18 Things Sisters can do For the Local Islamic Center

The Prophet (PBUH) said: If the wife of any one of you asks permission (to go to the masjid) do not forbid her.” (Bukhari)

Given this, here are some practical things sisters can do for their local Islamic Center.

1. Do it for the sake of Allah

What other reason to do this than for the sake of Allah? None. Make your intention clear, then assess what you can do. Insha Allah (if Allah wills) you’ll be rewarded for your sincerity and dedication.

2. Fight for your right

Do you know that you even have a right to go to the mosque? Request the masjid board to provide the reference from the Quran or hadith for denying women to go to the masjid. Provide the board with textual references from the Quran and Sunnah indicating otherwise. This may be presented by way of a letter or a presentation at a board meeting. Identify brothers on the board and other community leaders who believe women should not be denied access. These brothers will be important allies in your struggle. Don’t make your struggle be seen as a sister vs. brother problem. It is important to stress to the board that the participation of women in the masjid is a God-given right. If space is seen as a problem, provide suggestions as to how the masjid can become more sister-friendly. Remind these brothers that while their wives go shopping, or some cases work, by denying them the right to go to the mosque, they are being denied the change to gain Allah’s blessings through praying and learning in the mosque. Denying women their God-given right to attend the masjid is a form of zulm (oppression).

Continue reading 18 Things Sisters can do For the Local Islamic Center

Gaza – A Test for the Believers by Dr. Ibrahim Dremali

This is a powerful Khutbah that reminds the believers that through Allah’s great mercy, He puts us through hardships in order to test us, to distinguish who the true believers are, and to purify us. 

Our Ummah is going through a lot of trials and tribulations at the present time, but the Sheikh gives examples of some of the greatest trials in the past that resulted in victory.  During the time of Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahu Allah), the Muslim Ummah went through severe harships.  The Tatars invaded the Muslim countries, killing everybody, from men, women, soldiers, children, animals… making piles of bodies.  But those killers, those Tatars, those Mongolians entered Islam after that and Islam became victorious with those people ya Allah.  Look at the number of Muslims in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the surrounding areas!  The Mongolians carried Islam there.  Subhan’Allah.  

The situation in Gaza right now is inhumane in a way that is beyond belief.  But there is hope, a light, something that will come sooner or later.  The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) swore that Islam would prevail and be victorious, bringing peace to the earth.  May Allah SWT reparate Ghazzah, and grant victory to them, and Muslims all around the world.  Ameen Ya Rabb!

Don’t ever lose hope.  Hasbi Allah wa naimal wakeel – Allah is sufficient for us and the best of Guardians!

Reflections of the Hijra

With the start of the Islamic new year a few weeks ago, there are many bounties and lessons to be reflected on.    Although we do not take the Islamic New Year as a holiday or celebrate it, we should reflect on what led to the development of the Islamic Calendar – which is the greatest event during the prophethood of Rasulullah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) – The HIJRA.  It is so important in many aspects, and today we can see the fruits of this major event and efforts of the Prophet, the Sahaba, and the Ansar – as there are Muslims literally in every corner of the earth united under the banner of La ilaha illa Allah.
 
It is just as important to instill these lessons in our children, who will be our future leaders in Islam.  With the state of our Ummah now, and at the same time with how much Islam is growing, it is crucial that we remember the great efforts taken to unite this Ummah, and to try and renew these efforts.  As I tried to convey these points to my son, I wrote a poem for children about the Hijra that I wanted to share.
 
Al-Hijra
A Celebration of Light and Unity
 
My hero, my Prophet, I strive to be like him
He changed the entire Ummah, with the migration
He travelled across the desert, from Makkah to Yathrib
In search for peace and unity, for our Ummah this he did
 
The only thing he fought for, and wanted to preserve
Was the religion of al-Islam, so Allah alone we could serve 
For 13 years he taught Tawheed, until the hearts were firm
With knowing Allah is the Only God, to worship, love and yearn
 
The time had come to leave Makkah, under Allah’s command
Then the Prophet and his followers, migrated to a new land
A place where they could establish, the laws set by Allah
The Ummah was small but united, in Madinah al-Munawarrah
 
The migrants went with happiness, leaving all their wealth behind
Being with the Prophet, was the only thing on their mind
The Ansar or the “helpers”, welcomed the Prophet to their land
To him they pledged allegiance, for Islam they took a stand
 
They all sang songs of welcome – Men, women, and the youth,
For Islam brought to humanity – Justice, Peace and Truth
And from that trip in 622, Islam spread far and near
To every corner on the earth, to every hemisphere
 
Muslims standing together, with no cultural boundaries
It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, Arab or Chinese
The only thing that unites us, so beautiful and strong
Is the belief in the Shahadatain, and you cannot go wrong
 
The year is now 1429, after the Hijri year
And still we continue to grow in size – O Muslims listen here
Smile for this Ummah – Be proud of our Deen
The stronger we will stand, and more united we will be
 
Here’s a special message from our family
We’re thankful for the Hijra, a celebration of light and unity!

~ Um Yusuf as-Siddiq

The Islamic Will (Al-Wasiya)

I wanted to post a *VERY* important reminder about the Islamic will (wasiyya).  I cannot express enough how important this is.  Here are some things I compiled about the will.  A really great book on this subject is “The Final Bequest – The Islamic Will and Testament” by Muhammad al-Jibaly.  He goes over the will and inheritance laws from A-Z.  

The Obligation of Writing a Will

Writing an Islamic will is unfortunately neglected today, or not stressed upon enough to say the least.  There are obvious reasons of not wanting to think about it, putting it off, or not knowing the importance of having one.   But for Muslims this should be the opposite attitude – it is very very *very* important to have a will, and we should make it a priority to have one ASAP if we don’t already have one, and update it as often as needed.   Nobody knows when they are going to die, so we should hasten to write our will.  When a Muslim dies their will should be read and executed.  Everyone has certain rights that need to be fulfilled, all of which were described and prescribed by Allah and His Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam)   

  • “It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” Surah al-Baqarah 2:180
  • “(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts” Surah al-Nisa 4:11
  • “It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a will about it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  • Ibn Omar (radiyAllahu anhu) then noted, “Not even one night passed me, ever since I heard this from the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam), without having my will with me” (Bukhari, Muslim, and others)  
  • “A man may do good deeds for seventy years but if he acts unjustly when he leaves his last testament, the wickedness of his deed will be sealed upon him, and he will enter the Fire. If, (on the other hand), a man acts wickedly for seventy years but is just in his last will and testament, the goodness of his deed will be sealed upon him, and he will enter the Garden.” (Ahmad and Ibn Majah)  

Protecting Our Rights

As Muslims we have many rights over each other, with our families, our children, our friends, and with our own selves.  Having a wasiyya will insha’Allah ascertain with Allah that we did our best to make sure we fulfilled these rights.   Death comes to anyone at any given place and at any given time.  We are not guaranteed anything, not even another second.   We don’t want to die without giving someone their rights, nor do we want to die and not have our rights given to us.   Rights are so important that they will hang over us on Judgment Day until scores are settled – because Islam is a religion of justice.   Alhamdulillah.  We should take advantage and make our will while we are of sound mind and health.  We do not want to be on our deathbed, or sick, suffering from pain, incoherent, (may Allah protect us all) while trying to verbalize our will wishes.   We want to make sure that our instructions on what will happen to our family, children, wealth, property, assets, debts, and our bodies, etc are articulated and clearly understood.   We want to protect the rights of our kids, our families, and ourselves.  

Importance of an Islamic Will

  • Everything we have in this world, our wealth and our property, is from Allah and a trust from Him.    While we are alive we are required to utilize our wealth in the best way and we will be asked about that on Judgment Day.   When we die, part of that trust is to pass our wealth and property along appropriately.  Aside from having non-Muslim families who may not know the Islamic practices, many countries do not recognize or follow the laws of Allah.   We have to be very careful of this, and make sure we do what we can to protect our rights and be in accordance with the Shari’ah.
  • Certain rights and duties between people must be settled before a person’s estate can be divided according to the inheritance laws in the Qur’an.   Examples are loans, promises, unpaid bills, borrowed items, unpaid zakat, dowry, etc.   We have to give everyone their due right.  We can include names and contacts of anyone we owe loans to, creditors information, and so on in our wills. 
  • Islam is perfect and prescribes a way for everything.   Many practices today, including funeral procedures, washing, burying, and mourning, etc are not done in accordance with the Sunnah; there is a lot of innovation (may Allah protect us from that).   The will can specify the requests of the deceased to be honored – to have all practices and procedures done according to how Allah and His Messenger prescribed.  (Buried in a Muslim cemetary, buried as soon as possible, without structures on the grave, without excessive wailing, etc etc etc)

You can also specify and name certain people whom you want to wash your body.  The person should be pious, one who knows how to do the Ghusl and wrapping according to the Sunnah, one who will protect your dignity and honor (should they see anything on you that might harm your honor during the washing, they will never tell), and so on.   Before we get put in the grave, we want to be cleaned and wrapped in the best way insha’Allah. 

Basic Elements of a Will

There is no specific wording for a wasiyya, but basically it should have the following elements:

  • The testator’s expression of sound mental ability and health
  • Declaration of faith (the Shahadah)
  • Commanding the survivors to do good and avoid sins
  • Declaration of liabilites and assets
  • Appointing an executor of the will and guardian(s) of wealth and children
  • Bequeathed part of the estate (Naming beneficiaries and indicating the amount of your estate you wish to bequeath – up to 1/3) 
  • Emphasizing Islamic heirship (specifying legal heirs and their correct shares)

The will should be notarized and signed by 2 witnesses.  Legal advice is also recommended.  The will has a special sanctity and must be observed and executed.  Anyone who changes it or hides any part of it is sinful and liable for Allah’s punishment!

  • “And if (after the testator’s death) anyone alters such a provision after having come to know it, the sin of acting thus falls only upon those who have altered it.  Indeed Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”  (Surah al-Baqara 2:181)

My dear brothers and sisters, dont delay what we have to do today until tomorrow because we never know what can happen to us.  There are many standard wills available online, which can be modified according to specific requests/ needs:

http://icbr.org/Docs/LastWill_Testament.pdf

http://www.dremali.com/articles/current/last-will-testament.html

 ~Um Yusuf as-Siddiq 

Women’s Liberation Through Islam

Many people have the concept that women are liberated in the West and that women’s liberation was born some time in the 20th century. In actuality, women’s liberation did not begin with a movement, or by a group of women, but it began by revelation from God to a man in the seventh century by the name of Mohammed (peace be upon him), who is known as the last Prophet of Islam. Islam raised the status of women, liberating them and freeing them from the many injustices that have been wrongly imposed upon them throughout time. The status of the Muslim woman is a very noble one, as her role greatly effects society as a whole. The Muslim woman is the initial teacher in the building of a society. The great importance of Muslim women’s roles – whether as a mother, grandmother, aunt, wife, sister, daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligation due from her – have been explained in the Qur’an and Traditions of the Prophet (Sunnah).

Among her God given rights are:

  • Human rights
  • Civil rights
  • Social rights
  • Political rights
  • Economic rights
  • The high rank of a mother
  • The rights and honor of a wife
  • And much more…

 

Read more in detail on page entitled Women and Islam

Four Decades of Occupation

Four decades of occupation

Happening to the best of all nations

What will become of the new generation

O Allah grant them salvation

For them this is a dedication

A call for an end to the defamation

 

Don’t let go of your determination

Persist in du’aa in your prostration

This is only Allah’s preparation

For a great victory that follows tribulation

 

Continually make your invocations

He hears the call of all His creation

And better than that we are Muslims by identification

According to the Prophet’s narration

Our affairs are good for us – we will have compensation

From his words take inspiration

 

Picture this lovely illustration

A total change and variation

An end to the foreign occupation

Living in peace and relaxation

 

Brothers and sisters this is no falsification

Allah speaks the truth with no misrepresentation

Be steadfast and obedient and endure trials with patience

And the reward will bring you to total elation

Because Allah said we are the best of all nations

 

“Kuntum khayra ummatin”

 

~Um Yusuf as-Siddiq