Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Have Taqwa and be Kind to Relatives

The Command to have Taqwa, a Reminder about Creation, and Being Kind to RelativesAllah commands His creatures to have Taqwa of Him by worshipping Him Alone without partners. He also reminds to them of His ability, in that He created them all from a single person, Adam, peace be unto him.

[وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا]

(And from him He created his wife) Hawwa' (Eve), who was created from Adam's left rib, from his back while he was sleeping. When Adam woke up and saw Hawwa', he liked her and had affection for her, and she felt the same toward him. An authentic Hadith states,

«إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ خُلِقَتْ مِنْنِضلَعٍ، وَإِنَّ أَعْوَجَ شَيْءٍ فِي الضِّلَعِ أَعْلَاهُ، فَإِنْ ذَهَبْتَ تُقِيمُهُ كَسَرْتَهُ، وَإِنِ اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا وَفِيهَا عِوَج»

(Woman was created from a rib. Verily, the most curved portion of the rib is its upper part, so, if you should try to straighten it, you will break it, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked.) Allah's statement,

[وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَآءً]

(And from them both He created many men and women;) means, Allah created from Adam and Hawwa' many men and women and distributed them throughout the world in various shapes, characteristics, colors and languages. In the end, their gathering and return will be to Allah. Allah then said,

[وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالاٌّرْحَامَ]

(And have Taqwa of Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and revere the wombs), protect yourself from Allah by your acts of obedience to Him. Allah's statement,

[الَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِ]

(through Whom you demand your mutual (rights)), is in reference to when some people say, "I ask you by Allah, and then by the relation of the Rahim (the womb, i.e. my relationship to you)'', according to Ibrahim, Mujahid and Al-Hasan. Ad-Dahhak said; "Fear Allah Whom you invoke when you conduct transactions and contracts.'' "And revere the womb by not cutting the relations of the womb, but keep and honor them, as Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi`, and others have stated. Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيباً]

(Surely, Allah is always watching over you.) means, He watches all your deeds and sees your every circumstance. In another Ayah, Allah said;

[وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ]

(And Allah is Witness over all things.) [58:6]. An authentic Hadith states,

«اعْبُدِاللهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ،فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاك»

(Worship Allah as if you see Him, for even though you cannot see Him, He sees you.) This part of the Ayah encourages having a sense of certainty that Allah is always watching, in a complete and perfect manner. Allah mentioned that He has created mankind from a single father and a single mother, so that they feel compassion for each other and are kind to the weaker among them. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Jarir bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali said that a delegation from Mudar came to the Messenger of Allah , and he saw their state, wearing striped woolen clothes due to poverty. After the Zuhr prayer, the Messenger of Allah stood up and gave a speech in which he recited,

[يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ]

(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person,) until the end of the Ayah. He also recited,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ]

(O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the tomorrow) [59:18]. He also encouraged them to give charity, saying,

«تَصَدَّقَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ دِينَارِهِ، مِنْ دِرْهَمِهِ، مِنْ صَاعِ بُرِّهِ، مِنْ صَاعِ تَمْرِه»

(A man gave Sadaqah from his Dinar, from his Dirham, from his Sa` of wheat, from his Sa` of dates) until the end of the Hadith. This narration was also collected by Ahmad and the Sunan compilers from Ibn Mas`ud.

[وَءَاتُواْ الْيَتَـمَى أَمْوَلَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَلِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوباً كَبِيراً - وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِى الْيَتَـمَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ مَثْنَى وَثُلَـثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ - وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَىْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْساً فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئاً مَّرِيئاً ]

(2. And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.) (3. And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the captives and the servants) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu.) (4. And give to the women (whom you marry) their Saduqat (or dowry) Nihlah (with a good heart), but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The 'Others'

In Islam, considering the well-being of the “other” instead of just the “self” is a virtue so rooted in the religion that it is evident even to those outside it. The British humanitarian and civil rights lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, a non-Muslim, stated: “What I like about Islam is its focus on the group, which is opposite to the West’s focus on individuality.”[1]

Individuals comprising any society are tied together by related group bonds. The strongest of all societal bonds is that of the family. And while it can be justifiably argued that the basic family unit is the foundation of any given human society, this holds particularly true for Muslims. As a matter of fact, the great status that Islam affords to the family system is the very thing that so often attracts many new converts to Islam, particularly women.

“With laws for almost every aspect of life, Islam represents a faith-based order that women may see as crucial to creating healthy families and communities, and correcting the damage done by the popular secular humanism of the past thirty or so years, several experts said. In addition, women from broken homes may be especially attracted to the religion because of the value it places on family, said Marcia Hermansen, a professor of Islamic studies at Loyola University in Chicago and an American who also converted to Islam.”[2]

Nowhere is this trend of a people who value traditional family values as they embrace Islam more prevalent than in North America’s Latino or Hispanic community. As one of Florida’s Muslims observed: “I have seen an increasing rate in Hispanics converting to Islam. I think the Hispanic culture itself is very rich in terms of family values, and that is something that is very prominent in the religion of Islam.”

So, what are the particular values or traits of Islamic family life that so many are finding so appealing?

At a Columbia University Islamic event, Hernan Guadalupe, an Ecuadorian-American: “spoke of the cultural similarities and family values inherent to Hispanics and Muslims. Typically, Hispanic households are tight knit and devout, and children are reared in a strict environment - traits that mirror Muslim households.”[3]

And in another recent newspaper report, it was also observed how: “Family values play an integral role in the formation of a Muslim community. Because of those family values, there are a lot of other norms that are consistent within the Hispanic community and Islam; for instance, respect for elders, married life and rearing children, these are some of the traditions Hispanics have in common with Islam.”[4]

Some ordinary American converts also have had a say about real life experience, and some of these are collected in a book by the mother of such a convert; Daughters of Another Path by Carol L. Anway. One woman, quoted in the book[5], spoke about her change in attitude towards marriage and family life after converting to Islam. “I became cleaner and quieter the further I went into the religion. I became highly disciplined. I had not intended to marry before I was a Muslim, yet I quickly became a wife and then a mother. Islam has provided a framework that has allowed me to express belief, such as modesty, kindness and love, that I already had. It has also led me to happiness through marriage and the birth of two children. Before Islam I had had no desire to have my own family since I hated (the thought of having) kids.”

Another woman speaks of her acceptance into the extended family in the same book. “We were met at the airport by a lot of his family, and it was a very touching moment, one I will never forget. Mama (her mother-in-law) is like an angel… I have spent a lot of time in with tears, because of what I see here. The family system is quite unique with closeness that is beyond words.”[6]

In Appendix C of the book, a 35 year old American convert, at that time 14 years a Muslim, wrote about the family of her husband and their values relative to her own American values. “I have met all the members of my husband’s immediate family and some members of his immense extended family… I have learned a great deal from my in-laws. They have a wonderful way of relating to their children, a way that engenders respect for others and great amounts of self esteem. It is interesting to see how a child-orientated and religious orientated culture operates. My in-laws, by virtue of being a contrast to American culture, have given me a great appreciation for certain elements of my American cultural identity… I have seen that Islam is truly correct in saying that moderation is the right path.”[7]

From these quotations, one from a non-Muslim intellectual, others from converts and reporters, and some from quite ordinary American women who embraced Islam, we can see that family values in Islam are one of its major attractions. These values stem from God and His guidance, through the Quran and the example and teaching of His Messenger, Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who indicates the family unit as being one of the mainstays of religion and Islamic the way of life. The importance of forming a family is underscored by a saying of the holy Prophet himself, who said:

“When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear God regarding the remaining half.”[8] (al-Baihaqi)

The two articles that follow will discuss the family in Islam in the light of the Quran and Prophetic teachings. Through briefly exploring Islam’s take on the themes of married life, respect for parents and elders, and the rearing of children, we can begin to appreciate the benefits of the family in Islam.


[1] Emel Magazine, Issue 6 - June/July 2004.

[2] “Islam’s Female Converts”; Priya Malhotra, February 16, 2002. (see http://thetruereligion.org/modules/xfsection/article.php?articleid=167).

[3] “Some Latinos convert to Islam”; Marcela Rojas, The Journal News (http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20051030%2FNEWS02%2F510300319%2F1028%2FNEWS12)

[4] “Islam Gains Hispanic Converts”; Lisa Bolivar, Special Correspondent, September 30, 2005 (http://thetruereligion.org/modules/xfsection/article.php?articleid=405)

[5] Daughters of Another Path, 4th printing, Al-Attique Publishers, p.81.

[6] Daughters of Another Path, p.126.

[7] Daughters of Another Path, p.191.

[8] A narration from the Prophet, by Anas b. Malik, his personal servant; collected in and commented on by Imam al-Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman (Branches of Faith).

Saturday, November 20, 2010


A married couple should always encourage each other to worship Allah and act according to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Abu Huraira related that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “May Allah have mercy on a man rises at night to pray and wakes up his wife and they pray two rakats together, Allah will write them amongst the people who remember Allah much.” (Abu Daud)

A husband and wife are from different families and may also be from different cultures. They must accept their differences with patience and kindness. If there is something which they dislike they should hide their feelings and avoid offending each other. The best way to act is to treat your partner as you would like them to treat you.

A couple should begin their marriage by making the intention to protect each others rights according to the Shariah, to make their family an asset to the Muslim community and to bring up their children as good Muslims.

This modern society with its powerful media, uncensored entertainment and uncontrolled immorality holds many dangers for our children. It is very important to maintain Islamic standards at home, and provide a Muslim environment and a good example for our children. May Allah protect us and our wives and our children and guide us on the Straight Path. Ameen.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Advice to Husbands and Wives

Advice to Husbands:-

Jabir Narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, gave these instructions in his sermon during Farewell Pilgrimage: "Fear God regarding women; for you have taken them [in marriage] with the trust of God."

Narrated Aisha, God's messenger said: "Among the believers who show most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition, and are kindest to their families."

Narrated Abu Huraira, God's messenger said: "The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition and the best of you are those who are best to their wives."

Aisha has related that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, would enter the house with a pleasing disposition and a smile on his lips.

Narrated Al-Aswad: "I asked Aisha, `What did the Prophet, peace be upon him, do at home?' She said, `He used to work for his family and when he heard the call for the prayer, he would go out.'"

Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle, peace be upon him, said, `The woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some bent.'"

Advice to Wives:-

Anas reported God's messenger as saying, "When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of paradise she wishes (in other words nothing will prevent her from entering paradise)."

Um Salama reported God's messenger as saying, "Any woman who dies when her husband is pleased with her will enter Paradise."

Abu Huraira told that when God's messenger was asked which woman was best, he replied, "The one who fills [her husband] with joy when he sees her, obeys him when he directs and does not oppose him by displeasing him regarding her person or property."

God please safe us from the shadow of Shaitan, who created a fitna misunderstanding between husbands and wives..........Ameen

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Mothers Advice to her Daughter

Abd al-Malik (Radiyallaahu 'anhaa) said: "When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, as she was made ready to be taken to the groom, her mother, Umamah came into her room to advise her and said:

• "O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you posses these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.

• "O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father's wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.

• "O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.

• "Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you:

• "The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one's husband pleases Allah.

• "The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.

• "The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.

• "The seventh and eight of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

• "The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.

• "Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Marriage: Lack of Faith or Lack of Focus?

The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said, "A person who does not marry on account of his poor financial condition does not have faith and confidence in Allah."

Rasul'ullah (SAW) said, "...A person who will marry for the sake of wealth and beauty will ultimately be deprived of both, and he who will marry for the sake of piety and faith will be blessed with wealth and beauty from Allah."

To wives, Rasul'ullah (SAW) said, "Invite your husbands to do good before they persuade you to do wrong deeds."

To husbands, Rasul'ullah (SAW) said, "You men must make yourselves tidy and be prepared for your wives, as you would like them (your women) to be prepared for you."


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