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- The Inspirer of Faith -
O you who have attained to faith!
Remember God with unceasing remembrance,
and extol His limitless glory from morn to evening.


Two reeds drink from one stream. One is hollow, the other is sugar-cane. - Jalaludin Rumi

Guard your heart from heedlessness, protect your lower self from desires, guard your intellect from ignorance, and you will be admitted into the company of the vigilant. It is a duty for everyone to seek knowledge; that is, knowledge of yourself. - Jafar al-Sadiq

If someone remarks, "What an excellent man you are!" and this pleases you more than his saying, "What a bad man you are!" know that you are still a bad man. - Sufyan al-Thawri




Common Misconceptions & Myths In Islam

 Two witnesses who are women are equivalent to only one witness who is a man.

 Different schools (madhab) cannot be mixed. You must follow one completely and exclusively.

 Music is haram.  see articles

 Pictures are prohibited for Muslims.

Myth: Two witnesses who are women are equivalent to only one witness who is a man.

For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particular ailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from two qualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second option would be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain MBBS doctors. Similarly in financial transactions, two men are preferred. Islam expects men to be the breadwinners of their families.

Since financial responsibility is shouldered by men, they are expected to be well versed in financial transactions as compared to women. As a second option, the witness can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her. The Arabic word used in the Qur’an is ‘Tazil’ which means ‘confused’ or ‘to err’. Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’. Thus financial transactions constitute the only case in which two female witnesses are equal to one male witness.

However, some scholars are of the opinion that the feminine attitude can also have an effect on the witness in a murder case. In such circumstances a woman is more terrified as compared to a man. Due to her emotional condition she can get confused. Therefore, according to some jurists, even in cases of murder, two female witnesses are equivalent to one male witness.

In all other cases, one female witness is equivalent to one male witness. There are about five verses in the Qur’an which speak about witnesses without specifying man or woman. While making a will of inheritance, two just persons are required as witnesses.

In Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse 106, the Glorious Qur’an says: “Oh you who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take) witnesses among yourself when making bequests.” [Al-Qur’an 5:106] two just persons of your own (brotherhood) or other from outside if you are journeying through the earth and the chance of death befalls you.” [Al-Qur’an 65:2] Two persons endued with justice in case of talaq. “Four witnesses are required in case of charge against chaste women, [Al-Qur’an 24:4]

There are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two female witnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. This cannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from Surah Noor chapter 24, verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one male witness: “And those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own - their solitary evidence can be received.” [Al-Qur’an 24:6]

Hazrat Ayesha (RA) hadith narrated of one witness Many jurists agree that even one witness of a woman is sufficient for the sighting of the crescent of the moon. Imagine one woman witness is sufficient for one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. fasting and the whole Muslim community of men and women agree and accept her witness! Some jurists say that one witness is required at the beginning of Ramadaan and two witnesses at the end of Ramadaan.

It makes no difference whether the witnesses are men or women. Some incidents require only female witness and that of a male cannot be accepted. For instance, in dealing with the problems of women, while giving the burial bath i.e. ‘ghusl’ to a woman, the witness has to be a woman.

The seeming inequality of male and female witnesses in financial transactions is not due to any inequality of the sexes in Islam. It is only due to the different natures and roles of men and women in society as envisaged by Islam.


Myth: Different schools (madhab) cannot be mixed. You must follow one completely and exclusively.

Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi—may Allah bless his soul—mentioned in his Futuhat al-Makkiyah (The Meccan Revelations):

“God has made the divergence in legal questions a mercy for His servants and a broadening (ittisa’) of what He has prescribed they should do to testify to their adoration. But in the case of those who follow the jurists of our time, these jurists have prohibited and restricted what the sacred Law had broadened in their favour. They say to the person who belongs to their school, if for example he is a Hanafite: ‘Don’t go looking for a rukhsa (an alleviation or exemption) from Shafi’i regarding this problem you are faced with’; and so on with all of them. This is one of the greatest calamities and heaviest constraints in the matter of religion. God Himself has said, ‘In religion he has not imposed anything difficult on you’ (Qur’an 22:78). The Law has affirmed the validity of the status of anyone who makes a personal effort at interpretation for himself and for those who follow him. But in our days the jurists have condemned this effort, claiming it encourages people to make a mockery of religion. For them to say this is the height of ignorance.”


Myth: Pictures are prohibited for Muslims.

Pictures of anything, whether living or non-living things are not prohibited per se. Although there are a number of narratives ascribed to the Prophet  (pbuh) in which, apparently it seems that prohibition of pictures, in general, has been referred to but if all the narratives regarding the issue are gathered and analyzed, it becomes apparent that the Prophet (pbuh) has actually prohibited pictures, which were used for worship in the society.

In the Arab society, during the times of the Prophet  (pbuh), pictures and paintings were primarily used for the purpose of polytheistic worship. Therefore it could be said that these were the pictures, which have actually been referred to in the narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) in this regard.

Besides all the narratives ascribed to the Prophet  (pbuh), the following narrative in which Saalim ibn Abd Allah is reported to have explained the nature of the prohibition mentioned in the narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh). This narrative is reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal:

Laith reports that once I visited Saalim Ibn Abd Allah. As I entered, I saw him resting on a pillow on which there were pictures of birds and wild animals. I asked him, "aren't these [pictures] disliked [in Islam]". He said, "No. Only those [pictures] are disliked which are put up for worship".

It should be clear from the explanation given above, therefore pictures are not prohibited per se. It is only when a picture entails polytheistic veneration that it becomes prohibited. If a picture of a living thing, like the picture of a person's father etc. does not entail a polytheistic belief, it would not be prohibited. On the other hand, if a picture of a non-living thing [non-living does not imply "non-living" in the scientific sense] entails a polytheistic belief, like for instance, the picture of a particular tree or a stone, such picture shall stand prohibited.

The reason for this prohibition is, obviously, to save people from the fatal sin of Shirk [polytheism].



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