Thursday, January 17, 2019

An Address to Young Girls (Part 3)​

“A Muslimah’s Guide to Living a Blissful Life” 

Service and Obedience to Parents
- Serve your parents in an excellent and exemplary manner.
- Ensure that they are not inconvenienced at any time.
- When cooking for them, prepare the dishes that they enjoy eating and serve them their meals on time.
- When they tell you something then listen attentively and accept it wholeheartedly.
- If they are busy or engaged in some activity, then do not disturb them.
- If they have the habit of eating or drinking something at a particular time (e.g. tea or coffee), then prepare it for them and serve it to them at that time.
- Refrain from repeating the same thing to them over and over (e.g. nagging them).
- Pack their clothing away for them neatly and correctly. If they need to change their clothing (e.g. if it became messed), immediately bring them clean clothing. See to it that soap, towels, etc. are all available and ready to use.
- Keep their beds and their places (where they normally sit) clean and tidy.
- Do not ever become upset or frustrated with them.
- Remain present at their beck and call.
- If you do happen to become upset at some point, then do not glare at them (and ‘pull up’ your face). Always remember the difficulties and hardships that they underwent for your sake.
- Continue fulfilling their wishes through your homemaking skills (e.g. cooking, sewing, baking, etc).
- Never make them feel as if they are obliged and indebted to you.
- Fulfil your needs and complete your tasks on your own (without anyone helping you).
- Always keep certain basic and essential items on-hand, e.g. a notepad, pen, needle, thread, silk, etc.[1] If you have all these essential items kept in readiness, you may consider yourself as (organized and) capable, otherwise not.

[1] NB: ‘Essential items’ may differ from place to place and era to era.

Allah before Emotions

Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was the daughter of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddeeq (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and the half-sister of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had divorced the mother of Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) during the pre-Islamic era, thereafter marrying Sayyidah Ummu Rumaan (radhiyallahu ‘anha) who later bore him Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
During the period of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the mother of Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) came to Madeenah Munawwarah with her son, Haarith. Her name was Qutailah, and she had not accepted Islam. On arriving in Madeenah Munawwarah, she wished to visit her daughter, Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha). She had brought some gifts for her, and also wished to take some financial assistance from Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
As soon as Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saw that her mother had come to visit her, she refused to accept her gifts and did not allow her into the home, since she had not accepted Islam – even though it had been more than six years since she had last met her mother!
Instead, she sent a message to her half-sister, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), requesting her to convey the following question to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “My mother has come to visit me, and she also wishes some financial assistance from me. What should I do? Should I maintain my relationship with her?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes, she should maintain her relationship with her mother. She should allow her into her home and she should accept the gifts as well.”
Only after securing the permission of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) allow her mother into her home, show her kindness and accept her gifts.
(Saheeh Bukhaari #2620, Fat-hul Baari vol. 5, pg. 292 and Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 8, pg. 252)

1. The primary concern of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) was securing the happiness of Allah Ta‘ala. Due to the mother of Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) not being a Muslim, she was unsure as to whether it was permissible for her to accept her gifts and allow her into the home. Hence, to ensure that she did not disobey Allah Ta‘ala, she immediately acquired guidance from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Similarly, we should ensure that we remain linked to the pious ‘Ulama (keeping within the parameters of sharee‘ah) so that we can seek guidance in all branches of life, thus always remaining in the happiness of Allah Ta‘ala.

2. The demand of imaan is that we put Allah Ta‘ala and Deen before our emotions. Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was obviously affected by the sight of her mother, especially after such a long period of separation. However, she placed her emotions aside and first ensured that she was pleasing Allah Ta‘ala. In this regard, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) valued their relationship with Allah Ta‘ala more than their relationship with their own parents, children, etc.

The Selfless Nature of the Sahaabah

After the Battle of Badr was fought, Sayyiduna Abbaas (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was among those taken prisoner by the Muslims. He was captured by an Ansaari Sahaabi during the battle. Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had consulted the Sahaabah as to whether they should be released on ransom or be killed. A few Sahaabah were of the opinion that they should be killed whilst the majority felt that they should be released in exchange of some ransom. Eventually, Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) decided that they should be released in exchange of ransom.

Prior to this decision, the Ansaar intended to execute Abbaas (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) among the other prisoners. The news of their intention reached Nabi (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and it affected him to the point where he expressed, “I was unable to sleep last night due to worrying about my uncle, ‘Abbaas.” When Sayyiduna Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) heard this, he asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Should I go to the Ansaar and speak to them to hand ‘Abbaas over to me?”

Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) granted permission to Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and he thus approached the Ansaar and requested them to release Abbaas (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Initially, they did not know that the request was on behalf of Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and so they refused to release him. When they refused, Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked them, “If releasing him will be a means of you acquiring the pleasure of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), will you then do so?” They immediately responded, “If it will please Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), then we will wholeheartedly release him and you may take him immediately!”

Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then told them that he was sent by Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and that Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was unable to sleep the night on account of seeing his uncle in difficulty and distress. Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then took Abbaas (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) from the Ansaar, and as he proceeded with him, he pleaded with him saying, “O Abbaas! Please accept Islam! If you accept Islam, your accepting Islam will be more beloved to me than even my own father accepting Islam. The reason for your accepting Islam pleasing me more than my own father accepting Islam, is that this will greatly please Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”

Shortly thereafter, Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) accepted Islam. (Al-Bidaayah-wan-Nihaayah 3/319)


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

An Address to Young Girls (Part 2)​

“A Muslimah’s Guide to Living a Blissful Life” 

My dear daughters! I do realise that (even if you do not prepare yourself while in your parents’ home, then) the day will eventually come when you will have improved, acquired the skills that you need and learnt what you need to know. As time passes, your weaknesses will transform into skills, because you will learn from the difficulties that you underwent and the mistakes that you made. 

However, of what good will it be, when people who wished well for you and had aspirations in you would no longer be around? It is my aspiration that you begin, from now, acquiring all the qualities and skills that will shield you from the challenges and difficulties that you will face later on.

If you think that you ‘know it all’, and you will be able to deal with the demand of every occasion, then you are absolutely wrong and mistaken, even though you may have occasionally sewed yourself an outfit, or cut out the draft and design of a garment, or cooked a pot of food now and again, or embroidered on a kurta, topi or purse at some point, or you learnt to read the Quraan Majeed and a few kitaabs in some madrasah and then left, and let alone understanding the kitaabs – you did not even know what subject the kitaab was written on! Can this ever be regarded as capability, and can such a person be considered competent? If someone has to ask you a question, then you will be left speechless.

What is required of you is that when you need to perform some task, then regardless of how difficult, complicated or intricate the task may be, you must be able to accomplish it with complete ease and competence. You must neither require the assistance of people, nor should you be dependent and reliant on a domestic worker. It must not be such that you cannot complete your domestic work without burdening your elders or the men folk of the family to help you.  Instead, you must display such intelligence and energy in attending to your domestic work and tasks that even the men folk of your family will be impressed with you and marvel at your ability and efficiency.

Look after your children, raise them correctly and care for them well. When they are sick then nurse them to good health while also seeing to the running of the home and other domestic responsibilities. You should not become so engrossed in attending to one responsibility, that in the process you neglect a hundred other responsibilities. Instead, you should be mindful of all your responsibilities and show due attention to everything. You should also enquire and find out what is happening out of the home from time to time[1].

If you acquire all these qualities and skills, then even if you encounter an unfavourable situation, you will be able to turn it to your advantage. If something gets damaged, you will be able to apply your intelligence to find the solution and remedy it. You will know who your friends are, and you will similarly know who your enemies are. When you speak, then you will not utter anything that will put yourself into a problem or that will hurt others. You will completely avoid all fights, arguments and quarrels. You will find people all over welcoming you and receiving you with warmth and love. In fact, you will even win the hearts of your enemies and turn them into your friends. Nobody will have a chance or opportunity to complain about you.

On account of you behaving intelligently at all times, people will show love and affection for you. Thereafter, even if perchance you do something unintelligent, people will not regard it to be irrational, since the occasional foolish action of an intelligent person is overlooked. On the other hand, when a person is foolish, then even if he happens to do or say something intelligent, many people will still view his action or statement in the light of his foolishness. Furthermore, because a fool lacks intelligence, then he often causes problems where none existed. He turns his friends into enemies, whereas an intelligent person turns his enemies into his friends.

In order for you to correctly understand and practise on the advices that I have given you thus far, as well as the advices that I am still going to give you, it will be necessary for you to apply your mind and intelligence and ponder deeply over what I have mentioned. You must realize that every virtue of this world and the next can only be attained if you learn to think and reason correctly. Intelligence and hayaa (modesty and bashfulness) are two invaluable gems. This quality of hayaa is also such that it will save you from many wrongs.

[1] This will refer to those things that concern us, relate to us and will benefit us. For example, we should know if any woman in our locality is sick so that we could visit her and help her, or if any person passed away, so that we can console them, or if any person is in need so that we can render them assistance, or if there is a Deeni programme taking place in the locality, we could attend it, etc.