The woman must do this, the woman must do that. She must cook the food, take care of children, and obey her husband at all costs! Does Islam really subjugate women like it is thought? Well the answer is plain and simple. NO! To think, some of us are getting too obsessed with women, and all our focus and criticism goes against them, but what about men? Without doubt there are many things that are upon the women that are in her benefit, however, there are just as many things upon men, but these are either ignored or just not talked about.
Firstly, we should understand that men and women are different and have different roles in Islam. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.” (Qur’an, 4:32)
In Islam, men have many responsibilities to fulfill towards women. The man must earn, provide for, clothe and shelter his wife, and he is not allowed to take the money she owns. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that your wife has a right upon you (Al-Bukhari) and fulfilling this right is an indication of revering and fearing Allah. Man will be questioned if he fulfilled this duty. If he does not, then it is a clear act of disobedience to Allah and His Messenger.
So husbands, are we fulfilling our duty or are we disobeying our Lord?
Women play an important role towards the society. A mother who raises her children in accordance with the teachings of Islam is the backbone of society. Well-nurtured children are a basis for a strong community. Men should also play a part in the upbringing of the children. Yes, he has to go out and work, but there are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. I’m sure most of us are not so busy; if we prudently manage our time, we can make positive contribution in their upbringing. Here’s the question: How many men change nappies? How many men get up at night when the baby is crying? Very few I suppose.
How about dishes? When was the last time any of us men did the washing up? Why is it such a chore? After finishing dinner, what harm would it cause to pick up the plates and wash them? No instead, we eat to our fill, leave the plates where they are and take it for granted that our wives will do it. By helping around in washing dishes, changing nappies, and making our beds, our wives will only love us more.
The man also has a Hijab to observe. He must always lower his gaze. This is another aspect taken for granted. We have heard that we are not held to account for that one, unintentional, look. But some take it for granted to elongate it and make it ‘one long look.’ We must fear Allah and observe proper Hijab. Men should also dress modestly. His clothes must show piety and his Awrah must not be displayed.
We also ignore dressing up for our wives. Ask yourselves, when was the last time you looked your best for your wife? It is expected from her to look after the kids, make the dinner, clean the house and look good for us, but what about us? If the food is not cooked when we come home or we don’t like its taste, how do we react? Do we follow the Sunnah and keep silent without criticizing food?
We should follow the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in all areas of our lives, and that includes within our households. Women are our partners. When no one listens to our problems, our wives do. Let’s start from today and make that change and surely the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement should be something for us to ponder on.
“The best of you are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you with my wives‚ – (Ibn Hibban)
When Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to deliver his message as God’s last messenger to mankind, all human societies ill-treated women. Arabia was no exception. Prior to Islam Arabian women had no rights, not even the right to live. Often parents killed their young daughters, burying them alive, for fear of poverty or shame. Under the Roman and Byzantine Empires, women were practically enslaved, even by the rule of law. The Persian Empire considered women to be the source of evil. Today, the Western civilization boasts of its achievement of equality between men and women. Yet, this was achieved after hard struggle. Until World War One, women did not have the right to vote in general elections in Britain or elsewhere in Europe. The suffragette movement had to fight hard for that right to be granted. By contrast, Islam, as preached by Prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago, gave women a status equal to that of men. The Qur’an clearly states: “Women shall, in all fairness, enjoy rights similar to those exercised against them.” (2: 228)
Legal provisions are one thing and personal treatment is another. A member of parliament may give the best argument in a public debate for looking after women, but his behavior toward his wife and women folk may be overbearing and hurtful. Prophet Muhammad made sure that his conduct was always a practical endorsement of what he preached. As a husband, he never wavered in his love and kind treatment of Khadijah, his first and only wife for 25 years. He continued to cherish her memory to the end of his life. He married other women after her death, but none could fill her place. Yet with them he committed himself to much more than what Islam requires of all men to be kind and caring of their women. He disliked to be seen by any of them without a smile on his face. He visited each one of them in the morning and in the afternoon, enquiring after them and ensuring that they received what they needed. At night, he would be with the one whose turn it was for him to stay with.
Aishah mentions that when he was alone with his wives, he was the most amenable of people, always smiling and relaxed. Every description of the Prophet, given by his companions, highlights the fact that he inspired awe in anyone who talked to him, whether on religious matters or any other subject. Yet he did not allow that awe inspiring appearance to become a barrier between him and any of his wives. They always spoke to him in the friendliest manner that characterizes a marital relation. One of them once said to him in front of her father: “Speak out, but say nothing but the truth.”
What we see here is a normal conversation between husband and wife. The role of the Prophet, who is God’s messenger to all mankind, totally disappears. Had the woman felt that she was addressing God’s messenger, she would not have thought of speaking in this way. She was merely a woman talking to her husband and trying to prove a point in dispute between them. Muhammad, whose life was totally devoted to his mission, saw nothing wrong with the way she spoke to him. He accepted it as perfectly normal. We will have more to say on this aspect of the Prophet’s life in future.
— By Adil Salahi
The unity of mankind is conceived in the light of the common parentage of Adam and Eve. Every human being is a member of the universal family established by them, and is entitled therefore to enjoy the common benefits as he is enjoined to share the common responsibilities. When people realize that they all belong to Adam and Eve and that these were the creation of Allah, there will be no room for racial prejudice or social injustice or second-class citizenship. People will be united in their social behavior as they are united in nature by the bond of common parentage. The unity of humanity is not only in its origin but also in its ultimate aims. According to Islam, the final goal of humanity is Allah. From Him we come, for Him we live and to Him we shall all return. In fact, the sole purpose of creation as described by the Qur’an is to worship Allah and serve His cause, the cause of truth and justice, of love and mercy, of brotherhood and morality.
With this unity of origin and ultimate goal as the background of the social life in Islam, the relations between the individual and society are based. The role of the individual is complementary to that of society. Between the two there are social solidarity and mutual responsibility.
The individual is responsible for the common welfare and prosperity of his society. This responsibility is not only to the society but also to Allah. In this way the individual works with a sound social-mindedness and genuine feeling of inescapable responsibility. It is his role to do the utmost for his society and contribute to its common welfare.
On the other hand, the society is also responsible to Allah for the welfare of the individual. When the individual is able he is the contributor and society is the beneficiary. In return he is entitled to security and care, should he become disabled. In this case he is the beneficiary and society is the contributor. So duties and rights correspond harmoniously. Responsibility and concern are mutual. There is no state to dominate the individual and abrogate his personal entity. Likewise, there is no individual or class of individuals to exploit the society and corrupt the state. There is harmony with peace and mutual security. There is a constructive interaction between the individual and society.
Besides the unity of humanity in origin and ultimate goal, and besides this mutual responsibility and concern, the social life of Islam is characterized by cooperation in goodness and piety. It is marked with full recognition of the individual and his sacred rights to life, property and honor. It is also marked with an effective role played by the individual in the domain of social morals and ethics.
In an Islamic society the individual cannot be indifferent. He is enjoined to play an active part in the establishment of sound social morals by way of inviting to the good and combating evil in any form with all lawful means at his disposal.
In so doing, not only does he shun evil and do good but also helps others to do the same. The individual who feels indifferent to his society is a selfish sinner; his morals are in trouble, his conscience is in disorder, and his faith is undernourished.
The structure of social life in Islam is very comprehensive.
Among the substantial elements of this structure are sincere love for one’s fellow human beings, mercy for the young, respect for the elders, comfort and consolation for the distressed, visiting the sick, relieving the grieved, genuine feelings of brotherhood and social solidarity; respect for the rights of other people to life, property, and honor; mutual responsibility between the individual and society. It is a common thing to come across Prophetic sayings that entreat us to fulfill our social obligations: “Whoever relieves a human being from a grief of this world, Allah will relieve him from a grief on the Day of Judgment.”
“None of you is a true believer in Islam until and unless he loves for his fellow man what he loves for his own self.”
1. Seek Allah’s help for guidance and steadfastness. Allah has praised the Du’a of the scholars in the Qur’an:
“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.”
2. Sit with righteous people and attend circles of remembrance of Allah like Islamic lectures enthusiastically. Visit pious people.
3. Study the lives of righteous people by reading books or listening to tapes about them. Give more emphasis on studying the biographies of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
4. Frequently listen to Khutbahs and lectures that soften the heart and are emotional.
5. Observe the obligatory deeds, like performing the five daily prayers and making up the missed fasts of Ramadan, with care, due to the great good that obligatory deeds carry.
6. Do voluntary deeds, even if they are few, that are easy and loved by the heart. Surely the most beloved deeds to Allah are the consistent ones even if they are few, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us.
7. Start memorizing the Qur’an. Recite it constantly and as much as possible. Recite what you memorized in the voluntary prayers.
8. Remember Allah and seek His forgiveness, i.e. do Dhikr and Istighfar. Surely these are easy deeds but their benefit is immense. They increase the Iman (faith) and strengthen the heart.
9. Stay as far away as possible from ‘the corrupter of the heart’, like bad friends, television, satellite channels, music, obscene magazines, etc.
10. Repent as quickly as possible. With sincere repentance, by the will of Allah, there will be no turning back. Indeed Allah becomes very happy when His servant repents.
– Al-Madina Magazine
In the Name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful
Ha. Mim. This book is bestowed from on high by God, the Almighty, the Wise. Surely, in the heavens and the earth there are signs for those who believe. And in your own creation, and in the animals God scatters on earth there are signs for people of sure faith. And in the alternation of night and day, and in the means of subsistence God sends down from the skies, reviving with it the earth after it had been lifeless, and in the shifting of the winds there are signs for those who use their reason. (Kneeling Down; Al-Jathiyah: 45: 1-5)
The surah begins by mentioning the revelation of this book, the Qur’an, by God, the Almighty, the Wise after having introduced the two separate Arabic letters Ha, Mim, to point to this book’s source. In speaking about the separate letters introduced at the beginning of a number of surahs, we mentioned in the past that they highlight the fact that the Qur’an is composed of the letters forming the Arab’s own language, yet they cannot produce even a very small portion like it. This, then, constitutes permanent evidence that the Qur’an is bestowed from on high by God, the Almighty who can do whatever He wishes, the Wise who creates everything according to a certain measure and to serve a particular purpose. This is an apt comment that fits the ambience of the surah and its discussion of different types of people.
Before speaking about the unbelievers and their attitude toward the Qur’an, the surah refers to signs pointing to the Creator that are available everywhere in the world around them. Alone, these signs should have been enough to direct them to believe in God. Now, the surah turns their minds to such signs so that they may open their hearts to them and realize that it is God who has bestowed this book from on high and that it is He who has created this great universe: “Surely, in the heavens and the earth there are signs for those who believe.” The signs scattered everywhere in the heavens and the earth are not limited to any area or situation. Wherever we look around us we find signs. Is there anything in this wonderful universe that is not a sign pointing to its great Maker?
Among the most important values Islam implants in the minds of its followers are those that formulate the Islamic perception of our present life. Islam makes clear that this life is a test. If we pass this test, then we are ushered into a life of pure happiness in the hereafter.
Those of us who fail the test sink into perpetual misery. While Islam wants us to work hard in order to build a high standard of life worthy of man, the creature, God has placed in charge of earth, it also aims to give us the right perspective, viewing this life and all that it offers as transitory. Hence, all possessions and life itself can be sacrificed for a higher goal.
Umm Al-Dahdah and her husband and family were among the early Muslims from Madinah. After Islam began to establish itself in Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent his companion, Musab ibn Umair, to teach the new Muslim converts there the Qur’an and how to lead an Islamic life. Among the first people to convert to Islam at the time was Thabit ibn Al-Dahdah, his wife Umm Al-Dahdah and their entire family.
When the Prophet immigrated to Madinah with his companions from Makkah, the process of learning about Islam among the Ansar took a much faster pace. The people there tried to catch up with their brethren from Makkah in understanding Islamic principles and putting them into effect.
Thabit read the Qur’anic verse that says: “Who will offer God a generous loan, which He will repay in multiples and will generously reward him?” (57: 11) He said to the Prophet: “How come God asks us for a loan when He is in no need for anyone?” The Prophet said: “He wants it so that He will admit you to heaven in return.”
Thabit said: “If I give a loan to my Lord, will He guarantee me heaven as well as to my children?” The Prophet said that it was so. Thabit said: “Give me your hand. I have two orchards: one in the highland and one in the lowland. I have no other possession. I am making them both a loan to God.”
The Prophet said: “Make one of them for God and hold on to the other for your family’s living.” Thabit said: “Then be my witness that I am making the better one for God. It is an orchard that contains 600 date trees.” The Prophet said: “Then God will reward you for it with admission into heaven.”
What Thabit did was exceptional by any standard. Yet what was his wife’s attitude? We can imagine any woman’s reaction when her husband tells her that he donated half his property to a noble cause. She would naturally think of the effect of such donation on her children’s lives. Yet Umm Al-Dahdah said to her husband: “You have done a profitable deal.”
She immediately gathered her children who were in that orchard, emptied their pockets of any dates they had gathered, and even took whatever was in their hands. She told them that that orchard no longer belonged to them.
In the Battle of Uhud, when Muslims were in chaos, Thabit was one of the few who remained steadfast. He gathered a group of the Ansar fighters around him and fought hard to repel the unbelievers’ attack. They were heavily outnumbered by enemy forces.
He was one of the Muslim martyrs. When the news of his death was broken to his wife, she did not lament, because she knew that a martyr remains alive in heaven. She was keen to know that the Prophet was safe. When she saw him, she said: “Any tragedy is light, as long as you are safe.”
We see her attitude toward sacrificing life and property. In both cases she was exemplary, demonstrating that Islamic values were deeply rooted in her heart.
“And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir’awn, when she said: ‘My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir’awn and his work, and save me from the wrong-doers.’” (Qur’an, 66:11)
Qatadah said while explaining the verse: “Fir’awn (Pharaoh) was the most tyrannical and hardened disbeliever on Earth, and by Allah, his disbelief did not affect his wife when she decided to obey her Lord.”
Abu ‘Uthman An-Nahdi reported that Sulayman said: “Fir’awn’s wife was tortured in the heat of the sun. When her torturers would take a break and walk away, the angels would shade her with their wings, and she would see her home in Paradise.”
Al-Qasim Bin Abi Bazzah said: “Fir’awn’s wife asked who won, and it was said to her: ‘Musa and Harun won.’ So, she would say: ‘I believe in the Lord of Musa and Harun.’ Fir’awn said to those around him: ‘Look for the largest rock you can find. If she sticks to what she said, throw it on her. If she retracts what she said, she will remain my wife.’ When they came to her, she looked towards the sky and saw her home in Paradise. So, she stuck to what she said and her soul was taken, and the rock was thrown on her lifeless body after her soul had been taken.’ “
The scholars say regarding her statement: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise” that she chose her neighbor (Allah) before mentioning where she wanted to live (a home in Paradise).
Abu Al-Aliyah said that Fir’awn’s wife turned to believer because of the wife of Fir’awn’s treasurer. What happened was that this woman was sitting and combing the hair of Fir’awn’s daughter one day, and the comb fell from her hand. So, she said: “May whoever disbelieves in Allah be destroyed!” Fir’awn’s daughter said to her: “You have a lord besides my father?” She replied: “The Lord of me, your father, and everything is Allah.” So, Fir’awn’s daughter hit her and went to tell her father.
Fir’awn sent for her, saying: “You worship a lord besides me?” She said: “Yes. Your Lord, mine, and of everything is Allah, and I worship Him.” So, Fir’awn tortured her by putting her on a stake and stretching out her arms and legs and setting loose snakes on her body. One day, when she was in such a state, he came to her and said: “Will you give up?” She replied: “Your Lord, mine and of everything is Allah.” He said to her: “I will kill your son if you do not do not retract what you said.” She said: “Do whatever you want,” and he killed her son, and she could hear his soul calm her down by saying to her: “Be happy, my mother! You have such and such reward with Allah!”
She remained patient until Fir’awn came to her another day, and she said the same to him as she had before. So, he killed another of her sons, and she could hear his soul calming her down as well.
Fir’awn’s wife heard all this, and this caused her to become a believer. Allah took away the soul of the wife of Fir’awn’s treasurer, and Fir’awn’s wife suddenly realized the reward, status, and honor that this woman had in Paradise.
So, she increased in her faith and certitude until Allah caused Fir’awn to discover her faith, and he said to his followers: “What do you know about Asyah Bint Muzahim?” They replied by praising her, and he said to them: “She worships someone besides me!” They said: “Kill her,” and he placed her on a device that stretched her arms and legs away from her body. So, Asyah called upon her Lord, saying: “My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise!” Fir’awn happened to walk by when she said this, and she smiled because she saw her home in Paradise, and Fir’awn said to those watching: “Aren’t you amazed at her insanity? She smiles while we are torturing her?!”
So, Allah took her soul away to Paradise, and may Allah be pleased with her.
– Tafsir Ibn Kathir (4/504-505)