Couples In The Hereafter

Question

1) In Ayah 26 of Surah al-Noor, God says:

Wicked women are for wicked men. (Q 24:26)

A lot of exegetes like Maulana Shafi Usmani, Dr. Tahir and the author of Tafseer-e Sa'di have used the present tense as reflected in the above translation. Maulana Islahi however has used future tense which means that this ayah refers to people in the hereafter. Kindly explain this difference.

Nowadays a lot of people quote this ayah of Quran and argue that in this world a man will get a wife of his own moral character. If we accept this statement, then we can see a lot of couples which do not satisfy this Qur'anic verse. Kindly explain.

2) My second question is regarding veil for women. We notice that in western countries and some of the eastern countries as well, showing legs and even thighs is considered normal and people (men) are used to such dressing, (may be it does not provoke them the way it does to a person living in a country like Pakistan. So will the boundaries of pardah (as accepted in Pakistan covering the whole body) will be changed in such countries? This I ask because in those countries such dressing (for example, wearing shorts, keeping the shoulders naked, wearing quarter pants) is considered normal. A lot of Muslim girls also wear such dress in these countries by saying that here it is normal and nobody notices it. Kindly shed some light.

3) My third question is regarding democracy. In your opinion in democracy will the people have the right to make laws? And if not then how law will be made keeping the qur'anic directives in mind as well. Because in a society like Pakistan where the majority is less educated and at the same time there is a lot of western influence on our values, how would people be able to make decisions within qur'anic guidance?


Answer

Here are my answers to your questions.

1. It is imperative to interpret a verse in the light of its context. The context is enough to show that that verse 26 of the surah relates to the Hereafter. A simple reading of verse 24 and 25 would be enough to show that it is Hereafter which is under discussion and not the Herein. Kindly look it up.

2. In the last few decades, promiscuity has become so rampant in many western countries that it has become the rule and not the exception as it always was since the beginning of mankind. Large scale perversion in one era does not mean that the standards of modesty and chastity that were in currency for a greater part of the history are no longer applicable. You have to judge the veracity of such standards not by the number of people who follow them in a particular era but by the collective attitude of mankind over the centuries.

3. The parliament or the people who will enact Islamic laws do not need to be Islamic scholars because they are not going to form an opinion themselves. They will only examine the arguments of contesting opinions and then give preference to the view which convinces them. For this one does not require to become a scholar. He should just have the basic intellect to judge an opinion on the basis of arguments proffered.

About the Author

Dr. Shehzad Saleem


Born in 1966 Shehzad Saleem has been under the tutelage of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi since 1988 and is currently a Research Fellow and one of the Vice Presidents of Al-Mawrid. He has a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from UET Lahore, Pakistan and holds a PhD in the History of the Qur’an from the University of Wales, UK.

Special Area of Interest
  He recently (2014) completed a fifteen year research work on the History of the Qur’an, a part of which constituted his doctoral thesis (the thesis portion is available at: http://www.al-mawrid.org/index.php/books/view/collection-of-the-quran-a-critical-and-historical-study-of-al-farahis-view).  The work addresses some nagging questions related to the revelation, collection and transmission of the Qur’an. These questions include narratives found in our legacy on the alleged incompleteness of the Qur’an, scribal errors found in it,  its variant readings, chronology of its compilation, order of the surahs, and manuscript studies.

Books Authored
  1. Common Misconceptions about Islam
  2. Playing God: Misreading a Divine Practice
  3. Islam and Women: Misconceptions and Misperceptions
  4. Essays on Character Building, Lessons on Character Building
  5. Qur’an Workshops on Character Building (including a separate Teacher’s Guide)
  6. Lessons on Character Building
  7. Selections from the Qur’an
  8. Selections from the Bible
  9. Selections from the Hadith

He has also compiled a modular textbook on Qur’anic Studies, which was taught by him to graduate students (1999-2001). The textbook is available in course format at
  www.studying-islam.org. It comprises course topics as: Revelation of the Qur’an, Theme of the Qur’an, History of the Qur’an, Arrangement of the Qur’an, Language of the Qur’an, Interpreting the Qur’an.

Translations
  He has translated some works of Amin Ahsan Islahi (d. 1997) and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi into English. These include:

1. Volumes 6, 7,  8 and 9 of Tadabbur Qur’an 
  2. Mizan (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction)
  3. Al-Islam (Islam: A Concise Introduction)
  4. Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
  5. Volumes 1 and 5 of Al-Bayan 

QnAs
His answers to various questions received about Islam can also be accessed at the Renaissance website at: http://monthly-renaissance.com/issue/writers.aspx?option=queries&id=1

Websites
He is the Founding Editor of the monthly research journal, Renaissance which was initiated in 1991. In 1999, its website www.monthly-renaissance.com was launched.

He launched the Studying Islam www.studying-islam.org website in 2003, which offers online courses on Islam. Through technical help, he has developed an online software (Qur’an for All) at the Studying Islam website to teach the translation of the Qur’an to those who can read the Arabic text but cannot comprehend its meaning.

He also set up websites about the life and works of the Qur’anic scholars Hamid Uddin Farahi (www.hamid-uddin-farahi.org)  and Amin Ahsan Islahi (www.amin-ahsan-islahi.org)  in 2010 and 2013 respectively

He has also built a text based website on the exegesis Tadabbur i Qur’an (www.tadabbur-i-quran.org)  in 2013.

He also founded a website on the life and works of the biblical scholar Abdus Sattar Ghauri (www.abdus-sattar-ghauri.org)  in 2014

He uses his personal facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562019607)  to write on personality development issues.

Lectures
  He is a guest speaker at various public forums. Some of the topics he regularly speaks on include:

1. Misconceptions about Women in Islam
  2. Pardah and Gender Interaction
  3. Non-Muslims and the Qur’an
  4. Question on the Qur’an by Serious
  5. Misconceptions about Islam
  6. Muhammad (sws): The Misunderstood Prophet of Islam
  7. Marriage and Married Life
  8. Fast and Fasting
  9. Basic Morality
  10. Islam and Islamic Welfare State
  11. Misconceptions about Divorce in Islam
  12. Misconceptions regarding Jihad of the Companions of the Prophet (sws)
  13 Imbalanced Religious Attitudes

He conducts activity-based Qur’anic Workshops for adults and sessions on Character Building and Personality Development for teenagers. Topics include:

1. Spending in the Way of God 
  2. Pride and Arrogance
  3. Remembering God  
  4. Civic Sense
  5. Kindness to Parents
  6. Gratitude
  7. Forgiveness
  8. Moral Courage
  9. Truthfulness 
  10. Showing Off
  11. Humility
  12. Sympathy
  13. Sinful Speech 
  14. Honesty
  15. Justice

Some of his talks and lectures on or about Islam can be viewed at:
  www.youtube.com/shehzadsaleem         www.dailymotion.com/drshehzadsaleem
  www.youtube.com/shehzadsaleemurdu, www.dailymotion.com/drshehzadsaleemurdu

A facebook page, Dr Shehzad Saleem’s Video Talks (https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Shehzad-Saleems-Video-Talks-309627932402929/?ref=br_rs)  also displays his talks

Answered by this author