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Hijab (Niqab)- Why? — Dr. Bilal Philips


 

The covering of Muslim women has become one of the international symbols of female oppression in feminist circles.

 

1.

There are two major trends which have developed in the West over the past century. On one hand, the fashion industry has systematically unclothed women. From being fully clothed from head to toe at the turn of the century, she now wears virtually nothing when the weather permits.

 

On the other hand there has been a dramatic rise in the reported incidents of rape. In the USA in the early 90s the reported incidents of rape had crossed the 100,000 mark. And researchers estimated that the actual number was between 7 to 10 times that number since most women are shy to report rapes. The two trends are closely interrelated.

 

The woman in the West has become a sex-object with which to sell products thereby pumping up the sexual tension of the society. The Corvette is not sold based on its powerful engine or its special features, instead the car is displayed with a model in a bikini lying on it. Similarly, a new Gillette razor blade is not sold by giving details about its new titanium blades. Instead, a man is shown in ads shaving with a woman’s hand with long red fingernails coiled around hold his. The subliminal message being taught is: You buy the car, you get the girl. You buy the razor, you get the girl. 

 

2.

Islam prescribes the covering of females for two primary reasons stated in the Quran. God says in Soorah al-Ahzaab (33: 59):

Let them cast their outer garments over their bodies. That is best in order that they be known and not harmed.

 

3.

The hijab is to make the Muslim woman known in the society as a virtuous and honorable woman. Her hijab makes the statement that she is not available and not interested in any immorality. Many Muslim women who have emigrated to the West take of their scarves and outer garments because they claim it draws attention to themselves. If they expose their hair and dress in modest western dresses no one will look at them.

 

It is true that the hijab does provide a level of anonymity, as many of the woman’s physical details will be hidden. However, the intent is not to prevent men from looking. When men see a nun in her habit, fully covered like a Muslim woman in full hijab, they will turn their heads and stare at her. Similarly, when they see a woman walking in a bikini, they will also turn their heads and stare. However, the first stare is different from the second. The first is out of curiosity, having seen something unusual, while the second is out of lust and aroused sensuality. The consequence of the second is the molestation of women on a national scale while the first causes respect.

4.

The penalty in the Islamic state is very severe for rape in order to further guarantee protection for females. Where weapons of any type are used in the rape, the punishment is death. The death penalty has also been introduced in Philippines and it is being called for in India currently. However, to allow women to expose themselves and then kill those who react unduly is not practical. The law should be balanced. The circumstances, which might encourage rape, should first be removed from the society, then a severe penalty may be enacted.

 

5.

It may be said that even in societies where women are fully covered, they may still be approached and molested. However, if the vast majority of those who are molested are not properly covered, the principle of protection still applies. Even in the society of the Prophet, one thousand four hundred years ago, some women were molested and raped.

 

6.

Some people question the imposition of hijab by the Islamic state. Is it a personal choice of women or a legal obligation? It is the responsibility of the head of every family to insure that the women of his household leave the home in a legally acceptable state of dress. The state is further responsible to prevent any women who appear in public in a state of undress in order to protect public dignity and morality.

 

The West has set its own limits for dress which change according to the mood of society. At one point in time, strip joints were illegal. Now many bars have topless waitresses and dancers. In most states, a woman may not appear in public topless. However, a woman recently contested the law in Florida and won her case. Complete nudity remains public crime throughout the West, though nudist camps and nudist beaches have sprung up in different locations in Europe and America.

 

7.

There are conditions which must be fulfilled for the hijab to be acceptable. a) It should be wide and loose so as to not show the shape of the woman’s body; b) it should be made of thick material which will not reveal what is underneath; c) It should not be colorful and ornamented so as to attract sexual admiration.

 

8.

Where the hijab has become a cultural norm and women comply out of fear of embarrassment, it will not be worn properly. It may become transparent, or worn tight exposing the curves of the body, or it may become so ornamented as to be attractive by itself. It may be short so as to expose the dress underneath, or the face may be covered and the front of the hair exposed. Such practices are the result of women wearing hijab for the wrong reasons. They should be educated to realize that it is for their benefit and for the benefit of the society.

 

[From the book: Contemporary issues, pg. 12-14]

 

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Beware of allowing non-Mahram (marriageable male) relatives to enter upon the wife in the home when the husband is absent


 

Some homes are not free of the presence of relatives of the husband who are not his wife’s Mahrams (unmarriageable male guardians). They may be living in his home with him due to particular circumstances, such as being students or single. These relatives enter the home without anyone raising an eyebrow, because they are known in the neighborhood as being relatives – brothers, nephews or uncles – of the head of the household. This relaxed attitude could generate a lot of evil which will earn the wrath of Allaah The Almighty if it is not controlled and brought within the limits set by Him.

 

The basic principle in this matter is the Hadeeth (narration) of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the Ansaar (Helpers) said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about the brother-in-law?” He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The brother-in-law is death!”

(Reported by al-Bukhari, Fat-h al-Bari, 9/330)

 

An-Nawawi, (may Allaah have mercy on him), said:

“What is being referred to in this Hadeeth is the husband’s relatives, apart from his father and sons. These [his father and sons] are Mahrams for his wife and can be alone with her, therefore they are not described as ‘death’.

 

What is referred to here is his [the husband’s] brother, nephew, uncle and cousin, and others whom his wife would be permitted to marry if she were not already married.

 

Usually people take the matter lightly with regard to these relatives, so a man may be alone with his brother’s wife. Thus he is likened to death, indicating that he should be prevented from being alone with her even more than a stranger should.”

(Fath al-Bari, 9/331)

 

The phrase ‘the brother-in-law is death’ has a number of meanings, including:

  • The woman’s being alone with her brother-in-law may lead to spiritual destruction if she commits sin

 

  • It may lead to death if she commits the immoral act (fornication or adultery) and the punishment of stoning is carried out on her

 

  •  It may lead to the woman being destroyed if her husband leaves her because his jealousy leads him to divorce her

 

  • It may mean, beware of being alone with a non-Mahram woman just as you would beware of death

 

  • It may mean that being alone with a non-Mahram woman is as bad as death. It was also said that it means, let the brother-in-law die rather than be alone with a non-Mahram woman

 

All this stems from the concern of Islam to preserve families and households, and to prevent the tools of destruction from reaching them in the first place. Having learned what the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, what do you think now of those husbands who tell their wives: “If my brother comes and I am not here, let him into the sitting room”, or a wife who tells a guest: “Go into the sitting room”, when there is no one else present in the house?

 

To those who raise the issue of trust as an excuse, saying: “I trust my wife, and I trust my brother, or my cousin”, we say, your trust is all well and good, and you should not be suspicious when you have no cause to be, but you should know that the Hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“No man is alone with a non-Mahram woman, but the Shaytaan (Satan, the devil) is the third one present with them.”

(Reported by at-Tirmithi, 1171)

includes the most pious of people as well as the most corrupt. Islam does not exempt anyone from such rulings.

[Dangers in the home, by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, page 5-7]

 

Best and the worst row for men and women during prayer and the lessons derived from it- Imam an-Nawawi


 

Abu Hurairah [radiAllahu anhu] narrated that the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] said:

“The best rows for men are the front ones, and the worst are the last ones. And the best rows for women are the last ones, and the worst are the front ones.”

[Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 1, no. 678, sahih]

Capture

An-Nawawi said:

“As for the men’s rows, then it is according to the generality; so the best of them is always the first of them, and the worst of them is always the last of them.

 

As for the rows of the women, then the objective of the Hadith is that of the rows that the women pray in with the men, as for when they pray separately, not with the men, then just like in the case of the men, the best of their rows are the first of them, and the worst of them are the last of them. And the meaning of the worst of the rows in the case of the women and the men, is the least of them in reward and virtue.

 

And the last of the rows of the women when attending with the men, are only more virtuous, because of their distancing themselves from mixing with the men and their sight, and the heart being attached to them when seeing their movements and hearing their speech, and similar to that, and the first of their rows has been censured because of the opposite of that.

And Allah knows best….”

[As mentioned on page 502 of Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.1 published by Darussalam]

 

Benefits [by Dr-Iftakhar]:

1] When in gatherings, men should always occupy the front seat while women should be behind them, and not the vice versa which we see nowadays.

2] As mentioned by Imam an-Nawawi that the  reason for the womens best row being the last one is

because of their distancing themselves from mixing with the men and their sight, and the heart being attached to them when seeing their movements and hearing their speech, and similar to that, and the first of their rows has been censured because of the opposite of that.

This situation is during the prayer in the house of Allah when a slave tries to be the most obedient to His Lord [where a man or women cannot think of doing sin except who comes for that purpose]. Yet, the women are commanded to remain farthest from men, so how about in today’s time when we see women walking rubbing their shoulders with strangers at markets and other places?

 

“O my daughter……” – A mother giving advise to her daughter on her wedding day

January 10, 2014 1 comment

 

‘Abd al-Malik said: “When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to the groom, then her mother Umamah came in to her, to advise her, and said:

  • ‘O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you possess these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.

 

  • ‘O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.

 

 

  • ‘O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion with whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.

Advise to a daughter by a mother
‘Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you.

The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah.

 
‘The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.

 

 
‘The fifth and the sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.

 

 
‘The seventh and eighth of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

 

 
‘The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.

 
‘Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment, whilst the latter will make him unhappy.

 

 
‘Show him as much honor and respect as you can, and agree with him as much as you can, so that he will enjoy your companionship and conversation.

 

 
‘Know, O my daughter, that you will not achieve what you would like to until you put his pleasure before your own, and his wishes before yours, in whatever you like and dislike. And may Allah (subhaanahu wa ‘ta’aalaa) choose what is best for you and protect you.’”

 

[Jamharah khutab al-‘arab, 1/145]

Related Link:

® 10 Things To Hand Down To Your Daughter

 

Zaynab bint Jahsh: “0′ Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, I am not like your other wives”

November 26, 2013 1 comment

 

Zaynab [radiAllahu anha]  lived in the house of prophethood as a mother of the faithful. She was given to observing much fasting and night prayers; and she was a pious worshipper. The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] would incline to her and keep her company frequently. She would incessantly mention her superiority over other wives of the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] without hurting any of them.

 

She once told the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam),

“0′ Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, I am not like your other wives. There is none among your wives whose father, brother or family had not married her off to you except me. For, it is Allah, from above the heaven, Who married me off to you.”

[Sahih bukhari, 6984]

 

Whenever ‘A’ishah (radiAllahu anha) remembered her, she would invoke Allah’s mercy on her and describe her, especially concerning her stand during the incidence of slander saying,

“Allah protected her with abstention (i.e from wading into the matter).”

 

 

A’ishah [radiAllahu anha] also mentioned that the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] said:

“The quickest of you to join me is the one with the longest hand.

[Muslim]

What did they understand from this statement?

‘A’ishah [radiAllahu anha] narrated that the Prophet’s wives would go to a wall and stretch up their hands in order to know which of them has the longest hand.

 

It would be noted that Zaynab [radiAllahu anha] was not tall but she was the first of the Prophet’s wives to die after him. It is then understood that what the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] meant by long hand was charity and generosity.

 

It is related from ‘A’isha,

“The wives of the Prophet said to the Prophet,may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘Which of us will be the first to join you?’

He said, ‘The one with the longest hand.’ They began to measure their hands and Sawda had the longest hand.

 

Later we understood that the one with the longest hand referred to giving sadaqa. She (Zaynab) was the first of us to meet him and she used to love to give sadaqa.'”

[Sahih bukhari, 1354]

 

And among the purest somces of income is the work done with one’s hands.

‘A’ishah [radiAllahu anha] said:

Zaynab [radiAllahu anha] was very proud with Allah’s Messenger. The Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] would frequently keep her company. She was given to performing fasting and prayer. She was a skilled craftswoman and she would give charity with the proceeds of her handiwork.

 

Ibn Sa’d reported on the authority of al-Qasim ibn Muhammad that Zaynab [radiAllahu anha] said when she was about to die,

“I have prepared my own shroud, and ‘Umar [radiAllahu anhu] is going to sent a shroud for me. So give out one of them in charity. And if you are able to also give my loin cloth in charity you can do so.”

 

‘Amrah bint ‘Abdur-Rahman al-Ansariyah had the following to tell us:

“Umar sent five Harranee cloths, each of them incensed. She was shrouded with them. Her sister, Hammah gave out the shroud she had prepared for her own burial in charity.”

 

 

‘Amrah narrated that she heard ‘Aishah (radiAllahu anha) said,

“The praiseworthy woman, the devoted worshipper and the refuge of the orphans and the widows is gone.”

 

Muhammad ibn K’ab al-Quradhi said:

“Zaynab bint Jahssh’s annual grant was twelve thousand. She took it only once and she started saying, ‘0’ Allah, do not let this money catch up with me next year because it is a trial.’ She then distributed it to her kith and kin and the needy.

 

When ‘Umar heard that, he said, ‘This is a blessed woman.’ He then sent greetings to her and said, ‘The news of what you have done have reached me.’

 

So he sent her one thousand dirham that would last her. But she treated the money as she did with the first.”

 

Zaynab [radiAllahu anha] died in year 20 A.H. at the age of fifty-three. ‘Umar [radiAllahu anhu] performed funeral prayer on her. May Allah be pleased with her and please her.

 

[Taken from: Women around the Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam], pg  98-100]

 

The Validity of Ruqyas During Haidh [menstruation] or Janabah


 

Question:

Is it allowed to perform Ruqyas unto a female patient who is possessed or is cast by an evil eye during Haidh, or unto a male patient during Janabah?

 

Answer:

Basically, in cases of major Hadath (unclean state), such as Janabah and Haidh, Taharah (purification of the body by washing all of it with clean water) is required for reading the Qur‘an.

 

As far as patients are concerned, their Tahara perfects Ruqyas. However, if a lady falls ill during Haidh and suffers as a result, she is allowed to receive a Ryqua irrespective of the source of suffering, be it possession, magic or an evil eye.

Al-Jibreen, Al-Kinz Aththmeen (The Precious Treasure), p. 195.

What is the best way for women to give da’wah? By Shaykh Al-Albani

January 12, 2013 1 comment

 

Question: What is the best way for women to give da’wah?

 

Answer:

 

I say to the women: “Remain in your homes.” [Surah Ahzaab: 33] And you should not concern yourselves with da’wah.

 

I reject the use of the word “da’wah” amongst the male youth by them making it seem like they are from the people of da’wah – as if the word da’wah has become the fashion of modern times. So every individual that knows something about the Religion becomes a Da’ee (caller to Islaam)! And this matter did not stop with the male youth until it was carried over to the female youth and housewives. And in many instances, they have begun to turn away from fulfilling the obligations of their households and their husbands and their children, turning away from these obligations towards something that is not obligatory upon them, such as establishing the da’wah.

 

The general rule concerning the woman is that she is to stay in her home. And it has not been legislated for her to leave it unless she has a dire need. This is based on the statement of the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “And (praying in) their homes is better for them”, i.e. than the (congregational) prayer in the masjid.”

 

Today we see a prevalent phenomenon amongst the women in that they go out often to the masjids in order to pray the congregational prayer, not to mention the Jumu’ah prayer. In spite of this, their homes are better for them – unless there is a masjid in which the Imaam is a scholar who teaches those attending some aspects from the sciences of the Religion. So in this case, the woman could go out to pray in the masjid in order to listen to the knowledge. There is nothing preventing her from that. As for the woman preoccupying herself with the da’wah (!), then let her sit in her home and read from the books that her husband or brother or other male relatives provide for her.

 

Furthermore, there is nothing preventing her from setting a day in which she calls the women to come to her house or she goes out to attend the house of one of them. That is better than a group of women going out (to her). One woman going out to a group of women is better for them than all of them going out to her. As for her moving about and traveling, perhaps traveling without a mahram, and she justifies that by claiming that she went out for the purpose of da’wah, then these are from the presentday innovations. And I do not specify the women only with that, rather, even some of the male youth speak excessively about the da’wah and yet they have very little knowledge.

 

[Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

 

Related Link: Is giving da’wah mandatory upon the woman?

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