied, "Wa 'alaikom" (and upon you), she ('A'isha) said, "Death be upon you and may Allah curse you and be angry with you." The Messenger of Allah then said, "Gently, 'A'isha, keep to kindness and avoid harshness and coarseness." She asked if she had not heard what they said, and he asked if she had not heard what he said, saying, "I replied to them, and my prayer regarding them will be answered, but theirs regarding me will not." In a version of Muslim he said, "Do not be one who uses bad languages for Allah does not like bad language or the use of it."

Surah Mujadila:8: "And when they (Non-Muslims) come to thee, they salute thee, not as Allah salutes thee (but in crooked ways)." E.g. Assaamu 'alaikom.

Abu Hurairah - Muslim: The Messenger of Allah said, "Do not salute the Jews and Christians before they salute you, and when you meet one of them on the road force him to go to the narrowest part."

Ossama bin Zaid - Bukhari and Muslim: The Messenger of Allah , passed by a company of Muslims, Mushriks and Jews and he gave them a salutation.


During the Messenger of Allah's time there were various kinds of contemporary salutations in vogue, but none of these were chosen by Allah (Most Exalted is He), for the Muslims. The superiority of the Muslims Salaam has already been mentioned previously. It was deemed apt that a paper on salutations should also include an analysis of the modern Non-Muslim salutations. In this section the etymological meaning of some of these salutations will be traced back. By doing so it is hoped that the Muslim will further realise the importance of Salaam and abandon the use of Non-Muslim salutations. The Concise Oxford Dictionary has been used so that others can easily refer to it.


The Oxford Dictionary has the following entries on this word:
  • Hello: "Expressing surprise or informal greeting or beginning telephone conversation…(The) cry 'hello'. (Variety of Hallo.)";
  • Hallo, halloa': "Calling attention or expressing surprise or informal greeting or beginning telephone conversation...(The) cry 'Hello'. (Variety of earlier Hollo.)";
  • Halloo: "Inciting dogs to the chase, calling attention, or expressing surprise...The cry 'halloo'.;
  • Halloo: "Cry 'halloo!' especially to dogs; urge on (dogs etc.) with shouts; shout to attract attention.";
  • Holler: "(Make, express with) loud cry or noise. (Variety of Hollo.)";
  • Hollo, holla: "Calling attention...cry of 'Hollo'.";
  • Hollo, ho'llow "Shout; call to (hounds)."
This word originates from Old French (before 1400 A.D.). The reader will appreciate that this salutation, which is derived from a word meaning shouting at dogs!, is far from the meaning and derivation of Salaam. It is really a meaningless salutation.

Good Morning

There is no etymological entry on this word in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, but it is defined under the word good as: "(Used in forms of greeting or parting, as) good...morning, night..." In the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary we have the following entries: Good morrow, good mo'rrow. "A salutation used at meeting in the morning, equivalent to the later good morning...(God) give you good morrow...(e.g.) good morrowe to thee!; idle, trivial or empty saying..."

There is no reason why a Muslim should substitute his Salaam for any other rather meaningless Non-Muslim salutation. In fact, not all mornings are necessarily good. Good what? The salutation of Salaam is not meaningless. The person saying Salaam is invoking Peace, Mercy and Allah's Blessing on the one being greeted. The equivalent of good morning in modern Arabic is "Subh Khair". It should not be used.


This is defined as "(Saying of) farewell (expressing good wishes on parting, ending telephone conversations etc., or figurative with reference to thing got rid of or irrevocably lost.) (Contraction of God be with you!...)

The modern expression goodbye has no meaning and it cannot be compared with Salaam. Salaam is not just a mere expression of good wishes; it is du'a. The word goodbye also implies that the person using it is rather happy to get rid of the person being saluted. This kind of feeling or expression has no place in the Islamic concept of Brotherhood. The word goodbye was originally the expression, "God be with you", and the fact that it has been changed is further evidence that the Christians have tampered with their original teachings. Now-a-days, the word goodbye has been further reduced to just bye. So they first lost the God and now even the good for their farewell.

In Islam the salutation of Salaam is used on all occasions, on meeting and for farewell. There are also other additional farewell dua's which can be used with Salaam. Examples are: "Fee Iman Allah" (May Allah keep you safe) and "Astowda Okomallah" (May Allah guard you). The term "Khuda hafiz" (God keep you safe) is used in Persian and Urdu. It will be noted that the original meaning of goodbye is very similar to these dua's.

The Conveyance of Regards

The word regards means the "Expression of friendliness in letters etc., compliments". It is used to convey expressions of friendliness from one person to another, for example, so and so sends his regards to you. This word implies the conveyance of mere expressions and it is also related with friendliness. Muslims are Brothers in Islam and not just friends. According to a Hadith the Muslims should use Salaam to convey salutations to fellow Muslims. The term regards is not suitable for use amongst Muslims.

Special Modes of Salutation

There are certain special modes of greeting used by the Non-Muslims. Amongst these is the practice of lowering oneself or bowing down in front of another human being when greeting. This is based on their belief of the inequity of human status, that the one bowing down is inferior to the one being greeted. It has nothing to do with respect. This method of greeting is un-Islamic. Firstly, bowing down in front of anybody except Allah is forbidden in Islam. Secondly, all believing human beings are equal in Islam and thus there is to be no special greeting for the so called great men of authority and position. The great in Islam are those who are nearer to Allah in piety. S. Abdul Hai (1977) writes " Islam has prescribed a simple mode of salutation for all, great and small. During the earliest times of Muslim rule, even a commoner saluted the Caliphs simply by saying, "Assalaamu 'alaykum ya Amir ul Momineen" (Peace be upon you, O Commander of the Faithful)." We should be proud of our Islamic heritage.


It is considered a part of the Sunnah for adults to offer salaam to children in order to teach them the proper greeting manners and to build their self esteem. In both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet passed by some youth and he offered salaam to them. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) also reported that the Prophet , used to do this quite often.


There are several etiquette's to be followed with respect to the exchanging of salaam. The Prophet (saws), for example said:

"The person who is riding should offer salaam to the one who is walking; and the one who is walking should greet the one who is sitting; and the smaller group should greet the larger one." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Aside from the situations mentioned in the Hadith, the one who enters a house should initiate salaam to those already there. Furthermore, if one enters his home, it is preferable to offer salaam, even if there is no one at home by saying "Assalaamu alayna wa ala ibadillahi assaliheen" (i.e. peace be upon us and the righteous servants of Allah). With respect to salaam between the young and the old, the young is expected to begin the greeting.

It is also considered improper for someone to meet a group of Muslims and offer salaam only to some of them. The greeting must be for all in the group. If a group of people offer salaam to an individual at the same time, he may reply only once to all of them.

The head should never be bent as a sign of greeting. We bend our heads only to Allah. It must also be emphasized that other body gestures in any form or shape (for example, raising eyebrows, extending the arms, smiling, winking, etc.), cannot replace uttering the words of salaam.
Salaam for someone at a distance can be offered by saying the salaam and waving the hand. Waving the hand alone, however, is not considered a salaam.

Salaam is not only confined to the time of meeting only but it extends to when separating as well.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), relates that the Prophet said:

"When one of you joins a gathering, he should greet those present; and when he leaves them he should salute them, because the first salutation is not better than the last one." (Abu Dawud and Tirmithi)


Umar bin Khattab: "There are three ways of showing sincere brotherly love: give him the greeting of Salaam when you first meet him, make him comfortable, and call him by his favourite names."
Sa'id bin al-As: "I owe my sitting-companion three things: on his approach I greet him, on his arrival I make him welcome, and when he sits I make him comfortable."


There are two fundamental categories of human beings: Muslims and Non-Muslims. Any human being who chooses to submit to his Creator is called a Muslim and his way of life is Islam. A Muslim is a precious being in the sight of Allah. The Muslim gains special privileges, honour and dignity because of Islam. They are people (Muslims) who have achieved peace (Salaam) by accepting Peace (Islam). The salutation of Salaam is a special blessing of Allah for the Muslims. The first conclusion is that the Muslims should use Salaam to salute fellow Muslims because it is only befitting for them to do so.

It is below the dignity of the Muslim to use such expressions below their noble status. The Muslim should not degrade himself, by using Non-Muslim salutations; or his fellow Muslims, by saluting them with Non-Muslim salutation; and nor his Deen al-Islam, by adopting the ways of the Non-Muslims. The second conclusion is that Muslims should not use Non-Muslim salutations amongst themselves because these are unfit for them. The Muslims should not only refrain from using Non-Muslim salutations, but they should abhor such practices.

The Non-Muslim human being, a Kafir, is one who chooses to reject the message of Peace and adopt his own anti-Islamic way of life, Kufr. Such beings are in utter discord, and their life is in contradiction with any concept of peace or harmony. These people will never attain the magnanimity of the Muslims, but the contrary, ignominy.

The salutations of these people are likewise only worthy of their status, rather meaningless and unworthy of noble people. They do not deserve the peaceful salutation of Salaam because they have chosen to reject it. The third conclusion is that Non-Muslims should not be saluted with the full Salaam as they are unworthy of it. They are deprived of the blessings of Salaam as they rejected it. How can a Muslim pray, "Peace be upon you, and Allah's Mercy and Blessings" for a person who does not believe in Allah or lead his life in accordance with the teachings of Islam, for this dua to become effective for him. The salutation of Salaam cannot be used for them.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for the Mushriks, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the fire."
(Qur'an, At-Taubah 9:113)

"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers, (but) full of Mercy for one another."
(Qur'an, Al-Fath 48:29)

The general conclusions are: the salutation of Salaam is for the Muslims and the Non-Muslim salutations are for the Non-Muslims.

The Muslims should not use bad language when saluting the Non-Muslims but should be polite and courteous. The wording of the Salutation for the Non-Muslim according to the Qur'an and Hadith should be noted. The ayat in the Qur'an, like all other ayats, is beautiful. The wording is, "Peace on him who is rightly Guided." Although, this is used for the Non-Muslims it is in reality, only applicable to those who are rightly guided, the Muslims. The salutation for the Non-Muslims in the Hadith is that the Muslims should say, "Wa 'anthom" or "Wa 'alaykum" when greeted by the Non-Muslims. That is, they should say, "The same to you" or "Upon you" concerning whatever that Non-Muslims have said.

  1. Article, Al Jumuah Magazine, Salaam by Rafil Dhafir
  2. Riyadh-Us-Saleheen
  3. Salaam - Salutation of the Muslims by Ibn Aslam