Important Fatwa

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Khutbah of Jummah in the Arabic language:

The Khutbah of Jumah is not essentially a lecture meant for the people. Rather it is a part of the prayer of Jumah. It is evident that the numbers of rakat in a zuhr prayer is four. On the day of jumah, the number of rakat has been reduced to two only and the remaining two rakats have been substitued by a khutbah, which is basically a form of dhikr (ritual recitation of Allah's Name) and by this name it has been referred to in the Holy Quran(Surah al-JUmah).
Therefore, being a part of the prayer of dhikr, it can only be performed in Arabic and just as the prayer of jumah cannot be performed in a local language, the khutbah cannot be given in any language other than Arabic. The companions of the Holy Prophet salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went to a number of places outside Arabia and preached Islam there but they never used local language while offerring a khutbah of jumah. They used the local language in other lectures and sermons but not in the prescribed khutbah on Friday. This helps the Muslims being in at least verbal contact with Arabic, the language of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

- Mufti Taqi Usmani

Can women drive(?) :

Driving is in itself permissible for both men and women. However, since it necessarily entails going outside the house, therefore there are additional condidtions for women. These are as follows:

a)It should only be in those situations of genuine need where a woman is allowed to leave the house without her Mahram.
b)There is no one else (husband or other Mahram) available to drive the car.
c)The woman makes sure that she is covered completely according to Shari requirements.
d)She does not wear perfume or jingling jewelry or otherwise attract attention to herself.

If a woman acts in accordance wiht these conditions, it is permissiblefor her to drive.

- Mufti Taqi Usmani

Is car insurance permissible(?) :

All forms of commercial insurance prevalent in the traditional insurance companies are againist Islamic principles becuase they have either an element of riba or the element of qimar(gambling) or gharar (uncertainty). The basic casue of the impermissibility of the current methods of insurance is not that it is againist the concept of tawakul or taqdeer. Like any other act in this life, every measure of precaution must conform to the principles of Shariah and should not in any manner cross the limits prescribled by the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

It is well settle principle of Shariah that every transaction between two parties in which the payment by one party to the other is certain and mandatory, while payment by the other party depends upon a contingency (which may or may not occur) is included in qimar and gharar and is therefore unlawful.

The insurance of cars or other goods with the traditional insurance companies is a commercial transaction in which the person who wants to insure his goods is bound to pay a premium to the company in accordance with the prescribed conditions. This payment is certain and mandatory without which an insurance is not possible. But on the other hand the payment by the company is not certain. It is contingent upon an event or accident which may or may not occur. If the accident takes place, the company is bound to pay an amount far more higher than the amount of the permium paid by the insured, but if the accident does not take place, the company does not pay to him anything and the preimum paid by him goes without any return. In other words, the insured is bound to pay in any case while the company may or may not pay. Such kind of transaction is termed as gharar and qimar and is strictly prohibited in Shariah.

Moreover, if the accident takes place, the amount of insurance is paid to the insured as a consideration of the amount of premium. It is again repugnant to the well-settled principle of Shariah that where money is exchanged for money, both the amounts should be equal in quantity. Any increase on either side is riba (usury) which is clearly prohibited by the Quran and Sunnah.

It is for these reasons that all the prevalent forms of commercial insurance have been held by the maority of the contemporary Muslim jurists as prohibited. This subject has been thoroughtly discussed in different international seminars and conferences. Lastly the question was also put before the Second Annual Session of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (established by OIC) in Jeddah where all the Muslim countries were represented through their eminent scholars. After a detailed discussion of the subject, the Academy has adopted the unanimuous resolution that the prevailing forms of insureance are prohibited in Shariah. However the Muslim countries can develop their own system of insurance through the concept of takaful, waqf etc.

However, it should be remembered that since the third party insurance is a mandatory legal requirement for every car-owner, he can effect this kind of insurance because it is not possible for him to avoid it.

- Mufti Taqi Usmani
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