Integrate, NOT Assimilate!

This was narrated by Qari Ismail Samni (Allah fill his grave with noor), Bolton.brit

“Shaykh AbulHassan Nadwi (Allah have mercy upon him) visited the UK and a programme was held for Ulama. At the start of the talk, Shaykh mentioned a dream in which he saw the blessed and glorious vision of the Final Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ. In the dream, the Prophet ﷺ mentioned that he had his eyes on the Muslims of England (mere nazar England walo par hein).

 

On hearing this, the Ulama present were delighted and overjoyed. After which Shaykh stated, ‘There is no need to be so happy! Let me explain… if a mother has two children, one is playing in the garden and the second is playing near the fire. Which child does the mother have her eye on? Obviously, the one near the fire. Similarly, the interpretation of the dream is the Prophet ﷺ has his eyes fixated on the people of England because your Imaan is at risk. You may ask how? The Muslims of Makkah and Madinah will not sell their Imaan, because they are surrounded by Muslims and they are living in a Muslim country. At the most, they will commit sins. Same for the people of Pakistan, they will not sell their Imaan. As for the Muslims for India, they live in a Hindu country but totally oppose the actions of the Hindus. They dress differently, worship differently and keep Masjids and Hindu Temples separate.

What I have seen in the UK, especially in the young generation, step by step and inch by inch they follow the non-Muslims in every way; in their dress; in their food; their hairstyles; and their whole lifestyle. You are surrounded by non-Muslims, it is very easy to sell your Imaan living in the West.'”

Mawlana then continued his bayan.

 

It is December, the time of the year we see festive decorations and lights all around the country. Christmas is coming soon… Living in a non-Muslim country, how should we participate in this Christian festival? Are we allowed to attend Christmas parties? Should we let our children partake in Santa’s Grotto? When they attend school they want to play a part in the nativity play, is this Halal? Further, on Christmas day should we exchange gifts with our families and our Christian neighbours? Can we prepare a turkey dinner on Christmas day and enjoy it with the family? I won’t answer all these questions, but it is food for thought, further to the dream I mentioned in the start.

 

I will, however, like to touch on an issue increasing in the UK, having a turkey dinner on Christmas day. It is forbidden for a Muslim to prepare a turkey dinner on Christmas because this is an imitation of non-Muslims. It is confirmed in an authentic narration that “whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

 

Saying that the family gathers on this day and this is not with the purpose of imitating the non-Muslims but due to the fact that this day is a (bank) holiday, then this does not make it permissible for you to do this, because, in essence, you are imitating them. Gathering on this day could be on any other kind of food, why then have specifically a turkey dinner? Is this not imitating them even in the kind of food they eat?

The prohibition of resembling the non-Muslims is not restricted to inward actions [beliefs, actions of the heart] and intentions, but also to outward actions. It is for this reason that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited us from performing the prayer at sunset and sunrise, and he ﷺ said that it rises between two horns of the devil and the polytheist prostate to it at this time, despite the fact that a Muslim prays to Allah and not to the horns of the devil. However, the Prophet ﷺ forbade us from performing the prayer at that time regardless of our intention.

The Prophet ﷺ also used to differ from the people of the book even in the way they combed their hair.

Indeed, there are many narrations of the Prophet ﷺ about differing from the people of the Book in regard to both words and actions.

Therefore, we advise you to fear Allah and not imitate the polytheists and act in conformity with them in their festivals and traditions which are peculiar to them.

One should explain to the family, that it is permissible for the family to gather on that day because it is a holiday but without making this day as a festival and imitating the non-Muslims in their eating traditions and the like. It should be a family gathering like all other gatherings throughout the year [without any special food, settings or decorations].

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

29 Rabiul Awwal 1440

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Convert or Revert?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Is every child born a Muslim?636227225989015538-1172236555_islam-5

 

Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) narrates, the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said, ‘Every child is born in a state of fitrah, and then his parents make him into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian.’ (Bukhari & Muslim).

 

The Hadith does NOT say every child is born a “Muslim.” The word fitrah can be translated as ‘natural disposition’ or ‘natural instinct’; upon this understanding one can take fitrah to be in some sense a kind of innate characteristic. This Hadith is commonly misunderstood, it does not mean every child is born a Muslim. What it actually means is, every child is born upon nature. And the natural state of every human being is one of clarity, purity, of being in a pristine form, of being unpolluted and unadulterated by external factors. That natural state is conducive to a person accepting Islam and inclines one towards the beauty of Islam. But not exactly makes him a Muslim. As that child grows up those external factors influence him. If the external factor is corrosive and corrupting, they will becomes disinclined towards Islam. But they will not made apostates in childhood. The full Hadith narrated by Imam Bukahri, Imam Malik, Imam Muslim and Imam Ibn Hibban continues… The Prophet asked the Sahabah, “Do you see any animal mutilated when it is born?” Then the Sahabah asked, “What if that child died in his infancy?” The Prophet replied, “When Allah created them Allah knew best what they were going to do.” *End of the Hadith.*

If every child was born a Muslim, there would have been no need for the Sahabah to ask that question: “What if that child died in his infancy?” As all babies are born Muslim – but this is incorrect. We abstain from commenting on the children of the Christians, Jews, and polytheists who die in infancy.

If every child WAS born a Muslim, we could use the term “revert” when they revert back to Islam. But every child is born upon Fitrah, which means they are ‘inclined’ towards Islam, BUT NOT BORN MUSLIM as many assume. Had they all been born Muslim, this would mean they left Islam i.e. became Murtad (apostate) and then returned back to Islam. My question is when did they become Murtad? The answer is never. Hence it is wrong to use the term “revert.”

So every child is not born a Muslim, please see video for further misunderstood verses by Shaykh Riyadh Haq:

Please click here

Also, https://www.islam21c.com/theology/am-i-a-convert-or-a-revert/

حَدَّثَنَا الْقَعْنَبِيُّ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ كَمَا تَنَاتَجُ الإِبِلُ مِنْ بَهِيمَةٍ جَمْعَاءَ هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنْ يَمُوتُ وَهُوَ صَغِيرٌ قَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُوا عَامِلِينَ ‏”

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) as saying :

Every child is born on Islam, but his parents make him a Jew and a Christian, just as a beast is born whole. Do you find some among them (born) maimed? The people asked : Messenger of Allah! What do you think about the one who died while he was young? He replied : Allah knows best what he was going to do. (Abu Dawood)

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

8 Rajab 1439

 

A Perfect Muslim

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

The Prophet Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:

A (complete and perfect) Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand people are safe. (An-Nasa‘ī)

To be a perfect Muslim it is necessary to fulfil all of the requirements of Islām. One of these is to ensure that one does not cause harm to another human being, Muslim or non-Muslim. This is an extremely important component of the teachings of Islām.

In the above hadīth, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam’s use of the word ‘tongue’ encompasses all forms of speech, whilst the word ‘hand’ represents all physical actions. It means therefore, that no one can be a perfect Muslim unless the rest of Allāh ta‘ālā’s  bondsmen are safe from any harm originating from him.

Someone who performs salāh, pays zakāh, observes fasts, recites the Qur’ān in abundance and gives plenty in sadaqah cannot be classed a perfect believer if at the same time he also causes people heartache through his words or actions.  A person who, without any valid reason, causes hurt to another human being is a Muslim, but not a perfect or complete Muslim.

The religion of Islām branches out into five major areas: ‘aqā’id (beliefs), ‘ibādāt(worship), akhlāq (morals and character), mu‘āmalāt (transactions) and mu‘āsharah(etiquettes of social life). The branch of mu‘āsharah, or social etiquettes, is based on the above-mentioned saying of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. In today’s climate, there can be no more effective method of popularising Islām than the world’s Muslims embracing this branch of faith and living in accordance with it. If Muslims adopt the Islāmic etiquettes of social interaction, it will dispel the many misunderstandings created about Islām and Muslims, making it much easier for non-Muslims to understand and come closer to Islām.

Adopting the Islāmic way of dealing with people gives rise to occasions when a Muslim’s compassionate nature stands out. Intelligent people invariably pick up on such behaviour and become curious as to why, for example, a Muslim in a position to say or do something hurtful to another person does not do so. A time eventually comes when they enquire from the Muslim in question, presenting an opportunity for him to explain that he was only doing what the Prophet Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam taught, and that it is a major principle of Islām that no human being should be caused undue distress.

This is an extract from the booklet ‘Islām: A Message of Mercy’ published by
the Islāmic Da’wah Academy.


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Advice for school leavers

Muslim Women: Achievements and Virtues

By Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

http://www.zamzamacademy.com/2014/12/muslim-women-achievements-and-virtues/

Muslim_Woman_in_black

How does a woman fulfill her relationship with Allah Most High, and at the same time, also serve the community?

There are many extremes in this.  For example, some people believe that women should not be educated at all; that they should be kept completely ignorant so that they don’t know anything beyond the basics of their faith. This is completely rejected by our deen. Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, for example, compiled the famous work Bahishti Zewar and aimed it particularly toward women. The comprehensiveness of the book suggests it is a work that ought to live on the bookshelf of every home and used as a guidance for every aspect of a woman’s (and indeed her family’s) life. Indeed, such is the usefulness of the book that it is not uncommon to find muftis using Bahishti Zewar as a reference point nowadays.

There is the other extreme, too. There are women who discover some Islamic knowledge by way of their own research and suddenly, they believe they are qualified to derive and deliver Islamic rulings. Seeking knowledge is commendable in its own right, as is the desire to follow Islamic rulings.  At the same time, one must realise that there is an established and functional system that exists for Muslims to acquire knowledge and rulings.  It is when individuals fail to appreciate and engage with this conventional, mainstream system that rogue, isolated and wayward ideas and theories are formulated.

There was a case a few years back where a woman gave the adhan for Friday prayer and another woman led a congregation of men and women.  Needless to say, both actions are contrary to the Shar’ia.  Of course, in both of these examples the women felt they were doing the right thing. Some would argue these women were bringing Islam into the twenty-first century by introducing gender equality to the mosque.  What the women failed to realize is that Islam welcomes individuals looking to revive the faith, but does not require individuals to innovate new practices. After all, Islam has its own code of equality which was established over a thousand years ago independent of any western ideas. Why would Islam suddenly need to be introduced to a modern-day conception of equality?

Here, I would like to mention narrations that show the role of women in education and transmission of knowledge from one generation to another. Undoubtedly, mothers are the first source of information for their children. A look into Islamic history throws up many examples of great scholarly figures like ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Imam Bukhari and Muslim, and we find that they were brought up in the laps of their mothers. Who knew that young Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad ibn Isma‘il of Bukhara, later known as Imam Bukhari, would shape the understanding of many Muslim scholars and laymen that came after him?   There can be no doubt that the mothers of these monumental scholars made a significant contribution to their success.  The famous idiom “Behind every great man is a great woman” could not be more relevant than in the life of Imam Shafi’i, who was brought up by his mother alone, who was a widow.   Clearly, many women get closer to Allah Most High than men do because of their devotion and sacrifice for Islam. This is something that our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not overlook; our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would frequently consult with his wives.

Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her), the Wife of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

The first example is a very famous incident about Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) during the Treaty of Hudaybiya. The Companions travelled from Madina to Makka with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to perform the umra but were prevented from doing so by the non-Muslim Makkans. The stand-off was overcome when an agreement—the Treaty of Hudaibiya—was signed, permitting the Muslims to perform umra the following year. Because the Muslims had come with a desire to perform umra this year, they were very disappointed and disheartened. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked them to shave their heads and sacrifice their accompanying animals, so they could come out of the state of ihram (pilgrim sanctity).  However, due to their disappointment, they appeared reluctant to do so.  So, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) went inside his tent with concern and told Umm Salama, his wife, about what was going on. She told him (Allah bless him and give him peace) to go and sacrifice his animal and shave his own head in front of everyone. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came out from his tent and did exactly what Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) suggested.  The advice of Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) proved sound, as the Companions immediately tried to emulate the Prophet’s actions and thus carried out his command.

The Daughter of Abu Bakr, Asma’ (may Allah be pleased with them)

Asma’ bint Abi Bakr was a great Companion from the time she was young. She was the older sister of ‘A’isha and the daughter of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them all). When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) were migrating to Madinah, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) took all of his wealth with him. He did not leave much behind for his family. In his home, there were a few family members; his two daughters, his blind father and perhaps one or two other people. Abu Bakr’s father kept complaining and asking about what Abu Bakr had left behind for them. So Asma’ (may Allah be pleased with her) got some pebbles and covered them up with a cloth and then took her grandfather’s hand, letting him feel the pebbles from over the cloth. Thinking they were coins, the grandfather said that Abu Bakr has left a lot for them. From this we can see how Asma’ (may Allah be pleased with her) used her wit to deal with the situation.

The Daughter-In-Law of Umar bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)

When ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was the caliph, he was patrolling the streets at night. He decided to take a break and was resting in front of a house. From inside the house he heard a mother and a daughter talking. The mother instructed the daughter to add water to the milk they had so that they would have more to sell. The daughter reminded her that the caliph had outlawed this practice. Though the mother retorted that the caliph wasn’t around to witness this rather dubious practice, the daughter asserted that Allah Most High was the Ever Present, the Ever Watchful and refused to do it.

Like any father, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) wanted pious spouses for his children. The following day, he ascertained that one of his sons, ‘Asim, was looking to get married.  ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) proposed a marriage between ‘Asim and the girl and they got married. ‘Asim and his wife had a daughter who was known as Umm ‘Asim, who later on married ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Marwan, the brother of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (one of the powerful caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty). This daughter gave birth to the great caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was the one who, in a period of two and a half years, sorted out the situation of the Muslim ummah for a while and dealt with all the injustices that had taken place. So it can be seen how piety, especially in women, filters down to others because they have such a great influence and impact on their children and grandchildren.

Owing to the amount of time a mother and child spend together, a more direct and intimate relationship is established. It could be said that the mother’s characteristics are passed down to her child and therefore there is great responsibility on a mother to be an excellent role model.

The Daughter of Imam Malik

It is said that when Imam Malik, a great Imam of fiqh and hadith, was teaching, there would be pin drop silence despite the very large class size. The respect he had for the prophetic hadiths would also be seen in the people who listened to him; people would sit in awe whilst studying hadith with the Imam. The Imam would listen to his students and whenever a student would make a mistake, there would be a knock on the door near to where Imam Malik would sit to alert them to the mistake.  The knock was from his daughter who had memorized her father’s entire hadith collection, the Muwatta’.  Sometimes a young man would pass by the gathering and Imam Malik would remark that Allah Most High grants knowledge and tawfiq only to those He wishes. The boy, who was his son, was not interested in studying and when he would pass by, Imam Malik would make this comment. His daughter, on the other hand, was memorizing and learning from a young age. Imam Malik never prohibited her from engaging in the class. After all, she was observing the etiquette of hijab. There has been no prohibition for women studying the religion as long as the rules and regulations of hijab are observed.

The Daughter of ‘Allama Samarqandi

Among the Hanafi scholars of the 4th and 5th century, there is a great scholar by the name of ‘Allama Samarqandi, the author of Tuhfat al-Fuqaha’ (The gift to the jurists). Among his students was Badr al-Din al-Kasani who also became a great jurist, may be even greater than his teacher. Among the other students of Allama Samarqandi was his own daughter. She was such a great jurist that many people asked for her hand in marriage but she refused. She said that she would only marry someone who could teach her something new. ‘Allama Kasani wrote a commentary on his teacher’s work called Bada’i’ al-Sana’i’. He presented the work to his teacher and when she read it, she realized and appreciated the knowledge that he possessed and accepted his proposal.  Thereafter, all subsequent fatwas issued by this household were jointly signed by the father daughter and son-in-law.  This shows that a woman, too, can be a muftiya and jurist. Unfortunately, we do not see enough of this today. The more sacred knowledge that a woman sincerely acquires, the more observant she becomes of her religion and the more she becomes modest in the sight of Allah Most High.

The mother of the last ruler of Granada, Spain

‘A’isha Umm Muhammad was the mother of Muhammad, the last ruler of Granada, Spain. On the day that he had to surrender Granada to the Christians, he began weeping. What his mother said to him on this occasion has been written down in books and recorded in history. She said to her son:

“O person of vile nature, were you not from noble Arab ancestry? I am ashamed that you were born to me. Your senselessness and impotency has ashamed me to even own you. Were a stone born to me instead!Don’t cry today like a woman over what you could not defend like a man.”

Such was his mother. Instead of succumbing to the maternal instinct of consoling her child, she objectively accounted her son.  This is a great example of how women, at times, keep their senses in situations where men may become despondent and defeated. This is really important given a woman’s influence within the Muslim community. Nobody is going to deny a woman’s contribution to the Muslim society as long as it is done in the right way. The problem we have today is that people are pursuing liberalism and buying into aspects of extreme feminism.  Though some goals of it may be praiseworthy, it is largely misguided.

Motherhood is an extremely cherished concept not only in our faith, but in any human civilization. The problem with some feminists is that motherhood is looked down upon. A woman that chooses to be a housewife or a full-time mother is perceived as less successful than a career woman. A woman being on the board of a big company, meanwhile, is a special thing; it seemingly raises her esteem in the eyes of others and almost gives people a cause for celebration.  But a woman raising great sons and daughters, for example, doesn’t really attract the same kind of celebration. Celebration of motherhood is very important. The way to deal with feminism today is to celebrate motherhood as much as possible.

Celebration of Motherhood: the Story of Hajar (Upon Her be Peace)

Hajar (upon her be peace) was left in the desert by her husband Ibrahim (upon him be peace) according to the command of Allah Most High. She had nothing. No food. No extra clothing. No water.  Ibrahim (upon him be peace) did not even initially provide her an explanation as to why he was leaving her there in Makka. He just took her there, turned around and started to leave. She managed to ask whether this was according to a command of Allah Most High. When he responded in the affirmative, she told him that Allah Most High will not abandon her. Immediately, her maternal instincts kicked in. Her son became thirsty, and she began to run back and forth searching for water seven times in between the mounts of Safa and Marwa. This act of hers was so significant that, thousands of years on, millions of Muslims still emulate this action of hers as a rite of hajj.  Her action of searching for water appeared so simple but Allah Most High made it so significant. It is an achievement of motherhood. It is from this event that we get the blessed water of ZamZam. One could say zamzam is a gift of motherhood.  Also, this is probably the only religious rite the world over in the major religions that celebrates a woman’s action.

The Story of Umm Sharik (may Allah be pleased with her)

At the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), there was a female Companion by the name of Umm Sharik (may Allah be pleased with her). She embraced Islam early on and was a very active member of the community. Umm Sharik decided to give da’wa to the people of the community. She went to the houses of those who were not Muslim and talked to the women about the new faith of Islam, and they started embracing it. Umm Sharik was very successful, and eventually, her tribe found out what was happening. They wanted to punish her and stop her propagation. Her tribe was travelling somewhere and she was tied up outside a tent in the hot desert without any water or shade for several days. After a few days, she became dehydrated and was completely disoriented, so much so, that she did not know what was happening anymore.  One day at noon, when the sun was at its peak and it was really hot, the members of her tribe retired into their tents to take an afternoon nap leaving her alone outside. At this point, she suddenly saw a pot of water coming down from the heaven towards her. She drank from it. It moved away, then it returned and she drank from it again until she was completely satiated and refreshed. Once her tribe woke up and they saw how refreshed she was, they began to wonder what had happened. She told them about the occurrence and how she had received the water, but nobody believed her. They said that she must have taken the water from their supplies somehow while they were asleep. The tribespeople began to check their water supply and found that no water was missing. It was at this point that the truth of her words dawned on them and they all accepted Islam. Her example shows us that if the active people in the community take their obligations seriously, then they can be a source of guidance for their entire community. Likewise, if people are active in wrongdoing, it can filter down to their community and bring about unwanted consequences.

Most problems today exist because of ignorance. There are individuals who are successful in their secular work or career but are not too concerned about their faith.  Sometimes, when such people decide to do something for their faith, they may do so with a lot of zeal but it is generally with superficial knowledge of the faith.  Their Islamic knowledge is sometimes not even enough to get them through their day-to-day obligations, let alone refute or convince others. Such people then stand up to defend the faith against Islamaphobia and other vile attacks against Islam. Although their intention may be praiseworthy, their defense takes the form of “reforming the faith.” They end up trying to apologetically convince people that Islam shares the same values as the secularists, and suddenly you have women leading Friday prayers, calling the adhan and other such activities that are unsanctioned in the faith. These people feel they are sincere in their faith, and want to do something for it, but often forget they lack the correct knowledge or qualification. So out of their ignorance, they engage in ideas and actions that are contrary and far removed from Islam. Such people think they are helping Islam, when, in fact, they are actually hurting it.

Establishment of the Qarawiyyin University

While the famous Azhar University is commonly known as being the first university to be established back in 361 A.H., there already existed another less famous university called Jami’ al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco.  The Qarawiyyin was founded and built by a woman called Umm al-Banin Fatima bint Mohammed ibn Abdillah al-Fihri. Her father was very wealthy and had taught her well. She was a jurist, and used her inheritance to build Qarawiyyin, a madrasa for students to stay in and learn sacred knowledge. Similarly, Fatima’s sister, Maryam bint Abdillah, founded the Jami’ al-Andalus on the other side of Fez. These women used their wealth for the cause of Islam and did something no man had hitherto accomplished. Similarly, the wife of the caliph Harun al-Rashid had a water canal built, called the Zubayda Canal in Makka, as a water source for the pilgrims to address the difficulty that existed of a reliable water supply. An impressive aqueduct was used to carry the water to the pilgrims and can still be seen today.

These examples show that women, like men, can be activists, savvy problem solvers and visionaries. Unfortunately, there are some people who are suppressed so much that they feel they cannot do anything for their faith, while on the other hand there are those who become prey to the Shaytan, and their misplaced zeal leads them to focus on the absolute wrong things and they end up dividing the community.

The Daughter of Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab

Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab was a great tabi’i (an immediate successor to the Companions) also known as the leader of the tabi‘in (sayyid al- tabi‘in). His daughter learned all the hadith that he knew. She was so beautiful and knowledgeable that many people sought her hand in marriage. ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan who became the caliph of the Ummayyads also asked for her hand in marriage but Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab refused. He had her marry an impoverished student of his. Once after marriage, her husband put on his cloak to leave the house. She asked where he was going and he said to study with her father. She told him to take his cloak of and sit down and she would teach him the knowledge of Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab. Her husband said about her that she was the most beautiful and the most knowledgeable about the Sunna, and she knew the rights of her husband.

Hadith on the Reward for Women

Women are getting rewarded automatically for doing things that they have to do as part of their human life cycle. They are getting the same reward that men would get for doing things which take a long time to do. They are getting so many rewards in those nine months and beyond. Allah Most High has made both men and women different but at the same time they both can achieve the great stations in the sight of Allah Most High.

Asmaa bint Yazeed (may Allah be pleased with her) came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said may my father and mother be sacrificed for you O Messenger of Allah. I am a representative of the women to you. God has sent you as a messenger to all the men and women, we have believed in you and your God.  Now we women have been confined to the houses, we bear your children, men have been preferred over women in terms of Friday and the other congregational prayers, visiting the sick, attending funerals, doing hajj after hajj, and more than that, jihad in the path of Allah. When you men go out for hajj, umra, or jihad, we look after your property, we weave your clothes, and we bring up your children. Will we not share with you in the reward? [Note here that the women aren’t seeking to do what men do; they recognise their responsibilities but want to know if they will get a share of the reward.] The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) then completely turned around to the companions and said to them, ‘Have you heard any woman asking about her religion better than this?’ They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we never thought any woman could have been guided to do this’. Then the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) turned to her and said ‘Understand O woman, tell the other women behind you, that a wife looking after her husband, seeking his contentment and going along with him is equal to all that.’ The woman went back with her face shining with happiness (Usd al-Ghaba1:1313).

A woman looking after all of her husband’s interests, playing the role of the mother and the woman of the house, is getting an equal amount of reward as her husband when he is out earning a living and generally meeting all his obligations.  The woman is playing a great role which is important for the progeny to continue and for the family to work as a whole.

Shaykh Akram Nadwi, in his book the Muhaddithat, the female hadith scholars in Islam, has compiled numerous volumes on the lives of the women hadith scholars. In his introduction, he writes, “I have worked through much material over a decade and I have spent more than ten years compiling biographical accounts of nearly eight thousand muhaddithat.”  Interestingly, he notes that not one of them has been reported to have considered the domain of family life inferior or to have neglected the duties therein or considered being a woman undesirable or inferior to that of a man.

These stories and incidents are only a few examples to show us the zeal of women, their willingness to participate in society and their desire to achieve great feats in this world. Crucially, women can achieve all this, whilst at the same time playing the role of a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother.

Transcribed by Rabiah Nargis

Edited by Abdul Aziz

In a world of Kardashians, be a Khadeejah RA.

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In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the especially Merciful.

“She broke the internet,” they proudly said. “Who did?” asked the little, old man living under the rock.  Kim Kardashian broke the internet by flaunting her fully revealed derrière, slim waistline and all the rest.

We live in a world where women are awarded God-like statuses for having cheekbones so defined they can cut, for having their eyebrows sculpted with the latest tools and for having an eye-poppingly, beautiful hourglass figure. We live in a sad society where girls half my height (I’m an average 5’6 for the record) know how to contour and strobe and highlight and crease.  Now, don’t jump the gun and box me off with the other ‘haraam police’ suffocating in the last cabinet drawer.  I am a huge lover for all things make up and beauty but my concern lies when they have the power to conjure people into obsessive, obnoxious and narcissistic beings.

Turn on the TV, look at billboards around you, pick up a magazine or two, flick through Instagram and you will notice how we, as a society, are sickeningly fascinated or almost bewitched by good looks.

This fascination is universal. Some may disagree and say it’s limited to certain groups of people or specific cultures but I strongly believe otherwise.  Being British Asian, I’ve seen it on both sides and it is the topic that will solely take up most of my ‘Things I HATE’ list.  I have witnessed women gossiping with hearts flashing in their eyes about X who is so slender, so tall and oh so rosy in comparison to Y who, said with almost an expression of sympathy (argh the nerve!), is on the other end of the spectrum. There will be zero mention of piety, zero mention of intelligence and absolutely no mention of their personality. I find it incredibly sad, shallow and superficial that there is no recognition of things that actually require effort like wit, charisma, individuality, loyalty, humour, confidence, ambition and so much more.

We are surrounded by the Kardashians who, in my personal opinion, have really escalated this vile ideology of looks over the rest.

In this difficult age, I salute women whose role models are the likes of Khadeejah and Aa’ishah (Allah be pleased with them both).  As much as I love Aa’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) for her vast knowledge and defiance in the face of corruption, my heart melts with deep love for Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her).  Her existence precedes mine by over 1400 years but every aspect of her beloved personality and character can be absorbed into ours and if I can, at the very least, continuously strive to mirror that, I am happy.

Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her) was the daughter of Khuwaylid and Fatimah; they were almost figures of royalty amongst the Quraysh. She was widowed twice and had a son before her marriage to prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her) had heard about the honesty and truthfulness of Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) but asked Nafisah and Maysarah more on his character. Why? Because ultimately, that’s what matters. Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) and Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her) came together through character and their marriage was praised throughout Makkah.

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) would remain in Hirah for days on end out of his love for isolation and contemplation, Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her)  did not complain about his lack of given family time or his continuous absence. Rather, she herself, at the old age of fifty-five, would climb up the rocky mountain to deliver his food and to offer comfort.

On the day of the first revelation when our prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) came down in a state of shock and confusion and spoke those famous words asking Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her) to cover him, she didn’t say to him that maybe you shouldn’t be up there in the first place or maybe you’re just going mad all alone or maybe some demons have possessed you. Instead, she religiously, physically and emotionally consoled him. She (Allah be pleased with her) immediately tried to alleviate the grief that had struck our prophet by soothing him with her words, ‘Allah will never disgrace you.’ She (Allah be pleased with her) went on and listed all the beautiful natured habits he held and in essence, was telling him how much she loved him and how much Allah loved him (peace and blessings upon him) came.

وَاللَّهِ مَا يُخْزِيكَ اللَّهُ أَبَدًا، إِنَّكَ لَتَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ، وَتَحْمِلُ الْكَلَّ، وَتَكْسِبُ الْمَعْدُومَ، وَتَقْرِي الضَّيْفَ، وَتُعِينُ عَلَى نَوَائِبِ الْحَقِّ

“By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.” (Bukhari)

This woman, the beautiful Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her), who lived her life like a queen with all the luxuries, supported our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) with all that she had financially.  When times got incredibly tough during the boycott, she didn’t have access to, what was once a basic necessity for her, food and drink.  Despite this, she never once wavered but defiantly stood beside our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) as a solid force of support and loyalty.

When Khadeejah died (Allah be pleased with her), this support system that never once faltered before came tumbling down. Our prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings upon him) loyal wife, first believer, strong supporter,  children’s mother, died as a result of the boycott. She was his fallback, she facilitated his aim, she complimented him in his goal. We all need that one person who will believe in us unconditionally, who will stand by us in moments of fear, insecurity and vulnerability, who will catch us when the going gets tough, who will facilitate our dreams, who will be our backbone and for our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), that person was none other than the mighty Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her).

I dream of a world where women are inspired by others due to everything other than what they are naturally blessed with. I dream of a world where every woman is more than just the fine nose and the hollow cheeks. I dream of a world where every woman is driven by an inner substance and a raging ambition. I dream of a world where every woman wants to be a Khadeejah (Allah be pleased with her) and not a Kardashian.

Allah grant every Muslimah the understanding of her true value, and the courage to practise her faith wholly for His pleasure. Ameen.

Umm Abdullah

20 Safar 1437

Do Women Need Feminism?

by Zara Huda Faris

http://zarafaris.com/2013/03/27/mdi-transcript-do-women-need-feminism-opening-presentation/

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This is the official MDI Transcript of the opening presentation of Zara Huda Faris’ (Muslim Researcher and Speaker for MDI), which was delivered at the debate with Natalie Bennett (UK Green Party Leader), ‘Do Women Need Feminism’, held on 28 February 2013.
It is claimed that women need feminism because there are women who suffer injustice – but this ignores that nearly all human beings will suffer injustice at some point in their lives at the hands of other men or women – and justice for only one group of society, to the exclusion of another, is like a bird with only one wing – it just does not fly.
Men have a fundamental need for justice just the same as women do – and whilst the very word „feminism‟ discriminates, the word „justice‟ does not. Justice means giving people what they deserve or merit but, as we will see, feminism and justice are not synonymous.
Feminism is a highly ambiguous term, straitjacketing instead of liberating, it is the call for gender privilege masquerading as equality. In essence, feminism denies the human reality, it is unclear, and not a cause for justice.
Feminism is unjust
To begin. Feminists advocate that women have traditionally been dehumanised by a male dominated society, which they call the patriarchy; and that it has always been better to be a man. But this one-sided claim snubs the privileges that women have often enjoyed simply for being women.
The dynamics of society, at the most basic level, show that it has actually always been better to be a woman. Biologically, every woman counts in reproduction and perpetuating life itself – giving each woman an intrinsic worth, regardless of what she does. It only takes one man, however, for many women to have children. Historically, this gave rise to the idea amongst human societies that men are largely disposable, whilst every woman is indispensable.
This is why, instinctively, we prioritise safety and comfort for women rather than men; why women are rescued first in any emergency or disaster, and get the first seats in lifeboats; why men tend to work longer hours, risking life and limb in the more dirty and dangerous jobs like being coal miners, oil drillers, foot soldiers, construction workers, rubbish collectors, and the male relative acting as the unpaid bodyguard in the home. To quote one activist, „women are human beings whilst men are human doings.‟i This privilege is not appreciated by feminists because, as pro-feminist Michael Kimmel once said, „privilege is invisible to those who have it‟.
When it comes to violent crime, the reality is that the more violent the crime, the more likely the victim is to be a man. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered than women in the UK.ii When it comes to domestic violence, the Guardian reported that men are the victims more than 40% of the time – excluding unreported cases – and men are half as likely to tell anyone about it in the first place.iii When it comes to the provision of refuges, there are 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men. As for male rape victims within UK prisons, there‟s a collective state of denial – it‟s just not taken seriously.iv v Men are held to a higher standard of self-defence, so they often suffer in silence, reluctant to be re-victimised by an unsympathetic legal system or disbelieving treatment from professionals.
Yet feminists generally remain egregiously quiet about male suffering as a result of social roles. Whilst feminists seek “liberation” from the “shackles” of the traditional female role, the man is still expected to continue his traditional, disposable role. This one-sided narrative of feminism is not the way forward.
For feminists, “equality” is merely a facade to favour women, often at the expense of others. Like when former Equality Minister, Harriet Harman (a feminist) publicly requested employers to discriminate against white men and hire women instead if both candidates were equally qualified.vi Or when former Equality Minister, Patricia Hewitt, (also a feminist), was found guilty of breaching the Sex Discrimination Act by “overlooking a strong male candidate for a job in favour of a weaker female applicant”.vii
Feminists claim to seek “equality”, and call for a 40% minimum female quota on management boards, but conspicuously do not call for a 40% female quota for soldiers, prison guards, lumberjacks, miners, body guards, or construction workers – why is that? Why not campaign for an end to the „women and children first policy‟ for lifeboat rescue – why not make it first come, first served? Why not have women and men compete side by side at the Olympics – as equals? Of course, the reason feminists will not advocate this is because they are not really after equality, but the means to achieve gender privilege.
Another shocking example is the feminist campaign for closing women‟s prisons. The Fawcett Society, the UK‟s leading feminist campaign for closing the inequality gap between women and men, campaigned that female prisons did not suit women‟s needs.
So, as recommended in a report by Baroness Corstonviii, they should be closed and replaced with what is in effect, women‟s social clubs, where female offenders get to spend time with each other “organising their own shopping, budgets and cooking”, and then go home to their children at the end of each day.
The Corston Report also stated that „Women and men are different. Equal treatment of men and women does not result in equal outcomes‟, going on to claim that “women are governed by hormones and a monthly cycle, which affects their moods and emotions. […] these biological factors have a direct bearing on the way in which women experience stressful events during their lives.”

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If a man were to say that about treating women differently in the workplace, he‟d be called a misogynist. Strangely, feminists are completely happy to say women are „governed by hormones‟ and cite „biological factors‟ when it comes to obtaining privileges for women.
So, for feminists, male criminals are to be punished to the full extent of the law while female criminals should get comfort and help. Why is female suffering and injustice more important than male suffering and injustice? Surely justice does not discriminate. But as we can see, feminism does! Feminists are not asking for equal treatment – but special treatment – gender privilege.
Women do not need gender privilege and therefore they do not need feminism. In reality, they, along with men, need justice – a comprehensive justice for all.
Feminism is unclear
Secondly, women need clear solutions – but feminism is unclear and evasive. Feminism comes in many different factions: conservative, liberal, socialist, post-modern, ecofeminism, and so on – with no shared value system or moral guidance, feminists do not agree on anything but the name – and will happily contradict themselves if need be. For example, feminists have no clear position for the sexual objectification of women – some feminists advocate androgynising the female appearance and others campaign for safer breast implants without adequately challenging why women feel compelled to get them in the first place.
Because feminism cannot deal with complexities, it promotes the idea of individualism instead – that women should be “empowered” through “redefining their own expectations” – and feminists are always on hand to dictate that women should make men the benchmark for these expectations. Instead of freeing women from male expectation, feminists expect free women to be male.
Feminism denies the human reality
Finally, I argue that feminism denies human reality – it straitjackets women, and does not understand or accommodate the natural proclivities of the genders.
Virtually all species, from bees to primates have different gender roles, with different biological abilities across the sexes. Yet feminists insist that any gender difference between humans is invented and there is nothing biological about men or women that should inform their social roles. Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated, however, the role of testosterone in building muscle, in increasing competitiveness, confidence and risk taking – making men better suited to the more hazardous and competitive roles of society. Because of testosterone, men naturally tend to be faster, bigger, possess more stamina and are physically stronger. So teaching a girl that she can naturally compete equally with men in everything is misleading.

One absurd example of this is when feminists, attempting to achieve equal outcomes between the sexes, had the strenuous physical tests for UK firefighters lowered and the standards relaxed in order to accommodate more female firefighters.ix
The standards you can now expect from professionals in burning buildings (and boardrooms – as I mentioned earlier), whether male or female, is now much lower than before because of feminists. It seems feminists are implicitly agreeing with Plato who said that women should be treated equally to men, except that not so much should be expected of them – leading feminists in their absurd quest for „equal outcomes‟ between the sexes, to campaign for mediocrity in the workplace rather than meritocracy.x
Feminists argue that the division of labor in traditional families constrains women’s opportunities and that women are discriminated against in getting jobs and wages, and that there exists a wage gap between the genders. However, these arguments collapse upon further scrutiny, because if employers could get away with paying a woman less for the exact same task that they could pay a man – why would they not just hire women? Furthermore, statistics cited by feminists as evidence of the wage gap, lump full-time hours in with overtime hours (of which women tend to choose to do far less than men)xi. They also average earnings from disparate jobs, like primary school teachers with investment bankers, sales engineers with chemical engineers, HR executives with finance executives. So they do not compare like for like jobs.
Nor are women discouraged from entering higher-paying fields. They outperform men at university,xii but are more likely to choose languages, arts and social sciences (which pay less), whilst men are more likely to choose engineering, technology, math and sciences (which pay more).
The division of labour once children are born, also means mothers tend to intensify their home commitments, and fathers tend to heavily intensify their work commitments. Men seem to make this trade-off more than women – perhaps because men feel more obligated to work than women do. The reality is that the statistics do not reflect discrimination but choices. If there is a „glass ceiling‟, it seems that women are the main architects of it, because they get to trade-off higher paying jobs for more flexible hours to combine work and family life, which means they not only get the benefit of the father‟s wage, but also a better work life balance for herself. Is not  that more important than arbitrarily chasing the highest paying jobs?
Feminists do not want to be thought of as sexual objects, but seem happy to be valued according to their economic worth. Both assessments are materialistic, and neither should dictate the worth of a man or woman.
The wage gap is telling in that feminists cannot deny the impact of motherhood on the woman‟s life choices – that men and women cannot live lives completely autonomous from one another – that men and women actually need each other to make a whole.
So that‟s the wage gap – but if feminists are so keen on equality, what about their silence on the cancer research gap, the education gap, the violent crime gap, the death on the job gap, the suicide gap,xiii the life expectancy gap – all of which discriminate against men?

In idolising the male and trying to create an androgynous sexuality where men and women are virtually identical except for their anatomy, feminists have perpetuated a misogynistic self-loathing for the traditional female role – motherhood, and female tenderness is now viewed as a weakness. The strength of men which can be used to lead wars just as it can be used to be fierce protectors, is often kept in check by the compassion and temperance of women. But when women abandon these qualities, and want the same aggression that they perceive in men, what will be left?
When feminists are insisting on taking over the male role, is it any surprise that men are shirking the responsibilities which they once did with pride, diligence and self-less duty? If feminists want to ‘have-it-all’, they will most likely end up having to ‘do-it-all’, often at the expense of their own wellbeing, and most importantly, at the expense of our children.
Islam
In Islam, men and women and their actions are equal in the eyes of God, God says in the Qur‟an “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; one of you is as the other” (The Holy Qur‟an 3:195).  Islam primarily addresses men and women the same because men and women, by and large, share the same human characteristics – men and women are addressed separately only in relation to the few areas where men and women differ.
The Islamic system is not based on selfish individualism but a God-centred world view promoting mutual reciprocity. In Islam, women do not serve men, nor do men serve women. Rather, we serve God by helping each other and giving to each other based on human needs, with the understanding that humans are not all the same.
Islam guards the female from the moment she enters the world, by rebuking and prohibiting the practice of female infanticide as one of the gravest crimes to be committed. Such a religion can only go on to challenge the ill-treatment of women, and secure her wellbeing, at every stage of her life. Through property rights, marriage contracts, political participation, inheritance laws, and dress code, it advocates complimentarity with men and not competition. Marriage is the bedrock of family life and the fundamental unit of Islamic society, giving us rights and duties to one another. As a wife, she has the right to be provided for, including her own living space, and is guaranteed financial safeguards should her marriage not work out.
Yet Islam does not straitjacket women – it allows women to enter the workplace – but not out of the necessity of the struggle to support herself, but out of choice, to be pursued at her leisure. In Islam, nobody has a right over her earnings. However, Islam mandates that a man‟s earnings must be used to provide for the women of the household irrespective of whether they work or not. Furthermore, as a mother, the woman is given preference for respect from her children over their father. Such is the esteemed role she plays as the heart and soul of the family and, by extension, society.
Islam provides a clear, natural and just solution to ensuring justice for all humans, and has no need for feminism‟s vain attempts to reinvent the wheel that Islam set in motion over 1400 years ago.

In Islam, power is not a virtue – it is a burden and responsibility. Instead of seeking to empower ourselves, we should empower justice. In Islam, women are liberated from the servitude of men, and liberated from the expectations of other women. It is virtue, which all human beings, regardless of gender, career or social role, can equally strive for. In the end, true self-worth and contentment does not come through submission to any aspect of creation but rather, by submission to the Creator Himself and all that He Commands.
Zara Huda Faris- 28 February 2013
i Man Woman & Myth – http://www.manwomanmyth.com
ii Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Crime in England &Wales – 2009/10, p.51
iii The Guardian, 5 September 2010 – More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence
iv The Guardian, 17 March 2010 – Rape is not just a women‟s issue – UK charity Mankind suggests that three in 20 men are victims of sexual violence – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/17/stern-review-male-rape (See also article on prison ombudsman – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/may/02/male-rape-prison-jail-howard-league)
v It was also noted in a Home Office publication in 1999 that some studies of rape-case attrition had deliberately and inexplicably excluded cases of male rape. See: „Policing Male Rape and Sexual Assault‟ by Philip N. S. Rumney, Journal of Criminal Law (2008), Volume 72, Issue 1, February, (JCL 72 (67)).
vi http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7474801.stm
vii http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/female-champion-hewitt-discriminated-against-man-510584.html
viii The Corston Report, March 2007 – http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/corston-report-march-2007.pdf
ix http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375381/Fire-service-strength-fitness-tests-relaxed-allow-women-firefighters.html. The tests were originally designed to identify candidates that could carry a certain weight over a certain distance and do other tasks involving upper body strength. Recently, however, the tests were hugely relaxed in order to accommodate more female firefighters. The ‘ladder lifting’ tests that all new recruits have to go through were made easier, and strenuous ‘beep test’ runs were scrapped. Women can also repeat fitness tests if they fail, without having to go back to the beginning.
x Plato‟s Republic (457a10)
xi Office for National Statistics – 2011 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (SOC 2000) – 23 November 2011
xii http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16530012 – More women than men were studying for degrees in 2010/11 (57%). 66% of degrees awarded to women were either firsts or 2:1. The figure was 61% for men.
xiii There were 4,552 male suicides in 2011 and 1,493 female suicides. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/suicides-in-the-unitedkingdom/2011/stb-suicide-bulletin.html