Friday, December 30, 2016

How Islam Has Protected the Rights of Woman - II


17- Islam even protects the lives of polytheistic women by forbidding their being killed in wars. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “A woman was found killed during one of the battles led by the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, thereupon he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, forbade killing women and children (in wars)." [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others]

18- Islam protects the rights of the woman by prohibiting burying her alive and making it obligatory to provide her with a good upbringing and education. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked - for what sin she was killed.} [Quran 81:8-9] The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever has a female child whom he neither buries alive, nor humiliates, and never favors a male child of his over her, Allah will admit him to Paradise.”

19- Islam protects the rights of the woman by considering her a fundamental component of goodness in the world and the Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "If one is given the following four, he will have the goodness of both this world and the Hereafter: a thankful heart, an ever-remembering tongue (that always remembers and mentions Allah), a persevering body (that is patient) when under ordeal and a wife who maintains his honor and property."

20- Islam protects the rights of the woman by considering her as the finest thing in this world. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "The world is but enjoyment, and the finest enjoyment is a righteous woman (wife)."

21- Islam protects the rights of the woman by placing Paradise, the aim of all the believers, under her feet. What a great honor the woman has received in Islam! The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "(The way to) Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers." It was narrated that a man came to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and the latter asked him: "Do you have a mother (alive)?" He answered in the affirmative, thereupon, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Then, stick to her, as (the way to) Paradise lies beneath her feet."

22- Islam protects the rights of the woman by removing from her the curse of perpetual sin which the previous religions stained her with; rather; Islam considers Hawwaa’ (Eve) and her husband, Aadam (Adam), may Allah exalt their mention, as having sinned and then been given repentance and forgiveness. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

* {But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been.} [Quran 2:36]

* {But Satan whispered to them.} [Quran 7:20]

When Aadam (Adam) may Allah exalt his mention, and eve had sinned, Allah condemned one person only, who was Aadam, as Allah Says (what means): {Then Satan whispered to him; he said, "O Aadam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?"} [Quran 20:120]

23- Islam protects the rights of the woman by assigning to her a share in inheritance after she herself had been (for long centuries) a part of it. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):


* {For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much - an obligatory share.} [Quran 4:7]

* {Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one's estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one's parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children - you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah. Indeed, Allah is Ever Knowing and Wise. And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt. And for the wives is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you [may have] made or debt. And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third, after any bequest which was made or debt, as long as there is no detriment [caused]. [This is] an ordinance from Allah, and Allah is Knowing and Forbearing.} [Quran 4:11-12]

24- Islam protects the rights of the woman by granting her all her civil rights. She thus came to have the right to conclude contracts of sale, purchase, authorization, partnership, loan, mortgage, to gift, and so on.

25- Islam protects the rights of the woman by removing from her the permanent state of being minor, as it acknowledged her full legal competence and gave her the right of guardianship over her property and other affairs.

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A glimpse of Islam's great concern for women


1- When the religion of Islam was revealed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it was the custom of the people of the pre-Islamic era to hate and detest women. Allaah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.} [Quran 16: 58]

They disdained the infant girl and would bury her alive. Islam prohibited this and insisted that she be exalted and maintained with dignity. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked, for what sin she was killed.} [Quran 81: 8-9]
In some Ahadeeth, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

"Whoever maintains two daughters until they become independent will come on the Day of Resurrection along with me (close to each other) like these two (and he joined his two fingers)." [Muslim]

"Whoever is put to trial by these daughters and he treats them kindly, these daughters will act as a shield for him from Hell." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

2- When the religion of Islam was revealed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it had been the habit of the people of the pre-Islamic era to prevent the woman from her share in the inheritance. Islam gave her this right, whether little or large; Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much - an obligatory share.} [Quran 4: 7]

3- When the religion of Islam was revealed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it had been the habit of the people of the pre-Islamic era to inherit women against their will. When a woman's husband died, one of the heirs would come, throw a garment over her and say, "I have inherited her just as I have inherited his wealth." This would entitle him to have more control over her than herself. Islam prohibited this. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.} [Quran 4: 9]

4- When the religion of Islam was revealed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it had been the habit of the people of the pre-Islamic era to make difficulties for their women in order to prevent them from receiving their rights. A man would prevent his divorcee from remarrying until she had returned everything he had spent on her. A father would prevent his daughter from marriage, and likewise, the brother would prevent his sister if he so willed. A man would mistreat his wife and refuse to divorce her unless she ransomed herself. Islam prevented all this and eradicated such behavior. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means):

{And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality.} [Quran 4: 19]

{Do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis.} [Quran 2: 232]

5- When the religion of Islam was revealed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the woman was suffering from her husband's oppression, bad morals and ill treatment. Islam prohibited this and commanded the husband to treat her just as he would like her to treat him. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means):

{And live with them in kindness.} [Quran 4: 19]

{And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.} [Quran 2: 228]

6- When the religion of Islam was revealed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the widow's ‘Iddah (waiting period after the death of her husband) was a complete year. Islam lessened it to just a third. Allah, The Exalted Says (what means): {And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind - they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days].} [Quran 2: 234]

7- Islam instructed that women should be treated with kindness. In a Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Be kind to women." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

It also forbade one to hate his believing wife. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

"A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he would like another one." [Muslim]

"The best of you are those who are the kindest to their wives." [At-Tirmithi]

"This life is enjoyment, and the best of its enjoyment is a righteous wife." ` [Muslim]

While indicating the characteristics of the righteous wife, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "She is the wife who pleases her husband when he looks at her, obeys him when he commands her and safeguards his honor and wealth when he is not present." [Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i]

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Goals of Islam


A - Worshipping Allah Alone:

This is the reason for which Allah created all that exists: Angels, Jinn, mankind, heavens, earth and animals etc. Allah created everything only to worship Him Alone. He Said, (what means): "Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates - for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills." [Quran 22:18]

Allah also said about the Angels, (what means): “Indeed, those who are near your Lord are not prevented by arrogance from His worship, and they exalt Him, and to Him they prostrate..” [Quran 7:206].

Allah further Says (what means): "The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. " [Quran17:44]

There are many other verses with this meaning.

Allah sent the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, and sent down revelations to them for the above reasons. He said, (what means): "And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship Allah and avoid aghut." [Quran 16:36]

Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, (may Allah exalt his mention), was the last Messenger sent by Allah to all nations, with the goal of worshipping Allah Alone. He commanded people to worship Allah Alone, taking no partners with Him in worship.

B - Establishing Allah's Proof:

The most important role for the Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is to warn the disbelievers and rebellious Muslims. Allah Says, (what means): "Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the book [of Psalms]. And [We sent] messengers about whom We have related [their stories] to you before and messengers about whom We have not related to you. And Allah spoke to Moses with [direct] speech. [We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise." [Quran 4:163-165]

What Allah meant by (what means): "so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers." is that, on the Day of Judgment, they will not be able to use the excuse of not having a warner from Allah during their lifetimes. This excuse will not justify their continuing disbelief. The fact that Allah has sent the Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention, will invalidate all excuses that the disbelievers may use on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah says to His Messenger, may Allah exalt his mention, (what means):"Your duty is to convey (the Message)." [Quran 42:48]. And (what means): "The Messenger's duty is but to convey the Message." [Quran 5:99] This applies to the Message of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to the disbelievers. He only had to deliver the Message that Allah sent him with, explain to them their obligations to Allah and warn them of eternal torment if they insisted on rebellion and disbelief.

Allah says, (what means): "Say, "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away - then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged. And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification." [Quran 24:54]

This Ayah (verse) explains the goals of the Message, the essence of what it contains and the role of the Messenger, sallallahu ’alayhi wa sallam, and the community he was sent to. The role of the Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was to deliver the Message, and the role of those receiving the Message was to hurry to the obedience of Allah and His Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; if they refused then Allah's punishment will be justly theirs.

Allah Says, (what means): " Say, "What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication?" For you [disbelievers] have denied, so your denial is going to be adherent." [Quran 25:77] This means that the punishment of Allah will certainly be felt by those who reject the Message of the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, after being aware of them.

C - Establishing a Muslim Nation:

Allah Says, (what means): "It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom - although they were before in clear error" [Quran 62:2]

The Message of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was a fulfillment of the prayers of Ibraaheem (Abraham) and Ismaa'eel (may Allah exalt their mention. They said, while raising the building of the Kaa'bah in Makkah (what means): "Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise." [Quran 2:129]

Allah accepted their prayer and sent this honorable Prophet Muhammad, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and established for him the best nation ever, as Allah Himself proclaimed (what means): "You (true believers in Islam) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind, you enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and you believe in Allah." [Quran 3:110]

Allah praised the Prophet's companions, may Allah be pleased with them, in many verses in the Quran, (which mean) : "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward." [Quran 48:29]

D - Making Islam (The Message Of Allah) Dominant:

The fourth reason for sending Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is to establish Islam as the dominant religion above all, till the Day of Judgment. Allah Says, (what means): "It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion. And sufficient is Allah as Witness." [Quran 48:28]

Allah also Says (what means): “It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although they who associate others with Allah dislike it." [Quran 9:33]

To establish Islam means to make its domination clear above all religions. Allah made this promise a reality whenever the Muslims sought victory, equipped with the right belief. A look at the past will show that Muslims conquered all the powers and religions of the world by using their reasoning first, and then using the sword.


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Maintaining the ties of kinship


Verses of the Noble Quran and various Hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, call strongly for the upholding of kinship ties and encourage this by offering worldly and religious rewards.

There is no doubt that a society whose members maintain family relations and treat each other mercifully forms an invincible fort and a fortified castle. It produces close-knit families and a solid social structure that provides the world with leaders, instructors, thinkers, teachers, callers and reformers, who carry the torch of guidance to their nation and to all of humanity.

This article focuses on upholding good relations with kindred, which is among the greatest and noblest morals.

Definition: Kinship ties refer to a person’s bond with his paternal and maternal relatives; and, maintaining them implies being good and kind to one’s relations in both words and deeds. This includes visiting them, asking after them, supporting the needy among them and helping them with their affairs. There are many virtues of upholding kinship ties, as doing so is:

1- A sign of faith: Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be hospitable to his guest; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should maintain his kinship ties; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak well or remain silent.” [Al-Bukhaari] In this Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, referred to three things that make people cooperate with each other and love one another: extending a warm welcome to visitors, preserving the ties of kindred and using kind words. In fact, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, established a connection between these qualities and faith, in effect, saying that anyone who believes in Allah, The Almighty, and the Last Day does not sever his kinship ties; because maintaining kinship ties is a sign of faith.

2- A cause for increased blessings in one’s provisions and age: All people want to have a luxurious and prolonged life, because the desire for possessions and life are two basic instincts in every human being. Therefore, whoever wants to achieve this should have good relations with his or her family, as Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever loves to be granted ample provisions and a long life, should maintain good ties with his or her relatives.” [Al-Bukhaari]. In a different wording, ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, added that if such a man also “desires to be protected against an evil end [of life], let him fear Allah The Almighty and maintain good ties with his relatives.” [Al-Bazzaar and Al-Haakim]

3- A reason for Allah, The Almighty, to also maintain ties with a servant and honor him or her: ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, related that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The womb [i.e., ties of kinship] is suspended from the throne [of Allah The Almighty], saying: Whoever preserves me, Allah will uphold ties with him [or her] and he who severs me, Allah will sever the bond with him.” [Muslim] Allah, The Almighty, positively responds to this plea, thereby treating with kindness, those who keep good relations with family and cutting off those who do not. And, certainly, it would be horrible for a weak, helpless slave if Allah, The Almighty, severed ties with him.

4- A factor that enables one to be admitted to Paradise: The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “O people exchange greetings (i.e., say: ‘As-salaamu ‘Alaykum’ (peace be on you) to one another), feed people, maintain kinship ties and pray at night when others are asleep, so that you may enter Paradise in peace.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and ibn Maajah]

Maintaining ties of kinship does not mean visiting, helping or serving one’s relatives in return for similar deeds on their part. True upholding of family relations is to do so with those kith and kin who sever their bond with us. Thus, it refers to visiting relatives who do not visit us, and being good to those who wrong us. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “A man who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not he who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives; rather, he is the one who is on agreeable terms with those kin who have severed [their] bond with him.” [Al-Bukhaari]

In another Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, it was mentioned that a man came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and said: “I have relatives whom I maintain ties with, but they cut me off, and I treat them kindly, but they deal badly with me. I am gentle with them, but they are harsh to me.'' Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, replied: "If you are as you say, it is as if you are feeding them hot ashes; you will have a supporter from Allah against them, as long as you continue to act the way you are.” [Muslim]

Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "Hot ashes are used as a metaphor to demonstrate that such relatives bear as much guilt as the pain and agony experienced by the person who eats these ashes. As for the one who treats such relatives kindly, there is no argument against him; rather, they are the ones who commit a grievous sin by mistreating and harming him.”

Moreover, this Hadeeth is a consolation for the many who are afflicted with rude relatives; in their repayment of evil with good and the former’s meeting their wickedness with goodness, it is evident that it is only the latter who are the real losers.


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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beneficial means to reflect upon the Quran


Allah Says (what means): “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [Quran: 38: 29]

Reflecting upon the Quran is one of the reasons behind its revelation; it is the way to comprehend its rulings and find out its objectives and meanings. The Quran will not be properly understood, nor will its objectives be truly realized except by pausing at each verse and giving it its due right of pondering to discover the meanings and wisdom within it.

All perfect praise is due to Allah, that we still see many Muslims reciting the Quran day and night, which is good, yet many of them recite it without the due reflection or understanding. Thus, people miss the main reason for which the Quran was revealed, which is to apply its rules, adhere to its commands and refrain from its prohibitions.

In an attempt to practically apply the Words of Allah (which mean): “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.” [Quran: 51: 55], we designate this article to address some important ways by which a person may ponder on the Noble Quran, and thus, properly understand it.

One such way is to be acquainted with the Arabic language and its methods of expression. The Quran was revealed in Arabic, and can only be understood according to the rules of this language; all scholars attach great importance to learning the Arabic language and encourage their students to learn it. The one who does not know the rules of the language could easily misunderstand the following saying of Allah (which means): “And ask the city in which we were and the caravan in which we came” [Quran: 12: 82] and he will not be able to distinguish between the sayings of Allah (which mean): “It is You we worship and You we ask for help” [Quran: 1: 5] and the saying: “We worship You,” and so on.

It must be pointed out here that not everyone who recites the Quran is asked to be a grammarian; rather, all he needs to obtain is enough knowledge and command on the language with which he can understand the Book of Allah and reflect upon it.

An important practice which can help a person reflect upon the Quran is to study the biography of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. We must know that he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was the authentic interpreter of the Quran and that his manners were all derived from the Quran. We must also know that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was a practical Quran walking on earth, in the sense that he clarified the verses that were revealed in general terms and verses that may have sounded confusing. Knowing all this makes a Muslim realize that in order to properly be able to reflect upon the Quran, he must return to the biography of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa salla, and the authentic Sunnah.

Knowing the historical context in which specific verses of the Quran were revealed increases the reader's understanding, because many verses were revealed pertaining to a certain incident.

Without knowing the reason for its revelation and what it came down to address, one could read a verse but not really understand what it means.

For example, the following saying of Allah (which means): “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers. If a wound should touch you- there has already touched the [opposing] people a wound similar to it” [Quran: 3: 139-140]

This saying was addressed to the companions, may Allah pleased with them, during the battle of Uhud in which they suffered causalities fighting the disbelieving enemies. They are being rallied to fight harder by Allah's reminder that they had already inflicted similar suffering upon these enemies during their previous battle of Badr.

One other helpful factor in reflecting on and understanding the Book of Allah, is referring to the trustworthy books of interpretation of the Quran, and reading what the scholars have said. Such books contain many of the interpretations of the Salaf whether the statements of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, or those who came after them, may Allah have mercy upon them. Some of these books of Tafseer (i.e. interpretation) are by At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi, Ibn Katheer and others, may Allah have mercy upon them. Reading these sources helps the person who reads the Quran to reflect upon the verses and better understand them.

Reciting the Quran attentively while thinking of what one is reading is a matter that was stressed in the Quran, and it helps one reflect. Allah says (what means): “Say, `I only advise you of one [thing] - that you stand for Allah, [seeking truth] in pairs and individually, and then give thought`” [Quran: 34: 46] This better helps the reader understand the Quran.

Another important rule regarding reflecting upon the Quran is applying it to reality. This means (in short) that the Quran was not revealed just for a certain period or a specific place; rather, it is applicable at all times and to all places. One can best understand the Quran and feel it alive, when it is applied to reality and to the issues of the Muslim nation. For example, every era has its own disbelievers and hypocrites and every era has its own 'Pharaohs' and oppressors.

A serious mistake in this regard is applying verses to those for whom it was not intended, like applying the verses about hypocrites to the believers, or the verses about righteous people to the disbelievers, as this leads to clear and serious misguidance.

To conclude, we would like to remind the reader with the following Hadeeth, narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Any group of people that assemble in one of the Houses of Allah to recite and study the Quran, tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will engulf them, angels will surround them and Allah will make mention of them to those (the angels) in His proximity.” [Muslim].

Note how the narration connected reciting and studying, and made this a precondition for the four magnificent virtues to be achieved. Perhaps the reason for the current situation of Muslims is that we read the Book of Allah but do not reflect upon it, and thus, our application coincides with our degree of reflection which led us to our current situation.


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Woman before and after Islam


Women in pre-Islamic civilizations

Throughout the human history prior to Islam, women have been victimized and made to suffer too much. They endured unbearable deprivation, sorrow and oppression in all past civilizations. In other words, they were treated as if they were not human beings.

The Greeks said regarding a woman: She is like a poisonous tree and she is evil emanated from Satan. She may be sold like any merchandise.

For the Romans: She does not have a soul. They would torture women by pouring boiling oil on them or dragging them by horses.

For the Chinese: She is cursed water that washes away good fortune. A Chinese man would have the right to bury his wife alive. If a man were to die, his wife would be passed on as inheritance.

For the Indians: A woman is worse than death, hell, and fire. A woman didn’t have the right to live after her husband’s death. Therefore, she had to be burned along with his corpse.

For the Persians: It is permissible to marry any of the female relatives without exception (incest). A Persian husband could command his wife to die.

The Jews said: A woman is a curse because she is the cause of sin and temptation. She is impure during her menses. It is permissible for her father to sell her.

The Christians: The French held a discussion in 568 A.D. Some of the issues discussed were: Is a woman a human or not? Does she have soul or not? If she has a soul, is it a human soul or an animal soul? And if it is a human soul then is it equal to a man’s soul or lower than it? Finally, after long deliberation, they came to the conclusion that she is a human, but she was created only to serve man.

During the rule of King Henry VIII of England, the Parliament decided that it is unlawful for women to read the New Testament (Bible) because they are impure.

As for the Arabs before Islam: They hated women more than death. They used to burry female infants alive or threw them into an abandoned well.

Islam: The True Liberator of women

After this long history of injustice, Allah, the Most Exalted, showered His Mercy on humanity by a Religion (Islam), the teaching of which came to change the ugly human history and to create a life which humanity had never witnessed before in all its civilizations.

Women in the Quran:

The Noble Quran, the Muslims' Infallible Book revealed by Almighty Allah, is replete with verses speaking about women, which indicates the honorable status Islam holds for them. There is a full Surah (Chapter) named: "Women". This Chapter is among the longest ones in the Quran. Hereunder are some of such verses (which mean):

{…And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.} [Quran 2:228]

{…And live with them in kindness.} [Quran 4:19]

{…do not prevent them… (from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis).} [Quran 4:19]
{…But give them [a gift of] compensation - the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability.} [Quran 2:236]

{Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them.} [Quran 65:6]

{…give them their due compensation as an obligation.} [Quran 4:24]

{… and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave.} [Quran4:7]

{…for women is a share of what they have earned.} [Quran 4:32]

{…and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you. } [Quran 24:33]

{… and you (husbands) are their (wives) garments.} [Quran 2:187]

{…seek not against them means (of annoyance).} [Quran 4:34]

{…it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion…} [Quran 4:19]

{And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them…} [Quran 4:19]

{…either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.} [Quran2:229]

Women in the Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition)

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was sent by Allah Almighty, among many other things, to elevate the status of women and maintain their honor.

He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was once asked: "Who is the most beloved person to you, O Messenger of Allah?" He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, replied: "Aa'ishah".

Whenever he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was given a gift or something he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, would say: "Take this to so and so because she was a friend of Khadeejah’s (his wife, may Allah be pleased with her)" [as a token of his sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, loyalty to her after her death]

Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said:

"Treat women kindly." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

"The best amongst yourselves, are the best to their wives, and I am the best to my wives.” [At-Tirmithi and others]

"You (men) are responsible for providing for them (women) in the best way". [Muslim]

"The most rewarding wealth is the wealth you spend on your family". [Ahmad]

"From the good fortune of the man is a righteous wife". [At-Tayaalisi]

"Whatever you spend (on your family) is counted as a charity, even if it were the morsel of food that you feed your wife". [Maalik]

A woman came to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and said: "O Prophet of Allah, pray for me and my husband." The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: "May Allah shower His blessings upon you and your husband". [Ahmad]

'Aai'shah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated: "The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and I would bathe together from the same basin". [Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others]

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The articles of faith


There are six pillars of Faith in Islam:

1. Belief in Allah (God),

2. Belief in His Angels,

3. Belief in His Books,

4. Belief in His Messengers,

5. Belief in the Last Day, and:

6. Belief in the Divine Preordainment and Divine Decree (Qadhaa' and Qadr).

1- Belief in Allah:

This article means to believe that Allah is the One God, to whom worship is due; that He is the Creator and the Sustainer of everything; that it is He who gives life and causes death, and that He is Unique in His Names and Attributes.

2 - Belief in His Angels:

Allah has created the angels from light. They are honorable slaves of Allah; they obey Him and execute His Commands; Allah describes them by saying: "…They do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded." [Quran: 66:6]

Allah created them to worship Him, and only Allah knows how many they are in number. Among them are:

- Jibreel (Gabriel) who is charged with delivering Divine revelations to the Prophets and Messengers of Allah,

- Meekaa'eel (Michael) who is charged with sending the rain,

- The Angel of Death who is charged with collecting human souls,

- The bearers of the Throne of Allah and

- The guards of Paradise and Hell.

Besides these, there are angels who guard humans, others who record people's deeds and utterances, and still others who are charged with various other duties and tasks.

3 - Belief in His Books:

Belief in His Books is believing that Allah the Exalted did in reality reveal Books to His Messengers to convey them to their people. Those Books comprise the Speech of Allah. These were doubtlessly pure at the point of revelation, and whenever a Book or Scripture was revealed, it abrogated the preceding one. The known Divine Scriptures are:

1. The Torah, the Book that Allah revealed to Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention.

2. The Psalms, the Book revealed to Daawood (David), may Allah exalt his mention.

3. The Gospel, revealed to 'Eesa (Jesus), may Allah exalt his mention.

The Books in the hands of the Christians and Jews today, that is the Torah and the Bible with the Old and the New Testaments, are not authentic because they have been distorted, altered and tampered with. Moreover, they have been abrogated by the last of Allah's Books, the Quran.

4 - Belief in His Messengers:

Muslims attest that Allah did send Messengers to every nation inviting them to worship Him Alone. This belief also entails denouncing all gods that are worshipped besides Allah or instead of Him, and that all Messengers were truthful and discharged their duty in the best manner. Allah sent many messengers, and only Allah knows how many. It is incumbent upon all Muslims to believe in all the Prophets and Messengers. He who denies one of them denies all. The first messenger that Allah had sent to mankind was Nooh (Noah), may Allah exalt his mention and the last one was Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Allah says (what means): {And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying]: 'Worship Allah and avoid Taaghoot (i.e., false deities)...} [Quran: 16:36]

All Prophets and Messengers were human beings. Allah distinguished them by commissioning them as Prophets and Messengers and supported them with miracles. They had no Divine qualities, and had no access to the Unseen world. However, Allah sent Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, to all mankind; Allah says (what means): {Say [O Muhammad]: 'O mankind! I am the Messenger of Allah to you all....'} [Quran: 7:158]

Of all the Messengers, there are five who were the most persevering and determined to do what Allah had enjoined upon them. They were Nooh, Ibraheem (Abraham), Moosa, 'Eesa and Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was the last and the best of them all, and remains the best of all human beings.

5 - Belief in the Last Day:

Muslims attest to the truth of everything Allah or His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said about death. Allah has not created His creation in vain. He created men and jinn to worship Him and promised paradise as a reward to those who obey Him and His Messengers, and promised Hellfire to those who disobey Him or His Messengers. He has set a certain period for the whole universe, whose end will be the Final Hour. During the Final Hour, humans will be questioned about their deeds in this world. Those deeds will be weighed for them. One whose good deeds overweigh his evil deeds will prosper, while him whose bad deeds outweigh his good ones will be condemned to Hellfire - unless he died in the state of Islam. Then, Allah would either forgive him or punish him, and eventually he would enter paradise. Islam is the precondition for the acceptance of any good deed.

The Description of Paradise:

Paradise, or Jannah in Arabic, is the abode that Allah has prepared for believers. It holds means of everlasting bliss that no eyes have ever seen, no ears have heard of and no human has imagined. In it are pure female mates, rivers of milk, rivers of wine, rivers of pure honey and every kind of delicious fruit and meat. Its residents will not experience exhaustion, boredom or death.

The Description of Hell:

Hellfire is the abode that Allah has prepared for the infidels who deny Him and His Messengers. Its food is intolerantly bitter, and its drink is the pus exuding from the skins of its inmates. Its depth is unfathomable. The infidels and the hypocrites will live in it forever.

6 - Belief in the Divine Preordainment and Divine Decrees (Qadhaa' and Qadr):

Doom (Qadhaa') is the general Decree of Allah that every human shall die, whereas a Divine Decree (Qadr) is a particular Decree of Allah or the execution of Qadhaa', that a certain person is to die at a particular time and place. Hence, believing in this article entails believing that Allah has created everything and has foreordained its proper measure.

The Facets of Qadr:

1. Allah is well acquainted with everything taking place, and His Knowledge encompasses everything.

2. Allah has pre-assigned portions of everything in the Preserved Tablet.

3. Nothing takes place in the heavens or on the earth without the Will of Allah and His Wish. Whatever Allah wills, takes place and whatever He     does not will, does not take place.

4. Allah is the Creator of all things. There is no other creator beside Him.

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The good example of the caller to Allah

I know a woman who works in the field of Da'wah (Islamic propagation). This woman is a very successful caller to Allah The Almighty and has a very positive effect on other women. However, when I sit with her in private sessions, she commits one of the most heinous sins: she backbites everyone including her own parents; she criticizes them bitterly and shows no respect to them in front of others.
How can she be a successful caller to the worship of Allah The Almighty, and a humble worshipper who weeps in prayer when she commits such terrible sins? Could you explain?

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

No human being is perfect. Perfection is a divine attribute. No person in this world is safe from committing sins and making mistakes. However, when we commit a sin or make a mistake, we must repent, and ask Allah The Almighty for forgiveness. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, says that “all the sons of Aadam (Adam) make mistakes, but the best of those who make mistakes are those who frequently repent.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also said that “if we never committed sins, Allah The Exalted would replace us with people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Him, and He would forgive them.” [Muslim]
At the same time, this should never suggest that we are encouraged to sin. Indeed, we must show the love of Allah The Almighty for those who repent seeking His forgiveness, and Allah The Almighty accepts their repentance.

The sister who works in the field of Da'wah, yet backbites others must be a good example to others by practicing what she preaches.
On the other hand, a Muslim who sees her commit such sins should advise her and remind her with the Quranic verses in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

{O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.} [Quran 61:2-3]

{Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?} [Quran 2:44]

Allah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb


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Monday, December 26, 2016

Helpful Tips to Quit Smoking

If you were to apprise a smoker about the harmful effects of smoking and ask him when he plans to quit smoking, he would probably say: tomorrow or the day after, or simply, "later". A person who answers in this manner is not convinced in his heart of the prohibition of smoking in Islam and its harmful effects on his health. It is quite probable that he will continue to smoke and never stop on his own.

What is the solution then? Do we stop advising such a person until smoking leads him to destruction? Or do we allow them to try out "lesser harmful" alternatives like pipes, low-tar cigarettes and the like, thinking that these will be less harmful?

Contrary to popular belief, far from being less harmful, these alternatives lead to a greater intake of nicotine and harmful chemicals because smokers take a higher number of puffs per cigarette. They also inhale the smoke deeper and keep it longer in their lungs.

The only solution is to give up smoking immediately and forever, without further procrastination. The following are some helpful tips that will help you stop smoking:

• Remember the harmful effects of smoking and the fact that it is prohibited in Islam.
• Repent to your Lord sincerely and come back to your senses before smoking destroys your health and before death attacks you suddenly.
• Seek the help of Allah The Almighty, and supplicate to Him fervently that He helps you stop smoking.
• Establish your prayer because it prevents you from all that is evil and harmful.
• Fast regularly, because it is an advice from the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, which strengthens determination, enhances good manners and enables one to fight one's desires.
• Recite the Quran, for it guides towards good morals; engage in the remembrance of Allah The Almighty frequently, you will feel tranquil and calm; seek refuge in Allah The Almighty from Satan, because it Satan who beautifies this sin for you.
• Remember the benefits of giving up smoking.
• Remember that whosoever gives up anything for the sake of Allah The Almighty, He will replace it with something better, such as feeling content with Allah The Almighty and loving Him.
• Remember the reward of giving up smoking, because the more difficult it is to give up a sin, the greater is its reward.
• Remember that by giving up smoking you save yourself from serious harm.
• Remember the sweetness of winning over your desires.
• Compare between the alleged "enjoyment" of smoking and the severe harm resulting from it.
• Be sincere and have strong determination.

Giving up smoking is quite difficult, especially in the beginning, but it is never difficult or impossible. With perseverance, this difficulty gradually fades away, until the smoker becomes accustomed to it. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “He who strives to persevere, Allah will enable him to persevere”.
Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said,
‘Those who give up something for reasons other than for the sake of Allah find it difficult to give up what they are used to and have as a habit; but those who give something up sincerely for the sake of Allah, will find no difficulty except in the very beginning, because Allah will test him to see whether he is truthful or not; so if he perseveres in the beginning he will taste the sweetness after that’.

You should always remember that it is easier to persevere giving up smoking than it would be to persevere the harsh punishment in the Hereafter.

Be wary of despair; you might try to stop smoking more than one time and fail, or you might stop it for as while then return to it again. Don’t let this make you give up; keep trying until you succeed.

Stay away from bad company, or anything that reminds you of smoking. Avoid listening to other smokers who try to hinder your efforts, rely on Allah The Almighty, and challenge yourself to achieve your objective with His will.

Even if you feel that you are too weak to stop smoking immediately, take gradual steps with the help of doctors, psychotherapists, other righteous people and your own family and friends.


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Repentance and Reliance Increase the Believer's Blessings

In the context of Prophet Nooh, may Allah exalt his mention, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“I said (to them): Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers”} [Quran, 71: 10-12]. 

Commenting on this, Imaan Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, "If you repent to Allah, supplicate to Him for forgiveness and obey His commandments; He will increase your provisions, send down blessings from the Heavens and the earth, bring forth plantations, increase the milk production from your animals, grant you children and wealth and provide you with gardens through which rivers flow and which contain different types of fruits."

Allah The Almighty also Says (what means): {“And (commanding you): ``Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves the needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection.”} [Quran, 11: 3].

Repentance and seeking forgiveness
Allah The Almighty has promised the one who repents and seeks His forgiveness, enjoyment, increased provisions and the bestowal of bounties. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah will relieve one who excessively seeks His forgiveness from all grief, find a way out for him from all hardships and provide him from means which he could never have expected.” [Ahmad and Abu Daawood]

The supplication for forgiveness that increases provision and blessings is the one which affects the heart, giving rise to sincere supplications, while the person seeking forgiveness does not persistent in his disobedience. However, the one who seeks forgiveness verbally while committing different types of sins at the same time is not truthful in his supplications and these supplications will be fruitless.

If Allah The Almighty has provided for you abundantly, then hasten to true repentance and follow your words with actions. Beware of uttering supplications with your tongue alone because these are the actions of a liar.

Reliance on Allah The Almighty

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things”} [Quran, 65: 3]. A person whose heart is connected to Allah The Almighty alone and depends upon Him to bring about benefit or prevent harm, and who puts his trust fully in Allah, Allah will suffice him, relieve him from all grief and provide him from sources which others are deprived of.

The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “If you rely on Allah as He should be relied on, He will provide for you as He provides for the birds; they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” [Ahmad & At-Tirmithi]. Commenting on this Hadeeth (narration), Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, "This Hadeeth is fundamental in the issue of reliance upon Allah, and it is one of the greatest reasons for gaining provisions, as some of the Salaf have said 'If you rely on Allah, provisions will come to you without any effort.’"

Reliance on Allah The Almighty is to express ones inherent incapacity and complete dependence on Allah The Almighty alone, along with the certainty that He alone has control over the universe and that the affairs of all of creation are under His will. It is He alone Who provides, creates, grants and deprives from bounties, benefits, afflicts, gives wealth, causes poverty, health, sickness and life and death.

Reliance on Allah The Almighty does not entail abandoning worldly means, because He has commanded us to utilize all the possible means along with relying on Him. Physically striving to utilize all worldly means is in fact an act of obedience to Allah The Almighty, and reliance on Him with one's heart reflects belief in Him. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“Then when the (Jumu`ah) Salaat (prayer) is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah (by working).”} [Quran, 62: 10]
A Muslim is required to utilize all the available means without relying on them for the results; instead he should firmly believe that the matter of his sustenance is completely with Allah, and that He alone is The Provider.



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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Seek Forgiveness and Do Not Despair

"O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I have forgiven you for what you have done and I do not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you would seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring to you forgiveness close to filling it."

In this Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration), Allah The Almighty gives hope to humanity more than in any other narration. It displays the quality and attribute of the mercy of Allah The Almighty. Indeed, He is Ar-Rahman, the Most Compassionate, and Ar-Raheem, the Most Merciful. In this Hadeeth Qudsi, Allah The Almighty tells man of the greatness of His forgiveness and mercy so that no one would despair due to the amount of sins he may have committed.

This is supported by the following verse of the Holy Quran:

{Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Quran, 39:5]

This Hadeeth teaches us the importance of realizing the mercy of Allah The Almighty, having faith and hope in Him especially when making supplications, calling to Allah The Almighty alone for forgiveness, and the importance of repentance in the life and faith of a believer.

Allah The Almighty catches the attention of humankind by calling out: O son of Adam! This is a call to every human being. Why didn't Allah The Almighty say, 'O humankind or O people'?

The significance of this specific call is because it was the first human being, Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, who committed the first sin. Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, was an example to all humans of the consequences of sin and how to turn to Allah The Almighty for forgiveness of one's sins. This gives hope that even after committing a violation, one's sins can be forgiven if one repents to Allah The Almighty sincerely the same way that the father of humankind sinned, repented, and was forgiven by Allah The Almighty.

Allah The Almighty calls out to His servants, a call of forgiveness, mercy, and compassion, for He knows that man was created weak and is prone to fall into sin. After calling out to humankind, Allah The Almighty informs them that as long as they call on Him and put their hope in Him, He will forgive them and not mind. This statement alone can convince one to have hope and never to despair. When one calls out to Allah The Almighty or supplicates to Him, he is displaying his need and dependence of Allah The Almighty. He is demonstrating his weakness to the fact that he has no power to do anything for himself. This is the essence of submission and servitude. It is also recognition of Allah's attributes of kindness, generosity, forgiving and merciful nature, and His unlimited power and knowledge. Humans are never in a situation where they are not in need of Allah The Almighty. A believer always turns to Him to ask for guidance as well as to seek forgiveness of sins and shortcomings.

One of the most important conditions of supplication is that one must completely trust that Allah The Almighty will respond. One must also supplicate with sincerity, hope, and seriousness.

One must not have any doubt at all on whether Allah The Almighty will respond to ones call or if He will accept the supplication. The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu alaiyhi wa sallam, asked us to supplicate to Allah The Almighty while being certain of a response. We must also know that Allah The Almighty does not respond to a supplication from a heart that is heedless and inattentive. The Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also forbade that one say: O Allah, forgive me if You will. Instead, he asked us to supplicate with will and conviction, for there is nothing so great to Allah that He cannot grant it.


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Considering the Individual Differences Between Family Members

When Allah The Almighty created all things and gave them of His bounties, they came to be different from each other. Allah The Almighty confirms that difference in the verse (that means): {And [We] have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank].} [Quran 43:32]

This excelling may be related to the body, knowledge, way of thinking, financial means, and so on. Allah The Almighty Says relating about Taloot (Saul)(what means): {And their prophet said to them, “Indeed, Allah has sent to you Saul as a king.” They said, “How can he have kingship over us while we are more worthy of kingship than him, and he has not been given any measure of wealth?” He said, “Indeed, Allah has chosen him over you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah gives His sovereignty to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Encompassing [in favor] and Knowing.”} [Quran 2:247]

For this reason, Islam addresses people according to their minds and the extent to which they understand. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “Never do you address a people with anything that is beyond the reach of their minds but that it would be a cause of Fitnah [tribulation] for some of them.” [Muslim]

It is further narrated on the authority of ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “Address the people with that which is within their power to grasp: do you wish that Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, should be belied?” [Muslim]

The point here is that Islam recognizes individual differences between people, or in other words, recognizes the principle of difference of people’s concerns. What concerns the husband is not necessarily the same as what concerns the wife, and what concerns the children differs from what concerns the head of the family, putting into consideration a basic rule that adjusts those concerns and differences.

Since this applies to the entire Muslim community, it also applies to the Muslim family. The interests of the husband differ from those of the wife. For this reason, it is binding upon the guardian of a family to take heed of those differences and not turn them to a point of dispute that causes harm to his life and the lives of those surrounding him.

The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who is the supreme role model, cared about those individual differences, which he clarified and dealt with positively and turned from being a point of dispute into a point of education and enlightenment. In this respect, it is narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that once, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was in the house of one of the Mothers of Believers (‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, according to others than Al-Bukhaari), when another one of the Mothers of Believers (Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, according to others than Al-Bukhaari) sent him a bowl full of food. The wife in whose house the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was, struck the hand of the servant, thereby making the bowl fall down and break. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, collected the pieces of the bowl together, and went on gathering the food which was in it, while saying: “Your mother became jealous.” Then, he made the servant stay until he brought a bowl from the one in whose house he was, and gave the intact bowl to the one whose bowl was broken, and kept the broken bowl in its place. [Al-Bukhaari]

The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in dealing with that situation, guided us to the best way to deal with one of the women’s individual differences, that is jealousy, which should be dealt with wisely and without giving it much importance.

In this way too, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, paid attention to individual differences when dealing with children. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, for instance, sometimes carried Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with them, during his prayer; Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “We offered the ‘Ishaa’ prayer with the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and whenever he fell in prostration, both Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with them, jumped on his back; and whenever he raised his head [from prostration], he took them gently with his hand from behind his back, and placed them on the ground; and whenever he fell in prostration once again, they returned [to jump on his back] until when he finished the prayer, he made them sit on his thighs.” [Ahmad] How happy children are when they do this with their fathers during their prayer!

The mistake made by many husbands is that they want the wife and children to cancel these individual differences from their lives and force everyone to share his private desires, inclinations and wishes, harvesting thereby in the household nothing other than distress, and in the community nothing other than estrangement.

“Marital life can hardly be established on the basis of likeness.”

Marital life is established on affection. Whoever wants to make his children a copy of him does not harvest anything but bitterness and distress. A heedful father who follows the guidance of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the righteous predecessors does not turn those individual differences into points of dispute in so much as he wisely turns them into educational and instructive means.

Among the examples of individual differences which should be addressed and used as an educational means is that for a lot of women, a pleasant and good word from the husband is better in their sight than many other things. However, unfortunately, the husband might consider saying such words to be awkward, nonsensical, and uncalled for at that stage of their life. Carelessness about this need might leave the wife feeling estranged.

Similarly, some children wait for their fathers to surprise them with sweets or toys upon their return home from work. Unfortunately, a lot of fathers forget that, which causes the children to feel silent disappointment when the father returns home. Also, many children are fond of playing, but their fathers do not appreciate that, which has a negative effect on the way children are brought up.

It is pressingly important to give importance to those individual differences, which are necessary to enrich the community with a variety that keeps up with the nature of life.

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rewards and Benefits of Virtuous Deeds in the Quran and Sunnah

The Quran speaks about performing virtuous deeds as well as their reward and effect on the community in many verses:

• It is a sign of success, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“O you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good, that you may be successful.”} [Quran, 24: 77]

• Allah The Almighty does not disregard an atom’s or an ant’s weight of virtuous deeds, He Says (what means): {“So, whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it...”} [Quran, 99: 7]

• Allah The Almighty commands us to race amongst ourselves and compete in virtue, He Says (what means): {“And march forth in the way (leading to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth.”} [Quran, 3: 133]

• Allah The Almighty commanded us to perform virtuous deeds and informed us that He is All-Knowing, He Says (what means): {“Whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well.”} [Quran, 2: 215]

• Allah commanded us to call others to the performance of good deeds when He says (what means): {“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islaam) and enjoining virtue.”} [Quran, 3: 104].

Similarly, there are many Ahaadeeth (narrations) from the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, addressing this issue, such as the following:

“Rush towards the performance of virtuous deeds.” [Muslim]

“He who leads others to virtue gets the same reward as the one performing it.” [Muslim]

“O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salaam, feed the needy, and pray at night while people are sleeping, and you will (therefore) enter into Paradise peacefully.” [At-Tirmithi]

“He who calls others to guidance will get the same reward as those who follow guidance.” [Muslim]

Benefits of performing virtuous deeds

• Making haste and competing to perform virtuous deeds makes it an objective in one's life, which one would not be willing to sacrifice.

• A person who hastens and competes to perform virtuous deeds will not have any time to waste, let alone spend that time sinning.

• It makes a person appreciate working for the Hereafter.

• It decreases the possibility of sinning and makes sinning hateful to a person.

• It makes community members merciful to each other, and creates love between them.

• It instills ambition in people.

Practical tips for the sincere believer

• Compete in virtue and guide others to it.

• It is recommended for one who intended to spend in charity in a certain field, and was prevented from doing so, to spend it in a different field.

• One who helps a Muslim to perform Jihaad (striving in the cause of Allah The Almighty) will get the same reward. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “He who financially supports a Mujaahid will be rewarded as though he physically fought Jihaad.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

• He who enables others to do virtuous deeds, or guides them to it, gets the reward of doing it himself, as illustrated in the case of the mother who asked the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, about the reward for taking her child with her to Hajj, to which he replied: “Yes you will get (same) the reward.”

• A person should choose the most rewarding of virtuous deeds, like when the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Spending charity on a needy person gets only one reward, but spending it on relatives gets double the reward, because it is charity plus maintaining good ties with kinship.”

• Activate the role of your local mosque in spreading virtue within your neighborhood.

• Dedicate a certain amount of money to give to the needy and for the support of Islaam.

• Check to see who are the needy in your area and help them during their times of hardship.

• Do not belittle or underestimate the reward for any virtuous deed.

• Always regret the chances you missed to perform virtuous deeds.

• Remember that a person is rewarded according to his intention.

• Take advantage of opportunities whenever they arise, because they may not return.

• Always have a virtuous intention before doing anything, as Az-Zubayr ibn Haarith, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I like to have a good intention before doing anything, even eating and sleeping."



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Malicious Allegations Against Hijaab – IV

The seventh allegation:

Many people quote an argument which indicates ignorance about the proofs behind Hijaab (Islamic covering) as well as ignorance about the consensus of the scholars of the different schools of jurisprudence, that it is obligatory to cover the face at times when temptation and corruption are widespread. Undoubtedly, our current age is worthy of this description. This argument is, “The veil (face-cover) is a disputed issue among the scholars.”

This allegation is refuted from several aspects:

1- A true Muslim is required to seek the soundest view in Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) issues and rulings by looking for the strongest argument, abandoning following one's desires and inclinations and seeking the help of Allah The Almighty in order to be guided to the truth. A person who fulfills these requirements will inevitably be guided to the truth and it will be facilitated for him. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you.} [Quran 8: 70]

The argument “It is a disputed issue” is adopted by many people today in their acts of worship and thereby they got what they wanted and satisfied their desires through a scholar's slip, an ungrounded concession, an irregular opinion or a mistaken understanding, without giving the least importance to the contradiction of all that to the words of the infallible Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who does not speak from his own inclination; rather, through revelation. The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, prescribed for us a healing medicine whenever the disease of difference in opinion occurs. In a Hadeeth (narration), he said: "Those who live (after me) from among you will witness many differences . You have to follow my Sunnah (tradition) as well as that of the rightly-guided Caliphs."

Allah The Almighty considered consensus an argument that is immune to error. It is unsound to consider the opposite, which is difference in opinion, as being above error in argument as well.
A person who seeks irregular concessions and differences in his religion will end up with imperfect worship and weak faith. He could even lose his religiousness altogether. It was said, "A person who excessively looks for concessions has left the fold of religion."

2- The ascertained and transmitted reality is that the Muslim women remained veiled throughout the different stages of Islamic history. The aforesaid statements of the scholars assert that wearing the Hijaab was one of the characteristics of the Muslim women throughout the ages.

Shaykhul-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "It was the Sunnah (way) of the believers during the lifetime of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that a free woman would be concealed from non-Mahram (marriageable) men while a bondmaid would not."

It was narrated on the authority of ‘Aasim Al-Ahwal, may Allah have mercy on him, that he said, “We used to enter upon Hafsah bint Seereen while she had made her cloak as a veil. We would say to her, may Allah be merciful to you, Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage - there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments [but] not displaying adornment.} [Quran 24: 60] She would reply, “What (part of the verse) comes after that?” We would say, “{But to modestly refrain [from that] is better for them.}” She would say, "This asserts wearing the Hijaab.”

3- We can summarize the opinions of the scholars of the four schools of jurisprudence regarding the issue of the woman's Hijaab as follows:
They unanimously agree that a woman is required to cover her body as a whole before non-Mahram men -- including both, those who are of the view that the face and hands are a part of the ‘Awrah (part of the body that must be covered), as well as those who are of the view that they are not a part of the ‘Awrah but make it obligatory to cover them in this age, due to the corruption of most people, the weakness of their faith and the lack of piety in their inability to abandon looking at women which is prohibited.

In his book ‘Awdat Al-Hijaab (Part One), Shaykh Muhammad Al-Muqaddim, may Allah preserve him, said, "The majority of scholars of the schools of jurisprudence in this age unanimously agree that it is obligatory to cover a woman's face and hands to block the way before corruption and eliminate the reasons for temptation."


Having mentioned some of the allegations that the advocates of neglecting Hijaab and impermissible exposure of women's adornment raise against Hijaab, we give the following advice to the woman who wears the Hijaab disapproved by the Sharee‘ah:
Beware of believing that you wear the Hijaab commanded in the Quran and the Sunnah. Do not be deceived that you are better than those who are not adhering to Hijaab at all. That is because evil cannot be taken as a role model and there are [various] levels in the Hellfire, some of which are under some others.

Do not be deceived by those who bless your attitude from among those who are after satanic purposes, lustful interests and material benefits, who plan in order to popularize the Sharee‘ah-disapproved Hijaab, make it, display it, buy it, and sell it. Such people are similar to the Jews and Christians who disobeyed Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and met the command of Allah The Almighty and His Forbiddance by their saying: {we hear and disobey} . In return, Allah The Exalted Said (what means) concerning them: {So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part?} [Quran 2: 85]

Such people are as if they did not receive a revealed Quran. It is as if they did not hear the verses in which Allah The Exalted Says (what means):
{O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments.} [Quran 33: 59]
{and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof.} [Quran 24: 31]
{And do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.} [Quran 33: 33]

It is as if these verses were revealed to women other than Muslim women.

As for the blessed sister who fulfills the command of her Lord, we ask Allah The Almighty to safeguard her and grant her steadfastness. I say to her: Be pleased and rejoice with the glad tidings of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, for you as well as similar women are patient and persevering for the sake of Allah The Almighty. In a Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Give glad tidings to the strangers." It was said, "Who are the strangers, O Messenger of Allah?" He said: "They are a small group of righteous people among a large evil population. Those who oppose them are more than those who follow them."

In a community where negligence and non-adherence to Hijaab prevail, you often hear people who say, "You look strange and abnormal." Be patient and persevering and keep steadfast in the face of temptations. There are just a few days after which you will enjoy the bliss of Paradise and the garments of honor with the mercy of Allah The Almighty. It was narrated on the authority of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, that he said, "If Satan looks at you and finds you permanently obedient to Allah and he tries time after time to seduce you and you remain steadfast, he gets bored and abandons you. But if you are not steadfast all the time, he will try seducing you [again and again]."

The best thing to conclude with is the last portion of the verse in which Allah The Almighty commands women to wear the Hijaab. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.} [Quran 24: 31]


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Malicious Allegations Against Hijaab – I

It is well known that the struggle between mankind and the devil is an old one, which will continue until Allah The Almighty inherits the earth and everything on it. The devil exploits man's weaknesses and uses them in enticing him, inspiring impermissible hopes and wishes in him and whispering to him until man finally responds to him and does what is prohibited by Allah The Almighty.

Satan's story with Aadam and Hawwaa’ (Eve), may Allah exalt their mention, is the first and greatest evidence behind this fact. His enticement was a reason for the uncovering of their private parts and violating their honor. This indicates that it is one of Satan's aims to spread nakedness leading to the subsequent dangerous consequences like spreading immorality and inspiring fear for one’s honor and self. Therefore, Allah The Almighty warned us against this temptation in particular. He Says (what means): {O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.} [Quran 7: 27]

Hence, it becomes clear that Satan is the pioneer of the call to uncover what must be covered, and the founder of the call to impermissible exposure of women's beauty with its different degrees and even the first leader of human devils who call to woman's emancipation from covering, protection and modesty. They are the ones who introduce the malicious allegations against Hijaab (Islamic covering) which are inspired to them by the devil and they spread them in the path of the Muslims as harmful thorns and entangling hooks so that many people fall prey to them. Only those to whom Allah The Almighty is Merciful, and who are knowledgeable (in religion) and pious will be rescued.

Before we discuss some of these satanic allegations and their refutations, it is important to explain the concept of Hijaab and its opposite. Hijaab is to cover the woman's body and adornment before non-Mahram (marriageable) men. The opposite is exposure of women's adornment and beauty before non-Mahram men. This also includes walking in a coquettish and strutting manner as well as revealing one's adornment and beauty. It is said that each adornment that makes the woman appear beautiful before men is included in impermissible exposure. Uncovering the face is also included in impermissible exposure of women's beauty. Given that, Hijaab is the opposite of impermissible exposure of women's beauty in all its forms including uncovering the face. In general, any form of beauty or adornment where one of the conditions of the Hijaab approved by the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) is not fulfilled is considered part of the impermissible exposure of women's beauty which is forbidden by the consensus of all schools of jurisprudence and the statements of scholars .

There are some common malicious allegations and feeble arguments that those who follow their desires as well as ignorant people quote in order to evade applying some Sharee‘ah rulings. We will start by mentioning and refuting them. Later, we will mention some allegations which are relevant to the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab in particular.

The first allegation:

Some say, "Islam is characterized by ease. In current times, however, wearing the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab is difficult, particularly in open societies where impermissible exposure of women's beauty is normal."

This allegation is refuted through the following points:

• It should be known that each obligation that Allah The Almighty imposed on His servants is within their capacity and power.

• Alleviating the hardship of a Sharee‘ah ruling is not approved unless it is based on evidence from the Quran or the Sunnah (tradition). It is a condition [of Islamic jurisprudence] that alleviating the hardship of a Sharee‘ah ruling should involve no contradictions to the Quran, the Sunnah, sound analogy, or outweigh the benefits of the ruling under Sharee‘ah.

• Given the second analogy, someone might say that the hardship of avoiding usury in current times entails permissibility of dealing with it, or that a pilgrim is no longer required to perform the ritual of Rajm (throwing the pebbles) during Hajj due to the hardship of going through the crowds It is obvious that such statements are invalid.

• There may be a certain degree of hardship involved in acts of worship, but it is certainly within the limits of what is bearable and befits a person's ordinary capacity. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} [Quran 2: 286] Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "If hardship occurs in the form of exhaustion, then the interests of the two worlds are accompanied by exhaustion. A person who does not experience exhaustion will never find comfort. Rather, the more exhaustion a person experiences, the more comfort he will find.

The benefit of some Sharee‘ah rulings is even proportional to the hardship and difficulty involved, such as in the ruling of Qisas (retaliation) and corporal punishments prescribed for crimes. Moreover, there are the great acts of worship which involve greater hardship, such as the hardship of performing ablution in cold weather, that of fasting during very hot and long days as well as that of the rituals of Hajj.”

• If a matter that is prohibited under Sharee`ah is prevalent and widespread, this is not a justification under Sharee`ah to permit it. Moreover, the customs and traditions of different communities as well as changes in time and place do not make something prohbited lawful.

Some naive people who claim that they are educated and cultured are under the impression that just as social customs evolve and change over a course of time, it is also necessary that the Sharee‘ah rulings change in a similar manner. They call this “the modern religion”. This entails abandoning Sharee‘ah obligations and allowing some prohibited matters in consonance with "cultural progress and modern development", as they say.

Undoubtedly, a person who has even the least degree of religious knowledge realizes that these allegations are void and false. Had such claims been acceptable, this would have entailed that all Sharee‘ah rulings are contingent on people's customs and traditions, which are continuously subject to corruption and deviation by the course of time. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that there is no age, except the next is more evil than it.

What should be said is that rulings which are established by authentic Sharee‘ah proofs abide forever, and they are subject to neither change nor evolution, such as the rulings of purification, prayer, retaliation, corporal punishments prescribed for crimes, the woman’s Hijaab in front of non-Mahram men, conditions of the matrimonial guardian for the marriage to be considered valid, and so on.

It is only possible to say that customs are considered in rulings that are not definite and are connected from the beginning to people's changeable customs and interests. For example, there are some rulings that are relevant to human nature with no intervention of will or religious obligation, such as the difference among countries in the age of puberty, the period of menstruation and past-partum bleeding.

The second allegation:

Someone may say that having a good intention is the most important thing. A barefaced woman may say, "I am self-confident. I do not intend to tempt men and I have a good intention.

Consequently, I am not meant by what is said about impermissible exposure of women's beauty and those who do it”.

Having a good intention is a justification that is usually heard from those whose hearts are full of desires and fancies and are indulging in guilt and sins. Such an allegation is refuted in different ways:

• A woman is required to worship Allah The Almighty through covering her body and wearing the Hijaab concerning which there is a definite command in the Quran. Consequently, a woman is required to hear and obey, regardless of any other considerations.

• Having a good intention neither justifies the prohibited deed nor makes it permissible. Even if one has a good intention, a forbidden deed remains as such and the perpetrator is deemed guilty. As evidence, the polytheists of Makkah worshiped idols with a good intention; however, their intention did not benefit them and they are still described as polytheists. Allah The Exalted Says (what means) through their words: {"We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position."} [Quran 39: 3]

• Even if she is certain that she will not be tempted, as she claims self-confidence, she is not certain that those who look at her will not be tempted, and this is most likely to happen. Consequently, she will be responsible for the sin of tempting and enticing others while she is not aware. Therefore, the scholars said, "A woman who is certain that a non-Mahram man looks at her while she is required under Sharee‘ah to cover her face before him, is supporting him to do what is prohibited is therefore deemed guilty".

• Impressionable and young women are enticed and influenced by her action, particularly when she is a role model, such as a mother or teacher.

• Though a good intention is a very important pre-requisite for one's deed to be accepted, it is not enough on its own. When a person is content with only his good intention, it is as if he is walking on one leg or flying with one wing, for compliance to the Sharee‘ah-approved manner is indispensable along with the right intention.


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Malicious Allegations Against the Hijaab - III

Someone may say, "Wearing the Hijaab (Islamic covering) approved by the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) while satisfying all its conditions in those countries where women do not wear the Hijaab in this manner, or do not wear it at all, features seeking fame and this is disapproved under Sharee‘ah."


The essential reason behind this allegation is ignorance about the concept of Sharee‘ah rulings. Consequently, this allegation is refuted by clarifying the concept of the dress that is forbidden under Sharee‘ah out of seeking fame. It includes every garment that a person wears with the intention of becoming famous and reputable among people, whether this garment is precious and expensive for the sake of pride and arrogance, or humble and cheap for the sake of showing asceticism. In both cases, such a person intends that people look at him.

Given that, what is crucial to judge a certain garment that it is worn for reputation or not, is intention and purpose. Consequently, wearing Hijaab in a community where such an act is not normal, necessitates that one has a righteous intention which is solely devoted to Allah The Almighty.

When we adhere to our Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab in a community where neglecting the Hijaab is widespread, we do not intend to become famous, rather, we do so in obedience to Allah

The Almighty Who Says (what means): {O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. } [Quran 5: 105]

Likewise, a dress is not judged to be prohibited and intended for gaining good reputation unless people are obedient to Allah and His Messenger, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Nevertheless, when their innate sound nature is corrupt and they have deviated from the straight path, we do not join them in their deviation under the pretext of avoiding fame.

It is really strange to consider the Hijaab a dress for gaining fame and making that a means for abandoning it. How could adherence to the Quranic verses and the prophetic Hadeeths (narrations) be a form of seeking fame and an aberration, while imitating Westerners, non-Muslims and the negligent Muslims is seen as an ordinary and normal matter?
It is nothing but following desires of the Self. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah?} [Quran 28: 50]

The sixth allegation:

They say, "The Jilbaab (outer covering garment) includes everything that the women of today wear when they go out including capes, ponchos and similar dresses. These are all called a cloak and they all serve the purpose of covering along with the modest head cover."

This is one of the widespread misunderstandings by women who are fond of wearing beautified, adorned clothes.

To them we say: Do not be deceived by names and slogans. Rather, you have to reflect on facts and realities. Nowadays, almost everything worn by women when they go out is called a "cloak". Nevertheless, can we consider all of them cloaks? This question is answered by comparing such a cloak to the conditions of the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab. If all the conditions are satisfied, then it is really a cloak. On the contrary, if some of the conditions are not satisfied, then we cannot call it a cloak; rather, it may be called “fashion”.

This calls upon us to mention the conditions of the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab. But, before mentioning these conditions, we would like to ask every woman who wears a cloak: Are you convinced that this cloak which you wear brings you closer to Allah The Almighty?

If she indeed believes in this, then she has to satisfy all these conditions because they are pre-requisites of an act of worship to Allah The Almighty. On the contrary, if she says that it is just something that she is used to wearing, then the conditions of the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab will not be important for her because she does not wear it as an act of worship and consequently she will be satisfied with every new innovation which enhances her beauty and adornment. This is evident fom the all-consuming race that we witness today among many foolish women in displaying new fashions of what they claim to be "cloaks".

Here are the conditions of the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab:

1- It must cover the entire body without leaving any part uncovered.

2- It must not be an adornment in itself, as when it is decorated, embroidered and colorful.

3 – It must be thick so that it does not show the body or adornment underneath it.

4- It must hang loose so that the shape of the body is not apparent.

5- It must be neither scented with incense nor perfumed.

6- It must not resemble men's clothing.

7- It must not resemble the dress of non-Muslim women.

8- It must not be worn for the sole purpose of gaining fame or increasing one's status in society.

When one of these conditions is not fulfilled in the cloak, then it is a form of neglecting Hijaab and this indeed violates the Sharee‘ah of Allah The Almighty.

According to the scholars, impermissible exposure of a woman's beauty includes all forms of adornment and beautification with which a woman appears attractive before non-Mahram (marriageable) men. It even includes the woman's veil when it is made of glittering colors and an attractive style in order to please the eyes of the onlookers. This is an aspect of the exposure of ignorant people.

Today we observe many features of temptation and disobedience in the so-called “cloak” that many women wear when they go out, showing their beauty and displaying their arms through the wide sleeves, besides decorating the cloak with glittering adornments, that constitute impermissible exposure of women's beauty.
If each Muslim woman adhered to the ideal Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab when going out, many temptations would not occur in our life and we would keep our honor and youth safe.

We remind our sisters who wear such cloaks of the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, says: "The best of your women is the affectionate, the fertile, the comforting, the agreeable, if they fear Allah. The most evil of your women are those who expose and display themselves, and those who strut (to show off) and they are the hypocrites. Those who enter Paradise of them are like the red-beaked crow." [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah] The simile of the red-beaked crow is to show that those who enter Paradise from among women will be as rare as this kind of crows is rare, due to their violations. We ask refuge in Allah The Almighty from this.

Let any woman who indifferently wears a tight cloak that shows the details of her body listen to incidents about the attitudes of the true believing women. One of them disliked that the garment would show her body even after her death. Therefore, she looked for a way to properly cover her body after her death. How keen do you think she was to maintain this during her life?

It was narrated that Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, daughter of the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "O Asmaa’, I hate how women are treated after death for one is covered with a garment which shows the details of her body." Asmaa’, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "O daughter of the Messenger of Allah, I will show you something that I saw in Abyssinia!" She brought some fresh palm branches, bent them and then covered them with a garment. Having seen that, Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, remarked, "How good and beautiful this is!"

We often encounter women who argue, "Bring forth evidence that it is impermissible to wear a shoulder cloak and that it must descend from over the head?"

This question is answered by another question, "Do you seek the truth or do you seek the impossible?" If she is a seeker of the truth, we say to her that the evidence is in the conditions and criteria of the Sharee‘ah-approved Hijaab for Muslim women. There is authentic evidence behind each condition. Evidence is also concluded from Fatwas (religious verdicts) of the trustworthy and reliable scholars whom we are commanded by Allah The Almighty to obey. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.} [Quran 4: 59]

If she is not a seeker of the truth, then she really seeks what is impossible, which is providing a Quranic verse or prophetic Hadeeth that explicitly state the permissibility of wearing a shoulder cloak. We say to her, a person who conditions his response to the command of Allah The Almighty upon the occurrence of an impossible thing, actually follows his desires and will never respond even if his request is fulfilled. That is because making the occurrence of an impossible thing a condition for responding to a ruling indicates that one has an untruthful will and that he turns away from the truth. This even marks stubbornness and rejection just like the habit of the Children of Israel with their prophets, as they used to ask for impossible and extraordinary things in return for their obedience. They used to do so out of stubbornness and reluctance. When such matters materialized, they declined to believe in them. In this respect, Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {But if they do not respond to you - then know that they only follow their [own] desires.} [Quran 28: 50]

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