Monday, 30 March 2015

.Love, race & faith.

Assalam Alaikum,

Simple love entangled in the confusion of one's race, faith & fate?

A story of  A-Su, an Indonesian Chinese, who asked Siti, a Muslim, to marry him. For Siti, this rather simple question proves hard to answer. A love story in a world that still bears the scar of an old wound from the past.

A story so familiar~

Allah swt gives hidayah in the most extra-ordinary way~

If your situation is similar to this story, choose faith... Simply because the only love that transcend time and space is the love our creator has for us~

Inna illahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon~  Allah swt we belong; To Him we return

The one who chooses faith
Khadijah C.

Monday, 23 February 2015

.Islamic command about prisoners of war.

Assalam Alaikum,

Sharing a tafsir I read recently on POW under the Islamic ruling.

Islam has formulated a comprehensive code in respect of the prisoners of war, which contains provision for this problem in every age under all sorts of conditions. 

The general command that has been given about the prisoners of war (POW) is: 
"Show them favour, or accept ransom from them." 
Favour includes four things: 
(a) POW should be treated well as prisoners 
(b) instead of killing them or keeping them in captivity for lifetime, POW should be handed over to the individual Muslims as slaves
(c) POW should be put under jizyah and trade dhimmis; and 
(d) POW should be set free without ransom.

(a) POW should be treated well as prisoners

The Holy Prophet and the Companions at different times acted in one or the other way as the occasion demanded. The Divine Law has not bound the Islamic government to act in only one particular way. The government can take any action it deems appropriate on a particular occasion.

The practice of the Holy Prophet and the Companions confirms that as long as a prisoner of war is in the government's custody, the government will be responsible for his food and clothing and his treatment if he is ill or wounded. Islamic Law does not permit prisoners to be kept without food or clothing, or be subjected to torture. On the contrary, instructions also have been given to treat them well and generously, and precedents of this very practice are found in the Sunnah. 

  • The Holy Prophet distributed the prisoners of Badr in the houses of different Companions and gave the instruction: "Teat these prisoners well." One of those prisoners, Abu 'Aziz, has reported: "The Ansar Muslims, in whose house I was kept, gave me bread morning and evening, but as for themselves they had only dates to eat. " 
  • About another prisoner; Suhail bin 'Amr, the Holy Prophet was told: "He is a fiery speaker, and has been making speeches against you: please have his teeth broken. " The Holy Prophet replied: "If I have his teeth broken, Allah will break my teeth, although I am a Prophet." (Ibn Hisham). 
  • When Thumamah bin Uthal, the chief of Yamamah, was brought as a prisoner, he was provided with good food and milk on the Holy Prophet's orders as long as he remained a captive. (Ibn Hisham). The same was the practice in the time of the Companions. No precedent is found when a prisoner might have been mistreated in their time.

(b) that instead of killing them or keeping them in captivity for lifetime, POW should be handed over to the individual Muslims as slaves

Islam has not permitted that the prisoners be kept in captivity for ever so that the government may subject them to forced labor as long as it likes. If they are not exchanged for other prisoners of war, or ransomed, the method enjoined of doing them favour is that they should be made slaves and given in possession of individuals, and their masters instructed to treat them well This method was acted upon during the time of the Holy Prophet as well as of the Companions, and the jurists of Islam have unanimously upheld it as permissible. 

In this regard, it should be borne in mind that a person who might have accepted Islam before being taken as prisoner, and then is somehow made a prisoner, will be set free, but the acceptance of Islam by a person who accepts it after being taken prisoner, or after being given in possession of somebody, will not gain him freedom automatically. 

A tradition has been related in Musnad Ahmad. Muslim and Tirmidhi on the authority of Hadrat `Imran bin Husain that a person from among the Bani 'Uqail was brought as a prisoner and he said: "I have accepted Islam. " Thereupon the Holy Prophet said: "If you had said this when you were free, you would certainly have attained to success. The same thing was said by Hadrat `Umar: "When a prisoner becomes a Muslim after falling into the hands of the Muslims as a captive, he will not be killed, but will remain a slave." 

Oh this very point. the jurists of Islam have unanimously ruled that the prisoner who becomes a Muslim after being taken captive cannot escape slavery. (Imam Muhammad, As-Siyar al-Kabir). And this also is quite reasonable. If our law had been that anyone who embraced Islam after being taken a captive, would be set free, no prisoner would be so foolish as not to win his freedom by pronouncing the Kalimah.

(c) POW should be put under jizyah and trade dhimmis

The third manner of doing favour with the prisoners according to the Law of Islam is that they may be put under jizyah and made dhimmi subjects of the Islamic state and allowed to live as free citizens of dar a/Islam (abode of Islam) just like the Muslims. 

Imam Muhammad writes in his As-Siyar a/-Kabir: "Any person who can be made a slave, can also be made a dhimmi and put under jizyah. ¦ At another place he says: "The ruler of the Muslims has the right to levy jizyah on than and a tax on their lands and set than absolutely free." 

This method has been practised generally in the condition when the territory of the people who have been made prisoners, is conquered and annexed to the Islamic state. The Holy Prophet, for instance, practiced this method in the case of the people of Khaiber, and then Hadrat `Umar followed and practiced it extensively on the conquest of `Iraq and other territories. 

Abu `Ubaid writes in his Kitab al-Amwal: "After the conquest of `Iraq a deputation of the leading men of that country came before Hadrat `Umar and submitted: `O Commander of the Faithful, before this the people of Iran had subdued us: they subjected us to harsh treatment and committed all sorts of excesses against us. Then, when God sent you, we became very pleased, and we neither put up any resistance against you nor participated in the war. Now, we hear that you want to make us slaves.' Hadrat `Umar replied: `You have the option either to become Muslims, or accept to pay jizyah and remain free.' They agreed to pay the jizyah and they were granted full freedom. " At another place in the same book. Abu `Ubaid says: Hadrat `Umar wrote to Abu Musa al-Ash'ari: Set free every farmer and peasant from among the people who have been captured in the war. "

(d) POW should be set free without ransom

The fourth favour is that the prisoner be set free without ransom. This is a special concession that the Islamic government can give only in case the special conditions of a prisoner demand it, or when it is expected that the concession will win the prisoner's gratitude for ever, and help turn him a friend from an enemy, or a believer from a disbeliever; otherwise, obviously it would in no way be a wise thing to set free a person of the enemy camp, who could again return to fight the Muslims. This is why the Muslim jurists generally have opposed it, and imposed the condition: "If the ruler of the Muslims finds it expedient to set the prisoners, or some of them, free as a favour, there is no harm in doing so." (As-SiyaT al-Kabir). Many precedents of this are found in the time of the Holy Prophet, and in almost every case expediency seems to be the reason.

About the prisoners taken at Badr, he said: "If Mut'im bin `Adi were alive, and had spoken to me in respect of these treacherous people, I would have Iet them go for his sake." (Bukhari, Abu Da'ud, Musnad Ahmad). The Holy Prophet said this because when he had returned from Ta'if to Makkah, Mut'im at that time had given him refuge, and his armed sons had escorted him to the Ka`bah. Therefore, he wanted to repay his debt of gratitude in this way. 

According to Bukhari, Muslim and Musnad Ahmad, when Thumamah bin Uthal, the chief of Yamamah, was brought as a prisoner, the Holy Prophet asked him: "Thumamah, what do you say?" He replied: "If I am killed, then such a one would be killed, whose blood has some value: if I am shown favour, then favour would be shown to a person, who appreciates favour; and if you want wealth, ask for it, you will be given it." 

For three days the Holy Prophet asked him the same thing and he gave the same reply. At last, the Holy Prophet ordered that Thumamah be set free. On attaining freedom, he went to a nearby oasis, washed himself and came back, pronounced the kalimah and became a Muslim, saying: Before this day nobody was more detestable than you and no religion more odious than your religion in my sight, but now for me no man is more lovable than you and no religion more lovable than your religion." 

Then he went to Makkah for 'Umrah and gave the people of Quraish a notice to the effect: "After this no grain will reach you from Yamamah unless Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) permits it." So, he stopped the grain supply and the people of Makkah had to request the Holy Prophet that he should not stop the supply of grain for them from Yamamah. 

From among the prisoners of the Bani Quraizah, the Holy Prophet forgave Zabir bin Bata and 'Amr bin Sa'd (or Ibn Su'da), the former because he had given refuge to Hadrat Thabit bin Qais Ansari in the Battle of Bu'ath, in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance; therefore, he handed him over to Hadrat Thabit that he may repay him for his favour. And he forgave 'Amr bin Sa`d because it was he who was exhorting his tribe not to be treacherous when the Bani Quraizah were committing breach of the trust with the Holy Prophet.

After the Battle of Bani al-Mustaliq, when the prisoners were brought and distributed among the people, the Holy Prophet paid Hadrat Juwairiyah's ransom to the person to whom she was allotted to secure her freedom and then married her himself. At this all the Muslims set their own prisoners free, saying: "Now they have become the Holy Prophet's relatives. " Thus, the prisoners of a hundred families became free. (Musnad Ahmad, Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, Ibn Hisham).

On the occasion of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, at about dawn, 80 men came from the direction of Tan'im with the intention of launching a sudden attack on the Muslim camp, but were all captured, and the Holy Prophet set all of them free lest it became a cause of war on that critical occasion. (Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad).

At the conquest of Makkah, the Holy Prophet forgave all the people of Makkah except only a few men, and did not kill more than three or four of even those who had been made an exception. The whole of Arabia was well aware of what atrocities the people of Makkah had committed against the Holy Prophet and the Muslims; yet the large-heartedness with which he forgave them after attaining complete victory over them, gave the Arabs the satisfaction that they had not been overpowered by a tyrant but by a merciful, affectionate and generous leader. That is why after the conquest of Makkah the Arabian peninsula did not take longer than two years to be completely subdued.

After the Battle of Hunain, when the Hawazin deputation came to secure the freedom of their prisoners, the prisoners had already been distributed. The Holy Prophet called the Muslims together and said: "These people have come with repentance, and I am of the opinion that their men should be rearmed to them. The one who would like to set the prisoner allotted to him free willingly without ransom, should set him free, and the one who would like to take ransom, shall be paid it out of the first income that is received in the Public Treasury." Thus, six thousand prisoners were set free, and those who wanted to take ransom, were given it by the government. (Bukhari, Abu Da'ud, Musnad Ahmad, Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd). This also shows that the government is not authorized to set the prisoners free after they have been distributed; this can be done by the willing approval of those in whose possession the prisoners have been given, or by paying them the ransom.

After the Holy Prophet, precedents of setting the prisoners free as a favour continue to be found throughout the period of the Companions also. Hadrat Abu Bakr set fret Ash'ath bin Qais al-Kindi and Hadrat 'Umar granted freedom to Hurmuzan and the prisoners of Manadhir and Maisan. (Abu 'Ubaid, Kitab alAmwal).

POW should be set free with ransom

There are three ways of ransoming: 
(1) That they should be set free on payment of a ransom
(2) they should be set free after taking some special service from them
(3) they should be exchanged for the Muslim prisoners of war who are in the possession of the enemy. 

(1) Ransoming: set free on payment of a ransom 

The precedent of setting the prisoners free on payment of the ransom in the time of the Holy Prophet is found only on the occasion of Badr, when the prisoners were set free on payment of one thousand to four thousand dirhams each. (Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Amwal). No precedent of this is found in the time of the Companions; and the jurists of Islam have generally disapproved it, for it means that we should take money and set a man free so that he may again rise against us with the sword. But since taking of ransom has been permitted in the Qur'an, and the Holy Prophet also acted according to it once, it is not absolutely forbidden. Imam Muhammad writes in his As-Siyar al-Kabir that if the need arises the Muslims can free their prisoners on payment of the ransom.

(2) Ransoming: set free after taking some special service from them

The criterion of freeing a prisoner for a service rendered is also found in connection with the Battle . of Badr. For those of the Quraish prisoners who had no ransom the Holy Prophet imposed the condition that they should teach reading and writing to ten Ansar children each to win their freedom. (Musnad Ahmad, Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, Kitab al-Amwal.

(3) exchanged for the Muslim prisoners of war who are in the possession of the enemy

Several instances of the exchange of prisoners are found in the time of the Holy Prophet. Once he dispatched Hadrat Abu Bakr on an expedition and he brought some captives, including a beautiful woman, who fell to the lot of Hadrat Salamah bin Akwa' . The Holy Prophet urged him to give her back, then sent her to Makkah and had several ' Muslim prisoners released, in exchange for her. (Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Tahawi Kitab al-Amwal of Abi `Ubaid, Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d). 

Hadrat 'Imran bin Husain relates that once the tribe of Thaqif arrested two men of the Muslims. Some time later, a man of the Bani 'Uqail, who were allies of the Thaqif, was arrested by the Muslims. The Holy Prophet sent him to Ta'if and got both the Muslims released in exchange for him. (Muslim, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad). 

From among the jurists Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Shafe`i, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad hold the exchange of the prisoners as permissible. A ruling of Imam Abu Hanifah is that exchange should not be practised, but according to another ruling of his exchange can be practised. However, there is a consensus that the prisoner who becomes a Muslim should not be handed over to the disbelievers for the purpose of exchange

Thursday, 19 February 2015

.Islamic greetings for Lunar New Year.

Assalam Alaikum,

It is time of the year when greetings are exchanged among those who celebrate the Lunar New Year. Chinese Muslim, like me, tend to take this opportunity to give greetings of peace.

My favourite greetings?

祝福你平安幸福! (Wishing you peace and happiness)
安! (Having peace for year upon year)

Khadijah C.