Q: I was forwarded a video from a friend. The person in the video (who’s quoting sever Islamic terms to bring across his point). Anyway, his message was, he being a Muslim CANNOT make dua for his deceased mother because she was NOT a Muslim. Is there any merit in his statement?
A: The glorious Quran teaches “do not hold prayers for any of them if they die, and do not stand by their graves, they disbelieved in God and His Messenger and died rebellious” tauba; 84). This is a categorical verdict by the Almighty, so we shouldn’t pray for the unbelievers when they die, however, when they are alive we can pray for their guidance.
Q How does one initially engage with other faiths, I find it very difficult to get people around a table and discuss things.
A: The glorious Quran presents Allah almighty as a loving and wise creator of the universe, He sustains it, develops and evolves it as He likes. He is the mighty king who has authority over all things and controls the world, man is created to worship Him, obey his commands so that they are given an eternal life in the hereafter.
Q: This has kind of come out actually last year there was a school that cancelled a school trip to a synagogue because of what Muslim parents were saying. So are Muslim children allowed to visit other places of worship?
A: I am appalled to hear that parents would stop children from visiting places of worship; this is a squeamish and parochial mindset. Visiting churches, synagogues and temples is good way of learning to accept other religions and to overcome stereotypes, how else are we to break down the barriers of discrimination and prejudice? I urge parents to be tolerant and open minded in this matter and let the school do what is right.
Q: I attend a state school where they say Christian prayers, is this allowed?
A: One way of looking at it this is that Muslim children in such schools should really be given the choice of going to a Muslim and Islamic assembly. Most of the hymns are very good actually, they praise Allah and Christ and there are some very beautiful prayers. but it’s not just about the content of these hymns and prayers which to a great extent can be compatible with our Islamic belief. It’s also about children of other faith having the right to practice their own faith as well.
Q: As part of the school curriculum I have to take part in sports which is a mixed activity, is this allowed?
A: I think up to primary school is fine around the age of 10 to 11 years old but certainly not in secondary school. I think it has been normal for quite a while to have separate sports for girls and boys and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Q: If young people ask the following questions, what should our response be?
1) Should I respect the union jack and flag of St, George? Can I join in any national celebrations?
2) Can I join the British armed forces and what do I do if I am sent to fight in a Muslim country?
3) Should I sing God Save the Queen and any other patriotic song?
4) Can I disagree with the government’s foreign policy?
A: 1. yes, as it it is a symbol of our country, respect for the flag is respect for fellow citizens, law, leaders and its traditions, every muslim must respect all these.
one can join national celebrations; however a muslim will not compromise the sharia
2. yes Muslims should join the armed forces, a British muslim soldier should abstain from fighting against Muslims, however if he goes to a muslim country for peaceful purposes that is commendable.
3. I think this is a good dua, a sincere prayer to God to protect the queen, it could also mean that the muslim is praying for the guidance of the queen, this is a duty of every muslim. we pray that may Allah guide her on the straight path and keep her safe.
4. as a muslim we are expected to stand up for truth and justice, even if that means turning against your parents and loved ones. (c Quran). so if the government’s foreign policy is unjust, tyrannical, oppressive and against human rights we should oppose it vehemently.