Q: Was Hazrat Isa al Islam (Jesus) taken up into the heaven alive or did he die a natural death?
A: it is an accepted belief that isa pbuh was raised to the heavens. however the ahmadis believe that he was not raised to the heavens and lived on earth and died a natural death. this is ahmadi belief and not belief of the Muslims. Allah knows the best.
Q: I was hoping you could shed some light onto the practice where people sacrifice an animal with the intention to ward off evil or ‘nazar’. Is this practice Islamic?
A: nazar is a quranic concept, when a person is apprehensive and fearful about something that they desperately want they seek Allah’s help. the way they do this is they promise to do some good that can be an activity like fasting, praying nafls or giving charity. that is nazar. it is purely out of love and fear of God.
Q: Is circumcision compulsory?
A: It is regarded as the sunnah al fitra, the natural lifestyle, and the sunnah of the Prophet Ibrahim, and we as Muslims also follow that sunnah, that life-pattern. We would say that it is ‘highly recommended’.
Q: How long after a person has died should they be buried?
A: I have set up a funeral burial service in Nottingham and in fact we have buried 100’s of people over the last years. In some cases we have been able to bury people within hours. We have had deaths at about 7 – 8am and we have had them buried by the afternoon. This is the proper and best way to do it – burial has to be speedy, hadith stresses this; people must be buried as soon as possible. Burials should not be delayed especially as people can now travel anywhere in Britain within 2-3 hours. It is important not keep dead people overnight and it’s also best for the family as well as well in terms of how they manage their grief. Decomposition is a very big consideration and reason for a quick burial especially in countries. Once you have started the burial process for your loved one, it gives you a new start to that relationship, and I think that’s another factor especially in terms of dealing with that loss.
Another religious reason that judgement on your life’s activities begins immediately after a person is buried. The Prophet (pbuh) said that the grave is a hellfire or a garden amongst the gardens of paradise so you don’t want to deprive people unnecessarily in this wretched world when they could be in the gardens of paradise.
Q: Are women equal to men in Islam?
A: Absolutely yes, the Quran makes it absolutely clear that men and women are equal in terms of their legal rights, spirituality, moral rights, and there is no distinction whatsoever in that. The Quran says that whoever believes in God and his righteous deeds, whether a man or woman, Allah will give them a pure life. In the Quran there are several places where Allah talks about the qualities of men and women side by side, the believing men, the believing women, the obedient men, the obedient women, the fasting men, the fasting women, those men who remember Allah, those women who remember Allah.. so what impression is the Quran giving? It is implying absolutely clearly that in God’s sight there is no distinction between men and women and the Messenger (pbuh) in his own teachings makes this very clear as well.
I think this is a question that Islam finds quite alien. You can ask legitimately, ‘why aren’t Muslim men giving women certain rights’ and ‘why are they abusing certain rights that women have:’ But this is not an issue that arises in the Quran because absolutely makes clear equality between men and women. Islam gave women the right to own property centuries before the West did, women were always regarded within the religion as independent being.
Q: What are the requirements for converting to Islam?
A: It’s very simple. You say the shahada. The actual procedure would involve cleaning oneself, do a ghusl, have a bath, repeat the shahada and then learn what is allowed and prohibited, and of course learn how to perform salah. Converts need to have constantly support and guidance which unfortunately is rarely given by the community.