Category Archives: Women’s Issues

Who is a Religiously Committed Wife?

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) encouraged marrying women who are religiously committed, as he said: “Women may be married for four things: their wealth, their lineage, their beauty and their religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may your prosper).” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5090; Muslim, 1466.

A religiously committed muslim woman is to be sought for marriage as the Prophet told us as our purpose in life is to worship Allah and a religious woman would help us to do that and make our children ongoing charity for us even after our death, now what are the characteristics of this greatly admired woman?

  1. Aqeedah:

A woman with the right aqeedah i.e; she is a Muwahid who has not fallen in innovations and other misguidance is the right woman as she is the home maker and will have a great impact on the husband and children.

  1. An obedient woman, who obeys her husband:

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: It was said to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): Which of women is best? He said: “The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, obeys him when he tells her to do something, and does not disobey him with regard to herself or her wealth in a way that he dislikes.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (3131)) ‘

Three things are mentioned here in this hadith-

(i) When he looks at her, he is happy with her: her religious commitment, attitude, behaviour and appearance.

(ii) When he is away from her, she protects his honour and his wealth.

(iii) If he tells her to do something, she obeys him, so long as he does not tell her to commit sin..

Al-Ansari said, “The woman is the key to the security in every society and the foundation of the family.” (Al-Majmu’1/173)

  1. Enjoins her husband to do good deeds and stops from bad deeds.

A good wife will always advise her husband to do good and will have better ways to stop him from doing anything haram. Allah says, “…They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous.” (3:114)

It is reported that Umar ibn Al Khattab said, “There is no goodness in people who don’t give advice and there is no goodness in people who don’t like to be advised.” (Risaalaat Al-Mustarshideen, 71)

  1. She should fulfill her husband’s rights with regard to his wealth and herself, even when her husband is absent.

“If a man is married with a righteous wife, he will live a harmonious life, even if he is poor.” (Sh Salih Al Fawzan, Al-Ittihaf, pg 858)

Allah says in the Quran:

“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity and their husband’s property).” [al-Nisa’ 4:34].

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“guard in the husband’s absence” means: they are obedient to their husbands and even in their absence they guard themselves and their husband’s wealth, seeking the help of Allah in that, because no one can do that by himself or herself, for the self is inclined towards evil, but the one who puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him and help him in his religious and worldly affairs.

(Tafseer al-Sa’di)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

A righteous wife will be with her righteous husband for many years, and she is the one who is meant in the hadeeth in which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “This world is temporary conveniences and the best of its comforts is a believing wife, who when you look at her she pleases you and if you tell her to do something she obeys you, and if you are away from her she protects you with regard to  herself and your wealth.”

  1. Doing acts of worship and obedience, and refraining from haraam things.

Al-Khateeb al-Sharbeeni al-Shaafa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

According to the hadeeth: “If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (Ramadaan), guards her chastity and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: Enter Paradise by whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.” Narrated by Ahmad (1664)

  1. She should have knowledge and seek it:

Having knowledge of the deen is important to do all of the above.

Therefore, women possessing these qualities are desirable for marriage, even though we should keep in mind that the level of each of these characteristics may differ in different women but the more modest, knowledgeable and devoted to worship a woman is, the more desirable she is as a wife.

Ahmad ibn Harb said, “if six characteristics are gathered in a woman her goodness is perfected,

  • Guarding her five prayers
  • Yielding to her husband
  • Pleasing her Lord
  • Guarding her tongue from backbiting and gossiping
  • Forsaking worldly possessions
  • Being patient following tragedy

(Siyar A’lam An-Nubala)

May Allah give our youth spouses who are better for them here and in the hereafter. Ameen

“A pious woman, even if she’s not stunningly beautiful, her character and religion make her attractive.” (Shakyh Ibn Uthaymeen, Sharh Riyadh As-Saliheen, No. 280)

 

 

 

Women in Ramadaan!

For all the sisters out there, who have experienced the struggle of trying to maximise the rewards of whilst balancing out the million of other tasks, that seem to pile up just in Ramadaan, this is for you. But brothers, stick around, there are women in your lives too, so this is important for you to know as well.

Before the month sets in, we have to ensure the house is spick and span. We are all geared up for the month, full of energy and vigour, ready to take it by storm. And so begins the suhur preparations, they have to be filling and tasty, to ensure the rest of the family is able to make it through the long hours. We take time off from sleep, rising earlier than everyone else to prepare it. Once the meal is over, dishes are done, the kitchen and dining area tidied before we head off to pray fajr. We squeeze in some Qur’an too, as we want to make the most of the blessed time. Then we catch quick nap, before waking up for work, school, and other duties. We somehow make it to the end of the day only to be welcomed by the iftaar rush. We have to prepare an elaborate meal with delicacies and lay the table…

We all know the routines of Ramadaan. However, by mid-month we are exhausted. Lack of sleep catches up, and what Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam only adds to the pain. Then begins the Laylatul-Qadr and Eid rush. While maintaining a high level of Ibadah we also have to prepare for Eid, with shopping, gift-wrapping, major house cleaning, ironing Eid clothes and decorating the house with balloons and lights.

So how should women strike a balance between everything?

  • Prioritise: prioritise your ibadah, extra tasks that can be abandoned, leave them for the month.
  • Make you house work an ibadah: have a sincere intention to please Allah hoping for his rewards when you feed your fasting family.
  • Multi-task: when your hands are busy, use you ears to listen to Quran or motivating lecture, or keep your tongues moist with the remembrance of Allah
  • Get some rest: your body has a right over you, ensure you get some sleep so that you can focus in your salaah and other ibadaat.
  • Prepare for Eid before Ramadaan: Eid preparation takes a lot of time, do what you can before Ramadaan arrives.

But what can a woman do when her monthly cycle comes?

There is much a woman can do. She should not feel distant, or lack momentum during this time. Rather, she should know that it is the decree of Allah and as such should be content with it, and bear it patiently. By not fasting and praying during this time, she is being obedient to Allah for which she will be rewarded. Nonetheless, she should not take this time as an opportunity to put Ramadaan on pause and neglect her other forms of ibadah. She should use this time wisely. During this time she is able to perform all acts of worship excluding, fasting, prayer, tawaf and I’tikaaf.

Here are ten ways you can earn rewards, whilst on your menses:

  • Some women spend this time absorbed in house chores. Hence, she should purify her intention, so as to earn rewards while doing these menial tasks.
  • Duaa: praise Allah, send blessings on the Prophet, and seek forgiveness from Allah. By following the etiquettes of duaa, you maximise the chances of your duaa being accepted. Learn the duaa the Prophet taught A’ishah, and repeat it, sincerely seeking the forgiveness of Allah.
  • Qur’an: there is a difference of opinion whether a woman can recite Quran from memory. However, the stronger opinion is that she is allowed to do so, as there are no clear authentic ahadiths that prevent her. (See https://islamqa.info/en/2564 for more information)

A phone does not take the same ruling as a mushaf and hence, she may use it to recite from. (See https://islamqa.info/en/106961)

If a person holds the opinion that she cannot recite, then should at least listen and not deprive herself of its blessings.

  • Dhikr- remembering Allah, with tasbeeh, tahleel, tahmeed and takbeer, and other expressions:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Two are the expressions which are light on the tongue, but heavy in scale, dear to the Compassionate One:” Subhanallahi wa bihamdih (Glory be to Allah and praise is due to Him); “Subhanallahil ‘Atheem ( Glory be to Allah, the Great).”

 

  • Istighfaar: seeking the forgiveness of Allah. Ramadaan is the month of forgiveness, what better way to spend your time that Asking Allah for His pardon?!
  • Give up a sin or a bad habit; whether it be music, gossiping or any other sin. Change your habits this Ramadaan for the better.
  • Take up a new good deed: revive a sunnah in your home, whether it be reciting Ayatul-kursi before sleeping or using a siwak
  • Perform a charity: charity is not limited to wealth, rather in can be in efforts and time, and even a smile in charity.
  • Encourage your family in the performance of good deeds: for the Prophet peace be upon him taught, “one who encourages to good gets the same reward as the doer.”
  • Feed the fasting: let’s admit our culinary skills seems to be refined in Ramadaan! Share your skills and blessings with others. Send a tray of food to your neighbours, or to your local mosque. I am sure they will all appreciate it.

These are just a few of the numerous ways a woman can benefit from these blessed days whilst on her menstrual cycle.

May Allah aid us in attaining His forgiveness, pleasure and paradise!

If you need the extra motivation watch this:

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-

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.

 

 

Women in the Mosque

mosque-w

In some parts of the world it is a common misconception that women are to be kept at home restrained from going out. In other parts, the misconception takes a different form; the mosques are for men, and women should not be seen there. Both these ideas are alien to Islam, which permitted women to go out for her necessities, and made the mosques a place of worship, not just for men, but for women also. Though it is more rewarding for a woman to pray in her house, it is perfectly acceptable for her to offer her prayers in the mosque and benefit from the activities that go on there.

Sadly, the misconception stated above results in many mosques being erected without any consideration for the female slaves of Allah. Such mosque committees wonder at the affairs of the muslim women when the see them astray and trolling the streets, yet they neither seek to educate them, nor accommodate for them.

To top it off, some women agree with this notion, and resort to ignorance of the Sunnah of permitting women to attend the mosques, and ignorance of the etiquettes of the mosque under the pretext that they do not attend the mosques. My sisters, this is not an excuse for ignorance. Rise above and learn, for seeking knowledge is an obligation in our religion.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not prevent your women from going to the mosques, although their houses are better for them.” (Abu Dawud, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 515)

In fact, women are permitted to go to the mosques, and their menfolk cannot prohibit them.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “When your womenfolk ask you for permission to go to the mosque, give them permission.”

According to another version, “Do not forbid women their share of the mosques if they ask you for permission.” Bilaal – a son of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar – said, “By Allah, we will stop them.” ‘Abdullah ibn Umar said to him, “I say ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said…’ and you say, ‘We will stop them’?!” (Muslim)

Thus the command of the Prophet to give the women permission, has a higher status than anyone else’s opinion. For he was the Messenger of Allah, and spoke not of his own whims.

A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: “If the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had seen the way the women are behaving, he would have forbidden them to go to the mosque as the women of the Children of Israel were forbidden.”

Yet, the women were not forbidden. Nonetheless, the muslim woman should be cautious about her behaviour and dress when attending the mosque. There are guidelines to follow:

In his book Hiraasat al-Fadeelah (p. 86), Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd listed the conditions for women to go out to the mosque. He said:

“Women are allowed to go out to the mosque according to the following rulings:

1-     That there is no risk of them tempting others or being tempted

2-     That their attendance will not lead to anything that is forbidden according to sharee’ah

3-     That they do not jostle with men in the street or in the mosque

4-     That they should go out not wearing perfume

5-     That they should go out wearing full hijab, not making a wanton display of their adornment

6-     A door should be set aside in the mosque just for women to enter and exit, as mentioned in the hadeeth narrated in Sunan Abi Dawood and elsewhere.

7-     The women’s rows should be behind the men

8-     The best rows for women are those at the back behind the men, unlike the case for men

9-     If the imam makes any mistake in his prayer, men should say “Subhan Allaah!” and women should clap

10-The women should leave the mosque before the men, and the men should wait until the women have dispersed to their homes, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Umm Salamah in Saheeh Al-Bukhari and elsewhere.”

When a woman attends the mosque, she should do so seeking the pleasure of Allah, to earn His rewards and to boost her iman. To go to the mosque for the sake of socialising, and causing other such commotions only incurs the wrath of Allah, of which we should be wary.

Thus, I encourage our sisters to attend the mosques to benefit from the halaqas and classes, but I also advise that they should follow the Sunnah in doing so and should not become a fitna for others.

May Allah aid us in attaining His pleasure.

Etiquettes of Attending the Mosque

mosque

The mosques are once again filled. Sadly,  many who attend the mosque are not regular goers, and what’s worse, many are unaware of the etiquettes of praying in the mosque. Wonky lines, preceding the imam, praying away from the jama’ah, and chit chatting are all too common sights…such that it is almost embarrassing!

My dear brothers and sisters, Ramadaan is a time for spiritual upliftment, and hence salah is crucial tnow and after Ramdaan too! It should be one our focuses to maximise our rewards throughout the year. Easy, simple sunnahs if adhered to will warrant mountains of rewards…it doesn’t take a lot!

Let’s begin with the basics:

Please note for the sake of brevity, I have not mentioned all the relevant Ahadith that pertain to these issues.

  • Wudhu: Salah is not valid without wudhu. Ensure your wudhu is complete, and according to the Sunnah. Don’t forget to say Bismillah before beginning. Read the duaa upon completion for the extra ajr.
  • Awrah: wear adequate clothing to cover your awrah during the salah at all times, so that even if you bend, your back or legs (for sisters) are not exposed.
  • Avoid eating food with strong odours, such as onions and garlic before attending the mosque.
  • Enter the mosque with your right foot
  • Read the relevant duaa’s
  • Praying tahiyyatul-masjid: Upon entering the mosque, one should pray two units of prayer as ‘greeting the mosque,’ whether these be voluntary prayers or combine the intention with your obligatory prayer. (See Islamqa for more details)
  • Put Your shoes on the Racks: Shoes scattered on the floor not only look embarassingly untidy, but they are also a hazard.
  • Do not obstruct the entrances: the mosques are places of remembering Allah. Whilst making salam is permissible and encouraged do not hang around the entrances and exits or make mosque attendance a social gathering for idle talk, blocking others from entering and leaving
  • Do not raise your voices: When conversing in the mosque be mindful that others are praying, and that mosques are for the remembrance of Allah.
  • Fill up the first rows:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst ones for them are the first ones. (Muslim)

If you are a woman in the women’s section of the mosque this does not mean that you pray right at the back, rather you fill up the first of the rows allocated for the sisters, which is behind the men. Furthermore, it is only polite to leave space for late comers in the back, so that they do inconvenience anyone by having to walk in front of one who is already praying.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Complete the first row, then the next one, and if there is to be any incomplete row let it be the last row.” (Ahmad, An-Nisa’i, Abu Dawud, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

If worshipers leave the row in front of you, it is obligatory for you to fill that gap and connect the rows.

  • Make the rows straight: Each person should be in-line, none ahead and none behind.

Our Prophet commanded us, ‘Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting the prayer.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • Join shoulders to shoulders and feet to feet: Literally touch your feet with the person beside you. We are all one ummah, and this was a command from our Prophet.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight, stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps, and do not resist your brothers’ hands. Do not leave any gaps for the Shaytaan. Whoever complete a row, Allah will reward him, and whoever breaks a row, Allah will forsake him. (Abu Dawood, An-Nasaa’i, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

Tip: Be careful not to inconvenience anyone by squashing them or stepping on their toes when trying to implement this Sunnah. The widest part of your body is your shoulders, therefore align your feet to the width of your shoulders when standing, automatically you will line up, joining with the person beside you without inconveniencing them.

  • Do not distract others: Distracting others by sitting ahead of the row, making a scene, reading Quran loudly, talking, laughing, crying etc., all deduct from the khushu (humility and concentration) of others and inconveniences them.
  • Sneezing: Be sure to cover your mouth, and do not reply ‘Yarhamukallah’ (May Allah have mercy on you) or anything else to one who has sneezed, for it interrupts the prayer and talking is impermissible during the prayer.
  • Coughing, yawning, burping and the like: cover your mouth and do not breath towards others. Burping is a big issue in Ramadaan, and sadly many worshippers are inconvenienced by horrible smells. (See more at http://aateam.org/blog/onions-and-garlic/)
  • There is no prayer once the iqamah is sounded: If a person enters the mosque and is praying the sunnah while the iqamah is called, then the best opinion in this case is that if he is in his second rak‘ah, he should shorten it, and if he is in the first rak‘ah, he should just break his prayer and enter the congregation with the Imam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘If iqamah is called for the prayer then there is no prayer except the obligatory one.’  (Sahih Muslim)
  • The Imam is appointed to be followed: It is impermissible to anticipate the imam’s actions and precede him. The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘“The imam is only appointed to be followed, so when he says takbeer, then say takbeer; when he bows, then bow (and do not bow until he bows), when he says ‘Sami’a Allahu liman hamidah’, then say ‘Allahumma rabbana lakal hamd’.” (Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud)
  • Joining the Jama’ah and being in a row by yourself: The most correct view is that if there is a congregation, one should join in, as praying alone in a row is incorrect, and standing in the row is obligatory. Unless there is no room in the last row, then he is to begin a new row. To pull someone out from the last row to join you is incorrect, because it inconveniences him, makes him lose concentration in his prayer, and moves him from a better spot to a worse one (as the first rows have more reward), and it also breaks a row which is impermissible.
  • Children in the mosque: It is permissible for a child who has reached the age of discernment, which is the age of seven years, to stand in the row with adults during the congregational prayer. This is indicated by the report narrated by Bukhari from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I and an orphan in our house prayed behind the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and my mother Umm Sulaym (prayed) behind us.

It is also permissible for a parent to break their prayer to quieten their child if his or her cries are disturbing to the worshipers. Similarly, the imam is permitted to shorten the prayers if he hears a child’s cries.

These are just some basic guidelines for attending the mosque, and praying congregation, which if followed will create unity and sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. May Allah aid us in implementing the Sunnah to the best of our abilities. Ameen

 

 

 

Short, Tight and See-through

hijab pins

In our article entitled ‘conditions of hijab’ we looked at the requirements necessary to implement proper hijab. Here we will look at the impermissibility of wearing certain clothing.

 

Allah is our Lawgiver, and He is the one to decide our code of dress. He sent the Prophet peace be upon him to further explain these guidelines. Being muslim, entails that one should submit wholeheartedly to the laws of Allah and the explanations of the Prophet peace be upon him, for he was our teacher and guide. Thus, when we read an ayah or hadith our hearts should immediately acquiesce. We cannot choose to follow some commands and leave others under the pretence that our taqwa (piety) is in our hearts.  Because, though Taqwa rests in the heart, it is manifested in the limbs.

Beware, in the body there is a piece of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt, and hearken it is the heart. (Muslim)

Shaytan has used fashion as a means of deceit. He has tinkered with the concept of hijab until it has become a fashion parade and he has turned modesty into nudity.

In front of non-mahram men, we as muslimahs are forbidden from wearing clothing that is tight, which reveals the shapes of our bodies. Similarly that which short and exposes us and that which is see-through and provides little covering. Reason being, we are commanded by our Lord to cover ourselves. Furthermore,

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah () said, “There are two types of people who will be punished in Hell and whom I have not seen: men having whips like the tails of cows and they will be beating people with them, and, women who will be dressed but appear to be naked, inviting to evil; and they themselves will be inclined to it. Their heads will appear like the humps of the Bactrian camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Jannah and they will not smell its fragrance which is perceptible from such and such a distance.” [Muslim].

And in another narration “During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed yet naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels, curse them, for they are cursed.”

Whether your clothes is skin-tight, too short or sheer and thus revealing it is all a form of being clothed yet naked. All three fall under being clothed in insufficient clothes such that one’s awrah is still apparent.

Is this hadith not sufficient to make us reflect? My sisters, do you want to be amongst the inhabitants of the hell-fire, whose heat is raging fiercely? Hellfire, wherein your skin is burnt, and restored and burnt over, there is no relief from the pain, nor death to end the torment!

I’m sure we would much prefer Gardens of delight, where beauty and happiness abounds. My sisters, a little effort in this short life, for eternity in paradise…is that not a valuable exchange?! So rush forward to profit from it!

May Allah strengthen us all to abstain from his prohibitions.

The Conditions of Hijab

covered

In our last article we touched on the obligation of Hijab. Here, we will look at the requirements necessary to meet that obligation.

Hijab has become a fashion accessory; the final piece that sets it all off. But this is not what it was intended for. It was intended to protect the muslim woman, to preserve her modesty, to cover her. Today’s modern hijab exposes the woman, adorns her attire or on the other extreme makes her look a right frump. Few are those who have struck the right balance between elegance and full coverage. This should be our aim, to be presentable without being attractive, to be beautiful for who you are, whilst being fully garbed.

So here are some guidelines to help you along the way:

  • Cleanliness: Whatever you choose to cover yourself with, my dear sisters, ensure it is clean. I have seen sisters with food stains decorating their clothes, and kitchen smells to accentuate it. Not the best combination! Our Prophet taught us that cleanliness is half of faith (collected by Muslim) As such if we truly believe in Allah, and His Messenger we should follow their orders and ensure we and our clothes are clean both in the house and outside of it.
  • Ironing: we no longer live in an age where ironing is a luxury, rather it is now a necessity. Please, ensure your clothes have not just been pulled out from under the mattress!
  • Full coverage: Not medium, nor sheer. Ensure everything that is supposed to be covered is fully covered. As a muslimah, that is your whole body, with the exclusion of the hands and face, at most. So my sisters, pull your hijabs forward to cover your hair, unroll your sleeves to cover your forearms, and roll down your trousers to cover your ankles. As women, our awrah is precious, let’s make the effort to cover it all. Your feet should be covered, for Umm Salamah directly asked the prophet regarding covering the feet,

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Umm Salamah said: What should women do with their hems? He said: “They should let them down a hand span.” She said: “Then their feet will show.” He said: “Then let it down a cubit, but no more than that.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi 1731and An-Nasaa’i (5336). The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1864)

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Ahzab 33:59)

  • Not Transparent: The garments you choose to cover yourself with should not be transparent or see-through. They should be opaque, so as not to reveal your skin or the shape of your body beneath. Our Prophet warned us about this when he said,

“During the last days of my ummah there will be women who are clothed yet naked, with something on their heads like the humps of camels, curse them, for they are cursed” and in another narration he added, ‘they will not enter paradise though its fragrance can be detected from such-and such a distance,” (Collected by Muslim)

Ibn Abdil Barr said about ‘women who are clothed yet naked’ that what the Prophet meant was women who wear clothes made of light fabric which describes and does not cover. They are clothed in name but naked in reality. (Transmitted by al-Suyooti in Tanweer al-Hawaalik)

  • Avoid Camel Humps: Sadly this has evolved into a hijab fashion, where girls tie their hair up high, or add a volumous accessory to give the appearance of large amount of hair under the hijab. I’ve heard many excuses for using this style, such as, ‘it holds my hijab in place,’ and ‘my hair will show otherwise,’ but my sisters, fear Allah, do not lose your jannah! The sahabiyyat were women too, and they managed to cover their hair in appropriate manner without resembling the humps of camels.
  • It should be loose fitting: The clothes you choose sisters, should be loose, not fitted or sitting on your figure. This has become a big issue especially with the uprising of the jersey abayas…Reason being; jersey is naturally a fabric that sits and sticks, and so as a person moves the full shape of their body is seen. My dear sisters, I advise you to refrain from jersey abayas or narrow cut abayas and the like. The purpose of clothing is to prevent fitnah (temptation), and this can only be achieved if clothes are wide and loose. Tight clothes, even if they conceal the colour of the skin, still describe the size and shape of the body or part of it, and create a vivid image in the minds of men. Protect your modesty to earn the pleasure of Allah.

Usaamah ibn Zayd said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave me a thick Egyptian garment that was one of the gifts given to him by Dihya al-Kalbi, and I gave it to my wife to wear. He said, ‘Why do I not see you wearing that Egyptian garment?’ I said, ‘I gave it to my wife to wear.’ He said, ‘Tell her to wear a gown underneath it, for I am afraid that it may describe the size of her bones.’” (Narrated by al-Diyaa’ al-Maqdisi in al-Ahaadeeth al-Mukhtaarah, 1/442, and by Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqi)

  • Perfumery: As women our clothes are not allowed to be perfumed before we leave the house, or appear before non-mahram men.

Abu Musa al-Ash’ari said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.”

  • Attractive colours: Many sisters choose their hijab colour because it accentuates their eye colour or brings out the colour in their cheeks. My sisters, your hijab should not be dreary or dull, but neither should it be attractive, remember the purpose of the hijab it to protect you and the men from fitna.
  • Your clothes should not resemble the clothing of men, whether in your home or outside:

Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cursed the man who wears women’s clothes, and the woman who wears men’s clothes.”

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: ‘They are not part of us, the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.’”

  • It should not resemble the dressing of the disbelievers: Our Prophet said,

“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood (4031) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani) 

  • It should not be a garment of fame or vanity or to express pride:

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever wears a garment of fame and vanity in this world, Allah will clothe him in a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, then He will cause Fire to flame up around him.’” (Hijaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, p. 54-67).

Choose your outfit wisely my sisters, it represents you before the people, and before Allah. It is a symbol of your virtue, a token of your devotion and a means of protection.

May Allah strengthen us all to come closer to Him, by dressing in the manner most pleasing to Him.

 

The Obligation of Hijab

hijab

Hijab Fashion has sadly given rise to the so-called feministic and modern opinion where many have begun to believe that ‘hijab’ is no longer obligatory; that covering the hair and body of the muslim woman is not necessary. This phenomenon has affected many women in the West, in the Asian subcontinent and even in the Arab world. The work of shaytaan spreads like wildfire!

Allah says, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine nudity. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful” [al-Noor 24:31]

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Ahzaab 33:59]

These verses are clear evidence that the muslim woman is to cover herself. There is no room for anything contrary. The entirety of a woman’s body is awrah, to be covered in the presence of non-mahrams. Her body is precious and valued, not to flaunt and expose to the prying eyes of every random person.

However, just reading these verses is insufficient. We must learn how to implement what is revealed in the verses. And who better to teach us than our instructor, Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him? And who better to implement what he taught than his wives, the mother of the believers and the sahabiyyaat, the best of women? These women were the cream of the crop, they were chosen by Allah to live during the time of the Prophet. They were women of Jannah, chosen to be amongst the Prophet’s companions.

It was narrated from Safiyyah bint Shaybah that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) used to say: When these words were revealed – “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” – they took their izaars (a kind of garment) and tore them from the edges and covered themselves with them.  Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4481.

‘Aa’ishah said: “The women of Quraysh are good, but by Allah I have never seen any better than the women of the Ansaar, or any who believed the Book of Allah more strongly or had more faith in the Revelation. When Soorat al-Noor was revealed – “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” – their menfolk came to them and recited to them what had been revealed, and there was not one woman among them who did not go to her apron, and the following morning they prayed wrapped up as if there were crows on their heads.” (Abu Dawud)

These Ahadith are just a few of the many that explain the covering of woman in Islam. It is apparent that hijab is not a figment of imagination of the righteous scholars nor an invention of the pious predecessors, rather it is the law of Allah.

Imagine, the best of women, rushing to cover themselves to apply Allah’s command, in full submission to the Lord of the Worlds. Wouldn’t you want to be like them? To be with them in Jannah?

Then let us do the same…