Questions by E-mail

Answered by Dr. Zahid Aziz

The Light (UK), July 2005 Issue (pp. 6–7)

1. About Yusuf Ali:

From Ahmed Tijjani, Nigeria, 15 June 2005:

I am happy to see your web site here in Dutse, the capital of Jigawa state. Before I continue let me pray for your good work, may the almighty Allah reward you with al-jannah firddaussi ameen.

I was always reciting Holy Quran which was translated by Mallam Yusuf Ali, but here in Nigeria we have such name and he is an Islamic scholar in Kano state. Is he the same person that translated the holy book in to English language? Help me and answer my question, may God help you, ameen.

Our Reply:

Dear Ahmed

assalamu alaikum

The Yusuf Ali who translated the Quran into English had the full name Abdullah Yusuf Ali and he died more than 50 years ago in about 1954. He was from India and lived in England for many years. He died in London and is buried in England.


2. Two Questions:

From Mike Lapine, U.S.A., 16 June 2005:

assalamu alaykum,

Dear Dr. Aziz, (or to whom ever it may concern)

I don’t know if you remember me but I spoke to you a year ago about the concept of hell according to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Anyways I have two questions which I am trying to do research on now. If you know any of the answers please tell me.

The first one is on the salawats. Do Ahmadis believe it is beneficial to make salawats on the Prophet s.a.w.? A lot of Sufi tariqats believe it necessary to send greetings and blessings on the Prophet like: allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in wa ala aali Muhammad-in: ‘O Allah, send blessings on the Prophet and his family.’

Also I have a question on the Islamic concept of inheritance. A lot of anti-Islamic websites say the Quran makes a mathematical error in 4:11 and 4:12 when the Quran talks about dividing up the inheritance. Here is an example from one guy:

If I (as the male head of the family) die and leave behind (in the order given in the verses above):

3 daughters: 2/3rds
both parents: 1/3rd (1/6th each)
my wife: 1/8th
which adds up to: 1+1/8th

I read an article that Maulana Muhammad Ali wrote on Inheritance in his book about Islam, but it was too complicated for me to understand. Anyways, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Our Reply (Revised for Bulletin):

Dear Mike,
assalamu alaikum

It is nice to hear from you again and a pleasure to reply to your questions.

1. To pray to Allah for blessings to be sent upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad is a direct command of the Holy Quran (33:56). It is also a part of the regular salat. So obviously Ahmadis believe it to be beneficial. In fact, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement has greatly stressed the importance of saying the Darood or Salat-un-Nabi outside of salat as well.

However, calling for blessings of Allah upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad must be accompanied by action to bring the world to love, admire and praise the Holy Prophet and realize his greatness. You must be aware how the Holy Prophet is being vilified and reviled in the world today with false accusations. Reciting the Salat-un-Nabi should lead us to work hard to refute these false charges and spread the true picture of his inspiring life and qualities. If our prayers for the Holy Prophet are not accompanied by efforts of this kind then we are merely uttering empty words.

I should add, regarding your translation: ‘O Allah, send blessings on the Prophet and his family’, that while aal does mean ‘family’, but in case of a prophet his aal means his true followers, whether they belong to his family or not. So, we send blessings on the Holy Prophet and all those who strive to follow him truly.

You may like to read a speech of mine entitled ‘The significance of Salat-un-Nabi or Darood ’, available online at:

http://www.muslim.org/islam/salaatnabi.htm

2. Regarding the shares of inheritance, what Maulana Muhammad Ali has explained is that the share of the daughters (when there exist two or more daughters and no sons) is 2/3rds of the remainder after the parents and wife have received their fixed shares of 1/3rd and 1/8th respectively. The basis for this interpretation is that if the progeny included any males then the progeny would inherit all that remained after deducting the fixed shares for the parents and wife. Therefore, when the Quran speaks of the shares where there are only daughters, 1/2 in case of one daughter only and 2/3rds in case of two or more daughters, it is 1/2 or 2/3rds of the remainder after deducting the fixed shares for the parents and wife (and not 1/2 or 2/3rds of the total inheritance). The rest of the remainder goes to the nearest male relative.

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