A. Yusuf Ali

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A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:18 pm

Can anybody tell me:

1. If A Yusuf Ali, the gentleman who translated the Holy Qur'an is a Bohora? If he is, then can you please tell me whether he is Dawoodi or other kind.

2. Is Idat (the seclusion of a woman after losing a husband) is observed in any other Islamic sect as strongly as it is observed among the Bohoras. Is it a sin if it is not observed. Please do not tell me why it is supposed to be observed because I know that. I only want to
know if it is un-Islamic if not observed. Thanks.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby saif on Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:29 am

SEARCHING FOR SOLACE: A BIOGRAPHY OF ABDULLAH YUSUF ALI - INTERPRETER OF THE QUR'AN By M A Sherif. Published by Islamic book Trust, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. 1994. pp.314

"An exemplary biography of a figure hitherto known to most English-speaking Muslims by little more than name. Based on exhaustive research, written with great clarity, and judicious and balanced in its analysis and conclusions, this book deserves to be read by all accustomed to using Yusuf 'Ali's translation of the Qur'anic meanings." Professor Hamid Algar, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley

"The book contains a detailed bibliography of Yusuf Ali's writings. There are also pictures and the actual announcements when he was elected to the ICS in 1894. There are far too few biographies and serious research into Muslim lives by Muslims. A book like this is therefore doubly welcome.

It is doubly welcome because its presentation is of high international standard although it is published in the Muslim world. The lay-out, the quality of the paper and print and the graphics on the cover are all worth commending. I strongly recommend this book to all those who would learn about a sensitive human-being and a great Muslim scholar. I would also recommend this book to those who wish to learn about Muslim society and its treatment of its scholars. It is a book which will make thoughtful Muslims pause and think about issues that are central." Akber S Ahmed, Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge

"That such a text, produced and reproduced in millions, dished out gratis by states and factions of every conceivable stamp, should have emanated from a man whose life-story is largely unknown, is one of the stranger circumstances of modern Islam. Our blessed prophet commanded us to know the men from whom we take our religion: and yet the story of Yusuf Ali, forty-one years after his death, has until now remained untold.Searching for Solace is probably a better remedy for this absence than we deserve. It is an interpretive biography grounded firmly in exhaustive and diverse research in the best tradition of modern English biographical writing.

Every Muslim in England, barring perhaps some very marginal black sheep of the Tariq Ali variety, must have spent some time with the Yusuf Ali Quran. Heavy, ornate and Victorian decorated with odd poetic epitomes ans mystical footnotes, the work is to the text of Pickthall what the Brighton pavilion is to St Pancras station. There are nooks and crannies in these notes, containing moments of real insight, and mixed in with cross-referenced historical oddments culled from obsolete bible scholarship. Not recognisably based on the tafsir literature, these notes are often simply flourished from his own vision, which, as in the heavily interpolated text itself, was visibly refracted through spectacles made, quite unmistakeable, in British India."Q-News
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby saif on Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:38 am

A Biography of Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Book Review by: Zafar Bangash of Canada

Abdullah Yusuf Ali is best known to English-speaking Muslims as the man who produced a translation and commentary of the noble Qur'an. Just as well. Though a man of great intellect and wide interest, his personal and public lives do not leave a very favorable impression, as this biography so eloquently shows.

Among numerous English translations, Marmaduke Pickthall's and Yusuf Ali's are the most widely-known and used in the world. Yusuf Ali started work on his translation in 1934 and completed it some four years later.

Today, tens of publishers have reprinted his translation, some even taking the liberty of changing it without acknowledging that changes have been made. Why these changes were necessary has not been explained either. Some, like the Saudis, have reprinted the translation with their own imprints as if it was commissioned by king Fahd in person. Such lack of honesty even with so noble a book as the Qur'an is reflective of the pathetic state of those who have imposed themselves on the Ummah.

How Yusuf Ali would have viewed such liberty with his work is not difficult to imagine. It is, however, true to say, as MA Sherif so ably shows in this well-researched and well-documented biography, that the translation of the Qur'an was not the only project that he undertook. In fact, for Yusuf Ali, this did not appear to be the most important task in his life.

A peculiar product of the era of British raj, Yusuf Ali was a pukka sahib par excellence. For him loyalty to the crown was of paramount importance . Religion was a personal matter. It should, therefore, come as no surprise to learn that he married an English woman in a church in England. That the woman should prove unfaithful despite giving birth to four of his children, perhaps best epitomises the relationship between the empire and India.

Sherif traces Yusuf Ali's life from childhood which criss-crossed the lives of other eminent personalties that loomed so large on the Indian scene later: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Ameer Ali, Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Fazl-e-Husain, Sikandar Hayat Khan etc. Of these, he found much in common with the last two. Both these men -- and their families -- were the recipients of British largesse and therefore, inimical to the interests of the Muslims in India. They represented the interests of the landed aristocracy which had been rewarded for its services to the raj. This parasitical class is still active in the affairs of Pakistan, reducing it to penury.

Yusuf Ali was also much inspired by Sayyid Ahmed Khan. He tried to emulate him, at least in sofar as loyalty to the empire was concerned, to the fullest. Sherif reveals that from childhood, Yusuf Ali was obsessed with titles. His father, Yusuf Ali Allahbuksh, a Bohra from Surat in Gujrat, had abandoned the traditional occupation of the Bohras -- business -- and gone instead into the police force. On retirement, he was given the title of Khan Bahadur.

True to form, the young Yusuf Ali incorporated this honorary title given to his father into his own name. The British seemed to be charitable, at least to those who pledged unquestioning loyalty to them, to allow such an indiscretion to pass. This could not have been an oversight, as Sherif notes. Yusuf Ali used the name Abdullah ibn Khan Bahadur Yusuf Ali while applying to register at Cambridge university, the Lincoln Inn in London as well as when applying for the Indian Civil Service. 'The Indian Office administrator responsible for processing ICS applications deemed the double-barrelled surname in order and Abdullah ibn Khan Bahadur Yusuf Ali came about.'

His penchant for titles notwithstanding, it was his obsessive loyalty to the crown that set him apart from many of his contemporaries. While he got along well with Iqbal (in fact, it was Iqbal who tolerated his intense loyalty to the crown and offered him the post of principal of Islamia College Lahore at the exorbitant salary of Rs 1300 per month at the time), their views were diametrically opposite.

Iqbal saw Islam as a global religion and the Muslims of India as a distinct community who could get nothing either from the British or the Hindus. For Yusuf Ali religion was a matter for personal salvation. The 'Indian nation' in which both Hindus and Muslims lived amicably, pledging loyalty to the crown, was how he viewed things in life. Just as well that Yusuf Ali was proved so thoroughly wrong.

His education at the best British institutions, admission to the bar as well as selection in the ICS all reinforced his loyalty to Britain. He was an unabashed spokesman and ambassador for the crown all his life. Yet the wily British used him and then discarded him. Yusuf Ali ultimately saw failure both in his personal as well as public life.

His first wife proved unfaithful and left him for another man. Yusuf Ali could not see that infidelity was, and remains an acceptable way of life in the west. His children, too, abandoned and resented him. He was too engrossed in public life currying the favours of the raj to pay much attention to the family. Despite his intense loyalty to the British, they were glad to see his back when he wanted to retire from the ICS.

His greatest disappointment came when he found that the British had reneged on their pledge to the Arabs in Palestine. He suffered their insults and arrogance willingly, something the likes of Jinnah and Iqbal would never have put up with. Why a man of such keen intellect would put up with the Britons' condescension is hard to understand. One can only surmise that his total devotion to everything British blinded him to the reality of life.

Equally shocking is the contrast in his public and private lives. He was known to charm public gat herings. His reputation was not confined to India or Britain alone. It quickly crossed the Atlantic and he found himself in Canada in the autumn/winter of 1938 after his translation was published both in UK and in the US.

He officially opened the first mosque in Canada in Edmonton in December 1938. It was Yusuf Ali who named it Al-Rashid Mosque, perhaps after his son. He left a very favorable impression with all that he came in contact with yet his private life was a total failure. He was a loner in private life. The face of public charm appeared to be an attempt to hide the deeper failure at the personal level.

When he died in London on December 10,1953, he was a pathetic wreck. Disoriented and confused, he was found by the police lying outside the steps of a house. Taken to hospital, he died unsung and unmourned. He was buried in Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey.

That a man of such intellect and promise should end up in so sad a state is tragic indeed. Muslims owe a det of gratitude to Sherif for bringing the truth, some of it quite unpalatable, about the life of a man who is known to the Muslims only as the translator of the Qur'an. The translation is no mean achievement but it is clear that despite his efforts, ultimately Yusuf Ali had learned nothing from the Qur'an itself. That is the greatest tragedy of his life.

Sherif's book offers useful insights into life in British India at the turn of the century. Muslims would do well to study it carefully and to draw appropriate lessons from it.

(Courtesy: Crescent -- 16-30 November 1995)
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:33 am

Dear Saif,

Thank you for the info. I would still like to know if he was a Dawoodi, Sulemani, etc. or did he convert to Sunni Islam in the end and why?

Also, can anyone answer my second question please?
There are so many knowledgeable brothers on this site.
Africawala
 
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby BB on Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:08 am

Br Africawala

Regarding your second question its a must for every believing woman to practice addah after the death of her husband but its not as strict as how we bohris practice infact in sunni sect the female can even go out to buy needy items and for medical purpose.read this site for more informations.

http://www.islamhelpline.com/view_answers.asp?QAID=4863
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Sat Oct 16, 2004 11:28 am

Dear brother BB,

Thank you for sending me the link. I visited it. I thought the Qur'anic interpretation was stretched too far in the Bohora sect but did not want to comment until I received positive proof.

Now then, where do Bohoras come up with these stringent regulations? I have read and re-read the Qur'an and it only tells us to practice Iddah the way Mr.Burhan has said, so then why are Bohri women required to cover the windows and not even look at the Sun or look at themselves in the mirror or watch TV. There were no TVs when the Sura was revealed. I have heard that they cannot even listen to a male child or a male on the street or somebody talking to another relative in the house. How do these women survive for 4 months and 10 days locked up like this. What happens if the woman in the West is sole provider in the family? Does that mean that she has to quit her job or take leave of absence? Who feeds her children or who pays for their universities, rent, mortgage, taxes, etc. How much does Kothar help these women who are forced to practice Iddah the way it is prescribed by the Kothar? And why would any educated woman in the West go through this ritual? I have heard of female lawyers and doctors going through these rituals.

Salaams.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:33 am

Dear Africawala,

The "iddat" as practised by the Dawoodi Bohras is simply an innovation by their clergymen and no where to be found or understood as such in the Quran. It is a disgrace and against GOD's Laws to have such pathetic and revolting ceremonies imposed upon widows, among others.

Not only that and to come to think of it, the entire Bohra Religion is nothing but a Creed for Greed. Much of the characterics and definitions of Islam prescribed and authenticated within the Bohra Religion in purely un-Quranic.

Abdullah Yousuf Ali, as far as I can recall, was a Persian (shia) and never a Bohra or a sunni.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Sun Oct 17, 2004 8:49 am

Brother Danish,

According to the postings and quotes from brother Saif, Yusuf Ali was a Bohora, though I have never heard DAWOODI BOHORAs claim him as their own and therefore I thought he was another kind of Bohora. I wonder aside from the Dai's interpretation of the Qur'an which is not available in writing, is there any other translation that the Bohora's follow? Or are they still not allowed to read the translation and just read the Qur'an without understanding it like most other non-Arabic speaking Muslims do.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Simpleton on Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:20 pm

And to support Danish's Claim of Creed for Greed, I am wondering if anyone has visited the Gov't. of Canada Web Site to see how much funds have been disbursed on "Charitable" Work? Here is the link:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/charities/online_listings/canreg_interim-e.html
Scroll down to Search
Enter the name: Anjuman
Select: Anjumane Najmi, Richmond Hill

You'll see 3 Returns for the Years 2000, 2001 & 2002.

You'll be amazed at the numbers!!!
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Sun Oct 17, 2004 6:19 pm

Salaams Africawala,

In Saif's posting above, it was Yousuf Ali's father who was born into Bohra Religion who later abandoned it, like myself. Yousuf Ali himself was never a Bohra.

I was mistaken about his Persian identity, my appologies.

I believe the Quran is for all mankind and for every individual to read, study, ponder, understand and reason with. It is a BOOK for all to seek spiritual guidance, righteousness, obedience and for Islamic jurisprudence.

Every individual has his/her own Way of Life in accordance to the System that GOD Almighty has set/decreed upon them.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Sun Oct 17, 2004 6:55 pm

PS: No human can enforce GOD's commands onto another. You sow your own seeds of righteousness and hence judged accordingly.

The word "religion or sect" is a man-made stigma, a dogmatic ritualistic ideology brought about by the self-proclaimed. No wonder one witnesses tons of them having uncanning and superfluous differences, even among themselves. "Deen", as far as I understand, doesn't mean religion but "a system".
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:40 pm

Dear Danish,

__________________________________________________
In Saif's posting above, it was Yousuf Ali's father who was born into Bohra Religion who later abandoned it, like myself.
_________________________________________________

Well, brother it makes two of us. I abandoned it a long time ago and have not regretted it a bit.

Coming back to Y.Ali, so did he follow the Shia religion or Sunni because his translation of the Qur'an is very close to Sunni beliefs.

Thanks for the info you have provided me so far.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Average Bohra on Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:14 am

Simpleton,

Appreciate the link...the reported numbers are indeed amazing. Fastow couldn't have done better, and he is in jail.....

Danish & Africawala,

...that makes three of us....
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Simpleton on Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:02 pm

Average,

You're welcome. What's even more amazing is that they can get away with it!!! Can you imagine that even the Canadian Government is not able to see through the wool that's been thrown over their eyes eh? Figure how much unaccounted funds must be changing hands if you consider UK, USA, UAE, East Africa, Australia & New Zealand, Southern Asia...the list goes on.

Puts Enron and the likes to shame huh?

I wonder if the Progressive Bohras of Canada have done anything about this though?
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Asghar Ali Engineer on Wed Oct 20, 2004 12:38 pm

Dear Africawala,

Here are my brief answers to your queries:

1) Yusuf Ali was a Dawwodi Bohra but lived his own life without identifying himself with the community controlled by the then Da'i. He became a more active member of the general Muslim community. He had married a British wife.

2)Iddat should be observed by abstaining from marriage for 4 months and 10 days after the death of the husband. No confinement is necessary. In this sense it is observed by all Islamic sects. Some sects like Bohrtas do insist on confining the wife to husband's home.
It will be improper to marry befor completion of the iddah period, not a sin.

Asghar Ali Engineer
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby porus on Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:04 pm

Originally posted by Asghar Ali Engineer:

....It will be improper to marry befor completion of the iddah period, not a sin....

It depends on your definition of 'sin'. Since marrying before completion of iddah would be against the Quranic ruling (al-baqarah), it may well be considered a 'sin' by some.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby porus on Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:18 pm

The only authentic A. Yusufali's translation is the one published in 1934 in Lahore. The current popular version is published by the Saudis, who have altered the translation to suit their own take on Islam. Hence, the translation readily available on the net is not original.

I wonder if the original reveals some of A. Yusfali's sectarian background.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:54 pm

Salaam Asghar,

Originally posted by Asghar Ali Engineer:

1) Yusuf Ali was a Dawwodi Bohra but lived his own life without identifying himself with the community controlled by the then Da'i. He became a more active member of the general Muslim community. He had married a British wife.
As far as Yusuf Ali's biography is concerned, no where does it mention that he was a Dawoodi Bohra. His claims depict that he was a Muslim and never practised the Bohra doctrine.

2)Iddat should be observed by abstaining from marriage for 4 months and 10 days after the death of the husband. No confinement is necessary. In this sense it is observed by all Islamic sects. Some sects like Bohrtas do insist on confining the wife to husband's home.
It will be improper to marry befor completion of the iddah period, not a sin.
Dear Asghar, does your statement above support the Quranic injunction/understanding?

Thanks and GOD bless.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Asghar Ali,

Thanks for the clarification. Re: Iddah, that is how I thought it was.

Thanks for the clarification about Yusuf Ali.

Keep up the good work brother. We need more like you. Salaams.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:21 pm

Salaams Africawala,

How has the above been clarified? Have you verified for yourself or just believe in what Asghar had to say and take it for granted? Besides, I'm awaiting Asghar's answers to my previous post.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Africawala on Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:15 pm

Dear brother Danish,

I respect brother Asghar Ali's views. But most importantly I read in the Qur'an also, Sura II that a woman has to observe 4 months and 10 days. It does not say that women should be confined the way bohris confine their widowed women.

By the way there is iddat for divorced women too. This iddat is for 3 months. See the same sura and sura XXXIII and sura lxv.

I think iddat only means that a woman should wait that period in order to confirm that she is or she is not bearing a child. In case she is expecting a child then the period becomes longer. I think this is very prudent.

As regards the background of A. Yusuf Ali, some brother had posted a site and I checked it out. It said more or less what Asghar Ali said.

So to answer your question, I did verify Asghar Ali's statement and other brother's statements.

Salaams.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby porus on Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:06 am

Originally posted by Africawala:
....I think iddat only means that a woman should wait that period in order to confirm that she is or she is not bearing a child. In case she is expecting a child then the period becomes longer......
In case of a pregnant woman, iddat is until delivery. However Quran does not mention a reason for Iddah. Whether it is to confirm if a woman is pregnant, though a reasonable explanation, has no basis in the Quran. It is merely a speculation.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Muslim on Sat Oct 23, 2004 7:25 pm

My understanding of even the edited Abdullah Yusuf Ali's commentary and translation is that it reflects a Sufi-oriented Sunni interpretation of Islam. It would indeed be interesting to see if his original work reflects an even more intense Sufi bias. In the Wahhabi version, his praise for the merits of the Ahlul-Beit have nicely been edited out or toned down. See: http://al-islam.org/tahrif/yusufali/index.htm. Also, his view on the martydom of Imam Husein ( http://www.al-islam.org/short/martyrdom/ ) which is closer to Sufi or Shia than Wahhabi.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby khan19922001 on Sun Oct 24, 2004 11:33 am

Dear Average Bohra, Africawalla and Danish

You have all three got out of the Bohra mess. I have also done so. What relgious beliefs are you following. I have opted for the Sunni beliefs as I find them more rational.

Regards
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:58 pm

Dear Khan,

Personally, I am neither a religionist nor a cultist. I solely believe in GOD, HIS Scripture, HIS Natural System and my Way of Life.

[2:148]Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

[2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in GOD, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they uphold their commitments (Salat) and purify them (Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and calamity. These are the truthful; these are the righteous.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby anajmi on Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:23 am

Danish,

Do you believe in only 2 ayahs of HIS scripture?
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby anajmi on Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:27 am

How about 2:144 and 2:149? Do you believe in those ayahs of HIS Scripture?
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby anajmi on Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:31 am

According to A. Yusuf Ali

2:148

To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things.

2:177

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Asghar Ali Engineer on Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:24 pm

Dear Danish,

I have not seen Yusuf Ali's autobiography but a biography published few years ago in Malaysia clearly says he was a Bohra from Surat. I wil have to check whether he was a Sunni Bohra. It is true that he did not practise Islam as a Bohra but as a Muslim in general.

Yes, what I am saying about Iddah is in keeping with the Qur'anic verse. It mentions the the widow must wait for 4 months and 10 days but does not mention anything about confining the her in the house. It is based on Da'aim al-Islam and rest of the restrictions are based on traditions evolved over years among Bohras.

Asghar Ali Engineer
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Re: A. Yusuf Ali

Unread postby Danish on Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:03 pm

Dear Asghar,

I have not seen Yusuf Ali's autobiography but a biography published few years ago in Malaysia clearly says he was a Bohra from Surat. I wil have to check whether he was a Sunni Bohra. It is true that he did not practise Islam as a Bohra but as a Muslim in general.
Good thing. But is there such a sect called "Sunni Bohra"? I presumed all Bohras are part of the Shia cult. Perhaps I could be wrong.

Yes, what I am saying about [b]Iddah is in keeping with the Qur'anic verse. It mentions the the widow must wait for 4 months and 10 days but does not mention anything about confining the her in the house. It is based on Da'aim al-Islam and rest of the restrictions are based on traditions evolved over years among Bohras.[/b]
Certainly. Just for your information, I do not beleive in Diamul Islam but the One and Only, Quran.

[2:234] If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days: When they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you if they dispose of themselves in a just and reasonable manner. And God is well acquainted with what ye do.
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