By Hadhrat Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (hafidhahullah)
Sayyidunā Suwayd ibn Ghafalah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that when Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu was suffering extreme hunger one day, he suggested to (his wife) Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā to approach (her father) Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for some food. When she went to Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, Sayyidah Ummu Ayman radhiyallāhu ‘anhā happened to be there. Hearing Sayyidah Fātimah knocking on the door, Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “That is the knock of Fātimah. She has come at a time that we are not accustomed to having her come to us.”
“O Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam!” Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā said, “The food of the angels is to recite Lā Ilāha Illallāh, Subhānallāh and Alhamdulillāh. What is our food?”
Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied. “I swear by the Being Who has sent me with the truth! For the last thirty days, no fire (to cook) has been lit in the house of the family of Muhammad. However, a few goats have come to us. If you please, I shall have five given to you. Alternatively, if you so please, I shall teach you five words (of supplication) that Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām has taught me.”
Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā immediately said, “Do rather teach me the five words that Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām has taught you.” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam then told her to say the following words:
Sayyidah Fātimah radhiyallāhu ‘anhā then left. When she came back to Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, he asked, “What happened?” She replied, “While I left you to get something of benefit in this world, I returned with something of benefit in the Ākhirah.” “This is the best of all your days,” remarked Sayyidunā ‘Alī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu. (At-Tabarānī)
Right from the onset of the month of Rajab, we should begin to prepare for Ramadhān. By building up slowly over Rajab and Sha’bān, we will be in peak spiritual condition when Ramadhān arrives.
To do this we need to make a programme of ‘ibādah and set daily targets. We then need to fix a timetable so that we are able to achieve those targets. Thereafter, targets should be reviewed every week or every fortnight, and gradually increased until Ramadhān arrives. Then throughout Ramadhān this process should continue.
If we do not set targets and do not fix a timetable early on, we will not be able to progress. Consequently, we will not develop the necessary spiritual stamina required to maintain the level of performance in order to reap the maximum benefit from Ramadhān.
Make this Ramadhān a memorable one. Make it a Ramadhān you will remember for the rest of your life. Make it such that, inshā’allāh, in Jannah you will say it was this Ramadhān from when my life changed forever and in which Allāh ta’ālā made me His walī (special friend).
To make this Ramadhān a memorable one, abstain from disobeying Allāh Our Creator. Do not even think about disobeying Allāh ta’ālā throughout the blessed month.
In order to safeguard yourself from disobeying Allāh ta’ālā; avoid gatherings and mixing with people as many sins such as backbiting and slandering take place when one mixes with people.
Safeguard your tongue by only saying what is good and rewarding. Always think before you speak.
Safeguard your ears and eyes from those things which are disliked by Allāh ta’ālā.
Virtues of Ramadhan
As soon as the month of Rajab begins we should commence daily readings from the book “Virtues of Ramadhān” by Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh. We should motivate ourselves, allocate time and sit daily with the family and read this book collectively throughout Rajab.
Shaykh-ul-Hadīth Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh was a saintly person and his words have an amazing effect on the heart which will help us spiritually prepare for the blessed month and also benefit from it.
We live in societies in which most men and women have lost their sense of modesty, women are obsessed with their appearances and wear clothes to be seen by others and to attract the attention of other men even if they are married! They have lost their sense of shame. Marriage is often looked upon as old-fashioned and short-term affairs and frivolous relationships are the norms, everyone waiting to attract a better partner and feeling totally justified to dump one partner for another at the drop of a hat. Feminism too has reached its peak and men and women are told to suppress their natural emotions. Men are not even embarrassed when their wives are dressed up and attract the attention of other men, they don’t mind if another man sees, chats laughs and even dances with their womenfolk and if they do mind, they are told not to be so possessive!
In Islam, we have a concept of gheerah. Gheerah is an Arabic word which means protectiveness or jealousy. It is a good type of jealousy, like when a man feels jealous or protective over his wife or sisters and other-womenfolk and doesn’t like other men to look at them. It is a natural inbuilt feeling Allah has given men and women. The Prophet (peace be upon him) had the most gheerah for his wives and all of the companions were known for their gheerah. All Muslim men should have a collective sense of protectiveness for Muslim women as Allah says in the Qur’an, the meaning of which is:
“The Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…” 
Men who do not care about how their women behave and appear in front of other men and don’t enforce hijaab upon their wives or women-folk are called dayyooth. Being a dayyooth is a major sin and a detailed description of this evil characteristic can be found in al-Dhahabi’s Book of Major Sins.
A story of Gheerah
To further understand the quality of gheerah, we can look at an incident that Asma’ (may Allah be pleased with her) the daughter of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) and sister of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), relates about herself. Abu Bakr was a wealthy merchant and married his daughter Asma’ to the great companion Az-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam (may Allah be pleased with him) who was a very poor man but a man of great piety and one of the companions who was promised Paradise. Asma’ relates:
“When Zubayr married me, he had neither land nor wealth nor slave…” so Asma’ had to work very hard kneading dough, going far off to get water. “And I used to carry on my head,” she continues, “the date stones from the land of Zubair which Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) had endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madinah. One day, as I was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to meet Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), along with a group of his Companions. He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered Zubair and his gheerah and he was a man having the most gheerah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) understood my shyness and left. I came to Zubair and said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) met me as I was carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it, but I felt shy and I remembered your gheerah.” So Asma’ declined the offer made by the Prophet (peace be upon him). Upon this Zubair said: “By Allah, the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe a burden on me than you riding with him.”
Sometimes Muslim women don’t understand if their menfolk want them to cover their faces or if they ask them to change something about the way they dress or speak in public, thinking that the men are being over-protective. But my dear sisters! If your husband asks you not to wear a certain colour of khimar because it brings out the beauty of your eyes or if he wants you to cover your face – be thankful! Be proud of the fact that your husband has a sense of gheerah for you and that he values you and cares for your hereafter. He knows what men can be like more than you do and so never try and suppress his gheerah in these types of matters. And his concern for you should incite your own sense of honour! Why should any man be able to see your beauty and think indecent thoughts about you? We must nurture our own and our menfolk’s sense of gheerah by behaving and dressing modestly ourselves and paying attention to their valid opinions. We expect certain behaviour from them and they expect it of us. And besides, if our husband asks us to do something that is not haram, we must do it.
Brothers! How can you allow your wife or sister to walk around attracting the attention and evil-thoughts of other men? How can you not mind if she smiles as she talks to other men? Nobody has the right to enjoy her and her company but you and her Maharim men. You are not overbearing if you first encourage and then enforce the hijab on your womenfolk because YOU will be asked about it on the Day of Judgement and it is also a major sin upon you! It is upon the men to enforce these things in their homes and you cannot use the excuse that your wife didn’t want to. Women need a firm, balanced, guiding hand from their men, so with wisdom, you must enforce hijab in your home. You are a shepherd and are responsible for your flock!
Allah reminds us all in the Qur’an, the meaning of which is:
“O you who believe, Protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.”
There is a big difference between how Islam values and protects women and how cheaply women are treated outside of Islam. As Muslims, we have to be careful that our sense of modesty, shame and gheerah don’t wear out in a society in which people have lost it.
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إني غيور وإن إبراهيم كان غيورا وما من امرئ لا يغار إلا منكوس القلب
Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith [mursalan] with a weak chain.
(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah with annotations of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah -hafizahullah-, Hadith: 18009)
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Most certainly I have a sense of possessiveness [over my wives] and Ibrahim (‘alayhis salam) also had a sense of possessiveness over [his wife]. None except a [cuckold] is void of this quality.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala