Your Questions Answered (Volume 2)
Your Questions Answered (Volume 2)
Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
In 1972, when questions for the first volume of "Your Questions Answered" were being edited, it was found that Mr. Dhikiri Omari Mohamed Kiondo's correspondence with the Mission could form a separate volume of its own. The result was this Second volume in the series, "Your Questions Answered", which was edited at that time, though its publication was delayed.
Mr. Dhikiri Kiondo was born in 1946, at Kwemiinu village (District Lushoto, Tanga Region, Tanzania). His grandfather was the traditional Chief of the Wakilindi clan of the Wasambaa tribe. His father was a farmer and a staunch Muslim of Sunni faith. He did not like to send his only son to any school as he was afraid that his son would be converted to Christianity (as was common in those days). As a result he started his education late. He was enrolled in a Native Administration School and then was sent to a Qur'anic school, which he left in 1954 owing to bad health; and then his father died and he could not go back to school.
In 1955, he was enrolled in a Mission school and completed his Primary, (1958), Middle (1962) and Secondary (1966) education at various school run by U.M.C.A. One of his subjects was Bible knowledge. He was selected for Teachers Training Course at Butimba T. T. College, Mwanza (1967-68).
It was from Butimba that he wrote his first letter to us, asking 24 questions which showed that he was an intelligent youth eager to learn the truth about Islam; and also that he was completely in darkness about Shi'ism. I replied to him and the correspondence continued. In 1969, he was employed as a teacher in Lushoto District, and at the end of that year I invited him to embrace the Shia faith (letter No. 16), which he gladly did (letter No. 19).
We first met in August, 1970, when I went to see him at National Service camp at Oljoro. Third day he came to Arusha where he was introduced to Haji Ali Mohamed Jaffer Sheriff and Haji Ahmad Hussein Sheriff. He refers to this meeting in letter No. 26.
In August, 1973, he was sent by the Mission to Iran to study under the patronage of 'A Group of Muslim Brothers', Tehran, from where he returned in September, 1974. In February, 1975, he resigned his teaching post to become the Administrative Secretary of this Mission. He is married (2 wives) with 5 children.
The Mission hopes that this booklet will be received as enthusiastically as the first volume was. The reader will be interested to note the gradual development of Mr. Dhikiri's questions demonstrating how he came nearer to us and found the true happiness and peace of mind that he began searching for when he first wrote to us.
While replying. I always copied his questions in my letters; therefore, those questions have been omitted from his letters.
Answer: The word 'Shia' is from Arabic word 'At-Tashayo' which means 'to follow'. This word has been used for the followers of the Prophets of Allah in the Holy Qur'an :-
(a) "Hadha min Shiatihi wa hadha min aduwwihi Fas-taghathahul ladhi min Shiatihi alal-ladhi min aduwwihi" (Qur'an, 28:15).
This is from his Shias (followers) and that from his enemies.And he who was of his (Moses') Shias asked his help against him who was of his enemies.
(b) "Wa inna min Shiatihi la Ibrahim" (Qur'an, 37:83).
And, verily, of his (Noah's) Shias (followers) is Ibrahim. We are called Shia because we follow the Holy Prophet according to the way shown by Hazrat Ali and other sinless members of the family of the Holy Prophet. In fact, it was the Holy Prophet himself who named the followers of Hazrat Ali as 'Shia'. The famous Sunni Scholars, Allamah Ibn Hajar Makki (in his book, 'As-Sawaiqul- Muhriqua') and Allamah Ibn Athir (in his book, 'Nihaya') record that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said :-
'O Ali, verily thou wilt come before Allah; thou and thy Shias, happily, and Allah will be pleased with you.'
Another Sunni Scholar, Imam Suyuti, records in his "Tafseer Ad-Durrul-Manthur" that the Holy Prophet said pointing towards Ali : "He and his Shias are those who will be successsful in Quiyamat". For further detail I would like you to read my article "Origin of Shia" in "The Light" (Sep.-Oct. 1967). (See Appendix 'A').
How many Divisions have you ?
At present there are two sects calling themselves Shia : (a) Ithna-asheriya, and (b) Ismailiya.
Ismailiya again are sub-divided between Bohras and followers of H. H. The Aga Khan. It is this later sub-sect which is commonly known as 'Ismailiya' in East Africa. There is one sect in Yemen, called Zaidiyya, which is often grouped under Shia Sects. But they follow Mutazilites in their beliefs and Imam Abu Hanifa in the matters of Sheriat. So they should be grouped under Sunni sects not shia.
Why do the other divisions don't exist in East Africa ?
With exception of above mentioned Zaidiyya, all other sects are found here.
How do the rest differ from yours ?
This is a question which cannot be fully answered without writing a book of theology. Still, I will try to give here just a glimpse of the main differences. The Shia Ithna-asheriya believe that:
i. All the Prophets and their successors (Imams) were infallible (Masoom).
ii. Imams must be appointed by Allah and that appointment is known through the announcement of the Holy Prophet or the preceding Imam.
iii. There are 12 successors (one after another) of our Holy Prophet.
(a) Zaidiya say that it is not necessary for an Imam to be infallible or appointed by God. Any Muslim, calling to Islam by way of Jihad, is an Imam.
(b) Ismailiya (both sects) believe in more than 12 Imams and both differ from us about the nature and meaning of Imamat, as well as the position of Imam in the religion.
Why did you give your Division this particular name - Ithna-asheriya ?
'Ithna-asher' is the Arabic for 'twelve'. As stated above, we believe in 12 Imams after the Holy Prophet, hence this name.
Who can become an Ithna-asheriya ?
Any person, irrespective of his origin, can become Ithna-asheriya, if he sincerely believes in our tenents,
Do you agree with the five principles of Islam - that is;
i. Believe that there is one God (Allah) and Muhammad (S.A.W.) is His Prophet;
iii. Fasting in the month of Ramadhan;
iv. Paying the Zaka;
v. Making the Hijja ?
Do you agree with the six principles of Iman - that is, believe in:-
i. One God - "Allah";
iii. Holy Books;
vi. Will of God (Qudra) ?
Do you believe that Quran is a Book from Allah and is free from errors?
Yes. Had you seen Islam', there would have been no need to ask such questions.
Do you believe that the "Traditions" (Hadith) of our Holy Prophet is the second important Book in Islam ?
Yes, if a tradition is authentic, it is to be followed and obeyed, without any 'ifs' and 'buts'. For your information, there is no "Book" called "Traditions". Traditions are collected by various scholars in their books.
Do you agree that any one who changes the "ayas' or the meaning of any of the two books (Quran and Hadith) is Kafir?
Anybody who 'knowingly' changes any 'aya' of the Holy Qur'an, is Kafir. Also, if he changes its meaning 'knowing it to be false' he is Kafir, or at least 'Munafique' (hypocrite). Here, I would like you to understand what is the sure way of knowing the meaning of Qur'an.
Allah has said:
"He it is who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - They are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical, seeking to cause dissention by seeking to explain it (as they like). But no one knows its meaning except God and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge...." (Qur'an 3:6). So the true meaning and interpretation of the Holy Qur'an cannot be known except from those who are firmly grounded in knowledge and whose knowledge is from the knowledge of Prophet.
And the Prophet said 'I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate'.
Also he said : "I am leaving behind among you, two most precious things 1. The Book of Allah.......and
2. My descendants who are my family; and they will not separate from each other until they come to me near Kauther in Quiyamat".
Therefore, to understand the Qur'an, it is essential to seek guidance from Ahlul-Bait.
Do you also use the other six Books :
1. Sahih of Bukhari ?
2. Sahih of Muslim ?
3. Kitab-us-Sunan of Abu Daud ?
4. Sahih of Tirmidhy ?
5. Kitab-us-Sunan of Nasai ?
6. Kitab-us-Sunan of Ibn Maja ?
I must make it clear that no collection of the Traditions is free from falsified or weak traditions. Therefore, we, like the scholars of Sunni Sect, judge every tradition on its merit. We "use" (to use your own word !) the above-mentioned books of traditions edited by Sunni scholars as well as other books of Shia scholars, applying the same test everywhere without discrimination.
Which scholar's books do you use for "Sheria ?"
There are hundreds of books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Gujarati, Turkish, Bengali, Sindhi, Punjabi, Hindi, Kashmiri, (and recently in Swahili, English, German and French) and other languages, explaining the Shariat of Islam according to the Shia Ithna-asheri madhhab. There are books of Shariat right from the 2nd century of Hijra still extant. Therefore, it is not possible to give you a list of the books of Fiqh (which is referred to in your letter as 'Shariat'). But currently the book most used by Shia scholars in East Africa is 'Minhaj-us- Saleheen' (2 parts) by the greatest Mujtahid of our time, Syed Mohsin-al-Hakeem (Najaf - Iraq).
Does your belief allow you to extend the books of Sharia more than your scholars did, to sweet the modern life ?
I could not understand this question. Will you, please, elaborate it ?
Why do you think that Seyyidina Ali should be the First Khalifa and not the Fourth as Sunnis believe ?
You may understand some reasons from the article "Origin of Shia" mentioned earlier. Imamat in our madh-hab means succession to the Prophet in Temporal and Spiritual Headship of the Community of Muslims. There are many conditions of Imamat, some of which are given here :-
(1) Ismat: It means that Imam must be Masum, i.e., sinless and infallible. The reasons given for sinlessness of the Prophets apply here also.
(2) Appointment by God: Never in the history of religions (Judaism, Christianity) public was given the power to appoint the successor of a Prophet. Qur'an declares that even a prophet as great as Hadhrat Musa (a.s.) was not given the power to select his own successor. He prayed to ALLAH and He appointed Hadhrat Haroon (a.s.)forthatoffice.AlsoAllahsaysinQur'an:
"Thy Lord creates whatever He wishes and selects; there is no power of choice for men". (Qur'an 28:68). Therefore, as no Prophet was ever elected by the people, likewise no successor of the Prophet may be elected by the people. It is clear that if he will be appointed by the people, his first loyalty will be towards the people, not towards God.
(3) Imam must be above all people in all virtues, like knowledge, bravery, patience, justice, piety, love of God, faith and good deeds etc.
Now something about Appointment of Ali by God through our Holy Prophet:
The most famous of all occasions when the Holy Prophet declared the Imamat of Ali is the pronouncement at Khum. The facts in full details are given in many Sunni books. For instance, Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Kanzul-ummal (Vol. vi, pp. 390, 397, 399) and Khasaais by Imam Nasai (p. 48). The Prophet's words, as quoted in the last-mentioned two books, contain this declaration "Verily Allah is my Mawla, and I am the Mawla of every believer". Then he took the hands of Ali and said: "Everyone whose Mawla am I, Ali is his Mawla", (i.e. Master).
The chain of Wilayat, right from Allah up to Ali, or as is generally said, from Prophet to Ali, does not leave any room for any doubt about the meaning of the word 'Mawla'. The same meaning which can be applied for Allah and the Holy Prophet (i.e., Master) must be applied for Ali.
Moreover, in almost all narrations of Khum these words are preceded by the tradition mentioned above, i.e., "I am leaving behind among you, two precious things, The Book of God and my Ahlul-Bait.......".
Any unprejudiced person, seeing these arrangements of Khum (the waiting for those who had remained behind, calling back those who had gone ahead, preparing a high platform in the burning sun of Arabian midday, and then delivering a long lecture and making those declarations) must admit that all this could not have been just to say thaht Ali should be loved by the Muslims (as some Sunni scholars want us to interpret the word 'Mawla'). Allah and His Prophet were not just beloved of the Muslims; they were and are their Masters. So is Ali.
I have heard some Sunni brethren admitting the meaning of Mawla and then adding, "We accept that it was the 'wish of the Prophet' that Ali should be his successor. But the facts did not conform to his wish; and now we should accept whoever was accepted by the people". There are many fallacies in this argument:
(a) Qur'an declared that the Prophet never spoke of his own accord. Whatever he told, it was the command and Wahi (revelation) from God. Once you say that it was the 'Wish of the Prophet', you must admit that it was the 'Command of God'.
(b) People never had, and will never have, any right to cancel, or argue about, any decision made by Allah or His Prophet. The ayat of Qur'an says, "When Allah and His Prophet made any decision, there was no choice left for the believers" (Qur'an, 33:37).
(c) All the companions of the Prophet were non-Maasum (i.e., they were not sinless). Nobody has any doubt about it, And the Prophet was Maasum (sinless, infallible). Billions of non-Maasums put together have no right to challenge or change the decision of a Maasum.
(d) To say that when the companions of the Prophet did not follow the announcement of Khum, we also should do likewise, is to say that the companions of the Prophet (and not the Holy Prophet himself) were the real representatives of Allah.
(e) Some say that what was done at Saquifa (selection of Caliph Abu Bakr) was a manifestation of the Will of Allah. But this trend of thought pre-supposes that whatever is done by man is actually done by Allah. Most of the Muslim scholars refute this thinking. And if anybody believes in such creed, he must accept that rejection of the Khilafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr by Bibi Fatenm (Lady of the women of Paradise, the daughter of the Prophet) and by the Shias is also an act of God.
Is the missing of the Caliphate to Seyyidina Ali after the death of our Holy Prophet the main reason of your break-up, or there are other reasons accompanied by this ?
In a way you may say so. But as the chance to guide the Muslims in a proper way was denied to Hadhrat Ali, the Muslims began to go away in whatever direction they saw fit. As a result, there emerged beliefs that were not Islamic at all. And now we have in Muslim world scores of sects all differing among themselves about Allah, His Prophets, about practices of Sheriat etc.
It would have been better if you would not have used the word 'break-up' in this question. Because, as a prominent Indian writer said in this context, "being in a minority does not necessarily mean that the smaller group had 'broken up' from the main stream. Rather it might be that the majority, by involving itself in the politics of power and glamour of wordly success, had deviated from the original teachings, while the minority stuck to the path shown by the founder of Islam".
If you want to know more about this subject, please refer to Islam' and to the article 'How Hasan and Husain Saved The Religion From Deterioration' (Light, Sept., 1966). (Now also "Imamat" is recommended).
We believe that our Holy Prophet ascended with body up to 'Arsh' at least once while he was at Mecca.
Do you pray five times a day or four times a day as indicated in the Qur'an?
Are your prayers like those of the Sunnis, that is (a) Fajr 2 rakaas; (b) Dhuhur 4 rakaas; (c)
Asr 4 rakaas; (d) Maghrib 3 rakaas and (e) Isha 4 rakaas ?
How do you call for prayers ?
How do you aim at prayers (e.g., saying 'Usalli faradh Subh') ? What are the necessary steps to follow so as to fulfil (i) Prayer; (ii) Fasting (iii) Zaka (iv) Hijja ?
We pray 5 times (not 4 times) and there is no difference in the number of Rakaas. For further details please refer to our 'Kitabu Cha Sala' and 'Kitabu Cha Saumu'. (Now "Elements of Islamic Studies" is recommended).
What are the obligations of a Shia Muslim to God, Prophet, Caliph, Living Parents, Imam, Neighbour, Orphan, Ruler, Government, Widow, Stranger, Poor, Wife, Money, Child, Non- Muslim, Religion as a whole and Country ?
What are the obligations of a ruler to Citizens, Government servants, Soldiers, Government money, Religion and its leaders, Poors, Wives and children of those who died for their country and faith ?
There is a tradition of our 4th Imam Ali Zainul-Abedeen, son of Imam Husain, describing the duties of a Muslim towards his fellows. That tradition is the cream of Islamic ethics. It is not possible to give that tradition, because space does not allow it. Its translation has been published as "Reciprocal Rights". (It is available from this Mission).
What are the qualifications of (i) Caliph, (ii) Imarn, (iii) Lawyer, (iv) Treasurer, (v)General of the army ?
I have already mentioned the qualifications and conditions necessary for an Imam (or as you say, Caliph). Anyhow, if by Imam' you mean 'one who leads in prayers' then he, in addition to other necessary qualifications, must be 'Aadi!', i.e. one who does not commit any Kabirah (big) sin even by mistake and does not repeat any Saghirah (small) sin if committed by mistake.
About others :
1. Lawyer: Lawyer, as known today, is not recognised in Islam. Of course, there were and are experts of Islamic Laws.
2. Treasurer and General of the Army: They were to be appointed by the Holy Prophet or the Imam, and it is their prerogative whom to appoint. But generally speaking, they must be honest, brave and knowing the rules of Sheriat concerning their duties and responsibilities.
How do you judge the following :
Thief; One who uses witchcraft; Robber; Liar; One who commits adultery; One who commits adultery with an animal; A murderer; One who steals or uses a thing put Wakf without proper permission; A child born unlawfully; One who reveals others' shamefulness; One who tries to destroy faith; A political prisoner ?
Islamic Penal-Code is very reasonable. The following facts must be mentioned here :
i. There is a difference between sin and crime. Every crime is a sin but not vice versa.
ii. Sins and crimes are sometimes against God and sometimes against other people.
iii. Tawba (repentance) is a recognised factor in this Code. The important conditions of Tawba' are that:
(a) He should repent to please Allah, not to avoid any material harm;
(b) he should have a firm resolve not to commit that sin again,
(c) if the sin is against God and can be amended, he should do so at once,
(d) if the sin is against other people and can be amended, he does so at once; otherwise, he should ask pardon from the wronged party.
Thus if a man, for example, steals something and then repents (with all the conditions mentioned above, including the return of stolen thing to the owner), before the owner lodges the case against him in a Qadhi's court, there will be no case against him at all. "A man who repents from sin is like a man who never sinned". (Holy Prophet).
This highest standard of justice and mercy cannot be found in any other code of law. Now, if someone is brought before a Qadhi, without any trace of repentance, he deserves punishment to save society from his mischief.
Again, the crimes, in Islamic penal Code, are of two kinds : Those whose punishment has been fixed in the Qur'an; and those whose punishment has been left to the discretion of the Qadhi. Even fixed punishments are of different grades for any given crime. A man who kills another man, can be set free or made to pay blood-money or put in prison or put to death, according to the circumstances mentioned in the Qur'an.
Now about the matters mentioned by you (only the maximum punishment is mentioned here) :
Political prisoner: Political difference, in itseif is neither a sin nor a crime in Islam. An Illegitimate child, in Shia law, is not treated as a sinner. The parents are liable to punishment, but not the child.
Lie is a sin, but not a crime.
Revealing others' shamefulness: A person who accuses a married woman of adultery (without sufficient proof) is to be whipped 80 times. In other cases, there is no fixed punishment.
Destroying the Faith and using Wakf property without proper right, have no fixed punishment. Witch-craft: A Muslim, if guilty of witch-craft, is to be killed. Theft: Cutting four fingers of the right hand, leaving the thumb intact. Robbery: Highway robbery with violence carries the punishment Adultery: An adulterer is to be stoned to death.
Sodomy: Killing and burning the corpse.
Committing indecent act with an animal: No fixed punishment. But generally he is whipped 25 times. The animal is to be killed and its meat destroyed. Murder: It carries the punishment of death. Stealing from Wakf property: The punishment is on the discretion of the Qadhi.
Which days of the Islamic year do you observe ? What are the importance of those days ?
In addition to the Fridays, Id-ul-Fitr, Idul-Adh-ha and the Holy month of Ramadhan, we arrange lectures on birthdays and death anniversaries of the Holy Prophet and 12 Imams. Question:
What is the proper way of (1) marrying; (2) Inheriting ?
Please refer to the 'Light' (July-August, 1967) in which our memorandum about matrimonial affairs, submitted to the Commission set up by Kenya Government, was published
Another memorandum, submitted to another commission of the Kenya Government, on the laws of Will and Inheritance, is published in this issue.
I hope you will find these writings more comprehensive and will realise the beauty of Islamic sheriat as defined by the family of our Holy Prophet and preserved in Shia madhhab.
Do you allow other Muslims to pray in your mosques ?
Yes, willingly. Mosque is the house of Allah. And everybody within the sphere of Islam has a right to pray in it. Only recently we renovated our mosque in Bagamoyo (though there is no Shia Ithna-asheri there since last 40 years) so that our Sunni brethern may use it. Question:
How do you relate with other Muslims, for example, the Sunnis ? How do you think this relation can be improved ? For example : the world Muslims decide a unity of all "Madh-habs", what regulations would you (the Shia) demand before you accept any unity ?
We have brotherly relations with the Sunnis. You would never have heard of any trouble between us and our Sunni brethern in the countries where we are in majority, like Iran and Iraq.
But I think, the word 'Unity of Madh-habs' is misleading. 'Unity of Madh-habs' cannot be achieved in any way. If you are to take something, from Shafiis, others from Hanafis, still others from Shias and so on, it will not please any group. In fact, it will be a new sect, in conflict with all the existing sects. What is actually required is tolerance, cooperation and respect for each other's views.
Our late Mujtahid, Seyyid Husain al-Burujurdi, of Iran, joined hands with the late Mufti of Al-Azhar (Egypt), Sheikh Shaltut, to establish a joint institution, Dar-ut-Taqureeb-Bainal- Madhahib-il-lslamia, to bring two main sects, Sunnis and Shias, closer. They decided that the students of both sects should be taught the tenets and laws of the other sect, to remove misunderstanding and prejudice which are bred mainly by ignorance.
Such ventures must be carried on in every Muslim country. Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant Christians are coming together, without sacrificing their own beliefs and practices. Muslims can do it in a better way and with far better results (because our differences are trivial if compared with the differences between the Christians). And we Must do it. The sooner the better.
15th September, 1968 Dear Maulana, Excuse me for being late in writing to you concerning the receipt of your registered letter. I was out to Musoma for Teaching Practice.
I would like to congratulate you for the great work you have carried out in order to answer my questions.
I also, should thank you in this letter, for uncovering the thick blanket which sheltered me from happiness and being proud of my brethren - the Shias, You have given me a helpful knowledge of your sect.
Concerning question 9 (ii) : My aim was to ask 'whether your Shia scholars allow to add more points to the former Shariat which can be used for actions of the modern life:- for example, judging people who try to change sex as done in some parts of the world like U.S.A. ?
I would like to apologize for using the word 'break-up' in question 11.I would ask you to be patient about my mistakes, for I have very little knowledge of Islam. I have been schooling in Christian schools for twelve years. As the result, I have more knowledge of Christianity than I have of Islam.
Now, I am trying to get what I should have got earlier, that is the knowledge of Islam. Please, Maulana, I have several other questions which makes me ask for your help - as a Muslim, not as a Shia only.
1. I heard that our Holy Prophet said that Islam will split or be divided into 73 sects.
i. May I get a list of these 73 sects ?
ii. For each may I get a short reason of how it differs from other sects.
iii. Have all these sects already existed in the world or are we to expect others to come ?
iv. Should we include Baha'ism and Ahmmadiya to the sects of Islam ?
2. How can I deny that people were converted into Islam by "SWORD" (that is force) ?
3. The Christians have written in several of their books that our Holy Prophet was suffering from epilepsy. Is this true ?
4. Is there any particular reason why we Muslims should put pig and dog to the highest degree of impurity among all animals ?
5. May I know the Holy Generation from Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) to Hazrat Muhammad (a.s.).
6. Is there any possibility for me to take the "Quranic Arabic" as a language so that I can read any book written in Arabic and understand it?
Lastly I would like to ask whether I can buy Islamic books translated into English from you like "Qur'an", "Hadith" and Historical books of Islam.
Your Brother in Islam,
Dhikiri O. Mohamed Kiondo.
6th October, 1968
Dear Brother in Islam,
Thank you for your letter dated 15th September, 1968. I will write detailed answers in about 4 or 5 weeks. I hope you will not mind this delay.
S. S. Akhtar Rizvi.
Mwanza : 15th October, 1968. Dear Maulana, Thank you for your letter of 6th October, 1968, which informs me that you are now trying to get detailed answers to my questions. I will complete my course in this town on 24/10/1968 and will leave this place. Therefore, I will ask you, kindly to send the answers using this address :- Mr. Dhikiri Omari Mohamed Kiondo,
Kwemkole Village, c/o Kizara Upp. Primary School, P.O. Korogwe / Tanzania. Thanking you, Your Brother in Islam, Dhikiri Omari Mohamed Kiondo. 25th October, 1968 Dear Brother in Islam, I was glad to hear that you have now completed your training. May Allah Bless you with success in this life and Najat in the life hereafter. Amin. Why not try to get your posting at Dar es Salaam ? If you are here we can teach you Arabic and other religious subjects.
Meanwhile, you can learn Arabic from "Arabic by Radio" programme of Cairo radio. It comes on 16.99 or 17690 kcs, at 9.20 p.m. on Tuesdays and Sundays. You should write to Arabic by Radio, P.O. Box 325, Cairo, U.A.R., to send you the books connected with this programme. It will come to you free of charge. If you happen to pass through Kampala, you may purchase a translation of the Holy Quran from M/s. M. H. Ali & Co., P.O. Box 2597, Kampala. I am afraid there is no English translation of Hadith books.
As for your question about spreading Islam by Sword, remember that the Holy Prophet never fought except in defence. After the Holy Prophet, it is justified to say that "Arab Imperialism" (not Islam) was spread by sword. But Islam was not the main concern of many of the early rulers of Muslim world. As a matter of fact, Bani Umaiyyah did not like any body to embrace Islam because it meant decrease in "Jaziya" revenue.
This is a very vast subject. But I will leave it here. Yours sincerely, S. S. Akhtar Rizvi, 6th December, 1968. Dear Maulana, Thank you very much for the registered letter of the answers to my questions. You have opened my mind so widely that, now I need much studies on Islam. But my problem is how I should approach them. Can you advice me ? Are you ready to teach me through correspondence ?
I am ready to pay any amount of fees required. Lastly, I would ask God to bless you in your career, give you long life and help Islam. Good wishes from me in this month of Ramadhan and Idd-el-Fitr as well. Your brother in Islam, Dhikiri O. Muhammad Kiondo.
16th December, 1968. Dear Brother, I have given the replies to your questions about epilepsy and pork in the Light which is in the press and will be sent to you in due course. Meanwhile, I am enclosing a copy of the article 'Was the Holy Prophet an epileptic ?' for your study. (Now see "Qur'an and Hadith" published by this Mission).
(PORK is now published as a booklet). The answer about the sects of Islam is also enclosed herewith, (see Appendix 'B'). So far as the genealogy of the Holy Prophet is concerned, I would like to mention two things first :
(a) The genealogy from the Holy Prophet up to 'Adnaan' is without any difference of opinion. From Adnaan up to 'Qedar', (or Kedar) there are many differences in different traditions.' This Qedar was son of Hazrat Ismail who was the son of Hazrat Ibrahim.
(b) For many reasons, I am of the opinion that those traditions which give about 38 to 40 names between Adnaan and Qedar are nearer to the truth. But as, owing to the differences of the traditionalists, a firm stand cannot be taken, it is better to leave that portion of genealogy unmentioned here.
The names from the Holy Prophet up to Adnaan are as follows:-
Muhammad (s.a.w.) - Abdullah - Abdul-Muttalib - Hashim - Abdu Manaf - Quusai - Kilaab - Murrah - Kaab - Lui - Ghaalib - Fahr - Malek - Nadhar - Kanana - Khozaima - Mudrikah - llyas - Nizaar - Muid - Adnaan. About your question regarding additions in the 'Sheriat': The sheriat of Islam as brought by the Holy Prophet and explained by his 12 successors during a long period of 250 years, contains a most comprehensive set of rules. Whenever a seemingly new question crops up - in which our Sunni brethern cannot find satisfaction from their books and resort to 'Rai' (opinion of their own) - our Mujtahids simply find out some traditions from the Prophet or any of the Imams and act accordingly.
About the institution of Ijtihad, please see the booklet 'Islam' (at the end of the chapter of Imamat). Our Sunni brethren closed the door of Ijtihad (religious research) after the 4 mujtahids (Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafii, Ahmad bin Hanbal). Therefore, they became backward in the matters of Islamic Law. It is only since last century that they started again the research on Muslim Law. But they are so primitive, in comparison to the Shia Ithna- asheri Law that cannot be described in this short letter. Suffice it to say that they slept for one thousand years when the Shias kept the torch of Ijtihad shining. Therefore, thanks to our sound and perfect directions (received from our Imams), we never become baffled when a seemingly new problem comes in our way. Our Mujtahids give rulings, based not on their own opinion but on some sound religious traditions and the matter is settled.
For example, Sunnis are still debating whether birth control (by medicines or contraceptives) is allowed. But owing to the guidance given by the Holy Prophet and the Imams in such conditions, our present Mujtahid, Seyyid Muhsin al-Hakim (Iraq) declared that it is allowed provided it does not harm the health of either party, is done by consent of both parties, and does not lead to abortion.
Now this matter is settled in Shia sect. What I want to say is this. It was to explain the Sheriat to the full extent that Allah decreed through the Holy Prophet that there would be 12 Imams from the family of the Holy Prophet. Our Sunni brethren did not follow this ruling; they went to everyone for guidance, except the family members of the Holy Prophet. As a result, they are still groping in the dark, while the Shias have no problem at all.
For us the door of knowledge is not shut tight. I hope you will understand our stand perfectly.
With best wishes, Sincerely yours, S. S. Akhtar Rizvi. 30th December, 1968 Dear Brother, Thank you for your letter dated 6th instant. I am glad to see that you want to increase your religious knowledge through correspondence course. I am thinking of preparing a course for interested and intelligent people like you. But I think there will be a delay of about 6 months in starting this course. I will inform you as soon as the course is ready.
S. S. Akhtar Rizvi.
I was very glad when I arrived home during my holiday in February, to see books, pamphlets and a letter from you telling me that you are now preparing a Correspondence Course for such people like me. I should thank God for giving you such thoughts, and pray for the blessing of your plan. I would like to inform you that, now I am working here as a teacher. You can use the above address for anything concerning me.
Your Brother in Islam, Dhikiri O. Muhammad Kiondo.
13 March, 1969. Dear Brother, I sent you some booklets by book-post some weeks ago, but have not got any indication whether it reached you safely. I am going for about 3 months to India for the marriage of my daughter and will be back at the end of June, Insh-Allah. After my return, I intend to start correspondence course, which was asked by you. In the meantime, I would like you to go through the booklets which were sent to you. Wishing you happiness and success. Sincerely yours, S. S. Akhtar Rizvi.
8th September, 1969. Dear Maulana, I kindly ask you to go through my questions carefully and answer them for me. The purpose of such questions is simply to increase my Islamic knowledge and in some cases to understand how the Shias take some cases and compare with the Sunnis. I think you will not be angry with my questions at all.
Your Brother in Islam, Dhikiri O. Muhammad Kiondo. 30th September, 1969. Dear Mr. Dhikiri Omari, Thank you for your two letters. I will be coming to Lushoto some time at the end of October, and will be pleased to meet you for the first time. I will send the replies to your question as soon as possible. Correspondence course has been put off for 1970, as, at present we are busy in re- organising Light and Sauti Ya Bilal and in publishing some of our books. With best wishes, Sincerely yours, S. S. Akhtar Rizvi.
24th November, 1969. Dearest S. S. Akhtar Rizvi, How are you Mauiana ! ! !
I was very pleased to hear that you were aiming at visiting Lushoto in the end of last month (October, 1969) trying to meet me if possible for the first time.
Unfortunately, I was not here, when your letter arrived. I was at Kwemkole organizing the work of building my house. I arrived here on 24/10/69 and returned back to Lushoto very soon when I received your letter to wait for your arrival there.
I thought our Lord God has counted you in taking part in the Maulidi which was to be celebrated for the birth of my first born child (daughter born on 21/10/69) at Lushoto. I would have invited you to this ceremony if it had not come to my mind that it would have troubled you much for you are far from Lushoto and that you are just arriving from India. I was also late in informing you that I will meet you at Lushoto. Did you come ? Please let me know when you will be coming, if you did not; so that I may meet you there. I also would like to know whether you would like to see my village - Kwemkole, Korogwe - so that I may arrange and choose the best holidays of the year; possible for communication.
Sunga is 35 miles north of Lushoto. We have daily bus leaving Lushoto for Sunga at 12 noon. When you come to Lushoto, ask to see Muallim Seffu Abdallah (my uncle) or Muallim Omari Amiri (my best friend). They will bring you here.
Your Brother in Islam, Dhikiri O. Muhammad Kiondo. 11th December, 1969. Dear Dhikiri Omari, Please accept 'Eid Mubarak' on this auspicious day of Eid-ul-Fitr. I went to Tanga at the end of October I tried to go to Lushoto just to see you, as I had promised in my letter. But people pointed out that those being the holidays, perhaps you would have gone home. Therefore, I did not persue the idea.I am glad to hear that you have got a child. My congratulations.
As I intended to meet you, I did not send the replies to your questions earlier. Now, that it seems that we will not be able to see each other for some time more, I am sending the replies to you and hope that you would be satisfied.
It appears to me that your intelligence compels you to question many tenets and practices of your ancestral faith (Sunni-ism). I cannot blame you, because that faith has some tenets which no logical mind can accept without reservations (just as Christianity cannot be explained to a logical mind).
During the last two years we have developed a firm bond of love and brotherhood between ourselves. And I think it would be a betrayal of confidence if I do not tell you frankly that you cannot attain the peace of mind unless you follow the path shown by the Holy Prophet and his Holy Ahlul-Bait. I mean, Shia Ithna-asheri faith, which is the true Islam as brought by the Prophet. Therefore, I cordially and with full confidence invite you to accept Shi'ism, so that your intellect and faith remain no longer in conflict with each other. I hope you will write to me as soon as possible, so that I may guide you about the details. With best wishes and Dua,
If the man and woman at the time of the conception of the child were not married to each other lawfully (or, at least, were not under the impression of already being lawfully married) the child will be illegitimate.
Can a child born illegitimately be converted to being lawfully born?
Suppose a man makes a girl pregnant before they are married (but both of them aimed at marriage and could not control their sexual urge till their marriage), will the child be counted as illegitimately born?
Yes. He will still be illegitimate. Remember that Islam does not allow a person to mingle with a member of opposite sex (who is not within his/her prohibited degree - like mother, father, sister, brother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, uncle, nephew etc.) or with whom he/she is not legally married. For this reason, the mixing of men and women who are strangers to each other (in the sense mentioned above) is strictly prohibited in Islam. And the wisdom of this rule can be very well confirmed by the subject of your question itself.
Now, if somebody breaks a law, he must be prepared to suffer its consequences. If the said man and woman were so anxious to save their offspring from the stigma of illegitimacy, they should have remained separate till marriage. Or, alternatively, they could have married themselves before indulging in their sexual activities. After all, marriage in Islam is a very simple and swift process. It is a matter between the man and the woman and reciting the formula of Nikah is not the prerogative of any sheikh or scholar. Any body can perform his/her own Nikah, provided he/she is adult and discreet and of sound mind, and provided they observe all the conditions of reciting that formula. There is no other ritual or function to solemnize the marriage.
If, in spite of all these facilities, they did not marry before sexual intercourse, they have themselves to blame for the consequences.
According to Sunnis, a child born unlawfully is to be put to death. So are the father and mother of such a child. Is this correct to punish someone for the mother's offence, while the Qur'an says that 'no one will carry another's load ?'
Your information is not correct. The child is not to be punished. In fact, the punishment of the woman is postponed till after the delivery and weaning of the child, to protect him from harm.
By the way, you have used the phrase 'for the mother's offence'. Fornication or adultery is not a one person's offence. It needs a man and woman together to make them fornicators. The man who put that child into the womb of the woman is equally criminal. The punishment of fornication and adultery differs according to the marital status of the man and woman. It ranges from 100 strokes to the stoning to death.
According to Sunnis, a dead body may be taken out of the grave if he is buried with some money or gold. But 'Sauti ya Bilal' (Vol.III no. 5) shows that Imam Husain was buried with gold. Is this not bad or was it done purposely?
Imam Husain (a.s.) is not buried with gold. The dome above his grave (a photo of which was published in Sauti ya Bilal, Vol. Ill No. 4) is covered with gold.
I think the purpose behind the rule of 'Idda' period is to ascertain that the woman does not go with a child in her womb who belongs to her late husband and thus gives the child to the new husband. Can't we use scientific means to find out whether the widow has a child in her womb or not ? For, it is very hard to the widows and worries wives much when their husbands fall ill.
Islam is the universal religion, meant for all mankind - scientists and illiterates, so-called civilized ones and bush-dwellers - to be practised everywhere and in all circumstances. It is not a 'scientists' club.' That is why its rules and regulations have been made by Allah in such a way that a Nomad of Arabia, an Eskimo of Greenland and a pigmy of the Central part of Africa can follow it with equal ease. That is the reason behind adopting lunar calendar, and prescribing the prayer-times by positions of the sun etc. . . .
And that is the reason of prescribing a certain period of 'Idda' (3 months in case of divorce, 4 months 10 days in case of the death of the husband) in which the woman cannot marry another husband.
I do not think any woman, at the approach of the death of her husband, would be worried of not being able of marrying another husband for a short period of 4 months 10 days, instead of grieving for her beloved present husband who is about to depart from this world. As for the scientific methods : How many women can get themselves scientifically examined? And even if such facilities were available world-wide and cheap enough to allow a begger-woman to take their advantage, there is always the possibility, nay probability, of wrong deduction by the doctors and technicians. You must be aware that in so many cases the experts draw diametrically different conclusions from the same X-ray photo. Therefore, the rule of 'Idda' can never be treated as out of date.
How do the Shias mourn for a dead person ? Explain for me all that is done for a dead Shia after his death to the ending of the mourning period ?
Mourning has two aspects: showing natural grief and uttering words tantamount to complaining against Allah. The first is allowed in Islam; the second is strictly forbidden and Haraam. Even in the fist case, restraint is preferred except in the mourning for the Holy Prophet or his family members.
When a Shia dies, people start reciting the Holy Quran for his/her 'thawab'. The dead body is washed thrice - by water mixed with a little water squeezed from the leaves of lote-tree, by water in which a little camphor is mixed, and finally by pure water -; then he is given the 'kafan' (shroud); then he is taken to the grave-yard. In East Africa, the people joining the funeral procession recite Kalema on the way. At grave-yard, and sometimes in the mosques, the prayer of 'Meyyit' is held; after prayer a short 'majlis' is recited in which the sufferings of the Holy Prophet and his Ahlul-Bait are narrated. Then the 'Meyyit' is buried.
On second or third day, 'Ziyarat' is held, in which people recite the Holy Qur'an for the 'thawab' of the dead person, and at the end a short 'majlis' is recited. People give whatever they like to the charities and its 'thawab' is intended to be given to the dead person. Then, after about a month or so, 'Arbain' is held, in which 'majlis' is recited.
After about a year, 'Haul' is held just like 'Arbain'.
How do the Shia send reward to their dead (Fateha) and when ?
The answer is almost fully explained in the previous description. So far as 'when' is concerned, there is no time fixed for it. Apart from the functions mentioned above, most of the Shia Ithnaasheris go to the grave-yard on Thursdays and recite Sura Fateha for their dead relatives.
The Sunnis say that during the Day of Resurrection, everyone is going to get beautiful ladies; the 40th being his wife in this life. Is this story true ? Suppose a lady got married to more than one man in her life, whose wife will she be on the Resurrection day ?
The existence of 'Huur' ('Houri') has been affirmed in the Qur'an in numerous places; and no Muslim (whether Sunni or Shia) can doubt it. If you are afraid of the objections of the Christians, read the recent Light which has already been posted to you. There in the article 'Quiyamat' you will find that, according to Shia belief, everyone who will go to paradise, will find happiness according to his own spiritual perfection. That is quite reasonable; otherwise, if you give a man of little literary knowledge a book of highest literary standard, what will he do with it ? He can never enjoy it, because his standard is not so high. Likewise, people of high spiritual perfection will be happy in company of the angels, and so on. Those who have not attained such height of perfection, will find joy in material things. Hence the provision of milk, honey, fruits, rivers, streams, and 'houri' in the paradise. This much will be sufficient to show the reason behind the basic idea. Now coming to the number 40, it is not for us to determine who will get what and how much. If God wants to give someone 40, or 400, or 4,000, it is not our concern.
So far as the believer wife of a believer husband is concerned, she will be with her husband. If she was married to more than one man in her life, she will go to that husband who was more considerate to her and of better behaviour.
Nowadays, it seems as if Muslims are filled with bad feelings about the landing of Americans on the Moon. What do the Qur'an and Islam say about science and exploration of the solar system ?
This question needs detailed answer. You may have to wait for sometime for the full explanation. Meanwhile, to put your mind at ease, I may tell you that it is not the "Muslims" who are filled with 'bad feelings'; it is only the East African Sunnis.
According to the Qur'an and the traditions of the Holy Prophet and Imams, it is quite possible to reach heavenly bodies. You may refer to the booklet 'Islam' (page 12) where I have pointed this out. Also see the article 'Space Travel', published in The Light (Appendix 'C').
A certain person in this area does not think that there is any need for an African to accept an Arabian religion. He counts Islam as Arabic religion. He says that every nation has its own prophets. He says that Sambaa people had some prophets, one of whom was Kighobo of the 10th century who prophesied about the coming of Europeans, the birth of children who will not care about their parents and the ending of the Kilindi dynasty rule in Usambaa - all these have come to truth.
This question also needs detailed answer; and I am terribly busy these days. I would like you to read my "Thought For The Week" (copy attached) in which I have touched this subject.
In short, your friend does not know the significance of the term 'Nabi' This word is translated as 'prophet' and 'prophet' in English lanquage conveys the meaning of 'one who prophesies'. But prophesying can be done by so many people: astrologers, crystal-gazers, sooth-savers, all make prophecies. Even the meteorological department has scores'of 'prophets' (in the sense of English language). But prophesying does not make them 'Nabi'. A Nabi is the one who, being the representative of Allah, conveys His message to the people and leads them to the path of God, giving them a code of life based on love and justice. He must have many qualifications, most important of which are 'sinless-ness', appointment by Allah, and showing of miracles after the claim of Nubuwwat, without any practice, medicine or tools.
And nobody has succeeded in substantiating such claim of Nubuwwat after the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.)
So far as the question of 'nation' is concerned, it must be remembered that Islam is not a 'national' religion, like Judaism and Christianity. It is the 'Universal' religion sent by Allah for the whole mankind, through Muhammad, who, of course, was an Arab; but being a human being, he was bound to be born in some place.
It is really surprising that at a time when all thinking people are dreaming of a world government, your friend cherishes the idea of tribal religions. Such thinking cannot take mankind any further from the present chaotic situation. It was to curb such separatism that God sent Islam as the Religion for 'al-Alameen' (the whole universe).
He also proves his theory that when any person of any religion prays for anything, he gets it. It shows, according to him, that all religions in the world are true and from God. Answer:
Well, here is an episode which will throw some light on this question. Once Hadhrat Musa (a.s.) prayed to Allah saying that one apparent cause of the pride of Firaun was the limitless bounties which Allah had bestowed upon him. Allah replied: "Musa, if Firaun has forgotten that he is my creature, how can I forget that I am his Creator ?" According to the sayings of Ahlul-bait (family members of Holy Prophet), Allah, Who is Rehman and Rahim and Whose love to His creatures knows no bound, sustains everyone, and provides all the needs of all His creatures, in this world, irrespective of the beliefs of the individuals. Therefore, He provides even the atheists (who pray to no one) with their needs.
So, you should understand that those who ask some gods other than Allah, do not get their needs from their supposed deities. They still get them from the only source of life which has power and strength to grant anything to anyone, and that is Allah. You may ask that, in this condition, what is the need of asking things from Allah, as He would give us our requirements, anyhow. But you should remember that, among other things our prayers to Him and our asking requirements from Him show our gratitude to Him and confirm the fact that we realize from where we are getting our sustenance. Thus, we improve our ethical and spiritual standard by praying to Allah. It is a way of strengthening our relationship with Allah.
Imam Zainul-Abedeen (a.s.), the great-grandson of the Holy Prophet, said in one of his invocations (Duas) : "O Allah, Who gives to those who ask Him, and even to those who do not ask Him."
As I said above, even atheists get their sustenance from Allah, though they believe in no god at all. Therefore, getting their requirements after praying to the supposed deities does not prove that "all religions must be true". Otherwise, such a man would have to admit that even atheism is true. In fact, such a claim as you have narrated is so foolish that it does not deserve any attention. There are religions claiming hundreds of gods and semi-gods; there is Christianity, claiming 3-in-1 god; there is Islam denying more than one God; ....
Can all these diametrically different religions be true at one and the same time ? There are religions believing in a Day of Resurrection; there are religions believing, instead, in perpetual transmigration of souls. Can both these views be true and from God ? Remember, only those people make such claims who are unable to prove the truth of their religious beliefs. So they want to hypnotize people of other faith by claiming the divine origin and truth of 'all religions'; thus making sure that their illogical superficial beliefs also will be treated as divine truth.
We Muslims are much blamed by non-Muslims for using Holy Book for witch-craft. What really astonishes the non-Muslims is that those sheikhs and sharifus are the leaders of such activities - especially in the Coast area. My question is : How can Islam teach both religious tenets and witch-craft ?
There are two aspects of this question which must be explained separately:
First: Is there any harm or evil in healing the people or benefiting them with the help of the name of God ? Certainly not. Hadhrat Isa (a s ) used to do so; and the fact is admitted by the Christians and Muslims both. Also, it is written about his 12 disciples that "he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases" (Mathew, 10:1), and he ordered them that: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils". (Mathew, 10:8).
When he removed some evil spirit from some people afflicted by those spirits, his enemies accused him of being in league with demon, saying that "he hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan ?" (Mark, 3:22-23).
So you will see that healing with the name of Allah is not evil; and it is not 'witch-craft'. If the Christians have lost that power, it is because they are not the followers of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, they would have been able to "say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and thou cast into the sea" and it would have been done (Mathew, 21:2).
Second: What is the difference between healing with the help of God and the witch-craft ? It is the same difference which exists between a medicine and a poison. The poison brings harm to body, while the medicine removes the harmful effects. Therefore, if any Sheikh tries to benefit someone with the name of God, or the ayat of the Qur'an, it is like curing someone of his sickness by the medicine, and therefore, should not be ridiculed. On the other hand, if he tries to bring harm to someone, or uses methods other than the name of Allah or ayat of Qur'an, it is witch-craft, and it may be likened to poisoning someone. But this does not mean that Allah has taught the witch-craft as you have asked in your question.
But, remember that, according to true Islamic belief (i.e., of Shia faith) a man is obliged to strive to the utmost limit of his capacity to improve his condition and then he should pray to Allah to bless his efforts with success. It is no use to sit idle and pray to Allah to send him his food. He must try hard to earn his living, and side by side should pray to Allah to give 'baraka' in his earnings. Likewise, if a man is sick, he should go to the doctor and use the medicine prescribed by him faithfully following all his instructions, and side by side should pray to Allah to give him back his health. This praying is more important than hanging some 'hirizi' in the neck or binding it on the arm.
Unfortunately many Sunni Sheikhs have made this 'hirizi' writing a source of their income, bullying people to procure goats, or cock of such a colour, or so many yards of a cloth of such a colour, or so many shillings; certainly they have crossed the limit of religion, and deserve condemnation as exploiters and 'mirija'. They have disgraced the name of Islam.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK (ISLAM : A UNIVERSAL RELIGION)
"And We did not send thee (Muhammad) but for the whole mankind". (Quran, 34:28). Look at the major religions of the world minutely and you will find that it is only Islam which claimed from the beginning to be the religion for the whole mankind.
God sent, before Muhammad, thousands of prophets and apostles to different places and nations to guide their people to the right path. It should be mentioned here that the word 'prophet', when used by Muslims, does not mean 'one who foretells the events'. Foretelling the events is not a very important function of a 'prophet'. A prophet, according to Islam, is sent by God to call people to His path. He is the link between Allah and His creatures; and by following his foot-prints the followers can be sure of receiving the glory of God. Anyhow, when as a result of the efforts of these prophets, mankind reached the stage of maturity, the Holy Prophet of Islam was sent by God for the whole mankind. He reaffirmed, revived, consolidated and perfected the teachings of the earlier prophets (which by passage of time had become distorted and disfigured).
Muhammad came in the world, announcing that, "I have been sent to all people - red and black and yellow." Among his early followers were people from Ethiopia, Iran, Rome and India.
According to the Qur'an, Allah is not a tribal god but the 'Lord of Universe'; Qur'an is the 'Declaration for the universe'; and the Holy Prophet is 'The Mercy for the universe' By sending his messengers to Asia Minor, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Umman and many other places, calling those people to come within the fold of Islam, Muhammad left an undeniable proof that his was the universal religion, unfettered with shackles of tribe, region, colour or race.
23rd January, 1970
Dear Maulana S. S. Akhtar Rizvi,
Mr. Mwangamilo has written me in December, 1969 concerning the "Answers to my Questions" which have been sent to my home address (Kwemkole, Kizara-Korogwe).
I wrote to my brother, there, about the matter so that he may send the answers here. Up to this time I have neither received any reply from my brother concerning this, nor did I receive the answers as I hoped, because the postman at Kizara was directing all letters of mine to this centre. Have they returned the letter there ? If so, please send the letter here. If not help me in getting the answers.
May Allah help you all in all matters. Yours in Islam, Dhikiri O. Muhammad Kiondo. 7th February, 1970 Dear Sir,
I enclose the passage you have asked for in your letter of 30/1/70. Concerning the letter No. BMM/40/201/69, the reply of which you are waiting for, I think is the letter signed by Mr. Mwangamilo which does not bear any date, This letter tells me that, the answers to my questions of early March, 1969 have been sent to me on my home address - Kwemkole Village, Kizara Upper Primary School, P.O. Korogwe. If at all you mean such a letter, up to this time, I have not received the answers although I have written to my brother at Kwemkole concerning this. Please help me in this matter. May Allah be with you all.
Your brother in Islam, Dhikiri O. Muhammad Kiondo. 9th February, 1970 Dear Maulana S. S. Akhtar Rizvi,
This is to inform you that I have received the answers to my questions yesterday 8/2/70. Thanks for troubling yourself in trying to show me where the truth is. Now it is clear to me that I am lost and I should find the right path.
It has taken me a long time to realize that I am in a wrong way. I thank Allah for showing me the right way by means of your services. May He save others also. I kindly ask your service to give me more guidance so as to get more knowledge about my new and true faith.
Question: (a) Should I have a particular "Baptism" and who shall baptize me while all here are Sunnis ? (b) Islam encourages much congregational prayers. Will I be allowed to pray with Sunnis and in Sunni style ? (c) Much of my religious knowledge is Sunnic. How can I get much Shia knowledge. - Please give me a list of Religious books used by Shias, from the simplest to the hardest so that I can buy them, and study them if I get a teacher to teach me. (d) How can I help in the spread of Shiaism in Tanzania, East Africa, Africa or in the whole world ?
May Allah bless your holy works, and reward you with heavenly rewards.
Your brother in Islam, Dhikiri O. Mohamed Kiondo. 21st February, 1970. Dear Dhikiri Omari Moh'd Kiondo,
I was very glad to receive your letter dated 7th instant. I got your previous letter after I sent my letter on 30/1/70. I sent the copy of the replies to you per Registered Post, and from your latest letter dated 9th February, I gather that you have got that letter. I welcome you most gladly to the Shia Ithna-asheri faith of Islam. As regards your questions, please see the following :-
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