Interview with Hujjatul Islam Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri (PART 2)

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    Al Qaem Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) : Question

    Are women allowed to work, leaving their children at home in Islam?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Islam is a social system which guides humanity towards the best path with which one can be prosperous in the worldly life as well the life of Hereafter. Women are consisting of half or more than half the population of humankind. Islam has never neglected women in guidance towards the best path of salvation. The challenging aspect of women is to cater to the needs of the future generation. It is the natural duty of women to bring up peaceful and good offspring. That is the reason the burden of finances of a family is on the shoulder of the men. There are times stages in a woman’s life where she is free and has time to work, during such a period she is free to work; provided her modesty and dignity is safe guarded.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) : Question

    What is azadari and who is the purpose of azadari?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    The literal meaning of Azadari is to mourn for a departed soul; but it is greatly used for the mourning of Imam Hussain (a) the grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s). After the tragedy of Karbala it became an engine to motivate the masses. Azadari motivates the mourners towards truth, justice and equity and compels them to reject and fight against tyranny, injustice and inequity. As the great leader of the modern times Imam Khomeini once expressed it by saying: “Ma Her Chizi Ki Dareem As Hussain (a) Dareem”, meaning whatever we have today in Iran it is because of Imam Hussain (a)”.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    Still there is mass poverty and illiteracy among the Muslims? What is the reason? And what is the solution?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    It is very important for us to know world statistics and exclusively the statistics of our own nations. It is a fact that the majority of the world population is illiterate and poor. Muslims also proportionately are illiterate. Although the very first revelation to our beloved Prophet (s) starts with the command by saying: “Read, in the name of your Lord, who created.” (96:1). The religion whose first revealed verse commanded its followers to read and now those very followers are away from knowledge? There are many tangible and non tangible reasons which is out of the scope of this interview. Knowledge is wealth, knowledge is power and knowledge is love, compassion and kindness. Our beloved Prophet (s) introduced four very famous traditions inviting his followers to reflect. The First one says: “Acquiring knowledge is incumbent upon all Muslim (men or women).” That means there is no gender restriction in acquiring knowledge. The Second Hadith says: “Acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave”. This means there is no time limit for seeking knowledge. The Third tradition compels us to believe that there is no space limit in seeking knowledge says: “Knowledge and wisdom is of the Muslims get it back even from a non believer”. The fourth Hadis says: “Knowledge and wisdom loosen by the believers, seek it from whomsoever you can, that may be non-believers.” I believe our scholars have given less importance to this very important subject. Scholars, preachers and orators have a greater responsibility in changing the course of thinking of the masses; likewise each and every believer has a responsibility and duty to adhere to the teachings of their religion. I had a glance at a statistic of India where it says that there are more religious institutions than educational ones; which gives us a clear understanding of the results. If our religious institutions could become the centre of education a new dawn will appear and the future will be bright. .

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    There is mass poverty among the Muslims and at the same time Islam have beautiful system of giving charity, khums, Zakat, Sadaqah. Where all it goes

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Poverty is a part of human society it is not only among Muslims, but the largest portion of the world is poor. This shows that the distribution of wealth among human society is inadequate and requires a drastic change in this ugly scenario. There are many reasons why the vast majority of Muslims are deprived of their basic needs. 1) Those who take out the religious dues are very small portion of the Muslim population. If Zakat and Sadaqat is given as it is been prescribed by Islam by our Sunni brothers, Khums is given by our Shia brothers there shall not be a single Muslim who is needy. 2) Centralization of funds is very important in order to organize the distribution of Islamic charity Zakat, Khums and Sadaqat. 3) The centralize distribution has to be done under very committed and God fearing people of the Muslims society whose hearts burns for the poor. 4) Accountability and yearly account presentation has to be done very thoroughly. 5) These distribution organization should be monitored by God fearing inspectors of the centralized organization. 6) The major portion of these charity funds should used for the education of the Muslim Ummah. .

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    As per my knowledge and experience says (if I am not wrong), because of self respect poor sadaat e Fatima do not approach any body to ask help from khums. How to find and help true sadaat?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Islam has guided us in all aspect of our lives, nothing is unclear, and we as Muslims are unaware of our own religion. Regarding this subject of Khums also the guidance is clear in Islam. How to take out Khums? How to disperse it? To whom it should be given? Etc. The portion of Sadaat should be distributed in accordance with the condition which has been laid down in Islam. Those who seek Sadaat portion meaning those who ask for the Khums money are not the eligible (Mustahaq) Sayyids, they in fact are the beggars they should never be let down according to the Holy Quran: “Nor shall you reprimand the beggar.” (93:10) Those who are Mustahaq we need to search for them, they are very honorable people who are struggling for their livelihood yet still could not reach to their basic needs of their lives. Thus there should be a secret movement consists of the pious and God fearing who desire to serve the Mustahiqeen to seek the pleasures of Allah. Such group should have a representation in each and every street and area of the town and search for the Mustahiqeen (eligible momineen). There must be a list of such people and distribution should be done in secret such that their honor and respect should be protected. The best form of payment is for the education of their children. If we can educate our future generations we will never face economical, political, and social problems. .

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    Please tell us in short about theme and format of Khutba e juma?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Juma prayer is a very important tool for the resolving problems in . As per the Holy Quran it is a command to the Muslims: “O you who believe, when the Congregational Prayer (Salat Al-Jumu`ah) is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of Allah, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew.” (62:9). There are numerous Ahadith which encourage followers to attend the Juma prayers. One of which says: “Juma prayers are Hajj of the needy”. Juma is the weekly spiritual, gathering which we should adhere to resolve the problems of the masses. Juma prayer has two Sermons (Khutbas) the first one is to discuss Taqwa piousness and purity. The Islamic belief is that without piety, peace cannot be achieved in society. Purification of souls is the goal of Islam and it can be attained by good advice from each other, and Juma is the best place to talk about it. The second sermon (Khutba) should be regarding the problems faced by the Muslim Ummah during the past week. The leader of the Juma prayer should be so bright and well informed that he should be analyzing the situation of Muslims of that area and as well the Muslims of the world. .

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    It’s a regret that some scholars indulge themselves in criticizing other scholars and other Muslim sects in public, in such a way as if the owner of one Product would boasts about his company and criticizes his competitor’s products so that people get attracted towards his product and look down to his competitors. What is your opinion ?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Islam never teaches such a thing; a scholar is the one who pleases only Allah not the masses. May Allah guide us all Ameen! All these kinds of activities show insecurity in the person. A scholar always counters with scholarly work rather than using the pulpit to prove his point of view. .

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    The capacity to acquire knowledge makes human beings the most superior of creations. But what is knowledge? Who is entitled to be called a knowledgeable person (ulema)? What do you feel should be the role of the ‘ulama in Muslim society? What are your own feelings about how the ‘ulama functioning today?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Superiority in the eyes of Allah is taqwa with knowledge. Every field of knowledge is respectable as long as that knowledge becomes a source to serve humanity. There is famous verse of the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi which says: ‘As long as a person is not spoken his/her ability is unknown, one should never think a shadow as it is, and there could be lion laying in front of them’. Hadith says: “A person is hidden behind his speech”. The Holy Quran says: “Thus, Allah does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change.” (13:11). Every member of the community has the duty to work for the betterment of the future, Ulema are also part of the society; and in fact have a greater role to play. Ulema have the ability to change the fate of the society at large; they have the power to inject the spirit of life in the people. Each and every Alim is working for the progress of the community and can improve in their efforts if they realize their power of influence on the public and strive to change the course of the Ummah.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    Although the Quran stresses Muslim unity, Muslims are divided into numerous sects, and some of them see the other sects as enemies. How do you account for this phenomenon of intense sectarianism and the fact that, unlike in the Christian case, there is really no Muslim ecumenical movement to bring the ulema of the different sects on a common platform for serious dialogue?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Self and personal interest could over shadow the interest of the masses. The Holy Quran has given all kinds of examples of this in past history. “They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of Allah. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners.” (9:31). All Heavenly religions are faced with the same problems, Jews, Christians and Muslims are faced with sectarian divisions. Our goal is to establish the domain of God; but the method of reaching to these goals is different. If we Muslims educate ourselves that our goal is similar and our obstacle and enemy is common. Those who are self conceited, arrogant, and love to govern on the globe are the ones who are dividing us. It is the duty of each and every Muslims to understand this clearly. If there is problem in understanding Sunni and Shia then why is there a problem within Palestinians between Hamas and Fatah? The answer is clear that it is due to the colonial inhuman method of ‘divide and rule’; which has been practiced for centuries and is still alive today. It is up to us to wake up from our deep sleep and understand the there is no room for us to be divided within ourselves while the worldly hungry powers are enjoying the liberty of affluent lifestyles.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    In several madrasas students are taught to despise and counter other Muslim sects, based on the assumption that their own sect alone is true. How do you see this problem?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Islam never teaches us to be divided but on the contrary it teaches us to be united. The Holy Quran says: “The believers are members of one family; you shall keep the peace within your family and reverence Allah, that you may attain mercy. O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or make fun of your names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the transgressors.” (49:10-11). In this command Allah (s.w.t) orders us not to ridicule others. The traditions of the Prophet (s) is also a clear guide that he never indulged in such divisions. Madrassas should be centers of education which should promote love, harmony not only with the Muslims but also with the non-Muslims too. There should be open dialogue which promotes understanding, peace and harmony among humankind.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    How you see “Multiculturalism” term in muslims?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    We have mentioned before that Islam is a universal and adoptable culture. As long as Muslims adhere to their own culture while interacting with other communities there is no harm in it. When the other culture is added to it in the name of Islam such multiculturalism and pluralism will lead to the failure of the other culture.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    What you say on the need to rely on scientific astronomical calculations instead of human sightings of the moon to decide on when to celebrate Eid ?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Islam is the most practical and scientific religion which has given us a clear understanding in each and every aspect of life. We can adopt scientific knowledge as long as there are no clashes; and there should never be any clashes of thoughts when it comes to the understanding of the first day of the month. According to majority of the Maraje (meaning highly qualified scalars) ‘one can rely upon the scientific calculations regarding the moon sighting if he/she reaches to the certainty.’

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    Muslims want to shape society according to the Quran But when they will shape ?

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    Where there is a will there is way. According to the Holy Quran the life of our beloved Prophet is the perfect example to follow. “In the life of the messenger of Allah there is good example to follow; for those among you who seek Allah and the Last Day, and constantly think about Allah.” (33:21) He changed the course of the Muslim Ummah by education, purification of souls and peace and harmony. If we concentrate on these tools within no time we will be successful in this world and the world to come.

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    AQ Youth (Syed Mohammad Masoom) Question

    Your message to the Muslim world and Islamic unity ... !!

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    Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri :
    Answer

    My message to all the readers is that the world in which we are living is becoming more and more fragile and there is an urgent need for peace and harmony among humankind. Peace and harmony cannot be achieved until we are educated and feel the presence of Allah in our lives. The world is compelling us to become individualistic beings while by nature we are social. Thus Islam is the only system with which one can attain success in both the worlds. Take out anger, hatred, and revulsion and bring knowledge, love and harmony among all humankind. Learn total Islam and follow it totally Insha Allah the success is under your feet. O’ Allah give us strength to fight tyranny, oppression, injustice and indecency. O’ Allah hasten the appearance of the maker of Justice to the mankind. O’ Allah give us Tawfeeq (Heavenly inspiration) to follow the best religion Islam. O’ Allah keep us united and make us pious. Ameen! Ilahi Ameen Zaki Baqri