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Are we allowed to bow down to graves? Is Interest Haraam?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

one of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

I have received several mails of yours & I thank you immensely for showing me the right path of Islam. Iwould be thankful to you if you clear some of my doubts.

Were Ram, Krishna, etc. really existed. In your previous mail you said that bowing down to priest is not allowed in Islam so do you want to say that we don't have to bow before the graves of Mohammed(Saw) & Ali ibne Abutalib.

Also I want to Know that why Interest taking & giving is Haraam in Islam. And if it is Haraam then why not rent receiving & taking is Haraam. And what are the punishments mentioned.

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

Answer:

Are we allowed to bow down to graves? Is Interest Haraam?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Your comment: Were Ram, Krishna, etc. really existed.

Even the Hindus, who actually worship these deities, will confirm that these personalities like Ram, Krishna, Hanuman, Shiva, Ganpati, Vishnu, etc. are all myths! The whole basis of these figures was to provide man with exemplary notions of good and evil, and nothing to do with reality.

A myth as described by the Oxford Dictionary is a fictitious person, thing, idea or story involving supernatural or imaginary person/s and embodying popular ideas or social phenomena.

The fact is that such figures never existed. How else could one rationally explain monkeys talking and forming an army for battle? How else could one rationally explain a man (Ravana) with ten heads? How else could one explain the phenomena of a monkey carrying a couple of people on his shoulders and flying over oceans? There is absolutely no reality in these myths. They were nothing but stories created by man with his imagination, which took on the form of a religion of rituals.

Your comment: In your previous mail you said that bowing down to priest is not allowed in Islam so do you want to say that we don't have to bow before the graves of Mohammed(Saw) & Ali ibne Abutalib.

My beloved brother, I did not say that bowing down in sajdah to a priest is not allowed in Islam from myself! I said only what is declared in the Holy Quran, and from the practice and tradition of the Messenger of Allah (saws).

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77:O you who believe, do 'rukoo' and 'sajdah' to Allah Alone, worship Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds. It may be that you attain true success.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Fusselat verse 37:Do not do 'sajdah' to the sun and the moon, but do 'sajdah' to that Allah, Who Created them, if you really are indeed His worshippers.

The act of sajdah, whereby a person bows down on his knees and touches the forehead on the ground, is an integral act of worship; and all worship can only be directed towards our Creator! If anyone bows downs in sajdah to anyone or anything else, it a declaration of his worship and obedience to that person or thing; and that is absolutely forbidden in Islam.

It is absolutely forbidden to bow down in sajdah at any graves, even if the graves are of the Messenger of Allah (saws) or Hadrat Imam Ali (r.a.), or any other creation of Allah! Sajdah is due to Allah Subhanah Alone, and anyone who does sajdah to anything else, will be committing the heinous and unforgivable crime of 'shirk'!

Never did the noble 'ahle-bayt' or the companions of the Messenger of Allah, ever bow down in sajdah to Prophet Mohamed (saws)... I repeat, NEVER! Never did Imam Ali (r.a.) bow down in sajdah to the Prophet (saws)... I repeat again, NEVER! There were many graves in the Baqi graveyard of many of the prominent family and companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and nobody ever bowed down in sajdah to those graves! Hadrat Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib (r.a.), the beloved uncle of Prophet Mohamed (saws) and the martyr of Uhud was buried on the grounds of Uhud; but no one, not one of the companions ever did sajdah to the grave of this noble soul!

Sajdah is an act of worship, and as will all acts of worship, they are due to no one but Allah Subhanah Alone! Religion is the exclusive Right of Allah, and anyone who bows down in sajdah to any person, grave or thing, shares this exclusive Right of Allah with one of His creation; and that is precisely what Allah has termed Shirk in the Holy Quran.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 2:(O Mohamed), we have sent down this Book to you with the Truth! So worship Allah Alone, making your religion His Exclusively. Beware! Religion is exclusively the Right of Allah!

Besides, why else would one bow down to the grave of the Prophet (saws), or Hadrat Ali (r.a.) or any other pious slave of Allah? They can neither hear us after they are dead, nor can they answer any of our supplications, nor they have the power to fulfill our needs. Allah Alone is the All-Hearing and He Alone can listen to all our prayers and supplications; and He Alone has the Power to answer them. There is absolutely no Power and no Might except for Allah Subhanah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Raad verse 14:To Him Alone is prayer, in Truth! As regards the other beings whom they call besides Allah, they cannot answer their prayers. It is as if a man were to stretch out his hands towards water and ask it to rise to his mouth, when it cannot reach it! Likewise the prayers of the disbelievers are nothing but aimless efforts!

Your comment: Also I want to Know that why Interest taking & giving is Haraam in Islam. And if it is Haraam then why not rent receiving & taking is Haraam. And what are the punishments mentioned.

For the one who believes in Allah and the Last Day, for him it should suffice that his Lord has made the dealings of 'riba' (usury) 'haraam' in the Holy Quran. Interest is but a part of 'riba' or usury.

This subject of "riba" is something many eminent Islamic scholars and economists have written volumes upon, so I will try and refrain from giving my opinion. My opinion is going to be based only on what the Holy Quran and the Messenger of Allah (saws) has to say about the concept of 'riba'.

The Quran condemns 'riba' or usury in extremely strong terms, and let no scholar or economist or the modern 'educated' muslim tell you otherwise!

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 274-276:But those who devour 'riba' become like the one whom Shaitaan has bewitched and maddened by his touch. They have been condemned to this condition because they say, "Trade is just like 'riba", whereas Allah has made trade halaal and 'riba' haraam. Henceforth, if one abstains from taking 'riba' after receiving this admonition from his Lord, no legal action shall be taken against him regarding the 'riba' he had devoured before: his case shall ultimately go to Allah. But if one repeats the same crime even after this, he shall go to Hell, where he shall abide forever! Allah deprives 'riba' of all blessing and develops charity, and Allah does not like an ungrateful, sinful person.

The above aayah is how clearly Allah explains the concept of 'riba' and the condemnation of the people who practice and propagate the concept of 'riba'.

For people who say that trade is just like 'riba', with just a different name, an example can be cited to make the concept of 'haraam' and 'halaal' clearer. If one marries a woman and satisfies his pleasure, it is considered 'halaal' and is a virtue in Islam. But if one does not marry a woman and satisfies his pleasure with her, it is considered 'haraam' and a huge sin in Islam. Both satisfy the carnal pleasures of man, but the difference between them is a one-page or verbal legal contract!! I have heard some people say, what is the difference? But you and I both know, there is a huge difference in the reward and sin between the two acts, although both can be termed similar in many qualities. But Allah has made marriage 'halaal' and fornication and adultery 'haraam'.

Allah says further in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278:O Believers!, fear Allah and give up that 'riba' which is still due to you, if you are true believers. But if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!

The above is indeed one of the strongest condemnation aayahs of the Holy Quran for the usage of 'riba'. The people who deal in 'riba' are warned of a 'Declaration of War' with none other than Allah and His Messenger (saws)!!!

The Prophet (saws) said in an authentic tradition that on the Day of Judgment, some people will be given swords and ammunitions and will be ordered to pick them up. They will ask, "why"? And it will be said, "Pick up the arms, for today your war is with Allah and His Messenger (saws) for the 'riba' that you used to practice in the life gone by!"

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 161:That they took 'riba', although they were forbidden. And that they devoured men's substance wrongfully. We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment (of Hell Fire)!

Thus, brother, in answer to your specific question, the Holy Quran is extremely clear in its condemnation of 'riba' and there should be no doubt in the believer's mind about it. There are some modern 'thinkers' who have tried to justify the current concept of interest as legal, but the Quran leaves no doubt about it in the least that 'riba' is 'haraam' and Allah and His Messenger (saws) have warned of a declaration of war against those who practice 'riba'. For a believer, this should be enough 'incentive' to stay far away from 'riba'.

Today, the financial situations and surroundings are such that one cannot even imagine how the economy or life would function without interest based transactions. It has been literally injected into our blood and our life system in such a way, that it seems impossible to come out of it. But for a believer, who believes in Allah and the Last Day, the above aayahs of the Quran from the All Wise, All Knowing, is enough evidence and warning. For those who take these commandments lightly, they should be prepared to face Allah the All Mighty on the Day of Judgment.

I just want to add some of the guidance received from the authentic traditions of our beloved Prophet (saws) and how did he (saws) understand the above aayahs and say, regarding 'riba'.

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Even though usury be much, it leads in the end to penury."

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Usury has seventy parts, the least important being that a man should marry his mother."

The Prophet (saws) said: "If anyone intercedes for his brother and he presents a gift to him for it, and he accepts it, he approaches a great door of the doors of usury."(Thus, bribery is also a part of 'riba')

The Prophet (saws) said, "Avoid the seven great destructive sins. "The people enquired, "O Allah's Apostle! What are they? "He said, "1. To join others in worship along with Allah, to practice sorcery, 2. to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law), 3. to eat up riba (usury), 4. to eat up an orphan's wealth, 5. to give back to the enemy and 6. fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and 7. to accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers."

(The Prophet (saws) included 'riba' in one of the 'Seven Destructive Sins'. If we read the other sins which accompany the list, one can imagine what is the magnitude of the sin of 'riba')

Ali heard Allah's Messenger (saws) curse those who took usury, those who paid it, those who recorded it, and those who refused to give sadaqah.

The Prophet (saws) prophesied: "A time is certainly coming to mankind, when only the receiver of usury will remain, and if one does not receive it, some of its vapour will reach him."

(Unfortunately, we live in those times today. The Prophet (saws) said that a time will come, when even if one tries his utmost to stay away from 'riba', the whole society and surroundings will be so much engrossed in 'riba', that some of its vapour or dust will reach this pious person.)

May Allah keep us independent of everything, except Him. May Allah help us to come out of this system of 'riba'. May Allah guide us to read and understand the Holy Quran so that we can keep ourselves aligned to His commandments and guidance. May Allah guide to us the Straight Path of Islam. Ameen.

The taking or giving of rent is absolutely legal and comes under the 'ijaarah' or leasing principles of the Shariah. When taking rent, the owner takes a business risk and invests in the property, which he leases out to someone to use and thus collects rent for the usage of that property. This is a completely legal transaction in Shariah.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

Burhan