Beauty Tips From the Sunnah

Winter may not be the weather in which to beautify yourself. I mean, all one wants to do is wrap up warm and stay cosy…perhaps spending the day lousing around in bed. But, the ability to do this is a rarity, the chores of the day calls us despite the dull weather, and we are left with no choice but to smile, suck it all in, and get moving. Notwithstanding the cold weather, a good way to revive oneself, is to invest in yourself. By that, I mean to beautify yourself. In the wake of today’s beauty hype, that somehow still runs during the winter, it is upon us to learn from our roots, from the Sunnah left behind by the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.

  • The Right side: No matter what care routine you decide to take up this winter, ensure you begin on the right side, even for something as simple as brushing your hair.

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to like to start from the right side on wearing shoes, combing his hair

and cleaning himself and on doing anything else. (Bukhari)

Whilst we may not see the benefits of this here, in following with the Prophetic Sunnah, there’ll be something for it in the hereafter.

  • Clipping the nails: long nails only cause dirt build up underneath and are unhygienic.

The prophet taught us, “To shave the pubic hair, to clip the nails and to cut the moustaches short, are characteristics of the Fitra.” (Bukhari)

  • Removing unwanted hair: hair stipulated to be removed by the Shari’ah is also part of our Fitrah as mentioned in the hadith above.
  • Trimming the moustache: no one wants to eat their facial hair along with their dinner…
  • Leaving the Beard: It is from the Sunnah that a man leaves his beard to grow, without shaving any of it. In fact, the Prophet commanded men not to touch their beards.

Allah’s Messenger said, “Cut the moustaches short and leave the beard (as it is).” (Bukhari)

  • Brushing and Combing one’s hair: As mentioned before, it is winter and the desire to hibernate burns inside many of us. But that does not mean we should emerge like an unkempt bear coming out from a den after the long night’s sleep. Don’t neglect to brush your hair! Mind you, even the bears look pretty neat when they emerge.

Abu Qatada al-Ansari said to the Messenger of Allah, “I have a lot of hair which comes down to my shoulders, shall I comb it?” The Messenger of Allah said, “Yes.” (Muwatta Imam Malik)

  • Oiling the Hair: The increase in use of heated hair styling tools, has led many to seek repair in oiling their hair. What many fail to realise, is that this practice was established in the Sunnah before the hair styling boom. Oiling the hair keeps it healthy, encourages growth and thickness and repairs damages. Our Prophet was known to oil his hair, such that the traces of oil were visible.

“Rasulullah often rubbed oil in his head and also often combed his beard. He put a cloth over his head, which became like an oil cloth due to the frequent use of oil.” (Shamaa’il Muhammadiyya)

  • Wearing Your best Clothes on Friday: Friday is a day of Eid for us, and we should not neglect to wear our best outfits on this day. Though many take the day off, or have a lie-in in the morning, or some do their week’s cleaning on this day, it is not a day for utility dresses passed down from your great grandmother, nor for pyjamas all day long!
  • Applying perfume: wrapped up in layers, and perhaps sweating underneath does not necessitate that one smells bad. One should shower regularly, and wear perfume. But my dear sisters, you know the rules, only perfume yourselves within your homes.

Anas said: ‘Indeed the Prophet would not refuse perfume.” (Sunan At-Tirmithi)

The Prophet liked his perfume, and he even recommended to us that which is best,

The Messenger of Allah said, “The best of perfume is musk.”‘ (An-Nisa’i)

  • Kohl: Skip the chemical saturated eyeliners and mascaras; kohl works as both. It is recommended by our Prophet peace be upon him, plus it increases the growth of the eyelashes!

The Messenger of Allah said: “The best of your kohl is antimony (ithmid), for it improves the eyesight and makes the hair (eyelashes) grow.” (Ibn Majah, Hasan)

  • Plucking the eyebrows: Bushy brows are in this season, and grooming the brows are fine, as long as one sticks to the Sunnah and does not begin removing them, whether partially or completely.

“The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, and those who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and those who change the creation of Allah.” (Ibn Majah, Saheeh)

  • Tattoos: To be tattooed, and do tattoos, both are impermissible, as has been mentioned in the hadith above.
  • Artificial Hair: It is impermissible to artificially lengthen one’s hair. The use of false lashes also comes under this ruling.

Allah’s Messenger has cursed such a lady as artificially lengthening (her or someone else’s) hair or gets her hair lengthened. (Bukhari)

  • Using Henna:
  1. As a hair dye: whether you’re going for a highlight or full on colour, the Prophet peace be upon him encouraged dying the hair, especially the grey ones. But it is impermissible to dye one’s hair black as has come to us in the narrations.

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The Jews and the Christians do not dye their hair, so be different from them and dye your hair.'” (An-Nisa’i, Sahih)

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best things with which to change grey hair are henna and ‘katam’ (a plant similar to henna used as a dye).” (At-Tirmidhi; saheeh hasan)

The Messenger of Allah said: “There will be people at the end of time who will dye their hair black like the crops of birds; they will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Abu Dawud, Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani)

  1. b) to beautify the hand/nails: with the extensive range of nail products that line the beauty isles, nothing comes close to Henna. Some would reserve it for the two Eids, weddings and other such occasions, but from the hadith below we learn that a woman’s hand should be beautified, no matter the weather.

A’ishah said, ‘a woman gestured from behind a screen, with a letter to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in her hand. The Messenger of Allah withdrew his hand and said: “I do not know whether it is the hand of a man or a woman.” She said: It is a woman. He said: “If you were a woman, you would have changed your nails,” meaning, with henna. (Abu Dawud)

Whilst beautification is encouraged in our religion, and being presentable is of utmost importance, a muslim must not imitate the disbelievers style, whether in hair style, or cut or even in the clothes he wears. Neither should a man imitate a woman in his dress and vice versa. Furthermore, the beautification of woman is not to be flaunted, rather she must observe full hijab in the presence of non-mahrams.

This is a summary of some methods of beautification that one may use throughout the year, that has appeared in the Sunnah of our beloved teacher. The next time, you begin your beauty routine, think of whose footsteps you are following, and appreciate that long before the West had any care for beauty and cleanliness our Prophet came with Islam that set high standards, which remain so till today.

Muslims and Fashion


Bedraggled at home, while beauty fashionistas outside! Isn’t that just the common pattern that we women now follow. When I look at the women around, at home the official dress code usually happen to be their oldest maxis whilst their wardrobe narrate tales of exquisite clothes packed up in boxes for ages to lapse.

Yet there is another sect of this interesting community; the orthodox nattering aunties tattling in their rocking chairs, divulging in juicy gossips criticizing earth and its humanity, belittling fashion and makeup, cosmetics galore.

Hélas! Our ummah needs enlightenment, there is nothing wrong in dressing up, nothing appalling in looking attractive, however we need to get our priorities right.
Instead of prioritizing our family we put outsiders up on our list to impress. A Muslim woman’s beauty should be primarily for her husbands and not just for her friends and peers.

Females who stay at home don’t forget that when the man goes out for work he is exposed to many other ‘visual treats’

Therefore, discard those frumpy sweatshirts however comfy they may be! Keep clean wear smart and smell good, leave the kitchen stink for the kitchen and the dust stains in your dusting brushes.

Furthermore, keeping clean shouldn’t be limited only for your husbands, as Muslims it is incumbent that we remain tidy at all times. This applies to inside the four walls of the house as well as beyond it, this entails that we wear clean and ironed abayas that don’t reek of fish and betray oil stains.
Remember, dressing smart boosts up our confidence and makes us feel healthy and happy. Also don’t forget to gloss your lip with a smile; a sunnah to follow and a beauty  tip that your do.

Although looking good is recommended, it doesn’t give us the license to vaunt our beauty to non-mahrams etc, nor does it open the door to obsession. Keep in mind that our Shariah advocates moderation and modesty, so make sure you do what you want to do within the parameters of Islam.

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak
-Rachel Zoe-

Why Should we Workout?

Healthy lifestyle is not that easy to incorporate in our lives but if one is determined, anything is possible. It not only includes having a balanced diet but also doing physical exercises: which for some people is a tiring task! For sure, healthy living is a long term commitment and not flash-in-the-pan fad.

Working out is more important than working. Workout has many benefits. It is helpful even in our spiritual living. Now you must be thinking why am I raising this topic with this regards? Well, everything is interconnected.

Your relationship with Allah is interlinked to your lifestyle. Don’t you think that when you are fit and healthy, you will be able to concentrate more in your spiritual life?

According to a research, when you exert yourself physically, your body releases hormones which are called as Endorphins. They are also known as happy hormones. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body.

We often feel at ease with a clear state of mind after an exercise. Don’t we? It is because of the happy chemicals released by the brain. Endorphins, Dopamine and Oxytocin are the happy chemicals to name a few.

This is why post physical exercise we feel euphoric. It soothes our mental state and boost our self esteem and confidence.

Physical exercise actually improves the functioning of body organs and hence it enhances overall health and fitness. Our body craves for exercise. They were meant to move. If you don’t exercise, your muscles will become flabby and pendulous.

  • Physical exercise is really imperative to sidestep Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Did you know that regular physical exercise can reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to a stunning 50%? Yes, you read that right!

Another mind-boggling fact of working out is that it helps in our sleeping patterns. It is like a non-pharmaceutical aid to treat insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders with about half of adults reporting having symptoms of insomnia  occasionally.

We often feel lethargic to keep up with exercising daily. So start with once a week and for 15-20 minutes. And then see the snowball effect.

Sometimes you got to force yourself. Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you

“When is it good to force yourself?

  • To thwart feeling lethargic
  • To stop being lazy
  • To achieve your goals
  • To pray for the world and yourself
  • To be kind to all

As in the end you will thank yourself. “

@scorchedwords

Try to make changes within yourself. Start with a small change. Once you make one small change, try making another. Over time, they will rack up. Let’s live up to the platitude of ‘health is wealth’.

Bint Nayeem

Writer, AAT

Salatud Duha

Name: Salah Ad-Duha, salatul Ishraaq, chaast or Awwaabeen

Salah Ad-Duha has been recommended in various Ahadith. It has different names, but all refer to the same prayer. Some would differentiate that it is called ishraaq when it is prayed closer to dawn, and duha when prayed closer to midday, as Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked about Ishraaq and Duha prayer, and replied: “The Sunnah of Ishraaq is (the same as) the Sunnah of Duha, but if it is done early, from the time when the sun has risen to the height of a spear, then it is Ishraaq prayer; if it is done at the end of its time or in the middle of its time, then it is Duha prayer. But it is (all) Duha prayer, because the scholars (may Allah be pleased with them) said that the time of Duha prayer lasts from when the sun has risen to the height of a spear until just before the zenith.” (Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 141/24)

No matter which name you prefer to use, or which time (within the specified time) you choose, it all comes under the heading of the Duha prayer. It is a Sunnah that we should seek to revive at some point in our lives.

Ruling: Supererogatory, voluntary, recommended or mustahabb

Abu Hurayrah said: My beloved (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) advised me to do three things, which I will not forsake so long as I live: to fast three days of each month, to pray Duha, and not to sleep until I pray Witr. (Bukhari 1178, and Muslim 721)

Duha prayer has been mentioned along with two other sunan in the above hadith. It was part of the advice of the Prophet, and so we too should take it on board just as Abu Hurayrah did.

Number of units: minimum two, maximum as many as you wish or are able to perform

With regards to how many Rakaah’s (units) one should pray, Mu‘aadhah  asked A’ishah, ‘How many (rak’ahs) did the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) pray in Duha?’ She said, ‘Four rak‘ahs, and however many more he wanted.’ (Muslim 719)

On one occasion, the Prophet peace be upon him prayed eight rakaahs, as reported by Imam Muslimin his Saheeh.

This indicates that one may pray as many rakaahs as they wish.

Method: prayed in units of two by two

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The (Sunnah) prayers of the night and day are two (rak‘ahs) by two.”

There is no specific duaa to be read

Timing: After dawn until Midday.

It is known that the time of the Duha prayer is from after dawn until Midday, due to the various Ahadith that have come regarding this matter.

However, it is recommended to pray it when the heat becomes intense due to the following hadith.

Zayd ibn Arqam said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out to the people of Qubaa’ and found them praying. He said: “Salaat al-Awwaabeen is when the young camels lift up their feet (because of the heat of the sand).”’ (Muslim, 1238).

Virtue:

Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak‘ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete.” (At-Tirmidhi 586, classed as Hasan by Sh Al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi)

This hadith not only indicates that the Duha prayer, may be prayed earlier, closer to dawn, but also illustrates several virtues, primarily that of praying the fajr in congregation, remaining in the mosque, to be engaged in the thikr of Allah as well as that of praying the Duha prayer.

Many of us would much rather climb back into bed after the Fajr prayer, especially in summer when the days are long. But think of this reward the next time you are inclined to do so, and I am sure, your heart will tug at your mind urging you to remain awake a little longer just for the sake of Allah, to earn His pleasure and reward.

Salah Ad-Duha, only takes a few minutes to perform, so why do we neglect this Sunnah? It is a means of immense reward, and an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet. Let us take up this Sunnah and make it a part of our daily routine to benefit from it. Remember the best deeds are the ones done consistently even if they are little. If you find it difficult to incorporate this Sunnah into your schedule, then begin small, but be persistent in doing it. Do not neglect and forget it after a few days. Hold on to the Sunnah in every way you can.

May Allah make it easy for us.

The Benefits of Sending Blessings

Often we are reminded to send peace and blessings on the Prophet, whether it is after the mention of his name, or on a Friday, or when making duaa. But why is it so important, and what benefits can we reap from repeating a few words in honour of the greatest man who ever lived.

As human beings, we always look for our personal benefit, I mean, there must be something in it for me and you?! Perhaps that sounds selfish, but our Lord the All-Knowing is aware of every thought that ever crossed our minds, and He is the Most Generous, Most Merciful and He does not let anything go amiss, every deed is recorded, and every atom’s weight will be weighed. Though we should rise above that, and worship Allah simply to please Him and earn His reward. But nonetheless, to answer the question, what’s in it for me?’ read on, dear readers!

Firstly, before we look at the benefits, let us answer another question. To know the benefits of something without knowing what it is worthless. So, What does it mean to send blessings? To send peace and blessings upon the Prophet is to ask Allah to confer his mercy and forgiveness upon him. It is also a form of praise of the Prophet, for he was the greatest of creation.

In answer to the question why is it so important, and what benefits are in it for us, here’s a little list:
It is obedience to the command of Allah, as mentioned in Surah Al-Ahzab:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (33:56)

It is an act that the angels do: wouldn’t you want to imitate these perfect beings?

It is a means by which to earn Allah’s pleasure: Following Allah’s command naturally entails His pleasure.

Allah sends blessing upon you:
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “whoever sends blessings upon me, Allah will send blessings upon him tenfold.” (Muslim 384)

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: If anyone invokes blessings on me once, Allah will bless him ten times. (Abu Dawud, Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani)

There’s everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

You get a supplication from the angels in return:
Abud-Darda’ reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: Ameen! May it be for you, too’.” (Muslim)
By making supplication for the Prophet in his absence, the angels, make duaa for you too.

Saves you from being stingy:
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “May his nose be rubbed in the dust (i.e. dishonour), one in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not send blessings upon me.” (At-Tirmidhi (3545); Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi)

It was narrated from al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not send blessings upon me.” (At-Tirmidhi (3546); Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi)

It is conveyed to the Prophet:
Aws bin Aws reported the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: ‘Among the most excellent of your days is Friday; so invoke many blessings on me on that day, for your blessing will be submitted to me.’ They (the Companions) asked: ‘Messenger of Allah, how can our blessings be submitted to you, when your body has decayed?’ He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘Allah has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of Prophets.’ (Abu Dawud, Sahih by Sh Al-Albani)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has angels who go around on earth, conveying to me the salaam of my ummah.” (An-Nasaa’i, 1282; Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani in Sahih al-Targheeb)

Increases the likelihood of your duaa being accepted:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) heard a man making du’aa’ in his prayer, but he did not praise Allah or send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘This man is in a hurry.’ Then he called him or someone else and said, ‘When any one of you prays, let him begin by praising his Lord, then let him send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then let him pray for whatever he wants after that.’” (At-Tirmidhi, 3477, Abu Dawood, 1481)

Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “Du’aa’ is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” (Hasan by Sh Al-Albaani in Sahih At-Tirmithi)

Sins forgiven and concerns taken care of:
It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka‘b said, I said: O Messenger of Allah, I send a great deal of blessings upon you; how much of my du‘aa should be sending blessings upon you? He said: “Whatever you wish.” I said: One quarter? He said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: One half? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: Two thirds? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: I will make all of my du‘aa for you. He said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.”

(At-Tirmidhi (2457), Ahmad (20736), Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf (8706), ‘Abd ibn Humayd in al-Musnad (170) and al-Bayhaqi in ash-Shu‘ab (1579): At-Tirmidhi said: A Sahih Hasan hadith. Hasan by al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wa’t-Tarheeb, and by al-Haafiz in al-Fath (11/168). In ash-Shu‘ab 2/215, al-Bayhaqi indicated that it is qawiy. Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani in Sahih at-Targheeb 1670)

  • Intercession of the Prophet:
    The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “whoever recites blessings upon me ten times in the morning and ten times in the evening will obtain my intercession of the Day of Resurrection,” (At-Tabarani, Sahih by Sh Al-Albaani)
    These Ahadith are motivation for us to send salutations upon the Prophet peace be upon him. Sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet is general, and one should not restrict themselves to a specific time (unless mentioned in an authentic hadith), nor a specific number. To do so would be to innovate something in the religion which is not prescribed, and the consequences of which are severe.

Love for Our Prophet

It was narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child and all the people.” (Bukhari) 

Our Prophet was a sent as a mercy to mankind, that he was sent to us for our good, for us to be rightly judged on the day of Judgment, for us to be in Jannah. In short, he is a person who was chosen from among the many others of his time and a chosen one is a special one and something special should be loved and followed.

Hence we need to love our Prophet Muhammad, but how can we create this love in our hearts?

First we need to realize that Allah had chosen him and that means Allah loves him and so we should too, as what Allah loves should be beloved to us as well.

Then we see the high status granted to him, the Quran was revealed to him first and he was the best of mankind, so we should respect and love him for that.

Furthermore, he struggled so hard to make sure the message reached us that he was kicked out of his own society, and was called a liar and magician, but he did not give up no matter what. And so we should love him for his sacrifices.

We see that when we copy someone our love for them and happiness increases so we should also realize that whatever he did was by the command of Allah, it was and is good and so we should follow his every act , this way love for him can be increased in our heart.

Moreover, as the Sahabahs loved him with all their lives, we should do too because that is the rightly guided way.

This way we can increase our love for our beloved Prophet.

 

Fatima Damad

 

Ash-Shakir and Ash-Shakur Part 2

The previous session we probed the meaning of two of Allah’s beautiful Names “Ash-Shakir” “Ash-Shakoor”.

If you haven’t gone through part 1, please visit http://aateam.org/blog/ash-shakir-and-ash-shakoor/ for better understanding (InShaAllah).

In this session, we will learn about the effects on the believer’s heart and life by comprehending these perfect Names.

  1. A believer does kindness to his soul and to other creations of Allah (Glory be to Him). And Allah abundantly favors in compensation to this insignificant kindness.
  2. A believer never belittles any small deed and abandons it knowing that Allah is “As-Shakir” “Ash-Shakoor”.

“Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative (Ash-Shakir) and Knowing.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 158)

Also, in the Hadith narrated by Abu Darr (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face.” (Riyad us-Saliheen: Book 1, Hadith 121)

  1. He is Grateful to “Ash-Shakir” “Ash-Shakoor” which results in increase and multiplication of the bestowments.

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’“ (Surah Ibrahim: 7)

“If you loan Allah a goodly loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. And Allah is Most Appreciative (Ash-Shakoor) and Forbearing.” (Surah taghabun: 17)

  1. A believer also engages in deed which are pleasing to Ash-Shakoor Ash-Shakir and Allah increases this believer’s honor.

The Messenger of Allah () said, “Allah the Exalted says: ‘I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels).” (Riyad us-Saliheen: Book 16, Hadith 1435)

  1. He is not only grateful to Allah but also to those who have favored him and helped him out during times of sadness and trials because:

“Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” ( Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1954)

  1. Ibn Qayyum (may Allah have mercy on Him) said: “When a servant of Allah (Glory be to Him) is thankful, he/she built 5 types of qualities:
    1. Humbleness, humility, and submissiveness in front of the Giver of bestowments.
    2. Love for the Giver of bestowments
    3. Acknowledgment of the bestowments
    4. Engaged in praise of the Giver of bestowments
    5. Not using the bestowments against the Giver of bestowments.”
  2. A believer also hopes for Allah’s mercy while being grateful because Allah says:

“What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative (Ash-Shakir) and Knowing.” (Surah an-Nisa: 147)

(O Allah, help me remember You, expressing gratitude to You and worship You in the best manner)


Maliha Rahmat

 

If Travelling Was Free

“If travelling was free, You’d never see me again…” How many times have you heard that phrase? It is a motto that has struck the world and taken many into its claws.

We all love to travel; it’s exciting, new places to go, new things to see, new cuisines to taste, a new culture to experience, an opportunity to explore… and when you return, you can rightfully say, ‘been there, seen it, done it!’ Not to mention it’s a break from the mundane routines of school, work and chores, a holiday, in other words.

However, whilst we have been blessed with such chances in the growing age of technology, with modes of transport so common and easy to use, many of us have forgotten the real purpose of travel, and the rules that come with it.

Travelling, is an opportunity to see the wonders of Allah, to appreciate the splendour in His creation, to marvel at all those things that make our planet earth, and most importantly to recognise Him through it and be grateful and subservient to Him.

After all, is it not Allah that gave you the ability to travel, eyes to see the world? Should we not then follow the rules He has determined for us? Thus, it is only natural that we abide by His guidelines as explained to us by the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.

It is reported from both Bukhari and Muslim that Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said, “A woman should not travel save and except with a mahram.”

This hadith clearly puts a restriction a on women’s travel. Yes, it is a limit, for isn’t this dunya a prison for the believer?! We as muslims should have no issue accepting this fact. The restriction placed is for our own benefit.

Sadly, many muslims pick and choose what they want to follow from islam. If you choose Islam as a way of life, it’s a comprehensive package, and everything in it, should be taken up to the best of your ability.

Others go fatwa shopping, searching out the fatwa that suits them, that allows them to follow their desires. And so they find the fatwa that says it is permissible for a woman to travel, if her mahram drops her, and another picks her up, or that it is permissible for her to travel with a group women.

I ask you: if the mahram dropped the woman at the airport, and another picked her up on the other side, did this comply with the statement of the Prophet, of travelling with a mahram?! Does a group of women substitute a mahram? The answer is no. And whilst some of our scholars have issued this fatwa, and I am in no position to dispute them, know that they are only human, and have done their best to search for an answer, but they may err. And so, it falls upon our shoulders to find the correct answer and to not blindly follow their opinions, for Allah gave us an intellect to distinguish between right and wrong.

A mahram for a woman, is a male-relative, who is she is permanently prohibited to marry, who is muslim, of sound mind and over the age of puberty.

My dear sisters, Allah has enforced such guidelines to maintain our security and honour. Travelling alone only encourages the corrupt to prey upon your weakness. It opens the door for Shaytaan’s whispers, and aren’t his plans cunning? If he was able to misguide those who were greater than us in morality, what would he do those who are corrupt, who have no ethics to begin with?

There are a multitude of hadith in which the prophet forbade the travel of woman without a mahram, they are general in wording and thus includes travelling for study, holidays, hajj or otherwise.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram and no man should enter upon her unless she has a mahram with her.” A man said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go out with such-and-such an army, but my wife wants to go for Hajj. He said: “Go with her.” (Bukhari, 1862)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel the distance of one day, except with a mahram.” (Muslim 1339)

“Travel usually causes exhaustion and hardship, and because women are weak and need someone to look after them and stay with them, and things may happen in the absence of her mahram that she is not able to deal with. These are things that are well known and are frequently seen nowadays because of the large number of accidents involving cars and other means of transportation.

Moreover, if a woman travels alone she may be approached and tempted to do evil, especially when there is a great deal of corruption. Someone may sit next to her who does not fear Allah and he may make haraam actions seem appealing to her. It is perfectly wise that the woman should be accompanied by her mahram when she travels, because the purpose of having her mahram present is to protect her and look after her.” (Taken from islamqa.com)

The ahadith from the Prophet on this matter are crystal clear. Thus anything that is considered travel requires a mahram. Travelling causes difficulties, and there are possibilities of harm, whether by plane, train, or any other mode of transport, including your two feet. There are too many possibilities of harm, and we know we live in world where immorality, is the norm. Save yourself the hassle, Allah protected you, and made things easy for you. He did not make it incumbent upon you to travel, He facilitated security for you, in the care of your male guardians. Many women have fallen prey, the ease of transport has made what the Prophet explicitly forbade fair-seeming to them.

I end with a quote, Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: To sum up, everything that may be called travel is forbidden to women without a husband or mahram.

 

 

New Year’s Resolution

“It’s January. And this year I hope to…”

Oh I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase before in some form or other. The new year brings new dreams and hope, a new leaf for many, and well, some just stick to their same old ways, as nothing changes, in fact things only seem to get worse as the pit they dug for themselves gets ever deeper.

We as muslims do not adopt the Gregorian calendar, nor do we celebrate its new year, or any new year for that matter, nor do we single out this specific time for ‘new year’s resolutions.’ To engage in these activities would begin our downfall, for neither of these acts are linked to Islam, neither found in the Quran and Sunnah.

However, there is one small aspect which we are encouraged to do, year in and year out, and every day of the year. And that is to contemplate over our past deeds and seek to improve. A little resolution, never to return to sins, if you like.

It is reported Umar ibn Al Khattab said, “Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable, and weigh your deeds, before they are weighed for you.”

We should reflect on ourselves, whenever possible, not just at the start of a new year. We should tally up our deeds, and measure what is for us and what is against us every day that we live.

Time flies, and every morning that you rise; death stares you in face. Before you know it, it comes to greet you, to take you on to meet your Lord; to face accountability, to see the scales weighed, to receive your books, to be punished or forgiven. All of this and more awaits on the other side of life.

But how often do we question ourselves? How often do we sit back and think; ‘to be better a better muslim, I need to start doing this, I need to improve that.’ Rarely. We live life forgetting our true purpose. We live life heedless of the inevitable fate awaiting us all.

Account for your deeds, before the Day of final Accounts, before your scales are weighed. Contemplate on your state as a muslim, are you reaching the heights of iman? Do you feel the sweetness of faith? Does your heart fly when you remember Allah? Or does your chest become constricted? And you your deeds are a heavy burden on your back?

And so, dear muslims, when all others are talking about their new year’s resolution, you should be contemplating your daily ambition, to please Allah. Life on earth does not end with death.

The Day of Regrets, the Day of Accounting, the Day of Recompense, when we will be paid in full for our deeds, is a long and tiresome day, but not so for those who are under the shade of Allah, who have achieved His pleasure and tasted success.

To conclude, I leave you with two questions:

What have you done so far to please Allah?

What will you do to improve yourself, to become a better muslim?