Category Archives: Women of the Golden Era

Narrating the stories of great women who were part of the Islamic golden age, and taking lesson from our past.

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.

Umm Haram and the First Muslim Navy

naval fleet

Across the oceans wide, in the eastern Mediterranean, in the land of Cyprus, lies the grave of one of the noble companions of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Umm Haram (May Allah be pleased with her).

She was from the women of Ansar, from a family of nobility, the aunt of Anas bin Malik and the wife of a distinguished General, Ubadah bin As-Samit.

She had accepted Islam before the migration of Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and was a lady of great wisdom and piety.

As narration relates, a beautiful account in her life when once the Prophet was taking a nap in her house and he woke up smiling, so she asked the reason behind his smile, and he said “some people among my Ummah were shown to me (in my dream) sailing on this sea like kings on thrones.” So she said “O Messenger of Allah, beseech Allah to make me one of them,” he (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “You are one of them.”

Then he took a nap again and he woke up smiling, so she again asked the reason behind his smile, and he said “some people among my Ummah were shown to me (in my dream) sailing on this sea like kings on thrones.” So she said “O Messenger of Allah, beseech Allah to make me one of them,” he said “you are among the first (group)”.

And true to this prophecy, during the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan, in the year 27th AH, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan was given the permission to conquer the island of Cyprus. So the first naval force was prepared and the Muslims braved themselves like lions in a war and then by the Grace of Allah were victorious. Umm haram was amongst them with her husband, but on her return, a mule was brought for her to mount and it threw her and she broke her neck and hence died.

Thus her desire of being a martyr in the cause of Islam came true.

May Allah have mercy on her soul.

Bint Hasan

 

Ummahatul-Mu’mineen

heart flowers

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah) said: “Allah has commanded me to marry only with the women of Paradise.”

A golden era whose golden light illuminates and enlightens man even today. A time, where the beautiful religion of Islam started from a small band of people and traversed the span of the earth. A time that nurtured leaders, warriors, scholars who with their knowledge of Islam changed the face of the world by the will of Allah alone. A religion that provided rights and salvation to women, and indeed what about the women of that time, women who along with men have left an indelible mark in the history of mankind. Indeed these women included the Sahabiyyat – the women of the golden era

Noble, virtuous women who fill the pages of history with their magnanimous, beautiful deeds. They were the pure and virtuous crusaders of Islam who were given the glad tidings of Paradise in the Hereafter.

Their inspiration and presence occupies several pages of history, with their influence spanning from religious achievements to political achievements to education, knowledge, fine arts, to industry, trade and commerce.

Khadijah, the Queen of Quraysh, with a reputation of nobility, an epitome of loyalty and a pillar of support. Aishah an example of intelligence personified and an astounding memory having quoted 2,210 ahadith. Sawdah who with her light-heartedness and humour brought smiles and comfort to The Prophet’s (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) heart. Hafsah the Sawwamah and Qawammah. Umm Salamah a figure of patience. Zainab bint Khazeemah the Mother of the needy with a heart of gold. Umm Habeebah who had to endure intense hardship before her marriage to the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah). Zainab bint Jahsh with the longest hands for she would work in order to give charity. Juwayriyyah the beautiful embodiment of piety. The loving Safiyyah and Maymoonah who would preserve their ties with their kith and kin.

May Allah be pleased with them all.

Finally we conclude the journey that we had embarked on, a journey whence we had contrived to learn pearls of wisdom from our righteous predecessors.

I pray to Allah The Exalted to benefit us all from this series and help us to derive benefit from it and enact on the knowledge that we gain, may Allah bless us with the opportunity of being in the company of these great women whose endurance, patience, wisdom, piety, steadfastness have become an inspirations for eons and eons to come.

Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen

Bint Hasan

Writer, AAT

 

Aishah Bint Abi Bakr

Aishah Bint Abi BakrPraise be to Allah

A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “You were shown to me in a dream for three nights. An Angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and he said: ‘ Here is your wife’ and when I removed (the cloth) from your face, lo, it was you, so I said: If this is from Allah, He will carry it out”.

The above narration is testimony of the great honour placed on her. She is A’ishah, daughter of the leader, As-Siddiq, Abu-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him). The Mother of the Believer’s, wife of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him), the most knowledgeable woman without an exception.

As for her knowledge, Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said: “I have accompanied A’ishah” -she was his maternal aunt-“I did not find anyone who has more knowledge of the verses that were revealed, nor of the obligatory matters, nor of the Sunnah and nor of poetry. No one reported from him (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) more than her. No one had more knowledge of historical events of the Arabs, nor of genealogy, nor of such and such, nor of legal matters, nor of medicine than her. So I said to her: ‘My aunt, regarding medicine, from where did you learn it?’ She replied : ‘ If I was ill, he would recommend to me something and if he fell ill too, I would recommend some remedy to him and I heard people recommending medication to one another and I memorized it.”

The famous saying ‘Knowledge is Light’ resonates in almost every orator’s speech whilst he contrives to explain the importance of knowledge, yet here is A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), an example of knowledge embodied. Her vast knowledge in almost every field proves that indeed knowledge is crucial and is in fact an obligation on us, as the hadith goes al ilm faridah al’a kulli muslim wa mulimah – Knowledge is obligatory on every male and female Muslim.

However, the field of knowledge wasn’t the only battle that she had triumphed in, her benevolence too, was at its peak, as we learn from various incidents. One such occasion was when she gave out in charity 70 000 while she patched her garment on the side and at another instance, when she was fasting, distributed 1 lakh dirhams while forgetting to leave anything for herself with which to break her fast.

These are but, few examples amongst many, and the lessons that we learn from these instances are indeed invaluable.
It is high time, don’t you think my dear friends, that we ceased cheese paring in charity, giving only the most bedraggled of rags to the less fortunate and ‘exploiting’ ourselves in only the latest extravaganza.

A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was a combination of all that, that would distinguish her over and above other women as she narrated ‘I have been given 9 virtues that were not given to any woman after Maryam Bint Imran : Jibreel descended with my picture in his sleep until Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him ) was commanded to marry me, he married me while I was a virgin and he never married any virgin besides me, his soul was taken while his head was on my lap and he was buried in my house. The angels had surrounded my house, I am the daughter of his Khalifah and his sideeq, my excuse was revealed from the heaven. I was created pure. I have been promised forgiveness (of sins) and noble provision.’

Indeed A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) was one of the most intelligent,  ladies to walk on the face of the Earth, she was a scholar in her own right, her accomplishment in the study of ahadith is unmarred, a scholar and teacher for all times, a paradigm for all generation of women to come.

Bint Hasan
Writer, AAT

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “The superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid to other kinds of food . ” (Bukhari)

 

Umm Salamah

Women of the Golden Era

Praise be to Allah 
 
One of the earliest converts to Islam, she was the daughter of a very wealthy and generous man who was famous throughout the Arab world for his public services and charity, his bearing all the expense of his fellow travellers being one of the reasons for his fame.
 
Our Mother of the Believers, Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) married our Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) at the age of 29, after her first husband was martyred from the wounds he received while fighting in the Battle of Uhud.
 
Her life was filled with patience in the face of trials and tribulations. She and her husband were among the first to migrate to Abyssinia and then later on leave to Makkah bound for Madinah when she was forced to endure the separation from her husband and son. 

One of the atrocities that the kuffar of Quraysh had committed, was when Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him) along with his family decided to migrate to Madinah, the family members of Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) caught the bridles of the camel and told him that he could go wherever he wanted to, but he would have to leave their daughter i.e. Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her). On hearing this, the family of Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him) got enraged and took away her son, thus the family became split and separated. 

Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) attached to her beloved husband would visit the same spot and weep every day, when once a member from her tribe saw this he pitied her and spoke to her family members, after which they agreed to let her go. 

By the Grace of Allah, she was soon reunited with her much- loved husband. 

Think about it my friends, separation and in such a manner, yet she bore it patiently. 

Another of the heart touching incidents that occurred in her life was the passing away of Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him), but she braved it and read this dua, a dua to obtain a better recompense, even though her thoughts kept lingering as to who could be better than her husband, Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him). 

This renowned dua is: 

istirja

`Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji`un. Allahumma ujurni fi musibati, wakhluf li khairan minha’ 
 
(We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. O Allah! Compensate me in my affliction, recompense my loss and give me something better in exchange for it)

 

And then imagine dear friends, she was gifted with the best husband that anyone could possibly yearn for, the best man to walk on the face of Earth, our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Indeed what an honour, what a prestige! 

Dear friends I appeal you to bear patience when the throngs of hardship strikes and recite this superb supplication and do keep in mind that with hardship comes ease.
 
Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated more than 300 ahadith and accompanied the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) on many of his expeditions. She outlived all the other wives and died at the age of 84. 

May Allah bless us with her company in Jannatul Firdaus Al A’ala 

Ameen  

Bint Hasan 

Writer, AAT 

 

 

Safiyyah Bint Huyayy

Women of the Golden Era

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A lady of noble descent whose ancestry reaches up to the noble Prophet Haroon (Peace be upon him), a lady of great beauty, glamour and piety; she is Safiyyah Bint Huyayy (May Allah Be pleased with her), Mother of the Believers, and daughter of the Jewish leader, Huayayy Bin Akhtab.

She was taken as a prisoner of war in the battle of Khaibar, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be upon Him) married her and her Mahr was her liberty.

A very beautiful incident that occurred in her life was that once when the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon Him) was helping Safiyyah (May Allah Be pleased with her) to mount the camel, he knelt on the floor so that she could climb up, since she didn’t want to put her foot on the noble thigh of our great Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon Him) she instead placed her knee and mounted the camel whilst returning back to Madinah.

This shows her extreme reverence, respect and fondness for our Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon Him).

Safiyyah (May Allah be pleased with her) was an extremely patient, loving and kind hearted woman, another incidents that really moves one is when Safiyyah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) slave girl told tales about her to the Caliph telling that she would observe the Saturday Sabbath of the Jews despite converting to Islam and would also keep good terms with the Jews. When questioned by the caliph, Safiyyah (May Allah Be Pleased with Her) explained that once she had been enlightened about the sanctity of Friday, she had stopped giving importance to Saturday. As far as her terms with Jews were concerned, they were her relatives and she was following the dictates of Allah and His Messenger (Peace and Blessings Be upon Him) to maintain good relations with kindred.

On discovering that it was her slave girl who was responsible she asked her about it.

However, when her slave girl accepted that and replied that she had been incited by the Satan, Safiyyah (May Allah be pleased with her) freed her; as Allah says

“…Who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good doers…” (3:134)

What a beautiful lesson to learn dear friends, how quickly do we lose our temper and here is our Umm-ul-mumineen, a quintessence of righteousness and patience. This incident nonetheless indicates her forbearance (May Allah be pleased with her).

In her life we find a lady of great protocol, benevolence, wisdom, farsightedness and kindness.

Thus was Safiyyah, wife of a Prophet (Muhammad) (Peace and Blessings Be upon Him), daughter of a Prophet (Haroon) and a niece of a Prophet (Musa, peace be upon them).

Bint Hasan

Writer, AAT

 

Maimoonah Bint Al-Harith

Women of the Golden Era #9

family

Oh those times spent in the taraweeh, in reading Quran, in hastening towards good, in refraining from evil, in striving to attain Allah’s pleasure, indeed Ramadan is a month of training.

However, now just because Ramadan has gone doesn’t necessitate that our iman should go as well. The bad habits that we had thrown aside now need to be left out for good, our istighfar (repentance) needs to be sincere and one of its conditions is not to repeat the sinful action again and in case we slip we should again make istighfar whilst making a sincere intention of not repeating it. Brothers and sisters we should definitely increase in goodness in Ramadan and perform voluntary prayers and do lots of ibadah but we should also strive to be upright all year round. We should look at our righteous predecessors, though obviously they increased their ibadah in Ramadan, but read their seerah and you will realize that they were pious all the year round. No wonder their ranks are highly elevated and they were chosen as the forerunners of Islam. We too need to imbibe such beautiful qualities in ourselves and walk the footsteps they walked because, that, brothers and sisters is undeniably the true way to success. One such beautiful example is our Mother of the Believer’s, Maimoonah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with her). She was the aunt of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Al-Waleed (May Allah be pleased with them) and was the last wife of our Noble Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him).

Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) was valued highly for her traits like God- Fearing and nurturing good relations with all the members of her family. And this tribute was paid to her when she passed away by Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) in the words ‘By Allah! Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) has passed away, she was the most Allah- fearing and nurtured the ties of kinship.’ Imagine how pious she was, for this to be said from Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) who herself was very pious and a leading woman and a teacher for the scholars to come. This also brings to our attention the importance of maintaining the ties of kinship for Allah has warned us against cutting the ties of kinship (interpretation of the meaning): “And those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e., they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e., they will be far away from Allah’s Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e., Hell).” [Al-Ra’d 13:26]

Does it not cause our hearts to tremor, think about it dear friends, what punishment could be worse than the curse? Islam is a religion of peace and calls for the upholding of the ties of kinship because of the great effect that this has on achieving social cohesion and perpetuating cooperation and love among the Muslims. Upholding the ties of kinship is a duty because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship)…” [Al-Nisa’ 4:1]

“And give to the kindred his due and to the miskeen (poor)…” [al-Isra’ 17:26]

A hadith that can be quoted in this context: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Allah created the universe, and when He had finished, kinship (al-rahm) stood up and said, “This is the standing up of one who seeks Your protection from being cut off.” Allah said, “Yes, would it please you if I were to take care of those who take care of you and cut off those who cut you off?” It said, “Of course.” Allah said, “Then your prayer in granted.’’ (Saheeh Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, 16/112). We benefit from the above great Hadith that Allah will take care of those who take care and maintain the ties of kinship and we also learn that whoever cuts the ties of kinship, Allah will cut them off. Also keep in mind the hadith: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5986 and Muslim, 2557).

My dear friends I plead you to ponder on the above ayat and ahadith and truly think about it, is a dispute over property, land and other worldly reasons really a reason sufficient enough to cut off ties of kinship with our brothers and sisters. ‘Oh, but I try to be kind to them, yet they respond rudely, after all one has to keep their self-respect’ Seriously! Is that what we think? Then allow me to clarify The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who maintains a relationship with his relatives only because they maintain a relationship with him is not truly upholding the ties of kinship. The one who truly upholds those ties is the one who does so even if they break off the relationship.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5645). If the relationship merely involves returning favours and giving like in return for like, and not taking the first step, then this is not upholding the ties of kinship, it is only responding in kind. Some people follow the principle of giving a gift in return for a gift, and visiting in return for a visit, so if someone does not give them a gift, they do not give him a gift, and if he does not visit them, they do not visit him! This is not what is meant by upholding the ties of kinship at all, and this is not what is required by Islam. This is merely responding in kind, it is not the higher degree which Islam urges us to reach. A man said to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off. I treat them well, but they abuse me. I am patient and kind towards them, but they insult me.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If you are as you say, then it is as if you are putting hot dust in their mouths. Allah will continue to support you as long as you continue to do that.” (Reported by Muslim with commentary by al-Nawawi, 16/115). Who could bear to put up with hot dust? We seek refuge with Allah from cutting off the ties of kinship.

Let’s remember Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) and truly try to endeavour to keep up our kinship ties as we certainly can’t afford to face the consequences of not doing so. Maimoonah (May Allah be pleased with her) after the death of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) lived her life calmly and peacefully, preoccupying herself with acts of worship and performing Hajj every year. May Allah from his immense mercy make us among those patiently maintain the ties of kinship. Ameen.

Bint Ayesha,

Writer, AAT

Juwayriyyah Bint Al-Harith

All praise belongs to Allah

Ramadan has finally arrived! Alhamdulillah we are now in the midst of it, yet it will soon end and therefore we need to grasp that we have just a few days in hand so, let’s try to take full advantage of it.
My dear brothers and sisters, I implore you to realize the importance of this blessed month. It comes once in a year. We have to wait for eleven months, approximately 335 days for it to come again! Unfortunately nowadays, all that we can think about is “so what should I make for the iftar today, everyone must be bored of samosas and spring rolls, I need to try something new, perhaps I should switch to chicken shawarma and nandoos.” Seriously! Is this blessed month the only time to try out new recipes and cuisines? And oh! The other thing that bothers us is, “Eid is approaching and I still have not bought my bangles and shoes to match my Eid dress”. Ya ukhti what were you doing before Ramadan? We need to take this on a serious note. We had so much time to shop before Ramadan but now do we want to waste these treasured days and sanctimonious last ten nights in shopping? If that were the case, one would only be able to articulate that this ummah now days is truly amazing!!!
My dear friends, it is vital that we learn wisdom from our pious predecessor’s, those who have succeeded and are among the muqarribun. Amongst this pious circle and among the forerunners of Islam is our beautiful and elegant Mother of the believers, Juwayriyyah (May Allah be pleased with her). These pious people were immersed in ibadah and gaining Allah’s qurb (nearness). We can see this in the following narration;
Juwayriyyah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) left her apartment in the morning as she was busy observing her dawn prayers in her place of worship. He came back in the forenoon and she was still sitting there. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “You have been in the same place since I left you?”   She said, “Yes”. Thereupon the Prophet  ( peace and blessings be upon him )  said: “I recited four words three times after I left you and if these were to be weighed against what you have recited since morning these would outweigh them, and these words are:

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“Subhanaallahi wa bihamdihi: ‘Adada khalqihi, wa ridhaa nafsihi, wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midaada kalimatihi”
Glory be to Allah and praise is due to Him by the multitude of His creation, by His Pleasure and by the weight of His Throne and by the extent of His Words.”
My dear friends imagine the importance of this supplication, indeed how outstanding it is. In it we claim that our Rabb, Allah is free from all imperfections, glory is to Him alone. By “bihamdihi” we say that we praise and thank Him. And then my friends how much do we praise Him?
1. Adada khalqihi -We praise Him by the multitude of His Creation, and indeed Allah is the Creator of everything. This phrase encompasses all of His Creation, all the human beings, all the Jinns, all the drops of water, all the clouds, all the fish, all the ants and indeed every creation within and beyond our imagination. That many times we praise Him and thank Him!
2. wa ridhaa nafsihi- By this we say that, until Allah is not pleased Himself, we go on praising and thanking Him.
3. wa zinata ‘arshihi- By the weight of His throne and indeed whose throne could be more magnificent than His the Almighty
4. Wa midaada kalimatihi- And we thank Allah and glorify Him to the extent of His Words, and how many are the words of Allah? “Say: if the sea were ink for writing the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted, before the words of my Lord were exhausted even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.” (Surah Kahf 18:109)

Moreover, the above narration also gives us an insight as to how much ibadah our Mother of the Believer did. Imagine spending the whole morning in prayers and worship. I urge you my brothers and sisters in Islam to hasten towards good deeds, learn this beautiful supplication and pray to Allah to accept it from us.
May Allah gather us all in Jannatul Firdous
Ameen Ya Rabbil Alameen
Bint Hasan

Zainab Bint Jahsh

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It is as if the fragrance of Ramadan is near. The night descends with its habitual calmness and tranquility, while the voice of the imams reverberate throughout the city, the voices sweet and endearing to us.

Oh, what a beautiful sight, that I am envisioning. Imagine: the iftar laden down with delectable dishes, the devils locked up, people scurrying towards the masjid, hastening towards good deeds and indeed why not, since the rewards are going to multiply and multiply. It is as if a beautiful period of peacefulness and tranquility is descending upon us.

Islam is in the air, it is as if we can feel it, see it, and breathe it. People hurrying up, giving iftar to the poor, sending iftar to the masjid, standing for the taraweeh and then the standing in the night prayer (qiyam ul layl)…the time for Ramadaan is coming!

A paragon of generosity and righteousness is our Mother of the believers, Zainab bint Jahsh (May Allah be pleased with her).

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated; “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to his wives: ‘One who has the longest hands amongst you would come after me’. She further said: ‘after his death, we would stretch our hands on the wall to measure their length. We never ceased doing that until Zainab died and she was a small woman so she could not have been the one with the longest hand. It is at that point we realised that what he meant (by the longest hand) was charity. She used to work with her hand, she used to tan (leather) and pierce leather and she would spend (that income) on charity”.

And once again,

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her ) said, “I have never seen a woman who was better in her religion, who feared Allah more, who was more truthful in speech, who strengthened the ties of kinship more and was more benevolent in charity than Zainab. May Allah be pleased with her.”

Why don’t we learn from this paradigm of a lady and increase in our ibadah and good deeds. She stands as an outshining example throughout the sands of times, up to the very present and will continue to inspire in the upcoming future till the very end of time.

Friends, what a great incentive for us and what better time than the approaching of Ramadan, which we know is the month of sale to proliferate our rewards. Why not avail this opportunity and spend our time performing enormously good deeds.

A greater motivation still is,

Ibn Abbas narrates, “the prophet (saw) was the most generous person and he would be at his most generous in Ramadan because jibril would come to him every night and he would study the Quran with him. Truly when Allah’s messenger would meet jibril he would be more generous than a fleeting wind.” Agreed upon.

So my dear friends roll your sleeves, tie your waist bands and get ready to take complete advantage of this blessed month. It is soon here; it’s fragrance is in the air.

Bint Hasan
Writer, AAT

Ramlah Bint Abi Sufyan

Women #6

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Many a times we sit lonely and depressed, with our grief and sorrow embedded deep in our hearts. The eye sheds its tears and the hearts grows heavy with a hollow-like feeling.

A loneliness creeps in as we watch the hustle and bustle of the dunya, people walking by, busy in their lives. A tantamount of burden weighs heavily on our heart and it is in such situations of misery, that we find ourselves at the cross roads, a choice to do that which is right, however improbable it may seem, and the other choice that constitutes of deception, lies and falsehood. In most cases that wrong choice inadvertently leads to the threshold of a cycle-a cycle of misery as we endeavour to conceal  our errors and yet in striving to do so perpetrate even more lies and involuntarily propel the spokes of the cycle to continue moving. Oh! But no one is aware of my situation!

Are you worried, knowing that Al-Wadood, Ar-Ra’uf is watching us, best aware of our situation? He, the Almighty, is even aware of a dark insect crawling on a dark stone in a dark night, He (Glory be to Him) is aware of every leaf, every atom, every molecule.

Here we should take lesson from Ramlah daughter of Abu-Sufyan also known as Umm Habeebah (May Allah be pleased with her).

She was one of the early converts to Islam and had migrated to Abyssinia with her husband Ubaydullah bin Jahsh. Sadly, her husband apostate and converted to Christianity. This grieved her a lot, and to add to her pain, he took to drinking excessively and later died.

Now, Umm Habeebah was lonely in a faraway foreign country, with no one to support her. Her husband had died, and her father was still a disbeliever, and to cream to that, was the leader of the Quraysh (though later on, he accepted Islam). Therefore, she had nowhere to go. Dear friends, envision this with deep concentration; we can’t imagine ourselves leaving our homes for an hour! Yet look at the situation of the exceptional and exemplary lady, who not only prevented herself from showing ingratitude to her Lord (something we fall into for unconventional things, let alone being helpless the ways she was). She focused herself, and made the right decision; spending her time in ‘ibadah and taking care of her young daughter. Indeed she went through difficult times.

Truly, Allah knew what she was going through. She was blessed with one of the greatest blessings, a woman in her time could wish for, Allah chose her to be among the Mothers of the Believers. Her patience bore fruit and the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) married her. She is said to have narrated sixty-five hadith, not many in comparison to Abu-Hurayrah or Anas bin Malik, nevertheless, her exemplary patience and courage to make the right choice in the face of trials, is her legacy.

It was her earnest desire that her father and brother enter the fold of Islam, which they eventually did. She passed away during her brother, Muawiyah’s Caliphate, during the year 44 AH.

In summary, I would like to note a point, although the above passage was about the right decision, there is yet solace for those who messed up, for indeed yet again we have ample opportunity to repent and take the right course. Certainly, it will be more challenging compared to the first time, and Satan will arduously try to manipulate us, as he had done so the first time. Keep in mind, regardless of the inducements, Allah has given us the power to choose. Go ahead, and follow the right track! Beg of our Lord to help us and guide us for verily indeed, He is the Ar-Rahman; The Most Merciful.

Bint Hasan,

AAT