Monday, December 28, 2015

Fatimah bint Muhammad RA

Forgotten Heroines: The Housewifes Lament

Money is tight. The kids are demanding. Skin is raw from all the cooking, cleaning and chores that have to be done every day. There’s absolutely no time to spare for anything else, whether it’s pursuing further education or volunteering for a special cause.

Does this sound familiar? There are Muslim women all over the world who find themselves at home, living life as domestic stay-at-home mums and housewives. It’s a physically and emotionally demanding job and it’s also a pretty thankless one. How can spending all day serving others, instead of being involved in some kind of noble, public cause, ever be truly fulfilling and worth recognition – not just by people, but by Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'ala) Himself?

Fatimah bint Muhammad is known to be one of the four most perfect women in the entire world.

Prophet Muhammad (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) drew four lines and said to the Companions, “Do you know what these are?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “The best women of the women of Paradise are Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint Imran and Aasiyah bint Muzahim (the wife of the Pharaoh).” (Ahmad)

Yet when we look at the biography of Fatimah bint Muhammad (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam), one could say that in comparison to others amongst the early Muslim women, her life was relatively unremarkable. She grew up during a difficult time for her parents, when her father was being publicly mocked and derided for preaching his message; she lost her mother at a relatively young age and she married her cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib when she was about fifteen years old. Some of the most well-known ahadeeth related by her mention how physically demanding her lifestyle was, such that her hands would crack and bleed from the wheat-grinding that she used to do.

What made Fatimah so special? So special, in fact, that she will forever be known as one of the greatest women of Paradise?

Fatimah bint Muhammad is not known for an act of dramatic courage such as that displayed by Nusaybah bint Ka’b during the battle of Uhud, but she too provides an example for a situation that many Muslim women around the world live and continue to face: the everyday drudgery of life as a wife and mother.

Fatimah may have been the most beloved daughter to the Messenger of Allah, who was also the head of the Islamic State and leader of the Muslim army, but that didn’t mean that her life was one of luxury or ease.

Quite to the contrary, Fatimah was the mother of two young boys and ran her household single-handedly. Life was difficult back then, with none of the technologies that smooth our way through tedious tasks today. She used to grind the wheat for her bread with her own hands, to the point that her hands would crack and bleed. Her husband, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, was an employee of one of the Ansaar, but the income was meagre and they struggled to survive on a daily basis.

One day, weary and despairing of the toll that their lifestyle was taking on her, Fatimah decided that she would approach her father, RasulAllah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam). At the time, the Muslims had won a battle and, as a result, had captured several prisoners and other spoils of war. With the reasoning that as a member of the Ummah, she was entitled to some relief, Fatimah went to visit one of RasulAllah’s homes. She did not find her father present, but seeing her stepmother A’ishah, Fatimah shared the story of her bleeding hands and her wish for a maidservant to take on a share of the burdens.
Fatimah went back to her home, and when RasulAllah returned to his own house, A’ishah told him about his daughter’s visit.

That same night, RasulAllah slipped into his daughter’s home, where she and ‘Ali were already lying in bed.

Ali narrates, “I wanted to get up, but the Prophet said, ‘Remain in your place.’ Then he sat down between us until I felt the coolness of his face on my chest. The Prophet said, ‘Shall I teach you a thing which is better than what you have asked me? When you go to bed, say, ‘Allahu akbar’ thirty-four times, and ‘subhanAllah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Alhamdulillah’ thirty-three times for that is better for you both than a servant.’” (Bukhari, Book #57, Hadith #55)

After this, Fatimah never repeated her request for a maid ever again.

It may seem to be a small, insignificant thing, but subhanAllah this was one of the reasons for which Fatimah earned her position as one of the queens of Jannah. Her life was spent quietly serving her Lord, through her sincere intentions behind caring for her husband and children. Around her, there were many sahabiyaat whose lives seemed much more exciting, full of adventure and grandeur. Her stepmother, A’ishah, was a great scholar; her great-aunt Safiyyah bint Abdul-Muttalib was fierce in battle and the women of Madinah were renowned for their boldness in approaching any matter.
Nonetheless, for Fatimah bint RasulAllah, the path to Paradise was simple – though never easy. For every stay-at-home-mother and housewife who feels that her life is too consumed by daily drudgery, who worries that her life is too dull to be of consequence, the quiet strength of Fatimah bint RasulAllah is an inspiration and a reminder that no deed, however small or seemingly insignificant, is overlooked by Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Just.

For indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good. (Surah Hud, verse 115)

Jannah is not only for the Prophets, the martyrs, the ascetics, or the scholars; Jannah is attainable by every Muslimah, no matter her occupation or station in life. In the eyes of Allah, every sincere Muslim woman who pledges her life to pleasing her Lord is a heroine of Islam, Aameen

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pleased with Allah’s Decree

 Pleased with Allah’s Decree


WHEN there is just one son, parents have to make him live with them; when there are several, it’s easier, as some of them can go abroad. After all, parents should not be left all alone. That is why one should have many children,’ says a mother-of-five empathetically. I remain silent, not agreeing with her simply because not everyone is blessed with children.

My mind shifts to some childless couples and unmarried people I know.

If Allah has kept them barren, what should their outlook be on life during old age?

Should they constantly be complaining to Allah for the fate decreed on them, or should they accept their fate and be content with it, achieving peace of mind?


Almost anyone and everyone can choose to be ungrateful. A short person may wistfully look at taller people and lament on his or her natural stature; a pauper sitting on the curb may stare enviously at the glamorous cars passing by; a blind person can very well gripe about not being able to see; and of course how slightly dark-skinned people wish they had fairer skin.


If one were to cave in to negative thinking, ungratefulness and wistfulness for the blessings one has supposedly missed out on in life, he or she would be losing on something greater: the blessings they have been granted by Allah! Life’s just too short to lose the good moments wishing for what was not meant to be yours in the first place.


The tendency to be ungrateful and negative in thinking is admittedly more common in women; this is a fact that has been mentioned in several Ahadith.

It is common to behold an unmarried girl, desperately wondering why a decent proposal has not come her way. As years pass by, the pressure to marry her off mounts on her parents.

A married woman who has not conceived a child will despair hopelessly, as she hears of the third pregnancy of a friend who got married a year after she did.


Another mother-of-three, standing in her tiny kitchen, may be crying hot tears of envy at thoughts of how other women her age live in compound villas with 24-hour maids. The cycle of ingratitude continues throughout some people’s lives: want something – pine, despair for it – achieved it and forgot about it; want something else – pine, despair for it – got it and forgot about it.


And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour/blessings of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is most unjust and ungrateful.”
[Surah Al Ibrahim,34]


There is great Divine wisdom behind the concept of being pleased with Allah’s decree, known as “Al-Ridaa Bil-Qadr”. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed for this blessing in one of his ‘masnoon’ dua’s. It is indeed the requisite ticket to blissful peace of mind and unparalleled contentment of soul during this world’s life.


O Allah I ask you for a reassured soul, that believes in meeting you, and is pleased with Your Decree, and is content with what you have bestowed .”


But how does one achieve this desired goal?

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us a strategy to acquire this state;

Do not look to those above you. Look to those below you, as it will more likely remind you of Allah’s favors bestowed on you.”

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


Allah [subhanahu wa taála] says;

“And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of His bounty. Indeed, Allah is ever, of all things Knowing.” 

[Surah An Nisa,32]


“…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.”  

[Surah Al Baqarah, 216]

Also, we are encouraged to look up to those who do good so that we can try to be like them.


Allah [subhanahu wa taála] says;

“Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And we will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do. Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer — We will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” 

[Surah An Nahl, 96-97]


If one persistently refuses – for Allah’s sake – to wistfully or enviously look at, or think about, people who are better off than him in worldly blessings, eventually he will reach a point when he will never be bothered by, or concerned with, what others have. Instead, he will focus on the good deeds he can do that will grant him a good destination in the Hereafter – the eternal life – where happiness and blessings are everlasting, not fleeting.


On achieving Ridaa Bil-Qadr, an unmarried woman will not feel anything when she hears of girls younger than her getting married or having babies; a childless man will not feel any regret or rancor when his brother begets his tenth child; an old woman, who has outlived her spouse and all her children, will not feel anything when she hears of other families gathering together on Eid. They will instead be content with what Allah has decreed for them and have a kind of peace and calmness inside them that cannot be bought with all the wealth in this world.


Allah [subhanahu wa taála] says;

“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” [Surah Ar Ra’d,28]

Thursday, December 17, 2015

His Laughter, Her Love

The beautiful effect Sawdah bint Zam’ah (RA) had on the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

A house full of laughter is a home full of love and, truly, the home of Rasool Allah (SAW) rang with laughter whenever Sawdah bint Zam’ah (RA) was present.

Most people overlook Sawdah, even though she was the first woman whom Rasool Allah (SAW) married after the death of Khadijah (RA).

Sawdah was much older than ‘Aishah bint Abi Bakr (RA), whom Rasool Allah (SAW) married shortly after and it’s commonly known that she gave up her allotted days and nights with Rasool Allah for ‘Aishah’s sake. According to many narrations and by her own admission, Sawdah wasn’t particularly beautiful, either – she is described as “elderly and fat.” What many don’t realise, however, is that it was her age which Rasool Allah (SAW) appreciated – or, rather, the qualities associated with it: wisdom, maturity and understanding.

Sawdah was the first stepmother for the daughters of Rasool Allah, especially for Fatimah (RA), who was still quite young at the time. She had a nurturing personality and a sense of humour which endeared her to her husband, her stepchildren and her co-wives alike.

It was known that when Rasool Allah (SAW) was feeling sorrowful or grieved due to the hardships related to the da’wah of Islam, it was always Sawdah who was guaranteed to make him smile with a quick-witted joke and Sawdah who offered him advice and comfort without requesting anything from him except his company.

Once, when Rasool Allah’s face was drawn with weariness, she teased him, “O Messenger of Allah! I prayed behind you yesterday and you prolonged the prostration for so long that I nearly had a nosebleed!” Her husband, the beloved Messenger of Allah (SAW), threw his head back and laughed so hard that his molar teeth were visible. The sorrow in his bearing disappeared and his smile lit up the heart of Sawdah with joy. (Tabaqaat al-Kubraa)

And while many women would have felt jealous at the arrival of a younger, beautiful wife, Sawdah took ‘Aishah under her wing immediately. It is related that amongst the wives of Rasool Allah (SAW), no two of them were closer to each other than Sawdah and ‘Aishah.

Sawdah’s sense of humour made it easy for the other wives to get swept away in the fun. Hafsah and ‘Aishah in particular used to enjoy getting up to pranks and Sawdah was sometimes their target.

Once, ‘Aishah and Hafsah were sitting together when Sawdah came to visit them, bedecked in finery. Raising their eyebrows at each other, Hafsah said to ‘Aishah, “Rasool Allah will come and see her and forget about us!” Then, with a gleam in her eye, Hafsah told Sawdah, “The one-eyed one is coming!” (i.e. implying the Dajjal.)

Sawdah panicked and asked, “Where can I go, where can I go?!”

Looking serious, Hafsah pointed at a tent outside – one where people would abandon unwanted items and which was full of cobwebs and other creepy-crawlies. Picking up her skirts, Sawdah fled to the tent and Hafsah and ‘Aishah broke into peals of laughter.

They were still laughing when Rasool Allah (SAW) joined them and asked them about the cause of their mirth. The two women were laughing so hard that they couldn’t even speak and all they could do was point at the tent where poor Sawdah was hiding in fear.

Filled with love for Sawdah, Rasool Allah (SAW) rushed over to her and reassured her that it was not yet time for the Dajjal to come and helped her up, brushing off the cobwebs and comforting her. (Musnad Abi Ya’la, Tabarani and al-Haythami)

Despite all this, Sawdah remained as easy-going as ever and deeply fond of ‘Aishah in particular. The affection was mutual, such that when Sawdah passed away ‘Aishah wept and said, “No woman is more beloved to me than Sawdah, whom I would rather be than anyone else.”

Today, when many Muslim men express boredom with their spouses or complain about the waning beauty of their wives, Sawdah’s marriage to Rasool Allah (SAW) is a reminder that physical beauty is not the only thing that matters.

There are many different types of love and every woman is to be loved, respected and valued for who she is – without being compared to others or belittled for what she may lack in comparison to other women. In a marriage, the human heart requires more than just outward beauty and Sawdah’s warm, loving personality was a perfect example of why Rasool Allah (SAW) found such comfort and joy in her.

As the famous hadith states, even a smile is a sadaqah, so for every woman who loves to laugh and make others join in her joy is a mountain of reward, insha Allah – just like Sawdah (RA), the beloved wife of Rasool Allah (SAW).

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Emir Abd El-Kader: Muslim Algerian Hero trumps Donald

Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump's latest demand to ban Muslims from and to America is laugh worthy. This particularly when the same state of Iowa he claims would really love him to make America great again, has a town named after a celebrated Muslim hero, Emir Abdel Kader. Umm Abdillah enlightens Radio Islam readers about Abdelkader El Jazairi (ra), one of the greatest warriors in Algerian history.
Elkader of America
Settlements in the American West were typically named after usurped Indian tribes, army forts, biblical references or the Old World origins of her pioneers. Iowa is typical in this regard. Except, there is a town in Iowa called Elkader. The town's founders were so inspired and impressed by Emir Abdelkader’s leadership, his defense of his Islamic Faith, his horsemanship, his scholarship, his justice, his advocacy for religious tolerance and fight against French colonial usurpation that they decided to pick his name as the name for their new settlement in 1846. They call themselves “Elkaderites” up to today. Elkaderites are unique. Theirs is supposedly the only town in the United States named after a North African Muslim.
There is however plenty evidence that there were Muslims on Columbus’ ships, and they had even got to the America’s before Columbus. Further, it is proven that a group of Vikings set up a successful colony in Greenland that lasted for 518 years between 982-1500, long before Columbus. According to the writings of Ahmad ibn Fadlan, these same Vikings crossed paths with Muslims pointing to fascinating trade and cultural exchange.
Sit down Donald Trump! America’s founders are laughing at you!
Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine (1808–1883)
Emir Abdelkader was the founder the Algerian state and led the Algerians in their 19th-century wars against French domination (1840–46).
He was a Haafiz of the Quran, an aalim, well read, a poet, author, commander of the faithful, and also a Sufi master. He managed to unite military, political and religious leadership via his calm, benevolent person. And he did it while constantly reaching out to other people and seeking dialogue: so much so that the country against which he waged a long war ended up awarding him their highest medal of honour.
In 1825, he set out on Hajj with his father. He returned to his homeland a few months before the invasion of the French. His father, as a local figurehead, was asked to lead a campaign against the invaders, and dutifully announced a jihad. He was however too old to lead warriors into battle, and so at a meeting of tribal elders, his son Abdelkader was nominated Emir in his place.
Abdelkader, with little experience, set about it as best he could: he established a capital city, printed money, set up ministries, and managed to calm intertribal tensions long enough to organise a standing army. From the French (with whom fighting soon broke out again) he quickly won respect: those at home opposed to the war of conquest saw him as a figurehead, while French prisoners captured by the Algerians were united in their praise of how well Abdelkader tended to their physical and religious needs.
In fact, far from being seen as the epitome of an alien and aggressive religion – in the way that Islamic leaders have been caricaturised during more recent incursions by the West – Abdelkader became a spiritual inspiration, a role model. Despite fighting against them in the capacity of a staunch and effective warrior, the French General Bugeaud said that he "rather resembles the portrait often given of Jesus Christ.”
His “Christ-like” qualities were only reinforced when the French took him prisoner and had him transported to France. He was left to stew in a series of prisons while various French regimes tried to work out what to do with him – and it took a long time: he remained incarcerated under the July monarchy, the Guizot government, the Second Republic, the presidency of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Second Empire. He lost several wives and children to disease along the way, but Abdelkader himself, not unlike a nineteenth-century Nelson Mandela, only seemed to grow in stature from being imprisoned, and won more and more respect from his captors. He was aided by a growing campaign for his release among French intellectuals, including Victor Hugo.
Druze and Maronite Christian factions bloodshed
In July 1860, conflict between the Druze and Maronites of Mount Lebanon spread to Damascus, and local Druze attacked the Christian quarter, killing over 3,000 people.
As the violence spread, threatening the lives of Maronite Christians, Abdelkader (living in exile in Syria) wrote a letter to Druze elders warning that “such proceedings are unworthy of your community,” but he soon realised that only a show of force would be effective. When rioting reached Damascus, Abd el-Kader rebuffed the Ottoman governor’s request to disarm his men, and instead sent them into the city’s Christian quarters to escort residents to his own guarded precinct. When that overflowed, he pressed the governor to open the citadel to them, with safe passage guaranteed by his men. His eldest sons were also sent into the streets to offer any Christians under threat shelter under his protection. It is estimated that as many as 12,000 lives were thus saved.
Mikhail Mishaqa, then serving consul in Damascus, remembered in his memoirs, “This outstanding man, whose excellence was well known to the kings and inhabitants of this earth, never rested a moment in his attempts to allay the revolt. There was not a single leader of the city, Ulema, or Agha, warning them against revolt, of its impermissibility in religion, except for him.”
“What I did for the Christians, I did because of my faith as a Muslim....
The Red Cross of today holds Emir Abdelkader in high esteem. In his implementation of human rights principles in warfare in Algeria and abroad, the organisation considers him a forerunner to Henri Dunant, the Red Cross’ founder.
After the riots, Abdelkader wrote in response to a letter of thanks from the new bishop of Algiers:
“What I did for the Christians, I did because of my faith as a Muslim.... All religions brought to us by the prophets, from Adam until Muhammad (pbu them), rest on two principles—praise for God and compassion for all His creatures. Outside of this, there are only unimportant differences.”
People like Donald Trump use broad-brush strokes to make claims about a failed Islamic morality in matters of war and peace, yet the truth is in the details of the painting. It would be helpful for the bigoted Mr. Trump to travel to Elkader in Iowa State to learn just that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sulayman ('alayhissalaam) and the Queen of Sheba ('alayhassalaam)

Sulayman ('alayhissalaam) and the Queen of Sheba ('alayhassalaam)

The story of Sulayman ('alayhissalaam) and the Queen of Sheba ('alayhassalaam) has always stood out in my mind because of how beautifully she is described in the Qur'an and how dignified the interaction between her and Sulayman is. Bilqees' intellect, wisdom, and quick wit are highlighted - as is her willingness to accept truth.

What really catches my attention is that when she declares her Islam, she says it in the following terms: {"My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, an...d I submit with Solomon to Allah, Lord of the worlds."}
There is no arrogance whatsoever - no stubbornness or reluctance to admitting previous wrongdoing, just honesty. As well, she submits *with* Sulayman ('alayhissalaam) *to* Allah - the submission of equals before their Lord. There is a sense of dignity to it all, a powerful aura of respect.
What's really amazing about how Allah tells the story in the Qur'an is that it ends with her declaration of faith in Him, with such grace. A lot of people turn it into a romance story or argue that she gave up her queendom to Sulayman, but none of that is even hinted at in the ayaat that speak about her.
Allah so clearly brings our attention to a woman who had both power & wisdom; who didn't allow herself to be swayed by fear, but who was determined to make her decisions based upon actual experience. She demonstrates to us the attitude that we should all have - a willingness to go out there and seek knowledge and experience for ourselves; to be cautious but not stubborn; open-minded but not easily dazzled... and above all, the ability to acknowledge that we have done wrong, & to turn to Allah with a heart full of faith and repentance - and dignity.
The Queen of Sheba is the perfect example of how submitting ourselves to Allah does not bring us down, but simply raises us higher.
The relationship between Sulayman (as) & Bilqees (as), as hinted at from that final declaration of Bilqees, also encapsulates (to me) the ideal relationship between men and women; that they both be seen as individuals capable of authority, and of humility at the same time.

Most importantly, that each party respects the other - acknowledging their strengths and seeking only to assist each other in improving as human beings, and above all, to support each other in turning to Allah and worshiping Him alone.
The image we are left with in the Quran is that of Sulayman (as) & Bilqees (as), king and queen, submitting themselves equally as slaves to Allah alone. How much more beautiful could their relationship be


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Abdur Rahmaan Ibn Awf RA

Abdur Rahmaan Ibn Awf RA
He was one of the first eight persons to accept Islam. He was one of the ten persons (al-Asharatu-l Mubashshirin) who were assured of entering Paradise. He was one of the six persons chosen by Umar RA to form the council of Shura to choose the Khalifah after his death. His name in Jahiliyyah days was Abu Amr. But when he accepted Islam the noble Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam called him Abdur-Rahman - the servant of the Beneficent Lord. Abdur-Rahman became a Muslim before the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam entered the house of al-Arqam. In fact it is said that he accepted Islam only two days after Abu Bakr as-Siddiq did so.
Abdur-Rahman did not escape the punishment which the early Muslims suffered at the hands of the Quraysh. He bore this punishment with steadfastness as they did. He remained firm as they did. And when they were compelled to leave Makkah for Abyssinia because of the continuous and unbearable persecution, Abdur-Rahman also went. He returned to Makkah when it was rumoured that conditions for the Muslims had improved but, when these rumors proved to be false, he left again for Abyssinia on a second Hijra. From Makkah once again he made the Hijra to Madinah.
Abdur-Rahman distinguished himself in both the battles of Badr and Uhud. At Uhud he remained firm throughout and suffered more than twenty wounds some of them deep and severe. Even so, his physical jihad was matched by his Jihad with his wealth. Once the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam was preparing to dispatch an expeditionary force. He summoned his companions and said: "Contribute Sadaqah for I want to dispatch an expedition." Abdur-Rahman went to his house and quickly returned. "O Messenger of Allah," he said, "I have four thousand (Dinars). I give two thousand as a Qardh (loan) to my Lord and two thousand I leave for my family."
When the Prophet, peace be on him, passed away, Abdur-Rahman took on the responsibility of looking after the needs of his family, the Ummahaat al-Muminin. He would go with them wherever they wanted to and he even performed Hajj with them to ensure that all their needs were met. This is a sign of the trust and confidence which he enjoyed on the part of the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam's family.
Abdur-Rahman's support for the Muslims and the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam's wives in particular was well-known. Once he sold a piece of land for forty thousand Dinars and he distributed the entire amount among the Banu Zahrah (the relatives of the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam's mother Aminah), the poor among the Muslims and the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam's wives. When Aisha RA received some of this money she asked: "Who has sent this money?" and was told it was Abdur-Rahman, whereupon she said: "The Messenger of Allah Peace Be Upon Him said: No one will feel compassion towards you after I die except the Sabirin (those who are patient and resolute)."
He earned much wealth but he never remained attached to it for its own sake and he did not allow it to corrupt him. Abdur-Rahman's generosity did not stop. He continued giving with both his hands, secretly and openly. Some of the figures mentioned are truly astounding: forty thousand Dirhams of silver, forty thousand Dinars of gold, two hundred Awqiyyah of gold, five hundred horses to Mujahidin setting out in the path of Allah and one thousand five hundred camels to another group of Mujahidin, four hundred Dinars of gold to the survivors of Badr and a large legacy to the Ummahaat al Muminin and the list goes on.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The Nikah of Salman Farsi RA

The Nikah of Salman Farsi RA
Salman RA married a woman from Kindah. On his wedding night, his friends went with him to the house of the woman. When they reached the house he said to them “Go back, may Allah reward you”. He did not let them in the house. When he looked at the house, he found it covered with drapes, so he said “What happened to your house? Does it have a fever? Or the Ka’ba has been transformed to Kindah?”
He did not enter until they removed all the drapes except for the ones covering the door. When he entered the house he found a lot of goods, so he asked “whose are these?” They said “yours and your wife’s”. He said “that is not what my beloved friend, the Messenger of Allah SAW, advised me. My beloved friend advised me not to have goods(posessions) except as those of a rider”.
He also saw slaves, so he said “Whose slaves are these?” They said “Yours and your wife’s”. He said “That is not what my intimate companion advised me. My beloved friend advised me not to keep except what marry or give for marriage. And if I did and they did something wrong, then I will carry as much sins as they did, without decreasing their sins”. Then he said to the women staying with his wife “are you going to leave me to my wife?” They said “Yes”, and they left.
So he closed the door and the curtains. Then he came to his wife and wiped her forelock, and prayed for her to be blessed.
Then he said to her are “I am going to tell you something, so are you going to obey me?” She said “Yes,you are in the position of who should be obeyed. “. He said “My close companion (SAW) advised me, when I come together with my wife, to gather on the obedience of Allah”. Then he stood up for salaah and she followed him and they prayed as much as they could. Then they shared the bed. In the morning, his companions came to him and asked him “How did you find your wife?” He looked the other way, but they asked him again and looked the other way again, ignoring them three times. Then he said ‘Allah created veils,curtains and the doors to hide what is behind it. You can only ask about what appears to you. But do not ask about what is not shown to you. I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, that those persons who narrate such things are like donkeys being intimate on a street.’
SOURCE: Abu Nu’aym-Hilya. Found in Hayatus Sahaba Chapter on Nikah of the Companions.
Nikah was meant to be an Ibadah and marriage is something personal ,therefore keep both as such inshaAllah and let go of the puppet strings of social media and ‘people will say.’
May Allah make our hearts strong enough to choose the simplicity and ease of RasulAllah SAW and the Sahabah RA Aameen.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Must Read

On Raising Sons
Today I witnessed the breaking down of a family. We emptied out the entire contents of her bedroom which she shared with her "beloved" husband and her little child's room too. We cleared it, from toothbrush holders to art features, from a toddler bed right down to an extendable television cable. The couples bedroom and the child's bedroom were stripped bare, almost as if they had never lived there. We piled in all their belongings into 3 cars and took this once blushing bride and her child back to the home she left in the highest of hopes- her mothers. This time, there was no wedding ribbon to beautify a car or a family excited and happy to see her off. This time, it was cars filled to the brink, with a now divorced mother with child.
It was a sad and depressing realisation that today, a family has been shattered to pieces. A mother left to raise her child and for what? Because of a poorly brought up son.
A son, who didn't give his wife the love, respect, fidelity and trust she deserved. Why blame the parents and more specifically the mother, you may ask? It's simple really; because mothers fail to bring up their sons the way they would want their very own daughters husbands to be. This is an undeniable truth for many upon many households. The focus is on raising sons; sons that will better themselves for the mothers and fathers, sons that will go on to achieve great academic success, so that they can have a better life than their parents and also in the hope that their income will help them out one day. Then there is the focus on raising them to be great Muslims, in the hope one day they will be able to benefit from their good deeds too. Sons that do right and good by their family and friends, because well, that's what good men do. It always goes back to what the mother thinks is best for her and her son.
Do these mothers really and truly stop for a second, at some point in raising these sons, to think what impact they will go on to have on someone else's child's life? Do they ever stop to think that simultaneously, out there somewhere, there is a mother hard at work, raising a daughter who will one day become his wife? Do they ever really take a step back, take a deep breath and think "I got to do this for the love of the other mother out there", there's someone out there who will one day give her daughter to my son. I got to help make my son the best he can be, the greatest he can be, so that he can go on to help be part of a team that will make this woman the greatest she can be? I need to teach my son about team work, about unconditional love beyond just the love you feel for your blood relatives. I got to make sure my son understands that if his woman isn't happy, the chances are somewhere along the line, his children will suffer. Those children being my grandchildren! I need to make him realise that there is a world beyond just this little family as they know it, that there is a little girl out there who is treasured, loved and adored who will one day be the pinnacle of his family, just like I am the pinnacle of his family today.
Do these mothers of sons truly love their future grandchildren as they whole heartedly claim they will? Do they truly cherish the day they will welcome them into their bosoms with the warmest of embraces? I wonder if they do for If they did, they would work hard to ensure that their sons knew everything that was expected of them as a husband. This starts from a young age and not placing all hopes and expectations on someone else's delicate daughter.
Why do you wish and hope for the best for your daughters, whilst sitting back and not working on the sons who will take someone else's daughters as their wife? While we see mothers beaming from ear to ear when her very own daughter is happy, do you ever stop to wonder if your sons mother In law has the pleasure of experiencing such contentment? If you have a happy daughter in a happy home, credit and kudos to the mother out there who did her job. "It's not always the parents fault" they'll cry, but oh it is! It is, when in this asian-centric, culturally led community, the focus is ensuring you have daughter In laws who meet your expectations and daughters who go on to do your proud in their new families. Where was the tiresome effort on their part, for raising worthy sons of those daughter In laws you so desperately want? Where are the qualities in your son that make him worthy of a great wife?
By nature, women are strong, resilient and are fighters. They will keep feelings locked inside them to protect others from the real raw state of their broken hearts and emotions. They are built to carry on living, despite knock backs and backstabs and the pressures of raising a family. They are built to last! But stop right there, oh mother of that young innocent son your currently sat with at the dining table with, running through his home work with him. Don't you dare take someone else's daughter and their natures for granted and assume that so long as "my son has a good wife" that everything will be just fine. For there comes a time, that sometimes soldiers fall and they just can't continue anymore. Their hearts just cant handle the pain or the torment of a miserable marriage. They can't handle their children seeing their mother in this state. Like a mother has a sixth sense about their child, a child too also knows when their mother is hurting and suffering. They just can't verbalise it but they know and they understand. Women cant keep up the charade in front of the world forever. Even if the cracks are visible, they'll keep going for as long as they can physically, emotionally and mentally bear but remember, polyfiller eventually runs out too. Their hearts simply don't go on, even if they are beating. Nothing is forever.
What is forever is the thousands of days and hundreds of months you put in to raising a decent son. The lasting affects of this will be seen in generations to come. You won't be around to see it, but rest assured while you are dealing with your Maker, there is a whole new generation you left behind that is thriving. It is thriving because of the tiresome effort on your part to ensure you've raised a brilliant boy who in turn, will be aware of his responsibilities and role as a husband and father, who then has a happy wife and finally, beautifully content children. And the cycle continues.
That's not to say women are not the cause of marital strife and don't accelerate in the fast lane to divorce, for sure there are many out there. But I'm not concerned with the "many" but I sure am concerned for those who try and try and try to hold their broken pieces together for as long as they physically can.
So while you are sat there, beaming with pride because your son got excellent marks in his recent report or has just landed a job with a reputable company, just remember, there is another mother out there too. A mother who is working her fingers to the bone, raising a daughter for your son. Do not be the cause of another mothers pain because you were too busy ensuring your sons success in everything else but the treatment of his wife. So what, your son goes to Islamic school and appears outwardly pious? Do not rely on religion and your sons interest and devotion to his religion to do the job for you. Religion only takes you so far in knowing your role and responsibility as a human being, husband and father, the real work starts behind those closed doors.
There's another woman out there. She's up all night nursing her baby girl. She's breaking her back all day to make sure her baby sees the next. Don't be part of the reason for her heartbreak 30 years down the line when she sees her daughter come home, broken.
Here's to the mothers who have raised the best sons to make the best partners and fathers. You might say there's more to life than this, but really, there isn't.

In the Service of Humanity

(Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Four)
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was once patrolling the outskirts of Madeenah Munawwarah when he spotted a small tent made of hide. As he drew nearer, he heard a woman in pain groaning within the tent and saw a man seated outside. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) greeted the man and asked him who he was, to which the man replied that he was a bedouin from the countryside who had come to benefit from the generosity of Ameerul Mu’mineen. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter asked him why the woman in the tent was in pain. The bedouin answered that she was crying from the pain of labor and had nobody to assist her.
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) immediately turned and hastened home. On reaching home, he addressed his wife, Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha), saying, “Allah Ta‘ala has presented an opportunity for you to earn great reward.” “What is it?” she enquired. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “There is a woman in labor who has nobody to help and assist her.” Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha), without any hesitation or reservation, instantly expressed her readiness to seize the opportunity and help the woman in distress saying, “If it is your wish then I will definitely assist.”
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then instructed her to pack the essentials she would require to deliver the baby. When she had packed what she needed, he asked her to bring him a pot, some fat and some grain.
They then departed for the tent with Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) walking behind while ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) walked in front carrying the pot. On arriving at the tent, Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) entered and began tending to the woman. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), in the meantime, asked the bedouin to light him a fire. When the fire was lit, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) placed the pot on it and began to cook the food he had brought. After some time, a baby boy was born and Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) called out, “O Ameerul Mu’mineen! Give your companion the glad tidings of a son!” When the bedouin heard her address her husband by the title “Ameerul Mu’mineen”, the realization that it was none other than ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) before him suddenly sank in. He was so shaken that he began to move away from ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) out of awe. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, assured the man that there was nothing to worry about and told him to stay where he was. He then carried the pot to the entrance of the tent and instructed Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) to feed the woman. When she was done, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) again carried the pot and now placed it in front of the man saying, “Eat! You must have had a long night.” He then asked the man to visit him the following day after which he and Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) returned. When the man arrived the next day, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) gave him many gifts and abundant provisions. (At-Tabsirah libnil Jawzi, vol. 1 pg. 427 & Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, vol. 7 pg. 286)
1. Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) had such an exemplary level of obedience to her husband that if he required some service of her, even if late at night, she would happily respond.
2. She was able to leave her bed to help other people. Unfortunately, we sometimes cannot even wake up and help ourselves at the time of fajr salaah.
3. As wealthy, intelligent, good looking or popular as we may be, we should never consider it below our dignity to assist a person in need.
4. Whatever good we do should be done solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. Once kindness has been shown to a person, needlessly reminding him/her of the favor only diminishes and ultimately destroys the reward

Life of Austerity

(Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Three)
Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) once handed perfume, drinking utensils and small vanity cases to a messenger, without the knowledge of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and asked him to deliver it to the Queen of Rome. On receiving the gifts, the Queen gathered the women of her court and announced, “These gifts are from the Queen of the Arabs who is the daughter of their Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” She then replied to the gesture by sending gifts of her own – among which was a stunning necklace – to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
When the messenger arrived in the presence of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) bearing the gifts sent by the Roman Queen, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to know of what had transpired and thus immediately called up a council meeting announcing, “Verily there will be no good in any of my matters if they are decided without consultation (mashurah). Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) sent gifts to the Roman Queen due to which the Roman Queen, in return, sent her gifts. Advise me as to what should be done.” When they heard the situation, they all expressed the opinion that the gifts sent by the Roman Queen rightfully belonged to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, was not satisfied. He objected and said, “What about the messenger she used? He is employed and paid by the Muslims (it was not correct for her to use the messenger for her personal errand).” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) therefore had all the gifts deposited into the public treasury and only gave Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) the amount of wealth that she had given the Roman Queen. (Tareekh Tabari vol. 5, pg. 259)
1. Being the queen did not mean that she lived a life of luxury and opulence. Rather, the privilege of being the wife of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came along with the divorce of luxuries and accepting to lead a life of austerity and abstinence.
2. When the husband corrects his wife, she should accept the rectification and comply instead of complaining and becoming upset. She should understand that he wants her to improve only because he wants the best for her.
(to be continued insha-Allah)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How I feel as a Muslim after the attacks in Paris

How I feel as a Muslim after the attacks in Paris by Saffiya Ismail
I woke up to the breaking news in Paris. Instinctively, I contacted two of my friends living in Paris to check if they were fine. I was shocked, just as I was the day after the attack in Beirut.

It seems that Muslims just cannot get out of the spotlight. This spotlight is created by insane deranged idiots.

We just cannot get a break.

Every time there’s an event, all fingers point at every single Muslim.

Why should every single Muslim shoulder the blame for terrorist attacks. You hear the media saying that Muslims are not doing enough to denounce the “others”.

What’s even more disappointing for me is that my friends who know me (or at least I think they know me) question me and my stances.

I’ve read their comments, I’ve even received crude inbox messages and it made me wonder, did you always hate all Muslims or did you always feel this way about my faith and about me?


Do I need to walk around with an “I-Condemn” sign 24/7 for you to realise I am totally against terrorism, terror groups or any acts of terror?

Should I be screaming “Not in my name”, every time an idiot screams “Allahu Akbar” before detonating?

Why should I apologise on any platform for ISIS?

I do not agree with ISIS, I do not support them, I am not responsible for them, nor am I responsible for their formation in the Middle East and I think I can speak for myself and the 1.6 billion Muslims out there.

The majority of Muslims condemn the loss of innocent lives and bombing of civilians, and speak out against Islamic extremism in any other country.

We have never denied that certain autocratic governments in the Middle East are cruel and oppressive. They are denying rights which were given to women 1400 years, yet there are Muslim countries, who are very progressive and who have women at the forefront of politics, etc.

The majority of Muslims condemn racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, islamophobia and the list goes on.

Islam has been hijacked by “groups” who reportedly say that they are Muslims, yet they do not adhere to the core essentials of Islam: mercy, compassion, respect for all irrespective of their race or religion, patience, good manners, etc.”

Who is ISIS really?

10 years ago, when someone said ISIS, you would have thought it was an Ancient Greek or Egyptian religion.

But where did ISIS originate? It seems that their formation was the result of the US led invasion of Iraq in Middle East.  But no one appointed them into speaking for the rest of us (Muslims).

The 99% of normal Muslims, such as myself, go about our daily lives, as we work, educate our children and make a positive contribution to our communities. We don’t want these merciless, heartless people representing us in any way or form.

They are misinterpreting everything in the Islamic religion. They are using verses out of the Quran to brainwash young adults (note: ISIS doesn’t recruit people over 30). It’s already crazy that many non-Muslims take a verse out of context to justify their hatred for Islams and Muslims.

Anything read, such as the holy book, can be open to interpretation.

Religion really has very little to do with the actions of their people, it's their culture they come out of. Every religion has some form of violence linked to it from Christianity to Judaism to Islam. However and most importantly every faith is rooted in the soil in which it is planted.

If you are already a misogynist, the verses will speak to that part of you. If you are a power hungry maniac, you will take the verse in mold it into you taking over the world, and you will use the verse to justify it.  I could read the very same verse, the power part could be speaking to my inner strength, the power to change by exuding positivity. The ones who commit these heinous crimes are reading the very same verses through the blinkers of their own cultural, ethnic, and power perspectives.

I am born Muslim, I read the very same verses and you don’t see me putting on a vest or one day picking up a weapon to convert every non-believer to my faith. When I read the Quran, it helps me fight my own Jihad, which is not a holy war, but my own internal battles.

Paradise is not promised to me or these groups who think they are the chosen ones. And how can killing innocent people justify your ticket to paradise? You have to be totally insane to believe this.

The blood of the innocent is on the hands of those who helped and those who’ve helped give birth to these mad men.

ISIS wants to take over the world.

Muslims are also under threat, but we are also targets.

Statistics show they are mass killing Muslims, because they refuse to acknowledge ISIS or join their group, if you do not imbibe and accept their philosophies, you will be killed. This alone should tell some bigoted people who slap stereotypes on everything that even I am under threat.
Why are Muslims frustrated?

We are all painted with the same ‘terrorism’ brush. We are monitored at airports with suspicion, railway platforms are death traps and on social media platforms we are ALL labelled terrorists.

Women are targeted for wearing hijab and women are killed by ISIS for not wearing hijab. Many peace-loving Muslims pay the price for these 1% nutters.

Do you think majority of the Muslims want this sort of life for their children and grandchildren or themselves? The entire world needs to rediscover our humanity.

We all need to join together to fight any form of terrorism, oppression, and injustice, so that we can live peacefully and respectfully on this planet. I don’t expect that I can cure everyone of their ignorance.

All I say is stop drawing parallels between these nutters and the rest of the Muslim. It’s about time that people understand the difference between religion and culture.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Life of Austerity (Pious Women)

Life of Austerity (Pious Women)
(Ummu Kulthoom, the daughter of Faatimah [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Three)
Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) once handed perfume, drinking utensils and small vanity cases to a messenger, without the knowledge of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and asked him to deliver it to the Queen of Rome. On receiving the gifts, the Queen gathered the women of her court and announced, “These gifts are from the Queen of the Arabs who is the daughter of their Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” She then replied to the gesture by sending gifts of her own – among which was a stunning necklace – to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
When the messenger arrived in the presence of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) bearing the gifts sent by the Roman Queen, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to know of what had transpired and thus immediately called up a council meeting announcing, “Verily there will be no good in any of my matters if they are decided without consultation (mashurah). Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) sent gifts to the Roman Queen due to which the Roman Queen, in return, sent her gifts. Advise me as to what should be done.” When they heard the situation, they all expressed the opinion that the gifts sent by the Roman Queen rightfully belonged to Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha).
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), however, was not satisfied. He objected and said, “What about the messenger she used? He is employed and paid by the Muslims (it was not correct for her to use the messenger for her personal errand).” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) therefore had all the gifts deposited into the public treasury and only gave Ummu Kulthoom (radhiyallahu ‘anha) the amount of wealth that she had given the Roman Queen. (Tareekh Tabari vol. 5, pg. 259)
1. Being the queen did not mean that she lived a life of luxury and opulence. Rather, the privilege of being the wife of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came along with the divorce of luxuries and accepting to lead a life of austerity and abstinence.
2. When the husband corrects his wife, she should accept the rectification and comply instead of complaining and becoming upset. She should understand that he wants her to improve only because he wants the best for her.
 (to be continued insha-Allah)

Monday, November 09, 2015

A'ishah (radhiAllahu 'anha)

Totally mind-blown to discover that A'ishah (radhiAllahu 'anha) had her own tafseer - in fact, one of the first written tafaseer to exist.

Apparently, "A'ishah's mus'haf" was well-known and she had a scribe copy out her manuscript, which contained the ayaat of the Qur'an and her commentary on them. Her tafseer was even more detailed than that of Abdullah ibn Abbas.
In addition, the majority of her students were strong and pious individuals, and it's rare to find fabricated ahadith attributed to her - whereas many fabricated ahadith are attributed to Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhiAllahu 'anhu).

Note: There are various reasons for which A'ishah's original manuscript may not be available to us today. However, one scholar by the name of Sa'ud ibn Abdullah al-Funaysaan collected all her ahadith regarding tafseer of ayaat o the Qur'an in various books of ahadith, and put together his own book which he titled Marwiyyaat Umm al-Mu’mineen A’ishah fitTafseer.