Answers to Questions about grudge or envy (Hasad) - about Du'aa and about learning languages

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

Answers to Questions


Does al-ain, i.e. the “evil eye” have any influence on man? How do we deal with Ahadith stipulating that “The evil eye is real, and if anything were to overtake al-Qadar (divine decree) it would be the evil eye?” Ibnul Qayyim wrote in Bada'i` al-Fawa'id that the evil exists and has an effect, on the basis of the verse (...and from the evil of the envier when he envies.” …)

Answer 1:

It has been established that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said in the Sahih Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim: “The evil eye is a fact.” This means that the evil eye has an influence. Many scholars relied on this Hadith to adopt the opinion on the influence of the evil eye. However, this issue cannot be perceived by al-Aql (reason), thus al-Aql cannot act as evidence for it. As for the Hadith, it is doubtful and it does not constitute a sound evidence for the issues that al-Aql cannot perceive. Hence, this Hadith alone cannot be a sound evidence for the influence of the evil eye.

As for al-Hasad (envy), it is established through conclusive evidence. Allah (swt) says:  “Quite a number of the People of the Book wish they could turn you back to infidelity after you have believed, from selfish envy.” [2-109]

Allah (swt) also says: (...and from the evil of the envier when he envies.” …), Al-Hasad, i.e. envy, is to wish for the end of a blessing that the envied person is enjoying. This wishing on its own is al-Hasad and it is forbidden. As for what follows in terms of actions to spoil the blessing of the envied and remove it from him, this is a separate matter, other than envy, and it is also forbidden; the Qur’an called it Sharr, i.e. evil, and Allah (swt) has commanded us to seek refuge from it.

The difference between the evil eye and envy is that the envier is more general than the one with an evil eye. The envier includes the evil eye but not the opposite, and seeking refuge from the envier includes seeking refuge from the evil eye.

As for the request to seek refuge or to make Thikr for Barakah and the like, for those who may think they have an evil eye, this would be a Shari’ah rule that can be based on the least amount of doubt, not an unseen matter that cannot be perceived by al-Aql.

Question 2:

The widespread opinion about marriage is that it is destiny and luck and that Allah (swt) bestows just like Rizq (provision), and the palpable reality confirms this. Is this sound?

Answer 2:

Marriage is a contract and all types of contracts are based on offer and acceptance. What is evident is that the freewill of the two contracting parties is existent. This is expressed by the request of the Messenger of Allah (saw) from the Muslims to “choose for their seeds (a good mother)…” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Choose in your wives the fertile and the affectionate.” He (saw) said: “A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status. her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be besmeared with dust.” Prior to that, the request came from Allah (swt) by attributing the action to the servant in His saying: “Marry women of your choice” [4-3], and in the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw): ““Get married and have children. Increase in population so I can take pride at your being larger than other nations on the Day of Judgment.”

However, the reality is that a man may wish to marry a certain woman or a woman may wish to marry a particular man, but this may not happen for whatever reason or any impediment. This is not confined to marriage, but could happen to man when he wants to buy a car or a house or to conclude any contract. He may be successful and he may also fail.

Hence, marriage and all other contracts are conducted with one’s volition. The evidence for this is reflected in the fact that the Muslim is forbidden from marrying other than a Muslim woman or a Kitabiyah (form the people of the book), and the Muslim woman is forbidden from marrying other than a Muslim man. If marriage were not conducted according to one’s own volition, it would not be subject to accountability, command and prohibition. However, the impediment could be Qadaa’ if one is unable to prevent it and it would not be Qadaa’ if one can prevent it. As for marriage as such, it is wrong to describe it as Qadaa’ because it is part of the actions subject to freewill and choice.

Question 3:

If Allah (swt) did not teach Adam (peace be upon him) the language or the names of things, as is apparent in the Ayah, how did he express himself with regard to what Allah (swt) had taught him in terms of the qualities of things? How did he speak to his wife and how did he convey the message of his Lord? I think that explaining the ayah as meaning the qualities of things is a far-fetched interpretation as stipulated in the book of the Islamic Personality Volume III. It is mentioned in the book that “Allah taught Adam the meaning of things” and did not mention that He (swt) had taught him a language.

Furthermore, why do we not reconcile the two opinions: the one that says that language is rigidly predetermined and the one that says that it is manmade; i.e. Allah (swt) taught it to Adam and then it developed afterwards and became manmade?

Answer 3:

Language is a term that refers to the spoken and the unspoken forms of communication; hand signs are a form of language. A person observing the movements and signs of another person is able to perceive what he wants to express. Also, a normal person can understand the signs or the lip movements of a mute person. Hence, the issue is that expressing oneself may take several forms. This is evident. What happened to Adam (peace be upon him) before the angels was a miracle. Adam is one of the prophets of Allah (swt). He sent him with a message and Adam conveyed it to his children.

As for Allah (swt)’s saying: “And He taught Adam all the names”, which in Arabic is al-Asmaa’ which is the plural of Ism (name), it refers to a being. The Arabs use the name to refer to a being and the being to refer to the name. However, since Allah (swt) used the word names without restriction, this indicated that the intended meaning was the attributes of things; in other words, He (swt) taught him the essence and qualities of things.

As for your question about how Adam “expressed” what Allah (swt) had taught him in terms of the qualities of things, it is evident that Adam learned the names and learned how to express them. The ayah says: “And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell me the names of these if you are right." They said: "Glory to You, of knowledge We have none, except what You Have taught us: In truth it is You Who are perfect in knowledge and wisdom." He said: "O Adam! Tell them their names." When he had told them, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what you reveal and what you conceal?" [TMQ 2 31-33]. Hence, the teaching involved all the names and the expression was in a manner that the angels perceived. However, the text did not elaborate on how Adam informed the angels of all the names i.e. the text did not mention how Adam expressed those names. Hence, this aspect remains part of the unseen that the mind (Aql) cannot perceive.

Nevertheless, the issue of language is palpable and the reality of language and its evolvement indicate that it is manmade and not rigidly subject to a text. The reality and the diversity of languages, their origin and their evolvement, and the generating of a new language from several languages prove that man is the generator of language.

Question 4:

On the issue of Dua’a, i.e. supplication, the Party says: “Hence, it would be wrong to believe that Dua’a is a method to fulfil a need, even if Allah (swt) answered the Dua’a and the aim was effectively achieved, because Allah (swt) has generated for the universe, man and life a system according to which they proceed, and He has linked the causes to the causative factors.”

The question is as follows: Did Allah (swt) not respond to Sayeduna Ayyub when he fell ill and cured him? Is this not deemed as fulfilling the need? Besides, has Allah (swt) not said: “Call on me and I will answer your prayer”? What is the meaning of “answer” in this context and what is its purpose if it does not fulfil the need?

Answer 4:

Dua’a is a plea by the servant to his Lord. Dua’a is one of the highest forms of worship. Al-Nu’man Ibnu Bashir said: the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Dua’a is indeed the worship; then he recited: “And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell - in humiliation!" Hence, the Messenger of Allah (saw) has informed us that making Dua’a to Allah (swt) is to worship him and to beseech him by working for Him and obeying him.

Allah (swt) says: “And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell - in humiliation!" [40-60]

Although Dua’a is one of the highest forms of worship, it is however not a method, i.e. a permanent manner, to fulfil the need, because the needs are fulfilled by linking the causes with the causative factors. Allah (swt) has taught us to link the causes with their causative factors to achieve the results and attain the objectives, including man’s needs. He (swt) has also taught us to beg Him alone to fulfil our needs, because He exclusively controls the benefit and the harm. As for the benefit of Dua’a, one does not ask about its benefit since the acts of worship are merely designed to seek closeness to Allah (swt) and they are the utmost forms of humility and submission to Allah the Almighty.

25 Ramadhan 1431

4 September 2010