The Muslim Woman and Herself

She keeps company with righteous people and joins religious gatherings

In order to attain this high status, the Muslim woman chooses righteous, Allah-fearing friends, who will be true friends and offer sincere advice, and will not betray her in word or deed. Good friends have a great influence in keeping a Muslim woman on the Straight Path, and helping her to develop good habits and refined characteristics. A good friend – in most cases – mirrors one’s behaviour and attitudes:

  • “Do not ask about a man: ask about his friends, / for every friend follows his friends.”47
  • Mixing with decent people is an indication of one’s good lineage and noble aims in life:
  • “By mixing with noble people you become one of them,/ so you should never regard anyone else as a friend.”48
  • So it is as essential to choose good friends as it is to avoid doing evil:
  • “If you mix with people, make friends with the best of them,/ do not make friends with the worst of them lest you become like them.”49
The Muslim woman is keen to attend gatherings where there is discussion of Islam and the greatness of its teachings regarding the individual, family and society, and where those present think of the power of Almighty Allah (SWT) and His bountiful blessings to His creation, and encourage one another to obey His commandments, heed His prohibitions and seek refuge with Him. In such gatherings, hearts are softened, souls are purified, and a person’s whole being is filled with the joy of faith.
  • Abdullah ibn Rawahah (RAA), whenever he met one of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH), used to say, “Come, let us believe in our Lord for a while.” When the Prophet (PBUH) heard about this, he said, “May Allah have mercy on Ibn Rawahah, for he loves the gatherings that the angels feel proud to attend.”50
  • The rightly-guided khalifah `Umar al-Faruq (RAA) used to make the effort to take a regular break from his many duties and the burden of his position as ruler. He would take the hand of one or two men and say, “Come on, let us go and increase our faith,” then they would remember Allah (SWT).51 Even `Umar (RAA), who was so righteous and performed so many acts of worship, felt the need to purify his soul from time to time. He would remove himself for a while from the cares and worries of life, to refresh his soul and cleanse his heart.
  • Mu`adh ibn Jabal (RAA) would often say to his companions, when they were walking, “Let us sit down and believe for a while.”52
The Muslim is responsible for strengthening his soul and purifying his heart. He must always push himself to attain a higher level, and guard against slipping down: ( By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and by its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right – truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it!) (Qur’an 91:7-10)
 
So the Muslim woman is required to choose with care the best friends and attend the best gatherings, so that she will be in an environment which will increase her faith and taqwa:(And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.) (Qur’an 18: 28)
47. See ‘Adiyy ibn Zayd al-‘Ibadi by the author, 172.
48. Anonymous.
49. See ‘Adiyy ibn Zayd al-‘Ibadi by the author, 172.
50. Reported by Ahmad (3/265) with a hasan isnad.
51. Hayat al-Sahabah, 3/329.
52. Ibid.
[Taken from “The Ideal Muslimah – The True Islamic Personality of the Muslim Woman as Defined in the Quran and the Sunnah” by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi]

The Muslim and the Date-Palm Tree

Narrated ibn Omar (radiyAllahu anhu):

The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim.  Tell me the name of that tree.”  Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas.  And I thought of the date-palm tree but felt too shy to answer.  The others then asked, “What is that tree, O Allah’s Apostle?”  He replied, “It is the date-palm tree.”

Sahih Bukhari, Book of Knowledge, Hadith #58

In a recent course with Sheikh Ibrahim Dremali, where he taught ‘The Fiqh of Hadith’, he discussed various points relating to this beautiful hadith that I want to share:

1.  The leaves of the date-palm tree which do not fall all year round, were compared to the Muslim by the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam).  This means that the Muslim will bring benefit at all times, whereever they are and at any given time. 

2. The Sheikh brought up the benefits of the date-palm tree itself, and how every single part of the tree has benefit, from the roots to the leaves to the dates.  Subhan’Allah.  By using the Prophet’s comparison of a Muslim to this tree, the Sheikh reminds us of all the potential benefits of a Muslim, and how we should never give up in any matter.  Whether it is in making dawah, facing hardship, dealing with family, fellow Muslims, problems in the Masjid, or any other matter – DONT EVER GIVE UP. 

This was an excellent reminder extracted from the beautiful words and comparison by our Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam).  May Allah SWT preserve the Sheikh and help us all to spread the benefit of Islam; Ameen.

Being a Stranger and a Traveler

On the road of life, remembering these words from Prophet Mohammed (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) grounds me and gives me solace: “Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.”

A traveler is continuously on the move, in a place where it is not his home, stopping merely to get basic needs, only to continue his journey toward his destination. A stranger wanders about in a foreign place, observing his surroundings; the land, the scenery, the people, the actions. This is exactly what we are. Travelers in this temporary world, subject to beautiful scenery, entertainment, amusement, fulfillment of our desires, and the many hardships of traveling. At times we may get distracted from our destination. But as we reflect on these beautiful words, these distractions become less trivial as our focus is shifted and we are reminded of our goal. We remember that we are just passing by, longing to reach our destination, back home to the eternal life in Paradise.

 

Hadith 40 Arabic text

On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, radiyallahu ‘anhuma, who said: The Messenger of Allah, sallAlahu alayhi wasallam, took me by the shoulder and said:

 

“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveler/wayfarer.”
Ibn ‘Umar used to say:
“When evening comes, do not expect (to live till) morning, and when morning comes, do not expect (to live till) evening. Take from your health (a preparation) for your illness, and from your life for your death.”